Saturday, June 28, 2008

Utah~Dessert Rose

We will be going to the Ronald Mc Donald House this afternoon. I was not a blogger when Hazel was born in September so I am looking forward to revisiting it through blogger's eyes. It is a positively amazing experience to stay there.

Pink & Yellow Cactus Flower Found in Utah!

I am beginning to feel like Utah is my home away from home. It seems that the flight over here is becoming like a commute. I really do love it here. The mountains are so beautiful and the overall atmopshere is relaxed and friendly. It just feels so much safer and a happier place to be. Of course the best part is being with the kids. I wish my sweetheart was here too.

Right now I am watching Hazie while the family has gone out to lunch and a movie. They needed the break and I am happy to be here in Hazie's room, just the two of us doing the Gramma/Baby thing. I have taken a bunch of pictures but have no way to download them right now. Hazel is doing much better the last few hours. They have put her on a heavy weight antibiotic called Vanco and she is showing improvement after 24hrs. She is also a little allergic to it so they are using benedryl to combat that. She is a little flushed and her eyes are itchy. It seems all things have opposition of some sort. I know that is part of the plan for earth life. It would be nice if babies were exempt.

She has smiled a few times this afternoon and taken a bottle with gusto, both signs of improvement. Keep sending those beautiful prayers up for her~they are working.

I saw a little quote somewhere that reminded me of Hazie,

"Who needs legs~
when you have wings?"

She is such a little angel in every way! She truly is Baby Halo!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Puzzle Pieces

Emily & Maureen

Today was another stretching day. Shortly after receiving the news that Hazel's condition had worsened over night, we had to leave to stage this house. I wanted to just flee to Utah but so many people were depending on this being completed today that it has to be done before I could leave. Fortunately for me, I got it all organized and planned yesterday, and Jim and I delivered everything to the property last night, so with the help of my trusty assistants things went pretty smoothly.

This house looks dramatically different than when I first saw it a few weeks ago at the consultation. The clients did a lot of work, removing some wallpaper and lots of painting, replacing the light fixture in their dining room, etc. It really updated the house which is a must for a good, quick, profitable sale. I hope this slide show isn't too annoying but I thought it was kind of fun with the puzzle pieces. Before that though I wanted to show you one of the bedrooms.

One of the challenges I like to work on now is using what I have in the warehouse rather than constantly having to buy new things for each house. On this rented daybed I realized that I needed to use a bedspread that was a queen size and so I sorted though my things and most of my bedding is fluffy and puffy but I did buy this red spread at Walmart a few years ago on sale for $21.00. I was thinking one day I will use this for staging. Today was the day. Then I added the red and white pillows from another set. Then I had to find some art work and and pillows for the bed. As I was looking at the set of pictures above I realized that one had a lot of green in it so while sorting through pillows I thought about trying to mix in some green pillows.

I wasn't too sure about it until I went outside and saw this!

Nature can be very inspiring. If God can use it and does use it~it works for me. Red and Green go so far beyond Christmas. Then we found this on the patio~perfect for the room and didn't cost us or the owner any extra money for a side chair in that room.

It turned out to be one of my favorite rooms in the house. I think the most dramatic change is in the family room but all the rooms underwent some drastic changing throughout the day. All in all, it was a good day and no news was good news from Utah. Hopefully the baby is resting comfortably tonight and the doctors have a plan for tomorrow... I am so thankful to be going there tomorrow to see her and help with the family. And I am glad all my houses are done for right now. Whew!

Hazie J Blog Updates

Hazel's medical updates are found on the sidebar of my blog. If you are reading from Google Reader you will have to go to the actual blog for the updates.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hazel Jo

Late this afternoon our little Hazel was admitted to Utah Valley Hospital. This is a good thing. I knew something had to happen today and it did.

Earlier today Jen took her to the park with the big kids and she just slept but then woke up feeling agitated and she had her fever back. What that basically translates to is her medicine had worn off. By the time Jen got her home she was getting more upset and hotter by the minute. Jen then gave her Tylenol as it was too soon for Motrin. Then she started throwing up and breathing funny and the whole nice yards. Jen grabbed her called the doctor and flew off to the ER. As soon as she got there they got an IV started and gave her some oxygen as her oxygen saturation was in the low 80s and they don't want it to go below 90 usually. She seemed to quiet down almost immediately once she could breathe better. They are doing many more tests now and scans and x-rays, etc. and are determined to find the problem.

Lowell will spend the night at the hospital tonight and Jen will go back in the morning. Please pray they will find out what is wrong. I had just been talking to Jen earlier today and telling her to listen and trust the promptings she would receive. I believe that moms are entitled to inspiration where the welfare of their children is concerned. Many times we know more about our own baby than any doctor could. I told her to just listen and act...she did and I am so proud of her quick response and the help Hazie is receiving as a consequence.
Here's hoping they all get a decent night's sleep and things will look better in the morning. How can we ever thank all of you for being here for us when we need your support. There are no better friends in this world than the ones we have. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Kim, we love you!

Conflict of Interest

This morning I really need to get busy on the house we are staging tomorrow. One thing I do is take a lot of pictures and then make a plan for each room so that by the time the team arrives at the house we know what we will be doing. I need to go down to the warehouse and pull all the inventory that we are taking, after I figure that all out on paper and I also need to meet the delivery truck with the rental furniture that is being delivered to the property this morning.

This is a lot to wrap my head around while trying to deal with our Baby Halo and her constant illness. These are the things running through my head~maybe if I write it down it will help.

1. I am as worried about Jen and Lowell as I am about Hazel. My eyes have been opened in ways I never imagined before about what is is like to have a tiny baby with problems that make you feel so helpless. This is probably one of the biggest challenges a person could face in their life. It has helped us be so grateful for the health of all the other kids and to not take that for granted ever. We pray for their health and safety every single day. It has increased our love for all of them and everyone else and it has shown us a love for a little baby we never dreamed we would experience. This love nearly stretches your heart to its limits. I wonder how many pounds of credit Weight Watchers would give you for a large and heavy heart filled with love? It could be measured as your goal weight handicap or something?

These are for you, Jen-Jen!

2. I think we all have reconciled ourselves to the fact that Hazel has a serious disability that will require much from her and us in the years to come. I think we all know she can do it and she can have a great life in a wheelchair. What is really hard for me is that she is sick also. She needs to have her strength and to feel good so she can function and progress in her development. And because we all love her so much we just want her to be feeling well. It is the same frustration I felt when my mom had brain surgery, needed rehab and couldn't do anything productive because she broke 13 bones from falling the first 6 months. You just want it fixed and you can't really do much but develop more compassion.

3. I have learned in these situations that prayer is the only thing that really helps. It helps the person you are praying for and it helps you as you pray. One thing that bugs me is that we always hear people say..."All you can do is pray." To me that implies it really isn't much, but give it a go. To me it is very much a big thing and should be our first, not last resort. So that is what I really want to do today. Just stay home and ponder and pray. But today I am in for a stretching. Because I have a lot of people depending on me~I have to go and do my work and try to be creative. I need to pray for a new mindset before I can even get dressed.

4. I really want to be in Utah but I have to be here right now. I really want to just lay on Jen's big bed with her in my arms telling her things will be OK. I want to just hold little Hazel and kiss it all better. I want to help them with the daily burdens of everyday life so they can have more time to ponder and pray and find some renewal. We plan to be going on July 2 but right now that doesn't feel soon enough.

5. This burden cannot be dealt with alone. We need the Lord, your prayers and a lot of faith. We know He is there for us and we trust in His will for our family. And as the old saying goes...if it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger. So trudge ahead we must and we will. Thank you for letting me dump this out on the pages of the blog so I can see it more clearly. I am feeling better already just knowing that it is not my job to fix this, it is instead my job to ask God for help and let Him do His job~having complete faith that He will, in His own way and with His own time table. So once again the blessing that Hazel received the other night proves to be the way we have been shown to deal with faith with plenty of patience and hope for a positive outcome. We know He loves her even more than we do which seems nearly impossible but I know it is true. Upward and onward then!

These are for you, Baby Halo!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Market Day in Our Town

I love the Farmers' Market. We have a little town square and twice a week we have the fun of going to the park to buy fresh produce and flowers and the best kettle corn on the planet! Today after doing the final preparations for the Broker's Tour on the house we decorated last week ~ I was just drawn to the market. The sights, sounds, smells~it is a sensory treat and it is every bit of summer over here. I enjoy the shady walkways, the casualness of it, the music, the kiddies playing, neighbors and friends chatting, the buzz and the kettle corn popping. It is truly a feast for the eyes. This is a Happy Making place. It is great to see so many people buying healthy is just a great time all the way around. We always get tomatoes and kettle corn and this week I got some corn on the cob. The farmer asked me, "Yellow, white or yellow and white.?" Had to try the yellow and white. It is so nice to eat locally grown things and really great to find organic things too. I hope you have a Farmer's Market where you live too~one of the little pleasure of day to day life around here. It always reminds me of Laura, Spencie and Rossie as we had some fun times here last summer and the summer before. We miss you guys!

If you really are what you eat...look what nectarines can make!
I'm gonna run out and get some! Isn't she a beauty?

Laura Lou Loves Nectarines!
Laura posted this photo on her blog today from Italy~
she said it was for me so I nicked it!

Now this is where I steal some photos from Mandy from the
Thursday evening
when we ran into them
(and about 50 other people we know) at the Market

a week or so ago. Sorry girls~gotta do it!

Cohen and His Oma!

Jimbob and me with Andy and Mandy

Hugs For Happiness & Health

I saw this paragraph about hugging and it got me
to thinking about this lovely gesture of affection.

"I'm trying to hold my hugs for a longer time. Research shows that if we hold a hug for at least six seconds, we optimize the flow of mood-boosting chemicals. According to studies, a family member is 47% more likely to feel close to a family member who often expresses affection than to one who rarely does. Sometimes it's good to say, “I love you”; sometimes it's good to express that thought without words. Also, frequent huggers have lower blood pressure and higher levels of oxytocin (a chemical that promotes bonding)." Real Simple

Spencer & Piper

We are a big fans of hugging in our family. We love it and do it so much that, remember Rossie wants to do it as his life's work! Somewhere years ago I read that it takes seven hugs a day to be healthy. I go for that. We go for the full on bear hugs around here. I have hugged some people that are as stiff as an ironing board. It is like they are trying to hug you without touching you. I find that sad. Everyone needs this form of expressing affection in my humble opinion. It says I like you, I love you, I think you are awesome, you mean something to me, I want you to know you are wonderful and worthy of love and acceptance, you are a great friend. It also says I want you to know you are not alone, I am sorry you are going through this, I am so proud of you, thank you, I am happy to see you, good-bye; I will miss you...etc. etc. Sometimes all that is needed is a sweet hug to set someone's day aright. The dividends are great for such a small effort. Go hug someone you care about today! Seven times is even better!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Girl Power

This is a Multipurpose Posting.
A Baker's Dozen of Reasons
In No Particular Order!

Naked Toes

Bejeweled Toes

Fancy Schmancy Glitzy Toes!

Up Close and Personal Toe!
  1. To let you know I am still on my pumpkiny orange kick.
  2. To let Michelle and Julia know I had a pedicure today!
  3. To let them know it was not nearly as good as when they do it for me!
  4. To let you know that Jim bought me this fabulous pumpkiny ring for our anniversary!
  5. To confirm your suspicions that he spoiled me rotten this year.
  6. To let you know it is nearly impossible to take a picture with your ring on your finger~toes work better.
  7. To let you know this is the first time I have ever had rhinestones on my toenails.
  8. To let you know I can entertain myself all day long at home alone.
  9. To let Lanette know these feet walked this morning at 7:00 am.
  10. To let you know this is the first time I have ever photographed any naked parts.
  11. To let you know I love being a sparkley girly girl.
  12. To let you know I am more whacked out than you ever thought!
  13. To let you know I can place the burden of worrying about Hazel at the Savior's feet knowing He will provide exactly what is needed ~ and concentrate on something I can handle better~my own two silly feet.

Deep Down Heart Burst

Temple Square Spring 2008

O, Divine Redeemer

Words and Music by Charles Gounod

"Ah, turn me not away, receive me though unworthy.
Ah, turn me not away, receive me though unworthy.

Hear Thou my cry, hear Thou my cry,

Behold, Lord, my distress!

Answer me from Thy throne,
Haste Thee, Lord, to mine aid!

Thy pity show in my deep anguish, Thy pity show in my deep anguish.

Let not the sword of vengeance smite me,

Though righteous Thine anger, O Lord!

Shield me in danger, O regard me!
On Thee, Lord, alone will I call!

O divine Redeemer, O divine Redeemer!
I pray thee grant me pardon, And remember
Remember not my sins!

Forgive me!

O divine Redeemer! I pray Thee, grant me pardon
And remember not, remember not, O Lord, my sins!

Night gathers round my soul
Fearful, I cry to Thee,

Come to mine aid, O Lord!

Haste Thee, Lord, haste to help me!

Hear my cry, hear my cry
Save me, Lord in Thy mercy;

Hear my cry, hear my cry!

Come and save me, O Lord!

O divine Redeemer! O divine Redeemer!
I pray Thee, grant me pardon, and remember not

Remember not, O Lord, my sins!

Save in the day of retribution
From death shield Thou me, O my God!
O divine Redeemer, have mercy!
Help me Savior!"

Temple Square~Spring 2008

Have you ever had a time in your life when your response to something has really surprised you? Not because you didn't think you had it in you, but because it comes so inexplicably and from such a deep seated place and there is absolutely no warning? The wellspring of emotion just comes over you. It reminds me of what I think an out of body experience would be are looking down going...I cannot believe I am doing this and I can't stop no matter how hard I try. The key element to one of these experiences besides that there is no warning and no building up to it, is it usually involves tears...lots of them. It has only happened to me a couple of times.

Once it happened at a girlfriend's father's funeral. Judy was my best friend when we first moved to Concord when I was 12 and she was also one of my bridesmaids several years later. We spent a lot of time together and at each other's houses so of course I knew her dad, Norman, very well. I went to support Judy at his passing and everything was just fine until they had us walk up and past the casket. Judy was sitting in the
first row and the minute I looked into her eyes~ I burst into tears. I am not talking about wiping away a few tears but boohoo bawling. It was embarrassing and so over the top...I never cried that hard when my own father died. And that is probably the point. It was just something buried so deep and out it came when I least expected it.

Fast forward to yesterday in church. We had a wonderful Sacrament Meeting and the interim song, O Divine Redeemer, was sung by this amazing young woman named Lindsay Leininger. She has an incredible voice~kind of like Charlotte Church~only better. I don't think she had sung the first phrase when the tears started, not rolling down my cheeks, but squirting out of my tear ducts. Her voice is just s
o angelic and powerful and her gift is being able to convey her testimony of Christ through the spirit with this amazing vehicle~her vocal cords. Now sacred music moves me to tears often, but the thing that made yesterday so unique was it touched me so deeply that I was still at it at the end of Sunday School two hours later. I just could not shut off the faucet connected to my heart. Fortunately the tears did stop squirting shortly after she finished the song but I continued ad infinitum with the sniffling and drippy eyes. Regaining composure was exhausting!

When she was singing I was thinking about the way her voice is just made for singing in a European cathedral~it was absolutely divinely beautiful. It was a pivotal point in my adding this song to one
of my all time favorites, and it was a reminder to me of how important my testimony of the Savior is in my life. What a blessing to be able to use a gift like that to touch others so deeply~I admire Lindsay for not hiding that talent under a bushel and for being willing to serve in a way that blessed so many yesterday.

I found out after church that she is leaving for FLORENCE to study music on Friday. Lucky Lindsay, lucky Florence~they are in for a treat!

I am not sure why this happened to me yesterday but perhaps it stemmed from a deep gratitude and love for my Savior, and our family. Today is our Temple Sealing~Family Anniversary. 29 years ago today our eternal possibilities became a reality.
Happy Family Anniversary
Jim, Jen, Chris, and Laura!

I love you!
(yes, it is a kiwi)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What Did You Learn Today?

Everyday I learn something new about blogging it seems. If you're on an old post and want to jump back to the top of your blog or the last post you did.... just double click on your header and "poof" you are right back. The same is true of other people's blogs so I can now I can give my scrolling finger a rest.

I bet you young ones are rolling your eyes now, right?

Senior Break, OK?

The "E" Word

The Importance of Walking

"Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional five months in a nursing home at $7,000 plus per month. All this allows you to spend down your children's inheritance in the lap of luxury and leisure. My grandpa started walking five miles a day at 60. Now he is 97 years old and we don't know where he is. I really like long walks, especially when they are taken by people that annoy me. The only reason I would take up walking is to hear heavy breathing again. I have to walk early in the morning before my brain figures out what I am doing. I joined a health club last year and spent about 400 bucks. Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to actually go there for the benefits!The advantage of exercising daily is that when you die someone will pass by your coffin and say, "Wow, she looks good, doesn't she?" I know I got a lot of exercise these past few years just by getting over the hill. We all get a lot heavier as we get older because there is a lot more information in our heads and so much more love in our hearts." Author unknown.

OK, Lanette, I'm on it! But you better say I look good when you walk by my............OK, I'm out the door! I am committing to early mornings before it gets too hot ( and my brain won't know what I am doing.) Celebrating 30 years of no air-conditioning over here!

~Too Hot to be Cool~
Or is it
~Too Cool to Be Hot~
Well, it's one of those anyway.....


I am working on a house for Thursday so went to HomeGoods for a few things yesterday. Have I told you lately that I love that store? They always have the fun inexpensive things just perfect for staging and for your home as well. Often times it is one for the business, one for us! They have great art work, lamps, linens, furniture, accessories, name it and for prices that don't break the bank, like $39.00 for a beautiful table lamp or a nice sized piece of art.

Fun HomeGoods Display

I was looking for some art work for, shall we say, an "interesting" bathroom. It has 2 inch striped wallpaper with kind of a muted sunflower yellow and then a light tan. Not such a problem but with the cornflower blue patterned get the idea. Anyway, what I love about HomeGoods is that I can just about always find something that fits the bill. I got a double pack of medium sized prints for $19.99. The mats and frames are great and the pictures have just the colors I was trying to combine. Awesome! I love it when that happens!

It has been quite awhile since I had been there so I decided to just really check out everything in the store. Honestly 2 hours~flew by. I came around one corner though and just about dropped my teeth! HALLOWEEN decor. Yup, one whole aisle of it! Hello? What the ....., as Jen would say!

OK, today is June 21st the first official day of summer...why
are these people in retail trying to rush us through our lives?

Can we not enjoy a swim first and a piece of watermelon before we are thinking about turning the clocks back to standard time, dark, rainy nights and the little goblins again? Honestly, it is absurd! The dress shops are making way for the new fall lines too. What's up with that? I like to plan ahead but they make it all so crazy. Who wants to think about a fall and winter wardrobe now? Not me!

Bring on the Summer~
Fall Will Have to Wait!

These little people know how to have fun!

Love it!

Beach Time!

I did eat it all, Mommy!

Don't Forget the Sunblock!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Baby Hazel Needs Us Again

Hazel needs us still ~ is probably a better title for this posting. Just when things start to even out~ up pops the fever again. She has been having a low grade fever a lot since I was there a month ago. She got the two little teeth and then the virus, so that accounted for some of it but my theory (theory only) is that she has an infection that is being kept at bay by her daily antibiotics but every once in awhile they just aren't cutting it. So the doctors really need to find the source of the problem soon.

I was thinking that maybe all of you that will be fasting on Fast Sunday might be able to include her in your fast. I think combining our faith can produce miracles and we need some. What we need specifically are prayers for an accurate diagnosis and cure so she can be well and rid of this fever once an for all. Her other problems are challenging enough without being sick on top of them. It is just heartbreaking because she is so little and so sweet and innocent. We should also add some prayers for Jen and Lowell that they can have the strength and peace they need through it all. They are real pillars but even pillars get tired of carrying the weight over time.

They are up in Salt Lake at Primary Children's tonight trying to decide what to do. I'll let you know tomorrow what I find out from Jen.

~Salt Lake Temple Grounds~
Hazel's name is on the prayer rolls of the Oakland Temple.
If anyone wants to add her to their local Temple rolls it would be greatly appreciated.

Our Eden

Thorough blogging I have come to realize that I really love flowers more than I thought (and I thought I loved them pretty deeply) and I really enjoy photos almost as much as the real thing. So many people have been sending out photos of their yards that are just so inspiring, especially our friend, Laura. After seeing her roses I decided to post a few shots of our little corner of the world. Ours is mostly green which we love; nobody makes green like God! I really want to add more color with flower pots and perennials. But here it is as it looks on this hot summer day!

The brick patio and the trumpet vine. It blooms every year right around Father's Day and so it is just getting started for the summer. This vine is probably over 50 years old and so beautiful when in bloom. It taps right into the water table...we don't even have to water it.
My kinda plant!!

This will come as no surprise but I love collecting ornamental elements to decorate the yard. It always has to be something big because the yard is big and it swallows up anything small ~in a heartbeat. Jim painted the star/flower thingy on the house wall for me this year. Love it. This is home!

Home Staging has brought us great blessings
including this table and chairs and three more
umbrella tables from dear friends that have moved away!

We've had some great times at this old table near the waterfall.

Teeter totter always awaiting the Grandkids!

The sound of the water is so enjoyable and relaxing!

This is our pond and waterfall which we love to call "Larry's Monument." When the kids all got married in 1997 we decided to redo the yard and put in the big patio, revamp the pond, etc. for Chris & Missy's open house in August and three weeks later, Jen and Lowell's reception. We started the work in January and I can still remember the night Jim and I went outside in the dark to measure how big we wanted the deck to be. Our dear friend, Larry Crump, who was truly a landscape artist, built this treasured waterfall for us. I wish the water was on this afternoon so you could see it. Larry died about 18 months ago and I never go outside without thinking of him, his sweet heart, his incredible service to our family, and his amazingly creative talents! We miss you, Larry! This man was so awesome he use to love HGTV and always wanted me to watch it with him when I was over visiting Helen.

Peaceful Haven

What's a garden spot without some reminders that we need to seek the sunshine in our lives~and everyone needs a pink flamingo to remind them that life should be full of fun and a little whimsical so we don't take ourselves and our trials too seriously! It is fun to surround yourself with things that uplift you!