Thursday, July 3, 2014

All things new

So here is my new blog design, I love it.  Tiffany Kuehl helped me with it and she did a wonderful job.  Anyone who knows me, knows how indecisive I can be.  Take me out to dinner and I have trouble deciding on what to choose, I'm even known to change my order just before the waiter/waitress leaves the table (that's better than once they walk away, right?)  She did such a great job with my ideas that I had a hard deciding what I liked best, finally I told her to surprise me.  I love it.  She was also very kind and patient with my indecisiveness.

I also received a new calling this past Sunday.  I'm Second Counselor in the Primary program at church.  Primary is the program for children between the ages of 3-11.  I'm so very excited because I get to be with my children.  Even though we homeschool and I am with them all the time, I can't seem to get enough of them, they might feel differently though.  Sunday was my first day in my new calling and I was already put to work by conducting, it was fun.  Now that we are in July, I am responsible for Sharing Time, so I get to come up with a lesson for the kids each Sunday this month.

Aside from sewing, I've developed a new hobby, genealogy.  This past week, I found eight new family members from my mother's side of the family.  I already had my great grandmother's information but I found her parents and siblings information, and marriage information for one of her brother's.  I cannot find my grandfather's birth parents or if he had any siblings.  I hope to find more about him soon.

This new endeavor in genealogy has me a bit emotional, especially not being able to find out more about my grandfather's family.  I remember him, he was a big teddy bear and I remember a doll he gave me as a little girl before he passed away.  Her body was crocheted in pink and white yarn, in one  of her hands was a bottle attached that fit perfectly in her mouth.  There was also a blanket crochet to the back of her so that the blanket wouldn't fall off, it wrapped around her to keep her warm.

It would be nice to find out who his parents were or if he had any siblings.  All my mother's family has already passed away, so there is no one to ask.  I wish I would've asked more questions when everyone was still around.  But now I can find puzzle pieces along the way and put them together to create a bigger picture of my genealogy.

My patriarchal blessing mentions that there will come a time in my life when I will be engulfed in genealogy, it seems like that time has arrived.

UPDATE: So I talked to my father and I remember hearing the name Dotty as a child, Dotty (Dorothy) was my grandfather's sister.  During the great depression, it was common to send boys to live in an orphanage because families were having a hard time.  My grandfather was one of those boys.  His parents kept his sister.  My father said that my grandfather would often speak of the nuns who took care of him.  One more step closer.
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Thursday, May 29, 2014

I will give away all my sins to know thee



With four littles in the home, family scripture study can be difficult.  My husband and I read three to five verses of scripture each night with the children and then say a family prayer before tucking the littles into bed.  It's going to take us a while to get through the Book of Mormon, but we are making progress and instilling the habit of daily scripture study.  We are currently in the book of Alma.

The other night, while my husband was reading aloud to us, a scripture jumped out at me and was embedded into my thoughts: "And I will give away all my sins to know thee."  It was Alma chapter 22 verse 18.  This is when Aaron teaches King Lamoni's father (Ammon had taught King Lamoni) about the reality of God and the atonement and being redeemed of one's sins, Lamoni's father is converted and is willing to, as he says: "I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy." Alma 22:15  (emphasis added)

I immediately thought of all the things in my life that distract me from the Savior, the small vices that won't necessarily keep me out of the temple, but don't help bring me closer to the Savior.

I know the Savior, I have felt His love and have felt His comfort blanket me during times of trials.  But I have also had moments where He felt distant, not from His doing but from mine.

I have vices, we all do.  I tend to think of sins as those huge heinous ones that are serious and will keep me out of the temple, but there are also the small ones that usually get overlooked, or maybe even rationalized.  For me it's usually music, movies, or television shows, and even how I spend my time; things that aren't always obvious but at times contain content that goes against my beliefs.    

I also thought of the young fellow in Mark Chapter 10, the one who ran to the Savior and knelt at His feet and asked what he could do to inherit eternal life, to which the Savior asked him if he had observed the commandments and the young man answered yes.  To this the Savior responds:

21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me
 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.  (emphasis added)
The Rich Young Ruler
I'm not using this example to say that having possessions are a sin (though they are when we choose them over the Savior).  But the contrast between King Lamoni's father who was willing to give away all that he possessed and all of his sins to know God, compared to the young rich man who was already obedient to the commandments but couldn't give up the things he loved because they were more important than knowing God, that difference is what I'm pointing to.

Are there things in our lives that are "not so bad" and don't necessarily keep us out of the temple, but get in the way of knowing our Savior?  Are these things, things that we would participate in if He were in the same room with us?  Would we still watch that movie, that show, listen to that song, drink that energy drink, partake in that conversation or use that language?  Would we ignore His presence, His advice, His love as we sat attached to our mobile devices? 

My vices have been troubling me lately, especially since reading Alma 22:18,  my vices aren't things that most would consider to be bad habits, in fact, most would probably chuckle and say, "Oh it's really not that big of a deal." but for me they are distractions from feeling my Savior's presence and from getting to know Him better.

We are all at different stages in life, especially in spirituality; that's the beautiful thing about this life.  The things I feel the Spirit guiding me, telling me I need to improve on might be things others have already mastered, or things that others don't have trouble with.

So though I'm already doing my best at avoiding the "big sins",  I'm resolving to give away ALL my sins so that I can really know Him.


Monday, May 26, 2014

The cold never bothered me anyway

I found this picture of Elsa as a brunette
Isn't she just lovely?
Granted I live in southern California where the winters rarely drop below 50 degrees fahrenheit, so my version of cold is a lot milder than most folks in the United States.  But I love my SoCal cold.  Often times during winter, I'm walking around with short sleeve shirts, and yes I am cold and it does sting a bit, but I love that feeling.  Some people think I'm insane, but I love it.

That being said, I'm not a fan of summer.  No way José!  Let me tell you why.  First and foremost is the fact that skin cancer runs in my family.  One of my aunts passed away when she was 25 years old, leaving behind two young daughters.  A few of my other aunts have had cancers removed just before they became problems.  I've had pre-cancerous spots removed as well.  So while most women are looking forward to getting tan during the summer, I'm constantly slathering SPF 50 or greater on my skin in hopes of preventing any sort of burning; that's another thing, I burn easily.  My sunburns turn into nice tans, but another crazy thing about me, is I love being pale (I liked it before it was cool by the way, is it even cool still?)

I get hot quickly as well, I'm talking about heat stroke hot. I won't mention the fact that I also sweat a lot too. Maybe that was too much information, but being uncomfortably hot when it's only 80 degrees and melting as soon as I step outside, doesn't make for much fun.  I'm like Olaf from Frozen, I melt (sweat) at the slightest exposure to heat.
Me during summer LOL
I love the frigid cold of winter and the sweaters, scarves, and hot cocoa that come with it; the chili noses and rosy cheeks. The cold against my skin reminds me how alive I am. We have a swing set and my favorite time to sit and swing is at night when it's cold. When I get home from dropping off the babysitter after one of our date nights, I sit on one of the swings and feel the cold wind sting my cheeks as I swing back and forth and look up at the clear starry night (have you noticed that the winter night sky is much clearer than the summer night sky), alone, just me and the winter night.  I love it.  Now the days are getting longer and the nights stay warmer, so it's not as enjoyable for me.
Winter Love
If I could have my way, in my own little Lavinia world, my year would only consist of three months: October, November, and December.  But it's a good thing we all don't live in the Lavinia Universe.

I said I'm not a fan of summer, but that doesn't mean I hate it, it's just uncomfortable to me, very uncomfortable.  But I try not to ruin it for everyone else who LOVES summer.  There are many things I love about summer:
The beach
Playing in the sprinklers with my littles
Fresh fruits
Lazy days
Independence Day 
Independence Day Parades
Shave Ice
BBQ


No, I don't hate summer, it's more unpleasant for me than for others, being with my family makes it so much more fun and enjoyable, the ones whom I love dearly.  After all,  as Olaf says, "Some people are worth melting for.


When summer is in full effect, I am secretly counting down the months until October arrives.  My kids and I were already just discussing Halloween costumes yesterday.  It's never too early to plan, right?
Halloween is in five months, just a friendly FYI ;) 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Service of Motherhood




I never thought of motherhood as service.  I guess because feeding my children and doing their laundry is something I'm supposed to do because if I don't do it, who will?

The season of life I'm in right now: a homeschooling mother of four young children doesn't allow me to do much service.  You know, the kind of service where the sisters in the ward get together to help clean someone's home during the day, or helping at the bishop's storehouse, temple service, etc.  I even hate to admit that I'm not a very good visiting teacher.  Needless to say, I often feel that I am lacking in the service department which makes me feel pretty horrible.

Today in Relief Society one sister said something that changed my point of view.  She shared an experience she had years ago as a mother of four young children herself, wondering why she even went to church (we've all had that thought cross our minds as we try to get to church on time and sit with little wiggle worms).  She said the lesson she was sitting through was on visiting teaching and service, she felt horrible because she wasn't able to serve the way the topic had been discussed.  Then her bishop got up to speak on the subject of service and she prepared herself to feel even more horrible as she anticipated hearing even more ideas of what she should be doing but wasn't.  To her surprise her bishop began by saying things like, "Service is getting a child a glass of milk or changing a diaper."  He said everything that mothers do in the home is service.  I have never looked at it that way.  Maybe I'm slow and the light just turned on for me while many other moms already got it.

Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying, I love motherhood and what I do for my children, I don't look at it as a burden but a blessing.  Sometimes we get caught up in the day to day and don't see the importance of what we do, the service we are giving to our children.



I shared my thoughts about how I never looked at motherhood as service because it's something I'm supposed to do.  Another sister responded with, "Lavinia, who else is going to love and nurture your children and teach them the way back home to Heavenly Father?"  The answer was no one--no one else will do that for my children but me.

Or you.  YOU.  All you other mothers out there who may or may not be stay at home moms, but are mothers none the less.  Who else is going to teach your children the gospel?  Who else is going to teach them love and kindness?  Who else will teach them to pray?  To read their scriptures? To follow the prophet?  Who?  Certainly not the world, have you seen the world today?  The world doesn't have much regard for motherhood, particularly stay at home mothers, or anything that is virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy.  The world is LOUD.  Sometimes we fall for the lies the world feeds us about what kinds of mothers and women we should be or that there are more important things to do than being a mother; because as I said, the world is loud.



But Heavenly Father is peace, He is quiet.  He speaks to us in the still small voice that we know as the Holy Ghost.  We need to escape the loud of the world so that we can listen and feel his peace, feel His comfort when the house is a mess, when our clothes are stained, and laundry is piled up.  We need to feel Him by our side as He supports us in our calling as mothers.  Those moments when we feel we are lacking and aren't doing much, but then look at our children and see their happy faces. We need to see what they see, not what we or what anyone else may see.   They see a mommy who is  available for help them; to teach them, and to love them, to answer questions about the Gospel; not a mountain of laundry or the piles of dishes in the sink.

What we do in the home is so important, it is a noble.  It's more important than any other career.  We may not get much recognition and are looked down upon by some, but our children see us for who we really are and what we really do, and that is all the reward we need.  We are also the only ones who can see them for who they really are, we can see their potential and all the wonderful that is in them.

Our efforts are seen by our Father in Heaven, who smiles down each time we stop what we are doing to wipe a nose, change a diaper, read a story, help a child with homework, or simply just sit and snuggle a child who is in need of a hug.  Sometimes this service is more important that any other service we can give to anyone else.

I now look at service and motherhood differently.  I will be more joyful about my service as a mother, about the four little miracles that are in my care, the calling that no one else can fulfill but me.



Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Youth of Today

The awesome youth of our ward invited friends to the activity


This past Wednesday we had the youth from our ward over for an activity of Human Battleship.  I should've taken pictures of the the tennis court so you could see how awesome it was.  Basically, it was two sides of the tennis court separated by a taller wall made from a sturdy tarp where the net is.  Then kids sit on either side and throw a ball over the net in hopes of making contact with someone on the other side.  If someone gets hit by the ball, he or she is out.

The purpose of my post is to mention how amazing the youth of the church is.  Sometimes I see or hear about things going on with youth in the world today and I am saddened by what has become of this world and the bad choices some kids are making at a younger age.  But then I see the youth of the church and the activities we have with them, fun wholesome activities that they participate in.  There is no swearing or bullying, everyone is kind and once again, the Spirit is there.

Not all youth are troubled, there are a lot of great kids out there, both members of the church and non members.  The negative is more focused on than the positive.  So I just want to focus on the positive in hopes of giving it more attention than the bad.

In a few years these kids will be going on their missions, but they are already missionaries now.  I am grateful for the hope and good example awesome youth are to the world.

Sweet Sabbath Day

Sundays are special because it's the day we go to church, but most Sunday mornings are hectic in our home.  My husband has meetings in morning so it's my job getting the littles ready for church and get us there on time.  I hate to admit that I tend to raise my voice at my children in frustration sometimes as I rush them to get ready so we are not late, but this has not worked out very well.

I do my best to prepare for Sunday on Saturday by getting the kids bathed and setting out their clothes, but I still allow my frustrations get the best of me when Sunday morning rolls around, which ruins the spirit of our home and the importance for the day.  Not to mention, it makes the adversary smile to see our family so out of harmony as we prepare for church.

Yesterday I decided that I was not going to get frustrated this morning as we got ready for church, no matter what happened, I was not going to raise my voice.  

The morning went well, we got off to a late start but I was not going to allow that to get me worked up.  If we were late, at least we'd still have the spirit with us.  I usually get the kids fed and dressed before I get ready, that way I know they are ready to go when I'm done because if I don't, then we are all getting ready at the same time and it usually means someone gets distracted or all of them get distracted.  There were a few moments when someone couldn't find a shoe or button a shirt and the child got frustrated but I calmly took care of these things and made sure the child knew that it was fine. This morning we all were fed, dressed, happy and we left well before we normally do.

The drive there was peaceful.  I chose to listen to Mercy River (I own all four of their albums, really uplifting and inspiring music; especially for women and mothers) which really set the tone and kept the Spirit present.  I noticed the children were listening, there was no fighting or bickering.  Trenton even asked if we were listening to songs about Jesus.   

We sat in an actual pew, usually my husband has us sit in the very back row of chairs so as not to disturb the meeting since we have four littles.  But I enjoy sitting in a pew so much more.  Before Sacrament meeting started, one of the Primary leaders asked me to sub in the CTR 8 class (I think it was that one) and of course I said yes.  I was excited because my boys are in Primary and I love being with them even if it's not in their class, I get to see them during sharing time.

The speakers were great; a youth speaker, a convert, and a returned sister missionary.

My lesson for the kids was on Joseph forgiving his brothers for selling him as a slave.  It was a great lesson and the children knew all the details of the story.  I was very impressed with how much of the scriptures they knew and for be so well behaved.

I feel Primary gets a bad wrap at times, I think some people cross their fingers and hope they can avoid a calling in Primary at all costs.  I used to be one of those, but that changed once I had children of my own.  Maybe we forget what it's like to be children and how fun and carefree it was, and mistake it for being too loud and rambunctious.

When I'm in Primary, I am reminded of the simple things of the Gospel, yet at the same time the most important ones as well; pray, read my scriptures, love, choose the right, and serve.  I see children in Primary and how they are sponges, taking it all in and knowing the Savior is real. The faith they have is so strong, they are not afraid to talk about their Savior and tell others about Him and how much He loves them.  I want to be like these children, my children.  

Speaking of my children, my boys sat so reverently during sharing time.  I was so proud of them. 

The spirit was so strong with me today.  I wept a little throughout the day, not because I was sad, but because I felt the spirit and I know my children did too.

I hope every Sunday is like this.  I know that I as the mother set the tone of what the day will be like, the day will only go well if I am in a good mood and have a welcoming spirit.

I've always loved this picture of the Savior blessing the Nephite children.
Look at the joy on that little girl's face, the excitement in her eyes.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Today

Today was one if those days where my house looked as if it had been hit by a tornado - or four little ones to be precise.
If anyone were to have made a random visit, I am pretty sure the first thought to escape their mouth would've been, "Didn't do much today, huh?"  They may have even wondered if we did any lessons today, the answer is yes, yes we did. But we also had fun. 



It looked as though the kids just tossed toys into the air like confetti, and usually things like that bother me; the fact that my home usually looks like a toy aisle in Toys R Us at the end of a busy day. But today I didn't mind it, I was grateful for my four littles and the evidence they left behind of the adventures they shared today. 



Today is over and done with, NEVER to return again. And though tomorrow will most likely be another masterpiece of Legos, My Little Ponies, and a collage of other missing toy fragments to decorate my home; it will be one day closer to the days when the Legos and ponies will be long gone. 

Today I cherished the masterpiece, and chose to look at it differently.  I chose not to see the mess but to love every minute of it.

I will miss these messy chaotic days, I know that I will long for the happy laughter and the never ending adventures my children create everyday. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

He knows us

The Savior knows us and loves us.  He is well aware of our worries and our fears. Fear is the absence of faith. Sometimes we allow our fears to get in the way of feeling the comfort of the Spirit, this means we are lacking faith.  The Spirit cannot comfort us if we do not have faith.  Then, when we least expect it, the Lord sends his angels to comfort us, to let us know that He is well aware of what we are feeling.

I just had one of those moments where my stress must have been permeating in the atmosphere because someone came by to check on me, because they felt impressed to do so.  It was so awesome.  Faith, comfort, and peace restored.

He is there.  He is well aware.

Birthday Boy

Today was hubby's birthday.  I love him and I wish he could've enjoyed it more.  I wish it could've been more special for him, just as special as he is.

It was just another ordinary day for him, busy with work.  But for me and our children, it's a special day because it's the day a very special person was born.  Someone whom we love and enjoy being with, someone who makes us laugh until we cry (or pee).  Someone who knows what to say at the right time.  Someone who cares enough to make sure we are always happy and smiling.  Someone who makes sure we know just how much we are loved and how much we mean to him.  Someone who takes us on the most fun adventures. Someone who sacrifices his time and energy for us, as well as others.  Someone who sets a good example of service and dedication.

I am grateful to have him as my eternal companion, he is an amazing man with a heart of gold.

I love you Michael, our lives are better because you're in it 


Sunday, April 20, 2014

How do I do this blog thing?

So I've mentioned before about having this desire to blog.  I always have thoughts running through my mind that I'd like to write about.  What things, you ask.  Well let me tell you

homeschooling
things my children accomplish
my faith
make up (and how I don't know how to wear it)
food
daily experiences
current events
funny things that my kids do/say
spiritual experiences
etc.

I feel like it's a simple thing to do: sit down at the computer and type away.  How difficult can it be, right?

But then when I actually do sit at the computer, I either begin to type away and then think, "Nah, this is lame." and just abandon it, or I simply do not have the time.

The back and forth in my head about blogging makes me feel like Smeagol and Gollum from The Lord of the Rings:




"Yes, sits down and writes all da things tha kidsies do and say.  Writes about how you are 35 five years old and just learning how to apply make up. It will be funny and make people laughsies. And They will loves it."


Then there is the other side of me that thinks: 


"No you fool, don't wastes your time on blogseses, you have lots to do and no minuteses to writes the lame thingseses you will writeses."



In all honesty I think I will just do it, just to do it.  And so here I go...again...at the attempt to start being a better blogger.






Sunday, April 13, 2014

10 Years part 1

It has taken me a while to write this post, I've had to write it in shifts.  I don't know why I have felt the need to share such a personal and painful period of my life, but it's been plaguing me for the last couple months.  Yet it has been therapy for me. So here I am...writing...in shifts, because it's the only way I could do this.

I'm really good at putting my deepest feelings in a box, a big box; like a cedar chest, and then walking away.  The box is always there at the foot of my bed.  Somedays I see it, and it'll stir an emotion deep inside but I quickly walk away and pretend it isn't there, and the thought of it is quickly forgotten.  Other days, I know it's there but I don't acknowledge it's presence.  Then there are days when I'll walk by it, and the memories are screaming at me from within and they are too loud to ignore, and I'm drawn to it.  I kneel at it and open it up and revisit some of the most painful memories, some that I have tried to bury deep within the walls of my heart's mausoleum, yet are still very much alive.  This post is one of those painful memories from a very difficult time in my life.

Reflecting on the year I lost my mother, brought back so many memories; good and bad.  The bad ones I've tried so hard to forget, but they are part of the story and they have made me stronger.

Here follows the early months of the year 2004...



This year marks the tenth anniversary of my mother's passing.  I have lived/survived a decade without my mother.  So much has happened since her death.  This realization of the length of time has had me looking back on the time that has elapsed and has caused memories to resurface; moments both happy and heartbreaking.

My parents and Michael and I on our wedding day
July 15, 2000


I remember what life was like in early 2004.  I was 25 years old, my husband and I had been married three and half years.  We were living with his parents and that was hard for us.  Not because of his parents, they are great people. (I look back and see how immature and selfish I was, and any annoyances that were caused were on my part; but that's a whole other story for a later post).  It was hard because there was so much going on in our lives and there wasn't any privacy.  We didn't have children yet.  I was working as a preschool teacher and my husband had just started working for his uncle.  I felt I couldn't mourn as I needed to dealing with my mother's illness, it was as though I had an audience, I suppose.

At this time, it was six months since my mother's diagnosis with lung cancer and chemo had seem to do  well at shrinking the tumor in her left lung but the side affects of the chemo killing her immune system caused a sore to develop on her abdomen, which required the need to postpone the chemo until the sore healed.  This put her in the hospital in December of 2003.  My last Christmas with her was a stormy day, spent in a hospital room.  Two days later was her 50th birthday, which should've been a joyous occasion; a happy milestone.  I baked her cupcakes that she didn't even eat, and I watched her as she dozed in and out of sleep, and moaned from the pain of her sore.  It took a while for the sore to heal. During that break from chemo, the tumor grew bigger than before she began chemotherapy.  Things went down hill after that.

I remember my last Mother's Day with her, I knew it would be the last one.  Michael was the one to take my mother to her chemo appointments, between my father, Michael and I, it was my husband's schedule that was flexible enough to do so.  I am very envious of this time Michael had with my mother, yet if anyone should have taken her, it was definitely better that it was him.  Because my mother had been dealing with that sore and then the tumor growing bigger, sometimes her white blood cells were too high and she wasn't able to get chemo, that's a bad thing.  So Michael would take her to Tommy's to get a burger (my mother never enjoyed that place but she'd go just because she knew Michael loved it).  At this point, my mother knew that the odds were against her.  My husband is a very good man, it was during those times in a burger joint that heaven was on earth for a brief moment.  Michael would teach my mother The Plan of Salvation, and it would bring her peace and comfort knowing that we would see her again.

I remember how she was put on oxygen, and needed a wheel chair when my husband and I took her and my father places.  My father is in a wheelchair due to polio he contracted at seven months old.

Before my mother's diagnosis, spending time with my parents had been fun.  We'd take them out to dinner, or walk around the mall, go see a movie.  But things were obvious different.  We still went out to dinner but my mother was on oxygen and was now in need of a wheelchair because any exertion caused her to have shortness of breath, and almost suffocate.

Two weeks before she passed away, we learned she had emphysema in the other lung, things were not looking well and she was given six months left to live.

I remember my last conversation with her.  I didn't realize it at the time that it would be our last, but she knew.  It was aTuesday, July 6th. I had gone a field trip with my preschoolers during the day and that afternoon I got another phone call from my father saying my mother had another shortness of breath episode.  She was taken by ambulance to the hospital and Michael and I were on our way to see her.  This was becoming a common occurrence, at least once a week my father had to call 911 because my mother was having trouble breathing from simple acts that all of us take for granted: getting up from the couch, changing her sitting position.  These are all things that would cause her to have shortness of breath, as if she ran a marathon.  The shortness of breath would then cause panic, which would increase the suffocating.

We got to the hospital and talked to my mother.  It was our last conversation, I didn't know it at the time but looking back, she knew.  She talked about the pain, the fear, the constant struggle to breathe.  I told her that if she needed to, she could let go and move on and not stay with us just to keep us all happy, her living in pain and constant suffocation was not the way to live.  She then asked about my father and  who would take care of him.  She said she never got to meet her grandchildren and was sad about that.  She hoped we would have twins, (I'm pretty sure she had something to do with us having twins three years later. She told me to always keep my hair long, she always like my hair long.  This was nine days before my birthday/wedding anniversary.  My mother always made a big deal out of birthdays, she said she was sorry she was going to miss it.  Still, I didn't think was going to be our last conversation.  Michael talked to her next, visiting rules were only one at a time.  She told him that she wanted to move on as well, but was afraid to tell my dad.  He wasn't ready to let go.  We both had told her we would talk to him.  We left that night.  I didn't say anything to my father because I was so mentally exhausted at my conversation with my mom, I thought I had one more day.  I'd tell him in the morning.

Michael and I went home, I got a call a few hours later from my father.  My mother had another breathing attack and was intubated with a breathing tube an hour or so after we left.  He said she fought the nurses as they were trying to intubate her.  I should've told my father what my mother said earlier that evening.

We rushed to the hospital.  My mother was sedated.  Every time she came to, she tried to pull out her breathing tube so they sedated her and tied her wrists to the bed.  It was so horrible seeing my mother like that.

The days that followed were very difficult and there were very difficult decisions that had to be made, that my father and I had to agree on.  There were so many personal things that went on that I cannot share in this post.

Thursday, July 8th we were at the hospital.  I knew she was slipping away.  I looked out one of the windows and saw the fiery sun setting in the sky, I felt peace.  I felt her there with me, and I knew that we were both watching the sun set together.  I knew that this was the last sunset that would happen while she was still technically alive, but I felt her spirit there with me.  Michael and I left, so that my father could be alone with my mother.

My mother passed away early in the morning on July 9th.  We went back to the hospital.  There she was, her mortal shell lying on the bed.  I rubbed her forehead and gave it a kiss, it was cold.  I wasn't prepared for that. My mother's body temperature was always so warm; warmer than normal.  As a little girl, I would snuggle up to her to keep me warm and as I got older I would still ask her to hold my hands when they were cold.  Right now, I can still feel how warm those hands felt clasping mine.  I put my hands under her body, where it was still somewhat warm yet not as warm as when she was still alive.

My mother and I when I was a little girl


That morning we went to Denny's with my father to try to eat and to discuss funeral plans.  Growing up, my parents talked about how they planned on going to Target (which was down the street from my parents home) on Tuesday's after my father retired because that was when the senior citizens went. They talked about going there to eat and to shop.  When we would go out to dinner together at Denny's or Norm's, they talked about how they looked forward to ordering from the senior menu.  My parents had plans to grow old together, but wasn't to be.  And I was reminded of that as I sat there trying to come to the realization that my mother was truly gone, no less than a week prior all four of us sat at a restaurant together, but here only the three of us sat there at a table for four with an empty chair where she should've sat. I looked up to see an older couple walk into the restaurant, a cruel reminder of what was not to be.

My parents long ago


A few nights after she passed, she came to me in a dream.  I really, really needed that dream.  I was back at the hospital, looking at her still alive but sedated attached to machines to keep her body running. But then she was standing next to me, it was her spirit.  She looked healthy and was dressed in white, she pointed me to look at her body, then stood in front of me and put her hand on my shoulder and said, "I'm okay, you did the right thing."  I am so grateful that she came to me in that dream, it has brought me so much peace and comfort still till this day.

Though this was THE most difficult moment I've ever experienced, I am so grateful that I had the Gospel to get me through such a painful time in my life.  I know that I will see my mother again.  I know that families are forever.  I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and all that He has done for, not just me, but for you and for all mankind, so that families can live in eternity.

Because of His Atonement and sacrifice, we can have peace in difficult times and we can live with one another again after death.  There is more to this life here on earth, there is more to follow.

We had family photos taken before she started chemo and lost her hair


Friday, April 11, 2014

Oh dear

Okay, so here I am again trying to do the blog thing.

Seriously, I have topics in my head ALL THE TIME that I imagine blogging about, but I never do.  Why?  Time is most likely the biggest factor.  As a homeschooling mother of four, it's impossible to sit with my laptop on my lap and type away without any distractions, but that's a good thing.  I love my kids and am grateful for their reminders of how blessed I am to be their mother.  I guess I can always blog at night, but that is special time for me and the hubby.

Here it is, 11:48 pm and I'm up blogging while everyone is asleep.  I don't think I'll make this a habit.  But I'd really like to blog about all the things that go on in my life.  Okay maybe not ALL the things, but some of them.  Like the funny things that happen with my kids.

In fact, this last Sunday, Joseph was chewing gum.  I saw him playing with it and reminded him to keep it in his mouth.  No less than a minute later, he is screaming and I see him rubbing his eyes.  He had blown a bubble and when it popped, most of the gum flew up, hit his eye and got stuck in those gorgeous long eyelashes of his.  I kind of chuckled because I knew that it wasn't as horrible as he thought, and there was a tiny voice inside my head that said, "Don't forget to take a picture." But my sweet little boy was panicking so I opted to rescue his eye instead.  I also didn't want him thinking, "Really mom? My eye is glued shut with gum and all you think about is taking a picture?"

When I was five years old, it was almost Halloween and I was planning on being a witch.  My mother braided my hair a couple days before and then the morning of Halloween she undid my braids and I had crazy frizzy witch hair.  That night had been fun, I trick or treated with my cousins then we went back to my grandmother's home to play.  I remember chewing on some gum while playing and it somehow flew out of my mouth and into my hair.  It was a mess.  I thought my mother would have to cut my hair, but she used peanut butter to get it out.

So that's what I did to my gummy bear.  He freaked when he saw me getting a butter knife to scoop up a small amount of peanut butter.  I calmed him with a prayer and then proceeded to get the gum out.  After a couple of minutes, his eye was clean and he could open it and was his happy self again.  He gave me a hug, and said, "Thank you mommy."

After a few minutes he came to me and said, "I almost died."  Oh the life of a five year old and the way they perceive things. My poor little guy.

Okay, I'm tired

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Blog Lovin'



I'm going to try do be better at this.  I always say that but let's see how it goes.