Friday, May 30, 2014

6th grade Grad

Laila's last day of 6th grade and beginning of 1st grade picture.  It's been fun and bewildering to watch Laila grow from a free spirited, spiritual child to a beautiful, strong willed Young Woman.  

Laila is so thrilled to be leaving Valley view and moving on to Jr High...although these end of program pictures would prove otherwise.  Laila with Mrs. Ferrari aka Miss Dimeo...  it was a teary goodbye. Laila  was one of a group that received the Presidential Scholar award for scholastic and citizenship honors from 4-6th grade. 

Preston and Laila looking sharp for  the 6th Grade Celebration!
Genacie and Jonah Ekker, Mason Farr, Preston, Max Eiting, Laila and Heather Kofford.
This is the walking-to-school-bunch that picked Laila and Preston up each morning.  Some days were filled with drama. Most days were good.
I am finally out of 6th grade.  Laila graduated on Friday. YAY.  Wayne and I went to her celebration  with all of the other 6th grade parents.  We sat by sister Angela and watched as our 2 kids sang and performed prior to their exit.  It really was lovely and I told myself I wouldn’t cry, but then Angela started crying during  “You raise me up” song dedicated to the parents.  Preston saw his mom crying so he started crying then I started crying… none of us could stop.  We were sitting behind an Indian Seik gentleman with the head wrap and everything.  He was taking up his fair share of the view and we all had to look around, over and under his arms to see our kids.  He was videoing with his ipad and not even trying to be discreet about it.  I really could only see Laila if I looked at his ipad.  It was pretty funny.  He finally scooted over in front of Wayne and then he started to video the audience during this song as well… as he moved his ipad around to his back,  it was right in front of Wayne’s face—the world’s best photo bomber—so Wayne did a giant funny face into the ipad… well now Laila on the stage can see the picture in the Ipad of her dad photobombing this guys movie.  I start laughing, Laila is Laughing, Angela is laughing, Wayne is laughing…and now we are crying because we are all  silently laughing so hard.  It really was an amazing moment.  I wish you all could have been there to laugh with us.   Now we all wish we were fiies on the wall when this guy shows this video to his family members.  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Weekend wrap up

I have loved every weekend in May. So much family time, dates with friends, game playing, bike riding and great weather.  Memorial weekend was great!  We always get together on Sunday Eve around Tom's grave and remember him. This year Sandy brought a book along filled with letters we had written and given him the Father's Day before he passed away. It was great to share some of these outloud and pass the book around. The Madsen's brought a feast along-- left overs from Kylie's farewell earlier in the day. We looked like the Beverly  Hillbillies eating at the cemetery, but it was fun.
Monday, bright and early, Wayne and I biked 50 mikes out to Saltair and back. I passed out on Wanee's lawn at mile 50 but Wayne actually made it up the hill to our house at the end. He's trying to get back in biking shape after 2 months of nothing because of his broken arm. 
Our family went swimming at Grandma Butters pool like old time sake, but now the grandma is Karen. It was awesome-- then we all went to the  movie -Million Dollar Arm in the evening.
Such a great family day.  I always rolled my eyes at my mom when she made such a big deal that all of her kids and grandkids were all together in the same place at the same time.  Now I get it. Momma Sheri would have loved it!
We went to Mom's and the Grandparents grave on May 21-- a few days prior. We had our own celebration talking about and honoring their lives with no one else in the cemetery but us.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fun with Alfie

So much fun having Alfie at our home.....
We got to really watch him without parents around..... so I like to play.... we added some eyebrows, ...much to Wayne's chagrin and had a great time in Photoboothe 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1st Anniversary of Mom's passing.....Graduation Day

It's graduation season...time for going out and using the education you have earned to make your way in the world, get a job, help your family, move on to the next grade or level in school or life.

 I've attended two of my mom's graduations.  We all cheered her as she crossed the stage to receive her diploma from Weber State after starting again as a student at almost 40 years old.  She was pretty impressive; graduating with honors, learning new skills, making many friends along the way and being a full time wife and mother too.   The second graduation happened last year on this day....... she took with her earthly knowledge, many memories, cherished relationships and I know she graduated into heavenly honors.  Mom's obituary

 Exiting this earth life really is like graduating.  It's not an ending, just another beginning.

What have I discovered about myself since my Mom graduated from our world?.......
Graduating from WSU at age 40!!!
I have decided a few things about my life.......
If I ever get cancer I’m probably  not doing Chemo therapy, depending on the cancer of course….what a waste of what could be quality time with loved ones and traveling and instead puts you feeling worse than ever for the months/years you go through it.  And why?  Many times it doesn't "work" anyway.  I  know what’s waiting for me on the other side and I’m looking forward to it.  Modern medicine makes it so we spend too much money and time trying to prolong our life so we can stay on this side of the veil when the other side is an exciting adventure just waiting for us.

I can hear my mom’s voice in my head so much.  Saying, "Good morning", or "Three kisses for I love you."  "Let's get you out of your pity party." " We work and then we can play."  I'm so glad I recorded her last talk to the family about her life's mission statement.  I listen to it often just to hear her beautiful low voice.

I love it when  people around town tell me I look like my mom.  Sometimes I see it.

The things that remind me of mom….sunsets, clouds, beaches, Bear Lake, roses, chocolate mouse, paint brushes, choir music, color code, puzzles,…….

 What have I learned?
1.  Life goes on even when your teacher, cheerleader and biggest fan leaves your world.
2. We can still  get together as an extended family, and do our tradtions old and new...but family time is more difficult,  more tender and someone is definitely missing.
3. My daddy-o is so capable, remains sweet, and positive even through two huge falls and hospital time. He is just so lonely and our  being around him doesn't alter that.
4.  You have to just keep living until you feel alive again.
5. Having close relationships is wonderful….and worth it, even though it makes death and parting so much more difficult.
6.  If I thought I had emotional eating issues before mom's death, it is nothing compared to this past year.  I have gained 25 lbs....and need to stop eating everything because my mom couldn't eat anything.

I wrote down some quotes from movies and books that just ring so true to me now.....
"Life is a big, fat, giant, stinking mess and that's the beauty of it too"
"We have good days and bad days and we seldom know at the time which is which."
"God isn't in the  events.  He's in the response to the events and the love that is given."

It’s been a difficult, teary, joyful and foggy 12 months.  My friend Laura described the first year after a loved ones death as a tornado year…. You are in the midst of a storm, where everything seems crazy and is whirling around you,  then finally you make it to the eye of the tornado and it seems that everything is calm and going to go well  and then the other side of the storm hits you….and it’s a wild emotional ride all over again.   I totally get this now.  It's been my tornado year.

Laila graduates from 6th grade this year.  I will officially be out of Elementary school after being there for 22 years!  She is learning this song from RENT as part of the festivities.    The lyrics are perfect as I think about my mom.

RENT:  525,600 Minutes:
525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure, 
measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In 
inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes - how do you 
measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of 

525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan. 525,600 minutes - how can you measure 
the life of a woman or man?

In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried. In bridges he burned, or 
the way that she died.

Its time now to sing out, tho the story never ends let's celebrate remember a year in the life of friends. Remember the love! Remember the love! Remember 
the love! Measure in love. Seasons of love! Seasons of love.

 --listen to song 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Laila day....

It's been 12 years since we flew  home from Philadephia with our beautiful baby girl.  12 wonderful years.  12 crazy years.  12 can I be a better parent for this beautiful daughter of God years.   I sometimes wonder if I'm cut out for being a mom of a 12 year old, this late in the game, but it doesn't really matter  if I'm up for it or not, there is no going back.
We watched all sorts of old family videos over Mother's day weekend.  Lexi wanted to see what Monson looked like as a baby, and how he acted etc... She was ecstatic to see how cute he was and said, "We will make beautiful babies together.....eventually. "
ANYWAYS...........  we also watched the beginnings of our Laila at the adoption agency and when we came home with her to a house literally filled with excited family, neighbors and friends....after ten-o- clock at night, no less.  It was wonderful!

Every year we re-live this exciting, faith promoting time.  We call it our Laila day!

Wayne  and I checked Laila out of school for lunch at Costa Vida then popcorn at the Bears movie. We were the only ones there so we could talk out loud, lay on the chairs and really enjoy it.

Thesse are the posts  that tell our Laila story...if you want to go back and read about it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

So many cards

I have so many wonderful friends.
I really feel blessed.
During this past difficult year, I have received many sweet notes and cards.  One of my BFF's....Laura.... has actually sent me a card once or twice a week, every week,  since my mom's passing.   They stack up beside my nightstand and hang on my fridge and are a visual and tactile reminder of love.  I love going to get the mail in anticipation of another card.  Some cards join me in my pity party, some take me out of my pity party...some make me laugh...most make me cry.....all are welcome.

This one is my favorite....

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

I love Mother's Day.  It's always been a reflecting time dedicated to the mothers in my life.  It's a day filled with memories and love....and a lot of laughter.   I thought of my sweet angel mother a time or too that's for sure.   We watched home videos when the boys were little, and Laila as a baby.  This should become a new mother's day tradition.  It's good to look back on our little family and see how far we have come, and how we have grown. We had a huge Canasta card game.....first time in 4 1/2 years.....and just talked and joked and enjoyed each other.
Wayne with his angel mother, Wanee, Holly ordering her favorite nephews around, me with my baby, and Wayne and Alife watching basketball.
We  had my dad, Wanee, Holly, and all of my children here.  I love having everyone around.  We ate an excellent meal of pork tenderloin ( thanks Si for the recipe) coleslaw, veggies, baked potatoes, and strawberries....and pie!  It was really so good.  I was moaning through it.  

Baby Alfie is a heavy, healthy boy.  He is my newest boyfriend and I love to hold and smell him.  IIt's heavenly.   He doesn't yet know how blessed he is to have Bre as his mom.  She is a beautiful, dedicated mother.  
 I make everyone take a picture with me every year.....
Tru, Laila, Addison, Bre
Landon, Alex, Monson, Lexi

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mom's BIrthday....

Today is my mother's birthday.  She would be 75.  She never looked or acted her age.  Good skin, good genes and a good attitude all contributed to this.

Last year we had a tearful celebration all gathering around her hospic- hospital bed in the living room as she expounded on her life and the lessons she had learned.  We sang and she shared her testimony and it was comforting and heart breaking all at the same time.   We all knew it would be her last earthly birthday.

May is my Momma Sheri's month.  It has her birthday in it, Mother's day in it and now her death day in it ...(.plus Memorial day)  Mom loved held the end of school and the promise of summer.

I'm just thinking a lot about my effervescent mom...So happy I could be her daughter.  To celebrate her I'm going to hand out 9 unsolicited compliments for May 9th..... it's something she would appreciate.  I just want to wish her Happy Birthday and Happy Mother's Day.....I know she's watching and listening.
1962...My blessing day, with My dark brunette Mother...I never remembered her like this, only through pics....she was always blonde to me.....My handsome Dad, Marcie and Me. ( I kind of look like Alfie)

Thursday, May 8, 2014


This came from Kelly Rae and her Possibilitarian Project. She started it a couple of years ago, and I just love what she wrote about being a Possibilitarian on her blog:
What is a possibilitarian?

I first saw the word ‘possibilitarian’ in a quote by Dr. Norman Peale: “Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities—always see them, for they’re always there.” I’ve been hooked on its meaning ever since. Do you see the bright light of your life’s horizon (even on the average days)? Do you feel its warmth (even when you’re struggling)? Have you begun to touch the surface of all that is possible for your life? Does it give you goosebumps to think about it (I hope it does)? If so, then you’re a possibilitarian, too.

If you …

: Believe in practicing courage, every single day.

: Believe that kindness changes everything & love always wins.

: Believe that we are all part of something beautiful, something bigger than ourselves, something deeply, profoundly, surprisingly…Good.

: Believe that success has everything to do with who you are, not what you do.

And you also …

: Want to live from the center of your life outward- a place where from which you can radiate and live a whole life, not a half-life.

: Understand that our dreams don’t necessarily belong to us, but serve as important tools, belonging to the world.

: Have overcome the odds — big odds, small odds, private odds or public odds — and still have a full heart…and hope.

Then you are most certainly a Possibilitarian.

(Side effects may include honesty, creativity, tenderness & inspired action.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

En- Courage-ment

and for a little grandbaby Alfie..... not even staged, he did this all on his own....

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Alfie's blessing day...Sophia's party

What a wonderful day we have had for Alfie's baby blessing.... Addison gave a beautiful blessing indicating the two grandpa's he is named for Fred Briggs and Lyle Cole.   He blessed Alfie that he would inherit all of their good qualities including peacemaker, compassion, love of all mankind, and keeping eternal perspective.  It was wonderful to watch my son bless his son.... just filled with so much love. Bre wore a Grandma Sheri necklace so we could have her as part of this day as well.  So sweet.
 We are all together..... can't believe it's taken so long (4 1/2 years) , so I insisted on a picture to celebrate this fact.  So glad Lindsey could be with us as well.  The boys always treat her like she's their sister and growing up with them, she pretty much was.
 front:  Andrew, Melinda, Alfie, Wayne, Sophia, Laila
back:  Monson, Lexie, Alex, Landon, Truman, Lindsey, Bre, Addison
                                                    We love being Grandparents
Yesterday we celebrated Sophia's 5th birthday.  She is such a lover and just fits in so great.  She was thrilled to meet her one and only cousin, Alfie.  We had a pirate party and Sophia was in heaven!

We love Landon, Sophia, Andrew and Alex!