Tag Archives: prayer

The Miracle of our Ark

We’ve had a number of amazing experiences since Lizy passed away, each one letting us know how very much our Heavenly Father loves us and is aware of all we go through.

Most recently is the miraculous story of our new van.

Our old van was purple –

Barney Purple

(I’ve never been a fan of Barney)

The poor thing was rather dilapitated.

You had to pound on the dashboard to get it to work – all the gauges would frequently go out.

sometimes you had to pound numerous times!

And it was getting worse.

The AC had been broken for 3-4 years

sometimes the fans would work

and sometimes they wouldn’t

You just prayed they decide to work in the winter…

and it leaked oil.

And we hadn’t had the money to fix it.

It just was not a happy van.

Every time I got in, I prayed that we would get to where we’re going, and we did. There’s proof right there that God answers prayers. 🙂 Anyway, we’d known for quite some time that we desperately needed a new vehicle and we worried and fretted about how we would manage it without going into more debt.

One day, one his way home from work, Paul saw a van for sale by the owner. A nice, full-size conversion van for 7K. He wrote down the info and forgot about it. He didn’t see the van outside again and assumed it had sold.

A few weeks later, as we were sitting down for a family movie, he felt prompted to call about the van. He did and it was still available so we set up an appointment to see it the next day for our date.

We pulled up to the house and an older gentleman came out to greet us. We talked about numerous things including the van and our family – but we didn’t bring up Lizy. Finally we took it for a test drive. It drove so smooth. It really was a beautiful van.

The only problem was, we couldn’t afford it.

We needed something like it, but unless the owner would take payments, we wouldn’t be able to manage.

The owner and his wife came out to speak with us upon our return from the test drive. We talked a bit about how nice the van was and then, before we could ask about payments or anything, he became a little emotional and said,

“I was sitting inside with my wife while you were gone, talking about your family, and I just kept feeling that your family needs the van. I don’t want you to feel any pressure or anything and I don’t know what you can afford. If you can send $100 here and $100 there, that’s fine. All we really need is $1000. I just feel like God is telling me you folks need this van.”

I think our jaws almost fell off.

I was in shock at the generosity of this stranger.

I felt prompted to tell him about Lizy. He and his wife cried as I did so. He told us to take some time, and pray, but that the van was ours if we wanted it, and if we couldn’t swing the $1000 then they would take what we could pay.

We left feeling blessed and loved.

That night Paul and I knelt together and prayed about the van, asking our Heavenly Father if it was the right thing for us to do. We felt impressed that it was a gift for us. Usually we have a mechanic look at vehicles we’re interested in purchasing, but I got the distinct feeling that the van was fine and no mechanic was needed.

A few days later we purchased the van for $1000 after verifying that the owner truly didn’t need more.

It was a miracle.

We avoided more debt.

And I feel we both our families were touched by the experience.

We took our family to meet them, and gave them one of Lizy’s remembrance cards.

I don’t think I could ever express my gratitude completely to them or to my Heavenly Father.

The van is big and tan and promptly dubbed

The Ark.

We decided it fit especially since Paul’s white car was named Moby Dick.

There are miracles all around us.

Some are big, like that of us finding our Ark.

Some are little, like the blossoming of a lily.

I am grateful for them all and our Heavenly Father’s


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Filed under Miracles, Religion

Topsy Turvy

Sometimes things flow along rather smoothly. Sure, there are a few bumps along the way (we have six kids after all) but nothing too out of the ordinary. And then things get turned upside down and inside out.

Last week I received a bit of news.

A rough bit.

I found out my father has brain cancer – lymphoma – though now they aren’t too sure what it is and are doing more tests. What they do know for sure is that he has lesions on the front and back of his brain – and it came on fast in the last month and a half (or at least, that’s when the symptoms showed up).

My dad is an amazing man. Has always been active and healthy. He taught me to love hiking and nature. He taught me to be and do my best.  He has the wackiest sense of humor – the kind where some people  can’t tell if he’s joking, but there’s a twinkle in his eye, and he makes the craziest goofy faces.

I never thought about how old he was getting (he’s 74, after all) and how he was slowing down. He always seemed invincible to me, like he would live forever. But I feel my time with him here on earth slipping away between my grasping fingers.

Maybe I have many years yet to come, I choose to hope for the best. But, in case the time is short, I am going to visit. I’ve only seen him one day in these past 3 1/2 years – because of their mission and our move – and it’s been too long. I am so blessed to have such a supportive husband and family to allow me to take off for a while to be with my parents.

I’ll try my best to blog while I’m gone, but I might not have much time. I’ll be hanging with my most amazing parents and visiting amazing old friends too. I plan on having a blast.

But, all while I’m having a grand time, I’ll be praying. Praying for my dad. If you don’t mind sending a prayer our way, it would be so appreciated. And if you aren’t the praying type, good thoughts and wishes work well too. We can feel the support from everyone around us.

And I believe in miracles.


Filed under Family, health, Religion

When You Can’t Stand it…

Murdoch, a lovable bundle of energy that rivals even Jacob, came to us last August. A relative of one of Paul’s co-workers was needing to find a new home for him. We hadn’t planned on even considering a dog until sometime after the new year – After all we had just moved out here and I was pregnant. REALLY pregnant! We discussed it and prayed about it. The answer came and it was a yes.

Well, if I thought that a yes answer meant that Murdoch would be peaches and cream and perfectly trained, then I was in trouble. Because….

He’s not. He was potty trained – sort of – mainly it was an adjustment of new surroundings and owners I think. But even with that fixed mostly, he chewed on stuff, didn’t know any of the most basic commands and has a stubborness that rivals all six of my kids put together. Maybe he was sent to teach me patience – haha. Oh and he jumps on people – and did I mention he’s HUGE? The jumping is getting better – sort of – he seems to go in spurts.

All his annoying quirks aside, he’s a lot of fun and, while the training is slow and sometimes agonizing, he’s getting better. The biggest problem is when he gets loose.

Trying to get Murdoch back is like trying to catch a giggling toddler playing keep-away who can run as fast as a car… and he really can – I watched him pace several cars. He’ll let you get within inches and the moment you flinch, he’ll be half way down the street.

So, there I am this morning, in the rain, with two little boys and an escaped dog. The boys were inside – but I was nervous (for obvious reasons) to go very far to try to catch him. I tried dog treats, toys, patiently waiting and lunging for him, I had neighbors help. He knew all our tricks and wouldn’t have anything to do with it.

My laundry went undone, the store went unvisited, fun with my two littlest boys went unhad all while I tried to get the dog back. I was frustrated beyond belief and even told Paul to call the pound on our own dog cause I didn’t care anymore. I had tried everything and nothing had worked.

But then as I sat upstairs at my computer – seething in anger – I glanced at my Mom’s facebook profile and saw this:

I thought, “Did you pray?” Uh. Gee. Duh. I felt a little silly about not having thought about that solution. So I prayed. I prayed that if it be His will that we keep the dog (and half of me by now was hoping it wouldn’t be His will) that when I walked outside this time I’d be able to catch him without a problem.

I finished my prayer and walked outside. I couldn’t see him and wondered if the pound had already snagged him (it happened once before). The I saw him two houses down. He raised his head, looked at me and started walking towards me, just a slow sauntering walk.

I continued to pray. Murdoch walked right up to me and didn’t even flinch as I patted his head and hooked the leash to him. I suppose that means were supposed to keep him. 🙂 He’s a good dog (even if he refuses to get along with the cat – ha ha) and is improving every day. And I do love him, but sometimes…. grrrrrrr. 😀

I am grateful for prayer. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who answers my prayers no matter how big or how little.

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Filed under Religion

A Neat Weekend Experience

On the kids odd birth years, rather than having a party with friends, we have a family party and a birthday trip. Yesterday was to be Elizabeth’s birthday trip and she had chosen to go to Tillamook Cheese Factory. 

I taught my morning lesson and then piled everyone into the car. It was a gorgeous sunny day, first one in weeks, and warm too. We were all excited to be going to the coast.  Earlier in the morning Emily had mentioned in passing that she didn’t feel very well.  But after she had been awake a while said she felt better and enjoyed her breakfast and appeared to be doing great.  We backed out of the driveway and headed off on our way.

I have learned from past experience that when you have a child who gets carsick that it is a good idea to have plastic bags strategically placed around the car – just in case.  Well, it was a good thing, because about 15 minutes out of town Emily threw-up.  We stopped the car and took care of everything and I pulled out the spare thermometer in my “Dr. Mom Box” and took her temp.  It was only 99 – but enough to make us unsure about going on.  I really wanted to go, and I didn’t want to dissapoint the children.  Emily was assuring us that she was better now and that we could keep going.  We decided two things: 1 – that we would keep going 2 – that we needed to pray about that decision as a family to be sure it was right.

So, we explained to the children what we had decided and that we needed to all pray to be sure it was right.  I very much wanted an affirmative answer, but as we prayed I couldn’t help thinking that we needed to turn around and go home.  After the prayer each of the girls expressed their impressions.  Each one started “I’m not really sure…. but I think it would be ok to go.”  Paul even stated, “I’m really not sure, but maybe we can keep going.”  As I listened to their indecision it became increasingly clear that this was the stupor of thought so often talked to us about in the scriptures. So I told them how I felt, that we needed to return home, explained the reason why, and Paul and I taught them about what it means to have a stupor of doubt.  Once we had all decided to return home a peace settled over all of us and each of the girls confirmed, “It is the right decision to return home.

When we got home 15 minutes later, Emily’s fever was up to 100 – and later that afternoon it hit 102. She took a long nap and layed on the couch almost the whole day.  We were all grateful that we had listened to the spirit and had followed the answer to our prayers to return home.

On the way home in the car Dorothy said an extra prayer that Emily wouldn’t throw up anymore.  We talked to her about God’s will and to remember that if Emily threw-up again that it wasn’t that Dot’s prayer wasn’t answered, but that Emily needed to get stuff out of her body so she could get better, but that she could have faith that what ever happened would be what was best for Emily.  Emily didn’t throw up again, Dorothy’s prayer was answered.

We are so grateful for this neat weekend we had of answered prayers and following those answers even when it was hard. The teaching oportunities we had with the children about prayer and how prayers work and are answered were just wonderful. We had a really fun day yesterday, even though we stayed home.


Filed under Dot, Em, Family, Lizy, Miracles, Parenting, Religion


Elizabeth has a teeny tiny black and white stuffed kitten. I don’t remember where she got it, I think is might have been a happy meal toy she recieved from a Birthday Party. She loves the thing and calls it Oreo.

When Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Sandy & Ucle Joe, and Aunt Pamala & Uncle Paul (and girls, Laura and Emma) were all here for James’ baby blessing she wanted desperately to show them Oreo.

She looked in her room and couldn’t find it. She looked in the family, living room and Jacob’s room and couldn’t find it. She looked in the bathroom, kitchen, and garage. Still no Oreo. Her cheaks were stained as she tearfully told me she had looked everywhere, including under furniture, and she still couldn’t find it. “I even prayed,” she cried broken heartedly. I wanted to cry too, I felt so bad for her.

“Elizabeth,” I said, “this is Grandma and Grandpa’s last day why don’t you enjoy being with them and join us in having fun. Oreo will turn up sooner or later.”

She nodded her head and then looked up her eyes drying rappidly. “Mom, when we find it, will you take a picture of Oreo to send to Grandma and grandpa?”

“Of course.”

“And Aunt Sandy and Uncle Joe?”


“And Aunt Pamala, Uncle Paul, Laura and Emma?”


With that she gave me a huge hug and took off, all sunshine and smiles, to spend time with the family.


The next day I was chatting on the phone with my Mother and Father. They are on a mission in Florida and couldn’t come to the baby blessing, so I was filling them in on the details. In order to seek some quiet while we visited I slipped into my office. While I was chatting my eyes were studying a black and white blob on the old yellow shag carpet. I gasped as I realized what it was I was staring at. There sat little forlorn Oreo.

I got off the phone and brought Oreo to Elizabeth who greeteed him with squeals of delight. “Make sure you take a picture of him.” She reminded me.

I give you, Oreo – the Lost Kitten:


So, Elizabeth’s prayers were answered after all, and Oreo gets to meet all of you. Some might say it was luck that I found little Oreo. Personally I find it as an amazing testament that Heavenly Father loves us so much that he will help a little girl find something so trivial as a miniature cat. Prayers are answered – even the seemingly minor ones.


Filed under Children, Lizy, Miracles, Religion