Last month we titled it "Boring" so this month it is "Busy". Not much is happening that is different each month. Kids go to school each day. Someone forgets something. Young Men's. Young Women's. Piano lessons. Doctor appointments. Cub Scouts. Christmas parties. Christmas shopping. 

But Doreen just couldn't let the year end without some medical something so she decided that it was time to fix her hip, then her shoulder and then for some reason her kidney decided it was feeling left out and decided to make a fuss.  By the way, her hip is all better (no more pain), her shoulder still hurts, but she is in therapy for that.  But that pesky kidney decided it was time to act up and released a kidney stone. Now in Doreen fashion, it was LARGE!!! But I'm getting ahead of the story.

On December 30 I decided that Christmas needed to be pulled down.  With the help of the children (WOW DID THEY HELP!!!), we were able to get two trees down, everything boxed up and into the shed by 1pm!  Those kids rocked it!  I went up to take a shower and wait for that all important Monday Missionary eMail (moms live for those!). I was also trying to come up with something to reward the children for their cooperation and hard work.  Just as I got into the shower the worst pain in my life just over took me.  I left in in my left "flank" (that's what they called it at the hospital).  It was so sudden!  I thought a little hot water would help me stretch this out and so I jumped in the shower. My stomach started feeling a bit queazy and I thought, I really should have had a lunch before jumping in the shower.  I didn't even get all wet when my breakfast reappeared!  Oh, this wasn't looking good.  

I got out of the shower, got dressed and went to find Steve. Steve was on a business call and so I wrote him a note that I wasn't feeling well and I was going to put myself to bed and come see me when he was done. By the time I got back into my bedroom I was heading for the toilet and hoping I would make it in time.  It wasn't looking good.  By the time Steve was off the phone I was back on the main floor curled up in a ball begging him to take me to the ER.  

Long wait as the ER but finally they got me in the room and gave me some really nice drugs. A CT scan (without dye) showed a 8x9x5mm stone trying to make an escape. Now just so you know a 3mm stone hurts, so this really hurt! There was no time for surgery so they sent me home with instructions to call my doctor and set up an appointment. 

I lived on Percocet all week, and kept very little of food down. I finally was able to see Dr. Deck on Friday and we scheduled surgery for next Thursday. The hope was that it wouldn't move and that the drugs could keep the pain in check until we were both available for surgery.

That night at about 8 I knew it was going to be a long night. I took a Percocet and tried to sleep. At midnight I gave up as I threw up everything and then some. I finally got about two hours of sleep around 4. Steve and the boys went to do the Christmas tree drive and I tried to get some more sleep. I couldn't so I showered and tried to get ready for the day. At ten I just couldn't stand it any longer. Every time I tried to take a Percocet I threw it up and everything with it--which was NOTHING!  I had had it. I called Dr. Deck's office and he called me back. He told me to get to the ER and he would do blast that stone (plus a few more inside the kidney). 

I woke Kray up and he took me to the ER. Steve finished his load of trees and soon joined us. Unfortunately there was no room on the books for surgery that day, but Sunday morning I was wheeled in and the beginning of the end started. 

Now just for the record, if you ever go in with a kidney stone that big, don't let them send you home: YOU ARE NOT GOING TO PASS IT!

(Yes, I know this takes it into January, but I had to tell "the rest of the story" and hopefully nothing awful will happen in January 2014 and we can go back to normal stories.)

This may be the last year she dresses up for Christmas Eve.

This may be the last year she dresses up for Christmas Eve.


When I was a kid, Christmas was magic. The anticipation. The wondering. The delight. It was always "The Best Day Ever!"

Then I grew up and it was just plain a lot of work, but thankfully that work was making it "The Best Day Ever" for my children and it was worth it. 

Today with as a missionary mom, Christmas is once again: THE BEST DAY EVER!!!

2013 Dec, SKYPE with Jason .JPG

Skying with Jason is the HIGHLIGHT of the day!  We learned so much. Elder Blanding doesn't write much so we learned a LOT from him. We finally learned his companion's name and where he is from. We learned how he is getting along with the spicy food (he drinks a lot of water and now knows an alternative to Novocain). We had a brief tour of his church building--nothing more than a converted home. He told us plenty of stories, but thankfully nothing too far out there to make me worry.  

All I know is the hour I spent early that week waiting in the doctor's office for my appointment sure seemed longer than that hour of talking to my son via SKYPE.  

How many days until Mother's Day? 

2013 Dec, Steve & Doreen.jpg


Chris watching a car almost not make it up "Tyler's Hill"

Chris watching a car almost not make it up "Tyler's Hill"