October 28, 2008

Halloween Costumes

Toby helps out in cub scouts in our ward -tonight was pack meeting, and Toby was in charge of the activities. We had a costume contest, played musical chairs, and zombie tag. All of my kids decided they wanted to go and enjoy the fun. All of my kids chose their costumes this year. Each of their personalities show through. Jaron loves to make sound affects. He's made machine gun sounds, helicopter, swords swooshing, ever since I can remember. Mikenna is our tomboy, but still likes some girlie things. She didn't want make-up on this year -and I was lucky to get hairspray in her hair. She loves super hero movies, and loved this Supergirl costume with the cape and cool boots. Brielle -she is our drama queen, and stubborn one -she is three after all. She is much more of a girlie girl than Mikenna is. Brielle wanted make-up on -and the more the better. She loves all the perks of being a girl, and loves to dance and sing. I got some blush and lip gloss on her, and then Jaron walked in with his face all camouflaged -and Brielle literally freaked out. She started screaming and climbing me. She calmed down a little after Jaron talked to her -and showed her it was just him. So after that she was not having anything to do with pictures. She kept walking around keeping an eye on Jaron and if he got too close she would put her hand out to stop him and said "Yuck"! As you can see in the pictures -Brielle was not very happy-and didn't even want to stand by Jaron. When each of my kids were three I loved parts of it and disliked others. It's a cute age, and then again it's a hard age too. When we were carving pumpkins she carefully put her hand in the pumpkin and screamed every time she felt the goopy stuff. Mikenna and Jaron on the other hand loved it. I decided to buy pumpkin stick in eyes, ears, etc. for Brielle's pumpkin, because I knew she wouldn't want to touch anything gross. We were in Target going down the Halloween isle, and there was a scary skeleton man with glowing red eyes and a black cape -and Brielle screamed at the top of her lungs and ran away from us -and we found her clear down the other end of the store sitting down on the floor crying. We'll see if we can get Brielle more in the Halloween spirit this Friday -maybe getting candy will help?? I love that girl!! I love each one of my kids distinct personalities. It's so fun to be a part of their lives and watch them grow and experience things, and seeing how each one of them takes in the world in a different way. I love my babies!! Jaron is 10 -and as we were looking for a costume for him, I realized there weren't very many to select from in his size. That made me sad. I can't believe he's had 10 Halloween's already! Each change in season brings change in my kids -I am trying to enjoy every moment I can with them. It's already going too fast for my comfort -but I think I would always feel like it is going too fast.
Happy Halloween Everyone! We Love You!!

October 25, 2008

2008 Primary Program

I am a Child of God
I am a Child of God,
And he has sent me here
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.
I am a child of God,
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I'll live with him once more
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do

To live with him someday.

Our ward's Primary program was a week ago. I love to see my cute kids up in the front of the audience singing their little hearts out, and performing their parts. The spirit was so strong, and as always made me cry. They are so innocent, so sweet. I know why Heavenly Father wants us to become like a little child. The theme was "I am a Child of God". I am so thankful that my children have such a wonderful church program to be a part of. I am so blessed with 3 beautiful children of God. I pray I will raise them in a way that my Heavenly Father would be proud of. I hope I can help them reach their fullest potential, and prepare them for the things they undoubtedly will face in the world we live in. I am grateful for the church and for the programs that the Lord has put into place for us all to help us navigate through life, and ultimately return to him again someday after our journey on earth is accomplished. I thank my children for teaching me every day a new lesson. They are truly my teachers.
I love them so much, and I am so proud of their hard work in Primary, School, Sports, and Scouts. I am so blessed to be their mommy. I love each of them for their different personalities and the joy each one brings to our family.
I pray I can be the mother they deserve!!
They are my Sunshine!!

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I am a Child of God

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Mikenna Jo - Soccer 2008

Way to go Mikenna Jo!!
We are so proud of you!!
You worked so hard in practices
You played even harder in games
Best of all
Your beautiful smile
Always glowed
And you had fun along the way!
Thanks for taking us on an adventure with you!
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October 20, 2008

Life is a Journey

Dr. Mark Edward Massart
March 8, 1954
October 16, 2008

Life is a Journey....

Life is but a stopping place,

A pause in what's to be.

A resting place along the road
To sweet eternity.
We all have different journeys,
Different paths along the way,
We all are meant to learn some things,
But never meant to stay...
Our destination is a place
Far greater than we know.
For some, the journey's quicker,
For some, the journey's slow.
And when the journey finally ends,
We'll claim a great reward
And find an everlasting peace,
Together with the Lord.

October 7, 2008

Dr. Massart

Dr. Mark Massart

Dr. Massart is my chiropractor. I've been going to him for about 2 years. He helped me through this past year of recovery from my hysterectomy. He also helped me through my back pain before I really knew what was going on with my adenomyosis. Since my back was a big part of my pain -(my uterus was huge and sitting on my sciatic nerve -I had a tilted uterus and was in so much pain I couldn't walk at times) I was going to him a lot right before surgery and after. I couldn't have recovered so well without him. He is amazing and talented. He's not only a great chiropractor -but he truly cares for his patients. He is always smiling, and goes out of his way to help his patients. He went out of his way on a Sunday right after I had surgery, and I was in a lot of pain, and he came into the office and met Toby and I there to adjust me. I was placed in a weird position for surgery -and the surgery took longer than expected -by a good hour. I had a pinched nerve in my neck from that and it was making my nerves in my arm act up really bad. They were burning and I couldn't handle the pain anymore. I went in weekly for a good six months to help my back and neck heal. He really is a blessing to me. Yesterday I went in for a tune-up and he wasn't there -they said he was out sick and didn't know when he would be coming back. This worried me, because he is never gone. He is one the healthiest people I know. So as I was getting adjusted by the other chiro in the office -he told me Dr. Massart has lung cancer. I was shocked. I would have never guessed that he would be the one to get cancer. Cancer knows no bounds. It has taken the life of my uncle Craig who had brain cancer -and was another one of those healthy, fit people you would never think would come down with it. It took the life of my cousin Jeff who was only in his early 20's. It took the life of both of my grandfathers and two great grandfather's. It has affected some of my closest friends. It's all around me -I have had dreams of getting it myself, or Toby or my children. 4 people in my family passed away from it in a very short time from one another. I think if you experience that much cancer of loved ones -and you see that much suffering in a short amount of time -it wears on you. And now to hear this news -I am not going to lie -it really hit me hard. I kept my composure as best as I could -while I was getting adjusted. The minute I got out to my van -I broke down. The tears came down hard -and I think it was just a release of past losses in my family of loved ones, and knowing what Dr. Massart is going through right now. I pray for him and his family. I pray that all of the kind things and ways he has healed others, that he will be blessed for this service he has so kindly provided. That he will be taken care of the way he has taken care of so many patients every day. With a smile on his face and wanting to know how he could help. Every time I went in to see him he said: "What's the good word today Mandy?" He always helped me think of my blessings through the pain I was in. With all the doctors I saw this past year -he was my favorite. I always left feeling uplifted mentally and physically. He is a wonderful doctor and friend. He never made you feel rushed, and he never hurried -he always took his time and made sure things were done right. I look forward to seeing him again -if anyone can beat cancer, it's him. He has an amazing positive attitude and knows how to stay healthy mentally and physically. Thank you doesn't seem like enough for all he has done for me. You are in my prayers Dr. Massart!

Quotes by Lance Armstrong:

“If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like He_ _!"

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”

October 3, 2008

Girl's Day

My two girls and I went over to Rochelle's house and we had fun painting nails, playing, talking, eating candy and enjoyed being outside in the cooler weather. Mikenna loved playing air hockey with Camden. Guess what she wants for Christmas?? You guessed it -air hockey table. The girls loved getting thier nails painted -and even more they loved putting stickers on them. They had a blast!! And so did I!! Nothing like getting into the Halloween spirit by painting nails black & orange and eating candy with a good friend and her sweet kids!! Thanks Rochelle, it was fun!!

October 1, 2008

A Must See!!


This movie is a must see. I watched it today, and went through every emotion possible. There aren't enough movies these days like this one ! Wish there were more to watch like this one. I laughed, cried, smiled, and felt the spirit! It inspired me and also made me miss my grandparents who have passed on. Brought back memories of them that warmed my heart. And also made me miss their physical presence, their words of encouragement and unconditional love. Especially at Fall during Harvest-(both of my grandfathers farmed) I get homesick for them. I get homesick for my grandma's Fall cooking, I get homesick for the farms. I have so many wonderful memories of them -and I never want to forget them. It inspired me to live my life to the best of my ability and enjoy it to the fullest! Live out each moment to it's fullest potential because you never know when you will leave this frail existence. It brought to mind how my grandparents pushed forward through sickness and ailments-and never stopped living their lives. They always showed up and lived! That's a choice we make every day - are we going to wake up and make the most out of our day-even when life is hard. We all have days we wish that we never got out of bed for -but at least we choose to get up and try our best to have a great day-you can't have the good days either if you don't show up and live!! A lot of times being happy is a daily choice. We all experience life in different ways. My grandparents were great examples of enduring-among the many other things they were great examples of. I want to leave my children and my children's children with a legacy. And I know that it will take a lot of hard work -but I intend to enjoy the process as well! I will never pass this way again . It will take constant evaluation on my part on a daily basis to be the best wife and mother I can be. I am trying to keep in mind what my fondest memories are-and what really mattered to me growing up. I remember wonderful home cooked meals made with lots of love. I remember their homes being filled with warmth. I could always feel the spirit there. I always felt so safe and secure there. For some reason all of those fond memories came rushing back as I watched this movie. I cried tears of happiness -for how blessed I am to have such wonderful grandparents. For the life they lived, the example they set. Yes, I miss them a lot. But I know I will see them again someday. And it brings comfort knowing they lived wonderful, righteous lives. They were always in constant giving mode. I pray to implement that more into my life. They thought of others, served others, loved others unconditionally -including me. They always made me feel like I was the best thing that was put on this earth. They loved me when I made wrong and good choices. They probably loved me more through the rough patches of growing up. They supported me in word and deed. My grandma Winder loved to listen to me play the piano. She was always encouraging me, and telling me I was naturally gifted. I thank my dad for entrusting me to accompany him while he sang at various occasions at a very young age. I pray I can help my kids develop their God given talents the way my parents and grandparents did for me. There was never a time where I felt like I failed in my grandparents eyes. Sometimes I wish I could go to their house again -which was right down the lane from my house growing up. And feel of their love, laughter, yummy home cooked meals, the spirit that was always there. Their home was only steps away and was always open to us. I miss having them at arms reach!! I miss going to get hugs and encouragement from them. I miss their scent. I miss their voices. I miss my grandfathers silly songs and all of the poems and stories he could recite from memory. He was an emotional person -he would cry easily when telling a story. I felt the spirit at a young age because of the parents and grandparents I have. I miss going on day long hikes with my grandpa Higley. He would take us on these long hikes -and they were hikes -up mountains, in the potholes. We would watch out for snakes -he would cook hot dogs for us in the brush. We would skip rocks and best of all we would listen to him sing and play his guitar to old cowboy songs. He truly was a cowboy at heart, and for that I learned how to be strong and independent. I learned a love of music from him, as he encouraged me and my cousins to sing along with him while he played the guitar. I learned a love of music from my dad -who is an amazing singer. I am always comforted when he sings. It's like a warm blanket the makes me feel safe from the world. While I was struggling this past winter -I attended church at my parents ward a lot. I would go even when I wasn't feeling very well. One Sunday he was performing the most beautiful song, about the Saviors Atonement. It was one of the best performances I have witnessed. It brought me to tears, and made me feel safe when the rest of my life seemed turned upside down. I am grateful I had the opportunity to play the piano at my grandma and grandpa's funeral. It was hard, but I wanted to honor them and thank them in that way. Music has always been a big part of my life. It's always been my escape. Listening to my dad, brothers, mom, grandfathers sing or play guitar brings me peace no matter what I am doing at the time. Playing the piano brings me peace. It's a getaway for me. It's been harder to fully enjoy playing while I've been raising kids. I am trying to instill the love of music in my own kids now. I am thankful they have a desire to learn certain instruments and feel of the spirit through music. There is no greater thing!! Jaron loves the guitar and drums -Mikenna is learning piano -and Brielle loves to sing and dance. I hope they find joy in music as I have. And I realize that kids learn a lot through example. I need to step up my piano playing and we need to sing more hymns in our home on a more regular basis. Nothing invites the spirit more than uplifting music. My grandma was an amazing homemaker. She kept a clean home, a home full of the spirit, she was an awesome seamstress, cook, gardener, mother and wife. While she was the most sick -and in a nursing home with various ailments -I made her a tape of different piano recordings that I used to play for her in her home while I was growing up. Her mind was not the same anymore. She was lost in a body and mind that wouldn't work properly anymore. There were certain things that helped her spirit shine through her aging mind and body. When you could tell, she was there -which was not very often in the end. One of those things that helped her spirit shine through was music. I believe music can heal. It has certainly proved true for me and my family. My mom is one of a kind. I feel so blessed to have her as my mom and friend. She is an amazing person period. She is probably the most upbeat person I know, always positive, lives by the spirit and makes it look easy. She is an amazing wife and mother and of course an awesome cook. She has also worked outside of the home, and to be able to do that and keep a home and be a wonderful wife and mother at the same time -nobody does that juggling better than her. She is also an amazing singer, writer and is one of the funniest people I know. She is wonderful at using humor to get through life. She doesn't take herself too seriously, and she always thinks of others before herself. She knows the gospel inside out and lives it well. She is the most talented, capable woman I know. One of the things that I admire about all of them, is that they always made/make themselves available to me. No matter what they are dealing with in their own lives-they are always there. I have felt them there through some of my challenges this past year. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the wonderful examples Heavenly Father has placed in my life. How can I ever measure up to these wonderful parents and grandparents that I have? I have decided that instead of trying to be them -I am going to be myself, and try and implement the way they live/lived in my own fashion and abilities. As long as the same messages get across -the way you do certain things really doesn't matter. Of course there are things that need to be same. I want to be like them in a lot of ways. I realize I have a little bit of each of them in my personality. But I am Mandy. And I will try and leave my children and their children with the same values and memories I have been raised with. But, by trying to stay true to myself and my talents and abilities. I know they have all struggled in life with different things -no body's perfect. But they always tried their best and showed up for life. And they weathered storms and accepted them as a part of life. Change is never easy. I don't think I will ever like them being gone physically from my life. Nobody likes losing loved ones, I am sure of that. I feel their sweet spirits around me all the time. And Fall is one of those times when I feel them really close. I am sure my grandfathers itch to get their hands in the dirt and harvest crop. Maybe they have all the dirt they could imagine to play in. I do know they are happy -and that makes me happy. And I know they are still a part of my life and always will be. Until we Meet again -I will enjoy the wonderful memories I have of them, and live my life as they would have me. Like I said -this movie brought about many emotions. If you choose to watch it, have a box of tissues handy -and your husband to hold your hand! You can't say that about most movies these days. I highly recommend it! Happy Fall Grandma & Grandpa Winder & Grandpa Higley. I miss you and love you! And I am sure you are preparing wonderful things for our family and continuing to serve others with your love and sweet spirits! I am grateful I am your granddaughter and I will continue to strive to make you proud!! Mom & Dad thank you for always being there for me, I am grateful I was blessed to be your daughter. You've always caught me when life was too much to handle. You share my joys and sorrows. You celebrate life with me and you also help me get back on my feet when life is hard. Your love, patience, time, commitment to your family is awesome. I hope to pass that on to my kids. I don't have much room to mess up in life. I can't say I didn't have good examples to draw from!! This movie will definetly go into my DVD collection as one of my favorites!!