Tuesday, September 29, 2009

happy birthday Mom

Dear Mom,

Yesterday I yelled your name really loud...kind of like the way I used to yell your name at the bottom of the stairs growing up...:

"MOM???? I can't find the ketch-up in the fruit room!"

"MOM??? Does this look good on me?"

"Mom??? Do you have a button I could use???"

"Mom??? What time is it?"

"Mom??? What are you doing??? Can you help me down here????"

"Mom??? Do you know where any toe nail clippers are???"

"Mom??? Are you home???"


No one answered when I yelled your name yesterday.- but I had a feeling you were listening and thinking how crazy I sound. Just calling your name reminded me how much I still need you.

Today is your birthday. You would be turning 60 years old. You probably feel better and younger than I do now. I can only imagine that young spirit of yours being free from that sick tired body. I bet you are annoyingly hyper up in heaven. I can just picture your face lighting up with laughter. I am sure many of our ancestors are rejoicing in your return.

I miss you. I think about you a lot. The other day I wanted to talk to you SOOOO bad. It was one of those "oh I have to call Mom" moments. It left a huge ache in my heart.

Maybe it is good you are gone. I think I am starting to grow up a little. I can finally put childhood away and start focusing on my own children. Traditions mean more to me now- holidays and seasons all rest upon me as a mother to create something special for my girls- I don't think I would ever really learn this unless you were gone. I was so depended upon you for so many things.

Your dear friend Melody stopped by a couple days ago and gave me a huge pot bouquet of mums for your birthday. It was one of the most thoughtful things anyone has ever done for me. I feel so alone sometimes being far away from family and friends but the flowers meant everything to me. Melody loves you so much. You have touched so many lives.

Last year on your birthday many came to see you. You laid peacefully on your bed in the front room. People came with gifts and cards. We all knew the time was short. Jaynee brought you a bouquet of gorgeous roses- and we placed them right in your view so you could see them when you opened your eyes.

Mom, I love you so much. I miss you terribly. This has been the hardest year of my life. I feel a very big void in my life now. I really liked you. Man- cause this has been so difficult to get over with. My good days are slowly passing up the hard days-but those hard days I tell you- are really hard.

I wish I could talk to you. Someday someday...I can't wait. I can't wait for that day. Happy Birthday Mommy.

Love always, April

Monday, September 28, 2009

i love my sister

oh my gosh Joette finally posted on her blog today...

it's going to be a good day

Sunday, September 27, 2009

firm foundations

The ladies in my ward...oh the elderly ladies in my ward- cream of the crop I tell ya.


Last night I was able to attend the General Relief Society Conference at the conference center in Salt Lake.

A bunch of us ladies from the ward carpooled together.

I was able to mingle with the amazing sisters in the ward whom I call my greatest examples. I feel like I am sitting upon the shoulders of giants when I am in their presence.


Those are really their names! so so perfect.

All of these ladies are widows. They are smart and articulate. They are classy...some wear pearls. They attend the temple weekly. Their foundations are firm.

Fern raised 7 children in a home exactly like mine! 7 children! She smiled sweetly as she reminisced about having 4 children in 1 bedroom- it was a sweet memory of hers to think about 4 of her kiddos all smashed in a 8X10 room. I thought to myself, "I want to have those types memories when I am 88. I would rather have those memories than the memories of having some elaborate house where all the children listened to their own Ipod in their own room next to their own computer..sounds a little boring hindsight don't you think?? It's the chaotic, faithful, loving, crisis, sacrifice family stories of the past we like to hear isn't it?-

Being with those sisters always opens up my perspective on life. After we parked the car in the conference center's parking lot, we had to still walk a little ways to get to the conference center. I was somewhat concerned for them, wondering if the long walk would be manageable for them to do. Then I quickly noticed how confident and strong these ladies were- and yet very compassionate for one another. They grabbed their cute little purses and some would hold hands and they made their way successfully to the Relief Society conference.

My eyes were watering up a little. I was witnessing pure love and faith. Here these old ladies could have easily stayed home, sat on their favorite recliner, and watched the conference on TV. But they didn't. They came. I'm so glad they did.

Last night made me think about the silly things I pay too much attention to in my life. These elderly sisters have a rich history of motherhood and service. They are so kind and loving. They don't have facebook accounts- they don't text each other, they aren't concerned about wrinkles or being a size 6 or wearing fashionable clothes- they are just centered on Christ and family. Their conversations reflect family stories of the past, being a grandma, working at the temple...I hope when I near the closing chapter of my life here on earth that I can resemble the character of these ladies.

The conference was amazing. We of course were stuck up in the nosebleed section- thank goodness for those huge TV screens...but it was a great feeling to be surrounded by sisters in the gospel. It felt good- it felt right. I knew I was where I was supposed to be.

The spirit most touched me when all 18 thousand plus of us sang "How Firm a Foundation" Holy smokes- POWERFUL! Then the choir would do their high octave thing while we sang and I just lost it...the tears...just beautiful. I got that feeling...that wondrous feeling that everything is in the Lord's hands and that I am not alone- there is an army of believers surrounding me.

favorite verses of the hymn:

3. Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

what matters most

Thanks Emily for posting this video. I found it on your blog this morning and it...well it was an answer to prayer.

I have been asking myself this question a lot lately. What matters most in my life?

I am so grateful for President Monson. I know he is our living prophet on this earth today.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

summer in september

ok I have decided to not let go of Summer just yet. I know there is a bunch of you who just love Fall and are all giddy about the crisp air, the excitement of school, pumpkin pumpkin.

I love Fall too I suppose. I just don't love what follows Fall.

I know nothing compares to the first snowfall...where everything is quiet and the world turns white. It's just the whole cold factor that makes me uneasy...and getting my socks wet in the house from tracked in snow can really bother me too.--And the scraping of iced over windows...and the 4:30 A.M paper route nightmares that start out with putting on my socks, then bread bags over the socks, then shoes, 3 shirts, I-pod, and a coat.

Christmas however is magical. I love Christmas. Who doesn't?

Fall is very pretty. The colors are my favorite. And Fall attire is always fun to wear. And of course my terrifying addiction to any combination of pumpkin and sugar...

But as many of you already know and who have read my blog around this time of year: I don't like Halloween. I think it is creepy and unhealthy. Do we really have to stick bloody skeletons on our front porch? And why the murder scene on the front yard? Does that really make you happy? Let's just carve a pumpkin or two, dress up as princesses, and keep it lovely. Can we do that?

I honestly do not get Halloween.

ok back to Summer- I just love Summer. Don't go away Summer. Please! I want to play some more in the sun and let the girls go wild in the back yard. I just love the sock 'less' green grass riding bikes flower garden warm mornings sprinklers carefree days of summer...

I don't know about you but we are still holding out.


I went home for 2 weeks.

One thing I learned from my visit:

Mothers make all the difference. They just do. And I can't believe I am one.

The trip home was somewhat adventurous. The girls were entertaining to say the least.

A lot of potty breaks...

And I loved it when we passed cows. "Mooooooo"

coming home:

When I walked through the front door of my parent's house I felt instant emptiness. It was clean (Joette lives there) and it was exactly decorated as it always has been...with touches of Mom's art and style everywhere- but something was so different.

For one thing there wasn't any food. "Why are the cupboards empty Dad? I am starving!" That house usually has a nurturing feeling to it when you walk in...like it was a given you'd soon be fed a good meal. Not this time.

I remember loving to go home because Mom was my mom again. She would sit and listen to me talk about my problems, hold my hand in the temple, make dessert, fix a hem in my skirt, have Family Home Evening, share a scripture at breakfast, play and read to Kenzie...

I didn't have a mom this time around.

Very empty feeling. I am thinking the woman of every house must provide a special aura- special spirit that can only be felt when the woman is residing there. A feeling of creativity, love, nurture, home.

It's the whole house vs. home thing

So of course my trip was fun...just a few aches here and there.

It seems like yesterday we were saying goodbye to Mom at the hospice house. She still has so many things of hers in the closets at home. Lotion bottles half used, books all wrinkly from reading them in the bath tub with a bookmark where she left off, her favorite shampoo that made her grey hair shimmer- still in the bathroom. Death is so weird.

My dad has a lady friend now. Her name is Kaye. Yes, Kaye. Kaye is wonderful for Dad...she is actually the nicest most patient lady I have ever met...probably a better match for Dad than Mom was. It is ok,- it is perfectly safe to say that- don't worry. All I know is when Mom would get red in the face at Dad's quirky "ness", Kaye just simply smiles and reasures that everything will be ok. It is a miracle really.

The dynamics in my family are kind of changing...and so it was hard to feel grounded in Newman Lake this time.

So what did us girls do on this lovely trip?

*Well I stayed at Tiffani's and we went to see Jody. Jody was supposed to inspire me to get organized. She is an Organizing Fool- amazing. My mind will NEVER work like Jody's, but it was exciting to see a life completely organized. What it must be like??? I love organizing. I think about it all the time. I am always thinking of function and "flowage" of an organized household..and yet I royally suck at it. But because it is a desire of mine...I feel that someday I will be granted this wish- not on this earth...but someday.

*Went to a family/friends BBQ at the Winters' cabin on Newman Lake. It was a delight to see forever treasured good friends. Not a delight however to chase Julia all night so she wouldn't plummet face first into the the lake.

*Watched my brothers race Motocross at the Kootenai County Fair...they raced in the '30 and older' bracket of course. I am so proud of my brothers for keeping their dream and love alive. I loved watching the races- especially the professionals. My heart was pounding and I even cried a little...probably because I know how desperately my brothers are passionate about dirt bikes. I didn't take any pictures of my bros racing...I thought I recorded it but nope...camera issues. But I did happen to take a picture of our snack while waiting for them to race.

So I didn't take pictures of my brothers racing...but does this picture count?

*Went to the fair again with just me and the girls and my 5 year old nephew Isaac. We went to the petting zoo and looked at all the animals. It is funny how having curious kids suddenly makes me want to walk down endless rows of smelly stalls filled with farm animals. It was fun to see the kids reactions though. I loved petting the sheep.

We had a baby lamb when I was a little girl. We named her Dr. Pepper.

*Went camping. Holy smokes this was a time I missed my husband most especially. But I did it- I put up a tent and snuggled with my two girls with a flashlight...priceless. The girls loved the whole tent experience...and after 10 minutes or so of squirming with excitement, my girls curled up next to me and slept through the night.

It was tricky though to keep everyone happy during the day. So we solved that problem by spending a couple hours in Grandpa's trailer.

Camp trailers are cheating aren't they? (you have to watch the video below)

We went camping up at Coeur d'Alene River. The most beautiful place on earth. Mom's one and only camping spot. I can't get over how perfectly beautiful this place is. My heaven will look like the Coeur d'Alene River area...the spirit is so strong there for some reason. The creation at its highest potential. Where childhood, testimony, adventure, family and memories come together and solidify in me a place of peace and refuge from the crazy busy world.

*Took the girls on a small hike with Bryon and Lorena and their two little kiddos. Julia rolled down a 25 foot embankment and into the river...oh dear...she was fine believe it or not...then we returned home...and rested gladly.

Ainsley and Kenzie- These two little cousins were inseparable.

camping camping camping

*One night after the fun but tiring camping trip, we stayed up late watching YouTube. Keith had to show me this clip...I laughed so hard...very fitting for the weekend excursion. His name is Jim Gaffigan:

*Went to church. Mom is a legacy in that ward. She left a legacy. She left this world as an example to all. She left her mark. She left a mark because she was obedient. I want to leave a mark.

*Visited some amazing friends. Sheri and Jaynee- you know what? We will always always be good friends. Isn't that crazy? I will always be able to be 100% myself around these girls no matter what. What comfort.

*I also did a whole lot of nothing on my trip. Read a lot.- cleaned out the garage...went to goodwill with Daddy. Everyone was busy it seemed so I just kicked it at home a lot. I read this book and it was so inspiring:

Here they are on the lazy kick back days...Grandma's swing. This swing is near perfection. It sits on the back deck in a place that stays shaded for most of the day. It is really comfortable. It's great for conversations...and the view is breathtaking- mountain ranges and endless pine trees for the liking.

*Got my hair done one night by the infamous Eileen. My hair is dark again. After all these years of highlights...I colored it back to my original color- although I'm not quite sure what my original hair color is anymore...after the hair appointment I spent the evening with Keith and Calie and their wonderful family. Keith was in the best mood. I loved it.

*oh and Keith shared with me some more YouTube relief: Brian Reagan and Pastor Manning's sermon "Long Legged Mack Daddy" ...oh I haven't laughed so hard for so long...

*Joette and I stayed up super late one night (it was so nice not to have the paper route) and watched 10 or so episodes of The Office...what a miracle that show is.

well that about wraps up the trip besides the road trip home and the WHOLE BREAKING DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE CRAP.

Let's just say that was a miserable experience. Met some nice people to help me...but it just ended up being a very discouraging, expensive, exhausting ordeal. If you really want to know the details- then ask me about it someday.

All I know is after we spent A LOT of money on the car to only find out the engine was ruined, I just wanted to pretend my life wasn't mine. Chay's brothers so kindly came and finally rescued me from Legrand and hauled the car back to Boise. I didn't want to return home. I just wanted to stay at Tiffani's forever. Chay came and we stayed the weekend. I helped Tiffani move and organize which was very therapeutic to worry about someone else's problems rather than my own.

I am still kind of numb to the whole fact that we aren't sitting pretty with the whole car situation...all I have to say is our "emergency fund" needs more funds for the funding.

Dave, I really need to call into your show...maybe I will tonight. The debt snowball has come to an abrupt stop.

all makes for a good story doesn't it?

so now I am back home...

OH MY GOSH!!!! MY GREEN DRINK JUST CAME UPS!!!!! I think I can handle life now.

Friday, September 11, 2009


September 11th- oh my gosh what a day I will always remember.

- This day was horrible and yet it brought us together as a nation like never before. Everyone put aside parties, policies, opinions and any other kind of cultural division and we became one. We became one...truly a United States of people, willing to do all it took to help each other. People freely gave their money and service to help in anyway the could. They weren't taxed to help with the tragedy, they weren't mandated to comfort the victims, their earnings weren't garnished to provide supplies and money to those on the rescue effort, they didn't feel obligated to serve their government- they just helped each other because they were Americans.

The power really is in the people. Did you know that? It is in the people, people, people- God's greatest creation is you and me. We were given the gift of agency by Him. Each one of us has the light of Christ in us. We for the most part make the right personal decisions to serve and help others. We choose good because we are good. Although there are many wicked people out there, children of God are generally good. When a person is given rights, liberty, choice, and responsibility, they for the most part make very kind, loving, generous decisions to help another person. We do not need a king or a government to remind us to do this. There is a meaning much deeper than first realized when we read the first line of the constitution, "We the People"- "We the People" can do anything...because of God, and the good natured souls that we are...we can even fix the economy ourselves without government intervention...there might be a few bumps in the road, some failures, some things to learn- but if you leave the process alone and let it play out how it should, the private sector will come out ahead- that is what true freedom does. It allows the individual to learn and grow without restrictions other than the government of their own personal conscience.

America would never prosper if we were ruled by "We the Government"...that would be unrighteous dominion of the human soul. It would rob you and me of reaching our potential. But sometimes there are good righteous government leaders. Yes that is true. But not always. That is why the Constitution divides the powers of government into three branches. The founding fathers knew the danger of one man or one branch obtaining too much power. The justice of the constitution is blind. It wasn't designed for good or for evil leaders. It was designed to protect the people no matter the circumstance.

Even good Government programs can be dangerous. It encroaches upon the freedom process- where the private sector's free agency and rights are slowly taken away for the betterment of the collective. Only when God is king would this idea ever work. And when God is king, He still allows us to choose.

Freedom allows us to look inward. It is what makes choosing to help those in need so rewarding. No one likes to pay taxes, but allow a person a chance to serve according to the dictates of his or her own conscience, and if the person ceases the opportunity, the person will flourish, give more than expected, group others to do the same...and what do you know? Americans continue to be Americans.

If freedom allows us to look inward than where do we look if we are ruled over by powerful government?

9/11 was a day we proved we weren't selfish capitalists. It was a day that became evident that "we the people" really want to help and care for each other. We don't need a mandated socialistic government to push us in that direction. Our nation gives more to charity than any other country on the planet.

We shouldn't tax the rich and give more breaks to the poor- the rich are actually quite giving...they hire the poor, they help the economy, they keep the housing market strong, they give to charities, they push for better technology in the medical and science fields. Those prosperous people (for the most part) aren't out to drain the system, they are there to help it- and if they do manufacture something for $1 and sell it for $100- who really cares? They deserve their success. That $100 something is providing jobs, feeding the economy, allowing more tax money to repair those pot holes in the street, getting students through college...trust me, the rich are not evil- they are successful good hard working people. The rich are not the enemy. Trust me. Don't tax them. Don't do it. They keep us thriving. The poor need to "feel uncomfortable in their poverty" (Benjamin Franklin) they need to work hard to break the traditions of their family and culture and believe in the American Dream. The poor need to feel the heaviness of their circumstance and face up to their true potential. The human being can survive the worst conditions...they can survive if they knew they had no other route to take. Spoon fed citizens continue to be spoon fed citizens. Look what we did to the Indians...the worst thing we could have ewver done to the Indians was to spoon feed them...ever lived near an Indian Reservation??? You then know exactly what I mean.

FREEDOM is HARD. It was meant to be hard...something we should always always fight for- the Adversary wants to take it away and destroy it. He will be sneaky and make evil things appear good...and that which is good will appear evil. It will always be a constant battle to fight for freedom...for when there is bondage there is captivity of the human soul.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

broke down

I think it is the timing belt.

Broke down on a lonely freeway...at least I could see a house in the distance.

Here I am in Le Grand Oregon. I hear 15,000 people live here.

Some hotel, no car, no phone charger, 2 little girls

The towing guy was the nicest man in the world- so genuine.

The State Trooper- was so YOUNG. I knew I was older than him and that is a weird feeling. I am growing up. I can't believe I am growing up and becoming older than cops and celebrities.

The first man to pull over and help me told me as he left "I felt the Spirit to pull over and help you" I told him "Thank you for listening"

After about 2 weeks of an fun weird interesting visit home to Newman Lake...this finale seems quite appropriate.

More to come...