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Just in case...

Most of you have probably already seen this, or at least heard about it the past few days....but in case you have not, I wanted to make sure you did not miss out.

Do you remember an earlier post I did about the Nielson family? Stephanie and Christian Nielson were in a plane crash last August. He is in rehab now trying to recover from a broken back and burns over 30% of his body. She is still in the hospital with burns over 83% of her body. I am certain they are the most popular family now in the blogging world because they have been such an inspiration to so many, many people.

I begin each day reading excerpts that are posted each morning from Stephanie's blog. She was filled with such gratitude for her life, for her husband and her children, and they are a joy to read.

This was taken about a month before the plane crash.
I think I have seen this picture on more blogs than any other.
And if you would like to read an update on what is going on now, go here.

But this is what I want to make sure you did not miss. Last weekend they had a concert in Arizona to raise money for Stephanie and Christian's recovery. Their 2 little daughters, Claire and Jane sang for it.


Ten years ago today
Dennis' daughter Kim and her husband Ryan had their sweet little Emily.

When I had first started writing to Dennis, he told me his daughter Kim was expecting a baby any day. He said when she arrived he might need to go to Utah to help her. I thought it was odd that a Dad would be the caretaker. But I didn't know Dennis very well yet. Now it completely makes sense. When Emily was just 2 years old (was she less than 2...Kim do you know?) she was visiting here with her cousin Katelyn who was even younger. Katie kept touching the TV buttons and Emily was trying to "mother" her and get her to stop. She told her no, and then Emily said to Katie, "Look at me when I talk to you. I said no."
She was only 2 years old, saying that!

Emily with her beautiful Mom.
Cousin Jessica, Grandpa Dennis, and Emily


Dennis asked me to put this picture of Emily out every Memorial Day.
Instead, we have just kept it framed and in our family room since the day we received it.

Just as Dennis loves the picture above, I love this one below.
We keep this just inside our front door.
Emily and cousin Jessica hugging

Emily hugging her Uncle McKay when he came to see them recently.

Robbie, Ryan, Emily, Kim, and Matthew
Den and I so enjoyed Emily's 8 day visit to our home last summer along with her cousins, Jessica and Katelyn. We called her Mary Sunshine. She would wake up happy and go to bed happy. She has such a good nature to her. All 3 girls were so much fun to be with.

Emily reminds me lots of her Mom... the way she talks with her hands...the way she holds one arm by the elbow when she is listening. She is very social. I think she could fit in almost anywhere. We sure do love her very much and can't wait to see her again.

Happy 10th Birthday Emily!!!

1 in 65,000

Often, when there is BYU football on TV, Dennis will look intently into the crowd for my sons, McKay and Tyler...who often attend the games. He will sometimes call the boys during the game and ask where they are sitting. I guess it's all part of the male bonding. I will often say to him, "Well if McKay and Tyler show up on that screen, come and get me." But with 65,000 in the audience I didn't ever expect that to happen.

So last Saturday, you guessed it. Den was watching BYU play UNLV with his friend Mondel. I was in the laundry room folding clothes, when I heard Den shouting, "HURRY JILL, COME QUICK." I ran in there to find McKay right there in the center of the screen. He looked good. He looks happy. Does my heart good!

We were so excited. Dennis reached for the phone to call McKay, but he stopped himself, "I can't call him! I don't want to know who wins." Den was watching it on delay being we had been gone all morning. (He also takes no Utah calls during the game if he is watching on delay:)

So I went in the other room and called McKay myself. He gave me the ending score but luckily for Dennis I immediately forgot what it was.

His face shows at the mark of 27 seconds, and just on there for 4 seconds, so pay attention :)

Jon and Kate plus 8

I'm not much of a TV person, but I do love Jon and Kate Plus Eight.

So naturally when I heard Kate Gosselin wrote a book I pre-ordered a copy. Apparently Dennis ordered one for me also, because 2 books arrived the same day in 2 separate packages. After they arrived I looked at the books and thought...wait a minute, do I really want to read this? What could they say that I don't already know about them? I don't think I've missed one of their programs.

The book was not only entertainment, but it was quite spiritual. I love any story that is about real home life. Real happy home life. I was also intrigued about Kate's parents and Jon's mother...neither of them mentioned on their program. The book however does talk about them, and now I have a better understanding, or at least my own little opinion of what is going on in their family. I read between the lines.

There is just something captivating...relaxing (in that I don't have to live their life, I just get to watch it)....amazing...about watching this family on TV. They have 8 year old twins, and 4 year old sextuplets. How ordinary is that? It's not, that is what keeps us all watching...those of us who do. Yet, still, they are just a happy, regular, normal family in other ways.

The truth is, as odd as this may sound.....I would find it totally entertaining to watch ANY happy family in real life. I remember on my first date with Dennis, he asked me about myself, of course. He asked about my hobbies, what I like to do...that sort of thing. And somewhere in that conversation I told him that if I could do anything I would be a fly on the wall in people's homes. Probably TMI on a first date, but hey, I am who I am.

I guess I'm a people lover.

I'm starting on this one tonight.
I must be on a roll.

Oldest convert

Found this in the Church News. Possibly our oldest convert. She was 103 and was out driving on an Easter Sunday and came upon one of our meeting houses. She went inside and apparently when she realized it was the same church as her favorite TV channel, BYU-TV, she was interested, and later baptized.

Now she is 104, and still lives alone.
How I would love the chance to sit down and talk to this woman. Something tells me she has lived a most interesting life. She was the featured speaker in a stake center in Arkansas prior to our recent Relief Society broadcast last month. How I would have loved to have heard her!

If you would like to read this article, just click it and it will become larger.

Going Back in Time

These are my grandparents in 1917, Romeo and Leonie Rozier.
Grandma Leonie died when my dad was only 6, so I never knew her.
Grandpa Romeo died in 1959 when I was just 5.

On the way home from our little anniversary celebration today, we took a trip down memory lane. Well my memory lane, anyway. Since we would be going right by this neighborhood on our drive home, we took a picture of the house my Grandpa Romeo use to live in.

I had to hurry and snap the picture while some people
in this neighborhood were watching.
Then I said, "Hurry Den, get me outta here."
I was worried that someone would think we were casing the house.
4734 El Monte Way

We decided to also go see my childhood home.
I lived here till I was 7.
Again, not the best picture because I took it in such fast motion.
4476 E. Madison

Does it look anything like it did back in 1957, below?
The world was sure gentler back then.
L to R: John, me, Mom, and Richard

Michael Cardoza use to live here, across the street from us, and we would walk to school together nearly a mile away! I loved his mom Joyce, but I use to feel SO sorry for her since she had 3 sons and no daughters. Little did I know...

Same house as above but it is 1959, not 2008
Here is Michael Cordoza and me on the first day of school (kindergarten) on his front porch.
(There's that haircut again.)

This day would not be complete without a picture of Mrs. King's house, also across the street from us. She died many years ago but I remember her well back in the 1950s. She was an older widow who lived alone and I use to go visit her. She would let me have a chocolate covered cherry she kept in a box in a drawer in her extra bedroom. For some reason I thought that was her late husband's room and I thought she was giving me very old chocolate. But I ate it anyway and loved it. For years I would give my oldest son chocolate covered cherries on Christmas morning in memory of Mrs. King.

If you look closely behind me (age 3) you can see Mrs. King's house in 1957.
Our trip would not be complete without finding the church on the corner of Grant and First. This is where we went every Sunday to church, and every Wednesday for Primary. It use to be The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,
but was sold years ago to the Church of God.

I asked Den to drive around to the back of this church. There use to be a little play area here (above) complete with a slide and monkey bars...where we would play until Primary was ready to start inside the church. This is one of my very earliest memories. I was only about 3, and my Mom forgot to put underwear on me that day. She was Primary president and was probably just so busy. I remember feeling SO uncomfortable and afraid to even move in my little dress. I remember making sure not to go on the slide or monkey bars that day. It was a traumatic day for me. Must have been, for me to remember it all these years later.

Neighborhoods sure do change through the years.

Juror #7

Dennis finally finished with his 3 1/2 week as a juror on a trial. Of course I did not have any idea what the trial was all about till he got home yesterday, because only then could he finally talk about it. He was so excited to serve on a jury! He had never been chosen before. We were all shocked he was chosen this time considering his history in law enforcement. And not only that, but he also got chosen by the other jurors to be the foreman.

So hearing what the trial was about, stirred some emotion in me. First I'll let Dennis describe the trial. Yep, I have a guest blogger. Sorry it is long, I told him to keep it short but he thinks this is short. It is written like a cop making a report. Here he is:

"The story started one evening when a husband and wife went out to celebrate their wedding anniversary. They went dancing at a nightclub and, according to her, he had "a couple of beers." She said that they got into an argument and he drove away in the car they came in, leaving her at the club. She then got a friend to take her home. At about 11 PM, he came home and the argument continued. He grabbed some clothes, told her he was leaving, and left in his 1993 Ford Explorer. About two hours later, he was driving S/B on a deserted country road south of Fresno when he crossed over the opposing lane, off the road toward some vineyards, and then tried to correct by turning back onto the road.

It was later determined that he had a 0.17 blood alcohol level, which is more than twice the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle. When he tried to come back on the road, the Explorer rolled over and came to rest upside-down in the face of oncoming traffic. The front of the vehicle faced the oncoming traffic with no front license or other reflective material. The driver then crawled out of the Explorer and stood on the side of the road.

The photos taken by the CHP showed that the only thing visible to oncoming traffic would have been the undercarriage of the Explorer...dirty, oily, greasy...very similar to the color of the road. There was no street lighting in the area.

A few minutes later, a gasoline tanker (two tanks, the second being a trailer) was heading N/B in the same lane. The tanker was empty and was returning to the distribution point to pick up another load for delivery that night. The driver of the tanker stated that he thought he was going about 55 mph, which was the speed limit on this road. The "Black Box" later showed he was actually going 59.5 mph with a possible error of up to 4 mph either way.

He said he saw another vehicle coming S/B, so he dimmed his lights. The driver then said he noticed something in the first he thought it was possible tar-like patchwork. When he realized it was an overturned vehicle (and not knowing what was inside), he locked up his breaks in an attempt to stop. Because there was traffic coming S/B, he swerved to the right and off the road narrowly missing the Explorer with his cab. His trailer collided with the Explorer driving it a considerable distance.

After getting out of his cab, he came to the realization that, in pulling off the road on to the soft shoulder, he actually struck the other driver standing about 10' off the road. The man died immediately.

The family sued the petroleum transport company for an amount in excess of $3 million alleging that the driver was negligent and reckless. The company refused to settle by taking the stand that, while the tanker driver may have been exceeding the speed limit by 4.5 mph, the real cause of the accident was the driver of the Explorer having been operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (2 x the limit). The company also alleged that a sober individual would have run to safety instead of watching a gasoline tanker skidding toward him.

The trial lasted over three weeks. Both sides brought in several "experts" to testify in different areas...accident reconstruction, lighting, our perception of and reaction to what we see, data analysis of the "black box," economic losses, etc. I found it to be extremely interesting to participate in and never got bored. The other jurors were a pleasure to be around and I was honored that they wanted me to be the foreman.

In the end, the jury was almost unanimous (all but one) in feeling that the cause of the accident was the DUI driver and that, although the tanker was exceeding the speed limit slightly, his speeding was not to blame. Experts on both sides conceded that, even going 50 mph, the tanker driver would not have been able to stop.

It was a sad case. The jurors were all very sympathetic to the family. The attorneys for the family put a five-year-old, a twelve-year-old, and a twenty-year-old on the stand to testify how much they missed their father. The wife and mother-in-law also testified. Some jurors were in tears. But, at the same time, there was sympathy for the driver of the tanker. He had a very difficult time, too, and will likely say "what if?" for the rest of his life.

If you ever get the chance to be on a jury, don't try to avoid it. It was a great experience."

I think it was sad they had his 3 kids testify, especially the 5 and 12 year old. No amount of money would ever bring their father back. Of course they miss their dad, but to me, all that emotion had nothing to do with the money they were seeking. Dennis disagrees. While he did not find the petroleum company guilty, and he did feel the man who died was at fault being he was intoxicated, he feels the family was trying to seek the money (provider) they lost by way of their dad's death.

There is just something that does not set right with me about suing for an accident, in spite of the dire consequences. Perhaps I would feel differently if it happened to me?

On a lighter note, it is nice to have Dennis back. For the past 3 weeks he had been on this trial, he would come home so lost in his thoughts. It was frustrating for him, and for me, that he could not share what he was thinking, like he usually does. Welcome back Den!

Looks like we're moving

But we aren't.
JCPenneys came today and took away the couch and love seat we recently purchased from them. I noticed one day, about 3 weeks after it was delivered, that it had 4 tiny rips in the love seat. Of course it took weeks for the tech to come and take a look. But a few days after that, I received a call from Penneys saying they would pick up the furniture and return our money in full.

THAT is why in the past 30 years plus, I often buy from JCPenneys. Things happen, and nothing is perfect, but they always stand behind their merchandise. So don't be afraid to buy from them. I just thought they deserved the praise today.

PS... For those of you who have been worried about us, we had a new water heater put in this morning!! Thank you SO MUCH for the hot shower offers!

Glimpses of the week

On Monday, Den and I took Laurynn out to dinner to celebrate her 9th birthday. It was so fun to have this little person in the back seat of our car talking nearly non stop to us. She is so excited about her Mom having twins, but also was concerned that they might be "stuck together" We assured her that if the twins were going to be stuck together, it would have already happened.

My niece, Natalie, surprised us with a visit last Saturday, straight from Pismo Beach, where she lives. Turns out we were just on our way to go out to dinner with my Dad and Susan so we asked her to come with us. She is like a ray of sunshine. We so enjoy her, and she keeps us laughing! I wanted to get a picture of the little dog she keeps in her purse, but my battery died right after this picture.

Last Tuesday while Elora and I were playing "Chinese Checkers"'s not the board game we use to play, it involves dancing around the room. (hey, I just take my instruction from her) She accidentally ran her leg against the fire place. I could tell that must have really hurt but she didn't cry at first.....there was just this very long pause, and then she CRIED in full volume! Three band aids and one popsicle later, this was our conversation:
Elora: "Grandma Honey, I tried really hard not to cry."
Me: "It's okay if you cry."
Elora: "At school we can't cry...especially during math."
Me: "Why would anyone want to cry during math?"
Elora: "Well if I get a paper cut, I would cry, and then they would send me to the nurse."
Me: "Well you can cry anytime you feel like it at my house."

Not sure what that was all about, but poor baby's just trying to figure out the world.

Erin, Cami, Amy, and Amy's Mom, Karen, were the only ones being cooperative for this picture. Even Elora went hiding. This was suppose to show our happy family after being at stake conference together. (Our wards are combined to make stakes, and we meet twice a year as a stake.)

Dennis and Elora were comparing their leg wounds.

Amy is really beginning to look pregnant.

Austin and Elora

Then, to top off last night, we had to go looking for a place to take a shower as our water heater quit on us, again. I don't know why my Dad and Susan thought this was so funny.

The worst part of the night was when I got out of the shower and came out with my nightgown and robe on....and my dad said I looked like a grandma. There is just something so unsettling about your DAD saying you LOOK like a GRANDMA.

Thank you Dad and Susan! Your shower was great.
We will be going on the hunt again for one tonight.

Vote your conscience

Although I am not Catholic, I am very impressed by this message. I feel if there was ever time that we need all come together concerning these moral issues, regardless of our religious beliefs, it's now. I had seen this video several weeks ago, and just in case you haven't, here it is.

Explained simply

I found this video on another blog. Shows just how it will be.

One of those angels...

How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!
~George Elliston

A very kind hearted woman, Michelle, who my brother, Chris,
use to work
with, put this notice in their break room:
My dad received 2 beautiful cards from them...

and...this stunning palm tree to remind him of Thailand, the land Chris loved:
And that's not all...

She also sent a box filled with "trees" for all of us to plant in Chris's memory!
Here are just 2 of the trees in the box that arrived.
She put little memory cards, like the one above, attached to each of the boxes. I can't even describe how kind this woman is to do this for our family, especially considering she does not know any of us. But she arranged this and carried it all out, just from the compassion in her heart.

I have been reminded by her loving actions, that we truly are all brothers and sisters living on this earth together. Thank you Michelle. We will plant our trees and not only remember Chris, but we will remember you too, and the love you gave to us all.

Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls.
~David Thomas

Our wedding day

When Dennis and I were dating and talking about getting married, of course we needed to talk about where we would actually live. I told him flat out that I could not live in Corona, where he was from, or anywhere in the LA area because of my fear of earthquakes.

I did however, agree, to marry him in the Los Angeles LDS temple.

So my oldest son Brock drove me, McKay and Tyler to Corona the night before our wedding. (We missed Logan who was in the Philippines in the middle of his 2 year mission for our church.) After visiting with Dennis and his daughters, who had also arrived for our wedding, the boys and I checked into our hotel for the night.

My sons fell asleep around midnight but it took me till about 1am to doze off, finally. At 2:46am guess what happened? AN EARTHQUAKE. Found out later it was a 7.1 coming from Hector which is located about 90 miles from Corona. The whole place shook terribly. I screamed. The boys woke up, from my screaming I think, not the earth shaking. I went outside and noticed several fellow hotel people outside looking around...the water in the pool still swaying wildly.

My boys told me it was over, so I should just go back to sleep. I don't think Brock even got out of bed. I tried to doze off but we kept having aftershocks, and I felt them all. I never did go back to sleep that night. I wanted so badly to call Dennis, but this was the night before our wedding so I didn't. I found out later that he wanted to call me because he woke up too from the shaking but was afraid of waking me up. He obviously did not know me as well as he knows me now. I DO NOT sleep through earth quakes.

So that is how our wedding day began.
This was 9 years ago today!

This picture was actually taken at the Oakland temple, not the one we were married in.
I looked too tired the day of our wedding to put any of those pictures here.

This is our combined children the day of our reception. 2 sons are missing.
Dennis and I both had a son on a mission at the time.

Why is this the only picture we have of ourselves at our reception
when over 100 pictures were taken that night? Because instead of hiring a photographer, I gave McKay and Tyler a bunch of disposable cameras and instructed them to take pictures. I didn't know till AFTER the reception that they took pictures of everyone eating. Yes, they went around and actually waited till the mouths of our guests were open and then they snapped the shots. What was I thinking??!
They couldn't help it. They were BOYS, ages 13 and 15!

If you don't want to read my list of why I love Dennis just skip to the song below.

*He wakes up every morning asking himself what he can do today to make me happy.
*He often empties the dishwasher before leaving for work.
*He says he likes to go grocery shopping with me. He patiently pushes the cart while I take my time filling it.

*He asks me nearly every night after dinner, "Are we going anywhere tonight?" And when I tell him where, he takes me. If I say, "Oh you look tired tonight. Maybe we should stay home." He will say, "I'm never too tired for you."
*He helped me everyday for the 3 1/2 weeks my mother lived with us until she died. He was the last one who saw her. He says it was one of the greatest experiences of his life.
*He still opens the car door for me. He opens all doors for me. He has me so spoiled that when I go out with girlfriends I sometimes will just stand there waiting.
*He is an excellent listener. If he sees me stressed he will say, "Come and sit here and tell me all about it." And he will sit there and listen to every word. I feel I am a good listener too, but he is even better than me.

*He LIKES honey do lists. He will ASK for them and seems to enjoy going down the list and getting everything done one by one checking them off as he goes along.
*He never wants to be late for anything, especially church. To him, being on time means being there at least 15 minutes early. His motto is, "I'd rather be 30 minutes early than 1 minute late."
*Dennis helped me finish raising my 2 youngest sons. He was right there front and center, doing it all.

Perhaps you think I am exaggerating. I promise, I'm not. Perhaps I should tell you some of his faults to make this more realistic. Let's see. Oh I know one. *He will sometimes go to the store for me but I don't think he can do that with out calling me 3 or 4 times while he is hunting for things.
*And here's another....he has a hard time throwing anything away. He is very I try to do de-cluttering when he is not home. Also, this is probably his biggest fault...he does not put anything away. For example, he is so good about wrapping gifts for me because he knows I do not enjoy that. But it never even enters his brain to put the scissors and tape away. (He does not believe in gift bags.)
*Oh, and if I have been gone and I come home to all the cupboards open and things sticking out of the drawers, I know that he had been on the hunt for something lost. Yep, that's about it

I will always have memories of Den and I driving down the coast of California
on our honeymoon with him singing this song to me over and over again.

Happy Anniversary, Honey.
Thank you for asking for my phone number.

Elora's prayer

We went to church last Sunday with Brock and the girls so we could see Elora in her Primary program. (Erin had to go out of town, although she did get to see the practice!) On the way home Elora said she had something to tell me so I asked if I could film it and she said I could. I never know what she is going to say. So on went my camera.

Oh, and she got the sucker at church since this is her birthday month.

BTW, Keep in mind that going to a birthday party is EVERYTHING to Elora. It was a real crisis I'm sure when Brock didn't know the way to this little boy's house for the party.

While Elora is at the age where reality and fantasy are often intertwined, Brock verified that this one was true.

My Dream

I had a dream Friday night that I was pregnant with twins.

Could it be because I looked at these 2 pictures before I went to sleep??

Here I am in 1965 with my sister and brother, Heidi and Scott
And yes, my forehead was way too high to wear my hair like that.
1966 with Scott and Heidi

In the dream I told the doctor, "This pregnancy is great. I don't feel a thing!"

I woke up at 3:30am thinking:
'That's because I'm the GRANDMA and not the MOM.'

Isn't this a wonderful way to bring children into this world???

(Written by Grandma Honey who sometimes gets confused in her sleep
about just who is having the twins.)

McKay McKay

I've always liked saying his name twice. I said it so much like this when he was little that he really thought his name was McKay McKay.

And NO, it's not his birthday.

Look what he can do. He's the one in the white shirt. The other guy tried to get McKay to dress goofy too, but he refused. Good, McKay, I like you in your white shirt.


First time I saw this, a few days ago, I was so excited to see him again! Oh, I miss him! I wish I could get Tyler to send me a video too (hint hint). But I get to see Tyler and his girlfriend at Thanksgiving so I can take my own video!!

I don't know who the other guy is, McKay hardly knows him either.
Look for McKay's wink at the beginning.
If you don't want to be patient, just go to 1:10 into it, and then you will see McKay's main performance.

I guess if McKay's math career does not work out, he could always do this on a street corner somewhere...

Happy Birthday LAURYNN!!

Logan and Amy with Laurynn on her baptism day last year.

The first time I met this precious little girl, Laurynn, was about 4 years ago. She was so shy she would not even look at me. She would just bury her face into her mother's blouseSeveral months after that meeting, her mom Amy married my son Logan. Laurynn slowly began to feel comfortable with me.

Today is Laurynn's birthday!!!!
Let me tell you about her through my eyes:

She is very sensitive. Charming. Obedient. Wants to know just what the rules are and why, and she wants to follow them to the letter. Beautiful. When she is with me people invariably comment on her eyes, or how pretty she is. She loves babies and little animals.

She is a worrier, like her new grandma (me :) She pleaded with her mom to buy her some Purell so she could have her own little bottle to keep with her.
The first time I took care of her was about 3 years ago, when Laurynn was 5. I had her for most of the day. She told me straight out, that she did NOT like to be alone. I told her, no problem. Later on that day we went grocery shopping together, just her and I. I wanted to quickly buy a cookie for her in a small bakery by the grocery store. I never leave kids in the car alone, but this store's door was literally a few feet from my car and I could have a total view of her the entire 3 minutes I would be in that I asked her, "Laurynn, will you be okay in the car just long enough for me to go in and get you a cookie?" She looked at me with those big eyes like I was nuts and said, "Hello! I can't be alone."

Laurynn in her dance recital costume.

She is affectionate and loving. We love her hugs she gives whenever she sees us. One night when she slept over we watched a movie together about Jessica McClure, the little girl who got trapped in a well back in the 80s. She loved it and would not take her eyes off the screen, but she was curled up against me with her head on my shoulder.

Laurynn, Macie, and cousin Elora.
They all spent the night and then the next morning,
helped with a service project our church
was doing for our local farm workers.
Laurynn was so concerned about these farm workers,
that they did not have enough food to eat because of the freeze.
The girls very lovingly packed the boxes.

We missed the first 5 years of her life since I was not her grandma yet.
We hope we have many more memories together in the future.

We love you Laurynn.
Happy 9th Birthday!!!

Where did Dennis come from?

10 years ago today, (and 2 years after my first husband passed away), I received in my inbox from LDS Singles Online a paragraph of introduction. Just a paragraph, but I could tell he was different, and I was intrigued.

This man could write in complete sentences and he had perfect grammar, spelling and punctuation. Not that I judge people on how they write...I certainly make tons of mistakes in this department, and for the most part I don't even care.

But quite frankly, while I "met" many men online (although not in person) this was the only one who seemed immediately intelligent. Most men are intelligent, I don't mean to imply they aren't...but most online just do not take the time with their emails.

So I was interested. I wrote back. He wrote back. Good, this was fun.

Then less than 2 weeks into this daily exchange, he asked me for my phone number.
Hey, wait a minute...I only "knew" him for 2 weeks. I wanted a lengthy relationship online before I was to actually talk to him. So I wrote and told him this was too soon, I was not ready to talk to him yet.

He wrote a very polite, sweet email back basically telling me that if I didn't give my phone number to him, it was goodbye.

My best friend Peggy, in West Valley, Utah was with me through all this.
She knew I was interested in this man.
She knew I didn't want to let this one go.
She was also the one who after reading some of his emails had said to me, "You need to reel this one in very slowly and gently." Plus since Dennis was a cop for LAPD, Peggy would say, "You know the egos cops have. They're worse than Marines."

So when I called her so confused after the ultimatum he gave me....she listened to my long list of emotions and then just flatly said, "Oh, just give the BIG BABY your phone number."

So I did.

The first time he called I was home but I couldn't bring myself to pick up the phone. I wasn't ready. Besides, I wanted to hear his voice first and think about it for awhile.

Oh my goodness....when I HEARD his VOICE....I called Peggy and played it over the phone for her to hear. Can you believe how he sounds??! She didn't seem too impressed. I guess he just sounded like a generic man to her. She was also not too happy that I didn't just pick up the phone and TALK to him.

Okay, so I made a list of possible questions to ask him, possible things to talk about so there wouldn't be any pauses in the conversation. He had left me a few phone messages by now asking me to call him back on his toll free number, but I didn't. I wanted him to be the one to call me. Which he did, I realize that, but I wanted him to keep calling me until I was ready to pick up the phone.

Finally, I was ready. I grabbed my list and answered the phone. I found out several months later that he also had a list prepared and ready.

He was easy to talk to. I was impressed with his soft spoken voice, and his confidence. We had a few conversations and then he asked if he could take me out. A date? You mean we would actually see each other? This was 10 years ago when dating someone you met on the internet was considered freaky.

I had been discussing all of this with my home teacher, Tim. He said he would call Dennis' bishop and see what he thought of him. So my home teacher reported back to me and said his bishop spoke very highly of Dennis, in fact he was one of his counselors.

Dennis was in the bishopric as a single man? That's a rarity. He must be good, I thought.
2 months later he drove the 4 hours to my home. I'll continue this story on Dec. 11th, which will be the 10th anniversary of our first date.

Okay, here comes my favorite part.
Den would tell me later that he would often think of me (before he even knew I existed) when he heard this song, during his 5 year search for me.

Dennis' Sad Barber Story

Dennis asked recently if I'd heard anymore about those tests to see if a person is immune to COVID.  I said, "No, why do you ask?&...