Sunday, October 18, 2015

I Have to Write a Letter

My brothers never call me.
So when they do, I know it's about something important - not just to shoot the breeze.
Mark called.  I couldn't imagine why...and he tried to beat around the bush for a few minutes before he finally just got to the point.
He had just finished talking to my mother about the process of submitting my grandfathers name to the First Presidency for the possibility of re-baptism - and learned that I had been the victim of grandpas sexual abuse.  He was so sorry...and was asking my opinion, if I had any, of his wanting to have grandpa rebaptized.
Honestly, it doesn't matter to me either way.  I really don't have emotions about it anymore - after counseling, time and moving on in my life, I really have put it out of my mind and don't feel really anything towards grandpa anymore.  I'm not angry at him, I'm not still affected by it any longer, and I no longer want him out of the church.  I just don't really care one way or the other.
Is that bad???  Would that make the brethren NOT approve his re-baptism??  Do they need me to WANT him reinstated???  If they do, I may not be ready to make THAT statement.  But honestly, his eternal salvation is no longer my concern.  I don't want to stop it from happening, but I'm also not petitioning for the event either.  Mark just needs me to write a letter to the First Presidency stating the facts, giving them a full disclosure of all events so they have the information necessary to make a decision.
I can do that...right?
I don't have to get all emotional about it - just facts.  I don't have to remember it, re-live it or re-invent it.  Just give non emotional facts.
I wonder how my mother is doing with HER letter. It's her father, so I imagine this will be much more difficult for her.
I have a week to get it done.
No pressure....

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My Hard Working Men - All Three of Them

Such a fun fun afternoon with Jordan and Em helping us with some of outdoor chores.  Em is a pretty strong little guy, carry cut logs over to the wheel barrel and dumping them in - he LOVED shoveling dirt and climbing on posts and running through the garden.  I loved watching him wanting to do whatever his daddy was doing.  When he was shoveling the dirt, Jordan started up the chain saw and Em just looked over st him with wonder and awe.  Then Del ran the rotor tiller and Em wanted to help Papa push it through the garden.
All in all, we got a lot done and things are starting to shape up in the back yard.  We are out of funds right now, so we are going to have to wait on doing a patio and fire pit until my surgery is paid for in January.  But then, we're going to put a property fence and chicken run, do a patio/fire pit on the right side of the garden - and then do re landscaping in our front flower beds.  Lots of things on our project lists but no money to do it right now.  Patience is one of our best virtues though...

Just Call Me Annie Oakley

I was surprised that I hit the target.
Then I got serious...7 out of 10 times.
We have wildlife all around us - between us and our neighbors, that wildlife has been privileged to eat sheep, chickens, rabbit, dog and squirrel.  But we have thought that 'enough is enough'.
Last week, our neighbor lost more than one sheep to a pack of wolves in our back yards.  He shot this one and killed it.  Then the next night, when two more wolves appeared, he shot one and injured it pretty badly and the other, he probably just maimed it pretty good.  But, because Del was gone to Boston, I was feeling pretty helpless, not knowing how I could protect our 19 remaining growing chickens in our chicken coop.
When Del came home, I told him I would like to learn how to shoot our 22 rifle that sits by our back door.  So Friday night, Del taught me how to shoot.  He of course, taught me gun safety first - then how to load it and then the natural 'Annie Oakley' instinct took over for me.  I wasn't that bad - in fact, I think I hit the target about 7 out of 12 times.  Not bad for my first 'go round'.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Aunt Chica Comes to Visit and Other Celebrations

Dinner at Benihana's for the September and October birthday kids

Kathryn had plane tickets the minute Kylie found out she was pregnant.
She had been homesick for months and Kylie having a baby was a good excuse for her to come and visit.  She loves the grandchildren, especially Preston and Madi.  She face times with them almost every day.  They know her only as Chica...they don't even know her name is Kathryn.
Her visit was wonderful - fun.  We did some fun things with her and she spent great time with the nieces and nephews. She flew home a week ago Monday.

We celebrated Preston's 5th birthday with a dinosaur theme - a great cake and fun people.

Papa had big helpers putting together the chicken coop in a new place.

Lucy Beth Crump

Kylie on delivery day - 

The anticipating parents having lunch - Kylie's was ice chips.
Friday, September 11, 2015.
This was not going according to Kylie's plan. She had decided that she wanted her last baby to be a 'natural' delivery - no meds - no being induced - no anything artificial..  Oh, AND she wanted to have the baby before her due date, because her OBGYN would be going out of town on her due date.
All doctor appointments leading up to due date had Kylie only progressing slowly - gradually - not rushed.  Kylie tried everything - acupuncture, massages, long walks, spicy foods; anything she could to get this baby here on it's own and early. But then her doctor tells Kylie she's now going to be gone the Saturday before due date and so to come in and start things on Friday at the hospital.
Kylie was still sticking to her plan - they started her on pitocin for only a jump start - she was  having some contractions, but doctor could not feel baby's head when she went to check Kylie, so doctor ordered an ultra sound. It showed that baby was still high and in a position that doctor felt she couldn't break Kylie's water and needed to have baby drop before she could.  The ultrasound also showed that the umbilical cord was also in the way and that if it dropped before the baby's head did, it would cause an emergency c-section situation.  Kylie had been adamant that there would be no c-section if she could help it.  So, the wait began for the contractions to encourage the baby to drop into position. 
About an hour later, doctor came in to check Kylie.  That's when all hell broke loose.  Yes, baby had dropped down  but the ultrasound showed that the umbilical cord was there too - and according to doctor, Baby's head was laying right on top of the cord, cutting off the oxygen supply to the baby.  Exactly what Kylie did NOT want to happen, was happening right before her eyes.  Del, me and April, Kylie's friend, were asked to leave the room.  
Apparently, at this point, the doctor has her hand in Kylie and is holding the baby's head up off the cord while the rush Kylie to the operating room to do an emergency c-section.  Because Kylie has to be put to sleep, Mike is not allowed in the room to watch the birth.  The c-section takes about 5 minutes, mostly because they give Kylie NO anesthesia to numb her, they just cut her open and remove the baby...Lucy Beth Crump is born.
By this time, I insist on going back to Kylie's room, where we find Mike sitting in there alone, having just been told by a nurse that Lucy is born and there are some complications and concerns. He's got a blank stare on his face and I can tell he's been crying.  I hugged him.  Few minutes later, a doctor comes in.  Not Kylie's doctor, but a neurologist - saying he has been with Lucy and there is a very strong possibility that she will have some brain damage due to lack of oxygen, but they will not know to what degree until they get her to a Dallas hospital where they will do a special 72 hour treatment called 'Cooling' .  He tries to explain the procedure, but my brain turned off at the mention of brain damage and Lucy being taken to another hospital.  
It's at that point that my mind goes back to 33 years ago. Del and I exchange glances and we can read each others thoughts - we're both remembering Michael's birth.  But we both understood to not make this about us...but about Mike and Kylie.  Kylie was in recovery - Del and Mike went to her to let her know what was happening. The ambulance was on it's way from Dallas to transport Lucy, and they took Lucy in to see Kylie before she had to leave - Kylie couldn't even reach Lucy to touch her or really see her before Lucy was swept off to leave.  My heart broke for her as I knew her exact feelings. Del and Mike went down to Dallas with Lucy and I stayed with Kylie, remembering how it felt to know I had just had a baby, but I had no baby, I had no husband and I had no family.  I wasn't going to leave Kylie to feel the same.
Now, during all this time, there are back stories to be told because there are miracles happening.  Del and Mike had attempted to give Lucy a blessing but had been made to stop when they took Lucy from them because she was 'crashing' - Back in the NICU, there is a specialty nurse that gets called in to do some procedures on Lucy that later, when she relays this story to all of us, she shares that some things were done because of divine intervention and promptings.
Kylie is in pain and on a morphine drip.  She is put in a room where she starts getting updates from Mike and Del about Lucy.  There are a few pictures taken and sent to Kylie so she can see her baby.

 The 72 hours were touch and go.  Kylie was released from the hospital on Monday and immediately went down to Lucy to be with her. That week was long - the cooling procedure was 100% successful, and days later, she was pronounced clear.  No brain damage, no problems...completely perfect.
Of course, I just summed up about 50 miracles in a few sentences instead of taking three days to express every emotion and miracle that happened.  I just can't do it all.  I would never be able to give it justice.  But miracles happened...and lives, many many lives were touched by those miracles. There were hundreds of people praying for our sweet Lucy, especially from our ward.  The Primary children had been asked to pray for 'the Bishop's grandbaby Lucy', and days later, I received SEVERAL texts and messages from mothers in the ward who would share stories of prayers being offered for Lucy from their children. Every prayer from our ward members included Lucy.
First picture taken with all tubes removed.
By Saturday, Mike and Kylie finally got the okay to bring Lucy home.  She had been pronounced a miracle from the doctors and the nurses.  It was an exciting day

 Preston and Madi were thrilled beyond words.  They had waited for over a week to meet their new sister.  It was a beautiful family moment.  And now, 4 weeks later this Friday, life is perfect.  Lucy is thriving - the family is together and happy.  All of us recognize the blessings and miracles that have happened.  We are changed people from this experience.  We are different - forever different.

This is our sweet Lucy.
Born 9-11-15
weighed 9 pounds 11 ounces
21.5 inches long

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

We'll Go Just With the Highlights

I don't know how to do three months worth of catch up when those three months involve some of the most life changing events to have happened to our family.  So, I'm going to have to go with the highlights, eliminating a lot of the details and emotions I would have normally shared about our garden, our chickens and our day to day living.
Last entry was July 7th - right in the middle of our chicken raising and collecting of eggs, our garden and harvesting of our season - and all the weekly fun we were having with our grandchildren.  We were down to 6 chickens - but within a 3 week period, we ended up feeding the local wildlife, and all 6 chickens were gone by raccoons, coyotes and bobcats.  I was pretty disappointed, mostly because of the cost of eggs at the grocery store and I had become quite attached to the chickens, as had  our grandchildren.  This happened right at the same time our garden had quit producing and had become completely overcome by weeds and over grown grass.  It's like we had lost everything we had spent months and months working on.  Discouraging.
The second week in July, Del went with a large group of youth and adults in the ward, to Nauvoo on a week long trip to Carthage jail, and the Nauvoo pageant.  It was a wonderful experience for him and the rest of those who were able to go - an experience shared through testimonies and Sacrament meeting talks for weeks to come.  The event brought a special spirit to our ward as those who went would share the emotions and spirit they had with the rest of us.  It was wonderful.
The end of the month brought our 33rd anniversary and Kylie's birthday, both of which Del spent in Boston on business.
Del sent me flowers for our anniversary.
He was still in Boston on August 6th, which day was a life changing experience for me.  With Del gone, I turned to Alana, my dear friend , for help in taking me to and from the hospital where I had my surgery done - yes, I had a tummy tuck and lipo suction surgery, both of which were huge for me. I had planned to have it done in December, but then got anxious and more and more excited about it, and decided I really didn't want to have it done during the holidays, so I moved it up to August, when Dr Henao was out of the office for two weeks.  So, I took my vacation at that time and had the surgery done.
The skin removed from my tummy - football size and from hip to hip.

The fat removed from my sides and top of my hips

The compression wrap I have worn for the past 8 weeks

It was painful, but SOOOO worth it.  I can't tell you how happy I am - the surgery went well...the healing went perfect and the results are perfect.  I went from a size 16-18 tops/dresses/skirts - to a size 12 top and dresses and a size 10 skirt and pants.  I feel wonderful and beautiful.  I've waited over 30 years for this.  And even though I moved the plans up by 6 months that put a little financial crush on us, Del is pleased with the results too.  He teases me that I look like I have been cut in half, but when I wear the pretty skinny dress to church, and he sees me from across the room, I can see his smile and reaction to my new figure.  It makes me finally feel beautiful. Since the surgery, I have lost an addition 13-15 pounds and continue to try and lose a little more.
My new Sunday dress
Del keeps me grounded though and reminds me to not be prideful...and that we're going to be paying off the surgery for the next 3 months.  I'm humbled...and grateful.
I was out of commission for about the whole month of August - no church, no driving except to dr. appt's...I worked, but very lightly and very slowly.  The healing won't be complete until at about 6 months post surgery.  Right now, the hip to hip scar is not painful at all - in fact, it's still fairly numb. But my stomach muscle, which he sutured back together and repaired, is very sore whenever I don't wear my compression wrap.  Dr tells me I am supposed to re-introduce myself to my stomach muscle and become friends again.  I haven't had a stomach muscle in over 23 years.  I don't want a six pack, but I do want to keep things nice and tight.
After I was finally up and around, it was time to address the over run with weeds and grass garden, doing more canning and getting new chickens to raise - this all happened the first week in September.
Plus, we had MULTIPLE fun visits from the grandchildren with lots and lots of memories...those are the pictures I have posted first...

Summer canning of chicken and chicken noodle soup - our shelves are full of storage!!

And then on September 6th, Del came home from the supply store with 20 new chickens - baby chickens...and he and the boys moved the chicken coop over to a new area by the swing set and then Del built a temporary cage for them to stay in the garage for about three weeks - we just moved them out to the coop this past weekend (October 3-4th). The grandchildren LOVE the new chickens - sometime they even skype Papa, just so he'll move his phone to where the chicks are so they can see them. Several of them have been named - Sunhine(by Madi, who can't say the 2nd 's'), Smokey, by Preston...and a few other names I haven't quite caught...  But little Emerson can't say 'chick', so he just goes around the house making the sound, meaning he wants to go see them.

BYU football started the beginning of September also, and so I have been a very happy camper.  I love the football season, especially BYU games - BUT, our Heisman trophy hopeful quarterback, was injured the very first game and is now out for the season.  That dampened things a little - but we won our first two games against ranked teams, then lost two games, and then won last weeks game. The beginning of September, I also celebrated my two year anniversary at Bliss Orthodontics.  I love my job - I love the people I work with - just a fun place.

Another important thing to mention - is that during the past three months, we have had three of our 12 Apostles pass away - President Boyd K. Packer, Elder L.Tom Perry and then Elder Richard G. Scott.  All three had beautiful funerals and are terribly missed.  This past weekend was General Conference and three new apostles were called to the quorum.

The last thing to document or write about, is probably the most significant of all.  But it will merit having it's own blog post and so I will close this one and start the new one titled
Lucy Beth Crump.