Thursday, May 29, 2008


This post is for my good husband Russ. This countertop grill is dear to our hearts and is the source of an ongoing joke in our marriage. Last summer (yes, almost a year ago) we had a BBQ on our back porch. We had people over, our big grill was full of delectable meat, and Russ decided to use this small grill as well for some chicken. Well, as we were doing dishes that night, I asked Russ if he could help clean the grills. He did the big one outside and said he would clean this small one before bed. It was a "No, no, I got it Gracie" moment ("Return to Me") in it's finest. So, every so often, he'd say he'd clean it, and it was left at that. Now, because he said he would, I decided to let it go and just let him get to it when he could:). Well, about December, Russ decided he wanted to use our little countertop grill and asked where it was. I kindly took him to the back porch and showed him the bump in our 1 1/2 feet of snow. He dug it out, cleaned it, used it that night, soaked it in the sink, and promised, again, that he would clean it tomorrow:). So, today is May 29th and here it sits on Russ' desk in his office. It has become an icon and a permanent fixture in his office. For any "Everybody Loves Raymond" fans, this is our "suitcase on the stairs." Occasionally when the office gets cleaned it will make it to the counter or sink, and after a few days, it finds it's way home to Russ' office again. Isn't it nice to have a steady comfort item like this that you know will always be a constant in your life? So, here she sits, awaiting the day when she might get cleaned and put away. But honestly, I don't even remember where in the cupboard it belongs.

Friday, May 16, 2008


We think Spring has finally arrived. We finally were able to get out in our backyard (note the bits of snow still out there) and we're going to be able to put our trampoline back up! We were able to get Rachel out in our backyard to the stream and she was so happy to be out. We can't say enough thanks to my Mom for helping us out this week while Dana's parents are in Hawaii (enjoying a well deserved vacation for the released Bishop). Thanks for coming up from AZ Ma!

Here's a typical day in our family...Enjoying ourselves and trying to keep Cody out of danger.

Here's Rachel getting around the house. She's walking everywhere now and feeling free.

No man left behind.

This is a good story that shows the loyalty and sacrifice it takes to be a member of our family.

Yesterday evening, we were having dinner and all of the sudden Rachel freaks out and frantically jumps out of her wheel chair, almost lands of her face yelling "my silky." (Let me remind you, we are about a week and a half out of a major hip surgery) She is hopping on her good leg freaking out and screaming "my silky." Her silky is a little pink blanket my mom made her when she was a baby. She swoops down and picks it us and was frantically trying to get back to her wheelchair. Come to find out, Rachel saw a tiny spider on the floor in the kitchen. Her silky was also on the floor. She made a slit second decision to save her loyal friend. Thanks to Rachel, the threat was removed and we suffered no casualties.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

FYI.....Rachel is doing GREAT!!!

Thanks SOOO much to everyone who has helped, sent presents, love, ect. We have received a "plethora" (Three Amigos) of things to help us, the boys, and Rachel through this time. Rachel had a few really hard days getting used to her cast. She itched a lot, but now she seems to be getting used to her cast. Her fun personality is back and she is back to entertaining us.

Again, thank you so much. The love and support we received from Family, Friends, Ward Members (who are friends) has been so awesome.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Day After...yesterday.

Well, Day two is almost gone. We have made some progress. She is off the Morphine and is taking pain medicine orally. This is good progress. The morphine made her groggy, sad, and irritable. Now, they are giving her a mix of Tylenol and Codeine. She has to deal with a bit more pain, but her personality is back and she can communicate with us a bit better. We are very excited to have our little Rachel back.
She has been very scared to move and has fought the idea of getting out of bed. We have had to change her cloths, sheets, and other messy things throughout our stay, and it has been very painful for her to move. So, the idea of getting up was not very high on her list. At about 3 pm we finally talked her into letting me put her in a wagon and go for a walk. We think it did her a lot of good even though she was ready to get back to her room. Also, she finally had a good meal for dinner and seemed a bit happier. And, again, Crystal, thanks so much for all the great movies for her. They have been a life saver.
Speaking of life savers, Grandma and Grandpa Dillon have kept all our boys since Monday night. Those of you who know, this is quite a task. Marty has babysat our boys so much for us in the last few days, and we are so so grateful. Being able to focus and concentrate on just Rachel right now is such a huge help. We are so grateful. We seem to be going through so much, but behind all this, she make things much easier.

Here is a shot of her PINK cast. When the nurses gave her her Codeine, she would get a really hot fever and then sweat it out a few minutes later. That is why she has the cloth on her head to try to keep her cool. I told her to say "cheese" and smile. This is the best she could get out. Pretty impressive I think.

This is shortly right after I got her into the wagon. This really stressed Rachel out. Once we got her in and settled, she seemed to kind of enjoy the ride.

Right here, a neat ol' guy was in the lobby right by our room and he was singing songs for the little ones. We were the only ones in the lobby for a while, so he was singing just for Rachel. He sang a lot of songs and changed the words and put her name in a lot of the songs. She finally cracked a little smile for us. It was neat.

Dave, Diane, CharRee, Taylor and, Cooper came in and visited Rachel. We were in the play room when they got there. They came with presents, candy, a giant Cinderella balloon, and fun party hats. Rachel would not eat much, but all the sudden, she had all kinds of candy and she was ready eat. Go figure? Anyway, thanks so much. She loved it. Even though she didn't seem too excited at the time, (due to the drugs) she was very happy to get all the fun stuff.

Here is one of the pics of her presents. She was trying to smile, but she just couldn't get one out yet. In a day or so she'll be super happy again.

I am so proud of Rachel. The trauma that her little body has been through is something that I don't like to think about. She is so great. To see her go through this breaks my heart, but it also shows me how strong her little spirit is. The few days leading to her operation she asked me several times for a blessing. I gave her a blessing Monday night. I have seen the "tender mercies" of our Savior as I watch Rachel through this experience. I know He has been close to her through the influence of the Spirit. He has comforted her and us and I am so grateful. We are very grateful for all the prayers on her part and for us. We have literally felt the effects.

Rachel's Operation was a sucess, but still really hard.

Rachel was born with DDH, which basically means her hips have not developed the way they should. Her hip sockets do not have the cup shape like the rest of ours, but they are flat or "shallow" and do not provide the stability necessary for the ball on the femur bone to securely stay in the socket. She was diagnosed with DDH when she was almost two years old, which is a very late diagnosis. Her case was a bit difficult and made it nearly impossible to detect till she started walking. She didn't walk till nearly 18 months...and now we know why. Shortly after she was diagnosed, she was operated on to place the ball in the socket and to tighten all muscles, ligaments. tendons, ect... to ensure the secure placement of the ball in the socket. Also, with the ball in the socket, the hope was that the ball would grind and reshape her socket over time to a normal shape. Then she was cast from her abdomen to her ankles for 12 weeks to allow things to heal and ensure that they stay where they need to stay. That procedure is called "open reduction."

Well, now, three years later, our doctors have realized that even though her legs have not moved out of the sockets and things appear to be stable, her hips sockets have not reformed and are still "shallow" or flat. Our doctors have decided that her little body has fixed all it can fix on its own and it is now time to help it along with surgery. This operation was mainly to reshape the sockets. The procedure is called the "pemberton osteotomy" for those who are interested. You can google it and get some good info. And that is what she just had done. The surgery is quite a bit more difficult and painful for little Rachel. But, she is a trooper and continues to amaze her parents.

Here are some pictures from the night before and the morning of the operation.

Here we have Rachel showing off her strong bones and muscles. We (Dana, Rachel. and I) went to Boise Monday night, (the night before her operation) to get ready and to have a little fun before the cast went on. And, we had the best night. We went out to eat and she got all kinds of fun stuff. We stayed and Dave and Diane Gidley's home here in Boise (Thanks again!) which was really close to the hospital. She jumped on the trampoline, had fun on the swings, she rode bikes, played air hockey (and schooled Dana), and all kinds of fun things. She was running, jumping, and dancing. She kept saying she had to do all these fun things because she said it was her last day and she needed to do everything. We had so much fun with just her.

This is Rachel right outside the front doors at St. Luke's Medical Center. She liked the flowers.

Here we are in the PRE-OP room. We were in here for about an hour. We played a ton of games and watched "Sleeping Beauty." As you can see, Rachel is destroying Dana's paper with her scissors.

Right here Rachel has just taken the calming medicine to prep her for her operation. This medicine basically makes her very groggy. This is one of the hardest parts for us a her parents. We have to hand her off to the doctors and they roll her away from us. She got scared and cried. This is probably the hardest thing for me. I get a bit scared for her, but the one good thing is that the medicine they give her, makes her forget the last 30 minutes so she wouldn't remember them taking her away from us. And, when she wakes up, the first faces she will see will be our faces. But that doesn't really help me feel a ton better, but that really doesn't matter. Dana has been a lot tougher than I have this time. She is a stud.

This is about 30 minutes after the operation. We are up in our room. She had a hard time for a while. She was hurting pretty bad. The nurses had her on a constant drip line of morphine. The medicine makes her sad and agitated. We did all we could to make her happy and comfortable. She is doing great. She has slept a ton and when she is awake, we watch a lot of her movies to try to keep her mind occupied. (thanks Crystal) I'll give an update of day two a little later.