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♥