Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's About Time!

Dear Readers (and I know there is at least ONE reader!),
Well, it has been 6 months since I have written anything in my blog--no excuses, except that I just didn't do it. However, my sister has a good friend who sent me a Christmas card, and asked me why I hadn't written in so long. SO...for that friend and her continued interest, I will write in here.

Much has happened in 6 months. One of our daughters, Emily, has moved from Utah to Arizona with her husband and son. We are thrilled to have them here--it is especially fun to have a grandson here to play with and to have come visit. They lived with us for about 2 months, and now are in their own home. Her husband has a new job here in Scottsdale, and we are just very happy to have them here.

Another daughter, Katie, has had a baby. In fact, she was born on Friday the 13th of September, so yesterday was her official 3 month birthday...and it landed on Friday the 13th also! She is a darling baby--our first granddaughter, and so she is getting spoiled...and has all kinds of people who want to dress her up in cute little-girl clothes. We just went to Utah last weekend, for her baby blessing, and that was a wonderful event. She had one of the prettiest blessing dresses I have ever seen! She is very pretty (of course, I am totally biased), and has a lot of personality, just like her mom. We are all enjoying her, although we wished we lived we could see her more often.

The whole family came here for Thanksgiving...that was lots of fun, and at times, kind of wild and chaotic. But our kids really enjoy being together, so that makes it worth it all. They love to play games, and they laugh a lot. It is fun to watch them enjoy each other--sometimes when they are younger, you wonder if they ever will like each other...and then they do! It's awesome!

I am NOT ready at all for Christmas, and am struggling to get things done. With Thanksgiving being so late, it has been hard to get caught up. Christmas cards is one of the biggest projects we do at Christmas, so we keep plugging away on those. If I could do it the way I really would like to, I would sit by the Christmas tree, and watch the lights, listen to Christmas music, go to Christmas plays and watch Christmas movies...and not worry about any of this other stuff. I would also drink some really yummy hot chocolate--like the kind that my son-in-law, Cody, likes so much!! :) Well, on that note, I'm going to add a couple of pictures...and wish you all (or at least my friend, Carol) a very merry Christmas. I'll try to keep up better on my blog in the new year. Have a great Christmas!! :)
OK--here is my son, Brian, and my son-in-law, Michael, duking it out after family pictures! There aren't too many serious moments when we're all together!
Here is our cute new granddaughter, Brooklyn, with her beautiful mother, Katie--aren't they something else?  Next entry will have more pictures!! :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day to the father of my children!

I think one of the things most of us are most guilty of is ingratitude. We take so many of our blessings for granted, and also take the people in our lives for granted. We just figure that they know how we feel, and that we are thankful for them...but we need to TELL them. So, tonight I am going to tell all of you how thankful I am for the husband that I have...and for the father that my children have. Spence is an awesome dad. He cares so much about his children and always has. When they were little, he was the one who worried that they might be cold at night. No matter how busy he was at work or at church, their welfare was always so important to him. He has always made it a priority to be at their games, or anything else they are involved in. When I was so sick, he really became the mom--taking them to doctor's or dentist's appointments, and going to meetings to make sure they were doing all right. One night when I was in the hospital, our teenage daughter had a very traumatic experience--he left early so he could help her through that tough time.

He has always taken us on family vacations. Our favorite place to go is the beach, and he is so much fun on the beach. Over the years, he has built many sand castles, and gone body surfing...and helped look for crawdads. I often sit and read on the beach--he is the one who makes it fun for everyone else. One of our kids' favorite things to do when we go to the beach is go grocery shopping with their dad--he buys them all the fun stuff that Mom never buys!! They love to go with him, because they know he will buy them practically anything they want!

Every year before they have started school, he gives them priesthood blessings--to help them with their school work, and with their friends, and with all the challenges that go with school. He cares about their homework, and is interested in their grades and how they're doing. They want to do well, because he has always motivated them to want to do well.

He continues to be a good dad, as they are older and have families of their own. He is very concerned with what is going on in their lives, and loves it when they call him, and tell him of something they have done, or something they might need help or advice with. He cares very much about them. He loves his 3 grandsons, and is so looking forward to having his very first granddaughter this fall!! She will steal his heart, just like his girls have! He is a source of encouragement and help as they go through their own challenges, and will do anything in his power to help them through tough times.

He has always been an example of honesty and integrity. His example has always spoken louder than his words, and his children have been blessed to have such a great man as their example. He loves them, he loves his Father in heaven, and he has always worked hard to serve and help others. I truly think he is probably one of the greatest examples they could ever have. So, if anyone DOES read this, please thank YOUR dad for whatever he has blessed your life with. I know that our family has been richly blessed because we have such an AWESOME dad. Thanks for everything, Spence! You are the best! :) I'm trying to find a picture, but am having a hard time!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Another year--Cancer Free!!

Well, tonight I owe it to myself and to my readers (if there are any left out there!) to write. I am super grateful tonight for the blessings of the Lord upon me--today we went to the doctor, and got the results of my pet scan. For the third time, I have a normal pet scan--which is quite amazing. It has been 2 1/2 years that I have had clean pet scans, and that is a miracle!! My husband and I waited in that doctor's office for nearly an hour, to hear that news...and it has made our day. So I just wanted to share that with whoever still reads this...and I am thankful again that people have kept me in their prayers and in their thoughts...and so I have continued to be blessed. Like others I have asked, "why me", and I know there is no clear answer for that...but I just have to keep on trying to do things to show my gratitude...and to try to give to and serve others.

We have had a very eventful spring--with the graduation of two of our children--our daughter, Katie, and her husband, Cody, both graduated from Utah State University in Logan, Utah...and we are so proud of them. Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment...and no small feat for anyone. We are thankful they stuck it out, and did that. Now Cody is working for the company that he did an internship with, and Katie is awaiting the birth of their first it is an exciting year for them.

Tonight we had the privilege of watching our daughter, Jodie, perform in a play, "The Little Mermaid," with other handicapped adults. These plays, as I've said before, are a total delight to watch and to be part of. There is pure joy on that stage, and you come away with that same joy in your hearts.

Our daughter, Kelsey, has decided to come back to Arizona to live here, and to complete her college education on line. We are looking forward to having her live back here, and know that she has felt the hand of the Lord in this decision. She continues to be such a blessing to us.

My children surprised me in helping their dad give me a surprise party for my birthday this year--it was a "monumental" year, so that was a wonderful surprise! I was surrounded by people and family whom I love--and felt totally loved and cared about.

I will try to be a little more regular in writing in here. I have a dear friend at church who reminds me that I need to write more often!! Hopefully, I can listen to her advice and actually DO better. Have a happy Memorial Day weekend, and may the Lord's blessings be with you.  I will put one picture in of me and two of my daughters and my cute grandson on my birthday.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

My reflections on General Conference

So here is the entry I wrote for Facebook, and I also wanted to put it on my if you've read it twice, I'm sorry about that.
Ok, I am trying to write something for the first time as an update of my status on Facebook. However, today has been a terrible day with trying to make computers work, so I don’t have much hope that this will work. However, I would like to write about General Conference, the time twice a year when our Church leaders give us counsel and inspired talks. I LOVE conference, and always feel validated a...nd encouraged to keep trying to live the Gospel. I want to share what an apostle of the Lord said—his name is L. Tom Perry, and he talked about the commandments. He said that much of the world has become so secular, that they basically ignore or break most of the 10 commandments. He said that there are 4 that they still try to keep—not to lie, not to steal, not to murder, and to honor your parents. However he said that there is a lot of breaking of other commandments, like the law of chastity (which means no sexual relationships outside of the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman), keeping of the Sabbath day holy (he said so many people have just made it a day of recreation, instead of worship), idol worship (where people idolize movie stars or athletes, and set them up as examples that we should follow and emulate), and profanity (where so many people take the Lord’s name in vain.) I really appreciated what he said, and wanted to share it—I think we need to all evaluate how we do in keeping those 10 commandments, and make resolutions to do better at striving to be obedient to them. He said that as we are obedient, we will draw closer to our Father in Heaven, and His perfect Son, Jesus Christ. I truly felt like he was teaching us what we need to do to become more Christ-like. I am so thankful I could watch all of Conference—it was totally awesome! I am so grateful for this weekend--too bad it only comes twice a year!! I could use the uplift a whole lot more times than that!! :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Long time--no write!

Dear Readers (if there are any more of you out there), WOW--it's been so long since I wrote. It took a letter from a friend of my sisters to remind me that I hadn't written in so long. I guess keeping my journal keeps me busy enough...and things haven't changed much here, so I don't write as often. It's pathetic that you write more when things are going badly, and when things are going better, you don't write much at all.

It is spring in Phoenix, which means that our days are getting warmer...and warmer. I am thankful that we don't have the cold winters like so many places do. I don't enjoy spring as much as I should here, because I anticipate it getting hot again, and don't just enjoy the beautiful spring days.

I am feeling well, basically, most of the time. :) That isn't the most definite of statements, is it?
 I am thankful that I have energy. I have been doing physical therapy for my bad shoulder (a slightly torn rotator cuff), and that has made it get so much better. I have almost total range of my shoulder now, and that is awesome. I am looking forward to swimming more this summer. I still work out at the cancer center, and that is still an awesome place to work out. I love the people who work out there, and I love the "trainers," who work with us.

The best news we have in our family right now is that our daughter, Katie, is expecting a baby girl! We are so excited. We have 3 adorable and fun grandsons, but we are so excited that we get a granddaughter too. :) HOORAY! Katie has gone through 2 miscarriages, and is now 16 weeks along...and we just keep hoping and praying that all will be well with this pregnancy. So far, so good!

I keep busy with doing Church work in the children's organization of our church. It is called Primary, and it is fabulous working with the different wards (units) in our stake. I love getting to know people better around the stake, and seeing the great things they do with their children. I just like being their cheerleader--because I am so impressed with all they do to teach their children the Gospel.

My children and other grandchildren are doing pretty well. Spence just went to Utah a couple of weekends ago because we have a nephew who just left on his mission to England. Spence loved being with our children, Emily and Michael, and their cute little boy, SJ, who is such a fun boy. Spence and he have quite the relationship. :) A few weeks before that, our son, Brian, came to visit for a few days. That was a lot of fun, especially for our 15-year-old son, Brady. Brady is playing basketball, and enjoying that. Kelsey is about to finish up her semester at BYU--kind of a stressful time for her,  but she's almost done with another semester. Katie and Cody graduate from Utah State at the beginning of May--a great accomplishment for both of them. WE are so proud of them. :)

Well, that's about it from here. One of the interesting events of the past few weeks was when I went to the funeral of one of my sister's friends' husbands--did you catch that relationship? I had known her friend when we were all in high school. I met up with some people who had known me in high school--as they were younger and I was older at that time, they had known me better than I had remembered them. It was just so interesting to be with them, and to hear their remembrances...and to realize that we are making an impact (either for good or bad) even when we aren't aware. It is amazing how the things we say and do can affect people in big ways. It was just pretty mind boggling to me. :) Well, I hope that I will write again sooner than two months, like this last time. Anyway, happy spring to you all!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom!

Tomorrow would be my  mom's birthday. It has been over 5 years since she left us. It is funny how much lately I have missed my mom--or missed having a mom. For the last several years of her life, she wasn't really with us--she wasn't able to speak much or communicate, and so it has been a long time since I really had a mother to talk to. That leaves a big void in your life, and I miss that. I am thankful that I have sisters whom I can talk to, and tell things I would to my mother, but still there is nothing like a loving, caring mother, who loves you no matter what. There were many things I learned from my mother (or at least that I saw she exemplified--I can't say that I necessarily learned them--but I did observe them). My mother was so accepting of people--she did not judge them, but she loved them for who they were. Everyone loved my mom--she was so sweet. She never tried to take center stage, but was a great audience for others. People who met her for the first time loved to tell her their life story--just because she was such a good listener. Even when she was in the nursing home at the end of her life, people loved her for her sweetness. She raised 5 children, and we are all very different, but she accepted those differences, and never expected us to fit some mold. That was challenging since we each made such different life choices, and yet she found good in the things that we did. I know that is something that would be extremely valuable for me to learn from her. So, on this day before she would have celebrated another birthday, I just wanted to take some time to thank her for her example and for her love. Her life was a legacy of love and kindness, and there's not much more you could want people to say about you. Thanks, Mom, for all you've taught me.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy New Year!

It's about time I wrote in here--the new year is already 2 weeks old, and I haven't written since before Christmas. I read this wonderful quote this morning, and thought I would like to post it. It is by Dieter F. Utchdorf, who serves as a counselor to the president of our church, whom we revere as a prophet of God. He said, "No, God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God! For what we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are...and who we will become." Isn't that an awesome quote? I thought I would share it, and hopefully it will uplift you as much as it did me. :) I believe it with all my heart, even though I don't always live it.

Today was a good Sunday. I got to go to Church, and meet with people that I don't see every week. I work in the children's organization of our Church, called the Primary, and it is truly delightful to visit with them, and hear their comments and insights. It is so refreshing to be with them. We also had a nice evening with our son. Both my husband and I told him about our first date, and how we met. He was pretty amazed that we both could remember the details of that time--I guess he sees how bad our short-term memories are; he just couldn't believe we could remember something that happened so long ago! It was fun to just have a more relaxed evening at home, just the 3 of us. I also talked with two of my daughters, and that was a nice thing too. They are both up in Utah, where it is bitter cold right now. It is cold for us down in Phoenix (relatively speaking), but nothing like what they're dealing with up there.

We also had a good experience on Friday night. Spence and I went to one of our daughter, Jodie's plays. I have posted in here before about this theater group that she belongs to, where they put on plays with handicapped adults. It is an amazing experience to go--they do unbelievably well, but there is just such a spirit and enthusiasm and pure joy on that stage that is like nothing else you could see. They put on "Oklahoma" this time, and did a great job. What made that evening even more fun was seeing some people there whom we haven't seen in forever. One was our children's 3rd grade teacher, who was phenomenal, another one was the room mother from my daughter's 1st grade class, and then there was another daughter's close high school friend. It was SO MUCH fun to see them all, and to see them after so many years. So it's been a good weekend, and a time to once again be thankful for the many good people who have touched our lives. What a blessing it is to have friends!