Saturday, January 31, 2015

Date Night!

Tonight was Date Night, how grateful I am that Jeff and I have continued having Date Nights for all these years (33 this June to be exact...and we dated for 4 years before that )! That's a lot of Date Nights, and I can still hardly wait till Friday comes around!
I may have lots of problems, struggles and health issues...but I am a very blessed woman and thank my Heavenly Father every day... for having the chance to continue having Date Nights with my Best Friend!
Good Night dear friends!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thought of the day!

Today I felt good enough to be up and about more. Still have a bit of a cough, but I was so grateful that I felt better ...even if a little.
I finally got up Valentine's decorations today, I know it's early... but decided that I had to do it now while I had the serge of energy.
I love this quote...what a perfect thought to remember every day!
Good night dear friends!

Monday, January 26, 2015

What a sweetheart!

We were lucky enough to have Miss Angie come over for a 2 Day Sleep Over, she is such a sweetheart. I have had other Grandmothers tell me how sad it is when they get too old to do Sleep Overs. I try not to dwell that far ahead, and just make the most of the time she loves to come over now. Seriously, this girl would stay a week if she could. Jenny is still a bit young, and when it comes to the 2nd day of her Sleep Over, she is starting to ask when Daddy or Mommy is picking her up. Still she does pretty good herself.

I was a bit worried about having Angie over since I was still sick, but knew that she gets exposed every day at school to germs ...way worse than mine ( if that is possible ). We had a lot of fun making Protein Shakes, watching movies, and racing cars with the Poppa. They all love their Poppa. I am thankful every time I see Jeff with the kids, that he is such a GREAT, SAFE, HEALTY and GOOD Grandfather! That is a huge deal and I am so blessed that he loves them as much as he does his own kids.
Of course when I grew up my Dad's Father had already passed away, so I never knew him. Only heard the stories. There we lot's of stories :) Wonder what stories my children will tell about me some day? I can only imagine :)

The only Grandfather I had was my Mom's Dad, and he was the one who abused me. So seeing what a difference a healthy and good Grandfather can make, is nothing short of a Miracle to me!  I really am blessed to have Jeff, and so are they! 

 Sunday we went to church and then came home and she wanted to crochet with me. She still isn't comfortable with  crochet hook yet, but loves crocheting with her fingers. So she made lots of cute Friendship Bracelets. She is so cute, she just kept wanting to make more and more for her friends and then she thought she could give them to kids at school that looked like they needed a friend. Jeff saw all the multiples she was making and laughed. Then he said " Can't tell she is your Granddaughter can you? "

When she was finished we packead them all up. Man I sure could have used this little worker, when I had my business years ago! :) Just kidding, Brad and Amy called it my Sweat Shop! :)
It seems like every time the grandkids leave...I wish we had more time. Angie and I were going to sew and create a couple of other things but we simply just ran out of town. 
But I am just very grateful that we have the time to talk, reinforce the values, morals and standards that her parents are teaching her. The old saying  "It takes a Village to raise a child is so true" , I am still forever grateful for the many Village People who helped me teach and train my children, especially when they didn't want to hear it from Jeff and I. 
"So matter what you do, your time and effort will never be wasted when you spend it on a child!"

I Couldn't Live Without Him, Not Even For A Day. I Love You Lance Albert II<3 Your The Beat Hubby A Woman Could Ask For!(;
Good Night dear friends!


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bringing Hope Home!

Just found out about this website called Bringing Hope Home and organization that brings unexpected amazingness to families with Cancer. How great is that.  It is too late for Christmas, but I am probably sure they could use help or donations all throughout the year. Still having had Cancer twice, I know what gratitude feels your heart when anyone helps out your family during such a hard time. So glad to know that there are so people out there in the world, trying to make the world a better and happier place! Congrats to them!

Found this website HERE:

Do you or anyone you know have cancer? Click on photo to read an inspiring story ! I can-cer-vive ~ Dear Cancer, I hate you and I thank you

Friday, January 23, 2015

Just a little bit better...

I know this is not what this quote meant...but I am hoping this will be my post for tomorrow!
The only person with whom you need compete is yourself.
The Doctor gave me good news and bad news yesterday. So I will start with the good news because I am grateful for it.
First off, we caught it before it went into pneumonia and for that I am glad.
Next big one was...I don't have Asthma, we have been working on trying to help me with that since
I was so sick last year, and had so much trouble breathing.
So for sorta the bad news, but still not as bad as it could have been.
I have bronchitis and a sinus infection.
The breathing problem we found out is that I have really bad allergies. And how my body reacts to them is inflamation in my bronchial tubes and therefore causing air restrictions.
What am I allergic to? Tomatoes, eggs, green peas and peanuts. Then molds, grass, cow dander ( Jeff and I were sad about that, so now we can't get a farm when we retire:)
Anyway, I started an allergy medicine and already my breathing is better.

So today was another tough day, but I'm sure I will be better tomorrow...even if it is a little bit better, I will be terribly grateful for that.
Good night dear friends

This would be a good quote for the bathroom mirror, to start off every day!  www.livin3.comRepin if you agree with this motivational quote, and check out 9 more inspirational quotes here: #Fitspiration

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tomorrow is bound to be a better day!

Today the pain in my chest is getting deeper and despite hfdetermined I was to do something productive, it only lasted while I did a few things around the house for about an hour or so, and then I had to head back down. Being up ...only starts my coughing attacks and so I knew I had to stay down the rest of the day.

I have a DR appointment toorrow so hopefully we will get some more information.
I really don't want to go back to a repeat of last Winter. I got sick right before Christmas and then it came back in January, and it took me almost 6 months to get better. So I hope that this is just a plain terrible cold, and that it will be gone in a few more days!
Funny how hard it is to keep your spirits up when you hurt so bad. It truly does take a toll on you when you are so sick. I am so grateful when I have healthy days and months. Those are the days I need to remember! I am sure tomorrow I will feel better, I need to feel better!
Good Night dear friends!

 Life Always Offers You  - Free Printable | On Sutton Place    Marilyn Monroe Quotes About Life | Marilyn Monroe Quote - Keep Smiling, life's a beautiful thing, much to ...
Oh I did I finally finished this Basketweave Afghan today. It turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself. I am really loving this stitch in crocheting. So I guess I was a little bit productive!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Just a thought!

I read this quote today and had to laugh! Normally it would have been motivational but today...I just laughed. The reason I did was because I have been down sick all day with the flu. My cold took a turn for the worst last night and it has been one LONG DAY AND NIGHT!
All day I just used a 1000 tissues, too many cough drops and kept turning up the heat and laying down and then wake up sweating. So I am hoping that what I did today WON'T be what I get tomorrow!

Ask yourself if what you're doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow. #quote

Here are a couple of other quotes that happen to be very motivational and true!
Good night dear friends!

Experiencing a challenging time? Click the picture to read an inspiring post about life's hardest times. (Luke 19:4)     You've always had the power. Own it! #AreYouIN

Inspirational Quote Motivational Print Do by TheMotivatedType, $9.00

Monday, January 19, 2015

Random thoughts!

 Last night when I was at church, I noticed that when I crossed my ankles... that my new patent leather FLATS :( shoes squeaked.  Now anyone who know me very well, knows that I can't stand to for you to squeak a latex balloon , or I can't stand anyone touching or to touch myself... Styrofoam! 
Isn't it funny how something like that can bother you and not someone else? When I was a little girl, all I had was Patent Leather shoes to wear to church ( I know that meant I was blessed to have church shoes, didn't mean to sound ungrateful )  and I used to cry to my Mom about how I couldn't stand the sound they made when they touched each other. Her response was " you should be sitting still in church"
 Finally after much begging, she started puttin Vaseline on the outside of my shoes, so when they did touch it didn't sound or feel so bad. I got these shoes because I needed something to wear to church. I love cuter shoes, but cannot ever do heels again so... that was one of my random thoughts today! 

Another random thought was how neat it is to meet someone, somewhere ...and then end up being dear friends with them. How grateful I am that God puts these amazing people in your paths to meet. I don't believe there are any accidents on how these things happen. Today I was able to go to a new dear friend's house and hang out in her Sewing Studio ( which is beautiful) and she also showed me her Embroidery Machine! How fun!

 We got to have lunch together and then she shared some other cute patterns with me. She is so talented. As I look at so many gifts she has created for her family and friends, I was amazed at 1...what a giving heart she has and talented she is. 
I do believe that we were given talents and gifts to share with others and help make the world more beautiful. And I can say this sweet friend, truly has done just that!
Here is a nice quote she shared with me today, it went along with my speech last night.
"Whatever enlarges HOPE will also exalt COURAGE"  ~ Samuel Johnson
Good Night dear friend!

What a wonderful night!

Tonight I was blessed to be able to do a motivational talk for a group of women at our church in Redmond. It is always a wonderful experience to meet so many incredible ladies, to feel their spirit and hopefully connect with them in some way. 
They were amazing and so sweet and kind to me. I tried to keep saying thanks to them, because they are the reason I study, pray and try so hard to do my very best to motivate them, to bring a smile to their face and maybe some hope, and maybe even get them to laugh once or twice. 
Many of the ladies I knew but hadn't seen in years, some of my dear friends I invited came to, which was so great. Jeff was with me as always and my daughter Amy came too, so it was indeed a wonderful night. 
The ladies who asked me to speak were so sweet and even gave me some flowers and then this beautiful framed quote. It is part of the words to one of my favorite hymns. It talkes about asking the Lord to stay or abide with you, until you get over and through the tough times. How appropriate a reminder for me. The whole experience was a true blessing for me! 
Many of the ladies asked if I had copies of my talk. I told them that I always post them after I speak. So here is my talk I gave tonight.
Good Night dear friends!

Talk for Redmond Stake Relief Society January 18, 2015
18 years ago I fractured my back in two places and herniated 2 discs. I was in a wheelchair for a year and  the only up time I had was going to Physical Therapy.  Near the end of that year, my Physical Therapist asked me if I knew how to swim, I said sorta...I can dog paddle. No he said, you need to do swim like the crawl stroke " I then asked if that meant my face needed to be down in the water? " His reply  "Yes, that is the only way that you can get your back and core strong" I knew after  my core was weak after having 4 C-sections  Swimming was  probably the only sport that would get me exercise and strength without hurting my joints and so..... I went to the pool. 
I forgot to mention to the therapist that I almost drowned in an over crowed public pool when I was in Jr High. Still I knew I probably didn't have much of a choice so.... I decided that I would Aqua Jog . With Aqua jogging you put a floatation belt around your waist and you just run underwater ( in the deep end of course). So there I was every day aqua jogging and watching all the swimmers. I studied everything there was about them, what position their hand was in when it entered the water, how many strokes did they do before they turned to swim? I asked what the different strokes were called. How many strokes they did before they took a breath? Do you turn and breath or both sides or just one?  Yes, every day I watched intently to see what I was going to have to do to become a swimmer some day.
One day I came home and asked Jeff if he could get me a SWIM CAP ( I wasn't driving at this point yet )? His response was " I thought you didn't put your head under the water because you are aqua jogging?  Well I said, if I am going to be a swimmer some day, I am going to have to have a Swim Cap, all the swimmers have them. Plus the Swim Cap keeps your hair out of your face when you swim and protects your hair from turning GREEN. And so he got me a Swim Cap. Proudly I wore my new Swim Cap the next morning as I aqua jogged and continued to study the swimmers. 
 A month or so later, I asked Jeff when he picked me up from the pool, if he would buy me some Goggles? Again he gave me that same questionable look and said " Now Lynn, why do you need Goggles, if you never put your head down in the water? Well, Jeff everyone wears them, they have them sitting right here on top of your head, and if I am going to be a swimmer some day, then I am going to have to have Goggles. Plus, the goggles do help you see under the water and helps you to swim straight so you don't  wander over into another swimmers lane, and they protect your eyes from all the chlorine.
Thank goodness he had pity on me and got me some Goggles. So you see I looked like a swimmer much sooner than I became one. I don't remember the time line exactly, but I continued like that for quite some time. Someone asked me once, why I didn't take lessons simply put, my medical bills were causing our money to be tight enough. And so I continued to jog and observe. 
Finally the day came where I thought I would try and swim. I put my goggles over my eyes and tried to do the crawl stroke, face down in the water. I was scared to death but I shouldn't have been... because I left on the Aqua Jogging Belt, so there was no way that I was going to drown. I swam like that until I felt like maybe I could do it myself ( I won't tell you how many months that was ).
 When I actually took the belt off, I was shocked at how much breath it takes to swim just one lap. Not sure that my lungs could take it, and worse is that when I got almost to the end of the pool ( which is the deepest part) I would look down (through my nice goggles ) and realize that I might not make it. It seemed that my body was not straight and aligned in the water like the other swimmers. I felt like I was swimming this way______________at an angle and that my legs were just too heavy.  I thought maybe it's because my calves are so big? Everyone always teased me about them all my life, maybe that was it. Then I thought well there are others swimmers who had calves bigger than mine ( ok, well there was at least  one man who had calves bigger than mine but still...he could swim just fine.
 So I got on the computer and looked up what swimmers did that had trouble with keeping their legs up  and level with their bodies. I found that one thing you could do was to use training flippers ...they were called Zoomers. I wanted to them immediately, if it could help me get to one end of the pool to the other a little faster and more efficient .. I was all for that. And so Jeff bought me.....Zoomers and they worked...I swam a bit faster, with much more efficient kicks and it helped also strengthen my lower back and my core. A year from my pool experience, I began to swim a mile a day. I did that for almost 3 years and then I fell and hurt my neck. 

Then years later after having cancer twice and a couple of small car accidents my new Physical Therapist  suggested that I learn to swim. She was nice to listen to the whole story of what I accomplished so many  years ago.   Still once again...I knew I didn't have any choice, 
so I bought all of those 3  important items AGAIN one more ...I had to purchased a swimming prosthetic. This time getting in the pool was not only painful because it had been so many years, but  because my body had changed in so many ways since my .mastectomy surgery and my age ... I was really struggling with how I looked in a suit but still I knew I needed to do it. 
At that time my youngest daughter Lauren was home then from college at the time doing her internship. She became buddy at the pool plus... she is a swimmer. So for the first week she came with me for moral support and promised matter what,  she would swim down and get my prosthetic if by chance it fell out (it's a bit heavy ). Why would it fall out?  Now the money for Aqua Mandie was pretty expensive and to buy the  special suit with a pocket... was very expensive so I just decided to use it in my regular suit, they are tight any way so it would probably stay. However after the first lap, I found my prosthetic down near my belly button, so I went and got different new suit Costco... and so far so good, I have never had Mandie fall out! 
Now you are probably wondering what swimming has to do with anything that.I am going to talk to you about tonight? 
Well, remember that I told you that I watched and studied swimmers every day because that is what I wanted to become right?  That is also true in my life as a Mom, Wife, Sister and Friend. Since I was a little girl, I have always admired, looked up to and wanted to be like so many people in life, particularly those in the world  who are Happy, Overcomers, Survivors, Helpers, those people who are half full and ones that have such great JOY and HAPPINESS in their lives  even though life has thrown them many tough situations.
 I have my whole life studied, observed, watched and prayed to see what makes these people the way they are.
 Robertson Davies in a quote explained what these people are like...
"Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it"    
Where do you find these people? Well, they are everywhere. We can read about them in the news, we can read about them in the scriptures, we know people in our family or in our neighborhoods. Probably many of you in this room... are one of those people!
If we really want to be like them...we need to put forth the effort to see what makes them do what they  do? 
  It is a Secret? Some people think it is...
Many people have spent their whole life looking for it, 
others have spent $1000s of dollars trying to obtain it
 and yet others have sacrificed things of great importance... just to find it.
I certainly don't think it is a secret. I think the Lord has told us over and over again how to find it. 
I believe, it comes down to few things that these extraordinary people have, maybe in varying degrees,
 but I would say that most of them have these  things, and because they have them... then they have HAPPINESS, the type of Joy and Happiness that everyone wishes they had. So let's talk about what a few of  these  things are.

1st is FAITH

 Gerald Lund describes it this way ...
"To strengthen our faith and deepen our testimony to the point that we can successfully endure to the end, we must know for ourselves with a surety that:
God is our Heavenly Father, and we are His literal children.
He and His Beloved Son want us to be happy and eventually come to a fullness of Joy.
They know us intimately,... and love us infinitely
They want to bless us, and they actually take great joy in doing so
So, is it possible to strengthen our faith and deepen our testimony to the point that we can endure whatever life holds in store for us and come out stronger than before?
Yes, it is! "   Close quote
As a young missionary ( some 35 or so years ago ) I remembered one of my favorite things to teach others about our church was The Plan of Salvation, 
it was in this lesson that we taught them the answers to the questions Where did I come from? Why am I here ? And where am I going after this life? 
We had them read in their Bible in the book of James 1:5-6
Where it says..."If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in Faith nothing wavering..."
When they asked and prayed for themselves, and got their own answers...their lives began to change for the better.
~James E. Faust
“The Spirit of the Holy Ghost is the greatest guarantor of inward peace in an unstable world…it will calm nerves; it will breath peace to our souls…it can enhance our natural senses so that we can see more clearly, hear more keenly and remember what we should remember. It is a way of maximizing our happiness."
" But we need to remember Faith is a principle of action, we need to do something to obtain it" .
Gordon B. Hinckley said...."We know not what lies ahead of us. We know not what the coming days will bring. We live in a world of uncertainty. For some, there will be great accomplishment. For others, disappointment. For some, much of rejoicing and gladness, good health, and gracious living. For others, perhaps sickness and a measure of sorrow. We do not know. But one thing we do know. Like the polar star in the heavens, regardless of what the future holds, there stands the Redeemer of the world, the Son of God, certain and sure as the anchor of our immortal lives. He is the rock of our salvation, our strength, our comfort, the very focus of our faith."   .
My earliest memory was at the age of 5, and I remember with such clarity being abused by my grandfather.The sexual  abuse continued until I was 11 years old, the verbal and emotional abuse went on until I was married and moved away. I have spoken many times in my MOTIVATIONAL blog about being a Survivor, and what that hopes that anyone else out there who has been abused will realize it is not their fault, and that they too can survive horrible and tragic experiences. Better than that, they can some day be happy, strong and a better person because what they have overcome.
But now ...with many years, counseling, tears,  and prayers later, I realize that I can do all that I can do and then ask my Heavenly Father to do the rest. I don't have to carry that unbelievable burden alone, I realized that I never had really been alone, even when I thought no one would ever find out that I was being abused, I never hesitated to pray and ask for strength and courage. He has always made me EQUAL to the TASK !  Hopefully for many more years to come, I will continue to tell my story, share my testimony and remind others that you never have to be truly Alone ...unless you choose to be
I try to follow the example of this Mother who was dealing with Cancer...she said...

Second is Hope

What is Hope really?
Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance.
The things we hope in... sustain us during our daily walk. They uphold us... through trials, temptations, and sorrow. Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty. Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable. It is in these times divine principles we hope in... can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light.
"As long as we have hope, 
we have direction, 
the energy to move, 
and the map to move by. 
We have a hundred alternatives, 
a thousand paths and infinity of dreams. 
Hopeful, we are halfway to where we want to go; 
Hopeless, we are lost forever. 
Hope is one of the prime differences between successful people and those who can only see failure. Successful people have hope because they can clearly see their goals. People who only see failure, have no hope because they see no light, they set no goals, and they see nothing accomplished.
 Successful people see alternatives and are willing to try different ways. People who only see failure, are unable to see another way and give up to easily. With hope you are halfway to where you want to go; by setting your goals, and taking the action to achieve them, you will see your hope turn into your reality! "
When I was first diagnosed with Cancer, I put this poem up on the cabinet family and I could read it and remember to have HOPE! 

What Cancer Cannot Do
Cancer is so limited 
It cannot cripple love 
It cannot shatter hope 
It cannot corrode faith 
It cannot destroy peace 
It cannot kill friendship 
It cannot suppress memories 
It cannot silence courage 
It cannot invade the soul 
It cannot steal eternal life,  and...
It cannot conquer the spirit.

"Man can live forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope"

3rd is Perspective

I once heard a great story that helps bring this .topic to life...

"One day a teenaged boy went into a Candy store. He approached the Proprietor and asked for 3 boxes of chocolates 1 one-pound of chocolates, 1 2lb box of chocolates, and 1 3lb box of chocolates.
The owner complied and began to fill the young man’s order and asked, “may I ask you why need 3 boxes of chocolates”?
The young man said:
“I am going to a dance with a girl that I don’t know very well but I like her a lot. If we go to the dance and she is shy and quite, and perhaps we dance a few dances I will give her that 1-pound box of chocolates.
 If we go to the dance and she is fun and we dance a lot and she holds my hand, I will give here that 2-pound box of chocolates.
 If we go to the dance and we dance close all night long, hold hands and as the end of the night she gives me a kiss, I will give her the 3-pound box of chocolates.
The owner smiled, wished him good luck and rang the young man up for his order.
The night of the dance arrived and the young man went to the house to retrieve his date for the evening. Her parents invited him inside and they waited for her to come downstairs. When she was finally ready she came down and said she was ready to leave.
The young man said:
“Do you mind if we read some scriptures together with your parents before we go”?
She thought this was a strange request but allowed it.
After completing some verses she again resounded she was ready to leave.
The young man said:
“Before we go can we kneel down together and have a family prayer”?
She again thought this to be strange but figured it would help her to get to the dance sooner, she allowed it.
After the prayer, she asked the young man again if they could leave, and he finally agreed.
They said goodbye to the parents and left.
As they were walking to his car the young woman said”
I have to be honest with you… I had no idea you were so spiritual”
The young man replied:
“I have to be honest with you… I had no idea your father owned a Candy Store”.
The moral of the story:

"A change in understanding... can lead to a change in behavior"

There have been many days in my life that I felt my perspective was Half Empty, full of darkness and fear

One of these days that I wrote about those feeling in my blog, it was just months after having been diagnosed with Cancer for the 2nd time, and not long after my mastectomy. I had to work hard to try and stop all the negative thoughts that seemed to bombarred me 
I wrote on ...


Tough day... part 2!
I just entered my last post a minute or so ago. I felt sad that it was such a tough day, but before I shut down my computer for the night, I remembered a story that someone dear sent to me a while ago and it gave me great strength and insight. Obviously I needed to remember it again today to help change my perspective and I will put it as part 2 of my post for today.
"Some time ago, a few ladies met to study the scriptures. While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse:

"And He (God) shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver"  ( Malachi 3:3 ).

One lady decided to visit a silversmith to learn about the process of refining silver. After the silver smith had described it to her, she asked,  "But Sir, do you sit while the work of the refining is going on?"

"Oh yes, Mam," replied the silversmith; " I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."

The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

God sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for us. Our trials do not come at random, and He will not let us be tested beyond what we can endure.

Before she left, the lady asked one final question, "When do you know the process is complete?"

"Why that is quite simple," replied the silversmith. "When I can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished."

How grateful I am, that almost 6 years exactly from that day, I am here sharing my testimony with you that life is Good, there is much to be Happy and Hopeful  about and that I know more than ever now that I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything, because it is those exact experiences.. that have helped me become well acquainted with my Heavenly Father and with my Savior Jesus Christ. I don't know what the future will bring but I do  I know that They are always there and accessible if I but ask and have faith in them. I try to always keep things in my home as reminders to me of what I have learned. One of those things is
 ( put up Poster on the Table ) 
a photo that my daughter Lauren did of Christ holding a little childs hand. Why is that Children believe and trust so easily? We are told over and over again in the scriptures what we should become humble and teachable as little children . This photo is just one of the things in my home, that reminds me of that simple principle.

4th is Humor

After my mastectomy and Radiation treatments probably was the hardest time for me to find my humor, or find humor in anything that was happening to me.  I am sure it was because I was in so much pain and yes...scared to death. 
But that all changed the day that I was fitted for a prosthetic. I was impressed to find out that the new prosthetics you don't have to put in a pocket inside your clothes, but these new ones actually stick to you. Thus helping it feel a bit normal. It was the day that I got my first one that I decided I should name her, so I named her Sally. Actually Sally and I didn't get along so I got rid of her and got a better fitting one which I lovingly call Mandie with an ie...thought that sounded more feminine and trust me that is something that I was having trouble feeling about myself at this point. Every 2 years you get to get a new prosthetic unless something happens to your existing one. 
That happened to me in Feb is what I wrote in my blog that day...

"Funny how the smallest things can make you smile. On Friday I went to where I get my prostetics, and I had to bring back Mandie the 4th back ( because she was defective), literally she kept falling off. Not really impressive if your body parts start falling off! :) Anyway, I was wearing my older prosthetic Mandie the 3rd and had Mandie the 4th in her box. Ok, are you still with me?
Anyway, as I walked in the receptionist said hi and how can I help you? My reply was " I am getting a new prosthetic and bringing back the old one. I guess it's not every day that you have someone comes in to trade you body parts, is it?" She looked right at me with a smile and said " actually, we do around here!"  It made me laugh and it made me feel good some how that I am not the only one to be swapping body parts. I laughed to, to think what people would say ( that passed by me ) if they knew what I had in the box. 
Still I was grateful for the way it made me feel. A little over 4 years ago, there was nothing that I thought would ever make me feel good after my mastectomy, or having to wear a prosthetic for the rest of my life. Naming the prosthetic, did help. I was grateful for it and how I felt ( more normal ) when I had her on. 

Then one day after getting Madie the 4th, I decided to pack the other Mandies away ( because you never know when you might need a spare )and before I did that I needed to wash them all again. I laid them on my bed to dry and I had my door shut. But on this day Amy and the girls were over to visit. Jenny, who was only 3-4 at the time walked in ( without knocking ) and saw all the Mandies laying on the bed. She got this weird look on her face, put her hands to her little face and said " Oh Nana, that's a whole lot of body parts! " 
I had to just laugh, Amy who came in later and saw what happened didn't quite see the humor in it as much as I did. 

I actually have a whole lot of funny Mandie stories, but you will just have to read about them on my blog. 
But for now my favorite quote to remember is...

"Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts - it's what you do with what you have left."  ~Hubert Humphrey
5th is Judgements 

     If you are as human as I, you often make judgments regarding a person’s character without full knowledge of the facts.  This can, on occasion, lead to some incorrect assumptions about an individual and the way we interact with them. 
   The Savior, in responding to a lawyer’s question of “who is my neighbor” said: 
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment”
   Many times we label individuals according to our first impressions of them.  A person who has their children doing tasks around the home, that seems like it should be done by an adult... may be someone who is suffering with a physical ailment and is in need of extra help.  A young child or young adult who is acting rebellious or angry against authority ....may be someone who is being abused.  And a person who doesn’t believe in God, is angry all the time, distant, or has a hard time forming relationships... may be someone who has lost a loved one and doesn’t know how to deal with that loss, or has had someone they trusted hurt them, and therefore have real TRUST issues.

This poem explains this subject well...

A woman was waiting at the airport one night, 
With several long hours before her flight. 
She hunted for a book in the airport shop, 
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop. 
She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see, 
That the man beside her, as bold as could be, 
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between, 
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene. 
She read, munched cookie, and watched the clock, 
As the gutsy “cookie thief” diminished her stock. 
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, 
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I’d blacken his eye!” 
With each cookie she took, he took one too. 
When only one was left, she wondered what he’d do. 
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh, 
He took the last cookie and broke it in half. 
He offered her half, and he ate the other. 
She snatched it from him and thought, “Oh brother, 
This guy has some nerve, and he’s also so rude, 
Why, he didn’t even show any gratitude!” 
She had never known when she had been so galled, 
And sighed with relief when her flight was called. 
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate, 
Refusing to look at the “thieving ingrate”. 
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat, 
Then sought her book, which was almost complete. 
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise. 
There were her bag of cookies in front of her eyes! 
“If mine are here,” she moaned with despair, 
“Then the others were his and he tried to share!” 
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief, 
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!!!

 We need to remember that everyone has a story. Everyone is fighting a battle of their own...that we may know about.   As we encounter these individuals, we must remember to keep our hearts and minds open to what hardships they may be experiencing and not be the “cookie thief” who judges someone before you know all the facts. 

6th (Last but not least) is Service

I like the way Mr. Roger's Mom tried to explained  it to him ...

"When I was a child and would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.''
That is my ultimate goal in be a Helper.

I love the story in the book of John, chapter 5 verses 1-9.  In Jerusalem there by the sheep market was a pool which was called (in the Hebrew language) Bethesda. This pool (like a hot springs or mineral springs) was known for it's healing powers at certain times. When the water was moving( troubled ), then the first person who got in, was to be made whole from their disease. Great multitudes of people with various problems waited by the pool, to be the first one in. The story goes on to tell about a invalid man who lived in Jerusalem and had suffered with his disease for 38 years. Jesus saw him at the pool and knowing he had been in that condition for a long time said unto him "Wilt thou be made whole?" The impotent man answered him, 'Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool; but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me' Jesus saith to him 'Rise, take up thy bed, and walk'. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked.
I love this story of the Savior's compassion for this man, and for His many miracles that He performed on a daily basis.
 But I also thought about what this man must have felt like. Everyone was pushing and walking over or ahead of him to help themselves. How many times do we rush by in life and not see, someone who is in need of help. That takes time and patience. That takes.... really looking outside of ourselves and a great lesson for us all slow down and personally get involved with other people's lives. It not only will bless them, but our lives will be better too. Service does that to you! 
I have heard my whole life that if you are hurting, frustrated or depressed...the best thing you can do is serve someone else. In doing so we forget (for maybe only a minute or so) our problems, pains and frustrations. .
Christ asks us to give of ourselves, to help lift others around us, share with those in need, to strengthen and gladden, to help them come unto Him. If we do so then we can truly be called disciples of Christ.

~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf  said..."Disciples of Christ throughout all ages of the world have been distinguished by their compassion. . . . In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers"

I love the scriptures in the book of Psalms 91:11-12 which says " For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands"

I do believe in angels, I have felt on more than one occassion in my life the help of strength beyond my own. I have also witnessed many angels here on earth, who have been here for me and my family. I will be forever grateful for those Angels of mine.
Sisters, I promise you that if you just give a smile to someone in need, a hug to someone who is suffering, a card to someone who is lonely and even a prayer for those in need...that there is where the miracle of service comes in. That is where we can make a difference in other's lives and in our own lives. 

I hope we can try and have more faith, hope for better things, keep a better perspective, use more Humor to soften life's troubles, to judge less often and try to Serve others like the Savior did.

I would like to close with a quote by Dieter F. Uchtdor which says...
"There may be times when we must make a courageous decision to hope even when everything around us contradicts this hope.
Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us."

Saturday, January 17, 2015


I truly am thankful for the times that I get to study for these presentations that I get to tomorrow night. Even though I have been speaking about mostly the same subjects for over 35 years. I continue to learn and grow.

I remember all the things that I am suppose to tell myself too, on tough and Bigger Than Me Days!
I am grateful for that.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Still studying!

For the last couple if months I have been studying for a talk I will be giving this Sunday January 18th in Redmond,WA at a Women's group.
No this is not the first time I have spoken...actually I have been doing motivational speaking for 35 years. You would think I would have it memorized by now right? Well, not really. every audience I speak to is different with different needs so...I am studying and praying that I will be inspired on what to speak about.
I found this quote in my studies.
" The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most of everyday"

Good thing to remember always!
Good Night dear friends!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mom comes first!

I loved this article by Jason Wright. It is a very important message for kids to understand and learn. As I loving said good bye to Miss Jenny my companion for the last 2 days, I also realized that I was looking forward to being with Jeff. Just me and him again! How fun this empty nest stage is getting. Yes, there are still some lonely days but thank goodness for grandkids is all I can say!
So reading this article made me think of how grateful I am ...that Jeff and I have always been a team. The kids knew that we put each other first, and now after all these years and now that they are grown and grateful I am we already had our relationship going through all the years.
Good night dear friends.
Scroll to the bottom if you want to see what Jenny and I were up to today!

Message to kids: Mom comes first

This won’t come as a surprise to my kids, but now they have it in writing. In fact, next time it comes up, maybe I’ll just send a link and a wink.
Oakli, Jadi, Kason and Koleson, I love you.
I love you more than you know, maybe more than you’ll ever know. Each of you is talented, kind, funny and imperfect. All four of you are works-in-progress, just like your flawed folks. And you bring me and your mother more happiness than we can articulate.
But never forget: Mom comes first.
Here’s the thing, kiddos. You’re players on the team, and I need you in the game. But your mother isn’t just some assistant coach calling the dishwashing, cooking and make-your-bed-or-else plays.
She’s our co-head coach, a full partner. Without her, this team would have a laughable, losing record.
Remember, my time on the field with you is more or less 18 years. Sure, we could go overtime for college summers and any short-term boomerangs back home while you chase employment. But in time, you’ll each find someone to pair up with and start a team of your own.
You’re kids. We get it. Sometimes you’re tempted to pit one parent against the other. I did it, too. We approach one coach for this and the other coach for that.
If you fear one will say “no,” you ask the other instead. Sometimes, you even ignore the first coach’s answer and cozy up to the second one for another shot.
Yep. I did that, too. And just like every other parent, we don’t like it.
But you know what really makes dad-coaches like me crazy? When children disrespect and mistreat their mothers.
Here we go.
Once, as a teenager, on a muggy summer afternoon, your grandmother said “no” to what seemed like a perfectly reasonable request from her knucklehead son. With no one else in sight, I responded in a way I’ll always regret.
I was wrong. No excuses. No exceptions. No justifications.
And no, we weren’t alone.
My dad was right around the corner and it took just a few seconds for me to recognize that I hadn’t just stepped over a line, I’d smashed it with a sledgehammer.
Your Grandpa Wright led me down the hall to the couch in the living room and hung his giant right arm around me. I remember well the smell of lawn clippings and hard work. He was a big man and when he pulled you in close, you were his.
I’ll never forget the concern.
I’ll never forget the love.
I’ll never forget that he cut the discussion short.
Even more importantly, I’ll never forget the scene that came next.
When I hoped the dust had settled, I went looking for my mother. I found her sitting on a log that bordered our garden at the far edge of our side yard. Her back was to the house and even from a distance, I could tell she was crying.
But she wasn’t alone.
Dad sat at her right. He had his big arm around her. She was his.
The image is unshakable three decades later. They were a team.
While I knew my dad loved me, I knew that my mother came first. They are bound in this life and the next. He loved me and my siblings, but I wasn’t his best friend. He absolutely cherished our time together, but his wife was his top priority.
Mom came first.
Kids, it’s taken me time to understand this, but you aren’t really ours. You’re just in our care for a short time. You belong to a loving God who is your first Creator, your spiritual Father, and His perfect love for you is even tougher to describe than ours.
He’s a partner in our marriage. He and His son, the only Begotten One, are the reason our marriage is more than a legal contract between two consenting adults. It’s an eternal bond only possible by Them and through Them.
While I have faith our relationships with you will also endure beyond this life and into the next, it is your mom who is my best friend, my eternal companion, my co-head coach and the one with whom I am equally yoked.
Kids, I love you. But don’t ever forget that no matter the day, the debate, the game or how much time is on the clock, Mom comes first.
I found the article HERE:
Jenny and I went to one of my dear friend's house today. As we talked in her sewing studio, Jenny had fun playing and dressing up Gordy. She even drew her a picture of him! Then we just sewed and crocheted a little bit more. It was fun, hard saying good bye to her but she was ready to see her family. GRATEFUL is what comes to mind!

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Best Day Ever!

It has been a long time since Jenny or Angie have come over, one on one for a Sleep Over at our house. I love having them both but...really one on one is best because I get way more quality time with them. Today Jenny and I had a wonderful time today taking down Christmas and trying to get the house ready for Winter. Jenny said she would rather say we are getting ready for winter by calling it ...decorating for FROZEN, so we put the Frozen soundtrack on ...and had a lot of fun taking down Christmas. Why is make everythingso  much more fun!

After lunch and one more of hour of taking down decorations, then we went in the sewing room and make some rice bags, hand warmers and then just played in the rice for another hour. Once Jeff got home, we decided for Family Night we would go to dinner and then watch a movie. So to Mod Pizza we went. Pizza is Jenny's favorite!

Since we had to use some of the emergency clothes this Sleep Over ( Jenny didn't have any extra clothes with her ) so we had to get something for her to wear to dinner. She wasn't really happy about what she had to wear, but when I saw her pose for a photo, I figure she was ok now! :)
 After dinner, Jenny thought it would be great to have frozen yogurt for dessert, (plus it was next door to Mod Pizza :)
When we went to frozen yogurt in December with Audrey, the first thing she did was rip off one of the snowflakes. It was still there tonight, we laughed at how funny Audrey is! 

Came home and watched TANGLED and crocheted. Yes, this is the best day ever! I am grateful to have them live close to us. We get to see Kai in February...can't wait! Nana and Poppa are way past due with quality time with our boy!

I <3 my kids! My son Shawn, step-daughters Katie, Faith & Eve, grand-daughters Lailah and Merci. I Love ♥ my great-niece Taylor! And my great-nieces Katie and Jacqui, and I <3 my great nephews Christian, Blake, and Bennett!! I also <3 all my former foster sons: Eric P., Andy R., Nick B., Ray P., RJ P., Chris L., Tim S., Nick A., Eric C., Ben, Jerrod, Mike S., Scott L., Steven S., Tony T., Bruce D., Chris D., Dominic D., Joey, Steve, plus about 10 more.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


So grateful that my flu is finally gone. I was able to go out for our Date Night Friday night. A nice dinner at a new restraurant, it was a Christmas gift from our kids! What a treat. Then Saturday I got to spend the day with Amy. It isn't very often we get to spend time together all by ourselves, but John was a trooper and keep the girls all day so we could have some Mother/ Daughter time. We went to a Jewelry show in Tacoma with our friend.  Here is some of the new jewelry that they were showing.

I was pretty wiped out after being gone for the day! Then today the girls, John and Amy came to church with us. After church they spent the rest of the day here. Jeff and I were so glad, it had been about 2 weeks since we had seen the girls. Poor Audrey was starting a terrible cold, but here was a photo that Amy took a couple of days ago. Can't believe how big she is getting. And look at those sweet cheeks.

Everyone else left tonight except Jenny. She is going to do a 2 Day Sleep over with us! Yeah!
It was a nice weekend! Grateful to feel better so we can do things with the kids.
Hope you had a nice weekend too!
Good night dear friends!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hello World!

Today is our youngest daughter Lauren's birthday!
It was only 24 years ago today, and it seemed from the moment she came out that she was ready to take on the world. Here she is at 2 years old, holding her new brother Lee!

 She totally saw the world in her on different way and this sign for a baby's room seemed to be made just for her.

Let Her Sleep. I know this is for a baby's room...but i LOVE it so much- I would totally find another place for it. :)
There was never a dull moment in our home from the time she was born, she has brighten our days, shocked us beyond imagination, kept us laughing and crying when she is gone. Now this 24 year old sweet girl is graduated from college, working, and married!

 How proud we are of her and how BAD we miss her. But she is where she is suppose to be, and blessing the lives of the people in Idaho.
So Happy Birthday dear Lauren! We love you and are so proud of the beautiful young woman you have become!

Ok now for my motivational part of my blog...

I just watched this music video...
The song is called Hello World
Sweet message, great reminder to slow down, be patient, be forgiving and to be grateful for each MOMENT!
Good Night dear friends!

 Watch it HERE:

Hello World
by Lady Antebellum
Traffic crawls, cell phone calls
Talk radio screams at me through my tinted window I see
A little girl, rust red minivan, she’s got chocolate on her face
Got little hands and she waves at me
Yeah, she smiles at me
Well, hello world
How you been
Good to see you, my old friend
Sometimes I feel cold as steel
Broken like I’m never gonna heal
And I see a light, a little hope in a little girl
Hello world
Every day I drive by a little white church
It’s got these little white crosses
Like angels in the yard
Maybe I should stop on in, say a prayer
Maybe talk to God like he is there
Oh, I know he’s there
Yeah, I know he’s there
Well hello world
How you been
Good to see you, my old friend
Sometimes I feel as cold as steel
And broken like I’m never gonna heal
And I see a light, a little grace, a little faith unfurls
Well hello world
Sometimes I forget what living’s for
And I hear my life through my front door
And I breathe it in
Oh, I’m home again
And I see my wife
Little boy and little girl
Hello world
Hello world
Well the empty disappears
I remember why I’m here
Just surrender and believe
I fall down on my knees
Well hello world
Hello world
Hello world

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My Mom believed in me!

Marc Mero is a man on a mission, here is what he has to say about his Mom believing in him. Watch it here:
Truly every Mother hopes to have each kid feel their love for them. And with that love, see them go on and become someone who will change the world... just by being their personal best.

Marc's Mission statement for his company is ...

"Our Mission of Champion of Choices, Inc. is to empower students to make healthy and positive choices that lead to lifelong success, initiating personal and social change to make a difference in themselves and their communities."

Read more about his company HERE:

Hope you enjoyed this!
Night dear friends!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A story to Remember

For the last two days I have had the flu, as I wrap up in my afghan that my dear friend crocheted for me last year, I sat and remembered what time and effort my friend took in making it ...Ireminded me of this sweet story about a Christmas Quilt that I forgot to post in December. Most of you know that I work at a Quilt Shop. I have worked there for over 4 years now and absolutely love my job. I love the ladies that I work with, I love quilters attitude of " there aren't any mistakes in making quilts, you are still learning and that just makes your quilt unique" How I wish a lot of people had that mind set in many other areas of life. But the things that continue to amaze me with these ladies and many of my friends also is...the love, time and effort they put into their gifts to others. Each present I opened this year from family and friends, was a sweet reminder of their love for me. What a treat.
woman with quilt
Christmas Quilt
Illustrations by Bradley H. Clark
One of the most challenging experiences of my life happened shortly after the passing of our 10-year-old daughter from brain cancer. The saying “You can’t take it with you” came with clarity as we looked around her room one Saturday afternoon.
Clarissa was gone, but her room still held the identifiable remnants of her earthly stay. We now had the daunting task of deciding what to do with her personal belongings. I knew that parting with a single item would not be easy, especially for my wife.
Dealing with the whirlwind of details associated with hospitals, chemotherapy, and radiation had left us little time to clean and organize.
Memories came as we packed up items she’d arranged on her headboard or bookshelf. They all held heartfelt meaning—from her favorite blanket, book, or necklace to her stuffed animals, schoolbooks, and football. My wife sobbed as we asked what to do with each item.
We gathered many of Clarissa’s books and took them to her elementary school for other children to enjoy. We gave her dresser to a neighbor. Some of her clothes went to cousins. Focusing on others helped make the difficult situation of parting with her things a little easier.
Several weeks later, as Christmas approached, my two teenage daughters asked their mother if they could use some of Clarissa’s clothes to make a special Christmas gift. They selected each article of clothing for its intrinsic family memory and carefully cut squares to represent precious moments in her life.
A few days before Christmas, they and their Young Women leader, who had helped them come up with the idea, showed me a quilt they were making. I looked in astonishment at each square of fabric, which represented an event in Clarissa’s life: a square from her football uniform, a square from the shirt we bought her on a family trip, a square from the pajama pants she wore at the hospital. Each piece, so precious and beautiful, reminded me of our time with her. I told my daughters it was perfect. I knew their mother would love it.
That Christmas morning I saw a gift given from the heart. I will always remember my wife’s expression when she opened her gift and saw what her daughters had made for her. Each night since then she has wrapped her Christmas quilt around her, recalling memories and dreaming of the day our family will be united again—thanks to the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I found the article HERE: