Monday, August 23, 2010

My Brother-in-law

My brother-in-law will occasionally write an update on his current situation. This is his most recent letter that he put on FB.

Hello Everyone,

This letter is to update everyone on my current situationand how I am doing. There have been a lot of people who have asked us what they can do to help us. There are a few things that you could do if you wanted to help. What we need help with is making meals, cleaning the house, taking care of the yards and helping keep an eye on the kids. I'd also like you to visit me and talk to me since I am losing the ability to speak. I am usually out of bed and in my wheelchair before 12pm. Anyone who wants to come visit, talk or help out could come at that time. Liz is my full-time caregiver and so she will be taking care of any of my needs. We would just like you to come visit and have a good time. My fellow officers could come visit me anytime on or off duty. If you are in the area and want to drop by for a random visit that would be fine as long as it is after 12pm.

Now to talk about my current physical condition. I can no longer move my body or limbs. I can only move my head to look around and control my wheelchair. My wheelchair is controlled by a special head rest that lets me drive around the house. My hands have curled up and are stiff and sensitive. In a sitting position I am having pain in my tailbone, since I am sitting 24/7. I sleep sitting up because I have a hard time breathing on my own on my back and side. I am using a bi-pap machine 12 hours a day to help give me the oxygen I need and to expel carbon dioxide. I can only talk in a whisper without my bi-pap machine. So when you come over and I need to talk I will be wearing a facial mask that attaches to my nose. This forces air down my nose, fills up my lungs with air and gives me the lung capacity to talk louder. So don't be alarmed if I look like Darth Vader or a storm trooper. My ankles swell up and my feet go numb frequently. My mother, sisters and a massage therapist comes over weekly to massage me to keep my blood flowing and to reduce pain. It is getting harder to chew and swallow and sometimes I will choke on food or water. So that is what's going on with my physically. The next step in the process will include a feeding tube and a ventilator, but that is not for awhile.

I am no longer working full-time for the City of Mesa as a Police Officer because I can no longer perform a service to the city. Since I am unable to talk clearly, my voice recognition software no longer works on my patrol laptop. So I can no longer work. I have about five months of donated time, so I will be collecting a paycheck for the next five months to support my family. The City of Mesa has done a great job looking after us and taking care of us. I have so many great friends who work for the Mesa Police Department and I am proud to call myself one of them. After my donated time runs out, we have not yet figured out what we will be doing for income. So naturally I am concerned about how I will be supporting my family and it constantly weighs on my mind. Since we are living in a rental house, we don't know how we will make the payment or where we will be living if we can't afford to live here anymore.

The kids just started school and have adjusted well to a new school, new ward and new house. They are making new friends every day. Bryce also just started pop warner football and plays offensive and defensive line, because he is 105 lbs. Bryce just started 4th grade and is starting to develop a strong type-A personality where he wants to be in charge of everything. Hyrum just started 2nd grade and has a unique personality and is very creative. He is a peacemaker and easily makes friends. Harley is 4 years old and we have a hard time keeping him quiet. He asks a hundred questions every day and is constantly on the move and teasing Bryan. Bryan is 2 years old and needs constant attention all the time because he does so well in getting into everything, making messes and causing problems. Mary is a very good baby. She sleeps through the night, is easy to take care of. Which is a great blessing because Liz has to put her down to help me and she is content to wait for her turn. She is very beautiful. She looks at me, smiles and coos at me all the time. Liz puts a pillow on my lap and I hold her in my arms this way. She has beautiful blue eyes which I believe will turn green as she gets older like her daddy. She has long strawberry blonde hair which stands up on the top of her head. The boys have adjusted to her very well and love to hold her. We have to keep an eye on Bryan because he loves to lay on her and kiss her face and point at her eyes and nose. Which is cute, but also scary because he doesn't understand that he is smashing her. She doesn't cry though. Maybe she doesn't mind. Liz's mom, Barbara, has been living with us on and off and comes to help when we need her. The kids love her and she keeps everybody in line and taken care of when we can't. We are so grateful for her. Our dogs are not as happy about the move because they were used to running around on 1.25 acres. They bark at everything that moves and it's driving me crazy.

That's pretty much the update on everything and now I'd just like to thank my family, relatives and friends who come over all the time to help us. We are very grateful for all of your thoughts and prayers on our behalf. We really appreciate everything that you do for us and we cherish your friendships. It is my goal to fight this disease and with the Lord's help, beat it. I want to be around as long as I can to be there for my wife, kids and family. It is my wish and dream just to be healthy and normal again. Never take that for granted. I hope to see you all soon and talk with you before my voice goes. God be with you till we meet again. And as my brother Mitchell would say, "God is my tower of strength." Take care.

Mark D. Kelly

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of School

Katie And Zach started school last week. They were so excited. Katie was super pumped to see all her friends and Zach was just happy to start going to school. We love Mrs. Abbott. She was such a great kindergarden teacher for Katie last year. Zach was very much looking forward to being in her class.
Katie has such a wonderful 1st grade teacher. She came home from school the other day and told me that the stem of plants is like a straw that takes water up to the leaves where there is a kitchen. Apparently in the "kitchen" is where the plant makes use of the water. She then compared a plant to the human body. I was telling her that when you donate blood your body can make more so that you will always have enough. she said "How does it make more? Is there a little kitchen in there?" She makes me laugh.
Zach is learning letters and numbers. He didn't know them all like Katie did but he seems to be picking them up pretty quickly. His handwriting is a lot better than I expected.
With both of them gone, it is just me and Marshall at home. I thought this would be cake to only have one kid at home but I have come to realize it is still hard. Marshall doesn't have anyone to play with. Nap time is great because I am all be my self, but when he is awake I have to watch him like a hawk. He can be very destructive when he is alone and a little bored. It will be nice when the weather cools off and we can walk Sabino Canyon again. I am also going to kid swap with a friend starting the end of this month so that will be good as well.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tucson Children's Museum

This is how Marshall was the whole time, plus really loud yelling. He loved it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gila Valley Temple

There is now a Temple in the Gila Valley. It makes me really happy when I think about it.

Every Boy Likes Toy Story

Marshall really likes Toy Story. He sat and watched Toy Story 3 through the whole movie. I didn't have to leave with him once.

Zach is 5

Zach turned 5 on June 10th. (I know I'm late with posting about it) He is so happy to be 5. He starts kindergarten in August and I think he will do well. He had a good birthday with a few presents. We got him this Lightsaber duels game, he likes it but he like Super Mario Bros. better and is getting pretty good. He is such a sweet boy and is I love having him around. He will be missed at home when he goes to school.


I remember camping not being such a hard thing. It has since changed from a time of play to a time of preparation and work. Still a lot of fun, just more work. The kids got so dirty but Marshall won the overall award for being to most dirty. He had dirt boogers for days after we got home and I was finding it in his ears for a while. Katie has a lot of fun with all the cousins from Jakes side of the family. (this is Avery) Zach found this stick and was quick to turn it into a first class weapon. He shot pretend arrows with it for a log time.

Good Times!!!

Summer Fun!!

We have had a lot of time to do whatever we want this summer. Here is what we have done so far:
Lots of swimming
Making Ice Cream with tin cans (Which by the way is to much work, just buy ice cream)
Movies at the Theater, Toy Story 3
Playing UNO, a lot
Tucson Zoo
Finger painting
Cleaning the Church building followed by a Jamba Juice
Lunch with Daddy
Made Playdough
Air Museum
Ordered Pizza
Made smores
Splash pad
Super Mario Bros. on the Wii
Spent some time on Mt. Lemmon
Made our own circle crayons out of old crayon bits

It has been a fun summer so far, But we still have a few things to do.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Grins and giggles

Katie has had a very exciting couple of weeks. She is just getting so smart and really developing her personality. She is also losing teeth pretty quickly. This makes a total of 6 teeth. I really like her smile with that big hole. It makes me smile almost every time.

This is Katie's Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Abbott. We absolutely love her, and she absolutely loves Katie. She has had nothing but good things to say about our Katiebug. She asked Katie if she could clone her so that she could have a class full of Katie's and Katie said "I don't know what that means". Haha. This is a picture of Katie with her "Student of the Year" award. What can I say, she's the best.

Katie is by far the tallest in her class. She is taller than most of the second graders. She takes after me, I guess. I was taller than most of the people in my class till about my sophomore year. I hope she enjoys being tall.

Kindergarten graduations are a little silly, but to Katie is was a really important day. She was excited to be able to wear whatever she wanted (she wears a uniform to school). She asked me if I would make her a dress for her promotion. So I did, and she loved it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Marshall

Marshall's 1st birthday was a few weeks ago on April 22nd. Yes, Earth Day is his Birthday. He woke up really happy and was in a good mood for most of the day. He even decided that he was going to start walking and has since mastered that skill.
I did make the shirt that he is wearing.

By the end of the day his happiness had left and he really just needed to go to bed. He was so tired I couldn't even get him to taste any birthday cake. He didn't even open any presents until the next morning. We took the kids to see " How to Train Your Dragon" which ended up being a bad idea for Marshall. Jake was out in the hall with him for most of it. Totally my fault that he was to tired for cake. oops. Good thing he didn't even know it was his birthday.

Without a doubt he is my most challenging baby. He has a very strong personality and is constantly doing things he shouldn't. He won't hold still for anything, ever. He grunts and growls at everything but, it is usually followed by a smile. He loves Zachary and Katie. They can always get him to laugh. He likes taking rides in the wagon and loves to be in the pool. You wouldn't know that he is a picky eater because he is pretty big, 98th percentile. We love our little head strong boy.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Girl for Liz!!!!

This is me with all of my sisters. I am on the end because I am the youngest, then it is Elizabeth, Amy, Melissa, Becky and Kim. We were all there because Elizabeth was having a baby shower. This is her 5th pregnancy but it is going to be her 1st girl and we are all so happy for her. She deserves some sweetness after having 4 boys.

Interview in San Diego

We went to San DIego last week so that Jake could interview with Navy JAG. We should hear back in about 7 weeks if he was recommended or not, so I'll post again when we hear.
It was not a spectacular trip by any means. We ended up driving over because one plane ticket for Jake would have been around $700. We did only take Marshall and we were able to drive his Dads diesel jetta so it wasn't to bad. Marshall did pretty good considering we were in the car most of the time. His interview was on Coronado Island in their public library. What a beautiful place. I think I could stand to live there.
We did go to the beach for an hour before we headed back to Tucson. Please ignore the weird face that I am making here.

Marshall really liked the sand even though it was pretty cold.

Jake is not a fan of the beach at all. He doesn't like sand.

Boys love their toys!

This boy really loves his swords! I don't even know how many he has. If he wears carpenter style pants then he just puts the sword in the loop that is on the pant leg. However, he just can't wear those everyday, so I made him this sheath out of leather scraps. Most of the things I make I just copy other people ideas. But this one is all mine.

Sweet Kids!!

This is how we want to be viewed.

This is how it really is.

Katie is 6!!!

Katie turned 6 on March 5th. It was a fun day and the first time that I gave her a party.

She had a fancy tea party with a few friends. I didn't get very many pictures because that is just how I am. I am really bad at taking pictures of special things that I want to remember.

It was outside and the weather was really beautiful that day. I made that banner out of fabric scraps.

Why I stay up late.

I made this elephant for Liz's baby girl that will join the family this June. However I ended up giving it to Katie because Zach touched it while he was eating something with ketchup.

I made these for her baby too and kept them off the table once they were finished then I made an elephant to match. I don't have a pic of that one because I still don't have all my pics on my computer. Oh well.

This is an old picture form before Christmas. I made Katie a roll up kitchen and some felt food for Christmas. I think she would have liked it a lot more last year. I still like it though.

Check out those eyes!

I thought this leaf was AWESOME! Jake thinks I'm weird that I can get so pumped about plants and produce.
I tried to get him to smile but he just would not. Funny boy. I can't believe how blue those eyes are.

Monday, March 22, 2010

7 yrs.

Our 7th anniversary was yesterday. Yeah for us!!!!!
A few days ago we went to Mesa to go to the Temple and spend some much needed time together without our kids. (Thanks Tina for watching our people) When the 21st finally came around neither one of us remembered that it was our anniversary. We were sitting in sunday school and I leaned over to Jake and said: "Did you remember that it's our anniversary? I just remembered." He said to me "Yea, I remembered like an hour ago but then I forgot again." We both just started laughing. Happy 7 years to us!!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

No pics

My computer has been weird for a few weeks and so I have no pics right now. Jacob took them all off and now they are just on the some other hard drive. Soon he will get everything fixed and I will post again.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's going to be okay!

I directed the choir at church today for the first time and it went much better than expected. I think a lot of people were just as surprised as I was. I received quite a few compliments like....

"You cut us off and brought us in at all the right spots, good job"

"You looked nervous at first but then you got the hang of it"

"You've come a long way in just 3 weeks, your musical abilities are starting to come out"

It is really nice to have that first experience done. I can honestly say that I am feeling better about this calling. I was not sure at first, in fact I really did not want to do it. But know I know that I can. This will be a learning experience.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

funny pic!

Jacob emailed this pic to me the other day. It is kind of an old one, but it makes me laugh every time.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My new calling

I received a new calling in our ward. I have been called to be the ward choir director. I was asked if I would do it before Thanksgiving but I wasn't sustained until just last week. So, I have had a lot of time to think about it. We had our first practice today and now I have realized that I should have spent that time learning how to conduct a choir. I know a whole lot less than I thought. I almost got emotional a few times but I was able to keep it together. I really need to learn how to do this. Maybe that is why I have this calling, so that I can learn a new skill. I was humbled today. I am, however, very grateful for the people that are in the choir. Everyone was (at least I think) very nice and understanding. Overall, I think that for the first time, having no experience leading a choir, it went pretty well.
When I got home I had to do something to take my mind off it so I just started to cook things. I made bread, applesauce, and chicken soup, but it didn't make anything better. I'm still stressed out. Oh, well, I guess studying and time is the only thing that will make this less stressful.

Oh, the bread did work this time, and that did make me feel a little better.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Damn the stupid bread that falls in the oven!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my hair!!!

I think this is a lot of hair for only being 8 months old. He is so cute.

Our tree

We left to go be with out families on Christmas day but we didn't want to leave out tree in the house for 5 days getting dry and ready to go ablaze. So we took everything off of it and got rid of it on Christmas day.

We were the first ones to drop off our tree. I think we will carry on this tradition.

Christmas 2009

Katie had a great Christmas if you ask her. She was so excited to open her violin. I has since regretted getting it for her because now she wants me to teach her. I play the cello, it's a little different. I guess now I need to find a teacher who is willing to teach for pennies. I also made her a few things that I will have to put into another post.

Zachary was hard to shop for this year. He isn't quite old enough for legos and he has so many swords, I just didn't know what to get him. He had been talking about how Uncle Jordan plays the guitar and he thought that was cool so I found him a cheap one that is a toy but looks real. He loves it. Again I'll have to post separately the things that I made this year.

We got Marshal 2 presents this year. Smartest thing we ever did. He did really like this wooden stacker toy but he really liked the paper, but only after it was off the presents.I can't get over how blue is eyes are. WOW! Poor kid got that huge bottom lip from his mama.

Christmas was really nice this year. We were able to have Christmas eve and Christmas morning at our own house. We had never done that before so it was really nice. Although I did have a lot  more cooking that way. It's okay, I loved having it at home.

We did the Nativity story from the book of Luke on Christmas eve and the kids thought it was funny that Jake was the donkey. A fun tradition that Jake grew up with that we will continue. I made tamales and green chili that turned out just great but I don't have a picture. oops.