I just want to brag!

I know it’s been awhile, but I just want to brag!  Wednesday, April 27, I got myself dinner…Now, I have gotten myself some “easy” meals, but this was not just any old dinner: I put leftover burger & fries on a plate, reheated it, & gave myself a bib.  J  I love how much more independent this house allows me to be!  (More on that later!)

Concerning my kids (u may be aware of some of this, if u follow me on Facebook &/or Instagram):

Zach opened his mission call 3/31. He leaves June 1 to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He will serve for 2 years in San Diego, CA mission, ASL speaking (the letter said “u will prepare to teach the gospel in ASL” ).  In my opinion, Zach has been preparing for his mission since he was 6 years old!

Saturday, April 23, my son, Zach, came home from college (BYU), & as he unpacked, I sat in his room, & held a CONVERSATION with him!  I’ve held conversations with family & friends just sitting by me, staring at my mouth, but he was able to walk around & unpack!  I’m sure it’s not all me… In fact, I KNOW it’s not!

My youngest daughter, Sophie, competed against several middle & high school show choirs, swing, & jazz choirs in a Show Choir competition on April 1st, w/ her amazing group, the Ringtones, last   They won best vocals & grand champs:

This group of girls is so motivated!  Around December. They started hanging out here, & learning songs just for fun. In February, the choir & voice teachers heard them, & got involved, realizing something could happen, & since the school had no show/swing choir, they entered this last competition as the LTMS swing choir.

I know they have practiced hard!  It was good to see the “fruit of their labors”!  & I can’t believe these girls are in 8th grade, & just started seriously practicing a month ago!  They usually practice here, & I don’t get tired of hearing them!

As for my oldest daughter, Jessie, is now 16.  She has been driving for a while (she had a hardship license–since I’m disabled, but I think the license was more of a hardship for us, cuz it rarely helped us!), &  she can now date (heaven help us)!  In fact, this weekend, she is going to “Mormon Prom.”  Last year was the 1st time I got to check it  out, & it was amazing to see EVERY girl wearing a modest prom dress!  It gave a different feel to the evening that was so wonderful!  I am glad my daughter can attend such a great event!

Also, since Mark & I have been so focused on Zach’s mission call, & Sophie’s choir competition, my other daughter, Jessica, took it into her own hands to do April Fools on us this year!  I thought u’d enjoy seeing what she did…

2016-04-02 13.55.02

I’m back!

I haven’t posted in a while, cause so much has been going on: we just moved, went on a Disney Cruise, found & trained  another person to help me, & hI ave been recovering from pain that was in my only working limb (I didn’t even know why it hurt…my guess is stress & tightened muscles didn’t mix with the lack of stretching & lack of therapy in the last few weeks, but it severely “crippled” me—I could barely type, sometimes I was unable to feed myself, etc.).  But good news: I am doing MUCH better, & even made myself my own bag of popcorn!  (Granted, I made a mess too, but it was the 1st time in almost 12 years that I made popcorn, & poured my own bowl!)


Since my article is being run again in LDS Living magazine again, I thought I’d share some “updates”, & share some things the original LDS Living article got wrong:

  • My stroke occurred in my Indianapolis, Indiana home – we moved to Austin, Texas to build an accessible home, & be by family.
  • I used to be the compassionate service leader, & a Young Womens (YW) teacher before that, but now  I am the YW Personal Progress Leader (check out this remarkable youth program)–& recently earned my medallion again, along with both of my daughters (who were 13 & 15 at the time)!
  • “I Love to See the Temple” is one of my favorite primary (children)songs, but not THE favorite! (It’s this.)
  • I speak a LOT now.  As u may be aware, I started horse therapy after this article 1st came out (which has been AMAZING & strengthened my core so much!), & my therapist jokes that when we 1st started, I could only say a few words, but “now (she) can’t get me to shut up!”  If u get to know my Sophie, she’s so much like me, & she talks all the time, just as I used to do—so my therapist is correct in her explanation!
  • Our 20th wedding anniversary was in 2014.

Look! No hands!

The other day I realized that I am now able to lean forward with no hands, & hold ia 45 degree angle. I bet that’s thanks to horse therapy AND Cooper:

Our dog, Cooper, absolutely HATES to be alone. Whenever people leave, he sits by the door until he hears the car go, just hoping they will come back. When the car goes, he runs to see if I’m there- (cuz I rarely leave), & he tries to jump on me, as if to say, “Thank u for not leaving me! I love u!” I often lean forward to pet him, & re-assure him that I am really there. So I get practice leaning forward several times a day…

Then, during the day, he naps where he can see me. I recall the ninja-like moves I used to get out of the room w/my babies. I wish I could do them w/Cooper, but I can’t be “ninja -like” in my wheelchair (just turning it on, it beeps like the roadrunner–did they try to be funny when they did that?)! So, if I want to leave, either someone else has to come, or Cooper has to be completely out of it, so I can leave the room…cuz when Cooper finds himself alone, he HOWLS! So I just stay, since he’s too scared of our stairs (I can’t wait to move into our new, one-story home by next month!)

A few weeks ago, I posted a video, but forgot to tell anyone that I did! So, let me share a bit about our Mormon Channel video:

We made that video like 3-4 years ago. When the video was removed from Youtube, we were told it would air it at a “special” time. We thought that the “special time” would be during an LDS conference years ago, but it never did, so we had NO idea it would EVER air! But it finally did air, the 1st weekend of October, on, during our church’s general conference–as we had thought it would, only years ago!

I was in Utah when it aired, watching the conference on TV (KBYU), so I never saw it. But the girls were with my parents here, watching My mom saw the intro. & had a feeling it was us, so they were watching, & when it ended, Sophia CALLED (yes, CALLED!) me, she was so excited, & my mom joked they need to update it now!

it DOES get better!

A while ago, I watched the movie “Million Dollar Baby”…it was a waste of 2 hours! It is about a boxer who hurts her spine & can’t move anymore from her neck down–but at least she could move her head & talk! Yet she just killed herself! (I was so disappointed, & thought, “she got a movie for that???) I understand the desire to die & how hard that 1st year is, but it DOES get better! So this post is to anyone out there who is recently injured, or just had a stroke:

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints general conference this weekend, Dieter F Uchtdorf gave a talk ( ) about gratitude that was exactly what occurred for me. Let me explain: I’d always been an avid journal writer pre-stroke, so when I could finally use the computer again, i started keeping my journal again. I was miserable that 1st year after my stroke, so it was no surprise that one of my 1st entries took forever to type the simple words “i want to die!”

As i got stronger, my entries got longer, & one time i was listing all the reasons why i hated things post-stroke. My sweet husband, mk, saw my list, & encouraged me to instead make a list of what i was grateful for. i thought he was nuts!, & i asked, “what do i have to be grateful for?” he told me that for starters, i was alive! but i wasn’t grateful (then) that i WAS alive, so it took me years to have the courage to start that list, & a while longer before I could say I was grateful to still be alive…the poor boxer girl in the movie didn’t have anyone like mk 2 help her change her thinking, but when I made the choice to set aside bitterness & be happy no matter what, as the talk by Dieter F Uchtdorf teaches, gratitude helped me see my blessings & change my attitude, as my hope, faith, & testimony in God grew. I will be eternally thankful to my husband for this simple suggestion, as it changed EVERYTHING for me. & since not everyone has “a mk”, I wanted to pass it on, since I know how much it helped me!

“Gracias, danke, merci whatever language is spoken, ‘thank you’ frequently expressed will cheer your spirit, broaden your friendships, and lift your lives to a higher pathway as you journey toward perfection. There is a simplicity even a sincerity when ‘thank you’ is spoken.”

–Thomas S. Monson, “The Profound Power of Gratitude,” Ensign, Sept. 2005, 3

go to the temple

Since my recent article in LDS Living magazine mentions that the 1st thing I told mk was to go to the temple, I’ve had a few questions about what Mormon temples are, & why I told mk to go there.

Honestly, I was so young when it occured, so at the time, I had very little understanding of the significance in going to the temple. But the spirit wanted me to say it so bad that it was all I could think about. It felt like those words were almost shouted at me for 3 days!, & all I could only think was, “Somehow I have to tell mk to go!” So I can’t explain the excitement I felt when mk said I could talk by blinking!

But I think temples are better explained by our church leaders! Watch this video:

& on it says:
The temple is the house of the Lord prepared and dedicated for sacred gospel ordinances. It is also a place of worship and prayer.