Friday, December 25, 2009

Our Christmas phone call was NOT what we expected!!

Our Christmas Day started out VERY unusual!! Because Sammi was transferred to a new area a week ago, one that hadn't had sisters in years, she didn't know how the Christmas phone call was going to work. She told us she would hopefully find a member who could text or call us and let us know her plans. This morning, at 8:00, the phone rang with caller ID saying: LDS Church! WOW!! I grabbed it and was completely surprised to hear President Hale's voice on the other end wishing me a Merry Christmas!! Interesting...he wanted to give me an update on my daughter...even MORE interesting... I couldn't quite figure out why the mission president would be calling to update me on my missionary's phone call time. Well...that wasn't it. Here's the story:
Sammi has always had a very hard time swallowing pills. For years, we crushed them if we couldn't find a liquid equivalent. Several times, she has tried swallowing one only to have it stick in her throat until she can choke, gag, or throw it up. It's so sad to watch and we feel completely helpless! As she's gotten older, she's gotten a bit better. She can swallow medicine daily for ADHD and allergies; but, if an antibiotic is needed, we still usually ask for liquid. The pharmacist looks at us like we've gone nuts and gives us HUGE bottles! Evidently, yesterday morning, Sammi took her normal daily pills. However, this time, the Allegra decided not to go down. She choked, gagged, tried to throw it up but nothing worked. She struggled throughout the day, called the mission nurse who called the Area Doctor in Orlando, and tried to work through it. After SEVERAL phone calls, they finally decided last night, that since she couldn't swallow her own saliva let alone anything else, she'd better go be checked out at the hospital. She and the three sisters she lives with along with the Zone Leaders who live nearby, headed over. Because it was Christmas Eve, there weren't any specialists on call so they admitted her and called someone in to check her out this morning. Elders Zubia and Hirschi gave her a WONDERFUL blessing and Hermana Schulthies spent the night with her. Hermanas Vance and Felton went back to the apartment to sleep. This morning, they brought all of the Christmas presents over to the hospital and had their own little Christmas morning in Sammi's room. SOOOOO sweet of them! She said it was actually kind of fun but she still wishes they could have been home (in the apartment). President Hale said he would be going down to Miami to see her later today and if we hadn't heard from her, he would let her use his cell phone to call us. We were to sit tight and wait to hear from her or he'd call us again with more information. HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!!!
She called us about 9:00 to tell us he had authorized her to use the missionary cell phone. She asked us to get the married kids home and she'd call again at 10:00. We were able to talk to her for about 35 minutes. She sounded WONDERFUL!!! Fortunately, she felt great except she couldn't swallow (she kept spitting throughout the phone call :D ). They came to get her for an x-ray so she said she'd call us back. During the x-ray, they had her swallow some stuff so they could watch it travel down her throat to see what was going on inside. She couldn't swallow it but enough trickled down to show that the pill was STILL lodged in her throat! They needed to get it out since it hadn't dissolved. She called us again to update us and talked again for 20-25 minutes until they came to get her. She said she was sure President would let her call again to update us after the procedure. He actually called us but we'd already been updated.
She called again an hour or so later to say that all went well, she could FINALLY swallow again and was drinking water like crazy! The pill had only dissolved about a third and they were shocked how much it blocked her esophagus! She said there was some swelling and a bit of ulceration because of the pill sitting there so long. They were going to keep her overnight for observation but were also going to let her eat a meal at 7:00. She was THRILLED!! We finished talking, she said a sweet family prayer, and reluctantly, we hung up. It was so emotional!!!! Worried about my baby girl and wanting to be there to take care of her, grateful she's become so independent that she can handle things on her own, and SOOOOOO glad she's in the Lord's hands and that He's the one taking care of her as she serves Him! She was AMAZING!!!!!!!!
Later this evening, President Hale called from the hospital and asked what Sammi's history had been after one of these episodes. She seemed a bit scared and wanted to take all the precautions the hospital could give her. However, at the recommendation the Area Doctor, a friend of President Hale's here in SLC, and talking with me, he was going to try to get her to check herself out. Evidently, the hospital is well-known for having patients stay longer than is necessary. He assured her that she could go back if necessary. He said he'd call us if there was any more news.
How grateful for a loving, compassionate President who is a "Dad" to all our precious kids! The down side of today has been hearing my baby is hurting and I'm not there to take care of her. The upside of today has been I got to talk to her and she's doing AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! They have a baptism tomorrow and she's SOOOO excited about it! She loves the people, she's excited (yet VERY nervous) to learn Spanish, she LOVES serving the Lord and is doing so well!!
I LOVE MY MISSIONARY AND THE REST OF MY FAMILY!! (I'll post pictures as soon as Sammi sends them.)

Elders Hershi and Zubia--Zone Leaders who came to the ER to give her a blessing.

Hermana Vance--one of her "roommates"

Hermana Vance LOVES to play with Sammi's hair!! She's in HEAVEN!!

Hermana Schulthies--Sammi's companion

Her very own Apostles picture from Mallorie. She was SOOO excited to get this! There weren't very many printed and we got 4 of them!!

Sammi sleeping, and probably drooling--given the fact that she can't swallow!!--and Elder Goodale and Elder Parry. They are so funny and smart! They were supposed to have lunch with them at a members home. They aren't in her ward, but they know the member.

FINALLY she got water!!! She drank almost all of that in the first 10 minutes!

Her FIRST Supper. YUM!! "I had carrots, rice, string bean soup, mandarin oranges, golden loaf cake (whatever that was DELICIOUS though!) and SALMON!!! Yes, I was THAT hungry that I ate some of that salmon. Not a lot, but yes, I willingly ate it!!!"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cute "Sister Missionary" stockings

I've been working on Sammi's "25 Days of Christmas" presents. I found this great pattern for cute Sister Missionary stockings and knew I had to make a pair. They really turned out cute...complete with little name tags! I think she's gonna like them! :D

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

What a fun weekend!!

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to host Jason Wright, author of Christmas Jars, Christmas Jars Reunion, The Wednesday Letters, Recovering Charles, and Penny's Christmas Jar Miracle, for dinner and then a fireside for youth and adults in our stake. Seriously, we haven't had that much fun in a long, LONG, LONG, time!! Mal, (Tom had to work), Zack, Kenzi, Maddi, Bob, Jason, and I had burritos for dinner and then headed down to the "New" Stake Center. We were a little wary of how many people would show up--you never know at things like this--however, we were VERY pleasantly surprised to see a full chapel, overflow, and then half way back the cultural hall!! People kept coming even until about 15 minutes before it ended! Jason did a FABULOUS job, had the people eating out of the palm of his hand. It was AMAZING!!

Afterward, we came back to the house and had dessert (Raspberry Pretzel Delight) and I had him sign some books. We talked and talked some more and laughed so hard our sides hurt! It was amazing how quickly Jason fit into our family and how well everyone welcomed him (at times, it was kinda embarrassing!! :D ).

We had a fabulous time, learned much more about the amazing story of Christmas Jars and recommitted to filling our own jars. It was GREAT!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Can't believe it's been a month!!

WOW!! A whole month since I updated. Not a lot has been happening and yet we've been BUSY!! Here's a quick rundown...
  1. Maddi got a new car this past weekend! A sweet little Honda CRV that is supposed to be fabulous in the snow. So grateful we don't have to worry about her and that zippy little Eclipse this winter!! YAY!!
  2. Bob and Zack went deer hunting. Didn't get anything but had a BLAST!!
  3. My twins turned 24!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!! Where did the time go?????
  4. First term ended! One down; three to go!
  5. Kenzi and I have been sewing purses like CRAZY!!! It's been fun! Got lots to sell...CALL OR EMAIL ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I'll post pictures SOON!)
  6. Mallorie became a Scentsy demonstrator. She had an open house a couple of weeks ago. Let me know if you need anything and I'll hook you up!
  7. Sammi is doing FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's transfer week and she's staying in Boca Raton but getting a new companion. Check out her blog updates HERE.
That's about I said...nothing exciting but we're busy!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


WHAT A GREAT DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
The mighty prayers of the people of South Florida have been answered!
A temple in Ft. Lauderdale Florida was announced this morning!
I can only imagine the cheering that went up throughout the Ft. Lauderdale mission as President Monson announced five new temples to be built. As I read Sammi's email on Monday along with the message her Mission President sent to them, and the one he sent parents, my prayers were added to theirs for this wonderful announcement.
What a great thing!!

President Spencer W. Kimball prophesied of this day...
"Make no small plans: They have no magic to stir man's souls. This is the vision I ha e for the South. I believe that one day the South will baptize more people into the church than all other English speaking missions in the world together. There are great hosts of marvelous Baptists, and members of the church of Christ, Methodists and Catholics who are honorable people, and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and love him. As they see their church veering off to the right or to the left of those basic teachings, they will begin to search for the truth. And as pivotal teachers come into the church and have influence, we will see the time when we will baptize hundreds and thousands, tens of thousands. In your day you will see a million members of the church in the South. There will be Temples plural in the Southern states. What a great call you have to serve with these marvelous people."

President Hale sent this to Sammi when he sent her first letter after she received her call. In his email last week, he talked about the increase in baptisms over the past years' totals. It truly is remarkable and a prophecy being fulfilled!
We're so grateful and proud she's a part of it!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Feeling VERY grateful today!

There have been so many things happen this week that have made me realize how grateful I am to my Heavenly Father for the blessings He sees fit to send to me and into the lives of those around me.
This week...
we got a GREAT LONG LETTER from our missionary;
(read it on Sammi's blog)
we found out our missionary is serving in a "threesome" or "trio" with two other FABULOUS young women who are serving the Lord;
we found out our niece and nephew are expecting again;
we found out another niece and nephew are expecting twins;
we found out our dear friends are receiving a sweet baby girl through adoption (read their story here);
a dear friend survived SERIOUS emergency open-heart surgery;
we found out the missionaries in Samoa are safe;
we have the blessing of living in Utah near a living prophet;
we have the opportunity and blessing of listening to General Conference LIVE for two days.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A sight you don't see very often!!

What don't you see very often, you ask?


We tried unsuccessfully to get Demi and Libby to be in the picture. Just like kids!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Just kidding!!

We just went to Deseret Book to get my very own copies of Christmas Jars Reunion and Penny's Christmas Jar Miracle. Can't tell ya how disappointed I was to find out they don't have it yet and they don't know when they'll get it in!

SO SAD!!!!!!!!!!!

More waiting!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

FINALLY!!!! They're available!!

As I've written before, Jason Wright is one of my favorite authors (and he's a REALLY nice guy as well). I've been waiting for this book to come out for a LONG, LONG, LONG time!! Why, you ask? It's the sequel to my all-time favorite Jason Wright book, Christmas Jars! Finally, we get to know what happened after dinner at Chuck's Chicken 'n Biscuits!


(Now...a little side-note: I was VERY fortunate to get a sneak-peek, not easily acquired, advanced "with-threat-of-my-life-if-I-shared,-printed,-or-distributed-in-any-way" pdf format copy of the book a couple of months ago! THANK YOU AGAIN JASON!!!! :D )

It's as good as I hoped it would be! I loved it and have been so anxious to share it with family and friends. (I've been incredibly true to my promise and "pinky-swearing"!!)

Anyway...GO GET IT!!!!!!!!!! prepared to do something good for someone else!

I need to go get this one too! A children's picture book with BEAUTIFUL illustrations by Ben Sowards. Can't wait!!

Monday, September 7, 2009


We decided to take the 4-wheeler out for it's maiden trip this afternoon. Zack and Kenzi borrowed a friend's and we headed up Farmington Canyon. We had a GREAT time! The weather was PERFECT, the scenery was AMAZING, and we brought home about 10 lbs of dust each! We definitely need to get more of these!!

Almost to the top by the radar towers. BEAUTIFUL!!

That "Grandma Chair" on the back is WONDERFUL! (I just need longer legs so I can stay back in it when we're going downhill! :D )

Eating our dust most of the time.

I drove on the way down. We needed evidence that I actually did it!

SO FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Misc stuff goin' on

Kenzi and I have had fun sewing the past couple of months. At first it was purses, now it's baby blankets! Again...
We're not making an announcement!!
We've just found some cute fabrics and a way to make cute receiving blankets. Of course, I found a pattern I loved and John Deere fabric...had to make my first "Grandma Quilt." Not sure how I'm finishing it yet...I may need to wait until Sammi gets home to have her machine quilt it. We have time though...

This is a car seat cover. It hooks onto the handles of the car seat as if you had just draped it over. LOVE the fabric!! The polka dots piece is "Minky" which is UNBELIEVABLY soft!!

Then, Bob's been working a TON of overtime lately and decided he wanted to splurge and buy something fun. He's been itching to get a 4-wheeler so...we found one on KSL and got it Thursday night. He wants to train the puppies to ride in the "Grandma Chair" with him. Libby LOVED it...Charlie not so much. Demi did great as long as she was in between Zack and Maddi. It's gonna be FUN!!

Charlie jumped out and took off running. Bob chased him around for awhile until he tired out. Then he could get him on the wheeler for a ride. Silly doggie!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

One day down...179 more to go!

I SURVIVED THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!! WAHOO!! I'm absolutely exhausted but it was a good day. Most of my classes seem OK so far; there are a few poo-brains in a few of the classes but I think we can nip those in the bud. Maybe they were all just asleep or waiting to pull out all the stops tomorrow. Whatever the reason, I'm glad today is over and I can move on with something more exciting than disclosures and where the stapler is in the classroom!! :D It was fun to have Maddi stop by after her first day of school and hang out until she had to go to work. I think I'll be seeing a lot of her during my prep and that is TOTALLY fine with me!!!!!

The bright spot, naturally, was my Monday Morning Email!! Normally, the district blocks "Google Chat" but for a few minutes this morning, IT WORKED!!!! Sammi and I were able to chat a bit before she had to sign off and I had to get back to teaching. I have a WONDERFUL principal who believes that is extremely important and told me to do whatever I needed to do on Monday mornings because as he said, "For that one moment in time, you know she's absolutely safe. That's what carries you through the week until the next Monday." What a GREAT guy!! (Too bad he was home with the flu today and missed his first day of school!! Poor guy!!

Check out Sammi's blog for cute new pictures too. She LOVED her "Greenie box!"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday mail is AWESOME too!!

I was hoping I'd get a letter from President Hale today telling me Sammi arrived safe and sound (I knew that already :D ) and a picture of her with them. IT CAME!!! The letter from him made me cry (no big surprise there!! :D ). You can read it on Sammi's blog. Then, if that wasn't enough to put me over the edge, we got a letter from Sammi too!! She wrote it the day after she arrived (written on August 12). She sounds WONDERFUL and is in for some great experiences!! (I posted her letter to us on her blog as well.)

Monday morning emails are the BEST!!

I got my very first "Monday Morning Email" today!! I got online about 7:00 this morning and sat staring at my gmail and school accounts waiting for that email to pop through. At 8:17, I got one in gmail that said "Hello from Boca Raton" and "Are you on?" I immediately popped one back and said "YES!!!" We had a couple of "chat" moments but she was short on time today. (DANG IT!!) She had to set up a gmail account, send her Weekly Report to the President, and THEN she got to email us! It was short (posted on her blog) but she sounds GREAT! Being the Mommie and reading between some of the lines, I think she's a bit frustrated that she isn't as comfortable and experienced as her companion, but I also think she recognizes it will come in time. She was able to send five pictures...she had trouble uploading them one at a time so she'll send more. I sent her a "Greenie Box" this morning and included a new memory card and her jump drive so she can send her pictures home, I'll download them, and then send it back. It was so great to finally know where she is and who she is serving with!!
Dezi/Elder Swain and his "dork dot!" This was taken at dinner his first night after finding her!
Elder Swain and Sister Denson the night before she left the MTC. She said it was REALLY hard to say good-bye to him!

Sister Pirotta and Sister Denson--companions in Boca Raton West!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Phone Call #2

Phone call #2 was even more amazing! She had a 2+ hour layover in Atlanta and then the plane was delayed which made for a GREAT 66 minute phone call. It was great to just "visit" and hear about her experiences in the MTC, hear about people she had met, and tell her about our boring lives without her. She's really been blessed while she was in the MTC. She's had amazing teachers who really want the missionaries to succeed, her testimony has grown even more than before, AND no one believes her when she told them she's shy! Can you believe that?? Going from our almost awkwardly shy little Sammi to someone others won't believe had problems is unbelievable!! We know how much she had changed between the time she started her papers until she spoke in Sacrament Meeting but evidently, she's grown MUCH more than that! It's AWESOME to hear!!

Now we can't wait for the email on Monday. All night last night, we kept wondering what she was doing, what she thought of President and Sister Hale, who her companion is, where she'll be assigned to work, etc. We're so excited to hear the details!

Check out her blog for more details of the phone call...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Phone Call #1

We got our phone call at 6:04am this morning. We'd been awake waiting for it since about anxious!! She sounds WONDERFUL!!!!! She said they'd gotten to the airport kinda late, had to do a bit of rearranging on her luggage to even it out and get it under 50 lbs. per bag, found their gate, etc. Great news...our dear friends from across the street, the Millards, are on their way to Florida where they served their mission a year ago. Well...they're on the same flight as the missionaries going to Ft. Lauderdale! Again, what are the odds??!! Heavenly Father is really blessing us and giving Sammi opportunities to bless others lives and have them bless hers. Boy, do I wish I was in the Millards carry on luggage!!

Now, the wait until the phone call from Atlanta!!

Friday, August 7, 2009


So I was sitting here, feeling sorry for myself, and missing Sammi terribly! I decided to check my email--nothing--went out and moved the water--came back checked my email--AN EMAIL!!!!! I had missed it coming in by three whole minutes!! I know, ridiculous, but when you're missing your baby like this, three minutes is HUGE!!

Anyway, her email was ADORABLE and sounded so much like our little Sammi-Sue. She's doing GREAT and is excited to get to Florida in four more days. Even better than that...WE GET TO TALK TO HER IN FOUR MORE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We absolutely can't wait and from the sounds of it, she can't either! I know we'll all be mopey and depressed when we hang up but the idea of hearing her voice again makes me so excited!!

So, the BEST part of her email is telling us about running into Elder Dez Swain, Maddi's adorable boyfriend. He went into the MTC on Wednesday. Sammi had emailed us and told me to tell him she'd be wearing her lime green shirt that day and for him to look for her. Well, they were in the dinner line and he found her!!!! She said it was AWESOME to see him and they talked for a minute before he went to eat with his companion. While she was eating, she talked to her zone leaders who said the new district coming in was heading to Indiana. NO KIDDING!!!! Long story short, they are in the same zone which means they eat at the same time, have Sacrament Meeting together, zone activities, etc. She said there are over 100 zones down there and they end up in the same one!! The Lord works in mysteriously WONDERFUL ways!!! We've been worried about Dezi and how he was going to handle it...well, the Lord took care of that and put him with his "big sister" so she could keep an eye on him! Like she said, "WHAT ARE THE ODDS???"

Check out her blog for more details!

Friday, July 31, 2009

We just keep sewing!!

We're really having fun with the combinations we're finding. It's going to be hard to give some of these away!!
This diaper bag is for my cute niece, Melissa Roundy, who is having her first baby in November. We're so excited for her and Josh!

Monday, Kenzi was on break at work and pulled out her purse. The ladies went NUTS and ordered five of them! I told her to lock it up in the closet and not to let anyone see it again! (At least for a while...)
These are the same fabrics, just reversed. I think they're ADORABLE!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Even more purses!!

We're still making bags and...we'e still having fun! Everytime we walk into a fabric store, we come out with more! There are soooo many cute patterns with coordinating fabrics! It's been terribly addictive!

This one is for my laptop. I made it bigger than the purses and kinda overdid it. It's REALLY big but I guess I can carry school stuff in there as well. I love the fabric!! Whodda thunk WalMart would have such cute fabric??!!

I fell in love with this fabric the minute I saw it. I didn't make it for anyone or anything special--I just wanted the fabric! It reminds me of Mary Engelbreit!

Mallorie saw Kim Longhurst's bag she made while she was here in Utah and loved it. She asked me to "copy" it only do it in blue. I can't believe how the blue "pops" against the black and white. It's really classy looking!

Zack and Kenzi have decided they want to do their baby's room in John Deere. (Anyone who came to the Open House when they got married will know why...) We found this fabric at Hobby Lobby and knew we had to have it! She made diaper bags for a boy and a girl out of it and will put it in her Hope Chest until it's needed. They are absolutely adorable!!
The button that holds it closed is a little John Deere tractor. How cute is that??