Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Time To Catch Up

I have been VERY  busy these last few days and that's an understatement. I'll post a few catch up things.

Holley had surgery again yesterday to begin to repair her shattered knee. She is recovering slowly from her terrible car accident but she IS recovering. Our hearts break for her as she transitions into this new phase of her life. We are grateful her life has been spared and we all feel ready to support her in her future healing process as she needs us.

She missed our family reunion last evening. She planned it from the beginning and wanted us to continue on without her. Here are a few of the pictures. Several people are missing because I was busy having fun with Nathan and Hannah that I missed a few.
Jim's Dad is a walking miracle.
What more can we say?
He is VERY chipper and cheery these days
since his near-drowning accident a few months ago.
Speaking of cheery and chipper,
Nathan delights all who are near him.
But the geese might be a little much for him.
Jim's Mom and Elisa,
quilters extraordinaire.
 Jim and his sister Kirsten.
Kirsten's girls and her husband Kurt.

 More catch up. Ian's e-mail home this week:

"Dear Family,

After reading your e-mail it looks like we weren´t the only ones to have a hard week. I was shocked to hear about Holley´s accident, but relieved to hear that she is OK. I will definitely be praying for her...We had a pretty tough week here too, no tragedies but lots of trials. Just about all of the missionaries in our house have been sick this week, especially me and my companion. I think I got the worst of it but it wasn't enough to take me out for any days, but it sure has been annoying. I am already doing a lot better today, now it is just a runny nose, We also almost had a baptism...We marked her baptism for Saturday but it fell through after she was already in the baptismal font. She is very very timid but she was excited for her baptism but on the actual day, she got nervous and didn't even want to get in the water. With all of us including her Mom encouraging her, she made it down into to the font (which took a little while). Her Mom even went a few steps in with her but then she started to cry and got really scared and said that she didn't want to be baptized anymore...I have never seen a group of elders so sad and so discouraged as I did on that night...We will now try and baptize her in a pool or in some other place were she will feel more comfortable...A large part of the group of the elders that I came into the mission with wil be going home next week. They will be going home two weeks early for school. It will be rather strange seeing almost of the elders that I came into the mission with going home without me, but I am grateful for the extra 2 weeks. I know that the Church is true and the God lives. I know that Christ is our Savior and that He loves us. The work of God is glorious!"
I love his last sentence. I agree. Wholeheartedly.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I Missed You Son, Just Like The Song Says

Elisa sent me an e-mail earlier telling me she made up a YouTube video of Ian's mission pictures to a song she recently heard. She said to get the kleenexes. Oh my gosh, it about obliterated me. She did an amazing job and it is truly a treasure. Three weeks and counting!!! Enjoy.

 (Too bad there is another guy with his same name who has been in trouble with the law and his court stuff shows up on the YouTube page after this video plays but that's a different Ian).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Just Turned Two

This is Nathan who just turned two three weeks ago.
Makes you wonder what's coming our way down the road!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Seth

18 years...Where did they go?

I'll have to write more later...
I'm too teary right now
and I have to go make meatballs
and a birthday cake.

Love you Son.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In The Blink Of An Eye

The sad reality of life sometimes is how much life can change in an instant. Jim's sister Holley was in a terrible car accident yesterday. We received the news yesterday afternoon and thus began the heartbreaking task to go to the hospital where we found Holley in tremendous pain awaiting surgery. Jim's other sister Kirsten was already with her. She was the only person Holley could remember at the time. The details of the car accident are still very sketchy. She broke her collar bone on the left side and has several nasty fractures of her right femur which required surgery last night lasting late into the evening. She has a shattered right knee. She had many facial lacerations which are now all stitched up, apparently she severed an artery. She also has several pelvis fractures as well.

Jim and I spent quite a bit of time trying to track her husband down to tell him the news. Holley could not remember him or where he was and he didn't answer his cell phone when we tried calling him. We finally located him several hours after the accident. We went to their house and decided to leave when we discovered he wasn't there. As we were leaving, we found him walking along the road near their house. He had taken a long walk to go to the cemetery to visit his mother's grave. It was a tender moment to say the least to have to break the news to him. He is with Holley now.

My heart breaks for Holley. She is one of the kindest, most loving people I have ever known. She has a heart of gold and a true deep down goodness about her. She has been a blessing to me in many, many ways for many, many years. It's time for me to figure out how I can serve her now. It's a sad time for our family right now.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Eagle Has Landed

Well mostly....Seth turned in all the required paper work this morning for his Eagle Scout advancement. This picture was taken at the Boy Scout office. There will be a formal "board of review," but that is mostly just a formality. He turns 18 on Friday. Good for him, I'm proud of him. Well done Seth.

Today is July 23rd. Just one month to go until Ian comes home. It's a happy day all the way around.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just Pondering

I attended a sunrise service this morning in a local park. It is a yearly tradition in our stake for our youth. It is supposed to be a remembrance service prior to the annual Pioneer Day celebrations that take place on July 24th honoring the original pioneers who crossed the plains to come to Utah.

 A man spoke this morning and said something that I have been pondering ever since. It's quite thought provoking. I'll try to get it right. It might not be exact, but it's close. In essence he said, "Whenever we receive blessings for making good choices, we've already paid in advance. Whenever we experience negative consequences for making wrong choices, we realize we pay later." Now that's not exactly what he said, but the thought is right. We don't ever pay for blessings of course. His point was, blessings usually follow correct choices. He said we realize after the blessings that we paid very, very little in relation to the outpouring of blessings we receive. We always receive far more than we ever put in to receive the blessing. He said if we make a wrong choice, we will realize after the fact that we had no idea how much that wrong choice was going to cost us in the end and that we will feel very sorry that it cost us so much in the end.

There's a lot to think about there. It makes an awful lot of sense.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It Appears I Am A Published Author

This whole experience has been very humbling to say the least. I made a few minor editing changes to my book and cover blurb and everything was approved for publishing today. I don't know what to say really which is surprising for me because I always have something to say it seems. The e-mail I received said that various components of my book will be available over the next 5-7 business days until everything is in place. Right now, here is a preliminary link. Wow.

By (Me) :)

"God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow in them."
  ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's Here

This is pretty incredible, I have to say. The "proof" of my book arrived in the mail as an actual book! I went outside to open it and took a few deep breaths on the way. I sat in the sun, opened it, and was delightfully surprised. It's hard to describe the tenderness of feeling of seeing the culmination of a very long project. I was quite teary-eyed. I am very pleased with it. I have not hit the publication button yet. I may do that tonight or I might tweak one last sentence. I'll decide later. Either way, it will be published by the end of the week. I'll put up a link on this blog when a link becomes available about how to get one of these books. As for Eloise, Amy Jo, and my family...I will get one for you. I guess it just goes to show that if you have a "heart's desire," you should proceed until you accomplish your goal. It's a very, very sweet, tender, peaceful feeling.
I went to Provo today. I bought Hannah a hat.
 It's WAY too big of course but it's definitely her, what can I say?
Then Nathan wanted to wear his hat.
Messy face and all..
these are the faces that this grandmother loves.
Happy me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

So It Looks Like I'm Getting Published

It looks like tomorrow will be the publication date. I'll have to wait until tomorrow though to find out. I've been working on my book now for quite some time. I am self publishing it through CreateSpace. The whole process has been a good learning experience for me and very enjoyable. Gone are the days when you have to find a publisher willing to publish your book. When a publishing house's book sales lag after a while, they stop printing the book and it becomes no longer available. I opted to do most everything myself through CreateSpace. My book will be available on Amazon as a "POD." That means "Print on Demand." If someone wants to buy it, they click on the buy button, it gets printed and mailed off to them. It never goes "out of print" unless I officially retire it. I will also publish it for all forms of e-readers but that will take another week or two or so but that's in the works too.

I published a book when I was 17. I was editor-in-chief of my high school yearbook. I was responsible for most everything for that book from start to finish. It was a massive undertaking. I well remember the day I held that book in my hand. It was a wonderful experience. Because of that experience, I was not afraid to go this route at this time. My English teacher daughter Emma, edited this book for me. That really was no small task. She went over it with a fine tooth comb.  It was an awful task to say the least and and I edited it as well as many times as I could over the last year until I couldn't see straight. I liked the whole process of the cover design, choosing fonts, layout design, writing the blurbs, etc., etc., etc. It looks the way I want it to look. It was accepted for publication last week but I nixed that and fine tuned it some more. A finished copy is on its way to my house and should be here tomorrow. If I approve it, I tell them to go ahead and tomorrow becomes my publication date. Wow. Exciting and scary at the same time.

As I said once before, I have no desire to become a famous author nor am I interested in financial rewards. That's just not in my heart. I feel a little bad that I actually had to set a price for the book otherwise I couldn't get it published. I set a low price for it and we'll just see what happens.

Tomorrow should be an interesting day. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Time Is Growing Short

It's Sunday again. I just e-mailed Ian as I always do on a Sunday. The time is really going by fast now. I am just so happy that he has a little time left to finish out his mission. Those last few weeks are tough. A missionary's heart is in the mission but the tugs on the heart strings from home seem to tug even more. I don't mention much at all about his coming home. I don't want to distract him. A lot of people are asking for him and we all just shake our heads at how fast the time went by although at the time, it seemed to drag so much.

I'll post a little something from my journal at the end of my mission. It was dated two weeks before I came home, May 1983.

"There are so many great blessings in being a missionary. I've seen many people be baptized and there are many more to be taught that can't be baptized yet but I know they will be...My companion and I dragged ourselves out this morning. We were dead tired yet something motivates you to do this work that you just can't explain-something that even when you're dead tired or it's pouring rain, you still get out there and work. I can't ever thank my Father in Heaven enough for letting me come on a mission. How can I ever express my gratitude enough? The blessings far out weigh the small sacrifices we make in serving a mission... Before I went to bed last night I was reading some inspirational stuff about missionaries and started to cry. I went in to pray and cried and cried about the thought of my mission ending but at the same time knew that it has to end, that I have to go on, that Jim is waiting and so are my children and that's my most important calling. The sweet peace of the Spirit witnessed to me that my mission is accepted of the Lord and that it is soon time to leave. I will cherish this last bit of time here and work my hardest to serve the Lord. I truly love these people with all my heart."

Jim and I were married six weeks after I returned home and our eldest daughter was born 10 1/2 months later. God bless that man for waiting for me while I served a mission. Like he said yesterday, 29 years down, infinity to go.

The time is also growing short for my blog. It's been good for me to blog these last two years but it's also almost time to end this as well. I'll try to make the end meaningful as I wrap things up.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Infinity Minus 29

That's how Jim has referred to our anniversary today. It's a pretty good way to think about it...29 years and counting.

We're off for an anniversary dinner date.

Still love him.
He's my best friend.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More Pictures

I'm home now but I had a few more pictures I wanted 
to share from my time visiting with Sarah.
Nathan was playing with my umbrella
 while Sarah was at an appointment. Delightful.
Sweet Hannah in a blanket I embroidered for her.
Nathan turned two while I was there.
 He loves all things monkeys.
So his aunt made him a monkey cake of course.
And Sarah made him monkey cupcakes.
Happy Birthday Nathan.

It was a privilege and blessing to spend a week with Sarah and help her during her birth. I did not expect to be there for the delivery, but I was. I was also there when Nathan was delivered. Sarah was quite amazing and it's hard to describe the joy of having a granddaughter. Happy me. Good work Sarah.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Son

Ok, I'll admit it. I found myself crying on and off for about a half hour this morning thinking about Ian. I realize he is a grown man and he is an adult now and he hasn't needed his mother in several years but he's still my son. He's 21 today. I just found myself to be very weepy this morning and I let myself have a good cry. After a while I decided to do something about it. I decided to make him a big pot of spaghetti sauce and meatballs for his birthday which is his favorite. I know he can't eat them today but they freeze beautifully and he can eat them when he comes home in six weeks! My despair turned to joy and the rest of the day has been very nice. Jim and Seth were DELIGHTED with their good fortune at dinner tonight to say the least and were looking chagrined when I told them I was putting most of it in the freezer until Ian comes home.

Here are some comments from our traditional "Person of the Day" that went to Ian in this week's e-mail to him:

From Seth: "I like Ian because he is a great older brother. I appreciate all the personality traits that I realize I got from him; they are great traits to have, like being disciplined and being a leader among my peers. I also appreciate his example of serving a mission, and I am excited to go to BYU with him."
Elisa's cracks me up: "I like Ian because every time I pull my emergency break in my car I think about how sometimes he pulls it so hard that it gets stuck and then I can't drive anywhere."
Sarah's: "I like Ian because he has such a solid character. He has so many wonderful qualities and I'm so proud of him for serving a mission. And because he's an awesome uncle and will be so great with Hannah just like he was with Nathan!"
Emma's: "I like Ian because he is not into drama....he just likes to have fun and stay positive and it's infectious to those around him."
From Chris: "I like Ian, well, because he is Ian... He's been a good friend."
From Gregory: "I like Ian because...he hasn't decided to rest on his laurels.  He has take a maximum-effort, sprint-to-the-finish approach to his missionary service. "

From Jim: "I like Ian because he's a manly man, a man of science, math, and engineering, but better yet, a man of God, and a trusted agent."

Mine: "I like Ian because he has brought me great joy for 21 years. He blessed me with the opportunity to use all my mothering skills. I like Ian because he will be a blessing to me for eternity."

See you soon Son.
A great dinner awaits.


 Here are some pictures showing why we miss Ian around here:
 Elisa and Ian shortly before he left.
Chris, Ian, Emma, & Elisa
Ian, Jim & Gregory
Just throwing this in because I like it.
Elisa, Sarah & Emma
Typical of Ian's personality.
 And so is this.
And this.
Love this one.

Enjoy the rest of your mission Son.
It will be over before you know it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

"The Beginning Of The End"

"Dear Family,

As I thought about what I could put as a subject line, I thought of putting "The beginning of the end," and then I decided that that sounds really trunky and I don't really feel that way. Then I remembered the First Presidency message from the Ensign this month, how we should always think of ourselves in the middle.("Always in the Middle") [Pres. Uchtdorf] cited specifically the example of a mission. So as I enter into this last transfer I will strive to maintain this mentality: "The middle of the end," and I think that does a pretty good job of summing up how I feel...This week was also the last week with my companion, who will return on Wednesday. It has been somewhat bothersome watching him finish his mission with the temptation to imagine myself in his place here in six weeks, but I feel like I have have been able to deal with it fairly well. I really don't want to be unfocused here at the end of my mission and I have begun to pray daily for help to not slow down. I want to get the most out of these two years and the time is getting late, so I will have to get even more effective in my work. As far as transfer new, we have a blast from the past. I will we working with Elder Lima again! He was my companion in Marília and we will be working together again but this time as assistants. I am very excited for this next transfer, he was by far my favorite companion and I am sure that good things are in store.

I will have to run now. We will have a meeting with the trainers right now and we have to get down to the church. I know that this Church is true and that Christ lives, I know that the Book of Mormon is true that that we have a living prophet...I love you all and thanks for the birthday wishes!"
This one brought tears to my eyes. Ian's birthday is tomorrow. Miss him.

Friday, July 6, 2012


How do you adequately describe this kind of joy?
When God gives you a gift like this
to share as a family
 experiencing the joy of your posterity.
I am in Provo until Tuesday enjoying my new grandbaby.
I just keep looking at her
and watching Nathan
become acclimated to his new sister he calls "Hannie."
So far so good.
Elisa came today.
Emma, Wade and Seth also came today but I neglected 
 to take pictures unfortunately.
Next time.

It's been a nice, nice day
spent surrounded by family. 

That's the best kind of day.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

And How Was Your Day?

It couldn't have been as nice as mine.
I took this while I was holding Hannah.
She looks so much like my own babies.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Great Day For A Parade And Fireworks

To celebrate the birth of my new grandbaby, it seems America has celebrated with parades all over this country and will host amazing fireworks celebrations this evening. I feel it is a fitting tribute.
Nathan and I went to the Provo parade this morning.
 He loved the balloons.
 I loved the missionary entry!
That was my favorite part.
Then Nathan and I went to see his new sister.
How sweet is this?!
She "gave" him a new train...
to ease the disruption she might
 make in his life from here on out.
She reminds me of my babies.
My Mom told me today that she looks like me
when I was born.
And she looks like Sarah.
Very beautiful.
She is coming home later tonight.
Dad is doing well.
They even gave him a day off of work with
 the rest of the country to celebrate her birth.
How nice of them.
 Gregory's sister and her husband stopped by.
An expanded family.
For me too.
I now have TWO beautiful grandchildren.
I feel very blessed.
And very grateful.
Hannah's three generation photo.

Thanks Sarah!!
Well done.

Oh and Happy 4th of July America!!