As the time draws near for our Pharmacy School Adventure to be over I've been doing a lot of reflecting. I can't believe that in less than 20 days Trey will be graduating! The last three years have been difficult, but we've been extremely blessed by wonderful friends and family. I can't even write this letter without getting choked up. I want you to know of the kind deeds people have done for us. Some of the people shall remain anonymous (to the world), but their deeds will live on...
Uncle Vince and Aunt Karlene: For the first year we lived in Nevada they had us over to dinner almost every Sunday. Their daughters Alix and Jen would often offer to baby-sit our children for free. Karlene is the one who first got me interested in Agape (foster parenting).
Katie: She was the first friend I made in Nevada. Her older daughter was in the same class as Jonas at school and her younger daughter was in my preschool class. She was constantly inviting us to the splash park for playdates and we had had lots of long and heartfelt talks together. Her husband, Sven was also a great help to me and was always bailing me out of situations when Trey wasn't available. The two of them invited us to their house numerous times to eat and we always had such a great time.
Katie & I
Neighborhood Friends: The first ward we were in was extremely difficult, but there were a few people who made it bearable. Maridyn brought cookies to our house the first Sunday we were at church. She's the kind of person who's always busy doing service for others and I was lucky enough to receive some of her kindness. She taught me how to quilt better and for Christmas she made me a gorgeous quilted table runner. Tricia lived a few doors down from us and our kids got along really well so they often had play dates together. When we moved from Nevada she threw a wonderful going away party for me so I could say goodbye to all my dear friends.
Family Member: The first Christmas in Nevada was a rough one. There were a lot of days left in the year, but not enough money. We didn't know what we were going to do. A most kind and generous family member sent us a check in the mail as a Christmas gift. They told us that they had been in our situation before and they knew how hard it was to get by on only student loans. They were unexpectedly blessed as students with a sum of $300.00 when they needed it most so they wanted to "pay it forward". This family had young children of their own to take care of and they were in no way wealthy. They actually tried to give us another check last summer when we found out we had to move again. This time it was for $1,000.00! We absolutely refused to cash that check, but we still appreciated their amazing generosity.
Greenway Ward: This was our second ward in NV and it was amazing. It was a very diverse and strange ward, but there was so much love and unity. The Elders Quorum presidency came to visit us all the time to see how we were doing and if we needed anything. We were only there for one year and Trey served as a Sunday School Teacher, Ward Clerk and then Elder's Quorum President right before we had to move. He served with some incredible men. Namely Brother Mona, Brother Nielsen, Brother Nash and Brother Lulamonga. I was in Young Women's and I was totally intimidated at first, but truly came to love and cherish all the leaders and girls. I miss them dearly. I'll always be grateful to Brother Haddock who offered to take our family pictures for free because he remembered how hard it was to be a student and have a family.
Me & Young Women @ Girls Camp
Uncle Bryce and Aunt Genie: They've been such a great help to me since moving to Farmington. When we first moved back they invited us over to their house for dinner numerous times. Aunt Genie gave me half price tuition for "Let's Play Music" so that Clara and Nora could both go for the price of one. Uncle Bryce bailed me out when I got a flat tire and when I locked the keys in the van.
Grandpa Steve and Grandma Barb: My dad is a good Grandpa. Every once in awhile he'll call to take one of the kids out for some one-on-one time or he'll take all of you to go get ice cream together. I love the days when it's 11:00 and I'm just getting done with preschool and wonderding what I should make Atticus and I for lunch when my phone rings and it's my dad offering to take us out for lunch. Sweet! Atticus loves to run errands with Grandma Barb and ride in her "beach" (actually a Jeep and I'm not sure why he calls it a beach). The kids have spent the night with Grandma Barb a few times and loved it. We also love it when they invite us over for dinner.
Grandpa Steve & Grandma Barb
Friend 1: She was the first person (besides family) who really tried to make me feel welcome when I moved back to Farmington. She invited us to a picnic at the park almost as soon as we met her and we were introduced to her wonderful family. A week or so later she had us over to her house for dinner. She then began inviting all of my children to her house for play-dates. All of you. At the same time. With her 7 children. She knew we were going out of town one weekend to see Trey so she dropped by drinks and tons of snacks for the road. The other day she called and told me that she was volunteering her daughter to come baby-sit for me so that I could go to an Enrichment meeting. When she came to get her daughter she gave me an envelope. It had a check for $100.00 inside and a card that said,
"Dear Meshan, The Spirit directed me to give this to you! I see that you are doing difficult things- and you're doing them well. With love, _____".
I'll never forget this woman!
Friend 2: The sister of Friend 1. She invited us to share a Holiday dinner with her family that was amazing. So much time and effort went into all of it. She also invited two strangers to join us that were in town on a business trip so there were 14 people there! She too has offered her daughter as a free baby-sitter to me and I appreciate it so much. If there are ever any Relief Society meetings she always calls to make sure I'm going and to see if I need someone to watch my kids. Her children all seem so well-behaved, happy and kind. The other day she invited us to the park for pizza and punch and she insisted that it was her treat. She's given me lots great ideas from how to have a more Christ centered Easter to how to teach my children about the "birds and the bees". She's older than me and she's the type of person I aspire to be.
Stacey: I met her while volunteering at Apache Elementary. She's such a great example of what a Christian should be. I really admire her for the amazing mother and wife she is. She devotes everything she has to her little family. Her, her husband and their four children are temporarily living in a motor home to try and remain debt free while he goes to school. Even though they have such a small, humble home they've invited us over for dinner twice. She offered to watch my kids for me one day for five (yes, five) hours so that I could get my errands done, the house cleaned, and our bags packed to go visit Trey. I love that she remembered my Birthday and got me a little something. Her husband recently had a job interview in Santa Fe and it would be crazy good if they moved there!
Grandpa and Grandma Livvy: We've been blessed throughout our entire journey by the prayers, wisdom, and generosity of these two. Atticus goes over to their house two days a week for 4 hours while I teach preschool and they entertain him endlessly. Everytime I go to pick up Atticus, Grandma always has a hot, home-cooked meal ready for me. They often ask if any of the kids want to spend the night and your eyes sparkle because you all adore them. They support us in everything we do. I don't know how I ever survived without these two in my life.
Grandma Cindy, Grandpa & Grandma Livvy at a soccer game.
Grandpa Dewey and Grandma Cindy: They've been a tremendous blessing by giving us monetary assistance and the gift of time. They spoil my children and although I don't think that's a good thing, you sure seem to enjoy it. When we lived in Nevada they came to visit us all the time and it was wonderful!! I'm still in awe that Grandma offered to fly to NV and watch the kids so I could go to Girls Camp for a week. Since moving back to Farmington Grandma has invited us over every Sunday for dinner and she always has a delicious dessert too. She often helps me take kids to school, soccer practice, and soccer games. I literally couldn't do it all without her. Sometimes she'll take you kids out on a little date or have you spend the night. She even took me on a date the other day and she paid for dinner, a movie and the babysitter! I desperately needed that break and it helped me recharge my single-mom battery. I'm very thankful to have such great in-laws.
Due to these overwhelming blessings and kind people I've been thinking about how I can ever repay
them. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was impossible. I try and show gratitude and thank them every chance I get, but I think what's important is to return their kindness by learning from it. They've all taught me how to be a better person and give service and it makes me want to emulate them. I don't currently have money to offer, but I do have a willing heart. I've really been trying to give more service lately. It takes a conscious effort on my part because I'm so wrapped up in my own life and trying to be a good wife and mother.
I feel like I still fall short, but I'm doing better. I'll tell you all about it in my next letter.
Much love, Mama