Sunday, January 18, 2009

All Things Shall Work Together

I think I have mentioned a few times how I feel strongly that lessons in my life are learned one at a time in a concentrated manner. The same pattern continues.

This past week, I have learned from the strong examples of others.

I don't know if I have ever mentioned my first mission companion, Carlene Okimoto. Approximately two years ago, I was looking over the mission website and ran across something that surprised me . I found her name listed in the "in memoriam" section of the site. She had passed away not long before. She had left her husband with seven children; the youngest a newborn only a day old.
I had learned of this man she married, back when we were companions. We walked along the streets of Aomori, Japan talking one evening, getting to know each other. She asked me if I had anyone waiting for me at home. I told her of the man whose story I, ironically, will share with you next. She told me of Vaughn--a young man back home in Hawaii, who she hoped she would marry. She followed her plan, and I was happy to receive her wedding announcement after I returned home.

Needless to say, I was extremely saddened and shocked to hear of Carlene's death, but I was more concerned about her husband and seven children. How would they survive without their mother? What would become of them?

Next story, as we walked down the street that night in Aomori, I told Carlene about a young man "back home." He was really serving a mission too. He entered the MTC the day I left it. We met up at the Salt Lake City airport as he had arrived shortly there before, and I was on my out to Seattle and then Japan. He had been a member of the church for only a year and had waited that year in order to be called to serve the Lord.

To make a long story a bit shorter, he returned home about eight months after me. I had met Z and we had just started dating. I knew, on my first date with him, that Z was the man I would marry. When this young man returned home, I remember sitting out front of my parents house with him and him asking me to make a choice. Knowing what I knew, I had to turn him down.

He went to BYU and met a young woman, whom he married. There is so much more to this story that I could and probably should share, but I will save that for another time. They neded up having four children together.

I heard very little else about him until I got a phone call from my older brother who lives in southern Utah. At the time of this phone call, my brother was working for a funeral home. He had attended a funeral for a young mother who was found dead in her home one evening. No one knew the cause of her death, but it seemed to have something to do with a new medication she was taking, from what I understood. Her husband had returned home form work that evening and found her dead--at least this is the story I was told. He was left to raise the four children--alone.

My brother reported that this young father, who spoke at his wife's funeral, looked so familiar to him. Then he realized it was this young man of whom I had spoken to Carlene.

Again, the feeling of "what will they do?" "How will they survive?"

In these past two weeks, I have been able to connect with these two men. It has been a miracle in my life. We talked about where life had taken them through these hard times and how things had turned out.

Last night, we had the adult session of our ward conference. Our stake president spoke about love. It was powerful and inspirational. There was one scripture that he shared that stuck out to me and leaves me putting more pieces into the puzzle of the lesson that the Lord is teaching me right now. That scripture is Doctrine & Covenants 90:24.

I would propose that these men did just as this scripture admoninshes. I have no doubt that they did.

At this point in time, they are both happily remarried with new little children from these new marriages. Things have turned out beautifully. The thing that made my heart the happiest was when both of them reported that they, as they look back now, can see how the hand of the Lord was there, guiding them through the hard times to the joy they now experience.

I am grateful for the examples of those who ride the waves of life clinging to their board, which is the Savior. I want to follow this example in my own life.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I was expecting the results from the Downs Syndrome test last Monday or Tuesday. I finally got this this Monday. Hey, only a week late. It ends up that according to this test, which they say is 91% accurate, that this baby has a 1 in 586 chance of having Downs. Sounds like fairly good odds to me. I'll take it. I was supposed to have an additional blood test done yesterday but the doctor told me to go home and not to drive myself.

The thing is, on the way to the appointment, I could see that my sight was starting to have problems which got worse until I arrived at the clinic. I knew a migraine was on the horizon. I wasn't sure whether I should just get myself there or pull over until it cleared. I tried to call Z, but he was in a meeting. I just kept driving. I got there fine.

Everything was great at the appointment. After we went through all the normal stuff, I mentioned the migraine to the doctor. She checked my eyes and said there was a "little jig," so I should call and see about getting a ride home. After that, she turned to me with this compassionate look on her face and said, "What can I do for you?" She was so great! She wrote me up a prescription, turned off the lights in the room (all but one little one) and delivered the prescription to the pharmacy herself, telling me to lay down, she'd be back in a minute. I tried again to reach Z and was in luck. He's taking to the role of knight in shining armor very well lately.

When I got to the pharmacy, it was all filled. I bought it, wishing I could cut one in half and just take it, but I couldn't, so I waited. Z showed up, I told him about the pills, he cut it in half with his teeth for me (Ahhh. How sweet.) I took the pill and was out for about three hours after that.

Today, I have a little bit of a cloudy feeling around my head, but the headache is gone. I'm grateful for a wonderful doctor and a knight of a husband.

So, I'll do the additional blood work later this week.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Girl Scout Cookies, Anyone?

This girl is selling cookies if anyone who lives near us is interested.

I know that the years we haven't had a Girl Scout, we haven't had anyone come by to sell to us. We were so sad to miss out on the thin mints and Samoas, so we are happy this year that we've found a troop for her. We don't have to wait for someone to come around peddling this year.

If you don't have anyone to sell to you, please let us know. We'd be happy to fill your cookie desires whatever they may be.

This year, the cookies cost $4/box and here are the flavors that are available. Thank you!

The Beast

This is what's been in the back of my mind this week.

Here's what on my mind this morning (only you have to picture Boston Cream Pie flavor). What can I say? Give a woman a break.

Had a coupon for toaster strudel (say that five times fast) yesterday. I've never purchased it before, but I just had to try it. That's the company's reason for sending out those coupons anyway, isn't it? To drum up interest? Well, let's just say I became interested very quickly--especially when DJ saw the Boston Cream ones. I have a real weakness for Bavarian cream. I was honestly going to buy these for the kids. I now notice there are only six in a package, so how am I ever going to get one. I guess it being Saturday morning, there's bound to be one or more children sleeping in. The early bird gets the toaster strudel, wouldn't you think? I've been up since 6-ish, so I'm definitely a winner. Those later birds won't even know what they've missed.

T's sitting here with me saying, "beffast." I asked him if he was hungry and if his tummy was growling. He responded with one word, "Bear."

As for that large thing that's been driving around in the back of my mind all week, it's still there in Georgia. We went and looked at one at a local dealership last night. As I went to sleep last night, I lay there wondering if I could picture myself driving such a large beast. The one we looked at last night was more like a shuttle bus (but it had seating for 12). The one we're interested at is for ten and not as tall. No matter what I drive it's going to be the family bus, so I guess I'd better get used to it.

Z and I are now talking about flying out to get it....if we buy it....and driving it back home cross country. Being a girl who has really not seen much of the world, that would be very exciting for me (not to mention spending a few blissful days with the man I love), but that really opens up a whole new set of problems, and I don't know if I even want to go there.

Anyway, that's what's been in the works in the madhouse. Gonna go feed the bear some toaster strudel, which he, at two, is not going to appreciate anyway, at least not in the way he should...hmm...maybe he would like some cereal instead. I think I know someone else who would enjoy that strudel much more than he.....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It Could Be an Accident...

I hate this tree!

I think it is a pretty well-known fact that I really do HATE this tree. I call it the Dr. Seuss tree and would eventually like to chop it down, burn it and replace this space with hydrangea bushes. Don't you think that would be lovely?

As I'm sitting here in the front room preparing a portion of tonight's Mutual activity, the sky is grey, the rain is falling and the wind is much so that the little tree is bending. Hmm. Brings some evil thoughts to mind. If I were to just go give it a little extra push, Z'd think it was an accident, wouldn't he? He wouldn't even question it, would he?

There are a few things he holds on to from this house in its original form--that lovely tree is one of them. Sigh.....

Monday, January 5, 2009

Anybody Going to Roswell, Georgia?

One of the most startling realities of having a new baby is the fact that we'll have to purchase a new car. We've found just the one we want, but it's all the way in Roswell, Georgia. *sigh* They will ship it to us, but we don't want to buy it sight unseen, so if you know anyone who's heading out to Georgia any time soon or if you have a good, trustworthy friend who'd test drive the thing for us, let me know.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

So Many Things to Blog About

I'm down to about six things on my to do list. The six things I'm dreading doing the most. They wouldn't be so hard if I'd just do them. Oh, how many times have I said that to my children when facing things they don't want to do? I've even accomplished a couple projects that I didn't have deadlines for until July. That's how much I don't want to do these other things. So, how do you do it? How do you get yourself doing things you dread? I could really use some ideas.

So, to avoid for a few more minutes, I thought I'd blog a little. There are two things recently that I've wanted to write about because they're new to me and, I think, pretty amazing.

One of the realities I faced when I was first pregnant was that I had parted with all of my maternity clothes. In the past, when Z said we were done having kids (I think he's said this every time so far), and I knew we weren't (people told me they just "knew" when they were done, and I didn't get any such feeling), I smuggled a couple bags up on the top shelf in the garage. My friend Rory was kind enough to lend me hers and even bring them to me. Thank you, Rory! It's nice to have them.

The first thing I wanted to write about is a something I bought.

A woman, on a message board I was reading about maternity clothes, wrote about Bella Bands and how she got her regular jeans to last nearly her entire pregnancy because of them. I got on Ebay and found a great deal on some and bought them. This was mid-November. They arrived about three days later. I LOVE them! Not sure when these came to be, but I'm thrilled to get to wear the clothes I worked so hard to fit into better a little longer. For anyone who is currently pregnant, or plans to be in the future, I highly recommend these. If you want my Ebay connection, just let me know.

The second thing is that I had no idea that they now do a first trimester screening for Downs Syndrome (the baby in the photo isn't mine). In the past, it had always been the Alpha Fetal Protein blood test run at 16 weeks. When I read the statistic that said there's a 1/75 chance for a woman over 40 to have a Downs Syndrome baby, I felt that I'd want to prepare myself in any way possible to raise a child these characteristics, so I opted for the test. My mom had two children after she turned 40, and as far as I dare to estimate, we're pretty normal. Some days that might be pushing it, but for today, "normal" is a safe word.

I went in on Tuesday morning. They did an ultrasound--what a cute little face I saw. The kids say that the photos look like an insect or an alien. I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

Anyway, in the ultrasound they look at the fluid that lies between the skin and another layer of skin. Such a tiny area. It's amazing! It's normal to have some fluid but too much is a sign of possible Downs, so they do a blood test as well. If the level is over 1 ml., they become concerned. I had the blood test run immediately following. I will get the results early this coming week.

I appreciate smart people, and I love when they share their brilliance with the world. From clothing problems to health issues--I'm grateful for creative people.

Friday, January 2, 2009

What's on Your List Today?

I finally sat down yesterday to face reality. I have LOVED every minute of having the hubby and kids around for THREE weeks--yeah snow!!! The extended Christmas break was a real great Christmas gift, and I'm dreading everyone going back to school on Monday morning.

I sat down yesterday and attempted to organize my life a little bit and was shocked at just how many things I have been avoiding or forgetting completely. As I'm writing this, I'm remember more. Ugh! I'm trying very hard to not overwhelm myself, so after listing all the things that came to my mind--they extend all the way to July--I put due dates to them and prioritized them.

Yesterday I worked on A1 on the list and got finished up to B4. I rewrote and reprioritized the list for today. Here it is:

  • A1 Read chapter 2 (for my current class)
  • A2 Tutor A (also for my current class)
  • A3 Laundromat
  • A4 Grocery shopping (not looking forward to it today. Can't find my Food Day)
  • A5 Go through boxes from my closet (stuff kids left laying around--Going to D.I.)
  • A6 Take tree down
  • B1 Wrap A's birthday presents
  • B2 Make cupcakes
  • B3 Check prices on Franklin planners
  • B4 Finish garage
  • B5 Take stuff to D.I. truck
  • B6 Send package to Rhonda
  • C1 Finish lesson 1
  • C2 Plan Blue and Gold
  • C3 Finalize 2009 teaching plan
  • D1 Create routine for 2009
  • D2 Call re. VTing
  • E1 Clean carpets
  • F1 Create updated school plan
  • F2 Plan family reunion
  • F3 Organize files
  • G1 New car
  • G2 Figure out what's needed for baby
  • G3 Continue to work on blanket (I've started one. It's blue.)

There, that's my list. The A,B,Cs signify each task's due date.

Yesterday, I created the list at about 5pm. Between 5 and 11pm, I finished washing all the laundry, tutored A and complete 9 lessons (I only have 10 left and a final for this class), recycled my coupons that expired 12/31/08, created a grocery list and found accompanying coupons, read with B, and created a new family scripture reading plan for 2009. All-in-all, a fairly productive evening to make up for my slothfulness. We'll see how much I get done today. Got to make up for all the "sick time" I've taken.

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