Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Busy. Busy. Busy.

Whenever life gets busy around here I think of the magician in "Frosty the Snowman." In order to not get coal, Santa shows him mercy and asks him to do some lines before dawn on Christmas morning. He is so excited to get started and says, "I've got to get busy writing. Busy. Busy. Busy."

I feel like that is our life right now.

With the kid's school, Greg's work, our church callings, constant health problems, and the whole being "PTA President" thing... live is just busy. busy. busy. The busy mode gave me an excuse to neglect this blog. I'm now THREE AND A HALF years behind. It hurts to type that sentence. I began this blog as a family history... and I don't want anything missed. Hopefully, as I start my new resolve to keep up with this, I'll be able to fill in the gaps in the past. Here are some 'quick' updates:

GREG: is in the midst of closing and opening of numerous projects. Which means his work lately has been lots and lots of writing. He hopes to get some things going so he can be actively researching again. Over the summer he accomplished a few home projects: tool holder, built-in shelves in the playroom, and organized the garage. He still works with the Cub Scouts at church and it's been an adventure since Jared started to go in May. He still has back problems and since I've started my recovery, I've been pushing to get him back in--- hopefully it'll work.

AMBER: so so busy and full of emotions. I had my first cortisone shots yesterday and I'm still sore from it. I REALLY hope I can balance all of my responsibilities and still give my best to each area. I feel like everything is suffering because of my lingering issues from the car accident, however, I know that's not the best train of thought. I try to remember that I have heavenly helpers and a great earthly support system. Right now, PTA takes a lot of time, but it's a brand new PTA, so we're just getting things going. I've been doing Primary Chorister now since January and I still LOVE it. I feel the Spirit teaching gospel truths almost every Sunday. We're currently working on the songs for the primary program next month.

JARED: is thriving in THIRD grade. His teacher is so sweet, fun and incredible; one of the bonuses about being a PTA leader is having established relationships with the teachers, so I feel able to talk to her about anything. She is amazed at his smarts and hopes to be able to channel it to right uses--- instead of the wiggly ones. ;) He's currently working on being more patient with his siblings. He loves Cub Scouts and is working hard at getting his Bobcat.

ANNABELLE: is also excelling in FIRST grade. She, like her brother before, was able to pass the GT tests and get into the program in Kindergarten--- one of two kids. She's quippy, independent, very helpful, caring and usually very teachable. Her teacher is also outstanding and very open. The kids absolutely love the new school and I know it has a lot to do with the administration and their desire to be an open and loving campus. She, along with Jared, started piano lessons this summer and they're loving it--- Annabelle is progressing a little slower, so she needs more prodding to practice. All I have to say is, "no one complained about learning to play the piano" and she goes right to practice.

LUKE: is always on-the-go. His recovery period for his surgery was pretty fast; we had to keep reminding him that he had to wait to eat certain things and he was not happy. He's so happy that his preschool started up again. This MIGHT be his last year, it might not. We have flexibility since his birthday is the deadline to go to school---- we'll play it by ear as the year passes. He loves to be apart of the action and does not like being too small to do things. He's at that age right now that he loves to assert his independence in ANYTHING. Even if he's wrong--- which is definitely a challenge--- but we'll get there. He also FINALLY graduated out of nighttime pull-ups. Woo hoo!

MALCOLM: is three months from two and full of energy and life. He has grown so much since his palate repair surgery. He has LOTS of words: mama, dada, de-dye (Jedi), Bah-bell (Annabelle), Det's Doh (let's go), Det doh (let go), awht awht (hot), psh (push), nah (nose), dat (that) and a couple more random ones. He's FINALLY eating more big people food than formula, but still only drinks his milk out of a bottle. Every time we try to change it to a cup, he looks at us like we're crazy people. He loves to be around his siblings and loves Jedi.

JEDI: our newest family member, is doing great. We've adjusted to having a dog over last four months like we were meant to have him. We found out he has an allergy of sorts, to bug bites, so has to be on two flea/tick/heartworm meds. He loves to play: especially loves to tear apart tennis balls, play fetch with his rope, and... I kid you not... play with a laser. IT. IS. HILARIOUS. He still needs to be formally trained, but he knows 'sit,' 'stay,' 'lay/down,' 'come,' and 'shake.' His chewing on things, besides his rope, has tapered down and we're 90% sure his previous owner abused him in some form or another. He LOVES to cuddle like a lap dog, even though he's 26+ lbs and loves being here. He got out in the front, and I've been so paranoid about that happening because I was worried he'd run. We didn't chase after him, called his name and he turned around and came back inside. I guess that's a stamp of approval on living with us.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Luke's Birthday Questions at Four

I love doing these questions with the kids--- and it is even more fun when it's first time. Luke's answers made me laugh out loud. It is so fun to see the kids grow and change. I seriously love being a mom.
  1. What are 3 words that describe you? L-U-K-E
  2. I'm really good at:  painting, coloring, jumping
  3. What makes you happy? playing with my family and friends
  4. What makes you sad? When friends are playing without me
  5. What is your favorite animal?  Monkeys & Giraffes
  6. What is your favorite food? Pizza
  7. What is your favorite color? YELLOW
  8. What is your favorite part about church?  playing with file folders in sacrament
  9. What is your favorite scripture story? Jesus & the little Nephite kids
  10. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas & July :)
  11. What is your favorite treat? M&Ms
  12. What is your favorite type of music? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star music
  13. What is your favorite toy? Captain America & Arlo
  14. What is your favorite sport to play? Swimming Contest in the Olympics
  15. My favorite books are: Quah-Qouh (Cars) and Dinosaurs
  16. What is your favorite movie? Beauty & the Beast (this shocked me)
  17. Favorite TV Show?  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  18. If I could go anywhere, I would go to: on another Disney Cruise
  19. What songs do you like to sing? "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam" "Gethsemane"
  20. Best thing our family does together: taking silly pictures
  21. If you could pick any pet, what would it be? Jedi, our dog
  22. When I was little I used to: play with baby toys, drink milk and suck on my thumb
  23. My best friend is: Briana
  24. What do you like to do with Mommy? Help her fold the clothes
  25. What do you like to do with Daddy? Play in the playroom
  26. What do you like to play inside? I like to play with superheroes
  27. What do you like to play outside? play with my dog
  28. If I had one wish, it would be: fly with Peter Pan
  29. Are you afraid of anything?  spiders
  30. When I grow up, I want to be: a jedi
  31. Who is the coolest person you know: my friends
  32. *EXTRA*  My favorite memory is: playing with my sister (AWE!)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

This Saturday...


Monday, March 21, 2016

Grandpa's Obituary

David Carl Hultgren, 73, passed the way he lived… quietly and on his own terms. Dad left this earth on Saturday, March 19, 2016, with his family about him while watching television after a short, painful, and frustrating battle with cancer.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on February 9, 1943, Dad was the adopted son of Carl and Anne Hultgren of Oak Park, Illinois. He grew up splitting his time between the city and his grandparent’s home in the very small town of Varna, Illinois.

Dad attended Evergreen Park High School, where he was a member of the Projectionist Club, graduating with the class of 1961. He spent a year at Eastern Illinois University before joining the Air Force in 1962.  He enlisted during the Vietnam conflict; the very definition of a patriot. Dad spent his basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi, of which he said, “Yep, it’s muggy.”

Dad was not particularly interested in guns, he said, and he encouraged his family to avoid them. Yet, during his time at Biloxi, he earned several marksmanship awards; always a dichotomy.

The Air Force took him to Utah in 1963 where he met his future wife at an Air Force dance. He married Judy Kay Sewell that November and they celebrated their 52nd anniversary in 2015. They welcomed three daughters, Karen (Jackson) San Antonio, Texas; Cheryl (Spangler) Ogden, Utah; and Annette (Maughan) Chicago, Illinois.

In 1967, Dad arrived in Cambodia, where he worked as Secretary to General (we wish we remembered his name but Dad hardly mentioned his time there, drat?).  Dad had taken a federal competency test prior to leaving for Cambodia, and it turned out to be a lifesaver for his little family. While in Cambodia, he developed whole body eczema and had to be medically discharged. Heartbroken, he shipped out to Walter Reed to convalesce. While there, Mom received a call about the test he had taken and when Dad returned on a Friday afternoon, he had two days down time before he started work for the Internal Revenue Service in Ogden, where he spent 20 years and received several commendations for his work. He retired from IRS once his transfer request was approved, and he continued his federal service, becoming a civilian contractor in the Logistics division at Hill Air Force Base.

Dad never missed a sporting event that his daughters were involved in and always rooted for the Cubs. He attended LDS church regularly although he never took the plunge or dipped a toe in the baptismal waters. He made sure his family was supported in everything they did, and he worked three jobs in the early years to keep them warm, fed and happy while finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Dad spent 16 years at Hill, until one day at an IHOP while drinking coffee and developing model train plans, he suddenly got very disoriented and started to fall sleep. Dad had a transient ischemic attack and was taken to the hospital where he was told he had to spend a few days. The day after the TIA, Dad started to get up and get dressed to go to work when he was stopped. He protested. “I can’t leave them a man down”.  He didn’t have a choice, and with the rapid onset of a heart condition, Dad was sad to have to retire from Hill in 2010. His 48-year service to the federal government was over, replaced with a pace maker and an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. He struggled with this indignantly for 6 years, angry, happy, and enjoying his grandchildren. Changing diapers like a pro he said, “I helped bring them into the world, the least I can do is wipe a bum or two.”

Dad enjoyed civic service as well, spending time on the Riverdale and Clearfield Planning Commissions and running for City Council in Riverdale. He was diligent, attentive and dedicated himself to learning what he could to make informed and very serious decisions that he knew would have a lasting effect. His time with the fine people in these city governments was a very happy and rewarding time for Dad, and the family would like to express their sincere thanks to Riverdale, Ogden and Clearfield city governments.
Dad spent his life helping others, working seven years with a special needs church group, helping with seven Christmas programs and too many scout meetings to count. Just last year, he and Mom were awarded Volunteer of The Year for their work with the Epilepsy Association of Utah.
In his off-time, and any other time for that matter, he would build model railroads and help “run the trains” at shows with the Hostlers Model Train Club of Ogden. His work with trains helped him make even more friends, and if there was ever a child in a wheelchair watching the trains, he would be sure to invite him or her to be an engineer on their railroad.
He will be missed by many but especially his dear wife (Judy), daughters (Karen, Cheryl and Annette) and “sons” (Jared, Scot and Glenn), sister (Judi Holbrook, Atlanta, Georgia) and “brother” (Wes Holbrook) , 10 grandchildren (Amber - Greg, Zak - Krystal, Megan, Parker, Glenn, Taylor, Ava and Aiden) , and 5 great-grandchildren (Jared, Annabelle, Luke, Adrienne, and Malcolm).
Funeral services (with sincerity and laughter) will be held on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd.  There will be a viewing party on Friday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the mortuary.  If you would like to converse at Dad one last time, there will be a viewing Saturday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Don’t be late, we will start without you because if you aren’t 15 minutes early…you’re late.

Dad’s love for his children, especially his special kids, should be celebrated by bringing your families with you. Wheelchairs, oxygen tanks and feeding tubes are more than welcome; they are encouraged. Dad would love it.
And “if you are always pulling your skirt to keep it down, maybe you should buy a longer one.”

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Unpredictable Nature of Mal

An interesting fact about Mal is he was born with a double uuvla. At birth, no one was worried about it. Greg and I didn't really see it until months later. When I first saw it, I was pretty shocked because they were both fully developed and hanging a couple cms apart.

With some research done by a worried Mama, I was 90% sure he had a Submucous Cleft Palate. After a visit with his pedi and a pediENT, they both said yes and were impressed at my research. This at 11 months old.

A month later, we found out from the Pediatric Plastic Surgeon (who is a Cleft Palate specialist) that he actually had a full Cleft Palate, which would need surgery asap.

His ASAP surgery is tomorrow morning. He'll have to stay in the hospital overnight. Then, there is a four week recovery period of all soft food. He'll also see a speech therpist until he's five, and if his speech isn't developing properly, he could have more surgeries.

I'm not too worried about the surgery because I know the medical team is experienced with this situation. I also know that my baby is being watched over by more then just men, but a Savior, Jesus Christ, who understands all we go through, and loves infinitely.

With that said, can y'all say a little prayer for our family as we start this journey tomorrow.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Forever a Family

Yesterday, we had the chance to go to the temple. We try to do that regularly, but today was a little bit different because we went with my parents and siblings. It was the first time all together in the temple.  It was an amazing experience. Temple workers kept asking us if something big was happening (i.e. mission, sealing), but it was just us. All together. In the house of the Lord. Absolute eternal truth.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Quilt for Gpa

Ever since we found out about Grandpa's battle, I've been wanting to do something for him. When he started chemo, he would get cold and my aunt requested blankets to be made for him. Then, Megbo came home from her mission and we both started throwing around ideas to make a quilt. We wanted to get it done before his birthday, but it wasn't to be. However, we did get it done this month. It was quite challenging to do with a preschooler and toddler under our feet, but it got done. As we put the back together, we realized it was missing something. So, we took the great-grandkids and traced their hands on some of the fabric panels. Another panel says: Made with Love by Megan and Amber for their Grandpa Dave to keep him warm during his fight with Cancer and beyond.

We've got you, Gpa. Always.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

In the Last 10 Days...

Mal had conjunctivitis.
Jared had to go to the dentist for swollen gums around his space saver.
Annabelle broke her arm and had to go to the ER
Greg and I got the sniffles.
Malcolm swallowed some foam and puked 4 times in two hours (twice in the car); earning he and I a day in the ER.
Luke puked in the dark in his carseat.
Annabelle complained of a sore throat, spent yesterday morning puking, and found out today that she has Strep.

At this rate, I'm about to go kill the first-born calf and spread his blood above our threshold...

Sheesh.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Update 2015

At least I got them done digitally...


Monday, November 30, 2015

Thankful Turkey 2015

In all honestly, we got super behind this year because of the crazy month. So, one night, we sat down and did 12 in a row because we were THAT far behind.  I was determined to do it though because this is a tradition that must be kept. We love Tom the Turkey--- he's the first thing the kids ask for when we unpack the Thanksgiving decorations. :)

Greg: Luke, Belle, Jared, Amber, Mal, my parents, in-laws, gospel, good books, Cub Scouts, little giggles, supportive co-workers, couches, helpful family, rest, cuddles, heater, friends, my job, Atonement, choir, priesthood, Key Lime Pies, time off work, creativity

Amber: scriptures, Greg, water, good car, baseball, music, Jared, Annabelle, Luke, Malcolm, temple, crafting, kiddo cuddles, revelation, Daddy's job, Jesus, service, quiet time, Atonement, USA, nice clothes, modern medicine, our parents, priesthood, holidays

Jared: family, our house, friends, my toys, my brothers & sister, treats, Oba & Jiji, Mom & Dad, Mema & Deda, Annabelle, Gramma Barb, my birthday, Jesus, temple, the Earth, Star Wars, Luke, Malcolm, TV, Thanksgiving, pumpkins, Tom the Turkey, dinosaurs, Six Flags, helping out, turkey

Annabelle: Malcolm, Luke, Jared, Daddy, Mommy, Tom the Turkey, doing crafts, our house, Heavenly Father, me, Jesus, the Earth, animals, school, my friends, our health, pumpkins, Oba & Jiji, Mema & Deda, Gramma Barb, great-grandparents, my body, singing, dancing, Anna & Elsa, birthdays

Luke: beds, safe places, Oba & Jiji, noses, tongues, having fun, Mama, Jedis, Mickey, Annabelle, Mickey Boat, Mema & Deda, looking at pictures, my brothers, watching my Jared brother, Daddy, being a sunbeam, eating food, friends at preschool, Tom & Jerry, cuddles with Oba, watching movies, having water, Shoe Roller Coaster at Six Flags,  McQueen, playing games with the family

Malcolm (as told by others): bathtime, playtime, places to scoot, milk, diapers, highchair, drums, blue blankie, thick bones, Annabelle, giggles, peek-a-boo, teeth, stuffed Chewie, big boy food, walking, family, naps, toys, shoes, jumper, Mom & Dad, pumpkin, waffles, grandparents, brothers & sister

Happy Thanksgiving from our little herd to yours!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Annabelle's Birthday Questions at 6

  1. What are 3 words that describe you? smart, fancy, and pretty
  2. I'm really good at:  baseball, jungle gyms, art
  3. What makes you happy? Getting tickled
  4. What makes you sad? When Daddy goes out of town
  5. What is your favorite animal?  Monkey
  6. What is your favorite food? Mac and Cheese
  7. What is your favorite color? Pink
  8. What is your favorite part about church? Singing Time
  9. What is your favorite scripture story? When Jesus walked on water
  10. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
  11. What is your favorite treat? ice cream
  12. What is your favorite type of music? Jack the Pumpkin King
  13. What is your favorite toy? Legos
  14. What is your favorite sport to play? Baseball
  15. My favorite books are: Scriptures
  16. What is your favorite movie? Frozen
  17. Favorite TV Show?  Doc McStuffins
  18. If I could go anywhere, I would go to: California
  19. What songs do you like to sing? Every single song in the world
  20. Best thing our family does together: Go to Six Flags
  21. If you could pick any pet, what would it be? cat
  22. When I was little I used to: eat purple crayons
  23. My best friend is: Alex
  24. What do you like to do with Mommy? Go to movies
  25. What do you like to do with Daddy? Go get ice cream
  26. What do you like to play inside? video games
  27. What do you like to play outside? swing
  28. If I had one wish, it would be: it was time to go on the Disney Cruise
  29. Are you afraid of anything?  scorpions
  30. When I grow up, I want to be: an artist
  31. Who is the coolest person you know: my family (WOO HOO!)
  32. *EXTRA*  My favorite memory is: getting my first lego set.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Our Third Baby is THREE!

It is so hard to believe that Luke is THREE!

Weight: 34 lbs 4 oz (75%)
Height: 37 3/4 (75%)
Hair: whispy strawberry blonde
Eyes: Brown
Teeth: still 20 :)
Shoe Size: 8
Clothes Size: 3T pants, mostly 4T shirts
Nicknames: Lukie, Pookie, Pookie-Pants, Luke-the-Duke, LP,  Lukie Luke
Likes:
 the family, Green Blankie, Mickey Mouse, dancing, singing "imperial march"
Dislikes: being tied down
Favorite Food: mac & cheese--- pizza--- apples--- crackers--- yay for the apples because the rest of his diet is carb-based
Favorite Toys: He loves all of the cars and little people--- he's starting to get interested in Legos... I sense I Christmas present...
Favorite Books: Red Hat, Green Hat, Blue Hat by Sandra Boyton. The kid cracks up every. single. time. we read it.
Favorite Things to Watch: Mickey & Octonauts are still preferable, however he LOVES Qua-Quem (McQueen) and Cars now.
Words: He's a talker now--- but it's mostly Luk-ese and people usually need us to translate.
Other New Tricks: He's a ball of energy. He love to be around his siblings (and is super sad now that Annabelle goes to school every day). He loves to help and is starting to find his own voice. He's mostly potty-trained now, only nights with pull-ups.
What's next: Enjoying his first year at preschool... Making sure the potty training sticks so he can go into the kids club on the cruise in December.
How he drives us crazy: He's still a messy, messy boy. He'll make ANYTHING a mess. It's a gift, I think. He's starting to react emotionally to things, so we're trying to teach how to deal with that... wish us luck.
Why he's so awesome: He's still very chill. He brings a great temperament to the family--- maybe he'll be the peacemaker, I don't know. He loves to make up stories and, so far, loves preschool. He's so adventurous and full of life.

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