Friday, June 3, 2016

The Dentist

The kids had their first visit to the dentist in the fall of 2015.  They both did great getting their teeth checked and cleaned! 

Senator Pride 2015

Homecoming was just a few weeks after the start of school, and Addison was a proud little senator.  they made mustaches and hats at school, to wear to the parade.  She wore hers for days!  (And we had to make Brogan one too)

Wiating for the homecoming parade! 
 Cash died the week of the Gooding fair.  Addison went to a cheer camp, and was supposed to walk in the parade with the cheerleaders.  We were in Boise at the hospital during the parade.  We didn't tell the kids until after we got home.  It broke my heart and theirs to learn that they missed the parade.  (They LOVE the parade and Addison was so excited to BE IN IT this year).  When we got home, we found someone had delivered two full bags of parade candy, frisbees, balls, and all sorts of other goodies they'd collected from the parade.  It brought me to tears, and made my kids SO happy that someone thought of them.  I don't know who did it, but I hope they know how greatful I am for them and their simple act of kindness.  It made my kids so happy, just when they needed it.
 The cheerleaders and their coaches knew Addison was disappointed to miss the parade.  They found this special cheer leading outfit for her, hemmed it to fit, got her legitimate pom poms, and even had a box for her to cheer on during a football game.  The announcer announced her as an honorary cheerleader and she cheered with the big girls for a whole quarter.  She was a little shy about it, but she felt so special to be one of the girls!  I so appreciate Lori Nebeker and Rosa Beads for all the thought and love they put into this gesture of love.  They will never know how much it meant to Addison, but mostly to me.
 Addison and Weston raking the fall leaves at Grandpa Funk's house.

 Addison at a cheer camp during basketball season.  
Most people who grow up in a small town end up resenting it for one reason or another.  I just have to say that I'm proud to be from Gooding, and love and appreciate how much this town came together for our family after Cash died.

First Day of School 2015

 This year Addison started Kindergarten at GES, and Brogan started Pre-school at Little Steps Preschool with Angela Miller.  Addison had Mrs. Born and Ms. Sherri Williams, both whom she loved! It was a weird way to start the school year.  The kids both missed almost the whole week because it was the same week as Cash's funeral (of which I'll post on his blog).  Their cousins were all here from Texas and we spent the week getting ready for the funeral and hanging out with family.

Last year I did preschool with Addison, Weston, Brogan and Paisley when I watched them.  Addison, Weston and Paisley loved preschool and did everything I asked them to do each day.  Brogan on the other hand did NOT love the concept of sitting and even when I made it fun, he chose not to participate a lot.  Addison always loved the idea of "homework" and working on school type activities, but Brogan didn't.  I was a little nervous that he wouldn't want to go to preschool, or be do it at home with me either.  When Cash died, Brogan took it the hardest out of all of us.  he just didn't understand any of it.  He was upset a lot.  Although we were very honest and open with both of the kids on what and how it happened, Brogan had feelings that he couldn't express to us.  They often came out in anger or acting out.  Addison developed such a faith that this was Heavenly Father's plan, and that Cash was still living in Heaven.  Brogan "didn't like Heavenly Father for taking his brother from him".  He just couldn't comprehend an eternal plan.  We went to a family therapist, who agreed that Brogan could use some counseling.  He recommended a few '"play therapists" who work with kids in a fun way to help them understand their feelings.  Brogan wasn't thrilled with the idea of going.  We asked him what he wanted to do.  He told us he wanted to go to preschool with his buddy Cade.  So we signed him up for preschool and waited.  The results were amazing.  I'm not sure if it was just having an outlet, lots of social interaction with other kids his age, or his amazing teacher taking such special care of him, but we started to see a huge change in Brogan, very quickly.  After a few weeks of school he LOVED anything "homework" or "learning" related.  He wanted me to print him out "homework" and talk all about his days at school.  He was able to express himself and understand things better, little by little.  It's been amazing to see how far Brogan has come, and to see his faith in his Heavenly Father is something else.

  I'm so proud of both Addison and Brogan.  They have wisdom beyond their young little lives.  They talk about Cash every day, and they truly believe in the plan of salvation, and that they'll see him again.  They often ask when Jesus is coming, so they can be with their baby brother.  When they find beauty in nature, or a beautiful sunset, they say things like, "Look Mom, Cash and Jesus are painting!"  They love to visit his grave and take him toys he can play with.  They write him notes, talk about him to strangers, and keep him alive in their hearts.  I'm so proud of them.

Tahoe Spartan October 2015

It's been so long since I've posted here, and so much has happened, I don't even know where to start.  After having a great summer full of family adventures, Cash passed away in August.  I've been writing that story on his blog,  You can go there to read the whole story.  Since then, we've been trying to do the best we can to get along with life.  There have been good days, and lonely ones.  It's been something we've all had to work through in our own way, but we've been doing it together and at our own pace.


At the begining of October Stewart and I did the Tahoe Spartan Beast.  It was the World Championship race, and totally the toughest physical race I've ever done.  The weather was cold and windy, and it even snowed on us right after we got out of the mountain lake swim! There were several times throughout that race that I seriously considered throwing in the towel.  When I was climbing straight up a mountain, trying to keep up with my teammates, I remember trying to keep in the tears.  I remember the thoughts of "I can't" and "why even try" running through my mind. Everything seemed so easy for my teammates (and even when I thought I'd be waiting for Stewart, he was right on my heels). Throughout that race I had to muster up more mental toughness than ever before, and honestly Cash helped me do that.  Whenever I thought things were too tough to keep going, or that I wasn't worth finishing all I could do was to think of that little boy who went through so much on this earth.  The fact that he could have such a positive attitude while enduring such trying trials reassured me that I could do anything; including climbing a mountain for 15 miles, because this was nothing compared to what he'd been through in his short 20 months of life).

At the point of the hail storm, our team was at a dilemma.  It was freezing cold, hailing, we had four miles left, and we just happened to be close to a gondola station.  Ultimately the majority of us decided it was time to call it quits.  A few of our team members started toward the gondola station, and at the last minute Jaime just said, "heck no- I'm just going to finish it".  She was probably the "least dressed"  of all of us (we all had ripped cotton t-shirts, but I had thought to pack a thermal too) and Steve just looked at us and shrugged like, "I can't just let her go freezing by herself!"  So then he ran after her.  Ben and Tara took off too and I just looked at Stewart and told him I was going to finish.  He decided he was going to ride the gondola down.  The last four miles of the race was pretty much down hill, so I just sprinted it out (even though my legs were KILLING me!)  I eventually caught up to Steve, Jaime, Ben and Tara.  We endured the last of the grueling obstacles together, and "felt our way" through the end of the trails into the ever darkening night.  We borrowed light from people around us who had thought to bring headlamps, and finally trudged to the final obstacles (of which I had to burpee for ALL of them because it was so dark, wet, cold and slippery).  By the time we crossed the finish line we were beyond happy, excited and proud.  As I looked around expecting Stewart to be there waiting for me, I couldn't see him.  Maybe he was still changing, or inside somewhere.  We boogied over to the bag check station and everyone else changed into their dry warm clothes.  Still no Stewart!  I borrowed Jaime's blanket and we started to look for Stewart.  He wasn't in the medical tent, the van, or any of the little shops inside the buildings.  We went back to bag check and sure enough our bag was still there.  Since Stewart had our bag bracelet I wasn't supposed to be able to claim our bag, but since I could describe all of the things inside (and I was a frozen popsicle) (and it was one of the last 20 bags there) they let me have it.  As I changed in the corner of a dark tent, I heard Ben yelling that Stewart was finishing the race!  He was about to cross the finish line!!!  WHAT?!?  I seriously had never been so proud of him in my life!  Turns out when he went to the gondola station they were just shutting it down due to the weather.  They were taking people down on ATV's (two at a time), and taking the hypothermia (for real!) and injured people down first.  They told Stewart he could either finish the race (4 miles) or cut straight down the mountain to the lodge (about 3 miles).  He decided just to finish.  It took him about an hour longer than us, and I'm amazed he didn't get pulled off the mountain because he didn't have a headlamp.  He said he just blended in with a group that all had headlamps and followed them through the dark.

Tahoe was such a tough race, but I'm seriously itching to go back.  We overcame so much there, both Stewart and I.  I felt so many emotions, and mustered up so much determination and will power.  There's nothing quite like being so low and down, then crushing that feeling and replacing it with power and strength!  I also saw Stewart step up and do something he wouldn't normally be prone to do.  I love him so much, and sometimes I think he sells himself short.  He's a powerful guy, and it's not very often he does things he doesn't really want to do, so to see him cross that finish line was exhilarating for me, and him.

Our Pre-Race game faces
 Our Post-Race exhausted faces