Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A sense of community . . .

I like Amazon.  I like that shopping requires no trip to town or standing in a checkout line.  Shopping does not require walking down overstimulating aisles with blinking colors and blazing signs.  Amazon provides me with instant reviews so I can evaluate before I buy.  I like Amazon.

I like box stores where I know exactly what brand we like and where it's placed whether we're in Memphis or Moses Lake. I like good deals that come from buying bulk.  I like box stores.

I like gift cards.  They're money hidden in my wallet.  They justify buying a gift for myself that I wouldn't normally get.  I like gift cards.

I like the internet.  I like being able to get in touch with someone quickly without committing hours or days or weeks.  I like being able to see our grandchildren's faces and hear their voices every day.  I like being able to research things I want to know without having to buy a book.  I like the internet.

I like anonymity.  I like to shop unnoticed.  I like solitude.

I am a paradox; I like these conveniences and yet I mourn the loss of community.  All of the above contribute to that loss.

Amazon takes away from my community shops and stores.  It's been years since I've walked into the stores down on Main Street.  They won't stay open without customers.

I like unique, hometown, and homegrown.  Box stores can't provide that.

Gifts remind me of the giver and their influence in my life long after the gift was given.  Whenever I see the pewter bread plate we received 36 years ago from Isabelle Loughmiller as a wedding gift, I remember a sturdy woman with a robust character and a hearty laugh.  She was tough as nails and a strong example of endurance.  That bread plate reminds me to be strong.  Every morning when I make the bed and smooth the quilt that our daughter Cali made, I think of her eye for detail and her generous spirit.  Cali is precise and deliberate in her decisions; she craves color, light, and beauty.  Her example has helped me be more aware and less cavalier, it's inspired me to do better work.  Gift cards are quickly consumed with no lasting reminder or message like the quilt and bread plate give to me.

I like the libraries before they became internet cafes, old-fashioned visiting we did in each others' homes, and the days when the phone was hooked on the wall and didn't follow us.

I like belonging.  I like friendly faces with hugs and hellos.  I like people.

I like it all.  The new and the old.  I just don't know how to effectively combine them.

Our son-in-law Ray recently said to me, "The disease of this generation is loneliness."  I was struck at the simple truth of his statement, and the reality that stable communities help cure loneliness.  Some of my habits today don't build a sense of community.

I've got to do some more thinking on this.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Once Upon a Time . . .

Levin listening to The Three Little Pigs

To create another opportunity for contact with grandchildren who live far away, we created a book club.  

I found some well-told fairy tale books at the $tore. As I read them aloud, I made an audio recording on my phone.  Other than a signal that it was time to turn the page (a make-do solution of shaking a jar of safety pins), I didn't do any special effects.  

I sent the book in the mail to each family and sent the audio file via email.  

Each month we'll send another book (and after ten or so we'll burn a cd with the audio recordings that can be stored with the books).  Calvin will read some of the books and as the grandchildren learn to read, I'll ask them to make a recording as well.  

This was a fun (and easily replicated) grandparent activity and I was happy that it was so well-received by the grandkids.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Pictures for the Month of March 2018

This month our pictures weren't necessarily taken on the 18th -- some before, some after.  I also asked the family to share what their favorite hobbies and pastimes from childhood were.  Thanks to our family.  I'm so glad we have each other.

Abe and Grace's Family

Abe and Grace: Family breakfast with Pluto.

Abe: My favorite childhood pastime was camping and playing
Cowboys and Indians...although reading was one of my favorites too.

Grace:  Swimming every day in the summer at the Payson pool
and sledding in the winter, horse back riding, riding bikes,
building tree houses and sleeping on the tramp with friends.

Henry: Today I met Pluto, Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch.
I also didn’t wear socks all day today (which was a big deal because I ALWAYS wear socks).

My favorite childhood pastime is playing with Lightning McQueen or Legos. 


Hazel:  Hazel - I also met Pluto, Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch.
I liked it much less than Henry.
This is probably the last time I’ll touch a character this trip.

My favorite childhood pastime is taking care
of my babies and putting on lipstick and nail polish.

 Ty and Michelle's Family

Ty: Mustache March

I loved camping and all associated activities
(catching frogs and minnows, riding bikes, pretending, etc.).
Sleeping out on the trampoline with Abe and Levi (cousin) or Drew (friend)

Michelle: Showing off the earrings Afton got me for my birthday.

I loved playing night games (I think that's the generic term for yard/street games with the
neighbors like capture the flag and kick the can).

Afton: I listened to The Chronicles of Narnia in the car on the way to Birmingham yesterday
on my date with Dad to see the Lion King on Broadway. Tonight we got to watch the movie

I love playing dress up.

Eliza: We played an Easter matching game this afternoon.
 I was really good at remembering where the cards were and
couldn't resist finding a few matches for my sisters!

I love playing pretend.

Kathryn: I’m hiding!

I love playing dress up.

Calvin: I love hitting and grabbing my toys.
And I love when Mom suddenly appears above them!

I love  my toys.

Joe and Ande's Family

Zeph playing legos in the wee hours of the morning.

Ezra stealing Ande's pillow.

Winnie taking an after-church nap.

Joe cooking a giant rib-eye steak.

Joe liked to play with action figures. He has many good memories of playing with transformers
and He-Man. He also liked to play with the antique tin soldiers his grandpa, Pop,
kept in a bookcase in his office. As he got older he enjoyed playing soccer and karate.

Today was our anniversary--which we've decided to celebrate as our family's birthday.
Joe planned a steak, polenta, Brussel sprouts, roasted carrot, asparagus, mushroom and leek,
and tomato feast to celebrate. Each element was at least one person's favorite
dish/vegetable.  We toasted to our family and enjoyed being together.

As a child my favorite hobby was reading. I loved taking a blanket outside in the summer
and reading on the grass, or holing up in my room with candy and a book. As a little girl
I remember looking through picture books and trying to find something about each page
I'd never noticed before.

Calvin and Jane's Family

Calvin:  The missionaries taught Yoko in our home tonight.

I liked hunting (birds and big game), sports (baseball, football, basketball,
track but not tennis or volleyball), playing hide-n-go-seek

Jane:  It's tradition.  Popcorn for Sunday supper. 
After a day of church and a big dinner, it's the perfect ending.

I loved building forts out by the big ditch, riding bikes, packing a "picnic" and eating
my lunch outside, playing with dolls and pretending to go to church with them.

Ray and Cali's Family

Ray:  my favorite pastime is snowmobiling

Cali:  Hauling the boys, and Pooh, up to bed.

I loved building forts and houses.

Levin:  Precious cargo.

Inman:  My face got scratched when my mom fell
on top of me while she was racing Levin.

Henry VIII armor before and after he gained weight.  (NY met Museum)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

February 18, 2018: Valuable lessons . . .

Joe and Ande's family

Valuable lessons we are learning about love and devotion in our family are ______________.

Making time to be all together at least once a day. This sometimes mean getting Winnie out of bed early to come have family scriptures and prayers. Sometimes it means I take the kids to Joe's office and we have our "dinner discussion" of the best part of the day and if we helped someone, even though we won't get to have dinner together that night. Sometimes it means laying in bed with a crying child. Sometimes it means letting your wife nap so that she can be happy later at night when it's time to do family activities and the bedtime routine, or coming home from work early to play with the kids.

Joe in Sunday school. He faithfully attends and is an active participant.
He does not, however, enjoy having his picture taken.

Ande:  Showing a baby bump awfully early.
 I guess that's what happens when you are 29
and on your fourth pregnancy in five years.

Ezra's response to me moving the candy stash farther back in the cupboard.

Watching a hornet crawl.

Winnie picked out her own outfit after church
and wouldn't give up her sucker for anything.

Ty and Michelle's family

Valuable lessons we are learning about love and devotion in our family are ______________.

Lately Afton has had a harder time getting along with her sisters and even us as her parents. Something that we felt inspired to do with her is read the Book of Mormon with her (she does all of the reading). It is a chance for her to get one-on-one time with one of us, and a chance to feel the power of the scriptures in our lives. Thus far, we’ve already seen improvement in her behavior and in the way we respond to her. It brought the Spirit which brings love and devotion.
Ty: Tormenting Michelle. One of my favorites.

Michelle:  (Insert caption that says something about me still being sick
and staying home from church again without sounding like a whiner.)

Afton:  Afton:  Dancing while I counted to 100 for my parents.

Eliza: I accidentally figured out how to fashion a
seat from a fence and a dress, and then had to be helped down.

Kathryn: I have two rings.

Calvin: Practicing talking, sticking
out my tongue, and smiling.

Abe and Grace's family

Valuable lessons we are learning about love and devotion in our family are ______________.

Abe - had a great time substituting as the Sunbeams teacher today.

Henry:  We had a great Sunday.

Hazel:  We had a great Sunday (and I got to wear my gold sparkle shoes).

Calvin and Jane's family

Valuable lessons we are learning about love and devotion in our family are ______________.

We are sharing more of the work load in the kitchen and helping each other in our responsibilities, jobs, hobbies and interests without complaining.  

Calvin:  Sunday evening watching a nature show and eating pine nuts.

Jane:  Calvin had to speak in another ward's Sacrament Meeting today
and asked me to be his companion speaker.  

Thursday, January 18, 2018

18 pictures for January of 2018

Calvin and Jane's Family
Calvin:  Learning how to rifle a barrel.
(He takes this seriously, can you tell?)

Jane:  My sister Lynn is from Idaho.  Surprisingly, we ran into each other in the Minneapolis
Airport.  She was on her way to Kentucky and Calvin and I were on our way to Mississippi.

Ray and Cali's Family
Ray:  On my way to teach the emergency preparedness merit badge.

Cali:  a mother has many talents.  Carrying her young is one of them.

Levin:  It's finally gone.  Atlas:  Sympathy pains.

Inman:  Watching Saturday morning cartoons on the top of the heap.

Abe and Grace's Family
Abe and Hazel:  Hazel helping me and Henry build
Legos in the best way possible.

Henry:  Following the "constructions" to build my Legos.

Ty and Michelle's Family
Ty:  Rocking Calvin to sleep.

Michelle:  I love listening to Afton read to me.

Afton:  Tomorrow is 100 day at school and I'm supposed to look
100 years old.  These glasses help me look it.

Eliza:  Squirrel game calling my name 24-7.

Kathryn:  I never met a sticker I didn't like.

Calvin:  I love Grandma Kathy.

Joe and Ande's Family
Joe:  Reading time with Zeph and Ezra.

Ande:  Winnie helping me cook dinner.

Zeph and Ezra