Saturday, October 18, 2014

The change in our church

We saw history being made in our church in our little area last Sunday. Our church is growing so 
much that there was a need for more wards. A ward is similar to what other churches call a parish.
It is set with specific street boundaries.

So essentially they took 4 of the wards in our area and made 6 wards. In doing so, we were either put
into a different ward, or if we stayed in our regular ward, we have new people joining us. 

I see this as very exciting, although it also requires some adjustment as we miss some of our 
previous ward members.

Our Primary President, Judy Ryan, sent a letter out to all of the former 20 plus workers of Clovis 
3rd Primary. She has the ability to put words together like a beautiful piece of music. (By the way, a
Primary president is over ages 3 to 11….organizing teachers, music, and sharing and story time)

I've read it several times, and I feel it each time.

(And just so you'll know, Jefferson was one of the teachers, not a child in Primary.)

"Clovis III Ward Primary...
As many of you know, with the major changes to ward boundaries over the weekend, we have all been 
"let go."   I have a Powerpoint transition on my computer called "Confetti" where one screen explodes 
into ticker-tape particles, revealing a brand new screen.  This is my image of what is happening to us 
now.  I write this before the particles have settled.

My only regret is that I have not had the opportunity to loudly, publicly express my joy for having 
worked with you and express my love for each of you, for our long-suffering and magical secretary, for 
our quirky, creative, funny, amazing counselors, for all those who have transported the room with 
music, and for you ...for the various ways you have magnified your callings, putting your personal 
strengths to the task.  I would do so with trumpets.  Accept instead this inadequate email.  Please 
forgive and forget the snarky things I've said under my breath or the time I threw your cell phone, 
Jefferson, beyond the chalkboard.  I'm actually tearing up as I write this, something I would not do face 
to face. This is because I know I am better for having studied and tried to keep up with you.

I have three boxes of birthday candy left.  I intend to eat all of them myself some night when I'm alone 
missing you.  It's what I do.  But know, besides making me happy and fat, you have been a strength to 
our young people, and that legacy will grow in the next great adventure of their lives.  I've been hearing 
stories about children crying because they are losing their friends and their teachers.  Okay, fine.  But 
children bounce.  And none of us are going away.  We will glimpse our children many times, no matter 
where they are, now and in the life to come.  And I guarantee the feeling they get when they glimpse 
you back will be sweet and eternal.  I couldn't be more certain of that.
Much love, and I'll see you around...

Judy Ryan"

I found this picture today, taken several years ago of Judy with her husband, Tim.

I look like I'm totally bored. Can't be. 
Boring would not be an adjective I could ever use to describe the Ryans.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The double baby shower

Just inside the door of the double shower for my nieces, 
at my sister's home….

My Dad greeted the guests as they came through….
which I thought was a very nice touch
….even for his great granddaughter, Sarah.

 My SIL Suzanne!

My sister, Heidi!

 And as usual, I have no consistency with my pictures. I didn't come close to capturing everyone who
was there. Just whoever I was near at the time, and in between conversations.
For that reason, and many more, I could never get a job as a photographer.

My nieces who are due with little girls, 2 weeks apart! 
Natalie is due Jan 2nd, and Lindsay, Dec 17th. 
They both definitely have that beautiful pregnancy glow.

Erin arriving with gifts covered by Brock's art.

Oh, you want to see it up close?

Susan looking like a model!

So onto the food…
How can my sister Peggy still be that cute 
AND be a Grandma of seven?
(my niece Lindsay's husband, Gard, in the background)

 Fruit Kabobs and Yogurt Cups

Sandwiches and salad

And donuts for those, who….like donuts.

Jay with his Daddy, Bret. 
Just think, Jay was the unborn star at  the last baby shower.

The happy helpers, 2nd cousins: Elora and Hailey

Lots of mothers and daughters came.
Like, Kylie and Amy

Lindsay with Jenny Parker

My brother Richard with grandson Jay. 
He only had to wait over 6 decades for his boy. 

The soon to be Mamas opened gift after gift. 
Elora and Hailey were the happy helpers.

The joy!

Lots and lots of friends and family I didn't photo, too.

I have to include THIS LINK.
Lindsay sent it to me, and it's crazy

As I watched it I kept thinking….is this really for real? And she says it is.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I bet you don't have relatives like mine.

Last Friday night, after my brother Richard and Wendy took us out to dinner…..

….I went into our bedroom to start getting ready for bed. Den came in and said,
"You need to come here and see what's in the hall bathroom."

I was tired and said, "Just tell me okay?"

"No, you need to come look. There's this big pig on the bathroom counter"

A pig? Why did that not surprise me?
"Well then go take a picture of it and bring it to me, okay?"

So he did. And here is is:

Den just stood there looking like he didn't know what else to say.
But I knew what he was thinking.
I assured him, "Don't worry, honey. I'm sure it's not for us." 

I knew Richard and Wendy wouldn't be giving us a pig, 
but Den hasn't been in my family as long as I have, so he wasn't so sure.

Turns out it had something to do with the double baby shower the next day,
for 2 of their daughters, expecting babies two weeks apart!!

Wendy was sitting right there on the floor, until 2am
wrapping gifts and making prizes for the shower…..
She was tired, and her head hurt, but she kept at it all those hours.

This post is already long enough, so next I will show the Mamas-to-be, and the food.

And the pig? I never did figure out how he was used in the baby shower.
It's a mystery. All I know is he's gone.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Spark

If I leave a book out that I am reading, Dennis will invariably pick it up and want to read it too. 

I love this about him for some reason. But no, I don't understand it. 
I don't seek out the books he's reading. 

We were both gripped by this book.  
(Den and I had 2 book marks going at the same time until we were both finished.) 

First of all this author is brilliant. Not only for her thinking out of the box, but for the way she tells 
about it. This is a page turner story. A very real story, and one of much struggling, 
but so FULL of hope. Seriously FULL of hope.

I almost wish the cover didn't say autism on it….instead, I wish this review would be put on the cover:

"THE SPARK is about the transformative power of unconditional love. It you have a child who's 
'different'----and who doesn't? ---you won't be able to put it down." Sylvia Nasar, author of A 
Beautiful Mind.

Every child is 'different.' Every child has his or her quirky way about them. No child just goes through 
life like a little robot doing everything we teach him or her to do. 

This author teaches how to find the passion in your child. Instead of looking at what he or she is 
weak in, or struggling with, her theory is if we focus instead on the strengths of a child, then this child 
will be likely comply with learning the other stuff.

Come to think of it, isn't this just human nature?

My sister in law Wendy has been with us for the past few days, and she read this book too while here. 
She could barely put it down, and kept saying things like, "This is amazing!!"

I'm now reading this one:
 This time I'm keeping it hidden until I finish it. 
Just makes my reading time a little easier. 
And then Dennis can read it all he wants in a few days.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Opening Day

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A way to find out what's going on with your kids

So a few weeks back I had a link on my blog to some questions that claim
to get your kids to talk about school. Way beyond, "How's school?"… "Fine."

So I thought I'd try it on the twins. This is just a tiny clip of that session.
Watch how Jonas handles all Téa's chatter about her new friend Isa.

I don't mean to encourage my grandchildren to think of negative things about people by
bringing up the space ship question. I see it as a gentle indirect way to ask if there is anyone at school
they are not feeling comfortable around, or who is bothering them in some way.

Go HERE if you would like to read all 25 Ways to ask your kids, "So how was school today?" without asking them, "So how was school today?" 

These questions really work. They opened up about all kinds of things.

If you have teenagers, try this list instead.
You may be surprised what you'll find out.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

More of my mystery grandmother

Of all the pictures my cousin gave to me, the two below 
mean the most, and I will tell you why.

In the first picture, sitting on the left, is of my 
Grandma Leonie LaBarthe Rozier, my Dad's mother! 
She died at the age of 42 when my Dad was only 6 years old.

So I never met her, and she remained a mystery to me all my life.

This was 1920 and she was only 25. That was ten years 
before she had my Dad. She looks so pretty to me. 
And oh, those eyes of hers, those eyes….they look familiar.
(I'm not sure who the woman standing next to her is, maybe her sister? )

And then this one…..

The above picture was taken in 1941, just 3 years after my Dad's 
mother died. See those two women on both sides of that older 
woman in the picture (who looks like a man)? THAT would be my 
Dad's Grandma LaBarthe, or my Great Grandma. 
I had never seen her before! 

The two women on both sides of my Great Grandma LaBarthe are 
my Dad's aunts….sisters of his deceased mother. 

The two women in front are my Aunt Leonie and Aunt June. 
Not sure who the boys are in the back. I'm thinking they must be 
sons of one of the 2 sisters surrounding Great Grandma LaBarthe.

They all look so French.

My cousin also gave me this picture of my 
Grandpa Romeo Rozier, my Dad's Dad. 

This last one is a picture of my Dad's oldest siblings:
 Irving, June, and Leonie,  "on the last day of school." 

Who takes pictures of their kids on the last day of school? 
I never did. I never even thought of that.

My apologies to my Great Grandma LaBarthe for saying she 
looks like a man. She looks like she's missing her teeth, such a 
hard life. She died at age 70, just 2 years after that picture was 
taken. I wish I could have known her. Someday I will.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Going back to the 1940s

My Dad has 3 sisters, June, Leonie, and Ann, who have all graduated from this life.
He was the little brother. (with 2 older brothers)

Last month my cousin Ron and Yolanda surprised me with a CD of old family pictures. The ones that 
struck me the most were of my Dad's sisters as young Moms. These were all taken in the 1940s but I 
had never seen them before. Long before I was even born, I must say.

I think Aunt Leonie was pregnant with her very first baby (of 5) here. 

How cute is she!

Three years later in 1946. I think she looks like a movie star. 
(Something curious about this picture though. Isn't that a large soda bottle in the next room? 
I didn't think they had those back then…it must be something else.)

Here we have Aunt June in 1941. 

Aunt June again with her 2 boys, David and Donny, in 1948

Aunt Ann holding her daughter Kristine in 1950.
(Kristine was an only child, and went on to have 4 daughters and last count she has 18 grandchildren!)

Back to Aunt Leonie in 1941 with her nephew David….
Make note of David's little face because….

Here he is last month and he still has that same face 73 years later!
The definite Rozier look.

I can't get enough of these pictures so here's a few more….Aunt Leonie again in 1943.

Again, a few years later in 1948. Probably just a moment in time of an ordinary day.

The older I get the more I realize there are no ordinary days. 
They only seem so as were are living them perhaps, but certainly not looking back.

In this same group of pictures was this picture I'd never seen of my parents in 1961. 

And while I've seen the posed version of this picture of 1931, 
I'd never seen this more natural one.
My Dad (the baby) surrounded by his siblings. 
By the look on June's face, it's obvious she LOVED her baby brother. 
She once told me that they all kissed my Dad so much when he was a baby, 
she was surprised his skin didn't come off!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What I've been thinking about

I've decided that no matter how wonderful a couple's life is together, 
no matter how great their marriage is, 
having small children is lots of hard work, and sleep deprivation and challenge.

I got to have a front row view into some of it this past month, when first the McKs came for an 
11 day visit, and then Karen and Tyler also came for another 11 day visit.
And I am in awe!

I am in awe over what young parents go through day in and day out, and over again. 
No matter how tired they get.
I had forgotten how truly hard and challenging this season of life was. 
It brought me back to a day when my first two were toddlers. I was sitting on the front porch one
afternoon thinking….this is so hard! The joy like none I had ever known, YES….
but hand in hand came all the work and severe sleep deprivation. 
I know, I keep mentioning sleep deprivation.
 I'd also been reading a book this past month called, “This is How We Grow” by Christine
Hibbert. It's a memoir of loss and motherhood. The author's sister and brother in law die and she
and her husband get custody of their 2 nephews, along with the 4 they already have. It's in detail
the depths of struggle they go through to make this new life of 6 kids work.
Page 302 she writes, 
“…comfort is overrated. If we choose to grow, we choose discomfort. Growth is after all, 
by definition, an uncomfortable stretching to something greater.”

On page 347, this same author shares this quote from an unknown person: 
"Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and 
discouraged men who kept on working.

My mother, who raised 8 kids, had written on the inside cover of one of her journals: 
"There is no progression ease to ease." 

I told Karen one day as teething Leo was clinging and reaching for her continually all day long
that my friend Darlene and I have discussed how we both MISS being needed THAT MUCH by
one little person. NEVER since has anyone NEEDED us that much. And never will they again.

To me, this is on the front line of what life is all about. 

And I have no doubt, my grandchildren are all living in GOOD homes.
What peace this brings to me and Grandpa Dennis.