Brittney is my darling, wonderful and thoughtful sister-in-law. There are many reasons that I love Brit. The first and most selfish is because she splits the teasing of Nate and Paul so it is not all focused on me alone! I miss her terribly when she isn't at the family get togethers. Other reasons to love Brittney are... She is always cheerful. (I know the picture doesn't show that but blame that on my picture taking skills not her!) She is kind and considerate. She is always willing to help others and her emails, phone calls and visits are so thoughtful. She is a fantastic wife and mom. We all like Mark better after Brittney. She is always full of great ideas on family life and it is fun to talk to her about family experiences. I am so, so glad that she is in my family. She is a great sister and friend.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Once again I am forever grateful to my siblings for helping us pull off this affair! Haley's movie was the most darling thing I have ever seen. I will have to get a copy and post it because it truly is amazing. Sara, Jenn and Alli did all the running around and helped set up all the decorations and pictures for the reception and dinner. It is amazing how much these people can get done in a few days time! Love them all!
The couple are honeymooning in Hawaii and we are grateful they are so far away because Mitch, Haley and Brad showed up at their hotel and scared them by pounding on their door when they were still in town on Friday night! Note to all you single folks... don't tell your brothers where you are staying for your honeymoon!
Monday, April 14, 2008
On Thursday the 10th little Joe turned 2! Some of the things I love about him are....
- How he says "tank you" for everything.
- His fake sleeping when I go to get him out of the car.
- How well he naps!
- How well he eats!
- His excitement about Dad coming home everyday.
- The way he was taught by his G-pa Rencher to do "rock and hammer" and how he did it to the end and beyond and now does it to his picture.
- How he loves to wear his new crocs even to bed.
- How he thinks that everytime I sit on the floor it must be time to read and how every time Dad sits on the floor it is time to wrestle.
- How he calls Tricia "Mom" (he can get anything from her)
- How snuggly he still is.
- How he folds his arms to pray and how he wants to pray everytime he has a snack or even if the boys already prayed.
I hope everyone had a great weekend. I did. Eventually...
- I had to teach the YW about The Blessings of the Priesthood in the Home. thanks.
- Andrew taught on Enos being taught from his father in Gospel Doctrine.
- Brad had to talk to the YM on the Resurrection and
- Mom (this is the obscure one) talked on the Allegory of the Olive Tree (WHAT?) They were talking about the fruit that righteous branches will bear and how that would relate to them (the young single adults) Anyway they discussed that righteous children could be a fruit of righteous living... Mom.... righteous children... tears.
Pam: I don't care what they say about me. I just want to eat. Which I realize is a lot to ask for. At a dinner party.
- Pam: What a cute bench. Michael: Thanks, that's my bed. Jan has, uh, some space issues so I crawl up on that puppy. Jim: Really? 'Cause it seems pretty narrow...and short. Michael: It's actually a lot bigger than it seems. Look at this. Jan: See? He fits perfectly.
- Jim: Michael and Jan seem to be playing their own separate game, and it's called, "Let's See How Uncomfortable We Can Make Our Guests." And they're both winning. So I am going to make a run for it.
I have to tell you one of my new favorite shows that is actually clean enough to recommend to Mom is Eli Stone. Tough lawyer... hallucinations (many musical in nature) ... doctor/brother tells him brain aneurysm.... don't tell anyone... Acupuncturist/spiritual advisor calls them visions... fiance... outspoken assistant doesn't like her... boss is fiance's dad... new cute lawyer believes in him...I like it!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
- I felt in my heart of hearts from the day after Dad told us about the cancer that this cancer was going to take him. Of all my family I felt I was the only who felt this way and it was a horrible I-have-no-faith, I-am-a-pessimist feeling. I believed that because I knew this that when the cancer did take him it would be easier for me. I was terribly wrong.
- For six months all of the family was praying and pleading that Dad would get well and we always would add Thy will be done. We wanted whatever the Lord wanted for Dad and therefore our family. I believe that His will was done but I must say that it is much easier said than done.
- I believed that because my dad has been sick for 7-8 years with this cancer (unbeknown to us all) he started to withdraw from us a bit. We were used to him not being around sometimes. I thought that would help prepare us for him being gone. I was wrong.
- I truly believe until we have lost someone close to us it is hard to understand the term mourn with those that mourn. I will do better in the future.
- I have learned that it is ok to cry when I am sad.
- My testimony has grown trememdously. I know that there is a Comforter that we are entitled to if we will but ask. I know that the Spirit World is just a step away, closer than we could imagine. I know that Christ lives and that we will see our loved ones again.
- My heart breaks for those who go through this experience without the knowledge of the plan of salvation.
- This is hard, really hard.
- Laughter still comes. Talking is good. Everyday gets a bit better. Laundry still sucks. (Pardon my french!)
Monday, April 7, 2008
- I can stay in pj's all day Sunday.
- Jenn's Conference morning breakfast. Great tradition. Delicious!
- Solemn Assembly. I love standing in my turn to sustain the prophet and the twelve.
- The music. I only regret that I don't get to hear the all male choir during Priesthood! Love the mens voices!
- We went to the Conference Center and there is nothing like actually sitting at the feet of the prophet with Mom on a Saturday afternoon! It is wonderful to see facial expressions of all the brethren as others talk. I love how tender President Monson was with his wife as he walked in and out of the meeting. I love standing silently when the prophet walks in.
- I love the men going to the Priesthood session. I don't know why I just think it is so cool to see all the YM and grown men heading off to Priesthood. It makes me feel that all is right with the world. ]
- I enjoy the talks on pornography because I don't have a problem with that. I love to be able to say "Yeah, I'm doing great! No problem at all!"
- I squirm at the others talks when I think "Holy cow, did Mom tell them to say that!"
- I love laughing. I am glad that our prophet has a sense of humor. I look forward to the jokes and get really upset if I miss them!
- I always feel spiritually fed after! I look forward to reading the talks so I can be fed again.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Through the next few hours amazing miracles transpired. The blessing of having all six of his kids with him at this time would have made my Dad very happy. It was a miracle that we were all able to be there. Most of the grandkids were even able to come give him a final "Rock". His sons blessed him and we knelt and prayed together as a family. I held his hand which had once been so strong and now was so tired. We talked quietly and we were laughing and crying and reminiscing together when he finally gave up the fight. He died very peacefully at 5:30 in the afternoon.
Mom really wanted to do the funeral on Saturday so the next few days were packed full of picking out the casket, writing the obituary, putting together the program, calling many friends and family members, putting together the displays, making the DVD, and practicing songs. Keeping busy postpones the grief until nighttime. Nights are hard. The Comforter was with us so strongly that it was difficult to leave each other. I wish I felt that close to the Spirit all the time.
The viewing and the funeral were so comforting. I was amazed at how many people told me that my dad was their best friend. I learned a lot about him as others would tell me stories. I gained strength from the love and support of others. There was a lot of laughter and joy there for me amidst the sorrow.
This week I have been grateful for so many things.
- My righteous mom is so full of love and of the Spirit and she is my strength and example. Her spirit and faith fills our home and each one of us in turn.
- My husband is my rock and gets me through the hard nights, lonely moments and makes me laugh.
- My brothers are my pillars on whom I can always rely. They are all that is fine and right and true. Dad is proud of each of them.
- My sisters are part of my heart and understand me without explanation.
- My sister-in-laws and future brother-in-law are the bricks of our family. They have been absolutely amazing. They are there for not only their spouses but they are the action behind all the planning and details. They did everything to help make things go smoothly and I am so grateful for them.
- My in-law family are my own personal back-up family. They have helped with phone calls, cards, flowers, baby-sitting and just letting me cry on their shoulders.
- My extended family for their support. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins are the mortar which held us all together. Many travelled long distances to come to the viewing and the funeral. Their hugs and smiles and tears helped us go on. Family is amazing. I love them all.
- My friends have been fantastic. I cried with them the most! Their comfort was not expected which made it that much more powerful. I love them so much and consider myself very lucky to have them in my life.
- The Comforter who is real and powerful.
- My Savior and my Heavenly Father. They live. They love me. They love my dad. Together they have made a plan which makes it possible for me to not only see my dad again but for me to live with him forever. I cannot express the joy that knowledge brings. I find it amazing how my testimony is stronger than ever as we go through this process.
Lastly, I am grateful for Dad. He was a good man. He loved his family. He had a firm testimony. He served his fellow men. He taught me correct principles. He taught me to laugh. He took out my splinters. He listened to me sing and supported me at my concerts. He welcomed my friends into our home. He worked hard to give us nice things and take us fun places then he stressed about traveling! He taught me about knots. He taught me to love our family history. He couldn't stand to teach me to drive a stick shift! He worried more about me than the car after I got in an accident. He was a great support to the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. He helped wire my house. He danced with me in the kitchen. He was my dad and I will miss him.