Friday, April 12, 2013

Thoughts on Adoption

March 31st 2013, Easter Sunday, we had the chance to experience the wonderful event of  the birth of another grandchild.  Before I continue, please understand that we love all of our grandchildren and the arrival of each of them has always been met with joy and excitement.  However, I don't think anyone will judge me if I say that this Easter baby is a little more special.  A couple of days after her birth our sweet Easter gift went to live with an amazing couple who have for a long time desired to be parents.  Camryn went through a very rocky road during her pregnancy. Her greatest wish has always been to be a mom and while that wish was within her grasp, due to her circumstances, it was also just beyond her reach.  It has been heartbreaking/wrenching to watch her go through the process of reaching the decision to let her daughter be adopted.  She had a lot of voices expressing discouragment and negative comments along the way but Heavenly Father sent so many angels as tender mercies who kept her in the circle of their love that she was able to finally hear the answer and gain the conviction of that answer that she had been seeking.  While she has occasional moments of sadness she is happy that her daughter has a mother and a father who love her and want to make her a part of their eternal family.  So, she has one wish, please do not greet her with sadness when you ask how she is, instead, ask about Olivia, ask to see pictures, join her in the happiness she has for the child she loves so much because she feels that she was sent to save her life.  Heavenly Father loves her and all of us so much that he allows us to experience hard things so that we can become better people.  And I am willing to bet that, while we don't really wish on ourselves or others whatever hard thing we had to go through to learn whatever was learned, we do wish for everyone the blessings and knowledge of Heavenly Father love that we have come away with.

My family has had the opportunity to have adoption touch our lives in multiple ways.  I gained a sister through adoption, we were given the chance to add to our own family with the adoption of Camryn and now we have had the choice experience to see the miracle of adoption bless the lives of another family through the adoption of Camryn's baby.  Someone asked me once how I could possibly bond with and love someone else's child.  I wondered, "How could I not?".  After all, "Hello... it's a baby!", how could you not love them?  But most of all, when you go all the way down to the very foundation of how we are all related, anyone, baby or not, is our brother or sister and how can we deny them the love that we have been given by the Heavenly Father that we all share? 

So...thank you to all of you who have been so supportive and patient and kind to all of us.  To those who have openly shown your support as well as those who quietly offered prayers of love in our behalf.  While we don't specifically know who each of you are, we have profoundly felt and are grateful for each and every one.

Here is to moving onward and upward.  Life is wonderful and definitely never dull.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January Birthday-O-Rama

Here are all of the birthday kiddos blowing out the candles on their cupcakes (red velvet with cream cheese frosting).  Thank you Kellee, they were yummy! After an awesome pasta bar meal we had present-opening time.  This year we went in the order of birthdays.
Byron is first.
This was Byron's birthday squared.  He was born in 1956 and he turned 56 this year. Yes, those are Legos and a gnome.  Meghan gave him a garden gnome a couple of years ago for Father's Day and the tradition has really taken off.  The Lego kit is a Prisoner Transport vehicle.  New shirt, iTunes, warm socks and he's all set.
Next is Kellee.
New sweater, a knitted hat from Meghan, bracelet, iTunes and some special shampoo and conditioner.

Ashton was up third.
This was Ashton's big 3-0 birthday.  Do I really have a child that old?  How did that happen when I didn't get any older?  Guitar strings and picks, phone case and a Guy on a Buffalo T-shirt.  If you haven't seen these videos on You-Tube, you should watch them.  So silly!

Now for the birthday twins born two years apart.  Skyler is 9 and is Ashton's son.
Apparently he was a little camera shy.  Birthday card from Grandma Hall and a 3-in-1 Lego Motorcycle  kit.  He also got a sweet skateboard from his dad and Becky.  Meghan and Jared got him an awesome moon phase light for his bedroom.

Payten turned 7 and is Kellee's oldest.
Payten also got a moon phase light as well as Dino Legos, a piggy bank and kit to make a wooden helicopter.

Here are some pictures of the other party attendees.
Jared-Meghan's boyfriend

Silly Meghan, you are supposed to eat your pudding, not wear it.

Abadee, abadee, that's all folks!

Friday, January 20, 2012

And The Winner Is.....

Hyundai Santa Fe! This car was at the top of our list from the start but gave a few others some serious consideration. Thank you Murdock Hyundai of Lindon, you guys are the best!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Long Week

What a week!  This week Byron and I celebrated 32 years of marriage on the 10th. That date this year had some other excitement in addition to the anniversary but more on that later. I still can't believe that it's been 32 years.  It doesn't seem like it's been that long and yet, sometimes-not very often, I feel every year of it.  We waited until this past Saturday to celebrate so that we can go out with my best friend from work, Jaimi, who just so happens to have the same anniversary the I do.  She and her husband were celebrating number 15. Yes, we are old enough to be their parents, almost, but that's the best thing about being an adult, there are not a lot of age constraints when it comes to making friends.  We went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse, drove some cars (more on that later) and went to see Sherlock Holmes.  Dinner was great, the movie was amazing and the company was wonderful. 

Jeremy and Jaimi

Last Sunday was a sad day, it was the day our cat, Junior died. I am not much of a softie over animals but he was the last of the "original" animals we had at this house and I remember specifically telling my son NOT to bring him home but when I woke up the next morning, there he was.  About the same size a stick figure drawing of a cat.  We soon fattened him up and we eventually started calling him our Buddha Kitty.  He was friends with all of our other animals, unless they didn;t want to be, and he used to wrestle with Gus, our dog.  Jr was 11 and it was time I guess.  We said good-bye to 3 cats and 2 dogs this past year.  1 cat and 1 dog went to live with others.  The rest just went...I am done saying good-bye to pets.

This is Junior and Me-Mow

Now we get to the fun events of the 10th and another good-bye. On my way to work I was hit by a someone who ran a stop sign and hit me.  The initial report was that the car appeared repairable.  Once it got to the tow yard, it was a different story.  So it is good-bye to our Sonata.  It was a great little car and took us on some amazing adventures.

Not sure what the replacement will be although the official contenders are the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Subaru Outback.  Stay tuned...same bat time...same bat channel.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Winter Olivia Johnson

Born Dec. 31st. 7 lbs, 12 oz. 21 1/2 inches long.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Handcart Trek 2011

Can I just say that I love going on a Handcart Trek?  This year makes #4.  I got to go as an aunt again and I was part of the Schmidt family.
There was Ma and Pa Schmidt and then most of us got our names from the song John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.  So we had John, Jacob, Jean, Jill, Hyrum and then Mary Lou, Sarah and Winnie (me), too.

We walked......
 And walked.......
And uphill.....

We got a little (understatement of the year) wet....
and had a lot of fun.

 Our fearless leaders, Los Tres Amigos.

 That's one way of supporting the bishop....we couldn't let that cranium get fried. After all, it was in charge of getting us all to the end safely.

Our wonderful support staff....cooks, wood choppers, latrine drivers, water haulers, all round fun bunch.

A Little Southern Comfort

My cousin, Darla, came to Utah all the way from Finland for the McAllister Reunion this year.  She used to live close when we were younger and we loved spending time at each other's houses and getting up to all kinds of shenanigans.  Here is a picture when we were about 13 or 14.

 Here we are, a little older and much wiser?  On the left is our cousin Shelly who used to join in on the shenanigans once in a while. The three of us took a road trip with Grandma Eleanor one summer that was quite action-packed.  Funny thing is these two ladies are actually my dad's cousins due to the very large family my grandma came from.  Shelly's dad and my dad were just months apart in age and Darla's mom was Shelly's dad's older sister.  My Grandma Eleanor was an older sister to both of them.  It was good to see Darla again.  The last time we saw each other was when her daughter, Sarah was a baby.  Sarah is now 6 or 7.

 Before heading to the reunion we took a side trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  I think I had been there when I was younger but I really don't remember.  I want to go again when we can stay longer and do some hiking.

Just one of the many pictures I took.  It was a beautiful day and we were jealous of all of the motorcycle groups we saw.  I think that next time we may just trailer the bikes to St. George and make the trip on them.

They had a bunch of these little "shelters" so Camryn and I took advantage of a great place to have our picture taken.
Byron opted for a sunnier spot outside onside on the observation deck at the lodge.
This is a statue of Brighty who is a pretty historic part of the Grand Canyon.  I remember reading a book about him when I was younger because it was written by an author who wrote about horses and I had a serious horse addiction as a girl.

These are just some cool things I saw in the lodge.

 Why, yes, that IS a life-sized Kachina Doll.

 This is a picture of one of the chandeliers in the lodge.

Now to be a little irreverent......We didn't have any of these pies but the signs are good for a giggle.