Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Miracle Mason is 8 years old and Happy Holidays!!!

Better late than never! Right?!
Mason turned 8 last month!! Here's his birthday post.....

(I posted this on his birthday, November 30, on Instagram)
"Happy happy birthday to our Miracle Mason! So hard to believe he is 8 years old today!! 8 years ago he changed our lives forever, he has taught us to have great faith and hope, and he has shown us how to love one another more than we ever thought possible! Thank you Mason for being you, and for bringing smiles to our faces each and everyday! We continue to be so very grateful to his donor who made more birthdays with a our sweet little boy possible❤️!

(pictures taken by http://www.byjess.com)

Mason is quite a little ham! He loves to have his picture taken! (Unlike my other kiddos!)

He loves taking selfie pictures too, 
so if he gets a hold of your phone.....
just know you’ll find lots of Mason selfies!

Mason has a great imagination and loves dressing up. Usually soon after he gets home from school he will disappear and return as a new person. Some of his favorites are a swat police officer, firefighter, baseball player, or a football player. Sometimes it also depends on what is on our TV in the evenings or what his brothers are doing…. whether it be a basketball  game, a hockey game, a lacrosse game, golfing, mountain biking, or skiing…. Mason will dress up appropriately! And he doesn’t miss any details either!

(It was only 30 degrees out and he decided it was a 
great day for golfing! He wasn't too happy when I
 made him put a coat on over his golf shirt! Even then
 he only lasted about 5 minutes before he was too cold
and was done golfing for the day! Such a silly boy!)

Although Mason is still just a little guy, weighing in at 38 lbs (on a good day) and stands 44 inches tall , he has certainly come a long way since he was born at 5lbs 5oz with a very sick little heart. After completely crashing at 3 days old, 1 ambulance ride, 2 life flight trips, 3 open heart surgeries (the 3rd being his heart transplant), 35+ heart caths/biopsies, back rod placement surgery for scoliosis, 6 rod expansion surgeries, too many to count hospital stays for pneumonia and other severe infections….He has totally exceeded all medical expectations! He is our miracle boy who loves life and lives it to the fullest!

(10 days old, right before his first heart surgery)

(Masons first Christmas, in the PICU)

(This sweet little baby has been a fighter since the beginning!)

And now, look at this handsome little 8 year old!

We got him a suit for his birthday, because this cute
8 year old is getting baptized on January 2nd!

When Mason is asked who is best friends are  almost always he will say; Kaitlin, Preston, Braiden, and Ammon! He loves and adores his sister and brothers! (This darling picture was taken by http://www.byjess.com)

As much as Mason has loved football this year, it didn't surprise me when he asked for a football birthday party! He invited several little boys to come celebrate with him the Saturday night before his birthday. 

We had a special guest come visit the party...
Our friend Brett used to play football for BYU,
so he came and met the boys. I think their favorite
part was trying on his heavy football helmet!

After their special guest visitor, the boys played a few games and broke open a football piƱata. Then it was the long awaited opening presents and birthday cake time. What a darling bunch of kiddos we had in our home to help Mason celebrate his big day!

Mom and Dad love you Miracle Mason!


On Monday, Mason's real birthday, he got to celebrate his birthday at school with all of his classmates and friends.

Here he is with one of his amazing teachers, Mrs. Losee.
Mason loves going to school and loves his teachers too!
 And, I am so grateful for all they do for Mason!

Again I just want to say how very thankful we are for the family who thought to donate their child's organs at such a sad time of loss for them. I am also so thankful for the opportunity I have to be Miracle Mason's mom and to see God's hand in our lives each and everyday! 

Thank you for being our reminder that miracles happen and prayers are answered! Thank you for reminding us that all the little things in life are actually the big things! I love you more than words can begin to express! Happy belated birthday!

My next post will be about our surprise early Christmas gift to our kiddos. We finally got the okay from Mason's transplant team that he is healthy enough to take on a trip further than California, so we took our family on an 8 day trip to Hawaii! We had a wonderful time and returned home late on Christmas eve! We had a very nice Christmas as we celebrated and remembered the love our Savior has for each of us. We hope your family has felt His love this Christmas season as well!

(This was the night our kids opened an early gift which told them 
about our trip to Hawaii! We told them just 2 nights before
 we were leaving! It was so fun to see their excitement!!)

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year
from our family to yours! 

May the miracle of Christmas fill 
your hearts and homes with love and joy at this time
and through out the new year to come!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter

Autumn has come and gone and the chill of winter has definitely set in! Like always we have stayed nice and busy, as the seasons have changed right before our eyes. Our fall was unusually warm (of which I certainly will not complain), but when winter showed up it came with a gusto! It has been so chilly already... and I have a feeling this could be a long cold winter! If we can just stay healthy this winter (especially Mason), then I'll be able to survive the cold (maybe).

***(So I jinxed myself! I started this post on November 24 while Mason and I were up at Primary Children's for his monthly IVIg infusion, when Mason and the rest of our family were totally healthy. But, last Sunday several of us woke up sick with a nasty cold and Mason has missed school all week with a nasty cough! 'Tis the season, right?! )

A few of the things that our October and November were filled with were; a field trip to the farm, Friday night high school football games, Kaitlin's homecoming dance, lacrosse games, mountain bike races, crazy hair day, Halloween, a primary program, the first snow... followed by the beginning of the ski season, and of course Thanksgiving.

I got to go with Mason's first grade class on
a field trip to Hee Haw farms.

Although, I'm not sure they'll invite me back again after 
I got myself and several kiddos lost in the corn maze, haha!

Most Friday nights this fall we took Mason and Ammon to the Lone Peak High School football games (Kaitlin, Preston, and Braiden were usually there with friends too). It was a fun tradition to start and our boys loved it! Kaitlin is friends with a lot of the players, so Ammon and Mason think it is pretty cool that they know some of the players too!

(Ammon and Mason with their buddy Ty)

(Mason with his buddy Talmage)

During the week of homecoming the cheerleaders make posters and hang them on the Football players doors. Well, thanks to Ammon's buddy Ty and his awesome family, Ammon got a poster hung up on our door too! Thank you Macpherson family for making Ammon feel so loved and important!! 

Kaitlin played in the Jr's vs Sr's powder puff game during
homecoming week also. It was a blast to watch!

Kaitlin played against her cousin Brooke who is a senior, and her other cousin Nicole who is a sophomore was there watching too. Kaitlin loves going to school with her cousins! Everyone always tells them how much they look like each other too. Such pretty sweet girls!

This beautiful daughter of mine had a great time at Homecoming 2015!

She had a fun with her date, Derek...
and her whole group as well!

This fall Braiden decided to take a break from 
baseball and played 6 weeks of lacrosse.

He played with a really good group of boys
and had awesome coaches too!

His team even took first place in the championship game!
Way to go 7th and 8th grade Lone Peak lacrosse!

Towards the end of October we went down to St. George
for the high school state championship mountain bike race.

Preston has loved being apart of this team!
He has dedicated coaches and really fun team mates!

Preston did amazing that day!
 He took 17th out of 110 freshman!

His team also took 2nd in all of the state!
Great job Lone Peak riders!

Mason and Ammon also had a great time with us at the race!
These two boys always know how to have fun!

Ammon's favorite thing was the rock climbing wall.

Mason's school had 'crazy hair day' for red ribbon week.

He was in need of a good haircut a the time, 
so I was able to do a really tall 'mohawk' on him!

He came home from school and 
said he had the best hair in his class!

Grandma Marilyn had a monday night family Halloween party and we went as 'hobos' as my kids would say. We were hungry, homeless, in need of work, and missing Braiden who was at lacrosse.

Such cute little hobos!

Halloween wouldn't truly be Halloween without Pumpkin carving,
but my only kiddo excited about doing it this year was Mason!
Are my kids getting too old??

Mason was super proud of his BYU jack-o-lantern,
because it matched his costume of course!

This year Ammon dressed up as a pilot. Where he comes up with his costume ideas I have no idea. But when he thinks of it, he gets his heart set on it!(Remember last year he was 'Elf on the Shelf', which he thought up all on his own too!)

Mason had trouble deciding what he was going to be. He went back and forth between a firefighter, a swat policeman, a baseball player, and a football player... good thing he already has all those outfits, because he loves dressing up! As you can see the BYU football player won in the end!

Once my kiddos our out of elementary school I tell them they are on their own to come up with a costume... Braiden scrummaged through old costumes and threw on the M&M, Preston went as his old stand by again -a skier! 

Mason and Ammon felt like the luckiest boys on the block,
because two of their favorite neighbors, McKenna and Ty
took them trick-or treating!! Thanks you two!!

Kaitlin had a few friends over to hang out before
they went to a Halloween party later that night. 

Braiden didn't last long as an M&M, especially when our friend Ty loaned him his Giraffe costume. And, here he is holding our favorite trick-or-treater of the night... Sammi and Sean's darling little Ryan! She was the highlight of our night!

In November, Mason and Ammon participated in the annual primary program at church. Kaitlin took these cute pictures with her phone and I couldn't hep but post them. It is just so wonderful when our two youngest get to do 'normal' kiddo things, because life isn't always 'normal' for them!

Lone Peak high school played in the state semi-finals and then the final championship game at the University of Utah, Rice Eccles stadium. It was sure chilly, but be bundled up and went to support our team. We had a great time, except they ended up losing the championship game in the last 22 seconds.It was a bummer, but 2nd place in state is still a great accomplishment!

Mason enjoyed every minute of it!

Braiden brought his buddies Andrew and easton with us.

Ammon loves Aunt MIchelle! We sat with with 
Michelle's family at most of the football games this 
fall.  We made some great memories together!!

Kaitlin and her cute friends sat on the second row
at the championship games... so they were right in
the middle of the big student party!

Then Autumn waved goodbye for the chill had set in 
and we had gotten our first snow of the year!

Mason was so excited about the snow!
He got dressed up from head to toe and didn't 
miss a single detail! Goggles, gator and all!

Preston took Mason sledding after the first snow fall, and
he only lasted about 10 min! But I say he gets an 'A' for effort!

Preston, Braiden, and their ski buddies definitely did
 not miss the opening day at Alta! And, they've been 
back to hit the slopes several times since already!

Preston and Braiden are super excited that they have now mastered a back flip on skis! Me? Not so much! I am a worrier, so its probably good I haven't been there to watch them do this in person! I will say though, these boys are so very talented and athletic. They are amazing!



Last, but certainly not least came Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving sure seemed to sneak up on us this year, but still always a very special day to spend time with family and friends. We had our annual turkey bowl and cinnamon rolls at out house after with the Stricklands and some friends (sadly none of us took pictures of the turkey bowl this year though). Then we went to my mom's (Grandma SanDee's) for dinner. We had a very nice day and are so grateful for family who live near us! 

(Kaitlin, my mom, and I)

(Cousin Brextyn and Mason with Grandma Sandee)

As I pondered on Thanksgiving about all that we have to be grateful for, which is so very much, one thing especially stood out to me this year. I am exceedingly grateful for the love of our extended family.  Over the last 10 years we have faced challenges and unexpected journeys with our two youngest boys and it has been the love shown to us and the prayers said on our behalf by extended family, friends and neighbors that have helped us make it through it all! There are always angels among us! This has also taught our children how to love even greater, pray more diligently, and help those around them. For this my heart is extra full of gratitude and love!!

Thanks as always for checking in on us. We send our love to all of you who have taken part in our journey! May your families be blessed this holiday season! My next post will be "Miracle Mason turned 8".... crazy huh?! Its hard to believe he's already 8!!