Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Family Update: Air Force - Homestead - and the Priesthood

We have created our new "Normal" here in Alton, Utah.  We've all finally acclimated to the higher elevation and can breath much better. Our skin and noses are still very much missing the humidity. But that will come in time as well and we will move on to acclimating to the Cold temperatures that are quickly approaching. Life is good here.

Months ago Leif went through the process of applying to become a Medical Officer in the USAF. Everything was complete except the interview with the Chief Nurse. Hawaii was going through a change in command and he wasn't able to meet with someone before he had to leave the island for his new work contract in California. He had warned his recruiter in advance that he would be probably be relocating to CA and was assured that there wouldn't be a shake up in his application process. Well, that wasn't true. When he arrived in California his Hawaii recruiter passed him a name and phone number and dropped him like a rock. That person was on Leave and the time came and went for the process to be completed with no further communication or answers to Leif's calls. Therefore, the journey of the Air Force life will not be in our future within this year. And most likely, not ever. 

It has been years since I have felt the drive and peace about settling down and establishing some roots. We feel that now. I don't know what the future holds. But at least I know that I won't have to pack us all up within the year and move again.  The kids are thriving in their new school. And I Love working with our animals and land on our little family homestead.

Leif is working hard in California and has extended his contract through February.  From there, I'm not sure what his career path will be. We miss him often. But are settled in here and find a lot of joy with Erik and Stacey and their daughter Victoria. I'm able to handle the every day challenges three weeks out of my cycle and one week is a nightmare filled with a lot of loneliness and anxiety.  But we know the pattern and are able to work through it with the love and support of Heaven and family around us. 

I still revel in the miracle of renewed health and strength. This weekend I was able to toss logs for splitting for a couple of hours as well as bales of hay to feed the animals. Along with mothering duties and caring for the animals. Strength like that still humbles me and fills me with gratitude and amazement. 

Jakob turned 12 years old in August and Leif was able to come home and ordain him to the Aaronic Priesthood. This was a very special event in Jakob's life and he takes it very seriously. He is a precious son of God with a tender heart, willing to do what is right. I feel blessed to be his mother. 

Within this month I was able to find the Miniature Shetland Pony of my dreams. He has been a great soothing distraction for me. As well as a blessing for JJ, who loves to ride and care for him. 

We are very blessed and I feel our Father in Heaven's hand in my life daily. Without Him, I would be lost and wandering in a hard, hard, journey. Praise Be, to Him!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hold to the Light - Live for It - Fight for It

Today I'm pondering the power and difference between Light and Dark. Sometimes we receive negative (dark) information, opinions, and "facts" about some one or something that we individually have already felt Light, Peace, Edification, Completion, etc, about. When we receive this new information that does not resemble these feelings of enlightenment we Must Remember the feelings, answers, and peace, The Light, that we have already felt prior to the new-found "information". And Cast Not Away Our Confidence in the Light and Knowledge we were already given. We must hold on to Light and pray through the storms of doubt and confusion that will surly come through time. Light is Always fought against by Dark. Hold On to that which brings Light, Peace, Edification, and Completion. And in time, Light will prevail and grow. Darkness will fade away. #FightForLight

Surrounded by Beauty and Joy - Yet Incomplete

There is a common struggle that we face as spouses separated by Deployment or Employment Abroad. There's not really a name for it, other than maybe "Incomplete Joy."  I am faced with the fact that I am surrounded by nature's majestic beauty and the excitement that comes from living on a homestead in the mountains of Southern Utah. But even with all of the glory that surrounds me, at times I'm unable to completely feel the joy that it emanates. I am incomplete. And there is only one explanation for the way I feel. My husband isn't here to share it with me. The joy, the beauty, the new life...

This can go both ways really. It can cause a lot of friction if not kept in check. One spouse may be experiencing an African safari while the other is wrestling the crazy kids on the home front. Or, like us, one may be preparing to bring home the new bottle calves for the boys to raise or living on the beach in Hawaii while the other is working double overtime to pay off the bills and create a savings. It's very easy to build up resentment towards each other in these situations. In my world, I try hard to fight against that resentment when it comes, and the result sometimes tends to be loneliness. Not despair. Just a sense of sadness that Leif's not here with us to relish in the joys we're experiencing.

We're looking at another four months of separation with a mini vacation to Missouri in between. We've tackled one month so far. Today it feels A Lot longer then one month. Wow! I shouldn't have done that math. ;) The daily grind makes it feel so much longer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Making the Adjustment - Moving From Hawaii to Utah

We left Hawaii and landed on the mainland last week. I am so grateful we've moved to a beautiful place. Because I miss the Ocean, Terribly! The spiritual and healing energy that the ocean emanates soothes me to the core. I can feel its absence. I am trying very hard to fill my soul with the beauty and goodness that surrounds us here. I hope it will take affect soon. The fact that we've moved from 13 feet elevation to over 7,000 feet elevation has thrown myself (and the boys') bodies for a loop as well. Caleb put it perfectly when out of the blue while playing on a playground here he said "the gravity is different here."  He's right. The elevation creates a big difference and adjustment for our sensitive bodies. I'm trying to shake the fatigue and rekindled aches in my joints.

But with this all being true, there is stunning beauty around us and so much goodness! It's hard to explain in words the beauty. It's SO QUIET! There's lush green mixed with red rock cathedral shaped mountains that encircle the acres of farm land that we live on. The town of Alton has a population of just over 100 people. True Story! Tomorrow we have to go grocery shopping. We will have to drive over the Cedar Mountain to get to a Wal-Mart. It will take us almost 2 hours to get there. Praise Be for Amazon Prime which ships in two days. Otherwise, we save a lot of money because of the lack of access to shopping and restaurants.

I'm working on creating a healthy routine here. One of my biggest fears is the haunting possibility of depression due to the solitude and cold weather/lack of sun light that's just around the corner, next month. My sister in law (Stacey) and I have been walking in the morning with a neighbor. It is Absolutely Beautiful! This will probably be a life line. I'm pondering buying a treadmill to put up in front of the bay window during the winter. Yes, right in the middle of the living room. :) I'm thinking about getting two so that Stacey and I will both be able to exercise easily even during the harsh cold.

Every time we move I have to make a Very Conscious effort to remember the "tricks" I've figured out to staying well. First and foremost, I HAVE to take my medication and nutritional supplements every single day! Second, I must use music to motivate me to move forward during the day if I get stuck too long. Third, I must be able to at least see the nature around me, and see and feel the sunshine. Finally, I MUST feed myself Spiritually.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Must Have Chocolate!

It's sad that the busiest, most important week of the month has to fall right during this time frame of "my month"  Marge came with a vengeance last night precisely at 5PM. Marge is my evil twin. She battles anxiety, irritability, fatigue, and brain fog. All to a maximum!  The switch is always noticeable and still after all of this time, Shocking!

The fact that I'm on my own, packing up the troops, and Caleb is practically unmedicated make it all almost too much. But the blessing that gets me through is that I know that it will pass and the next phase, though filled with migraines and Iron supplements, is better than "Marge." It all passes. It all changes. And just knowing that it's not going to be permanent makes it bearable.

I picked up the kids from school today and we went to the grocery store. We were all really hungry. We walked out (almost forgetting the milk) with bags filled with frozen pizzas, mint chocolate chip ice cream, frozen burritos, a symphony candy bar and a Reese's Peanut butter Cup to top it all off.  Yes, like I said, Marge was in charge. :)

Well, the troops are asleep now. So I'm going to call it a night. Thank you Xanex and chocolate for saving all of us tonight!

Monday, August 08, 2016

Seriously!? The Lunch Lady TOOK Your Lunch Away!?

Eating struggles are nothing new for us. JJ has Sensory issues and Caleb struggles with the desire to eat and the ability to stop and take the time to eat, as well as the ability to open everything in a timely manner if needs be. We have only had ONE school who was able to truly work with us and accommodate Caleb's needs for supervision and assistance during lunch and that was our beloved Carthage Elementary in Missouri.  How I miss them!

Caleb will only be attending this school in Hawaii for a handful of days. Otherwise, the story I am about to share would be carried out a lot more then it is going to be at this time. However, the situation is definitely disturbing and they WILL get some education from me, if I can help it.

Caleb's been attending school now for over a week. And every day he has come home with his entire lunch that I sent him completely untouched, or only very little eaten. When I've asked him why, his most common answer was that he didn't have enough time to eat. Another answer was that he just wasn't hungry or didn't like what I sent. Either way, he was spending the day in school having eaten very little. So I resorted to my "Go-To" meal.

When I need to pump nutrition (vitamins, protein, carbs, and calories) into Caleb quickly I will give him a chocolate nutritional shake.  Knowing that it doesn't carry the entire day's nutrition in that one can, but at least I can guarantee that he will get that much.  So I gave Caleb this shake for lunch this morning. Knowing that he would drink it. I even suggested that he ask the lunch lady for help opening it instead of wasting time trying to open it himself. That was the big mistake.

According to Jakob, who was "the office worker" in the office today (whatever the heck that means.) He overheard the office ladies talking about his brother Caleb. He said that when the lunch lady saw what I had sent for Caleb she took it away from him right away, telling him that it wasn't a "Healthy Choice." She then took him to the school lunch line and was told to get a lunch. Mind you, I purposely sent all of my boys with home lunches while in Hawaii because I had food I needed to use up, and I didn't want to deal with balances when it came time to leave the island. So there was no money in the account when Caleb got this lunch.

After the lunch was over, Jakob (who was the delivery boy for the office) was then asked to deliver a "Negative Funds" notice to Caleb to give to me. On it is hand written the words, "Please Pay" with no other explanation of why in the world I have this balance to pay. I wouldn't have a clue if Jakob hadn't overheard. And Caleb isn't able to recall the details of the entire situation.

I was able to get a few details out of Caleb though. He said that the lunch lady took his lunch and told him it wasn't "food."  He kept saying, "Mom! You need to send me FOOD next time!" Yeah, thanks for the help and reinforcement school. Now Caleb questions whether or not I know how to feed him properly. Fabulous!!

When I asked where the shake was he said he threw it away. I asked if he had drank it. He said that he only ate the salad, the green beans, and the carrots from the school lunch. Just like I knew, no protein or calories for energy. Anyway, he said when he got to class his teacher had a "strange" talk with him about not bringing this kind of lunch. But somewhere between then and getting out of class she let him drink the shake.  When I asked if she sent me a note to tell me not to send the shake again, he said "YES!!" and he handed me the Negative Balance slip. Nice!

So, needless to say I was beyond Mad!! I was Furious. For so Many Reasons!! I think the main reason was that I had tried to help Caleb, but also tried to make their life easier by sending the shake. And they made me feel like a terrible mother. I could have called earlier and told them that I wanted them to watch my child extra during lunch and make sure he ate. But I chose to try this instead of making them think I was pinning blame on them. Which I'm not. Him eating isn't a new problem and I was sending a solution. But they are ignorant of how to handle such a Special Needs situation, i guess. Which is sad in and of itself.

So, what am I going to do?
Well, tonight I'm exhausted after a VERY long day. What I want to do is send the shake again having written on it, "Don't you DARE take this away from Caleb. Call me if you have a problem with that!!"  What I am Really going to do is, send the drink and write on it "This is Caleb's lunch. Please do not take it away or send him through the school lunch line. Please call me if you have any questions. Mahalo! Lena"  I will also write a note to Caleb's teacher explaining the situation in detail and ask her to call me if needs be. I will also reassure her that Caleb gets plenty of food in the morning and in the evenings, including vitamins to do our best to help him stay healthy.

Life as a mother with more then one child on the Autism Spectrum and ADD is incredibly wearisome! We battle the ENTIRE day for one reason or another. Sometimes it is very tempting to just gather in the troops from the public, hunker down, and survive on our own. But in the end, that is selfish and unhealthy for the kids and for us. But it's tempting. The desire to RETREAT!!!

I will not retreat! I will carry on. Tomorrow is another day. In fact, I'm going to the beach. So all is well in the world, right!?

JJ's First Day of School in Hawaii

JJ FINALLY started school today in Hawaii!! He will be able to attend for one week before we fly to Utah. 
I checked the mail on the way home from dropping them off. It looks like JJ will have a special surprise (a letter from Papa) when he gets home from his first day. :) 


So this isn't a picture of me but it will have to work.  This is Leif writing this post.

So last night I decided I would surprise Lena and write on her Blog first this morning.  I hope she wasn't to disappointed when I called last night that I didn't mention I was going to write.

So all night I was dreaming and thinking of a bunch of wonderful ideas on what I should share...then I woke up.  So I guess I better go back to bed to see if I can get them back!

Just kidding.

I'm not near as articulate as Lena nor is it as easy for me to share the feelings.  Thoughts fact, if you know me you probably wonder when I will I stop babbling.  But this is especially hard in writing for me.

Looking back, I think I know were that may stem from as I psycho-analyze myself.  If you want to know just ask.

Anyway, back to Lena.  She is an awesome woman! She is strong is so many ways! I believe some of her fears and anxieties come from me being so "laid back" or able to "roll with anything."  She often says if I passed away she would need to be committed to a mental institution, but I would just move on if she passed away.  First off this is false.  Yes it would be hard on Lena but as I said before she is strong and she may never "move on" she would continue caring for the kids and progressing.  She knows that I want I would want her to do; Live a wonderful life and learn and give as much as she could. Now it scares me to death (no pun intended) the thought of her passing away.  Not just the responsibility of caring for the children but it would be such a trial of my faith.  Though I'm not good with words or expressing my love, I do love her very, very,very much! Along with Christ, she is my foundation.

Now, onward to new and better subjects! Well, I guess separation isn't a better subject, but getting to be closer together is definitely a better one. With the separating, I hope everyone knows that Lena has the raw end of the deal.

Leif's Life: Work. Work Hard. Work Much. Learn Much at work. Befriend managers, so they let me work much...Then on days off:  Don't spend money. Exercise. Lose weight for possible Air Force. Do laundry and dishes for 1 person. Assist Lena with anything I can do long distance.

Lena's Life. (Much abbreviated)    Be a mother of 3 highly energetic and needy children. Do all the healthcare and medications for those children. Enroll them in school, take them, help them with their homework.  Keep on on a house of 4 people while also preparing for a move. Have NO days off. Prepare meals for said children with the hopes that 2 out of 3 will actually like and take the time to eat it. Try to stay healthy and loose weight to keep up with husband who seems to be doing it no problem. Try to provide for the kids and herself while being broke and counting pennies for those necessities that are needed. This list could go on and on.

So this brings us to the near future.  Lena will be flying to AZ/UT soon to stay with family! But I will get to visit for a couple of days though.  I feel very blessed that Lena and the kids will get to stay with my brother and family.  The picture above just feels my heart with Joy.  It is my brother taking Caleb on the riding lawn mower.  My brother is so patient and a great father and example.  My kids will learn so much from being around their uncle and aunt.  I wish I could just go live with them too!

Also, in the near future we are not going to be so broke.  Hopefully with all this working hard that I'm try to do it will pay off.  Now, don't go thinking we will be "rolling in the dough," because we won't.  It will take at least a month just to pay off Lena getting here, shipping the van, and just catching up on bills that are past due. We are hoping by the end of Sept we will actually start paying of some old bills and maybe start saving a little again.

So I've started to babble....I guess it is time for me to sign off. Time to clean up a little and do my chores.  Thanks for supporting Lena's blog everyone!

Sunday, August 07, 2016

The Emotional Cycle of Seperation

Leif and the boys coloring over Skype 2012

Today during Sunday School I was taken back to the days leading up to Leif's first time moving away from our family. I remembered the raw emotion of the situation and the complete heartache I felt about him leaving. It was close to my worst nightmare coming true. He was leaving. And my mind and heart could hardly carry on.  I remember sobbing every day and night before he left.

Today we watched a video about a wife who was faced with a similar situation when her husband was called up to deploy to the Middle East with the National Guard.  She tells about the raw heartache and shock that she experienced and the utter fear of not being able to carry the load alone. She then shared her story of the One moment when she was eventually able to put her trust in the Lord's plan and how beautiful the journey became in the end.

Unlike this woman, there isn't One moment that I can remember when I suddenly felt all better and all trusting during that year that Leif was gone to school. However, I know without a doubt that I was carried, and the mercy of God was upon me as I carried on the best that I could. Day by day, week by week, month by month, I grew into the woman that my Father in Heaven knew I was. A wife and Mother who can, in fact, do hard things!

During our lesson, which has been a special lesson series focused on the needs of military families and others (like us) who often face times of separation. We discussed a list of symptoms that couples often face as they prepare for the time of separation. The list presented was Spot On.

Detachment and Withdrawal  -Last week before departure - Spouses may feel anger and create emotional distance - Spouses have mixed feelings and try to protect themselves from hurt - Family members may experience grief - Feelings of detachment or withdrawal may accompany the whole period of separation

Our first time apart was torture for me because Leif unintentionally detached himself from us in varying degrees throughout the year. And me, being severely co-dependent, fought the feelings of rejection
constantly.  And again, gradually I was able to overcome these feelings and realize that there was no rejection taking place. We both grew tremendously that year. But I will never deny that it was the hardest year on our marriage so far in our journey.

Leif and I kept a private blog together that year titled "Love Letters Along the Way."  In the beginning I'm sad to say, it is filled with sob stories, rants, and pity parties from me. However, gradually it became a place where we were able to share our love through posting songs to each other. It was also a place we were able to share our testimonies, our hopes, and words of encouragement for one another.

At the close of our lesson I was filled with the reminder that there truly is Hope in all things! Through the strength we gain from our Savior and our support network of friends and family, we can do all that is required of us.

“I testify that as you do your very best in the most difficult of human challenges, heaven will smile upon you. Truly you are not alone. Let the redemptive, loving power of Jesus Christ brighten your life now and fill you with the hope of eternal promise. Take courage. Have faith and hope. Consider the present with fortitude and look to the future with confidence” (“Faith, Fortitude, Fulfillment: A Message to Single Parents,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 39). 

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Up and Running: Come and Visit - The More the Merrier

I'm hoping Leif might join in the fun of my renewed blogging adventure. So I'm having fun with photos. My posts (that don't already have pics) will have my picture on them. And (hopefully) Leif will be willing to post with his picture on his. It's just a fun way to tell whose writing at a glance. Plus it gives me a chance to see him more often!:)

I've been working on updating the blog throughout this morning. I'm looking forward to the journey. It feels kinda like Coming Home. I hope all of my Facebook friends will come on over for a visit sometimes. However, the reason I'm writing again is because I'm finally back to the point in my mind where I'm writing for the right reasons again. I'm writing for myself, my family, and with the hopes of strengthening those who visit, NOT for validation. This is very important.

Friday, August 05, 2016

The Run Down of Being Apart

This morning Leif called me to tell me that our Suburban was broken into last night (in California, where he is) and they stole the back seat out of it.  NICE! - Not!!  He spent the majority of the day working with police, insurance, and purchasing a new seat. Grrr!!  He'll keep all of the seats in his apartment until he drives out for a family visit. This world and it's dishonesty is hitting too close to home too often these days!! :(  Leif was also working out payroll problems with his company for half of the day. Luckily it all got worked out.

Families get used to dealing with "work" issues separately and then coming together and dealing with "home" issues.  So when the family is separated (not due to divorce) it's a juggling act to try to Make Time to come together and find a connection somehow.

Today Leif and I called back and forth a lot. He was off work. So we checked in a lot and kept each other posted. We wanted to make a chance to sit down and watch "Our Show" together (currently Hawaii Five-O.) It didn't happen today. But when it does, we get each other on the phone and log on to Netflix. We do the best we can to sync it exactly so we're watching it together. It's ALMOST as good as being together. When the boys got home from school today we called Leif on Skype after Jakob finished his homework. Leif then read Jakob Harry Potter for a while.  And then it was Leif's bedtime.

Leif and I set a health challenge up together before he left. Nothing too official. But we check in throughout the day with each other and compare notes. We knew that Leif would be losing the most weight this time because I've hit a bit of a stall. And he sure has lost weight! He's doing Amazing! Between the exercise and eating right he's meltin' off the pounds and building muscle. And yes, Looking Good!! ;)  Me, well, I'm exercising more then ever and trying to build muscle. That doesn't necessarily make the scale a friend sometimes. But tomorrow's another day.

Being apart is Tough!! Lonely. Life gets monotonous. Same routines, same phone conversations. Only broken up by crisis, discussions about bills. finances, and crazy kid stories. It's hard to keep it all together in a positive light.  So far, right now, we're alright.  We all pray a lot. We try to keep things as light-hearted as possible.  Luckily for us, we'll have times together to look forward to every once in a while.

Behind the scenes, I think Leif's main past time is getting healthy and fit and communicating with us. During my down time I have been watching the show Criminal Minds. The behavioral analysis shows have always drawn me in. And this on doesn't cause me to feel depression. However, I took a break today and started listening to an Audio Book. Don't ask me the name right now. But it's a historical fiction with no murder and plenty of christian values and romance. :) So I'm trying to keep the Light on within and without as much as possible.

Tomorrow's another day. A Saturday. It will be interesting to find out what it holds.

I Will Survive!

Leif lived away from us for the first time in 2012 when he moved to the Northern Arizona University (4 hrs away) to go to an accelerated nursing program for a year.

He left on Mother's Day. That was the last time I ever blogged regularly again.  It was almost as if a light switch had been turned off in my soul. - It has been four years since then. -

We are now beginning another travel nurse contract apart, and this time, I will not be shutting down. I will survive!  I will be writing along the way.

Monday, June 06, 2016



Stay in Hawaii - Permanent Job - Start Waialua school - Air Force
Money, Caleb's Anxiety and Doctor needs

Move to California - Work Travel - Start California School - Air Force
Have to leave Hawaii, Really want to live in a house

? Would working somewhere else guarantee a house?

Friday, May 06, 2016

Gifts of the Spirit: Discerning of Spirits

I have written this post by request from a few 
Dear friends. 

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom ; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 

To another the working of miracles ; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues : 

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. - 1 Corinthians 12:8-12
There are few things about myself that I haven't shared with the world through my writings in one way or another. But it seems that it is time to share something new. Something that I have only pieced together and come to understand more fully within the last few years. It is something very special and not to be taken lightly. In fact, I hesitate to share it openly. But I feel compelled to do so, even if it is only so that my children will know me better in the years to come. 
As we read in the scriptures, all children of God are given gifts of the Spirit. Throughout their lifetime some will recognize those gifts for what they are and develop them to their full potential. Others won't. Either way, they are there as a guiding light from Heaven.
We are told that one of the gifts of the Spirit is the Discerning of Spirits. For as long as I can remember I have been told that I was too sensitive or took things too personally. And both of those statements are absolutely true. In fact, for the first half of my life I was so sensitive that I became ill from all that I took on from the people and environment around me. I know now that I feel things differently then most other people. I have the gift of Discernment of Spirits, mostly the discernment of the spirits of the people around me and my loved ones abroad. But at times, I am also able to discern the spirits beyond the veil as well; good and evil.
However, people should never be alarmed and uncomfortable with the concern that I can read them like a book when they are with me. This is far from the truth! But it is true that it is likely I will be able to sense their moods and emotions quickly; and possibly be able to fill in the gaps and details of their situation easier then usual. It's just part of who I am. 
In general, this gift allows me to discern quickly whether someone is safe or unsafe to be around or  filled with light or not. And while on my mission and on occasion even now I have been blessed to recognize people who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the church I belong to) even though the person may not necessarily want me to know this fact. This part of the gift often makes me chuckle a bit. 
Also, I find that I am hyper aware of the happenings around me. Especially interactions between people and situations involving children. And unfortunately in general, I am strongly affected by tragic or upsetting events that happen around the world. This forces me to pick and choose what I allow into my life. I am also forced to pick and choose who I let into my life and when. If I find that I am at a healthy and stable place in my life I am more able to allow people into my life who are needy and in search of help and friendship. If I am not strong and am already bogged down, I am forced to separate myself from people who will bring me further stress physically and emotionally. 
I would say the most constant aspect of this gift for me is a unique connection that I have been given directly and to certain people throughout my life. This connection isn't necessarily a life long connection. But for whatever reason and for however long necessary, I will have a very real connection to their spirit; whether I (or they) like it or not. 
For years, and even at times now, this connection to certain people can be a heavy load. In a worldly sense I used to feel like I was stalking these people, or obsessed. But I recognize now that's not the case. It's all spiritual. 
When I am given a direct connection to someone they are always a family member, or a friend. Not just a random person I don't know. And I usually have several people that I have a connection with. Over the years through experience I have come to recognize patterns. When I am with these people I feel a huge amount of spiritual love for them. I recognize their divine potential. Sometimes this causes a deep sense of sadness and heartache for me. Sometimes I am filled with awe and I find myself wanting to be around them as much as possible because of the light I feel from their spirit. 
Throughout the years I have experienced what I now call "Bam!" moments. Moments where out of nowhere I will suddenly be hit with a flood of feelings, emotions, thoughts, and occasionally pictures in my mind all centered around one person. On a few occasions these moments will be in a dream setting. However they come, they are Very Real!! And they don't go away for me until I am able to find closure through the person. When I didn't know what was happening I used to just deal with the pressure on my own and quietly seek to find out what in the world might be happening in this persons life to cause such a powerful experience. Now days, I don't mess around. I contact the person as soon as I can to find out how they're doing. Inevitably, there is something happening in their life; good, bad, or ugly.  Sometimes I am being called upon to help them. Other times it has nothing to do with me other then this connection of our spirits and I have been called upon to pray for them. Because that's all that is in my power. 
Once I am able to visit with the person and they are able to give me some sort of reason why the moment came to me, I have come to a point in this journey where I am able to process it and put it away. However, if the person doesn't give me any details at all for me to process, I still find it extremely hard to put it away. My mind and spirit seem to be at a disconnect and this is where the "obsession" feeling comes in to play. The Bam! will stew within me and grow in concern for the person. When this happens and it becomes too much for me to carry, then I have learned to petition the Savior and ask him to remove the Moment and all it encompasses from me. In time it will be lifted and I am able to find a sense of peace. But that's not the easy road. It is far easier if the person is able to convey something to me for my mind and spirit to process. 
One last interesting branch of this gift of the Spirit is how it helps me when someone I love is in a state of secret sin, or open sin against God. For many years my heart and body broke when a loved one turned against God. I would mourn in sadness for that person and the distance they had created between themselves and their divine potential. This affected me so much that I would become what appeared to be (an perhaps was) self-righteous. Calling my loved ones to repentance. 
However, as I have grown I have found that I am far less critical then I used to be. I have a lot more understanding and compassion for these loved ones. Because of this gift I am often able to discern that there is a secret long before it is admitted to. Not that I completely know what the sin is, I just know there is a struggle. So when the secret is admitted to I am usually less shocked then some people would be. In a way, I am finally comforted to know what the problem is so that my mind and spirit can finally process it fully. And I find that I am able to handle the big stuff easier then some people can. It hasn't always been this way. The big stuff used to throw me for a loop. I am grateful for the change.
It's fascinating to recognize how real our spirits are. And how real these gits are from Heaven. I pray that I have not been flippant in sharing these experiences with you. They are very special to me. Truth be told, at times my life would be a lot easier to understand and carry if I didn't have this gift. But I have been so very grateful for the trust Father has given me to be an instrument in His hands so many times through this gift. I pray that I can continue to recognize His hand in my life and serve Him through this precious gift of the Spirit. 

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

The Truth Is...

The truth is, today was the kind of day when I should have worn an elastic band around my wrist to help me relieve some of the ever-building tension within. It was the kind of day when sudden images of "cutting" surged through my mind in response to intense situations like constant Melt Downs and questions of Why!? and Can I Have!? and Where's my Kindle!? and  STOMPING FEET! Seriously, for me, these kind of days are like living in a nightmare.

Today we FINALLY got in to see a doctor who accepts the boys particular insurance (which the state has forced us to use.) We have to get a TB test and a Physical for the boys in order for them to be enrolled into school. But it's been major surgery just to find a doctor in our area that accepts their insurance. So, we finally got in. Waited ONE HOUR AFTER our appointed time to meet the doctor. Only to be told that the boys insurance (Hawaii Medicaid) has canceled the boys insurance for an unknown reason. NICE!!! Can I just say I'm Pulling My Hair Out when it comes to the boys' schooling!!!! They are Completely disagreeable at this point when I try to get them to do their work. They fight me every step of the way. So to have this enrollment be so drawn out is very sad for me.

They won't even be able to start until this Fall at this rate. I'm weary of the guilt and frustration. Deep down, I know that they are smart kids and will make it academically in the long run. But I feel sad about all that they're missing and all that they need right now.  And I am TIRED from not having a minute to myself.  I need to find a solution in order to save the relationships.

And have I mentioned that my Ambian won't transfer over to this pharmacy from California because it's a "Controlled Medicine." So my nights are filled with rest-less sleep and nightmares. This is not a good thing for my health.

So this is The Truth behind the Struggles.  And Gratefully, there is Truth in the Beauty of my life as well. Everything will work out. Even the many other stresses that I didn't bring up. Some how thing always work out for Good. I am profoundly Grateful to live in my "Happy Place" my "Blue Skies and Sunshine."  My life is filled with Love and Joy. And for these silver linings amidst the clouds I am Truly grateful! And this Is The Truth!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Baptism at Eight Years Old? Yes.

My sweet Mister Caleb was baptized yesterday a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is eight years old.  Before we were preparing for our first son to be baptized I had never really considered the age that our church recommends that a child is baptized, which is eight years old.  However, once our oldest son and his friends were approaching eight years old, I found myself pondering it more. Then one day my good friend approached me with a concern.  She asked me how I felt about allowing our young children to enter into such an important, and life altering covenant so early in their lives. This is what my answer to her was.

Life on this earth is a journey of progression.  As an adult we recognize the severe consequences of sin as well as the powerful tool of repentance that allows us to return to our Father in Heaven again. It can be hard to allow our children who are clearly still learning the full impact of these lessons to covenant to accept and follow these principles throughout their entire life. Frankly, it can be scary.

But we need to remember that in God, there is peace. Our Father in Heaven loves our children far more then we can comprehend. He is a God of Mercy and Grace. Our children, as well as all people, will only be held accountable according to their understanding and development. As parents, we can find peace in knowing that our children will only be held to a standard that is appropriate and perfectly evaluated by our Perfect Father. That standard will change and progress as they grow physically and spiritually.

This is why I am comfortable allowing my child to be baptized at eight years old. For now, he knows that he Loves our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. He knows that he wants to obey the commandments, and he tries to the best of his ability and development to do this. He will be blessed as he grows in this understanding. He has also been taught the principle of repentance, according to his age level, and this is enough for now. Again, he will grow in this understanding and commitment.

Caleb's baptism was a beautiful experience. I find comfort in knowing that his Father in Heaven knows him perfectly. And I find added comfort in knowing that he has been blessed with the Holy Ghost, a member of The Godhead, to be his guide and comforter along this journey. All is well. We can find comfort in Father's perfect plan for His children.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

All Will Be Made Alive

The last post I wrote was about the nightmares that I struggle with sometimes. Gratefully those have subsided. However, today I am feeling a lot of anxiety. I mean, it's not like I don't have a few good reasons to feel anxious, right? I've got my kids home all day, and I am far from the homeschooling mom that I would like to be. I'm working on packing up the family to move to an island in the middle of the Pacific, the Easter bunny's supposed to make his grand entrance this weekend, and ...

But today, I know one of the things that is Really bothering me. And usually when I am faced with this struggle I have to close all emotion down about it completely. But today, I'm going to allow it to flow, process, and move on.

Today, I am accepting the fact that we are once again moving further (much further) away from the cemetery where our girls are buried.  Every time we move, it seems we move further away from that spot. It's so sad when you think about it.  I've never lived near it. And sometimes it just gets to me.

Today I was thinking about how trapped and distraught I would feel about moving away from them if I didn't know within my soul that the cemetery is only where their bodies are lying. And that they live on in a Heaven. How grateful I am for this knowledge. It saves my sanity in this life.

This weekend we celebrate Easter. The celebration of our Savior's Resurrection, and in turn, the Resurrection of all mankind. How grateful I am to know that one day I won't mourn the absence of my babies anymore. I won't long for a daughter on this earth. I will no longer need a cemetery to mark their short lived existence upon the earth. For they will be with me. I will hold them in my arms. I will raise them as my own. I will be whole once again.

To my Savior, my soul cries out, How Great Thou Art! For in Him, All will be made alive.  And in time, All will be well!!

Saturday, March 19, 2016


For the last week my nights have been filled with nightmares.  Nightmares for me usually revolve around three subjects: Emotional trauma between my mother and I, the loss of my twin daughters, or anxiety about my boys.  This week my dreams have been filled with all three.

Last night in my dreams I was trying desperately to walk my boys to a new school. But they wouldn't stay with me. We Finally made it to the school, only to find that it was an enormous school with no rhyme or reason to how it was mapped out. I finally got the boys into their classrooms and then Caleb's class started to read a book. I knew there was no way he could read the book, and I was so sad for him.  And mad at myself. This dream represents my current struggle with enrolling my boys into school again next year. There is obviously a lot of underlying stress about the subject.

The other night my dreams were filled with all things GIRL. Any book I opened up was not filled with words but pink laces and overflowing pink tutus. My hair was overflowing with all kinds of hair clips and trinkets...  and lost babies that I could never seem to find.

When it comes to the dreams about my mother, well... Let's just say we argue a lot in those dreams and it's never pretty, happy, or healing.  However, now-days on occasion I will find myself dreaming about good times with my mother. Our relationship has become more "normal" since we've all grown up and changed. There are more happy memories for my mind to pull from. I am very grateful for that!!

Gratefully, nightmares are not a constant for me. They come and go. Some are filled with more PTSD then others. Sometimes they linger in my soul throughout my waking day. And other times they are mercifully forgotten. And above all, I am grateful that the events that they play out are NOT REAL ever, or at least Any More!!  My waking life is filled with Love and Happiness.  Never stress-
free. But I am happy!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sensory Processing Disorder: Tools

Caleb (7+yrs) battles Sensory Processing Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, and High Functioning Autism. That's a lot to cope with for such a little guy. And he is AMAZING!! We Love everything about him.

Over the years we have learned A LOT of coping skills and life skills to make his life and our life as a family easier to handle. Sometimes one of the struggles flares up more then usually and it requires desperate measures. This is one of those times.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a condition that effects the many senses of the body. Right now Caleb's struggling with everything Mouth or "Oral Processing." His shirt is soaked within five minutes of putting it on because he's chewed on it. EVERYTHING he holds goes to his mouth without thinking. And lots of kisses. And then his started sucking on his arm.

That gave me an idea. A Pacifier a.k.a Binky. It's not our Favorite idea to rewind the clock and use a binky again. But I was desperate. So I got on the internet and found an "Adult" size binky that is used for this exact purpose. So I ordered it!  Not even sure if he would use it. But it was worth the try.

We got it yesterday and it is a HUGE hit!!! He is always chewing or occasionally sucking on it. There has been less bouncing off the walls and mouthing things, it's a no brainer that we will continue using it as a tool. It's somewhat big for our little guy. So I actually just ordered some regular 16+month size pacifiers.

It's never "easy" to accept that we deal with a lot of very unusual issues for a 7 year old. But I am so grateful first, for a husband who is humble enough to support the Strange solutions, and two, for the resources that are out there to help us along the way.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Girls Night Out!

I had the great opportunity to have a Girls Night Out with a dear friend of mine (Melodie Winn.) We first went to the LDS Oakland Temple. It was a rainy cold evening. But it was still beautiful! I can't believe I didn't take pictures the entire night!!! We were too busy chatting and laughing.

We chose to do Initiatory work. This is where the first blessings and promises given in the temple take place. It was such a beautiful experience to be reminded of those sacred blessings and promises that were given to me many years ago. It was a privilege to serve in the temple again.

After the temple we went out to dinner. We had such a great time visiting that time flew by. Leif finally text me as we were pulling back in to our apartment wondering what our time frame was so he wouldn't worry. :) Ahhh, the joys of a Great friend! Time flies when you're having fun!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Awakening From PTSD

I have lived an incredibly full life. High school was filled with many friends and great memories. From there I traveled the country as a professional nanny. I attended some college in the middle of that, and lived a fun single adult life. In addition, I lived in Hawaii for a few years before I was married and my life was abundantly full of friends and amazing memories you can only make in the paradise of The Islands. Finally, my most cherished time of my life was the 18 months I served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I served in Northern Illinois, primarily on the Great Lakes Navy Base (Boot camp and Training Center.)

For years I carried on with friendships and continued to make memories with them. I eventually met the Love of my life and had my first child. And then my life as I knew it was forever changed. Never to be the same again. In 2006 I was faced with the loss of our twin daughters. The experience traumatized me physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. And no surprise to us, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder soon after the ordeal.
A few very interesting things happened during my battle with PTSD. One of the first things we noticed was my sudden lack of desire to deal with the telephone. One month before I went in to the hospital with my girls I had just sold a Nanny Agency that my husband and I had built from the ground up. It had gone national and I had spent my days for the last two years constantly on the telephone with perfect strangers. Now I could barely muster the ability to call my family. Another strange thing that happened was that I couldn't sing anymore. I had spent my earlier years in choirs. Now my songs were only in the heart. Albeit it a broken one.
Finally, the most profound, yet not fully noticed change was a lack of memory. The memory of my past life. My friends and our relationships. Our memories and our journeys together. I am very sad to admit, it was as if I was a completely new person. My mind didn't even acknowledge the life before. And gradually time moved on and the connections were dissolved before I could even recognize what had happened. I was in a complete state of rebuilding and survival.
Forward nine years later and I'm noticing something interesting. I'm suddenly remembering names of friends that had become more of a fleeting face in my dreams. My mind is filled with memories long forgotten. Clear and bright. My soul is longing to find some of the pieces of myself that have not yet been put back together. Not to say I want to go back. But I am now able to share them with my children. I am also able to sing again. My heart has unlocked it's voice and I find myself singing out more and more. Now, the telephone? Well, technology enabled me on that front by creating text messaging. Although, if you make the effort to reach out to me there's a greater chance of me calling you back these days.
What is my point in sharing these observations with you? Perhaps I am hoping to share a sense of hope with someone who may need a light at the end of the tunnel. To know that your voice will come back. That your heart can mend as well as your mind. After a serious trauma, we are never the same person. Our story has changed forever. But there can be healing. There is mending that comes along the way. That is my message to those who need it, to Hold On just a little longer. To take it one day, one week, one month, and one year at a time. But one day you will wake up and find that you are more whole then you ever were before.
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