Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Three Year Angelversary

(drawn by our 8 year old Hattie)
    

  
     What is the definition of a family?  There are countless answers to this depending upon where and how you were raised and who took a part in your social growth.  However, what every true family has in common is that it is made up of the people who are most important in our lives.
     Our family is unique since it is a combination of two families brought together by the loss of a loved one.  Our beloved Spring and Casey both passed away due to cancer in January 2014.  Cancer is a difficult hardship to endure and they faithfully fought with everything they had.  While it was not easy, they endured it well and endured to the end of their given time on this Earth.  
     It has been three whole years since we have seen their smiles, heard their voices and exuberant laughter, grasped their hands and touched their radiant cheeks.  Three years is a long time...but never has one day gone by since then that we have not thought about how much we love and miss them.  It would take a lifetime to list all of their cherished qualities that are treasured and missed every second of every day.  However we will continue to always strive to engrave each and every one of them into our hearts every moment we are given.
     As every year on their Angelversarys' I reflect back upon everything our family has accomplished and how each member has grown.  As I visualize all of the monumental things, one in particular stands out that I would like to share.  In August 2016 Heavenly Father blessed our family with a new little one.  We lovingly refer to her as the "icing on our cake".  She has Mom, Dad and all of her siblings wrapped around her cute little finger.  When her adorable little cry is heard she has many of us tripping over one another to rush to her immediate assistance.  She was blessed with a sweet spirit and has brought our Family even closer together.  
     Even through all of the hard times our family is uniquely blessed to have our two Angels watching over us and a Family who loves and cares for one another.   Here's to another year and may we be blessed to gracefully endure any and all challenges that come our way.
     Spring and Casey we love and miss you immensely...but we want to let you know we are doing well with your help from above.  

Love, 
Your Family



Edited by my awesome sis, Celeste Silver Brown.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2 Year Angelversary

January 15, 2016 and January 19, 2016 marks the two year Angelversary for Spring Hubbard and Casey Wheeler.  The song below is one that Hayden, Hannah and their friends sang at our ring ceremony and dedicated to our angels, Spring and Casey.  We feel that it is a special song for our family and would like to share it with you.


Spring and Casey will remain forever in our hearts and family.  After Shane and I were married, our then 3 year old daughter declared that she now has 2 Dads and 2 Moms.  I love that this phenomenal observation that is so difficult for us veterans of the world to understand was uttered by the lips of an innocent child.  She views all of us as one big family.  So simplistic... yet so genuinely true.  This is the pathway that God has unfolded before us to unite us as one loving family.



Dance with the Rain and Stars

Young and Guileless
Curls dancing in the breeze
Eyes bright and shining
Aglow with shimmering stars and dreams.
A solitary branch catches sandled toes,
Falling...
skinning new knees.
Dewdrop Tears glisten on freckled cherub cheeks.
Ma blesses it with whispered kisses 
Singing 
"It Rains a Day...But then God's Light will Shine Through"


Big Boy Brick shoves me down the playground steps.
Anger caught me unawares...
and 
I slugged him in the arm.
Ma shook her head,
Eyes twinkling with a humored sheen,
tapped me on the nose and said...
"It Always Rains...but you can choose the Downpour My Child"


Emotions torn asunder
Anger crackling like Thunder,
Plopped despondently on the weathered first stair...
Head in hands,
Rivulets trickling down a troubled blush.
Ma settled near
warm hand gentle on my knee...
"Please My Child...Don't let the Rain frighten away the Sun".

Charmed Eyes and Fresh Voices 
Fill Life with Light, 
Ice Skating, Snow Forts
and Dinner Dates with my Summer Sun
Ma smiles nearby... 
Eyes crinkling with Silent Delight.
No Rain to Be Seen.

Joy slips to Sorrow,
Heart Freezes...brittle, cold and dark.
Mississippi River current cascades 
from troubled lashed eyes.
Ma settles her arms around 
trembling with fear and grief...
"God...Please let the Rain Slow Down...Please let the Sunlight In".

Lightning flashes through the Deep Storm
Cutting through inconsolable Dusk...
Light shines through
with Golden Rays of Hope.  
Love, Friendship, and Blessed Family.
8 on Earth 
and 2 Radiant Stars above...
Shimmering Spirits guarding and protecting
their loved ones just below.

Ma looks beyond to Her Beloved Stars and to Heaven..
"Thank you God...for the Sunlight through the Rain."

-C.S.B.-
(a.k.a. my sis)






Casey Wheeler and Spring Hubbard we miss you every single day! We are blessed to still be able to feel your presence in our home and touching our lives.  We love you so much. <3 Happy 2 year Angelversary!!!














Monday, January 19, 2015

One Year Angelversary

January 15, 2015 and January 19, 2015 mark the one year Angelversary for Spring Day Hubbard and Casey Ryan Wheeler.  We can’t believe a year has already gone by since your Spirit left your body for the Spirit World.  We love and miss you so much!



My awesome sister-in-law, Britney, made quilts to give to each child to commemorate the one year Angelversary.  These are not your ordinary quilts!  They were made with pieces of Spring’s and Casey’s clothing.  When the kids are missing Spring or Casey, they are able to take the quilt and wrap it around them like they are getting a warm hug.  The kids absolutely LOVE these quilts!!! Thank you so much Britney for donating your time and ability in creating these quilts.  We appreciate how much love was put into each one. :)




To read more about these quilts visit www.customizedquilts.blogspot.com
The day I heard Kathy Wilson was getting a wig, because of her cancer treatments, I started growing my hair to donate in her name.  It has taken a while but I finally had enough hair to donate.  For the one year mark our little Rapunzel and I decided to donate our hair to cancer patients in loving memory of Kathy Wilson, Spring Hubbard and Casey Wheeler. 

                Kallee put together a 5K for Casey and Kathy (visit my June 2014 blog) and I thought it only fitting that she be the one to cut our hair.  Thank you so much Kallee!
Since the day they found Casey’s tumor I have been keeping a journal to share with Max and T when they get older.  They are so young and won’t remember a lot of what happened and I want to make sure I am able to share things with them when they get older.  There is a small portion of a journal entry I feel I need to share.
December 5, 2013 … a few weeks ago I was having a rough time and thought of the phrase, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  I pondered this for a while and thought, Lord I am trying my best to make this lemonade.  I then thought yes I am still making lemonade, but it is a bit sour.  Lord I put my faith in thee and although sometimes my lemonade is sour, I will be more grateful when my lemonade is sweet.  It takes going through the bad days to fully enjoy and appreciate the good days when they are upon us. :)
The moral of the story is no matter what life throws at you, keep doing your very best.  The Lord knows we are going to make mistakes and he just asks us to do our best.  I believe that when our best is done he will provide someone to step in and help us where we are lagging. (I have learned that sometimes we need to be the one asking the other person for help! We need to listen to the Spirit to receive the help we need.)  So keep making your lemonade, no matter how sour it is….at least you are still moving forward!  We all have days when life gets us down and we don’t know what to do.  I have learned to recognize those days, as sometimes needed, and to be grateful for them along with our good days, because it does take living the sour days to recognize the sweet days.

Thanks to everyone for your kindness and love towards our family :)

Happy Angelversary Spring and Casey!  We love you :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A New Chapter Begins

If someone would have told me earlier this year I would be a Mom to six kids I would have said they were crazy.  But here we are….about to enjoy our first Christmas together as a blended family.  I am sure there are a lot of you out there who don’t know the story, so let me back up a little to February of this year (2014).  Below is the condensed version of our story :)

In late February I brought my children to a grieving group.  Hospice care suggested the group to me so I decided I would go and try it out.  While I was at the intake, which is where the grieving group leaders meet with me and the kids and decide which group is best for us, I felt VERY strongly that I should choose a certain week with a certain group.  In feeling this I thought maybe it was because I would meet another person at the group, who had gone through a similar circumstance, and we could help each other out in the grieving process.  At the grieving group the kids get divided into their own groups and the adults are in a separate group until everyone is combined together at the very end to talk and sing :)  I did meet some great people in the group.  One person in particular being Shane, whose wife had passed away from cancer four days before Casey passed away. 

I wasn’t able to make it to the next group meeting, so the next time I saw Shane was at the LDS widow’s and widower’s conference, which I mentioned in my March blog.  When I arrived at the conference and walked into the gym to eat, at the breakfast before the conference started, I saw him sitting at a table all by himself.  Because there were mainly ladies at the conference, he was sitting by himself at a table and looked as if he wanted to dart out of there.  Since I knew him from the one group meeting I felt like I needed to go over and sit next to him.  I also knew another lady from our grieving group and I was meeting a lady from Morgan at the conference.  They sat down by him as well and soon our table was full.  Shane ended up staying the whole conference and I was able to chat with him a little and get to know him and a lot of other people at the conference. 

I saw him a couple of other times after that at the grieving group.  But we didn’t talk much to each other until April 15th, of all days!  For those that don't know Casey and I worked at a tax software company together and that is where we met.  April 15th is the deadline to file 1040 tax returns and was always a big day at work.

I sent him the following message on Facebook:
Shane, I have a totally random question and I thought if anyone would know, you might. One of the kids must have accidentally pushed in and turned the doorknob on one of our bathroom doors and left it open. At night I shut the bathroom doors to make sure the cat doesn't drink out of the toilet....so I shut the door and realized it was locked. Don't worry no one is in there and we have another bathroom. I tried using a wire coat hanger and I can't get any button to push on the inside. The hinges are on the bathroom side of the door. Is there some way to get the door open using the wire hanger? Maybe I am doing something wrong?

Yes I was a little embarrassed about sending the message to him, but the door had been locked for almost a full day.  I had tried numerous times to get the door open and wasn’t having any luck.  I thought out of everyone I knew, a police man might know how to help me open it.  Funny enough less than an hour after I sent Shane the Facebook message I was talking in the phone with my Mom in one hand, about how frustrated I was that I couldn’t get the door open (we used to open those types of locks all of the time with no trouble when I was a kid), and in the other hand I was trying to unlock the door……and the door handle popped open with no trouble.  Immediately I was relieved it was open, but embarrassed I had asked Shane for help.   
I sent a Facebook message to Shane and let him know I wasn’t in need of assistance any more.  When he got back to me he was really nice and asked if I needed help with anything else.  I told him that fortunately I hadn’t locked any more doors and I was doing well.  We exchanged numbers, in case I was in need of anything else.  
Earlier in the week I was contemplating what I could do for others and Shane and his family kept coming to my mind.  I remembered him mentioning in grieving group that he was learning to cook certain things for his four kids, but had never really cooked before and was struggling with it.  I thought that I should be nice and bring him dinner….but I kept putting it off.  After he was so willing to help me out I decided to call him and ask if I could bring dinner for his family on the following Monday, so he wouldn’t have to worry about dinner for one night.  It also made me feel good that with all of the help I had and still was receiving I could help give back by helping others where I could.  I also kept wondering why less than an hour after I sent Shane the Facebook message, asking for help, my door unlocked with little effort from me.  I thought maybe it was because his family might need a few dinners or there was something else I could help with.  Not sure of anything I was doing, I relied on the Spirit and knew that I needed to bring dinner to this family.  
Shane gratefully accepted the dinner offer, so the next Monday I dropped dinner off at his house.  The next day we chatted on the phone and decided to take the kids to a movie that Friday.  That way Shane and I could talk about our experiences on the way to the movie and the kids could get to know each other, since they had gone through similar experiences with having a parent pass away from cancer.  Funny enough ten minutes into the movie the power went out, in that part of town, and the movie theater had no power.  We decided to go to my house and let the kids watch a DVD so they could still get their movie night.  Shane and I were able to talk a bit more and decided to go out the next Friday by ourselves, so we could get to know each other’s stories a little better……at least that it what we told ourselves.  

We started really enjoying talking to each other, because we had similar experiences and were going through the grieving process at basically the same time, and it ended up with us dating.  No, this was not what we were planning!  But some of the good things in life aren’t planned!  

I have had the opportunity to learn a lot of lessons in the past few years.  One of them is when I ask the Lord a question and he gives me an answer, I should never question the answer!
Shane was great and, among many other great people, he made me feel very special and loved on my first Mother’s Day, without Casey.  I wanted to make his Father’s Day just as special, so I decided on a certain gift that came to my mind and it was the greatest gift I could think of.  Because my Be CaseyStrong bracelet means so much to me, I wanted to let Shane and his family know they mean a lot to me, so I created a new bracelet.  On one end it read Be CaseyStrong and other end it now read BeSpringStrong.  Spring is Shane’s wife who also passed away from cancer in January….four days before Casey passed away.  We have felt that our spouses had something to do with us meeting each other and falling in love.
          

(To read the story behind the wristbands go to my February blog titled, "The Story behind the yellow wristbands.")

 On October 11, 2014 Shane and I got married.  I know what you are doing now…..you are trying to figure out how long it has been.  Almost nine months after we lost our spouses we were married and started a new chapter together in our lives!  I know you are thinking, wow that is fast.  Yep!  I step back and think that that as well.  But another lesson I have learned through all of this, is that time is precious and when the Lord sends a great gift your way and confirms in your heart that this is the route you should take, then DO NOT second guess him.  God knows all and really does have a plan for each and every one of us.  Time is very precious.  I know we all think that yeah, yeah time is precious, but when you have lost a loved one it actually sinks in.  I realize that it had only been nine months, but I am thanking my Father in Heaven that I didn’t have to stay alone on this earth for any longer than that.  Yes, that is a great gift from God to both of our families.  We have each other to love, each other to care for and each other as one big family.  Loving each other doesn’t mean that we don’t miss and love Casey and Spring!  We miss them every day and will always love them!  We are grateful that we have each other and so grateful the Lord let us find each other!
               


We are allowed to spend our first Christmas, without Casey and Spring on earth, as a family.  Our family is very unique because our kids are all missing their Mom or Dad and Shane and I are both missing our spouses.  At different times I have witnessed each kid crying, because of missing Spring or Casey.  One or multiple kids have given them a hug and talked to them about it, because more than anyone else they understand what each other are going through and feeling.  We have a family where pictures and stories of Spring and Casey are more than welcome and always needed.  We talk about it together and we love our family of eight.



This Christmas season, as a blended family, we get to create some great memories together and go over the true reason for the season.  Christ’s birthday is why we celebrate Christmas.  Yes, getting Christmas presents for Christmas is great, but I like to think Christmas is more about giving than receiving.  I am not talking about needing to spend money on a gift.  We had a Family Home Evening and read a story from the “Friend” entitled, “A Bit of Christmas Every Day.”  When we are serving others we are serving the Lord. We can serve the Lord every single day.  The gift I decided to give is the gift of love.  In the eternal perspective we are all brothers and sisters.  If we love each other then we will seek out ways to help and serve one another.  There are many gifts to give the Savior, what will your gift be?
The Lord has given me the opportunity to be a Mom of six kids and I am so thankful for that!  I am thankful that he trusts me to help raise these six great kids.  No, we don’t always have easy days, but life wasn’t meant to be easy it was meant to lived.  I love the quote that says, “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.”  I have to say it for sure hasn’t been easy, but it has already been more than worth it.  I love Heavenly Father and Jesus so much!
               

May we give Christ a gift by showing love not only this Christmas season, but every day throughout the year.
Thanks to our guardian angels, Spring and Casey, for giving us the gift of finding each other to love.  We feel your presence in our home and love and miss you every day.


Those we love don't go away,
They walk beside us every day.
Unseen, unheard, but always near.
Still loved, still missed and very dear.
-Author Unknown


May we remember that the Lord loves all his children.  Wishing all a Merry Christmas :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

5 Month Mark: June 19, 2014

June 19, 2014: 5 Month Mark

On May 6, 2014 a great woman, Kathy Wilson, passed away.  I like to think that Casey was one of the first to welcome Kathy home with his great, big, loving, bear hug.  I am sure they are in Heaven keeping each other laughing J

Last year a 5K was run for both Casey and Kathy and I remember how great a day it was! So many who loved Casey and Kathy came to show their support.  I remember how happy Casey and Kathy looked and I was so touched to see how many great people there are in this world!



I was honored to be able to visit Kathy one last time before she passed.  The night before I visited her I was reading a book called, “Pete the Cat: I love my White Shoes” to Max and Tenley.  The moral of the story reminded me of both Casey and Kathy and I felt like I needed to share it with Kathy.  So I showed up to the hospital and read it to Kathy, just how I read it to my kids… with the funny voices and sad attempt at singing. 

This is a summary of what the book is about.
Pete the cat loves his white shoes.  He loves them so very much that he sings about them.  One day while he is walking and singing he steps in some strawberries and his shoes turn red.  But instead of becoming angry, he sings about how much he loves his red shoes.  When he steps in mud and his shoes turn brown, instead of becoming angry, he sings about how much he loves his brown shoes.  He goes on to step in a few more things but just keeps walking along and singing his song.
Pete's philosophy is summed up at the end by his statement that "no matter what you step in just keep walking along and singing your song."  This book provides a very simple message in his final words to the reader: "It's all good." 
Casey had never read this book, but one of the things he said through all of his challenges is that, “Life is good.”  

Going through what I have I realize that the little things in life don’t really matter as much as we think they do.  So when I make a mistake or the kids do something they shouldn’t I just try to remind myself that life really is all good; to not sweat the small stuff, but to focus on why we are here on this earth and what we would really like to accomplish with the time we are given.
Last August Casey shared a quote on Facebook by President Gordon B. Hinckley. "Stop seeking out the storms and more fully enjoy the sunlight."

Thank you Casey and Kathy for being great examples on how we should more fully enjoy the sunlight in our lives, we love and miss you!
Casey’s stone got placed two days before Father’s Day.  What a great Father’s Day gift.  Happy Father’s Day to the best Daddy ever!  We love you so much.  Our love for you will never dim and we can’t wait for the time when we get to see you again J



Thanks again to all those who have shown and still do show so much love towards our family J

While preparing my blog posts songs often pop into my head.  I would like to share this month’s song with you.

A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief:

All of the verses are great, but I would like to share 1, 6 and 7.

1. A poor, wayfaring Man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not pow'r to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.

6. In pris'n I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor's doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him 'mid shame and scorn.
My friendship's utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, "I will!"
7. Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name he named,
"Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto me."

Mathew 25: 34-40

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

The 3 Month Mark

Well, we are now at the three month mark and still pressing onward and doing our best to live each day to its fullest. We want to convey our heartfelt thanks to all who have donated service and aid to our family. We are deeply grateful for everyone and we feel the love that is directed towards our family. We don’t know how we could have made it this far without so many helping hands. We cannot convey how much this has meant to us. With hearing about so much bad in the world, it’s great to see all of the good there is. When we were in need, there was and still is an outpouring of help. If I could give each person a heartfelt hug I would!


I am currently enrolled at the Davis Applied Technology Center (DATC) in the IT Department. A few weeks before I had Tenley, I quit my job to be a full-time stay-at-home Mom. I worked at a Tax Software company for seven years and had worked my way from a Support Agent to a Software Programmer. I found that I really like programming, but now I have experience with no schooling behind me. I have a Bachelor’s degree, but it is in Physical Education and Communication.So I am taking some courses at the DATC to prepare myself to take certification tests for certain programming codes. I am enjoying school and will finish my first class next week, a few days ahead of schedule!





Tenley is enjoying learning new things and loves playing with her cute, little friends whenever possible. First off, she is very shy, but when you get to know her and she is quite the little social butterfly who loves anything that is pink or sparkles.




Max had fun taking ice skating lessons. When we were done skating one night he wanted to climb on the big rock outside, like we have done a couple of times. There happened to be four other girls there and three were on top of the rock. I told Max to share the top of the rock and helped him up far enough so he could climb up the rest of the way himself. He sat next to the girls and then decided that he needed to get a little closer. He got a little closer and I guess he decided this girl was just super cute….she looked to be about 7 or 8 and Max is 5….so he scooted so close that all three of the girls on the top of the rock had to shift over to accommodate him. I told Max to share the top of the rock so the girls wouldn’t fall off. He started to scoot over to share, so the girl next to him started to scoot over. Max took the opportunity to smoothly put his arm around the girl and plant a kiss right on her cheek. I started laughing and had to put myself in check and tell him that kissing girls he just met wasn’t acceptable….while trying to keep a straight face. The girl didn’t dislike the kiss, she just looked at me like….uh what just happened. Priceless. I was hoping he would wait until 20 or so to be that interested in girls….looks like I might be in trouble. Where did he learn those moves? Probably from watching his Daddy. Haha. Max was lucky the little girl's dad wasn’t around…so funny! 



Our newest addition, and one of the kid’s favorite playmates, is our dog Karly. We love her!


Thanks again to all who have sent love and have prayed for our family. We love you!


The Wheeler family

Friday, March 21, 2014

I need your Happy face :)

Angie's an inspiration! :)

Anyone who would like to help me create a video within the next few weeks in honor of Casey and his never ending happiness, contact me!!

I'll need your energy, happy face, fearlessness, and most of all, YOU!

ruthiesilver@gmail.com or message me on face book (ruth silver)