Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Trial of my faith

Well, here it is 2:00 am and I can't sleep. I have much on my mind. . . My step-dad Randy is the greatest guy. He has always treated me like he was my real dad and I was his real daughter. He has always shown such love and concern for me, and he is just a real genuine person. He has a great sense of humor, is an amazing artist, is a great cook, and just plain fun to be around! My kids LOVE Grandpa Randy. He draws all sorts of funny pictures of dinosaurs driving cars, etc. He even wrote and illustrated a children's book called "The First Reindeer Couldn't Fly." If you haven't seen the book, you would love it. (And when I say good artist, let me just say that he used to draw the Spiderman cartoons on TV. )

But the purpose of this blog was just because he's been on my mind a lot lately--A LOT! He was diagnosed with leukemia last year and after several terrible chemotherapy sessions, he was able to go into remission. Well, it came back and he's been in the hospital for 2+ months. On Thursday we received some pretty bad news. After 2 rounds of chemo--back to back--he still had cancer cells. The doctors weren't sure whether he would survive another treatment, but also told us that he wouldn't live more than a month without the treatment. So what do you do?! Well, I'll tell you what I did--pray and fast--and I mean a lot. I learned some things about myself and my relationship with my Heavenly Father and realized that I am stronger than I thought. And after several days, I have started to feel peace. The peace and comfort that only He can give me. I think the Lord also blessed me because a friend of mine, Stephanie, asked me to watch her baby son during one of those days. One of Stephanie's daughters was in the ICU and very sick. It helped me to serve and not think about being sad.

There's been some days that have been pretty bad for him--and I mean BAD--but it hasn't been all bad. We continue to see little miracles in his life. One of these was that he was approved for a bone marrow transplant. Now they never do bone marrow transplants for people his age. In fact, last year they told him "no." So this is a miracle. Another miracle is that they have found 3 matches for him. Now this is REALLY amazing. He has also had some amazing blessings. Two of which have blessed him with a recovery, but it depends on our faith. This truly is a "trial of my faith."

Here is a story that shows what a great guy Randy is. On Sunday night we called him at the hospital. We were calling to cheer him up if he needed it. Well, when Tanner was talking to him, he started laughing a lot. After Tanner got off the phone he told me that Grandpa Randy was telling him a bunch of jokes. See what I mean when I mention what a fun person he is. Randy is probably feeling the WORST you can possibly feel, we call to lift his spirits and HE'S the one telling jokes.

I have also been greatly touched by the friends (and family) that have shown my family love and concern. A few months ago we had a family fast and I asked several friends to fast with us. I was overwhelmed by the love shown us. These people continue to always ask about him, and in fact, one of my best friends, Natalie, prayed for Randy and my mom. She expressed that my mom needs just as many prayers as Randy. In fact, I didn't realize how much they are looking out for me. One friend came up to me at church on Sunday and said, "What happened? You look more at peace." How in tune of her. A friend from Bunko and her husband offered and were tested for the bone marrow registry. They did this for someone they don't even know. I had another friend, Julie (and just one of my best friends ever) drive down to SLC and be tested also to be a donor. And I can't forget Jerel's sweet family. Boyce, I loved it when you said to me, "What can I do for your mom, that you would do for her if you were here?" They probably remember all too well what this was like a few years ago with Shannon when she needed her second lung transplant. In fact, that's exactly how I feel. Helpless, trying to have faith, relying on the Lord, growing closer to the Lord, fear, more faith, panic, loved, and blessed. So I am praying and faithfully waiting for Randy's next miracle.
The pictures are from Halloween last year when Randy and my mom came to visit. Randy showed Chase how to make his famous tacos and competed with him in basketball. I love the picture where you see Grandpa Randy and Chase drawing and sitting side by side. Randy and Tanner are laughing because he was telling more jokes. Randy also helped us carve some fun pumpkins; you can see him with Jordan. He even went to the Special Someone Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party with Trevor and his class at school. They made a Frankenstein pumpkin.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Geography IQ

Test your world geography skills by clicking on the following link. Be warned: it can be addictive!


Friday, March 14, 2008

American Idol Addict

K, I am loving American Idol this year. I am so impressed with the talent. I think there are so many guys that are good. Each time I hear one sing, I think, "oh, man, he's good!" But then the next guy comes up, and I think the same thing. But I have to admit that David Archuleta usually gives me goose bumps. But what happened this week??? David A., what happened? I still think he's great. I used to like David Hernandez, but he also wasn't so great this week, and now he's gone. Oh, well. He wasn't my ultra favorite.

But then this week, I got all hyped up on someone that I never really paid attention to before. I LOVED David Cook. Most of you don't know this, but in college my roommate Melissa got me hooked on "rocker music." Not major headbanger stuff, but bands like Scorpions, Def Leppard, etc. So, I still am a rocker at heart at times. I thought David C. was FAB!!!

And I can't forget Brooke White. She literally brought tears to my eyes when she sang this week. I love how talented she is. She can sing, play guitar, and piano. I love it when she accompanies herself. Last week I LOVED her too. Simon is right--she has had 3 great weeks. Go Brooke!! I was going to post a clip of Brooke singing, but Jerel was like "Uh, it's already been done. Do something new." So if you haven't heard her sing, go to youtube and check out her songs. I LOVE her!!

A little side note, on Brooke, she is originally from Mesa and tons of people I know, know her. They said she's as nice as she really appears on TV. Cute story:
Our friend, Brent K., told us that he taught Brooke how to sing. I was like "really?" (I believe everything and was ready to believe."
And he said, "Yes, I taught her everything she knows."
Then his wife added, "Yeah, he was her primary chorister."
Brent then added, "She's come a long way since then."
SOOO funny!

Running like the wind

Okay, I have to add a little more to Jerel's post on the half marathon. He has REALLY been into running lately. But because of his schedule, he often runs/trains in the evenings after work (and during kids' ball practises). A lot of people see him since he runs in the area. On the day he ran the half marathon, about 10+ different people came up to us and said that they saw him running. Plus, I must add that I'm really proud of Jerel for how well he did. I'm glad he's having a good time running too.

Funny story: One day our neighbor came up to him and said something like, "I saw you running on my way home from work today. But when I was driving later, I saw you still running. I thought maybe I should stop and pick you up. You were a long way from home." This guy is so funny and now that I've written it, you really need to hear him say it to be able to laugh out loud. I'll try to give you an idea of his humor. Try to picture this--one day he was out in his yard working and singing loudly "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me!" But he wasn't being obnoxious, he's just funny. He's also a real outdoorsy, tough, cowboy like guy. K, now this sounds like a "brokeback" moment where a tough guy is getting in touch with his feminine side. Oh, well. It was funny, and I guess you'll just have to believe me.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


March 8th - today was the day!! Several of my family members, at the invitation of my brother Boyce, decided to run the Canyonlands Half-Marathon in Moab, UT. I had wanted to participate in this event but our family had some scheduling conflicts which prevented me from registering. So I decided that I would train and run a half-marathon at home while they ran in Utah. The one advantage was that I had some nice weather for the run. I set off on my run after Camille had taken Tanner and Trevor to Primary Activity Day. Camille decided that she wanted some photographic evidence of me running so I told her my route and she drove off and took some pictures of me.

At about the 9 mile mark, Camille again drove by after picking up Tanner and Trevor. They waved and shouted encouragement so it was almost like being at a race with some fans cheering you along. Mile 11 was probably the toughest stretch but I wasn't about to quit then. I struggled through to the end and completed all 13.1 miles in 1 hour and 53 minutes. My goal was 1 hour and 50 minutes so I was fairly pleased with my results considering it was my first half-marathon.

About a month ago, Camille purchased for me a Garmin Forerunner which allows me to run outdoors and keep track of my time, distance, heartrate, etc. Prior to that, I had primarily trained indoors using a treadmill so I could gauge my pace and distance better. The picture here shows the Garmin with my results from the run.

The more I run, the more I am contemplating running a full marathon in the near future. Training takes up a lot of time but I enjoy the athletic nature of it and the fact that you are competing against yourself as well as others. You aren't relying on other team members who may be more or less committed than you are. There are many times that require you to dig deep and only you know whether you have given your all. I love the quote by Steve Prefontaine - "A lot of people run a race to see who's the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts." I look forward to the next running event - not sure yet what it will be but I'm sure it will be fun!!