Monday, January 28, 2008

President Hinckley's passing

My daughter yelled out from downstairs, "President Hinckley died." She was looking at two text messages sent to her by her teenage friends. Throughout the house we all yelled back and forth, "What?", "Who told you?", "Are you sure?"
I stopped what I was doing and called my Dad while Mark turned on the news channels. Nothing was on the news channels yet. Dad Said that he hadn't heard anything but suggested that I go to the KSL website. While I was doing that, he said, "There's an email from Jon and now there's one from Becky." We both got choked up and had to hang up. I called Sara and she said that it was true. I got off the phone and just cried.
The emotions were mixed. President Gordon B. Hinckley is loved by me and my family for many reasons. Each one of us is at a different stage in life so the impact He has had varies. For me, he has been a beacon of light, full of positive input, outgoing and positive attitude and fearless in doing great works throughout the world. It seemed like he was a mortal man with many mortal experiences and yet had the faith and strength to move forward through what could have been impossible to most to accomplish charitable tasks for the weak and defenseless. He never seemed to doubt that serving others was not only a good thing to do but always a doable thing. So I am sad because I will miss him dearly.
I am happy, no, excited for him and his reunion with his wonderful dear wife and his loved one that have gone before him. I remembered back when my Grandma died. I cried and cried knowing that I would miss her. But the peace that I felt knowing that she was now, finally, with Grandpa after 3+ years of separation was even more overpowering.
As I thought about our dear Prophet while I was driving in the rare weather here in the desert looking at a gorgeous full arching rainbow over the Northwest part of our damp valley, I smiled and thought of the Savior greeting this humble, kind, energetic servant who was so devoted to sharing the love that the Savior has for us all and doing it in so many various ways. I almost wish I was there to witness that beautiful exchange.
I hope the Hinckley family has felt and feels of our love and support for them. President Hinckely needed them so much, I'm sure and they have done so much to support the Lord in their own lives as well as by being so kind and supportive to their Father and Grandfather. Just last night in our family prayers, my 17 year old son, without prompting from Mark or myself, asked Heavenly Father to please bless and comfort the Hinckley family.
President Hinckley, thank you from me and from my family. We love you and yours!

Friday, January 25, 2008

What's in a Week?

This week is about as normal as they come for us.
For Christian, Kathryn and I it meant that we were in Long Beach, California at the Grand Prix Swim Meet. We had a very nice trip together. Michael Phelps was at this meet along with several other fantastic, World Class swimmers. What a great opportunity for Christian to be a part of that kind of a caliber of swimmers.
I was there with Christian as a support to him and it's a good thing I was. His former Coach and teammates couldn't control their contempt for him the first day we were there. Everything was fine on Monday. We switched teams because Christian was attacked and the Coach didn't discipline the swimmer-one of his top swimmers-to match what happened. We saw that our kids wouldn't be safe. We then reported the attack to the police and the swimmer who attacked Christian is having charges pressed against him. In an effort to help support Christian and distract him from the stress of having this swimmer at the meet along with the former coach, I kept my attitude positive and constructive and didn't tell him about what the Coach said to me.
Anyway, while we were in California, we spent Sunday driving around the City that I grew up in and then drove out to see Grandpa, Grandma Ilene, Uncle Ben, Aunt Amanda and cousins Harrison and Sam. We had a really nice family dinner with a lot of visiting.
Kathryn danced for Grandpa and Grandma and played with her cousins. Christian took all of the little ones on the trampoline for some fun fun jumping.
It's so nice to be able to visit with family. There is an affirmation of who we are and that there are supportive, loving people in our lives who take us for who we are and are interested in our improvements and successes.

The foods we enjoyed on this trip: two trips to In-N-Out, lots of Sushi, a Diane Salad from Green Street East and a yummy chicken dinner at Grandpa and Grandmas.

Kathryn was a challenge but did really well all weekend long. She is a typical toddler and full of curiosity and life. We went out on the beach at the pool, walked a lot around the pool-both in and out of the stroller and chatted with the nice people we met. Her little furry boots were a real hit with all of the kids and adults. She looked like a little swimmer-to-be.

Tuesday through Thursday were busy with ortho appointments, school, errands and calendaring all of the upcoming events.

Lauren is our Senior in High School. She applied to several colleges and found out that she got into her first choice, BYU, before Christmas. She had a "walk on" letter from the head coach so she has been planning on swimming and going to BYU. Well, on Wednesday, she found out that she also got into BYU Hawaii! That's a very hard school for mainland students to get into. Mark and I are very proud of her.

Today, Friday, the four oldest kids in the house, Lauren, Christian, Jonathan and Michael, have the day off of school so they are now up and going and have lots of plans today. Everyone is off to the Chiropractor! We haven't been very diligent in going this past year. Lauren is going to help me with Kathryn so that I can get some really important tasks done for the family and our businesses in Kentucky.

So life is busy and fulfilling around here. We're always on the move!