Tag Archives: blessings

And time races on

It’s been 5 months today. It seems so odd that so much time has passed, and yet it feels like so little. I feel like I am slowly starting to stand on my feet again.

I didn’t realize until a month or so ago that I had settled into a slump. A very good friend noticed the road I was heading down and called me on it.

Good friends will do that.
Tell you the things you don’t want to hear.
And since they’re a good friend, and tell you with love, you don’t mind.

I knew I couldn’t afford a slump – especially a long one.
So, I started to get up and get moving more. Every day.
Not that I didn’t move around before – I do have 5 kiddos to chase around the house. But, I wasn’t getting out much at all – or doing any cardio type exercise.

So, I started walking, and when the kids went back in school I started….

well, you might laugh….

I started doing Just Dance on the Wii
because, hey, nothing cheers me up quite like dancing.
It’s fun.
And it’s actually quite a good workout. 🙂
My boys (it’s really hard to walk and try to push a 4 and 2 year-old – they’re not exactly lightweights these days – up massive hills) can do it with me.

Then Last night, I started writing again. And, while I didn’t accomplish as much as usual on a writing out night, I did something and felt good about it.

I feel good. I feel better than I did a month ago. I still need to work on eating better (I am such a meal skipper, shame on me!) and sleeping… well, we’re working on that one, but I like the direction I’m headed.

This morning has me looking back over the months.
They’ve been hard, terribly, terribly hard.
But they’ve been full of good and that is what stands out to me.
SO many blessings,
so many miracles.
We have felt Heavenly Father’s love pour down on us
and we have been hugely blessed.
He has blessed us through all of our wonderful friends, family, and even amazing people we don’t know and have never met.
We never sent out thank you cards for all the wonderful things people did for us.
There were too many.
It was too hard.
But we are so very very grateful.
We feel every prayer.
We feel the love and the support.
We feel you cheering us on and that helps us keep going when we want to quit.
Today my heart is filled with gratitude. Gratitude for all of you who have done so much.
You may never know what your prayers mean to us and how they help, but they keep us afloat.

Thank you for loving our Lizy.
Thank you for loving our family.

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Filed under Child loss, Every Day Life, Gratitude

Singin’ in Reverse

So, I feel like after the last post, I needed the country song in reverse version, so here goes…

Even though the brakes went out on the white car (not the family car, phew) this morning my hubby made it home safe and was able to even park safely in the driveway (we think it’s the line). He prayed his way home from dropping Dot off at school for band (they meet in AM before school on Mon. and Wed.), where he first noticed the problem. Coming down the hill to our house he would apply the brake and the car would slow some and then begin to speed up. He managed to get parked safely in our driveway though.

We had the most fun with Paul’s birthday this month. The kids didn’t have school on his birthday so we all hopped into the van and drove over to his work and decorated his car. We hung balloons on the antenna and put banners and candy posters in the windows – the candy posters read something like this “We know this may come as a ‘SHOCKERS’ to you but we think you are more than a ‘BIT O’ HONEY’. We even think you are more than a computer ‘NERDS’. In fact, we think you are worth more than a ‘1,000 GRAND’. You are a ‘LIFE SAVER’ when things go ‘SOUR’ (we had to draw an arrow up to the sour because they were sour gummy life savers) because you make us ‘LAFFY TAFFY’ and that’s not a ‘COW’S TAIL’! We all signed it and taped each section (their were four) to one of his windows.

We’ve had a ton of fun reading stories together at night – in addition to picture books for the boys I’ve been reading chapter books to the girls.

Lots of fun playing in snow, sledding, snowman building, and then sitting around the table sipping on hot chocolate to warm up.

Yes, the kids fight a bunch, and throw temper tantrums, but they also go out of their way to help and do nice things for each other. For Christmas we encouraged them to give acts of service to each other rather than things, so this month has been rather neat as they’ve been doing their Christmas presents.

My two oldest girls were angels in helping to get the powder sugar mess cleaned up.

We’ve been having fun making pinewood derby cars for the girls (we have so few cubscouts the girls were invited to join in)

The sleds were only broken because we were having so much fun flying at top speed down icy snow in the backyard. 🙂

Even though Paul’s had to work late he’s only had to take a few calls on the weekends – and only 1 on a Sunday and that was right when we were walking out the door after church.

The bathroom flooding incident could have been SO bad, and yet all appears fine for now. We didn’t loose the ceiling or anything – it all drained out through a little hole for a phone line. So for now, things are ok.

And the things that have broken are just things. The glasses were glued back together (I love super glue), the glass in the picture frame can easily be replaced or done without, and the watch can be replaced on a birthday, etc.

I’ve learned that I can make my big pot on the stove work almost as well as my crock pot, or just throw it all in the oven for a while.

Even though the controls on our fridge and freezer were played with and we didn’t notice it for a while, we lost very little food – just some fridge leftovers, the freezer stuff was still frozen.

I have an amazing hubby who let me sleep all afternoon yesterday when I came down all of a sudden with a nasty bug, and amazing kids who helped a bunch.

Anyway, my list could go on and on. This month has been a hard one, but a good one too and there have been a lot of blessings mixed in with the woes.

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Filed under Every Day Life, Family

Yay!

I have the hardest time finding Jacob Sunday clothes – especially if I want a tie. It seems that a lot of people don’t sell that kind of thing for little tykes. I can find them occasionally at Sears for a decent price, but non-mall stores only seem to carry them at Easter time and even them I am pushing my luck at finding anything.

Well, I found a new place for finding Sunday stuff – we have a Burlington Coat Factory warehouse not too far away and they have loads of Sunday clothes. 4 piece sets (dress shirt, vest, tie, and pants) for under $25 – I could even buy the little tyke a suite coat and slacks for only $25 – but a dry clean only suit coat for a 4-year old seems a tad bit risky. He’d look dang cute in it though. But I have hit my Sunday clothes happy place as every thing is discounted greatly and I can find things year-round, because unfortunately Jacob doesn’t outgrow stuff only during certain Holidays…

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Filed under Every Day Life

Small and Simple (not to mention Beautiful too)

Three nights ago Jacob was up every hour from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.  He had a bad bout of diarrhea, thus causing some very painful diaper rash.  He’d wake up just howling, poor kid, and needless to say we didn’t get much sleep.  2 nights ago we thoughts things were going great until Elizabeth ran into our room at 2:30 a.m. crying that she needed a bowl and proceeded to throw-up on the floor beside the bed.  We had a short discussion about the toilet bowl being the best bowl there is, found a portable bowl, cleaned everything up and were back to bed by 3:15 or so.  She threw up four more times before 6:00 a.m.

To say that I was exhausted yesterday would be an understatement – not to mention I felt like every muscle in my body had been plowed into the ground.  Funny thing that, it was! 🙂  Then, add to that a very bad case of nausea and upset stomach.  I was not in for a very good day.

It actually wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good either – how can it be when a body is feeling miserable and trying to care for 4 children.  I can’t stand being sick and not getting anything done.  I always feel like I let my family down.  Not that any of them would think that in a million years, it’s just how I feel.

My HHH (handsome huggable hubby) came home to a disastrous mess, no dishes had been caught up, no dinner was made, and I was huddled under blankets wishing the world would disappear.  Worst thing to me was that he wasn’t feeling that great either.

He didn’t make any snide remarks like I suspect some husbands might do coming home to disaster, instead he changed Jacob’s diaper, started the dishwasher, and made dinner – all quite cheerfully.  It made me feel like a million dollars – such an awesome husband I have.

Then, in the evening, he took Elizabeth to meet with the bishop about her upcoming baptism. After wards he swung by the store to pick up some chicken and rice soup for me, since nothing else sounded like it would settle too well.  Elizabeth found me first, and with a big grin from ear to ear handed me a beautiful bouquet of lillies.  I wanted to cry they were so wonderful.  She and my darling HHH had picked out some flowers to make “mommy feel better”.  I love lillies at Easter, and these thrilled me to no end.  It really did make me feel better, and they smell divine.

I have no doubt that it is the little things we do that mean the most to people.  Things that we think don’t do much become miracles in their lives.  I had a friend who had been out on a hot summer day painting her house – no doubt she was exhausted and tired.  Another friend passed by and saw her out working away.  A few minutes later she was back again with a tall pitcher of lemonade. Something so small, but I know it had a huge impact on the friend, if nothing else than to say, “I love and care about you.”  It also gets me to wondering if I do enough of the little things for my family, friends and other people. Dropping a simple note, a bag of chocolates, a flower off to their doorstep, or being aware of simple needs.  Too many times I ask, “Is there anything I can do for you?” instead of being aware enough to simply do something – needed or not.  I for one seldom say yes when I am asked that question even if there is whole list of things I would love to have help with.  So, those flowers last night got me thinking, and instead of asking and thinking, I need to start doing.

Thanks HHH, they are beautiful and dear to me.  🙂

Lillies from Hubby 1

Lillies from Huby 2

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Filed under health, Lizy, Love and Marriage, Parenting

Happy Dance!

Gee, if these after Christmas surprises continue through 2007 we are in for a stellar year!

I had just finished mucking my way through an enormous pile of laundry and was industriously ironing Paul’s work shirts and pants when the phone rang. I punched the volume down on “Pride and Prejudice” and answered the phone.

It was Paul with an exciting surprise. He had been thinking of asking his employer for a raise but hadn’t found the right time. Today, they beat him to it. The President of the company asked to meet with him, and continued to congratulate him on all the work he had done. She praised his hard work and told him that he had done far more than they had originally anticipated and concluded by offering him a 10 % raise. Actually when all is said and done, it is just a bit over 10%.

We, of course, are estatic. We can put more in savings for that hypothetical house, which is starting to seem less impossible. 🙂 It also meant a lot to Paul that his efforts were recognized and rewarded. So, feel free to join me in a happy dance around the computer if you wish. 🙂

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Filed under Every Day Life

Thanksgiving

(I never got the chance to write my thankful post that I had planned to do on Thursday, the day turned into a blur. An awesome blur, but a blur just the same)

Wednesday I rolled up my sleaves, dug in and got to work. I baked and prepared everything for our dinner that I possibly could ahead of time, and spent the rest of the day calling people who were contributing food to the Thanksgiving dinners at Emmanuel and the VA, answering the door and the phone, and printing off checklists and directions by the dozen. My two drivers were do to arrive at 9:00 p.m. to load the cars, so just after 8:00 I began to box and sort food. By 9:oo or so we braved the pouring rain and loaded up all the cars.

Thursday morning my alarm went screaming off and I hauled myself out of bed. I stuffed the turkey and got it roasting, got the rolls out to raise, and then got ready for the day. At 8:30 my friend arrived with her loaded car and we headed into Portland. Upon our arrival at Emmanuel Children’s Hospital we unloaded and began to set everything up. This was the first time when I was available for all the set up and preparations. We had a lot of fun as we chatted and laughed while warming up the food and setting up the tables. Just before serving time at noon, I began my walk around the hospital reminding all the nurses to come and eat and to send the patients and their families over to eat as well. Just as I finished making the rounds Paul arrived with the kids.

It was a wonderful experience as we visited with the partakers of the feast, sharing encouragement and sharing in the small and large joys, as well as sorrows and frustrations. Upon hearing about Jacob two hospital staff mentioned they were on the transport team and mentioned they probably had flown him in. I told them that it was a young man who took care of Jacob from the transport team and that I had always wanted to run into him again. He had stopped by a few times while Jacob was in ICU to check up on his progress, but I never got the chance to get his name and thank him for all he did. They new exactly who it was, told me he had moved to Arkansas, and gave me his e-mail. Then, to make things even better they told us that they had just barely seen Jacob’s surgeon, Dr. Iguidbashian, in the ICU.

Paul and I snatched our camera (I had never had the opportunity to take a photo of the surgeon with Jacob) and Jacob and headed down to the ICU. We were greeted by our favorite nurse who confirmed that Dr. Iguidbashian was indeed in the ICU and went to find him. Grins and thanks were offered all around as we showed off how big our boy had grown and how grateful we were for all we had received. The surgeon was thrilled to see how well Jacob was. On of the ICU nurses took a group photo for us with the surgeon and favorite nurse. We felt so fortunate to see them and delighted in one of the many highlights of the day.

Some how it seemed that we did more, reached out to more people, and really made a difference. Not that we hadn’t during previous dinners, but this one just seemed more so. We finally wrapped up the dinner at 2:30 and at 3:00 I headed towards home while Paul finished cleaning up. When I hit home I finished up our Thanksgiving dinner.

When we finally settled down for dinner around 5:30 – 6:00 we revisited our day and all the marvelous reasons we had to truly give thanks this day. A beautiful miracle of the selflessness of all who pitched in at the last minute to bring happiness to this day for those in a not so happy place. By the time all was said and done, I was too tired to even think about writing, which is why I didn’t post this until now. (combined with lots of other busy events over the week-end I’ll write about soon).

Hoping you had a marvelous Day of Thanks, with lots of reasons to be thankful.

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Filed under Family, Heart, Jacob

Random Monday

I wasn’t around much on Friday, and I have a bit to talk about. 🙂

Elizabeth has been my super awesome helper. She has finally reached the stage where she can do dishes easily, both unloading and loading the dishwasher, she can make school lunches, and a number of other things. The other day I asked everyone to pick up the family room. “Mom, can I do the dishes instead? Because I don’t want to clean.” Please, no one spill the beans about the fact that doing the dishes IS cleaning. 🙂 I want to enjoy it for as long as it may last. 🙂

*****

I went on a retreat this weekend. Just me. No kids. We were at a house on the beach owned by one of the ladies in our ward (congregation) and we had a nice relaxing women’s retreat. It was heavenly. No schedule, no obligations. I walked on the beach and kicked my feet through the water. I went shopping. I climbed up the cape head and enjoyed an absolutely gorgeous view of the sunset. And I talked all I want to intelligible adults, with out saying the words “potty” and “diaper” and “poopie” once! Are you jealous? 🙂 (And I didn’t even embarass or hurt myself, what is this world coming to?)

*****

I finally got our pictures developed, so for those of you wanting to take a gander they are posted on flickr. (If you can’t see them, let me know. I will invite you and make you a friend so you can). I will go back and add pictures to the Lion Heart Festival post, and the Toddler Days post. I am so slow with getting my film developed, I really wish I had a digital camera sometimes. 🙂

*****

Something that made my retreat even more of a reatreat: I came home to a clean house! My hubby is soooo awesome. 🙂 He and the kids cleaned the kitchen and organized and cleaned a whole bunch of stuff. It was so nice to come home to a happy cleaned home. I am so blessed to have such a thoughtful, incredible husband.

That is all for now, the family is breaking down my door 🙂 So I will leave it at that, and write about some things (like the glorious retreat) in more detail at a later time. 🙂

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Filed under Children, Every Day Life, Family, Lizy, Love and Marriage, Parenting

What Kind of Mark Will You Leave?

“Over here is where we put finished homework! And this is a graph of who has brother and sisters, who only has sisters, and who only has brothers! This is a picture I drew of myself, and this book is all about me!” Dorothy raced from one side of the classroom to the other, eager to share with us all she could about what she was doing and learning at school. I watched her teacher smile and laugh. The pleasure shone in her eyes, I could see how much she loved teaching. We have had her for three years in a row now. Elizabeth had her for kindergarten and first grade, and now Dorothy has her for first grade. What a difference I noted from my first grade horror.

*****

My teacher was older, crotchety, rather plump and seldom smiled. Looking back now, I think she had lost the love of teaching. Her name was Mrs. Falbo, and she had suffered years of abuse as insensitive students had called her Mrs. Fatbo. I’m sure they never called her that to her face, but I am also sure she had heard talk in the halls and cafeteria. The assignment was to color a picture of pink pigs. I was so careful to be sure to use realistic colors, as this teach would never approve of something like Technicolor pigs in a world of green sky and blue grass. I tried so hard to stay in the lines; my fingers ached with tension as I controlled the small crayon. When I had finished, it was practically perfect, I had only crossed the boundaries once or twice in my efforts to color the perfect picture.

Always excited to please I brought my picture to my teacher with all the fervor of a 6-year-old seeking the encouragement only an adult could give. I sucked in as she took the picture from my hand, her frown deepening into the furrows of her face. “You colored outside the lines.” Her voice was matter-of-fact; an essence of ‘I don’t care’ hung around her words as she crumpled up my paper in front of my eyes and tossed it in the trash can. “Do it again.”

I bit back tears as I heard the snickers from other kids in the class. I wouldn’t let her see me cry, not ever. Crying was for sissies and wimps. I didn’t tell my mom about it for a long time. And she began to wonder why I hated school, and why over the next two years my grades continued to plummet.

*****

At one point I switched schools and stepped back a grade. That is when I found the teacher that would change my life forever. Her name was Mrs. Trinch and she taught 3rd grade. My mom spent hours working with me and catching me up to where I needed to be, tutoring me after school, but Mrs. Trinch was the one that taught me learning could be fun. She taught us to spell e-n-c-y-c-l-o-p-e-d-i-a to the song in “Pinocchio” because it was such a long word, it would impress everyone with how smart we were. I still remember her placing her hands down on the chalkboard with her back to us and wiggling her bum to the rhythm as she chanted, “You change the ‘y’ to and ‘i’ and you add ‘es’!” I remember getting the first ‘A’ in math ever, as my poorest subject turned to one of my strongest. I had hated reading until her class when she opened my eyes to the wonders contained in the most exciting books. It was then I realized that I wanted to be a teacher.

*****

When I reached middle school we had moved across the country to Oregon. In 7th and 8th grade I discovered another teacher that would open a new love in my life. She taught us language arts and focused a lot on creative writing. I never knew much about writing stories, though I often had them rolling around in my head. She discovered my writing and encouraged me to write stories, and inspired in me a love to write. Her name was Ms. Mac and she is still teaching, though this year she is taking a break working in the district office. I saw her at the beginning of the year, and told her that because of her, I still write.

*****
Over the years I have encountered many good, and a few more bad, but there are only a few that have left a mark on me that will last through the years.
I once heard a parent say that most children are resilient and can survive even the worst teachers. I thought about that, I survived, but only with my mom’s help, and because she took an active role in changing my atmosphere. Last night as I talked with the girls teachers and watched their excitement in their classrooms, showing me every little thing they could. I smiled inside. Seeing them so happy makes me happy that they are enjoying a far better start than I did. It makes me grateful for the teachers that made a difference in my life, and for the teachers that are making, and will make, a difference in my children’s lives.

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Filed under Children, Memory, Philosophy

Blessings Out-Weigh Bruised Bones

This weekend I learned that when a person gets older the ground really does become harder. I never really got that before. I was always of the old addage ‘air matresses are for wimps’. Well, ummm . . . I’m a wimp. Yeah. How did I make this amazing discovery?

Paul and I packed up the four kids, our tent, sleeping bags, a few clothes and wood and food and such and took off early Friday evening. We headed down an old back road towards the Oregon Coast where we knew there some little known podunky campgrounds where we were sure to find a spot for the night. Find one we did and I built the fire and started the hotdogs roasting for the kids while Paul erected the tent. The evening was a hoot as we ate hotdgs and smores, sang songs and told stories around the fire. It was getting late so we sent the kids off to the tent and not to long after the snores began Paul and I turned in.

The ground was really hard, and rocky. I even had a thin bad underneath that kept some of the rocks from jabbing into me but it did nothing to comfort the dull ache on my body from the hard ground. Everytime I rolled over I thought to myself that it had to be morning now, only to realize that maybe a 1/2 an hour had passed by. The night creeped along like a slug trying to make it through a patch of salt. It felt like every bone in my body was bruised no matter how I laid.

Finally I thought I heard the sound of my salvation as a thin small voice began singing wordless melodies of his own making. Jacob! Surely it was morning now, but alass it was only 4:30 a.m. It was quite hilarious, trying to sleep on impossibly hard rocky ground being serenaded by our 16 month old from 4:30 until 6:30 a.m. when everyone finally was awake and we proclaimed it a decent hour to end our torture. 2 hours of joyous music that made me giggle even through my torture.

To say we were exhausted is underated beyond comprehension and the plans of continuing out to the coast for a fun day at the beach were quickly squelched as we staggered and stumbled into the cool mountain air. We cleaned up camp quickly and headed back to home. We were only an hour away and as we drove we realized we would be back easily in time to go to the local ‘Old Fahioned Days Festival’ parade. This brightened the children considerably.

It must have been fated that we would have a terrible night, and we are very grateful for it now, for on our way home, as Paul excelerated from a stop sign, the engine revved manically but the car went nowhere ending in an aweful sounding, chunk-chunk-chunk. We coasted off to the side of the road. Paul hopped out and looked under the car and hood and found nothing aparant. He hopped back in and put the car into drive. Though it shifted into drive it would not shift into any higher gears after that and we limped the last few miles home at an excrusiating 20 miles or less an hour. We were very grateful that we hadn’t gone further into the wilderness and had this happen. So now we were without a family car. We walked the mile to the parade, enjoyed it, and came back home to sleep for the afternoon. We bought a new battery for my parents little honda that we can at least fit one adult and all the kids in so we could make to church the next day and I would have some mode of transportation while the van is in the shop.

I feel like I am driving a little clown car right now. It is a small blue honda accord, two-door. I pull up and all these little people come popping out of the car from all sides. There is a lot to be grateful for. The honda is for sale, thank goodness it hasn’t sold yet. We could have been stranded in the middle of nowhere, or me alone with the kids. We are not of the cel phone carrying crowd yet, though at least we have AAA. 🙂 The blessings are great and the inconveniences are few, especially if our warranty (that we purchased when we got our little van) covers whatever needs to be fixed. So we hope and pray that is the case, for we cannot afford major car expenses right now, and there is no way a new vehicle is possible. Until then the Elizabeth and Dot will get to have fun taking turns riding in the front seat. Quite the adventure for them. 🙂 And with Jacob singing everytime I turn around things can’t be that bad. 🙂

Oh, speaking of singing, it melted my heart yesterday. I was asked to fill in as the organist at church yesterday and the closing song was Families Can Be Together Forever which my children know VERY well. I could hear the three of them above the organ and everyone else singing just belting the words out at the top of their sweet little lungs. Everyone smiling and chuckling at our little family choir just singing away. Something about the words of that song and hearing my children sing it so sweet, so loud just melted my heart and made my sould smile. 🙂

(and we are getting an air mattress before we go camping again . . .)

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Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, Lizy, Parenting, Religion

100th Post Meets Mr. Stitch!

Well, I am at the big “Un-hunnert” (by Fourth Fret’s standard) and I thought, “Self, what better way to greet 100 than to introduce you to the mighty Mr. Stitch. An idea given to us on Friday by our roommates whose little boy had just moved out of ICU (he had heart surgery too for a different defect) on how to use all the little odds and ends we kept from Jacob’s time in the hospital. Some from last year and some from Friday. So I give you:

Mr. Stitch

The dog was originally given to us by friends a few days before his heart surgery last year.


The hat is his nasal c-pap hat from after surgery. The pink thing on a blue stick was what the respitory therapists used to thump on his chest to get the gunk out of his lungs after they collapsed after surgery. The restraints were used both times to keep him from yanking out wires and such. The yellow mask is what we had to where if we had a cough or something, and the oxygen mask was used both times.

Taken today, it looks as though the little tyke is feeling much better . . .


Yup, feeling better. Might not be ready to eat a horse, but a dog on the other hand . . .

Hey, and thanks all for suffering through my 100 posts! Hee hee! 🙂 I thought about listing one hundred things I am grateful for, but thought that would get awfully long so I thought I would list my top 5:

  • My super duper handsome huggable hubby Paul
  • My delightful darling daughter Elizabeth (Lizard gizzard in a blizzard)
  • My devilishly delicious daughter Dorothy (dot com, comet, and dot)
  • My dear dancing daughter Emily (Emmy Em)
  • My stupendous swashbuckling son Jacob (miracle boy)

I think I am the luckiest person on earth!! 🙂

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Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Heart, Jacob, Lizy, Parenting