Saturday, December 12, 2015

Visit with Jenn and Erma

Today I had a kettle corn fundraiser down in Riverdale.  Later that day, the rest of the family joined me and we met Jenn Coffelt and Erma at The Rush in Syracuse.  We did go-carts, miniature golfing, played laser tag and did some arcade.  We exchanged Christmas gifts and finished the evening off with dinner. Its always so much fun to see Cooper's birth mom and families. They are amazing people and we are so blessed to continue to have relationships with them.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Day We Lost Our Dear Grandma Cooper

I love this dear lady with all my heart.  I have been so blessed to live near to her and Grandpa these past 18 years.  They are such amazing examples to all of us.  They are selfless and serve others all the time.  It has been so lonely and hard for Grandma to be widowed these past 15 months.
Grandma started having more serious health problems in the Fall and by Thanksgiving, she could barely get in and out of her house.  Her legs were so swollen and leaking all the time.  It was painful for her to be up on her feet, but that didn't keep her down.  She also had frequent back pain and she had to get shots in her back every few months.  Grandma was a busy lady. She rarely sat down unless family came by and then she would give them her undivided attention and blunt advice.
In early December, Grandma had a turn for the worst and so I called Mom and told her she needed to come up to Utah immediately.  Mom flew into Salt Lake on Monday evening. As they came into Wellsville and pulled up at her home, they went right into the house to get grandma and take her to the hospital. Grandma was starting to have these pains in her legs. They checked her into the same emergency room where Grandma passed away.  It was surreal and saddening.
By evening, she was admitted into the hospital for the excruciating pain in her legs and lower back.  Once they got her meds regulated, she seemed to be fine.  But if the meds wore off, she would yell in pain and cry out.  Night after night, we would go up to see her and visit her.  On Wednesday night, I took my boys up to see her.  Everyone was up there.  Grandma seemed to be happy and was eating all sorts of food.  She was laughing and joking with everyone and she seemed to be herself.
As we got ready to leave, I sent the boys in one last time to say good night to her.  This was the last time they got to see her alive. Grandma started having bad pains as I left the hospital.  She kept crying out about how bad it hurt.  She was so tough and so amazing.  I said gave her a hug, told her I loved her and then said good night.  The next day Grandma was mostly incoherent and just slept.  Her last wish was to go back home.  On Thursday afternoon, they took her home by ambulance.  Some of my sisters and cousins were there with her that night.  She woke back up and carried on some conversations with them.
On Friday morning, I went over to Grandma's to meet Jacqui so she could say goodbye to Grandma.  We had been there for a couple of hours eating and visiting quietly with one another.  We were sitting around Grandma's bed when all of a sudden, Clinton noticed that Grandma had stopped breathing.  She peacefully slipped off to heaven to be with Grandpa.  We were left there to cry and mourn the loss of this most amazing lady who had touched all of our lives tremendously.

We called all the family and everyone dropped what they were doing and came up to the house to say good bye to Grandma.  It was sobering and sad, but I am grateful for the knowledge of the plan of salvation.  I know where they are and I know I will see them again someday.

The neighbor across the field took this picture of Grandma's house on the day she died.  It looked like this most Sunday's and most holidays, but this would be the last day that it would ever look like this again.
 The following Friday night, we had Grandma's viewing. While Mom was in town, she wasn't feeling well and he stomach was giving her a lot of problems.  She ended up having to leave the viewing 15 minutes after it started. She was throwing up and in a lot of pain. Jocelynn and I ended up taking Mom to the ER.  They did some tests on her and decided that she had some sort of blockage in her intestines.  It turns out that she had to miss her Mom's funeral because the doctors had to go inside her to remove the blockage.  This happened the morning of her funeral.  It nearly broke my heart to watch this, but we are grateful that she is here with us and doing fine.

Grandma's funeral was nothing less than perfect and there were so many beautiful words and stories and heartfelt emotions shared that day.  Those who spoke did a wonderful job and gave a wonderful tribute to Grandma and the life she lived and the legacy that she and Grandpa left behind.  I will be forever blessed to have rubbed shoulders with them.  I will miss her dearly and words will never describe the love I have for her and Grandpa.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Cutting Down our Christmas Tree

This was our 2nd year to go up into Idaho to cut down our own Christmas tree.  There was quite a bit of snow this year, so Bryce ended up going over across the river and bringing down a perfect Christmas tree.  It was a 12 ft tree and it fit perfectly in our new home!
The boys picked out a small tree for our front room.  They had a good time searching for their tree.  We always finish the outing with a hot chocolate from the gas station. It's so hot, but so good!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Our New Home Being Built

We purchased our land in March and so we were ready to get going on our house in May.  We got some bids and ended up choosing all our contractors in just a few weeks.  I left in May to go to Texas for 5 weeks.  They were supposed to be finished framing our home in 2 weeks, so I thought that by the time I got home, it would be finished but it wasn't even close. Our framers overbooked themselves and so they were stringing everybody out for weeks and weeks. This is the second time we have hired slow framers.  But they finally got the job done and we were able to move on.
Everything else just fell right into place.  The other contractors showed up when they said they would and they got the jobs done quickly.  I was really amazed at the quality of work that we received on this home.  My kids love to go over to the house so they can see the daily changes that have occurred.
We had so much help from family on our home.  Bryce also spent many hours working on it after he worked all day at Casper's.  He was so exhausted as each day came to an end.  I did the general contracting so I was in constant communication with our contractors. Bruce came over multiple times to help with the closets, null posts and doors.  Roger spent countless hours helping with whatever was needed.  He built our platform down in the theater room.  He also built all of our shelves in the cold storage room.  He also did all the shelves for our pantry. I am so grateful for his willingness to help us.

I had help from Jacqui, Steph, Jocelynn and Tawni doing the worst job of the entire house....finish work!  We caulked all the doors and baseboards.  We puttied all the nail holes on the trim and baseboards.  We taped off the windows, doors and baseboards for paint.  This was so time consuming and crappy, but at least I had great people to help me get the job done.  I can't forget Marilyn because she helped me with Parker for hours and hours these past few months.

Kyle helped us get started on the tile.  He did the pantry and our Master bathroom. This was a huge job, but we were able to move through it quickly.  I would cement the floors and the back of the tile pieces and then hand it off to Bryce. He would lay them down evenly and scrape off the excess cement.  We moved along pretty quickly once we had this little system down. After it was all down, it still didn't shine like I thought it should.  Turns out that I had to get down and scrub the tiles one by one with a vinegar/water mixture that helped take off the cement haze.  This was bad on the back and knees but we all survived.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Loved Living with Grandma and Grandpa Douglas

We have been lucky enough to live with Marilyn and Roger these past 5 months.  They are so good and make things to easy.  I love each of them so much and its been nice to get to know them better as we have lived with them.  One thing that I have learned from Marilyn's example is that she is completed devoted to her husband and she would do anything for him.  She is also very dedicated to her callings both in primary and in being a visiting teacher. She is always willing to help and you rarely hear her complain about anything.  She uses her amazing talents to serve others. I am grateful for her example and for the love that she continually extends to me and my family.
Our kids have such a special relationship with each of them.  They have dedicated so much time and love into developing these everlasting relationships with their grandkids. Parker loves waking up in the morning and going into their room to lay in between them in bed.  She just feels so comfortable in their home. Every night, Grandma would put a little lavender oil on Parkers neck and she had her very own chapstick by the side of her bed for Parker.  Grandma also would take the time to paint Parkers nail on a weekly basis.
It has been such a busy time in our lives.  The boys head off to school and Roger and I usually head over to the house to work on some project.  We installed most of the closets, baseboards, and trim.  We have spent hours upon hours working on the house.  I have done most of the general contracting for the house.  For the most part, I have loved working with all of the contractors.  Our framers took 2 months to complete the job, but after that, things started really rolling quickly.