Monday, December 31, 2018


I finally got in for the MRI on the study that Seth and I were doing.  I didn't wiggle (as Seth told me), but I didn't do all of the tests.  They had me doing a 20 min test with music, a 60 min one watching a movie and a 20 min one with nothing to distract me.  The music one went well.  I didn't enjoy being that enclosed, but I didn't feel in danger. After the 20 min test, I asked if I could get out and wiggle my elbows a little because they were stuck up against the side of the MRI.  They said that the 60 min one was in the other room so that would be fine.  They got a movie set up (they were all fairly weird movies, but oh well) and got me onto the table.  This time they put me in and I felt like I couldn't breathe.  She even told me to flatten out my hands so that I'd have more room.... uh yeah, that makes so much more room.  I told them that I was struggling and didn't think I could sit there for 60 minutes not being able to breathe.  They pulled me out and one lady told me that this machine was about 4.5 inches smaller and the other one said that the table was up higher in the machine as well.  No wonder I couldn't breathe!  One machine is 70 cm and the other was 60cm.  So while I still technically fit in the machine, there was no wiggle room at all with the table up higher (So Seth, I didn't really have a choice).  They said that they have had to stop for a lot of different reasons and not to worry about it.  They would use the data that they had collected and wish me well.  They gave me the results from my IQ test which was fun to see, promised that the money they were paying would come in the mail and I left.  I wish I could have helped them more, but there it is.

I don't really know anything about how IQ tests results are read, but they did give break down percentages in the areas.  In Working Memory I got my worst score, in the 55% and in Perceptual Organization I got my highest score a 99%.  That's how I felt I did, so I wasn't too surprised.  I struggled with memory (especially the numbers memory) exercises and did the picture and identifying exercising went very well.  They still haven't given me Seth's IQ test results, but she said she would get them to me.


We went sledding on Saturday.  My friend, Michelle, is in town for the week and she's always been my adventure buddy outside of Janelle. She wanted to get out and do something, so she asked if we could go sledding.  We'd had a small snow fall the night before, but it was just enough to have fun on.  My kids like her because she's always up for doing something.  I took some pictures and then stuck it in the van and went sledding.  I haven't really done that for a while... it's been me pregnant, new baby, just wanting to take pictures, etc... but Seth said that I needed to.  So I did.  Sledding hurts my broken and healed tailbone, but if it's a small hill like this it's not too bad.   

Christmas Morning

I loved this part of my Christmases growing up.  I loved all piling into my parents room and giggling with anticipation.  We always came in youngest to oldest, so that's what we do in our house too.

His favorite thing was this chocolate truck.

The "Xbox"

We had a very good Christmas.  We got time with both sides of our families and had time with just us.  Christmas Eve we had some fighting, but that stopped when I threatened to take away presents.  Christmas morning was presents and family time.  Christmas evening was games with the Tarkingtons.  I mostly wanted a nap after all was said and done, but I enjoyed being with all these wonderful people.

Evelyn wanted an Xbox.  That wasn't going to happen so Ada gave her an "X box" a box with an X inside it.  Evelyn thought it was hilarious and still has the box with all her Christmas candy in it. Evelyn's main present was a stack of books.  She gets the Amulet books from the school library almost every week.  Now she can have her own. (We got them cheap through the school scholastic account). Ada's favorite present was a pair of Llama pajamas that she's been wearing constantly and a set of water color markers that are rather fun.  Seth got some dress ups that he was pretty excited for and Sam got a couple of big stuffed animals to replace the ones that Seth has stolen from him.   We got some Lego sets that were a big hit, and I'm grateful that we were able to find some sales on those.  Finding Legos for even $10 off is rare so we were pretty lucky. 

Jeremy spoiled me.  He upgraded my computer.  My old one kept turning off while I edited photo shoots and I'd lose a lot of my work.  He put together a Black Friday sale computer that I love and has run very well.  My parents bought each of the kids suitcases.  It will be nice next time we go anywhere.  For now, they've all put their gifts into their suitcases and have been wheeling them everywhere they go.  Grandma Robertson gave the kids money.  Sometimes they keep the money, but most of the money they get goes into a savings account.  Sometimes the kids would rather have money for candy, but usually I show them how much they've saved so far and they want to keep saving.  Yesterday we biked to the bank together (Yeah, no snow at this point) and I taught the kids about savings accounts vs CDs.  The oldest three decided that they wanted to buy 5 year CD certificates.  I was really impressed with Sam's math.  I asked him how much money he'd earn in 5 years and he told me $60, in a savings account he'd earn $20 in the same time.  I did the math and he was right.  Seth doesn't have enough money in his savings to really make a difference between a CD and a savings account so we left it in his savings. All the money that they earn/save will either go to a car/house/wedding or to school/mission.  I figure that by the time they're that age they will have about $1500 each.  More if they're careful and find jobs.  That doesn't seem like a lot, but I'm hoping that they will learn how to save and about long term investments.  My Grandpa Wilcox was very good at that and had many of the physical blessings that I want for my kids.  (Retirement, Senior missions, enough money for medical emergencies, etc...)

Money is crazy. When we first got married, between Jer's and my income and all our expenses we had about $2000 extra every month for paying off Jer's student loans, fixing cars, house projects, computer upgrades, extracurriculars and travelling (A lot of that went into savings that paid for our fertility needs over the last 11 years).  I knew that was a lot more than most newlyweds and tried to be wise with it. I've loved working since I was little and never really had to cut out most things.  Now is different.  Jer makes about twice as much now than when we were first married, I don't work except for the one piano student and the few photoshoots...but between having 4 kids and house needs, that extra has turned into about $430 a month to pay for fixing cars, medical bills, clothes, piano lessons, sports, road trips, and house projects. We are still so blessed, but this year has come with a lot of financial belt tightening.  Next year will be similar.  Christmas has turned into a smaller affair and the kids are okay with that.  One more year and we will have Jer's car paid off and the money that we've been paying to Ada's orthodontics will probably go to Sam's.  (The dentist thinks that his airway and mouth are too small and that's why he is so sensitive to smells and textures in his mouth.  Apparently the shape of his mouth and throat plus his sensitivities are symptoms of the same thing.  His panic attacks at the dentist and over foods are because of having a hard time breathing properly and his allergies combined.  They are recommending that he goes to a TMJ specialist and have his jaw widened.  The orthodontist did that with Ada, maybe we can just do it there.  Our insurance covers $2000 of orthodontics where they wouldn't cover the TMJ specialist.)  We will have to buy Ada some more shoe orthotics (Ada apparently also has skewed foot that only started to cause a problem now that she's growing so much.)  The orthotics that he gave her are only $50/pair, but they wear out after 3-4 months.  Evelyn has $400 orthotics that have solved most of the pain that she's had, and he tried to make sure that he made them longer so that hopefully she'll fit them for another year.  The biggest challenge for both girls is making sure that I can get them good shoes that fit their orthotics that aren't terribly expensive and have to be replaced every time they grow a tad.  They went from having 3 pairs of shoes each to having one.  They have been wearing their tennis shoes to church and I remember when I was little and wore mine to church too. I didn't mind and the girls don't seem to either.  Ada tried wearing her old Sunday shoes last Sunday.  She brought the tennis shoes in the car.  She lasted for about an hour and decided to switch shoes after sacrament meeting.  As they get more grown up, I'll have to find good and pretty shoes that will do the job. The good news is that so far I have noticed a difference especially in Evelyn.  She runs like a kid instead of on her heals and only complains of pain if she hasn't worn her orthotics that day.  Ada doesn't stand with her ankles turned in so much and hopefully this will help her enjoy hiking with Dad longer.  The very first question that the podiatrist asked her even without knowing that she liked hiking was, "How far into a hike before your feet hurt?"  Not if her feet hurt or how often.  He knew that they hurt just by looking and just wanted to see how much she could do before they hurt.  I'm grateful for a podiatrist that knows what he's doing.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Best present

My best Christmas present was this picture of me as a dragon with all their baby dragons. Ada much loves to draw and she keeps getting better and better. I thought this one was very sweet.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Robertson Family Christmas Party

Sunday, Grandma and Grandpa Robertson hosted our Robertson family Christmas party.  This year we had the Tarkingtons, the Hansens, me and my friend Cristina.  We had a fun waffle and fruit dinner, played with the kids, Grandpa read a Christmas story, a sing a long, and Aubrey came up with a game for all the kids.  It was so fun.  

Aubrey's Christmas game. (She had us guessing what song it was from the first letters of the words from the first line.)

Grandpa's story time.  There were 15 grandkids there.  I think this is my favorite Robertson tradition.

Evelyn has a hard time sitting and listening, so I gave her my camera and let her take pictures as Grandpa read.  She came out with some real gems. I love it.  Pretty much every picture from here down was Evelyn.  It was cute, all the grandkids took turns playing songs for us to listen to or sing to.  Aubrey and Joe each played a hand on the hymns and we all sang.  The Hansens left because they have to give Walter a medicine every night at the same time, so the Tarkingtons and us just played a couple of games and chatted.  Marg read out of Way of Kings while a couple of them played a game.  I haven't read that one in a while and I'm just remembering a lot of it as she read.

Ada and Evelyn got their Grandma dolls this year.  Maisy did too, so they had a fun doll party.  Maisy and Ada got the same dolls.  They decided to pretend that they were twins.

This had me cracking up.  I don't usually let the kids use my phone when we're with cousins, but the kids have all been learning languages with Duolingo.  These two wanted to "friend" each other on it.  I let Sam have it, they friended each other and raced each other to see who could do their language exercises first.  It was hilarious and I just let it go on.

Wilcox Family Christmas party

With my parents serving in Washington, Sharon hosted us for a Wilcox Family Christmas Party.  It was pleasant and fun.  The kids played well, the adults played well and it was so fun together.  Sharon made graham cracker houses that the kids got to decorate.  It was so fun and they were very creative.  I kept forgetting to help Seth get frosting for his candy, Jeremy rescued me and jumped in. 

Sharon also came up a bean bag toss game that changed 3 times to do white elephant gifts.  The kids had a blast.

This nugget loved trying out all the things before anyone played the games.  She was adorable when it was her turn.  She'd just toss them and not really pay attention to where she tossed them.

This one caught my parents.  Brad set up a skype call so that they could participate with everything.  It was cute, you'd have one kid go talk to them, then the next kid would go as the other wandered off.  It was so fun.  It might not have been 100% action packed for them, but it was fun to have them "there".

This had me cracking up.  Seth has actually grown a lot in the last couple of months.  He's a very active and very large kid.  When he jumps at you, it feels like someone tossed a large stone in your lap that's wiggly and doesn't like to listen when you say stop.  In the picture, see how Jer is so nonchalant?  Yeah, that's because this is a very normal part of sitting with Seth.  Jer once described him as flubber…. continual movement.  (Until he's at Grandma Robertson's house that has the Disney Chanel... then he really will sit like a rock for 6 hours).