Archive for May, 2008

I took some video of Becky today playing a couple of her favorite piano pieces. The first is Arabesque by Burgmuller. The second is The Clown by Kabalevsky. That practicing is paying off!


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This has been a busy couple of weeks. A week ago Saturday was my annual Piano Recital and Awards Ceremony. It took lots of preparation time, doing up individual CD’s for all the students, and getting all the trophies, certificates, ribbons, and so on all together. I am proud to say that everyone did a fantastic job, though. It was the best my students have ever performed. I was so proud of how well my kids did!

D\'Net\'s Piano Recital May 11, 2008

Right after the Piano Recital was over, we zipped over the the girls’ dance recital. They did a great job! Becky did tumbling and a clogging number to “Yackety Yack, Don’t Talk Back.” Becky knew all of the steps, and did a terrific tumbling pass. Adela did a ballet dance to a cute little song about Sleeping Beauty, and a tap dance to “Sneaky Snake.” You know how when the little girls dance, there are one or two leaders that know all of the dance, and all of the other little girls keep copy the leaders? Well, Adela was most definitely a leader in her class. She knew every single part of the dance, and is an absolute ham on the stage. It was her first recital, and we were very proud of the girls.

This was the week of doctor visits for me. On Monday, Tuesday, and Friday I had 2 hour therapy sessions. Wednesday was a trip to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned. Thursday I had a doctor appointment with the surgeon. They took more x-rays of my ankle, and the doctor said the bone was healing as well as could be expected at this time. He told me I could gradually transition from the boot to an ankle brace over 5 to seven days. I was SO excited! Thursday was the first day I wore a shoe on my left foot since February 23. It was a beautiful thing, even if I do have to wear my highly-supportive tennis shoes for awhile! I have done really well in the brace. Today I wore it in the morning before church, but had to switch to the boot for church because the pain level was getting a bit high. It’s feeling better now, though. Each day I can do a little more than the day before. The progress is slow, but at least it is there. Here is a picture of what my new brace looks like:

On Tuesday, Adela went with her Aunt Lori, Uncle Corey, cousins C.J. and Zachary, almost cousin Mateo, and Lori’s parents to see a production of Mulan at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater. It was a special show for youngsters, and Adela had a wonderful time. She dressed up in her Mulan outfit that Aunt Lori got her for Christmas. She looked so pretty, and had so much fun with her cousins.

Thursday was the last day of school for the kids. After my doctor appointment, Adela and I went to the school and brought the kids’ teachers some flowers. Becky’s teacher this year was good, and Josh and Joseph’s teachers were nothing short of amazing. We took some pictures while we were there of the boys. We caught Josh on the playground. It was cute, because Josh kept inviting more and more friends to join the picture. He is a very friendly little boy. Josh also got a Helping Hand Award at school. Mrs. Cooper said whether right or wrong, Josh is always trying to help people do what Josh thinks is best. He will be a great leader someday. We are also so proud of Josh for not getting sent home from school since Mommy broke her ankle. Way to go, son! Josh is the boy in the navy blue shirt, by the way.

Next we have some pictures of the undisputed Kindergarten Jump Rope Champion. Joseph and Andrew were the best jumpers in the class, and were quite the little competitors. Joseph would be ahead, Andrew would overtake him, and Joseph would put forth the effort to pass him up again, only to have Andrew get a higher score. Joseph won out, though. He reins with 413 consecutive jumps on the jump rope. Andrew came in second with 314 jumps. Here are the two boys next to the chart, and a cute picture of Joseph and some of his classmates. Joseph is in the red shirt with the million-watt smile.

After we took pictures of the boys, we tracked Becky down and gave her the camera to take some pictures of her friends. She was very responsible, and brought the camera home in one piece, and got lots of great pictures of her friends. Here are a couple of my favorites. Becky is the one in the bright pink shirt.

Well, that is it for this post. We are all geared up for summer, and looking forward to the change of gears. At least, we are for now!

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As we were sitting in church today I was thinking about a Mother’s Day that occurred nine years ago before we had any children. I remember sitting in church that day, praying and pleading with the Lord that we would be able to bring a child into our home soon, that I too could experience motherhood. I remember looking at an empty space next to us on the pew, wishing that was a baby to fill that empty spot. It was rather heartbreaking.

Little did I know then that another woman was going through heartbreak of her own. A woman named Mary was in the hospital that same Mother’s Day, giving birth to a baby that she knew that she didn’t have the ability to raise. She had made the most difficult and selfless decision of her life – to place that sweet little baby in another home with parents that could give her child the life she was unable to provide.

I sat in church that Sunday, unaware that Mary had picked Paul and I to be the parents of her new baby. I did know, however, that the Lord would fulfill his promises and bless us with a family.

The next day I went to school. I rehearsed my classes for the Tuesday night choral concert. It was our last big event before the end of the year. My students sang so well, and I was proud of all they had learned. Still, I wished that the day would come that I could spend my time teaching and raising my own children.

On Wednesday, I taught my elementary classes in the morning, then went over to the Junior High. I was in my office getting ready for classes when Paul called. He told me he had some news, and asked me if I was sitting down. I wasn’t, and jokingly replied that I didn’t faint easily, but sat down anyway. I assumed that he had gotten a raise, or had been promoted at work.

Well, the news was much better that that. Our social worker, Larry Draughan, had been trying to get a hold of me all morning. Since I was teaching at the elementary schools, though, he was unable to contact me. Finally, he called Paul with the news. A little girl had just been born, and would we like to adopt her? I was not expecting that at all! Paul had said yes, of course, and arrangements were the to pick up our little girl the next day.

I spent the rest of the school day in a bit of a shocked haze. Word had spread like wildfire that Mrs. Layton was going to get a baby girl the next day. Claire, the orchestra teacher went out on her prep hour and bought a cake, punch, and 3 darling little newborn outfits. She and my sixth hour girls got me out of the room for a few minutes, and hastily set things up for a baby shower for me. It was so fun, and the girls were so excited.

That evening was a busy one. Paul emptied the study, and built a sturdy bookshelf to replace the rickety one that was in there. We went shopping and bought a car seat, stroller, and a couple of outfits. Nichole had already bought us a diaper bag, bottles, and diapers, so we were set there. I didn’t sleep much at all. I was so anxious to finally get our baby.

Thursday afternoon finally came, and we drove down to Family Services. We carried in the car seat and diaper bag, all ready to receive our little girl. When we sat in Larry’s office, we found out there were some problems, though. While the birth mom had signed the papers to relinquish rights, they had as of yet not been able to contact the birth father. They had no way of knowing if he would relinquish rights, or decide to keep his child. He gave us the option of placing the baby in foster care until the matter was resolved, or take the child with the knowledge that we may not be able to keep her.

Paul and I told Larry we would like to take the baby home and pray for the best. He then left the office and returned with a wonder sister who had taken care of the baby for a couple of days. In her arms she carried a beautiful sleeping baby girl. She placed her in my arms, and how happy I was! We had decided we would name our little girl Rebekah Emily Layton. Rebekah had a head full of pretty dark brown hair. I tried so hard to wake her up so I could see her eyes, but Rebekah was sleeping soundly, and stayed that way through all my best efforts. Paul and I were so happy to finally be blessed with a baby!

That evening, after everyone had gone home and things were quiet, I was laying in my bed holding Rebekah in my arms. I was so happy, but at the same time so sad. I knew that the cause of my greatest happiness was at the same another woman’s most exquisite pain. At the same time I was holding a baby in my arms, Mary was experiencing the agony of giving her child to someone else to raise. How grateful I am for her courage and sacrifice. She knew that she could not give Rebekah the kind of life she wanted for her, and loved her child enough to give her to someone who could.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I pay a debt of love and gratitude to Mary and the birth mothers of Josh, Joseph, and Adela. Through their sacrifice they showed Christlike love to the children they gave birth to and gave me the great blessing of being their mother.

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It has been quite a week. I have been doing lots of physical therapy. After Tuesday’s appointment I came home in tears because they had me doing the same things I do at home, and had me pay $30 to do it there. Seemed as if there was no progress being made. Wednesday’s appointment was much better. They had me go in the pool and practice walking the width of it, first forwards then backwards. It was a very odd sensation. I also stood on my bad foot and tried to stand on tiptoe in the water. That was hard! I managed to lift up my heel a few millimeters, though. Friday I graduated to a cane. That felt so good – I finally feel like this whole ordeal is coming to an end. I feel like President Hinkley with it – except I have to actually use mine instead of waving it like he used to.

Saturday was our big piano event at Mesa Community College. Becky did a great job. She played 3 memorized pieces, scales, sightread, took a theory test, and told about 3 different composers. The day went very smooth, and though I did overdo things on Friday getting things ready, we had lots of help on Saturday. I was sore and tired when we came home, but it wasn’t too bad. Next year I will be on the committee, but not the one in charge like I have been for the past couple of years. That will be nice!

Saturday was also Becky’s birthday. We had her party on Sunday at Grandma and Grandpa Evans’ house. It was lots of fun. She got some new clothes, a High School Musical mystery date game, money, nice binoculars from the Layton Grandparents, and a kayak from Paul and me. Grandpa and Grandma also ordered Becky a cake from Albertsons. She wanted a butterfly cake, and they didn’t have anything like that in the catalog. Grandpa saw a cake in the shape of a Mardi Gras mask, and asked it they could modify it into a butterfly shape. They said they could, and they outdid themselves. The cake was actually 25 cupcakes in the shape of a butterfly that they frosted as one unit. The frosting job was amazing. It looked SO good, and I was so thankful that Mom and Dad took care of the cake. I was thinking I could make one, but they knew better and ordered it for us instead.

The other children are doing so well. Adela and Becky are working hard for their dance recital this next Saturday. All of the children are signed up for summer dance. The girls are continuing with their current classes, and the boys are signed up for tumbling. Josh and Joseph are so excited about that.

Joseph is the Jefferson Kindergarten Jump Rope Champion. He can jump over 400 times without messing up. One of his teachers is in our ward, and she was telling me how every recess the children jump, while a couple of the adults turn the rope. When Joseph is up, instead of standing in line, the children all find a comfortable place and sit. They know Joseph will be awhile. 🙂

Joshua is busy as ever. He is always moving – running and jumping being the current favorites. He is amazing on the trampoline with his flips and acrobatics. He helps me a lot with my air cast boot. He pumps up the air pockets, and deflates them for me when I want to take the boot off. He is learning to read inflate and deflate on the little pump, and knows which one does what. He also has the first 6 Articles of Faith memorized. We sing the first 4 every week in Primary, and it is wonderful to hear his voice raised up in singing. Joseph and Adela know them too, they just don’t sing with quite as much gusto as Josh does.

This week is also a busy one. I have 3 physical therapy appointments this week. They last about 2 hours each. My piano recital is on Saturday, then we zip over to the girl’s dance recital. I have lots of preparation to do, since I make CD’s for all of the children of songs they have recorded throughout the year. It is fun for the children and impresses the parents, but I will be glad when it is all over.

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I remember an old episode of The Andy Griffith Show. Aunt Bea was gone visiting someone. She called to see how Andy and Opie were doing. Andy responded “Fine, just fine” to every question Aunt Bea asked. Not everything was fine, but Andy didn’t want to worry Aunt Bea so he said everything was.


Well, lots of people have been asking how I am doing, and my canned response is “Fine.” I got my cast off April 25, and was very glad to see it go. It was replaced with a light grey air cast. I like it because I can sleep with it off, bathe my leg, and lay on my bed with it off, wiggle my ankle, and call it therapy. I can put light weight on my leg using a walker or crutches. The doctor said my bones were healing very well, and I can put full weight on my leg in another week or so if everything goes well. Here is what my boot looks like:

I went to my first physical therapy appointment last week. My therapist got his Bachelor’s degree from NAU and had dad as his physics teacher. He went from getting a C in physics at MCC to an A at NAU. He said Dad’s teaching was very clear, and the labs were wonderful. He said I am doing much better than he thought I would be considering the amount of damage I did to my leg. He gave me 5 different exercises to do at home a few times a day. I sure am sore from doing them, but I have more range of motion than before, so that is good. He said I will probably have 12 sessions or so of therapy. I do hope that it will end up being less than that. I feel guilty about costing the family so much money as it is. Thank goodness for health insurance. I will go to therapy 3 times this week and next, then see what he wants me to do from there.

It is nice to be able to hobble around a bit, though I still move quite slow. I never realized just how far it is from my bedroom to the kitchen.  The walk from the car to the chapel to the Primary room and back to the car felt like a marathon last week.  It was easier today, though.  I wish the cute little comments people make at church wold go – I’m sick of being called an old lady, and all the other witty comments I’ve blocked from my memory. The “Wow, Sister Layton, you sure are moving good!” are much more helpful. Oh, well. I am looking forward to getting my life back all the way. Paul has really had to carry a lot with all of this. Hopefully in a few more weeks I will able to walk normally and get back carrying my fair share of things.

The kids are all doing incredibly well. Josh has made it 60 days without being sent home. Joseph is reading up a storm. Becky is doing well in piano, dance, and school. Adela loves her dance class as well, and is such a happy little girl. She takes good care of me during the day. I am grateful for all of the blessings the Lord has given us. My children are among the brightest of them.

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