Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2016 on FB

January 1: Day 15 of our 17-Day Christmas Break: Josh picked up the boys from their friends' houses following their NYE sleepovers, Josh had to go to work for a couple hours, I worked on my college class some more and wrote and submitted yet another paper (this class feels neverending!), the boys HAPPILY played minecraft on their ipods all day (so I guess they're not really ready to go back to school yet), I worked on posting a blog about my Mexico trip (trying to catch up!), Josh watched more college football games on TV (the bowl games have been disappointing this year), and Josh and I went out tonight with friends to do karaoke and dancing. I'm sad our precious time off together is nearly over.

January 2: Day 16 of our 17-Day Christmas Break: woke up to -17 degree weather, Ammon went snowboarding with friends all day, Josh and I went to a baptism of our friend's son this morning and had a delicious lunch with them afterwards, Josh took the younger 3 boys sledding at Janoa's this afternoon, I worked on a college class assignment for a solid 5 hours, the twins and Kanyon went to their friends' houses to play this evening while Josh, Ammon, and I went to a church dance in a barn. I had a great time with Josh at the dance, but could barely get Ammon to get out on the dance floor (he only did twice)! Also, I'm moving up in the tech world--I made my first snapchat video tonight during the dance!
It's hard to see due to the lighting and my phone's
poor photo quality, but this is Ammon
ACTUALLY participating in the limbo at the dance!

January 3: Day 17 of our 17-Day Christmas Break (and we are ALL sad that it's the last day): we all slept in now that we have the 11:00 time for church, Josh and I took a lukewarm shower since the boys used all the hot water to take showers before us this morning (they mostly used to take showers Saturday nights before when we had early morning church). Josh and I had a little contest with each other at church, and we tied (which hasn't happened in this specific contest before). We ate a nice dinner at Josh's parents house this afternoon. Josh watched football (last day of regular season NFL), Ammon worked on homework (nothing like waiting til the last possible minute), the other boys played on their iPods (last day of unlimited play), and I worked on my college class for 7 long hours--I'm so close to finishing this class (that was actually supposed to be finished 2 weeks before Christmas). Wish we just had ONE more day of vacation!!!

January 5: I just submitted my final written assignment for my current college class (a 22-page report that I've been working on for 3 weeks), and I feel like I can finally breathe again!!!

January 7 [Posted by Josh]: My favorite time of year at the golf course:

January 9: Dropped these 3 stooges off this morning to snowboard at bogus basin for the day!

January 11: Happy birthday to this kid who made me a mother 16 years ago today! I love you Ammon!

January 11 [Posted by Josh]: Happy 16th to this bouncing baby boy. Still as happy today as you were then. :)

January 15: Tonight I passed my last college class final of this semester. I only have 2 [very full] semesters left until student teaching begins next January!!!

January 16: It's the big wedding day! Love is in the air! Josh's brother Malachi is getting married in Rexburg this afternoon and my pseudo - sister Kimi is getting married this evening in Idaho Falls!

January 22: Since I'm in between college semesters right now, I'm trying to get caught up on my blog! I've been "back-blogging", and just finished a post about the new flooring that Josh installed in our home over Christmas Break. As I was sweeping it yesterday, I was thinking about how much I still love it! Thanks again, babe!

January 31: I start my next college semester tomorrow, and I've been frantically blogging for the past two weeks to get all caught up before the next set of stressful demands would begin! I'm officially ready! I am completely up-to-date on my blogging (which is a first!!), and am prepared for the challenge of getting my schooling underway!

Week 4

{January 25 - 31}

On Monday night for Family Home Evening, I taught the lesson about prayer, we played "What's Yours Like", and had some of Barb's leftover strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Tuesday evening was hectic. After school, I taught a piano lesson in town, got my hair cut, signed up the twins for junior basketball league, and Josh and I took Ammon out on a date to Junkyard Bistro.
I like how she flipped my hair out after giving
me a hair cut. Ammon was the first one to notice
my haircut, so kudos to him for noticing AND
complementing!!! His dad could take a lesson
from that I suppose {wink wink}.

Ammon had never been to the Bistro before, and although Josh doesn't like it very much, we thought it would be good to try it out together so Ammon would know if it was a good choice to take a future date to. I got the coconut curry chicken rice bowl (my favorite thing and SO delicious!), Ammon got the Muffaletta (he thought it sounded better than it tasted), and Josh got the Vietnamese pork sandwich (it was alright, but he won't get it again). Since we are on a family budget this year, I have a monthly allowance of $36 for the dates with the boys. I told the boys there's a $4 cushion, and if they make it under $36, they get to keep the $4, but if they go over they have to use that $4. Our bill total came to $36.01! He was barely over the limit! We used the extra as the tip (plus a little more that Josh contributed). It was a nice date, but Ammon decided he didn't want to take a date there in the near future.

After we got home from eating out, Josh helped Kanyon with his pinewood derby car. Josh had taken it to work with him on Monday, carved the shape Kanyon wanted, put metal in it, weighed it, and then Kanyon sanded it while we were out to dinner on Tuesday night. Josh laid out some newspaper on the table, and Kanyon spray painted a few layers of orange on it. 

On Wednesday night, I helped Kanyon paint the details on his derby car. He wanted a skull with flames coming out of it. I found an image online that he said was like what he was imagining in his head, and I painted the image on the car in 3 different layers--waiting about a half hour in between each layer. After the 3rd layer, I asked Kanyon if the picture was what he wanted, and he said it was perfect, except he wanted the nose of the skull painted over, which I did. Then I left it to dry a little more before I cleaned up the mess. And when I came back out a half hour later, Kanyon was busy adding more paint designs himself on the front and back end of the car. He said the front of the car now had a burning pyramid and the back of the car had a digital shooter. I was a little irritated, because he'd told me it was perfect before...but he liked the car as it was now, and it's his car, so I guess that's what matters most. 

Thursday was no school for the elementary school because of Parent Teacher conferences, so Kanyon got to stay home. The high school had a delayed start of 2 hours, due to Senior Projects, so Ammon got to sleep in. I drove Jonah and Micah in that morning for their last ski day, and went to the school for para meetings and I worked the rest of the day helping with conferences. Since Josh didn't have to drive bus that morning, he brought Kanyon in for his student-led Parent/Teacher conference, and met me at the school. Kanyon is doing very well academically, for which I am so grateful. His teacher has been very patient with his difficulties in creative writing, and I feel like he's behaviorally improving in the classroom as well, which is a blessing. Josh drove Ammon's basketball bus to North Fremont that afternoon, so Ammon only went to a couple hours of school (since it was an easy day, he was glad for no homework over the weekend).  I picked up the twins at 5 from the ski bus. They'd had an awesome day skiing because some of their friends (who didn't ride the ski bus) had gone skiing that day too since 6th grade didn't have school. I'm glad they had a good time--especially because Jonah originally didn't want to go with the school, and Micah was a little anxious about what to expect since they'd never gone with the school before.

Thursday night was Kanyon's first Pinewood Derby. He was SO excited!!

There were only 5 boys competing (our ward did it by themselves, and there's not very many cub scouts), so Sister Johnson joined in too so there would be an even number in the bracket. The boys all did a preliminary running of their cars before starting a double-elimination bracket.

Kanyon got 3rd place overall, which he was pleased with. I told him to try running his car backwards during the races, but he didn't do it until the derby had ended and he and his friends were just doing fun races. During the fun races, when he DID run the car backwards, his car was faster than everyone's! He had a lot of fun despite not winning, and the boys all had good sportsmanship. He loved building his car and racing it with his scout troop. It was a positive experience for him and a nice evening!

Our cub master made little medals from elk antlers, with engravings on both sides, and he gave them to all the boys who raced, which was very cool!

On Friday morning, Jonah and Micah left for an overnight scout camp-out. They were headed to Jimmy Smith Lake near Challis, and would be doing the fishing derby on Saturday morning. It was their first winter campout, and they didn't know what to expect, so they were a little nervous. They started packing on Thursday night, and finished getting ready on Friday morning before meeting at the church. It snowed all day on Friday, and I thought about them, and wondered how they were faring in the cold and snow! It was pretty quiet at our house with them gone--Josh went to work and Ammon volunteered at a store in town, so Kanyon and I were home alone. We worked on going through the grow box--we got rid of all the small clothes in his drawers, and went through all the clothes that were the next size up, either keeping them and putting them away, or adding them to the donation pile. When we were done, we had a huge garbage bag full of clothes to donate, so we went into town, dropped them off at Rags & Wags and ate lunch at Burger King. Then we picked up his friend Aiden to come over and play for the afternoon. The boys had a good time playing together--they played outside, walked down to the gravel pit and dug for rocks, came back to drink hot cocoa and warm up, and then played with cars on a racetrack inside until it was time to go. After I took Aiden home, Josh and I went out to Bertram's with John and Amanda for dinner. Josh ordered the Prime Rib, because he'd been craving it for months, and I ordered curried clams because I wasn't too hungry (we'd had cheesy chicken rice when Aiden was still at our house). I'd never eaten clams before, but they were pretty tasty. I love curry flavoring!

On Saturday, Josh and I headed into a baptism for some children in the ward, then we came home and relaxed for a bit. I like when I get to spend unscheduled time with him!! He hasn't been feeling good this week due to a cracked (or broken? we're not sure) rib. Last weekend, he was trimming trees at the golf course, and one of the giant branches swung back and hit him smack dab in the chest and knocked him down. Then a few days later, he chopped up some wood at our house, and the pain in his chest was intense after that. He had a hard time moving, coughing, and even laughing. His body has been sore and he hasn't been sleeping well all week as a result. We needed some more wood split to bring in for the coming week's supply for the wood stove, and he was dreading it because of what happened last time he split wood; he was still sore and didn't want to over-exert himself again. So, he borrowed his dad's wood splitter, which was awesome! Jonah and Micah have been the designated weekend wood-haulers, carrying wheelbarrows of wood from the pile and stacking them on our deck, but since they were still gone to the scout camp-out, Kanyon and I filled their positions and helped instead. Ammon has helped with the splitting this winter, but yesterday he helped with the hauling, while Kanyon and I helped with stacking as Josh was splitting. It was a good little team effort, and we got a lot of wood split, stacked, and hauled in a decent amount of time. 

Since we got done faster than anticipated, when we came inside from finishing the wood chore, Josh worked on finishing and submitting our taxes. We are grateful to have a refund again this year, and it's very similar to what we received last year, so we're glad it hasn't dropped significantly from what we were hoping and expecting. 

Jonah and Micah got home about 5:00 Saturday night. They were cold, tired, and were glad to be home! Right after they got home, Josh and I headed into Ammon's home basketball game against West Jefferson. It was a very close game, which is exciting. They were tied in the first and most of the second quarters, and by the 4th quarter, they were within just 10 points of West Jefferson. Ultimately, West J won, but I was proud of our boys for giving a good fight. Ammon had a hard game, though. He played well defensively, but had difficulties making good passes to teammates due to their moving around and not being prepared to receive the ball. And once he made a few of the same resulting passes in a row, it started getting to him. He has a hard time recovering once he's made mistakes; it's an obstacle that he struggles with while playing on team sports. 

He excels at making 3-point shots!
When I got home from the game to make a late dinner for the boys, I discovered that while Josh and i were at the game, Jonah and Micah had both done a load of laundry to wash and dry their wet clothes from the camp-out, and they'd gutted and cleaned both of the fish they'd caught at the derby. They'd even used the hydrant outside (in the freezing cold) to clean their fish so they didn't have to use the sink inside, since it would stink and Josh hates the smell of fish in our house. I couldn't believe it! I was so proud of them both! They are such good boys!

This morning, Josh and I drove to Challis for church. It was their ward conference, and since Josh is in the Stake YM, that was his assignment today, and he asked me to join him on the drive. Eric Tarkalson drove down with us, too. We had such a nice experience, and enjoyed the services in Challis. Ammon took the other boys to our church, and we all got home about the same time. We went down to Ed & Kathy's for dinner, and she'd made split hot dogs with mashed potatoes and cheese, because she knows how much the boys love it! This afternoon we've been relaxing and hanging out together. I just love unscheduled Sunday afternoons!  It's the best way for me to calm my mind before starting a new hectic week all over again!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week 3

{January 18 - 24}

On Sunday night at Grandpa's house, I was all alone. I looked through lots of photo albums for hours--until midnight! I found lots of goodies, though, and took pictures of the photos that I wanted to remember. These are just a few of what I found:
Grandpa, all his siblings, and their parents. He was the oldest of 9 children.
He is on the front right, sitting next to his father. 

This photo was taken at the same time with spouses and grandchildren.
Grandma is standing on the top right, and my dad is in the overalls sitting
on the edge of the couch to the right of Grandpa, and under Grandma.

This is Grandma with her siblings. She is on the top row, 2nd from left.
There were 8 Rigby children. 

Grandma and Grandpa lived in a house on Lake Coeur d'Alene for most of my childhood. Grandpa built the house himself, and landscaped the area on the lake frontage. I have very fond memories of spending time in the summers with Grandma and Grandpa at their lake house.
Grandpa waving on the ramp between the dock and the boat house. 

I love this photo! Grandma, Mick, and Jared seem to be the only ones
looking at the camera. I'm sure it was quite the task getting all the children
to face the camera for a good photo!

That's better! Back Row: Grandma holding cousin Liz, Mom holding Tawna,
Dad holding Tabbi. Middle Row: Aunt Candi, my dad's only sister. Front Row:
Me, brother Cody, cousin Nat, cousin Jared, brother Mick, and cousin Chris

I think this was taken in 1986. I remember LOVING this
swimsuit! Don't you just love my bowl haircut?!

I think this was taken in 1987. I remember LOVING this
swimsuit EVEN MORE than the red one! I had so much
fun swimming in the lake water--but not so much fun knee-
boarding or water skiing. I still love swimming in lakes even now

This was a rare occasion for all of my dad's siblings and spouses to be together.
Back row: Dad, Uncle Kieth (Candi's husband), Uncle Fred.
Front row: Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, Candi, Lore (Fred's wife)

Grandpa's house was 59* on Sunday night. I was so cold in bed. I found a fleece blanket in the hall closet, and that helped to insulate my body's warmth, so that I could finally fall asleep. On Monday morning, I got dressed, took some garbage to a dumpster down the road, and drove to the hospital to see Grandpa.

Grandpa was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. This is an explanation from Web MD about that condition: "Heart failure doesn't mean the heart has stopped working. It means that the heart's pumping power is weaker than normal. With heart failure, blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in the heart increases. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body's needs...the heart muscle walls eventually weaken and become unable to pump as efficiently. As a result, the kidneys may respond by causing the body to retain fluid. Symptoms include Congested lungs (fluid backup in the lungs can cause shortness of breath, a dry hacking cough, or wheezing), Fluid and water retention (less blood to your kidneys causes fluid retention, resulting in swollen ankles, legs, and abdomen; bloating in your stomach may cause a loss of appetite or nausea), Dizziness, fatigue, and weakness (less blood to your major organs makes you feel tired and weak, and can cause dizziness and confusion), and Rapid or irregular heartbeats (the heart beats faster to pump enough blood to the body)." 

Grandpa has all of the symptoms. The doctor basically said there's not much more they could do to help Grandpa, due to his age (98 years old) and his refusal to take more medicine than what he already takes. The previous day, Grandpa had received a blood transfusion, and that really helped his energy level and he felt so much better as a result. Grandpa's condition is Stage IV, and the doctor said the best solution for him was to sign him up for hospice and end-of-life care, which Grandpa wanted at home, rather than to go to a nursing care facility. Grandpa very adamantly said to me "I would rather die than go there!".  I was at the hospital for a few hours as they gave him a round of pills, an antibiotic IV treatment, and we talked to the social worker, the nurse, and the doctor. Grandpa finally got out of bed to use the bathroom, then I helped him get dressed, and wheeled him out of the hospital myself in a wheelchair. As soon as we were out of the hospital, some of his livelihood returned. He got very mad at me when I drove him home, because I took him the "wrong way". He argued with me the whole drive. When we got home, he slowly walked into his house using the walker, and the first thing he did was adjust the thermostat from 59* way up to 81*!! Then he went to his dining table to sort the mail he received while he was away at the hospital (he'd been gone from Wednesday-Monday). He receives a lot of junk mail, and a lot of solicitations, and he likes to go through it all himself.

As I was in Spokane on Monday taking care of Grandpa, Josh and the boys all had a fun day in my absence. Josh went to Lost Trail Hot Springs and a restaurant in Wisdom with friends Amanda, John, and Austin. The twins and Kanyon went to the Williams' house to play all day, and Ammon did a service project at Rags & Wags with his friend Sam. I was grateful for some communication with them throughout the day, because it was such an emotional time for me. Ammon posted pics on Snapchat that made me laugh, Josh texted and called, and Amanda sent me this picture of them:

Shortly after Grandpa and I got home from the hospital, a woman from Hospice came. She was simply amazing. She was there for hours, because every time she asked grandpa a question, he would respond with a lengthy story. She was an excellent listener, and always got back to the point. Before she got there, I was asking Grandpa about the prescriptions that the hospital doctor wrote, and he was arguing with me about which ones to get filled and why. No matter what I told him that the doctor said, he didn't believe me. The last thing the doctor said to me before I checked grandpa out of the hospital was "You can't force him to do anything. It's his life, and whatever he chooses, you need to respect." And after arguing with him, explaining why he needed to take certain meds, to no avail, I finally gave in. Thankfully, after the hospice nurse talked with him for a while, saying some of the same things I had just said, he started listening to and trusting her, and I appreciated her immensely for that.

Grandpa only listens to his personal doctor, and although I am grateful he has a doctor that he trusts, the doctor doesn't seem to have my grandpa's best interest in mind. Grandpa showed the hospice nurse all the meds he takes, and she thought he should stop taking some of them, which grandpa agreed, but he said when he asks the doctor about stopping some of them, the doctor says "No", but won't give him a good reason why.

Although grandpa told the hospital doctor, the hospice nurse, and me that he didn't care if he died, he still has some fight in him to live. He doesn't want to relinquish the control he has on his life. He's losing his hearing and his sight, he has short-term memory loss, a hard time breathing, and experiences pain when moving around, but he wanted to act like he was still in charge while he was around me, and didn't like me to help him. Notice that he's wearing his jacket in the above photos? He had unzipped it to a certain point, but couldn't get the zipper undone, but didn't want to ask for my help. I finally just did it after the hospice lady left. The next day, he had a bandage that was tightly wrapped on his arm where the IV sight had been, and it was starting to cut off circulation, because the skin was swelling up around it. He couldn't get it undone, but he didn't want my help to do it for him. It wasn't until the neighbor told him to let me do it, that he finally let me. After the hospice nurse left, I sat down with my laptop to find a substitute for the following day. I had originally planned on just visiting him Sunday and Monday. We were off on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but after seeing his condition, I knew that I couldn't leave him alone on his first night home from the hospital. As I sat on the couch getting contacts to call, he fell asleep in the white chair.

He slept so restlessly. He was moaning and wheezing, and kept having sudden jerky movements. He was talking in his sleep, and kept having hallucinations (at one point, he asked me if I was going to get a drink at the bar, and said the bar was right there, and pointed to his wall, before moaning and falling back asleep again.). It was really bizarre and difficult to watch. Here's just a short video of some of the things he was doing in his nap: 

When he did finally wake up, he was trying to get out of the chair, but got stuck, and needed my help because he was going to fall over. His entire weight was against me, and his body was twisted away from the position that his feet were in. He was getting mad at me that I wasn't holding him upright the right way, but I finally managed to get him up without him falling, thankfully. He went to his TV room to continue his nap in a more comfortable chair. 

He was restlessly sleeping again, but this time, it was more interrupted. He would wake up for a few minutes, constantly change the channel, then fall asleep with the remote in his hands. As he was sleeping, he would accidentally press buttons to access the pay-per-view network, or mute it, or get to the gaming channel, or channels he didn't subscribe to, or drop the remote on the floor. So every time he woke up, he couldn't figure out how to get the remote back to basic TV again. I showed him 5 different times, and finally gave up showing him and picking it up off the ground for him. He got up to use the bathroom, and came back and fell asleep again. His neighbor Lois, who helps take care of him and is grandpa's POA, called me to come over, and she showed me the hospice brochure that she was given that afternoon. She and Deb (her husband) both had colds, and didn't come to the hospital as a result, because they didn't want to make Grandpa sicker, and she was so grateful that I had come to help Grandpa when I did. I took the brochure back to Grandpa's house and I cried as I read it, because Grandpa had so many of the end-of-life symptoms. I had been scared watching him sleep, but I actually felt better after reading it because his symptoms were typical, and to be expected. I no longer felt like something was wrong when I watched him sleep, but I felt more at peace knowing that I was able to spend this time with him, and it would probably be the last time I would be able to do so.
Dry Mouth or Excessive Secretions - CHECK. He kept slobbering in his sleep, so I got him a box of tissues (you can see it on the table in the above picture), to wipe off his chin every time he awoke.
Constipation - CHECK. He was having problems with this, and as a result, he was bloated, and his pants wouldn't zip up when we left the hospital, we just belted them around the waist instead.
Nausea and Vomiting - CHECK. He said when he has too much food after eating his pills, the food gets lodged in his throat, and he can't get it down and vomits as a result.
Shortness of Breath - CHECK. This was his number one complaint, and he couldn't understand that it was happening as a result of his failing heart.
Decreased Fluid - CHECK. He only liked to drink while taking his morning and nightly medications. Although he talked a lot, he wouldn't drink to help relieve the dryness in his throat.
Decreased Appetite - CHECK. He only has small meals in the morning and at night, after having his pills. He didn't eat at all the entire day I was with him until about 9:00 that night. He said he wasn't hungry.
Confusion and Restlessness - CHECK. This is evidenced especially in his sleep. But he was confused about several things when I was there, which I think is due to his short-term memory loss.
Sleeping - CHECK. He has difficulty sleeping all night, but his napping lasted for hours and hours while I was there, because his body was so tired.
Decreased Socialization - NO. He wanted to talk to and tell stories to everyone who came by to visit--the hospice nurse, the neighbor, his friends. This is one area that hasn't changed from the last few times I've visited him, but after telling a story now, he adds "I guess I'm lucky that I got to see/experience so much that a lot of people don't get to".
Breathing Changes - CHECK. He had shallow breaths, moaning, and wheezing sounds.
Skin Color Changes - CHECK. His feet and ankles were red and swollen, his arms and face were more pale and had a grayish appearance.

After reading the brochure, I went to the bathroom, and stepped in liquid. I realized then that my grandpa had urinated all over the floor, thinking that he had gone in the toilet. I cried and cried as I cleaned up the mess. It was sad for me to see my Grandpa get to this stage in his life, and know that he didn't understand or realize what was happening to him. I tried to explain it to him at the hospital, that night, and the next morning, but he didn't seem to grasp what I was saying. He finally woke up from his nap about 9:00 that night. He walked slowly to the kitchen and said "I thought it would be easier than this to move around"--he was slowly realizing that his body is changing. He took his pills, and I heated some soup for him that Jo had brought by. He sat at the kitchen counter, and talked to me until about midnight, when I told him I had to go to bed, because my eyelids were so droopy. I heard him get up a few times in the early morning hours, and then he slept in. He looked so peaceful in his bed. I worked on a few loads of laundry the next morning as he slept, and got a few things cleaned up. He came out of his room about 9:30 that morning, and he was surprised to see me up and about because he said he hadn't heard me. I wasn't even trying to be quiet! I made sure he took his morning pills, and had breakfast, and I listened to more of his stories before I left at 11:00 to drive home. My dad was flying in from Utah that day, and his flight would be there about 2:00, and my uncle Fred was coming up two days later. As I said goodbye to him, and told him how much I loved him, he told me that he wished I could stay with him forever, and he made sure to tell me that I was welcome to come back and visit him any time. He's a very stubborn man who didn't thank me once when I was there, but I know that the moment he told me that he wished I'd stay and live with him, that he was expressing his gratitude the best he knew how.

The drive home on Tuesday was much better than it had been on Sunday. Lookout Pass was a breeze this time around! I did a little bit of shopping in Missoula, and the road over Lost Trail was a bit sketchy, I almost hit an elk by Gibbonsville, and some deer at 4th of July Creek, but I thankfully made it home in one piece (but there was some spilled liquid in the car when I slammed on the brakes to miss the deer) about 6:30 that night. I was SO grateful to be home with my family! I'm super thankful that Josh is so supportive of me going to visit my Grandpa. He took care of everything that needed to be done in my absence, and my boys were helpful, too. I missed Josh immensely, and was so glad to see him. I was also happy to sleep in my own bed once again (in a house that wasn't a freezing 59 or a burning 81 degrees!).
Lookout Pass on Tuesday--a much better scene than when I drove thru on Sunday night
On Wednesday, Kanyon got to have "Pizza with the Principal" at lunch time. His name FINALLY got pulled out of the leader ticket box at the school's assembly last week, and that was his prize. For the past two years, every time there was an assembly, he would come home disappointed that his name didn't get drawn. I was so happy that he finally got pulled. He walked over to Last Chance Pizza with a group of kids and the Principal Mrs. Cook. His only friend in the group was Claire Judy (who came to our house last month with her family to eat dinner). He said the pizza tasted weird (we always order from Dave's, not Last Chance), but the breadsticks were good. On Wednesday after school, Kanyon had scouts while I taught a piano lesson. Ammon brought the twins home from school. He'd had 6am basketball practice that morning (instead of a night practice), so I tried to convince him to go to see "Daddy's Home" with me and Josh at the movie theater that night. Ammon had really wanted to see it, and it was his turn for a monthly date, and it was the only night he had free that week to go, but he chose not to go because he had a lot of homework to do since the end of the semester was the following day. I was impressed that he made such a good academic choice. So I stayed home, too, and tried to get caught up on my blogging all night instead. 

On Thursday, Josh drove the Jr. High ski bus, so he got to spend some time with Jonah and Micah on the slopes. It had recently snowed, so there was a TON of powder at Lost Trail. Jonah, Micah, and Josh all had a fabulous day skiing! Josh said the twins have improved a lot since the last time we went skiing with them over Christmas Break in Utah, so I'm glad they've had the opportunity to go with the school, have lessons, and spend the day with their friends.

Friday night, Ammon had a home basketball game against Firth. We don't like Firth due to some terrible experiences in the past with them. We weren't looking forward to the game (especially Ammon). We were expecting a blowout game, but actually our boys played really well, and I was so proud of Ammon. I enjoyed watching him play. He hustled, played good defense, shot an AMAZING 3-pointer, and made some great contributions to his team. We still lost the game, but it was a good game! And one of his freshman teammates Ryan made his first basket ever, which was so fun, because Ryan did a happy jumping dance on the court as soon as it happened, and the crowd loved it! 

He aced this 3-pointer shot that was several feet behind the line.
Saturday was Malachi and Molly's reception in Salmon. It snowed all afternoon as we were decorating the Sacajawea Center. I helped Tiffany with the backdrop, and then as Gideon and Alyssa helped with the other decorations, I had fun playing with their adorable baby boy Teddy.
He was supposed to stay on the blanket, but
kept trying to scoot off!

Look at those big, beautiful, brown eyes. He waved "bye bye" to me the previous
week, and it just melted my heart. He's a super cute little guy!

When the decorations were all done, we went home for a few hours, and the boys played with the Entrikin cousins. Ammon went on a bowling date with his girlfriend Nykell, then we all went in and met up at 5:30 at the Sac Center. The reception started at 6, but I thought more group photos would be taken before since we missed out on them last week. However, Tiffany didn't bring her kids to the reception, so I just took a photo with my kids and Malachi and Molly instead.

It was great that all of Josh's siblings were able to come to the Salmon reception! They were awesome help getting it all decorated, and it was nice to spend some quality time with them, too. See the backdrop behind them? That's what Tiffany and I worked on. I thought it turned out pretty good!
Gideon, Malachi, Kathy, Edward, Josh, and Tiffany

The newlyweds ready for the reception to begin!

The reception lasted from 6-8. I was in charge of the sign-in desk, and Josh helped me with people's gifts. It was a fun job, and I enjoyed greeting everyone who came.

About 7:40, when there weren't any more guests coming and there'd been a lull, Malachi and Molly did a musical number. She sang a song that she'd written for him, and he accompanied her on the ukulele. It was beautiful!

Shannon Weaver catered the event, and there was a variety of yummy food and drinks served at the reception: meatballs (Josh's favorite), pinwheels (my favorite), and brownies and cookies (the boys' favorite). We all had a great time, and it was a good venue to have it at!

We helped clean up after the reception ended (which took significantly less time than setting up did!), and headed home. The boys had left the reception about halfway through, to make room for more guests, and when we got home, they were happily playing with their cousins at our house.

This morning we slept in (except Kanyon who happily got dressed early to go down and get his cousins at Grandma's house), and the cousins came up once more to play Super Smash Bros. on the wii. They played until it was time to go to church.

Gideon and Alyssa left after sacrament meeting. After church was over, we ate dinner at Kathy's house with Malachi & Molly, and Tiffany's family. The kids played outside in the snow as the adults sat around talking, which was very enjoyable for me. When they all left to return home, Kanyon was very sad and disappointed. He said "that's another reason why school sucks--because the Entrikin's had to leave so they could go to school". He just loves having his cousins here to play with! 

Tonight we had the Hobbs family over for dinner. We had potato soup, rolls, and Gina brought 3 kinds of brownies. We played a new game with them called "Portrayal", it's a drawing game where the announcer tries to tell you what to draw based on a picture they're looking at, and the drawers get points for how many things they have portrayed in their illustrations. It was a great ending to the week!