My Family

"Life will knock you down. You can choose to stand up again."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Goodbye, Gram

Sunday night was Gram's viewing. None of our kids had ever been to a viewing before. We told them that they didn't need to touch her, or even look at her if they didn't want to. We were about two hours early so that we could make sure everything was just right. Each of the kids walked right up there and talked to her! Jackson immediately broke down sobbing and went to sit down. Kaydon never left her side. It was very sweet. He was adjusting her blouse, fixing her hair, puffing her pillow and fixing the lining in the casket throughout the whole viewing. Every time someone walked up to the casket, he stepped up right in front of them and just put his hand on her. He was extremely protective. Josh finally had to tell him that it was okay to go sit down. It was very sweet to watch the kids with her. It was a long, long night and the kids did great. Right before we left, Kaydon walked up and said, "Well, see ya Gram's body!" He was spot on. It was just a shell. Grandma wasn't in there anymore. Til we meet again Sweet Gram.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Santa Claus

Josh's dad (Papa) was Santa Claus at Home Depot this year. SO cute! We just had to go pay him a visit.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christensen Family Day of Service

I woke up Saturday morning feeling strongly that we needed to do a morning of service. We don't have much, but we have sufficient for our needs and we are constantly blessed with the ability to pay our rent, our utilities, make sure our children have shoes and coats, and that we have food on the table because we pay a full tithe. I asked Josh about doing a morning of service and he was behind it, so we told the children to get ready. They were NOT excited. Therefore, I had a little "coming to Mama talk." I explained that their grandparents are taking them on a freaking cruise for crying out loud... the least we could do was serve. Hugs! We started at Walmart. We bought five $25 gift cards, one for each child. Then, the children went on their way and gave them to someone who they felt guided to. Jackson came back 15 minutes later with his card still in his hand. He said that he just didn't feel right about anyone yet. Then, an elderly couple walked in the front doors. I watched as my 15 year old son walked toward them. With one hand, he showed them the gift card and with the other, he rested it on the shoulder of the woman. He said to them, "My family is doing a service project this morning. We want to give you this and we want you to have a merry Christmas." The man was not fond of the idea. In fact, he kept telling Jackson to give it to someone more in need. Jackson explained that he couldn't do that because he knew he needed to give it to them. The sweet old lady took it and cried. Jackson cried too. I was a standing in a puddle of my own tears.
Next, we went through the drive-up at McDonalds. Don't judge! There isn't much out where we live! We ordered drinks, then told them we were paying for the car behind us. Wouldn't you know it... the car behind us ordered two drinks for a total of $2! However, as our kiddos watched out the back window, they noticed that she then paid for the car behind her, and that car paid for the car behind them. Service is contagious! People were blessed that day, but not as much as our family. After McDonalds, we went home and I made neighbor gifts, after which Brooklyn ran up and down driveways to deliver. She slept sooo good!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Grandma's Obituary

December 24, 1925 ~ December 9, 2014 Lorraine S. Pettingill, peacefully passed away at her home Tuesday, December 9, 2014. She was born December 24, 1925, in Moorhead, MN the oldest daughter of William and Nellie Olson Loe. The family moved to Layton, Utah in December 1942. She married Lee Thomson, June 1, 1944. They were parents to three children. Later divorced. Lorraine was active in the Bountiful Sweet Adeline's and enjoyed traveling to competitions. She loved cruises, Christmas and shopping. She worked at Hill AFB until transferring to Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM in 1976. She was secretary to the Commander of the 1550th Aircrew Training and Test Wing and received special recognition for arranging official functions. She retired from Kirtland in 1988 and returned to Utah. She married Rex Pettingill May 30, 1995. He died July 2, 2011. She was a member of the Lutheran Church. She is survived by her daughters, Linda (Larry) Darley, LeAnne Christensen (Lance Boyle), siblings, Marlys Loe, William E. (JoAnn) Loe, ten grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews. She loved her family. Preceded in death by her husband, parents, son Larry, sister Lois Iverson, brother Donald Loe and granddaughter Justina Watkins. Graveside services will be held Monday, December 15, 2014 at 2 p.m. at Kaysville City Cemetery, 500 E. Crestwood Road. Friends may visit family Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lindquist's Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Road. Special thanks to Summit Hospice caregivers, Brenda and Courtney and Senior Companion, Jan for their loving care.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Haircuts and Baby

Last night was hair cut night for the boys. Off to Miss Martha's house we went. Miss Martha's real name is Heidi, however she is perfect in every way so I call her Martha. Because I can. Miss Martha had a baby one month ago. Her name is Brooklyn Heidi. She is perfection. Literally perfection. Kaydon wrote a paper about her at school. So sweet. Last night, Kaydon begged to hold her and loved on her, ever though he kept calling her "it." Whatever. Jackson would rub her little cheeks, but he was terrified to hold her. Terrified. Jackson is terrified of everything. Finally, I got her to hold her and feed her so that I could write Martha a check. He was SO sweet with her. He even got her to burp six times. They talked about her for the rest of the night.
Oh, and the three boys begged Miss Martha to dye their hair. They are little divas!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


I LOVE my Utah. It is the most beautiful place. However, I do NOT love the snow. I don't like driving in it, mostly. It's pretty and calming and fun to play in... I just HATE driving in it. It has been unbelievably amazing around here. The weather here has been in the 50s and 60s, with sunshine. It hasn't even been hazy yet! We have had our windows open at home and I've been eating lunch outside in the sunshine. It does my body and my mind good!!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Tender Moments

Last Thursday, Josh received a call from his aunt. Josh's grandma was not well. He called me to relay the message and I got in the car and drove right over. Little Gram has a special place in my heart. She is feisty and sassy and funny. And, she loves me. :) I walked into her room. She was completely incoherent 98% of the time. She looks nothing like Gram any longer. Her spirit is in and out of her old and tattered body. It's mostly a shell at this point. I held her hand, laid by her, stroked her forehead and ran my fingers through her hair. I cried a little, too. I remember taking care of my Grandma Robb and my Grandpa Robb. I did much the same with them. They are so close to me every single day. I miss them terribly, but the closeness that I feel to them everyday reminds me that this earth life isn't the end at all. Gram Thomson is not a member of the church, nor is that entire side of the family. I talked to her a little bit about that as I sat with her. At one point, I told her I loved her. She opened her eyes slightly and mouthed that she loved me too. I cried a little more. When Josh showed up, she woke just a little bit, smiled, and mouthed that she loved him. I was so thankful for that. I hope that Gram goes quickly, and smoothly with no pain or anxiety. I also hope that she knows how loved she is.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Frozen Party

Brooklyn's birthday is this coming Saturday. She will be six years old on the sixth. Kind of cool! She wanted a Frozen-themed birthday. So, after Thanksgiving was all cleaned up, I began to prepare her dessert bar. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I prepared. I baked like a crazy person! I made everything myself, except the powdered donuts and wrapped candy. I served: white cupcakes, dyed blue, with white frosting and homemade white chocolate candy pieces; three-layer rice krispy treats; marshmallow pops, dipped in white chocolate and blue sixlets; sugar cookies iced with blue icing and topped with white sixlets; homemade caramel corn, drizzled with white chocolate, powdered donuts, and chocolate candies. I think it's safe to say everyone was sugared up for a while! Josh helped me ice the cookies and frost the cupcakes. Kaydon helped me dip the marshmallows. Everyone else helped to eat everything. Papa & Grandma, Papa & Steph, Nichole, Matt & Jen, Kara & Jess, Brandon & Carrie all came. Brooklyn was spoiled, which is the story of our lives. I am exhausted, but so thankful that I was able to pull this off for her.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christensen Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving was at our house this year, with our little family of seven. And, I made it all myself. This was both terrifying and exciting for me. I roasted a turkey, which I stuffed with homemade stuffing. I made a ham. I made real mashed potatoes. I made cranberries. I made homemade rolls. We also had pumpkin pie, banana cream pie, and homemade cherry cream pie. Josh added in the canned cheese and chips... whatever! And, we had some raw vegetables. I pulled it off. I was so exhausted at the end of the day after cooking, baking, cleaning, and cleaning some more. This morning, as I type this, I am so grateful that I did this. I have had many years of watching my mother, my maternal grandmother, and my paternal grandmother cook, bake, clean, and serve. I am grateful for the lessons they have passed on to me. I am so thankful for the food that I had to feed my family. I am so thankful for the appliances I had to cook with. I am most thankful for my family of seven. Gosh, I love my family. My kids are amazing. Every single day. They are amazing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thanks and Cruisin'

Sunday night, we went to my parent's house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was very, very nummy! It was a pirate-themed Thanksgiving dinner because they announced that we are going on a family cruise in January! All of the adults already knew about it, because there has been lots of planning going on. Jackson also knew. But the rest of the kiddos found out on Sunday. It was so fun to watch their reaction and to hear them planning what their activities will be. Amanda is not allowing Brooklyn to go with us so tears and sobs were a part of the party. But Papa and Grandma promised to take Brooklyn on an amazing one-on-one before we go cruising. She loves Papa and Grandma! She wanted Papa to hold her and he got lots of cuddles out of him. I'm pretty sure he lives for that. I do too. So, off to the Bahamas and St. Marten we go in January!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup

Several years ago, when we were in our ward in West Jordan, a sweet, sweet lady brought us dinner every single Monday night... because she wanted to. My kids loved her. I loved her more. She was my solace, my safety, my calm in the storm. Every time I had surgery, she brought her homemade chicken noodle soup. It was like nothing I have ever had. It was perfect. It was amazing! I love to make homemade chicken noodle soup. My kids love to eat it. I do too. Last week, I was really sick. I asked my sweet friend, Martha (Heidi W.), to make me some of her homemade chicken noodle soup. She did and I haven't stopped eating it since. It is so yummy! There is something about chicken noodle soup that warms the body and the soul, at least mine. It seriously makes me feel loved. And, I love it right back!
This quote, which happens to be my very favorite, also makes me feel loved. And, I love it right back! I can always hear Elder Holland's voice saying it. It reminds me that this is such a small part of our immortality. We need not give up. We need not quit. We need not stop trying. There is always help and happiness ahead. Always.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Kiddos

Sunday was our ward's primary program. My kiddos (the ones in my class) were really nervous. They all wanted to sit right next to me, like half way on my lap. There are 9 of them! They are 8! They all did great! No one threw up or fell or wet their pants. I consider that success! I was extremely sick all week last week. Therefore, no lesson was planned. Therefore, they got to teach! I gave them chalk, erasers, crayons, paper, and my lesson manual. I told them the topic, which was, "Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy." They broke into two groups: boys and girls (duh!). They ROCKED it! I love the way 8 year olds think! Some of the "don'ts" included "Don't do drugs on Sundays," "Don't drink alcohol on Sundays," "Don't lie on Sundays," "Don't watch movies that have swearing in them on Sundays," "Don't play with friends on Sundays unless Mom says it's okay." They also came up with games to play and talked about what we SHOULD do on Sundays: "Go to church," "Listen," "Be nice," "Say a prayer," "Read." I love these kids. They seriously have it together! I often think how valiant and prepared these kids are for what is upon us now, and what is to come. They have a lot to teach us!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Carving

Saturday night, after Black Island Farms, I made dinner and Josh took the kids outside to the deck to carve pumpkins. The kids had a blast. I made hot chocolate for everyone and that's how we ended the night!