With Grace she adorned her head with a scarf.

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With grace she adorned her head with a scarf and as customary she put on her best turquoise. It gives her not only beauty but protection as the stories tell. She was stoic and her smile was sweet and non assuming. Her tan skin was wrinkled from the years living and working hard in the sun, This very day as if young in years she would return home to look after her sheep and climb upon her horse. Why wouldn’t she it’s all she has ever known. It’s life. It’s Navajo. 

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My adventure on the Navajo Nation mission trip with The sound of life foundation. We help people to communicate and connect for a better quality of life.

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This last week I was able to go on a mission trip with the Sound of Life Foundation over to Bluff Utah, near four corners, to serve the people of the Navajo Nation and document the experience with my camera. On the way we drove thru Monument valley as the sun was setting. It was an artists palette of colors. God must really love us to give us views like this. I felt very blessed with this last minute adventure. We were exhausted after 6 hours of driving when we finally pulled up to our rental, a historic house from 1892. I got to go upstairs and choose my bedroom. I was so happy and chose the perfect one. It had deep set Windows’s with beautiful views. When I laid down at night I could hear the sound of the crickets.  The next two mornings we rose bright and early and went to the Navaho senior center. Immediately the people started to arrive. A lovely Navajo woman offered me Navajo tea. As we started the process of checking people in we realized some had fears and some wondered what the catch was and why we were doing this. We had a great team though and we put them at ease and loved getting to know them and their culture.  The use of interpreters was much needed and we appreciated the ones we had so much. I made it my goal to make them smile and tell me how they felt now that they could hear so much better. I loved the smiles and the stories. They could now be a more active part of their families conversations and lives. The frustration for themselves and their families would be so much less. A lady said she would now be able to hear her grandchildren when they called on the phone. That was important because they lived far away. A man now had hope because he had lost his job due to hearing loss. A lady called a friend from home later and said now I can hear my sheep! Another was relieved she would now hear her door bell and could go to community meetings and contribute. The stories go on. I was in my element as I served these lovely people, taught them about their new hearing technology, took pictures and laughed with them.

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Our view on the way through Monument valley. The sun was setting so no filters needed. Just pure natural beauty!


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A lovely place to rest

 

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One of the first to arrive was Samson. He said he is looking forward to hearing more of everything around him. He loves to tame wild horses. 

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Starting the day with Navajo Tea

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Jeff Manwaring


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Eric Nillson & Justin Bateman

 

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Jacob Burrows


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Lucy helping us translate


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Arlene had 10 Children 

 

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Loved these two


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Lula showed me how she did his hair while they were waiting. We couldn’t speak together in english much but we could in actions.  


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Our Team


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A view on the way home 

Intermountain Audiology, Southern Utah deaf and hard of hearing, Precision Hearing

 

This tree. 

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I have a tree in front of my house that blesses me. I put a bird house in it for birds to come visit and a wind chime to bring me song. It’s branches seem to grow different than they should and it’s a little quirky. I almost pulled it out a few years ago when I bought the house. Next year, I thought. 

I planted a flower garden under the tree and watered and tended to it. Over the next year it grew much taller and it’s branches became full with leaves. It’s still quirky however, so am I. If it fought so hard to thrive it deserves to stay planted, since I have fought so hard too. 

Jenny 

Living well warriors 

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My oldest daughter is a project manager for sun warrior. Several days ago I got a call from her. She said, “mom, Milan Ross is flying in to town for Sun Warrior. We are going to dinner tonight would you like yo go? ” Of course I said yes. Milan Ross is 6’4 full of life and has lost approximately 300 pounds or more . It has made him an ambassador for Sun Warrior. Becoming Vegan was the key to his success. My daughter drives a little Miata and after convincing her he would never fit in her passenger seat due to his height, I became his driver in my Toyota Tacoma.  I was so lucky to hear his story first hand as we tried to find a vegan friendly restaurant that would take us. We ended up at the Red Mountain spa. I had a vegan dinner and we all sat and enjoyed the flavor of the food and laughed so hard at the stories shared. I’m not ready to go all in vegan but I totally get it. I am however ready to have a more plant based diet. I’m ready to join the movement for meatless Monday’s . Apparently if everyone just spent one day a week with no meat in their diet it would change the planet tremendously. I’m ready to eat grass fed, free range and organic and I hope someday to do even better. Baby steps. So check out Sun Warriors website and Milan Ross for inspiration. He’s writing books, has his own seasoning line, a cooking show is coming out and a movie. Here’s to my daughter for taking care of her Mom. 

A letter to the man who knew us and stole from us.

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A letter to the man that knew us and robbed us..
The worst part of the robbery is that we let you in. We let you our lives and in our hearts. We let you in our home and in our family. We gave you our trust. When the trust faltered we gave you unconditional love and a chance to make it right. You tricked us into believing in you because we wanted to. We gave you support and aid and care. Little did we know you took and took and took. The fact that you broke our hearts and trust in the end is emotional and shocking and will heal over time. I have never really experienced this before and it has shook me to my core. To think that you felt entitled to go through my personal space and just take what you wanted from people that you said you cared about is mind boggling to me. I don’t know that I will ever be quite the same.

You stole my peace and my trust in people for a short time but I will get it back because that’s how I am. You stole my Moms wedding ring. She left it in my care. She is in an assisted living dealing with disease. The ring she had on her finger when she married my father. The ring she had on her hand when I was born. Years later when it no longer fit over her arthritic knuckle I would still look at it in the jewelry box with wonder. The ring I would like to pass on to my daughter if I ever get it back.

You stole my high school graduation ring. It was gold with tiny diamonds. No I don’t wear it anymore. Yes, it sat in my jewelry box.. You don’t have a clue what its story is or what it may mean to me. If Iwant to pass it down or if it takes me back to a younger time when I occasionally look at it. That wasn’t enough, you still needed more money. So, you took my first wedding ring to my first husband of my 3 children. Yes, I got a divorce. I have moved on. I no longer wear this ring. But I wore this ring through all the years of raising my children and this ring means something to them because that is the ring I wore when Mommy did everything for them. My daughter is heartbroken she loved that ring. Through the years I got a nice ruby ring and sapphire ring. I even got a solid gold ring with the letters CTR on it which ironically means “choose the right”. You took them too.

Still , I guess we hadn’t helped you enough when we offered you food and to eat with us. We gave you rides to work and someone to talk to when you were sad.

When my grandmother died she left me some money so Since my first wedding ring no longer fit, Knuckles like mom I guess, I put the money toward a white gold ring with a lovely square diamond. I felt this way I wouldn’t just squander the money away and it would mean something. But I guess you figured it didn’t really mean much when you pawned it with the others.

My second marriage to my husband now came along and money was tight at the time. But I sure loved the simple gold ring with a pretty marquise diamond that he put on my finger. That one wasn’t with the others in the Jewelry box so you really must have felt it was ok to take a harder look around. After all, it wasn’t on my finger so it must be yours to take?

I sit and type this letter after visiting the first pawn shop tonight with the police officer and after they took you away in cuffs. In the pawn shop the man poured the rings he had in your name out of an envelope to identify. When I saw my Mom’s wedding ring fall out on the desk it was the weirdest feeling. I started to shake and finally to cry. Along with it was my high school ring and my current wedding rings engagement band. But where is the other half with my diamond? Well they are evidence now. The pawn shop man put them back in the vault and I had to walk away. Apparently I get the great deal of buying them back at the price they gave you for them because law says they are a victim too, or i can wait maybe up to a year as we work it out in court for the charges of felony you are facing. I’ll see you there. At least I will eventually have my mom’s ring again. Tomorrow I will go to two more shops where you apparently took my things. I am crossing my fingers for more special rings there because I learned at one pawn shop a couple of the rings you took in have already been melted down and they are gone. I saw my flute I had been hanging on to from junior high. No biggie, just kinda weird to see it there and know you were in my closet.

Apparently my son’s wake board is at the pawn in your name. He was selling it anyway he really needed the money. I guess you needed it more though. My daughters long board is there too. Just whatever you felt might get you some dough, I guess. To be truthful I don’t know just how much you took. It kinda makes me feel unsafe and strange.

It wasn’t easy to call the police on you it was scary actually and has been quite exhausting. I’m not a good liar like you so I had to avoid you at all costs today so as not to give it away till they got here. They told me to because you might run. I watched as they cuffed you and lowered you into the back seat of the cop car. I guess I better visit all the neighbors today and explain, Now you face a felony and I face you in court.

I want to look in your eyes and ask how you could do this to us? I wanted to ask tonight, how you could do this to someone that was kind to you, that shared their home with you. To people you said you loved that were helping you get through. I sat on the porch waiting for the opportunity to possibly approach you when you were walking out with the officers. I wanted to do it then. I felt that would be good for you. To have to face us in that position to be accountable for what you did. The officer said sitting on the porch watching probably wasn’t appropriate and made us come inside.
I don’t understand that. I think it is completely appropriate for you to be accountable in front of us, to learn every lesson you can. What I don’t think is appropriate is that you were in my home, in my bedroom, in my armoire, my Jewelry box, my bathroom, my spare room and the storage unit behind my house. That you used my ladder to check even the top shelf of my storage unit so you didn’t miss anything that might be good to pawn. Ya, I don’t think that is appropriate. I do think it’s appropriate for you to see us, seeing you, being held accountable for what you did.

 

In my heart I hope you will get help for this and I will work on forgiveness. I will see you in court and no more in my home.

Jenny

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A morning Dove rescue

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It was quite a disappointment when I caught my beloved cat trying to take down an innocent baby morning dove. We were standing in our driveway talking to a neighbor when suddenly there was a commotion a few feet away. Our cat was playing with a bird and the cat was winning. Not waiting to see what the cat would do next we got her away from the bird.  The bird scampered into the nearby bush. The cat was bewildered thinking that she had been doing a heroic thing and now she was getting scolded. I swept her up and into the house. My husband Mike picked up the bird with his large hands and said “oh, it’s a baby morning dove.” I anxiously reached out and said, “let me see it” as I cooed, “Hi baby, are you ok?” Our Neighbor threw his hands in the hair and said, “what the heck, you guys just pick it up like it’s nothing.” His eyes were huge. He was trying to decide if we were crazy or cool. He verbally settled on cool. Mike was concerned about what we should put it in for the night and I magically appeared with a bird cage from the old shed. This wasn’t my first time saving a bird, I laughed at my own antics.  Just the other day my daughter and I were reminiscing about all the times we have gotten our selves tangled up in crazy situations with wildlife or other animals. I filled the cage with greenery from around the area we found the bird in, hung it on the front porch high from the cat and went to googling about morning birds. What a wonderful bird they are. When we held the bird it didn’t fight us and seemed to accept us quite well. The next morning there were 3 morning birds in our yard seeming confused about the caged morning bird. He seemed to be fine and in my half awake morning stupor I let him free. I kept the cat in the house the rest of the day and night. I have seen the bird scampering around the last few days and even fly up to the roof. Had he been younger or had less feathers I would have kept him longer to increase his survival chances. I think he will be soaring soon. I am happy we got to cross his path!IMG_3760

A few months ago I created a new Instagram account and It’s called #choosing2behappy. (That’s a hint so you can follow me.)

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  • I use pictures that I have captured with my #Iphone7+ while out on my adventures or when I’m just feeling inspired. I want to help people on their journey wherever they are. The process of trying to think up my next Instagram post that is positive and happy is like a therapy for me to keep my own mind going in a positive direction. Choose to fight and be brave. When you do this you are #choosinghappy I made this Instagram to help you and to help me. Now everyday I am on the lookout for an uplifting picture to take and message to post. This trains my mind to take a positive path. To create new pathways in my brain. I have had the depression and anxiety battle. So have many I love. Most people would not know this of me. They see my smile and I love to laugh. I am stronger than ever and I’m choosing to be happy. Thank you for joining me on a happy journey. ❤IMG_2482

Parkinson’s sucks

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imageThis is my mom . She has dealt with Parkinson’s disease for nearly 20 years . I ask myself why a lot . I know I should stop but I can’t help myself . Why would such a kind lovely woman have to deal with this ? Could it be from exposure to certain elements ? Could it be from past medications? Or do we just have a short straw in the gene pool?  Maybe it is our test to see how patient and kind we can be . Either way it sucks .

I was just up visiting Mom, she lives 5 hours away, and took my girls with me . My oldest daughter Ashley has always been close with Grandma. I felt really lucky to capture this photo of her perched on Grandmas bed . She was in the process of telling grandma stories and showing her pictures of her latest travels out of the country. Mom lives in a assisted living and doesn’t get out of her room much because she feels so out of control and self conscious about her condition and her jerking . We spoiled her this trip with essential oils, neck rubs, a haircut and pedicure. We left her with fresh flowers and cookies in her room hoping our presents would linger with her a little longer after we were gone. Hoping for us it would ease the guilt of leaving just a little. It’s never easy.
There are a few things we found over the years that have made Moms Parkinson’s better and/ or worse .
Parkinson’s is a disease of the central nervous system. If a stressful situation or person enters the equation the symptoms flare up . So although Mom likes to stay involved and informed in our lives, I try to involve her but not burden her with negativity . Sometimes I slip up because after all she is still my Mom, but I try to keep it positive.

It helps to keep routine and structure. Mom has her good times and bad times . She somewhat controls these symptoms witEven the famous Michael J Fox will tell you he has timed interviews and tv appearances with good times and meds .

The medication requip was a nightmare for our family. It causes addiction, obsessions, and hallucinations in many people. There was a class action lawsuit against this drug for addiction behaviors that started when people started taking the drug and ended when they went off it . It is prescribed to help the patient move better. It is not worth it . The neurologist we worked with had no empathy regarding the situation and said it was his job to make her move better,  period . Again, it is not worth it . Try other drugs , other therapies and do your homework .

Have a sense of humor and keep fun and activity in their life. Proper diet for maximum brain functioning and they will need to get extra rest.

We are just now trying essential oil blends. We were excited to see that they seemed to help calm her jerking. The serenity blend by DoTerra seems the be a good one.  There are oils also researched by the Young living  oil co. That may help as well .

If you enjoy a good Ted Talk on the internet they have some short inspiring speeches on Parkinsons. Just put Parkinsons on the search line.

It is a little different for everyone and hopefully someday we will know more on how to fight this, for now we treasure each visit . Maybe this little bit of our story will help another Parkinson’s warrior or their loved ones ❤️

I am posting again to this blog post something we discovered and think we will really like! Maybe you will too! There is a meditation that you listen to specifically for Parkinson’s disease. It is lovely and its from a sight called “health journeys.com ” we are also noticing that massage and stretching helps as well . Every little bit helps and we love to share ❤️