I Remember When

Ann Dee Ellis is an author  who also started a memoir writing group and encourages writers to write. She gives prompts 3 days a week and then we write for eight minutes. Please feel free to join in!

Here’s my eight minute attempt today: 

I remember when my husband and I met my two sons, Seth and Noah, in July of 2005. Seth was an adorable four-year-old with a huge smile, and Noah was twenty two-months yet he looked like he a one-year-old.

They were living in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area with foster parents. I remember the day my case worker called me and informed Jim and I that we were chosen by the county case worker to raise these boys after they viewed our home study (think lots of paperwork and interviews with case workers about your life history).

We met them on a Saturday morning at their foster family’s home along with their caseworker, Sarah. Jim and I instantly fell in love with them and felt an instant bond, like they were our boys and they had always lived with us. I felt a maternal love where I wanted to protect them and even apologized for some of their bad, bad behavior, as if this couple were watching our children. Actually, in essence they were watching them for us since we took them in and eventually adopted them.

My heart was filled with love and hope of finally starting our family with the love of my life.

 

My Brother Is Awesome

Our Temple Trip

I love my brother, Billy. He is one of the kindest people I know. Always willing to help me with anything I need, any hour of the day.

We went to the Houston LDS temple on Wednesday, and had a great day together. While I prepared myself to leave, I thought about how awesome he is and how fortunate I am to have him as my brother and my friend.

I’m grateful for all of my blessings, and my family is one of the greatest of them all.

Faith

Six months ago my faith and resilience was challenged in a VERY unexpected way. My son revealed a hidden pain and struggle, along with some terrible decisions that have led me to self-doubt and guilt.

Because, seriously, how could I NOT have known this whole other side of him? I knew he had the typical teenage angst that comes with finding his way in this world, but this was a whole other level.

I’m grateful for the gift of the Atonement. I KNOW that my Savior, Jesus Christ, knows me, loves me, and atoned for my sins. He also felt my feelings of despair, confusion, pain, as well as my happiness! He knows how to help me help my family overcome our unique challenges, and for that, I’m full of faith, and grateful for Him.

I’m a Mormon, and if you’re interested, click on this picture to read about my faith.   temple-i-believe-blue-silhouette

Fathers

Dad baseballI’m grateful to my father for raising me to follow my heart and making me laugh. He protected me while growing up in New York and took great care of my brother and I.  He is also a fun grandpa to my sons, and I’m so glad he lives with us!

946733_10202093347679830_1045844382_n(1)I am so grateful that my sons have such a wonderful father to guide them in becoming great men, such as my husband. I hope he notices how their face lights up whenever he comes home from work each day and know how much they love him. I’m so grateful we are an eternal family. 

Reflections

Tonight my husband is in the hospital with an aggressive infection in his leg. It started yesterday, and this morning he had a fever and a large red rash on his leg. He couldn’t walk, and I drove him to the ER. They admitted him and he is on antibiotics and pain meds, and has received many blood tests to check his white blood cell count. 

The tests this afternoon came back a bit high, most likely from fighting the infection, though they will scan for a blood clot as well. All of this served as a good reminder to me that things in life can and do change very fast in life, and I must try to always be prepared, whether I feel well or not.

I wasn’t feeling too good myself, but made the choice to serve my husband and best friend to the best of my ability. Dealing with this stress and uncertainty caused me want to write more scenes in our time travel novel, as a way for us to remember our love of this young adult story, and how it brings us closer together.

This is one of the many reasons I became a writer – to create tales that temporally help me forget about my problems and concentrate on my characters who have a life of their own.

Poem for The Enchanted Locket

Anthony and I wrote a poem together for our character, Emma, who wrote a poem for her mother’s funeral.

Until We Meet Again

I was not ready to say goodbye

My heart yearns for your sweet embrace

As you rest peaceful

Amongst the clouds, the stars

And everything that shines in my heart

My silver locket

Perfectly shaped to hold you

Close to my heart

Rest peacefully

As you look down

From the heavens tonight

Guiding Father and I

Until we meet again   

LDS Writer Blogfest: Establishing a Christ-Centered Home

Every April and October members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) gather around the world (usually in front of their computers/TVs) to listen to the inspired words given in General Conference. Some LDS writers and I are sharing our favorite talk (think sermon). For more information, click here.

I chose to write about Establishing a Christ-Centered Home by Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Seventy as a result of recent problems with my ten year old.

Elder Maynes teaches us that: “Parents are responsible to teach their children in love and righteousness. Parents will be held accountable before the Lord in how they perform their sacred responsibilities.” I felt the Spirit when he said that and knew I was sometimes lacking in the ‘love and righteous’ parts of my teachings when it comes to my ten-year-old’s behavior. He goes on with “Parents teach their children with words and through example,” and realized I needed to parent with more love when conflict arises in my home.

When he told us how he and Sister Maynes held weekly family home evenings, I cringed. My husband Jim and I are both converts, and did not grow up with weekly family home evening lessons, so we often struggle to remember to hold them now that our children are older. When they were toddlers, we lived in a quiet neighborhood with almost two acres of land. We did not have the distractions of constant ringing of our doorbell that we  have in our wonderful but busy neighborhood today, so bringing up family home evenings on Mondays are met with gnashing of the teeth (sometimes literally).

One of my favorites quotes from Elder Maynes is: “Our eternal happiness is not one of Satan’s objectives. He knows that an essential key to making men and women miserable like himself is to deprive them of family relationships which have eternal potential. Because Satan understands that true happiness in this life and in the eternities is found in the form of family, he does everything in his power to destroy it.”

Elder Maynes states: “We understand and believe in the eternal nature of the family. This understanding and belief should inspire us to do everything in our power to establish a Christ-centered home…..there is great power and protection for us and our youth in establishing celestial traditions in the home.” I feel inspired to hold family home evenings every Monday night and read scriptures as a family every day, and I know the Lord will bless our family and protect us from the distractions of the world.

Please read the talks from the participating LDS bloggers:

Annette Lyon: “Desire”
Annie Cechini: “The Spirit of Revelation”
Ben Spendlove: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Chantele Sedgwick: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Charity Bradford: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Jackee Alston: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Jenilyn Tolley: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Jessie Oliveros: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home”
Jolene Perry: “It’s Conference Once Again”
Jordan McCollum: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Kasey Tross: “Guided by the Holy Spirit”
Kayeleen Hamblin: “Become as a Little Child”
Kelly Bryson: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Krista Van Dolzer: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Melanie Stanford: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Michelle Merrill: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Myrna Foster: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Nisa Swineford: “Desire”
Sallee Mathews: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Sierra Gardner: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
The Writing Lair: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”