Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Murder of Our Friends

Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever think I would write the words in the title of this blog.

Doug Dooley

I haven't written about this before; frankly, it's just been too hard and disturbing to think about. But since I do use this blog as a type of journal, I wanted to write down a few thoughts. Below is a picture of our friends, Irwin and Shirley Marchand. He was 74 and she is 72. Above is a picture of Shirley's son, Doug Dooley. He was 50. Darryl and I knew Irwin well from meeting him at church and other activities. He was a fun, kind, gentle, hard working man who loved God and his fellowman. When he spoke in church about the redeeming love of his Savior, Jesus Christ, it was apparent that he was a man who knew about the principles of the atonement first hand and applied them in his life. We did not get to know Shirley as well as she was having some health problems and was unable to come to church regularly. But all who knew them loved them. Doug was staying with them while he was working in the area.

Saturday, February 18, 2012 was "Bishop's Storehouse" day in Baton Rouge. Brother and Sister Marchand were service missionaries called to oversee the volunteer workers and the unloading and distributing of food to families in need. Although they had been sick during the week Brother Marchand had assured a friend on Friday evening that he would be there on Saturday morning to unlock the building and oversee the work.

Saturday morning came and Brother Marchand did not show up to open the building. Some tried to call but received no answer. It was assumed that Shirley had taken a turn for the worse and they were back at the hospital. Throughout the day no one was able to reach them. After working at the "storehouse" Darryl, Cody and I went to the temple. Cody mentioned to us that something just didn't "feel" right. He couldn't put his finger on what it was exactly, but it just felt wrong and .....? He just didn't know. In reality I think we all felt a little unease during the afternoon and evening.

Sunday morning at 8:00 Darryl received a phone call from one of his assistants telling him that Brother Marchand had died sometime Saturday. Darryl is very careful about information given him and will not repeat it unless he gets it verified. He called Bishop Masten and was given the sad a tragic news. Brother Marchand, his wife and her son, Doug, were bludgeoned, and their throats were slit. A safe was stolen from their home with a rare coin collection in it. Brother Marchand and his stepson were dead and his wife was clinging to life undergoing emergency surgery at the hospital. The attack had taken place sometime between 10:00 p.m. Friday night and 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning. When Doug's wife had tried to call him all day Saturday and couldn't get him or her in-laws she became worried and local law enforcement were asked to check on them. They found the bodies around 9:00 p.m. Saturday night.

What kind of monster does this type of thing? By the look of the human damage was this really just a robbery or something more?

Yesterday I had the privilege of singing "How Great Thou Art" at Brother Marchand's funeral. I have sung at dozens of funerals over the years. Relatives whom I love, Babies and children of friends, teens, the elderly, the young who died of disease or accidents, those who committed suicide. This funeral was the first time I was unsure if I could make it through the song. For a few short months I had come to know this kind, wonderful old man who loved and cared for all he met. Who could be so evil to do such a horrible thing?

I prayed like I had never prayed before that the Lord would strengthen me and bless me to be able to sing in such a way as to bring comfort to those whose hearts were broken and peace to the hurting soul, but deep down I also wanted to be able to sing in such a way that if the person who committed this crime was present that the song would rack them to their very soul with guilt and fear for what they had done. Was this wrong of me to want, for just a moment, such power with my voice? I know I was blessed, for I was able to sing with more power and control in my voice than I have had in a long time.

It was a beautiful funeral service that did much toward bringing comfort and peace to the broken heart. There are still so many unanswered questions we have, but we were assured by President Riggs, the Stake President, that whoever did this horrible crime would face the justice of the law of the land and would never be able to escape the Justice of God, and they needed to be pitied.

They have found the safe.

Click HERE for a link to the news stories.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Blessing of Tyree

10 days ago Darryl and I flew home to Idaho so we could be there for little Tyree's blessing. Jesse and Kelly had the family over and it was a wonderful day!
Kelly and his girls.

Jake, Hillary, Cali, Travis and Gideon visit before the blessing.

Tyree is so darn cute and she has the cutest smiles!!

Grandpa Darryl blessed Tyree and Brandon and Blaine Ball, Uncle Travis, Uncle Jake and Great Grandpa Demont Crystal stood in on the blessing.

Then the family ate dinner and visited for a while.

Demont and Glenna Crystal with their Great-Grandaughter, Tyree.

The Crystal Clan

Jesse and the girl of the hour, Miss Tyree.

After everyone left Tyree just chilled with her toys.

Gideon is such a good big brother to Parker.

Miss Parker.... I love your hair!!

And Aunt Hillary loves you so much she could just eat you up!

Clan Cunningham

Thank you for a wonderful weekend! We love you little Tyree!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

DISNEY!!! (finally)

I know, I know.... It has been 5 weeks since we were there, so here they are... My wonderful family!!! On Sunday the 8th we finally got together to take a family picture of the 9 of us.

I will add that Shiloh was leaving to go back to South Carolina, and Skye and Jesse were still in the process of getting ready for church. My kids are fabulous!

On Monday we made it to Disney World!!!

I will say that Ryan's mom, Donna, is a Professional Disney Patron. She got the balloon and tied it to the stroller so it was easy to spot. As the day progressed the right ear shrank and we always knew where our group was gathered. She also was like having a walking map and information booth right beside you. I love you Donna!

This was Jesse, Skye, Hillary and Cody's first time to a Disney Theme Park along with Parker and the new babies of course. It was so fun watching my big kids have fun!

Above is a mural inside Cinderella's Castle, below is Reagan with her Mickey Mouse ears.... Maybe she will grow into them. :-)

Jesse, Tyree, Cali, Parker and a very excited Skye getting ready to FLY on the Peter Pan Ride! (One of my favorites!)

Somehow I get the feeling Reagan is not that impressed. She loved it when Ryan would carry her like this. 

Lily loved all the rides and liked to go on them with Grandma.

Tyree's ears are a little big too. Well, she'll just have to bring them back next year.

It's a small world......

.....and it definately has Grandma and Parker's attention.

Much to the delight of her "Nona", Reagan woke up and her face 'lit up' while watching "It's a Small World".

There were so many fun things to see and do. Fortunately... or maybe Unfortunately, Grandma was having so much fun playing I didn't take very many pictures. Ransom loved the big 'rotating water globe of the world'. 

Lily is such a fun 'little mother' when it comes to her siblings and cousins. While waiting for Mommy and Daddy at Splash Mountain they found a great place to play. We constantly heard things like....

"Look at me gwan-ma, I am in the house"

"Look! Me swide Gwan-pa!" Me House!

They found Brer Rabbit's house ...

And Lily took great care of little Parker.... "Quick Parker, come here."

"Okay, now you have to smile real big - Gwan-pa wants a picture!"

Another favorite for us is THE HAUNTED MANSION.... ohhhhh..

Last year it was raining so we just went straight inside. This year we entered through the graveyard and found some pretty fun things to play with.


Tyree and I try to make a face like Old Aunt Maud...

Hillary thought she looked more like this old gent....

And Cody tried to look like the old Sea Captain Uncle Mac. Parker wasn't too sure. 

What a wonderful day.... I can't wait until next time!