Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Black Cat, and Pumpkins

Thursday night we were carving pumpkins with the Fulks’. We love this new tradition. Pumpkin carving has taken on an entirely different depth. We have gone from carving your customary pumpkin with the triangle eyes, and nose, and toothy grin; to an elaborate layout of patterns consisting of cats, ghosts, spiders, etc. Yes, carving pumpkins is not as easy as it used to be, but the results are much more impressive.

As we were carving these elaborate pumpkins, little Tyli (who is 3), said she had a magic pumpkin. She chose to carve her “magic pumpkin” into a kitty. Tyli loves animals, so not a surprise.

However, the surprise came later that night when we opened the door to the garage to find a little black kitten sitting there. This cute little kitten, ran into our house, and was adored by all (especially little Ty). She stayed at our house the entire night.

Well, this cute little kitten has not left our house. She has affectionately been named Midnight by the kids. I hope someone is not frantically looking for their little lost kitten. She has taken over Snowball’s bed, litter box, food, and water. She loves people and tries to jump in the car, and come in our house.

We are all enamored with her charming personality, but wonder if there was magic in the pumpkin carving, or just a misplaced Halloween cat.

Pumpkin carving with only minor injuries.
The Crew

The final products.

The Black Cat.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Unexpected Guest

Grandma and Grandpas’ Halloween party is annual event that is greatly anticipated by all. Homemade soup, chili, and scones await all the adorable little pumpkins, princesses’, bunnies, and other children in costume, as well as famished adults. No one makes scones as well as Grandma Brown.

There are numerous fun, and exciting games; the fishing game, the donut game, and of course a piñata for all ages (one for the younger kids, and one for the older ones). The festivities end with a parade of the scary, cute, interesting, and funny costumes.

This year we had an unexpected guest visit during the party. As we were all outside watching the kids with the piñata; a strange woman entered the backyard. The unexpected guest was a BIG hit! We heard through the grapevine that she may live very close by with another lovely woman. What a treat to have her part of the party.

Grandma and Jami helping with the fishing game; Jeff in charge of the pinata; cousins, and Grandma making her famous scones.

Cousins and second cousins.

The beautiful cadets; darling bunny; fam; Ben with gumballs; and Frizz.

Our "Modern" Family~ Phil & Claire; Jay & Gloria; Mitchell, Cammeron, and Lily.

The unexpected guest with a cute cadet, and Meg.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Holladay Friends

Jane, Trish, Michelle, Marianne, Joey, Cindy, and Elaina
(I have to put a disclaimer on this photo. I had just gotten back from a little league football game in the pouring rain.)

Saturday, I got together with some friends from my childhood (or teenager-hood). We all grew up in the Holladay area. These are friends from the Holladay 10th and 26th ward. Several were unable to attend, but those of us in attendance had a great time catching up and reminiscing.

These are some friends that I don’t see often, but when I do, it is as if nothing has changed. We all still seem to think we are as young as ever.

I was reminded of how unpredictable life can be. Who would have ever imagined that two of the seven of us present would be widows, while still in our forties? Who would have imagined some of the challenges, and difficulties people in this group have experienced in such a short life-time.

Difficulties aside, everyone is happy and enjoying life to its fullest, and today we are enjoying our long lasting friendships.


Halloween Dance

Preparations ~ Thanks to my many friends for letting me borrow their Halloween decorations. The decorations looked great!
At Katelyn's request, I made my kids favorite sweet and sour chicken for dinner.....70 pieces to be exact...yikes! Katelyn wanted to make sure we had enough for the buff men in the group.
Katelyn and her date Ty Hayes, with their group, the color blue.

Lots of colors, lots of cute couples, and lots of fun!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Woes of Skateboards

Friday night I ran out through the garage to get my purse out of the car. When I opened the door from the house to the garage, it was very dark, but I decided it was such a short distance, I’d be fine without light. NOT a good idea.

As I sprinted across the garage, my feet landed on the boys’ skateboard. I took a brief, unexpected, ride, before I flew into the air, knocking down the bikes as if they were bowling pins, with the side of my face.

That may sound bad, but it actually cushioned my blow to the hard cement garage floor. I laid there in silence, dizzy, and dumbfounded from the fall. After decades (well maybe just minutes), I came to my senses, and was able to walk back into the house, still bewildered, and groggy.

I went to a movie that night, feeling slightly disoriented and light-headed, but desperately needing a night out. I thought things were fine until I began to get flu like symptoms. I was so nauseous; I spent hours feeling like I was getting a bad case of the flu. No flu.

In the morning, I felt like I had run a marathon. My legs, arms, back, neck, head, every part of my body hurt.

I have fully recovered from my little mishap, but after this, and Mike breaking his ankle on a skateboard in July, I am convinced that our family should be a skateboard-free family.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tina The Tumor

Sarah posing the night before surgery. Sarah, and Julie Keyes (Julie is 19 weeks pregnant). Sarah gets her first baby gift from Megan Larsen.
Pre-surgery: Sarah begged not to wear the "ugly hospital socks", she even brought her own from home. It was a "no go".
Tina is born (6 litters of fluid were drained before they could remove Tina).
Tina and the surgeon's hand.
Post surgery: Best Friends by her side, visitors, flowers, feeling crummy, and finally going home.
Comparison shot: Pre-Tina; Post Tina (I made her wear the same shirt).

Sarah has been complaining about her protruding stomach for some time. We have seen numerous doctors who believed it was a result of exercising improperly, thus the stomach muscles have formed outward. We accepted this explanation for a couple years, until recently, when Sarah googled the causes of a protruding stomach, and informed me that she may have a fibrous tumor. The next day I made two appointments , with two different doctors, to have her examined (different than the doctors she had previously seen). The appointments were several weeks out.

In the meantime, she met with her friend's dad (who is a physician) who immediately requested an ultrasound. On September 15, she went to the IHC hospital for an ultrasound on her lower and upper abdomen. The ultrasound results revealed a 19 centimeter tumor, that was attached to her ovary. It was so large that it was backing one of her kidneys with fluid.

Sarah laughed and laughed as we sat in the "bad news" room, getting her results. I was in shock, and quiet terrified. I quickly called my OB, who, when he saw the results, wanted to see her the next day.

The next day we met with the OB who informed us, that the tumor was as large as a small watermelon. The tumor was either attached to or leaning against the ureter, and kidney. He wouldn't know exactly what it was attached to until he began the surgery. He did know that it was attached to an ovary, and that the ovary would most likely would have to be removed. He informed us that it was important to dissect the tumor off of the things it was attached to, and get it out in one piece, in case there were cancer cells in it. Surgery was set for September 30th.

A CA 125 blood test was performed. If the test came back "normal", there was little chance of the tumor being malignant. If it was elevated, the chance was greater. Early the next week, her results came back showing her level to be slightly elevated.

Even with the blood results, Sarah maintained a positive, cheerful, outlook. She was always laughing, joking, and even named her tumor - Tina. I tried to follow her example, but wasn't very successful.

Surgery went better than expected. He removed the tumor that was larger than expected, draining 6 litters of fluid out of it before he removed it from her tiny little body. He removed 4 other small cysts, reconstructed her ovary, and removed the fallopian tube that was engulfed in the tumor. The surgeon informed us that based on the amount of fluid that was drained, and by other examination, he would be very surprised if pathology came back showing a malignant tumor.

Sarah remained to good spirit even up to the very end. The surgeon said she was laughing and joking with them, up until the time the anesthesia kicked it. What a trooper!

She is doing remarkable well, considering just having major surgery. Pathology came back, and it was a non malignant tumor. Cancer free yay!

We are so grateful for the many prayers, fasting, and the amazing priesthood blessing that she received prior to her surgery. We felt that the Lord blessed us, and watched over Sarah during this difficult time. What a blessing it is for us to have such wonderful friends and family that continue to support us as we experience life's bumps along the way.

Homecoming Senior Year

Senior Year Homecoming with Coulter Crowell
The homecoming festivities began the night before with a group activity to the Haunted Corn Field in Alpine. Anyone who knows Katelyn, knows that she scares easily. The scary creatures at the Haunted Corn Field must have felt those vibes. They seemed to focus completely on the most scared person in the group, namely Katelyn. I think she may have made a public spectacle out of herself, but was a good sport and had a good time anyway.
Saturday night was homecoming. They all went to the Olive Garden for dinner, and of course the homecoming dance was held at Bountiful High.
She looked beautiful, and had a wonderful time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

On Labor Day, we decided to go on a hike in our very own Bountiful mountains (or hills, depends on who you ask). We took a very popular hike, but one I have never been on before, up Hollbrook Canyon.

It was a beautiful hike with lush, flourishing, greenery, lining the narrow trail. There was a picturesque stream that followed the trail, where we found hikers paused to catch fish with their bear hands. I likened our hike to our hike to Secret Falls in Kauai, but there was no consensus.

Our hike ended here due to a certain family members need to wear cute shoes instead of practical ones. If you look closely, you might be able to determine who that might be. The same family member had a slight melt down and can be seen hiding in the greenery. Or, better yet, maybe this person was playing a fun game of Where is Waldo, and just forgot to inform us. Whatever the case, we cut our hike a tad short.

We ended our excursion at a Burger Establishment, to nullify all our expended calories.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ben's Baptism

Invitation to Ben's Baptism

Baptism Pictures by Jodi Fulks Photography
Quinn & Ben

Ben's baptism came with much anticipation. Ben talked about his baptism only days after Steve's passing. Ben had just turned 6 two days before Steve passed away, but many of his questions and thoughts were about his baptism. I think his questions were Ben's way of expressing his feelings about the loss of his dad. He missed him, and continues to miss him, so much.

Ben wanted to know who was going to baptize him. My heart broke into a million pieces, as I quietly told him he could choose whoever he wanted to baptize him. He wanted his big brother, Michael, to baptize him. What a great choice that would have been. However, I knew that if we baptized him in September of 2010, that Mike wouldn't be old enough to perform that ordinance.

Eight months after Steve's passing Meagan married Quinn. Quinn is such a delight to have in our family. He quickly become an important part of our family, and has been like a brother to Ben. As the time for baptism approached, it was an easy choice for Ben to choose Quinn to baptize him, and Grandpa Brown to confirm him. Two of his favorite men in his life were able to participate in the ordiances on this special day.

As Ben's baptism grew closer I began to be filled with anxiety about the day. I wanted it to be a perfect day for Ben, but I knew we would miss Steve's presence.

We were so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family members in attendance at Ben's baptism. I'm not sure if I stopped crying the entire time. My heart broke as I watched all the baptism candidates sitting next to their dads.

Our home teacher talked at the service. He gave a great talk on baptism, but also talked about ministering angels, (specifically Steve) that were present. You could feel Steve's presence, you knew he was there watching, and so proud of Ben.

Quinn did a great job baptizing Ben, and Steve's dad gave a wonderful confirmation. Meagan and I were able to say a few words after the ordinances were performed. It was a very spiritual day for our family. We were so grateful to be able to share it with great friends and family.

Afterwords, we were able to celebrate at our house. The festivities were great! I hope with all my heart, that Ben will always remember his baptism as a happy, special day.