June 28, 2012

DALLIN TURNS 19. . . Waiting for his Mission Call!

It was Dallin's 19th birthday today, and we wanted it to be special...so Dal and Dad went golfing with some other guys at 6:30 a.m., giving Nat and I just enough time for "the surprise!" 

Erika (Dallin's girlfriend), and her parents, left SLC at 4:00 a.m. to be in Santa Clara by 9:00 for the surprise. . . they were about 20 minutes behind schedule, so around the time I thought Dal and Rod might be getting done golfing, I called Dal and asked them to stop by the store on the way home and pick up some bread.  After a minute of silence, Dallin said, "Dad said he got some last night..."  Without missing a beat I said, "Oh, well there's one other thing...Natalee needs some tampons.  Would you mind getting some?  If that's too embarrassing, just ask Dad to do it." 

Dal was very gracious about it, and the "stall tactic" was perfect!

Erika, Trish and Kent arrived about 5 minutes before Dallin, Harrison and Rod got home. Erika hid in the pantry; Kent and Trish in the piano studio. Nat was acting like she was stirring the scrambled eggs when Dallin walked in. She asked him to get some spices out of the pantry for her to put in the eggs. . . and Nat quickly got the video camera rolling...

Dallin opened the pantry door and was initially freaked cuz there was someone IN the pantry.  Upon his recovery and recognition, he hugged Erika over and over, as the "surprise" for his birthday settled in!  I was wondering how on earth I'd "top" Amelia's birthday present of Dezmond's birth the day before Dallin's birthday.  Well, this surprise was TOTALLY unexpected and made Dallin SOOOO happy!!

We had our traditional birthday breakfast as soon as the excitement got calmed down:  Scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, coffee cake, and orange juice!!  Of course there were presents (all of the same theme...MISSIONARY STUFF!!) and our TREASURE HUNT!  It was a great morning!!

After the breakfast, I took Kent and Trish for a short horseback ride in Snow Canyon, even though it was a bit hotter during the day.
In the afternoon, Rod, Kent, Nat and RJ, Dallin and Erika all drove up to Kanarraville Falls and hiked up.  They said it was beautiful!! 

When they got back we had a steak and chicken barbecue dinner ready, complete with veggies, corn and salad.  They were all glad to have some food after their hike, since they hadn't eaten anything after that big breakfast.  Dallin's choice for his birthday dessert was hot fudge & caramel brownies for dessert.  

We played some games afterwards and just enjoyed being together!! It was a GREAT birthday!!  Now, all we need is Dallin's MISSION CALL for the last BEST birthday present!!  Maybe by NEXT Thursday it will be here!! 

June 27, 2012

"Baby J" (aka Dezmond Kai) Arrives!!!

This morning started out rough..."mother stuff" going on in my head, so I went out to the garden at 6:30 a.m. and started pulling weeds.  VERY therapeutic!

I went visiting teaching, and a bit later in the morning MY visiting teacher came over.  It was nice.

Then Amelia came over to the house after she and Hans went to her doctor’s appointment.  She had dilated to “a good 3…” and was 90% effaced.  She had been having contractions the past few days, but nothing notable.

(We had enjoyed a day at Pine Valley just yesterday, riding horses and being in the cooler weather!)

Soooo, we watched a short movie, and ate some lunch while Millie's contractions got closer together.  She said they were about 7 minutes apart, so we decided to go to the mall to walk around while we looked for some luggage for Dallin's mission.  However, as she and I drove down Sunset Blvd., I could tell her contractions were coming closer together, she just wasn't saying anything about it.  By the time we got to Bluff Street, I asked how close they were.  "Oh, about 3 minutes apart," was her reply.  I suggested we go to their home and get her bag "just in case," but by the time we got there, the contractions were 2 minutes apart!!

Amelia said she was feeling a little crampy and like she needed to go to the bathroom.  This was a textbook scenario.  I knew the bathroom stuff could take some time, so I suggested she go to the bathroom, and get her things together, while I drove back home to get my camera.  While returning to her apartment, I called and talked with her.  Millie said, “I feel like throwing up. . .”  I responded, “Do!  You will feel much better.  This is just your body cleaning itself out in preparation for the birth!”  She threw up while I was on the phone, then came back to our conversation.  I was their apartment 5 minutes later, and Hans arrived right after that!!

At 3:20 Hans and Amelia arrived at the hospital.  I waited in the parking lot while they were checked and admitted at 3:35.  Hans met me at the door and showed me where their room was.  Amelia was sitting on the adjustable bed, with a big smile on her face.  She was at 5 cm.!!  HOORAY!!  I was so glad I had been invited as backup coach/photographer!!

Millie wanted to try getting in the large portable bathtub they had in the room, but after about 5 minutes, the nurse was concerned that the baby’s heartbeat had changed, and wanted her to get out and back on the bed.  I suggested to Amelia that she asked to be checked (the hospital policy was that they would only check when the patient wanted them to. . . ), so she did. Amelia was at 8 cm.!!

Hans did a great job of encouraging Amelia, who wanted to deliver the baby without any anesthesia if at all possible.  The contractions were getting stronger and closer, and I could see the “panic” look in Amelia’s eyes.  I started to rub Millie’s feet and count the seconds by fives of the contractions aloud.  I remembered HOW MUCH that helped me . . . to hear the counting and knowing the contraction wouldn’t last that long.  I think it helped Amelia, too!

When the nurse saw how quickly Amelia was progressing, she got the birthing crew mobilized and things started to hop from there. 

Dr. Lunt came quickly, checked Amelia, and he was very surprised at how fast things had progressed!  He told her she could start pushing and she did.  She had about 3 contractions, with 3 pushes each time, and she made good progress with each.  At one point she got scared and said, “Mom!  Mom!”  I quickly came by her head, cheek to cheek, talking in her ear, and told her how good she was doing, to release the fear, and just push away the pain.  It only took two more pushes and the baby’s head was born.  A little waiting for the doctor to take care of a few things, and then baby Dezmond was born.  And then Amelia felt MUCH better!!

Shortly after the baby was born, Amelia said, “Do you want to know what his name is?”  I said, “Of course!”  She said, “It’s Dezmond Kai.”  And we both started to tear up.  Millie explained, “We liked the name Desmond, but we weren’t sure.  Then, when Denzel died, that ‘sealed the deal!’  We decided to spell it Dezmond so it would be like Denzel.”  I love it!  What a sweet tender way to remember Denzel!

When Millie was done being sewn up, and they were ready to move her to her regular hospital room, Amelia got behind the wheelchair, while Hans sat in it, holding baby Dezmond.  What a woman!!  Then Amelia and Hans WALKED to her room while pushing the baby in his bassinet. 

(I spent all my time taking pictures, and video, and trying to do as good of a job as possible!!  I hope there are a few good pictures!!)

I am SO proud of Amelia and Hans!  They handled everything beautifully, and I felt so honored to have been part of Dezmond’s birth.  

June 25, 2012

Sunday Night Dinners. . .

Love having our "traditional" Sunday night dinners. . . this time at Kristy's request!!  Roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, steamed garden veggies, salad, rolls, COLD MILK!!  Blackberry Pie and ice cream for dessert. . .  and family and friends to share it with!!

Dallin, Nat and R.J. (aka "Brillo!")

Millie and Hans. . . any day now. . . 

June 19, 2012


Only nine days left until Amelia's baby is due.  It is so much fun to have her come over during the day and relax, reading a book, or just having a change of scenery!  When we were loaded with GIANT zucchinis from our garden AND the community garden, I suggested Amelia might want to make some zucchini bread.  She did!!  Hooray!!

Amelia wondered whether to double the batch because the zucchini she was going to use was SO huge!

I suggested she grate it first and see how many cups of grated zucchini it gave her.  Turns out she had to QUADRUPLE the batch to accommodate the 9 cups of grated zucchini!!  It made SEVEN LOAVES of really good zucchini bread!!

Dallin has enjoyed using Uncle Matt's road bike, however his first trip out was rather painful. . . at least the day after. . . since he chose to ride to the top of Snow Canyon State Park and back . . . a nice little 20 miler for his FIRST ride on a road bike.  I think he would prefer a padded seat!

June 18, 2012


Since Dad and I were home alone for the weekend (that's a first for the past two months!), and were heading to Mapleton Sunday morning, I gave all of Dad's Father's Day gifts to him Saturday evening.  I was so anxious for him to open them, I didn't want to wait til Sunday night!!

After opening the little package of Vaseline lip balm (practical me!), Dad opened the very long rectangular package.  He had NO IDEA what it was.

When the beautiful Bolivian Rosewood Native American flute, with turquoise inlay, came out of the box, he was VERY surprised.

He had never expressed a desire to learn to play one, but the more I thought about it, I knew this would be a perfect fit for him  . . . 

. . . and I was right!!
He LOVES it!

I am SO thankful, STILL, that I got to marry Roderick Joseph Hunt.  He has been all that I hoped for, AND much more, in a husband and as a father.  He is kind, he is patient.  He lives the gospel of Jesus Christ, he loves his wife and his family.  He is unselfish, he is a good provider.  And did I mention HE IS PATIENT!!
I love you, Rod!!

P.S.  And to Denzel, Brandon and Dallin - - you EACH have so many of those same qualities, and I am proud of the men you have become!  I love you!  Love, Mom

Addendum added Tuesday, June 19, 2012:

Dad LOVES his flute!!!  And he plays it a lot!!  It is doing just what I had hoped:  Given him a "hobby" that he enjoys! 

While I was riding horses this morning, Dad went on line and found tidbits here and there of how to play, what to play, etc., etc.  When I got home he was still playing (the coolest sound to hear when coming in the house...).  When I walked in he said, "Do you want to hear my first piece?"  I replied, "OF COURSE!!"  And he played Amazing Grace.  It was cool!!

Then I said, "Wait!  Come in here."  So Dad came into the piano studio, and sat on my "student bench." I asked him to play it again, while  I added some accompaniment to his Amazing Grace, and it was SOOOO cool!!  It made us both tear up!

June 17, 2012

Good, Better, Best. . .

This morning Rod and I got up early to drive to Mapleton for Cory Barton's mission homecoming talk.  We left at 7 a.m. to have plenty of time to arrive early before the meeting started at 11:00.  About 30 minutes into our drive our plans changed.

Rod was driving and suddenly put on the brakes.  I looked up from the crocheting I was doing, just in time to see the car in front of us skidding sideways across the freeway, rubber burning/smoking on the asphalt, sending up a dust cloud as it hit the dirt shoulder and embankment.  Rod quickly pulled over and we got out to check on the occupants of the car.

It was a young couple, married 5 weeks earlier, who were driving home to Cedar City after finishing their work shift at Eagle Academy for Troubled Youth.    They weren't hurt other than superficial stuff from their airbags deploying.  But they sure were shaken up.  Luckily I had brought along some of my VERY special chocolate milk, that soothes what's ailing you!  It was perfect for them to sip on.  We called 911, waited for officers to respond, talked with the couple, had them sit in our car, and just tried to make them feel okay about everything.

Once the police had responded, the tow truck was called, and everything was relatively taken care of, we drove Rigo and McKenna to Cedar City, and dropped them off at their meeting house.  They didn't want to miss church, and knew they wouldn't have a way to get there if we dropped them off at their house.

(I gave McKenna one of my piano studio business cards, and told her to call me when they were ready to go on a really fun FREE date, and I would take them horseback riding.)

I texted a couple of the kids to let them know we'd be a bit late, that we had stopped to help with a traffic accident.  Kristy's reply was simply "Good, better, best" referring to Elder Dallin Oaks' conference talk a couple of years ago.  It was a good reminder.  It was a good thing for us to go to Cory's return talk, but it was best for us to stop and help this couple.

AND we managed to make it in time to hear Cory speak, too!

June 10, 2012

Making Memories. . . Still!!

Some people might think it strange that our family went camping a month after Denzel died.  But then, again, our family has always been a little strange!  Since we had made our plans for this family camping trip back in March of this year, we'd already paid for the campsites, etc., and Dad and I thought it important to follow through with our plans, we went ahead with our trip.  As it turned out, we couldn't have planned a more therapeutic get together for our family!!

 Dad and I arrived in Sterling, Utah ( the home of Palisade State Park) on Tuesday afternoon around 4:00 p.m.  The campsites Natalee and I had picked out during one of our drives to and from Ephraim the end of February turned out IDEAL!!  We were a few yards from the lake; there were great shade trees; we were close to the restrooms (VERY important for Amelia!); there was grass everywhere,  AND a golf course 200 yards away. . .perfect for our family!!

Now, there WERE a couple of problems...like no firepits...just barbecue grills...so Nat and RJ drove to Ephraim and bought a steel tub that we could build fires in.  Problem solved!!  No electricity at the toyhauler campsite (or any campsite in that area)...other than at the handicap site just across the street...and it was empty...so we paid a few extra dollars and RJ moved the toyhauler over there.  Problem solved!!  The hammock we borrowed didn't have a stand with it (and there weren't any trees close together enough to hang it), so I drove to Provo and bought a stand.  Problem solved!!  And our whole camping trip was WONDERFUL!!

I actually spent time in the hammock, reading and napping, and LOVED it.  But Amelia loved it more with her baby four weeks away from being born, so I made sure she got equal time in the hammock!!

 Nikki was SOOOO much fun to have around!  I think she made everyone smile!  She loved feeding the ducks, going for canoe rides, hugging Kodiak (the stuffed version we brought with us!), and going for motorcycle rides with her daddy, saying "Giddy-up!!  Faster, faster!"

Those of us who tried our hands at fishing, over and over and over again, never caught anything, but we did get a few bites!!  And then we saw huge fish hanging out in the little coves of the edges of the lake...but we still couldn't trick them into biting our lures!

Dad got pretty sunburned on our "short" canoe ride...he thought we were just going to the buoy and I thought we were touring the whole lake...he hadn't put any sunblock on and his legs sure paid!!  Sorry husband 'o mine!

Everyone helped cook and clean up and it was just fun to be together!  The first morning there, while I lay in bed listening to Dad, Dallin and Brandon making the fire and getting water warmed for hot chocolate, I was enjoying the peace and relaxation of being there.  Suddenly, I had a very poignant feeling come across for just a second or two, as I felt DENZEL'S sadness at not being there with our family.  It was a very strange, yet sweet experience.  It was not MY feelings I felt, but I literally felt HIS feeling of sadness at not being there.  It was a very good reminder to me of how important it is for us to pray for Denzel; to pray for his peace and comfort as he deals with the things he's doing on the other side of the veil, and to pray for his reassurance of our great love for him.  It was a very tender reminder to me that the veil is very thin and, at times, we are given special glimpses.  Along with this experience, I also thought of Jaimi and her family and how we missed having them there with us.  We were SO glad they could be there for Denzel's funeral, burial, and the week following.  But we sure missed not having them camping with us, too!!

Wednesday was spent swimming (yes, the water was cold, but manageable), fishing a lot, canoeing, napping, reading, golfing, riding the little dirt bike RJ brought, playing badmitton and volleyball, and eating!!

Thursday was a BLAST!!!  Tannya, Natalee and Kristy had done a TON of work preparing a "Surprise" baby shower for Amelia...and Millie had NO IDEA!!  Early that morning I suggested Amelia and I go for a walk and look for a geocache.  She wasn't thrilled, but I prevailed and she not-totally-willingly agreed to go. (It was only 1.25 miles around the entire lake, so it wasn't FAR!  AND... it needed to take at least 30 minutes to give the girls

time to set up everything.  We walked slowly!)  At the far side of the lake we found the geocache, then headed back towards camp.  I stalled..."Oh look, was that a fish?"  And then, Millie really did see a fish...so, of course, I took my time taking several pictures of it!

After taking a potty stop upon our return, Hans and Brandon met us at the bathrooms (Hans had been locked in his tent so he didn't know about the
surprise, either!)  Tann gave us the signal to come on in, and we did.  There was a sign across the volleyball net "BABY SHOWER!!"  and another sign where we would be eating that said, "WELCOME BABY J."  We then prepared "Baby J" crepes...that were blue, with blueberries and blueberry syrup.  We also played some baby games when we were done eating.

Lunch included Sloppy Baby J's (sloppy joes) and more games, and dinner was "Baby J in a HAYSTACK", complete with blue rice and all the fixin's!  The Mapleton Bartons arrived to help us celebrate and we managed to get some canoe rides and some golf driving practice in, too.  After dinner Amelia opened LOTS of presents that so many friends and family had sent secretly to Tannya, Kristy, or Julie Schram.  It was a whole day of fun, and Amelia and Hans really loved it!!!  

Friday was the only hard day, emotionally, at least for me.  I had not thought about how hard it would be to say good-bye to everyone.  Even though Hans, Mil and Dallin were headed to St. George, Nat and RJ were coming back to St. George in a couple of days, and so were we; and Brandon, Tannya and Nikki were headed home to South Weber and Kristy to Salt Lake City, we didn't want things to end and didn't want to say good-bye.  It was hard enough having Denzel leave unexpectedly, and for an undetermined length of "deployment."  WE LOVED BEING TOGETHER WITH MOST OF OUR FAMILY THERE!!!

This may have to become another one of our HUNT FAMILY TRADITIONS!!