Archive for the ‘Michael’ Category

Michael’s Car Accident

Friday, November 8th was an unexpectedly eventful day for us. Michael left for work around 10:30am or so.  At 11:45am as Ryker and I rocked in the rocking chair prior to his nap time, I received a call from Michael’s cell phone, though it wasn’t Michael calling. The voice on the other end introduced himself as a fireman and told me that Michael had been in a collision and that he was okay, but were taking him to the hospital.  I asked which hospital and where the accident had taken place.  He told me that they were taking him to Scottsdale Healthcare (nearly 40 miles away from our home) and that the accident happened at the intersection of Ocotillo Rd. & Sossaman in Queen Creek – just 15 min. away from home.

After I hung up the phone, I called Michael’s parents to let them know what was going on; I also called my mom to ask her if I could drop off the kids to her house and then I also called Michael’s work to let them know they would need to find someone to cover for him. Then I packed up Ryker and his diaper bag and went to check the kids out of school so I could drop them off at my parent’s house in Mesa on the way to the hospital. The kids were surprised for being unexpectedly picked up early from school and when they came up to the school’s front office, asked me why they were leaving.  I told them their dad was in a car accident, but that he was okay, and that they were going to Grandma’s while I went to the hospital.  They were immediately concerned and worried but I assured them Dad was okay.

I don’t remember exactly what time I got to the hospital but Michael’s parents were already there as was my dad who had left work early to see if he could assist in giving Michael a blessing.  Michael’s parents had also called one of Michael’s brothers, so Kevin was there too.  I had come down with a fever, chills and horrible cough two days prior, so I really wasn’t feeling well when I showed up and tried really hard not to cough too much so that I wouldn’t get thrown out of the ER, ha, ha.  :)  When I got back to where he was, he really looked like he was hurting pretty bad.  He had had x-rays done and thankfully he had no broken bones.  We tried to help him sit up at the edge of the bed, but he was really nauseated and had to lay back down.  But you know the hospital- they have drugs for everything and they gave him some great stuff to make the nausea go away.  Still, the poor guy could hardly move.

I asked him what had happened and he told me that he was traveling west on Ocotillo Rd. and at the intersection of Sossamon, a car in the left turn lane just slightly ahead of him preparing to turn left (south) suddenly swerved just as he  entered the intersection on a green light, and then all he saw was a flash of red from a red northbound Ford Expedition.  He said it happened so fast he didn’t have time to react and the next thing he knew he and his car were spinning around 3 or 4 times.  The Ford truck was traveling about 50 mph and the distracted driver ran a red light at the intersection he apparently didn’t know he had even entered. Michael said he thought he sat in his car for only a few minutes before paramedics arrived.  They pried the door off to get him out and performed some preliminary tests on him.  They thought he had some internal bleeding so they airlifted him to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborne.  Yeah, that’s right.  He got a nice little helicopter ride. But he didn’t get to enjoy the view out the window since he was strapped down to a stretcher.  Bummer.  Anyway, once he got to the hospital and gave him a good looking over, they found there was no internal bleeding or broken bones.  What a blessing.  Unfortunately he was still in a lot of pain.

A while after the anti-nausea meds kicked in, we wrapped up paperwork with the hospital and Michael’s dad wheeled him out in a wheelchair while I pulled my car around to the ER entrance. On the long drive back we had to stop at the Queen Creek Sheriff’s Office substation, as a police officer had called and said he had Michael’s wallet. The officer told us the driver of the red Ford was on his way to a doctor’s appointment for pinkeye treatment.  Not only that but the guy was driving his father’s new 2013 Ford Expedition and was getting married that evening.  The driver sustained only minor injuries.  I do hope he was able to go on with his wedding that night, but how unfortunate to have pinkeye and then get in an accident just a few hours before tying the knot.  I do feel bad for that poor guy.

Unfortunately for us Michael’s car was totaled. Ugh. Just what we need right now. I forgot to add gap insurance back on to his car when I refinanced it a few months ago, so we’ll be paying about $2K negative equity on a dead car after the insurance payment kicks in.  That stinks!  He is currently undergoing physical therapy which he is supposed to do for about 12 weeks. That’s a major difficulty with his work schedule right now. He works 6am to 9pm Saturday through Tuesday, and 11am or noon to about 9pm the rest of the week.  So his few free hours he would normally spend at home he now has to spend at physical therapy.  Good times.  Not.

I will say we are so blessed that he is alive and okay.  The accident could have been so much worse. The doctor at physical therapy told Michael that on a scale of 1 to 10, 1- him having a normal spine and 10- his spine being snapped in half, he was about an 8-1/2.  Referring to a swollen spot near the top of Michael’s spine, the doctor said that if his spine would have snapped at that point, his esophagus would have gone too and he would have died. He said, “So I can tell you why you’re in a lot of pain and that it was a bad accident.”  Truly we were watched over and blessed, and for that I am thankful.

Catching up on Summer – June

June 25, 2011 (Sat.) – Castlegate Community Splash Party and Grandma McDowell’s Birthday at the Circus!

Cousins Connor & Korynn spent the night at our house since their parents (Kevin & Kristen) were up in Flagstaff.  Perfect timing since our community was having a splash party that day AND we were going to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for Grandma McDowell’s birthday!  Much more fun than just hanging out at our house!  :)

Merik sliding, Anlie in the pool, cousin Connor (red/white/blue swim trunks) going up

Cousin Korynn and Maille run down the slip 'n slide

Camby & cousin Connor on the way to the circus - all tuckered out from the splash party

On the way to the cirucs - most of the kids are worn out from the splash party!

Grandpa McDowell holding cousin Henry, and Anlie, G-ma McDowell, Maille, and cousin Korynn

The pre-show at the circus

The pre-show at the circus

The pre-show at the circus; fun watching the elephant paint!

A view of the show from our seats

 June 23, 2011 (Thu.) – Swim Meet: Butterfly

Due to our family campout, Camby missed the backstroke meet, so his 2nd meet was actually butterfly. I had Stake Sisters Temple Night to go to, so Michael took Camby and the kids to the meet.  On my way to the Temple, I text Michael to tell him to record the meet for me.  I couldn’t have timed my text message more badly… Michael was trying to start recording Camby swimming but my message interrupted it.  Dang!  I was so annoyed with myself.  Camby won first place in butterfly!  He was SO happy with himself. We were so happy for him since he was so bummed with his last meet.  His relay team got 6th place.

Camby holding his 1st and 6th place ribbons from the butterfly meet

Camby holding his 1st and 6th place ribbons from the butterfly meet

June 20, 2011 (Mon.) – Anlie’s 4th Birthday and New Church Callings

I can’t believe my baby is 4 years old!!  And to make her seem even more grown up, Michael and I got her a “big girl” bike for her birthday!  She was the only one in our family who didn’t have a 2-wheeled bike (well, we’re not counting training wheels here.)  :)  Not anymore!  She is now the proud owner of cute pink bike with a baby doll seat.  I looked all over for that bike and finally found it.  I knew she would have so much fun riding her bike with her Lalaloopsy dolls strapped in behind her.  We had lots of family over to help celebrate and Anlie got everything she wanted plus tons more.  She got some really cute stuff from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins (and Mom & Dad, of course!)  She was one happy birthday girl.  Below are some photos from her party.

Anlie with her Strawberry Shortcake birthday cake

Family enjoying b-day cake & ice cream

Anlie opening presents

Anlie & Daddy posing with Anlie's new bike

Anlie riding her new bike... in the house :)

Merik finishing off the rest of the ice cream!

After the party was over, the kids wanted to “race” Grandma and Grandpa McDowell as they drove away down the street.  Anlie opted to ride her bike instead of run with the other kids (smart girl!)  As Michael and I followed behind her, Bishop White drove by (he lives on our street) and mentioned he wanted to stop by our house soon (around 9:00 p.m.)  Well, everyone knows that only means trouble.  :)  Our ward boundary realignment was announced at a special stake meeting the day before on Father’s Day, June 19th.  Subsequently, our ward underwent many new changes since we lost half of our “original” ward and gained half of another (part of the former Sierra Ranch ward which Timothy & Kristy lived in before they moved to Idaho.)   I was currently serving as the secretary in Relief Society, and due to the fact our Relief Society president was due to have her baby any time and that we lost our two counselors to the other ward with the realignment, I figured it would be a possibility that I would be released if they decided to call a new Relief Society president. Anyway, Bishop White came over and as he started to tell me I was going to be asked to accept a new calling, I started thinking he would maybe call me to play the piano or the organ (it was understood we now had a shortage of piano players in our ward) or maybe put me in nursery or Primary.  I was good with any of those and was excited at the prospect of having a little more spare time on my hands.  But he asked me to serve as Young Women’s president.  Huh?  Okay – the last I served in Young Women’s was in the year 2000… just after I got married. I knew practically nothing about the program.  Ha.  Well, um, okay.  So I had a LOT of ramping up to do; a lot of reading.  The Young Women’s program has changed so much in the last 11 years!!  And now I have even less spare time than I did before.  But I will say that I am loving it.  I just love those girls to pieces – they are absolutely wonderful.

On the downside, Michael had to be released from his calling in Young Men’s since I was going to be in Young Women’s (Bishop’s policy).  Michael was so disappointed.  He loved working with the young men and had really started getting the Venture Scouting program into gear.  I know he put so much time and effort into his calling and truely loved it, so it made me so sad that he had to be released due to my calling.  However, Michael was then called to teach Gospel Doctrine.  It has been so fun for me to hear his excitement as he shares with me the really interesting things he learns during his course of study for his lesson.  I love it!  And I know this is exactly what he needs to be doing right now.  :)

Jun 14 – 17, 2011 (Tue. – Fri.) – McDowell Family Campout

We managed to cram in a campout with my parents and siblings’ families (well, all except for Timothy & Kristy’s family.)  We camped at Airplane Flat campground, a site a little southeast of Christopher Creek. As soon as we reached the bottom of the canyon where we were planning to camp, Maille threw up in the car.  Yea.  She get car sick on trips so we figured that’s what it was, but we soon found out it was some sort of “bug” she had.   She and Merik threw up 3 out of the 4 days we camped.  I had lots of fun boiling water to wash out the unfortunate items in the line “fire”. But Maille and Merik were really good sports and still managed to enjoy themselves.  Their throw-up sessions were not very frequent, so that was a major plus if there was one.  :)  I must say that the fire restriction was a bummer (weird camping without a campfire), but it was still fun and propane became our best friend.  Well, next to the skunk that frequented our camp.  He actually gave me a lovely scare in the middle of the night along with some all-natural skunk air freshener. But that’s another story.  We had tons of fun playing frisbee golf, playing in the creek, and feeding the trout at the fish hatchery. Which reminds me… Maille threw up about 8 feet away from the door at the fish hatchery.  Ha, ha.  We used bottles of water to clean it up.  Poor thing!  I know it wasn’t fun for her, but we the rest of us were laughing.  :)  Hey – she felt much better the rest of the time we were there!

Camby (buried in his bag in the back), Maille, & Anlie sleeping

Anlie & Merik

Camby fishing

Maile fishing, Michael "supervising" :)

Anlie was upset about something... can't remember what :)

Anlie and her newly found beatle pet "Strawberry"

Anlie & "Strawberry"... who looks more like a "Blueberry" to me :)

June 9, 2011 (Thu.) – Swim Meet: Freestyle

Camby started swim team (Carson Cudas)for the first time this year. He did better than I thought he would for it being his first year.  He qualified to be in the relay for the “A” team.  At practice the day of the meet, the coaches were using Sharpie marker to number the arms of the kids who were swimming relay.  The coach went to mark Camby’s arm and Camby hollered, “You can’t do that!  I’m Mormon – and that’s like a tattoo!”  Yeah… and the coach had a tattoo above her ankle.  Niiice.  She came up to me and asked if she could write on Camby’s arm.  I said it was fine and then she laughingly told me what he had said.  Oh, brother.  At least he’s not afraid to stand up for what he believes in!  :)

Camby was pretty disappointed with how he did in the meet.  After he dove in, his goggles came loose and let in a bunch of water.  Michael and I could tell something was up and we were trying to figure out why he wasn’t swimming like he normally did.  Well, that was why!  He placed 8th and he was pretty upset.  And to add insult to injury, the ribbon was pink.  :)  He wadded it up.  In relay his team didn’t fare too much better – they were 6th; but at least the ribbon was orange!  That one was saved from the crumble! I suggested to Michael that he take Camby out for frozen yogurt afterward to cheer him up.  He agreed and the two of them went to Sweetie Peaz after dropping me and the kids off at home.  But I must say Camby did much better at the butterfly meet!

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day was a very nice day.  For me, it began at 7:00am with Michael and the kids bringing me a pancake breakfast in bed!  Apparently my kids made their “secret plan” with Michael ahead of time and then drug drug him out of bed early in the morning to help them (I think this is the 2nd  year in a row).  :)  They’re so cute!

Camby made a cute recipe/card holder at scouts the Thursday prior and had it wrapped neatly in tissue paper.  Merik made a cute card at preschool that same day and I got quite a kick out of it (you’ll see below), and Maille and Anlie both made cards for me while they stayed at my mom’s Friday while she watched them during my hair appointment.  Michael of course gave me a card as well as a group one from the kids.  I got my Mother’s Day gifts from him early this time since he knew I wouldn’t want to wait.  :)  He knows me so well!  I got to finally upgrade my old LG EnvTouch phone to a Droid X a few weeks ago – something I am extremely happy to finally have!  He was also really sweet to replace my slightly expensive Chi flat iron that has an electrical issue.  I have to tap it or slide the temp switch up and down to get it to stay on! It drove me crazy!  Sometimes the practical gifts are exactly what we moms need and really appreciate!

That evening we went to my mom’s for dinner and got to talk to my brother Gregory on the phone; he called from his mission in Mexico.  All in all it was a very nice day!