Tuesday, October 26, 2021


Last night after an FFA parent meeting that Christan 
and I attended for Ollie and Gigs, 
all of us jumped in the car and went for a ride to see the spooky
Halloween decorations in a popular neighborhood.
It was the perfect night.
It was breezy with lightning! LIGHTNING! It was eerie and perfect!
Sadly, however, I only took one photo of the evening,
and it was of a house with cute pumpkin lanterns, but
it couldn't have been more perfect.
Here is our Halloween playlist if you need some
creepy music for your Halloween needs:
💀Michael Myers Theme
👹Stranger Things
👻Killer Clown Waltz
👹I Cannot See His Color
💀Cornfield Chase
👺Boys and Girls (Stranger Things)
👻Halloween Theme
💀The 2nd Law: Isolated System
👺Nancy and Barb  (Stranger Things)
👹Chamber of Secrets
👻The Banshee
💀Night on Bald Mountain

Friday, October 22, 2021

Hi Tophy! (Another Halloween Tale)

Missing this brother of mine extra today. 
This time of year reminds me so much of him.
One day, I was in the car thinking about him wondering what he was doing, 
and if they celebrate Halloween in heaven and all the long-awaited
 conspiracy theories he's learning about. 
I stopped at a red light and the license plate of 
the car in front of me said: "IM HERE".
It took my breath away. Naturally, I said out loud,
 "Hi, Tophy!"
I know he's not far.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

When We Were Young

Yesterday while running errands I noticed the cutest little towhead boy.
It took my breath away as I watched him run around and laugh
with his wispy white hair blowing in the breeze.
This little dude was the spitting image of Nicholas-
my little Nicholas as I knew him before the accident. 
It was the way he ran, the way he laughed, the way he pointed,
the way he rolled around the grass, even his clothes reminded me of Gigs.  
Then I started to cry because I was taken back to the 2008 pre-accident days
living in Arizona with four small children.
I don't want to go back to 2008, and I am grateful and proud
of where I am now, but my goodness how those few minutes effected me.
They made me feel things that had been hidden deep in my
heart protected from the pain and guilt I felt after the accident because I 
was incapable of mothering for a season, and I'll never get those days back.
For about a year I was totally
incapable of being much of a mother to him, 
 and he grew up so fast during that year.
Change is inevitable and it happens to everyone.
Of course, Nicholas would grow up whether I had an accident or not.
But for a small moment, I remembered Gigs as my little
dude and me as a young mommy,
and that was kind of fun. And sad, too.
Then I had Adele's singing "When We Were Young"
in my head for the rest of the day.
"I was so scared to face my fears
Nobody told me that you'd be here...
Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized
We were sad of getting old..."

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Ghost of the Forest (another Halloween Tale)

When we moved to North Carolina over three years ago we were
 in awe of how many trees and forests there are here.
So many trees!
They hug the roads for miles and cover homes, and in
the fall/winter months everything looks totally different, and you
see homes and structures in places you had no idea existed.
Late one night just after our move, Christian and I were driving in the car
when he dramatically stopped the car and whispered,
 "Holy cow, did you see that?!"
"See what?! See what?  SEE WHAT?!" I remember yelling back.
"It was a white deer, I swear it was a white deer.  I saw it in the headlights."
He told me, still whispering.
I laughed. Pfffshhh, a white deer?  I've never heard of that.
But he swore for months after that sighting that
 he had actually seen this elusive mysterious creature.
Later while out with friends for dinner, Christian recounted his
sighting of this ghostly animal and our friends 
literally dropped their forks and stared at him.
"What?  Did you say you saw the...w-w-white deer?"
It was like he had won the million-dollar jackpot.
They went on to tell us that around these parts
 there is a superstition about this deer because he's immortal and very
hard to spot but if you do, you are 1 of 20,000 that will ever see it.
Then I started feeling jealous.
After that, literally EVERY DANG TIME for nearly three years
that I'd go outside I look for the white deer.  
It took my breath away and I started to cry.
I was driving Lottie to school and as I was slowly driving up the long driveway
he jumped out in front of the car.
You heard me right, I said that HE JUMPED OUT IN FRONT OF ME.
We watched him gallop mysteriously around the woods
until he stopped turned around as if to tell me,
Then he disappeared.
I can die now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Blood (another Halloween tale)

Here is another spooky Halloween tale in my
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
(Ollie, 2)
This morning before the boys left for school I signed a waiver so 
Ollie could participate in the blood drive at school. 
He woke up extra early to he could make himself a nice breakfast
 of eggs and toast so he'd be in the perfect condition to give blood.
He's never given blood before but since he's 16 and eligible
he's been eager to give it a try.
This afternoon when I picked up the boys from school the first thing I did was
ask Ollie how it went.
He laughed a little and then Nicholas burst out,
"He fainted."
"Oh no, son, what happneed?" I asked him.
Then he told me his bloody tale:
There he was at 10:30 am in the gym and everything was going just fine.
He told me that the needle prick wasn't even that bad.
He was comfy in the chairs and even had a blanket over him,
 but the second he looked
down to see his blood pumping out of his vein and 
into a sack above him was when he lost it and began to feel dizzy.
He told me he was so embarrassed because he was talking to a cute girl
who was giving blood in the chair next to him and right in the
middle of a story she was telling him he told me that he interrupted her 
and said,
"Well, I'm going now."
She stopped her story and said,
"Wait, what?  Where are you going?"
Then Ollie answered, "I'm just going to go for a little bit....".
Then he said everything went white and when he woke up
three nurses were hoving over him, one with a vile of some
magical smelling potion stuffed into his nose to get him to come to.
And it worked.
Then he said he saw blood pumping out of his arm where the IV
had once been, and the cute girl saying over and over,
"Ollie?  Ollie? Oliver?". 
 And everything was in slow motion.
He said they propped him up on a special chair, pushed cookies 
and a can of coke in front of his face, and ordered him to drink and rest.
Then I asked why no one called to tell me.
"Oh good plan, mom, call my mommy to come to pick me up,
that wouldn't have made me feel any more stupid at all!".
Then he said,
Mom, what's wrong with me.  I had a good breakfast, and 
I drank so much water I was peeing all day!"
Then I told him he was just like his dad who fainted
in the delivery room when I gave birth to Claire
because he hates needles and blood.
"Well, I'm not giving up.  I'm going to try again in the 
Spring when they come back."
Then Gigs said,
"Do you think they'll let you?  Or is there the word "WIMP"
 next to your name in the blood bank data?"

But, Ollie did get a free t-shirt out of the embarrassing bloody ordeal,
AND the attention of lots of girls.
And a few cold Cokes.
All joking aside, giving blood is such an honor.
I have been the recipient of others' blood and in a few cases it literally
saved my life.
And I'm proud of Ollie for having the desire to participate.
He's my hero!

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Lord's Timing

Last Saturday Christian and I met up with our good friends,
Clark and Christine Gilbert.
Christine and I grew up in Provo, Utah 
in the same Oak Hills neighborhood,
and Clark's dad, Christine's dad, and my dad were all buddies
who attended the same grade schools.
A few years ago we spent a wonderful weekend with the Gilberts in Idaho
where I was invited to give the devotional to the BYUI students.
Clark was serving as the University President.
Now he is serving as a General Authority Seventy,
and he gave the best talk at General Conference this past October that
 had such a profound effect on Claire in Brazil.
She's sorting out her future decisions particularly with education, and 
this talk really helped her find purpose and clarity.
"In the Lord’s timing, it is not where we start but where
 we are headed that matters most."
-Elder Clark G. Gilbert

Friday, October 15, 2021

9.82 Days Old

 Last night Lottie and I sat outside and watched
 as Christian fixed his motorcycle tire.
It's not cold here, but chilly enough that the fireflies have long moved on.
I am excited for a change in the weather and it comes to 
North Carolina so much later than we are used to in the west.
Lottie has been learning about the phases of the moon and
 her homework for the past few nights has been to go outside
and determine the moon phase.
Tonight it was on the Waxing Gibbous Phase meaning that the
moon is 9.82 days old.
We talked about how God is in every little detail of this beautiful earth.
Christian got the tire on his motorcycle fixed 
and was up bright and early for work the next morning.
I love being married to such a capable man!

Spiritual Enlightenment:
 "If we love God enough to try to be fully faithful to Him, 
He will give us the ability, the capacity, the will,
 and the way to love our neighbor and ourselves."

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

With the cows

 Today I dropped Jane off at work since the truck tires
 (THREE OF THEM) blew out at AT ONCE (and on the way to church, btw).
But I don't mind because it's fun to spend a few extra minutes
 with her in the morning and then watch her walk into 
work at the dental office.
I'm proud of her and the effort and choices she's making to 
to succeed and grow in her life,
even though she hates change in all forms!
She is beautiful and kind and works hard.
And, she'd be the first to tell that she, (and Christian!)  
would rather be on the range outside with the cows 
than any other job out there.
And, she belongs out there.
So does Christian.
Maybe again one day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021


The last few video calls we've had with Claire have been the best!
She seems so strong, happy, peaceful, 
 focused, and determined.
Her confidence with the people, the language, and her service just
seems to shine out from her.
I know she loves to serve God and His children.
I think she's turned a mission corner.
At the end of this month (on the 29th) she will turn TWENTY years old! 
That was the age I was when I gave birth to her!
She will also hit her halfway mark on the 27th.
Time is flying by!
I'm beyond proud of her.

Friday, October 08, 2021

We Found Autumn!!!

 This weekend we decided to drive north to
 Boone, North Carolina to experience autumn and all its glory.
Autumn color doesn't really show up in our neck of the woods
for a few more weeks (month?) so we went out searching for her.
There is something inside me that needs the fall.
I crave the changing of the seasons.
I need the color, I need the smells, I need the cold,
 and I need to see the shadows that
the sun makes on the trees just at fall time.

So we drove the glorious Blue Ridge Parkway
and the trip didn't disappoint!
I was in heaven.  We all were!
Unfortunately, (but fortunately for me since I LOVE this kind of weather) 
thick fog and rain moved in covering the fall color and everything
around except the roads ahead.
It was spooky and beautiful!

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