Saturday, April 26, 2014

Grandpa Dan's Funeral

When Dad passed, nothing was planned.  Thank heavens we had met with a funeral home 3 days earlier and could use them.  But, we spent the next week doing so much to get everything arranged: casket, flowers, plots, headstone, programs, video, table of pictures, new temple clothing, program, talks, flag box, etc. were just a few of the things Jason and I did.  Fortunately, I thought it turned out really well.  Thank you so much to my folks who kept our family running while Jason and I did so much for the funeral!  Obituary and Memorial page here.
Our main department (other than dealing with the funeral home) was pictures.  Linda asked me to do a tribute video and I wanted to do a table of photos from his life for the viewing and funeral.  I compiled over 500 pictures.  The video is over 14 minutes long and I had to do it to Beach Boys music - Dad's favorite.  You can download it here for a little while or view it anytime here.
Dave and Summer were wonderful and kept the little girls while Jason, Laura, and I were at the viewing on Thursday evening.  It was hard on us, let alone how it would've been for them.  I was really grateful that Laura got to deal with her emotions that day as she had to sing for the funeral the next day.

The funeral was held Friday.  Laura sang a beautiful rendition of Be Still My Soul with Hannah accompanying and made it through without crying.  This was the one and only thing Dan ever mentioned about his funeral - that he wanted Laura to sing.  I was so proud of her for doing so beautifully!
Jason spoke and gave the most wonderful talk.  He collected memories (he requested 2) of his dad from all the family and wove them into a great talk.  Our family's memories were as follows:  Eliza: 1- I remember that Grandpa loved me.  2- He liked to watch me dance.  Sara Rosie: 1- I liked that he always wanted to talk to me. 2- Grandpa read the best stories.  I liked to sit by him and he would read books out loud.  He had really good voices.  Laura: 1- I remember going to Disneyland with Grandpa when I was little.  After we rode a lot of rides, the ride I wanted to ride the most was Grandpa.  I loved it when he carried me! 2- I loved how much Grandpa supported me when I performed.  He was there for every recital and every play.  In fact, one of his last trips out of the house was to come see me perform.  That made me feel so special and loved.  Melinda: 1- Dad was always willing to talk Jazz Basketball with me.  One of the greatest compliments I received was when he told me that I could "Talk basketball like a man." and then clarified, "That's a compliment."  I loved getting a call whenever news broke (on vacation, late at night, etc.) to hash out basketball.  It was a great time watching games with him and analyzing together.  2- Dad and I are both uncomfortable in loud crowds.  We would often seek out quiet rooms together at parties.  It was during these conversations that I learned about his life and he asked me about mine.  These chats helped me feel loved and welcomed into the family.  Jason:  1- Only thing that made him my stepdad was different last names; he was always my real Dad.  2- Came to our life when we needed a Dad.  3- Taught me what is was like to be a man, Dad, and Grandpa.  4- He was willing to plant his roots with us and grow.  5- Dad was all about love.  6- He fought to give us 10 bonus years and chance to get to know all of his grandkids
All the grandkids came up and sang I Am A Child of God.  My girls were so well-behaved and I was so proud of them and happy to hear their little voices.
Jason had even further roles as a pallbearer and then he performed the ordinance of dedicating the grave.  He is an amazing man, that man I married.
We went back to the church and had a lovely lunch and got a few pictures together.  
Thank you to all the friends and family who came out to support us (help with the kids, attendance at the funeral or viewing, calls, texts, messages, cards, flowers, etc) during this difficult time.  We felt your love and it helped so much!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Melinda's Birthday 2014

Birthday celebrations at home began the Monday after we got home.  Dave has his birthday around the same time so we celebrated together with pie on game night!
Then my actual day fell on a Thursday and we were so busy, but we carved out some time for fun.  My Visiting Teachers took me out to lunch and my parents watched Eliza.  That night my parents came over and we opened gifts (Jason spoiled me) and Mom made me my favorite cake.  Oh, it was lovely!  Thank you!
My favorite gift: a blog book that's our family history from 2013
We're goofballs!
She got me red boots!  I've wanted them for years! 
The next day between meetings with funeral homes, my parents, Tana and Matt, and Jason and I (he was off work for Good Friday) went to lunch together to celebrate both our birthdays.  It was the best ever!!  I felt loved on my birthday; thank you friends and family!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Grandpa Dan's Passing

We got word while at Disneyland that Jason's Dad was put on hospice after a brave 10 year fight with cancer.  So, the day after we got back, we headed over to be with the whole family and Dad.  His daughter Carrie (Jason's stepsister) was in town and we got some precious pictures and he shared lots of stories of his life and we all shared memories.
The next week on Easter Sunday, we knew he was going to pass.  We skipped church and went straight over.  We spent a lot of time with the family in the room with him singing and remembering.  All the girls got to say goodbye.  Then my folks took the two little ones over to Steve's house for dinner while Jason, Laura and I stayed on.  (Thank you so much for rallying, family!  Love you!)  With all the family in the room, Jason gave his Dad the most beautiful blessing of tribute and release and Dad passed just a few minutes later.  It was one of the most emotional and spiritual times of our lives.  It was wonderful to think of the resurrection and bring the family closer.  What a tribute to Dad's life...till we meet again.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Disneyland Trip April 2014

Our kids' schedules are so full of their favorite things, that we have to take off for vacation when everyone else is off.  Even still, Laura missed some rehearsals.  We went to Disneyland and California for Spring Break.  An awesome plus is that my brother Steve and his family went at the same time.  So, we met up with the rest of the CA family and had a great night together!
We also got to spend a day in the park with them, which just made it even more magical!
Eliza seriously grew her coaster legs on this trip and it was so great to be able to go on everything all together as a family.  Yay!  No more parent swap.  I'm pretty sure we went on Big Thunder 20 times and it was everyone's favorite ride.
We also got to meet some special characters.  We braved the longest line in the park (3.5 hrs) to meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen by running straight there when the rope dropped and waiting only 25 minutes.  We all loved it.  Another bonus was the special Easter greet up where we met and played and danced with lots of Disney rabbits.  Our girls were so sweet and excited and well mannered that the characters spent tons of time playing and coloring with them.  Super amazing!  Finally, we had the best experience ever at the Character Breakfast.  The characters were waiting for us to arrive.  It was so awesome that it felt fake!
We decided to celebrate my birthday in the park a week prior to my actual day.  I wore a birthday badge and we ate at Blue Bayou at the most amazing table overlooking Pirates.  It was a perfect memory. We also were there for the 50th anniversary celebration for It's a Small World!  Totally neat!
I'm ready to go back....

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Sara Rosie's 1st Tooth Lost

Sara Rosie lost her first tooth on March 26th.  She was so excited!  She was one of the last in her class to get on the loose tooth chart and was thrilled to make it before first grade ended!  (We are so slow in our family to get and lose teeth!)  After Daddy tried to pull it out for her, Laura and Sara took matters into their own hands and Sara pulled it out by herself right before bed.
The tooth fairy came and at her request took the tooth.  Yay, Rose!