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, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from Heaven


Merry Christmas From Heaven

I still hear the songs, I still see the lights
I still feel the love, on cold wintry nights

I still share your hopes, and all of your cares
I'll even remind you, to please say your prayers

I just want to tell you, you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders, above all the crowd

Keep trying each moment, to stay in His grace
I came here before you, to help set your place

You don't have to be perfect all of the time
He forgives you the slip, if you continue the climb

To my family and friends, please be thankful today
I'm still close beside you, in a new special way

I love you all dearly, now don't shed a tear
Cause I'm spending my Christmas with Jesus this year

by John Wm. Mooney Jr.





Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Spirit of Christmas

Our family has been plenty busy this holiday season.
I can only hope that we have been busy doing the right things.
Putting up Kristen's Christmas tree and setting out a wreath for my dad
  was one of the first things I did this season.
The day after Thanksgiving I was at the cemetery decorating their spot.
It turned out to be a perfect time as a few days later it snowed and  the
temperature has been below freezing ever since then. I would have never been able to
get the re-bar into the ground. It breaks my heart to celebrate another
holiday season without these two.
The first week of December my entire family worked tirelessly at
The Festival of Trees.
The following week Richard and I spent almost every evening downtown at
the Assembly Hall on Temple Square. We are serving a service mission for our church and have
the opportunity of working with the performers who perform in the Assembly Hall.
It has been a wonderful experience and a fabulous way to enjoy the season.
This past week we delivered 24 Build a Bears to the cancer patients at
Primary Children's Hospital in honor of Kristen. This is the fifth year we have
had the opportunity to do this.  This makes over 125 bears that have been delivered in
Kristen's name.  We also delivered close to 100 pounds of candy to the
Utah Food Bank. We feel blessed to have these opportunities to serve others.
We now look forward to slowing things down a bit and spending
time with family. I am happy to say that all of my shopping is done and the
presents are even wrapped.

"Our celebration of Christmas should be a reflection of the 
love and selflessness taught by the Savior.
Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit."
~President Thomas S. Monson


This is the tree my daughter decorated and donated to the Festival in honor of my dad.
My mom purchased the tree!



The Build a Bears before delivery.




This is the fabulous Assembly Hall where Rich and I have spent so much time these past
few weeks. The concerts have been fun and uplifting and 
we feel honored to be able to serve here.

The lights on Temple Square

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree

The Festival of Trees begins tomorrow!
I have spent all year preparing for this event to raise money for
the children at Primary Children's Hospital.
100% of money raised goes to the children at the hospital.
This year there are 2 trees dedicated to our little angel, Kristen.
This is the first year that we have attempted a large tree.
It turned out beautiful!
Tonight the trees will be bid on and sold to the highest bidder.
We named this tree "Merry Little Christmas" 
because that is the name of the little Alexander doll that is under the tree.








Every year Kamie also decorates a tree for Kristen.
Kamie decorated a little palm tree. She put all of Kristen's favorite things under the tree...
Better Cheddars, Santa Coke, paper, scissors, glue, beads and the
Little Mermaid. 
Hopefully I can get a better picture later.
Kamie also decorated a tree for my dad.






Here is the story that I put with the tree...

Our Little Angel

Kristen was a shining star in the lives of many.
She taught us how to live, love and laugh.
Because of her, the sun shines brighter,
the flowers are more beautiful
and the songs of the birds are heard more often.
Kristen fought leukemia with grace and dignity
for 8 of her 24 years.
We are forever grateful for the love and care
Kristen received at
Primary Children’s Hospital.
Kristen’s light continues to shine as we honor her and help
 the children at the hospital year after year.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sneak Peek of the Festival of Trees

I know, I know, Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, but I am so excited 
for the Festival of Trees! After all, I've spent the past many months preparing.
I have had a lot of help in my preparations. In fact, my living room is half full of items that
are ready to be dropped off at the festival.
Every penny raised goes to help the children at
Primary Children's Hospital.
The hospital holds a special place in my heart as Kristen was treated there.
Kristen fought cancer for 8 of her 24 years. 
All of those 8 years she was treated at Primary Children's.
After Kristen passed away I wanted to put my heart into something that I loved.
I chose to do whatever I could to help the sick children at the hospital.
I have been involved with the Festival as a committee member and 
this is the second year that I have been on the executive board.
I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to serve the children.
This will be the 5th year in a row that there will be a tree at the Festival
dedicated to Kristen. In fact, there has been 2 trees for her every year.
This year is no exception, I will be donating a large tree, along with the help of my family, 
and Kamie will be donating a small tree also in memory of Kristen.
Besides the trees many items are hand made and donated.
Here is a little sneak into a few of the projects we have been working on...

The pile in my living room is getting larger every day

Kim made these awesome nativity sets

Brooke has been making worry dolls. Aren't they the cutest thing you ever saw?

She even made Disney princess worry dolls.

Katy's Activity Day girls made these snowmen
(they have a pack of microwave popcorn inside)

The girls from Lonie and Katy's ward made these Pixie Stick wands

Whitney made these butterfly purses

We all helped with these babushka dolls

Kim made these amazing Santas

Janalyn made these fabulous pillows


Pam embroidered several sets of these dish cloths

Janalyn also made pillowcases

 I have been working on activity bags
(Thank you to Riley Blake for donating fabric)


Snowman and reindeer juice boxes

Kristen's tree is going to be beautiful!
It will be decorated in silver, red and green

Kristen's tree will also have these cute birds on it

These are just a few of the many items my committee has been working on.
If you are local, I have discount tickets.
Let me know if you need some.
See you at the Festival!

Monday, November 11, 2013

we are family


My mother asked that each of us gather our families together and get a quick family picture.
I didn't want a family picture because someone will always be missing in our photo.
I put it off and put if off. 
I finally decided that it probably wasn't fair to my other children
 so we quickly gathered everyone and took a few pictures.
 I chose the place, a place that had special meaning to me.
I am betting that no one would ever guess where we are in these pictures. 
The 3rd picture will give it away.

Yup, we met at the cemetery. The place that was chosen as a final resting place 
for Kristen's little body. One of the place I love. A place I visit almost daily.
 To me the cemetery is sacred ground.
It is one of the most peaceful places on earth. It makes me think of heaven.
 
I also put a strand of Kristen's beads on each of my granddaughters.
In the second picture, the sun is bursting through the branches of the tree.
It makes me think of Kristen and her light as it continues to shine on all of us.
Kristen might be missing from these pictures, but she is NEVER missing
from our hearts. 






We are family 
I got all my sisters with me 
We are family 
Get up ev'rybody and sing 

Ev'ryone can see we're together 
As we walk on by 
 and we fly just like birds of a feather 
I won't tell no lie 
 all of the people around us they say 
Can they be that close 
Just let me state for the record 
We're giving love in a family dose 

Living life is fun and we've just begun 
To get our share of the world's delights 
 high hopes we have for the future 
And our goal's in sight 
 no we don't get depressed 
Here's what we call our golden rule 
Have faith in you and the things you do 
You won't go wrong 

This is our family Jewel 

And Kristen, You are our Family Jewel.

Friday, October 25, 2013

birthday girls

This past week we've been celebrating birthdays.
We party the entire day and into the night.

This little girl turned one!








Next Kamie turned twenty something.
Her and Katy will both be rather upset that I am posting their picture,
I'll keep it small and then maybe they won't notice.




Next we have Sara!
She turned 5 and for her birthday she wanted her ears pierced. 
She didn't even cry.





The partying continues as tomorrow we will celebrate my mothers birthday.

Ryan's friend also had a birthday this week.
He is serving a mission in Honduras.
His mother made a cardboard cutout of him and brought it over to take a
picture with Ryan. So here is Ryan and Kody having a little party of their own.


It has been a difficult few months for Ryan. He continues to try and heal from his
last surgery. Things aren't looking so great. Now he has candida in his throat and possibly
down his esophagus due to all of the antibiotics he has been on.
Kristen also had that same problem, so I knew right away what he
was dealing with. It is very painful. He will meet with the surgeon later next week to see
how things are going. We are praying that he will not require a third surgery.

I was driving home from work the other night and thinking about how many times
I have made the same trip with Kristen sitting next to me. 
She would sit in the front seat and reach over and hold my hand.
I often put my hand over the arm rest and imagine that she is sitting there
holding my hand. Just as I was thinking about her I heard these words playing on the radio;

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.

That's my girl, always giving me a boost just when I need it most.

Happy Friday and let the sun shine on you today.