Friday, December 24, 2010

My First Christmas in Heaven

Our Family received this very tender poem from a sweet friend tonight.  We read it around the table as we ate our Christmas Eve dinner together. 

Merry Christmas Porter.  We love you forever!!!!!! 

My First Christmas
In Heaven
Angel Globe
I see the countless Christmas trees
around the world below with tiny lights,
like Heavens stars reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please
wipe away the tear, For I am spending
Christmas with Jesus Christ this year. 
I hear the many Christmas songs that
people hold so dear. But the sounds of
music can't compare with the Christmas
Choir up here. 

I have no words to tell you,
the joy the voices bring, for it is beyond
description, to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away,
We really aren't apart.

So be happy for me, dear ones,
You know I hold you dear,
And be glad I'm spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift, from
my heavenly home above. I sent you
each a memory of my undying love.

After all, love is a gift more precious
than pure gold. It was always most
important in the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other, as
my Father said to do for I can't count
the blessings or love he has for each
of you.

So have a Merry Christmas
and wipe away that tear, Remember I
am spending Christmas with Jesus
Christ this year.

** This poem was written by a 13 year old Ben
to his mother before he died of a brain tumor.
He died in 1997, and that year he spent his
first Christmas with Jesus.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Certainly One Way to Get the Family Together

'Twas the night before Christmas & out on the ranch
The pond was froze over & so was the branch.
The snow was piled up belly-deep to a mule.
The kids were all home on vacation from school,
And happier young folks you never did see-
Just all sprawled around a-watchin' TV.
Then suddenly, some time around 8 o'clock,
There came a surprise that gave them a shock!
The power went off, the TV went dead!
When Grandpa came in from out in the shed
With an armload of wood, the house was all dark.
"Just what I expected," they heard him remark.
"Them power line wires must be down from the snow.
Seems sorter like times on the ranch long ago."
"I'll hunt up some candles," said Mom.  "With their light,
And the fireplace, I reckon we'll make out all right."
The teen-agers all seemed enveloped in gloom.
Then Grandpa came back from a trip to his room,
Uncased his old fiddle & started to play
That old Christmas song about bells on a sleigh.
Mom started to sing, & 1st thing they knew
Both Pop & the kids were all singing it, too.
They sang Christmas carols, they sang "Holy Night,"
Their eyes all a-shine in the ruddy firelight.
They played some charades Mom recalled from her youth,
And Pop read a passage from God's Book of Truth.
They stayed up till midnight-and, would you believe,
The youngsters agreed 'twas a fine Christmas Eve.
Grandpa rose early, some time before dawn;
And when the kids wakened, the power was on..
"The power company sure got the line repaired quick,"
Said Grandpa - & no one suspected his trick.
Last night, for the sake of some old-fashioned fun,
He had pulled the main switch - the old Son-of-a-Gun!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I know this is a totally random thought but I want to learn to play a harp.   I went to a Christmas Home Show Tour today and each home had some beautiful entertainment going on.  In a few of the homes there were harpists and I instantly fell in love with the sound and beauty of that instrument.  

Now where do I go to find a teacher? 

Oh wait...I think I would need to buy a harp too...never mind.  

I'll just dream for now.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Case of the Grumpies-But Not for Long

I'm generally not a grumpy person, but for some reason I'm feeling it big time!  I shared these thoughts with a friend of mine and she said she's been feeling it too.  Is it in the air?  It started with Thanksgiving.  I didn't post anything about it because I'll be honest, it was a horrible day.  I'm not going to expound on it other than someone was in a bad mood and their feelings came out upon the whole family.  It basically ruined the whole day.  That person has since tried to make up for it but seriously, couldn't they have picked a different day to lose a temper??  I am trying to get cheerful for the holidays but it's been pretty hard.  I want so much for our family to just be together and do things together but it's a rare thing.  Everyone is off in a million different directions and I'm lucky to get to see them for a good night hug and prayer.  I attended two different events this week that helped lift my sagging spirits.
The first one was "A Christmas Carol" at the Hale Center Theater.  I was relating to old Mr. Scrooge so well.  As he is seeing what his choices have caused and the life he may end up having he realizes he needs to change, and fast! Because I have been feeling so emotional that last couple weeks of course I cried everytime a song was sung.  Music just gets to me!  I loved watching the transformation that old Ebenezer Scrooge was experiencing and the new spirit he felt.  It made my spirit swell and want to be happy too.  Thank you Annaleesa, my good kind friend, for inviting me along and helping my holidays get off to a nice start.  As a side note, during the intermission I was looking around the small venue and seated just to the right of us was Sherri Dew!  That was pretty cool in my book.

The second event I attended was "The Forgotten Carols".  I have loved this music for over 20 years and even saw the play around that time but didn't really grasp the whole concept of the story line.  I'm a bit slow sometimes.  It wasn't until I got the book and piano music for Christmas a number of years ago and read it that I fully understood it.  Well, it was in town last week and I missed it.  I could have tried a little harder to go but I didn't.  On Sunday I was sitting in church waiting for Relief Society to start and just glanced at my phone.  Nobody usually texts me during church so I don't know why I checked it.  But, there was a text from a sweet family that knew and loved my Porter.  The mother, Karla, told me they had an extra ticket and wanted me to attend with their family.  They have a tradition of going each year to the one held in Salt Lake at Cottonwood High School.  It is a bit more cozy of an atmosphere versus the big sports arena here at UVU.  Of course I wanted to go!!  I hadn't missed it after all.  I rode up to Salt Lake with their cute family listening to the giggles and happy conversations going on.  Now the special part about this whole event was that I felt Porter's presence so much.  Every song that was sung brought tears of longing for him yet also tears of joy for him being at peace and rest.  If you are familiar with Micheal McClains presentation you understand how much emotion and feeling goes into this show.  The ending is a very tender part.  He has the audience link arms and talks about remembering someone who isn't here tonight that you may be missing.  I lost it!  Then he sings "We can be together forever someday" over and over to a very sweet, simple melody.  Then he has the whole audience singing along as well.  My emotions were too overwhelmed and I couldn't sing, only listen and enjoy the sound of everyone else.  Porter was there with me!!  He knows how much I love♥ him and miss him and he knows I long for the day we are together forever!!  A special thank you to my friends, The Weisenbergers, for all their love and kindness through these last 9 months.  We love and appreciate you!    

Friday, December 3, 2010

Utah Valley Half Marathon

I don't have a bucket list but I do have a few things I would like to do in this lifetime.  One of those being to run a marathon.  Now with that being said, I'm not implying by any means that I am a runner.  In fact I am far from calling myself a runner. I do my daily 4 mile walk with a friend and then to make life a little more interesting, on Mondays, we walk up a rather long steep hill (2 miles) and jog partway down it. (About 1 1/2 miles).  I usually do this same hill on Saturdays too.  That's the extent of my running.  I have always been so impressed by people that run so diligently and that participate in marathons and have often wondered if I could ever have enough drive and stamina to do one myself?  

A few days ago as my daughter and I were heading to the Festival of Trees we saw a billboard advertising the Utah Valley Half Marathon in June 2011. She told me she was signing up and asked me if I wanted to as well.  My mouth and heart said "yes" instantly but my body just laughed. She told me some more details and talked about getting a training schedule online to help me, and shared some more about what's involved with the whole experience and getting prepared for it.
My heart really, really wants to do this but I'm so worried that my 40+ body is too old.  Don't get me wrong.  I know there are many 40+ runners out there that run circles around me but they've probably been at this whole running idea for many years.  Can a person my age just decide she wants to do this and be successful? Will my body rebel?  Will my knees shut down?  Will my motivation to do this stay strong, or will I say it's too hard and quit?  Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!  My mind is really having a hard time with this decision. Any advice friends?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Photos of Porter

I'm missing my boy, a lot. Especially with the holidays here. Looking at photos seem to fill a little bit of the emptiness I'm feeling. It's very interesting to me as I browse through a lot of old photos I'm noticing Porter in the background of a lot of them. I wouldn't have thought twice about seeing him in them if he were still alive and here with us. I'm so glad I didn't casually delete them. It's amazing how priceless photos become when a loved one has passed away.
November 2006-Out to dinner for Jordan's birthday
Jordan's 17th Birthday
December 2006

Making a gingerbread house at Grandma's house
Kali giving her little brother a tummy squeeze
That's better, everybody is looking and smiling now :)
The whole family together-December 2006
Sweatshirts for the boys from big sister, Kali-December 2006
Porter's Christmas haul-December 2006

The Kitchen is Done

(The following post was written in June, 2010 right after our kitchen was completed)
As you may or may not remember from a previous post, our family moved back in December of 2009 from our cozy, much enjoyed (mostly by me) home of 19 years. My husband and son, Porter, wanted a change, a different challenge in life, new adventures, different scenery, etc. We didn't move very far. In fact we went North two blocks and West about a block. But as far as church boundaries go it put us in a completely different stake. So, after much arm twisting and temper tantrums on my part, I finally agreed to take on this new challenge as well.

The home we moved into needed some major upgrades and so we tackled the project feet first working morning, noon, and night. We basically overhauled the entire house. There were deadlines to moving out of the old house and it was obvious we weren't going to get the new house finished in time, so we ended up moving our whole house into storage and living with my mom for about 8 days. Then we went ahead and moved all of our stuff again into the new house with quite a bit needing to be done still, but we could go ahead and live in the house and still get the projects done while living here. The biggest projects being the kitchen and the railings!

Porter's all time favorite TV channel was HGTV (and maybe Disney too). He loved watching home makeover shows and enjoyed sharing his own ideas about this new house. The day of his accident I was downtown shopping and had texted some pictures to him of ideas for his bathroom. He needed a couple items and I wanted his opinion, which he gladly shared with me. One of his last texts to me before he died was him exclaiming what an inspiration he knew he was in home decor! It made me laugh, because I could hear the tone in his voice right through the text.

Well, now the reason for this post. We have lived in our new home for 6 months and finally today (June 9th) the kitchen is complete! We had the cabinets distressed, and re-stained and a new back splash put up. So many times through this project I could just feel Porter sitting on the stairway watching things happen and making sure they were happening correctly. Our main worker, Juan Avalar, who has become such a good friend through all of our projects even felt like Porter was here helping him make decisions and helping him get the stain color just right on the cabinets. Juan wasn't afraid to talk about Porter and did so often. Juan liked to talk about where Porter is, and about families and death. Juan isn't a member of our same faith but has talked to Mark about looking for religion for his family. Mark and I have shared our feelings about our faith and beliefs. It just may be time for a visit from the missionaries.

This photo was taken BEFORE any changes were made.  Actually this photo was taken before we even purchased the home.

When Porter was alive he kept telling me that the cabinets needed to be darker than the paint on the walls and I was having a hard time agreeing with his opinion. I was envisioning light colored cabinets to contrast with the dark countertops. As Juan worked and worked many hours in getting the color just right he finally got it perfect. I love my cabinets! They aren't light or dark. Just a nice, warm color. The important thing is they don't blend with the wall color. There is a nice contrast and I wish I could tell Porter in person that he really knew what he was talking about and that I was wrong.  Now that it's all completed we feel like Porter has been here in Spirit to see the kitchen completed and we feel certain he approves.
I love you Porter♥

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy 19th Birthday Porter

I Just wanted to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweetheart!!!  Your family loves you all the way to eternity and we look forward to celebrating birthdays with you again someday.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Six Months

Today is a hard day.  It has been six months since I lost my 18 year old baby.  Those emotional waves that come and go aren't happening as often, yet Porter is always in the back of my mind and forever in my heart.  I can be doing something as simple as driving down State Street and I will start crying.  I was weeding and cleaning the yard yesterday and a small memory triggered something and I started crying.  I don't mind crying, in fact it is very cleansing for me.  It's just embarrassing when it happens in public. My eldest son walked into the room last night and said "It still doesn't seem real."  I knew exactly what he was talking about and I completely agreed with him.  Each day I wake up and hope it's a bad dream, yet reality hits and I know it isn't.

In just 8 days, September 13th, it will be Porter's 19th birthday.  We are having a big celebration for him.  We are breaking it down into two different days.  On Saturday the 11th we are eating breakfast burritos (Porter's all-time favorite food) at the Dry Canyon parking lot in Lindon and then hiking Porter's mountain and placing this memorial rock at the base of the cliff.  A good friend of our family owns a business called and created this beautiful rock for us to place in the mountains. (Thanks so much Neal and Arlene)  Our family sat around the kitchen table one night trying to figure out what to put on the rock and this is what we all agreed on.  Porter's very favorite group was Keane and his favorite song was "Somewhere Only We Know."  This title also has reference to those of us that know exactly where he fell, and that's where this memorial will be placed. 

The second part of Porter's birthday celebration will be on Monday the 13th and will be held in our back yard.  Porter's life long dream was to be in a band and to be famous one day.  He worked so hard at his music, his writing, his audio mixing and eventually tried out to be in a band and was accepted. The name of the band is "Ask for the Future".  They are so graciously coming to perform a concert in Porter's honor.  We are so excited about this event and are looking forward to a nice evening of music, friends, family, and neighbors, whom we appreciate and love so much.  Oh! and eating cake too because it's a birthday party.

I love you Porter♥        

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pebbles and the Geranium

Two reasons I love this photo.  The first being that Porter loved this cat more than anyone in the family.  He would hold her, kiss her, pet her, and treat her so kindly.  Recently, when I was away at girls camp in June, my husband turned Pebbles into an outside cat.  I was so sad when I arrived home and he gave me the news.  But after a couple of weeks of having her outside I realized it was very good thing.  I don't have to buy multi-packs of cat roller brushes, and our furniture isn't white anymore.

The second reason I love this photo is the geranium in the pot behind the cat was grown by Porter.  He nurtured it and raised it from a very tiny plant using hydroponics.  Porter worked a very part-time job for an elderly gentleman that loves experimenting with plants and seeds.  A couple of months ago, George, the man Porter worked for, was throwing out a lot of his experiments and I saw this plant in the garbage. (I work for George too, assembling science kits)  I knew Porter had been taking care of it and so I asked him if I could take it home and plant it.  George was more than thrilled to let me take it.  I was so happy after transplanting it and taking care of it, watching it flourish and thrive.  Porter would have been pleased too.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Porter's Scriptures

In needing some healing moments I went into Porter's room and looked through his things.  Porter had two sets of scriptures.  His nicer set he used at church and his paperback Book of Mormon he read from at night in his bed.  We put one set in his hands in his casket and the other is still setting in his room.  
Upon opening his scriptures a paper fell out and this is what it reads:
Elder Rex D.Pinegar, then a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, said:  "Over the years the prophets have taught that at least twice a day, morning and evening, we should find a private place, kneel down, and pour out our hearts to our Father in Heaven.  Then, throughout the day, we can do our best to keep a prayer in our hearts.  As we do, if our hearts are right, we will find that our prayers have increased power and focus, and we'll discover that we're in a better position to receive answers"
Elder Gene R. Cook, a member of the Seventy, said:  "The peace God speaks to our minds will let us know when decisions we have made are right, when our course is true.  It can come as personal inspiration and guidance to assist us in our daily life-in our homes, in our work.  It can provide us with courage and hope to meet the challenges of life.  The miracle of prayer, to me, is that in the private, quiet chambers of our minds and hearts, God both hears and answers prayers."

These quotes are powerful, and I felt a lot of peace in reading them.  What I appreciated even more was the fact that this piece of paper was important enough to Porter for him to have it inside his scriptures.

I love you Porter♥

Saturday, July 17, 2010

He's Home

From a few posts ago I talked about Kali and the baby coming home. Well, they have been here a week and a half now and we are enjoying them so much. Wade, Kali's husband was the brave soul who drove all of their belongings across the country in a big Budget Rentals truck. He left from Boston last Saturday, late afternoon, and arrived here in Utah on Tuesday evening. That's some pretty quick driving.
You can now see what I will be spending a lot of my free time doing.  Enjoying this little guy and his family!

Your and You're

I consider myself a pretty easy going person. I don't get my feathers ruffled easily.  So why should I care so much about the use of this word?  I cringe every time I see it used incorrectly.  It's actually pretty simple to get straight.  If you can say "you are" in a sentence then you must use you're, not your.  The word your shows ownership and simply doesn't work for this sign, unless it read "Your smile is on camera".  That would have worked.  I saw this sign at a professional establishment and was surprised that even the company who was hired to make the sign couldn't get it right.  What is up with that?
Okay, my feathers are calm now.  Have a delightful day.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Odometer Reading

Porter and I shared a car for the last few months of his life, which was actually working out nicely, if you can believe, for an 18 year old boy and his mama. Porter would have liked seeing this odometer reading so I snapped a photo to always remember, and to document. Our family was actually driving home from our friends, the Weisenberger's, cabin when this happened. We were coming down the canyon and actually had to slow way down so we wouldn't miss it. Good thing Mark was driving and I had the camera. Also, good thing nobody was behind us on the road.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Porter's Temple Work

Art work by our good friend, Aaron Bristow
I absolutely love this piece he did and have a copy of it displayed in my home.
We are so excited to be able to get Porter's temple work done soon. We have gathered the necesssary items and will be attending a morning session at the Timpanogos Temple on Saturday July 31st.  Any family members or friends, who are current temple recommend holders, who would like to attend the session with us are more than welcome. (We haven't decided on the time yet) Porter loved people and knew how to make them feel comfortable and smile.  We would feel honored to have his loved ones around for this special occasion.
I'm sure Porter is thrilled and anxiously awaiting for us to gather together in his behalf and have this special, sacred ordinance performed for him.  I'm so happy that we don't have to wait a full year to get this done for him. 
Usually there is a waiting period after a person has died before their temple work can be performed, but Porter's situation was a special circumstance because he was already a worthy member preparing to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and would have been 19 in a few months.  We talked personally to the Temple Recorder and he told us that all we needed to bring to the temple with us is the Bishop's recommendation letter and a family pedigree chart, which we have in hand and are ready to go.
 I love you Porter♥

Monday, July 12, 2010

Porter in Sarah's Coat

I don't know a lot about this picture, but it makes me smile a lot. It shows his silliness to put on a girls coat and then let his photo be taken. I think it was at a Secondhand Serenade concert when they were here last at Thanksgiving Gardens.  Porter's friend, Sarah, sent it to us.  She went to concerts with Porter and he had a great time taking her and a friend of hers.  Sarah's mom, Karla, trusted Porter more than anyone to be with her daughter at concerts.   Porter wore contacts the majority of the time but occasionally would wear his glasses. I love that I have a picture with him wearing them.  He was wearing them when he fell off that cliff.  We still have his glasses so miraculously found and saved, by his daddy, at the bottom of the cliff still in tact and setting in the living room by his pastel picture.
I love you Porter♥

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You're Gonna Miss This

Driving in the car and thinking about Porter is oftentimes when those "waves" hit, those times when the grief hits so powerfully and suddenly that I almost have to pull over to see the road.  Today it happened as I was listening to a country station which is something I rarely do.  As I was listening to the words of this tender tune it reminded me of days long ago when my four young kids (born between 1986-1991) were so little and I thought the diaper changing, fighting, messes, potty training, etc. would never end.  Now that they are all grown and I think about those early mothering days it only seems like yesterday and those years really have gone by so fast.  This song made me yearn for those early years when the kids were so small and our family was complete.  If somebody would have told me then that I was going to miss it, I wouldn't have believed them.  The chorus of this song just hit to the core of my aching heart and I realized it's really true.  I miss it, I want it back, and I wish those days hadn't gone by so fast. 
You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days
Hadn't gone by so fast

These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this
Trace Adkins

Occasionally I wonder if I would have known that Porter would have only been here on the earth for the short 18 years if I would have mothered him differently?  I'm sure I would have, but I couldn't have known he would pass away so young.  Would I have taken more time to really relax and enjoy each day to its fullest?  I can only cherish the memories I had with him and continue to make more precious memories with those around me still.  

I do miss this!

I love you Porter♥

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Anniversary

It was 2 years ago this day that my sweet daughter was becoming a wife to her sweetheart.  I just want to wish them a Happy Anniversary and let them know we love them dearly. 

Counting the days till you're here-9 :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Grandma House

It's getting closer. The big arrival day of my grandson. I'm very excited for this to happen.  You see, Kali, Wade, and baby Miles are moving back to Utah if you haven't heard by now.  Wade has graduated from UMass with his Master's in Mental Health Therapy, and we are pretty proud of him.  So, this cute little family will be moving in with us until Wade finds work.  I personally hope they stay a long time.  This house is much too quiet and I need people around me, especially now. 
Kali doesn't have a highchair and so I just popped online to my favorite shopping site, and found this cute little highchair for a major good bargain and brought it right on home. Here it sets just waiting to be filled by this cute little guy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Porter's 18th Birthday

Porter was most happy with a guitar in his hands.
Porter's 18th Birthday was on September 13th last year and I just barely found these pictures.  What a warm and happy surprise for me!!  I was preparing to go to girl's camp a couple weeks ago and wanted to clean off my camera disk to be able to take lots of pictures in the mountains and remembered I had a spare disk in my dresser.  I put that into my camera and reviewed all my old pictures, and that's when I came upon these forgotten pictures.  Another priceless treasure!

I love you Porter♥ 

Sunday, June 6, 2010


In the past few weeks I have been looking all throughout the computer in hopes of finding anything that Porter may have recorded or written etc.  I came across these neat quotes by Marvin J. Ashton and William Shakespeare, but it isn't necessarily something Porter typed and saved.  But it is something that I thought was very much needed in my life, so I printed it out and now have it hanging on my magnet board in the kitchen.  I just wanted to share with you now, and hope it will help if you have challenges with being on time.  I know I do occasionally and thinking about these quotes have helped me.

Punctuality Defined: showing respect for other people and their time. 

William Shakespeare said, "Better three hours too soon than a minute too late."

Marvin J. Ashton-"Being on time to appointments and meetings is a phase of self-discipline and an evidence of self-respect.  Punctuality is a courteous compliment the intelligent person pays to his associates.  Punctuality, or the lack thereof oftentimes is the only introduction one will ever have to new groups and friends.  Serenity and poise are not the companions of those who lack the courtesy and judgment to be on
According to a nationwide survey of employers, the most important characteristic to the employer was punctuality.

Happy Sabbath!  I'm off to get ready for church so I may be on time :)