He has an incredible ability to help the children with their doctrinal understanding. It is never a question of time or energy. If they have a question, he is there. And almost always the answer is, ‘Let’s look in the scriptures,’ or ‘Let’s see what the prophets have said about that.’ I just happened to be sitting next to Speedy with the camera when I got this photo. (Trying more to capture relationships in my photography. What a fun challenge 🙂
Don’t you just feel like this some times? Here Shorty and Smiley are waiting for Spanky’s and Scuff’s party guests to arrive……
They are taking SOOOOO long!
Sometimes I feel like this when I am waiting for an answer from the Lord, or when I am expecting a life change, any minute, or waiting for a new baby to arrive, even just growing up. Some things just take time and we have to wait for the process to unfold.
Here are Scuff and Spanky sporting some of their gifts……love the hips Spanky….really?
Spanky has been waiting for that magical number…..18. He was waiting to finish high school. Now he is just waiting until he leaves for college….right around the corner.
Scuff has been waiting for a different magical number…..16. Congratulations guys!
I’m sure the time will fly and pretty soon, the two in the first picture will be the ones posing like the second picture. In the mean time, I get to watch the process. No waiting here. Just trying to enjoy the scenery before it all passes me by……. Then I’ll get to watch the grand kids…..
So, the other day, the kids decided they wanted to play pirates! Speedy dressed them all in ‘pirate’ attire. They put the PVC marshmellow shooters together for weapons, and taped several toilet paper rolls together for eye glasses. They made Sun swab the deck!! And then Scuff decided to have a little fun, dressed himself, and went out hunting pirates. I heard everything explode when Scuff found them in the garage and I was sure someone had died!! Turns out, he just scared them all half to death! Another sweet story for a big brother!
I got to take Slim to Oregon and visit my family. Here is a picture of two of my very favorite people, my Uncle Ed and Auntie Nell. I have stayed at their house many times. The first time wasn’t long after I was born. I got to be their little one because my father was away in Greece. Their youngest child is nine years older than I am……so I got to be the baby!! Drew and I got engaged at their house…several years later. And I go back every once and a while to let them know I still love them and think about them often!
I got to see my mother!! Isn’t she cute?
And below is my brother, David and sister, Sara, with two of her five beautiful daughters, Elisia and Elora.
The weekend after we returned…Spanky graduated with his Associate of Science in General Studies. He also graduated from high school a week later. Ya’, kinda weird..but it is where we live. He heads off to college in the fall. Here is Slim’s dress and attire for the graduation. Notice the unkempt hair and unshaven face. I thought it was particularly interesting considering that later that evening he was being set apart as a missionary. Luckily he did shower and shave before that appointment!!!
Slim was set apart on Saturday evening. Drew’s parents were able to come. It was a wonderful experience. We came home and took our very last family pictures where all of the children would be home. The next time we will all be together won’t be until Sport returns home from his mission. By then I’m sure we will have added spouses and maybe grandchildren to the group. Slim gave his farewell address in the single’s branch. We all drove up there to hear him. His testimony has increased immensely. He is ready to teach others and bear testimony. What a wonderful parenting payday!!
Then…….it was time to pack.
It was an amazing process. Slim packed, unpacked, repacked, decided he needed more luggage, repacked again, shoved, rearranged, sat on luggage to close it, removed a few items, and it was all over the family room for two days.
Slim boarded the plane @ 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. We haven’t heard from him, but my understanding is that that is normal. We look forward to hearing from our missionary and figuring out when P (Preparation) day is so we can look for our letters. He has become a permanent part of our family prayers, night and morning, and for all of our meals. We love you!! We are proud of you!!! We are praying for you!!!
I had an incredible experience yesterday……
Have you ever heard of the Nie Nie dialogues blog? This is an incredible story of a woman who with her husband was in an almost fatal plane crash. 83% of her body was burned, 35% of her husband’s, and the pilot died of complications from the accident. They have four small children and were living in Arizona at the time. After the accident, she was in a coma for three months, while they tried to heal her body. Last year, this blog won the award for ‘most inspirational blog’.
Yesterday, one of my dear friends emailed me the link to the blog and a new video about the blog author:
My New Life
As I watched the video, I about fell off of my chair. Stephanie’s mother speaks for a few moments about her recovery. Her mother was my relief society president when we lived in Provo. I know this family. Suddenly the story is personal. The accident was in August of 2008 but for me, it was literally yesterday.
I cried as I read what I could find about the story, recovery and life today. I cried because of all the pain and heartache and trial that they have experienced and the struggles still to come. She and her husband have complications, discomfort, and disfiguring because of their accident. But they are ALIVE!! They are AWAKE! They can WALK and TALK, LOVE, LEARN, and LIVE!! Their story is incredible and motivating!
We all have times in our lives when tragedy reaches out its cold arm and embraces us. Just a month ago, one of the families in our stake lost their 27 year-old son to a heart attack. Three weeks later, the same family lost their wife and mother to complications of bronchitis. Healthy 27 year-olds don’t have heart attacks and complications of bronchitis? Since when is that fatal? Another of my young friends told me yesterday that in the last 18 months, seven of her friends have passed away…..four from suicide. And in August, last year, another friend’s sister lost her husband, brother in-law, and father in-law in a plane accident.
How do we respond when we or another have such difficult and unexpected experiences become an immediate part of daily life?
When it was our turn, I just wanted to put on a brave face. I didn’t want to be a burden to others. I didn’t want to appear needy. As others offered their services, to clean our house or do our laundry or even just to come and sit with us, I told them we were doing fine. Don’t worry about us. I was told, very clearly one day, “You are denying others the blessings of service and I am not happy about that.”
Slim was one month old. He had perforated his bowel. Infection, stool, and air spread through his abdomen and all over his vital organs. He had emergency surgery. We weren’t sure he would make it through the surgery and so he was blessed in the hospital in an infant’s hospital gown with only us as his parents and our best friends, Vallen and Wendy, just the five of us in that sacred, sterile space.
Everyone wanted to help, but I didn’t know what they could really do. But they knew….someone anonymously paid our rent, someone else paid the utility bill, a friend stocked our fridge with easy to prepare items, another came over and did our laundry, some sent money, some sent letters, some just came by and sat with me and let me cry and held me. Now I know what to do when others whom I love experience tragedy.
It helped their hearts to serve us. It relieved our burdens to be served. Our hearts were knit in unity and love through our experience together. When we experience a trauma together, mine or yours, and we work together for healing, we become one. We must share these things with each other. Trauma is an unexpected teacher, with an unwanted lesson, but with unlimited and soul changing consequences for all participants, if we will let growth and healing take place.
Today Smiley went running across a wet driveway and into our friend’s garage where he slipped and fell onto his left hip.
Later in the day, Smiley says, “Mom, it feels like my rear is broken!”
Yes, I am still laughing. 🙂
So here is the blessing dress I made for the Springer’s little girl. B. was one of my young women. She married in the temple to a fabulous returned missionary!! And now they have a beautiful little girl.
When we had Sun, I wanted to make her a blessing dress, but with all of her older brothers, trying to do so just wasn’t even a possibility. Needless to say, Heavenly Father knew of my wishes and my heart’s desire. He prompted my favorite aunt to make one for me. I cried and cried because it was exactly the way I would have wanted it, style, material and all. Plus it came from someone who is extremely important to me. (Thanks Janelle 🙂
Now I have had the opportunity to ‘pay it forward!!’ The Springer’s were in the process of moving and having a baby and choosing law school all within weeks of each other. So I had the fortune and ability to make one for them.
What a joy!! I had so much fun sewing that I just couldn’t put it down and every time I picked it up, it was all I could do to stop and take care of my family. But I did manage to balance things. Anyway, Congratulations my dear friends!! I had a ton of fun making such a beautiful item and I hope it works for what you need.
So many things to say, but where to start. I have been sick for the past three days…..The last two days I haven’t been able to much more than get up off of the couch.
I missed posting for Shorty’s seventh birthday. Can’t believe my little ones are getting so old.
Two days ago, we took our oldest one to Medford to receive his endowment. Can’t believe my oldest one is old enough to do that! We only have about six weeks before he leaves for Brazil.
Though I struggled to stay awake and participate on Wednesday, and slept through yesterday, today I have enough energy to think and ponder, but not enough to get up off of the couch to do much.
I watched General Young Women’s meeting this morning. I love watching that meeting because it reminds me that I am a daughter of God, that He loves me, is watching over me and has planned for my success. He knows my heartaches, sorrows, and struggles. He is there. He will listen. He will help and guide, lead and love. It reminds me on such a basic level all of those things that we long to know and feel, but hear so rarely. As President Uchtdorf spoke, I felt my sick soul fill with light. I was strengthened to continue through my personal adversities and to help others with theirs as we move onto our own ‘happily ever afters.’ (To watch this video, click this link: http://www.lds.org/move/index.html?type=conference&event=april180&lang=english , click the bottom button on the right once, click on the picture of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. It takes about 20 minutes.)
I called one of my counselors yesterday because her father had a stroke. I just wanted to see how she was doing and if she needed anything. “What I need,” she basically said, “is to bring you dinner. There isn’t much I can do for my dad right now. But if can bring you dinner and see that my efforts are helping someone, somewhere, it would be very therapeutic for me.”
Isn’t she soooo right?! I learned a long time ago that an aching heart can be filled when we serve others. What a beautiful blessing. What a paradox. To heal, serve. Interesting. True. In the bleakness of our sorrow, if we will reach in and give out, our aching heart is filled with love and compassion.
OK–enough deep thought for now. Back to the couch!