Monday, October 24, 2016

Violet and Cami

So after walking all over the school, 
apparently I chose the wrong place to pick up Violet.....

because as soon as she spotted me coming towards her....

She yelled out, "Grandma Honey, this is not where you are 
suppose to pick me up. Go over to where the bike rack is!"

Love our little rule follower Violet!

So as with every child coming home from school all over America, 
Violet was hungry.

That wasn't enough for her, so she goes looking for more. 
I wonder what my fridge looks like from way down there.

She decides on JoJos (from Trader Joes) and apple juice

Gotta have some grapes too.

Finally she was full.

Cami had lots of snacks too but I couldn't manipulate the camera and help her at the same time.

Cam did so well with dinner.

She tries really hard. Bless her heart.

But more than the food, Cam loves the outside.
We have the most perfect weather in October! 

Who else but a little kid would want to roll in the grass?
It sounds so itchy.

Didn't bother Violet not one bit.

Then just like that it was time to go to dance class.

I love the contrast in size 
between Grandpa and 5 1/2 year old Violet!
I think she's our most petite grandchild. Small but mighty. No doubt there. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Morning, noon, and night

Elder Dale Runland, an apostle from our church (and also a 
cardiologist) shared 6 lessons with other physicians 
he's learned from his patients

Very good article, but Lesson 3 spoke to me the most.

When I pray for others I usually include them in my night time prayer and throughout the day if there 
is a pressing need. But I hadn't thought of praying for their needs consistently 3 times a day until they 
are better. I'm changing my ways. I know there is great power in prayer. What a gift this is.
To read the other 5 things he learned from his patients go HERE.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

We both forgot!

Sunday morning just before going to church I decided to check 
email real quick. I found this nice little one from my friend in Utah:

"Just wanted to wish you guys a happy anniversary!...I hope you 
enjoy your day 😍"

I'm sure I said out loud to myself, "What?? What's today? The 
16th?? What? I forgot??"

I looked around the house. No card propped up against a vase of 
flowers. Nothing. No signs of anyone having an anniversary. 

We both forgot?? Both of us?

Dennis had already been to church for nearly 2 hours. He probably 
remembered after he got there, and feels terrible right about now. 

So I get to church just before it begins and find Dennis saving a 
chair for me as usual. I keep trying to decide how to approach this. 

He turns to look at me and compliments me on my skirt. "It's new, 
isn't it?" I said no, I've had this a long time. 

He really doesn't know does he? 

So then I sit there staring at him and smiling. Trying to figure me 
out, he looks right into my eyes, and that's when I say to him, 
"Happy Anniversary." 

I take the church bulletin and point to the date at the top: "Oct 16, 
2016." He looks like he's going to be sick.

I feel sorry for him. For the panic look on his face. Remembering 
specials dates is HUGE to him. He prides himself on being a good 
husband. Good husbands, according to him in the past, never forget 
these things. 

So I say back to him, "It's okay! I forgot too! We don't even have 
calendars up in our house yet. We basically haven't known what 
day it's been since we moved in!" 

"Oh you forgot too?" 

"Yes! Yes I did. I love it. We forgot together." 

By now it's the opening song. We start to sing. He takes my hand 
and kisses it and tells me it's been the best 17 years of his life. 

Some of those imperfect moments of life are my favorite. 

17 years ago. Who are these people anyway?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sometimes I like to be told what to do.

Not always. But sometimes.

Like a week or so ago when 3 of my nieces came 
to visit. (Robin and Dave's girls)

I forgot to take even one picture of them, so I had to snag a few off 

 Brooke and Lauren, and McKenzie below them.

Lauren was visiting from Ohio, Brooke just came for the weekend 
from Provo, and McKenzie is still in high school here.

So it happened like this. As we were just sitting around chatting I 
happened to mention that we were having someone come out to fix 
our stove since the 2 front burners don't work. 
The sellers of our house graciously bought us a year warranty on the house....
so any repair is just $65.

So my nieces started checking out my stove.

Not that I asked them to or anything. But there they were all 
hovered over it. Then suddenly one of them said, "There I fixed it." 
Apparently I just had the burner plates upside down! 
All fixed, and saved me $65.

Then I started talking about the dishwasher....I showed them how 
Dennis does not like the silver ware container on the door. 

That's when one of girls reached her arm in, removed the container, 
and then put it in the dishwasher like this:

You mean I could have done that 7 weeks ago 
when we moved in here?

And wait there's more. As I walked them to their car, I was 
showing the girls how I was upset the gardner wacked off too much 
of this bush I like. 

So McKenzie gets close to the bush and tells me it's a Rosemary 
bush! Really, I had no idea. I LOVE rosemary. 

She said I could just come out and get
some when I'm making dinner.

Thanks girls! 

Here's all their siblings together plus Ashley's 2 children.

Sarah, McKenzie, Lauren, Brooke, Ashley, Ben, Davy

They have all grown up so nicely. 
I need to have them over more often. 
More like, I need to beg them to come over more often. 
Like having my own personal house coach.

And that was just the kitchen.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I think it came to bring comfort and peace

So the latest election debate Sunday evening, while entertaining, was horrible.
It felt like a dark cloud over our lives.

Two days later I woke up (I had woken up before that, but you know what I mean)
and didn't think much of it as I sang these words Tuesday morning:

"Fear not though the enemy deride
It takes courage for the Lord is on our side
We will heed not what the wicked may say
For the Lord, the Lord we will obey."

They may not be the exact words of the hymn but they were the words I was singing.
It's how I remember it...this song I've known since childhood.

It was odd to me, that I wasn't even thinking about this song. Like it wasn't even in my head, I just
started singing the words. And at first I wasn't paying attention to what the words were saying.

Suddenly after several times going over these words while vacuuming and doing laundry, I stopped
and thought....where is this coming from? And what hymn is this?

Then another verse came to me:

"If we do what's right we have no need to fear
For the Lord our helper will ever be near
In the days of trial his Saints he will cheer
And prosper the cause of truth."

So I then went down the hall where Den was working and sang a few lines to him. "What is the name
of this hymn? Do you know? I can't place it."

He didn't know at first but then he began singing another verse:
"Let us all press on in the work of the Lord....."

"That's it. Let Us All Press On."!!

So then I went looking for it on youtube. And played it over and over while I did more chores. It
brings me such comfort. The words. In a way I'd never really heard them quite like this before.

To me, it's like it was written for this very election. But actually, I discovered both the text and music
were written by Even Stephens, and he died in 1930!

Then my mind started wandering to my Mom and the things she use to tell me. I thought back to that
one particular evening when I was a young teenager. We were having some sort of crisis in the world
at the time, and my little brother Scott was crying about it and afraid to go to bed. I was in the other
room but I heard Mom say to him, "Our greatest protection in this life is keeping the 
commandments. If we do that we will be just fine." 

I don't know...but maybe my Mom put this hymn in my head Tuesday morning. Whatever, I need it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Thank you Wayfair

I think I've given Dennis too many projects to do.

He's building cabinets in the garage.

Never mind the light fixture on the ceiling. 
Unless you want it, then it's yours.
(the former owners just stuck it up there after taking it down from the dining area)

Den spent a few days putting our breakfast table together.
(taking many breaks so he could do his regular job)

These are our best dishes, still here from some dinner guests who 
needed to cancel. As you can see, we won't give up on them.

All the dishes, goblets, and placemats from the Dollar Store.
(One of our new neighbors made the center piece...
so exciting, we ARE getting to know our neighbors!!)

These little bar stools were the first things he put together for me.
He said they were easy, so it snowballed after that.

He's working on this cabinet to go in our closet.
(in between taking breaks from his garage project)

And I love this little dresser for our guest room 
he put together last week. 

All of the above (except for the garage cabinets he is making) 
came from  It's such a fun site. 
The prices aren't too bad either. 
Considering what things cost at a regular furniture store. 

But they do take time to put together. 
The little dresser above: 5 hours

Sunday, October 2, 2016

they don't preach what they practice

I was listening to a podcast by a Dr Leonard Sax last week
and I've been pondering 2 of his sentences since then:

"The problem with a lot of good parents today is they don't 
preach what they practice. So the parents believe in virtue and 
honesty and decency, but they don't talk about it."

I had to wonder, why don't they talk about it? Too busy? Kids too distracted by their phones?  The
parents beliefs aren't politically correct anymore? Not sure what it is exactly.

Then yesterday morning while watching General Conference, that podcast was brought back again to
me, when Robert D Hales said,

"Parents and grandparents, we tend to bemoan the state of the 
world...that schools are not teaching moral character, but there is 
much we can do. We can take advantage of the teaching moments 
in our own families. That means now. Don't them slip by. When 
an opportunity comes to share your thoughts about the gospel 
and the lessons of life, stop everything, sit down, and talk to your 
children and grandchildren."

Thursday, September 29, 2016

An odd good twist to Chandler's story

Last Friday night while our grandson Chandler was getting his 
eagle and standing next to his best friend John.....
Neither of them had a clue that just 4 days later they would find out 
that John's mission call is the same as Chandler's! 
They are both going to the South Carolina Columbia mission.

The very next morning after John's mission call opening, 
Chandler left for his mission (John joins him in November)
Logan, Amy, Chandler, Macie, Laurynn, and Austin bright and very early yesterday morning.

But wait, there's more!
Our granddaughter Jessica left for her mission too...
yesterday, the very same day as Chandler!

Her Dad saying goodbye to his baby girl.

So Chandler and Jessica are both at the Missionary Training Center 
together, arriving the same day!
I'm sure they will hook up and have a picture taken together.

Had to show these pictures of Jessica and Chandler from 2008....
Jess is #2 from the left, Chandler is #6 
Emily, Jessica, Elora, Kylie, Laurynn, Chandler, Katelyn, Macie

Chandler doing the jump, 
and Jess trying not to miss him while recovering from hers.

And one of their several EFY (Especially For Youth) adventures together.
Jessica, Kylie, Chandler, Austin

Oh the sweetness and surprises of this life.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hard to find words

Isaac's mom had one of her visiting teachers read her words from the pulpit yesterday.

"Perhaps there's a chance, that had I done this, or hadn't done that, 
he may still be here to hold. So many if onlys..."

And then she went on to quote parts of this hymn, 
which had never quite registered in my head like this before:

"God moves in a mysterious way 
His wonders to perform,
He plants his footsteps in the sea 
And rides upon the storm.

Ye fearful Saints, fresh courage take; 
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head..."

Afterwards, Terry Freeman, from the stake presidency spoke.
He is not one to share personal things, but he did yesterday.

He said it was 26 years ago this week that his 3 month old, Casey Jay, suddenly passed away.
I still remember the shock and utter sadness I felt for this family 
when I first heard about it the day it happened all those years ago.

He acknowledged the profound grief, but he also said, this has in time blessed their family.
He said Casey has been their guardian angel all of these years.
And they have strived as a family to be worthy to raise him again someday.

I hope that gave some comfort to Isaac's parents and his 4 older brothers.  

Friday, September 9, 2016

Oh... the baby shower.....

A night of mixed emotions.

Such a happy event though....a new baby about ready to venture in 
this world in just a week or 2 or 3.

Our grandson Austin and his wife Brooke about to have a baby.

Brooke's mom, Kim, barely got off the plane from Ohio 
in time for the baby shower. 
This was the first time she got to see her daughter pregnant. 

They both worked very hard getting ready for everything. 
And Amy too. Oh my goodness Amy too. 
Not even sure I got any pictures of her. 
She was all over the place all evening, running the show.

Good to have the sisters together, Téa, Laurynn, Macie, and Kylie 
plus their new sister Brooke.

Lots attended!

Beautiful food
Katie, Robin, Heidi

Cooperative guests

Drawing babies on their heads

Austin, the Dad to be, was not planning to come until the very end.
But when he heard that his dearly loved Nana was going to be 
there, he came and sat with his arm around her most of the evening. 

Amy as so happy to be with her as well.

The Dad to be, along with the soon to be uncles, 
Chandler and Jonas.

Hard to believe Kylie has been married a whole year now!

Such great friends came to celebrate.

Still through all the wonderful celebration for such a happy event, I could tell something was wrong. 
But I didn't know what. 

I just kept seeing a few women at a time disappear into the bedrooms. 
They would be gone for awhile, then come back to the party. 
Then some time would go by and there would be a few more slip away for awhile. 
I could see pain on their faces. 

I could have asked someone but I didn't. I think I was afraid to know. 
And someone would tell me soon enough. 

Then my sister told me. A baby from their ward, and one I know too, 
died from a drowning a few hours earlier. 17 months old. 

These women were grieving. Most of them are young moms. So this hit them way close to home. 
They were also plotting and planning on how they can help this family. 
That's what good women do. 

About 8:45 many started to say their goodbyes and leave. About 10:15,  we were about ready to go to 
bed, when I heard some talking coming from one of our bedrooms. We hadn't realized we still had 
some guests here. But they needed to talk to each other.

On the very day that some are celebrating and happy, others are sad and grieving. 
And last night some were doing both at the same time. 

I went to bed thinking of the suffering. Thinking of all the pain and incredible sadness of the family 
having their baby gone. Thinking of all the good women here last night who have it in their 
hearts to help. I also went to bed thinking of this hymn that I've loved for years.

"....The errand of angels is given to women. 
And this is a gift as sisters we claim.
To do whatsoever is gentle and human
To cheer and to bless in humanity's name...."

The joys and the sorrows.
And sometimes they come together. 

Where would we all be without each other.