Friday, May 27, 2016

Let Go

Full credit to this goes to Jenedy Paige at This was just too amazing to try to explain myself. ♥ 

“Let Go”
During the Law of Moses, there were a couple different sacrifices that required two animals: one that would be slain and one that would be let go.
“But he shall let go the living bird out of the city into the open fields, and make an atonement for the house: and it shall be clean.”
-Leviticus 14:53
“But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.” – Leviticus 16:10
I think this presents a beautiful symbolism, that once an atonement has been made, then we should also let go. Whether that atonement was used to cleanse from sin, to cleanse from illness, to allow forgiveness, once it is has been paid, then we should let go of the sadness, sorrow, or grief associated with it.
Six months or so after the death of my son, I felt the weight of grief like never before. I cried daily. It seemed like I would have to grieve forever. There seemed to be a lie whispered to me that if I let it go, then I never loved. The lie said that the grief was all I had left of my son, and to let it go, was to let him go. So I carried it around with me, much like this black balloon.
However, one day I was in Sunday School and we read from the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 9:20, in this verse the voice of the Savior is heard in the aftermath of the destruction following His death. He says,
“Ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit…”
I felt He was also speaking to me in the aftermath of the destruction following the death of my son. He said I had to sacrifice my broken heart. I had to let it go.
So I went to God in prayer, I was really honest with Him. I spoke with Him like I would speak to my dad. I put all my grief on the table, and over time, that weight was lifted. Like the sins that were laid upon the scapegoat in the Old Testament, I laid my grief upon the Savior, and through His atonement, He took it away. And what was so beautiful was that I then learned a truth that it wasn’t the grief that held me to my son, it was my love for him that did, and once I let go, that love was intensified, not diminished.
Now you may not be struggling with grief, but we all carry around black balloons of some kind: anxiety, depression, ill feelings, a grudge, and it can be hard to let go. But I want to add my witness that the atonement has already been made, the price has already been paid, the Savior took upon Himself all of our sorrow, sadness, sin, and pain, so we don’t have to. So take advantage of that atonement, and then as in the Old Testament, let it go.
12” x 36” oil on panel

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

MAY 2016

Hey, hey, it's May! I have a love hate relationship with May. I love that school is
ending and summer is starting up and I don't like that school is ending at the same time.
I love fun, carefree summer days and then I need more structure and helpers.
I love teaching preschool and am always sad to see those sweet little ones
graduate and grow up so darn fast! Crazy month of May!
But I could never get enough of the temple, that's for sure! 
 I was trying to take a picture of this guy across the dinner table
from me and Grace and Zac (from both sides of the table) were
doing everything possible to get in the way. Silly gooses!

♥ Grace made me chocolate dipped strawberries for Mothers Day ♥

 Grace and Livvy lettered in soccer and track (and bball for Liv).
Busy girls. And, whatttt??!! Finishing their Sophomore years!!??

We celebrated by eating at Panda (boys) and Costa Vida (girls).
Thankfully they have shared outdoor seating between their restaurants!

 The blessing of the Zurchers building a house is that they come down every
couple weeks for meetings. Lots of coordinating meetings and choosing colors
and such. Which means one great thing: WE GET ELLIE!!!
 That day we took an impromptu trip to Gunlock to play in the sun,
sand, and water. So fun! Ellie was not a fan of the jetski, but she
loved the paddleboard. 

 Ellie was certain that those two black handles on the paddleboard
were made just for her to hang on to. It was a perfect spot for her!

  We were all getting ready for church and this cute kid just
took Addie right outside to rock and relax. 
We all love Ellie and Addie time and this weekend we also got Livvy time.
Her parents were out of town, so lucky us!! 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Erin in Thailand

No sooner than Erin left for Thailand did my sweet friend Christa stop by with
a sweet treat and an even sweeter note. What a blessing in my life!
It is not easy being a mama and sending your kids off every which way. 
 Darling Alexa dropped off Erin at SLC airport in the wee hours
of the morning....4am.....and she was off! 

 She is loving life and enjoys teaching English to the
sweet little Thai children. The school is beautiful and
her apartment (with 6 other girls) is just to the right. 

 I love that she mainly made her Thailand Instagram account! haha!

Look at how darling these children are!

Their hair is all matted to their heads, because they have no a/c.
(Well Erin says the school does have a/c, but the head teachers
don't turn it on. Daily temps outside are 105+, with real feel
temps between 120-130 degrees. I can't even imagine what it
feels like inside! Erin's apartment has a/c and they use it!)

About three weeks into her trip, Erin got really sick. She was throwing up
everything and had constant diarrea for three days. Her leader took her to 
the hospital where she spent the next three days getting iv's to get 
hydrated. Finally the diarrea stopped and she was released. 
It was a really scary time for us. We had no idea the care she was 
getting or even what was causing her to be so sick. So... 
 we responded with faith and trust in Christ. My mother heart wanted
to scream WORRY WORRY WORRY, but the spirit whispered 
"everything is going to be ok".
I was not allowed to post the picture she sent of the first day she
was in the hospital. She looked so pale and weak and sick.
 But here we are face-timing the day she got out and that was
a very happy moment! She still needs to regain strength and energy,
but is doing so much better. Love you sweet Erin girl!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

April 2016

April brought one of my most favorite times of the year....
General Conference!

 {jeremy might have fallen asleep during GC on Sunday...
hence the marker on his face (family tradition, what can I say!??)}

 Grace and Livvy participated in their first track meet...the high jump.
It was so fun to watch them.

 Addie and Ells came down for the weekend. We are SO happy they are
building a house in Little Valley which brings them down to check on
it and sign papers and such often!! Yay!

 Date night bike ride with my main man.

 Kaleb and Zac had a late night with Legos and movies, 
while Livvy and Grace built a fort on the tramp and watched
movies in the rain. Love these adventurers!

 Mama and George are holding down things in Hawaii really good. 
 Smoothies with our dinner one night. Mmmmm.
 Saying good bye to Sister Dusti Pereira as she heads out to serve
the people in Florida. So very excited and happy for her. 
 I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
 The walls of Erins college room give me insight into her soul.
She's a creative, imaginative, adventurous, beauty of a girl.

 Just gathering the family one by one up north. We tried to kidanp
Spenc to come to lunch with us, but darn that he was at work.

We spent several days at Grandmas house. And we may have
eaten Sunday dinner in the garage (long story!) 

 This kid got a Spencer-inspired haircut. And man alive, does
he ever look handsome. Three years apart and he is almost as
tall as Grace. Almost. We'll check back on that next month...

 And sometimes there are just random Mema pics with Ellie... 

 Seriously, by the looks of all of the pics with Addie and Ellie,
you would think they would have already moved here. Soooon!!
Sisterly bonding time....eyebrow plucking with a headlamp. Haha.
 Breakfast girls and acrobatic moves...

 Getting Erin ready to be a bridesmaid in Amandas wedding, while
the guys spent a lot of time around the table looking at plans, 
backyard ideas and the like. 

 DIRT! This girl loves digging and digging.

 About to send this girl {erin} off to Thailand for four months and my
mama heart is breaking. Boy oh boy it is hard to be a parent!!

 Gardening with Papa.
Funny story....if any of our kids call us "mom" or "dad", Ellie
promptly says, "Her name is Mema, not Mom" Or
"He is Papa! Not Dad!" She is a cutie. Wait until I am her
preschool teacher next year...she's going to be so confused
when everyone calls me Miss Amy!! 

 And of to Thailand she goes. She is going to love it and 
they are going to love her!! LOVE YOU ER-BEAR!