Monday, October 31, 2011


One of the perks of being a teacher in a small(ish) town, is that no one thinks twice if you decide to "pick off" a couple students in your yard at Halloween. For the last 16 years, Chris has "put an end" to the more memorable students in oh-so appropriate ways. You know teenagers,.... sometimes they forget to breathe, forget to put on the emergency break, spend too long with their electronic devices, and tend to play unsafely with carnivorous chickens.

Years of cardboard headstones have given way to these custom dry-erase versions. But with new cousins in the area, we just couldn't help including them in our favorite of Halloween traditions. HAPPY HALLOWEEN MATTHEW & DANIEL WHATCOTT! We just love having you so close by!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Great NEWS!!!

For those who have been living under a rock and don't know yet, Eric is out of surgery.  The tumor was removed and was encapsulated.  This means they most likely got everything.  JoLynne told me that the nerves they thought were going through the tumor were just resting on top and were able to be saved.  A surprise and a miracle if ever there was one.  He will keep more of the feeling in his face that way.  Only some lip numbness!  Who hoo for lip numbness!!

Reconstruction went well and they had to take less bone from his leg than they expected.  He will run again.  I am almost tempted to start running (even though I hate it so much) just to be able to run with him.  Seth is planning a surprise visit from China.  Should be arriving soon I believe.  I would love to be there for that surprise.

The other miracle that I feel is coming is the pathology report.  So far they have refused to say for sure but it may be either a low grade sarcoma (low grade=better than high grade), or a benign growth (benign=best news we've had all day!).  So keep praying for that one.  It will take a few days to officially say what the tumor is.  It's a complicated tumor.  I am so excited for all this good news.  I am sure we all are!  Keep up the prayers folks.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


After just spending some time with Paula this past week, I am not certain she wants to be recognized on her birthday here at KGC.  She didn't seem too excited about remembering another birthday.  But as I told a guest at Marcy's wedding, my sister Paula is so well preserved we think she sleeps in formaldehyde at night.  She may not be a teenager laying out in our back yard killing ants in her belling button any more, but really....she should be doing cartwheels (if she could) to be feeling and looking so good at her age...  What is that age again?  Maybe we shouldn't say.  That's my present to you Paula- not saying your age here on the blog.  Happy Birthday!  Do you like what I got you?

One thing I really love about Paula is that she has the ability to make others feel that she is truly interested in what they have to say.  She asks questions and listens.  That was the way our mom was.  She always seems happy to see me.  Especially because of our traditional hug/jump move we do when first seeing each other.  One thing we have noted is that we must be in sync when doing such a move, or it's kinda unpleasant.  That bouncy hug always makes me laugh.  Paula too.  She has a wonderful laugh.  Whenever I am around Paula we laugh.  She is super happy almost all the time too.  That is probably why she earned the name of Saida while we were in Morocco.  Saida means happy in Arabic.  My name was Jamilla which means beautiful.  In full discloser I should state that I picked this name for myself.  Saida did not.  She really is a happy person and so fun to be around.

Saida in Morroco! (Doesn't she look happy?)

Whenever I am around Paula/Saida my voice gets a bit higher.  I start talking and acting a bit more like Paula.  I guess if imitation is be best form of flattery then I am really in awe of my oldest sister.  Here are some good reasons why:  Paula is a great cook.  She makes great pot holders, she is a super hygienist, she has 4 great kids, she is genuine and kind.  Paula is active and walks every day.  She taught/inspired me once by telling me she only eats 2 Oreos at a time.  She treats her doggie Conan like a favorite child.  She loves my kids which I really appreciate.  She keeps in touch and understands what it's like to be a military wife living far away from family.  She supported me with a very timely visit when my husband was deployed and I was going crazy, I will always be so grateful to her for that.  She keeps her mind and body active by being an EMT.  She is such a great EMT in Moab that she teaches EMT classes!  She's really great, thrifty, kind, and reverent.  Except when we sit together in church and then she might be a bit too chatty.  Speaking of sitting together in church, Paula can really sing.  She sounds just like Mom's pretty alto voice and I love sitting next to her and harmonizing.  She is really amazing and super dee duper.

In case you can't tell, I really love Paula!  I wish her the best of birthdays this year with many more to come.  And don't worry Paula- even though my daughter called you 'grandma' the other day, you still got it baby!

Paula at the Smithsonian