YES, We Really Do Have Eight!

I love babies. When my babies hit their first birthday, I long once again for that tiny helpless little person that smells like baby powder and doesn't squirm away when you're staring at his beautiful little face. Now don't get me wrong. I love the other stages too. I laugh out loud when I hear the jibber jabber of his first words (Jackson). I giggle when I see one dance hysterically when she hears a Justin Bieber song (Bekkah). I beam with pride when she puts gospel principals into action as she prepares for her upcomming baptism (Emily). I am amazed over and over as he accepts and conquers challenges far beyond his years (Ammon). I burst with pride as I watch his determination and drive in all that he sets his mind to (Zane). I melt when I see the empathy, and concern she has for others (Mckenzie). I have to catch my breath when I see him snuggle with his baby brother (Zachary). I am amazed as I read his letters from his mission (Tres). I guess I just love it all. And this is why I have, despite my horrible pregnancies, we have eight beautiful, talented, amazing, wonderful children!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas

The year is nearly over, and what a year it’s been!

On January 24th, Tres got his mission call to serve in the Church and Family History Mission in Salt Lake City. He was to report on February 5th.

Twelve days after the call, Elder Huston, Mom, Dad and a very sick baby Jackson all flew to Salt Lake to drop him off.

February 17th Mom and Dad celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.

March came and Jackson’s health continued to worsen. Testing from oncologists, rheumatologists, and immunologists have only revealed more questions than answers.

In April, Zachary performed in the Red Mountain production of Beauty and the Beast as the baker.

May came only to find sweet Emily in the hospital with a MRSA Staph infection that had to be surgically removed. The day after she returned from the hospital Zane and Mom burned the kitchen down. We left our home in the hands of a restoration crew and moved to another home. Two weeks later Zach graduated from high school with honors, Zane was promoted to the 7th grade with a handful of awards, and Emily graduated from kindergarten. Mckenzie was awarded the highest Mathematics and Choir awards for 8th grade and was elected 9th grade class president.

June came and the summer started out with girls camp and for Mckenzie followed by a trip to Utah for a family reunion where the whole family got the flu and spent 7 hours together throwing up in the car. Mom sported a fancy walking cast when she finally had her ankle x-rayed and found that she broke it in two places when she fell off the top of the Excursion. Jack’s health began to improve and we were thrilled when doctors ruled out Leukemia and Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

July rolled around and Dad, Zach, and Zane had a wonderful time on Catalina Island for scout camp. Mom and the rest of the kids drove up for a surprise trip to see Grammy in Utah. Meanwhile back in Mesa the very large shade tree in the back yard broke in half and fell out over the wall and into the street blocking traffic. Thanks to our ward family it was nearly all hauled away by the time we arrived home.

August came and we moved back home two days before school started. Zachary started college at MCC and was hired on at an alarm sales company.

September was Bekkah’s cardiology check up. Doctors say the structure of her heart has worsened, but miraculously it is still functioning, which was a great relief to all. We ended the month with Ammon receiveing his Wolf badge.

October came and life seemed to be calming down a little. We spent a much needed break at Sea World and the beach and had a wonderful time together. A few days after break Mcenzie got a Staph infection, but thankfully was able to avoid surgery as we caught it early.

November brought birthday parties and family gatherings.

Here we are in December. Zachary is preparing to turn in his mission papers, and we are all excited to talk to Tres on Christmas (especially mom). We are all healthy and are gearing up to have a very UNEVENTFUL 2011!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October Break 2010

October break might need to be re-named, as the word "break" didn't describe our vacation at all. We left Friday after work and headed for Yuma where we spent the night in a hotel. Had to get two rooms as we far exceed the number of guests allowed in one. Got a great deal thanks to priceline. The kids loved the breakfast bar and enjoyed swimming in the hot tub and playing pool in the rec area.

We then headed toward San Diego and stayed in a nice little beach house we got for a smokin last minute deal on Craig's List. It was just three houses down from the beach! We played in the water all day and then again that night. The kids found sand dollars on the shore, then Kenzie and I watched SeaWorld Fireworks from the balcony of the beach house.

The next day we went to church with a bunch of people we didn't know and guess what...the church is the same everywhere...just like they say! Grandpa met up with us that afternoon and we spent the rest of the day playing at the beach and collecting sea shells and a lot of stinky seaweed. Zach carved the seewead bulbs like pumpkins and the kids buried Zach in the sand. They boogie boared and built extravagant sand castles. And Emily talked Grandpa into jumping through the waves with her.

Day four was SeaWorld from 10am-6pm. Grandpa got us tickets last year, and they were good for two years so we got in free. We rode every ride and saw the dolphins, sealions, polar bears, and Bekkah's favorite "Moo" (Shamu). We played in the kids zone and got very wet (especially Jackson who had a wonderful time with the water pads!)

Grandpa joined us at SeaWorld for day five of our "break" where we did it all over again, and added the Clyde and Seamore show and ate at the all you can eat pizza and pasta bar! We picked out souveneirs (thanks Grandpa!)
and closed out the park once again. We headed back to the beach house, ate rolled tacos from the taco shop two doors down and took another evening stroll along the beach.

Our final day we played on the beach for a couple hours then packed up the car to head for home but decided to hit SeaWorld one more time to ride some rides and wear out the kids for the long ride home. We rode Atlantis 5 times in a row (no lines!!) then played in the kids zone. I can honestly say that if I NEVER ride the teacups (AKA Abbey's Spinning Stars) again it will be too soon! We closed out the park for the third night in a row and headed for home.

Except for the abscence of Tres, that was a GREAT October "Break"!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wolf Man Ammon

Ammon received his Wolf badge, a gold arrow point and 6 silver arrow points. This is one busy little scouter!
And he refuses to take off his war paint. Luckily we have a couple days before Sunday. Hopin' Crayola Markers wear off after a day or two.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Who's that baby?

What cute little bald babies we make. Can you tell who is who? (I have to admit, I struggled with a couple)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bekkah Update

Today Rebekkah spent the afternoon at Phoenix Children’s hospital undergoing a battery of tests on her heart. The last few months we have noticed a few problems with her such as excessive sleepiness, and loss of appetitive, things the parents of a three year old without a congenital heart defect would just chalk up to "a phase". So we were apprehensive about her visit today.

Bekkah’s tricuspid valve, (no. 6 on the diagram) hung down 13 mm into her left ventricle (no. 7) at birth. The defect was considered a mild Ebstein’s Anomaly at that time. Today her echocardiogram showed that the valves have dropped 22 more mm and are laying flat against the walls of the ventricle. To give you a better picture, her heart is about the size of a small plum and 35 mm is about an inch and a half. So now her left atrium (no. 5) is very enlarged and her ventricle is less than half it’s normal size. Her condition has now been upgraded to a severe Ebstein’s Anomaly. Blood flows down from the left atrium into the ventricle and the function of the tricuspid valve is to stop blood flow (regurgitation) from going back up. People with a displacement as severe as Bekkah's have large amounts of regurgitation. Her doctor’s words were ”leaks like a sieve.”

For some amazing reason, however, her echocardiogram showed that Bekkah’s leaks very little. If fact your's and mine might leak as much as hers. It was so remarkable that her doctor called in two other doctors from the practice to take a look. None of the three had ever seen anything like it.

If her heart leaked like it should be, she would not be getting enough oxygenated blood and would go into heart failure. There is a surgery to fix the tricuspid valve. This surgery is only performed at the Mayo clinic in Minnesota. It is very difficult and not very successful, especially on a 23 pound little girl who’s heart is the size of a plum.

So today we thank you for all of your prayers for our family and our little girl. And we thank our Heavenly Father once again for another miracle for the Hustons!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Tree Falls on Dartmouth Street

This morning I woke up to a phone call from my neighbor who called to let me know that our huge shade tree in our backyard was now in our front yard blocking part of the street. Dan is away at scout camp in California and I an in Utah visiting Grandma. What's a person to do. Live in the Salt River Ward, that's what.

I'd been trying to figure out what to do all day. Then tonight I got on facebook and saw pictures posted of Salt River Ward angels cutting up and removing that huge tree. What a wonderful blessing to know that our family is watched over by a loving Father in Heaven through amazing people all around us. I am just as grateful that the wind was blowing to the west. If the tree had fallen the other way our brand new kitchen would have been demolished! Just imagine what the insurance adjuster would think!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Bekkah!

Can you believe she's THREE?! We feel especially grateful to celebrate this special day with our sweet little Rebekkah. A little less than three years ago doctors discovered that our perfect little baby girl had a not so perfect heart. She was born with a very rare condition having to do with a malformed tricuspid valve. Doctors also found that she several accessory pathways which cause her heart to beat incorrectly. And if that wasn't enough for our sweet little princess, she also has to deal with a blood clotting disorder. The news of her challenges was crushing. Doctors couldn't give us the answers to all of our questions and the realization that she may not be ours for as long as we thought tugged at our hearts. But with the faith and prayers of our friends and family, Heavenly Father has given us another year to spend with her. She is stable now, and continues to do well with her current medication. But we are not disillusioned. We know that the medications will not work forever, and she will need to have surgery to seal off the holes in her heart. We know that as she grows her valve could worsen and we will be faced with some very difficult decisions. But for now we will laugh when she dances in her tu tu, and cuddle when she has a bad dream, and pray each night when she drifts off to sleep for many more years with our beautiful Rebekkah.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Father' Day at Bass Pro

We took grandpa to Bass Pro shop on the Saturday before Father's Day. We tried on hats and fishing vests, fought bears and pet the dead animals. We shot rifles and tried out cross bows, climbed all over the off road vehicles and boats, and we rode the elevator and looked at fish. We even got to have smores. Then we his ChikFil-A for free Father's Day meals and some lively entertainment from the kids in the play land. I think we wore out Grandpa, and had a great time doing it. Love ya dad!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

One crazy graduation day (and a little bragging)!

We had three graduations and an awards assembly (all in one day!)

At 9am Emily graduated from Kindergarten. Her line in the graduation ceremony was "F is for the fun we've had as we have gone along" said to perfection.

At 10am Mckenzie won a trophy for Outstanding Choir Student and the 8th grade Outstanding Math Student Award. And as a side note she was elected the 9th grade class president.

At 11am Zane was promoted from the 6th grade. He also earned an outstanding attendance award, outstanding attendance award for KSDO (O'connor broadcasting channel), Citizenship Award, Scholastic Achievement Award, The Golden Presidential Award, and the Scott Pendalten music award for band (he plays the trumpet). Talk about an over achiever--gotta love this kid!!

At 1pm Quest came to hook up our phone at our new temporary home (thanks Sister Lowther!), and at 2:30pm Rent-A-Center delivered our beds, TV and furniture just in time for our graduation party.

At 7:30 Zachary graduated with Honors and a Service Learning designation from Red Mountain High School. He also graduated the night before from four years of seminary.
We made it home by 10 and enjoyed the good company of family and friends.
What an amazing exhausting day...I'm getting old.

About Me

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Our lives are dedicated to the Lord, we live by this creed: Be clean Be grateful Be humble Be prayerful Be smart Be true Be positive Be involved Be still, We BE the Hustons!


(and sometimes not so much)