Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Road Update

We have returned from Spokane and wanted to update.
The doctor compared the 2 MRI's and said that everything looked just about the same. Which wasn't what he was hoping for. He was hoping that the mass might shrink. Which I somehow missed at the 1st visit. So once again Heavenly Father was guiding our lives--here I was complaining that the Dr had forgotten us but if we would have gone in any sooner--the Dr would have just wanted to keep waiting and watching anyways! So that along with the fact that the pain is increasing also instead of decreasing has caused him to change is mind and recommend surgery. His main concerns about the surgery are--the surgery itself, recovery and the chance that cleaning it all out might not fix the pain problem or could cause more or a different kind of pain. He said it will take a good 3 months for her to get back to normal activity.
I just wanted to say how much we appreciated everyone's prayers and thoughts. It was so good to come home Monday evening and read all the love! And I know the prayers were answered because instead of panicking I felt very calm and at peace when he put it all out on the table and Phil and I were able to think and communicate so clearly and make a decision before he had to leave back to work today. Thank you all so much!
Phil and I feel like it is time to do the surgery. It is scary and there are no guarantee's but the not knowing when the pain will attack, missing school, the intensity of the pain are all bad by themselves but together are really wearing on her mental health which really brings down her quality of life. We really trust the Dr and Heavenly Father and we feel this is the right time and thing to do.
Kelly is still deciding and praying about it but I am going to go ahead and try and schedule because it will be rough trying to find a time that the Dr can do it and my husband is home. We can always cancel it if she feels strongly the other way.
So there you are--life is crazy! Surely I didn't sign up for this??!! Thanx again everyone--and thanx for all your great posts--it is great to go to all your blogs and read about and be inspired by valiant women coping with and conquering their trials--you guys are amazing!

Monday, September 29, 2008

On the Road Again

Kelly 1997-4 years old

I don't think I have posted about this yet--forgive me if I have. Others of you may already know cuz you live here--just everyone forgive me--I'm sure I need it ! :0)
My 3rd daughter, Kelly, fell off a horse 2 years ago and fractured her pelvic bone. They didn't catch it in the original x-ray so it bled into the muscle and created a small muscle mass. About a year later Kelly started having some intense hip pain whenever she played soccer or was really active, so we took her into our local Dr. He sent us into Missoula (40 minutes away) to an orthopedic doctor who did an MRI and CAT scan--he thought he saw cancer in her pelvic area. He said there was no one in Montana who could deal with this. We were so scared. He then sent us to a Pediatric Oncologist--(children's cancer) who was in Spokane, Washington. He took one look at the MRI and knew it wasn't cancer--PHEW!! But he did say that her body had responded to this mass by growing a bone over it. So my daughter has an extra bone in her body--growing sideways in her pelvic region. He also said that the only way to fix it is to lay the entire hip open and the recovery/rehab from that is very intense. Also there is no guarantee that the surgery will be successful. So he said unless the pain became unbearable he would recommend waiting until her growth plates finished forming at least. Come back in 6 months unless the pain increases.

Well, apparently we are not a high priority because it is almost a year later and they just did another MRI and CAT scan. Last Thursday I had to pick up Kelly from school and take her into the ER because she was in so much pain and her whole right side of her body was involved. Finally we are important enough and we are leaving in a 1/2 hour to go to Spokane for another appt.

My heart aches for Kelly. Being 15 is hard enough and full of enough drama without medical issues too. I don't know which upsets her more--the not knowing for sure when the pain will strike, the pain itself or the not knowing for sure the how and when of when it will be fixed.

Anyways--maybe you all wouldn't mind adding us to your prayer lists today--it will be great to know that Heavenly Father's will is being carried out.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

7 thoughts about 7 things=49

Cindy over at Just another Day in Paradise tagged me with this Lucky 7’s thing. On one hand, it is really nice that someone wants to know a little bit more about me. On the other hand, I always let these things stress me way too much—I don’t know why—it’s not like I am going to be graded or judged, or anything—right?! It's not like I am arrogant enough to think anyone cares! All of 8 people will read this—maybe—I just have way too many issues and not enough medication I guess.
But recently I signed up for a free online journal and have started writing my posts in Microsoft Word and then uploading to my journal and my blog and save a copy to my external hard drive because I have valid trust issues. My journal has become so much better now that I actually kind of have a “real” audience here in bloggyland! I am actually kind of excited to hand my journal down to the next generation—woo-hoo!
So here goes----

7 things I plan to do before I die:
1. Obtain and maintain a healthy lifestyle
2. Ride a horse at a full gallop
3. Serve a mission with my husband
4. Find a way to instigate a program within the prison system that rewards female prisoners by allowing them to read a book on tape and then give that book and the tape to their children. (read about a girl in Ut that did this)
5. Serve as a “foster” home for unwed mothers
6. Ask for forgiveness from many, many ,many people
7. Finish college

7 things I CAN do:
1. Play the piano
2. Teach others to play the piano
3. Sing on key
4. Act on stage (or anywhere else for that matter)

This is from “My Turn on Earth” I played Gloria.
I am the girl kneeling on the right that “does not look
like the others" I’m not in pain—-just singing--- I promise.
5. Read
6. Love others
7. Pretend I am a stunt woman-- race after a truck, on foot, that I forgot to put in park, as it starts to head down our mountain, without a driver, catch up to it, leap in and throw it into park just as it is about to go off the edge. Maybe that goes under acting. I really don’t know.

7 things I CANNOT do:
1. Quilt
2. Downhill ski
3. Drive a semi truck
4. Be a surgeon
5. Maintain a patient demeanor
6. Find joy in housework (except for laundry—I love laundry—--seriously!)
7. Shoot a gun (well, I could probably shoot it but the one time I thought there was a cougar out back I couldn't even get the pistol loaded! So I just took the empty gun outside and waved it around like I knew what I was doing—I’m sure the wildlife laughed all the way home that night)

7 things that attracted me to Phil:
US 1985
1. His quiet strength
2. His extraordinary patience
3. His ability to fix anything
(I remember being absolutely amazed when he fixed my hair dryer!
It was like one of those angel choir singing moments! Who knew you
didn’t just throw them out and get a new one??!! My hero)
4. He is always the animal (the furry, fluffy kind) and kid magnet in the room. (I remember when my daughter Tae was little her friend would come over to play and he loved Phil so much he would write him letters when he went up to work and would tell his Mom—“I wish Phil was my Dad” She thought it was funny—the Dad—not so much. And I love how if we are at a function that includes the family you will never find him socializing with the grown-ups—he is always with the kids)
5. His sense of humor
6. That he truly doesn’t care what people say or think about him. I pretend to not care all the time but I am usually lying.
7. His work ethic.

7 things I say most often: (my family gladly helped me with this one)
1. STOP!! (long and drawn out—not to be confused with stoop)
2. I don’t think so!
3. You’re my favorite
4. You make my heart sing
5. AAAAHHHHH! (As in AAHHH don’t scare me like that and AAHH I’ve had enough!!)
6. You have till the count of_________
7. Life’s not fair—and then you die.

7 celebrity admirations:
(I admire the following people’s ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT TALENTS not necessarily them as a person—in no particular order)
1. Alan Rickman

2. Michael Caine
3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
4. Heath Ledger

5. Hugh Laurie

6. Lex DeAzevedo—brilliant composer and human

7. Bob Hope—brilliant as a comedian and as a human

7 favorite foods:
1. French Toast
2. Runts
3. Sunday Roast Dinner
4. Fresh picked corn
5. Watermelon
6. Chicken Alfredo
7. Dried pears

That’s it—that’s all there is. There isn’t any more. I won’t be passing this on but love finding things out about everyone here in bloggyland! Sometimes you just can’t measure the good it does your soul when you find out that you are not alone in your beliefs and ideas! PS--Dolly dearest--I hope this will also count for your tag too--I promise--there really isn't any more!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Christmas is for giving

Leave it to my new fab find to come up with this great idea! Pam posted this on her blog the other day--you can read it here (o my goodness--did I just figure out how to link??!! It's a miracle!!!)

She found this orphanage that has a list posted of things the children and the home are wishing for. I don't think I even realized that there were orphanages in the US anymore! So I have joined this give away with a twist and am encouraging my small circle of influence to think about doing this also. I know cash can be tight and there are so many worthy causes--but like Pam said--if you can't give yourself--advertise on your blog--someone out there wants this opportunity! Here is the web site:

St. Joseph's Orphanage Christmas Drive

(be patient with me--I will probably be doing this linky thing for everything for days--woo-hoo!)

Make a merry memory this Christmas!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Nightmare on changing templates street

I have changed my background. It was just a wee bit more technical than I had counted on. Just a little FYI--when it says save your template first--save it. When it says your widgets are about to be deleted--its true. And last but not least--if it says to write everything down so you will remember it--those are wise words, my friend. I do not think I shall ever walk this way again....it makes my head hurt and my blood pressure rise. I'm sure its fall somewhere on the planet even when its spring here--right?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"The star on my belly is much bigger than thars"...

I can't seem to find any Seuss books around my house--so for some unknown reason--that is the only line I can remember from ANY Seuss book besides Green Eggs and Ham is the one up above. Which I am sure has some significant deep meaning. Anyways.......

I am a great lover of all things random. Random makes me happy. So as I was driving up my hill the the other day---I found this tree--I mean--it has to have been there for years--but something drew my eye to it then. I looked over and there it was--a Who tree!! I was soo excited! (also dark and meaningful) I ran in and told my daughter who promptly informed me that Who's live on dust specks--not trees--duuhh. Way to deflate my excitement.

Please tell me there is someone out there that recognizes that this looks like a Montana version of a tree from a Dr. Seuss book!! Maybe I will paint the trunk with polka dots and stripes and then it will look more like a Seuss tree.

Sorry for this seemingly divergent rambling. My husband comes home tonight, after being gone for 4 weeks and I am the Enrichment leader in our ward and I have a board meeting tomorrow at which I am supposed to have all these crafts done so we can decide on and plan some mini classes. I am such a procrastinator--AAAHHH! I am very distracted and stressed and happy, all at the same time. Also--I haven't taken pictures for awhile so the caramel and the tree is all I got. I am off to glue myself to my craft table..............

Oh look--I also took a couple of Dead Man's drop that I mentioned in my gratitude shout out--enjoy!

That is a house on the top right

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I finally made another pot of that yummy caramel--at about 10:30 at night. What can I say--I am a mole--a nocturnal mole. Are mole's nocturnal?? It is just soooo tasty. I don't know if it's because I only make it a couple times in the fall so it is more of a treat or if it is just out of this world fantastic. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that caramel apples are one of my all time favorite foods. I would like to insert here that I got this incredible recipe from my good friend Julie--yeah Julie! I have been told that just because there is an apple involved--it is not considered a healthy snack. I have already called the emergency room and informed them of my doings so they are ready when it clogs my arteries and puts me in a sugar coma. Totally worth it.

My children are such good sports to pose for these photos. They look tired--because they are! It's past their bedtimes and their deranged Mother is making them pose for apple photos. Kelly doesn't even like caramel apples--what a sport! Go ahead--indulge---you have to try this stuff! (disclaimer to Annie--I realize this is completely non--vegan--but--love me anyways)

Caramel Sauce

Combine in a heavy saucepan:

1 pound butter (not margarine)

2 cups light corn syrup

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

Heat over medium-low. This burns easily, so stir constantly.Stir until all is melted and blended.

Then stir in:

2 pounds brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

Continue stirring until mixture starts to boil. Let boil about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Can store in refrigerator for 2 - 3 weeks.

OH YEAH--this makes a LARGE amount as you can see in the photos--you can easily cut it down.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Gratitude Shout Out

After reading all the 9/11 posts yesterday and remembering I felt more than a little sheepish at my post about "poor, poor, pitiful, me."
There are so many people who serve without any notice but I wanted to give a specific shout out to my local volunteer firemen and women. I had made yearly financial contributions but really didn't think much about them. Then my forest caught on fire. A couple of things you should know. My driveway "S" curves up the steep side of a hill--the Fed Ex guy even calls us and asks us if we will meet him at the bottom to get our packages. And it is only barely wide enough for 1 car to pass and is not paved or even graded very well. My hill is 20 acres of completely wooded land and the fire, of course, was started on the side of the hill that my children lovingly call--Dead Man's Drop. So you can imagine my alarm when the Fire Chief knocked on my door and told me I needed to be prepared to evacuate! I hadn't even noticed the smoke--our house sits back in the woods quite a ways. (You would think we were anti-social hermits or something) So I got dressed (visitors are rare--I live in Jammie's) and jumped on a 4 wheeler and went to check it out. As I surveyed the scene I was amazed and moved to tears. Here were all these men and women, sweating and clinging to the side of Dead Man's Drop--fighting a fire that was getting the best of them with all their might--for someone only a few of them knew. (What kind of idiot builds a house on top of a hill surrounded by trees and virtually no road anyways??!!) They all have "day jobs" but when the call comes in--they leave work or their families and run to serve. Selfless hearts and willing hands--all of them. I LOVE my local fire department--which reminds me--I need to take some brownies down......
I have also found a new FABULOUS FIND blogger. Her name is Pam and I want to grow up to be just like her! I just found her so I am still going through her older posts but the first thing that really grabbed me about this great woman was what she put on her profile under interests----HELPING OTHERS--that's it--why isn't that my first response when someone asks my interests?! Why is my first response to tell everyone how nifty I am with all my cool interests?! I hope Pam doesn't think I am an out of control freaky stalker--it was just such an ah--hah moment for me. I think that is the exact same thing the Saviour would put if He was asked what His interests were. So one of my new goals is to put my life more in line with the Savior's by working to make my first response--helping others. Pam also posted this incredible talk she wrote today on reaching for the Saviour AND her sense of humor is the milk spewing out your nose kind of wonderful!! You have got to check her out---- http://coloradomcewens.blogspot.com/

I am off to deliver a pot of homemade caramel over to my friends house. She is the President of the Music Association and they sell sliced up apples in a dish of caramel at all the football games. She is amazing and I can't wait till it's my turn to help her--she ALWAYS makes me laugh. I think I will make another pot of caramel and take pictures and post them--this stuff is to die for--hmmmmmm.......

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just when I thought....

I have been feeling a little out of sorts lately and more low than up so thank you Carla for thinking of me. It's always amazing to me how many random acts of kindness flow through my life. I won't be passing this on but just know I would give it to everyone I stalk!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I just can't help myself

There I was--checking the news--and behold--the ATM bandits have struck again! That is of course what I am calling them--the police are still deciding if the 2 events are "related".PAHLEASE! What I am loving about this whole thing is how really Montana this has all been. First we have the guys on the tractor taking out the ATM, taking it down the road and smashing it and taking the money. Get er' done, Earl. Now this:

(From Sept. 8, 2009)
The Ravalli County Sheriff's Office is seeking information about an ATM machine theft from the Stumble Inn bar in Victor Monday morning.
An unknown suspect or suspects forcibly entered the bar through the front door and removed a white ATM machine that was bolted to the floor.
Investigators are currently attempting to determine how much money was in the machine.

Stolen ATM found in Missoula

Sep 9, 2008 05:20 PM MDT
Reporting from KPAX in Missoula

The Missoula County Sheriff's Department have found the ATM machine stolen from Ravalli County in Missoula.
The ATM was found smashed into pieces at the wye just before 9 a.m. Monday.
The machine was stolen from the Stumble Inn bar in Victor Monday morning.
Unknown suspects forcibly entered the bar through the front door and removed a white ATM machine, prying it from the floor.

So many levels of funny. First of all-- the Stumble Inn is about 15 minutes down the highway from me in a building that looks like if someone DID stumble in it would fall over. 2nd--when I first heard the story (living in the middle of nowhere like I do) I thought they said someone had gone into the bar and stole a white AT"V" that was bolted to the floor. My only thought was--why in the world did that bar have a 4 wheeler bolted to the floor and if they were that desperate why didn't they just steal one from a dealership?! (I've obviously lived here too long!)

Just thought you should know that we are in the middle of a crime wave here--a spree as it were! I so want to interview these guys when they catch them.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Humiliated Pears?

We are currently in the "throes" of canning season. I, of course, never canned before 3 years ago. My Mom had canned when I was growing up, so I knew what it was--I just didn't want to do it. It was much less complicated to lift my arm to the shelf in the grocery store and retrieve a can! Then 3 years ago I had a mini epiphany! If I ever wanted to build a house, I was going to have to (gasp) save some money. I also listened to a president of my church who said something like, "We don't expect you to can 100's and 100's of jars of food, we just want you to know how."

So along with all the other things I thought I would never do (some day I will post a list of those things)--I have added canning and fruit dehydrating. I love dried pears and peach butter so those are the 2 things I mainly do. I like apple pie filling too. Think I will do that next. So maybe "throes" was a little strong but peeling and cutting pears and peeling, cutting and mashing and cooking peach butter is a lot more time consuming than you think!

The leaves are just starting to turn here--I LOVE this time of year! Warm days and cold nights, selling caramel apples at the football games, soccer season and getting back in the school groove. Love it, love it, love it!

Oh yeah--and about the title--humiliated pears. We love the movie Benny & Joon (JUNE?) and Kelly especially loves the line about raisins being humiliated grapes cuz she doesn't like them. My question is--what do you call dehydrated pears and does that humiliate them?

And I have also been playing with my new camera and trying to use natural light--so I just thought I would stick them in to liven up the post!

Friday, September 5, 2008

This just in

Sooo--checked the news again and was rewarded with an update on my previously posted breaking news story about the stolen tractor and ATM. It seems my previous concerns about a rogue farmer with an ATM in his barn were unfounded. They have found both the tractor and the ATM but those tricky theives got away with a few thousand dollars. Sorry--this story is like watching a train wreck for me. I can't just let it go. Sooo--there was also a surveillance video on the site so I figured out how to add it but not how to make the commercials be quiet--sorry--make sure you pause it after the robbery otherwise those fabulous Montana commercials just keep coming. Obviously the person driving it has driven a tractor before--man they just get in there and get 'er done! If I was driving it would be a lot longer video and alot funnier--the tractor goes across one way--goes back the other--I'm thinking thats probably why they didn't call me to help out. WHO THINKS OF THESE THINGS??!! What is the converstion that goes on that starts this process??!! It's killing me!!

I went with just a link--the video commercials were really obnoxious

http://www.kpax.com/global/video/popup/pop_playerLaunch.asp?vt1=v&clipFormat=flv&clipId1=2880747&at1=Station 7&h1=Surveillance video of Missoula ATM theft

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Family Reunion--a month later

It has been a month since our family reunion--and I'm just now getting these "postable". I'm just starting to get into the whole Photoshop thing--so--it can be a little slow going. I played around with these and on some of them I used a "thingie" that I bought and downloaded at Polka Dot Potato that is like a Photoshop tool all in one button! You just click and bam--its done. LOVE IT!! I just went and checked--it is called Photoblast Actions. For all the Bishop family who lurk here--look how much fun we had!! Don't you miss me??!!
We went and stayed at the Heber Valley Campground--it was beautiful and perfect--just a great place for a family reunion. On Saturday some of the cousins got to go do a Challenge Zipline Course. It was so cool to watch and listen to them cheer each other on--my kids loved it! So just thought I would share some of my photo experiments. When I grow up I want to be a photographer--unfortunately I don't think I will live that long. Deep sigh.

Here we all are in all our "been camping 2 days" glory. Each family had a color to do with what they wanted. Our color was orange. We attempted (in the very BROADEST sense of the word) to tye dye our shirts. As you can see--they were pretty much yellow--very light orange if you really squint your eyes. I took a huge risk and posted this even though it has a picture of me in it. I am the chubby one down front. My husband invited his longtime friend and his daughter to join our family and my daughter Tae brought her boyfriend. Pretty much you can probably put everyone else together with their name on my side bar if you are so inclined. It was so wonderful to have all my kids in one place--I can't believe I have gotten to the place in life that my children are starting to scatter!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Blog Award!

Thanx Merrianne for thinking I'm a rockin chickie!! I think your blog is chickie rockin' too!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It was printed in black and white so it must be true!

While the rest of the United States news organizations are covering things like hurricanes and the new Republican V.P candidate--here was what I found in our local news yesterday;

Tractor, ATM reported stolen in Missoula
A tractor was stolen and an ATM is missing after an early morning burglary on Airway Boulevard Saturday.
Missoula County Sheriff officials are on the lookout for a suspect who stole a tractor from a business up by the Wye and then used it to remove an ATM from the Airway Boulevard Bank around 2 a.m.
(from KPAX news online)
First of all--only in Montana. Second of all--who doesn't see a tractor with an ATM loaded on it and not think something is a little hinckey??!! Third--is there some rogue farmer out there with an ATM in his barn?! Fourth--is this classified as a redneck bank robbery??!! I'm just sayin.....