Monday, June 30, 2008

Blessed twice on the same day

9 years ago today
Just as this little girl was being born...

Katelyn Michaele Thurgood

Dennis and I were getting engaged. He had asked me 10 days before. It was such a romantic evening at Roger Rockas for dinner and a play. Afterwards we were both sleepy and I thought he was taking me home. When I noticed we were on a different route I asked him where we were going. He said he wanted to show me something. Huh?

He drove into the parking lot of the Fresno Temple. The temple was just barely under construction at the time. All we could see was the cement foundation. He parked the car and we just sat there. I felt like he wanted to tell me something, and I knew what it was. He was having a hard time getting the words out. But it's not like I could help him. So we sat there and looked at the temple's foundation. I saw tears well up in his eyes and then he said, not even looking at me, "Will you marry me?"

I wanted to say yes. I felt I was suppose to say yes. But I couldn't. So we sat there a while longer and finally I said, "I don't know...I want to...but I don't know...Can I have some time?" I'm sure this was not the answer he was expecting. (Looking back how utterly CRAZY could I have been????)

He told me yes, to take some time and then let him know.

I asked him how much time I had. He said he wasn't going to wait forever.

The next day was Father's Day. I got my answer right during Sacrament meeting. Ammy Moore, in our ward at the time, mentioned her step father in a talk she was giving that day. She talked so fondly of him. I think my main concern was my would it affect them if I got remarried to a man who was not their father? I realized that just because it worked for Ammy Moore didn't mean it was going to work for my boys. Yet, there was something about the spirit of her talk, the spirit in that room on that day. I can't even explain it. Just that, I knew, in the middle of her talk.

Still, it took me another 9 days to get the courage to make the plunge and say yes. I called a florist in Corona where Den was living at the time. I asked them to send him some flowers with a card that said, "YES, I will marry you." It was months later that Den told me the florist actually wrote on the card, "YES, I will merry you." You would think "marry" would be one word a florist would know how to spell.

So when Kris called to tell us that Katelyn had been born, we shared our news that we were engaged.

Happy 9th Birthday Katie!!
So happy we got to celebrate with you while you were here.
For more about Katie, check out the last 10 posts before Brock's episode. *smile*

On his way home

Brock's Dr, or rather the one at the hospital, decided he had some sort of acid reflux to the point that it has damaged his esophagus. The pain is still there and they expect it will be for another day or so. He has meds to take for 30 days and then he is suppose to be okay. Strange to me that his esophagus can cause him pain in the middle portion of his stomach but apparently that is where the esophagus begins...or that is the way I understood.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. We really do appreciate it.

Brock update

Still don't know much. Erin called me about an hour ago and said they are in the process of admitting Brock. The morphine just was not controlling the pain so they gave him something stronger so he is sleeping. The CT scan showed nothing so they will be running more tests.

Ever since my boys were very small whenever they were sick to their stomachs or had pain there, I would loose my appetite. Brock is 31 and it is still happening to me! I lost my appetite and all I have had today is a piece of toast. But at least the smoke has cleared up around here and my chest no longer hurts from that. It's a beautiful day outside, finally.

Thank you for whoever is taking the time to read this. It just feels good to "tell" someone. When my mom was alive I would always call her. So thank you for listening.

Elora and Cami are both doing great here. Erin will not leave Brock's side and I am so thankful for that. I always wanted my sons to marry women who would take care of them when they were sick. I feel so blessed.


Just before 5am this morning Dennis heard our answering machine in the bedroom come on and someone say, "Pick up the phone." He woke me up and said someone was trying to call us. It was still dark and to us seemed like the middle of the night. I thought, oh no, which one of our kids is this? It's never good news this early in the morning. He looked at the caller ID and said it was Brock. My heart started pounding. Neither one of us could think straight still half asleep. The phone rang again and this time of course we answered it. Brock said he was having severe stomach pains and could we come stay with the girls so Erin could take him to ER? Den relayed this to me and I said it would be quicker if they just brought the girls to us being we are right on the way to the hospital. So instead of saying that, Dennis said, "Could you bring the girls here because it would be easier on your mom." Dennis always knows what to say, but NOT when he first wakes up.

So we went outside and watched for their car. We carried the girls in and put them to bed. It is 9:40am now and Cami is still sleeping but Elora only slept 30 minutes and has been awake since 5:45. I just heard from Erin. She said they have Brock on morphine which has brought his pain from a 10 down to a 5. They have already done a CT scan on him and we are waiting for the results.

After Elora woke up early this morning she got in bed with us and said, "I am getting really good at whistling. Do you want to hear me?" Before I could answer she started repeatedly whistling. She is so proud. The difference between a mom and a grandma...if she had been one of my kids I would have said, "Now be quiet and go back to sleep." But with her whistling next to us, I just laughed to myself. Then she talked non stop while I tried to go back to sleep. At one point she said, "My Daddy is in love." That sort of woke me up and of course I said, "With who?" And she said, "With his new DVD player."

I'll try to update later today if I can.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

They are in my heart

Children don't care who was married to who, or when.
Grandma is Grandma.
It was hard saying goodbye.
Much harder than I thought it would be.
I became very attached to these little girls
while they were in our care.

Den and I were remarking yesterday before they left, as I told the girls to go in the bathroom and comb their hair, how GOOD they are. Whenever we asked them to do anything the past 8 days, they just automatically did it. I would expect them to at least a few times say things like, "Okay, but not right now." or "I don't want to comb my hair today." or "I'm not tired so I'm going to stay up longer." No, they just got up with a smile on their face and did it. Granted they are 9, 9 1/2, and 11, and I would not expect them to be this well behaved when younger (or with their parents), but they are certainly growing into wonderful, sweet, responsible, polite, and even charming young women.

JESSICA is very responsible. She mothers the younger 2 perhaps more than they want at times. She wants everyone to do the right thing. She wants the whole world to do the right thing. She has a very clear sense of right and wrong. I'm not trying to say she is controlling, she just wants everybody to be happy and safe. She will be a wonderful mother some day! She is learning from the good example of her own mother. Jessica is also thoughtful and considerate. Several times during their stay I saw her put others' needs before her own.

EMILY we call Mary Sunshine. Always happy, always smiling. She wakes up happy, she goes to bed happy. I told her that I want her to be very careful when she starts dating and to choose a really good husband who is just like her Dad. She put her thumbs up and agreed. I don't want anyone taking advantage of her good nature. Emily is also very social. She loves to meet new people. I love the way she talks with her hands, just like her Mom.

KATELYN is affectionate and compassionate. If there is anyone hurting at all in the room, she will sense it and climb into their arms, or put her arm around them. She doesn't even wait to see if they will be okay on their own. She just lunges right to them. If she is watching TV, she can zone out everything in the room...she won't even hear you if you talk to her...but still, if she senses any hurt feelings it's like she wakes up from her trance. She tends to be the quietest of the 3. But interestingly, when meeting new people, she suddenly stands up straight, reaches out her hand, and says, "Hi, I'm Katelyn."

Their parents have done an excellent job of protecting them from the bad influences of life. The side of life they don't need to know about yet. I can tell from conversations I have had with the girls this past week that their parents are very careful about what they let them watch and what they are exposed to. They know about dressing modestly and speaking kindly. Instead of having sleep overs with their friends, they have "late overs"...I think this means their friends go home by 10pm even though they come in their pajamas. I like the idea that their parents know where their children are, and what they are doing, in the middle of the night. I feel this will really pay dividends in the years to come.

As Grandpa sat there drying their hair Friday night,
my guess is he was reminiscing
back to when his twins were this age.



It was fun having so many girls around me last week. It seemed one was either sitting on my lap, straining over my shoulder to see what I was doing, or sitting right there beside me talking. Whether I was washing my face, getting dressed, it didn't matter, they were there.

Now the house is quiet. Den and I love our quiet, but right now, I'm missing them. There is something about having grandchildren to yourself to create a lasting bond.
They are in my heart now.
They always will be.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Our last night together

One last round of Sorry with Grandpa.

Katie will turn 9 on Monday, so we made her a birthday cake and sang to her tonight. Complete with my sister's daughter McKenzie. She gave Katie a very fun looking game that they can play during the long ride to the airport tomorrow.

We've had a treasure of a week!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Pollyanna Afternoon

This movie probably influenced me more than any other.
So guess what we watched together this afternoon?
My favorite line in the entire movie is at the end when the minister says to Pollyanna, after she came and changed the whole town by her "Pollyanna" ways, "We looked for the good in them and we found it didn't we?" I love that! The girls and I talked about how if we look for the bad in a situation or a person we will find that, too.

Thank you Jess, Emily, and Katie for watching this with me!

Dennis took the girls out Walmart shopping tonight and to buy some Jamba Juice. They sure loved the corn on the cob we had for dinner. It came in our vegetable club today. The girls were just fascinated by all the vegetables on our front porch, and the string of people who would come and go. We have one customer who actually talks to his vegetables. They were waiting for him but we never heard him yesterday. Perhaps he sent his wife to pick them up.

Displaying their souvenirs

Abrupt change of subject

When my Provo boys called me last Sunday and mentioned they were playing Monopoly with their girlfriends I asked (begged) them to take some pictures.

They must have put this one on a timer.
All waiting patiently in their pose.
McKay, Tyler, Karen, and Rachel
Tyler and Karen

Rachel and McKay

Had to show McKay and Tyler's lovely display of books.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Love California?

Jessica has on her cell phone, "I Love California" I know she loves us but I think she is reconsidering the California part. I've told the girls it's unusual, even here, to have this many bad air days in a row. Some summers we have NO red air days. Jessica said that a few years ago in Logan they had ONE red air day and the kids at school were all given masks to wear!

Three very sweet girls in a house all day because Grandma can't go out in the smoky air. So we rolled coins. Took all the loose change in the house that had been building up. I expected that the girls might just want to do a roll each and then get bored with it. They rolled all that was possible!

Emily commented that her parents are too busy to let her roll coins at home. And I thought yes, that's it....that is why kids need grandparents! Parents ARE too busy to roll coins. They are too busy for a lot of things. I remember well.

The girls enjoyed a 2 hour Wii game session/pizza party at Uncle Brock and Aunt Erin's house. Brock wanted his time with the girls as he has been working and had missed most of the fun with them, so hopefully tonight helped. They so enjoyed Elora and Cami, and Playdough the dog, and Socrates the cat.

Grandpa came home early again from work and took them out to lunch and then bowling with 2 of their cousins. I sent the camera with them, but as good as he is, well, he takes boring pictures. He takes pictures like the detective that he is. A separate picture of each of the 5 girls....each girl standing there holding a bowling ball. How exciting is that? I asked him why he couldn't at least put all 5 girls in one picture?? He makes me laugh.

Tonight they went to see cousins Kylie and Macie at their dance recital.

Dennis and I have noticed something interesting that happens every night after we tell the girls its time to put their pajamas on. They disappear. It's become predictable now. They go into one of the bedrooms together, close the door, never to come back out again. We hear quiet little chatter but that's about it. All day long they never go into the bedrooms and close the doors. Only when we tell them it's time to get dressed for bed. Our parenting memories of the past have come back to us. They are hoping we will forget about them and they will get to stay up forever. So we give them about an hour and then we tell them it's time for prayer.

Just before I went to bed I checked the girls like I always do.
Emily was missing from her bed.
So I went into Katie's room and this is what I found:

That left Jessica all alone in the "boys room"

Nighty Night

Kris and Mike in Hawaii

I found this picture of Kris and Mike (Jess and Katie's parents) on Kris' blog.
It was taken just yesterday in Maui after a day of snorkeling.
Isn't it beautiful there, and aren't they beautiful?
To me, this looks like an engagement picture.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Smoky day in California

The air was so bad today from all the fires surrounding us, especially the Mariposa fire. We had high hopes of taking the girls bowling but instead, we just tried to keep them indoors. We have 4 air filters going round the clock. My lungs do not handle days like this very well.

Jessica and Emily slept for 13 hours last night! All the swimming the day before, I think, made them sleepy. Didn't seem to bother Katie however. When I got up this morning she was on the counter in the kitchen looking into the cupboards for the granola bars. Yep, she feels at home here. I love it.

My sister's daughter McKenzie came back to play games and have lunch. Also about 12:30 my daughter in law Erin, along with her very sweet visiting friend Rachel, and Elora and Cami came over for the afternoon. Seemed everywhere I turned there were little girls playing. I couldn't help but think back to years passed when I was raising my 4 sons. Life sure has changed. Who would have thought?

While I took a nap, Jessica made chocolate chip cookies with Aunt Erin and Rachel near by.
Aunt Erin with Katelyn, Elora, Emily, and Jessica

While Cami slept the afternoon away
Katelyn and EloraWe watched the Benji movie today! It started out so slow and I kept thinking....were children different back in 1982 when it was made?? About 10 minutes into it Elora asked me if she they could play Hi Ho Cherry Oh just in case they get bored. In other words, she WAS bored. Then suddenly the movie became very intense with the 2 kids in the movie getting kidnapped and only Benji the dog could save the day, and those girls could not keep their eyes off the screen. Turned out we all loved the movie. Now we want to see the sequels!....I think there are several. The music was quite good and it was fun seeing Betty Box's name on the credits.
I'd like to see it again just to hear the music.

By about 5:00 all our company left. Grandpa came home from work and then after dinner cousins Kylie and Macie came over to swim. The air looked better at that point so we thought the exercise would do everyone good. It quickly became smoky again however so the swimming didn't last long. We won't even tempt it tomorrow.

Katie, Kylie, Macie, Jessica, and Emily

Katie told us from the first night here that she wanted to sleep in this room. She refused to sleep in "a boys room" where Jess and Emily are sleeping. So sure enough, each night she snuggles right in to this room by herself. Emily says that Katie "needs to be around flowers when she sleeps".

Monday, June 23, 2008

Interesting end to a fun day

I could hardly believe how many French Toast each of these girls ate for breakfast this morning. It was no wonder we didn't eat lunch til nearly 2:30 today.
About 3 slices each!

We thought we better have a cleaning day.
Or I thought we better have a cleaning day.
Jessica taking off the Cami fingerprints.
We love Cami fingerprints but she is making room for some new ones.

Emily was a little hesitant about vacuuming until I explained
that if we don't get rid of the crumbs we might get ants.
Then she wanted to waste no time.
(She said they don't have ants in Logan, Utah.)

Katie didn't want to get dressed this morning.
I was about to tell her she couldn't play till she was dressed.
Then I remembered...I'm not the mom, I'm the grandma!
So I smiled and said, "Sure, why don't you just stay in your PJs until it's time to put your swimming suit on!"
(or PGs as Emily calls them)

McKenzie Shepard dropped in for a game of Life

Lunch on the patio

Grandpa came home early from work to swim.

Jessica mastered diving today!

So did Emily!
The fear left her.
And of course our natural fish, Katelyn
Tonight we went to see my Dad and his wife Susan.
I wanted to see the BEAUTIFUL decorating they have done to their apartment.
(I'll save that for another post).
They have a guest staying with them named Betty Box.
She and her husband wrote all the music for the Benji movies,
got nominated for an Oscar and won a Global Globe award.
So we stopped off at the video store to rent that movie.
Betty Box and the girls
Grandma Susan, my dad's wife, made the girls some lemon bread with strawberries which they loved! On the way out to the car Den whispered to me, "Good thing Susan fed them that dessert. This will save us a trip buying them a treat on the way home."
I told him he is out of practice in the parenting department.
We had promised them a treat on the way home.
I told him, "Don't you remember? One treat does not cancel out another."
So we stopped and bought Ice cream Sundaes on the way home.

We were all too tired to watch Benji when we got home so we get to do that tomorrow. We will all be paying close attention to the music.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday with our grandgirls

Jessica set her alarm for 7:30 but fell back to sleep. So just Emily and I were up early getting breakfast started. Church begins at 9am so we had lots to do to get ready. They looked so cute all ready for church.
As I was in the Primary room someone came to get me. They said Arden was wearing the same dress as Katie and Emily! If you remember from yesterday's post...we saw little Arden and her 2 brothers in Costco yesterday. So I just had to snap a picture of the 3 dresses alike. I wonder where Arden got her dress because Katie and Emily's moms both got theirs online somewhere, according to the girls.

Notice the woman on the left.
That is Jenni Mills our Primary president.
Just so happens she was also Kim and Kris' roommate in college!
(Kim and Kris are Den's daughters)

The girls were sure happy to see Grandpa after church was over.
Katie sat on his lap through most of Sacrament meeting.

After lunch at home we explained to the girls that Grandma and Grandpa always take a nap after church. We assured them that they did not have to take a nap but we would really like them to find something quiet to do for a couple hours. They decided they would like to watch Sound of Music. Perfect.

So we both took our naps but Grandpa Dennis had a hard time staying asleep. He kept hearing babies crying. So he goes out into the family room and sees all 3 girls watching the movie WHILE rocking and soothing "babies". (I have many dolls from the playroom that come to life). Even doing the standing up and jiggling and patting the babies as any good Mom would do. He comes back into the bedroom and says, "Those girls were MADE to be moms!"

We had Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner tonight in honor of their parents being in Hawaii. On the very top of them we put Chinese noodles. Katie asked me, "Do they really put Chinese noodles on these in Hawaii?" Good question. :)

While Dennis and I went home teaching tonight, we dropped the girls off to play with my sister's daughter, McKenzie. They were quite happy to get some ice cream
...something that is not in our freezer.
Katie, Jessica, McKenzie, and Emily

By the way, to back track a little, when I finally woke up from my nap today, this is what I saw:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A recap of Day #2

We started off with Jessica and Emily making breakfast.

Then sleepy Katie got up and she made pancakes, too.

We ventured out before it got too hot and all went to Costco.
Look who we ran in to...first one of Elora's kindergarten teachers:

Wait, there's more...

Look who else we ran into...

Arden, Jordan, and Ashton Roberts.
After our sandwiches, grapes, and strawberries,
we played a few rounds of Sorry.
This was always my favorite game growing up.

Then the cousins arrived and all went swimming together.
Emily, Jessica, Elora, Kylie, Laurynn, Chandler, Katelyn, and Macie
Cami stayed inside with her Daddy where it was cool.
It was 110' !!!

Jessica and Emily
Elora and Kylie

Look at Chandler flying!
and Jessica had just swam to shore.

Elora got a skin burn on one of the pool toys.
She cried and cried and Katie came to her rescue.
She brought her dolls from the playroom and then coaxed her in there to play.
Katie has a gift for nurturing.

Finished off the day by going to the girls' request!
A surprise to us that kids get to eat free on the weekends.
Good choice girls!
Emily was so hungry that we ordered her a second meal right after the first one!
Jessica accidentally spilled her drink,
and Katie stood right up and went to get the waitress...
in true Katie style,
always taking care of everyone.