Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Routines and we need to break up...

I've yet to get back into the routine. I've not gotten into the eating routine (mostly eating junk) the cleaning routine (my house is trashed) the school routine (I just sent Ashley back today and almost forgot to pick her up) the spiritual routine (blah) the laundry routine (double blah). Seriously I don't know where to start with any of it. Add that to my message board blow up messing up my computer routine and I've had an aimless meandering week where I've accomplished nothing except sitting around getting fatter while I eat crap. Yes- I'm an emotional eater- why do you ask? Hmmm.. Help me find my groove!

I think I'm taking a couple days off the computer. I am getting too sucked in- it's so much easier to sit here then it is to face the reality of my life lately. I know that sounds depressed or something- but it's not- I promise. (At least I don't think). I've just got to get somethings done. Love to you all and I'll be back in a couple of days or so....

A couple cakes

I baked this weekend. Yay! I love to do it- but I have to have a reason. Several months ago we did a service auction at enrichment (women's group meeting) at church. I auctioned off a cake to be made for your special occassion. The winner had a missionary going to the Italy Rome mission and the custom is to have an open house type party after the sacrament meeting when he talks. So she wanted her cake for that. She requested a basic sheet cake. I asked if I could decorate it 'fun' rather then just a standard cake. She was fine with that. This is what I came up with:

The second cake I made because I had leftover batter. So I decorated for our friends that were visiting us. Not my best decorating ever- but it was fun:

Monday, March 27, 2006

My Dad's Eulogy

I gave the Eulogy at my Dad's funeral last week. Seriously the hardest thing I've ever done. He is (yes- is) a GOOD man and a wonderful father. I need to be the kind of person that he is. Here are my notes (minus last names):

My Dad was born in _______ Indiana to Robert _________ Jr. and Martha June ___. He was an only child for 10 years until his brother Chris was born, and shortly after that his sister Hope. Both my grandparents worked and so my Dad cared for his siblings. He loved to play army even then and would take his brother out in his stroller when he was a baby to take care of him while he played army with his friends. He would use the stroller as his tank. 13 year later he had one more sister born- just shortly before my birth.

When he was seven my grandmother was baptized into the LDS church. My dad embraced the gospel and knew it was true from that early age. He was once left with some neighbors when he was a child while his parents went out of town. The neighbors were not members of the church- but my Dad insisted that they find the nearest building and take him. They dropped him off and came and picked him up when the services were over. They went back again and are now faithful members of the church.

I remember my Dad telling us about reading scriptures to his siblings while he was watching them- and I’ve read in his journals about him holding FHE with them. That is something that we always did in our home. We always had FHE and scripture study- the scripture study usually happened in the wee hours of the morning before school- and with lots of moaning and groaning. But he was persistent in doing it and for that I am grateful.

My Dad LOVES people- anyone and everyone was worth his time and attention. He was genuine in his attention and love for people. He could be in a new place and within 10 minutes know the history of the building, the owner and his life story- and then 10 years later remember even the smallest detail of that meeting. When we were at a small town diner in Arizonia once I walked in about 10 minutes before my dad and my Dad told me some details about the history of the building. I asked him how he knew that and he told me that the diner owner had told him. I asked him if he knew him (because my Dad seemed to know everyone everywhere) and he said that he didn’t until they got here. That was typical Dad. He also loved to stop and read every informational sign everywhere we went- the zoo, museum, road trips ect. It drove us crazy- but it’s how he knew so much about the world around him.

There is a man named Russell that is one of my Dad’s greatest friends. He came to visit my Dad on a regular basis before his diagnosis- and continued to come after. Russell is developmentally disabled- but that didn’t seem to bother my Dad. He loved Russell and saw his worth as a child of God. That example shows more about the worth of people to my Dad then anything that he actually said.

In a notebook that my Dad kept of his thoughts when he was 17 he wrote:
We seldom think of the damage we cause when we turn away a friend, or anyone. We fail to look into each other’s hearts, and only do we see the surface actions; which may be harsh. Yes, we comprehend too little, learn to little, and are unkind too much. How often do we clumsily thrust our hands through the heart-strings of a friend.

He didn’t just say this- but lived it in his daily life.

I remember hearing him talk about people that he’d met on airplanes when he traveled for business- until I started traveling I didn’t realize how truly difficult it is to really get to know the person sitting next to you on the plane- but my Dad made it sound easy.

I also remember as a child my Dad bringing a man home that we didn’t know- and it seems to me that he found him at the park- but I’m not entirely sure. But he brought him home and this man was making crab legs or frog legs for us- I’m not sure which. That is a classic Dad though, always making friends of the friendless.

He loved the people of Latin America as well. He took many trips to different countries there to do service or to work with the National Guard. He loved to speak Spanish and used every opportunity that he could.

My Dad also loved to play and have fun- but he turned anything that he did into fun. He went to work and talked to people on the phone all day solving their computer problems- so that was fun since he was talking to people. He also played with his co-workers either shooting rubber bands at each other or trying to scare the women with rubber spiders and bugs. I remember going to work with him on several occasions and being surprised at how much playing they did. Every year his office did a big Halloween party and had costume contests and every year he came up with a bigger and better costume. I don’t think that he ever did win- but he sure enjoyed it. He LOVED Halloween- I’m pretty sure it was his favorite holiday.

He served as a Marine when my parents were first married and loved serving his country. When I was in High School he joined the Utah National Guard and ‘got’ to play army one weekend a month- which he loved. It was fun to him.

He enjoyed scouting- he found true joy in doing things outdoors and with the young men in the ward.

We did lots of things as a family. We went camping on a regular basis and even though I only have one brother camping was never a ‘boy’ thing. He took all of us, my brother, my seven sisters and I, camping at least a couple times a year. We always went on family vacations- nothing huge and elaborate and nothing expensive, but lots of fun together. Camping was always a part of that and I know that my Dad saw the wisdom in bonding over a campfire and knowing that there is something about that setting that softens hearts and brings people closer together. I suspect there are many people here who have sat across a campfire with my Dad and talked.

Another game my Dad loved to play was ‘war’. He made elaborate castles out of Styrofoam computer packing that he’d bring home and we’d set up on either end of our long family room and set up a certain amount of little army men and then either shoot rubber bands from one end of the room to the other or once we made catapults out of popsicle sticks and plastic spoons and we’d catapult dog food from one side of the room to the other. My mom didn't like the dog food idea so much.

But any way you look at it my Dad loved spending time with our family. His presence was always in our home. He liked to have fun together, learn about the gospel together and just generally be together.

He loves babies- loved to hold them and take care of them. We always said he had the magic touch- if one of my sisters was squirmy or generally irreverent during FHE or church they would have to sit on Dad’s lap. I remember them not wanting to because they knew that they would soon be asleep. It was guaranteed that within 5 minutes of my Dad holding a child they would fall asleep. He also loved to play his recorder for babies- and it always calmed them down.
He told me all the time how beautiful my babies were, he loved being a grandpa. I’m sad that my kids won’t get to know him in that capacity. When he was diagnosed with his brain tumor he only had two granddaughters- now he has nine.

He loved music, he loved to sing and loved to play his recorders. There was always music playing in our home. I remember classical music playing at dinner always- and I attribute my love of classical music to that.

My Dad loved airplanes. He just thought they were so cool. He could usually tell you what kind of airplane it was when I could hardly even make out that it was an airplane. Even now when I hear an airplane I point it out to my girls and they wave to it.

He also loves to serve. Even after his body had been ravaged by the cancer and the cancer treatments he wanted to serve and to be useful. He was so happy to be able to serve a church service mission in the humanitarian aid center in Provo. It made him so happy to feel useful and to be needed.

My dad also loves my mom. He had returned home from his mission and was doing his best to find a wife. He dated every woman even close to his age in the stake. He lived in Indiana at the time so there weren’t quite as many women as there are in our stake I’m sure. But he decided that it was time to go to BYU to find a wife. He went in to see the stake president to get his ecclesiastical endorsement and the stake president refused to sign it. Instead he told him that he wanted to extend a stake calling to him. My Dad was pretty upset and explained his plight to him. The Stake president asked him if he’d dated Karen ______ yet. He said that he hadn’t so the Stake president gave him my mom’s number. He called her that night and he says that at soon as my mom answered the phone he knew that she was the one, that he was going to marry her. They went out the next night, and the next night, and the night after that and so on. Within the week they were engaged. Six weeks later they were married in the Washington DC temple for time and all eternity. That’s the beauty of being married in the temple- my parents were married here on earth for 30 years. But he’s waiting for my mom and their relationship will continue for eternity.

My Dad loved the gospel of Jesus Christ with all his heart. He was constantly striving to do better, to be better and to live the gospel in its fullness. He did this with no thought to what other people thought of him- because the important thing to him was what his Heavenly Father though of him. He bore his testimony frequently and with all his heart. One of his scouts told me last night that he never heard another scout leader bear his testimony as often as my dad did. That was one of the last things that my Dad said to me before he died. "I know that Jesus is the Christ, and that he lives. This gospel is true. I know this." His testimony has been a source of strength to me in many times in my life.

I want to add my testimony to his- that God lives. That even though my Dad has left his mortal body that he still lives as well. Not in a vague way- but in a real, tangible way. His spirit lives on and is awaiting the day when it will be reunited with his body and made whole. That even now he’s progressing and learning and growing- and probably having a great deal of fun. He anxiously wanted to serve God when he passed on- and I believe that he is doing that.

Thank-you all for coming. The outpouring of love has been amazing. It truly is an example of the love my Dad gave that we are receiving so much love in return. Our family has been strengthened by your love and prayers these last four years and this last week.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Dedicated to the new mom... six weeks....

I just finished talking to a friend of mine who just had her first baby (3 weeks ago) after 8 years of trying. EIGHT YEARS!! Unbelievable- and so YAY! I was a bridesmaid at her wedding- the maid of honor if I remember correctly (my memory is shot after giving birth four times). So we've been friends a long time (that was the point of that).

She called because she's exhausted, sore, stinky, unshowered ect. So basically a new mom. She was also calling to check on me since her mother died a few years ago and she knows how I'm feeling. Luckily I've done the kid thing a few times and I know how she's feeling as well.

It gets better. It really does. There is something magical about the six week mark- that point when you go to bed on week 5 day 7 and wake up on week 6 day 1 and you feel human. Maybe it's that you've figured out breastfeeding and so has your baby. Or maybe it's that he doesn't feel like he needs to eat every five seconds. Maybe it's that the swing finally works to soothe the baby or that you get to shower at least once every three days since you are no longer afraid of falling asleep in there and drowning because of the sleep deprivation. Maybe ir's the 4.5 hours of blissful uninterrupted sleep.... It does get better though. I promise. If if didn't I wouldn't have four kids. (I can't believe I have four kids!)

There is no 'cheating' at parenting. You do your best to do what you need to do. If your kid is fed, clean and safe then you're doing your job- especially in those first couple weeks. Don't worry- you have years and years ahead of guilt inducing 'what can I do better' so don't do that now. Just function. Really. If that means that your kid gets a bottle (of breastmilk or formula) while you get 4 hours of continuous sleep one night then good- so not 'cheating'. Don't let anyone tell you that. Asking for help isn't cheating- it's smart parenting!

Most things can slide. Seriously. If it absolutely can't slide then ask for someone else to do it. It's hard. Really, really hard. But it's so worth it. For some strange reason it's easier the second time around. Although right now you're probably trying hard not to think of their ever being a second time hopefully there will be and I promise- it will be easier.

So just keep chanting "six weeks, six weeks, six weeks".

Any of you have advice for a new mom? (I'm sure you do)

I'm having a bad week.

With several things that are going on- the biggest being my Dad's death I'm having a rough time dealing with reality. My friend Lee made my day when yesterday a package arrived for me. It contained the following:
Father and daugher statue

Thank-you Lee for your thoughtfulness and kindness. It's much appreciated and feeling undeserved today.


For those of you who are waiting for me to say something here I'm not going to. If you need to discuss with me then please email me at: amberlicious(at)gmail (dot) com

There are many more people who read my blog then those of you who are angry.

Comments are now being moderated FYI.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I'm here!

I'm back in Vegas and back to my computer- we had a joyful reunion with tears and squeals of joy... wow- that sounds pathetic.

I had a great week (well, as great as it could have been) with my family and as hard as it is to see my Dad pass it's a good thing to see him out of pain. I'll miss his presence- but it was time.

The viewing was a very healing thing and I gave the eulogy at the funeral. That was hard- but was also very healing. Surprisingly I didn't cry except for initally and then was able to make it through it okay.

I'll post my eulogy in a couple of days since this is my journal and I want to keep a record of it.

I've got mounds of laundry to do, two cakes this weekend, visitors this weekend and a housefull of sick kids. So I'll be MIA a bit.

Thanks for the love.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Not sure how to title this

My Dad died peacefully yesterday at about 2pm. We were all around him and were with him when he passed. His pain and suffering has ended. He fought a good fight.

The funeral will be on Monday. I'll not be around much until next week. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I'm in Utah staying with my Mom. My siblings are gathering as well as other family members. I'm supposed to talk about my Dad at the funeral. I told my Mom that I'd just be getting up there and blubbering, but apparently it's what he wanted. My emotions seem so unpredictable. I never know if I"m going to be fine to talk or crying and choking on my words.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Four things....

Mindless drivel...

Four jobs you have had in your life: Soccer Ref, grocery checker, telephone survey taker, Personal Assistant to the President (of IDMP inc- not of the country silly!)

Four Movies you would watch over and over: Return to Me, The Three Amigos, Harry Potter (any of them), The Emperor's new groove!

Four places you have lived: San Deigo, CA, Dayton, OH, Orem UT, Las Vegas, NV

Four TV shows you love to watch: Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Wife Swap, Without a Trace, Scrubs

Four Places you have been on vacation: Hawaii, Catalina Island, Bear Lake, Arches national Park

Four Websites I visit daily: Gmail, here, my boards, sudoku site

Four of my favorite drinks: Stephan's sipping cocoa, Diet Vanilla Cherry Dr. Pepper, Water, Milk

Four of my favorite foods: smoothies, sweet smothered pork burritos, Grilled anything, triple chocolate meltdown cake from applebee's

Four Places I would rather be right now: In Utah with my parents, Hawaii, on a cruise, napping

Four things I always carry with me: My kids (that's four right?), my cell phone, my car keys, extra diapers, wipes and clothes for kids.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Heavy Things

I'm feeling like I'm a depressing blogger right now. I can't really think of much to blog about but the obvious. I feel like I'm just sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop. I can't focus on much of anything. I was thinking about this today- I feel like I did the last month of my pregnancy with Corinne. Waiting, knowing that she would be coming soon- but not sure when. It's the same waiting for the inevitable with my Dad. We all know he's going to die, and we're hoping that it's sooner then later (and those are his wishes as well) but we don't know when that's going to happen. It could be in an hour- it could be in a week or a month even. Sort of like labor when it does finally happen I've never felt 'ready'. I always thought I was, I'd spent months preparing- but then all of a sudden there was no looking back and I wanted to change my mind (and couldn't). I feel the same now. I've been expecting this for a while now- but now that it's upon us I'm not ready- although I don't know how I'll ever be.

Monday, March 06, 2006

We're back

Our visit went well. We mostly just all sat and talked in the same room as my Dad and he slept through a lot of it. Extra people around really wear him out a lot. He can't communicate hardly at all. When he does talk it's slurred and doesn't always make sense. He's grumpy and in pain and is very emotional. He can't walk and can hardly stand. He can't use his right hand at all and so a lot of the time my mom feeds him since he can't use his left hand very well coordination-wise. He's very vocal about being ready to die. He kept praying aloud while we were there, 'Heavenly Father take me home, let me come home.' If there was ever a doubt in my mind that he's ready it's gone now. He asked Ashley to stop praying for him to get better. He told her (the best that he could and with my mom and I helping out) that he was ready to die and go home to live with Heavenly Father. That his body was sick and wasn't going to get better and that he couldn't do anything anymore. Honestly I don't know that he'll still be alive in 9 days when I go back up. But at the same time it wouldn't surprise me if he lived for another month. I've seen him deteriorate over the last year and even I was shocked at how bad he is since Thanksgiving.

Edited to add:
I really am at peace with everything though. I'm not sure that it always comes through in my typing but I love my Dad and I'm ready for him to be freed from this illness and physical pain. I'll miss him, but I know that we'll see him again- there is no question in my mind of that.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Several things

I was in charge of dinner for 80 women tonight at church. I seriously love doing stuff like that. I think I want to be a caterer when I grow up. It went well. More details (and pictures) soon.

Tomorrow we're leaving to Utah. I'm going up again in a couple weeks but my Dad isn't doing well and my mom suggested that we come have a quieter visit before coming up with my aunt and cousins. I've been praying for guidence whether or not to go now or wait- I guess my mom calling and asking us to come was about as clear an answer that I could get.

Through this whole ordeal my Dad has had a great outlook. Life is always good, he feels great ect. The eternal optimist. This week he told my mom that he's ready to die, that he's now praying for relief. I feel like all that has kept him alive these last four years has been his faith and shear will. He wasn't ready to go so he didn't. Of course that doesn't mean that he'll die this week or even this month- but it's a huge shift. As much as I am ready for this, I'm still not ready. I know it's best for him- that he's done all he can do here- but it's still hard to wrap my brain around the fact that he'll still not be 'here' anymore.

I don't know how I feel about that.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Five things game...

So I got tagged by Bon.

5 Things Game
What were you doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I was in my senior year of high school. I was preparing for solo and ensemble practicing my guts out on the marimba. I can't remember what else- but all the silly, self absorbed things that seniors in High School do.

What were you doing 1 year ago? One year ago I was seven months pregnant with Corinne. I was running Ashley to and from kindergarten and mentally preparing to move. Oh- I was finishing up the Wilton cake decorating course.

Five snacks I enjoy: Ice cream, smoothies, popcorn, chips with salsa, pretty much any cookie or baked good.

Five songs to which I know all the lyrics: The only ones I can think of off the top of my head are Primary songs. But I know dozens of them. Well, I guess, 1. twinkle, twinkle little star 2. five little monkeys jumping on the bed 3. ring around the rosey 4. the abc song and 5. Billy Jo McDuffy would count right? (I swear I listen to "cool" music- I just can't seem to remember all teh words).

Five things I would do if I were a millionaire: 1. Tithe 2.Tell Steve to quit his job and let him invest/play with at least half. 3. Buy a house in Utah by my mom's new house (that I got her) 4. Take my family (that includes anyone who feels like they should be invited) on a week long cruise for our reunion this summer. 5. Buy a grand piano and a house to fit it in.

Five bad habits: 1. wasting time online 2. throwing my dirty clothes on the floor rather then in the hamper 3. yelling 4. procrastinating 5. eating too much bad stuff

Five things I like doing: (please reference the above question...) 1. wasting time online 2. sleeping 3. baking/cooking 4. decorating cakes 5. hanging out with my husband

Five things I would never buy, wear, or get new again: 1. Side ponytail 2. pegged jeans 3. cut off shorts 4. KB home 5. wedding dress (ha!)

Five favorite toys: 1. computer 2. kitchenetics mixer 3. digital camera 4. my car 5. my new house

Here's the deal: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot:

1. Pointless Drivel
2. Disparate Housewife
3. My Blog Is About Nothing
4. The Mama
5. Soggy Cheerios

Then select five people to tag:
1. Heather
2. Katie
3. Arlyn
4. Sugarmama
5. Lacey