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Showing posts from May, 2015

Elder Perry's final words to us...

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When Dennis heard yesterday that this great man passed away,  he said it felt like a family member had died. I remember when he spoke these words towards the end of his talk last month at General Conference:


"...Let me close by bearing witness (and my nine decades on this earth fully qualify me to say this) that the older I get, the more I realize that family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness..."


What one atheist thinks towards the end of his life.

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Going over Family History last night with my sister Heidi, we started talking about our maternal
Grandma. She was an atheist. She told me this back in the summer of 1983, months before she died.

Grandma was a very good soul. She felt it her responsibility to care for and uplift others….especially
the sad and lonely and needy. She sought them out. She lived a very Christ like life even though she
didn't know it as such.

Still, there was this unspoken sadness about her. Like a layer of suppressed anger. I attributed much of
that to her hard life…..raising her children during the depression, her husband out of work due to
disabilities, losing their first born at 9 months of age due to a weekend virus….and many more
challenges I won't go into here.

But looking back, what would life mean if we believed we would lose it all, including all the people we
love, at the end of it? That it would all be over. Gone and done with.

I heard this short interview with famous children's autho…

What we ate on our trip

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Karen and McKenna fed us well while we were in Washington…..

Here is what we had for dinner each night we were there…

The first night Karen made us a great taco bar. I wish I had pictures of it but we were a bit late
arriving, so we just all ate as soon as we got there. In addition to the meat, cheese, onions, beans and
other toppings, she also had yellow and orange peppers cut up….I want to remember that since they
taste SO good on tacos.

And McKenna brought green rice that had lots of spinach in it.
Everyone loves it, even the little ones, I think.

This meal tasted SO good. We were SO grateful to have it after eating on the road for 2 days.

And she had my favorite sauce from Trader Joes to go on top…..love this stuff:


Second night: McKenna made Pioneer Woman's "Sunday Stew."
We didn't care it was Friday.


For the stew recipe GO HERE. It was beyond wonderful.
 So was the salad. We kept eating more and more of it.
Salad: Costco’s spring mix and romaine lettuce for the g…

On our way home...

On our way home…. from Jill Shelley on Vimeo.

I will be back to show what great meals Karen and McKenna made for us!
I'm also working on a video of our trip….

Sunday in Vancouver

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So we got a text from McKay early Sunday morning saying Scarlett had been sick all through the night.
Poor baby. So we didn't get to see them yesterday,  so instead spent the whole church block at Karen and Tyler's ward.
I know what's going on in that church building before I even walk inside. It's home to me, in a sweet
happy way I can't explain. I just know that I love it there. 

Karen was off to teach the young women.

I went to Primary with Richie and his class.  One little look at him and his endearing tie, and I just had to stay. 
 Richie is by far the tallest Sunbeam in his class. The lesson was on being thankful for our hands. The children got to reach inside sacks of different
items and tried to describe them. 
Then they were given little gold fish crackers and asked to describe how the crackers felt against their
hands. Each child was given a turn to come up with a descriptive word, but Richie, I must say, was the
only one who had an answer. He said, &quo…

I talked him into it.

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Dennis has this thing about his hat.  He thinks he needs to protect his head from getting burned outside.
So we were suppose to meet the kids at Vancouver's Farmer's  Market but Den could not find his hat anywhere.  He was not in a good mood. 
We looked all through the hotel room, in the car, and then decided  we better get on the road. Turns out we arrived first so we sat in  the car waiting, and he was very quiet. That's how I can tell he is  not happy…he just gets very quiet.
So finally I said, "Well you know, I do have my hat I keep in the  trunk. Do you want to wear it?"

I thought that would be an immediate NO, but he instead said, 
"Well does it look like a woman's hat?"
"Uh, well sort of. But you will never see these people again,  so what difference does it make?"
So surprising to me, he gets it out of the trunk and puts it on.  I told him not to even mention to our kids… "they probably will not even notice."
So we first meet up with McKay…

Seeing our Washington grand babies!

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I was awake….just didn't look like it.


Leo, Rich, Grant, Scarlett

Richie took this one… interesting seeing life from his lower level. I would have been  afraid of me. Tone it down, Grandma.
But nevertheless, Richie said at least 4 times to me last night,  "I love you so much Grandma Honey."

Gorgeous backyard at Karen and Tyler's…..a child's dream.

Grant is fearless like his Dad.
Leo loves to climb up but then needs help getting down.
Sometimes a girl just needs to get away from the guys.
These boys have both filled out so much in the past 9 months.  I can see tiny men emerging even at age 3 1/2. Grant and Rich


Good thing Uncle McKay's always been tough.
Look what our sweet girls, Karen and McKenna gave to us  to bring back to the hotel. Is this thoughtful or what!
No more time to blog today…we are off to explore Vancouver.

Our drive to Medford

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I don't mean to put down my home state of California,  but it's getting ugly here.

We drove mile after mile looking at brown and dead weeds.
 The change as we got close to Oregon was dramatic. I don't usually take scenery pictures,  but I could not resist this time.

But that's not the only difference. Does something look different about this table  when we stopped for dinner in Medford? You guessed it, no water. Not unless you ask for it. There is no  drought in Oregon. It falls from the sky more often than not. Where we come from, restaurants bring water to you as soon as you sit down. It's automatic. 

And this. How I love this. It's hard finding just a garbage can in  Oregon. But they do often have places for paper, cans...and look  how small the waste compartment is. I think this would be a great  way for kids to grow up. 
And for our final treat for tonight…. We get to open our windows here in Medford, Oregon. Fresh air!  Seriously fresh, and it smells so wonderful  I can n…

One of our steps to get ready!

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A good friend recently suggested I get some books on CDs for our long drive to Vancouver. 
She said it would make the drive go by quicker. 
Another friend suggested I look for these talking books at the library. But when I presented 
my card, they said it was no longer good. I told them that's what they said last time too!
I guess I go once every 10 years or so. 
Or maybe it's been longer….
since I've been Mrs. Shelley for over 15 years now.
(I secretly like when someone accidentally calls me Jill Heasley.
I like that they remembered me then, when I had the same name as my sons.)

So I had to fill out all the new info for my new library card with a pencil they gave me. 
A pencil!  Signed my name that someone can erase. 
Libraries need to get with the times. 
Or maybe I need to, because I asked where their card files were and they pointed me to a 
computer. However, the place still looks and smells exactly the same. 
I love that library smell. I smell my childhood.
And also, when did they …

message from my Mom

From my Mom's journal entry dated September 12, 1979:

"When I was little I always felt sorry for anyone older than I 
because they probably didn't have as long to live. Lately I think of 
heaven and long for the time we can all be there together." 

Even though my Mom was not a fan of Mother's Day (not sure why), I'm certain she is a fan of heaven.


Strange I would find this today

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Very early this morning as I was looking for some lost papers I needed,
I came across this newspaper article from 23 years ago.
I had not seen it for years, maybe even 2 decades.

It's my niece Robin, with her Mom Wendy AKA known as Chickee. Robin is Hailey's mom.

Here's the text easier to read... But it ends there, because apparently I just saved the front page.  So now I'll never know what Robin spent her prize money on. 

 Those were busy days back in 1992….my sons were 6, 8, 13, and 15.  I probably just threw it in a box in the closet.
So after reading it this morning I looked to the top of the page to the date...

It's sort of bizarre to me that it was exactly 23 years ago today!  And it was even a Thursday! Of all the days for me to find it….

I guess these were the other finalists…. The middle one I can't even tell who's the Mom and who's the daughter.

We all sure miss Robin.