|Amryn, Amanda, Addie, Ben (in front) Derek, Cooper, Jayden, Donny, and James.|
|Happy to see my son Chris. :)|
|Chris, Chad, and Derek.|
Ninja Turtles came to visit.
|So blessed to have Mark and his family visiting from Minnesota.|
Emma, Kristin, Kathryn and Mark. Hyrum was missing from this photo.
|Tish, Me, Nani.|
|Amanda and Chris.|
Chris served in Catania, Italy TEN years ago!
|Amanda with the Dayton's.|
Jon, Sam, Rachel, Sofie, and Brandon.
|My two 'Sister Deckers'|
Rachel served in Paris, France (at the same time Brandon served there)
|A fun bunch!|
Chad, Abbie, Amanda, , Meagan, Nichole, Miles, .
|At my daddy's grave site. Me, Bruce and Amanda.|
|Paul's kids at the grave site.|
|Amanda adding a rose to the top of my dad's casket.|
Dad's casket was made of a beautifully polished pine wood.
He always said that he wanted to be buried in a pine box.
|Bruce and Dave Poulson helping Mom back to her car after the grave site services.|
The weather was perfect and the rain made the colors vivid.
|Yes, Why Argentina?|
|Playing with Mo mo.|
|Andi, Amanda, and Amber|
|Bye Aunt Amanda. we will miss you!|
Love Ailli, Kay, and Thomas
|Amanda adores peacocks!|
|A fun way to spend the last day before entering the MTC . . .|
The Avery with Amber and her three kids.
On May 12th, Mother's Day, my father granted the wish my mother asked for . . . he left this earth and went to heaven. There he greeted his mother, his father and his older brother who had died this past January. Mom had already put funeral preparations in motion during the days previous. Dad had been near to dying for a while now so this isn't as odd as it may sound. Mom had determined that the most convenient day for all siblings to gather together would be on Monday May 20th. The initial time she gave me the information she mistakenly told me May 22nd. That was a moment of distress for me as that is the day Amanda was scheduled to enter the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah as a new missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. After seeing my eyes widen my mom quickly realized that she had told me the incorrect date and assured me the funeral would be on the 20th. What a relief. Now remember that this conversation occurred the day before dad passed away. My brother-in -law Greg jokingly asked my mom if she had reserved the Chapel already? I am glad that my mom was prepared. There is always so much to do in preparation for such an event. Mom made sure things were taken care of and that not any one person had more than they could handle.
The day after my dad died I started a new job. My dream job!! I am a scrapbook artist for Close To My Heart, a stamping/scrapbooking/cardmaking company. I work in the ART STUDIO. I started a new job and was already asking for time off. Not the ideal circumstances to begin as a new employee.
One thing I have learned in this life is that even through the seemingly trying events in our lives Heavenly Father is blessing us if we will but look for the blessings and be grateful in ALL things.
Because my dad passed away on Mother's Day most of my siblings were in town and was able to attend Amanda's missionary farewell the Monday before the funeral. I can not come close to explaining the happiness and joy I felt as I watched my brothers and sisters and their families, as well as my own children, enter my home chapel to attend the Sacrament meeting that Amanda was speaking in. There were over 100 extra people who came just to see Amanda. It was very tender to see my mom arrive by herself. If my dad had still been alive my mother would not have been able to attend that day because she would have been at home with my ailing father. This was the only way that both of my parents could be there in support of Amanda and her choice to serve a mission. My dad thought of everything. He has always been very thoughtful, selfless and caring. He made this day extra memorable for me. I have always known that I am his favorite child. Dad really did this just for me.
After church the crowd moved to our home. Thanks to a couple of angels named Lori, Deena and Marissa everyone was fed and Amanda was able to visit with every person who came to wish her well.
That evening we held a viewing at the Hillcrest 6th ward church. The next day, Monday, was the funeral. All of my siblings were there. That is an exceptional feat as I have seven brothers and seven sisters. It is rare that every ones schedules coincide to be ALL together.
The following day Amanda and I spent the day together. We went to the Bird Avery in SLC. Last time to use Amanda's "pass-of-all-passes"! Amber and her three kids went with us and Andi met us there with Sophia. Another perfect day.
At nine pm Amanda, Bruce and I went to the Stake Offices to meet with our new Stake President for Amanda to be set apart as a full-time Missionary. Wonderful experience!
Wednesday I helped Amanda with the last of her packing and Bruce and I drove her to the MTC. That was a quick good-bye. One moment I hugged my beautiful and amazing daughter and the next moment I couldn't make her out in the crowd headed up the sidewalk to the MTC doors.
By Saturday Aaron, Amber, Thomas, Kay and Ailli were moved in to live in our basement for the summer.
Life is GREAT when you look for the blessings. I am certainly blessed :)