Sunday, January 18, 2009

Polly Heath

My Aunt Polly passed away yesterday morning. About two years ago Polly was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver. The doctors gave her about a 50/50 chance of making it two years. At that time she decided she wanted to spend more time with family. Polly lived close to my grandparents in Virginia, but it had been a long time since she had seen my Mom, her only sister.

(left to right: Polly, my Mom, and my Uncle Steve)

She came and visited my Mom in the summer of 2007. Cody and Riley were able to meet her and we were able to spend a lot of time with her. Riley and Polly developed an instant bond, they were buddies. Everytime we were at my parents house, Riley would immediately go looking for Polly. We were lucky enough to see Polly again that Christmas when she came with my grandparents and then once more this past summer.

Shortly after Polly returned from her last trip here in Utah she was diagnosed with cancer. Some of you may remember that my Mom then went to Virginia for 9 weeks to help take care of her and my grandparents. Over a week ago Polly took a definite turn for the worse and my Mom quickly returned to say her final good-bye. Polly was asleep most of the time but the nurse said that she knew Polly could hear her family talk to her. At one point my Mom started talking about Riley and Polly opened her eyes and smiled.

I'm so grateful that Riley was able to meet Polly. They loved eachother so much. I'm also very grateful that I was able to gain more of a relationship with Polly these past few years. I'm sorry for the pain that she has endured and I am grateful that she has finally been released from that pain. We are also grateful for the knowledge that we have that we will someday see Polly again.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

It's taken me a while to finally write something about our Christmas break, so here it goes, sorry if it's a little long.

We are lucky to have Cody working at a school so we got a full two weeks off and we spent one week of that with my family. We arrived at my parents, in Farmington, on Christmas Eve. We made cookies for Santa, and then we spent an eternity in the kitchen preparing food for the next day.

Even Cody and my brother, Scott, decorated a few cookies.

Riley was so excited for Santa to come, I thought he'd never fall asleep. Every little noise he heard he'd jump up and say, "Who's that?" He finally fell asleep around 11:30 and then Santa finally came. Santa came through and Riley got his glowing red light saber. But the biggest hit was a plane that he got to go with his GeoTrax train set.

My whole family was there for Christmas. My sister Michelle and her family came from Arkansas, Robyn and her family came from California, and Hope took the long trek from Layton. Oh and of course my brother Scott was there. Not everyone was staying at my parent's because there's just too many of us. This leads into the most exciting part of Christmas. Christmas night we looked outside and noticed that it had been snowing and the driveway was covered. If you know my parent's house, you know that this is definitely a problem. If you don't know my parent's house let me describe it to you. My parent's live on main street in Farmington but the house is set up on a hill so the driveway is a big steep hill. If there is just a little bit of snow on the driveway your car can slide all the way down and across the street into the neighbor's yard in a matter of seconds. So when we saw the snow we knew there was only one way to get down and go home, SHOVEL it. So some of the men went out and started shoveling. The problem was that the snow was coming so fast that once a patch was cleared, it was quickly covered again. Cody told me that he needed someone to come and salt the driveway, so I immediately went looking for the salt only to find out that my Dad only had about 2 cups left! This definitely was not going to cover the driveway. Now the dilemma was that we had 3 families parked at the top of the hill that needed to get down to go home but we needed salt in order to do this. My nephew Josh decided that he was going to brave the driveway and drive down so he could go buy salt. Now remember, this is Christmas night, where was he going to go? Farmington isn't really hopping with retailers and everything they had was, of course, closed. So that wasn't going to help. Finally, I found out that my mom had some salt in her car that she was going to use for gifts. I promised to buy her more if we could just use the salt now. I went back in the house and told everyone that the men were going to clear the driveway one more time and salt it and then they had about 5 minutes to get down the driveway!! Now the funny thing was that it still wasn't as easy to just drive down the driveway, picture this: At the top of the hill someone was in their car prepared to drive down, the rest of their family was walking down the hill just in case something unexpected happened, then someone was standing across the street to watch for cars. Once the coast was clear the person driving the car would carefully go down the driveway and then park so that the rest of the family could get in. What a fun time!! Luckily, everyone got to where they needed to be safely.

Friday, after Christmas, my niece Mati was baptized. I thought there was a lot of family at my parent's house for Christmas (24). That was nothing, add my brother-in-law's family and our total was 74 people at the baptism!!

Saturday morning we had family pictures done. This might be the last time ALL of my family is together. Michelle's kids are quite a bit older. Her son, Josh, will probably getting married this year and her son, Jared, will be going on a mission. So we took this opportunity to get one last big family picture taken.

(If you care, here's the list of people in this picture. Back row (sort of) left to right: Michelle's son Josh, Robyn's son Ben, my brother-in-law Brian (Hope's husband), my brother-in-law Matt, Hope and her newest addition Nathan, Robyn, Scott, Me, Cody, Michelle, my brother-in-law James, Michelle's kids Ashley and Jared. Front row: Robyn's son Christian, Hope's kids Justin and Katie, Robyn's son Cole, My Mom, she's holding Hope's son Zachary, My Dad, he's holding Hope's son Camden, Riley, and Michelle's daughter Mati) Whew! That took a lot longer then I thought.

After the picture we all decided to go bowling. It was Riley's first time bowling, he loved it! I represented the girls with a 101 and a 102 but then my Mom beat me on her second game with a 109. My Dad was the highest scorer of the guys, I don't remember what it was though. Here's a few snap shots.

Later that night all the girls went to see Twilight (that would be my third time)! We definitely had a fun-filled weekend.

Monday, Robyn's boys and Riley went sledding down my parent's hill. Here's Riley going down the hill on his belly. One time feet first and then head first. For some reason he wouldn't use the sled.

We had a great Christmas, with little drama, which is always a plus when you have 4 girls in the family. I hope everyone else had a wonderful and safe Christmas!