Saturday, December 27, 2008


We really did have a great Christmas. I have been getting asked, "how was YOUR Christmas?" from everyone so I thought I would let everyone know. We discovered that Johnjohn doesn't like to share any toys. The monkeys got all of their gifts together and Johnjohn did not want to share with Luke. Every time Luke would pick up a toy, Johnjohn would run over and grab it and say MINE. Or he would tell Luke to "share". I think Johnjohn understands others sharing with him, he just doesn't understand him sharing with others.
Ellie experience her first Christmas without toys. She wanted a digital camera and that was all she got. Later in the morning she realized adult presents aren't as much fun when there wasn't anything really to play with. Christmas went really well. There honestly wasn't a sad moment all day for us. I think we were sustained by the many prayers of others. I kept waiting for a hard moment, but there honestly wasn't one. I believe my children understand better than most about eternal families and that there dad is always with them. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

THANK YOU DIAMOND!! These were the presents we got from Diamond. The kids love them so much! One person can never have too much BYU stuff. If you don't believe me, just look at all of Rob old clothes.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Letter

I wanted to share my Christmas letter with everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!
Hello Family and Friends,
I am not sure where to start my letter. Last December (right after most people go our Christmas card saying all is well) a week before Christmas Rob was diagnosed with Melanoma Cancer. By the time we found the cancer it was metastasized through his entire body. After 11 short weeks of fighting, Rob passed away on March 6, peacefully surrounded by his entire family. We cannot thank everyone enough who came and helped our family during Rob’s sickness and who is still continuing to help our family now. Our family has been blessed with seeing charity, the pure love of Christ, through the service of others. We miss Rob tremendously, but know we are an eternal family and will be together forever. We celebrate Christmas a little different than Christmas pasts. Now, when we heard songs of the birth of Christ we are comforted with Christ’s spirit. For without the birth of Christ, there would be no resurrection. We cannot wait till the day when we are all reunited together as a family.
We felt it hard but necessary to leave the northwest and move back to Utah. Being closure to family has been extremely helpful. We are back in American Fork, where Rob spent his high school years and all his siblings have grown up. We have always thought of ourselves as “Cavemen” (AF mascot), so how fitting that we actually are living here now. We have been welcomed and love into our new ward. We feel our family is exactly where the Lord wants us.
Robbie turned 12 this year! I can’t believe I have a Young Man now in my home. His biggest accomplishment this year was growing his hair out. We call him Sunshine from the movie Remember the Titans. He played flag football this year and loved it! He has many great friends that live close by to play with. Robbie and Jake are often off having “air soft gun” wars with the neighbor boys. Robbie is such a great help with the twins. He’ll tell me that he believes he loves the twins more than I do!
Jake is Jake, my tender heart boy. He also played flag football this fall. Whereas Robbie was more competitive, Jake actually smiles while he runs! He loved playing and never cared who won or loss. I can always count on Jake to help out around the house. I think Ellie and Robbie are on to that fact, and let Jake do most of the work. Jake misses all his friends in Washington, but is enjoying hanging out with Robbie and the “older boys”.
Ellie is turning eight this year and is going to be baptized right before Christmas. She can hardly wait, and has been counting down since September. Ellie enjoys being the only girl in the family. She loves having his cousins close to play with, but only last about 36 hours and then she needs her alone time. She loves to clean, on her time schedule, but does a great job. For Robbie’s birthday she cleaned his bedroom for him and even cleaned the closest out! Ellie misses having a friend right next door but really has no problem making new friends.
Johnjohn and Luke, or as I like to call them the monkeys are at such a fun age! They are now 2 years old and repeating EVERYTHING we say. Johnjohn’s favorite word is “stop it”. He is always yelling it at one of us. The kids love to tease him and have him yell stop it. I do not find this as fun! You can also hear him calling out for Whuke at times. Luke is just as happy and go lucky as ever. Nothing really bothers him. He doesn’t talk as much as Johnjohn, but Luke is much more physical. He loves jumping on the trampoline, his bed or anywhere. We were in church giving the monkeys Starburst to keep them quiet. Johnjohn likes to unwrap all of his candy first, then hold the candy in his hand and slowly eat them one by one. Luke on the other hand, unwraps and sticks them in his month as fast as he can unwrap. Luke had eaten all his candy, looks over at Johnjohn, and sees the candy in his hand. Luke quickly grabs the candy and shoves it in his mouth. Johnjohn starts screaming and Luke is smiling. This is just one example of life with twins and how enjoyable sacrament meeting is for our family.
My life has probably changed the most. Opportunities have come up for me to speak on overcoming trials and relying on the Lord. The highlight of this year was speaking at Mother’s Weekend at BYU-I. I love sharing my testimony with others and hope other’s can grow from our experience. I am speaking at a Best of EFY in February and also to various wards in the area. I am slowly working on a book, with most of it coming from my journal entries in Caringbridge. I am also learning how to “blog” and trying to keep everyone updated on our family blog:
Even with a difficult year, we’ve experience too many blessings not to find joy. We find peace in the Lord, Jesus Christ and know everyone can experience that same peace through Him. We love and thank everyone for their support and hope everyone can feel the Savior’s love at this time of year and always!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Rob's family has a family tradition of going to the Nutcracker every year. Even a few of his cousins have danced for Ballet West in the Nutcracker. When I joined the family, it became Girl's Night Out. As the granddaughters have gotten older, they get to join us with this family tradition. While I was in Washington for Christmas, I would still follow this tradition, but with my friends. Christmas just isn't Christmas without going to the Nutcracker.
This was Kate's first time going to the Nutcracker. Kate has seen the Barbie Nutcracker about a million times. She kept turning to Erin and saying, in the real Nutcracker this happens. Erin would tell her, THIS is the real Nutcracker.

This is Ellie and her Aunt Caren. Ellie and Caren have a very close relationship. Caren is out here visiting from the DC area. When Caren would come visit us in Washington, we were the only people for her to see, Ellie would get Caren all to herself. While in Salt Lake, Caren has lots of family and friends to see and Ellie does not like sharing Caren. They are going to get a couple of sleepovers together.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Sunday

I tried to get a good picture of all the children in their Christmas clothes for church. Robbie is wearing one of Rob's ties that I had given Rob to wear on a Christmas Sunday a few years ago. Today was Robbie's first day of passing the sacrament. Grandma Adrienne, Aunt Caren and Aunt Erin came to watch. I think he was a little nervous, but you would of never known. He did a great job. The monkeys kept yelling, Robbie, and waving!

Ellie's Baptism and Robbie's Confernation

Ellie and her cousin Izzy were both baptized on Saturday by Andy (Izzy's dad). Ellie was able to wear the same baptism dress that I wore when I was baptized. The event was wonderful! I spoke on baptism and Jeni spoke on the Holy Ghost. Annie sang When I am Baptised for the girls. Many of our family and friends were able to attend and celebrate this special day with us. I know Rob was there with us. While Adrienne gave the opening prayer, I could feel Rob say in my mind and heart, don't be sad, this is a wonderful day. He was happy and wanted us all to be happy also. I could feel him so strong, that it was hard for me to gain my composure to give my talk. I was filled with joy and an outpouring of love from Rob.
Ellie had asked my dad to confirm her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also gave her the gift of the Holy Ghost. I was so thankful the weather was good for those who traveled. I was happy that Dee Dee flight was cancelled, both Ellie and Robbie loved having her there.
Yes, Robbie did get his hair cut. AJ ordained Robbie to the priesthood (I think that is how you say it). AJ was given the priesthood from Rob, so it was fitting that AJ could give it to Robbie. This to me was the most emotional part. I was in awe, as all of these wonderful priesthood holders surrounded Robbie. Robbie now gets to wear a tie to church. It's a family tradition that you don't wear a tie till you turn 12 and get the priesthood. AJ and Andy took Robbie shopping for his first ties. I actually know how to tie a tie, but it still takes us a couple of times to do it well!
We had a celebration at our home afterwards for Ellie, Izzy and Robbie. I thought it would be fun to have cotton candy for all the kids (and adults). We always had a standard joke in our family about cotton candy. Rob hated it! Anytime we were somewhere where they sold it, there would be a fight because I would want to buy it and he didn't want me to. So when daddy would break down and get some cotton candy, my kids knew it was a special day. I can't think of a more special day than this one.
I had to put this picture of Grandma Sheri with Johnjohn. Johnjohn rarely does this for anyone. He ran up and asked Sheri, where's doggie (meaning Grace their dog)? Sheri has been an amazing help to our family. We figured that we have seen her every month this year and we don't even live in the same state! She has put my family first this year and you can tell by how much we love and appreciate her with Johnjohn's hug!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Watch Out for These Girls...

First let me say, sorry for the quality of the picture. I forgot my camera and only had my phone. What did we do before camera phones? This is Erin and I last night at the Ring Christmas Bells, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Christmas program. We went with Andy, Jeni, Adrienne and Cathy. Our seats were in bottom far corner, where all the VIP's come into the Conference Center. So the place is filling up and we look over and see President Monson coming through the door. Erin said we walked over by the ropes to see him, but I think it was more like ran. We were hoping to shake his hand as he walked by. The security guard was not too thrilled with two people, rushing towards the Prophet. He jumped right in front of us and stood face to face with us. Seriously, do Erin and I look like dangerous people? Andy thinks so, but still, we were just so excited to be so close to the Prophet! Granted he couldn't see us because of the body guard (right in front of us), but it was still exciting. When President Monson entered the room, the room went completely silent and everyone rose to their feet. Instantly, 21,000 people were quiet. It was an amazing experience. The show was great! I loved seeing and hearing the Choir in person sing Hallelujah from the Messiah. That is one of mine and Rob's favorite Christmas songs! The entire program was beautiful!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Best Company in the World

Rob worked for Diamond Wireless. I cannot say enough about how wonderful this company has been to our family. They have already done so much for us while Rob was sick and just after he passed away. They tell me they can never repay us for all he did for them. I have always felt they have gone beyond what any company could do. Today, Jackson Cannon and Jeff Nielson showed up at my house with arms full of gifts for us. They funny thing was these two boys are die hard Utah fans and they had all these BYU gifts. Jackson said there might be some barf on some of the gifts, because it made him so sick to be in the bookstore. (FYI Jackson graduated from BYU) He said that he almost lost it when the BYU fight song started playing over the speakers...Rise and shout! It meant a lot to me that Diamond would go out of there way to make sure we had a good Christmas. This is the week Rob got sick last year. The 14th has been hanging over my head. The generosity and love of others for us has been amazing. I thank everyone for their prayers this week and always. I can be strong because of the support and love of others. Thank you to Diamond Wireless and to all who continue to pray for our family!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Tonight our family was greeted with carolers. We had Sunday dinner at our home in celebration of Robbie's birthday. Robbie picked the menu, flank steak and twice baked potatoes. I surprised him with crab legs, which he was nice enough to share with us. All the family was sitting around talking when one of the kids yelled, Mom we have carolers! I know it's fun to have people come to your home and carol, but tonight it was exactly what our family needed. I expected to see one of my friends and their family to be standing there with treats, singing. When I looked out the door, there were several families there, too many to count. I looked around trying to see faces I knew from the ward and I couldn't place any faces (not a big surprise if I didn't recognize someone from the ward). While these wonderful people sang, I could feel their love for us. All these people took time to come to our home and help us feel the spirit of Christmas. When they were done, they gave us a huge basket filled with movies, treats, toys, a ginger bread house kit and supplies for sugar cookies! I was so amazed by their kindness and love. It was honestly something truly special for our family!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our Tree Sold!!!

For Robbie's birthday we went out to dinner and to the Festival of Trees. I had to put this picture up of Robbie, because first he is so cute! And second soon his hair won't be so long. He'll still have that long "look" but honestly it's longer than mine!
We found out that our tree sold for $850! They had actually started the bidding at $5oo. We were very happy that it sold. Our biggest fear was getting there and not having our tree bought. We were happy to help raise money for the Children's Hospital.

This is a great picture of Rob's mom and siblings; Jimmy, Andy, Adrienne, AJ and Erin. I don't know why Andy looks so unhappy. It was a little emotional seeing Rob's tree and all the other trees dedicated to others. It's a wonderful way to start the Christmas season!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My baby is 12!

I can't believe I have a 12 year old! I remember taking a giant leap of faith when we chose to have Robbie while still in school. We had felt it was important not to put off starting our family. I remember trying to figure out my class schedule for school and baby sitters for Robbie. And yet, those years of being poor college students with a child are some of our best memories. I am so thankful to Erin and Tiffany for watching Robbie all the time while I was in classes. I could of never graduated without their help. I never regretted starting my family early. Right after Rob passed away, I was even more grateful for having my children as soon as I did. All my kids had more time with their dad!

Robbie was the first Grandchild and Great Grandchild on Rob's side of the family. We would all sit around in a circle and just watch him! He had more attention than any one child should ever have! I can't believe how much Johnjohn looks like Robbie.

Robbie is going to kill me for putting these photos on! Him and Jake love my big bath tub and taking bubble baths. They don't take their baths together, but I had Jake jump in so I could get these pictures.

Robbie was trying to look like a model in this photo. He really is a great son! He helps me all the time. He has a lot on his shoulders and he is standing up to the challenge. I am honored to have him as my son. Happy Birthday Cakes!
A quick story about Robbie. The other night I got McDonald's for the kids. I get home and Robbie doesn't have any Honey Mustard for his chicken nuggets. He asked if I would go back and get him some sauce? Now most mothers would say no, but I am a person who made Rob go back to places on many occasions to get something that was forgotten. I understood where Robbie was coming from. I went all the way back to McDs and got the honey mustard. Robbie starts to eat and the twins want someone to play the Wii. Jake wanted to eat, so Robbie went to entertain them for a little while. He comes back to the nuggets and Luke had dumped water all over his food. I was like are you kidding me? I spent so much time getting that food and now it's ruin? About two minutes later, Robbie came over and gave me $20. He said, he's the money for the food I didn't eat. I said Robbie don't worry about it, it was an accident. I am not mad at you. I just couldn't believe after all that driving, you didn't even get to eat your nuggets. We had a good laugh. He really is a great kid!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Festival of Trees

Yesterday, Adrienne, Jeni and I got the privilege of decorating a tree for the Festival of Trees in honor of Rob. Erin was actually the mastermind behind this and did all the ground work for us. We missed having her there helping us, but know she needs to be on bed rest! I was shocked with how emotional it was to decorate our tree. We had asked the kids how we should decorate it, and they said daddy loved Christmas, so decorate it like Christmas. We found out a week before Christmas last year that Rob had cancer. So I think I will always associate Christmas with the biggest change in our lives. This was a great way for us to do something wonderful for Rob and the Children's Hospital.
Our cousin Mandy and Aunt Betsy made the tree skirt. You really need to see the tree in person!

Aunt Cathy watched the twins for us while we were there. She brought them to see the tree. Not the best place for the monkeys to run around.

Here is what we put on the tree...I thank everyone who donated time and money for Rob's tree. We could not have done it with every one's help!