Christmas "Letter" 2012

As usual the Gibson family has had a busy year, here are the highlights-

Ty- Loves being a firefighter. His first year with his TRT specialty has been filled with mountain rescues and difficult training exercises, like scaling down the side of the Tempe APS building (The biggest building by Tempe Town Lake) and doing drills/climbing all over Hayden's ferry, to name a few.  They may be difficult but according to Ty they are a lot of fun too.  He also affectionately picked up the nick name "tunnel rat" after getting himself out of some pretty tricky drills that included  working his way through twisty, turney, completely dark tunnels.  I find comfort in the fact that if he were in a building collapse, he could "tunnel rat" his way out of almost anything-with is air tank still on! He has picked up several hobbies, including a garden that took off this summer.  He's not sure which ones will stick, but his love for cooking is definitely becoming a constant.  He does the majority of the cooking at home, and we all love it (especially me!). He is also busy with his calling in our church as cub master.  Planning pack meetings and going to 3 days of scout, although time consuming, has been fun for him too. Not sure how he managed to not have to work at a desk for his career or his calling, but it suits him.  He did however, have no such luck in going back to school to get his bachelors. He is taking online classes, and has to work at a computer for that, but even than he goes outside or at least by a window whenever he can. We are home schooling again this year and Ty really enjoys participating, he comes up with the more creative and active lessons for them.  He finds Joy in watching the kids learn & relishes the extra time too, since his job requires him to be away from home 1/3 of the time.

Megan- I think House Manager has become my official title. Although, CEO of Gibson Incorporated has a better ring to it.  I am homeschooling Cal & Lainey this year.  We have a lot of fun and I especially love our mornings together- eating breakfast and starting lessons in jammies is the best. I am adjusting to the role of "big kid mom" and all the challenges and joys that come along with these miniature people who now have opinions, and interests all their own. I get to spend extra time with Cloey as assistant Activity Day Girls leader (our church equivalent to girl scouts) and I get to spend extra time with my grandma too because I do respite care for her! In January, I reluctantly celebrated turning *gasp* 30. We had a mock Vegas party and went out with my girlfriends, it was a lot of fun, and I have got used to saying "I'm 30".  A good friend introduced me to Bikram Yoga right when I needed it most, and I love it! (If you don't what it is, it's basically 90 min of yoga in a 105 degree room with 40% humidity) Crazy I know, but the practice has done miracles for my poor broken back.  Not to mention stress, anxiety and overall emotional & mental health.  I completed a 60 day challenge (a class everyday for 60 days), and even got a medal! I eased back into my midwife apprenticeship in March, and am really enjoying it. I'm working on my AA degree to include classes that will meet requirements for my licence, and am also starting a midwifery certificate program after the new year.  I am loving taking care of "my mamas" not to mention all the sweet new baby snuggles I get as bonus pay ;) 

Cloey- She's done it again! In March Cloey was discharged from Hospice care. She doesn't need it anymore.  In June we went back to Mayo Clinic and they said "We don't know how or why but as of right now, Cloey has no degenerative conditions".  Well I know why, all the love and prayers for our little girl, I mean young lady :)  Who knows what this means for the future, but for now she is happy and healthy! We are all enjoying her new found freedom without a trach and other health issues slowing her down (read her story here) We were able to go to the Grand Canyon this summer and stay at my childhood cabin which would have been too difficult even one year ago. Cloey is also able to do so much more with us and on her own now that she feels better and doesn't have to have trach supplies and a trained adult everywhere she goes.  There isn't much free time with all the effort she puts into planning her wedding, but somehow she finds time for other things too.   She loves Activity Day Girls and School.  She is still at Brisas Elementary repeating the 4th grade with her same teacher and a long time friend in her class.  She LOVES Taylor swift and falls asleep every night listening to her on her iPad. I sure hope she gets tickets to her concert in May for Christmas ;) She also loves to read, right now she is reading all the Junie B Jones books and has even started the first Harry Potter.
She continues to brighten the day of everyone she comes across with a smile and hug.

Cal- has discovered Minecraft. A computer video game, that is border-lining an obsession. He is still wearing a fedora daily and has developed his own sense of style to go with it.  He likes *some* things about home school and is continuing tutoring for his dyslexia.  He has a great sense of humor about it,  one time referring to closed captioning on the TV as a "dyslexic's nightmare".  He is gaining skills with  his tutoring and it doesn't seem to be holding him back any on his dreams of being an inventor, making video games or doing voice overs when he grows up.  We introduced physics in home school this year and he really loved the experiments so I see more of that in the near future. He will be done with cub scouts in April and really loves participating in the program, especially since dad is a leader. His big finish was winning first place in the pinewood derby! He designed his Angry Birds car all by himself, so it was a great accomplishment.  He is an amazingly sweet and polite boy, who growing way too fast.  He is up to my shoulders now, and more devastatingly handsome everyday.

oh Lainey-bug! such a firecracker.  She is always busy and always talking! she will make up her own "school" when we are done or taking a day off.  She is interested in everything, cooking, working on the car, sewing.  Whatever we are doing she wants to be a part of it and know the how & why of it. One day as I was pumping gas, she wanted to know how it makes the car go. I told it just does, but that wasn't good enough.  Of course I had no idea, so she called dad at work and got a mini lesson on internal combustion.  She agreed to cutting her hair, only if we died the ends pink.  She wears whatever she wants, including pink boots and leggings with just about everything.  Her American doll, Lainie, is a favorite companion & she sleeps in an insand mountain of pillows and animals & never without her "frog eyes" She has recently joined a Daisy troop and really enjoys meeting with the other girls for projects and activities.  She really is a joy to be around.

Last but not least, Brutus & Sheldon (or Shelby, that has yet to be determined)-
Brutus is getting old at 3 years now.  He is a pain sometimes when he runs out the door and I get a call from someone who has my "sweet" dog that "just came right up to them. grrrrrr. or gets in the trash if he has been left alone for too many hours, but for the most part he is a buddy too everyone in the family.  Our newest member Sheldon (or Shelby  is an African Sulcata tortoise that was Cal's birthday present.  He doesn't do much.  He's a tortoise  But the kids love feeding him and watching him when he does move.  Cal can't wait till he is 100 pounds.

From all of us to you, have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

I am not so sure where to start. The last post on here I talked about how overwhelmed and stressed we were at our water leak and having to move. Not only does that seem like forever ago, it also seems laughable. Obviously, the Lord thought we could handle more. 
Many of you read the post I wrote just before I had surgery.

 Everything I said was truth. I felt I had always been honest on the blog before, and had no desire to paint a perfect picture for everyone. I thought our family needed the support of family and friends more than ever and was sick of giving vague answers to everyone. I do not feel like I trashed Ty in any way. I love him, always have.

 I also told Ty that he should read it, before I posted it. He choose not to. The next day I was receiving loving messages from everyone, I quickly realized my blog reached more people than I thought. I didn't want Ty to be blindsided, so that night I told him he should read the blog. He did and he was uncomfortable and upset with the amount of details about our life, and so he later deleted it without telling me.

 I am a much more open person than Ty, maybe more than a lot of people. In hindsight maybe it was a little too raw and personal for a family blog. While I would have left it up, because that was the snapshot of our family at the time, I never intended to cause worry or hurt to anyone, Ty least of all.

The last 10 months have been h*ll for both of us. So here we are, After being separated for nearly 2 months, we are now living together again trying to fix what's broke. Ty is now taking responsibility for choices he made, we are going to counseling and committed to making our family great again.


P.S. If you are worried about our great kids, Thank You. Ty and I have done our best at protecting them from all of this, but no doubt they have been affected by the tension.  We can only hope that surrounding them in our love, will heal them too.

P.P.S. Ty has approved this post.......we are working together now ;)

 A midst all this drama, life does go on. We were busy with lots of great Hope Kids activities and general family fun. Here are the highlights of the last 10 months-

We moved into our new house on June 30th, our 11th anniversary. The water leak and the property management company we were dealing with were a nightmare. We are so grateful for the church and our friends and family that were so helpful and supportive in getting us out of that situation. Especially given what was to come in the following months, I know the move was right for us.

July- Cloey and Cal participated in Buddy Bowling, a league for special kids where they have a typical peer as their "buddy".  Cal was Cloey's buddy and they both had a lot of fun.  Ty and I attempted to attend a home school convention, but as details of the situation between us emerged, we left, making the decision that with our relationship, midwifery and Cloey on Hospice, we would not be able to give the kids what they needed if we continued with the plan to home school them all this year.  They were promptly enrolled in their former school, Brisas.  The school has been wonderful in accommodating them and we now know Brisas was the best place for them this year.

Ty went camping.

We began marriage counceling.

I also "caught" my first baby.

August- I continued with midwifery and providing respite care for my grandma. Ty and I went on a camping trip without kids, while Cloey stayed at Ryan house and Cal & Lainey went to Miss Julie's. Cal started dyslexia tutoring and I was called to be the assistant activity day girls leader (the church equivalant to girl scouts).

My back started to hurt.

September- Cloey had another short Ryan house stay, followed with a family camping trip. Cloey had a really rough time with the altitude, but as always she was a trooper.  I was so excited to take the kids to slide rock because they would be the 7th generation in my family to go.  Unfortunately we were there for all of 5min when Cal slipped and hit the back of his head directly on the red rock.  Ty went over to him and as I watched them from across the creek, I thought "oh great, I am gonna have to convince Ty that he needs stitches because he is going to say he's fine" Just then I see Ty turn Cal around to face him and tell Cal that we needed to go to the hospital.  That is when I freaked out a little bit. If Ty thought we needed to go without even discussing it with me, it was bad.  I have to brag a little here though, the first thing my sweet son did was walk a few feet away, kneel and pray. I am glad the people watching didn't call CPS on us for allowing him to take the time to do this while he was obviously injured.  I am so proud of him. He has such a strong and responsible spirit.  He has Faith.  I learn so much from his example.  What a blessing to know he has this head start before he has really tough decisions to make as he grows.  This kid will be a leader some day. We took him to the ER, he ended up with 9 staples in the back of his head.  They didn't do a CT scan because he didn't completely lose consciousness when it happened, even though he needed to sit down because he was dizzy and almost fell.  They said he did not have a concussion or anything.  By now it was about 5pm, so we decided it would be harder on him to pack up camp and sit in the car for 3 hours, so we ate dinner in Sedona and headed back to camp.  Bad idea.  He started to throw up that night and complained of a terrible headache. He was lethargic, dizzy and basically miserable.  Cloey was also still having a rough time, this made for a really long night. We packed up first thing in the morning and went straight to PCH, where they confirmed a concussion.  Poor kid.

October-  Ty was accepted into TRT (technical rescue team) training.  These are the guys that fly in the helicopters to rescue hikers off the mountain, or people out of cars trapped in flash floods. This is great opportunity for Ty and he really loves it.  He was really excited.  It also meant a 9-5 schedule for 2 months.  My back was killing me as I suffered to keep up with prenatals, caring for my grandma, kids and house and everything else.  I went to the chiropractor and doctors to no avail.  Finally, on the 25th, I saw a spine specialist who sent me straight to the hospital where I was admitted.  I had an extruded and torn disc. My right arm had gone numb and I was losing strength and and control in it as well. Not to mention the EXCRUCIATING pain, and remember I have had 3 natural births.  I consider myself a pretty tough chick.  I had surgery the next morning.  I had a discectomy and  two of my cervical vertebrae were fused.  It was pretty scary.  I was lucky enough to have one of the best spine surgeons in AZ. He was Cloey's surgeon for her fusion.  In recovery I had feeling in my arm again.  The whole ordeal was rough, I honestly don't remember most of October and November.  I couldn't even wash my own hair.  Ty was in TRT school, which was an added stress. Not to mention our unstable relationship at the time.  It was so hard, I don't even know how else to explain it, just freakin hard.  I do know we had LOTS of help.  Family, Friends, Church, they all stepped up, again. The prayers for me and my family were felt too.  I can't express my gratitude for those who helped. Somehow things were taken care of, even if I wasn't aware of it. Thank You so much, you know who you are even if I don't :)

 I am told my kids got dressed up and went trick-or-treating for Halloween too.

November- More of a blur. Ty continued TRT school.  My sister graciously came over and handled all of the thanksgiving meal, since I was so out of it.  I was forced to give up my apprenticeship since I still had numbness and fine motor problems with my right arm.  I was also still in a lot of pain and had limited movement in my neck. I was so sad, I knew I would be a midwife someday, but at that point it seemed like it would be years before I was well and found another apprenticeship.  I returned to online classes, thinking I would focus on my degree until I healed.

December- Ty graduated TRT school and started getting interested in Fly fishing, his new favorite therapy/past time. We separated and then had family portraits taken that were already scheduled through Hope kids. The kids were really cute, but I'll admit it was pretty awkward between Ty and I.

Thanks to some secret Santa's we had a pretty good Christmas.  Ty was actually off Christmas day, so that was nice. We all enjoyed spending the day as a family.

January- Lainey started gymnastics! She is a little monkey and absolutely loves it.  She is at it good too, if you ask me :) I also had a fun time celebrating the first anniversary of my 29th birthday.

The hurt and stress between us was mounting, so I took a mini-vacay and stayed in a hotel in Scottsdale for a few days.  

February- We went to WICKED! It was Cloey's Christmas present from grandma Leslie. If you know Cloey, you know she loves the theater. It was an amazing show.  Even though Cloey wasn't feeling well, she had a good time nonetheless.  As I got further from my surgery and the stress continued, I needed something to help me get out of my depressed funk, manage my anxiety,  and build strength in my back to try to heal and see what limitations I would really be living with for the rest of my life. I had mixed feelings about starting physical therapy and needed more of a whole body, whole mind approach, so I thought I'd try hot yoga first.  Bikram says if you give his yoga 60 days, it will change your life.  That is exactly what I needed, so with the support of a bestie I tried it out. I was doubtful at first, but faithfully went everyday. Ty was very supportive in this endeavor and watched the kids whenever I needed to go. even helped me get my water bottle and towel sometimes when I was running late.  I recently finished my 60 day challenge and could write a whole blog post about the amazing benefits I have experienced both physically and mentally.

Circumstances were such that I contacted a lawyer and reluctantly started the divorce process.  We were at a crossroads, and Ty choose to come home.

I was also offered the aprenticship back half time, and I accepted.

March- We settled back into family life at home.  I eased back into midwifery.  Cal earned his bear badge in cub scouts.  Cloey was also discharged from Hospice, more on her journey to come at

Cloey also turned 11! (look for a birthday post next)

6 months is better then a year right?

I must be getting old because time just seems to go by faster and faster....

In December Cloey and cal performed at a ward party, they even learned little dances and It was so stinkin adorable! and Ty was home for Christmas for the first time in 3 years! the kids were actually kind of bummed that Santa wasn't gonna come early this year, but It was really nice to Have Christmas Morning with our little family all together.

January brought my 29th birthday (once again, I'm getting old) and general crazy business. I was really starting to get involved with my apprenticeship and helping with my grandma, so there was a lot of adjusting going on. Ty and I entered the world of smart phones and now we don't know how we lived without them :) Cal also earned a lot of badges and arrow points at scouts. Lainey had her first teeth cleaning at the Dentist and brought along her American Girl "Laine" doll. the dentist cleaned her teeth too ;)

February I was invited by MGA healthcare to attend an IPPC conference on Palliative care for children. The conference included doctors from the pediatric hospitals in the valley and many other pediatric organizations here as well. Our input as parents on how things should be, was received very well and I have already seen changes happening. Mostly it was great to see Doctors actually care and express their frustration with the system too! And then make action plans to change it. I hope my input of what I have learned over the last 10 years helps make things better for other children & families just starting on this painful road.

March Cloey is freaking 10! I still can't believe it. We had a "pretend" sleep over and it was so fun to see what a young lady she is becoming. We participated in the Ryan House Run, on of the organizations most dear to my heart, Cloey got to be a celebrity and see a lot of her friends from the house there. Grandpa Cherry was with us and that was a special treat! And Ty started working at a (what we thought) was a permanent station, turns out he will be moving to another one in January, but at least he is not a rover moving around everyday anymore.

April My baby turned 5! we had a fun little party with her preschool friends at peter piper. She has really blossomed into a big girl so far this year. I got to run away to Colorado to visit my Best Friend! I had never flown on an airplane by myself before. It was a much needed break, and so great to spend time with my bestie! I did miss my family though, so maybe next year we can all go. We had a ward egg hunt and Cloey guessed right on the jelly bean jar and won it! Cal man turned 9 and he came up with a Star Wars Party all on his one, he made the invitations, gave us a shopping list and everything. He and Ty had a lot of fun ;) We attended the Easter Pagent at the Mesa Arizona Temple and on Easter Sunday we visited Grammy and roasted peeps, I think that might become a tradition everybody loved it so much! Then we came home to a water spot on our carpet and so began our woes with our rental agency. After 2 days of no hot water and a huge puddle in the middle of our house, we received permission to stay at a hotel. It took them nearly a month to reimburse us and they were lying and rude the whole time. It has been a stressful mess and sucked away a lot of our precious time. Ty also took Cal to Father's and son's while all this was going on and he got a flat tire on the way out of town! Some great people from our ward saved us so they could still make it. When Ty got back, he went straight to a camp out at Lainey's preschool.

May We had our annual family birthday party for the kids. We love to see all of our family together supporting our little one's as they grow. I also attended a mother's day tea at Lainey's preschool. She was so proud, it was a joy to see her being such a big girl. May is almost as crazy as December with all the end of school year activities. Thankfully I won't be dealing with all that next year since we have chosen to home school all the kiddos. I also started doing respite care through the state for my grandma, which basically means I am more consistent with helping, and I am getting paid a little bit too, which we can really use, so it has turned out so far to be a win/win situation. We also signed Cloey onto Hospice service. ( for details)

We have also been able to attend fun events through HopeKids, Make a Wish and Ryan House. We got to meet Elmo and Grover after attending Sesame Street Live, Meet Mickey and Minnie, go to Cracker Jacks when they were invaded by Star Wars characters, See an Annie performance, and probably more that I am missing. We are fortunate that it seems like every week we have an opportunity to attend a fun event, gives us something to look forward to and a way to spend this precious time together having fun.

  • The Lobdells came to visit us! we had a great time and the kids were so happy to see their friends again, it has been almost a year since they moved.
  • Cal & Ty went to scout day camp for 3 days and judging from the pictures and shear level of exhaustion, I think they had a good time.
  • We are doing the summer reading club at the library and the weekly summer movies to keep busy this summer and the kids are all enjoying looking forward to those activities.
  • Cal and Cloey are also buddy bowlers in an adaptive legue for Tempe.
  • We had a second leak in our house, and Cloey and Cal suspisiouly got pnemonia (posibly from mold?) The agency refused to even send us somewhere to stay while they repaired it, which included a jack hammer to the cement with dust everywhere for all of us including Cloey through her trach, to breath in. After 6 weeks of wet carpet and being treated horribly we requested to break our lease. They agreed, but now we have to be out on June 30th, our 11th anniversary. The last thing we wanted to do was move after 7 months and with Cloey on Hospice, but we have spent too much precious time fighting with the agency or dealing with a mess or no hot water. I don't want to bore you with all the tedious details, but basically moving is the lesser of to crappy options. My stress level has been almost unbearable, which is saying something. We have been crying (well not Ty so much), praying and worrying more then usual. We have also had angels all around us, helping us here and there, with a meal, paying for the hotel stays, an ear listen, listings for houses, legal advice, fans to dry out the carpet, and so much more. Otherwise there is NO WAY I would have survived and be able to move forward after having this happen now, while we are adjusting to Hospice. So, here we go again and hopefully we will find somewhere close, big enough, in our price range & stable, which is exactly what we need right now.
  • My next post should be from our new house! wish us luck......

oops! another year has past.......

here's the run down.....

In JANUARY Cloey started Special Olympics track & field! She was on a unified team, meaning she had a typical peer to help her and their scores were averaged. She had a lot of fun and won 3 medals! She also won 1st place at a Special Olympics Dance contest. As a family we went up North for a "snow day" after a big storm. the kids really had fun, but everybody agreed it was fun to visit but wouldn't be fun to live with!

In FEBRUARY we went to a hoop dancing competition at the Heard museum with grandma (my mom). I enjoyed going to these when I was a kid and was excited to share that experience with my kids. I think they thought it was pretty cool. Cal started going to Lego Club at the local library with one of his best friends and it became a much looked forward to activity every other week. He also started a home school enrichment program where he goes to "school" every Friday with other home schooled kids and works on science and fun enrichment activities. He's made a lot of friends there and really enjoys it. I enjoy not having to teach Science at home anymore ; )

MARCH brought Cloey's 9th birthday! I told her she wasn't allowed to be 10 because that would mean I was old. She still asks me if she can "please be 10" I haven't agreed to let that happen yet. Our family participated in the Make-a-Wish walk. It felt good to give back to an organization that gave so much to us, It was a lot of fun too! We went to the Easter egg hunt in our neighborhood and of course the Easter bunny came

APRIL was crazy busy. We participated in CAST fishing day, a special day at lake pleasant were special kids and their families are given the opportunity to go fishing. Generous Fisherman took us out on their boats, Lainey was the only one who actually caught a fish and she loved it! Shy little Lainey was laughing and giggling and even reached out and touched it on her own. Cal and Ty have never had a successful fishing day despite several attempts so this was especially funny since Lainey was on my boat and their boat was the one that came up empty handed. At the end they wanted a picture of the "CAST kid" with the fish, so we held the fish up next to Cloey and she backed up as far as she could she wanted nothing to do with it, but she got a fish trophy anyway and is very proud of it! Lainey turned 4 and had a diva party at the nail salon with a few of her friends. Cloey had her 10th set of ear tubes placed, this time they put in semi-permanent T-tubes and we haven't had any problems since (knock on wood) Ty participated in the Pat Tilman, he enjoyed it and hopes to do it again next year. He also took Cal on an overnight Father's & son's outing, They rode around in a jeep and shot things. That's all I know & probably all I want to know. They both said they had a lot of fun.

MAY brought Cal's Baptism! I can't believe what a big boy he has become. It was exciting to see him growing up and making decisions for himself. We are so proud of him. We also started taking Cloey to Ryan House. A hospice & palliative care facility for children. This place is so fun & full of loving volunteers to listen to all of Cloey's "Guess What?'s" It gives us the opportunity to take Cal & Lainey to things like water parks & camping that Cloey can't do. It also gives them (and us) a break from her constant care. The facility has nurses & volunteers around the clock, but it feels more like camp then a hospital. The unexpected benefit has been the all the great friends she has made. I also started helping out with my Grandma (who is trying to fix up her house) & Great Grandma (who moved to a care home in Gilbert) more. Both of these women did so much for me growing up, I'm enjoying helping them now.

JUNE We took a 5 day trip to my family's cabin, near Flagstaff. Cloey got to go to Ryan house & we took the other kids to play in the woods I played in as a kid. We got to visit with Ty's cousin's family and had a really good time at the park in the cooler weather. I believe we also played a game of Uno late into the night, Cal won. I got to run away with my girlfriends to see Eclipse (the best of the twilight movies so far) and.........WE CELEBRATED OUR 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!!! we got to go to a Scottsdale resort alone. (thanks Ryan house & J), we ate at fancy restaurants, window shopped at Scottsdale fashion square, & hung out by the pool and looked like regular 20 somethings who don't have 3 kids at home and a schedule full of Doctor appointments, therapies, meetings, IEP plan meetings at school, and beeping breathing machines. Guess what we found out?! We still REALLY like each other. It was great. but we did miss our little guys and the hugs we got when we got home were extra sweet.

JULY gave us a special visit from one of my best friends growing up & her new husband . (My Aunt who I spent every summer with). It was a welcome visit, They hung out with lonely me on the 4th while Ty worked. We also took a trip to Cincinnati Children's hospital to try and get some answers for Cloey. (read about it at

AUGUST we were given GREAT seats to a Diamondback game by Ryan house, It was a lot of fun, Cal & Ty got to go with his best friend and his dad, and got a baseball! Then me Ty, Cal & Lainey went and Cal got another one! The seats were so close and right behind the dugout, we could see the sweat on the guys faces, even I thought it was cool. Cloey wasn't able to go because it was not handicapped seating, but Make-A-Wish provided us with some tickets later and we all got to go that time. They had so much fun & Baxter danced with Cloey. we took Cal & Lainey to Wet-n-wild water park too. That place is crazy! but the kids loved it, and we had fun chasing them around. Then my BFF moved away. We were all sad to see her family go, my kids lost their BFF's too. I guess this means we will have to vacation in CO at some point : )

SEPTEMBER I was in a stupid car accident, nobody was really hurt. I was sore from the airbag but cal was totally fine. We were the only one's in the car. It shook me up pretty good and really did a number on our van, which we were in no place to repair. Luckily some angels were there for us and we will never forget that. We realized how lucky we are that nobody was seriously hurt and that we have people who love us & are there for us. Then Ty turned 30 (better him then me) I took him fishing and to Dave's BBQ for lunch. Than another pretty lady took him to a dance (Cloey) he says it was a pretty good day. Little Lainey also started Preschool! She has really opened up and is loving it.

OCTOBER After fighting with Cloey's school for 18 months, they once again refused to provide the services she requires. They thought she was unable to learn in the classroom, and even though AZ disability law assured me that we had a case, we decided that if they didn't want our Cloey they weren't gonna have the blessing of having her in their school! This combined with Ty working in Scottsdale, my grandma needing help in Tempe, and all the other things we were driving around for, made us make the tough decision to move to Tempe. Someday we will be able to settle down. On the up side Ty and the kids buikt an awesome box fort in our new backyard that provided hours of fun. Ty work on Halloween, but was home for our church party the day before so we got to go to that together as a family and get to know our new ward. Cal was a bounty hunter from Star Wars the Clone Wars, Cloey was Ariel & Lainey was a Lainey-bug Princess. They are getting so big!

NOVEMBER After doing a little lactation counseling & teaching childbirth classes, I was offered a midwife apprenticeship. This is something I thought I would do after my kids were much older, and honestly didn't think I could do with Cloey. The midwife I am apprenticing with has been flexible and people in my life have really stepped up to help out and make it possible. I am really loving it and although it is a lot of hard work and I haven't quite figured out how to balance it with my family, I really think it's something I can be good at some day.

We are loving our little family and most of the time we love the craziness too. Thanks to all of you for peaking into, or being apart of our lives. And to all of our angels (you know who you are) We love you and THANK YOU for all you do!

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

So far 2010 is looking pretty good. I had a great birthday which was totally unexpected since I am getting too old to have fun birthdays anymore and the calendar is already filling up with fun activities. Can't wait to see what the year has in store. Enjoy the slide show of 2009!

Merry Christmas!

So since it has been a year since I updated I decided to go ahead and forgo the Christmas letter this year and do this post in place of it. Maybe my New Years resolution should be to stay more on top of this blog.....

In February we took the plunge and moved to Gilbert. We love all the young families out here. There are kids everywhere to play with. At any given time there will literally be 20 kids playing on our street. It also feels so good to be in a house with a garage and a yard! I will admit it has been hard adjusting to some things, we loved so many people and the school where we were, but new friends are helping it feel more like home every day.

In March Cloey turned eight years old and was baptized. It was a very touching and spiritual event for our family.

In April we had a fun Easter in our new house, Cal turned 7 and Lainey turned 3. Cloey also got to go to the musical Cats thanks to Grandma Doris. It was so fun Cloey was smiling the whole time. We were in the front row handicapped seating and when the cats came out with only green eyes lit up, one sneaked up on Cloey, and she got so scared she hit it on the head with her program! I was afraid we would be kicked out, but instead the cast paid special attention to her through the whole show. In May I got to go to a No Doubt concert with my sisters. Gwen put on a great show and we had a lot of fun. On the Fourth of July we went to Schnepf farms. It was one of the only holidays Ty had off, so we made sure to have a fun day together. All except for waiting in line FOREVER so the kids could ride a pony. We also went camping in July. We had to leave Cloey at home since she needed to be on the ventilator at night, and just requires so much care in general, that it would not be enjoyable for her or the rest of us. It was tough to leave her at home. Something we have put off as long as possible, our family has never really been camping because of it, but it was time. The trip was a good experience for Cal and Lainey to just be kids and not have to live on Cloey's care schedule for a couple days, and Cloey was none the wiser being spoiled at home. We also received a great gift in July. Ty's cousin nominated us for a program where a group of photographers choose a family with a critically ill member to do a photo shoot with and give them all the photos with copyright. Cloey was chosen! J'lynn Mak photography did a great job and gave us some beautiful photos we will treasure forever. In August, my aunt Becky married her high school sweet heart and Cloey and Cal were flower girl and ring bearer. It was a gorgeous ceremony. We were glad to be a part of it and wish them the best. It was in California (which Cal says he owns since it has his name on it) so we selfishly took the opportunity to take a mini family vacation and got to Knotts Berry Farm and the Beach. September welcomed a new bundle of joy-Brutus Ferdinand Willoughby, a Yorkshire terrier that fits right into our family. He keeps me company on the nights Ty is gone and the kids love to help take care of and play with him. We have had a few shoe casualties, but all in all he's been way worth the damage and shows promise to grow up to be a well behaved pup. In October our family was hit with the Swine Flu. All I can say is it sucked. Thankfully we all made it through-eventually. We also were part of my sister Emily's wedding. Cloey got to be flower girl and I was the Matron of Honor (ewww that sounds so old!). Ty was home for Halloween, so we got to trick-or-treat as a family. Our neighborhood was so cool! Nearly every house was decked out, there was smoke, a life size pirate ship, homemade scones and of course CANDY CANDY CANDY. The kids had a blast. November brought a Mayo trip. Ty's job allowed him to go with us which eased the load tremendously and we came home with good news! Check her blog for all the details (

Ty has completed his year of probation with the Scottsdale Fire Department. He received excellent reviews all year and I am very proud of him. He has had some experiences that have made him grow both as a Firefighter and a person. He really enjoys what he does and is making friends along the way. It seems like every week he's telling me something else he wants to be involved in at the department.

I have decided to home school the kids this year. It has been a rough start and we still haven't worked the kinks out, but the pros out weigh the cons, and we enjoy learning together as a family. I have been fighting with the school district all year to get Cloey the support she needs, and it looks like she will be going to school for special education with a nurse as her aid, part time beginning in January. After completing some classes online I have narrowed down what it is I want to do and am completing a distance program to become a Certified Lactation Educator. I hope to have a support group going by the spring.

Cloey left her old girl scout troop when we moved and now does Activity Days through the Church. There is something like 20 girls and they have all welcomed Cloey with open arms. She really enjoys being their friend and feeling like a big kid. Her and Lainey have become very-shall we say- independent this year. In a lot of ways, it's like we have twin 3 year old girls. Cal enjoyed a Hip Hop dance class and basketball. He also went on several field trips with grandma to museums and had a day at the Riparian preserve where he learned about leaves and rocks.

This time of year holds a special place in our hearts. We love the spirit that can be felt. It reminds us what really matters in life. We Love all of you we are lucky enough to call family and friends. Merry Christmas!

Daddy Daughter Dance!

Ty escorted Cloey to her first dance. It was with her Daisy Girl Scout Troop at a local elementry school. She did her nails to match her shoes, and did her "movie star" hair. That's what she calls it when we straighten it, I wanted her to leave it in her beautiful curls but when I told her she would be dressing up for her "date" she requested her "movie star" hair. So, it begins already. Ty got her a corsage to match her dress and everything. It was sooooooo cute!