Thursday, December 30, 2010

Edward Borgia

Edward Borgia
August 12, 1998 - December 12, 2010

I've been putting off this post because I wanted to do it right, but I'm just going to go for it. Sam's grandpa Borgia passed away on December 12 and although it wasn't completely sudden, it was not necessarily expected or a long time coming either so it caught us a little off guard, but we are really happy to have the knowledge that we will see him again and that he now gets to be with his mother and sisters and other family that have gone before him. I know that I am only related by marriage but I have been around as long or longer than some of the grandkids and I will miss him myself. When we learned of his passing I went onto his facebook page and found this picture from Sam's cousin's wedding this last summer that just portrays him so perfectly and then interestingly enough, they passed this same picture out with the program. I am grateful for the role he has played in my life. For one thing, he found the gospel and lived it thus passing it on to my mother-in-law which continued on to Sam and into my family. Sam completely looked up to his grandfather and wanted to be like him in almost every way. He strived to be the best at whatever he encountered and was always looking and open to new opportunities and Sam has that same drive. He placed strong emphasis on family, family was everything and I hope my kids can carry that on. He was known for certain traditions and expectations, one of which is sourdough pancakes, and don't even think of asking for syrup! Sam continues with many of these traditions and he also learned to love golf from his grandpa. There is a lot more that I can say, but to sum it up, I'm grateful for his influence and example for me and my family.

We were able to go down and visit with Sam's grandparents when Eden was a baby and remember he was enamored with Eden and held her a lot that weekend. I'm glad that my kids are old enough to have some good memories of him.

I don't know if it is weird to take pictures at the funeral, but I noticed Kolby was just standing up there for a long time before the funeral started just observing and thinking and thought it was a good picture opportunity.
All but two of the grandkids got to sing "I am a Child of God" and they let Eden come sing with them, being one of the few great grandkids there and she enjoyed getting to sing. It was a really nice service and celebration of his life. I enjoyed hearing the details about all the different things he was involved in and the choices he made and also his own personal testimony that was read. Deia performed a song and Sam did that song in sign language and it was very touching. I would like to describe the whole thing and add more pictures but for now, here are a few more shots from my camera from the funeral and from the pizza party after (I may add some more pictures here before I print this year)

It was really nice to get to see all the family. Sam's immediate family and his extended family are all very close. We had a good friend of ours give us frequent flier miles to use so that Sam's brother could make it out and all the siblings could be together. We also had some fun hanging out in the other couple days that they were here as we always do when we are together!
We went to the mall where Sam's dad was working as Santa for them to get a picture of the original family. When we returned to my house I found that the power had was out, but we also learned that day that our kids now how to handle a tough situation with prayer and we had fun setting up all the candles all around the house.

We all went to Leatherby's one evening but McKay wasn't there yet so they had to take a picture to show what he was missing!
I really do love Sam's family and the examples they are all to us and I know that it was one of the most important things to Sam's grandpa that his family be close and he certainly has left this wonderful legacy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Go and do likewise

I’ve been writing and rewriting this post in my head for weeks but it’s hard to actually get it down in words. I feel like I can’t end this holiday season without mentioning the enormous gratitude I feel in my heart for the friends, family and the Lord. I want to mention some of the things I’ve learned and figured out.

  • Faith- We have been up and down on the job situation this whole year. Sam has been able to find interpreting off and on, some months have been OK an some have been very lean. On one of the lean months a friend asked me how we are able to do it at all and I didn’t really have a good answer at the moment, but later I realized I should have said “Faith.” When we were out of options, that is all that we had left, but thank goodness we had that, we always know that the Lord is watching out for us and whether it is us being guided to take the next steps or to talk to the right person or it is a friend or family member helping out at just the right time, we know the Lord will provide and we are so grateful for that knowledge and to those friends and family members that are so willing to listen and be there for us in times of need.
  • Generosity- I have been truly amazed at the generosity of others. It started with my blog post in November complaining about pumpkin pie and an amazing friend showed up with a pumpkin pie the next day! It is the person in the ward who anonymously gave a gift to be given to someone in need. It is the family members who give without a second thought and without question. It is the friend who makes a night out happen. It’s is a caring ward family that wants to help. I’ve seen these things not just for me but also for those around me and although it can be hard to accept, I know that we are all blessed through this service and I hope that when the time comes I can be as giving and quick to help as these examples I have seen and I don’t know that these individuals even realize what a huge impact they have had on me, but they have and I hope they know I am so thankful!
  • Letting-go- I don’t have to do and be everything for Christmas to be a success. Not only for financial reasons, but for other reasons beyond my control I had to cut back on my Christmas plans this year. At first the thought of not sending a Christmas card about killed me, but after a while I realized that I would live and it would actually be OK. It didn’t mean that if I skipped this year, that I was done forever either. As I examined my plans I found there were several ways I could cut back and still enjoy the season. We could do our pajama traditions for the kids but cut out some for Sam and I. I could find or make cheap Christmas ornaments. We moved our Christmas party to after Christmas and it’s OK! People will still be my friends even if I don’t take them goodie plates! If next year is a little less stressful then I will add some things back but if we need to do things this way again I know that it will be fine.
  • Families are eternal- It was sad to say good-bye to Sam’s grandfather and I will discuss that in another post, but it was really nice and fun to get the family all together. I won’t go into this a lot, but I have been increasingly grateful for family this year.
  • Saving money at Christmas time- If it is not obvious by now, we had a huge struggle financially this year. It was a little off and on so we did actually get some Christmas shopping in before we realized that it was going to be as tight as it was. We had the trust money from Sam’s grandparents that we were able to get some of the main presents but also I found several ways to be frugal this year. Of course we took major advantage of the Christmas sales, black Friday sales, coupons, etc. but it also worked in our favor that Sam’s parents just moved and we were able to go through and find some stuff to give the kids for Christmas. It seems that Tucker’s favorite present is a monster truck that used to be Eli’s. We also shopped thrift stores and Eden’s favorite gift is a stuffed Belle doll that Jordan found for her at the thrift store. I also tried to get a bit creative and was able to give some gifts that didn’t cost anything at all like the 12 days of Christmas for Sam. No matter what our financial situation is next year, I want to take these lessons and apply them next year.
  • Don’t judge and try harder not to complain- we had a lot going on in the month of December. Most of which I was not really able to or comfortable talking with most people about. There were times when I heard people complaining about things and had the thought that there challenges were not that huge. I don’t mean that in a judging way, I only meant that they had no idea what was going on with me and to them those challenges were hard at that point in their life. It just made me realize that we really have no idea what is going on with those around us and I don’t know who is struggling even worse than me as I’m sure many people are. I want to show more content with what I have and not judge others, but instead look for the best in others. I don’t think this is a strength of mine so it’s going to take a lot of work, but even if I mess up, I will continue to try.
  • Marriage- I am so grateful for the strong marriage that we have and the trust and respect we have for each other. We may not always be the best at putting each other first but I know we try our best and we really make such a great team. The older I get the more I realize that not everyone is as lucky as me in this regard so I hope to not take it for granted, but instead make it a bigger priority in the coming year.
  • Date nights-I’m grateful we were able to make these a priority in the last few months even if we could spend almost nothing. I’m grateful for the fun we have still been able to have because of gift certificates from others and where I have a whole bunch of credit that I bought a couple of years ago so we don’t have to pay now, and playing games and walking through stores. I’m grateful that we can have fun just being together.
So this is not at all how it sounded in my head, I’m a much better writer until it makes it to the paper but I hope you get what I am trying to say, I think in a nutshell, even though we had some challenges this year, we have an over-abundance of blessing and I’m particularly grateful for the amazing people whose generosity has blown me away and helped us through the challenges this year and I hope I’ve learned from it and can go and do likewise!

Christmas Morning

The kids were waiting and already excited about the ping pong table they could see from up there!

They all loved their gift from Santa!

One of the funniest moments of the morning was when Eden handed me a present she had wrapped up all on her own. As I started opening it she said "Guess what's missing from this room?" She had taken this picture frame from the book shelf and some point this season and wrapped it up for me and put it under the tree!" It reminded Sam of a time when he and his sister wrapped up everything on their grandfathers desk, every single pencil individually wrapped and the stapler and everything, and what a good sport his grandpa had been, saying how much he had been wanting or needing each item.
The part that Sam seemed to think was hilarious, and the kids as well, was when I unwrapped his gift to me. He decided to wrap my present with three rolls of plastic wrap along with regular wrapping paper. It took a good 20 minutes to uncover the kindle he got me! He made me stop along the way and take pictures of the progress for your viewing enjoyment!

We really had a wonderful, peaceful Christmas. It was our first year completely on our own and it was nice to experience it that way. We are grateful for the many blessing we were able to joy and the help of so many others that made it possible this year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Eve

We had a fairly calm Christmas Eve. We had time to relax, visit with friends and family and follow through with some of our traditions. Tucker's ornament was a puzzle because he has been loving those this year and is quite god at them, Eden got a school chalkboard with ABC's because she started kindergarten of course, and also because of her good reading schools, Kolby's ornament is an ipod, he has been practically addicted to mine this year as he does his chores, Jordan's is mythology characters that have fascinated him this year and Brady's is a little football snowman for obvious reasons. Sam is holding the family ornament which is a dog.

Then they all opened their pajamas at the same time.
They are all Paul Frank and Tucker's is my favorite!
and they seemed to compel Eden and Tucker into an instant dance party!

We had the traditional foods with friends, family and missionaries over to share with us! Sorry I didn't take more pictures!
And then we started putting together the ping pong table. Who would have thought it would take 4 hours to put together! Knowing we had some money from the trust for Christmas coming, we chose this during the black Friday sales. It was such a screaming deal that I figured it was one of those cheapy tables but it is a real solid ping pong table with about a million screws! In the end, it was still worth it even if we only got two hours of sleep that night!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Case of the Missing Paragraph

I've got a lot to post and catch up on but I thought I'd start with this one since it is easy to post. I took Jordan and Kolby with me to watch Brady's class play "The Case of the Missing Paragraph" and they had fun playing around with my camera before it started, if you couldn't tell, that is Kolby's hand!

And we had a lot of fun watching Brady's play. He made a great butler and we could even here his singing on the part where it was just the 4 butlers signing and dancing. I was very impressed and quite proud of the good job he did!