Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our Angel

I don't even know where to begin, other than just to say it.
Last night Amy and Bret welcomed their precious baby, Ella.
Only to relinquish her to the arms of a loving Heavenly Father a few hours later.

Our hearts are heavy.
Our eyes are wet.
A mother and father's arms are empty.

We know of a plan.
A Plan of Happiness given to us by our dear Father in Heaven.
It gives us comfort to know that she belongs to an eternal family.
But still we ache with shed and unshed tears.
And painful loss.

We are so uplifted by the love and prayers and comforting words of others.
And we thank you so much.
And please never forget our precious angel baby, Ella.
Please go to my daughter's blog, Green Apple Images, and see the tribute and photo to our precious baby and if you feel able, donate to help a young couple pay for her funeral expenses.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How Many People Can you Cram into this Madwoman's House on Christmas Day?

It's Christmas!!

Christmas stockings are ALWAYS a favorite. Gifts are specially selected for the receiver.
Can this poor woman cram  any more baby into her belly?
Grandma with the requisite garbage bag, trying to cram more paper into it. 
Princess was the theme of their stockings!

Jammies: The theme this year was polar bears for the boys, snowflakes for the girls, in honor of our boy in Alaska......
Who we had an awesome 1 1/2 hour visit with BTW......
We even managed to cram the missionaries in. (standing in front of our Sun "Devil" tree-oops)
The fruits of Santa's workshop-Grandma did a LOT less sewing this year.
And I didn't get a photo of the girls in their matching aprons.....again!!!
Wait? I paid for all this?????

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Okay everybody.......

Take a deep breath........







We're almost to the finish line!
You can do it!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Christmas List

***warning*** snarky post here. I may end up deleting it......

Things that are getting crossed off my Christmas list this year:

1. Christmas cards.
Yet again.
I've received quite a few electronic Christmas cards this year.
So I'm thinkin' maybe that will be the new trend.
Although I do honestly love reading the happenings of our friends & family.

This year we DID not go to Europe or Hawaii.
Or plan to any time in the near future.
Our kids are average human beings-I really like them.
(I must say though, they do produce beautiful children)
(And they ain't half bad looking themselves)

2.  Neighbor goodies.
I'm so terrible, I only wave at my neighbors most days.
If you don't speak Spanish or aren't related to me,
I'm probably not paying much attention to you this Christmas.

3.  Santa's Workshop
Well, I did get a few things done this year.
But I had to put the plans for others on hold.
Seein' how Amy & I are becoming intimately acquainted with the inside of hospitals.
(Three time in the past 2 weeks)
And we are learning the tricks of trekking to Phoenix for doctor appointments.

The end of my true confession.
There may be others.
But I don't want to look too bad.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chubby Cheeks

Due to amazing technology, I have a sweet photo of Amy's little Ladybug, as she is affectionately known to her parents.
Isn't that amazing? Dontcha' just want to munch on those chubby cheeks?
Wanna see something even more amazing?

Same chubby cheeks. That's the momma of the little one with the chubby cheeks.
Is there quite possibly a resemblance?

Hmmmmm, I'm thinkin' yes.

Amy's pre-eclampsia is gone! She's been a very good girl, resting lots, and the doctor said it will stay away as long as she keeps up the good work resting. Baby still has the severe heart defect, and the doctors all say she won't go until her due date of Jan 17th but it sure is comforting to see that cute little face on the ultrasound-she even waved at her grandma!

Friday, December 10, 2010


I don't know why, but I woke up feeling better this morning than I have for weeks. (maybe it was the late night spagetti dinner???)

I woke up smiling and thinking about my word for the year 2010. Little did I realize how prophetic that would be.

I've been learning a lot this past few weeks. Learning about

Since Amy's been on bed rest, I've been the chauffeur to all her doctor appointments. And we've been to the doctor nearly every day since she was released (got another one at 8:30 today).

I've worked for/been around doctors for nearly 20 years. And I've been so impressed with the team that has been assembled to take care of her.

There's a certain humility and compassion that I've noticed about these folks who work with little babies, especially sick little babies. There has been demonstrated a high level of patience and kindness when talking to a mommy who is scared to death about her baby's future. It's been wonderful to watch. My prayers have been filled with gratitude for the multitude of tender mercies that have been bestowed upon us to this point.

I'm learning more than I ever really wanted to learn this year, but that's okay. And we are still uncertain of the future but as the days progress, we take one day at a time, filled with hope and learning new things along the way.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baptisms, Baby Showers, and Birthdays, Oh My!

So life just keeps moving on...faster than I can keep up with it!
Here's the big girl that was baptized a few weeks ago.
Our oldest grandbaby. Except she's not a baby anymore.
Time flies!!
It was a great day.
And here's the baby shower honoree.
We are SO blessed that she was able to attend her shower.
Because she was in the hospital for most of last week.
The baby is starting to have edema under the skin (typical condition with babies with heart defects)
And the doctor wanted her to be monitored.
She has mild pre-eclampsia and is now on strict bed rest.
Except for special things like baby showers.
And doctor appointments!
And the Birthday Boy is the handsome fella on the far left.
Poor guy, he seems to get gypped every year on his birthday since it falls in December.
And we remedied that...
With a nice family dinner.
Complete with favorites of lemon chicken and chocolate cake and ice cream.

So we're still alive and kickin' around here.
Decking the halls.
and Creating in Santa's workshop.

And sorely lacking in the picture taking department!!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Silence Broken

I'm not gonna lie.
Life is really hard right now.
And I just am not willing to share private information on the world wide web.
Kinda like profaning the sacred.
ya' know.

But know that there is a lot of kissing of grandbabies.
Fervent prayers being said.
Immersing myself in the scriptures.
Trying to allow the Savior to carry my burdens,
But sometimes they are tough to let go.....
Sometimes I think maybe I can carry them better....
Go figure.

I'm learning the HUGE importance of gratitude.
Looking for the tender mercies that occur each and every day.
And recognizing them, even if they are miniscule.
Feeling the love and warmth of family.
The strength that comes from temple attendance.

I'll try to pop back in soon.

P.S. It's finally cold here.
It's been freezing at night.
Garden?   what garden?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Test Results

As always, life is crazy here.
But we got a glimmer of good news yesterday.
The preliminary test results for the amniocentesis:
No genetic abnormalities.
So far so good.

Just the little matter of the heart problem.
One step at a time.

I'm full of gratitude!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

She said it Best

Again, I refer you to my inspiring post....she gives herself the best advice on dealing with trials.

It's been a few days of tears and agonizing. Watching a beloved daughter suffer and wondering how to help her. Worrying about a precious grandchild's future. And yet, there is always hope. There have been so many others who have lifted and encouraged. There have been blessings of peace and comfort. Pleading prayers. Humble prayers of accepting God's will, no matter what.

And so we wait.
And hope.

The pictures on the ultrasound do not paint a pretty picture. There are serious defects in her little baby's heart. There are serious worries about genetic chromosomal defects. She has a team of compassionate, caring doctors. I struggled to hold in the tears when one of them gave her a tender hug after he delivered the tough news.

And so we wait
And hope.

But go read her eloquent words.
She said it best.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Walking to the Edge of the Light

Painting by Greg Olson
This is hanging in my house

A bazillion years ago, at a Stake Conference, I will never forget the statement by our visiting authority. He was talking about faith. He was illustrating faith by comparing it to walking along a dark road using a flashlight. He said that faith is stepping out into the darkness, just at the edge of the light, and trusting that the light would follow. I don't know if these were his exact words, but my memory is vivid of stepping out beyond the light of the flashlight. I don't see well in the dark, so this made a big impression on me. That visiting authority was Elder David Bednar.

We are walking by faith these days. I asked permission from my daughter to share our story. You see, a week ago, at a routine ultrasound, a hole was discovered in her baby girl's beating heart. The world stood still for them and life changed in an instant. They have waited a long time to begin their family, through no fault of their own, and now, through no fault of their own, they have been chosen to bear this trial.

Now a week later, we still know very little about what the plan will be, other than the fact that the defect is fixable, that all other organs and body parts appear to be perfect. They were told that there is a chance of a chromasomal defect causing the heart problem, and my daughter is agonizing over that too.

So we trust in God. I told her that Heavenly Father has the power to fill that hole in her baby's heart if it is His will. And if it is not His will, then we live in a day of amazing medical miracles.

So today, could you remember my daughter in your fasting and prayers? If you want to read her story, you can go here.  We are going to the pediatric cardiologist on Monday to hopefully find out more.....

And so we learn to walk to the edge of the light....and trusting that it will follow.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Guess where We're going Tomorrow?

 A picture is worth 1000 words.
I caught it!
The State qualifying relay team.....

Good luck girlies!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Garden Update

Despite my feeble efforts, due to swim meets and other activities, my garden has sprouted! I marvel every year at the miracle.....
 My first experiment with fall green beans.  It worked!!!  Plant them in late September.
Carrots are growing. I accidentally found out the way to get carrots to sprout....the hard way...more at the end of the post.
Sorry about the horrible lighting! This is the cabbage patch.
The peas sprouted too!
So did the lettuce.
And the onions!
This is the future cilantro patch!
For the life of me, I can't figure out how to grow spinach. Anyone have any ideas? Varieties? Tricks? I just doesn't want to sprout.

My accidental and possibly unfortunate trick for getting the seeds to sprout so fast happened a couple of weeks ago. We had been expecting rain and of course in Arizona, no one expects rain when they tell us. I had left my container of seeds outside thinking to myself that I would "get to it tomorrrow."  Yeah, right.

I woke up a few days later to the sound of rain on my roof. 
Hard rain.
Very early.

My collection of seeds were soaked.
All of them.
Including the ones I can't plant right now.

So I hastily planted the ones that I could, including the carrots, peas, lettuce and more cilantro.
Kept the ground wet.

And by golly, they sprouted!!

I've got a new patch of carrots, soaked and planted this morning along with the flowers. Trying another experiment this year.

And tonight I'm going to a class to learn how to grow fruit trees in small spaces.
Like back yards......

Here's hoping for more success.....despite my feeble efforts!

Monday, November 1, 2010

What a Difference a Year makes!

Last Monday night we had our annual (can't remember which number) Halloween party at Grandma's house. I figured this would be a fun way for us to celebrate together, Grandma gets to see the kids in their Halloween costumes and on Halloween night Mom & Dad don't have to stress over bringing the kiddies over to see their grandparents.

As usual, it was chaotic, fun, loud, at times hilarious......

This is a snapshot of the group from last year.....
This is the photo from last Monday.....
The fact that we got these guys up on the wall with no casualties was a miracle! Unfortunately we never got a photo with them all looking ahead at the same time.

So without further ado-and here's hoping that Blogger will download the photos.....
Here's the details of the party, complete with crafting, games, mummy dogs and a pinata!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

This is a test

Just attempting to download a cute photo of Alyssa in her fast skin at the meet last week. She did a provisional time to be in the state competition in her backstroke and medley relay yesterday....crossing our fingers for her!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I had a fabulous pictorial post working yesterday.
Unfortunately Blogger tells me I have run out of memory space.
So until I figure out how to deal with it.
Or somebody gives me some advice on how to fix it.
My photos are temporarily suspended.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In the Mood

Ok, this is NOT that kind of post!!
My children read this blog!!

With the weather cooling down, it's amazing how much more interest I have in cooking.
It's fun to peruse new recipes and make a pot of something new.

Yesterday I decided to make home made chicken broth.
Don't's EASY!

With homemade chicken broth, all you do is plop the chicken in a stock pot,
And some carrots, onions and celery.
I just rough chop them, they are just for flavor.
Fill the pot nearly full with water.
I also add a tablespoon of vinegar.
No, it doesn't affect the taste, it helps pull the minerals out of the bones in the chicken.
Bring it to a boil, then cover and turn the heat waaaayyyy down, so it is barely simmering.
And just simmer away.
For hours.
And hours.

Strain it and toss the veggies. They are wilted and the nutrition has been totally sucked out of them.
If there's any chicken left, you can save that too.

It's really delicious when cooked for 10-12 or more hours, rich and strong.
I then cool it and put it into mason jars and freeze it for later.

This is a great way to use up a chicken carcass that you have already eaten.
Getting two meals for the price of one!
And your kitchen smells wonderful in the process.
I know this may not be news to some....
But I've discovered something that makes the broth even better.
And that's a Costco roasted chicken.

I'll buy a chicken, eat up the yummy meat for dinner.
And then make chicken broth out of the carcass.

It would put anyone in the mood.......