Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Perspective on Christmas and Thanksgiving

You might think that is an odd way to talk about Christmas and Thanksgiving, putting Christmas first.
I used to have a pet peeve about people putting up their Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. I have always felt that we should do ONE holiday at a time.

And why did the stores have to put out Christmas items as soon as Halloween was over??? I thought, "For goodness sake, let's not forget about Thanksgiving, with all of the warm colors, beautiful leaves and decor, and gratitude, and family surrounding us, and everything else that we are grateful for. I felt like people just wanted to RUSH into Christmas, WHY couldn't they just WAIT until December??

In my opinion, there should be ONE holiday per month, and that's all.

This year, for the first time in all of my adult life, I see it differently.

I will tell you why.

This little package is sitting on my shelf as we speak (well, kind of speak)

I fell in love with this saying about "Presence"/"Presents" at Deseret Book this year. It was all over different gift items, and it was one I hadn't's a great thought.

I found myself starting to pick up little things around town, everytime I would go shopping for something else, I would find things for Christmas. I thought how good it would be to have a head start; something I don't remember ever having before.
This is unusual to have anything out that's red and green in November. I loved this sign when I saw it because the family I grew up in always has to "EXPLAIN" everything. It wasn't intended that way when this tradition got started, but nonetheless it happens EVERY Christmas, not to mention, I laughed out loud while I was shopping just thinking about the little kids who try so hard to be "nice" instead of naughty, but sometimes circumstances lead us to be "naughty", and if only Santa will listen to our side of the here's to Santa giving us a "second chance".

Back to my previous thoughts about November:
"I only want to think about one holiday at a time"
I made some placecards for the 30-40 people that will be eating at our table, so I created these little gems with foiled confetti; Thanksgiving confetti ; something I had not seen before. I really enjoyed doing this little craft. :)
I love making a centerpiece for my kitchen table. It was a necessity about 10 years ago when I accidentally broke my flower arrangement that sat in the middle, and I have decorated the center with the "holiday of the month" theme ever since.

It was actually on a day last week when it hit me
I drove by this part of my neighborhood, and I saw these trees.
We don't see a lot of color change here is Southern Utah.
The beautiful colors don't last long either.
For some reason, this took my breath away..........
and I realized HOW GRATEFUL I WAS,
and it ALL came together,
Christmas AND Thanksgiving!

This beautiful world, the family, and the luxuries that we enjoy,
are ALL from
Our Creator, and His Son!!

What is Christmas all about??

Celebrating the birth of our Savior!
and we feel Gratitude for Heavenly Father, God of us all,
Who sent His Son to change our lives forever.
I have everything to be grateful for, especially good, I mean GREAT health
and Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reflect on all of it.
Christmas and Thanksgiving go together so much better now.

I am learning SO MUCH as I grow up.
I love growing up.

I am so thankful to have TWO holidays
right together.

I love Christmas shopping in November.
I love red and green decorations put up early.

I love being GRATEFUL for Christmas!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"And I will make weak things become strong unto them"

I don't care for weaknesses much, especially not my own.

After my "cancer year", I am finally letting other people have a weakness here and there, and I am cutting them some slack. What about Karen, do you cut her any slack? hhhmmmm..........(this is just me thinking out loud, I am not asking YOU this question) :)

The Lord said that he gave us "Weakness" for a reason, didn't he? Let me remind you about the scripture that I am referring to:
Ether 12:27
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. (Dale had to point out that it does NOT say weakness-es, ) I give unto men "weakness" (so it must mean that we are not perfect in EVERYTHING like we wish we were) that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

I see one strong person in this picture: SUPERMAN, aka Maddux, and he does not know that he has ANY weakness at all!! lol
Grandpa is watching a video of "Monster Mash" where Tara put her family's faces in place of Frankenstein and the other characters, and they are dancing around to music, it was hilarious, and "picture-worthy" to see this cute little family of mine enjoying it together ( this picture really had nothing to do with my post, but I knew you would love it.....tee hee.........)
OK, since you were wanting to see some more of my grandkids, here's one more superhero, "Supergirl Kenya". She REALLY wanted to try the costume on, she has to do everything the boys do!!

Back to what I was saying:
(this just made me realize that I jump around a lot with my thoughts, have you ever noticed that?, Dale is NOT a fan of it)
Anyway, Lately I have been thinking about my weakness, well one in particular..........
Self- Dicipline..... I know .........that's not a common one, but it's mine :)
at least this week.............
Now, forgive me if you think this is really weird, (I could swear the I comes before E except after C, but spell check said to spell weird this way, no thought jumping here, is there?)

A few years ago, one of my daughters told me she was memorizing scriptures while she was in the shower. I was intrigued to say the least. After thinking about it for a month or more I decided I would try it. My first scripture was Ether 12:27, and as you will see here in a minute, it still is in my shower today.

Well, during my "Cancer Year", tons of thoughts became special to me, and I was so full of anxiety that I read MANY MANY to help calm myself down. My shower became a place of refuge...........I read and memorized many thoughts in there. I plastered the shower walls with thoughts and even a picture of a bronze statue of the Savior with a caption that said "The Healings of Jesus Christ" You have to remember I had extra time on my hands while in the shower, I had NO hair to wash or rinse, so a shower could take all of 60 seconds unless I did something else. I had all kinds of thoughts like, "Karen, there's just one thing you have to do, and that is to take good care of you", and "Take it easy, take it slow, put your feet up, let it go" (I didn't put my feet up in the shower :)) Those two thoughts were cards some of you sent me and I cut them apart and put plastic clear tape on them so they would stick to the wall.
Others like this one, I wrote myself. It's a quote from the book, "Believing Christ", and I believed it enough to memorize it. It didn't take long to memorize.........:)

This was a comfort to me, and it still is, as a matter of fact, this morning in the shower, I felt a big relief as I once again read it. I am trying to re-"Self-Dicipline" myself according to what I have learned over the last year and what the Doctors have insisted I need to do if I want my health.............a thought to jump to..............."HEALTH IS WEALTH", boy do I believe that!
So, here I turn to the other shower wall this morning and remind myself that I am not made to be SUPERWOMAN like I have imagined so many times over the last 50 years (my mom instilled a lot of confidence in me). I am full of strength and talent, etc., but ONLY when I take the hand of the Lord, and my creator who made me and knows me best.

I am determined to be humble, and productive, and lovable, and easy to be around. Please be patient with me while I keep trying.

One last thought for the morning before I get out of the shower.
This one is from a talk in General Conference in April 09, by Kevin Pearson.
It hit me like a ton of bricks, when I think about it, it is SO true about EVERYTHING!!

I will continue to "Focus" on my goals

I love you all , especially those who take the time to read what I have written, and then comment. I LOVE to read your comments, they give me so much strength to go on, you will never know!!! LOVE TO ALL OF YOU, Love 4-ever, Karen

PS I see the Dr on Nov. 6th to have more tests, wish me luck!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Opposition in All Things", especially CANCER

We know that life is full of opposition, and it is supposed to be that way. Sometimes we wonder why, but after some serious thought, we know that all the negatives in our lives make our good times SO much better. Well, cancer is no exception. I expected to be sick 24/7 because I saw the hell my mother went through. I was overwhelmed with gratitude when it wasn't that way for me. Knowing the opposite was possible made my experience all the sweeter. (Oh how time sweetens my memory)

I want to tell you a story about a dear friend. This picture was taken about 7 or 8 years ago. We call this group "Club". It started out to be a group of young moms needing to get out once a month and eat and visit and we were going to play "ROOK" originally. It is now 25 years later, and we have played Rook twice. What we have done is for another post.
From left to right starting at the back is Kristine Gardner, Darla Lyman, Shauna Stout (now Oliver), Elizabeth Adams, Iona Syphus, and Lori Hafen.
Front row is Kim Esplin, Karen Esplin, Sheri Feller, and Brenda Graff.

This story is about Kristine.
About 7 years ago, she was diagnosed with Leukemia. We were all frightened. She was put on a drug that miraculously sent her into remission. She still takes that pill everyday. Well, last December, right about the time I was ending my treatments, she found a lump in her neck. It turned out to be cancer in the lymph nodes, which was actually a symptom of lung cancer. She was given 4 months to live if she did not do any treatments. She has 2 sons still at home, a 12 yr old, and a 16 yr old, and one son on a mission. Then she has four married kids. She wasn't ready to check out of this life, so of course she chose to fight. This picture is all of us again on December 12, 2008. She had received the diagnosis the day before and we called an "emergency" meeting of club to give support. I am the one on the front row, very different looking from the last picture. I was COMPLETELY different on the inside than I was before too. We all got there before Kristine did, and I broke down and bawled. I didn't think I was going to pull it together, but miraculously I did. Kristine is the 2nd one from the left on the back row. It's hard to tell here, but there were a lot of red noses from all of our sniffling. No major bawling like before she got there.
She started chemo right before Christmas and had it as often as they could give it to her, generally every 3 weeks, but she got so deathly sick, and was hospitalized almost more than she was at home. At one point she was in intensive care barely hanging on to life. Her husband heard her talking to a deceased Aunt. She only remembers telling Heavenly Father that she felt she was going to die, and for him to go ahead and take her. Well, He didn't and she returned to somewhat better health some time later. She had to be fed through a tube due to so many complications.
When she went for her PET scan in the summer, I was POSITIVE she would have a partial remission if not a full one.

I was wrong, The cancer had spread to both lungs now, and had spread to the bones in the spinal cord, and to her adrenal gland. Not good news. I was devastated. I really thought the chemo mixed with the leukemia drug was going to be a miraculous cure for lung cancer. The Dr. was not very encouraging as to what to do next. She insisted on trying something else.
Here we are in August 2 months ago, only 7 of us could make it that day, but Kristine is the 3rd one from the left. She was trying the new chemo that the Dr. somewhat reluctantly was trying. She was feeling more energy than ever, less sickness than ever, and doc told her that her hair would start to grow back (wig in this pic), I was suspicious that he was giving her a placebo or something. Back to the title of my post, "Opposition in All Things, ...............WHAT Do you think happened?
Doctor decided to do only 3 treatments and then a PET scan to see if it was doing any good.
The news was good. The cancer in the spinal cord and the adrenal gland had come to a screeching halt.!! hurray, but the best part of all is that they could no longer find any cancer in the lungs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was screaming on the phone, jumping up and down,,,,,,,,,yelling "IT"S A MIRACLE", It really is. She started more of the same chemo the very next day, and I will keep you updated, but this could be the magical medicine. He said it is a drug they give to patients with asbestos, but sometimes lung cancer patients respond to it.

Speaking of opposition, I will leave you with a little Halloween photo from Halloween last year 2008, I actually wanted to delete this sick photo of me trying to be a pumpkin with my fuzz starting to grow back, but then decided it would actually make me look better this year

Hey, I actually LIKE this opposition thing sometimes!! It certainly has helped me to appreciate anything positive that is happening to me this year. ESPECIALLY my hair, even though it is practically a "FRO", I am HAPPY to have it.
The curl is not a perm, but I think they put something special in my chemo to make it come back this way
This is September 17th, the night of the rodeo, hence the bandana, but woo hoo for the hair, and Yahoo for "Opposition in All Things"

Love to you all,
Remember, "Someone somewhere has survived every cancer there is" There is always HOPE!
Love, Karen the Kancer Killer

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things That Grow Slowly...Live Longer

I didn't intend to do a study about trees, but nevertheless, it has happened. I heard a quote from Elder Boyd K. Packer, "Things that grow slowly, live longer". I heard this about the time that I was in the middle of chemotherapy. I was having a hard time relaxing and couldn't lay in bed to let my body take care of itself. It was just "Too Hard", I thought.

But I DID want to live longer. Could I learn to "Grow Slowly"?

Why is it that growing slow makes you live longer anyway?
Well, I did some research, not a lot of course, and not right away, but SLOWLY over the last year. :)

This is what I discovered. Pine trees grow slow and tall. Oak trees grow slowly, and become very large, and have a STRONG root system. They don't fall over very easily because of those

Slower growing trees channel their energy into structural support and defense compounds. (Hmm, is there a lesson here?)

Rapidly growing trees are more prone to frequent, catastrophic disturbances such as windstorms. They may put all of their energy into growth and burn out before they can achieve old-age. (that couldn't possibly be related to anything about MY life, could it?)

It may be a "tortoise and the hare" situation. Slow and steady wins the race.

During my cancer year, I was told by my husband, my doctor, and the Holy Ghost that one of the lessons I was to be learning was how to slow down.

I can barely comprehend what that means. There were days when I thought I was getting it. Now there are days when I don't get it.
But, SLOWLY, I am getting it.

I remembered a poem that Dale gave me and I taped it inside my Day-Planner. ( oooh, I wonder if people who use day planners are considered slow longer,
kind of people)

Here's the poem, you may have heard it,
I will emphasize the words that have meaning to me

"Slow me down, Lord
ease the POUNDING of my heart (I get tachycardia often, not dangerous, just annoying)
By the quieting of my mind (rarely happens)
steady my hurried pace
with a vision of eternal reach of time
Give me,
amidst the confusion of my day,
the calmness of the everlasting hills (I experienced this in Park City in July)
break the tensions of my nerves (a constant problem)
with the soothing music of the singing streams
that live in my memory (sorry, don't have any)
Help me to know
the magical restoring power of sleep (this is almost incomprehensible sometimes)
teach me the art
of taking minute vacations of slowing down (having an aging grandma did this for me once)
to look at a flower
to chat with an old friend or make a new one;
to pet a stray dog
to watch a spider build a web
to smile at a child
or to read a few good lines from a good book (that's all I can handle at one time)
Remind me each day
that the race is not always to the swift
that there is more to life than increasing its speed (that's opposite of what I always believed)
into the branches of the towering oak
and know that it grew great and strong
because it grew slowly and well.
Slow me down Lord,
and inspire me to send my roots deep
into the soil of life's enduring values
that I may grow toward the stars
of my greater destiny

Orin L. Crain (no idea who that is)

It's a GREAT Goal, don't you think.

Yesterday, it all started to come together for me. I want to record it, so that it can do some good in my life. I remember things much better after I write them down.

I have been going to a cancer support group meditation every Monday. We always work on our breathing,(that was an interesting thing to learn, we learn that we can control something that is automatic in our bodies, i.e. inhale for so many seconds, hold for so long, and exhale at a speed that you choose, hence our brain is learning that we can CONTROL automatic things like thoughts) and we often do visual imagery.
Yesterday, we imagined a tree. The roots went deep into the earth. The leaves were beautiful, but after a while, they didn't serve us anymore, and we LET GO of our the trees do in the fall. We let go of anything that doesn't serve us anymore. (my thought were things like temper tantrums, yelling, getting mad, getting offended, all things I USED TO DO :) )
I was mostly focused on the roots, growing so slowly and becoming so strong that the WINDS of trial CANNOT blow it over.
I have always had my volume turned up on high, I just came to earth that way.
I didn't realize it could be both a blessing and a curse, until I turned 50. I am starting to see that I do a lot of things fast. I talk fast. I move fast. I think fast. (not always clearly, but fast) I have expected everyone and everything around me to be FAST.

I need some advice on HOW TO SLOW DOWN, and GROW SLOWLY.

Anybody out there got anything??

One scripture to end with:
Jeremiah 17: 7-8
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (worry) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit"
awesome, huh?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 16th- I am thinking about my MOM!


September 16th is a special day to me for 2 reasons
#1 Today is my mom's birthday.
She was born in 1924 and would be 85 today.

This is Kimberlee Loy , named after my mom,
"Alois Evelyn Lewellyn
(Babb) McKnight".
My mom's given name was Alois, but everyone
that loved her called her "Loy"(0r mom, or grandma Loy)

Kimberlee was the only baby I had ,that I did not have my mother there
with me while I was in the hospital.

She had come to all the other births, being in the delivery room for Eric and Jonny. (but due to an
emergency C-section with Eric, she only got to see Jonny's)

On the day of Kimmy's birth, my
mom was on her way to
Houston Texas. She wanted to see if "MD Anderson" Cancer Clinic could
help her. She had cancer in her liver.

2 years prior to this, she had been
diagnosed with
breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy, then later a mastectomy, and then another surgery to do
reconstruction. She had tests every few months to make sure she was cancer clear. But on
December 1, 1993, I was sitting on her bed (6 1/2 months pregnant) when she got a call from her oncologist telling her that the most recent tests showed cancer had spread to her liver.
She was devastated, and so was I.

6 weeks later, I delivered a premature baby girl, C-section, due to placenta previa.
I didn't know how I was going to get along with 6 kids,
a big incision on my belly, and no mom.
The Dr. kept Kimberlee in the hospital and sent me home to rest and recuperate. I was pretty
sad to say the least. I wanted my mom, and I wanted my baby,
I awoke the next morning realizing how much I
was being blessed. I had just had a FULL night's sleep. The nurses at the hospital were being the substitute for my mom. They fed the baby,
changed the baby, etc. while I slept, and recuperated................. What a tender mercy in my time
of despair............. I was grateful.
Kimberlee was tiny, as you can see here. About 5 1/2 lbs.

My mom did find help at MD Anderson. They started her on
chemo for the first time ever. She had significant shrinkage of the tumors.
The next 3 years would be ones of difficulty for
her, but SHE WAS HERE, and I was so thankful for every day.

Kimberlee "Loy" was a favorite for sure during this hard time.

My mom gave it all she had, and she went down fighting, on November 16,1996 she passed away, all the while saying "huh-uh",meaning "no, no, no", she REALLY did not want to go.

Here are some pictures of her and I over the
years. She and I had our troubles, pretty much
like any spoiled brat teenage daughter and loving
mother would,..... but I knew she was my best friend. I could tell her anything, but of course,
didn't, because I did too many stupid things. I would have been better off to tell her though, because she grounded me for weeks and months
at a time when she did find out.
Why did I think she was NOT going to find out??
Heavenly Father ALWAYS will tell a mother, sooner or later :)

Reason # 2 that this day is special to me is that on September 16, 2005,
my sister, 2 of my brothers, and I went to the Las Vegas Temple,(I KNOW this is San Diego, but I didn't have one of Vegas, so sue me, lol)and gave mom a birthday present. We had our dad baptized, and did the sealing for the two of them together and then had 4 of their 5 children sealed together.
4 down, 1 to go.............someday we will all be together forever, I am looking forward to it!!

Happy Birthday Mom, I miss you .............very much! Love 4-ever, Karen

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Summer 2008 vs Summer 2009


Wow, what a comparison I can make between the two summers, I am going to put up some pictures of last year and some of this year so I can see the physical changes.

The spiritual and emotional changes are things that cannot be seen, but they are there.

Do any of you remember that I asked you to give me a swift kick in the you-know-where if I ever got a little sassy? I am serious, I hope you will because I can see how easy it is to "Forget", and slip back to the "natural man". ( I will expound on this later)
Last July 2008. Kenya was born while I was still going through chemo.
Tara and Kenya would come sit with me at chemo to keep me company. 2008
Maddux and I enjoying a nice summer evening on the trampoline (2008)
Kenya 2009,........ what a difference a year can make!

Tara threw me a surprise party for being offically finished with chemo
Summer 2008

This year ,turning 51, May 15, 2009, my daughter Krystal, and sister Colleen
here at a very expensive restaurant in San Diego.

I had the most fun and silly trip that I have had in YEARS on my birthday this year. My sister can get buddy passes and discounts at hotels because she does reservations for Jet Blue (working from home from her own computer, cool, huh?). She made plans along with Krystal to go to San Diego. What a great trip. We laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Only a girl could understand our silliness. We missed Heather and Tara, but getting someone to tend their kids didn't work out. (Jeff tended for Krystal, THANK YOU JEFF, hope Krystal made it up to him :)

I told everyone (at Colleen's suggestion) that I was 60, instead of 51. I thought this was the best idea I've heard in a long time. When you say you are younger, actually people are thinking, "Wo, that's too bad, you look terrible for your age", but when you tell them you are older, people compliment you and say "Wow, you look great!!" I enjoyed it so much, from now on I am going to tell people that I am 175 and say "I feel like I am doing so great for my age!!!" It is so much more fun that way, and it makes me laugh a lot.

After my birthday trip, I went on 5 more trips before the summer was through, whew, I am REALLY tired, and I am not kidding.

1. I went to Vegas to tend my brother's 3 children for his anniversary (I took Kimmy to help me)
no pictures sorry

2. I went to Provo/Orem for the 4th of July, and celebrated several family members' b-days. This is 6 am, July 4th in Provo at the Hot Air Balloons, it's

3. I went to Park City (a much needed break) with 9 other women my age for a girls' retreat.

(Boy, that place is BEAUTIFUL in July) again, no pics, camera on the blink

4. Then I took off to Vegas and on to San Diego for a week of fun with most all of my family. Eric took us back to visit his mission, along with Sea World, the beach, and the SAN DIEGO TEMPLE (ahhhhhhhhh) I came home to a completely NEW kitchen. (pictures down below)

5. After being shocked by how awesome my new kitchen was, I left 2 days later for a fun, but busy trip to Lake Powell on a house boat. (can you believe anyone could build me a new kitchen and new laundry room in 6, I said SIX days???) didn't want my camera to get wet, no pics

Finally, I am home and want to stay home for a while.

This is July of this year,the last time Dale and his brothers and sister and their spouses will be together with his mom and dad for a year or so. His older brother Larry and his wife Nancy have recently gone to Africa to serve a full time mission. The same place Larry served when he was 19.

The beach was a lot of fun. This is my 22 yr old and 15 yr old. You would have thought they were little kids again. It was a gorgeous day, and a beautiful beach.

I think it was called LaJolla Cove

Of course, we HAD to go to Sea World to see "SHAMU", and we weren't disappointed. It was a lot more fun than I remembered it being when we took our little kids, 3 of them under 6 yrs old.

Tara driving around the "limo" as she calls it, at Seaworld!
Can you count how many kids she's pushing? (not to mention the one in her belly!)lol

Here are a few of the members and Elders with us at their place. They treated us to a 3 foot in diameter pizza with jalapenos on it. Woo, it was unique. Latinos can eat some HOT stuff!

Eric"s mission president Lee Donaldsaon and his wife.
then, we got home at 2:30am Monday morning and saw this
This is what I came home to after my week in San Diego. If you have been in my house, you know this is VERY different!! I was overcome with gratitude. I have wanted more room in the kitchen for the last 20 years, (the first five we lived here, it didn't bother me much, maybe because the kids were so tiny, now they are so BIG)
My sister's husband does this for a living, it's called "3-day Kitchen and Bath", but he had to knock out a wall and build a new laundry room, so it took him and 2 other workers 6 days.
Well, this is the end of this post, and I can't help but say that this was a pain. Eric and Tara practically made me do it all by myself, and it was HARD...................(whine, whine)
I really cannot believe what a contrast this summer was with last summer where every event was an extreme amount of effort, and an overwhelming amount of anxiety. I am SO very grateful that I am not hardly anxious at all this summer. It is truly a miracle to me.
One of the many priesthood blessings I had last year told me that the Lord was waiting to see my faith exhibited before He could, or would, heal me completely. When I heard the word "completely", I gulped because I not only wanted to be healed from the cancer, I REALLY wanted to be healed from this anxiety. I have suffered with it for 30 years. I have had many periods of relief from it, but it keeps coming back, and during the chemo, it was probably the WORST it has ever been.
Imagine having a knot in your stomach, and then times that by 10, then start breathing really fast, to the point of your chest moving up and down, then feel your muscles cramping up. Now you are feeling a little bit of what I was going through last summer. Not ALL of the time, but about in the middle of my chemo treatments, it was MELTDOWN time.....whew..........I am so thankful that part is over.
I want to remember to constantly work on overcoming this "natural man", so that I can have the Peace that I desire, and that the Lord has promised if we stay close to him.
I will try to be better about posting, and do some more often, and a little shorter so it doesn't take your whole lunch hour to read it. :)
I love you all for reading this, thanx. Love, Karen

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I am still alive and KICKING!!

Hey everyone,

I am so sorry that I have neglected this blog site for the whole summer. I am doing well, and as always, have LOTS to say, but just havent been able to put a post together. I was urged recently to update my blog as to assure everyone that cancer has not recurred. I have been working on one, but struggle to get the photos on. I am trying to learn myself, so that I won't be so dependant on Tara and Eric.
If you will give me one more chance, I will have something up by Saturday, August 29th, so please..................stay tuned...................I seriously LOVE having a blog and hearing from my loved ones........I know facebook is the NEW, COOL, thing, but I can't figure it out.
My kids have put me on there, and it looks like it will take me 2 or 3 hours to read everything everyone has to say.
I just can't make myself sit still that long, so please keep in touch with me through email, and my blog, and even yours. Send me your blog address and I will have Tara add it for me......tee hee, I can't learn how to do everything on the computer :)
Love to all of you, Karen

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Best Gift ever for Mother's Day

I received the BEST mother's day gift ever this year. I was privileged to think about and honor my own mother by having my brothers and sister here, and I was blessed to have ALL of my six children with me...........being a mother is the best part of mortality.........and having a mother for all eternity....... has become even more important now that she is gone from my view.
This first picture is the baby of the family I grew up in, my little brother Pat. He lives in Las Vegas. Then there is my only sister, also my baby sister, Colleen. She lives in Orem.

This next one is Colleen, then me, then Daryl, a massage therapist here in St. George, next to him is Tom, my oldest brother, he lives in Payson.

This is half of his family. Angie is 12, and McKayla is 10. He left his wife and 3 younger children home due to the traveling that exhausts all children.

This is half of Daryl's family. His wife Shannon with their 11 yr old son Michael, and 13 yr old daughter Natalie. They have 3 sons married too.

This is 5 out of 6 members of my sisters family. They are missing a 16 yr old left to participate in a basketball tournament.

This is MY family........ALL of my children.......yipppeeee!......... We are standing in our backyard just an hour before Elder Eric was to speak in church. We are all in order according to age. The heighth is a little deceiving due to the hill we are standing on. Notice the temple behind me, between Krystal and I, it's my favorite view. This is taken outside on my back gotta love that backyard!!!

Now notice the next generation. Krystal, Jeff, Damon almost 7, Allie 4, and Kyla 2.

Then there's Heather and Samuel, and Kalia 21 mos. and Annaliese 6 mos. I got to tend these little sweeties for 6 days while mom and dad went to Hawaii for "business". (tee hee)

Here's Tara and Wayne's family. Kenya is 10 months old and starting to walk (my favorite time of a baby's life) and Malakai......almost 3 and Maddux.........of course the same age.....are they cute or what? They look so innocent don't they?

This is the crew that we had in our house BEFORE sacrament meeting, we had 94 total AFTER church for dinner...............and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!

I wanted to end this post with a few words about these incredible kids. They are responsible for so much of my healing this past year. They believed and had faith, they prayed and fasted...........and believed some more. I have a picture of each of them in my bedroom where I put vinyl letters above the reads......"MIRACLES happen to those who believe". So many of you that read this post made it happen too, but as a mother on Mother's day, I was overwhelmed with such a blessing as these six kids. I didn't feel guilty on Mother's day, instead I felt such GRATITUDE for the privilege of BEING a mother. All women will get the chance someday,(thankfully), but I have had my chance here and now, and what a great life I have had doing it. The pains of raising little children fade, and the strength that I gain from spending time with them remains and continually gets stronger.
I heard a song last night (what a surprise Karen, you hardly ever listen to songs lol), this one if from Lindsay Housekeeper (a St. George girl). She wrote it about her own son growing up so fast and going off to school, and how hard it is to let them grow up. I feel the same way sometimes. I just want them to be little again,
but at least I have pictures of them to remind me of how sweet and precious they were, and will always be to me.

here's SOME of the words to it:
The yesterdays have quickly slipped away....
I can't rewind or turn back the hand of time...
I am so proud of who you are becoming....
I'm holding on "just a little" so you know you're not alone
I'm letting go "just a little" so you can reach your goal and
it's the hardest thing Ive ever done
but I know you've gotta grow
still I'm holding on "just a little" to the little child I know (she says boy)

If it weren't for them, I would not be a mother, so this is to THANK MY CHILDREN for loving me, time after time of me being a clutz, and saying SO MANY DUMB THINGS!!, for forgiving me when I yelled and ranted and occasionally went into a rage. I wish I could go back and do a better job, I have learned so much now, I KNOW I would do better.
I love you Krystal, you have been more patient with me than anyone else. You cut me slack when I needed it , but didn't deserve it. You are the best first child a mother could ever ask for.
Heather, I love you so much, I am sorry that I gave you so much of my personality, especially when it comes to emotions. You gave me back what I dished out and I needed it so badly. You helped me to realize that I was unreasonable sometimes, and yet in the end , you always obeyed me, Thank you for being such a great daughter. I marvel at your talents, and beauty.
Tara, I have always loved you so much, and don't know how I deserved such a miracle as you becoming my best friend in my old age. You were there for every detail of my cancer year. You cried with me, and uplifted me, and brought me back to reality when I felt sorry for myself. One time when I said, "I need to sit shotgun because I have cancer", you said, "You don't anymore, they cut it out", you made me laugh so hard, you have such a great personality that keeps us all laughing.
Eric, I love you so much, my first born son, how could I have ever lived without you? Your service and dedication to the Lord literally saved my life. I will always cherish my memory of you rocking me in the rocking chair when I had a meltdown a few days before Christmas when you were 17. Your tender compassion is a gift to me.
Jonathan, I love you so much. Heavenly Father knew I needed you and sent us a special message in the temple about your arrival, and that told us how important it was for you to join our family. I love how you act so tough, and yet you are the softest person ever on the inside. I feel so loved by you when you call me Carol, it is so funny. Thank you for influencing all your friends to love me too. I will cherish the memories of you always wanting an afterschool treat, and how one time when I tried to give you popsicles you cried and said, "but it's not homemade" and after that I made homemade cookies, a different kind everyday for about a year.
Kimberlee, my little miracle last child. I love you so much. You are the life of the party, and you have been the life of the family. You have taken the best of all the other 5 kids and incorporated it into your life so that you are "the last, the best of all the game". You are smart, talented, beautiful, and yet motherhood is your number one priority. I love that about you. I love how you always say thank you when I do something for you. You have helped me to stay feeling young. Even though, I am getting older, you make me feel like I'm not.
I am so glad you came along, and that the Lord preserved your life when I feared you wouldn't make it. You are and always will be my baby girl.

Being a mother is the greatest gift of all, and I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for giving me the most loving, supportive mother in the world, that made me feel I was so special that I could do ANYTHING!!, and I thank him for allowing me to be these six children's mother.