Saturday, November 29, 2008
This year was also a first for my Burton side to split up for Thanksgiving. There are just about 100 family members on that side of the family and it was long over due for us to stop getting a church to hold Thanksgiving (yep, ward party style) and have a more personable dinner in smaller numbers. So in light of this new tradition, my family combined with my Aunt Lyda's family to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was held at her house and still was not a small event (there were still 22 of us).
Because we live so close to my Grandma now, we were asked to pick her up. We got to her house and instead of driving to my Aunt Lyda's like we had planned, we drove to the Emergency Room. When we got to my Grandma's house she was having a hard time breathing and felt nauseated. She looked like she had been crying. She told us to take the yams (which are the best ever!) and go without her. I felt a little weird doing this. Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday and I didn't want her to spend it alone. My Grandma is very stubborn and wouldn't come with us, so we left. I called my mom immediately and told her what was going on. She had no idea and told us to turn around and go get her. So we did. We barely made it out of her driveway when she got really sick to her stomach and had to go back inside. I was so scared for her. I do not do well in these kind of situations, especially when my own family is involved. I called my mom to tell her what happened and everyone was telling me to take her to the ER. She did NOT want to go there. She said her faith is in the Lord not doctors, and she wanted a priesthood blessing first. Understandable. So she called her home teacher and had him come over to give her a blessing. Because you need two priesthood holders, Gordon was able to assist in the blessing. I know I have said this before, but I am so blessed to have a husband who honors and holds the priesthood. This was the second time Gordon had given a healing blessing. He did a wonderful job. Her blessing was beautiful. She was told she needed to go to her doctors. That's the only reason she let us take her there. I'm glad she did because her symptoms were much worse than we thought.
She is still in the hospital. The doctors and specialists are running A LOT of tests to see what's going on. She has been relatively healthy until she turned 80 almost 2 years ago. She's doing a bit better but we're still waiting for some doctors to see her.
We'll always remember "the Thanksgiving that almost didn't happen." We thought for sure that we would be up at the hospital all evening long with my Grandma, but my Mom and Aunt told us to leave and eat with the rest of the family. So we did. It was nice to spend the evening with family. My cousin Doug made a "surprise" visit from Tennessee. It was great to see him. Like always the little girls were excited to see Gordon. When it came time to move onto to the next family event Kaylee said to Gordon "You can't leave. You have to stay for one more hour and a half!" and when he said he couldn't she said "OK, just a half hour." It was adorable. She's such a cutie!
This Thanksgiving made me especially thankful for families. Gordon and I have such wonderful families. Lately we have told each other how blessed we are to have been born and married into the families that we have. We couldn't have asked for better eternal families.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
One lady that really left her mark on me told me a wonderful story. It was her personal story of how she became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder Saints. She said she felt compelled to tell me her story but before she did she made sure I was a member (I guess she didn’t want to offend me). She said she came into contact with LDS missionaries when she was a young adult. They were nice people. However at the time she didn’t want anything to do them. Her mother lived in Utah at this time. After she met the LDS missionaries she called her mom and told her how nice they were and if she ever came into contact with them to let them talk to her. Later down the road her mom decided to rent out part of her house. Her first applicants were LDS missionaries. She remembered what her daughter told her so she accepted their application and they began living with her. Well this lady came to live in Utah shortly after this to help take care of her mom. One day the LDS missionaries asked her if they could “practice their teachings” with her. She accepted although in her mind she told herself she wouldn’t believe anything they would teach her. On the third discussion, which was on the Word of Wisdom, they asked her to kneel down in prayer to see if what they taught her was true. She told me that through the entire prayer she repeated over and over “these people are crazy…what’s wrong with coffee or tea…get them out of my mother’s house…this is ridiculous…” When the prayer was over she got up off her knees and immediately sat down on the couch. The LDS missionaries asked her what she was feeling to which she replied “I know clear as day that Joseph Smith=2 0is a true prophet.” When she told me this my entire chest swelled and my eyes filled up with tears. She said she had never felt the way she felt that day before. She knew without a doubt that this man was called from God. To this day she is still astonished that she felt that way.
Her testimony of Joseph Smith, although very simple, helped me confirm my own testimony of this great man and prophet of my church. When she spoke those simple words “I know clear as day that Joseph Smith is a true prophet” I felt the spirit so strongly.
I have had other seniors talk to me about the church. Another lady I met a few months ago told me she knows all is well because she has the priesthood in her home (she suffers from Alzheimer’s and when she told me this she pointed to a20picture of the First Presidency and Apostles that was hanging up on her wall). This touched my soul. What a comfort this was for her. And what a testimony builder it was for me. I am so blessed to have the priesthood in my home. I am grateful that I can ask Gordon (or other men in my family if he is unavailable) for priesthood blessings. I will never forget my first priesthood blessing for Gordon. It was before I was going in for surgery almost two years ago. Gordon was very nervous but my blessing was beautiful. I didn’t even know he was nervous until after. I love him so much. I am blessed because of him and how he lives his live to honor the priesthood.
The church is true. The doctrines of the gospel are true. My testimony grows a little each day. I am fortunate enough to have wonderful family members, friends, and sweet seniors in my life that help it to grow.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Living room again...
the kitchen view (from the living room area)...
Our dining area...the door to the right is our bedroom
which includes its own master bathroom...
with a sweet jetted tub (it's miniature style)...
also included is our walk in closet...
here is the upstairs guest bathroom...
Now we venture down stairs...to the right we have two rooms...
the laundry/food storage room...
and the office/exercise room which I plan to have my own exercise room in this room...
our junk room (it's a big room which is perfect for all the exercise equipment that I want)...
downstairs family room (which currently has two couches;
and finally the basement bathroom...
I feel like my hard work has paid off. Now I am enjoying my home. I still have a few things I want to do but at least my house feels like a home (thanks Mom for helping me...I couldn't have done it without you and your sweet hand-me-downs!).
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I had the opportunity to participate in a local senior activity center's Veteran's Day celebrations today. I met some wonderful Veterans who deserved every bit of recognition they received and more. I met a man that received a purple heart. What a courageous man he is. I met many men that served in Vietnam, World War II, Korea, and Desert Storm. I thanked each one of them for their service and willingness to lay their life down for our country's freedom.
We are living in times of war today. I continue to live my life the same each day without any worry for my safety. A lot of that safety I feel comes from men like I met today. Courageous, tough, strong-willed, determined, loyal, proud, and brave. I am blessed to live in America.
Monday, November 10, 2008
We had a blast! How could you not? The pizza isn’t too bad, the bread sticks are all right, and the entertainment is non-stop. I will say I was a bit disappointed with the musical numbers. I remember when I was little they had puppets singing and playing music. Now it’s on TV. Lame. The arcades are just a good as I remember…some even better!
We were there for two hours and not once did any of us look at the time. One thousand tickets later we finally left but not empty handed. Two curly straws and lots of airheads! Thanks Dad and Brenda…I can’t wait for the next family night!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
*Who pays bills? Both of us
*Who sleeps on the right side? He does
*Who mows the lawn? He will (and he’s very excited about it!)
*Who cooks dinner? Both of us (he makes a killer breakfast and I love breakfast for dinner!)
*Who drives? Both of us, he says he hates to drive my car because I’m so particular about where to park, bumps in the road, etc.
*Who is first to admit they are wrong? We both do, but he does it far more than I do (he’s a good example to me. I’m slowly learning…)
*Who kissed who first? He kissed me…on the first date! I was very shocked and it was by far our worse kiss (half on my mouth, half on my cheek)
*Who asked who out first? Technically I did, but it wasn’t a date just “hanging out.” He asked me out on our first date the last day of the semester (in case it didn’t work out he didn’t want that awkwardness feeling the rest of the semester; Smart boy)
Saturday, November 8, 2008
We have a list of things we would like to "improve" on our house. None of them are structural, thank goodness. Most of them are cosmetic which to me is the best kind of improvements. Gordon is so excited about all of the improvements on his list, and let me tell you there is quite a list. Some of his achievements so far have been putting up the blinds in our bedroom and living room, and installing the garage door opener. Isn't it crazy how men just dive right into doing all of this kinds of stuff and they are so good at it? I love having a husband that is such a handyman and loves to do these types of things. Of course the two things he has accomplished may not be very big things, he has done a wonderful job and I am very appreciative of them (and him). Gordon has been such a team player these days. It's not easy juggling a full time job, going to school full time, and now managing a home, but he has been doing so well and I'm very proud of him.
And I'm doing my fair share too. The inside of the house is my "territory." There is a lot of things to be done inside...most of them are only because I think they need to be done. Some of the things on my list include painting, decorating, housework (which is never ending), and planting flowers. I'm most excited for the first two things on my list. Our walls right now are white...boring! I want to two tone them and then add a few colored walls for accents. I know I will never be finished decorating and for that I am very excited for (my bank account is not so excited). We also have more furniture than we know what to do with (which I never thought I would have to worry about). We have been so blessed with wonderful hand-me-downs from family and friends. Our house would not be furnished without the generosity of others. We're doing our fair share of "paying back" and are giving what we no longer need to family members. Karma is a wonderful thing.
I don't think I can say this enough but we are so thankful for the opportunity we have had to purchase our home. We love it so much. Each morning and night we tell each other how wonderful it feels to have our own home. We have wanted this for so long it still doesn't seem real (although next month we might feel differently when we make our first house payment).
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Gordon and I were worried that we wouldn’t have enough “muscle” to move the big stuff but our families were so great and all pitched in to help (thanks Matt, Tim, Kim, and Uncle Larry...we couldn’t have done it without you).
So were all in. Although not everything is put away quite yet (that’s my goal this Saturday evening) it’s livable. The rooms that count are in working order (kitchen, bathroom and bedroom). We love our new home! We love it even more now that we have blinds (yeah, the home was blindless but slowly but surly each window is being covered). I look forward to going home each night after work (for different reasons other than I’m not at work anymore). It smells so yummy when you walk in. It still has that new house smell…and that ‘oh so clean’ smell too. Now all that is left is painting and decorating…the fun stuff!
For those that are wondering about our dogs…they are adjusting wonderfully. They love to sit and stare out the windows (sometimes I wonder if they’re part cat…). I let Abbi bark her head off because there are no neighbors above or to the side of us to annoy (just her dad…sorry Gordon). They have a nice backyard to run around in and lots of new doggie friends to play with (or bark at).
Life is good!
My mom and I spent ALL day Friday cleaning our house…and actually only finished cleaning the kitchen and great room (it was disgusting and I’m anal just like my mom so it took us forever to get those rooms clean by our standards…steam cleaned and all!). By evening time I was exhausted, to say the least. We were working so hard that we had forgotten to eat, which was most of my problem because I had no energy once we were finished. But I couldn’t just sit home on Halloween…I had to go party the night away because that’s what you do; instead of trick or treating you party hardy!
Our good friends the Cantwell’s and Kilgore’s threw a Halloween bash. It was at the Cantwell’s house which was turned into a haunted house. Their house was perfect for it because it has a wrap around porch which they turned into a spook alley with fog smoke, scary music, and different scary movie villains such as Freddie Kruger, Michael Myers, and Jason who just happened to be the chainsaw man too. They made each trick or treater go through the ‘alley’ to get their candy. Some of the husbands were “workers” and scared the kids… Gordon included. He popped up out of no where from the other side of the ‘alley’ which I later found out was from the ladder they had on the other side…cleaver. They sure got all of us wives good when we went through it. The sad thing is that we knew what was to come and still got scared. Chainsaws are freaky, especially when you’re in a little area and you can’t open the door to get back into the house for the life of you! Bryce caught the whole thing on video…great for a good laugh.
The Kilgore’s and Cantwell’s love to entertain and they do such a wonderful job at it. Every time we hang out with them we have so much fun. Their Halloween party was no exception. The entire night was planned from beginning to end with fun games, music and movies, and yummy treats. We left there with new friends that are even in our ward! Even though I was dead tired I still had a blast and I’m glad we went. It was great to hang out with Jess, Danny, Sally, and Bryce. We miss them because their not in our ward anymore so we don’t see them near as often as we should. That will change now that we have a house…we can be put into the rotation of get-togethers and have the couples over to our house now…exciting!
Monday, November 3, 2008
When we first got our dogs Grandma Petersen wanted to see them (they were like new grandchildren!). We decided to surprise her one Saturday afternoon with a visit from all of us. She was so excited (which really is an understatement) to see us. Our dogs were very excited to meet her. They climbed on her Jazzy trying to get to her lap. Little did I know that Grandma was not really a pet person. She did give in towards the end of our visit and pet them. They loved it!
On my birthday this past year I got a really thoughtful card from Grandma. I called to thank her for it and we talked for a good twenty minutes about my birthday plans, the different gifts I received, and then the conversation moved to our lives with work and school. When I asked her about herself, she replied “Oh, I’m fine sweetheart” and that was that. I remember her telling me that she loved me and was very proud of Gordon and me. I was very touched. When I got off the phone I told Gordon “Your Grandma is such a sweet lady.” He smiled and nodded his head ‘yes.’
Those are just some of my memories with Grandma Petersen. Gordon has many more and we will both always cherish each of them. We know she is much happier now reuniting with her husband who died too early in their life together and her brother who was there for her when she needed him the most. We will miss her cheerfulness, positivity, and unselfishness that she showed us every moment we saw her. We know she’ll still be watching our lives unfold. She’ll meet our kids before we will, and they too can know how special Grandma Petersen is.