My Inspiration

My Inspiration

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Our Christmas Letter

2014 was not the best year for me, but our family still moved along.  Thanks to many helping hands, our kids continued to grow, make happy memories, and be involved in all the activities they enjoy.

Landon turned 3 in February, started preschool, finally potty trained, learned to dress himself, and somehow is a larger 3 year old than his brother, Garrett was at this age. The only thing he loves more than super heroes, monster trucks and duplos, is he's sister, "Nina".

Alina turned 5 in October, but wishes she was 16.  She has learned to ride her bike with training wheels, loves to go to preschool, and started to swim with the Mini Dolphins this past summer.  She loves American Girls Dolls, singing and dancing when no one is watching, and all art projects.  She continues to be one of the most spicy, busy, talkative little girls you will every meet.

Taryn just turned 7 in November.  Our little social bunny is fully enjoying first grade, the magical year of learning to read. She learned ride her bike without training wheels, and began piano lessons this year. She continues to dance ballet, and swim in the summer with the Dolphins. Her best friend is still her big sister, Kendall.  Few things bring me greater joy than watching those two together.

Kendall turning 8 last January and was baptized a member a The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What a great day that was for her!  This fall, Kendall was excited to move up to higher level in ballet and is loving every moment, she started piano lessons again, swim team in the summer, She's her mothers best helper and her teachers favorite students, everyone loves the Kendall.

Garrett turned 11 in August and bridged from cub scouts to a full fledged scout, which means over night camp outs. Pure joy for our "little" adventurous boy!  He continues to play baseball and swim in the summer, and started on a basketball league this year. He's playing the violia for the second year, and his third year of playing the paino.  So proud of what a great pre-teen he is turning into.  I genuinly enjoy he's witty, fun loving, caring self.       

I pretty much spent New Years Eve 2014 till July in the hospital, doctors office, or in bed.  And the details of those events are well documented on this blog.
But we made up for it with an amazing trip to Hawaii with friends, and a little getaway to New York.  The best part of the second half of the year, was getting back to our normal crazy busy life.   

I honestly don't know when Keith sleep last year?  We had tons of help from family and friends but we would not have stayed afloat without him. 
The majority of the washing, cleaning, kid carpooling, story reading, shopping, cooking, and general care for the house, and kids,  fell on Keith all of last year. 
Not to mention being our family's only bread winner, a bishop at our church, and caring and worrying over me, the love of his life. 
I do not know how he did it all?   Quite certain, he is glad this chapter of our lives is coming to a close. 
I cannot find the word to thank all those who flew out to help us, ran errors for us, cared for the kids on Sundays for us, gave the kids rides and babysat the kids for us.  Please know your thoughts,  prayers, kind words, and concerns DID  lighten our burden, and helped us through this difficult and learning year.

Here's to a happy, healthy, and productive 2015!

Understanding the Plan

One Sunday evening, my older kids were complaining about how difficult everything was at this time.  As I joined in on the pity party, I realized this was actually a good teaching moment for my kids.  

I had just pulled out some of my old mission scriptures that had my little lamented cut outs of the Plan of Salvation, so we decided to lay it out on my bed. 
We started off talking about our pre earth life with our Heavenly Father, and how much our Heavenly Father loved us, and wanted us to grow and learn, become more like Him. I told the kids that I felt the same way about them.     
 He loved us so much He was willing to provide an earth for us to have experiences, gain a body and develop faith in our Savior, so that we can become more like Him. 
He knew it would be difficult and that some would make the wrong choices but He also knew the tremendous joy that would be ours as we experience and learn from life.
A world was created and each of us passed through the veil, and forget our premortal experiences to come to earth for three main reasons.

The first is to gain a body. What a marvelous and precious gift we have in our bodies.   
We lived in the Pre Earth life as spirit, not able to experience the extreme joy or pains that come with having a physical body.  
This made me realize how blessed am I to have experience most of my life with nearly perfect health.  
So what is Heavenly Fathers expectation for us with this gift he has given each of us?  We are here to learn to tame and control this natural body.     It says in the scripture the we must learn to control our desire and appetites. We do this by fasting, living a health and balanced life, and using this body for good.  I discussed wit my kids the benefits of living within these boundries.    
I explained to the kids that up until now, most of pain or sorrow that I have felt with my body has been of my own doing or the necessary consequence of a choice I have made.   
But this experience was different, this is more of a test to prove my mental willpower over my physical body, and in so doing this I’m learning to submitting to the will of the Lord, which is drawing me closer to Him.   

Understanding this expereince has maked it easier to see this experience as a blessing, not a curse.

The second reason we came to earth was to develop faith.   
Living with Heavenly Father, we never had to question, seek and believe in Him because he was always there.   
So how do we know He is there when most of us cannot touch, hear or see Him while here on earth?  
My answer to my kids was this. 
I know He is there, because I feel a warm, comforting feeling when I pray to Him and ask for he's spirit.  
My mind is enlightened when I hear his words through reading the scriptures, or hearing the words of the prophet teach the gospel truths. 
And I have seen His image, in the faces of those who have tireless served me and my family through this difficult time.   
Through my life experiences, I have developed faith in my Heavenly Father and in his son Jesus Christ, and I hope to grow even closer as I continue to learn, serve and seek after Him.

The third reason we came to earth was to learn to choose between good and evil.  
Sounds simple, even easy, yet life is full of difficult choices.  Unfortunately it seems to be getting even more difficult for the next generation.  Evil is stronger and more easily disguised as good.    
But there is so much good in this world too and will always be if we seek after it.  I know that choosing the right and good in life brings happiness and choosing those things are not of God will bring sorrow, regret, confusion, and even pain.
But understanding how to choose between good and evil is not only about the actions we make or even the good or bad thoughts we may have, but through this experience of the past year, I have also learned it is also a choice of ATTITUDE. 
During my visits to the infusion stations at the cancer center, I often would meet the most positive, and happy people getting ready to put poison in their bodies and become deathly sick.
They had every reason to be grumpy, angry, or even bitter, but the majority were not, they chose happiness.   
One women joked, they can take my blood,
put toxins in my body,
cut me open,
take parts of me out,
burn me with radiation,
and they still can’t kill me,
but not for lack of trying.   

This is only funny because it’s SO true.

So to my children who are complaining because life seems a little hard at the time!
Look up,
seek the good,
choose to be happy,
and as my father always says,
“Say your Prayers!”

This is all part of His plan.    

My health update and future plans

Sorry it has been so long since I updated the blog, but I have felt so good, its hard to find time to sit down and write.

In August and September, I ended up having two more expansions on my breast, which are never comfortable but the pain passes in a few days.  I'm learning to live with hard boobs.  But I do feel bad for people when they hug me, cause they feel like I have rocks in my chest.    We were planning to have my reconstruction surgery January 9th, but I've been a little sick over the holidays so they postponed my surgery until Febuary 6th.   

I have continued to take Herceptin every three weeks through the port in my chest.   
I have little too no effects from taking Hercetin, except the constant reminder of the risk of heart problems.  So ever six weeks I have to get an echocardiogram.     
Fortunately, for me I have a great ticker, so I’m not too worried about damage to my heart.
I’m going to continue to take Herceptin until March.

In July, I had a needle biopsy on my thyroid that showed the tumors on my thyroid are not cancer. 
Yippy for me! 
Unfortunately, there are three tumors, and one of them is on the back side of my thyroid, which could push up against my esophagus.  Something I have to watch, but not of concern right now. 
The tumors are causing irregularity in my thyroid production so they put me on a steroid, which help my energy level peep up.

My hair is growing back curly and crazy, but at least its growing back.
Each day I am grateful, to be healthy and active in my life and with my family.   It only took a few months laying around in bed and several hospital visits to learn to appreciate good health and great family and friends.