Author: Jenny

In March 2004, I suffered a severe brainstem stroke, & was "locked in" for several months". I have been married to a wonderful man, Mark ever since Dec. 1994, & we have 3 kids: Zach (1997),, Jessica (2000), & Sophie (2002). I have been blessed in so many ways by God, so I wanted to keep a blog to share my recovery, life, & answer questions.

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Happy Mother’s Day!  I am so grateful for my kids & my grandson, James!  I was really worried about how I’d do as a grandma, so when he’s being held by someone else & he reaches out for me, it makes my day!

I also wanted to give a shout to Red Arena, who is having its biggest fundraiser, Round-Up, this weekend (follow that link at redarena.orgfor a  daily schedule, or for info on how to bid on their online silent auction).  You may recall how I brought it up a few years ago because I REALLY wanted to help them afford a covered arena, so I could ride rain or shine!  & I think I posted a picture of that beautiful new barn with a covered arena.

Well, I think going rain or shine has paid off: I recently took a flight to Utah.  On occasion, I can stay sitting up tall as we decline, but it is REALLY hard when I do.  However, this time -both flights – it was “easy”!  I did not fall forward or need Mark to block me!  & while I had to work, it wasn’t nearly as difficult! 

On the home page of is a video “Why We Do It.”  When I started, I couldn’t speak & I was like a floppy rag doll.  The first year, I was so exhausted after each lesson that I couldn’t do anything – seriously…even lifting my iPad to listen to an audiobook was hard!  But I knew it was working, so I kept going!  I have since started “talking,” become more independent, & it has helped me in so many ways – even emotionally!  I am so grateful for the day I was led there!  It has helped me be a better mom & grandma, & has become a highlight of my week! (Seeing James & attending church rate up there too!  Haha) I look forward to the occasional horse rides I will have this summer!

(picture is from the Primary Easter Egg hunt!)

The Lord is with me

March 16 (Thursday this week) is what I affectionately call my “stroke-a-versary.” 19 years ago, on March 16, my family was told that I had 24 hours to live, & that if I survived, I’d only be able to blink.  Not only have I exceeded the doctor’s expectations, but I have slowly had things like my right arm, speech, & more return…things that assist me in serving the Lord.  At the time of my stroke, I was the primary chorister (teaching music to the kids at church who were 18 months old to 12 years old), so naturally, I sang the songs in my head, while I lay in my hospital bed recovering from my stroke. It was there that I learned the power of the primary music I had been teaching, as I (through song) received assurance that the Lord WAS there…& He continues to stay by my side!

I have begun conducting in the primary. That means I welcome the kids & help direct the flow of the meeting.  It was through inspiration that I learned how it was possible, & for two years I’ve been trying to figure out the kinks & get brave enough to do it.  Ha!  At first, I was scared to death (so I believe the Lord helped me that first day), but as with any anxiety, the more I have done it, the easier it has become.  & as an added bonus, by doing it, more people (teachers, other leaders, & even some children) are learning how to understand me, so I’m less afraid to speak up when I visit classes or see them in the hall!

Lately, the primary lessons have had a lot to do with people being healed by Christ, & on how Christ can heal us.  Since I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a questioning child somewhere who wonders about me & how it affects their faith in the Lord healing them, I shared this with my primary teachers:

“The primary manual says to, “Explain that sometimes a miraculous healing is not the Lord’s will, but we can still be blessed by His love and comfort.”  I know that is the case for me, &  that I will eventually be healed in His own time.  In the meantime, I have been healed in other ways, & strengthened to endure the ways I have not been healed.“  Often I am unaware of how I’m being strengthened until later.  Here’s one:

I now like to start my day with activities that point me in the right direction, so I like to do morning prayer, meditate, & do my personal scripture study.  I haven’t always done this.  The routine evolved over the last 19 years.  On a particularly difficult morning, I decided to listen to the podcast, “Don’t Miss This” for my personal scripture study.  I turned it on because it was my routine to hear God’s word then, & I was so tired, I just wanted to listen to it, but they always make me laugh!  Between being uplifted by God’s word & the clean humor, it’s like my slate was wiped clean & it changed my entire day!  I am so glad I have implemented healthy routines in my life that can aid me in the struggles I face!

“Service for the Savior”

My favorite Christmas tradition growing up was putting straw into a manger for baby Jesus for every good deed I did.  I don’t know if it was truly a tradition for my siblings, but it was to me, & I took it very seriously, & as Christmas approached – if the manger was low on straw, I would do as much service as possible!

I tried to do this with my kids, but after my stroke (which occurred when they were only 2, 4, & 6 years old) it faded. 

In primary, we wanted to do “Service for the Savior” in December, & as we discussed how to do it, this memory popped into my head.  Later, I was on Etsy, & ran across this manger kit:

I got sooo excited – I had done it with small mangers, but a manger like that allowed me to do it in primary! I could still do “my favorite tradition” & witness the children’s reactions as they did it!

In talking to the sweet store owner, I discovered they had varying sizes of the manger that could fold & possibly fit in our closet!  My husband is a woodworker, so he built me a manger like theirs, & the store owner sent me bags (& their book) free! 

I then made a sign to go with it, & a page of service ideas ( – which came from another idea that I just “ran across”)

This is just one example of how the Lord is in my life, & directs me to those who will help me!  I feel like I’ve been flooded with His love as I serve Him & His children!  I can’t get over it! 

I know that as we serve, we will be filled with His love!

& I want the children to feel that, too!

Halloween book

I was avoiding things I should be doing, & decided I needed some “me” time, so I created this fun Halloween book about a week ago:

Now I’m procrastinating more by writing this post &  sharing my book!

BTW, I forgot to label 2 pictures: one I was (obviously) a hospital patient (in 2016), & the next year, I was a pig in a blanket (2017)

Happy Halloween!

 This year I was the mama oyster from the story that Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum tell Alice in the cartoon version of Alice in Wonderland. By some miracle, my husband agreed to be the walrus who eats the baby oysters (I think I caught him on a good day, cuz he rarely dresses up!)