Thursday, May 21, 2015

For anyone interested I have a new blog, which is a medical blog. If you were interested in the immunization blog post from a few years back then I hope you'll enjoy this! I'd love to hear your comments and for you to fill out the survey. Thanks!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Remembering the Small and Simple Things

This week has been HARD!  I am not gonna lie!  Kyle has been home sick all week and i have had to do everything all on my own.  ALL  WEEK LONG!  My poor love has had a really bad sinus cold and he just cant function.  Poor guy.   So, this week has been crazy.  I have felt very stressed out, very impatient, overwhelmed and I have cried a couple of times.  But now as I sit here and think back to my week and what happened, I cant help but smile.  I smile because i think of the wonderful little things that have happened, and as I add up all my wonderful little moments, I realize that my hard week hasn't really been that hard.  A scripture comes to my mind:

Alma 37:6
by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.

Today I am grateful for all the small and simple things that have happened this week.

1.  The trees are beginning to bloom and it is just beautiful here in Nanaimo.  I am glad I live in this beautiful world, Heavenly Father created for me.

2.  I was able to go to my favourite place on earth... Westwood lake!  And I was able to go twice!  I am grateful for this beautiful weather and this beautiful walk and I was able to go with my beautiful and wonderful friends.   The kids did sooo well.  They were all happy the whole time!  Yay!!!  That doesnt happen very often, but this week it did!  I am grateful that Kate has these 2 little friends.  They all get alog so well!

3.  This is the very first time that I have ever seen Madelynne jump rope with friends.  It was so fun and wonderful to watch.  When I was little I use to love skipping and it is so fun to see that my baby loves doing it too!  She was so good at it aswell!  Oh Mady, I am so proud of you!  You are amazing.  I love watching you learn and grow and try new things.  You amaze me everyday at how kind, loving and talented you are!  You are growing up way too fast!  Please be my baby forever!

4.  This week Kate got invited to her 2nd birthday party ever!  She was so excited to go!  And what made it even more special was that it was a party for Mady's close friend Zoe Zollinger, who we all love soooo much, who turned 8.  She insisted that Kate came to.  She said she loves Kate and thinks she is so sweet and kind.  This sweet gesture made Kate and her mommy feel very loved!  Look at this girl, isnt she beautiful!!!!

5.  We had a lot of fun playing at the park.  Noah is such a good big brother!

6.  Recently we watch a cute little episode from Sofia the first and it had the most darling song on it.  This week Kate has been singing this song to me non stop.  It is soooo adorable!  I can't get enough of it!  It is called Two by two from Sofia the First!

7. I love my famiy.  They bring so much joy into my life.  I am grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed me with these precious children and a loving husband.  

Life can be so hard at times and this week definitely was a struggle but then as I sit back and look at these pictures and remember this week, I can recall the small and simple things.  And you know what, the small and simple things is what made this week great and wonderful! 

Today I am remembering the small and simple, because by small and simple things great things come to pass... and this week was a pretty great week!

love always,  


Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Tender Mercy

Today I am writing as though this is my journal.  I think that is what I have a desire to start doing.  I want to start a private blog for myself, and when the time comes for my posterity.  I was talking to one of my most favourite persons in the whole wide world.  Someone who i love and admire and look up to with the upmost respect, my grandmother, Shirley Mae Johnston.  Oh I love her dearly.  She was telling me that she is going back to her handwriiten journals and putting them into her computer.  And after our conversation about journal writing, I have had a desire to start writing in my journal.  I want to write about my faith about my happy times and my sad times.  I want to write about the loves of my life, my family, who I love more then anything in this world and would do anything for.  I want to write about my experiences and the joy and happiness and peace I feel everyday.  I want to remember the little things that are happening in my life right now, the precious moments I am getting with my children.  I want to remember all the good and I want an outlet for all the hard times I go through.  I love my life and I am so grateful for everything I have been blessed with.  I am so grateful for all my blessing.
 Today I want to tell you of my tender mercy.
1.  My love, Kyle

Today I am very grateful for this man.  I have been having a hard time being patient lately... like i have no patience... not even joking, none at all, and this wonderful man recognized that I was at the end of my rope and while i was doing dishes and crying, he came and lovingly stopped what i was doing, brought me to my bedroom, put me in bed, gave me my phone, and computer and just hugged me and told me he loved me and to rest for the rest of the night.  It was 5:45 and he put me to bed.  It was a tender mercy and something that I needed so much.  I am grateful to kyle for recognizing that I was weak and that I needed him to help me and strengthen me.  I am so grateful that last night he was compassionate and loving and helped me through my hard night.  Thank you Kyle for being my angel today.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Noah's Angry Bird 4th Birthday Party

So Pam and I have been wanting to post pictures of the idea we came up with for Noah's fourth birthday. We asked Noah what kind of cake he wanted and he was adamant that he wanted an Angry Bird Cake. We also thought it would be fun to have a scavenger hunt and so we brain stormed for ideas of what we could do. Here is what we came up with. When Noah and the other kids woke up in the morning all of Noah's presents were wrapped and laid out in the family room. After a little bit of fondling we had some breakfast and got read to go to the spray park. Once the kids were all in the van ready to go. I ran back inside and took away all of Noah's presents and replaced them with a note that Pam had prepared:

I'll explain the note and other preparations we made before we left for the spray park but first here are some pictures of a great morning we had at the departure bay spray park


The birthday boy
Gaby and Olivia sound asleep at the park
So after spending the morning at the park Noah was excited to go home and open up his presents. He ran in the house and found the above note. This was the start of the scavenger hunt, which lead to cup towers (picture below on the left). These had been placed in and around the house (out of the wind!!) with more clue behind them. So before we started the scavenger hunt we told Noah to come to our bedroom, where we had planted three present eggs (Pictured below on the right). We put these out while the kids were out in the vehicle (don't worry an adult was in the vehicle with them!).

The note with the egg presents

These eggs contained three (as we had three kids participating) plush angry bird toys, which we had gotten Noah for his birthday (we were just going to use random balls but got these on sale). We sat the kids in a circle to open the egg presents one at a time. We turned on fun kids music. Each time the music stopped the child had to pass the egg to the right.  

If you look at the above picture of the cup tower you'll notice that we tapped pictures of pigs to some of the cups in the tower. We got these pictures of angry bird characters from a dollar store colouring book. We coloured and cut out the characters. I guess we could have used stickers as well.
Back to the scavenger hunt! So behind each tower was another note with another clue, which they could only access after knocking the tower down with their plush toys. This lead us around the property until we got to the last cup tower in the basement that was extra large and had the presents behind it. They knocked this down and then Noah opened his reclaimed presents.

Finding another clue in Mady's room

Noah really wanted the cake to be an angry bird cake, but then at the last minute a day before the party after everything was in place he wanted an orca cake. Pam made this delicious cake that was a big hit!

All in all it was a really fun day. It took a few hours of prep and the cups, wrapping paper and almost everything else we were able to get at the dollar store. Noah still talks about how fun it was... I think Pam and I had more fun planning everything though!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My Response to Childhood Vaccinations

So I've hijacked my wife's outdated blog to respond to a comment made by a friend about vaccinating children. I posted a link on my facebook account to an article ( and in response to this he stated the following:

"We haven't and won't vaccinate our kids, even though I would like to, simply because of all the combination vaccines and the adjuvants (like aluminium) and preservatives (like thimerosal). When BT was born I tried to get single dose vaccines and even contacted manufactures, but I kept getting laughed at. I am terrified that my kids might contract a disease preventable by vaccines and am also terrified that they could be carriers, but after years of research, this decision made the most sense to us. If I could do my PhD over again I would do it in biochemistry and start manufacturing safer more socially (less fiscally) responsible vaccines, because I do believe they work. Also, I didn't like the bluntmoms article you posted, it is written by a bully who uses scare tactics and not science to back up her argument. It took me nearly two hours to read all the comments and as a doctor you know how personal people take this issue. I do love reading the current research on this issue so please post some quality, scientific links on here so we can be educated and not scared into making informed decisions."

So here is my response... I've put it here instead of on facebook just because it would have been the longest post ever.

I understand your frustration. This is a hot topic and there is so much out there that it is so easy to get bogged down with conflicting information. Firstly, why did I post a link to that blog? Obviously there is more then one way to present information/opinion. Depending on the person, the most effective way to get your point across will depend on whom you are talking to. In my experience there are three key ways in which we try to convey opinion:
1. Emotionally
2. Anecdotally
3. Scientifically
To explain this by example, the blog post I shared by the 'blunt mom' was an emotional argument. Although she did share some credible facts, her conclusion was based on guilt. 'I vaccinate my kids so you don't have to'. The anecdotal argument is 'my friend's child was vaccinated and then got really sick, so vaccines are bad' (The Jenny McCarthy approach). Both these methods are flawed, however they can still be extremely compelling in swaying public opinion. Finally there is a scientific argument founded on evidence-based medicine. Evidence-based medicine is a term used in medicine to describe research void of bias and emotion and rooted in LARGE sample randomized controlled trials combined for analysis and peer reviewed. When studies go through this difficult and rigorous format they are no longer opinion or well founded hypotheses. They are medical facts (e.g. MMR vaccine is not associated with autism). So back to why I posted the article when I've just stated that it is not evidence based. As I’ve already alluded to, just like we can present information in different ways, we also accept information in different ways. Many times when seeing parents who do not vaccinate their children in clinic they do not respond to scientific fact. Sometimes I have offered copies of published peer reviewed, evidenced-based research and attempted to share it. In my limited experience the majority ignore the evidence and are not even interested in taking a copy of the paper home to review on their own time. I've had parents site articles from researchers who draw conclusions from studies with six participants as fact, or mention a blog from a non-medical, non-expert but well articulated person as a reference. Basically some people don't respond to well founded evidence, but do much better with emotional/anecdotal arguments, so I shared such a blog post in the attempt that it could possibly effect someone in a way that, for whatever reason, evidence-based medicine just doesn't.

Now to your concerns. I'm the first to say that I don't have all the answers and I don't think the medical community at large has all the answers. There are still numerous studies and research that needs to be done. Heck we have been working on perfecting vaccines for over 60 years. There are valid concerns, which I will mention shortly, and there are celebrity/conspiracy theorists fuelled concerns, which have been proven to be false... autism! Lets talk about adjuvants, meaning agents that enhance the effect of the vaccine to cause immunity. You mentioned aluminum, but there are others as well. Recently there have been significant post marketing and/or case reports linking (notice I didn't say causing) adjuvants like aluminum and Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). GBS is a neurologic syndrome causing inflammatory neuropathy with progressive muscle weakness, which can lead to respiratory failure. Well crap, I hear that and say I am not vaccinating my child. What parent guardian would hear that and not cancel tomorrow’s vaccination appointment? What people don't look at is the incidence in these case reports. You see by law all cases of adverse events must be reported, even if there is uncertainty whether an adverse event is caused by the vaccine (just because B happens soon after A, does not mean that A caused B). So how many cases of GBS were seen? 77 cases in over 23 million vaccinations. After statistical analysis was applied to this there was shown to be an increase in 1.6 cases of GBS per 1,000,000 vaccinations. To put that in perspective if you vaccinated everyone in the province of Saskatchewan, 1 or 2 people would possible develop GBS. That is a very low risk. Now switching gears lets look at the history of Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib), whose vaccine contains adjuvants including aluminum. In 1985 1 in every 300 Canadian children under the age of 5 developed meningitis or other severe Hib infections. To put that in perspective, if we took the whole population of Saskatchewan again, 3333 people would have a life threatening meningitic infection or other serious Hib infection. Now, that number is relatively low as well, but still much more likely... exponentially more likely. By 1996 in Canada there were only 8 cases of meningitic Hib infections because a vaccine was created. That is why most non-immunized children are safe from this bacteria. It has been almost eradicated from the western world. Now if you feel that 'herd immunity' keeps your child safe and so you will not vaccinate him/her, then that is a whole other ethical dilemma, which I don't have the desire nor time to cover. I will say this though, if that is anyone’s reason then in my opinion they are ethically irresponsible and selfish.

In summary I think the other article I posted on facebook ( sums up the argument I'm trying to make very clearly when the father of the boy stated "The mistake that we made was that we underestimated the diseases and we totally over-estimated the adverse reactions [to vaccines]". I don't think you are unfounded in worrying about adjuvants or preservatives. More research is being done and will continue to be done, especially when we as people voice our concerns, which you are, but in the last 60 plus years there has been millions of lives saved because of vaccinations and adverse outcomes are one in a million.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I remember being a little kid and dreaming of my first kiss, and going into highschool and going to my highschool grad, going to college, getting married, having my first child, and then, to be honest, i never thought of anything further. I never thought about taking care of my kids. I never thought about the years after being married, or about cooking dinner every night, and I never, ever thought about turning 30!
But here i am, 30 years old and looking at my life and realizing that, as my grandma says, "my life is just beginning" and I have so-o much to be grateful for and I have so-o much to look forward to.

Things I am grateful for

1. I am grateful for my dear sweet princess, who brightens my day with her giggles, songs, hugs and kisses.

2. I am grateful for my little Noah who is a momma's boy and best little cuddler

3. I am grateful for my husband who supports me, loves me and is so-o dedicated to me and our family.

aww, that was us, a little over 4 years ago!

4. My mom and dad who love me and would do anything for me!

5. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that I know that i have a Heavenly Father who loves me and a Saviour who dedicated His life in showing me how to live, act, love, and how to return home once again. I love my Saviour and I trust in Him daily. I know that as we are obedient and faithful to the gospel we will recieve much joy. I know this because I have recieved so much joy in this life already, and I am only 30!

Things that I am looking forward to:

1. Being done medical school!!!!!
2. Buying our first home!!!!!
3. Taking a photography class
4. Taking a photoshop class.
5. Learning how to sew.
6. loving to run again.
7. Seeing Noah walk
8. Serving a mission with my husband
9. Watching Noah serve a mission
10. Being in the temple with all my children
11. Watching movies and eating popcorn with my children.
12. watching Mady in swimmimg lessons, and ballet lesson
13. going on bike rides with my family
14. having fun conversations with Mady and Noah
15. Living close to family again!!!
16. learning more about President Hinckly
17. Learning more and gaining a greater testimony of my Saviour
18. Learning lots of easy crockpot meals
19. loving to cook
20. loving to clean
(i am a little doubtful of the last 2 things!)

So, even though I am 30, I have so much to look forward to. I am excited for all the fun times I have a head. I am excited for the ups and downs, for the trials and tribulations. I am excited for the fights that Kyle and I will get in and I am excited to make up with him and grow stronger. I am excited to learn and grow. I know that as long as I have my family and the gospel, i can get through anything. I am excited to keep on trying to be a mother who is dedicated to her family and the Lord. I know that as I do this, my family we grow in love and faith. I am excited for who i am and that I have the chance to learn more and grow more daily! I am so-o excited to be 30!

My life truly is just beginning!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Year 1 down

Only three years left in Medical school and then Kyle is in Residency! How exciting! What a wonderful, fun, stressful, crazy and amazing year we had. I am so-o grateful for the amazing man that Kyle is. I thought that this last year was going to be so-o hard and I would never see him, and trust me some days were harder than others but when those days came I had an amazing husband who was always there for me and the kids. Kyle is amazing. I am married to a man who is so-o dedicated to his family and puts us number 1 at all times. Aren't I lucky? I love him!