Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmastime is Crazy!

December is always my least favorite month because it is so crazy. Of course, I added 3 children's birthdays to the mix (Joseph and Heather's are officially in November but since they fall after Thanksgiving I consider them as part of the December craziness.) Joseph and Heather's birthday was a lot of fun due to the fact that we still had all of our Thanksgiving company around. They took their cousins and went to Nickelcade for the afternoon and then we did the cake and ice cream at grandma and grandpa's house.

Their cakes were topped with powdered sugar instead of frosting and Joseph blew as hard as he could in order to share his powdered sugar with Heather!

Laura's birthday was a lot more calm. We had a family party and she got lots of love from her friends. They decorated our sidewalk with chalk, filled her locker with confetti and stuffed animals, and decorated her room with snow (fake snow!). She knew she was loved by the end of the day.

Laura with her new guitar.

Other things of note:
We are excited to have our nephew Josh Talbert moving in with us in January. We plan on this being a short term move in until Josh is able to find a job and an apartment, but we are excited to have him living close to us.
I have a new job. With Kent going on a mission and the financial help we have had from Joseph reaching it's maximum, I have been looking for a job but not very hard yet. I figured I had until February before I had to get really serious. Well, I found a job I know I will love and they hired me. I will be working at Orem Junior High as their flex coordinator. This is a new position, as is the flex program that I will be organizing. The flex program is in place of their homeroom reading time and it is for those who have missing assignments and low grades to work with their teachers on improving their grades and for those who are caught up and have passing grades to be able to participate in activities such as sports or movies or learning new skills. I am excited about the job. It will start in January when school resumes so this is my Christmas vacation as well as the rest of the family's. I am sure there will be a lot of adjusting that needs to happen for our family, but it is amazing how Heavenly Father takes care of us and provides for our needs. I just feel so blessed to have this job and to have it be something that I will enjoy, to have it before I need it, and to have a job that has the same schedule as the rest of the family.
Brad played Santa Claus for his parents' Ward Christmas Party.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thanksgiving fun!

First let me update on Joseph. He endured the shingles and was thrilled to have his prayers answered and to feel better by Thanksgiving and by the day after he felt really really good and since that was his birthday, his life wasn't so bad as he had believed. From a mother's point of view, the shingles were horrible, even the pain medicine only took the edge off but the pain was still there.
Now, on to a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend!! We had a total of 34 people eating dinner at mom and dad Talbert's house. This was our trial run for our family reunion that we will be having this summer. Those who were present were Richard and Susan and family, Deborah (Jeff was in France) and family, including Deborah's sister Mary and her daughter Rebekah, Jim and Debbie and Josh, Jake and Sara, Charlie, Kevin, as well as our family and mom and dad. For sleeping we split between our house, Aaron and Diane's, and mom and dad's. This worked out very well. We also were able to have enough space for eating and for playing games. On Thursday and Friday, we set up 5 card tables and had 20 people playing the same game. It was wild. Brad had to set up a spreadsheet to help keep score and after every 4 rounds we rotated tables with the goal being to try to get to the top table by having the best score. Mostly this holiday was about laughter and friendship. It was amazing to have that many people together and there was no arguing, complaining, or any other difficulty. The Talbert family is truly an amazing family and I am so blessed to have become a part of this family.
Along with lots of family and food, on Friday we had a baby shower at my house for Lenay. Her and JC were not able to join us for Thanksgiving because she had family visiting but we were excited to have a shower for her since her family was around as well as so many Talbert's.

Lenay opening her gifts, Kelsey is on the side.

Susan, Bobbye, Diane, and Sara enjoying the shower.

Lenay again but check out the diaper cake that I made. I forgot to take a better picture than this but it turned out really cute (if I don't say so myself!).

So, Laura needs to do homework so the rest of the fun will be in the next post!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Joseph is Miserable

It always seems that Joseph has more up and downs than most. The good news is that he is done taking the steroids and is going through his last round of withdrawals. By Thanksgiving he should not feel the effects of the steroids at all. The bad news is that Joseph has shingles. These are horrible and he is in so much pain. His shingles are on his leg from his knee to his lower back and it makes moving extremely painful so he is spending all his time lying on the couch or in bed. We are hoping and praying that he will feel better by Thanksgiving and that he will be able to enjoy the holiday and his birthday and most of all his favorite cousin who will be visiting from Ohio.
Other than helping Joseph to endure the pain I am busier than ever with projects. We had Young Women in Excellence and it was a wonderful evening. Next it is on to Thanksgiving, 3 birthdays, a baby shower and Christmas. I have been working on Christmas projects and am almost done with those and I even have some of the shopping done for Christmas. If only I knew what to do for Joseph and Heather for their birthdays. Hopefully I will get some inspiration soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Kent received his mission call yesterday and he is going to the Jamaica Kingston Mission. He will be speaking English and is quite relieved over this. He took 4 years of Spanish and didn't enjoy it at all. Kent will be going into the MTC on his birthday which is so cool! This is something he has planned and hoped for all along - to go on a mission as close to his 19th birthday as possible. It is amazing how just receiving the call has brought such a wonderful spirit into our home. I can hardly wait to see how that spirit grows while he is on a mission (not to mention how fun it will be to watch him grow as well.) I have been researching to find out more about his mission and I found out that it includes Jamaica, Nassau, Bahamas and Freeport, Grand Bahama, Grand Cayman, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and the Turks and Caicos Islands (at the lower end of the Bahama chain but a separate country). It is going to be an amazing experience for him.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Great News!

This has been a great week for our family. It started by Kent having his mission papers sent off to Salt Lake. Now we are just waiting for his call which should come either this week or next. Joseph had his biopsy on Tuesday and yesterday we got the results which were "perfect" (this is the exact word they used). He is having no rejection and the best part of all of this is that we are weaning him off of the steroids and in two weeks he will no longer be on those nasty things. In a month we will be able to evaluate his other medicine and take him off of several other things he has been on that have helped to combat the side effects of steroids. It is great to have everything looking so good for him. He will have one more biopsy in January and then he will have them annually. Hooray!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is one of those holidays that I could really do without. I especially need to do away with the candy because I can't stay away from it! This year Halloween was really easy since I only had to get a costume for Nathaniel. A couple weeks ago he wanted to be Batman so we bought some accessories to add to the Batman costume that we already had. Well, last week was our ward Halloween party and I had gone to the store before the party. When I came home Nathaniel was dressed as an old man and it was an adorable costume. I tried to convince him that he should be Batman since I had spent money on his costume but he didn't want to. He was also okay if I wanted to take back the Batman stuff and he would just be an old man for Halloween. Who could ask for anything better! I had a happy child and I didn't have to spend any money on his costume! Nathaniel is also the only one who is still allowed to go trick or treating at our house and since he doesn't really like candy he gets bored with it pretty quick. This means that before 7:30 he was done and ready to watch a movie. What a deal! Laura had to dress up also this year for a special needs mutual Halloween party that she had to attend.

Life Goes On

Life certainly seems to just keep moving along. Last week both Nathaniel and Joseph were sick with the stomach flu. Nathaniel got better quickly but Joseph has had it lingering for most of this week as well. This has been the first real illness that Joseph has had since his transplant and it has been rough for him. He has never been a good patient when he gets sick and so he drives me nuts and that doesn't help. The immune suppressing drugs don't help either because it takes so much longer for him to get back his energy.
Speaking of Joseph and Nathaniel, after a conversation I had with Susan while we were visiting Vernal, I decided to try putting Joseph and Nathaniel on a nutritional supplement to see if it would help them emotionally (they both get upset a little too easy) and if it wouldn't also help them to grow a little. After 4 days of trying this I have definitely seen a difference in Nathaniel. He is so much more enjoyable. Even last night when he had a major amount of homework for a fourth grader and he was up until 10:00 doing homework and the other things we had to get done, he was happy the whole time and he was focused and he never got overwhelmed. This is exactly the opposite of how he normally reacts. So far I haven't seen much difference in Joseph but I told him I need to give it at least a week before I decide if I will have him continue.
Joseph also had to have his biopsy delayed because he was sick. That was really frustrating since we cannot get rid of any more medication until we have a biopsy. It is scheduled for next Tuesday but he is thinking he may have a cold coming on and if so we will have to reschedule again.
I have been doing some serious crafting this past week. I am in the holiday zone for being prepared. I have been working on a project for most of the extended family as well as deciding what I want my Christmas card to look like. I am also working on a craft for our Young Women in Excellence night at the end of November. But my greatest accomplishment is that I put vinyl letters above my clock in the party room. It looks really nice. The saying I used is "There's always time for family". I finished putting it up last night and then I woke up this morning from a dream where I had gone out to the party room and all the letters had fallen off the wall. The dream was so real I had to have Brad go look to make sure it really was a dream. Of course, all was well!
Kent has to meet with the Stake President and then his mission papers will be turned in. He is hoping that the interview will be on Sunday and then he can start the countdown.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

UEA Vacation

Brad and the kids have been on vacation this Thursday and Friday and it has been wonderful. Thursday our family just worked around the house and then the kids hung out with friends. It was a nice quiet day and a much needed break for our family. On Friday we went to Vernal to visit with Richard and Susan and their family. This was such a great little get away. We came back home Saturday evening but the day and a half that we spent in Vernal was perfect. Heather and Laura, of course, loved every minute of hanging out with the Rust girls. If they had their way we would never leave. Nathaniel also really enjoys his Rust cousins. Joseph sometimes gets overwhelmed by all the girls in that family but even he really enjoyed his time in Vernal. He especially loves hanging out with Richard but he is finding that Kelsey can be a lot of fun also. Brad and I always enjoy being with Richard and Susan and one of the things we really enjoyed this time was playing a game called "The Farming Game". It is a rather addictive game once you get started playing it. We are already looking forward to playing it with them again sometime.

This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to volunteer with Intermountain Donor Services (IDS). This the the regional organization for registering and promoting Organ Donation. I went to SLC to the church office building to help with a health fair. It was a lot of fun. I helped run the booth and encouraged people to sign up as an organ donor if they hadn't already. I am hoping to continue to volunteer every now and then with IDS. I have reached a point in my life where I am interested in volunteering and serving especially in areas where my life has been touched and impacted.

Kent has been working on his mission papers and is pretty much done except for a phone call to answer an insurance question and whatever interviews that need to be done. He can't officially send in his papers until the end of October but it is coming soon and he is hoping to have everything done by then. This is a very fun and exciting time for him and for our family as a whole.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Conference was Great

Conference weekend is always something I look forward to and this one was especially nice. My favorite part was that my children are finally growing up enough to truly sit and listen to conference without so much interruption or disruption. I think all of our family came away from conference feeling uplifted and inspired. I especially had a few moments when thoughts and ideas struck me. I also heard some things from Sister Dalton that will help me with my young women/relief society lesson that I am teaching this weekend. This is also my most pressing matter at the moment so I am glad I felt some inspiration there. Some of the other talks that I really enjoyed are President Monson's about dealing with change and just enjoying each day as it comes; Elder Oaks' about the importance of sacrament meeting; Elder Bednar's on prayer; President Uchtdorf's on hope; and Elder Cook's on sometimes the things that are hardest are also the best.

Another thing of note- the piano is back home and life is wonderful. It is amazing how much more interested in playing the piano my younger children are now that we have had a month long break.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

No More Peaches!

Since I last wrote I think all I have done is peaches. I have dried peaches, I have bottled peaches, I have made peach pie and peach jam and frozen peaches. I have also eaten peaches and picked peaches and I even went to the cannery and helped can peaches there. Needless to say I am tired of peaches. I am currently drying my last two batches of peaches and then I will do no more until next year. I ended up with so many peaches because I thought there were not very many on my tree so when people offered me their peaches I said yes. It turned out that there were a lot more on that tree than I thought there were.
Other things of note, I have started substitute teaching again. I am trying to only sub a couple days a week. This was my first week and the first day I was so unmotivated to go and I was wishing that I hadn't taken the job but once I got there and got busy I loved it. I really enjoy working with children and I am glad to be subbing again.
Nathaniel's 10th birthday was today. We celebrated it on Tuesday since this week was way too busy. It is hard to believe that 10 years ago we were having a child with heart issues and we were not sure what to expect. It has turned out so much better than I could have imagined then. Except for the three surgeries Nathaniel has had he has never had a complication or had to go to the emergency room. What a blessing that has been.
Well, I began this on Thursday night and had to save my draft when Kent needed the computer for homework so now I will try to finish this- of course as I write this instead of arguing over who's turn it is for the computer there is now arguing over who's turn it is for the shower. Oh well, it is usually because at the end of the day everyone is just too tired to work things out.
Saturday Brad and I spent most of the day celebrating our 20th anniversary. The actual day was on Wednesday the 24th but we were so busy we hardly saw each other on that day. Saturday was really nice though. We went to the temple and then out to eat. After that we went shopping until it was time to go home and be the parents again. Later that evening after the Relief Society Meeting we watched a movie. It was an especially nice day and it isn't often that we can just relax and enjoy each other without other things to occupy our time.
Other things of note are that our piano has been in the repair shop for almost a month now and it is driving Kent and Laura nuts. We hope it will finally be fixed this week. Kent has had his wisdom teeth out and is very glad to have that miserable experience overwith. He is also having the medical part of his missionary papers done this week. I can't believe that in just a month he will be able to send in his papers and will be waiting for his call. Wow time flies. It seems that just yesterday he was a toddler getting into everything and causing chaos in my life.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Catching Up

Things of importance since I last posted to this blog are 1) girls camp, 2) new calling, 3) Brad and kids back in school, 4) Brad earning extra money, 5) going to Idaho.

1) Girl's Camp was great. This year instead of snow we had rain. It rained (poured) every day we were there but our ward had the cabin behind the pavilion which was larger than the others and we also could use the pavilion all we wanted so we were able to do all our activities without having to be cramped indoors the whole time. It was a fun and crazy week and I especially loved being at camp in August - the wild flowers were beautiful! It was also fun to be there with both of my girls.

2) About two weeks after camp I received a new calling - to be the second counselor in Young Women's. I was kind of sad to leave the camp calling as I already had some ideas of things I would do differently next year. However, I am loving my new calling. The beehive class is great. It is fun to have the same calling as Paula and to be able to compare notes with her. It is also great to continue to hang out with all the young women and the other leaders who have become good friends as well.

3) Brad and the Kids are back in school!!!!! Yea!!!! Yes, I am excited. The whole family was excited as well. Brad is always ready to be back to work and has been so busy that he hasn't quite caught up with everything he is trying to get done. Kent was going nuts because BYU didn't start when the rest of the family did. He was so ready to be in school he has even admitted that if he were rich he would be a student forever. BYU is working out great for him. He loves his classes, especially Calculus and Physics and the fact that the classes are more all at the same level rather than in high school where the teachers taught at the speed of the slower students. Laura is adapting to her classes. She especially loves her health sciences class and her music theory class. Joseph was very, very excited to be back in school. More so than everyone else but that is because he missed most of last year. It has been good for him to be back with all of his friends. Heather is loving jr. high and growing up. She has adapted very well and is the queen of volunteering/trying out for things. She has tried out for the school play (she will find out on Monday if she made it) and she volunteered to play the piano for one of her choir songs. Nathaniel had a hard time adjusting to school at first but now he is on track and doing much better. In many ways it has been good for him to be the only one of our family going to his school - it has helped him become more independent and improved his confidence. He is also biking to school every day with one of his friends and that is good for him. I am loving everyone being back in school. The first week I went to Education Week at BYU and it was wonderful. Probably the best thing I got out of it was at the devotional. Elder Hales spoke and he encouraged us to be "better than your best". If you can't figure out what that means let me know and I will tell you. It has become a great motto for me, especially as a mother. After Education Week I have been cleaning closets and cupboards and the storage room. This week my major accomplishment was to rearrange the kitchen cupboards. It all started because one cupboard was always a mess and things were always falling out of it. So far, I am liking the new changes and I think it is easier for the kids to keep the dishes in the correct spot.

4) Brad has been involved in evaluating test questions for Western Governors University. This has included many evenings of online meetings. For these meetings Brad would set up in the family room with his laptop and the phone on speaker phone for 2 to 5 hours and a group of teachers would evaluate physics questions. Brad enjoyed doing the work and we had looked forward to enjoying the extra money but it turns out that the piano decided to die and had to be repaired and Kent is working on his mission papers, especially the dental part and is having his wisdom teeth out next week. That pretty much takes care of the extra money, but it is nice that we have enough money to be able to handle the extra expenses.

5) Over Labor Day weekend we went to Idaho to Blake and Paula's house. Except for our Disney World trip this was our first vacation in a year due to Joseph's health issues. It was wonderful to get away for a couple of days. It was overall more relaxing than the Disney World trip. It was also fun to have Dad, Joanne, and Amanda come up on Sunday. Amanda stayed for the entire day and we had a blast. We played karaoke and then Cranium for hours. It was one of the best times I have had in a while. On Saturday, on our way up to Shelley, we stopped in Malad for a bathroom break and the joke was we could visit my family while we were there (of course, the only family left there happen to be in cemetery). Nathaniel didn't get that we were joking and kept wanting to know when we were going to visit the dead people. On Monday, we decided to stop at the cemetery on our way home. We bought some flowers and then went to the cemetery to put flowers on the graves of my grandparents. It was really a sweet moment and something I hope we find the time to do again.

Well, I think that about catches things up for now. Maybe it won't be so long before I do the next update.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Disney World

I have created a blog just for our vacation. You can use the link on the right to view that blog. It is a work in progress and will take several days for me to blog the entire vacation. Also, the dog still needs therapy. She was willing to drink out of her new dish (the second one) while we were gone but she wouldn't eat out of the food dish. Fortunately we have wonderful neighbors who took amazing care of our dog. Not only did she have food issues, she managed to find a way out of the yard and spent most of her time across the street at the Monson's sitting in front of their door. She also had to deal with the fireworks for the 24th of July and spent the nights at the Browne's next door pacing and panting. Fortunately for her we are home and her life will be normal for a while. She is even eating out of the food dish finally. Next time we go on vacation we will probably have to have her go to a kennel for our peace of mind and her safety. Oh what a dog!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dog Needs Therapy!

We leave for our vacation on Friday morning and life is crazy. Brad and Joseph got home from scout camp on Saturday and there went the quiet that I had been enjoying. Laura and I spent Thursday and Friday scrapbooking and watching movies. It was wonderful and I got a lot of scrapbooking done. Joseph had a great time at scout camp. He was able to keep up for the most part. He went biking and caving. It was a much better experience than last year. Last year we came home from our Washington DC trip (he did very well on this trip) and Joseph went to scout camp about a week later. After one day Joseph had to come home because he couldn't keep up and then he tried to go back for the last night and after only a couple hours at camp he was ready to go back home again. This year he came home exhausted but this time it was because he was working hard and having fun. On Monday we had a make a wish party for Joseph. (See his blog for more details.) It was an amazing party and got us ready for our vacation. It is going to be so much fun and I look forward to spending time with my family. It seems like they are always working or hanging out with friends and I don't see much of them. Hopefully Jenny will survive us being gone. She is already driving us nuts and having us leave will only make her worse. Do they have therapists for dogs? If so, she certainly needs one. We bought her new dishes for her food and water (they are the big ones that don't run out quickly). It turns out that she is afraid of them. After two days of not eating or drinking she was looking like she didn't feel well and we started to figure out what was going on. If we gave her a different dish she was fine. We tried putting a different dish near the new ones and that didn't work. She wouldn't go near enough to eat or drink because she was so scared. So, we broke down and bought different new ones yesterday. So far, it looks like she is drinking and eating but only time will tell if this will really work. The worst part is that we threw out her old dishes because they were gross and needed to go. Now we are going to leave for a week which always causes her trauma and it will also be the 24th of July which is Pioneer Day and in Utah we are allowed to do fireworks 3 days before and 3 days after this holiday. Since Jenny is not a fan of fireworks (that is putting it mildly), it will be a rough time for her. Fortunately we have good neighbors who will be taking care of her while we are gone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yeah for Scout Camp

The past couple days have been wild trying to help Brad get ready for Scout Camp. Brad was in charge of the food for camp and needed my help to figure out how much to plan for and to help with the shopping list. But now Brad and Joseph have left for their camp. I am looking forward to a little more quiet time (I hope) because I want to get some scrapbooking done. It probably won't happen today because I have to get ready for young women's tonight - it is our last camp activity before we go to girl's camp next month. Camp is coming up fast and along with that we are going to Florida for a week. We will be going to Florida for Joseph's make a wish vacation on the 18th of July. (We will post pictures on his blog when we get back). It seems like I just go from planning one thing to the next but I love organizing and planning so I can't really complain - it just keeps me busy. Other than that, things happening here are that Nathaniel is busy with swim lessons and Kent and Laura are busy with work and Heather is busy reading the Harry Potter series for the 5th time.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

And So It Begins

I have decided to begin a blog. Hopefully this will accomplish two things. One, it will enable me to do some sort of journaling, and two, it will allow friends and family to know what is happening in our lives. This week has been another crazy one in our lives. On Monday Laura had her right knee scoped to have her plicus (sp?) removed because it had hardened and it is supposed to remain soft and pliable. Supposedly this is something you don't really need since they just took hers out. Laura is recovering very well and even went to work last night at her new job at the Wynsong Theater. Along with Laura having surgery, we also began on Monday to put a new roof on our house. This also turned out very well. Brad managed with the help of many wonderful friends and family to get the roof done by Friday morning and we even managed to do it for less than the budget we had set for the job. This morning everyone slept in because it was so quiet without the pounding of hammers above our heads. Yesterday was the Fourth of July and we had a quiet and an enjoyable day. We had the Talbert crowd over for an afternoon barbecue and then Brad had everyone who wanted to make a paper rocket. We went over to the junior high to launch the rockets and it was a lot of fun. It was especially fun to watch the boys/men try to make the best rocket only to get over to the junior high and find out that Grandma Talbert made the rocket that flew the highest. This turned out to be a very fun and entertaining activity for all ages. I was not so sure it would be but Brad loves to play with toys and was sure others would too. I hate to admit when he is right but this time he certainly was.