Friday, August 6, 2010

Eaten Alive

This summer every night before bed we have a ritual. We go mosquito hunting! We turn on the lights, get magazines, towels, fly swatters, or anything that can be used as a mosquito killing weapon, and start searching for the little blood suckers. Most nights we get 5 or 6 per room, but we know that there is a ton more lurking in the dark. The reason we know this is because we all wake up covered in huge mosquito bites. As I write this I have probably 20 bites all over my body. We have no idea where they are all coming from!!! They keep us up half the night buzzing by our ears and making us itch after they have found a way through covers and clothes to bite whatever part of the body they can find. Pretty soon we are going to have to start wearing mosquito repellant to bed. In a way, we are looking forward to winter so that all the little flying demons will freeze to death and stop eating us for midnight snacks! Hopefully we can make it through the rest of summer without one of us getting West Nile Virus. We hate mosquitos and want them all to DIE!

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Remember

On this day, 8 years ago, so many people remember exactly where they were and what they were doing. It is a day many of us will never forget, 9/11/01. I remember it almost like it was yesterday. Jeff and I were living at my parents house with our only child at the time, Tanner. We were living their while our new house was being finished, and things were a little cramped! I woke up and got ready for work and I got Tanner ready to go to daycare. I was in the habit of never turning on a T.V. or a radio while getting ready, but as soon as I put Tanner in the car I turned on the radio. I had no idea what they were talking about, but it didn't sound good. After listening for a couple of minutes I began to realize what was going on. Planes had ran into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and one had crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. The scenes were described in such horror. Every detail I heard mad me shiver with fear. As I walked into the babysitters house, I saw the images on the T.V. as she was watching with tears in her eyes. I began to cry as I realized how many people were scared, hurt, and dead. So many people suffering in the world all at the same time. After feeling so reluctant to leave my baby at the sitters while the world was crumbling, or at least that's what it felt like to me, I left and headed to work. I worked at the customer service center for DHL (the shipping company).It was very close to the airport and it made me feel so eerie not hearing or seeing any airplanes in the sky. I remember how quiet it was as I walked into the building. For a call center that is extremely odd. At that time of day many of my fellow employees would have been on the phone with people from the east coast. I realized the world was in shock and every normal daily activity was just simply put on hold. As I walked to the circle of people huddled around the break room T.V., I saw so many expresions of sadness and fear. I began talking to many of my coworkers, and all of a sudden I started sobbing. I felt this deep feeling of being so out of control. Having an infant, and knowing it was my one purpose in the world to keep him safe and happy. How was I supposed to accomplish that when the world just proved to me how anything horrible could happen at any moment! I pulled myself together and got through the rest of the day. When I picked Tanner up from daycare I hugged him a little tighter, and a lot longer. That evening Jeff and I had a long talk about how the world can change at any moment. We came to the conclusion that one way we could help the world was by being understanding, loving parents. We decided to not let that days events scare us into not wanting to bring sweet, innocent children into this world! After coming to that understanding we agreed that it was time to add to our family, and so the first idea of our second child came to be. And so you see Rylin, 9/11/01 was a day I will remember forever because that was the day I realized the world was a crazy place, but I wanted your sweet spirit to join us. The pregnancy that became you started shortly after that one very scary day that so many people will remember forever, especially me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Future Firefighters of America!

We have a really great friend who is a firefighter at Williams Gateway Airport. On Saturday he invited all of us to the firehouse to show us the new $1 million Foam Truck the airport just got. Needless to say the kids love big trucks, especially ones that shoot water, so we were there in a flash!

This is the kids with our friend Perry on the "Regular" Fire Truck. Perry has been such a wonderful friend. When Tanner was going through chemo, Perry would have the Gilbert Fire Dept. come to our house and take Tanner for rides in the fire trucks. Tanner would be so excited that it would make him forget about feeling so sick. It was wonderful, and we appreciate Perry so much! He truly is a great friend.

This is the new, super high tech Foam Truck that Williams Gateway airport just purchased for $1 million. It holds 3000 gallons of water that can be emptied in 2 minutes. That is a lot of water! It also has an infa-red sensor that can detect hot spots in a fire and it can also detect people that are trapped in a burning airplane making it easier to rescue them. It can also deflate and inflate its tires at a push of a button for more traction. Oh, and did I forget to mention that it's HUGE! It's so big that it doesn't even fit into the firehouse bays, so they are building a whole new fire house.

Conner was so excited to go for a ride in it!

This is the kids climbing in to go for a ride at the airport. Reagan got a little intimidated so she decided to stay behind. The truck was a little big and too loud for her taste!

Getting buckled up! Fireman like everyone to be super safe.

Driving on the airport Tar Mac (see the planes in the background). This truck goes really fast despite its size.

Getting into position to spray the water. They were right by the runway, see the flight control tower in the background.

The truck has 2 spouts that are controled by joy sticks. They can be moved up and down and all over. They also spray very far. This is the kids emtying all 3000 gallons of water onto the airport. By the time all 3 of them had a turn it was empty, I guess they don't know about the importance of conserving water!

While the other kids were in the foam truck Reagan was busy checking out the other fire trucks. You know, the ones that were quiet because they weren't turned on!

Daddy and Reagan

Mom and Reagan wishing we could jump on a plane and fly off to Hawaii!

After the kids were done emptying the Foam Truck Perry made them fill it back up. This is Rylin hooking the fire hose up to the truck, the other end is hooked up to the fire hydrant.

Turning on the fire hydrant. Conner was taking notes on how to do this, he was thinking he was going to try this with the one on his street!

Perry told them to watch for water to start coming out of the bottom of the truck because that meant it was full.

There it goes. The kids didn't turn off the hydrant fast enough and water was pouring out all over the place.

The tires on the foam truck were way bigger than Conner, so look below to see what he thought would be a good idea to do.

Mom didn't think a Conner pancake would be a good idea though!

After our fun ride Perry and the other firemen had cold drinks, popcicles and fire hats for us to enjoy! What a fun day!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's good to talk about life!

Last night I was at a family friends house, helping her out. We got to talking about everything from the economy, to real estate, family, our anniversary trip to Hawaii, and just life in general. She remembered that our oldest, Tanner, had cancer when he was younger and asked how he was doing. I told her that he had actually had a check up with his oncologist today! The doctor said he looked great! He grew 1 1/4 inches in ten months, all his lymph nodes looked good, his blood test came back normal, and this December he will be 4 years out of treatment. He then told us that he wouldn't need to see him for another year! As I was telling her all that the doctor had said my mind began flooding with so many memories of Tanners young life. The story of how we had overcome one of the biggest hurdles we as a family had ever had to experience. I told her how we knew something was wrong but the doctor just kept on telling us he was fine. How our baby at the time was not growing as she should and that they were concerned and thought that she could possibly have cystic fibrosis. How I was 3 months pregnant and on the day the doctor told me of Tanners diagnosis I miss carried. I told her how hard it was to see my sweet boy being poked like a pin cushion for every kind of test they could perform. And how hard it was to see them hooking him up to a bag of POISON just to keep him alive. I told her about how they made us sign a paper before they would start him on chemo telling us of all the things that could happen to him because of the chemotherapy. How it could make his heart and kidneys fail, how it could make him sterile, how it could cause brain damage, how it could make him develop other types of cancer down the road, just to name a few. As I was telling her about having to teach a 2 year old how to swallow a handful of pills, and the endless amounts of throw up we had to clean up, she said to me, " how did you ever do all that!" My response was "It was our trial that Heavenly Father had given us. Because of everything we had to go through we are stronger because of it. We are more loving toward eachother and so grateful to have each and every person we have in our lives with us. We love life more now, and realize what a wonderful gift it is to be able to see this world and all the beautiful things out there and to be able to meet new people along the way that have made life so much brighter." After I left her house I started to think about how lately life has been very difficult in so many ways, but after telling her our story of what we have already overcome I had a realization. I, no we, can get through anything. No matter what tomorrow brings everthing will be alright, no matter what the outcome is.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


We had a really great anniversary trip to Oahu. It is so beautiful there. We were constantly doing something. We visited the Dole Plantation (more than once, because we would crave the pineapple icecream. IT WAS SOOO GOOD),we went to a macadamia nut farm, we went to the buddist temple, we visited the USS Arizona Memorial, we went snorkeling in Hanama Bay, we went kayaking in the ocean to 2 islands "Moku-lua Islands", we visited Haleiwa the little North Shore town where all the surfers hang out, we did a shark cage dive (that was an experience that we will never forget), we visited Waikiki, we went to Kualoa Ranch where they film Lost, Jurassic Park, and 50 First Dates to name a few, we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, we did a luau, and a sunset dinner cruise, we went to the swap meet at the Aloha stadium (the best place for souvenirs), we went to Waimea Bay and Valley where the waterfall is, we visited Laie and the LDS temple, and we even squeezed in a little tanning on the beach. We had a really full week!!!

This is our hotel, the Turtle bay Resort.

This is the view from our room. It was sooo pretty.

If we come back we will never stay on Waikiki because the North Shore is more our style!

One of the sea turtles we met on the beach.

This is Jeff diving off the rock in Waimea Bay. Robin wouldn't do it!!! It was really high!

The Byodo-In Buddist Temple. It was made without using any nails!

Fish we saw while snorkeling.

Sea urchins were everywhere. We had to watch were we stepped!!! Ouch!

Jeff in snorkel gear.

Hanama bay was great for snorkeling. There was so many different kinds of fish.
Kualoa Ranch. Do the mountains look familiar? They shoot tons of movies here, and Robin's favorite t.v. show, Lost!!! It rained the whole time there, that was the only bummer on the tour!

This is one of the Godzilla footprints from the US version. It was originally 10 feet deep, but they had to fill them in after filming because the cows on the ranch kept falling in and dying!!! Now they are only 2 feet deep!

These are the Moku-lua Islands. We kayaked to the one I am standing in front of, it was about a 2 mile trip one way. Man our arms were tired, my arms were more tired than Jeffs because he barely paddled the whole way back! This doesn't show how far of a kayak it actually was because we had to start way down at the end of the beach.

This is me getting ready to snorkel on the left "Nui" Island. We almost hiked around the whole thing, but didn't cross the place they call sharks cove. We didn't want to get the camera wet!!! Sharks cove is a great cliff jumping spot on the back of the island.

This is the Kalua Pig from our luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center. This was the one food Jeff missed most from his mission. It was really good!!!
Samoan fire dancer from the Cultural Center. He was really funny.

These guys are Samoan coconut tree climbers. They could climb a really tall tree fast. They had some mean tatoos almost all over their bodies.
This is a replica of a Hawaiian hut at Waimea Valley. How would you like to sleep in that?

This is our shark cage dive. We were really excited to see the sharks until we got sea sick and threw up in the cage. I guess you could say we provided chum for the sharks. Eeww!!!

They kept looking at us with their beady little eyes. It was really cool to see them up close in the water. Cool as long as they were on the outside of the metal bars!!!!

Us in the shark cage.

The Dole Pineapple Plantation. We went twice just for the pineapple icecream. Man, was it sooo good. We wish they had it in Arizona.

We want to fly back just for the pineapple icecream. See Jeff downing his!!!

They have so many different kinds of pineapples, even bright pink ones!

The LDS Temple in Laie. It was closed for renovations. There were boards on the windows, and it hadn't been painted. It was still pretty though.

This is Laie Point.

This is Jeff swimming in the waterfall at Waimea Valley. The water in the pond was freezing, but the water coming off the fall was hot.

Robin with the waterfall in the back ground.

Walking on Kealia Beach. It was so beautiful, and very deserted. There was only a few people there, and one Hawaiian Monk seal doing laps along the shore where we were walking.

See how beautiful it is, and no people.

This is the Hawaiian Monk seal doing laps right infront of us. They are protected because they are an endangered species, and we were lucky enough to see him.
Our last night in Hawaii we did a Sunset Dinner cruise. This is the boat. It was a lot of fun and had some beautiful views of Diamond Head and Waikiki.

This is the view of Diamond Head from the dinner cruise.

This is the sunset on the cruise. It was gorgeous!!! I was wishing at that moment we didn't have to leave!

We had a really great anniversary. One we will remember forever.