Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Do you know what you get when you have a colonoscopy? You get to choose whatever you want for dinner the next night. Jared chose chicken strips with homemade honey mustard sauce, fries, macaroni and cheese and salad. Yes, it took two and a half hours to make, but I'd do anything for him. And, it's really yummy!!!!

Recipe curtesy of Paula Deen's Chicken Strips from her Lady and Sons Restaurant.
It's super delicious!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Start of Treatments...

We met with Jared's radiation oncologist today. It's ironic and was quite humbling to realize that we were meeting at the exact office I bring my mom to for her radiation oncologist. But I won't get into that feeling this morning.

While we were waiting to be called back, the receptionist came over and informed us that we were to meet his oncologist upstairs at 12:40, after meeting with this first doctor. Looked to be a long visit at the hospital today.

The visit with the radiation oncologist went well. He told us that the biopsy Jared had on the 10th showed this to be a Desmoid tumor, but a few of the cells were actually staining to show a GIST tumor. Crazy, but they are still thinking this to be a desmoid. The first option to treat this is surgery, but he's already had that and it proved to be non-resectable. The second is radiation. This can cause a lot of side effects, which include diaherra, pain and inflammation in the intestines, and scar tissue that can make a surgery down the road more difficult, so really, we don't want to do surgery yet. The third is the chemo pill. At first they wanted Jared to participate in a study for this, but with finding that some cells showed this to be a GIST, there is another form of chemo pill that actually will treat both a Desmoid and a GIST. So this is the first step in fighting this, and then if radiation is needed down the road, that is an option. Radiation has proven effective in shrinking these, but with the location of Jared's, there are just too many side effects to jump in as the first type of treatment. He looked at Jared's scar and was surprised at how big it was, how raised, and how hard it was. He was wondering if Jared has some sort of gene that makes it to where his body scares a lot. Desmoids are like a scar tissue tumor. They grow in the tissues that make ligaments and tendons and are really a bunch of scar tissue that just keeps multiplying. He said if Jared has this, it would explain the desmoid tumor, but after looking at some other scares Jared has, he's not sold on that idea. Jared has to have a colonoscopy and some genetic testing to look for Gardner's syndrome, which is linked to colon cancer. His tumor is connected some to his large intestine, so they want to rule this out. Plus, we need to know if they should be watching Jared closely for colon cancer and if our boys are at risk for this. All this should take place over the next few weeks.

We met with Dr. Nibbley afterwards. We talked more in detail about this type of tumor. There are really no side effects with these two types. He said the anxiety Jared had a couple years ago that lasted about 6 months could be related, but there are no known relations that he knows of. He said tumors can do weird things, so it might be from that but we'll never know. He said they are for sure doing the chemo pill that is called Glevo. They'll watch Jared real close at first with blood tests to make sure his liver and kidneys can handle this, but usually the side effects are minimal. He said side effects are usually muscle aches and you might feel a little blah. People get used to it, and it's usually when they go off the pill, that they realize they do feel better without it. He said this is a type of pill that, if it works, he can stay on it as long as he needs to. This type of pill is also used to treat a type of leukemia. There's someone who has been on this pill since it came out 12 1/2 years ago and it's still working for her. That was very hopeful to hear! This treatment is one pill a day, but costs around $2,000 a month. Their office is checking with our ins. to see what our copay will be, and if it's still high, they'll figure ways to help get it down. We should be looking at getting his first prescription filled and him starting it in about a week. We are finally to this point!!!!!!! Doc said he knows it might seem like we've waisted a lot of time and have to back track now trying to make up for time lost without treatments, but with this type of tumor, it doesn't matter. This pill would take care of whatever might have grown in the last few months. We weren't worried about that at all, but I know some others have been. He said it looks as though this tumor has grown a little since his first original Ct scan back on Sept. 24th, but they think it's because it's inflamed a little and has a small pocket of air inside from the surgery and biopsy. The air should receed on it's own. Jared doesn't have the aggressive type of tumor. His is definitely slow growing!!!

All together we were at the hospital for 3 hours. We spent a lot of time talking to both doctors and having things explained to us more. It was really nice! It's nice to be able to get more answers and have a plan of how to fight this. The doctors are hopeful as well that they will be able to stop this, but even shrink it. I know it has taken a long time to get these answers, but some things just take time. Dr. Nibbley knew this was a slow growing tumor and would tell Jared he wanted him healed from the surgery and sepsis first before he really had to jump into more tests. Plus, today he said that we really didn't loose time with this. It wouldn't have mattered if he'd started treatments now verses a month ago. That was also nice to hear. Doc said it was good we could come in today, otherwise he was going to have us come in on Christmas Eve. I'm glad we got the news today. We are able to celebrate Christmas even more with having our minds at ease much more.

It's so exciting being to this point! I gave him a kiss and hug in the elevator as we left.  :)

Jared and I went to Arby's to celebrate. There still aren't a lot of restaurants he can eat yet. Arby's hasn't made him sick yet, so this is one place he likes to go. He got a huge roast beef sandwich and a salad. I got a reg. roast beef, a salad, and small fries that we shared. Jared also drank a few sips of Mountain Dew. This is the first time he's had pop since we were camping. He has to be careful about putting too much air in his bowels from the carbonation. Let's just say it was pretty hard on his system. He could hardly sit still with all the air that built over over a few minutes. But hey, now he's had pop! He's just staying away from it now.  :)

We ran errands afterwards to try and finish things up for Christmas. We didn't get home until 3:40ish. For leaving at 10:30, we were a lot longer than expected. I'm running out of time to get ready for Christmas, but that's the least of my worries today. I couldn't stop smiling, I had such a peaceful feeling and still feel like everything will be ok. I'm so thankful to have Jared in my life. He is my bestest friend. I am so in love with that guy.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

What Cancer Does...

Cancer is stupid.

It tries to control you. It tries to take your peace and happiness away. It tries to change everything you know and throw a lot of unknown crap your way.

I'm not getting my presents for mom, Carrie, and Aunt Kathy finished this year. This is the second year in a row that they aren't done and it's all because of cancer.

It's a really special thing to me that I've wanted to make them. It's a sewing project that says, "It isn't happy people who are thankful, it's thankful people who are happy." It's an 11x14" size. I started these last year (making one for me as well), but ended up putting my sewing projects away for four months because we found out dad had cancer and died 6 days after his diagnosis. I didn't want to sew anymore. I was at the hospital working on this sewing project as dad was in having an MRI done at Riverton hospital when I got the call from Dr. Gilbert saying they got the biopsy results and it was, in fact, cancer. I put my project into my sewing box and didn't get it out until the first part of October. There was too much to do with funeral arrangements and such. And then taking care of filling dad's retirement, military stuff, and such, and I plain just didn't want to sew. That's what I was doing when my world turned upside down for a while. It didn't exactly have the best memories attached to it.

Once I picked my sewing up again, I marked the spot where I had stopped when that call came, and decided this exact one I was working on would be mine. It would show the mark where dad had died, and then my continuing on as I worked through a difficult time in my life. Sewing became very special to me again, so once again, I decided that this would be my project over the next year as I worked to finish these for Christmas of 2015.

Things were going along pretty well. I was almost completely done with the lettering in brown thread on the fourth and last one when my world got flipped upside down yet again by cancer. Jared had emergency surgery Sept. 24th due to a cancerous tumor that had completely blocked off his small intestines. This was a complete shock to us. He spent a week in the hospital, was home two days and then went back in with sepsis and spent another week there. Once he was home, he spent 5 days before he was back in again for another four due to another infection. Jared had a close call with loosing his life twice. We lived at the hospital 18 days. Once again, my life stopped as we focused on what was most important. My husband and our three boys. Nothing else mattered.

My husband has cancer. Seriously, how do you process this?

I'll tell ya. You take it one day at a time. You pray your heart out and then pray some more. You never give up hope. You rely on your faith and the prayers and fasting of others. Feeling the prayers of others is one of the neatest experiences we've had through this. The power of prayer is real. And because of it, we've made it through the last three months. Miracles can happen, and we've witnessed many. My sewing was set aside for a couple months, but was once again picked up. The only thing though, is it will once again be left for next year's gifts, but maybe now it will be for birthdays. Because of cancer and how crazy our lives became, I've misplaced the pattern and one of the actual sewing projects. I've been stressing over finding this the last week so I could get them finished, but tonight I've decided that I don't care anymore. I'm not going to stress over three presents. I'll just buy something for each one of them and enjoy this week with my family instead. Because of prayers and fasting, we've been given a very special gift this year. Jared's biopsy he had just over a week ago actually worked! We finally know what type of cancer he has so they can start treatments. Past biopsies and tests would show inconclusive, and the next step was a more invasive surgery with another 6-8 week recovery. His surgery was cancelled for this past Wednesday which means we got our Christmas with our boys back! What more could I ask for?! So forget stressing over presents, I'm going to be happy and enjoy these next 5 days with our kids, playing and doing what we normally do as a family.

Do you know what cancer does? It can ruin your life if you let it. We all have choices though, and I choose to see the good. I choose to use faith. I choose to look for blessings that come from my Father in Heaven. We all have trials to go through in life. How we choose to handle them and learn from them is what matters. Cancer is not going to break me. It's not going to take my holidays with my family away. I know we're going to have more trials to face that come from having cancer, but I'm going to enjoy the good when we have it. And when we are going through those hard times, I'm going to pray with all my heart for more good times to come.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

After we have family prayer at night, someone reads a scripture. Tonight Jared read us two scriptures, Mosiah 23: 21-22

21. "Nevertheless the Lord teeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trite their patience and their faith."

22. "Nevertheless-whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people."

And then he read this quote to us that he had inside his scriptures:

"Patience is not indifference. Actually, it is caring very much, but being willing, nevertheless, to submit both to the Lord and to what the scriptures call the 'process of time'.

"Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best - better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than his. Either way we are questioning the reality of God's omniscience, as is as some seem to believe, God were on some sort of postdoctoral fellowship...

"We read in Mosiah about how the Lord simultaneously tries the patience of his people even as he tries their faith (Mosiah 23:21). One is not only to endure - but to endure well and gracefully those things which the Lord 'seeth fit to inflict upon us' (Mosiah 3:19),...

"The Lord has said twice: 'And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life' (D&C 101:38). Could it be that only when our self-control has become total do we come into true possession of our own souls?"

-Neal A. Maxwell

I absolutely loved this quote and the scriptures he read tonight. It hit me in so many ways. With all Jared is going through right now and patience being something he is supposed to learn from this trial (he's had a few priesthood blessings that has mentioned this.), it gave me a different perspective about patience and what it really is. And, with so many wondering how I can have so much patience and not freak out that we still don't know what type of cancer he has and how long his recovery process has been, I connected with this quote in a much different way. I've been blessed with faith and peace. My patriarchal blessing has told me this. I believe this is why I've been able to take one day at a time and have peace in my heart, because I have and always try to exercise faith. Does this mean I don't struggle? No. I still break down at times and cry, but I go on afterwards and continue to have faith in the outcome of someday. I feel so blessed to have this gift in my life. Faith is absolutely amazing if we can allow ourselves to really use it the way we are instructed to.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Quotes From Hunter

Hunter was talking to Cody and T.J. in the car as we drove to Army Navy Store. Here's some classic quotes from him:

It's the day after thanksgiving and we are out doing our Christmas shopping. We had just picked up Hunter from McDonald's with grandma and Heather to come shopping with us, and grabbed us something to eat as well. As we were driving and talking about McDonald's food, Hunter piped up saying...
"McDonald's has never been gross for me." Ha ha!

And then, during the same car ride and out of the blue, this came out of him....

Hunter: "Have you noticed when your a grandpa, your brothers don't hang out with you anymore? Isn't that weird?"
(He then compared that to Grandpa Kenison and how he didn't see his brothers very much.)

This kid. He cracks us up. You never know what he'll come up with next. It's so fun to see how he views things.

Through the eyes of a child...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Pimple

Hunter: "Mom, I have this weird bump under my nose."
Me: "Let me see.
Me: "Oh, it's just a pimple/black head thing. Here, just do this to get rid of it."
Hunter: "No, don't touch it. I want to keep my bump."

Oh buddy, someday you'll wish they'd just go away.

My baby has his first pimple.

I'm feeling old.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Dinner For One

I didn't go to pizza night with Jared and the boys. I was only home from work about ten minutes when it hit me that I wasn't feeling good; instant chills and body aches. I knew I was getting sick.

I hate getting sick. Hopefully it's a quick one.

So I drank some V8 juice, took a little nap, and still went walking with Jared because exercise is good for you, so it better help me get better quicker.

I decided to go to Cafe' Rio and get take out. I have been craving this place so badly. With hearing what is in store with our future here in the next week or two, I decided I needed this tonight. Forget not feeling good, I'm going out. To say I love this place is an understatement. It's freakin' delicious!! But with Jared being down and all he's been through, this isn't a place we can eat at together right now. We used to go there a lot. He loves their quesadillas and would get a burrito with double meat to go with it. I love their sweet pork salads and would get a nino' quesadilla on the side and then eat that in the car on the way home. It's so yummy! But until Jared can eat that again, I've had a hard time going there and eating it knowing he was home having one of the same meals he has over and over. He is doing better at handling more foods, but spicy, fattening foods are hard on him. He can't have raw veggies yet or salad, and he can't handle a ton of meat yet, not to mention the beans in one of those burritos. He'll get there, but he's got probably another month or two before that.

So while they went to the inlaws for the normal Friday night pizza night, I went to Cafe' Rio. Knowing Jared was having fun helped me get over some of the guilt.

I hate going places by myself sometimes. Tonight was one. There were couples everywhere, which reminded me I was alone. And waiting in line by yourself is boring. Usually that's when Jared and I just talk. Thank goodness the line wasn't quite as long tonight. I got my traditional salad and nino', paid, and walked out to the car, again realizing I was alone because I was a bit nervous to walk to the car with where I parked.

Once home and after changing into my Monster's Inc. pajama pants, I curled up in bed under blankets because I still have the chills, and ate my yummy salad and nino' while watching my favorite show on Friday nights - Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives. Having Guy Fieri with me helped make dinner not so lonely. :) The quesadilla wasn't good tonight, so that will help me not feel so bad to tell Jared where I went. It was cold and not much cheese at all. But the salad was delicious!

Life is crazy right now. The last two months have seemed like 6 months with how much has happened, yet such a blur. And now Jared is facing another surgery to try and get a better sample to biopsy so we can figure out what kind of cancer this is. I honestly have been able to take life a day at a time, which is unusual for me. I normally like to know what is going to happen and know what the road entails. But this time is different, and I feel it's a direct blessing from all the prayers people are offering on our behalf. I have been able to take life and this whole thing a day at a time; sometimes an hour at a time. It's been a true miracle.

Maybe it's because of the holidays and having kids, but this surgery has me wondering what the schedule is going to be like though, over the next month and a half. We meet with the surgeon next Tuesday to find out when his surgery will be and how invasive. And you know what I'm thinking? How hard of a surgery is this one going to be on Jared? How much will he need my help this time? How can I help him feel the peace I feel?  How am I going to handle pulling off the holidays, the christmas shopping, the decorating and preparations the holidays bring? How am I going to pull off a "normal" christmas for my kids so it doesn't hit them so hard just how much our lives really have changed? Their dad has cancer. My husband has cancer. We know this changes our lives completely, but I worry how much the kids will be able to handle it when they fully realize their dad has the stupid "C" word. And I don't want them to realize this during the holidays and always have that memory haunt them during this time of the year.

I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but this time of the year is hard to deal with this type of thing, let alone try to keep life as normal as possible and give our kids a christmas that isn't tainted with cancer and surgeries. I will be happy when Tuesday morning rolls around to hear when this surgery will happen and just how invasive this will be. Are they thinking laparoscopic or do they need to go in using the incision he already has? How much will this set him back recovery wise, and how much work will I be taking off again? Then financially, how long now until he is able to start working again. He was going to try Monday driving the truck around, running errands and such to see how his resistance is, and then possibly start working the week after thanksgiving.

There's lots to think about, and today while at work, it hit me. I have explained it so many times today what is going on with Jared, that it started sinking in more how we are doing this through the holidays. Talking to people about this wears on me. I love being positive and feel so blessed with how Jared has been able to recover so much, that I feel guilty if I don't speak positive about it. I know this is a blessing from Heavenly Father. We almost lost Jared twice, why shouldn't I be positive when talking about his recovery?! But people think I should be crying when I talk about it, and the way they talk to me and become negative and act like there is no hope, is a hard thing to hear over and over. One lady at work told me how her uncle died after a surgery on his intestines.

 Um, this probably isn't the time to tell me this.

But I guess he was an onry old man and the nurses would't want to take care of him because of it, so they left him alone. His infection killed him. But seriously people, let's be a little more positive and optimistic. If you see that I can talk about it and stay positive, please don't try and turn that and take that peace I have away from me. Life is too short to be gloomy and down. Let's enjoy the blessings we have in life and be thankful for them.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I've realized something today.... I hate being alone. This is my first time since Hunter was in first grade to have a schedule where I will be home two days a week while they're at school. The last three years I've worked 5 days a week, and once I was off, would usually run errands and not have much time to be home alone. This year, I work only 3 days a week. Longer days, but still as many hours. I was really excited for this schedule until this morning. Jared, T.J. and Cody were out of here by 7:45, and Hunter had a student counsel meeting at school this morning at 8, so it was an early start around here. I've been busy making salsa to can, but was starting to feel the anxiety of being alone and the depression trying to come on. I looked up at the clock thinking it was at least 10 a.m.. Nope, 9:19 a.m.. Sheesh, it felt like a long morning already, and Hunter had only been gone an hour and nineteen minutes. I'm not one to freak out that my kids are gone and I have to be with them 24/7. I love spending time with them as much as possible, but it's more than that. I realized that for the first time in 16 years, I would have a couple of days a week where it was just me.

Only me.

Sometimes Jared will be home to drop off a trailer or switch one out, and every nine weeks Hunter will be off track, but other than that it's just me.

For the last 16 years, it's been pretty crazy. Seven months before I met Jared I had gone back to school full time plus working full time. Then I met Jared. (Enter in a bunch of awe's with hearts dancing around.) We married three months later. I continued to work until we had our first kid. Within three and a half years we had three kids and I helped Jared as much as possible with his hay business. Over the years he was working different jobs and I'd help as much as I could with those. For 7 of those years he worked rodeo which meant many weekends from April until September we were gone with Jared. We loved the rodeo life and tried to be with him as much as possible. The boys started school, and life became even crazier. Football started and over the years all three kids played. My parents both struggled a lot with health issues since 2009 which I helped with appointments, surgeries, and such, and my dad ended up passing away last July. We both serve in the church and they are usually bigger callings that take more time. Our families are close so we try to do as much as possible with them. We love to play and find ourselves gone A LOT! So ya, my life hasn't been just mine the last 16 years. But now it seems so different.

Jared works all day now which is unusual given what he used to do for work. Now he works a lot and I'm very thankful for it. It's just an adjustment for me. And the kids have school on my days off. I have a ton I need to do, but today it's just hitting me that I'm on my own again two days of the week. I know, if you're reading this you're probably thinking I'm crazy, but let me explain. After 16 years of always going and always having someone to care for, it's weird to have a day that I spend with myself. I like helping people. I think that's why I love working at the school so much, because I get to teach kids and help them learn! I love feeling needed and feeling good because I helped someone smile that day. Service is good. Now I need to learn to be comfortable with just me again for two days out of the week.

Yes, this is a weird post. But this is a weird day for me. I'm sure within a month I will have adjusted, but until then, I'm going to work on not letting myself become depressed on these days. There's a history of depression in my family. I've struggled with it many times in my life. In fact, I'm still struggling. But I feel like my time has come to pull myself out of the deep waters that have been swallowing me up for the last year and a half. It's time to move forward. It's time to be comfortable with being by myself and enjoying projects and scrapbooking again. I don't do those things anymore because I don't let myself. But now it's time.

Here we go.
I love finding quotes that inspire me, especially when they come from leaders of our church. Here are some that have meant a lot to me recently:

Joseph B. Wirthlin on finding true happiness in life

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917-2008) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1986, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from 1986 until his passing in 2008 at age 91.
"I have had the opportunity to become acquainted with many wonderful people from many walks of life. I have known rich and poor, famous and modest, wise and otherwise.
"Some were burdened with heavy sorrows; others radiated a confident inner peace. Some smoldered with unquenchable bitterness, while others glowed with irrepressible joy. Some appeared defeated, while others—in spite of adversity—overcame discouragement and despair.
"I have heard some claim, perhaps only partly in jest, that the only happy people are those who simply don't have a firm grasp of what is happening around them.
"But I believe otherwise.
"I have known many who walk in joy and radiate happiness.
"I have known many who live lives of abundance.
"And I believe I know why.
"Today, I want to list a few of the characteristics that the happiest people I know have in common. They are qualities that can transform ordinary existence into a life of excitement and abundance.
"First, they drink deeply of living waters....
"The second quality of those who live abundant lives is that they fill their hearts with love....
"The third quality of those who live abundant lives is that they, with the help of their Heavenly Father, create a masterpiece of their lives....
"The abundant life isn't something we arrive at. Rather, it is a magnificent journey that began long, long ages ago and will never, never end."
- Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Abundant Life," Ensign, May 2006, pp. 99-102
Click here to read the full talk

Jeffrey R. Holland on God's help in the trials of life

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (1940- ) served as Church Commissioner of Education from 1976-1980, as the president of BYU from 1980-1989, as a Seventy from 1989-1994, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1994.
"In striving for some peace and understanding in these difficult matters, it is crucial to remember that we are living—and chose to live—in a fallen world where for divine purposes our pursuit of godliness will be tested and tried again and again. Of greatest assurance in God's plan is that a Savior was promised, a Redeemer, who through our faith in Him would lift us triumphantly over those tests and trials, even though the cost to do so would be unfathomable for both the Father who sent Him and the Son who came. It is only an appreciation of this divine love that will make our own lesser suffering first bearable, then understandable, and finally redemptive....
"So how do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. As President Monson said to the Relief Society sisters so movingly last Saturday evening: 'That love never changes.... It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God's love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there.' Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart. Faithfully pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into your life. Seek the counsel of those who hold keys for your spiritual well-being. Ask for and cherish priesthood blessings. Take the sacrament every week, and hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior's own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead."
- Jeffrey R. Holland, "Like a Broken Vessel," Ensign, Nov 2013, pp. 40-42
Click here to read the full talk

J. Reuben Clark on the unquenchable light of the gospel

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. (September 1, 1871 – October 6, 1961) was a prominent attorney who served as Under Secretary of State during the presidency of Calvin Coolidge, and later as the US Ambassador to Mexico. He was called as a counselor in the First Presidency to Heber J. Grant starting in April 1933, and was ordained an apostle a year and a half later. He went on to serve as counselor to Presidents George Albert Smith and David O. McKay before he passed away in 1961 at age 90.
"Every human being is born with the light of faith kindled in his heart as on an altar, and that light burns and the Lord sees that it burns, during the period before we are accountable. When accountability comes then each of us determines how we shall feed and care for that light. If we shall live righteously that light will glow until it diffuses the whole body, giving to it health and strength and spiritual light as well as bodily health.  If we shall live unrighteously that light will dwindle and finally almost flicker out.
"Yet it is my hope and my belief that the Lord never permits the light of faith wholly to be extinguished in any human heart, however faint the light may glow. The Lord has provided that there shall still be there a spark which, with teaching, with the spirit of righteousness, with love, with tenderness, with example, with living the Gospel, shall brighten and glow again, however darkened the mind may have been. And if we shall fail so to reach those among us of our own whose faith has dwindled low, we shall fail in one of the main things which the Lord expects at our hands."
- J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Conference Report, Oct. 1936, p. 114

N. Eldon Tanner on choosing today to serve God

President Nathan Eldon Tanner (1898-1982) was ordained an apostle in 1962.  A year later he was called as a counselor in the First Presidency, and continued in that role during the administration of four Church presidents until his death in 1982 at age 84.
"I was greatly impressed as I listened to the BYU alumni president, Ernest L. Wilkinson, M.D., tell of an emergency call that took him to the Intensive Coronary Care Unit of the LDS Hospital, where a close personal friend of his of several years' duration was in critical condition with a massive coronary thrombosis. He said: 'As I approached his bedside he grasped my hand and through an oxygen mask, though gripped with pain and breathing in a labored manner, he muttered, "Oh, Doctor, can you save me? I have so many things I have been putting off and wanting to do."
"'As we labored into the hours of the morning, utilizing all of the modern electronic gadgetry that medical science can provide, and as it became increasingly evident that my friend would not survive, I was haunted by his comment and its inference. Are we thinkers or are we doers? How many of us procrastinate the really important decisions in life? Will we be found wanting when we too are at the crossroads of life and death?'
"This is a serious and urgent question indeed. We are all nearing the crossroads of life and death ourselves. How fortunate we are to be able to make a choice. What a glorious thing it is to know that we can choose our course, write our destiny and determine our blessings. It is not too late to choose. The choice is ours, but we must choose this day whom we will serve."
- N. Eldon Tanner, "Choose You This Day," Ensign, June 1971, pp. 11-15
Click here to read the full talk

"Let us remember that we cannot be wrong by doing right, and we cannot be right by doing wrong. A simple formula, yet a profound truth." -Pres. Thomas S. Monson

I love the gospel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I love the peace I feel from it as I try every day to improve my life and follow our prophet's counsel. The blessings that have come into my life from living this every day the best way I can have been amazing. I'm so thankful for the answers to trials we can find when we search out quotes from our leaders of the church. They are truly inspired for these latter days we live in. They know the temptations that Satan is trying us with everyday, and they can see what we need to do to overcome them. Lately, I've been struggling a lot with a very personal issues. Starting my day with one of these quotes has made such a difference in my life. These quotes I've shared on here have been some that have seen me through and will yet help me to overcome trials I still face. This gospel is amazing. If you haven't yet searched for it in your own life, I'm here to tell you, it's worth looking in it. Look at it with your heart and you'll see.  :)

Friday, August 7, 2015

I'm washing the boys wranglers right now and the water is solid green! They have been hauling hay with Grandpa Morse so much the last few weeks. And, T.J. has also been going with our neighbor, Hans, as well. Granted, they don't always let me wash their pants after they're finished. T.J. has been wearing the same ones for a week now and it's disgusting. But they're boys, and boys are dirty.

Raising them right, the cowboy way. The only way in my book.

Love these cowboys of mine. Feeling very blessed to have them.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lovey Stuff

"Only God could love you more". -Jared

This is what he just said to me as he left to go back to work.

I sure love that guy.
Life is so much better right now considering the past year and a half I've had. Yes, there's still struggles, stresses, and feelings of insecurity, but it's getting better. Instead of feeling like I'm still swimming in this black hole, struggling to keep my head afloat, I feel like I'm climbing out of the dark cave I've been hallowed up in for the past year. Each day brings me a step further into the light.

I love it.

Does that mean I only have good days now? Absolutely not! I still have anxiety and panic attacks. I still have moments when I just need to cry for a minute. But then I'm ok and can go on. The crying is more of a cleanse now. I'm learning just how to express those emotions and then leave them at the doorstep, so to speak. Life has been so extremely hard the past year and a half. I have had many huge issues to deal with. From stresses of going back to school and dealing with math while trying to be mom, to Cody and his two surgeries within six weeks-one being a surprise and hard for him to recover. Then dad going downhill extremely fast and passing away from cancer after only testing him for it for two and a half weeks, to some major family struggles and feeling like I had to hold everyone together. Plus, two very difficult and very personal struggles over the past 16 months. It's taken a hard tole on me, but I'm determined to come back.

I actually decorated my house last week. You might think, "So what?". But to me, this was huge. I haven't decorated my house, minus Christmas, for a year and a half. And when I say I put up Christmas, it wasn't everything like I usually do. In fact, I hadn't even finished hanging up pictures and such since we remodeled the living room last year. Yup, that was also in my lovely crazy year... A remodel. But I actually loved that part minus the stress of trying to do that on top of school and then the deadline of having it done before Cody had his tonsils out so he could relax with the tv in there. Last week as I got out my decorations for the 4th of July, I realized something. I felt happy. I was enjoying something again that I've always loved to do. I knew that was a huge milestone for me and for a minute, I reflected at just how far I've come. And now I have a decorated house to remind me of that.

I found this quote that my dad's cousin posted on Facebook and immedialtely fell in love with it. I shared it on mine, hoping that the two members of my family who are really struggling right now would see it. I don't know if I'll ever know if they did, but I tried. This quote is so fitting for anyone who is going through this journey we call life. Everyone has struggles. It's up to us to rely on the Lord to take the struggles from us so we can have joy. I'm so thankful for the gospel and how much it can bless our lives if we will just let it. I'm so thankful for our Savior and everything he has done for each and everyone of us.

"We are commanded to be joyful because He has borne our sorrows. He was a man of sorrows and aquainted with grief so that we need not be. Our own sins and limitations are the things that make us sad. He had no sins and limitations; he was not sad for his sake, but wholly for ours. Only one could suffer for others who did not deserve to suffer for himself.
"If we remain gloomy after what He did for us, it is because we do not accept what he did for us. If we suffer, we deserve to suffer because there is no need for it if we only believe in Him."
-Hugh Nibley

Saturday, March 7, 2015

You know you have a good kid when you go to get on the computer and you find that T.J. has  switched his screen saver picture from a picture of Monster Jam to a picture of Jesus Christ. T.J. has to teach Deacons quorum tomorrow for the first time. He's been working on his lesson tonight and must have found this picture of Christ, because it's the first time I've seen it as his screen saver. T.J. is such a good kid. He got his first phone for Christmas this past year. The first Sunday as we were sitting in Sacrament meeting, I happen to look over at his phone as he turned it on real quick, and saw that the screen saver for his phone was a picture of the Salt Lake Temple. I was so proud. Even though there are times when he acts like a teenage boy, I know I don't have to worry about him when I see things like this. He's a good example to us. I sure love that kid.

This was T.J. studying last night. He stayed up until 10:00 working on his lesson, which was late considering he didn't go to bed the night before until 3:00 a.m.. He'd gone with Jared to play roller hockey and they can only rent out the place to do that from 12-2 a.m..

(*Written on Sunday, the next day... T.J. said he felt his lesson went pretty good. He said it wasn't long enough, but dad helped fill in time and they lead a discussion. The most important thing is that he prepared for this and studied. He tried his best and that's what we ask. Jared said he did a really good job. Jared is one of his Deacon Quorum leaders. I love my boys. I'm so blessed to have them be apart of our family.)