Thursday, March 23, 2017

Edie Ann's blessing

March 5, 2017 ~ St. George, Utah

Although I was unable to attend EdieAnn's baby blessing, Buddy's sweet mom, Sheree took some incredible photos of the day and was kind enough to include my family in her photo shoot!  I'm so thankful for her gift of sharing a bit of that special day with me!  Here are my favorites of her shots!

EdieAnn was out!  I love this little family so much it hurts!

I think that it's safe to say that Doug is in love!!!

My mom only lives 20 minutes from Liza and Buddy, which has been a good thing for them both, I think.  Mom enjoys seeing them and I love knowing that they all are close enough to check on each other occasionally.

Oh my gosh, look at that good-looking boyfriend of mine!  I'm kind of in love with him!!!

Doug and I are firm believers in the fact that there is something good that comes out of every adversity.  I'm convinced that one of the wonderful things that came from Grace and I staying home over the weekend of the blessing was that Zeej and Liza had some time together alone to bond... and bond they did.  Having Liza here this past few days, it was so obvious that the two of them are closer than ever.  

Gosh, I have a beautiful family, if I do say so myself!

I am blessed beyond words! Life is good!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

a few other random things...

Even though my abilities are limited at the time, I'm keeping plenty busy.  Our calendar is full and are days fly by.  In the past twelve days, here's a few totally random things...

First, and most important, our sweet friend, Reed passed away last week.  His viewing was last Tuesday evening.  Doug and I went early because of Young Women and YSA commitments.  The funeral home was filled with lovely photos of Reed and his lovely wife, Betty.  Reed and Betty built our home and lived her from 1961 until she passed away and he was here until we bought the home two years ago.  Throughout our two years in this home, we have heard many stories of the love that Reed had for Betty, how he took such tender care of her in her later years of poor health and how he simply adored her.  We have felt that love in this home from the first time we walked into it and will continue to fill the home with the love of family.  I stood by his 92 year old body, still full of the most handsome head of white hair you have ever seen, and thanked him for building us a home that we can love and live in!

Quayd is doing well.  He's had a great couple of weeks, but he misses Elders Houskeeper and Bailey immensely.  I think that's been a big challenge for him.  His new companion, Elder Allen, sounds awesome and Quayd is really appreciating his temperment and great personality.  I can't believe he's been gone eight months already!  That first two months seemed like eternity but now, it's going by so quickly!  

Denise asked me to help her with some ideas for her Ward Relief Society Birthday Party.  I suggested that she have several sisters set their own tables however they wanted.  She ended up doing two tables and asked me to do them for her, so I was excited to have a project!  We worked on it for three days last week. I also came up with ten questions for each table to have table talk about Relief Society.  The questions kept the conversation going and, although I didn't go because Liza was coming, Denise said it was a wonderful evening!

A little TV talk... Survivor!  We are so excited for an All-Stars season.   We are only on Episode 1 because Liza arrived, but it looks like it will be a great season!  Our new favorite TV show is "This is Us."  It has to be my new favorite of all time series!  I love every character.  We were talking about the characters and when I was asked which is my favorite, I said, "Whoever is on the screen at the moment."  I love every single one of them!  What a beautiful story of love and devotion and family! 

This is totally TOTALLY random... but Liza and I bought a couple of bags of OREOS.  And this is what we got.  Lemon and Thin Mints.  TOTALLY crushed and smashed.  We came straight home from the store with them. No, Aylabelle didn't step on them.  They were like this off the shelf.  I've never seen anything like it, but Oreos are to be dipped in milk and these were not dippable, so they will be part of Oreo Rice Krispy Treats.

ZJ and I love to visit in the hottub.  After Physical Therapy, the hottub always calls my name.  Zee was out tanning on the trampoline and saw Doug opening it for me.  She instantly wanted to join me.  When she got in, she said, "What are we going to talk about today?"  I love that we have real heart to heart talks whenever we have that uninterrupted time.  I love, even more, that she knows it's coming and wants to get in with me.  Not too many 16 year olds, or at least not many of mine, have, at that age, asked for serious talk time.  Have I mentioned that I love this girl?  She's my hero!

Denise called me the other day and said that she was sending something over to me and that I was NOT to post it on Facebook.  She had made these delectible brownies that were like Samoa girl scout cookies only a thousand times better!  However, she warned me that they "look like dogpoop".  Denise is funny.  When I posted a trifle that Carol had brought over a few weeks ago, she said, "THAT is why I will never cook anything for you."  Throughout my recovery, she's taken me to dinner, brought Texas Roadhouse for the whole family but never cooks anything.  She says that she can't match up to my other friends in the kitchen.  So, when she sent these brownies over, which she literally took out of the oven and cut them to send a plate home with Doug, they fell apart and were a gooey chocolately heavenly mess on a plate.  She said, "I'm dishing these onto the plate, watching them all fall apart everywhere and all I could think of was that Trifle Carol made for you a few weeks ago."    We have laughed so hard at how they looked BUT oh, my, they are a must have recipe!  She's sending it to me today, so I'll post it soon!

Seriously, they were DIVINE!!!

I've just come home from physical therapy.  He took it a little easy on me today and Monday because I had a very very bad weekend, pain wise.  Friday, he'd pushed me a lot and I paid for it all weekend.  This is not an easy recovery.  I'm so NOT whining.  It's just a fact.  It's pain.  All of the time.  Literally.  Every minute of EVERY day.  And the more I push to get better, the more pain it is.  BUT, if I don't push, I won't ever recover fully and that's just not acceptable.  I haven't got time for the pain!  HEY!  Like Carly Simon!  Annnyyyyywaaaaaaaaaaaay, I digress. Each day I'm getting a little better.  It will be months more before I'm fully functioning again.  But, I'm determined!

 My friend, Katie, had her mom, Karla, visiting her this past week.  Karla is my age.  She was riding a bike around the block, fell and broke her shoulder in two places and her hip on Monday.  Karla had emergency hip surgery on Monday evening and today is having shoulder surgery.  I can only imagine what she is going to have to experience.  She will have much more pain to deal with than I have.  My heart goes out to her and my prayers are for her.  

This getting better when you aren't 29 anymore isn't as fun or easy as you would think.  Even so, life is good and full of so much joy and so many wonderful things!  Blessings all around us, if we just look for them!  Keep looking!  Enough said!


This cute girl, my baby, is sixteen years old!!!  How did that happen!?!?  She's as beautiful on the inside as she is on the out!  She has literally been my right arm for the past few months, as well as, much of the past few years.  She knows where everything in the house is.  She knows how to do anything that I can do in the kitchen, in the laundry room, in the craft room.  She's amazing!  She's got a strong testimony and a strong will!  Don't mess with ZJ!!  She'll tell you how it really is!  She has courage or hutzpah to stand for truth and righteousness!  Seriously, she will not be bullied and won't let others around her be bullied.  She takes a stand when it's needed!

She's loud and fun and friendly and just plain Zeej!  Everyone loves being around her because she is the life of the party.  Yet when she wants or it's the right time, she can be very reserved and "appropriate".  I've been so proud of her in Young Womens because she makes sure that everyone feels included and important.  If she sees something that's of interest, she goes for it!  She's currently taking a pottery class and learning guitar.We couldn't be more proud of this girl!

For her birthday, we went to breakfast, her choice, at Angie's Restaurant.  Grace was at Bella rehearsals and missed most of the fun that day, but it was a great day... even though there was a void of Grace and Quayd.

Doug and Zee took a bike hike across the Bonneville Trail and down to first dam.  We drove to the dam with the babes and waited for them to come down the mountain, which Aylabelle thought was pretty cool!

These two kind of like each other.  Aylabelle can't get enough of Aunt Zee!

When Grace got home, we had her gift opening.  No treasure hunt.  Zeej is not a fan of birthdays.  She hates the attention to be focused on her, very much like her dad. (Doug HATES anyone to sing Happy Birthday to him!  So does Zeej.)

When Grace turned sixteen, she got her first solo plane trip to Arizona and a week with Liza, who killed the fatted calf and even set her up on a blind date with a boy in her ward. Zee is more of a homebody and didn't want to fly.  She's not a fan of birthdays either, which made it even harder.  (Hence, no birthday interviews for the past few years, by the way.) So, I had to come up with something else for her birthday.  SO... 

We had sixteen gifts for her sixteenth birthday.  Zeej loves hair and makeup and fashion.  So, we bought her a very cute make-up organizer (Farmhouse style like her bedroom), make-up brushes, make-up, new awesome sandals, snazzy summer jammies, a belt, a fancy water bottle (I can't remember the brand but it's a thermos type and apparently, pretty cool) and more.

One thing that I knew she would not expect was a stuffed sloth.   EEWWW!  She's wanted this sloth for two years, every single time we go into Hobby Lobby. She puts it into my cart or carries it around.  I finally decided to get it for her, more as a joke.  She laughed so hard!

Grace and I hate the sloth!  It's UGLY!  But, she will be able to say she has it now, just like the sock monkey that she begged for for years!  Then she forgot that we'd given it to her.  So the sloth has been a constant reminder of the sock monkey that she still insists she never got, but we all remember - except her! 

 There was some serious teasing here!

 Her final gift was a pizza box with $50 and change, that was folded in wedges to look like a pizza with pepperoni.  She was so happy with that!

Aylabelle and Zee wanted to make the cake together, so she made her own birthday cake, which had a strawberry extract in it and was very tasty!  

We're allowed to sing Happy Birthday at home, but NEVER in a restaurant!

Zeej really is not a big fan of birthdays, but she told us that this was her best and she might could start to like them now.  We laughed.  She only has one left and then it's just fast cash for her gift each year.  I guess I had better make next year's pretty special too!

Zeej had wanted a birthday sushi and since not everyone is up for that, Doug and I took her to Black Pearl for all the sushi she could eat this afternoon.  She was in heaven!  We came home and played a new game, Roll for It, for a bit before she left for Young Womens Activity Night.  Grace, again, is at Bella.  Her last three months of high school are keeping her pretty busy!

Seriously, I could not love this girl more!  She's incredible.  She's amazing.  She's wonderful!  She's my girl!  And like I said, she's my right arm, these days!  I also could not be more thankful for her!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

a visit from my girls

I have been so busy with Liza here that another week has slipped away but what an awesome week it was.  Last week was crazy with physical therapy three times a week.  That's only for two more weeks and I have really mixed emotions about it.  I feel like I need it if I am ever going to get better, but it's so hard and sooooooo painful.  All I heard for weeks was, "You think this hurts, wait til PT!"  OH, were they ever right.  It's the hardest thing I have ever experienced.  But, it has to hurt if it's going to be back to normal and I have to have my shoulder again!  So, pain, it is!

SO.  Liza and her girls arrived and we had a most delightful weekend together, in spite of the fact that I spent much of it lying in the recliner.  Here are a few highlights of our weekend in pictures....

 As soon as they arrived, Aylabelle and I took our "traditional" selfie.  She and I have done selfies together since she learned how.  We laugh and make the silliest faces...the smiles are always my favorite but Aylabelle likes the silly ones!

Not holding EdieAnn was the hardest thing about this visit.  Doug made up for my lack of holding both girls, but it was truly hard.  Liza was pretty protective of my shoulder and made sure that I didn't over-do it.  I was thankful for the boppie, which balanced Edie instead of my shoulder!  But, Doug!  He does love being a Grampy and he adores these baby girls!

Really, that Boppie!  I love it!  And that tongue... could she be any cuter?!

We celebrated ZJ's 16th birthday, which I'll share in a separate post.  Breakfast at Angies was a fun time.  Sadly, Grace was at a Bella rehearsal and missed much of the weekend festivities.

A bike ride with Grampy.  I'm so thankful for Doug's great health and vigor!  It makes for a much more fun time playing with Gramp!  By the way, it was only fifty feet or Aylabelle would have been in a helmet.

Feeding the ducks works much better earlier in the day and not on Saturday, when half the valley has already fed them and they aren't even hungry anymore!

This little sweetheart just amazes me, more and more, every time we are together!

On Friday, my nephew, Adam was married.  Aylabelle made herself at home during the reception and made a new friend.  She is so social!  The wedding was a perfect chance for Liza to get to see all of her aunts and uncles and Grandma and Norm.

This was the first time that the girls were old enough to be invited into the group of girls for the bouquet toss!  I called out, "If you catch that, you're grounded!"  Grace thought it might be a good idea because she has several classmates who are already engaged.  Not happening here!  Not yet, please??

This was probably one of my favorite moments of the weekend.  Early Sunday morning, we all gathered in our KingSize bed and giggled and had girltime.  Doug was already at early morning Sunday meetings. It was just a fun time.  We talked about Quayd and laughed and shared stories.  I love those moments!

I had physical therapy on Monday morning, just before they had to leave.   Physically, I'd been pushed pretty hard on Friday at PT and it was a rough weekend for my body.  Monday morning, my therapist could see, the second that I walked in, that I was in pain.  I am not kidding, this shoulder injury has been life changing.  It's a whole other post.  But, I see it.  I feel it.  I'm not loving it.  I know it's a challenge that I will grow from, but when my grands are around, I really could pass on the whole shoulder injury experience! (wink-wink!)

Just before they left, I realized that Liza and I hadn't taken any pictures together, other than the one in bed, which I was instructed by all three girls not to share on the blog.  So, we snapped a quick selfie.  Buddy had been in SLC at the March Madness College Basketball Tournaments and came up on Sunday afternoon to drive Liza home.  I was so thankful for the time with my girls and that Buddy could be here for a little part of the weekend!

Aylabelle is such a little tenderhearted girl.  She is very attentive to her baby sister, always consoling her and making her comfortable.  One of my favorite moments of the weekend was when I got home from Physical Therapy.  She came up and gave me a hug, then asked, very concerned, "Grammie, did the doctor make your boo-boo all better?"  I said, "He's trying.  It gets a little better each time."  She said, "Can I see your boo-boo?"  I wasn't sure that she would really want to and asked her if she was sure.  She said she did, so I unbuttoned my blouse and pulled it down over my shoulder.  The incision was eight inches long.  Her eyes go so big.  You could see that it was a bit unnerving to her.   Then, she put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Oooh, Grammie, I'm soooo sorry."  Oh, I love this little sweetheart.  She truly is an angel.

The whole weekend was wonderful. There was more than I've shared but I did want to post today.  Birthday, wedding, just chilling at home together...perfection because we were together!  Life is good!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Elder Corbridge has been out 8 months today! Letter 38

This week was good! Everything has been good.  We had the chance to do some service and watched some Hermanas or sisters mow the lawn for the first time ever!?!?!? priceless!!!!!!! They didn't even know what that mighty machine was, or how to tame that noisy and insufferable beast. First the girls gather around this metal machine and they look at it with a surprised reaction, wondering, how is someone to wake the mighty beast up. A man taught them, but they stared, having no clue, what he was talking about. He left them and they continued to stare. One sister finally said "okay lets get to work!!!!" haha she was puzzled but she was brave enough to touch it. The other sisters gathered around this brave hermana, as she slowly pulled a lever. The beast roared. The girls jumped away from the courageous hermana. Oh, man it was a moment worth capturing!!!!!!

They cut every single strand of grass, going over the line they just cut over and over again and then looked back and said it still looks the same.  Us elders were laughing, but, I kinda felt bad about it. I didn't know if we could help them. So, we kinda didn't, but man, it was so fun watching them mow the lawn for the first time.

The first sister turned around to cut more and almost cut a sister’s foot off. These sisters were doing everything they could to cut that grass, even if it meant losing body parts. One sister lifted the lawn mower and started running thinking she could cut the grass faster that way, but the blade was barely touching the tips of the grass.  She ran around the whole baseball field until she made it to the starting point, realizing she wasn't cutting anything.  Then, the next sister attempted and then the next, all of them wondering why they couldn't do it. There was a friendly old man who showed them how and they were able to go around the field three times in an hour. You have to love sisters, especially, when there trying their best.

It was a good service opportunity. But, it makes me think.. We have scriptures, prophets, leaders, a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to communicate with him, along with a Savior who wants us to use his atonement so we can do things right. Repentance or faith or being baptized or enduring to the end…  all these things have one thing in common. They are the way of life. Elder Larry Corbridge, of the quorum of the seventy said, “Life is to live. It's to live more abundantly.” Now it doesn't mean having all the things of the world, but, things that matter, the things that help us cut down those temptations, rejection, trials and challenges. That insufferable beast as referred to a lawn mower is called the gospel. If we stay true to the gospel, we can make it through that large field…void of temptation or infirmaries and cut them down with the Savior's help or the prophets and apostles help, until the man in charge, says it looks perfect in His eyes. We may find ourselves slipping at times, we may go over some patches, but that's why we have a Savior who loves us and who was willing to die for us so that we could do it right and go over those rough patches with repentance.

I love the gospel! I love the guidance it gives me in life the way to eternal happiness and I love that I'm sharing it with the world in California.

We have so many investigators finding that way. One is so ready to be baptized, she's announcing it to the ward saying "I'm getting baptized!!!!!"Funny... she doesn't know what time or where it's going to be. She just knows that on that day, she will follow the Savior’s example. 

This other sister said she would be baptized with her two boys. It was funny. Bishop and our roommates told us that she wasn't even close to baptism. My companion, Elder Allen and I, we actually roll played it and we were joking, I, jokingly said this, as my companion asked, “So, Sister, will you be baptized?”  In my girliest voice, I said, “Of course, I will!”  My companion laughed so hard. Where was our faith?? But, just as we roll played, so did it happen!!!!! She said she would be baptized with her two boys!

We left that day and told everyone who had doubted that they were getting baptized. We told bishop and he was startled with the reaction of "Jazz??? Wait,Jazz is on date!?!??!?" We happily told him yes. You see Jazz is Sikh and the Sikh religion is kinda hard to change, if you are raised In it. So this is great stuff!!!

The Windshells are getting baptized. So many coming to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized and receiving blessings from heaven. If they endure well, if they live as our Father will have them live and hopefully to live in abundance. I love these people!  They are great people, children of god. Each have a story and a path at different times and different people influencing their lives, for good, for light, for happiness. Families not being a torn apart, people loving one another and raising their heads to find someone who is bleak and seems hopeless or husbands and wives sticking together. What a bright, cheerful world!!!!

Sadly this is not the whole world, but with the help of members, we can change it and that's why there's hope!  That's why there's prophets and apostles to share that hope that light and that truth. Along with missionaries! I'm so happy to share the truth.  With the help of Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, the world is brighter, for He is the light.

I have struggled a lot on my mission because of weakness, because of lack of faith, because I can't see the picture clearly like our Savior, and I'm sure it's true with everyone, we all struggle. But there is always help. There is our loving Heavenly Father, who truly does love us and our Savior. I have found out - even a companion.  My first 3 transfers were awful. My trainer was harsh, my other companion was awesomely awkward and I felt like I was hopeless. I felt weak and I felt insignificant to do the work. I've cried and SAID I WANT TO LEAVE THIS WORK BEHIND BECAUSE THIS IS NOT A PATH I CAN ENDURE LIKE OUR SAVIOR.

There are days where it gets tough, but these last three transfers with different elders, I have found hope. I love Elder Bailey and Elder Houskeeper.  They left 2 weeks ago and are home, but I want them to know that they made a big difference towards my outlook on life. 2 of my favorite companions and they made a big difference. My new companion, Elder Allen, has also made a big difference, helping me to see more of my potential because of his love.

I have seen a difference. Your prayers have made a difference!  If the world would just have each others backs, we wouldn't have to worry about missionaries having to fight a Pakistani! haha that was some crazy news. If there was people loving each other, we wouldn't have to worry about being hopeless. We could talk to each other and feel equal.  It's incredible what this church does for each other - members looking out for members, family members on family members, investigators on investigators.  We found out Sunday that two of our investigators found out that they were taking the lessons and getting baptized the same month and they became best friends.  There is equality in the Lord’s eyes.

I had the chance to talk to this one man. To me, he looked like one of the 3 nephites, just without the tattoos.  This man walked towards us and said hello, all friendly! He asked if we were Mormons and we gladly told him yes and his response was surprising, “Awesome! I love the Mormons!” He started asking questions left and right and I started asking his questions. I got to know his life and I got to know him as a person, as a child of God. This man’s countenance was bright! He told us he loved talking with people, getting to know their story because each of us has one. 

Well, his story was after he graduated.  He didn't want to go to school. Instead, he wanted to work. He made enough to travel and that's what he did. One day, he decided to grab a pack, get some money and travel the world, see sites and meet people and serve if he had the chance. He called this adventure 2016 THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE!!!!!!! He got to meet sweet sites in Utah, saw the temple, went to ZIONS NATIONAL PARK!!!!!! The sites he saw were incredible.  It was awesome! 

This guy was living and being joyous, but he didn't have the abundance.  Imagine his life, his confidence, even though it is great for him now. Imagine if he had the gospel, if he had that light... wouldn't it be incredible!? I asked for his name and address, but, I never asked him if he would like to take the lessons and hear our message. Never fear. The response of this man was happy. He was living but the gospel would have blessed him even more. As a missionary or a disciple of Jesus Christ, you learn that important lesson. Talk with everyone. Be friendly to everyone. Love everyone like Christ has done and continues to do today.

I love you all and I thank you for supporting me in your prayers. They are truly answered! I love you all!!!

-Elder Corbridge

Saturday, March 11, 2017

better and better

For nine weeks, I had a zero weight limit on my right hand.  I've gotten pretty good at lifting the blankets up over me with my feet, putting make up with my left hand, buttoning one handed... and texting with the voice text.  And I've also written Quayd twice a week with voice text on my iPad.  In the process of that, I've gotten pretty used to saying things like, "I'm so excited exclamation point."  or "What time did can you meet question mark" or "Seriously comma are you kidding me exclamation point question mark!"  Punctuation on voice text is odd at first but after this long, it's become second nature.

SO.  Last week, I'm saying my prayer alone and out loud.  I say, "Please bless ___ comma." and I asked a question and ended it with "question mark".  I'm sure Heavenly Father got a laugh out of it.  I guess when you are thinking in punctuation, you've captured the art.

PT is getting harder and harder but I'm moving more and more!  I've found that doing my exercises at home to my old "Walk" playlist is helping me get through it and feel like I'm more and more normal every day!!!

Today, I cooked for the first time. Doug is so sick!  He caught the bug I had a few weeks ago, then got better and got another strain of it while in St. George last week. He's coughing and wheezing and very sick.  He has taken such amazing care of me. With him under the weather this past few days, I wanted to try.  I'd bought some "canned" Cinabon rolls.  ZJ popped them open (like biscuits in a can) and I tossed them into the waffle iron.  ZJ cracked the eggs and I fried a couple for him, over easy, and I even turned them over!  That's the first time since December 8th that I've done a thing in the kitchen.  I miss cooking!!!!  I miss serving my family!!!!  As much as I love that they have served me for three months, I'm anxious to get back to cooking and laundry and cleaning bathrooms myself.  Whodathunkit!

 Today, he was too sick to take advantage of an overtime opportunity at work.  Actually, he got up at 6 and started to get ready and, after a night of listening to him try to sleep, I said, "Get back in bed!  You need sleep!  You need rest!  You neeeeeeeed this day off."  He said, "I need to provide for my family."  I said, "Well, how will you do that when you die from pneomonia.  Please come back to bed."  He did.  And he's slept most of the day.  How grateful I am for a man who works so hard to provide for us. He's speaking in Sacrament Meeting tomorrow.  He needs to be there.  He needed the rest.  I think that at 7:30PM, he's thankful he's had it.

While he's been awake, we've enjoyed talking about forgiveness and repentance today.  Grace is speaking on repentance.  Doug's talk is on forgiveness.  We've shared stories and quotes and thoughts about both.  I love having gospel discussions with Doug and the girls.  I always have loved it.  And I love that's something that is a regular part of our life.  I love that the gospel is a part of our life and not just going to church on Sundays.

The girls were at friends watching Moana and having a campfire in our lovely spring weather.  Doug and I were talking about his talk and life, in general.  The doorbell rang but we didn't hear it.  Zulu was at the door with his tail wagging, so we figured we had company.  It was two of our favorite YSA students dropping by with a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies.  They came in for a short visit.  Oh my word, we love having them drop by and everytime, they comment on how good it feels to be in our home and the spirit that they feel here.  There could be no greater compliment.
Have I mentioned that I love my life?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

on and on

Buddy sent this photo yesterday and it has to be my most favorite photo ever!  I could not love these two little girls any more!

I went to Physical Therapy this morning and told him that he was going to have to buy me dinner if he was going to hurt me like he did on Monday.  We laughed and he said he would try to be a little more gentle with me today.  I made huge progress today and after therapy, he said, "I hope I don't owe ya dinner?"  I said, "You're off the hook today and it's a good thing because it would have been expensive!  You'd have to buy for your wife and Doug, too."  I think, today, we're good.  I'm still alive!  Eleven weeks yesterday.  Eleven months and I'll be able to say that this is just an old memory!

I can not say enough how appreciative I am of my wonderful friends who drive me to and from therapy, help me with projects that anyone with half a brain would be saying no to right now, that bring me Diet Cokes and treats randomly and mostly that have just been here for me when I'm ready to scream from boredom or ready to cry!  I'm feeling so much better each and every day!  Even on bad days, I am feeling better!  I'm still a long way from being able to pick up my purse or open a jar or do my own hair, but with Doug and my girls and my wonderful friends, I am more than blessed!  Life is good!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ysa dinnertime!

Oh my!  Yesterday, my physical therapist killed me!  He did some "kneading" on my arm, trying to literally manipulate the prosthetic ball in my shoulder and I'm not kidding... this morning, when I woke up, I pulled the blanket over my shoulder and I could feel each every finger print on my arm still.  It hurt!  He's always so gentle!  Tomorrow, he will hear about it!  ha!

One huge happy thing in my life right now is that Doug has been called to serve back in the 35th Ward of the Young Single Adults.  He's been with the 34th Ward, which he absolutely loved working with, but I never really had an opportunity to get to know any of the kids because most of them lived at home, so we didn't have the FHE dinners in our home or have opportunities to host them here.  The 35th Ward kids, mostly live in two sets of apartment buildings and they love the chance to come to a home and have a home cooked meal, and the feelings of being "home".  Plus, we know many of the kids who moved back into the same apartments this year, so we have a connections with them already.

Last night, we hosted our first FHE dinner with Group D.  It's USU Spring Break, so we knew that we'd be lucky to see half of the kids here since most go home for the week.  I set the table for 20, thinking it would be a miracle if 15 showed.  We had eight arrive.  And I hate to say it, but as much as I love "filling the house", it's always so awesome when it's a smaller group because we can all sit at one table and have a more intimate evening really getting to know them.

I was so thankful for the help. Carol had taken me to Hobby Lobby for plates and napkins and favors, Denise and Ann helped me with the food shopping last week.  Denise helped get things started.  Ann came on Sunday and helped bake the cupcakes.  Zeej came home from school and made the breadsticks and salad.  The soup was in the roasting oven.  Ann came by after work to help with the last minute stuff, so I literally set the tables, which Layne and Kendall set up for me on Sunday evening before Doug got home from St. George.  This was a group effort, for sure!  My shoulder and I appreciated all the effort of such great friends!

Doug asked me to give the lesson, since he'd been out of town with the girls.  So, I talked about March being the month where "Luck" is the focus.  However, I shared the Thomas Jefferson quote that the harder he worked, the more "luck" he had.  I then talked about how important it is that we put our own effort into all that we do.  No one becomes a scholar or a scriptorian without study and time and energy.  No one becomes successful in business and life without concentrated effort and focus!  It's not about luck at all!  It's about effort!

Dinner was fun.  Cheddar broccoli soup, garlic breadsticks, spinach salad with strawberries and mandarin oranges and St. Patricks Day cupcakes.  I can not believe that I didn't even snap a picture.  I had a few other things on my mind, I guess.  Here are the leftover cupcakes though.  It was really cute!

We had tabletalk after dinner and oh my word, we laughed so hard.  There were five girls and three boys.  They didn't know each other that well.  I asked them to each share three things that not everyone at the table would know.  Oh, the things we learned!  We laughed so hard!  We found out that one of the girls had served her mission in only one area for three months and came home for health reasons.  She served in, of all places, Elyria Ohio, where we lived and still know many of the people living there.  That was fun.  We learned about unique talents and hobbies and interests.  It was just a great evening!  We were still sitting around the dinner table at 9:15!  As they left, we got hugs and lots of "It feels so good to be in a home!  We love the Spirit in your home!"  My favorite comment of the evening, overheard from the kitchen, came from Hailey, who walked into the den and said, "See!  I told you!" to the oohs and aahs about the fun tablescapes!  "Sister C always does this!  It's beautiful and fancy!"  I was glad that I didn't disappoint!

After everyone left, and Doug and I knelt to pray, and we both expressed how wonderful it is to have the kids back in our home again!  I love Doug's calling in the church!  I love that I get to serve along beside him!  Life is good!