Monday, April 16, 2012

The Song of My Soul

Less than two months after our son was killed we were scheduled to leave for our long awaited romantic honeymoon (15+ years in the making). We'd hoped to do it at our 10 year anniversary, but instead we were in the throws of adopting our sons. We didn't mind postponing it. So we booked our dream trip to Hawaii 6 months out. After August 25th we were left with the choice to cancel and lose everything or go. Our families rallied and convinced us to go. It took every fiber of my strength to leave my children, but I knew I need go...for Gary, for them, for me. While it wasn't the trip we planned. It was peaceful. It was beautiful. It was healing. And we were introduced to Iz. I've always loved the song: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, but listening to his version as we cruised around the island in a convertible brought it to a whole new level. I've also always loved the Shaker hymn, Simple Gifts, but in the last few months it's become my theme song. When I feel overwhelmed or start to let life make me pulls be back. My boys are so sweet and let me hit replay over and over in the car on the MoTab CD on Sundays. So when the Piano Guy's new video popped up on could I resist. I hope it speaks to your soul too!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Why we've added Lent to our Easter traditions...

When our children were younger the Easter bunny always came to our home on Saturday so Sunday was all about the Savior. As I was pondering how to make Easter more meaningful now our children were older and especially thinking of Mychel being home with us as she prepares for her mission, I remembered my sister, Kathy. While she was at BYU she shared with me that she's given up chocolate for Lent. I seriously thought she was crazy, at first. Mind you she's my much younger sister...awesome, supportive big sis move, huh!

So I gathered my thoughts and for a FHE in February I proposed we prepare for Easter:
Our stake president had challenged our stake to read the Book of Mormon and finish by General this one was already in motion.
By doing our own version of lent which was choosing something to give up for 40 days...
in essence a 40 day fast.

In their wisdom, my awesome family jumped on board.

Tonight after eating our Easter dinner and watching some videos about the Savior,  we shared our feelings about our Easter preparations. I personally found it a wonderful opportunity to strengthen my spirit. Every time I physically wanted to partake of the thing I'd chosen to give up for 40 days, I immediately thought, no, you're doing this for the Savior. It made my sacrifice powerful because nearly daily I was prompted to think of the Savior and His atonement at a time or in a context that was completely different than my usual pattern. I wasn't pondering, praying, reading...I was just going about my day. A physical desire was eliciting a spiritual response. Mychel-Anne shared how it became a way for her "open her mouth". Her item for lent was soda. So when someone would offer her some she'd say, "No, thank you." When they'd question her, she'd explain about our Easter preparations and lent. Some responded as I did to my sister, Kathy, but for her the power was in starting a spiritual discussion.

While there are things I miss about having a home full of little ones, I am so honored to be the mother of these three teenagers/young adults. They are valiant spirits figuring out this earthy journey. I pray we've done enough. I pray they know how much they are loved. I pray they know how much we love the Savior. The atonement and Resurrection mean everything to me. While I cherish each day, each moment with these children that are growing way to fast. I long for the day when our family is all together again. I yearn to sit at the Heavenly table with NO Empty Chairs!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Painting progressing

Quick update. Will is still working his way around the kitchen painting the inside of the cupboards. We have to wait at least 2 weeks for them to dry. We're on the last set.

We need to get Zac the orange paint for this feature wall. Maybe we'll finish before the end of April. Cross your fingers for us!

As for Mychel's room. Umm, it's on the list ? ;D

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Paint on!

So, over a year ago we shuffled rooms and Zac got to move into Mychel's big room. He's thrilled. He's easy going. He's patient. It's purple! We've promised to paint it soon but life kept happening. Now Mychel's home to prepare for a mission, the stars have aligned...I think, I hope it may become earth tones over the next week. They are currently at home depot getting the primer...we're gonna need a lot!
 They're going to start with the bathroom:
sorry for such a dark picture but they'd turned off the breaker before they left, so no light and I was way to lazy to walk all the way downstairs to turn it back on and then trudge back up just for a picture. Trust me the walls are PURPLE  and you can tell how bright the top border son deserves a medal!
                                                             During and after photos to come!
                                        (If you're lucky maybe even a few more befores with LIGHT!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Marvelous Monday!

We are home.
He is recovering.
I can't stop
starring at him, 
rubbing his hair, 
continually saying prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving!

Today, so far he's eaten:
ice cream
homemade turkey soup
bacon (more on that in a minute)
and our 100% outdoors cat has spent a great deal of time curled out on him or near him
Yup, I'm a softie!
If he wasn't so big and it wouldn't kill him
I'd spend the day with him cuddled on my lap.

I left him alone for about an hour this morning..
while I picked up my sweet Coates' twin and ran a few errands
(I only called him once to check on him...)
Dr's for a prescription
Dropped off prescription
Picked up Gary's shirts
Grabbed a few things at the grocery store

After a pretty quiet afternoon some dear friends brought our bacon order 
while I was in the middle of making dinner.
(It arrived Friday and they generously picked it up and stored it for us)
So in the last couple of hours: 
4 pounds: cooked, chopped and frozen
18 pounds: divided into pound or pound and a half packets and frozen
nearly 8 lbs left to process....tomorrow is another day...

Now I think I'll go sit near my cherished, recovering son 
While I think of my beloved son, whose's spending his birthday in heaven, again
and wait for my treasured son to arrive home from golf
as I look forward to my angel daughter coming home tomorrow!
Life is good!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

We have people

Sometime during all the Christmas driving Zac began to complain about his back hurting. Truthfully we didn't pay him much attention. As January wore on and he continued to let us know about the pain we started to look into taking him to a Chiropractor. Our every effort was thwarted. Then at a Dr's visit Gar decided to just get our Dr's thought on it. It was his last appointment on a Friday.  We were able to schedule an appointment for Zac on Monday. That just doesn't happen here. He was concerned enough after seeing the X-ray to suggest an MRI. Once again we'd been his last appointment of the day.

The next morning before 9 am I received a call letting me know they'd scheduled an MRI for that evening. All day the spirit whispered me that this was serious, but that he would be ok. Fast forward to the MRI tumor. I started breathing again. We were then scheduled to see an Neurosurgeon. I should have realized that was a clue to how serious it was but everyone kept year olds don't' have back surgery. So, I thought that was what the warning was he didn't start track practice and we could limit what he did so he didn't make his back worse.

Fast forward to a week later. Tuesday afternoon Zac and I sat in shock as the surgeon showed us his MRI and explained that he was amazed Zac hadn't already experienced nerve damage due to the ruptured disc pressing on his spinal nerves. The risk of paralysis, permanent nerve damage etc was so great that surgery was really our only option. I felt like I was in a tunnel I could hear and see the dr talking but it seemed far away...

How can my healthy, active, skin and bones 14 year old baby need back surgery? How can I say, Yes? What do I do? My mind was reeling...and then I knew. I knew why I'd received such a clear warning. I knew why we had been moved through dr's and tests so quickly and I knew Heavenly Father had placed us exactly where we should be. I had the ultimate second opinion! So while I was still freaking out inside, I did have peace, as opposite as those sound.

As we were waiting to meet with the surgery nurse I was texting Gary, Mychel and Helena and people. From there they reached out to their people and within a couple of hours Gar and I had 3rd, 4th and 5th opinions. It was such a tender mercy to know that surgeons who work with him say he's the best man for the job, to have our Dr say if it were his son he'd do what we are doing, to know that our friend's company will have their best man monitoring Zac's nerve functions in his legs. The list goes on and on.

It is humbling to see the love, time and care those around of have shown as they've done all they can to use their resources to reassure, get us info and comfort us as we prepare for tomorrow morning. No matter when you read this please keep us in your prayers. It's going to be a long recovery and it's vital that he is able to heal completely so he doesn't have life long complications...gratefully he's not a toddler I have to keep still, but I'm not sure how much easier it's going to be for an active teenage boy...

I've had a testimony that our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, know us individually. I know they hear our prayers, but each time I see their hands in our lives I am always humbled and my knowledge is strengthened. As with Nathan, I say, if it is not to have the cup removed then we will submit and hold on to thee with both hands. We will look for the blessings and miracle and have faith when it seems dark and we feel lost and alone. I know He has people watching over us, on both side of the veil.