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An odd good twist to Chandler's story

Last Friday night while our grandson Chandler was getting his 
eagle and standing next to his best friend John.....
Neither of them had a clue that just 4 days later they would find out 
that John's mission call is the same as Chandler's! 
They are both going to the South Carolina Columbia mission.

The very next morning after John's mission call opening, 
Chandler left for his mission (John joins him in November)
Logan, Amy, Chandler, Macie, Laurynn, and Austin bright and very early yesterday morning.

But wait, there's more!
Our granddaughter Jessica left for her mission too...
yesterday, the very same day as Chandler!

Her Dad saying goodbye to his baby girl.

So Chandler and Jessica are both at the Missionary Training Center 
together, arriving the same day!
I'm sure they will hook up and have a picture taken together.

Had to show these pictures of Jessica and Chandler from 2008....
Jess is #2 from the left, Chandler is #6 
Emily, Jessica, Elora, Kylie, Laurynn, Chandler, Katelyn, Macie

Chandler doing the jump, 
and Jess trying not to miss him while recovering from hers.

And one of their several EFY (Especially For Youth) adventures together.
Jessica, Kylie, Chandler, Austin

Oh the sweetness and surprises of this life.

Hard to find words

Isaac's mom had one of her visiting teachers read her words from the pulpit yesterday.

"Perhaps there's a chance, that had I done this, or hadn't done that, 
he may still be here to hold. So many if onlys..."

And then she went on to quote parts of this hymn, 
which had never quite registered in my head like this before:

"God moves in a mysterious way 
His wonders to perform,
He plants his footsteps in the sea 
And rides upon the storm.

Ye fearful Saints, fresh courage take; 
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head..."

Afterwards, Terry Freeman, from the stake presidency spoke.
He is not one to share personal things, but he did yesterday.

He said it was 26 years ago this week that his 3 month old, Casey Jay, suddenly passed away.
I still remember the shock and utter sadness I felt for this family 
when I first heard about it the day it happened all those years ago.

He acknowledged the profound grief, but he also said, this has in time blessed their family.
He said Casey has been their guardian angel all of these years.
And they have strived as a family to be worthy to raise him again someday.

I hope that gave some comfort to Isaac's parents and his 4 older brothers.  

Oh... the baby shower.....

A night of mixed emotions.

Such a happy event though....a new baby about ready to venture in 
this world in just a week or 2 or 3.

Our grandson Austin and his wife Brooke about to have a baby.

Brooke's mom, Kim, barely got off the plane from Ohio 
in time for the baby shower. 
This was the first time she got to see her daughter pregnant. 

They both worked very hard getting ready for everything. 
And Amy too. Oh my goodness Amy too. 
Not even sure I got any pictures of her. 
She was all over the place all evening, running the show.

Good to have the sisters together, Téa, Laurynn, Macie, and Kylie 
plus their new sister Brooke.

Lots attended!

Beautiful food
Katie, Robin, Heidi

Cooperative guests

Drawing babies on their heads

Austin, the Dad to be, was not planning to come until the very end.
But when he heard that his dearly loved Nana was going to be 
there, he came and sat with his arm around her most of the evening. 

Amy as so happy to be with her as well.

The Dad to be, along with the soon to be uncles, 
Chandler and Jonas.

Hard to believe Kylie has been married a whole year now!

Such great friends came to celebrate.

Still through all the wonderful celebration for such a happy event, I could tell something was wrong. 
But I didn't know what. 

I just kept seeing a few women at a time disappear into the bedrooms. 
They would be gone for awhile, then come back to the party. 
Then some time would go by and there would be a few more slip away for awhile. 
I could see pain on their faces. 

I could have asked someone but I didn't. I think I was afraid to know. 
And someone would tell me soon enough. 

Then my sister told me. A baby from their ward, and one I know too, 
died from a drowning a few hours earlier. 17 months old. 

These women were grieving. Most of them are young moms. So this hit them way close to home. 
They were also plotting and planning on how they can help this family. 
That's what good women do. 

About 8:45 many started to say their goodbyes and leave. About 10:15,  we were about ready to go to 
bed, when I heard some talking coming from one of our bedrooms. We hadn't realized we still had 
some guests here. But they needed to talk to each other.

On the very day that some are celebrating and happy, others are sad and grieving. 
And last night some were doing both at the same time. 

I went to bed thinking of the suffering. Thinking of all the pain and incredible sadness of the family 
having their baby gone. Thinking of all the good women here last night who have it in their 
hearts to help. I also went to bed thinking of this hymn that I've loved for years.

"....The errand of angels is given to women. 
And this is a gift as sisters we claim.
To do whatsoever is gentle and human
To cheer and to bless in humanity's name...."

The joys and the sorrows.
And sometimes they come together. 

Where would we all be without each other. 

Wonders from this past week #5

I'm still learning my way around this house.
For example.....

1. The first day we moved in 2 weeks ago, I turned this stove on and I could smell my Grandma 
Lella! She had a little gas stove in her tiny mobile home back in the 1960s-70s. 

They say our sense of smell is our strongest and longest memory. 

But gas is different than electric. Low is never low enough so food cooked very long, burns.

I've learned through google that I needed to buy one of these and it helps so much. 
Now I am back to making pilaf.

2. These OXO toilet bowl brushes are the best ones ever. 

 I just pop the brush right out of the container, and it pops right back in place.
 I don't ever have to touch the container at all. So clean, and easy to use
(and there are hole vents on the bottom so water does not collect in the container like the last ones I had)

I never wanted 3 bathrooms to clean, but these make it easier.

3. And just in case you are dealing with wasps...
From the house we just moved out of.....
See that odd shaped thing in the upper left hand corner of this picture?
I wrote an email to the new owners last week telling them what that is.

It's a fake wasp nest so the other wasps will go away, and it works!
(apparently wasps don't like to share territory) 

4. Our bookclub host last night needed to go to Vegas to help with her new grand baby,
so we met at my house. And I took this picture for her.

No one read the book, again, but we have the best time just talking for 2 hours. 
My sister Peggy is sitting next me, and my sister Robin (in white) was our surprise visitor!

How rude I am sitting there with my phone. 
But I just never know when more grand pictures will be sent and I don't want miss out.

Like this one that came during our discussion....
He's probably the tallest in his class, but he only turned 5 a few weeks ago!
Already hitting the big world out there. 

5. During book club I announced that Peggy has a new grandson
 and one of the ladies said in a surprised voice, 
"You're a Grandma Peggy??!"

She was even more surprised when we said it was her NINTH grandchild!

Baby Rockwell Dean with her son in law Brian.
I must add that Rockwell is 9 lbs, 6 oz!

That's it for now.
Actually it's not, but I need to go to bed.

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