Sunday, November 30, 2008


Today during Sacrament meeting, one of the speakers spoke on being thankful. It was a great talk. Perfect for not only this time of year, but all year round. She put things into perspective. Materialism. It's rampant. The United States is one of the wealthiest countries. You might not think you are wealthy, but you are. Did you know that if you do NOT have a dirt floor in your house, you are in the top 50% of wealthy people? If you have a door AND a window in your house, YOU are in the top 20% of wealthy people. Do you have a car, tv, vcr, microwave oven and computer? That number drops YOU into the 1% of the ELITE. That means I am wealthy. What do I have to complain about? NOTHING. I have a wonderful, comfortable home with running water, heat and electricity. I have a healthy family. I have clothes on my back and food on my table. I might not have the latest/greatest, but I have what I need. For THAT...I am grateful.'s a wonderful word.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


DONE...I'm done eating.
Please do not make me eat another thing.
I'm food'ed OUT!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


This is my contribution to the masses.
2 pumpkin pies
1 apple pie
1 coconut cream pie
1 banana cream pie
100 rolls
creamed onions (a family favorite)
We are heading down to Conneticut today.
We'll be back tomorrow night.
Hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
I'm thankful for YOU!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


In Our Home We Like To Party!
...every one of us.
Any excuse for a celebration and WE'RE THERE!
Yesterday we finished the Book of Mormon
for the FIFTH time as a family.
That's cause for a BIG SUNDAE BOWL.
1/2 gallon vanilla
3 bananas
lots of strawberries
even more chocolate and caramel
whipped cream
and cherries.
All for one, and one for all.
That's how we roll...


Round 6 starts today. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I love being a mom.
It's way fun.
I especially like doing my children's errands.
Those are the BEST.
The other day Kaleb came to me.
(he does that when he's needy)
You see...we just bought him a team soccer jacket,
to the tune of $40.
(that's a story for another day)
After three wears...
he tells me the zipper fell off.
I groan.
He moans.
I call his coach to complain.
He tells me to return it to the store.
It's 25 minutes away.
I procrastinate, cuz I'm good at that.
Today I wanted to cross THAT chore off my list!
It's raining, no...POURING out.
I load Ben into the car.
We drive 25 minutes to the store.
I unload my 50lb. child,
and carry him into the store.
We stand there waiting...
it was a big warehouse.
The place was slow,
but nobody was running to service us.
I was starting to buckle.
(under the weight of my son)
"Could someone PLEASE help me?"
A not so helpful guy strolled over.
I proceeded to tell him the problem with the jacket,
and how I paid $40 and would he please replace it.
As I'm showing him the non-exsistent zipper,
(you know...the one that fell off)
I suddenly notice...
It's at the top of the jacket.
I look at him.
He looks at me.
I slowly back away and run for the door.
I'm a moron!
(my bad for not checking first)

Monday, November 24, 2008


Last night I was tucking Kaleb into bed.
We always have interesting conversations.
It went a little something like this...
Kaleb: mom
Me: yes?
Kaleb: no offense but I don't really like YOUR days.
Me: huh???
Kaleb: I mean how you looked.
Me: what?
Kaleb: you know....the jeans...
the ones that go up to your belly button?
The really big belts and
big baggy shirts you tucked in?
Me: um...son?
Kaleb: ya?
Me: you are sorely mistaken.
Those weren't MY days...
Those were your DAD'S days.
This is me in 1991.
I look awesome with
my BIG hair bow.
This is Steve in 1988.
Nice mullet, dude.
The sweater? Rock on!
C'mon...serious difference here.
SO glad I didn't live through THOSE days.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


"Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order to be tested, we must sometimes face challenges and difficulties. At times there appears to be no light at the tunnel’s end—no dawn to break the night’s darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the biblical plea “Is there no balm in Gilead?” We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone. If you find yourself in such a situation, I plead with you to turn to our Heavenly Father in faith. He will lift you and guide you. He will not always take your afflictions from you, but He will comfort and lead you with love through whatever storm you face."
Thomas S. Monson
(HIS talk)

Friday, November 21, 2008


Today was my 2nd degree brown belt test.
I was nervous.
My stamina is down just a bit.
But my friend Sharon is always there for me.
She hooked us up with some GINSENG SHOTS!
Helps the energy level.
It's what I needed.
She also brought me some juiced kale and strawberries.
This is Dashi striping me.
The two white stripes signify "2nd degree"

(I'm headed home for a NAP!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Do you know what I love MOST
about going home?
Moments like THIS!
(I LOVE when my kids run to us when the car pulls up)
Ben and I are homebound today.
(we're leaving DHMC)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


"Where everybody knows your name"
('scuse me while I read my book.)
THIS is where I am.
It's our second home.
This is the view from my 5th floor window.
We like to refer to DHMC as the
"Emerald Palace"
because that's what it feels like.
As soon as Ben and I step into this place
it's amazing the buzz that starts to happen.
Word begins to spread...
"Ben's here".
He's known by his first name.
Kind of like 'Cher' or 'Elvis'.
People start finding us.
They love to visit with Ben.
Makes for quality social time.
I feel like the mother of a celebrity... ...maybe that's because I AM!
(We're here for some med changes. You can read more about it on Ben's site.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Won't Answer Door!
Yep...that's me.
You come selling something at my door?
I'll ignore you.
Yesterday I had a visit,
from the Schwan's Guy.
He comes often.
I wish he wouldn't.
I told him before "we're all set".
He keeps showing up.
He knocked on my door.
I hit the floor.
Commando crawled to underneath the window,
hoping he wouldn't notice that I was home.
(I'm sure the van in the driveway was a clue)
I felt silly.
I'm sure I looked idiotic.
I just couldn't turn him away AGAIN.
He's only trying to make a living.
I waited...and waited...
He knocked a few more times.
I'm thinking he knew...
Ben sort of gave me away.
He suddenly began to cough, and cough.
It was his way of tattling.

Monday, November 17, 2008


He's been on my mind...a lot.
He's been my sidekick now for 6+ years.
Hard to think that someday he won't be.
I know that my time with him is getting shorter.
It's just a feeling that I have.
Something that is hard to swallow.
He doesn't sleep well.
That means neither do I.
I'd like to think it's because he's selfish.
He wants more of my time.
He figures at night there is no competition.
He's right.
It's just us.
In the dark.
That's when I talk to him.
He's a good listener.
And someday he'll talk to me.
Then I can repay him the favor.

Friday, November 14, 2008


(Ben's been on my mind a lot lately...)
Those true eyes,
too pure and too honest
in aught to disguise.
The sweet soul
shining through them.
I couldn't help but post this today.
These are the eyes that I stare at all day.
Ben's eyes are what attract people to him.
They are too pure.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


is what I'm doing today.
(oh...and napping too.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


These are my two cute boys. They both have issues with their brains. I find it fascinating so I thought I would share with you the difference between a "normal" brain and Ben's brain. It's fun. Come along....
Okay...this picture above is Kaleb's brain. Don't get wierded out by the eyeballs. This is an MRI slice of his brain. You will notice that in the very middle part of his brain is a little heart looking shape. Those are his ventricles. They are filled with cerebral spinal fluid. This is what a normal brain looks like except for the white spot above the ventricles. Do you see that? That is his CYST that he has. (you can see the line running through it - they were measuring the size of it.) It resides in his left temporal lobe. His actual brain is everything else around the ventricles. now that you have an image of what a typical brain (minus his cyst) looks like lets move on to the next picture....
This is Ben's brain, or lack of. This picture is a CAT scan so it's a little different than an MRI. CAT scans are used to look at bone mostly so you can see all the white going around his head - that's his skull. Do you see the two kidney bean shapes in the center? (they're rather large) Those are Ben's ventricles. They are filled with cerebral spinal fluid too. Because Ben's brain did not develop, the fluid filled the space. The little faded spot in the middle of the picture is his brain stem. You can't see it on Kaleb's because his ventricles are covering it. Ben has no brain, just fluid. That's the difference. Don't be sad. It's okay. Ben's brain wins him a ticket straight to the Celestial Kingdom.
(come meet the AMAZING doctor that takes care of my two boys!!!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Today is a Dartmouth day.
Kaleb and Ben have appointments.
It's a long drive...really, really long drive.
I could drive it in my sleep.
Today I was doing just that - almost.
I wasn't paying attention to my speed.
I was going a little fast. (oops)
Happened to pass a cop at that moment.
I pulled over before he even turned around.
Bad day to get caught.
No license .
My car is uninspected.
He asked for my license and registration.
I told him I didn't have it on me.
He took my registration and left.
Minutes later he was back at my window.
Apparently my license wasn't coming up.
I informed him that Steve was a cop.
He could call him to verify me.
The trooper then proceeded to tell me that
next time I'm pulled over could I PLEASE
let it be known that I am a cop's wife?
Because HE doesn't give tickets to the wives.
It's a perk of Steve's job.
I've been let off more than I care to tell you.
The problem?
I can NEVER bring myself to announce that fact.
The fact that I am a cop's wife.
I think it's LAME.
But I'm always happy when they figure it out.
Because then they tip their hat...
and tell me to
(do YOU have any perks of the job?)

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Guess what? THIS boy was in town again.
It's always a party when he's around.
He treated us to SHEAR MADNESS.
It's a play in Boston.
It was fantastic!
I love you Ben
(thank you Joy for letting us borrow him)
I try to behave...I really do.
Amy and I dressed up for the occassion.
I can't resist a "Charlie's Angel's" pose in the subway.
The man in the middle?
One of the stars of the play.
Ben has connections.
He's cool like that.
Teaching Amy that we do NOT touch
ANYTHING in the subway.
Feeling patriotic.
(Poor Rach has to associate with us crazies)
You can't take me really can't.
Subway shot - Ben getting cozy with R and A.
We had a great time. Thanks for the night out Ben!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


(This picture was taken 2 years ago. Some people are missing.)
Many of you have asked about my (rather larger) family. Here they are, in order!
*Amy Jo is my oldest sibling (twin to Jenny). She's married to Jarrod and they have 6 boys.
*Jenny is married to Roger and they have 3 boys and 3 girls.
*Rich is married to Kelly and they have 10 children. 5 boys and 5 girls.
*Aaron is married to Rachael and they have 3 girls.
*(I fall next but you already know me)
*Ben is my twin and he's married to Joy. They have 5 children, their oldest being boy/girl twins.
*Zach is the baby of the family. He's married to Alana and they have 2 boys.
*Tina joined our family at 4 and is living in Utah.
*Jeannette joined our family at 15 and is married to James.
*Laurabeth joined our family at 14 and is living in Canada with her family.
These two amazing people started it all. They are our parents. Converts in their 20's. Can you believe the legacy they have created? Not a day goes by where I do not thank my Heavenly Father for the courage that my parent's had to join the church. Our lives have been incredibly blessed because of that decision they made 40 years ago. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Happy Birthday to these FABULOUS Women.
Amy Jo...I love YOU!

Jenny...I LOVE you too!


This gal has 10 children and is married to my brother Rich. Anyone that has 10 children is an angel in my book. Wanna know something crazy? She is exactly the SAME age as my sisters Amy and Jenny - same birth year and everything. HOW CRAZY IS THAT???

Happy Birthday you


Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I just received a call from the VP of Nursing at Franklin Hospital. We talked for about an hour about my letter and hospital stay. She was very apologetic as well and assured me that each nurse that took care of me will be spoken to individually. She asked permission to use my letter too and spoke very highly about the way it was written and the passion behind it. I was able to go into more detail about my experience which left her appalled. She promised me that her Nurse Manager will be sending a letter detailing how things will be handled with these nurses as well as an apology. It was a good conversation. More good news!:)
A HUGE thank you to all my blogging friends.
I have to be honest. I'm a peacemaker. I don't like confrontation. The letter was hard to send. I couldn't have done it without
My friend Paula (who knows people that know people) helped me out. She hand delivered the letter like she promised early this morning. Guess what? I got a phone call at 9am today. It was the President of LRGH. I was totally shocked. This man was humbled by my letter. He couldn't apologize enough. He told me that he would be taking actions on those people that were responsible for the poor care that I received. He asked me how I was doing. He complimented me on my letter (thanks Tom and others), saying that it was "excellently written" and asked for my permission to use this letter as an example in upcoming meetings. He thanked me for writing the letter and continued to apologize for everything that happened. Then he told me that "should you ever find yourself in this position again" to please call him directly.
I was happy. I felt like I got my point across. I was really impressed that he contacted me as quickly as he did. Makes me feel like I was a priority in his schedule.
Now I can move on with my life.
I really hope that this helps change the situation over in Franklin and prevents anything like this from happening again. Thank you for being my support and my cheerleaders!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


It's voters Tuesday you know. Wasn't sure if you knew because we haven't had enough of those callers and those commercials saying "who hasn't done what" - WHATEVER! I'll be SO happy when today is OVER. I just want to know WHY we all can't get along. Seriously, I learned THAT in kindergarten.
Went in for more blood work today. Apparently I'm rather anemic again. SURPRISE? I've been battling this issue since I got really sick in the summer. I can't even walk up the stairs without gasping for breath. It's sad. I feel old. Wait...I am old. I'm taking my three iron pills a day, eating BEEF and drinking prune juice. STILL TIRED. I'll find out tomorrow how low I am.
This is a HUGE shout out to Papa Don, we picked pears off his pear tree a few weeks ago and canned them today. My husband was an excellent helper. (except for when he was complaining about his hands being all sticky and stuff) Provident Living people...these jars are headed to my basement for their long winters nap.
I VOTED. My mommy will be proud. I dragged my pale face, tired rear out the door to go cast my vote. I got my sticker friends. I earned it. Thank you and amen.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Blogging friends and family, I need your help. I have written the letter that I promised to write. Please read and help with some feedback. I would like to get this letter delivered as soon as possible. THANK YOU!

Dear Thomas A. Clairmont:

I was recently a patient at your hospital in Franklin, NH. (10/29-10/31/2008) I was scheduled for a same day procedure but ended up staying a couple of days because of some minor complications. This was my first experience at the Franklin Hospital. Turns out it will be my last. My surgery consisted of a “hysteroscopy and D&C”. The pre-surgical team was great, the post-surgical team was great as well. It wasn't until I got moved up to the floor (2nd to be exact) that things started to go down hill. After surgery, I tend to have a reaction to the narcotics that I am given. My body itches all over. To help with this reaction, the nurses usually give me some IV Benadryl. Up on the floor I was begging for some benadryl as my dose had worn off. The nurses continually told me “no” and that “you don't need it”. After begging and begging some more, I was told “just stop itching, you're only making it worse.” Because they denied me the benadryl, I rubbed the skin off my nose which created a scab, and I caused sores all over my body from itching so badly. I was eventually reduced to tears while begging for relief when the nurse finally responded, “FINE, I'll go get it for you.” All through that first night I listened to an elderly lady moan and yell out in pain. She was ignored throughout the whole night. She verbalized her pain, but they continued to ignore her. When they finally came in to help her their voices dripped with annoyance. Time after time when I used my call button I was either ignored or rudely told “we're trying to find your nurse”. After waiting over an hour at a time I would push the call button (this time to get help to use the bathroom) and again the staff would say “we're TRYING to locate your nurse!” and then hang up on me, never asking me what I had called for. It was degrading. I felt trapped. I felt inhuman. I wanted to leave so badly but because my potassium levels were low, the doctor wanted to keep me another night. “I can't stay here ANOTHER NIGHT!” I thought. Maybe if they had brought me a meal tray in the first 48 hours, my potassium levels might not have dropped. That's right, the nurses never offered me anything to eat or drink. Just for the record, I was on a regular diet. That meant that I should have been eating AND drinking. Because I was in a narcotic haze, I couldn't think straight or make any decisions for myself. Isn't this what nurses are for? Where was the compassion? Did they know that I had just recently been through 4 other procedures in the past four months? They should have, it was in my chart. Did they realize that I had JUST lost a baby at 20 weeks? They should have, it was in my chart. I am still trying to recover from this traumatic experience in my life while going through more surgeries. The nurses didn't care. They SHOULD have. It worries me that others (such as the elderly lady that was beside me) have to go through similar experiences as mine. If these nurses have lost their compassion then they need to go. I have had such wonderful experiences at LRGH and it frightens me to think that Franklin is associated with that hospital. I am writing you this letter to make you aware of the kind of treatment that I received at the Franklin Hospital. I want you to know that I am someone with excellent health insurance and that all my bills will be payed. On the other hand, I want you to know that I feel I was heavily short changed. My stay at the Franklin Hospital was no less than a nightmare. One that I couldn't escape from fast enough. In closing I want you to know that as I was being wheeled down from my room to my waiting car, the nurse realized my IV was still in my arm. She ran into the nearest bathroom, grabbed some crunchy paper towels, literally ripped the IV from my arm and threw the paper towels at me telling me to apply pressure to my now gaping wound and then wheeled me out the door. That was the icing on the cake. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Becky Orton


Join me in wishing this boy
(go him some comment LOVE)
HE'S 12!
He makes me smile...
He melts my heart...
He makes me proud...
He makes me laugh...

He makes me whole...


Sunday, November 2, 2008


(do NOT mock this pose)
"The amount you laugh in your relationships with others is the true measure of the health of your personality."
Brian Tracy