Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Holidays?

Well, Christmas has passed and the New Year is upon us. We had our Christmas early, beginning at Thanksgiving.

We had Christmas at our house with the Smith and Coltrin families. After a wonderful meal we all gathered in the living room. We started with the youngest to open presents, continuing to the oldest, which is my hubby. We got to see all the nice things everyone received. We visited a little bit and ate candy and cookies. Then it was time to call it to an end, due to the fact that I had to take a nap to go to work that night.

Then on friday we were off to Chicago O'Hare airport. We stayed the night in Chicago and the next morning we walked to the train station, suitcases in hand. We road the train to South Bend Airport/ Train terminal, rented a car and began the shopping. We bought presents and food stuffs for celebrating with the Bullocks. Dougan had just come home from the hospital (he spent 3-4 weeks in the hospital due to injury-infection) and we gathered at their home to eat and open presents. We again started with the youngest and went to the oldest. We all received nice things.

We stayed the night in Elkhart and went to church in Niles, Michigan with the Bullocks. Sunday afternoon we visited with hubby's brothers and sisters. We ate another wonderful meal followed by candy and such. We visited and laughed a lot.

We again stayed the night in Elkhart and spent the day visiting the Bullocks. Then in the evening we visited with Samuel. Jenny was not at home, but we got to talk to her on the phone. We visited Samuel for a little bit and then off to the motel.

On Tuesday we drove to the South Bend airport, turned in the rental car and flew to Tennessee. We visited a little with the Millers and then slept at a motel. The next day we visited my sister, her husband, and my brother at my sister's house. Her grand-daughter came with her two girls. The Millers also came and we had some good food and visiting.

On Thursday we got up and went shopping for presents and food. We had Christmas with the Millers. It was towards the evening as we had to work around school children and a teen-ager's work schedule. We ate and received nice things.

Then a quick sleep at the motel. On Friday we flew to Utah for Christmas with the Phillips and the Panti's. We went out to eat on friday night with Big D, Number 1 & number 2 daughters at a Thai restaurant. Good food. Then we visited a little back at the Panti's.

On Saturday we shopped for gifts and food. Then we gathered at the Pant's and ate and opened presents beginning with the youngest. We all received nice things, except for one that got a lame present, but then again... we just met him. (maybe if he is around next year) Anyway, we played games and visited.

Then we drove to a motel close to the Phillips'. We went to church with them. Ate another good meal and visited. We played games and then it was time to go. We needed to drop something off at the Panti's and she asked if we had time for a quick game. We played a couple of games, visited while we were playing and then retired to the motel to sleep.

On Monday we flew to Nevada, unloaded the car, and tried to unwind. Life would start as usual again on Tuesday.

Now that brings me to the next holiday which is New Year's Eve. Sorry to say I must work again. We cannot move the celebration around like we did for Christmas because it happens at a specific time. So Hubby says he will come and see the new year in with me at work. He will bring a little something to eat, see the New Year in with me, and then go back home to sleep. I guess that will have to suffice. Maybe next year we can PARTY. But this year will be a quiet one.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a very Hopeful New Year.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I remember getting hurt at school, or at the playground, or even just playing outside. I would get up and look at the booboo and then go find Mother. I was fine, no tears or anything until I found her. Even if I had to walk the 6 blocks from school. My focus was on telling Mother. When I finally found her then the flood gates opened. I cried as I tried to tell her what had happened or what was wrong. She fixed the booboo all better then I was off again.

What I did not realize was the flip side to that. Did she worry about when I climbed the big jungle gym? Or when I learned to ride my bike? Did she lose sleep when I was away from home? Did she worry about all the hurt I would have to endure as I grew up?

I do not know and my mother is not around for me to ask. But I can tell you that I did all those things. I cringed inside as I watched the children try something new and tough, though I smiled confidently at them. I cried when they were hurt, though infront of them I tried not to cry. I tried to show them a brave face that had faith that things would turn out okay.

My Mother-in-law one time told me that you never stop being a MOM. I watched her heart break as she held her tongue when one of her children were going through a very rough time. She was there with love and support but she did not offer advice. I am not that strong. I can only hold my peace for so long and then I give the "this is what I would do" speech.

Some of my children hear that speech more than others. And some of them take it with a grain of salt, with a take it or leave it attitude. And that is fine. They are all adults and they need to live their lives. But I guess I want them to know that even if they don't take my advice I want to be helpful. They need to let me know what I can do for them. If it is possible I will do it. If I am unable to help, I might be able to guide them to who might help. The key if for them to let me know when they are needing help or going through something difficult.

I pray for them by name daily. Each and every one. I know that I cannot see what they are going through, but I know who can and does. I trust in Him for guidance. And I trust that the children will let me be a sounding board for them. I don't have to know every detail of their lives. I just want to be there when they need me.

So that being said.....What can I do to help?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Parts is parts

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. And the Eyes are the windows of the soul. A woman's hair is her crown of glory. Cold hands/ warm heart. Pretty is as Pretty does.
You have heard some one sing with the voice of an angel. A person can be as quick as a wink and Kind-hearted. A person can have a smile that can light up a room.

Then there is the animal influence: being dog-tired, sly as a fox, quiet as a mouse, messy as a pig, stubborn as a mule, slow as a snail or a tortoise.

And the mineral world: Dumb as a box of rocks or dumber than a doornail.

Or references to items: Neat as a Pin. Slick as a whistle. Has a spare tire or a beer belly. And don't forget Lead Bottom. Couch potato. Abs like a 6 pack. (why is beer belly so different from abs of a six pack?)

Anyway, all these things make me realize that beauty is very subjective. You have heard it said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have just recently heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholdee. We are each a beautiful creation and should think of ourselves as such.

So to all the 10's out there.... Kudos to us! Yeah, that's right. To you, and you, and you there in the corner. To all of us. Now put that smile on and have a great day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Throw her out the window

When my youngest was a little girl she and her brother were playing upstairs on the window box. She was getting a "ride" on the window seat while he was making it go up and down. Well as he lifted the lid really high she went by the screen and popped the screen out. She fell out the 2nd floor window. All the kids came running down the stairs yelling that she fell out the window. The neighbor lady came running from across the street yelling that she saw my daughter fall out the window. I thought she had probably fallen out the front window on the porch roof and went out to look but the neighbor lady went around to the side of the house. There was my little one lying very still on the ground. I waited until I saw her move then I scooped her up in my arms and took her into the house. I called my brother from his room (he was briefly staying with us) and took her to the hospital. I held onto her hand and when she started to close her eyes I would shake her hand and call her name and I did not let her fall asleep. I got to the hospital and they did some tests and then sent her by ambulance to another hospital that had a neuro surgeon. She was in Pediatric Intensive Care and they ran tests all night. I prayed for two things: That the doctors would be guided to find out what was wrong with her and treat it, and if there was nothing wrong with her that the doctors would know that and send her home soon.

The next morning they sent her home and all was well. Nothing more than a scratch. It could have been so different because there was a cement window well just a few inches one way and some cut off bush ends sticking out of the ground the other way. She had asked Grandma about the lady that she saw and Grandma told her it was her Guardian Angel that had caught her on the way down. I had no other explanation on why she did not have damage and injury.

Now, this is not the end of the story. My little one is all grown up and she has little ones of her own. It wasn't that long ago that her little girl fell out of a 2nd story window. She was sent from one hospital to another and had a lot of tests as well. My granddaughter ended up just fine. Talk about De Javu' all over again. My daughter can take comfort in knowing that she had a Guardian Angel to help her and one to help her daughter. We go through life thinking we are doing things all on our own. We aren't. There are tangible angels and intangible angels helping us. As I think about my life and all the things that have happened to me, my husband, and my children there is an undenyable fact that Heavenly Father loves us and sends help through our trials of faith.

Monday, November 17, 2008

my funeral

"Musings" blog prompted me to wite the following:

After my mother-in-law's funeral I decided to write down how I wanted my funeral. I made several notes on the plane ride home and then once home I organized it and wrote it all out. Songs I wanted sung, who I wanted to do what, ... actually I wrote it all out from beginning to end. It gave me a lot of satisfaction. Then I e-mailed it to the children. One family member called to ask me if I was all right. My youngest called just sobbing. She said that as she read the funeral service she realized that I wasn't dead yet and called to talk to me. We laughed at that. In her mind as she read it, it seemed so real.

Another daughter reminded me that after I am dead the children will have their chance to get their last "dig" in. I am thinking there will be laughter at my funeral.

Morbid? I don't know. It can be very calming to realize that there is order to things. I have thought about these kinds of things for a long time. I am healthy and strong. (Even though I say I am old and decrepid.) No hurry to go on my part. I will be around a while.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Plan B

When I was growing up the options were not there for me like they were for my children.
Or maybe they were there for others, but not for me. My goal in life was to get married like my sisters did and raise a family.

As a young person I tried my hand at beauty college, but did not finish because I was needed to help out my sister who had major surgery. While visiting her in the hospital I met a nursing assistant who was bed-bathing her. We talked and I thought that this would be a great job, one in which you really felt like you were helping.

So after my sister recovered I checked out the local hospital. They had a CNA class starting and my sister spotted me the cash for new white shoes. The hospital provided the uniforms.

I completed the course and began working for the same hospital in which I was born. I started out on the adult surgical unit for the probationary time, then transferred to the Pediatric Unit.
Nice.....I saw a lot of things, some sad, some happy.

This is where I met my husband. Things progressed and I was married a month before I turned 20. I know....way too young. But remember, that was the plan since I was little. We started a family right away and we had 7 children in 8 years. Yeah, yeah, yeah we know what caused it.

By the age of 28 I had 7 children. Sounds like a lot but I had sisters who also had large families so it didn't feel like a lot. (2 with 7 children each and one with 10 children)

Plan A went well. We never had a lot of money to do much with and we often had very simple meals. The children did not have the best or the newest, but they had some things. My goal was to give them opportunities we did not have. Music, sports, college-bound if they chose.

Then Plan B: As the children grew I felt I wanted to do more in the nursing field. I went to college and tried my hand at schooling. I could only go part-time and lost a lot of sleep to studies. I tried to be there as much as I could for the children but they often had no guidance for home work. They managed through school and on with their own lives. Some college, some missions, some work, some children.

Whenever there is a choice there is a sacrifice. My having so many children in such a short time led to the sacrifice of not having much one-on-one time with any of them and not having much money, ergo things. The sacrifice of me going to school was that I did not have a lot of time with them because I was working and going to school. So you see, it was not just me sacrificing but the entire family made the sacrifice.

Now plan B is working out just fine because I am at the time of my life that it is paying off. But all those sacrifices are things I cannot go back and change. You cannot get back time. You cannot raise a grown child.

Plan A & Plan B? It would have been nice if I did plan B first and had the wonderful life it held in promise, but I chose plan A first and had the wonderful life I had. I met the right man and we had the wonderful children we had, and now have wonderful grandchildren. The choice was the right one for me, sacrifices and all.

My advice to young people is to make a plan, work it, and change what needs to be changed. It is called LIFE. Don't miss it. There is no perfect life. Follow your heart, your dream, and your promptings. The only thing constant is Change. Roll with them. 'Nuff said.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

To blog or not to blog...

It really baffles me the things people blog about. I guess it shouldn't. I remember calling my friends to talk for hours regarding the happenings of the day. I even called my mother to discuss the soap operas we had been following. (back in the day when I watched soap operas). We would talk about these people as if they were members of our family.

The shame of it is that we should have been talking about real people, our real family members. And I suppose this is the modern day version of writing letters. But it all seems so unpersonal. Atleast when I called my friends or family, or wrote them letters, it was directed at them in particular. Now when I blog I just put thoughts out there and I am unsure of who is doing the reading.

I find that if I think of a particular person and write my thoughts to them the writing comes much easier. Or I think of giving a talk in church and tend to make it more general. I find it fun to read blogs but do not always give comments or acknowledgements.

So my question to Blog or Not to Blog? I will have to say Blog away. That way people will hear from you and they may blog a response or it may spur them on to do another blog. Communication in any way, shape, or form... It is all good.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ruth's quote

I think it is from Follow that Bird.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Army Boy

Got a call from my Army boy. Actually he is a man. He has a family in Tennessee awaiting his return from overseas. He called just to say hi. He sounds good and is looking forward to being home for Christmas. We will see him the first part of December when we make our Christmas Rounds.

I am so glad that we live in an age of communication. We can call virtually anywhere in the world via land line or cell phone, we can text via e-mail or cell phone, we can e-mail or blog or facebook, etc. When I spoke to him it was so clear, it was as if he was in the next room.

The one piece of communication that is so very old, but still as good as new is prayer. I pray for my children and their families. I communicate my needs, wants, desires and trust that the "lines" are open and the communication will be received and answered. It has worked all my life and I am sure it will continue to work. So glad they are being watched over, no matter where they are. They are a great bunch.

So to my Army Boy I say take care coming home. CUSoon

morning sickness

I only had morning sickness once and that was SEVERAL years ago.( I do not add the year because You-know-who might feel old.) I lost 20 pounds and had no energy. Then I asked my mother what to do. She told me to drink white grape juice (for the gentle acid) and eat soda crackers (for the base.) It worked for me.

I also did not brush my teeth until the nausea subsided. And I found that I could eat rice and milk. It was gentle and bland. Just a little sugar added.

Like I said, this was a long time ago and I am sure there are better remedies out there today.
What are your suggestions? What worked for you? Please add them to my comments. Thanks a bunch.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Big D is thus named for the place he worked. He used to be Hat Dude. Do you remember her earlier blog?

He answered my email and did not seem overly concerned re: my writing him. Ergo: if you have any poignant questions I need to ask him in your behalf please write them to me and I will forward them to him. (does you know who like my big words and are they spelled correctly?)


In all seriousness, I am glad to put together a list of questions for Big D for a Fun Family Interrogation. So get your thinking caps on.

Until later I am MOM

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I recertified for my CPR yesterday and just have to tell you a few things. The instructor thought he was funny which just spurred me on. He was teasing with other students and making comments throughout the lecture. Of course I am reserved and quiet up to this point. I laugh appropriately to his jokes.

Then, while I was doing the chest compressions on the dummy and counting outloud (100 compressions & the other person doing bag/ internal tube breaths) I was counting 13, 14, and the instructor said "lower" (meaning deeper compressions) but with my sense of humor I dropped my voice an octave and said "15, 16". The instructor did not get it and I did not miss a beat even though I made myself laugh. I pictured Ruth doing the Abbott and Costello routine. You will have to ask her about that.

The other thing was that the instructor asked if anyone had wrist or back injury that would keep them from doing all the compressions, etc. Several students had wrist or back thing, then I said I was old, and before he could comment I said. "old and fat". He said there was nothing he could do about that.

I did the CPR and passed, All 100 compressions and everything. Aren't you so proud. Now who is gonna volunteer so I can show off my skills? No One? okay then. Be that way.

bye, (Lower) BYE

Monday, October 13, 2008


Yes, for those of you who are interested, I was able to obtain Big D's address. This will be posted on the internet at the small sum of....JUST KIDDING.

And before I tell you what I wrote to him I will just ask you if you can keep a secret? Well, so can I.

I remember the entry in my diary that said 'I was bad today". That was the whole entry. I know what is was about. Nothing sordid, I must asure you. But no need to laborate.

And does it bother you to know that there are secrets that I will take with me to the grave? Good. hahahahaha

Some things are worth sharing, that is why we have blogs. Other things are just for our own memories, amusement, and amazement.

So now I will go and contemplate my naval. Bye

Saturday, October 11, 2008

does Big D have a blog or email address

I have some questions for Big D. I am sure you do not want me to post them on the blog. So ask him if I can email him. Never mind what questions. I might want him to go in cahoots with me on something. ergo I cannot fess up. Lalalalalaladeeda.

I have been tagged and now so have you.

7 weird or random things about me.

1. I do not like to read due to a comprehension problem, I need to read things 2-3 times to "get
it" , hence... movies and tv .

2. I love the color blue. It is the color of my eyes, and the color of the sky ( where God lives)

3. I love to look at the stars and the clouds. I often point out the beauty of the lighting and the
cloud formations. It gives me peace to look a the sky.

4. I have faith in the loving-kindness of Heavenly Father. Even if things do not go the way I think they should go, I have trust that they go the way He wants them to go for My good.

5. My hubby is my best friend. He makes me laugh more than anyone else can and he makes me cry more than anyone else could ever do. I love to be with him and miss him when he is gone. I treat him badly when he is here. I nag him and have a list of honey-do jobs. Why does he stay and pamper me?

6. I like a clean house. No, I do not like house-cleaning. I just like the way it looks after I have cleaned it. While hubby is away I have that lived-in look, but it gets picked up before he gets home, usually.

7. I like to eat. Food and I are really good friends. It gives me strenth and pleasure. Too much food gives me that sluggish feeling and those unwanted pounds. I have to work on that.

The 4th photo in the 4th folder was not able to be published here so it has been sent via email to those who might enjoy. It is from 2005, on the sheet for EJ.

consider all of you TAGGED. Looking forward to your blogs.

candy & flowers

My hubby went on a business trip and came back with candy and flowers. Now maybe I would have been curious about his doings except for the fact that I trust him even if he is cuter than all get out. Then there is the fact that he has no money to do anything with, atleast not without my knowing. And then there is the other fact that he roomed with Marvin B. (guy from Middlebury)
They were at an event in Calif. There were several booths and give aways. He came home with the huge floral arrangement that was used on the table and a box of chocolates from Belgium (where the buses are from) that the lady was giving away. So there you have it; cute guy, candy, and flowers. MMMMMmmmmmmm Good!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

I was recently watching an episode of Touched by an Angel. There was pending doom and the angel Tess said that we Praise God for the things we understand, but we also need to praise Him for the things we do not understand. I thought of Sister Asp. She is so looking forward to the second coming of Christ. There is a lot of pending doom with that. I picture her looking towards Heaven with open arms and singing praises.

It had a profound affect on me. I thought about all the tough times I have been called upon to endure. Have I praised God for the things I did not understand? I thank Him for all the blessings I have received. I know that I learn from my experiences and grow from them. I think about Joseph Smith when it was told to him that All these things are for his good.

So as I ponder my baby boy going through surgery and then again as an adult and still worry over his health, my second son totalling several cars and the myriad of other accidents he has had and now his tour over seas in the war zone, the worry of one of my daughters in a bad relationship and the pain this has caused her, the heartache of when another daughter calls me on the phone and cannot talk because she is trying to choke back her tears, talking to another daughter on the phone and she tells me she has no place to live and no food for her children, watching another daughter struggle through tough consequences and facing up to them, and lately my youngest daughter dealing with the loss of her baby. There are so many more experiences in our lives. I try to be strong for the children. Then I turn to my husband and rely on him, for I know that Heavenly Father has blessed me with him. He sees my weakness. He has such strength.

I praise God for my husband, for my children, for the good times and the bad times. For the strength to get through our trials and for the hope for a better tomorrow.

Signed, a greatful daughter

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Dating Game

Yeah, dating is a game. Some times you win, some times you lose, and sometimes it is a draw.
I would like to say that the names have been changed to protect the innocent, but if I do that I may forget who I am talking about. So all the names are real and I apologize in advance for any embarrassment I may cause you.

I was invited to the 7th grade school dance by Mark. He brought me a little corsage and his sister took us to the dance and brought us home again. We had a nice time, atleast what little I can remember. After that Mark would come over and we would sit on my front steps to talk. Boring, eh? Well what do you expect, we were in 7th grade. We both moved on to other interests during the summer. So that was a draw.

In high school I liked Tom, a boy from my church, but he only had eyes for another girl. I was still smitten by him and he did all he could to discourage me. He even set me up with another boy. Dennis came to pick me up for this blind date. He was taller than I was and he had reddish blonde hair. He was very nice, we went out to a movie, and on the way home he bought me a box of Dunkin Donuts. That was very unconventional and sweet. After I got home I told my mother about my date and the boy. She said that we had relatives with the same last name. Well after investigation it was established that Dennis and I were 4th cousins, so that ended that. He was a very nice guy though so I introduced him to my friend. They dated and later married. She and He both won.

Then there was the boy, whose name I will not even mention, not to protect him, but my memory....Anyhoo. After our date he drove me home and started to get fresh so I got his head in my arm and rammed it into the passenger side window. I won, He lost. We did not date after that.

And here is an oldy but a goody. Mike liked Loretta, Loretta got made at Mike so at the last minute she agreed to go to the anual church Gold & Green Ball with Ray. I did not have a date to go at all, I know... boo hoo. Mike's mother and My mother talked on the phone and set up this last minute date for me to go with Mike. I had to borrow a dress from a friend of mine and we did my hair all fancy-like. Mike picked me up and took me to a restaurant for dinner before the dance. He kept staring at me like he was seeing me for the very first time. We had a nice meal and then we went to the dance. Everyone there oohed and ahhed over me. I felt like a princess. Mike and I danced and people commented on how nice we danced. At this point the story of the ugly duckling should be entering your mind.....Well, Mike put on a good show and smiled and such. Loretta got jealous and she and Mike made up. Ray and I danced, then other boys and I danced. I had a really good time. Mike and I were just friends, so I knew this would not go anywhere, And as I said I was gaga over Tom. So He won, I won.

Tom never did see me as a love interest. We went out finally the night before he left for the MTC. We went to a movie. It was very clear that we were just good friends and I was okay with that. I figured that if he came home after his mission and had an interest... well, we would just have to wait and see. But that opportunity never came. He died on his mission. A heater malfunction and carbon monoxide. His funeral was a good missionary experience and his father later joined the church.

I see that I am getting very long here so I will try to wrap this up. Let me skip to Sam.

He and I both worked at Methodist Hospital. I was a CNA in Peds and he worked in the engineering department. One day I just happened to go through his dept. on my way out to my car because the lot that I usually parked in was so full so I had to park out back. I noticed this really cute boy. (he worked days, I worked nights)

So from then on I purposely parked out back and stopped at the candy machine on my way out to hopefully get another look at this guy. ( hence my addiction to candy ) Then I found out that he ate breakfast in the hospital cafeteria before work, so I started to eat in the cafeteria before going home. Well he noticed me and sat down at my table. Luckily I was sitting with a nurse that he knew. So he felt he could do that. Well one thing lead to another and we started dating. It really is a nice love story but space is limited so I will just tell you one endearing moment.

We were at his rooming house putting a puzzle together on the floor. We had our shoes off. All of a sudden he grabs one of my shoes and sniffs it. I was horrified. I mean, whose feet smell good? I asked him why he did that. His answer was, "I don't know". I thought that would be the end of him, but Sam asked me out again and again. He even took me out when I had a broken nose. Imagine two big black eyes and a cast taped criss-cross on my face. What a guy.
So I won.

Well by now you should see how this game goes. You do your best, cut your losses, learn from your mistakes, and hope that you will find that love of your life. I did.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pride goeth before....

Did you say "a fall". Well then you would be wrong. It is "pride goeth before destruction".

There were 4 of us watching a game show and this was the quote. We all could not believe how wrong we were. Larry looked it up and found the scripture. Yep, we were definitely wrong.

So we used that a few times as a running gag. On our last day in Hawaii we played a card game named Hearts. I had the queen of spades and all the High hearts. During the game I got several hearts and I thought I would Shoot the Moon. So I played it real coy and "bemoaned" all the hearts I received. Then I played the queen, knowing that I would get that hand. Then I played the last 5 rounds gaining all the hearts. When we finished I laughed because I thought I "stuck" them all with 26 points each. I felt so proud being all coy and everything. Then Pat says, " Larry, Didn't I give you a heart on the second round?" I was so surprised and said, "Oh, are you kidding?" Sure enough, Larry had a heart. Bummer! So then I said the quote, "pride goeth before...." We all laughed. Talk about eating humble pie...

Well, on the next round, by pure luck I got the queen and all the hearts. Since it was by dumb luck I did not have much enthusiasm for it. I felt so deflated. No delight in the winning. Hmmmm. Maybe pride doth goeth before destruction.

Anyway, we laughed and had a wonderful time even just playing games.

Moral of the story: Never too old to learn.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

finally made it to Hawaii

Our friends invited us to spend a week with them in their condo on the Island of Kauai. It is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands. We arrived on Saturday and shopped for groceries. Did you know that milk can cost up to 11 dollars a gallon? Luckily Costco is there to save the day. (More than Carson City but much better than 11 dollars. )

On sunday we went to church in Lihue. They had Ward Conference and we listened to so many good talks. At the end of the service they had a family that was moving out of their ward come to the stand. Then the congregation sang Aloha O'e to them. The words were printed in the back of the hymnal in Hawaiian. We sang along with them and all four of us had tears in our eyes, even though we did not know the family. We could feel the love that this Ward "family" had for them.

They had a ward photo taken, which they do every year, but we waited that one out. Then we listened to some more good lessons. After that we drove back to the condo for lunch. We played games in the evening.

Monday we went on a bus tour. We enjoyed the sites. "Breathtaking" is the only word I can use to describe all we saw. We had a little boat ride to the fern grotto. That cave will hold 100 people. But we did not go up to that one. We had a serenade then on the boat. And my guy did the hula and wiggled his hips and all.

Wild chickens are everywhere. They were even at the outdoor restaurant where we ate lunch.
It is against the law to kill the chickens, but if one commits suicide...

The rest of the week our friends took us to a lot of sites and shops. We went to a Luau on Tuesday evening. That was very entertaining. The host was a riot.

Our friends took us to some caves and we ventured into those. We walked on the beach.
In the evenings we watched the sunset, swam in the pool, and sat in the hot tub. Jealous?

There are flowers and trees and birds of exotic flavors. All in all I say we had a very enjoyable time. I loved it all. The only thing that would have made it better is if you all were there too, then there would be no reason to come back.

Now we are home unwinding and getting ready to jump back into reality.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

No Missed Opportunities

well, I packed my bags wednesday night and had too much stuff for 2 carry on bags, I remember that Sam always says" just check a bag" so I got out the big bag and decided to check it at the airport. I print my tickets on line and look at the flight time which I am sure said 6:55. I set my alarm for 0400 to give me plenty of time but it went off at 0408 instead. No problem, I have lots of time. I showered and dried off and then remembered that I wanted to shave my legs, so back in the shower. I dressed and wanted to take some Aleve before I left the house, so I took a few moments with that. Then I loaded the car and started to drive off when I remembered my cell phone, so back in the garage and house to retrieve that. Then I thought about having to pay to check a bag at the airport so I head off to the bank's drive-through. Got my money and headed off for the airport. I drove 65 mph forgetting that there is a space when you can drive 70 mph. I think about the pending events of the day and several tears fall from my eyes. I know I will miss the opportunity to say good bye one more time to Mary Lenore and will miss helping Ruth and Derek get through the day and will miss helping to dress Mary, well you get it... All the missed opportunities. I get to the airport and take a few minutes to find a Close parking spot. Picked one not close enough to suit me, but not as far as the other openings. And then I go to check in. They ask if I am there for the 9 am flight, I say that I am there for the 6:55 flight.They tell me there is no 6:55 flight, but that it is a 6:15 flight. They tell me that I am too late to check a bag. That they close the bag check in 45 minutes prior take off . I missed it by 7-8 minutes. So...I am rebooked for friday. I called Sam to change all my connecting flights for Hawaii between the islands.Which he did without any grumbling. I guess all these little comedy of errors were made possible so that I could be with R uth & Derek on thursday. Things like this just show me that Heavenly Father is getting us through this every step of the way. No "Missed Opportunities" here for me. I thank a Loving Heavenly Father for all His Loving Kindess.
Love, MOM

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mary Lenore Coltrin

Very hard times.....

It is so hard to see your child lose a child. What should have been just a totally happy occasion is now shared with extreme sadness. We are still overjoyed that little Mary Lenore has joined the family.

Ruth, if you don't want to read the rest of the blog, now is a good place to stop.

Heart break: I waited in the car with Andrew and Emmy while Ruth went back to see the doctor for results of the ultrasound. As soon as I saw her walk out with the nurse I knew the unthinkable has happened. She did not have to say a word. She sobbed on the nurses shoulder. I knew that if I hugged her I would be totally gone and not be able to function or to drive.

I asked what the next step was and she told me that she was to go home and wait until the scheduled C-section the next day. I asked if Derek knew yet, she said no. Well....That was the next step in my mind. I would want my husband to hold me so tight that he would almost be standing on the other side of me. So I drove to the pizza store. I went in and Derek was talking to an employee giving her directions to a customer. I did not say a word but motioned for him to follow me. He came out to the car and Ruth got out. He hugged her and she sobbed. He asked what was wrong and she told him. They hugged a long time and my heart was just breaking for them. I took Ruth home and Derek came a few minutes after. His mother Marti also came. I knew I could not talk much. So I started keeping busy picking up toys and such. Marti called Brother LaMonica and he in turned called Brother Lay. They would be coming to give them blessings.

After the brethren came they talked a little bit with Ruth and Derek. It was hard because brother LaMonica is hard of hearing and none of us could talk very loud. They gave the blessings and Brother LaMonica stayed for a few minutes more. Ruth kept having contractions and so she called the clinic. They told her to go on into the hospital. Marti would take Andrew and Emmy, and I would try to go to work that night. I picked out a little outfit from a bag of baby shower things. As soon as I picked out the sleeper Marti said, "Oh, that is the one I picked out". I quickly ran to the store to buy a new blanket. I would take these to the hospital that night.

I went home but there was no way I would sleep. I finally layed in bed and drifted off for about 45 minutes. Then I got up and called Derek. I was hoping against hope that a mistake had been made and the baby would be alive. But he told me that Ruth was still in the recovery room. I told him I would be there in a half an hour. I went and found Ruth asleep in her room. The nurse asked me if I wanted to see the baby. I followed her to the nursery. The baby was wrapped in a blanket. At first I just looked at her then the nurse asked me if I wanted to hold the baby. I held her gently and let my heart talk to hers. She was beautiful even though she was changing colors already. I wondered if Ruth would be able to see her baby in this condition. It would be hard and I would some how have to prepare her.

I went back to see Ruth. I told her that the baby was so pretty and that she would have to see past all the discoloration and see her features. She looked so much like Emmy. I was hoping Ruth would find the strength to hold her baby and be comforted.

Then it was time for me to go to work. I told her to just call me and that I would check on her later. I went to Rehab. They all knew that I had asked for the next night off, so the day nurse asked "so how is grandma?" Ofcourse my eyes well up and I have to shake my head. She asked what is wrong and I told her. Well she made the executive decision to call in a replacement. I pulled myself together and did a few nursey things until the nurse arrived. Naomi called to check on things. I asked her to call the others, She said she would. The replacement nurse arrived and I gave her a report and was back with Ruth within the hour. I was so glad I could be there with her.

I watched her sleep and found a nap or two myself. I was awake when she was awake. And shared in her loss. Everyone was so kind to her. She was in such good hands. The Holy Comforter was also with her. She had such a peace to her and she was able to spend time with little Mary.

This thursday they will say good bye to their baby for a while. She will continue to be in our family, in our hearts, and in our lives. She is my 19th grandchild. Perfect in every way. In fact, so perfect that she did not have to live on this earth. She will be waiting for us to join her. We look forward to that day.

So to all of you that send prayers and comfort our way, we say thank you.

To little Mary Lenore I say "Bye, Bye for now. Love, Gram"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

the Man with the Yurt and his Ladder-day Problems

The Pool Guy, as he likes to call himself, had a great idea to make a Yurt to surround his above ground pool. He gets all the lumber, stains it, drills hundreds of holes in prep for assembly. He gets the wife to sew a lonnnngggg piece of cloth to surround the yurt. He uses wires, plastic ties, nuts & bolts, beams of wood for the roof, slats of wood that criss-cross together, and clear plastic to form the roof with a plastic dome for the center top. He could tell you all the details in the assembly but let's just say "voila" - a yurt. The first thing is that a very strong wind (65mph) blows over the yurt and breaks the the yurt. The dome became a flying saucer and a neighber brought it back home all broken. Back to the drawing board. The destruction put a leak in the pool, so that would need to be replaced.

The next step after getting another pool, is to do something different to secure the yurt against the strong winds. Several tie-downs suffice. Next is to get a different roof. A harder plexiglass is ordered and used for the roof and the dome. A partial panel needs to be replaced in the fabric that surrounds the yurt. After several days and many harrowing experiences (he was hanging upside down on the outside of the roof) the yurt was complete.

Then came another idea for getting water level right in the pool. A toilet tank apparatice is used and metal clamps, and copper tubing. Well the chorine in the water eroded the copper tubing and we had a high copper content in the water. Many chemicals and filters later and now the water is clean again.

But the old ladder was now rusty. Since we had a new pool we had a new ladder that we had not used yet. So Pool Guy assembles the new ladder and moves all the toilet gadgets to the new ladder, with out using copper this time, and very little metal. BUT, the new ladder has fewer rungs and is more wobbly than the old ladder. So with a little trial and error, and nearly falling off the ladder, it was decided to paint the old ladder and get rid of all the rust, reassemble the steps to the old ladder and use the old faithful again. New is not always better. But Pool Guy has an idea to build his own ladder. Wheels are in motion. By next summer I expect there will be a new ladder in place that suits all concerned.

The question is: What else will need to be done to pool, ladder, or yurt? Seems every season it is something different. But it does not discourage him. Pool Guy keeps plugging away. I am glad he rises to the occasion.

Friday, August 22, 2008

just wait...

So here I am feeling pretty proud of myself because I have figured out another computer thing. It is a big accomplishment because nobody was here to help me. I just started pushing buttons and voila'. So now I may put some random thoughts, advice, recipes, who knows what on this thing. I know... you are thinking "welcome to the 21st century".

That's it. Just wanted to let you all know. Have a nice day. MOM