Near the beginning of each year I put together a “snapshot” of life and how it looks right then and there in that sliver of life from my vantage point.
Because I’m a diehard record keeper and I want to remember these days.
So here we go with what life looks like here in the early part of 2023:
We are down to ONE kid at home.
That is weird, I have to say.
But we are taking it in stride and have dubbed ourselves the “three musketeers.”
There are times when Lucy thinks this is the best thing since sliced bread…no one to bug her or share with.
But most of the time that girl misses those siblings of hers quite terribly, as do Dave and I.
Thank heavens for technology so we can still “see” them from time to time!
Thank heavens for my brother to ease the empty nest blow a little bit too!:)
We feel so lucky to have him and his family living next to us here in the desert for this school year. They came from Hawaii because their youngest could be in my other brother Josh’s best-third-grade-class-in-the-whole world.
But I also believe they came as an answer to prayer for us. And for Lucy. She and Jo have the best relationship I don’t even want to think about them leaving in a couple months 🙁
For the first few months those guys lived right with us (we kind of begged them to stay for a while, we loved having them around). Loved cooking with Jo and his home-made granola he still drops off even though they moved to a rental about ten minutes away.
Love living next to both these good brothers of mine!
Here at the beginning of 2023, Lucy is in a tricky time, losing more and more vision and still determined to navigate her teenagerhood like her friends do. It has taken a LOT of internal struggle with teachers and with some “failures” for her to accept some technology aids that, much to her chagrin, make her stand out from the rest of her classmates.
But it is amazing to watch her glow as it really starts to click in her heart how these things can help her.
We couldn’t be more grateful for her team of helpers at school who work through Lucy’s often “disgruntledness” to help her see the good in the things they offer.
At first they were offering her all her assignments printed up HUGE, which was super helpful (but heavy on the backpack I tell you!).
The latest accomplishment for this girl of ours (and those helpers) is accepting this magnifier that she carries around the school in a little briefcase container so she doesn’t need any more enlargements:
It is pretty cool I have to say.
Lu is always happy to help in the kitchen, usually with her AirPods attached firmly in her ears because she wants to be listening to books 24/7.
Kitchen work is tricky, but gradually we’re figuring out adaptive ways to make it happen.
She is a great baker and is quite particular as to how she sets out all her stuff to make her signature mouthwatering chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.
Piano continues to motivate Lu and to move the rest of us.
Learning to play piano songs you love when you can’t see music is not for the weak of heart either, but that girl gives it her all and memorizes quite beautifully.
She lugs around the heaviest backpack and insists that this is the only way to do it (doesn’t want to thin anything out). See that little magnifier briefcase she has slung over her shoulder as well?
She’s still extremely adamant about having a braid every day. Sometimes she’ll let me do a more fancy one.
Lu and I are still going strong reading the Narnia series over and over again.
I love that she still loves this, because I do too (although it’s harder than ever for us to find time amidst all her gobs of homework!).
After two other tries, we have found a counselor who has stuck with Lucy, trying to help her through some tough stuff. Dave and I had the chance to go to her a few weeks ago to try to figure out from her perspective how she thinks we could up our parenting game with this tricky business.
The answer is that none of us really know, but we’re all determined to keep trying.
Dave is still going strong on his pickle ball game with good friends.
He also has had the most excellent winter ski season (his favorite, and Utah has had the most incredible snow this year!), some with his family and some with friends.
He has his fingers in all kinds of things with work and loves what he does. He is on the board for BrainFood and is already starting to think about next year’s turkey trot.
We all love sunsets and sunrises and cannot get enough of this gorgeous sky of ours.
Max & Abby
As far as the older kids go, WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!!
Ok, well, Max and Abby are (ha!), but we are pretty over-the-moon about the upcoming grand arrival of this first grandbaby most likely at the beginning of May.
And also, Max is growing his hair out…we’re all wondering how long he’s gonna take it…
Those two are both working, Max works for a small coding company and Abby for another cool startup company.
Elle & Carson
Elle and Carson are working hard in Miami, Carson as a podiatry school student and Elle as a freelance graphic designer. They are getting ready to spend the next six months moving around for Carson’s schooling as he matched up with six different externships. Exciting (and logistically complicated!) times coming for these two!
Grace has settled nicely into the Provo lifestyle after her freshman year at BYU Hawaii, and a mission in Texas. She keeps so busy with school work, and work (she works at an acai bowls place), and has recruited Claire to work there too:
She squeezes in some fun trips around those things.
It’s so cool to watch your big kids stretch their wings. She thinks she will do public health as her major and is thinking about becoming a doula.
Claire finished the UVU volleyball season and feels so very grateful for all that she learned and for the people she got to hang out with pretty much 24/7. She decided that she was ready to wrap up her volleyball career though, and applied for summer study abroad which she got into!
She is so excited about that experience awaiting her (as well as one of her good friends) on the horizon.
I love that they set up a little FaceTime conference call with their mamas to figure out details.
Our big kids are flung out away from us, but every time they come to town we have a tradition of working out together. Love that we all love this.
Let’s not forget about Bo Jangles who keeps us all entertained and gives the best “Welcoming Response” known to man every time we get home:
My sisters and I are going strong on our new podcast In the Arena:
I accidentally figured out an awesome way to call as many kids as I can at the same time: Snapchat:
My work in Relief Society is keeping me busy as ever.
Which is sometimes overwhelming. But when you get to work with women like these ones you just think you’re the luckiest ever:
I have worked on perfecting the perfect bread recipe and that gives me a good opportunity to deliver it to the women I have been thinking about:
And I’m still plugging away at the cello.
Dave and I are still always looking for ways to fight to save Lucy’s vision. We have some good friends we have come to know over these BBS years who are doing so much in the vision field and we’re thankful for them and their advice. We are also enjoying being on the board for Come Follow Me Foundation app as well. So much to learn.
I’m still recording occasional devotionals for the Come Follow Me app too:
The next one is coming up this Sunday so tune in!
The Three Musketeers have some good game nights, sometimes with friends and their kids gathering with us…
And sometimes just with adults:
I am still in love with the desert:
Working on some new blog design things to be unveiled soon:
One more about Lucy, we just found a new shaver that she can finally use to shave her own legs without getting cut and it’s a game-changer!
We love playing chess…makes for some good discussions:
There you go, a little snapshot into a sliver of life as we know it here near the end of March, 2023, at least for now.
Maybe I’ll come back and add some of the things I’m forgetting.
There are ups and downs and there’s so much to learn, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here.
Living in the middle of it.
Love reading about your awesome family. Thank you for sharing with us. Bless Lucy as she navigates life. She is an inspiration. Exciting for you to be grandparents. Our only grandchild is 7 now and she is the joy of our lives!! I have followed your blog for a long time. Love the way you write.
Thank you Diane!
I have tried the cookie recipe Lucy loves, and I agree they are delicious! In fact, I made the dough last weekend to freeze. Please thank Lucy for introducing them to me!
I’m so glad you love them as much as we do!
I love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and was in the mood to try a new recipe. Thank you for sharing it! I look forward to trying it soon!
I would love to try the come follow me app, but is it only for useful for members of the church?
I didn’t mean to write “useful”, it’s a typo. Sorry for that. It was an honest question.
This year, we’re studying the New Testament, so I think people from other faiths can get a lot out of it as well. Also, they periodically have people from other faiths present the daily devotionals. You’re definitely welcome to try it out!
Yes Matilda! Rorie is so right, it is such a great tool for anyone who wants to follow Jesus Christ. Come follow along!
You are SUCH a great mum. Thank you for being so honest with your readers. Praying for Lucy, and for you.
Aw thank you so very much Marguerite!
I loved the update on everyone in your family! Times passes so quickly that you will all look back and appreciate that you captured this.
We are also a cookie loving family and tried Modern Honey’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies today and they knocked our socks off! We did substitute 1/2 of the chocolate chips with Cadburys Micro Mini Eggs and Wowzers! Lucy should try this sometime.
Would you be willing to share more information on the magnifier that Lucy is using? My father was just telling me he needs something like this in order to continue reading and I would love to get him one. Thank you!
I actually don’t know a lot about it but I can ask her Braille teacher!
Thank you. I’d really appreciate it!
Here’s the information from Lucy’s Braille teacher:
These are the companies with the best quality products:
2. Irie-AT (this is where Lucy’s came from)
3. Low Vision International
5. Maxi Aids
Some of these manufacture’s products are actually available on Amazon and other places on line for private pay customers. If he is experiencing age related Macular Degeneration, and has not been seen by a Low Vision Specialist (like the one Lucy went to) they usually can recommend the best fit products based on usable vision and prognosis.
Hope this helps!
Thank you so much!
Just hear to say how much Lucy inspires us as she tries to navigate living a different life than her peers with her vision challenges. Watching her adapt to hard things like being different, memorizing, studying hard on the piano, being a team manager in bball…she just impresses me!
And I also have to say I admire you because it has to be very difficult to watch her struggle and navigate her life. And yet, you keep fighting and supporting and giving space. It’s a great example for what to be as a parent!