Follow by Email

Some of my Mom's words...

I'm guessing that was her granddaughter Julie??...
I think she was born the same year Mom wrote this below.


I came across this today. My Mom wrote it on March 24, 1985


 "When I was 13 years old my family and I moved from the farm into town. For the first time in my life I began attending a small neighborhood church. We didn’t have a minister only a Sunday school superintendent. She was a wonderful teacher and example. We had a very small youth group who met on Sunday nights and for Bible study one noon hour a week. On Saturday we sang on the “Radio Kids Bible Club.”  (In those days 13 was much younger than it is today!)


There I learned many Sunday School type songs. One of them told about having the “peace that passes understanding”  in my heart and mind. We sang that line over and over and I had no idea what it meant.


A dozen years later I open the door to two Mormon elders and they told me about the restored gospel. From the beginning I knew it was true but it was so logical and easy to understand and accept that I sometimes wondered if it were just me, or if the Holy Ghost was really testifying to me that it was true.


Before long I began to realize that I now had that “peace that passes understanding”in my heart and mind. For 34 years it has been the same. Sometimes I know I am not worthy but it is a gift that I have been given. That holy comforter who is promised to those who believe and are baptized.


No matter what happens in my life, when I am discouraged, upset, frightened, or frustrated it helps me remember what is truly important. It gives me comfort and peace of mind. I am not alone. This is my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

This is what I remember about Doug and Karen Ward....


A year ago this week I got a sad and shocking call from Dennis as he was coming home from the temple. He said Karen and Doug Ward were in a horrible car accident. She was killed instantly, and he was in critical condition. He died 2 days later and a few weeks after that, we attended their double funeral.

It was so hard to process at the time. It still is. I kept thinking about their 5 kids and many grandchildren...several who lived on the same block as them. 

So many memories come to mind. I want to share them here. Some of these memories are significant, some not as much, but I want to remember all of them. 


*I remember the first time I met Karen and Doug in the south foyer of the Cedar church building in Fresno. I'm guessing it was about 1972? Young cute couple with their baby Kari in Doug's arms.


*Karen didn’t like it when Doug would have to work out of town so at least one time I spent the night with her.


*I was their son Matt’s Primary teacher when he was about 7. One day he left his jacket in the classroom so I brought it to their home later. Karen said he was very lucky because he'd already lost one jacket and if he would have lost this one too, she would not buy him another until next year. I thought she was one tough Mom.


*Before I got married to Bill in 1974, Karen invited me over so we could talk about married life. She let me ask all the questions I wanted to. I asked alot. Some particular advise she gave that day, has stayed with me all these 47 years later, and helped me in both my marriages. She said the first year of marriage you will learn what buttons not to push. The first year, she said, is hard because you don’t know what his buttons are, but as you learn and you don’t push them, marriage gets better. Very wise she was!


*She said one day early in their marriage she had taken tupperware out of the fridge getting ready to prepare dinner and then suddenly she had to leave and do something (can’t remember what it was...maybe pick up someone?) Anyway, meanwhile Doug came home and got so worried seeing the dinner in process but no Karen. Later he told her that really scared him.


*We worked together in Young Womens when I was just 18-19. One Saturday we took all the girls horse back riding. Cheryl Christopherson fell off her horse and was pretty banged up with cuts and blood and crying and shook up. Karen insisted she immediately get back on that horse and ride again. Karen told me if she didn’t she would always have a fear of horses. I can still see poor Cheryl slumped over the horse, crying, and trying to ride it. After a few short moments, Karen said, “Okay that’s enough.” 


*Doug came to see me occasionally when I had mono back in 1973. At one point he said I needed to drink Tiger’s Milk to get better.


*I remember when their youngest daughter Kelly was a baby and had “failure to thrive.” After being in the hospital for awhile and not getting any better, the doctor said there was nothing more they could do for her, and they sent her home. Karen through much study and prayer discovered a homemade formula that Kelly could keep down. It was a combination of goat’s milk, blackstrap molasses and chlorophyll. Kelly soon got better and began to thrive.


*Karen use to wear Chantily cologne and whenever I smell it, even now, I think of her.


*My mom gave someone a bridal shower at her home. I think it was for Meredith Ashby. Karen’s gift to her were 2 pyrex glass measuring cups. I remember thinking at the time that I sure hope Karen gives me a set of those when I get married. 


*In 1979 shortly after my 2nd son Logan was born, one afternoon Doug dropped by to meet him. I thought that was so nice so I hurried into the bedroom to get Logie from his crib and bring him out to show. Doug looked right at him, and said, “Hmm” That wasn’t the reaction I was looking for so I said, “Isn’t he so cute?” That’s when Doug said he needed to go, and I thanked him for stopping by. That was the day I decided men are not good with looking at other people’s babies. 


*In 1989 after Bill was shot several times in an armed robbery, Doug offered to take me to the hospital one day when it was extra foggy. We also had little McKay and Tyler with us. I remember Doug saying several times on our way there, “It’s like pea soup out there!”


*I remember seeing Karen and Doug at my Dad’s funeral in 2019. I’m certain (if they were in town) they were also at my Mom’s funeral in 2007, and Bill’s funeral in 1996.


*On one of our church youth trips with Karen in the presidency and me over the 12-13 year old girls, we all went to the beach. About part way during that day I remember Karen lying a beach towel down on the sand, and taking a nap. She was several months pregnant at the time and I couldn't understand how it was even possible for her to lie flat on her stomach. (Years later, during all of my pregnancies I discovered it was not only possible, but felt great to sleep that way.) 


*I remember once discussing with Doug about my relationship with Bill while we were dating. At one point he hit the wall with his fist and said, “I sure like Bill.” 


*On Dec 15, 1985 Bill and I and our kids came to Sacrament meeting like we did every Sunday. But on that day I was at the end of my last pregnancy and 17 days over due. I was fearful of my water breaking at any moment so I told Bill I just wanted to sit as a family in the “cry room.” ...a little room right off the chapel designated for parents and babies, complete with speakers.  Doug found us and insisted we come sit on an open bench near the front. I can’t remember all these years later, who won. 


*Den and I ran into Doug at Lowes a few months before they died, and he told us all about Karen’s Parkinson’s and how she was taking all her meds and doing well so far. He was a bit curious about my Dad’s brain surgery for his Parkinson’s so I made a mental note to tell them both about that later.


*Karen told me back in the day when her kids were little that as much as she loved her children, the hardest thing ever would be losing Doug. 


I'm thankful neither one of them had to be long without the other. 


Life is eternal. We will see them again! 



Grant draws house plans

 Ever since Grant was just a little guy, he would make elaborate mazes. 

He would take legos or his sisters doll furniture...whatever he could find, and make rooms and hallways and entrances. 

Now that he's older and he can draw, he makes house plans. He made this one last week. 

It's a friend's house with an indoor pool where Grant likes to swim. 

We really do wonder if he has a photographic memory...to be able to walk through a house and then draw all the rooms complete with entrances.


Grant drawing house plans from Jill Shelley on Vimeo.

Easy good salmon

 So I have this habit. When I can't sleep I'll put my sleep phones over my ears and listen to podcasts. 

Sometimes I'll fall off to sleep while the podcast is still playing. 

That's what happened a few nights ago ...until the host of the podcast said something about a favorite recipe she wanted to share. And it was not a cooking show. 

I must have heard "recipe" because I jolted awake and quickly listened, and thought, yes! I want to make that.

I knew I'd forget it by morning so I made myself get out of bed and find a pen to write it down. It's hard finding a pen in the dark and something to write it down on, with just a little flashlight.  


But I did.

A few nights later I made it. So simple and good, I had to share here.

Season how you like it. Then slather with olive oil and butter all over each piece of salmon. Don't skimp. 





Wrap in little foil packets. I put them on my lovely cookie sheet and baked 20 minutes @ 425'. Just as that podcast host said.

I had 3 pieces about 5 oz each in individual foil packets. 

You know, the size of the ones sold at Costco in those large bags. 

Not dried out at all, and so good...if you like salmon. 

We had it with baked potatoes and broccoli. 

But you can have it with whatever you want. 



Little Bill

I recently found these pictures of Bill, my first husband, as a child. 

I'm looking at these with new eyes, since I can now see some of my grandchildren in him....





Not sure who he is with below, but I suspect it's his paternal Grandma. She died before I came into the family 46 years ago, so I never met her.





How I loved Aunt Martha, holding baby Bill in this picture. 
(Aunt Martha was Bill's Dad's sister and I've always thought Leo looks like her. Maybe not as much in this particular picture, but in others and from knowing her.)

Happy Birthday to Bill today!

(My 2 husbands are only 3 days apart in age....
which means they are both 5 years older than me. 
Which means they've always kept me feeling young.)





Happy Birthday McKenzie

Today is my niece McKenzie's 22nd birthday. 

I do believe in some way we celebrate or honor our birthdays in heaven. How can that not be? It was the day she came to earth to be with her family! 

Mackie was born on a Sunday. 



Two days later Dave brought 3 year old Davey to the hospital. He didn't just come to see his new baby sister, but stayed with Robin several hours while Dave went to work. 

Not every mom gets to have the toddler along with the newborn in the hospital.



Last September, Mackie's friend Ysabelle sang this at her funeral. Robin requested I put it on my blog today. I am honored. 



How to talk to a toddler...

This was just a simple everyday moment with Karen and Daisy, who was 22 months at the time. 

Taken right after Halloween. 

I asked Karen if I could post this because I think it's a perfect example on how to talk to a toddler. 

It also shows how vastly important parents are to little children. 

Daisy and Karen Nov 2020 from Jill Shelley on Vimeo.

Some of my Mom's words...

I'm guessing that was her granddaughter Julie??... I think she was born the same year Mom wrote this below. I came across this today. My...