Slide show

Friday, December 26, 2008


I think it should be a rule that every parent gets at least one perfect Christmas. Perfect is probably not the right word, maybe magical is a better one. I think we had that this year, but to fully appreciate how great this year was, I think it is helpful to go back a few years. If I am honest with myself the most magical Christmas I can think of (before this one) was when Tate was 2 1/2. He got a train table for Christmas and the look of pure joy and ecstasy on his face was just priceless. But as I think about it in my mind the reason why it is so vivid to me is because Jon captured it on video and has made a home movie with that clip in it. I'm sure the next Christmas was just as magical. It was a time of innocence for all of us. It was just our little family of four and there was no way to know cancer was just around the corner. Tate got a fire truck and Cale a garbage truck and Santa could not have picked out finer gifts. I will just have to wait a year or so before that Christmas can be as magical in my memory because it might take Jon that long to make another video! But Christmas two years ago was right after Jon's diagnosis and right before his transplant. It was certainly a sweet and special Christmas, but also a very heavy one. Jon's responses on Christmas morning went something like this..."Oh this is just what I wanted, sheets that are much better than hospital sheets, and I've always dreamed of a hypoallergenic pillow, and these pants are so wonderful I think they will prevent me from getting bed sores!" Last year was I think the worst Christmas we have ever had. There was a lot of stress in the air with Jon trying to buy his practice (leases are important if you want someone to lend you some money), he had undiagnosed pneumonia, he was drugged up on super doses of prednisone, and he started a new medication on Christmas day that he was extremely allergic to and was so sick. It only rubbed salt in the wound to realize that the retail cost of that medicine was $2500--that is $83/teaspoon/day (thank goodness for insurance). To make matters worse, Santa totally missed the boat. I'll never forget Tate trying to be so happy as he is slipping and falling trying to ride his bike in 3 inches of snow. So this year we were shooting for a little something different for Christmas. Jon's Dad and Uncle have been working building a cabin for the last almost 8 years and this is the first year that it is really livable. It is also the first time anyone has attempted to spend 3 days there in the winter time! We had to drive the snow cat in and I followed behind on a snowmobile. We left on the afternoon of the 23rd and got all settled that night. We woke up to a winter wonderland. After breakfast we got all suited up and went sledding till we couldn't walk up any more hills. When that happened, Jon hopped on the snowmobile and towed Tate and I in the toboggan sled all over. It was so fun. We had no phone service and no electricity unless the generator was on so we got to make snow flakes, play Sliders Sorry, make cookies for Santa and drink plenty of cocoa. It was a magical day. My favorite part of Christmas day was before we went downstairs to the Christmas tree. Santa comes in the middle of the night and changes the kids pajamas to Christmas pj's while they are sleeping. This was a new tradition I hadn't heard of till I married Jon. I was a bit skeptical of them waking up, but that hasn't been a problem and my kids are just thrilled about it! They wake up and have on new jammies and it is the beginning of a magical day. Back to my favorite part...We all slept upstairs and when everyone woke up they jumped in our bed, were thrilled about their jammies and that it meant Santa had come. It was a moment filled with childhood anticipation, "Merry Christmases", and "I love yous." That will have to be a part of our Christmas traditions every year. It was just a really sweet day with nothing to do except to play and sled from sun up to sun down. For a little while I thought that maybe you have to go away to a cabin with tons of snow for such a fulfilling Christmas. You can't attempt too hard at creating a perfect Christmas because it becomes too stressful and forced, it just has to happen. After everyone hears how great Christmas was at the cabin, it won't be our turn again for 6-7 years. But then I thought about what was so great about it and it was that it was simple, all done in advance and focused on each other. Just about a week ago we found "THE" house for us and I'm already excited to have Christmas there and start Christmas memories in our new home. I also think that because there was such deep sorrow in our lives for so long, we now have the capacity to feel that much more joy. My heart is overflowing! I am just awed at all of our many blessings, and to have found the right house for us after a year of looking and being patient, it all seems complete.

My favorite lines from the boys:
Cale: We are divvying up costumes and parts for acting out the Nativity and Cale says, "Can I be Yoda?" To give us the benefit of the doubt, one of the shepherd costumes was Cale's yoda costume. I can only hope he was referring to the costume and not the character!!

Tate: The water situation is a bit tricky and so if you are a boy you do outside what you can. So his grandma asked him if he was whizzing straight so he didn't pee on the generator. He replied "Yeah, unless I wag it."... Complete with actions. Oh boy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Animal Similes

The other day Tate brought home a special red back pack that had an extra writing assignment. On the bottom half of the page they were supposed to write ...My brother is a (insert animal) because ... and do a simile for each member of the family. On the top half of the page they are supposed to illustrate their family. I'm excited about this and can't wait to see what he comes up with. Each kid in his class has a turn taking the back pack home and so the book is a compilation of the all of the students in Tate's class. I am thumbing through and reading the other children's responses. For example there were quite a few that went like this, "My mom is like a butterfly because she is so pretty." They were all really sweet. Here is what Tate come's up with...

My sister is like a fly because she bugs me. My brother is like a skunk because he toots a lot. My Dad is like a lion because he roars. My mom is like a little squirrel because she likes to sleep a lot. I am like a gerbil because I like to play gerbils.

All in all very complimentary I would say. Brother tooting. Little sister bugging him. Jon roaring...I'm hoping his teacher is imagining games with Jon on the floor wrestling the boys, not coming home from work and yelling at everyone. Then there is the line about me and I have to ask myself why sleeping would be the first thing he would think of. Certainly my beauty would be overwhelming! Oh yes, I think every Friday night I tell the boys I will pay them fifty cents if they won't wake us up in the morning and will play with Tess when she gets up. It is the best fifty cents I spend the entire week! And when Tate wakes up early and I don't want to get up, I make him snuggle with me and talk to me. This sounds nice and cozy and it is, but it also postpones the inevitable of having to drag myself out of bed for at least 4 more minutes. I guess I can see where he is coming from, but I did have hopes of a beautiful butterfly simile!

Stiches and "There goes China!"

Tess has a fascination with shoes. She loves to put other people's shoes on and generally it isn't a problem. However, one day she was putting on Cale's shoes and trying to go up the hardwood stairs when she tripped and hit the under part of her chin directly on the stair. It was bleeding profusely and my immediate thought was she needed stiches. Jon was at work, but thankfully he wasn't treating patients and could come home and better access the situation. He confirmed she would need stiches. Where did I first think to take her? Dave. Dave went to dental school with Jon, but his residency was in a different specialty. I have kind of wondered about Jon and Dave that it is crazy that people actually take them seriously. I look at them and just see them as Jon and Dave. It is beyond me that people actually call them doctor. Thinking about it kind of makes me snicker. I move to exhibit A to make my point...

So yes, when I think about them I think...trouble? China? And then again, where was the first place I thought to take Tess when she split open her chin. I think I kind of forget that they are very competent and highly trained in their specialities. Although I'll never be able to call either one of them doctor, I can now see why their patients do take them seriously!

PS Jon waited one day to long to take out Tess' three stiches. She pulled them out on her own during her nap. One day they were there. The other they were gone! She is one tough cookie!

Variation to "I am a Child of God"

Every night we have a bedtime ritual. After books, brushing teeth etc, whoever is putting the boys to bed will sing with them "I am a Child of God." Tonight was no different except the new ending Cale created. He wasn't trying to be funny, it is just what came out. The ending will be more effective if you sing the words in your head if you know them...

I am a Child of God.

And he has sent me here.

Has given me an earthly home

with parents kind and dear.


Lead me, guide me, walk beside me.

Help me find the way.

Oh what fun it is to ride in one horse open sleigh!

Jon and I died laughing. Yes, Jingle Bells is his favorite Christmas song, but he could not have made a better rhyme if he tried!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Grandparent pros and cons

I have been thinking about the joys of living close to grandparents these days. With them a greater part of our lives, my control has dimished just a bit, but our lives have certainly been enriched. As with anything there are pros and cons. For example take the kid's primary program at chruch--An event not to be missed by grandparents. Pros: They get to come. Cons: They get to come. The boys have been working all year learning songs for their program. So we are in church and she is passing out lifesavers to the kids. Even though I am the nutrition nazi I'm not so much annoyed at the treats as the timing. They can't get treats at the beginning of church right before the sacrament the most important part of the meeting. They crunch them and eat them and my mom being the good Grandma she is gives them a second one. Now the sacrament is being passed and there is definitely no eating treats now. I tell them they have to put their lifesaver in their pocket and they can eat it later. Tess has also found a lifesaver on the ground and even though it is a huge choking hazard, I figure I'll take my chances rather than risk showing everyone Tess' freak out dance. So now we have finished the sacrament and it is time for the kids to go up on the stand. They can't have their lifesavers now because they have to sing and I don't know when exactly their speaking parts are. True to his charge, Cale obeyed and didn't eat his lifesaver during the program. However, I would be rich if I had a dollar for ever time I saw his lifesaver. He held it up to the light to look through it. He put it on his eye to see if he could hold it in place with no hands while blinking. He rubbed it all over his face more times than I care to remember. Then when he went up to say his line he memorized, he looked at it intently as if it were giving him courage to say his line and then proudly put it in his shirt pocket and went up to the podium. I must say we were pleased lifesaver and all. At least this time Cale didn't stand on the stage and scowl the entire time. He even opened his mouth a few times! The question I have to ask myself is who's mother is my children's grandma anyway? It is certainly not the mom I remember.

So yes, there are times when I get mildly annoyed. But who else in the world would you let watch your kids when one of them was thowing up from 4:30-6:30 the morning of. That night, Jon and I were going out with friends and had purchased concert tickets months ago. We would have been so sad to cancel at the last minute. My mom insisted we still go. The boys were planning on having a sleepover at Granny's, but I told them with Tess being sick, I might pick them up in the middle of the night. Instead of whining or crying all of a sudden I hear chanting in unison: "Sleep over, Sleep over, Sleep over!!!" What am I to say to that? That night super late I went and picked up Tess. I checked on the boys and woke up Tate in the process. He had no clue it was me and said "I love you Granny." Yeah, I think Grandparents are worth all the life savers in the world...even at church!

Friday, September 19, 2008

One more story...

I do have more than one child, but Cale has had the funniest stories as of late. So the other day I'm talking and having a wonderful conversation with Jon's sister on the phone for half an hour. While I'm talking I'm looking for my cell phone which I assume Tess has hidden. The last time she had it she put it in Tate's back pack. And then what do I do...I call it to try to find it. Tate's teacher confiscated it and turned it off. I'm sure she really appreciated that and is wondering what we are thinking sending our first grader to school with a cell phone. But after four days of being lost--I found it in the furthest recesses of furniture with a small pile of toys. Thank you Tess! When I finished my conversation I realized that it had been way too long since I was interrupted and that the house was way too quiet even with Tess sleeping. Cale had gone over to the neighbors without asking or telling me where he was going. I went over and got him and our walk home was filled with concern about where he might have been. I carried him to his room and told him he needed to stay there and think a bit of how worried I might be if I couldn't find him and how he needs to remember to ask me when he wants to go next door. Shutting the door seems to add the final insult and now he is just wailing in his room. I have a remarkable ability to tune things out. Try to have a conversation with me while I'm reading a book and you'll understand. I am using some of these "skills" till I realize that he's not just crying he's screaming/sobbing something. I think he realizes that if he is just crying or whining about his plight he'll be in his room quite awhile. However, I realize that he's not whining at all but screaming at the very top of his lungs in between his sobs "I WUV YOU MOM!" even louder "I WUV YOU MOM!!" Now how on earth can I ignore that. I didn't realize a new tactic to get out of a punishment would be to tell me that they love me. But apparently, I'm a sucker and it seems to be pretty effective!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Captain Cale

So, Cale has really had me laughing these days. He is such a funny chap and a lot of the time he doesn't even know it. This morning I am attempting to clean the house and I'm thinking a few tunes will really help me to get the job done. I'm thinking maybe some "Dancing Queen" by ABBA or maybe a little Jack Johnson. Really the possibilities are endless. As I start getting into my dancing/cleaning mode Cale is telling me I have to take turns. "You pick a song, then I pick a song." Cale is our most musical kid--except when it comes to singing in church with the primary. He walks up the the front of the chapel with all the kids, gets right in the front, folds his arms and scowls the entire time. Never once opens his mouth or smiles. Anyway, he does have some musical talent. I'm hoping to harness that into a musical instrument (singing certainly doesn't seem to be his thing) and not just that he is amazing at an ipod. But, he has an uncanny way of remembering things with songs. He had only seen Star Wars once, but when Jon was whistling part of the sound track Cale said "That's when Luke leaves his home." He was right. So anyway, I ask him what song he wants. I'm thinking he'll want Star Wars, or Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog, or This little light of mine...something along those lines. He says "Fire Horsey." I could not horsey? Sure enough--Jungle Love by Steve Miller Band. Imagine the cover of the album and you will agree, Fire horsey is a good descriptor.

Three quick one liners...

Cale got in a little scuff with a neighbor boy and it ended by the neighbor telling Cale he didn't want to be friends anymore. He came in crying and heart broken, but after we talked about it a little he got up, grabbed two light sabers and started wielding them in all directions and said "That's ok Mom. When he dos that I will show him my powerful tricks!"

The other morning I found Cale distraught on the floor crying. I asked him what was wrong. He replied, "I can't find any short-sleeve pants!" (shorts)

This morning he was walking outside and I asked him "How come you are so handsome and sweet?" He turned around, but his hands on his hips, broke out a huge smile and said "Jesus made me to."

Dance Dance Revolution

Sometimes I feel like I haven't quite made it to the 21st century. My capabilities in anything technical always seem to be lagging behind and I have a very special talent of breaking things when all I did was press a button. If you think I'm joking all you have to do is ask Jon. I do think when printers or computers are being sarcastic it would just feel great to throw them outside and take a hammer to them. But this post is not at all about my computer difficulties--rather my lack of skills in the video game department. I have not been sold on the virtues of video games so we don't have anything at the house, and for fun before Tate went back on track I thought they would love a trip to Nickelcade (a cheap arcade in Utah). Before going to Nickelcade I had one introduction with Dance Dance Revolution. I saw it at my cousins house and watched a few people play it before I did for about two minutes and then we had to go. It was just enough to get the concept of the game.

So back to Nickelcade. I am taking the boys because I thought THEY would love it. As we are perusing the aisles seeing what video games they have my eye catches the dance dance revolution machine. It is a Wednesday morning and there is no one there but us. I must say that I did do my job of helping my kids, but it all came down to DDR! Now before I even stepped onto the machine, I thought I would be pretty good. After all, I do consider myself a pretty coordinated person and I danced a lot growing up. In front of me I could see all my fame and glory as I rocked the dance floor. I had a clue that this was not quite my generation thing when I noticed a sign attached to the game that said there would be repercussions for playing songs with offensive lyrics and language. I thought...isn't that nice for kids and things. Then I looked at the play list. I started to feel a little old and out of things. I didn't recognize a single song!! How was I to know if I was going to pick the most offensive song on the list! I chose the song "Psalm Pilot" only because there are psalms in the bible. I start on the novice level. Not a problem. DDR here I come! Next--the easy level. In my mind I thought "I'm going to master this thing in no time." It starts and all of a sudden there are arrows flying in every direction. Some at the same the same time and even three all at once. I am giving it 100% of my concentration and effort. I have arms flaying this direction--then that. My feet are trying so hard to get to where my eyes see that they should be. I get behind and then I frantically try to catch up somewhere. I'm jumping sideways then forward. I just about fall to the ground trying to step on all the right arrows. Finally it is over. I think...maybe I just need to do it again. I'm sure I'll catch on quickly. I sign myself up for more punishment and was just about as pitiful as the first time around. I am starting to sweat. Surely I can't be this bad. Where did all of my coordination go? By this time my children are calling and I can ignore them no longer. I'm at the ticket stand helping Tate and Cale choose what toys they want for 25 tickets. Of course they are choosing the toys that require 135 tickets. We finally made all our choices and they seemed thrilled with their chinese yo-yos and spider rings when a teeny-bopper comes in with a special set of shoes. I watch her and she goes straight to the DDR machine. I have a feeling as she is lacing up her shoes that my confidence in my coordination is going to take another hit. She puts in her 20 cents and chooses all of her songs/options etc. in 2 seconds and chooses the hardest level. I thought "there's no way." I didn't know arrows could move that fast--let alone feet. She was every direction all at the same time. How can anyone even process information that fast. She absolutely smoked it! It isn't like I'm my grandma. I am only 32--is that so old?? So, the bottom line is I loved it. My only tip is go on a Wednesday morning when you know no one will be there and see if you can rock the dance floor and make all your dreams come true!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Birds and the bees with a six year old

So the other day we were in the car talking about our newest and cutest baby cousin Atticus when Tate asked "Mom, why aren't we going to have any more brothers and sisters." I replied "Remember that medicine Dad took to kill his bone marrow so he could get new marrow and make his blood work good again. Well, that medicine made it so we can't have anymore kids. " I wish I could capture the look of profound awe and self discovery when in wonder he said "So you mean Dad has something to do with it?" He was so proud of his Dad! I said "you know how plants start out as seeds. Well, basically Dad has the seeds." THANKFULLY, I SHUT UP!!! And thankfully he didn't ask any more questions!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cancer--a family affair

To say our families have been amazing through our whole experience is an understatement. They have done everything from provide life-saving stem cells to the latest bit of service--delivering medication. This weekend we were up in Midway enjoying time with my family. In Jon's haste to rush home from work and meet us in the mountains he threw in his almost empty bottle of his most important medication rather than the bottle that was just filled. As soon as we realized the mistake we exhausted all our resources to fill his prescription at a local pharmacy. The only option was to make a 2 1/2 hour round trip drive back home. That was our only option until Jon remembered that our brother-in-law was biking the Tour de Utah and his race went right down Main Street of Midway. So a new plan was made. Justin would put Jon's medicine in a ziplock in his jersey and at the appointed spot he would throw Jon his medicine and continue on his race. I am continually amazed at the parts that everyone plays to make sure we have have everything we need and that Jon's transplant is successful. How many times can one say thank you?

As I mentioned earlier, we didn't start a blog when Jon was diagnosed because it made him feel like the cancer patient, but I do feel bad that the only way we documented it was random emails. So I have added a little cancer chapter (to the left, labeled "Cancer Updates") mostly for me so I can remember what life was like--the really wonderful and the really hard.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

May the force be with you

The sole purpose of this post is to brag, but once you see where I was and how far I have come you will recognize the need to have some bragging rights. So, I always try to make my kids a birthday cake. I feel like I should save myself the embarassment, but I'll throw in this birthday cake story too. There are no pictures of Tess at her first birthday with frosting smeared all over her face. Why you ask? Well, she wasn't too thrilled with the cake I made her. Banana bread cake with cauliflower puree. Jon will never let me live it down. But back to the real birthday cake story. As you can see from exhibit A this was Tate's birthday cake when he was 3. He was so thrilled with it. He called it his "pancake birthcake." The real story is I forgot to add the oil so it never rose. I added some icecream in the middle layer to make it a bit taller and hopefully taste a little better. A little unsucessful on both accounts, but all that mattered was that he was thrilled. Hooray for a happy 3 year old.
Speed up three years to the "Light Saber Cake." After looking on line at star wars cakes and seeing amazing Darth Vader fondant cakes I realized I had to figure out something that was a bit more manageable. Nothing like a good jelly roll cake. So with exhibit B you have brag #1.

As for brag #2--Jon and I are excellent pinata makers. Of all the talents to posess, I'm sure good pinata maker should be somewhere on the top. Last year Tate loved his baseball pinata. This year--the Death Star (Darth Vader's huge ship) was a huge hit. I wish I could take more credit, but Jon was the mastermind behind it. Happy Birthday Tate!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Three Sweet Funny Kids

So I thought I should give a little update as to what the kids are up to and what their little personalities are like.

Tate started first grade last week. I felt like I was giving up a lot in terms of climate moving from NC to Utah and I told Jon there was one thing I WOULD NOT DO...year round school. Seeing as Tate started last week you can tell how well I stuck to my guns! :) I actually think it will be great. Tate has 1 1/2 weeks left and then he gets three weeks off. He gets all these brakes in the year and as long as we move before June (which we better or someone is in serious trouble!!) he will still have all of next summer off. So basically our hope is to milk the system for all it is worth and have our child in school the least amount as possible. Probably not the best stragegy, but for first grade I think it will be great!

Tate was born with confidence and a happy spirit. He is the forever optimist. It didn't even cross his mind that he should be nervous because he was starting a new school and didn't know a single person in his class. He hopped on the bus with his good buddy and rode off. He came home with the same spring in his step as when he left! He is really having success in reading and his favorite part of school is the monkey bars. I figured out that if I want to know what is going on at school I don't ask "What did you do in school today?" If I really want to know what is going on I ask "What did you play at recess." Now that has some interesting asnwers! His passion these days is Star Wars. He loves everything about Star Wars. His light saber is by far his favorite toy and I'm impressed that the duels he and Cale have don't usually end in tears. The funny thing about Tate is since we hardly ever watch TV, he is more sensitive to TV than any kid I've ever seen. For example most Veggie Tales are too intense and when any scary part comes where the good guys would be in danger he gets worried and asks us to turn it off or change to a different show. So Tate-safe shows include "Tom and Jerry," "Yogi Bear," episodes of "The Muppets," and amazingly enough "Star Wars." Who would have guessed. As long as you talk him through anything that could be scary he is just fine. I'm amazed at how slow a 1980's film is! It is the ultimate in the good guys always win. It suits him well. A classic memory I hope never to forget: 2 little boys marching bare naked across the driveway singing the Star Wars theme in "dunt, dunt, dunts." They were retrieving their swim suits from the car and apparently that was the best way to do it!

Cale is funny, sweet, cooridinated as I'll get out, and a bit more complicated. He really gets humor--what is funny and how to be funny. We are constantly laughing. I mentioned earlier that he adds "mo" to the beginning of words. This is not an attempt to be funny. I should probably start correcting him, and if he does it at 12 you must remind me it is no longer cute, but at four...I love it. My top "mo" words. 1. Mo-saster (disaster) This is almost always used as an adjective to describe his sister. 2. Mo-sgusting (disgusting) frequently used for a plethora of things that they make, find, do, and especially bodily sounds. 3. Mo-3PO (C3p0 from Star Wars.)
Cale had a bad experience last year from preschool, so we really talked it up this year. Friday was his orientation and it is a good thing they had cool pinwheels. I told him it was a rule I couldn't get it for him, he had to go into the room and get it. He warmed up and had a great first day today! Hooray!!

Tess, how to describe her: so cute, snuggly--she'll lay her head on your shoulder and melt into you, loving and FIESTY! At this age the boys were into places to go and things to see. Tess is more into interacting with you. My favorite thing, and I think hers to is after she wakes up in the moringing or from her nap I pick her up and set her on my lap in the lazy boy. We make faces at each other and she copies mine or does a few new ones of her own. She loves to give the meanest glare and then brakes into a huge smile. She loves to sing songs, play peek-a-boo, find her belly button and be quizzed on her body parts. She also understands SO much of what is going on. It really amazes me.
I remember the first time I saw my sister's little girl throw a tantrum. She is the same age as Tate. If I remember right I think I just stood there with my mouth open and thought "What is that?" Tate NEVER threw a tantrum. I don't think I'm exaggerating by saying never either. We had Cale so we could realize that tantrums have nothing whatsoever to do with how well (or poorly for that matter) you parent. We had Tess to be amazed at how young they could start! We just realized that she has the talent of crying hard enough that she can pass out for a second or two. That is always nice. She is actually so pleasant and fun to be around a good 90% of the time. I think she'll give us a run for our money though as a teenager. Watch out!!

As of 8/6/2008 that is pretty much the Silcox kids in a nutshell!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Island Park

We went on vacation to Island Park Idaho for an entire week and it was just bliss! It is the perfect vacation spot for the ages of our kids. It was so nice that all that was on the agenda was to arrive on Sunday and leave the next. Our days pretty much went like this...

Wake up at 8:00 or later and fix breakfast. Go for a bike ride and get good and hot. Jump in the boat and take off water skiing and tubing. Come back and have lunch. Take a nap, read a book, go on a walk, go for a spin in the paddle boat. Just enjoy the scenery! Eat dinner. Jump back in the boat when the water gets glassy and ski till your legs feel like jello. Come back to the cabin, eat dessert, put kids to bed and enjoy each other and being together without any distractions. It was perfect!

I'm amazed at what our family can do these days. Cale excels in anything that requires gross motor skills and riding a bike is no different. Months before he turned 4 he was able to ride his bike without training wheels and now he is a pro. He kept up with Jon, Tate and I and was able to bike trails with tree roots, rocks and ruts with no problem. I guess what I am most amazed at is that we could all go (Tess in a seat on the back of Jon's bike) and everyone was happy the whole time. That is the true miracle.

Water skiing was great. The water was always good and to feel like you are skiing in the middle of a painting with pine trees, amazing sunsets and beautiful mountains was awesome. The first night we were there we turned the corner up the river and right before us was a huge moose coming down to take a drink. We named him Manny. Another time we saw a mama moose and her tiny baby. It was so neat. Most of my friends know that I love water skiing, but I thought I'd post a picture to prove that I can actually do it. Not bad skiing for 32 and a mother of three if I do say so myself! We also got a tube so we could pull the kids in something fun behind the boat. Tate was a bit nervous at first so we convinced Cale that it would be great fun and he happily jumped on. Wouldn't you know we had him sitting too far forward and with Jon going so slow we submarined Cale. Not for long, but just enough to worry him. He went on it a few more times, but Tate was the one who was just thrilled about it. A turn could never be too long and we cound never go enough times in a day for him! Watching him go on the tube was watching someone experience true joy. His smile could not have been bigger.

Some of my other favorite things about our trip--
Tate "Can I hug you Mom? I haven't gotten to hug you so much today."
Cale has always been funny with the things he chooses to say. He will often add "mo" to the beginning of a word. "Mo-naked" made it's appearance for the first time.
Tess must have loved the vibration of the boat. She would come to the drivers feet and lay face down on the floor of the boat. It was quite funny to see.
Jon--that we could actually go on this vacation. Last year lake water was out of the question.
Me--the sound of waves against rocks and my childrens laughter waking me up from a nap and going right back to sleep.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First Timers

So right after Jon was diagnosed with cancer 20 months ago, we had a marvelous friend that offered to start a blog for us. Jon said it made him feel like a cancer patient, so we opted not. There are some decisions you seriously regret in life, and now I find myself struggling to make a "non-cancer" blog. We should have taken our friend up on it. It certainly would have been on the benefits of cancer list.

Our web address is (It's not in high demand.) But it seems as if we have always just been Jon and Quinn and all smushed together like it is one word seems appropriate. Canadian geese choose their mate early on in life and then live a life of monagamy for ever after. I could have just as easily been a goose. Since we were seventeen, we have simply been Jon and Quinn. We have been on many an adventure since then...graduating from highschool, Jon serving a mission for our church, getting married, both of us getting degrees from BYU, moving to North Carolina for some of the greatest years of our lives, adding one, two then three additions to our lives, Jon graduating from dental school, Jon being diagnosed with myleodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow transplant, Jon graduating from his orthodontic residency, moving to Utah and buying a practice. In a nutshell that is where life currently finds us--amid the wasatch mountains, happy with our three children, Tate, Cale and Tess, Jon loving his job--the proud owner of Silcox Orthodontics in Cottonwood Heights, and very grateful for a new perspective on life and the chance to live it!

Nov. 2006 right after diagnosis

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Just A Little Update

Well, we’ve been in Utah for almost 2 months now and so we thought we should send out a little update on how we have faired since our move. All in all we really like it here. I get especially nostalgic about Chapel Hill when I hear it reached 76 degrees on the day of a huge snow storm here. There is much we miss about NC, but Utah has a few perks we have discovered as well, and we are getting settled and reacquainted with the great state that we left almost 8 years ago.

Jon successfully bought an orthodontic practice in Salt Lake City that he absolutely loves. He loves to go to work everyday and is driven by all of the many challenges that come with being a new business owner. He is finding out that there is a lot more to running a successful orthodontic practice than just being good at straightening teeth—and that makes it even more exciting. As far as his health goes, we think we are on the up and up now. After two days at work in his new practice, Jon had a nasty spell of pneumonia. He can’t seem to do anything just average or low key. So it was with pneumonia—he did it with gusto… he not only got bacterial pneumonia but RSV pneumonia as well. He was in the hospital for eight days, six of them being in isolation and the kids and I couldn’t see him. That was the pits. Sometimes it is hard not to be a bit impatient at wanting to be over this sick stuff and just get on with life, but there are a few lessons we still need to learn and apparently one of them seems to be patience! Jon’s doctors are also learning patience with us as well as Jon seems to have his own ideas and protocols for treatment. If anyone is counting, today is day 322 following Jon’s transplant.

Tate is doing great and loves school. He is such a happy go lucky chap as is, but combine that with having his Granny at his school and it is a piece of heaven for him. We have had record breaking snow this year and as far as I'm concerned if it is going to be cold it might as well be white and beautiful. It beats the pants off of cold, gray and an inversion! Plus, the boys love the snow. They will get on their snow clothes and play for hours. A month or so ago, while Jon was in the hospital, Jay (Jon’s dad) took the boys up to the cabin on a snow cat. He tied Tate's sled to the back of the snow cat when they were coming out back to the car. He kept asking Tate if he was cold and he said no. When they got back to the car he told Jay that he was freezing, but that he didn't want to say so because it was SO MUCH FUN! That pretty much sums up Tate. He tries to get as much fun and excitement as possible out of life!

Cale continues to be such a funny little fellow. It is interesting the things he picks up on and how he processes them. Just this week Cathy could see a big hawk in a tree and tried to point it out to Cale. He said "My dad had a hawk. Before he was bald." His "Chemohawk" (the Mohawk Tate and Cale gave Jon before chemo). We all laughed about that. He is so particular about things sometimes and one day after I had spent 5 minutes (it seemed like eternity) trying to get him bundled up to his satisfaction--zipped up just so--in exasperation I said "Cale you're killing me!" It was 2 or 3 hours later when we were in the car and he said "Mom, you said kill me. Dat not nice." I had to reply that what I said wasn’t nice and I apologized. Nothing like your kids keeping you humble! Cale started preschool and they are serious about it. It is a great little school, but there isn't much play about it. They know all their sounds and numbers to 20 I think. Who would have ever thought that your kid would need remediation in preschool--when he is 3! I didn't think it was possible! He’s catching up and doing well. Phew!

Tess is such a lovey! She just turned one on Thursday. She is just the apple of our eyes. She is standing and pushing things around. It won’t be long till she is walking all over. I'm just waiting for the day I can do pig tails!

As for me, I'm doing really well. Kids are happy and well and Jon is doing that pretty much equates to me being happy. I am getting nuttier and nuttier in terms of nutrition--much to Jon's chagrin. I just figure that after all his body has been through good nutrition can only help him. So he has all kinds of fruits and veggies blended up daily to which he and the kids are good sports! If ever he even thinks to complain I remind him that it is his fault that I’ve become this way since he up and got cancer! J

So all things considered, we are doing really well. We love being close to our families, but miss so much our friends and try any way we can to get them to come and visit. (That was an open invitation to any North Carolinians!) But we wanted to let you all know we are doing well and pass along our contact information. Every 6 weeks in Jon’s office they do a contest and the current contest is called “Who’s your doctor?” to which they have a bunch of random questions about Jon. One of them is “Where does Dr. Silcox live?
A. a house B. an apartment C. the garage D. His parents basement

If you guessed D you are correct. Nothing like going to seven years of graduate school so you can move into your parents basement, but in reality we couldn’t be happier about it. It is working out great. It is giving us a chance to get on our feet, figure out a business, and catch our breath before we start on another adventure and find a house. So, our address will change, but our phone number will stay the same. However, we will always get anything that comes to Jon’s parents address.

Hope this update finds all of you healthy and happy. The Tarheels just won and we are surprising the boys tomorrow and flying to California to go to Disneyland. So life is good….really good!

Sending lots of love,
Jon and Quinn

Any email account associated with UNC will soon be inactive. Below is our updated contact information.

1213 Sweet Caroline Dr.
Riverton, UT 84065
Home phone 801-649-5407

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Silcox's (January 20, 2008)

A friend recently asked me if this year seemed long or short. I didn't really know how to answer that question. In some ways, it seems like a never ending year…all the doctor's appointments, the emotional roller coasters, Jon's transplant and recovery, having a new little baby. Yes, it seems like quite a long year, but then it also seems like it was just yesterday that Jon was admitted to the hospital and we learned that he was so sick. As I think about where we were last year, we had just gotten the diagnosis of MDS and were waiting to see if one of Jon's sisters was a match and all of the anxiety associated with such serious matters, to where we are today, I am extremely humbled and my heart is overflowing with gratitude. Jon just rushed off this morning to work, is submitting his thesis this afternoon and is working on the final contract to purchase an orthodontic practice in Cottonwood Heights, Utah on January 1, 2008. I marvel to think how drastically our circumstances have changed in such a short period of time. So, I don't think there is an answer to that question, but it has been the most challenging, humbling, growing and also joyous year we have yet experienced together.
This has been a huge year for Tate. I am amazed all the time at how much he is growing and learning. Much of our conversations with Tate are about his "ideas" which range from anything from how to play the most complicated game has dreamed up, to how his lego contraptions work, or the fun we should be having that minute. He learned to ride his bike without training wheels, played t-ball and soccer, and has started school. The first day of school he got on the bus just as happy as can be and waved out the bus window to Cale, Tess and I. All I could see was a little hand waving like crazy while he rode off to school. I went back home and cried. The other day he told me "Mom, Amy (name has been changed to protect the aggressor ) just kissed me lots of times on the bus--even on the lips!" I wasn't prepared for that to start quite so soon. Thankfully they have an agreement that she can sit by the window if she keeps her lips to herself! I just don't understand how they grow up so fast!
Cale's knick-name is "Little Buddy" which seems to fit him perfectly. He loves to be your right hand man no matter what you are doing. Sometimes I truly don't know what to do with so much "help!" Cale's gross motor skills continue to amaze us, worry us and make us laugh. He jumps and clears way too many stairs, can ride his tricycle down our hill like he was trying out for a bobsled team and jumps off things with his inflatable horse that make me shutter. But he does have fun and we have avoided the emergency room this year which is a real plus…knock on wood! He has an extremely well developed sense of humor (I wonder who he got that from). He thinks it is hilarious to bless the food when he is saying his prayers before bed. He loved T-ball, tolerated soccer and most of all loves to kiss Tess and be best friends with Tate.
And then we had a baby! We felt like we needed a wonderful surprise (we had just a few unpleasant ones recently) so we decided not to find out the sex of the baby. I had convinced myself that I would not be disappointed if it was another boy because I just adore little boys and it would be great to add one more to the tribe. However, when she was born and Jon told me "It's a girl!!" I thought of course it is. We needed a little girl to make our family complete. Tess is our miracle baby. She came in the midst of craziness in our lives. In January Jon's blood counts were improving so they postponed his transplant. It was just long enough for us to get Tess here. A week after she was born his counts went back down and he had his transplant 4 weeks later. I couldn't imagine delivering and him not being there. She has been an absolute joy. She is the happiest, cuddliest, cushiest baby you can hold and squeeze. I don't understand how one little person can be so adored by so many. After 2 rascally boys, I have thoroughly enjoyed pink, bows, tights, ruffles, and dresses and the more the better!!
As for Jon and I, life has been a crazy ride this year. Sometimes we have felt like it was all we could do to keep everyone and everything together, but thanks to the love and support of so many, and many blessings from up above, we are more grateful for the simple and important things in life than we ever have been before. To have time with our little family and have everyone happy and healthy is a blessing we no longer take for granted. We still have quite a few changes up ahead. North Carolina is certainly home and it will take a long time before we can call anywhere else home. So it is with a heavy heart that we anticipate leaving, but are so grateful and excited for the new adventures that await us in Utah. I'm still trying to figure out a way I can keep the friends, beauty and weather of North Carolina while living in Utah. I haven't quite figured it out, but maybe someday I will. I used to think of the years going by as the opening and closing of a book. Once the year is gone it is closed and onto the next. My views have changed a bit, and I think this cancer chapter of our lives will always be opened even just a bit, and I'm grateful for the growth and perspective that will bring to us. I can't close this letter without acknowledging and thanking our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ for the abundant blessings and miracles in our lives. May the Lord bless and keep you and may you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.

With much love,
Jon, Quinn, Tate the Great, Captain Cale and Sweet Tess Caroline