Friday, March 18, 2011

Barbara's Gift of Love...

This is my best friend/sister Barbara Harris. She is not my biological sister, but my "Soul Sista" . We first met 22 years ago while living in the same ward in Mesa, Arizona. She was my visiting teacher when I realized I was expecting Roman 2 months after giving birth to Riley...they would be 11 months apart. I cried...a LOT. Barbara had the same experience and gave me permission to be sad and to cry, because once I held my baby everything would be okay. She was right.
She was with me through that experience ( as well as traveling out to California to help out when Royal was born )
A short time after Roman was born, Barbara had a tubal pregnancy that had added complications and she ended up having an emergency hysterectomy. We went through that together. Needless to say - we have gone through a lot of happy, and sad times. Depression, skin cancer (twice), kidney failure, dialysis, kidney rejection (twice) and finally successful kidney transplant. we have gained weight and lost weight, gone grey and colored our hair... but mostly we have shared our hearts and supported each other without fail.
Barbara has many , many talents. She makes the most beautiful cards, jewelry and quilts. She is infamous in her family for her quilts. This Christmas she surprised me with one of her beautiful quilts made with Ladybug fabric. It is the most soft and warm, yummy quilt I LOVE it!!! And I love her.
Heavenly Father has blessed me in so many ways, but one of my favorite blessings are the friends He has placed in my life.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Virginia & Washington DC

A bench outside of the graves of President Madison's Family

The Air Force Memorial
(both Ray's Dad & mine served in the Air Force)


the Smithsonian

A gentle new friend.

One of the beautiful random roads we explored.

The Vietnam Memorial

In September we drove Royal up to Oregon and dropped him off at college. Our baby...and the first to go away to college. Wahhhhh! I miss him!Yet I am so proud of him, he set the goal to play basketball for college and he is doing just that.

( Arlington Memorial Cemetery...Reverent)

When we returned, I kept busy helping to direct out ward's youth Roadshow..."Dickens Unplugged". We had 3 weeks to put it together and perform it. Unfortunately I was not going to be at the performance. Ray & I had already planned a trip to Virginia & Washington DC. It was an amazing trip...and it was also really fun to be laying in bed, at midnight,( time difference) and receive text messages and phone calls saying we had won first place for our Roadshow. That was so cool!!!!

While in Virginia, Ray and I spent an entire day driving around to small towns, and going through antique stores. At first we went there because I love antiques; however, it soon became exciting for Ray as well. He collects old coins, and every store we went in, he found old coins that sold for really cheap. He would then check his catalog for it's value. He spent about 85.00, but had in value over 200.00. He was loving it! I found lots of beautiful things as well, mostly gifts for my children and friends.

We also turned down any road that looked intriguing...which is how we discovered this beautiful covered bridge. Also, for meals, we consulted our GPS. Haha seriously! We entered the restaurant sight and looked at the list of places in the area.If we found a name that intrigued us, we ate there. The places were all mom & pop places, and without fail, we ate some really good food. The only chain eatery we went to was while on our guided tour of Washington DC ( and that meal was yucky ).

The tour of DC was incredible!!!!!! From seeing all the memorials to standing in the Jefferson Memorial reading those beautiful inspiring words, from walking the mall to the Lincoln Memorial and touring the Library of Congress. WOW what an incredible country we live in, and those founding fathers were foreordained, I have no doubt.

We also went to the Washington DC Temple. Ray's mission president, Keith Wilcox, was one of the Architects, so it is special to Ray. Our family has always had this tradition when vacationing...the first person to see someone from home, gets a dollar. At the temple I got the dollar. Elder Earl C. Tingey is the temple president and we saw each other there in the hall. We became friends when I worked at the Church Office Building. That was a fun surprise.
Another thing we did was a Civil War Tour. That was so enjoyable and heart breaking. To hear the stories of bravery and of tragedy

So many people asked what was my favorite thing we saw or did. The answer would be... "D All of the Above". There was not a single second we didn't enjoy. I guess my very favorite part was being alone with Ray the whole time. Ray and I spend a lot of time together anyway, one would think we would tire of being together so much, but we don't. Maybe making up for lost time from years past when other things pulled at our attention. We look forward to our next trip...which will probably be traveling to Oregon to watch Royal play basketball.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Teri's Poem...

Early Sunday morning, Mother's Day, I woke up with words racing through my heart. They are the words to a poem for a very dear friend. Here is her story...
I have a very dear friend, Teri (Wetzel) Ames. She was my bestest friend in high school. After school we kept in contact a bit, then as life does sometimes, we drifted apart. As a matter of fact I think the last time I saw her was at her father's funeral. Then our family moved to California and we lost track of each other. While I was there struggling with loneliness, that turned into deep, dark depression, Teri was fighting a worse enemy.
Greg and Teri Ames have two sons, the oldest Chris was born on June 1, 1983. Thier second son, Geoff was born June 30, 1986. When Chris was eight years old, Greg and Teri began noticing something was "diffrent" about him. In December of '92 he was diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)(">), which is a genetic X-Linked disease. It is passed from the mother, and boys are more commonly affected. (Teri's biological mother died in the 60's, at age 38 from , what then thought to be MS. After diagnosing the boys, it is now realized she was an effected carrier of this gene). Geoff was tested, and it was discovered he also had the disease. Two years later, on January 9, 1994 Chris succumbed to this terrible disease. But Greag and Teri still had Geoff facing the same route, and two years after, on September 28, 1996 they lost him as well.
During the time both boys were with them ,the Make-A-Wish Foundation stepped in. and granted their precious boys their wishes. Chris wanted a horse;however, Make-A-Wish (MAW) does not grant animals- so instead Chris received riding lessons, a saddle and both boys recieved complete cowboy outfits. Geoff's wish was to go to DisneyWorld. .. and go they did , IN STYLE!!! They were treated like royalty- never waiting in lines and staying in a place called "Give Kids the World". Beautiful memories and lasting friendships were formed throughout both these wishes.
One would think it easy to become bitter after losing both children to death, but not Teri. She faced the challenge, with tears, a broken heart and most importantly faith in our Savior Jesus Christ and in a loving Father in Heaven. Prayer is her link to hope. Her faith in promises of a resurrection, made possible by Jesus Christ, have helped her continue to get through the loss. She has taken what she learned and experienced and used it to serve others. There are other families going through similar heart-aches and she talks with them, encouraging them to reach out to God to help them through their grief. She also volunteers with Make-A-Wish, helping other families make precious memories in tragic times. She amazes, and humbles me, with the depth of love she has in her heart, and how she shares it with so many.
That is not to say she doesn't have her difficult days. Days when she misses her boys deeply( which is every day). I can not imagine what she must go through when she hears other people's children are graduating from high school, getting married, having grandchildren, knowing she will not experience these moments that seem such a normal part of mortal life. She, again, reaches deep into her faith that she will reunite with her two perfect sons. Death does not seperate forever mothers and sons, fathers and sons. One of the days I knew must be difficult for Teri was Mother's Day. and that is how it began...
As I was going to bed the night before Mother's Day, I was saying my prayers. I prayed that Heavenly Father would send an extra amount of love and comfort to her on Mother's Day. That she would be reminded that He is ever mindful of her and her precious sons... that she , as a mother, has sacrificed greatly. Please send her love and comfort. I woke up the next morning and a poem came to my mind- a poem written from her her...for her. I wrote it down, but honestly I was afraid to send it to her. The place in a mother's heart for her Angel children is a sacred place, and I was afraid of approaching uninvited. Again I prayed, that if it was indeed from Heavenly Father, she would accept it with his love. Because of her loving, tender heart she did. She has given me permission to share it. If Teri and Greg's story has touched you, or the poem does, I encourage you to go to the website and learn more about Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), and/or go to the MAW website. If there is anything you can do to donate or share, please do, so that other families can receive a beautiful experience amidst their heartache.
"Tell My Mom...Teri's Poem"
Lord, please tell my Mom I love her
Since I'm up here with you-
Show her in your tender ways,
like in the morning dew.
Show her in the sunrise-
to start her day out right-
And again at sunset, so she'll know it every night.
Let her feel my kisses
in the soft breeze-
In the mist of ocean waves
And in the scent of mountain trees.
Let her hear my loving words-
In hymns sung old and new-
Please tell my Mom I love her,
Since I'm up here with you

I love you Teri!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Mom...

On this Mother's Day I am thinking a lot about my mom, I do every year actually. She has been an inspiration to me throughout my life of enduring with gentleness, of accomplishing against the odds , of overcoming with grace and dignity. She married young, and did not finish her education. But, when my father became very ill and disabled, she returned to school, got her GED and then continued to learn, eventually receiving her Associates degree.
However, it is not just formal schooling that she continued to learn. She is very proficient on the computer and was the person in charge of the Scottsdale Community College class schedule book. A daunting task! But it was wonderful each year. She learned to paint and do needlepoint. She entered her work in the Fair and won awards for it. Recently, she has been learning to play Mah Joung, a complicated tile game. Her mind is ever working. I admire this quality about her and have tried to follow her example in it.
She has had hardships in her life, yet maintains a positive outlook on life. There is no bitterness for losing two husbands to death, for having to work most of her life or the conditions in which she has had to live at times in life. She takes each day as a gift and finds the good and gives to others her smile and warmth. I hope to be like her in that as well. To reach up and out rather than be looking inward selfishly.
My Mom has always had a gentle soul. I remember times , as a teenager, lying on her bed crying the typical teenage broken heart tears and feeling better because she just listened and softly stroked my hair as I cried and tried to express my feelings. I am trying to remember that, when my own children talk and I want to blurt out advise. Just listen and let them talk, answers often come that way. My mom is so wise.
I hope she has a wonderful Mother's Day and that my brothers treat her well. I wish I could be there to fix dinner and pamper her the way she deserves. But I am not, so I will try to be like her as my own children come over, and love them and be an example to them of gentleness, courage and dignity. I love you MOM!!!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It is April 28th and should be sunny, but it is not. There was snow this morning and will be a mix of rain/snow until this Saturday. This Thursady and Friday I am going to Women's Conference with three friends, Mechelle Stout, Cheri Hunt and Kim Watts. I was hoping for sunny /nice weather to walk around BYU campus with, but alas it will not be. Normally this would really bum me out; however, I recently had a perspective changing moment. I had posted a couple of weeks ago my sadness at another spring snow storm. Then I read a few moments later of my dear friend Teri Ames' nephew passing away from the same disease that she lost her own two sons to. ( A short time apart at that). Suddenly a little grey sky and cold no longer seemed so devasting. At least I had family around me under those grey skies.

So now, as I walk around the BYU campus, with wind chilling me and rain causing my hair do to flop I will remember that I am so blessed. Blessed to have a wonderful family to laugh with, cry with, grow with and learn so much with. I am blessed to have friends to support me, teach me, laugh with and remind me that life may sometimes have grey skies...but it also has sunshine, flowers, singing birds, and most of all life experiences to be enjoyed. I am so grateful to a loving, patient Heavenly Father who blesses me with a love I can't fully comprehend. For His tender mercies that remind me I am never alone, that He is always there to warm my soul. I am grateful, too for our Savior. His Atonement is power to over come and to heal. I have learned a broken heart and a contrite spirit is the key to unlock His power, love and mercy. Grey skies? What grey skies?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In the Beginning...

My first attempt at blogging has been...well, thank goodness for Ray and
his computer prowess!!! He helped me to get my darn decorative header
in place. Thanks love. Since it is now almost 1 a.m. I am going to quit for
now and continue this another day.


About Me

My photo
Married to Raymond for 26 years, with 5 children. Ryan , married to Sara, Megan, Riley, Roman and Royal