Thursday, May 26, 2011
this is a fun picture of gracie! she has worked so hard this year with her AR (accelerated reading) program and was very successful in reaching the goals that were set by her teacher and surpassing them!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
laying them down tonight, the 2nd night, was like pouring scalding hot water on maxwell. he thrashed around his crib and screamed and yelled for a good 15 min. bless him....i picked him up and held him for a few minutes while he clung to me asking for his pacie! cardin just watched with a sad pouty face and whimpered! they are so sweet and can melt you like butter.....i had to be strong!
so long pacie's.........our little people are growing up!!
Friday, May 6, 2011
why am i telling you this?? because growing up, everything was "normal"........and then lupus happened.......this is her story!
Hi.... Many of you know my story with Lupus. I was diagnosed with the disease in 1995 when I was only 21 years old. I had just been blessed with my first child, Mikayla. After her birth my body just went downhill. I remember thinking that I must be going crazy. How could I have a new crazy symptom everyday? How am I supposed to care for this sweet baby girl and my husband? The next few months that followed my diagnoses included a life flight trip to a hospital in SLC, exploratory surgery, weeks in the ICU, rehabilitation, chemotherapy for my kidneys, and then years of juggling medications to try to find something that would control my pain, rashes, headaches, kidney disease, depression, fatigue, & more.
The image that I added to this page is from that time of uncertainty in my life. I hope you can see how real this disease is. Lupus is a very real and very serious auto-immune disease. I have been blessed with amazing physicians that have help me get to where I am today. They have helped me bring another daughter into our family. Although that venture was a huge strain on both my own life and my sweet little Lauren's life, we are so grateful for the family we have. Many people will look at us with Lupus and say, "You don't look sick." Well, let me tell you ...I AM SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED!!! :-)
Last year was the first year that I created a fundraising page. I was overwhelmed by the support of all of my family and friends! The walk itself was also very emotional for me. It was the first time I had my parents there to walk with me. To see all of the people there supporting the cause was amazing! To hear the personal accounts of how Lupus has affected member of my community were touching. I truly felt loved and supported by everyone. This year there have been great strides with Lupus. The FDA approving the first medication for Lupus in Over 50 years. Here in Utah the senate passed the bill declaring May Utah Lupus Awareness Month.
I am so grateful for the love and support of my family and friends, especially my husband Derk and my daughters Mikayla and Lauren. They see the ups and downs of this illness every day. Thanks for your love and support.Thank you for visiting my fundraising page! Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!
having watched heather LIVE with lupus has been very difficult. it is a constant reminder of how quickly life can change and how precious it really is. my cousin has handled this disease with such grace.....daily she dedicates herself to living her life to the fullest. she never complains about the challenges that have been given her through this disease! it sits heavy on my heart that she has to carry such a heavy physical burden.....
heather will be participating in the annual lupus walk on may 21, 2011 and is trying to raise $700+ to donate toward research that will ultimately find the cure for lupus. i have added a donation link labeled "heathers hope" on the right side of my page that will take you directly to the donation site. she also has a scentsy sponsor that will donate a percentage of your scentsy order to "heathers hope" ...... You can order online and have it shipped to your home wherever you live. Go to her website, https://rachell.scentsy.us/Home, and click on the "Heather's Hope" fundraiser (top left under her photo), any profits from orders made, will go directly to raise funds for her Lupus Walk. any amount is welcomed and appreciated!
heather, i love you! i am so grateful for your example! i support you in all that you do! you are not only my cousin.... i truly believe that we were eternal sisters who chose to go through this mortal experience together!!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
joseph and i have always enjoyed change. we actually welcome it! keeps you on your toes! it is becoming more and more difficult to do with having 6 kids though! they don't understand what benefits come from change......they are secure in their environment and for that i am thankful! when we moved to washington from north carolina, gracie had just turned 5, jackson 3, ela 1, and olivia was only 6 weeks old. change was easy in their baby states! now 4 1/2 yrs later, becoming established in school and preschool and in a wonderful ward it makes it a bit more difficult!
hoping to be to busy to dwell on leaving......we shall see!
Olivia (age 3~she is the one with the purple flower on her head!!)
thanks mrs (margaret) spencer for the wonderful memories!!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
If you were sitting in church and a member suddenly stumbled in, clutching his chest, and shouted, “I’ve been shot!” what would you do? Would anyone in their right mind say, “Well, wait a second here. Did you bring this on yourself? Did you do something to provoke it?”
Of course not. To a person, I think we would all leap from our seats and dash over to the wounded member. Cell phones would summon 911, the person would be led to a bench where he could lie down, and arms would cradle his head. Jackets would peel off various brethren as they gathered around to wrap up the victim, those with medical training would try to stop the bleeding—in short, the whole ward would rally to meet a real emergency. A blessing might be given while we wait for an ambulance.
Soon paramedics would arrive and begin every life-saving measure possible. The wounded person would be loaded onto a gurney and not one medic would quiz the victim about his role in this misfortune. Nobody would say, “Listen, before we treat you, I need to know if you were you hanging out with the wrong crowd.”
So why can’t we all have the same compassion when someone’s problem is just as serious, but hits them from another direction? Why can’t we all respond as Jesus did, and simply address the concern? He didn’t ask if a person invited evil spirits to plague him; he just healed the person. Sometimes that level of love is exactly what a person needs to heal spiritually, as well. To feel genuinely cared for is a world away from feeling judged and then found deserving of a limited measure of aid.
In Victor Hugo’s famous book, Les Miserables, a Catholic bishop catches Jean Valjean stealing silver candlesticks. How much more powerful, more healing is it that the bishop chooses not to lecture him on honesty, but instead to make the treasures a gift, the purchase price of his soul, for God?
Life’s trials are sometimes thrust upon us, and other times brought about by our unwise decisions. But must we weigh them before we rush in to help? Must we cock our head to one side and evaluate every beggar, as if we can truly see into his heart? The scriptures tell us to use righteous judgment, but how many of us wrap ourselves in that cloak as an excuse to be miserly with our compassion?
I know several members who are ashamed to come to church. They’re afraid they will be judged and found unworthy by, to quote them, “The Molly Mormons.”
Is it true? Among those who are trying to show unconditional love and the kind of charity Christ taught, are there members whose unmistakable looks of disdain pierce others’ hearts like a dagger? Why can’t someone burst in and shout, “My son got arrested!” or “I’ve been evicted!” or “I fell off the wagon again!” and know that we would rally to help them in any way possible?
Sure, it would be a bit unorthodox for someone to shout out such news, but are they in any less of an emergency than a gunshot victim? They need intense, immediate caring— both temporal and spiritual—and ought to be able to find it in our congregations.
I’ve often said that the way we Home Teach or Visit Teach shows Christ what we’ve learned on Sundays. But it’s also true that we show him by how we treat random members whose problems fall into the “shame” category. Are some of us so certain that these problems will never brush against our perfect families, that we feel justified distancing ourselves from such people? Does our pride fill us to overflowing, so that there is no room whatsoever, for compassion?
I recall, as a new mother, hearing older mothers talk of their heartache over their children’s sad choices. And I remember thinking, “Well, that will never happen to me.” And I would review my excellent mothering skills and decide this other woman must have tripped up in some way. I was naïve and stupid. And yes, it came back to bite me. Picture-perfect LDS families have cousins, siblings, and even immediate members, with heart-wrenching difficulties and problems. There IS no Molly Mormon!
No one has the right to look down their nose at anyone suffering. Christ, the only being who walked this planet and actually could have been justified doing that, didn’t even do it. Just the opposite—he reached out to the sinners, the outcasts of society, the lowest and the humblest. How then, can we in our grand imperfection, decide to step away from the lepers and deem them unqualified to associate with us?
Thankfully, our wards are filled with people who get it, who know that all suffering shares kinship, and will rally with everything from food and bedding, to a listening ear, when someone is in need. But… because of a few self-appointed judges, we also know members who are still hurting from the sting of rejection. I know members who have actually moved in the face of embarrassing crises, rather than face the critical looks and cold shoulders of certain ward members. You probably know a few, too.
Some time ago I was standing on the porch of a less active sister whose husband had just left her destitute with small children. Her heart was broken, her kids’ lives were shattered, and she had no income to count on as her suddenly unemployed husband moved to another state with his new girlfriend.
And she was embarrassed to come to church. What would all those perfect, Molly Mormon women think? How could she hold her head up in the face of such humiliation?
“Are you kidding?” I asked. “They would rally to help you! You’re not the one who should be embarrassed. You are the victim, the same as if you had been shot!”
She laughed at my exaggerated analogy, but I wasn’t exaggerating. How was her situation any less of an emergency than someone with a bullet in their chest? There was hemorrhaging of a sort here, and she needed a team to snap into action. And here we were, the church that could actually meet her temporal and spiritual needs, and instead of rushing to the very folks who could help her, she was pulling back in shame and embarrassment.
Some of that was of her own, manufactured imagining—she really hadn’t tested the waters yet. But if some of that was based on judgmental attitudes she had observed in other situations, then shame on us. How puny and without excuse we are, for creating a climate of “unwelcomeness,” and for sending a message that this is some kind of exclusive club for which only a handful can qualify.
I’m reminded of a wonderful poem by Marguerite Stewart, called Forgiveness Flour:
When I went to the door, at the whisper of knocking, I saw Simeon Gantner’s daughter, Kathleen, standing There, in her shawl and her shame, sent to ask “Forgiveness Flour” for her bread. “Forgiveness Flour,” We call it in our corner. If one has erred, one Is sent to ask for flour of his neighbors. If they loan it To him, that means he can stay, but if they refuse, he had Best take himself off. I looked at Kathleen . . .What a jewel of a daughter, though not much like her Father, more’s the pity. “I’ll give you flour,” I Said, and went to measure it. Measuring was the rub. If I gave too much, neighbors would think I made sin Easy, but if I gave too little, they would label me “Close.” While I stood measuring, Joel, my husband Came in from the mill, a great bag of flour on his Shoulder, and seeing her there, shrinking in the Doorway, he tossed the bag at her feet. “Here, take All of it.” And so she had flour enough for many loaves, While I stood measuring.
Each of us will be shot at in life, so to speak. Sometimes we’ll miss the bullet, sometimes we’ll go years without it even grazing our coats. But sometimes it will pierce us and bring us to our knees. It may, or may not, result from our own choices. But at those wrenching moments I hope we will find love and acceptance among our LDS ward families, dozens of loving friends who serve without judging and who rescue souls as if they’re on Christ’s official Emergency Response Team. Really, isn’t that just different wording for the covenants we renew every week, to keep the commandments and love one another?
as i was washing my face this morning, i saw something i had never before seen on my person......a GRAY hair!! i am only 35 yrs old....i know that i have been married for 10 1/2 yrs AND have 6 kids AND worked stressful jobs and have my share of challenges.... BUT, i have yet to find a GRAY hair until today......and low and behold, there it was standing straight up, saluting me like it was an honor for me to be in it's presence! i couldn't believe it! it had positioned itself strategically in the middle of my right eyebrow.......so, i went to town, first debating on whether to pull the coarse-stick-straight-foreign-object out of my eyebrow for fear that more may grow back in it's place, and then snapping back to reality with tweezers in hand and realizing that i couldn't walk around with this rogue eyebrow on my face! didn't take me but a minute to get a hold of it and yank it out with my trusty tweezing utensils!
on the upside, the GRAY hair was not a GRAY GRAY but a white GRAY! i have always thought that when i get old and if i do turn GRAY, i would want to be white GRAY instead of GRAY GRAY! is this what the future holds for my GRAY-ness? i guess only time will tell! hopefully mother nature will give me another 35 yrs before my next GRAY hair appears!!!
Sunday, May 1, 2011
pour it on top of ice from sonic in a styrofoam cup with a straw and i am one happy southern girl!
i was doing really well and didn't have any diet dr. pepper for about a month and then one day i succumbed to the temptation and haven't looked back! tomorrow is a new day......we will see what kind of will power i can muster up!