Thursday, July 30, 2009

There's a rock in my Stomach!!

Scott has been fighting the battle of a lifetime over the past couple of months. On Tuesday - he was finally able to declare victory, with the help of a doctor and a laser attached to end of scope!
Scott's been fighting a nasty kidney stone. It started right before we went on our anniversary trip. He went to the doctor who confirmed it was a kidney stone and gave him some pain meds and a little strainer to pee in too. Since then, he's had times when he's felt perfectly fine, and times when he's been in so much pain he's started throwing up. He was finally able to go in to see a Urologist this past Monday. She was quite impressed that he had endured the agony of the monster kidney stone moving down his urinary tract. It ended up being quite a large stone, and it was stuck right at the opening of his bladder. The doctor scheduled outpatient surgery for the next afternoon!
Thankfully, everything went well with the surgery. The doctor was able to find the stone quickly, and it broke up very easily with the laser. She was even able to collect parts of it so it can be analyzed to find out what it's made up of. Then Scott can change his diet accordingly, and hopefully not have to go through soemthing like this again! Scott is recovering nicely.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to keep the stone. We just have this beautiful picture to remember the epsiode. I am grateful that Scott is finally on the mend! We certainly don't need us both going thru labor at the same time! He's got 8 weeks to recover before it's my turn!!
The funny part about all this has been Adam's reaction. Scott has always been such a hands-on dad. Flying Adam around like an airplane, lots of wrestling and running around. During the past two months when Scott has been in pain, he hasn't been his normal playful self. We told Adam that daddy had rocks in his stomach, which was pretty fascinating to our 3-year old. Just about every day he would ask dad how his rocks were, and would ask to listen to his stomach so he could hear them. When we told him the doctor was going to remove the rocks, he wanted to make sure that we kept them so he could add them to his rock collection. He was a little disappointed when I told him the doctor broke the rock up into tiny pieces that we couldn't keep - but he's been very excited about the pictures. He keeps picking it up and looking at it and has been asking lots of questions! It's been very fun to watch his reaction to this whole episode. I know he'll be glad when his dad is all healed and back to his normal, playful self!!

Mill Creek Festival

Adam and I went to the Mill Creek Festival with our neighbors and had a great time. They had a fun kids area with bouncy houses and an entire section about fire safety. Adam was excited to get a fire hat, and to sit in the fire truck!
They also had a program about fires in your home. There was this cool trailer set up just like a house, and the firemen took the kids inside and talked about what to do if there was a fire in their home. Adam learned all about checking the door with the back of his hand to see if it's hot, crawling under the smoke, and finding a safe way out of the house. They filled the house with smoke, and all the kids had to crawl out the window. Adam thought that was great!!
They also had a super hero station. Adam got his picture taken with Batman and Robin (I'm not sure he knows who they are, but he still thought it was pretty cool!!)
He also got a picture with Mr. Incredible, but I wasn't able to snap one of my own and haven't been able to download it from the website they sent me too.
After checking out the kids area, we walked down to the other end and watched the dog competitions. It was pretty cool to watch the dogs do some big jumps into the water. It was a fun day!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Twin Falls - Part II

I think I've mentioned before on our blog how much Adam LOVES his Uncle Brian. He was very sad that Uncle Brian couldn't come with us on our our hike to Twin Falls. So, the following week Scott called him and he agreed to go hiking with Adam and Scott. They were going to go check out a new trail, but got a late start and decided to go back to Twin Falls. It's such a pretty place, and Adam loved going down to the river and boulder hopping, so they knew it would be a hit two weeks in a row! Here are a few pictures of Adam and Uncle Brian exlporing.
I love this one - Adam jumping while holding tight to Uncle Brian's hand.
They did a lot of boulder hopping and got much closer to the bottom of the falls then we did the week before. I guess it's easier to boulder hop without a pregnant lady tagging along!! :)
Here's a dunk your head in picture. It was a hot day!
The water was COLD! I'm not sure if Adam thought dunking his head in was such a great idea after he was done!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hiking - Twin Falls

The day after Adam and I returned from Idaho, Scott stayed home from work and we decided to go someplace fun. Scott and I have done this hike several times before Adam was born. We figured the hike was simple enough that Adam could do it without help. And - it was something I could do without too much strain as well! 7 months pregnant and hiking doesn't always seem like it goes together, but I think I did pretty good. I had to take a couple of breaks just to catch my breath (I feel like my lung capacity has been cut in half most of the time!!), but it wasn't too bad!
We didn't end up hiking up to the top of the falls, but we did head down to the river and Scott got this great picture of the lower falls. Here is a picture of the family at a rest stop.
Scott and Adam did some boulder hopping down at the river. Adam was in heaven! He had a great time!
Here they are on the other side of the river from me. Scott had to help him, but Adam made it all the way over and back without falling into the very swift moving water. I'll admit it was a little nerve wracking watching - but they made it safe and sound! Can you find them in the picture??
We spent a couple of hours just playing around down by the water before we headed back up and out. Here's a picture of Adam and I at a little bridge on the way out.
It was a great way to spend the day as a family. I love living in such a beautiful area of the country!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Couch Family Reunion 2009

I feel so blessed to have come from such a great family!! My mom is one of 8 kids! Her siblings have certainly done their part to multiply and replenish the earth, and my cousins have been following in those footsteps as well. The results are a wonderfully large family!! Ever since about 1983, the Couch family has held a family reunion every other summer. I have so many fond memories of attending these reunions growing up, and the memories just keep on coming as the reunions continue to happen.

Adam and I took the opportunity to attend the reunion this summer. My Aunt JoAnn found a great place near Challis, Idaho (if you don't know where that is - it's basically the middle of nowhere - about 2 and a half hours northeast of Boise) We stayed at the May Family Ranch. It was a beautiful area!

Below is a picture of the whole group trying to get organized for the regular family picture. We had a bunch of people missing this time - there were about 75 attendees - at last count there are 118 family members.

I've broken up the many activities that we did into several more posts with pictures. We had a great 3 days getting reaquainted with those that live far away, and just playing around!

Custer Ghost Town

There was a neat old ghost town pretty close to where we were staying for the reunion, so we took a little drive out to it. The drive there was very interesting. We ended up on this gravel road, driving through a dredge site. Apparently, gold had been discovered in the area and we ended up driving through some active claims. It was amazing to see what had been done to the river as people had been looking for gold. I should have taken some pictures, because I don't even know how to describe it! The whole landscape looked like it had been ripped up and dumped over. There were just piles and piles of rocks. There was even a big dredging machine that we drove past. It was pretty amazing, and a little sad. They had really ruined the beautiful countryside with what they were doing.

Once we got thru the dredge site, we reached Custer - which was an old mining town. They had restored several of the old buildings, and had a bunch of the old tools they used to mine for gold. It was really quite interesting. My aunt had made up a scavenger hunt for the kids, which was fun. It gave them something to look for while we went through the buildings.

Our first stop was an old schoolhouse. Here Adam is sitting at an old desk to circle the things he had found. That's his cousin Asher taking a peek at Adam's paper!!

This is an old dentist chair. That thing to the right of Adam is the drill that the dentist used. Can I just say I'm glad I was born when I was!!

Here's Adam sitting on the steps of the schoolhouse with his Great Grandma.

Great Grandma and the Conrad cousins (minus baby Asher).

Here are the Conrad cousins standing in one end of one of the many tools they used to mine for gold.

There were also some restored homes that we looked at. It must have been a hard life back in the day for these people! It was a very interesting trip out to the ghost town.

The Monster Waterslide

We had heard there was a waterslide at the ranch, and I thought Adam would love it - until I saw it! I don't think this picture does it justice - it was very long and very tall! I really didn't think Adam would go down it, but he kept insisting that he wanted too!

Since I was in no shape to take Adam down the waterslide, I convinced my cousin Matt to take him. The water was ice-cold!! This is a picture of Adam's reaction at the end of the first ride. Does it look like he would want to go again?Here he is once he got out of the water. Ready to go again! My brother, Nate, was nice enough to take Adam down the waterslide again, and again, and again. Nate ended up taking each of his kids down once, but Adam would have kept going all afternoon if we let him. We tried sending him down by himself, but he cried the whole way down! (My cousin's daughter, who is about 10 days younger than Adam, went down by herself over and over. It was very cute!) He loved going down - as long as he was with someone. Thanks Nate for taking him down over and over again!

Here's Nate and Adam running up the hill for the next ride down! Adam would jump out of the slide at the bottom and immediately start running up for the next ride.

And here they are at the bottom!

Annual Family Baseball Game

For as long as I can remember, the Couch family reunion has included a family baseball game. Everyone who wants to play lines up and my uncles pick the teams. It was always fun to play, but what I really love about the games now is how EVERYONE is included - even the littlest kid that wants to play. They divide the little kids up between the two teams, and everyone gets a chance to hit. Here is Adam's turn up to bat!

Uncle Bruce is helping Adam run to first base.

He made it!

After batting, it was time for the team to head to the outfield. Nate ended up with Noah, Aidan and Adam all helping him out at his position.

Unfortunately, while the other team was getting thru their batting order, the wind picked up and the thunder started rolling in. Soon after that, we had a major downpour and everyone ran for cover. Luckily, the rain didn't last too long, but we never did get all organized again to finish the game.

A few other activities

Here are a few other activities we did at the family reuion.

We had a family talent show. This is a picture of Grandma Couch reading a story her great grandchildren at the end of the talent show.

A favorite activity for Adam, was playing at the little creek near the water slide. Nothing like throwing rocks and dirt in the water. His cousin Talia agreed!

Here are all the Conrad cousin's getting ready to throw big rocks in the creek.

Aunt Rachael took the kids over to feed the horses. Adam thought this was great!

My cousin Adam brought a pellet gun. Everytime he pulled it out, he was like the Pied Piper of little boys. The boys would follow him all over. He was nice enough (and patient enough) to let them have a shot at shooting it. Adam thought it was great! (He also thought it was great that there was a big person there with his same name!!)

Wednesday night campfire

The last evening of the family reunion, we lit a big fire and made s'mores. Adam's first response to the fire was to stay as far away as possible. He wouldn't come sit with me in a chair next to the fire. He was happy to go sit with my Uncle Brad, and help him with his hand-held golf game.

As soon as the marshmellows came out, he wasn't so scared anymore. He had a great time roasting marshmellows and even volunteered to make a s'more for his Aunt Shae.

Eating the s'mores was just as much fun!!

The next morning, we got up, packed all our stuff and headed for home. It was a great couple of days. I am so thankful for family! I feel so blessed to be part of the Couch family! It's great to get together every couple of years to catch up with everyone!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fouth of July

I love Independence Day! It's a fun way to celebrate the freedoms we have in this great country we live in!
This year, we started out the day at a pancake breakfast at church which included a bike rodeo for the kids. Adam would have love the bike rodeo, but he had spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house. It was still fun to watch the other kids.
After breakfast, Scott and I headed home to start the cooking. Scott, of course was doing most of the cooking - well, smoking! He stoked up the smoker, and smoked some meat. This was the third annual Independence Day smoke out, and the food just keeps getting better! I should have taken pictures of the food - we had great smoked ribs (with Blueberry Chipotle sauce!!, as well as two other sauces), and pork tenderloin sandwiches, along with salads and other yummies brought by friends.
We were blessed once again this year with awesome weather! It was in the mid 80's and a perfect day for playing outside in the pool. Here is Adam and his neighbor friend splashing each other. The kids had a great afternoon playing in the water and chasing eachother around the yard. We are blessed to have wonderful friends who joined us for the day! Adam had been looking forward to his friends coming over all week!
It turned out to be a perfect day! Great food and great company! Until - it was time for the fireworks. I'm not sure how it happened, but Adam has become terrified of fireworks! Last year, we mistankenly started the fireworks show with a loud one, and Adam wanted to go inside and wouldn't even watch out the window. So, we tried really hard to get quiet fireworks this year, and even took Adam with us to pick some out, thinking he might be excited to see the fireworks he picked out. Well - it didn't work... here is a picture of where Adam and I sat to watch the fireworks show...
At least he actually watched them this year. A few times he hid behind me and peeked out to see what was going on. And - I think he really did enjoy them. He was sad when it was all over. Maybe next year we can get him out on the porch. Although - everytime someone opened the front door to go in or out of the house, he plastered his hands over his ears and screamed to have the door closed. I do admit that there was a lot of noise - sometimes it sounded like a war zone out there! Either way - I'll be happy to sit inside at the window or outside on the porch to celebrate the Independence of our country.