Sunday, January 25, 2009


1. Terry
2. George
3. Stace
4. Syd
5. Kell
6. Chad
7. Kenna
8. Tyler
9. Spielberg
10. Michelle
11. Nicole
12. Ellie
13. M~
14. K~
15. I~
16. G~
17. A~
18. K~
19. M~
20. J~
21. G~
22. J~
23. and the little one due in April
24. M~
25. V~
26. and the little one due in September
27. S~
28. J~
29. and the little one due in September
30. u. T~
31. a. N~
32. u. S~
33. a. B~
34. u. R~
35. a. K~
36. u. D~
37. a. L~
38. u. S~
39. a. M~
40. u. H~
41. a. S~
42. u. A~
43. a. W~
44. u. T~
45. a. J~
46. Ben
47. Ryan
48. Ross
49. Kristen
50. Noreen
51. Steve
52. Bree
53. Z~
54. b.
55. D~
56. Wendy J.
57. Wendy C.
58. Wendi O.
59. Jan
60. Melanie M
61. Melanie B
62. Rachel W
63. Rachel B
64. Theresa
65. Audrey
66. J~
67. S~
68. Tammy
69. Paula
70. Kristy
71. Corinne
72. Dr. Google
73. Magnum
74. Douglas
75. Steven
76. Dr. D
77. Lacy
78. Kim
79. Jennifer
80. Laurie
81. Becca
82. Mikael
83. Steph
84. Heather
85. H~
86. R~
87. M~
88. a. K~
89 u. G~
90. B~
91. L~
92. Sam
93. N~
94. P~
95. A~
96. Copper
97. Sadie
98. Ginger
99. Weasel
100. Ginger II
101. Mr. O

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Creature Comforts

1. wheat
2. Kamut
3. yeast
4. honey
5. salt
6. butter
7. hot water
8. making home-made bread
9. grinder
10. Bosch
11. oven
12. potholders
13. dishwasher
14. pantry
15. preserved peaches from our backyard tree
16. butternut squash from the garden
17. home-grown onions
18. home-canned spicy tomato sauce, perfect for hot tomato soup
19. frozen zucchini just waiting to be baked into bread
20. baked sweet potato fries, drizzled with olive oil & sprinkled with salt
21. jelly roll pans
22. blender
23. fruit smoothies
24. mirrors
25. television (not that we watch much, but still)
26. Ipod
27. docking speaker
28. camera
29. data cables
30. Picasa
31. playlists
32. lights to read by
33. lights to eat by
33. lights to brighten up the place
34. wood floors
35. semi shag carpet
36. rugs
37. wool socks
38. heat
39. fireplace
40. central air
41. soft water
42. washer
43. dryer
44. lavender scented baths
45. bubbles
46. yoga
47. dvd player
48. my bed
49. my pillow
50. sweaters
51. dark jeans - the ones with black bead embroidered pockets in the back
52. capris, how much they remind me of the beach
53. flip-flops
54. bright orange-red nail polish, a touch of spring for my toes
55. microwave
56. spatulas
57. pan scrapers
58. window blinds
59. clean walls
60. ceiling fans
61. overstuffed reading chairs
62. shoulder bags
63. silver hoop earrings
64. bookshelves
65. clean windows
66. the vacuum
67. broom
68. the all-important dust pan
69. lawnmower
70. weed whacker
71. the son who knows how to use them (I do too, but it's good for him)
72. sprinkler system
73. pools
74. hot tubs
75. trees to climb
76. trees to shade
77. trees to harvest from
78. clocks
79. a wheelchair-modified vehicle
80. pain meds for my boy
81. electric keyboards
82. and the headphones that go with them
83. oldies radio stations - if 70s and 80s music is considered to be oldies now
84. a couch big and soft enough to cradle Ty
85. a dining table
86. chairs enough for all of us and a guest or two
87. the independence Ellie's step stool lends her
88. paintings
89. sculptures
90. museums
91. hospitals
92. telephones
93. laundry baskets
94. that my kids can do their own wash
95. that we have some of the best tasting water right out of the faucet
96. that we do not have to boil, strain, and filter our water
97. or walk miles to get it
98. indoor plumbing
99. that my children do not have to go hungry
100. Mr. O has secure employment (it hasn't always been that way, so I'm especially grateful for this).
101. and we are all, currently, healthy

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Snippets from past medical trials:

1. Caring physicians who listen.
2. I am very grateful to be a mom, and it's nights like these (when he was in the AF ER) that make me appreciate my own mom even more,
3. I was fortunate enough to have my mom there when Tyler was born,
4. She got to see him fight his way here and peek out,
5. She has helped me so many times, there is no way I will ever be able to make it up to her.
6. She has always been a remarkable example to me in serving others,
7. I watched her lovingly care for both her parents at the end of their lives,
8. Even now, there are so many ways she serves others.
9. My husband and the kids have been awesome through this experience,
10. He stays with Ty at the hospital on weekends,
11. Has become the backup nurse (lots of IV meds experience),
12. He has been the glue that holds it all together,
13. He practically shaved his head to show support for Ty.
14. I need to tell you about three wonderful women who help me: Terry (my mom), Mo (my aunt), and Wendy (my dear neighbor)
15. They help with getting Ty ready,
16. Watching the girls so I can get some sleep,
17. And being here when I have to be away with Ty,
18. They cook,
19. They tidy up ,
20. They do what needs doing,
21. But most importantly, they love my kids and make it possible for me to do what I do.
22. I know my family is well-cared for and we are so blessed to have them in our lives.
23. Erin, who worked with Tyler, and shared her infectious smile.
24. The principal who sent a gift during Ty's chemo Christmas.
25. Susan, from USDB, who was the first person besides me who danced with Ty and absolutely loved it.
26. Kristy, his teacher, who has helped us to dream for Ty more than we ever thought was possible.
27. Corrine, the vision specialist, who is like family to us.
28. Starla, the speech therapist, who never gave up and found something Ty would eat - Gogurts.
29. Jodi, the physical therapist, whose kind heart extends to fostering rescue dogs.
30. Nate, the Occupational therapist, who found a way for Ty to paint - a special arm brace.
31. Kaye and Justin at the school district who made Ty's hospital/homebound school the best experience it could be.
32. Mr. Stradley, the art teacher, who saw the connection between music and Ty's expression.
33. Barb, another dear neighbor, has arranged so many meals to feed my family when I'm with Ty at the hospital.
34. Jake (Wendy's son), for bringing his guitar to the hospital and playing it for Tyler.
35. I sat Ty on my lap and helped him to strum the guitar as Jake held it. Tyler kept reaching out to touch the strings and make them vibrate with his sound - again and again,
36. It is the most fun and alert I have seen him be in the hospital.
37. The neighbors who have donated their time, their cooking skills, and their disposable cookware.
38.The anonymous people who made Christmas special for us one year -
39. We had the "Twelve Days of Christmas,"
40. Our stockings filled,
41. A Secret Santa bearing gifts.
42. And a Christmas Jar shared with us.
43. We are so fortunate to be blessed by such generous people.
44. The friends who call and check on us.
45. The church family and extended family members who pray and fast for Tyler and our family.
46. The many coworkers who show their support for Ty.
47. The children who tell me they pray for him and ask how he is doing.
48. Our family doctor, who knows me by name (and also by my voice), and comes to the rescue time after time.
49. Laurie and Jennifer in the same office.
50. Staff and techs who have provided great, loving care for Tyler.
51. We will miss seeing Lacey, she has moved to another floor, but we know there are many wonderful caregivers who love Tyler and have his best interests in mind.
52. Thank you for remembering that even though he can't speak, he still needs to know what's going to happen next.
53. Sharon, who always cleaned his room on ICS and danced along with us to Ty's tunes
54. Apple. What would we do without his Ipod?
55. All the minutes we forget that Tyler is dealing with something very serious - because we are all laughing and dancing to his favorite music.
56. And commenters during that time, for checking in and leaving comments, they were much appreciated and made me feel all cheery and warm inside.
57. My neighbor, who sometimes serves as my own personal Ask-A-Nurse.
58. Taffy, who sent me flowers at just the right moment.
59. An angel of a neighbor brought dinner and stayed to play with the kids and be with Tyler.
60. That is big. When you have a child going through something like chemo, and they happen to have other disabilities as well, you can't just call one of the teens in the neighborhood to come and 'sit' for you.
61. She did a marvelous service for us, and I felt very refreshed and ready for the coming week.
62. The birthday lunch the neighbors threw for me. I hadn't had one of those in a very long time. it was wonderful.
63. The baby shower they threw when I was expecting Gracie (it so happens I hadn't had one of those in a very long time either - like 10 years).
64. Magnum, Ty's new intervener, who brings the cool factor into Ty's jr. high life.
65. Marilyn and Ellen, both sweet bus drivers, who get just as excited as we do when Ty goes back to school after his most recent medical procedure.
66. The two priesthood holders who gave Ty a blessing (because Mr. O couldn't be there) the night he started the hard chemo.
67. How Ty called for me the next morning (because he felt so terrible) when I left for a minute - the only time he's ever called me Mom - both a blessing and heartbreaking, all in one.
68. How he calmed when I held him on my lapped, rocking him and alternately telling him again of the plan of salvation and singing I Am A Child Of God.
69. How good it felt to be strong for him, to be able to comfort him.
70. An oncologist who had a smile from Ty and felt an instant connection - she warmed to him from that time on and took a personal interest in his case.
71. An orthopedic surgeon, who also happens to be a specialist in Ty's tumor type, that brought in a specialist from MD Anderson.
72. Who consequently called the tumor review board together to reevaluate and confirm Ty's diagnosis.
73. Which ended up in a course of treatment change
74. and a subsequent end to the aggressive tumor growth.
75. All the men at Mr. O's place of employment who shaved their head in support of Ty's hair loss.
76. An insurance case manager who went the extra mile and arranged for a hospital bed to be set up and waiting when Ty was discharged.
77. Caring home health nurses, Becca and Sam, and their many weekend visits and late night calls.
78. Them teaching me to use sterile technique to access and flush his port.
79. The cancer intake worker who sweetly explained all the technical chemo/lab talk and then told us not to try to remember it all, that we would become fluent in cancer-speak before we knew it.
80. That we were able to grasp cancer-speak well.
81. Chocolate covered cinnamon bears in the hospital cafeteria.
82. The internet connection at the hospital.
83. Stairs
84. Elevators
85. The first time Ty had surgery (as a two year old), we were so poor I couldn't afford hospital food and subsisted on fruit and bagels from the courtesy cart - then someone sent us $50 anonymously and it was enough for dinner the 10 days I was there with him.
86. My aunt who picked up the homeschooling ball I dropped when ty spent so much time in hospital.
87. The neighbor who helped carpool the girls to gymnastics.
88. The other neighbor who stepped in and helped cover my calling.
89. The hospital sacrament meetings - short and oh so sweet.
90. The members who brought sacrament to the room the times I couldn't make it to the meeting.
91. The surgeon who spent the extra three hours it took redoing Ty's surgery the less invasive way so that he would have an easier recovery.
92. The anaesthetist who assumed the risk of sedating Ty mere hours after he'd had barium and successfully intubated him against her better judgement because she knew time was of the essence.
93. The orthopedic surgeon who always addresses Ty by bending down to his eye level and putting his hand on Ty's shoulder.
94. Who also talks to him like he's a regular 16 year old.
95. And comes out after surgery and draws an overview of the surgical procedure on his scrubs so I know just what happened.
96. The medical staff in post-op who always let me come right back because it's the surest way to get his respirations to normal.
97. Those toasty blankets with the fresh from the oven smell that warm him back up after the Operating Room.
98. The fabulous ENT who operated successfully on Ty to reduce his drooling and subsequent resolution of his facial chapping issues.
99. And then later saw my youngest daughter to sort out an emergency diagnosis of an abcessed lymph gland/mumps/abcessed salivary gland based solely on our relationship of his being Ty's surgeon. He worked her right in, ordered the least invasive diagnostic tests and felt that the team of the four of us could save her a lot of time (therefore cost) and stress by holding her down and taking care of it the old fashioned way- they drained it - more than once, but at least without surgery or aneasthesia
100. He sent her home with orders for Rocefan injections and placed a follow up call to hear how she was doing. Really, how many doctors do that?
101. Dr. TSN who's always looking a step ahead, with one eye on his future needs - the botox bestower.

Coastal bits of nature

These images and everything in them
2. clusters of tall, graceful palms
3. pink, wispy brush-stroked clouds
4. the patch of crystal blue sky
5. a friend who is talented enough to paint this scene (if only I could talk her into it)
6. hues of twilight
7. long stretches of sandy beach
8. the sounds and smells of coastal city night life
9. the taste of bbq chicken pizza by the beach
10. this sunset and every other I've taken a moment to enjoy
12. the peace of the ocean on this day
13. the only time I cannot recall hearing surf sounds
14. or feeling a breeze
15. realizing what a gift it is to hear and feel those things
16. the rays of the sun
17. it's path reflected on the water
18. the warm sand on top
19. and the cooler, damp sand underneath
20. the pleasure of digging my toes into each
22. watching others take in the same beauty
23. the sun glinting off the water
24. walking hand in hand along the hard, wet sand
25. stepping quickly to avoid the incoming waves
26. but also standing there waiting for one to come in
27. and feeling the ocean reclaim the sand under my feet
28. anchoring myself to the earth with my toes
29. the beach dotted with bits of shell, rocks and driftwood
30. sand (and not snow) flipping up, dusting my legs as we wade through the soft sand
32. a husband who plans fun adventures
33. and can navigate his way anywhere
34. the dear, dear woman I met on this boat and with whom I shared a seat
35. her lovely tradition of making whale-watching a weekly appointment
36. and who shared the very best time of year to see Blue whales feeding - I'm adding this to my 40 before 40 list
37. the camera that made recording these memories possible
38. the grace, speed and playfulness of dolphin
39. the misty spouting of gray whale
40. a perfect, calm day at sea
42. the pristine view of Catalina Island
43. a long ago memory of riding a golf cart around said island
44. and visiting the Wrigley garden there
45. lifeguard towers (even without a lifeguard present)
46. 10 foot swells and the surfers who make it look easy
47. beach chair rentals
48. reading a fluff book, toes in sand
49. people watching
50. dusky, golden skies
52. the spray kicked up by the skimboarders
53. wetsuits
54. the verve of youth
55. who take even more pictures than I
57. visiting a piece of history
58. art deco style
59. appreciating the workings of a ship firsthand
60. so many photographic opportunities
62. the tribal sounds of the bongo jam session happening next to the pier
63. an woman dancing Elaine-style
64. the tambourine shaker, who at 60+ still had amazing legs and a pixie haircut
65. the African drummer in the shirred, green velvet shift
66. a three year old dancing with abandon - as only three year olds can
67. rhythms that took me back to my luau days
68. that I do not drink alcohol (which, despite opinions to the contrary, impairs dancing ability)
69. the drummer who let it all out, African style
70. the mural in the background
72. seeing dolphin in the wild, up close
73. the light playing off their backs
74. the sun on my face
75. snuggling on the prow, feeling on top of the world
77. footwear sans socks
78. nail polish
79. lotion
80. carrying flip flops while strolling hand in hand
82. glassy ribbons of ocean
83. sailboats
84. the color white
85. and marine blue
86. reflections
87. feeling small in the vastness
88. and yet also very big in my little corner of the world
89. not needing my sea legs
90. the stillness of the group, waiting breathlessly for the whales to surface
92. the interesting things you see along the harbor
93. like dogs in sunglasses
94. the long line outside the psychic reader's shop
95. and a man with no fingers crafting waffle cones
97. this bride and her wedding party
98. in their bright purple dresses
99. with their infectious giddiness
100. the impromptu high-five run though they performed on the boardwalk
101. And have I mentioned? This man:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jen, The Sab.

1. 8:30 church that I thought I would hate, but actually enjoy
2. Well-prepared and delivered talks
3. Jooj giving the scripture for the first time
4. Hair that looks good when it is flat-ironed
5. Flat irons
6. Pot stickers
7. Organic Pomegranate fruit strips from Target
8. Being a full tithe payer
9. Jasper Fforde
10. The public Library
11. Sneetches
12. Sylvester McMonkey McBean
13. Almost-Four Sweetness
14. My Sleep Number Bed
15. After-church naps
16. The sleep of the dead
17. Zoloft
18. MS medication for my MIL
19. Clean Mammograms
20. Exercise
21. fireplaces
22. Spring in El Paso
23. Andrew Bird music
24. Having enough to pay bills
25. New shoes
26. Cookbooks
27. The way it sounds on my keyboard when I type fast
28. Senior primary that knows well enough to listen when I get serious
29. Squirrelly boys in Senior Primary
30. Serious girls in Senior Primary
31. Sunbeams telling me "I sang!"
32. The way the primary songs quiet the crying nursery kids
33. Jooj is mine, fair and square
34. Not being called to be a foster mom
35. Smarts
36. An amazing primary pianist
37. A bishop who loves my daughter
38. The men in the ward who have stepped up and been father-like to Jooj
39. Being on the same wavelenth as my sweet W
40. Slowly emerging clavicles
41. Jooj prays every single time she finds something she lost
42. That she is learning to recognize the Holy Ghost
43. Nesting, even though there is no reason
44. Silly games
45. Cuddling during Sac Mtng
46. W not in a war zone
47. "I can't tell you anything, but I am safe"
48. Small favors
49. Slippers
50. Root Beer
51. Planning
52. A new blender
53. Sabbath traditions
54. Internet
55. A laptop that still holds it together
56. Setting and obtaining goals
57. But having the tools to be okay if goals aren't reached
58. Being able to say the right thing at the right time
59. New opportunities to make friends
60. Unshakable testimonies
61. The still small voice
62. Making a difference to one kid
63. Spontaneous hugs
64. Not being swayed to stay home, even when it is convenient
65. Things I learned about being a member while at BYU:
66. Doing what you are asked
67. Cheerfully
68. Homework is not an excuse for missing church
69. Neither is tiredness (usually)
70. When you attend activities and meetings you are supporting the ward
71. No one likes to be in charge of an activity that no one attends
72. There is a reason behind callings and promptings and whisperings
73. I am part of a plan.
74. For the things I learned about being a member while in Monterey:
75. It is really hard to be in the RS presidency
76. Food Storage is divinely inspired
77. Welfare meetings are not to be coveted
78. There is good in everyone
79. For Army
80. And the rest
81. That I am not dating
82. That I am sealed in the temple to my family
83. That divorce and such doesn't unseal me to my folks
84. For my grandparents
85. For the opportunity to take family names to the temple
86. For cranky old ladies at church who want me to use colloidial silver in everything
87. Two healthy kidneys
88. Tonkatsu sauce
89. An adventurous palate
90. Carina
91. Marni, and the lessons I learned from her life
92. A mother who chose to have babies
93. Being a mother who chooses to have babies (theoretically.)
94. Not for Adam's transgressions
95. Elder Uctdorf
96. Elder Holland
97. Amazing in-laws
98. Blazing Saddles
99. The Great Race
100. Red shoes
101. Fairy Tales

there are families and there are ward families

1. How our ward had us in the ward directory weeks before we moved in
2. They were genuinely happy to have us in the ward
3. The first time I walked into Jane Stewart's house. I was actually looking for the Nielson's house, but found Jane instead. Her Tudor-style home was warm and inviting and she was friendly even though I had the wrong house.
4. How Jane used to tell everyone I was a good writer, long before she'd ever read anything I'd written. She helped me remember who I was and what I did before I immersed myself in being a mom.
5. The sweet way Jane has of being generous--of donating shoes, clothes, food, or whatever--without making you feel like you need a hand-out.
6. The way Olga used to call me from the Lake to pick up Christopher after school on early day or Jane would call me when she needed a phone number or some other type of information.
7. Finally seeing the sun--after living in my cousin's basement apartment for so long.
8. Feeling needed. We got put to work right away (I had 24 Beehives).
9. The row of blue-hairs in RS. Their wisdom and their grandmotherliness.
10. How it the spirit corrected me when I first turned down babysitting Leah Robinson. And so I got to know and love Leah (although I'm much better w/ teens than with toddlers) and Steve and Janet and they became like family to us.
11. How Janet once told me if she were ever the RS Pres. she would have me called as the compassionate service leader.
12. How when Janet was called as RS Pres ten years later and the bishop at that time was doubtful she persisted and told him I've already had 10 years to get ready for the call.
13. How much I loved serving as CS leader.
14. How when anyone died you didn't have to call to line up help--people called you to offer.
15. How when you send around a sign-up sheet in RS people write in their names at the bottom--an actual waiting list of sorts--when it's full.
16. The young mothers I knew who lived two houses down in the other teeny tiny fixer upper house on my street.
17. How I learned from one of them not to ever judge a mother who worked outside the home.
18. Our next door neighbor Bill--widower--who still cannot pronounce my name correctly. He is a good neighbor.
19. How Alice Jones would answer homemaking questions for me and help me with sewing issues (I'm still shocked at how quickly we lost her--to bone cancer).
20. How much I love the cookbook her husband Val gave to us all to remember her by.
21. How much Syd Kramer loved my kids.
22. Watching my Beehives grow up.
23. Getting them again four years later during my brief stint as Laurel advisor (before they yanked me out when they put Shane in the bishopric).
24. Having opportunities to have callings that made me stretch and grow.
25. How every time I was set apart I was told to put my family first.
26. Working with Lynda as the ward newsletter co-editors.
27. How much I loved writing the "News Around the Neighborhood" column (it was NOT a gossip column
28. The weird but special way I happened to usually be in the right place at the right time to know the news (at least in my pre work-outside-the-home days).
29. Sponsoring the "Where in the world is Bishop B" a "Name the Rooster" contests.
30. The Valentine's Day issue in which we ran pictures and stories of a number of the older couples in the ward.
31. Fern Cox.
32. Meridith Blackburn. It's her birthday today. Her husband just delivered to me the leftover cake. She sends food to us every couple of days because that's just the way she is.
33. How much more beautiful our world was because of the talent of Seven and Adrienne Nielsen.
34. The love shared between us the last time I saw Adrienne--just days before she died.
35. Taking my first quilt class with Alice Childs.
36. How Lil Anderson lent me her Bernina, then gave it to me for a promise---that I would take up quilting again and be her quilting partner.
37. How the miracles I've witnessed here: Andy Martin, Jenny Schieffer, and Phil Anderson's stories come to mind.
38. And how they help me hope for a miracle as well.
39. The day President Holland prayed that there would be no empty chairs at the tables in the home of our stake.
40. Back to Lynda--knowing her and learning from her and sharing in the pain and suffering she has faced as a mother has made me a better person.
41. Knowing and loving her daughters--who are amazing women even through the troubles they've shared.
42. Being able to witness Kate's return into the fold.
43. Being able to say good-bye to Kate the day before she died.
44. Being able to be there for Lynda and her family in the best way I knew how and how it helped me deal with my own grief.
45. Lynda's wonderfully frank RS lessons. Oh how I miss them. (Being able to reassure the bishop after a couple of them that they were fine and true--knowing full well he had likely heard otherwise from some who may not have appreciated her frankness.)
46. The at least a hundred times I plopped myself down on Bev Schieffer's comfy sofa in her lovely home to pour out my troubles and always hear, "Well, this too shall pass."
47. Going waterskiing with Jane and Olga.
48. The day I met Melody Newey.
49. The truth Melody speaks.
50. The way Melody nursed me, my husband, and my children. She is our personal nurse. She is one who has learned the healer's art.
51. The way Melody knows what I need even when I don't.
52. The way she nurtured me at times when I was all used up.
53. The way she makes me feel special with simple gifts of beautiful jewelry, silk slippers, fine chocolate and good books.
54. Getting sneak peaks at so much of her wonderful poetry.
55. The honor of being a friend to her, loving her kids, helping her work through some of her pains and fears.
56. Being there for her during her surgery. (Another miracle.)
57. When Marilyn Barry told me she knew my voice and I felt in my heart that God knew my voice, too.
58. The day I had a personal witness of why I come (even when with little kids it feels futile) as I bore my testimony through the simple act of answering questions during a temple recommend interview.
59. The night I went to ward temple night and I walked into the room and looked at those people wearing white and I knew that these are the people I want to see in heaven, too. The paths we walk together here bind us in such a way they are family to me.
60. The truth I knew when I first heard Steve Robinson's parable of the bicycle.
61. The way Melody saved my life when the doctors missed my double pneumonia.
62. How people brought in meals for weeks after I returned home from the hospital and long after the sign-up sheet was full and over with.
63. How I came home to clean house after that despite having threatened my husband to not let anyone in the house (I'd already been quite ill for a month).
64. All those years when we were first starting out with the school teaching gig and "Santa" would leave extras on our front door.
66. The wonderful friends my kids have had growing up.
67. Matt Marvell's "Step Up" challenge to the young men, just when one of my boys needed to hear it from someone other than his mother.
68. So many Fast Sundays when truth was told, witnesses were born, and I came away nourished and strengthened.
69. Gospel Doctrine from Steve Robinson, Dave Steward, Neal Kramer, Gordon Stokes and (finally) Donnette Perkins.
70. Geri Wood teaching me how to be a good mother-in-law.
71. The way my kids are at home at the Duerdens or the Cuells.
72. Finding out I was related to Charlotte Loveless when she told her pioneer story around the fake campfire in RS on July 24 and I realized her story was my story.
73. Finding out how Bob Spencer grew up with my dad.
74. The way Chris Sorensen caught Luke up with two years of scouts after he was allowed to fall through the cracks.
75. Watching Jan and Rob's lives changed as they embraced the Gospel--and learning not to take the water in which I swim for granted.
76. The way Jan takes in Kyle and Lindsay and loves them like they were her own.
77. All the people who played Santa for us this year when we were too devastated to do it ourselves.
78. Sister B. shoveling our walks
79. Jo Wentz (widow longer than I've been alive) tipping our boys when they delivered her paper (seriously no one tips in Utah).
80. The legion of people who supported Luke while he prepared for his mission and donated to the cause of outfitting him.
81. The legion of people who write to him and send him packages.
82. The people who bring dinner in anyway even though you tell them that until surgery there really is nothing to be done (this is a blessing because the truth is being so wiped out emotionally can be pretty exhausting physically and it's a good thing to have one less thing to worry about).
83. Knowing you can go to the bishopric and tell them when you're not comfortable with one of the YM leaders (turns out we were right on on that one), or that you have a family member who is struggling and you need some help.
84. All the people who love your kid anyway, even when he or she struggles.
85. Watching all the people who embrace your friend's daughter and her partner when they visit the ward.
86. Seeing the generosity pour forth for the 15-year-old girl who is pregnant (oh you know there are some who disapprove, but the majority are generous and supportive)
87. All the people praying and fasting for my husband.
88. The people who consistently drop off good quality hand-me-downs at exactly the right time.
89. Everyone who comes out of there houses no matter what the weather or what time of day or night at the too frequent arrival of ambulances on my street.
90. Knowing that whatever comes, we will go through it together.
91. The many times women have rescued me with homework help, costume help and general all-around survival help during the tempests of a teenage daughter.
92. The way everyone looks after each other.
93. Knowing so many doors are open to me, my husband and my kids if ever there is a need.
94. The people who are not afraid to tell my kids like it is.
95. Those people you can borrow a cup of sugar from.
96. Linda B's. Christmas cheese ball
97. Shirley's Christmas sweet bread wreath
98. Loving my ward so much when we had to move into a little bigger home we moved right across the street.
99. Sitting on the back row and watching the simple acts of service and sacrifice about which most people passing by any of these people I love would be completely oblivious.
100. Finding out Maria Lund knew my father and his family quite well growing up as well.
101. Working together with these people in this little corner of Zion, trying to build Zion together and helping each other along the way.

Justine, Church

1. The Spirit of God, sung by a feeble Relief Society
2. A music conductor, so moved by the music, sobs
3. A Sunday School teacher who becomes so involved in his "ministerial excitement" that he goes 10 minutes over time and makes all the little relief society ladies angry
4. A beautiful 19 year old boy speaking before his mission
5. A High Councilman who has wrapped his arms around my family in love
6. A Bishop who keeps us working
7. The Sacrament
8. Trying to draw dogs during Sacrament Meeting, but ending up with creatures of the unknown
9. Reverent children
10. Sonda's kindness
11. Kerri's kind words about MS
12. Our beautiful building
13. The P.C. ward members
14. Willing R.S. Presidents
15. Amazing Stake presidency
16. Full length mirrors at church
17. The Librarians
18. Sergene, who is so dedicated to teaching 8 year olds
19. Cindy's diligence
20. John taking such interest and care in my son's testimony
21. The beautiful organist who practices so faithfully
22. The boys who see to it the sidewalks are shoveled
23. The people who cleaned the building last week
24. Grace's tenderness to my 5 year old
25. The Strengthening Marriage teachers enthusiasm
26. the warm building
27. The pictures of the Savior all around
28. The Foothill ward
29. Kaye's willingness to share jokes
30. John B's grade school pictures that his mother shared
31. Brother T's kind words to Isabel
32. Someone making a space for me in class
33. Someone sitting near me in R.S.
34. The chorister choosing wonderful songs
35. The youth speakers great preparation
36. The Deacons coming early to set up chairs
37. The other Y.M. who take the sacrament to Vickie
38. The worthy Priests who take seriously blessing the Sacrament
39. Brother Walker's optimism
40. His daughter's dedication in caring for him.
41. Beth's wonderful commitment to the sisters in our ward
42. Tamela's soft words to rowdy boys
43. The time expended fulfilling so many callings
44. The money being raised to care for Cheryl's cancer
45. The opinions of even the most opinionated
46. That everyone still loves even the obnoxious commenters
47. That our ward is so academic and interesting
48. That Brother M always likes to argue in Sunday School
49. That the teacher is so loving anyway and keeps calling on him
50. That testimony is still more important than all that anyway.
51. That the R.S. teacher is the hottest 50-year old 1st grade teacher anywhere! (Gives me hope)
52. That the R.S. teacher is willing to say when she doesn't know something
53. The New Era that just came and hasn't been devoured by the kids yet
54. Kids that still won't eat until we pray
55. Quiet time after church
56. That DH is so dedicated to his calling, even if he doesn't understand a lick of it.
57. That DH is willing to put God first always
58. Our children are watching us serve in the church
59. Our ward really is a community of saints
60. The piano at church is nicely tuned
61. The musically number during Sacrament meeting was outstanding
62. A couple of members of MoTab are close enough to occasionally drop in to sing in our ward.
63. Parents all around us are teaching their children to be musical
64. My black skirt still fits me
65. I didn't look like a total dork today speaking in church
66. My calling lets me meet so many wonderful people
67. I'm learning something new about how the church works
68. Our Primary Presidency is just so wonderful
69. There are so many wonderful children around my kids
70. The Nursery leaders really go all out to make that a great place to be.
71. Snack's are not optional
72. Our Bishopric has learned so well how to meet the needs of the members of our ward
73. My ~I is SO excited to get baptized in a couple of weeks
74. She wants so badly to do what's right
75. Her older sister is encouraging her to live righteously
76. My son is earnestly preparing himself for the Priesthood
77. No one fought during Sacrament meeting
78. The Bishop remembered to announce Stake Enrichment
79. The Freezer Meals group is still going strong
80. Our ward book group doesn't read fluff.
81. Not all our ward members are right-wing conservatives
82. Not all our ward members are left-wing liberals
83. Brother W sought me out in concern for me today
84. I found someone to help
85. The Lord helped me keep smiling all morning
86. That I can still say I am firmly in denial about my life
87. That weekly injections are better than daily injections.
88. That I know the Lord loves me
89. That He reminded me of that so clearly today
90. That I saw my beloved R.S. sisters today
91. That the Lord blessed me with such a powerful testimony of love this morning
92. That music is such a powerful medium
93. That we remembered morning prayer before we left the house this morning
94. That there are people I saw today that I know I can serve
95. That the Lord reminds me that I need to be serving
96. That the words of the Prophets always seem to be brought to me at just the right moments.
97. That ~I's baptism interview was a positive experience
98. That she couldn't stop giggling through the whole thing
99. That I am surrounded by a family
100. That I don't have to cook dinner tonight
101. That I own red fluffly slippers.