30 March 2011

That is a hoot, I tell you!

Wait till you hear this! Gabby is a lucky duck. Apparently she got to dress up as her favorite book character today, Junie B. Jones. Here's the problem...we didn't go too overboard with it (besides the huge hair bow) on account of Gabby's school not actually telling the kids which week they were supposed to be dressing up. Plus also, they sent home a paper but it didn't have any dates. Dumb bunny school. So, speedy quick we threw this outfit together this morning and hoped she wouldn't be the only one who looked all wowie wow wow...and that's all. The end. (PS - That probably didn't make much sense unless you've read the books.)

24 March 2011

Amazed

I'm amazed by the strength God gives me to do things I never thought I could do.

I made it through 7 deployments when my husband was in the military. Every time he left I thought, I don't think I can make it through it this time...but I always did, and I was always changed for the better. I was stronger and more sure that my Father in Heaven not only trusts me to be able to do hard things, but gives me courage along the way.

For example: Giving birth 5 times. That was terrifying and breathtakingly beautiful, all at once.

Sending my son (soon to be sons) on a mission has been an equal challenge. I can't make sense of the dread that came with something I so badly wanted my child to do. We've talked about missions since they were born. We even have an old weathered family chart of school grades, high school graduation years, and missions and have looked forward to each milestone for years. So why was it so hard to say goodbye when we dropped Corey off at the Provo MTC a year ago?

Well, it's the unknown. Will he be cared for? Will he be happy? Who will notice if he is lonely or downtrodden? Who will pick up on the little cues that only a mother knows after a lifetime of watching and loving her son? And it's the selfishness. I am selfish. I admit it. I miss my son. I miss his goofy smiles and dorky antics. I miss him teasing me. I miss driving him to seminary. I miss watching him play football on Friday nights. I miss lecturing him, (haha!) I miss the sound of his voice. I miss his unique laugh. I miss hearing him say "mom".

It's been one year today since I've hugged my son. One year today since I've kissed his cheek. I'm amazed at the strength I have been given to be able to let go of my selfishness and let Corey serve his mission.

I am amazed how quickly this year has passed.

I am amazed at Corey's growth and maturity.

I am amazed by his determination and testimony.

And, I am especially amazed that God let me be his mother.


(Saying goodbye at the MTC.)
One year down...one to go. I can do this. :)

13 March 2011

This Kid!

This kid has been gone a YEAR as of March 24th.

We miss him!

His laughter. His little goofy quirks. His hugs. His smiles. (His shoes all over the floor.)

BUT we're so proud of his decision to serve a mission and know that it's completely worth our sacrifice. :)

(Corey was helping me cook dinner last February and didn't want sauce all over his church clothes since he had more meetings later, so, he put on my apron. AND didn't care that I took a picture!)

"O death, where is thy sting?"

It's hard to describe with enough reverence what it feels like to be with someone the moment they die.

On February 1st, Rob's great-aunt Diane was taken off life support. We watched as Rob's grandmother said goodbye to her little sister. It was gut wrenching to see her pain. In that moment I thought of my own three younger sisters, and later in the waiting room I sent them texts telling them that I didn't know what I'd do without them, and that I love them. As Aunt Diane died, Rob's Grandma Toni whispered, "she gets to be with mom and dad now." I felt a sweet spirit whisper how true that was. It was a wave of peace to my fragile heart.

At the same time, my own grandmother was in the hospital, awaiting a diagnosis that would end up being cancer.

She declined rapidly and we brought her home so she could be comfortable. My mother cared for her so completely, so tenderly. I only hope my children love me half as much as my mom loves her mother.

Yesterday, my mom and I were holding Grandma's hands as she died. My daughters were in the room with us. We were all silently weeping. Suddenly, sweetly, a peace washed over us. A quiet. A calm. I looked up at my mom and said, "Can you feel that?" For a brief moment, the spirit testified to us that there is no sting in death. Life continues after this mortal existence. I know my grandmother, who's mother died when she was just 17, had a happy reunion with her family. Her sister Helen had died four years ago to the day.

While enduring the pain and loneliness of death, and throughout the expression of love through mourning, it is essential to remember that life is so much more than this frail, mortal existence.

"Life does not begin with birth, nor does it end with death. Prior to our birth, we dwelled as spirit children with our Father in Heaven. There we eagerly anticipated the possibility of coming to earth and obtaining a physical body. Knowingly we wanted the risks of mortality, which would allow the exercise of agency and accountability. “This life [was to become] a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God.” (Alma 12:24.) But we regarded the returning home as the best part of that long-awaited trip, just as we do now. Before embarking on any journey, we like to have some assurance of a round-trip ticket. Returning from earth to life in our heavenly home requires passage through—and not around—the doors of death. We were born to die, and we die to live. (See 2 Cor. 6:9.) As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven." -Elder Russell M. Nelson


So, farewell sweet Grandma, and know that I look forward to the day when we are reunited.

(Grandma at her surprise 85th birthday party on 10 Feb 2010.)


(Grandma as a teenager.)


Ruth Ellouise Snyder Foster
10 Feb 1925 - 12 Mar 2011

10 March 2011

No, I Don't Have All The Answers

I don't have all the answers, but I sure wish I did.

Every day Gabby complains of headaches and stomach aches before we walk out the door to school and every day I want to cry for her because I know it's because she is being picked on.

This group of girls who's sole goal is to be popular and tear down anyone and everyone around them has been picking on her since kindergarten. She mostly ignores it, but it does get old.

She tries so hard to make friends but usually it turns out someone was pretending to be nice to her, only to take her treats at lunch or to turn around and throw her jacket on the ground and point and laugh. They tell everyone she is gross or that she smells or that she doesn't brush her teeth. Untrue, but nonetheless, to a second-grader, it feels like the end of the world when the whole class points and laughs at little old you. They make fun of her clothes, her shoes, her red hair and her glasses. One boy constantly pushes her desk over or pokes her with pencils. Her teacher does her best to stop the bullying, but the kids keep it up.

Gabby does have one sweet friend, but she's a grade younger than her and so she is mostly alone at school. It is torture for someone as sociable as Gabby.

None of my other children ever went through anything remotely like this. They all just flew under the radar, not too liked, not too unliked. Of course Tyler was always in Ty-land but it was his choice and he did have a few friends. I don't even remember him really being picked on. Probably because his big brother Corey would have beat people up for him if it ever came to that.

We talk about ignoring mean people. We talk about being nice to everyone. We talk about how to stand up for yourself with dignity. We talk about how it doesn't matter what people at school think because her family and her Heavenly Father love her forever and ever.

I'm so proud of how she puts on a brave face as she hops out of my truck and pinkie promises me she will choose to have a good day.

But I still cry for her.

03 March 2011

Video Of Tyler Opening His Mission Call

Tyler has been called to serve in the SLOVENIA CROATIA MISSION, Croatian speaking, and will report to the Provo MTC on 6 July 2011. None of our friend's and family's guesses were anywhere NEAR Slovenia Croatia. We're very excited for him and proud of him!!! (Of course cardboard Corey attended the opening. And I suppose it's a new tradition, Tyler is wearing the shirt Corey wore when he got his mission call.)






(It's pretty funny to hear our family wonder in the background where in the world that mission is located...and no it isn't in Russia, LOL. Time for a geography lesson, hahaha. I'm proud to say Rob and I knew exactly where it was since Rob lived in Rijeka, Croatia for a few months back in 1998 when he was in the Army.)

01 March 2011

Do My Entertainment Choices Really Matter?

 

"Too often we've been so busy watching television in the front room that we haven't noticed Satan slipping in through the back door." ~ Pat Davis