Thursday, June 22, 2017

Bad people

First Violet wanted to go show Great Grandpa her bird. 
Or rather my bird. 

Then on the way home for a sleepover at our house, I asked Violet, 
"Now that it's summer, what time do you go to bed?"

She quickly answered, "How am I suppose to know? I can't even 
tell time."

Violet is just 6, and finished kindergarten last week. 

So after arriving home, we were helping her get ready for bed when 
I told her, "In the morning, if you get up before us, be sure not 
to open any of the outside doors, or the alarm will go off."

She looked confused and asked, "What's an alarm?"

Grandpa was standing near by so he explained as gently as he could 
that if any bad people were to try to get into our house at night we 
would be safe because "the loud alarm would alert the police."

She nodded right away to that, like she totally understood, and then 
she said, "I know about bad people. We have practices at 
school. Our teacher turns off the lights and locks our door and 
we all hide and we stay very quiet so if the bad person comes in 
they won't know we are there."

Okay, so I realize that's our reality now, but it was hard to hear our 
purely innocent little 6 year old granddaughter talking like this.

Yet, this is her world. This is the world our grandchildren live in.

And they have to take precautions, and I guess I'm glad they are 
being taught them.

But ...what a reality check for me hearing those words from her. I 
just felt so sad. I went to bed feeling sad.

But Violet, she takes it all in stride. She knows no other kind of 
world. And thankfully no bad people are in her little life. 

And thankfully she is made to be up for this world. I have to 
remind myself of this.

Because you know what else she did? Earlier in the evening as I 
was making dinner, she asked if she could eat her fruit that I had 
cut up and ready for our meal. I was busy in the kitchen and I just 
said, "Sure you can eat your fruit now."

She had no idea I could see her, so she definitely was not doing this 
for my benefit, but as I turned around I saw her bow her little head, 
fold her arms, and say a prayer of thanks and blessing on her little 
cut up apples.

At that very moment, I was filled with thanks to her parents for  
they are the ones who taught her this. And later that night as I was 
lying in bed worrying about Violet being taught to hide from bad 
people, I told myself, "But she knows how to pray! She knows who 
to turn to."

And THAT is the peace and calm I am hanging on to for her.

Monday, June 19, 2017

An easy meal for 11

There is a family who our church ward has been helping. They are 
of a different religion, but that makes no difference to us. 
We still get to help. 

A Mom and her 10 sons, while her husband is recovering from a 
heart attack he had last January. Progress has been very slow.
Sadly he is still on a trachea and ventilator. 

So last night was my turn again to make their dinner, 
and I had so little time and energy this week, 
so I opted to try something different.

I bought these 3 ready to make kits at Costco, 
which we've never tried. 

Just 30 minutes of prep/cooking time, 
and we were ready to deliver their food. 

A mom and her TEN sons, need lots of food.

Violet was here for a sleepover and in the baking mood.
So we also made them a cake, 
and she made a little one for herself. Of course.

Before we headed out the door to deliver, 
I had Dennis taste the food. 

 I wish I had thought to pull out a plate full for him, 
and not just a taste, because he loved it. 

I keep thinking....TEN sons. 
Ages 1-21. 

SIX more than I have.

PS   I would have loved to have had 10 sons.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day!

My Dad was in the hospital a few weeks ago.....

His problems were not solved, 
and he was sent him home weak and tired.

But then he heard that his care provider, Tom, 
had never been on a train before.

So a few days later Dad made plans, 
and away they went for Tom's first train ride to Hanford.

When I heard they were going I thought...really??! 
Dad's not up to doing that! 

But good for him!

Of course this Hanford trip included a stop at Superior Dairy. 
The place with the SAME decor, (complete with paint chipping), 
where my Dad took me as a little girl. 

My Dad's always been a quiet charger through life. He doesn't talk 
much about what he will do or why, he just does it. 

But he did write about it back in 1976:

"1. That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has changed, but our ability to accomplish it becomes increased. (quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson from a talk by Heber J. Grant)

2. There is no such thing as a "free lunch"...somebody has to pay for it.

3. Man is that we might have joy.

4. The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath.

5. Don't take yourself too seriously.

6. Look for the weakness in other men to be the same as you have in yourself. Then you will have greater love and understanding for them and yourself.

7. The search for material riches is never ending.

8. The greatest accomplishment in my life is my family.

9. It is easy to let lust and greed be your motivating factor in your life (your gods).

10. The people I most admire are those who keep the commandments (the most righteous). They are also the most enjoyable to be around.

11. Honesty is the single most important quality a person should have.

12. Service to others brings the greatest happiness in life."


But wait, there's more....

I know I've shared this before, but it deserves to be repeated, 
especially since she wrote it for his posterity. 

This is what my Mom thought of my Dad:



(Still looking for a picture with Dad and all of his 8 children....)

Friday, June 16, 2017

I want to remember these....

Some family milestones I want to remember. 

I know some of these pictures have been on Facebook, 
but still, I want them here.

Our 3 year old granddaughter Scarlett's 
very first dance recital in Boston!

I can see happy written all over McKenna and Scarlett's faces.

Our granddaughter Emily at her senior ball. 

Katie went on one too but I don't have a picture :(

I hope my sister Robin will frame this one.

Her youngest daughter McKenzie graduated from high school 
surrounded by her sisters Brooke, Lauren, and Ashley. 

Our granddaughters, Katie and Emily graduating 
from 4 years of seminary!

My nephew Alex leaving his childhood home for the last time. 
My brother and his wife moved to Toronto to serve a mission.
Painfully sweet.

Téa just got braces.
They sure put them on young these days. 
Wonder what's up with that. 

There are other milestones in the family, 
but these I had pictures of. 

Change keeps happening.
 That's one thing we can count on!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The party we didn't attend

I hope I can explain this right. 

Every Memorial day, our neighborhood, for the past 3 years of its 
existence, gets together to celebrate. 

So last Monday evening, there was lots of this:

Den and I thought it was too hot to go outside that day we missed out.

But the next day I looked through our 
neighborhood website to see how it all went. 

I scrolled through picture after picture of families 
appearing to have a great time together.

Picture after picture, and then I came to this family:

I have not met these people and have no idea who they are, only 
that they live in one of the 130 houses of our neighborhood.

I am in awe by them.

I keep looking at these 2 photos.

I've often wondered if special needs babies are born into homes of 
extraordinary people, 
or if these special needs children turn their parents into 
extraordinary people. 

I don't know how it works.
But to care for them, is giving 24/7 non stop service.

I feel a reverence for those who have such challenges in life. 
I find myself wanting to be in their presence 
so that I can learn from them. 

Just after posting this tonight, I went grocery shopping. 
At check out, in line next to me was Bob...a man who knows pretty 
much everyone in our neighborhood. So I asked him about that 
couple at the party on Monday. As soon as I mentioned them, he 
said, "They are wonderful wonderful people." I'm certain they are.

I hope to meet them someday.
Now, if I can only figure out how.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cami and EPU

There's this special little place tucked away in central Fresno that 
our Cami attended often when she was a bit younger.

Whenever I would go there, literally as soon as the doors opened 
and I would step inside, I could feel the sacredness of it.

I felt I was in the presence of angels....both in the tiny children and 
families it helped, but also in the teachers and aids who attended to 
them. Angels.

This video was recently shown at a recent EPU (Exceptional 
Parents Unlimited) fundraiser.

Immediately after showing this video, EPU was able to raise 
$10,000. in just 30 minutes.

This was filmed in Brock and Erin's home, 
even Elora was interviewed.

(It was shown on Facebook recently but not everyone has FB)

Friday, May 26, 2017

I'm finding more wonders

I see wonders everyday if I just pay attention.

Here are a few of my latest.....

1. After all these years I finally learned a way to keep bananas 
from going too ripe too soon. Tape over the ends. It seems to keep 
them at the perfect stage for eating for about 2-3 days longer. 

2. I came upon one of my Mom's passport picture recently. I don't 
ever remember her expression quite like that. I guess she just saved 
it for her passport photos. And isn't her hair so cute? I miss her!

 3. McKenna and McKay and all of her family rented a huge house 
in Maine where all 37 of them are staying this week. Also, her 
parents rented out that entire bowling alley for a few hours. 

My people are the ones in RED. 

4. Chandler has been on his mission 8 months in South Carolina, 
but they just got his plaque. He's doing so well! He ends every 
letter with "love one another."

5. Notice the saying on the wall of this little boys' bedroom.
(from a blog I follow)
(I read this blog so I know the little girl doesn't live there. 
Baby Harold is still too little to sit in that chair so I guess the visiting girl is instead.)

6. Last night after tucking the grand twins in to their beds, saying 
prayers with them, and putting on Mister Rogers, we said 
goodnight and left the room.

About an hour later I went to check on them and found them sound 
asleep like this.

So Grandpa untangled them and got them into separate beds.
But this morning when he went in to wake them up for school, 
they were back together again. 

7. This was on our Sunday program a while back, and I love it.
The man above, Gordon B Hinckley, is the grandfather of the mom who put that sign in her boy's room (see #5). And he is the great Grandpa to Theodore and Harold....the 2 little boys who occupy that room.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

speaking Spanish at birth??

This picture has nothing to do with my little story below.
But I just like it.

Téa looking at our tiny bird's nest on Mother's Day with her Daddy.

Our 8 year old granddaughter Téa was talking to me 
about her new neighbors. 

She said they only speak Spanish, 
and she seemed disappointed about that. 

So thinking of my recent DNA test, I told her, 
"Well, I'm part Spanish."

Téa looked surprised, and then she asked me, 
"So did you need to learn our language?" 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Violet and the tooth fairy

When you're 6 years old and you lose your very first tooth it's a 
pretty big deal, right? 

Violet felt the need to write about it...even though she is still in 
kindergarten and only knows how to spell phonetically. 

She loves her tooth fairy story so much 
she brought it to Grandma Honey's house. 

After her sister went to bed, 
she read it to Grandma Honey. 

Good thing I had her to interpret.

I think the first page was actually written by the tooth fairy...

Then Violet begins reading what she wrote... 
"Everybody waits for the tooth fairy."
(Love all those little beds lined up waiting!)

Violet continues...
"The tooth fairy has come."

Then Violet tells me: "This is my favorite part, Grandma Honey."

"I love the tooth fairy."

But the very last page is Grandma Honey's favorite.

Violet reads, "De en"

After the story, Violet lays out her treasures 
and put them by the front door.
(an eraser shaped like a cell phone,  a plastic red frog in a cup, a flower bud from the back yard, and her story)

She didn't want to risk having her parents forget these things
when they carry her out sleeping, later on in the night. 

Especially she did not want to lose her tooth fairy story.

De en.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The farewell

Yesterday we got to travel the hour to Visalia to see my brother John and his wife Suzanne
give their farewell talks.....

John is retiring from his practice today, and then they will leave end of this month 
for their mission to Toronto for a year, where they will work with young single adults. 

They have sold their home and just about everything in it except for 8 boxes of things. 
Such brave souls they are.

Dad resting after the meeting. 

Alex's solo and talent are incredibly amazing!
I told him we would pay money and drive long distances just to hear him sing. 

Wish I could share his song here, but instead here's Alex, my Dad, and Susan.

This is the first time I think I've seen my Dad not wear a white shirt to church. :)

His oxygen level is only 88 and I know it took great effort to be there yesterday. 
And we thank Susan so much for all she does to help him every hour of every day. 

I want to share the last bit of John's talk here.
It won't be exact but I think I pretty much got the gist of it:

He told about how last Christmas Eve 60-70 extended family met for one last time in their home.
We were able to honor and thank our father. 
We have all been greatly blessed by the earlier decisions of our parents. 

He told about how our Dad back in 1955 was still smoking while the missionaries
were teaching him and my mom about the gospel in their home.
He would blow smoke rings into the eyes of the elders to show they
were in his home and he was in charge. 

Then our Dad showed great faith in acknowledging his Heavenly Father 
and following our Mom in her desire to join the church. 

John ended his talk with these words:
"So to my father who is present today, on behalf of myself, and 
my brothers and sisters, and our 2nd mother Susan, we say 
"Dad this is all your fault. And thank you for it."

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Happy Mother's Day from Grandma Gaynor

While unpacking from our move last August, I came across a talk my Mom had written. Across the 
top of it she had written: "Myrla's Support Group." Not sure if she belonged to that support group, 
or if she was just asked to come speak at it.

She wrote this in Nov of 1982. 35 years ago.

Instead of putting her entire talk on here, I will just share with you her key points. But I won't change 
any of her words. So it's all from her, not me.

So here she is:

"Did you see the article on the new law school dean here in Fresno? 
She sounds like a lovely woman who has the best of both and family. She describes herself as a feminist who 
believes That neither women nor men should be kept from 
doing what makes them happy just because it deviates from the 
cultural norm

My philosophy is that Neither men or women should be kept 
from doing what makes them happy just because it is the 
cultural norm. In other words I feel happy and blessed to be able 
to stay home and take care of my own children, and I would like to 
tell you a little bit about us.

31 years ago I graduated from FSU and got married in the same 
week. I worked for less than a year as a social worker for the 
county welfare and then for a period of 15 years---from 1952 until 
1967 we had 8 children, including twins. I might add right here that 
my husband made the statement once that the nearest he ever came 
to being a mother was when we had twins. He was also good with 
the children but at that time I really needed his help---especially at 
night. When we went to bed we would each choose a baby and be 
responsible for getting up with it all that night. I always tried to 
pick the good one but it was unpredictable.

To get back to my story. In 1955 when we had two children ages 1 
and 3 we joined the Mormon church and that definitely influenced 
our decision to have a large family. Also during the 1950s and 60s a 
lot of people were having large families and it was a natural thing 
to do. I am so glad I wasn't being told on every side that in order to 
be happy and fulfilled I had to have a career. Instead for 26 years I 
have heard at least weekly: 
Families can be together forever
and No other success can compensate for failure in the home
and that The most important work I will ever do in this world 
will be within the walls of our home.
I know it is true that families can be together forever, and a happy 
family on earth is but an earlier heaven. 

I love being a mother. There is nothing I would rather be. It gets 
easier and more rewarding every year. I'm not saying my kids are 
perfect or even that they will follow my example---it's just that I 
enjoy being involved with them. 

Everyone likes an impressive title and "The Mom" is mine. And 
one of my cherished trophies is a gem written by Chris when he 
was 12. He has given it to me for Mother's Day for two or three 
years. Not because it's true but because it saves him money. 
Anyway, I'll share it with you:

Here is a gift I hope you won't miss
A Happy Mother's Day poem to you from Chris. 
There have been many days since I was born
And you've always been there when I've been torn.
There is really one thing I want you to hear.
The best mother in the world is Mrs. Rozier.

I guess what I am trying to say is that when all is said and done in 
this life, it is the RELATIONSHIPS that are most important and 
most lasting. When we leave this world all we take with us is our 
character and the relationships we have formed. 

I agree with the last secretary general of the UN, Dag 
Hammarskjold. He once observed:
"It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual 
than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses." Or you 
could change that to a few individuals---your children. 
It is also harder.

A wise man once said, "Those who do not feel pain are not 
capable either of feeling joy."
Maybe that is why there is so much joy in motherhood because 
there is also great pain, misery and growth...because joy always 
involves overcoming. It was planned that way from the beginning. 
This life is the training ground and the next life will be an extension 
of this one....

Every mother's motto should be: "Out of small things proceedeth 
that which is great."  All the little seemingly unimportant things 
we do each day like teaching, listening, guiding, cooking, cleaning 
up after, rocking, reading to, on and on are really very, very 
important. It is evident in children who grow up without this love 
and attention...

I would say to them, and to you, and to me, Make your mark on 
the world---in the hearts of your children. You will be eternally 
blessed if you do. "      Gaynor Rozier

Friday, May 12, 2017

DNA results

I got both my Dad's and my DNA results back. 
Took longer than the 6-8 weeks they said.

Okay first my Dad's results:

42% Spanish (Iberian Peninsula)
26% Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales)
25% Irish
4% Scandinavian
2% Italian/Greece
1% Europe West

His early relatives settled first in:
Rhode Island
Southeastern Massachusetts and New York

And is what I am made up of:

34% Irish
21% Europe West (Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein)
20% Spanish
16% Scandinavian
7% Great Britain
2% Italian/Greece

My early relatives settled first in:
Ohio River Valley

My Dad has always been dark skinned so I shouldn't be surprised 
he is 42% Spanish, but I was.

My Dad's Mom is on the left. 
She does look Spanish to me now, but she didn't before I knew she was! 
She died when my Dad was 6, so I never got to meet her.

SO interesting how I thought, and was told growing up that we were French. Then all these decades later, I find out I am more Spanish than I am French! And even more Irish. 

Dennis is still waiting for his DNA results which he had done in 
January. The company lost his test so he had to repeat it. 
I did learn a few years ago that Den and I are very distant cousins, 
so I'm curious to learn where the connection is. 

Back to my Dad...
I want to show one more picture of his Spanish mother. 

Never called her that before, but if I'm 20% Spanish, and my Dad is 
42% Spanish she may be near 80-100%? 
Not sure how genetics work exactly.