Sunday, August 30, 2015

Mindy in the MTC :)

Life has been amazing!!!! :D

Guess where Mindy is RIGHT NOW? :D OK. I'm not going to tell you until the end of this post. The rest of this post can give you a big hint. But don't be too hasty in your guess, you may be wrong! ;)

On May 8th, Mindy spontaneously called friends to meet her and her family at a local park and hear her read her mission call letter... She hoped to go to Japan for years, but decided to just put the idea out of her mind and just be happy to go where ever the Lord wanted her. It would be fun to find out where she was going with friends and family present! :)
Mindy reading her mission call letter - GOING TO TOKYO JAPAN! Oh my gosh, it's a DREAM COME TRUE! :D
In June, Mindy went to the temple to make sacred covenants to serve the lord and keep his commandments. What an amazing experience! :) 

This is Mindy in front of the Spokane Temple right after she received her Endowments (made sacred covenants to keep the Lord's commandments and remain faithful to the end! :D) What a BEAUTIFUL time we had! Miles and I were with her, and a couple missionaries also joined us. She just wanted us there her first time, so we didn't invite people to come. It was a truly sacred experience and Mindy was SO HAPPY! :)
On July first, Mindy got on a plane (for the first time ever) and headed to the Mission Training Center in Provo Utah. There, she has been making new friends, building good memories, and learning the Japanese language very rapidly (though not as fast as she would like - but probably faster than she realizes ;o). She is having the time of her life among a group of very valiant young saints (like herself)! It is simply Awesome!!! :D

The first letter from Mindy came with a request to gather her friend's email addresses so she could write them on her mission. I did that. Then they gave her an IPad and the recommendation that she write only family. So... It REALLY would have been nice if I had made a nice blog for her to post her letters on. But I didn't. :o (Like I had time for that! ;O) I decided today is a good day to get on the ball and at least share photos of her adventure at the Provo Mission Training Center. :)

So... Here are photos of Mindy and her new friends. She is SO HAPPY to be a missionary!!! :D

Fourth of July in the MTC was AMAZING! Mindy wrote a lot about the wonderful devotional they had in which they talked about how religious freedom brought about by this country gaining independence, laid the foundation for a free nation in which the gospel of Jesus Christ could be restored upon the earth again. Independence Day is TRULY a BLESSED day! :)

I sent a few packages to Mindy in the MTC. In this package I sent my own water bottle. It is insulated and nice, and I loved it and took it with me everywhere! But I thought of Mindy in Japan and thought an insulated water bottle would keep her water cooler on hot days, so I sent it to her. She cried when she saw it. Isn't that sweet? :) I love my emotional, sweet, and very thankful daughter! :D

Mindy had made SO MANY FRIENDS in the MTC. She has two companions, who are also going to Tokyo Japan, and after a few weeks, she also gained two more room mates! :) These girls seem to be having a LOT of fun! Mindy has sent photos of them doing EVERYTHING together... even photos of them cleaning on service days! :)

Notice this name tag has her name in both English, and Japanese.

One of Mindy's self made flash cards to help her learn the language. 

Mindy and her companions!

Mindy and a new friend.

Mindy with companions, again.

The next two photos are of Mindy and her room mates. Do you think they are having any fun? ;o

LOL - Oh yeah! :D

Mindy sent zillions of photos, but I just randomly grabbed a few to share here. And with this goodbye kiss (I really don't know what they are doing in this photo, but that's what it looks like) - I will say good bye and end this post. But first I need to tell you WHERE Mindy is, RIGHT NOW. Did you guess?

Mindy and her companions are on an airplane ON THE WAY TO TOKYO JAPAN!!! :D

I am so excited to read her next letter WRITTEN FROM JAPAN! :O   :D

Corine :D

Monday, August 24, 2015

Levi, My Mini-Missionary :D

Hi all. :) Levi has had a very busy schedule this past couple of weeks! He had a river rafting trip with other Priests (16-17 year old Mormon boys preparing for missions). Followed by a week long mini-mission in Cheny Washington with his good old buddy Elder Keppner. :D ...and his companion Elder Bowring. These guys are great, let me assure you of that! It was fun to hang with them when we met up to hand off and then pick up Levi. :D

Almost matching ties, as Levi and Elder Keppner both have the SAME favorite colors! Red and Black! Imagine that!
Hi Elder Bowring! Your tie is nice, too! :D Even though it isn't red and black, we think you're pretty OK! ;)
Miles and I had a good time picking Levi up to bring him home. "The gang" (as Elder Keppner called us) had a party in the parking lot during hand off! ;)

Levi had a great time and learned a lot. This should help him to know what to expect when he does his full time mission around a year from now (though he said it is just as he imagined it - I suppose lots of interactions with Elders over the years has helped with that). More importantly, I think the experience probably inspired him to start studying and preparing more fervently. ;P Am I right Levi?  Levi? :o LOL - Don't worry Levi, I know you're gong to do great at accelerating your preparations for the real deal! ;D

Levi got to go to Cheny Washington for the mini-mission. AND then he got to go camping with the family for the weekend. Despite loving it all, he is SO READY to be HOME! And I am so ready to work him some more! ;D Let the slave driving begin! :) (JK. Well, maybe not! Maybe I will wait a week and let him rest a bit, cause I'm really nice that way. ;0 he he)

Well, enough of that. I'm just so happy to have Levi for a son. I'm thankful for ALL my sons. Each is so great in his own way and I am SO proud of them all! :)

TTFN! And I'm excited to tell you a bit about Mindy in the MTC soon!
Corine :D

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mom's Special Keepsake Binder! :D ~ Tributes to Mom! - And Learning HOW to Teach :)

I am SO EXCITED about life! :) I'm really not certain WHAT I will do with it, but life is changing here, DRASTICALLY (soon, I can feel it coming!) and Miles and I feel sort of inspired to just START OVER and DREAM again, and change things up a bit! :) We decided to pretend we are newly wed's and plan out the second half of our life together! ;D

FIRST, though, I HAVE to write more about my mom! :D And, I should probably do something with her belongings and get the room emptied out for my kids to use again. :/ Yeah... I'll be glad when THAT is done! :/

Anyhow, I ALMOST started, this evening. I took a few things out of her room, then came across her big huge fat binder of Keepsakes... Letters her kids and grand kids wrote to her (including me and my kids). Photos. Cards. Pictures kids drew. Some journal entries mom wrote about things dear to her heart and letters to her kids... Mom's TREASURES! :D She LOVED this book that she made!

Of course, I was immediately distracted. :D I opened it, and saw something that I wrote ABOUT HER a few years ago. Then another, And another... Letters, too. :) It was great! There are writings in this book written by other family members as well (of course). But I was surprised to see what I had done and completely forgotten about.

One year on Mothers Day (in 2011) I wrote a tribute to my mom HERE ON THIS BLOG! You can read it from the following link... Tribute To My Mother

I also found poems that I wrote about my mom. I think I'll share them here this week (after I take time to scan them or copy them onto the computer). For today, I hope you will check out the link and read the tribute I wrote about my mother 4 years ago. But first, I'd like to share with you what I learned from reading them...

***It's funny how we can acknowledge things, like picking up pieces of a puzzle, examine them, and hold them up for others to see, without even putting the pieces together and seeing the whole picture ourselves. 

I did this. I picked up pieces of my mom's life, and held them up for others to see, four years ago in this writing...  Tribute To My Mother   Today as I read my own writing, I saw another picture/message. A New, unwritten lesson emerged from the pages... 

I grew up and wanted to teach my kids to do what I learned to do. Some of what I wanted my kids to learn they grabbed onto. Others lessons I somehow failed to convey. 

You know what I realized? I didn't DO what mom TAUGHT me to do. I realized that when I was a girl I DID WHAT MY MOM DID. I did what she did, with me, and even by herself. She taught me by example. 

And my kids were not so different. I realized today that the lessons I failed to convey, were the ones my kids didn't SEE me living (though sometimes I lived a principle in a way they didn't see it)... 

I led a different life than my mom led. I went to school part time. I worked part time. I was busier than mom was, more thinned out and had less time. Some of what I did as a girl, I didn't make time to continue. Other things, I began after leaving home, being influenced by my husband. :) 

Perhaps due to limited time (or maybe that is just how I am) but... I wasn't an expert at any of it. What I did while raising my kids I may not have even been proficient at, but they saw me do it, and what they saw me do, THEY began to get proficient at... :)

I love photography. Never got very good at it, but my twins did! :) They learned to LOVE taking photos, though, by watching me. And their love drove them to take photos, and get really good at it. :D

I love to sew. I didn't have a lot of time to sew a ton while raising kids, as I did when I was at home with mom, but I loved it. When Mindy was little, I always made Halloween costumes for her. I was too busy to sew her everyday clothes, but I always made costumes for her. Guess what Mindy learned to love to do? :D Mindy saw that I loved to make costumes (she saw what I DID), and she learned to love it too! She became an amazing costume designer! She also cooked with me. It was a bonding time that we shared. And guess what, Mindy loves to cook! :D Her dishes are occasionally, terrible! ;0 BUT she LOVES to cook! :D And more often than not, her food is AMAZING! I'm not kidding, that girl can cook very well! :D

For years I wanted to do triathlons. I began biking with my husband years ago. But to do triathlons I needed to run and swim as well. So, just a few short years ago I started running then swimming as well. The swimming I did between 5-6 AM while the kids were sleeping one summer. The biking I did twice a week. The running I did the most. Perhaps three times per week, year after year.  And when I came home from running I always told them with excitement how many miles I ran and how GREAT it felt! :D 

My kids were half grown by the time I started. Interestingly, though, ALL FOUR of my kids NOW RUN! My daughter was first. She watched me go to school to become a Nutritionist. I didn't get to finish my schooling yet, but I DID get to show my kids to see that I LOVE to watch what I eat and to try to be healthy. Mindy changed her diet, began exercising, and TRANSFORMED her life - the pieces began coming together for her at the age of 18. Because she knew I knew about health, she began talking to me about it and asking questions. :) 

Several years went by before the sons caught the bug. But Devry eventually caught it, too, shortly before leaving home last summer. When we got together we talked about health and nutrition! :D Devry also talked to his brothers about being healthy over the phone, then moved back this summer and got them eating healthier and exercising as well. Both Levi and Dausen are very new runners now. But they run! :D Dausen also lifts weights regularly. Levi just told Devry today that he wants help with a weight lifting program (his first). I'm excited to see the day when they actually come to LOVE it, too. Then they too, will inspire others! It will most likely happen; they are on the path already! :)

I stopped playing the piano when I was 16. Boys and dating got in the way. :o Fortunately, having my mother live with me reminded me to play again. I now play, even if just a few minutes a day. I just started playing again a couple weeks ago. By the way, Levi wants me to teach him now. :)

What have I learned from reading again about my own mother? 

I used to think that a BIG part of teaching was doing. 

Today, I came to realize that example IS THE TEACHER. 

I wish I had realized this years ago! I now believe that BEING a good mom who TEACHES requires taking time to DO the things I want my kids to do - and making sure they can see me do it...

Mentoring isn't about saying "do what I say, not what I do." Mentoring is about SHOWING THE WAY THROUGH DOING. And being there to answer questions and be the cheer leader that they need when they start DOING! :) They aren't going to ask someone who NEVER RUNS questions about running, or ask someone who never plays the piano questions about playing the piano. DO things, and your kids will start asking you questions and following your lead! :) It's quite simple!

PERSONAL APPLICATION: So... the kids (young adults - once a mom always a mom!) that I have a tough time convincing to read the scriptures daily...  I decided to stop reading in the privacy of my bedroom, and start doing it IN THE FRONT ROOM, where they can SEE me reading and taking notes. This means I need to change the location and time of day to make myself an example.  

I realize this is no guarantee; people have their free agency! But example TRULY IS the ONLY way to teach/reach! So if I desire to teach, I need to let the prospective students SEE me DO. :) 

I can be a teacher by showing the way. 

It is their choice if they want to be the students or not. 

But they will never be inspired to BE the student... to learn, to do, or be, something that they don't see others LEARNING, BEING or DOING... 

Well, enough rambling.

I am excited to share with you a poem I wrote in 2006 about my mother, titled My Mentor, My Mom. I will share that with you here on this blog in the next day or two (or week). :P

I also wrote another poem in honor of my mother in 2003, titled All That I Am I Owe to You Dear - which I will also share with you soon.

I have said more than enough for today.
See you again soon! :)
Corine :D

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Just a Little News, From Before June 7th - Closer to Current! Getting Closer! ;o

Hi! :) I have been a terribly inconsistent blogger (I know, nothing new as of the last couple years! :o). I have some catching up to do... My mom moved in with me the last day of February, and being consigned to a bed, my job as care taker was consistent. Oh how BLESSED I was to be able to do it! Mama passed away, and now that the funeral is behind me, I am TRYING to get back into the swing of a new life! (I DO still need to go through her belongings though, and give the bedroom up to the kids! :o). 

Anyhow... I love my mom SO MUCH, and can not begin to tell you how THANKFUL I am that I got to have her here with me! :) Nevertheless, time was VERY LIMITED. So much has happened that I could not make time to write about! (Or I wrote in my personal journal about but failed to share it here). So I decided to post a journal entry to get started on "catching up" ;o After that, I'm going to write about my mom some more! ;o You can read it or not, but I just really need to pay tribute to that great woman who gave me life. :) Talk to you again soon. Corine :D


"So much GOOD has gone on around here!!!! :D

Devry has been visiting our family again and is now talking about staying for a while – yeah and wow! WE LOVE HAVING HIM HERE! :D He has gotten his brothers on an exercise program and helped them to improve their eating habits. He has grown in so many ways since he moved out 10 months ago and it is so great to see how well he is progressing and maturing. I love that he is still the same helpful person he always was… taking care of friends and family when sad or in need of any kind of emotional support. Mom (aka. Grandma) also now calls on Devry regularly when she needs assistance. What a sweet young man he is! :) By the way, Devry is also helping Mindy with an exercise program that she can use while on her mission... :D I love that kid!!! :D
Speaking of which... Mindy got her mission call!!!! :D

~ Mindy will be serving the people of Tokyo Japan! :D ~

Mindy loves the people there, and I am SO HAPPY FOR her to get to go and serve the Lord and his children there!!! :D She sent for her passport and eagerly awaited the day when she would hold it in her hands. And how fast it came!!! Every day she prepares for her mission in several ways from one of her lists of things to do to prepare for her mission. What fun to watch! :)
And even better than going on a mission, Mindy has done something even bigger… she has gone to the temple of the Lord and made sacred covenants with the Lord there. This is a very big step in one’s spiritual progression. :)

Miles and I are SO pleased that Mindy has prepared herself spiritually for this big step in her life! We went with her when she made her covenants, and what a great experience it was! :D 

With our girl in front of the Spokane Temple :)

A couple missionaries who have been friends of our family were also there with us… Elders Keppner and Molder - Both served in our ward at different times and became great friends of the family, and are now companions together in Spokane! How cool is that? :D It was SO GREAT to have them there with us! :D  

GOOD STUFF going on over here... GOOD STUFF!!! :)

Dausen and Levi are also doing very well… I still call on Dausen regularly to help me care for mama – and Levi regularly volunteers as well. Levi is also busy with Sea Scouts, and just took part in a community service event, in which he took people out sailing for free all day long at the Coeur d’Alene beach all day Saturday. It is so great the way he serves in the community so much! All the kids help out with grandma as well, and are so blessed to be able to have her here in our home with us.

Speaking of which… This past week has been FABULOUS for mom! :D She is now on a solid nutritional supplement program which has replaced medications that were giving her problems. It is ABSOLUTELY MIRACULOUS to see the improvements that have come as a result of these changes! There was quite a bit of stress and sadness preceding the changes (while she was on the drugs she had hallucinations, depression, anxiety, memory loss, and downright craziness!); but now that the changes have been made she is so happy about her new improved mental and physical health!!! :D And I am so happy for her! God has truly blessed mom with a drastic improvement in quality of life and we are constantly praising Him for making these changes possible! :D

This writing is getting long, but I must tell one more important thing…
Three of my 7 siblings were able to come visit our family this past weekend! :D …Eli, Carolyn, and Nathan. They were not all here at the same time, but what a wonderful thing it was to have them here!!! J I am SO THANKFUL for my relationship with each one of them! I love my family so much and am so thankful for their love and support. :D
Thank you, family!!! :D I love you!!!! :D

LOL - Goofy faces! Even mom did it! :D FUN! :D (Nate's idea... I blame Nate! ;o) 

I don't know what I did with the current photos of  mom with Eli and his family. Here is one from years ago! :D

One more thing before I wrap this up… Levi is writing a FABULOUS book, and has two new chapters to read to mom (grandma), Mindy, and I. We love his book! What a highlight it is in our life to watch his amazing book unfold! :D We’ll let you know when he finishes writing and get’s it published for all to read."

Well, that's the end of my June 7th Journal entry. It tells a bit of what went on around her lately. ;)
Can't wait to tell you more!!! BE BACK SOON! :D

Take care; talk to you all soon; and love you all!
Corine :D

Monday, August 3, 2015

Obituary - "Patty Jo" / Patricia Joanne Stanford (January 14, 1948 - August 14 2015)

Well, friends. My sweet mama is finally home. :) I have cried many times already. I know I will cry many more times in my life, for missing her... I will miss her dearly.
However, this passing is not a tragedy. It is as big a blessing as birth was. She came to fulfill a purpose, and she fulfilled it. And now she is in Spiritual Paradise with loved ones who passed on before her. I know she was especially excited to see her mother. :) 
I will tell you more about my sweet mama and her life (and funeral) later. For now, I give you the obituary, which I FINALLY wrote today (No one else in the family took me up on it, so I get the honor once more! ;)

Patricia Joanne Stanford, devoted mother of 8, and big sister to a brother and two sisters… peacefully completed her mortal journey of 67.5 years on July 14, 2015, in the presence of her daughter, Corine, in HaydenIdaho. Patricia was born January 14, 1948 in Yakima Washington to Ruth Payne, and Lewis G Koehler (who she would have the pleasure of meeting by phone later in life).

Want to know what it is like to be Patty Jo/Patricia Joanne?
Start singing and pounding on the piano when you are just a baby. And dance as soon as your body can wiggle. Go on to become an amazing composer at the piano, and while still in your youth, play for the queen of Canada… all the while thinking you are just playing for “that nice lady in the royal family.”
Get on the bus with your mom, and go from church to church, repeatedly from toddler to teen, SEARCHING for more truth. Rejoice and be baptized when you finally find the one that has it all; love it with your whole heart and never look back!
Pretend your baby sister is your own, along with the 8 or so dolls lined up on your bed, and dream with everything you have that it will be real one day… Make that dream come true by later bearing 8 beautiful children of your own. Home school them all, and pour your everything into them, with all the excitement of a child still playing with dolls…
Raise those kids in the COUNTRY, giving them lots of chores, and plenty of time to develop talents and explore and build forts outdoors… or in. Use a cow bell to call them with because they are going to have a HUGE area in which to run and play, and they won’t hear you if you call!
TRAIN THEM to look out the window for approaching cars, and then yell to each other when they see one, “CAR! Someone’s coming!” then watch them tidy up the house like their life depended upon it! ;) Smile, because the kids did it all, and you didn’t have to say a word!
TRAIN THEM in the GOSPEL – through example, word, and weekly Family Home Evening’s. Devote your life to living and sharing the gospel, and to serving the Lord with everything you have! Teach your children to memorize scriptures, and to “serve the Lord with gladness” when they are only four!
MAKE MUSIC! SING the kids to sleep while they are little, with a family famous bed time song of your own making. When they are older, lull them to sleep at their request via the PIANO, preferably with Clair de Lune, or one of your own AMAZING COMPOSITIONS… PLAY the piano with such FEELING that you move your family to tears when they hear YOU play! When they are awake, sing WITH them, even at special public occasions... 
SERVE everyone you meet. Let people come live in your home, too! Even if they are bedridden, or need a great deal of help for any reason; love it! Be sure they know you love having them there! :D Love it so well that your children love it, too, and feel honored and blessed to help you serve…
TEACH children and grandchildren to play the piano and to learn the gospel of Jesus Christ. Love children and love teaching them – Most of all... Love the children, even if they don’t let you teach them!!! ;)
CLEAN more than any 10 people, AND LOVE IT! Do it to classical music. Make the house shine “like the top of the Chrysler building!” ;) Gather your family together to study the scriptures daily, and teach them to be clean in spirit and mind, and not just in body and home – and to strive to prevent messes, and to clean them up quickly… especially by way of repentance, daily; and renewing of covenants weekly!
STRIVE to keep ALL the commandments, especially the two greatest… to LOVE God with all your heart, might, mind, and strength; and love others as you love yourself! Study Christ’s words, so much and so well that you become a Scriptorian, and your pages are no longer white from being marked so much! LIVE what you learn and what you preach! PRAY every day, repeatedly, every time you wake, eat, leave the house, do something important, or sleep. Teach your kids to do the same. LEARN that God loves you, and doesn’t expect you to attain perfection in this life, he only expects you to try! ;)
Go to the TEMPLE as often as you can. Be sealed to your family there, and be THANKFUL for it! Make and keep sacred covenants there, and feel honored and blessed for the privilege of doing so!
ENDURE WELL by making “overcoming” a lifetime pursuit. Transform weaknesses to strengths to the very end, so well that when your Savior DOES call you home, your family knows you are as ready as you ever will be; and no one is more ready to meet your maker than you are!
Watch through spiritual eyes, and see that, though they will miss you dearly, your children are at peace … Know that they will keep smiling, and be so happy for you that you have FINALLY RETURNED HOME! :D
Patty is survived by her husband, Larry Stanford; three daughters Carolyn (Spencer) Wescott, Corine (Miles) Moore and Kalah (Scott) Neff; five sons Benjamin (Jennifer) Stanford, Aaron (Olivia) Stanford, Eli (Shelby) Stanford, Nathan (Yolanda) Stanford, and David Stanford; two sisters Janice Howell, and Judy Vanhammen; 25 grandchildren; and 1 great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, John Herman.
NOTE to Patty from her children: ♥We love you mom! Thank you for your unconditional love and exemplary life!!! We will do everything in our power to work hard, overcome, endure to the end as you did, and to finally “return with honor” one day, too… :D
MEMORIALS: Patty was constantly stating that she wished she could send money each month to help support grandchildren on their missions. The family therefore suggests that memorials may be made to the Missionary Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, for Patricia's grand daughter, Mindy Moore, or any other young missionaries currently serving... 
President Carl W. Knight, Coeur d'Alene YSA Branch 3951 19th St., Coeur d'Alene ID. 83815
Place of Disposition: Mountain View Cemetery, 4259 E Hwy 54 Athol, Idaho.

Doesn't mom look AMAZING here? The last couple months of her life she was healthier than she had been IN A VERY LONG TIME! It was AMAZING to see miracle after miracle occur in her life. Ultimately the kidneys gave in, but she was still VERY BLESSED to enjoy AMAZING HEALTH IMPROVEMENTS before she passed. I AM SO HAPPY FOR HER!!! :)

Mama's last family photo with me and my family :D
She was very excited to take these! So were we! :D
I did not have time to shower first. :o It was very spontaneous. Mama wanted to do it, and do it "now."  She just sprung the idea upon us that morning, and we did it! Though I cringed when I looked in the mirror before the photos were taken, I wouldn't trade these photos for anything! I have family photos with my mama. :D