Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sadistic Muse

“Tears are words that need to be written.” - Paul Coehlo

Smart man. Excellent writer. A friend of mine on FB shared his picture and this quote, and it resonated with me. I often find I write best when I am in distress. It's as though my muse needs my pain to be called forth.

Ah, what a sadist, my muse.

Christmas this year made me feel a bit off kilter---but not in a bad way. Ok, I did have a horrible case of vertigo which began Thursday night while hubby and I were out on a date. :::gasp::: Yes, we took our annual date. I thought I was managing quite nicely, he told me he thought I'd taken drugs. I guess what I hear about people drinking and trying desperately to act sober must be true. You don't fool anyone. So I've been on some drugs to help me defeat the vertigo, which make me sleepy. Apparently I passed out and missed most of Christmas Eve at my sister's house . Yay me!

On Christmas day we had the sister missionaries over for dinner so they could Skype with their families. It was sweet and tender to see these two young women, far from home to serve the Lord, interact with their loving families. There were tears on all sides---and it was touching. And I mean that---I was deeply touched by their love and devotion to each other. One missionary told me that her mom was her very best friend. I had to suppress a sudden pain in my heart. You see, our two oldest were here, neither of whom consider their father and I more than a nuisance. Neither had asked if they could help with getting the rest of dinner ready. Nothing.

Then we had dinner and our two oldest finished their meal before the rest of us, took their plates to the sink and then said goodbye. Apparently there were things, important things, that needed to be done. Places to go, places that weren't here. People to see, people that weren't us.

So I teared up. I couldn't help it. After just witnessing the joy on the faces of those two families, witnessing their fervent desires to be united with their loved ones, and our two oldest couldn't get out of here fast enough. I know I shouldn't let it bother me....I know I should develop a thicker skin.

And I'm trying---believe me, I'm trying.

I'm pretty sure we didn't raise them to be this way.

So perhaps next year we'll celebrate Festivus instead. You know, the traditional Airing of the Grievances and all that. I'm sure it will be a hit. Either that or my husband an I will leave all of them here and we'll go off to Hawaii.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Never Give Up, Never Give In...

"You're ridiculous!!!!", my 14 year old daughter sneered at me. "Why are you SO over protective??"

We'd just spent a chilly five minutes on the porch arguing. She had refused to hand over her precious cell phone, and I wasn't allowing her to open the door and go into the warmth until she had done so. She asked me how long I was going to keep her phone. I told her two days.

"Hand it to me."

"NO! I don't see why I have to!!"

She is fourteen years old, she probably didn't see the reasoning behind my demand she turn over her cell phone. But it's my job to teach her.

"If you don't hand it to me, you're going to lose it for longer than two days."
"Trust me, I mean it. Give it to me."
"Fine, you've lost it for a week now."
"FINE!", she bellowed at me as she thrust the phone into my hand. "But can I have it back on Friday?? I'm gonna hang out with Emma!"
"No, you may not."
"Because that's not a week. That's only 3 days."
And with that she went through the door after me and slammed it as hard as she could.
It was then I used a tried and true Mom Favorite. "Go to your room and stay there."

I'd just spent a frantic time driving through our ever-darkening neighborhood searching for her and her friend. She hadn't called me when she met up with her girlfriend at the corner and she wasn't answering calls or texts. I'd made her promise before she left that she would call me. She didn't.

I'd been in the kitchen about to mix up Christmas sugar cookies. As I lay out the butter, flour and sugar, I kept calling her. No answer. Why isn't she answering her phone? Where is she?

After what seemed like an eternity as I drove through the dusk, my cell phone rang.
"I'm sorry mommy! I didn't hear my phone in my coat. We're at the school but we're coming home now."
"You are in trouble. I'll be right there."
"No, mom we can walk."
"I'm nearly there right now."
Heavy sigh. "Oh all right."

It's a small thing, right? Not keeping her promise to call me. She forgot, I get it. She's mad because she said she won't forget next time. I'm hoping the sting of losing her phone for an entire week will make an indelible impression and make sure she won't forget next time.

"You are the worst mom ever!"

Sometimes that might be true. I don't know. I don't have a Users Guide for Teenagers. I hope that one day when she has a fourteen year old, she'll remember me being 'ridiculous' and 'over protective' and finally understand that it would be much easier on me to have given in and not taken her cell phone. Then I wouldn't have to put up with her surly demeanor for a week.

Never give up, never give in.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sandy Hook

I was sitting in a dark room Friday morning when my phone buzzed. I looked at the alert and CNN informed me that there had been a shooter at a school in Connecticut. Closing my phone, I looked up to heaven and said a prayer in my heart for those in harms way. I had no idea of the scale of this tragedy at that moment. I was at Seattle Children's Hospital watching the brain waves of my youngest child as they moved across the monitor during her EEG. She was sleeping peacefully, all wrapped up in white gauze with wires protruding out of bandages. I gave a sigh and silently thanked my Father in Heaven that I knew where my child was and that she was safe.

As the day progressed, more of the tragedy came to light. I wept for the families, the children, the first responders who would have to process this unimaginable horror. Openly crying in front of my children and hugging them each time they came near me. I work in our school district. This hits close to home.

What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School is something that should never have happened. Like me, everyone wants to know if there were signs this young man was troubled. Was there something that someone near him could have done to stop this? How and why were there so many guns available to him? Did no one see?

My husband has gently asked me to not watch the news, because he comes into the room and sees that I have been crying. I'm filled with nearly unbearable sorrow for these families, their friends, everyone connected to this tragedy. And yet...I can get up in the morning and go into my daughter's bedroom and they are there. There isn't an empty bed with toys strewn around the floor and tiny clothes that will never be worn again. Tonight I will take my four children to dinner. We will get Santa pictures taken, just as we have for the past 23 years. We will buy each of them a Christmas ornament and we will love each other. We are whole.

And yet....there is a hollow place inside of me, my heart is a mother's heart and it weeps in anguish for 20 mothers thousands of miles away. They don't know me, I don't know them, so all I can do is pray for God's mercy to rest upon them. For angels to be their companions and hope that one day they will be able to find peace.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Nad Whacking

We did it. Well, WE didn't do it, our vet did.

He wasn't too thrilled to be taken somewhere in the kitty carrier though.

Professor Tubbington had his lil nuggets removed yesterday. This will take care of a few things, namely his aggressive behavior with the other cats, his tomcat tail (EW) and his desire to do his business anywhere he feels like it. Due to those three issues, he's been an outdoor kitty since the summer. Plus, we are being responsible kitty owners by taking him out of the gene pool. And it makes Alli very happy to have her baby back in her arms and snuggling with her at night.

Bobo is not thrilled. Now he's no longer top of the cat heap in the house. He has to share. He's not big on sharing. He'll just have to adjust.

My girl Cassie isn't doing too well. We're not quite sure what's going on with her. We were told that all her 'tumors' were benign, but that doesn't mean they aren't affecting her somehow. She whimpers...cries and then barks. She's never been a very vocal doggie---except when someone knocks at the door, then she goes off like the redneck doorbell that she is.

And that's the animal report for the day. You're welcome!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Festival of The Nativities

Yesterday afternoon we took Ashley and Alli over to Belluvue Festival of The Nativities and saw something so beautiful it touched our hearts. There were over 500 nativity scenes, representing over 44 countries, set up in the Stake Center behind the Temple. It was interesting to see the unique cultural differences in each nativity.

It was incredibly touching. I took some pictures... I hope you're touched by them as well. Here are my two youngest and most beautiful daughters. Ashley Rose and Allison Marie. Oh how I love these girls. Alli was the one who really wanted to see all of the nativities. She LOVES Christmas so very much.

And here are the nativities...

My apologies for the poor quality of the photos. There were over a hundred lighted Christmas trees...lights everywhere. One room was called The Christ Room. Paintings, drawings, statues and other unique items outlining the life of Christ were set in that room. I teared up as I walked through the line and came to the suffering in Gethsemane and His death on the cross. He died for me. He died for you. He suffered for all and I am eternally grateful for His love and His mercy.

May your family celebrate the gift of the Christ child, now and through all the year.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kidnapping and Running Away

This is my foot. This is my foot covered in the sand of Waimea Beach. Sigh.

I kidnapped my oldest daughter, nearly-literally, and whisked her away to Hawaii for a about a week. You see, I had no choice. I had to do it. It's a long and sad and complicated story, but the Readers Digest version is this: THERE WILL BE NO WEDDING.

Not to that man, at any rate. Family Intervention works.

Now, I know there are probably some out there wondering how I managed to afford this spur of the moment kidnapping. You're right, we were struggling mightily for a few months after Lance's accident. You really can't live on disability, but with the help of the church and friends and people who wanted to remain anonymous (You are wonderful and kind and all things good in the universe), we made it through. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts and please don't send us money. Help someone else now. The reason I could do this is because I received a small settlement. I didn't plan on using it for this---but I would do anything to save my daughter.

At any rate---it worked. It wasn't completely stress free. It was a week-long-battle. In Paradise. Which helped. You know....the being in Paradise part.

See? Here's my sandy foot at a Waimanolo Beach..I think that's the beach.

And here is where I went snorkeling. Yes, you read that right. Me. Snorkeling. In the water. I swam with fish that I've only ever seen in fish tanks and on National Geographic. It was AH MAZE ING.

This is the beach at Waimanalo again---but there was a rainbow this time. And? I swam with a HUGE turtle!! Very cool. So close....and beautiful. It was a gift.

This became my new favorite beach on the north shore and we only found it late on Wednesday. SOOOO gorgeous. Oh.....

We met up with Louis Rusk, the son of our friends that live in Flordia. He's going to BYU Hawaii there in Laie. He took us to this amazing grill that his Stake President owns. We had coconut shrimp and he had a burger that was bigger than his head. It was funny watching him attempt to eat it.

Here is Stephanie. We found a delightful little roadside place that we frequented for fresh fruit. One day we got a coconut. There were banana fritters, bananas cooked in something else that I don't remember and lots of pineapple. Oh, and sticky rice cooked in a banana leaf. Interesting texture.

Stephanie also spent a lot of time doing this, unfortunately.

We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center. Love that place. I went there when I was in high school with our school choir. I texted my friend Carin while I was there. She was also on the high school trip. "Remember those cute Polynesian boys that were here at the Polynesian Cultural Center when we were last here? Their sons are here now" :)

We went to the Lua there. These guys were lifting a pig out of the pit where it had been cooking all day. Then we ate. Ohmygoodness. The Kalua Pig was to die for. Stephanie told me I can't make it because I don't have a pig and I don't have a pit to put it in. I'll show her!

This was our rental car at the north shore. It was a Passat. I won't be purchasing one any time soon. I missed my suburban.

Now, I will share something with you. If you've ever been to Hawaii, or to some place with similar beaches, you will understand what I'm about to tell you. I never got into the water or out of the water on my own terms the entire time I was on Oahu. My enterings and my leavings were on the ocean's terms----never mine. My enterings and my leavings were America's Funniest Home Videos worthy. EACH TIME. Slammed down, rolled, and rolled and rolled. Backwards, forwards, upside down. Except for the very last time. This time I walked out of the water on my OWN terms. I was so very proud of myself. And so very happy that there was no one there that ever caught me on video.

I'm also very thankful for my father and my sister and my husband. They all took over my various duties of running around and getting kids where they needed to be. I'm very grateful for them. I'm also extremely thankful for you. Yes, you reading this. You know who you are :) Mahalo!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thank you CATDOAH

As I've stated before, I have a condition called, "Cries At The Drop of a Hat" Or, CATDOAH. Sounds like a country dance, doesn't it?

"All right everybody! Grab yer partner tight and CATDOAH!"

Sadly, my condition is not that fun.

I received a note in the mail that made my CATDOAH break out and break out BAD. Or good, depending on your POV. That's 'point of view' for those who say IDK. Which means, 'I don't know'. Yeah, I know. I try to keep up on all the cool teen-speak. I might just have a handle on it by the time they've all grown and left the nest. Then it will be PLUDHK! (Party Like You Don't Have Kids), but we do and so we don't. Party, I mean. It's been a long time.


Anyway, back to the CATDOAH caused by this card from a sister in my ward. In the first place, I'm pretty sure I didn't deserve what she said. Oh, it was nice. Very nice. Nice in the extreme and very complimentary. Which is what caused the whole CATDOAH outbreak.

It's just that I don't feel like I deserve her words. Here's what she wrote:

Dear Pam,
I just wanted to write you a quick note to let you know we've been thinking about you. You have been an amazing example to so many people of faith and trust in the Lord--of love, patience and humility. I'm sure that at this point you'd love to quit having to be an example made out of you, but know that you are loved by so many people and that the Lord is acutely aware of you. We continue to pray for the Lord's healing & blessings to be poured out upon your family.

Yes, I would very much like to quit having any sort of example made out of me, unless I could be an example of a gorgeous swimsuit model's body, but we all know that ain't happenin'.

I was skyping with my best friend a bit ago. We were talking and laughing and then BOOM!, my CATDOAH reared it's ugly face. I'm thankful for her and that I have someone I can share my sorrow and my joys with. Don't get me wrong---I share them with my husband, we love each other dearly and are very close. I'm so thankful for him---but it's nice to have a girlfriend who is also a parent and has experienced some of the same trials and joys that you have. Thank-you-un-named-best-friend-you. :) And thank you very much, sister in my ward, for the sweet and tender note you sent to me. I don't know that I'm doing anything that anyone else hasn't or wouldn't do as a mom and wife---but thank you. Your words were precious to me. Gracias.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

She's Fourteen. Watch Out World!

My baby turned 14 on Saturday. Fourteen. Four-teen. Wow. I know the next statement should be the age old question, "how did this happen?". Wasn't it just yesterday they were telling me my baby was dying and racing me into the operating room to crash me and rip her from my body in order to save her life. A hasty priesthood blessing and the assurance that all would be well and I was rendered unconscious.

And all was well. IS well, after a manner of speaking. While her disability is evident to some, it isn't to others. She compensates well. Very well. Sometimes---just sometimes---I get a little catch in my heart when I see her right hand all twisted and bent, or watch her gait as she walks---but walk she does. No wheelchair or walker needed, thankyouverymuch. But sometimes.....just....sometimes.....and I never ever let her see my tears over her physical disabilities.

Who knew motherhood could be so tender and full of anguish and hopeful all at the same time? Oh how I love the gospel and the knowledge that my baby will one day walk as normally as everyone else. That the pain in her hips and legs and joints is a temporary thing here on this earth. How thankful I am for the knowledge of the resurrection and that imperfection will put on perfection. Her physical issues are paltry in comparison to so many others. I know this.

It was a beautiful birthday party for my baby girl. We surprised her with tickets to see Carrie Underwood at the Seattle Arena. This was her very first concert. She came home so excited that I don't believe her feet hit the floor. Thanks, Bonnie and Roger, for making this gift to her possible. Thank you so very much.

Happy fourteenth little one. I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Waiting Patiently on the Lord

Am I enduring well
Am I
Sometimes it's hard to tell
I'm not crying as much
is that progress
I don't know
My heart is lighter
wings of prayer
lifting me up
lighting my way
Am I enduring well
Am I
Is chasing the painful thought away and out
is that enduring well?
If I don't see her face in my heart
Is that enduring well
I believe I said yes to this
Only I don't remember
Would I have
If I'd known the heartache
the pain
the burning tears and the sleepless nights
Would I have been so eager
Yes, Lord
I'll take this child
Give her to me
No one will understand her
I will
Will I?
Am I enduring well
Am I
I'm weary with worry
Who will love her
Who will love him
Who is this child, Lord
Am I enduring well
Am I
Am I

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Chavez, Capriles, and Hope

This weekend was, for me, a mixed bag. On the one hand, I was lifted and spiritually fed by listening to General Conference from Salt Lake City. Words of counsel, of wisdom and of hope, from our beloved Apostles and Prophet. Good men all.

And on the other hand, the voting in Venezuela went awry---probably with the help of Chavez and his minions. He has done such damage to my beloved Venezuela. My heart weeps for my friends there. I pray there is no violence. It's bad enough as it is to live there and suffer one of the highest murder rates in the world. You cannot walk the streets without fear of robbery or worse.

It's a very sad day for Venezuela.

Tomorrow I will make arepas and Platanos fritos and carraotas negras and pray that Venezuela will one day be free.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Family Home Evening

Last night was Family Home Evening at our house. This is a Monday night thing---we get together as a family. We sing songs, have a lesson, talk about the week and share scriptures. Sometimes we have a game, but not generally.

Last night, my Allison gave the lesson. It was on gratitude. I'm pretty sure she didn't read my last blog post, so this was awesome in and of itself. She gave a beautiful lesson and then asked each one of us to name five things were were grateful for. There were the usual, 'grateful for my family' etc, but two things stood out to me.

When Ashley was naming the five things she was most thankful for---she said, "I'm grateful for my disability. It's made me the person I'm supposed to be."

I got all teary eyed. (For those of you that don't know, she had a stroke in the womb and has cerebral palsy on her right side). Isn't it wonderful that a catastrophic event that still at times brings pain to the heart of a mother, can be viewed as a blessing by the child it was visited upon?

When it was Allison's turn to name the five things she was most grateful for, she said, "I am so thankful for the gospel and the foundation it has given me in my life. I don't know where I'd be without it. I know it wouldn't be a good place, so I'm very, very grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Again, tears. But as you can see HERE, my eyes have leaked a great deal of late. And not only in a bad way.

So what are YOU thankful for?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Over active tear ducts

Sundays are always special days for me---going to church and feeling the fellowship there. Being among good people, with caring hearts. My heart was full today, as I sat in Sacrament meeting and the hymns played. My heart was so full that it over-filled my eyes and spilled down my face.

I could not stop crying. They were not tears of despair. They were part heartfelt prayer of gratitude for my blessings and part sorrow at circumstances beyond my control. We have been incredibly blessed these past two months. One elderly sister was making a dinner for family---and made an extra pan of it for someone, but she didn't know who. It was for us. She had prayed that morning that she might be of service to someone in need. It was on a night where I'd spent about 12 hours working in the house, trying to fit the four of us into just the upstairs of the house. I was wiped out, exhausted to the point of tears (I have very weak tear ducts)and nearly unable to stand one more minute. The phone call came---we were blessed.

I stopped one day to visit some friends. After talking, and sharing, my overly sensitive tear ducts began spilling over once again. I was humbled by their gift---panicked and torn---not wanting to take the help they offered so tenderly. Their kindness saved us and brought us to our knees in gratitude once again.

My husband's cousin showed up unexpectedly yesterday. He had been to Costco and he arrived bearing a large box----far too much chocolate that is good for us, plus frozen vegetables, bread, and other things. I cried. Of course I cried. It seems to be what I do lately.

Not tears of sorrow and despair, but tears brought forth by the angels Heavenly Father has placed in our path.

A card arrived in our mail last week. Inside was written a sweet note and $100. There was no signature, there was no return address. Nothing that will enable me to say thank you, to write a note and express my humble appreciation for being inspired and acting upon that inspiration. For being God's hands on this earth.

I am so very humbled, grateful, lifted and blessed. We have felt the prayers lifted on our behalf. We have known great sorrow, and continue to travel down those paths, but we do not walk alone. Our burden is lighter for being shared. Our hearts are lifted.

Thank you.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Puppies and Incisions and Interpreting Against the Rules

It's Sunday night. Go time. Get ready to start the week. I spent all day in bed---no, I really did. Yesterday wore me out. We moved Allison into our room, moved us into her room and moved Ashley into our room. Our former room. Now Alli and Ash are sharing our big room and we have the itty bitty room. Stephanie will also be moving into the room with her sisters.

We'll see how long that lasts.

Three girls in one room + two sinks+one shower= future tirades I can already hear from here.

I hope and pray this teaches them compassion, patience, sharing, caring and that they come out on the other side of this experience better human beings. I will do my very best to facilitate this goal. In the mean time, wheeeeee!

Week One down of school and work (for me) It felt like a month. By the time Friday rolled around I was ready to drop. And drop I did. For a whole ten minutes. Then I got up and took Alli to meet her friends at the football game. (Go Thunderbirds!) Then I surprised my father by showing up at my sister's place at Fircrest School. We sat outside in the warm air and visited while Cheri listened to the Statler Brothers on my iPhone and watched a slideshow of the pictures. She LOVES the Statler Brothers. He brought his little Beagle out of his truck so she could pet the doggie.

In other not-so-pretty-looking-pictures, Lance had his first post-op appointment at Harborview on Friday afternoon. This was our very first look at the horrors befallen him in the operating room. It was not a pretty sight---and now he knows why a certain part of the incision was causing him so much pain. It's infected. So he's on some powerful antibiotics. If those don't work, guess where he's going? Yep, a room with a view. See the glory of the leg!

I know, I should have posted a warning about that photo. Trust me, it was worse in real life. He's moving around better on his little knee scooter. I told him that I know part of him enjoys it and he grinned. Yep, he's still a little kid that enjoys rocketing around on little wheelie things. I just hope he doesn't go flying down the stairs on it. He's been told he can go back to work IF HE IS SITTING. So, tomorrow he will try it and see how it goes. I worry. Of course I worry. Now I sound like a Jewish mother---I worry, of course I worry? How could I not?

While we were at the Hospital, a little man was sitting across from us in the casting room. I could tell he wasn't understanding a single word that the doctors or techs were saying to him. I stepped over and asked him if he spoke Spanish. He was SO HAPPY! So I interpreted for him, a blatant no-no in the world of HIPPA and DSHS, but no one seemed fazed by it. The poor man was from Guatamala, has no family here and works as a dishwasher in a restaurant in south Seattle. I helped him get an interpreter signed up for his next hospital visit. Even then, they said they weren't sure they would have one available. Grrrrrrrr. That was upsetting. This is a huge hospital---the regional trauma center and they don't have Interpreters available???How can that be? It felt good to help someone, after being told by my work that I can't help anyone. Sigh.

At any rate, on to read scriptures with the fam and get everyone moving towards bed. Not me though. After having slept all day (migraine) I'm not especially tired. See you on the flip side :)

Sunday, September 09, 2012

My name is not Job....

But I play him on TV

Just kidding. I don't play anyone on TV, although I was once told I have a Doppelgänger in England who is an actress. I'm not sure what this says about the standards of British Television, but to each their own.

I am not Job, of Bible fame. I'm actually quite fine. I'm better than fine, I am humbled and grateful and thankful. There have been so many prayers lifted up on our behalf, so much service given willingly and kindly and .....we have been incredibly blessed. Overcome with the kindness and goodness of people.

Over 30 years ago, I served as a Relief Society President in a Spanish Branch of the church, after my mission to Venezuela. I met a young man there, his name was Mark Body. He married a cute little blond girl, I eventually married a tall blond guy and we went our separate ways. We'd see each other around, or hear of each others families, but we didn't live near each others family until Facebook reconnected Mark's wife Chris and I. Mark and Chris got a phone call Saturday from Kristin Robison (who once lived in our ward but now lives in their ward down south), asking to borrow yard tools. The Body's wanted to know why. Kristin told them she and her girls were coming to help us at our house in Puyallup. Well guess who put his lawn mower and gardening tools and everything else necessary to beautify a yard into his van? Yep. Mark and Christine surprised us there----and those five people worked themselves sweaty in our back yard and at the side of the house. Here are the Robison Girls and their mom Kristin in the back yard. They worked SO HARD!! These are two of the sweetest, kindest and most charitable girls I've ever met. And their mom isn't bad either :)
Mark, despite having an injured foot himself, mowed his heart out. We're so sorry you found out the hard way that there was a big plastic something-or-other under all that stuff and hit it with the lawn mower. Plastic confetti everywhere!

At one point a neighbor behind us poked his head over the fence and told them that this was the best the yard had looked in five years!

And he was right. See?

It needs greening up and needs to have all the weeds killed, but hey....it's much better than the waist high weeds and piles of garbage and toys that our renters left. Our neighbor to the left of us has been taking care of our front yard. He has been so sweet to mow and water and it looks AMAZING. He is very particular about his own yard so having our renters be so stupendously neglectful of their yard, drove him insane. He is thrilled to keep up our little patch of green in front, and we are ever so thankful to him. See how pretty it looks?

While those friends were busy outside, two wonderful men from our ward came to tape off the interior so we could get it painted inside. This is Lance on his handy little knee scooter thingy, talking with Brandon Hermanson. Jeff Markham was also there, but I wasn't able to get a picture of him. :( These two men worked and worked and worked. We are so grateful to them for giving up a great chunk of their Saturday in order to provide such a wonderful service.

There have been other kind and sweet and generous incidences in the past few days that have lifted our spirits, that have truly humbled us and we have no words to express our gratitude to you. (You know who you are).

So, no. We are not "Job" of Bible fame. He had all his family die, his livelihood was destroyed and he was covered in boils. None of our family have passed and thus far we are boil free. We will be ok.

And....again thank you. My heart is so full right now. Thank you.