Trying to cheer up Grandpa

 BYU football is a huge deal to Grandpa Dennis! 

The game did not go well today. So our Montana grands were trying to cheer him up. (I think it worked!)

The odd wake-up call

It happened on a Sunday morning a few weeks ago. While Den was still sleeping, I went to the family room and opened the slider to let fresh air in. 

Problem is I forgot to turn off the house alarm first, so it went blaring! I hurried over to the panel to put our code in, but no matter how many times I tried, the alarm would not go off! This had never happened before. 

Nothing would get rid of that very painful loud alarm. I tried as best I could to keep my fingers in my ears. 

Den bolts awake, and he couldn’t get it to stop either. Soon our phone was ringing from the alarm company asking if we were okay. I said yes, but the alarm wouldn't quit (I was shouting into the phone so he could hear me above all the noise. Or maybe so I could hear myself.) 

The alarm company soon connected me to a tech, Thomas, who sounded like he was from India. 

While on the phone with Thomas the tech, I yelled to Dennis something about how I hoped we wouldn't be late to church. Thomas must have heard that, because about 10 min later when the alarm was finally silenced, this was our conversation:

Thomas: So do you go to church? 

Me: Yes

T: Are you Catholic?

Me: No

T: You aren’t Catholic?

M: No. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 

T: mmm (or some such sound)

M: Have you ever heard of our church?

T:  No ...(pause...) So do you believe in Jesus Christ?’

M: Yes I do.

T: Is that the same God the Catholics believe in?

M: Yes

T: So it’s the same God Catholics believe in?  (like he wanted to make sure he heard it right)

M: Yes it is

T: The same one...oh okay

I regret that I didn't ask, “So do you believe in Jesus Christ?”
I really blew it because it dropped right then, and we were back talking about my alarm. 

It wasn’t until he got our alarm fixed and we were off the phone that I thought to myself, 

WHY didn't I ask him about his beliefs? 

Only looking back did I realize he wanted to talk about Jesus Christ. I could feel it. I would have loved that. My brain just does not process things as quickly as it use to, and especially not while under stress. 

I think he wanted to talk about it. Perhaps he was searching as so many people are now. 

So why am I bringing this up? Mostly for myself, so I will hopefully be more in tune next time this should happen. But also for you. People out there are hurting, and searching.


We all need Jesus Christ. He is our best friend, or He could be if we want Him to be. He is the Savior of the world. 

You don't have to have any special prayers. Just talk to Him like he is sitting right there with you. If you are sincere, I promise He will be listening. Keep trying. Keep praying. 

I can't tell Thomas. I will most likely never hear from him again. So I'm telling you. ❤️

“When love of Christ envelops our lives, we approach disagreements with meekness, patience, and kindness. We worry less about our own sensitivities and more about our neighbor’s. We seek to moderate and unify. We do not engage in “doubtful disputations,” judge those with whom we disagree, or try to cause them to stumble. Instead, we assume that those with whom we disagree are doing the best they can with the life experiences they have.”

                                                                                                -Dale G Renlund

His Mom

This afternoon about 1:35, Den's Mom passed into the next life. 

Two of her daughters had been by her side since Sunday.
We are so thankful she did not die alone.

She was 94, and had been on and off hospice for over 4 years. 

Both his parents in 1970 at Den's police academy graduation.

Den has told me many times through the years, as a little boy if he 
had a nightmare and said, "Mama" she would come right away. 

Her solution to most of those nightmares: 
"Go to the bathroom, and get a drink of water 
and then go back to bed."

Thinking back lots on his childhood today Den said the most 
important thing was his mom was "always there."

He repeated it again with tears, 
"She was always there. She was my security."

Growing up, whenever he got home and would walk in the back 
door, he would say, "Mom?" 
And she would answer, "Right here." 

The simple things are the big things.

I'm certain all 5 of her kids would say the same.

It's hard to lose a mom. 
I think no matter the age, Den feels a little like this today.

Denny about 1956

But he also keeps saying how happy he is for her now.
Out of all that long suffering. 

Back with loved ones who have gone before her.
And back with loved ones she knew before she came here.

I think it was summed up best by his sister Debbie 
when she called to tell us the news:
"I'm a little sad, but a whole lot happy for her."

Wonders of the past few weeks...

 1. Den and I enjoyed this documentary recently.  Identical triplets adopted into 3 different families. None of the boys knew the others existed until they accidentally came together. Fascinated us both.

Anyone have suggestions for other good documentaries?? 

2. Our granddaughters, Scarlett and Annie are over 2 years apart, yet they are nearing the same size. McKenna says they get mistaken for twins. 

4. I had forgotten we had this sibling picture taken at my Dad's 80th birthday party so it made me happy to find it.
Robin, John, Heidi, Dad, Jill, Richard, Peggy, Scott

5. Two year old Daisy apparently set up camp the night before big brother's birthday. She didn't want to miss anything!

6. Before the Delta took over, it was fun to have Brock and Erin and the girls for a "snicky snack dinner." It's where I just pull out stuff from the freezer and fridge and call it dinner. Elora calls it, "hospital lunch all grown up!" (I say, they are easy to please!) 

7. And if you like miniatures like I do, take a look at this.....

8. And this.....
Sept 7th marked a year since McKenzie's passing.
Her family all went to Hawaii in her honor. 
Alli, Andrew, Ashley, Sarah, Robin, Dave, Ben, Brooke, Kate, Lauren, Davy, and Summer.

And Amy sent me this on Sept 7th.
Amy, Téa, Ryann, Logan, Chandler, and Jonas

I'm certain Mackie has much to tell us all. 
Someday, someday...

Our family in 1887

So this story will make sense, I will start with my grandparents, 

Earl and Lella Slinkard...

Grandma and Grandpa Slinkard, with my Mom in the middle

The Mom in the picture below is the sister of my Grandpa's mother Ellen. I wanted to learn more. What is the story here?


Claude (standing by his Dad), Alfred Ellis, Maude, Frank, Elizabeth Slinkard Ellis, and baby Mildred.
They went on to have 4 more children! (Ione, Gertrude, Houston, and Henrietta)

I found out that they had two sons (Pelham and Henry) before these four children. They were three and five, dying only a week apart during a diphtheria epidemic. Can you even imagine.

I reached out to the person who posted that picture on Family Search and got an immediate reply from a Vernon Gauntt, but he goes by Casey. He figured out we are 3rd cousins.

Casey and I have the same Great Great Grandparents, Solomon and Laura Slinkard.

Elizabeth is Casey's Great Grandma, and my Great Aunt. 

The sister just under Elizabeth, is Ellen my Great Grandma.

And do you see Laura down a few years on that list?

She had quite the story that made headlines back in the day.

Casey's Great Grandma Elizabeth, (after the death of her first husband), with her new husband Mr W William Hughes, and her youngest daughter Henrietta.

Fast forward many years, and that's Elizabeth Slinkard again, with her five daughters, Maude, Mildred, Ione, Gertrude, and Henrietta.

Cousin Casey has an interesting website with lots of personal stories: Write Me Something Beautiful.

Meet my 3rd cousin Casey in this 10 minute film. It's about an incredible experience he went through shortly after the death of his son.

The Letter from Steven Date on Vimeo.

This is how we get to know him better...

Our almost 10 year old grandson Grant, loves to draw. He's incredibly bright. He also has autism.

Scarlett, Jack, Annie, and Grant

So often we don't know what's going on in his mind. But now that he draws, it's like opening up this huge surprise each time.  

Drawing hair styles is one of his specialties.

Who needs arms when your hair looks that good.

And this one below was so intriguing. After he finished drawing the animals, then he drew a baby for each one.

But so far this one has been my most favorite of all! 

Minnie and Mickey and Donald all holding hands!

She's just looking out for others...

On Instagram last week I saw this picture of my niece Kaidy. 

I was a bit alarmed. To me, it looked like she was at a clinic or maybe ER. So I reached out to her and asked if she was okay....

Her beautiful eyes. 

So the conversation Kaidy and I had on Instagram went like this:

Good for her!

They say masks don't really help the person who is wearing them.
They help more the person next to her, whoever that is. 

As a side note, Den was looking for a zoom link to a funeral we attended today. In that process he came across an obituary about a person neither of us said in the first paragraph of it that they were not going to name the disease he died of. 

And then the very last paragraph it said this:

"Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for the men and women who are fighting with all their might against this and all disease. Thank you simply isn't enough. They had hoped Steve would get well and become an ambassador for vaccination. As he is unable, our family would like to express our hope that you will find true and correct information and decide accordingly."

Thank you Steve Lee Jabbs
who died 8-24-21 at the age of 62

And thank you Kaidy.
You are caring beyond your years. 

Trying to cheer up Grandpa

  BYU football is a huge deal to Grandpa Dennis!  The game did not go well today. So our Montana grands were trying to cheer him up. (I thin...