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Monday, January 26, 2015

Our 2014 Christmas Letter

I have been super good at posting regularly on Facebook but not on my blog!  I wanted to share my Christmas letter I wrote for 2014.  2014 definitly was NOT my favorite year...But so many blessings were received that can't go untold.  It was a bittersweet time on new year's eve.  In a way, I couldn't wait to be done with it, but I also in a way wanted to hold on to it because it was the last year I would be able to share with my hubby.

As we move into this time of year to celebrate the birth of our Savior, my heart is full and heavy.  There are so many things that are different this year, but one thing that never changes is the reason we celebrate this time of the year; to celebrate the life of our older brother and Savior Jesus Christ.   As we celebrate His life this year, we are also celebrating the life of our husband, dad, and grandpa, Thad, who is celebrating Christmas in Heaven this year.  I can picture him with my dad and his mom singing in praise and celebration of Christ not only this time of the year but every day!  I can picture them being able to talk to Him and hear His council and teachings.  I often think of what “normal” day would be in Heaven.   I can imagine a lot of work being done there and lots of love and prayers being answered daily on our behalf. As I read through our Christmas newsletter last year, I remember being so grateful that Thad’s life had been spared with his accident last November.  At that time I didn’t realize just how much of a gift that event would be to us.  We were given 6 months of TIME with him that we are all so grateful for!  In those 6 months, we enjoyed movies, snowmobile trips, Christmas, birthday, anniversary, and nights of long conversation, spiritual experiences, weekend getaways, snuggling, kisses and most of all the quality time we were granted with him before he was called “home”.  Thad and I often talked about how bad it sucked he had to be in pain a lot of the time, and the discouragement of wondering just when he would feel “normal” again.  But in the same conversation we talked about how wonderful it was to have him home and talked about how wonderful of a year it would be that he would be here for events that he often missed because of his line of work.  He loved spending time with the kids and grandkids.  We all loved having him here to spend time with too…even if it was to snuggle up on the couch nightly to watch an episode or 2 of “Smallville”.  When a car accident took his life in May, I felt like mine had been taken as well.  The first 2 weeks are a blur to me, but as most of you have read in my posts on Facebook, I have had so many tender mercies through this journey in my life.  Even though Thad is no longer on the Earth, I know he continues to be with us on so many occasions and his memory will carry me through this life.  I’m so grateful for the knowledge that Families are forever!  He taught me so much that I really didn’t even realize until I have had time to sit and realize just what an iatrical part he played in our lives!  He is the hardest working man I know.  I’m grateful for his hard work to support and provide for our family.  I’m grateful for the daily acts of service that he gave to so many people.  He was and is a huge example in our lives!  Although this is NOT the outcome I would have ever planned, hoped or wished for, I’m grateful for the many tender mercies or our Heavenly Father and for the knowledge of the plan of Salvation.  Because of Christ’s gift, Thad will live again!  This is just a temporary separation.  The following quote is one of my favorites.  “In God’s plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.”   This life on earth is just a split second compared to what our eternal lives will be!   Here is to eternity Thad!  We love you!!!!!
Despite the tragedy we have experienced this year, we also celebrate so much good and happiness.  I will try to update you on our wonderful posterity!!!
Tyler and Jen found out they are expecting their 2nd child next April!  Their cute little guy Ethan who is 2 is excited to welcome a baby sister!  We are all thrilled to welcome this little spirit to our family and just love her so much already!  I can imagine Thad loving her and telling her all about us before she gets to make her earthly journey.  I am proud to announce that Tyler was accepted into nursing school!  His hard work and perseverance has paid off!  He is working full time while attending school full time.   They are great parents, and Ethan is an absolute doll!!!! 
Michael and Bunny welcomed their 3rd child into their cute little family in April!  Emmett Thadeus…named after his grandpa Thad.  I’m so glad Thad was able to enjoy him for a month…He was such a proud papa!  Eli (4) started preschool this year and can say the pledge of Allegiance J  Lily (2) gives her mommy a workout getting into mischief daily….but she has a smile that can melt anyone’s heart!  Their cute family moved in with us while their house is being built.  It has been so much fun having them here and having adult conversation and grandma time more often! 
Valerie is still pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Utah Valley University.  She also continues to do beautiful photography work.  Her big news this year is that she got a scholarship!  She is working as the photographer for the school’s newspaper.  I’m so proud of her!  She and I also got to take a long awaited trip to New York City with my aunt Joan and Cousin Carla.  It was an amazing trip, and I had so much fun seeing that amazing city with her!  My aunt and cousin are awesome tour guides!! 
Catherine is dating someone I think she will end up with…at least that is what I observed in the short time I got to see her this year.  I will keep you posted on that!  I feel bad we don’t get to see her as much as we would like, but am grateful for her and pray for her daily.
Holland (10) decided Gymnastics wasn’t for her so joined dance again, but I think she has found her favorite passion and that is basketball!  She just joined and has had so much fun!  She also showed a natural talent in Softball when Thad bought her a bat and ball and would pitch to her in the back yard.  I think she will try that next spring as well.  She takes after her daddy when it comes to being athletic J 
Jackson (7) graduated from Kindergarten this year!  I can’t believe our youngest is in first grade!  He has also started basketball recently.   I’m really loving watching the kids play sports again!  I have missed that so much!!  He loves video games…too much!  J  He is such a tender hearted child.  We have had some really neat experiences with him feeling his dad’s presence.  It really is testament that the veil is very thin.
We adopted a beautiful Golden Retriever Sophie in July.  She is the sweetest dog ever and fit right into our family.  I’m amazed at how therapeutic dogs are! 
My brother David was in a terrible accident in March.  He fell off a 40 foot overpass while jogging.  His story is miraculous.  He was in the hospital until Memorial Day weekend.  I’m happy to say that he is doing wonderfully and is back to work and continues to gain more and more strength every day.  I am grateful that his life was spared and for his example of faith and positivity through pain and suffering.
Yes, 2014 was a year of trial, heartache, and pain, but it was also a year of new life, miracles, tender mercies, and hope.  I have learned that through our trials and pain come faith and an understanding of just how strong our spirits are.  I have observed so much good come from so many people…some I have known my whole life, some I haven’t ever even met.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love and support!  We all have one thing in common…We are all spirit brothers and sisters who come from a Heavenly Father who loves us and knows each one of us by name.  He wants us all to return to Him.  I love Him and am grateful for Him carrying me when I didn’t think I could go on.  Even though I felt like my life was over when Thad’s earthly life ended, I realize that I need to continue to live and pray that I can do what I was sent here to do. 
You are all an amazing part of our lives.  We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from each one of you!  Have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful 2015! 
Love, The Thad Cheatham family J

Saturday, August 2, 2014

"Through the Years"

So I've been going through a lot of pictures and letters and things lately....I came up on this video that I had made in 2004 for our 4th anniversary (the 2nd time).  I just sat here and bawled like a little baby.....Just listening to the music and watching the pictures reminiscing about our lives together...Someone said the other day that we only think of the good things when someone passes away....and while Thad and I went through many trials and tribulations together, and definitely did NOT have a perfect marriage either time, there was one thing that remained constant, and that was my undying love for him.  Even during the 6 years that we were divorced, I never really stopped loving him.  I went through a few other relationships with men...and I have to say that I feel kind of bad because I just couldn't get over the only man I have ever loved.  So yes...I think that when someone passes away, the natural thing to do is focus on the good times...we all have our trials in life and things we are not proud of, but there is a reason that we don't dwell on those things.  Christ made it possible for us to to just that by His gift to us....the Atonement.  I loved Thad with all my heart...did he make me madder than heck sometimes?  YES.....and I know I made him feel the same way at times too, but the memories that I have embedded in my mind are the ones that I have and will cherish for a lifetime!  I saw a quote once that said....something like Marriage is like a garden....Cherish the flowers and pull the weeds.....I hope we can all do that not just with marriage but with all our relationships we have with each other.  I love and miss you Thad Cheatham!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

dreams....postponed to another lifetime :(

                                             Thad and Susan standing in front of their new property!!!
                             We knew exactly where we were going to build our dream log home!!!
                                           a view from a flight Chris took us on
A year ago, I was packing to go to Alaska to visit Thad and check out the great state as a possibility to move our family up there.  I was so excited to be able to finally see the state that my husband had talked about for years...He LOVED it there, and was excited to see if I would too.  The minute I stepped off that airplane, I instantly fell in love!!!  It was BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!  It was after 10 P.M. and it was as light as if it were 2:00 in the afternoon!  Thad picked me up in this old bronco convertible...like the one we had when we were in our early married years...Finally....we were alone to spend almost a week together!!!!  The next day I got to see the town he worked in....Palmer Alaska...the place we were going to live!!!  It was such a cute quaint little town....I got to meet some of his co-workers before we flew to Fairbanks so he could do some work...I didn't care that he had to work...we were together, and we were going to have fun!!!

                                               Thad in front of the airplane we would fly to Fairbanks
                                          I love this picture.....I always felt so safe when he was flying the airplane!
                             He should have been in the right seat :)  His boss John was scaring the life out of me!!!
                                             Mount McKinnley!!!!!!!!
                                          It seems we barely made it over this massive mountain!!!!
                      Me in the back seat...It was awesome because we could talk to each other during the flight. :)

While he worked up there, I got to go and "explore".  I fell in love with the nature walks I took during the day....It was a surreal feeling...it was so peaceful and wonderful...it is hard to describe!!!!

                                          A super cute couple kayaking down the river....I could see Thad and I do this!
                                                            lots of wild flowers
                                          My nature walk trail...this was very close to our hotel room
                                         I felt such a peace and calm in this forest...like nature talking to me
                                        wild berries

While in Fairbanks I found out my childhood friend was up there visiting her sis!  So they came and picked me up and I had an awesome visit with Tonia catching up on old times!!!!
                                     Tonia and I go way back....she made sure she stood up for me in Kindergarten as I was crying my eyes out for my mom...she informed everyone that if they were my friends, they would come over to me right this instant :)

Thad and I went to visit the North Pole one night...We took pictures with Santa's reindeer and sat in his sleigh....It was so much fun as we sat and talked and laughed!!!!! and then drove back to a BEAUTIFUL sunset!!!!!!!  It was a perfect evening!!!!

                                          Dasher? Dancer? Prancer? Vixon? Comet? Cupid? Donner? Blitzen?
                                        with my hubby in Santa's sleigh....I love this picture.....
                                             My hot Santa
                                         Santa's house
 Thad and I loved watching the sunset and Lightning storms...when we were dating we would go to the lake and just lay on a couple of sleeping bags and watch the sun go down...This night was perfect....oh how I wish I could turn the calender back to a year ago and relive this week!

I always loved watching Thad work on those massive airplanes....I used to watch him when he was working on the Fire bombers....these airplanes were used to take gas to the villages in Alaska.....He knew more about those airplanes than just about anyone....Anyone who had the pleasure of having him work on their airplane said he was the best in the industry...I AGREE!!!!!
          I love watching Thad work on these massive machines....he knew the DC4 like the back of his hand!
Thad was the hardest working man I have known...He was such an awesome provider and so talented at so many things...I LOVE his hands...big, hard working hands....I want to give him a hug.

We went to go see the alaskan pipeline...it is huge!!!!  He took me to a really yummy steak restaurant....I'm not sure what happened to our pictures of these...they might be on his phone...I'll have to find them.

When we got back to Palmer, we got to eat at cute little restaurants, see where the kids were going to go to school, and even went to the ward we would be in!  The best part was finding the property we would end up buying and plan our dream of building our log home!  We have had that dream ever since I can remember....We decided that in a year we would move our family up here and build our home....we were so excited talking about it we could barely stand it! 

                                                                              Our property!!!!
                                      I love this man with all of my heart!
                                         We were like little kids planning!
                                            Our neighbor decided to stop in!!  :)
                                               The name of our street!!!!
                                         Palmer just felt like HOME>...
                                           Where the kids would go to school

His friend and co-worker flew us over glaciers.....oh my gosh...the pictures don't do these justice!!!  They were absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!!!
                                               glaciers!
love the areal view!!!!

Our last night we went up to Kenai to visit his Cousin Camille and her hubby Sam...Sam and Thad used to be roommates in Kemmerer when Thad and I were dating...they were building their home on the lake.....the view was gorgeous, and it was so much fun visiting and catching up....IT was exciting to think that just in one year we would be living close to them!!!!

                                              view from their dining room door
                                            Sam and Camille Taylor....I love these two!!!

On the way back on Monday the car started overheating ....we were nervous we wouldn't get me back to the airport for my flight...I called the airport and asked when the next flight out to salt lake was that day..there was none....My amazing husband somehow just kept babying the car and was able to get me to the airport in the nick of time.....I hated rushing out of the car and rushing our goodbyes...it was so sad to say goodbye...the trip was like a dream come true....We were going to finally be together.....I told myself just one year and our family would be living our dream in beautiful Alaska.....one year later...as I sit here remanissing about that trip a year ago to the date...I think that right now at this moment...I should be moved there....watching our house be built, waking up to the beautiful views, going for midnight walks, and sitting on the porch drinking hot chocolate with Thad while the kids are playing in the yard....

I'm so glad I didn't know last year that those dreams would get cute short...that we would never be able to move there...because in that moment in time...the dreams were a reality...I got a week of living those dreams with the man of my dreams.  I wish I was packing tonight to go back to Alaska to see Thad...instead I'm packing to to visit his grave in Wyoming.....Thad I love you.....I can imagine you building our mansion in heaven....The log home that we designed on so many restaurant napkins in the last 29 years.....I so wish we could have had that home on this earth, but I look forward to sharing that mansion with you in heaven......I can picture you working hard and preparing for us....From Here to Eternity (this was the song that we danced to at our "remarriage".)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Where has the time gone?

So I cannot believe the last post I made was nearly 3 years ago....I do have to say I'm pretty good at updating our life on Facebook, but I'm sad I haven't put more personal posts here.....I started this blog to "create" a journal/scrapbook of our family...and now I need to update the whole blog!!  So my first post of 2014.....well, let's just say that 2014 has had both great times and heartbreaking times.  Thad was in an accident in November of 2013.  He fell 10 feet off the wing of an airplane he had just finished fueling.   That trial ended up bringing him home....Home for Thanksgiving...then he never was able to go back because he had a traumatic brain injury that he has been trying to recover from.  We were so grateful that his life was spared that day, and knew he had a purpose here on earth and realized it was not his time to go.  He figured he would come home for Thanksgiving to recover and be back up working up there in a couple of weeks....that couple of weeks ended up turning into not going back up there.  Thad and I spend countless hours talking at night about how it really sucked that he had to have that accident, but how nice it was to have him home!  He was able to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and spending quality time with the littles...and that we talked about being forever grateful for.  The doctors he was going to just said it would take "time".....That was so frustrating to both of us....We just wanted to wave the magic wand and say...You are healed Thad!  You can walk and run and not feel "foggy" as he would put it.  He had good days....where he felt great...then it would go back to the barely even get out of bed days.  He started walking with wrist crutches to help his sore muscles work..  I used to tell him he was the only man who could make walking with crutches SEXY!! :)  he would just roll his eyes at me....but it is true....I every time I looked at him, my heart would skip a beat....after nearly 29 years of knowing him....He still gave me butterflies in my stomach when I saw him!

On May 12, 2014, our family's lives would forever be changed.  It started off as a "normal" day...if you can call it that.  Thad was supposed to take my mom home on his way to Greybull the day before, but the road ended up being closed in Evanston, so they turned around and came home...I remember saying "whahoo!!!  We get you for one more night"  If I would have known that was literally the one more night I was able to be with him on this earth, I would have not let him go the next day.  The next day, driving to work, I noticed the sign saying road closed in Evanston...I called him and left a message saying..."looks like you get to stay another day...the road is still closed".  He called me at work that morning and said that the road had opened and that he and mom were going to go up to LDS Hospital to see my brother David who was recovering from a severe accident he had been in and he wanted me to go and meet them for lunch....I thought that was perfect so I told them I would meet them there at noon.  Well it was a super busy payroll Monday, and I ended up being close to an hour late.  I remember walking into my brother's hospital room and Thad's back was turned to me and when he heard me, he stood up and said "it's about time!"  :)  We gave each other a hug and said our goodbyes to my brother and his wife and walked to the cafeteria with my mom to eat lunch....I remember he got rotissere chicken...I have no idea what I got....but I remember sitting next to him and looking through his phone...he showed me a cute pic of one of his friend's baby on facebook, then pulled up the Wyoming road report to make sure I knew that the roads were just showing wet all the way through South Pass...I was relieved.  Then it was time to say goodbyes....I was going to go visit my brother before going back to work, and he and mom wanted to get on the road.  When we got in the elevator, there was a man in there, and I remember thinking oh shoot...the guy is going to be irritated because we pushed 3 and 4 and he was going to 5.  When we got to floor 3 where mom and Thad were getting off to go get in the truck, I gave him a quick hug and kiss and we said our love yous, drive safe. trying to hurry so I didn't irritate the other guy in there....Now, I wish I wouldn't have cared what the other guy was thinking....I would have held that hug and kiss forever had I known that would be my last before he returned to heavenly home.  I called him when I was done at my brother's and he said the roads were all dry...and he was making good time...he said he was going to drop my mom off and then just head to his dad's so he could get an early start the next day on the farm.  After work, I talked to him....he was in Farson, going to grab a soda and get back on the road...he talked about how frustrated he was with Workman's comp and if he didn't see his check by Friday, he was going to call an attorney.....then he said, you can call me any time tonight to keep me company...I reminded him that I was taking the kids to the high school play...He said "oh that is right, well when you get out of the play, give me a call....if I don't answer, make sure you leave a message so when I get into a good area, I will be notified I have a message....We ended our call as we always did, love you, miss you, drive safe.  He told me he should be in Greybull around 10 P.m. that night.  I remember looking down at my clock for some reason and it said 6:28....It was the ONLY thing I remember even having an inclination that I needed to know the time we had talked....

I took the kids and one of my grandkids Eli to the wizard of oz at Stansbury high school...It was an awesome production and there were several teenagers and kids in our ward in the production...I took pictures and we had a great time.  When we got out to the car, I called thad...It went right into voicemail, so I left a message as he instructed....I called his dad to see if maybe he had gotten there because it was nearly 10.  He said he hadn't and was surprised he was coming that night...he thought he was coming the next day and hadn't talked to him...I thought that was strange because I knew Thad would call him at some point in the trip to make it go faster...but I said, well just have him call when he gets there...I get home, call him again...this time it rang, so I figured he was in a better area, but still no answer....I got the kids dressed for bed then called again, and it went into voicemail.....I texted him and said where are you?????  no reply...I figured he had gotten to his dad's house, and his dad was on the home phone so he couldn't call.  As I was saying my prayers I prayed that he would call me to let me know he was ok and had gotten there.  I still really didn't think anything was wrong...It wouldn't be the first time that he had forgotten to call before he got there and lost cell service.

At 12:30 a.m. I was startled by my phone ringing....awww....I thought he's calling me.....It wasn't him.  It was my son Michael asking if Grandpa had gotten a hold of me...no I said...what is going on...He said "Dad rolled the truck........and he didn't make it".......NOOOOOOOOOOOO  (scream)........noooooo what?  I don't even remember what I said except those words, and then screaming tears, crying with my son on the other end doing the same thing...Holland woke up and was worried wondering what was wrong....she figured it out through my sobs...she starts crying and trying to console me at the same time....singing I am a Child of God.  Such a sweet little spirit.....I was so mad.......I remember asking God ...Why? Why now?
We had so many dreams to live out...we were finally all together as a family....and now this???  How could you do this to me??  I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is forgiving.....for I did not speak kindly to Him that night/morning.

What I didn't realize was that in the next 8 weeks, I would see God's hand in many different situations, that at the time I thought why us? why now? this isn't fair!

Gift #1.  Thad's accident on November 17, 2013....Every time I call that a gift, I almost feel bad, but I truly believe this was a gift from God.  That accident gave us 6 months of TIME.....time together, time with the kids, time at home, quality time talking, laughing, crying, and realizing just how much we loved each other and how excited we were to be able to live our dreams out.

Gift #2.  Thad's type of brain injury....another weird gift....but the part of his brain that was affected, was the front lobe of his brain....his emotional part of the brain. Even though it was frustrating for him and me at times with all the mood swings and going from laughing to crying to raging mad, this brought Thad closer to Heavenly Father and the spirit.

Gift #3.  Preparing us for May 12.  I truly believe we all have a time that God needs us.  God knew his time was coming ...thus the accident to bring him home for that quality time, but also as I look back He was preparing both of us....I got a really good raise at work....I remember thinking wow....I'm going to be quitting in June or July to move to Alaska....why couldn't this have come sooner so we could enjoy this!?  but that was part of the tender mercies ....Thad knew his time was short here on earth (I didn't)  He told me one night in bed...."I'm not going to be here much longer".  I remember telling him that the doctors just said it just takes time, and that I'm sure he was frustrated, but reminded him that he is living till he is 90's!  Then one night the bishop called us in....just to see how we were doing...He asked if he could do anything for us...I said  blessing would be great.  So he gave Thad a priesthood blessing....I have no idea what all he said in that blessing except for these words :  "Now is the time to prepare to meet your maker".  I remember thinking oh no!  He has already been talking like that...I hope he doesn't read into that statement...well he did...after we left, he said, "did you hear what the bishop said?"  He said I was going to die!  I said...that is not what he meant...he meant that this LIFE is a time for all of us every day to prepare to meet our maker...he was like...no...that is not what he meant....I've thought a lot about why Thad knew and I no inclination whatsoever, but I realize that God probably didn't want me to sit and focus and worry about it....so he allowed me to not "know".

Gift #4.  We were able to find his phone....They didn't find it when they gathered the things that had come out of the his truck....It was so upsetting because I just wanted the pictures and texts and memories....I also wanted to know if I was the last person who he talked to.  The night before his funeral, his brother Eric and his wife and son stopped at the accident site and tried calling it...there was no service...he walked up a few steps and called again....it started ringing!!!!  it was in an inch of dirt under the son's foot!!!  The miracle doesn't stop there.....He immediately tried to call me to tell me he found it....no cell service!!!!!  AND it only had 6% battery left....another miracle...the battery in that phone barely lasted for 4 hours let alone 5 days!!!  I was the last person he talked to....he called me at 6:25...we talked for 3 minutes..then the accident happened at 6:44 p.m.

Gifts since the accident:  my kidney stone....another time I was like really Heavenly Father?  A kidney stone a week after the accident?  I got some REALLY good sleep in the hospital that night...something I hadn't done for a week...AND it passed in the middle of the night that night....yes..that was a gift and a push in the rear end to start taking care of myself!...another even that I'm still trying to figure out how it is a gift, but my car breaking down on the way to St. George this past week....The only thing I can pull out of that is the fact we were all safe, and maybe the Lord knew I needed to get a reliable car...and knew I would never do that without the car's engine getting ruined.

I love my Heavenly Father, I have realized that He has been putting me through the refiner's fire...to allow me to see what I'm made of...I honestly don't know how I've gotten through this past 8 weeks, but I do know it was through Him and my Savior's atoning sacrifice.  I'm grateful for that knowledge that Families are Forever.  I know we will see Thad again, and this is just a temporary separation.  I miss him terribly, and wish that God's will would have been the same as mine, but I know that He is in charge, and Thad is having a wonderful reunion with so many people including my dad and his mom!  I love you Thad Cheatham....with all of my heart...Thank you for the wonderful memories...I will hold these memories in my heart forever!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Witches Night out!!!!






My friend Patty Jesson invited me to go to her annual witches night out. I couldn't go last year because it landed on UEA, but this year is was on Oct 15, so we could go! I invited Valerie to go with me :) We didn't have witches costumes so I remember my friend/hairdresser Kristy had posted pics of her witch costume. I remember loving her hat, so I asked her about it. She not only gave me all the ideas, she went and bought the stuff for me!!! What a lifesaver!!! So I set out to make us tutu's and witches hats for the big night out!!! It was a major task....I was up till 2:00 a.m. the night before finishing up the tutus.....I finished the hats about an hour before we left!!! It was so much fun!!! I loved the way the hats turned out!!! And although, I have been very uncomfortable with my weight, I loved most of the pictures, because it showed how happy we were the whole night!!!! It was up in Perry Utah (Brigham City) at a restaurant called Maddox. Oh my gosh....if you've never eaten there...you need to eat there! It was expensive but worth every penny! My friend Patty had 46 witches total there! She started out with 18 her first year and this is her 3rd! It was so much fun....we talked, laughed, ate, won prizes (a wind chime and a bubble bath). It was so funny to watch everyone's reactions. There was a really good sport of a guy who took our pics for us and got in some of the pics even...It was fun to see Patty again! She was my young women's leader back in the day....I can't believe we have kept in contact after all these years! It reminds me of hanging on to good friends! So many times we lose track or touch of good friends. I'm glad our paths have crossed again! There was also Nicki Ziegler there! I used to babysit her!!!! I felt really old then!!!

After the grand event Valerie and I had to stop at Leatherby's for the famous hot fudge sundae. Valerie talked me into going in there with full garb!! Oh the stares we got, but it was fun! We got a ton of compliments and even had a random guy want to take our pic....I know it was because he thought Valerie was cute!! I probably got cropped out of the pic!!:) Anyway, I loved the night and loved being able to spend time with Valerie.....It isn't very often that I get to spend one on one time with her! I love you Valerie!!!!

P.S. Thad took the little ones and Michael and Bunny to the movie Real Steele. They had fun too... :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Did you think to pray?

Today I was saying a silent prayer to myself at the breakfast table. Jackson came in and as he was trying to open my eyelids, he said "Mommy, are you dead?" After trying to hurry to finish my prayer and trying to stop laughing as Holland laughed and said "No, Jackson, she is praying!" It really made me think....has Jackson EVER seen me say a personal prayer? Of course he has heard me pray at the dinner table and when we do say our family prayers, but I don't think he has ever seen me pray. It made me want to do better! Not that he will witness me saying my personal prayers a ton, but if he ever did come in on me praying, he would know what I was doing!!! Great Sunday lesson today!!!!! Now my question to all of you out there....Did you think to pray today????

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Their little spirits are stronger than mine!

Finally.....some eyes open!


Yes....this is what I'm talking about....I'm not a photographer!!!!

My frustration starts to boil...I just want to see eyes!!!!

I knew it was bad when even Holland wasn't cooperating!!!

My 4th or 5th attempt......argh!!!!!!!! (Hey I got some good nostril shots!!!!

I've often realized and pondered the fact that my children's spirits could be and probably are older than mine.....AND much stronger. I'm amazed every day at some of the comments they make or the little things that remind me how close their spirits are to our Heavenly Father. Today started out as a typical Sunday morning. The men showed up to collect fast offerings which totally caught me off guard! I was just glad they showed up before I ate breakfast as I had totally forgotten it was fast Sunday. I got the kids fed and the church bag ready with moments to spare to catch some quick pictures of these 2 litte ones...They just looked so cute I HAD to get a pic of them!! Well as it turned out, I can totally see why I didn't go into photography as you can tell from most of my pictures....I'm just too impatient or don't seem to have the right eye to catch a good shot....This morning I was in a particular hurry to get to church on time, and little Jackson was NOT cooperating....I was getting so frustrated and just told him that he wasn't going to have any cute pictures of himself to look at when he grew up.....EVERY time I would snap the picture, he would close his eyes!!!! I wanted a close up picture of him with his eyes wide open.....We were in the shade, but he just kept squinting....Then Holland...My little photogenic girl....she was squinting too!!! I realized that just because they were in the shade, their little eyes were looking up to the bright beautiful sky and they COULDN'T keep their eyes wide open.....I was so frustrated, I put the camera in the house and we left for church.....I was not in the best of moods and of course we walked in as they were singing the opening hymn...grrr....can we EVER be on time for church!!! :) My attitude quickly changed when Holland asked if she could bare her testimony. She went up there and she said she knows this church is true, she loves her family and knows President Monsen is a true prophet....in the name of Jesus Christ amen......ahhhh.....the faith of a little 6 almost 7 year old.....I felt kind of stupid that she could get up there and I don't even remember the last time I bore my testimony in church....Immediately after she sat down, Jackson wanted to go up there. ....I explained that when he was old enough to go by himself, he could go up there too..(his mom's way of NOT having to get up there herself if she has to take him up there...I know..it's lame....but it's true).....Holland said "Mom, I can take him up there."....In my mind I can see disaster, but I couldn't deny the looks on either of their faces. So there they take the journey to the front and sit on the chairs up there by the young man who moves the bench for the little ones so they can see while Brother Massey bares his testimony. They are very good and reverent, and I'm thinking as I'm sitting there how proud I am of those 2 little children. Then it's Jackson's turn. Tyson moves the bench up there, Brother Bullough moves the pulpit down and Holland moves the microphone down to his little mouth, then whispers in his ear....Jacskson whispers her words in the microphone and then is told to say it outloud I'm assuming from holland. He says it outloud and I'm not sure if it was hearing his voice in the microphone or what, but something triggered "the susan inherited giggles". Any who knows me....especially my family and close childhood friends, knows that when I get the giggles.....it is almost impossible to stop....AND it comes at the MOST unopportune times sometimes....I'll have to explain that sometime, but at that moment, I could see the uncomfortable looks on the bishoprics' faces...and I was getting a little nervous and embarassed just praying silently that he could get through this...Holland was doing her best to whisper in his ear and putting her hand over his mouth to try to stop the giggles, but to no avail. He did however get out that he knew the church was true and that he loved his mom and dad and in the name of Jesus Christ Amen....WHEW went through my mind and they couldn't get down fast enough......I could see the relieved look on the bishop's face and knew that he was probably glad he didn't have to intervene. It wasn't until the two got back to our bench however that I realized that this testimony, giggles or not, was from a little guy who had the faith to get up in front of all these scary faces staring at him, that my embarassment turned to love for this little guy who taught me more today than any lesson could have taught me. He came back to the bench and said "I did it!!!". I took him in my arms and said "yes you did!" You did a great job!!!! Holland was on the verge of tears....She was embarassed, but it was a time for me to tell her how wonderful it was that she would take her little brother up there to help him bare his testimony for the first time, and that she should be so proud of herself!!!! She felt a little better......and I thought ward members might be "irritated", but I had 2 people tell them what wonderful jobs they did, and I was so grateful for understanding people....who instead of thinking it took away from the spirit, they were able to see what I saw. There was a time when I remember our bishop getting up and "discouraging" the little ones from getting up...that they could do it at home.....I always struggled with that.....I would always think back to when Christ's disciples tried to stop the children from coming up to Christ because they knew He was tired, but He said ....Suffer the little children to come unto ME......Children are the best examples to all of us....It wasn't until we were at my mom's ward this summer, that Holland really had a burning desire to bare her testimony....I was nervous, but noticed that so many of their children were getting up to bare their testimonies, so I let my mom take her up there.....It was so wonderful!!!! This little girl bore her testimony without help, and then when she was done....the bishop of my mom's ward stopped her and gave her a hug.......PRICELESS......So welcoming and made her day!!!! She has been hooked ever since to share what she believes.....I'm proud of her!!!! AND Jackson today for being better than their mom and having the courage to get up and let everyone know what they believe!!!! Thanks to them for setting a true example.


Tonight after we went to take the baptism clothes back to church, Jackson asked me where Jesus lives. I said he lives in Heaven. He said "Can I go see Him?" I said ...."no, honey, not for a long time" He said "Why?" And Holland said..."Do you want to die?" and Jackson said "No", and she said "Well that's why then!" I just told him that Jesus lives within us and we can "feel" him every day here on Earth. He got a light in his eyes :)

Jackson so many times says he wants to go home even when we are home, and it has always FREAKED me out!!! I always just say we already are home, but tonight was the first time he said that about Jesus.......I pray that I'm just over-reacting and he is just a curious little guy....
All of my kids mean the world to me, and I'm just soooo grateful that Heavenly Father has trusted me with such an important role. Thanks to all my kids for the examples you have shown me......I wish I would have been better at writing down all the little things over the years that my kids have taught me!!!! Love you all more than words can say!!!!