Saturday, December 8, 2012

A little Quiz... with answers

We are having our Birthday party today, and this is a little party game we're playing... let's see how well you know us. (Answers to be posted later) 

How well do YOU know the Birthday Couple?
1.  What year was Joseph born? 1982
2.  What year was Shaylee born? 1985
3.  Where was Joseph born? Idaho Falls, Idaho
4.  Where was Shaylee born?  Spokane, Washington
5.  When did J & S discover they share a b-day? On our first date, October 2005
6.  Where did J & S meet? Byu Idaho, same student ward
7.  Where were J & S married? Portland Oregon
8.  Who is taller J or S? Shaylee, just a little
9.  What is Shaylee’s natural hair color? Blonde (-ish with brown and red, in the winter)
10. What was Joseph’s high school mascot? Russet Potatoe! 
11. What was Shaylee’s high school mascot? Lion
12. What is Shaylee’s favorite flower? Sunflower
13. What is Joseph’s favorite color? Blue
14. What is Shaylee’s favorite animal? Giraffe
15.  How long have J & S been married? 6 1/2 years
16.  Is Joseph a “ righty” or “lefty”?  Lefty
17.  What is Joseph’s shoe size? 7 1/2- 8
18. What is Shaylee’s favorite dessert? anything chocolate
19. What is Joseph’s favorite candy?  Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
20. Where did Joseph grow up?  Shelley Idaho
21. Who has had more stitches J or S? Joseph (10+ sets, Shaylee 5)
22. Where did Joseph serve his mission? Porto Alegre North Brasil
23. What is Shaylee’s least favorite color? Orange
24. Are J & S morning or night people? Morning
25. What is Shaylee allergic to? Sulfas, Broccoli & seafood
26. What would J & S do with a million dollars? Buy a house, adoption
27. What is our cat’s name? Speckles
28. Who is more ticklish J or S?  Joseph, Shaylee can ignore it sometimes
29. What is Joseph’s favorite fruit? Peaches
30. Who had braces J or S? Joseph

Good Luck! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Donkey in a well

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it
to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, 

the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happens.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less from people but more from yourself.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Not my favorite subject

I don't like to blog about infertility, it's not a pleasant topic. But as much as motherhood consumes the lives of my family and friends, my lack of motherhood consumes mine. Infertility makes life really hard and often quite complicated. Infertility is a nasty beast, that will chew you up and spit you out, with no remorse. Infertility doesn't discriminate either, it doesn't care who you are. While unpleasant, I find it healing to  be able to air my thoughts and experiences regarding infertility here on my blog, and who knows, it make even help someone else. Which makes the unpleasantness all worth it. I mentioned a diagnosis a while ago and I think its okay to share the story now. 

It was a cold dark December day (December 7th, 2011 to be exact). I was in my OBGYN's office. Suffering from an ovarian cyst, I made an appointment with Dr. O. At the appointment I was called back quickly for an ultrasound during which they did a lot of measuring: my uterus, uterus lining thickness, ovaries and cysts (also counting cysts). Then I was sent back out to the waiting area, 45 minutes later I was called back into an examination room, where I waited for 2 hours (half naked!) on the table, with not so much as a nurse peeking in. I stuck it out because I desperately needed treatment for cysts. I was almost ready to leave when he FINALLY showed up. Dr. O performed a couple of exams, and informed me that the cyst had already ruptured. He told me that my body will always make cysts, I have PCOS. This is the first mention of an actual diagnosis, I had known that my ovaries looked polycystic, but no diagnosis could be made without closer observation (ultrasounds counting and measuring the cysts). Dr. O then gave my 2 treatment options: actively trying to conceive, or go onto hormonal birth control. I argued for a 3rd option: metformin, he wasn't thrilled, but did agree to prescribe it.  Metformin is a diabetes medication that also helps PCOS patients by leveling out hormones, which can eliminate the cysts, and help with ovulation.  It's not a well liked option, because of the side effects, but I've been on it before so it's okay. 

It was a really rough day, because Dr. O's bedside manner severly lacked any compassion, especially as he was slamming me with a diagnosis. To make matters worse the appointment went so long I couldn't go home before work to clean up, so I got into the car, called my loving hubby and totally broke down. He is an amazing listener and helped me to calm down before driving to work, then I went and worked like it was a normal day, feeling nasty, and having cried off all my makeup. 

FYI: Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of a female sex hormones. This may lead to menstrual cycle changes, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, and other health changes.

PCOS is linked to changes in the level of certain hormones:
•   Estrogen and progesterone, the female hormones that help a woman's ovaries release eggs

•   Androgen, a male hormone found in small amounts in women

It is not completely understood why or how the changes in the hormone levels occur. The changes make it harder for a woman's ovaries to release fully grown (mature) eggs.  Normally, one or more eggs are released during a woman's period. This is called ovulation. In PCOS, mature eggs are not released from the ovaries. Instead, they can form very small cysts in the ovary.
These changes can contribute to infertility. The other symptoms of this disorder are due to the hormone imbalances. (Source Here)

I am Shaylee, I have struggled with infertility for 6 years, I have PCOS. Dr.O is terrible, I left his practice, as did my aunt who had basically the same awful experience  My husband and I desperately want to be parents, and we have spent about $11,000 thus far, just trying to make that happen. The injustice of it all is that people get pregnant all the time, for free! Or on "accident",  you all know it doesn't happen "accidentally", right? 

I accept and a knowledge that it will take medication to get help me get pregnant. It will take medication to keep me from miscarrying during a pregnancy.  I am not ready to resort to medical procedures (IUI, IVF) because we know we can get pregnant, we've done that part 4 times. A diagnosis helps, we had gone so long without a clear diagnosis. I now have a great doctor who is also a "piano mom" of mine, and surprisingly, it's not awkward. 
First and last. 
I am the oldest. 
He is the oldest.
We do things first. 
That's just how it is. 
First born to first time parents. 
First to walk/ run. 
First in school. 
First stitches. 
First one taller than grandma. 
First one to drive. 
First one to serve a mission. 
First married.  
First pregnant.
All true.
But not the first to be parents. 
Our Best case scenario: 
5th on his side, 4th on mine. 
We don't always have to be first,
But how will we feel if we're last?
We've been the first 
To Deal with Multiple Sclerosis,
To Have miscarriages,
To Have fertility  surgeries,
To Explore adoption,
To go blind,
And  we are still here, still intact, still surviving, still hoping. 
But how will we feel if we are last?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Birthday Sharing Babes

My Mom on the left, Sera Jean (Alisha's current youngest) on the right.
Looks like we finally figured out who Sera Jean looks like!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dew Drops

So, I am kind of in love with the morning dew. I should venture further away than my front yard, for more varied plant life but here are just a couple pictures. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Joseph's x-rays

Joseph has given me permission to share this information, because it's pretty obvious that something is going on. So we might as well put the correct information out there. 
If you look to the right side you can see a dot or fleck, 
this is the part that broke off of his fibula.

Another view.

Making sure everything else looks good. 
I think x-rays look awesome. 

Joseph will be going an Orthopedic Doctor tomorrow. 
He will evaluate the break and whether or not Joseph will need that little piece surgically removed. 
We'll have the real answers tomorrow.
So, until then.
Star wars marathon. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Arogog lived!

"Aragog (c. 194220 April1997) was a blind Acromantula owned byRubeus Hagrid. Like the rest of his species, Aragog had a taste for human flesh and was able to communicate with humans. In his youth he was the size of a Pekingese and near the end of his life was about the size of a small elephant. [...]"  (Source HERE)

Found him outside our dining room window,  just minutes ago!! 
Over the size of a quarter.
(looking out the window)

(looking into the window)

Apparently this one was a cat- faced spider, just huge and harmless.
and dead.

a tired and scatter-brained update **warning: long post**

Yard sale today: which explains the tired. okay results, quite fun actually. May do it again on Monday, or next weekend, we'll see.

My Cousin's Wedding Photos: I took my cousin's wedding photos in late July. It's 351 pictures worth of done done and done. 1st wedding jitters, over. My aunt says I should go "pro," I have some thoughts on that...

Joseph Insurance: Well Washington State DSHS, sucks. We are getting exactly "zilch" for help, after 4 years and countless applications, interviews, phone calls, paperwork run around, and some... umm bad words (hell doesn't count right? ) Joseph doesn't get "help" paying for medicare because he doesn't qualify for medicare?!? What the... he has been on Medicare (part A) since June! As of September, he will be covered by Medicare parts A,B & D. A: hospital, B: Medical and D: Medication, Confusing: why yes, it must be a government requirement to be ridiculous and confusing. Medicare is Federally funded (usually for the elderly, but also the disabled) , Medicaid is state aid. Apparently, if I was pregnant and/or  I wasn't working we'd have lots of $$ in food stamps and we'd both be insured. We make "too much money" but still fall under the set limits for the programs we've applied for, so denied yet again. Does this upset you? I want to call them out, I want to write a letter and publish it stating exactly what our struggle for help with the state has been. I keep putting it off, it's so personal, it's a lengthy story and it's scary willingly sending your own story out. But what options do we have? And he does have medicare now....huge blessing, because this weekend we needed to use it.

Joseph broke his foot. An avulsion (or fleck) fracture to his left fibula. Or in simpler terms he broke off the tip of the smaller left leg bone. A tiny little guy, the Doctor said he "should have" broken the 5th metatarsal (or long bone before the pinky toe) as well, but he didn't, and the tissue looks good. But we will be following up with Benton Franklin Orthopedic Association.. after the holiday weekend. Bad timing, he'll have to wait 3 days to even set up an appointment. They will be looking over the x-rays we had done, possibly order more tests... evaluating it for possible surgery (most of these kind of breaks don't require surgery, but some do because the bone tip is still in there.) Joseph is not to put any weight on that foot, use his wheelchair, and wear a walking cast boot.

And thanks to medicare.... we only pay 20% of whatever this is going to cost.

Shaylee work:  I officially start my school year on Tuesday, we opted to start after labor day. Pretty darn smart if you ask me. I am starting with 35 student and 3 meet & greets (meet and greets are interviews with potential students, I require an interview for those under 6 years old). I am completely floored and amazed by this, my schedule is almost full, I have extended my schedule twice already.

 I won't be playing for Kennewick High this year. This was a decision I made before the end of the school year, and it worked out perfectly: the day I was going to tell Mr. Henderson, he told me that he was moving to China! I am blessed to have such an amazing job, that I love and that pays so well.

Some other thoughts:
 We have been looking into housing options, grants, programs, habitat for humanity.. saving our butts off....  and I don't want to become what I have called a "mom-a-tographer" =  usually  a Stay At Home Mom  who buys a nice camera and decides to start up a photography business. They are EVERYWHERE, no offense to anyone who choose this, but a nice camera doesn't make you a good photographer, amateur photographer or professional either. I have always been interested in photography, I would call myself an amateur photographer. I have had photography classes, I learned on an old SLR with film!  I now have a nice camera, I have now done 1 wedding (asked, not volunteered) and numerous portraits and family portraits. I am building a good portfolio, and I have a passion for the art side of it... not the trying to make money side of it. But it might be a good idea to do so, to get us into a home of our own, that is important to us. We need that, something of our own, everyone needs their own space right?

**edit** I do acknowledge that there are some amazing women, making amazing artwork with their cameras right now. But there are a lot of others buying expensive cameras, and calling themselves photographers. And all trying to make a buck doing it. **

 Houses here are high priced, subsidized housing is terrifying here (read: scary neighborhoods, drug dealer and gangs). I like the idea of habitat for humanity, but you don't get any control over where you live or what type of house you get, and it costs $$ to apply, and takes up to 2 years to build.  I emailed someone and found the Kennewick Housing Authority application, it's 46 pages long (not exaggerating one bit) this covers HUD rentals, Section 8 vouchers (rentals, and ownership) etc etc.... lots of paperwork and all the programs have long waiting lists. And lastly I found a Rural development application... interesting, we may qualify, but it's very specific about where and what type of houses or rental properties qualify for this program. These are all  things we've considered, we can't adopt or foster to adopt until Valerie and Dustin leave the house (that's with us living here still), or we have our own place. -- this is not currently our family plan right now, but it's a factor as to why we want/ need our own place.

We've explored the option of us moving in my grandma Swanger's house,  (with her staying with us, and we'd be paying for everything), but that puts us in a money pit (old house with issues) and it's not really an accessible home with 2/3 people who shouldn't be driving. Again old house, bad floor plan, too many stairs...

So now that Joseph has medicare, it saves us lots now that we aren't paying 100% out of pocket. But not enough to get us into a home loan for a good, and accessible home. So for now we are stuck, not many programs to look at, I would  much rather have a some sort grant to put toward a house with money we've saved... and I want to be able to dictate what our housing needs are, rather than try to fit our housing needs within tight program guidelines.

Joseph should be starting with Goodwill sometime in the future, internship again... doing about the same thing he did at EnTrust, but with real potential to be hired on and maybe teach computer classes.. we'll see.

Anyway that's the update. Thoughts and ideas are welcome.

Life is Beautiful, but also so incredibly hard.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Catch up: 4th of July

On July 3rd, we went to the church and played hockey.
Joseph and I opted to watch and talk with those who didn't play.
It was very entertaining.

Those who didn't play, found other things to do.
Like sing, play school, or take pictures (me).
Just some of the cousins that we got to hang out with on the 4th of July.
These aren't all the pictures I got, just a sampling. 
We were in the soccer fields, behind Gesa Stadium in pasco, our family's normal spot.

Firework show was pretty good this year.
We celebrated our independence family style.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Telaai Milene Wiberg

This is the Daughter of a distant cousin of mine.

Telaai was born last Thursday 8/2/12. After being placed on her mom's chest she turned blue and could not breathe and was transferred to another hospital to undergo testing. 
Shortly thereafter, they found that she could neither breathe on her own or move her arms and legs. She was then life flighted to Primary Children's Hospital.

Here are the updates
"Last night Telaai was transferred to Primary Children's hospital where she underwent test by a Genetic Neurologist to see why she wasn't moving. We talked and got an answer with a doctor who is a specialist in the disease SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy and she said our baby is in stage 0 which is the worst stage you could have. She hasn't seen something like this in over 14 years. Telaai's muscles are so weak already and will get progressively worse that she'll never get off a ventilator or feeding tube. The quality of her little life just won't be there as within a very short period of time she will lose all functions of any muscles in her body. We don't get her long, taking a day at a time. Right now she see's us, hears us, knows we are there. Telaai came to this earth to save and teach a lot of people and she has done that ten fold in the days she has been here. She is so brave and so strong and so incredible beautiful. I will get to run and jump and hug her in the millennium but for now, she did what she came here to do. Receive a beautiful body, look at her mommy and daddy and sisters. Thank you for your prayers. We have been asking for a miracle and we got it, her name is Telaai Milene Wiberg."

Today Telaai was taken off life support.
My heart breaks for this family.
Sending many prayers their way.

If there is anyone who would like to make a donation to help the Wibergs pay for Telaai's medical bills and don't live near a Zion's branch, you can mail a check to Zion's Bank 1220 S. 800 E. Orem, UT 84097. Write the check out to the Lyndsie Wiberg Donation Fund and put the account number #041493552 on the check memo line.

Shaylee’s Awesome chocolate chip cookies

1c Vegetable Oil or Coconut oil
1c Soft Butter (NOT margarine)
1 ½ c sugar
1 ½ c brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Dry Ingredients : (mix  or sift in a separate bowl)
5 ½ c Flour
1 ½ tsp Baking Soda
1 ½ tsp Salt
2 Bags Chocolate Chips (1 milk chocolate, 1 semi-sweet)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix Shortening, butter & sugars. Add the eggs & Vanilla, mix for a full 3 minutes. It should be nice and fluffy.  Add ½ of the dry mix to the butter mix, slowly add the rest. And finally add the chocolate chips.

Scoop onto an ungreased cookie sheet, bake for 8-9 minutes.

My (hopefully helpful) Hints:
·      Don’t skimp on the creaming of the butter and sugars, the fluffier the better, it makes for a lighter fluffier cookie.

·      Smash the cookies down a little, (not flat, just not a round ball) they don’t spread much.

·      My oven runs hot so I reduce the temp to 340-345 degrees, and increase the baking time to 10-11 minutes.

·      Don’t wait for cookies to brown, they still “bake” after you remove them from the oven. I let mine sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving them to cool.

****Made from mixing a couple of different recipes, and working on some "healthier" substitutions (using raw sugar, whole wheat or oat flour, all butter for shortening, banana as an egg substitution...yea, we'll see)***

Friday, August 10, 2012

Elder Swanger arrives home!

Stepping off the plane. 
Poor little airport restaurant got swamped by my family! 

Cousins waiting to see him.

And here he is!

Group Hugs

Elder Swanger with future family missionaries.

Swanger family (missing Alisha's family)

He got home at 3:20-ish today.
Life has been crazy soooo much going on,
I see massive amounts of posts in the near future.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Sharing a giggle

L, (6 yrs. old)

Came to lessons with hill billy teeth.
I laugh out loud (literally)
every time I look at this picture.
I love my piano kids.

Your welcome. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Some Nieces

These are 4 of our 5 nieces, the ones we got to see this week, here are recent pictures (and no names for privacy)  We hope to make a trip to meet our other niece S. Toy! 

A few snapshots of Alisha & Marc's girls:
S glaring at the flash, my favorite picture!

T running away with our soap

S&T "helping" us pack.

And some of Jake and Bethany's girls:
C, "cheese"

P grinning

Sisters! C & P

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Our Animals

The old gal.

look at those "elf" ears (I call them Dobby ears)
soooo cute! 

"Big Chicken" 

Speckles, giving me the evil eye

What she does all day, or at least while I play with my camera

I am sure this is what he was going to say

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Story in Pictures

Best Buddies Ready to "roll"

"Hey, wait for me!"

 "Wait! I'm coming."

 I'll run circles around you, because  I am so excited!

 Joseph working his way uphill back home.