A Grieving Heart

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Our hearts are full of sorrow at the peaceful passing of our infant niece Patricia who napped and never woke. Our prayers are that angels will be strengthening their family during this tender time. #hugthoseyoulove #lifeisprecious #eternalfamilies #templelight #sealedtogetherforever

Peter & Jennie’s baby, Patricia Joy Smith, age 3 months, passed away on October 29, 2015.
My mother heart has ached for Jennie’s broken mother heart.
I have not experienced this same pain, but as a mother,
I can imagine the hurt of losing a child you love and cherish beyond measure.

The miracle for Peter and Jennie was not to have Patricia stay on earth in this lifetime for very long … but I know that God has other miracles in store for Patricia and their family. The miracle of the Resurrection … of eternal families … of healing and comfort that comes from our Savior’s Atonement.

A blessing in my life related to this circumstance happened this week that I wanted to note. A gal in my new ward, Leah Fish, commented last Sunday about her son’s death. I asked her about it after and she told me of the circumstance. My heart had been thoughtful of her pain and growth from losing a child.

Then Patricia died and we were all in shock at the sad death of such a perfect, sweet little one. I found Leah’s blog… and was glad to find some helpful information on helping others in their grief. This is not something I feel comfortable in, but as the Relief Society President, had to listen to the Spirit to know what to say in these hard situations. (One moment that comes to mind is when I visited dear Patricia Rex a few days before she passed away from Cancer. What does one say in these times? … …)

Today, with fussy babes in arms, Leah chatted with me in the hall at church about everything. It was so helpful to hear her advice.
1… that everyone deals with grief differently, even husband and wife … and she recommended a book Tear Soup that makes an appropriate gift for one who is grieving.

2… I realized that so much growth and change comes from these heart-wrenching life experiences. Perhaps some of the miracles… long-term… are the growth that brings us closer to understanding Jesus Christ and his Atonement.

Anyhoo, I was grateful to meet Leah and hear of her testimony and faith regarding losing and grieving a child. It seemed providential for all these events to occur during the same week.

Perhaps this was something I needed to learn in my life. I don’t know that I’ll be able to help anyone deal with their grief any better, but I would hope that I would be closer to the Holy Ghost to know what appropriate love can be shown.

On Tuesday we are taking a day trip as a family to Houston to attend the funeral for little Patricia Joy. My prayers are with Peter and Jennie and Dallin. Loves to family!

Dew Drops

Tonight Truman and I read a book about clouds and thunderstorms. We learned about dew. Truman remembered this picture that I took after the rain on Halloween. The entire water cycle really is interesting. We have no new water on earth… it’s all recycled since the beginning of time. Interesting fact. Anyhoo… Here’s the picture I took when trick-or-treating.
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And a spiritual message to accompany it for this Sabbath evening.

“Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation. Such communications from Heavenly Father gradually and gently ‘distil upon [our souls] as the dews from heaven’ (D&C 121:45).” Elder David A. Bednar, “The Spirit of Revelation,” Ensign, May 2011, 88.

Halloween 2015

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Kind of a different Halloween this year… but it was good. We missed Trunk-or-treat for a few reasons. Friday early morning Liza barfed and I didn’t want her to get anyone sick… though it turns out by 10 a.m. she was eating and drinkly fluids just fine. But I also didn’t want to do trunk-or-treat in Rockwall after waiting for it to start for a few hours… alone with 6 kids… and having to bring everyone’s Halloween costume. And it didn’t make sense for Jimmy to drive out there. Anyhoo… no ward trunk or treat which was sad for the kids… it would have been fun to get to know other kids. Oh, plus it was all rainy. I’m rambling.

Anyhoo… so we promised the kids a fun family halloween party for today. Jimmy took Tru, Liza, and Abe to Inside Out at the cheap theater here. Tru and Jimmy hadn’t seen it. I rejoiced at quiet time with Scotty sleeping. Hannah and Max had down time… a rarity around here.

Dinner of crunchy tacos which most of the kids rejected. Oh well. Such is our life.

Trick-or-treating/meet some neighbors. We went as a family and met some really nice neighbors in our apartment complex. Not many families out and about so we walked across the street to the fancy neighborhood, hoping to see more kiddos. Not many kids out around here I guess… which made us miss our neighborhood in Utah… getting to see so many friends and ward members.

I try so hard to help the kids focus on the activity spending time as a family and meeting new neighbors instead of getting more candy. Halloween is definitely a ridiculous holiday to me and I despise trick-or-treating. But, i’ll tell ya. The kids had a lovely time (save some screaming from liza) and actually got along. No shoving or fighting about who knocked on the doors. The kids were polite and complimented people on their autumn decorations, said “happy halloween” and ‘thank you’. I was impressed that we actually had a nice time together.

We came home, ate donuts and had cider and candy corns. We played duck-duck-goose & ghost-ghost-pumpkin. Dealt with a few meltdowns, read scriptures, and got kids in bed by 9.

Hannah was Captain America.

Abe didn’t know what to be but today we found a cool pixelated star wars shirt that he liked on sale so he decided to be a Star Wars Nerd.

Max was batman.
Tru was superman.

Eliza wanted to be a million other things, but I was able to convince her to be a cowgirl. I just wanted her to wear the costume I had as a little girlie. This week she told me she couldn’t be a cowgirl without boots and a hat and a rope to say “nee-haw” (yes… nee-haw. She insisted it wasn’t hee-haw or yee-haw). We found some boots at target that she hasn’t taken off since. Well… I guess she slept without them. Couldn’t find a cheap hat so we braids with ribbons. And we found a bandana instead of a rope.

Scotty was a cowboy and wore the little leather vest from my childhood. Having his bandana bib from Aunt Amy helped his costume come together. Mostly he enjoyed sitting in the stroller and occasionally someone would give him a lolly and his eyes would light up in delight.

I dressed up like a mom. Yep… that was easy.
Jimmy dressed up like a dad. Easy-peasy.

See ya Halloween.

p.s. this was the warmest halloween we’ve had in years. we did have rain today but it cleared this evening. eliza put a little sweater on to walk around but it wasn’t too chilly for any of us. thank you Texas for the nice Halloween temperatures!
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Don’t forget the pumpkin! Tru insisted we get a pumpkin to carve and that we have candy corns. Jimmy was willing to carve and did a splendid job. The ants are now enjoying the pumpkin outside as the kids sleep. Love you pumpkin!

Hannah’s a Teen!

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It’s true… we now have an official teenager in our family. Hannah celebrated her 13th birthday here in Texas. A few friends and teachers at school knew it was her birthday and made it fun for her. Her orchestra class even played Happy Birthday for her!

Girl’s athletics seems to be one of her favorite classes because it is an environment to get to know the girls. Plus, they are nice. Hannah has been super brave through this transition of moving to Texas. We’ve had some tearful times, but she has done well making efforts to be positive. The young women in the ward have been very welcoming. She has lunch with Sage but most of the other girls in the ward are on a different lunch schedule.

Hannah is playing the violin in orchestra and seems to be learning it quickly. I enjoy hearing her practice. The littles love when she helps them play it. She is a music natural and evidenced in her piano skills. Hannah is also in an art class and has learned quickly to learn about self portraits. I’m amazed at how well she draws eyes, noses and lips. What a girl!

Hannah is a delight in our family. She helps us laugh and smile and have fun together. We joke that the only thing she has to work on is humility, because she really is just so fantastic.

Love you Hannah girl.

oh – the birthday… oops. Early day… left at 7… got to school by 8. Waited around until her school started at 8:45. School. Drive 40 minutes home. Arrive at 4:30. Dinner date with dad to a real steak place “outback”. Birthday celebration with the fam.

Presents. Especially meaningful present from Abe who wrote a fantastic poem for her. It made us all smile. She also got a charm bracelet with meaningful charms from Grandma Price. New Scripture tote in mint and yellow. Michael Vey book #5 that just came out. Some girly polish and candy, etc.

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Cake: Hannah saw an icecream bar cake on pinterest so she put that together nicely. Icecream bars, cool whip, and crushed oreos on top. We light a match we had for a sad-sorry candle… that Eliza blew out! Take 2 for Hannah.

Hilti

October 23, 2015 …
Jimmy started his new job at Hilti as Digital Marketing Analyst this week. We are in awe at all the blessings we’ve received the past few months especially… knowing that miracle after miracle have occurred in our lives.TE 70

Hilti Corporation (Hilti Aktiengesellschaft or Hilti AG, also known as Hilti Group) is a Liechtenstein-based company that develops, manufactures, and markets products for the construction, building maintenance, and mining industries, primarily to the professional end-user. It concentrates primarily on anchoring systems, hammer drills, firestops, and installation systems, but manufactures and markets an array of tools (including cordless electric drills, heavy angle drills, laser levels, power saws, and fasteners). Hilti, a registered trademark of the various Hilti corporate entities, is the family name of the company’s founders.

After losing his job with the stinkers at the company that will not be named, we were a bit devastated. We knew things would work out eventually but we wondered how long we would endure this trial. Our hope was that this was a necessary step to lead us to the best place for our family. Soon after parting ways with those who lacked integrity at his job, he was searching for the top companies to work at on the Forbes list. Hilti was on that list so he decided to apply. Behold… a job in his alley was available. He applied and received a call when we were in Maryland for Christine’s wedding the next week. The process took a month or so, but this job panned out. Who ever gets a random job without having any personal connections there. See… miracle!

We decided to move as quickly as possible and then list our home. Last minute we decided we needed to list our home before our home-finding trip so we could put an offer on a house. This meant 2-3 weeks of hectic decluttering, garage sale, home staging, cleaning. It was wild and tiring. But fulfilling too. It’s obviously something I’ve been trying to do for years. Yes, years!

I immediately was drawn to the home on Grandview in Texas… though it was far away from Jimmy’s work. It had the best of both our lists. In a neighborhood… on more than 1/2 acre. Close to good schools. Happened to have a swimming pool… which was both a positive and negative on my list. We looked at 12+ homes and decided to try an offer on that house. After a few days of ups and downs, we settled on a price and date to close. Yay! Miracle that we found a house we agreed on! Really…

Now we had to sell the Oak Crest home in less than 21 days or our funding wouldn’t go through. Home listed… and super tidy and clean (thanks to emalissa!). Open House date arrives and Heather is super sick and doesn’t get to finalize all those pleasant final touches. Neighbors are helpful. We receive a full-price offer that afternoon… after one showing. Miracle.

I’m sure I’ve gone over all this before.. but just for the record… in case.

Packers arrive the next week and do the entire home in 7 hours. Way fast… but we’ll see how many things are damaged when we unpack. They are having to load and unload all our stuff so many times to get on trucks and in warehouses and in storage.

Home is cleaned out thanks to Jimmy’s diligent work of taking care of the plentiful odds and ends. He works so hard for our family. I try to work hard. Sigh…

Off we head to a hotel on October 14. Hannah has YW in Excellence and Abe spends the night at Jacob’s as a last hurrah! Thursday the 15th we start our 21 hour drive to Texas. It’s long and we’re saddle sore. But we had fantastic hotels (thanks jimmy!) with lots of helpful people who got Scotty milk in the middle of the night. Drive went smoothly until Max threw up. But even then… we had a barf bucket and things worked out. Then mom threw up. Gross… We arrived in Texas!

Temporary Housing is great. Couldn’t ask for better… not perfect…not the home we are used to…but the best one could ask for. Seriously. So many people have helped make this move possible. They had everything all set up and ready for us to live here… from towels, to silverware, to soap, to bedding even for Scotty. So grateful for this blessing.

Church on Sunday (ok, so it’s so interesting how so many Christians are so amazed that we’ve already been to church. They assumed we’d have to shop around for a congregation. Nope. We are Mormons and we know right where to go! Love that!)

School on Monday. Oh, the anxiety of the kids. But they each did great. So many were so kind and helpful and welcoming. We have a long drive every day… 40 minutes each way… x4. That’s a doozy. And we’ll be so grateful to close on our home… November 20… 10 days earlier than our original date. So glad!

October 29, 2015… … Never did finish my thoughts on this one, but I’m going to publish anyways. I’ve felt so grateful for all those at Hilti and the relocation company who helped things go smoothly for us. Their generosity is humbling. But most of all, I recognize God as the one who has blessed us through it all. We’ve had a million hard things that make me feel so stressed … but 2 million blessings that bring us through. Thank you God for carrying us in so many ways.

p.s. Jimmy has worked for Hilti for 2 weeks now. So many good people. So many have invited him to lunch. Many international employees. He’s enjoying it and appreciates his boss.

I will show unto you a God of miracles

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This week we’ve experienced first-hand the miracles that God performs for our family.
I know there are many mighty miracles that occur daily in our life,
but we don’t always even realize when they are happening.
God is a God of Miracles!

3x4 god of miracles

This week Jimmy, Scotty, and I flew to Dallas for a home-finding trip.
There was one house that both Jimmy and I agreed on, and the rest were so-so agreeable to both of us.
We looked at 14 homes in 2 days.
We came up with a #1 and #2 choice and relooked at those the last day.
Mostly I was amazed that my favorite house was still available.
Homes go quickly in Dallas area. And this one seemed like a gem of a find.
In a great school district. Great community. Swimming pool. Fantastic landscaping by a wooded area.

We made an offer on #1 and they countered. Back and forth. Contract signed.
Now – to sell our current home.
We needed a contract on this house within 21 days… so we could get the financing for the next home.
(because they wouldn’t accept a contract contingent on the sale of our Utah home)
So, yes, we needed a miracle.
We arrived home on Thursday night.
Friday morning I woke up with aches and sickness.
Tried to get things tidied for the upcoming open house but finally had to rest.
Jimmy worked hard all day with kids and home.
This morning. Finally went to urgent care to find out I had a mega UTI. I knew from how it felt that it was headed for my right kidney (yes, this has happened before). I needed to avoid the e.r. and kidney scans, and kidney infection. Spent a few hours doing doctor and prescription.
Went straight to the neighbors to rest while Jimmy and Wendi Condie finished tidying for the open house.
Napped during open house and hoped it would be a success even though I couldn’t put any finishing touches on the house. sigh…

This afternoon after the open house, we received an offer for full-asking price and all they wanted was the washer-dryer and fridge. Okay. November 10 is the close date. And thus the financing and close date for the Texas home will happen November 30 as planned. See what I mean about miracles! Who sells their home after 5 days being listed and 1 open house with no other viewings? Miracle.
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Like bawl your eyes out in disbelief miracle.
Yes, we had prayed so fervently for God to send a family here who needed our home.
We had faith. But it seemed so unbelievable to have really happened.
I know that sometimes, even with our faith and prayers, that the miracle God has in store for us is different than our idea of a miracle. (Like me wanting to be immediately healed from my infection… it will take the miracle of antibiotics to help that along).
In one way or another, we are blessed by miracles and mercies from a loving Heavenly Father who watches over all.
Sometimes the miracle is that we endured our trial/illness. Sometimes the miracle is to be healed. Sometimes the miracle is to be comforted even though things take longer than we anticipate. I’m so grateful that God is a God of miracles!
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Night Games: Relief from Stress

Today was stressful with d.i. runs…
to sorting out all our crud that needs to be organized or junked…
to broken sprinkler pipes x2.
To meeting with realtor.
To realizing how much work we have before Monday and our home is listed to sell.
to single-mothering over dinner and baths and bedtime.
[bless the souls who watched our children today though… major blessing!!!]

but … i’ll tell ya… best time of the day was about 7:30.
My alarm on my phone rang alerting me it was time for scripture study.
Scotty was in the bath and the rest of the house was quiet.
Very quiet.

After Scotty decided he’d walked around in the bath enough…
and tried to get out himself…
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we went downstairs to find it dark with all the kids outside playing Night at the Museum.
They were happily playing together… yes, together. [one for the record books, people!]
It brought joy to my heart.
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We’ve had so much stress at home with all we need to do for the move and I know the kids feel it.
I’m so glad they took time to play and de-stress.
I felt especially glad that they finally got to play their night game.
This summer they wanted to but it was still light so late.
Tonight was the perfect time…
one last night-game hurrah before we move [on October 15th, by the way].

Childhood is good for everyone’s soul.

Lunar Eclipse

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There was an epic lunar eclipse/full moon/blood moon last weekend.
Uhhh, I didn’t even poke my head out the window to see it this time…
but thank you to Mike Mezeul II for sharing this picture of the recent blood moon lunar eclipse over the city of Dallas.
He took the pictures about 10 minutes apart to make this composite photo.
Dallas is where we’re headed in a few short weeks.
So much to do… so little time.

Lava You


This was one of my very favorite Disney Short Films Ever!
Loved the Music!!
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Hold on Thy Way … pt 2

My wee little brain is full of thoughts and thus can’t sleep even at 5 a.m. (and believe me… I am normally NOT an early riser). Jimmy went to play basketball (yes, he’s an early riser!). So, we’ll clear some thoughts about the upcoming week. We are going to try and get our house listed FOR SALE this week. Which means today will be spent shoving everything into the garage so we can semi-stage our home. And then Tuesday and Wednesday will be painting. Some gals in the ward offered to help paint. What dear friends they are!

The theme for the week: Hold on Thy Way
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I’m definitely going to need strength beyond my own to stay patient and kind and full of energy.

Happy Monday!