Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Sad time for so many

I have known John Barrus for 22 years.
I believe he was a major influence for good in my sons' lives, especially as teenagers.
He and Anna Leesa have been present at all their weddings and receptions.

I remember many of the talks he gave at stake conference, or earlier when he was our Bishop.
I can hear him saying, "The only real safety in this world is in keeping the commandments." 

One particular talk he gave, several years ago, he spoke about how this woman
woke up one morning and probably thought it would be just like any other day...
But she had a heart attack and died that afternoon.
He urged us all to take a look at our lives and ask ourselves if we are ready to meet our Savior.

His life is about giving and serving.
Whenever I would ask him to help with something through the years,
his answer was always the same, "I'd be happy to."

John and his grandson Jacob, at McKay and McKenna's reception 2 years ago.

Below is a very short clip of John around 1993-94 in our backyard.
(Please note: The music was chosen by my sons back in that day...
not sure it feels appropriate for today but I don't know how to remove it.) 
 John is the one with the green shorts and white T-shirt.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Barrus family.

Monday, September 24, 2012

My 40th high school reunion

 Hoover High School 1972

Who takes their daughter in law with them to their 40th high school reunion? Apparently only me.

As soon as we walked in she spotted a man she knew!
 He was the 5th grade teacher of both Laurynn and Chandler.
I went to school with his wife who was part of the reunion committee.

I was so hesitant about going. 
For some reason, since I had not seen hardly any of these people since graduation, 
I was worried that I may be the only one who had aged. 
I pictured them all as they were at 17-18.

I didn't take many pictures of my classmates. 
I think I was too busy talking to them. But I did take a few of some of our teachers. 
Can you believe we had about 10 of our teachers at our reunion??
The one in the middle I thought for sure was my math teacher. But he corrected me, "No, I taught Espanol!"

I found another teacher, Mr. Hammel....I asked if he taught math. He said, "No...government!"
I didn't remember him either.

So I went back to the tables and asked some of my classmates
if they remembered any of these teachers. They all basically said, "No." 
How can this be?? 
Then I thought back to what a self centered time high school is. 
It was all about ourselves and our friends. Teachers were just sort of in our background. 
But in reality we owe them so much. But we didn't know it at the time!

Then I went and sat by this woman.

She looked so familiar that I was sure I would get this one right. 
"I remember you! You worked in the office!" 
"No," she corrected me, "I was a PE teacher." 
Oh yes, Mrs Crosby!
(below back in 1972)

After lunch Amy and I took a tour of the campus. 
She also attended school here and kept saying nothing had changed. 
I thought it looked exactly the same too....only smaller!

So I took a walk down memory lane.

This is where I would walk into school each morning from the parking lot with my friends.
We would hear guys whistling at us who were all lined up between these posts.
Or maybe just at my friends. I'll never know.

We would usually eat lunch out here. Mostly M and Ms or a candy bar. 
I really wanted to go inside and eat a real lunch but back then it was not the cool thing to do. 
No wonder I didn't feel good most days back then.
And to this day, I have an aversion to candy. My poor sons didn't get much of it growing up.
And they are a lot healthier than I ever was, I might add.

These are the halls we would walk through as we changed classes every hour. 
I use to see how many people I could say hi to...6 times a day!
Also, see that first door on the left down that hallway? 
That was my math class and one day my friend Giselle returned my coat to me....
the one she loved and wanted to borrow for a few hours. 
Problem is she came in during class to return it to me, and we both got in trouble!

Unfortunately I spent many mornings here reporting my absent from the day before.
I don't know how they keep track of it now, but I use to bring a note from my Mom.

See that door by where all those people are sitting? 
One day during square dancing, my partner and I danced right out that door and didn't return. 
We both had to pick up trash the next day.

There you have it. Now you know all my secrets.

Some places, like this school, and family camp, never change.
Just the people do. 
Who would have thought I would be back on this campus all these 40 years later with my granddaughter!

Oh, here's something that changed... the price of things...
Even Amy was surprised about the price of year books now.

I'm so thankful to Renee, Karen, and Becky for all the work they did to make this reunion so much FUN.
(and Teree and Trish who I didn't get a picture of!)
Poor Renee wore herself out.

I have another post about my reunion that I will do soon.....
I want to show a twist of time and how it affected one of my classmates. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Elora's cure for girl drama

As Elora was getting into my car after school yesterday, she was excited to say,  

"Grandma Honey, guess who's back!" 

"Remember Victoria? She's back from Texas!"

As Cami is WAY EXCITED to see her oldest sister...

I'm thinking....Victoria...Victoria....which one of Elora's many friends is she??
Oh yes, a few years back....wasn't she the one Elora concluded was born at Victoria Secret??

"So tell me more Elora..."

"Well in the short time Victoria has been back 
there has been SO much DRAMA at our school!
But I figured out a way to solve it!"

"Oh, do tell me."

"Well it's like this....
I tell one girl to meet me at the bathroom door.
Then I tell another girl to also meet me at the bathroom door.
But I have the 2nd girl coming from a different direction."

"So how does that help?" I ask.

"Then they are forced to talk to each other, 
and they work things out!"
She continues:
"But after it's all over 
I tell the girls not to tell my plan to anyone else.
Or then it won't work with the next 2 girls who are fighting." 

"I see."
(what else can I say but that?)

 And while her sisters were just happy to be out of the car....
Next to girl drama, homework is a piece of cake!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Joy School Field Trip!

I was so excited when I got invited to go along on the Joy School trip to the grocery store bakery!
Of course 2 of the 6 children are my grandchildren.

I was especially impressed the way Amy explained what Joy School is about, 
but it's a bit hard to hear her with the sounds of the ovens. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

First time I ever heard Dennis say that.

It all happened like this....

We were at Sweet Tomatoes tonight just eating our dinner and minding our own business
when Fred came and sat by us.

He simply said, "I'm just going to sit right here. 
You don't have to talk to me, but I just want to feel your presence."

Turns out Fred was having a bad day. So we talked awhile about his life. 
He kept forgetting our names so Dennis wrote them on a napkin, 
and then we needed to be on our way.

We got in our car, pulled out of our spot and then suddenly a car was backing out slowly into us. 
Den kept honking the horn over and over to no avail. 
We couldn't believe the driver just would not stop, and ran into us. 
As this happened I actually heard Den say, "d***." 
I never thought I'd see the day.
No one is perfect, but he comes very close.

But here's the really good part. The older man who ran into us got right out of his car,
came up to us and said,  
"I was daydreaming and not paying attention 
to what I was doing. It's my fault. I'm so sorry." 

I so LOVE honest people. 

Dennis immediately said, "It's okay. These things happen."  
Of course he said that.
His car got it worse than ours.

You can barely tell where he hit us. Or maybe you can't tell at all.
He broke the metal strip and scraped some paint. 

Then we went to Costco and both of us started worrying about that man who hit our car. 
What is going on in his life that he was daydreaming so much 
that he didn't even pay attention to what he was doing?
 It could have been anything.
We will never know. 
But we are both so disappointed that we did not think to ask at the time!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happier at Home

I just finished Gretchen Rubin's new book....

Loved it! 
I would say her previous book, The Happiness Project, 
was one of my all time favorite reads ever. This was a close 2nd.

Why did I love it so much? It's all about being happy. About making the most of this life we have. 
As she says, "We're not playing tea party; this is real....
I didn't want to come to the end of my life and wish I'd paid more attention along the way."

Some interesting thoughts she like this one:

She writes about holiday breakfasts.
That section actually made me sad. I kept reading it and thinking,
'Even I could have totally pulled this one off if I had only thought of it!' But I didn't.

About holiday breakfasts she wrote:
" breakfasts blur and disappear, but little celebrations make some days stand out.
Also, major holidays are a lot of work. For someone like me, it was gratifying to celebrate minor holidays in a very manageable way. I can choose the bigger life, by thinking smaller."

Gretchen explained further:
"...I don't like to shop, and I don't like buying short-lived flowers and plants, and I'm not good at making elaborate arrangements, but even I could handle placemats and a table decoration, and I always love to use food coloring....all green breakfast for St Patrick's Day, or red, white, and blue for 4th of July. I could invent a holiday!"

This book just came out 2 weeks ago, and it's already #2 on the NY Bestseller's List!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I think her mother is whispering to her from heaven.

Hailey started school this week. 
Mill Valley seems to be on their own schedule.

So my brother Richard (Hailey's grandpa) 
sent her 'first day of school list' to me.

Many adults don't understand life 
as well as she apparently does.  
And she's only in 3rd grade! 

And she is as beautiful as ever.
 We miss her!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lunch at Dad and Susan's new home

I won't show you their actually apartment yet, since they are still in the process of unpacking....

But here is our little lunch together yesterday afternoon.

Dad arrived from their apartment down the hall in his motorized chair.

The tables are always ready.

Look what was on the menu for today.

Start out with our choice of salad: green, jello, cottage cheese, fruit, or today's special of lentil salad.

I chose the lentil salad and it was so so good that I'm trying to recreate it at home. 
It had celery, onions, raisins, red peppers, a few assorted beans and it tasted like a vinaigrette dressing.

I don't usually eat steak and potatoes, but this was delicious!

There are many activities offered here at Yosemite Gardens.
One such is called, "Romeos"
 It stands for: "Retired Old Men Eat Out Sometimes"
I guess once a month the men who want to, get on a bus and go out to dinner together.

And who should we run into as we were leaving?
Our friend Jill Thompson!
Her mother lives here, and she was picking her up for a Dr appt.
Jill said she lived with her Mom at this place for 2 months after her Mom broke her ankle,
and  "It was like living on a dang cruise ship!"
Jill said she would love to see my SIL Wendy Rozier and Joan Rivers do a comedy routine together.
I told her even better than that would be HER and Wendy. They don't need Joan Rivers.

One of the residents (sorry about his head) we saw was out walking his dog Peatree. 
As soon as Dad and Susan get a little more settled,
Brock and Erin will bring back their little Blacky to live with them. 
They have been making sure Blacky has been fed and loved and cared for
all these many weeks 
Dad has been in the hospital!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Is your birth date popular?

I found this in the current Reader's Digest. 
Fascinates me. 

Notice how Moms take off birthing on July 4-5th? 
I think that's because many births are scheduled now. But what about back in the day? 
I don't think the holidays would have made much difference. 
Babies use to just come when they wanted to. 

Also, I never knew July-Sept are such popular months to be born in. I wonder why that is?
Sept 16th the most common birthday ever?
Interesting, because I have 2 siblings born that week...the 12th (today) and the 18th.
So apparently my parents were right on schedule with the rest of the world.

January and April aren't all that popular. Why?
And look how everyone takes Christmas week off.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The boy who asked questions

Tyler's 5th grade teacher didn't like him. She said he asked too many questions.
For the first time ever, Tyler did not like school.
Then he came home one day and announced he was put into the lowest reading group.
That would have been fine had he not been at the top of his class up until then.
Something was wrong. I didn't let Tyler know this at the time, but I went in and talked to Mrs. S.

This was 16 years ago but I remember when I asked Mrs. S why Tyler
was in the lowest reading group she said, "That is how he tested! I can only go by how he tested."
I asked if she would mind testing him again because I told her he was an excellent reader.
He read all the time, he loved to read.

She said something about how she can only test him once or twice a year and that was it.

It also didn't matter to her when I said Tyler had always loved school in the past
and something was wrong this year. I wanted to understand so I could help him.
I tried to choose my words carefully as to not put Mrs S on the defensive.

All she could come up with was Tyler tested low in his reading, and he asked too many questions.

When I told Tyler's Dad about this that evening, it did not set well with him at all.
He insisted we make an appointment with the principal. So I did.

It turned out to be the one and only time we had ever asked to meet with a principal.

The next day, both Bill and I, along with Mrs. S gathered around the principal's desk.
Mrs. S stood her ground that Tyler could not be tested again in his reading,
and that he asked too many questions. 
 The principal was basically the mediator and supported her teacher....
even with the ridiculous things she was saying.

I learned on that day that a principal, for a variety of reasons,
is going to side with her teachers. As much as I loved our principal.

So nothing was accomplished.

Two weeks later Tyler's Dad was killed.
Both Mrs. S and the principal, along with all of my boys' teachers and principals,
attended his funeral.

Tyler returned to school about a week later.
Life was a lot harder now trying to adjust to life without his Dad,
plus all the other issues that go along with grief.
The principal helped me arrange a private home teacher for Tyler for the remaining months of that year.
(He was back at school for 6th grade, and did well again.)

I later found out Mrs. S was going through a divorce at the time.
I then had more understanding towards her, and why she may not have been her best that year.
Then she later married the janitor, as did two of Tyler's previous teachers.
Not the same janitor I must add. At least I don't think so.

So yesterday when I read Tyler's blog post,
the year he was in Mrs. S's class came rushing back to my mind.

Here's a very condensed part of Tyler's blog post:

 "As a family, we attended the annual Math/Stat Fall Picnic in a local park this evening... 
I am considered staff because I am an instructor for a stats recitation course.

Karen got to meet Matt, my differential equations instructor from this summer, 
and we got to meet his wife and kids.

MATT to KAREN: Tyler is one of the best students I’ve ever had. 
No, he actually is the best. I have never been asked so many questions by one student before. 
He knows me better than I know myself.

Of course, how do you respond to something like that? 
I was embarrassed for a moment.

MATT: I mean, you know what his grade was. What was his grade?

KAREN: (slight hesitation) It was a 4.0!

MATT: Exactly!"

The moral of this story: 
Don't let one teacher label your child. 
And don't let your child allow a teacher to label him/her. 

And what one person may consider an annoying quality in a child, 
may turn out to be the quality that serves him well later in life.

Just had to say.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Why Dennis went to Utah last week...

To see our grandson Robbie get baptized!

Matt, Emily, Robbie
Aren't they beautiful? 
(I think Matt looks like his Grandpa when he was that age.)

 Robbie and cousin Rachel

Oh these 2 handsome men!
Grandpa and Robbie

Robbie and Ryan

Sure glad we got to spend some time with Robbie last summer.

In case you missed it, we had the best time! 
I think this was about hour 10 of our party...