Monday, October 9, 2017

Cheers to 8 years

Olivia turned 8 on October 1st.

I think she had been counting down the days leading up to her birthday for about 3 months prior to it!

After all, birthdays, the gift of another tomorrow, and the accomplishment of living another year longer are no small feat when you live with a life-threatening disease. In turn, we try to make everyone's birthday in our household a pretty special day and big hooray.

This year we celebrated most of Olivia's birthday a day early.

We headed to the Wildlife Science Center for a tour of the animals. Wolves remain one of Olivia's very favorite animal so another trip this year to see and learn about them up close was one of her top requests.

Olivia also wanted to go bowling, to the arcade and have a pizza party with her soda pop in a purple bowling bin drink holder. This purple bowling pin proved to be a pretty big deal so we are glad we could make that one little wish come true for her.

She did not look this happy until she got the bowling pin, in fact, I thought she was sick and not feeling well prior to this.

Cosmic Bowling
We were fortunate to have Grandma and Grandpa, as well as Darci and Braelyn join us for the celebration. We ended the evening celebration with a fall campfire. It was a busy, fun and special day for Olivia.

On October 1st, Olivia's actual birthday, she woke up bright and early and got all dolled up for her special day in a new dress and boot outfit she had been reserving for the day she finally turned 8. It was pretty sweet. Darci and Braelyn dropped off a few gifts and Olivia was super excited to open the front door to find her treasures from them.

Olivia opened her gifts from us in the afternoon and was super pumped that she received many of her wish list items, including the new kitty bedding set she had been wanting for quite some time.

Landen and I had a 500 kick/5k to run in the afternoon for a fundraiser for his tae kwon do competition team. As luck would seem to have it, the rain and wind picked up right as we started the race and ended when we had just about finished, but it was still a fun event and both Landen and I were impressed that we were able to complete the 500 kicks and 5k in about 20 minutes.

Olivia chose a Moana birthday cake so we spent the rainy afternoon snacking on popcorn and candy while watching Moana for probably the 20th time.

It was a glorious birthday weekend, made special for a very remarkable, little girl.

As I tucked Olivia into bed on the eve of her birthday, she asked me if tomorrow would still be special. I told her that everyday is special even if it's not your birthday and that she'll still be 8 when she wakes up. She told me she had a lot of fun with me and I reminded her that I have fun with her every. single. day. She seemed content, and then cuddled into her new kitty bedding and went to sleep.

Here are a few questions I asked of Olivia now that she is 8 years old.

Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Pink

Q: What is your favorite toy?
A: My white Kitty

Q: What is your favorite fruit?
A: strawberries and grapes

Q: What is your favorite tv show?
A: Moana

Q: What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?
A: Noodles with butter and Parmesan cheese

Q: What is your favorite outfit?
A: A dress, headband and sneakers

Q: What is your favorite game?
A: The Scrambled States of America

Q: What is your favorite snack?
A: Fruit snacks

Q: What is your favorite animal?
A: Wolf, puma & cat (sorry Sammy 😊)

Q: What is your favorite song?
A: Taylor Swift, "Look what you made me do"

Q: What is your favorite book?
A: All about Cats & Kittens and All about Dogs & Puppies

Q: What is your favorite subject in school?
A: Art

Q: What is your favorite sport?
A: Dance

Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside?
A: Monkey bars & go for a gremlin walk with Sammy

Q: What is your favorite drink?
A: Koolaid

Q: What is your favorite holiday?
A: My birthday

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: A veterinarian

Q: What are you excited to do now that you are 8 years old?
A: "Since I'm 8 I'm happy that I get to pick on Landen more, because he picks on me."

Q: If you could wish for any one thing what would it be?
A: For my family never to die

Q: What are some of your favorites?
A: Shopping at Justice, playing with Sammy, teasing my cat and dance

and in true kid fashion, Landen didn't want to be left out so here are his questions & answers too:

Landen -  10 years old

Q: What is your favorite color?
A: red

Q: What is your favorite toy?
A: legos

Q: What is your favorite fruit?
A: strawberries

Q: What is your favorite tv show?
A: Lego Batman

Q: What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?
A: Nachos

Q: What is your favorite outfit?
A: comfy clothes (this kid hates jeans!)

Q: What is your favorite game?
A: The Scrambled States of America

Q:What is your favorite snack?
A: icecream

Q: What is your favorite animal?
A: buffalo

Q: What is your favorite song?
A: "I'm the One" featuring Justin Bieber

Q: What is your favorite book?
A: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: Math

Q: What is your favorite sport?
A: Tae Kwon Do

Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside?
A: Monkey bars

Q: What is your favorite drink?
A: Koolaid

Q: What is your favorite holiday?
A: Christmas

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: An engineer

Q: What are you excited to do now that you are 10 years old?
A: Drive the golf cart around.

Q: If you could wish for any one thing what would it be?
A: to live in Hawaii

Q: What are some of your favorites?
A: swimming, tae kwon do, video games and Legos

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

CF Annual Study Results

Olivia had her CF annual studies back in the beginning of September. To say it was an exhausting day would be an understatement. We began the early morning with the OGTT. We tried everything to convince Olivia that this test was not that big of a deal as she's done it twice before, and even after the pain free iv placement she still had herself all worked up and her stomach in knots. I could tell by the look on her face that pulling off this test was not going to be easy.

We were given 10 minutes to get the entire glucola solution into her via the g-tube. I pumped some in, took a break, pumped some in, took a break, and finally finished right at the 10 minute mark. I immediately tried to distract her as I could see the anxiety written all over her face. She kept saying it was gross because even via her g-tube she could still taste it. Long story, long - she puked up an unverified amount within 15 minutes.

To say I was very upset, would be another vast understatement. This test is done once per year beginning at the age of 6 at our CF clinic, and it is the basis for determining CFRD. I knew this test was of the utmost importance this year because I strongly believe we are on the brink of having Olivia being diagnosed with CFRD, given the history of her last year's OGTT along with some other symptoms she's been having. I also know that trying to get this test done once per year is stressful and anxiety inducing enough for Olivia so if this test wasn't useful because she vomited up who knows how much of the glucola, a repeat in the near future wasn't going to go much smoother given how worked up she gets over this test. I can almost imagine the steam that was spouting from my ears because I felt at a complete loss. I told Jeff we might as well throw in the towel as the test wasn't going to be accurate. I spoke with the administering nurses and they said none of the blood work would be run until the test was complete, thus we should proceed. I then spoke w/ our CF practitioner, she too said to keep going with the test and that regardless of the results we wouldn't need to repeat it "soon" as long as Olivia wasn't showing other signs of CFRD. Thus, we proceeded with the 3 hour test.

At the end of the OGTT, we quickly headed down to radiology for Olivia's annual chest x-ray and then I decided to postpone the remaining afternoon appointments of pft's and a follow up with our CF team as we had all had enough. Olivia was soaking wet with vomit, (note to self: always bring extra clothes to appointments) not to mention I'm sure very queasy from lack of food and the 20 plus vials of blood that were drawn from her, thus we headed home.

The following week we headed back down to clinic for the rescheduled appointments. We began with pft's. The technician was new to the clinic and one we had not had before, so it's hard to say if it was the lack of coaching and familiarity or that there are underlying issues going on that showed a drop in Olivia's pft's since the last few visits. Again, another somewhat invalid or questionable test. Do you see a pattern here?

We then headed over to talk to our CF team. Olivia did gain weight over the summer so that was good. Olivia's blood work and all the tests that were run from the umpteen vials of blood all came back in the normal range. Her chest x-ray was unchanged from last year, and maybe even a bit better from the condition of her lungs back in May when she was hospitalized, although it still breaks my heart. The continued damage to her precious lungs from this wretched disease just plain sucks. The x-ray continues to show minimal peribronchial cuffing, which as defined from wikipedia is: peribronchial thickening or bronchial wall thickening, is a radiologic sign which occurs when excess fluid or mucus buildup in the small airway passages of lung causes localized patches of atelectasis (lung collapse). 

We then reviewed the OGTT results and just as I had predicted, the test was pretty much invalid. Olivia's 2 hour mark for the test continued to show elevated glucose levels when they should have been going down. Had she not vomited to invalidate the test, this would have indicated a follow up with endocrinology to begin a treatment plan for CFRD. However, because the test can't be interpreted 'as is' because of this, we are to repeat it in 6 months to a year.

Other symptoms of CFRD, include increased thirst and urination, a drop in lung function, weight loss and excess fatigue. Knowing what I know now, I can tell you Olivia at times has displayed all of these symptoms.

She did gain weight over the past 3 months but her height has dropped from the 75th percentile to just over the 50th percentile over the past 9 months. If her height can't keep up with her weight, she's not growing like she should thus not allowing her lungs the space they need to grow as big as they can. This could be attributed to CFRD. Her lung function dropped, is this because of CFRD or because of the new technician, lack of coaching . . .

Olivia drinks a fair amount of water and in turn does pee often; has this been the case all along and I'm just noticing it more now? Now that my senses and awareness to these symptoms are heightened, has she been displaying these symptoms for quite some time or am I picking up on them so much now because I know what lies ahead?

It's hard to say and I don't like being in the iffy zone or the wait and see period. Recently, Olivia will tell me she feels shaky. Is this because of anxiety or because her blood sugar is dropping low? We were told that for whatever reason cf patients' blood sugars can drop very, very, very low before problems ensue. If Olivia is feeling shaky because of low blood sugars, and knowing that cf patients can drop very low, her feeling shaky is very alarming to me if it's related to blood sugars. Yet, trying to get an 8 year old to figure out and understand if they have a headache or not, let alone all the havoc cf is wreaking on her body, is a very hard thing to do. I could haul her back in to clinic to repeat the OGTT, but honestly, I think the same results would show up. We'd get there and she'd puke because of the mind games and anxiety it causes. For now, I'm logging when she feels shaky and what is going on to try to help her interpret the cause of it, time of day, pattern etc. and I'll check in with our CF team when needed.

Olivia is afraid to get CFRD. I've told her it's not "if", it's "when". She then asks me if she will die from it. I tell her it's something we can manage and treat, all the while trying to keep my composure because it's another pile of shit in an already overflowing bag that this poor child must carry.

I can't even.

The list of things that Olivia must do every single day to "live" is more than so many could handle, including myself. I continue to ask myself at what point does all of this stuff end up over taking the true meaning of living and instead end up just surviving. She's only 8! Hours spent each day that she must endure to keep her lungs healthy and the continued damage still occurs. Handfuls of pills at each snack or meal that can't be forgotten. The overnight g-tube feed that she must endure to attempt to keep her gaining weight and growing. The hours spent per day that Olivia is hooked up to some machine to combat the horrors of this disease, actually do outweigh the hours that she's not. 
Again, Olivia spends more time every day hooked up to machines than she does not hooked up to machines. Activities, gatherings, doing fun things that are often missed to try to keep from getting germs and bacteria and sicknesses happen all too often. Just typing all this bears so much weight on the already heavy heart I have for her and I again ask myself why then is she burdened with more? Why must a sweet innocent little girl, be asked to live with so much? At what point will she lash out and hate all that her life has become and is and ask me the hard question I ponder myself . . . is this living or merely surviving?

I'll leave the googling of CFRD up to you. Yes it's manageable, I'm sure that "managing" will be a whole new ball game. Yet CFRD also is grim. The earlier onset of lung decline, CFRD being worse for girls than boys all leading to an earlier death in a disease that already will very likely cut her life way too short as is. If it were possible, all this would literally break my heart, into pieces. This disease and all that it entails, wakes and keeps me up at night, wondering if I will outlive my daughter, wondering what life would be like without her, wondering how in the world if that happens  do we go on. God, this sucks. It sucks so very much. She is a little girl, she just turned 8, how is it even comprehensible to be thinking of her death.

For now, we keep mustering through all while keeping a close eye on Olivia over the next few weeks to months to see what and if we need to move quicker than thought on the repeated OGTT test to move forward with treatment of CFRD. For now we keep living.

Olivia just turned 8 on Sunday. Every birthday in our household is so very special, the accomplishment of living another year longer, so I'll save sharing her joyous celebration and photos for another post, one that isn't filled with despair.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Summer - where did you go?

Where did July go, and honestly August for that matter?!?!

It felt like as soon as we celebrated the 4th of July, we turned a corner and were into August. Crazy, how fast this summer has flown by. This week is our last week of summer for the kids and I, Monday school is back in full swing. Ugh.

The beginning of July was pretty normal day in and day out routines for us. During the days that were warm or hot, the kids and I spent a lot of our afternoon time out by the pool and our evenings most days of the week were spent at TKD for Landen. Sammy, of course, has uprooted our lives a bit as well and much of our days were spent watching her with a careful eye as we navigated the potty training stage and the "put everything in her mouth" stage. She's kind of exhausting at times, and I have to remind the kids that everyone in the family wanted a puppy so everyone needs to contribute to helping out with her! She's done really good with potty training and knock-on-wood, seems to be fully trained now so that is a blessing. Now, if we can just get her biting with those razor sharp puppy teeth under control and to sleep longer during the night, that will be great!

I have to remind myself that the last time I had a puppy, I was younger, kidless and probably had a lot more patience. This go-around is a bit more challenging with a family to care for, a household to run and with 2 little kids that leave all kinds of goodies and trinkets out and within Sammy's reach. Of course my patience runs very thin too. Just as July was here and gone in the blink of an eye, this puppy stage will fly on by too and God willing, we will have many years with Sammy as a really great dog.

She's already growing up so fast from the 5 lb puppy we brought home 2 months ago:

The best part of July, and a time of the year we look forward to every year was our yearly camping trip with Jeff's side of the family. This year was by far one of my most favorite years. The joy we witnessed in the kids was unforgettable. They looked forward to camping for so long leading up to the trip as they were so excited to be able to play with their cousins Makayla and Carter. Olivia has been penpals with Makayla over the summer months and the letters she'd write her over and over about being so excited to play with her on camping were precious. Beings the kids are older now too, it was more relaxed to just let them be kids, run and play and venture from one campsite to the other. They had so much fun and were very sad when the trip was over and the days of fun in the sun spent with their cousins came to an end.

During the 10 day camping trip, the kids swam,

water skiied (Olivia was bound and determined to get up and ski) I sat out in the water with her for a very long time, no matter how many falls, how many failed attempts, she was determined to do it and she did! I could not have been more proud of her or any more happy that her determination in life will help her greatly with all the bumps she will face along the way) Deedle - you rock:

and I must say, Landen with his scuba goggles, and absolutely cute skiing posture melted my heart, I absolutely want to bottle up that cuteness and hold onto it forever:

they tubed, and tubed and tubed some more:

enjoyed time at the sandbar,

tried some fishing,

and had all kinds of fun with Carter and Makayla:

The weekend after we got back from camping, we had Em, Mike and the kids over so that Olivia's wish of having a pool party with Makayla could come true:

As July turned into August, we enjoyed a few pool days, campfires at home on the weekends and the kids are training to be ninja warriors someday on their new monkey bars that we built. 😉

It's been a fun summer, we are so sad that it is winding down and school is right around the corner. Olivia has a week long dance camp this week, then school and fall activities will be back in full swing.

Olivia is doing pre-competition dance this year and will have a spring recital and her dance line will compete in 2 competitions this year. Landen has found his niche in tae kwon do and will be continuing his TKD and sparring classes this next year and he also  made the TKD competition team so he will be travelling to different tournaments throughout the state this upcoming school year as well. With school and activities, life is sure to be busy and will definitely keep on flying by.

Healthwise update: Olivia has been doing well. She's been working really hard over the summer to eat as much as she can while running her g-tube each night to get in as many calories/day as she can to get her weight up as we head into the next cold/flu season. One of her ear tubes dislodged so we went into ENT last week to have that checked out and removed. The other tube is out too but we will leave that one to work it's way out of her ear on its own and/or head back in 6 months to have her hearing tested and the tube removed if needed and then discuss if/when she will need to have ear tubes placed again. She's at the age now where most kids outgrow the need for them so I hope that will be the case for her too. Her ENT is awesome in that he makes the kids prove they need ear tubes rather than just repeatedly put them through surgery to replace them.

Olivia also continues to participate in her CF research study, she has appointments and tests for that coming up next week. She has her yearly, oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and annual CF studies in September. As her last years OGTT came back in the "iffy" zone, I look ahead to this next OGTT with nervous anticipation. Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD) is something we know is likely in Olivia's future, so we will deal with it and adjust as needed, but I'd rather not have it rear its head yet. We shall see. Otherwise, Olivia is a happy, bubbly, determined little 7 year old, soon to be 8 year old. She loves life, is a people pleaser and is determined to do anything and everything she sets her mind to. She is an amazing girl.

And with that summer is coming to an end, it was a great one with many fond memories to hold on to.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

4 weeks of summer - June 2017

Summer comes and goes so darn fast, I wish we could bottle up its glory and save it for the long winter months. . .

Our last day of school was on June 8th, and we were so very ready for summer. We started off our first weekend of summer with Olivia's dance recital. Olivia worked so hard all year long and was super excited for her special day to show all what she had learned over the year. She did a great job in the recitals and had a very fun, albeit, tiring day!

The following day we had a surprise visit, from one of my very favorites, Cole! He was back in MN for his mother's birthday so we were blessed to spend a few hours catching up with Cole and his mom Jean. It was super special as our whole family adores Cole. The kids even made him a few drawings to take back home to hang on the refrigerator of his new home. Thanks for visiting Cole, it was great to see you!

The following week, Olivia had her quarterly CF appointment. It went pretty well in terms of her lung function so that was super great. Her weight however had stayed the exact same since 3 months prior in March so over the summer we are tasked with trying to get Olivia to eat as much as she can during the day and increase her g-tube feeds overnight so that she can put on some weight before the fall and sick season is back in full swing.

Olivia saved up her money and allowance to buy a mermaid tail, thus every time the kids get a chance she's a swimming mermaid in the pool.

Landen celebrated his birthday in June and turned 10 years old. So hard for me to believe he is already 10! We headed to Wild Mountain waterpark for the afternoon and we all had a blast and then we grilled and had cake and presents to finish off his big day.

The following day, we went to pick up our new fur baby Sammy. We were all very excited to welcome her into our home. She's so sweet and adorable and absolutley a little terror as well! I had forgotten, apparently, how exhausting the puppy stage is with the potty training, and the biting and the chewing on everything. All in all, she's doing well but we are anxiously awaiting the day when the puppy biting ends!

We celebrated Father's Day with the a few homemade gifts for Jeff. The stories and drawings the kids made are priceless.

The last week of June the kids both did swimming lessons. Landen is a little fish in the water and on his last day swam 750 yards in his lesson. Olivia is doing really well also, she just needs to keep working on her endurance but that of course will come with practice and age. They are both excited to take another swim lesson course later this summer and/or fall.

We finished off June with a trip to the Strawberry patch. In no time at all, the kids had picked a box full of strawberries.

Over the 4th of July weekend we had some friends over for a campout and lots of motorized fun. The kids all enjoyed riding on the ATV's, the golf cart and dirtbiking. Olivia enjoyed hanging out with Birdie and was very caring and motherly toward her, it was very sweet to watch them play together. Landen of course was all about the motorized fun. A fun day was had by all and so fun to get together with friends.

Olivia and I began our 4th of July celebration by getting all dressed up and doing our makeup and nails. The kids spent the majority of the afternoon in the pool and then we had the Jass family over for a campfire and fireworks in the evening. Olivia and Makayla are penpals this summer and Olivia considers Makayla her best friend so it was great that the kids were able to get together and have fun. A new record for the latest the kids had ever stayed up was set that night as they didn't get to bed until about 1:30 am, but they did great and we all had a fun time and now more than ever, are anxiously awaiting and looking forward to the Oltmans' family camping trip where the kids can spend so much time playing with their cousins.

and here we are . . . already into July. Geesh, school is just around the bend, but until then, we will keep working hard to make the most of the rest of our summer. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day & A Grand Champion

One year ago on Mother's Day, this is how we celebrated:

sitting in a hospital room, mentally and emotionally worn out and wishing to be anywhere in the world but here. 

What a glorious difference a year has made. I told Jeff, Mother's Day 2017 could have been one of the worst days at home ever and no matter what, it still would have been 100% better than last year because we were 'home' . . . not in the hospital. 

Yesterday, we spent the day together, at home and I was gifted wonderful surprises handmade by my two favorite kiddos. Landen made me a photo picture cube, painted a wooden sign about Mother's and Father's and he made me some sugar scrub. Olivia made me a book and wrote me some hilarious stories, all things that I adore and will forever keep. I told the kids, the handmade gifts are my absolute favorite as they are irreplaceable and are truly one of a kind. 

The rest of our day was spent outside, enjoying the glorious sunshine and beautiful summer-like weather day. It was fabulous!

Thinking back over the last year, a lot has changed. Jeff just said to me the other day, in true engineer fashion, should anyone ever question our decision to homeschool, just look at the data in regards to Olivia's health from last May until now, not even comparable. He's absolutely right. The changes for the better in Olivia's health over the past year are remarkable. She's been doing so well in regards to her weight and most importantly her lung health as she's only endured maybe 2 colds this year and all this with running 4 nights a week, Monday and Wednesday we are at TKD and Tuesdays and Thursdays we are at dance.

For now, we couldn't be more grateful that this year of homeschool has been so beneficial to Oliva's health. Last year's hospital stint did a real number on her. With the few colds she's had, I've heard more than once about how "at least she's not in the hospital".  Both Landen and Olivia are thriving in school this year and both seem to enjoy their on-line classrooms. Maybe, someday the tables will turn and they'll want to head back to public school, but for now, the current arrangement is a good fit for our family. 

In my last update, I mentioned that Landen had a tae kwon do tournament the beginning of May. This was his first competitive tournament and he was really hoping he'd place either 1st, 2nd or 3rd in his group because trophy's would be awarded for those places and he'd be competing in a group of 4 so the odds were pretty favorable. The kids would be divided up based on their belt ranking and age. As I previously mentioned, Landen really enjoys tkd and he works hard at it, very often running through his forms, punches and kicks at home. I told him if he practiced a lot, paid attention to the little details that he had a good shot at winning a trophy. 

Saturday, May 6th was the date of the tournament. There were so many people at the tournament, it was quite the sight to see. I was on pins and needles, nervous for Landen and amazed that he had the will and determination to compete and perform in front of so many people. At his age, or let's be real, even at my age now, I don't think I'd have the confidence to do what he was doing! All the kids were divided into groups by belt rank and age level.  Landen's rank and age group were divided into groups of 3 or 4 and there were probably a total of 20 to 25 kids at this level. They'd compete in their groups and then the 1st place winner of each of the small groups would compete against each other for Grand Champion. 

When it was Landen's turn to do his poomsae pattern, I could almost feel my heart pounding in my throat. He was in a group, competing against 2 other kids so I calmed down a bit knowing he'd for sure get 1st, 2nd or 3rd so we'd for sure be taking home a trophy. In the first round, it was Landen against one other boy, the judges voted for Landen over the other child so he was left standing and would now compete against the other competitor so he for sure would get 2nd place. 

In the end Landen won 1st place in his poomsae pattern and would in turn be competing for Grand Champion! Jeff and I were so proud of him and he was proud of himself as well! It was awesome, 1st place! 

We had to wait for quite sometime for the Grand Championship round. It was stressful, Jeff and I both were so proud of Landen and told him that no matter what the outcome, just to be competing for Grand Champion was pretty darn amazing, especially never having done a tournament before. Landen remained calm and focused for the most part. We sat and watched some of the higher belts perform and then as the Grand Champion round inched closer, Landen took it upon himself to find a "quiet" corner to run through his pattern for additional practice. 

For the Grand Championship round, the 1st place winners from the small groups would compete against each other. Landen would be competing against 4 other 1st place winners at his age and rank level.

 Landen did a great job with his pattern, he looked brilliant out there, and the outcome was favorable.

Landen took Grand Champion!


Landen's instructor, Mr. Fonnest, presented Landen with his Grand Champion trophy, it was the sweetest thing. Landen really looks up to and admires his instructor and I know he felt pretty proud to win that trophy and he credits so much of his success to Mr. Fonnest. 

It was a glorious day and Landen now has the confidence to try out for the Competition team this summer where he will get to travel and compete in tournaments across the state should he be granted permission to join the team. I told him, having a Grand Championship trophy under his belt, should be a good indicator that his odds of making the team are good!

Jeff and I couldn't be more proud that Landen's found something he loves and something he does well at. Grand Champion, wow!

Our studio did wonderful, so many students brought back trophy's as seen in the group photo. 

TKD is an amazing sport, the life lesson's it teaches are unmeasurable and that fact that you are competing against no one but yourself is a huge confidence builder. I love it. I love watching Landen in class and I love all that he's learning and gaining from it. I'd join the class with him, if I wouldn't be the 2nd to oldest member and embarrass him! Really, I'm just happy to be the TKD mom in the crowd cheering my son on.

A few weeks ago, Landen tested for his 6th Gup belt so he's moving right on up the ranks and earned his green belt. 

Way to go Buddy, so proud of you. What an exciting few weeks of TKD you've had!

And on that note, the race is on to finish school. The kids and I can't wait for summer to be upon us! Less than a month to go now. 

Olivia has her dance recital in June that she's looking forward to. We are so proud of her for all she's learned and how hard she tries and that she has fun doing it. I'm a bit nervous for her to get up and perform on stage in front of such a large group. Last time she tried in gymnastics I had to be out there with her but she's grown up more so I hope she'll do it and have fun. Cousin Braelyn is with her so she should be a big help in calming Olivia's nerves.

Right after Landen's birthday sometime, we will finally get to +1 our family with the addition of our new puppy. We can't wait to bring her home, it'll be a lot of fun, a lot of work, but oh what a fun summer! It's been almost 1 year since we said goodbye to Shelby, one of myt hardest goodbye's ever so we are all anxiously awaiting the joy and happiness our new puppy Sammy, will bring.