Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bad Memories of Taking Care of my Sick Husband

Life can be as dry, harsh, and beautiful all at the same time
just like Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
I woke up to a sick husband and son.  Shae has been struggling with a headache for many days now.  Sadly, it made it to the dreaded migraine stage and there he was in bed all day.  Now, to make it even more difficult, our youngest child, Tytus, woke up with a fever.  I held him in my arms so he would sleep well until finally he woke up feeling a little better and ready to eat.

Sitting there, trying to not move much so I wouldn't wake up Shae reminded me of the days when he suffered so severely. I remember lying still all night so he would not wake up and all the nights I slept on the couch or recliner with a child so we wouldn't disturb daddy at night.

Shae wanted me to rub his head and neck numerous times today and, I have to admit, I had quite a bad attitude about it.  You see, this weekend he and I had a few rough moments in our marriage.  He apologized and I forgave him, yet I still wasn't over the hurt.  I learned years ago that we may forgive but sometimes the hurt remains.  

I layed in bed next to him, thinking about the past.  Sometimes it can be bad to allow ourselves to think back to hard times.  I remembered how he wasn't there to help me when I was pregnant or when my dad died suddenly.  He was always sick.  I thought about some of the times I needed a back rub when I was pregnant or just needed him to brush the kids teeth while I held the baby - and he couldn't or didn't.

I don't want any bitterness in my heart.  I love my husband dearly and I know that he did not want the pain.  But, that doesn't change the fact that I felt abandoned, alone, and lost at times.

God was always there for me, but I needed my husband.

Remembering the hard times can also be good.  It caused me to check my heart and make sure there was no unforgiveness or bitterness there.  Then, I thought of how thankful I am he doesn't have severe pain anymore.  Those days of complete pain are over.  Now, we just have to deal with some of his other health issues that show up every now and then.

I prayed for compassion today.  
I prayed for mercy today.  
With God's help I can overcome everything and anything.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tick Tock the Financial Clock


The government ran up the clock.

The clock struck one.

And down it fell.


I can only hope that things will work out on Friday.
Truth and opinions seem to be lacking and plentiful.

Time will tell.

There seem to be experts on all 100 sides. (OK, slight exaggeration)   Who do we believe?  Does it matter what we believe?  There is a way to make a difference.  Research, keep up to date on current events, and call your Congressman and Senators are just a few things we can do.

If that seems to daunting of a task, get on your knees and pray.  Actually, that is the first thing we should do. With so much misinformation out there we can trust God to guide and lead 

- if we humble ourselves and seek His face.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pushing Past Our Limits

Hiking the Watchman Tower Trail in Zion National Park
was extremely challenging with six kids and my husband not with us.
As a woman and mother I have my 
and lines 
that should not be crossed.  

I am patient but there is a point at which 
I lose it, 
blow my top, 
and want to scream.

Most days I keep it under control 
while others I barely make it until 10 am.

Some people admire me
while others think I am nuts.

I think I fall in the middle.

I fail.
I flounder.
I lose it.

Deep breathing doesn't always work.
Prayer always does.
Thankfulness helps me over come.

I take a moment alone and pray.

It was a lot of fun hiking the Watchman Tower Trail at
Zion National Park with 6 kids.
They did great.
The sooner I take that moment the better -
for every one.

Every woman fails.
Every mother fails.
Every wife fails.

The point is to try to not fail where it matters most.

Let's keep our failures away from our loved ones
and keep them private.

Sometimes I feel like my sin is like puking all over the ones I love.

Bad attitude.
No patience.

I have to push past.  Pray, rest my mind.
Push past my limitations and rely on God's abilities.
Taking one of our many breaks while hiking!
Watchman Trail in Zion National Park, Utah

He can help me through every problem and every situation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Day That Will Change My Life - Red Bull Mountain Bike Track

Today was an extremely unique day.  We spent a pleasant day off roading in the desert of southern Utah.  Just west of Zion National Park, there is a maze of trails to be explored.  There are no signs, markers, or arrows to point what direction to go.  We had to find our way around the beautiful red rocks, mesas, and hoodoos that make up the terrain east of St. George.

We had a destination - the Red Bull Mountain Bike World Champion Course that was somewhere south of Hwy 9.  With no signs to guide us, we just took off and drove until we came to it.

The kids had fun just running down the mountain bike ramps built for the race.

When we first saw this ramp we laughed at how someone must be crazy to jump it with their mountain bike.
Little did we know we were about to see someone try it.

Ramps and hills were everywhere. I took a short cut hiking up a ravine and had a hard time climbing it on
two feet much less with a bike!

We met some guys out there riding. They were incredibly nice and we had a great time talking with them.
This is Aaron Butler.  He is wild with his bike as he attempted some of the craziest stuff I've ever
seen in real life.

I was in shock when we were told Aaron was going to attempt, for the first time, this huge jump.

There was no way we were going to miss it.

He checked out the ramp and the track leading to it many times.

The jump was huge. He brought the ramp from home and put it where the Red Bull ramp was during the
race.  It was back 10' so it was a longer jump than the race.

You can see him on the top right of this picture.

He took off down the hill at full speed. He had to make a correction just moments before he got to
the ramp.  He hit the brakes and slowed down some which later he said
was a mistake.

I was in complete shock.  It was so unbelievably scary that I just clicked the camera and didn't
even look at what I was taking a picture of.
If you look close you will see his tire on the top right of the picture.

Sadly, I didn't get a good pic in the air but I finally came to my senses and got one of him 
on the ground, after he barely landed.

Him and his buddies checked out where he barely made it to the edge of the cliff.

If you look across the ravine you can see where a man is standing on the top of the ramp.
It gives a little perspective on the length of the jump.

The jumps, ramps, and ravines that those riders competed on where unbelievable.  All I could think about was their mothers.  How could they stand to watch their boys ride such dangerous maneuvers?

We happened to arrive at the perfect time - there were a bunch of riders there taking on those same hills that I thought they were crazy to even climb on two feet!

The story continues, which I am writing for my book.  There are some days in our lives that we experience things that are absolutely beyond belief.  Today I watched a young man jump one of those ravines on a mountain bike.  He built the ramp himself and jumped over 30 feet across to a landing on the other side of a deep ravine.  I don't know how far the jump was for sure. This is just a guess.

My heart leaped with him as his tires left the dirt and began to fly through the air.

He had never done it before, but was not an amateur.

This was the first time to attempt such a jump.

I got back home, to the camper, and thanked God that he survived with only some bumps, bruises and scrapes.  My emotions overtook me as I watched the video of it on our computer.  It truly was a miracle that he made it.

Tears poured down my face as the reality of what I saw hit me.  Only by the grace of God did he make it.  Never in my life have I felt that my prayers were so critical in someones life.

We were there for a reason and it wasn't the show.  God has a plan for that young man's life.

Thank you God for Your divine intervention.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Virgin River in Utah - the journey of a woman

Virgin River in Zion National Park
The Virgin River in southern Utah begins north of Zion National Park in the Navajo Reservoir.  It stretches through southern Utah and continues south to Lake Mead and the Colorado River in Nevada.  At the source, the river is teeming with life.  There are numerous endangered species that live within the clear water.  Without the Virgin River these species could not exist.  The woundfin, spinedace, flannelmouth sucker, desert sucker, speckled dace, Virgin River chub, and Southwestern Willow Flycatcher are just some of them.

As the river passes through the clay and sandy soil of Zion and the desert, the water turns  gray and red and the life that filled the river further north is almost non-existent.  Yet, what seems like a lifeless river is essential to the communities that dwell on and around this beautiful river.  The Native Americans that dwelled along the banks of the river to present day Springdale, Rockville, Virgin, Hurricane, St. George and beyond all utilize this river and its many resources.  

The beauty of the river changes as it passes through the many different terrains of southwest Utah.  Never does its grandeur disappear but instead constantly brings an awe to the thousands of people who experience it.  

The changes are extreme from the beginning until it finally joins Lake Mead and the Colorado River.  The twists and turns are numerous as well as the difficult rapids and waterfalls.  Yet, there are just as many places that are smooth and flat, locations where a person can sit and enjoy the peace emanating from the river.

So is the life of a woman.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How to Incorporate Exercise into my Day

Taking the kids for a hike to see Pando in the Fish Lake National Forest
in central Utah
Having lost 60 lbs - and then gaining 5 lbs back at my husband's request - I have lost about 55 lbs.  Finding time in my day to exercise seems almost impossible.  So, I have found ways to incorporate it into my current activities.

This morning, while teaching Math, I had my exercise bands and did all of my arm weight lifting.  Of course, Gabriel had to wait for a skip counting answer while I finished counting my reps but otherwise it went great.

I did my calf raises while helping Naomi with multiplying fractions.

Squats were done while the kids played at the playground.

Jumping Jacks and more squats at the basketball court.

Keigles in bed at night.

Deep breathing all day.

Buttocks squeezes while washing dishes.

Family 3 mile hike on the Pa rus trail in Zion National Park, Utah

And, for my special time with hubby every day - we do an hour walk together.  We hike fast and sometimes I bring my hand weights.  We sprint off and on while walking and try to do hills as much as possible.

We try to bring our kids on some hikes.
Gabriel enjoyed our walk up to the mountains in Marysvale, Utah.
With six kids, home school, writing, and travel - finding time to stay in shape and healthy is extremely difficult.

But, it is so important to make the effort. 

 It truly is a priority.

Spending time with my hubby makes exercising even better.
Miner's Park, Marysvale, Utah.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

When the Dust Settles - after they are well

It may sound strange to some but the recovery was just as hard as the illness.  

The pain my husband had was terrifying and we would never say that his recovery was harder than that, but the recovery was difficult in different ways that were as challenging as many other things we had been through.

There was a huge transition as he tried to find out who exactly he was.  With pain being the focus of his life for so many years, it seemed that Shae - the person - was lost in the midst.  

I had been doing many of his chores and taking care of most the responsibilities.  There were many things I didn't know how to do that he always took care of, even when the pain was bad.  He kept the filters and oils clean in the home and motors, among other things.

Yet, as he began to recover, he realized just how much I was doing without him. 

 He told me, "I need you to need me more."
With the dark mountain of pain in the past,
the immediate future sometimes is not as bright as we thought it would be.
(Zion National Park, Utah. February 2013)
We began to make the adjustments from me handling most things to him stepping up and taking over some of the responsibilities.

Many of those responsibilities are not just chores and taking care of the heavy things but are the emotional and spiritual responsibilities.

Shae had to figure out who he was in Christ first. Then, he had to figure out who he was as a person. Next came our relationship and then what kind of father he wanted to be.

He is still making changes and learning to lead as a loving, healthy, God fearing man.  I am also learning to adjust from having to be physically and emotionally strong as well as the primary parent and spiritual leader of the home to a supporting wife who will allow her husband to find his way not back to who he was but to who he is becoming.  I have to make myself step back and allow him to step up into his role as leader of our home.  It is a role I have no desire to fill but one that I most certainly desire to support and encourage.  

We are patient with each other.

The road can still be rocky sometimes but we are definitely on the other side of the mountain.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Love Story - time together

We enjoyed our walk along the Virgin River in southern Utah
I love our daily hikes together.  So many people wonder how we can find time alone with six kids in our camper.  It is not always easy and we don't always get to hike for an hour, but we find those moments that can mean something.

Today we hiked to the river. We had never been down these particular roads and we enjoyed the new sights and sounds.  The Virgin River is gorgeous here in southern Utah.  The high bluff surrounding us is quite a difference from the mountain views we just had in Marysvale, Utah.

There were huge dogs barking at us from numerous homes along the back roads.  I was quite nervous and put my husband between me and them.  I know that he would keep me safe - no matter what.

I find that is one of my hearts desires is to feel safe.  
I need my husband to make me feel that way-  

with his words
with his eyes
with his hands
with his heart
with his mind
with his prayers
with the Word of God

(picture taken in Zion National Park, where we love to go. I saw this heart in the tree while
driving through the canyon.)

Excessive Eating - sometimes worth it!

I have been dieting for the last 1 1/2 years. I had a lot of
baby weight to lose and some weight from medication I was on.

So, when I dished up this piece of pumpkin pie over the holidays,
my kids thought I had lost it!

It sure tasted good!

Little cheats here and there are ok
but maybe this cheat wasn't so little!
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