Monday, October 6, 2014

The Family Is Of God

So I guess I'll start at the beginning.  Actually a little before the beginning.  Last weekend I was able to go BY MYSELF to Las Vegas and then drive with my mom to Utah for my Grandma's 90th birthday.  It was a surprise that we came and it was a fantastic weekend.  Before I left I tried to get some recent pictures of the kids and that just went ok.

We do a lot of coloring in this house.  Megan is helping Abby learn how not to "scribble scrabble" when she colors.

This is William's reaction when Chopper goes outside without him.  He'a allowed to be outside for the lawn mowing but not the weed eating and it's always the end of the world.

Chopper and I never take pictures of ourselves anymore!

Megan's reaction when I asked to take pictures of her.

One of William's favorite things to do.

This is what I got when I told the girls to make silly faces for Uncle Jeff! 

Ok so long long story about this trip but these are the most important parts.  

I already posted that my friend Patty passed away earlier in the week.  Luckily for me, her funeral was held on Thursday night before my grandma's birthday.  I know it's small but this is the "biography" of her that was in the funeral program.
I was able to speak briefly with her husband and see some friends from Virginia that were able to be there as well.  Her children spoke at the funeral as well as their Bishop of their new ward in Utah.  They had only been living in Utah for a few months when she passed away because they didn't discover the cancer until they got there but it was such a blessing for them because she spent the last few months of her life with her children and grandchildren and that would not have happened otherwise.  It is a faith-strengthening story for sure.  The funeral was really nice with her children talking about her service, her mothering, her kindness.  All things that I already knew about Patty but specific memories and instances that I of course was not familiar with and that were beautiful to hear.  Yes, I cried the whole way through and yes, it was very sad.  Despite that the Spirit was so strong and I felt my testimony grow of the importance of family, my role as a mother, and Christ-like love for others.

Chopper asked me if it was hard then to drive to Grandma's birthday and switch from an event of grief to one of joy.  Not at all -- because the Spirit there was the same -- a celebration of a life that is still being lived and of a woman who has raised her children in the gospel with great love for them and grandchildren, etc.  To me, they were both manifestations of the importance and power of the family and I feel like I have come back to MY family renewed and ready to dive in again because parenting is HARD!  Of course 4 days with uninterrupted sleep and shopping and no caring for children also helped that renewal process!!!

Anyway, these are some of the fun highlights of the party.

This is Gracie.  She's my cousin's daughter and she's dressed up like Rosie the Riveter since that was kind've the theme.

My sweet, amazing, funny grandma!!  My mom's mom.

My Uncle Quentin (oldest child) had an artist create this poster of Rosie the Riveter but with Grandma's face.  She was a riveter on B-24 Liberator's during WWII before she met and married my Grandpa.

This is a long video but it's the song that all the daughters sang for her:

And these are 3 of the 4 daughters (by the time we took pictures Aunt Laura was gone).  My mom, Aunt Linda, Grandma, Aunt Shirley Ann

And 2 of the sons (Uncle Keith couldn't make it).  Uncle Ronnie (showing the back of the t-shirts that they made with the picture on them) and Uncle Quentin.

Of my family, only my mom and Jeff and I were able to be there but it was good to see him and really, I was there for Grandma anyway! 

There was also a slideshow of pictures from her life, a poem by my Uncle Quentin, and memories shared by children and grandchildren.  It was a fantastic 90th birthday and I'm so so glad that I went since 90 is pretty impressive and I'm not sure when I'll see her again.

My grandma is a very special person in my life.  She is the reason that I have a strong desire to get old and be a grandam myself with the grandkids playing at my house.  She is a strong, loving, fun woman and I count it one of my greatest blessings to be a part of her family.

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