Sunday, June 3, 2018


Brett David Gardiner 

1989, May 8 
Brett Arrives
Brett is born. I’ve only gained 20 pounds, which I knew is all baby weight. My tummy is HUGE. This is going to be a big baby – at least an 8 pounder. It was so hot last night I put my hair up in some combs and was lounging on the couch in my lavender Mexican dress, looking like a purple blimp, while the children were cleaning up. Ryan came by and said, “You look better with your hair up when you’re skinny.” And I said, “I look better when I’m skinny—period!”

Kent was videotaping it but I was not really aware of what was going on. I just wanted the baby to COME OUT! AND PRAYED THAT IT WOULD BE OVER SOON. The doctor was very encouraging, kept saying it was almost there and he could see the blackish/blondish hair. FINALLY, at 11:07 he came out, BIG beautiful baby boy, so pretty the doctor thought he was a girl at first. He was 8 pounds, 11 ounces. I told Kent it had to be a boy with him being scoutmaster this year, but I was surprised. His facial features are so pretty and perfectly formed. He’s darker like Ryan, and his head is round like Eric’s and he was born on Chad’s birthday. He has such a pretty little mouth and nose, and his ears are small and perfectly

Kent meets Brett

We talked about these things in the recovery room after the nurse cleaned me up a little bit and we held the baby and recounted the wonder and awe of its birth and we discussed names. We liked Brett and Kevin and decided to think about those two names. Kent likes the sound of the name Brett--its short and strong. Kevin is the name of his best friend Kevin Large. I tried to nurse him but all he wanted to do was suck on his fingers. Kent said that he felt kind of nostalgic--like we'd come to the end of an era with our first and last baby born on the same day. I told him that I didn't want to go through this with anyone else but him and he said that he wouldn't want to either, and kissed me. I was very touched by his attention to my needs. He helped the nurse with my pads and cleaning up the blood, etc. and was very tender with me. He went to take pictures of the baby in the nursery while the nurse kept pushing down on my tummy so hard it hurt. Then they took me into Room 246. Kent got all my stuff, kissed me, and left a little after 12 noon as they brought in lunch to go get Ashley. I asked for pain medication to help with the afterbirth cramps.

They brought the baby in about 1:30 to nurse and he did a little better than the first time. Then about 4:00 Kent brought the children in to see the baby and me. When they came in they were all interested in the bed, bathroom and TV. Eric liked to flush the toilet with its long pull down lever. They all liked taking turns sitting on the bed and lowering and raising it. They couldn't wait to see the baby. When he came in they crowded all around to see and touch him. They held him with our assistance in this order: Ashley, Rachel, Ryan, Eric and Chad. I asked Chad how he felt about sharing his birthday and he said that he thought that it would be okay if everyone liked the baby and gave him lots of presents maybe he would get more too. When we talked about names they said they liked Kevin best as a first name. Ashley said that she wants me to come home.

Kent told about how he had let the children know about their new little brother. He had called Debbie as soon as he got home, but had asked her not to tell the children when she picked them up from school. Then Kent showed them the video of the baby's birth in order for them to find out if it was a boy or a girl. Eric said that I said a bad word in it because I said "Oh, God!" (I told him that I was praying.) Rachel hid her eyes and said that she doesn't want to have children. (I told them that each one of them was worth all the pain and discomfort.) After they watched it they went to pick up Chad from school and weren't going to tell him where they were going or what had happened but the two youngest ones gave it away. Ashley said, "We're going to see Mommy", and Ryan said, "We're not going to tell you what he is", and gave it away.

Kent said that he had called everyone to tell them about the baby's birth, but that night as I lay there I thought about my mother, and how I missed her special loving touch. I wondered if Kent had remembered to call my Grandmother, and so I called her and had a nice chat with her. I was glad that I did because Kent had forgotten. She was very happy for me, and I felt a real kinship towards her. She sort of helped fill the void of my mother's absence. She was the only one that I called that night.

Brett up Late

Brett stayed with me until about 10:30 that night. He fell asleep on my chest and I dozed off too. I had them bring him in to me at about 2:00 in the morning or when he got hungry, and asked them to wake me up and bring me a pain pill about a half hour before. Then again in the morning about 5:30 and 6:00. Dr. Umezaki circumcised him Tuesday morning and Dr. Greenwald came to see him too, and said that he was a nice big healthy looking baby.

After breakfast I called my friend Nancee Large, my sister Judy, and my stepmother Elaine. The baby seemed to nurse well, about 20 to 30 minutes steady, spitting out the nipple when done. The nurse told me he was very good in the nursery--sleeping most of the time or going at his fingers, trying to find a flavor that he liked. I prayed about his name: he looked like a Kevin to me and the children preferred that name, but I felt that he should be a Brett or Brett, and Kent had his heart set on that name. I like the Br sound, and have kept trying to come up with a name beginning with it for each of my last three children. I hesitated just a little, since Brett is an unusual name--it's just a little bit different, Brent being more common. But Brett is short, strong, and simple. I've known only two Brets or Bretts, neither as fine a young man as I know mine will become. A name is whatever you make it, and I know that my Brett will make it a great and good name because he will be a great and good man. And the more I said it to myself, the more I felt right about it. I felt that I should also be considerate of Kent's feelings since he was going to bless and baptize him and ordain him to the priesthood. So we decided definitely on Brett, although at this time I was spelling it with only one T--Brett, probably because I was reading a book about a man named Brett and I knew a boy in my folks' ward named Brett Hartman. Kent was thinking about Brett Maverick--a Western series popular in the 60's starring James Garner, and Brett Beitler, the son of his friend Denny. He also taught a boy named Brett whom he liked and as he took pictures of the baby he met another family from Lancaster who just had a baby girl named Meghan and their older child was a little boy named Brett. I know that our Brett will make his name mean something as special and unique as his own personality.

When Kent brought the children to see me Tuesday afternoon the nurse didn't want anyone to hold the baby at all except for Kent and I, so I let them hold the bottle of water to feed him. He hadn't urinated since being circumcised and the nurses wanted to make sure that he did. Ryan brought me some flowers and Ashley had her little doll that we all named Christy--the name I would have named Brett if he'd been a girl. (Ashley had spent the day with Kent shopping at Price Club for a school field trip and visiting Grandma Gardiner.) Kent videotaped the children with him and we talked about a middle name. I tried to think of family names and we deliberated over Thomas (a great grandfather's name and Uncle Charles' middle name) and David (my youngest brother's name). All the boys liked David and so Brett David it became, with Chad casting the final decision that night by phone. He'd been a little put out earlier because we made him go stand in the hall for interrupting us while we were trying to discuss it. Brett was very wet that night when I remembered to change him before the nurse came to get him at 10:00. I reread King Benjamin's great address in Mosiah chapters 2-5 before going to sleep.

Wednesday morning Kent stayed home with Ryan and they painted and did things together before taking him to kindergarten. I could tell that Ryan needed a little extra attention, he'd been a little whiny lately, feeling just a little displaced I think. Then Kent and Ashley came to bring Brett and I home from the hospital. I had signed the birth certificate Brett David, but when Kent came we decided to change it to Brett with two t's. It sounded stronger and more definite, and he'll need a strong name if he is going to be the youngest of 6 children. Fortunately we caught the gal in charge of public records there at the hospital before she had mailed it off and we were able to get it changed. The nurse wheeled me out to the car with Brett and Ashley on my lap and Kent brought us home about 2:00. I changed and lay down for just a bit when my dad and Elaine and my Grandmother came to visit. My Grandmother was particularly happy and came into the bedroom to see me and her newest great grandson with tears in her eyes. I was pleased that she was able to come. She made him a beautiful blue shell baby Afghan. Elaine gave him a bath towel, wash cloths and adorable dinosaur play suit. It was exactly the sort of gift my mother would have brought--in fact she did bring something very similar to that when Ashley was born. I was very touched by her thoughtfulness. My dad held Brett while he slept and he hunched down on his chest and looked rather uncomfortable. My dad seemed hesitant to move him and so I gave him to my grandmother to hold. Dad and Elaine talked about their coming trip to England with us--they were leaving on Friday, and Grandma discussed coin collecting with Eric. I was very tired when they left and took a nap until dinner. Brett was up during the night off and on between 11 and 3.

Thursday Brett ate every 2-3 hours. I kept him up for short periods during the day hoping he would change his schedule and sleep for me better that night. I watched the video of his birth and felt very blessed indeed with his birth. My prayers were answered and overall his birth was very smooth. Life is as a dream passing before our eyes. I felt nostalgic remembering having Chad and looking ahead to having our last child, which seemed forever in the future. And now its here, and I look forward to Brett leaving on his mission so Kent and I can go on ours. In not to many years that will be a reality, and I'll look back and remember his birth, and look forward to being reunited with loved ones on the other side of the veil. Time passes so quickly, and each moment is precious. I wrote the following family letter to everyone.

May 13, 1989
Dear Family,

Well, we have an appendage to our family letter since we have just added an appendage to our family. Little Brett David Gardiner was born last Monday morning May 8, at 11:07 am. He wasn't sure that he wanted to leave his nice warm home in Suzanne's tummy, though; he kept turning sideways and sliding back up the birth canal. I have a classic video of his birth experience. It may not win any academy awards, but it is a priceless record of one of life's greatest miracles. Rachel and Eric came home from school not knowing what we had and saw the video of the birth. They were spell bound. They were amazed at the effort their mother went through to bring someone into the world. Suzanne broke blood vessels around her eyes from the effort at pushing. After Suzanne saw the video, she said that it was the first time she had ever seen any of her own children be born. We feel very blessed with Brett's birth. Overall everything went very smoothly, and our prayers were answered. The Lord has been very good to us to bless us with six healthy beautiful children; procreation is very sacred to us. 

We felt very nostalgic having our youngest child born thirteen years and one hour later to the very day that our eldest child was born. We remember the euphoria we felt at that time standing on the threshold of childbearing and parenthood. Now at Brett's birth, we remember back thirteen years ago to that first special experience, and look forward our children going to the temple and on missions and going on a mission ourselves after Brett leaves on his. In just nineteen years, this will be a reality. We'll look back on the birth of each of our precious children, rejoice in their entering the adventure of parenthood, and will look forward to serving the Lord full time. Then in just a few more short years we'll be joining loved ones who have gone on beyond the veil. Someday we will say like Jacob that "the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream...." Each moment is priceless, and should be lived with no regrets, especially in regard to those most dear--our family members.

Hope this finds you all well.

Kent, Suzanne, Chad, Rachel, Eric, Ryan, Ashley, and Brett.

Thursday night Rachel went down to the church to work on her Merrie Miss party and when she came back her Merrie Miss class brought us a chocolate cake and her teacher Patti McCune gave Brett a very pretty blue crocheted baby Afghan. The Relief Society had organized some meals to be brought in to us by various families in the ward, which surely made things easier for us as I tried to rest up and Kent tried to hold things together.

Friday 5/12 Kent went to a kindergarten picnic with Ryan. That evening Chad when to the Aaronic Priesthood Awards Banquet and got his Award of Nephi. Kent stayed home with the four youngest while I went with Rachel to her Merrie Miss and Mom Dinner Party in the Summerhays backyard. We got there a little late and Rachel was very anxious. We had a lovely buffet meal with finger sandwiches and hors d'hoeuves prepared by the girls, corsages, candles, and a little baby food jar filled with candy and a pink bonnet lid made by Rachel for Mother's Day.

Sunday May 14 Mother's Day. Kent gave me a nice desk calculator, Chad a patio napkin holder that he made in wood shop, Eric gave me a vase he made out of a seltzer bottle with big tissue flowers, Ryan gave me a construction paper bouquet and a cookbook he made in his kindergarten class (his favorite recipe is the edible play dough), and Ashley gave me a kiss.

Brett continued to want to sleep well in the daytime and eat all night and so I purposely woke him up to feed him every 2-3 hours and would put him out in the family room in his infant seat a couple of times a day to try to reverse that trend. (I needed my sleep!). I also started giving him his sponge baths just before trying to put him down for the night. He was very alert and quiet during his baths if he could hold onto a towel or blanket and have his arms wrapped up. He seemed to like to listen to the sound of the tap water running. Finally he began to sleep 4-5 hours a night by two weeks.

1989, Friday the 19th

Brett came with me to Dr. Schweitzer's office with Chad and Rachel for their orthodontist appointments with Dr. Pair and I saw a friend of mine--Linda Gattegno, and she wanted to see my pretty little "girl in pink". I'm afraid he was wearing a little pink play suit that used to belong to Ashley. His face was cute enough to belong to a little girl, although it was no longer quite so round and plump. On Saturday I had Kent get me down the little boy clothes so that I could dress him in blue and no one would mistake him for a little girl anymore.

When Brett wanted to nurse and I had him up at my shoulder to burp, he would swing or throw his head to the side to get back into position. One time at three weeks when he was on his stomach, he raised himself up on his hands and threw his head to the side and turned over. I don't think that he was really conscious of what he did, and didn't do it again for about the many more weeks, but he does seem to know what he wants. He seems a sweet, good-natured baby, generally cuddly and "rag dollish". He loves to be wrapped up snug in his blanket like he's back in my womb. He seems to sleep best on his tummy, with his knees tucked up under him and his feet curled in. When he's awake and hungry, he likes to suck on his fingers, although he has not really taken to a pacifier. I love to hold him at my shoulder with his little head wobbling around, and kiss his velvety cheek. He turns his mouth towards the warm wet kisses. He smells sweet, and Ashley and I both like to rub our noses and mouths across the top of his fuzzy head. I told Kent that and he tried it too.

On Monday May 22 , 1989
Brett  Weight

Brett went in for his 2 week check and he weighed only 8 pounds 6 ounces--he was less than his birth weight. Although all babies lose weight after birth, and he left the hospital at 8 pounds 4 ounces, he was not bouncing back up very well (just like Ashley and Eric). I could tell that his cheeks were thinner than they were at birth. I was worried and Dr. Greenwald said that I may have to supplement with a bottle, which made me feel rebellious a bit. (I decided to have bacon and eggs for breakfast and eat an extra peanut butter sandwich every mid-morning in order to try to enrich the calories in my milk supply.) Dr. Greenwald told me to bring him back in a week for another weight check, and then checked Brett's ears, eyes, (he put his finger in Brett's mouth to get him to open his eyes--he had them squeezed tightly shut while crying), and his legs to make sure that they were straight (they looked bow-legged to me). He checked his grip and muscle tone, reflexes (a tap with a rubber-tipped hammer to the knees), put him face down to watch him turn his head to breath, and held him up to check his neck muscles (his head still lolled to one side--usually right). He also stroked his feet to see his toes spread, and "walked" him across the exam table.

I was bringing Ashley next door to Keith and Nancy Fingerett's house for her to babysit so that I could get a nap in during the day. I think that this was about the nicest present I could have had after having a baby--getting a nap in 2 or 3 times a week without having to feel guilty or worry about the child just older than the baby. Nancy adored Ashley and was very sweet and loving with her--just the extra little touch she and I needed.

1989 On Wednesday May 24

Kent's folks got a morning away from caring for Carol's mother when her sister came out and so they came to see the new baby. Grandma loved holding Brett and gave him a cute baseball shirt and shorts which Ashley later put on herself and said they were for her when she went to play baseball. Grandpa took video camera shots of the baby and me, and they both watched Brett's birth video. It made me cry again to see the intense anguish and joy of his birth. Grandma suggested that I might want to "edit" it before passing it on to future generations. Perhaps. 

On Wednesday May 31 I brought Brett back in to the doctor's office for a weight check and he was 8 pounds 10 ounces, he'd gained 6 ounces in 9 days, which was good. I felt relieved. His face is less round and more oval-shaped, with small delicate features. He is beginning to smile and "coo"

At 6 to 8 weeks he became fussier and harder to settle down for naps. He'd cry out in his sleep, sleep lightly, and almost refuse to go down in his bed at night. I had to let him cry himself to sleep most of the time after feedings, but he began to sleep about 6-8 hours a night by 8 weeks. He didn't go back to sleep very well after his middle of the night feeding (he would cry when I put him back in his own bed) and so he spent the remaining part of the night in bed with me. He is behaving a lot like Ashley did, but somehow it doesn't bother me quite so much. At his 2 month check (July 6) he had gained 2 pounds over his birth weight and over 4 inches. His face had become longer and more narrow like Chad and Ryan's. Someone told me that he had that Gardiner look, and Peg McDermott called him a long tall drink of water. He is more responsive--laughing and smiling at people. He got his first DPT shot and oral polio at this time. He didn't seem to have any adverse reaction other than a slight fever, although I gave him some Tylenol for about 24 hours just in case.

From mom:
Eric seems to get the least attention in the family and he works the hardest. He sold all of his book of Scoutorama tickets (10) the first day and rode his bike up to Judy Larry's with the money. Then a lady dropped off another book (without my knowledge) and he lost the book. Fortunately we didn't have to pay for it, but I was upset and he was heartbroken. At the May Cub Scout Pack Meeting they had a Cubanapolis. He made a car out of a card board box. The boys were supposed to race, staying in "car lanes" and making pit stops to "change tires" (take on and off his shoes), refuel (drink water?) etc. I reminded him just before he left not to wear his hi-top shoes--but to wear some loafers that he could take on and off easily. He came in first place in three heats and won 2 Giant Mr. Good bars, a star burst (for the most aerodynamic car) and a butterfingers. He has been trying to do some extra jobs to earn more money because he wants to save money for a 10-speed bike. He just finished his little mini-bike with his dad and Nebs Fairbanks. He also went to the Puppet Theater with his school class.

Ryan has pulled out his two bottom middle teeth by himself after his permanent teeth began growing in behind them. We told him that the tooth fairy was Kent's uncle Frank. So the kids were real interested in Uncle Frank when he came to Brett's blessing. Ryan has been very sweet and helpful with Ashley. When Brett was only one week old and I was in the shower, he got Ashley dressed to surprise me and help her. He is by nature very generous, and he wrapped up 3 little dinosaurs and gave them to Ashley as a present. He likes to wear a turquoise sweatshirt that the Hiltons gave him for Christmas everyday, even when it is warm. On May 26 he got "Citizen of the Month" in his school class. He has been very good about staying in the green zone all week and I have been taking him to 7-11 to get a treat as a reward. His favorite thing to choose is the "Big Chew" bubblegum. When he gets 15 stars for good behavior at school he turns them in for a prize. He lately chose a yellow boat and has been generously letting Ashley play with it during her bath. In the afternoon he has been a little cranky (since his lunch is so early before kindergarten) and we've had to insist that he make himself a peanut butter sandwich. He really wants to play tether ball with the older children (particularly Rachel) but has difficulty being a good sport about losing since they are bigger and better than he is. He is ready to begin learning how to read. He likes to write down all of the words he knows. He copied 3 sentences into a Class Dinosaur Composition Book. He brought home Travis Marsh's phone number and has been calling him up after school to talk. He also likes to belch, but we have told him he may not do that anymore. He enjoys playing in the sandbox in the backyard and making space ships with the older kids with his Lego’s.

Lego Ship
When Grandma and Grandpa Gardiner came to see Brett when he was about 2 weeks old Ashley was very happy to see them. It has been a little hard for her to share the limelight with Brett--especially since I must hold and give him so much attention. When Grandma gave Brett a cute little blue Baseball T-shirt and shorts (size 12 months) Ashley put it on as soon as they left and said it was for her to wear so she could play baseball. The shirt looked like a midriff on her. I was so tired after the grandparents left, I put on a Disney tape for her and fell asleep. I heard her clumping around during my nap, and then it was quiet for awhile. I got up and found her asleep in her bed now wearing Rachel's T-shirt, socks, and hi-top tennis shoes. She loves to dress up in our clothes and come out giggling, clamping her hand over her mouth and falling on the ground with laughter and delight. She has lately taken a fancy to my pink pajama top that used to belong to my mother. She has asked me to help her put it on, then she wears my high heels and carries my purse. I tell her she is a short mommy. She must like the feel of that nylon top, because she likes to just carry it around with her sometimes. Once when I went to 7-11 with Ryan she drug it along with her into the store, looking up at me so trustingly, I felt very protective towards her. She has been fascinated with pacifiers, claiming for herself all the ones I have for Brett, and wanting to sit in the infant seat, although I have told her she is too big, which upsets her. She wants to sit on my lap and have me hold her all the time, and when I am nursing Brett, she presses her lips and face against him and me until I feel like I am suffocating. But she is quite heart-broken when I push her away.

Picking Up Bugs
Ashley loves to pick up sow bugs and snails, but thinks ants are yucky. She likes her sandbox too. On teacher appreciation day the older children brought flowers to their teachers and Ashley wanted to bring flowers to someone so she brought some to Nancy Fingerette next door. Nancy has been watching Ashley a couple of times a week for me for about 2 hours in the morning so that I can get my rest and strength back after Brett. It has been a great sense of relief to know that she is safe and happy and well cared for during this hectic time after the new baby. Nancy and Keith (Ashley says "Keef") adore her and the cute things that she says. Nancy gave her a white teddy bear the day I had Brett and brought over some books for her later that her younger children that she babysits for couldn't appreciate. Ashley helps her mother the younger children and gets lots of attention, which she needs at this time.

Carol, Ashley and Suzanne
Ashley cut her face on a rose bush and I had to put band aids on her for weeks to keep her hands off the sores so that they could heal. She was picking off the scabs to "make them better", and I was afraid that her beautiful face would scar. She does have one straight scar about 1/2 inch long on her left cheek where she scratched away the scab. Hopefully it will fill in and fade out as she gets older.

Some of the cute things that she says that brings laughter and delight to everyone: When I turn 5 I'll be Ryan.... When I grow up, Chad will be the daddy and Eric will be the sister (she was trying to understand family relationships and maturity)....Milk does a body good....Way cool (with a thumbs up sign)....Stupid old pal (to me. I told her I was "a lovely old pal")....You, Stu-(after being reprimanded for saying stupid)....Fine, be that way (imitating Rachel).....Will somebody please help me?.....Thanks a lot guys! (when nobody helped her wash her hands).....I love it when you come home (to her Daddy).

1989 Sunday June 11,
Brett’s Blessing
Today we blessed Brett in church. He was blessed on the same day as Jeremy Todd Mefford, Brittany Dawn Large, and Spencer Barnes. His dad blessed him and he was assisted by Bishop Spencer Parkinson, Kevin Large, Grandpa Gardiner, Mark Gardiner, J.T. Gardiner, Uncle Frank Gardiner, Gerry Kroksh, Grandpa Brown, David Brown, and Mike Wooten.

Brett and Grandma Great
In the blessing Brett was promised that during his sojourn in life he would have the physical strength to withstand the travail of life. His Heavenly Father's Spirit would reside with him, and through the scriptures he would find answers to problems. The direction from his parents would guide him so that the Spirit of Heavenly Father could be with him. He was a choice son of Heavenly Father and would be able to accomplish the work that was given him. The Lord had great things for him to do. Many lives would be blessed by him. He would be blessed in his position in the family and be able to take his rightful place in the family. He would add to his family and be able to bless the lives of those around him. His parents were thankful for his calm sweet spirit, his patience with those around him. We were thankful for his strong beautiful body and for having him at this time.

I silently prayed throughout the blessing that Brett would be able to endure to the end, and receive every blessing of the gospel and priesthood. There is no greater blessing than this.


During the Fast and Testimony meeting Kent bore his testimony. He said that there are many things transitory in this life, but the priesthood is not one of them. It is eternal. He said that he was grateful for the feeling he has while performing a priesthood ordinance such as blessing a baby. He said that he is grateful for his extended family, and his sweet wife and children. He knows that the gospel is true.

I bore my testimony also. I said that I knew that Jesus Christ is my Savior, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that this church--The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--was the Lord's true church upon the earth today. I said that I was grateful for the restored gospel, the power of the priesthood, the eternal family unit, and the plan of salvation. I was grateful for my six beautiful children, my extended family, and the ward members who were part of my extended family. I was particularly grateful for my parents and my fine husband, who was the best of all possible husbands.

After church we had everyone over for submarine sandwiches and a visit. Brett got some cute presents, and Kent took some video pictures of everyone.

For Father's Day, Kent and I spoke in Sacrament Meeting. I spoke on imprinting and imaging. I shared the story of Horton Hatches and Egg, and how Father's imprint their image on their children. When we are converted we imprint the Savior's image on our countenance. The message of the restoration is that we are spirit children of God, capable of becoming like him. I told about Chris Saltonstall, and the courage I had to tell him goodbye, when he could not embrace the gospel, because of my testimony of the literal Fatherhood of God and my desire to have a righteous priesthood leader for the father of my children.

Kent spoke on discipline and that the opposite of yelling is consequences.

I talked to my father earlier in the week. He told me that my Uncle Floyd had died that week and he was going up to arrange the funeral and settle his affairs. Now he would not be able to go on the cruise to Alaska with Bob and Ann and Louise and Howard (which they were doing on their inheritance from their parents). He said that Uncle Floyd had lived all of his life in Arizona and had never even been to the Grand Canyon. He said at the funeral that that is a little bit like living in the shadow of the temple and never entering it. Such a tragedy to be so close to Divine Beauty, and never see or partake of it.

When Brett was just a week or two old I went down for a second mammogram, and then when he was about six weeks old I went down to see Dr. Lim with copies of both mammograms and their reports. I had to collect my 2nd mammogram from Henry Mayo Hospital where the radiologist had taken it to ponder and get a second opinion. His report emphasized the suspicious calcifications, and the mammogram looked like it had a second lump under the nipple. I prayed all the way down that I could nurse Brett a little longer, and that the Lord would tell Dr. Lim to let me do it. I saw the new temple president Reeves with his wife there in the waiting room. When Dr. Lim looked at the reports and the mammograms, he had a kind of stupor of thought. He seemed confused, and said perhaps it was not serious and that it would be all right to nurse for two, maybe three months more, but no longer. He wanted me to come back in two months time for a follow-up check. I left his office elated, and went home to cuddle and nurse my baby. There is such a special bonding between mother and child during nursing, and I thanked my heavenly father for the privilege of being able to do this with Brett a little longer.

Stevenson Ranch Papers

July ?, we went to Stevenson Ranch, Winterset office to sign final contract papers, and lock our house price in at $295,000.00. The same house in 3rd phase is selling for $430,000.00. Barbara said that there was a lot of talk about raising all of the prices in the first and second phase homes too, but at the last Dale decided to leave them the same. I'm sure that we will make about $200,000.00 in appreciation on our new house and our present home by the time we move in, $60,000.00 in the bank, and $6,000.00 a month income. Kent said that for the first time he began to feel that it was all going to work out for us too. I know that the Lord is blessing us. They gave us November 16 as our tentative close of escrow date, moved it back to December 14th, then up again to November 16. I don't know if they will keep to that or not. Somehow in my heart I feel that it will be January before we move in. Barbara says that we have 30 days before the close of escrow to prove we have the funds for financing. I am concerned that we don't get kicked out of our house with no place to go if our present house escrow closes before our new one does. Kent and I and Brett went to see the house after framing was up on July 17 with Linda Feldon from the office and I felt such a good feeling--I really felt that the Lord would bless us to be able to live there.

Wild Day
I had a wild day Tuesday between doctor's appointments, and my family, and a much-needed nap, and the refreshment preparations, etc. I dashed down to the church leaving Brett in the swing (it was the first time I'd left him so long in the evening), set up the table, cut the melon, and put everything out on the table by myself. The Relief Society presidency didn't even help. They probably didn't realize that I had to do everything alone or perhaps they were under so much pressure and work themselves they couldn't see it. I called my husband and Brett was screaming so loud he couldn't hear me. Well, there was still all of the cleanup to do. I kept trying to tell myself that service was a sign of true greatness but I confess to not feeling too great. I cleared the table, threw away all the trash, divided up the left over food, and stacked all of the dirty dishes in the sink. I knew that I had to get home, so I thought to myself: Margaret's come back, and Jackie's here, and they are on the committee with me.....maybe they can wash the dishes. I've done everything else--that's all there is left to do. I had no idea that there was no hot water or dish towels, and I certainly didn't mean to dump it all on you after teaching the mini-class--I was feeling kind of dumped on myself.

ugust 8, 1989

Brett went to see Dr. Greenwald for his 3 month check up today. He is 26 inches long and 11 pounds, 10 ounces. He has grown a pound a month--the same rate in weight that Ashley did, although he is growing in length faster than she did. He is in the 95th percentile in height and 30th percentile in weight. He is long and skinny, and a bonnie young prince. When I go to pick him up early in the morning for his feeding I find him turned over on his back. He is so happy to see me; he smiles, thrashes his arms and thrusts his legs out, makes a pass at his mouth with his fist (thumb tucked between fore and middle finger), coos, giggles, contorts, and flirts with me. He loves to stand up (supported by my hands under his arms) with his feet on my lap. I stand him that way and lean him forward so that I can kiss his cheeks and bite his ear. He is getting so strong now, and he wriggles and writhes and pushes with his feet when I nurse him now. Sometimes he arches his back, cranes his neck and looks at me, then smiles. His short straight hair is just a little bit reddish brown, his long face looks a bit like Ryan and Chad. His eyes are deep blue, and may stay that color or turn hazel. His sleep schedule is off--some days all he wants to do is sleep, other days he is awake a lot and goes down for the night at 6:00, but then is awake for awhile late at night. He still loves his bath when I can give it to him before he goes down for the night. And he loves to go outside and lay on a blanket in the shade, or be carried around over my shoulder.

1989 Wednesday, August 9
Bugs Bunny World

Brett went with Kent to Bugs Bunny World at Magic Mountain while he watched Ashley and Ryan go on the rides. He drank a little milk, fell asleep for a bit, and then was real happy to see me when I came back from the Tidal Wave with Chad, Rachel, and Eric. I held him wrapped in a blanket even though I was soaking wet. He laughed at the lady next to me on the tram ride back to the car in the evening.

Thursday 8/10 we went to the beach. Brett didn't like it at all until I put the blanket over my shoulder and nursed him. Kent said that he had never heard him do so much yelling as he did on that day.

1989 Sunday August 13
I gave him a bottle during Sacrament meeting. He was very good. He fussed a little so I picked him up to burp him. He then messed all over my black sweater and skirt. I had to go home and change, during which time he fell asleep in the swing. I had to wake him up to go back to church and nursed him through Relief Society. He fell asleep when we got home until 9:30 when I got him up to eat before bed. He then wanted to stay awake for awhile. I heard him cooing and complaining a little still when I went to bed at 11:45. It sure is hard to struggle through church with him since he can't nap very well and just wants to nurse the whole time. It is also hard at home during the day finding a quiet place for him to sleep undisturbed in our small house. Lately he's been sleeping in the bassinet in our walk in closet during the day.

Kent and Chad are up at scout camp. I wrote them the following letters.

Dear Kent and Chad,
Well, we love and miss you both, but know that you are having a great time.

Sunday there was only Clint, Chris T. and the Summerhays boys to pass the Sacrament. Wayne came to get his Nephi Award and advance to Teacher, but he did not do the Sacrament. The youth speakers were girls about girls' camp. Maybe the Bishop will ask the boys to tell about scout camp. Greg Adams and Judy Larry spoke on faith and their conversion. Judy's was very dramatic and Eric said it was a great talk. Brett messed his pants all over my sweater and skirt and I had to go home and change

Brett is 3 1/2 months now, and is a bonnie young lad. He is in the 95th percentile in his height, and the 30th percentile in his weight, so you can see he is a long tall glass of water. He smiles and coos a lot now, and loves to stand up on his legs (with assist under the arms). The children love him and he is frequently mauled by the younger ones and bounced by the older ones.

Life is very busy with six children, as you can no doubt imagine, but they are very good children and we enjoy them very much. My husband is still teaching elementary school but is getting his real estate license this fall as well. He is the Scoutmaster for Chad's troop and is helping to coach Ryan's soccer team.

I am busy with Brett most of the time. I really don't mind cuddling up with the baby and a good book, (I just read Conrad Richter's The Sea of Grass) but I will soon have to wean the baby so I can get my breast lump biopsied. We are getting ready to move into a new house this winter also. It is twice as big as our current one, and our payments will be twice as much as well.

1989 Thursday and Friday August 24 and 25

We camped out at McGrath State Beach near the Standley/Colemans. We made our campsite under the trees next to the bathrooms and showers. Rachel and Ashley slept in the frog tent, the three boys slept in the big 4-man dome tent (except Eric slept with Sean Standley and David Coleman Friday night), and Kent and Brett and I slept in the other frog tent (boy, were we squashed!) We went to a campfire program that night all about the Chumash Indians. Very late that night (about 9:30) Judy and Mike and their kids arrived.

McGrath State Beach Camping

The next morning Ryan and Ashley went over to a story time with their cousins Noelle and Julia, and then the older kids from our family, the Wootens and the Stanley/Colemans went on a Nature Hike around the area. That afternoon everyone just sort of lazed around and goofed off. They made bamboo walking sticks and climbed the trees. Brett and I dozed off and I read Arthur Liebman's Classic Detective stories. That evening several other ward members arrived for the campout--Conklings, Blairs, Larges, Parkinsons, Meffords, Billidemoires. We had a big campfire and all visited. The next morning after breakfast we went to Channel Islands Beach to meet some more ward members. Brett took a nap in the car and I read Echoes of the Macabre by Daphne DuMaurier. I get a lot of reading on vacations and while nursing.

Sunday night Kent and I and the Larges spoke on our courtship and marriage to the young Adult ward. There is nothing too terribly spectacular about us except the many little blessings that came to us ordinary people who were trying to do what's right. In the end, the beauty of the gospel is how it makes ordinary people extra-ordinary. We left right afterwards because Brett was screaming and wouldn't settle down.


Eric and Chad slept in a frog tent and Rachel and Ryan slept in the other one. Kent, Ashley, Brett and I slept in the big tent. Ashley always slept well, but the first night Kent didn't because of the pads underneath weren't thick enough for him. The second night (Friday) he rearranged the tent and I didn't sleep well because Brett kept waking up and crying out. But at least it was roomy enough for us.

Brett Sleeps Well
That night Brett didn't sleep well at all, it seemed as if he cried out every half hour or so. It seemed like it was the longest night of my life--I nursed him constantly. Saturday morning I took a shower to try and relax while Kent supervised breakfast and then he and all of the children went fishing at Minaret Falls except for Brett--he stayed with me and napped rather fitfully. He had a very hoarse cough, which worried us. I finished my book and dozed off too. Then I got up when I heard some people camped on the other side of us talking about a bear and putting away all food. The bear had come down in the broad daylight and was rummaging through the trash. Several campers from around had gathered nearby and were taking snapshots. I snuck up behind some trees and took two pictures from different sides of him. He was a medium-sized black bear. After awhile, I had a snack and through away our trash (in a different bin) and hid the rest of the food, so as not to invite any unwanted company. Then I decided to clean the small Dutch oven (which still had cobbler caked on it) with a pumice stone. While I was sitting down doing this with my back turned to the trash bin, I heard the campers exclaim "There he goes, watch out!" and he lumbered through our camp right past me about six feet from where I was sitting and went off into the bushes above the next campsite. Boy, was I surprised!

Brett slept through this excitement. The kids returned shortly afterwards, all excited about the many fish they had caught. Chad caught the most with 8 (he let one go), Eric caught 6, Rachel 2, Ryan 4, and Ashley reeled in four fish. Ryan was particularly pleased with himself since this was his first time and he did everything himself.

Brett was getting congested and I was worried about spending another fitful night up there in the freezing cold. I called my dad up at Janna and Glenn's (it was Daniel's baptism) and started him on Ledercillin. We decided to pack up after dinner (Dutch oven creamy rice and chicken), go to the campfire with Ranger Gary at Devils Post pile (I stayed in the van with Brett--who could hardly breath by this time) and then went down into Bishop to spend the night with the Beitlers. It was a good thing that we did because about 4 am Brett started burning a fever and Kent had t o run out to Arco's am/pm mart and buy some liquiprin. We came home Sunday after breakfast because I was worried about Brett. We cleaned up when we got home and I started Brett on some Naldecon for his congestion. He immediately began sleeping peacefully three hours at a stretch.

1989 On Thursday the 14
Brett to Greenwald

I took Brett into see Dr. Greenwald. He was 26 3/8 inches and weighed 12 lbs 6 ounces. His weight growth had slowed--he hadn't gained even a full pound since his last visit. He also wasn't sleeping through the night like he used to. Dr. G suggested I start him on rice cereal 2 times a day up to a cup a day and continue to wean him. Eventually adding apple juice once a day also. I again felt that I was pursuing the right course although it makes me sad to think that I will never again nurse any of my babies here in mortality.

It is now Friday Sept 22. Brett still wakes up about 1 or 2, which I put him in bed and nurse him for as well as the 5 or 6 am one. Then I only nurse him twice more during the day--once in the middle of the day and again before bed. I have been trying to give him as many bottles as I can in between and more and more cereal morning noon and night. At first he hated the cereal and arched his back and cried and gagged and spat it out. Now he is beginning to open his mouth and coo at me as I shovel it in as much as possible.

Brett is kicking the heck out of his sleepers in readiness for crawling.

6-7 am Feed him about 6 ounces of formula, change diapers
8-8:30 Feed him about 2 ounces of formula with cereal
8:30-9 Change him, feed him 4-6 ounces of formula and put him down for a nap (about 2 hours)
11-12Noon Feed Brett 4-6 ounces of formula and change his pants
About 1 pm feed him 2 ounces of formula with cereal
About 2 pm change him and feed him about 4-6 ounces of formula and put him down for a nap (about 2-3 hours)
Approximately 5 pm change him and feed him 4-6 ounces of formula
About 6 pm feed him approximately 3 ounces of apple juice.
About 7 pm feed him 2 ounces of formula with cereal. Bathe and change him feed him some more formula, and put him down to bed about 8 pm. If his bedtime is delayed, he'll need more to drink.

Even though I offer all of this, he drinks about 32 ounces formula total, and eats 4-5 ounces of formula with cereal. He sleeps about 9 hours at night. He has been teething lately and so is sometimes cranky, hard to settle, or crying out in his sleep, and so I give him a little Tylenol.

Brett is at a cute Age
Brett is at a real cute age. He lies on the floor and kicks his legs and moves his arms back and forth like he's trying to swim. Then he pushes him self up on his arms and looks down, like he's trying to see how far he went. He is also rolling all over the floor, front to back and back to front, pushing himself back on his knees and rocking back and forth. He even scooting himself forward a little to get objects. He loves keys and paper because they make noise. He's making goo-gooing noises when he's happy and squealing noises when he wants attention or is happy. He is a very contented, beautiful, happy baby. He is always sucking on his forefingers of either hand, tries to grab things if you wave them in front of him and then put them in his mouth. He uses his thumbs--especially his right thumb--as a pivot on the ground, and sometimes will stick it in my mouth when I am standing him on my lap. I suck on it until he pulls it out again. Reminds me of the nursery rhyme about the boy who pulled out a plum and said:” What a good boy am I". He likes to stand up in and scoot around in his walker, and can even push himself forward to get at things on the couch or chair. He has such pretty round plump features. His face is shaped like Rachel's was at this age, although he is more fair. His hair is soft and blond-light brown. His eyes blue. He is sweet to hold. I am glad that I have him.

(I typed this up for Kent to take into Dr. Greenwald for Brett's 6 month check up the morning of my mastectomy.)

I was very shaky and out of it when I came home that afternoon, and I struggled with tears and prayers, hoping that it would prove to be benign. I even began to wonder if I had done the right thing in having Brett--until I looked at him, and I knew that it was right. I know that I can look Mother Eve, Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel in the eye someday and know that I have done my part. I prayed that the Lord will really bless Brett and Ashley, and bless me for wanting them. As I was drifting off to sleep I felt in my mind that I was guided all along to have Brett and come to the doctors I did (who were certainly more on top of things than Dr. Rodriguez who initially told me that the tumor was most likely okay and to go ahead and have the baby). I also sensed a hand laid across mine and a sweet voice saying "You will be well". This and Kent's blessing that I would enjoy the holidays have gave me some hope. I called my dad that night because I have faith in his faith and asked him to pray for me.

I slept fitfully that night, cutting back on the pain pills (knowing that I was going back into the hospital and not wanting to become dependent on anything). I had a strange dream about a baby balanced precariously out on a limb and I reached out to pull him in to safety (Brett?). Then I dreamed that I was being chased by a giant bear and that I barely made it inside a tree for safety. As the bear roared and shook the tree with me inside it I said "That was a BIG bear!" (my big breast lump?) Next I dreamed I saw two bald people in a house. That part of the dream was dark and fuzzy. (Am I one of those bald people, having lost my hair to chemotherapy?) My chest was beginning to ache and my abdomen was very tender. It hurt when Brett kicked me as I changed or bathed him.

We got the kids off to school and Ashley ready for Joy school. Kent walked her down to Hattons about 9:00 to play before going over to the Conklings. The appraisers for our house came by (from the loan company for our buyer) and about 10:00 Kent took Brett in to see Dr. Greenwald for his 6 month check-up and to get a prescription refill for Chad. I had copied off Brett's schedule (which I had done up earlier for Kent) plus a description of his actions from my journal for Kent to give Dr. G. on his progress. While Kent was gone, I finished making the 2nd carousel horse for Mark and Karen Gardiner (I was afraid Kent would throw away the dried flowers) and called my brother-in-law John Reese to ask for his prayers in my behalf. I thought about calling a few friends like Jan McGuire, Melinda Romney, Carolyn Hill, and Anna Manwaring (I got as far as hearing Anna's chirpy voice on her answering machine) but felt kind of funny about saying, "Oh hi, I have cancer and am on my way to the hospital....just thought you'd like to know...." I didn't want to bother them so I didn't. I figured that they could just hear about it later if it all worked out. So I lay on the couch in the family room and read through my Patriarchal Blessing again. I felt much encouraged by it.

Kent came back with Eric from school who was going to watch Brett that afternoon for us. Brett had just had his DTP immunization, and I was worried about him being cranky for Eric. We gave him some Tylenol and I went in to the boy’s room with Brett and gave him his bottle (he drank all the 6 oz. of formula) and put him to sleep one last time before going off to the hospital. Then Kent drove me over to the hospital about 12:15. We talked about Brett's checkup on the way. Dr. Greenwald was pleased he had gained 5 pounds, and was normal in weight, high in height and we met my dad there by the admission's window.

Happy to See the Kids Again
Wednesday morning I got up and fixed French toast, fed Brett and tried to get ready to go to Eric's Thanksgiving program. Kent wasn't ready to take me so I was just going to go down with Ashley. But as I was just pulling up to the school, I realized how tired I was and so I came home in tears. Kent told me to take it easy and he would go down to Eric's program, and then take me to Ryan's in the afternoon. It was hard for me to accept my limitations. I wanted to get back in there and do everything for the children like I used to.

Thursday, Thanksgiving, we went out to the folks and saw Charlie and Barbara there. (Charlie was waiting to find out if he passed the Bar--he found out the next day that he did.) Elaine had a lovely meal planned. Rachel helped set out hors d'heauvres. We had turkey, dressing, potatoes, yams, rolls (from a recipe by Felice Smith) carrots, Jell-O, and pie for dessert. The boys and Grandpa cleaned up, and Brett and I tried to take a nap upstairs in the old girls' room. Brett would hardly settle down but he did finally drift off for about an hour and so did I. It felt wonderful, I didn't realize how tired I was. We visited some more later in the evening, decided to all get together on December 30th, and said family prayers. I sure appreciate Elaine encouraging our family togetherness.

December 1, 1989
Brett scoots everywhere in the walker we borrowed from Charlie and Barbara. He sort of ambles off down the hallway towards the kids' rooms or into the living room, dining room, or kitchen, trying to grab whatever is about two feet off the ground and isn't stationary. He likes the wastebasket in the kitchen when it's placed beside the sliding door and dishwasher, the windows in the front room, the children's beds, closets and any drawers left open. He pants and grins excitedly when I come into check on him and pull him into the family room where we can watch him. He has such a zest for life, he brings joy to the whole family. This morning as I was feeding him some baby cereal and applesauce, I sang to him to distract him from sticking his tongue out to block the food. I sang the song from Sleeping Beauty--"I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream....I know you, the gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam.....(Ashley had watched the movie earlier--borrowed from the Hiltons) As I did so the tears came to my eyes and I knew that I was foreordained to be his mother. I did know and walk with him once upon a dream in the preexistence.

1989 December 12 
Brett Check Up
Tuesday I took Brett into see Dr. Greenwald for his 4-month check up. He seems to be doing fine, his grade in History dropped because I haven't been looking over his reports, but I'm going to from now on. I was very tired, I think I'd overdone it the day before shopping with Eric for shoes, T&C shirts for him and black jackets for me. When I got home and put Brett down for his nap, and let Ashley watch Cinderella after she got home I lay down with a headache and zonked for an hour. Then the phone rang and the termite inspector came and Ryan came home and it was time to get up. I left after the children came home to go to Dr. Lim's. On the way I stopped by Granary square, thinking about getting a black jacket I found at "Sweats Plus" the day before. Still uncertain, I ran in "Revelation" next door to see what they had and ran into Susan Doughman who manages the place. She gave me a hug, told me about Julie Ann Dulcik (in one of the Valencia wards) who had breast cancer at 26 years and jogs every day for her life. She also told me about a beautiful black sweater they just got in that day (and only had one left) and I bought it--it was just what I wanted and had been looking for. I was feeling guilty about having ordered a black wool coat and buying and black casual jacket too, but this sweater will work for casual or dressy wear, and look good with a black felt hat-and-scarf set I ordered thru Penney’s.

Then I drove over to Dr. Lim's, and while I was waiting to be seen by him I read over all of the medical reports from my surgery on the 13th and 16th. They were cold and sobering, starting with Dr. Lim's, who wrote about how I insisted on nursing Brett against the advice of my doctors, and then stopped after their repeated admonition in order to arrange the biopsy. I wondered if my headstrong determination last June to continue nursing Brett through the Summer had been totally uninspired.

Caring for Brett
Caring for Brett is very "healing" to me, both body and soul. He is such a sweet natured baby, with a real zest for life. He scoots himself all over the house in his walker, and wants to grab and taste everything. He is so happy to see me. He comes charging in to me with an elated grin on his face--especially when I've been away or when he needs a change or something to eat. When he's whimpering for me to pick him up and I lift him to my shoulder, his breathing slows down, he relaxes and cuddles into my arms. He knows everything will be all right and that I will take care of his needs. I should feel that way about my Heavenly Father.

One evening we were all kneeling down for prayers when we heard Brett giving some delightful squeals in the bathroom. We all looked up at each other and said "the toilet!" All seven of us rushed in to the bathroom as Kent lifted him up, walker and all, away from the open toilet bowl and washed his hands. The children and I stood in the doorway and laughed at him, while he gave us a delighted grin in response to all of the attention he was getting. He sure is adorable.

While I was feeding Brett, Eric called, he forgot his mission, report, and math paper. I groaned but said I would be there in 10 minutes (Debbie had gone on to Mervyn's). I lugged Brett and my purse and Eric's projects out to the van, both arms sore (my left from the mastectomy and my right from the catheter), and turned the key in the ignition. Nothing happened. The van wouldn't start. I was really sore by now, and I just put my head down on the steering wheel and prayed for help. Then I got out, raised the hood, jiggled the battery connections, and tried again. This time it worked. I drove to school, walked to Eric's class with his things, and came home again ready to crash. I just dozed off on the couch though--Brett was up until the children got home. He's had runny bowels and diaper rash, and I wanted to make pumpkin bread for the children and Kent to give teachers.

1989 December 17
Brett scoots everywhere in his walker, grabbing everything within reach and putting it in his mouth.

Sunday 12/17/89 Today I stayed home from church with Ashley (who has a bad cold) and Brett. This evening we went down for Tithing Settlement at 6:30pm, after watching "Miracle on 34th Street" and playing computer monopoly. Then this evening Kevin Large came by to help Kent give me a blessing. Brett kept crying every time he saw Kevin which was kind of funny.

Grandma and Grandpa Gardiner brought Brett home to us on Saturday. It was a great blessing tor us to have them care for him during my hospital stay and recuperation. He seems to be readjusting well to our family again. He's been going around giving everyone "the raspberry"--sticking his tongue out and spitting. He loves going outside and fortunately, we now have a yard for him to go out to. Kent put most of our backyard in during my hospital stay, and it is nice to finally have greenery around the house.

 Brett is just about to be potty-trained, whether he's ready or not (we're ready!).

1991 July
At first Brett had a tit when I tried to get him in the pool, now he has a fit when it's time to get out. Well, I guess that's some progress. 

After Brett was born and weaned, I had the biopsy done (a whole year and a half after I first discovered the lump). Cancer was confirmed. 1 remember pouring over my Patriarchal Blessing and wondering if I would live to raise this little boy after all. As 1 was dropping oft to sleep, 1 sensed a hand placed over mine and a sweet voice like my mother's say "you will be well". I felt an assurance that the Lord would keep his end of the bargain.

1994 Monday 3rd Jan

I went to Dr. B's after dropping off Brett and had a blood test. It turned out that my white blood counts were too low so they recommended I just have another 5FU injection and wait one more week before starting TAXOL. I then went to four different preschools, trying to find a place for Brett after Kris moves. It has turned out to be a great blessing to have Kris teach school, the lower price and convenience of extended care during my radiation treatments, and work pursuits. I asked Brett which Preschool he liked better his old one at St. Stephen's, or his new one at Miss Kris's. He said he liked his old school because of the neat slide and play equipment, but he liked his new teacher and new friends better. Now I am worried about what to do for the coming year. All of the good preschools are full, and are so expensive. Both he and I need something for him to go to. It would be nice if some of his new friends could go to it too.

Ann Norton came by for Brett in the morning. I turned off the phones and took a wonderful 2 1/2 hour nap. Karlyn came by for me about 12noon to go to the park to pick up Brett and talk to the other moms about Preschool after Kris moves. I am very concerned about finding something for Brett that he will enjoy and that I can afford.

1994 Monday January 10

After dropping off Brett at preschool I went in for a blood test and asked to have a chest x-ray since I've had a lingering cough and get winded climbing stairs, etc. My blood test showed that my counts were higher than last week, but my platelets were still low, so Dr. B wanted to wait one more week.

1994 January 12 Thursday morning 12th
Brett told me that he wished that Dad hadn’t married me so that he could marry me. He said I'm his favorite. I know that he would be devastated if I died before he was on his own. 

I left in the middle to go get Brett from Kris's. I let Brett watch some of his Shining Time Station tape upstairs in my room while they finished, then we went to eat at Kendall's, which was formally D'Litefully Yours. We got some hot air cooked potatoes for Brett, which we all enjoyed. I ordered a Chile rellano, which had a bitter taste to it. And they ordered some shrimp fettuccini, which also didn't taste that good. But the triple chocolate brownie glaze' ice cream was excellent. I guess that we don't need to go there anymore. Before they left, my dad gave me a shot of liver iron and calcium, and Brett did some tricks for them.

Sunday 16 Ashley sang "I know my Father Lives" in Primary today while I accompanied on the piano, playing the right hand only. A few days earlier I had heard Ashley picking out the notes on the piano by ear. She got the first three or four figured out while I was putting Brett to bed. I taught her the rest of the song, a phrase at a time. She played it for us later for Family Home Evening. I believe that our Family Home Evening this night was on "Choosing the Right". I compared the stories of Samson and Daniel, and how making wrong choices caused Samson to fall short of his potential, while making right choices helped Daniel achieve his and the Lord preserved his life.

Chad came over and we worked on his Ricks application essays, then went to the Johnson's Open House at the French's since they were leaving. Brett had given Kris Johnson a hug goodbye after Sacrament Meeting and she told me it really melted her heart. Brett and I will certainly miss her teaching preschool 3 mornings a week and providing extended day care. The older kids went to a stake youth fireside, but Chad cut out with Rich Johnson.

1994 Well, Monday morning January 17
I woke up around 4:30 to violent shaking and a roar like a freight train burrowing its way underneath our house. I thought, "This is it, this is the big one they've all been predicting. Kent yelled and tried to drag me off the bed, tearing my nightwear while I clung to the bed for dear life. The shaking only lasted for about 30 seconds, but it seemed like five minutes. When it was through, we ran to check on the children.

Rachel barely escaped flying trophies and her dresser as she ran from her room to get Ryan and Brett from their bunk-beds. Brett amazingly slept through the big quake and was awakened by our shouting. Fortunately, the top bunk did not fall on top of him or it would have crushed him.

Brett, the youngest, suggested that we say a prayer, and offered one of the sweetest I've ever heard. The house interior was in shambles. Dressers and lamps turned over, TV's thrown off their stands, Potted plants, books, and broken dishes everywhere. 

We celebrated Rachel's birthday that night. I made her a cake (she made a big deal about having to make her own cake last year when I had the flu real bad). Eric gave her mascara. Ryan and Ashley gave her perfume. Brett had bought her some candy corn, but somehow it disappeared. He was upset because he didn't have a present. So I gave him some left over M&Ms in a bag and he gave those to her, wanting to give her something. She was quite sweet about his present to her, sharing some with him. I promised to finish reworking the sleeves in the ginger colored knit dress that we had bought her for the Winter Formal the Saturday before the earthquake. It was $50.00, money we could ill afford, but I told her it would be part of her birthday present. I also gave her the amber pendant and bracelet that my dad had given me, along with a gold chain, to go with her dress.

Chad helped put Brett to bed. Brett has been saying that if we get mad at him he's going to run away and live with Chad. One time he told Chad and Rachel that he would tell Dad to go in the back yard then he would get his stuff and run out the front door so Kent wouldn't see him. When they asked him what he would do if he couldn't carry all of his stuff, he said he would come back and tell Kent to go in the back yard again then sneak out a second time with everything. They thought it was funny, but it made me feel sad that now my children feel like running away is an option if they don't get along with us here at home. Chad said he would probably come back home again before going up to Ricks. I hope that he gets in.

1994 February 3

When we got to my dad's, I got the kids settled and then we left. My dad was home waiting to go to the temple later that night. As it turns out, they called him and said he didn't have to go in. He put Eric and Ryan to work right away addressing envelopes for the Young family reunion. After dinner he played Uno and other games with the children until bedtime. He put Brett to bed first (as per our instructions) and Brett gave him 5 kisses and 5 hugs just like he gives me. (This was very touching to me, to have my father fill in for me.) Brett slept on a little couch in the old girls room, and later Ashley and Ryan slept in the big King bed in there. Eric got the boys room to himself. Ryan pulled his tooth and the tooth fairy visited him during the night. He wondered how the tooth fairy knew where he was. He got a dollar for his tooth. In the morning when Ryan and Ashley got up they tried to make the bed, Ryan finally taking over the job since he didn't think Ashley was doing it right.

My dad said Eric was a good older brother, which relieved my worry that he would tease or boss them too much. Eric always does come through. Elaine said that she thought Brett really missed me. I sat next to him on the way home and he whispered to me this secret,” I love you the most." It made my heart melt.

1994 February 7 Monday

Brett went to the Nortons for Preschool playgroup today and Wednesday.

In the evening Chad came over for dinner and then he and Kent talked while I read some Bible stories and a fairy tale to Ryan, Ashley and Brett. (That has become our favorite nighttime ritual before bed. Ryan and Ashley listen and ask questions while Brett plays or draws quietly and occasionally asks if this really happened if it is a TRUE story.

1994 Thursday February 10
Money problems

I washed my hair and about 10:30 I gathered up the stuff on Piatelli's auction, said a prayer, set the timer to tape Mr. Rogers and Shining time Station, and Brett and I set out to find Stewart Easterday. I didn't have his address, but I vaguely remembered the numbers, and Kent had pointed out his house to me when driving along Soledad Cyn Rd., towards Acton. Brett and I drove and drove until finally I came to it. I parked outside his gate and squaring my shoulders, Brett and I walked up to his house. His wife didn't seem to be home. He saw me at the window after I rang the doorbell and invited me in.

1994 February 13

Brett made up valentines to pass out to their friends.

I feel shy being bald around Kent. (Later Brett would tell me that I should wear my wig to bed so daddy wouldn't laugh at me. I said, "Daddy won't laugh at me, he loves me." Nevertheless, I do feel shy about it) Kent finally took the rest to church while I curled a few wisps and put on my hat. He felt very sympathetic and sorry for me, knowing my dilemma. After Sacrament meeting, I came home and put on my wig for the first time. Kent and the children seemed to like it...Think I'll wear it all the time.

1994 Tuesday February 22
Ashley’s Birthday

Ashley's birthday. My dad called in the morning to wish her a happy birthday. Ryan was having a difficult time being gracious to her. Brett was so excited about her present some walkie-talkies (he kept calling them "hockey talkies") that he couldn't WAIT until she got home to open them. All day long he kept begging me to let him open the present and play with them even though she was at school. I think that this was the longest day of his life.

1994 February

There was milk all over the carpet. Help! $3.00 down the drain. Brett went and got me some towels. He helped me get ready for the party, so excited (he wanted to play "Ring Around the Rosie")

Since Ashley's team kept losing, the girls didn't want to do teams anymore, so we played Doggy, doggy, where's your bone and Freeze Dance. Two big hits. Brett was a pest, running out of the room and crying every few minutes with his feelings hurt and wanting me to come get him and bring him back. For all his excitement and anticipation beforehand, he was too sensitive and tense during it.

1994 February 28

This is my week for Brett's play group. There are six kids in the group counting Brett. The other five are Troy Norton, Stephanie Packer (who Brett now says he wants to marry), Janeese Loveland, Gregory May, and Chad Harrison (a new boy in the ward, one year older but a little slow). I'm not sure what to do, so I plan lots of games and a tie in with Obedience and Following Rules. We walk to the park about 10:00 to wait for Jeffrey's bus I'm not sure yet when it comes. We have to wait about 20mintes. I go through about 5 games with them: races, Stop Light Green Light, Ring Around the Rosie, London Bridge, Doggy, doggy, where's your bone (their favorite). It's hard with Jeffrey who is bigger, stronger, and more aggressive. He always wins and wants to be it. Rest of morning goes smoothly and children have a good time, don't want to go home.

1994 Saturday March 5

Ashley baptism
We slept in 'til 7:30. We went garage sailing a little after 8:00, and spent most of the morning in Old Orchard I Tract garage sales. We walked the whole tract, my hips becoming a bit sore by the end. My sternum was hurting today, rather than my ribs like earlier in the week. Kent found some cowboy boots for Brett, which he loves (he wore them to the baptism, put them by his bed at night, and wore them to church Sunday. He even kissed them and said he wanted to marry them).

1994 Sunday March 20
Stake Conference

Three oldest went to the youth session of stake conference. We went at 10. Theme was scripture study. Pres. Halladay challenged all members to read 5 minutes a day. We came home and watched "The Miracle Worker" on TV about Helen Keller. Brett got scared watching her temper tantrums. 

1994 Monday March 7

My lower back left ribs hurt so sharply all night long that I had trouble sleeping. After dropping Brett off at Norton's, I took Jeffrey with me to Old Orchard to drop off our Multi-Track registration and sign Brett up for Kindergarten.

1994 Saturday April 2
After breakfast we went over to temple square to listen to conference. We all got into the assembly hall, with it's very narrow pews for short pioneers.  Afterwards I got permission from one of the ushers to show the younger children inside the tabernacle so that they could visualize where conference was taking place even though they were seeing it on a TV screen someplace else. I wanted them to understand that it was "real", particularly Brett, not just something made up or make believe. I wanted my children to catch the spirit of the church and gospel rolling forth and filling the earth this was the purpose of this trip.

We had a picnic afterwards by the church office buildings, then went back to listen to afternoon conference. I went into the assembly hall with Brett so I could sit down, but most of the others sat out on the lawn. A little girl at the beginning of conference in a very loud voice kept asking where Heavenly Father was. She said "he's gone." Then when the session began, she said "Now He's back." Everyone around her chuckled softly, but there was some truth in that. Elder Oaks gave a marvelous talk on the temporal and spiritual blessings of tithing. Kent and the boys overheard outside that if they waited in line in a certain place after conference began, they could get tickets inside the tabernacle for priesthood meeting, which they got. Rachel came inside the assembly hall with the younger children and sat near me. Brett was beyond sitting still anymore I just tried to keep him from bothering other people. We sat up in the balcony this time.

1994 May 7, Saturday
Brett Party

We had Brett's birthday party this afternoon. 6 boys and two girls came. Janeese Loveland forgot. Sister Nelson dropped off a present too (a fire truck) just beforehand. I gave him a hair cut and got him dressed just as his friends were coming. We played "Ring Around the Rosey", "London Bridge", Duck, Duck, Goose; Doggy, Doggy, Where's Your Bone; Musical Freeze Dance. Todd Kirby didn't want to participate much, just observe. Chad Harrison and Kevin Malloy always wanted to be "it". Kendall Myler came late. Gregory May had such a happy, cute face© he won the freeze dance. T.J. Schramm, first to arrive, told Brett what his presents were. Stephanie Packer and Troy Norton happily participated. Brett was very excited and bossing everybody around. After games he opened his presents:

Todd 2 micro machine sets and a Transformer (too hard)
Kendall Nerf Misselstorm
Troy Etch-a- sketch and Sesame Street Dominoes
T.J. Preschool Writing books and Cap gun with caps (big hit)
Chad Washable sidewalk pain and Bug stamp kit
Greg Puzzle and Coloring mat
Kevin Outdoor Fun pack: kite, Frisbee, yoyo
Stephanie City play mat and hot wheels car (biggest hit)
When he opened Todd's he said, "Thanks, this is my favorite, and you're my best buddy!" Then after he opened Kendall's he said the same thing. Todd took on a hurt attitude and said, "I thought you said I was your best buddy!" Rachel thought this was real funny.

Then we had cupcakes, ice cream cones and root beer. Suckers for favors. Later Brett and Ashley went with Kent to Packers to cut wood and I went to Lucky's to grocery shop. While there I saw an article in Life Magazine about breast cancer treatments with a vaccine. I copied info may come in handy. Really pleaded with the Lord to bless me health wise I'd really like to be healed of my cancer in some way. Came home to take Chad and Eric to church baseball© Chad was reading Eric's school book Outsiders, and had been all day. Finally beginning to read more on his own. Ashley and Kent went out to buy Rat food in the evening since I forgot. She was upset and needed some attention.

1994 Sunday May 8

Ashley made breakfast for me to eat in bed and brought it up on a cookie sheet with a homemade card and a potted plant she and dad had bought the night before. This was her idea after Kent had made breakfast in bed for her on her birthday. She was so excited and thrilled. She made a bigger deal out of Mother's Day for me than anyone else. We celebrated Brett and Chad's birthdays today, mostly with items obtained from Garage sales. We got Chad a book about his car to go with a car emergency road kit. Plus some blank tapes from Price Club. Brett got lots of assorted items, his favorites were a toy plastic knife, some plastic army guys, and a Thomas the Tank game. I couldn't help but think about how dismal my Mother's Day was four years ago when I wasn't expected to live, and how grateful I was to be here still.

Brett has come up and kissed me several times during the day. I think he must sense that I am down. He is so sweet, and it does cheer me so. I am so grateful that I've had these last four years with my family. Four years ago at this time I was lying in ICU at UCLA and not expected to live. I had a dream in which Satan pinched my ear and said he wanted me but God said no, her husband and children need her. As terrible as that experience was to go through, it should reassure me now that God is in control, and I will live until my appointed time.

1994 Saturday

Ashley, our ray of sunshine and goodness. She is such a sweet, loving intelligent girl. Brett adores her and she grudgingly accepts the admiration, and puts up with his bullying and occasional bothersome behavior. She teaches him school, writes notes to herself and others.

Brett all cowboy with gusto and five year old sweetness. He keeps wanting to know when he will be five and a half. Each morning he watches his favorite shows, (although he is shy because of teasing to have the older children see him watch them) Shining Time Station, Lamb chops, Mr. Rogers, Barney, Story time. He sings along with them, then gets dressed, says his prayers, brushes his teeth and hair, gives me five kisses and five hugs (plus one big one of each), puts on his pack and chugs out the door to the bus stop, ready for school physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Sometimes it is hard for me to walk down to the bus stop so if one of the older children are home I ask them to walk down with him. But on the first day of school I managed to go down and take some pictures of him on the bus, then drove to the school to meet him again and go with him to the cafeteria where he eats lunch with his classmates before school.

He was thrilled to buy chocolate milk with a quarter. He sat by Blake Mendenhall and Kendall Myler. Ashley prepared him well for his teacher Mrs. Saur by telling him that she was so funny, so he has a very positive mind set going into kindergarten. He is proud to show me his papers, but said every day the first week that school was "so boring" because one little girl cried the whole time for her mother. He is very grown up about the whole school experience. Fortunately I found a lot of cute clothes for him at the OO2 garage sale in May (last one I went to) so he has some nice clothes to wear to school and some good tennis shoes and boots. He can't wait until he can get into swim lessons, and in the evening we have had a hard time keeping track of him as he wants to go play with the neighborhood kids on the street including hyperactive Jason who wanders hither and yon and likes to spy on some little girls. They've made a kind of fort on the hill behind our house, and it is hard to get Brett to come inside in the evening and go to bed. He's a strong willed young fella, but a delightful child, reminding me much of Eric at the same age. How grateful I am to have had him, and to have been able to live to see him start school. How I hope that I can live to finish raising him!

1994 September 26, Monday

Ashley laying beside her. Brett tried to breathe like her

This morning she can't even walk. No strength. I did move her to the toilet and then to the Victorian setae. She said I really need to eat. I got her some milk toast but while making it became less than hot because Brett wanted help getting himself dressed. I took it up to her and sat by her feet with my heart in my throat. She carefully and slowly ate the food.

After she dies, Brett suggests we say a prayer. Brett going to bed says my mommy loves me but I can't see her. Glena Rae White finds his favorite photo of his mother and places it on his dresser.  "Every time you look at your mother smiling remember how much you were loved by her." Glena Rae

That evening the Glenna Rae put Brett to bed but he said he couldn't remember what mom looked like so she went and got the picture of Suzanne and Brett and put it on his dresser. She spends some time arranging it so he could see her from his bed. Sandy spends time with Ashley and put her to bed. The next morning she said she couldn't' go to sleep and then she felt mom hug her and then she did.

1994, Brett Sunday October 16
I know mom was so nice. She used to love everyone. She used to be so nice. She was in a good church. She was in a good family. She talked about good things, she ate good vegetables and she ate things she wanted to eat. She was so nice like she was in God's ward. She gave people food that was poor.

Dear Brett,
You are a fulfillment of prophecy. I knew I was supposed to have six children. You were the last stone in my wedding ring. Every day I see you I’m glad I had you. I know I did the right thing. You are a great joy to me and to the whole family. Your enthusiasm for life and zest for living fill us all with love and make us want to do the same. You have a desire to grow up and do right. When you get older, read the scriptures every day. They will add purpose and direction in your life. Control your temper, be honest and obedient always, and God will give you great power to do good. I will be watching over you, I know you will have a great mission and marriage. Marry the best LDS girl in the temple to help you achieve your potential. I want there to be “no empty chairs” in the Celestial Kingdom. I want to be with your family forever. I love you. Mom