Friday, April 25, 2008

203 Dollar Miracle

Last night our Stake had a great Enrichment. It was simple, but very powerful. We got there about 5 minutes late. The only open seats in the chapel were at the very front. It was a blessing in disguise because it put us so close to the speakers, it was though they were only talking to us. It allowed us to concentrate, listen and focus.

One story by Sister Winters touched me very much. Well, she had several stories, one about a Iranian girl named Mae that was heart wrenching. But anyhow, she told of one experience where the Lord answered her prayers with exactness (which she said happens all the time). She and her husband had decided that she needed to quit working and to stay at home to attend to the needs of their many children. That meant their household income would be cut by 1/3. During that week her parents, who were caring for her grandmother were out of town. She had recieved the final notice of some taxes that were due. The payment needed to be paid on Monday of the following week. So she had just quit her job, she was taking care of her ailing grandmother and tending to 9 children. They had no money to pay for the taxes that she had already put off as long as possible. She prayed everyday about her current situation. Finally on Sunday, the day before she needed the money, they decided to fast. I can't recall if it was on Sunday or Monday that she had a relative come by and thank her for taking care of their grandmother. The individual handed her an envelope with two 100 dollar bills in it. She said usually she would not accept that, but she knew it was the Lord answering her prayers. She went to go and thank the Lord and was interuppted by the door bell ringing again. She got up and answered the door. It was an individual representing Motorola and he asked if she could answer three questions for him. She said that was fine. Afterwards he handed her three 1 dollar bills. One dollar for each question she answered. The amount of money she needed to pay in taxes on Monday was $203.00.

There is a point in life where you have to turn your life, your problems, your questions and most importantly, your heart over to the Lord. These points often come when you are in a situation or a trial that is tearing at your soul. But what a blessing it is to have that tearing, because the result is the humbling of your heart and soul. To need our Savior so much because you know that is the only way you can endure the trial. To become dependent on Him and His mercy, grace and love. I know that we all can have a $203 dollar miracle in our lives. I pray that I will have the faith, humility, energy and work required to "yeild to the enitcings of the Spirit" so in turn I can have that glorious blessing of the spirit of the Lord in my life.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"I Want My Pluggie"

I have a dilemma. My cutie, patootie, little Miss Gracie Mae LOVES her "pluggie". She is so attached to it. She is only allowed to have it at nap time, bed time and in the car on long trips. She loves it so much that even if she just woke up, she will go back to bed to have it again. I will tell her to go put it back (in her bed) and now she hides it in her clothes. I unzip her sleepers or see a little bump on her chest and there it is. I see her playing, she falls down and starts to cry. She digs into her shirt, pulls out her plug, puts it in her mouth and is happy again. Gracie's two most treasured items are truly her plug and her blanket (which her Granny made for her twin sisters, but she has now confiscated them for herself).

The dilemma I face is that she goes to bed instantly without a peep with her two favorite items. No hollering, no rocking for ages, no twenty trips to pat her back and lay her back down. She just snuggles in her blankie with her little bum in the air and goes right to sleep, even if it is not nap time. Maybe I will wait just a little longer (obviously this is my fifth child and not my first). There is pure enjoyment and delight in her face when she hears those words, "Do you want to go nigh-night?" Yes, maybe just a little longer.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Robynne!

Happy Birthday Robynne!

Here is a picture tribute to my wonderful sister! She is such a strength and an example to me. I love her dearly and don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t call her fifty times a day in those moments of need. She is my wealth of knowledge regarding parenting, infant sleeping habits, feeding issues, etc…and my comfort in times of trials. She is my understanding ear and most of all, my best friend. I love you Robynne. I am so glad you came first in our family. Happy Birthday!

A Mix of Uncles

Hannah - "Max looks like a mix of Uncle Bubbie and Uncle Scott. He looks like Uncle Bubbie in the face and Uncle Scott in the body."

Powell - "How do you know what Uncle Scott's body looks like?"

Hannah - "Because once I saw Uncle Scott with his shirt off."

Powell - "Is Max in blue bubbles?"

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Tale of Two Girls

This is a tale of two little girls that in the end proves not only the determination of the human body, but the conquering nature of the eternal spirit.

It was a beautiful fall day in November when these two little girls became known to the world. There were only a couple pairs of tear-filled, anxious eyes that day that looked in on them. But in the months to come, there would be many more eyes that would glimpse into their fluid world. Every week it seemed someone was peeking and peering into their warm cozy existence. It didn't bother them too much, sometimes it even made them excited and they would twist and twirl, kicking with joy.

As months went on, noises, sounds and movement from the outside increased. Finally in early February, the girls stopped hearing one particular, special voice that they had grown so accustomed to. It was one they loved to hear as they grew and became bigger and bigger. It seemed only on Wednesdays and Saturdays would they hear that comforting sound. Now the "peeking" became a daily habit and sometimes the outside would look in on the girls up to four times a day.

Closeness, warmth and security are something the girls have always known. Even before they were introduced to the world, they knew not only that every cell and fiber of their beings were the same, but that their hearts were knit together as well. Previously, today and forever will they feel, cry, hug, play and laugh together. Hearts that are connected can never be broken. The girls knew that, even before they came on this journey. Sometimes people on the outside doubted that both girls would come, but the girls always knew they would...together.

Growing, breathing and moving were sometimes challenging. One girl may never know why the other seemed to squeeze and twist around her. She was always content just holding still, but the other was not. Maybe the other was jealous of her because she was always slightly bigger or maybe the other just couldn't contain her enthusiasm and zeal for life as well as she could. Regardless, the outcome was the same: the pressure would restrict her, and she would be held still by the movement of the other. The more still one became, the more intent the outside world became on listening, looking and waiting.

The outside could not touch the girls and could not tell them to be still. It seemed as though they would put the girls in time-out by having another, whose heartbeat was almost as close to them as their own, hold still for many hours at a time. Ears always seemed to be listening at the door, but the girls did not understand why the outside could never quite come in. Finally the girls could stand it no longer and they would start playing again, knowing that with every movement they were growing and learning, figuring out how they were going to enter this foreign world one day. But for now, snuggling, sleeping and eating was as natural as a snail emerging from its shell on a cool, crisp morning.

One of the girls' favorite pasttimes was to listen. Listen closely for the small voices, the ones with lots of energy and enthusiasm. Those voices only seemed to be around on the weekends. There was always lots of movement and excitement when the small voices were near.

As time passed, the girls noticed that their spirits seemed to be getting restless. Occasionally, there would be little blips, little signs of encouragement from the spirits. The girls little bodies did not agree with those encouragements. The outside world seemed to notice because all would become still and the "peeking" became intensified. The bodies kept telling the spirits to wait, to let them get stronger, to let them get bigger. But finally, the girls' spirits could not contain themselves any longer. The spirits needed to know who those voices belonged to. The deeper, warm voice; the anxious peaceful voice (very strange that one voice can contain both emotions at the same time, but it did); the two smaller happy voices. The girls needed to know. They decided it was time to begin their adventure now. There was one last panicked "peek" by those on the outside and six minutes later, the spirits won out. The premature girls were here.

One little girl's body did not want to come. She did not breath and her heart fell silent...but her spirit would not allow it. Her spirit rallied and cheered her on, reminding her of the other one, her sister whose heart was intertwined with hers. Long ago, they knew their destiny was together. A small but strong cry filled her ears and she knew who it was. Her sister was telling her that she needed her here to share this grand adventure.

With some intensified assistance from the others, the little girl who was faltering was now fighting, buoyed up by her sister and her own divine spirit. The spirit and the body became united in goal and destiny to continue on with her sister here on earth. There was also that deep warm voice that followed her, never leaving her side. She and her sister would not hear the anxious peaceful voice for another couple of hours, but that was OK- they had each other. Each little girl craved to be close to the other. Their spirits were connected but so were their bodies as evidenced by the quieting of machines and monitors to which they were hooked up. Things became steady, calm and quiet when they were together.

Pretty soon, many voices filled the room. But the little girls' ears picked out two small voices that were excited and happy, voices that they dearly loved and with whom they would become forever friends in the years to come.

About one week later, the two little girls were separated. One girl needed the others to help her little body even more. While she was gone, her sister heard many beeps and alarms. There seemed to be more commotion and those sounds did not quiet until her sister was beside her again. When one girl would fail, the other would rally around her, each taking turns to buoy the other up. This same pattern has continued on to this day. Their fighting and conquering spirits would be crucial in the years ahead, as they went along on their adventure.

The two little girls eventually came home to all those familiar voices. Special people came into their lives in various capacities, with loving hearts and special abilities that have helped their spirits and bodies defy what others told them was not likely. As the girls' spirits and bodies work together, they inspire, they challenge, they love, they teach those who enter their adventurous world. These little girls may still have bodies that are small, but their spirits are giants. They will continue on connected forever in a deeper way then is comprehensible.

I, as their mother, will be eternally grateful for that beautiful Easter morning in April of 2004 for the loan my Heavenly Father sent to me. He gave me His Son who atoned for my sins and He also gave me my spirited, beautiful little girls, my twins...Samantha and Sophia.

Happy Birthday girls. I love you so much and know that you were sent to help refine me, uplift me and teach me. May I be guided by a loving Father in Heaven to help me raise you up to become the divine, courageous spirits that you were foreordained to be.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Quince, Little Buddy....Maxwell!

Jaremy and Tara had their cute baby boy arrive right on his due date. My secret wish was granted and he waited until12:30 am on March 31st to be born, which is my birthday. My mom sent out an email in the middle of the night stating "Quince" had been born. So the next morning there was a discussion amongst all the siblings on how to pronounce his name. Robynne told her kids it was like Dr. Quinn with an "s" sound at the end. John told me it was Quinc "ee" for John Quincy Adams. Russell said is was Spanish for fifteen. So I called Jaremy the next day and told him of all the pronunciations we had come up with. I finally asked him, "So how do you pronounce your son's name?" All along, I could he Jaremy chuckling and laughing. He finally said, "That is not my son's name!" I didn't believe him at first because mom wrote it on the email. He finally explained that dad had previously called him Quince because he was going to be the fifteenth grandchild. Since J & T had not picked a name yet, Mom just wrote that on the email to announce that he had been born. Later on, J & T sent out another email calling him "little Buddy" because they still had not picked a name. So Scott and Suzanne were calling him Little Buddy. But the cute baby boy finally came home today and he now has a name of Maxwell Jaremy Flake. We are so happy for them, especially since now the Flake line will continue. Maxwell is the first Flake boy. Congratulations!
P.S. J & T have some really cute photos of Maxwell sleeping with Jaremy and a close-up that is adorable, but for some reason every time I upload onto my blog, their faces are blue. They are really blue, like in the Blue Man Group. If anyone knows how to fix this, just let me know.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Jessica's B-Day

Jessica just had a birthday and we had Heidi and Jeff, Eddy and Lanny over for dinner and cheesecake. Not only is it Jess' birthday, but we were engaged 10 years ago on her birthday as well. This year we found out that we have a new nephew who was also born on the day!

Desert Camping!

In early March we took the kids and went on a one night camping trip at Queen Valley. It got kind of cold and Jess and the girls slept in the suburban. It was a short trip but the kids loved it.