Yes, I have returned from Alaska. It was a wonderful but very short trip. I debated extending my airline ticket for two more days, especially since it would be my last trip to the far north for who knows how long. But the expensive change fee didn’t seem worthwhile. Besides, Ken and Robin are going to Boise in June to buy a house, and I’m thinking of zipping up there to see what they’ve bought. Robin has stated they WILL buy a house on this first and only house hunting trip. She is not prepared to un-settle into a rental again.

I have to say this is not the prettiest time of year in Alaska. The snow has mostly melted except on the peaks of the mountains, and the grass and trees have not turned fully green yet. But I was there to see family, not scenery, and my grandchildren are gloriously beautiful, no matter what time of year it is! Just check out my photo gallery if you don’t believe me.

We could not take flash pictures at the recital, so I only got a few shots, and they all turned out blurry. I posted one, but hopefully Robin will post some more of Megan in her ballet costume. It was very sweet, and Megan has really improved year over year in her poise and gracefulness.

Lauren had surgery yesterday morning to put new tubes in her ears. She did very well under anesthesia, and Carrie said she seemed to feel perfectly normal the remainder of the day. While she was under, they did an ABR which is a special hearing test that tests brainwave response to sound. It is an extremely accurate test for children. Unfortunately, Lauren’s hearing in high frequency range has deteriorated some in the past year. Lauren’s transplant doctor has told Carrie that chemotherapy can cause progressive hearing loss for three years following the treatment, so some of this may be related to that rather than her syndrome. It’s kind of a catch 22; it would good if her Sanfilippo is not progressing, but bad if the chemo might cause more loss. It’s a waiting game.

I have not reported an update on Carrie’s eyes in quite a while. Her laser surgery on her second eye was successful, although very painful. Her vision is still very poor, but she has been fitted for glasses. She is able to do all of her normal activites, including driving. The outlook is still unknown; we’re hoping for improvement in her vision, and full healing in both retinas. As with Lauren’s prognosis, it’s also a waiting game.

Tonight I went to Derek’s graduation. I’m sure Daryl will write about it, but let me be the first blogger to say Congratulations, Derek! I’m a very proud auntie. Ya done good!!

I didn’t see the Suns/Mavericks game last night (I was watching the American Idol finale and Lost) but I heard all about that last second shot to win the game. Go SUNS!!!

I’m heading to Alaska tomorrow … possibly for the last time in who knows how long. You’ll have to ask Robin why. It’s her news to spill to everyone. But let’s just say Boise is a much cheaper and shorter flight from Phoenix, and Southwest Airlines flies there!

Anyway, back to tomorrow’s trip. Megan’s spring dance recital is this Friday evening, and I’m heading up to see it. While I’m there, we will celebrate all the spring events, like my birthday, Robin’s birthday, Megan’s birthday, and Mother’s Day. And of course, the dance! I’ll take some pictures of the little ballerina and post them when I get home.

One other unrelated comment: did anyone else see the Suns/Clippers game last night? Wow! That 3 pointer by Raja Bell with 1.1 seconds left in the first overtime to tie it back up was amazing! I was trying to slip into sleep, but that shot killed all hope of doing that for the next hour. What a great game. Go SUNS!!!

Brian and Carrie got me a pretty cool gift for Mother’s Day. We had a cotton candy machine when I was a kid. I’ve been wanting one for when the grandkids came over. I tried it out tonight, and have two pink clouds all made and set aside for Lauren and Nathan tomorrow. (They come to my house on Mondays for one of Lauren’s therapies.) I tried the first cone myself and it was de-lish!

Mom, I hope you have a wonderful day today. Just wanted you to know I’m thinking of you, and that I think you’re very special.

And to my two daughters, who are wonderful mothers to my darling grandchildren, happy Mother’s Day to you, too!

Last weekend I went to Williams, Arizona for a women’s retreat with 400 ladies from my church. We were at the Lost Canyon Camp owned and operated by Young Life. It was a great weekend, with nights in the 30′s and days reaching mid-70′s. Glorious! And the program was glorious, too. Our speaker was Lysa TerKuerst, a well known author and radio personality in the Christian community. She has appeared on Dr. Dobson’s radio program, and used to be a frequent guest on Larry Burkett’s show. She has an incredible testimony, from coming out of an abusive childhood, to the death of a baby sister when Lysa was a teenager, to a couple of years ago she and her husband adopting two teenage boys from Liberia, Africa to go along with their three little blond, blue-eyed daughters. I drove up Friday evening with my two friends, Glenda and Jan. I took a few pictures around the camp, and posted them on my gallery.

On Tuesday, Carrie called and invited me to join Brian and her at Jeeper’s Jungle Jim Playland for pizza and playtime with the kids. Robin worked at Jungle Jim’s when she was in high school, and it is still very much the same, although I’m sure it has changed hands many times. The rides and games are pretty good (for free) and both kids had a ball. Lauren is starting to get back out in public a little bit and play with other children. She is totally enthralled with the “new” experiences. I had my camera and snapped several pictures while the kids played.

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