Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Tribute to My Mom

My sweet mother passed away yesterday afternoon. All of her children were there when she passed.

She was so dear, and she was loved so much. Last night, as my husband Steve & I were talking in bed, he said that he always felt that she loved him unconditionally; she really did. She would always tell us kids that she may not always like what we did, but that she would always love us.

She struggled yesterday; her breath did not come easily. She was unconscious, though, so we didn't know what she was experiencing since she couldn't tell us. We lamented that the doctor wasn't quick in responding to the nurse's plea for a liquid morphine prescription for my mom; looking back, I'm glad that he waited, since his delay let all of the children be there with her when she passed, and that was how she wanted it.

After she passed, my siblings, along with a handful of our children (her grandchildren), sat around and visited. We told stories about our mother and each other. We laughed, and we cried. We hugged and a lot of "I love you"s were said. We also planned out most of her funeral arrangements and the program for the funeral itself.

Today, I think all of my children will be around me, and Steve will be here along with my brother Bill. We will all comfort each other. What a blessing family is. God had a good plan when he sent us into family groups.

I was the baby of my family by 10 years, so I got my mom to myself a lot. She was my playmate and my best friend. I will sorely miss her. In fact, the first thing I did this morning was to check my voicemail messages and listen to and save the ones that she left to me yet again. I want to figure out how to transfer those voice recordings to something other than my voicemail so that I can have them forever. I even had a message where she was singing "Happy Birthday"; on our birthdays, my mom *always* sang Happy Birthday to us, either in person or on the phone, so that is a valuable treasure. It was nice to hear her say, "Hi kiddo" again.

The funeral will be on Thursday, if we get our way, or Friday if Thursday is too busy for the mortuary.

I'm so thankful for another experience of death that happened about 12 years ago that taught me that the person's spirit does indeed go on and that all of our existence isn't just with this outer shell. I know that she has gone on to be with family and friends that have passed away before her, and what a blessing it is that she can now move herself from place to place w/o the need for a hoyer and a wheelchair, that she has no more pain, and that she will love me and remember me and be there for me when I pass away.

Ida 1936-2011

Thanks for your prayers and words of comfort through the years that she has struggled and given us many scares.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday - July 28th

The things that I am thankful for from this week:

- That when my mom is confused, it is usually because she is talking about what she dreams about and thinks is real; floating around the facility and visiting others rooms is a pretty great dream for a bed-ridden person.

- That I was able to get a good panning shot for my photography class; I had done it before, but I was less than confident I could do it again.

- That my brother was able to come out from ND to visit my mom before she gets too confused.

- That Hershey's Kisses and Keebler Grasshopper cookies were invented; I needed those things this week!

- That I have great friends who worry about me and offer help and support(and brownies! :) and prayers.

- That I have a great family that makes me feel loved (that includes children, husband, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, mothers and fathers :).

- That the bills are paid. I have a funny for this. - A friend of mine, when I'd written "I'm armed w/ chocolate. Let the Battle of the Bills commence. (or I could just go watch a good movie.... ;)" on facebook wrote back: " lol melody! one of my favorite i love lucy episodes is where she puts all of the bills on a lazy susan and gives it a spin. the ones that stay on are the ones that get paid that month!" Thanks for the laugh, Tammy! :)

- That the week is almost over.

Have a great one!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Photo Assignments

These are the ones I turned in for the "motion" assignment this week:

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday the 26th - Pics: brothers and pics of the little kids

Josh and Karen came over to pick up Aiden (we watch him on the weekends) and hang out with us for a bit.

J & K showed Aiden the baby goats and let him feed them some morning glory:

Look at the face of the second goat; he is SMILING! (you'll probably have to click and enlarge the pic to see it.) It makes me laugh every time I see it. :)

And since both of the brothers were wearing their "Doughboy Style" shirts, I had to take a pic :)

Earlier in the day, Aiden had gotten restless; he'd played with all of the toys already and was just generally bored, which in a toddler can equal trouble since they start being naughty when they're bored, so Grandpa brought the fan into the living room, turned it straight up, and put a beach ball that he'd bought at the dollar store on it. It rolled around in the wind current, and I got the idea of putting a balloon on it.

The balloon flew up and the air current kept it up for almost a minute at a time. SCORE! Aiden had fun chasing the balloon through the room. :)

Tonight is a mother & son carnival at our church. Matt is super excited about it. :)

I hope that you have a TERRIFIC TUESDAY!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday in Pics - motion: panning & blurring + a cattle round up

On Friday afternoon, I took Michael to the park. I needed to take another panning (keeping the subject in focus while everything around it is blurred) shot for my photography class.

I think they are good! (I'm still working for the "perfect" panning shot, but good is great!)

Then later on that evening, Steve & I drove up the canyon. It was beautiful!

I worked on my "blurring motion" assignment from my photography class:

And we saw a real live cattle round up:

There was another picture I wanted to take, but I chickened out. :/ It would have been a scene like this: imagine about 10 cowboys and cowgirls all dressed up in their chaps, hats, & spurs leaning up against the corral talking together while some others worked with the cattle. It was a great shot, but because I hate to ask people if I can take their picture and I won't take one w/o permission, I missed it. :/ BUT I promised my friend Regina that if I ever have the opportunity to take a similar pic, I'll cowgirl up & take it.

And then, there was the sunset that I had to play with:

God is such an amazing artist, isn't He? The colors & shapes at sunset show His hand in things better than at any other time of the day.

Have a Happy Monday!

Friday, July 22, 2011

This Moment - July 22

I'm sorry that I haven't been here for awhile. Life happened.

On Sunday, I got a call from the nursing home saying that they were sending my mom to the hospital. The next day, Monday, was Josh and Karen's anniversary; we watched Aiden while they celebrated. Then, Tuesday was Michael's birthday. Wednesday, my family had a meeting to discuss my mom's precarious medical condition. Thursday was my camera class. And here we are to Friday. I feel like I've blinked and the week is gone.

For "This Moment", there isn't just one single image from the week that I want to remember; there are two:

Happy Birthday, dear Michael!

She is just so sleepy.

When I'm feeling up to it, I'll fill you in on my mom's condition. For now, I'll just say that she isn't doing very well.

This next week's photo assignment is motion: freeze action and showing motion. Through the week I'll show you my successes. I've had this assignment once before in my beginning photography class. Here is the link to those pics.

Last night, my instructor told us that panning may be too difficult, so perhaps we should stay with photographing water since it is easier to capture; no one told me that in the beginning class, so I didn't know I shouldn't be able to succeed. Now that I know, I am very proud of my first attempt at panning, so much so that I'll share the pic again:

Maybe the moral of the story is 1) to not tell someone that something is too difficult for them and 2) to not believe someone when they say that you can't do it. Like the theme song from "Arthur" says, "Believe in Yourself".

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


It is everywhere right now....

I loved this pic so much that I played with the color a bit:

Cooler colors:

Warmer colors:


I'm thinking that this pic would make such a beautiful 8 x 8 canvas, especially to decorate the Master Bedroom or to hang as a decoration at Valentine's Day. Watch the etsy store, I think this one needs to be shared! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Black and Whites

For the photography assignment this week, we are supposed to get a "unique light" and a black and white pic. I'm finding that black and whites are tricky to me! Here are a few of my favorites that I've taken so far... I'm certainly no Ansel Adams. :/

My mom is back in the hospital. She is really sick this time: a fever of 101.9* and very confused. I'll be back and forth between home and hospital today.

And today is Josh and Karen's 2nd Wedding Anniversary! Happy Anniversary to them! We get to play with Aiden for today. :)

Have a super day and I'll see you tomorrow.

Friday, July 15, 2011

This Moment - July 15

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - Amanda Blake Soule

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our Weekend in Pics - Thursday July 14th

Every year, a town close-by has a Scottish Festival. My family *loves* to go, each for different reasons.

For Jared, it has always been about "fighting the giant" or other games; then, as he has gotten older, it has been about the weaponry. Every year for the past several, he has bought himself a new sword - it is his tradition.

This is the one from this year (somehow the smile doesn't seem to go with the dagger, does it? :)

This year, since they are all old enough and wise enough (to know that these are not toys - and even though the edges and tips are mostly blunt, they can still cause harm) and obedient enough (to put them away in a safe place for storage and to not play with them) . . . My whole crew (minus Michael) purchased their own swords & daggers.

Emily and Matt's favorite part seems to be EVERYTHING about the festival: the music, the food, the shops, the games. They drink it all in.

Amber and Tino even showed up for a little while; I'm not sure what their favorite part was, but they seemed to enjoy eating a hard boiled egg covered with sausage and then deep fried, and looking at all of the shops. Too bad I didn't get any pics of them. :(

At the festival this year, Michael's two favorite things to do were
People watch

and sit with Dad.

Steve's favorite part is sitting and listening to the music: the bands, the singers, the bagpipes. Everything. He loves it all.

At first, Aiden loved listening to the music

Then he got distracted

Then he started pulling faces at us (What a cute boy!)

And then... he'd had it.

He was *done* with just sitting - he doesn't love sitting and listening nearly as much as Steve & Michael; he wanted to go where the action was. So everybody took turns pushing him in the stroller.

My favorite part is looking at all of the little shops at the trinkets, the jewelry, the clothing, eating the ethnic food, and watching everyone else enjoying themselves.

I'm always sad when it is done. I could enjoy it for a week! (especially the fish that a lady from Ireland and her husband cook. YUM!)

We also tried to go to Lavender Days, because Young Living Farm is is one of my favorite places on Earth! This year they were charging admission, and since we only had an hour to spend before having to leave for a family get together, we didn't go. I'm going to take the crew down another weekend, and though there won't be all of the excitement of Lavender Days, it will be nice to just sit and smell the herbs, see the animals, and look at the beauty there.

How about you? Anything fun happen this weekend at your place?