Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

This year we had a wonderful Stanley Family Thanksgiving at Bruce's brother's house in Mountain Green. There were 31 people, including 99 year-old Grandma Green. Brooke did an outstanding job hosting, providing tasty food and a festive atmosphere. The adults enjoyed lovely conversation and beautiful music, while the cousins had a great time playing together.

The following day we attended a house-warming party at my parent's newly renovated home in Layton, UT (about 10 minutes from us). 22 of us gathered to enjoy their new home, good eats, and treasured family-time. We missed Rick and his family, but look forward to seeing them at Christmas.

This is a special time of year that we have the opportunity to take some time to not only count our blessings, but be truly grateful for them. Last Sunday in church I learned a new way to look at my life and be grateful, even for things that I might not always think of as blessings. Here are some of the things I have thought about:

I am grateful for laundry because it means my kids have clothes to wear.
I am grateful for dishes because it means we have food to eat.
I am grateful for my husband being gone because it means he has a job and can support our family.
I am grateful for picking up because it means my kids have toys to play with.
I am grateful for feeling a little sick after my treatment because it means I have modern medicine to help fight the cancer.
I am grateful for the noise in my house because it means I have three little boys to love.
I am grateful for the door that is left open because it means my boys have a safe place to play.
I am grateful for the price tag at the pump because it means I have a car to drive.
I am grateful for balancing holiday time with our families because it means my husband was raised by loving parents.
I am grateful for the alarm clock because it means I need to go to the gym to take care of myself.
I am grateful for the toothpaste on the counter because it means some must have made it onto their toothbrush.
I am grateful for my monthly trips to Seattle because it means I get to spend time with someone I love while hopefully keeping my cancer at bay.

Things in our life may not always be how we would like, but we have the opportunity to find the bright side and let it be our focus. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

I count you as one of my blessings!
Love, Jeanel

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another Catch-Up Post

I can't believe it has been so long since I last updated my blog. As time keeps slipping away, I feel horrible because I haven't been posting, especially since I love ready everyone else's blogs. Here is a quick review of the past few months.

Bruce and I took a trip to Victoria Island, BC in August (when we missed Landon's actually birthday, but not the celebration) before we went to Seattle to begin the vaccination program. Victoria is amazing! It is beautiful, green, blue, and charming. Victoria is actually one of the first places Bruce took me when we were dating, so it was nice to go back together.
We went whale watching on a Zodiac. The guide says we saw a few whales, but we're not so sure...
The 3 hour boat ride was a blast (especially the first hour). It was roller coaster-like as we slammed against the ocean and probably not a good choice because of my weakened bones, but we are no worse for the wear and had a great time.

That same day we enjoyed Butchart Gardens. I have never seen such a beautiful place! We walked for hours and enjoyed the scenery. One of the funny things was that I had taken a dramamine to avoid sea sickness during the Zodiac ride, so it was a struggle staying awake even in such amazing surroundings. At the end of the day we watched a spectacular fire works display.

We also went on a bike ride along Victoria's scenic shore line. When we went to the bike store we saw a sign for hybid bikes. Naturally we both thought that meant electic/pedal bikes, not road/dirt bike hybrid. We were a little disappointed, but I decided to get an electric bike because it hadn't been long since I had been off of chemo. I tried not to use the electric boost as much as possible, but some of the hills were enormous. Bruce took the lead to set the pace and I stayed back a good distance so that he couldn't hear me laugh as he charged up the hills!

Landon enjoyed another soccer season, playing into the night-time hours during practice. Over half-way through the season, I was driving Landon to his game and he was telling me how he hadn't been trying his hardest. We joked around a little bit and made a little wager. To our suprise (even Landon's) he scored 5 goals that game.

In September we went to a surpise birthday party for Amber Chase. She was so excited and had an amazing showing of love and support. It was a great celebration of her life. She has a beautiful family of 5 children and a wonder husband, named Dan. Amber passed away from inflammatory breast cancer on 14 October. She faught an amazing fight and has been a great example of faith and perseverance for me as I have struggle with IBC. You can check out her inspiring blog at

Here are a few pictures of the boys on their first day of school. Landon is in second grade and Xander is in a combination class of preschool/kindergarten.

Two weeks into the school year we took the boys and went to California to visit Bruce's brother, Michael and his family. On the way there, Bruce road tripped with the boys while I stayed behind to help my sister with her cupcake business. On the way back, Bruce also road tripped solo with the boys as I flew to Seattle for my second vaccination.

We enjoyed the company and hospitality of the 'California Stanleys' and then headed off to Disneyland. Ryker stayed behind for the first few days and enjoyed his time with Aunt Denise and cousin Sarah.

We had a great time at Disneyland. The boys enjoyed all of the 'big rides', shows, characters, and Disney magic. My favorite thing was watching the boys learn how to help the Jedi. I can still remember feeling 'the Force' walking out of the theater after watching the Star Wars movies.

Here is my attempt at a picture of the boys up by Snow Basin. The scenery was spectacular. The photo shoot was somewhat stressful as I tried to get the boys to look at the camera, smile, not touch each other, not fall off the mountain, and not get hit by a car all at the same time. 50+ pictures taken and I still wasn't able to accomplish my objective...

Halloween was really fun this year. Landon announced he was not going to be Spider Man (for the third year in a row) or Buzz Light Year. He is way too old for that kind of thing. He decided he wanted to be a spider web, which turned out to be a hit. He liked it and it was easy! What more could I ask for.

Xander had a hard time deciding what he was going to be. He was very excited to be a fireman and at the last minute decided that wasn't scary enough. So, Bruce took him to get some muscles and he was all smiles.

Ryker was a great spider, which went well with Landon's web. It was tons of fun taking the kids trick-or-treating. They had a great time running from door to door, handing out candy, and counting their loot. Bruce decked out the house with a huge spider web in our foyer picture window, a spider that fell down from the door when the trick-or treaters knocked, scary music, and of course the fog machine.
I hope this update finds you all happy and healthy!!