Pumpkin Carving Time!

As Tyler says, "unfortunately, it's that time of year again"!!! I am not a huge fan of Halloween...I think that costumes are a total waste of money and my dental bill is already big enough, please no more candy! But, the kids love it and if there is one thing I LOVE about this time of year it is carving pumpkins. So, we gathered at my house last night for our annual soup in pumpkin bread bowls and pumpkin carving party! It was fun and Austin was suprisingly really into it. He couldn't get enough of his poor pumpkin to the point of kissing and then stabbing with a knife repeatedly...should I be worried? It was a fun filled night and our porch looks mighty festive with our scarry pumpkins!

Are you excited?

Kylee is at HSM3 right now...she is surrounded by a bunch of obsessed girls (and moms) at a Birthday Party! I cannot wait for her review! I have heard great things so far...has anyone seen it yet?

The PHONE CALL...continued...

I was driving Kylee to school today and we had the following conversation...

KYLEE: "Mom, Mrs. Peterson laughed at me yesterday."
ME: "Why?"
KYLEE: "Well, after I got thrown up on I told her that maybe the lunch room should quit serving such disgusting tacos."

So maybe that explains the throw up, ya think?


THEM: "Hi, this is Fox Hollow Elementary School."
Me: "Oh, is everything okay?"
THEM: "Yes, I have Kylee here and she is just fine. A child in her class got sick and Kylee took the brunt of the throw up."
Me: "Are you kidding?"
THEM: (Laughing) "No, you will probably want to bring an old towel or blanket to wrap her in. She is pretty bad."
Me: "Okay, I am on my way."

Now that is the kind of phone call no mother wants to get. Even thinking about being puked on makes me want to puke! I asked Kylee if it made her want to throw up and she said, "No, but it did feel gross!" Yeah, I think so!

On a lighter note...

With all the family in town for the funeral we did our best to get some updated family pictures! Considering how HUGE our family is getting, I think they turned out great! It was a bit chilly which meant some tears from the kiddos but what do ya do?!!?

Tender Mercy

Some of you have heard my story, most of you have probably not. I need to tell the story of my Grandma's passing in my own words as it is an experience that I will never forget and I don't want to forget.

It was a week ago today, October 8th 2008, that my Grandma Evy passed away. Wednesday's at our house involve school, gymnastics, and our weekly visit to Grandma. Last week was no different. We left gymnastics and headed to Canyon Breeze Assisted Living Center for our weekly visit. I got Kylee and Nick settled in Grandma's room,as I always did, and took Austin with me to wave at Grandma who was just finishing up in the dining room. She hated the food and was always thrilled for an excuse to leave the table! As I walked out of her room she was walking down the hall towards us. She saw us, outstretched her arms for Austin, and he took off running. He jumped into her arms and she gave him a big hug. I got to them, she stood up and smiled at me, then collapsed into my arms. That was the last breath that she took.

As I was waiting for help to arrive, I sat and held her and stroked her hand. I thought about all the lives those hands had touched over the years. The wonderful cakes, carmalitas, and lefsa those hands had made. I remembered eating buttermilk pancakes every time we would visit and how they were blended to perfection by those beautiful hands. She was such a hard worker, a wonderful mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. I cried remembering how much my kids loved her and how much they looked forward to seeing her each week. I thought about the legacy that she had - 6 wonderful children, one of which is my mother.

I think I knew that the outcome was not going to be good. I couldn't breathe. I was worried about what the kids had seen though was pretty certain Kylee and Nick had kept themselves busy in Grandma's room and didn't really understand what was going on. I felt guilty thinking that maybe I should have and could have done more. I wondered why this had to happen while I was there. And then, I felt peace. I looked at her and her pretty white hair. I remembered the way that she had smiled at me just minutes before and I knew that she was at peace and wanted me to be also.

After help arrived and they transported Grandma to the hospital, I had the privilege of kissing her cheek and stroking her hair before she passed from this earth. I could not help but wonder and sincerely believe that she was greeted in heaven with the same outstretched arms of our loving Heavenly Father. Symbolic I think. Just as Austin took off running for her I am sure she took off running for my Grandpa Joe. That picture brings me so much joy!

As I have had a chance to reflect on my experience in the last week my testimony has been strengthened. I consider my experience a tender mercy of a loving Heavenly Father. I am grateful that I was able to hold Grandma in those last moments and hope that she felt my love as she passed from this earth. I am comforted by the knowledge that FAMILIES ARE FOREVER! What an amazing truth and one that makes experiences like these a little bit easier to get through. I know that one day I will have my chance to run into Grandma's outstretched arms.

Thanks for all of your kind words and love. I have felt the support of wonderful family and friends. Our family is holding up. The services in Portland were perfect. The weather was perfect - not a cloud in the sky or a drop of rain. Grandma was smiling down and sent us that day so we could all smile through our tears. My mom is hanging in there. Grandma did a wonderful job raising her and I feel lucky to call her mother.

Evelyn Amanda Thompson

For those of you who have heard and have been worried and wondering...I am holding up okay. I consider my experience last night a tender mercie of a loving Heavenly Father. My heart is so full, I will write about my experience in my own words in the coming days but here is the shortened version of my Grandma's passing as written by my dad. Thank you for all your love, thoughts, and prayers!

"It is with sadness that I announce the passing of Joeen's mother Evelyn earlier this evening. For some time the family has been aware of a growing aneurysm in her brain, for which there was not a reasonable option for treatment. Over the past year she had experienced increasing difficulty with confusion and balance and had suffered at least one stroke. Today she ruptured the aneurysm, and passed away peacefully shortly thereafter.

Her last awake moments serve as an appropriate metaphor for what was most important to Evelyn. Renee was visiting with her children, and Austin was running up to Great Grandma who started to lift him up. At that instant she collapsed into Renee's arms, and was gone. I can vision Evelyn's wonderful smile as Austin approached, and the gratitude she would have felt to have such precious visitors. Her life was completely devoted to her extended family, and it some how seems fitting that her last moments would have been shared with one of her beloved grandchildren and a great grandson, reaching out to greet them.

It is not often enough that I reflect on the blessing of a wonderful family, or credit Evelyn adequately for much of what is good and wonderful in my life. From the frozen plains of Northern Minnesota and Norwegian immigrant heritage, raised by a widow during the Depression, this shy, humble, and self effacing woman raised six wonderful children who returned her love with a host of charming grandchildren who adored her. All of her energy was expended loving and supporting her extended family
and honoring the faith she adopted after marrying her husband, Joe."

Mom, is this your first time?

Tyler is pretty much MIA this week. He has customers in for their users conference which means he doesn't come home until late as he is out "entertaining". Whenever he travels or has stressful weeks I am extra conscious about making sure the house is clean and there is something yummy for him to come home to. Last night I decided that I would make cookies with the kids before bed, knowing that Tyler would be thrilled to watch the news and devour cookies and milk when he got home.

With all 3 kids at the counter, Kylee read me the recipe and we made the dough. Each kid had their share of dough before the cookies were baked. Kylee kept eating dough and saying, "Wow mom, is this your first time ever making cookies with dough that you didn't buy at the store?" I laughed the first time she said it but when the cookies came out of the oven and she tried one, she said it AGAIN!

I am kind of addicted to cake mixes that are on good sales. I have about 30 in my food storage and frosting to go with it. Albertsons had their Betty Crocker cookies mixes on sale awhile back too...so that is typically my idea of making cookies. I guess I need to be Betty Crocker more often and make cookies from scratch. I am teaching my Kylee to shop great deals at the grocery store but whatever happened to a nice warm cookie, made from scratch, fresh from the oven!

I have a lot of improving to do!

What a $5 PTA Memberships Will Get You...

Yes folks, that is me...roped into being dressed as the school mascot for a read-a-thon this week! It was actually quite funny to watch the kids reactions - most were afraid of the FOX but tried hard not to act that way including my own daughter who KNEW that it was me inside! It was a great way to sweat off a few calories before the weekend!

So, beware that if you pay your $5 membership fee to join the PTA and ask to help where needed...this could be you!


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I thought that this pictures was priceless.
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