Thursday, April 29, 2010

Team Work

Last week at church a young father gave a talk that has stuck with me and I would like to share a few insights I gained.

Family equals team work. To be part of a team everyone must do their part.

T=Temper your anger
E= (keep an) Eternal perspective
A= Accountability for our own role
M=Mutual love and respect

When everyone is playing fair the game is so much more fun

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tooth Ache

I have a problem tooth. It resides on the same side of my body as the problem shoulder and problem foot--The Left Side--That is reason enough to remember that choosing the right is probably a better way to go.

Over the weekend the tooth started acting up again. Didn't it know I have a busy week. I am going to Azerbaijan to visit grandkids and all systems must be fully functioning--after all, it takes 24 hours of travel. I know I shouldn't complain. My daughter has done it several times with 4 and 5 children. The last time she came she was 8 months pregnant traveling alone with 4 children 8 and under. She is a wonderful wife who lives where her honey has work and a good mother to attempt the adventure. I know, I'm a whoose.

Got in to see my friend the dentist this morning and he says those dreaded words "root canal". So I go to the store to pick up a few things Shawna needs me to bring like baby food, Flintstone vitamins, goo gone, a hair dryer--dual wattage--and a TV antenna before I head to the second dentist for a root canal. Isn't that what everybody does when they are planning a trip out of the country tomorrow to the luxury vacation spot of Baku, Azerbaijan??

Wish me luck

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


At General Conference a few weeks back I was struck by the truth of this statement by Quintin L. Cook
"We are entitled to be able to disagree--not to be disagreeable"

I have taken time over the weeks since writing that phrase down to ponder it's truth. I hope you stop to think about it as you interact with those you meet on your days journey.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Miles and Miles

Since my daughter has been sick I have put quite a few miles on my car. I have been averaging almost 400 miles a week on my weekly commute. I have been driving this round trip for about 2 months. That adds up to about 3200 miles. That is not my record--that would have been the month of July last summer when we drove from NC up to IN down to FL back up to NC on again to IN and into OH then back to NC. We had two grandkids with us for the 4,000 miles --one of the best trips I have ever taken.

My grandmother passed away 3 years ago at the age of 95. She never drove a single mile in her life. She had her first baby in 1936. A lot of women did not drive in those days. But as the years went by she never saw the need to learn. Papa would drive her where she wanted to go. When she needed to travel on her own she used public transportation. I remember riding the bus with Nana back home again after a visit to her house.

As I drive down the road I am amazed how many women my age are on the road. My friend Phyllis drove to Florida by herself for the weekend last week to be with her grand children. Sometimes I wonder if Nana had it right and was really more liberated than we are. She had her own chauffeur for where ever she wanted to go. I look forward to the day that we guide the car to the freeway, program it where we want to be and sit back and let the computer do the work. No more traffic accidents, no more road rage, no more travel exhaustion. Just sit back and relax. Now that will be the day.

Friday, April 23, 2010


If you haven't noticed, special days in our family are all clumped together. This week we celebrate Mr. Max's birthday just after Michaels. Number four for the big guy. He is growing up so fast.

He is in a unique position in his family. Son number one and only placed right smack dab in the middle of four sisters--two older and two younger. His sisters all have royal names like Victoria, Alexandra, Katerina and Isabella. Not wanting Max to be left out but with his father determined that he was to be named Max they settled on Maximus--after the gladiator!!

His favorite color is green, though occasionally he tolerates some blue as well (he is broadening his horizons with that new choice). He is particular how is cute blond hair is combed, though truth be told, with his short cut it is hard to mess it up.

I am really excited because we get to go see him next week. Now we made a goal a few years back to do our best to visit our children and grandchildren close to their birthday's. Unfortunately it has gotten harder to do as our children move farther away. This trip will take us 24 hours--traveling by jet. So he is the lucky one in his family this year, and so it should be for the kid in the middle surrounded by all those women.

Happy Birthday Max--I love you

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


My oldest son had his birthday over the weekend. He has turned into a fine man that I am very proud of. I watch him with his wife and children and my heart swells with joy to see how their family works--like a well oiled machine.

Michael is a problem solver, a hard worker and a finisher. He was building a swingset for the children with his limited free time. It got dark but he had not yet finished his goal for the day so he took a flash light and taped it to his hat so he could see.

I had a conversation with my plumber the other day (my plumber?? who knows their plumber this well?? a story for another day...) and we were talking about sports. I told him that Michael was a champion wrestler. He said when he wrestled he learned that wrestling was an endurance sport. Michael wrestled all 4 years of high school, the first two as the youngest and smallest on the team--always on the bottom. Then he figured it out, grew up some and spent the next two as a champion. Sometimes as a problem solver you have to figure out the problem from the bottom before you can be the finisher on top.

When I was pregnant with Michael I was very sick. I almost lost him, but after some bedrest and lots of prayer he finally arrived. He was a problem solver, hard worker and finisher even before he was born. When he was little his first words to me every morning were "what's for breafass??" Even then he knew that in order to finish you have to start the day right.

I sent a small package to Michael for his birthday. A tool for his ongoing adventures as a homeowner, one of his father's favorite tools--a head light. It is a great tool. Puts the light right where you want it when you need it. I hope he enjoys the freedom this new tool offers. Now he is free to figure out and solve all of the new problems that will arise as he balances family, church and work.

I love you Michael <3

Friday, April 16, 2010

Holiday Cheer

When I was a young mother I had a poem posted on my wall. It said:

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
But, babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow.
So, quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

Does that same thought process work with grandbabies?? Lately I have felt like a college student. I have spent the weekdays with my daughter in Charlotte helping take care of her and her household. On Friday afternoon or Saturday morning I would drive the 3 hours home. I would do the laundry, eat some food, visit with my "boyfriend" then head back to Charlotte again on Sunday night or Monday morning.

My daughter is finally feeling a little bit better--not 100% yet, but good enough that I stayed home this week. I look around my house and am overwhelmed by the mountain of work to do. I realized after looking in the laundry room and finding the Christmas wreaths sitting there that I have been gone since Christmas--January 8th is when Cara and her honey were leaving for a long awaited trip and I assumed leadership of the 2 munchkins. I have either had her children at my house, her house, or my foot up in the air for 4 months now--hence Christmas decos that still need attention. If I leave them out maybe I can get a jump start on this years holiday joy.

I think it is time to find that poem again and post it on the front door as a warning to all who enter. Grandbabies seem to grow up faster than my own sweet little ones did and when I am given the opportunity to rock and love them, I know to take it.

In the meantime, I've got a jump start on this next years holiday cheer!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boy Stuff

I teach preschool. Adorable little kids aged 3 and 4. They have a sweet look at the world, usually from the narrow view they have found at home.

Yesterday a little guy in my class, during clean up time, took the basket that doll clothes belong in and tossed it across the room. I quietly asked him to bring it back and put the items that belonged in the basket inside and then put the whole thing away.

Now you are thinking--why does this merit a blog entry??

When he realized what belonged in the basket he burst into tears. He could not possibly bring himself to touch the "girl stuff" that needed to go back in the basket. He is the middle of 3 boys, no sisters. These type of things are foreign to him.

I asked him if he remembered when his little brother was a baby?
Did he enjoy having a baby in the house?
Did his daddy ever help him or his brothers get dressed?
Did his daddy ever cook dinner for them?
Daddy never made you a sandwich or hot dog?
Well, he makes us Pancakes!!
These are household things that need to be done whether we are boys or girls, I think you can help take care of our house at school.
(with his shoulders hung) okay :o(

Sometimes the job is not on our list of gender appropriate activities, I know mowing the lawn is not on my list and changing dirty diapers was never on my sweet husbands list. But, occasionally the toilet needs to be plunged and pancakes need to be made. We are here to help each other.

I am thankful I have a husband and sons who have always been willing to mow the lawn and step on the stray bug for me. It has made my life so much easier not having to touch that "boy stuff". Thanks Guys!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


It is spring here in the south. That is what the calendar says, though, lately it seems more like summer. We go from COLD to HOT. Not many perfect middle days.

My heritage is from Denmark and other Scandinavian countries. It is COLD there. When my family left their homeland it was to walk across America pulling a hand cart with the few belongings they could fit. Some of them were caught in early snows where many of the company died from starvation and exposure.

I grew up in Southern California. As a youth I did not realize I lived where the weather was mild most of the time. It was there I longed for occasional snow on the ground. Now that I am wiser--meaning I have lived where it snows-- I am thankful I live in the south where the winters are considered mild. I wish we had a few more mild days rather than the extremes, but I'll take a day without having to put on a coat even if it means going from 40 degrees one day to 90 the next.

I guess I need to remember the old phrase--BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED. I am planted here. I need to learn to appreciate what HERE has to offer. I will enjoy the blooming flowers the season has to offer and enjoy going without a coat when I can. My mom called and says it is snowing again in Utah. Yes, I choose to bloom right here where I am.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Last weekend we were visiting our son Michael and his family in Indiana. We were enjoying the beautiful spring day outside with the 3 grand kids. Michael just built a new swing set for them in the back yard and Ella was giving us a tour. Dallin was excited to play catch with his grandpa. Brody, who is three, wanted to swing. As he went higher and higher you could see the joy on his face. It was too much for him to contain so he broke out singing the Hallelujah Chorus.

Life should be so wonderful that we all occasionally feel like singing the Hallelujah Chorus as we go about the business of the day. Do you know any other 3 year old who knows the Hallelujah Chorus?? Kids are amazing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

soft, fluffy pillow world

I have 2 brothers, 3 sons, a dad and a husband. In my more than 50 years living with and around these men I have learned a few things that make the living sweeter.

When my mom was a young wife there was a popular book out named "Fascinating Womanhood". The book helped women in that generation get what they wanted from the men in their lives. Some of the truths still work today, not only with men but with all people. Truths such as--'You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar'. In common words it means be nice and you will get farther than being direct, gruff, mean, sharp, foul--and so on.

You've heard the phrase that a little girl has her daddy wrapped around her little finger. That could work for big girls too--all you need to do is ask nicely and smile--most men will do whatever they can for a woman if you just ask nicely.

Another truth--don't be demanding. My mom used to say that she would mention an idea to my dad, wait a while, let the idea take root then pretty soon my dad would have the best idea to make things nice for mom. She usually got what she wanted or needed just by quietly mentioning it and then being patient while he thought about it awhile.

I've heard it said and realize that we have enough of harshness in the world today. What we need is a little more softness, gentleness, kindness. Think big soft fluffy pillow words and actions.

I would like a retaining wall in front of my house. I started mentioning it last spring, it just might get built this year.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I love Easter, spring and new beginnings.

I love to see the buds on the trees and the signs of flowers blooming.

When I was a little girl my mom always made my sister and I a new dress and we got new white Sunday shoes to wear. I always felt pretty on Easter morning. When my own children were little I would try to make all 3 girls matching dresses and my young sons ties or vests to coordinate.

I love being able to go without a jacket, to
kick off my shoes and enjoy the warmth of the sun on my face. I guess that is my California upbringing.

Most of all I am thankful for the opportunity to begin again that this time of year reminds me of. When I have made a mistake I have the privilege of saying I am sorry and trying again. Death visits every door step at one time or another, yet it's sting is softened by the knowledge that life does not end with this earthly life--in time I will be surrounded again by all those that I love.

Easter morning dawns bright and warm in my heart no matter what the weather man says.

Friday, April 2, 2010

One Smile at a Time

Before she was a mother or even mortal her name was Eve, the mother of all living.

I believe and have been taught that motherhood is the noblest calling, worth all effort to bear and rear that child in goodness. Yet, there was a time in my life when I thought I may not have the privilege of bearing my own children. What then??

Women by nature have the desire to nurture. Watch any 3 year old girl with a doll, we are born with it. If we let that deep down desire come to the surface and nurture those around us, especially the children and men in our lives, we could change the atmosphere of the moment. If we smile and talk gentle then the people around us will have the tendency to smile and talk more gentle.

If you think the world is a difficult place to live right now, do your best to change it--one smile at a time.