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The long days of mothering

I am drawn to a few blogs for various reasons. 

One such blog is written by a young mom with 3 very small children, actually ages 2, 1, and 2 weeks old. 
I am in awe over her honesty, her determination, her exhaustion, her faith. And I don't even know her.

Really, how does one care for basically 3 babies of varying ages and needs??

I have been thinking since yesterday of the post she wrote which begins with "The worst Sunday of my Life." 
(Be sure and watch the video link within that post, also. Or just go here. You will realize how blessed your children are to have YOU.)

Her post reminded me of the excellent talk Julie Beck gave last month at the BYU Women's conference that I was able to watch recently. So I watched it again today, and I'd like to share this quote from it:

Julie Beck speaking:
"Not long ago I visited with a young mother who recently had her 8th child. That's difficult to accomplish in these days. It is always wonderful when you can find a woman who wants 8 children and can have them. That combination doesn't happen very often. But she said she was interested and a little disappointed  in the comments from some of her friends who she thought understood the gospel, who had been writing to her saying, "You're making an interesting lifestyle choice." She said, "I didn't ever know this was a lifestyle choice. I thought it was a gospel choice. I thought this was what the gospel taught us to do. I don't do this because my children tell me I'm cute. I don't do this because I get all the help I need. I don't do this because anyone affirms what I'm doing. I do this because the Lord has taught me that it's the right thing to do. And He will help me on the difficult back breaking days..."  

Also, another quote from Julie Beck's talk:

"We know that women are the guardians of the hearth and home. And they have the responsibility for the hearts and souls of men and women and the children or our Heavenly Father. They are given this powerful and influential leadership role....This is all about nurturing, teaching, and influencing. These are non negotiable responsibilities. We cannot delegate them. We can accept them and live them. But these are things we understood before we were born and can't negotiate with the Lord about whether or not these are our responsibilities. They've been part of the plan from the beginning. They are not going to change because of any clamor to the contrary..."

Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Nelson

Two days ago my niece Lindsay married Gard Nelson in the Salt Lake Temple.
Hailey, I'm sure, made the perfect flower girl.
We get to celebrate in Clovis next Saturday night! (June 11th)

Mother Teresa

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"
Mother Teresa

Sunday Crockpot Beef Stew

I found a stew recipe without the cream soups, or the tomato flavor. And it tastes better.

This little packet makes all the difference, thanks to my niece Julie.

I make this about once a month, and always on a Sunday,
because it's great to come home to dinner all ready.

Very simple.
I sort of follow the directions on back of the envelope which includes coating the stew meat in flour and browning on all sides.

Then I throw that in the crock pot along with the 3 c water and the 5 cups of vegetables, and the packet of seasonings.  
 Although I should admit here I use way less meat than the recipe calls for and more vegetables, but that's just me. Make it how you like. 
Now isn't this beautiful?
carrots, potatoes, onion, celery

 If I make it right before church, I will set it on high for 4 hours.
If I'm starting early in the morning and we're not eating till 4 or 5, I would set it on low. 

I regret I forgot to take a picture of it before we ate it. Sorry.
Like my niece Julie says, "McCormick does a good job of seasoning." not an exact quote, my memory is not that good.

It does have a wonderful flavor.
And when we get home, if we aren't too hungry, I take another 30 minutes and put this in the oven:

Just add water and bake and it's our favorite cornbread of all.

If not, toast with butter and honey tastes great with stew.

Almost live from Provo

Karen has the pregnancy glow!
So pretty.

McKenna and McKay dancing through the first year of marriage?
In just 2 days the McKs will have been married a WHOLE YEAR!

I'm pretty sure I've seen better pictures of Tyler,
but he's showing off the cards he had made up from the ultrasound picture!
The game really is called "Hand and Foot"...I think it's a Montana tradition.
Or better yet, here's a close up.
Such a devoted father, already.
Looks like a very serious game to me.
McKenna with Katie Kennington
I'm sure McKenna has the pregnancy glow too, but I can't see it in this picture because of the lighting.
So even though we can't see McKenna's baby bump in this post, it's wonderful to see everyone.
Well except cousin Jake, but I know he was there.

Do you think this is true? I hope not.

The inside look of our church in Joplin after the tornado

Everything in this church looks familiar to me...our churches are pretty universal.
But this one's a total shambles...and the story is incredible. 

All while getting ready for a Relief Society meeting!

Video Courtesy of

The letter we got back from Hampton Inn

 I took my brother Richard's advice and sent a copy of my blog post to Hampton Inn and this was their reply back:

Hello Mr.and Mrs. Shelley,

Please let me apologize for your recent stay. I understand that you were unhappy due to the HVAC unit having a sensor shut off. I understand that can be a nuisance when the unit shuts down. I am very sorry that my front desk staff was not able to walk you through the override so that the unit would stay on for you. We have had some staff changes and I was not aware that the night staff was not trained in the override. I have already gotten with my staff to go over the procedure so we don’t run into this issue again. I am so sorry I hadn’t realized the issue before.
I have taken the liberty to issue a 100% Hampton Guarantee on your behalf. So you should see a credit issued back on to your Credit Card.
I do hope that you give us another chance in the future
We Love Having You Here,

Jennifer Marshall
General Manager
Hampton Inn and Suites Bakersfield North-Airport

My letter in return:
Dear Jennifer,

Thank you very much for your very nice letter. However, we do NOT want our money back. We stayed in your very lovely hotel and we were pleased in many ways. My only question remaining is, why are you training your staff how to instruct your guests in over riding the sensor? Why are you not instead getting rid of the sensors all together OR inform your guests when they make their reservations....rather than have it come to a surprise to them as they are sweating during the night and wondering why the a/c is not coming back on?

I am putting your kind letter on my blog. I want them to see that your hotel truly does stand behind their guarantee.
Thank you again for your kindness and concern.

Jill Shelley

And her reply today:
Hello Jill,

I understand that you may not want the money back but it is my pleasure to issue your 100% Hampton Guarantee. Your satisfaction is our main priority. I would not feel right not invoking it. I sometimes wonder the same thing about the Sensors but unfortunately it is part of our Standards in becoming Eco Friendly. We are currently looking at some desk operations that can be done between the desk and housekeeping so our guests are not inconvenienced by the sensors. Every guest survey or comments helps me to submit for changes that should be addressed. Thank you again and I do hope that you will give us another chance in the future.

We Love Having You Here,

Jennifer Marshall
General Manager
Hampton Inn & Suites Bakersfield North-Airport

How can I not like Hampton Inn after this kind of feedback?  
We may just give them another try. I'll just have to ask them at the front desk when we are checking in to, override the sensor. 

On a completely different note, check this out....I didn't know any parent could be this messed up in their thinking. 
(thank you Rhonda for sharing it on your blog)

Green Smoothie Girl

Yep, this is why we went to Bakersfield last watch the Green Smoothie Girl in action. I had been following her blog for a few years and when I read she would be in California, only 2 hours away, I couldn't resist. 

Plus Kim and Kris attended her presentation in Utah a few months back and they loved it.

Robyn Openshaw aka The Green Smoothie Girl, claims that drinking a large glass of raw vegetables and fruit can have MASSIVE affects on your health. She drinks one quart a day and gives a pint to each of her 4 children. Since the years doing this, they have had no strep throat, no infections, needed no antibiotics.

Her story that lead her to this way of life is very interesting, and well worth reading.

What I like about her too, is she does not talk about changing all your eating habits. She just focuses on the Green Smoothie, claiming if that is all you do, you will be getting 12-15 servings of fruits and vegetable a day "going into every cell in your body."

I also learned that Mitt Romney is her cousin. Not that it matters, just interesting. Also that she was a professor at BYU for 7 years.

Den and I were the first ones there so we got the best seats. 
Many more came after this got down to standing room only.
I think he's watching the game on his iPhone....but at least he was there!

GSGirl trying to get this coach to chew all the greens that would go in a green smoothie. 
Showing it is HARD to eat it that way, 
PLUS one does not get all the nutrients by chewing...
making the greens into a liquid our bodies absorb MUCH better.
A few of the coach's student athletes came up to help her out.

Here's a little demo of HOW to make a Green Smoothie, if you are interested.
But don't forget to read her story!

Can I just add here that Dennis likes these now.
He has watched me drink a version of these for months,
but since the GSGirl lecture, he's on board with me, giving them a daily try. We'll see.

Here's the text between Dennis and Kim while we were waiting for the GSGirl to start:

We are getting ready for the Green Smoothie Girl's presentation in Bakersfield. Boy are we excited! 
Kim's text back: 
Seriously? You will love love love her presentation!!
I wonder if she'd remember meeting us I have her course - 12 steps to whole foods and love it
I think Jill is going to love that - how cool for both of you
In what city and what would she know you by?
Kris and I went to her presentation at the zermatt in Heber. We met her and she loved that we were twins so we took a picture together - we got talking about our businesses too which she was intrigued by
(I wanted to quote you wouldn't think this is just something old people are interested in.)  

Update on Miss Violet Nicole

Miss Violet is 3 months old now 
and too cute for words!

Thank you to Erin, for letting me borrow her pictures.
I've taken several lately, but Erin does a much better job.

My review of Hampton Inn ...and it's not all good...

Disclaimer: I know with all the problems in the world right now, and worries in my own life, this is not even on the list...Still, having said that, here this is...I'd really like to know if you have heard of this...maybe it's common place right now...maybe it's not.

10 years ago Dennis and I stayed in a Hampton Inn in West Covina. We thought it was okay until the next day when I asked for an extra hour of stay. Den was late getting back from working there (back in the days when he was still with LAPD) They said no, check out was noon, no exceptions. I even asked to let me pay for an extra hour. Still no. They said the best they could do was let me take my luggage and wait in the lobby for him.

We checked Hampton Inn off our list. 

Then last night we decided when the Marriott was full in Bakersfield, we would give Hampton Inn another try. After all, it had been 10 years. Surely they had gotten better. Or so we thought.

Walking in I was encouraged by this sign mounted into their granite counter:

 So we thought, okay, this time they are going to be more accommodating. They even said, "Check out time is noon, but if you need extra time we can let you stay till 2pm if you need to."  Wow.

Not only that, but they offered us bagels, muffins, juices, and soon as we arrived. I've never had a hotel do that before. We were impressed.

And our room was comfy and clean and nice.

So what was the problem? Well listen to this.

Last night as we were in bed  I decided to get up and check the make sure it was on a good setting for the night. We all do that in a hotel room, right? 

It really didn't make sense to had no cooling or heating tab, and when I pressed the up and down buttons odd unrelated numbers came up. So I called the office and here was our conversation:

"I can't figure out the thermostat. Could you please explain it to me?

"I can send a maintenance man up to your room to help you."

"We're already in bed and we don't want anyone coming in, so could you just tell me over the phone how to work it?"

"Well I don't know what kind you have."

"I'm sure it's the same one you have in every room, right?"

Well you can't really program those because they are run by a sensor."

"A sensor? So are you telling me we can't control the thermostat in our room?"

"It will continue working as long as there is movement in the room. But once you go to sleep, it stops."

"So we can't have any cooling or heating while we sleep? Only when we are up and about the room?"

"Yes that's how it works, yes. It will work for, uh....about 30 minutes after you go to bed and then it shuts down, unless someone gets up in the night...then it will last another 30 minutes."

"This is so odd."
(a pause and he doesn't say anything, so I ask:)
"Don't you think this is really odd?"

(Finally I hear him again)
"uh, yes it is, but I can't do anything about it. Only our maintenance man can override the sensor and he won't be in until 8am."

(Didn't he just say a few moments ago that he would send the maintenance man suddenly he says he is not coming in until 8am?)

So I thanked him for his help (it wasn't his fault and he was honest with me...well sort of)...and then we went on to have an interesting night.

When it became quite warm, one of us would get up for a moment, and sure enough the a/c would click on again for 30 minutes. Oh, and we also had a small continual sensor light flashing on the ceiling and one on the wall going on and off, all night long.

It was an adventure. Yes, then early this morning we were awakened by a barking dog in the room next to us. That's when we learned they accept pets. 

No, we didn't ask for our money back. It was a really nice room and otherwise we were happy. But a hotel controlling your thermostat? They should tell people that, and have it mounted into the granite, right beside the 100% Hampton Guarantee. 

So long Hampton Inn. Farewell. It was nice. Except for the sleeping part.

So here's my question for you:   
Would it have bothered you if your hotel controlled the temp in the room while you were sleeping?
 Or would you have felt more like Dennis, in that it was not that big of a deal? 
I really do wish I could be more like him, but I'm not.

More later on why we were in Bakersfield. Just in case you want to know. Or even if you don't.
Sorry this post was so long.

These boots are made for walkin

 It's tough being 2. 
Trying to make sense of the world, and trying to get her boots on.
Good thing Téa has spunkiness...she will need it later on in this crazy world.

UPdate: This was filmed several weeks ago. Téa can now put both her shoes and socks on all by herself.

BYU Women's Conference FYI

(and unrelated blog link at the end)

For those who love BYU Women's Conference as much as I do...
and if you get the BYU channel on cable,
here is the broadcast schedule this week. 

I've set my DVR so I can watch these talks in little increments of time. 
(Unfortunately, this morning's talks have already passed, but if you use the titles below, 
you can find them as they come up later on this channel.)

2011 BYU Women’s Conference delayed broadcast 
Following is the schedule:
(Utah Time) 

May 16, 2011 (8:00 to 11:00 a.m. MDT)
“By Small and Simple Things”
Virginia H. Pearce

“Ideals Are Stars to Steer By: They Are Not a Stick to Beat Ourselves With”
Barbara Thompson
President Cecil O. Samuelson

“The Best Measure of True Greatness Is How Christlike We Are”
Kathy K. Clayton
Elaine S. Dalton

Friday Morning (April 29) Opening Session
Julie B. Beck

May 17, 2011 (8:00 to 11:00 a.m. MDT)

“We Are Going to Do Something Extraordinary”
Elaine L. Jack, Bonnie D. Parkin,
Mary Ellen Smoot, Barbara Winder,
Sharon Eubank (moderator)

“The Legacy of Relief Society”
Susan W. Tanner 

John S. Tanner

“Visiting Teaching: Making a Difference by Small and Simple Means”
Bridgette Blackwelder Server
Mary Ellen Edmunds

May 18, 2011 (8:00 to 11:00 a.m. MDT)

Friday Afternoon (April 29) Closing Session
Elder David A. Bednar

“The Plan of Salvation: One of Heaven’s Best Gifts to Mankind”
Rosemary M. Wixom
Jean A. Stevens
Cheryl A. Esplin

“I Did Frankly Forgive Them”
Lolly S. Osguthorpe
Russell T. Osguthorpe

***Onto another subject, check out this great blog post on "Raising children who love each other."


Are we prepared?

This video is not short, but I think it's excellent. 
I believe it's worth the 10 minutes to watch it.

We are all hearing about upcoming food shortages, 
and how we need to be better prepared. 
Here is what one stake (in Irvine, Ca) is doing about it. 

It was sort of a creepy day.

 I know it's Saturday and not many are reading blogs, but I want to remember this.

Yesterday Dennis and I thought we were on our way to the Walmart in Sanger. It's bigger and cleaner than the one closer to us. But on the way out there (about a 30 minutes from our house) we drove by the hospital I gave birth to Logan in 1979. I've always felt nostalgic about that place. It's very small, and unlike the hospitals around here that I seem to visit often throughout the years, the only memory I have of Sanger hospital is giving birth in it 32 years ago.

I knew it had closed down in 2004, but yesterday as we were driving by I told Dennis I thought I saw the front door open. He wearily said, "I guess this means you want to stop." (We go through a similar conversation whenever we are in Sanger.) As we were getting out of the car I heard him say to himself, "the things you get me into." Poor guy.

So we walk up to the large open door and could not see a soul around. 
Just wide open, vacant and empty hallways.

"Hey this is my chance. I've been wanting to walk through this place since Logan was born. Can we go in?"
I expected Dennis to say, No, it's not safe, let's just leave.
But surprisingly he said, "Sure go for it." 

So here we are in this very old and emptied out building full of desolate hallways.
Quite the 'has been' feeling to it.
Like the kind of dreams I know, going back to the past, but no one is there.

Less than a minute later here comes this worker-looking-man asking what we were needing.
Dennis points towards me and says,  
"Her son was born here 32 years ago, and she just wants to look around."
So this worker actually says, 
"I was born here too! you want to see the delivery room?"
Need he ask?  YES!

But then the worker stops and says, "Did you hear this place is haunted?"
I backed up a few feet and then I thought...wait a minute,
so what if it's haunted. I still want to see it, so we continued on.
I have many fears, but not of ghosts.

The worker explained how this story was on the news just last week,
about how some say Sanger hospital is  "very haunted" so he thought we were there to check that out.

So this may not look like much to you, but this is the very room Logan was born in:

And not only that, but I got to see the room I stayed in. 
I remembered exactly which hallway it was. 
Then I had to choose between 4 rooms. 
Since this was the only room of the 4 that had the bathroom in the corner, 
I knew this was it. I very clearly remember that bathroom and where it was!

And I do remember the nursery...That's the little window parents and grandparents would peer into.

However, Logan was never in the nursery. 
I was a rebel back then. 
In 1979 most babies went to the nursery after birth, but not mine.
He stayed right by me.

He was put into an isolette because he kept turning a purple color. 
The nurses told me he wasn't able to keep his body temp up. 
Well guess what? 
The next morning I realized it was because the window in the bathroom was left OPEN and we had a continual breeze. 
As soon as I shut that window, Logan was fine and we got rid of the isolette.
Plus I did this.
So when we got home yesterday, we googled about the news story,
and sure enough we found it here. Take a look at the video.
Hard to believe there really are people who would stay up all night waiting for ghosts to appear. 

I could have told them they would never find bad spirits in a place I gave birth in.

What goes around comes around

While I was making dinner a few days ago, 
my 8 year old granddaughter must have picked up the Reader's Digest.
because she just started reading to me from it.
She even got the grown up humor.

Such as this one:

For some reason this was her favorite:
She laughed and laughed.

We've had many good memories through the years on this same kitchen counter.
Elora with cousin Macie over 4 years ago.

And so the generations continue that started with my sons on these counters 20 years ago.
Logan, Brock, Tyler, and McKay

The Dancing Family

Logan and Amy and their children have a song for you!

Actually it was for McKenna's birthday. McKay put together quite a video of personal messages from the family to her. I thought it best I take out all the personal messages...actually Dennis thought it would be what we have left is 1 and 1/2 minutes of entertainment!

Take a look and tell me what you think, okay?

My new way of organizing a talk

The past week I had been consumed with writing my talk for Mother's Day yesterday. Of all the weeks I could have been asked to speak at church, Mother's Day was not high on my list. It scared me. So many women have a hard time with that day, for various reasons, and I was just so worried I would add to their pain.

So it was a struggle putting it all together last week.

As I usually do while preparing talks, I go to the computer and just type things out as they come to me throughout the week. I do lots of reading, talking to others and trying to retrieve memories from my past on the subject.

Then after it's all compiled I have to decide how to put it all together. I was having such a hard time because I would put a paragraph from page 2 to page 8...then I would think, okay now page 2 doesn't make sense. Then I would notice that page 4 doesn't flow into page 5. Then I would realize nothing was flowing together!

So I did something differently this time that really worked for me and I hope to remember. I printed the talk out...all 8 pages.  I cut out each individual story or then I had about 20 little pieces of paper. Then I sat on the floor and moved them all around til I got it right. Much like putting a puzzle together. This way went MUCH quicker than if I had done it all on the computer BECAUSE I could see everything at once....unlike the computer where I was continually scrolling up and down and back and forth.

After I got all the little parts in the order I wanted them in, I taped them together. Then I brought this big string of taped pieces together to the computer. Then I just did 'cut and paste' in the same order. Printed it all out and it was done!

This just shows how I quickly taped the pieces together in the order I wanted them. 
 I also was able to put to the side, material I decided I didn't want to use after all. 

My brain just works better when I can see what I'm doing.

It may sound like more work the way I'm explaining, but it really was much less work.
Not sure if anyone understands what I'm trying to explain?

PS  I really do try NOT to read it, but I like to have it all printed out so I don't have to worry about memory glitches...which I can count on lately.

My talk ended with:
"Home is just a place to practice heaven."

Look what she got for Mother's Day!

Where Brock found time to draw this without Erin knowing, 
I have no clue.
But isn't it great?!
I love it!
Elora, Cami, Erin, Violet and Brock
And I love them.

All that I am or hope to be, I owe to these 2 women.

Lella LeMaster Slinkard and Gaynor Lea Slinkard Rozier
My Grandma and My Mom in September of 1948.
My mom only 19, and my Grandma was 51, younger than I am now.

My Grandma was determined to give her children a better childhood than she had.
Instead of following her parents' example, 
Grandma remembered all the bad experiences in her life, 
and vowed to do better.
Grandma studied other families and read books, on how she would do things differently.
And because of her, and the sweet, gentle, and kind mother she raised for us
generations and generations to come, will be blessed.

One woman can change generations, and she did.

What about my other grandmother, you ask?
I never got to meet her in this life.
Here she is with my Grandpa Romeo.

Romeo and Leonie Rozier
She died at the age of 42, when my Dad was only 6 years old. 
I've wondered what she was like. Often.
She must have been special, if she is anything like my Dad.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

...and that choice has changed me forever

Thank you Krista Gage for sharing this.
I had to pass it on!

An ENGAGEMENT and Baked French Toast

In case you haven't heard...while making baked French Toast on Easter, my niece's dearly loved boyfriend, proposed. They are getting married this October 29th in Shell Beach!!

Do they look happy or what?
Brian, Natalie, and Brian's Dad

They are actually using Brian's grandparent's wedding rings from 1940 (from his father's side). 
As Natalie explained, the rings will have more meaning this way. 
I think it will help link the generations together. 
Sort of a "love that has been before" feeling. 
I did the same with my grandmother's rings.

I think we ought to all try the Baked French Toast Recipe.

Natalie said she used 2 week old cinnamon raisin bread that she couldn't bear to throw away, 
and she said it was incredible.
Something tells me their marriage will be too.

I also think Natalie & Brian look you see it?
My Mom use to say that's a good sign. 
She would be happy for them.

btw, Nat, what's his last name?

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?&...