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...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

orphan update and a little spring

I have missed my daily orphan spotlights.
I have decided to continue to do spotlights on a weekly basis.
Tonight I wanted to share some info on the families that 
have committed to some of the children I spotlighted.

 Bernadette and Mason are both going to the same family!
The Roger's family from Virginia are saving
both Bernadette and Mason.
You can visit their blog here.




I found 3 children that are coming home to Utah!
That means that I just might be able to give these cuties a hug.

The Grove family has committed to both Alice and Mara.
Make sure to visit the Grove's Family Blog



Next up is the darling Victoria

Victoria will join the Bonner family.
I have met the Bonner family as they came to the hospital to visit Kristen.
I am so excited for both Victoria and the Bonner's.
Make sure to check out the Bonner's adoption Blog

I am so excited for all of these children and their families.
Please continue to pray for the children.

I think Spring is beginning to show its face around here.
The grass is beginning to turn green and the trees are budding.
You know spring is close when you look out your back window and
this is what you see...




Hooray for Spring.

"Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. 
The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again."
Sarah Ban Breathnach

Friday, March 23, 2012

baby steps

It's been 20 months and Kristen's clothes still hang neatly in her closet. 
She always wanted everything organized. 
She was very much a girl of routine. She had a daily and a nightly routine.
As I think about the last few weeks of her life I feel that she was so blessed
that even as the days were coming to an end she was still able to 
carry out her routine until the very end. 
Just hours before she died she still did the very same things she had done every night.
It has been difficult to let any of Kristen's things become out of place, used or touched.
Her clothes are still neatly folded in her drawers. All of her things pretty much
remain in the same place she left them.






The other night I was tending Brooke.  I usually do not have one on one
time with any of my grandchildren, but this night I just had Brooke.
She begged and pleaded for me to find her a craft to do.
I knew very well where I could find some things to do.
Kristen's room.
Kristen had a sand art kit that Kamie had given her in the hospital.
Kristen loved it. You can tell by the pictures that Kristen enjoyed making 
the sand bottles.  I felt it was finally time to get the sand kit out and let Brooke play with it.
As Brooke was making her bottle she kept saying,
"Polly, I haven't had this much fun my whole life."
I smiled and knew it was finally okay.
Kristen would not have minded a bit
In fact she was probably smiling down on Brooke.









Oh yes, and then we made cupcakes for the first day of Spring.



Happy Friday and have a GREAT weekend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day! Orphan spotlight day 21

A few weeks ago I was asked to give a talk in church.
I was asked to talk about  how my beliefs have
helped me through this difficult time. I think today is a good
time to share some of the talk.
so here goes...

One of my greatest blessings has been the opportunity to be a mother.
I have been blessed with 6 children.
Our third child brought with her a little something extra. Kristen was born with Down syndrome. Kristen has taken us on a journey, one that was not planned or even expected. There have been obstacles and trials, each of which she met with bravery and dignity. 
We know that Kristen was placed in our home for a very special purpose.
Her presence has filled our home with much love and happiness.
We are forever changed for having the privileged to call Kristen our daughter and sister.
I believe with my whole heart that the mission of our daughter is pure and simple...
To bring light and love to the world.
Kristen was not sent here to be tested as the rest of us are;
she was sent here to test those around her.
Because she was born with a handicap, she is free from sin. 
She came from God in purity and no sin can attach to her in this life.

It was a warm July morning almost 19 months ago.
I laid in bed next to Kristen with her hand in mine, Richard on the other side kneeling at her bedside with her other hand in his. It was then, after she fought leukemia for almost 2 years, that her sweet little spirit left her body and returned home to that same God who gave her life.

My heart has never hurt so much in my life as it did that morning. 
However, because of my testimony and my faith in Jesus Christ I was able to feel 
pain, sorrow and peace 
all at the same time. It was a very difficult day for our family,
one that I cannot truly express in words.
However, we recognize that it was a glorious day for Kristen as 
she was now free from the leukemia that ravaged throughout her little body. .

Over the next several weeks I continued to feel pain, I’m pretty sure my heart was shattered. I was now left without Kristen by my side for the first time in 24 years. I was left to figure out how to enjoy life rather than just enduring it. As I continued to grieve and mourn, as I dissolved the physical bonds that Kristen and our family shared the spiritual and 
emotional bonds remained intact.

I knew that Kristen would not want her death to diminish my life. 
She would want me to live better and love deeper.
My heart was broken but still believing.

Over the past several months I have witnessed the miracle of one little angel,
spreading her influence across the world as we as a family have kept her
light burning by serving others, 
especially those children who are fighting cancer, 
and by being a voice for children with Down syndrome around the world.

Through the death of my daughter I have learned to appreciate the gift of the Atonement and the promise of eternal life in a very personal way.
I have somewhere I need to be for I know where Kristen is.

I am so thankful for the peace that this gospel brings,
for Jesus Christ and His redeeming sacrifice, 
for in Him there is Hope. 
I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers my prayers.
Because of Kristen
There is a continual reminder deep within me that keeps me focused and 
reminds me that this life is temporary,
But how we choose to act in this life is Eternal.
Every day is truly a gift. How we treat others does matter.

I am a mother with a broken heart which through my 
Savior Jesus Christ has begun to heal. 
Kristen's life was truly a blessing.
She inspired many and continues to do so today.
Her life was a life well lived.
She brought the true meaning of life into this world.






Love and miss you baby girl!


Today's spotlight...
I bring you the beautiful 

Catherine
I fell in love with Catherine a very long time ago.
She reminds me of Kristen so much.
I have been praying for her and hoping she would find
a loving family. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

orphan spotlight day 20

Tonight I bring you the darling

Harmony

Harmony is a blond hair 
blue eyed beauty.
Are you her mother?

visit
reecesrainbow.org 
for more info.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

good food & orphan spotlight day 18

Yesterday the girls and I catered a wedding for 350 people.
It was fabulous.
We served turkey and ham croissants, pasta salad,
vegetables and fruit.
We set up a cookie counter with 5 different kinds of delicious cookies.
We also had plenty of cold lemonade and water.





For today's spotlight  I bring you

Margit
I just know you are going to fall in love with her.
Are you her mother?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

orphan spotlight day 17

Today I bring you

Zane

Isn't he a cutie


Friday, March 16, 2012

keeping busy & orphan spotlight day 16

Today I would like to introduce you to the beautiful

Ashlyn


Isn't she a doll!
Ashlyn has developed very well,
she is walking, talking and singing.
She loves to listen to music and she loves to give hugs and kisses.
She has $1344.99 available toward her adoption.
visit reecesrainbow.org for more info.


The girls and I are catering a wedding tomorrow.
We are preparing food for 350 people.
Here is a little peek at our preparations.


Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

32 years & orphan spotlight day 15

Today we celebrate 32 years.
32 years ago today I married my best friend,
he's still my best friend.
Thanks Rich for 32 amazing years.


You have to remember the year was 1980.
Big hair and baby blue tuxes 
must have been cool back then.



Our family
30 years later.
This was taken 13 days before Kristen passed away.
We have since added 2 granddaughters to the crowd
and are expecting another baby to arrive sometime in late September.



On to the spotlight of the day...
today I bring you

Danila

You can tell she is an orphanage favorite by the
2 large bows in her hair.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

answered prayers and spotlight day 14

Bernadette is going HOME!!!!!



Just yesterday I sat here and cried as I typed her name. 
I have been praying for her for many days. 
She reminds me so much of Kristen. 
I just want to reach out and hug her.
I don't know who the family is yet, 
but I hope to find out soon.
Yesterday I hoped for 3 things...
a home for Benadette,
a cure for cancer,
and for my head to stop spinning.
In just one day...one out of three isn't bad.
The other 2 will come I'm sure.

Tonight I bring you
Dasha