Thursday, November 13, 2008


I have used facebook to "blog" occassionaly, and thought some of you might enjoy reading these if you are not on facebook.  Plus, it kind of updates my blog and tells you more about me and my family.  

Originally Josh was to have the entire day off. He asked several weeks ago and I thought that was so nice-we planned to have family pictures made:a gift for both of us. Awww how sweet. Okay, here is what happened:
Josh didn't get the day off. He came home after 6 and was very tired. He asked if he could lay down for just a minute, but assured me he really wanted to take me out for dinner. So, I let him get a little shut-eye (he has worked over 100 hours in 10 days). I take the kids to a friends house. I warn that Ammon didn't seem to be feeling well. I was somewhat concerned, but really wanted a night out. I went back to the house to pick up my date who was asleep. A few minutes of debating, and I decided to call his name, "Josh, hey Josh, did you still want to go out?" He jumps up with a start, afraid he had missed it, and really did want to go. We decide to try a place not too far, called MACA. It was Spanish Cuisine. It wasn't a very busy night, so the service was good. They told us upfront, the portions were small, so order 3 or 4 things. We chose Croquettes (described as puffed cheese pastries with a variety of sausage), Paella (a traditional rice dish) and Ribs. 
Croquettes: these were okay, but only 4 for 8 dollars, that is two dollars a piece, and well the sausage: remember the school lunch line salad bar? The ham cubes for salad? Yep, that is what we found inside!
Paella: This dish actually tasted great (although it was way too small -like 1/2 C a person) and we were eating and Josh is telling me about his day. "I got to operate today!" 
Oh good, honey what did they let you do?
"I took out an ingrown butt hair!" 
Yeah, I'm so glad I asked. 
So a bite or two later, there is a hair in my paella!! Yuck. I'm grossed and want to complain. But Josh just says, just let it go and let's enjoy the night-I agree. I'm just really looking forward to the ribs by now.
Ribs-They were okay. Not great, but fine-the problem I think they were from a pigeon or some other small herbivore certainly not a pig raised in the South! So small! 
We decide to leave and go somewhere else for dessert. As we are driving down the road my friend calls and says Ammon has thrown up. I feel terrible that she is dealing with this so we go and pick up the kids. We're home by 7:45. We put kids to bed, (my friend bathed Ammon-thanks!) so then what do we do??? 
Fold Laundry of course. It really was nice to have some company during this mundane task-and it did endear Josh to me for at least another seven.

The End!

I woke up and almost immediately told myself, “self, today you will not eat any of those perfected cookies-yes the ones where you use dark brown sugar and extra pecans.” “No matter what, NO cookies.” After all, it is the Sabbath and you should treat your body better. All those cookies, and well…
About this time Orlando enters my room exclaiming that he needs, needs, NEEDS his “Batman” clothes. His Batman clothes are the old ratty Batman t-shirt two sizes too small and a ridiculous pair of yellow cotton shorts—both of which were in the laundry and dirty with sand from his sand angel. (Yes, like a snow angel, only you put your face in the sand and wave your arms and legs.) Anyway, they were dirty, and since it is the Sabbath I didn’t feel like doing laundry. “No” I insisted. “you’ll need to wear something else.”
20 minutes later….
I’m carrying the Batman clothes and some dirty towels (there are always dirty towels) down to the basement to start a load. He is still whining about how he just can’t wear anything else. Finally, I say, “Then stay in your pajamas until this is clean and dry”. “Okay”, he says, easily. That is when I realize he had never actually thought about staying in his pajamas…
So we go to church from 1 to 4. Ammon usually naps about 12-2 or if I’m lucky 3. With Josh on a 30 hour shift I knew I’d have to start early. By 11:30 I had lunch on the table. (Mac & Cheese and chicken nuggets—it is the Sabbath after all, why should I cook much?) I had also started a crock-pot dish for the “linger longer” after church. Yummy BBQ Pork-easy and good. A practical choice in my opinion.
Two bags, a stroller, 3 blankets, a lion, five books, and two back-packs of “special quiet toys” later-we were on our way to church. I unload and we actually claim a row before church starts. Not too bad. Until after the second speaker. The beautiful violin disturbed Orlando’s nap and got Ammon moving-right out of the chapel. Followed by his brother Ivan with no shoes. (don’t judge me here, the kid has recently outgrown his ‘church’ shoes so this morning he wore his clogs-yes the Lighting McQueen” shoes his grandma bought him—he put them on himself and was almost to the van by the time I noticed). Okay so I’m in the hall with Ivan chasing Ammon, and Orlando is in the chapel getting increasingly cranky. I go back in, Ammon cries, but Lando does fade back off to sleep-a rare miracle. Then, Ammon bolts he has discovered the water fountain and the stool. A scary combination. O ya, before this Ammon and Ivan had each strapped a bright red clog to their hand and made a parade beating them by slapping their hand and the clogged hand together, down the isle. So, we’re back in the hall, I’m trying to put Ivan in “Time Out” (a vague parenting concept that I hear works for some, but I have my suspicions). When I get back to Ammon he is soaked. Not a little damp, soaked. “Oh, well” I think, “I am not going home when I’m getting ready for my two free hours of babysitting. I twist his shirt and get a substantial amount of water. By the time he is semi-dry I’m trying to find Ivan, who of course, is not in his “time out” spot. No, he has just woken Lando up in the chapel! So, I take a wet baby, a hyper Ivan, and a very cranky Orlando back to the hall. I really do rejoice in the singing of the last hymn (whatever it was) and set off to the nursery. I laugh when I notice it is warm and they have plugged in fans. I put Ammon in front of it, and run. After smiling at my Relief Society President who asks how I’m doing. “Fine” I say. And I go, for the next two hours I veg. I suppose I heard some concepts, but mostly I’m just sitting and asleep exhausted from my children. By the end of Relief Society I do feel a little more pumped, well, not “pumped” by maybe not quite so deflated, so I go and get Lando, who is talking happily about the pot-luck. I decide to brave it out. We ate and things went relatively well. I took 3 tired boys with BBQ stained shirts home. Ammon fell asleep on the way, and I was trying to minimize trips, so I had, five books, two bags, and a crockpot, plus my keys. A book fell on the way to the door, “oh well” I thought, then I dropped my keys on the porch. “Ivan, please get my keys.” “What, mom?” “Get my keys, please they are up here, on the porch.” He finally gets them as the weight of the bags and crock-pot weigh on me. I get in the door miraculously juggling my junk, turn to sit the rest of the books down-when the crock-pot slips and runny red BBQ sauce goes all over my new carpet. Not somewhere that can be hidden with a furniture arrangement. Right inside, where every friend, neighbor, and pizza dude will see. “OH NO” I yell. “NO, NO, NO!” Ivan is right behind me, “uh-oh Mommy, big mess. Then Lando enters the scene, “who did it mommy?” “I did, Lando. Mommy made a big mess.” Ammon was put to bed and cleaning began. I”ll help you said Ivan, grabbing the nearest thing (a baby wipe) “Look” he says a few minutes later as he proudly showed me his stained cloth, “I got some!” Lando says he’ll help too. So, down on our hands and knees we scrub. I find myself apologizing, but the boys don’t seem to mind. “It’s okay, mommy,” says Lando, “it was just an accident.” “Yeah, “says Ivan, “its okay, we’re helping”. They did too. We scrubbed with the wipes, then the water, then the carpet cleaner, and mom even used the magic eraser. It actually looks okay now. But, what I loved best was my kids showing love to me. It really was okay, and in their own little ways, they did everything they could to help. So, tomorrow I’ll get up and my day will start again-and I will love these boys, and I will be exhausted each day, but first I’m going to have a cookie. Good Night! 
I wish I could post pictures, but those will have to wait: Here is a little of what has happened

Well, we've eaten eaten and eaten--how I love Brazilian food.
We have swam in the ocean, we have seen the most beautiful temple in the world---the Curitiba temple (yes, I have a new favorite!). 

I believe the Lord is helping me find people I knew. I have several examples-=-here is just one quick one. There was an elderly woman that alway gave lunch to the missionaries. She made lace by hand and rarely gave it away. ONe day she gave me a small piece to use in my scriptures as a bookmark. She only asked that I write her after my mission. I said I would and then of course---lost her address. I have felt bad about this for 8 years! When we went to the temple open house who do you think was working at the desk. .. 
Sister Bevenutti!!! I started to cry and FINALLY could apologize for not keeping my word. It was so great.
Later, I will tell the miracle of how I found a girl I gave the discussions to.

Now, Josh and I are on our honeymoon about 10 hours from Curitiba. In Foz do Iguacu. Everyone should visit here at least once in your life. I hope you look at picutres on line, but they really don't do justice. I said to myself the first time I was here that it was so romantic I would one day bring my husband here.. I can't believe it has happened. Last night we went to a show and saw many Latin dances and had an all you can eat churrasco. It was soo fun. 

I just can't express how much Joy I have to see people I worked with and to share all of this with Josh. He is picking up lots of the language--oh and that is another thing--somewhow (a gift of the spirit, actually) I'm speaking again. As well as the last day of my mission. Maybe better-it seems everyone is impressed and no one more than myself--since a week or so before I left I couldn't remember much at all.

I guess I'm in missionary mode-but I want everyone to know the Lord loves you personally! I hope you know and feel that!!

We still have a mission reunion, a cultural celebration expecting 25 thousand people and a temple dedication to go...
plus the parks and souvenir shopping to go--today we are going to Paraguay to the market--it is going to be a new experience....let's see how our Spanish goes---then the next day Argentina--then back to Curitiba for mission stuff.

Love to all of you!
A year ago.
Pilocytic Astrocytoma.
A tumor. Golf Ball. Brain.

You did.


Operation in three days.
Shouldn't be bad.
Home at the end of the week.

Wait.. .

Can't walk.
Isn't talking.
Won't accept affection, my Ivan? 
Won't eat. Won't play.


I'm scared.

A year later:






Jumps, runs, kicks, laughs, eats left handed,


No signs of the tumor last MRI!

This week: two appointments.
Therapy on Tuesday, MRI on Thursday.

I'm still scared sometimes.
I want 100%
Afterall, I am a mother, and he is my child.

I thank our
& Our God.

And I work and pray for his continued improvement. 


For those of you who missed it, you might enjoy the text!

The following was on Channel 7 news. If anyone is interested, we need lots of people to come and count the crunches we do, or/and give a couple of dollars. It is a great cause.

One week from Saturday, Little Rock will be a part of a unique challenge for a very special cause and participants can get a 6-pack while giving back and we're not talking about a favorite beverage.

It's crunch time at the Lady of America Fitness Center on Rodney Parham. And these ladies are getting pumped up for a very special challenge benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.

(Jami Hutton, Lady of America Fitness Instructor) "All the Lady of America's, on March 29th, across the country are going to do a crunch-a-thon. So we're going to crunch for an hour and you get paid per crunch. The more you do, the more money you can raise for the children. Get a 6 pack while giving back."

They're so serious about their mission, they've been going through endurance and strength training since January, preparing to meet the special goal.

(Lara McElderry, Little Rock) "I can't do an hours worth of abs, I'm not going to pretend that I can, but it's a good enough cause that I'll try and I plan on hitting at least 30 minutes."

And for Lara McElderry it's also a personal commitment.

(McElderry) "My son had a brain tumor about a year ago this time, I get emotional when I talk about it, but he's great. He's doing wonderful. But, I know there are a lot children who aren't as fortunate but need help."

The McElderry's have gone from tragedy to triumph, and while Ivan was treated at Arkansas Children's Hospital, his mom knows what it's like for families and is willing to endure the slight discomfort to make a difference.

(Lara) "It's nothing compared to what the parents go through when they have a child with needs. It hurts a little but if you're even semi-healthy, it's worth it. It's good for yourself and for the kids."

(Jami) "It's open to members and non members alike, it's open to men and women, so anybody can come in and crunch as much as they can and raise as much money as they can. Every little bit helps."

Hutton says St.Jude never turns away sick children regardless of the family's ability to pay. Ab crunch participants also hope to make the Guinness World History for the most crunches done by a group in one hour.

They're still looking for sponsors and participants and you can get more information by access through ours at KATV. COM.
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First, to explain match day if you are not familiar with it. It is 150 graduating medical students finding out where they will live the next 3-5 years of their lives. It is emotional, high-stress, and is fun to see everyone's hard work paying off.

Those of you from Little Rock will want to know where the Dixons and Dylan are headed, but that is for them to tell.(congrats on great matches to both!)

For the McElderry's we have great news. Josh matched in general surgery (what he chose) and also got his number one pick in this competitive field---where? Columbus, Ohio!!!!!!!! We are thrilled, and I am so glad for him. 

It was torture, they call the students up to read aloud in a microphone their match, the problem was, the mic. was terrible, so all I heard was general surgery...blah blah...I was then pushing threw the crowd, trying to find him as he was politely congratulated by all these people, not knowing where he matched....the longest seconds...but now we know and all is well.

already missing so many of you..
Match Day 2008
You're killing me...where? where? WHERE?
Dad, you're our super hero! Way to go!
See how content we are. Good job, daddy!
I wrote this all out---tried to upload a picture, and lost the whole here is the shorter version:

1. We really like South Carolina for the cheap beautiful homes and Ohio for all the fun stuff (Germantown -creampuff picture) and etc. 
2. We also like Dallas, Wichita and Little Rock.
3. We're running out of money, so to avoid debt we're moving into my in-laws rental property in Jacksonville, AR for the next few months. Josh is rotating in Fay'ville again, so we'll be up there some of the time as well.
4. Saving the money will allow us to go to the Curitiba, Brasil Temple dedication (where I served my mission) this summer! Woo Hoo! 
5. Huge moving sale this Sat. Food Storage (like eggs, wheat, milk, tvp etc) also clothes, furniture 100 dollar piano that holds a tune, etc. Be sure to come by for the "I-know-you-so-I'll-basically-give-it-to-you" discount. 
6. Ammon has an ear infection AFTER getting tubes a few weeks ago. I'm not happy....he sure is content to be so sick (he's wheezing again as well)...
7. March 3rd is our last Sunday in LR ward unless we match and come back to LR.
8. Anyone want to help pack?
Ivan was so helpful when we made his cake. He told me with no prompting, "Mom, I love my dinosaur cake!!" This of course made me nothing but excited to be his mom.
Here it is!!
Orlando was also thrilled and was a very good big brother!
It's your birthday, shout "hooray!"
A closer look.

On another note, we're feeling better, check out this photo Josh got of the rest of us last week!!
All in a day's work!

Okay, final note: Josh is going to match in general surgery after all. The pathology was a short-lived affair. He will be much happier as a general surgeon and I'm glad he is going after his dreams. We will be in South Carolina and Ohio next week. I haven't travelled with Josh in ages-almost never without kids, and I'm getting excited..
Josh's handiwork after his brother sliced his arm last week...see, he loves to sew!

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