Saturday, December 25, 2010


Christmas began last week with a present from her babysitter--a Sit N Spin!
Next came Christmas joy from Granny and Grandpa Edvalson and the Fisher Price Barn!

Santa brought a tea set made of recycled milk jugs...
...and the look of surprise that is the first of many Christmas mornings to come.
It was so fun to see her surprise at the present she found when she woke up!
She immediately commenced pouring a cup of "tea" and eating a chocolate Santa. Breakfast of Champions

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jessie: Having a Good Day!

We got permission to host Jessie's roommate from rehab for an overnight pass at our house. We rented movies and made popcorn, but not before enjoying some beautiful Autumn weather in Iowa City!
Window shopping as only teenage girls can do...
Enjoying time on the Ped Mall
Watching Jessie walk down the street with a friend, laughing, made the last months all worth it...
Of course, Aissa heard the word "sleepover" and had to jump in with Kayla!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jessie's Graduation!

Jessie on her 108th Day: Graduation!

Her "home away from home" for the past four months

When a client graduates, they decorate one of the bricks on the wall in the rec roon. Jessie's included Mt. Emily

Amy, her counselor, Jessie, and Cheri, the Director who answered our call that day in June and made a spot for Jessie. These women are amazing!
Phil, a staff counselor, who was one of Jessie's favorites. He said she was like a granddaughter to him.
Amy with Jessie "on the outside"
Kayla, Jessie's roommate and "sister." She is an amazing 16-year old who graduated with Jessie.

Jessie and Kayla didn't want to say Aunt Sherri got permission from ASAC to bring Kayla home tomorrow night for a sleepover!
After the graduation, teary-eyed and proud!

Kenny came running outside when we were ready to go for one last hug. We love Kenny!

Granny and Grandpa Visit Iowa

Granny and Aissa played, and played...
And Grandpa read books over and over...
and again, some more!
Aissa was treated like a princess for two weeks!
It didn't take long to warm up to Grandpa...
...and Granny too! We miss you already, Granny and Grandpa!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A 100 Day Journey

I have taken photographs of my niece Jessie over the past four months as she completes a 106-day drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. I am struck by the change she has undergone! She graduates from rehab on Thursday and then I will pass the baton back to the family in Oregon.
June 5, 2010: Day One, "coming down"
June 27th: First visit with Jessie in rehab
Aissa missed cousin Jessie already...
July 14: 21 Days at ASAC
57 Days Clean: Celebrating at Olive Garden
August 15th: 72 Days clean and celebrating her 17th Birthday
Almost 90 days clean and doing "normal, sober stuff" with the family
96 Days

Day 100: Learning to find joy in the little things again

Day 101: Ready to go home

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Child Labor and My Little "Puppy"

Oh yes she did...

Jessie helped us stain our deck this weekend--she did a great job!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Birthdays and Bouncy Pools!

Miss Jessie turned 17 on August 14th!
I made rainbow cupcakes for the occasion...enough for the whole "class"
Of course I made her pose for all the family back home!
And of course Aissa was the official taste-tester.
Our neighbor Lauren and her kids always invite Aissa to come play when they blow up the big bouncy pool. She loves it and it's great to have such a fun family across the street!