Sunday, September 19, 2010

Elderberry Jelly...

Last Friday I went to Provo with my Dad. We were getting some more work done on the new van. Before returning home we drove up Provo canyon and stopped at Bridal Veil Falls. I've never actually been there as far as I can recall. My Dad said the Elderberries were ripe now and told me how he used to pick them as a kid and his mom would make Elderberry syrup and Elderberry Jelly. I've never jarred canned or the like myself. Dad climbed along the edges of the steep hill making me nervous and picked a grocery sack full of ripe Elderberries. And gave them to me. They appeared much like what I imagine Barbie doll grapes life sized would be. They also made me question, are you sure these are edible? Dad always knows. And he gave them to me. I tried to make some Elderberry Jelly. Followed an online recipe. WHAT a labor of love! Those aren't the easiest things to clean nor tediously pick. I only completed a third of the bag before calling that a batch and ending up with 4 pint sized jars. They sealed correctly, no popping sounds. I sieved the seeds too. But mine isn't set up like the picture, that was online. Mine will have to be called syrup. But it is done and Dad will get a jar, hopefully it will taste good. I still have my doubts.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Unicorn and the Wasp

My Dad came out to help on some basic maintenance on the new van. He was going to just switch vehicles and head back home. But we don't like to do things the easy way! (sorry Dad). We said our goodbyes and then saw that the driver side front tire was on its rim. Completely flat tire that then had to be changed before going anywhere. While my Dad changed the tire, a HUGE, GINORMOUS, EWH insect buzzed my head and then landed on my Dad. I first thought it was a flying grasshopper, bad enough. Then seeing the black and yellow and that... I guess stinger? Any bug enthusiast' out there? The hand in the picture to show its size, is Duncan's. I know, let the highly allergic kid place his hand next to it. (It was frozen at that point) Duncan said that he would like to, "run some tests on it tomorrow".

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Jack's heart

Jack is a warrior in his own right. A fighter that has overcome much pain and struggle. He will carry this burden his whole life. Those that don't know him well and those that first meet him would not know off hand what burden he holds for such a young man. He is active and happy and doesn't choose to wallow in grief. I hope that he may keep strong with that strength as he gets older.

We went in for a few important heart appointments these past few days. First was his ECHO. We didn't get quite the glowing perfect WOW appointment that we'd hoped for, but it is not the worse we could get either. Jack's ventricle function has slowed. It's time for a heart medicine. We've been able to get by with only one tablet of low dose asprin a day previously. And the Cardiologist would really love to put him on a drug called Enalapril, but Jack is highly allergic to it. So this new medication I must be careful with and remember not only to give it to him each day but about the same time each day. They will be periodically testing his blood.

Yesterday Jack got his EKG and slew of tests. We get the unpleasant task of donating poop to the lab. This has put Jack into stress and has, since receiving the news, not been able to "go". We waited most of the day in Bountiful since we needed to get it to the lab 1 hr after ... going. Jack was also hooked up to a halter monitor. Thank goodness it wasn't for a month like the event recorder. He will get to take it off this morning.

Our mobility

This is the van we are going to be getting around in safely, thanks to my very generous and loving Dad. We found this in Orem at

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Jared will most likely blog about his experience with his injury, but as I mentioned to my Dad, it feels as though they are going as slow as molasses in winter. At least they approved his MRI, now if they'd only schedule it. I understand all the myriad of workers comp out there and the paperwork involved. I just can't stand to see Jared in pain, day after day with seemingly no end in site. It's very taxing. Both the Dr. and the PT believe Jared has a Meniscus tear.

School is much more tiring as a learning coach. Previously when school began, I could drop the kids off and have hours to work on either projects, chores, or errands. The teaching was (for the hours at school) 100% the responsibility of the public school system. (Other than a few volunteer hours some super Moms do). Now, I have much more responsibility. Blessing in disguise, Jared has helped sit by Duncan to make sure he stays on task, so I can work on laundry and such. It will be interesting when Lindsay begins preschool. To all those other Mom's out there, you're awesome, I don't know how you juggle the things you do... I seem to be lacking a lot. I do however still like K-12 better than public school. I wish they would integrate K-12 into the public school system, even if only as a trial run. Meaning that the students in a K-12 classroom would have each there own computer. I guess it would make the teachers feel MORE like babysitters.

Shifting gears, Ruby wanted to help with laundry today. She got up onto a step stool and hefted dirty laundry into the wash with me. And asked to help carry folded laundry up the stairs. She is so helpful (nearly 2 years old) very motherly too.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


My eldest is now 9 years old. After a rough couple of years in a school system not built for his strengths or weakness'... And after the system not offering solutions and heading in the wrong direction; we flexed our parenting abilities and took the charge of doing all we could do. For this current school year he has been enrolled and accepted into K-12 / Utah Virtual Academy. He doesn't technically begin until this coming Monday the 23rd. However he was able to take his assessment exams today and navigate the site. It will be involved, it is full time school. But it is a much MUCH better fit for my son than I had even hoped for! I hope that this year will continue to improve and he will flourish in ways I know he can, and more.

If anyone has kids that get too bored and feel held back having to wait for a huge class in school, or that they are far too distracted by the throngs of children cramped into a classroom, if they have special needs, disorders or the like I would wholeheartedly recommend K-12. I had pulled my son out of school before the end of the year last school session, I had to do it all myself, homeschooling. I'm not that organized nor am I a trained teacher. It was really hard. K-12 is more of an online charter school. He has a teacher, he is more responsible for reading and completing the task at hand. They have everything organized for us. I'm here to help, when help is required. I'm lovin' it!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Projects and injuries

I'm at the final stretch for this etsy project I've been working on. It sounds as though I've been working on it forever. It feels that way sometimes too. In reality, I just recently had been given this particular project as an expansion to another already complete. It is a Mario banner of 21 Mario characters in felt fabric. I have all of the characters cut out and tacked down, I just need some finalization hand stitching and they'll be ready to go.

On that note, I have had a LONG etsy project that I'd figured I'd lost. I've had to put it off so many times. And that one is a complete "Clue" Chess set, or a chess set based off the movie Clue. I've worked on it multiple times and haven't been very happy with it. I'd recently got word from that client that she would like me to attempt to finish it for Christmas.

I have multiple crafting ideas floating around in my head and a few more obligations, I may be stretching the crafting patience of my family. Now to have a breather and try to organize my chaos.

Ah, as for the injury. That would be Jared. He had a work related accident and has torn his meniscus and has broken cartilage in his knee. Today was his first day of PT. He has two more to go this week and then they'll assess what's next and if he needs an MRI and possible surgery. I'm guessing he'll need both, let's hope that I am wrong!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Please bless the little black eyed girl...

Tonight I ran an errand. Our bank does not reside in our city, so I ventured out further to make a deposit. I got to get out and drive, by myself, and visit the craft store as well. This time I was not quite prepared for the happening that occurred. While I approached the ATM, which was inside a retail store, there was what appeared to be a couple right ahead of me. I politely stood back a few paces, waiting my turn. When they walked away and I took my place in front of the ATM, I noticed the screen said, "Would you like to make another transaction", WOW, I thought... Those kids must not know how to use the ATM. And I selected, "No". For them. Then, the ATM said, "Please take your card" as it spat it out at me, I grabbed it turned and saw that I could still see the couple that had been at the ATM before me. I ran (Literally) Catching up with them, I said, "HEY, You forgot your card!" They turned and the girl flatly said, "Thanks". three workers craned there heads to watch me run, it must have been quite the site. I walked back happy and with adrenaline slightly moving and figuratively patting myself on the back, thinking I'd done good. I finished my transaction and began to leave. Having had a few more moments to ponder upon what had taken place... Something didn't feel right. Something was wrong. I thought it could happen that someone could mistakenly leave there card behind. But having someone else stand right beside you and not having cleared out the transaction. Plus there was the way she said thank you. And there was one more thing. She had a huge glaring black eye. My mind raced with all the possibilities, the scenarios, the trouble. She may be in trouble. I didn't make it back to my car, I just had to tell someone. Maybe they could look at the tapes to make sure? I walked back to the two gentlemen sitting behind desks who'd both craned there heads around a beam to see that I handed back the card. I approached them and asked, "Do you remember what had happened a few minutes ago when I was in?" One man said, "You mean when you ran after that couple?" I said, "Yes." I then proceeded to tell them how I'd found the ATM and that it seemed odd and how she had a black eye. He then replied, "It's none of our business." I said, "I just had to tell someone to see if there was anything that can be checked into." "Nope, not our concern." I turned and walked to the car. I feel as though I failed. I hadn't reacted quick enough. I should have not been patting myself on the back for a job well done, but thinking, This isn't normal behavior and asked the girl if she was OKAY! I bawled. What if's popped up all over the place and I called home to tell Jared. I did offer a little prayer up, hoping that if she is lost or in danger, that she well be okay. I suppose it just goes to show you that it isn't always the initial "good deed", that presents itself. Remember to listen to that still small voice, and give it room to speak right away!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer dinner... for the kids.

Lindsay is down in St. George having fun. So, I decided to have fun with dinner for the rest of the kids. These hot dogs that Jared bought are about the size of Ruby's arm, they are HUGE!!! They are like eating two hot dogs in one (too much... and fun too) The eyes are cheetos. The poor quality of photo is because it's a snapshot from my phone and my camera taking a picture of my phone, it was faster don't ask.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


On the web the other day, I read an article about a giant prehistoric whale skull that had been discovered. The teeth were 15" long! I called Duncan over to the computer to show him. I grabbed a tape measure and we discovered his forearm from elbow to finger tips was exactly 15" I exclaimed, "Look how huge those teeth are!" He replied, "I wish we had one, we could put it under our pillow and then maybe the tooth-fairy would replace it with a gold bar!"

Friday, May 14, 2010

A bit of nostalgia and a bunch of MEH...

Snowball flowers laced onto string, honeysuckle, picnics, normal fresh tasting large carrots, real sandboxes, PBJ's, chocolate, mac n' cheese, fresh baked bread, catsup, pink hair rollers popsicle-stick shoebox dolls, records - stories and music, and ribbons, frothy fun bubble baths, lush green grass, running through sprinklers and dental waterpik's. Interject Mom in there a bunch and you have the list of a few of my favorite things. Not that I would want all these things at my doorstep today (but a few).

I was in the process of making my kids lunch and once again, could not make one thing for all. (something that plagues me at nearly every meal). I had to boil two pots of water, one for Lindsay's spiral buttered noodles and the other for Mac n' cheese. A simple task that I usually don't think twice about, but this is the norm for me. Lindsay despises Mac n' cheese, admittedly probably a healthier choice anyway. I loved mac n' cheese as a child. I also loved catsup in about everything; now not so much. Even simple, normal catsup friendly items like a hamburger or fries... I must have over done it for I won't reach for the catsup very often. Also Jack not only despises catsup he will temper tantrum over it even being near him; that too goes with bread of any kind unless it is pizza.

My kids don't seem to have the patience that I had as a child and somehow , now... lost. I could meticulously string blossoms onto a string or sew doll clothes and the doll! A few days ago Lindsay talked me into buying a "craft kit" of a foam castle. It looked as though it was a dimensional puzzle of sorts, pieces snapped together; sticker pieces, some assembly and glue required. IT became MY project and took a day, a whole day! I need to simplify.

My yard has never recovered the pre-owners neglect and it's been too much of a strain for us to try and completely mend it... It will take longer. So, no green grass for us. I look back at the simplistic things I enjoyed as a child and even though I can appreciate and do love progress, my kids will never completely understand what I had nor would they enjoy all of it. They have moved on and have their own likes and joys, I guess I had to grow up someday and this is my mourning over the passing of the past. Not to be completely mopey, I do have hopes and joys now, and continue to hope and strive for better...

And just so you know, Ruby tore off a bunch of the flowers and stickers, it will never fully recover.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

so much to say, so little time...

I have been busy with homeschooling. I don't seem to have as much time as I used to. Duncan is going to finish out the school year at home much stronger than had he stayed in the public school system. It was a very scary prospect for me to make this leap of faith. It was not only the right thing to do, it is far FAR less stressful. Don't get me wrong I have to work hard and sometimes feel like I've been punished. I don't have to do this alone next school year. Duncan was accepted officially a few weeks ago into K-12 Virtual Academy. Yeah for certified teachers! It is a school that is basically an online charter school. They have all the testing and requirements the state has for the public schools. It just eliminates the stressors and issues Duncan was having with school. Not to mention that there was no other options the district would give us. But that's besides the point, especially since we're happy.

It is my Grand's Birthday, bad me, I don't recall which. There was to be a surprise party today. Yet, she fell ill and is in the hospital instead. She was able to go last week to get all my Mom's temple work complete. She has always been so strong.

Last night Lindsay and I went to My nieces dance recital. Approximately a dozen teachers; kids ranging from 3-18 years old. Oh, and 600 kids! It was quite the production. Packed place, two nights double performances each night and possibly extending to a third. We're glad we went, my niece is very talented. Lindsay already had me buy her some ballet shoes and REALLY wants lessons. They're just too expensive. For now, she'll have to settle with dress up and dancing with angelina ballerina.

The wacky weather has been making my kids grumpy. Not only did Lindsay protest school this morning (not something she normally does) I had to pick up Jack early for bad behavior. He drew on the gym wall with crayon. At least they didn't call the cops on him. (seriously!) He did get suspended for the rest of the day. Wondering where he got the crayon. It is ironic to me that he won the reflections contest in art for his grade this year. I suppose they don't find it funny. It fostered a bit of comrodary within my kids and they played gleefully together at home. In some ways I'm looking forward to summer, but I know two weeks into it I will want school to be back in session.

Ruby is comming up with suprises every day to make us either laugh or scratch our heads in wonder. She decided for some reason or another to strip herself and all bedding down to the buff and scream bloody murder last night. She must have been bored, because after being re-clothed and bed fixed she went to sleep. A few days ago she looked up at me and said, "A-B-C-D... You funny!" She loves music and singing, often times she'll crawl on Jared's lap and ask for music at the computer. She actually tollerates my singing and loves the alphabet. When I sing the alphabet song, sometimes she'll even sing every other letter. She can count 1-2-3, but I think that's only because both Jared and I have used that in warnings to the other children.

The magnitude of my procrastination astounds me. I spent time I didn't have to write this. I do have so much that needs to get done. Maybe I will go play now, read a book, vege in front of the TV, nap! Here's to putting off things for yet another day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It was about time...

I have been meaning to get our pictures updated for the past 4 years. Lindsay and Ruby had never had there portrait taken. (besides their new born hospital photo) It was about time for us to just go do it. We'd always fallen back on Target in the past and decided to give it a go. It wasn't bad. Just ironic. We had been sick for quite some time in our house. I was nervous about going ahead with it any how. The long drive from Our house to the Target was a little over an hour. The kids had fallen asleep and now were groggy and a little disheveled. Ruby was in no mood to cooperate. We didn't get many pictures for that reason. Afterward we took the family to Chuck a rama's and Ruby proceeded to be the funniest and cutest baby possible, leading us to the conclusion that next time we'd have to go to Grandpa's house first, recover from the drive, feed them then dress up and go get pictures. Of course by the time we get around to going again it may be 4 more years and Ruby will cooperate right? Well there is always wishful thinking. We paid for the privilege to photo share the pictures, but it was too expensive for the full copy right, so they aren't the best quality. Ruby had gum in her mouth to try to get her to even tolerate the camera at all. Aren't we just the open books, our personalities shine through so strong!

Quan Family Photo 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ezekiel's Gun

We are happy to announce that Jared has finished and e-published his first book Ezekiel's Gun check out his website we welcome questions and comments about it. We're hoping that this will be the beginning of many good things to come. We appreciate and humbly thank everyone for all there support!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lindsay's right nostril gives birth to a bean!

Jared was home for lunch and watched the girls for me as I ran to get Jack from school. Upon my return home Lindsay was holding a tissue and telling me she had something white up her nose. I thought maybe she thought boogers only were green and told her sometimes they are white. Blow your nose, you'll be fine. No, she insisted... it hurts. I tip her head up and indeed see something white. I conclude that possibly she wadded up tissue and pushed it up too far. Duncan loves to do this to try and stop the sniffles. We got a Q-tip and I tried to gently coax it out. That is when she tells me it is not a tissue and she did place it there herself. I then found the "music" container/ school project from one of the kids. She had pried open the top and retrieved a white bean. She decided for some reason that it belonged up her nose. This is the same girl who flushed a pair of panties down the toilet when she was potty training. Causing a great and horrible flood in the basement; a lot of work and cost. She is also the daughter that fell down the stairs needing stitches, and before had decided it was the thing to do to swallow a metal gold star sequin. Now the bean. I worked on getting it out for about an hour. I didn't want to cause more issues and we were resolved to have to take her in to instacare. It really made me mad that a single dried bean would end up costing us at least $100.00 Not to diminish the fact that I wanted my daughter safe... I was driving towards the instacare, thinking about the long wait and knowing it wasn't an emergency, figuring they'd most likely pop it out within seconds. I thought about my Dad and my childhood. How he was able to accomplish a great many things, being innovative and creative out of necessity. So, I asked Lindsay if she trusted me and if she wanted to go to Macy's or the instacare. She picked Macy's. I went thinking I'd find a better pair of tweezers. $10. later with many pedicure items in hand (plus the begged shiny lip gloss) We were back in the van and I was trying to pluck out the bean from her nose. Tiny tweeze only yanked a nose hair out and didn't open big enough to grasp the bean. But those wooden cuticle sticks, the one side with a beveled edge was able to push it to the right position and get it out! After the removal I mentioned how we don't stick things in our noses. And asked Lindsay why she thought she should. She plainly said, "Mom, I'm a kid."