Monday, 17 April 2017

Another kiddo has reached the 16 year milestone...


It was great to gather to celebrate Austin's 16th birthday!  He now has his learners license...yikes...

I contacted some of his friends and they came early and hid downstairs and then I sent Austin down when he got home to get something...the video is priceless!

This guy is super kind, thoughtful, helpful, and super athletic.  It's been exciting watching him grow into a great young man and look forward to this next year of new and exciting accomplishments!  We love you Austin!!




Calvin was right in there to catch the football for him...

Auntie Jenna and Davie waiting for CAKE!




Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Things have been super busy with putting our house on the market and showing it...often...and birthday's, baptisms, my mom's health, Dennis getting a blood clot, Brittany's surgery, and a ton of other things.  We are selling our beautiful home and heading back to Ft. McMurray.  Dennis got a call and was asked (by his old company) if he is interested in a position up there.  He is currently in the middle of finalizing the details, but we are actually super excited to head back 'home' and to our friends up there.  It's just going to be nice to have a full-time job again!  Dennis has been teaching at the College part-time and it's very inconsistent.  It's been great having him around more often, but the 'holiday' is over. lol  He will likely head up North and I'll stay back to sell the house and finish out the school year.  This summer will be a busy one, for sure.


Brittany got her casts of today, but the pins need to stay in for a couple more weeks.  The bones are not quite finished healing.  So she is in air casts (boots) and can walk normally for the next couple of weeks, and shower normally!  Yay!  It's been a long 6 plus weeks and in just 2 more, she will be walking as usual.  Her feet are as straight as they have ever been!  Pretty cool and amazing medical procedures to make life better!











More birthdays in February!

So these 2 amigos turned 10 on the 20th.  Pretty cool.

Jimmy is a little artist and musician in the making!  He play trombone and according to the band instructor, is pretty amazing!  He loves to make crafts and create things.  He is also amazing at building things out of Lego with no instructions!  He's always smiling and eager to please...except when it's time to put his clean laundry away!  (Well, let's be honest, who is?!)

Reggie is super precocious and socially on top of things.  He's like a 17 year old in a ten year old body!  He is super athletic and is excited to start his very first Hockey Camp!  He's a perfectionist and is grateful that Jimmy is great at remembering slide positions on the trombone, as Reg plays it as well...but likes Jimmy to write the slide positions on his music for him!  ;)

I love these 2 dudes so much and can't imagine life without them.  Happy birthday to my 2 buddies!  We love you, forever!


















Which brings us to the Cub Car Rally...which all three little boys participated in and won various heats...out of 39 finalists, Reggie came in 5th!  

Here is Dane's first car!







Monday, 13 March 2017

Gratitude

Many things have come about in our lives over the past few years...and especially in the past few weeks that have been particularly difficult!  I was assigned to speak in church on Gratitude at the end of January.  I was nervous (which I'm usually not...public speaking is okay with me...if I know what I'm talking about...lol) because the last time I was up at the pulpit, it was for Mac's memorial and funeral.  The moment I stood up, it immediately made me think I was back there on that day, to speak about that event, and what I believe.  I soon realized that I was not put in a time machine and sent back to that day to...but that I was going to speak about what I believe and this is how it went.


Gratitude - a feeling of the heart.

The words “Thank you” in old English language derives from the word ‘think’.  It used to mean: “I will remember what you did for me.”  This meaning has been lost in a literal sense in the world today.  We use the words as a polite gesture.  But when we think of our Saviour, it still applies!

We are taught how to give thanks in the scriptures.  In  D&C 59-5,7-8 it reads:

“I give unto them a commandment, saying thus:  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him…

“Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.

“Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.”

Throughout the scriptures, faithful followers of Christ offered sacrifices and burnt offerings to express thanks to God.  Today we can show gratitude to our Heavenly Father through prayer.

Elder Ballard has said:  “Prayer should be yearning and filled with gratitude.”

Robert D. Hales said that “through expression of prayerful gratitude and thanksgiving, we show our dependence upon a higher source of wisdom and knowledge—God the Father and His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

I have pondered times when it’s easy to be grateful, vs. times when it’s hard to find a reason to be grateful.  Even if we know we have many blessings…we’ve all had experiences in our lives where we have felt much gratitude and thankfulness—we even have specific times or holidays in the year to help us remember what we are thankful for.  For me personally, I have come to learn, through my experiences, that gratitude truly is a “feeling of the heart” as Pres. Eyring states (October 2016 Conference)—and not only that, but I believe this feeling is a root or twin to the feeling of love.

When our eldest son, Mackenzie passed away 3 years ago now, at the age of 22, I did not think that I would ever be able to feel anything ever again, except for pain, sorrow, grief and sadness…let alone gratitude!!!  My heart was broken in a way that I believed could never be fixed.  Our minds don’t work well when we suffer trauma such as this, and my mind was the thing that was “thinking” all was lost.  But a miraculous thing happened within hours.  My heart took over my mind—my heart couldn’t help but fill up with gratitude—for the outpouring of love, support and service in so many ways.  By our family, friends, ward and community.  I didn’t know it then, but the gratitude WAS love and that is what began the healing of my heart.

Dallin H. Oaks explains that a sense of gratitude enables us to see our hardships in the context of our purpose here on earth.  I don’t think I could understood how this trial of my child’s death, would help me gain a sense of my purpose here on earth.  But then the service offered with love, helped me feel love and consequently, gratitude.  I thought of an analogy with this explanation.  We can think of gratitude as a cloth.  When life ‘fogs’ up our view of our life, we can take that cloth and wipe the fog away to see a little more clearly, our path.  The fog may return, but that same ‘cloth of gratitude’ can be used over and over to clear the way so we can ‘see’ just where we are going, and ensure we stay the course.

“Humility and submissiveness to the Lord, coupled with a grateful heart, are our strength and our hope.”  Bishop Richard C. Edgely   I had no choice—no one could heal my heart except the Lord.  Gratitude did lead to hope.  I began to add more gratitude to my prayers.  I even experimented by just saying prayers of thanksgiving, without asking for anything in return.  It was a challenge, as we are programmed as children even, to ask for things in our prayers.

We are even warned in D&C 59:21

“And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all tings, and obey not his commandments.”

Gratitude is a powerful healing tool.  A catalyst to healing.  It is an emotion that is felt inside, but shows on the outside.  If we let gratitude enter our hearts, we will feel the love of our Father and Saviour more abundantly and we will be blessed, and our actions will be filled with genuine love in return.  

D&C 78:

“Ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;

“And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.  The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.

“And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, year, more.”

When I was in shock and despair, I knelt down and sobbed to my Heavenly Father.  I didn’t even know what to say.  I felt impressed to open my scriptures.  I just blindly followed this prompting, not even really being aware of what I was doing or what might come of it.  The Book of Mormon opened to Mosiah 24:14.

“And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.”

This scriptures has been my peace, reassurance and faith-builder.  It’s important to note that Alma and his people (who this blessing was directed to in Mosiah) were not freed from bondage when they received this assurance.  That took time, but His promise was sure.  We have to have faith that in time, things will make sense and we will feel better.


Gratitude equals remember.  Remember what our Saviour did for us.  Remember we are loved.  Remember He has a plan for each of us.  Being grateful, shows Him, that we remember these things and all the other promises He has given to us.  In the midst of a hard, hard trial…this can seem impossible.  But I am grateful that I have learned this personally, as I know He loves us and wants us to turn to Him, have faith in Him and endure well.  



Currently, I am grateful my mom is healing from her stroke and is a strong woman, and that my dad is taking good care of her, because I'm not there to do it.
I am grateful my daughter made it through a tough surgery and is healing well.
I am grateful my husband's blood clot did not reach his lungs or brain, and is being cared for by doctors who know what to do.

I know more trials will come, but I want to be able to 'remember' that I can make it through hard things with His help.  I may have to reference this talk many times to come.  I'd better bookmark it! ;)


Tuesday, 21 February 2017

It was a busy week.  My Mom had a stroke on the 8th of February so I flew to Quesnel as soon as I could.  It was super hard to see my feisty, active mom in that state.  But, my dad recognized the signs as soon as it was happening and called 911 quickly and had her in the hospital 20-30 minutes from the time stroke occurred.  Early intervention gives hope of preventing further damage and lasting impediments.  The stroke was caused by an aneurysm and it was inoperable so they were just hoping the bleeding would stop and the blood would dissipate.  Dad and I sat with her, did crossword puzzles with her (which she is still amazing at) and just reassured her during that first week.  Brent came up a few days later and we were all able to go with her to Prince George a week after her stroke, to get her settled into the rehabilitation centre.  She is there until she is able to complete a couple months of rigorous physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.  Her left side was affected and she is making great strides in re-establishing movement and strength to her left side.

I took a flight from Vancouver on Central Mountain Air...18 seats maybe...full view of the cockpit.



This is mom's CT scan 1 week after the stroke.  The blood filled the area where the yellow dots are and a week later, it has shrunk quite a bit.










Tuesday, 7 February 2017

My baby is 8!

My last baby.  2 days old.  I can't believe time has gone by so fast!




He looks like a little man for sure here.  I remember taking him with me when he was about 4 months old to visit Stephanie in Arizona.  I had him in a carrier while we were walking the mall and I was stopped no less that 3 times within a half hour and was told that he was the most gorgeous baby they had ever seen.  3 totally different people...that was a proud moment for sure!  And he still delivers in the 'cuteness' category!

We were at the Edmonton Temple and he was not wanting to sit and pose for a picture.  Just wanted his Momma.















This super duper kiddo turned 8 yesterday and I can't believe it!  He is smart, clever, and oh so funny.  He asked the other night if I would still be alive when he's older...I was like..."oh yeah!" and he then asked "Will you still call me poodle?"  I said "oh yeah, Poodle!  You'll always be my Poodle!"  He got that nickname when his hair started to grow and we realized just how curly it was!  He can pull off a super fro if I let it grow long enough!  His little freckles and curly hair always melt my heart!  He is getting baptized on the 18th and is so excited!  Last one in the immediate family!  I can't believe we've arrived here!!!


Dane loves reading books on underwater creatures...he's pretty good and remember details, too!



He got a fish...his name Iggy.



My baby is 8!  Yay for Dane!