Monday, February 28, 2011

My perspective

 I use to have a quote I lived by: 
"I can do anything if I am not nauseous." 
This was developed after 4 very sick pregnancies or aka: "The boat ride that never ends" or so it seemed at the time. 

Long after the pregnancies were over, that was still my motto. I learned much from those long boat rides. Or as my mother wrote in her journal, "There is no progression ease to ease." 

All these years later my nausea memories have thankfully faded, and now I live by a different motto, from some other life lessons that have come my way.

When I was Relief Society president a few years back I became very well acquainted with adversity in life. Not just my own...mine very much paled to what I saw others go through. Just one example of many...there was this one woman in our ward, a little older than myself, who had numerous, unrelenting health challenges. Not just a few maladies, but many things were going wrong with her body.

The pain, the uncertainty...the many days she could not get out of bed. Then she would bounce back for a few days or a week or so, and she would be out and about getting things done. On one of these occasions as I saw her pushing her cart through the grocery store, she was just smiling to herself. I couldn't help but go up to her and ask, "Please tell me. You are an inspiration. How do you do this?" She explained that she wants to enjoy each and everyday. "Any a day I'm not in pain, is a GOOD day. And even when I am in pain, I want to enjoy that day."

She made an impression on me. I was going through some pain at the time that would just not leave me alone.My jaw had become dysfunctional and I was living on very soft foods. For 7 years. One of those years I could only tolerate liquids. My Pollyanna husband (who is much like my Mom, btw) would say nearly every single day, "Don't we have THE BEST life?"  I wanted to respond, "Well maybe you do. You can eat. I can't." A time or two I did say that, but usually I would get quiet and think to myself, 'Well at least he's happy."

I quit going to weddings, family potlucks, restaurants...all the gathering places for people and food.

Then I came to the point where I'd had enough. Whether my jaw hurt, or I could eat or not eat, this was my life and it was going along without me. I was missing out on the joy of it. 

But I didn't get to this place without some help.

A very pivotal point to my understanding, was when my niece (Hailey's mother) lived for nearly 3 years with leukemia. Just being alive (and not having cancer) took on a whole different meaning to me, because of her. She kept a blog and shared with many of us an inside view of living with cancer. One particular post changed my life. I'm not being dramatic here, really, it did. I still think of it often.

Here it is:

“One of my friends who is a patient heard it was my birthday, so she rounded up about 8 other patients who weren’t in isolation and got them out into the lobby on our floor.  Roy, a man who has battling his cancer since 1999, called me and said,  “Robin, come out in the lobby right now.”  I went out there and it was pretty comical to see a big group of patients with IV poles and masks, all worn out and skinny, but with big smiles on their faces.  Five of the eight people there are battling the same cancer I have, AML, which is one of the toughest to cure, and many of them don’t have very good prognosis's at this point in their treatment…..but they all stood there with big smiles ready to sing Happy Birthday.  They all had learned the secret, a day is a day, and every day counts!”

That became my new motto, "A day is a day, and every day counts."

I remember about this same time period, having a discussion with an acquaintance about life and adversity. I shared a little of what I was going through at the time, and she said to me, "Life happens!" It seemed a bit flippant. But it's stayed with me in a good way. Sort of along the same lines of a quote I heard recently, "Life is painful, Princess!"

Whether we live in a castle or not, "life happens." Some of it's painful. The trick is enjoying the journey, enjoying the adventure of it all. And realizing that we better be thankful for what we have because one phone call can change it all.

It's taken me decades to get to this. Not just my body aging, but my appreciation for every single day. 
 A day is a day and every day counts.

But I still think it would be HARD if I were nauseous. Just had to add that.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Logan on TV back in 1983

While on the subject of dentistry (previous post) I wanted to show this clip of my son Logan at age 4 or 5. This wasn't exactly a commercial, but a documentary our local PBS station was doing on pediatric dentistry. 
Dr Berryhill called and asked if I would let Logan be her subject. He was always up for anything. 

I put all the captions in, except for the first one. 
So here they are, back in 1983.

I'm not sure anyone would be interested in this but I wanted to post it.
Oh the memories.
I've never figured out though why the days were so long back then, but yet the years flew by.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Amy is in a commercial!!

Our daughter in law, Amy, was asked by her dentist to come in and make a commercial a few months ago. 
So she did! 
Amy is the first one who shows, and she is the one giving him a hug at the end of her clips.

Her husband, Logan (my son), was also asked by his dentist to help make a commercial when he was 5. 

If I can figure out a way to transfer that from video to dvd to Youtube, I will show it also, someday... 

I just figured it out! Okay, Dennis did. So I'll post that tonight. 
Uh oh, now that we've learned how to transfer old videos to my blog, watch out.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jessica singing in a music store!

Not sure the story behind this, but our granddaughter Jessica and 2 of her friends performed in a music store last week in Logan. I seriously LOVE her voice. Listen and tell me what you think.

Jessica reminds me so much of her Mom in this video. The way she looks at her friend while they are singing is the same way Kris looks at Kim when they are performing on Studio 5!

Go here to listen to Jessica singing solo!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

To me this is more sad than funny

This little girl is only FIVE. What is she learning about working and self worth? What has she learned about men? Somehow she already believes that unless someone is paying her to do something, then she will be worthless. And she certainly does not want a man getting in her way.

This reminds me of a conversation Dennis and I had a few days ago. We had taken my niece McKenzie out to dinner along with our granddaughters. After we left Dennis mentioned to me that he was impressed with something McKenzie had said. She was talking about the possibility of their family moving. So Dennis asked her if she would rather stay in the house they were in, or live elsewhere. When she said she preferred to move, Den asked her why. She said, "Because I like change." He thought that was interesting coming from a 12 year old girl.  I told Den that didn't surprise me because I've heard Robin (McKenzie's mom) say that exact statement many times: "I like change."

We both then talked about how the attitudes of a family often come straight from the Mom. If she talks positive about things, often so will her children, and the opposite also true.

I called Robin today and told her about McKenzie's comment. She reminded me of something her mother in law, Nellie, had told her. Nellie's husband was in the service so she was well acquainted with that lifestyle while she was raising her own family. Nellie has said that the children who did well in military life had mothers who also did well. If the Moms did not do well, then neither did their children.

Perhaps it goes along with that saying:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Today they all went home

Earlier today our grandgirls went back home to begin life with their brand new sister.
Last night, just as they was going to bed, Elora said to me, "
"Grandma Honey, before you go to sleep tonight, look right beside your pillow."
For some reason that sounded alarming to me so I asked, "Why?"
"Just look by your pillow. That's all I'm sayin' "

Of course with that statement, I wasted no time and went right into my bedroom, while Elora followed close behind. I noticed Dennis had turned down the sheets already, as he often does.  There was nothing by my pillow. Elora looked a bit panicked so she dove right into our bed searching everywhere. She kept saying, "I don't know what happened to it!"
"Well what was it??" I asked more than once.
She then jumped off the bed (literally) and slid herself under the bed.
"Here it is! I found it!" 
And up she came from the dust (it collects under the bed you know), with this sweet treasure in her hands:

As I began to open it, she said, "And this applies to Grandpa Dennis too." 

It's wonderful to feel appreciated. 

***In all honesty, I have to say that Elora thinks both Grandmas are 'the best.'***
She has a very special relationship with Erin's mom that I couldn't hold a candle to.
But I like to think Elora and I also have something unique and special, too.

A birthday link

Do you want to see a really cute and fancy birthday party for twin 4 year olds?
I hope to remember the plate of food....I would love to serve exactly that some day.
And the fancy dresses...that's how parties use to be.
Take a look here.

It was just too cute not to share!

I like that banana game, too. That could come in handy someday.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The girls met their sister last night via the virtual world

Hurray for Skype!
Not sure where the place mat fits into this. I think she was just so excited she had to hold on to something.

Elora explaining to Cami about their little sister.
This was such a sweet moment I will not forget.

We are having a crazy good time here at home. 

"Wait Grandma Honey, I want you to take a picture after I get her dressed!"
Then I forgot to come back, :(

I am a itchy Grandma. As soon as I got my grandgirls to sleep last night I went googling away about eye eczema. I am going through a major flare up right now that started a few days ago. The only way to control the itching is if I medicate...and that makes me very sleepy. My Dr told me again today, "No make up. No lotion." So I do look lovely.

I would have just hidden away at home yesterday but wild horses couldn't keep me away from seeing Miss Violet. Thankfully her focus is probably not the best yet. Unlike her sister Elora who told me last night as I was standing in the kitchen, "Grandma Honey, you DO NOT look good." I love that girl, honesty and all.

Friday, February 18, 2011

She's here!!!!!!!!!

Violet Nicole
6 lbs, 5 oz
almost 19 inches long 

In Grandpa's lap just 3 hours after her birth.
The nurse said Violet is "aggressive" 
"She is beautiful, healthy and perfect." to quote her Grandma Lynn

We all cannot get over how much she looks like Elora...can you see it?
Erin is doing really well and looks fabulous.

We will have Elora and Cami with us all weekend. 
Later I will be posting pictures here for Erin to see since she misses them. 
The hospital is on flu alert so the girls cannot see the baby until she comes home. 
So Grandpa is trying to set up Skype for tonight.

Being a grandma is the best!
 A heavenly day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I've got babies on my mind

And one in particular who will be born tomorrow.

I saw this commercial yesterday and it made me think of how much pregnancy and the baby world has changed.
Not only did we not know what we were getting until he arrived, 
but what went on in the womb was a total mystery to us.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A bizarre story with a wonderful announcement

I belong to an online list called LDSReturnedMissionaryMoms. We are a very large group of women from all over the world with one thing in common....we all have children who have served missions....which means we have plenty more than that in common. We are all about the same age, have adult children, and many of us are Grandmas, or soon to be. Whenever I need to know the answer to something, I can put a question on and have 10 replies in 15 minutes.

We share lots together on this list. One day last September, I sent a Grandmahoney blog link to the list. It was about a Dr Laura call that I thought they might be interested in. They were. The subject was a young married LDS woman who was thinking about leaving the church.

Several of the RMMoms listened to this Dr Laura call via my blog. One in particular, Kary Nelson from Colorado, scanned down my blog while listening to the call and spotted a different blog post of mine showing my niece Lindsay with her boyfriend Gard. This is the immediate email I received from Kary after seeing that.

"Okay, Jill--while I was listening to Dr. Laura I scrolled down your blog just to have something to look at and suddenly I was looking at the back of three women standing in the kitchen of my family's beach house!!  And pictures of my SON!!!  Yep, I'm Gard's mom!  And that is the house my parents built (twice--the first one burned down)  with the help of the whole extended family on the land my grandfather won in a poker game back in 1927!  How amazing is that?!!  Lindsay and Gard will be at our house in a couple of weeks, in fact--one of their monthly trips to see each other.  I am assuming from your post that Lindsay is your niece, right?  I've only spent a couple of hours with her, but she is a wonderful girl."

Bizarre, wouldn't you say??

Well guess what? Lindsay and Gard just got engaged!! They will be married this May 28th...hey, isn't that McKay and McKenna's 1st anniversary?

Take a look at these pictures taken minutes after becoming the future Mr. and Mrs.

As I was out driving today it suddenly occurred to me that Gard's name will fit in very nicely with with the other bird names in Lindsay's family:
Gardner Jay  (uh oh, his mom just told me his name is actually Jay Gardner, but he goes by Gard)
Lindsay Lark

Along with his future sisters in law:
Robin Suzanne
Natalie Wren
Whitney Jay

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Cookies and respecting men

I was in a panic last week because I couldn't find my sugar cookie recipe...the one I 've been using since I was about 10. So let's just say I've been making these cookies for over 40 years.

When I finally found it I decided I would put it here on my blog so we would have it forever. My sons grew up with this recipe, and now my grandchildren.

It all started back in the 1960s. Every year our favorite place to go Trick/or/Treating was Mrs. Wild's house on the corner because she always-always had her frosted sugar cookies waiting for us. One for each, in a waxed sandwich bag. We talked about her cookie all year long so I finally found the courage one day (over 40 years ago) to ask for her recipe.

Mrs. Wild's Frosted Sugar Cookies
2/3 c shortening
1 c sugar
3 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla
1/3 c milk

Cream shortening with sugar. Add baking powder and salt. Then mix in flour, vanilla and milk....adding just 1 c of the flour at a time while gradually adding in the milk.
Roll out on flour board and cut into shapes.
Bake 10-14 minutes at 350'

Then don't ruin these with canned frosting.
Instead, use this recipe:

lb box of powdered sugar
1/3 c butter (2/3 of a stick)
1/4 t salt
1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla
drops of food coloring to fit the occasion

Amy and Macie had a jump start on bedtime. 
I had my jammies on, too. Nothing like cozy family time.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

The clerk at the store today told me she was not giving her husband a Valentine card this year. 
She recently read in a book that men want to be respected more than they want to be loved. 
So instead she is making her own card that says, "I respect you." instead of  "I love you." 
I asked if she was sure. 
She got all excited and said this book, called "Love and Respect" explains how men are different. 
I know men are different, but really, they don't want to be told "I love you?" 
What would your husband think if the next time he says I love you, you were to say, "And I respect you." ??

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Banana Shakes

It's become routine now for my grandchildren to request these. 
The twins expect them after dinner with us! 
Elora wants one after school the days she is here.

Great way too, to use up bananas. 
I slice and freeze them as soon as they are ripe. 
We never have old bananas that we throw away, like we use to. 

 They just do not taste as good if the bananas aren't frozen.
 I also try to freeze them flat, rather than in clumps, because they blend better that way. 

Put several slices of banana in the blender, some milk (any kind), 3 ice cubes, a little vanilla. If it is too thick to blend, then add a little water, or some more milk. Sorry there are no measurements...probably about 1/2-1 c of milk or more to each banana. They always turn out very yummy.

(NO don't put shampoo in it. 
I didn't realize that was in the picture. 
I had just washed my hair in the kitchen sink before making the shakes.)

The twins are going through a picky eating phase right now. So if they don't eat a good dinner, I will add some protein powder to the shake.

The other night I was making one of these while Jonas was standing right by my legs, his little feet together and his hands clasped, just staring up at the blender. I stepped away for just a moment to get something across the kitchen and he immediately started sobbing. Just an all out grieving sob. I realized he thought I had changed my mind and he wasn't getting his shake after all. So as soon as I got right back there by the blender, he was happy and patient again.

You have to try these. They really do taste like a frosty banana ice cream, only better. There is just something about those frozen bananas!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Healthy at 100

One of the best book I've we've read in a long time.
Dennis claims this has book has changed his life.

First before I explain, 
just take a look at some of these quotes and you will get an idea of why I love this book so much:
(Many of these quotes are referring to the 4 cultures in the world who have the longest living and healthiest people.)

* "Children raised with pets are...more likely to be kind to other children, and more likely to have healthy self-esteem once they reach their teens."

* "...the strongest predictor of which men would get cancer decades later turned out not to be smoking or obesity, but rather the lack of a close relationship with their fathers fifty years before." 

* "One of the hallmarks of the societies that exemplify healthy aging is that children are loved, held, and cared for constantly. They are rarely if ever scolded or shamed, and the idea of striking a child is completely foreign." 

*  In a heart disease study it was found that men who used the first-person pronouns the most often had the highest risk of heart trouble...It seems that the less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers...Listen with regard when others talk. Give of your time and energy to others; let others have their way; do things for reasons other than furthering your own needs."

*  In an intensive study of 7,000 men and women in Alameda, Ca it was discovered that people who were disconnected from others were roughly three times more likely to die during the 9 year study than people with strong social ties. The kind of social ties didn't appear to matter. What mattered was being involved in some social network, whether is was family, friends, church, volunteer groups, or marriage.

*  In Vilacbamba and Hunza (2 of the cultures who have many living healthy past 100) generosity and sharing are the highest values. Nothing is more important than how people treat each other."

*  In the 4 healthiest cultures, "Instead of going shopping, they go visit one another. They have need of few belongings, for they belong to each other."

*  Elders....closer to death...they understand what makes life worth living. They know there is little point in having low cholesterol and rock hard abs if you don't love your life."

The author's father (Irv Robbins) and his uncle (Burt Baskin) founded and owned Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream. When Uncle Burt died of a heart attack at age 51, the author, John Robbins, rethought the idea of taking over the family business. He started questioning it all, and while his Dad may have achieved the American Dream of monetary success, John  felt more of a calling to make the world a healthier place.  

The first part of the book had a wealth of info on how we should eat. 
The second part basically told us how to live and love. 

I've read many books on this subject in the past 30 years or so. It's not like I found any earth shaking news to me in this book, but it was so well written, inspiring, very thought provoking and quite enjoyable to read.

Den read it after listening to me say repeatedly, "This is so good!" Usually on this subject he would rather I just tell him about it. But with this book, he could hardly put it down and took it just about everywhere he went until it was finished. He said the book has given him a more positive approach to growing old.  
Yay Dennis!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cupcakes and Marriage

Tracey, the teacher for our 14-16 year old girls, gave a great lesson on marriage a few Sundays ago. 
And to set the mood, as soon as we walked in the room, we saw these very ELEGANT looking cupcakes. 

Using the plastic bag trick, she cut a larger hole in one corner so the icing would come out thick. 
Then took some silk flowers and mounted them on top!
Sometimes you just want something extra pretty. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A twin update

Here are a few of my recent favorite clips of our grandtwins!
or The Drama has begun... 

My favorite part is towards the end, where the babies are so serious.

And can you believe this, they have friends now!
Their little weekly playgroup.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Look at this family

I don't pretend to even guess how a couple raises such a large family. Especially with all of them so close in age. The oldest barely looks 12, if that. I keep looking at this picture in awe, so I just had to share it. 

I found this in The Church News today, and the article goes on to explain how these parents taught their children a few lines of the Family Proclamation each morning during breakfast. 

Interesting what the Mom discovered by doing this:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fresh and Easy

 Do you have a Fresh and Easy where you live?
 I'll show you some of the reasons I like this store.

Special close up parking for Moms (or Grandmas) with children.

Elora acts like she owns the place...sampling the juice she says is always there waiting for her.
She also told the clerk that her new sister will arrive in just 2 weeks.

What a convenient after school snack selection.

Dancing to the store music.

Cami enjoying the view as she rode by.

 Elora fixing up our purchases.
(While Cami preferred watching ANNIE with Grandpa.)

I admit I am intimidated by self serve check out. 
Not Elora. She knew exactly what to do!
When she first began the clerk wanted to help her, but I told him, no, she can do it herself. Still he hovered close by.

A little after note:  I know this is not the preferred way for a child to ride in a cart. I watch her like a hawk so there is no way she would even get close to falling out when she is with me. Cam likes to hold the different grocery items and be a part of things.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Groundhog Day!

I once asked my Mom, "Why does Dad keep watching this movie? It must be his favorite one, right?"
She responded, "His favorite? It's the only movie he watches."

I've never been able to understand why. 
What is it about this movie that people like?

I've only seen a few parts of it so what do I know.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Love this hanging heart table!

This is not my table of course.
I saw it elsewhere 
(And can't  remember where so I can't give sorry)
I decorated for Valentine's the day after Christmas, so I'm done.
But next year I'd really like to hang those hearts from each chair. 
I love this look!
Valentine's is my favorite.

And this month will be especially wonderful.