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March 31, 2009
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New Book from Linda Eyre and Shawni Eyre Pothier

Wow are we excited!!! I (Linda) had the rare opportunity this year of writing a book with my darling daughter Shawni released on April 1 (this is no April Fool’s joke)! Shawni is the Mother of five including this little cherub on the cover of the book. In addition to being a remarkable Mother, she is a fabulous photographer! About 50 of her gorgeous photos of moms, kids and families that will make you laugh and cry are found in these pages. It has 40 short, easy to read "secrets" that we’ve discovered on our path along the way. I have the advantage of perspective having raised nine strong-willed children and she, who is in the trenches with the day to day refiner’s fire writes what she has learned about the real life fun of being a mom as well as the crazy, "down and dirty" nobody-is-going-to-believe-this moments that every mother experiences.

There are five sections of secrets what include "Look for Light in the Trenches", "Have an Organized Offense", "Analyze", "Kids are Like Puzzles" and "Give Ownership". Hopefully it will inspire moms to share their own mothering secrets on a new web site for mothers at www.PowerOfMoms.com. This new book has been published just in time for Mother’s Day, but since Motherhood involves every minute, every day, every year, we hope it will be timeless!

To save yourself a trip to the store go to http://deseretbook.com/store/product/5014296 to order. It is 10% off for a limited time. We’d love to hear your feedback at the "contact us" button on the Valuesparenting website.

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March 25, 2009
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Fish, Flour and FUN

Deep sea fishing in Florida..pelicans waiting for fish too!

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Didn’t catch a thing…in fact this is the biggest fish anyone caught!

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Back home on the weekend, we had fun with our grandchildren from Gilbert, AZ and the ones from St. George Utah this week.  "Grandfather" has a "treasure chest" from which immerges all kinds of exciting surprises, IF the eyes are all closed!

 

 

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Sweet Claire sitting on our new Balinese Dog.  Explanation and pictures later!

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Of course, no visit to Grammie and Grandfather is complete without a visit to the zoo

 

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The Pothiers are always coming up with new games!  We can’t wait to try this "get the penny out of the flour without hands" game at our family reunion this summer!

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Cool 11 year old Max is doing a great job of taking care of all these girls! He’s 5’5", taller at his age than our son who is now 6’9" was by quite a bit!

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March 25, 2009
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Florida Week

We had so much fun in Florida! We went to the YPO GLC (Global Leadership Conference) so we found friends from all over the world there. Here is an email home with a synopsis of what we did. Pictures follow in the next blog entry.

We’ve finished our three days of hard work and “appearances” and “moving around” amongst 2000 YPOers at the GLC (Global Leadership Conference) which was fun and interesting. We did meet lots of old friends from previous YPO events which is almost like seeing family!

We did get to visit with the wife of the guy who wrote “The Last Lecture”, Randy Pausch before he died. Oprah and Diane Sawyer had begged for interviews but she felt more comfortable in this setting and was interviewed by a darling woman with whom she really hit it off. She is a brave soul, going on without him with her three little children but is doing so will grace and courage.

The former President of Mexico, President Fox came for a little “chat” as well. Also we heard both in word and song from a famous ragae singer from Haiti, saying that he ate dirt paddies for dinner sometimes and is now working on a foundation for kids in Haiti. Lots of good people with great ambitions.

The final speaker was the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and he was animated and taught us a lot, not only about music but about leadership. He said, “You cannot appreciate great music until your hear has been broken.”

My favorite speaker was a gorgeous woman who was born without bones in her lower legs so they had to be amputated just below the knee. She then became a champion in the para-olympics with fiberglass legs to help her run. A truly remarkable story! She’s about 32 and forging her way forward even though she’s not racing anymore. She came out and walked around the stage on perfectly beautiful wooden legs and high heels. Except for the ankle not bending, you would never know that they weren’t real. I loved the advice she gave us about adversity: “Adversity is just change that you haven’t adjusted to yet.” “Never stop thinking like a child.” “Adapting to change helps us see possibilities where others can’t” “Value challenge. Value Change. Value what makes you different.” So true!

So many interesting people to meet and fascinating things to learn!

March 3, 2009
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There are Trials and There are TRIALS!

We, along with you, are horrified at the crazy condition of our economy! How did we get here and how do we get out? How long will this last and what should we do to survive until we “turn the corner”? One thing is sure amidst all these trials…things will change! How soon and which direction it will go remains to be seen. In all our fussing about what to spend, how to save, how long a job will last and what to do if it doesn’t looms large in the lives of so many!

Still we’ve had a wake up call this month with our darling two year old granddaughter Lucy. In the delivery room, we were elated to see this healthy baby emerge into her grand new adventure. Within minutes we realized that she had all her fingers and and toes…plus one! We all loved that extra toe, but before she started to walk, a doctor removed it so she could wear shoes. Still, we worried about Lucy because she didn’t respond as her four older siblings had. She seemed to have trouble seeing and then didn’t walk until she was almost 18 months. Her learning abilities were slow and therapists came in to help her “catch up”. Still we loved every chubby inch of that little cherub and even through frequent tantrums because she couldn’t communicate her wishes through speech, we loved watching her grow and being cared for by her adoring parents and siblings.

At Christmastime, a geneticist followed a hunch and thought they should run $4200 blood test on her to determine what her issues may be. The following story from our daughter Shawni (Lucy’s mother) chronicles the results:

“Nothing can really prepare you to get a phone call from the geneticist telling you that your child has a really rare syndrome that will change her life, and that of your family’s forever…even if you and your husband already knew it in your hearts.


And as much as we kind of knew it was coming, I do wish the geneticist would have at least told me to sit down, or find a quiet place…I mean, she MUST have been able to hear the chaos going on around me on a Friday afternoon when my house was filled with the whole neighborhood.


I’ll never quite forget standing there folding laundry trying to squelch the tears that were burning to come out amidst my kids and their friends asking intermittently for a snack, help with their roller blades, wanting a drink, etc. I know kids have an automatic button that tells them they need to start talking to an adult the second she gets on the phone and not give up (at least mine do), and usually I can multi-task. But not that Friday. Not while I felt like my whole world was suddenly swimming around me.


Lucy has a syndrome called “Bardet-Biedl.” It’s extremely rare, and we are just coming to grips with the fact that we can’t go in and sit down with the geneticist and get a concrete run-down of all the things that will change in life. It’s different for every child. But most of the children diagnosed have health problems, are overweight all their lives, and the most heartbreaking thing for us is that the majority of these kids lose their vision. Most of them become legally blind by the time they are teenagers, sometimes as early as age eight or nine.


The geneticist has brought up a few different possibilities for various syndromes since we met with her for the first time over a year ago. Each one she mentioned before I mentally checked it off my list right after I heard the symptoms. I knew Lucy didn’t’ have them. But when she mentioned this Bardet-Biedl Syndrome right before Christmas, Dave looked it up and started to worry. Symptoms include slower learning, weight issues, and extra digits. I never looked it up. I felt that the more I pushed it away, the more likely it would be that it would just disappear. I didn’t want to know the symptoms. I didn’t want to start to worry. To me it felt like it just couldn’t happen to Lucy if we didn’t know anything about it.


But Dave knew we definitely needed to test her for it. He had a bad feeling about it right from the start. And as much as I tried to bounce that bad feeling off of me, it gradually seeped in, little by little.


So we took her in for yet another blood test right after Christmas. Just a precaution. Just to quiet our fears. The way I played it out in my mind was that it would come back negative and I could go back to my own diagnosis I had made: Lucy was just a little bit slower than our other kids. She’d catch up eventually as long as we all work with her and keep going with her therapists. All would be well.


But gradually I started to realize this syndrome was a big possibility. Lucy fit into what this syndrome outlined. Now we just had to wait for the geneticist to tell us what we already knew.


Though we don’t know so much of what we will eventually learn about this syndrome, we do know with all our hearts that we adore this child. Each of us in our family could absolutely eat her up. She is so endearing and her smile melts our hearts every time she throws it at us…which is a lot. And we’re so grateful for that. We’re so grateful that although she may learn things a little slowly, she’ll still have her mental capacities. We’re so grateful she can walk and she can breathe easily and she can throw out hugs and kisses like nobody’s business. We are so thankful that only one in five of our kids has to deal with this (apparently each of them had a 30% chance to have this syndrome with us as their parents). Although this has hit us hard, we know it could be something so much worse, and we are so thankful.


Dave and I are determined to become experts on Bardet-Biedl and to learn everything we possibly can and to help Lucy progress in every way she can. I have loved watching Dave come home each night and work with her on various things. I have loved watching the kids work with her, hearing them pray for her (their bowed heads sometimes coming up with teary eyes), listening to them talk about her.


One thing’s for sure: we couldn’t be more thankful to have this little girl in our family. We feel like we have been blessed and prepared each step of the way. And we feel like she makes our family whole in so many ways.”

So there are trials and then there are TRIALS! Some things will pass and some will not. “Turning the corner” is not an option here. Yet, there is hopeful research on genes, chromosomes and retinal transplants somewhere down the road. Still, life will never be the same for this family! As we, as a society struggle with our physical needs during this raucous recession and realize that many other lives will also never be the same, we must also realize how much we learn from adversity! Lucy’s adventure will be different than the one we expected in that delivery room. But “Oh the Places We’ll Go” as we work through our trials! Some places will be harder than we could have imagined but many places will be better than we could have ever dreamed!

We love our daughter and her great husband and delightful children so much! Shawni’s blog has a huge following and has been an enormous support group. Anyone who would like to comment can go to www.71toes.blogspot.com. Many of her blog friends, most of whom she has never met, are part of a “Lucy Fan Club” and one even said she was going to be wearing an “I Love Lucy” T shirt. What great support they are receiving in this life-changing trial! What is really important in life is taking the storms along with the sunshine because they produce such beautiful clouds with silver linings!



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