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. 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!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

more of what matters

We continue to gather together every Sunday for family dinner.
A tradition that has been going on for many years.
The children look forward to coming over and hanging out with their cousins. 

This baby boy is getting so big

We gathered a few pumpkins, not quite the bumper crop we had last year.

Cupcakes matter

Kamie purchased a few more items for the
"Frozen" themed Christmas tree we are donating to the festival.
Our tree is going to be fabulous!

 Kim cut off her hair and donated it to locks of love so cute
little girls like Kristen who have lost their hair can have a cute little wig.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

don't miss your life

I have been thinking a lot lately about life and how quickly the weeks pass.
Sometimes it seems as though the hours pass slowly but the weeks have a way
of passing so very quickly. Every once in a while I need to step back, 
take a breath and sit still for a while and make sure I'm not missing my life.
Several days a week I have the opportunity to visit with cancer patients and
their families. Some days it can be so overwhelming and others days
it can be such a source of strength. Not too long ago I was wearing their shoes.
Only they don't know it. I rarely share my story. I mostly listen.
There is something about the people I visit. 
Because of cancer they are forever changed. Mostly for the better.
A gentleman comes in often as his wife is receiving chemo. 
He always offers to buy me a truffle. He then buys 10 more and lays them
on the counter. He wants me to give them to anyone who could use a little chocolate.
He often leaves 5$ or 10$ for the person behind him.
One day he remarked, "I'm not a rich man, I'm only a school teacher. Money doesn't matter anymore. I finally get what matters most in life." 

This is what matters..

This was taken last fall. Time for a new photo as we are missing 2 baby boys.
The little girls are all wearing Kristen's beads.

 These little darlings love to play dress up. 
Every girl should have the chance to dress up like a princess.
After all, I'm a princess, you're a princess, all girls are. 

I spend several nights a week with my mother.
I mess around with my laptop. I often find pictures I haven't seen for a while.
I just found these from August 2009.
Kristen's final trip to Half Moon Lake.
You'll have look closely to see Kristen sitting at table with her box of Better Cheddars.

Here she is again with her sisters who adore her.

Earlier tonight I had the opportunity to attend 
a meeting for the women in our church.
It was very inspiring.
Us women are too hard on ourselves.
Don't miss your life.
Enjoy it
Love it
Live it

Monday, September 22, 2014

Happy Fall Y'all

My favorite season begins today!
I love the colors of fall and the crisp air.
Life has still been crazy busy.
My mothers recovery is slow. Each day we hope that she will turn the corner.
I think tomorrow is the day!

A couple of thoughts for the day...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

angel moms and festival sneak peek

I met this cute lady at work today.
She was wearing a necklace with an angel wing.
I often wear a similar necklace. 
I commented on her necklace and she immediately told me about her son.
He drowned when he was 17 years old.
I told her about Kristen.
As she was leaving she turned and said,
"We'll never get over it will we? We just learn to live with it."
This lady was probably in her 70's, which means her son may have been gone for 50 years.
It doesn't matter if it has been 4 years or 50 years.
We will NEVER get over the loss of our child.

On a lighter note...
there are only 75 days until The Festival of Trees!
We are donating several trees this year.
We are doing a "Frozen" themed tree for Kristen.
We have been gathering things to go under the tree.

I received a generous donation of 9 new Madame Alexander fashion dolls.
We are also donating a tree that will include these dolls.
It's going to be fabulous!

We are also donating a Cinderella tree
and a Belle tree which will include these porcelain dolls

We have several other trees in the works.
I can't wait to share.

"Please know that grief is the natural by-product of love. One cannot selflessly love another person and not grieve at his suffering or eventual death. The only way to avoid the grief would be to not experience the love; and it is love that gives life its richness and meaning. Hence, what a grieving parent can expect to receive from the Lord in response to earnest supplication may not necessarily be an elimination of grief so much as a sweet reassurance that, whatever his or her circumstances, one’s child is in the tender care of a loving Heavenly Father.'

~Lance B. Wickman

We march on...

Monday, September 15, 2014

so this just happened...

I stopped by the cemetery.
The sun was setting and dusk was settling in.
Sometimes there are strange people close by so I chose to sit in my car.
I rolled the window down and did what I always do when I
visit Kristen's grave. I start singing
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine..."
Just as I finished the song the red and silver windmill that I had
previously placed on Kristen's grave started spinning.
No big deal, right? Well maybe not if the the wind had been blowing,
but it wasn't. I even checked the nearby flag and it stood still.
The leaves on the trees were also still.
 Everything was still except that little windmill. 

This little girl of mine still knows how to warm my heart.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

baby blessing and room with a view

Today at church the newest baby boy in our family was blessed.
In our religion we believe that every member of the church of Christ
having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, 
who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ,
 and bless them in his name.

He is such a sweet little guy.
We love him.

He had a little sharp fingernail and scratched himself, poor thing.
We are loving those cheeks and those chubby little rolls on his legs.

After church we all gathered for food and fun.

 This boy finally got the brother he's been hoping for.

Room with a view...

My cute mom had been feeling sick for the past few days.
I took her into the doctors office this past Thursday.
He couldn't find anything that would cause the symptoms she'd been having.
Saturday morning I stopped in to check on her and she was still feeling dizzy.
I think we both knew that she needed to be seen again.
I took her to the ER and we discovered that she had had a stroke.
One of the main arteries leading to  her brain still appeared to be narrowing and
possibly clogged. We were transferred by ambulance to another hospital.
She does have a room with a view, which all of the kids have loved .

These little ones stood beside her bed and sang and danced.

I stopped at the cemetery just as night was setting in.
The geese were everywhere.
It was peaceful.

Kristen taught me that you truly never know what tomorrow will bring.
Tell those you love that you love them, better yet, show them.
Be happy today.