Thursday, July 29, 2010

An American

I am an American. I was born in the United States of America. I am proud to be an American. This is my homeland. I will forever be proud to call this beautiful country my home. But is America today what it was intended to be when our Founding Father's built this free nation? I don't think it is the same America. It has changed over years and years of distorting the fundamental laws of the land and most importantly the laws of God. And it is changing now more rapidly than ever. Our freedoms are being taken and stolen right out from underneath us. Our liberties are almost gone. Our families and the family unit is being attacked. Outright attacked. Our economy has tanked and will probably not be stable again for a very long time- at least until the people in the government now are taken out of office. Our nation, our America, is changing, and not for the good. I feel change is good when it is in the right direction. Our nation needs to change and become what our Founding Fathers intended it to be. The lived and died for this country and for a nation that would have a government led by the people and for the people. Our government today is too large and it is not a good government.

We the people of this most amazing nation need to stand up for the principles that this nation was founded upon. It is high time that we make a radical change back to the basics of the laws of nature and the laws of God. It is time to fight for what we know is right. Our government is corrupt and evil and needs to be corrected before it is too late. We have got to do our part in helping restore America back to what it once was. And we can do it. We have to, it is part of our duty as American's to uphold the principles and standards of a free nation or we will not be able to have it any longer. That is all there is to it.

Recently, I have become more interested in our Founding Fathers. Partially due to many factors. Partially due to a theory I have come to understand more called "A Thomas Jefferson Education". This is a theory of how learning and understanding should be acquired. The Founding Father's were education men. They were learned in the classics. They were learned in a wide variety of subjects and they were taught in their homes. I have found this theory of education to be very though provoking and very inspiring. I want to implement this into my family and with my children.

Another way that I have come to yearn for a better understanding of the Founding Father's is from Glenn Beck. Now some of you will just quite reading right there. But don't. I say gain your own opinion of Glenn Beck before you make assumptions about him. I say he is a modern day John Adams. Adams, lived and he died for this nation. He made sacrifices that would be unheard of to make in today's world. His family and his wife made significant sacrifices for this nation and all so that they and we could experience life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness here in America. Glenn Beck, yes is a radical, but so were many of the founding fathers. Glenn Beck is sacrificing much for this nation right here right now. He is fulfilling his duty here on earth. He is trying to obey God's commandments, he is trying to uphold good standards, and he is fulfilling his obligation to protect the principles and values that this nation was founded upon. And I applaud him for all his work.

Yes, you can critic him on all his mannerisms and all his quirks, but if you really listen to what he is trying to teach on his shows (radio and TV) and if you do your own research to figure out for yourself what he is teaching is true or not, then you will being to see that what he is trying to do is to help save America. That is ALL he is trying to do! Please go check out what he is trying to do everyday on The Glenn Beck Show. He also has an amazing special on Fridays called Founding Fridays in which he tries to showcase the founders of our nation in an effort to try and teach America about our heritage. For we have an amazing American Heritage! His shows are at 5pm and 2am ET on the Fox News Channel. Please check him out and see what you think.

I have been to many of the American historical sites and seen for my very own eyes these amazing places were even more amazing people came from and dwelt. I have gone through many history classes. But, it has not been until I am gotten older and had children and a family of my own that I really have come to yearn for there to be a restoration in America back to what it once was. I am scared for my children if we allow this evil government to continue doing what they are doing. They are slowly and in a very manipulative way taking away our life, our liberties and our pursuits of happiness's. I am scared for my son who was born with Congenital Heart Disease. All along he has had great medical care. What will happen when we go to the social health care plan? What is going to happen to our doctors, our nurses and our abilities to receive the care that is necessary for advancements and technologies to flourish? How good will our health care be when "Obama-care" is put into action? It is scary and I hope we can put an end to the evil that is happening in our big government as we speak.

There are many things that I worry about in regards to this nation. We must do our part in helping change the course of direction for our nation. It is our duty. God blessed us so much that he put us here on this continent so we can uphold our duties and obligations. We must start now. We must get educated. We must. We must educate our children. We must teach them morals, values and principles of God's law, and we must teach them in our homes. Heaven knows that with the government and leaders in power now these values will not be taught in our schools. Yet we must continue to keep God and these values in our schools. We must become statesmen. We must become patriotic again. We must uphold the standards that we set when the Founding Father's so amazingly orchestrated this nation's government. We must fight to restore that government. Of the people, by the people, for the people. We MUST!!

**Here are some of the books I have started out with in my quest to become more knowledgeable and to gain a better understanding of what I can do to improve this nation. I highly recommend all of them.

"A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century" by Oliver DeMille

"Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning" by Oliver and Rachel DeMille and Michele Smith

The Bible

The Book of Mormon

"The 5,000 Year Leap", by W. Cleon Skousen

All of the books from

The Classics

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Test Results Are In...

...Warning! This post contains some graphic pictures of Burke's post-op nasty tongue and of his bronchus! Just to warn you it might be pretty gross!

Yesterday, I was able to talk with the doctor's office that Burke had his recent surgery through and they got back the test results from the swabbing of his bronchus (which are his airways leading to his lungs). They tested them to see if there were any food residue from either aspirating food as he ate it or from aspirating it as he refluxed it. I don't know if refluxed is even a word- it sounds kinda funny. Anyways, there was no trace of aspiration at all in his airways!! I was so thrilled and relieved when they told me that because if there w
as, he might have been put back on a feeding tube if he was aspirating what he ate. They could have fixed the reflux issue with medicines but I was thrilled to say the least that it was neither of those two issues.

Well, what is it then you ask? I asked as well. Burke tested positive for the Haemophilus Influenzae also known as the H flu or HIB! There is a vaccine for this type of flu and I know Burke received it but he still was able to catch it. The H flu is a bacteria causing inflammation in his airways causing obstructions. It can also cause ear infections, pneumonia and many other upper respiratory issues along with the more dangerous meningitis! If you go to that link above it defines the type of flu it is and the symptoms and so forth. I just read it and I can't believe it, it is totally what Burke has had probably since February! Burke got really sick way back near the end of February with a bad cough that lingered and eventually turned into pneumonia. He was put on a 10 day dose of antibiotics yet he still didn't get all the way better for another 6 weeks. He was finally getting better when he got it again. This lasted on and off literally until June. All our previous doctors in Arizona just called it bronchialitis (sp?) - which he probably had as well but he was never cured of the actual problem that caused all his upper respiratory issues.

It wasn't until we got back to our old doctors here in Idaho that we really figured out a plan to find and fix Burke's respiratory issues. I am so grateful for our ENT Dr. Beck (she is the woman in the center of the picture on her website- she is AMAZING!) who felt it was necessary to do the bronc and to really find the problem. He will now be on antibiotics for three weeks and hopefully that will rid his body and airways of the infectious disease. If for some reason he still has issues after the dose of antibiotics is done then the doctor will re-evaluate and figure out a plan from there. I am really hopeful that the antibiotics will help take care of the H flu and get Burke back to a normal healthy life!

Alright here is the part you have been waiting for. Pictures. The picture below is during his surgery when Dr. Beck performed the broncoscopy. She scoped his airways and found this nasty inflamed airways that are very narrowed. The circle drawn in on the left bronchus picture is how big the airway is supposed to be. These two pictures below are of Burke's tongue one or two days after surgery. We were getting a little worried about the swelling of his tongue, but with some help of some steroids and some time it eventually got better. Look at the size of that thing. And if you notice the tip of his tongue is turned to the left side of his mouth. Isn't that gross? You can see the stitches as it goes almost to the tip of his tongue.
This one has bad lighting but this is the underneath side of his tongue. He just went through the meat grinder man. The poor little guy could barely eat or drink with that huge swollen tongue in his mouth! He adapted pretty well and ate regardless. He is doing better and better everyday and he is almost back to his normal active self!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Burke and The Emmalade

Please go over to my sister's photography blog at Red Bucket Photography and check out what awesome work she did in photographing my kids. She is awesome and if you are ever in the Mesa area call her and set up a time for her to capture your kids! Burke was unreal that day, but we ended up with a ton of Burke. Emma is very compliant in photo shoots, well I shouldn't say very, but she will at least smile at the camera even if she won't do the pose we tell her to do. It has to be her own idea then she will be glad to be all smiles for us! Thanks Liz for all the many photo shoots you have done for our family! We love them! Here's a sneak peak at the post. This was a few months ago when we still lived in AZ! (And by the way I made that tie he is wearing which I bought the pattern from an amazing site called Make It and Love It. Go check that site out, Ashley who started that blog is AWESOME!! And she and my sister Liz went to college together. Who knew she had such amazing talent in her? She really is inspiring. Buy the tie pattern, you will not be disappointed- I've made about 10 ties for Burke and probably as many for Kyle and Carter- Liz's two boys!

Day 2 Post op

Well, I can say everyone in these parts is doing 100% better today than yesterday. Burke woke up happy and had a TON of energy this morning and is doing and feeling a ton better. His tongue is way less swollen and looks better overall. He is hungrier today and is actually able to eat better as well. He is tired now that it is 4pm and he didn't take a nap at all today. Oh well, he will go down really easy about 7pm for bedtime. I love when he goes down early!

I have pictures of his tongue and will hopefully post them later on tonight! I am so glad that Burke is getting better and better everyday. Oh, how I love when life normalizes! Until next time!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Burke's Post-Op Recap

Burke's surgery went really well yesterday. The doctor clipped his tongue pretty good and put 10 stitches in on the bottom of his mouth and also on the bottom of is tongue that go all the way out to the tip of his tongue. It looked pretty bad right after surgery but is recovering okay. It is still pretty swollen and we have given him some steriods to help with the inflamation. Since his tongue is so big he can barely talk and barely eat or drink. His talking has gotten better, but he still is very tenative when trying to eat.

The second part of the surgery was to check his airways for scar tissue and she found none what so ever. Yet she did find a significant amount of swelling and inflamation all throughout his upper airways and down into the broncus which goes off to the left and right lungs. I have some pictures and will try and post them later if I can, but it looks pretty bad. The swelling is restricting his airflow and that is what is causing him to wheeze and sound congested most all the time. The pulmicort steriod breathing treatments have been helping because it helps with inflamation in his airways, yet it is not solving the actual problem. She took some samples of his airways and sent them for testing. We will know more in a few days what the results are. She thinks it is either from aspirating or from relux. So, he is back on reflux meds and will be on his thickened diet until we know for sure what is causing the inflamation.

Recovery went as expected yesterday. He was pretty mad and confused when he was waking up from anesthia. He actually was REALLY mad and almost pulled out his IV and all his other wires he was hooked up to. They gave him some pretty strong meds to help him settle down and after about a half hour of thrashing he finally gave into sleep and sleep most of the day. He was transfered to the PICU and was there until we were discharged last night. We thought we would have to stay over night, but our WONDERFUL ENT Dr. Beck saw how miserable Burke was to be in the hospital and told us we could be discharged that night. Oh, how I love when doctors are practical! He slept great last night and woke up happy this morning. He was still gruffy to everyone else, but I did see a smile that he gave to me when he first came up the stairs when he woke up. I'll take that for sure.

So, today his tongue is still swollen and we are trying to wait it out and see what it does with the medicine we gave him for it. He is sleeping now, so I hope that will help a lot. It is for sure helping me because I have so much to do today! I even tried to get organized before I left for the hospital yesterday, but it is amazing how much gets piled up with me being gone for just one day! AHH!! Anyways, I guess all I have left to say is that we are still alive and hanging in there through the crazy recovery period. He is almost way more normal after this surgery than his other bigger surgeries in the past, yet his is so tired and I am sure his massive tongue is just driving him crazy! I did not take any pictures because our camera is out of batteries. So, this post is again a no picture post. I will post updates with pictures of his new tongue- once I get batteries and once his tongues goes back down to a normal size.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayer phone calls and emails. We love you all and are grateful for your love and support!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Burke's Surgery Tomorrow

Well, Burke goes in for a surgery first thing tomorrow morning. This surgery will be a broncoscopy along with a tongue clipping surgery. The bronc will be to check for any possible blockages in his airways. Our awesome ENT suspects there is a blockage in his airways right below his vocal cords causing him to wheeze. This blockage is most likely from all the many times Burke has been intubated over the past few years. Scar tissue has developed and is blocking his airway. The ENT will laser the scar tissue out and hopefully it will not come back.

Burke's tongue is the other reason why his is having this surgery tomorow. His tongue has been clipped two times already and this will be the third time. It must have become tightened again over time which is very rare and is unheard of to have to clip it this many times. His tongue being tight has caused him to not swallow appropriately which makes him aspirate the thin liquids like water, juice soda and sometimes even milk. Aspirating is when food or liquid goes down the trachea or his airway into his lungs instead of going down the esophagus into his stomach. If enough liquid goes into the lungs he could get infections and that sort of thing- which he has had in the past. The aspirating also irritates his upper airways where the blockage is and causes him to wheeze which makes Burke's breathing labored.

We are very excited for this surgery and really have hope and faith that this will help Burke's health overall in many ways. He will hopefully not have to do the two nebulizer treatments he has had to do this past month to help control his wheezing. His oxygen levels will hopefully increase and stay at a normal percentage. He will hopefully feel 100 percent like we had anticipated he would feel after his heart was fixed. We are hopeful. So, keep us in mind tomorrow. Burke will do great I'm sure and we will be out of there on Tuesday with a new kid, probably back at the whole shooting thing again. Man I love this kid.I just thought I would record what we are going through at this time in our lives and to inform everyone about what is going on with Burke and his health. Wish us well and say a little prayer for Burke. We would appreciate it very much! Thank you!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"And here we have IDAHO!"

As I'm sure you can tell from the previous posts that we are no longer in the desert heat of Arizona any longer. We are now back in a "normal" climate again of which we are so grateful for. We LOVED our time down in Arizona and miss living right next door to my sister, but we are also grateful to be home again. Tyler graduated from Arizona State University back in May with his Master's in Real Estate Development. He has been searching for a job since even before school got out but nothing has turned up thus far.

So, as of yesterday he is self employed again and is currently a Real Estate Agent in Idaho. So, if anyone is looking to move soon or know of anyone who will be moving- Tyler is the man for you!! There is my plug! Email him at Tyler has always wanted to be self employed, but we thought that he would work for a big company gaining experience first and then eventually be self employed doing his own development business. But, life doesn't always turn out the way we plan. So, for now Tyler will be selling homes and or land to support our family for the time being. He is a very hard worker and I know everything will work out, it just gets a little nerve wracking sometimes. He moved into his new office yesterday and got right to work. I am so proud of him because he continues to keep his head up and his feet moving in front of him to find something to do for employment and has not given up in any way. Thank you so much Babe for all you do!

We are currently living with Tyler's parents and loving being able to run and play in the nice big yard. The kids especially love living at Grandma and Grandpa's because they are loved so much and they get to play with all their cousins that live in town and come over to grandma's to swim and play. Now that the weather is finally hot enough to warrant wearing swimming suits, our daily routine involves swimming out in the pool. Emma has really come into her own and has taken to swimming really well. She can now swim under water without floaties or life jacket- which she insisted on teaching herself with an occasional help from mom and dad. We wanted to teach her, but she is so determined and so independent that when ever we tried to help it only made things worse. So, she decided to do it her self. One day she told me that she wanted me to teach her swimming lessons with her in the pool and me watching from outside the pool. Okay. That was fine with me because I am slowly learning that with Emma it is all on her terms. If it is her idea, she does it and things work very smoothly, but if it's not be prepared for WWIII. She is now brave enough to jump off the diving board and go down the slide all by herself. It has been so nice now that she is comfortable in the water and not scared of it.

Burke is also loving the water and hangs out on the steps or in the little unheated hot tub with his cousin and buddy Henry. They have a ball together which is a fun thing for Burke to have a good friend. They are exactly six months apart and they are about the same height and probably weight yet complete opposite in appearance. Total opposites. Crazy. Burke pretends to "swim" across the hot tub. He sees Emma getting a lot of attention for learning how to swim and so he wants to get in on the action too- it's pretty cute. He is doing well and has a ton of energy these days. I will give a better update on Burke tomorrow, but overall he is a new kid. He is definitely two. He is a hoot to watch him pretend play these days. We are so grateful for his life and his strong spirit which has carried him through many hard experiences.

My life consists of trying to keep up with sister and brother, making and going to appointments, and taking care of daddy bear and trying to stay sane along the way. Stay tuned for a more complete update about Burke's health and progress since his surgery in December and what his road looks like in the future!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"Mom, I wanna shoot a bear!"

Said the little brother to his mom.

The family of four set off for a picnic under the Aspens at the south end of the Ranch where daddy first took mama on a picnic when they were first dating. We rode horseback back in those good ol' days, but today, it was on the saddle of a four wheeler that took us to the gorgeous setting under the shade of the aspens while the tamarack trees gazed on in the background. The grass was long, extremely long, for this year the spring showers have been many in these parts and the land was fertile and lush. Our "fourleler" arrived at the sight safely and daddy and sister chose the picnic spot. It was perfect. It was serene. We ate, we chatted, we shooed the bugs away and we took some great snap shots to remember the day. Sister picked the flowers and brother holding tight to his "shooter" shot everything in sight."Riiiinnnggg!" or was it"Viiibbbbrratttee" went daddy's cell phone from his pocket. It was Clark, daddy's brother. Our family and his family were the only two left at the Ranch after the Johnson Family reunion ended only the day before. They were also on a family picnic enjoying their "tree" on the Ranch where Clark and Jane carved their names into a special tree of their choosing many many moons ago. Daddy was explaining to Clark where we were at when all of a sudden daddy spotted a visitor making his way down the mountain to where we were. "It's a bear! There is a little baby bear! I uh, gotta go Clark... uh it's a bear..." he spoke excitedly as he handed the phone to me hanging up with Clark suddenly. He grabbed the camera as we all starred on. We could not believe our eyes! There was a black baby bear just having a Sunday stroll down the mountain. He plopped down to rest as he studied us watching him with wide eyes and wider smiles! Sister was excited a first. Brother was too. But they both didn't really get mine and daddy's excitement of seeing and actual bear on our Ranch.We took many pictures of little bear and then some of me and the kids with little bear off in the distance. Then daddy wanted to get a closer look. Yes, you heard it right. So, off he set to get a "better" picture! I know, I was sort of very nervous at this point, because when ever there is a baby bear, there is a mama bear somewhere close by. You know how us mama's are- we never let our babies wander off too far especially if strangers are near. He got pretty close until the baby started off up the mountain. Daddy came back thinking he would rather not encounter a mama bear close up. Smart move daddy.
The whole time while we were watching little bear watch us, I thought Burke is going to want to shoot the bear for sure. I mean what an easy target he is right there in front of us, we really did nothing to search for the bear at all. Burke held his gun and maybe once or twice thought to shoot the bear but never on his own. I had to pursuade him to "shoot" the bear with his wooden weapon. I just had to chuckle. The entire time at the Ranch he has wanted to shoot bears, and shoot animals and "kill" them, but when it got down to business, the real sheebang, my little one had no shootin instincts. I guess that is the way I prefer it to be. For play and pretend and not for real right?
As the bear headed up the mountain it stopped once to check us out again and then it kept on going up further up the mountain until we could no longer see it in the thick forest. We told brother and sister that it was going back to be with mama bear. And it probably was, but for us we luckily did not meet mama bear that day. Thankfully. What a time we had that day. We just felt bad that we scared it off a little too quickly for the Clark Johnson's to be able to see our new friend. Maybe next time we will see our little bear friend again. Until next time little bear. Burke will be bigger next time so please watch out. And we will for sure watch out for you because I know you will be much bigger next time we see you as well. Take care little bear.

Back in the Saddle Again!

If those pictures aren't convincing enough then I don't know what is.
The Johnson's are back in the saddle! Giddy up! Stay tuned for more Johnson family fun and adventures!