Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cool Bloom Club

As we walked into the luau they placed a flowered lei around my neck. It was beautiful, made of purple orchids. I grew up in Southern California and I knew lots of Hawaiians and Samoans. I have been around and known of Polynesian traditions my whole life, but, no one has ever given me a real flower lei before.

I was wearing a long flowered dress with my hair flowing and held back with a flower on the left side. I felt pretty. I was able to wear the lei on the plane ride home. When we were in Dallas a little girl with stars in her eyes walked up to me and told me I looked pretty. In a whisper see told me "You went to Hawaii!!" The flight attendant told me my flowers were pretty and asked if I had a good time in Hawaii.

It was hot in Hawaii. It was warm on the plane for the 4 hours we sat on the runway with mechanical problems. It was hot when we got home. I now know why the Hawaiians wear a flower lei--it keeps you cool when it is hot. Those fresh flowers felt so good in the heat and cooled me off. By the time we got home my lei was pretty wilted--it matched me after the overnight 18 hour trip. I put it in a bowl of water and it perked right up again--just like I did after a good nights rest.

Do you think people will think I am odd if I start wearing a flower lei on a hot and humid summer afternoon to keep myself cool?? Maybe I will start a new trend here on the mainland. Want to be in the Summer Cool Bloom Club with me?? It will be fun and we can all feel pretty together.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


When we were first married my sweet husband was in the Air Force Reserves to earn enough money to keep us going. He was a load master and flew on C141's. He loved flying and traveling. We were married for 5 years and had 4 little children from newborn to 4 years old. I did not get to travel with him in those days, my responsibilities were to keep the children clean, fed and safe.

About once a month he took a flight, quite often to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. He made many trips to Hawaii and promised me we would both go together someday. Well, after 37 years of marriage that day is finally here. As I write this entry I am sitting on the beach of Waikiki.

It is beautiful here. The ocean is amazing with various colors of blue. The hotel we are staying at is magnificent. I have enjoyed going on tours to the pineapple plantation and around the island. We have enjoyed walking on the beach and swimming in the warm clear water. Tonight we are going to a luau!! Tomorrow we go to Pearl Harbor.

I have enjoyed letting my hair flow free with just a flower to keep it back. The breeze is pleasant, even though one day the wind was so strong my skirt decided to do the Marilyn Monroe thing (over my head) --thank goodness for slips!! I have enjoyed the music and even took a hula lesson.

I have been planning this trip to Hawaii for 37 years. I have enjoyed it immensely!! Thank you sweetheart for a wonderful time. I love you.

This trip sponsored by DuPont EMC

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mr Wonderful

Every girl should have a Mr. Wonderful in their life. I found mine almost 38 years ago. We were standing on the beach in Southern California and I remember seeing sunburned feet. I also remember attending a friends wedding reception and this guy pushing his Mustang to get it started. At the time I did not know I would be spending my life loving and caring for that man. But I have, and I am thankful.

Mr. Wonderful had a birthday this week--#62!! He is no longer the young man I married, but, he is the man I fell in love with. He is kind and thoughtful. Most often he tries to meet my needs before his own. He is a good father and provider. We are good friends.

I love to watch Mr. Wonderful with the grandchildren. He is in his element when sitting in his chair, a child on his lap, watching the movie Cars. When all of our children are in town visiting he grins from ear to ear. Last week our daughter wrote a special Father's Day remembrance for him, as he read it a tear trickled down his cheek. He loves his children and enjoys their visits and telephone calls.

After 38 years he still calls me beautiful. He makes me happy. I enjoy spending my days loving and caring for this great guy--my Mr. Wonderful.

Happy Birthday, Honey!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

I called my dad to wish him a Happy Father's Day and to tell him how much I love him. It was so good to talk to him. I miss my daddy. He lives on the other side of the country and the miles are many. Talking to him I was warmed by his laughter and concern for me and my growing family.

Growing up I knew my dad could do anything. He could repair what was broken, he could build and create whatever was needed, he managed all that needed to be done. He led our family in prayer and took us to church, showing the way to spirituality. He loves my mother and showed it in the way he treated her and us.

When I married, he treated my husband with respect, lovingly teaching us how to be a married couple. He helped us remodel our first, second--every house--we bought. I always knew that daddy could make it better.

I am a lucky girl. I have a wonderful father. I have the best husband a girl could dream of. I have 3 great son's who have become amazing men. My daughters have blessed me with 3 sons in law who are loving fathers and kind husbands.

Happy Father's day to the men in my life. I love you with all my heart. You make me happy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I love summer. It is my favorite season.
Yes, yes, I hear you--I know it is HOT,
air conditioning and water make it easier for me to cool off
than in the winter when I am so COLD I am FROZEN STIFF.

Yesterday I filled up the little plastic pool and placed it on the deck. I gave the grandchildren each a frozen yogurt, dressed them in their bathing suits and told them to have fun.

Two hours later the pool was empty, the deck and everything else was wet, and I had a clean kitchen with dinner made!! The children went to bed nicely because they were exhausted.

I love summer. No homework, bedtime is not manditory because the alarm is not ringing before the sun shines. There are leaves on the trees and flowers in the garden. I love the fresh vegetables and easy light dinners. I like going out the door and not having to put on a sweater or coat.

Yes, Summer is my favorite season!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dallin Michael

This weekend we recognized the birthday of our oldest grandchild, Dallin. He turned 9 this year and is becoming quite a fine young man. He is a good athlete and a great student. He loves to play the piano and enjoys going to church. He is active in scouts and his testimony of gospel truths is growing. We are very proud of him. I am fondly thinking of his baptism day last summer and our trip we took together. I hope he, too, will always remember the fun we shared.

Dallin shares his special day with two other people in my family that I love very much, my sister Ann and my great grandmother, Marie Elizabeth Sorensen Jensen. It seems that, in our family anyway, special family things happen on special family days.

Happy Birthday, Dallin. Grandma and Grandpa love you

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


A few weeks ago we returned from an amazing trip to a country called Azerbaijan. My daughter and her family were living there. It is a place I never knew I wanted to visit and am so glad I had the opportunity to go. Azerbaijan is the country above Iran on the Caspian Sea. It is both a young country and old at the same time. It was part of the Soviet Block and has been struggling to pull itself together again for about 20 years. There are remnants of Soviet occupation everywhere. There are traces of the ancient country that it is in plain sight as well as the new country it is becoming.

I was amazed by the sheep herders, kind people, beautiful architecture, bazaars, interesting country side and good food. It is a Muslim country but most people dressed very western. They are a simple people, most have very little, but were eager to share what they did have.

Shawna and Sean were great tour guides. We saw the Candy Cane Mountains with their interesting striations and the mud volcanoes spitting and spewing. We enjoyed Old City and going to church at home. We had delicious chocolate and a warm milk shake. There were sheep everywhere, including the dinner table.

Before I was married I only left the state of California once. Now I have a passport filled with wonderful stamps of interesting trips, but I must say that I will think and ponder on this wonderful adventure for a long, long time.

Thank you Sean and Shawna for a wonderful experience.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Welcome Home Brain!!

This week we celebrate the birthday of my youngest, Brian. The four oldest siblings lump the the two youngest together and call them 'the little boys'. I don't know that it works any more since Brian is now 26 years old and they are both over 6 feet tall. When we brought Brian home from the hospital the children had been busy making signs and messages to show their delight for a new baby in the family. The sign posted front and center when we walked in the door was:

"Welcome Home Brain"

Brian has been a joy to our family. I was quite sick during my whole pregnancy with him and ever since as well. As a consequence all of the children had to pitch in and really help. My two oldest daughters at 9 and 8 years old had many responsibilities to help care for 'the little boys'. When Brian was just 5 months old I had to have surgery and was unable to continue nursing. An angel friend took and kept him for a few days and taught him how to take a bottle. Daddy took over the night time feeding after that and was glad for the special bonding opportunity.

I like to call Brian my Ever Ready Battery. He always keeps plugging away and does not give up. Brian does not see the world in the same way others do, he is a man without guile. Brian is kind, gentle and loving. He gives every work his best effort and does not expect much in return. He is quick to say thank you. He is married to sweet Cheri and they are very happy together.

I am thankful that I have 6 wonderful children. It was an effort to bring Brian into the world, but I have been blessed every day since. I am proud to be his mother.

Happy Birthday Brian--Enjoy your chocolate cake!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Jet Lag

How can I have jet lag when I have not been on a plane for over 3 weeks?? Just sympathetic?? Or maybe it is the rush, rush of getting ready, the 6 hour drive, the hours of loading and unloading the cars, babies and little ones who can't sleep and need grandma's attention at 2am.

At 7pm tonight everyone in the hotel room is asleep except grandma who is waiting for grandpa's telephone call. I finally figure out how to use the internet in the hotel to check the mail, view my daughters hilariously humorous blog entry and laugh out loud in the hotel lobby (where I am hanging out because all are asleep in the room). I am watching the clock, hoping grandpa calls quick because I, too, would like to join the rest of the family in snoozeville.

The Flanafamily is so exhausted. After over 24 hours of traveling they are entitled to their weariness. This is our third night here. The first night we got 4 hours of sleep. Last night the children started waking up at 2am. I have had all of the children share the bed with me at some time during the night each night. Tonight is another opportunity to saw logs. The first child fell asleep for the night at 5:30 wearing his sleeping mask and sun glasses sitting in front of the TV waiting for dinner.

Grandpa just called, we had a nice visit but now it is time to jump into bed and try to sleep while the opportunity affords itself. Tomorrow we drive back to NC. The adventure begins.

I've heard it said that it takes one day for each hour of time difference to recover from jet lag--9 hours difference--maybe we can begin a good sleep routine again next week!!