Sunday, December 20, 2009

Reflections on Loss

I know that this seems an odd time of year for reflecting on something other than blessings, but sometimes you find (in retrospect) that what seemed at the time to be a tragic loss was really a great blessing in disguise. In my case, I lost two babies at this time of year, Jenna, December 23, 1973 and Caleb, January 4, 1983. In both cases, I thought my heart would surely break and in a way it did. It took me years to understand what, on some level, I always knew, that through the atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, I would be able to be reunited with those precious babies.
So, in many ways, this is the perfect time to reflect on those "losses" and rejoice that they are not really "lost" at all. How thankful I am for the Savior and for a loving Heavenly Father who so carefully planned and provided a way for all of us to return to Him and live together as families. I hope that all of you will find "comfort and joy" in this knowledge at this wonderful time of the year. I know that my Redeemer lives and loves me...and I know that He also loves each and every one of you. I see His hand in our lives every day. Have a blessed and merry Christmas and may you feel His arms around you always.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Family Photo Fun!

Here we all are...hamming it up! Troy, , Jordan, Josh & Mark
Madison, Synda, Sid, Rhonda, Slater, Bethany & Dane
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Madison, Troy, Synda & Jordan on 'game day'. A family with divided loyalties!
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Bethany and her 'boys'. Mark, Dane & Slater. They had a good time at the photo shoot!
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Not Al Capone...just our ever lovin' son, Josh. Isn't he handsome?
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Here we are! Aren't we cute? After nearly 40 years of marriage (on January 29th) we can both still smile!
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Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Holiday

Okay, so I had to do this in three installments, but it came out okay, after all! Our Thanksgiving Holiday was the best ever! Our feast was delicious & plentiful (thank you, Dinner Market!) We had a great time after eating (which you will see in the following photos.) Friday all the girls (Rhonda, Synda, Bethany, Jordan & Madison) spurned Black Friday and went to a movie instead. We saw "New Moon" which caused me to say, "If I were to wear a Twilight t-shirt (which I am not, I'm just saying...) it would have to say, JACOB'S HOT! EDWARD'S NOT!
Saturday we had family photos done and everyone showed up almost on time and almost smiling! The pictures are wonderful (thank you, Tammy) and will be posted soon. We had lots of good food, good company, and good fun. Oh, and let's not forget that BYU won THE BALL GAME. And that made at least half of us very happy. Much to be thankful for, indeed. Hope you all had a great holiday, as well!

Time Honored Traditions

1. Thowing all the stuffed animals down Grandma's stairs minutes after arriving.

2. Mauling our dad and not giving him a minute's peace.

3. Smiling for Mom's camera...even when you don't want to.

4. Trying to look pleasant when you would rather be watching football.
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Happy Thanksgiving!

Dane & Slater relax while waiting for Dad & Mom to get ready to go home.

Slater & Dane always celebrate arriving at Grandma's by throwing all my stuffed animals down the stairs. Then they take turns burying each other in animals. If you look closely, you will see Dane's eye and nose in the lower right hand corner. Yep, that's him!

After our Thanksgiving feast we enjoyed some family time. It was "Wii fun!"

No, they hadn't been drinking...just playing Wii Music.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Cheer

I just want to wish everyone the happiest of Thanksgivings this year and thank you all for your love and friendship. That is what makes Thanksgiving, in my opinion, the most wonderful time of the year.
Psalm 92:1-2

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Thoughts

I actually woke up this morning thinking about something worth-while! Thanksgiving! It has always been one of my favorite holidays; no hype; no pressure; lots of good food and good cheer; a chance to reflect on how blessed we have been the past year. I think it is really sad how Thanksgiving gets less and less attention as the years go by. It seems to me that Thanksgiving is skipped over almost entirely and we go straight from Halloween to Christmas. So to avoid this in my life, I am posting my top ten reasons to be thankful this year.
1) I have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. Without this I would be lost.
2) I have a wonderful husband and family who love me in spite of all my foibles and weaknesses.
3) I have many great friend (both old and new) who put up with me and seem to enjoy my company.
4) I haven't been in the hospital once this year (knock on wood!)
5) I can still be productive (somewhat) and give service to others.
6) I have a warm, comfortable, and safe home which allows me to "share space" on occasion, with others who are "visiting or passing through."
7) I also have a great extended family on both sides (Sid's and mine) that are kind and supportive.
8) Everyone in my family who wants to work has at least one job!
9) We have two vehicles that are in good working order.
10) Last, but certainly not least, I am blessed to live in the most beautiful country in the world and have the most freedom afforded anywhere.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reflections on Vampires

I will be the first to admit that I have, on occasion, been enamored of vampires. But always the "harmless", tortured kind who hated what they were. First it was Angel, the one true love of Buffy. Next was the short-lived but oh-so-sexy Mick St. John of Moonlight. But, I must confess, that I never was a great fan of Edward, being of the Jacob persuasion, and as far as the new sensations on True Blood and Vampire Diaries, I can honestly say that I have never indulged.
All the current hoopla over vampires has made me ponder the question, "What is it that attracts otherwise sane women to these types of stories?" I have come up with a few possible answers. [Come on, folks, cut me some slack here. I have been sick, after all!]
1) We are drawn in by the bad boy with honest intentions myth. You know, the one that says that all he really needs is a good woman to save him and turn his life around...even if it means ending hers as she knows it.
2) We are intrigued by thoughts of a love that will last for eternity, even though most of us already have that in our lives. Somehow it seems more exciting if it is forbidden.
3) The stories, of necessity, are always about star-crossed lovers who can never REALLY be together, for obvious reasons. The vampire, who is always male, hesitates, or even refuses, to "turn" the female because he hates what he is; loves what she is; and, doesn't want to change her. One exception is Stephanie Meyers work, which was ruined for me by the "happily-ever -after" ending.
Having said all that, yes, I will be seeing "New Moon". After all, you can't beat a good werewolf story! And besides, Jacob is my choice!
This is what happens when you can't get out for days on end...your mind runs amok!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The "Blessings" of Being Sick

Okay, I am starting on my second week of being under "house arrest" and feeling less than good. I have done more than my share of whining and "grinching" so I decided today that I would look on the positive side of things. So here are my thoughts:
1) Because of all those late night/early morning hours of not sleeping I have finished reading P & P and am ready for book club, should I be well enough to attend!
2) I have had plenty of opportunity to re-view all the classic movies from the '80's (you know, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Better Off Dead, The Breakfast Club, etc., etc.) and all I can say on that subject is, "What was I thinking to let my kids watch these?" At the same time I have to admit that they all still have a certain appeal. Who can forget, "Oh sexy girlfriend!" Or "Sam's got her boobies, and they are so perky!"
3) I have had ample time to ponder the wonder of simple things that we take for granted like: breathing; laughing without coughing; sleeping through the night; enjoying food; being able to carry on a conversation and breathe at the same time; going wherever I want whenever I want to go!
4) I now feel perfectly justified in ordering Thanksgiving Dinner from Dinner Market (formerly My Girlfriend's Kitchen) instead of preparing it myself. Germs, you know!
5) And last, but certainly not least, I have been touched by all the kind concern and well-wishes expressed by friends and family. I am, indeed, a richly blessed woman!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More on Pride and Prejudice

Having been sick the last few days [and nights] I have had more opportunity to read. I confess that I am finally getting in to P & P. Although my original opinion of the characters hasn't changed much, I AM finding the story of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy compelling and interesting. However, I am eternally grateful that I was born in the good old USA in the 20th century and not in England in the 19th [which I am supposing the story is set in]. Can you imagine being bound by such rigid social rules! No wonder English people still look on Americans as rude and brash. No wonder we still think they are a bunch of stuffed shirts! Oops! Am I being prideful or prejudiced?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Indoor Plumbing

Today I want to sing the praises of indoor plumbing. Don't get me wrong...I have always had indoor plumbing...I'm not THAT old. But I haven't always appreciated it like I do now. Can you even imagine dealing with ANY kind of digestive "issues" in an outhouse? I would never stop gagging, to say the least!
The bathroom pictured above (a true "water closet") has saved my bacon (not to mention my pride) more times than I can count as I have rushed home doing the "potty dance" because I waited too long between visits to "you-know-what." Thankfully, this particular convenience is just steps away from my car.

When I wake up in the morning, sometimes I feel like I have been run over by a Mac truck, in spite of the fact that Sid and I have a brand new (almost) bed. On mornings like that (which, the older I get, seem to happen more and more often) a twenty or thirty minute HOT shower is the only answer. I hope Al Gore doesn't read this blog! But I guess when it's all said and done a daily twenty minute shower beats a daily trip to the doctor any day! This is a picture of my cleanest bathroom. How blessed I am to have four (4) bathrooms IN MY HOUSE.
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Thoughts on "Pride & Prejudice"

Okay, I admit that I am reading "Pride & Prejudice" for the first time! And, furthermore, I admit that I am only reading it now because of book club. But it is even worse than that...I am definitely NOT liking it! What is wrong with me?
Granted, I am not very far into it...about Chapter Eight...but all the women (so far) are boring and insipid. All the men are either stupid or annoying, or both! I am aware of the plot and the theme...after all, I have seen at least two of the movie versions, but my question is this, "What makes 'classic' literature 'classic' and who gets to decide?"
Another question would have to be, "Were women truly that dumb?" And let's not forget, "Could you really get so sick that you couldn't be moved for days by riding in the rain?" Sheesh! I'm glad I didn't live back then! Wish me luck with finishing it!
I am also reading Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" and liking it much better, though I now have to question Mr. Brown's motives for writing the things he does.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Reflection on a Sunday Afternoon

Today I have much to wonder about. Any comments on my wondering are welcome! I wonder how three people raised in the same home by the same parents can be so different. I wonder how parents can ever make up for the mistakes they are bound to make while raising their children. I wonder why it takes some of us so long to really learn the things the things we thought we always knew. I wonder how God can be so patient with all His children.
I also have much to 'wonder' about in another sense. I 'wonder' that I feel such love and acceptance in my ward. I 'wonder' that throughout my life I have been so loved by family, friends, and most of all...a loving Heavenly Father. I 'wonder' that, even in my darkest hours, I have always felt loved. I 'wonder' that the Savior loved us all enough to suffer our pains, grief, and guilt. I 'wonder' that the gospel has been restored and that I am part of it.
I wish you all a 'wonder-full' Sabbath

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bethany revisited

I have been informed by not a few people that my first picture of Bethany was less than flattering. So here are a couple of better ones. Here she is with her youngest, Slater. They have the same smile!

And here she is at Synda's on the 4th of July. She's been told she looks a lot like me. And Maddi, Synda's youngest daughter, has been told she looks a lot like Bethany! I guess it's in the genes!
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As you will see as you proceed, I am a techno-tard and continue to be unable to think in reverse order or fix something once it is done. I totally meant for the entry Sons to be first and then Caleb to be second...but...hello...I did it wrong. Oh, well. I am still learning.
Also, it is very difficult for me to properly order or number my children. There is no doubt that Synda is first. But then it becomes complicated. Technically, Jenna is second, but she died. Then came Adam, who was stillborn. So do I count him as third, or do I count him at all? Next was Bethany. Is she second, third or fourth? What about Josh? Third, fourth or fifth? Even Caleb was the last baby born, but not the last pregnancy...we won't even go there. Was Caleb fourth, fifth or sixth? You see my problem? No wonder I hate to be asked, "How many Children do you have?"


This is my second son, Caleb. He was born ten years after Jenna, and before he was a year old we found out that he had the same congenital heart condition that she did. Since it was ten years later some advancements had been made and our doctor obtained permission to try out a drug designed for adults on Caleb. At first it looked promising. But it was not to be. After two tries that resulted in cardiac arrest, it was determined that it was not possible to get a dose small enough that it was both safe and effective. With heavy hearts we decided to take Caleb home and just love him as long as we could. It was the best decision we could have made. Because of this he was not in the hospital nearly as much as Jenna and we got to enjoy him more. He died at home when he was 21 months old. He died while I was giving him a sponge bath and his dying was one of the most peaceful things I ever experienced. One minute he was struggling for every breath and the next I turned him on his side, he took one deep breath, and he was gone.
For those of you reading this, please don't be sad. I include these experiences just because they made me who I am and because I still love ALL my children. Time will never change that! Each child has been a rich blessing in his or her own way, and I wouldn't trade any of them for anyone else. I look forward to being with all of them again one day and am grateful for Heavenly Father's plan and the atonement of Jesus Christ that makes that a possibility.
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Sons are great, too. This is my first son, Joshua. I called him Fritz for the first three months of his life because he was so small (5lb. 2 oz.) when he was born that Joshua seemed much too big a name for him. Eventually, of course, it got shortened to Josh. He is a very caring young man and looks out for his 'old ma' in many ways. And he plays a mean guitar.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009


I have two beautiful, grown-up daughters, both of whom I love very much. I think the woman who has daughters is very blessed. Who else will take care of you when you are old? Fair warning, girls! This is Synda, my first daughter. (Notice, I didn't say oldest?) She has two daughters of her own and is a very good mom.

This is Bethany, my third daughter. She has her hands full with a house full of boys, Mark, Dane & Slater and takes good care of all of them. I'm sure your boys will take care of you when you are old, Bethany. Bethany makes sure she calls me or we IM every day. I'm not hip enough to text.
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Lucky Boy!

When Dane visited us this summer we took him to Golden Coral for dinner (what kid doesn't love a buffet?)
While there Dane entered a drawing for a new bike. Imagine our surprise when, after we arrived home, we received a call informing us that Dane had won the bike! He not only got the bike, but he got to have his picture taken with the entire staff. Well, maybe not the entire staff, but a bunch of them, anyway!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jenna Rae

Yesterday was my second daughter's Birthday. She would have been thirty-seven. She was only 16 months old when she died. She had a congenital heart disease, called cardio-myopathy, which is quite common in adults but (at that time at least) almost unheard of in children. They say time heals all wounds, but that isn't true. It is faith in a loving Heavenly Father and His plan for us that heals all wounds. I am so thankful for the plan of happiness that allows families to be together forever. I know, without question that if I do my part I can rely on the Savior, Jesus Christ, to make up the rest and make it possible for me to be with my beautiful baby and my husband and all of our children again...and forever.
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Ain't she sweet?

This is me when I was a senior in high school. I didn't have a mole on the end of my nose then. Or crooked teeth.
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Long, long ago...

This is the high school that I attended before the turn of the century. I was about to put "JJ" and then I realized that it truly was before the turn of THIS century...long, long before. Anyway, here it is, good old South Fremont High. You won't see this anymore, even if you visit my home town. Shortly after I snapped this photo it was torn down.
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Sometimes you CAN go home.

I find that I would much rather blog than clean house. I promised a high school friend some pictures of home. These are for you, Connie. Winter or summer you can always count on the Snake River for beauty and entertainment!

Remember swimming at the sand bar and jumping off into the Chanel (which I was never brave or stupid enough to do?)

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Walk

Earlier in the month we visited our grandsons (and their parents). While there I set out for a "little" walk with the boys. As you can see, Dane was on his bike. Before too long, Slater headed home with Grandpa. Dane waited for me patiently as I shuffled along. Finally, he said, "Grandma, you are slower than Slater!" What could I say but, "You are right. Ride on ahead of me, and I will catch up." Famous last words! I think he circled the block twice and finally just rode on home. Lucky for me, Sid "had my back" and eventually came and collected me in the car. I think the blocks are longer down south!
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This is my oldest granddaughter, Jordan, posing after being awarded her black belt in Karate this summer. You don't want to tangle with her, believe me!
Under the tough exterior, there is a sweeter, softer side. Not quite as scary. She & her sister are both beautiful girls. What a lucky granny I am!
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This is Madison, my youngest granddaughter. She likes reading, golfing, karate, and (I like to think) hanging with her granny.
Here Maddi posses after receiving her green belt. You really don't want to mess with my granddaughters. Or their mother, either, for that matter!
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