Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Divine Mindset Upgrade ~ FREE WEBINAR~ Spiritual Preparedness

With all the natural disasters, we talk a lot about temporal preparedness. What about preparing by learning to manage our thinking so we can stay calm and hear the Spirit in times of turmoil? This is a great skill for us and our children to learn!

Did you know that 95% of the average person's thoughts are the same as yesterdays, and 80% are negative? Thoughts influence everything, and the good news is, you and I have more influence over our thoughts than we may have every realized. What can we do detox our negative thoughts and increase our positive thoughts, so we can move forward in our divine life purpose? Join me for this free webinar to find out!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Influence of a Mother ~ Guest Post

* Photo of the author with one of her 11 children 

Influence of a Mother
By Shiloah Baker

For centuries beautiful words have been written of mothers and their important influence in the lives of every man and woman. Countless stories have been shared of mothers who gave great personal sacrifice for the sake of her children and future generations.

We were all children once and have an acute understanding that children need more that food, clothes, and shelter. Children need positive influence and love. We all have our weaknesses. This is a part of the mortal life we live, but we can always strive to do better.

“Every mother should endeavor to be a true artist. I do not mean by this that every woman should be a painter, sculptor, musician, poet, or writer, but the artist who will write on the table of childish innocence thoughts she will not blush to see read in the light of eternity and printed amid the archives of heaven, that the young may learn to wear them as amulets around their hearts and throw them as bulwarks around their lives, and that in the hour of temptation and trial the voices from home may linger around their paths as angles of guidance, around their steps, and be incentives to deeds of high and holy worth.” (Francis E. W. Harper)

Dorothy Gale, in the Wizard of Oz said it best when she said, “There’s no place like home.” A mother’s influence in the home will last beyond the current moment, day, or week. A mother’s influence lasts from generation to generation. What a powerful influence mothers have.

My mother was no longer able to raise me after the age of thirteen due to many sad circumstances beyond her control. She gave her all to raising all four of her daughters with strong roots in the gospel and a love of home and homemaking skills. She demonstrated a respect for femininity and encouraged us to raise families. Through her example I grew too cherish being a nurturer- a mother.

As you gather your family around you and see their precious faces, take time to thank our Heavenly Father for your calling as a mother and remember how important you are in the lives of your family.

“You may place upon the brow of a true wife and mother the greenest laurels; you may crowd her hands with civic honors; but, after all, to her there will be no place like home, and the crown of her motherhood will be more precious than the diadem of a queen.” (Francis Harper)

Shiloah Baker is the mother to eleven beautiful children and  married to the man she’s madly in love with. She is founder and Master Energy Healer at LIFEOLOGY ENERGY THERAPY and owner and editor in chief of THE HOMEMAKING COTTAGE .  Lover of religion classic books, children, and beautiful home decor.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Video Interview with BhiveTV ~ #1 Mormon Youtubers in Europe!

I am so excited !!!! We are big YouTube people in our family ~ we LOVE to watch YouTube and one of our new favorites is BhiveTV ~ they are this incredible, fun LDS family who live in Vienna, Austria and they vlog about their lives. It's a fun channel and you know it's safe for your kiddo's to watch !

They have a neat Instagram account ~ HERE and I was checking it out one day and left them a comment.... and in that comment I also added ~ hey if you ever want to do an interview for my blog let me know !  Well, guess what ...........

They were kind enough to let me interview them. Normally I just send a list of interview questions thru email and the people will just email me back with the answers, then I create the blog post. Well, this family is way fun ~ since they are vloggers... they sent in a video interview !!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!

Enjoy !!!!

 Meet the awesome family behind BhiveTv on YouTube. You have mom and dad ~ Andrew and Eliza ( pronounced a-lee-za ) and their four cutie pie, crazy fun kiddos ~ Noah, Emma, Liam, and Finn.

Learn about Andrew ~ HERE
Learn bout Eliza ~ HERE

Now let's talk about those cute kiddos !!!!! 

Learn more about Noah ~ HERE

Learn more about Emma ~ HERE

Learn more about Liam ~ HERE

Learn more about Finn ~ HERE

I love how they keep their Family Home Evenings light and fun so that their kids love to have FHE. That is something that we also tried to do when our kids were that age. They talked about the sign they have that the kids enjoy moving the little tags.... guess what, they are fantastic so they really did take a pic of it and send it !

One of the things that I was most interested in was how they naturally just lived their religion in the vlogs. They are right ~ it's just our lives. We are just LDS and that comes across naturally in our everyday lives and it's something we shouldn't hide. It is good missionary work and I am excited for them as they continue to vlog and just be good examples and continue to answer questions about the Gospel. :)

I also enjoyed how they talked about their parenting style. I love that about my blog ~ I get to highlight and interview all different kinds of parents. We all do things our own way and the way that is best for our children. For Andrew and Eliza that is always learning. Andrew states,

" It is a collaborative effort as a family. We learn from them as much as they learn from us. "

One of my favorite quotes from the interview was from Eliza ~

Then they had a little laugh about how that was one of the commercials that used to be on for the LDS church ~ Isn't it about time ? Well I decided to go look up those fun commercials... and post it because.. hey it's fun!

Isn't it about time ??? ~ LDS COMMERCIAL


Something that Andrew mentioned really struck home with me. He talked about how our children are on loan from Heavenly Father...

This family is amazing. We love to watch their vlogs and we hope that you will go and enjoy them with your family! Because no matter what... we can all agree with Andrew and Eliza ~ Family is the most important thing !!

Here are links to their social media pages and their website !!! Go check them out !

YouTube :
Instagram :
Facebook :
SnapChat :

Monday, July 17, 2017

Interview with Westin Wilson ~ Husband. Father. Pro MMA Fighter.

One of the things I love about having a blog of my very own ~ is that I get to choose to highlight all kinds of LDS Parents ! I have been so blessed to interview some truly fascinating parents, and some parents who are just like you or I. I love that about the Gospel, and how Heavenly Father works... we are all different and unique. We all parent differently. It is so perfect because we all have unique and different children. It's so amazing and just so very perfect. How thankful I am that we are all different, and that our children are all different and not cookie cutters. How boring would our world be ?

That is one of the reasons I was so excited to interview Brother Wilson. He is one of those unique people who have a passion for something that is just a bit well ~ different then what maybe I might choose and I love it ! Enjoy the interview and Happy Parenting ! ~ JL


JL~ First of all, who the heck are ya ? :) Can you tell us a bit about you, your beautiful wife and your cute as pie kids ? ( While on Instagram I saw a picture of his beautiful daughter Scarlett and what I thought was a beautiful baby doll she was holding.... turns out she was holding her sister, Adaline ~ they really are that beautiful! )

Westin and Jennifer Wilson

Scarlett and Adaline Wilson 
( This is the pic where i thought Scarlett was holding a baby doll! They are just that cute aren't they ??  LOL! ) 

Westin ~ I am Westin Wilson. I am a Husband, Father, and Fighter.

However, being a Pro MMA fighter is not my day job. I graduated with my degree in Public relations (PR) and have done work for several companies using my experience in MMA and  PR, which included helping run Mitt Romney’s charity event where he fought Evander Holyfield.

That was an amazing experience meeting Mitt and moreover seeing Evander Holyfield (a legend of boxing) enter a ring as if it were a real fight. I was ringside for the whole event.

However, my current day job is a business analyst for a Utah based software company.

My wife’s name is Jennifer and she was born and raised in a small town in southeast Oklahoma.

We have two girls, Scarlett Virginia who is 3 and Adaline Joyce who is 9 months.

My wife is a stay at home wife and esthetician. We lived in Utah for the last 5 years until last November when we moved out to Fort Worth looking for
more opportunities and to live closer to family.

JL~ Any cute stories about how you guys met, or proposal etc ?

Westin ~ Jennifer and I grew up together for a time. My dad worked for the DEA so we moved around a lot. One of the areas we lived was McAlester Oklahoma where my dad was called to be the bishop and Jennifer’s dad was called to be the first counselor.

There have only been 3 women in my life who have whooped me growing up: My mom, my older sister and Jennifer.

At a church activity we were doing a water balloon activity and Jennifer had just got a spray tan and was not participating (She had a school dance in a few days) I was 13 and she was 15. When people tell me not to do something it becomes really tempting to do that something so I decided to hit her with a water balloon ruining her spray tan.

One thing led to another and I was face down in the groung getting pounded on by my future wife. My family shortly moved away and I lost contact with Jennifer. After several years she added me on Facebook and she looked a lot better than she did when she was 15. So I decided I would give it a try. We dated for about 6 months and then got married.

JL~ What do you love and admire about your beautiful wife Jennifer ?

Westin ~ What I love about Jennifer is how important family is to her. She constantly is trying to plan things for all of us to do. She really makes each moment I have with the family important. She also keeps me in line because I can be a little rough around the edges at times. She is constantly by my side through thick and thin through the ups and downs.

JL~ Westin where did you go on your mission ? Any spiritual stories you would like to share ?

Westin ~ I served my mission in Rochester NY Spanish Speaking. I was extremely blessed on my mission and I learned if you ask the Lord to be an instrument in his hand he will use you. Even when you think it might be too much, He will provide a way to accomplish what He needs you to do.

JL~When you decided to marry, were you doing pro MMA stuff Westin ? What was your wifes reaction to her husband possibly getting hurt ?

Westin~ I started MMA in High school. My dad’s job moved us to Sao Paulo Brazil and I could no longer wrestle so my dad offered to pay for me to do MMA. My mission was the only state in the US that MMA was still illegal and I did not do MMA for the 2 years on my mission and 2 years after. When we first got married I told my wife I wanted to get back into fighting and she told me to go for it. I would regret it if I did not give it a try.
My first fight was the main event of this amateur event. I fought
this 3-0 undefeated kid. It was the most damage I have ever taken in a fight but I beat the guy. After that I was hooked and I worked up the amateur ranks and turned pro about 3 years ago.

After my first 2 fights she stopped going to them. She stays home ( or in the hotel if we travel to a fight ) and just waits for my call or my little brother, friend or whoever is with me at fight night to call.

My wife is very supportive of me fighting. She does worry, but knows I have dreams and goals and wants to see me accomplish them.

JL~ Tell me about your cutie pie kiddos !!!! What are their personalities like ?

Westin ~ Scarlett is 3 and she is fiercely loyal. If she knows you and accepts you she is all in being your friend. But you have to earn her loyalty. She is very smart and loves princesses and dressing up. However she is not afraid to rough house either.

Adaline is the best baby you could ask for. She is always calm and
smiling. She is very giggly and loves to laugh. She is tough too because she has an older sister who is still learning how to be soft with a new baby sister.

JL~ What are some of the things you do to teach the Gospel in your home ?

Westin ~ Right now our big thing is learning new primary songs and we make sure to pray often in the house. We always have Scarlett say a prayer and then we say another prayer.

Since we have young kids our family home evenings usually consist of a video from the primary kids section of the CHURCH WEBSITE and we try to learn a new song.

JL~ Funniest or grossest parenting experience .... and GO! Lol

Westin ~ We have been lucky to not really have anything gross. ( JL would like to insert here ~ give it time, Westin, give it time! LOL!)

JL~ Any sweet spiritual experiences with your daughters ? What are some things they love about church or FHE etc ?

Westin ~ Scarlett loves to sing and dance so anything with singing and dancing. She also loves nursery. As far as spiritual experiences it's always heartwarming to hear her pray.
JL~ What are your schedules like... do you set aside specific times
daily for family etc ?

Westin ~ I get up at 6:45 head to work. Get home at 4:30pm and from 4:30 to 6:30 is family time. At 6:30  its time to train from 6:30 to 8:30 and then I come home and it's time my wife and I hang out.

Sundays we do our family home evenings and usually go to a park.

JL~ Westin ~ what will you do if one day your daughters beg you not to fight anymore ? This is a hard one, I know.

Westin ~ It would be a serious discussion we would have as a family but I am not sure what I would do. It depends on where I am at in the journey as well. If I was competing in the UFC then I probably would not quit because I could do more good then just fight. If I am still on the regional circuit and no hope of moving up any time soon then I would consider it.

JL~ How does Jennifer handle your job ? From one wife to another... how does she not throw up at the thought of you getting hurt ? ;)

Westin~ MMA is not my full time job I am a business analyst during the days. However she does not go to my fights. She is very much like the wife from the movie Cinderella Man~ she stays at home and waits to hear back from me or someone about the result.

JL~ Ok... my fave part of the interview lol. I don't know a lot about MMA ~ so I called someone who does ! My favorite MMA fan ~ my 73 year old Aunt ! She loves it and sure wishes they would wear the short shorts again... hahaha !!! LOVE HER ! Ok, she has some good questions for you!

Aunt Bon Bons ~ What is your best hold ?

Westin~ I have 2 submission wins by Triangle choke. Outside of that I have knockouts and TKO's.

Aunt Bon Bons ~ What class are you ?

Westin~ I have professional wins in 135 (Bantamweight) , 145 ( Featherweight ) and 155 ( Lightweight ) 145 (Featherweight) and 155 (Lightweight)

Aunt Bon Bons~ How many hours do you train a day ?

Westin~ 2-3 hours a day

Aunt Bon Bons ~ Have you met any super famous fighters ?

Westin ~ Yes I have met many UFC champions and a few legends of the sport. I have this weird thing where I refuse to ask for autographs or pictures with them because my goal is to one day be just like them. So I try not to put them on a pedestal.
Aunt Bon Bons ~ What kinds of injuries have you had ?

Westin~ Broken nose several times. I've never had a black eye in my entire life. But my worst injury came in training a year ago. I tore my ACL and had to take a year off after surgery adn rehab. Then the move to Texas delayed my return even further.

Just a couple of the inspirational quotes you will find on Westin's Instagram (link below) 

JL~ Back to me folks. I wanted to share with you a blog post that Westin shared on his Social Media the other day. I will have links below for you to follow him. This blog post he wrote sums up everything here in the best way possible. You can find the post HERE. Please go check it out.

Here are links to Westin's Social Media where you can follow his fights, his family, and his life. I sure am thankful he agreed to the interview ! I love the different aspect on parenting ! Thank you so much Westin! We sure wish you the best of luck in your future !

Westin Wilson Instagram : INSTAGRAM
Westin Wilson Facebook : FB

Happy Parenting! Love, JL~

Friday, July 14, 2017

Pioneer Day Activity and FHE (UPDATED)

* Pioneer Day Activity *
This is a fun activity idea for just a few friends and neighbors or for a primary/ward activity.
Send out cute invitations and you are gonna have a blast!
* Have kids bring their bikes, wagons, scooters, etc
* They will be decorating them with red, white, and blue streamers, etc ( walmart has streamers etc for 54 cents! Dollar stores also have fun decorations too!)
* Flags, etc ,and the kids can cut stars etc out from construction paper. This will be for the patriotic parade at the end of the activity. :)
* Make pies- each kid will have a little aluminum foil pan ( they have these at walmart etc in shapes like stars, etc or just circles)
- have dough made up already , here's an easy RECIPE  from Iheartnaptime, scoop dough into pie pan, then have child choose their choice of filling - cherry, apple, blueberry etc , you can buy the big cans of pie filling at the store quite cheaply.
* you can top with more dough then have them sprinkle some sugar on top, these can bake while they do the other activities.
* Do a small presentation on the pioneers... you can use the FHE that is at the bottom of this post if you'd like... here's a LINK
* Pioneer sing-along : have kids gather around and make instruments out of cardboard shoe boxes and rubber bands, maracas from cans and beans ( water bottles work well for this too) and then put on the primary cd's to the pioneer songs and sing along and play their instruments while gathered outside in a circle the way the pioneers did at nighttime.
* Play pioneer games : duck duck goose, button button whose got the button, hoop and stick ( hula hoop with stick from paint store, the ones you stir the paint with)
* Old time photo shoot : Have various pioneer attire, bonnets, straw hats etc then have a "set" an old wooden box etc, and have the families pose one family at a time, then take their picture with a digital camera set in the sepia tone.... makes it look antique.
* Have kiddos eat their pies ( you can also serve other refreshments too of course, look up pioneer recipes etc. )
* Ending event!! The Patriotic Parade!! Have kids ride their bikes, scooters, wagons, strollers, etc and have the kids hold their little flags if they don't want to ride and have a parade!!!!

Closing prayer and then your done! It's alot of fun! :) It's such a blessing to us to have this legacy of the pioneers and their courage, faithfulness, and examples.

                                                                       image from pinterest

Pioneer Day FHE :

LIVING SCRIPTURES has made this easy on us ~ they have hundreds of fun FHE's for the whole family and the one for Pioneer Day is all about the Handcart Pioneers. What an incredible legacy those pioneers gave us. I always tell my kids when we complain about something.... think of the pioneers !! ;) You can check out the FHE for Pioneer Day from Living Scriptures HERE ! ENJOY!!!! You can also watch the entire Docudrama of the Restoration when you get the Living Scriptures STREAMING LIBRARY  - enjoy 50% off your first month on me ;) It's under ten bucks a month after that ! ;)

Just a quick closing note ~ I hope this is helpful and that everyone has a fantastic Pioneer Day ! Our family enjoys it... our daughter Marlee was born on July 24th :) Happy Parenting ! Love, JL~

Friday, June 23, 2017

Celebrate Dad Every Day !

Father's Day has come and gone for another year. I had started out all fired up to write a fantastic Father's Day post, but life happened. Then I wondered.... why do we just have to celebrate Dad on Father's Day ? Why am I so worried about making sure this blog post goes out before Father's Day ??? Why can't we celebrate Dad every day ??? Guess what.... we can. I was happily taught by one of my readers, that we can do whatever we want ! If we want to write about Fathers on a day other than Father's Day.... well why the heck not ?? I love it. I love Dads. I love my hubby who I personally believe is the best Daddy ever !!!! 

One of the most incredible quotes from this new book I'm about to tell you about, by Elder D. Todd Christofferson ~ is this : 

" The perfect, divine expression of fatherhood is our Heavenly Father. His character and attributes include abundant goodness and perfect love. His work and glory are the development, happiness, and eternal life of His children. Fathers in this fallen world can claim nothing comparable to the Majesty on High, but at their best, they are striving to emulate Him, and they indeed labor in His work. They are honored with a remarkable and sobering trust. "    ~ Elder D. Todd Christofferson 

I could go on all day about the many things in this one, small quote that touch me to my very soul. There are many children ~ even adult children ~ who are either growing up or did grow up with a father who is nothing like our Father in Heaven. There are children who have lived their lives feeling like their Heavenly Father is just like their father on earth ~ and to them that is a terrifying thought. We have such important jobs to do on this earth, as parents in Zion. Fathers need to show their children that not only do they have a father here on earth who is completely and utterly in love with them and will do absolutely anything to make sure they are safe and happy~ but that they have an incredible Father in Heaven, who has not only created them, but loves them with a perfect love. Who loves them more than we can ever, ever comprehend. Fathers need to teach their children about their Father in Heaven and how important He is. He is everything. They need to teach their children about their Brother in Heaven and how Heavenly Father loved them sooo very much that He actually let His son Jesus die for them. So that they can be with Him for eternity. Fathers need to teach their children that THEY want to be with them through eternity. Fathers need to do their best to emulate their loving Father in Heaven , just like the quote states. Such a beautiful quote and so many things to think about. Let's celebrate fathers every day. 

 So here are some fun ideas to use when you want to surprise Dad ~ any day of the year. You can hide things in his lunchbox, put a note on his pillow, present him with a present just because. Help him to know that he is valuable and of worth to you every single day of the year !! 

Elder D. Todd Christofferson has now published a beautiful book for Fathers. It is based off on one of his awesome talks and the pictures are beautiful. I will actually be doing a giveaway for this book... and then you can purchase it here : DESERET BOOK

The good folks at Deseret Book have explained it the very best way : 

    " "Fathers are fundamental in the divine plan of happiness," writes Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. "I want to raise a voice of encouragement for those who are striving to fill well that calling. I wish to focus on the good that men can do in the highest of masculine roles: husband and father."
Based on his "Fathers" talk, given during the April 2016 general conference, this thoughtful new book contains insights and inspiration about the eternal role of men. Complete with beautiful photography and typography, The Good That Men Can Do uplifts, encourages, and honors husbands and fathers of all ages and walks of life as they share responsibility with our Heavenly Father to nurture His children. " 

I actually sat down and read through this book with my cute hubby. It was really neat. I love the talks in Conference etc about Fathers. It makes me feel so incredibly proud of my husband and makes me feel so thankful that he is such an incredible daddy. 

The next thing is from the Dating Divas Website... holy moly they are so stinking fun !!!! You have to check out their website. Plus they have a ton of cute ideas for you and hubby to have fun date nights. This particular thing I'm highlighting is sort of for Fathers Day.... but I love this idea to do these cute things just any day.... that is what we are doing ! Celebrating Dads every day !!! Use these cute things to surprise him ! 

Father's Day Breakfast Printables

Follow the link above to make this super special breakfast for DAD ~ On a day he would never suspect it !!!!!! That is fun ! :)

Another great gift for the whole family... but def for Dad ~ A subscription to Living Scriptures Streaming Library. There are not only the regular animated movies you would expect.. but there are these movies also :

The Saratov Approach

Granite Flats

The Cokeville Miracle

17 Miracles

Mobsters and Mormons

The Best Two Years

The RM

Baptists at our Barbequeno
The Singles Ward

Plus more :) It's only $5 for your first month thanks to my awesome referral link woohoo ! Then it's only $10 a month... and I know I've gone over a million times all of the fun things that it includes... 200 plus movies, activity pages and quizzes and coloring pages and FHE lessons etc etc... but you know that ;)

What about putting this cute as can be pillow on his side of the bed for him to find when he goes to bed after a long day at work ?? This particular item is a pillow case type thing... but I love it because its CHEAP!! And honestly... how cute is it ??? SUPER CUTE FOR SUPER DAD !!! Here's the link : SUPER DAD PILLOW COVER

 This book just looks really really good. It would be fun to put it in his church bag, or maybe in his vehicle for him to find. What an incredible group of examples and I always love books that tell real stories about real people. It makes me feel like if they can do it... I can do it. Here's a link where you can find it at a good price : LIFE LESSONS FROM FATHERS OF FAITH

This super sweet website has a really cute free Super Dad's coupon book for kids to give daddy. They have two options... a blank coupon book ( with a list of ideas just in case they need some help ) and an option where the coupons are already made up... like the picture above has a coupon good for breakfast in bed ! FUN ! Not only is it a fun little surprise for Dad... but it teaches the kiddos to serve their daddy. He serves and provides and loves them all of the time. It is an incredible lesson to teach them to serve him also. :) Here is the link for the free coupon book : SUPER DAD COUPON BOOK

These are just some fun ideas of things to surprise dad any day of the year. Daddies are important !!!! Let's teach our children to take time each day to tell daddy how much they love him, and to do little sweet surprises for him every now and then :) Do you remember the song, " I'm so glad when daddy comes home " that's in the children's songbook ?? I love that song !!! Another good idea ~ have your kids memorize the song and when daddy comes home from work sing it to him !!! Make sure to pat his cheeks and give him what ?? A great, big kiss !!!!!

Happy Parenting ! Love, JL~

Disclaimer ~ some of these ideas are affiliate links and some are not... but rest assured... I adore them all !!! ;)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

On A Personal Note ~ Marlee's Miracle

Marlee finally getting to head home from St Louis Children's Hospital June 2016

Sometimes I like to get a little personal here on LDS Parenting. As we are now into the month of June ~ my mind has been full of memories of where we were last year at this time. We were terrified ~ our daughter Marlee was so incredibly sick, we weren't sure if she would live. There was a time where we went to her doctor and he rushed her to St Louis Childrens Hospital and as she was being wheeled out the nurses were crying because they thought she wasn't ever coming back. :( 

Even though the entire month of June 2016 was incredibly emotional, scary, and exhausting ~ there were miracles. I would like to share this store with you as a celebration of Marlee's life ~ she is alive, she is doing good with her lung function, and she is happy. We are so blessed that Heavenly Father spared her life. 

About 2 weeks before Young Women Girls Camp past year, Marlee got a cold. No big deal, it didn't even require any meds, it was just annoying to her. Soon tho, it turned into much more and we started what would be, a month full of doctor appointments, ER visits, and an admission to STL Children's Hospital for specialized care. 

At the ER that night, she was happy to see that it was her Best Friend's dad who was taking care of her. She felt much more comfy. Unfortunately, X-RAY showed pneumonia. But they were able to get her started on antibiotics that normally treat pneumonia no problem. We thought we had caught it and that she would take her antibiotics and be better in a few days and ready to head to Girls Camp. 

      Marlee resting in the recliner ~ her spot for the month of June ~ in this picture, she was already on oxygen and struggling to breathe. 

After a couple of days on the antibiotics, we were shocked because Marlee was not getting better ~ She was getting worse. Much worse. She couldn't move from the recliner except to be practically carried to the bathroom. She was so incredibly weak she could hardly hold her head up. The fevers started ~ some reaching as high as 106 degrees. A quick call to her Best Friends dad and he told us that we needed to watch how she acted, not necessarily go by the numbers. We were able to get her through the horrid high fevers by covering her in cool wet wash clothes because she was to weak to get into the shower or tub. We had her doped up on Motrin and we used Peppermint Essential Oil from doTERRA to try sooo hard to make her more comfy. 

After a couple days of this, with the coughing that made her throw up, the high fevers, and the terrifying weakness ~ we knew it was time to head back to the ER. One of the reasons we knew it was time, was we hooked her up to her Pulse/OX machine ~ A machine that measures your pulse and your oxygen level. Of course we want our oxygen level to be 100%. Marlee has a disease that causes her O2 level to drop when she sleeps so we have oxygen for her to sleep with. She does great that way. But we do have the equipment to hook her up to , in order to make sure that she is safe. We hooked her up to her O2 machine and this is what we saw :

The top number is her pulse. The bottom number, in green, is her oxygen level. It wasn't safe. :( Marlee has an alarm on her pulse/ox that goes off if she goes below 95 % oxygen. That is just what the doctor set as her safe levels. Obviously, the alarm was going nuts. We headed back to the ER. The doctor at the ER was very busy I guess, because he just kind of looked her over real quick and said she had a cough. yup~ she did have a cough ! That was about it. He sent her home. We were incredibly frustrated at that point and we went ahead and put Marlee's oxygen on her full time. We had to keep her safe. That is what parents have to do sometimes. 

I begged Marlee to please let me call the Missionaries and have them give her a blessing. Even though she was scary sick, and was in pain and felt awful ~ she told me that she didn't want to bother the missionaries, because there was surely someone who needed them more. She loves them and didn't want to bug them because she was worried they would come to be with her for a bit, and miss being with someone who needed them. I was proud of her for thinking of others, but I was so upset and scared. I went into the bedroom and just fell to my knees begging Heavenly Father to please please take care of her, to please heal her, and keep her alive. 

A few minutes later I realized that I had left something I needed in our Jeep, so I stepped outside to grab it and who did I see walking down our street ???? Yep. The Missionaries. I waved real big lol, a huge smile and just wanting to cry with happiness and grateful ! They came over and I basically attacked them blubbering and crying ! I prayed you would come !!! I kept saying ! I prayed so hard ! Marlee is deathly ill and wont let me call you to come give her a blessing because she is afraid someone else needs you more !!!! They told me that they were out walking and  just felt very strongly to turn down my street !!!! They came in and gave Marlee the most beautiful blessing. It was a miracle to me, that they had listened to the Spirit and that they came to us when we couldn't call them to come. I will forever pray that those boys will be blessed !!! 

A couple of days later, we were at the point where she could barely even sit up on the potty without me holding her on there, she couldn't eat, wasn't drinking enough, couldn't stay awake, and it was terrifying. Time to call her doctor again. We headed up to see him. I had to get a wheelchair and hook her oxygen onto it just to get her out of the car and into the waiting room, They took one look at her and took her straight back ~ they have been taking care of my kiddos since they were little. Marlee was almost 14 at the time and due to her many health issues that she was born with, they all know her very well at the doctor office and love her just like we love them. Her doctor came rushing in , took one look at her and said, i'm going to listen to her lungs, and then we are going to get her admitted down to st louis childrens. He listened to just her left lung first, and yelled out " marlee you sound horrible! You sound like theres a bunch of horse meat that has been ground up and thrown into your lung !" He had succeeded in getting the first tiny smile out of Marlee that we had seen in over a week. We got her wheeled back towards the waiting room and he called St Louis and got things set up, while the nurses and receptionists came and gave Marlee hugs and there were tears shed, I found out later, that they had all been crying because they thought it would be the last time they would ever see Marlee :( 

We were lucky to be able to drive Marlee straight to St Louis ~ we just couldn't mess around we had to get straight there, no stops. As we pulled in to the hospital, this Medi~Vac Helicopter was landing at the same time. We started realizing, just how incredibly serious this was

Once we were settled in the hospital, they began testing ...... and more testing and more etc etc. We knew she had pneumonia and that she was terribly ill, but what we soon found out was that she had a scary atypical pneumonia and they would have to try a couple of different medicines to see if it would respond. We also found out that her left lung was completely not functioning. They called in her kidney specialists - her Nephrologist and her Urologist, and it was lucky because they were right there in the hospital. Soon we added in things for her kidneys, to make sure that they would stay functioning, because that was a worry of theirs that with her being so incredibly ill, her kidneys would shut down. We were thankful, because even tho they lost some function, they still worked and it was safe. After the testing, she was able to sleep and then followed a few days of multiple treatments and trying so hard to get her better and safe. 

One of the things that was mentioned in her blessing from the missionaries was that she needed to be faithful in reading the Scriptures. She took this to heart as she takes any commandment given from God. She is such an amazing Spiritual young woman. So even when she was basically unconscious ~ she made me promise that even if she was to sick to open her eyes or talk, please make sure that I read the Scriptures to her each night. So that first night at the hospital, and the second night, when she was pretty much unconscious ~ I would sit beside her bed and read from the Scriptures. I almost wonder if Heavenly Father had her do that, so that it would keep her mommy calm ! It's hard to be panicky and terrified that your daughter is going to die ~ when you are quietly reading the Scriptures out loud, knowing that somehow, she is listening. It brought such a sweet spirit to the room and to my heart. It was one of the only times that I was completely calm in my heart. As a mother, her sweet and obedient faith really hit me hard and made me so incredibly proud of her and so grateful for her. We were blessed because on the second full day she started to feel the teeniest bit better. Then on the third full day, she was able to sit up for awhile !

The next day after she woke up..... we were able to take this picture and send it to family and friends : 

Do you notice anything missing ????? NO OXYGEN ON HER FACE!!!
WOOHOO! She could now breathe without supplemental oxygen. She was responding to the medication. 

We finally felt like we were possibly going to be ok. She was much more perkier and was breathing so much better and felt better. We settled in for a day of watching movies and doing some crafts, she was finally able to sit up and do some activities ! 

She looks so much better !!!! 

We were blessed to be released from the hospital a couple of days later. Our sweet Marlee~girl, was safe and would be okay. We went back to her regular doctor and there were more tears, as she walked in to see everyone. No more wheelchairs !!!!! 

We weren't really prepared for how intense the recovery period would be. She still ran out of breathe super easy, she tired out very very quickly, she couldn't be in humid air or cold air and she wasn't able to take a shower until almost 6 months later, because the humid wet water and steam made it so she couldn't breathe. It took a good two months, just to be able to feel a bit normal. She was put on medicine for Reactive Airway Disease, a side effect from the Atypical Pneumonia and her lung losing function. 

Now here we are, a full year from when she was first diagnosed with pneumonia. At the very beginning. I can't help but see the miracles, the beautiful faith that she had , and the amazing miracles that a mother's desperate prayer brought. It will still be awhile before she is completely one hundred percent back to the way she was before the pneumonia. She is still on medication for Reactive Airway Disease and she still has days where she needs to rest. But I'm totally ok with that !!!! 

Miracles are not dead. There are miracles every single day and I rejoice in them. Heavenly Father truly loves us so incredibly much and He is so involved in our lives !!! I'm so thankful for missionaries, who live in a way that they can listen to the Spirit and follow the directions that they are given. I'm so thankful for the Priesthood. What an incredible blessing it is. I'm thankful for the Scriptures, for their instruction, and for the beautiful peace I feel when reading them. I'm thankful for my daughter. Do not ever , ever take your children for granted. Please ! Go hug them right now and tell them how much they mean to you !!! It will make them smile ;) 

A few months ago , Marlee completed her Personal Progress. She is 14. She finished the entire program in two years and is now almost finished with her first Honor Bee. She is incredible. She's happy and living the Gospel. What an incredible example she is to me. I love her so much, my sweet Marlee Sarah Beth. Here is a pic of her with the necklace she received for completing her Personal Progress. 
With Love, JL~

Marlee Sarah Beth Kaylor ( my hero ) with her Personal Progress pendant