Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
The town that Isaac grew up in, and where we lived for 4 years prior to coming up here, has been on fire since last Wednesday in the wee hours of the morning. There is a fire threat every year. With the HOT and dry conditions, it is a very real threat. There have been fires in years past, but not like this one. Perhaps way back in history, I don't know. Anyway, I got an email from my mother-in-law Friday morning with "Update on Paradise fire" in the subject. Needless to say, I didn't know about it until then. She said that Isaac's cousin, who is living with his Grandma, had to evacuate. Grandma and one of her other daughters were in Hawaii and could not be reached. So I went online and found all sorts of stuff. The photos I found were incredible! As we started hearing stories, and listening/reading online, we became aware of just how bad this was. As of Saturday morning, there was 23,000 acres burned, and 66 homes lost, and the fire was 20% contained, due to the winds dying down Friday night. Now, mind you, this is not a big town. Three wards. As of today, the loss was at 100+ homes. Isaac called one of our friends and he told us that one lady's house in our ward was totally gone. She raised kids and lost a husband in this house. She has been there probably 30 years or more. It was rumored that our good friends Del & Lillian lost their home, but could not be confirmed because no one could get a hold of them. As I was listening to a report online, it mentioned the name of the street another good friend lived on, but I missed what it said. I called her at her Mom's and found out they had lost their home. Oh wow. What do you feel and say? How do you comfort someone who has lost everything they own? Not to mention the home they built all by themselves? Well, you just do what she does...you have a good cry, and then you dig in and find a way to do what needs to be done. And most importantly, you thank Heavenly Father for your blessings.
Now, some background and the cool part of the story. This friend of mine, Cindy, has strength beyond belief. She and her husband Matt moved to Paradise eons ago. Probably 18 years ago. Matt is a contractor, he builds homes. The two of them bought some land, and began building thier home. In the meantime, they had 4 children. When thier third oldest was really little, I think about 2 years old, they found out she had some severe handicaps. Her name is Renee. She has been in and out of hospitals all her life. She spent several years having multiple seizures a night. Cindy takes care of her. All the kids and Matt help of course, but she does not have outside help. She does it all. Cindy's husband has been in and out of activity in the church as long as I've known them. He is a wonderful person. A good provider and and great dad. Cindy is a rock. I was able to work as the First Councelor when she was YW President and I learned a heck of alot from her. She is feminine, but she is a man-chick! lol That was our nick name for her. She can work the land. She can build. She can do whatever needs to be done. She can literally go 100 mph all day, and then go some more. Seriously, I have never seen anyone with so much energy and drive. Honestly. She has devoted her life to her husband and children, and to the Lord. She has prayed every day for her husband. Her children pray for him. He loves them and is a wonderful father. Well, they have had one trial after another through the years. Her son Robby is on a mission and is due to return home in 3 months. Thier second child, Stacey, is at BYU Idaho. She was home for the holidays and ended up in the hospital for over a week, and they almost lost her. They have thousands of dollars in medical bills. Now, over the years, they have built thier home and have never totally finished it. Either financial, medical or other reasons have caused them to put it on the back burner. Cindy doesn't complain. She has her moments like the rest of us, but she is not a complainer. They have had to make adjustments throughout the years for Renee, but never really ever been able to make it totally accesable for her or to Cindy & Matt as her caregivers. Renee will live with them for the rest of her life. So, about 3 months ago, she told her daughter Stacey that she was tired. She was frustrated and stopped saying her prayers for a few weeks. She said she felt like she had only ever given 95% over to the Lord. She felt like every time she tried to give more over to the Lord, something always happens. Always another trial. That is not the Cindy any of us know. So Stacey told her she needed to start again, but to give 100% to the Lord. Last night she told me that she desperately needed Matt to come around. She was too affraid to ask and give it 100% faith. Stacey told her to do it anyway. So she says to me that she got down on her knees and prayed and pleaded with the Lord and told him she knew he gave her the endless energy because she needed to care for Renee. She told him she was given patience and compassion so she could help her husband and be understanding. She told him all of the things she knew she was blessed with and why. And then she asked for what she needed. She says to me, "Bonnie, I prayed and gave my 100% and then my stinkin' house burns down"! And then she laughed! And then I laughed. We had a cry together on the phone and then she told me the whole story about how they drove over to see their house and make sure it was okay and found it burned to the ground. She told me that Matt just held her and told her it would be okay, because he really felt like it happened for a reason and that they would be fine. She described how that felt and how she knew he was being touched. Then she told me how they have decided the blessing in all of this is that they will be able to take the insurance money and rebuild...but this time they can build it exactly how they need it to be for Renee. They have never been able to afford that with all her medical bills over the years. Then she told me that Matt's boss, who is a Harley driving, long ponytail guy, was balling on the phone with Matt, and he told Matt he was bringing the whole crew up to rebuild their house. Oh my gosh! The goodness of others. I'm not kidding you, by the time I got off the phone with her, I could not be so sad. And she is not just "trying to be strong". She will find and see the blessing in anything. She is one of the happiest people I know. She has always been a source of inspiration to me. Her energy has driven all of us batty at some point...(sorry Cindy...but that's not new information lol)...but I honestly love her and have learned countless lessons from her. I have always believed that mother's of handicapped children are a special group. I believe Heavenly Father trusts them so much, that he sends them these spirits to care for. Every time she has felt helpless or unqualified, and has gotten on her knees, she has gotten that same reassurance. Well, this is the latest trial in her life, and it is a blessing also. I think that is the greatest lesson I have learned from Cindy.
1 Nephi 1:1 says, "...and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days...". If you look at the footnote for affliction, you will find the word Blessing. I discovered this on my mission and have referenced it countless times in my mind. Cindy lives that. So to Cindy, I pass along a scripture that was passed along to me many years ago: "I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end".
-- Moroni 8:3
Friday, June 13, 2008
So today I turn on the radio and it's on that song at that same part, and from the back seat I hear, "It's Cooper". HUH??? Is she talking about the song or is she talking about something else? So I said, "What's Cooper"? She says, in a "duh Mom" tone, "Her last name". Ok. The end. Laugh.
So now we get home and it's stuck in my head so I sing it...dang it...and THEN she says, "They should tell her her last name is Cooper".
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
For the clothes, I put a whole cupful of laundry detergent (the whole cap full which is at a "4"...I normally use it up to the "2" so that's twice as much as normal) into a bowl. I mixed in 6 oz. of baking soda (cause I didn't have the 8 oz the "recipe" called for) and put that into the washer with the HOT water. Also added a whole cup of Shout. Let it fill up and swish for a few minutes, then let it sit for an hour and then finished out the wash cycle. Voila!!!
How in the world did we ever survive without Google?? I wonder what the fate was of all the kids who had pre-google mommies who got crayon all over their clothes and dryers. Based on the sheer number of hits and panic stricken cries for help I read, I think this is a fairly common problem. And be certain that just because there is now Google, my son (who I won't throw under the bus on a public forum but who's name starts with a B) got a major talking to this morning. I think he learned his lesson when I told him the melted crayon was all over his "dog tag" necklace and it's in one big jumbled mess. Funny, this is the same kid who got it yesterday when I discovered WET clothes in the hamper. How did I discover this? By the smell of wet laundry sitting for 3 days, of course. That was yesterday. He got the speech about that yesterday. And even more funny than that? The real kicker is that the smelly load was the same load that got the crayon on it. Man, what is it with boys and laundry??
*&^%$%&*%$!! There are people in this club (sorry to talk smack about my fellow club members) who sware by a remedy and then someone else shoots it down! "...I tried such-and-such and it worked like a dream!" Then, "...I tried that too, and it didn't do anything; didn't work at all". What's a woman with 5 loads of laundry waiting for her supposed to do now? Well, blog about it, of course. And then get up and try one of the suggestions that uses something she already has in her house. I'm going for the toothpaste remedy. I'll let you know how it all works out.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
So here ya go folks...the link that said it all. All sorts of suggestions...I am going to try the cheapest one first...or should I try the one with the "ingredients" I have on hand? So many to choose from! Wish me luck.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Spencer was talking about a movie he wants to see. He's explaining it to me and it's a cop/investigation/spy movie from what I could tell by his description. As he's telling me, he mentions "Agent 99"...and I realized he was talking about "Get Smart"...but it's a new movie! So I told him it was based on a show we used to watch. He asked me, "Did they have something rather that did something rather..." -- you know, some sort of tech thing. I laughed and I go, "Well, the only high tech device they used then was the guy took off his shoe, held the bottom of the heal to his ear and talked into the toe part". You should have seen the look on his face! The new "Get Smart movie? 10 million dollars. The old "Get Smart" TV show? 5 million dollars. Spencer's expression? Priceless!!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
So as I have found people I have also thought alot about the blessing friends are. And the blessing the Church is. It is a unifying force to all of us who are a part of it. Anywhere you go it is the same. It is a small world...especially in the Church. I am thankful for friends, past and present. I pray my children will be as blessed in thier lives as I have been in mine with good people. They are off to a great start...