Where has the time gone?
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Like I said in my last entry, my Grandpa Jack passed away. He was my paternal grandfather. It was the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The day of the funeral, which I was sadly unable to attend, my Dad, Mom, sister Elena and her family, and sister Hanna and her family gathered in Rupert, Idaho for the funeral. They arrived late, having been stopped by a train. When they arrived at the chapel, there was an ambulance out front. It turned out my uncle Jackie, my dad's youngest brother had an aneurysm and had to be air lifted to a hospital in Boise, Idaho. He ended up having several strokes, two surgeries and his son Jack, III finally pulled him off life support on December 11, 2007. He died two weeks after his father.
The day after Grandpa passed away, November 28, my sister, Laura the fourth of six girls gave birth to her fourth child, Kate. Everything went pretty much as planned until after the delivery. She developed a staff infection and was in the hospital for almost a week. They had to pump iv fluids and antibotics directly into her heart. Thankfully is she now doing well and just trying to figure out how to take care of four children now. She says four is definitely more than three.
I think the hardest thing this month was that I couldn't be there for any of it. Living in Florida does have its draw backs. Especially when you are over a thousand miles away from any other family members. I couldn't hug my dad, I couldn't help Laura with her children, I couldn't tell Jack III that everything would be okay. I had to wait by the phone hoping that someone would call me. I had to wait to see if anyone remembered to fill me in. The one thing that I was able to do turned out for the best.
Something happened the day of Grandpa's funeral that never really happens. My mom called me within a few hours of Jackie being airlifted. I usually hear about these things months after they happened. But for once, she called me that day. As soon as she called, I instantly thought to call my mother-in-laws sister, Cheryl. Cheryl and her family and her brother Ron and his family live in Boise. When I called she was home and was able to get Ron to go see Uncle Jackie at the hospital. He was going to try to give Jackie a blessing, but was unable to get into see him because of the severity of Jackie's codition. He ended up taking Jack III to dinner, finding out what his immediate needs were and helping make sure that he was taken care of. After Jackie's death, he paid the legal fees to get Jackie's estate taken care of. Ron has completely bent over backwards to help my cousin. I am in awe of his humility and his charity for my cousin. I've only met this man once and he has gone above and beyond anything that I though he would do. I was anxious about having him give Jackie a bless, instead he helped in a way that I never could. I will be eternally in his debt. I told my husband that I would love to be a fly on the wall at Ron's funeral. I know that Jack III can't be the only one he's helped like this.
I spent a lot of this month feeling sorry for all the things that I couldn't do, but it really helped to open a path to a talent I had forgotten about. I've started writing again. Sometimes getting lost in thought can be troubling enough to make your want to poor your heart out on to paper. I started by writing some fanfictions for Who's the Boss? this old tv show I used to watch. I started to write them just to exercise some writing muscles I hadn't used in a while. It turns out I've been pretty well received by a few people who've been reading them. By Thursday, I had written four chapters of a story. If you get bored enough, you can read any of my work at
In one of my past blogs, I wrote about how I've started singing again. Well today was an experience. I sang in Sacrament. I've never, as far as I can remember, never done that before. I've sang in programs and for different events but never a solo in Sacrament. I sang "When Mary Sang Her Lullaby" by Sally de Ford. I was nervous, but I said a little prayer before hand and knew that the Lord would help me. I got up to sing and I thought that I did okay. Midway through the song, I noticed that the stake choir director was watching me. I thought I've really opened up a can of worms now. Little did I know. I got a lot of compliments after church. I was actually very flattered. But before Sacrament itself was over, Bishop announced that next Sunday we would all be meeting at the Stake Center for church at 10am. He said that our ward boundaries would be changing and that we were all to meet for a very special sacrament meeting. There would be four wards meeting together that day. I'm thinking to myself, that could easily be over 700 people. Well, about 7PM I get a call from this same Stake Choir director. It turns out that they've asked her to get some musical numbers together for this special sacrament meeting and she wanted to see if I would sing my same solo again. My jaw just about fell to the floor. It was nerve racking enough to sing in front of my own ward. It's another to sing in front of mine and 3 others. I know the Lord will help steady me, but at the moment my faith is a little short. I know it will be okay. I just need to relax and not think about it. Just like my accompanist, Lisa Truett said you need to not worry about you sound like or what people will think of you. You just need to think about how you can sing so that everyone there will understand the meaning of the song and so that they'll feel the Spirt. The Spirit is all that matters.
Talk about a month. I can't believe I've done all this. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I have no idea where this month has gone or where this year has gone.
In case I don't write tomorrow or Wednesday. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I'm crying and I don't really know why. It's not like I didn't know that his time was coming. I feel at peace with it, I really do. I just can't help but miss the opportunities I missed and the phone calls I could have had more often.
My grandfather was a great guy. I really didn't know him that well. At least not as well as I should have. We left Idaho when I was five and we only saw him once a year after that. At least until I turned 18 and left for college in Idaho. I spent a month with him and Grandpa Selena before going to school. I know it was hard for them having a teenager around. They tried their best to make it work, and for the most part it did. I hope I didn't get on their nerves much as I think I did. I did try to helped out as much as I could, but they were older and other than being family we didn't have much in common.
After I left for college, we didn't speak much after that. Not because we didn't like each, but there weren't many opportunities. They were busy and so was I. I saw them at Thanksgiving and again on my birthday.
Since I left Ricks College to go back to school in Texas, I've only seen them twice. Once for visit after I was married and again for Grandma's funeral.
Since Grandma's death, I've talked to him alot on the phone. So many times before I couldn't get him to say two words to me. Since her death, I always had to plan at least an hour to talk to him on the phone. He would tell me stories about my dad and his brother's that I had never heard before. I wish now, he had told me more.
Tonight I was in the Orlando Temple and I was doing the ordiance work for my husband's Grandmother, Johnnie Hall Spurgeon. The spirit was very strong there and I was so happy that I went. When I went into the Celestial room, I sat and said a little prayer. The first person that came to mind to pray for was my Grandpa Jack. I don't know why. I really hadn't thought about him today. None the less, his name popped into my head. I prayed that when the time came that he would go quickly, in the Lord's time and that he would go in peace. I prayed for several other things and then walked out the door to change. I looked up at the clock as I was leaving the building and the time read 8:53pm. I am guessing that I said my prayer for Grandpa right around 8:40 or a little before.
I came home and was watching a movie with my husband when Mom called with the news. I called my Father (Grandpa Jack's son) and asked how he was doing. Dad said he was doing fine. I asked him when it had happened. He said around 7. I said in the morning or at night. This evening. 7 for Dad was 9pm my time. Little did I know that my prayer in the temple would be answered so quickly.
I'm sad to see him go. At the same time, I'm so glad that this little old man who talked my ear off is now with his loving wife, being held in her arms again. Through him, I am reminded that Heavenly Father loves each one of us and sent His son to die for us, so that like my Grandpa Jack now, we can all be together again some day.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Now we've been living here in our ward since October 2003. We've had a series of ward talent shows every month for about a year now and I've finally gotten up the guts to try again. (It's hard to want to sing when your autistic son tells you to stop singing everytime you open your mouth.) In September, I got up the guts to tell Sis. Beckman, the sister in charge of the shows that I would like to perform. Her ears perked up because she is always looking for new people to perform. I tried to talk myself out of it but once she put me in the program it was too late to back out.
I was so nervous that night. Other than one karaoke song at a party, I hadn't sung in public for almost 4 years. I had decided to sing "On My Own" from Les Miserables. Of course, I pick one of the hardest songs imaginable. My friend, Lisa, played the piano for me. We practiced in the Priesthood classroom before and I didn't hit the note. The really high "preTENDING" note. I thought well, 'its now or never."
That night was so cool. People kept asking me what I was doing in the show and I told them that they would find out. When they called my name and saw Lisa walk over to the piano, they figured it out pretty quickly. The neatest thing about that moment, and I'm not saying this to show off or to strengthen my over the top ego, but it was just something I had never experienced before. I started to sing and all of sudden peoples heads started to turn to focus on me. It was weird. It should have made me more nervous, but it made me work harder to please them. And boy did I hit that note. When I got done with the song, it was nice to see people pleased. Sis. Beckman came over to me and told me that I had been hiding my "light."
That night was just the bump in self-esteem I needed. I even signed up to sing at the next show. That show took place on Saturday. I was nervous this time around, but not nearly as nervous as the last time around. I sang a lot more challenging song this time. I sang, "Amor Eterno" its a spanish love song about the love of a mother for her child, even after he's gone. I don't think it came out as well as the last time, but it helped me to feel more comfortable out there.
If you are brave enough, you can click on the link below.
I guess I'm doing an okay job. (Or they are really lacking in people, ha! ha!) I've been asked sing 3 more times for different Christmas festivities that are coming up. Wish me luck. Or hope and pray that everyone remembers their ear plugs.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
When I first started coming the meeting was for those 12 and up. They had speakers from the Primary (the children's organization) and the Young Women's Organizations (the girls 12-18). Now the meeting is just for women 18 and up. I have yet to attend the meeting with my two youngest sisters.
Last night I arrived at the meeting and was helping out a sister and got separated from the group that I was with. By the time I caught up with them, there was no room left for me. I found an empty seat in the front row next to my friend, Sweetie. As the meeting progressed, a few sisters had to move because they were too close to the screen. I ended up with half the pew to myself. As I listened to the wonderful messages that were given, I started to think of my sisters.
After a few moments, I realized that if my mother and my sisters were there, there would be enough room for all of them on the bench next to me. I got a little teary eyed and realized how much I missed them. I hadn't seen all of them in over a year. We all live so far apart now days. Sarah's in North Dakota, I'm in Florida, Elena's in Utah, Laura's in Arizona, Hanna's in Texas and Emma's in Idaho. I'm so thankful for conference. Not only because I get to hear wonderful messages from the sisters of the church, but because that is one of the beautiful days of the year when I know that my sisters, mom and I are experiencing and sharing the same thing all at the same exact time. In some way, my sisters and mom where sitting there on that bench with me. Even though we are thousands of miles apart.
Monday, July 30, 2007
The Jedi has a new paduan.
Tinker Bell liked making sand castles on the beach.
Garrett likes to float in the water, he just forgets which direction is up!
JT's Birthday was this month so we took a trip with some of our friends to Cocoa. The kids enjoyed the river while the adults sat back and relaxed a little.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I walked into the room and they were both pretty quiet, ignoring each other. Pinky was walking around same as usual, looking at his new surroundings. Elephant on the other hand was curled up into a ball. When I got a closer look, Elephant was pretty beaten up. He had a real big cut under his right eye and several places on his back with blood spots. It seems that once Pinky got into the cage, he wasn't a very nice house guest.
I went to the expert in our house, my hubby the vet and we discussed our options. The prognosis was not too good for our little hamster. Hubby took Elephant to work so he could take care of putting him down there.
After Dad left for work, I pulled the boys together and talked to them about the situation. I explained that Elephant was too hurt and that he was going to go live with Jesus today. I was crying and then Garrett was crying. I had completely forgotten that Elephant was his pet. He asked if he would see him again in Heaven. I said yes. And the best part is that in Heaven, Elephant wouldn't try to bite him.
These are the days I hate being a mom.
Monday, July 23, 2007
My friends, Jenny and Marisol, hung out with me at the midnight party for the book release Saturday, July 21st. We had such a great time. I felt like a teenager again. Only a teenager with no curfew. It was nice to hang out and have some fun with my "girlfriends." It was so much fun.
I stayed up until 3 in the morning reading the first 100 pages of the HP and the Deathly Hallows book. I read for most of Saturday, but with three kids hanging on me every chance they got, I only got to pay 400. I finally finished the book Sunday night about 8:30. I wished she (JK Rowling) had made a few changes. But, I think it was so fun. This one had so much adventure in it. It was great. I can't wait for Jenny to finish it. I can't talk to her about it until she is done with it. Ugh!
Monday, July 9, 2007
This week is going to be a good break for me. Todd and I get to go see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix this week. I am so excited about it. I finished re-reading the book this last week. Next week the last book comes out and I am extra excited about that! I really think Harry is a Horcrux. I am not making predictions, but I really hope Harry doesn't die. I think Snape is going to be toast unfortunately. I think his true colors will come out and it will be sad for Harry not to enjoy them before its too late.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
This week is busy as usual. We have Pinewood Derby on Saturday and I have not even begun to help Garrett with his car. I don't know if I remember what I did with it. I guess I need to get off my duff and get to work.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
This week has been crazy and lazy and going by too fast. We went to Burger King for Fantastic Four Toys and spent lots of time with the Bells. I watched her kids on Tuesday for ward council and she watched mine on Wednesday for Cub Scouts.
Todd had another treatment weekend yesterday and today, so I will be at church alone with the kids. They are doing okay when its just me, but they can be a handful during sacrament.
This next week will be interesting too. Tomorrow's Family Home Evening, Tuesday is walking with Jen and gym, Wednesday Scouts, Thursday Book Club. For once, nothing on Friday or Saturday. It will be nice.
I guess I should start getting ready for church. We've got 4 hours 'til we leave but with these "stinky" boys you never know how long it will take.
Friday, June 8, 2007
I've also been "youtubing" a bunch of our videos. I found my Mom and Dad's wedding. On the video is my great-grandmothers Eufemia and Juanita. I wanted to post the video so my family members from all over could see it. We Zunigas have moved all across the country.
This afternoon I am taking the boys to a primary presidency meeting. The Pilchers have been out of town so we have been pretty lazy this week when it comes to structure.
Todd works until Tuesday now. He has another treatment weekend. My poor baby.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Yesterday was fun of fun. Went to "N's" for his birthday party, took the older two to see Shrek the Third and talked with Wandita for an hour. She and her daughter had watched Ryan for us for the afternoon.
Today was church and we had a pretty good day. We finally have people in the nursery, but not a nursery leader. We still need to find two more teachers. We'll see how the next few weeks go.
I also am starting to get ready for July and August. I have sharing time those months and so I want to get the ball rolling so I am not waiting until the last minute. I wanted to do my pioneer sharing time on other kinds of "pioneers." Not just the ones that crossed the plains. I have several emails out to family members because I want to know if anyone knows how my great grandparents on my mom's side joined the church. They came up from Mexico and I thought it would be great to get a story from their side.
Time goes by so fast.
Friday, June 1, 2007
Garrett has earned another bead. He only has about 9 individual items left. The last few will be like pulling teeth. The main one he will have a problem with is the bike riding one. He doesn't have the coordination to get the pedaling thing down. We're working on it.
Thursday was fun. I worked outside in the garden while the kids played in our kiddy pool. I jerry rigged two of our kids play toys and made a waterslide for the swimming pool.
After the pool we ended up at Jen's and played with her girls. We played at the park and had popsicles in her back yard.
We ended up at Lisa's for a Cub Scout Cmte. meeting. The kids played while we worked on plans for the summer. It was a nice meeting. The two scout moms and I talked alot. It was nice to have some adult conversation.
Karen came over and the kids played for awhile until Todd came home. The rest of the night was spent doing the usual. Hanging out with my hubby. We watched the Melendez vs. Maynard fight on the Ultimate Fighter. I was really hoping Melendez could pull it off, but Maynard got him in a choke hold. (Yes, I like UFC.)
Today (Friday morning): Right now he is having a hard time. He is so anxious for school to start again. His routine is totally off and he really wants to go back. Right now our problem is that he has a friend "N" whose birthday is today but his actual party is tomorrow. He doesn't understand why he can't go over and celebrate today too. "N" has a pool and so that is the other reason he wants to go. He loves to swim.
I'll be watching Karen's two youngest most of the day today. I feel bad. Todd keeps telling me not to but I still do. One of the men from church came over and asked if I would watch his son for him again. He's a single father and he's trying to keep a job. During school, I picked up his son along with my boys and watched him for a couple of hours a day three times a week. It was fine and the boy was great. He asked me if I could watch him during the summer. I had to tell him no. I hate saying no to people. I hate to ask people for help. I guess I figure it is as hard for them to ask me for help and so I hate to turn them down. I had to say no because of Garrett being home for the large part of the summer and because I knew I could never leave the house with all four of them. I wanted to go out and about with my boys and do fun activities. I know I have a hard enough time with my own. I knew I couldn't watch "L" on top of it. And I definitely couldn't afford to pay for "L" if we went and did anything that had a price. I don't think he could afford to pay me.
Yesterday, when he came by I felt horrible telling him no. I would have said yes if I didn't already have Karen's kids to watch. Two things made it worse. As the brother was asking me "L" was playing with my kids. He wasn't paying attention to our adult conversation. As they went to leave I could hear "L" saying "so is she gonna watch me." Ugh! Pierce my heart. Then for bedtime prayer, Garrett prayed that "L" would be able to come over and play with them. I hate to say "NO."
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
We just vegged. It was nice because we have been so busy the last few weeks.
Tonight is Pack meeting. I hope all goes well. Hopefully, I won't forget to bring everything.
I'll include pictures later.
For all the nonlazy stuff yesterday, We went to one of the Orange county parks along the West Orange Trail and took our usual walk with Jen and her fam. This was the first time for Garrett and the whole time he kept saying, "Mom what are you trying to do kill me!" By the time our walk was done, we had walked a little over a mile. Jen's daughter decided she was tired of riding her bike, so she let JT ride. He loved it. Loved it so much that now I HAVE to go out and fix the flat on his second hand bike.
After the walk, we let the kids play and met up with Karen Pilcher there. I drifted back and forth between conversations with Jen and Karen.
When we got ready to leave, I unlocked the car and asked the boys to go in and buckle their seat belts. I talked to Karen for a few more minutes and went to get the car. They had done EXACTLY as I had asked them to do. They were all buckled up and ready to go. I was so excited that I decided to take them to McDonald's as a "thank you" for being so obedient.
We drove home, cleaned out the car and then left for Karen's for our afternoon activity. We let the kids play on her waterslide for a while and then we did leaf rubbing with the leaves we picked up yesterday at Leu Gardens.
In the early evening we went to Autism Gym, a program that our good friend Joanne Houwsers set up for the special needs children in our area to play. During the summer, we get to use the city pool for one hour a week. All to ourselves. Its so nice. One of the moms is the mother of one of the girls that Garrett talks about marrying someday. "S" is in his class at school. Well, we had a good discussion about the church. We talked about how in our church we are sealed to our families in the temple and how important being a family is.
We had started talking out the subject because I had just found out that one of my friends has a 14 year old daughter who is pregnant. I was thinking about how I would love to adopt this daughter's child. Mainly for my purely selfish reasons. "S's" mom asked what happens when a child is born into a single mom. I had to tell her that sealing doesn't happen unless the child can be sealed to a mother and father. I heard myself say the words and I just felt like I had told someone someone had died. And I felt that it was "S's" family that I had put the nail in the coffin for. I want to share so much with her because she had a great family. I hope I didn't scare her off. I continued to talk about how important family was to our religion, but it didn't seem the same after that. I really need to work on having the spirit.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Please forgive me if I sound a little upset trying to relieve my day for the third time.
Karen Pilcher and her family and me and mine went to Leu Gardens and saw a lot of things. The kids were kids and we went to Mickey D's after.
Wow, in two sentences I have just summed up everything that took me ten minutes to write the other friendly happy way. I must be tired. I promise one day when the kids are listening to me I will sum up the day better. Right now Garrett and JT are laughing instead of going to bed.
She found out that if you went in before 12 on Mondays, you could get in for free. It was really neat. I had never been there. Since I have been gardening, it was neat to see what plants could actually grown and look great in our area.
I especially liked the veggie garden. I have been planting a garden of my own. Like the Leu Gardens, I have tomatoes, bush beans, corn and oregano. They had a lot of other neat things like okra, squash, celery, broccoli, fennel and kale (among other things). It was nice to see what other people have been able to have grow. It gave me some good ideas of what I could plant next February/March.
Right now I have three cucumbers that are almost ready to be pulled. I have three ears of corn. They weren't ready to be roasted on the grill, but maybe next year I'll have them in earlier so they will be ready.
For the most part the kids did really well. We had six kids and it would have been worse, but we did alright. They are kids in a place that they have never been to before and was full of neat colorful stuff. It was hard enough for me not to want to touch. I don't blame them for wanting to walk in the plants.
After the gardens we went to Mickey D's and had some ice cream and let the kids play on a playground. An Air conditioned playground. It was the first time Karen and I had had a real adult conversation the whole morning.
When we finally got home I was a bad mom and let the kids veg the rest of the afternoon. It was already after 2:30 by the time we got home.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Garrett's talking to me about Star Wars again. How many times have I talked to him about it? I keep telling myself that this is just him. Its just his autism and that it is just how he is.
Now he's asking to talk to his dad. Todd's at work and I've already told him five times that we can't bother today. He never wants to take NO for an answer. How can I distract him with something else? I need to cut his hair. I just asked him if he wanted me to. He said no and ran out of the room. Oh, he's back. Now he thinks its just a game I'm playing.
I am reminded of the scene in Gone With the Wind, when Rhett is three sheets to the wind and he has Scarlett sitting at their huge dining room table. She has humilitated him in front of the whole community. Rhett stands behind her and places his hands on either side of her head. He figures if he squeezes hard enough he will be able to squeeze Ashley Wilkes right out of her head. Somedays I wish I would press his head just enough that the autism would pop right out.
The other two are playing around now. I hear Garrett with JT saying, "Don't hit me with the lightsaber...yet." I know they are playing dog pile in the living room. "Now kill me." "I'm not going to kill you." Their lightsaber fights are so animated. Ryry the third is now playing referee. "Ma, he won't give it back to him." in his cute little three year old voice.
I keep telling myself that someday, I will miss these moments. Someday when they are grown and gone and Garrett is still wanting to play lightsaber that he and I will miss these moments.He's still asking for the phone. I've told him "no" ten more times. Now he's trying to dial numbers. All this because Todd left for work without saying goodbye to him this morning.