Sunday, April 29, 2007


Here is a picture of Jessica and her friend, Tanya. Tanya and Jess have been friends for quite a few years. Tanya moved away a few years ago and it's a RARE occasion that these girls get to see each other. Tanya's sister had a baby so Tanya and her mom came into town this weekend to see the new baby. They stopped by and visited us, too. It was really good to see our friends again!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Pokemon Philosophy

Jessica got her new Pokemon Diamond game for the nintendo DS today. She has been wandering around capturing pokemon on the game most of the day. This evening she showed me that one pokemon that she captured has evolved already.

It looks like a beaver.

She said, "Mom, do you know what "evolve" in Japanese means?"

Not knowing any Japanese I said no.

Jess: "It means to me the same as what we do in our lives. We start out as babies and as we get older we learn and grow and change, just like Pokemon do."

I realized that she was thinking that the word "evolve" was a Japaneses word. lol... I didn't correct her, I just listened to her deep philosophical thoughts.

Jess continues: "So we are like Pokemon because we change too. Huh, Mom?" Of course I agreed.

I have been trying to teach Jessica this very concept for a very long time. You see, she is "stuck" at about a 7 to 8 year old level. I'm not saying that she can't learn but she seems to forget what she learns and she is too ill to go to school very often so academically she isn't progressing very rapidly. I could help her more at home but I have decided to not push academics onto her and let her enjoy her life. We do things together and I take opportunities to help her but I don't set a time frame for her to do certain work like homeschooling moms do. She doesn't need to stress out about school work when her body is struggling to just survive. Also, another interesting thing, is that emotionally she seems to have digressed in the last few years instead of progressing. She cries very easily, gets her feelings hurt, throws a few temper tantrums, gets scared of the dark and other behaviors that I thought she had once outgrown. (yes, I know that teenagers throw temper tantrums too but the way she carries on is the same as when she was much younger. Her pediatric cardiologist said, "She handles herself like a pediatric patient." I thought that was a very good way of describing her. She is very innocent and sensitive. I wouldn't want her any other way, really. But one thing that she has noticed is that a lot of her friends have gone on and left her in their dust so-to-speak. Most of her friends from church who are her age are away at college and/or have jobs. Jessica prefers to play with her barbies and play her pokemon games. Even other special ed kids have graduated and have part time jobs in the community. One of Jessica's special ed teachers left the school last year to take a different job and the other main special ed teacher is retiring this year. There are only a handful of people at the high school who she really knows well anymore. I wonder how long it will be until Jess decides she doesn't want to go to school anymore.... it's not as if she goes very often anyway. Jessica's pediatrician is retiring - long story short- we had to leave him a year ago and find another primary care doctor (who pales in comparison and we miss the pediatrician so much!). Even Jessica's brothers are growing and progressing. Brandon doesn't like to play with the action figures at all anymore and Austin will still play with her sometimes. Justen is working, driving and even going to his own ward for church that is suited for the young adults.

Everyone and everything is changing around her and she doesn't understand it.... until maybe... just maybe... today.

My dad taught me that the only constant in life is change.

Hopefully the Pokemon can teach Jessica the same thing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

*Snap* Crackle* Pop*

This is what my computer monitor did today. Well, there wasn't any smoke but it did make some zapping sounds and then the picture went out. After that there were just some clicking sounds as if it was turning itself on and off. It has been threatening to die by making zapping noises and scaring the children for several days now. So Karl decided to bring Justen's monitor out here just for the day until we could decide what to do. Well... that monitor's cord wasn't long enough so we just decided to go shopping for a new one!

So, Jessica heard us talking about buying a new monitor. (She is easily confused and still thinks the monitor is the computer, but oh well) She came to me and said, "Mom, how about I buy the computer for you?" (She is now receiving Social Security and has no clue how to manage the money or what the value of money is at all. Good thing the government made me the payee or all she would buy would be games, toys and coloring books. hehe)

Me: "Oh really? YOU want to buy the computer monitor?"

Jess: "Sure! You can use my money the government gives me." Then she comes over and sits by the computer. Then she says, "Mom, if I buy the computer then can I be on the computer ALL THE TIME?"

I start to giggle and say, "No, but you can have your turns, just like you do now."

Jess: "Ok. I'll give you fourteen dollars of my money for the computer."

I start to laugh, "Fourteen dollars? Is that all? A monitor is probably going to be around $200!"

Jess: "OK! Sixteen dollars and that's MY FINAL OFFER!" She looks at me very seriously and says, "I can't SELL you twenty dollars... that is just TOO MUCH! Besides, I need to have enough money to buy the Pokemon Diamond game!"

By this time I was laughing pretty good. I then remembered when she was much younger (and so was my dad) she asked me how old grandpa is and I responded "He's 50." Jess got all excited and said, "WOW! THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY!" ROFL!!! She is such a cutie. She's my little girl!

She thinks that her $16 bought our new flat-screen monitor. hehe... but hey, we did get a good deal on it... it was $179. Not too bad of a price.

Monday, April 23, 2007


This week's photohunter's theme is Steps. This was the first thing that came to my mind. I scrapbooked this page about my youngest son, Austin. He was always climbing onto everything. Of course you have to take steps in order to climb so I hope this pictures fits into the "Steps" category. Click onto the image and enlarge it if you like.

He was so cute! He would throw the toys onto the floor and then climb into the plastic bin we used as his toy box. He loved to step up into the fridge, stand or sit on the high chair tray (if we left it on the floor) and take the pots and pans out of the cupboard and climb into it. Sometimes I miss my "baby!" He's 11 years old now. They grow up too fast!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wow, What a Day!

First of all, Jessica and I went for haircuts. We have been trying to find a time for us both to get nice, cool summer cuts. I have been growing my hair long for quite a few years now and I finally made up my mind to get it cut off. Short! I had 10 inches taken off and am donating it to Locks of Love. I am doing so in honor of my nephew, Marcus, who is battling brain cancer (who is doing very well right now, by the way). Anyway... my friend, Keri, has donated her hair 3 times to Locks of Love in the last few years and I have been there with her the last 2 times. Keri and her family are moving out of state next week (*wahhh!!*) and so we went today so she could be there with me when I have my hair whacked off (*gulp*!). She brought her youngest son, Tyler, with her and had a hair cut too. We took turns babysitting - there's a picture of Tyler later on in this post.

Here are the pictures!

The day before... ok, I'm trying hard to be cute and not show how nervous I am to have my hair cut off. It's long, thick and of course HOT! (not HOT hot, but hot... well, Karl thinks it's Hot)

Today at the salon right before the big SNIP!

This is my friend, Lisa, who happens to work at the salon. She is about to cut off my hair.

This is my "after" picture. It's not quite true to how cute the cut is... we took this picture tonight right before Karl and the kids went to bed. I was (still am) tired and my hair was kind of tired too. hehe... The lighting isn't that great either, but meh....

Here is the back. All that curl is NATURAL!! Now don't you just want to go jump off a cliff out of jealousy? hehe... What's funny is that the front of my hair... the bangs and sides... are pretty straight but the back is really curly. Go figure!

Here is Miss Jess during her haircut. See how long her bangs were?

This is how much she got cut off the back. Not long enough to donate, but she really needed it cut - she was really hot and got tired of having it put up in pony tails all the time.

Isn't she gorgeous?!

Here are Jessica and Tyler petting a dog that came into the salon with her owners. There is a story behind this sweet dog. Her name is Chemo. I asked the older gentleman (who came into the salon with his wife) if there was a reason her name was Chemo. He said yes. He motioned to his wife and said, "She had Chemo. I turned it down and bought her (motioning to the dog) instead. SHE (the dog) is my therapy. I could see so much emotion and love between the two older people and the dog. As we spoke I realized that the wife had battled cancer with chemo. The husband has decided not to take chemo - could be that his cancer could be too far progressed for it to do much good - so he got a dog and named her Chemo. This sweet couple are spending what time they have left on HIS terms. The are living life. They got the dog from the Humane Society and she is such a sweet, patient dog. I don't know this couple's names but I pray the are able to spend some great, quality time and that Chemo, the dog, is great therapy and helps the gentleman survive longer than expected.

Last but not least... today was mine and Karl's 22nd anniversary! We went out to dinner at the Olive Garden. mmmmmm....... it was wonderful! We had fun and really enjoyed ourselves. I wanted an anniversary picture to post here and so we had Brandon, our 13yr old, take the following pictures. Again, the lighting wasn't that great but we don't really have a photo studio so we just have to do the best that we can with what little wall space we have.

Still in love after 22 years. Go us!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Lunch with Friends

I took Jessica to see her psychiatrist (we have been tweaking her meds to try to reduce her anxiety and help her sleep) and then we met with some friends for lunch. These are two of our friends from our support group, Tu Nidito. Pat (in the red) and Susan (in the white) are volunteers for Tu Nidito and we have known them for several years. As a treat, we meet with Susan for lunch from time to time. We were so lucky that Pat was able to join us today. Pat's husband has been ill this past year so we haven't seen Pat much because she has been tending to her husband. Fortunately her husband's health is improving and she was able to come out for lunch with us! What a nice surprise!

Here are Pat and Susan with Jessica. Jessica made the necklace that Susan is wearing. If you click on the picture, you can see it a little better. Jessica spelled out Susan's name with the beads. If we had known that Pat was going to be there, Jessica would have made a necklace for her, too. Jessica also drew a picture for Susan. She loves making things for others. In fact, she usually draws pictures for her doctors and nurses every time we go in to see them too.

Tonight Jess is having a hard time going to sleep. I'm sure she got over-tired but she had such a good time! We have hair appointments scheduled in the am so I hope she goes to sleep soon so we can get up and get our hair cut tomorrow. I'll take before and after pictures. I can't wait!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I just started doing this fun thing called Photo Hunters. If you click on the Photo Hunters logo above, it will take you to the instructions on how to participate. The founder of Photo Hunters, TNChick, also has a blogroll so you can go check out other people who are posting photos if you like. There is a new theme each Saturday. This week's theme is "Hobby". TNChick has a schedule posted for all of 2007 so if you want to participate, you can see ahead of time what themes are coming up and you can take your pictures and get them ready. Of course I'm not that organized so I am posting a picture of one of my Creative Memories Scrapbooking Retreat pictures from a couple of years ago. I am a CM consultant because I LOVE to scrapbook, meeting and helping people and I LOVE discounts. hehe... This is a picture of us showing off some of our favorite pages we made during our weekend.

Left to right in back: Mona, Reesa, Denise, Julie
Left to right in Front: Me and Valerie

I have so many hobbies that I don't have time/money/room to do them all. Did I mention that my hubby is building me a craft room? I like to paint, sew, sing, play the piano, scrapbook, make cards, write in my blog, take photos and other artsy/crafty things. I showed off several pieces that my hubby and I made here. He does the woodworking and I do the decorative painting.

Update: Well, this isn't really an update, just something I thought I would add. The first few years of Jessica's life were very difficult. She was hospitalized over 35 in just the first 3 years. She would get deathly ill from just a cold. She also had two heart surgeries and suffered strokes which left her blind, paralyzed, and other very difficult complications. With a lot of love, tears, and endless hours of therapy she was able to recover most of what she had lost. Those days were very stressful and as I look back on that time I mainly remember the difficult times. Once I started scrapbooking, I found a lot of pictures of Jessica smiling and having fun. I hadn't taken many pictures of her when she was very sick, I had mostly taken pictures on the good days. It was therapy for my soul to be able to scrapbook the good memories. I really enjoy getting those albums out and seeing her beautiful smiling face when she was so little. There are times that I wish I had taken a few more pictures of her in the hospital - mainly so others will know what she went through and what a strong person she is, but at the time I knew I would never forget and I didn't want pictures to remind me how awful things were for her. I have done some scrapbooking for my sons, too and I am having fun remembering them as little guys. I am currently working on my youngest son's album. I have realized that whether a child dies or grows up they will never be this age again - so enjoy it NOW! I take a lot of pictures and really enjoy posting them here on my blog and putting them in albums.

An award!!!

I have been tagged left, right and sideways lately and I will catch up, at least I will try to. I also received the Thinking Bloggers Award. *gah!* Who knew I could think much less that I made others think too? hehe... I was given this grand award by Ruth from her blog Reign From Above.

Here are the rules:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).
Thank you Ruth for that award. So now it's my turn to choose 5 worthy bloggers to hand this award over to. It's hard since even though I haven't been blogging all that long, I have come accross some really great blogs.

1. Jenny from Jenny's Thoughts. Jenny is very honest and open about her family of 8. Her youngest son, William, was born with congenital heart defects (CHD) and then he suffered a stroke. I "met" Jenny on a CHD support group. William is doing very well right now. Jenny homeschools all her children and shares their ups and downs as well as all the funnies inbetween. I appreciate her comments on the struggles and the joys of being married. One of her most recent posts that I loved was: One toe's worth of affection

2. Terri from Steel Magnolia. Terri's son, Matthew, also has a CHD and has really been through a lot in his short life. You can see and read about this cute little guy here: Matthew's Blog. Matthew receives his health insurance through his dad's workplace. They have a $2 million cap and Matthew has almost reached it before even turning 2 years old. Terri and her husband, Mike, were able to get the cap raised to $4 million but were still not satisfied because their state has no program available for them if Matthew, or other children like him, were to run out of insurance. Terri and Mike recently testified in front of their state's legislatures to support a bill to help the uninsured middle class. I am soooo proud of them!

3. Tim from The Special Zipper. No, this is not one of "those" sites... hehe.. Tim is in Australia and has a son, Connor, who has CHD. Tim has organized several auctions and trades to help raise money for children with CHD in Australia. I find that I have to really think when reading some of his posts since being "down under" his writing style is a bit different than most blogs I read. My hat's off to you Tim for the work you are doing to help other CHD families.

4. Julia from My Adventures and Antics. Julia is a mom of 4 and you guessed it, her son, Jacob, has CHD. I guess this is what happens when a mother of a CHD child (me) goes out into cyberspace... she finds lots of other loving, caring, mothers (and fathers) of CHD children. CHD seems to bring us together like a huge magnet gathering all the paper clips spread out on the desk. It's a difficult thing to bear some days but it's so comforting to find others who "know" what you are going through. Anyway, Jacob recently had what his mom called a "mini surgery" and came through it with flying colors! Go Jacob! Julia shares her thoughts and wit as she goes through life trying not to be a klutz (like me!). Here's her latest post about that subject: A bone to pick and a carpet to clean.

5. Emily Elizabeth for her blogs about her two children: Lovely and Amazing (Emma) and Gabriel's Heart. I don't recall how I found her blogs but I've been hooked since finding them. Emma was born with Down Syndrome. She is an amazing little girl and just a cute as can be. Here is my favorite post about Emma: Meet Miss Emma Jayne. Gabriel has CHD and is awaiting a second heart surgery - next month in fact. In this post: Panic Attack Emily describes what is going on with Gabriel's heart and what needs to be done next. She intricuitly describes the thoughts and feelings that I experienced every time Jessica was due for another heart surgery. I appreciate her candidness and hope I can help her through this journey.

If I could, I would award it to EVERY blog I read but alas, the rules say only 5. So feel free to look at the list of blogs I read and visit them all. They are all different - some are more lighthearted and funny, some are more spiritually based, most are of hope and encouragement, and all are written by amazing people!

In fact, that reminds me to update my list.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

More About Miss Jess

I had sent out an email two days ago to our CHD support groups along with some family and friends. I only posted part of that email here in my last post "Rough Day". Parts of the email that I did not post here were about how ill Jessica is becoming in general. Here's part of that email:

Jessica is not doing very well. She seems to be deteriorating right before our very eyes. It's subtle, but it's definitely there. She fatigues more easily, gets more short of breath faster, has more aches and pains and says "I don't feel well" many times every day. She feels lonely but going out exhausts her. She went to school a couple of weeks ago and just 3 short hours completely wore her out. I couldn't believe how fatigued and blue she was. I went to her school IEP and they offered home schooling. I declined because she wants to go to school for the socialization. She has only been to school 4 or 5 times this whole school year.

I also explained that she hasn't been able to go to church in a long, long time due to fatigue. By the time we get her ready she is worn out. There are other obstacles but are boring and don't have anything to do with Jess so I won't go into all that. Let's just say that I don't get to go to church very often and I miss it.

I realize that I should tell Jessica's whole story here, the support groups and to everyone. I always worry about sounding like I'm whining but people who know me and know our situation assure me that I'm not whining at all. I'm telling it like it is. My daughter's story is an exceptional one. One of tragedy and miracles, milestones we never thought we would see and yet heartache we never thought we'd experience. I am thinking of starting a blog just to tell her story in bits and pieces as I have time/energy/and am emotionally ready to divulge certain things. I have a short(ish) version of her story on a website: JENSENLAND and click on Jessica's Journey with CHD. It hasn't been updated in awhile but it covers all of her heart surgeries and the love and support of many people. She has made some remarkable recoveries from strokes and other things so if you can, go and read it. I'll be posting her updates here. The following is today's update:

I spoke to Jessica's pediatric cardiologist and he wants us to do some blood work before we increase her diuretics. I picked up the lab slip today and I'll probably take her to get it done tomorrow. Jessica's puffiness has decreased but we still need to see what her potassium levels are.

Jessica is always fighting congestive heart failure (CHF). She's always right on the edge and sometimes she goes over a little. Last summer when she went into full-blown CHF she was admitted to the hospital for IV diuretics to get her back in balance quickly rather than take weeks of home therapy. We don't want her getting too far out of balance so we are keeping a close eye on it. I've noticed a little puffiness around her chin - but my side of the family is infamous for our double chins so I'm not exactly sure what is extra and what is "normal". lol Jess saw a doctor recently and she had only gained 2 lbs. Usually when someone goes into CHF they can gain more than that in fluid. Last year Jess lost 5 lbs in just the 3 days we were in the hospital and then over the next couple of weeks she lost another 10 for a total of 15 lbs. (remember I had suspected for months that she was retaining fluid?) Well, thank goodness the doctors are not taking any chances this time.

Another thing we have to take into consideration is that Jess can become dehydrated. Her blood is already too thick due to lack of oxygen and if she were to become dehydrated it could get serious very quickly. She's been hospitalized a few times for dehydration when she was throwing up and she got so bad - so fast. So of course we don't want to give her any more diuretics than we need to. It's always a balancing act for her.

As far as the fatigue and cyanosis (being blue due to lack of oxygen), they are always getting worse. She has been complaining that her heart is "going like this" as she squeezes her fist and opens it a little then squeezes it again. I'm not quite sure exactly what that means but it could be PVCs (premature ventricular contractions). We have discussed this with the peds cardiologist and after having been hooked up to monitors it seems to coincide with the PVCs. Last night she got out of bed to tell me about her heart and I sat her down and put the pulse-ox on. Her oxygen saturation was only 51%. It slowly climbed up to 71% where it stayed. (healthy people should be between 96% - 100%). I changed the setting so that I could see the heartbeats (I forget what it's called - where you can see it going up and down) and I did see a few that were probably PVCs but nothing out of the ordinary for her. Her pulse was 92 - 95 so not too fast at all. I asked her, "Jessica, what does the doctor say for you to do when your heart feels like that?"

Jess: "Rest"

Me: "What were you doing when your heart started to feel like that?"

Jess: "Resting in bed."

Me: "So you got up and walked out here to have me tell you to rest when you were already resting?"

Jess trying to hide a smile, "Well, it DID feel like that."

What a nut. So anyway, I was able to get her back to bed. Today she has complained of not feeling well and her tummy hurting. She didn't eat much all day but was able to have ham, cheese and crackers tonight as well as a yogurt. She is still taking the tummy meds and it seems to be helping but just not quite enough.

Another thing that is worrisome is hypoxia (lack of oxygen). I've looked it up many times. It stinks. It can get bad. It's what is going on with Jess. It is probably the cause of all her troubles right now: it is probably causing her gastritis which is turning to ulcers, it's causing headaches, her bowels are very sluggish due to lack of oxygen, her fingers and toes are clubbed because of it, sores don't heal well, she is fatigued and has hardly any energy and the list just keeps getting longer. Everything that can be done HAS been done to help her get more blood to her lungs to get oxygen. I can't get it out of my head what the CT surgeon told us 12 years ago. He said that 'most kids living off of shunts like Jessica don't usually live past their mid-teens. Sometimes they get an illness or infection that their bodies can't fight or sometimes they just get too blue to live'. He went on to say that most kids haven't had strokes or other problems like Jessica had experienced and that they were amazed that she had made it that far. I've wondered about exactly what he meant by "too blue to live". I don't want to know. I definitely don't want to watch my own daughter go through it.

Another thing that has been getting to me is that Jessica has been talking about heaven more lately. She had a really bad night a few nights ago and as she cried she said, "I don't know when Jesus is going to come to get me." I asked her if she was tired and she nodded yes. I told her it was ok and just held her. As I said in the email a couple of days ago, Karl and I have been noticing for awhile how tired she is. She has been having a hard time being lonely and feeling like she is missing out for quite awhile. I realized that I hadn't really been writing about all this and just assumed that people knew... so I'm sorry if I startled many of you - I have received quite a few wonderful emails and even a couple of phone calls. I really and truly appreciate them.

Even though Jess had pain and didn't feel well today she was still relatively happy. We laugh and joke around as much as we can, even on bad days.

I'll leave you with a little silly conversation that took place this evening. Here's the setting: Karl was stitching something on his uniform and Jessica asked: "Daddy, what are you doing?"

Karl teasing: "I'm being a woman. I'm sewing. That's all they do, right?" *winks* at me.

Jess: "Oh dad! Women do more than that!"

Karl: "Oh yeah? Like what?"

Jess: "They do laundry too!"

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rough Day

Jessica had a rough day today, she woke up early and then couldn't get back to sleep. I was finally able to get her to go back to sleep after a few hours (threats of grounding her from her games can work sometimes) but she didn't sleep long enough. She was blue and emotional all day and evening. Our "Tu Nidito" support group meeting was scheduled for tonight and we weren't able to go. She cried and was so upset but I knew that if I took her out she would be very, very sick. We haven't been able to attend "Tu Nidito" in awhile because she hasn't felt well enough to go.

Tonight she was telling me that her socks were making her feet itchy so I helped her change them. Her feet are puffy. Definite signs of congestive heart failure. UGH!
[insert cuss-word here] I realized that in all the commotion this morning of her getting up, then not staying in bed, crying, etc, then finally sleeping and getting up at a weird hour... I had forgotten her morning diuretics. I don't think that one missed dose would cause her feet to be swollen. Thankfully they aren't as puffy as they were last year in June when she was hospitalized for congestive heart failure, but I'm definitely not comfortable with it. I'm calling the PC in the morning. *huge sigh*

Prayers and good thoughts are appreciated.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hoppy Easter!

I saw an Easter card several years ago with a cute little bunny hopping around, delivering easter eggs with the saying, "Hoppy Easter" and I've liked saying it ever since. Our family celebrates Easter with a little bit of the Easter Bunny, hunting eggs and eating candy, but we also focus on the spiritual aspect and how Jesus Christ suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, He not only died but was resurrected so that we might live again. I'm so very thankful for these gifts. I know that life goes on even after death and that through Him we can live together as families and friends forever.

Miss Jessica said to me today, "Mom, I'm glad I'm still alive so that I can celebrate Easter with you today."

Me: "Me too.

Jess: "When I'm in heaven, will you still celebrate Easter?"

Me: "You bet we will and we will think of you! We will think about you every single day."

Jess smiles.
We spent the evening with the Jensen grandparents yesterday as is our Easter family tradition. Our families attend church at different times (we live in different wards - different stakes, actually) and it's less stress to get together on Saturday than on Sunday. As tradition has it, Grandma bought some plastic eggs and put candy in them for the kids to hunt. Grandpa usually hides the eggs on their back patio but it is a somewhat large area and Jessica was so worried that she would get too tired and short of breath "like I did last year" so the grandparents hid the eggs in the family room. Jessica, Brandon and Austin had fun hunting for the eggs and grandma had made one bag of candy for Justen since he is too old for easter egg hunting. Grandma and Grandpa cooked a wonderful turkey dinner with all the fixin's. It was delicious. As Grandpa said the prayer he thanked the Lord for the blessing of being together as a family and sharing the love that we have for each other. I teared up as I too am truly thankful for my family (Karl's family too of course) and the times we get together.

Here are some pictures of our time together yesterday. Enjoy:

Grandpa Jensen and Jessica

Jess finding an easter egg.

Austin found one! I think the angle on this picture was kind of cool

No, Brandon, Maracas are NOT easter eggs. hehe..

Jessica holding one of the easter eggs she found - which happens to match her cute blouse.
(her finger-tips are kinda "blue" from lack of oxygen due to her heart defects)

Brandon sporting his new hat. Previously known as the basket grandma gave him to put his easter eggs in.

"Don't take a picture of me de-boning the turkey!" hehe... Sorry, but I love ya, honey. You are too cute in your farmer john overalls so I had to take the picture. Besides, I now have proof that you do help in the kitchen.... sometimes, anyway.

Brandon and Jessica saying good-bye to grandma after a wonderful evening together.

Here are some pictures of the boys going down the hill on the scooters at Grandma's house:

Spring is Here!

At least it is at my Mother-in-law's house! What few flowers I had bit the dust when we our temps repeatedly hit below 30° and it snowed! View the snow pictures here. My MIL said that the freeze got several of her plants but many are coming back. She has such a beautiful garden, I took several shots of her blooms. Here are some of them for you non-believers that there is beauty in the desert.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

What does your blog say about you?

I was looking at the keyword activity on my statcounter and found a few interesting searches that lead people to my site. Here are a few:

jessica 400lb,
are we having any fun song,
i'm taking carafate,
birthday; prayer for an 80 year old, (???)
icky taste in mouth & diarrhea,
creative memories cutting system ideas,
laying flat for mri brain,
unifocalization, (one of the many surgeries Jessica has had)
coughing up blood staying up late,
scrapbook ideas from creative momories consultants,
and quite a few others.

The main one that caught my attention is:
If You Were a Cannibal, What Would You Wear to Dinner? This is one of the questions that blogger randomly asks when you are setting up your profile. I posted something about this in my post What's With the Random Questions? Anyway, this caught my attention and I wondered who would google such a thing? Maybe they got that question on their blogger profile and decided to google it.... I was very curious so I went to the google page that was used to find my blog and found this shocking article:

If You Were a Cannibal, What Would You Wear to Dinner?

As if it wasn’t bad enough that you might not get that fabulous job because of a handful of un-PC comments on your MySpace, now you can get tossed in the slammer for posting your answer to the above question online.

Kevin Ray Underwood is the kind of 26-year-old guy that wanted more from life. A lonely guy who confessed to planting himself in front of the computer for 14 hours a day “barely moving” from his chair, it wasn’t too hard for police to accuse the Carls Jr. employee of killing a 10-year-old neighborhood girl after they found meat tenderizer in his kitchen and a body in the bathroom.

The catch is, Lecter-isms aside, authorities recently found his online diary, with Underwood confessing that he wanted “to be able to live like a normal person,” yet battling with a darker side: “If people knew the kinds of things I think about anymore, I’d probably be locked away. No probably about it, I know I would be.”

As a major legal player, the blog can help us unearth the unknown about a cannibal's psyche. While this particular case was already in motion before the blog was discovered, it’s both interesting and condemning (as if skewers as evidence weren’t enough) to read a motive like this. While it’s no tell-all, the blog is becoming a triple-edged sword: one side can be an opinionated release, another side can be the evidence that can arrest you, and the final side can let us into the mind of a killer.

I’m sure people disagree whether he’s guilty or not – after all, the trial’s still happening – but we can all agree that his blog was surely in bad taste. By the way – his answer to the question?

"The skin of last night's main course."

Monday, April 02, 2007

Hand Made Cards:

I belong to a card making group and we meet once a month for a card exchange. Here are two cards and envelopes that I made for the swap this Wednesday. I am behind so I owe cards, otherwise I'd only have to make one set. The way the card swap works is, we each make 10 of the same card so when we swap we come home with one of our own and 9 different ones. It's a lot of fun. We get to learn some stamping techniques (which I usually don't remember). It keeps me out of trouble and helps with my creativity. Also, I get to use a lot of do-dads on the cards that I won't put into my scrapbook albums.

This first card was inspired by Miss Mary's handmade card that she sent me which you can see in my post Visions of dead flowers, broken chocolate and a hand made card. Mary's card is much nicer but I used the same technique (at least I think it's the same). First I used a roller stamp and then added color with coordinating stamps. (Mary did hers on white paper, I used yellow) I then cut the stamped strip and then mounted onto a wider strip of turquoise paper and mounted that onto the card. I added a button with ribbon. I stamped "simply said from the heart - thank you" on the lower right hand side and then stamped coordinating flowers on the envelope. I tried and tried to get the lighting to turn out better on this card... the pink is almost right but the yellow is much prettier in person. Oh well, at least I have a sample to show you:

On this card I stamped the large flower directly onto the card. The card is made of textured paper so the texture showed up when I stamped the flower. I really liked the effect. The stamp includes the lop-sided circles inside of it. I thought it was quite boring with just plain white inside the flower so I stamped just the circles onto printed paper and then cut it out and adhered it into the center of the flower. I thought it was kind of clever if I do say so myself. ;-) On the left side I have a strip of pink paper, I tore it on the right side, adhered some ribbon onto it and then pierced the holes along the torn side. I stamped the little "hello" and the stem of the flower. I then stamped the set of 3 flowers onto the back of the envelope in the same pink as the flower on the card.