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...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial weekend

First off, Kristen and Grandpa were the most popular people in the entire cemetery!

We started off the weekend with a hot dog roast on Saturday night.
Sunday we all met at my moms house for dinner.
Today we met at Richard's moms for a BBQ and a game of volleyball.
I think I went to the cemetery at least 3 times each day, Saturday, Sunday 
and again on Monday. Every time I went Kristen had a new bouquet of flowers. 
She is one loved little girl.

All was well until Richard showed up with a chicken.
The look on their faces is priceless.

My 6 darling granddaughters

What could be better than an ice cream sandwich on a warm spring night?

Maybe a snow-cone

Uh Oh! Someone is in trouble. Those are Kristen's beads!

 I guess it's okay if you play with them for a minute, I'm sure Kristen won't mind.

All in all we had a great weekend. 
I am blessed to have such a wonderful family.
Oh yeah, the best part of the whole weekend...
sitting on the porch drinking fresh lemonade.

Monday, May 20, 2013

another one of my favorites

This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.
I like my chocolate chip cookie kind of flat, 
so when I tried this recipe I knew it was a keeper.
Sometimes I'm in the mood for semi sweet chocolate chips and
other times I feel like milk chocolate.
Either work great in this recipe, I've even thrown in
a handful of coconut. 
These are called 
Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies
There are several recipes out there and I'm not sure who gets the credit
for this one as I have been using it for a while.

1 Cup softened butter
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 Cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 Cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1- 12 oz bag chocolate chips (either semi sweet or milk chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl cream the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla.
Add flour, salt, soda and baking powder.
Mix well
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Scoop onto parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-9 minutes.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.

(If they are too flat for your liking, add a little more flour)

Kristen didn't like treats. The only thing she would occasionally ask for was a chocolate chip cookie or a cupcake with no frosting. 

 These are my favorite milk chocolate chips.

I needed a quick gift for someone so I bought this awesome jar and filled
it with brightly colored salt water taffy and added a tulle bow. 
It was quick, cheap and fabulous!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

sharing some exciting news!

Hop on over to Sarah's blog for some exciting news. 
It's Down right charming!
We all love Sarah and her mom, Joyce.
Kristen loves them too!
Click here  to go to Sarah's blog.

There is one thing in common with almost every picture of
Kristen during her last few months...
those 2 beautiful pillowcases that Sarah made for her
are in almost every single picture.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Kristen's Light and Christmas!

As most of you know I have a desire to keep Kristen's light burning.
My gifts are small, but they are made with love and care and the thought of Kristen
 is ever present as I work on my projects.
I was able to put together a "Dora" bag for a little girl whose father suddenly
became ill and passed away. 

Another little boy who is fighting for his life loves
Yo Gabba Gabba.
After a diligent search I was able to purchase some Yo Gabba Gabba fabric and
make both he and his brother a pillowcase. 

If you know someone who could benefit from one of my projects,
please send me an email.

I know it may seem early to even think of Christmas. 
However, there are at least 87 women who never stop thinking about Christmas.
I am honored to be one of those 87 women who serve on the
executive board for Festival of Trees.
Our work is already in full swing as we are preparing for the Festival.
The Festival raises money for children at
Primary Children's Medical Center. 
Last year over 1.8 million dollars was raised.
We hope to send that number even higher this year. 
My particular assignment is in the Elf Emporium Shop, 
(formerly known as Small Fry).
I am over seeing the felties.
Over 10,000 of these felties are hand made and filled with candy.
Felties have been a part of the festival since the festival began over 40 years ago.
As you can see they are fabulous!
Each year we add a few new patterns and retire some.
Again, the thought of Kristen is always with me as I work hard to fulfill
my responsibilities.

I'm thankful to a local fabric company who so generously donates bolts and bolts
of fabric to be used to make things for the children at the hospital.
Several quilt groups have already been busy making quilts to sell.
I was able to obtain some of this donated fabric as my committee will
be sewing pillowcases and activity bags to sell at the festival.

A sweet friend has already donated 2 Build-a-Bears for our 
annual Build-a-Bear Drop, 
Aren't they fabulous!

Kristen always was and continues 

to be "Our Light"

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Jam in a Jiffy

I love this stuff!
I have always made freezer jam.
I've always used pectin and the recipe on the box. It  seemed to contain
more sugar than berries.  I recently heard about 
Cornaby's Jam in a Jiffy.
It is a low sugar instant jam mix. You add 4 cups of ripe fruit and a 
1/2 cup of water. That's it. I paid $3.49 for a package and it makes about 
6 cups of jam.

My jam is delicious!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

prayers for a sweet friend, please.

Meet Brighton...
This picture was taken May 1st

Brighton needs your prayers.
He was involved in an accident a few weeks ago.
He is struggling as well as his family.
His grandma is my dear friend. She supported and loved Kristen.
She is always there for me. 
Please help me as we lift their family in prayer.

Here are a few words from Brighton's mother...

On May 1st Brighton woke up and showed us for a brief magnificent moment that he is in there. He smiled that beautiful infectious smile of his and everyone near and far smiled with him. We all collectively exhaled. Leave it to my little B-man to give us hope in the form of a smile. I think Brighton wanted to provide us all with just enough of an exhale before
 the inhaling was to begin again.
Brighton is experiencing involuntary spasms and clonus. His body tightens up and releases in a rhythmic sort of pattern. This is likely due to the initial lack of oxygen although the doctors said it may have been the cardiac arrest he suffered a few days later. It doesn't really matter. When the doctors say the words "neurological damage" everything else sounds like fax machine noise. All his tests come back normal, but his body is telling a different story. We are still getting occasional eye contact and smiles, but Brighton is also somewhere else at times. Also, a tracheotomy is likely in his near future. He works hard to breathe with the ventilator tube and when they removed it once he stopped breathing altogether and it was put back. We don't want a repeat performance of that. It's really too early to tell what challenges we are facing and I will never be able to answer the question "Why?" in this lifetime, but I can tell you this: Brighton has been brought back from the brink 3 times since April 11th. His name and story has been shared by so many people in so many ways. Great faith has been exercised on his behalf and I have felt the profound love you all have shown him and our family. He's not even mine anymore. Brighton is ours. He represents hope and light and I simply have to believe that there is a reason why his impact on the world is so great. I JUST BELIEVE he has more to do and so for as long as it takes, we journey on!

Remember...he smiled to show us he's in there.

Here is Brighton last October

Please, say a little prayer for Brighton.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

birthday pictures

A few pictures from yesterday as we celebrated Kristen's birthday