Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Behinder I Get...

Well here it is March, 2016 where in the heck did the last 7 months go?  Well, let's see.  I did Jamboree #12 in September and as it turns out that will be the last one.  I am disappointed to see it go but the club members have changed over the years and they want to do more social stuff and less jamboree.  I started cooking for Van a few days after the jamboree was over and cooked all the way through December.  I enjoyed my time at Josh Ranch this year - didn't have to go to Datil - worked a little less but that was good too.

I went to Thatcher for Cade's first birthday in October - I guess he's going to be the last grand baby.  In a way I am sad but in another I look forward to them growing up and doing more things than baby things.  Cade is such a cutie - built like a tank.  Maggie said food is his friend.  Troy and Maggie are doing well in Thatcher and I am so grateful for her ward for the way they took she and the kids in and have made them feel so much at home.

Jenna, Weston and the kids and I all went to Troy & Maggie's for Thanksgiving because Troy had to work.  On Friday morning we got up and drove to my house for the rest of the weekend so Jenna and Weston could get their tree and play in the snow.  We had a good time - found enough snow on the 249 road that the kids could tube a little.  It was freezing cold and then home.  We had a good time and the kids loved playing in the snow.

I was invited to Jenna's and Maggie's for Christmas but chose to stay home.  I spent the day with Mom and Dad and went to Nola's for Christmas dinner.  Mom has dementia and is having harder times remembering and interacting in conversations.  It breaks my heart and I want to spend more time around them.  Maggie and the kids came up the day after Christmas and Tad & Troy came home just before New Years when they got off.

The kids threw a birthday party for me here at the house.  We had good food spent with the kids and Jolene & Jay.  Tad had the kids use the crank ice cream maker out in the cold and made homemade ice cream for my birthday.  Stormy had never eaten homemade ice cream.  The kids were amazed!  I remember that we had both an electric and a crank freezer but always made our kids use the crank one.  They all remember that and so that is a good family memory.

Birthday season begins January 2nd through March 8th with Dorlene, Weston, Stormy, Bailey, Tad, Presley, Bubba, Gunnar, Tanner, Callie & Trentin having birthdays.  We skip April, have Kamryn in May, skip June, Ryker and Tatum are in July, Brinley in  August, Maggie in September, Cade in October, skip November except for remembering Don and have Troy, Jenna, Kolby and Cache in December.  Whew...blow out the candles on that one!

In October Maggie said she was taking temple prep classes and would be going through the temple by the end of the year.   I about choked, dusted my lazy butt off and got ready to go to the tempe too.  Her stake president said he wanted her to wait a little but signed her recommend in January and she and Troy went through the temple on Saturday, February 27, 2016.  They each received their own endowments but were not sealed together because they haven't been remarried for a year.  They can be sealed in September and have the kids sealed to them.

Bailey was baptized on Saturday, February 13, 2016, and I spoke on baptism.  She is a sweet little girl and it was a nice baptism.  Trenton can be baptized in March but they will have to schedule for when Troy is off.

I am headed to Gilbert on Friday for Callie's 2nd birthday.  She is a Bailey mini me.  Presley is a Jenna mini me.

I have been so blessed and I am so grateful for each and every little one of those kids. Each has a separate and distinct personality that amazes me.  I am sad Don didn't stick around for this - the best part of life.  I'm glad I get to be here and hope to be here for a long time!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Well summer came and now it's almost over and I am so sad.  I have truly enjoyed summer.  It started out with a bang.  We went to Jenna and Weston's for their last pool party in the old house for Kamryn's birthday.   Jenna and Weston bought a new larger home in their neighborhood so I went down for Memorial Day and stayed and help them move in.  Their new home is very nice - HUGE - bigger than anything I have ever even though of living in.  It will be extra nice when they get their pool in this winter.

The following weekend Jenna and the kids came up and then Maggie came up a couple of days later. All of the kids were here and we got Ryker a time or two but we never had all of them awake and in the same place at the same time so I never got a new picture of all of the grandkids.  Their most favorite thing to do is play in the ditch.  They had a ball from the time they got here until they left.
 The kids are racing sticks down the ditch... pretty serious business.
 Whose stick is in first place?  May be too close to call.

 Tanner loves shoes, ANYBODY's shoes.  The color the size it doesn't matter - it's shoes and it's the key to freedom for him.

 The pictures of Tanner and Callie are my favorite of the summer... the big kids were at the ditch and after Tanner found a pair of shoes, he and Callie escaped and headed to the ditch.  I was right behind them with my camera.
Weston came up for the weekend and they went camping.  Maggie and I went out a couple of times to eat - the kids were in heaven being let loose in the woods.   Tad got the kids' quad running so we could take it out to camp...they rode the wheels off of it.  That was the best $250 I ever spent.
 Jenna, Weston and Callie going for a ride on Momo's nnn.  All of the kids love to ride the quads.
 Weston set up a 3-D archery target for Gunnar and Trentin.  They shot a million arrows.  Well maybe I do exaggerate a bit,  but they certainly enjoyed the great outdoors.
 Cade is such a sweet little guy.  He was loving the outdoors like the big kids.

The week was over much too fast and then there was quiet at my house.  It gets out of control when everyone is here and then all of a sudden total quiet.  I miss the kids when they leave.  Every one of them makes me smile or laugh all of the time.

The 4th was different - none of my kids were around.  I had  cookout at my house after the parade - Mom and Dad, Lynn, Laura, Karyn Murphy, Jay, Lenia, Camila, Sophia, Tim, Alia, Blaine, Stormy, Tatum and Bubba came.  It was fun and then when everyone left - total silence again.  Uncle Leonard was the parade Grand Marshall - he's the oldest living World War 2 Veteran in Round Valley.  That was quite an honor for him.

I had an emergency text from Jenna - could I baby sit from the 22nd to the 29th of July - they had the chance to go to Hawaii.  Of course I was more than willing and they had a great time.  I am amazed at the hours of work it takes everyday for these moms.  The big kids had started school so it was just Presley and Callie and me during the day.  It gave me a chance to catch up on housework, laundry, etc.  When the kids get home from school and did I mention that I carpooled every other day, the crazy starts all over again.  Friends coming and going, music lessons, primary visits, woo at the end of the day I was exhausted.

I just got back from 5 days at Maggie's house.  Her kids started school today.  Tanner and Cade are a handful and she doesn't have any spare time either.  There's someone wanting something every minute of every day.  It was nice to be down there.  We did some decorating, some crafting and just hung out.

Cade is the sweetest little tank.  He's only 2 pounds lighter than Tanner.  He looks like Kamryn and Trentin.

Trentin at Lynn's - out in the barn with the chickens.  The kids enjoyed all of his animals.

Tanner loves farm animals.  He had never been up that close to all of them and was a little intimidated but he loved them.

Lynn's watch dog geese.  They honk and  raise hell when a stranger is around.

Kamryn at Lynn's - she enjoyed all of the animals, too.

Some of the goats - he has 8 or 9 of them.  They are all pets.

I will be busy from now until mid September with the Jamboree.  I am the coordinator and every year it gets a little easier.  I have met some real nice people over the years and count many of them as my friends.

Today has been a busy day - I had Cache and Ryker overnight and all day while Chelsea took her niece to the airport.  I thoroughly enjoyed both of them.  They had open house at school today and I met both of their teachers.  Ryker is so smart and friendly he will do well.  Cache is very quiet and will struggle until he warms up to the kids and teacher.
Jumping on the trampoline.  All of the kids love it.

They are good friends most of the time.  They had fun jumping together.

This little monkey loves to laugh.  I love to have him around.  He is my buddy.

We have had beautiful summer rains starting the 4th of July and it is absolutely beautiful here right now.  I am in awe of the beauties that surround me.  I am grateful that I am an earth person - my soul is tied to the earth.  Fall will come soon and then winter.  I love our late spring, summer and early fall here.  There is nothing more beautiful than this area 9 months out of the year.


Life is good.  I have enjoyed the summer, my kids and my grandkids.  They truly make my life worth living. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

She Said Yes...

Tad and Stormy were married on Saturday, May 16th at the Cow Springs Ranch in New Mexico.  The weather was a bit on the cool side and the wind was blowing some but all in all it was a beautiful day.   They had a nice wedding with immediate family and close friends.  Ryker was the ring bearer and Tatum was the flower girl.

Tad's groomsmen were Jay Houston (best man), Gunner Hubbard and Gary McKinney.

Stormy's bridesmaids were Jolene Houston (maid of honor), Brittany Icenhour and Cami Bustamante (Stormy's sisters).

I got three new step grandkids that day, Colby who is 16; Bubba who is 13 and Tatum who is one day younger than Ryker.  They had a nice reception with good food and a dance.  The dollar dance netted them a little cash for their honeymoon in Mexico with Jay.  They stayed in a cabana on the beach and Jay stayed in his motorhome on the beach.  They swam and fished and had a great time.

Look at the camera?  Never...what are the odds?

I have had a busy spring.  Birthday season started out with a bang and we have partied since January.  Kamryn's birthday was May 26 and it is the last one until July.

Everyone has been so busy.  The kids are all out of school now - Gunnar will go into 4th grade; Kamryn will be in 3rd grade; Bailey and Trentin will be in 2nd grade; Brinley will be in kindergarten; Presley and Ryker will be in preschool.

Tanner is finally growing some and is a cute little toot.  Cade is crawling and it won't be long until he is walking.  Callie is a little mocking bird - she hums all of the time.  The kids are the joy of my life and I am so blessed to have all of them in my life.

Typical...easily distracted little toots!
Jenna and Maggie are coming next week and this place will be rocking and rolling with 10 grandkids here.  Let the good times roll!

Last day at the beach - Spring Break 2015
There are some blogs I like to look at - I can't believe how talented people are.  I always want to do what they have done.  My problem is no money, no time.  I try to stay busy and pretty much am successful - probably the only thing I am successful at.  I enjoy spending time with my family and friends - Bonnie has been a good friend to me.  We enjoy scrapping and just visiting.  I am so happy that my kids are happy and doing well.  They are good parents and I am especially happy about that.  My one regret is the parent I was or was not.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Spring's On Its Way...( I Hope)

Well its the 2nd day of March and I have spring fever and it's trying to snow outside.  I have been on the road since the end of January when I went down for Bailey's birthday and was there 2 1/2 weeks.  Mary was released from the Care Center and it's too long a story to tell here, Jenna and I ended up taking care of her at Jenna's house.  She is doing better but she won't get up and move around and by now she should be back to almost normal.  I am worried that her muscles will atrophy as she just sits and lets the care nurses take care of her every need.

Bailey invited Kamryn and Lauren to go with her on a horseback ride for her birthday followed by evening swimming.  It was a fun weekend.  I am so glad Troy and Maggie came down and let Kamryn share the day with Bailey.  I can't believe Bailey is 7.  She loves school and crafts and has a little spunk.  As a mother it might drive me crazy, but she won't let anyone push her around.

I stayed to take Mary to two dr. appointments and then it was Presley's 3rd birthday.  She had a Minnie Mouse birthday party that was really cute.  Neil, Laurie and Lauren came so she had a special evening.  Presley is full of life and such a fun little monkey.  She is my buddy and I really enjoy her.  I had to come home so I missed Gunnar's birthday on the 11th.  Gunnar turned 9 on the 11th - can you believe it?  He's 9... he is so smart and such a good little boy.  I felt bad, but I had been gone for 2 1/2 weeks.

I went to Thatcher on the 19th of February for Tanner's 2nd birthday and stayed for a week.  Tanner is a cute little guy.  He didn't feel good starting Sunday, Maggie found out later he had strep throat.  He doesn't talk much, but boy is he busy.  He is a full time kid.  I just barely got home and it's time to go again for Trentin's birthday.  I am going to miss Callie's birthday this year.  I told Jenna and Maggie that they are going to have to combine Trentin and Callie's birthday because I can't be in 2 places at one time.

After Trentin's birthday, it will be Dad's birthday and then I have a break until May, HOORAY!

The kids are doing well in school and I couldn't be more proud of them.  They are smart, funny, fun, sweet, and I love every minute of them.

Ryker is home!  He spent the night with me on Wednesday and I loved having him.  I am so glad Chelsea is back.  Chelsea is pregnant and due in May and she says she will be here until then.

Tad is getting married in May and just started his new job with Empire today.  I hope it goes good for him.  He really loves Stormy and she seems crazy about him, too.

Little Cade is such a chunk...Maggie's chubbiest baby.  He is a good baby.  He is 4 1/2 months old - growing every day!  Callie is walking and will be 1 in a few days.  The last year has flown by and I am so grateful for every minute of every day with my family and friends.

I am going to California with Jenna and Weston during spring break - the kids are excited.  I went a couple of years ago and it was fun.  I know Brinley and Presley will love the princesses and the little kid areas.

I need to blog more often.  One day I need to print my blog stuff.  Life is busy and I love it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Golden Years

Time marches on and I am seeing Mary, my Dad and my Mom all starting to age, to get frail and become "little old people".  It breaks my heart because I know the time with them is so very short and I am not ready to let them go.

Mary had a fall last week and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where she was treated for a gash on her arm and her back is very sore.  They were concerned about a possible fracture.  She has been moved to a care center until she can get around on her own a little more.  Velda has been trying to get her into a "home" for over a year.  Mary doesn't want to go.  I know she is lonely there in the Valley, but I have seen so many people go downhill so fast once they have to leave their home and give up their independence, I don't want that for her.  Mary says she is "ready to go"...we're not - she will be 84 in May.

My dad has failing eye sight and arthritis is crippling his hands.  I know this is so frustrating for him. He used his hands every day of his life to make a living, to garden, to hunt, to fish, to woodcraft.  His failing eye sight has limited his ability to see clearly the tape measure, to read and do the things he has always done.  A couple of years ago he made some rocking horses and some of the grandkids got them for their own kids.  He made some little oak jewelry boxes for each of the granddaughters.  I hope they treasure them.  Time will come when he can't do that anymore.  He told me the other day he isn't planting a big garden this year.  He can't do it on his own.  We all say we will help but we don't come through when he needs it.  Daddy will be 82 in March.

My mom is has either dementia or Alzheimers and neither one is pleasant.  Her memory is failing her and I have seen a marked difference in the past year.  There are times she has a look of fear on her face when she doesn't know where she is or if we leave her sight.  I take her with me to Josh Ranch to get her out and to give Dad a break.  After spending the day talking about the same things, answering the same questions, having her express her gratitude for being able to go, I laugh and I cry.  It breaks my heart that she's leaving us.

We took her to the dr. yesterday with bowel problems and Dr. Hamblin asked before he even started the exam, "what do you want to do?"... if there were tumors or cancer what would we want to do?  Mom said I want to do nothing.  There were no obvious tumors or cancer or blockage according to the X-ray, so three doses of Miralax later she finally had two good bowel movements and that part was feeling better.  When asked what we could do about the memory loss, his answer was "sometime's it's best to let nature take it's course."  He said he could give her something to see if it would slow it some, but her body is frail.  Frailty is a bigger killer than any other disease."  Mama will be 78 this October.

The golden years haven't been what any of us envisioned for Mary, Dad or Mom.  Health issues, losing a spouse, financial worries, family problems and issues.  That's just not what they thought they would be facing at this age.

I don't feel any older, somewhere my body/mind thinks I am 40ish...I turned 60 on the 2nd of January and I feel blessed to be as healthy as I am.  I have lost two classmates in the past couple of years and for some of us the time is shorter than for others.  I hope and pray that I can be here till I turn 90 - but only if I'm healthy enough to not be burden to my kids.

The golden years have lost their shine but I am grateful for every single year I have.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fall Back...

Well this fall has been busy again.  I did the jamboree, half-assed the trophy elk contest, cooked for Van, spent a day or two at home and here it is Thanksgiving week.  Tad started working in Morenci in September but found out Saturday that Corfab lost their contract with the mine so he will be out of a job December 31.  He has some options, none of which he is thrilled about, but he does have some options.  He has Ryker for three weeks; he had him last week, I have him this week and Tad has him again next week.  Ryker is such a special little guy.  Right this second he his hanging around my neck.  I am going to Maggie's for Thanksgiving.  I really should stay home and get ready for Christmas.  I am excited about Christmas so I want it to be fun.

The kids are all growing and doing so well; Gunnar is smart and loves 3rd grade - his favorite subjects are math and science.  Kamryn is blooming in 2nd grade - she even tried out for a singing part in a school play, I hope she gets it.  Bailey loves anything about school and is doing really well.  Trenton is a good student and is a sports nut.  Trenton and Bailey are both in 1st grade.

Chelsea lives in California so our time with Cache is zero again.  He is in kindergarten this year and I am so happy she didn't try to home school him.  Cache will turn 6 in December.  Brinkley turned 4 in August with the most fun Frozen party ever.  All of the girls loved it.  Ryker turned 3 in July with a Turbo party here and then we partied again in Safford.  Presley turned 2 in February and is as tall as Brinley.  Those two little girls are a hand full.  Callie is almost 9 months old and wants to be on the move - I expect her to start walking soon.

Cade Alan Lewis was born on Monday, October 13th.  He was due Halloween and I really wanted him to be born on Don's birthday but he had other plans and showed up early.  Tanner has had some adjusting to do and isn't sure they should keep the baby.  He was the baby and wasn't ready to give that place up.  Cade reminds me of Trentin and Ryker.  He is a sweet little guy.  Jenna and I drove to Thatcher to surprise Maggie the weekend before Cade turned 2 weeks old.  I didn't get to go when he was born because I was cooking.  I cried off and on all day long because I felt so bad about missing his birthday.  Tad left work and went and stayed at the hospital with Maggie until Troy could get back from Phoenix and then went and stayed with the kids all night and left at 4:00 so he could get back to work.

I have been cooking since September - not as many hunts this year and will do one in December to help me through Christmas.  I am grateful for the work opportunities and grateful I was taught to work hard.

I have started working for Weston as scheduler for estimating.  It is a good job I can do from just about anywhere.  I appreciate all of the help and support I get from my kids.

I love Thanksgiving - the one holiday where nothing is expected but good food and good company.  I am truly grateful for all of my many blessings and know that it is only through my Heavenly Father that these blessings come.

Monday, July 7, 2014

35, and Yes, I'm Still Counting

The number 35 in itself doesn't make me think of old, young, or whatever.  But it is a significant number today.  Thirty five years ago today Damara died.  I remember being absolutely heartbroken when Don called the hospital and asked how she did during the night.  I remember wanting to curl up in a ball and die, too. We waited so long to have her.  She was here such a short time.  In their efforts to "protect and help"  our parents took over and there are so many things I regret that I didn't get to do.  I didn't get to hold her all the way home.  I didn't get to go to the mortuary and make arrangements, I got to go when they said I could go to the viewing.  I got to mindlessly do things, eat this, go there, stay here, etc. I know our parents thought they were helping and they did, but I didn't get to have my time with her.  I look at her tiny dress she wore home from the hospital, I see her little mask she wore at St. Joseph's Hospital and if I shut my eyes and think really hard, I can hear her groans, I can still smell her.  She had a sweet smell.  I miss my Grandma Gillliam. She called a lot and asked how I was.  She always knew when it was a bad day.  I miss her.  I love her.

Today I celebrate little Ryker's 3rd birthday and recall being there when he was born and the pure love that Tad has for him.  My heart breaks that Tad and Chelsea are not together raising Ryker and Cache and I don't understand why Tad has had so much sadness in his life.  The one true joy in his life is Ryker.  That kids lights up the room no matter where he is.  He is loved and cherished.

Sad, happy, joy, heartbreak, hope, discouragement...yep, I've felt it all today.  Today is a good day.  Today is a part of my eternity.  One day soon I will see my sweet baby and hold her again and have my time with her.  Until then I still count.

My Favorite Books (So Far)

  • Anything by Neal A. Maxwell
  • Captains & The Kings - Taylor Caldwell
  • Erma Bombeck
  • Heaven & Hell - John Jakes
  • Love & War - John Jakes
  • North & South - John Jakes
  • The Dwelling Place - Catherine Cookson

About Me

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Crazy grandma, obsessed with scrapbooking everything in her kids' lives and then some!