January 25, 2009


So I finally emailed myself a picture of the kids at Mt. Rose. I am scared to take my camera and leave it in the lodge...no lockers. So I have to use my cell phone, then email my pictures.

The kid's snowboarding class started on 'Ponderosa'. They boarded down one part, practicing what turning technique, when A turned to me and said, 'I have to go to the bathroom.' I looked around and thought...'Okay, he could go in the trees or we could try and make it down the mountain.' So I asked him if he could make it down the mountain to use the restrooms. He said, 'Sure.' We're nearly there when he said, 'Mom, I have to go NOW!' Understanding the word 'NOW'...having a weak bladder myself, a whole other story...I tell him, 'Go in those trees!' He went in and couldn't find a hiding place. We argued...there was no one around so it wouldn't matter if he was hidden or not...and I say, 'Just go!' By the time he was finished, his class had caught up with us. One of the other mom's, Jennifer, askes, with a confused look on her face...'Did he make it?' To which I replied, 'Not down the mountain.' She says, 'I love boys. They are so easy!'

So after our lessons and lunch, we hit the slopes again. By this time it's snowing a bit harder. The kids are having fun with the powder but it's a lot different to snowboard in. Falling is a huge part of our day. Our friends talk us into going up to 'Around the World'. So we head up the long lift to the top of the mountain. We get to the top and down the first steep part and guess who has to go to the bathroom again? Okay it's snowing and there are people all around us. I tell A to just go in the trees and to make it quick. I was getting cold. Seriously 15 min. later, he's finally ready to go. I thought I was going to freeze! He couldn't find a place...then he had to put his gloves back on...then he had to strap himself in...oh my gosh! I was trying so hard to be patient, all the while saying, 'Please hurry, A. I am really cold and it's snowing harder up here.' We get going and he can't turn...almost runs into a tree...isn't moving because there were flat parts and he didn't have enough speed to begin with. 'Oh, it's gonna be a long way down', I think. Then we get to one of the last really steep parts. Crazy steep. I felt like I was looking off a cliff steep.

So we're standing there debating whether to take this steep part or a more windy part that leads us back to this slope. While I was waiting for A to decide...we saw a little boy and his dad start down the steep part. He was 3 and his dad was holding onto him with 'reins'. They get to just about the end when the little boy skis into his dad, knocking them both over, and knocking one ski off his dad's boot. The dad got the boy up but before he could grab the 'reins', the little boy starts skiing down the hill. The father yells frantically, 'STOP, JEREMY, STOP! STOP, STOP, JEREMY!' The little boy keeps going...not fully aware that his dad isn't directly behind him. 'STOP, JEREMY, STOP!' pleads the dad. Finally, what seemed to be more than a few seconds...the little boy falls backwards and slides down the hill. His father has gotten his ski on and is by his son's side in a matter of seconds. As we stood at the top of the hill motionless...I could hear that sweet father ask if his son was okay. He was so tender with him. He said, 'Did I scare you?' 'Yes,' wimpered the boy. 'I'm so sorry. I couldn't grab the reins fast enough and off you went all on your own. I was scared and didn't know what else to do but to yell, STOP.'

Finally, A and I got to where they were sitting and I if they were okay. I asked the little boy how old he was. When he told me he was 3...I told him that I had a son who was 3. I also told him that he was an excellent skier and that he stopped really well. I asked the dad if he was okay too. I don't think I have ever heard panic for the safety of a child in a father's voice like I did in his. I was so glad that they were okay.

I don't have any cool or insightful analogy for this experience...I am sure if I thought about it I could totally come up with something that relates to our Heavenly Father. And one day I will...I just thought how tender that sweet father was to his son. I could totally tell that he truly loved him. There are good people all around us. People who love their families and want them to be happy.

We made it down the hill...eventually...but that father's love stuck with me and helped me to be more patient with A. Because I love him...it shouldn't matter how long it takes us to get down the hill...what matters is that we make it together. I love you, A. I may get super frustrated with you at times...but that will NEVER change how much I love you.

January 21, 2009

Just here.

Somedays I get online and think...I should post something. But what? I don't have any pictures to show or stories to tell. We're...Just Here. Living as everyday. I do laundry, pick up after kids, cook meals, practice the piano, email, read blogs, get dressed, take showers, eat, run errands...live.

Friday was another fun day of snowboarding. We actually made it up the lifts this time. I ran into A once then decided to keep an empty lift between his and Brady's chair and mine. One boy in our group broke his collar bone and 3 girls sprained their wrists. Including a girl K was boarding with. I was so glad when I saw her on a snowmobile in perfect condition. She jumped off and said, 'Jessie hurt her wrist.' I was so glad is wasn't K. I do wish it would snow! It's all ice up there and it's not fun when you fall.

Saturday Brandon took the two little ones to the park to play. He coached the YM basketball team...only 2 boys showed up so they scrimmaged. He likes it a lot better that way. K had a friend come over to play and I cleaned house and folded laundry.

Sunday started off with early morning mtgs. I went into YW for the 3rd hour. I am in charge of 'Transitioning YW into RS'...and if any of you YW leaders have any good ideas of what works in your ward, I could really use some. There were only 2 YW this week and a brand new presidency. I felt out of place. It will get better with time.

Monday Brandon went golfing with Wayne at noon and the kids and I just hung around the house all day. We got a bid for our fence that fell down right before Christmas from our wind storm. For FHE we took the kids into Carson to Borders so they could use their gift cards they got from Christmas (thanks for the idea, Lisa). A got an Indiana Jones book, M got a book about night animals, and F got a Star Wars book. They had a hard time finding books for only $6.00. I might have to increase the amount next year. But they enjoyed picking out their own books. Then we used our Papa Murphy's gift certificates for dinner (thanks to Melissa, Roman, Tatiana, and Asher). We got 2 large pepperoni pizzas, cheese bread, and cookie dough. Yummy! So activity and dinner were FREE! Oh what fun.

Tuesday I learned how to imput VT stats into the computer at church. Thanks, Shana. Bought ink for my printer...why are they always so expensive? Shopped for K's birthday coming up and passed up some great sales on shirts at Old Navy. Brandon would be so proud of me. I walked around the store with 4 in my hand...then after finding nothing but jeans for K...I put my shirts back on the rack. Kind of depressing.

And today...preschool for F and I went off to volunteer at the elementary school. The copy machine was Out of Order and so there was very little I could do. Finally I just left and played Mrs. Pacman on my phone while I waited for preschool to end. I cleaned my room, made my bed, picked up around the house, and made dinner. I practiced piano and watch a DVD that K made for Brandon and me for Christmas. She's so creative. Loved the DVD. Thanks, K. I have a RS mtg tonight, cub scouts for A, and then it's back home for bed. Unless Knight Rider is on.

So nothing fun or exciting to report. We're just here.

January 13, 2009

Having faith...

Last Tuesday night I got an email from my Visiting Teacher. They just found out that their 14yr. old daughter, Devree, has a brain tumor. The following Thursday, they headed out to Palo Alto to a Children's Hospital for surgery on Monday. Our amazing ward had a week and a halves worth of meals, transportation, and babysitting set up for their remaining children, 3 boys, in less than 24 hours.

Monday morning came...

Todd blogs...

It has taken awhile to get started with the surgery. We are in the waiting room for surgery, and there is a 60 inch screen on the wall with surgery numbers on it. Our number has been showing that Devree is prepared for surgery...

There are actually to anesthesiologists assigned to Devree’s team. She told us that Devree was cute as she fell asleep. She told them that she couldn’t feel the anesthesia at all, and then her eyes closed.Everything is going well. The report is that they didn’t scrub down and get ready for surgery until 10:30 AM. Dr. Edwards has another brilliant doctor from Switzerland working with him today. This other doctor works with Dr. Edwards occasionally on difficult cases. ... it is wonderful to have 2 brilliant doctors working on our precious Devree. We don’t expect to have any further information until after 2:00 PM our time...

This is a waiting nightmare! We got up at 4:30 so we could be here at 6 am. They didn't even call her till almost 8 am and then they decided to have her do another MRI...

Okay it is almost 2:30 and the nurse finally came in and said that Devree did fine (meaning anethesia is okay for Devree) and the procedure is done and now it will be 1 1/2 hours for the doctor to close and then he will come and talk to us. A few MAJOR questions we will ask. First "Were you able to get all of the tumor?" Second "Is the tumor cancerous?" The nurse said that a frozen peice of the tumor was taken and tested. This is just a preliminary test. The results conclusively will not be for 5 DAYS!!!...

In this hospital they don’t use the words, “Bad News”. They say, “Good News and Other News”. Well, we have “Good News”, and we have “Other News”.The surgery was successful. They were able to remove the tumor. However, the “Other News” is that there were pieces of the tumor that were connected to critical nerves that Devree needs. They also found another nodule, that was far enough away from the hole that they were operating through, that they could not remove it.

The tumor was cancerous and malignant, but we don’t know what kind of cancer it is at this time. We should know what kind of cancer it is within 48 hours. A board of Oncologists will meet on Friday to talk about Devree’s cancer. They will develop a treatment plan at that time.We know that you all care deeply about us, but we are taking a little time to digest this news...

Love, Todd

Everyone,Thank you so much for your support and prayers. We are grateful for the love and support in your words.

Love,The Hamblin's

I can't tell you of all the miracles I have witnessed in the past 5 days since this has happened. I know that God lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He lives. I know that He is aware of all of us and the trials we face. He is mindful and merciful. I know that He has the ability to heal Devree. And I have faith that no matter what the out come...that He has a plan for all of us.

I would ask for your prayers in her behalf...prayers of peace and comfort for this sweet, righteous family. They love the Lord and have testimonies built upon a firm foundation. They know the Lord loves them and is mindful of them at this time.

'Be still...and know that I am God' is the scripture that continues to run through my mind.

January 10, 2009

Snowboarding 101

Every Friday, for the next 6 weeks, K, A, and I will be snowboarding! I am so excited. And after today...so are K and A!
We woke up at 6am...got lunches ready, got dressed, and headed out to catch our bus at 7am. It was dark and cold...and I am not a morning person so once we got on the bus I tried to sleep. This of course didn't happen because who can sleep with a bus full of 4-8 graders? Once everyone was situated we headed up to Mt. Rose.

Once there we had the kids check in and get their lift tickets and rentals. All went smoothly. Then it was time to hit the slopes! Well sort of. All the kids take a 2 hours lesson, break for lunch, then ski for 3-4 hours till their hearts content. So...I went to class with A and K. Our instuctor is from Chile and so with his broken english it was a little hard to understand him. It was more noisy than I expected so that didn't help. A was frustrated with his uncontrollable board and the fact that his leg was hurting. Come to find out that his board was missing a screw...and he was leading with the wrong leg. So I took him back up the rental shop and had them fix it. We came back and he was better. I could tell he was still a little frusterated but I told him to just relax and that this would just take practice. K, on the other hand, was having a great time. She was awesome on the turning drills! By the end, both were having a good time.

Then it was time for lunch.

After lunch, we hit the Flying Jenny. You get on a belt, an escalator without steps, and it takes you to the top of a small run. Very small. Which was what I liked about it. The kids were excited about this. A wasn't sure about the lift at first and he struggled to get on the first time but it only took once for him to figure it out and then had no more problems. When we got to the top...A and K locked their feet in and down we went....with lots of falls. K was so frustrated she began to cry. A took it in stride. He was more frustrated in figuring how to get back up once he'd fallen. By the time we got to the bottom K said she didn't want to snowboard anymore and we just sat at the bottom of the hill while A went up again.

After explaining to her about sticking with it and practice...and lots of deep breathes...she was ready to try again. This time only falling twice. By the 3rd and 4th times down, both A and K were snowboarding straight down the hill! And they had huge SMILES on their faces! I was so happy that they were enjoying themselves. And by the end of the day...they were ready to head home but excited to come back next week!

I wiped out only once. Hard. Mt. Rose hasn't had snow since Christmas so there was a lot of ice. Falling was simply NOT an option. I got to work on my turns and stops and I really enjoyed staying on this little hill all day. We can't wait for next Friday!

I'll have pictures next time.

January 06, 2009

Gingerbread houses in January

Since A's school class didn't get to have their Christmas party...due to power outage at the school...they did some of their festivities the first day back, after Christmas break. I thought these little gingerbread houses were super cute. He did a great job and everyone was willing to help him eat it. Good job, A!

January 02, 2009

A New Nephew

We all love this little baby soo much. He is so precious. I wish we lived closer. But Joe has told us that when they move to New Zealand...we can come and visit. Give him lots of kisses for us, Kat and Joe! Love you guys!

Pimp My Ride

Oh how I love this girl. She asked Santa for a Skateboard this year and let me tell you...picking out a girlie one was no easy task. I heard some belly aching from Santa. He finally settled for one and K and I had fun 'Pimping' it. I used vinly for her name, the skull, and flower. She used her new Cuttlekids and did the high heel shoe. Now she's all set to ride.

(Her Gifted and Talented teacher was a World Skater. Professional. Thus the interest in skateboarding.)