Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Leaving On A Jet Plane . . . and a little touch of randomness

Tomorrow morning I am boarding a plane to Utah! I will be met by my daughter at the airport, who will chauffeur me to my parent's house. And the following morning I will be joined by my four sisters at Women's Conference.

Now can anything be more fun than that?!

I am so very much looking forward to it. Although I would be just a little more excited if I hadn't checked the weather report.


Just a little added adventure, coutesy of Mother Nature, I suppose.

About yesterday's post . . . I am feeling a little guilty about the support people have given over being left alone during labor just as the baby was making an appearance because . . . my mother has a much more dramatic story.

Making a long story short . . . When she was expecting my youngest brother we lived in Costa Rica. This was also a time when fathers didn't participate much in the birth of their children. So when it was time to deliver, my dad took my mother to the hospital, was told it would be several hours and to go home and they would call him when it got closer. So he did.

Unfortunately, they also didn't have a labor room available so they put my mother in a storage closet, on a table with a pillow and then left her there. About an hour later, a nurse did check on her, but that was the last time she saw anyone for FIVE hours!! No one monitored her process, no one made sure the baby was okay, no one administered medication or helped her with contractions.

She was left there all alone.

When she got close to being ready to deliver, still no one had come and so she started yelling, "Help!! Help!!" as loudly as she could. Unfortunately she couldn't remember the word for "help" in Spanish and so just hoped her English would be understood. Finally, a nurse came, checked her and then immediately called the doctor. Luckily my father had grown concerned and gone to the hospital even though no one called him. While walking in, he saw the doctor run past. Just a few minutes later, my mother delivered a very cute 9 lb baby boy.

Pretty dramatic. But then my Mom is a farm girl, and very tough! :-)
Lastly. I am LOVING studying the book of Ether right now for seminary. Today we were talking about how the Brother of Jared was so faithful about praying but when he got to the coast he stopped praying for four years. I asked the kids how that could happen to someone who was so righteous.

One boy blurted out, "It was because he was enjoying his cottage on the beach!" Isn't that the truth. How often do we get content in where we are and so we stop moving forward, even though our "promised land" hasn't been reached.

Perhaps that is another good reason for me to go to Women's Conference . . . I have grown a little too comfortable in my "cottage" and need to be nudged/kicked out. :-)

So here is to progress!! May it always bring . . . joy to our journey.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Ryan!!

I can never celebrate a child's birthday without thinking back to the day that child was born. When Ryan joined our family, we already had one little girl and were very excited to get a baby boy. So excited in fact, that in my eagerness to deliver, I went to the hospital in false labor. Afterward, my husband joked that he wasn't taking me again until he could see the head.

Funny joke.

A couple days later, around 11 at night, my water broke. Not being too concerned, I went back to bed and waited for the contractions to start. An hour later they did. I didn't want to wake Wes too early, so I thought I would wait until they were a little closer together. But by the third contraction I was in a LOT of pain. Twenty minutes later I was in so much pain, I told him to call the doctor and tell him to come to our house because I was not going anywhere!

Of course, he didn't do that, much to my dismay. So I allowed him to help me out to the car and to our friend's house to drop off Camille while we went to the hospital. I asked my friend to please call the hospital and let them know we were coming so they could have a wheel chair ready for me.

She did and they did.

But when the nurses tried to get me out of the car and into the wheel chair, I told them to wait because I was having a contraction.

They waited and then once again tried to help. But no sooner had the first contraction ended, than another started. Once again I asked them to wait, but one nurse said to the other, "Her contraction are 90 seconds long and on top of each other, we need to get her in now!"

They wheeled me in, ripped off my clothes, put me in a bed . . . and then EVERYONE left me! My husband was sent to sign me in and the nurses left to get the delivery room ready (that was the last time I used a regular delivery room).

Lying there alone, I could feel the baby coming. I tried not to panic. Finally they came back and took me into the delivery room, where thirteen minutes after arriving at the hospital, and just one hour and forty three minutes after going into labor, Ryan was born!! (None of my others were that quick)

And he has been a blessing in our lives ever since!!

So tonight we celebrated that birth. He and his sweet wife Kali came for dinner. It was so nice to have so many people sitting at our dinner table!! I love that!!

Kathryn and I made very yummy homemade salsa earlier in the day and then we picked up some delicious tacos and enchiladas from Ramirez on the corner of 83rd Avenue and Lake Pleasant Pkwy.

After dinner we brought out the cake and ice cream. Unfortunately Kathryn had bought some trick candles so it took quite a while before Ryan could get them out as they kept coming back to life.

And then everyone posed for a picture outside. And yes, there really were four dogs at this party--three of theirs and our one --that Ryan gave to us last summer.
We then continued our family tradition and brought out a pinata filled with treats and toys.

Unfortunately the rope we usually use to hang the pinata was busy keeping a tree straight in the back yard, so we improvised. Wes and Kathryn took turns tossing the pinata back and forth while Ryan swung at it.

Good job Ryan at breaking it!! Here Michelle runs to get the candy, Ryan saunters, and I am not quite sure what Kathryn is doing. It looks like an impersonation of an umpire calling someone safe. :-)

Everyone filled their bags and we called it a night.
It was so much fun to have them visit with us.
We love you Ryan!! We wish you a wonderful new year of life!!
And may the new year bring . . .joy to your journey.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

She's Back!! . . . And Other Fun Saturday Happenings

Saturday was certainly a special day at our house!

First--It was my son's birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYAN!
We are celebrating on Monday so I will give him his very own post then.

She completed her freshman year at BYU Provo, and is now home for the summer. (Anyone want to give her a job?) We are so excited to have her back with us. Michelle is happy to no longer be an only child with her parent's undivided attention, and Kathryn and her best friend Heather (below) were very happy to be reunited after spending the school year a part!

But before we picked up Kat from the airport, we got up early in the morning and drove to the Mesa temple where our stake, and another, were assigned to spend two hours helping the grounds crew. This has always been one of my most favorite service projects! (And we were particularly grateful we got an April shift this year instead of July!!)

Everyone who comes is usually in a good mood and there is always a special spirit on the temple grounds. I just couldn't resist getting out the camera and taking a few pictures.

Here is the weeding crew. This was the group I was assigned to. We got to weed all the flower beds! Notice there are people for about as far as you can see. Sure wish I had this kind of help at home! :-)

Others were assigned to plant new flowers in the flower gardens, or to clean up around the trees. I love how so many in the stake made this a family affair. Below is the Andrus family. They ALWAYS are at these projects.

Even the little guys were put to work. Here is a very cute little street sweeper!

After the work was done, everyone gathered back together where the grounds crew expressed gratitude for the help. (This is about 1/3 of the people who were there.)

Here the McVey family poses for a picture. I met Janet at the project and she told me she reads my blog--so I thought it would be fun to put her on it!!:-)

Afterward, we all sang "I Love To See The Temple". Looking at everyone there, feeling the spirit and thinking about what a great experience this was--especially for all the young kids who will always remember the day they helped out at the temple--brought tears to my eyes.

It was such a fun morning!!
BUT . . . the day is not over yet! In the evening, Wes and I went to a Jon Schmidt concert!! This was the fourth time I have seen him perform and it is always a lot of fun. The crowd was mostly young single adults who provided a lot of enthusiasm--which always makes for a fun concert.
So . . . Saturday was truly a "special day" at our house!! And definitely one that brought much . . . joy to my journey!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The closing of a door, the end of an era . . .

I thought I would be fine, but I am not.

For twelve out of the past sixteen years—the last nine consecutive—I have been involved in the seminary program in our stake. And this is my last year—at least for now.

I was sad when I realized I would not be teaching next year, but I have also put a lot of things on hold in my life that I began to look forward to doing. But this morning I attended a testimony meeting for all the seminary youth in our building. It was sweet and tender and the spirit was in abundance.

And I knew every student there.

I know many of their older brothers and sisters as well. I have watched them all grow from little shy, timid freshmen to tall, strong and confident seniors.

And as I listened to their testimonies, tears welled up in my eyes, tightness began to constrict around my heart and a dull pain settled in.

I love these kids. I love them deeply, dearly, completely. Seminary has been my all consuming passion, my love, and my life. I am not quite sure how I am going to live without it.

I have had a very teary morning.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Our Unseen Cheering Section

Two little girls sang in church today. They had beautiful, sweet voices that testified of the Savior and His love for each of us as he suffered in Gethsemane.

It is a song I have loved since I first heard it a couple years ago, and I was touched by the words and their voices.

But what touched me the most, was watching the mother of one of the girls as she sat in the congregation.

Jen sat five rows back from the front, at the end of the row. She was not in a position where the girls would notice her, nor was she where she could help if they forgot the song. Yet there she sat, with a copy of the words and music in her hands, head bowed, and mouthing the words along with them--seemingly willing them along. Jen has nine children, yet at that moment she seemed oblivious to the other eight as she concentrated, singing the words along with her daughter.

The little girls did not see her, but I did. And as I watched her there, the script in her hand, and singing every word with them, it touched me deeply.

I first thought of my own daughters, far away from home. I may not be in a position to help if they stumble or forget what they should do, and they cannot see me, but my thoughts and prayers are always with them. I suffer with them through their hurt feelings and rejoice in their successes.

And then my mind went to heaven, and those who live beyond the veil. I wondered how many mothers, unseen, watch down on children, and mouth the words along with them as they attempt to sing the song of life?

Suddenly I could feel the presence and power of others, watching us, willing us along, holding the "script" in their hands, encouraging us to say and do what we need to do, praying we will remember the words we were taught and always sing in harmony with the Savior.

They are our own unseen cheering section.

It was a nice thought. And one that brought . . . joy to my journey.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Confessions of an Embarrassing Kind

When at conference they read the names of prominent members of the church who had recently passed away, one name stood out to me much more than the others.

Robert J. Matthews.

Brother Matthews was a scholar, author, former dean of the college of Religious Instruction at BYU, first president of the Mt. Timpanogos Temple, the church's foremost authority on the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, and . . . my former boss.

And being my boss is where the the embarrassing moment comes in.

Many years ago, when I was a young girl in college, I worked in the dean's office. One day I had to go into the storage closet to get some paper for the copy machine. The storage closet was fairly wide, but boxes had piled up so thick on each side, that at one point there was only enough room for one person to walk at a time.

As I entered, I saw there was a young man, also an employee, who had been restocking the shelves at the back of the closet and was now ready to leave. Just to tease him, I walked forward and stood in the narrow area, blocking his exit. When I refused to move, he reached out and placed his hands on my waist in an effort to physically move me out of his way.

Just then Brother Matthews entered the closet. And what he thought he saw, was me standing in the closet in an embrace with a fellow employee!

Immediately he apologized for the intrusion and quickly left, closing the door behind him.

While the young man, who worked in the basement and far away from Brother Matthews, was rolled over with laughter, I prayed for a hole to open up in the floor to swallow me.

It didn't happen. And so I timidly went back to my desk--in his office--where I tried to be very inconspicuous for the rest of the afternoon.

I never explained the situation to him. I was too embarrassed to even bring it up. I just prayed he had short term memory loss--especially when years later he became good friends with my father.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hey Mr. Postman . . . !

A couple months ago I was in Utah visiting my mother when I noticed my sister Becky wearing some very cute shoes.

They weren’t anything I thought I would dare wear myself, but I thought they were so cute on her—and that she was so brave and stylish for wearing them.

So she decided that just for fun she would buy me a pair and mail them to me. She didn’t include a note or explanation—she just sent the shoes.


Although she was notified they were delivered,


Several weeks have passed, and still no cute shoes!

But today I got another package in the mail. I was so excited to open it. What could it be?
There was no note to tell me who sent it or why.

I was so curious!

So, I opened the package and found this!

Seriously, King Kong vs Godzilla?

Alright! Who is the wise guy? And why did you send me this movie?

And Mr Postman . . . Where are my cute shoes?!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Camille is my first born, and now is old enough that I am lying about HER age.:-)
And today is her birthday!
I will always remember the day she was born.
I had been on bed rest for three weeks and was so glad she was finally coming.
Although since she was born just nine months after our wedding, I really didn't want her coming any earlier.:-)
After a very difficult labor, there she was, 8 pounds, six ounces, sweet, pink, and with long beautiful curly hair!
We love her so much and are so glad she is part of out family!
She has not only been a great daughter, but she is also a good friend!
We hope you have a wonderful day!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Confession Of My Obsessions!

I picked up this tag from Momza's House--A confession of my obsessions. Actually I think I am supposed to be confessing my addictions, but since "obsession" rhymed better, I went with that.

1. Chocolate.

So lets get the food out of the way first. I really like chocolate. I like it solid, in cake, on ice cream, warm and gooey, cold or hot. I just don't like it dark or white. But milk chocolate in all its forms . . . yummmm.

2. Dishes.

I don't really get this one, but I LOVE dishes. I love dinner plates, cups, and serving bowls. I have really cute green plates for spring, red ones for Christmas, burgundy for fall, purple and gold ones for special occasions, multi colored for Mexican night, china for really special occasions and white ones for regular use. But the funny thing is . . . I almost always use paper plates! The only time I ever get out my vast array of dishes is on Sunday or when we have company.

3. Fresh flowers.

I love them! They make my heart sing. And my favorite flowers of all are tulips. I think that is because they are so simple and fresh looking.

4. Just about anything purple.

I am drawn to anything in a store that is purple. Paper, clothes, napkins, purses, anything. And I have a hard time not buying it. I am getting better though. I have realized that a person can only use so many purple jackets and sweaters. And yes, all those in the picture are mine.

I think that is probably enough confession for one day. If anyone else wants to pick up the tag, feel free!

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Friend "Em". My life vs Her's

On Saturday afternoon, while I sat at the movie theater enjoying a movie with my daughter and some friends, another friend, (who I will call “Em”) was rescuing the block wall in her backyard from destruction after her little boys decided it would be really fun to make holes in the wall by swinging golf clubs at it.

While my husband went to priesthood meeting and I went to dinner with “the girls”, my friend Em was cleaning up large puddles of water from the carpet in her little boys’ room. After being sent to their room as punishment for the golf club incident, they decided to empty out the large plastic tub used for toys and fill it with water. Jumping from the beds into the water tub produced wonderful splashes that soaked the nearby bedding, the carpets and even all the way through the mattress and box spring. All the bedding had to be taken outside to dry and the water sucked up from the carpets with a shop vac.

On Sunday afternoon, while I enjoyed a very pleasant Easter feast with my family and our neighbors, my friend Em was cleaning up water and soap from her carpet in the hall. When the water from the splashing tub soaked the mattresses the night before, it also soaked a cardboard box under the bed. The box was brought out, it’s contents emptied, and the box put out to dry. However, a box that size apparently can make a great slide when placed on the stairs, and coated with soapy water.

And so today, after five little boys were all lovingly (and eagerly) placed on the bus for school, Em and I went and got pedicures.

I think she needed it.

And no longer will I complain I need more variety in my life. I think I will be happy to leave my life just as it is.:-)

At least for now.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter! And Happy Conference!

I love conference!! I love watching at home, surrounded by family and hearing messages that brighten my day and increase my testimony.

Although, there was once I wasn't too excited about the message I heard. It happened a few years ago. I had struggled during the week with some angry and hurt feelings towards someone. I felt totally justified in my anger, convinced the person had injured me intentionally and all week I had nursed the pain.

On Saturday morning, the first day of general conference, I woke up with a sense of excitement. My heart felt light and I was filled with joy and eager anticipation. That confused me since I had been carrying a heavy heart all week. Then the thought came to my mind, "This morning you are going to hear a message that will bring you comfort and great peace."

Excited to learn what this wonderful message would be, I attentively sat in front of the TV, note pad and pen in hand. Then the first speaker stood to the pulpit. It was President Faust. And his topic? Forgiveness.

Yep, that was it. That was the message the Lord had for me. I needed to forgive.

Personally, I was hoping more for something like "the Lord will avenge your enemies", so hearing I needed to forgive was just a little disappointing. :-)

But I forgave and peace and joy were restored to my life.

And I have never forgotten that.

Thankfully I have no hurt feelings, and no need to forgive this time. But I am sure I will still hear a message that will bring me great comfort and peace. After all this Sunday is also Easter, and what better message of joy and peace can there be than that of the atonement?

And I can't wait to hear it!