Saturday, November 30, 2013

A message from my Mom

Please read this disclaimer first: Below is an excerpt from my Mom's journal 36 years ago on her birthday. She mentions something that my Dad did and I promise you it is the worst thing he has ever done in his life. I'm very serious. I've known him all of my life and this is as bad as it gets with him. My mother would whole heartedly agree. She spoke very highly of him. Okay, as long as you know this, you can read on.

And while my Dad goes by the name of Richard now, back then he was Dick.

December 8, 1977:
Mom's birthday, and she wrote in her journal:

"…Dick gave me $50. --my favorite present-- It is nice having a little "mad money" of my own. He also said 2 things I had hoped he would overlook in honor of the occasion but nobody's perfect. When we got up he said, "Whose turn was it to do the dishes?" (It was Chris' but he had gone to a basketball game.)  

And, when Dick came in about 4:30 , I was talking to Robin on the phone from Provo and he said, "Couldn't you have waited til after 5pm?? (note: this was back in the day when it was cheaper to make calls after 5pm)

I only mention this so someday when I have real trials, I can look back and see how foolish I was to get upset over something so unimportant. He is right of course but did he have to bring it up on my birthday!!!

Life is good. We are all well, warm and comfortable. We love our home and one another---most of the time. I am so thankful for the Gospel that teaches us to value and appreciate the really important things in life.

I wonder if on the Savior's birthday I can help from saying or doing anything that will disappoint Him? I will try! "

Since she kept her journals of her posterity, I think this is her message to us, her children, and whoever else wants to take on this challenge. The Christmas season has just begun.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Ashley's baby shower

It took five pregnancies to bring this baby to earth…..
and here she is….

Presenting:  Sarah Jane Nef
1 month old and 6 1/2 lbs now! (She was 4'10' at birth)

My niece Ashley with sweet little Sarah. 
I got to hold her, too, which was like holding a part of heaven.

Is there anything more precious than a newborn?
No, there is not. That is the answer.

As I saw Ashley with two of her sisters, Brooke and McKenzie, surrounding little Sarah 
I thought how blessed this child is. She will not lack for anything in this world.
She also has an Aunt Lauren across the US who couldn't make it….
but I know she is so anxious to see her baby niece.

And many Aunts on the Nef side too!
Aunts Melanie, Ellen, Tammy, and Jamie. And Great Grandma Finlayson

And not to forget Sarah's Grandmas…
Grandma Susan and Grandma Robin….not sure what Sarah will call them exactly,
but that's good enough for now. Sarah is Robin's (my sister) first, and Susan's eighth!

And TWO Great Grandmas

So much love and support this baby will have
Back: Great Grandma Susan Rozier, Grandma Robin, Ashley, Grandma Susan
Front: Great Grandma Finlayson and Great Grandma Nellie

Little Sarah received many gifts, but I must say this one was my favorite:
Is that not perfect!
And sorry about my flawed picture. It does not have spots on it….it's very beautiful in person.

One of the games….
We had to guess what item inside that started with the letter on the outside of each bag.

I didn't get one right. Not one. Maybe because I was talking as usual.

We were also suppose to leave some advice written on diapers.

And the food! Why do I always forget the food until it is half eaten.

I took pictures of everyone present but many did not turn out…I'm blaming myself. 
And others did not want their pictures on here.
So with that,  I will show you at least some of the guests.

Sami (married to my nephew Colt) and Brooke, Sarah's aunt.

My DIL Erin, and Katie who is married to my nephew Jake.

I think Miss Sarah was enjoying her party.

Sami with my sister Heidi

Okay, so this below has nothing to do with Sarah, but Robin gave it to me during the shower 
and I'm SO excited to have it! She picked it up at a garage sale I think she said. 
I LOVED the King Family growing up. I use to have this album plus all their others! 
I can still name every single person in those photos on the cover. 
This was back in the 1960s. Now I think we have a bigger family than even they did back then!

Back to the baby shower……
The glow of happiness!
It's so very obvious.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

32 seconds of singing

If I knew Elora and Violet were going to break out in song,
I would have moved them to a better background.
Life happens. And I caught it anyway.

Have a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bathroom cabinets before and after...

It all started with a blog post I read by 
She showed her bathroom cabinets and how she changed from the way they looked on the left, 
to the way they are now on the right.
(This is her picture not mine.)

She has complete instructions for the staining process including exactly what stain to buy, 
and other necessary supplies for it. 
She even tells you how long to sand each door or drawer (1 minute) 
and how many coats to put on, and how many days apart.

I thought, oh, maybe Dennis will do this for our bathroom cabinets?

 I asked him and he didn't seem that interested. So I just let it go.

Then about a day later I brought it up again….
"Are you sure you wouldn't want to stain our cabinets?"
He said he has never had good luck with staining projects. So I let it go again.

Then about a half day later I caught him doing nothing. 
A rarity, but he was just standing there looking bored. 
I thought, is this an opportunity or what? (My mom taught me that timing is everything.) 
So I quickly went to my laptop and brought up that post from Onegoodthing.

I brought it over to Den and said, "Would you just like to read this?"

He did, and guess what he said:  "Hmmm, maybe I can do this. Let me think about it."

A few hours later he had the project all planned out.

Our cabinets hadn't had anything done to them since we moved in 23 years ago…as you can see.
For some reason the lighting is different in the before and after, but it's the same bathroom.

 And look what he accomplished:

I hope my sister in law Wendy sees this because she is the one who said I should go very dark. 
Then when I saw that blog post, I thought YES, this is it. We he can do this! And he did!

If you would like to do something similar, go check her blog post about it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

17 years ago

The anniversary comes around every year. I usually call my sons or they call me. But this year, no, I haven't even mentioned it to them. I was even with Brock and Logan today for lunch, along with their families, and it wasn't even brought up. Why is that? Have we healed? I know they haven't forgotten.

But still, it's in the air. Especially this year because their Dad was killed Nov. 23rd, 5 days before Thanksgiving in 1996. Yesterday was a Saturday, and it was also Nov 23. It all came back in flashbacks all day long. Not in a bad way anymore. Rather, it was what it was, and in a moving on sort of way.

17 years. A lot has happened to us in all that time. Many, many blessings. If I could have only seen our futures during those very dark days of our lives….

I've been watching Time out for Women this weekend in Utah via my computer. I got to hear Sheri Dew talking about Emilie Parker… of the little kindergarteners killed in that horrible Sandy Hook shooting last December. Sheri Dew's quote sums up what I have come to know also:

"Even in the face of unspeakable tragedy, Gods love HEALS. Heals hearts, Heals pain, heals worry. God's love is stronger than anything else." 

I know this, without a doubt.

And I so wish I could show little Emilie Parker's video today, the one that was made for Time Out For Women this past weekend, but I guess it has not been released yet. It basically shows what has happened to her family the past year since her death. I will keep looking for it…

This is Emilie's Mom's response when asked why God let this happen to her little girl:
"God allows each of us to make our own choices, good and bad. Because that is the only way that good can be in us, if we freely choose it over all else."

Friday, November 22, 2013

JFK was not the only one who died 50 years ago today

Did you know that on the very same day President Kennedy died, CS Lewis also passed away? 
I didn't either, not until my brother sent me an email about it.
But what surprises me more, is I cannot find anything about CS Lewis' death in the newspapers back then. 
Nothing at all in our local paper of both Nov 22 and 23 of 1963. Was he not famous until after his death?

Of course back in the 4th grade in 1963, I doubt I had even heard of CS Lewis.

You can go here to read. 100 of his most famous quotes. 
The quotes are all done up Pinterest style so they are fun to see.

What I love most about C S Lewis is he made so much sense!

For example one of my favorites:

“What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like doing, ‘What does it matter so long as they are contented?’ We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven — a senile benevolence who, as they say, ‘liked to see young people enjoying themselves,’ and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, ‘a good time was had by all.’”
— "The Problem of Pain"

Very wise man because look, he even said this:.

Back to JFK.I remember seeing many teachers crying at school the day he died but I couldn't figure out what was going on. Then Mr. Dow, our scary principal (principals were always scary back then) came into our 4th grade class and told us. That's it. I was worried about all those sad teachers. I remember thinking…."Why are they so upset? It's not like they all are related to him." Obviously I didn't get it.

Is anyone old enough here besides me to remember the day President Kennedy died? I'd be curious to find out how you found out…who told you? What was your reaction?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Last night in the clothing department...

Den and I were at JC Penneys last night and he was carrying my purse for me, as he often does. I said I just needed to try on the 2 blouses I had draped over my arm and I'd be right back. I started to walk away, then turned back and said, "Don't go very far because you have my purse and my phone, I have nothing." He assured me he would be right close by.

So I quickly try on the first blouse. I hurried out of the dressing room to get Den's opinion on how it fit. He said in his very careful way, "Isn't it a little uncomfortable?"  He just can't say it's too small for me but I know that's what he meant.

Back in the dressing room I looked at myself in the mirror and to me it looked like it fit just right. So I go back out to find Den, still wearing the same blouse he just saw me in, and said, "How about this one? Does this one fit better?" He looks me over and says, "Yes, that one's better." He nods his head in approval. Aren't men the funniest creatures?

But that's all beside the point. My favorite part is coming soon. In the dressing room I got mostly dressed (minus my extra sweater and scarf) came quickly back out to Dennis, handed him blouse #1 and said, "Would you please pay for this while I finish getting dressed?" He gets a happy look on his face (like he's thinking….good we're almost out of here!) and says he will take care of it.

I go back into the dressing room, put the rest of my outer clothing on, then go out to find Dennis at the check out counter. As I am coming up behind him…here he is, this tall man of mine standing at the counter with my purse beside him paying for my blouse. I mean, it's one thing to hold my purse when I'm walking beside him, but it's another to see it on the counter, with his hand draped over it clutched next to his body, just as if he owned it!

It made me laugh. I wish I had a picture.

But I felt embarrassed for him and quickly told the check out lady, "I'll have you know this is my purse and not his!" Dennis didn't even flinch. That's my man. He cares much more about what I think of him, than anyone else.

But you want to see something really sweet? It's a true little story of marriage, originally on NPR, that I saw several days ago but I'm still thinking about it. It was recorded the week before the husband died.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Austin's Obstacle

First of all, before I go on,
let me just say that Austin LOVES LOVES LOVES his mission in New York.

His words are so passionate in his emails each week that they practically fly off the computer. Seriously.

He loves teaching and serving and he is doing LOTS of that.

He is very happy, but at the same time he is struggling with a challenge that we hope to get resolved soon.
He is so very tired. 

He needs to sleep a lot. He has to. But he doesn't want to feel this way.
These pictures aren't posed. He really does fall asleep like that.

He is having some medical tests done, including an overnight sleep study in a few weeks.
Before his mission he began feeling sleepy but Amy and him wrote it off as being 
so busy with school, practices, graduation, etc etc.
But since coming on his mission it has only escalated and become much worse.

Meanwhile, would you please pray for him?

As soon as they get this figured out, I will let you know.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What does this generation say now??

With all the sawing of wood here, there is dust flying everywhere.

I can handle pollen just fine, but I don't do well with dust. So last night I told Den,
"I need to get out of here for a bit." so we decided to go to Red Robin for dinner.
But look what we saw as soon as we opened their doors:

And it smelled just like our house, too.
The lights were blaring in our eyes….but we were told, "Don't worry, after the remodel our lights will go back to normal."
Even with my sunglasses on that place gave me a temporary headache.

But we're having a great week. As I am going through the kitchen drawers and cupboards,
I'm finding little surprises.
Like this list I made how many years ago of things my Mom use to say:

Don't rush off.

You don't eat enough to keep a bird alive.

If you can't beat em, join em.

This, that, and the other thing.

All good things must come to an end.

A little bit of information can be a dangerous thing.

There are many ways to skin a cat.

That piddlin' amount?

Oopsie daisy!

Like it or lump it

It worked like a charm!

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

It takes two to tango.

The proof is in the pudding.

Hold your horses!

I'm not doing this for my health!

Into every life some rain must fall.

When the cat's away the mice will play.

Dennis said he was raised with these sayings, too!
It must be the era our Moms came from. I rarely hear them anymore.

I'm trying to think….do we even have little sayings from this generation now?? I can't think of one.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Goodbye tile...

A good friend of mine told me it was time.

I knew she was right. And she knew I needed a push.

I'm a tile girl, and I've always loved ours. 
However, the past 2 years we've had too much trouble with it.

But how can I just let someone rip it all up….I raised my boys on these kitchen counter!

I've cooked and baked with my grandchildren on it.

But whether I keep the tile or not, they aren't coming home. 
They will never be like this again. Tile or not.
So it's gotta go.

I had this one friend years ago….whenever they would sell one of their cars, 
she would sit in it, close the doors and just talk to it. At least I don't do that.

Looking around on blogs for ideas on what we wanted to do with our kitchen, I found this sweet story in one of the comments:

This reminds me of the time my friend's husband decided to remodel the kitchen while she was in the hospital. They already had everything "picked", but just hadn't gotten the time to execute their plan. So as she spends 6 days in the hospital recovering from a double mastectomy, he gathers 10 of his closest handy friends to remodel. Sounds like a lovely plan right? It was. Except when she got home, the green/purple vineyard accent tiles she chose (yuck, but I won't go there) were ALL INSTALLED UPSIDE DOWN. The grapes were "hanging" up. LOL!
But what do you do when your husband and his friends go out of their way to make such a lovely gesture? She kept the tiles up. :-)
My sweet friend has since passed on from her third battle with breast cancer, but her family has left the tiles as is for now. It's a reminder of the grace she gave to her husband with his sweet heart. (But I think as soon as they ever decide to sell the house, another remodel will probably solve it as a resale issue. Ha!)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ronald Reagan and Veterans

"We owe them a debt we can never repay."

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Jenny update

 Chris and Mom about 1972

My youngest brother passed away over 5 years ago. It was a shock to all of us.

Chris' former wife, Jenny, was kind enough to send me some pictures yesterday of her 2 little girls.
Aren't they beautiful! Jenny is as pretty as ever, too.

Kaylin, 15  months
Jasmine, 3 years
both born in August, 2 years apart

Of course I couldn't help but think of what could have been.
But I am so happy to hear that Jenny and her little family are doing well!
They now live in New York, and Jenny is a full time stay at home Mom!
I remember so clearly watching my Mom pace the floor in labor that Monday night in 1967,
before she went to the hospital for Chris' birth... 
He was born on my Dad's 37th birthday!

And at the time I thought my parents were SO old.