Thursday, February 4, 2010

January Update

Okay, so January got away from me without a post... Christmas finally got put away around the middle of the month and then I zeroed in on my responsibilities as VP on the state board for American Mothers. This past Saturday we had our Honors Gala and Silent Auction at the Wright House Garden Reception Center in Mesa. We announced and honored Arizona's new Mother of the Year and Young Mother of the Year. It's going to be an exciting year as we work to honor, mentor and celebrate mothers across our state. I'm currently in the midst of the state-wide 5th grade essay contest on "Why I love my Mom". Next month we will introduce the new Mothers of the Year to the State Legislator. In April we have the 75th Diamond Jubilee Celebration at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City! And in May we are doing a Moms Fun Run.

And in between meetings and emails and planning and laundry and cooking and cleaning and everything else, I'm working on some new ornaments designs for this season. Christmas may be far away, but the factory needs my stuff by May!

Put another candle on the cake for my oldest son Matt... #26... shhhh.... he doesn't want anyone to know how old he is! Ha! To be so young! He is graduating in Computer Science/Information Systems from BYU Hawaii in April.... FINALLY! So we are planning our trip over there for all the festivities! In honor of his birthday here are 26 things I love about Matt: 1. beautiful blue eyes, 2. he's the tallest in the family at 6'2", 3. loves anything I fix him to eat, 4. loves apple pie the most, 5. doesn't complain about not getting pb&j sandwiches at home, 6. served a faithful mission to Argentina, 7. loves his Hawaiian paradise, 8. has a strong testimony of the church/Savior, 9. not afraid to try food from all different countries, 10. he's a loyal friend, 11. has learned to be financially responsible for himself, 12. has learned to cook a few things (I think???), 13. gets good grades in school, 14. speaks Spanish fluently (hopefully still), 15. has a very kind heart, 16. computer smart, 17. figured out how to build a computer (with his dad), 18. plays the piano (a few songs), 19. plays the ukulele, 20. great guitar player, 21. writes and sings songs, 22. wrote me a Mothers' day song a few years ago, 23. sets a great example for his younger siblings, 24. is emerging into a wonderful young man, 25. independent thinker, and 26. tells me he loves me whenever we talk on the phone!!

Jon is busy in school and doing woodworking and serving as the Elders Quorum President. He ran his first 1/2 marathon last week and did really well! I call him the energizer bunny because he never stops moving! He has officially been home for one year now... he came home on February 2nd (my birthday) last year. He is such a help to me around the house and our house is always in a perpetual state of woodworking or other home improvement projects.

Josh is hoping to be transferred since he has been in the same area for about 8 months. We had a wonderful phone call a couple of Sundays ago from the wife of the branch president where he has been serving. She told me how much they love Josh and the whole branch is fired up about missionary work thanks to his powerful talks and enthusiasm. He is giving 200% to the Lord and we are so proud of him. I miss him so much but I am so grateful for his dedication and sacrifice. We are truly being blessed.

Katelyn shows a real talent for the violin and is progressing well. I wish I could say that about her school work! Sixth grade has been a challenge and I'm not sure how to get her better focused. She loves going to Young Womens and got to do baptisms for the dead a couple of weeks ago at 5 in the morning!!

Mark works and works and works... long days... his company is busy and growing. But we are grateful for a job considering how many are struggling. I am learning to be supportive and hope that at some point things will slow down for him.

So that pretty much sums up our January and life for the last few months... Kind of a boring post but this blog is also my journal...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Only 40...

Forty...4-0... Yes, that's how many... No, not my age... passed that up a few years ago! Not how many gray hairs I have... I don't think I have any yet thanks to good genes on my dad's side of family (he didn't have any until into his 70's). And it isn't how many presents we opened yesterday... I'm sure by the size of the pile of wrapping paper it was way MORE than that! And it's not how much cash is left in my wallet 'cuz I probably have way LESS than that!

So this "40" I'm talking about is the best present I received this year (and for the last 5 years)... With that clue some of you may have guessed... Yes, it is how many minutes we had to talk with Josh on the phone from his mission in Georgia... It went by way too quick... Yeah, I felt a little cheated considering we talked for a couple of hours (at least) with Jon and Matt during their Christmases in the field. But Josh is a stickler for exactness... in everything... and in obeying mission rules... he knows that blessings will come from following those rules to a T... and he badly wants those blessings as he gives his whole self in service to the Lord. And so I can't really fault him or say let's bend the rules because 40 minutes isn't long enough for this mom who misses and loves her baby son soooo dang much! His mission president seems to be a little more on the "strict" side shall I say than many other mission presidents. Funny how my last post was about a phone call, too.... the DREADED one (see below)! THIS phone call was the one a mom waits for months for and counts the days for!!

And so I cherished every minute of that 40... and soaked in every word he said... and teared up as he told of the miraculous baptisms of a newly married couple this past week. And with his cast freshly cut off he was able to perform the sacred ordinance... a WHITE Christmas they call it amongst missionaries. And I painfully listened to more details of his accident... and silently thanked my Heavenly Father for protecting and healing him. And Matt and him spoke a little Spanish together... and even though I couldn't understand it, I felt the spirit of these two brothers communicating and sharing this common bond. And then.... before I had to a chance to ask all my questions... it was time to say good-bye... it was like only having the first course of a delicious meal... you're still hungry for more...

I love you and good bye... and click he is gone... Does he know how much I love him? And how proud I am of him? Could he hear that in our voices or feel it in his heart? I guess all those questions I had for him can wait.... at least until next week's email to him... or until the Mother's Day phone call... I've already begun counting!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Dreaded Phone Call

Yeah, we got one of those phone calls... the one you hope and pray you never get... It was Halloween Day early afternoon to be exact... The caller ID said LDS Mission... my heart stops momentarily as I say "Hello?" The voice on the other end sweetly says "Is this Sister Weathers?" "Yes" my voice is cracking. "This is Sister Bowman" (Josh's mission president's wife) and I immediately know this is NOT good. Emails and letters are good from Mission Presidents and wives. We've received a few of those. BUT NOT A PHONE CALL!! She asks how I'm doing and I tell her good... until NOW! She calmly tells me Josh has had a bad accident... a bike accident and he is in surgery and they are on their way to see him. Breathe... hold it together.... A broken arm, no concussion, and very few details she has at this point. Which arm? How bad? Why surgery? What hospital? She doesn't know. She promises to call back as soon as he's out of surgery and in recovery.

The hours tick by very slowly....2 then 3 then 4 then 5 THEN 6 and I'm going crazy!! It's the longest day of his mission for me! And I begin to think the worst! Since when does a broken arm take 6 hours of surgery???? It's now Halloween night and I'm keeping the phone in one hand as I'm answering the door and practically throwing the candy at the trick-or-treaters and mumbling out a Happy Halloween to them as I'm sure NOT feeling happy!

And then I can stand it no longer so dial her cell phone number. She answers. Keeping my emotions under control and without asking her why in the heck she hasn't called us back she tells me that the surgery went fine, he was awake and hoping to get some food, and that they had to put 2 metal plates and 6 screws in his arm... his RIGHT arm... bummer... I asked for the 2nd time if we would be allowed to speak to him and/or his surgeon and she said she didn't think so. But wait! This is my child! I need to hear his voice... to have that reassurance... he's not in prison for gosh sakes!!

Our stake president was informed of his accident the next day and there was some discussion about him possibly coming home to recover and have physical therapy. But he is staying and I'm glad because he wouldn't be a happy camper if he had to come home. He is a strong, determined, faithful young man and wants to be there out serving no matter the price! Yes, it will be a daily struggle for a couple of months. He loved being on a bike but will be in a car for at least 6 months. (I'm happy about that!) He will have to find ways to dress, eat, email, write, and sleep with a cast on.

I reminded him in an email that this "affliction shall be but a small moment" and "know thou, my son, that this shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." (Paraphrase from D&C 121) Maybe someone's heart will be softened because they see him out working and serving in spite of a broken arm. Or maybe this will further refine and humble Josh into an even better missionary. (He is currently District Leader and a trainer.)

Josh was able to email us a few days later and told us that his tire hit something in the road and he flew through the air like Superman and landed on his arm. He was calm until he saw that his arm looked like a boomerang. But before shock could set in he asked his companion for a blessing and a doctor was immediately there to help and call the ambulance... his accident occurred right in front of a orthopedic doctors office!

Yes, it is very hard to have a child (I know he's 19 but he's still my child) far away and in a hospital and probably scared about having surgery (he's never had any before). But our loving Heavenly Father watches over his children, especially his missionaries... He sends the comforter to give peace to our hearts... and throws in a few tender mercies along the way...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

LDS Keepsake Ornaments

So, next in the "I'm sooo busy I forget to breathe" category is...

It's a long story so I'll try to make it short as possible...

Every Christmas I always buy a new ornament for each of my kids. I try to find ones that go along with what they are doing in their lives. Like, for example, Matt is at BYU Hawaii and he bought a surfboard and learned to surf. So I found a cute surfboard ornament for him. I have done this each year since they were born and put them on the "kid" tree in the family room. Someday when they get married I will give them all their own ornaments and hopefully they will continue the tradition with their kids. Of course, this will never happen if they DON'T HURRY UP AND GET MARRIED!!! Okay... I'm getting sidetracked... So since I've had sons out serving missions for the last 5 Christmases I wanted to find a missionary ornament! And do you think I could find one searching all the millions of Mormon websites out there??? Not one decent one out there! So as I'm at the mall looking at ornaments, there is one that has a boy in shorts on a bike...hmmm... I think to myself... with a change of clothes to a white shirt and tie and dark pants and a black name tag, he would look like a missionary! So for several months I sketched several missionary designs and searched for an ornament company that would be willing to work with me to produce these custom polyresin (clay-looking) ornaments. I contracted with a company in Massachusetts and the process began. I worked with the owner of the company and her son... I started with 5 missionary designs and after further inspiration decided to add several Temple marriage designs... couldn't find any of those kind of ornaments either which is amazing considering there is almost 14 million of us Mormons out there! Now the other little obstacle I had to overcome was the fact that the people helping me make the designs and molds had barely ever even heard of a Mormon! So I directed them to our church website and helped them become a little more familiar with what a temple is and what a missionary does and looks like.

So after months of collaborating and working on the marketing, the ornaments are being mass produced in a factory in China and should be arriving in the next couple of weeks! I hope! Deseret Book is going to sell them in their stores and online!! (That's another whole story in itself.) A local store in Mesa will carry them. And if I ever get around to getting a website done, they'll be available there, too. I was hoping they would arrive in time for my boutique, but alas, no...

They are being featured in LDS Living Magazine (November edition) in the Gift Guide Section. Facebook friends have already seen the previews... but I think they are much cuter and better looking in person. They will come in boxes and will be personalizable (is that a word??). So buy them for your missionaries that are out or have even come home! Or for future farewell gifts. The temple marriage ones are nice for wedding gifts or gift toppers... and one of the hearts is a picture frame... Valentine gifts, too!

I have about a dozen more designs in various stages of production that will be out next year including "Babies are a Blessing" and family ones. So cherish the milestones in life with an LDS Keepsake Ornament!!

Greatest Power for Good is a MOM

Here's what's next on the list of my busy life...

I was nominated and chosen to serve on the executive board of directors for the Arizona American Mothers Association. I will be installed at the State Convention on November 14th. I feel very honored and humbled to be a part of this great organization. The national organization was founded 75 years ago and they own and sponsor Mothers Day. Their main goal is to strengthen the moral and spiritual foundations of the family. My responsibilities (I'm Vice President of Honoring Mothers) will be to find, and with the help of my committee, select the Mother and Young Mother of the Year for Arizona, and organize community events around Mothers Day including the 5th grade essay contest ("Why my mom is special") that the schools do each year. If you want to read more about American Mothers and how you can join a chapter in your area, go to the American Mothers, Inc. website for Arizona or any state or the National one. I truly believe that "Moms are the greatest power for good in the world."

Some REAL Housewives from the Holiday Magic Boutique...

Life has been crazy the last few weeks... or maybe it's been months... it sure feels that way! I feel like I need to come up for air! And speaking of air... the nice cool mornings and evenings sure feel great and do wonders for our a/c bill!

So what has keep me soooo busy?? Well, for starters, I'm working on my 3rd annual HOLIDAY MAGIC BOUTIQUE... It's coming up next week (Friday, November 6th and Saturday November 7th) here at my home. I have about 30 vendors signed up selling homemade and resale items. Christmas gifts for everyone on your list! Lots of baby stuff, jewelry, purses, candles, hair accessories, aprons, crystal nail files, pictures, yard art, gourment food storage, tamales, cinnamon rolls, and tons more. I advertise all over, find vendors, answer 1000s of emails, get okays from the HOA, make signs, and get the house ready, etc. Many hours a day for the last couple of months. Every year I say I'm not doing it again and then somehow the bug hits me and I get talked into it. I guess cuz I love boutiques and browsing all the cute and creative things that people make. It gets my creative juices flowing...

My boutique is also being featured in Go Gilbert Magazine! One of the editors found out about it and put it in the calender section of the magazine. She also asked about doing a feature on the boutique, why I do it each year, and who some of the Gilbert moms are that participate. She also had heard about my "REAL Housewives of Gilbert" blog that I posted in May of this year. And so, we wrote a human interest/feature article for the magazine and had some pictures taken. It's a spoof on the Real Housewives shows (New York and Orange County) on Bravo TV. Unfortunately the feature won't make it out before the boutique happens, but maybe it will be great publicity for next year! Oh wait! Didn't I say I won't do it ever again?? Yeah, I say that every year! So at least we're in the calendar and that has already gone out to over 25,000 households in Gilbert and Chandler!

So come experience the magic of the holidays and see what some of the REAL Housewives of Gilbert have up their sleeves!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fall is in the Air (or is it??)

It is officially FALL... Time to put away the swimsuits and shorts and quit wearing white!! But how do you do that when the forecast for today is 105 degrees?? It doesn't look like or feel like fall around here in AZ! I long for cool autumn days and chilly nights sitting by a cracklin' fire and sipping hot chocolate... and listening to the sounds of leaves rustling in the breeze as they change to colors of blazing oranges and rusty reds... and, darn it, just having enough cool days to wear all those sweaters in my closet before it gets too hot again!!

Don't get me wrong... we love desert living!! In January when half the country is digging themselves out of the snow and scraping ice from their cars, we live outdoors! Yeah, it's only in the fall that I turn a little melancholy watching BYU football games on TV and wishing I was there breathing in the crispness of the mountain air and admiring the beauty all around!

So, as I have for the last 17 years of living in Arizona, I'll hang my fall wreath with fake leaves on the door, I'll put out my fake pumpkins on my front porch (real ones would turn to mush within a week), and I'll fill every nook and cranny inside with some of the same!

Oh, and maybe I'll bake an apple crisp for dessert tonight!

And I guess I could turn the a/c down to 68 degrees and put on a sweater...