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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Spending Time with Maddi

Last night I got to spend some time with my youngest granddaughter, Madison. She came down to "sit with me" while her mom & Sid went to the BYU game (the less said about that the better!) We had a great time playing Harry Potter, which she won, hands down, and Monopoly. We had to call "Uncle!" when our buns could no longer tolerate the hard, hard floor.
Then we followed the time honored tradition--at our house, at least--of watching that "timeless" classic Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Did we (have fun, that is?) More fun than Sid & Synda, who chose to go to the so called game! Thanks, Maddi, for keeping your old granny company!

Friday, October 23, 2009

At the BS--final installment

Another aspect of the storehouse is the quilting project. Here a volunteer works on a quilt in the "quilting room." Those of you who are "blog savvy" will realize that this entry is backwards. If you want to begin at the begining, go to "The Spice of Life."
The quilts are stacked up until the stack gets unmanageable and then they are donated to homeless shelters, the Humanitarian Center at the Church where they are sent as needed around the world, and other places that currently have urgent needs.

Baby quilts are also made and given to patrons at the storehouse that have infants. How blessed I feel to be a part of this great work. How the Lord loves His children to provide for them so wisely. The Bishop's Storehouse was instituted just two years after the Church was organized. D&C 42:33-34 "...and more than is necessary for their support...[shall] be consecrated unto the bishop, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied...Therefore, the residue shall be kept in my storehouse to administer to the poor and needy."
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At the Storehouse,--Part II

There is also clothing available on a limited bases. Again, we don't have everything, but we do have the necessities.
Fresh produce. This summer we had a garden that produced tons of fresh vegetables. We are trying to do our part to become "self sustaining."

Much of the commodities at the storehouse are produced in dairies, canneries and on farms owned and operated by the Church. Again, all the labor in these locations is done by volunteers.
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At the Bishop's Storehouse

Speaking of the Storehouse, I thought you might like to know a little more about it. Most of the people who work there are either missionaries or volunteers. I think there are three paid employees, a manager, his assistant and a secretary. The rest of us serve willingly without monetary compensation (we don't get paid.) The picture above is of Marv & Marilyn on the last day of their mission. They have served in various storehouses around the country during their lives.
Here a volunteer stocks shelves. The volunteers come from a variety of circumstances. Some come on assignment from their stakes; some come as court mandated community service; Some come on assignment from their bishops to give service for the food & clothing they will receive; some come just because they like the atmosphere and enjoy being productive and serving.
Our particular storehouse is one of the largest in the Church. We serve the needs of people in 47 stakes from Wendover on the west to Taylorsville on the east.
Our goal is to help people maintain life and make it through the rough times. We don't stock everything, but we have a lot.
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Sister Jill said she would read my blog "if it was spicy enough. I'm not sure what she meant by that, but the spiciest thing that has happened to me lately was dropping a bottle of spaghetti sauce on the floor at the Bishop's Storehouse and having it splatter all over. The smell was delicious...and spicy...but the mess was another story. And it got all over my shoes (good thing I was wearing an old pair) and my pants (good thing they wash!) Is that spicy enough, Jill?
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Great Blessings

Today I woke up thinking about the incredible life I have had and all the things I have experienced. I have been so blessed! Last night at book club we were discussing events that I remember like they were ancient history. I felt old, yes, but what a ride I have had.
I remember when television was invented. I remember getting my first hifi (high fidelity, mind you, not stereo) record player and much later my first transistor radio. I remember when polio was a great threat to children. I remember the first successful heart transplant. I remember the day JFK was shot...not what I was wearing...but where I was when I heard the news and how I felt like the bottom had dropped out of my world.
I remember the Watts riots, the Kent State shootings, Martin Luther King being shot, Bobby Kennedy, Woodstock (not that I was there), the Viet Nam War, "love peace & happiness" and all the rest that went along with the 60's. Remarkably, most of us survived.
Through it all we raised and lost children, lived our lives, went to Church, prayed, worked, played, and seldom stopped to think about the things we were experiencing. How glad I am for the opportunity I have now to reflect and recognize that through it all I have been in the hands of a loving Father in Heaven who never gave up on me, even when I was angry with Him.
Life is a great gift. Cherish every minute. You never know what's around the corner...which, in itself, is a blessing as well. Never miss the opportunity to kiss your children or your spouse and tell them that you love them...even when you're not so sure you do! You will in the next ten minutes or so! Never wait for tomorrow to express love. It is the great healer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Life's Small Pleasures Continued

This is Maddi! For some reason these two pictures didn't make the first entry!

Just one of the perks of being a grandma!
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Life's Small Pleasures

I went up to my grandaughter's cultural fair the other day and was so impressed with the theme and the projects. The students learned more about their "family culture" by interviewing family members about family traditions and then coming up with their own way of presenting them. This picture is of Maddi's "library" where she is reading.

This photo is of Maddi's family tree. The people in the boxes are the readers in her family. (Her family trait was generations of women that enjoy reading...Pretty unique.

Excuse the photography! Remember I am just learning to blog!
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