Monday, September 28, 2009
Every year the 2nd graders do a special program for the grandparents! This last Friday was the day and Micah is in second grade so he was thrilled to have both grandparents come. This is a photo from after the program at our house. I hope he realizes how lucky he is...if I had had one of those programs where I lived in 2nd grade (Sacramento) I wouldn't have had any grandparents there. They do let those whose grandparents can not come invite another special person--uncle/aunt or neighbor. I think my kids are so lucky to live near their grandparents, in fact that is why we have never left Utah because we think that alone out weighs our dislike of cold weather!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
This photo I took of Gwen during dinner! My dear friend Lynda and her husband stayed at our house in August while they visited friends and the different temples nearby. We were home base so I don't feel like we did much. But they sent us a very generous thank you card with a gift card to a favorite restaurant. We used it one night and it fed all of us for 2 meals. Gwen ate and was out, since she doesn't take naps anymore. I thought this was very cute!
Last weekend we were privileged to hear from Elder L. Tom Perry, an apostle of Jesus Christ. If you are not LDS go to this link here and you can find out what I am talking about. We had what is called a stake conference, which is where several congregations have a large inspirational meeting with one of our leaders and in this case it was an apostle. On Sunday my kids were able to shake his hand before the meeting started. Tim, Taran, and Timo were in the choir so they did it after the meeting. The talks were all very inspiring on the subject of prayer, strengthening our faith in Jesus Christ, and the blessings of having the Holy Spirit as a comforter and guide... I love going to these meetings they are always so uplifting and help my resolve to do those things that will bless my life and that of my family and fellowman.
Saturday was also soccer and a BYU home game. BYU got a beating. Tim and Timo went. Taran hung with friends, they watched until it got ugly. We had an impromptu play date with cousins on this end of the valley or we would have invited all the cousins. So the kids didn't mourn the loss too much since they enjoyed each other. They made potions and played games outside most of the time.
This past week Emily ran for 6th grade girl rep for her class and won by 1 vote. She was very excited. She is our little busy girl who would love to do everything. Last year she wanted to run but she had a conflict with her musical theater class.
We started flag football a couple of weeks ago. We just don't seem to have enough to do around here. I love watching flag football, it is so fun. Timo, Izak and Micah are doing it. Izak's competition soccer stuff has caused conflicts so he hasn't actually played a game yet. This week he gets to go! Taran and Timo were also playing some with church teams and Tim and the men too. But soccer ends in couple of weeks. Most days they all play football around the neighborhood when they aren't grounded!
Friday we had a camp out for my scouts. We invite the dads to sleepover since it's not permitted that we sleepover with them--even in a different tent. So we planned a ton of activities for them to do after they set up and it was pretty successful! The dads and boys had a lot of fun. I got up at 5:45 AM and made special syrup for our pancakes. The boys cooked the rest with some help. We had boys who needed to leave early for soccer games.
Yesterday Zane had birthday party with a kid he met from kindergarten. He had a lot of fun and I got to meet the parents so we will have the little boy over soon.
I was able to go to the Women's Conference with my mom, my sister and my sister-in-law. Taran was willing to babysit while I went. Tim and Micah were at the BYU vs CSU game (BYU won!). I enjoyed the luncheon and the talks. More inspiration! I look forward to General Conference this weekend. It's so great to watch on TV or listen on the internet on lds.org too. My kids even enjoy it for the most part.
I know there are other things but they would bore you and I am content to share this update. I want to post at least once a week to keep in touch with family and friends. Please know that you are loved and thought of no matter how far away or close you are!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Last year I found myself in terrible pain. I thought I had injured my leg somehow. After a visit to the doctor, then later that day Urgent Care and finally the next day ER for an MRI it was confirmed I had herniated a disk and part of it had actually ruptured and fallen off. It took morphine to take the pain away. I had to stay in the hospital until I could get off morphine. I went in on a Saturday afternoon--I waited until all the soccer games were over. Timo and Izak went to the BYU home with my brother-in-law Nate since Tim was taking me to the hospital. My mom took care of the other kids at home. Some of my dear friends came to the hospital Sunday to see me. It was very touching and confirmed what I felt all along. Everything would be alright.
When we went to the ER I told Tim that I wasn't moving until they were ready for me. It was so painful to move and I was okay in the reclining position in the car. I remember as they put me on an ER bed that I just prayed, "please help me learn what I need to learn from this." It was so painful why let this learning experience go to waste? I don't really know how I did what I did to my back, the back doctor said that I could have sneezed and it could have happened. That makes me a little nervous still.
It took over month on several heavy pain killers until I had surgery and within 2 weeks I was done with all medications. During that time I received so much help. Tim was able to work from home and my mom was able to come out quite a bit. I couldn't lift Gwen for over 2 months. Tim's family and our neighbors filled in the gaps and fed us regularly.
So what did I learn during this time? I felt no worries, really I knew I would be alright from the beginning. What a gift from God, the peace that all would turn out alright. I went to several specialists until we all decided surgery was best and my only remaining side effect is some strength in my foot and a little bit of nerve damage which lets me know the change in temperature. I am very grateful. I remember twisting to get something after I had my surgery and thinking, "that didn't hurt, awesome!"
I learned MORE gratitude for Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. They were there in my pain helping me cope. I have had 7 babies, all but one without drugs, I understand pain but this was so intense and I wasn't getting a baby out of it and I didn't know when it would end.
I learned I could trust Him and my Savior Jesus Christ. They made good on their promises of comfort and peace. They inspired good people to help me and my family. They did not leave me alone in my trial. My new doctor asked me how I did back surgery with 7 kids. I told her how wonderful everyone was and I was able to just get better. She was amazed. These people I know are true saints, true followers of Christ. I remember one friend just dropping off a cinnamon roll and an orange juice for breakfast. It made me feel so loved. A simple, thoughtful act.
That's the another thing I learned, simple is good. I remember people wanting to come clean the house--it really needed it but my kids needed ownership in my recovery. So instead some helped paint Gwen's table and chairs pink that we gave her for her birthday, others drove my kids places, took Gwen for the day, called to see how was...and it wasn't just the first week. It was the whole 3 months. Simple thoughtful acts. I know others prayed for me, and wow that is a blessing that I can never measure.
I learned to slow down and the importance of quiet time. Do you take time to be quiet each day? I try to take time each day--sitting in the bathroom doesn't really count. If I take time to ponder and let the spirit inspire me I feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This in turn brings me greater satisfaction in my life, and things don't get me down. I feel more hope in my trials something I dearly miss when I let myself get too busy during the day. Part of slowing down, I learned I don't have to get everything done. I tend to set my sights high each day but now I am less that way, I do have things some days that HAVE to get but I try to limit myself to one of those a week!:)
I learned I need to take care of myself. Ya, we all know it but how many of us really do it? I still struggle with this at times but I am determined to be better at taking care of myself.
I learned that I have things I need to change. I had a lot of time to lay around thinking. I don't mean in a critical way but in a hey this is what I could do better which would make my life easier and happier way.
Even though I learned these things and more, I am learning that I have forgotten a bit. So even though it's only a year later I needed to REMEMBER these things to not waste the lessons I learned.
(the photo is of me the day I came home from the hospital, my sister-in-law Liz sent me the fruit bouquet with the balloon, so very thoughtful)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
So I forgot to include this collage in my update--sorry and some of the events in it! Friday night we had a BBQ with Tim's family at his sister's. His brother Erick and family were down from Boise, Idaho. It was loads of fun! We also saw them again Sunday evening at Tim's parents. I also mentioned in a previous blog that we went to my mom's for Labor Day. So these are the photos of those fun times. Tim and the kids (minus Emily who was with me at the Jon Schmidt concert) went to his parents to watch the BYU vs Oklahoma football game with Erick and Erin (his daughter), our nephew Daniel from Texas who is at BYU and his sister Amy's family. But there are no photos because Tim doesn't like to ruin his enjoyment by worrying about taking photos. So here for the record, they had a blast!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
This photo is before Taran and his friends left to pick up their dates for Homecoming. You can check out more photos on Facebook if you are my friend! This was Taran's first date besides the fact that it was Homecoming. Big day! Here in Utah there is a strange tradition of the 'day date' before dinner and the dance. So I pose the question what if you realize after 15 minutes your date is a numskull? You still have many hours ahead of you to be tortured! Yikes, I guess you make sure you make a good choice. So they left at 11 AM to pick up the girls, they had a picnic and went ice blocking (sliding down a hill on a block of ice) and I am not sure what else I forgot to ask and Taran is gone at the moment (Stake Choir practice). Then they dropped the girls off to get ready and left to pick them up at 5 PM--I took the photo of them just before they got in the car. They took their dates to Carrabas, I guess it's sort of Italian and other food. I've never been but Taran enjoyed his food. Then they headed to the dance at the high school, got their pictures taken so I will scan that when it comes. He got home late but seemed to have a really good experience. I am so glad! He was able to go with a friend we knew in Orem in 1997 and we've kept in touch as they moved back to California and then back to Utah (not too far from us northwest) later and now Taran and Emma (the girl) have Spanish 4 together. Thanks to Emma for being the first date!:)
We have been busy with soccer, I think we had 8 games this week and that doesn't count practices. 2 we did not make it to because one was Izak's and he was sick, and Taran missed his due to Homecoming. Timo also missed his game (he and Taran are on the same team) because he hiked Mount Timpanogos starting at 1 AM in the morning so by the time they got home he was too tired, I couldn't get him to wake up! It is good fun, our kids need to be involved and we have neighbors who help out when things overlap!
BYU college football started and if you know us that means life stands still every Saturday while they play--unless a kid has a soccer game!:) We have the basic cable plan which does not provide the channels where their games are played so we invade relatives...mostly Tim's parents since my parents can't take the excitement anymore! BYU has done well and are in the top ten! We have a neighborhood competition to see who can pick the scores, etc of BYU each week and I won the first week! My prize was a toothbrush and toothpaste from a dentist (who happens to be our dentist) who lives in our neighborhood. My friend who organized the pool is getting spiffs from different people to give to the weekly winners, pretty fun! We didn't have to pay to do this either! I think Tim's family needs to setup a family group too!
Izak's been ill with a cold and finally got an ear infection from it but of course he didn't feel the pain until after hours so I took him to Urgent Care. He is doing much better now.
Labor Day we spent at my mom's. We had BBQ and she still had her pool up so the kids swam. Tim and some of the adults watched the US Open--tennis. Taran and Timo stayed home and worked on homework since Saturday they spent with friends. They got frozen pizza--which they love!
I made zucchini bread today, 'tis the season of harvest...my neighbor gave me a ton of apples and peaches (her parents have an orchard). Tim made peach syrup and I froze a bag of peaches in sugar for later. The kids have enjoyed sliced apples dipped in caramel for an after school snack! I also made a tomato soup with all the tomatoes out of my garden, it was quite delicious! Tim and Emily tried it--I made it up so I was a little nervous to share.
I finally finished watching Camelot the musical. It's very long so I did it in 4 sittings! I give it a thumbs down. Sad story, tragic sad story...sorry I don't like that genre. Its kind of funny to see these actors who are old now or dead--Arthur was played by Richard Harris who was the 1st Dumbledore!
"Life is to be enjoyed, not endured"
— Gordon B. Hinckley
I got that quote at Swiss Days last Saturday (the 5th) when I went with Emily, my mom and sister-Teresa. We had fun, it was very crowded.
So do your best to ENJOY life not just ENDURE!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I remember the day...I had just said good bye to my 2 little boys. They were walking to school. I started to clean up from breakfast. The phone rang, it was Tim. "Turn on the radio." "What?" "Turn on the radio." "Why?" "Someone just just flew a plane into the Twin Towers..." "What???" I turned on the radio we had in the kitchen. The announcers kept saying, "We think this is a terrorist attack." Then not too much later "another plane has gone down at the Pentagon." Then the last plane went down in Pennsylvania. Luckily it did not go down where it could hurt more people than on the plane. Later when more was known those captive aboard would be some of the greatest heroes of the day. The shock, the horror. What is going on? It was something unimaginable. I couldn't stop crying. My little girl almost four (in the photo above the day after) wondered why I was crying...how do you explain THAT???? Who would do such a thing? It was a dark day. I remember wondering, what kind of world are my children going to have? It changed everything. But hearing how other heroes of the day acted at ground zero touched my heart. These are true Americans, selfless, brave, and true. The outpouring of kindness from everywhere, even abroad. This is humanity at it's best after humanity at it's worst.
I don't claim to know why God let this happen. I know He could have stopped them, one plane was stopped but not without a cost. But what I do know is that since God let it happen it is for a reason, one we may never know in this life. Let us not forget what we learned that day and the day after. Let us remember our blessings and the sacrifices others made that day...
I say thank you to the heroes of that day for reminding me of the person I want to be. Someone who would do anything to help another in need or protect others. So here I am today, because of other heroes long past and close by who with their families sacrifice so my kids have a safer world. Thank you with all my heart. I promise not to forget.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
My sister organized a surprise party at my house for my mom's birthday. She was totally surprised too bad my camera has a delay I didn't get any of her being surprised. We were all there even though it looks like Emily, Taran, Tim and Timo didn't get into any photos! We had salmon, grilled chicken, baked potatoes, fresh spinach & berry salad, jell-o pretzel salad, rolls and birthday cake. My grandmother would always make my mom an angel food cake with burnt butter frosting so I bought an angel food cake and made the frosting to go on it. It was a very yummy dinner and dessert also included 5 different kinds of fabulous ice cream that Teresa had bought. I think my mom had fun. I know my kids enjoyed surprising her!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Gwen started a dance class a couple of days before school started. She loves it! After a couple of changes in the class they let her change to the 3-4 year old class since she is almost 3. She loved it since she saw some familiar faces from the neighborhood and church in there. They said she did great so no more Tiny Tots for her! Here is a photo before dance class, she was so excited she wouldn't keep her feet down! I also ended up putting clips in her hair since it is so fine it falls out very easily. She will be in the Little Match Girl in December, her class will have a dance in it! It should be entertaining.