Sunday, March 20, 2011

Special Needs Church

What a great weekend we had in Moab but now it is back to reality.

On the way back to Lehi I wrote my talk that I am giving in church today. Nicole and I are speaking in another ward. We are speaking with the Special Needs Mutual Group.

Nicole attends Special Needs Mutual each week which is such a highlight in her week. 2 weeks they work on YW things. It is either a lesson or maybe one of the values. 1 week another ward comes and gives mutual to them. Activities, games, crafts are all included and other things too. One week is usually a dance. When the other ward comes and shares mutual with Special Needs then the following Sunday Special Needs goes to their ward and does the sacrament program.

2 special needs "kids" speak plus their buddy as well as a leader from the YW and YM organization and 1 parent. I am the parent this week. My topic is:

"How is having a Special Needs child blessed our lives."

How can I even do justice to this topic? We have had many blessings come into our lives from the moment Nicole took her first breath. How can I look into her beautiful face and not see the miracle of God working in our lives.

Nicole was born with the umbilical cord wrapped 3 times around her neck. She was being strangled but before the cord could get tightened she aspirated in the birth canal. We didn't know it at the time but that was the beginning of our journey with Nicole and the brain injury that occurred which has caused her to have the many difficulties she has suffered with during her life time.

Nicole has Christ-like love. She loves everyone. From a young age she would say this or that person was her friend and she loved them. 99% of the time she didn't even know them. It didn't matter who they were, the color of their skin or economic circumstance, she loved them.

Nicole has taught us patience, kindness, trust, love, understanding, determination, humility, hope, faith and peace. No, life has not been a rosy path. We have had many trials and tribulations stemming from her underlying condition. She has been stubborn, trying, unreasonable and sometimes a down right pill to parent but she can also be the sunniest sunshiny spot of my day.

Schedules are a must for us. We have to plan way in advance and talk about changes in advance to help Nicole become familiar with the change. Not that we can't do something at the spur of the moment but our days go more smoothly when it is planned out. For many years we couldn't live day to day or even hour to hour, it was more like minute by minute or moment by moment.

YES, having a Special Needs Child can be frustrating at times, many times I even want to pull my hair out or even just go in my closet and scream and cry, but, there are also many days when I laugh at the funny things she does or says. I also love teaching her new things even if I have taught those things to her in the past many times.

She is a gentle reminder everyday of serving and loving the least of these....


For Christmas this past year, Christian gave John and I a weekend at the Sorrel Ranch in Moab. This is the weekend we are going to take advantage of it. We are so excited.

This ranch is located on a beautiful river. Our room overlooks the river and has a beautiful fireplace which I sat beside many hours while there. The grounds were equally beautiful. Horseback riding, volleyball, hiking trails and much more.

We had dinner at the Ranch which was one of the best meals I have ever eaten. I had duck and John had lamb. Half way through our meal we traded plates because they were both so great we each wanted to have some of each others food. It wasn't good enough to just have a taste or two.

Unfortunately it was raining when we were done with dinner so we head right back to our room. We wanted to take a stroll in the moon light but that was a no go.

We slept in but still was able to eat and get on our hike before the sun crested the red rocks surrounding this ranch. We were so excited to get these great pics.

Our hike was amazing as hiking in the Moab area is always amazing. The red rocks, the fresh air, the huge tumble weeds........

We had such a fun weekend together. Catching up on the weeks that we have been apart. Just quiet time. Back to reality now.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Today is Auto-Rama at SouthTown.

Christian has been working on his car for a few months in order to get it ready for the car showing season. This show is the first in a long line of shows he will be participating in.

As you may know his baby is named Maggie. It is a Dodge Magnum SRT/8 with a 428 Hemi engine with a Super-Charger. All that power under the hood equals about 700 horse power. Yes it is fast.

Last year, his beloved Maggie was featured in Mopar Enthusiast Magazine. The paint was black on the bottom, Lime Time green on top and Monster Purple stripe. The cluster was Lime Time green as well as other controls. Under the hood the engine was powder coated Green as well as many other items green and black.

This year, Pearl White with a touch of Gold added into the paint. It has ghost images on the sides. Cluster, Pearl white. Other controls are brushed nickel. Under the hood is also different. The engine was powder coated to look like brushed nickel and other components are now black.

WOW! This car looks amazing.

The show was great. His car was was asked to be in the Thunderstruck booth. Sometimes venders ask show car owners to show their car in the vendors booth. It helps to attract more people to their booth.

Christians car won 2nd in class! Great accomplishment son.