Tuesday, March 31, 2015

the wedding in florida

This past week we traveled to Florida to celebrated the marriage of
Ryan and Morgan.

It was a bit different from the actual marriage in Utah.
In Utah we had the only snow storm of the entire year on March 3rd.
In Florida it had rained in the morning but by evening it was beautiful.

Both Utah and Florida were magical.





I'm still waiting for pictures from the Utah reception.
For now I will post pictures from the open house in Florida.

The open house was held in the
 Gardner's Cottage at Maclay Gardens.
It's a beautiful place. 

















Everything was perfect.

Monday, March 23, 2015

heartwarming

You've got to watch this.
That recipient of that first pillowcase was Kristen!
We love Sarah and Joyce.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

random acts of kindness

Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day this March 21 
with Random Acts of Kindness! 
Help us celebrate and honor all those with Down syndrome. 


I started my random acts earlier in the week. 
 I left cookies in the break room at work.
I'm going to get my grandchildren involved on Saturday.
We'll add pictures as we go.



 It is my wish to let the world know
that having a child born with
Down syndrome is truly a blessing.
Kristen brought joy and love to the world.

I found something my dad wrote in his notebook 
shortly after Kristen was born. I'm not sure who the author is, 
but it must have had great meaning to my dad as he
penned it in his little notebook.
This is what is says,

"You make an excellent point that I have taken to heart. 
Saying one "suffers" from Down syndrome 
is a misplaced judgment. 
I believe that when our maker calls us home, 
he'll welcome all his special children first.
The rest of us will wait with bated breath,
praying for entrance.
And when you look at it from this point of view,
which of us has the handicap?"





We'll continue to celebrate her life, her beauty and her love.
We'll continue to support her friends all over the world who
are trying to feel included and loved, and especially
those who just want and need to be born.
We love and miss our angel girl.
Our Princess
(the one who could light up a room.)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

be kind


I took 8 off my 10 grandchildren to the new 
Cinderella movie this morning. 
Loved it

I can imagine that Kristen would have also loved it.
I forgot to get a picture of the kiddies so
 I'll share a really good quote 
from the movie instead.


Look who came to visit for a few days
My very own little princess

Friday, March 13, 2015

forward

for·ward

adverb
  1. 1. toward the front; in the direction that one is facing or traveling.
          2. onward so as to make progress; toward a successful conclusion

Forward; the direction I wish to go.
 The past several weeks have been tough. 
Going forward has been hard.
Some days I just want to stay right where I am.
I have learned that moving forward is much better than standing still
or going backward.
One of the many things I learned when Kristen passed away is that
she would not want her death to diminish my life. 
She wants me to go forward and find joy in this life.
I'm sure my mom feels the same way. 
My mom was such a part of my life. 
She was my best friend.
She was my daughters best friend. 
She was ALWAYS there for each of us
and for everyone else in her life.
The past 5 years have been difficult.
3 of my most favorite people are gone from this life.
There has been many days when I have felt like
 maybe I'm not strong enough,
I can't do this.
It is then that I come to realize that 
Kristen, my dad and my mother  are still very close.
They are my greatest cheerleaders.
They are still helping me,
probably more than they ever have. 
So onward I go.

In the morning I will be delivering 5 Build-a-Bears to
children who are fighting cancer.

My son got married last week to a very sweet girl.
She is from Florida and she calls me "Miss Polly."
How cool is that?

Grandchild number 11 will be arriving in October!

Spring is coming!
Blossoms will soon be popping and gardens will be planted.

2 new bunnies arrived at our our house.

"The refiners fire is real. Qualities of character and righteousness that are forged in the furnace of affliction perfect and purify us and prepare us to meet God."
~Quentin L. Cook 

I must have a lot of perfecting and purifying to do as I continue to find myself thrown in the fire. The refiners fire is not a comfortable place to be. My only hope is that after the repeated hammering and the intense heat that I might become the person I was meant to be.



My mother had several requests concerning her funeral.
1. A closed casket (her mother also requested a closed casket)
2. A graveside service
3. Bagpipes to be played at her graveside
4. Lots of flowers.
She got all of her wishes.

















Monday, February 2, 2015

my mom



Our beloved mother and grandmother, Marion Darlene Christensen, passed away Sunday, February 1, 2015 following a stroke. Darlene was born October 26, 1938 in Sterling, Utah to Kenneth and Dora Dennison. In November of 1957 she married Charles R. Christensen. Together they shared a wonderful life. There was a beautiful reunion in heaven when she was reunited with her husband, whom she had greatly missed for the past 5 years.

 Darlene’s greatest joy was her family, she developed a close relationship with her children and grandchildren. She was always asking about the details of their lives and shared with them their challenges and their joys. She will forever be remembered for her kindness and tender demeanor.

 She saw the beauty in the world around her. She never thought of herself, but instead filled her days in the service of others. Darlene was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was a dedicated visiting teacher; she loved and cared for each lady she visited. She took hundreds of meals to the sick and the needy. Recently she served a church service mission at the Church Office Building. She lived a Christ-like life and will be greatly missed by all those who knew her.
She is survived by 3 children, 9 grandchildren and 
15 great grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband and granddaughter.

Friday, January 30, 2015

when I grow up...

...I want to be my mom.

Last September my mother had a stroke.
She has been dizzy every since.
Two weeks before Christmas she moved in with me.
I loved having her in my home.
I have loved sitting in her room late in the evening watching
"The Golden Girls" with her.

Last week she had another stroke.
She was making progress until Wednesday.
We repeated an MRI and she has had 3 more strokes since last week.
This afternoon she will have a test and possibly a procedure.
It is risky but it is all we've got. 
A lot could happen in the next few hours.

Yesterday I told my mom that she is the most perfect person I know,
and I meant it.

She is sweet.
She is kind.
She is lovely.
She loves my dad completely.
She loves her children more than anything.
Her grandchildren are her greatest treasure.
She loves and knows them all.
She is giving.
She is caring.
Did I mention that she is caring.
She is funny.
She loves to laugh.
She is soft spoken.
She is simple.
She is everything that is good in the world.


For the past 5 years since my father passed away she has carried a broken heart.
Over the past few days she has let us know that both my dad and Kristen are near.
The veil between this life and the next have been somewhat parted for her.
I believe she is kinda stuck between two worlds.
I do know that although we are making decisions on her behalf
we are not in charge. I know that she is one of Heavenly Fathers
choice daughters and He loves her completely. 


All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.
~Abraham Lincoln

I'm right there with you Mr. Lincoln.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

hang on

A lot has been going on these past few weeks.
I've been busy with life.
I hope to go back and post pictures from this past holiday season.
This past week has been one of the most difficult I have had in like forever.
I am so thankful for my husband and my children who have gathered 
and supported me at this time.
Hopefully better days are ahead.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Festival of Trees

If the sun comes up 
Without me tomorrow
If I leave this world tonight

Would you really know
How much I care about you
Or the way you’ve changed my life

I know there would be tears
And hope you’d get past it
And when you think of me
You’ll think of me laughing

Go on living
Don’t stop loving
Please find something you can put your heart into
And if the sun comes up, without me tomorrow
You’ll be fine
Just let it shine
On you

If the sun comes up
And I’m not there to hold you
Don’t you let it cloud your faith

Never lose your smile
And hold on to your passion
Make the world a better place

I know you won’t forget, the life we had together
And more than anything
I hope you’ll remember

I believe you’ll watch the sunrise
With me for years to come
But if it turns out this morning’s our last one

Baby, Go on living
Don’t stop loving
Please find something you can put your heart into
And if the sun comes up, without me tomorrow
You’ll be fine,
Just let it shine,
On you

Trace Adkins sings this song. 
I was driving home from work late one night
 a couple of years ago when I heard this song.
I was feeling down, sad, lonely and the list goes on and on. 
When I heard this song I felt like Kristen was talking to me. 
I knew I had to keep on living. I didn't want to. 
But I knew I had to. 
One of my favorite lines is
"Please find something you can put your heart into."

I love the Festival of Trees.
My entire family loves it.
We have our hearts in it.
We work all year preparing. It's always Christmas at my house.
We work on trees as well as items to donate and sell in the various shops.
We do it for one reason...
Kristen.

This year, in addition to our other project,s we donated 9 trees.
Our trees brought in almost $3500.00 for the sick children
at the hospital.
I gave each of my children a tree to decorate.
The all turned out perfect.

This tree was named 
"Uptown Christmas"
It was decorated with small high heel shoes.
I received a donation of 9 Madame Alexander fashion dolls.
We placed the dolls under the tree.
Just a few days before thanksgiving a sweet lady passed away.
She left behind 5 children.
It was an honor to dedicate this tree to her.



The tree I dedicated to Kristen was a Frozen themed tree.
It was fabulous.
Several people were bidding on this tree, it ended up selling for $1000.00.



Katy and her children decorated this Cinderella tree.
Several people were also bidding on this tree. 
It was darling.

  Katy and her children also decorated this tree.
It was named "Christmas Belle"


I decorated this little tree and called it
"Merry Christmas"

Lisa and her children decorated
"Ariel's Christmas"
It was also darling.

Kamie always decorates a tree for Kristen.
This year she did "Minnie's Christmas."
It was so cute!


Kim and Nora decorated "Christmas Morning"
It too was a fabulous tree.

I also decorated a little tree with a Coke theme.
It was pretty cute too.


It was a great week. We had tons of fun.
We are already planning our trees and projects for next year.

A quick picture with some of my favorite friends,
we worked all week to help make the Elf Emporium a success.