I created this blog when my sweet little girl, Kristen, was diagnosed with cancer, for the third time. After fighting for almost 3 years Kristen was called home to that same God who gave her life. I've contemplated on many occasions rather I should quit this blog or not. Each time I am inspired that I should not. One of my favorite quotes comes from Neal A. Maxwell- "Those who "plow in hope" not only understand the law of the harvest but they also understand what growing seasons are all about. True, those with genuine hope may see their proximate circumstances shaken like a kaleidoscope at times, yet with the "Eye of faith" they still see divine design." Kristen blessed lives and continues to do so. Her light continues to shine. As for me, I continue to "plow in hope" knowing well that Kristen is mine for eternity. Families can be together forever! This I know. Our family continues to live and to love and this is our story...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

October is almost here. really?

Usually by now we would have pumpkins, costumes and lots of candy ready to go. Kristen loved Halloween. If ever we were at the store she would always stop by the costumes and the candy and load up the cart. She never ate candy; she only wanted it for Audrey and for her nieces and nephews. She was always thinking of others. She would also look over the costumes and point out her favorite for the each of the grandkids. It seems as though Kristen always wanted to be either a witch or a princess. Most of our costumes were ruined in the flood, but I was able to save Kristen’s.
 I washed them all up and now they hang in her closet.

Last night I went to parent teachers conference for Ryan, my 16 year old. Parent teachers at the high school are always such a drag. It takes forever. I was on my second to the last teacher and a neighbor sat down next to me. She was apologetic as she said she only heard about Kristen a few weeks ago. She asked questions and I answered them. She asked about her last night and if she was in pain. I told her a little about the last night and how I knew I was putting Kristen in bed for the last time. I should have stopped there, but I continued to tell her how peaceful it seemed. I told her Kristen’s heart just stopped and then she took a few last breathes and then she was gone. It was then my turn to talk with the teacher so I left. All of a sudden it hit me. Did I just say that? Did I seriously just say that her heart stopped? I suddenly felt anxiety slipping in. I have no idea what the teacher said. I hurried and stood up and looked for an escape. I quickly slipped into a dark hall way. I stood there in a dark corner fighting the urge to throw up. I soon found my way to the restroom where I just stood still for what seemed like forever. Then the tears came. Once again the reality of my loss was staring me in the face. I went over Kristen’s last 12 hours again and again. I am not sure how long I was there, but I soon found myself wetting a paper towel and wiping the mascara off of my cheeks. I searched for my sunglasses and put them on as I again slipped into the dark hall. I went outside to another building to see one last teacher. There was a line, and I was thankful for that line. It gave me a few more minutes as I stood there under my dark sunglasses to gain my composer. I remember counting my breathes as I breathed in for 3 counts and out for 3 counts. It was soon my turn to see the teacher. I slipped off the glasses and listened as she told me she loves Ryan. He is such a great kid she said. She then asked if there is anything she should know about him.
I pulled a picture of Kristen out of my purse and said,
“Ryan lost his sister just a few weeks ago and he too is having a hard time.”
I think I just needed to tell someone. to share her with someone.
The teacher was very kind,
she picked up the picture and said,
“I love children with Down syndrome, I have a cousin who is so sweet.”
We talked more about Ryan and she thanked me for giving some insight to
what Ryan may be going through. I seriously ran out of that building found my car and soon found myself here…

I still haven’t ordered Kristen’s headstone. We want the perfect one. I like something and Richard doesn’t. He likes something I don’t like it. I told myself that by the end of this week I would have it ordered so it can be installed before winter. I better get on it today.
First I need to find my sunglasses as today I am sure I will need them.

And now a little smile from our little pumpkin

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pray for Landon

This little sweet guy is Landon.
As his mother says,
"Cancer is a battle field.. Landon is a good soldier fighting a war he can't win. We do know that God can heal him...and if HE chooses to do so while Landon is with us..that would be just fine with me..but if not, we will make him as comfortable as possible for the time he has left and I KNOW THAT WE WILL ALL BE TOGETHER AGAIN!"

Landon is suffering as his little body is full of tumors.
Prayers of comfort for Landon would be most appreciated.
You can visit his care page here

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Merry-Go-Round

For the past two years the world has gone on without me. I'm ok with that.
I was in my own world taking care of my girl. 
Today the world continues to go on, sometimes I notice and sometimes
it's completely unnoticed by me.
There is one thing I won’t do. I am not going to jump back on that merry-go-round called life. You know the one, the one where you are so busy, usually with things that don’t matter, that each day becomes a blur and it's just a matter of time and you really do become dizzy.
I’ve seen too much to let myself get back on that ride.
Kristen taught me that it really is the simple things that mean the most.
Spending time with family,
visiting the sick,
making memories that will last forever,
making a blanket for a sick child,
making cookies for your neighbor,
sending a card to someone you have never met,
praying for a child who has just been diagnosed with cancer,
I mean really praying with your whole heart and soul.
She taught me that nice really does matter.

This week I think I will start with trying to be nice.
Maybe I should also try not to swear for an entire week.
(my kids are probably saying, "Yeah right. like that will ever happen.")
Whatever, I can try.

I'll end with some cute pictures of the grand kids from this past week...

As I pulled up to the cemetery  a few days ago, this is what I saw...

And tonight, this is what I saw...
(my mom will love this one)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Braver than you Believe"

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
but the most important thing is, even if we're apart..
 I'll always be with you.”
-Winnie the Pooh

I have been trying to think of a name for Kristen's Christmas tree that we are decorating and donating to the Festival of Trees. I had decided months ago that we would donate a tree. I was hoping it would be in "honor of her" but now it has turned into "remembrance of her." Since Kristen loved Pooh Bear I had decided to decorate it with a Pooh Bear theme. I came across this quote from Pooh and knew immediately this was just what I was looking for. It's rather appropriate and a message I needed to hear this morning. My heart seems  heavy. The emptiness seems to be growing. I am amazed at the amount of sorrow that can be borne while walking on two feet.  I will ALWAYS be a grieving mother. I will in time learn to live with it. My hope lies in the fact that Kristen's light is burning strong and even brighter than before as it slowly
dispels the darkness of this long night of mourning.
Sorry for my rambling...back to the tree.
Our cute friend Amy and her boys sent Kristen a gift card to the Disney Store. A couple weeks ago I was looking in her purse and found the gift card. After a shedding a few tears my first thought was to send it back to Amy. I then went online and started looking and found the most adorable Lenox Pooh  Bear. It would be perfect under Kristen's tree. I ordered it and it arrived in a few short days. It's perfect.
Thank you Amy.
(I hope you are ok with that)
I also learned that a group of girls from our church are also decorating and donating a tree in remembrance of Kristen. I am so touched by their willingness to give of themselves. Kamie and her husband are also doing a tree. All of the money raised is donated to the hospital where Kristen spent so much time. I have already signed up to volunteer at the Festival. I also joined a committee for next years Festival. I am so excited to give back to the hospital that so tenderly took care of Kristen and gave us more time with our sweet angel.

"Braver than you Believe"
will be the name on Kristen's tree, after all, she is the most brave person I know.

Amy, what do you think... Isn't he the cutest

Disneyland 2005

Friday, September 17, 2010

Kristen and her BFF

I am excited to share this place with Kristen's best friend. After Kristen passed away I asked Audrey if she would like to share a few thoughts about Kristen. She was honored. 

Written by Audrey...

I have the most amazing title in the entire world. My precious cousin Kristen claimed me as her Best Friend, my name is Audrey or as she would say “Audgie.” I'm forever honored by my title. I can still hear her sweet voice and the way she spoke to me, our many conversations
I hold tight in my heart.
I can still hear and see the way she laughed with all of her being.
My soul lights up while reminiscing upon her "full of life sense of humor"
and her hilarious tactics of teasing, I fortunately witnessed a lot of it throughout our times shared together.
I spent a large amount of my childhood with the Kirton Family and all I remember was that it was always a blast, there was never a dull moment, and it never got old. Me and Kristen and her sisters Kamie and Kim shared a type of sisterhood together that was always full of adventure, excitement and laughter. I often referred to Pollyanna as my 2nd Mom,
and truly what a wonderful Mother Pollyanna is.
I was given the honor to speak at Kristen's grave sight,
I shared a message of the depth of Love and Respect I hold for Kristen's Spirit. As I dwell in the beautiful thoughts of Kristen I write with all conviction and say to all of existence that because of Kristen’s pure and perfect presence in my life I have been Gracefully Blessed! I am so Grateful, and I have gained so much confidence and inspiration from her love and from her enthusiasm toward me. I was also asked to announce Kristen's Balloon Release Ceremony at her grave sight. I hung on to her favorite color,
the color that doesn’t mean yellow to me,
it means Kristen. Everyone held a pink or a yellow balloon in their hands as I counted down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....we all let go in her honor, sending our individual messages to her. As I watched all of her balloons flutter up into the endless blue sky, magic took place in my heart. Her balloons immediately started taking on different shapes and forms like Kristen was sending back messages to us all or she was just flying in and out out of her flock of favorite colors just having fun! I believe that she was doing both, that's what I would do if I just got my wings back. I kept an eye on my yellow balloon I released to her and for a few minutes mine became separated from the rest, she held it still for me because of the unique and remarkable friendship we've always shared. It was an astonishing moment for me, I felt her so near and her and I raced back to All the memories I have stored in my heart of my angelic cousin Kristen. She continues to Shine as my Divine Star Girl and I still feel her showering me and all the world with her extreme goodness.
I've always admired her spirit, fully in this human phase yet fully present and aware with all that is holy and divine.
She is an example of purity, she is and has always been my equal and my friend, my Best Friend.
And she lives on, and I will forever celebrate her beautiful life.
I’m grateful with all my heart that her wings brushed up beside me.

Kristen and Audrey shared a special friendship. Every time Audrey would come over she would first run and find Kristen. I would soon hear screaming and
 laughing followed by dancing. 
Whenever Kristen and I were at the store she would always buy something for Audrey.  
Thank you Audrey for sharing your thoughts but most of all thank you for
sharing your heart with Kristen. She truly loves you.
Audrey loves to paint and is becoming an awesome artist. She has designed a rock for Kristen. She calls it
"Kristen's Rock"

As seedlings of God,
we barely blossom on earth...
We Fully flower
in Heaven.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Claire Selma

You know me, I wouldn't miss the chance to share some cute photos. Claire is 8 weeks old today. Yesterday we all went to church with Katy and Claire received a blessing.  This baby likes to sleep. I kept waiting for her to wake up so I could get a picture, I finally gave up and took one of her sleeping. Notice in the first picture our angel in the 
background watching over things. 

That's all I've got for now.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Cody

My oldest grandchild turned 7 today, without mentioning any names, someone here is getting old. It was a fun filled day with miniature golf, pizza and even a Mario cake. Cody asked if I could put Mario on a big chocolate cake. I tried it wasn't great but to a 7 year old it was awesome and I guess that is what's important. I'll make it quick and just leave with some pictures...

I couldn't do it. I couldn't finish up without saying just a little about Kristen.
Last year on Cody's birthday she had an appointment at the clinic. Her blood counts looked great, she hadn't had chemo for 5 months, her hair was coming back and she was feeling pretty good. I love the last picture of her and Cody. You might recognize it as the picture I use all the time. Although I love the picture with both her and Cody, I cropped him out and used the picture for her obituary.
She just looks so very sweet.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Two years ago today at 5pm we heard the words "Acute Myeloid Leukemia."
She was the light in the darkness then
 and today she still shines and warms our hearts.
Walk in her room,
look at her things,
touch her beads,
hug her pillow,
 and ring her bell.
 Tears will come,
but underneath the tears the love and memories are there too
and you can't help but smile and feel so very blessed for having this
sweet girl in your life.
But oh how we miss our angel girl.

Monday, September 6, 2010

stayin busy

I have found that busy is best. We are finally putting our house back together. In the basement , the paint will be finished soon and later today the new carpet will go in. My storage room is coming back together as well. It definitely has a lot less junk and that's a good thing. Besides losing all our files, my food storage is gone and most of my holiday decorations are gone as well. But I'm over it. 

Saturday Kamie and I went to a friends fundraiser yard sale and sold snow cones. She is trying to raise money for an adoption. Everyone has been trying to help. Another blog friend had it in her yard and others donated items to be sold.  

The flood has set me back just a little as far as donating items to the hospital. It seems every spare minute is spent cleaning and organizing my stuff. Both Kamie and my sewing machines were soaked and covered in mud. I had planned to make book bags with Fall and Halloween print material and fill them with school items. I am calling these "hospital activity bags." Every time Kristen and I would be in the hospital, it seemed we were looking for a pair of scissors, crayons or paper to help pass the time away. One of these bags would have been just what we needed. As soon as we get one of the sewing machines either repaired or replaced then we will continue with the projects.
We are still planning on doing our "Annual Build a Bear Drop" a week or so before Christmas. This was a fun project we started last year and those who participated have already asked if we are doing it again.
Of course we are!
I have decided to call the service projects that we do
"Kristen's Light"
I have said before that even though she is gone her light will continue to shine. I am working on a poem that I can include with the donated items. If any of you have an ideas or even just a line for the poem,
don't be afraid to share.
Some of you might be a poet and not even know it. So please share.

Kristen loved lights of all kinds. Here are a few of her favorites. She would play with each one of these before she went to bed. It was part of her routine. I would also like to put a light, such as one of these, or even a flashlight with each gift we donate. If you know where I can get some of these please let me know, as most of these were gifts to Kristen.
Thanks for all of your continued support as I try to find my way back to shore.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Camp Rock 2

It's no secret that Kristen loved the Disney Channel. She had the daily schedule memorized. I even scheduled her doctors appointments so that she would be home in time to catch the 1 oclock movie. She was a huge fan of Hannah, Sonny and the Jonas Brothers. It's also no secret that Joe Jonas was her favorite. Several months ago Disney started showing previews for the new movie Camp Rock 2. Kristen was very excited  and she would say, "I like it." I would always say, "Can I watch it with you?" Of course she would always answer, Yes. Once I realized that it wouldn't preview until September 3rd, I knew that she probably wouldn't be able to watch it. It broke my heart. This afternoon I realized that tonight was the night. The preview of Camp Rock 2. I had a lump in my throat for most of the day. Tonight, alone in her room, I sit, watching Camp Rock 2. It's a bit cheesy, But I think she would have liked it. No, she would have loved it.
It feels good sitting here in her room just the way she left it. It's bright and cheerful. Some days I come here several times a day. Sometimes I cry and sometimes I smile. Tonight I smile. So thankful for the sweet memories when peace, harmony,and the noise from the Disney Channel permeated our home. I want to live in my memories of her, I want my faith to be strengthened, my life to be bigger and better, as she has changed me forever. I continue to look for comfort as I experience the shock and numbness of this life changing sorrow that has been placed before me. Some days it's one step forward and 2 steps backwards. And that's ok. As Kristen has taught me the true meaning of life and what matters, I look to a picture of her and the message
she and a friend sends me today.
It's simple,
"Be Brave"
I'll try