Monday, December 29, 2008

Miracles, Blessings and Angels...

So the new year is fast approaching and we have so much to be thankful for. I am so amazed at the love we have received over the last several months as we have endured our recent trials. I have been thinking the last couple of days about what we have been through and what I am taking from the last year and I thought I would share a few thoughts. I


The Lord is ever present in our lives and if we will allow it, He will guide us through our challenges and allow us to be better for them. I know that I am thankful for our trials because they have brought us so much closer not only to the Lord but also to each other and to many many dear friends and family who have reached out to us in love and support. I think that not having much money this year because I have not been able to work, has really allowed us to slow down and enjoy this Christmas season more for what it really means. To focus more on the Savior and more on loving the people we have near.


that even when times are hard, if we rely on each other, we can help each other through the hard times. I feel somewhat unworthy of all of the love that has been poured out in my behalf. Any time that I have felt like I was overhwhelmed by what we have been facing, there has been a friend who has reached out a hand, a listening ear, sent me note of love or gone out of their way to let me know that we are not alone. That has meant more to me that you could know. I hold the relationships in my life so dear and do not take even one for granted. I only hope I can be as good of a friend back as you all have been to me.


that we need to take the time to be thankful for the small miracles in our lives and I know that the Lord has put angels in our lives who have helped us by bringing in many wonderful meals, doing yard work for us when Mike was injured, helping to get Maddy to and from school, visiting me and sitting with me even when I am sure they had plenty to do themselves. Anonymous gifts left on our door step leaving us speechless and so thankful. People who have done acts of service for us and not accepting our payment. Yes, the Lord has sent many angels to us this year. I could go on and on...


That prayers are heard and answered and that the faith of so many who have been praying on my behalf and the behalf of my family is what allowed me to have the miracles I did in surgery.

I am so excited for the New Year! I am excited for a year of good health, good friendships, opportunities for more missionary work and more time spent in the Temple. I know times are hard right now with our economy but I feel so rich with the relationships we have in our lives. That is what I want to focus on this year. Being a better friend, a better wife, a better mom.

Most of all - I KNOW we need to never forget to laugh. I hope we can all find things to laugh about when times are hard. I hope we can find the good in people even when they might do things to make it hard. I hope this year for me, is filled with a little more laughing, a little more forgiveness, a chance to serve more and have fewer reasons to receive. I hope you all have a Happy New Year and that you know how sincerely we love you. I have been so humbled with what has transpired in our lives so I have been really sappy but I needed to get these thoughts out so thanks for reading. Here's to a Happy and Healthy 2009!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

So the recovery is going well. I think yesterday was a little bit of a turning point in my recovery. I am still hurting but it is so much more manageable now. Of course in true Debbie form, I thought I was feeling better this morning so I went out with my sister to get a few things at Walmart and the walking about did me in so now I am back down for the count...I am not very good at staying down I suppose. I have had so many sweet messages for my birthday today, I feel so loved...really.

My sister Angie is here visiting and we are having a great time. It is making my downtime after surgery seem like a little vacation willed with games, movies and lots of chats! I love having her here so much!

We are opening Christmas presents today with Maddy. She leaves tomorrow to see her Mom for the week. We are sad not to have her here for Christmas this year but today will be fun because I think Santa brought a fun present that the whole family will enjoy for sure! I will list pictures this weekend.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Surgery Success

Today, Debbie had her surgery. When Debbie saw the doctor a few weeks ago, he said the infection was still in her intestines and in her colon. He said her colon would have to be removed and that she would have to wear a bag that attached to the large intestine. No, it does not sound good at all.

So we asked all our friends and family to pray and fast for Deb and I just got back from a very long day at the hospital and am so happy to announce that the surgery went better than expected. When the surgeon came out of the operating room he said when they went it they were surprised to see that the disease was mostly gone. There was a small part of the colon that still had the disease and they removed that part, but they were able to reattach the colon and Deb does not have to wear the bag.

The doctor attributed it to the amount of time she's been on the antibiotic, but I know we experienced a miracle. She was full of disease and after prayer and fasting by so many of you, she was spared a very painful experience.

To all of you who kept Debbie in your thoughts and prayers, I sincerely thank you.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I need blog saavy help!

Ok, I have been trying to find some kind of link to tell me how to set up our blog so that it lists under our friend blogs when the last update was. A lot of you have it on your blog so if someone could explain to me how to do that...I would love the help! Pleeease!

Whew Hooo!

Last night we went to see Celine Dion in concert, a very sweet client gave us tickets, anyway, it was REALLY GOOD. I was surprised how entertaining and personable she was. Great show!

So, tomorrow is the day we have been anticipating for what seems like forever. I will be going in at 11:30 and my surgery is at 1:30. I will be at Banner Gateway hospital in Gilbert.

We have received so many calls and prayers and we are so blessed to have such an amazing support group. You all have been such a comfort to me and I love you dearly.

May the Lord bless you in the things you are in need of and may we never underestimate the power of our friendships. I know we are never alone and I know that our prayers are heard and answered. I have faith that all will be well through this experience and know that Mike and I have learned so much about relying on the Lord and on each other through these times.

Love to you all,
Deb and Mike and Maddy too!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another Change in Surgery Dates

It seemed a little crazy that Deb was going to have surgery on December 22nd. I can't imagine the surgeon was too thrilled about it either. So Debbie called his office and told him when the hospital scheduled the surgery. He wasn't happy, made a phone call and BAM! the hospital called Deb and said they suddenly had an opening for Monday (yes, a week from today).

So this Sunday, anyone whishing fast with us, please do so and keep Deb in your prayers. We really appreciate all the support everyone has given us. Hopefully we're at the end of this crazy medical journey we've been on all year.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Fun!

The oldest and the oldest...

Thanksgiving was fun hanging out with family...

Unkie and Tyler have a such a special bond...

We wonder looks like he needs some more sleep...his hairs are standing on edge! :0

This is a happy Mom/Grandma...everyone is in town and the family is together! Good Times!!!

Even my cousin Jake joined us this year. We were glad to have him, he lives like 5 minutes away and I think we see him maybe once a year. The life of a batchelor...

We're not sure what to make of this...Tom, Tom, Tom is that any way to eat-I mean treat your wife??? (I am so funny)

These are Olive Hands...Julia and Maddy with Grandma - they are all growing up!

We love it when Stacy and Curtis come to town! We really wish they lived here!

Madyson loves her cousins so much!!! Everytime they come into town she looks forward to a girls sleep over at our house. That is the highlight and this is all 4 of them on Thanksgiving morning.

The three muskateers!

Friday morning, as tradition would have it, we put up the Christmas tree and decorations. The girls decorated the tree all by themselves - didn't they do an amazing job!!!

Finally a date and still a wait!!!

Well, we finally found out today that the operating room is full at the hospital so as of now, my surgery is scheduled on December 22nd at 7:30 am. There is a chance of a cancellation for the 15th and if that happens they will bump it up but as of now we have a few weeks. While putting it off can be a good thing, this will put me in the hospital for Christmas so I am sad. Oh well, I think I just have to let it go and put this all in the Lord's hands. Positive thinking=positive living! :-)

Thanks for all of you who are keeping tabs on us!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

When's the Surgery??? We don't know.

These are crazy times. Deb was supposed to be having surgery tomorrow, but she wanted to put it off another week so she could work. However, it wouldn't have mattered anyway because we are still waiting for the hospital to call her and schedule a date. So she's been telling her clients that this week will be the last week and hopefully the hospital will call her and schedule it for Monday, December 8th. But who knows. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thankgiving to All of our Wonderful Friends!

Don't you just love the Holidays?? I love the weather we are having and it's almost turkey day! Yeah!! This year we are so thankful to all of you who have given us so much love and support. We are so incredibly blessed to have such amazing friends in our lives. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

The only thing missing for me is...SNOW!!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Medical Update

Well, the news is not good at this time. Deb had her CAT scan last week and the surgeon called and said the diverticulitis never went away and the infection is pretty wide spread. So he put her back on antibiotics, which is making her more sick. While it may be helping to stop the infection, it makes her sick to her stomach and it's not good.
She will be having surgery during the 1st week of December to remove about 9 inches of her colon. She should be in the hospital for 3 - 5 days if all goes well. However, everytime she has had surgery she gets an infection and this time she'll be going into surgery already with an infection.
Of course it doesn't help that we've been hearing from people who have lost family members from infections due to this surgery. That doesn't comfort us at all. But we know a few people who have had the surgery and have come through very well.
We need everyone's prayers on Deb's behalf. She's scared, I'm scared, and Madyson is scared. Deb has a great surgeon and we're confident he'll do the best job he can.
We are going to hold a special fast on November 29th and would appreciate anyone who would like to join us.
Since we cannot keep everyone posted by phone or email on her condition, I will be putting updates on the blog and our Facebook pages.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Halloween

We hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween this week. It will be mellow here, Maddy will be with her Mom for the weekend so Mike and I will pass out candy and enjoy the kids in the neighborhood. Watch out for the grim reaper though - you never know what corner her is hiding around...hahahahahaha

Mike said if I didn't add this one, he would do it so much to my disliking - here is "Ugly Betty"...funny teeth and all!

Mike is the Grim Reaper...isn't he scarry?
At the ward party, a dad wanted his daughter to sit at the table by Mike and eat her food and she took one look at him and shook her head nooooo, Even Jake and Tyler were afraid of him. Jonas saw him and told Grandma, I want to go home now. Pretty funny...they thought the reaper ate Unkie I think.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Party...

Well, tonight was the Halloween party. I went as Ugly Betty and I can not believe it but hardly anyone knew who I was supposed to be. That is a total let down, let me tell you. Mike was the grim reaper and he scared all of the kids. They took one look at him and wouldn't go near him.

Maddy had a great time, Lexi got to come with us and they had a blast, when they are together, the two of them hardly know anyone else is around. I just finished working on a DVD for Young Women in Excellence. Making these DVD's has become kind of a hobby of mine. It is a lot of fun to turn memories into something priceless.

Well, I think I will upload the pictures tomorrow, I am exhausted and must go to bed.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fun Friday!!

Well, today was a fun day! Despite the sadness of finding out that the Tanners were not going to be able to make it this weekend - we really miss you guys - Maddy was able to take a couple of friends from school/church to see High School Musical 3...pretty cute movie. The girls all loved it.

Maddy went with her friend Lexi to a "Trunk or Treat" tonight and dressed up as a "hip-hippy" for her costume. That is what she decided to be this year and I must say, she is quite adorable! Mike is going to be the Grim Reaper this year and I am going to be "Ugly Betty"...I am sure we will have pictures to follow!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


RIVERVIEW NISSAN on Loop 202 and Dobson.

One of my best friends owns a Krazy Sub sandwich shop (click on the Krummenacher blog link to see where their stores are). They don't normally do deliveries but because one of Brent's friends works there they made an exception. Apparently, the new owner chewed out my friend's wife (also a very good friend) and made her leave the dealership. He even kicked her out of the show room when she was trying to talk to their friend who ordered the food.

I find that kind of behavior appalling and and suggeting to all who may read this blog that you have a choice and if you're looking to buy a Nissan, then go to a different dealership. No one should be treated the way Laura was treated.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Deb's Surgery...

Lots of you have been asking so I thought I would give you the update! I am having surgery the week after Thanksgiving. I am still fighting the same infection and I actually have a new one too - yay for me! But...I am not letting it keep me down too much anymore. I am trying to work as much as possible anyway until I have surgery. This has been a huge test for me but I am really very blessed to have a wonderful husband and daughter who love and support me and can I just say, we have the best friends - EVER! You all have been there for us this year with so much love and encouragement and you may never know how much it means to us.

These are crazy times for everyone it seems and our prayers are with you as well. At the end of the day, isn't it really the relationships we have and how we treat those we love that really matters anyway??? Have a happy and healthy week!

Maddy's new Passion!

Maddy has been participating in a cheer camp and this weekend at the end of the camp she got to cheer for the first half of the Highland High football game with the high school cheerleaders. She had such a blast and really did well. We may be partial but I think she might have been the best one there!!

It's Halloween at our house already!!!

So, this is the beginning of my favorite time if year! I love to decorate for the holidays, it's fun for kids and visitors and fun for when clients come to the house, but mostly, it's fun for me!! The weather is FINALLY cooling off and it is beginning to feel like Fall. I will generally be in a much better mood now that it doesn't feel like we live in H*** due to the heat!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Good News!!!

Good News!!! Well, Mike saw the surgeon yesterday and he thinks that Mike can do physical therapy and will hopefully not have to have surgery. Phew! That was very good news, although, it does mean that he will still be in a lot of pain for awhile with no real "quick" fix, but anytime we can avoid surgery-it's a good thing!

It's the beginning of conference weekend, I love this time of year. It's great to have the chance to shut out the rest of the world and focus on making sure all of our priorities are in check. What a blessing it is for all of us who can watch from the comforts of our own homes.

I went to jury duty today - the frst time and they did not pick me. So, today is a day off and I am feeling lazy...all I need now is some cloudy skies and rain, maybe some snow - oh yeah, I live in the desert. I guess I will just turn the air down low and pretend it is really fall outside. (haha)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

National Stay At Home Week!

So, we have been informed that this has been National Stay at Home Week. While, we tend to have that holiday every week in our house, this has been a fun week of new shows and fun entertainment! But tonight...I am so excited...The Office, Grey's Anatomy, o man, I love Thursdays!

I will say I am very proud of myself though, I have organized and RE-inventoried our food storage to begin the replanishing and for FHE this week, we are going to can butter. Now those of you who really know me, knows how much of a domestic accomplishment this is going to be. My next task - learning to make bread. Look - I am finally growing up. (hahahaha)

As an update of the not so fun stuff, Mike is hanging in there. He sees the surgeon next week - finally! I assume things will move more speedily after that. I am still trying to fight current infections, on a new medication now and hoping for better results. Then I will schedule my surgery once I know that my sweet husband is all better.

Maddy is such a trooper. She is growing up so fast but she is still so full of cuddles and loves - I hope that never changes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More fun in the Malone home...

Not that we didn'thave enough going on and I really wish I had some fun and exciting news to put up on here, but life seems to be trying us all these days.

Mike and I spent yesteday in the ER, he has a severly herniated disc in his neck and they are going to be doing surgery. So maybe we both will have surgury at the same time and be recovering together??? Wouldn't that be a story to put ni our journals? ha! Anyway, we don't know when yet, as of now he is home and in a lot of pain. I feel so bad, it's hard fro me to see him like this. I hate to keep asking this of those of you who are so wonderful to us but if you could keep us in your prayers a little longer, that would mean so much to us.

Maddy is a truper! She is always being so helpful and asking what we need and I feel for her. We try and keep it light and fun for her sake - how did we get so lucky with her, she is out angel!

Love and prayers to you all!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

And then they grow up...With a new school year came a new hair cut. We love it and Maddy does too. She loves how curly it gets. She is loving 5th grade. She is just blossoming into quite a wonderful young lady and we are so proud of her. There are 3-5th grade classes and when I was there last week, as we walked down the halls, kids were coming out of each class room all giving hugs to Maddy and hi fives...she just loves that. She is quite the socialite...she takes after me a little in that area and I hope it doesn't get her into trouble like it did me when I was that's hard to get mad over that when my standard notation on report cards was..."Debbie needs to not talk so much in class".
Her best friend though, has definately become Daddy! The two of them are homework buddies(at least the math part, I do the english and writing stuff, he does and the brainiac stuff like math and science)and they love spending time together. I think Mike is freaking out a little bit at how much and how fast she is growing up. It's like you blink and they have changed. I love to see how close the two of them have become. While I was out of town, I hear there was some serious guitar hero going on between them!!! Go Maddy!

Home Again!!

Well, I just got back from the first part of my 20 year high school reunion(go class of '89)...I was feeling old about this but then I saw some of the guys from the old days and I am still feeling like a young buck! (haha) Seriously, it was so great to see everyone, I was able to catch up with some dear friends and laugh about the old times. I loved High School mostly because of my friends and was so much fun to reminisce...Michele, you were truly missed though. It wasn't the same without you.

I came home to Mike being in major pain from his neck. He can't move it and can't lay flat - it is bringing back old memories of his neck surgery. He just wanted some extra TLC because he missed me so much while I was gone...If it's not one thing it's another in this house but you know, we keep laughing and smiling and counting our blessings even amongst the storms of life.

I have some of the greatest friends in my life who have always been there and this week was a chance to go back in time a little bit. I am truly blessed. I feel sometimes like I wish I had those bonds out here in Arizona and that Mike and Maddy could know some of you who are so dear to me, a little better. But it makes coming back home so sweet and I can't wait for July!

Maddy is so excited, tomorrow is Grandparents day at school and Grandma and Grandad are going to go have lunch with her. She can't wait! She feels so proud that they get to come to her school and she can show off the greatest grandparents in the world.

Thanks for all the prayers on our behalf. We ALL have struggles in one way or another, and we are blessed to know that through ours, we have the love and prayers of true friends and we have the gospel...with that on our side, we can't lose!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

NEWS... We Knew It Was Coming

Debbie went to the Doctor this morning and he told her she's going to have the surgery to remove part of her colon. However, he doesn't want her to have the surgery until the pain is gone completely. I guess if you have the surgery while your colon is infected then the patient has to wear the colostomy bag. But if the infection is gone then they can re-attach the colon after the section is removed.
How long it will be before the pain is gone is anyone's guess. But since she has had Diverticulitis twice in the last three years means it'll only get worse as time goes by.
We'll keep everyone posted.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Medical Updates

Well, with all the sickness and injuries we've all experienced lately, we aren't really doing much except sitting at home watching the Olympics.

Debbie went back to the Dr and he said she's still not better. He wants her back on a liquid diet to help her bowel not work so hard. He's still keeping her on pain medications and anti-biotics. He's trying to prevent her from having her colon removed, so the more we can do prevent that the better her quality of life will be.

And just because we were all feeling sympathy pains, my Mom went into the Dr with the exact thing Debbie has (thankfully not as severe). Then Madyson and Mike both felt the sympathy pain and decided to get hangnails removed from their toe (the same toe on each of them).

So when you come to our house you see three bandaged feet (did I mention Deb tore the fascia off her heel in June and it still hasn't healed) and Deb just looking tired and weak. But we're pushing through it. We just see it as a test of our faith and we'll keep doing what we're doing. We continue to read scriputes every night and have family prayer both morning and night. We know that is the only way we can prove to the Lord that we're faithful no matter what.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Love the Olympics!!!

This is the best time of year, I must say! I love to watch the Olympics! Michael Phelps is kicking butts and taking numbers! Go USA!!!

Just want to send a shout out to Mom. She is going through this procedure this week and our prayers are with her along with lots of love. This family is sure getting it's share of health issues this summer - no more!!!

I am officially feeling old - we are getting invites and making plans for the 20 year reunion. I cannot believe we are this old. I still feel 20. (haha)

For those of you keeping track of us on here, I am still trying to get better. I am having more pain so we are just praying that is gets better and I don't end up back in the hospital. For now I am mostly on liquids so we will keep praying and hope for the best!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thanks to you all!!!

I just wanted to say thanks so much to all of you who sent out your prayers of love and support over the last few weeks. We are really blessed to have wonderful friends in our lives. Thanks to all of the family members who visited me and checked in to make sure I was ok. It has meant so much to me.

I am on the mend - I have the most wonderful husband who has taken such amazing care of me. Now his biggest job is keeping me down as most of you who really know me, knows that is not something I am good at doing. There always seems to be too many things to be done. I have learned my lesson at least somewhat though.

Maddy loves 5th grade! She is so happy to go everyday and when she gets in the car at the end of the day she is beaming. We'll see if she still feels the same way after this week though since today was the day they were supposed to officially start doing work. Last week was a get to know you week. She has lots of friends and seems to really enjoy learning and trying to do her best at everything - when she slows down - she does a pretty great job too!

I have decided I am going to start trying to get stuff in on this also. I am not as good at it as Mike and certainly not as creative but I will give it a try.

We hope you are all doing well and that your families are happy and healthy.

Who Needs What?

I saw this on our friends blog page and thought it would be fun to see what comes up...
Here is how it works... Take your first name and type "Needs" after it in Google Search. Then type the first three things that come up.

Michael Needs...Mum (Mom in America)
Michael Needs...A Tutor on Flickr
Michael Needs...Revenge (a prison break clip on Utube)

Debbie Needs...A Saddle
Debbie Needs...To Look Behind Her
Debbie Needs...Prayer

Maddy Needs...A Home
Maddy Needs...Some Privacy
Maddy Needs...Love

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What A Week

These past nine days have been pretty rough on our family, but we finally have some peace now that things are slowly progressing back to normal.

Debbie is finallly home from the hospital. She spent nine days in the hospital and she is oh so excited to be back home. The hospital was a very nice place and all, but as Dorothy said to the Wizard, "There's No Place Like Home."

And Debbie's return home couldn't have been better timed. She got home Tuesday afternoon and today Maddy starts the 5th Grade. So Debbie was there to do Maddy's hair, get her ready and take her to school. I can't wait to hear how school goes for maddy. She has a very good teacher. We are all impressed with the teacher. Debbie is even going to try and volunteer once a month.

Friday, August 1, 2008

We Need Your Prayers

Well, for those keeping score... Deb is losing the medical battles 0-3. In May she had to have her appendix removed and stayed in the hospital for three days. In June, she tore the attachment on the underside of her heel. She had to wear a boot to help her heal. That makes the score 0-2.

But God has a very funny way of making people slow down to heal. Since Deb didn't wait the full five weeks after her appendix surgery before going back to work full-time and since she wouldn't wear the boot her foot doctor told her to wear, God had to take matters into His own hands.

Beginning Saturday night, July 26th, Deb was complaining her gut hurt. Not much could be done. She tried working through the pain, sang a solo in church, and taught her young women's lesson. Then Monday morning she woke up in a lot of pain. I told her to go to the Dr and see what the problem was.

Her doctor wasn't working Monday and he told her to go to Urgent Care. Well, Urgent Care does tests and finds she has a bad infection but they cannot tell where the infection is. They tell her to go to the Emergency Room.

I happened to take a vanpool into work on Monday. I get the phone call that Deb is in the ER and I need to get home. Well, I didn't drive so one of my employees had to drive me all the way from Florence to Gilbert.

Needless to say, Deb has been in the hospital since Monday morning and is still there as of this posting with no end date in sight. According to her doctors, she has Diverticulitis which is a severe infection in the colon. To make matters worse, she has a tear in the colon wall. The sharp pains are caused by air leaking into the abdomen from the colon. She has gone without food and water since Monday. I didn't quite realize how sick she was until her surgeon said she had a severe attack and that we all need to be patient in order for her to heal properly.

That being said, there is still the possibility the colon could abcess and then she will have to have surgery to remove the colon. So she is not out of the woods just yet.

Somewhat good news today though. She just called me and said they are allowing her to have liquids. This will be the test to see how well she's healing. If her fever returns and her white blood cell count rises after having food in her, then they will have to do the surgery. But if she tolerates it, then she'll be fine... for now.

So, God has made sure that Deb is resting from her appendix surgery and has time to allow her foot to heal... All because Deb wouldn't do it on her own. :o)

Anyway, she could reallly use your prayers. She is still pretty sick but there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Maddy Makes Honor Roll

Madyson has made huge improvements in her schooling since changing schools. When she first started at her new school she didn't do all that well. At times she was getting D's and F's but after some heart to heart talks and her feeling more comfortable with her teacher's teaching styles, she began to turn things around.

Finally when her last report card came out, she had all A's and one B. She made the honor roll!! She as well as her parents were so proud of her.

The Gilbert Public School system does an Academic Night for all 4th - 6th grades. Maddy got to participate and after the program. She was excited. Debbie and I, my mom and Maddy's mom, Cat were all there to support her.

After the program we all went to Outback Steakhouse where Maddy wanted to go. It was a fun evening and we are so very proud of Madyson and her good grades.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mike's Big Award

I have been an instructor and provided training for the last seven years at judges conferences, new judge orientation, and judicial staff conferences. During that time, not once did I know you could win an award for being a good trainer.
Last October, another co-worker and I provided a DUI Processing class and apparently, someone nominated us for the award and we won.

It was a total surprise and not something I aspired too, but was kind of excited when I was informed I had won.

They had a big awards ceremony and people who won the award from all the different conferences received their awards at the same time. Then from all the awards that were given out, one was named the Trainer of the Year (not me).

Debbie attended the ceremony with me and we had a great time meeting some old friends and just being able to spend some time together.

Phoenix Zoo Field Trip

So Madyson comes home with a flyer from school inviting the children and parents to go on a field trip to the zoo. Not a during the school day type of field trip. An overnight stay inside the zoo. Mike wasn't too interested until Madyson's best friend, Madison's dad said he was going and kind of begged Mike to go too.

We showed up at the zoo on a Friday evening and went into a big room. The kids were all sorts of excited. We were given the rules and then the fun began. The first event was a night hike through the zoo. It probably would have been fun if you could see any animals. We did get to see a couple of animals that didn't mind flashlights being shown on them.

Here is how the tour went. On your left is Monkey Island. During the day you can see the monkeys swing from the trees and listen to them talking to each other (they talked for 15 minutes about something we couldn't even see).

We went back to the room and some of the keepers brought out some animals for the kids to see. That was fun because you actually got to see the animals. We went on another night hike and got to have a evening snack. The second night hike was just as entertaining as the first one. We weren't allowed to take pictures because it might scare the animals.

Then we were in bed by 11:00.

In the morning we were provided breakfast and then went on another hike. At least this one was during the day. However, it was also during the time the animals are locked up in their pens eating breakfast. We got to see some animals that had already eaten, but the tigers and lions were not out and that really bummed out the kids.

When you are at the place the keepers prepare the food for the animals, never volunteer when the guy says "I need five kids and one parent to volunteer." Of course, Maddy was at his feet and instantly raised her hand. None of the parents volunteered because we knew what he was about to do. However, Madyson told the guy to pick me. And he did.

He made us sample some of the food pellets they feed the monkeys and other animals. Madyson took a bite of a monkey pellet and instantly threw up in front of everyone. None of the kids actually took a bite. They just licked it. Me? Yeah, I took a big bite. It was the grossest thing I've ever done. The taste was tolerable, but it was how dry the food was that made me gag. But I at least swallowed it.

Overall, I would not recommend the zoo overnight, but it was fun spending the time with Madyson and she had a blast because her friends were there. Fortunately, I was not the only dad from our ward there. There were five of us there and we kept each other company during the boring tours.

Best Wedding EVER

My wife has a few wealthy clients and one of them invited us to attend their daughter's wedding (obviously not because we could get them a fancy gift) because Debbie has become close with the family.

The wedding was held on a golf course in Scottsdale (yes, golfers were playing right next to the wedding ceremony). It was a beautiful wedding with all the pretty people in attendance (and then us).

The reception was the coolest part ever. How many people can say they had their reception on the football field at ASU???? Yes, I'm talking the actual football field.

The endzone was painted with the couple's wedding logo. Sparky was even in attendance, as was Frank Kush (yes, the field is called Kush Field), Bruce Snyder, Joe Garrageola, and some guys from the San Francisco Giants. It was incredible. We got an insight how the pretty people live and it's a wonderful lifestyle. We were treated like royalty even just because we were in attendance.
The family even flew in their favorite local band from California to play the dance music. Nothing funnier that watching old, rich, drunk people dance. We danced and had a wonderful pretending we were rich, even if for just one night.

Easter Pageant 2008

One of nice things living close to the Temple is that we get to see the Easter Pageant every year. Even though Mike complains about going every year because it's the same thing over and over, he has fun and enjoys it once he's there. This year, we attend with a lot of people from our ward.

Debbie is the Young Women's Beehive Advisor and the young women planned to attend the pageant this year. So Mike, Madyson and Madison attended with the young women. It was fun. We have a good bunch of young women in our ward and a few of them are just too funny.

It's always good to see the pageant and be reminded of what our Saviour went through to save us. The atonement has blessed our lives so much and being reminded every year of what he did for us keeps us in check.

Maddy's Field Trip

Maddy and Debbie went on a school field trip to the Desert Botanical Garden and as expected, it's not the funnest place to visit. Kids like to be entertained but any time spent outside the classroom is a good time. They learned about the different desert plants and such, but as you can see by the picture, they look like they care, don't they?

Happy (Late) Birthday Madyson

Well, it's been over a month since Maddy's actual birthday and we are just NOW getting to post her special day. I know, I feel horrible. My sister Britney put a happy birthday wish to Maddy on her blog, but her own daddy waits over a month to do it.

With that being said, Maddy is now 10. Her transition to living with us has been good. She had made a lot of good friends just being here with us on the weekends. The bond she had with those girls in her primary class was strong. So we invited them all over and took them to a place called Justice for Girls. It's a clothing store but they also do parties. The girls decided they wanted to do the "Rockstar" theme. So they all got makeovers and dressed up like rockstars. They had a blast. They couldn't stop giggling the whole time.

We brought the girls back to our house and they got to sing kareoke and have cake and ice cream. Maddy had a wonderful time and couldn't stop smiling for a week.

But Maddy is a very special girl. Her feelings are so tender and genuine. More than anything she just wants to snuggle with mommy and daddy. She has so much love to give. That means daddy is gonna have to buy a shot gun before she starts dating. She's going to be one of those girls who falls in love so easily and gets a broken heart just as easily. Daddy doesn't think he's going to be able to handle it.
Happy birthday baby... We love you.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Has Been Cancelled

This is what happens when Easter falls in March instead of April. It's not the dog's fault. He was just confused!!

Happy Easter Everyone!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It Has Been Way Too Long

Okay, so it's been three months since our last post. I'm so sorry. I've been very busy on the computer doing genealogy, but neglecting my duties to keep everyone updated on our lives.

So let's re-cap the last couple of months (I'll attach pictures later)...

Right before the Winter Break in school, Cat called me and asked if I would be willing to take Madyson during the week and let her have the weekends. We were very excited for this opportunity because it was something Madyson had wanted to do. It was a difficult decision because we really enjoyed having that weekend time with Madyson because the entire weekend was quality time with her. But having her during the week has proved to be a blessing, and I'm sure Cat feels it a blessing to have Maddy on the weekends with her. Cat is the Primary President of her ward and she loves having Maddy a part of her Primary.

Maddy loves her new school and loves having her really good friends in her class. Maybe she's enjoying it a bit too much as her grades have slipped a little bit, but she's learning how important it is to get good grades.

Around Christmas time, Deb's friend Celeste and her two boys moved in with us during a time of family struggles. It's been both fun and frustrating for everyone involved (a 3-bedroom house is not designed for six people and a home office). But we're all doing the best we can to make it work. Her two boys are such fun. They are full of questions, but most importantly, they both LOVE NASCAR!!! They were so crushed when my favorite driver won the Daytona 500 instead of their favorite driver.

Deb has a new calling. She was released from being Primary Chiorster and was put in as the Beehive Advisor. We have a great bunch of Beehives in our ward. They come to the house every couple of months and they love to have fun.

I have a new calling as well. I was released from teaching the 8-9 year old Valiant B Primary class and am now the new Ward Family History Consultant. FINALLY, a ward calling I've always wanted. Of course, I didn't realize that I get to be responsible for the Temple Work of the ward too. That is a daunting task. To top it off, my Dad was released from the Bishopbric and was put in as the Hight Priests Group Leader. So now, as Family History Consultant, I am under my Dad in who I report too. It's been a lot of fun working with him in this calling.

I also got a new job. Instead of working for the State Supreme Court, I am now the Limited Jurisdiction Court Administrator for Pinal County. I do not directly supervise all the courts in Pinal County, I'm more like a liasion for them and do whatever they need done. I'm supervising the trainer that trains all the employees. So it's a lot of responsibility, but it's so much fun. It was a good move to make.

Well, those are the big changes for now. I promise I'll try to do better in the future.