Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another wild hockey weekend...

Cam had a tournament in Fremont this weekend. Two games on Saturday and one on Sunday. The lost one on Saturday and won one on Saturday...then they lost their game on Sunday. BUT...the team they played on Sunday beat them just a few weeks ago 16-0....Sunday, they only beat them 4-0! The boys looked good and they have clearly improved! I am very impressed. See...Jeff's Squirts team is VERY young. It is a first year program for Gladiators which means all of his boys/girls are 4th grade...and even a couple that are in 3rd grade. Most of the other teams have 5th graders who are a year more experienced. So...for having such a young team, they are actually doing VERY well! Jake also had a tournament this weekend...but he was kinda benched. He didn't really "get it" though, and for three days in a row last week he brought notes home from the teacher. Seems he can't keep his little mouth quiet during class. Anyway, I told him there would be serious repercussions if he got another one (after he brought the second one home), and so I had to do something. Grandpa Jerry was going to be in town, so I didn't want to take something away that he might do with Grandpa Jerry. I knew he was benched and we would be in Fremont anyway, so I "grounded" him from hockey for the weekend. Is that just totally terrible or what? But...it worked...no notes home since then!
Here is a picture of Cam. He is the black 19 in the middle of the picture.
Cam is black 19 in the middle of the screen again. 19 is a special number because that was daddy's number in college hockey.
Did I forget to mention that he had one of the goals in the second game? It was a nice one too...and I actually got it on video!! FINALLY!!!
This time he is grey 19.
Here is that hot Coach Jeff in the white hat! I think I have mentioned this before...but I get a kick out of going to his games. I am an absentee hockey mom a lot...well...not so much now, but when Major was itty bitty I didn't want to take him and MaKenna out to the rinks much. So...the other hockey mom's didn't know me. Once I started going I would sit there with one of my friends and talk about how hot that coach is...and I wonder if he is attached...and how I didn't care if he was attached...I was going to get me some of that. IT WAS GREAT! You should have SEEN the look on these women's faces!!! AND the look on the mens faces!! It was priceless!!!
This picture has a story behind it. This tournament also had high school and small colleges playing. MaKenna is standing by the door as one of the high school hockey teams begins to enter. There were a lot of cutie patooties and I caught her just staring a hole through them all. I had to get a picture! The little thing was completely enamoured! :-)
Here is my little Ice Princess! She has practically grown up in the ice rink!
Jeff's dad Jerry came out from Arizona to visit this past weekend. So here he is with little Major watching the game. Bless Papa Jerry's heart...he followed that little terror around everywhere in that rink! I did give him a couple periods of rest so he could take some pictures...but he wanted to follow Major around and play...he doesn't get to see him very often.
Here is a little video...it isn't his goal...I used a different camera when I caught the goal and I haven't figured out how to transfer it to the computer yet. This is just a video of the Squirts warming up.
Okay...so enough about hockey. We had a great weekend with Papa Jerry and Aunt Dixie. For those of you who don't know, Aunt Dixie (Jeff's little little sister) is out here going to Creighton PT school. She has been here since August. She is getting married in July and her and I went and picked up her dress on Wednesday. Well, she brought it over Friday night to show her daddy. I absolutely can not post pictures of the bride in her gown...you never know who might read this blog...TANNER....so I can't do that, but Tini and I had a good time dressing her and giving her jewelry ideas, etc. MaKenna got into it too...she had to dress up also and not just in one dress. She has 3 flower girl dresses, and she still fits into two of them. THEN she had to put on her DisneyWorld Princess dress. She LOVES to be a Princess...and she was a Princess with her "queen" aunt Dixie! This is the dress that MaKenna wore in Aunt Holly's wedding this past summer.
Here is her DisneyWorld dress...as she is standing by her Princess Castle. Such a Princess....
This is a dress I bought for my best friend Tator's (Carrie) wedding.
Here is my tomboy Princess with her bazooka ready to give it to anyone who asks for it!

I can't resist...I have to put this picture on...it is just too cute not to post. Don't be mad Dix...you can't see the dress...but it is just too precious! His youngest child has met the man of her dreams and is getting married.....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Heaven #2

Does anyone believe that those in Heaven can communicate with us? Sometimes I do...but then, when I think logically...it doesn't make sense. A second in Heaven is like 10 years down here...so how would they communicate. Do you see where I am going with this? But my heart would like to think that they can. What do you think?
Mom and MaKenna

I know it is weird to say this...kinda cliche, but I honestly think that mom is sending signs that she is okay. Not just with the "heat" as I posted in earlier posts, but I swear...I hear that "I Can Only Imagine" song SOOOO much now...and I have NEVER heard it that much before. For those of you who have watched the slide show it is the second song played. It is by Mercy Me. If you haven't watched the slide show, the link to it is in an earlier post...just go check it out. Anyway, I hear it EVERYWHERE I go. Not just Mercy Me singing it...but yesterday, I heard it sang by what sounded like Amy Grant. Since when does she sing that song? I also heard it on a country station the other day sang by Wynona....since when does SHE sing that song. Then today...of all places, I was at David's Bridal with my glowing bride sister in law and it came on...played on a station that had just played Madonna. How weird is that? When mom was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer she had a portable CD player with ear phones. She took that thing everywhere...on her treadmill...to chemo...in the living room...even in bed with her. The one CD that was almost always being played? Mercy Me, specifically the song, "I Can Only Imagine". I think mom is telling us that she is fine, and that it is true....we can ONLY imagine. Can you imagine? Heaven must be beyond beautiful. Beyond our comprehension. Wow. Thanks mom...


Terrible, terrible headache. I feel like my head is going to explode at any given moment. Ugh...how will I survive today????

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Major...bless his little heart...has had SUCH a tough day today. Ugh. I almost ran away. Actually, I did run away when Jeff got home...just to the bank...but it was a 10 minute run away spree! He cried most of the day....unless he was sleeping. I don't know what his problem was...I STILL don't know what his problem was....hopefully it is done....he is in bed now....I'll tell you tomorrow how much I was up tonight. Anyway, I told Jeff I almost wish he had a fever so I would KNOW that he didn't feel good....but I didn't know if he didn't feel good, or if he was just CHOOSING to be an enormous booger today. I am hoping he doesn't feel good. I know...that is terrible to say, but the alternative though, that he chose to be that way, is much gloomier. Well, Jeff and the boys had hockey tonight. So I had an hour of Jeff being home before he had to leave and I let Jeff take the brunt of Major's "attitude" while he was here! I was DONE! By the time Jeff left, I had ONE figurative straw left, so I decided to do everything in my power to NOT BREAK THE STRAW! I prayed...HARD. Then I gave Major ALL the jello he wanted, and I let him feed himself. Then, because he was EXTREMELY sticky, I stripped him in the kitchen and ran upstairs with him and MaKenna in tow. They wanted me to take a bath with them. Again...trying to NOT get my panties in a bunch...so to speak...I complied. Major even poopied on my rug before getting in the tub, and I actually didn't freak out! Prayer really works! Then all three of us got in the tub. This is NOT a jacuzzi tub people...it was tight...but I was going to make everyone happy!!!! As soon as the bath water started getting cold and I got tired of playing duckies, I got out, got everyone else out, put jammies on and we went downstairs, sat in front the the fire and watched "Flushed Away". Not the best movie ever made, but it kept them happy and quiet. Thank you LORD! Half way through the movie, I noticed Major rubbing his eyes, so I fed him quick before the fussiness set in and put him to sleep. Whew. One down, one to go. As soon as the movie was over, I ran MaKenna upstairs, we sang songs and down for the night she went. Just then the other 3 walked in...but that is okay, daddy took care of their bedtime rituals. Thank goodness...I made it!!! Thank you Lord for giving us prayer when we need an ounce of patience!!

The reason I actually started writing this particular post tonight was because in the tub, MaKenna and I were playing duckies. She had two duckies that apparently lost their parents. She said, "My mommy and daddy are in heaven." My duck said, "Really? Well, you can live with me in my pond." Her duckie said, "That's okay, they will be back someday." Hmm...that made me think. Isn't it weird when little people teach you things, or remind you of things? Do you think God does that on purpose? Well, I am reading the book "Heaven" right now by Randy Alcorn. Very good read. In it, he talks about the New Earth, which is after the Resurrection. So, really...MaKenna is right, her duckie mommy and daddy WILL be back someday...right here...on this very earth....just....NEW! It made me think that even though MaKenna doesn't understand the concept of heaven yet, she still knows that she will see those in Heaven again. When she said it, it made me laugh at first because I was thinking, "Oh...you silly girl...you don't get it." And maybe she doesn't GET IT...but she DOES get it...just in a different way. What is it that Jesus said, we are to look through the eyes of children?? :-) Wow!

Mom's Slideshow

If anyone is interested in seeing the slide show that we made for my mom, you can do that by going to this website that my brother in law set up.

You con download it from the following URL.


Its is the “Suzanne_Stutzman_Memorial_Slide_Show_Family.mov” file. You need to have Quick Time Player installed to view the file. I also have the Quick Time download for Windows XP and Vista listed there (QuickTimeInstaller.exe).

Dad, Mom and Baby Jake Howard Filleman

Monday, February 16, 2009

Jakes 8th Birthday Party

Yes...tomorrow the 17th, Jake turns 8! Hard to believe! Mom was only one day away from death when Cam turned 10...so that is why there is not a big todoo on here about his birthday...but I will post pictures of both of them as babies...and both of them now in a few days. But, first I wanted to show you some of the pictures from our party last night! They had a blast! Jake picked a Star Wars party...and on his invitations he told everyone to bring their nerf guns because they were going to have "Star fights"! What fun! Even Jeff got into it...Tini and Matt came too and Matt was very into it. Then when the dad's showed up to pick everyone up...THE DADS got into it! I asked one dad, 'Don't you have somewhere else you are supposed to be?' (I know him well enough), and he said, "No one told us we were going to have Star Wars Nerf battles!" The house got REALLY loud once the dad's showed up! We got Jake a Bazooka Nerf gun for his birthday and that puppy is AWESOME! Even I fought over it! It is very cool and makes a very cool POOF sound! Hard to explain! Anyway....daddy got into it and walked around the house as "Iron Man"...he even sang the "Iron Man" song!

Here is Jake getting his Bazooka....

Here is Jake's Star Wars cake. I made the cake...Jeff decorated it.

Here is Baby Storm Trooper...or Clone Trooper...I will be honest, I have no idea....and little miss whatever Trooper!

They played Nerf Wars in the house...mostly in the dark. We stayed in the living room with Major where it was safe...but once in awhile it would come to us...here is Darth Vader invading our quiet space with Tini looking on....Here is Major getting ready to shoot MaKenna with the help of Matt...but look at Major's face. He is actually looking at Daddy Darth Vader...it kinda spooked him!There's Jake with his Bazooka. Cousin Kayla is in the picture too. Off they go!!!We really all had a great time!!! We need to have more interactive parties like that in the future!! Like I said, even the adults got into it! Some day I'll have to get a babysitter and invite a bunch of adults over and play nerf wars!!! What fun!!! I am a big kid at heart!!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oh yea, Happy Valentine's Day!

Hockey Day!

Well...today was jam packed full of fun hockey! This morning Jake's Mite Select team was in a Spring Joust Tournament at Tranquility Ice Plex. They won that first game!! 2 to 1! Yeah!! Jake is the one in black almost straight ahead in the pictures....Sorry, they seem to almost all be blurry. I needed to change my camera setting to "spots". Oops!
Once that game was done we had to run over to Benson for the other games. We hit Burger King on our way though...the lunch of champions! :-) Once we got to Benson Ice Rink, we ate and it was time to suit up for Cam and Jake. The Squirts (Cam's team) was playing Omaha. But...that got cancelled at the last minute...so it was just going to be a practice. :-( Oh well...another day of practice won't hurt them. Jake was going to practice with them, since it wasn't his team...but with Jeff as their coach, they don't always have a choice! :-) The rest of the Select team was playing more games at Tranquility throughout the day. Jake was gracefully "let go" for the rest of the games today because his hustle wasn't with him...he must have left it at home. Poor Jake. Oh...did I tell ya'all that Jake got glasses? He actually doesn't mind wearing them...thanks to "aunt" tini, he says he is in the "cool kids club" now! In fact, he passed Pastor Tim Wiebe in the hall at church on Thursday and said, "Hey...you're in the cool kids club too!" Pastor Tim wasn't sure what to say, but he said, "YEP!"

At the Benson rink, Major decided it was time to pick up some hockey tips....

It got to be too long in the ice rinks for the little dudes...so Jeff found a ride with a fellow hockey coach, and he and the boys stayed at the rink while I took Major and Kenna home. They were beat on the drive home...too much fun at the rinks and too cold....once they got in that nice, quiet, warm truck....it was a quiet drive home.....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day...waste of money...or not?

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Ugh. Such a special day...but what makes it so special? Honestly we need to show those we love that we love them more than just one day a year. Jeff and I were planning on going to dinner tomorrow night...but everytime I bring it up to some one they say, "Oh...a date on Valentine's Day...how sweet." What??? We date on more days than just Valentine's Day...what makes Valentine's Day so special? I mean...Hallmark and florist are the people who are really making an enormous profit...that is why it is pushed so much to the public, so THEY make money....but shouldn't we be this "sweet" every day of the year? Shouldn't we hug and love on those we love every day? I don't know how I feel about Valentine's Day anymore. I told Jeff not to get me anything...number one...we can't afford it...number two...why pad the pockets of hallmark, or restaurants or florists when we know we love eachother. You know what I mean?? Is this coming out the right way? If there is one thing I learned from my mom...which I hope I learned a lot more than just one thing...it is that holidays are JUST that....DAYS. Some people get their panties in a bunch if you miss an important holiday with them....for example Valentine's Day...but it is JUST A DAY. You can celebrate Valentine's Day ANY time of the year. When Jeff and I were just married we lived in Oregon. We would travel to AZ for Christmas, and then from AZ we would go to NE and from NE we would head back to Oregon. That year we didn't make it to NE until AFTER Christmas, but nobody in my family cared, because Christmas is JUST A DAY. You can celebrate Christmas ANYTIME. And we did...and we still had a great time. Many times we have been some where else at Christmas time or Thanksgiving and we have celebrated with my family at another time...nothing was different, it was the same. It is what you make of it, not the day it falls on. Okay...I will get off of my soapbox now. Maybe I am just getting old...but I am tired of wasting money on all of these holidays that are only put in place so other's can make money....make sense??? Ugh...I need to go to bed, I think I am tired.....What do you guys think? Waste of money, or not???

Snowy Day

Luckily we already were out of school yesterday and today...and Monday too, for Parent Teacher Conferences. If we HADN'T been out of school today though...we WOULD have been. Everything was closing down early, or were closed all together. We got about 7 inches of snow in a few short hours! TONS of FUN, FLUFFY stuff!!! We all had SUCH a blast today! Actually the last few days have been a lot more fun in the Filleman househole. We are starting to get things back to that "new" norm. Every night this week I have played a game with all or at least one of the kids. We have had a great time with no tv and just some mommy and whoever is home time. In fact...earlier this week we were in the 60's and it was WONDERFUL!!! MaKenna and Major and I played outside while the boys were at school! Major LOVED it!! He has never been outside and able to walk before! I just let him roam around the back yard. Yes...it was VERY muddy, but mud can be washed off, so I just let both of them do whatever they wanted. I collected a bunch of fallen tree limbs to use as additional firewood because I KNEW this cold spell was coming this weekend. We had a blast playing outside though. We went and picked up the boys everyday this week by walking. It was so nice to get out again! Then, Thursday, the boys were out of school so we went for about a 3 mile hike around the neighborhood. Well...I hiked, Major strolled and the other three rode their bikes. It was fun though, and great exercise as I had to run from time to time to catch up with them all!
Then...Friday morning. Jeff had already taken Friday off because he has Monday off (President's Day), and he likes to take the same days off that the boys have off so he can play with them, etc. So, we all slept in and woke up to LOTS of snow! And it was STILL coming down very heavy! I had to run some quick errands, so I did that before the roads got too bad...then got home by lunch time. After lunch we all decided to go play! It was snowing very heavily, but it wasn't all that cold out. So, we bundled everyone up and out we went!

By this time we had about 5 inches of snow. Jeff decided to do his favorite thing...snow blow. And Jake has always likes to help shovel.

MaKenna likes to do snow angels and throw snow up in the air...even when it is actively snowing....hmmm....

And Major just takes it all in. Now...I did pull Major and MaKenna around in the sled though. They really enjoyed that...for awhile. I put MaKenna in and she held onto Major. I cut some of the snow with the sled so it would make a good pathway, and off we went! Great exercise! I ran down my beaten path and they were laughing and giggling and having a great time...until....the sled got noticibly lighter and my neighbor was yelling, "Baby over board!" WOOPS!!! Yes that is right....I have no picture, but you can imagine all you want. MaKenna shifted her weight and the sled tilted to the side a bit, causing baby Major to fall out...on his face. When I turned around all I could see was the back of his suit surrounded by snow and his suited legs and arms flapping. Poor baby!!!!!!! Needless to say...he was done after that. :-0 The picture below is Jake pulling MaKenna....the picture might help with your imagination.

BAD MOMMY!!! But, he had fun for awhile at least!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I have been struggling a bit with the whole prayer thing. I finally had a little while this evening once everyone went to bed to do some online reading...some bible reading, etc. Can I vent? I hope you said yes, because this is my blog and I am venting whether you like it or not! :-)
I have prayed since the beginning of my mom's illness to "take this cup away from her". I KNEW that Got could perform miracles, and I just KNEW that he would bless us with one in healing my mom. I held out hope for a miracle until her dying breath. My prayer was not answered. I realize that prayers are not always answered, or at least not answered in the way that we would like them to be. Sometimes, looking back on some things, I am thankful to God for not answering certain prayers...but this prayer....this prayer I NEEDED him to answer. Alas, it isn't my will, but His will. His will did not include my mother living past the age of 62 years.

I read the following from Focus on the Family today. I wondered...why He didn't answer my prayer. I prayed boldy, often and in faith....

Are you waiting for an answer?

It's easy to think that God's not listening--especially when you've been praying that "one special request" for longer than you can remember.Don't be discouraged! Here's what He says about prayer...

1. Pray boldy. God wants us to approach Him with confidence! (Hebrews 4:16)
2. Pray often. God desires a relationship with us. (1 Thessalonians. 5:17)
3. Pray in faith. He is able and willing. (Mark 11:24-26)

...so why didn't He answer my prayer? This is the response I have come up with after researching a bit.

Mom had taught all of us that her eternal relationship with God was above and beyond anything that this life could offer. We had all prayed for Mom to live, and God answered with a wondrous “YES!” (John 11:25). Mom is living...just not in the way we wanted her to. Sometimes, God just answers, “No” to our prayers. Any delay or unexpected outcome really shouldn't discourage us. We have to ask ourselves...what is God's purpuse through our prayers...what does He want to complete in us through prayer?

God wants us to bring our every need to Him as He answers (yes or no) according to His will. God will never say yes that is contrary to His will. I'll be the first to agree that receiving a “Yes” makes us happy. But God never promised us happiness. Happiness is based solely on circumstances. God wants us to have everlasting joy -- even when He responds, “No, it will be done in My time, not yours.” Don't forget, in Luke 22:41-44, Jesus really struggled with the events leading up to His death. In fervent prayer, His greatest desire was to allow God’s will, not His suffering and pain (Hebrews 12:2).

When we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), God will always respond, and every answer will bring joy, just not always the joy we had in mind. I have to remember though, that mom is in an incredible place. Our little minds can't even wrap around what heaven is like. She has won. She is with our Father, and she will be there with open arms when it is our time.

I think I feel better now...thanks for letting me vent.....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The last few CarePages Posts

Hi all! I know I haven't written in awhile...things will start getting back to normal soon...I hope. Everyone went back to work this past Wednesday, so now I am just trying to get caught up on my housework, pre-school and e-mails. The following entries are from the CarePages. They were posts that I made on that for the last few days. Thought you might like to know what we have been up to.

Posted 2 days ago
Ugh...I was hoping that I would just skip this day...but the alarm clock went off and I knew that I had to follow through. It was not easy, but we all managed. We were and are so physically exhausted though. Will we ever feel rested again? I am told we will...but, it seems like it is so far off in the future. I got up, got all of the kids dressed...the husband too. It was awfully early for him! :-) Fed everyone and got ready for a very busy and emotionally demanding day. My 10 year old who was VERY close to nana, locked himself in the bathroom in tears because he SAID he didn't feel well. I thought it was just nerves...he did throw up in the middle of the night Monday night though...so maybe he had the flu after all. *Woops*. We met dad and Rhonda at Mom and Dad's house. We picked up the programs, and the pictures for the table...and a barf bag for Kayla...I guess she had been throwing up Sunday night. It's just going to go through the whole family. Just FYI...she did fine all day...no need for the barf bag...whew. Anyway, we got to the church around 9 and we set up the tables with the programs, the registry book, and the flowers and plants that KEPT coming in. One florist after another just kept bringing them in. We were afraid there wouldn't be many! There were flowers and plants EVERYWHERE! Mom was definitely a very loved woman. Was there ever any doubt though? :-) Around 9:30, the mortuary brought mom in. So strange to see this box that my mom was in. We put her up on stage amidst all the beautiful flowers and placed her picture on top.
We took pictures around her with dad and Rhonda and I...and then one with all of the grandbabies. The church was really decorated nicely too...Rob (our worship pastor) had beautiful piano music playing quietly as people walked in. People started coming around 10. It was so nice to see everyone. The family went into the choir room about 10:15 and prayed with Pastor Tim. At 10:30, we all filed out into the first 3 rows of the church. We needed them all. The service was excellent. Mandi Hofer sang mom's all time favorite song, How Great Thou Art, and Julia Anderson accompanied her and sang harmony. The last two verses the congregation (at least those who could) sang along. I was crying too hard to get the words out...but my spirit was singing. As soon as the song was done, I relaxed a bit...until I saw my husbands shoulders start to shake out of the corner of my eye! BOOGER! I knew not to look at him! Once I saw his shoulders stop shaking and saw him dab at his eyes, I thought it was safe to offer him a smile, at least one that I could muster out. The kids all did very well. As soon as we walked to our seats, Jeff handed Major off to Deana Ramsey. I heard him fuss a few times back there, but by the time we left the sanctuary, he was sleeping in her arms. The rest of the service was wonderful as well. Tim did a great job. Then Rob sang Amazing Grace, (My Chains are Gond), with Julia accompaining and harmonizing. They did spectacular as well. Then Uncle Ron (mom's big bro) read a poem that Rhonda and I wrote for mom:

-The meaning of Suzanne
-By the Stutzman Sisters
Our mom was too young, just 62 years,
When she left us for heaven amidst all our tears.
Never a moment wasted, creating memories each day,
She loved life to the fullest, never forgetting to pray.
As a young girl she was feisty and more,
She threw her brother Dick out the screen door.
In high school she was all the boys’ dream,
Finishing school as Milford Centennial Queen.

A farm boy was the love of her life,
In October of ’64 she became his wife.
Over the next several years two daughters did come,
Mom sure did know how to show us some fun.

The mountains, camping, boating, skiing and bikes,
The beach, river rafting, Walt Disney and other sites.
She kept us real busy, traveling all around,
She loved being with her family, safe and sound.

Minnesota was a favorite vacation spot,
Relaxing on the boat, where many fish were caught.
She loved to listen to the sound of the loons,
Serenading her with their lullaby tunes.
Her passion for shopping grew every year,
With each grandchild she shopped even more, OH DEAR!
Sleep overs at Nana and Papas was such a delight,
The kids begged for more each and every night!

Taking the grandkids on trips and vacations galore,
Waterparks, amusement parks, Disneyworld and more.
Of course driving with mom we could sure learn,
She got everywhere making no left hand turns.

Nothing was more important than Faith, family and friends,
She loved them with a passion to the very end.
She had a heart that was as pure as gold,
Her courage and strength could be seen untold.

Our Momma, their Nana, his Wife, our Best Friend,
We love her, we miss her, will our hearts ever mend?
In Heaven wrapped in Gods arms you’ll always be,
We look forward to seeing you someday in eternity.

Then that went directly into a slide show that Rhonda and I made as well...with her husband Mike's help, we were able to get it set up for the church to play on a DVD. It was an awesome slide show. It made many a tear shed. I don't know that there was a dry eye in the house. Once I figure out how to get the slide show on here...I will post that too. Pictures first though...then I will get to the slide show! One thing at a time for my little brain! :-) Then they ushered us out to the luncheon. After getting the kids settled, Rhonda and I stood out in the hallway greeting everyone. Dad had stayed in the church doing that very thing also...we stood outside the luncheon. A lot of tears were shed in that hallway too. The luncheon was marvelous too. Thank you to all of you who made the luncheon, the service, the EVERYTHING happen. Our friend Christine Fukumoto even skipped Med School to come to the funeral...and we put her to work with all 7 of our kids at the luncheon! THANKS TINI!!!! Thanks to all of you who came. Mom said no one would come to her funeral, but I think we all proved her very wrong. There were about 150 at the church...and in Milford we figured about 100. Anyway, after the luncheon we cleaned up the church a bit and put mom in dad's van for one final ride with him...this time she couldn't throw her hand against the dashboard though when he was going to fast. We got to the cemetary around 2:15. The service was starting at 3. We set mom up and some of the flowers that we brought down around her. They had a nice tent up with chairs for the immediate family. IT WAS COLD...but it could have been worse. They actually said it would be worse...so the Lord blessed us there. The service started with Cloy Stutzman singing The Old Rugged Cross, and Tim gave his message. Then Cloy sang I'll Fly Away while Dad placed a single red rose in front of the urn, then each of the grandkids put a single yellow rose in front of the urn one at a time (Major had to have help from daddy), then each son in law put a single white rose in front of the urn one at a time, then Rhonda and I put a single pink rose in front of the urn one at a time. It was a very touching ceremony. People then gathered near and far to give "lovin" to dad, Rhonda and I. Soon people started leaving for the meal at the Methodist church and dad, Rhonda and I were left gazing at the urn. We each gave a kiss to the urn, and told mom we would be back after the meal. We headed to the church and set up the pictures. Oh...I forgot to tell you, at Brookside, we had a table up with all sorts of pictures new and old of mom and all of us and the grandkids. It was a lot of fun for people to look at. So, we set the same pictures up at the Methodist church where the meal was, and we brought down our tv to play the slide show for them to see as well. A lot of the people in Milford didn't come to Omaha and had not seen it, so it gave them a chance to see it. The meal was spectacular again. Thank you go all of you who put that together also! We were well fed that day...and actually we have been well fed since mom went to Hospice, THANK YOU to ALL OF YOU! Rhond and I left around 5:30ish to go see mom one last time. They had taken the chairs down and the tent and all that was left was the pile of dirt with the sprays laying on top. Mom and dad ordered a head stone some months ago...but it is not ready yet. I took some pictures again...I'll post those tomorrow too...and said our goodbyes. We left the kids in the car...it was cold and muddy. Just Rhonda, Mike, Jeff and I stood there saying goodbye. It was a touching moment. We got in the truck, and off we went. I slept off and I on the ride home...I think everyone did...except Jeff...and when we got home, I was so exhausted that I kept falling asleep on the couch, so I just went to bed. I woke up this morning feeling like I had just ran a marathon. Amazing what emotional grief can physically do to a body. I will write more tomorrow and post those pictures...but right now...since life is back to somewhat normal tomorrow (everyone has to go back to work and school), I have to go to bed. Thanks again for everything that all of you have done, whether it be in your words, a card you sent, flowers, food, plants, memorials, thoughts and prayers. Whatever you have done...we are forever grateful to you. Words couldn't possibly express our gratitude. Until tomorrow...

Posted 24 hours ago
Tuesday was the last day that everyone had off of work...so Rhonda and I worked hard on getting the Funeral book written in, organizing the flowers and plants, giving them to people who helped us out a bunch, writing out thank you cards, etc. We only got about a quarter of the way done with thank you cards though! Thanks to all of you who sent cards...it meant a lot to us to read them and know that your thoughts and prayers were and are with us. I HONESTLY don't feel like ANY of us would have pulled through as well as we did if it weren't for all of your thoughts and prayers. In hindsight, we all did fairly well emotionally and physically...and it is ONLY because of you all. I am told though that the weeks to come will be very difficult, especially for my dad trying to figure things out and being alone in the house, etc. Thanks for all of you who sent Memorial donatins to the Cancer Center. We raised quite a large sum in moms name. THANK YOU! One of my missions now is to stamp out Breast Cancer. Won't you join me?? I am planning on keeping this care pages active as long as the memory of my mother is still alive...which to me, will be forever. I won't update it as often...obviously...but when something comes up for Breast Cancer Awareness...I will let you know...or...I will just journal my thoughts when I or we have bad days and miss mom tremendously. I am posting a bunch of photos from the services. Rhonda and dad and I are also going to get together this weekend to finish off the thank you cards, etc. Words truly can't tell you all enough, how grateful we all are for your outpouring of love and kindness to us. Oh...and the slide show...as soon as we figure out how to get it on Carepages...I will certainly do that! I am still curious...any great, funny, controversial (ha) stories about mom??? DO SHARE!!!

Wednesday/Thursday...and story...
Posted 6 minutes ago
Wednesday was Jeff's birthday...with everything going on in such a whirlwind the last few weeks, it was an easy day to forget...but I did my best to make it special for him. I ran into Dad and Duane at Cabella's doing the same thing I was doing...shopping for Jeff. We had a nice birthday celebration at our house Wednesday night. Thursday was dad's first day/night alone. The last of our family, Duane, Ivan and Vicki, left around 8am. I can't say for sure how he is doing since I am not there with him...but everytime I called him (he will have to get used to it, I used to talk to mom 6 times a day!), he was doing fine. Just keeping busy! He was doing paperwork today...he had already stripped all the beds and changed them, laundered them and folded them...he was busy, busy, busy. Gee...imagine that. Tomorrow his plan is to clean the house. He told me he actually kinda like domestic work! Too bad it took him 62 years to learn that! Now...if I could just get Jeff to like domestic work as well! :-) Anyway, I did need some help from dad tonight...so I broke up his evening a bit for him. Yesterday my truck...kinda overheated...the transmission had a problem. So...dad had brought me mom's van to drive until we got my truck fixed. Well...it just needed Trainy fluid, so it was a quick fix...so Jeff says...I hope he is right. Anyway, I took the van back this evening with Major. Everyone else was at hockey and/or figure skating. We picked him up...I dropped off some food that people have been bringing me from church...thanks again...and we went to KMart where I went to get dog food and he entertained Major in the back seat. Then I ran to the post office while he entertained again, then home. Then, he drove the van back to his house. So...I gave him about an hour of things to do! I didn't ask him how he is doing...but he seems fine. Rhonda and I will go over Saturday to finish thank you cards and spend some time with him.
Okay...the story that I had mentioned in an earlier post that I wasn't sure was appropriate yet? I think I can mention it now. My friends at church who know the story think that it is fine and that some if not all of you SHOULD get a kick out of it. You have to consider my sense of humor...and my mom's too. She would also think this was funny. So...you know how my mom was ALWAYS so hot? She ALWAYS had the house cold, she ALWAYS had a fan on, even in below zero temperature...even at the hospital the last few weeks, it was FREEZING and she had to have her fan on. At the house the last few days of her life dad had to cover the vent so warm air wouldn't go into her room, he had a fan in there for her and she rarely had more than a sheet covering her. Even up to and after her death, her feet (which we were told would get cold), were still nice and toasty warm. Well...we went to the mortuary Wednesday, the day after her death...and they told us they would be cremating her that evening. Dad was watching the news that night and THAT VERY mortuary was on the news because their crematorium overheated. At first we were all very disgusted and heart broken thinking that anything could have happened to mom. We know she isn't really there...but...well...you know. So the next day dad drove down there...he just wanted to know. They said everything was fine, it was just some sort of bucket of oil...yada, yada, yada. So...Friday we went to the church to copy all of the programs for her services. The copier REALLY was stinking up the place. Everyone kept coming in saying what is burning because it was a VERY hot smell...like it was overheating. Hmmm...I started seeing a common denominator. Was mom sending me a message? Was she being her honery self??? It would be just like mom. For those of you who don't know her very well...she could be pretty honery! The day of the funeral it was supposed to be a mere 20 degrees. In fact, it was 40+. Hmmm...mom's body heat was working over time again! So...as if that wasn't enough...my truck, the same truck that she has always hated...had an transmission, overheating problem. I just thought that was all too coincidental. Of course, maybe now I am looking for things...but whatever the case may be, I enjoy thinking that mom is doing these things...it makes me feel like she is still with us being honery as ever! If you find these storied inappropriate, I am sorry...like I said, it gives me comfort thinking that she is right by my side.
MaKenna keeps praying for Nana to get better. Poor thing...she just doesn't fully get it. Tonight she said during her prayer, "God, I miss Nana, please make her feel better and not be sick anymore." Little does she know, Nana does feel better and she is not sick anymore...but I think she thinks Nana will be coming back. It is hard explaining it to a 4 year old. All I said was that was a nice prayer, thank you. I didn't know what else to say.
Blessings....talk to you Saturday...I'll let you know how the thank you cards went...and maybe I can get the slide show on then!