Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A funeral without dying!

A funeral without Dying?
Doug has been and continues to be overwhelmed with the out pouring of love and concern in his behalf.  He told me the other day, "it is like having a funeral without dying." We have always thought this would be a great idea.  If we really knew how many people cared and all the nice things people said about us....It would give us a boost. Instead we have to hear all these great things when we are on the other side listening to our own funeral:)
My sister's father-in-law, who recently passed away, said something so funny to her once. He said, "Mel, you are going to have a huge funeral." It was a very random thought of his but he was referring to how many friends she has.  We still get a great laugh out of  this.  It was a good "Dennisism."  I was thinking this about Doug...  With the amount of people who have visited, wrote us cards and have told us they were praying for him.... I thought...Doug would have a HUGE funeral:)  
Another thing I really have been thinking about is how many people would openly tell Doug, "I love you."  Family, friends (both close and distant),  and neighbors.  They would even tell me the same thing.  Why is it that we have to wait for a trial or affliction to tell someone how we feel.  Why don't we say these words more often and when we feel them? Are we ashamed we love people? Elder David A. Bednar shared his thoughts on love during this talk, 'More Diligent and Concerned at Home".  He had some excellent points.  He said, "We can begin to become more diligent and concerned at home by telling the people we love that we love them. Such expressions do not need to be flowery or lengthy. We simply should sincerely and frequently express love...  We should remember that saying “I love you” is only a beginning. We need to say it, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need consistently to show it. We need to both express and demonstrate love."  (I want to add that not only at home but in our everyday life with the ones we associate with and love.)

Henry B. Eyring said, "Our way of life, hour by hour, must be filled with the love of God and love for others."

I want us all to think about this a little more.  It goes along with my life motto, "living without regrets."  Take the time to say the things to people you wouldn't normally say!  If they weren't here tomorrow, what would you wish you would have told them?

President Thomas S. Monson recently counseled: “Often we assume that [the people around us] must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. … We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us” (“Finding Joy in the Journey,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 86).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This post is for my super awesome nephew Josh.  He has made a huge turn around in his life.  He has allowed the experience that we have gone through to touch his life for the better.  
I wish you could all know a couple of my favorite guys.  Josh who is currently attending USU and his brother Nate who is at Rocky Mountain High School.  Both young men are incredibly strong and courageous.  They have something very special about them. They are leaders in everything they do.  When you are around them you don't want to leave their presence, it is special, a quiet strength.  It is something you can't quite put your finger on but it is powerful.  Josh, more the people pleaser, is energetic and fun.  Nate, also fun but a magnet.  You will never see him without many people around him because people feel his spirit and light.  He radiates!  He is far more mature (than me:))... more mature than his age and truly one of the most awesome young men I know! A large part they are this way is my sister, Michelle, and her husband, Rob, and how they raise their children.  All 5 of their children have this "specialness" about them.  They hold strong to the truths of the gospel and their characters testify of it.  Their oldest daughter, Elizabeth,  is unlike ANYONE I have known.  Her love for our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is like none other I have EVER seen.  In an adult or child.  She has a gift, I call it the gift of "getting it"...She has an eternal perspective that will continue to bless her life forever.
Back to my nephew Josh.  He was, like a lot of teenage boys, wondering where life was taking him.   Right before Doug was diagnosed he emailed me randomly, telling me that he loved us and felt like he should pray for us.   (uh alright? I was like,"is there something wrong with us:)) Josh was just in tune.
He later wrote Doug a very touching letter. I got his permission to share some of it with you. 

"At the hospital last week I realized something that has changed my life forever.  I realized that you were more content about life than I was.  You were the one suffering from cancer and you were a more content person than me.  This really made me realize a few things that changed me.  The gospel had to be true otherwise you would not be as confident about the situation and whatever might happen as you were.... 
I feel bad because I know part of the reason you had to go through this was for me.  It has saved my life and I mean that.  I don’t know how I could ever thank you for what you have done....
I will wear this Livestrong wrist band until I go on my mission to remind me of what you did and what I need to do... I spent the last hour crying in thankfulness for my new found Live strong life.  Tonight I officially lock the chest to my past life and look to the future but I just wanted to thank you before I throw the key away.  You’re awesome!  May we go forth on our missions in life and live strong!"

Josh, you have truly inspired us.  We are stronger and better because of your influence.  Way to continue in your  new found life!
Love you! Baber
I said from the very beginning of this whole cancer thing, that miracles were going to happen.  Things like this don't happen without people's lives changing and our testimonies growing stronger.  We even had a friend tell us he started praying because he was  so worried.  During trials,  our lives change for the better, if we let it!  It is His plan. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sam's birthday

Sam's Birthday!
13 years ago today Sam was born weighing a hefty 4lbs. 2oz  and 17 inches long.  She was about 10 weeks early and she already understood the meaning of "live STRONG." She was in incredible health.  They gave her oxygen and the first night she pulled it out of her tiny nose.  It makes us laugh every time we think about that because she is one that doesn't like to be 'annoyed' and that certainly must have annoyed her...She took care of the situation....VERY Sam!  
This emotional day I have heard of over and over and every time it is bring tears to eyes.  The circumstances were difficult, more than we can ever begin to understand.  Sam's mother, Jill, was very ill.  They had decided it would be best to take Sam early at a little over 30 weeks.  Through the years, on Sam's birthday, so many family members sigh in remembrance of that day.  And so for many, including me, "that" day is very bitter-sweet.  But 13 years later as we look at this beautiful young woman, Samantha Jill, we don't remember that particular day as much as we celebrate her gorgeous life.  

She has so many incredible qualities.  She is beautiful not just physically but her spirit is also beautiful and kind.  She is sweet and nice to everyone.  She is the most patient  13 year old you have ever met.  Watching her interact with her siblings is amazing because she is so great with them.  She loves to read and has read the Book of Mormon 10 times.  She is incredible at the piano and violin.   I could go on all day about my perfect angel daughter that I want to clone:) But she is truly a very special girl.  
When Ethan was 7 weeks old he was laying on the ground just talking away.  (Sam at the time was 7) She had no idea I was just around the corner listening.  She looked at him and said, "Ethan there is something me and you need to talk about.  Me and you....well we have 2 moms.  We have our mom up in heaven, Jill, and she will take care of us from there.  Then we have our mom here on earth that will take care of us here!"  Then Sam, in her little pink tutu jumped up and danced away.  That is how things work here at our house!  
"I am so excited I'm going to be
in your birthday party."
I am one of the few privileged earthly moms that has someone over on the other side making sure things are being taken care of and my lucky children have 2 mom's and lots of AWESOME grandparents that love them!  
it is my honor to be Sam's mother.  She continues to teach me daily! 
Happy Birthday sweetheart!

Monday, October 11, 2010


The other night, after we found out our great news about Doug, we decided to go on a drive.  We love taking drives so we started going up to Kelly's canyon.  It was beautiful and very eventful.  The colors were magnificent and the wildlife was fierce.  I told the kids, "the first person to see a deer would get a buck."..ha ha  So driving along we got excited because we could see something up ahead...TONS of cows:)  It was pretty funny.  We did spot a HUGE bull moose right next to our car. It got spooked and flew up the hill.  Next we saw a cow skeleton.  That was gross and adventurous.  Then a little later we did see 2 deer.  It was so beautiful in the mountains.  Doug, Sam, and Ethan got out of the car and picked up some leaves.  When they got back in the car Ethan says, "Leaves are good because they absorb the nutrients from the sun and deliver them to the tree." AH o.k. son....Where did he learn that?  lol

 We were up on the hill overlooking the entire valley and we witnessed the most amazing lightening storm.  The clouds would light up, each a different magnificent color,  and then a bolt of lightening would fall down from it.  I wanted time to freeze.  It was so beautiful. We even saw a rainbow for the 3rd day in a row.  I just felt like as we were watching the storm everything was O.K. again.  
As we were driving home Doug stopped quickly at a stop light.  Ethan, who was sitting in the middle seat says very matter-a-factly, "I just experienced inertia."  I look at Doug and said, "what is that?" and Doug tells me that it is Newton's first law of motion.  "Ethan where did you hear that?"  He said, "I heard it on t.v. a while ago and I have been waiting to experience inertia."  We were in shock that our 6 year old was talking to us about inertia.  I had to ask what it was and maybe some of you don't remember either?... Here is the definition.  "Inertia: objects in motion stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force."  So when Ethan felt the car stopping and he was still moving he felt the "outside force" stopping him.   I have been thinking all week about his experience and this word... Could there be such a thing as spiritual inertia?  WE are the object in motion.  We are continually moving forward feeding our spiritual bodies,  constantly working on strengthening our testimonies, teaching our kids and giving them a firm foundation..... then often we are acted upon by an outside force....the adversary.  He tries to stop us in our progress and sometimes he gets us down but we can't give him the power to  "stop" us.  We try not to get discouraged because we have something greater...We have faith that keeps us moving towards are eternal progression.   Satan is the force...He will try, as long as we are mortal, to "stop" our progression...Continue to LiveSTRONG!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

too long..

Dave, my awesome brother in law..... thinks my post are too long, much like our 3 hour church meeting and Carlson gatherings:))  
Dave this one is for you:) luvya

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Doug had an appointment today with the oncologist.  He was amazing, very personable, and very knowledgeable.  In fact he said he likes to answer all  questions before we even get to them...So every question we had he answered before me and Doug could even ask them. He was incredible. Dr. Dickson in Rexburg.  Anyway when he came into the room he said, "I am so giddy!" and he was giggling.  I guess it isn't very often the oncologist gets to deliver good news.  In fact he said, " I have great news."  Doug doesn't has to have chemo!  He was pleased with Dr. Smith as the surgeon and has complete faith that he did a fantastic job getting all the cancer!  He talked with us for an hour and explained what next.  Doug will meet with Dr. Dickson every 4 months, for a while, and get labs drawn also every 4 months, like his CEA.  An interesting fact, your ileum, which is part of the colon they took out, is the part of the colon that absorbs  vitamin B12.  So a common complication with a right hemi-colectomy is you become deficient of this vitamin. A supplement wouldn't do anything for the exact same reason...No where to absorb.  SO they will check this every 4 months and if he needs the B12 I will get to give it to him through a needle:) ( did you see me smile? sounds a little exciting:))  He will have CT scans and a colonoscopy next year and then he will continue with the scopes about every 2 years after that. The oncologist will basically see Doug about 3-4 times a year.  We are thrilled about he news.  We both kinda thought that this would be the final prognosis but we didn't want to give our hopes up?  

We cannot thank everyone enough for praying for our family and specifically Doug during this time.  There are a few of you out there...friends and family, that have lightened our load SO much we will never be able to repay you what you have done for us!  You know who you are and we CHERISH you!  For those of you who have dropped by, called, visited us, text us, and served us in ANY way... we love you and thank you.  Also to those of you who haven't known what to do but you keep praying for us, we have felt your prayers.  Our kids have even felt a change. For example:  Isaac, one of the twins, does not like ANYONE! Only Doug and me and Sam!(in that order:))  When Doug was in the hospital my sister, Michelle, came to stay with our kids at our house.  We were concerned about this because he has never gone to ANYONE! From day 1 Isaac warmed up to Michelle and loved everyone who walked in the door. He was comfortable and secure.  He has never liked a soul so when we watched this happen we knew immediately it was people praying for our family.   Sam was so nervous about everything but again, when Doug was admitted in the hospital, she was calm. She said she felt peace and knew everything would be alright.  We KNOW it was prayers.  It strengthened us and we felt His comfort through your faith.  There are miracles with any trial.  We were showered with tender mercies and saw, even with our small trial, saw people redirect their paths, it was like they got a glimpse of life and a light turned on, & now they..."get it!"  
Our testimonies have been strengthened immensely and we know this trial was placed in our lives for our good!   We hope that when your trial comes, we will be here for you the way you have been for us!  
With every ounce of our mortal bodies... WE love you and thank you for being an intimate part of our family.  
Doug, Farrah Kaye, Sam, Ethan, Isabella & Isaac!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

♥ life!

Yesterday me and Ethan were making sack dinners for family night.  We were going to go take a drive up to Mesa Falls and see the beautiful fall colors.  While he was spreading the peanut butter on the bread we heard the sky crack.  Thunder that was so loud that it vibrated through the dark clouds.   I am usually deathly afraid of thunder but that is because it is usually at night when it is so loud.  So in the middle of the day it was really cool.  Ethan stopped spreading the peanut butter and ran outside. On the way to the sliding door he said, "mom I bet there is going to be a rainbow."
 Sure enough, a huge entire rainbow!   We watched if for a while and then watched it fade away.   What is it about a rainbow that makes everyone take a minute to stop what they are doing, no matter how busy they are, and enjoy the beauty of God's creation?  A rainbow never ceases to amaze me. 

Well so Doug got home and we all packed in the van to go on our little outing to the falls and he says to me excitedly, "Dad and James (his brother) got an elk today....want to go see it?" And what am I suppost to say to that...So off we head down to Shelley to check out the dead bloody animal.  As the guys were telling us the story of the hunt...I thought to myself... ' Hunting stories are a lot like labor and delivery stories'.   They are original to you,  no one else has had the exact same experience you have had...,  there are moments of discouragement, it is exciting and there are always tense moments,   and even when the outcome is great...There are things looking back you would have done a little differently.  I was totally crackin' up.  They were, rightfully so, pretty pleased with their elk!

Last night we got home really late from visiting family and friends.  The usual routine is hurry as fast as you can to get jammies on,  potty, drinks, read and pray, & settle the babies down so we can get them to bed before it gets ANY later than it already is.  After the rush of getting everyone ready, and the 2 older ones off to bed...This is what started to happened......

It lasted until about 11:00 p.m.  Now usually I would have stopped it before it started.  You know what I am talking about moms....Once the kids start getting all wound up then it takes forever before they can settle down and actually fall asleep.  Well, all I could do was grab the camera and take a step back and SMILE!  It has been months, even since June since Doug has felt good enough to get on the floor with his kids and rough house.  Not only have the kids missed it but so has Doug!  It didn't matter what time it was, that everyone was exhausted, and that it was so loud that it was keeping Sam and Ethan up..... It just felt so AMAZING to watch my husband play and laugh again.   I even have to admit that as I was sitting here on the couch watching and laughing with them, I teared up a little because my heart was so happy!   It was so much fun!

Friday, October 1, 2010

edified in our LiveSTRONG lives!

Every six months I get a new center piece for my coffee table.... I can count on it, every May and every November!  It is the General Conference Addresses.  I especially love last Mays because of the touching picture that was on the front of it.  So often I would walk by it and say to myself, "Hi President and Sister Monson." :) You can not look at that picture without smiling and feeling the love and dedication they have for the Lord.  It just makes my body tingle. The very first thing that I do when I get my magazine in the mail is start flipping through the pages and looking at all the photographs.  They are always so uplifting and SO happy.  They capture such sweet moments, some people posing for the camera and others oblivious.  The darling little children are dressed in their sunday best and parents who are so dedicated to going to temple square to feel the spirit that is there.  When ever I want something to do or need a little lift, I open my conference ensign and scan through the pictures. them!!!

 I am certain that for those of you who have this magazine your looks something like mine, torn, ripped, used, taped, restapled, bent, highlighted EVERYWHERE, and mostly... loved. 
We love general conference weekend. Infact for me it is a great time line.  I try to make spiritual goals and use the next 'conference' as my deadline. It is a great measure of time for me. 
Most of you already know, but I am the 'teaching for your times teacher' in Relief Society, (LUV IT).   I get the opurtunity  to study a few of the talks in depth. A few of my favorites last time were, "Mothers and Daughters" by Elder M. Russell Ballard, and "Help Them on Their Way Home" by President Henry B. Erying, "Your Happily Ever After" by President Dieter F. Uchtdof (I was at this session and it was amazing), and "Mother told Me" by Elder Bradly D. Foster.  I was so inspired last conference to be a better mother and teach my children gospel principles better. And also a 'refocus' on our family and priorities!  It seemed endless the times they mentioned parenting, mothering, families, grandparents, etc....etc....
I am beyond excited for this weekend.  I always love the stories, their encouraging words that help us press on, and the spirit that I feel as they testify of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I pray that I have spiritually prepared myself that I may be edified.  As of these last few months,  I have never been so fed by the spirit as I have with the news of Doug's cancer.  It seems like during the trials in your life you have a couple choices:  1. Draw nearer to God or 2. separate yourself from Him.  Because of the faith we have and because of what we have been taught, we found SO much comfort in the spirit and in His eternal plan. I know without a doubt that this trial in our life is for our good.  We will be stronger and better because of it.  We have said from day 1, we are spiritually excited for this journey because we will grow.  We are so blessed to be a part of this challenging yet necessary mortal existence.   These last few months have been the most spiritual months of my life. Feeling His love and comfort continually.  Elder M. Russell Ballard said, "when suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God than we have ever been inour entire lives. That knowledge can turn ever such situation into a would-be temple. Regarding our earthly journey, the Lord has promised: 'I will go before your face.  I will be on your right hand and on your left.  My spirit shall be in your hearts and mine angels round about you to bear you up.'  That is an everlasting declaration of God's love and care for us, including and perhaps especially in times of trouble."
I testify of the truthfulness of this statement.  In our time of 'trouble' we felt Him by our side ever step.  My Heavenly Father knows me personally and He knows what is best for our family at this time.  With my small mortal mind, I am trying to have a better understanding of, and an increase of faith in His plan.
Hope you have an incredible weekend and for those of you who have the opportunity to watch conference....May we be edified in our "Live-STRONG" lives!