Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween week

Halloween came and went. We didn't hardly even celebrate or do most of our traditions. However, Hayden survived. He did other things instead and it was a good month. 

Josh took Chad, Hayden, Kaylee and Kiley to Fear Farm. There are five different haunted houses in one. The entire place is spookily decorated and filled with goblins and ghouls, zombies and werewolves, vampires and clowns. Hayden had a wonderful time with his cousins. He was in Heaven. 

We decorated scary bottles and jars and had a great time. Hayden had so much fun decorating and designing his scary scene, complete with a painted Frankenstein. He loved creating potions and jars with spiders and scary toenails. He has an artists eye and is a great designer. 

Halloween night didn't go exactly as planned. Poor Hayden. His plans fell thru. He was ditched by friends. My heart broke as I remembered similar feelings from my teen and preteen years. As a momma, I want to protect him from heartache but my job is to teach him to handle it not to avoid it. 

We had fun! Grandma Julie came thru and brought over her portable fire pit. We roasted hot dogs and made s'mores as we handed out candy to trick or treaters. It was so hot. So we had to pretend it was cool enough for a fire. We had fun! 

When I pulled out the treats for the trick or treaters, Hayden was in disgust at what we bought. Thomas and I had been to Michaels and had bought erasers and fangs. We bought 250 for under $2. That's what you get the night before Halloween. Hooray. Hayden did NOT think that was a good treat. He found treats that Suzi had bought and pulled those out. So luckily we had small kit kits and nerds that Suzi had bought Hayden. The kids loved the erasers. Hayden's response was, "why would girls want school supplies?" I guess owls and bats and rip graves are not his thing. The boys loved the fangs. 

After the trick or treaters, the boys played video games. I loved to hear him laugh as it was a sad weekend for him. 

Saturday morning he was so sweet. He told me that he was glad he had a fun dad because his dad is always there to step in and be his friend. He asked if there would be fun Halloweens again. I said yes. Just different. Things change but you find new fun in different ways. 

Of course, with his disappointment, Thomas tried really hard to help ease some of his first preteen angst by going to the movies and playing games with his Bubba that night. So October came and went with new experiences, disappointments overcome, fun moments and lots of love. 

I love that no matter what comes and goes and happens in life that my dear husband and my precious son get to experience it with me. Together. All on the same team. There for one another. Ready to face whatever challenges and obstacles and wonderful things that come our way! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Not Again

Yep. Regardless of how I would like life to go, I'm lucky to always get to experience the 1% chance. 99% chance will be ok....I must worry. Although I guess the reverse is true, as well. I should have died but yet I defy the odds. 

This time it is not fun. I've now had three intestinal blockages or obstructions in the past month. I can't get rid of them. Oh man do they hurt like crazy. The symptom list includes intense and unbearable pain. Yep. Great explanation along with nausea and vomiting and doubling into a ball. And it should include a trip to the ER. However, been there, done that. Miserable. A week with no food or water, hooked to iv's, getting CT scans every day and ultra sounds.  Um. I pass. 

I'm grateful for priesthood blessings that confirm my suspicions so I know what I am dealing with. I know how to out myself on an all liquid diet. And I'd rather lay doubled in a ball in my bed or on my,couch than anywhere else....especially a hospital bed. 

No wonder I haven't been able to eat anything or keep anything down. I have zero appetite. I am hurting beyond compare. 

I am also grateful for priesthood blessings that promise comfort and peace and endurance. For peace to know that if I follow guidelines at home, I will survive and be ok. Even when it's 3:30am and I have not yet been to sleep because of unbearable pain and spending most of the night on the bathroom floor. 

I've had this before and barely escaped the condition prior to surgery.  I am praying for that type of miracle again. Why do I share? I know that everyone has prayed and prayed and fasted and been there for me. I feel your prayers. I feel your strength as I pass through these hard trials. The pain is eased as I rely on my Savior and feel the added protection and comfort from the prayers of so many loves ones and dear friends. I feel the strength and prayers of my ward family and total strangers. 

I am so grateful for the priesthood and the power of healing it brings. I'm praying for yet another blessing of healing in my,life. That through our collective prayers that I may be healed and may go on again. I'd appreciate any prayers that you could offer up in my behalf. I'm a firm believer in prayer and the Savior hearing our petitions. He answers in His own way and in. His own timing. I'm praying this is short lived and may pass quickly. Your prayers, as always, are very very appreciated. Hugs to all of you, my dear friends!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Garage sale

Getting ready for a garage sale is a TON of work. 

I have been pricing clothes and toys and home goods. I'm praying for a good turn out and lots of buyers. I'm so grateful for all that has been donated. If anyone has anything lying around you are wanting to get rid of, and you are close by, we will come pick it up. 

Will Rogers is having their annual neighborhood garage sale a week from Saturday, Nov 5th and 6th, I believe. Come. There should be lots of good stuff. We have a ton of clothing. Tons and tons. Lots of home goods. Video games. Mega blocks. Toys. Furniture. Antiques. And more. 

We moved most of the items to Julie's house. Our garage is looking so so good. It's so nice. Heavenly. I love being organized. Kudos to my husband and son and Chad for lots and lots and lots of hours of hard work to get it organized. We have more to oh but it's heavenly. 


Suzi asked of Thomas would come help put up her tv. She said in exchange she would give us some items to sell at the garage sale. Oh wow did she. Bags and bags of clothes. Many pairs of Miss Me and LA Idol Jeans. Baby Nike's and lots of clothes.

When we got to her house, she also took us out to breakfast. If you live in Gilbert or Queen Creek the Egg and I is delicious. So so yummy. Whole wheat waffles were amazing.  Yummy!!!!

While at the restaurant, Suzi ran out for a minute. She came back with a prepaid appointment for me to get my hair done. I told her no. Too much money and asked her if she would just dye the roots if it was that bad. Well, I guess it was awful because the hairdresser asked if I had my hair dyed in less than a year. Ummm. No. It just wasn't a priority. I'm sure it looked awful but honestly, where do I go? The lady who did it was amazing. Suzi told her she needed to do it as fast as possible. I e never seen someone wrap foils so fast. And my hair set up in minutes. I was in and out in less than an hour and a half. And it looks and feels great. 

We also raided Suzi's food stash she was getting rid of. She was going to take her out dated food the the food bank. I looked up shelf life of items and we were able to utilize quite a bit. Even a case of green beans and a case of canned corn and a case of peas. The case of fruit didn't work as it was bulging and had exploded inside. Oops. That made a little bit of a mess. 

Needless to say, we scored big time! Breakfast, hair highlighted and cut, pantry items and tons of items for sale. Probably 10 garbage sacks full. Needless to say, it was a great score of a day. Thanks, Suzi for the fun and special treatment. I felt so good getting my hair done. Exhausted but happy!!!

Tyler's birthday and cousins

Oh how I love Tyler. I was so excited he flew in on Saturday to visit his parents and family. Part of the bonus of us living down the street from Lisa, is I get to see her kids when they come to town. Tyler flew in for his birthday. Lisa had her brother and his family and kids with their kids and her mom over for a BBQ at the park. Luckily, I was invited. I loved seeing cousins and my cousins kids and their kids. I loved talking with my mom's sister. 

While we were there, Jake called. I said to come down. He did. I loved seeing Jake and Rosie and I kept Katelyn. 

We laughed and had a great time at the park. I sure love Lisa and her children. And of course, Bob! 

After the picnic, Katelyn, Chad and Hayden hung out and played video games all night. I loved hearing the giggles and laughs from the game room. 

Sweet Katelyn spent the night. Oh how I love her. Being thirteen and a girl is hard. Having a very popular sister a year older who is athletic and outgoing and the life of the party is even harder. Add in a perky little sister who is a cheerleader and skinny and life feels rough and overwhelming. Poor girl. I hugged her and told her that teenage girls are unfortunately mean. I tried to have her remember how precious she is and how much she is loved. She needs to be her and not her sisters. 

Why are teenagers and girls so stinking mean? She struggles with self esteem like so many other girls. And boy how she struggles with trying to find her place and where she excels. She is an amazing girl. She has so many talents and so many great qualities. She is so loved. I wish I could hug her and let her see herself as I see her but more importantly, as her Father in Heaven sees her and values her. 

We sure loved her being around. I love that Chad identifies with her struggles and he tries so hard to make her and Hayden feel so important and special. 

Last night as Suzi asked him to do something for Katelyn and Hayden, he refused to be paid but said he genuinely just wanted to help and be there for them. I admire Chad and his ability to see a need of others struggling and wanting to help. He sure loves the underdog and will do all he can to build another and make them feel good about themselves. 

Families have their crazy qwerks. They may be goofy and funny. But, I love th bonds from one generation to the next. From grandparent to kids and grandchildren to aunts and uncles and cousins and nieces and nephews. Families are the essential and vital unit on this earth. We are here to hold each other's hands and lift one another and help each other navigate this life. 

I've watched Chad do it for Hayden and Hayden for Brigham or Talmage. I love that Kaylee has reached out to Hayden and Hayden to Katelyn. I love that Brooklyn takes care of Brinley and loves being with Hayden. I love the bonds. 

I love my cousins and how much they mean to me. I pray that Hayden states close to his cousins. That him and Brooklyn are always friends. That Chad and Hayden get together with their families someday. One of my greatest wishes would be for Brooklyn and Hayden to grow up and marry and live close to each other and be best friends. Oh how I pray that Chad and Katelyn and Brigham and Talmage will always love Hayden. He doesn't have siblings but he has amazing cousins. Wonderful and loving and kind and good cousins. may be crazy but it sure is fun. I'm lucky for such wonderful family that are my dearest friends. 

Saying Goodbye

These sweet children and their amazing parents have a special place in my heart. 

I met Sarah and Jordan when they were newlyweds. They were speaking at church and I had a distinct impression that I needed to become friends with Jordan, but especially for Brigham's sake. We were then both called to serve as ward missionaries. The night Jukei was baptized, we had a celebration at our home afterwards. Sarah and Jordan came and supported Jukie and stayed afterwards to help me clean up. Sarah was struggling and wanted children so badly but it wasn't happening. She met my sweet sister, Jodi, and her children that night and Sarah knew adoption was the answer. 

From that time, we all talked many times about the gospel, missionary work, kids, and adoption. They became certified and received a beautiful baby, Ty. He was with them for four months until he was reunited with his birth parents. Sarah called sobbing and I talked her thru how I handled baby girl being ripped out of our hearts, arms and lives.  I prayed for her to find peace. 

Shortly thereafter, they received sweet little Zee, weighing only a few pounds and with a broken arm, a cast and a broken spirit from all of the abuse. Sarah and Jordan healed his heart along with his underdevelopment, broken bones and broken little soul. 

Within a short time period, they found out about Rex and started getting transition visits. There is only a 3 month difference between the two boys. Rex was living with his grandma with many siblings and she just couldn't do another. 

Within a short time, two other little baby boys joined their home and became theirs. TJ and Ace. Both see reunited with others. I watched Sarah's heart break. I cried with her. I held her. We sobbed together. Then Zee got taken back and oh howdy did she break. Especially knowing he situation he was going back to. She fought like crazy for him. 

Devastated, she went on with life unsure how to survive without her precious boys. A bright moment happened when their precious Rex was officially adopted and sealed to them in the temple. Oh how they rejoiced and we rejoiced right along with them. We also shed many tears over the loss of her other children. 

Then Sarah received the call...twin girls just born. Great chance of easily adopting them. They were only one day old. Jet came home and a couple of days, Rudy, joined her. Sarah loved her twin girls. 

With the babies quite little, Sarah go a devastating oh on call. Zee had been badly hurt by his birth family and was fighting for his life in PCH. Sarah fought and called and did all she could to get to him. She requested an emergency hearing and was able to heal Zee in their home. The poor boy had been hurt physically, mentally and emotionally. He was broken inside. The loving parents that they are, they thught their son to walk again, to talk, potty trained him and held him as he would scream and cry. 

She raised these four precious babies. She has more patience and love than I could ever imagine. Then came more devastating news, after almost a year of trying to adopt Zee and court battles, all prior abuse was consider an accident and he went back home. Sarah broke knowing what was in store for him. 

We all fasted and prayed. We pleaded for something. Meanwhile the adoption and likelihood of the girls being adopted grew brighter. With hardly any contact for months, Zee and his birth family showed up and said that she knew the best thing was Zee needed to be with them. He hadn't slept or ate or stopped crying for his mom and dad, his Rex and sisters. They were reunited. The fasting worked. 

A couple of weeks ago, I sat in the temple as these three younger babies were sealed to Joedan and Sarah. It was beautiful. 

Jordan was transferred to Utah. 

This sweet family that became our family had to move. 

We went to say goodbye last night. Oh how it ripped my heart out. Thomas and I consider these babies our nephews and niece and/or our grand kids. We love them. Sarah and Jordan are some of our dearest friends. 

We came to the door to hear the boys yell, "Aunt Jer is here!" Oh how I will miss that. 

Hugs were given, they attacked Hayden, and teased with Thomas. I cuddled them.  

I brought out their small going away presents. Each was given a small stuffed animal to remind them of us. 

As I gave Zee his, he said, "will this keep me safe so no one can hurt me ever again?"  I assured him it would and I held him tight. Rex begged for us to come with them. He smiled and gave pouty faces and tried all tactics to get us to agree. Once we agreed to come visit, he said, "but I will miss you so much."  The girls just smiled and laughed and soaked in cuddles and kisses, oblivious to the changed ahead. 

Rex and Zee wrestled with Hayden. He tickled them and teased the.  Hayden is so great with kids. He had all four following his every move. 

We hugged our dear friends. We cuddled and hugged these four precious babies that I fasted and prayed for many many timesover the past several years. Hayden consistently prayed for them and fasted for them to be a family. 

I will miss them like crazy. I will my boys and their excitement to see us. I will miss the hugs and kisses and laughter as they play with Hayden. I will miss the words...Aunt Jer.... Coming off of their lips and those sweet voices. I will miss the baby girls and their ability to warm my heart. I will miss my dear sweet friend, Sarah and our talks and hugs. I will miss Jordan and his hugs and huge smile when we walk in the room. I will miss the way he makes Hayden come to life. 

But, I'm so happy that their journey in Arizona brought us together. That they came here to adopted these four precious babies that I love. That they influenced Hayden in such amazing ways. And that they were our friends. They didn't care if I looked like death and was barely able to walk. Regardless of anything, they were our friends. Friends that chose us as family. And we chose them right back. 

I love you..Jordan, Sarah, Rex, Zee, Jet and Rudy. Never forget us. We will all love you forever. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Little Things

It's the little things that make life doable and endurable. 

A couple of night ago...other than I am alive and am surrounded by wonderful people and of course all the benefits that come with that and the beloved gospel of Jesus Christ in my life..... I was struggling. I felt like the trials were piling and I am drowning. 

However, like I have done so many times, I knelt down and handed it over to my Savior. I told him I was overwhelmed and done. I tried and tried and couldn't figure it out. I guess that I has taken too much back over. When I trust the Savior completely, I find peace and help and answers. Instead, I think I must do it all. How many times must I learn?!

Yesterday morning , I woke up. I wasn't going to dwell on finding answers. I would walk and trust the Savior that. He would "bear my burdens that they may be light". Every thought that would come into my head, I would pray it back to my Savior, telling. Him I would "do" anything in my power but I needed guidance and direction and answers. Fear and frustration and anxiety wasn't helping me.  

I had prayed as to whether or not to try to develop q96 more or pursue other opportunities for financial gain. Of course I would take it but should we focus on building a business. I prayed for an answer for Christmas. I prayed for disability date to be confirmed. I prayed for peace. 

I received so many calls on Q96 and so many orders. I received a letter from the state and department of social security stating they would arrange a video conference so I wouldn't have to go to the courthouse as they thought I was too sick. And I figured some ideas for Christmas. My prayers were answered when I turned it over to the Savior. 

When I tried working it out and carrying it and "fixing" things, I failed miserably. When I handed it over to my Savior, things started to fall into place. 

It amazes me every time. It shouldn't. My Savior always takes care of me. Always. And  he provides more than I could ever dream of. 

I'm so grateful for a loving Savior that knows me, Jerlyn. He knows the struggles I face. He knows thw pain I endure. He knows my needs and my wants and my desires. He knows my husband and son. He knows what they need and how to help. I love Him. I'm grateful. And I am so relieved today and filled with the Spirit. 


Tuesday night, Thomas and I talked. I knew with all of the stress and challenges in life right now, I needs to make changes. I told him I was going to try to start walking early in the morning. I may only make it a few houses but the dogs needed it, Hayden needed it and I needed it. 

I said walk and Max went from sleeping to pulling at his leash. He would not stop. So Thomas ended up taking the dogs for,walk at 11pm at night. I had told Max. No. In the morning.  When boy wakes up, we will go for a walk. Since Thomas took him, I gpfigure he wouldn't remember. 

Boy was I wrong. Max was peacefully asleep. When Hayden woke up and went to the bathroom, Max climbed out from bed and looked around. When Hayden laid down on the bed, Max attacked him. He kissed him and kept trying to get him up. He then ran to get his leash. He remembered. Crazy dog. 

I got up and put on my big hat and sunglasses and we went for a walk around the block. It was beautiful. Seriously. Birds chirping, the sun rising, a gentle breeze blowing and the smell of fall in the air. I took a deep breath. My heart loved it. 

I have been stuck indoors since we went to the beach. And before that, it was May since I was able to be outside for more than just the seconds it takes to get from the door to the car. Sunshine and fresh air are so nice. I'm loving this weather. 

After we walked the block, I supervised. Hayden weeding. Well I may have bent down some. Oh man sakes alive am I sore and exhausted today. But it feels so good at the same time. The pups were in Heaven. 

This morning, they woke up again ready and willing to go on their walk. This morning, Thomas woke me up earlier and he walked with us. I was so slow that Hayden lapped us. Maya would stop and smell as I tried to out one foot on front of the other. I laughed I went so slow. But it doesn't matter. I DID IT! I walked two days in a row. Now, I crawled back on bed and haven't been out since. I'm not sure that I will be able to the rest of the day. But that doesn't matter. I got some sunshine without passing out and it felt great. 

The doctor thinks early early morning or late evening sun, with hats and sunglasses, and I may be able to endure up to 10 minutes in the outside. Heaven I tell you. Sheer Heaven.  Boy does it do something for my mood to increase my time outside. 

Life is good. It really is. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Myth Busters

Oh how I cringe every time I hear the name of that show. Crazy. One month ago, it was our "go to". Down time in homeschool or needing a break, Myth Busters to the rescue. When I absolutely could not move one more step and desperately needed a nap, no matter what just the mention of. Myth Busters and Hayden was entertained and I was able to get a much needed break or nap. And I loved watching the funny antics of the guys trying to bust the myth. It's amazing how much I actually learned by watching that show. 

We canceled cable but told Hayden it didn't matter because his three favorite shows were on Netflix... Myth Busters, River. Monsters and A Monster Inside Me. Smiles stretched across his face and an ok because he was excited he had his shows. 

No kidding, within a couple of weeks of us canceling cable, what does Netflix do? They switch their line up. They drop not just his beloved Myth Busters from the lineup but also River Monsters, A Monster iNside Me, What Would. You Do? And so many more of his "go to" favorites. 

Really? You have got to be kidding me. 

Oh well. I break the news to him and he checks for himself. He enters "m y t h space b u s t e r s" into netflix. Nothing. He goes to the computer to search it up and types it in. Nothing. He switches to Hulu, he again searches for Myth busters and his list of favorites. Not there. He again checks the computer and frantically searches for any way to get his daily "fix" of his shows and his escape. Nothing. 

There may have been serious mourning. But I figured that was the end. What? Drop something? Forget about something he loves? (We STILL have discussions frequently about our beloved dog, Toby that was killed by a car when the landscapers left the gate open. He was four. 8 years ago yet every time. Max or Maya almost get out the gate he screams something about Toby. Yet I distress and got sidetracked.)

The next day Hayden gets up. What is the first thing he does? Checks  netflix and Hulu. Did Myth Busters miraculously appear overnight? Ok. I don't think much about it. He's disappointed. After lunch, he again checks for Myth Busters, this time asking if he is possibly misspelling it. I assure him. Netflix doesn't change shows daily. After dinner, he again checks. I smile to myself and tell myself how much I love him and his qwerks. 

Day after day, the same thing occurs. Wake up...check. Netflix. Afternoon. Check Netflix and. Hulu. Night time check again....just in case. 

This Monday morning rolls around. Hayden goes to pick up the remote to check for Myth Busters and River. Monsters. It's not there. I again sit him down. I explain that they carry certain shows for awhile and then switch to others. They do not change back daily or weekly but especially not hourly. I tell him we need to find a new series. Maybe. Blue Planet or the new National. Geographic series. He reluctantly says ok. I then tell him to drop Myth Busters. No more searching it up. I was not very nice or friendly about it. I lost it. We have talks and talked about it. How do I get thru to him??? Augh. I walked in the other room and called Thomas and told him when he got home, he had to deal with this. I couldn't handle having this discussion even one more time. 

I walk in my room a couple of hours later....what is he doing? Searching for Myth. Busters. I tell him to stop. I take the remote and tell him to finish his assignments. At that point, I looked him in the eyes and asked why he wasn't getting it. I told him he was obsessed with it and needed to stop. What does he do? Mid-sentence he cuts me off and explains all about OCD and how Chad and he both have it and he couldn't help it. I admit, bad mom moment, I tuned him out. I couldn't do it anymore. I gave up. 

Thomas called on his way home. I broke down into tears. Not just about Myth Busters or OCD but just the insecurity I feel and my own inadequacy. I cried. I lost it. Thomas came home and before he even made dinner he sat us both on the couch. He looked at me and then Hayden. He lovingly talked to us and expressed his sorry that we both had such a rough day. Then, he said a prayer. For our home to be filled with love. To be filled with the Spirit. 

Then he does what my husband is so great at doing. He laid his hands gently upon my head and gave me a priesthood blessing of comfort and peace. That I would feel calm and again carry the Spirit with me. That I might be still inside and hear the promptings of the Spirit and our Savior. That I would be guided in how to help our son. That I would feel the strength of my Savior while parenting. And that I am the mom for my boy. 

The peace came. The day and feelings of frustration and hopelessness and despair and anger dissipated. Peace and love filled my heart. I was promised help in guiding my son. 

The , my dear husband switched from husband to father. He again utilized his priesthood power and laid his hands on Hayden's head and called down the powers of Heaven. Hayden was promised by his loving Father in Heaven that his OCD would be calmed and he would find peace. He was told he would quit worrying about the things he could not control. And peace and calmness entered his heart, as it did mine. 

Thomas then made egg and bacon and ham and onion and cheese omelets. One of our favorite dinners. It was delicious. Thomas sat on the couch next to me and my boy. For family night, we found new shows that could be watched together. Thomas helped Hayden decide what other things could be watched during documentary time. 

We had a very short family home evening. But we felt the Spirit. Was saw and felt the changes the priesthood blessings brought into our home. 

It's now Thursday. Hayden has not once asked for Myth Busters. I have faith in priesthood blessings. They calm my spirit and soul and ease my troubled heart. Whether I need peace from mothering a boy with needs I cannot meet or just to have a calmness in my mind, I am so grateful for a loving husband who knows what we need and follows the Spirit. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Struggles. Humbling moments. Gratitude. And enough.

My heart is full of thanks and gratitude. 

Life is sometimes difficult. Things do not go the way we plan. Trials upon trials come. So many that I wonder how to handle them. I wonder which one to tackle first. I get overwhelmed and don't have a clue what to do. I wonder how I will make it. I plead with my Savior for understanding and direction and for comfort and for peace. I kneel down and pray for guidance and help. It seems the harder I try and the more I try to do, the more the trials pile on. No area of my life is immune. I wonder why. I question everything about myself. Why can't I figure it out? Why can't I do what I need to do? What can't I seem to make the financial numbers work? When will our sacrifices be enough? How much must we do without and give up until it will be enough? Why is every aspect of my life affected? 

We struggle. Shocker. I know. We struggle with my health. We struggle knowing what to do to try to help me. We struggle with financial issues. We struggle to pay the monthly bills. Ok. We cannot pay all of our monthly bills. We have cut back and given up everything I know how to. We cut cable and phones. We cut all extra activities. We are down to the basic necessities of life yet it isn't enough. We struggle knowing how to help Hayden. We struggle trying to homeschool him and make sure I am giving him enough. Trying to teach him without spending any money. We struggle with others looking down on us. They tell me if I had enough faith or was more righteous, we would be given what we need. Or I would be healed. We struggle to get me the medical necessities I need to survive. We struggle to put food on the table. We struggle to know what the Savior wants us to do. We struggle. We fall down. We plead for help. We plead for understanding. 

There are days it seems we will never make it. There are moments I completely break down and freak out. There are moments that I cry and scream into my pillow. There are days I feel that I wish I could curl in a ball and give up and die. That the entire world, especially my sweet son and wonderful husband would be so much better without me here. 

But then my Savior picks me up. He lets me know that from a worldly and earthly perspective I may not be enough. We do not have enough money. We do not have health. We do not have jobs that make a lot of money or come with accolades of the world. We do not wear fancy clothes or drive fancy cars. We don't have the means to help ourselves much less others. 

But we do love one another and we love our Savior. We know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the true church. We know we lived before we came here and we will live again after we leave this earth. We know that the money and wealth and cars and clothing and homes will be left behind. We will not be asked how much money was in our bank account but whether we paid an honest tithe. Did we sacrifice for the Savior. Did we love others. Did we frugally and honestly do the best with what we were given? Did we love? Did we serve? Did we share what we had? 

Yes. I may be a failure in the eyes of the world. My life may have little worth to those seeking worldly applause. 

But, somehow, even though I have so little that matters earthly, even as I have surrendered or lost all wealth and money and are poor as church mice, my Savior loves me. 

I'm grateful to belong to a church that loves the poor. That believes that we are all our brother's keeper. I'm grateful for kind and loving and generous people who help out. I'm grateful for the welfare program of the church. And as hard as it has been to accept help we are definitely blessed by having it. 

I never thought I would get to the point of not knowing where our next meal would come from. Or that I would be fearful I couldn't feed my son and family. Where we would have to figure out whether to have electricity or food or gas for Thomas to get to work. Yet. Here we sit. 

We are humbled. We are grateful. I didn't know I could cry so many tears as I have cried in the past month of my life. I didn't know it was possible to be so poor. I didn't know how scary this could be. It is so humbling. So humiliating. So frustrating and such a helpless feeling. It is one of the hardest and scariest trials I have been thru. 

Yet, as the food order from the church came in and Thomas came how. From the Bishop's warehouse, I was so grateful. Tears fell freely down my face. As Hayden helped put food away, he asked about all the food with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints written upon the bags. He commented that he was scared because there was no longer food in our home. He then asked a question I wasn't prepared to answer. He said, "Mom, when we pay fast offerings and tithing isn't it to help the poor?" I said yes. It is there to help those struggling to get by. He then looked down and not in my eyes, and added, "Mom, are we poor? Are we the ones that are the poor and needy that the scriptures talk about?" I replied yes we are. I told him it was temporary. I told him that we had helped many other people throughout the years by always paying an honest tithe and generous fast offering. He then had a tear in his eye as he asked me, "Mom, am I an honest tithe layer? Have I paid all I could? Have I done all the Savior has asked so I can eat this food knowing I've given all the Savior has asked of me?"  I hugged my son. I assured him that yes. He was a full tithe payer and was in good standing with the Savior. He was relieved. 

Today, as we ate lunch that was made of the food provided from the Bishop's Storehouse, he asked a sweet question. He said, "Mom, are the bakers and cooks from the church professionals? Because this food tastes better than anything bought in the grocery store." I smiled. I assured him that all those from the church were volunteers. But this food was made with love and a touch of goodness from the Savior. He smiled. He asked if when he was old enough if he could learn to volunteer at the Bishop's Storehouse or in canning food or in some way. I assured him yes. The Lord is always in need of willing hands. 

So, once again, as I feel my life is over and I have surcumbed to an all new low, my Savior picks me up and shows me it is ok. I'm ok. I'm enough. Even needing help from the church. Even needing to fill out a food order. Even needing help to sustain our most basics of needs. I am still enough. 

I may struggle. I may have trials upon trials. I may have friends and family walk away from me. I may have those that feel that because of my trials that we must be sinners. I may lose my home and cars and have to sell all I own but I will always be enough in the eyes if my Savior if I give my all and do my best. 

All He requires is a willing and humble heart. I may not have much but I have that. And my heart and hands and all that I have I would gladly and willingly give to Him. After all, I am indebted to Him for every breath, every day, every opportunity, every forgiveness and even my ability to repent. For without Him, I am nothing. 

Yes. Life may be hard and trials may be overwhelming but I am His and that alone is enough. 

Phoenix temple open house

Saturday night we went to the temple open house with Jodi and family, Suzi, Kiley, and all of the Davis gang. It was a so beautiful inside. I love the calmness and peacefulness inside the temple. The woodwork was beautiful. I loved being in the temple with my family. 

I am so grateful that Thomas and I were sealed in the temple. It is so comforting to know that we are sealed for time and all eternity. Death cannot separate us. We will be together forever. I loved sharing my feelings for my family with Hayden in the temple. 

I went thru the temple in a wheelchair. I was still exhausted. They wheeled me back to the car. But the walk from the car to Jodi's front door was absolutely the longest walk of my life. I almost collapsed. I made it to her recliner and passed out. I woke up sometime after most had eaten. I ate. I visited for a little bit. I tried to be social  I loved being with my sister. But, sheer exhaustion took over and I had to go to bed. I made it to Brooklyns's bed where I collapsed and was asleep as I fell into bed. 

We awoke the next morning said our goodbyes and drove home. I hate saying goodbye to my sister. She gave me an extra long hug. It was if she was worried that it might be her last. Not sure. I felt something. I'm so grateful for her. I've been so so so blessed. One of my greatest blessings in life is having Jodi for my sweet sister. She has done so much for me. She comforts me. She loves me. She cares about me. She is one of my greatest supporters. She believes in me no matter what. I am grateful to know that we will also be together after this life. 

Me with Jodi and Kiley and Brooklyn waiting for everyone to show up I enter the temple. 
Suzi, me and Jodi after the Temple. Oh how I love them. 

Hayden, Kiley and Brooklyn.... Cousins and best friends forever. 

Me patiently being pushed by a temple worker. I'm so grateful for good people. 

My sweet sister and her family that I love. 
Cousins ....crazy cousins but fun. 


When Jodi brought her gang and came to make cupcakes, we had so much fun!!!!!

Jodi and her sweet bunch came over really late Thursday night after she had been to meetings and practices and taken care of a sick husband and done all of the many things she needed to do. Needless to say when the kids got her after 10pm, they wanted to play, not go to bed. And I wanted to chat with my sweet sister and catch up. So we did. We all talked and laughed and just soaked in the precious moments we were able to spend together. It was well after 11pm,when we finally got everyone down.  

Jodi arose early in the am before 6am to start the cupcake adventure. She had cupcakes upon cupcakes going in. She had frosting ready. She also had children that needed to eat. They had birthday parties. They had their own birthday celebrations for Brooklyn and Talmage's birthdays with Grandma and Grandpa Simonton. Jodi would get batches done and run kids to a party. She would head back and frost cupcakes and go pick the next group up and get them ready for the next adventure. 

Katie and Lisa were lifesavers and helped to bake and keep things going whole Jodi was running kids places. I was so grateful they came and helped. 

Of course, we had fun talking. I just love my sister and her sweet kids being around. My dad and Bonnie stopped by to pick up the birthday kids. They went to Toys r Us and the movies and met us for dinner at the Apple Dumpling Cafe. Yummy!  

Jodi had so much to do and so many deliveries and so many interruptions that she had to stay over another night and leave at 6am Saturday morning to get it done. Suzi helped with deliveries on Friday night. So many sacrificed. So much love was given. 

I'm so grateful. I am so blessed. I have so many earthly angels in my life. They lift me. They guide me. They bless my life. I am so incredibly blessed and surrounded by the best. I love these great ones in my life. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Julie's birthday

Julie came over on Sunday night for dinner and to watch a movie. We are so lucky to have her as part of our lives. She is amazing to us. She always helps out. She loves us and would do anything for us. She jumps in whenever needed and sees needs before we ask. She loves the pups almost as much as we do and they adore her. She is wonderful to Hayden and will help Thomas move things or even store junk in her garage for us. She treats me like her own. I'm so so grateful for her. She is an earthly angel that we all adore. 

In a couple of hours, on her birthday, she will come over early and pick Hayden up and take him to brain mapping and neurofeedback. She will sit with him for two hours. She will then take him to get lunch and to her journalism class with her. There he will be assigned stories. On the way home she will stop and get me a diet coke and lunch if I want it. She will drop Hayden off. 

She will then run home to feed her dogs and make the long trek back to Tempe for a birthday celebration. She will spend most of her day, as she does every Tuesday, taking care of us. 

She sacrifices and gives and does for and treats us wonderfully. We love you, Julie. Today and always. So grateful for you and the angel you are in our lives. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Answer is Cupcakes... For the Trapped Soul

My sweet sister did it again. She sacrificed a week of her life to help me out. She spent days making more cupcakes for cupcakes for a cure and to help me with my medical bills and be able to get some much needed medications that I so desperately need. What she did provided so much more than life sustaining treatments. She gave me unconditional love. She gave me hope. She showed me that I do still matter. That I am enough. And that there are people who care about me deeply. She helped me to see a light in the tunnel again. 

Life is so hard. Given.  We all know that. What is so hard is the continual day after day. Moment after moment. One disappointment and trial after the next. Some days, no matter how hard I try or how much I beg for peace and comfort, I still feel isolated in this body and house of mine. 

I am trapped. Trapped inside a house with complete reliance on others for delivery and help. I cannot just run to the store on a whim. I can't take my son to the ER if he gets hurt. There is no last minutes. All must be calculated and planned out precisely. Life is no longer spontaneous even to the just let's run to QT or Walmart or the movies or to a friends. No. Everyday things are not possible and I live trapped in a world dependent on others for freedom. 

I am trapped. Inside a body that no longer does what it is supposed to. I constantly battle how much and of what activities will take me down. Doing the dishes means I cannot read with Hayden. A load of laundry requires me half of the time losing consciousness due to bending. Shaving my legs and washing my hair in the same shower...impossible. I chose between reading with Hayden or playing a game. Or between eating and walking. Nothing in my life is spontaneous...not even eating a simple apple. It all has to be calculated and planned. Any deviation and I lose consciousness. Even letting the dogs out to go to the bathroom could mean rest of the day flat in bed if the sun hits my body. My spirit is trapped in a frail and disease ridden body. 

I am trapped. I am trapped by the lack of money. Not just tight or no extras but trapped with less coming in than going out. Trapped by th inability to pay our bills. We have cut everything from home phones to cable, cut every extra and trimmed on utilities and renegotiated car insurance. We budget low cost food and are ao grateful all three of us really like ramen. We are confined by knowing that no matter what we do it is never enough. 

I am trapped. Trapped by the confines of doctors and medicines that I need to help me get well and the lack of money thereof. I am strapped to do the things that I know keep my body somewhat going. Without Dr.Shiflet and Q96 vitamins and frankincense to control seizures, I struggle. I laugh at the thought of the doctors telling me weekly massage would help to overcome the inability of my leg to move without so much effort. My hands are tied to seek out treatments that may save my life. It does not matter that we have insurance. It isn't enough. 

I am trapped. I qualify for disability in so many areas but am denied because my disease is so rare that it is not on the list. My limitations and abilities are strong. I cannot stand for more than a few minutes without passing out. I see the sun, I have a seizure. I cannot sit with my legs down or blood clots develop. My kidneys do not filter without help. I cannot walk and digest at the same time. I must sit for 2 hours after I eat each time or I vomit. I hurt. I am consumed with pain and throbbing sensations. I am trapped by the inability to get the financial help I need to help us survive. 

I am trapped. I cannot work. I have tried. I have failed. I struggle with memory. I struggle with walking. The pain is intense. The complications and side effects are magnificent. I need to work. We desperately need money. But I physically am unable. I feel so guilty yet I can't do anything about it. I feel trapped by my desire to help my family out and my inability to work. 

I've been lucky. Most of my life I have had the means to provide for all my needs and most wants. Life was within my reach. I don't say this for pity or help. Just to raise my voice in understanding. To say that those who struggle are not failures or worthless. I will testify that struggling to figure it out each month. Praying and pleading that Hayden has what he needs. Praying we can afford to have a roof over our heads another month and food to eat and the medications we need is all consuming. I feel so much for those struggling. I have empathy to an entirely new level. 

And yet. The blessings are so prevalent. It's easy to see he Savior's hand in our lives when we rely on Him for all. I trust that if I need a ride, He will send one. I trust that I will be able to feed Hayden each day even when I am scared the food will run out. I am so blessed that miracles occur when I am unsure how we will make it the next month. I am grateful to see how my Savior takes care of me. 

Most often it isn't in the ways I would expect. I see my Savior meet my needs in ways that point that it was Him that answered my prayer. Somedays I get scared and overwhelmed. Will I fall? Will I cause Hayden to go without the necessities of life so vital in his youth? Will I scar him? Yet my Savior answers the call and provides ways for my survival. I am given enough. 

Cupcakes yesterday were my answer for this month's dilemma. With less than $30 to our names and bills everywhere and food scarce, I was trembling inside and praying and pleading for help and guidance. Jodi called feeling inspired to make cupcakes. I know she thought it was for saving for a treatment or further transplants. Little did she know it would be utilized to get the medications I so desperately need and provide us with much life sustaining nutrients to feed our bodies. 

Suzi showed up last night with dinner for us. Lisa invited us over for breakfast. More came to our rescue. My dad took us to dinner on Friday night. Many donated. Many helped. We are grateful beyond earthly words. 

The generosity and kindness of those around me astound me. The ways the Savior answers my pleas for help and guidance are answered. I know He teaches me faith and waiting patiently upon The Lord.  I have learned His ways are not my ways. But I am learning to align myself to His will. I trust that He will not let me fall completely. Yes. I will stumble. I will trip. I may crawl. But my Savior will lift me and send me aid. He will rescue me and my family. Until then....we will wait patiently upon The Lord. And we are ao grateful for my sweet sister and Lisa and Katie making cupcakes yesterday. I'm grateful for those that purchased the cupcakes. I'm so grateful for those that sacrificed for me and my family. 

Cupcakes to me represent hope and help and love and answers. They are the light that helps me to walk and know that I truly do not walk alone. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

My creative dyslexic child

With Hayden undergoing neurofeedback four to six hours per week, it is constantly on our minds here. Monday and Wednesday nights he must go to bed early and on Tuesday and Thursday nights he is exhausted.

I awoke this morning thinking of him and how he learns. I wanted to make sure that he understood he wasn't broken. I explained school systems teach to tree climbers either cats and monkeys and bears and he is a fish. "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." Said Albert Einstein, one of the most amazing dyslexic minds ever. 

We talked of being incredible swim fish and how being the best fish you can is what is important but never trying to be a monkey or a cat. I encouraged him and expressed that neurofeedback isn't trying to change him from a fish to a monkey but to give him all he tools he needed to become a proficient swimmer and a wonderful fish. He smiled. 

I made a list of some amazing characteristics that my son has. He sees the world so differently but wonderfully. 

He has a bright mind. He is an out of the box thinker. He utilizes his brain's ability to create and alter perceptions. He is highly aware of his environment and feels with all senses. He is curious and always asks, why. He decodes the world thru all his senses. He is highly intuitive and insightful. He thinks and sees multi-dimensionally. He may have a motormouth to some but he must speak and hear in order to process. He experiences thought as a reality. He has an incredibly vivid imagination. He believes everything is possible. Impossibilities don't exist. It just must be adapted and looked at from a different perspective. He is an amazing philanthropist. He cares. He sees need. He believes he was but here to make a difference. He wants to make the world a better place and feels it is his job and doesn't leave it for another but takes each challenge head on. 

With all of these amazing qualities and abilities. He will change the world. His opportunities are endless. 

Hayden, my amazing boy, you are not broken. You are amazingly wonderful just as you are. You may have to work harder and try harder but nothing is impossible. 

As it states so clearly in the scriptures....I show unto men Their weaknesses.... If they will humble themselves, I will make the weak things become strong. 

Yes. You have trials to overcome. You have obstacles you must face. You must learn to forge your own path. In doing so, you will achieve. You will have a great life. You will leave your own unique mark on the world. And you will definitely succeed. I have no doubts. I believe in you. I've been blessed to see your heart and soul. You are cherished of our Savior and Father in Heaven.  With them, you will overcome and become exactly who you need to be to fulfill your mission here in this life. I am so grateful you are learning to overcome and conquer in your youth. For you will know hard work pays off. That nothing is impossible. And you were out here to succeed. 

I love you. Always. Forever. And no matter what. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Temple sealings

I was lucky enough to get to go to the sealing of Zee, Jet and Rudy to Jordan and Sarah. They are seriously two of the most patient and loving people I know. They have only been married four years about yet have adopted all four of these precious children. 

Rex is 4. He was adopted officially a year ago. He loves us and we love him. They were blessed to get him when he was 2 years old. He is loving, hyper, active, crazy and so much fun. 

Zee has been with them on/off since he was 8 months old. He came with broken arms and about his birth weight. Poor little guy. They have fought and prayed for him. Fasting and prayers went up to Heaven for him to be able to be apart of their family. He has been placed with his birth family multiple times and each time ended up back in their home for Sarah and Jordan to nurse him back to health and trust. When he was taken away last June, I thought the fight had been lost. In August, the birth grandma showed up at the door with Zee and signed over custody. 

Jet and Rudy have been blessed to be with the Weeks since they came home from the hospital. These cute twin girls are precious. They turn one this month and are so lucky to be apart of this amazing family. 

In the temple, Thomas and I were to hold Rex. He came In to the sealing room and excitedly yelled, "Aunt Jer!!!!" And came running to me. He was restless during the sealing and Thomas basically was wrestling him. 

Zee and Je and Rudy came in. All in white. All precious. Oh how I love this sweet family. 

After the sealing, this was he scene. Boys running crazy all over and the girls crying. 

I love this picture. His is their life. Man they are cute and precious kids but a handful. I love them. I love their parents. I am so grateful to have been part of their lives. 

It's decorating time

Hayden likes all things grows and scary. He wanted to make potions for his scary head guy. We took old bottles and filled them with candy eyes and boogers. Hayden decorated the bottles by dying cheese cloth and gluing tops and making them look old. He took an old bottle and put in spiders. He tipped them on their side and had the spiders crawling out. He decorated with chicken fat and made snake oil. 

He put spiders and cobwebs and creepy things together. He is so proud of his masterpiece. 

We had so much fun making all of the fun accessories. 

We are ready for Halloween. Hayden has designed his costume and is making it. He is working on. All aspects. I love that he can envision something in his head, create it on paper and then make the paper drawings come to life. He is one creative kid and I adore him. 

Trick or Treat will be here before we know it. I'm trying to soak it all in and enjoy it all. I'm holding the memories and time closer to my heart than ever. I cherish each moment. Life really is so so good. 

Simonton family fun

We started our monthly Simonton family get togethers again. So far we are three months in a row. Life is busy and crazy with so many of us and all being pulled in different directions. Especially now that Jodi is in Glendale and JD is in Minnesota. With church callings and different church times, kids headed everywhere and responsibilities, we have tried to make a greater effort to get together. 

We decided to rotate houses. On your month, you provide the main course and assign food assignments out. We also celebrate birthdays so we celebrated Brooklyn and JD and Talmage. Jodi brought an ice cream cake ...:yummy!!!

I love these kids so much. We missed Josh and JD and their families but was thrilled that Grandpa and Grandma Simonton came, jake and Jodi's gangs and Suzi, Lisa and Chad. So fun. 

We are yummy chicken enchiladas and ate ice cream cake and colored and laughed and talked. We caught up and laughed and had so much fun. I love my extended family. I love my sister and brother. They married incredible people. I love being surrounded by so much love. 

Bottom picture: Brigham, Kiley, Katekyn, Kaykee, Talmage, Brooklyn and Hayden

14 years

Fourteen years and counting....

I feel so blessed to be married to my precious husband. He is a good man. He honors his priesthood. He gives his all. He loves us. He works hard. He serves everyone. He has a heart of gold. He tries hard to do nice things for us each day. He is a wonderful father. He is an incredible father. And he is a dedicated disciple of our Savior. 

Thomas gets up early each morning. He gets ready for work. Makes sure things are done such as garbage out, starts laundry and takes the dogs out. He goes to circle K and gets me a diet coke before he leaves. He makes me an egg and toast every morning to keep me from getting sick. He wakes up me and Hayden. Gets me my meds. Reads scriptures and gathers us for family prayer. Before he heads out the door for work. 

He works hard all day. He gives his all. He is friendly. He helps everyone and does whatever is asked even if it isn't technically in his job description. He cares. He gives his all. He runs errands at lunch. 

He comes home. He makes dinner. He helps Hayden with anything he needs. He helps me with meds and walking and whatever I need. He does laundry. He runs errands. He grocery shops. He helps clean the house. He pays bills. He fulfills his church assignments. He helps others. He works on our Q96 business. He gives his all until late in he evening when we again gather for scriptures and family prayer. 

Thomas is a good man. He gives his all. He loves with all of his heart. He tries hard to be the best father and husband around. He gives his all to his Savior. He listens to the Holy Ghost. He serves those around him. He honors his priesthood. He gives me priesthood blessings when I am sick. He calls down the powers of Heaven to bless our home. 

I am so grateful he is mine. I am so grateful that we are sealed for time and all eternity. Knowing we will be together forever is a blessing I cherish each day. 

Happy Anniversary, Thomas. I hope we have many more years together here on this earth. I look forward to making more memories and sharing this life with you. You are my heart and soul and I love you.