Sunday, October 5, 2008

We miss you Sweet Matthew

One year ago today my little 21-month old friend Matthew passed away. Oh, what a very difficult year it has been for his wonderful family.

Many of you readers know about this tragedy as it has so heavily effected my life. On October 2nd of last year I got a phone call in the evening from Michael, Matthew's dad saying that Matthew had gotten outside and in just a short time climbed the back of the soccer net and got strangled in it. When Ave, my dear friend and mother of Matthew, found him it was too late to save him. He did live for a few days but it was evident fairly early on that his chances were not good. I spent that evening with my friend at the police station and then at the hospital where they evaluated her. The next day I took her to the hospital where she saw her boy for the first time since he was taken away in the ambulence. I spent every day, all day with them at the hospital, waiting to know the fate of this sweet boy.

I have never felt such anguish or suffering as I did watching my friends lose thier son. To make matters worse, Ave and I had our boys at the same time and both named them Matthew. So I got to go home to my sweet boy and hold his breathing, healthy, beautiful body in my arms while they were left with a gaping wound of loss.

It has been a hard year and one I will forever be grateful for. I have learned a bit about what the Savior means when he tells us to mourn with those who mourn. I feel closer to Him, my Savior, because of this experience. My heart still aches for my friends as I watch them deal with their loss. They still hurt and probably will for a very long time. But the Lord has blessed them with something wonderful, a new child. Little Christpoher Luke was born on September 28th and is a beautiful, sweet little healing addition to their family. I know he brings them joy and some comfort. I am so very, very thankful to know where little Matthew is and that he is alive and well. What would be do without that powerful knowledge? I know I would be lost.

A few words about sweet Matthew: He was one of the happiest kids I have ever met. Really he always had a smile on his face. He was very athletic and smart. He could talk well for his age. He cocked his head to the side with a cute little mischevious smile. Boy, I miss him! I can still see him playing here at my house with balls-he always went for the balls and could really throw them, even at 21 months. He and my Matthew had a great time together. We miss you Matthew and can't wait to see you again.

Husbands are a Blessing

It is Sunday evening and after a very LOOOOOOONG weekend of being alone with the kids I will interrupt my dish-doing to write a few words about my husband. He has been gone since Thursday morning in Utah for a leadership conference he was involved in as well as attending General Conference with his dad. While I am so happy to support him as he goes to these things, I am so worn out now at the end of this weekend!! I have to say I am so very grateful for a hard-working, hands-on husband and father of my children. It is telling how much the kids adore their daddy when they talk about him all day, pray about him in every prayer, and when Matthew wakes up crying for Daddy to get him, not me. Matthew especially is in love with his daddy. Those of you who know my Jordan know he can be a bit what some may say "high-strung" at times but I tell you what, that man knows how to get a job done. With that high-strungness comes an amazing drive and work ethic I have never seen equalled. He is extremely helpful around here- he is happy to do dishes, fold laundry, bathe children, etc...whatever needs to be done. And most of the time it is done with a cheerful attitude. The Lord knew what he was doing when he gave me Jordan. I need his horse-like strength since I tend to wear out easily. I am also grateful for a man who WANTS to go to general conference and delights in it. I am so glad he is coming home tonight!!
So what have the kids and I been doing? All kinds of things and that is why I am a bit worn out. I tried to make it a memorable weekend with the kids by taking on some projects. Yesterday I took them all shopping and let them pick out a few new craft items such as pipe cleaners and fuzzy balls, modeling clay and fun new paper. I figured it would keep them busy while we watched conference. Peter and Leah LOVE to cook (in fact they all do and clamour around me as I prepare each meal...that can be a bit overwhelming). They each have a cookbook of their own and I let them pick out a recipe to try. Peter chose dilly dip- he loves dip and fresh veggies. Leah chose tomato and mozerella pizza. So we got the ingredients for these at the store as well and came home. Then the fun (and mess) began!! Wow, it's amazing what a mess crafts make. Little bits of things flying here and there, Matthew coming by to dump everyones' piles, glue stuck to the table, or dripped on the floor...So I spent much time helping the kids clean up their messes. They did have fun though. Then it was on to making dinner. Peter did a great job making the dip all on his own and it was quite tasty!! We cut up celery, carrots and red peppers and enjoyed. Leah had fun making the pizza, especially the dough. And that turned out quite well too. So overall it was a success, just exhausting as the mom to let them have such times. Today the kids spent the morning crafting again- making bead necklaces, coloring, pasting, drawing, etc, etc. Again, a ginormous mess was made. After cleaning up they decided to make forts out of all the barstools and chairs in the house. Blankets and pillows everywhere as well as heavy books to anchor them down. Then it was off to play in the backyard for awhile. The city has been doing some construction in my yard as well as the neighbors (long story) so for now where there will be grass there is dirt. Hannah (of course Hannah, who else?) decided to spray water all over the dirt and play in the newly created mud. Although it is the Sabbath I allowed it and all the kids had a good ol' time wallowing in the mud. That was actually really fun to watch and I even camcorded some of it. Then baths, dinner, stories, prayers and finally bed time!! Aaaaah. That blessed time of day. So now it is quiet and Jordan is flying home as I type. Hooray! Long weekends like this sure make me wonder how my single sister, mother of four, does it every day. How do you do it Heidi? You are amazing!! And her house is always clean.
So again, I say I am grateful for a wonderful, helpful husband. Husbands are a blessing indeed.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Proud Mama Moment

So a few weeks ago Peter comes to me and says,

"Mom, I think I want to try out for honors choir at school."
me: "Wow. Really? That's great!"
Peter: "Do you know why? Because I just really like to sing!"
Me: Stunned!

Let me share a little background here. He is the kid that does NOT sing in the primary sacrament performances, nor in Family Home Evening unless we bribe him, or threaten! :) (Whichever works best at the moment!). So I was a bit, or rather, ALOT surprised to hear this! Apparently a new choir director started at his school this year and he really likes her. He says she makes singing fun. The kids who want to be in honors choir have to be in 4th or 5th grade and have to sing solo "America the Beautiful." Peter practiced for me a few times and wow! the kid has a great voice! Who knew??! Very clear and in-tune.

So he autitioned two weeks ago and came home yesterday with the news that he made it. I am so proud of him for trying. None of his friends did- he just decided he wanted to, even though he knows our time here is limited. He will only be in it for a few months. I am so hoping that he will love the experience and continue to sing. He gets to prectice after school once a week, have a few evening rehearsals and then some concerts. I can't wait to watch!

I have to add how grateful I am for dedicated teachers. They truly make a difference, and a big one, in the lives of children. I have had a few teachers in my life who make the list. Not many, as they are hard to find. David Pool, for one, cemented my love of music in 8th grade choir. Never have I had a more decicated teacher since him. I love him for it and am so grateful to all he taught me. Vic Bucy- my junior and senior year journalism teacher who helped me to believe in myself academically and as a person. He saw in me qualities I did not see in myself. And Sherm Lloyd, my social studies teacher who became my friend who I kept in touch with until he passed away 8 years ago. I still miss him. I am very grateful that there are other adults in this world who care about my children and see the good in them and care to have relationships with them. It is truly a blessing for us parents.

So good work Peter and good work Mrs. Gulley for inspiring him to try out!!! I will keep you posted on the outcome of his choir experience.