Friday, April 29, 2011

Cute Quips.

Last night we were on our way out of Pack meeting. Well. Let me rephrase that. My family went out to the car and I was talking in the church. They finally put a movie on because I was talking for a while. When I got to the car they were watching Nacho Libre. As we drove home, home is only 2 minutes away, they continued to watch. If you've never seen the movie, Nacho is a monk and they talk about Heavenly Father and baptism. Ruthie says...

"This is such a great movie. It's funny and it's gospel!"

Daniel and I laughed the last 30 seconds home!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


A couple of weeks before Sam was born I measured big enough to be carrying twins at full term. And I was only 32 weeks! Not long after that appointment the doctor was concerned for both me and the baby and asked what I'd had for breakfast. Oatmeal. He said we'd have to wait a few hours, so call Daniel and get registered. When they felt my belly was empty of breakfast, they hooked an IV up and got me to the operating room. I was 35 1/2 weeks and both Sam and I were in mortal danger. He was born big. 9 1/2 pounds big. His lungs quickly distressed and they took him to the NICU and hooked him to oxygen and an IV. I was rolled away to recover. Over the next couple of days we learned that Sam would need to be there longer than I did. It was devastating to me. How could I leave my baby in the hospital and just go home?
I did go home and left my baby in good hands. I wondered why things went the way they just did. Why so early? Why didn't the doctor give me stuff for his lung development? But I was so grateful for the relief of knowing he was mine eternally. If anything should happen, he would always be mine. My mom and dad and brother Aaron came to visit him in the hospital. Because they only allow a couple of people into the NICU at a time, my parents came in first and Aaron stood at the window. My dad took a picture of him there, waving to us. He then got to come in and see his newest nephew.
A week after Sam was born, he was released. We brought him home and got a delivery of oxygen tanks. We would need to have oxygen going into his nose for at least another couple of weeks. And again I wondered why.
Early Sunday morning, 16 days after Sam was born, April 28 to be exact, I got a phone call from my dad. He said he had distressing news. Aaron was missing. He didn't come home that night. the police wouldn't help because he was a 17 year old teenage boy. I guess it's normal for them to disappear. They didn't know Aaron. My dad said he knew we had a new baby and I was recovering from surgery, but he was hoping the men could come help look. I got off the phone, showered, got my boys dressed and we all got in the car and drove down. That was a very long and painful drive. Where was he? What could have happened? So many questions.
We got off the freeway and drove up the road that led to my parents house. As we drove up to the gully, getting closer to my parents' house, we saw all the emergency vehicles. A car had gone off. I told Daniel to stop. He didn't. We told my dad as he was leaving the driveway again. My brother and brother in law got there when my dad did. They wouldn't give any information to them about who. They did say what kind of car. It was Aaron's.
He was killed on impact. While my parents waited for him to come home, he had gone home. Home to his Heavenly Father. The following days were excruciating. How could He take him from us? I held my baby and my toddler so close. There were so many questions. But at the same time there were answers right in front of us. Aaron was done. He'd done all he was required to do. He passed. He was now working hard on the other side. I looked at all I had believed and felt was true. Eternal families. A Savior. The Atonement. Heavenly Father's plan. Celestial Glory. Was it all really true? This was the moment that each of us needed to decide.
It would be easy to walk away at that point. To choose to believe that Heavenly Father didn't care about us. That He had no mercy or love for us. That Aaron was taken selfishly and cruelly. That would be easy.
It would be more "work" to trust in God. To choose to believe that Heavenly Father's plan was real and that now was the moment of putting our trust in Him more fully. A time to choose to believe that our family was eternally bound together. That Aaron's work here on earth was done and that he is now free.
I chose the latter. In fact, we all chose the latter. But instead of believing, we knew. I know. Aaron and I are eternally bound as brother and sister. Isaac and Sam (and eventually Ruthie) were bound to me eternally as my children. Daniel and I had the greatest blessing of an eternal marriage. Heavenly Father knew Aaron and now has a special work for him to do on the other side of the veil. I am beyond belief. I know.I also understood better why Sam came so early. I needed to be physically able to bear the burden of loss. And Aaron needed to be able to see Sam. Sammy loves to hear about when uncle Aaron came and waved through the window while he was in the hospital. Heavenly Father knew he would.
I still miss Aaron. He was my baby brother. He made a shrine for me when I moved away from home when he was just 3. I cracked his head in the windshield when I slammed on the brakes in our little car because everyone was bugging me. He sucked his middle and ring finger for years and always had blisters on his knuckles. He would sit on my bed waiting for me when I'd come home from work so he could just hang with me. He helped me wash my car every Saturday and always got a treat from 7-11 after. The nachos were good! He was an artist with a pencil and paper. He loved to build with K'Nex. My Isaac loves to build with them now.
This is one of his drawings. Beauty Amidst Bleakness.
Every time we pass the cemetery we wave and say "Hi uncle Aaron. We love you. We miss you. Come back soon!" That last part refers to the day he will rise with the just on the morning of the first resurrection. And we can't wait!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Some time ago I submitted something I'd written to the Ensign. I didn't expect anything. But then I got an email from one of the editors. She said they were interested in using my submission in an online feature about infertility. While they were working through how they would accomplish this, about 15 submissions arrived in a 2 week period. Mine was one of them. Although infertility wasn't the point of my submission, they felt strongly that it should be part of the feature. It was set to be published online in April. When April's Ensign arrived, I found the Faith and Infertility article quickly. I went to the Ensign online and nothing was there to make an online feature. Bummer! The editor said there was a delay. But the delay has ended. Here's where you click ...

Scroll down to Faith and Infertility

Click on additional experiences

Find my name

Read my article

Or just click Here

Read the other articles too!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I officially declare the Finish The Family Room Wall switch to be in the ON position! Which brings me to a dilemma. What to do with the D. The D is an important letter to our family. So I made a D to go on one of the shelves. Along with 2 other things. Which I didn't take a picture of. So you're all flying blind. But maybe you can still help!

Here is the D.

I have a smaller D that I that could add for some interest. Or something. So here are the options. YOU MUST HELP! Tell me which you like best!




(Get it?? D) And this was only done so there would be a letter D as an option. I really don't like it. So don't vote for it!






Or just plain J.
Remember...You're helping solve a great dilemma in my life.



If We Had No Moon...

We would have no werewolves.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Last 3 Days.

Let's get back to business. Friday is a very important day. The Atonement began the evening before with the Last Supper and Jesus' suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. On Friday morning, Good Friday to many, Jesus left the Garden and was met by His apostle, Judas Iscariot, and Roman soldiers. Judas betrayed Him and Jesus was taken to the Governor, Pilate. A trial ensues and Pilate heeds the voice of the people to release Barabbas from prison and crucify Jesus. Jesus is mocked, beaten, spit upon and taken to Golgotha to be crucified. Between two thieves, who also mock Him, Jesus asks the Father to forgive them. What an amazing example of Christ's love and when we should forgive. Jesus was not killed. It's a point I drive home often. He gave His life. No one took it from Him. When the earthly part of the Atonement was finished, He said to His Father, "Father, it is finished, thy will is done."

On Saturday we talk about what Jesus does in the Spirit World. He organized missionary work! I love this part because of those we know who are doing that very work right now. Aaron, Lyndsay, baby Rebecca, Opah, Grandma Shelba, Zenda, Heidi, and many others.

Here is a pencil drawing of Aaron.

Sunday morning is the culmination of all of Jesus' work here on the earth. We watch To This End Was I Born. We go to church ready to experience the Sacrament with gratitude for His life. He lived, He taught His gospel, He showed a perfect example, He healed, He raised some from the dead, He suffered, He bled, He died, He was resurrected. Death has no victory over any of us. I am grateful that my children love this week. I am grateful that they have a great appreciation for their Savior and Redeemer.
I am grateful He Lives!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday. Now And Then.

Let's cover the Now first. Ruthann lost a tooth and put the tooth in a baggie and then into an envelope. She wanted to write a note to the tooth fairy. I guess she didn't trust me to get the message to her. Thursday morning she woke up to a one dollar bill under her pillow. From the Drat Files: We went to the school carnival on Thursday afternoon and saw our little next door friends. After a while one friend came running in and said, panicking, "Your fence blew down. It's broken. The goats got out. You're really gonna have to get a new fence!" So I grabbed my kids and we were off. By the time I got there, Isaac and our friends, who gave Ike a quick ride home, had gotten the goats in the back. Jeff, their dad, was looking it over and passed by me as I ran over to assess the damage. He said he would get some fence posts and fix it up. Here it is all "fixed up". Daniel's pretty sure he can switch a top post with a bottom post and fix it.
And Then...
On Thursday we remember the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane. We ate some unleavened bread and lit our lamp and talked about the Sacrament and Jesus' suffering in the Garden. We discussed the importance of taking the Sacrament each week and remembering that Jesus loves us so much that He bled from every pore in our behalf.

Many thanks to Amie, Jeff, and their kiddos, who helped save the day.
And we are eternally grateful for our loving Savior, who bled and died for us. And who rose the third day. He lives!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Last Wednesday.

In the scriptures there isn't anything relating to Jesus' life on Wednesday. We know He is in Jerusalem. And we know that He taught parables while He was there. So we do the parable of the 10 virgins. It's wonderful because we have an oil lamp and can use that as a really cool visual. We talk about filling our own lamps with oil every day with prayer, scripture study, family home evening, attending church meetings and the temple, following the prophet, and many more. We want to be ready when Jesus comes again and certainly don't want to be told "I know you not". "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh"

Matthew 25:13

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Early Easter And The Last Week Of Jesus' Life.

Every Easter my mom (Abbie) does an egg hunt. This year my grandma is turning 98 for Easter, so we did the egg hunt a week early. All our cousins were there. Our group grows every year!
After all the eggs, but one, are found, the kids gather at the top of the hill to run down. There is always, without fail, one child who cannot find one of their eggs. One cute kid waiting to run down the hill.

Two more cute kids ready to run!

Last year we began the tradition of reading and learning about the last week of Jesus' life before He was resurrected. The kids loved it last year so we dove right in this year.
Sunday was Palm Sunday. We talked about Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. We also waved these palm leaves and talked about the significance of waving white hankerchiefs at a temple dedication. Monday we talked about the Cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem. I am always so impressed that my kids remember the story. I shared that story in Primary a few times to talk about what is appropriate behavior in the temple, or in our case, the church building, and what is not. These are coins my mom and dad brought back from Jerusalem.

Tonight we will talk about the first and great commandment. Love the Lord Thy God. And the second is like unto it, Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself. We made this last year on Tuesday night.

I got some new rope for the wick in the oil lamp. We'll use that for tomorrow night's lesson. The Wednesday before Easter is always a fun night! And I love this week at our house!

Friday, April 15, 2011

One Journey's End.

I haven't been ignoring the fact that I posted about ending our adoption journey and then haven't said anything more. But I have been grieving and I haven't had the heart to write about it. Until now. I think General Conference last week bolstered my spirit. I feel stronger and feel I can now share a little with you.

We began this journey 5 years ago knowing that at least one more child needed to come to our family. How did we know that? We just did. And when you feel that pull, you act. Some people work to get pregnant. We filled out paperwork. We felt very strongly about China. Ruthie would have a sister that looked a lot like her. She talked about black hair and almond shaped eyes and about how they could think about China together. But very quickly we saw that going to China was a long shot. The process was slowing significantly. 2 years into the wait, I struggled with depression. The wait became a huge burden. My heart could hardly stand it. Would we ever come to the day when we would meet our child?

A year and a half later, we felt very strongly that a child would be born here and we needed to be ready. That was a shocking experience. Our prayers thus far had been answered with “Be still. Wait. It will come. Don't change anything.” So we never thought we'd be doing anything different. But now, another child would be coming. Did that mean 5 kids? Could we do it? Of course we could.

So we prayed about where to begin our paperwork and got our answer. We went to LDSFS. I was not fully into it, to tell the truth. I thought that if we went to another agency, our desires would be met easier. But when the Lord commands, we do it. And we're always right! I learned a lot during that process. I gained a deep respect for birth mothers. For a very short time after Ruthie's adoption, I had been grateful that we didn't have to “deal” with a birth mom. Can you even believe it?! But very quickly after she came to our family, I grieved for the loss of knowing her birth mom. Ruthie and I would have long conversations about who she is and what she does and what her name could be. For a little while we called her Abigail.

During the classes we took with LDSFS, I began to love our future birth mom as if she were already a part of our family. We were jazzed about the prospect. Our kids were so excited to have another baby come while waiting to go to China. We felt that because of the urgency we felt to get started so quickly we would have a baby very quickly. So we began what we hoped would be a short wait. Again.

During that wait Daniel and I received very distinct and specific answers and direction. In October we felt an urgency to have a family fast for our birth mom on the first of November. What a marvelous experience. Then we felt an urgency to get our pass along cards out to everyone we know. We sent those out for Christmas. Then our answer was to “Be still. Wait.” Of course.

By July, we were emotionally and mentally exhausted. We had been riding this roller coaster for so many years. When were we going to have our turn?? In August Daniel and I talked about pulling all our paperwork and finally being done. But we were still being told to wait. So Daniel suggested we take 6 months and see what happens. And if, at the end of 6 months, we still didn't have any changes in our situation, we would give ourselves permission to be done. I looked at the calender. February 5 was the timetable. My 40th birthday. I guess turning 40 is old enough to say my family is done. So we waited. Again.

In January, only 5 months into the 6 month time-line, and 5 years since beginning this whole journey, I wanted to just be done. China was still years away and the special needs program was not the right path for our family. We still hadn't had a birth mom look seriously at us. We had been preparing ourselves to be done and I needed to just move on. We gathered our kids and told them. That was a really crappy Saturday for all of us. The following Tuesday I called our agencies. Our caseworker at LDSFS was hesitant, but said she would pull us.

Then on Thursday I got an email from my sister in law. A man she works with has a niece with a 6 month old baby girl she must place quickly. She told him about us. Daniel and I talked quickly and decided that, since our deadline hadn't come, we should go for it. So I called our caseworker again. She had been slow to get to our paperwork so we were still in place. If she had pulled us, we wouldn't have been able to go through the agency. The next couple of weeks moved quickly. Yet they went so slow. We knew that this baby could quite possible be ours. She was conceived when we had our family fast. She was born but not placed when Daniel and I felt defeated and wanted to be done. Birth mom got serious about placing just before our deadline. I had a powerful experience when looking for a name for her, among many other experiences. And then there were all the tender mercies. How could she not be ours?

Last July a good friend told me something that I blew off as insensitive and dumb. She said, “Maybe she (birth mom) chose something different.” Whatever. Heavenly Father has a plan. And that plan is perfect. But looking at the birth of this baby, I realized that she did choose something different. She tried to parent, even though she had looked into placing. But that statement came to mind again, more strongly, very quickly.

We learned that birth mom placed with another family. I felt like we had been tossed aside and rejected cruelly. Grief came quickly and harshly. My heart felt like it had been ripped to shreds by a young girl who didn't understand how important this baby was to us. This was a brutal loss for our family. This baby could have been placed with us. But birth mom chose something different. Not wrong, because either couple could be considered “right”. Just a different choice than what we would have chosen.

Over the past weeks my grief has been very real. It is lessening, but is still there. This is a loss. The loss of a dream of more kids in our family. The loss of a trip to China to pick up our daughter. The loss of having another child sealed to our family for eternity. The loss of bottles and hiccups and giggles and diapers and teething toys. I cleaned out the baby and toddler stuff from our basement quickly. I didn't go to several baby showers. I haven't held my new niece. I walk away when I know I won't be able to bear it. I cover my heart when new babies or pregnancies are announced. I cry when there is nothing left to say.

In conference, Elder D. Todd Christofferson shared an experience once shared by Elder Hugh B. Brown, who had purchased a run down farm. As he cleaned up and repaired, he found a current bush standing more than 6 feet tall and bearing no fruit. So Elder Brown cut that current bush way back to just stumps. He saw what looked like tears coming up from the stump and could almost hear the bush cry and say, “How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.” Elder Brown replied, “I am the gardener and I know what I want you to be. I don't want you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a current bush. And one day when you are laden with currents you are going to say “Thank you for loving me enough to cut me down”.”

I had already asked the question. Feeling like I had been cut back too far, I did go to Him and say, “I thought you were the Gardener here. How could you do this to me? Why did I have to be cut back so far?” And Heavenly Father, in that moment of conference, answered, “I am the Gardener here. And I know what I want you to be.”

I wear a purple bracelet that says Lyndsay No Regrets. Lyndsay's dad gave it to me after she passed away. I have always worn it as a reminder of my sweet Lyndsay. But its message has helped me these past weeks. I don't know the complete worth of these past 5 years. I do know that I don't regret any of it. Would I do it again knowing there wouldn't be a baby at the end? Well, right now, today, I would seriously have to ponder that. But knowing all I've learned and how much I've grown and matured and stretched, I would do it in a heartbeat! Why? Because I trust God. I trust Him with my life and my family. He knows me. He knows the righteous desires of my heart, even if I won't be blessed with them all in this life. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.”

Only one part of our journey is over. There is much more of our whole journey ahead. And as I now begin to grow again as a pruned back bush, I look forward to the day when I will be able to say to the Gardener, without sadness, with tears of gratitude and with a bound up heart, “Thank you for loving me enough to cut me down”, because then I will see just what He sees I can be.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Holy Smokes!

I told him last night that we weren't gonna celebrate today. I was canceling and he would have to be 8 forever. He didn't like it. He said I have no choice. His birthday was coming, whether I liked it or not. So I got all the gifts wrapped and a card made and treats delivered to school and camera at the ready. I made the cake. He wanted a Godzilla cake. I'm pretending this is a Godzilla cake. Pretend with me. For some reason Sam can't pretend. But it's such good cake...He'll live.
When he got home from school I let him open one gift. Then I told him if he finished his homework quickly I'd let him open a second. All before Dad got home! The real gift opening began when Dad walked in.
Dang! I thought this was the picture of him opening his Bear Cub Scout book. He had the same excited look. Unlike Isaac, who thought a Scout book as a birthday gift was super lame!
After the gifts were unwrapped Dad said, "Let's go downstairs!" This is what Sam found. He has been riding his little sister's pink bike. But because Dad put Sam's old black and green bike seat on it, he rode it. He's set now!
And then the cake. Look at how happy he is!! Tomorrow he goes to the Bear den! I have 7 more months until I have another 8 year old. I love 8 year olds. But I think I'll like 9 year olds, too! Especially my 9 year old.
I haven't seen Sam or Isaac since the gifts were unwrapped! Why can't they just stay little forever??


Oreo taught Vegeta to come up on the deck to visit. Today they got some apples.

Vegeta is still learning That goats aren't allowed in the house.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Funnies For Thursday.

On Sunday night we were driving home from Aunt Deanna's house, when out of nowhere, Daniel says, "Can your el-bow?" And that started something. And it continues today. It's getting sillier and doesn't make much sense anymore, but here are a few of the best.
Can your knee cap?

Can your eye lid?

Can your belly button?

Can your eye lash?

Can your butt crack?

Can your hair dye?

Can your ear lobe?

Can your toe nail?

And here are some non-bodily ones...

Can your side walk?

Can your car pool?

Can your light bulb?

Can your jack et?

Can your cher ry?

Can your apple core?

Can your sun shine?

Can your car wash?

Can your book mark?

Can your phone call?

Can your cell phone?

Can your pillow pet?

Can your zip per?

Can your car pet?

Have a fun day!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Little Crafty Never Hurt Anyone.

Okay. But first....

I borrowed my sister's Cricut to do some lettering for my wall.

She wanted a bigger and better bad boy anyway, so she sold hers to me.

Since cartridges are soooo expensive, I purchased all kinds of fonts and shapes for the cost of one cartridge. I just hook it up to my computer and viola! I have tons of stuff to create with.

I did have to buy the tile, though.

Here is my Joy.

I saw this quote from Jeffrey R. Holland and felt it's power. So here it is...

I am working on finishing that last derned wall in my family room. I need to purchase one more shelf and then stain the shelves and then get them and the proclamation up. The lettering looks great, but is so lonely. I'll post pictures when it's done.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Bit Of This N That.

This is the original picture I wanted for today's post. It would have been titled "Make A Meal Monday". But when I pulled up my pictures I found a plethera of pictures that little people have been taking. They must be excited about the baby goat. Or something.
So here is a taste of the original post...

Chicken Tacos And all I'm gonna say about those is to go to Pioneer Woman and read her post and make them and then you know you can go ahead and die! Yum!

And here is where I'll share some of what was on my camera.

Can you even stand it?!?!? His name is Vegeta. And if you aren't familiar with Dragon Ball Z Kai, well, I just don't know how to explain it.

He likes to climb on the old lawn mower and play. Daniel is putting up the back fence so we can send the goats back and not live in the land of poo anymore. This is one of the helpers.

Oh my. My oh my. Can you just die?!
These are cheeky monkey's land of poo shoes. Lovely.
One of the fence post holes. There were quite a few.
The cross bar for the fence. The gate goes right next to it.
Blackjack and Cass running amuck.
Vegeta finds some quiet nap time under the slide. Then the kids find him and he's up and running again. On Saturday night he was missing for hours. When it started to rain, Isaac got worried and got Oreo to start calling for him. She just went right to where he was finally getting a good nap. Out in the tall grass. Under a sled.
Hi dad! Out talking to the back neighbor who lent him cool tools to dig the post holes.
The photographer herself!
Playful Vegeta. He proves that kids of any species think mom is a jungle gym. Where do they get that??
And a final close up.

Those pictures are just a small portion of the many many pictures of Vegeta, Oreo, holes in the ground, my cuties, feet, hats, Blackjack, Cassidy, dad, the back of the house and other such things.

If you'd like to come see him, let me know.

Rain is in the forecast this week, but he should stay small and cute for a few more!