Tuesday, March 31, 2009


More rock work this morning, but the weather was so unpleasant that they came in early today. They are finding some fun in this hard work as they have collected some souvenirs to help remind them of their difficult job. There are several piles of rocks, and in some of those piles they have found some cool bombs.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Out in this cold windy day -

Chase, Connor, Thomas,

Terry and Anthony.


One more thing - I can't seem to let this go.
I've thought a lot about someone special this last few weeks and today is his special day. Today is my youngest brother's birthday.
Lamont died in 1988, when he was 11 years old. We love him and we miss him, but we are so very grateful for the opportunity to see him again some day.
I've often thought that Anthony looks a lot like him, especially when he was younger. I've occasionally seen a little of Lamont in him through these past years, but in a while I will not be able to see that because I will not have seen Lamont at that age. Anthony will be 11 in May, so I have one last year. Then, maybe I'll see what Lamont might have looked like if he'd been here with us. I have even noticed some similarities in personalities - maybe this is because they are both the youngest in the family, so they have that attitude that the youngest/baby of the family often has.
We know a young man that was born around the same time Lamont was and I have occasionally watched him through the years knowing that my brother would or could be that age, and/or doing similar things if he were still alive. I have found some joy as I have seen him, his wife, and his children.
It may sound odd to some, but for me it warms my heart. I have felt some tender mercies as I have watched this young man Lamont's age, and as I have seen Lamont in my youngest son. We miss him, but we know he is in a great place and loved and cared for even better than if he were here. For now, Lamont has other responsibilities and assignments, but some day we will share in the joy of family, together again.
Maybe we'll have birthday cake today!

Everyday Insights

Several years ago our ward had a newspaper or news bulletin that was printed every.... ? maybe every quarter - I can't remember. Anyway, Terry was asked to write something for it and his "column" was titled Everyday Insights. There have been days when I wish I had something to post on the blog, but have not known what to write so I don't write anything. I'm going to change that a bit. I want to start posting some interesting sayings, thoughts, or maybe a poem or insight Terry has written years ago, or whatever I might choose. I was going to do this earlier, but thought I'd have to have some extreme way of introducing it. I couldn't come up with anything so I decided that simply telling of my intentions was good enough. So, I hope you find something enjoyable to read in one of these Everyday Insights as they randomly appear in the future.
Here is the first, but not necessarily the best -
(works for me, especially since it's spring break)

spring break

I always enjoy spring break, but I don't have much of a plan ready for this one. We wanted to go to Longview to see my family, but Connor has been sick since Friday, so we'll be staying home for now. I guess I'll quickly get a pencil and paper out to start a "To Do" list so we can make sure we get something accomplished that is worthwhile and productive. We're not starting out this week with a bang, but maybe we will end it that way. If we can enjoy some good weather we will be getting some yard work done. We'll try to fit something exciting and fun in too. If it's your spring break too, we wish you a happy one. It'll be great to have the kids home!!!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009


Happy Birthday to our first two sons -Gregory and Brandon.
We love you! We are so very blessed to have you as ours!

On this day that we celebrate our sons birthday we are celebrating the life of another - a friend who passed away. We attended her funeral today in celebration of her life. Our 82 year old friend, Jenny, was so beautiful. When we visited she would smile her beautiful smile, take my hand in hers and make me feel like I was her most favorite person for that moment in time. Our love and prayers go out to her family.

We have lost several friends lately, and we will miss them all, and include their families in our thoughts and prayers.

I am so grateful for the peace that comes from the Lord to comfort us in time of need. This plan of happiness that our Heavenly Father has for us includes some hardships, like loosing loved ones, but the best part of that plan is the fact that we will be able to see each other again some day after death. Our love goes on and on.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Michael took a Japanese class for 2 of his high school years. His teacher was Shigeko Spencer, a member of our ward, who is from Japan. We just learned today that she is from Fukuoka, and her mother still lives there. It was fun to learn that (maybe we had heard it before, but haven't been familiar with Japan enough to remember it) and we look forward to keeping in touch with her as Michael is serving there. Mission areas cover a lot of ground, so we can't say that for sure Michael will meet her, but there is a very good chance of it.

I thought it would be fun to share this card that Michael made for me (Elaine) for Mother's Day, in 2008 while in that class.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Michael has received his mission call. We are so very excited for him. He will enter the MTC on June 17th. And the mission? ..... ready?..... Fukuoka (fookoo-okuh) Japan. WOW!

We are doing some googling and trying to learn a bit more about this place. If you know anyone who has served there we'd love to hear about it. Congrats to Michael!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patrick's Day...

I didn't want the St Patrick's day visual left at the top of my blog, (and it would have been because it was added as a gadget) so I had to delete it this morning.
It is still a good wish, so I've written the words here -
"May your pockets be heavy
and your heart be light,
May good luck pursue you
each morning and night."
I hope you had a good one!
We tried something new this year. Terry and I had heard and seen a lot about corned beef and cabbage (it must be an Irish thing) and decided to try it out. We purchased our first corned beef ever. I found a recipe - the beef gets boiled and simmered for a few hours, then add potatoes and carrots, then cabbage. The veggies were the best part, the meat was okay too, but it just tastes different than what we usually eat. We ate it on green plates and drank from green cups. I thought about doing some other green food or drink, but I just didn't have time.
I had to leave for a Relief Society dinner so I missed the meal, but got to taste it when I got home. When I ask everyone how it was, they all reply something like this, "it was okay!". I guess BrittanyJo's reply was a bit different. The boys had a band concert that night too, so after Dana and I attended the RS dinner we went over to the concert and sat by BrittanyJo who said that dinner was good and that we should have it tomorrow too, especially the carrots. She is a sweet heart!
The meat is almost gone, but no one is begging for it again. It was fun to try. I wish I had a picture of it, but I didn't even get to dish it up for everyone.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Seven more days of chemo behind us!

Monday started out pretty good as we met with the doctor and learned that Terry's blood work shows that he is improving quite nicely. We were encouraged. We also learned that this could mean that with this improvement he may not have the stem cell transplant as soon as we had suspected.
Now that I have said that, I must also say this - we learn something one day and then in a few weeks or months, things change, so we don't really know much at all right now, except that his blood work is good.
To have the stem cell one must "fail" Rituxan (which Terry did on the previous treatments) and also "fail" Fludarabine (or Fludara). Well, he is having the Flurdara treatments right now and is not yet failing them - it's actually helping quite nicely at the moment.
The trick is in what we don't know - of course! He has just finished the 4th out of 6 rounds of this Fludara. (Everyday for 5 days and then 3 weeks off, for 6 rounds.)
If I understand it correctly this is what I know - If he does well for six months or more after the last week of treatments he will not have the stem cell transplant yet. If he gets progressively worse within the first 6 months after his last week of Fludara treatments then that means he will have "failed" Fludara.
So we continue to feel good about the progress, but we still don't know what the future holds, but we are becoming quite used to that.
Monday's excitement soon lessened as we went in for the chemo treatment after seeing the doctor. Each Monday of the week of treatments they put a new midline in his arm. Well, after trying awhile, she couldn't get it in the left arm and pulled it out. It was a bit stressful for Terry's body and he became light headed and fatigued. After a few minutes of resting with his feet up and a cloth over his forehead he was "attacked" again, this time in the right arm, and again she could not get it in and ended up having to put a line in his wrist.
Good news is - he was able to leave this line in for five days because it looked so good still on Wednesday, but usually they have to replace that type of line after three days.
All in all we are feeling good about things!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Our plan to clean the yard after lunch was frustrated. We cleaned some leaves and weeds out of the front yard and then decided it was not worth it because the wind made it rather miserable. We felt more like we were in Winnie the Pooh's blustery day, so we came back inside, grateful for a wonderful place to escape the elements. Even though it's not completely cleaned and beautiful, these photos bring hope for what is to come.

We are ready for spring to come and stay. We had a small, but hard snow storm Thursday night for a short time (enough to stay on the ground until Friday afternoon). Maybe even some hail by the way it looked. (We were at Pack Mtg through part of it, and there was no snow in town.)

These flowers are braving the weather. I can hardly wait till they bloom.

Monday, March 2, 2009


One sign of spring on it's way - planting peas.

Thomas is planting peas

Here he is loading the seed into the planter.
It's rather exciting to know that we are planting and that the earth will soon be covered in beautiful spring colors. It's been looking a little dreary for awhile now.
We noticed another sign of spring today - the daffodils are braving the weather. They are up a couple inches. I would have taken a picture of those too, but I have not braved the weather to go out and clean the garden.