Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Break

We decided to get out of the cold weather and head south to St. George for spring break. We went with our good friends the Bushman and the Youngs. Sally's parents were nice enough to open up their home to all 16 of us! We learned that the monkeys do not do well sleeping without their bed's. Mental note for next trip, take portacribs! While we were there we also ran into Mandy and her kids! It was great to spend an unexpected afternoon with them. I've know Mandy since I was 5 years old! The last day we were there, it started snowing!! I was beginning to think we were cursed. We didn't have any warm clothes to wear. I had to bribe the kids to go to Brigham Young's house. He's only their great, great, great, great, great Grandfather (they come from the 13 wife). The monkeys thought it was fun to into the chained off areas. We then went to the St. George Temple. We had to hurry and take these pictures outside, because honestly it was snowing

We made the kids all sleep outside. It was like they were camping!

Johnjohn and Luke would not go to sleep in their room. We had to just let them fall asleep where ever they were sitting.

Apparently they like to put their blankets over their heads to sleep. It's about 11:30 at night when they finally fell asleep!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Special Easter Message

I am thinking there is no such thing as a perfect picture, when it comes to my children. But I love this picture because it shows all of their personalities! My brother JD has the wonderful opportunity to speak on Easter Sunday. He emailed his talk to all of us and I begged if he would let me put it on my blog. It's such a wonderful talk and I just love my brother so much! I hope you all can feel the wonderful spirit of his message!


I was asked to speak in church on Easter Sunday. I’ve known about the talk for a little over two weeks. I had a talk in mind up until a few days ago when I started getting a strong impression that I was to speak about Rob. There were two problems with that thought, first, I didn’t think I could publically speak about Rob and maintain much composure, second, I was only given 5 to 8 minutes to talk and I didn’t think that was enough time. I kept fighting the feelings until I finally could not dismiss the thoughts any longer.

I woke up early on Saturday morning and wrote this very much abbreviated version of what I perceive to be a story about the importance of the Resurrection. I silently said multiple prayers just prior to my standing up to speak. Needless to say I did not make it through the first sentence before choking up but I took a deep breath and was able to finish.

Generally speaking I never type out my talks word for word, but I was glad that I did in this case. Anyway, I wanted to share my thoughts with each of you. I didn’t want to post this on our blog but I did want to share it with each of you. I love you and I do look forward to a grand reunion with Rob and all our family members during the resurrection.


A little over one year ago, I received a phone call from my younger sister Patti, who was living in Battle Ground, WA. She informed me that her husband Rob was in the hospital being treated for severe headaches and nausea.
She and Rob were on an indoor coed soccer team. Just two nights previous to Rob’s entering the hospital, Patti watched Rob score two goals. He was healthy, strong, and full of life. Now, she watched Rob lying in a hospital bed. The news was not what anyone expected nor was it what anyone wanted to hear. Rob was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma cancer. Unbeknownst to anyone, cancer had rapidly spread through Rob’s entire body. Rob, 34 years old, and my sister Patti, 32, are the parents of five children, ranging from 11 years old down to 18 month old twin boys. Life as they knew it, would never be the same.
Word spread quickly through the Ward. Priesthood blessings were bestowed and multiple prayers were offered. Shortly after the diagnoses, I received another phone call from my sister. It was early in the morning and she was crying. Startled and worried, I asked what was wrong. Tearfully she stated that the entire Ward wanted to offer-up a special fast for Rob. Pointing out to Patti that this was a good thing, I asked why she was crying. She described a phone call from her Bishop just moments before, wherein he stated the Ward was prepared to start their Fast, but they simply wanted to know what specifically to Fast for. An entire Ward was waiting for direction and through tears; she explained that she wanted to do the Lord’s will. Patti’s concern did not revolve around Faith in the Fast, she had complete faith in Fasting, her concern revolved around doing the Lord’s will and not her will in such a delicate situation.
The family decided to aggressively treat the cancer. Even with daily chemotherapy treatments and other aggressive measures, Rob’s condition worsened. He began losing movement in his arms and legs. No longer able to care for Rob and her five children, Patti began to enlist members of the family to come and stay in her home. For two and a half months, family, friends, and neighbors labored and served the faithfully and it was finally my turn to spend a week in Washington.
Even though several family members had warned me about Rob’s condition and his physical appearance, I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. I stood in astonishment at the door of his bedroom. What was once an athletic, strong, and very capable body was now weak, frail, and incapable of getting around. Rob’s 185 pound body had deteriorated to 125 pounds. His skin was pale, he had completely lost all his hair and even his teeth were discolored. Rob and I had snow skied, water skied, played basketball, baseball and golfed together on multiple occasions. We had enjoyed many fun, exciting, and spiritual moments together over the years and it was difficult to see him in this state.
We spent some tender moments together over the next few days as I helped feed Rob and massage his legs. He slept a lot of the time and when he was awake, we tried to make him smile as much as possible and keep him comfortable. We went to bed one evening with the plan being that on the next morning we were scheduled to head to the hospital for more treatment and that I was going to go with Patti and Rob to help lift Rob in and out of the car. However, when we woke up the next morning, we could not get Rob to respond. He had slipped into a coma during the night. The doctor was summoned to the house and by mid morning, it was apparent that Rob was approaching his last hours with us.
Once again, word spread quickly through the Ward and friends begin coming over to spend some time with Rob. By that evening, all of Rob’s family had arrived. We cried, laughed, cried some more, and prayed together often throughout the night. Early the next morning, we sat around the bed as Rob took his last breath, passing onto the next life.
I have reflected much since that day just a little over a year ago. I had simply thought I was just taking my turn to help assist Patti and Rob; I had no idea as to the magnitude of the events and what it would do to me to be there that week. If I had time, I would tell you of many more faith promoting events and actions of others. My testimony grew deeper and stronger. I have watched in amazement how my sister responded to the passing of her eternal companion. From day one, she put the Lord’s Will first. Her un-denying faith in Heavenly Father’s plan has strengthened many, including me. Never has she blamed or been angry with the Lord. She continues to persevere through one of the most challenging events ever.
Just prior to Rob’s passing, I sat and listened to Patti gather her children around and sing “Families Can be Together Forever” and explain to her children that Heavenly Father, through his son Jesus Christ, has made it possible for families to be together forever. Because of Jesus Christ and the Resurrection, they would see their Daddy again. Because of Jesus Christ and the Resurrection, their Daddy would have a perfect body once again. I then listened to her explain that while it was extremely difficult to lose their father at this time in their life, they could have joy in knowing that they will be together for eternity and that their sorrow will one day be turned to joy.
In John, Chapter 16, the Lord speaks of the time when he will pass on. His life will be taken away. At the time of his death, he teaches in verse 20 that the people “shall weep and lament, but the world will rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned to joy” (John 16:20). The Savior’s rising from death on the third day crowned the Atonement. Again, in some way incomprehensible to us, the effects
of His resurrection pass upon all men and women so that all shall rise from the grave.
How important is the resurrection? The Prophet Joseph Smith declared:
“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1938], 121).
I dreamt that I was eating dinner with Rob just the other night. He looked amazing. He was trim, clean cut, and I specifically remember noticing his smile and white teeth. I woke up wondering if that is what Rob might look like after the Resurrection. It put a smile on my face.
I was also able to spend some time with Patti this past week. A business trip took me to Salt Lake where Patti had relocated her family to be closer to Rob’s family. I spent the evening at Patti’s house we talked late into the night. I mentioned to her I was speaking on Easter Sunday to which she replied. “I love Easter Sunday. I love thinking about the resurrection.” To which I too testify of the resurrection. The assurance that the resurrection will include an opportunity to be with our family members; husband, wife, parents, brothers and sisters, children, and grandchildren; is a powerful encouragement for us to fulfill our family responsibilities in this life. This Easter Sunday, we can reflect on loved ones who have past and consider how great will be our joy when we reunite once again and to reunite with our very own Savior, even Jesus Christ.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Holy S.....snow!

Honestly, it it April 16th and you would not believe the amount of snow we woke up to this morning! AND it's Spring Break for the kids, not winter break but SPRING! I had honestly packed away their snow clothes for the summer. But who knows if summer is EVER going to come! I am trying my hardest not to be bitter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Coloring Easter Eggs

Sorry, we went out of town, now I am behind on my blogging.
Here's pictures of Andy & Jeni's family coloring eggs with us!
Jeni and Luke
Isaac waiting...
Andy and Johnjohn

A Warning to all Tweens...

I read this article in the paper and just had to laugh!!

A Cheyenne father smashed his teenage daughter's cell phone with a hammer after she sent or received about 20,000 text messages in a month.
The Christoffersen family's phone plan with Verizon didn't include texting, and the phone company charged them for each incoming and outgoing text.
Gregg and Jaylene Christoffersen thought texting had been disabled. They only learned their 13-year-old daughter Dena was doing so much of it when they received a phone bill for more than $4,750.
Gregg Christoffersen took a hammer to his daughter's phone hours after the phone bill arrived. He and Jaylene also grounded Dena until the end of school.

Sometimes I feel like taking a hammer to Robbie's phone!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Flying Trampolines!!!

So those of you on Facebook, you already heard. For the many of you not on Facebook...Yesterday my car got hit by a trampoline. Yes, that is correct. No I wasn't driving my car or even it in at the time. No I wasn't in Kansas and Dorothy wasn't any where to be seen. (Yes we still listen to Wicked at all chances possible, even Robbie and Jake want to see it now!) I was at my friend's house out in Saratoga Springs. It was extremely windy outside. I went to go leave her house and there was a trampoline in her front yard. Now, when I got to her house, there was no tramp in the yard. I was like, wow there's a tramp in your front yard! And how did that not hit my car? Well a good thing I went and looked at my car, because it had in fact hit my car and cracked my tail light. I felt so bad for my friend, Amy, because then we had to call around to see whose tramp it was and then tell then it damaged by car! The lady was a good sport, though I don't think she'll be as happy when she gets the bill. Tail lights can be expensive!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ranch Epperson

AJ lives down in Santaquin on a couple of acres. He has three horses and tons of dirt to plan with. Last Saturday Andy came to pick up the older kids to go down to AJs. Well the monkeys heard the name AJ and knew right away that it meant horses. The only way I could calm them down was to take the monkeys down to AJs.

Andy was a great sport leading all the kids around for rides. The kids were great at taking their turns.

Addie, Ellie and Izzy waiting their turns.

Jake gets to ride the horse without help. He was walking the horse over a log, which I guess is good for some reason.

Luke and Johnjohn on the horse. I don't know where they are looking.

The kids also went for rides on the 4-wheeler. Luke and Johnjohn liked the horse a lot better!

A nice clean Luke after a full and busy day!

Luke and Johnjohn checking out the horses. Luke wanted to wear his hat and boots