Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ponderings on a Funeral

On Sunday, the Bishop caught me after RS and told me he needed to talk to me. He told me that a Sister Gertrude Pyle had passed away. I did not know who she was and believe me I have almost memorized my RS rolls, I look over them often enough. My counselor Debbie was in there and new who she was. It turns out she lived in the ward years ago and was fundamental in establishing the church in Lewisville. She was being buried here and so the family had called and asked if we would take care of the funeral on Monday. In addition, none of the family members would be able to dress her in her temple clothes for burial. That means it would fall to me as the RS president. This was something that kind of shook me when I found out it was something I could do in my calling. It is not that I have not been around a dead person before. I don't really know what it was that bothered me.
Well, after a few more phone calls it was determined that yes I would need to do it and we would need to find temple clothes. Well we had a few pieces in our RS closet but not a complete set. Bless the Stake RS! They had several sets. Sister Margo Merrill, our stake RS president, picked me up and took me to the stake center to pick them up. She used the drive to give me some great council. First, she had been Sister Pyle's visiting teacher years ago and told me some great things about this lady. It helped because she also helped me understand the sacred duty it is to dress someone for burial. She told me to remember that this is the last thing that will be done for their mortal body. She also suggested I offer a prayer before doing it, thanking the Lord for this sister and the life she lead.
After, we found the clothes we headed to the funeral home. The worker we talked to told us that they would be able to do it. I have to say I had a feeling of relief. But it was not to last. They called Monday morning and had some questions. I told them I would be there in a half an hour. My kind neighbor took my kids on very short notice and off I went. This was the first time I had laid eyes on this sister and you could tell she was a great lady. With the help of two of the workers, we got her dressed and as it was unfolding I felt the spirit touch my heart. I reflected on the words Sister Merrill had shared with me the day before. What a beautiful thing to be dressed in the white clothes of the temple! Her body was stiff and it was awkward to get things just right but I knew that it was just as if we were at the temple, all need to be in the right place. She looked, well, heavenly. I offered a prayer as we finished and my heart was filled with the spirit.
I returned home, picked up my kids and finished a few things around the house before picking up the Bishop's daughter Emily to watch my kids while I went to the funeral. I played the piano for the funeral. She requested Amazing Grace which she loved growing up in another faith. That was the first time I had played that song but it went well. There were not too many people there but you could tell her family loved her. Our stake president came and said a few words. He had been the Bishop when her husband died several years ago. He shared a story about her that touched me deeply.
The church had finally grown enough in Lewisville to warrant the building of a chapel. She was so excited and wanted so much to be a part of it that she got a full time job and worked for one year donating all of her income to the building of this chapel. Could I or would I do the same? I have donated to the church and even donated to the point that it hurt (well in the budget but not spiritually). But to sacrifice so much time and the compensation for that time, I was amazed by her faith. I grew up in Utah I do not know what it would be to not have a chapel. Even now, I am blessed to attend the chapel she sacrificed so much for.
The meeting closed with us singing I am a Child of God. We did not do a luncheon due to the short notice and the family was understanding. I was relieved. This experience as a whole reaffiremd my testimony of our Heavenly Father's plan. We are blessed to know that death is not the end. Our glorious Savior, Jesus Christ was willing to come to this earth, teach us the way, suffer for our sins, sacrifice his life, and then overcome death so we could return to our heavenly home. There is so much love in each part of this. I am so thankful for my membership in this church and for my temple marriage that seals me to my family forever. I am grateful that I had this experience. It was the Lord's way of giving me growth and understanding. I am grateful for the chance that I had to learn of this sweet sister and I pray that her family is being comforted in their time of sorrow.

Joey's New Belt and Houston

Joey tested for his camoflouge belt last Thursday and he did awesome!
He succeeded in getting his new belt and now he and Jon will be in the same class again, Jon is moving to the Juniors level even though he is still a bit young.
Does he look excited or what?!
Doing an awesome job with his bo staff.

A little one step or self defense action. (I can not remember which this is a picture of.)

Joey being congratulated by Mr. Pechacek the owner of the studio and a 6th degree Black Belt.

Posing with his new belt and that is his teacher Mr. Caranza who just happened to walk right behind Joey as I took the picture.

Then we took off and headed to Houston. We had to stop for a treat, which Arabella made the most of.
We visited with Grandpa Rabner on Friday morning while he was there with his mother for a few days. Then, we headed to our friends the Larsen's for a great visit.
Friday we ate lunch, the kids played with toys, then they played in the water in the backyard. I did not get pictures, I know...loser.

Saturday, we went to Toy Story 3, had a great lunch at Red Robin and then we went to these fountains at an outdoor mall near their house. The kids loved it.
Jon was waiting and waiting and sure enough it got him right in the face.

One of the few shots of Joey because he did not stop moving while we were there. You can also see all of the Larsen's except Jack. They are the greatest of friends.

Jack and Jon are waiting, waiting, waiting...

quick try and catch it!

I know you are all saying oh, how cute because yes, she is!

I obviously did not have control of the camera the whole time. Peter loved this profile shot of me, so this one is for you sweetie.

Jack started marching around this concrete boundary of a flower bed and Arabella wanted to try it out too. She loved it because I think she felt so big.

Ice cream cones that afternoon before we left for home. Jon did an impressive job of making it a full body experience.

And again, loving ice cream!

Proof of just how hard Joey played! He appears to have a few remnants of ice cream on his face too.
We loved our time with our friends. You guys are the best and we are so glad you live the same state. May this be the first of many visits.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Peter the Great!

Father's day is coming as you all know and I thought I might take the time before the big day to share with you a few of the resons my husband must be the the world's greatest.

*He has folded most of the laundry the last two weeks and ironed twice, once without asking.

*At least two nights a week, due to me working, he baths and puts the kids to bed. It is usually three times a week because I usually have some sort of Relief Society meeting or visit to make.

*For mother's day he said he would take me purse shopping and not just get me a gift card or something less paiful for a man than the actual shopping. Well, we finally found time last night and he bought me not one purse but four! I know you are all jealous. I did have to agree to getting rid of at least one of the bag's I already own; fair enough right!

*He will always ask if there is anything I need for him to do while I am at work. He has already worked all day but he is always ready with a helping hand around the house.

*He can cook and enjoys it. We actually really enjoy cooking together but if I have worked on a Saturday night and need a nap after church, which he usually makes me take, he will have finished making dinner. He makes some great food!

*He spends time with our kids working with them on their karate, homework or playing Bakugan!

*I need not fear that he won't be able to do Arabella's hair. I had meetings before church and told him to just bring her bows and I would do it there. They showed up and she had the cutest pigtails with bows and a pony in the back that was flipped up and through. Bravo dad!

*He calms me. I was feeling overwhelmed the other night and he listened to me and then reassured me with love and patience.

*He honors his priesthood. I have recieved some of the sweetest blessings from my amazing husband.

*His testimony is the thing that I think first attracted me to him. He did not doubt that what he knew was true. He loves the scriptures and I love him for that.

*He is sometimes such a boy at heart! Cub Scouts has to be his favorite calling ever. He gets to make nifty awards, do crazy cheers and claps, build fires, launch rockets, and let us not forget the pinewood derby cars. Oh the enormous grin these things put on his face.

*He spoils me- right now I am thinking of the heavenly birthday cake he made me. You can see it here. But there are many other ways too!

*He works hard to support our family and I am grateful for that. He has also been the one to do most of the phone calling, collecting of paper work, faxing, etc for the mess with our house in Las Vegas. This I am so thankful for because alot of it is confusing to me still. It is almost over, we hope! Keep your fingers crossed.

I could go on but I know that my husband is amazing. He loves me, he loves our kids, and he loves the gospel. I could not ask for anything more.

I love you Peter!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Growing so Big!

Arabella had her 18 month well check. She is 24.2 lbs and 32 3/4 inches. She can identify animals and body parts and mimics many words. She does not really say much on a regular basis but she will jabber and not make any sense.
She uses a fork and spoon really well. She drinks from a cup better than Joey or Jon at this age. I love watching her discover the world around her. I love you Arabella!

Kindergarten Program

Joey finished school this week. Tuesday he had a program with songs and a poem. It was really cute. The kids did a great job!
What a smile!
Singing away even if you can not tell.

Mrs. Dawes has been the best teacher for Joey. We have loved her and will always be thankful for her love and care for our Joey.

One of the songs the kids sang! They did so well.

Jon's New Belt

Jon did it. He tested last Saturday for his camo belt and did great!
He is sitting like a black belt (well mostly) before testing.

Doing a freestyle weapons routine!

Kihap! What a kick!

Getting his new belt! Mr. Carranza his teacher is tying it on.

Proud new camo belt Jon!
Joey will be testing this week for his. The boys were split into and older and younger class so they are not on the same schedule anymore. We have been told that they will likely be put back into the same class with higher ranked students. We are so proud of both boys!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day

Peter did not work on Monday so we spent the morning doing yard work and then headed off for some fun!
We drove out to McKinney to the Heard Nature Museum and Sanctuary. The museum was not all that amazing but the trails were fun! We walked the Wooded Duck Trail and did not manage to see one duck, go figure. Enjoy these pictures from our fun day!

Joey had a fever all day on Sunday and we gave him meds before our hike but when we got home he was a toasty 102.5. He was a trooper and complained very little.

Gardener Peter

First, Grandpa Max did a ton of work getting our garden spot ready. Then Peter got busy planting and watering and I have weeded and the kids have been eager helpers. It is paying off!

Above picture taken May 26, 2010
And this was taken on May 31. It is really growing. There are blossoms and we have already been enjoying the spinach.

Great raspberries!
After removing all of the lava rock anda major rainstorm that proved we would need to terrace our front flower beds before planitng them, they are terraced and planted and look lovely!
Yes, I have Cala Lilies planted in my yard, something definitely not possible in Las Vegas.

And this little guy has taken up residence in our yard likely due to the abundance of green leafy treats for it to eat. He is small and Arabella is fascinated by him. We have seen about once a day for a week.

Silly Jon and Sick Jon

Jon had an end of year preschool program last week and it was so fun to watch!
He wanted his hair spiky for the special occasion.
What a great face!
That is the bee he made. He is quite the little artist!

The next day this is what he was like most of the day. He had a fever, without a known source. He was a pretty toasty guy that day but it was gone by Thursday morning. I had a class for work and so Peter stayed home with the kids on Thursday. Jon went to his preschool end of year outdoor party that day and when I got home from work this is what I found.

Our air conditioner had not been working for a few days and we were waiting for it to get fixed so we were not sure if the rash was a heat rash or if it was a reaction to the sunscreen from the party. It took 2 days before it was completely gone. I am glad to report he has made a full recovery. Arabella had croup the Thursday before and Joey started with a fever on Sunday. W should be good for awhile on the sick front, I hope. (Notice Arabella holding up her dress in the corner, she wanted in on the action.)

Below are two of my favorite clips from Jon's program. I love when his mama duck hand eats his baby duck hand.