Saturday, October 29, 2016

Aunt Wanda

Wednesday morning I learned of the passing of my Aunt Wanda. 

I'm so thankful we got to be with her last year when her daughter Pat and her husband Bill drove her
all the way from Portland to Clovis. 

I know my Dad very much appreciated their visit too.
She said this would probably be her last trip to Clovis.

I think she knew.

As you can see our grandson Grant liked her too....about 4 1/2 years ago in Lake Oswego, Oregon

She was 94. And amazing. She looked and acted much younger. Much younger.

I don't know any details yet. Just that she died while visiting her daughter Paula in Maryland.

I didn't know her very well growing up since they lived so far away,
but my parents spoke very fondly of her. 
She was married to my Dad's oldest brother, Irving. 

I smile every time I think of Wanda and Irving together again. 

But I know this has got to be so hard on her daughters, Pat and Paula. 
They obviously had a very close loving relationship.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

This is how Jonas sees it

 While the focus was on Austin and Brooke's sweet baby Levi.....

7 year old Jonas has a completely different take on the situation.

Here's the picture he drew of Austin and Brooke holding Levi.
Do you sort of get the feeling Jonas wants to be a part of it all
He's the happy little guy between Brooke and Austin. 
Amy says he looks like the family pet.

And is it just me, or do the new parents look a bit bewildered?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Violet and Cami

So after walking all over the school, 
apparently I chose the wrong place to pick up Violet.....

because as soon as she spotted me coming towards her....

She yelled out, "Grandma Honey, this is not where you are 
suppose to pick me up. Go over to where the bike rack is!"

Love our little rule follower Violet!

So as with every child coming home from school all over America, 
Violet was hungry.

That wasn't enough for her, so she goes looking for more. 
I wonder what my fridge looks like from way down there.

She decides on JoJos (from Trader Joes) and apple juice

Gotta have some grapes too.

Finally she was full.

Cami had lots of snacks too but I couldn't manipulate the camera and help her at the same time.

Cam did so well with dinner.

She tries really hard. Bless her heart.

But more than the food, Cam loves the outside.
We have the most perfect weather in October! 

Who else but a little kid would want to roll in the grass?
It sounds so itchy.

Didn't bother Violet not one bit.

Then just like that it was time to go to dance class.

I love the contrast in size 
between Grandpa and 5 1/2 year old Violet!
I think she's our most petite grandchild. Small but mighty. No doubt there. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Morning, noon, and night

Elder Dale Runland, an apostle from our church (and also a 
cardiologist) shared 6 lessons with other physicians 
he's learned from his patients

Very good article, but Lesson 3 spoke to me the most.

When I pray for others I usually include them in my night time prayer and throughout the day if there 
is a pressing need. But I hadn't thought of praying for their needs consistently 3 times a day until they 
are better. I'm changing my ways. I know there is great power in prayer. What a gift this is.
To read the other 5 things he learned from his patients go HERE.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

We both forgot!

Sunday morning just before going to church I decided to check 
email real quick. I found this nice little one from my friend in Utah:

"Just wanted to wish you guys a happy anniversary!...I hope you 
enjoy your day 😍"

I'm sure I said out loud to myself, "What?? What's today? The 
16th?? What? I forgot??"

I looked around the house. No card propped up against a vase of 
flowers. Nothing. No signs of anyone having an anniversary. 

We both forgot?? Both of us?

Dennis had already been to church for nearly 2 hours. He probably 
remembered after he got there, and feels terrible right about now. 

So I get to church just before it begins and find Dennis saving a 
chair for me as usual. I keep trying to decide how to approach this. 

He turns to look at me and compliments me on my skirt. "It's new, 
isn't it?" I said no, I've had this a long time. 

He really doesn't know does he? 

So then I sit there staring at him and smiling. Trying to figure me 
out, he looks right into my eyes, and that's when I say to him, 
"Happy Anniversary." 

I take the church bulletin and point to the date at the top: "Oct 16, 
2016." He looks like he's going to be sick.

I feel sorry for him. For the panic look on his face. Remembering 
specials dates is HUGE to him. He prides himself on being a good 
husband. Good husbands, according to him in the past, never forget 
these things. 

So I say back to him, "It's okay! I forgot too! We don't even have 
calendars up in our house yet. We basically haven't known what 
day it's been since we moved in!" 

"Oh you forgot too?" 

"Yes! Yes I did. I love it. We forgot together." 

By now it's the opening song. We start to sing. He takes my hand 
and kisses it and tells me it's been the best 17 years of his life. 

Some of those imperfect moments of life are my favorite. 

17 years ago. Who are these people anyway?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sometimes I like to be told what to do.

Not always. But sometimes.

Like a week or so ago when 3 of my nieces came 
to visit. (Robin and Dave's girls)

I forgot to take even one picture of them, so I had to snag a few off 

 Brooke and Lauren, and McKenzie below them.

Lauren was visiting from Ohio, Brooke just came for the weekend 
from Provo, and McKenzie is still in high school here.

So it happened like this. As we were just sitting around chatting I 
happened to mention that we were having someone come out to fix 
our stove since the 2 front burners don't work. 
The sellers of our house graciously bought us a year warranty on the house....
so any repair is just $65.

So my nieces started checking out my stove.

Not that I asked them to or anything. But there they were all 
hovered over it. Then suddenly one of them said, "There I fixed it." 
Apparently I just had the burner plates upside down! 
All fixed, and saved me $65.

Then I started talking about the dishwasher....I showed them how 
Dennis does not like the silver ware container on the door. 

That's when one of girls reached her arm in, removed the container, 
and then put it in the dishwasher like this:

You mean I could have done that 7 weeks ago 
when we moved in here?

And wait there's more. As I walked them to their car, I was 
showing the girls how I was upset the gardner wacked off too much 
of this bush I like. 

So McKenzie gets close to the bush and tells me it's a Rosemary 
bush! Really, I had no idea. I LOVE rosemary. 

She said I could just come out and get
some when I'm making dinner.

Thanks girls! 

Here's all their siblings together plus Ashley's 2 children.

Sarah, McKenzie, Lauren, Brooke, Ashley, Ben, Davy

They have all grown up so nicely. 
I need to have them over more often. 
More like, I need to beg them to come over more often. 
Like having my own personal house coach.

And that was just the kitchen.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I think it came to bring comfort and peace

So the latest election debate Sunday evening, while entertaining, was horrible.
It felt like a dark cloud over our lives.

Two days later I woke up (I had woken up before that, but you know what I mean)
and didn't think much of it as I sang these words Tuesday morning:

"Fear not though the enemy deride
It takes courage for the Lord is on our side
We will heed not what the wicked may say
For the Lord, the Lord we will obey."

They may not be the exact words of the hymn but they were the words I was singing.
It's how I remember it...this song I've known since childhood.

It was odd to me, that I wasn't even thinking about this song. Like it wasn't even in my head, I just
started singing the words. And at first I wasn't paying attention to what the words were saying.

Suddenly after several times going over these words while vacuuming and doing laundry, I stopped
and thought....where is this coming from? And what hymn is this?

Then another verse came to me:

"If we do what's right we have no need to fear
For the Lord our helper will ever be near
In the days of trial his Saints he will cheer
And prosper the cause of truth."

So I then went down the hall where Den was working and sang a few lines to him. "What is the name
of this hymn? Do you know? I can't place it."

He didn't know at first but then he began singing another verse:
"Let us all press on in the work of the Lord....."

"That's it. Let Us All Press On."!!

So then I went looking for it on youtube. And played it over and over while I did more chores. It
brings me such comfort. The words. In a way I'd never really heard them quite like this before.

To me, it's like it was written for this very election. But actually, I discovered both the text and music
were written by Even Stephens, and he died in 1930!

Then my mind started wandering to my Mom and the things she use to tell me. I thought back to that
one particular evening when I was a young teenager. We were having some sort of crisis in the world
at the time, and my little brother Scott was crying about it and afraid to go to bed. I was in the other
room but I heard Mom say to him, "Our greatest protection in this life is keeping the 
commandments. If we do that we will be just fine." 

I don't know...but maybe my Mom put this hymn in my head Tuesday morning. Whatever, I need it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Thank you Wayfair

I think I've given Dennis too many projects to do.

He's building cabinets in the garage.

Never mind the light fixture on the ceiling. 
Unless you want it, then it's yours.
(the former owners just stuck it up there after taking it down from the dining area)

Den spent a few days putting our breakfast table together.
(taking many breaks so he could do his regular job)

These are our best dishes, still here from some dinner guests who 
needed to cancel. As you can see, we won't give up on them.

All the dishes, goblets, and placemats from the Dollar Store.
(One of our new neighbors made the center piece...
so exciting, we ARE getting to know our neighbors!!)

These little bar stools were the first things he put together for me.
He said they were easy, so it snowballed after that.

He's working on this cabinet to go in our closet.
(in between taking breaks from his garage project)

And I love this little dresser for our guest room 
he put together last week. 

All of the above (except for the garage cabinets he is making) 
came from  It's such a fun site. 
The prices aren't too bad either. 
Considering what things cost at a regular furniture store. 

But they do take time to put together. 
The little dresser above: 5 hours

Sunday, October 2, 2016

they don't preach what they practice

I was listening to a podcast by a Dr Leonard Sax last week
and I've been pondering 2 of his sentences since then:

"The problem with a lot of good parents today is they don't 
preach what they practice. So the parents believe in virtue and 
honesty and decency, but they don't talk about it."

I had to wonder, why don't they talk about it? Too busy? Kids too distracted by their phones?  The
parents beliefs aren't politically correct anymore? Not sure what it is exactly.

Then yesterday morning while watching General Conference, that podcast was brought back again to
me, when Robert D Hales said,

"Parents and grandparents, we tend to bemoan the state of the 
world...that schools are not teaching moral character, but there is 
much we can do. We can take advantage of the teaching moments 
in our own families. That means now. Don't them slip by. When 
an opportunity comes to share your thoughts about the gospel 
and the lessons of life, stop everything, sit down, and talk to your 
children and grandchildren."