Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Just in case I don't take more time before Christmas, this may be my Christmas greeting to the world! So, any out there still in my blog world, have a wonderful Christmas! And DON'T, whatever you do, get sick!! That is the dumbest way to spend the holidays, as well as being miserable. You can't even rest in peace, because you lie there, feeling horrible, and then worry about all the things you aren't getting done. Even listening to Christmas music doesn't help because you don't feel well enough to do that. It truly is the most "un-fun" way to spend the holidays! Needless to say, we have ALL been sick. It came upon us so fast and so strong, that it was unbelievable! It basically started Sunday morning, although our son, Brady, didn't feel very well on Saturday, but then at varying times later that day, it came upon us. It was the stomach flu, and it was pretty miserable. Even Baby SJ, who is 19 months, got it--but kids do the best with stomach sickness. They just throw up, and then they feel better, and play until they feel sick again, and then throw up again. They don't worry in the in-between times. The rest of us just lay around and moan and groan about all the pains we feel, and wait till the next wave of nausea hits. My husband, Spence, was so awesome Sunday night. He went around from room to room, just taking care of us. He was feeling pretty proud of himself that he hadn't gotten it, and that he had gotten his flu shot (unlike the rest of us), but then it caught up to him on Tuesday. This time NO ONE escaped--it was crazy!! So whether shopping all gets done, or wrapping--I guess Christmas will come whether we're ready or not! We have boxes still on our back porch of Christmas decorations that we could hang, but it's just not going to happen this year--what you see is what you get...and there is just no more time for anything else. Of course, this is a crazy time of year anyway. We have our whole regular lives--work, church work, children, other responsibilities, and then we try to add a whole other life, our CHRISTMAS life, on top of that. How do we really think we're going to make it all work? I know that in the middle of all that, we try to make it meaningful and focus on important things, but it is a constant struggle. We really do get caught up doing things that really don't matter. If Heavenly Father could do it HIS way, we would focus on His son, and not only His birth, but His life, His atoning sacrifice, His great love for us, and His desire that we love and serve one another. So, try to muddle through, and may we all focus on what truly matters in life. My love to you all--have a joyous Christmas!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

So Much to Be Thankful For

It is Thanksgiving morning. About 5:30 this morning I woke up, and couldn't get back to sleep. I felt like I needed to write this morning, and count my blessings. I have been really focused inward lately, and have not counted my blessings. We had an apostle of the Lord come and teach us in September, and he told us that we needed to look outward instead of focusing inward. That thought just kept coming to me this morning, and I felt like I needed to do this before I get going on my day.It is easy to dwell on negative things, and it takes more effort to consider the positive things in your life. My mother loved Thanksgiving--and I need to take her attitude and be glad for this day where you can think of all the ways you've been blessed.

So here I go--listing my blessings. This is more for me than for anyone else who might happen to read this, because I need to be more grateful. First of all, I am thankful for my health. Two years ago I didn't even know if I could go to Thanksgiving dinner because I was feeling so poorly. I laid on the couch at my sister-in-law's house, and couldn't eat anything, but that day I was glad that I could just be with my loved ones. I have been so blessed with my health, and can do just about everything I want to--and sometimes I forget what a blessing that is. I have amazing sisters, who care so much about me. They are constantly in touch with me, and even when I don't reach out to them, they reach out to me. What a gift they are to me--each and every day of my life. I am thankful to have a wonderful husband, who also cares deeply about me--and who puts up with my ups and downs, and still loves me in spite of myself. He is very patient with me, and tries to understand me, even when I act like an emotional woman, which I am. I am thankful too that right now he is feeling pretty well--which in an ongoing challenge for him. I am thankful for the way he has always provided for our family, and also saved for our future. He is so good to our children, and they love and respect him very much. I am thankful for my children. As with every family, we have our ups and downs--we don't always get along, but there is an underlying caring that runs deep. I am thankful that my children seem to genuinely love each other, and enjoy being together and being friends. I am thankful for 3 cute little grandsons, who call me "Grandma Weez" and who make me laugh just because they're cute and active little boys. This Thanksgiving my daughter, Kelsey, is home from BYU, and she is so thoughtful and caring. What a blessing she is in my life--she cares so much about people, and tries so hard to show that. She just really touches my heart. I am thankful to live in my beautiful home. I love it, and I am so grateful that I have such a nice place to live. I am thankful I can do things like sew and quilt because those things bring me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction. (plus they are lots of fun to do!!) I am thankful I have the means to make beautiful things, and the time to do it. I am thankful to work in the Church--to have the opportunity right now to work with the children's organization, the Primary. Sometimes I feel quite inadequate in that responsibility, but it gives me the chance to serve, and it makes me look outward...which I need to do. Anything that makes me get out of thinking just about ME helps me to focus outward and to be more caring towards others and their
needs. I am thankful for this time of year--fall and winter are a wonderful time here in Arizona--it's the time of year which makes up for all the super hot days of summer. I am thankful for good neighbors--I love the neighbors on our street and how they look out for each other and truly care. We are blessed to live in such a nice place. I also have many friends who truly care--who listen to me when I need a listening ear, and who care and are sensitive to my feelings. There is nothing better than true friends--and they can be in your family as well as outside of your family. I have many more blessings, and I guess I could make this a super long entry, but if you've stuck with me this long, you probably don't want to hear anymore. Like I said at the beginning, this was an exercise more for me than for anyone else--to help me remember many of the ways I'm blessed and to think more of those and less of the ways maybe my life is lacking. I need to be thankful to my Father in Heaven for all that He does for me...and to reflect on those things so much more. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

So very disappointed

This is a hard day for me--last night was a hard night. I am very sad, and have shed some tears. So many of the things I value and hold dear were espoused by Governor Mitt Romney, and I had so hoped that he could somehow miraculously win for president. It wasn't because he was Mormon that I was such an advocate, although he IS a good member of our church--holds to its ideals, believes in family, and has been dedicatd to living the prinicples of Jesus Christ. It is because he had the courage to stand up for family and the ideals our country was based on. He believes in America, and doesn't apologize for things we have done--he is proud to be an American. He believes in the inspired beginnings of our country, and the principles that are espoused in our constitution. He is willing to stand alone, and not just sway with the pressures of society to accept and advocate "alternative lifestyles," just so that he can be popular with the voice of the people. He is willing to stand as a witness of Christ at all times, and in all things and in all places. I was so touched by his concession speech--there was nothing of malice in it. I prayed sincerely in the past weeks for the American peoples' hearts to be touched with what really matters. But I know they have exercised their right to vote, and I am thankful we can do that. But I am proud to say that I was for Mitt Romney and for all he stood for. I wish we could have the opportunity to have him work for some of the ideals he advocated. I, like him, really need to pray for our leaders and hope that America can do better in the next 4 years and follow a better path. With all my heart I pray that God will truly bless America, this land that I love.

Monday, November 5, 2012

News in November

That title is a little bit misleading, since I really don't have much news in November. Tomorrow is Election Day, and I have to say I'm pretty nervous about what is going to happen...but I guess we'll survive, whoever wins...hopefully!! :) I have this wonderful friend at Church--she's one of the first people I see every Sunday, and she is a beautiful and very classy woman. She reads my blog--I don't think there are many that still do!! And she got on me yesterday for not having written for so long...and it has been OVER a month! So she was right to give me a hard time, so I'll try to come up with something to say...since she still is one of my "fans!!" Things are finally cooling down in Arizona--well, that's kind of a lie, since it's supposed to be in the low 90's this week. It has been said that we have two seasons here--hot and hotter! Probably truer than any of us would like to admit. I read an article today talking about how the temperatures are going to stay hot longer--that is not a fun prediction. I love fall here--although we don't have fall leaves or anything like that, our mornings and evenings get cooler...and that is SUCH a welcome relief! My son, Brady is into "fantasy basketball." For any of you who have known anyone who does that, it is pretty crazy...and kind of addicting. (especially if you're involved in multiple teams like he is). He gets into different things, and does them wholeheartedly until the next "passion" comes along. My daughter, Kelsey, who is up at BYU, has really been doing some fun things with her photography. She is hoping to get into the program there at school, but even if she doesn't, she is starting to take lots of pictures...and loves doing that and editing them. Her card calls it "Priceless Photography" and we thinks she does great! I think you can check her out on Facebook, but since I'm Facebook illiterate, I might not be the one to tell you that with any degree of authority!! I have been doing quite a bit of sewing and quilting. That is what I love to do--it is so fun, and so great to have something tangible that you can show that you have accomplished something.. I have been making Halloween table runners, and they are way cute. Of course, they take too much time, but I still really enjoy doing them. I am working in our Church's children's organization now, called the Primary. I love it--I love working with the children, and helping their leaders. I love the music of the Primary--nothing can touch your heart like hearing children sing those precious songs that teach them about Heavenly Father. It is a privilege to work with them, and I am thankful for this opportunity. It keeps me very busy, and is probably good becuase it helps to keep me out of trouble!! It is November, so it is the time to express thanks. We had a wonderful lesson in Church yesterday on being grateful...and it is always good to try to "count your blessings," and think of the many ways your life is blesed. Lately I've read about a couple of different people who had esophageal cancer, like I did, and have not survived. I don't think I realized what a horrible cancer it is and how blessed I was to have lived through it. I need to express thanks more often for that and for so many other things I've been blessed with. Our teacher gave us this quote, "Thank you God for blessing me much more than I deserve." I am blessed to know the power of prayer in my life, that I have a Father in Heaven, who cares about me as a person, and who will listen when I talk to Him. I am thankful that He had a son, Jesus Christ, who died for me, and who took upon Himself all my sins and weaknesses and problems because He loves me too. So, at this time of year, I'm going to try harder to express thanks more often and with more sincerity. Have a great day!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Come Llisten to a Prophet's Voice

Dear Friends, I just wanted to invite you to one of my favorite events of the year--it happens twice a year, and it is called General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the most awesome, inspiring and uplifting weekend of the year for me--well, one of the TWO most inspiring weekends of the year!! The leaders of our Church meet together in Salt Lake City, and for two days, they give inspired messages to the members of our church. These leaders are prophets for these modern days, just like Moses and Abraham were in the Old Testament--they are in tune with the problems and issues of today, and have great wisdom and insights. There is a lot of practical advice, whether you're a member or not, and the talks are based on following the Lord, Jesus Christ. It helps you if you are going through challenging times in your life, and helps you want to have a stronger family, and have a better marriage...and just, in general, do better in your life. These leaders are terrific, and always help me to regain an eternal perspective (so easy to lose focus when we get caught up in the mundane things of life). They are optimistic and encouraging...and the talks just help you to want to be better and to try harder. It is on twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday, and I promise you that it will help you want to be a better person. It is a renewing and revitalizing time for me, and I hope that you will tune in to watch it...and feel some of those same feelings too. May you have a great weekend. Much love always, Louise Here is the link: Come listen to living prophets

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Some Random Thoughts

It's about time to write again--I am such a slacker when it comes to writing in here. Now that I feel better, and that life is more back to normal, I can't think of much to write about! I DID watch quite a bit of the Republican Convention last week, and I was very impressed at what I heard and with several of the speakers. I thought Ann Romney was totally awesome, and I feel like Mitt is a great man...and would help our country so much. I am very hopeful that he will be elected. I feel like he's what our country needs. I am reading parts of his book, No Apology, and am trying to get a better feel for the things he believes in. I was very touched by the feeling of patriotism that I felt during that convention--of people who truly love America, and want many of the same things that our Founding Fathers wanted and were inspired to make as the basis of this country. I have survived since my daughter, Kelsey, went to college. Thank heavens for cell phones, texting, and emails--I'm glad I can talk to her often. We developed such a strong bond when I was sick, and I will always be grateful to her for all her service to me...and for how much she cares about people. She is such an awesome person! I have a new Church responsibility. I am working with the children's organization of our Church, the Primary, and it is a lot of work. Our Church is very connected with the Boy Scouts of America, so I have a lot of Scouting things that I have to do. There is a lot to learn and a lot to do--so it keeps me hopping. I am also still working on quilts--that is so fun for me, and such a great it is the one thing where I really can SHOW something that I have done. Cleaning, cooking and doing wash just need to be done over and over again--when you MAKE something, you have something to show for your efforts...and that is gratifying! Plus I like to sew, and so this has been a fun hobby. I've had a few health problems, but nothing too serious. I hurt my shoulder, and it is a torn rotater cuff. However, I can do some exercises, and don't need to have surgery, so that's a good thing. I've also had some chest pains, but those seem to be getting better too--so probably all those things have just been muscular problems, and some advil and a little less exercise, and I'll do all right. I have a new friend at church--a very sweet, young, newly-married girl. I just love being with her. I am always impressed with someone who befriends other people who are not at the very same stage of life that you are. I think that's great, because I think you can learn something from all different people...and they can enrich your life. There used to be a couple in our ward, who were older people, but they were friends with everyone. One time the wife told me, "We really don't know WHAT age we are--we enjoy being with people of all differnt ages." What a great attitude. It's awesome to get to know so many differnt people, and learn from them and have relationships with many of them. I'm thankful for the people in my life, and the dear friends--they are such a blessing!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

So Hard to Let Them Go

I just said good-by to my daughter, Kelsey, who is leaving to go back up to school at BYU. This is one of the hardest parts of mothering for me--when my children leave to go back to where they live. I hate good-byes anyway, and I feel like part of my heart goes with them every time--it leaves a big void. It is especially hard this time because I have really enjoyed having Kelsey around this summer. She is an unusually thoughtful and caring person, and so when she goes, I can really feel it. It leaves a huge emptiness. I have been crying on and off for the last few days, in anticipation of her leaving. It is not that I don't want her to have growing experiences--it is more just a selfish feeling, that I am not so much a part of her life when she is I just miss HER as a person. Kelsey has been blessed with the gift of sensitivity, and that really touches my heart. I just pray that she will be watched over, and that she will have an enjoyable time at school. The best part for her being in Utah, is she loves being closer to her sisters, who both live up there. She'll get to spend time with her sister, Emily, for this next week, and I know she really looks forward to that. It's just so hard to let her go. Last night we went to see the movie, "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." For some critics, it is just a sappy movie...but I guess I like sappy movies, and can cry along with the best of them (I have certainly proved that by the way I've taken my daughter leaving for college). But I thought it was a very dear movie, with a good message. I think the thing that touched me the most is at the very end, when he is talking about what his parents had done for him. He said that they had made many mistakes, but that they had always loved him. That really hit home--I know that I have made many mistakes as a parent (not handled things right, gotten angry when I should have been patient, etc.), but one thing I DO know--I love my children, and they mean the world to me...and in spite of my mistakes, I hope they will always know that. Spence and I wanted children for so long, and then we were blessed with 6 wonderful children. I am thankful for them, and pray that they will always know that I love them.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Some Musings on the Media

I wrote this particular entry on July 22, 2012...even though it is a few days later right now. I have had some thoughts especially tonight that I wanted to share on my blog. These will not be popular with a lot of people, but I needed somewhere to share some of these feelings. So, if you want to comment or criticize, go right ahead, but these are some things I feel quite strongly about. I have been on vacation for the last several days, and the TV has been on a lot. I am not a TV watcher—never really have been. My mother really didn’t like watching TV, and so it was rarely on as we were growing up. My parents felt like if you had free time, that it was far better to read than to watch TV. I carried that same feeling into raising my kids, but didn’t implement it nearly as well as my parents did. I am truly appalled at what is on the TV. Nearly every show has immoral people or people who take the Lord’s name in vain, or who dress immodestly. Sexual themes are predominant, and there is nothing sacred or holy about any of the sexual content. So this generation is growing up where they make fun of sexual things, and they get very used to suggestive content in practically everything. It seems like a lot of their conversations are sexually oriented or have references to sexual things. For any of you who watch TV, which is all of us, even the commercials are disturbing in their sexual innuendos, etc. I went to church today, where there is sacred music and talks about trying to live more Christ-like, service-oriented lives, and then the TV goes on later today (which for my house, is usually avoided on Sunday), and there is nothing of any spiritual nature left. Love is mocked, and lust is basically the “name of the game.” I find it pathetic and very discouraging. If we are going to uplift ourselves, and think more noble and holy thoughts, we need to fill our lives with more truly uplifting things. One of my children asked a very thought-provoking question of a friend of mine, who had never heard of a particular TV show that they were discussing. When he realized that she had never heard of it or watched it, he asked, “So what do SMART people do if you don’t watch shows like that?” What a question—I wish we would all be “smarter” and use our “discretionary time” in a more wise, and uplifting and worthwhile way. I know I have no say pretty much about what other people do, but being exposed to some of these shows this week, has made me feel more determined to try to elevate my thoughts and my actions—that the things that I choose to watch and read and do will truly show my desire to live closer to the Spirit of the Lord, and try to do things that will bring my life more in harmony with His. There is so much time wasted watching TV. I feel like we need to do more active things also—get out and exercise and things like that. I think it’s sad that our lives are so filled with degrading things. I know that I need to strive to live a more purposeful life. I think our world would be so much better if we sought for things that are more uplifting—our conversations and actions and thoughts would just make us purer and more proactive in more worthwhile things. I wish we would all take some time and analyze how much time we spend wasting time watching TV, and determine to make better use of our spare time. I think we would all be blessed if we all would examine our priorities and use our time more wisely. I know I need to work on priorities too (FOR SURE), and just use my time in more worthwhile pursuits. Again, I realize what I say will really bother some people, but I am just expressing my views and some of the concerns that I have. So, just take it as my “soap box” for the day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I've got Great Kids

Did you notice that title--I don't feel that way ALL the time--just like any mother, I have my "moments," but my kids have been so awesome lately that I need to pay tribute to them. RIght now my kids at home are taking dinner to their dad. He has to work late--he has had a lot of challenges at work lately, and he has had to work lots of extra hours. But my Kelsey, who is super thoughtful, decided that she would take a sub sandwich down to him and some of his favorite candy bars...because he will be working late, and probably not get any dinner. She thinks of things like that all the time--and it just makes me very happy that she does things like that. I think she is a total winner. Then, last week our daughter, Katie went through a miscarriage. It was a huge blow to our whole family. I didn't realize until this happened that when something like this happens, you experience a great loss--not only the person going through it, but also the whole family who was anticipating the birth of another child. I think this experience will make me more empathetic to others going through a trial like this. It made everyone so sad. One of my daughters just wept when she heard it--and all of them texted or talked to Katie, to see how she was doing. My daughter, Emily, went up to Logan (where Katie lives) and spent a few hours with her--took her out for lunch, and for a pedicure. Then she and her husband and son went up another night to bring dinner to Katie and Cody.They live about an hour and a half away, but knew how important it was for Katie and Cody to feel their support. Wow--I was so impressed by all the caring that went on in my family. When the chips are down, they really come through. Life is too short not to let the people we love know that we love them. I am very thankful for my children, and that they think of others in their family...and try to give support and help whereever they can. Moments like this are painful,but incredibly sweeet when you see how much families can rally around each other. We go to the beach in a few days. We are all excited to be together. Of course, the anticipation is half the fun--and we've been looking forward to this for quite a while. Hopefully, it will be as wonderful as we're all hoping.
Here is a picture of me with 2 of my girls--Emily and Katie when we were in Utah

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Back Home Again!

Today was Sunday--I have been gone to Utah for about 10 days. We had a roommates reunion with some of my BYU roommates, and it was awesome. They are awesome people who are tremendous examples in my life. I want to be like the Savior, Jesus Christ, and they are such wonderful examples of how to really do that in this life. How thankful I am for all of them. I should post pictures, but I haven't downloaded any of them--but they are the BEST!! Then I went to spend most of the rest of the time with my daughter, Emily, who moved from her townhouse to a beautiful home in Farmington, Utah. It is also close to horses, and the next time I visit, we are going to see those horses. I love horses, and I think it's pretty cool that she lives so close to them. I loved being with her son, SJ, who looks so much like Emily did, and is such a cute little boy. He is busy as can be, and so very smart--he learns all kinds of fun tricks. It has made me think back on being a mother, and I don't think I taught my kids all the fun tricks and funny things to say like Emily and Michael have. I think my kids do better at parenting than I did...but hopefully I did better than I remember. It was a busy week, with packing and watching SJ (grandson) getting into as much as he could. But Michael and Emily were very organized about their preparation, and it was pretty impressive to see how ready they were for this big transistion. They'll do great in their new place, and I can keep dreaming and hoping that maybe someday they'll live closer to us. (well, I can dream, can't I?) I also got to see my daughter, Katie. She came down to help us with the move, and then she drove me up to Logan, where I could meet my "grand pets," a dog and a cat. That was so much fun. She is so easy to talk to, and we are just such good friends. I loved being with her and with her wonderful husband, Cody. I am so thankful for my family! Today I taught Sunday School at Church. It was so much fun. I love to teach. I love to have people participate, and I learn so much from their comments and their insights. I was just substituting, but still it was way fun!! I love to teach about the scriptures because I learn so much in preparing. Anyway, that's an update from here. It is hot here, but it is home, and I am thankful to be back home. Good days to you all!

Monday, June 18, 2012

A belated Father's Day tribute

I can't believe I haven't written in over a month. I am one who really DOES like to write, but I haven't written anything in here. Now that I am healthy, I don't have a lot to write about that is very earth-shattering. That is actually quite nice, but I think that trials and hard times makes us think more about the things we are grateful for. When things are going along all right, we tend to get a little complacent, and probably not as grateful as we should be. We let the little things get us down, and lose sight of the "big picture." I am definitely guilty of that. Yesterday was Father's Day, and it was a good day at our house. My kids were wonderful about expressing their feelings to their dad, and that was a good thing. Just like me, they also can take things for granted...and it is good for them to think about what a great dad they have, and to TELL him that. So it was a good day for him, and he was treated very well. The most meaningful things he received were letters from some of his kids, which they had really thought about, and where they expressed some of their deepest feelings about him. I know that meant a lot to him. I thought a lot about my dad yesterday. He has been gone since 1996, so it has been a long time since I could tell him how I felt about him...and I probably didn't express to him often enough how I felt. My dad was a man of great integrity. In fact, he just EXPECTED us to be honest. I don't remember him ever telling me to be honest, it was just something he expescted of us. My dad did a lot for people--gave a lot fo service to people. One of my favorite memories was of going at Christmas to visit the families of prisoners, in an organization called The Friends Outside. My dad liked people and made friends wherever he went. I am thankful I could be his daughter--many of the things I hold dear are because of his example. I am thankful that my dad was a man of integrity. With the way things are going these days, it is not a common thing to have people who really care about keeping their integrity no matter what.That was my dad. I hope I can stay true to the principles I know are right, no matter what the rest of the world may say. In our scriptures it says that part of the covenant you make when you are baptized is to be a "witness of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places." I hope that I can live in such a way that that could be said of me. I feel like my dad, in spite of his normal weaknesses, tried to be true to what he believed in. I hope I can be like that. May you all be blessed to live true to yourself--then we can always face the "person in the mirror." Have a great day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Great News and Happy Mother's Day!

Well, my great news is that I had another pet scan last Monday, and got the results yesterday. I am still "clean as a whistle!" No Cancer, no nothing! I don't have to have another pet scan for a whole year!! Aren't I lucky and blessed and relieved and happy? Yes, all those things. As I waited for the doctor to come in (it seemed like it took forever), I tried to psych myself up to handle whatever bad news he might bring...and he told me right off, that everything looked great. Whenever we're waiting for news like that, Spence and I are a bundle of nerves, so we are definitely relieved and very grateful. I guess that whenever you have had a disease (especially like cancer), the possibility of it coming back is always kind of hanging over you. So, for now, we just have an awful lot to be grateful for. I haven't written in here for so long. Isn't it funny, how when things are going along pretty well, we don't write, but then when things get bad, we seem to focus on them, and share the bad things. Let me tell you some of the things I am grateful for right now. First of all, I have a husband, who sincerely cares about me. He was probably more nervous than I was about getting this news...and he was so happy to hear my news. He has his own health challenges, and yet, he cares very deeply about me. What a guy! Kelsey, my daughter, came home from BYU about 3 weeks ago. It is nice to have her home, and especially for our son, Brady, who loves to spend time with her. They harass each other unmercifully, but actually really enjoy being together. Kelsey completed her freshman year at BYU, so that's a huge accomplishment. SHe is here for the summer and working every day...but still she helps with errands and things I need done. It is so nice to have her home. Brady has one more week of school himself, and then he will have completed his freshman year of high school. He plays basketball for the YMCA, and does a great job. He is my favorite player to watch! (actually I like watching Steve Nash too!). Katie has one more semester (well, she is taking a couple of classes this summer) in the fall, and then she is a college graduate. We are so proud of her...and proud of her good husband, Cody, who works so hard at school and work. He is a great guy! Jodie is going to be in another play--she works with this woman who puts on plays with handicapped adults. They are such an inspiration to go to, and believe me, you have never seen more enthusiastic actors and actresses than they are!! They are totally into whatever play they are doing! Brian and keri have the cutest boys--we love to see them on skype, and know they are doing well. Emily and Michael are about to move into a new home, and they just celebrated their son's 1st birthday. We loved skyping with them on his birthday--he loves books and cars, and he loved opening those gifts!! What a cutie! How thankful I am that Heavenly Father blessed me with 6 children--and now 3 "in-laws" and 3 grandsons! A year ago when I was recovering from surgery and a crazy year the year before, it wasn't always easy to see how blessed I have been--but now it is easier to see, and I am truly grateful. I hope all my children know that I am thankful for them, as we approach Mother's Day. I am thankful also for the many women in my life who have been amazing examples as mothers, or who have mothered me when I needed it. I couldn't have done what I have been able to do without their strength and examples. May all the mothers out there be blessed to know that they truly are doing a wonderful work--that has more impact than any other job out there. You are terrific! I will include a few pictures of my favorite people. Enjoy, and have a wonderful day!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Giving a little in return

I had the opportunity yesterday to give a little back to my daughter, Kelsey, who did so much for me in the year that I was recovering from cancer, treatments and surgery. My service to her was so miniscule in comparison to what she did for me...but at least I got to do SOMETHING. She had her wisdom teeth pulled yesterday I got to be here during the day, and try to help as much as possible. She was an extremely easy patient, so my service wasn't very much. She mostly just slept. I got to change her little ice bags to help cut down on the swelling in her cheeks. I also got to serve her some chocolate ice cream, and make her some soft food that she could eat. But mostly I just thought about the hours of service she and Spence gave to me. When she was in surgery, I had some anxious moments. I knew that what she was doing was very routine, and had basically NO risks, but even so I was a little anxious. It made me think of how truly worrisome it had to be for my loved ones when I was in surgery, and they really didn't know what the outcome would be. It is far easier to be the one going "under the knife" than to be the one who is waiting to hear the results of that surgery. Caregivers have a very stressful responsibility. So it was just a very small lesson to me to remind me again how grateful I need to be for those who watched over and cared for me. How grateful I am that I am not in that situation anymore...and that I can think of others a little more, rather than have them thinking about me. I promised Kelsey that I would NOT put a picture of her with her puffy cheeks on my blog...but I am thankful she is doing well, and that yesterday was just a nice day to be together. She is an amazing young woman, and I am thankful to be her mother.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

General Conference is Coming!

I just wanted to write and invite and tell you of an upcoming event this weekend, that impacts my whole year. It happens twice a year, where the leaders of our Church meet in Salt Lake City, and instruct the members of our church for two days. It is a wonderful experience and very uplifting. I always feel like it fills me up to keep going for the next six months--messages which teach me to live more like the Savior, and to prioritize the most important things, and to focus on the things that truly matter. For the next six months, I try to read and study those messages, and apply them in my life. They are such a help and a strength to me. I want you to know that these leaders are truly men of God, and that we all will be blessed if we heed what they say. I am including a link where you can also listen and learn from these inspired leaders. I invite you to do it--I know that your lives can't help but be blessed by the messages they will give. Have a great weekend!

Come listen to living prophets

Sunday, March 25, 2012

So many sobering things

This has been a challenging time for our Church unit called a ward. In the last week and a half, we've had 3 funerals. We lost a very dear friend, named Kent Pomeroy. Spence has been his home teacher (visited with him at least once each month) for over 12 years. He has become a very close friend. He had many serious health problems, including cancer and heart problems. Yet, he was one of the most determined people--a fighter to the end, and had SO MUCH faith. He was such an example to me and to so many others. He did prolotherapy (I can't explain it, but he did a lot to alleviate peoples' pain). His concern was always to help others. Ever since I had my health problems, he has been one of my most constant caring friends. Every time Spence would go to visit him, he would ask Spence how I was doing--his thoughts were always for others. He wanted to get well, so he could continue helping his many patients. I feel a real void in his loss, and pray that I can learn something from his unselfishness and caring that will make me a better person. Another death was that of a 7-month-old baby who died--who had a viral infection, and just suddenly was gone. That is so hard on a young family, and it is hard to imagine even in these times of so much advanced technology, that we still can lose a little child like that. His grandmother is a member of our ward--all of these situations give us the opportunity to be there in times of sadness--to "mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort." That is really how we show our love for others--to be with them in times of joy and of sorrow. We have another friend,who just had an accident, and is in ICU. It is a very scary situation, and our thoughts and hearts are with him and his family. life is so very fragile, and can change so quickly. I pray for all these people who are going through such hard times--pray that they may be buoyed up by their faith in Heavenly Father, and helped by loving people who surround them. I am so thankful to know that we do have a Father in Heaven who loves us, and who is there for us always, especially in these tough times. What comfort that knowledge gives.

Monday, March 12, 2012

How does YOUR broom stand?

`I just found out the coolest thing today...and consequently have been playing with it all day letting other people know about it. I went to work out at the cancer center today, and found out some pretty interesting stuff while I was there. (Spence says that's where I find out all the "latest and greatest" stuff!). Right now is the Equinox (I don't really know what that means or how long it lasts), but during this time, the planets are aligned in such a position that if you stand your broom upright, it will stay standing! It is the weirdest but coolest thing. I came right home, and stood my broom up. All day I have been wanting to go to the store, and take the brooms in the broom aisle, and stand them up, and then wait to see what other people would do when they saw that! I don't know if you can do it with other things besides brooms, but I DO know that my broom stands! Well, this is later on today...and Brady, my son, tells me it is not the Equinox...but whatever it is, my broom has stood all day!! Most people who have tried it have made it work. Look at the magical broom that I have! What a fun moment!! :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring Break

I think it's time for another post...even though my life is pretty unexciting. Right now I am in the middle of a huge mess in my house--trying to organize my sewing closet, and years and years of pictures--both are huge undertakings, and I am a little bit crazy to be working on them both. But I AM making some progress so that's good.

It's been spring break for my high school freshman, Brady. It has been a beautiful Arizona spring week, and neither one of us has worked too hard. He has enjoyed the break, and it has been nice not to have such early mornings. But we'll be back to it on Monday--all good things must come to an end.

This Sunday we get to hear my nephew, Kevin Jones, report on his mission. He just returned from the Southern California mission, and he looks great--we got to see him at the airport when he first arrived.I'm going to put a picture in of him coming in , and his family being there to greet him. I'm also including a picture of him at baggage with all the members of his family--so cool! He has served for 2 years, and has been very diligent and hard working. He is a very good young man. It is a very happy occasion when a young man returns from his mission. It is not an easy thing for anyone to do--to give up your normal activities for two years to go out and try to teach people about the Gospel...but many do it, and it is such a blessing in their lives. When our son, Brian, returned from his mission, he was a much more mature person--could look people in the eye, and talk easily with other people. So, it is a great blessing for those they teach, but it is also a great blessing for the missionaries themselves. I hope that my 3 grandsons will all be able and willing to serve missions when they turn 19. It is a great goal, and a great accomplishment. Well, I am going back to my sewing closet--no rest for the wicked (or the weary!) Have a good weekend, and tell someone you know that you love them. I need to do that too! :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Music is my Favorite!

I love music--I think the hardest sense for me to be without would be the sense of hearing. I just love a good CD--nothing can make me feel better than some good, fun, uplifting music! Tonight we had the great opportunity to go hear Vocal Point, the a capella group from BYU who went to the TV show, The Sing-Off. A few months ago a friend told me about them being on TV, and I was a fan from that time on! When I went to BYU parent's weekend, I heard them in person, and was further converted! Then I started watching them on the Sing-Off, and was so sad when they were voted off the show. But still whenever I want a good uplift, I just google them on my computer, and they perform for me right in my very own house!! But tonight Spence and I went to see them at the Mesa Arts Center, and they were totally awesome! I loved watching them perform--they are so good, but they also are having such a good time together--it was a great evening! They did a song of the 12 days of Christmas where they mixed in all sorts of Christmas songs--I don't know how they did it. Then they have this incredible vocal percussionist, who can make all kinds of sounds. You feel like they must have all kinds of instruments, and they have NONE. It was so much fun to be there--and I just hated it when they announced their last number!! They did an encore of "God Bless the USA," and that was awesome too. It was such a fun evening.

Then a week ago, I took all my daughters to see "Wicked." That is one of my favorite plays, and I love the music in it. We sat on the 4th row--so our seats were amazing, and we had such a fun time then too. So, if I could just listen to good, fun music all day long, I think I would be ever so happy. Of course, that is not real life, so I will enjoy these wonderful moments when I am entertained so totally. What fun evenings those were. I will share a picture of me with most of my girls (Jodie wasn't in this one either) before we left for "Wicked." We always have to do a crazy picture, and they are usually my favorites! I also will throw in one more of my California grandsons, Colton and Logan, the day that they left to go back home. Don't I have some awfully cute grandsons? I think so. :) Have a great day!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fabulous Family Weekend

Well, it is a week later, but I want to write about our weekend last weekend. It was awesome, and was a great family reunion for our Spencer Price family and for our whole Reed Price family (Spence's siblings and their children). We were celebrating Spence's dad's 90th birthday, and we had a great time. It was pretty much all day Saturday. We met in a park (there were about 60 of us), ate lunch, and played games. The games were great--fun getting-to-know-you games, and then more active ones,like tug of wars, and steal the bacon, etc. It was a great time for all the families to mix together, be on teams with cousins, etc., and just have a great time! My sister-in-law, Chris and her daughter, Melanie, were in charge of the games, and they did a fabulous job.

Then after a little while, we met at my father-in-law's church building, where we had dinner and a program honoring him. When you have lived a rich, full life for 90 years, like he has, there is a lot to say about you...and his chilren told all about him, his hobbies, church jobs, careers, his growing-up years, and his family. It was complete with stories and lots of fun slides. It was a great tribute to a great man. I thought one of the best things that we did was have anyone who wanted to, to come up and tell him one thing that they liked about him or that they had learned about from him. The tributes from his grandchildren were wonderful--it had to make him feel good. He has touched a lot of lives, and shared his love and example with all of us. What a blessing to be part of his family.

Because we had all our kids here for the weekend, we also had our son, Brady's Eagle Court of Honor. That was on Sunday night--our kids participated in it, and did a wonderful job, and it was a great program, honoring Brady and his accomplishment. Spence had also put together a slide presentation for that--Spence worked hard to make this whole weekend come togther.

It was great to have all our kids together. They are becoming such good friends, and truly enjoy being together. All of you who have little children, who rarely get along, and seem like they'll never be friends, just HANG ON!! They really do grow up, and get to like and even love each other--and it's worth it all. :) I love being with my children, and see them having such a good time being together. It is one of the greatest joys of a parent, I'm pretty sure.

I am going to include some pictures of my kids. Several of them are with their granddad, but then some are taken at our home. You'll have to put up with a lot of pictures this time! Ok--I'll give you a quick run-down of each picture, starting from the top. This one is of Kelsey and Brady at Brady's Court of Honor--they love to tease each other, but they are very close. Then here is Brady with his granddad at the court of honor. The next one is of Brady with all his Price aunts (except his Aunt Chris)--it was pretty amazing that they were all there. The next one is of us with Brady as he was receiving his awards, and giving us our parents pins--that's what parents get for helping their Scout achieve this award. The next picture is of Brian and his family at the birthday celebration--Brian, Keri, and his two boys, Logan and Colton--such cute boys!! After his family is Emily with her husband, Michael, and their baby SJ (or Spencer Johnson). Last but not least, are our newlyweds, Katie and Cody with Granddad. We are just missing a picture of Jodie--I'll need to put that in my next entry. thanks for putting up with this very long entry--it was a great and memorable weekend, and I'm thankful we could all be here. The hard part for me is when they all have to leave and go back to their homes.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Some Random thoughts

Ever since I wrote about the Tabernacle Choir, I've had some random thoughts that I wanted to it's pretty unbelievable I'm writing again, just 2 days later. So you get to hear some of my ramblings, for better or for worse.

It is easy to get caught up in thinking you HAVE to have certain things, whether it's the latest in computers, or clothes, or shoes or purses. It can be big or small, but we seem to easily slip into thinking something is a necessity, when it really isn't. In the last couple of days, I've heard about super awesome sewing machines or really the latest and greatest computer, or whatever. There is nothing wrong with that, and there is some pretty cool stuff out there. It's just when we think we have to get the latest and greatest, and can't be satisfied with all that we have. Let me give an example. There is this guy who is the trainer at the cancer center. He was determined that he needed a new bigger screen for his computer, and so he made a study of the best one to get. In the middle of that, he got an email from a friend of his, who is really struggling financially, and was really having a hard time just getting by. So this trainer told his kids about that--not only did this man give him that money that he had been saving for the screen, but his kids also wanted to give some of their Christmas money to help out this friend. It is experiences like that that make me think of those things that I feel are necessities, when really they are luxuries. This is not a commentary on anyone else's choices, but it is just some thoughts that I have had--and some feelings that I need to evaluate what I am doing with my extra money or time. There are good, better, and best choices, and I need to figure out what those are for me. Here is a little poem that a friend gave to me years ago--"Good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better's best." I guess that can be applied to both how you use your time, and also how you spend your money. I was given a book by another friend, and I love the title. It is called, You Can Never Get Enough of What You don't need." What a thought. Anyway, for what any of that is worth, those are some of the thoughts I've had lately. Have a great week, and a happy Valentine's Day...even if it IS a Hallmark holiday!! Love to all, Louise

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wow--the MoTabs!

Tonight we had the great experience of hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in concert at US Airways arena! It was fantastic! They were here to put on a concert to commemorate the 100 year birthday of Arizona, and they were so good. They also had the Orchestra from Temple Square here too, and they also were so very good. They did all different kinds of music, including a song from Nigeria, that was way cool. They were great performers as well as singers...and it was such a privilege to be there and to witness that. They had a soloist on some of the classic spirituals, like "Rocka my soul in the bosom of Abraham" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," and those were just great! We went with some friends, and got to sit in a suite, and that was a fun experience too. We brought some people who had never heard the choir sing, and they were just blown away. It wsa just a tremendous evening. I have heard the choir sing on TV, and in different broadcasts, but this is the first concert of theirs that I've attended. They haven't performed in Arizona for 47 years, so it was about time they came back here to bless us with their talents. They are an amazing group, and have inspired people for years. They sang "Battle Hymn of the Republic," as one of their closing numbers, and that is just awe-inspiring. As an encore, they sang "I love Arizona," and I felt such a pride for this state that I've lived in for so many years. It has a rich pioneer heritage, and when you think of the pioneers that came here, they put up with a lot--with trying to settle a place with such extreme temperatures and so little water. They were valiant and dedicated people, and I am proud to have them as my heritage...even if I just claim that heritage because I live here. :) The Choir is such a tremendous missionary tool for our church, and I am so thankful for the ways they have blessed peoples' lives for years. I am just so thankful I could go. I love music anyway, and my heart was touched. Music has a way of speaking to our souls that can be done in no other way. When they sang at the very end, they sang, "God Be with you Till We Meet Again," it was like a final blessing on the whole evening. What an experience--I am so grateful I could be there.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thank Heavens for Friends

WOW--tonight I just had a very unique experience. I just talked to a friend whom I've known and cherished as a dear friend for years. Maybe it was just the wrong time to call and maybe she wasn't in the mood to talk, but I truly felt like she didn't want to talk to me AT ALL. It has made me stop and think a little about friends and how much they mean to me. I try to keep in touch with people, and to be interested in their lives. I learned a lot from my mom and dad about how to be a friend--EVERYONE was their friend, and they really worked at keeping in touch with those people. In fact, THEIR friends became OUR friends. In the last few days we've had some fun contacts with people who have been friends for a long time. In Church about a week ago, a friend was there who moved away a few years ago, and came back to visit. It was such a joyful reunion to see her, and to visit for a few minutes. Our kids played in a mother's group many years ago, and those ties still mean a lot to both of us. On Saturday night we went out with 2 couples whom we knew when we were first married--every time we are together it is like we just pick up from where we were the last time we were together. It is like FAMILY to be with them, and we love them very much. Both of those couples are couples whom we have looked up to as examples for years--what a blessing to still be friends. Today I was with a cousin who is also a very dear friend, and with her daughter, and her brand-new baby girl. What joy there is when we share our lives with those around us--being with others can't help but enrich our own lives. So, tonight I just have been reflecting on how powerful those friendships are in my life...and what a strength and a joy they are to me. When I think of people like that, I think of the little song that says, "Make new friends, but keep the old/ One is silver and the other's gold." Many thanks to so many people who are those "golden" friends in my life. I love you very much, and count your friendships as some of the greatest gifts of my life.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Day to You!

Well, I haven't written in a while, so I thought I would write a little today. The new year is off to a pretty good start. I am still working on resolutions--I spend a lot of time making them, and probably not nearly enough time trying to work on them!! But at least I get a good list of what I HOPE to do this year...and hopefully make at least a stab at completing some of them!

I am trying to learn how to make a book out of my blog--I would like to have a hard-covered record of my cancer journey--for myself mostly, just to reflect on the incredible experience it really has been. I have been studying of how to do that, and it is quite the process. Right now I am gathering pictures for it. I am also working on pictures for a slide show for Brady's court of honor. I enjoy working on pictures--I just take way too many of them to ever keep up!

I am really proud of my two daughters, Katie and Kelsey, who are both in school right now. Katie is in a very difficult semester, with both lots of classes AND student teaching--she does the classes first, and then later on in the semester, she teaches. It takes a lot of time and is a challenge, but she is working very hard. Kelsey is also doing very well this semester--her first semester at BYU was a lot of adjustments, but now she has "learned the ropes" and is doing well with time management and in her classes. I am very proud of both of them, and for how hard they are working. We talked to both of them for a long time last night, and that was awesome--love them both a lot!

I have had kind of a challenging week, health-wise. I'm not sure exactly what to do or how to handle it. Last night we were at a fireside, and I had not felt well, and got really hot, and had my dumping syndrome symptoms. I laid down on a couch, and had hot flash problems. This week I have dealt with dizziness and lots of fatigue. It is challenging to know what to do. I know if I try to do too much in a day I pay for it. I know if I eat too much or the wrong kinds of foods, I also have to pay for that. I keep hoping to be totally "normal" again--and maybe that will never happen quite the way I hope. I am not trying to feel sorry for myself, but it is kind of frustrating to have these ups and downs. I guess I just need to keep pacing myself, whatever that means...and hopefully just rest when I feel like I need that. I can do so many things I couldn't do even 6 months ago, but then I have these incidents. Oh well--I guess I should just be grateful for whatever I can do, and try not to worry that I can't do everything. Spence is always a great support. I DO miss Kelsey--she was always so sensitive to how I felt. But, all in all, I just need to be thankful for where I am, and pray for guidance in taking the best care of myself.

Just to give a few pictures--I am going to include a picture of Brady after he passed his Eagle board of review. His interviewer (main Scout guy--there are 2 other guys who sit on his board) was very complimentary of Brady and commented what a good young man he is (music to a mother's ears!). The other picture is of us with Jodie at her play that she did this month--she was awesome in it! If you ever have the chance to go see handicapped adults perform, be sure and take advantage of it. It is an experience like no other! Have a good week!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Another day to give thanks!

WOW, I just read my blog from a year ago--I guess I say it too much, but I am SO thankful to be where I am today rather than where I was a year ago, where I had just had a second surgery to correct a collapsed lung. Today I was at my father-in-law's, and ran around the yard with their brand-new darling puppy. What a joy to be outside, to be enjoying our beautiful winter weather, and to be carefree with a little puppy! There is something so totally fun about a puppy--they are just the cutest!I tried to take a picture of her, but she would never stand still long enough for me to catch I ended up taking a video of her.

I am taking a break right now--doing that dreaded job of putting Christmas away. What a lot of work that is! I loved my Christmas decorations this year, and didn't want to take them down...but it's time. Last year my kids took down my decorations because I was going in the hospital. I don't want to go back to the hospital, but maybe I should plan on being sick every January, so someone else can do all this work. It takes SO MUCH time! Anyway, I just thought what a contrast this day was...and how thankful I am (even though I complain) to be well enough to do all of this...and to enjoy a beautiful Arizona day!

Plus--we had a great accomplishment in our family last night--Brady, our 14-year-old, went to his Eagle board of review, and PASSED. He is now an official Eagle Scout, and we are VERY proud of him! Way to go, Brady! Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What a difference a year makes!

I am sure most of you don't remember what you were doing on January 3rd, 2011. Actually, neither do I, since I was so out of it. It is the day that I had surgery a year ago...and the doctors made sure that I remembered none of that day. But I just reread Spence's entry in my blog that day, and I can't tell you how grateful I am to be where I am today...and not where I was last year. What a journey it has been since then, and I can't believe how "normal" my life has become again. I can do most of the things I could do last year, I work out more than I did last year, and I have had a truly blessed year. But it was a tough journey, and I could never thank Heavenly Father or the people around me enough for carrying me through all of that. I have had many people call my recovery a miracle, and I believe it is. As I've expressed before, I have a lot to live up to, since I was blessed so much. I still have people expressing concern for me, and wondering how I am feeling. I still have adjustments to make in my life--like eating is still an adventure (and sometimes a trauma), and I still have "dumping" problems, sometimes when I least expect it, and I sometimes wear out quicker than I would like...but all in all, I am very blessed. Look at what happened in 2011 for me--I was able to recover from major surgery, and I grew hair spite of chemo and radiation! I welcomed two darling new grandsons into our family, and gained a new son, when he married our daughter, Katie. We had many wonderul moments--vacation at the beach, a fun Thanksgiving, a truly blessed (but a little bit lonely) Christmas, and many family times with our immediated family, and also with extended family members. Many people sacrificed time and money to spend time helping me with my recovery, and I appreciate that more than words can say. One of the sweetest things I heard this year was when my daughter, Kelsey, made a comment on her Facebook page, expressing her thanks on Christmas," I am very spoiled, and I love being with my family...and my mom is cancer-free." As you might remember, she was the one (besides Spence) who was by my side every step of the way. Writing Christmas cards this year was truly a pleasure, because it gave me a chance to express gratitude to so many dear friends and family who kept praying for me and pulling for me. My hope is, of course, for continued good health, but also that I can help others who may have heavy burdens to carry in 2012. It would have been so different if I had had to go through this experience by myself--how blessed I am to have an incredible support system, and a loving Father in Heaven, who blessed me so that I could still be around. I wish words could adequately express the love I feel for so many of you who followed my blog, and continued to pray and fast for me. I wish I could repay, even in a small degree, all that you have done for me...but in spite of my inability to do all that I would like, please accept my love for you...and my eternal gratitude. YOU helped bring about the miracles that I have experienced in my life. Thank you, and a happy and blessed new year to you all, Louise