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!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

candy from heaven

Among the business of the season and my heart full of sadness
I found this...

These are chocolate jelly rings. To some, probably not a big deal.
But to me, HUGE. 
My dad loved jelly rings. 
It has probably been 40 years since I have seen one with chocolate in the middle.
My dad and I used to fight over these treats. Occasionally, you could find
one in the entire bag. When I saw these in the store I'm pretty sure I stood 
right there and cried. I happily scooped me up a pound or two. 
I told one of my daughters that my dad sent Christmas candy from heaven. 
She joked with me saying, 
"Yip, I'm sure grandpa has been hanging out at Sweet's Candy Company
filling those jelly rings with chocolate just for you."
I am so very thankful for the memories I have,
for the times when I need them the most they are there.
The jelly rings are simple yet profound.
A reminder to my heart that all is well and that my parents
and Kristen are very much aware of me.
My own personal manna.

I wasn't sure how Christmas would play out this year. The first Christmas without
my mom. Christmas Eve was always my parents night. 
Dinner was prepared, family gathered together and gifts given. 
A family tradition for as long as I've lived.
When some of my children started asking,
"What are we going to do on Christmas Eve?"
I pretty much ignored them. 
I didn't even want to think about it. 
I decided to leave it open.
I didn't want to plan anything.
I planned to just roll with it and take it as it came.
I did a little early morning grocery shopping, just as my mother and I 
always did. I made a batch of sugar cookies. 
Finally I decided it was okay to make a bit of a plan.
I told all the kids I was going to the cemetery at 6.
They could meet me there if they wanted.
Everyone showed up and we sang and left lights and candles
for my parents and Kristen.

There was this fabulous tree at the cemetery this year.
It lit up the entire place and was most beautiful.

I returned to the cemetery Christmas morning to find this fresh 
blanket of snow.

I have a simple reminder for the year to come.
Time is fleeting.
The days may pass slowly,
but the weeks soon turn to months.
Living in the moment is sometimes difficult
but so very necessary.
Make memories.
Someday you might need them.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

grandma's party and her tree

For the past thirty something years we have had a progressive dinner.
Last year some decided that the group had gotten too large.
This year grandma fixed up her garage and had the party there.
It was great fun.
Grandma served a delicious roast beef dinner.
We all sang songs as Santa  (aka; Ty) made his appearance.

The baby boys weren't to thrilled

Grandma always has to join the fun

Santa and his brother

Santa and his mamma 

Santa and his Grandpa

Grandma's Tree

For as long as I can remember Grandma has been flocking her own tree and
adorning it with birds. She carefully walks through her yard in search 
for the perfect log or rock to be placed under the tree,
This year it looks as though she had two trees nestled together.
However, it is just one tree.
She gathers the kids together and tells stories about the birds.
She tells how she opened the door and these birds flew in and landed right
there on her tree.  
Sitting around grandmas tree is definitely one of our favorite things.

I was sitting on the couch and heard this little one announce,
"I love sugar!"
I turned around and saw this.
I love sugar too.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

recitals and ornaments

Two of the little ones had a dance recital this past week.
If you ask them, it's not dance, it's ballet.
They are both so adorable and had a fabulous time.

We were in the balcony so the pictures aren't the greatest.

I love Christmas ornaments!
I'm pretty sure my mom is the one who got me started on the whole ornament thing. 
Through the years I had given my mom several ornaments, so this past
year I received all of those back. Yesterday we had a Christmas party with my
family and I decided it would be fun to share the love. 
I packaged up some of my moms ornaments and gave one to each of my
nieces and nephews. I think they liked them. 

Several years ago when my grandma passed away I asked my dad If I could please
have one of her Christmas ornaments. Because of the situation he was not able to get me one.
To my surprise, a special family member was able to get me not one ornament,
but several boxes. I have treasured these ornaments. 
Every year they are the first thing on my tree. My children love 
grandmas ornaments too. I am so thankful for this seemingly small gift.
These beautiful tear drop ornaments come in
blue, green, red and gold. 
These ornaments as well as my new received ornaments from my mother
will be treasured for many many years.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Oh Christmas Tree

It's that time of the year again!
Festival of Trees has arrived.
As a board member, I work all year for this event.
Every single penny raised helps children at 
Primary Children's Hospital.
Last year over 2.3 million dollars was raised.
It's pretty much Christmas all year long for our family.
We LOVE it!
This year our family has donated several trees to the auction area.

I decorated this tree in memory of Kristen.

Ryan and Morgan decorated this tree also in
memory of Kristen.

Kamie decorated this tree in memory of my mom.

Lisa decorated this tree.
Her niece made those darling dolls.

Katy decorated this cute tree.

This past weekend Christmas on Temple Square began.
Rich and I are still serving there and had the opportunity to
host when these 2 came with the Children's Choir that they belong to.

Monday, November 2, 2015

more halloween

So each and every year grandma has this really awesome Halloween party.
I think the best part of the party is seeing what costume grandma 
will come up with.
This year she didn't disappoint...

Dr. Shots, AKA grandpa, had fun giving out shot to all of the kids.

3 witches

Best costume ever...

3 cats of Halloween

The baby boy and awesome sister were in town so 
newborn pictures were a must