Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Heartfelt Apology

Well, I did it again! I royally screwed up! I deeply offended some of my dear family members. What breaks my heart is that I didn't even realize I hurt my family. It was an honest to goodness mistake! I didn't even realize what I had done until my sweet husband brought it to my attention this afternoon. It ruined my day! I feel AWFUL!! I havne't stopped crying since. You see, I am trying so hard to be the best person I can be. I have had so many wonderful spiritual experiences over the past couple of weeks. My heart has been overflowing with happiness and peace. I have felt an overwhelming desire to right every wrong in my life, and to recommit myself to the gospel. Then came this blow today. Amongst all the good efforts I have made, I still brought sadness to someone I love very much. I hope my dear family will know how sorry I am. I will do ALL in my power to right the wrong. I hope in time, they will forgive me. I am human, and I make mistakes. I think this is one of the biggest I have made in a long time. I hope it won't scar my relationship with my family in the future. They are such an important part of our lives!!!!

In a former blog post, I sent out a huge thank you to all of the Christmas elves who made our Christmas special this year. When I did that, I failed to mention some very important family members who contributed more than everyone else to our family this year. This isn't the first time they have helped us out. There have been numerous times they have come to our rescue. They have sacrificed precious time to come and visit our family, even though the drive was far and the sacrifice was great. They helped us move. When we moved to Logan, it was my father-in-law and brother-in-law who drove all the way from Evanston to help us make the move. It was NOT an easy venture. They worked all night long, and then had to return home the next morning for work. When Ashley was the sickest, these wonderful family members drove hundreds of miles to be by her side. I need to mention these special family members are my in-laws. I feel bad I haven't mentioned their great sacrifices before. You have to know, Ashley had an extra special love for her grandfather. She was his princess, and she always knew it. Whenever he came to see the grandkids, he always came bearing the most fun gifts. From candy to stuffed animals to remote control cars, he has been such a loving and Christ-like grandfather to all of our kids. He was always at the hospital each time Ashley had to stay. When he came to her room, he never-fail came bearing the most elaborate gifts for her. I still remember the time he gave her a giant purple care-bear. She treasured that great big bear! It was a favorite toy for a very long time. He also brought her a great big horse. There have been coloring activities, paints, books, pictures, movies, etc. I can't begin to name all of the things he gave to our angel. There was a special bond between them. I know when she passed on, she was sad to leave her grandfather.

This Christmas, my father-in-law again came to our rescue. I think he bought out the toy department at numerous stores. The boys were spoiled rotten. It wasn't just the boys who were spoiled. I also received some wonderful gifts. In addition to all the presents, my father made sure we had several hundred dollars in our pocket. He made sure we knew there was more of that if we needed it. I was so touched, as was Jason!!! I honestly NEVER ever meant to forget to mention my father. He is such a good man. There are so many stories of his selfless service given to those in need. He once shared with us a story about a lady who sold fruit at a stand in Evanston one summer. She wasn't selling much, and seeing her great need, he made sure he stopped by her stand and bought tons of boxes of fruit from her. She was so grateful!! I know he made her summer.

Another time, my father, knowing how much I love whippets, worked for a lady all summer long so he could purchase a whippet statue from her. He traded work for the statue, and it was not easy work. He then drove to Nampa to give it to me. My father is a wonderful man, and we love him so very much. I know Ashley loves him too. Every chance she gets, I know she sends hugs to him. I know she would want him to know how much we appreciate all the gifts, money, and time he has sacrificed so our family would know we are loved!!!! Thanks to my dear father in law, his wife, Kimberly, and their two children, Geni and Nick, who are also guardian angels to our family. We love you so much! I hope you always know how much we treasure your love and friendship!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Own Christmas Miracle

I miss my little girl. It has been almost two years now since she left this life for the next. You would think time heals all wounds. Pain fades with time, but it never leaves your heart. When you love someone so much, and they die, there is a huge hole that remains. It doesn't go away. You never know when that hole will begin to hurt. You never know when the pain will wash over you. It might be a song on the radio. It might be a toy in a toy store. It might be a song in church. When it comes, it hurts so much! For the longest time, I felt it was a sign of weakness to be sad, to show my emotions. I felt I was weak because I was depressed. But you know what? I have learned it is okay to cry. I am NOT weak because I get sad. I am not weak because I struggle with depression. These are normal ways of dealing with grief. It is all part of the healing process. I didn't understand that. I once had a lady tell me about her friend, who had lost a child to cancer. This lady said how her friend was always so happy and cheerful. She didn't cry. She carried on with a big grin on her face every day. I immediately went home and felt like the worst person in the world. I wondered if I was being a baby because I wasn't smiling all the time. I wondered if I lacked faith because I felt depressed. I wondered if I was silly for watering my pillow at night with my tears. This Christmas, I learned so much about faith, hope, and grief. It all began shortly before Christmas. I received a package in the mail from my wonderful aunt. She sent me two books: "The Christmas Box" and "The Christmas Box Miracle". I read the Christmas Box years and years ago. I didn't even remember the story. I decided to read The Christmas Box Miracle first. I devoured it in two days. Each time I opened the book, I felt the spirit fill my heart. I felt peace and I felt comfort. It was a reminder to me of how very much our Heavenly Father is mindful of all who have lost children in this world. The story of the Christmas Box was a gift given to Richard Paul Evans to bring comfort to grieving hearts around the world. I know this to be true. It was crazy, but as I read of the wonderful experiences Richard Evans had as he promoted his book, and letters he has received since, I felt a connection to those people. For the first time in a long time, I felt understood. I was overcome with a desire to visit one of his special angel statues. I felt by doing so, I would find another place where I could truly grieve and heal my broken heart.

Now for the true miracle of this Christmas. I told Jason I didn't need anything for Christmas. He was determined to get me a little something. He said he had gone to the Hallmark store to look for something uplifting for me. He found a special statue of a couple which he really liked. As he continued to browse the store, he stumbled across an angel statue. He said he was so taken with the statue, he looked at it several times. In the end, he decided, in honor of our December 22 anniversary, to get me the couple statue. When he went to the counter to check out, the lady went to the back to get item he requested. When she returned to the front, she opened the box to make sure it was the right statue. Inside the box, instead of the statue, was the angel!!! The lady couldn't explain it. But Jason knew. I needed that angel statue. He bought it for me. When I opened it on Christmas day, I was overcome with emotion. It was like Ashley came and gave me a huge bear hug!!! I felt her near, and that feeling did not leave me the entire day. I didn't need to go to Richard Paul Evan's angel shrine. I had one of my own. It was the best gift I could have ever received. (0: I knew it was my own special Christmas miracle. Ashley wanted us to know she was near. What a wonderful blessing!!!!

December 29, 2011

I can't believe it is almost 2012! My how time flies! The past couple of weeks have been wonderful! I am so proud to say my hard work paid off last semester. Once again, through the miraclous power of the Holy Ghost, I passed all my classes with A's. I could not have done it alone, especially Stats. I can't describe the feeling when I finished my last final. I felt like a 200 pound rock had been lifted off my body. It was great! In addition to that, the bishop told me I was going to be released as Cubmaster. That too lifted a tremendous burden off of my person. I enjoy the calling, but it has not been easy for me. I am glad to pass it along to the next person.

As I mentioned before, Christmas is hard for me. Jason and I were so stressed this year. Our financial situation has not been great. We are plugging along, barely surviving paycheck to paycheck. Honestly, we did not know how we would have any money for Christmas. Our savings was depleted. We don't have anything of value to sell. Jason is a gifted salesman. He could sell a pound of dirt if he wanted to. (0: However, you can't sell what you don't have. We sat our kids down and told them there wouldn't be much this year. They all agreed that was alright. We talked quite a bit about all the good things we do have. There are so many! I was so grateful my children were able to see them as well.

The closer we got to Christmas, the more blessings came our way. It all began with a knock on our door one afternoon. It was our bishop. He had been given money anonimously, to give to a family in the ward. He felt the money should be given to us. I was speechless. In addition, the same day, my younger siblings put their money together and sent Jason and I money for Christmas. Two nights after that, our doorbell rang about 9:30 p.m. We discovered an envelope with money taped to our door. In addition, there were three gifts for the boys. The next morning, our doorbell rang again. There stood a woman we did not know. She filled our porch with groceries and left two sacks full of presents for the boys. The only thing she said was that it was from someone who loved us. That night, our doorbell rang again. By this time, we were scared to open the door. (0: Another envelope full of money was taped to the door. All I could do was cry! Because of the generosity of others, our family had a wonderful, simple Christmas. Our fridge and freezer are currently stocked with food. We were able to put a little money back into savings. It was our own special miracle! I knew Heavenly Father was mindful of our little family. We weren't insignificant. We were important. The windows of heaven were opened and the blessings were poured on our family. I don't know who the special elves were who reached out to us. Even if we knew, how can you ever thank someone for such generosity? You can't. We will forever be in their debt. It was a lift we needed. It was a lift I needed. Miracles do happen today. In those moments when we need a lift, if we reach out to our Father in Heaven, He will answer our prayers. He will send his angels to attend to our needs. The angels came. And we were blessed.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! (Nov 24, 2011)

I haven't blogged in forever, and I feel I need to. So much has happened over the past little while. I need to catch up.

Life for me right now is hard. Not that it isn't hard for anyone else. Everyone has their own struggles and burdens. This I know. For me personally, this is a time of testing once again. As I mentioned in a previous blog, Austin was struggling at Mount Logan Middle School. It wasn't just his grades. He was physically ill every day. He was cutting himself, and he developed an ulcer from the worry and stress he was experiencing. I saw how hard school was for him, and I made a pretty rash decision: to pull him out and enroll him in the Utah Virtual Academy. It was a good decision. He became a different kid. We are now treating the ulcer and he is feeling 10 times better. He has been so happy with his school work. It is easier for me to keep on top of what he is doing and to guide him in knowing what to do every day. He is already on the honor roll, and his self-esteem grows every day. The only problem with this arrangement is the time involved. As you know, I already have a hefty schedule. With work and school, my time was already scrunched. Not long ago, in addition to my cubmaster calling, I was asked to run our Webelos den. I love the cub scouting program. I believe in what it teaches. I have seen how the boys in our ward have grown through participation. I knew our Webelos were not having den meetings. I didn't want them to end up like Austin: not progressing because of bad leadership. When the ward leaders were unable to find a replacement den leader, I volunteered, thinking it wouldn't be too hard. That was before I knew my son needed me to help him. I have tried so hard to carry all these roles. But unfortunately, I can't keep up with it all. I am crashing and burning, BAD! I don't have time for anything anymore. I go to work, come home, study with Austin, pick my other kids up from school, hang out with them, study, do a little cleaning, fix dinner, and study some more. My exercise time has gone down the tubes. It will be better once my semester is over. This last stretch has been awful. I have several big projects to complete, which I didn't start previously because I had so many other weekly things to do. There wasn't time. Now in addition to the weekly things, I have to fit these projects in and there is only a couple of weeks left to do it in. On top of that, I have Austin's school. On top of that I have two cub scout responsibilities. On top of that, I have visiting teaching and trying to be a helpful friend and neighbor. My husband is also in a vulnerable place and needs lots of TLC. I have tried hard to spend as much time with him as I can. I haven't been to the temple in forever! I am getting up at 5:30 every day to fit in my scripture time. That is hard because I stay up late getting my homework done. I can feel the unbalance in my life. But I am not sure how to gain it back. My body is starting to complain. I feel sick again, like I did when Ashley was dying. That makes me even more discouraged. I don't have time to be less than 100%! Consequently, I am depressed as well. This time of year is always hard for me. It feels stressful every year. I truly meant what I said when I stated I don't like Christmas time. I love what it stands for. I love doing things for other people. I love the opportunity to celebrate the birth of our Savior. But the mechanics, YUCK! Just more things to get done and never enough money to do it with. I always end up feeling tired, sick, and depressed. It has been that way for several years now. It is worse now that we don't have Ashley. I dread taking out the Christmas things. We have so many that remind me of her. I am already sad. I don't need any help! Anyway, it takes me most of the month of January to get feeling like a person again. I just don't like this time of year. Okay, off the Christmas kick now. Something has to go! But what? I feel if I don't carry all these responsibilites, I won't be good enough. I won't measure up. I should be strong enough to handle it all. But at the same time, I am hitting the bottom. I don't like being there. I have been there many times in the past year, and it stinks!!

All that being said, I know there is something to be learned through these experiences. One lesson I feel I still haven't learned is that we all have limits and we have to accept what our individual limits are. Some of us are able to do more than others. And that is fine. As long as we are doing the best we can, that is good enough. Heavenly Father loves us for what we can do, and not what we can't. I have a good friend in Nampa who perfectly understands this concept. She can only handle so much stress in her life and then her fibermyalgia kicks in and she has to step back. Despite her struggles, she manages to keep her life in balance. She serves and loves and lifts and builds as much as she can. She knows her limits and she stays in those limits. She is happy with who she is. Not who she is not. I wish I could be more like her. I am constantly comparing myself with others, especially my older sister, a literal superwoman, who seems to never hit the bottom. I need to be happy with who Connie is, and not who I am not. I really try hard to do all I can. I am giving my all. As you know, I have carried our Cub Scout program on my shoulders for a long time without any support. Some of my pack meetings were dumb. But I did the best with the resources and help I had. I have to learn to accept that I have done my best and that is what matters most. I have to accept that I am not my sister. I don't have her talents and abilities. But at the same time, I have my own strengths. Right now, I can't see them. All I see is that I am barely scraping by from day to day, keeping up with my life. But my strengths are there. I will survive this time. With lots of prayer and faith, I will be able to see what I can let go of, and be okay with that. Heavenly Father will continue to lift me up and help me to deal with life as it comes. Trials keep us humble. They help us keep the eternal perspective in view. I know this. I have learned this so many times in my lifetime. There is one thing I never, EVER want to do again: lose my way and forget what is truly important, who it is who will get me through. I lost my way once, and it was a hellish time in my life. I know I want to be with my family in the celestial kingdom someday. I want to hold my beautiful daughter in my arms again. I miss her so much! I think of her and her example every day. I am so thankful she was given to us. I am so thankful all of my children were given to us. They are so special and they teach me so many things.

So I will keep pressing forward, faith in every footstep!!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday October 30, 2011

I can't believe it is the end of October already! Man, how time flies! I haven't written in such a long time. I have been so busy. In addition to school and work, kids, husband, and being cubmaster, I was also given the assignment of being a Webelos leader. I was hesitant to offer my services to help run Webelos. My life is so hectic as it is. But I am already at the church anyway so our Wolves can hold den meetings. We only have one Wolf leader and without me at the church, we don't have two deep leadership. So why not just run Webelos why I am there? The webelos's requirements are fun, and I enjoy planning the den meetings. Spencer is a Webelos now as well. I would be helping him at home, so why not help the others at the same time? I am not sure my logic is so logical, but I am truly coming to LOVE the scouting program. I never appreciated it before, and now I do. It is so good for the boys. It gives them something good to participate in. It teaches them wonderful skills that will make them more successful in later life. It means I have to be on the ball. I can't waste any time at all. If I am not studying, or helping my kids, or cleaning house, I have to plan for scouts. But you know, I don't mind. I feel it is what I am supposed to do. I know Heavenly Father will help me. I have been so blessed already.

As far as the rest of my family, we are doing alright. Jason is working hard at his new job. I won't say he is happy, but he always puts his heart and soul into everything he does. He enjoys the people he works with. They are good people, so much better than those at Verizon. We are still struggling financially. That part is hard for Jason. He likes to be a good provider. In the past, we were blessed to survive financially. We weren't rolling in the dough, but we always had sufficient for our needs. At the current time, we have had to ask for help to survive. Jason hates that! It won't be forever though. I am only three semesters short of my bachelor's degree. I will be attending graduate school, but I am hoping I can work and complete my master's degree at the same time. That will help. I don't make much money now, but I will say, I absolutely love the kids I work with. I have enjoyed my literacy groups immensely this year. I know there are always ways to become a more effective teacher, but I feel way more confident in my abilities this year than last. I wish there was some way I could help Jason understand that it doesn't matter to me if we don't have much money. We have so many wonderful blessings. We are so happy as a couple, and as a family. We have food on our table, and a roof over our heads. Life is wonderful!

My kids for the most part have been doing wonderfully well. I have been desperately worried about my Austin. He has not been okay. I should have been more on top of what was happening at middle school. He seemed happy, and he seemed to be doing well with his school work. This pretty picture crumbled when I found out he was being bullied at school. I won't go in details, but one day he called me from school and said he was very sick. I went and picked him up, but I could tell from the moment I saw him something else was bothering him. That day he opened up to me about these boys at school that had been picking on him for some time. I immediately spoke to the principal, who was fantastic at handling the situation. Not long after that incident, we discovered Austin had been cutting himself at school. He had scratches all over his left arm, from hand to elbow. It looked like he fought a mad kitty and lost. Of course, I went into panic mode. I spoke to the counselor and the principal again, pleading for help for my son. He was sinking more than I realized. It wasn't just the bullying. Because of his ADHD, he was unable to keep track of his work. He wasn't completing assignments. He had F's in every class but one. I had no idea how overwhelmed he was. The cutting was one sign of the stress he was under. I felt horrible!!! The school counselor did meet with Austin a couple of times, trying to help him. She was great, but what he needs is intervention from a behavior specialist, like we had in Nampa. He needs a person who can give him the tools to be a middle school student and manage his ADHD. He is medicated and that should help. However, the medication is such a pain in the butt! It makes him depressed, unable to sleep, and feeling sick. But without it, he can't focus at all. But with it, he still feels like a zombie. It is a vicious cycle. He doens't like school, and he doesn't like himself. He feels like he is the bad kid in the family. That broke my heart!! I hope nothing I say or do makes him feel that way. He is a wonderful young man. I have been so proud of him. I told him he has to remember that he is twice as strong as everyone else. What comes easy to most people is very difficult for him. That isn't his fault. It doesn't mean he is a bad person. It means he has been given a challenge from Heavenly Father and if it his challenge, he will be given the strength to face it head on and win. We are considering pulling him out of Mount Logan and enrolling him in the Utah Virtual Academy, at least for this year. I have been praying about his decision, and I feel good about K12. It was the same charter school Ashley was in before. I loved their curriculum. I am familiar with how the program works. The one problem is that I will need to help him. I don't have much time for that, but if it is the right thing to do, we will do it. I want him to feel good about being Austin. We filled out all the paperwork, and tomorrow I will have the final interview with a K12 specialist to see if Austin can get in. We will see. I just want my son to be okay! I love him so much!

Well, I need to get moving on with the day. There is much to be accomplished and only so much time to do it in. (0: I am so grateful for my life. Even with all the challenges, there is much to be thankful for. I thank Heavenly Father every day for my little girl, for what she taught me. I thank Him for my three wonderful little boys. They are so special to me, and I am proud of each one of them. They make my life worth living. And most of all, I am so grateful for my darling husband. He is my shinging star in every way. I would not be happy without him and his constant love and support. We are a team, and with one another, we can face anything! (0:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Just Plugging Away! (Sept 25, 2011)

I haven't written for a while, but with good reasons. Life has been busy. But I have to say, I am happier right now than I have been in a very long time. I know it is because I am filling my life with the things of God. Attending the temple has helped me so much! I know I have been blessed with peace because of the time I take to serve in our beautiful Logan temple. I also have made an effort to study the scriptures for at least 30 minutes every day. It means I get up very early, but it is so worth that sacrifice! Are all my morning study sessions the most efficient? Probably not. Sometimes it is all I can do to stay awake! (0: But I am putting good habits into place and it feels great!!

I love my classes this semester. They are challenging, but so fun. Statistics has been one of the classes I love most. My teacher is amazing! When I read the material in the book, I always come away feeling so lost. Then I listen to her lectures and it is like a big lightbulb lights up in my brain. I actually understand the concept and it is fun to complete my assignments. I never thought I would say that I love statistics! But I do. I can't express my gratitude for the opportunity to learn and prepare for the future.

I am also exercising regurlarly. I love my exercise time! I can feel myself getting stronger every day. It isn't easy. There are days when I don't want to workout, but the end result is worth the time. I feel happier and more alert. My weight goal hasn't been met yet, but again, I am creating habits that will bless my life and it feels great!

Jason started his new job on Friday. I knew he would be blessed to find a job quickly. He has such amazing skills, and it didn't take long for the employers to see what an asset he would be to their company. Jason received two job offers in one day. After praying about both, he decided to tak the job at Factory Outlet, which is a manufactured home dealership. The great part of this job is that Jason has tons of experience. He worked at two different manufactured home dealerships in the past, both selling and managing them. It is something he is comfortable doing. The struggle he has now is that he wants to get out of sales and move to an IT position. He started the process last week of enrolling in Western Governor's University to pursue an IT degree. It won't be a quick process, but it is what he wants to do. I know he will do great. It is always scary to go back to school. I had so many emotions when I started back at Utah State. Jason still doubts himself. His self esteem is very low. But I know he can do it! I will try my hardest to support him.

The boys are doing great! Spencer has been blessed to find a good friend. Preston loves his teacher and has a wonderful group of friends as well. Austin is prospering at the middle school. He loves all his classes, and so far has good grades. He is in band and plays the flute, which he loves. I never thought Austin would enjoy band. I figured it would be too much practicing and sitting still for him. But I was wrong. He is doing well, and he loves it! I have been happy with his new friend group. He is friends with boys from the ward now, and good boys at that! They have good standards, and they are great kids to have around. Not that Austin's former best friend was bad. He just didn't have the same standards, and I was always worrying about what Austin was exposed to. He is still Austin's friend, but they aren't together every day like they used to be. Austin hangs around with Josh now. Josh is a great kid with super awesome parents. I am happy about that! (0:

Austin has the priesthood now. I can't tell you how proud I was of him on the first Sunday he passed the sacrament. He looked to grown up! He has loved Young Men's. On Friday they went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. Austin was so delighted to get to go! (0: He told me how warm and happy he felt inside while he was in the temple and we had a good discussion about that. I just LOVE the temple!!! I always felt the spirit there when I was younger. I am so happy Austin was able to feel it too!

Well, I need to write more, but it is time to get ready for church. I am just so thankful for this time in my life. It is a happy time. I feel so good about myself. I love feeling the spirit every day. This is what life is all about. It isn't about gaining earthly things. It is about filling your life with the things of God. It is about coming closer and closer to Heavenly Father and His beloved son, Jesus Christ. It is about making the most of every day. It is about serving those around you. It is about attending the temple and feeling the peace in that most Holy Place. It is about teaching your children to love their Father in Heaven and rejoicing with them as they accomplish each milestone on their journey through this life.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Weekend 2011

I feel like I am in the eye of the storm. My job started last week, as well as my classes for this semester. As I predicted, this semester is going to keep me hopping. Right from the get go, I had three assignments due. I also had lots of reading. But you know what? I feel so good about what I am accomplishing. I know I am on the road to a better life for my family, and it is going to be so worth it in the end. I love learning. I love the opportunity to improve myself. I am so excited to continue on this path. It is going to be tough, but since when have I run from a challenge? Ha ha ha! (0:

I absolutely LOVE working at the school. This year, I am in such a better place emotionally and physically that I was last year. I know what is in store for me. I am not adjusting to a new life like I was last year. I am not wound up like a tight ball of twine like I was last year. I have found the balance in my life I needed then. It is a great place to be. I feel like I have more tools in my belt to help me cope with my busy life. I can't wait to start teaching my groups. It looks like I will be in kindergarten, 4th and 5th, unless the DIBELS test scores change things. I am not expecting that to happen, but it might. I hope I do get to work with the 5th graders. They were so fun last year. It was challenging, but they are hilarious. I also hope I get to teach writing. I loved my writing groups. Writing has become something I really enjoy. I want so much to convey that to my students. It is not an easy skill to master, but they can improve if they keep practicing. Tell that to a 5th grader though! (0:

This weekend was a blast. I thought I better write about it while I actually have time. After today, my life is going to be drastically different. Every spare moment I have will be filled with studying. I know I won't get to blog much. I have to say, this weekend has been the most enjoyable one I have had in a long time. I don't know why it was so different. It just was. Perhaps it was because Dawn's husband ended up in the hospital with a bowel obstrution. We originally planned to go to Bear Lake on Saturday. But late Friday night, when Jaxon came home from work in horrible pain, our plans changed. Jaxon has Krohn's disease. It has been controlled for many years now, but for some reason, it flared up badly. When we knew he was desperately sick, facing major surgery to correct the obstruction, our family went into crisis mode. That is one of the things about my family I love most. When one of us goes down, the rest come to the rescue. We pull together like no other. This weekend was no exception. Dawn had purchased lots of food for our Bear Lake excursion, so we had plenty of lunch items. Jason and I, along with my parents and other sisters, also contributed. Needless to say, it was super easy to fix meals. We had food coming out our ears. (0: We brought all the kids to my house and let the cousins play together. They all get along so well. It is always fun for them to be together. We fixed lunch and dinner, and made sure Dawn could be at the hospital as much as possible. Dad and Jason went to the hospital in the later afternoon and gave Jaxon a blessing. We pretty much hung out and visited with one another for the rest of the day. There was such a close feeling amongst us this weekend. I always feel close to my family. But for some reason, this weekend, I felt something I haven't felt before. I was overwhelmed with feelings of love for each of my family and extended family members. I can't describe what it was. It made me so thankful and appreciative for the wonderful family I was blessed to become a part of.

Yesterday was another wonderful day for Jason and I. Our son passed the sacrament for the first time! He looked so amazing, all dressed up in his white shirt and tie. The other cool part was that he was able to pass the sacrament to us. Mom and Dad and Tammy were able to come, so he passed to them as well. I never knew I could feel so much pride! I wanted so much to tell him how proud of him I was. It was fast Sunday, and I knew I should bare my testimony. There were so many others who were sharing their testimonies, and being the chicken I was, I kept thinking to myself I would go up after so and so. Then it didn't happen. Our meeting went over and I didn't get a chance to tell Austin from the pulpit, how proud I was of him and the righteous decisions he is making in his life. I also wanted to tell my parents how grateful I am for them, and their righteous examples. Our family is strong because of them. We know how to pray. We know how to pull together. We know how to work hard and how to raise our kids to be upright and virtuous. We know these things because of what they taught to us. I wanted them to know what a good job they did. Then, I blew my opportunity. I missed my chance. The boat left without me. (0: I wanted to write that in this blog so they would know what fine parents they have been and still are.

The rest of our Sunday was spent playing games, visiting, and walking at Riverwalk. The best and most miraculous part of the day was when Jaxon was released from the hospital. The last time he had a bowl obstructiont, he was in the hospital for five days before it cleared. The doctors thought for sure he would be in for a while, and possibly still face surgery. I know the priesthood blessing made him well. He was promised he would recover without complications. And he did! He still has to be on a soft diet for a few days and rest, but it is a miracle he recovered so quickly. Priesthood blessing work! We were all so glad to have him with us instead of in a cold, hospital bed.

This morning, my wonderful parents and two sisters came with me to First Dam to walk the Bonneville Shoreline trail. For this month's pack meeting, our pack is going on a hike. The problem is, I don't know where to go. Dawn found out from a co-worker about the Shoreline trail. Her co-worker said it was a fun walk, and in an easy location for us to drive to. We only have an hour for pack meeting before mutual starts, so we need to go somewhere close. I considered Riverwalk, but many people have been there. It might be boring. We decided to scout the trail. It was just over two miles long and kind of steep in the beginning, but overall, it was wonderful! I found out there is a darling little park at First Dam, with nice covered picnic areas. We won't have time to hike the entire trail, but it will be a super fun activity for pack meeting. I was grateful they were able to come with me. I am not sure when I would have had time otherwise.

We had a huge barbecue with lots of yummy food afterwards. Then everyone headed for home. I know I have to get back to the grind soon. There is lots of be done. But what a wonderful weekend with my family! I enjoyed every minute. I am so thankful for the peace that has come into my life. I have tried so hard to live as good as I can. I make sure I study, not just read, but really study from the scriptures every morning. I have been faithful with my prayers. I attend the temple every week. I have included exercise and I am eating better than I have in a long time. I have eliminated all the temptations which side track me from where I want to be, including smutty television programs. (0: It feels so good to be good! How grateful I am for the gospel of Jesus Christ! I love knowing life has a purpose. I love knowing I am not alone and when life gets hard, I have a loving Father in Heaven and His Beloved, Son, Jesus Christ, who will be there to lift me back up and keep me moving forward.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

School Begins! (0:

What a week this has been! Wow! It is Thursday and I am exhausted already! I am happy to report my children are all settled in school and doing well. Preston ended up with Mr. Holmgren this year. He is a fabulous teacher. I was in his room a little last year, and I was always impressed with how well his classroom ran. He never raised his voice. Yet his students knew what was expected of them, and they respected his rules and expectations. I wish I could command my groups like Mr. Holmgren.

Spencer has Mrs. Gish. She is going to be fabulous! This is her first year teaching, but fortunately, she substituted for Mrs. Deaton last year so Spencer already knew her. He loved her as as sub and he loves her now. The principal additionally placed Spencer in the same class as his friend, Seth. Last year was a horrible year for Spencer. He was unhappy and he didn't have any close friends. The changes in our family just about did him in. He was physically sick and emotionally distraught. The school counselor did not help at all. As soon as summer came, his stomach aches disappeared. He was happy and relaxed. The minute he knew school was starting, his stomach pains returned. He shed many tears, and I prayed my heart out this year would be better for him. The minute we walked into the classroom on Back to School Night, I knew all would be well. He had a wonderful teacher he already knew. The teacher placed him right next to Seth. Spencer came home with a ear to ear grin. So far, he is happy. He has a friend. I couldn't be happier!

Austin began middle school today. I really like the way Mount Logan handles the incoming 6th graders. They started the 7th and 8th graders yesterday, and the 6th graders stayed home. Today the 6th graders attended and the 7th and 8th graders stayed home. It gave those 6th graders a wonderful opportunity to get a feel for the school without so many others in their way. Austin did well. I was the one who was a mess! I was worried about him getting to class on time. His locker was broken when we were at orientation last night, and I worried it would not be fixed today. I worried about him finding the bus at the school to bring him home. My prayers were heard! He didn't have any problems, except at lunch. The stupid lunch line was so long, he didn't get to eat before the bell rang. Tomorrow I will send him a lunch so he won't get stuck in line like he did today. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day, other than the lunch glitch. He was blessed. He liked his classes. His locker was fixed and way better than before. He made friends and found a girl he likes. (Imagine that!) He was happy! I hope tomorrow will be as good of day for him. Lots of prayers yet to be said!

I also feel so blessed! I was online last night and discovered I was charged too much tuition for this semester. The financial aid I was planning to use for books and rent was non-existant! They charged me student fees I had never seen before and tacked on an out of state tuition charge. I was so distraught! I didn't understand why the charges were there, when they weren't previously. I didn't know how we would afford my books. They are going to cost me 500.00 this semester. That is saving money by buying used books off line. I had to buy a calculator for stats, which cost us 100.00, which we already bought (included in the $500). On top of that, our van died two times last night. Fortunately, Jason was driving because we were in the construction zone. We just spent 150.00 fixing the van a few weeks ago. Obviously, it isn't fixed yet. I was super upset about that as well. We don't have the money for expensive vehicle repairs. I am scared to drive the van for fear it will die in the middle of an intersection. It will start again, but only after sitting for a couple of minutes. The mechanic doesn't know what the problem is either. He can't get the van to duplicate the problem. With the worry over Austin's first day today, I was a wreck last night. I got up early this morning and studied and prayed for a while. After the boys went to school, I called Utah State and fixed my tuition crisis. As it was, I registered for a campus class and thus the reason for the extra charges. What a relief to find out I will receive the money for books and rent after all! Jason talked to the mechanic this morning. I don't know what we will do with the van yet, but at least we have Jason's car. It is a stick, but I am getting pretty darn good at driving it. I think we will take the van to the repair shop in the morning for an evaluation to see what we are in for. Hopefully, we can afford to fix it. I know I was blessed today. All of the things I worried about melted away. My school is okay. Austin did well. We are working on the van. I can afford my books. And tonight, I was at peace. The stressed, scared feeling totally fled my person. I knew all would be alright. Next week, the whirlwind continues. School begins. Work begins. I have to learn to manage our new morning routine, with Austin catching the bus so early. But we will survive! As I said previously, with God, all things are possible!! (0:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Journey of Sheeka

For those of you who don't know, not long ago, while visiting Grandma Bell in Brigham City, my boys discovered a beautiful female Gopher snake crawling down the road. We captured her and brought her home. She is now a part of our little zoo. (Yes, we have a zoo. We have two dogs, two birds, two fish, one snake and three stray cats we feed!) The snake's original name was Bully, but due to our discovery that the "he" was a "she", the snake became Sheeka. Well, two weeks ago, our Sheeka shed. I was sure after she completed the shedding process, she would eat again. Thus far, she has had no appetite. I have been very concerned about her and her happiness. I decided a couple of days ago to let her crawl around the cupboard in the kitchen, in the sunshine, hoping a little freedom might perk her up. At first, it was fine. She slithered up into the window seal and in and out of the blinds. She layed in the open window, basking in the sun. It was great! Since it was successful to let her crawl then, I figured she could do that same today and be fine. How wrong I was! She discovered a little ledge at the top of window, which she happily crawled into. The ledge itself wasn't a problem. The problem was getting her out again. We were meeting my sister and her family at Riverwalk, so we had to get her off the ledge and back into her cage before departing. Well, being comfortable in her little niche, she didn't want to come out. I got this brillant idea that we could gently nudge her with a straw to get her to move. Well, she did move when we prodded her, but she discovered a hole in the window in which she quickly crawled. This particular hole was on the top right side and went all the way down the window frame. (In my defense, I did not realize the hole was present!) There was no way to access that hole except from the top right of the window or the bottom left of the window. I am not doing a good job explaining. Let me just say, we thought Skeeka was lost and gone forever in the interior wall of our house. The kids started crying. It was pandemonium! My sweet Spencer came to me, with his pure little heart, and begged me to gather everyone for a special prayer that we could get our snake out of the wall. We all knelt down and I said a quick but heartfelt prayer that if it were possible, we could find a way to retrieve our snake. In the mean time, my handyman husband went to work trying to scare her out. At first he lit matches and held them to the hole opening. That didn't work. Then he got his compressor and blew air into the hole. That made her tail come out of the hole, but she was still inside. He finally got the idea to use alcohol. He put an alcohol soaked cottong ball up to the hole and guess what?? Our snake came out of the wall!!!! It was a miracle for the Winn Family! The boys all hugged her. We made sure she was not hurt and promptly returned her to her cage. We had a wonderful discussion about how Heavenly Father answers our prayers, especially when we have great faith in Him. In this instance, it was His will our snake come out of the wall before she died and stunk up our house. (0: I know my sweet boys will remember forever the day Sheeka was rescued from possible death.

Sunday August 21

I can't believe school begins this week! It seems like yesterday the kids were starting their summer vacation. I feel both excited and nervous all at the same time. Spencer and Preston will begin on Wednesday. Austin won't start until Thursday. I can't believe I have a middle schooler this year! Of course, Ashley would be entering 8th grade, but when she was in 6th grade, she was too ill to go to school. We were homeschooling, so I didn't have to watch her make that school change. Austin is way excited to enter middle school. Last week at registration, we found all his classes, and practiced with his locker. He isn't a bit nervous. But I am!! I worry about bullies and him being tardy for class. I worry about lunch time and if he will have people to hang around with. Austin is my social kid. He hasn't ever had problems finding people to hang out with. But I still worry! Believe it or not, I am sad because I won't get my "mom" hug every day like I did last year. I taught 5th grade power hour and never fail, at the end of group, he would come find me and give me a big hug. Those hugs meant the world to me! I won't get my treasured "mom" hug with him at a different school. I don't think he would think it was cool anyway. (0: But who knows!! (0:

It is late and I am tired so I won't write a huge novel tonight. I did want to say two things about today. First of all, I did speak to the bishop about cub scouts. This morning in bishop brick meeting, Bro. Phillips mentioned to the bishop the poor turnout for pack meeting and the lack of leaders present. The bishop was already aware of most of my concerns. We talked about several solutions. I came away feeling much relieved! I don't want to give up on this calling. I really enjoy planning the activities. It makes me proud when my hard work pays off, even in the smallest ways. I think with changes in leadership our program will improve by leaps and bounds. I will continue to pray we will be guided to those who will help us make our cub program more successful.

Sacrament meeting was awesome today! The last speaker was Bro. Maughn, who is the high counselor over our ward. He talk centered around fasting and how important fasting is in our lives. I have a testimony of fasting. Many years ago, when I was at college, I had a young man who was pursing me very diligently. He had me convinced God wanted us to be together. He told me on more than one occasion, he was prompted by the spirit that I was to be his wife. At first I resisted him. But over time, I came to believe he was the one for me. He never asked me to marry him. It was more like an unspoken agreement between us. There was no ring. Nothing like that. But we talked about marriage, where we wanted to live, when we wanted to be married, etc. Another huge problem with this boy was that he had previously dated my sister. She really cared about him. Then he decided he liked me. My sister and I were roomates at the time, and there was not good feelings between us. I was too stupid and naive to realize what a mess I was creating. (Jason had not yet left on his mission.) My parents knew I was in trouble. They knew this boy was driving a wedge between my sister and myself. They felt he wasn't the right person for me. They decided to have an extended family fast to help me in this decision. My dad drove all the way to Rexburg to get me for the weekend so I would be away from Mark as I prayed and pondered. It was on Sunday night, while I was in my room praying, that I finally saw the situation for what it was. I knew I was not to marry Mark! Heavenly Father had other plans for me and for my life. I started bawling!! In the mean time, my dear sweet Jason came over and took me to the park in Paul. We talked for almost three hours! In that time, I knew how much I loved Jason! I wanted him to leave in his mission knowing how much I cared and how much I supported him. He forgave me completely. I had to go back to Rexburg and tell Mark he needed to do some more praying because his revelations were not correct. It was embarassing and I felt awful!!! The point of all this is that I did not ruin my life because of the family fast my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings held in my behalf. I know fasting works, and I feel that is a huge answer to our situation. Jason and I need to fast. We need to fast for guidance. We need to fast so the path for us will become clear. Fasting is hard. I don't like to fast often because I have blood sugar problems and I get sick and dizzy when I go without food for too long. But I know we need those blessings! Especially right now when so much is up in the air. I truly felt Bro. Maughn's talk was an answer to my prayers.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday August 18, 2011

I picked blue tonight because I am feeling in a blue mood! Today was just a poopy day! Jason lost his job. We knew it was coming. In all honesty, it is good he is leaving Verizon. They are not a good company to work for. They have no loyalty at all. They are firing their top seller tomorrow because of some comments he made many months ago. He wasn't even warned before hand. They were going to blind side him. I am thankful Jason at least had warning. The good part about this situation is that he already has a job offer. Idaho Watersports offered him his pick of three different postions. He loves those wonderful people there. I know Jason wants to work for them again. It would mean we have to move to Burley. We are not sure Burley is where we should go next. We are finally loving Logan. It has taken some time to get used to life here, but now I really enjoy it. I got my school job back. The kids are adjusting well. They struggled at first, which is to be expected when their lives turn upside down. But overall, they are happy. I love living right next to a temple. I get to attend every week, and that has blessed my life immensely! I am right next to Utah State, so going on to graduate school would be easy. I could finish my bachelor's degree in Burley via Logan Distance Education, but getting my master's degree would be difficult. ISU does have a school counseling program, but I don't know how I would live in Burley and go to school in Pocatello. I hate to uproot the boys. Austin is so excited for Middle School. We have his schedule all worked out. He has lots of friends. Spencer doesn't want to move. They all said they love our home here. Burley is appealing to me in other ways. I love the small town atmosphere. Jason and I both grew up there, so it feels like home. We love the size of the schools and the people. I would be close to my parents again. I just don't know what we will do!! My head hurts thinking about it!

I am also very down because once again I had a poopy pack meeting. Only one leader showed up. The others didn't even bother to let me know they weren't coming. They didn't make the assignments I asked them too. They didn't call and remind their boys like I asked them too. I had additionally asked them to advise me on our hike next month. I am new to this area, and I don't know where to take scouts on a hike. Only one leader responded to my email. I have no idea who to ask about the hike. I want our hike to be fun, but without guidance, it won't be. I was also bummed because we only had four boys. I worked very hard planning and preparing, and then had a horrible turnout. I will say, the water games we played went well with the boys who did come. They had a great time. It is so hard to shake that feeling of being unimportant. I was unimportant to the fire department when I asked them to speak. I am obviously unimportant to the den leaders. They don't care to help. My children have been unimportant to them as well. Austin has only been to a handful of scout meetings since we moved here. No one cares if he comes. They don't call. They don't reach out to him. In the past two months, they have tried a little bit, but it was a half hearted effort. Spencer hasn't been to a bear meeting yet this summer. No one cares if he isn't there. His leaders never call to check on him. They don't even call to tell him when the meetings are. I am the cubmaster. I should know, but they don't communicate with me either. Preston turned 8 in May. Do you think the Wolf leader cares? Nope. Not at all. He hasn't said a word about den meetings. Again, I should know when the den meetings are, but they don't tell me. Just plain frustrating!!!! I love the people in this ward. I know the den leaders. They are wonderful, but not with me. I am going to talk to the bishop on Sunday about my frustrations. I need some help figuring out a solution without offending anyone. I cannot carry pack meetings on my own. Once school begins, and I start work, I won't have time. I need help. The ironic thing about this month was our theme: cooperation. When a pack works together, things go well. Cubs are successful. When one person carries the pack, things don't go well. Meetings fail. Cubs can't reach their full potential. I want this pack to be as good as it can be. There has to be a way for us to bring cooperation and unity back. I need help to find that way.

I am happy that I get my job back. I loved working at the school last year. I know this semester is going to be tough. I want to keep my good habits going, like weekly temple attendance, scripture study, and exercising. It is going to be tough to find that balance. I think I will be so much happier if I do. I know I will be happier. The exercising has become a life line for me. I feel so good when I finish a nice, hard workout. I feel the stress leave my body. I like the feeling of being strong. The other night, when Austin and I tackled the swamp grass in our back yard, I was pretty darn proud of myself. We mowed that tall grass for almost two hours. The mower kept clogging. Austin ended up weed wacking while I mowed behind him. It was hard, grueling work, but we did it! I didn't get that tired. I wasn't even sore the next day from all the bending over and lifting. I know it is because of the hard workouts I do lately. I feel my body getting stronger. I still get dizzy, but I adjust.

Well, it is time to read scriptures with my boys. I know life isn't easy. It isn't meant to be. But oh I hope we can survive the next few months. It is going to be tough!!!!

*I have to add Jason came to my rescue tonight. I was feeling pretty low after pack meeting. We went for a walk up Center Street and around the temple. It felt so good to get out and walk and talk together. I am going to go to the temple in the morning. I know it will help me more than anything else at this point.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ashley's Special Blanket

I didn't get a chance to write about the special gift from my sister. As many of you know, Ashley's 14th birthday was July 19. I blogged about that day previously. Not long after Ashley's birthday, my sister Tammy sent me a card in the mail. It was signed by all of my family, including cousins, aunts, and grandparents. They each related their love of our Ashley, and what she meant to them. It was so touching to me! At the same time, my sister included a picture of a blanket she had created. It was a special picture blanket, with various pictures of Ashley. (I will include pictures for all to see). When I saw the blanket, I cried! It is a beautiful tribute to our angel. Also included with the blanket was a special figurine of a little blond haired fairy. My sister has a talent of finding the most darling little things which remind me of my Ashley. I loved the little fairy as well! Words cannot express how grateful I was for my sister's thoughfulness.

I also wanted to post pictures of two wreaths I created on Memorial Day. We were not able to travel to Burley to decorate Ashley's grave. As such, I decided to create something to honor her here in Logan. I have to say, not being a crafty person, I think I did a pretty good job. (0: I do want to thank everyone for their love and prayers and kind words as we once again faced Ashley's birthday. It was a hard day, but with so many wonderful people behind us, I survived! (0: Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What a great weekend! (August 14, 2011)

I think it is so fun to play with the font colors! (0: It keeps the blog more interesting for sure! Ha ha ha! (0: I have so much to write about again, I am not sure where to begin. Friday turned out to be both a good and bad day for us. Jason's wonderful grandma dropped by some money and a ton of coupons so we could go school shopping. I was so grateful to her for her generosity. Our money is so tight right now. With Jason's job on the line, every penny counts. I was not planning to buy the boys anything new, with the exception of backpacks, until I knew where we stood financially. As it worked out, we were able to find some wonderful deals. They each bought a couple pairs of pants and a couple of new shirts. We also went out for lunch. It was a superfun afternoon. I also found out I get to work at Woodruff again this year. I was so thrilled! I loved my job last year. I am eager to work with the students again. I definitely have more confidence, and I know what I am doing. It is also comforting to know we will have an extra income. My contribution last year wasn't much, but it definitely helped. My school schedule is going to be demanding, but I will be alright. I just have to stay on top of all my deadlines. The bad thing about Friday was that Jason was informed by the general manager that the HR people decided to fire him after all. I have so say, I am so sick and tired of Verizon Wireless. They tell him he is getting fired. Then they tell him he isn't. Then he is. Then he isn't. It has been this way for three months now, and it is absolutely ridiculous! He was all geared up to work his fanny off for the next three weeks and make them the best he could. Now there is no point. Needless to say, he came home very downhearted. There wasn't anything I could say or do to comfort him. Dang Verizon people! He isn't alone in his frustration. There are several other employees in the same boat as Jason. They are at their wits end as well. At least Jason can say he didn't do anything wrong. He worked hard and did his best every day. He won't have any regrets about his work ethnic. I pray he will be able to find a job where he can be appreciated for the wonderful man he is and what he can bring to a company!! We have lots of praying to do!!

We did get the opportunity to travel to Burley with my awesome sister, Tammy, this weekend. My darling cousin just returned from a mission to St. Louis, Missouri. She reported her mission today. There was also a big celebration for my Grandma and Grandpa Morgan this weekend. Both of my grandparents are celebrating their 90th birthdays, so their respective families and friends gathered to honor them. I was not able to attend the celebration. It was on Friday night, but I did get the opportunity to visit with my super cool aunts. We had a big family barbecue on Saturday evening with my family and my extended family. It is always so fun to sit and visit with one another. My aunt Peg and uncle Jim stayed for a while after dinner was over. We all sat around, joking and laughing for almost two hours. It was a blast! Of course, we were all up super late. I sat up and talked with Tammy until almost 1:30. I think Austin was up until almost 3:00. He absolutely could not sleep. (Gee, I wonder where he got his insomnia from???) This morning, the troops were exhausted. I actually let Austin stay home from the missionary report. He was not very happy, and I truthfully felt like it would be better for all of us for him to stay home and rest. That was a smart decision. (0:

The report was wonderful! Carrie had such a special spirit about her! She was a fantastic misisonary. She shared so many wonderful missionary experiences! I wish I could relate them all like she did. One which really stuck with me was an experience she had with a lady in one of her first areas. This particular lady was baptized into the church, but later fell away. She met up with the missionaries and desired very much to return to church again. The problem was, she was hit hard with tons of opposition. In one week, this poor sister lost her home, her husband, and her car. She was left with nothing and small children to support. The church came to her rescue, and helped her get back on her feet. Carrie said this lady had every reason to turn her back on the church. Since taking the discussions, her life had become increasingly difficult. Instead of becoming bitter, this faithful sister got up in fast and testimony meeting and expressed her love for the gospel. She knew it was true, and despite her destitute situation, she knew she was not alone. With the Savior on her side, she could conquer anything. I know that is so true! Our family has been through so much in the past few years. Sometimes I still wonder how we ever survived. We did not travel the difficult path alone. At the most destitute and heart breaking times, the Savior was there. I know He carried me when I lost my angel. There is no other way I could let her go. I know He carried me numerous times last year, as I struggled to adjust to our new life. With God, nothing is impossible! I hope I always remember that.
After church, we headed back to my parent's home for another family dinner. And then it was back to Logan. It was a fast trip, but so worth it! I feel so fortunate to belong to such an amazing family. Not just my immediate family, but my extended family as well. They are all such great examples for me. Of course there was nothing greater than coming home to my husband. I wish he could have come to Burley too, but his work schedule did not permit it. Even if they are firing him any day now, he is not giving up. He went to work and did his part. We did get to go on our Sunday walk up Center Street. Jason and I love to walk Center Street. For those of you who have never seen it, it is spectacular! There are many historic homes. The sidewalks are covered by beautiful shade trees. I don't know what it is that struck us about Center Street. Perhaps it was the history of the homes. Perhaps it was the pristine street. There is definitely a special spirit as you walk along that street. The other cool thing about Center Street is that it is only a few blocks from the temple. We can walk up to the temple grounds in only a few minutes, and have several times. It has become our special activity together. I won't say that I don't mind the additional exercise either! (0: I truly have come to love Logan. It is a beautiful place, and I am thankful for our experiences here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Winn Family Update

It is very late and I am tired. This past week has been stressful. Jason was told he would be let go on August 10th. They told him that last month, but then decided to keep him. He went to work yesterday expecting to be sent home, but the H.R. people did not send management his termination email. He went to work today expecting the same thing and was told they are keeping him for another month. While I am grateful he still has a job, it is so frustrating to keep stringing him along like they are. There are other employees in the same boat as Jason is. No one knows what corporate will do. I think Jason should look for another job. Verizon is not a good company to work for at all! They tell you one thing and then do another. Their rules are unfair. One of the assistant managers just got engaged. She wants to transfer to California to be with her fiance, but the company won't let her because she has a write-up on her record. She was told she must remain in Logan for six more months, until that write-up clears, getting married or not. She just put in her notice she will be leaving the company. It is ridiculous!

I still don't know if I get my job back yet. I spoke to the principal at Woodruff and he did not have his approved list of funding from the district. He was hoping to know something by this week, but hasn't yet. I really want to work at the school again. It was the perfect job for me. It gets me in the school, working with kids. The money was helpful, and I loved having a place to go every day. It worked great with my USU schedule. I am not sure what the Lord has in store for our family, but we definitely have lots of praying to do.

I am having a hard time with my calling again. I swear this calling has been the most difficult for me yet. No matter what I do, I am met with opposition. Last month, we were unable to have a committee meeting because no one was able to come. I can understand that, with so many people traveling and such. My frustration came on pack night. We had a bike rodeo. I was really excited about it, but as usual, I felt like it flopped. No one came to help set up the course. I had asked my den leaders to help with that, but they bailed on me. I did the best I could with what I had. It could have been better if I had help, but one person can only do so much. I only had one den leader show up to pack night. He came because he was our guest speaker. The other den leaders didn't bother to make assignments again. I had to scramble to find boys for prayers and flag ceremony. So frustrating!! I spent almost two hours setting up the course, which the boys destroyed in a short time. They didn't follow the instructions at the various stations, but without leaders helping run the stations, what could I do? The parents didn't say anything. The boys knocked over the cones and chairs. I know their parents didn't realize how much work I put into that course. When it was time to tear things down, only one person helped me. I had chairs all over the parking lot, dividing up the various stations. It was not an easy task to clean up. I felt alone and abadoned like I always do. I truly don't like this calling and I am not sure what to do about it.

Preston had his leg surgery today. At the beginning of the summer, I noticed what looked like a blood blister on Preston's leg. One afternoon, he accidentally popped it while playing outside. It bled like a blood blister would, but did not go away. It came back. As time went on, it continued to grow, looking more like a wart all the time. Finally, when it kept bleeding, I took him to the doctor. The doctor had no idea what it was. He watched it for a little while. It continued to grow, and so today, the doctor removed it. The procedure went very well. Preston was a trooper the whole time. He has six stiches which will remain for ten days. In the mean time, they will biopsy the growth to make sure it isn't anything harmful. I am thankful we finally got it off of his leg. I have worried about it for quite a while now. When we were swimming on Monday, he bumped it on the wall of the pool and it bled for a long time. Just a nasty thing to deal with!

Jason has healed fairly well from his procedure. The past couple of days haven't been good however. He has had more bruising, swelling, and pain. I am not sure if the increased pain and swelling are because he is on his feet all day long or because of complications. He is in lots of pain tonight and I am praying he is okay. He has enough stress already.

I do know the Lord is watching over our family. I was so stressed with the thought of Jason without a job. He has never had a problem finding work before, but we don't have as much savings now as we had previously. Thankfully he will be employed for at least three more weeks. In the mean time, he will continue to look for another job. It seems like life always throws hurdles at you. But with every trial comes the strength to endure it. I know we will get through these!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday August 5, 2011

Today has been a much better day. I was so out of it yesterday. I spent a long time in prayer last night, pondering over how to stop the feelings that were overwhelming me. This morning, I was blessed to attend the temple. I absolutely LOVE how I feel when I am in the temple. Every care I had was lifted off my shoulders. I was overcome with feelings of happiness and peace. I knew I was going to be all right. As I sat in the celestial room, praying and pondering, I had one very distinct thought fill my mind. I need to pray more. I need to pray out loud, and I need to really think about what I am praying about. I say my prayers, but often I shoot off a quick prayer because I am in a hurry. I never pray before I study the scriptures and I should. Sometimes I am so tired before bedtime, I fall asleep while praying. I lose my train of thought. I realized today prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have. It is our link to a loving Father in Heaven who can see the whole picture when we can't. He is there to guide us and help us, ALWAYS, but it is up to us to reach out to him. Sometimes when I am afraid of a particular answer, I won't pray about a certain problem. One such example is my health. I have been petrified about seeing a doctor. I have no idea where this fear of doctors came from. Perhaps it is from all the years of going to doctors who told me I was fine when I wasn't. I know I have a problem that must be dealt with. I know if I asked, I would be guided to go to the right doctor and I would be blessed to find a way to deal with my problem. I haven't wanted to deal with the situation, so I haven't prayed about it. I can't blame anyone but myself that I still don't feel well. The point here is that I need to tap into that spiritual power. If anyone needs guidance in his/her life, I do. There are so many things I want to do with my life. I want to get my education. I want to raise my children to be strong, righteous, and valiant. I want to serve and help and lift others every day. I know there is always someone who needs a smile, a hug, a simple pick-me-up. I want to know I am doing everything in my power to be worthy of the wonderful blessings in store for the righteous. I want to know when I die that I did all I could on this earth to fulfill God's plan for my life. Today I felt hopeful I am on that path. Even though I am not perfect, and I made mistakes in the past, I am still a good person. I am trying hard and working every day to be better. Heavenly Father will help me as I reach out to Him. With God, all things are possible! Even for plain old Connie Winn!

On a different note, Jason and I made a VERY difficult decision this week. After lots of prayer, we decided our family is complete. Perhaps that was part of the reason I was sad. In my heart, I wondered if we were supposed to have another baby. This week it was confirmed to both Jason and I that a baby wasn't in the plans for us. So at 11:30 today, Jason had surgery to prevent any further pregnancies. The way it all went down further confirmed it was the right decision. We called the doctor on Tuesday to discuss this option. They just happened to have a cancellation for a consultation appointment on Wednesday. After that appointment, they happned to get an opening for the surgery today. Jason was able to have the procedure completed while he already had time off work and before we lost our insurance. I hate to say that it was a blessing, but it was. Within a short time, we would have been faced with this decision, as my IUD must be removed soon. I wasn't sure without insurance how I could afford another. Heavenly Father blesses us in all aspects of our lives, even when it comes to family planning. (0: Consequently with Jason needing some quiet recuperation time, I took the boys to the Aquatic Center this afternoon. I have to say, I am so proud of my boys and their swimming abilities. Preston and Spencer are both in the deep water now. Austin already has beautiful strokes and he is a super diver. Today I practiced diving and elementary backstroke with Spencer and Preston. They both did so well!! (0: We played tag and enjoyed some time in the shallow pool under the water buckets. It was a blast! After swimming, we downed some ice cream and headed home. Austin and Preston weren't home more than 20 minutes before they wanted to swim in our little pool. I love swimming so much it is fun to see them love it as well. Jason is actually doing alright tonight. He is sore and swollen, but what a trooper!! I haven't heard him complain once and he certainly has every right to complain!

I also have to add I spent some time last night on USU's website. It got me soooo excited for school to begin! I have some amazing classes coming up, including Child Guidance, Analysis of Behavior, and Introduction to Folklore. I printed up my book list. It looks like I will be in books almost $400.00 which is better than last semester. Last semester I payed $500.00 for books! Man college is expensive! But oh so worth it. I am thrilled to be learning again!!

Well, time to get kids ready for bed. I hope everyone has a wonderful night!! (0:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stupid Dang Depression!! I HATE IT!

Last night was a horrible night. I absolutely could not get a grip on myself. All I could do was cry. Jason was amazing! He tried everything he could do to console me. However, I was up a good portion of the night. I don't know what is wrong. It is like all of a sudden I am at the bottom again. I know this happens to me, but why now? There are so many exciting things coming up soon. I am thrilled to be back in school. My classes for fall are going to be challenging but so fun! (0: I am not sure about my job at Woodruff yet, but hopefully I will be working there as well. The summer has been awesome. We have been able to do lots of fun things. The kids have loved the time with cousins. We just had a wonderful trek into Yellowstone, which was a blast. I guess on the flip side, there are some challenges to overcome. One of the biggest is that Jason will lose his job soon. There is nothing he can do to prevent that. He has done everything he can, been the best worker he can be. He has been responsible, hard working, kind, patient, compassionate, and accommodating. It doesn't matter that all his customers, as well as management and employees love him. If his numbers don't measure up, he is gone. It sucks!! Verizon has no loyalty what so ever! It is all about numbers. I would rather Jason work for a company who rewards their employees for hard work and appreciates good leaders when they have them. I am concerned about the loss of a job. I know Jason can get a job anywhere. I am confident about that. But we already have financial strain. I hope we make it through.

I also haven't felt the best lately. I knew at the first part of the summer I needed to deal with my health challenges. I kept putting it off because I hate doctors so much. Then I put it off because I knew we couldn't afford medical bills. Now I won't have the means to do anything about it. I have learned to accommodate. Some days I do fine. Other days, I feel pretty crappy. I have pushed myself every day to exercise, even on the bad days. Even though I am not losing weight, the exercise certainly helps my mood. I have learned I must take time after a hard workout to walk around and collect myself. I always feel dizzy when I finish. I have also learned not to be afraid of the dizziness. It is an every day thing I deal with. This week has been especially bad for me. But it always is when my hormones are out of whack. I think that is the reason I have been extra tired. Afternoons are always hard. I have more problems then. Sometimes driving in traffic bothers me. Sometimes I will have waves of dizziness while sitting in church, at the temple, waiting at stop lights, or at home while watching TV. When I get off balance, it is hard to walk. It is hard to sit. I get nervous, especially when I am driving. But like I said, I have learned to accommodate. I don't go places when I don't feel well. I rest when I need to. And I survive. I do get down when I feel under the weather. But it is my own fault. It isn't like I have done anything about it.

The other problem I have is this awful feeling of worthlessness. When those stupid feelings hit me, they hit me hard. I think that is one of the only ways Satan can get at me. He knows I am a person who has always struggled with self-esteem. I don't have any close friends, with the exception of Jason. I don't feel talented or extraordinary in any way. Basically, I see myself as a plain old individual and he plays up on that every chance he gets. I am trying so hard to overcome this weakness, but as of yet, I have not found a way to conquer it. I will just have to keep looking and keep trying to beat those blues. It makes me feel awful when I get so down. I have said this numerous times before: I have so many wonderful things in my life. I don't want to be ungrateful or unappreciative of all the good there is. But I can't seem to keep myslf on top. It is hard to explain these feelings to Jason when they come. He takes my unhappiness to mean I am unhappy with him, which isn't true. I am simply trying to understand my stupid body and figure out a way to beat it. I don't always want to talk about it. I can't always explain how I am feeling. I don't want others to see me as a wimpy sap. You wouldn't believe how long I have lived in this way and no one has ever known how hard it has been. I am pretty dang proud of myself for being so strong and enduring such a horrible personal trial.

Well, life calls. I was hoping writing would help me understand myself a little better. It didn't make me feel better, but I do have hope I will pull out of this. I just have to keep up the faith.