Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday Thinking - Nothing a First Birthday Can't Fix

There are a dozen things to think about today, many of which are not pleasant.  

But lucky for me there was one fun thing to focus on today and that was to help Levin have a fun birthday.  Of course he was clueless and could care less that today is his day (which is why Ray and Cali will celebrate it tomorrow when Calvin comes). 

But while Cali and Ray were at work today I kept pointing one finger at Levin and saying, "You're ONE today! It's your birthday!"

After his nap, we walked down to the bakery to get a birthday cookie to eat at the park.

Then we went to the park.

I pushed him in the swings and he laughed and laughed.

Then he played in the sandbox.

Next it was time to eat sticks, rocks, and cookies, and wade in the water.

As long as you're down on the beach, you might as well walk a little farther to see the rubber duck museum that one gentleman maintains in his backyard. He was putting up his 4th of July display today.

Then it was time to come home.

And as birthday luck would have it, there was a lemonade stand on the corner. The kids are thinking they might buy fireworks with their earnings.

The kids stood on top of the garage with a big cone used as a bull-horn calling,
"Lemonade made from real lemons."  When they saw us coming to their stand they cheered.
They were great and so polite and appreciative.

Seeing a man cheerfully set up his free rubber duck display, kids earning money at a lemonade stand, and being part of a little boy's delight while he played in the park were happy, happy things.  It makes it easier to face tomorrow's problems when you've got hope in people today.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fire and Fever

Levin has had a fever the last two days, but it finally broke and his curiosity is returning.

Colorado Springs, Colorado is still on fire. I’m just so sad about it. Our family has visited there many times. I have so many memories of incredible events that have happened there for our family. Calvin used to live there, Ty used to live there, Abe and Grace still live there, and so do Michelle’s family, and many friends. 

thank you google images
Ty was Justin's hometeacher for many years.  Once Justin found out that both he and Ty have A+ blood,
no one could convince him they were just friends.  No sir.  They were brothers. 
Here Ray is helping Justin give his sibling toast to Ty and Michelle.  It was the sweetest. 

I worry about Justin, Ty’s friend with Down’s syndrome. His neighborhood was evacuated. Justin likes routine. Justin doesn’t like the unexpected. I wonder how he is coping with the flames, smoke, and smell. I haven’t heard yet whether or not they still have a home. 

thank you google images

The Superintendent’s home at the United States Air Force Academy, where Abe commissioned Ty last May, has been evacuated. The people in those homes were instructed to take enough food, bedding, water, and medications for three days and go to the event center at Fort Carson. That’s just down the road from Abe and Grace’s home. Military people are used to moving but not at that short of notice. 

thank you google images
thank you google images

The Flying W Ranch, a “taste of the old west” where they serve a chuck wagon supper with entertainment, burned to the ground yesterday. We went there to celebrate last year. The Flying W website asks that we please remember them and they promise to refund any reservations as soon as they have had “a chance to gather [their] thoughts.” 

I read two or three reports where those involved with the fire said it looked like hell itself had opened wide.  Ironically it's burning Garden of the Gods.

I know some of you live there, and many of you have family and friends that live there. I’m just so sad for all of you.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Memories - My Grandma Rode a Greyhound

I only saw my grandma wear pants once or twice and they were the billowing kind more like a skirt with a seam sewn up the middle. Grandma said a woman of her size and age shouldn't wear pants. Where she got that notion I don't know, but it was hers; however Grandma never said a woman shouldn't ride a Greyhound.

After Grandpa George died, Grandma Erma's mode of intra- and inter- state travel was the Greyhound. There's a picture somewhere (even if only in my memory) of Grandma standing in a head scarf and a blue polyester skirt in front of a bus. It was often my job to drive to town and pick her up at the bus depot and she'd tell me all about the interesting people she had met on the way home.

I've come full circle.  This afternoon I rode the Greyhound over to Seattle to babysit Levin for a few days, only I didn't wear polyester.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday Thinking – Nouns and Verbs

Today for an assignment I had to set the timer and list nouns and verbs of the day.

One word would trigger another which would trigger another . . . and then out of nowhere another word would butt in and off we'd go in that direction:

Egg salad sandwich
Text book
Writing prompts
Phone call
Yellow towel
Meter maid
Dog treat
Shrimp taco recipe
264 calories
Stolen check
Second day of summer
Screen door
Henrietta Lacks
High Five
Checkered tablecloth
Miniature Roses
Sink strainer
Running water
Quaking aspens

Speaking of nouns and verbs.  Do you remember diagramming sentences?  

Me, too. It reminded me of geometry for English.  Do teachers still teach diagramming today?

What are five nouns and verbs for your Thursday?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

52 Blessings - A Father

"One father is worth more than a hundred school masters."  
~George Herbert

Calvin is always saying, "I'm going to teach the kids how to . . ."  And those subjects range from how to cure your own ham to better understanding the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I still remember him teaching Ande how to kill and skin quail because "she might need to know how some day."  That was one traumatic family night.

I remember him teaching Cali and Ray how to build a fire by friction because "they might need to know how some day."

I remember him teaching Ty how to make a bow because "he might want to make more some day."

I remember him teaching Abe how to do service for others because "he's going to have to do it his whole life."

I remember him teaching Trevor how to butcher a deer because "he's going to need to do it on his own from now on."

I remember him teaching Trent how to pray and trust God.

Calvin has been a great teacher in our family.  He teaches through instruction, but he teaches more powerfully through example.  I don't take it for granted that our family is blessed by a great father and influential teacher.

How about you?  What is something your dad taught you (or your husband taught your kids) how to do or be?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Homemaking Tip – Play Tubs

Last week my sister Rachel went to girls’ camp with Jesse and Maddie.  That left Pal to babysit Hydn.  She made toy tubs for them before she left.  I thought her idea was wonderful and wanted to share it with you:

Detective/Policeman/Fireman Toy Tub
photo by Maddie

Rachel wrote, "I made up two toy tubs for each day – one for morning play and one for afternoon.

photo by Maddie

photo by Maddie

  • "One was a detective/police/fire tub with tickets, bull horns, ink pad, guns, fire hats and masks, etc... 

photo by Maddie

  • "One was a vet tub with new (uncut) stuffed animals from Goodwill, surgery equipment, bandages, etc…. 

photo by Maddie

  • "One was a superheroes tub with masks, soccer boppers, and silly string (spiderman's weapon). 
  • "One was a farmer/garden store tub with pots, seeds, soil, watering can, cash register, butterfly net. 
  • "One was a barber tub with files for razors, balloons for heads, and shaving cream. 

"Pal faithfully made food for the two of them, fed the calf morning and night, watered my plants, cleaned and did dishes, and played with Hy. He's MY superhero.

"(After we came home) Hy asked me, 'Is Pal still in charge or are you?'

"I said, 'I will be.'

"He said, 'Oh, ok. When you get tired Pal can be.'

"They didn't miss me at all."

Just in Case You Were Wondering . . .

Dear family,

First things first. I apologize that I've been silently accusing Calvin, Cali, Abe, and/or Ande for the last four years for taking my iPod recharge cord. At least I didn't throw Ty in the pile for I knew he didn't have use for one. I found my recharge cord, still in its original packaging, the other day while cleaning out one of the computer drawers. Evidently I'd been using one of yours and then when you left you took it with you and I assumed you took mine.

Now that that's cleared up:

The black pig died . . . but not until after your dad had pumped him full of $50 worth of medicine. And so the law of livestock lives on.

Dad's input: Please tell the kids that I love them.

I second that. We love and miss you all.



Grace: I'm so sad the black pig died. I love you.

Abe: Mom, I'm glad you aren't accusing me anymore. I know what that's like...I still know that Ande lost one of my CDs while I was on my mission.  I love you.

Ande: Abe I will go to my grave knowing I didn't lose your Monster Rock CD. And when you die, you'll figure it out too.

Abe: Ha ha...we'll see!

Me: Abe and Ande you guys are pretty darn funny. Ty please don't bring up the case of the missing Christmas candy, 'cause I know you want to. But, while we're confessing, who put the hole in our bathroom door back in '99 or '00?

Ty: At least you all didn't lose your Christmas candy to a thief.

Ty: P.S. Mom's email hadn't come in yet when I sent mine.

Abe: I didn’t even know there was a hole in the door.

Ty: Me either. I bet Mom did it.

Michelle: I'll be the first to accept blame in this email chain. The bathroom door was my fault.

Grace: Abe I could see you putting the hole in the door and eating Ty's candy! I think Abe's guilty.

Abe: No...we already know who the candy culprit is...and I honestly didn't even know there was a hole in the door.

Ty: Here's a hint. The candy thief wasn't the youngest child, nor was it a boy. Also Mom and Dad didn't like the kind of candy that went missing.

Grace: I'm just trying to stir things up

Ty: I'm not sure who put the hole in the door, but I do know who ate the last piece of pumpkin chocolate chip bread and didn't offer to share.

Michelle: Did my e-mail not go thru?

Abe: I don't know anything about pumpkin chocolate chip bread either. Apparently there is a lot I've missed out on.

Michelle: And I know who killed this email chain.

Me: Oh ho. This made my day to come home and read all this e-mail banter that happened while I was gone today. I can't wait to hear Cali's responses after she gets back to a computer. (She's been in Utah at Alan's wedding and a Follett family reunion.) And it's a good thing your dad won't type. He still keeps muttering about me finding my cord. Michelle, do tell. Did Ty eat the pumpkin bread? Cali needs this ammunition if it is.

Ande: It was Andy Murdock.

Ande: In case it wasn't clear, Andy Murdock put a hole in the bathroom door. Cali ate the candy, Michelle ate the pumpkin bread, Abe shot Ty with rocks in a bbgun and Ande was always a delight. And Professor Plum was in the dining room with the candlestick. The end.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Twelve on Twelve of June 'Twelve

Grace: I was going to take a picture of Abe Skyping with me but there was 
another blackout [all communication shut down until next of kin notified]. 
It was the second one this week. 

Today I watched Hairspray with my friends. Two weeks ago we went 
and saw the play, so we thought it would be fun  to watch the movie!

Afton had to get some shots today.  She was so sad.

 Michelle:  One of the side-effects of the shots was sleepiness.  
They weren't kidding.  She never does this.

Ande:  Afton loves Aunt Ande

Ty:  Playing with Dad

(Note from Michelle:  Yeah... all of our pictures have to do with Afton.  
But today was a very Afton day.  The shots about did us all in between the
 actual event and the rest of the day.)

Joe:  Ande tells me my food pictures are boring.
I've included the little Chinese lady who fixed my lunch for variety.

Cali:  Levin committed that he will either start packing lighter or start carrying his own bags.   
(Follett family wedding and reunion)

Ray:  Levin finally agreeing to not be so stingy with his hugs. Ray making him prove it.

Calvinism #332:  Wysiwyg.
[pronounced wissy wig.  What you see is what you get.]
(Note from Jane:  I said, "Hey wait!  I need a 12 on 12 picture."
He turned and said #332.)

Jane:  What you see is what I got.

Abe: (Even though this picture is a bit late . . . ) We're counting this picture for the 12th
because that's when we were supposed to Skype, but we had a commo blackout.  
Clara wrote me a very, very nice poem and gave me a wonderful gift.

(Note from Grace: Abe skyping with me. He had held onto his Father's Day gift for a week already,
so Clara and I let him open it early. Clara gave him nice workout clothes
‘cause she loves how big her dad's muscles are. She also wrote Abe a very sweet poem.
Happy Father's Day, Abe!)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Memories – On the Line

Yesterday in church I gave a lesson on prayer. As I was teaching I remembered this story:

Cali was going to college at BYU–Hawaii and worked in the school bakery. Every morning, a little after 5:00, she rode her old beach comber bike from her apartment down on the ocean up inland to the school kitchen. It was always dark when she left for work, but one morning it was also stormy, windy, and almost black. Nervous, she called Calvin and said, “Dad, can you just talk to me until I get to work? I'm scared.  There’s a bad storm and it’s scary riding by the houses.”

Calvin talked and kept her company as she rode through the storm and dark neighborhoods. Every now and then he’d say, “Where are you now?”

After fifteen minutes Cali said happily, “Okay, I’m here now. Thanks Dad!” then hung up the phone and was gone.

Calvin turned to me and said, “She didn’t need anything. She just needed to know I was there.”

Stacy Child Weeks said, “I continue to find that life can be scary and uncertain. … The lesson in faith and trust [my father] taught me on that [morning] years ago still comforts me. Now, when I need comfort and reassurance, I pray to my Heavenly Father, ‘Father, are you there?’ And I am comforted, knowing that he loves me and is still on the line, aware of my situation and ‘a very present help in trouble’ (Psalms 46:1)” (“Dad, Are You There?” Ensign, June 1996, 53).

That was a sweet memory to go with the very comforting thought that our Father in Heaven is on the line.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

52 Blessings – Pinterest

Pinterest gave me enthusiasm for scrapbooking yesterday, a recipe for dinner today, a gift idea for Father’s Day next week, and a good quote to remember always.

There are plenty of bad things spreading around the world, but being able to share ideas and positive information quickly and effectively is a great blessing of living in 2012.

What’s a pin you liked this week?

I liked this homemade travel Lego case and these strawberries . . .

Friday, June 8, 2012

Life in Our World -- An Ordinary Week

A good, ordinary week . . .
  • The black pig is sick.
Because we no longer have little kids, these pigs don't have names.  I guess we should remedy that.
Do you have suggestions to throw in the trough pot?

North - South - East -West
Death - War- Pestilence - Famine
Matthew - Mark - Luke - John
Earth- Fire - Wind - Water
Up - Down - Inside - Outside

There is nothing quite like a pig’s squeal when you give him a shot; it’s a mix of styrofoam rubbing against styrofoam, fingernails on a blackboard, and a new baby's cry.
  • I donated blood.

It was a three hour commitment (ugga, ugga) and was the one time I didn’t take a book just in case. No worries, no one else had a book either so we all caught up on the neighborhood: J. had a congenial breakup with his girlfriend, Thane has set a date, April sat with Mary during Lyle’s surgery, Katelyn’s rent is going up, Jessica has already donated nearly two gallons of blood, Tiffany had never given blood before, my phone ring reminds Dan of the movie Signs, Marshall is working with Carlos, Duane guided Shawn to the trophy elk last fall . . . and then there is always apple juice at the end. 
  • Michelle texts us a picture of Afton each day. 

I listen for the chime all day saying it’s here. It’s such a great tradition she's started. This is the picture she sent today.
  • It thundered and hailed last night.

We don’t get thunderstorms often, so Calvin and I just sat and watched it. We supposed our garden would be pummeled this morning but thankfully it wasn’t. Whew, I hate replanting late.
  • Calvin planned this week’s date. 
He's always a good sport as blog fodder.
No, no, that would not be condensation around the crust, that would be grease. 

He said that since the Belmont Stakes is tomorrow we should watch Secretariat and eat pizza. Yes. And he doesn't bring the cheap, low fat pizza home like I do when I'm in charge.  Double yes.