Monday, October 18, 2010

My Grandma's Hands!

This is my Grandma. Isn't she adorable?

Recently I went to church with my Grandma and as we were sitting there I glanced down at her hands. I thought of how they've changed throughout the years. As I was reflecting on all the good memories with my Grandma the tears started to come of course. My Grandma has been the kind of Grandma I hope to be. Her hands are now wrinkled and old, but still so gentle and loving. I guess when you are 83 years old your hands get that way right? She's always been so encouraging, loving and sweet. I think all of her grandchildren would say that they feel so special when they are with her.

A few weeks ago my Grandma fell outside and has been in a lot of pain ever since. I don't know if she'll ever really recover. She's moved in with my Mom so she can help her. It's hard to see her growing old. My Mom has been a true example of a daughter taking care of her mother. So my Grandma has set the example for all of us to take care of our families. She's always been there for all of us. Now that my Grandpa is gone I am holding on to every treasured moment I get with her. I know she misses him dearly just as we all do. It's hard to picture the day that all of my grandparents will have returned home, but it's inevitable. So I will cherish every moment that I get to hold those sweet wrinkled hands of a woman I love so dearly!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What I learned from Ward splits!

Since we've lived in Stansbury we have been involved in 5 or 6 different Ward splits. Everytime the big announcement comes I get anxious and feel some sadness. It's been frustrating at times to be the street that seems to be on the border of the changes. About 3 weeks ago our Ward split again and our street got put back in the Stansbury Lake Ward. We were in that Ward 5 1/2 years ago and when we were put in the Bayshore Ward I was so sad to be leaving all my great friends in the Stansbury Lake Ward. As the years went by I grew to love the people of the Bayshore Ward. I really didn't want to leave them. The first week back in my new Ward I had a bad attitude. I left and told Mike I didn't want to be in that Ward. I missed my friends in the Bayshore Ward. Mike doesn't understand why it's such a big deal. He always says you can still talk to each other and be friends. In reality everytime I've been through a split you just seem to lose contact with great people. Life is so busy that there's not time to see each other except for on Sundays. Back to my first week in the new Ward. I vented to Mike my frustration with the change and he reminded me about all the great people in the Stansbury Lake Ward that have been my friends for many years. He told me I just needed to concentrated on the good. Well once again he was right. After being in the Ward for 3 weeks now. I have thought about the good and come up with a list. This Ward has been so excepting of all the new people. They have gone out of their way to welcome us and make us feel like we are a part of them For two weeks in Relief Society they have had us introduce ourselves. They had a special "linger longer" (eat cake and ice cream) after church for us last week so we could mingle and get to know each other. Who does there that? Last week the Relief Society had an Enrichment Activity to get to know each other. The bishopric went around to all of the new houses added into the Ward and met everyone. This Ward has really made an effort to make us feel welcome. It has been so refreshing!

So back to what I've learned.

1. Have a good attitude!
2. There are always reasons for why we are in the Ward we're in.
3. Put forth an effort to get to know people.
4. Through every Ward split I have met wonderful people that have blessed my life.
5. Look for the positive in everyone you meet. We are all different, but we can learn something from almost everyone.
6. Enjoy the Journey!

So I am going to embrace my new (old) Ward and hope that I still run into my friends from previous Wards. I have just really been impressed by the love shown to all of us through this change. I hope to always be mindful of others when they go through the same changes. A Ward is really an extension of our family!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Three Year Anniversary!

I've debated for awhile now if I should do a post on this and finally decided this is my journal and I can put it in there. On September 4th it will be my 3 year anniversary after having weight loss surgery. This picture was taken the day before I had surgery. I've been thinking what I learned from this whole process and thought I would share my thoughts. Having surgery was the hardest thing I have ever done. I thought about it for many years before I made the decision to do it. I was so afraid I was going to die. I had heard all the horror stories. I just knew I couldn't live like that anymore though. Once I made the decision I was afraid to tell anyone I didn't need to hear anymore stories. I told very few people before I did it. I remember the day of surgery I was scared to death. I thought I was going to jump off the table when I was waiting to go into the OR. After the surgery it was rough. If I hadn't had the support of my family and some good friends I don't if I would have made it.

What I have learned through this process is that you need to love yourself no matter what size you are. I am still the same person as I was 3 years ago. I am a little more confident and I can do more things that I couldn't with the extra weight, but I am still me. I got so caught up in the negative self talk that I couldn't live my best life. I now realize what I did to my daughter by all the negative comments I made about myself. I really wish I hadn't done that. I should have been teaching her that no matter what size I was that I was still a good person.

People ask me all the time if I am glad I did the surgery and I reply with a yes, but I sure wouldn't want to do it again. I get to enjoy so many more things with my family now, but more than that I feel healthy. Health is what it is all about. I want to live many more years with my family. I remember the first time I jumped on the trampoline with my kids. I started crying. I had looked at that trampoline for years and just wanted to jump with them. Then once I could jump with them I had to worry about wetting my pants. Oh the joys of being a woman.

I am so thankful that Mike loved me all those years whether I was 250lbs. or not. He always told me that I was beautiful no matter what size I was. I am so blessed to be married to a great man.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Grandpa!

Chris presenting my Grandma with the flag.

My brother Chris is a Major in the National Guard and performed the military service for my Grandpa. Here he's saluting my Grandma.

My sweet nephew Emilio was an honorary pall bearer. He wanted so badly to help carry the casket so he joined in. So cute!

Eric was one of the pall bearers.

This is my Grandpa and Grandma Dickinson

Last Tuesday my grandpa passed away and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to write down my feelings about him.

My Grandpa was no ordinary Grandpa. He was a hero to me. My Grandpa was gruff and at times scared me, but he was the first to wipe tears from his eyes when family was involved. I once told my cousin "Grandpa scares me and she said aw he's a big teddy bear"....she was right. He taught me to be proud of the family name and embrace the people that came before us. He grew up in Panguitch a little town in Southern Utah. He had a lots of property up at Pangutich Lake along with a cabin there. I learned to love Panguitch Lake merely because he loved it. So many good memories there for me. He would give anyone the shirt off his back. He taught all of us kids to work hard. Nothing in life comes without hard work. He taught us to stay out of debt. Save up for the things you need and then purchase them. He loved my Grandma and I never doubted that.

Now when I say he was my hero there are many reasons for that. When I was 18 my parents got divorced. My Mom was faced with needing an affordable place for her and her 6 children to live. There weren't many options available for our family so my Grandpa and Grandma moved out of their house in Cedar City and moved into a condo so we would have a place to live. Our van was totally falling apart and he made sure we had a reliable car to drive. There were many little extras that us kids needed so they always made sure we were provided for. He was a great man. He always gave advise (whether you wanted it or not). Some of his words of wisdom were "always check your oil" and "never pay full price for a car there's another dealership down the road if they won't give you the price yo want". He loved to cook for his family. The sourdough pancakes were my favorite. The stuffed mushrooms are a close second. He always sent us home with a loaf of sourdough bread.

Grandpa had been on oxygen for the past 16 years. I never thought we would get to have him for that long with being on the oxygen. He always took the opportunity to tell anyone that the biggest mistake he made was ever smoking. He had been sick for about 6 weeks and was diagnosed with pneumonia. When he didn't get better they did further tests and found that he had lung cancer. They gave him 3-6 months. When he went home on hospice last Monday I think he just couldn't do it anymore. Later that night he had a stroke and died later that Tuesday. When I got the phone call I hurried home and headed to Cedar City. I got there an hour before he died. I got to kiss that bald head one last time. He fought hard to take care of my Grandma and he was tired. I am glad now he's heaven telling his silly jokes and visiting with my cousin Kim.

He was a great man that I loved. There are many people in our lives that touch us in a way that we can't quite put into words and that's how I feel about him. I hope to live up to his example and remember that family is everything. I love you Grandpa and look forward to the day I get to hear those lame jokes again.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The 1970 China Cabinet Re-do!

About 13 years ago Mike's Aunt gave us a china cabinet that she was getting rid of. I was so excited to get it so I could store my valuables in it. It wasn't the best looking thing, but when you're just starting out you'll take anything that's free and be thrilled about it. As the years went by the more this china cabinet bugged me. It was so out dated, but I knew Mike would never go for buying a new one. For years I thought maybe I could just paint it and it would look better, but the project just felt too big to me. Then awhile back my sister told me about this blog that had all these cute ideas to refinish "ugly" furniture. I loved looking at the blog and the more time I spent I kept thinking how I could maybe make that ugly china cabinet look better. So one day after Katy got back from College we tore it apart and the journey began. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture before I took it apart so you could see the brass criss cross metal in the sides of the glass on the top cabinet. They were very 1970's. The more we painted the better I felt about our adventure. It took a lot of time, but with Katy helping me it went faster than I thought. I only broke one piece of glass (cost 8.00 to replace) and almost needed stitches when I took off a chunk of skin cleaning the glass pieces. All in all I think the project cost me about 50.00 to complete. It took primer, paint and new hardware and walla I got myself I pretty hip china cabinet. The picture doesn't do it justice, but I am in love with my very old up to date hand me down. I took all of the cream china my Mom gave me and put it on display with one pop of green in the center. Every time I walk in my dining room I smile with glee because I saved us some money and feel great about it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Goodbye to Polly!

A couple of weeks ago we had to put our cat Polly to sleep. She was 12 years old and had gotten sick. We tried a few different things to help her, but finally decided that putting her to sleep was probably the best thing to do.

I am not really a huge cat fan, but she really was a good cat. The thing that made her even more special was the fact she was one of Mike's parents kittens. When their cat had kittens there were 4 of them. The kids were little when they were born so they loved to look at the baby kittens. One day Katy came home from her visit with Grandma and Grandpa and told me all the names that her and Grandpa had come up with for the kittens. They were some pretty silly names (Grandpa Frank was always good for a laugh). Then Katy told me that her Dad told her she could have one of the orange cats since it had the same color of hair as her. Thus we ended up with Polly. Mike actually named her Pollyester from a character on some show. We lovingly referred to her as Polly.

We have never lost a pet before and it was a very difficult decision. I took these pictures of the kids with her the day before she died. Eric's picture kind-of tells how he felt about it. It was a very sad day for our whole family. Pets really are a big part of your family. We are grateful that Polly was a part of our family for so many years!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Our Anniversary trip!

Mike and I headed to Logan on Thursday night for a few days to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We had originally thought we would try to get to Hawaii for our anniversary, but with me being in school and other financial obligations we decided this wasn't the year for that. I told Mike as long as we are together that's all that mattered. My friend Miriam is from Logan and refers to it as "Gods Country" so what better place to spend your anniversary then in "Gods Country". Mike went to a year at Utah State and he has always loved it there. I have to agree with Miriam it is so beautiful! Just driving into Cache Valley is so breath taking. So green and lush. On Friday morning we headed to Bear Lake before the rain started and rented this cute little bike made for two and hit the bike trail. When I saw the bike I knew that was the one for me. I knew riding side by side and getting to chat with Mike would be a great way to go. The whole time we were riding we laughed at how ridiculous we probably looked and knew our kids would be humiliated, but we loved it. We made it all the way around the bike trail it took us 1 1/2 hours and our legs were a little tired, but what a thrill. We have always loved Bear Lake. We've spent a few summer vacations there with Mike's family so lots of good memories for us. Of course after our ride we celebrated our accomplishment with a raspberry shake, hamburger and fries....yum!

On Saturday we headed to the Pepperidge Farms thrift store, Gossner cheese factory, Ross (I love that store), and off to Idaho for Mike's lottery ticket. Every time we are close to the Idaho border we stop at LaTinda for one. Now I was pleasantly surprised that LaTinda has remodeled. The last time we stopped there I was so horrified by the hanging fly paper in the store I couldn't even purchase a bottled drink. So when Mike said he wanted to go I thought oh boy where's the hand sanitizer. When we pulled up the outside looked fresh and new so I went in with him and was very happy to see that the inside was much better. I am sorry to say that Mike only won 4.00 minus the 20.00 he spent on the tickets, but the adventure made for a good picture.

We mostly just relaxed and ate way too much food (back on Weight Watchers we go)but it was so nice to be together just the two of us. It is so important to make time to be alone. Ours kids are great, but before we had them it was just the two of us and someday it will that way again. I am so blessed to have such a great husband and friend!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Women's Conference 2010!

Women's Conference this year was wonderful as usual. I love the time I get to spend with my family and friends. This year we had my Mom, my sister Kari, my step sister Neisha, and my best friend Colleen. The picture I am in is of me and Colleen. I always feel so spiritually fed when I attend the conference and leave wanting to be a better Mother and Wife. For the past couple of years we've started attending the concert they have in the evening. It is so much fun and we get to act like silly teenage girls again. Who wouldn't act silly when cute Alex Boye comes out on the stage?

I really enjoyed Sister Julie Beck's talk on prioritizing our lives. I really need to work harder on doing the essential things in my life. I have become way too casual about the way I strengthen my testimony. There were so many good messages and I wish I had more time to write them down, but for now this will have to be good enough.

I can't wait for next year and the time that I get to spend with some of the people I adore the most!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Eric's Ordination!

Last Sunday Eric was ordained a Priest. I of course have no pictures from the occasion. I seem to be a bad Mom when it comes to capturing memorable moments on camera. So the picture up above is of Eric and the Hughes boys at Disneyland a few years back. The Hughes have been our friends for many years. The Hughes have three boys. Alex is their oldest (5 months younger then Katy). Curtis is 1 week younger then Eric and Parker is 12. So our kids have grown up together.

When it came time for Eric to be ordained I asked him who he wanted to do it and he said he'd like Alex to do it. I was so impressed that Eric thought so much of Alex to ask him. He's always looked up to Alex. In the circle that day was Alex, Curtis (he had just been ordained right before our meeting), Terry, Don, Bishop Rueckert, Bro. Newhouse, and Pedro Fajardo. There have been many great men in Eric's life to step in and perform priesthood duties on his behalf. I have always been so grateful to all of those men. I am thankful to Alex to be such a great example to my son. He was worthy to be able to perform this special ordinance. His example of preparing to serve a mission in the near future is a blessing to his family and ours. Once again great friends and family blessing our life!


This past week I went out to dinner with most of the ladies that served in my first Young Womens Presidency. Of course I forgot my camera so no picture. It was so nice to get see so many of them. Since my ward split a while back I don't even get to see them at church. As we sat there talking for hours I realized how much I have missed spending time just being with good friends. That is not to say that I don't ever get together with friends, but recently I have felt such a void in my life. In the ward I am currently in I don't really spend a lot of time hanging out with the women there. I think a lot of it is due to the stage of life I am in right now. I don't have small children anymore and I work full time along with going to school. It's not anyone's fault it's just the way things are. It was so nice to just be with ladies and catch up on each of our lives. It made me think about how much I need interaction with good friends. I need to be able to share my feelings, go over the struggles and triumphs in my life. We as women need to take time for ourselves and nourish our friendships. In a couple of weeks I will head off to my annual 2 days at BYU Womens Conference. It is such a great time to spend with family and friends. Another chance to spend time with great friends. Just as our kids need good friends in their life, we as women need the same. I am so grateful for wonderful friends in my life that make me laugh, cry with me, and inspire me to be a little better.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I have an Eagle Scout!

Yesterday was a wonderful day. Eric had his Eagle Court of Honor. I was such a proud Mom. I have two brothers that are Eagle Scouts and i don't think I ever realized what exactly they had to do to achieve this great accomplishment. I can now truly appreciate their perseverance.

I think of the people that have influenced Eric in achieving this great accomplishment and the first person I think of is my sweet husband Mike. He has supported our kids in everything they are involved in. Now Mike was not much of a scout himself, but as soon as Eric got involved, there Mike was too. I remember him spending hours with Eric helping him make his first pine wood derby car (which took first I might say). Anyone that knows Mike knows that he really doesn't enjoy camping, but that didn't stop him from going to scout campouts with Eric. Yesterday the Scout Master said that if he asked who Eric's best friends are he would bet that his Dad would be on the top of the list and I have to agree.

I also think of Keith Stewart. Keith has been in Scouts with Eric more years than I can count. Keith himself is an Eagle Scout and he had it in his head he was going to help these boys achieve the same goal he had. Keith is one of those men that never stops giving. Always devoting hours, money, and encouragement to help young boys grow into men. If it weren't for Keith I am not sure Eric would have been able to achieve this goal. Keith is one of those guys that remembers all the Scout leaders in his life that gave their time to him and is giving back to show his appreciation. What a great man!

I also think of Eric's friends that have already gotten their Eagle and have encouraged him to do the same. They also helped him with his project and that made his project that much easier.

It was a great day. Eric so appreciated all the friends and family that came to support him. I think the program went well and he enjoyed his day. I hope Eric will give back to other young men and help them accomplish the same goal of Eagle Scout.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A lesson in faith!

So this past week I got a little lesson in faith. I am a little nervous to share because my emotions are pretty raw right now, but since this blog is intended to be a journal here we go.
I found out this past week that I did not get into a nursing program I had my heart set on. I had made all the plans. Had my summer all planned out around it you get the picture. When I got the news I was devastated to say the least. I spent about two days crying my eyes out and all of those negative self defeating thought came into my head. Thank heavens for a wonderful husband and a Mom that I could cry to. I spent hours putting myself down and wondering if this is really what I am meant to do. I feel in my heart I am meant to be a nurse, but them when I have to take a Math test I freeze. When I originally applied to this school I wasn't sure if it was the right program for me so I took the attitude that if it was meant to be everything would work out. I literally turned it over to the Lord to direct me. I still believe the Heavenly Father has a hand in this and there is a reason. I am not sure what the reason is, but I am okay with that. My confidence is a little shaken and it will take me some time to gear up again, but I will continue on. As I was balling my eyes out last week all I could think of was what others would think of me. When does it ever end? I am 40 years old and still worry what others will think of my perceived failures. All I could focus in on was the "failures" maybe it's not the failures we should focus on but the journey and lessons learned along the way. I don't know what exactly is in store for me, but I will continue on with faith. I hope to always learn from the journey. As I sat in my house feeling sorry for myself I thought if only I had someone to talk to you. Just a good neighbor friend to go cry to. It was a lonely feeling and maybe I need to learn that there are others around me that need that friend. Is it possible that I need to tune into the spirit to be there for someone else? So many lessons to learn.

Not to ramble anymore, but some of you know I adore Hillary Weeks. My sister Kari told me about her blog and so I have become somewhat of a creeper and look at it once in awhile. In one of her posts she talks about recording everyday "how she saw the hand of the Lord in her life each day" I love that. Maybe I should take her advice and concentrate on the many blessings I have in my life. Time to let the negative thinking go and find joy in the journey!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nothing is Impossible if we trust in the Lord!

I hope this post makes any sense and is not just a bunch of rambling. This morning I woke up at 6:00 a.m. and got myself ready to head in to my CNA class. Mind you this is the 3rd straight weekend of this and I am a little tired and overwhelmed. Now I don't know about you, but when I put those two things together tears seem to flow pretty easily. I have not been to church for 3 weeks now and next week will be traveling back from Idaho following my nieces baptism so that will make 4 straight weeks. I have often wondered if I will have the strength when my kids are grown and gone to go to church alone, but after these past weeks I don't know how I will have any strength if I don't go. I decided the first Sunday I drove into my class I would take some of my church CD's in the car with me to be uplifted and that would be my form of church. That was a good idea. A few Sundays ago I listened to Alex Boye sing "Nothings Impossible" (love him). Just what I needed to hear. Then this morning as I was leaving the house I went in to kiss Katy goodbye since she was headed back to Cedar today (which I didn't get to spend nearly enough time with her due to my classes)
and as I was hugging her the tears started to flow. Not a strong Mom! Katy said Mom "I know you are overwhelmed, but you can do it and I am so proud of you." I know I keep saying it, but I love that girl. So I got in my car this morning and started "my church" for today as I drove and another song came on about a mother feeling like she could never get enough done, always feeling inadequate and basically wondering if she was going to make it. In the song it talks about how our Savior fed many people with just a couple fish and some bread. You get the picture. It went on to remind me that if we rely on him we can do anything. I don't think that means it's going to be easy, but easier with his help.

I have spent so much time wondering why I am putting myself and my family through this. Mike makes a good living and we are not suffering, but I have had this dream for many years now to be a nurse and I want to accomplish it before it's too late. Now I know it would have been smart to do when I was a young woman just out of high school, but at that time in my life I really just wanted to be a wife and mother. I seriously could not think of anything else I wanted to be so that is what I did. I love being both a wife and mother, but then about 10 years ago through a few different experiences it came to me what my 2nd hearts desire was to be a nurse. Now I have never been a stellar student. I have to work very hard for the grades I get and sometimes a C+ is my best. But I can do this if I trust in the Lord and ask for his help. I may need some of you to remind me of this when I doubt myself again. My Mom went to nursing school after her divorce. She had 6 kids me being the oldest (18) and the youngest (8). She told me that how she got through was reading her scriptures and praying for the Lord to help her. What a great example to me. If my Mom can do it in her circumstance then I can do it. So to any of you that have those self doubts like I do way too often let's rely on the Lord a little more so we can feel peace and accomplish what seems impossible!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm in a blog rut!

So I keep thinking I need to post something, but feel like I don't have much to say. I keep wondering if it's worth continuing to blog. It just seems like one more thing I don't seem to find time to do. Then this morning I found a binder of past posts that I printed and put in a binder (my form of journaling/scrapbooking) and thought maybe I shouldn't give it up. I use to be so good at keeping up my journal and life got busier and I gave it up so I guess if I even take just a few minutes every now and then atleast we will have something written about our lives.

So here is just a brief summary of silly things going on in the life of the Keils.

Mike is the best husband, father, and friend I could ever ask for. I don't mean to brag, but I am pretty happy to have him. He hit 44 and the dreaded eye site went so now he is sporting some new glasses. I keep telling him they look sexy, which of course Eric cringes over. He is so busy with work, but still finds the time to go to the gym with Eric and hit the Xbox for some NCAA playing time. Eric has been struggling with friends so Mike has stepped right in.

I am a little stressed at the moment. I am enrolled in a CNA course which is all day Saturday and Sunday for 3 weeks plus 4 clinical days on top of that. I am applying to a nursing program and am nervous I won't get in and yet am very nervous that I may get in. Does that make sense? I know that if I get in, our lives will change drastically for 2 years. I have just left it in the Lord's hands. If it's meant to be it will all work out.

Katy has started her 2nd semester at SUU and is enjoying it. I think she loves the freedom that College life brings. She's been on a few dates and of course I am constantly trying to get all the details. I keep giving her tips on flirting (I don't know why since I was not good at it myself) but I think she just thinks I am pretty much a creeper! I am so proud she is going to College and making good decisions for her life. I have really missed her I keep telling her if she wasn't my daughter I would pick her for a friend because she's just a great young woman and so fun to be with.

Eric is plugging along with his Sophomore year. It's been an adjustment not having Katy at school with him. He really enjoyed having his older sister with him last year. I am so happy when I see how much my kids love each other. Now don't get me wrong they have had their moments of being annoyed with each other and even having arguments. But for the most part they have been pretty good to each other. I hear people talk all the time about how much their kids fight and I feel so blessed that is rare at our house. Eric just passed his board of review and will be getting his Eagle Scout award in the near future. Aw relief! Great Scout leaders make such a difference! He will be trying out for the high school soccer team pretty soon too.

So we continue to stay busy, but life is good. I feel so blessed that we have good health and steady jobs. I have a dear friend who is so positive and always looks for the good things in every situation and I am making it my goal this year to become more like her. Life is hard at times, but when we concentrate on the good happiness shines through!