Friday, October 31, 2008


The Haunted Kitchen Timer

We walked through the door and there it was again...that same noise we hear every time we are away from home for more than a day or two.

The kitchen timer was screaming at us!!

Who turns the kitchen timer on when we are gone??
Someone or worse yet something is setting the timer and making it ring!!
Is it a ghost??
Is it Mr. Nobody??
(he used to be a familiar visitor at our house when the kids where young)
And why do "they/it" need the timer??
Is the house lonely because it is so quiet when we are gone??
Did someone/thing come and cook something in our absence??
If that is the case the least they could do would be to leave some left overs, don't you think? Some fudge brownies would be most welcome on a return home!!
Do you think I should be scared??


Our Haunted Kitchen Timer in all it's ancient and spooky glory!!
Can you tell, I have an old oven??

I HAVE A SECRET


SHHHH!! I know something you don't know!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

GOOD NEWS

This week we took a short trip up North to see some of Evan's specialists!! Tuesday morning we saw Dr. Wong the kidney doctor. Despite a lovely little kidney stone, Evan's kidney's are staying healthy. The stone is not currently causing any problems so Evan just has to drink lots and lots of water. I guess that means I get to nag!! What fun for me!! Since our next appointment wasn't until Wednesday at 1 pm. We decided that...well, I decided that I wanted to hold a grandbaby!! Mike didn't complain!! So we drove the two hours to Sacramento and spent the night up there to get a baby fix!!




Awe, it was so worth it!! Little Tommy is adorable. He is a very easy going, happy little guy!!

It was fun to see April and Matteo too!!




We went out to dinner at FATS, and had really yummy Chinese food!!


Look how Tommy loves his Mommy!!! I think he looks like Ethan M in this picture, what do you all think?? Something in his expression reminded me of Ethan. Well, they are cousins, so could be?

Wednesday morning we got up early and left to go back down to Stanford, this time to see Dr. Robinson the pulmonologist. Evan has been on his BiPap machine (used to treat sleep apnea) for a year now. Dr. R thought Evan looked great too!! That's what we like!! Doctor visits where there are no new medications or diagnoses or treatments!!! Don't you just love status quo!! I do!!




Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesdays Whereabouts!!

I'm going to try something new for my blog!! Here is a lovely Rube Goldberg machine. It has bells, and balls, springs and things!! It can be quite captivating!!

Where about is it??



Monday, October 27, 2008

52 Blessing Project- Week Forty-Three



Aren't our bodies incredible? What a blessing to have five senses, that both protect us from danger and bring us joy!! Sometimes our senses are easy to take for granted. It is just something we do. It's only when we are missing a sense that sometimes we realize what a blessing we have been given. Heavenly Father definitely knew what he was doing when he created us! Amazing!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

HAPPINESS

What bring us happiness? That question has been on my mind lately. In this midst of this political season the question has come up a lot. Are we taking away the very happiness of others by denying them the "right" to live in "marriage" with whomever they love regardless of gender.

Nothing would make my son Evan happier than growing up to become a meteorologist. He loves anything to do with weather!! Evan, however will never be a meteorologist. That requires a college degree which is beyond the realm of possibility for him, given his cognitive abilities.

Maybe we should have them change the requirements for getting a degree in meteorology. Doesn't he have a "right" to pursue the profession that will bring him happiness??

Or better yet, maybe we could support him in job where he could work in a weather related field. I know that doing anything with weather would make Evan happy. He does NOT have to be a meteorologist to be happy.

Some people who are attracted to those of the same gender want to be able to legally marry those that they love. They want to be happy. Is it the marriage that brings them happiness or being together that makes them happy? They can get the exact same rights and legal benefits as any married couple does. In California that is the law under domestic partnerships. Would changing the very definition that has defined traditional marriage for centuries bring them true happiness?? I think not.

Really though, the bottom line is, as Alma an ancient prophet, once said. "Wickedness never was happiness".




Monday, October 20, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!

In honor of my birthday. I'm sharing some pictures from my younger days, in the olden times!!

Can you believe that wall paper?? Does that face kind of look like Leah or is it my imagination??


I was apparently a lazy baby and a late walker, or so the story goes!!



Too bad, I didn't keep up the practicing!!



It doesn't look like my feet can even reach the peddles!!



Sweet kitty!! We never owned a cat, so I don't even remember who this kitty belonged too.


For some reason this is one of my favorite pictures. I still look at Christmas trees in awe, just the same way as when I was little!!

Ethan's Baptism

Last evening we had the wonderful opportunity to attend the baptism of our friend, Ethan. Ethan is a wonderful, enthusiastic eight year old. He is almost, kind of, related to us. Well, you see, Ethan is my son-in-law Matteo's cousin's son. That makes Matteo and Ethan first cousins once removed!! And that makes Ethan and my grandson Thomas second cousins! (Can you tell I love family history?? Only a family historian would know those kinds of things) Besides that Holly, Ethan's mom, and my daughter-in-law Sariah are BFF's...best friends forever!! Oh, well, that all doesn't matter. I just love this family anyway and Ethan has a special place in my heart!

He was so excited for his baptism. His sister, Evelyn said the opening prayer, and Ethan immediately turned to his Grandfather and said happily and in a loud voice, "My sister gave the opening prayer for me!! " Then his grandmother gave a talk about baptism. She had Ethan come stand beside her as she talked to him about what baptism means. It was so touching to me to see him lovely look up into her face as she spoke!! The spirit was very strong throughout the whole baptism.

I just love attending baptisms and reflecting on my own. I am grateful for these little ones who decided at a young age that they are going follow the Savior Jesus Christ. I hope it can be a strength to them in times of trouble.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

52 Blessing Project- Week Forty-Two



THE SACRAMENT

The Sacrament is a holy priesthood ordinance that reminds us of the Savior's Atonement. During the Sacrament, we partake of bread and water. We do this to remember the flesh and blood Christ offered as a sacrifice for us. As we partake of the sacrament, we renew sacred covenants with Heavenly Father.

Today, I was in a rush as I left our home for Sacrament meeting. Consequently, I was a little, shall we say...grouchy. Does that ever happen to you? Once we got to church, it was just wonderful to able to sit in the chapel, take a few deep breaths, calm down and reflect on my life. The Sacrament is a time to quietly ponder, to repent, to think about the love and mercy of the Savior. It is overwhelming to the me, such love the Savior has for me, despite my weaknesses.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have every week to partake of the Sacrament. It gives me such strength. Today's Sacrament hymn was "God Loved Us So He Sent His Son". The words were just what I needed to hear.

God loved us, so he sent his Son,
Christ Jesus, the atoning One,
To show us by the path he trod

The one and only way to God.

He came as man, though Son of God,
And bowed himself beneath the rod.
He died in holy innocence,
A broken law to recompense.

Oh, love effulgent, love divine!
What debt of gratitude is mine,
That in his off’ring I have part
And hold a place within his heart.

In word and deed he doth require
My will to his, like son to sire,
Be made to bend, and I, as son,
Learn conduct from the Holy One.

This sacrament doth represent
His blood and body for me spent.
Partaking now is deed for word
That I remember him, my Lord.

Text: Edward P. Kimball, 1882–1937


My Free Speech Rights



I'm a quiet person, I don't force myself or my views on people. However, my strong feelings in favor of Proposition 8 and my desire to follow the Prophet lead me to place signs supporting Prop 8 on my yard. Isn't that my free speech right?

We have had three signs stolen and/or tampered with and that makes me very sad. The latest incident happened last evening when Mike and I went out for a walk. Are the neighbors watching us and removing our signs when we leave the house??

Am I going to be dissuaded from replacing the signs?? NO!! In fact, we still had two left and I put them out again this morning. I wonder if they will be there when we get home from church.

The "No, on Prop 8"people ask for tolerance. It seems only one-sided, at least to me.

We need to pray for our country.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Two Great Yes on Prop 8 Videos

This first video is one that Amy made. It's short and gets right to the point!!



This one is short too, and the ending just made me laugh!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Evan's New Teammate

This is so scary.

Check out Evan's new power wheelchair soccer teammate.


video


Power wheelchair soccer is much harder than it looks,

that is all I have to say!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

FIFTY TWO BLESSING PROJECT - Week Forty-One


CHALLENGES

"Be careful for nothing;
but in every thing by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests
be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep yours hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:6-7
That is one of my favorite scriptures. It reminds me that I need to be grateful for everything in life...the good and the bad.

So, today I am grateful for challenges in life.
Challenges provide blessings that we would not ordinary see.
Challenges make us stronger.
Challenges help us to feel empathy.
Challenges bring us to our knees.
Challenges help us to realize Who is really in charge.
We can find peace through out challenges.

I love this song.


Where Can I Turn for Peace?


Where can I turn for peace?

Where is my solace

When other sources cease to make me whole?

When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,

I draw myself apart,

Searching my soul


Where, when my aching grows,

Where, when I languish,

Where, in my need to know, where can I run?

Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?

Who, who can understand?

He, only One.


He answers privately,

Reaches my reaching

In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.

Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.

Constant he is and kind,

Love without end.
Hymns, 129


"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

John 16:33

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Overheard in Church

I got a case of the giggles today in sacrament meeting. During the prelude music, Gage, a third grader, seated behind us, reached over to his uncle and loudly and proudly proclaimed, "Look, Uncle Lynn, I'm reading "Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People". Not the most spiritual title!! However, it got young Gage excited to read so that is important!! And, as his Uncle Lynn said, "Look at all the multi-syllable words in the title!!"

Where do authors come up with these kinds of titles for books??

Friday, October 10, 2008

Life Can Be a Roller Coaster Ride, Sometimes!

What I share is very personal, but I do so with the hope that it can help others, especially those women who are dealing with Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ (DCIS). This was not something that I ever thought would happen to me. I didn't feel that I was in any high risk group. I was surprised to learn that most women who develop breast cancer are not in a high risk group. Please remember that everyone's experience is different. I know that my experience is unique. How I chose to treat this was right for me, but might need to be completely different for someone else.

"How long have you had this cyst?". Those words were the first indication that something was not quite right. I didn't even know I had a cyst in my breast, so that was a surprise. So, off I went for an ultrasound. The first report that came back, said that it just looked like a cyst. A couple of weeks after that I get a phone call. Someone had reread the ultrasound report and they felt I needed to have a biopsy. Something looked suspicious. So, I went in for an ultrasound guided needle biopsy. The doctor that did the biopsy said it was just a cyst. However when the report came back it showed cancer cells, so off I went to see a surgeon. Within a week I was having a lumpectomy.

Do you see what I mean by roller coaster ride?? So many ups and downs. But, it gets worse.

Waking up groggy in the recovery room, the surgeon came in and said to me, "We have good news, you do NOT have cancer! However, you do have ductal carcinoma in situ and will need to have a mastectomy." SAY WHAT??? The anesthesiologist came in with the same news. Was that his job?? Was I dreaming this?? At this point all I wanted to do was to see my husband. When he was finally allowed to see me he had a big smile on his face!! All the doctor told him was that I didn't have cancer and he was thrilled!! The doctor forgot to mention the mastectomy part of the equation. Just a little oversight. In the mean time, my excited husband had called friends and family to share the "good news".

What an emotional roller coaster ride!! Now was the time for me to learn all I could about ductal carcinoma in situ?? It has the word carcinoma in it?? How can it NOT be cancer?? I found out that DCIS is cancer inside the ducts, it is NOT considered invasion cancer because it has not invaded breast tissue. It is consider Stage 0 cancer. Treatment after excision with clean margins is usually radiation, no chemotherapy.

First thing I did was fire the surgeon. Funny, thing he is locally very well renowned. However, he was not a doctor I trusted to be open and honest. I went to a breast cancer center at a major medical center for a second opinion. They suggested another excision and to get clean margins, since I still had DCIS cells remaining. That sounded reasonable to me, so I found another surgeon had the excision and still had cancer cells in the margins. So, the DCIS was extensive.

It was difficult to wrap my head around losing a breast. How could someone who has a stage 2 cancer get by with breast sparing surgery, and I could not. Slowly and patiently the Spirit began to whisper to me in quiet moments that I needed to have this one more surgery. They were whisperings that I could not ignore. I knew I needed to obey even though my head did not agree. When I made the decision to have the mastectomy I felt a remarkable peace and didn't look back.

Here I am, twelve years later. Cancer free, so that is important. Mike has been wonderful through it all. He still thinks I am beautiful, at least that is what he says. I think he is crazy!! His unconditional love has been incredible and healing.



Thursday, October 9, 2008

ANGELS DON'T WALK THEY FLY




This is a very touching video. I love the song!

Just one little note. While studies have shown that folic acid can greatly reduce the risk of spina bifida, it does NOT prevent all cases. Some are just meant to be and that's okay.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Breast Cancer Awareness - Facts & Tips

Every 2 minutes, there is a new breast cancer diagnosis.

Every 14 minutes, a life is lost to the disease.

Over 40,000 people will die this year; about 400 of them will be men.

85% of all diagnoses have no family history.

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between ages 40 and 55.

A Snapshot of Breast Cancer

Incidence and Mortality Rate Trends

In the United States, breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women. Each year, a small number of men also are diagnosed with or die from breast cancer. Although the breast cancer diagnosis rate has increased, there has been a steady drop in the overall breast cancer death rate since the early 1990's.

While the incidence rate is lower for African Americans than Whites, the mortality rate is higher. Women of other racial and ethnic groups have lower incidence and mortality rates.

It is estimated that approximately $8.1 billion* is spent in the United States each year on treatment of breast cancer.




Elizabeth Hurley on Breast Cancer Awareness - video powered by Metacafe

Monday, October 6, 2008

PHONE CALLS


Some phone calls are good and some phone calls are not so good.

Yesterday, Andrew called with the great news that he had just lost his very first baby tooth!! Woo Hoo!! How exciting is that? And, what's more exciting is that, his Grandma, was the first person he thought of to share the news. I know, I'm special!!! I feel special!! Andrew calls me a lot and I love it!!

Well, I didn't feel very special this morning. Actually, I'm the one that made the poor choice to call my poor daughter at almost 6 am in the morning. I'm sure she didn't love my phone call. I do have an excuse though, for what it is worth. I forgot that Arizona is NOT on daylight savings time and that right now, we are on the same time. I also forgot that the school she teaches at gets a Fall break. That is unheard of in California! I was just hoping to talk to her before she left for school, but instead I woke up both her and her husband, on a vacation day. Oh, my!!

Why do we have daylight savings time anyway?? Do you now how much a dislike day light savings time. Oh, sorry, I digress. Anyway, ten lashes with a wet noodle for me, I guess. Sorry, Rachel!! At least I was calling with good news, I'm going to visit during the dance festival, it will be great to watch you Joey and dance!! I am sure I will love it!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

52 BLESSING PROJECT Week Three - Week Forty



Life got you down?? Feel a little discouraged?? Do you have a problem, and you just can't find the answer?? Is all going well, but you need just a little uplift? Do you want to be inspired?

Have I got a perfect prescription for you!! The first weekend of October and April, take in four sessions of General Conference!! Be sure to take with doses of sincere pray and a listening heart. You will feel better in no time at all!! It's just amazing!!



This weekend was the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Twice a year our Church leaders gather in Salt Lake City and speak to us. The sessions are broadcast throughout the world via TV stations, cable networks, satellite and internet.

I was able to feel uplifted with the very first speaker.
President Monson announced the building of five new Temples! There will be in Calgary Alberta Canada, Argentina, Greater Kansas City Area, and Philadelphia and Rome, Italy. ROME, ITALY!!! Can you imagine that!! There was a gasp from the congregation that was in attendance. Now, that brought tears to my eyes!! I just think of all my ancestors who lived an hour south of Rome!! How they must be rejoicing!!

Now, I have a new goal in life. To attend the Rome, Italy temple!! Can you imagine how incredible that would be??? Who wants to come with me??

I wish I could share with you my favorite talk, but I truly was touched and enjoyed the words of all the speakers. I did sort of sense a theme in many of the talks...tough times are ahead, we will face challenges, lift up your heads, here are things you can do that will help. And, I must also mention the music, especially the children's choir, it was all just very beautiful!!

I have been blessed, my testimony strengthen and now I'm ready press forward!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

100 Temples

That is the number of Temples that are now using the New FamilySearch program. Just this past week this wonderful milestone was reached. New FamilySearch is a program that allows people to find their ancestors and bind them in families for eternity. It is also is a great way to find other people who are working on your line and colaberate with them. Currently, it is only available to LDS church members who live in 100 different Temple districts around the world. Eventually, it will be available to anyone, anywhere in the world. I love using this program and watching it evolve. If you are interested in what New Family Search will look like in the future check out Family Tree at Family Search Labs. There are other great resources when you are at Family Search Labs. Record Search is a great program, that is being continually updated. It has been exciting to be a small part of this process while serving as a Church Service Missionary.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Fairy Tale

Several years ago, I wrote a fairy tale. Today, I share it with you. I will never forget the day that Mike and I found out that Evan had spina bifida and hydrocephalus. It's just one of those heart stopping moments in life. When I look back and see how far we have come and how much Evan means in my life, it is amazing. It has been a wonderful journey that I would not have traded for anything. I hope you enjoy the following, it was written from the heart. Sorry for those of you who have seen this before.

A Fairy Tale - Our Family Story
Some Fairy Tales are True, and Do End Happily Ever After...

Meet Evan PriceOnce upon a time there was a very big happy family. This family had two bouncy mischievous boys, three girls who were much calmer than the boys, and a mom and a dad. One day the mom and dad had some exciting news to share with the children. They gathered the family around and shared the special news that in eight months, another child would join the family. The news was accepted with joy, for babies are indeed special!

The Mom made sure that she took good care of her body, just as she had done with all the children. She wanted to be sure that the child growing within her would have a healthy start to life. One day, a few months later, a most dreaded phone call came from the Doctors office. The result of the AFP test the Mom had taken was abnormal. The Mom would need to have furthering testing to check out the validity of the AFP test. At first the Mom and Dad just thought, "Oh, maybe we have twins, or maybe the due date was off." They really did not want to think that their new little one could actually have some kind of dreaded birth defect.

They traveled far from home for these special tests, an ultrasound and amniocentesis. They first met with a special person called a geneticist, then they went into a room where a special doctor was who would take the ultrasound, the Dr. talked to the Mom and Dad, for a while.

The doctor begin the ultrasound, and then all got very quiet. The Dr. had a very concerned look on his face, the Mom and Dad were certain that things were not all well with there new little one. The silence went on for what seemed like an eternity. Finally the doctor spoke. What he said was hard for the parents to comprehend. The ventricles in the baby's head were enlarged, and its spine was open. He said the baby had something called spina bifida.

The parents were shocked, even devastated. How could this be?? They went home and cried buckets of tears, and tried to explain to the children why they were so sad. As extended family members and friends heard of the news an amazing thing began to happen as the family felt the strength of others love, support and prayers. The sadness turned to determination to do all they could to help this little baby. It seemed a very long five months to await the birth of this baby, filled with learning new things about spina bifida, and doctors appointments.

The Mom and Dad found the medical community to be very negative as they told them all the worse things that spina bifida could do to a baby. They said that this baby could be a burden to this family because the baby may not be able to walk and may be mentally retarded. They even went so far as to suggest that the pregnancy be terminated. But the Mom and Dad had unconditional love for all their children, including their new little unborn child. They very much wanted him to be a part of their family, although they were sad that he would face so many challenges in life.

On August 27, 1987, Evan Neil was born into this world. His name was very special because while the name Evan meant challenger, the name Neil meant champion. He was born one month early because he was not growing well inside and needed medical help. He was a tiny baby he weighed only four and a half pounds, but he was indeed beautiful. They were filled with an overwhelming love for him.

Evan was very sick and at three hours old a very special doctor called a neurosurgeon, very carefully closed the opening in the Evans back and placed a special tube called a shunt in his head. The Mom and Dad spent all the time they could with Evan, caressing him, rubbing his shoulders, whispering to him, comforting him and letting him know of their love for him.

After seventeen days in the hospital the most joyful day of all occurred, as the Mom and Dad brought little Evan home for his brothers and sisters to welcome. It was wonderful to be away from all the noise, and tubes and needles of the hospital. Finally little Evan was with the family that would love and nurture him.

Sixteen Years Later....

Evan is growing and thriving. He has NOT been a burden to his family as some would have thought. He is a joy and a delight to his family. He is one of the happiest children they have and he laughs with his whole body. It is a very wonderful, contagious laugh. He does walk, although it is slow and takes lots of energy, it is different than the way most people walk because Evan must wear long leg braces and use a walker. The very most favorite way Evan likes to get around is in his wheelchair, it is much faster than walking. Evan struggles sometimes in school, but he is smart and learning new things all the time.

The family has learned a lot from Evan. They have learned that it is okay to do things differently, that each of us is unique. If they look for the good in others they will find it. They have learned that it is possible to be brave and courageous in the face of adversity. They have learned that a positive attitude is so very important. They have learned that the most wonderful miracles occur in our hearts as we became accepting of things we can't change and do not let our hearts be bitter. They have learned that when families stick together wondrous things can happen. They have learned the importance of faith and prayer in this life. They know that our lives here on the earth and precious and fragile.

The family has faced new challenges now. The Mom has had to cope with cancer in her life. But she knows that all we be well. She has a wonderful example in her life to look up to, to help her be strong, and brave and courageous and have a positive attitude. He is younger and smaller than her, but in some ways wiser. His name means challenger and champion and he is indeed a champion. and they will live happily ever after.....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Awareness Month

October is awareness month for two causes that have greatly affected my life...breast cancer and spina bifida.
So, this month I will be occasionally sharing insights and stories about these subjects.




If you are a woman of child bearing age please make you sure you get enough folic acid in your diet. While folic acid does not prevent all cases of spina bifida and other neural tube defects, studies have shown it can greatly reduce the incidence.

To prevent breast cancer all women should:
  • Obtain regular mammography screening starting at the age of 40
  • Obtain annual clinical breast exams
  • Perform monthly breast-self exams
  • Obtain a risk assessment from a physician

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Adjectives

It was brought to my faulty attention that I had carelessly and without regard to tender feelings neglected to use adjectives along with Katie and Brad's names on the sidebar. All the other fabulous families had adjectives to describe at least one of the members. I don't understand how I could be so careless, thoughtless, and hurtful. Certainly, I did not mean to offend, or cause harm.

It is with a hopeful heart that the following heartfelt words will provide me with their kind forgiveness. I want to be able to sleep soundly tonight.

I want Katie and Brad to know that I think they are incredible, awesome, marvelous, talented, caring, good looking and just plain amazing people. Oh, and Brad is very tall, and he makes me laugh! That is because he used to be a very funny clown, with a silly clown costume, although I have never seen him officially clowning, at least in his suit. He can twist and turn colorful balloons to make crazy critters. Katie and Brad are both hard workers and Brad has been sharing his impressive carpentry skills with Katie. Together, they have made some excellent furniture pieces.

My heart is overflowing with gratefulness that Katie, The Grammer Queen and Brad
The Ever Exatc Engineer are members of my family. It is with humbleness of heart that I ask for their tender forgiveness.


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