Saturday, July 30, 2016


I think all teenagers should visit historical sites whenever they are able.  It is a good reminder of the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly of our history in the United States.  I took Katie to visit the Manzanar Museum in the Owen Valley by Independence, California.  There are never any great answers to why certain things happen and I felt so sad for those families who were relocated.  I also felt so impressed by the quality of each of them to take a bad situation and make it work because of their wonderful efforts.

One of the many displays

Flags from the other internment camps

Mural with the names of those who were there.

The original cemetery for those who had died while interred.
Manzanar Memorial

The Cedar City Temple

Katie's Here!

I had always wanted to have the grandkids come and spend time with us but it never worked out.  While on our mission Rachel came to see us (dream come true!) and now Katie is here.  We love having her in our home and hope to do many fun things while she is here.  Our trip from Lehi was nice because we were able to stop in Cove Fort and take a quick walk around.
Katie's New Friend

Provo Temple

When Bill graduated from Law School at BYU the program was held in the Provo Tabernacle.  Now that same building has been  renovated and is now the City Center Temple.  We took a trip over to see it while we visited in Utah last week.  It is truly a beautiful building and adds so much to the main street in downtown Provo.
City Center Temple


Another Challenge

On Wednesday the phone rang and I answered.  It was the doctor.  He called because Scott's test results came him.  He started out letting me know that most of the results were good but unfortunately one of the tests shows that Scott has prostate cancer.  He wants me to take him to the urologist so on Monday we go back to the regular local doctor who will set up an appointment with the urologist.  What does all this mean? I have no idea but it certainly isn't something I can say--"oh no you don't!"   I haven't told Scott any of this yet and I don't even know if he will understand what this means.  Life is just so interesting around here!

A New Normal

I talked earlier about Scott's need for a shower at different times and last night I realized that there are many changes that are coming about which has me sometimes smiling and sometimes crying.  Before this new experience began I could set a clock by Scott when it came to habits.  At 9 p.m. each night he would start walking down the hall for bed and within minutes he I could hear him snoring away.  At 6 a.m. each morning he would be on his knees in prayer before taking his shower.  Dinner needed to be ready before 6 o'clock or he was in a meltdown!  Since we have been home and now dealing with the realities of Alzheimer's things have changed.  He sleeps so poorly now that I have really tried to keep him up at least until 10 p.m. thinking that that will help him sleep through the night, which doesn't work, but it was worth a try.  We had a busy Friday and at 8:30 he went in and got his pajamas on and headed to bed at 9 although I did try to keep him up a little longer.  From the time he went to bed until I followed at 11:00 he got up three times to ask me if he should go to bed.  When I got into bed at 11 he was asleep but as hard as I tried to be quiet he woke up and got up to use the bathroom.  Three more times from 11 to 11:30 he got up and went to the bathroom. Finally at 11:30 I heard the shower turn on.  That is our new normal!  Once he came back to bed I was able to fall asleep and slept until 4:30 when he got out of bed to use the restroom.  He came back and I asked if he was alright and he said he couldn't find the bathroom so I got out of bed and took him.  He came back to bed and then within five minutes he got up four more times each time telling me he couldn't find the restroom. Trying to be kind and patient I told him that he needed to stay in bed.  That became the next challenge because he tossed and turned so much that I no longer had covers so I got up and got a small blanket so I could sleep.  That worked for about 15 minutes and then he took the top sheet and handed it to me and was so wrapped up in the bedspread that he couldn't get comfortable.  I gave up and at 5 a.m. I had him get out of bed and sit on a chair while I remade the bed.  There is a happy ending!  We both fell asleep and slept until almost 7:00.  HOORAY!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Meet Penny!

Bill and Bev added a dog to their household.  He looks like a wonderful addition to their family!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I've Been Tricked!

My sweet husband is keeping me on my toes.  I realized that he was stressing out about when he should take his shower which involved several trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night before he wore me down and took his shower at midnight!  The information I got from the Banner Alzheimer Institute says that you can't argue or try to reason when the person wants to do something and I realized that they were absolutely right.  On Monday about 4 p.m. he wanted to know when he was suppose to take his shower.  I tried a new approach and told him that he could take his shower whenever he wanted to take it.  That wasn't exactly what he wanted to hear and again asked me when he could shower.  I replied how does 9 p.m. sound to you.  "Great!" he said and then spent the rest of the evening asking me if it was 9 o'clock yet. At 8:30 I asked if he would like me to set the timer and when it went off he could take his shower.  He agreed (although he did ask me what a timer was) and so I set it for 1/2 hour and left it sitting by him.  One minute before the timer was to ring he walked down the hallway and turned the shower on.  After the shower he shaved, brushed his teeth, and put on his pajamas and at 10 p.m. he went to bed--and SLEPT ALL NIGHT!!!!  I was so excited.  On Tuesday we went through the same routine and again last night he slept all night and we both woke up very happy.  Now it is Wednesday and I was prepared for another good routine that he has done so well for two days.  About 12:30 today he asked when he was going to take his shower and I said, "how about 9 o'clock like you did last night."  He said that was great.  At 2 p.m. he again asked if he should take his shower now but I reminded him that he had 7 hours before his 9 o'clock shower.  Fifteen minutes later he asked again if it was time, and then 15 minutes after that he asked again if he could shower. I gave up!  Would you like to shower now?  With a grin he asked, "Is it time?"  Sure, was my reply and down the hallway he went.  At 3 p.m. he came out of the bathroom all spic and span and I might add very proud of himself.  I am learning that there is never a dull moment when you are dealing with memory loss.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Words of Wisdom

Sister Bryce-Equador Mission
Hermana Bryce and Elder Duncan both wrote home on their P-day and both were brief but full of wonderful examples of doing the right things for the right reasons.  Each of them closed with some wonderful advice and I wanted to share their thoughts with you.  From Hermana Bryce, "If it helps at all...I am cheering you on!!  GO!  FIGHT!  WIN!" From Elder Duncan, "Have a great week everyone.  Make good choices."  The one thing I learned while we served our mission was that our young Elders and Sisters are incredibly smart. Listen to what they say!!
Elder Duncan-Louisville Kentucky  Mission

Way to Go Christian!

Christian applied for a job at his office and received word that he was chosen for the position.  He will be moving to the Mesa office which is so much closer to home and it will involve a bump in pay which will bless their family as well.  I admire how hard he works and couldn't be prouder of him.  He also heard about a need of an attorney to translate German documents into English and so he is doing some translating on the side which I know he will do great at.  Christian is an excellent example of the importance of keeping up on the language you have learned on your mission.  This is also a great
blessing for their family.


It seems like each week brings another aspect of our life that I hadn't experienced before and this week it has been especially trying as I see Scott struggle with knowing what time it is and what day it is.  On Saturday morning I woke up to find him dressed in a suit and tie ready to go to church.  I explained to him that it was only Saturday and he looked suspiciously at me and asked if I was sure.  Amy called later in the day and I asked her to tell her dad what day it was.  I think he thought we were "playing hookie" from church!  He thrives on order and routine is very important right now.  The new problem is that he is so disoriented and worried about when he should take a shower.  I am very glad that he wants to shower but I wish it wasn't until after we wake up in the morning!  There have been a couple of times in the night that he would wake up and get into the shower and then come back to bed and sleep the rest of the night.  Last week I caught him getting into the shower at 10:30 after he had only been asleep about 20 minutes.  An hour later I again heard the shower turn on and told him to wait until morning.  He begrudgingly went to bed and at 12:30 I woke up and heard the shower again and decided to just leave him alone.  He showered and came back to bed.  Last night he was up at 11 and showered.  I realize that this is our new norm.  I guess again I have to be grateful that he wants to shower--at least so far!

Friday, July 15, 2016


We had dinner with Andy last night since Angela and the kids were in Fresno visiting her parents.  Later that evening I realized I talked Andy's ear off!  I suspect I do that all the time now when we are around people. Our house isn't quiet because the television is often on but conversation is limited as Scott struggles to put his ideas in place.  It it interesting to realize how much we take for granted in our life until something happens and sadly we realize that there is no going back.  Scott was never a big talker but when he did I listened and I always learned.  Sometimes I watch his face as he struggles to explain himself and feel his pain as the words just won't come.  We just can't take anything for granted because in an instant it may be gone.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

It's Done!

In October last year Lincoln started to work on a merit badge for woodworking and decided he would build a kayak while earning the badge.  With the help of a generous contributor on the internet who gave step by step directions, Lincoln began his project.  It started in their formal dining room and moved onto the back patio for completion.  It is amazing what he has accomplished and I am so proud of him.  They are going to try it out in their swimming pool first and then find a river to kayak on.  I love it when a plan comes together! Way to go Lincoln and also Amy who encouraged and helped him almost every step of the way.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Happy Birthday Katie!

16 Years Old

"Birthdays means a fresh start, a time for looking back with gratitude at the blessings of another year.  It is also a time to look forward with renewed hope for bigger blessings."

6 months

15 years

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Grandpa's Job

Reading to Duncan--even when Grandpa doesn't like the story!

Holding Graham

Scott's Friend

Lincoln is pet watching while the owners are on vacation.  The minute she came to their house Harley decided that she liked Grandpa and while we were there they were near each other much of the time.  If Harley wandered off then Scott would start worrying about where she was and until he knew he would keep asking me what happened to her.  It is amazing the power of a pet to bring comfort to people.  I noticed when I went to the hospital to see Amy after Graham was born that there was a volunteer who had a dog that they would take around to see patients.

PET Scan

After our initial visit with the doctor at the Alzheimer Institute he scheduled Scott to come back and have a brain scan so they could see exactly what was happening.  After the initial visit in which he was described by the doctor as an "anomaly" because he did really well.on the test they give.  When my mother took the initial test she got only one of the questions right and Scott answered most of them correct.  This made the doctor think he had frontal lobe dementia and the test would confirm that.  When I got home I looked up what frontal lobe dementia was and knew he didn't have that type.  The PET scan would tell us more.  I cannot speak more highly of this facility and the people who work there.  They are so kind to Scott and also to me.  Sometimes they are so kind that I almost cry!  We did the PET scan in the morning at 9 a.m. and then came back in the afternoon at 2 p.m. where we met with Dr. Weidman to go over the results.  He brought the pictures up on his computer and showed us various views of the inside of his brain.  Scott had been injected with a dye a half an hour before the scan began.  The first thing he looked at was the frontal lobe of the brain. A good picture is white and a problem with the brain comes up as a dark gray.  There was no gray in his front lobe area so that ruled out the doctors' initial idea.  Then he brought up the back of the brain and it was almost all a very dark gray which meant he had the typical form of Alzheimer's which the majority of people get.  What does that mean?  It means that Scott is an "ANOMALY" because he has a great ability to recall historic events and people from his past but he needs to be shown how to start the lawn mower, or where the bedroom is each evening when he is ready to go to bed.  The doctor thinks he is in the beginning stages and he certainly knows much more about this than I do but when I have read the various descriptions of the stages I feel like he is is much further along.  We shall see what is ahead but sometimes knowledge is power and knowing now gives me a sense of peace that I have not experienced for a long time.

Graham Joseph Whitney

His beginnings were a little rocky and involved a ride in an ambulance leaving his crying mother behind!  Graham was born on June 21, 2016 at 5:59 p.m.  I would say that this was one of Amy's easier pregnancies and I guess that should have told us something!  When he was born they realized that he had a growth on his back at the bottom of his spine which is a form of spina-bidida. Fortunately, the type Graham had was less damaging than other ones and although he had to have surgery it appears that he will not have any permanent damage to his nerves or spine.  He is a sweet little guy and is certainly loved by his family.