Sunday, December 30, 2012

Whoops... it's been awhile..

I can't believe it has been SOOO long since I updated my blog... well, I CAN believe it... I've been too busy on Facebook, and I don't consider myself much of a blogger.  I must say that I HAVE written in my journal several times in the last while, so I'm  not a TOTAL slacker at writing...

If I were to sum up the year 2012...
                    In January, Mark started a new job at Banner Health Corporation.  After he left his job at Bridgeway, he always had contract work, and we had no financial impact. There were three jobs to choose from, and the Banner job turned out to be the biggest blessing.  We prayed intently to choose the job that would be best for our family.
                    In February, I turned 45... not such a bad year... I still feel young. We passed the 6 year mark of my mother's passing.   I still miss her.
                    In March, the kids & I went camping at Workman's Creek during Spring Break with our neighbors, the Haws family. It was pretty cold at night, but we had a great time, doing a little hiking, some game playing, some movie watching, bread baking, and target (balloon) shooting.  Mark didn't get time off work since he just started his job.  I also ran my first official 10k race at the Phoenix Marathon event.  I actually came in 3rd place in my "Athena " category (over 150 lbs) and was 7th in my age category.
                    In April, I travelled to California with a bunch of ladies I did not know, save one, and ran in the Ragnar SoCal relay- it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it was lots of fun, too!  I got to know some new ladies/friends, and pushed myself thru a 10 mile leg in 90 degree heat that I thought was going to kill me.  While I was travelling back home from CA, I got a call from Mark that began a new chapter in our lives...
                   In May, Mark was diagnosed with a Ewing Sarcoma (cancer) tumor in his leg, with some lesions also visible in his lungs.  He had a port installed and began a Chemotherapy regimen of 17 cycles, in which has infusion every 3 weeks.  The hope is that the tumor will be shrunken enough to operate & remove it, but there is still the likelihood that he may lose part of his leg.  We are, however, looking on the bright side of things and striving to live with faith, not fear.  We had a good family picture taken on Memorial Day prior to Chemotherapy starting which would cause Mark to lose his hair.
                    In June... Jessica went to Girl's camp and Especially for Youth in Flagstaff- Mallory went swimming alot, and Mark began chemo at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center.  It is the best place.. it is only 3 miles from our home, and the benefits thru Mark's employer are very good. Brennan went on a scuba diving trip to California that he had prepared for with his Priest's Quorum.
                    In July, we were sad to have to stay home from the Golding/McCabe/Sullivan reunion that was held at Flaming Gorge in Utah.  We'd been looking forward to it, but with the new job and chemo starting, we just could not get away.  Later in the month, Mark somehow got Cellulitis in his leg, which forced a 5 day hospital stay for IV antibiotics, and two weeks of home health care IV antibiotics.
                   In August - school started again, we have  Senior- Brennan, a Sophomore - Jessica, and a Sixth Grader - Mallory!  Brennan & Jessica leave for have an A Hour class which starts around 6:45, so they leave around 6:20 for school.  They have been driving my car, since I've been driving Mark to work.  
                  In September..... can't find that much that happened in September - nothing stands out.. school and work and chemo.. that's about it!
                  In October - Since we were not able to go to the family reunion in July, or take any other vacations, I was looking to get out of town. I was able to secure two sets of two tickets for General Conference in Salt Lake City.  So Mallory & Jessica & I left Friday afternoon, Oct 5th and headed for Utah. We stayed the night in St George with the Clements, then made it to SLC for Sat afternoon session - Mallory & I attended.  Then we had a quick visit with niece/cousin Annika's family, then to Cache Valley. Mallory stayed overnight with Lexi Hall in Wellsville, and Jessica & I went back to SLC in the morning for Conference. Back to Hyrum to spend the night. Drove up to the Cabin to see Josh, Alyssa & Wesley on Monday and play games. Tuesday we headed south, visited with Marcy's family in Bluffdale, saw Grma & Grpa Brown there. Weds morning we stopped to see Josh & Melissa Gustafson & Trevor & Shelly Brown & all their children - great to see them & meet their kids!  On the way home to AZ, we stopped in Cedar City to see Jenai Christensen Axelson, a mission friend who had terminal breast cancer - so glad to see her as she passed away not long after that. It was a quick trip, but was glad to get out of town, Brennan tried to take good care of Mark & help him out while I was away.
             In November - Ragnar Las Vegas was my main event - about 4 weeks prior I was approached by Jon Jamieson who needed runners for his team!  I was crazy enough to say yes, so the 8th-11th was taken up by travel time and relay running!  Had a great time- more new friends!  It was COLD and WINDY in Vegas, but having a place to sleep & shower made a difference - (didn't have that in So Cal). My first leg I was running into 35mph wind just about the whole 5+miles - it seemed like it was uphill, but it was not. Enjoyed meeting new friends on this co-ed team!  Just prior to me leaving - my dad came for a visit - he needed a getaway, and I hadn't seen him since February - it was nice to have him her for a week.
             In December - it seems that I always wait til the last minute to get ready for Christmas.. We got the tree up, but it took several days before it got decorated.  My job gets pretty busy this time of year, so I get a little occupied with that.  Mark's had a cough, we've been trying to keep him from getting sick- last week of the month he found out that he's anemic & his blood counts are really low, which means his immune system is compromised. He's stayed home from work & church, hoping to avoid sick people and infections that could be really bad for him. Christmas was not the best ever, we had some struggles, but we were together.  I had my family come for waffles on Christmas morning - so my siblings families came - fed everyone - then when they all left, The Brown family went to see The Hobbit together - it's been awhile since ALL FIVE of us went to the movies together.  As our children are getting older they are doing more on their own, so I was glad to do this activity together.  I am thankful for my sweet family, as trying as it may be sometimes.  I am grateful to be a mother - and a caregiver at this time to my husband.  We strive to have faith that this challenge will be to our benefit - that we will learn from it and that all will be well in the end.

I don't know if anyone ever reads my blog anymore... let me know if you do happen to stop by!
Happy New Year to all!  With love, from the Brown Family!



Thursday, February 09, 2012

My Oh My!!

It's been more than a year since I have blogged... I knew it had been awhile, but wasn't aware really how long it HAD been. I've gotten too involved in Facebook, so have not blogged.. It's easier to post pictures there, so that's what I've been doing..

Perhaps I need to try to get back here more often.
I don't fancy myself a writer, so that may contribute to the
fact that I don't blog much...

One of my cousin's kids, a cousin as well, asked if any of us
had blogs... so she inspired me to look... here it is! She may not
learn much about my current life, but there may be a few things
from the past few years that she might find...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's just a bucket...

When my mother passed away, my dad was able to sell their house, and nearly all of their belongings were packed up in a big crate, and stored away. The Lakeshore Ward Relief Society ladies came and helped pack things up, after we'd taken some of the things we wanted or that couldn't be packed. One of the things that came to my house was Mom's flour bucket. It was a clear, restaurant quality, 16 quart bucket with a tight lid - she may have had one for sugar too, but I don't know what happened to that one. It had been stored in her hall closet, so whenever she baked, which was often, out came the bucket. I'm sure a time or two she sent a grandchild to the hall closet, around the corner from the kitchen, to fetch flour for a recipe.

One habit, or practice, of my mother's that I have tried to carry on, is bread baking. She used her Grandma Bloomer's recipe - but adapted it to use powdered milk, from food storage. This is the same recipe that I use today.

Grandma Bloomer - is my Great Grandma Bloomer. My grandfather's father, Frank Arthur Mauzy White, was killed in the War (in 1918, I think..) , shortly before my grandfather, Frank Arthur White, was born. His mother was left with him as a baby, and eventually she married George Bloomer, who raised my grandfather as his own. So, my mom had her Bloomer grandparents, and she got the bread recipe from Grandma Bloomer - I am also glad that I have this recipe written in my mother's handwriting...

Anyway.. back to the bucket... I have kept it on my shelf, full of flour, or empty of flour if I've baked alot. The other week I found myself with an empty bucket, needing to go to the store for more, when I figured I should wash it out. It was getting a little grubby on the outside... after, yes, nearly 5 years of not being washed. I don't recall ever washing it since it has been here, I'm sad to say ( but flour doesn't leave stuff that dirty...you know? ) So it made me think that there were possibly some of my mom's fingerprints that I was washing from the outside of the bucket...and it got me thinking about her. I'm grateful for the little remembrances I have of her around my house, there are plenty... I'm thankful for the skills she taught me, and the recipes she left - I made her rice pudding recipe this afternoon. I hope that I am teaching my children good practices, and habits, and skills... sometimes it feels like I'm banging my head against the wall... but I know that she is cheering me on... but I still miss her.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy 2011!!

I have neglected my blog for far too long... thanks to that fun spot called Facebook! I don't know if anyone still checks my blog anymore, but I am going to make a concerted effort to post more often! Wish me luck!!

For New Year's Eve, Mark & I took our girls, and cousin Aspen to the Family Dance at the Kimball Stake Center - 7-9 pm - Yahoo! There was to be a 5 stake Youth Dance afterwards, so decorations did double duty! We had fun doing all kinds of dances - the Chicken Dance, the Electric Slide, and we even tried to pull off Thriller! I learned some of the moves going to an exercise class at the church this fall, and a couple of the gals were there - Holly Ashby, who taught it to us, was not, be we tried to do what we could remember!
We came home and watched the movie Salt, with Angelina Jolie, in a spy thriller - I must have enjoyed it because it kept me awake! Normally, if we start a movie after 9 pm, I usually miss quite alot of it.

Mark & the girls went outside to ring in the new year by banging pots and pans, and seeing who in the neighborhood set off fireworks! Mark saw some floating lanterns set aloft - said it was cool! I was a chicken.. I stayed inside... it's been too cold for me. We've had some freezing temps here in AZ, which are not very often.

Brennan spent the evening, well, the night, at his friend Tanner's. He said they just listened to music and "hung out" . We tried to encourage him to go to the Youth Dance , but he and friends were not interested...

So.. there is my first post for 2011 ! Happy New Year, Friends!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm going back in time!

This year marks the 25th year since I graduated from good ole' Evanston High School in Evanston Wyoming! 2 years after graduating, and 2 years of University of Wyoming, my family packed up and headed for Arizona... looking for work. And now... it's home.

Anyway... I have NEVER been to a high school class reunion, because it is so far to go. However, we have been in Utah visiting in-laws during the reunion times, which is always 4th of July weekend... but I've never had the desire to go. I've kept in touch with my close friends from high school anyway.

With the advent of Facebook, I have also recently gotten in touch with many of my friends from Junior High School - from Vernal Utah. It has been great seeing where they have gone on their paths in life. When I graduated from EHS, the next day I drove to Vernal to see my friends graduate from Uintah High School . I'd wanted to go there SOOO badly. My friends Carol Jo and Paulene were older than me, so they'd gone, and told me about all the fun they had their. I'm certain I was fairly devastated when we moved after 9th grade to Evanston, and I didn't get to go to UHS.

I had lived in Vernal from 2nd grade thru 9th, so I knew alot of people and had many friends. It has been fun getting into contact with them on Facebook. I stopped to see Kim Wall and Cory Hacking in Utah last summer and really enjoyed that. So, I've become an honorary member of the UHS class of 85, and now??? I'm going to attend THAT class reunion instead of my own. I am really looking forward to it. One of my Jr High choir buddies Dana Day Romeny lives in Tucson, and we are going to drive up together the end of July!. One of the reunion activities is going down the Green River from Flaming Gorge - something I used to do with my family. I'm really looking forward to it!! I'm hoping that many of my friends from 9th grade choir will be there also...

YahoO!!! I'm excited!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Lame... I know

I have been a terribly lame blogger lately.

Things have changed, I am no longer employed.. so one would think that I would have time to blog. I spend far too much time on Facebook. I don't know if anyone still checks on me over here.

I knew back in December or so that my job would be ending - due to work demands my position was to become full time, which I did not want to do. It originally was going to end in January... but it took a bit of time to find my replacement, and then I was kept on until the end of May, preparing things for a move of the department to a new location. It worked out nicely, I took the last two working days of May off, went to Colorado with my family for a family reunion, and school is out so I am here with the kids!

They are busy with Volleyball camps, and swimming, I'll have to write more later.
I really need to get busy planning for my Cub Scout den meeting tomorrow! Ack!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Yum, yum, Yum!


I am so not a food blogger, but LOOK!!!




Mark is usually the one who peruses Foodgawker.com looking for
yummy things to eat. He happened to leave it open the other day,
and I saw this Recipe for Gingersnaps with Lemon-Ginger Cream Filling.
My most favorite cookie is Carr's Ginger Lemon Cremes...
SO, what could be better than HOMEMADE! I made them this afternoon
and they are Delish! However, only getting 20 cookies out of all that work, hmmm..
gotta enjoy them. Maybe next time I'll make them a little smaller to get more!
These'll be in the fridge, due to the Cream Cheese... now I have to decide who I'm going to
share them with... Who's been good lately??