Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Saving Mr. Banks and my questions

After the movie was over and we were walking out of the theater, I heard a lady say to her friend,
"There were so many hidden messages in that movie." And can I say some were so hidden I had a
hard time figuring them out...

For example, the mother of the 3 little girls. What was she all about? Maybe I missed it since I was busy
trying to figure out the odd relationship Helen/Pamela had with her Dad. Her Mom seemed to be the
supportive wife and mother. And she usually had the baby in her arms. She was burdened with lots of
work, little money, and a drunk for a husband but does that make her weak (as she was portrayed)??

To me the movie was a little slow at first but it was all worth it for the second half. LOVED the ending.
It was magical and very emotional. I think we could all relate to this movie in some form because of
our past love of Mary Poppins.

I've been also pondering a quote in the movie from Walt Disney: "We restore order with 
imagination."  Imagination is an escape freeing sad children to feel joy…I get that, but order?
What does he mean by order?

As we were leaving the theater, I asked Den what message he got from this movie.
Right off he said, "To forgive. To let go of the past and move forward."

The message I got from it was a little different: "Obstinate and cranky adults probably have a sad 
little child inside of them. We all came from a childhood and some really suffered. If we could 
just think of everyone as children, we would be kinder and gentler."

That was my take away. Did you see this movie?

Monday, January 27, 2014

This is how Grandpa turned 65.

First, the Grandma Honey took 3 of their grandchildren shopping for party supplies.

 This was the week their mothers were out of town….
which is obvious by the looks of Violet and Téa's hair. 

Oh you think I should have fixed their hair?
 Let's just say there's a reason I had all boys.

 56 …. 65   What's the difference.

 Miss Violet may be little and not even 3 yet, 
but she's mighty and she has opinions 
and not afraid to express them!

After Téa listened to me talk to the clerk about 'back in the day when I was raising children',
she asks me in the car, "Grandma, where are all your kids?" 

"What do you mean?" 

"Where are they? Are they all dead?"  

"No my children aren't dead. One of them is your Dad. 
Logan use to be my little boy. He's one of my kids" 

She was not buying any of that answer. "But where did your kids go?

Anyway, back to Grandpa turning 65…

So yesterday all the local offspring 
plus their children arrived @ 5pm.
While Grandma Honey kept Grandpa in his office…

They all decorated speed style...

Then Grandpa appeared all ready to party!

Grandpa requested Taco Salad so that's what he got!

Then our family in Oregon and Utah waited patiently 
(in other words a LONG while) 
so we could surprise Grandpa and get them on the screen at the same time.
When  all their happy faces appeared 
I felt as emotional as Dennis did.

The grandkids were the servers of the ice-cream.
(btw, I scooped up the ice-cream and put them in little cups the day before.
Those little scoops of ice-cream were as hard as rocks. Not sure I'll do that again.)

I love the mingling of the cousins
Laurynn and Violet

Some partied so hard….
They got worn out.

And THAT is how Grandpa turned 65!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kitchen before and after…..and a problem

We started November 12th and it was suppose to be a 2 week job.
But it took a little longer than that since we just sort of finished up on Monday!….
except for one problem that we can't figure out how to solve.

First, the "before"...

Okay, enough of those. I took these pictures the night before the tile was all ripped up. 

And, here are the AFTER pictures:

Just taking you for a walk around the kitchen. 
Ignore the hole in the ceiling….I'll get to that problem in a sec.

THANK YOU to Donna Miller for giving me the idea of a two-toned kitchen!
I never would have thought!

Patrick Rea, our Irish painter who we LOVE, used the color Revere Pewter in our kitchen, 
and all through out our FR and entry. 

THANK YOU to both my niece Natalie and Dee Dee Harmon for suggesting the color!
I'll tell you, with me it takes a village!

Patrick also took this hutch home with him for a few days 
and painted it same color as some of our cabinets. 
I got this at a garage sale 23 years ago and it use to look like this:

See the difference?

Patrick also took home my little sideboard...
(I forgot to take a before picture, but I did find this one from last summer…
it's right behind my nieces, Ashley and Carly)

I think Patrick made this look lots better, too.

Okay, so here's the problem…and we don't know what to do about it. This little niche up there held our 
florescent lights all these years. We tore them out and had can lights put in all around it. We could 
cover it up and just make it a flat ceiling, but I'd rather turn it into something decorative. The ceiling is 
already so low, that I would love to have that little bit of heighth.
(and we are definitely removing that frame!) Any suggestions?

If you are looking for a great painter, let me know and I will give you Patrick Rea's phone number.
He was always on time, so happy and pleasant, even worked on Christmas Eve, very respectful or our 
home, and he has a sense of color and style. He's been in America since 1989 from Ireland and he still 
has a beautiful accent. He felt like family by the time he finished 
and we are looking forward to having him back to paint our bedroom next month!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

He was feeling sorry for his Grandma Honey

I love it when life just happens, and it's good.

Last Friday I had 3 of my little grandchildren for the morning, Jonas, Téa, and Violet. 
I knew I would need to go somewhere with them as soon
as the electrician arrived to work on our kitchen. 

But the man arrived 30 minutes earlier than expected! No time to pack lunches for us all. 
So I just basically scooped my 3 little people up and out the door we went.

Shopping with these three!…..well let's just say we all worked up an appetite. 
McDonalds was right there handy so I decided to get them all Happy Meals. 
I know the Food Babe would not approve, but sometimes you just do what you have to do. 
Besides, Happy Meals make them: HAPPY!

I was hungry too. But being gluten free it's hard to find food on the fly. 
So the best I could do was order a fish fillet sandwich with no bun. 
I know the fish fillet is not completely gluten free but I had to eat something.

This is how it came. That fish fillet was actually tiny, and the one leaf of lettuce. Fine dining.

After I got our food we went to park somewhere so I could distributed out the bags.
Then somehow Jonas peering over the front seat, noticed that I had an odd looking lunch.
He sounded alarmed when he asked, "Is that all you got??"  

He said again even louder, "That is all you get to eat??" I told him it was fine. 
Then I heard him say quietly to himself, "That is all she has."

Then there was this silence in the car. All those little eyes were looking at me and my lunch.
 Jonas was especially quiet, not moving at all, like he was frozen in thought. 
Then he said in a sudden upbeat voice like he's trying to cheer me up: 
"Well…Do you have any Ranch? Your lettuce would taste really good with Ranch on it."  

Jonas tried so hard to come up with a good spin on my problem lunch!
He's only 4 years old, but he's future good husband material!

I think he was still feeling sorry for me when as soon as we stopped the car, 
he unbuckled himself and then started working on Violet. 

This one's for you Jonas:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Babies born in 2014

I saw this in Time Magazine last week. Doesn't surprise me, but it still very much concerns me.

A life span of only 69 years? 
I think at least in part, it's going to be all the GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
that have quietly slipped into our food since 1996. 

If you are concerned, follow the Food Babe. Because of her, Cheerios just this month has 
agreed to take the GMOs out and return it to the way we use to eat it. 

Also, she got Chick-Fil-A to change their recipes too! Meanwhile we need to read labels. 
Or we could all move to Europe where most GMOs are outlawed.

As soon as Dennis finishes getting the hardware on our cabinets, 
I want to show you the before and after of our kitchen. I don't know if you'll like it, but we do.
And if you live in our area, I also have a most wonderful painter to recommend.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The anniversary of the first shooting

Can you believe it's been 25 years! Someone told me yesterday it was time to crack out the old Rescue 911 video.
But no, thank you. If I never see that again it will be fine with me.

But I did coincidentally just two days ago come across this picture of Bill's paramedics. 
Because these two people did their jobs very well back in 1989, 
Bill was able to live another 7 1/2 years. 
That was 7 1/2 years with his family. Watching them grow up a bit more.

These two, Lori and Steve, got married after Bill's incident. I also heard that Steve Braun, in the picture above,
passed away unfortunately just last April. I wish we had kept in touch but we didn't.

As I was reading my scriptures last night I was reminded again, how Heavenly Father is in the details
of our lives, even before we are aware what will take place. That day 25 years ago, Logan, (9 1/2 years
then) was home from school recovering from a fever. I always kept them home an extra day after their
fever went away just to be sure. But he was feeling fine and restless. I remembered Bill had banking
and other errands to do that day so we called him up to see if he wanted to take Logan along. He
always did, so he said he would pick him up at 3:00. 

3pm came and Bill hadn't arrived yet. I don't think he ever forgot anything he had going with the kids
so I just figured he was running late. Logan hovered around the front door and kept looking out the
window waiting for his Dad's arrival. Finally, I think it was about 4:30 I called his shop and to see why
he never came. Bill felt terrible. He said he completely forgot about picking up Logie! He had already
done all his banking and even said, "Oh man, I can't believe I forgot him!"

So we went on with our day.  Less than an hour later the gunfire started at Bill's shop.
He was hit multiple times. Not sure how many since some of his 17 wounds were exit wounds.
Logan could never have survived that. He was just a little boy. My little boy.
And how thankful we all are that he is still with us.

 McKay and Tyler with the actors who played the shooters. 
Plus Allison Grodner the Rescue 911 field coordinator.

McKay, Tyler, and Logan
The camera man, Dusty Powers along with Jeff Thompson 
who was the first police on the scene after Bill was shot.

We wanted to recognize the 25th anniversary of January 17th in some way….
and since I had 5 motherless-for-the-weekend-grandchildren (Amy and Erin are both out of town)
we took them out to eat last night.

And then I guess I felt sorry for them because I invited them back to dinner tonight. 
(Cam was busy in the other room.)
 Bill has missed so much. The grandkids are growing up with stories about their Grandpa.
I see a little of him in all of them.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I am feeling very regretful

I got permission to share this. I'm still going to use only first names though.
I wanted my family and those who knew me back then, to have this update.

I had quite the shock last Wednesday in the middle of the night. First I will explain. Shortly after Bill and I were married in 1974, we moved into some apartments on East Yale in Fresno. In order to afford our own apartment, we managed the 9 unit complex. I also made daily morning and evening calls for the Disabled Vetarens, and I took care of 3 baby girls, Kari, Carrie, and Rochelle after placing a small ad in our local paper for infant care. I've always loved babies so I thought this was a pretty sweet deal.

(Can you even imagine answering an ad in the paper looking for care for your little baby?? 
This was almost 4 decades ago and I think we were all a lot more trusting back then.)

Carrie and Rochelle moved away after a few months but I continued caring for Kari. I had her every week day from 7:30-6pm. Often her Mom would have me keep her overnight and for the weekends too.

 Kari 8 months old (Robin brought this picture over today!)

Bill and I moved 3 times during this period of time but Kari's Mom would always keep me as her baby's tender. Bill and I loved Kari. She was our “family” at the time. She was such a good natured child, and so endearing. Very easy to love. I would get paid $30. a week, and more if I had her all weekend….and we needed every penny of that back then.

So I got Kari when she was 7 weeks old, and cared for her until just a few weeks before Brock was born. Kari was near 2 at the time. Her Mom was hoping I would keep taking care of Kari after Brock was born but my health wasn't the best and I needed to focus all my time and attention on my first born. I wanted to be the best mother I could be and I felt I owed Brock that.

I think the last time we ever saw Kari, she was about 2. About that time her Mom found her some care elsewhere. I always assumed her Mom would find another person like myself who would love her like we did. I was too young and naive back then to realize really good childcare is hard to find. I also did not understand back then about attachments to care givers. I just thought…hey, I love her, but she's not mine.  I'm not her mom. She has a good Mom, or so I thought. 
I did find out that sometime soon after Kari left my care, her parents divorced. Then when Kari was about 5, her Mom sent me a Christmas card showing the two of them along with her Mom's new husband. I assumed all was well. It looked so on that Christmas card.
I became of course very involved in being a Mom to 4 children of my own. I thought of Kari through the years and as time went on, I thought about her even more. Who was taking care of her? How was her Mom doing? DId Kari like her new step father? I wondered all that. I missed watching her grow up. I expected her Mom and I would keep in touch through the years and was disappointed when that didn't happen. I sent Christmas cards but never heard back again.
As time went on and my sons got a little older I wondered about Kari often. So did my Mom. She went to the genealogy library at our local church building and tried to look her up. Nothing came up. Nothing at all. So strange….I wondered if they moved far away? Still why wasn't Kari H's name on the computers?

Not sure who Kari is with in this picture

When my Mom and Dad went on their mission to Salt Lake City at the Family HIstory center, about 1994, Mom did a more detailed search for Kari. Still nothing. All we were looking for was an address so I could write to them.
Several years ago Dennis searched on the internet. Nothing.
I had also looked several times on Facebook for her. No Kari H came up. But then about 4 weeks ago, last Dec 15th my sister Heidi was over visiting and we began talking about Kari and our different memories of her. I mentioned to Heidi that I periodically checked on Facebook but haven't had any luck. Then I decided to check again right then. Surprisingly I did find a Kari H this time! No pictures, nothing but her name… so I left a message.  A few days passed with no message back so I assumed it was not the Kari H I was looking for.
So fast forward to last Wednesday about 2am. I had gotten up because I couldn't sleep. Normally when this happens I almost never turn on my computer, but this time I did. And normally I don't go to Facebook, much. But this time I did. And there was a response from Kari! I could hardly believe it! Even thinking for half a second that maybe I was dreaming since it was in the middle of the night. She said, yes, I had the right Kari H but she rarely goes to that Facebook page and instead referred me to another page that has her adopted name. What did she mean, her adopted name? That made no sense. So I went to the new name of Kari D and messaged her there like she requested.

I soon heard back from her but she began by apologizing for the bad news she was about to give me. She said her mother left her on the doorstep of Infant of Prague when she was 7 years old! I was completely shocked! She was given up for adoption, but soon her Dad found out and he was able to get her back which broke her adopted family's hearts. Kari lived in different houses with her Dad and his biker friends. Not sure the details but Kari said it was a terrifying childhood.

That same year, while I believe she was still 7, she was put in foster care and raised there until age 17. She got married and then had two kids. She worked at the phone company. But after she divorced her first husband, she joined the police academy and became a cop for awhile. Presently she is happily married to a fire fighter and they have a 6 year old son together. She went back to school in 2009 and received her 2 year degree with honors and presently she is in the engineering program at the university. I always new she was smart!

Kari said she is happier than she has ever been in her life. I am thankful for that but I feel horrible that I wasn't able to keep contact with her. I SO regret that I did not continue taking care of Kari after I had Brock. If I had had an inkling as to how her life would go, I would have kept her with me. But I didn't. If I had known she was in the foster care system, I would have sighed up for that. She would have been safe with me and she would have had a great life with us. I loved her!

I thought I was doing the right thing by "quitting" child care when I gave birth to Brock. I felt I owed that to him. It just makes me sick inside that she went on to suffer. While my sons were loved and cared for and protected, she was deserted by her Mom and put in the foster care system. She said she has lived in about 33 homes! I wrote and told Kari how I felt. I also told her that she was well taken care of until she was nearly 2 because I had her most all the time, certainly most of her waking hours.
I am still trying to process this.

The story gets even more shocking to me. So the next morning I read again Kari's messages and suddenly I remembered that my daughter in law, Amy, has a good friend with the same last name as Kari's new last name. Could they possibly have a connection to Kari? I mentioned this to Dennis but he blew it off by saying, “There are lots of people out there with that last name.” 
Amy happened to come by that day to see our newly painted furniture. As we were talking I thought again of Kari's new last name and asked if Amy's friend had ever mentioned an adoption in the family. Amy said, “I don't know, but I'll text her right now.” She texted: “Do you know a Kari-D?” Her friend texted right back: “Yes, she's Pat's (her husband) sister. Why?” After a few more texts it was clear this was the same Kari!
Turns out Kari was put in the D home when she was 11 as a foster child, and she stayed there until she was 17 when she got married. So Kari was raised with Amy's friend's husband! They became close siblings. It wasn't until Kari was 31, and after the divorce of her first husband, that she became adopted by the D family and changed her name to Kari D. In fact Amy thinks she has met Kari at D family functions through the years.

I am just in awe. Regret still. But in awe how life can be.

Kari is a fighter. She's obviously a survivor. There is something deep within her that no one was able to take away. I knew she was special. I knew it!

Our last day with Kari back in 1977, I borrowed a camera and took a picture of Bill holding her. He loved her as much as I did. We kept that picture on our fridge for years. So much so that I think it eventually disintegrated because I can't find it anywhere. 

Bill and I took her to a studio or store or to get this one taken. 
She was not much older than this the last time we saw her.

Her Mom use to call her Muffin. She would bring her to me each morning freshly bathed and ready with clean clothes and prepared food and bottles. Once she outgrew the baby food, her Mom would bring little tupperware containers of cottage cheese along with a fresh egg for me to cook up later and mix with the cottage cheese. Or she would make up some jello so she would have a treat after lunch that day. How can a Mom who calls her sweet little baby Muffin decide to just give her away when she was 7? Every time I think about it I get this sick feeling inside. Some things in this life I just can't understand. 

Kari and I plan to meet soon. I'm looking forward to it.