Friday, December 19, 2008

She's growing up

Tomorrow Ella turns 7 years old! We have lots going on tomorrow and I know I won't have time to post, so I thought I would today.

We love our Ella girl. I feel so blessed that I get to experience the joys of having a daughter. I hope that we always stay close. She's such a sweet girl. She likes to make others happy and tries to do what is right. She has been such a big helper with Baby Cole these last few months. Ella has always carried a quiet peace with her that she has often times passed on to me when I've needed it. She was the EASIEST baby ever (I hope that her teenage years are easy also). I was looking at pictures of her from last year and wow, she's matured. Not just in size, but her face looks older too. Losing your baby teeth will do that to you I guess. She's also slowly overcoming her shyness.

We think she's just beautiful (on the inside and out)! We love you so much Ella!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Found but Lost

This is going to be kind of a long and sad post. As most of you know, I have never known my dad. The above two pictures are the only ones I have of him. I was 12 days old in the pictures. Through the years I have thought a lot about him. My mom never talked about him much. All I have ever known is that he and my mom met on the beach and were never married. He had some problems with drug abuse and that is the reason my mom gave for them separating. Over the years I have looked in California phone books online to try and find him. Turns out there are a lot of men named Robert Griggs. I didn't really know what else to do. I was also afraid of what I might find. In my heart I knew he'd be gone (as in passed away). I don't know why I felt this way, but for as long as I can remember I've known he was no longer with us. I recently found out that my feelings were correct and I am heart broken. It's strange how you can miss someone and something you've never even known and feel so much sorrow over it. I haven't talked about this much and not a lot of people know, but I think it will help me to share.

Not too long ago I googled my name just for fun. I thought for sure our blog would come up, which it did. Something else also came up that caught my eye. It was my maiden name on a website called Zaba Search. I had never heard of this website before, but apparently people can post messages in hopes that someone they are looking for will read it. Someone was looking for a Dalana Griggs whose mom's name was Donna. The message said that Donna was with a man named Robert in the 70's and they had a daughter together. The person who wrote the message referred to Robert (or Bobby as he was called) as their brother. They included in the message that their brother had since passed away, and that's how I learned.

With a name as different as mine and with all the other names correct, I knew I was the Dalana they were looking for. I felt so many emotions all at once. Mostly sadness that I'd never get the chance to know my father in this life, but also excitement for the chance to make contact with some of my family I've never known on that side. I also felt loved because someone from his side of the family remembered that I existed and still thought of me and cared enough to find me. It would have been neat if that person would have been my dad, but I'm grateful anyway.

I posted a message back for this person (my dad's sibling) and it turns out it was a younger half brother of his. We emailed back and forth and just this last week we talked on the phone. My emotions have been all over the place. It's kind of hard to sort through it all and to know exactly what to make of it. My dad died about 10 years ago of heart and drug related problems. He was never fully able to remain clean. From what I understand, he would do good for a while and then return to drugs and alcohol. Kind of sad that in the end that is what took his life. He struggled with his addictions his whole life basically. He did marry twice and ended up having two more children. I have two brothers, one named Bobby Jr. and another named Pier. One of the boys' mothers was Hispanic and the other ones mother was from Central America. They both live in California and are somewhere around 18 and 21 years old. This uncle I've been talking with (Steve) has tried to keep in contact with them, but has lost track. It's strange to think I have 2 brothers out there somewhere. I wonder if we look alike and if we are the same at all? My dad's mother and father have both passed too, along with a half sister. There's another half brother of his still living and a few cousins from what I understand. Kind of sad, but his sister passed of drug related problems also and his mother (my paternal grandmother) passed away of lung problems from a life time of smoking. I am so grateful the gospel came into my life as a teenager and steered me away from these behaviors. With my family history, I'm genetically predisposed to having addictions to those kinds of things. Even if I only had tried them once, I could have been hooked. Scary.

I could go on and on about my feelings and the things I've found out from talking to Steve about my dad and their side of the family. Even though he's not living anymore, my love for him has increased the more I've learned about him. It's made me mourn more for the dad I never had the chance to know and the relationship we never had. Just for fun, here are a few random things I've found out about him.
~ His hair was naturally as curly as the above pictures show (that's not a perm)! I only got an annoying wave and frizziness.
~He was quite athletic in track and field and in football he was a good kicker and kicked the best bare footed. Again, I got none of the athleticism.
~He served in the military.
~He worked in a machine shop and learned to be a good machinist.
~He was a staight A student.
~His mother had him when she was only 14 or 15 years old. From what I understand, her brother served in the war and came home for a visit and brought a friend along. She got pregnant by the friend during that visit. Some wanted her to give the baby up for adoption. She didn't, and never heard from the guy again. My dad never had a relationship with his own father to pattern that kind of a relationship after.
~We look alike and even my kids look like him. I emailed Steve some of our family pictures and he said he couldn't get over how much we looked alike. He called his family in to take a look and they all agreed that I looked like him all right. He said even my kids have his features. Kind of weird that someone we don't even know is such a part of us.

Sounds like a good guy with some serious struggles. I'm grateful that one day I'll have the chance to get to know him and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm grateful for two amazing fathers for my children. I'm grateful for George Parker and the good father figure he was for me during my teenage years. I'm grateful for two honorable father in laws who I couldn't love more. I'm grateful for this new found uncle and for his efforts and interest in trying to find me. When I asked him what he thought made him want to keep in touch, he just said he's always wondered why some families don't stay close. I look forward to keeping in touch with him. Most of all, I'm grateful for a Heavenly Father who has always been there for me and for the opportunity I have had to form a relationship with him. I know that he has never lost track of me nor will he.


About 7 months pregnant with Cole I started to have some pain from my bottom wisdom teeth trying to come through. I went to the dentist and was told they needed to come out, but I'd have to wait until I had the baby. It's been pretty miserable! Who has problem with their wisdom teeth in their 30's? I thought they were supposed to come in during the teen years. I have been really dreading having it done because they told me I needed to go an oral surgeon and be put to sleep to have them out. I have never been put to sleep before, and it has been one of my biggest fears. The pain finally got the best of me, and I made the appointment to have it done anyway.

Friday was the day and I am happy to say that I survived and just 2 days later am doing well enough to blog about it. It has been pretty uncomfortable and 800 mg of Ibuprofen has been my best friend, but it is still not as bad as I had expected it to be. The anestetic didn't even make me too loopy afterwards, so I don't have any funny stories to share. I have some of the good drugs for the pain, but am too chicken to take them for fear they will make me crazy. It hurts to open my mouth and my face hurts to the touch. My cheeks are pretty swollen, but not as bad as the above picture. Mark thought it would be funny to do some photo shopping there.

A big thanks to Brian and Kamber who watched Seth for us and brought us over some chicken potato soup on Friday night. Kamber even took the time to puree some of it for me. How nice is that!? Thanks also to Mom Bishop who brought over some delicious chicken noodle soup the next day. I'm pretty spoiled I guess. Both soups were just what the doctor ordered! And of course, thanks to Mark for taking the day off work and for faithfully bringing me ice packs and taking such good care of Cole too.

I am so glad it's over and look forward to a healed and pain free mouth just in time for Thanksgiving. You'd think I might have lost some weight with it hurting so much to eat for the last several months, but no such luck.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cole's Blessing

I crocheted this blanket for him to use on his blessing day.

Cole in his white blessing shirt and khakis.

I think this is a pretty sweet picture.

The men who stood in the circle (minus Gary Gunnerson).

What would you say the frosting decoration to the left of the wording was? Booties, of course! I got teased a bit by some who didn't think they looked much like baby booties (my only other option was a stork).

On Sunday Cole was 2 months old. I can hardly believe it! We were also able to bless him. It was a very nice day for us. Those that attended were Mom and Dad Bishop, Reed & Alysa Bishop, Brian, Kamber, Samantha and Spencer Bishop, George and RaNae Parker, Rhonda Parker and her girls Camille, Aubrey, Alicia and Meredith, my mom Donna and her friend Jeff, and Gary Gunnerson (Dorothy was really sick). Mark gave Cole a really sweet blessing and we had a nice testimony meeting. Cooper bore his testimony for the first time. We were really proud of him. Mark and I also bore our testimonies. It was so nice to have our family there with us. Mark's family stayed with us for all of our meetings and then we went home and had some lunch together. The Parkers were also there for the lunch. It meant a lot to have them with us for the special day (thank you for driving down George and RaNae). It was a great day and we had fun welcoming baby Cole.

Halloween 2008

The group (minus Spencer) at Grandpa and Grandma Bishops.

Out trick or treating (doesn't Ella look crazy w/ black hair)?

These days this is how most pictures I try to take of all the kids together turns out.

Our cutie dinosaur.

I'd feel like a bad mom if I didn't post a picture of our kids on Halloween. Like so many others, I am not a fan of Halloween. It always seems like more trouble than it's worth. I actually found some really inexpensive costumes this year, so that made me happy. This was John's first year not dressing up. He really still wanted to, but we told him 13 was too old. He did get to go to his first dance/social at school and loved it. One girl asked him to dance and he said he had to go to the bathroom. How funny is that?! He mostly hung out with his friend Spencer. Anyway, Cooper was a Karate guy (the outfit was $1.50 from Savers), Seth was some type of dinosaur(I'd got him a used Lion costume from Other Mothers, but he found this old one of Cooper's and liked it better), Ella was a witch (which worked well w/ her present teeth situation) and little Cole just wore a Halloween pant and shirt set that said "Daddy's little Monster" on it.

Our ward didn't have a Trunk or Treat, so we went around our neighborhood and then went over to trick or treat at Mom and Dad Bishop's house and that was about it. The kids seemed pleased enough. Glad it's over for another year and we can move on to Fall and the beginning of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here are a few pics.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Kind of a funny picture of John from Scout Camp this summer!

Where has the time gone?!?! Today our oldest boy is 13 years old! It seems like just yesterday I was bringing him home from the hospital, I remember it so well. Sometimes I feel bad for the oldest child of a family. You learn and experiment on how to be a parent with them. Hopefully I haven't scarred John too badly with my mistakes. He's been a wonderful son and I'm grateful for the genuinely good boy that he is. I'm a lucky mom, that's for sure. John is such a great example to the other children (and his parents), especially when it comes to trying to do what is right and being a diligent church member. I hope he always stays this way.

To celebrate, John is having some friends over tomorrow night for a "late over" (where the friends don't sleep over, but their parents pick them up at 10 or 11.) Mark is going to take the boys to the Haunted World. Then on Saturday and Sunday we have some family parties lined up. Should be a fun weekend for him.

Happy Birthday John! We appreciate all you do and are very proud of you. We love you so much!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Goodbye Snagletooth Ella

Here she is. It sure makes her look older and tags her as a definite 1st grader.

She had her hair in braids so it would be wavy the next day.

Ella has had this top tooth that's been loose for a long time but just wouldn't fall out. Half of the time it stuck out much farther than her other front tooth and looked so ridiculous. She wouldn't let us pull it either. I should have got a picture of it. On Sunday, Cooper was rough housing with her and knocked it out. She wasn't hurt at all, so it was actually a good thing. She is very proud that she can still say the word "syrup" (I guess her teacher told her that's hard to say with missing front teeth). Now she starts the stage of looking awkward for a while, being either toothless or having big over sized teeth. Just in time for school pictures on Friday, ha! The tooth fairy has forgot to come 3 nights in a row now! What's her deal? Maybe she's a little sleep deprived.

Great Grandma

A good picture of my grandma but a funny one of Cole.

Last week for FHE we went to Kuna to see my Grandma where she lives in an assisted living home. She is only 72 years old but is in very poor health. She was diagnosed with Colon Cancer a month or so ago and they weren't able to remove all of the tumor during the surgery and the pathology came back that it is the most agressive type of cancer. She's starting some radiation and a small dose of chemotherapy, but has lots of other health problems and isn't strong enough to undergo some of the other treatments.

So, I've been trying to see her a little more and appreciate the times I do see her. I also want the kids to spend a little more time with her. Not everyone gets to know their Great Grandparent. It was fun to introduce her to little Cole and to get some pictures. It looks like he might have some of her strawberry blonde hair. She is the last left grandparent on Mark's and my side. Kind of a sad thought.

I lived with my Grandma some of the time growing up. I appreciate all she has done for me. She is a unique and special person. If you remember, mention her in your prayers. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

One Month

Big brother holding little brother.

Cole at one month (almost)

In his polo shirt for church

The kids building a fort w/ the banana chairs and blankets

The finished product

Just so you know, Seth loves fly swatters so much we bought him his own, so it's unused.

Well, tomorrow our littlest sweetheart is one month old. It's hard for me to believe. Overall, I think we're all adjusting to our new addition and routine rather well. This has probably been my best week, week 4 post delivery. I've had more energy and have got a little better sleep (I consider a 3 hour stretch a luxury). I've actually got the kids to piano, scouts, etc. and managed to run some errands, visit teach and go to church and a presidency meeting. I consider all of these accomplishments these days. Not to go into too much detail for those who don't care to know, but Cole won't nurse and I really want him to get the benefits of being nursed. This means that I pump and then feed him from a bottle, which takes longer. It gets a little tricky sometimes to revolve your daily schedule around when you'll next need to pump. It's all worth it though and I'm holding out hope that he'll pick up on the nursing thing eventually.

Mark's doing great. He helps w/ Cole so much, even in the night. He's working on our lawn (we've neglected it lately) and trying to get it back into shape. He even managed to make it to early morning basketball at our stake center once last week.

Dalana's info is in the first paragraph.

John is anxiously awaiting his b-day, which is next week. Right in time for turning 13, he's started showing some attitude lately. The other day I asked him a question and he answered me w/ a, "Duh". If you read this, sorry John. Posterity needs to know, though. This has got me scared for the teenage years. Having teenagers and a newborn at the same time is a tricky combination.

Cooper has had a cold and been upset that he can't hold the baby more. He loves Cole when he's around, but is mostly playing w/the neighborhood kids outside any spare minute he has.

Ella loves having a baby around. She's one of the best babysitters I have. She holds him so good and tries to do what she sees me do. She's very careful and sweet with him. She's a good little mommy.

Seth, as you can tell from the outfit he's wearing in the picture holding Cole, has been a little neglected lately I'd have to say. I let him fend for himself some of the time. He loves Cole and has named his baby doll Cole, too. He is having a good time w/ all of the baby stuff around. He thinks all of the bouncers, car seats, etc. are for him too. We've had to call poison control this week. The first time that I remember ever having to call them. Seth got the bottle of Flinstone Vitamin Sour Gummies and had more than his fair share. Thankfully, they didn't have iron in them, so we were okay.

continues to be as sweet as ever. I think the past few days I've started to get some real smiles from him. There's nothing better than those first few smiles.

Well, that's about how our month has gone. Hope yours has been good too.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cutie Cole

This is one of Mark's favorite pics of Cole.

We love his baggy knees.

I love his red lips in this one.

This pic shows how light his hair is.

We just took this last night. He's already changing and looking older.

It's really true, babies are one of life's little treasures. Obviously, we adore almost everything about our new little one! We're all smitten and think that his every coo sound and expression are just so cute. Everyone wants to hold him and his head gets kissed and rubbed so much that his hair gets oily quicker than normal. He is definitely loved and reaping the benefits of being the "baby" of the family. Even though tired, I'm enjoying this time with a newborn in the house because I know that before I know it, he'll be out of this stage. We love you very much Baby Cole.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Welcome Baby Cole

Turns out it wasn't just bloating (referring to my previous post.) Cole Leon Bishop was born at 2:47 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2nd. He weighed 8 lbs. 7 oz. and was 20 1/2 inches long. We've spent the last few days enjoying him and trying to keep things in somewhat of order here at home. Mark has 2 weeks off work, which I'm soooo grateful for. Our sweetie baby isn't nursing or sleeping well, but I think we're getting each other figured out.

Labor and delivery went great. We were blessed to have a good experience and to have Cole and I make it through safe and sound. This delivery sure was different than Seth's. It was just Mark and I in the room this time around which made for a quite day. Mark got lots of reading in until things got exciting. He was just great and was there whenever I needed him. He even cut the cord this time, w/ Seth he had a hard time. My doctor and nurses were great the whole hospital stay which makes a big difference.

Mark and I and the kids couldn't be more thrilled! Cole doesn't really resemble the other kids too much. He reminds me a little bit of Ella as a baby and so far that's all that has stood out. He doesn't look like Seth as a newborn at all. Seth had the most hair of our kids and Cole is tied w/ Ella for the least. What little bit he does have is pretty light.

Well, I better post a few pictures. It's been great having a little bit of heaven in our home. I just have to add that I love the smell of newborns. Thank you to all who have prayed for a safe pregnancy and healthy Mom and baby. We have sure felt of your love and prayers.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Maybe it's just bloating?!?!

Believe it or not, these are the only "belly shots" we have taken this pregnancy and I really don't like them. For the sake of journaling though, I thought I'd post them anyway.

So, as this pregnancy draws to a close I am trying to appreciate each day as this is my last pregnancy and I know looking back the time will have gone quickly. That is much easier said than done, however. I remember getting this way w/ Seth, a little irrational. I'm starting to wonder what would happen if someone really was pregnant forever. Because of different health issues, they always induce my labors. When my body shows signs of being ready, the doctor schedules a time w/ the hospital. For Cooper and Ella, my body cooperated and this seemed to work fine as they were born one and two weeks early. With Seth nothing was happening and they ended up inducing me anyway because they thought he was getting big. That's what is happening this time around, nothing is happening. Last week a doctor on call saw me for my normal appt. and said my body was beginning to make some progress towards preparing for delivery. Well today (one full week later) I saw my normal doctor and he said that I have done absolutely nothing, he even took away the one little centimeter she had given me! I made myself wait to cry until I got to the car and once I was there I decided the crying would just give me a headache anyway. Instead I chose to drop by Costa Vida and treat myself to a sweet pork burrito and when I got home I defrosted some Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls for dessert tonight. The food did seem to help, how sad is that?

I have 3 mom's looking for a date as they are all scheduled to be out of town around Labor Day (the holiday that is) and are hoping it's not Labor Day for us, too. When I called The Parker's (the family I lived w/ in high school) to report today's appointment George wondered if I was really pregnant at all. He suggested it might just be some serious bloating. I did get a good laugh out of that and spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning and trying to be on my feet and active as much as possible.

Wish us luck! In the back of my head I do know that all will work out and he will come when he's supposed to. We're just praying that in the meantime he remains healthy and well and that my body does as it needs to.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sailboats and School

Cooper pinning the mother's Bear pin on Mark's shirt. He deserved it more than me anyway.
The group giving Cooper "The Fonzie (from Happy Days)" cheer for earning his Bear.
This is the guy Cooper lost to.
Cooper winning a race.
Our ward's rowdy Cub Scouts.
The kids' first day of school. J-7th E-1st C-4th
A very excited Cutie Pie (this is where the camera batteries ran out)

On Saturday Cooper had his Sailboat Ragata for Cub Scouts. He had a good time and ended up getting 2nd place, which he was pleased with. He also received his Bear Award and is now on to Webelos. We were proud of him. I wasn't feeling well and wasn't able to go, unfortunately. I was also saving my energy for a friend/family b-day party for Cooper at the park later that afternoon. It was nice seeing family and there was even a little breeze to keep us from baking in the sun too badly. It has been hot here! After the park, Mark took Cooper, John and 4 of Cooper's friends to pizza and swimming for 3 hours. What a Dad! They had a blast! We had no camera at the park to document his b-day, which I'm sad about, but at least I've journaled it here, right?

Today was the first day of school. The kids were so excited, especially Ella. I only wish the jumping up and getting ready quickly and being happy would last all year! Again, we had camera issues and the batteries ran out after only 5 back to school pictures. I'm glad I took the group pictures first. It was a quiet day for Seth and I. He even took a little nap for me and wasn't as bored as I was afraid he'd be. It was fun to pay a little more attention just to him and to talk to him. He's a good boy and so badly wants to go to school like the others. At Back to School Night last night he brought his back pack too and rolled it around to all of the kids' classes. So cute! Well here are a few of the pictures we did manage to get this weekend and today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Double Digits

Chuck E Cheese (May 2004)

Cooper holding newborn Seth (February 2005)

Brothers w/ new haircuts (October 2005)

Whitefish Lake, Montana (July 2005)

Receiving a medal for running laps at school (May 2006)

First year of tackle football (September 2007)

Backpacking at Loon Lake (July 2008)

Today our Coop is turning double digits! I can't believe it's been 10 years now that he's been a part of our hearts! He's a great kid and adds a lot to our family. He's funny and full of energy. There's never a dull moment w/ him around. If there's anything that's daring to be done, he'll give it a try. Because of this, he's had more accidents and been hurt more than any of the other kids. Some interesting things about Cooper are ~ 1) When he gets sick, he gets really sick. He's been in the hospital 4 times in his life for different things (none of which proved to be serious, thankfully.) 2)Kind of on the flip side of getting really sick from time to time, the kid is strong! He's been abnormally strong from the time he was a baby. He can give kids older and bigger than him a run for their money in arm wrestling, wrestling, etc. 3) He's a good chess player. 4) He's competitive and likes sports. He used to ask me what would happen if when he got older he was too good to play football for the BSU Broncos. 5) Though some would never guess it, Cooper is very sensitive and loving. He loves his family and friends and likes to make them happy and tries to do what is right, even when it's hard for him. We love you very much Cooper! Happy Birthday!