Thursday, June 29, 2017

Leo's hard evening

Leo named the grasshopper he found outside Grasshoppy.

I had the bad idea of catching it and putting it in a little container. 

Before bedtime we told Leo we needed to put Grasshoppy out in 
the backyard so he could be back in his own home.

Leo was majorly upset by this.

No one could console him.
Not even my nephew Jake who happened to be over for dinner 
with his family. 

Finally Karen took both Leo and Grasshoppy outside 
and let him go into the bushes.

To say Leo was crying just doesn't explain. 
He sobbed so loudly and so painfully. 
I'm not sure I ever heard a child cry that passionately. 

It was horrible. 

Karen asked for some paper and a green marker.
Then she found a picture of one of Grasshoppy's relatives on her 
phone....and used that to draw a picture of Grasshoppy.

This seemed to bring calm to Leo.

...until Karen mentioned Grasshoppy's name again

Oh my.

Karen put the picture in Grasshoppy's 
container and told Leo he could sleep with it. 

More sobs carrying Grasshoppy's picture down the hall to bed.

We are hoping for a better tomorrow for our Leo.

Like Karen says about her little boy, "Leo loves deeply."

I'll say! 
With his whole heart.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hammers, and a new popsicle I found

What can children do during a heat wave you ask?

Two of our grandboys gathered toys 
or whatever would fit into their boxes.

Then we filled them with water and in the freezer they went. 

Such excitement when it was frozen hard 
and ready to take out to the backyard.

Their blocks of ice popped right out of the boxes,
 and they happily went to work.

They hammered and chopped trying to escape their toys. 

Leo got a bit overzealous with his hammer. 
I was afraid someone would lose a finger or toe, or head. 

Karen found a teeny tiny Juliet sized hammer.

And I must tell you, 
I finally found a decent popsicle the kids LOVE. 

I just don't have it in me to give them popsicles made with high 
fructose corn syrup and artificial sugars. 

So these that are made with 
regular ol' cane sugar and lots of fruits and vegetables. 

They have been a hit so far. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

We had an incident yesterday

Day one with our visiting Vancouver, Washington family
Or...what could have been a horrible day.

So I went outside in the morning and all was quiet.
I saw Richie in the background standing on the water fountain.
(his Mom was out there too btw)

I thought, well, there's no water in it, and boys need to climb, 
so I was fine with it.

He liked standing up there, and it made him happy, 
so what's the harm.

Then I asked Tyler if he would bring up the roll up shade for me 
so I could get better pictures.

Just as he was doing this I saw from the corner of my eye Richie, 
fall against the fountain. 

We heard a crash, and the complete top half of the fountain broke 
apart, and jagged broken parts of it fell on Richie. 

The biggest piece of it all slammed to the ground. 

We were all worried that at the very least 
his foot or leg were broken.

But he just had some minor cuts and scrapes that a popsicle cured.

Now this may not look that bad....

But see that large part on the ground?
It is so heavy I cannot even budge it at all.

His little sister Juliet was near by playing. 
It could have fallen on her.

As I thought of that, 
I did not care in the least about our broken fountain.

Just SO SO thankful Juliet and Leo were not in its path.

What could have been a very horrible event, 
turned out fine.

Richie was even soon up for snapping the beans for dinner. 

Now we just need to figure out how 
to get rid of our very heavy broken fountain. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Bad people

First Violet wanted to go show Great Grandpa her bird. 
Or rather my bird. 

Then on the way home for a sleepover at our house, I asked Violet, 
"Now that it's summer, what time do you go to bed?"

She quickly answered, "How am I suppose to know? I can't even 
tell time."

Violet is just 6, and finished kindergarten last week. 

So after arriving home, we were helping her get ready for bed when 
I told her, "In the morning, if you get up before us, be sure not 
to open any of the outside doors, or the alarm will go off."

She looked confused and asked, "What's an alarm?"

Grandpa was standing near by so he explained as gently as he could 
that if any bad people were to try to get into our house at night we 
would be safe because "the loud alarm would alert the police."

She nodded right away to that, like she totally understood, and then 
she said, "I know about bad people. We have practices at 
school. Our teacher turns off the lights and locks our door and 
we all hide and we stay very quiet so if the bad person comes in 
they won't know we are there."

Okay, so I realize that's our reality now, but it was hard to hear our 
purely innocent little 6 year old granddaughter talking like this.

Yet, this is her world. This is the world our grandchildren live in.

And they have to take precautions, and I guess I'm glad they are 
being taught them.

But ...what a reality check for me hearing those words from her. I 
just felt so sad. I went to bed feeling sad.

But Violet, she takes it all in stride. She knows no other kind of 
world. And thankfully no bad people are in her little life. 

And thankfully she is made to be up for this world. I have to 
remind myself of this.

Because you know what else she did? Earlier in the evening as I 
was making dinner, she asked if she could eat her fruit that I had 
cut up and ready for our meal. I was busy in the kitchen and I just 
said, "Sure you can eat your fruit now."

She had no idea I could see her, so she definitely was not doing this 
for my benefit, but as I turned around I saw her bow her little head, 
fold her arms, and say a prayer of thanks and blessing on her little 
cut up apples.

At that very moment, I was filled with thanks to her parents for  
they are the ones who taught her this. And later that night as I was 
lying in bed worrying about Violet being taught to hide from bad 
people, I told myself, "But she knows how to pray! She knows who 
to turn to."

And THAT is the peace and calm I am hanging on to for her.

Monday, June 19, 2017

An easy meal for 11

There is a family who our church ward has been helping. They are 
of a different religion, but that makes no difference to us. 
We still get to help. 

A Mom and her 10 sons, while her husband is recovering from a 
heart attack he had last January. Progress has been very slow.
Sadly he is still on a trachea and ventilator. 

So last night was my turn again to make their dinner, 
and I had so little time and energy this week, 
so I opted to try something different.

I bought these 3 ready to make kits at Costco, 
which we've never tried. 

Just 30 minutes of prep/cooking time, 
and we were ready to deliver their food. 

A mom and her TEN sons, need lots of food.

Violet was here for a sleepover and in the baking mood.
So we also made them a cake, 
and she made a little one for herself. Of course.

Before we headed out the door to deliver, 
I had Dennis taste the food. 

 I wish I had thought to pull out a plate full for him, 
and not just a taste, because he loved it. 

I keep thinking....TEN sons. 
Ages 1-21. 

SIX more than I have.

PS   I would have loved to have had 10 sons.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day!

My Dad was in the hospital a few weeks ago.....

His problems were not solved, 
and he was sent him home weak and tired.

But then he heard that his care provider, Tom, 
had never been on a train before.

So a few days later Dad made plans, 
and away they went for Tom's first train ride to Hanford.

When I heard they were going I thought...really??! 
Dad's not up to doing that! 

But good for him!

Of course this Hanford trip included a stop at Superior Dairy. 
The place with the SAME decor, (complete with paint chipping), 
where my Dad took me as a little girl. 

My Dad's always been a quiet charger through life. He doesn't talk 
much about what he will do or why, he just does it. 

But he did write about it back in 1976:

"1. That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has changed, but our ability to accomplish it becomes increased. (quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson from a talk by Heber J. Grant)

2. There is no such thing as a "free lunch"...somebody has to pay for it.

3. Man is that we might have joy.

4. The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath.

5. Don't take yourself too seriously.

6. Look for the weakness in other men to be the same as you have in yourself. Then you will have greater love and understanding for them and yourself.

7. The search for material riches is never ending.

8. The greatest accomplishment in my life is my family.

9. It is easy to let lust and greed be your motivating factor in your life (your gods).

10. The people I most admire are those who keep the commandments (the most righteous). They are also the most enjoyable to be around.

11. Honesty is the single most important quality a person should have.

12. Service to others brings the greatest happiness in life."


But wait, there's more....

I know I've shared this before, but it deserves to be repeated, 
especially since she wrote it for his posterity. 

This is what my Mom thought of my Dad:



(Still looking for a picture with Dad and all of his 8 children....)

Friday, June 16, 2017

I want to remember these....

Some family milestones I want to remember. 

I know some of these pictures have been on Facebook, 
but still, I want them here.

Our 3 year old granddaughter Scarlett's 
very first dance recital in Boston!

I can see happy written all over McKenna and Scarlett's faces.

Our granddaughter Emily at her senior ball. 

Katie went on one too but I don't have a picture :(

I hope my sister Robin will frame this one.

Her youngest daughter McKenzie graduated from high school 
surrounded by her sisters Brooke, Lauren, and Ashley. 

Our granddaughters, Katie and Emily graduating 
from 4 years of seminary!

My nephew Alex leaving his childhood home for the last time. 
My brother and his wife moved to Toronto to serve a mission.
Painfully sweet.

Téa just got braces.
They sure put them on young these days. 
Wonder what's up with that. 

There are other milestones in the family, 
but these I had pictures of. 

Change keeps happening.
 That's one thing we can count on!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The party we didn't attend

I hope I can explain this right. 

Every Memorial day, our neighborhood, for the past 3 years of its 
existence, gets together to celebrate. 

So last Monday evening, there was lots of this:

Den and I thought it was too hot to go outside that day we missed out.

But the next day I looked through our 
neighborhood website to see how it all went. 

I scrolled through picture after picture of families 
appearing to have a great time together.

Picture after picture, and then I came to this family:

I have not met these people and have no idea who they are, only 
that they live in one of the 130 houses of our neighborhood.

I am in awe by them.

I keep looking at these 2 photos.

I've often wondered if special needs babies are born into homes of 
extraordinary people, 
or if these special needs children turn their parents into 
extraordinary people. 

I don't know how it works.
But to care for them, is giving 24/7 non stop service.

I feel a reverence for those who have such challenges in life. 
I find myself wanting to be in their presence 
so that I can learn from them. 

Just after posting this tonight, I went grocery shopping. 
At check out, in line next to me was Bob...a man who knows pretty 
much everyone in our neighborhood. So I asked him about that 
couple at the party on Monday. As soon as I mentioned them, he 
said, "They are wonderful wonderful people." I'm certain they are.

I hope to meet them someday.
Now, if I can only figure out how.