Life with the oldest sister who loves friends and decorating, a boy who has Hypoplastic Left heart Syndrome, now Heart transplant and partial Liver from Aspergillius, but thinks friends and electronics rule. The most amazing middle-child-sister-aspiring artist. Also, a girl and her Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome, Neuro Endocrine Cell Hypoplasia, Lumbar Hemangioma, asymmetrical gluteal cleft, Pectus Carinatum who loves art, swimming and friends. Last one yummy baby brother who has a coarctation and bicuspid valve and thinks electronics and (you guessed it) friends are the best.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Christmas Letter 2021

 A very Merry Christmas from The Homer clan,

It has been a busy and full year for each of us, here is what we’ve been up to:

Asher-(6) This guy is constantly moving. He finished out kindergarten and started first grade. It’s his first year in French and has been doing really well with that. He loves math, science, and crafting. He is a really great artist and loves to sketch on all of his homework. He played baseball this summer, swan in our blow up pool in the backyard, and played electronics as often as mom and dad would let him. An hour after mom got home from girlies camp, he fell off the tramp and broke his arm. So prayers really work, cause mom prayed the whole time, that he wouldn’t get hurt while she was gone. His favorite things from this year are: the demolition derby, riding great-uncle Sid's horse at the family reunion, motocross race show, and hanging out at Alex’s MTB races. (So much dirt to play in)  

MayLee-(8) Miss Lady is currently in 3rd grade and speaking French like a champ now. May was always turning cartwheels and doing handstands for tumbling, until that all came to an abrupt halt after her spinal surgery. She sailed right through it and was such a fast healer. Other than a bout of Covid diagnosed on her birthday ( a little scary because of May’s fragile lungs) her health has been really great this year. The surgery has fixed some other issues that were present because of her tethered cord. It was still an epic birthday turning 8 and then being baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints on Mom’s big 4…0…. birthday. Grandma Clawson sewed her dress and made all her dress dreams come true. She started researching styles while she was quarantined. She loves the color blue, playdates, and crafting. She is great at doing her jobs, is a fantastic student and enjoys Activity days so so much. Her favorite things from this year are: when she had her surgery (she had such great support, it was a positive experience) and had her prayers answered that she would feel better, trips with the family and when we busted out the old phones that the kids could use as IPODS. 

Eden-(11) Shmeedles is keeping us busy too. She is in her 3rd year of piano, which she plays beautifully, her girls tackle football team dominated as undefeated and Champions, and this year she wants to try her hand at tennis or volley ball. She is a natural at anything she tries. She is an awesome student, but her favorite thing about school is, when it is over. She speaks French so well that her teacher told me she wished she could copy her. She had her last Primary program because she is getting so old. This means Dad and Mom are getting old. Gah!!!! She is still very passionate about art and creating, loves having friends over, spends loads of time reading graphic novels and is turning into a very good chef.  She can’t wait to visit the temple for the first time in January. Her favorite things about this year have been: learning a bit of sign language, going to the MTB practices and races with the family, and going to Hale with Grandma and Grandpa Homer.

Alex-(14) Gator is always up for a good time. He loves having friends over for wicked cool Xbox gaming. He was ordained a teacher, is a great cook, and is the fastest at doing his house work. He works for Jeff as a sweeper at CCD and recently applied to be a sweeper at the elementary school. He loves to MTB and has worked hard at it. Every mile he gets under his belt is a blessing because of how hard he has fought to live. Along with riding his bike, he helped the league build a MTB track near our home.  He has been the most successful at school this year, and is really hoping to keep it that way. He loves the social aspect of school, so there’s that. This is his first year as a member of the Youth Advisory Council at Primary Children’s Hospital. His health has been amazing. We think he has grown some this year. With two little sisters bigger than him, you would think he would feel a little bad. NOPE, he has a huge personality and it more than makes up for his stature.  His favorite memories from this year are: MTB races, hanging out with friends and family, and going on family trips.

Ryleigh-(17) Ryleigh Roo is a typical teen. She does College French, has a busy school schedule and after school clubs and activities. She is still working at Zao, got her drivers license, started dating and going to dances, plus hanging out with her friends. She got a 95 Honda to drive on her 16th birthday and named her Margo. She got a little younger car to drive on her 17th birthday, one we hope last for all the kids. This is her third year on the Youth Advisory Council at PCH, and has the responsibility of President. She is the president in her class at church as well. She loves naps, decorating, hanging out with friends, and watching shows with Dad and Mom after work. She will take the sibs out for a treat and pick up stuff from the store for me. It is heaven having another driver. Her favorite memories from this year are: Running for student Gov ( didn’t win, but trying again next year), trip to Nashville, and some date dances.

Jeff and Brynn- Married 20 years this year! We are the support staff for the kids, Jeff road MTB with Gator as a coach. He has also done some fun bike rides on his road bike and has huge plans for this next year, with Brynn as support and avid bystander. She thinks it’s cute when he asks her to join him. She just enjoys fetching water and watching his cute bum in spandex. He is already in training and is working hard for the rides in the spring. We are both busy with church callings. Jeff is in the stake presidency “still" and Brynn is in the YW. Our week nights are busy with activities, meetings and interviews. Sunday’s are just as busy, but we look forward to naps if we can squeeze them in. Alex, Eden, MayLee and Asher work for Jeff, with Brynn overseeing them. Hopefully they are learning some important things about work, money, and saving. Brynn was team mom for football and MTB teams. That means Jeff was team dad, because he supported them just as much. Business has been busy at Copper Canyon Design. This is a huge blessing to our family and we have been so thankful that Covid hasn’t slowed things down. The thing that has slowed, is getting product, because of shortages that are out of our control. Brynn has scaled back doing hair so she can teach preschool. It is pretty much the best ever in the whole wide world. They do science, stickers, and giggle. She can’t believe she gets to spend time with such sweet kids and of course her teaching partner rocks!!!!! Despite all of that other stuff, Jeff still finds time for projects around the house or plans them, he takes Brynn on dates, and finds fun things for the family to do together. Brynn is hanging out in her garden, reading or listening to a book or working on lists and calendaring. Our combined to do list is never ending and that’s okay because it probably keeps us out of trouble. 

Milo- (1 .5) He is getting his own paragraph. He is has learned so many tricks and has calmed down in his behavior. He is a gentle giant even though he was only supposed to be a mini golden doodle, he pulled a Clifford on us and is huge. Anytime someone comes over, he thinks they are there for him, and he is right in their business to get all the attention. We have been on a few outings to Scheels, Homedepot, Lowes, and dog park to socialize since he is as un-shy as the rest of the family. We have already been through one Nerf tennis ball gun and he can hardly wait until Christmas when he gets to open his second one. 

 We are most thankful for our knowledge of the Savior Jesus Christ. We celebrate his birth and life and are blessed so richly because of his atoning sacrifice. We are also blessed by all of you. The support that you offer, your friendship and service, and the joy you bring into our lives. Thank you for riding the crazy train with us.

The Homer’s

Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Great Homie adventure.... Finished product

When all was said and done on our house project, we added 14 feet to the back of the house, that included two new bedrooms downstairs, a third car garage and a covered front porch. We did a lot of the work ourselves. I learned how to plumb, demo, clean up, feed workers, drive nails, paint, drywall, install cabinets (well appreciate that more), move rocks, lay flooring, tile backsplashes, sprinklers, thrift for decor and so much more. Jeff learned and was already good at so many things when it came to building. He did learn patience and teaching. When you have to teach things multiple times or explain a process to someone like me who doesn't know the first thing, that is just as hard. Ry was amazing, she meal planned, purchased groceries from click-list, and then prepare those meals. Alex was always out helping. He moved so many rocks. His favorite was demo, anything that needed to be torn down, or broken apart, he was really great at that. He also helped out with electrical by pulling wires. No power was turned on yet, he was protected. Just helping dad to get everything ready. Asher tried doing everything that Alex tried and was usually the first one up helping. He has always been that way. Eden and May also helped. They carried rocks, moved them again and again, helped to move concrete crumbles, moved more rocks, carried boards and wood and molding, moved more rocks, jumped on the tramp, pulled stucco off the house and moved it to the garbage and moved more rocks. 

This was our kitchen during construction. We ate most of our meals on the floor. We made our meals in the insta pot or crockpot. Or sometimes we cooked on the griddle or grilled. Dishes were all done in the sink, no dishwasher. We tried really hard to make healthy low maintenance meals. I was grateful that we had this kitchenette in our basement to use. It was hard, but kind of fun because we knew it wouldn't be forever.

The former window is now Ry's door to her room and Alex's room is on the other side of the kitchenette. Eden took Ry's old room and May stayed in their shared room. Asher kept the boys room. Now all the kids have their own space. Which means they are responsible for that space and keeping it tidy and organized. We feel endlessly blessed to have such a beautiful home and put in a lot of effort to make it nice. We also feel extremely lucky to have done this before all of the prices of supplies sky rocketed. That was a tender mercy because it was right during the pandemic. It was hard to decided if we should try and find a new home, update our current home, or just save. After much prayer on the matter. We felt like staying but updating would be the best. Now we can stay for many many more years. Or forever.... hahaha
Most of our decor was thrifted, if it wasn't the exact color scheme we used a little paint and creativity. 

The Great Homie Adventure home addition part 6

 The house project wasn't the only thing we had going. Asher graduated from preschool at Miss Stephanie's. He loved preschool and was particularly good at math. He loved science and crafts. Asher kept his teachers on her toes, but she was amazing at channeling his energy. 

 Speaking of channeling his energy, I needed his help with folding his laundry and he finds anyway to make it fun. Sometimes it turns into more fun than I can have, and I get after him for messing around. 

Milo is a good puppy. He puts up with a lot.

Heart check.. Everything looks great. We call this chest spaghetti. He also has his pulse ox on his finger. 
 Asher loves Milo. He hugs him a little hard. 
Just my Ry with super red hair. 

Ry does the girls hair so cute. They research looks online and then Ry attempts them on her sisters. 

I have mentioned that everyone has been trying to help with the project, to the best of their abilities. Jeff was working on some electrical in the attic. This is what happens to the bum of your shorts when you slide down a roof. It didn't always go smoothly. The kids learned so many things, that even with the best intentions this crop up, or mistakes happen. Or even silly things, like holy bum shorts. 

Crash wants to be as cool as all the big bike riders. He had his Kit, sunglasses, helmet and water bottle. 
Ry was named Student of Excellence in French language during the end of year assembly. This was Ry's 9th year of French. I am impressed with the immersion program and have loved that the kids have all learned this language. 

Monday, November 15, 2021

The Great Homie addition Adventure part 5

 With the concrete poured, its time for the walls to go up, as well as for more demo of old walls and  the kitchen. We are so thankful for all of the helping hands. Asher has his favorite Demo Dixon (s). I guess his favorite is anyone who would let him on a ladder or to swing a hammer... he was all about that. Demo is clear and distraction is pretty straight forward. It when you have to follow instructions for building, that Asher at 5 struggled. But anytime you are just trying to bust something up or take it down, that is easy to understand. This is what it looks like inside the house as we begin demo and open walls. We put up temporary walls to protect us against the elements and also critters that might want to join us. 

It is truly a learning experience for me. If we didn't know how to do something we spent a lot of time researching or trying things again. I had to cut this and cap it. The cutting wasn't so bad, or fitting the cap end over. The most difficult part was taping. I didn't need birthday present worthy taping, just not a total hack job. I think I re-taped like 6 times. 

I also learned a little sprinkler maintainence
Everyone helped to the best of their abilities. 

It was super exciting when we saw this pull up... I sent the below picture to Jeff with a happy excited emoji.