Monday, June 30, 2008

The Highlights and Lowlights

Here is the family and an update of the favorite times and moments...and a few not so great moments we've shared. Just a reminder that despite the challenges, there is so much to be grateful for!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Zac's New Job and the Zoo Kids

Here are pics of the zoo just as we got there...and coincidentally, just as my batteries on my camera died.

Zac got a new job at the Flying A Ranch in Wyoming. I think this is the perfect job for him. Let me rephrase. I think this is the perfect job for me. He works on a flyfishing and horseback riding ranch that only allows 14 guests at a time. He is the assistant chef. Fantastic job for him! He says he can finally reach his goal in life---learn to ride a horse bareback while shooting a bow and arrow. Who knew? He lives with two 60 year old ladies, and a bunch of cowboys, and a bear. The bear sneaks into the garage on hot summer days so they have a furry companion. There is no internet, cell phone or surrounding night life. Just the peaceful breeze through the trees and the sound of fish sipping on the ponds at dusk. Lucky-duck.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The newest summer news

Boyd and I were able to see Jantzen this Tuesday. We drove about 3 1/2 hours up to this remote spot in the mountains and then walked into camp, much to Jantzen's surprise. I was scanning the camp to find him and had looked past this guy with a beard and mustache that I thought was one of the group leaders. Then I saw a glint of recognition in his eyes and looked back and it was Jantzen! Long, curly hair and a beard and mustache, and filthy dirty! He immediately started weeping to see us and gave us the longest hug I can ever remember. We spent all afternoon in therapy sessions and had a very productive time. It was hard to say goodbye. He's in with a very diverse bunch of kids. One is a pretty hard kid with a long criminal record, one is an overweight, red headed freckled kid from back East, and there is a new kid that couldn't talk to anyone yet that looked like he was somewhere in between. They've hiked to about every peak on the mountain. They eat oatmeal and fresh vegetables every day. Jantzen says peppers and onions never tasted so good. He is still working on his own issues, but it seems to be going well.

Kev is FINALLY over his pneumonia and can play again. It's a good thing! I told him I was ready for a mail-order husband if he didn't get better soon. He's been golfing at the Thanksgiving Point tournaments--a perk of the job which he loves.

The girls are having a great summer. The best investment I ever made was the $19.99 Slip and Slide. They play on it all day long. Each week, we go on a "field trip"--last week it was Hogle Zoo.

Zac is back and looking for a job. He wanted to work here, but is finding he can make more if his lodging is paid for and he works in a fishing or camping lodge in Montana or Colorado. We'll see what happens.

Ah yes....and the best news for last. Yesterday I had a 41 fish day! Went to my secret spot and knocked em dead. I slept like a baby with dreams of tight lines.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Update on Jantzen

We just got our first letters and pictures from Jantzen. It sounds like he is getting stretched a lot. He has a tarp, a rope, some sticks for a tent. They carved their own utensils out of wood, and he is learning to create a fire by rubbing sticks together. The counselors said it has snowed and rained a lot this past week. A change in warmer weather this week will be welcome. He'll get two new boys joining him this week. After a whole week alone with his thoughts, this will be welcome. He is still not real comfortable being there and is begging to come home, but they tell us this is normal. He'll probably need a few more weeks before he'll realize he needs to settle in and start working the process.

We are looking into next steps for him. Have any of you ever heard of the Hyde School? Would love input if any of you have heard of this school.

Kevin is still healing from his long bout with pneumonia. We are hoping he's healed enough to still go on Trek in two weeks so we can be a "Ma and Pa". If not, I'll get assigned a new "Pa". I guess it's like reverse polygamy. I may have two husbands. The one who is too sick to go, and the new guy that adopts me. If there is one upside to sickness, it's that Kev has lost 15 pounds. He assures me it's a terrible weight loss plan.

Counting the days until Kevin and I get to go spend a week alone together over the
4th of July. The Plan? Hike until our legs fall off and fish until the lakes are empty.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Say a Prayer for Jantzen

This is one of my hardest blogs to write. Usually, our blogs are happy and I pick the best things happening in our lives to share. What's happening is good in a very hard way. This week we checked Jantzen into a Wilderness program where he will stay for several months, after which he will transition to a therapeutic boarding school until he graduates. We took him to the program this past weekend. Talk about a rip your heart out experience. We have second-guessed ourselves on whether to do this for several months, but finally knew that we were ignoring the truth of what was happening and each wasted day was one less we had to work with him as parents.

We researched dozens of programs and finally settled on one that we felt would be a good fit for Jantzen's needs. Our contact with him will be limited for some time, and even though we feel at peace that he's being watched over by a wonderful team of people, we miss him. In some ways, it's easier to rest knowing he can be helped. We know the outcome if we did nothing.

Home has been a rough place for awhile with all the challenges our various kids are facing. The emotional and financial toll has been great, but then again, nothing great has ever been accomplished without great sacrifices. We are doing our best to deal with each child's issues with love and patience. But we are big believers that stress can take a toll. Kevin has been ill for ten days straight and I have had TMJ with my jaw locking shut. The good days have been far and few between, but we have faith that sunshine is around the corner (Sunshine? You are there, aren't you?)

We figure this too shall pass...sometime soon hopefully. In the meantime, lend your prayers to the family as we grapple with some of the toughest issues I can remember ever having on my plate.

I guess it's all relative...when we can move from 5 kids in counseling, down to three or none, we'll give a big cheer. Think of all the expendable income we'll gain back! We'll be rich! Independently wealthy! We can buy a second home! Buy art and stock fresh flowers and chocolates year round!

Lastly (and on a good note), hiking and exploring season is here. I've been hiking to Horsetail Falls with Dad and exploring some new fishing spots now that spring run off is ending. Nothing like a good hike to clear your head and get that hamburger you ate for lunch off your thighs.