The jokerūüÉŹand the Queen Of Hearts‚̧ԳŹ

Today is Halloween my favorite holiday.  I have reflected more today than I have in a long time.

Halloween represents the young, the carefree, the creative and artistic people that for one day can actually be someone else.

My memories of Halloween include a Superman costume which my husband Daren wore.  Tyler, Austin & Blake also wore this costume.  When Blake wore it, Dylan was Batman.  My mother-in-law made this adorable outfit.  Everything  about this little royal blue and red homemade treasure just makes me happy.  Dressing up twin boys for Halloween was probably one of my favorite things to do.  This costume is still in my Halloween box and hopefully my handsome grandson Easton will wear it someday.

However, my favorite memory about  Halloween was when Sister Kailee Hogge was 18 months old.  Kailee and I used to dress up every  year in matching costumes.    I used to think about what we were going to be months before the big day.  In 1998 we were cats.   Kailee is allergic to cats, we had a cat named Pistol and Kailee was like a little cat in all of our lifes.  She laid in the same spot in our home everyday and she liked to be by a window in a warm spot.  She was quiet, inquisitive and a deep thinker. Her presence in our home made me want to be a better person.

When we dressed up as cats together I just couldn’t stop staring at her. ¬†Her eyes seemed greener that day, her hair seemed blonder and the sucker that she held in her hand that Halloween has left a handprint on me heart‚̧ԳŹ

When Kailee turned 12 that tradition stopped and she started dressing up with her friends.  Through the years I have convinced my awesome husband Daren to dress up with me.  The replacement was hard , but now the tradition of finding a couples costume has taken precedence in my life.

We had a Halloween party a week ago and I was the Queen of Hearts and he was the Joker. ¬†These costumes fit our personalities perfectly. ¬†I am a romantic, I love everything about hearts ¬†and I always send love notes to people. ¬†Daren, on the other hand is reserved, mysterious and very funny. ¬†He makes me ¬†happy, and it’s fun wondering what be may say or do to make me laugh.

I believe that everyone deserves to be someone their not for one day.  To dream, to inspire, and to make-believe that for a moment time can stand still.  May all the Supermans, mysterious cats and Queen of Hearts embrace Halloween and make a memory that will last a lifetime.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN2016

THE LION

img_0353With Halloween around the corner,  my thoughts have gone back to the Lion.  When my twin boys were three I dressed them up like lions.  It was probably my favorite costume of all time.

I used to teach pre-school to 3 year olds. ¬†I have taught 1000’s ¬†of 3 yr olds how to swim. ¬†I have a 3 year old granddaughter that just melts my heart.

There’s ¬†something magical ¬†in the number 3. ¬†“Once, twice, three times a lady” Lynol Richies famous song. ¬†“Tap your heels 3 times and you will be home” ¬†from the Wizard Of Oz. ¬†Three wise men came to the Savior when he was born in Bethlehem. ¬†There is so much significance in the number 3.

In the LDS religion, all of our leadership positions have 3 members.  Our God head is composed of the Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost.  The numbe 3 has great significance in our lives.

Today I am sending a package to my missionary daughter.  I made 3 loafs of banana bread for her.  One for her and her companion.  One for her friend Kate who feeds her every Monday and has become her second mom, and one for her to give away.

Today I am also sending Kailee a stuffed animal that is a LION.   This Lion has great meaning in my life.  It is very hard for me to give this Lion away.  However, Kailee asked for it , and so I will send it to her.

When Kailee’s twin brothers left to go on a mission, ¬†I bought two Lions at Deseret Book. ¬†When Blake went into the MTC , I sent one with him. ¬†He gave the Lion away to a Sister Missionary who was homesick. ¬†When Dylan left on his mission I gave the other one to him. ¬†He left in on his bed with a beautiful note that told me how much he loved me and he wanted me to keep it.

This stuffed Lion has become my little friend.  There have been way too many nights when tears have fell upon his main.  I have said more prayers holding this lion than I ever have in my entire life.

Today this lion will leave my home and go to North Carolina.  When I get to hug Sister Hogge again, she will be holding this Lion.

The Lion is the king of the jungle. ¬†The Lion is a symbol of courage, strength and fortitude. ¬†In the movie “The Lion King” we learn of the circle of life. ¬†May my daughter take this Lion and hold it as dearly as I have. ¬†I know that her prayers are more righteous than my prayers, so I know the Lord will pour out many blessings upon her as she also holds this Lion in her arms. ¬† Courage is one man being braver than another man, ¬†and not caring what the other man may think. ¬†Courage, is declaring truth in a troubled world. ¬†Courage is putting one foot in front of the other, and not looking back. ¬†Be brave my angel missionary and know, that strength comes in the number THREE‚̧ԳŹ.

 

 

 

 

 

YOGA

I started off my morning teaching a 6:30 a.m. yoga class. ¬†I woke up tired and over-whelmed with things in my life that I just can’t seem to fix. ¬†I went to bed realizing all of my weaknesses and vowing to try harder to¬†work on my strengths.

One of my strengths is yoga.  I started practicing yoga about 16 years ago.  It has become a part of my life that I hold dear to my heart.  Yoga has transformed me into a better person.  A person who likes her body and feels great joy moving in and out of varied positions that open up channels of awareness that I never thought possible.

I am 54 years old and most people do not believe that when they see me.  I tell them that I have been practicing yoga for almost as long as I have had Kailee.  I think each time I go into a yoga pose I am reminded of her and the sweet spirit that she has brought into my life.  I became interested in yoga when she was about three.  I started taking some classes at the local gym and found a connection to this practice that I had never achieved from any other form of exercise.  When you have five children under the age of 13 , you grasp at anything you can find to create peace in the over-whelming pressures of motherhood.

Now that I am an empty nester , the yoga brings me peace in a different way.  I used to go to a class to get away from the craziness of my life, now I go to a class to get away from the stillness that surrounds me.

We pray for the day when we can take a shower with no one needing us. ¬†Then that day comes when you can take four showers a day and no one would even know. ¬† I often wonder how God wanted mother’s to transform into being needed every second of the day, to hardly being needed at all?

I became a certified yoga teacher in 2011. ¬†I knew that someday when all my littles were big, that it would be a bigger part of my life. ¬†Yoga takes us to a place where no one has ever been before, a place of enlightenment, a place of learning and a continual knowledge that there is a God in heaven that truly watches over us. ¬†Today when I taught my 6:30 a.m. ¬†yoga class, I felt God’s presence and I knew he loved me. ¬†The song “Love Me, That’s All I Ask Of You” was playing on my playlist and I realized how much meaning that song has in my life.

When my twin boys were 4 months old I met my husband in Los Angeles California for a two night get-away from the intense responsibility of raising 4 small children. ¬†My husband was out of the Country a lot , and we so desperately needed a few moments together to remember why we were married and to be together without having to worry when the next little person would need us. ¬† We arranged for 3 of the children to go to grandma’s and one of the twins to go to a neighbors for the weekend. ¬†I flew to LA to meet my husband. ¬†He took me to the Play “Fantom Of The Opera” ¬†The song “Love Me, That’s All I Ask Of You” became a part of me. ¬†Every time I hear it I think of Him, and every time I listen to the words I think of the deep need that I have to be loved. ¬†“To love another person is to see the face of God”. ¬†To see the face of God enables us to love other people. ¬†If we love God first, our spouse second, our family third and put our work fourth, we will become disciples of Jesus Christ and we can truly ¬†be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HURRICANE MATHEW

I have never experienced a hurricane  before or even been close to one, but my missionary daughter has been in the aftermath of Hurricane Mathew that has been going on since September 28th, 2016.   Their have been 1,033 death total so far and many people have been evacuated and have lost power.  In North Carolina alone there have been 10 fatalities.  However, their spirits are strong and they working together to restore power and to build back the damage that has been done.

I have experienced evacuation before due to a terrible fire above our home in Alpine Ut. over July 4th in 2012. ¬†Each day when I look up at our beautiful mountain it is a constant reminder of the beauty that surrounds me and how horrible it may have been to lose our family home. ¬†The mountains above Alpine and Lambert Park are some of the most beautiful structures that surround our community. ¬†To look out my window and see such beauty, ¬†gives me a strength that I can’t seem to find anywhere else.

After my daughter has finished her mission in North Carolina, the trees and water that surround her , will also become a permanent part in her heart. ¬†She looks so comfortable in her new found home. ¬†Her eyes seems brighter, her skin has a softness that I’ve never seen before and her countenance has completely made a transformation. ¬†Their is an LDS song entitled ¬†“His Image In Your Countenance”. ¬†These are the words to the song: ¬† ¬†Have You Received His Image In Your Countenance? ¬†Does the light of Christ shine in your eyes? ¬†Will he know you when he comes again because you shall be like Him, when he sees you will the Father know his Child? ¬†I believe that each day Kailee serves in North Carolina her countenance will change. ¬†When a missionary returns home they are a representative of Jesus Christ. ¬†If that missionary is worthy and has returned with honor, it’s like being in Christ’s presence for just a brief moment. ¬†To have Kailee gone is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but to know that when I see her again, it will be like being in Christ’s presence for a brief moment makes it all with it.

We seek for light and learning as followers of Christ, that all may see his goodness reflected in our lives.  When we receive his fullness and lose desire for sin.  We radiate his perfect love, a beauty from within.  The ways of man may tempt us and some will be deceived, Preferring worldly beauty, Forgetting truth received,  But whisprings of the Spirit remind us once again,  that lasting beauty, pure and clean must come from deep within.  May seeing a missionary, reading their letters or just seeing their picture make us a better people, more pure in our devotion to God and a desire to become more like Christ.

Wing 2

LOVE, MOM

Faith vs Fear

img_0273Yesterday was one of those days that I would kind of like to forget. ¬†It was one of those days where my fear was greater than my faith. ¬†A day when I honestly wasn’t sure I was able to get through.

It started out with me dropping off my husband at work because his car was left at the office over the weekend. ¬†Mondays tend to be good and bad for me. ¬†It’s the day that I hear from my missionary which should be my best day of the week. ¬†However; ¬†I know that she is going to have hard weeks and I think last week was kind of tough for her. ¬†I tend to take on all of her stress because I know her so well. ¬†I know that she is waking up with swollen eyes in the morning because she is allergic to cats. ¬† I also know that she is dealing with a lot of rejection, and there are days when she is so homesick, she can barely breathe. ¬†I know this is what she wants to do in her life right now. Yet, I believe there are days when being home in her beautiful blue room and soaking in her tub sound pretty darn good.

I know that her anxiety level is higher than it has ever been in her life. ¬†She is experiencing things on a daily basis that she never dreamed she would have to experience. ¬†One of them is knowing that she may get evacuated because of the flooding that is going on in South Carolina. ¬†I often wonder what she is doing to find peace on the days when her hormone levels are not the best? ¬† I often wonder what it’s like to be a Sister Missionary when you are on your period and feel so exhausted you can barely move? ¬† I often wonder what it’s like for her not to be able to watch a movie, kiss a boy or go to the beach? ¬†She is sacrificing so much for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I don’t know what it’s like to serve a mission for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ¬†However, I can only imagine how hard it must truly be.

Today is am truly grateful that she is safe as far as I know.  I know that as her earthly mother I can only support her, sustain her, love her,  write her constantly, send her packages and most of all pray for her.

I think that I have to realize that there will be days when fear will take over and faith will be shaken. ¬† But for now, I thank my Heavenly Father and my Savior that today I felt enough peace to be able express my feelings as a missionary mom who is weak and often burdened down with things that I really can’t control. ¬†To be a mother of a missionary is a hard calling. ¬†It is a sacrifice that some days I am not very good at. ¬†However; I do know that there will a day when I will thank my Savior for this opportunity, but at the moment it is a difficult journey for me.

My daughter is the first female in the world who is a part of me, the second, being my beautiful granddaughter Sydney. ¬† ¬†She is my only daughter, and having her so far away has taken a part of my soul that has caused me to reflect deeply on how much I really do need to increase my faith. ¬†Having Kailee has helped me to be a better person. ¬†Raising her has refined me in a way that I never dreamed possible. ¬†A son’s a son until he marries his wife, but a daughter is a daughter all of your life. ¬†I don’t really like this quote. ¬†I think it’s because I have 4 sons that I love deeply also. ¬† ¬†I just think the quote should go something like this: ¬†A son is a son all of your life, but a daughter is the person who will become someone else’s wife. ¬†If we raise them right, then a son will be a better husband and a daughter will be a better wife, because two people fell in love and gave them life.

I can’t wait until next Monday because I have a feeling that something good is really going to happen ¬† There are also some days that you thank your Heavenly Father and your Savior for ¬†just the ability to breath. ¬† ¬†Yesterday was one of those days. ¬†My motto for life is to go to bed at night knowing that I did not hurt anyone, ¬†and I did the best I could to please God. ¬†I’m hoping today will be one of those days.

Love Wing 2

MOM

Thomas & Jaime

Sept. 26th

My daughter Kailee has been in Pinehurst , North Carolina for seven weeks now. ¬†I am learning to find peace in her letters, comfort in the fact that she is on the Lord’s errand and most of all knowing that she truly does feel she is supposed to be serving a mission at this particular time in her life.

Each week her letters are filled with these amazing experiences she is having  and we are starting to get to know all the people she and her companion have grown to love and cherish.

I think we tend to get attached to the first person we try to help. ¬†This particular mans’ name is Robert. ¬†He is african american and probably about 52 years of age. ¬†He is very large in weight and stature and has melted my daughter’s heart. ¬† ¬†I knew she would love the african american people, ¬†just as I do. ¬†I grew up in Las Vegas , Nevada and they were EVERYWHERE. ¬†There was no difference in color in my High School. ¬†We considered all of the african american students as being like us. ¬†They were a different color, they liked spicy food and I loved the way they talked. ¬† Their hearts were the same as ours, and I just loved to be with them.

Where we live in Alpine, UT,  African American people are the minority.    I think she is loving the diversity she is experiencing and really learning to embrace their culture.  She has grown to love Robert and is praying that he will change his life and be baptized.  However, the chances of this happening are pretty slim.  Since he is the first person she challenged to be baptized, he will always have a special place in her heart.

Her next investigators are both blind and living together but they are just friends.   They are both 35 and have fallen in love with my daughter and her sweet companion Sister Dearden.  This conversion story has just torn at my heart-strings like nothing I have ever experienced.

I have realized that each week after I receive a letter from Sister Hogge, I am a better person than I was the day before.  I believe in angels,  and I believe that two angels together are definitely better than one.  Kailee has been blessed with an angel companion and the two of them together have many lives to change.  God bless her on her journey and may many hearts be changed or at least softened after they spend a day with Sister Hogge and Sister Dearden.

All My Love,

Wing 2, MOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMI

9/3/2016
It’s been 3 1/2 weeks since Kailee left on her mission. ¬†I have learned to love on a deeper level these past few weeks. ¬†I believe that when one door closes another one opens. Sometimes the door is not the same and sometimes it’s a different door all together, but doors do open and doors do close , and sometimes we have to just keep looking for the right door to open again.
About 3 days after Kailee left, I met Emi. She melted my heart in a way that no one has quite done before.
I am a private swim teacher and Emi is one of my students. She is 12 years old and has some limitations physically and mentally. However, she is a free spirit in the water and she has taught me so much in the short time I have known her.
The water has a freedom and a beauty to it that nothing else can quite capture. Water frees us from our limitations on land and brings us in touch with who we truly are. To watch Emi on the water is like watching a bird take flight.
Meeting Emi has made me want to be a better person and has helped me to soften the hole that is in my heart as I told my angel Kailee goodbye.
I believe the Lord has great things in store for Emi. I am just grateful that I am able to be a part of her life.
The water is a creation of God and to see Emi move so freely in the water brings peace to my soul.F441C2E2-E2E2-471C-B249-53CA07194637

The Elephant

THE ELEPHANT

Monday August 15th,

     I woke up this morning and I felt a stillness around me.  I felt the beginning of a new day, the hope of a better tomorrow and peace knowing that God does love me.

¬† ¬† ¬†My angel Kailee has been gone for five days now. ¬†I feel like I’m walking in a fog and some days it’s hard to see clearly. ¬†Everywhere I look I see her face.

¬† ¬† ¬† Some Angel’s talk more than others. ¬†My angel was a quiet angel. ¬†She was like a cat and she loved to curl up in a ball underneath the window and tweet all of her friends.
She was always there.  Her presence grounded me and gave me a hope that there is so much goodness in the world.
After I was fully awake this morning, a grey stuffed elephant was staring back at me. This elephant is a symbol of my love for Kailee.  She loves elephants!  They were everywhere in her room, in her head and in her heart. Elephants make Kailee feel safe and happy.
Elephants form deep family bonds and live in tight groups.  The herd is led by the oldest and often largest female called a matriarch. When the calf is born,  it is raised and protected by the whole matriarchal herd.
Kailee has many elephants watching over her and protecting her.  The elephant signifies power and strength.
Although my angel weighs no more than 115 lbs her strength is like an elephant.
They say good things come in small packages and the strength from within far surpasses our strength from outside.
May the strength of the elephant take her to an unknown place, unfamiliar to her body but very close to her heart‚̧ԳŹ
Love ,  Wing 2
image

Angel Wings

IMG_01619/10/2016

My dearest Kailee or may I say Sister Hogge. It is 2:37 p.m. on August 10th and every breath I have taken has been for you. I will be with you every step of the way. You will be in my thoughts, my prayers, my actions and most of all my heart. I cannot wait to see a picture of your companion and Abbie. But most of all I can’t wait to see a picture of your name tag.
I decided to name my blog “Heart Strings”. The heart represents all the love that missionary moms have for their children. The strings represent your harp, but for other mothers it will represent the tugging and pulling of the heart. Sometimes the strings are strong and steady and sometimes they slip, and at the worst of times they BREAK.
I would say everyone of my strings slipped today, but none of them broke. When a heart string breaks, it is when your child has hurt you deeply. Today my daughter did the unimaginable. It ripped my heart into a 1000 pieces, however, the strings are still in place and my heart is not broken, it just has a hole in it the size of NEW YORK STATE.
Everyday Sister Hogge remains in the mission field, one of my strings will go back into place. When 18 months is over, my heart will be so big and strong and the strings will be so tight that it will burst, and the hole will go away.

This is my first entry for my blog:
Last night I slept next to an angel. Her hair looked like lemons and her skin was as pure and fresh as the morning dew. She was dressed in white and her face was like the sun, soft and warm and radiant. She lay still and when I touched her I felt pure joy.
This angel is my daughter, Kailee Shantey Hogge: However; last night she became Sister Hogge.
She was set apart as a Missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at approx 7:30 p.m. on August 9th. Last night she became a servant for our Savior Jesus Christ.
My daughter Kailee is not like most Angels. Most Angels have 2 wings. She has 9, possibly 10 wings very soonūüėú. She has a wing for every member of our Family. Her 1st wing is from her father, Daren. It is the strongest wing on her back. This wing can organize, build, create and dream the biggest dreams imaginable. Her 2nd wing is her mother Lisa. Her mother’s wing is soft, white, tender and full of unconditional love. Kailee’s 3rd wing is like a rock. His name is Tyler and he holds all of her wings together.
Her 4th wing is the happy wing and His name is Austin. This wing is like the frosting on a cupcake and you just want to be around this wing all the time.
The next wing on her back is the service wing and his name is Dylan. He is always helping wing number 1 and 2 and his wing has the most feathers because he works the hardest. The sixth wing is a truly important wing. It is like a vessel always flying in the right direction and always protecting all the other wings. This wings name is Blake and he is always watching out for all the other wings so that their safe. Wing number 5 and 6 are connected and often times they fly together.
The Seventh wing belongs to Kailee. This is the wing that will fly the farthest and soar to the highest peaks and mountains. This is the wing that must remain steadfast, immovable and strong all the time.
The next 3 wings are Laura, Sydney and Easton. They connect to wing number 3 and keep his wing soft and gentle when it needs to go into difficult places.
The last wing is Whitney and this wing has’t attached all the way yet. But if she does, this angel is going to be the strongest angel to ever enter the MTC.
The cool things about Angels is when one wing is broken they can still fly, but when all wings work together they SOAR.
I let my angel fly today and when her wings are in full force miracles will happen.
Kailee Shantay Hogge: You are my angel in the night and you are my morning star.
God bless you on your journey of a lifetime,
All my love,
Wing 2