Friday, April 25, 2014

Goodbye public school

Hayden has his last day of public school in April. We said goodbye. No more morning routines. No more rushing out the door. No more fighting to get up and get ready. No more missing Hayden all day. No more homework for 5 hours at night. No more tears. No more sweat. No more frustrations. No more bullying. No more anxiety. No more stress. 

We have replaced it with early morning family scripture study. 

Lazy learning days at home. 

Some days staying in pj's all day. 

Schooling done by noon. More learning. Less stress. More knowledge. Less busywork. More joy. Less frustration. More peace. 

I'm grateful for the good teachers in Hayden's life. I'm grateful too that educators were honest and told us homeschooling would be better for Hayden. 

He is improving. He is happier. He is less stressed. And he is so grateful to be home that so far no fighting with me but willingness to learn and grow. 

Another abcess....pain

Who knew that abcesses and infections could cause as many problems as they do. 

I ended up back in the hospital last week with a horrible infection which was causing me problems in breathing, walking and causing lethargy. By Sunday night, Thomas and I were nervous enough to get a priesthood blessing. Afterwards, we both fell very inspired to go ahead and head to the hospital. 

It has been so long since anyone could convince me to go to ther ER. Too much has happened to explain everything of this rare disease to a new doctor. So usually I endure until I get ahold of my doctor. 

However, when the Savior tells me to go, I listen and obey. 

Once there, we did the normal explaining of my complications, diseases and diagnosis'.

The doctor was so nice. He started me on preventative measures... IV fluids, medications and blood work. All things I would need the following day for surgery. After spending the night in ER, we were released to the surgeons office. 

Poor Thomas, without any sleep, he headed in to work for a couple of hours in between the ER and my surgeon appointment. 

The surgeon looked at my abcess and X-rays and said I would require emergency surgery the next morning. We discussed options. I was so worried. 

However, when we got to the car and said a prayer, the nervousness and anxiety was replaced with a gentle peace and calm. 

Home we went to make the necessary arrangements for 6:30am surgery. 

The next day, they quickly put me under, removed teeth, my gum tissue, the infections and part of my jaw bone. New bone was grafted in, as well as tissue and gums. So fun. 

I was reassured that all infection was removed and no fear of further complications in that area was to be expected. This surgeon understood my autonomic disorder, my autoimmune disorder, different diagnosis' and how they were complicating this issue. I was so grateful for a doctor who understood before I explained the ins and out of the disease to him. Such a rarity. Such a gift. 

Now we wait. We pray it takes. We pray for good results and no relapses. We hope for the best. Follow the instructions with exact obedience. And hopefully, we will have this behind us. 


Homeschooling Hayden has been a joy. 

Hayden loves to learn. He wants to grow and improve. I am in awe at how he stays focused on schoolwork and learning at home. School was overwhelming. A struggle. A heartache each day. He struggled with the inconsistency that came. He struggled with the differences. He did not enjoy the immense stress that was created at school. The differences between home and school. The wide space between beliefs being taught at home vs school. 

So homeschooling....the only answer. 

I love each and every moment that I get to spend with him. I enjoy the way he thinks. The way he tackles obstacles. The way he sees the world so differently. He see the world in an entire array of colors and shapes and sizes that the rest of us don't even notice. He relishes in the small things. He finds joy in things that most never even notice. Beauty radiates in his eyes and life. He finds joy in a rock, a stick, his imagination, a word, a story and each day is an adventure just waiting to happen. 

I may be teaching him but he has taught me so much more. I love when I get to see the world thru his eyes. When I get to catch a glimpse of how he experiences things. I love the wonder. I love the joy. I love the light in his eyes and heart. 

Boys- electronics

Just a couple of cousins and friends spending the afternoon together. 

Both have on headphones... Both doing their own thing.... However, the comfort lies in not being alone. 

Oh how grateful I am that Chad moved in down the street. It has been a blessing for Hayden in countless ways. And been an answer to more prayers than I can possibly count. This scene..:oh how it makes my heart smile. 

Ultimate egg hunt

Where I lacked in creativity and excitement, Aunt Suzi more than made up.

She did a candy and treat hunt with money attached for Hayden and. Chad. Do you know how excited a 12 and 16 year old are for a money hunt? Especially when there are 2 $20 bills in the house somewhere attached to food? They tore the house apart looking for the money. They were so funny they methodically went thru each bad every room. 

Thanks Aunt Suzi. The boys had so much fun.

Easter weekend fun

I loved Easter weekend.

Simonton family party on Saturday evening. 

Sunday visit from Jodi and gang. 

Easter church.... My favorite. 

Then Suzi, Lisa and Julie made dinner. Yum. 

Egg hunt with the boys. 

Then family time with Thomas and. Hayden. I love my family. 

I love celebrating the atonement of our Savior. It is the greatest gift.
Jodi's sweet family came to visit us on Easter, right before church. Seriously, one of the greatest blessings and tender mercies I could ever receive is spending time with my adorable niece and loving nephews, and seeing my amazing sister. Seriously, some of my greatest treasures and blessings.
Grandma Julie gave Hayden a really cool book about the days in the New Testament for us to study during homeschooling. Of course, my boy that absolutely loves books, was in Heaven. I know she loves to tease him and was joking with him about memorizing and being tested on the book.

Hayden loved that we didn't forget the pups on Easter. They each got a bag of treats to share. Oh how they loved them.
After giving Hayden his "Jesus basket" earlier in the day. We did come out with a surprise. I just couldn't not do an Easter basket. Especially since Hayden has been amazing. He had endured so much in the past couple of months. He had helped out and really started stepping up to the plate in becoming an active contributor to the family. He has taken on so much more responsibility. So, Thomas and I decided to get him a few fun things, along with a much needed new summer wardrobe. If I was buying clothes anyways, I might as well pass it off as a gift instead of just clothes.
Hayden was soooo amazed as we brought out additional goodies. Lucky for me, I had been watching for sales and had traded people a few items for things I knew he would love.
He received a new Infinity set... probably his highlight. An ipad zombie game. Yes, maybe there was a reason it was on sale for only $2.99. oops. He loved his new clothes. He kept laughing all day. He said that we fooled him good. He really thought that all he was getting was his much needed Deacon and priesthood items. He was so surprised.

I love pulling off a sheer surprise for my boy. He is such a great kid. He is turned into my rock and strength. He is so solid. He knows who he is. He loves his Savior. He really has become a strength in our family. Him having the priesthood power has really changed him. There is a more of a reverence about him when discussing spiritual things. He wants so badly to please our Savior and Father in Heaven. He tries his hardest. He gives his all so often. I am so proud of who he is and the great young man he is becoming.
My dear husband. My blessing. My strength. My rock. My life. My love. He completes me and makes me a better person. He helps me to keep going. He sees the best in me. He recognizes my efforts and my intentions, not necessarily outcomes. He loves me for me....completely. He tolerates my faults and laughs with me at my weaknesses and shortcomings. He helps me to overcome myself and to laugh in the midst of all things. He is a treasure. A truest form of all that is good in this life. I certainly love him with all of my heart.

Jesus basket

Hayden is growing up. No more Easter bunny. No more baskets. So what to do?

A Jesus basket and all things related to Jesus and his atonement came to mind. A scripture case. Priesthood New Era edition. His own copy of Preach my Gospel and different scripture tools seemed like the perfect gift. 

Hayden was so funny. So grateful. But then he said, "I'm happy with what I got, but, isn't this just stuff I needed for deacons and scouts?" We laughed. Yes it was. 

Thomas and I laughed when we brought out a second basket. This one had the normal basket goodies. Summer outfits. New flip flops. A swimsuit. OK. He could have said that it was just clothes he needed for summer but when the two shirts were a dead-pool and a puma cat turned zombie, he was thrilled. Oh, and there were some math dice and a home-school calendar. 

I guess it was all stuff needed this year but what to do. He doesn't like candy. His toys are now so expensive. 

I have laughed that I think the stuff he got is so useful. We use it all the time. Welcome to the age of needed and useful gifts instead of toys. 

Maybe next year I will get more creative.


Simonton Easter 2014

Oh how I love all my nieces and nephews. 

Hayden is no longer one of the littles but hides them instead. I guess it works better since he doesn't really eat the candy anyways. He enjoyed hiding the eggs and then being able to show 
Brigham and Talmage where they were. Too funny. 

He was so excited about it. He loves his cousins. 

Saratov Approach

Imagine Hayden's excitement when he had a surprise meeting with one of the missionaries kidnappes in Saratov. Hayden was absolutely in awe or him and his story. 

We took Hayden to see the movie a while back. We wanted to teach him of missionaries and courage and strength. Ummm. He was just terrified by it. All of a sudden, fearful to go on a mission. Scared he would endure the same. 

Being able to have time alone with him in Deseret Book was exactly what he needed. He asked questions. He felt the Holy Ghost testify of the truthfulness of this mans words. He found the fire again and desire to go in a mission. 

Who would have known that a tiny promoting to go to Deseret Book, in order to fulfil needs for another, would ultimately be our dear Savior's way, of answering our prayers of how to bring peace back to Hayden about serving a mission. 

I was reminded of a conference talk and quote by one of the inspired leaders of the church...,,"Mever postpone a promoting". 

Sure.... I could have picked up the manual to answer a need for another one of God's children the following day and it would have still worked perfectly for her. But, in being obedient and following a prompting and doing it in the Lord's time, not mine, our prayers were answered. Our needs were met. And our family received a beautiful blessing. 

I love how our Savior answers prayers. So often I have found that when I am doing for others, when I am trying to be that instrument in the Lord's hands, is when the Savior opens the heavens and pours down his blessings and answers for me. 

And answers come in unlikely places and in ways we never would have dreamed of. But our prayers are answered perfectly. I love that our Savior always gives us what we need and not exactly what we ask for. His love for us is truly amazing. 

Happy birthday!

My husband graced the world with his presence another year. I couldn't be more thrilled. He is mine. This big teddy bear. This goofy guy that loves me is mine. This guy that works night and day for me and Hayden. The worlds best husband and dad is ours. Oh how we love him!!!!

Hayden wanted so badly to celebrate his birthday a day early. He couldn't wait. He bought his dad movie candy and the movie the sixth sense. Hayden loved it. Thomas and I loved watching Hayden watch it. He was in awe. So cute. 

Suzi made Thomas a steak dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy. And Hayden made a delicious chocolate cake. Yum!!!!

Happy birthday! We love you, Thomas! You complete me and make our world such a better place. This world is lucky to have you and your goodness in it. You are definitely one of the greatest that has ever walked this earth. So humble. So loving. So kind. So thoughtful. So serving. So Christ like. 

General conference take 2

I love Sunday conference and cuddling on the couch with my loved boys. 

The joy in my heart leaped when I saw our beloved prophet. Oh how I love him. President Thomas S. Monson warms my heart as he speaks. I feel his love. I feel the divine knowledge that he is a living prophet of God. I know he hears and talks with our Savior. I know he receives revelation and guidance for us today. My heart swells with love and gratitude for him and his goodness. I hold onto every word, eagerly awaiting further knowledge and direction from my Savior. I know he will help me be a better mom, better wife, better daughter of God and a better me. I wait for me "to do" list that always comes. Some by words of the prophets, other by promptings and inspiration that I receive directly from the Holy Ghost and my Savior. 

I have learned that if I listen and pray for guidance, I will always know what I need to do, what I need to work on and feel that my prayers have been answered. 

This year was no exception. I felt my Savior and the Holy Ghost whisper my "to do " list. I heard direct answers to my prayers them the talks and prayers given. I felt my Savior reassuraring me and loving me. 

I felt a great love for my husband and son. I felt so blessed that they are mine. I felt The Lord blessing me they them and their collective goodness. 

I felt overwhelming love for my family. I have been so blessed. 

These wonderful sons of God were given to me to help me home. My husband, my rock and my strength. He helps me to be better. He makes me want to try harder. He encourages me. He strengthens me. He helps to reassure me that I can do what my Savior asks. He builds me up. He loves me for who I am...shortcomings and strengths, weaknesses and talents. He loves me completely. 

My son.  My boy. My joy. My strive to try harder. My way to gain patience. My happiness. My heart. My unconditional love. He melts my heart and gives me wings to soar. My heart is no longer mine, it is his. 

My pups. I love them. Max, my loyal protector. Maya, my joy and love. Both very different. Both very loved. Both hand picked for our family. 

And so many loved ones, family and friends. They each strengthen me and bless me dearly. I am so blessed. 

I love that I walk away from conference, more focused, more on target, more determined, more strengthened, more reassured and more at peace. I remember that I am a daughter of a living God. My God knows my name, my heartaches, my pains and my joy. He eases my heartaches, he strengthens my determination, he multiplies my joy and blesses me in more ways than can be expressed. He gives me what I need and grants the desires of my heart. 

I am so grateful for the inspired ways that my Savior and Heavenly Father strengthen me and uplift me. The fact that they know me and love me brings an indescribable peace and joy to my soul. I am truly blessed. 

Priesthood session

Hayden attended his first priesthood session of conference with his dad this April. He was so excited to go. I was so proud of him. He watched all 5 sessions of conference, the entire way thru and never fell asleep. I am amazed at how much sunk in. We have had so many talks since about all he learned. Boy he is growing up. 

He loved being with his dad. They ran into uncle Troy, Papa Bruce and others at the stake center and went to dinner afterwards. He loved the attention. He loved being one of the teenage boys and with the adults. 

This boy of mine is growing up. He loves his Savior. He has a strong and solid testimony of the gospel and the atonement of our Savior. He wants to do what's right. He loves with all of his heart. He does what is right. He is actively preparing to go on a mission. He is following the Savior and his plan.  I am so proud of him and who he is. 

Hayden, you are a son of God. He lives. He hears your prayers. He answers. He knows what is needed for you to return to him. He loves you. He will never leave you. Always remember he lives and loves you and you are his. 

General conference weekend

Oh how I love general conference weekend. I love...
Being as a family all weekend
Family visitors
Friends and family gathering to listen to our prophet 
Yummy cinnamon rolls
Cuddling on the couch
Staying in pajamas for two entire days
Being spiritually fed and uplifted
Receiving answers to my questions
Finding the exact direction that my Savior and Father in Heaven are asking me to walk
Feeling like I am on track, refocused and re dedicated
The greater love that I feel for my Savior, his atonement and love for me 
I feel so blessed...

Saturday was extra special this year as my sweet sister, Jodi, my precious nephew Talmage and Suzi watched with us. 
When Talmage woke up Saturday morning, he came running to the couch and leaped on my lap and snuggled up with me and Hayden. Oh how I missed him and those incredible hugs and cuddles. He proceeded to just stay, wrapped in my arms. He ignored everyone else, as I think he missed me, just as I missed him. He loved that uncle Thomas had brought donuts and made yummy cheese eggs. 

The messages were uplifting and inspiring. At one point, I looked around the room and beamed with joy. To my left, my amazing sister that I love and adore. To the right, Suzi. My love multiplied and divided again when I smiled at my husband sitting next to me. The strength, the joy, undescribable. But boy how. I love him. On my lap, my dear nephew, a sparkle in my life. And my dear son, that is the reason that I continue to breathe and fight to live. 

I am the most blessed person on earth. The joy that feels my world, indescribable. 

Top that with uplifting messages, personal revelation and direct answers to my prayers, and it was the perfect weekend. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jodi's car

After going to a long and painful doctors appointment, Julie stopped at QT to get me a diet coke. Imagine my delight and sheer surprise when I looked over and saw Jodi's car. I was so excited!!! Her van, I checked the license plate, yep... Handicap parking plate. 

With absolutely no energy, I pulled myself out of the car, dragged myself in the store, anxiously awaiting hugs from my cute little niece and nephews. I searched. No cute kids. I walked back outside. No Jodi, no Brooklyn, no Brigham and no little Talmage. 

I was so confused. 

Then, much to my dismay, out walked a cute little old grandpa. He clicked the button on his keys.  He climbed in the car. Then he backed out and drove away. 

I stood there. Frozen. Sick. Stuck in awe and disbelief. 

I was positive it was my sister. I was so beyond excited to see her and the kiddos. Instead, disappointment and heartache filled my heart. 

I would have thought I was hallucinating but what are the odds... Same van. Same color. Same handyman plate. Our same favorite store. 

Oh how I miss my sister!!!

My boys and my pups

This is our evenings. I love hanging out with these incredible people. The joy they bring... The happiness they share....amazing. Those smiles mlet my heart. I am seriously the luckiest person on earth that these incredible guys, and pups, are mine. I'm so very blessed!!!


Hayden loves the hammock almost as much as I do. He cuddles with Maya. He relaxes. 
Me, I, use the hammock in the early mornings and late at night. Before the sun rises or well after it has set. I love the freedom it provides. It gives me a relaxing place to hang out, read and eat. Love it. Love spending as much time out on it as I can. 
Maya and I have even slept outside a time or two on it. Such a great gift of relaxation, peace and joy....Thanks, Julie. We love it!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hayden and Jackson

I love these two and those smiles. 

They can play for hours and hours....Infinity. Minecraft. Skylanders Swapforce. 

I love listening to their conversations, their thoughts, their ideas and laughter. They think alike in so many ways. They both are fantastic at video games, love movies and could play all night. 

I hope they will always be friends. Great kids. 

Jd and gang

Two weeks ago my brother, JD, his sweet wife Cassie and their precious three sons, Bryson, Coby and Tanner came to visit. 

They spent several hours at my house. Jd was concerned about my health. He especially did not like some of the medications and wa so worried about my teeth/gums/jaw. I loved how caring he was asking questions and trying to clear the confusion. 

Hayden absolutely loved playing with the cousins as they wrestled, shot Nerf guns, played swords and ran and laughed like crazy. It was so great to see them. 

I love talking to JD. He is so smart and so knowledgeable. We pulled out scriptures and discussed important gospel truths. We discussed one of our ancestors. John D. Lee. We talked of the early days of the church, the persecutions, the struggles, their trials and their undeniable faith. 

JD amazes with his scripture knowledge and facts. He can flip to scriptures all over the place. I could talk with him all day and night about different gospel topics. It is easy to see that he is a seminary teacher. 

I miss him dearly while he is away. I love him. His sweet wife. And of course, my amazing nephews. I so wish they were closer. As I'd I didn't miss them enough, I find out that Cassie is pregnant. I will love having a precious new niece or nephew and oh so wish I was close enough to cuddle and snuggle this new little one. 

Congrats JD and Cassie! We love you and cannot wait for this baby. 


With Joyce coming and staying with me at least one day a week, I have had the pleasure of sitting Nd talking with her, finding our more about her life and what her childhood and early marriage years were like. We have talked of Thomas as a boy and his struggles and strengths while growing up. 
My favorite are the quiet talks regarding our Savior, his love and our purpose here. 

The other day, as we sat talking, she said something that really made me think. 

We were talking about random acts of kindness (RAK) and how I want to implement that into Hayden's homeschooling. I want to teach hi to look for ways to serve, give back and pay it forward. Little things. I want him or grasp that little kindnesses. Small things. 

Joyce told me that one of her gifts she uses to lay it forward is her long arms. When she paused there, I am sure I looked confused. I waited for explanation. She said she had been praying of how she could be a true daughter of God and help others each day. As she prays, she asks to be able to find ways to serve and then follow her promptings. 

One day, while at Walmart, she saw a lady struggling to get something down off of a high shelf. She immediately followed the prompting to help. She told the lady that she had long arms and could reach the top shelf, and how could she help her. The lady was grateful. At that moment, she was shown that help comes in all ways. Since then, Joyce didn't just act on the prompting that time, but while in the stores, she continues to find people she can help with her long arms. 

I was so touched by this story. I thought of myself. I thought of others. How many of us? Me? Would think that having long arms was a gift so that you could help others. She didn't just help the one time she was prompted. But learned that is a way she could make a small difference in someone's life each day. She said she hardly ever walks into a store without finding someone to help. 

I love that. I loved her for sharing. And I have been thinking. About it for weeks. 

The Lord promises us that by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass.

He uses others to help answer the prayers of so many of his children here. My short arms have appreciated the help of others on many occasions. It is the gesture that someone cared that made a difference, not the big or small. It's not the service rendered so much that matters but that you were seen and recognized, someone cared enough to help, and you were no longer invisible. What would the world be like if we each used our long arms, or gentle hands, or anything else to serve and love one another. That is definitely a world I would want to live in. 

Joyce taught me a very valuable lesson that day, seated on the couch. To love and serve and be kind, no matter how small the gesture. 

And Joyce, I am so grateful for you and all of your kindnesses and sacrifices. For bringing meals, mankind dinner, picking up Hayden, running me to the doctor, making me lunch, helping me to the bedroom, doing laundry and all the other ways that you love and serve us. We love you so much!!!

Gunter and scouts

Hayden and Gunter are like peanut butter and jelly or Oreos and milk. They have been the best of buddies for years and years. 

Hayden wanted Gunter to go to scouts so badly. Imagine Hayden's surprise when his parents agreed to let Gunter permanently be apart of scouts and young men's. 

He has been going with Hayden ever since the temple celebration. And they are both loving it. 

The other night at dinner, Gunter looked at me and said, "now that I am going to your church for scouts and young men's, does that mean that you are going to try to convert me?"  I chuckled and said no, as he immediately went on to his next thought. "Cause I'm not ready to join your church yet. Hayden and I have been talking about it. Hayden has explained that we believe the same basic things. We both believe in the Bible, in our Savior, in God, we know we cannot do bad things and we have to keep all of the commandments."  He then added, "he also told me that you guys just have a little more of the truth than I do because you also have the Book of Mormon that teaches you other things you should be doing."

I went to add more of the Book of Mormon and clarify to him what Hayden went. He cut me off and said, "no. I'm good with that. Hayden has the luxury of understanding and believing more. He has two parents that love him and teach him and help him. For me, I am doing my best just to follow he commandments and teachings that I know about. I'm not ready for more truth."

I have thought so much about those words and the rest of our conversation. Gunter is a great kid with amazing parents, whom I love. His mom is one of my dear friends. And I love that boy. 

Hayden is lucky. He has been given so much. Sometimes I look at where he lacks. Where I lack in meeting his needs. But this boy.....he is loved without end and cherished beyond compare. 

I cannot express how excited I am for Gunter to be there each week. It has eased Hayden so much. He is excited and loves it. 

Gunter attending scouts. Absolutely priceless. 

Plus, I love the excitement that these two boys exude when they are together and loving something. Makes a momma's heart happy. 

Date night

I should have taken a picture...what was I thinking? 

Thomas and I actually went out on a date. The first one in at least over a year or two. And it was wonderful! 

A couple of weeks ago, Hayden was with Grandma Julie. I had slept all day and I woke up at about 6pm feeling better than normal. And I was craving Korean food. We decided to go and if I was too worn out from the drive when we got there, that we would order take out and come home. 

Luckily, there were very few people in the restaurant. We ordered. Yummy kimchi chegae (kimchi soup with tofu) for me with steamed white rice, a side of kim(seaweed) and kimchi. Thomas went with his favorite bulgogi marinated beef, lettuce wraps, steamed white rice and garlic. And of course a diet coke. 

While they cooked our dinner, Thomas and I sat and talked. We laughed. We reminisced. We spoke of good times. We laughed more. I looked over at this amazing husband of mine and smiled. I hit the jackpot with him. He loves me and cares for me and takes care of me like no one else could. And although I am so much work, he absolutely cherishes me. 

Feelings of love, gratitude, appreciation swept through my mind. I remembered all of our trips. Our quiet moments talking. Our dates. Cooking together. Family home evenings. Our prayers. The many many moments of laughter. The tears. The insurmountable joy. 

As I sat there smiling, Thomas asked what I was thinking about. I said us. This journey the two of us have walked has been incredible. We have had quite the adventures. We have been to the open wilderness via seaplane in the Alaskan frontier. We have experienced breathtaking scenes while in Costa Rica, Tahiti, Bahamas, Hawaii and more. We have been spiritually uplifted while standing where the prophet Joseph Smith died. We cherished Mickey's world on so many magical vacations. We loved thru the frozen tundra of Italy while our warm clothes were somewhere lost in the United States. We have had picnics and family gatherings. There have been movies and outings and dinners and dates. Family parties. Ward parties. Group outings. Family game nights and so much more. 

Thomas and I. We are the lucky ones. We have lived and loved life. We have been on a constant adventure. 

As I sat smiling at this man that has walked every step of the way with me, been my rock they each heartbreaking moment, held my hand to help endure the pain, celebrated each victory and have laughed with more than anyone. He truly is my eternal companion and love of my life. 

I am so grateful that my Father in Heaven saved him for me. He has brought more comfort, peace and joy to my world than I could have ever imagined. 

I love you, Thomas! Now and forever, throughout the eternities and beyond. My greatest have him next to me always. He truly has been my greatest blessing. 

Pain pain and more pain

This past month has been so rough. The pain is excruciating. The intensity constant. And the firing nerve endings, were on overdrive. 

I am not sure what started the rolling symptoms and increasing pain, but I know that each day has pushed me to the edge of tolerance. 

As the doctors mistakenly mixed up medications and then had to fix it with different doctors, the pharmacy and insurance, I had to go off meds that stabilize brain function and spontaneous jerking movements, nerve firing and myclonic seizures. 

72 hours off meds and my body still has not realigned almost a month later. I begged the doctors and pharmacy for a few extra meds to pull me thru the transition. Most didn't think it would be that big of a deal. Boy were they wrong. Even though back on the medication, everything in my brain is still sporadically firing for no given reason. The nerve endings remain on fire, randomly jerking, firing and causing indescribable pain throughout my body. 

The pain in the bottoms of my feet make each step difficult and oh so ever painful. Each step feels as is I am walking on dozens of knives. When sitting still, the throbbing in my feet is intense and constant. My legs have become so sensitive that if the dogs or Hayden rub up against them, it feels as if they will break. They randomly jerk uncontrollable and frequently, I cannot move them. My hands are only working occasionally and are constantly in indescribable pain. My arms jerk uncontrollably and often. The myclonic seizures have come back with a vengeance. 

It took a year and a half to get the symptoms this under control. Only three days to undo years worth of progress. 

The pain is constant and with it my sleep patterns are sporadic, only being able to stay in one position for a short while and then awakening with indescribable pain. The nights are long. The days are intense. I struggle for any type of relief. 

Relief only comes when I plead with my Savior, telling him I am at my limit and. I can endure no more. 

I beg for a few moments of relief. A break from the constant pain. And a reprieve from the hurt. 

Because my Savior loves me. Because he is one and loving and compassionate. Because he knows my limits and tolerance even more than I do. He allows me to walk to the edge and feel that one more shooting pain will dump me off the cliff. But it is in then that he pulls me back. He stands as my guard rail. He protects me. He loves me. And I have felt is undying compassion and love for me. 

No. This road is not easy. It is unbelievably painful and rough and long. It takes all I have each day to muster up the courage, strength, tolerance, endurance, persistence, self discipline and will to walk this path. It is harder and more intense than anything I could have imagined. 

I trust that my Savior will be at my side whenever I need him.  

I had endured more pain than I could have imagined. I knelt down and asked the Savior for relief. Help. I begged for him to take some of the pain or relieve some of the symptoms. Instead, I felt inspired to read my book. Immediately I read these words and received my answer. "I cannot be the God you want me to be. I did not come here to solve your physical problems. I came to solve your spiritual ones. I am about the work of my Father." It wasn't the answer I wanted. It wasn't what I expected. It wasn't anything besides heartbreaking. I cried. Tears streamed down my face. 

But as I trusted my Savior, prayed more, read more, studied more, he added the following verses from Isaiah. "Fear not: for I have redeemed the,  I have called the by name; thou art mine. When thou pas sets through the waters, I will be with thee; and... When thou walkway through the fire, thou shalt not be burned;... For I am The Lord thy God... Thy Saviour:...thou wast precious in my sight... And I have loved thee. (Isaiah 43:1-4)

I felt my Savior wrap his loving arms around me. He comforted me. He buoyed me up with his strength and love. And although the pain stayed. And my answer was not what I wanted nor expected, he heard me. He answered me. He reassured me. And promised to walk with me. That's all I can ask for. 

Yes. I will be thrilled when the pain eventually dies down. For now, I will hold tight to my Savior and trust that I will not drown. I will not burn. I will not die. And I will not be alone. And that makes the pain, as excruciating as it is....bearable. 

Oral surgery

Two weeks ago, Thomas called the dentist after I developed excruciating pain in my jaw. Horrible deep pain that pain meds wouldn't touch. He told the dentist I had another abcess. The dentist was very concerned as where it was hurting and infected as it leads to the heart and/or brain. Each little while he would call to come in earlier, as he rearranged his schedule and moved people to fit me in. I made my sweet husband come with me. I've walked into many dr appointments alone but this one scared me. 

The decision was made that with the infection, the tooth needed to come out. 

The dentist started to numb me and prep me for oral surgery. Just before he put the needle in my mouth, both he and Thomas, simultaneously stopped. The doctor paused and Thomas again starting asking questions. Both felt as though they should stop. I felt the spirit so strong as both of these priesthood holders utilized their priesthood and inspiration to change my treatment course.  

Instead, shots were give and I was sent home on medication for a very long and excruciatingly painful 5 days. During that time, I was on hard pain killers, just trying to endure. I do not think I slept the entire time. I was exhausted, sick and miserable. 

When I went back on the following Monday for the oral surgery, I braced. They could have pulled every tooth, I hurt so bad. 

As the dentist began fixing my teeth, he had the hardest time getting the tooth out. After finally maneuvering it, it came. As it did, he located another problem, more serious and threatening than the current issue. 

As he fixed my teeth, he began talking of a change of plans, and an immiediate transfer to another oral surgeon. He mumbled something about, locating an infection and lump or tumor and it needing to be removed immediately. He went to fix up my mouth and get me to another doctor. He left the room and within three minutes was back and again going into my mouth. 

He said that apparently he was supposed to fix the problem immediately. Now. Or I would have serious problems. He wasn't sure how to proceed. But the Savior was teaching him...instructing him. As he finished, choked up and tears in his eyes, he knew he had been guided and led. 

Luckily for me, I had received a priesthood blessing that morning. In the blessing, it stated, that the real issue would be discovered. The dentist would not know how to fix it but to rest assured, the Savior did, and he would teach the doctor, the problem would be resolved, and I would be okay. 

So as the doctor proceeded, unsure himself how to handle it, we all all experienced a miracle and the Lords hand. I felt the Savior's love wrap around me. No matter how much pain I was in, I was again reassured that the Savior is walking this road with me. 

Books and loaves and fishes

As I have begun to get ready for homeschooling, the cost of the books and supplies was weighing on me. I knew how much money textbooks and educational apps, supplies and teaching helps costs. I was concerned. I prayed that I would find good sales. 

Although I have seen the Savior continue to answer my prayers in many many ways, I still am in awe when it happens so clearly. 

I have been selling items for almost a year now to try and get money for our family. In all that time, I rarely see books for sell and have never seen a set of homeschooling books. So the day after my answer, when I opened Facebook to check my listings, and a homeschooling set of books was up for sale,I jumped on it. The lady immediately emailed me back and Thomas took me to her home to look at the books. She was retiring from teaching for 25 plus years. She taught 4th - 8th grades. Perfect. 

In our dear Savior's way, he always gives us more than we could ever need. He fills our needs, and wants and has so much extra that we could never need it all. 

That is true in love, in the fishes and bread, and all areas of our lives. 

I was given 6 tubs of books. My dear Savior not only met my needs, but gave me so much material that I have all I need if I were to homeschool for the next three years. 

I love my Savior. I love that he provides miracles and lessons today, just as he did when he walked the earth. He does the same things in similar ways. Sitting on the mount that day, thousands of years ago, people needed to be fed for their physical survival. He took what they had, multiplied it and the people ate. They didn't just get enough to just sustain them. No. That is not our Savior's way, the people ate and ate. There was plenty for all. Not only that, there were full baskets left over. Showing that they were all able to be completely filled both physically and spiritually. There was more than enough. 

Likewise, with homeschooling, The Lord asked me to homeschool and he provided for our needs. Not only did he give me what I would need but more than I could ever use. He truly blesses me. 

He calms my fears and lets me know that. I am enough because where I lack, he will make up the difference. And he will do a better job. So here we go. I know the Savior will give us what we need. He always has. He always will. That is his way. 

Homeschooling decision

Each year as I try to pray, fast, seek answers and try to make the best decisions for Hayden's schooling, I struggle with what is the very best thing for him. I pray to be inspired where to look for answers. I research and do my part looking at each school, each program and each option. I make a check list with pros and cons. I pray again to have the spirit with me as I look at the options. I present the best couple to Thomas and together we pray, asking for the Lord's guidance and inspiration. We make a decision and take it to our Savior. If yes, in faith we proceed. If no, we of back, reassess and proceed with the process. 

As things have been getting hairy for Hayden at school this year with some teachers and students and situations, I again started this process. With junior high around the corner, the options were less and unfamiliarity increased. I started by praying about which schools to even invistigate, since I could not walk into the schools. One by one, as I located and briefly researched each school, I felt no after no after no. Uneasy about each option I researched and studied. Quickly after beginning looking at each one, red flags appeared and concerns arose that I was not willing to bend on. 

One by one my options for Hayden depleted. Soon, it seemed as if all options were gone. I felt confused and very unsure about my answers and decisions. I felt like. I did when I was praying about school and where I should go, when my options were BYU, Arizona, get married, work... I received no to all options. Until I finally told my Savior if he would show me the way, I would walk wherever he asked me to. The answer immediately came to my mind...I need you to serve a mission and love and find my other children. 

Again, I found myself in a similar situation. All viable options that I saw, were "no's". Again, on bended knee, I plead with my dear Savior for answers. I again voiced the words, "Savior, I have received a no to all options I could find. I've researched and studied the options. I have prayed about each one. I have received a no to each option. Where does that leave me? Hayden? He needs to go somewhere. Savior, if you will tell me what to do, where to go, we will follow you wherever you ask." 

Immediately, the feeling of homeschooling came to my heart and mind. Homeschooling?  Really? How? Is it possible in my situation? His? How will I ever be able to do enough? Will I survive this? Questions came to my mind. So many. Questioning my ability to be able to teach Hayden what he needed to learn. And even more so, questions about my health, heart conditions, afternoon coma episodes, my exhaustion and seizures swarmed my mind. How could I possibly physically do all that would be required. 

But, as I cleared my mind. I did what I have so often done throughout my life. I trusted my Savior. I humbled my self. My prayer changed. Again. I asked for clarification. Again, the spirit embraced my heart and soul. Comfort and peace came and replaced the doubt and fear and confusion. I recognized immediately my Savior's will. My words changed. I promised to continue to walk my life on the Savior's path. To do things His way, not mine. To make my will match His. Not the other way around. 

Peace filled my heart. I felt my Savior's love for me and Hayden. 

The thought again came across my mind. All I have to do is give my all. No more. No less. All is required is that I do my best and give my all. Our dear Savior will make up for where I lack.  

If he is asking me to homeschool Hayden, he will fill in and make up where I lack. My all is enough. 

The road now begins... The process of meeting with Special Education teachers, Speech therapists, Ocupational Therapists, Principal, Teachers and more to reassess his  IEP. Do his testing. And get all things in order has begun. 

My goal is to have him home with me by Easter. 

I am working on it. But, I trust if I do what the Savior asks, he will help me and guide me. He will help me along the path and point me where I need to go. 

So another new adventure gets ready to begin. Once again, I am learning to put my trust in the Savior in another aspect of my life. Once again, I anticipate seeing the hand of our dear Savior in the details in our lives. In our homeschooling. And in giving me what I need in order to take care of my son and my health. Let the new adventure begin.....