Thursday, January 29, 2015

100 Years

Several months ago as I was reminiscing about my life, my parents, and my life it dawned on me that my cherished dad, who had passed away 17 years ago, was going to be turning 100!!
I have wanted to pursue Family History seriously so I decided this was the time to focus on my dad and his life and what better way to do it than to have a PARTY.  
I want my children and grandchildren to know my dad so I thought maybe my siblings would feel the same way but they weren't quite as excited about my plan as I was BUT
I decided not to let them damper my excitement or plans so I enlisted my 
two wonderful and talented daughters to help me out.
They came through wonderfully and we planned a beautiful evening.

I sent out invitations with my Christmas cards that I mailed to my brother, sister 
and all my nieces and nephews. 
Jessi designed this adorable invitation.

It was an entire month in advance so I hoped to get a good turnout and we did.
The final count was close to 40 and I think everyone that could of come did come.
Hopefully his children, in-laws, and grandchildren learned something positive about him that night.
These pictures are randomly in here and I'm going to take them the way they come.

I decided we wanted to serve his favorite treats that evening
 and we decided, even if it was the middle of the winter
 on an Ice Cream Sundae Bar with Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  
(It was also my nephew Troy's birthday the day before the party so we used the cupcakes
 to celebrate his birthday also.)
We decorated the serving table with brown shipping paper and tin buckets 
to keep it looking authentically rustic and old.

 We also served 7 layer Mexican dip and chips so we didn't have a sugar overload. 
No pic but you know what I mean.  Just imagine it.

Amy had a friend who designs these Family Trees.
This photo doesn't do it justice but it is amazing.
Darwin and Della's children, spouses and their children are on the tree.
Great grandchildren and in a different color Great Great Grandchildren was written around the sides.
 I found several wonderful old pictures of him.  
I scanned them and sent them to Costco to be blown up.  Most of them had a warning on them that the resolution wasn't good on them but I had them printed anyway.
So glad I did because they turned out wonderful.
This one is actually a 16x20 that was awesome.  
You've just got to love Costco Photo.  This huge picture was $5.99
 More pictures along with mixed nuts which Dad always liked to snack on.
 The pic of the two little boys is my dad and his younger brother Dennis.
Yes boys wore dresses in those days--it is his brother not a sister,
That picture has to be over 95 years old.  Priceless.
 Of course a picture of his truck which was his livelihood when he retired.  
He owned 29 just like that one.
A place to record a remembrance and a beautiful picture of my mom and dad.
 Amy was in charge of our Jeopardy game only she called it
Just like everything else she does it was over the top wonderful.  
 Each square would open into thirds. 
 The first flap was the question and the second was the answer.
This was the lamest question we had, we were getting desperate by the end,
so I'm not sure why that is the picture I took.  
We had a couple of T or F, a couple of multiple choice and the rest were fill in the answer.

 My family are not great game players but everyone did get involved and I think each person learned many things about this amazing man.
We passed out Almond Joy candy bars to the winners and actually everyone else 
because that was his favorite candy bar.

I forgot to take a picture of these cute water bottles at the party so I set up the few left over when I got home and snapped a pic so we wouldn't forget.
The highlight for me is that I decided to write a children's book about my dad.
I've always wanted to write a book and so I guess now I can cross that off my list.
I want my grandchildren to know him, know some stories of his life
 and appreciate the legacy he left behind.
I also figured not many would read a long wordy book 
but almost everyone would hopefully read a short children's book.
I loved doing it and am quite pleased with it but as I wrote I realized that he has too big of a story to be condensed into a children's book.  
Now I need to start a true biography of this man before his story is lost.
 Here are a few random pics of family at the party.  Of course I didn't get many pictures. 
 I need to learn from Carly to take many many pics because too many memories are missed.
Dale and some of his family 
 Amy and Logan 
 Some more of my brothers family
 Marc and Jeff
Dani and Niki
 Derek and Jeremy
Cheryl and Derek

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bringing In The New Year

New Year--New You
Isn't that what it is supposed to be?  A time for change, renewal and resolutions.

Last night as we were doing the dismal act of putting away Christmas decorations, 
I snapped the lid on the last container with a sigh of relief.
To my dismay, I took one last look around the room and there hidden on the table 
was one last Christmas decoration.  
The bins were full and yet there it sat with no where to rest until I wanted it next season.

It immediately came to my mind what my resolution for next year would be.

There it is in four words.
I want my house purged of stuff this year.  I'm taking a few weeks or months or whatever time it takes and I'm going through every container, drawer, box, closet, pile and get rid of anything and everything I have that I don't have a definite need for at the time.
Anything I keep I'm hoping to have organized and in its specific place.
There is no reason to own all that I own.

As I'm doing this I want to Be More:
Be more knowledgeable about the scriptures
Be more close to my Savior
Be more forgiving
Be more compassionate and loving to others
Be more service oriented
Be more of a friend, mother, grandmother and especially wife.
Be more whatever the Lord has in mind for me.   

There it is--Four little words

Wish me luck

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Indian Summer

We have had the most incredible fall this year in Utah.
It can certainly best be described as an Indian Summer.
In·di·an sum·mer
  1. a period of unusually dry, warm weather occurring in late autumn.

Labor Day Weekend found us in Parowan staying in an 1890's home with some dear friends from Vegas who had just purchased this home and were renovating it.  
Nope didn't take a picture of it.
Parowan is truly Mayberry at its finest, and Jeff remembers riding horses with his 
Grandfather Adria in the mountains above it.
Yes, my dream would be to own a small second home there also.

Everytime that we drive South from Salt Lake Jeff mentions these hot ponds near Meadow Utah 
that he used to swim in as a teenager.  
He always has wanted to bring swimming suits and stop. 
Of course we never did until our trip to Parowan.  
We met our friends, John and Renee, there on our way to their home.   
It was so much FUN!!
Now I feel bad we haven't stopped before.  
They are out in the middle of NOWHERE.  
There are three ponds.
This is the first one and the clearest and warmest one.
We all loved swimming in here.
The second one which is also wonderful
The third one, which I guess is the deepest and someone had actually built a platform to dive from, but those cute cows had broke down their fence and had been in it 
so we actually chose not to swim in it.
The next week in September I flew to California to spend some time with these darling grandkids!!
Mackayla and her favorite past time--The iPad.
Macey's soccer game.  These Southern California teams really get into it.  Each team have these amazing banners at each game with all the team members names printed on it.
Cody's game--Same color jersey not the same team.  
It was only 100 degrees that day so we had to run for refreshments in between the two games
 or let's be honest Grandma really needed a drink!!
Amy and Luke and their two girls met us on Sunday 
and we enjoyed a wonderful Sunday Dinner together that Carrie had made.  
They were coming to celebrate Blake's birthday at Disneyland which we all enjoyed together.
That needs to be its own post.
As soon as we got home it was time for Bo to start his puppy training at Don's Pet Care in Ogden.
Jeff was like a new dad, so nervous to show off his puppy at class.
Bo was the star of the class!!
It helps that we have taken 5 dogs there already and know what we are doing, 
but it is so good for the dogs to go and have to learn to socialize with all the other dogs.
Disneyland called to me again.  
This time was a friends trip with my two good friends--Sandy and Sandy.
We had so much fun laughing and enjoying every moment together.
You can't ever get too old for Minnie and Mickey

The fun never ends at our house.
Carly and girls came to Utah so Carly could run the St. George Marathon, Carrie ran it too.
I stayed home and tended Lucy and Clara so they didn't have to travel more hours in the car.
It was conference weekend so during the Priesthood Session 
the girls all went to eat and play at Farmington Station.
When Carly got back we went to Park City for the day.
These cousins love being together!! 
We also went pumpkin picking with the other Brock cousins at Pack's Pumpkin Patch.
I'm sure we've never picked pumpkins in shorts and no jackets before.
Blake and Callie are always so sad when cousins leave so we needed to do something fun.
The Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point was just the answer.
Logan's favorite was doing a little bone excavation while we were there.
Soon it was time for Halloween and Grandma's get to do the funnest things during the holidays.
Callie's (excuse me-- Elsa's) preschool program was adorable.  
Blake's, or otherwise known as Jessie's, school on Halloween morning at 7:15 (ugh) 
have a breakfast for Grandparents with their wonderful grandchildren.
It was so fun and then after breakfast the Halloween Parade is held.
Great way to start the day!!
While I was doing Halloween festivities Jeff and Pepper, his brother from another mother, 
were busy scouting the mountains by Strawberry Reservoir for large buck.
This is one that they found!!
Jeff had the time of his life.  
I'm so glad he got one and now we can have jerky for the rest of the year.
So fun to have great friends to enjoy the week with in the beautiful out of doors. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hard Things All Around Us

Every time I open the newspaper, watch or listen to the nightly news, or even glance at FaceTime 
I am bombarded with tragedies, heart wrenching stories 
and heroic acts of kindness during difficult times.
I am constantly amazed at the strength and resilience of so many people
 as they face disasters in their lives.
Maybe I'm more aware but it seems to me that these hard things seem to be happening more often.
Some people close to me have experienced some life changing events that I'm sure they would of never chosen, but they have truly risen to face and hopefully overcome these times in their lives.
I have a dear close cousin who found out that her husband and father of their nine children had a pornography and gambling addiction that was destroying their relationship together.
After spending many years trying to find answers to his unfaithfulness has divorced him
and gracefully moved on with her life.
She mentions that confiding in her Heavenly Father 
and letting the Savior heal her has been her lifeline.
She is happy, confident, beautiful and faithful as she is moving on as a single woman.
As she always has, she inspires me in her trials instead of me helping her.

My oldest niece has just recently been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  
She went in for a routine mammogram and they found spots in her lymph nodes
 and after a biopsy was told they were malignant.
She started Chemo last week and is scheduled for 8 rounds of it.
They are being very aggressive in their treatment.  I know the side effects will be difficult,
but she is optimistic and upbeat about this unexpected bump in her life.  
She and her family are truly trusting in the Savior for strength to overcome this hurdle.
Just last week another cousin of mine just minutes after speaking to his wife 
found her dead on floor of their bathroom.
She was very close to my age.  She hadn't felt good the night before but there was no indication of anything seriously wrong with her.
I had prayed for my cousin all week to be comforted in his loss.
My sister, brother and I went to Egan Bench, Idaho to attend her funeral. 
(What a wonderful experience that was to spend time with them for a couple of days.  Of course I didn't take any pictures of the three of us which makes me sad but we had a marvelous time together.) 
My cousin was the strength of the funeral, he was the one that was comforting others.
He never wavered and mentioned to me after the funeral
that even as he found her he was perfectly calm and comforted.
His testimony of the Savior is profound.
They have six married children who were all able to gather together after their mother's passing.
Two days after she was gone they all attended the temple to show their gratitude to the Lord 
for blessing their lives with such a wonderful mom and wife.
The oldest two children spoke at the funeral sharing wonderful memories of their mom and most importantly they both bore incredible testimonies of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I came away from this funeral a much better and inspired person.
I knew they had never had much money or worldly possessions, 
but I was astounded as we drove by their home as we were leaving.  
Their home was small, very small, especially for a family of eight.  
In the walls of that tiny home they raised an incredibly righteous family.  
They know what is most important. Their priorities are where they should be. 
What a wonderful example to all of us. 

As I ponder on these events of the past few weeks 
I am amazed at the strength of these dear family members.  
I will continue to pray for all of them, but I realize that I need to pray for me to be like them. 

At times like this I'm always drawn to the scripture in D&C 84:88
. . . I will go before your face, I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

I have felt those angels before, they are there waiting to help us 
if we will just open our hearts to the Lord.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wisdom Montana

Jeff and I tend to do random things.  
Our little trip to Wisdom Montana was one of those random moments which became one of the greatest things we did this summer.
Since Jeff got our new dog, which is a "German Wirehaired Pointer" he has been studying all about the "versatile hunting dog".  I guess Bo classifies as one of those.
He found a dog handlers class to train these "versatile hunters" in Wisdom, Montana.
I had never heard of Wisdom, Montana and neither had Jeff, but google is wonderful in finding anywhere or anything.
Wisdom, Montana is advertised as the 
"Most Remote and Most Beautiful Place in the Lower 48 States".
That it is.
They do have a motel there but we couldn't rent a room unless we were coming for the wedding.
We're not sure what wedding but we didn't make the cut.
We got on our favorite website VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) and found a little cabin for rent.
It was 20 miles out of Wisdom so we were even more remote and beautiful.
I now know why books and songs and poems are written about the amazing Montana Sky.
It is breathtaking!!
Jeff didn't love his class which was great with me 
because then I got to hang out with him one of the days he was supposed to be in class.
Our wonderful and dear friends Cheryl and Cal were in the middle of a road trip 
so they swung over to Wisdom and spent one of the nights with us.
The entire experience was what you would entitle Serendipity.
Wisdom, Montana was surprisingly incredible in every way.
 The first night we got there it had been raining and we were greeted to this incredible rainbow.
The road leading into our little home
The cutest little cabin in the "Big Hole Valley"
 There were little bird houses on several of the fence poles surrounding our cabin.
 I spent most of the days sitting on this porch overlooking the grand openness.
My honey brought me a little wildflower bouquet

I had heard of hay derricks but I did not realize what they were even like until this trip.
They actually use these still.  It was fascinating to watch. 
My two boys!!