Monday, May 31, 2010

Tidy It Up

Tomorrow I go to Washington DC to help my daughter and her family take care of things that need to be done before they come to our home for a month long visit. We have been busy preparing our home for 5 small children. My grand kids come to visit regularly but a visit is different than a month long stay with 3 children 4 and under-- I need to be a little baby proof. I am so excited for their visit.

As we have been tidying up we have found lots of fun things-- like the bill of sale from our first house in 1979, certificates from births, baptisms, and ordinations. Old pay stubs, report cards, various lists, notes and dreams. As we looked at these fun things the years just melted away. All of a sudden we were the young couple with four then five and finally six children moving across country every year for four years, on adventures with each other, dragging the poor children along, trying to make it as easy on them as possible. Filling the U-haul, excited for the unknown ahead and sad to leave friends and homes behind.

Yesterday in church the speaker quoted some thoughts on change. Two that I remember were:

Without change there would be a lot of wet babies!!


The only thing constant in life is change

I have had fun cleaning, organizing and tiding up things I have not had the opportunity to take care of in a long time. Some of it from neglect (because I would rather be reading a good novel or creating something fun) and some because I have not been home for the last 4 months. Whatever the reason it has been a good walk down memory lane. It feels so good to have my house deeply cleaned and organized.

Right now though, I have 24 hours before our month of adventure and memories begin and I still have a few beds to make. Gotta finish preparing for the adventure of being a full time grandma to 5 cute little ones who will encourage all of the rest of the cousins and aunts and uncles to come and be part of the memories as well. When we all get together there are 28 of us.

It's gonna be a wonderful month.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Old Friends

I have a lovely room in my home named the sewing room. I have to guard it carefully. When the kids were young they would take my scissors and cut PAPER with them!! Over the years if a family member did not know where to put something invariably it would end up in the sewing room. WHY??? Like I said, I need to guard the room carefully.

A year and a half ago we had two major family life changing events at the same time followed by a few more. I got very busy trying to live life and keep up with who knows what and I forgot that I needed to guard my sewing room carefully. I looked in there the other day and was overwhelmed with what I couldn't find--the floor!! It was missing--hidden by a mountain of things that had no business in the sewing room.

I spent the bigger portion of the week searching for my long lost friend and I finally found it. It is a beautiful white painted floor with a blue stencil. I love my floor, I painted it myself. I love my sewing room, it is where I go to create. Today my sweet husband was as excited to see my old friend as I was. To celebrate the return of my old friend we went dancing--in the sewing room, on the pretty floor.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Earlier this week I went with two of my grandsons to the park. We decided to swing. The grins on their faces were wide and wonderful. As they went back and forth they giggled with joy. Soon Denim was laughing--that deep joyful laugh that babies give spontaneously. It was one of those moments that reminded me that life is meant to be lived with gusto, remembering that after the rain the sun usually shines. Even though going up hill is usually difficult, there always follows the down hill ride.

Life is full of moments where we can make choices. I'm glad we chose to go to the park for a ride on the swing. A happy memory for grandma and two great boys. Life is full of many opportunities to enjoy simple pleasures. Take an opportunity for yourself today--you'll be glad you did.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A to Z

This week we celebrate the miracle in our family we call Sasha. She was born on the bridge over the Haw River on 15-501 as her parents were hurrying toward the hospital. My grandmother thought she should be named Bridgette because she was born on the bridge or Mitzi because the car she made her debut in was a Mitsubishi. But her parents chose the name Alexandra Zhenya.

She is an amazing little girl who thrills me with her sweetness. She and her cousin Cooper have a very tender relationship that makes me happy. She sings all day long as she goes about her 'work'. She loves order, everything must be in a certain order according to Sash. I walked into the playroom a while back to see all of the kitchen play foods and dishes arranged just right in a circle as she sat in the middle grinning from ear to ear.

Next week she is coming with her family to visit for a month. I am so excited for this adventure. I am hoping for lots of opportunities to make happy memories while they are here. I know Alexandra will give me many moments to smile and giggle at her antics as she goes about discovering the world in her own Sasha way. The family and her friends call her Sasha, but to me she is Alexandra, a little queen in her own right.

Happy Birthday Alexandra. Grandma loves you.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Our grandson needed some one on one time last evening so we put him in the car and brought him home with us. As we were driving along he was chatting in the back seat entertaining us with his amazing little mind.

Pretty soon he asked us to guess.

Guess what??

Just guess.

So we guessed: Green? Five? Left?? May??

It would help if we knew what you wanted us to guess........

"Who is the oldest family?" he said.

We tried to process the question and answered as best we could..... "Grandma and Grandpa??"

To which he answered sounding amazed that we could figure it out "YES!!!"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I have two weeks to get organized before my daughter and her sweet family come to stay for a month. As I look around I am a bit overwhelmed. I have a calendar on the fridge listing all of the to-do items and the best day to-do them on. I found this quote by Arthur Godfrey that helps me see the whole picture:

Even if you are on the right track,
you will get run over if you just stand there

Gotta get moving.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where Are You Going??

I have asked my children many times "Where are you going?" I have asked my husband the same question occasionally over the years. Sometimes as I am running quickly through the house with a cluttered mind I have to stop and ask myself the same question--"Where was I going?"

I heard this quote the other day and I think it deserves some think time:
The common man goes nowhere--you need to be uncommon

Sometimes it is good to stand out from the crowd.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Today is the day we honor mothers.

I have a wonderful mother. We grew up together--you see she was 17 when she married my dad and 18 when I was born. Now we are both grandmothers. At the moment we both have 14 grandchildren. Mom does have 18 great grandchildren, with more on the way. She does her best to keep up with all of them.

My mom is amazing. She can create and do things that are so beautiful. She is never idle, if she sits for a few minutes in front of the TV she also has her hands busy crocheting, knitting, cross stitching, tatting--you name it, she does it. She is a little bit of a lady at just 5' but she knows how to get her point across just fine. She is clever and resourceful. Mom calls every week to keep me abreast of my family that lives so far from me and I enjoy our visits very much. I love to laugh with my mother. The most important thing she ever taught me was how to be a good wife. She is an amazing wife to my father, kind and patient.

A few years ago I was given a partial quilt square that David's grandmother had made. I wanted to make a wall hanging out of it for my mother in law. My mom helped me come up with a sweet phrase to express my sentiments, she helped do the cross stitch, my dad made the frame. Now the piece of art hangs in my home. It says:

Praise God for Mother's gentle hand
and love we cannot understand
Praise Him who sent us from above
the blessing of a mothers love

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers in my life, my own mom and the mothers of my grandchildren. You are all amazing and I love each of you. Happy Mother's day to those who nurture children, young and old.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Last week Jared Dean spoke at church on home and family. I really enjoyed his talk and have thought about it a lot. When he was speaking about the role of a mother in the home he shared these thoughts:

Most of a mother's time should be spent with her children
A mothers greatest teaching will be to teach her children about God
Teach the children that home is a good place to be
Make sure your home is warm and loving so the children want to be there

I may not have always had the tidiest of homes, but I have strived for a home that reflected the love I feel for my husband, family and God. Clean enough to be healthy yet cluttered enough to be fun. Keeping the balance just right is a trick I am still trying to get right. You know the balance is good enough when you have been away for a while then come back and it feels so good to be home.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


My grandson paid me a back door compliment the other day.

He told me "Grandma, I sure like you a whole lot better at your house!!"

His mother clarifies the statement meaning that he misses living close enough to come over more often. But as I thought about what he said, he was right,. I like to be the fun grandma.

I did the responsible thing when my kids were young. They ate their vegetables, were encouraged to finish their homework. Please and thank you were common reminders out of my mouth. Bedtime was a routine and a schedule for practicing was set. I did those tasks with my children so they would be healthy, happy and respectful.

Now I am the grandma. If the kids do not want to eat all of their vegetables at grandma's house it is still okay to have ice cream for dessert. If the bell tolls 9pm and we are still awake watching a movie or reading a book it is not panic time. That is my reward for surviving the teenage years with my own children.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Role we Play

I have spent a lot of time lately in my children's homes. Sometimes I have been the main caregiver for my grandchildren as their parents have been away or sick. Last summer we took a trip with our 8 year old grandchildren that was awesome. Sometimes my grandkids need the respite that grandma's home offers. I have enjoyed these experiences very much. Each one has given me insight and opportunities to get to know the grandchildren better.

As the grandchildren are growing older I watch my children parent. I am amazed at their patience, love and creativity when they deal with situations as they arise. I heard a talk recently that spoke of the role each person in a family fills. Basically the father provides and protects while mother nurtures and teaches. What then is the child's role?? To be obedient and learn. Too bad they thought their role was to laugh and play. Maybe we can combine the two.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pure Love

Last week my husband and I were discussing the job we did in raising our 6 children from babies to where they are now. We mentioned a few things we wish we could go back and enjoy more, or do better, but, the one thing I try to remember is that I did the best I could. I was not a perfect mother then or now, but I tried to teach my children to be kind, loving and responsible, and I think they are.

I remember President Gordon B. Hinckley saying at a conference I attended "you will make mistakes as parents. But, if mother loves father and father loves mother and together they love the children everything will turn out alright." My children were still young when I heard that statement and it has stuck with me through the years. I think I have been holding it to President Hinckley as a promise.

This I know, I love my husband and I know he loves me. We love our children and now in-laws and grand children very much. If love can heal all, I am giving it my everything.

I heard this statement at church last week:
Parents should be examples of kindness and pure love.
As I go through life I am still learning what pure love is. But, the more I learn the more I try. I hope prayer is also an equalizer in this formula for alrightness. Just remember kids, I'm doing my best.