Monday, August 22, 2011

Disneyland adventure!!!

 The Hawkes family has never set out an adventure that would last more than a weekend before. We were reminded about opposition in all things, and how blessed we really are :)
We planned this trip over 6 months ago and invited extended family to come along. Grandma Gifford and Bailey opted in and we were excited for months! The Friday before we were leaving Grandpa Gifford returned to heaven. How could we think of vacation at a time like this? It was really difficult for us all but the trip had been paid for and was non refundable so we attended the viewing and then took off, promising to pick up Grandma & Bailey on Tuesday from the airport, this was on Sunday.
So the Hawkes family loaded the borrowed natural gas bus, I mean van and headed to St. George. Things were great, time flew by and then 11:30 pm a loud bang, louder than any noise we had ever heard on the freeway. We pulled off and found a tire had blown. Jason quickly got the spare tire out only to find it covered in holes. It was of no use. Luckily we were right outside of Cedar City. We drove ever so gently and pulled off the closest exit. Every tire store was closed and no body could help us. Jason tried repairing the spare but it did no good. We were left to find a motel for the night, which by the way turned out to be the most disgusting hotel we had ever seen. It smelled bad, the door didn't close tight, and I promise the water was an off color!!! Morning came and Jason was up with sun getting 2 new tires from Wal-Mart (paid for, thank heaven, by the owners of the vehicle) We were on our way again and found Grandma Rich happy to see us, and feed us, and disappointed we couldn't stay longer. the drive was long but we found entertainment, thanks to modern technology and great music!
Natural gas station are spread pretty far so in order to get where your going you must fill up at every station available or you run out of gas. All the stations had been great, then we hit Barstow California...dun dun dun!!! The pumps were empty and so was the bus, I mean van. Literally we had nothing left but fumes. Fortunately another Utah family was there and gave us an address about 40 miles in our direction of a natural gas station. How were we going to make it? Nobody would tow us, and there was no way we had enough gas. We cried and yelled and prayed and got to Victorville 40 miles away on fumes and with angels carrying us for sure. It was at least 100 degrees and the air was left off during the trip but we made it! Once there the pump malfunctioned and by now the bank had turned off our debit cards because of suspicious activity across the country. We called the station attendant for help and he came and didn't ask any questions, just smiled and filled the tank for free and sent us on our way, WOW!!! The final destination couldn't have come any faster. We arrived safe and sound at our FABULOUS hotel where we swam, prayed with much gratitude and swam until we were exhausted.
Grandma & Bailey arrived safely the next day and we park hoped it up until wee hours of the morning for 2 days. Thursday was a rest day and we wanted to go to the beach so Jason found that farthest beach he could find and we made our way there quickly and with no trouble at all. We had a bug cooler full of food and drinks and plenty of toys for lots of fun on the beach. We body surfed, burried each other in the sand chowed and had a great time. We were all packed and ready to go, walking to the bus, I mean van, and Jason asked "where are the keys?" None of us knew, he had been driving all week, keys never crossed our minds. Then Brandie remembered Ellie had been playing with a key and  it hit us that the key was in the sand where our towels had been. We searched for HOURS, no luck, we prayed several times, called locksmith after locksmith with no luck until a man said he would make us a new key for $200...YEAH RIGHT!!! Then Brandie spotted the beach patrol and asked there opinion, they recommended we wait for a man with a metal detector, he comes evrey night they said. So here comes this old man decked from head to toe in metal detecting gear and searches for EVER with no luck. Brandie turns to Jason and says, "call the locksmith" seriously in unioson the man pulls the keys from the sand!!!! MIRACULOUS, only by the grace of God did that happen. IF you are still reading this, don't you EVER forget your tithing!!! It saved our trip time and again!!! Our ride back to the hotel was long, very long and we felt starved and exhausted not to mention we all needed to pee, lol
From then on, including our trip home, we were blessed with peace and everything turned out great!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Almost March...

Really this year is flying by! Thank you for counting my family blog into your life. I can only say I've made it this far by the tender mercies of a fabulous Father in Heaven. I am finally able to swallow!!! Those who have no clue what that means...a few months ago I choked pretty bad on some food and continued having problems with things being stuck in my esophagus since then. I had no clue what was causing it, and got to the point where all I was consuming was liquids. I was even scared to drink. I lost 15 lbs (not a fun way to lose wight I might add) I was referred to a Gastroenterologist and he set me up a week later for an endoscopy and biopsies of my upper GI tract. During that outpatient procedure they found that my esophagus had been inflamed due to slow acting allergies and it had cause my throat to grow together leaving only a 3mm opening for food and liquid to pass through. That's the 3 smallest lines on a measuring tape.  They opened the stricture and dilated my throat to an 11mm opening (normal is 18-20) That was January 7th. I am not fully recovered yet, and since then have been to allergy specialists, holistic Doctors and talked to my Gastro and family Dr. a thousand times. They diagnosed me with some crazy disease called Eosiniphilic Esophagitis. Which basically means allergies that act slowly and in my case cause inflammation. They all told me to stay away from dairy, wheat, seafood, eggs, soy, nuts, & chicken. Needless to say I cried for weeks and pleaded for a miracle. After eliminating all of those foods, I feel the same except I can swallow. I was really week, and have just started regaining energy for life. I still eat a very restricted diet, but cheat when something seems worth it for the taste. Last week I had a HUGE learning experience and feel confident that this trial is on the downhill slope. I know that healing is possible and hope for that! This has been a great lesson on humility, brought me and Jason closer than I ever thought possible, taught me to fast, and made me extremely grateful for ALL of the blessings I do have. I have good days and bad days, and sometimes satan wins by tricking me into depression, but I'm still fighting, and usually win the battles with him. There are some families in our ward that willingly bring meals to my girls on the nights Jason isn't home so I don't have to make a meal for me and a separate one for them. What a huge blessing that alone has been for me. Sometimes I can actually feel the healing power of someones prayers on my behalf.
Love to all my readers!