Friday, July 31, 2009

Home Again

After spending 8 days in the Valley I am home again. Glad to be here in some ways and sad to leave Jenna and the kids. Gunnar was so sad when Jenna told him I had to go home yesterday. I felt so bad. He wanted to come home with Mo Mo Sadie. I wish that he could have.

From the looks of things, it's been hot and DRY! My yard looks like the gypsies have moved in. I bet Brother Stroud is thinking "what's up across the street?" I know when you look at his yard and then across the street to my yard it's like the grass is greener on the other side of the street.

Kamryn was glad to see her grandma yesterday. I was glad to see her, too. She stayed and played and then we went to get a drink at Sonic. I love being a grandma, it truly is one of the greatest blessings of my life. I always felt/feel so inadequate as a mother and want more than anything to be a good grandma that my grandkids love to be around.

When I saw Trentin yesterday evening he was so cute...that kid has the BIGGEST sweetest smiles ever, he just melts your heart.

Bailey boo is a treasure. She doesn't take crap from ANYONE...and has the quirkiest personality ever. Jenna and Weston are gonna have their hands full with that one and I'm gonna love it.

I have FOUR of the most amazing grandkids ever. I know every Grandma feels that way. I am in total awe of them and their personalities and their spirits. They absolutely and positively make my heart hurt with LOVE.

On a really grand note...I have lost 23.8 pounds and LOVE it! Maintenance is so enlightening and I am learning so much about my body. Hope everyone else doin HCG is enjoying the journey.

I have lots to do today, but I was thinking about my kids and grandkids and here I sit on my butt at the computer.

Hope THEY all have a good day. Hope YOU all have a good day. Love to all.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Family Blessings

The blessing of having a family is one that I am so grateful for. I'm in the valley until Wednesday and then I will go back home. Jenna and the kids may go with me and if they do we are going camping next weekend. She is excited to take the kids camping, I am excited they are going to be on the mountain where the kids can get outside and play.

Went to Shelbi's baptism yesterday and it was nice. Went out to Jennifer and Nate's for a cookout afterwards. It was good to see the Nicolls and Velda's families. The kids had a good time swimming and playing in the water. Gunnar and Bailey were two pooped poopsies...Gunnar fell asleep on the way home and didn't wake up until almost 7:00 this a.m.

I stayed home from church and put Bailey down for her nap. She was a little grouchy so we thought maybe a nap for her was better than a grouch at church. I baked cookies and I've never
baked cookies at low altitude before. They are a little puffy but taste good. I would have to adjust to low altitude in order to function well down here.

Hope everyone is well and having a good weekend. Love to all.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

...Melts My Heart

Gunnar melts my heart when he woke up this morning and realized he was sleeping with Mo Mo Sadie, looks over at me and gives me a HUGE smile.

Bailey melts my heart when I was sitting on the couch watching Secret Agent Oso with Gunnar and she crowds in as close as she can get and sits by me. When she realizes I am watching her every move and reach down to rub her little back, she watches my every move.

Gunnar melts my heart when we are laying in bed playing with the dinosaurs and I am the sharp tooth and he is Little Foot and he makes an earth shake and sharp tooth falls into the earth shake and he laughs.

Bailey melts my heart when she tells me to sit down on the couch so she can sit on my lap and run her hand down my shirt and feel for my garments.

Gunnar melts my heart when he tells me about playing at Kamryn's house and that she has a swide and he helped Trentin swing so very high. He loves his cousins.

Bailey melts my heart when she watches my every move and interacts with this crazy lady that Gunnar seems to be crazy about and she isn't exactly sure why.

I'm here to baby sit - Jenna started a new job today and she didn't have anyone to baby sit so 4 hours later, here's Mo Mo Sadie to the rescue! Didn't have this trip planned but hey, I'm glad I could come and help out. Really glad to spend the time with Gunnar and Bailey. It is too bad they live 4 hours away, but I really appreciate every minute I get to spend with them.

I wish that I could have brought Kamryn and Trentin...they would all have fun together. Sure is a lot of work to have all of them together, but they all love each other and that is the most important thing.

LOVE is the most IMPORTANT thing we have to to all of you.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Again

Where does time go? Last week is a blur and I don't know why. Went to Olive Rothlisberger's funeral on Wednesday...she is Daddy's first cousin. Her mother was my Grandpa Rogers' only sister. Grandpa (Floyd) was the oldest then Noble, Leona, Albert and Tom. From the Rogers family I am related to Noble's posterity (Hazel Donaldson); Leona's (Leona Looker Rogers); Albert's (Farrah Jaramillo) and Tom's (Merrilea McBride). "What a tangled web we weave when we first practice to conceive..." I read that quote once and it makes sense.

We had Primary Activity Day on Friday...a big birthday party for everybody. Jodi planned water games and the kids had a ball. They ate cupcakes and ice cream until they couldn't hold any more and played water balloon toss and relays until they were pooped. It was fun and the kids kind of grow on ya.

Tad and I went to the movie and dinner with Kaylinn & Ronnie on Friday night. We went to see "The Proposal" cute chick flick but Tad and Ronnie enjoyed it too.

I'm on maintenance on my diet and trying to manage 2 pounds. I lost 19.4 pounds through the protocol and down to 21. The 19.4 to 21 is the pounds I am trying to manage. One day it drops the next it crawls up...interesting but I am learning a lot.

April is in Missouri and I am going to have Nursery today. Not sure this is the calling for me, but who knows. I love the Sunbeams in my primary and Janie and Megan do such a good job with them.

Went on a quad ride yesterday - Slaughter Circle. Hank and I rode from my house to Big Lake and then the actual ride. Went to PS lookout; PS Ranch and back to Big Lake and home. My carburetor is sticking and I was leaking gas so we bailed a little early to get me back home. The mountain close to the res is gorgeous. WE NEED RAIN! The roads are being beat to death by cars and the dust is horrible. There were campsites under every tree on the mountain - I want to go camping.

I've been so trashy here at yard is dry and the grass needs to be mowed. Maybe tomorrow...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Day of Memories

On Thursday, Darlene and I went to the graveside service of Bobbie Ashcroft Bowdoin. Although we didn't know her well, we knew some of her family quite well. As we were driving to the cemetary, Darlene told me that Darwin Slade had passed away on Wednesday. I thought of Darwin's family and of yet another family, the family of Tracy Miles Pulsipher who was mourning Tracy's death.

Darwin Slade was my 7th grade teacher at the Springerville Elementary School and he called me "Blondie". I know that every year he had a "blondie" but for that year, I was "Blondie". I remember memorizing the preamble to the Constitution with Mr. Slade's encouragement. I remember his patience with the kids that needed extra attention. I remember, too, him teaching Math. I think now, Math was probably an easy subject for him and he tried to help us learn little secrets of math. Math wasn't my best subject but he never made me feel dumb when I didn't get it the first time through. His daughter, Paula, and I went to school from 5th grade all the way through High School. We were good friends and always visited when we ran into each other. Paula has done quite well - she is the Paula Kraemer from Creating Keepsakes - VP of Events. Darwin and Ethel were scrapbooking their lives and the lives of their children. His service on Saturday was so good. Elder W. Douglas Shumway of the 2nd Quorum of the 70 (my former Bishop) spoke and his talk was so good. I felt so very blessed yesterday as I recalled with fondness the association of both these good men.

Earlier on Saturday, Darlene and I attended the funeral service for Tracy Pulsipher. Although I didn't know her well, I have known her mother, Patty since I was in 5th grade. When I worked for the schools, Patty was the custodian at the Primary School and then later at the Intermediate School. Tracy who died suddenly, left five children, ranging in age from 10 to 20, and her husband, David. Her father died a few years back and I thought of Patty now losing her only child, her best friend and I was so sad. Amy Smith spoke at Tracy's funeral and she gave one of the most uplifting, touching talks I have heard in a long while and when I spoke with Tracy's Aunt Patsy today, she said she just couldn't believe how nice the service was.

I thought a lot yesterday and last evening of the messages of hope, of comfort and the promise of peace that comes to us in these hard times. I KNOW that the comforter, spoken of in the scriptures, the Holy Ghost, is with these families healing hearts and spirits as nothing else can.

Today I had a message to call Cindy Sanchez. Cindy is married to Ed's best friend, Ralph Sanchez. Ralph and Ed grew up together in Safford and 5 years ago Ralph was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gherig's disease). Cindy tells me that the end is near for Ralph and it broke my heart.

We had a birthday party this evening for Mickey Holliday. She would have been 87 today and Darlene was a little sad. Linda suggested yesterday that we do a birthday party in her honor and it was good. Linda, Jennie, Whitney & Austin Himes were there along with Darlene, Kristi and I. Good times with good friends.

Today was a day of memories, a day of sadness and a day of joy. We can have hope and we can have peace through the tough times. I have and I do KNOW that our Heavenly Father is always near and that HE knows each of us individually and HE cares about us and what is going on in our lives.

I hope that each of you have a good week. Remember that I love you and am thankful for the part you play in my life.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Fourth and Other Things

My last post was about my Damara who would have turned 30. I have always watched Jennifer (sorry I told your age) and Jay (Jaybird) and wondered about how things might have been different but I am at peace. Velda and I had four babies together...Jennifer & Damara; Jenna & Emily; Tad & Michael and Cord & Maggie. Lynn & I had two together; Damara & Jay and Maggie & Keith. Nola and I had Sarah & Jenna together and Valerie & Maggie. Wade & Nancy got up to speed with Stuart & Maggie the same year. Boy we were busy little mamas and daddies back then. Bottom line, our kids have cousins the same age on one or both sides of the family. Pretty cool.
Well, I had a funderful 4th. Jenna and the kids came home with me after my dr. appt on Wednesday and we had a lot of fun. We took the kids to the park on Thursday morning and they LOVED it! Gunnar loves Mo Mo Sadie's little kid park. We took Kamryn and Trentin with us and it was a zoo with all four kids but so much fun for them. Jenna and I had a brain fart and decided to take them to Short Stop for a corn dog and drink and eat in the store. Well, that was too much distraction and they hardly ate a thing and just about drove Jenna and I over the edge.

Thursday afternoon, Jenna and I sat up tables and decorations for Ronnie & Kaylin's wedding. Yes they finally married after six or seven years. I hope they have a happy marriage. We were a little disappointed they didn't use Jenna's wedding planning services but after the rain came down we were equally as glad we didn't have a ton to clean up.
Jenna's class held their 10 year reunion on Friday night and she was so excited to go and see her old friends. Some she hasn't seen since graduation and when she and Weston got home Friday night she was so glad she went. She and Weston and Nate and Emily went on a night quad ride. I think she had a good weekend. We took the kids back to the park on Friday morning and Gunnar said again he loved Mo Mo Sadie's park. After the park we brought them home and let them race boats down the ditch. That was so fun and all four kids were soaked from head to toe but still wanting to play in the water the next stop was the bathtub...

Saturday morning I rode in the parade with the ATV Club. Holy Crap! I have never seen so many people in Eagar. There were so many people and little kids that the parade was single file until the Eagar Laundromat - I brought candy for the kids to throw but with the huge crowds, we didn't have enough. That was too bad. In Springerville there was still a ton of people but not nearly as many and certainly not as many kids. The parade was awesome from all reports!

We went to mom and dad's for a bbq after the parade. It was fun to eat and chill out. The kids were all hot and tired so it didn't take long before we were all heading places to put kids down for naps. Kamryn and Gunnar spent most of the weekend naked...playing in the water in my back yard they would shuck their clothes in a heart beat. The jumped on the trampoline and played in the water until they were exhausted.

Jenna and Weston left on Sunday evening. It was late and all of a sudden it was so quiet in my house. I love every crazy minute they are here and then the sudden silence is always so sad. I love my grand babies and hope they love coming to Mo mo's. Thanks, Jenna for baking and decorating cookies with Gunnar and Kamryn. They had a ball and the critics raved about the good cookies :o)

I have posted random pictures - they tell the story of love...for each other, for a good time, for their Aunts and Uncles and for Tad's jack russell puppy, Ali - short for aligator. Gunnar loved her. So here's the story of our fourth in pictures. Hope you all had a good one. Love you all.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thirty Years Ago Today...

Thirty years ago today Damara Kristine Allred was born. Weighing in at 5# 9 oz. she was perfect in every way. Lots of dark hair and her dad's eyebrows. (She would have hated them growing up) Our first baby after waiting a five years, two and 1/2 months - I was thrilled to finally be a mother.

On the morning of the 4th, they brought her in after a fresh bath and she had the standard issue hospital long sleeve t shirt and a diaper on. She had a curl in her hair and she smelled like heaven. She was so alert. As I was dressing her to take her home, I noticed she got stiff, and groaned a little, maybe like her little belly was hurting. We took her home and while everyone was out celebrating the 4th I was in awe of this little angel. She got stiff and groaned a couple more times and I told my mom there was something wrong and insisted we take her back to the hospital. I will never forget knowing as we drove back up to the hospital that I would never take her home again. Dr. Erhart was called in and she was having what they called a seizure...he was going to do a spinal tap to check for meningitis. He called Good Sam neo-natal unit and was advised to fly her out. A plane was ordered and it seemed like my world was coming to an end. It seemed like forever for the plane to get here and then when it did, we had to wait for the ambulance to come in from Alpine with a heart attack victim. The flight nurse and pilot were talking with the dr. and everyone else but me, they determined that Don would fly with her. The pilot looked over and asked who I was and when they told him the mother, he said that I would fly up front with him. When we got the go to get Damara on the ambulance to fly her out, it was getting late enough that people were lining up to watch the fireworks. As we flew that night, we could see fireworks all over the state. I didn't know what was going on in the back and it seemed like a long flight. Don said that they had to change the oxygen once before we landed and they only had enough to get her to the hospital. The ambulance ride in the valley was one heck of a ride. People were not pulling over to give the ambulance the right of way and the driver was using his loud speaker to get their attention. Needless to say by the time we got to the hospital I was more than a little stressed. Damara ran out of oxygen in the elevator at St. Joseph's on the way up to the nicu. They kept her going and then she was whisked off by a team of dr. and nurses. At 11:30 or so, a dr. came out and said that she was stable and that we needed to go somewhere and get some rest. They said that based on inital observations her chances were at least 50/50. Don said he felt lucky. I still remembered knowing that I would not be taking her home.

The morning of the 5th, Farrell and Mary took us to breakfast before we went to the hospital. I couldn't eat a bite, I just wanted to be at the hospital. When we got there my mom and dad were robed and in with her. The nurse took Don and I in, robed us up and then scrubbed us from the neck down. She said that we would not be able to hold her, but that we could talk to her and we could stroke her body. The second before I was allowed in I broke down and cried my broken heart out but somehow pulled it together to go and be with her. When I said her name, she started looking for me and the nurse said she knows you are here. I stroked her little body and talked to her for the 15 minutes we were allowed and then we went to find a motel close to the hospital. The next two days were full of ups and downs. There would be some good news followed by another set back. The drs. told us that they had seen 12 cases like hers in the past year and there was a 50% mortality rate. Not good odds. For the life of me I could never recall them telling us exactly what it was that she had. Cause of death on her death certificate states Group B Beta Strep. On the morning of the 7th, we woke up and Don said he felt like it was a good day. He called the hospital and they told him that Damara had just passed away. I never quite understood his optimism, but I certainly didn't try to dash it. I just knew what I knew and I have always been thankful for the very strong messages that I got through out that time, I knew for a certainty that Heavenly Father knew what would be happening and that he would bless us to get through it.

Thirty years later, I still know that Heavenly Father allowed us the blessing of having our perfect little spirit here for only four short days. I hope to have the blessing of raising her in the eternities. I love her, I am thankful for the things I learned in those short days. That is when I finally knew that I have a testimony of my Heavenly Father and of his son Jesus Christ and that we are never alone, never forgotten. I know that they mourn when we mourn and laugh when we laugh.

My regret...I never got a picture of her. I will never forget what she looked like, and I will never forget her sounds or her smell. If I close my eyes and think about it, it all comes back. The hurt has gone and in its place a sweet feeling of gratitude for those four short days.

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!