Monday, February 28, 2011

No Limits

“We know that there are some limits on what you can do, but we know also that there need be no limits on enthusiasm, planning, thoughtful consideration, and effort.” 
 -President Gordon B. Hinkley

Several months ago, a church leader gave me and another woman in my area an assignment.  To say the least, this assignment would be hard, it would take up a lot of time and was way out of my comfort zone.  It would challenge me in every way and in every area of my life.  It would take months to prepare for and would become a huge part of every day.  I said yes knowing that there might be a reason why I was called.  Who knew it would be because I needed to know that my Heavenly Father really loved me. 

In the beginning I was afraid and because I was fearful I became discouraged and then I became upset. I was mostly angry with myself for saying yes to something that I could  fail at and I didn't want to deal with others being dissapointed in me.  I became stressed and irritated with everyone.  I was letting my own idea of what I was capable of get in the way of what my Heavenly Father knew I was capable of. 

After a lot of turmoil and self doubt I knelt to pray.  I told Him all of my fears and all of my reasons for wanting to duck out of this job.  I honestly was hoping I would get some form of okay on how to go to this leader and tell her I wouldn't be able to do this.  Surprise!!!  I didn't get that inspiration.  Instead I was overcome with feelings of His personal love for me, I felt hope in what I could do and an immediate 10 minutes of flooded materials and ideas on how to make this program work.  I didn't get it all handed to me that night but I knew, after I had submitted to His will, that things would be okay and that He would be by side every step of the way.

This other sweet woman and I went from being discouraged and stressed out to motivated and excited to see what would come of this.  We planned a lot and we worked hard and with the Lord's help we completed this  assignment and bettered our lives and the lives of those who got to see it.  It's difficult nature proved to be just that, but instead of giving up or taking the easy way out we grew and we rose to the challenge.  We realised that with our Heavenly Father's help we had no limits.  He was with us, guiding us and teaching us what He would have us do.
I love looking back on that day that it was presented.  It will forever be one of my favorite me moments.  You know...those special moments when you realise a little bit more about your own Divine Nature and your purpose for being on this earth.  It makes me excited to go throughout the rest of my life.  Only the Lord knows our spiritual capacity and He will give us opportunities like these to help fill us.   Even the hardest things can be accomplished if we are willing to go about them the right way.  I know that through Him is always going to be the right way!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

22% Tuesday

Tuesday is often just another day "to-do" housework and finish up the cleaning I didn't do the day before. While I was thinking about this--Tuesday, my typical, unappreciated Tuesday--I found something that made me smile:

“I always give 100% at work:

13% Monday
22% Tuesday
26% Wednesday
35% Thursday
4% Friday”

This is so true! There are certain days that are just more productive than others, aren't there? Sometimes I wish I could be more consistent between days, but in reality, balance doesn't have to mean equal parts all the time, right? As long as at the end of the week it all adds up and you've managed to do something resembling progress. It's good to have 22% Tuesdays, and 4% Fridays, and a few variations along the way are a healthy part of the balancing act.

So now you have 20% left for the weekend (if I did the math right), use it well!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grocery Day

Tuesdays are typically my grocery shopping days. If you have been following the blog for a while you probably have noticed that I am pretty frugal. I cut coupons, take advantage of free days and activities, shop sales, etc.

So why do I shop on Tuesdays you ask?

Tuesdays are the last day to use last weeks adds. Sometimes if I know that something is going to sale out or a coupon will expire, I will go earlier, but Tuesdays are the best days for the deals.

I also receive my Red Plum Mailer on Tuesday. It is the one with next weeks grocery ads. Then I can compare prices and see if there is a better sale.

I also like shopping on Tuesdays because I can wait and see what the new coupons will look like on Sunday as well.

So that is typically why I do the grocery shopping on Tuesdays. Then I also know I am not shopping multiple days in a week for groceries. I try to hit them all at once. (Aside from Fred Meyer, their ads run till Saturdays.)

When do you do your grocery shopping trips. Any tips?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, aka Doozee-Day

Tuesdays are usually the days I don't have a lot going on, and the kids and I can pick and choose what we want to do, either at home or out and about. The past two Tuesdays, however, have been real doozees, so I've decided to rename Tuesday Doozee-Day. Has kind of the same ring to it, don't you think?

Last Tuesday, as I rocked my sick, ear-infected daughter back to sleep, I squinted through my blurry eyes at the clock that read 3:36 am. What's worse than being sick myself is for either of my children to feel horrible and, in this case, too young to tell me what's wrong or where it hurts.

Fast forward to yesterday, the beginning of my 28-hour "adventure" (as my son called it), trying to get from my sister's house to mine, a trip that usually takes 4 1/2 hours (5 tops). Think the shortest distance between to points is a straight line? In this case, that straight line crossed over a snowy, icy mountain pass that fluctuated between treacherous and undriveable (if that's even a word). The three of us spent the night in a small town on the back side of the mountain to wait what the weather looked like today. Uh-oh. More of the same...and worse. We decided to backtrack 20 miles, drive south to Oregon, over to Portland and back up to home sweet home. All in all, we spent 17 hours on the road and 11 in the hotel. One for the *family* history books for sure.

During both of these experiences, a quote was replaying in my head after I heard it in a talk at church about stewardship.

"Some may believe that they create their children, that they shape them out of unformed clay. Others may believe that they own their children. We, however, understand...our children are not ours. They belong to their Father in Heaven and to themselves. Our noble brothers and sisters, matured adults who agreed to become helpless babes entrusted to our care, have a right to expect us to treat them well."

I feel blessed to have my children's care entrusted to me. I have felt the weight of and reward for this responsibility especially over the last couple of weeks. I'm ever thankful for it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Four-On-The-Floor Tuesdays

... your floors!

Tuesday is my floor cleaning day. Oh, I do love a clean floor, don't you? Every place I've lived in since I first got married has had hardwood floors ... and there's definitely a reason - I love them! I remember being a bit nervous about them at first, due to a notion of unknown origin that they're hard to take care of. Living, as I do now, in a house with both hardwood and carpets, I gotta say, in terms of ease of care my vote definitely goes with the wood.

For a long time, to keep them looking lovely, I used a commercial cleaner. And then I read in a magazine that so-and-so's housekeeper kept her wood floors gleaming by using a simple solution of warm water and vinegar. "Hey!" I thought, "That's pretty much what I use on my windows!" (I add a little dash of rubbing alcohol to the mix, to help it dry faster.) So I've been using my homemade window cleaner on the hardwoods and I haven't looked back. I love that it's safe for our home environment (as well as the global one), it does a great job, and it's gentle on the floor's finish. Saving a few extra pennies on cleaning supplies doesn't hurt either, of course!

Now if only I could find a solution for the not-so-white-anymore carpet in the rest of the house. (Seriously, if you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them!)

Monday, February 21, 2011


You want to know what I'm going to do tomorrow...on just a boring old TUESDAY?  I am going to do what I did today only without my kids distracting me (thanks to a sweet friend) and with my husband upstairs working from home instead of across the country.  I am going to quilt, go out to lunch with my cute Mark and then I'll probably come home and quilt some more.

It's been a long time since I started this quilt for Sadie and because of a busy busy year and a whole lot of "stuff" jammed into my schedule I have had to look at it, sitting in it's special box, for way to long.  Things have dies down finally and I pulled it out today for fun and actually surprised myself.  It didn't take me very long to make some good progress on it and I was still in love with the project.  After nap time I have 40 squares completed and only about 75 more to go.  I love how happy it looks sitting on my floor and I can't wait to see it in her new room or her cute white bed. 

So after coming back to reality I've realised that I'll actually have to teach 4 lessons later in the afternoon and I'll probably get up to go to the gym and make food and do other momish duties but a whole Tuesday morning all to myself plus a nap time in the afternoon!!!  I can hardly wait! 

Maybe by Wednesday this top will be finished!  I'll keep you posted!

What are you going to do to make your mundane Tuesday more special?

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Real Reason I Love to Cook...

The real reason I love to cook...

...because cooking is part of the creative process, a process that has become such a vital part of who I am. Whether it is writing, sewing, or cooking, I find such joy in creating.

I will never forget the day I heard President Dieter F. Uchtdorf say:

“Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty,”
That statement was planted in me as a tiny seed of inspirational truth. Since then it has sprouted and grown into a life-tested stronghold of personal testimony. 
It's true! There is something very satisfying about starting out with simple and wholesome ingredients, combining them together, and creating something that smells good, looks good, tastes good, and fills my body with goodness! And it gets even better when I can share that goodness with the people I love. Then I am not only creating a meal, but I am creating a relationship through time and service, thought and care.
It's not always easy, and at 4:00 pm when I don't know what to make for dinner, I don't always love it! But in one small way, cooking brings me closer to my Heavenly Father...

"...He is a God of creation and compassion. Creating and being compassionate are two objectives that contribute to our Heavenly Father’s perfect happiness. Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we as His spirit children can and should emulate." (agian, from President Uchtdorf)
Right now, in this season of my life, it's cooking. At times it is sewing, occasionally it is writing or taking a beautiful photograph. But regardless of the form it takes, the creative process elevates me--it enables me, it teaches me, it fills me with light and knowledge, and it allows me to see my full potential. 
I love to cook--cooking is creating!
What do you love to create?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Real Reason My Kids Have Quiet Time

Yup, that is what it is right now. Quiet time. Oh how I love quiet time. A time for me to finally write my blog post which I forgot about, and take care of the other things I need to to or have been working on. (The office is a mess thanks to the latest project of sorting clothes and the closet.)

Quiet time is for me more then my kids. I am able to clean up or work on a project with out them getting into it. I am able to sit on the couch and eat a snack while watching "Lets make a deal" or "Ellen" without them asking me questions. It is a time for me. My husband gets a break at work for lunch, so why not me too.

And lets face it, sometimes our kids need a break from us. It is a time for my daughter to "Do whatever she wants" in her room. She said that yesterday. "I can do whatever I want during quiet time mom." In regards to my 4 year old licking the window. Gross! But hey, it is her free time as well. Yes I check on her occasionally, but she is able to read, play, chill out with out her brother bugging her or me bugging her.

It is good for all of us.

So what do you during quiet time. Do you have a quiet time? If not, what do you do for some down time for yourself?
Now off to work on my office, or eat a cookie and watch the end of "Lets Make a Deal."

Enjoy your quiet time!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The real reason I love the rain

It's a good thing the rain suits me, since around these parts we get, on average, about 50 inches of rainfall and 154 days of precipitation every year.

I'd be lying if I said there weren't days when I'm not quite as fond of it, like when it's supposed to be summer and it's 55 degrees for a high and you're standing underneath your friends' covered porch watching the fireworks because it's pouring and you're drinking hot chocolate on the 4th of JULY.

But, apart from that, there are definite bonuses to living in the land of rain.

*My skin is soft and doesn't get the dry winter "itchies."

*The brown sugar doesn't ever get hard in the pantry.

*The grass stays green all year round.

*The air smells clean and fresh.

*It's perfect crockpot dinner weather.

*It's also perfect bread/cookie/treat baking weather.

*The sound of rain falling is therapeutic and relaxing.

*Lazy rainy days. I don't really know what the "lazy days of summer" are because it always seems like summertime means yard work, packing for camping trips, picnicking and playing outside, all good things, but I hardly feel lazy.

*Not having sewing guilt because I'm not taking advantage of the sunshine.

*Free irrigation! Two years ago, our vegetable garden thrived, and we didn't water it with the hose even one time.

*But let's face it, the REAL reason I love the rain is:

Who can resist kids in hooded rain jackets and rubber boots? Not me!

What do you love about the rain?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Real Reason I Stay Up Late

I think I belong to a simpler time. Or at least an older one. I love to make my own bread and hang the laundry out to dry because they are things that teach me to slow down, to breathe, and to appreciate time and life and the people I share them with. Also, I love to listen to Radio. I don't just mean that I put the radio on in the car to keep me entertained while I drive (though that's becoming rapidly out of date as well). I love to sit down with my laundry and really listen to the radio. And I'm here to tell you that all the best radio happens at night.

Let me take you back to 9th grade, when one of my favorite memories is of falling asleep in the top bunk with my alarm-clock-radio tuned to Casey Kasem's Top 40 Countdown. Fast forward to just before I got married, when I lived in our first apartment by myself for a few weeks, after our good-nights but before I could fall asleep I'd listen to short stories and plays on the radio. Then after marriage but before kids, we'd stay up and listen together. Even now, especially in the heat of summer's canning season, when I'm always up late because I didn't plan on the jam taking so long to set up, there's nothing like a cool breeze coming in the kitchen window and old-time swing music playing on the radio.

And so! For your listening enjoyment, here are links to some of my favorite late-night radio programs. And thanks to the beauty of the internet, you don't even have to stay up late to listen to them!

L.A. Theatre Works' Radio Theatre Series

To the Best of Our Knowledge ... a sort of "radio magazine." Lots of good stuff here.

Selected Shorts ... short stories from all genres, read to you like it's bedtime. And for me, it is!

American Routes ... is a presentation and discussion of quintessentially American music: blues, jazz, rockabilly, zydeco, gospel; with interviews, documentaries, and of course the music itself.

And of course, one of my all-time, long-time, I'll-cry-the-day-it-goes-away favorites, This American Life.

What are some of your favorite radio memories?

Happy listening!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The real reason I love this day.

Contrary to what some believe this holiday to be about (greeting card company scams and forced signs of love or even single awareness day) I believe it to be more.  Yes we should be showing our love for those we care about every day but how great is it to have a single day where everyone has the chance to fall back in love with those they adore.    Who doesn't love a special day where you get a hundred more kisses and so many more I love yous.  For our family it is a favorite.

Mom get's up early to decorate the dining room and makes breakfast.

Dad, P and S sneak down to find and add treasures.

We make valentine deliveries...

to school...

and to our friends who we get to join for a party.

One special friend of Payton's even came to heart attack his room.

He was thrilled and may be the youngest on earth to have gotten this high school ritual done on Valentine's Day.

After much needed naps and some more valentine creating we are off to have dinner as a family and then going to meet miss Sophie and fam. for frozen yogurt and a special singing telegram. 

Finally we'll end our day...just the two of us with a yummy dessert and a movie.

Best day ever right?  Come on...if you are draggin' your feet or trying to avoid this day then jump up and do something special and fun for somebody you love.  I promise it will feel great and you might even think back on it as a "mmoment."


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Young Love

I love my little brother. He is six feet and four inches of a completely praiseworthy man. So I guess I should say, I love my younger brother--there really isn't anything little about him.

When we were kids, Mac and I would wrestle and tease each other. I am five years older, so I usually won based merely on size. But my dad warned me, "Be careful, someday he is going to be bigger than you and then you'll be sorry!" That day came one summer when I was home from college, I was twenty and Mac was fifteen. We were teasing, chasing through the house, and I just barely made it to my room in time to lock the door before he could totally clobber me. I stood panting, safely behind that door for a few seconds, listening for where he had gone. Not more than thirty seconds later he was back at my door with a screwdriver and the bolts on the door were quickly coming out! It was then that I grasped the full reality of my dad's words--not only was my little brother bigger than me, but he was smarter than me too!

This boy transformed into a man,  recently returned home from living in Wyoming and Colorado while serving a two-year mission for our church. And waiting for him on his return was something that every man prays for...oh, the thrill of young love!

Kaylin and Mac. 
Mac and Kaylin! 

Shout it from the rooftops, I've been wanting to write their love story all week! But the great thing is--they've already got it in writing. For the past two years they have exchanged over two hundred letters.

"Don't wait for me," he said before he left. 
"I wasn't planning on it," was her reply. But her plans quickly changed.

While Mac was away, going through the process of becoming a missionary, Kaylin was here,  finding out why he needed to do that. While Mac was growing into a kind and loving man, Kaylin was here, discovering just what kind of woman she wanted to be. While Mac taught people hundreds of miles away, missionaries were here at home, teaching Kaylin that same message. While he was studying and praying, she was studying and praying. While supportive from a distance, Mac's absence allowed Kaylin to discover for herself the truth and knowledge that led her to baptism. And through it all, they wrote.

In those letters, their friendship grew and a future began to form. Then, from the moment Mac returned home from Colorado, time previously spent with pen in hand was replaced by time spent hand-in-hand. When Mac learned that busy schedules would keep them from seeing each other one day, he went to her house at six in the morning to surprise her before the day had even begun. Waking to sounds outside her window and finding Mac waiting for her there, Kaylin remembers that as one of her favorite days. From then on, their conversation changed from what had happened that week to what they hoped would happen in the coming weeks together.

So when Mac had to leave for school, the separation was almost unbearable. After two weeks away from each other, Mac decided that this semester would be the last time he would ever be separated from Kaylin--ever. Little did he know how greatly his determination to propose would be tested in the process of making his dream a reality.

(this is the part that makes me giddy!)

"It has to be this weekend," Mac explained to me over the phone. That fateful weekend was a three-day weekend which gave him time to drive the twelve hour trip home and get back to school again, Kaylin's parents would be in town, and he was pretty much going to burst if he didn't get home to see her this weekend. He had no money, and what little money he did have he used to buy a ring.--though I have no doubt she would have said yes even without a ring! But Mac made sure it was perfect for her. 

So he left at nine o'clock Friday morning. The first leg of the trip, which should have taken him to Boise in five hours, instead took eight. Driving in an old Mazda pick-up truck with an engine that was overheating, Mac stopped six times before finally getting to Boise. A few times he pulled over just to let the engine cool a bit. A few times he stopped at auto part stores, using what little money he had left to replace a few parts--apparently he knows how to use much more than just a screw driver. :) However, that old truck needed a lot more help than Mac could do out there on the road all by himself. Unwilling to give up or turn back, and unsatisfied with any other options, he resolved to go slow enough so that the engine wouldn't overheat. It was getting late, it was getting dark, it was cold and he was headed straight for the Blue Mountains, which were covered in snow.

With a worried family--three sisters, parents and grandparents all included--countless phone calls were made to be sure he was safe. We thought we were going to help him stay awake at the wheel...because we learned that when you can't go faster than fifty five miles an hour, a drive that usually takes twelve hours stretches out to be more like twenty hours! Yes, twenty hours that good man spent, alone in that little old truck, all six feet two inches of him cramped into the tiny cab, with no real radio to mention, and no guarantee that he would make it. But he really didn't need us calling and talking his ear off--his adrenalin was keeping him going and his mind was forming the words he would say at six o'clock the next morning when he surprised Kaylin at her bedroom window.

The saga of that trip culminated with a shoe thrown at Kaylin's window once again, only this time when she met Mac outside, he was down on one knee.

Now they are preparing to be sealed in the Seattle Temple on April 22nd. A what a glorious day that will be!

I am so grateful for my brother, and for his example. He knows how to love with his whole heart and has already dedicated everything he has to building a life with the woman he loves. What a great way to begin together--what a great legacy to share with their children. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Superbowl

I have a love affair with the Superbowl. Okay, I know it sounds odd, but I do. There is one huge reason for it though. I met my husband at a Superbowl party. So thus, the Superbowl is celebrated in my home every year. It is usually just us, but some day it will be a huge party. Like when church is not at 1:00. Anyways do you want the story behind it? I am sure you do, so here it is.
Seven years ago due to the Super Bowl James and I met. Our friend Jeremy was throwing a Super Bowl party and we both ended up there. I was apprehensive about going due to the fact that it was a co-ed over nighter. But I was assured it would be chaperoned by his parents and the boys were sleeping upstairs while the girls were downstairs. I was still apprehensive, but my roommates were fighting again, (they always fought) and the spirit kept telling me to go. Well obviously James is the reason why I was supposed to go.

Jocelyn and I went up early Saturday with Jeremy and hung out and James got there later. I had my eye on him from the start, but nothing happened till Sunday.

It was Fast Sunday, and we all bore our testimonies that day in church. It was interesting, a bunch of kids from BYU-Idaho taking over his home wards testimony meeting, but they all really seemed to enjoy it, and that was one of the best experiences to be a part of. We then went back to Jeremy's house after church.

Matt had a flat tire, and I volunteered to help change it. All the guys were pretty impressed, and that then got all the girls annoyed with me and then Matt because all the other girls were out there too. I left. He could not get the lug nuts off and I was done with all the girls. So I went off to hang out with the animals. Jeremy's parents had some Donkeys or Mules. I can't remember which. So I hung out with them for a while while waiting for the game to start. That is when James made his move and came out to figure out who I was. We talked, hung out then went to watch the game.

To tell you the truth I do not remember who played or won. I know it was the Janet Jackson Super Bowl though. (I did not see the halftime show due to being on the phone with my parents, thank goodness!) I actually did not pay attention to much of the Super Bowl because James and I were flirting with each other the whole time, and from then on it is history.
(I am just glad we did not die on the way back to Rexburg that night thanks to Dan's crazy driving mixed with bald tires, mixed with ice! Then there would be no history!)

That semester then involved me chasing him, and winning his heart with goodies, and his roommates sure loved me too. There were cookies, (Jocelyn, I will always have fond memories of that night!) cheese cakes, regular cakes, more cookies, etc. I enjoyed myself, and I am sure James did too, although one plate of cookies was ate by his roommates before he could enjoy them.
Stewart, Dan, Chris, and Brady (Jame's Roommates) became great friends that semester. Due to my roommates not being able to get along with each other, I stayed far away. Whether it was at James or Jeremy's apartments. There were actually a lot of people involved. What a fun semester it was.

I loved dating James. We never did anything expensive. We were both pretty cheep and will still admit that we still are, but there is nothing wrong with that. We went to the the dollar theater on Tuesdays when it was cheaper, we would go to the grocery store together, go to James' dance labs, we went on a lot of walks, orchestra concerts, fine arts performances, plays, many Comic Frenzy performances, and just hung out. It was great. I am proud to say that I was James' first kiss. It took us both two months to work up the courage to do that. He was only my 2nd kiss. We were then engaged two months later at the end of May. We actually got engaged the night of Ben's (his younger brother) graduation from high school. Then 3 months later in August we were married. Yes, some people think that is fast, but when it is right, it is right. Why make such a good thing wait.
Oh how I love being married to the man of my dreams! And oh how I love the Superbowl because of it!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The hug that changed me

It was about 2 1/2 years ago that I answered a phone call from my dad. For those of you that don't know my dad, he's a man of very few words and usually listens in on the phone while I chat with my mom, and occasionally he'll chime in with a comment. So, to get a call specifically from him was at the least unusual. It turned out he had been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and had been suffering the effects of a soccer-ball-sized tumor in his abdomen.

There was talk that he would have surgery to remove the tumor, but many of his lymph nodes had already started mutating into serious, untreatable ones. The doctor recommended immediate chemotherapy, rather than go through surgery and wait months afterward to start chemo. Every month, my parents made the hour-long trip to the clinic to receive an aggressive dose of chemotherapy. The days following treatment were miserable for my dad. He described it like having the flu...times 10.

Why share this with you when we're talking about love stories this week? I've always known my parents loved each other, although, like all of us, they experienced ups and downs of the daily stresses and celebrations in their marriage. I have noticed in my parents, since my dad's diagnosis and treatment, a much deeper love for one another than ever before.

(at our family reunion campout this past summer - aren't they cute??)
At my mom's quilt retreat that same year, my sisters, aunt and parents were sitting around one night chatting and catching up. Dad's treatment had taken a toll on his energy, and he decided to turn in early. He stood up, said goodnight, and gave my mom a warm, lingering embrace that spoke volumes to me of their love. I've always known them to show affection toward each other, but this small moment seemed different somehow, more personal and meaningful, and I was thankful to have witnessed it.
I decided that day that, whenever I felt the prompting, I would take an extra moment to let the dearest and most important people in my life know that they are loved. Just today, my mom said, "When you're faced with challenges and the future seems a little shaky, it makes you appreciate just what you have." Thanks, Mom and Dad, for showing me what true love really is.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Family Love Story

I have this picture sitting in a cute tiny silver frame on my desk.  It is one of my most favorite items in my whole house.  I love to look at it and see in their faces how they adored one another.  These two cute love birds are my grandparents, Linton and Dolly Collier.  Their story is simple but I find simple things to be the most sweet.  They loved one another and we all knew it.  They loved everyone of us too. That's what suppose to happen when somebody gets married and starts a family.  That feeling should go on for forever.  

My grandpa passed away just a month ago after having a heart attack and I miss him....we all do.  He would always want to wrestle with us and give us big kisses.  He also loved to talk about his wife and would  sneak cute glances her way when he did it.  He liked to hold her hand and thank her for everything.  He was good to her and she was really good to him.  I don't know all of the details but I do know enough to share their love story and the way it has affected me. 

Both grandma and grandpa were raised in sunny California. My grandma had lots of cute girlfriends (including shirley temple...if I remember right) while grandpa ran around with my grandma's brother.  She had grown up right in front of him.  

Grandpa joined the Navy during World War II while my Grandma was in High School.  When he returned from his service he saw her as more then just a friend's little sister and asked her to dance.  He said "when I got out of the navy she looked very good to me!"  They courted for a year before they were married (the day after Grandma's high school graduation).  

After our family visited with  Grandpa just a few days before he died he told me about how my Grandma's parents didn't like the idea of him marrying her but they went ahead with it anyway.  He was stubborn like that.  Good thing because look how cute they are and how happy they made everything!  Plus my dad came from them and I came from my dad.  When you love somebody you just have to have faith and go for matter what!

She wanted more then anything else to be a wife and a mother.  She moved with her family 7 times and one of them to a farm in Idaho.  They didn't know much of anything about farming but it was my Grandpa's dream so they took a risk and made the most of it.  My dad says she was the best cook and always kept a tidy home.  Grandpa couldn't sit still I guess.  He loved starting knew things and risking it all to start new businesses.  Grandma stuck by his side and did it all with him. 

They had three boys before adopting a baby girl.  They loved them, encouraged them and taught them well.  They believed in family.  They worked hard together and they played hard together.  When grand kids came along they seemed to like love us and to want to teach us everything they knew. Grandma loved to teach us girls how to cook and Grandpa would help us climb his trees in the yard.  They would give open hugs and kisses to everyone both when we arrived for a visit and when we left.  We knew we were loved.  They showed us, they told us often and they meant it.

Grandpa's favorite date was the day he asked my sweet Grandma to marry him.  Grandma was always his secret crush and would be for forever.  

They never considered themselves to be poor. He said, "With each other we were and still are exceptionally rich!!!

 When Grandpa was asked, "If you could use one word to describe your spouse what would it be" he said,
"Outstanding, loving, caring, nurturing- take your pick!"  I guess he knew she couldn't be pinned down to just one word.

Grandma said that the one word she would use to describe her husband would be "GREAT!"

Grandpa noted, "My favorite vacations are anywhere I can be with my wonderful wife, Dolly. I love that lady! I even enjoy sitting around home with her!! God has truly blessed us!

Their advice: "Always tell each other you love each other daily and hourly. Always do everything together and be patient!"

I love that no matter what they stuck together, loved each other openly and made each other feel special.  They put their spouse first and their family close behind.  Their legacy of love and their story will stick with me for forever.  I love you Grandma and Grandpa! I want to end up like you...happy and content.


* I need to thank my cute sister in law Katie for helping me with this post.  In the short time she knew my grandparents she put together a book of each of their lives.  I will always love having a copy of those books.  Thank you a million times!

Friday, February 4, 2011


Just this morning Jen and I were talking about shelves and how nice it would be to have all the shelves we need to store our books and kids' toys and everything else that doesn't belong on the floor. But, like so many other things in a home, those shelves are just another thing you have to go out and buy. Usually I try to find many of those "home-necessities-that-cost-more-than-I-want" at garage sales or GoodWill or on Craig's List. But now there is another great place that recycles used items...for free!

It's called FreeCycle!

Have you heard about this? Have you used it? Well, I think the first thing I'm going to watch for is some shelves! :)

And if you're looking for a good book to teach your kids about reusing and recycling and all of the great habits that go along with those, I would recommend Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen, by Cari Best.

She will teach you about taking care of your things, using them out, making do with what you have, working hard, and sharing with others. It's a fun book and I enjoy the illustrations too! :)

Have a great Friday...and let me know if you decide to join the FreeCycle group--I did!