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.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Goose Bumps

Jenna, Maggie and Troy and all of the kids but Gunnar were here last week.  The kids had their scrapbooks out looking at them and then they pulled Maggie and Jenna's books out.  Presley who turned 2 in February, opened Jenna's book to a page with Don and Jenna and said "that's my Grandpa."  I looked at Jenna and then she said "what?"  Presley said "that's my Grandpa."

 I know she has never seen that picture before or would remember it.  The last time they were here was in November; Pres couldn't talk that good and we didn't have all of the albums out.  She knew what she knew and there's no explaining it.  Ryker was on my mind two or three times Sunday.  On Monday I was sweeping near the front door when he was on my mind again.  My cell phone rang, it was Tad and he said "Ryker will be here this afternoon."  There's no explaining it.  Callie lays on the floor or looks over your shoulder and smiles big.  Who does she see?  She sees someone she loves and knows.  I think the veil is thinner than we think and it gives me goosebumps.  I know that I have had thoughts or feelings about someone/something and then I see them or something happens.  I'm not psychotic, telepathic or anything else.  I just think there are things we know that we can't explain and it's o.k.  Sometimes they bring goosebumps and tears, sometimes smiles or sadness.  Mostly I know I don't know anything and that's o.k.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Time has a way of getting away from me.  It seems I'm busy all of the time and before I know it, another week, another month has slipped away.  Already since January we have celebrated my birthday, Weston's birthday, Bailey's birthday, Tad's birthday, Presley's birthday, Gunnar's birthday and Gunnar's baptism.  Mom and Dad celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary in February, then we celebrated Tanner's first birthday. In March we had the arrival of Callie then the next day celebrated Trentin's birthday, Dad's birthday, spring break, and wow the year is one fourth over and we've been busy every single month.  We don't have any April birthdays, but Don and I would have been married 40 years the 25th of April...40 years wow!  Mom, Dad and I went to the Gilliam/Stover Family reunion in Nutrioso in April.  It was a lot of fun and it was good to see my remaining aunts and uncles.  Mom and Uncle Dennis are the only two Gilliams left.  Alvin, Carolyn, Sandie, George, Eddie, Van, Lawna and Cheryl are still left on the Stover side along with a whole bunch of kids. 
Easter was quiet this year.  Tad was in Nebraska working, Maggie and Troy stayed in Thatcher and Jenna and Weston stayed in Gilbert.  I had Mom and Dad over for dinner, it was quiet but nice.
I hate Mother's Day, I always have and I always will.  To me it is the day to reflect on my failures and shortcomings.  There are no do-overs, no taking it back, it is what it is and I hate it.  Tad got Ryker on the 18th of May for 2 weeks and it has been fun to have him.  Chelsea is in California with Robin and she has pulled Cache back out of Tad's life so we have the boys separated for two weeks which I think is bull s*#$;.  Ryker loves his dad and Tad is crazy about Ryker.  Ryker was pretty upset they other day when he was watching a dvd movie and it froze..."argh...Sadie got her finger prints on the dvd!"  I said what?  "Sadie got her finger prints on the dvd."  I was about to pull the movie out when it started again, "that's's working."  Poor Sadie just doesn't understand the rules about finger prints on dvds.  We went to Thatcher on Friday for the weekend.  First we went to Kamryn's ball game...the kids mostly played at the park.  It was fun to watch Kamryn, she's a pretty good ball player.                   
We were supposed to go on the reservation to fish but due to fires, the reservation was closed so we went fishing at a private pond in Pima.  The boys had a good time throwing rocks in the pond.  Fish weren't biting...Gunnar caught the only fish a small blue gill that wouldn't have fed everyone so we threw it back. 

The kids played, played, played and played.  We had 11 kids from 8 years to 2 months at Maggie's.  On Sunday we celebrated Kamryn's 8th birthday.  I can't believe she's eight.  She and Gunnar have grown up so much this past year.  I can see the wisdom in waiting until they are eight to be baptized...they understand so much more, they get it.  Kamryn will be baptized in July so we will all be back then. 

We have a few weeks off then we celebrate Ryker's birthday in July.  There were a bunch of really tired kids from the weekend, and Ryker will be visiting cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents before he leaves on Monday.  I will be sad to know he's going back to a travel trailer but can't change that.  I'm headed to the valley this weekend for Callie's blessing. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Welcome little one...

At 12:03 a.m. on March 7, 2014 I sat up in bed and had the thought "Jenna is going to call in a bit...she's on her way to the hospital."  There was a 2:32 time too... well 2:32 came and went but at 5:43 a.m. I get the call "we're on the way to the hospital."  I jumped up, showered, loaded up and was on my way by 6:30 a.m.  I got a text right around 7:00 that she is here...Callie Young Farnes is here.  I got to the valley right around 10:00 and went straight to the hospital and saw our newest little angel.  She is beautiful.  Short darkish hair, long hands and to me she looks like Brinley. 

Best of all, she was born on her great, great, great grandmother, Cordellia Melissa Morris Stover's birthday.  "Nary" as she was known was my great grandmother and I know to this day I was a favorite.  She was an only girl, my grandma, Geneva was an only girl, my mom, Doris was an only girl, and I was Doris' oldest daughter.  I was thrilled Callie was born on that day.  She shares that day with my Nary who always called me "sister".  She was kind, loving, hard working, talented, and a wonderful cook.  I miss her even now, 30 years after her death.  I have felt her presence and know she is on the other side pulling for me.  Callie, you have so many people on both sides of the veil that love you.  I for one am thrilled you waited until March to make your entrance and on such a special day!  Trentin's birthday is on the 8th and Grandpa Gilliam's birthday is on the 9th.  She didn't make her March 22nd due date - none of Jenna's babies have made their due date.  She is loved by her big brother Gunnar and her big sisters, Bailey, Brinley and Presley.  She is number nine and won't be the last.  I am blessed and grateful she is here safe and sound.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Coming From Behind...again.

The end of 2013 was unusual for me...I was cooking at Elk Camps.  Who knew?

It started out with my 58th birthday - holy heck...that's close to 60.  I'm in a good place in my life.  I am single, I am happy and I love my kids and grand kids.  I have good friends and family that I like to play with.  Life really is good.

Weston had a birthday on the 17th of January followed on the 22nd by Bailey who turned 5.  She is into "crap" projects, coloring, etc.  She tickles me with her love of food, ice cream in particular.  She will stay up all night if she has to to get some ice cream.  She loved pre-school and loves learning.  I picked her up at school on crazy hair day...her hair was pink and so cute.  Her daddy sent her flowers to her pre-school on her birthday and that little girl was in heaven!

February 4 was Presley's 1st and Tad's 30th birthdays.  Seems to be a pretty popular day... Clancey McBride, Gage Wiltbank, Tad and Presley to name a few share that birthday.  Presley is such a Jenna "mini me" that I can't believe it.  She's a cute little toot.  As the year progressed she is quite the mess maker with her big sister, Brinley.  They empty every toy and put on every princess dress in the house. 

A week later on the 11th Gunnar turned 7 with a bounce house party with school friends and neighborhood friends.  He had such a good time and it was fun to see him with friends from school.  he loves school - he gets to play boy things and rough house that he can't do at home with the girls.  He is such a good big brother and Presley LOVES her brother!  Gunnar loves to wrestle and play baseball and electronic games.  His mama monitors the electronics like crazy.  We got to go to Las Vegas in December to watch Gunnar wrestle.  He brought home a 3rd place trophy out of a million wrestlers - we were so proud of him.  February 9th was mom and dad's 60th anniversary.  60 years, can you imagine? 

Tanner decided that March was too long to wait and showed up 4 weeks early.  He was such a tiny peanut.  Sandy red hair - he is a good baby and Kamryn and Trentin love their little brother.  He is such a blessing to their family.  Tanner is still a tiny peanut - and has the biggest smile ever.

March brought Trentin's 5th birthday - we celebrated with Pizza and bowling in Show Low - it was a fun day.  Cold but fun.  Trentin does well in Head Start and will do well in Kindergarten.  He is a sports NUT!  Trentin wrestled too and it was fun to go watch him.  He and Gunnar both wrestled in St. Johns and both brought home 1st place ribbons!  Woot!  Woot!  I got to go to Disneyland and Sea World with Jenna's family in March for Spring Break.  It was so fun.  The older kids loved the beach the little ones liked the sand but not the water.  Sea World was relaxed for everyone - I think that was my favorite.  Jenna and the kids came up for a week during their Spring Break - the kids all have a ball playing together.  Daddy turned 80 on March 19th... I still remember when he was 33 - funny I remember that year but not any other milestone years. 

April...can we catch our breath?  Not a single birthday!  Hooray!  I'm not even sure what happened in April anymore.  Guess it's good we stay busy every month with birthdays.

May brought the end of a good school year for Gunnar and Kamryn.  Kamryn turned 7 on May 26th - she is such a quiet little girl sometimes.  She also can be a poop like her mother, too.  She's a little feisty.  She does well in school now that Troy and Maggie have settled down.  She really struggled when they were apart and messed up.  Kids suffer the consequences of our choices.

June warms up so that we are so anxious for the summer rains.  Jenna and the kids came up and spent a week and the kids had a ball.  They were up and out of the house early and not back in until after dark.  They played in the ditch, flashlight tag, trampoline, park, Maggie's house, up and down the street...they all had so much fun and freedom that I think they truly had a great week here.  Tim got married on the 1st of June in Tucson.  Tad, Brianne and I took mom and dad and stayed at Jays.  It was a nice wedding and mom and dad enjoyed their little trip.  In June the Yarnell fire took the lives of 19 firefighters and was such a tragedy.  I was so selfishly happy that none of my nieces and nephews were fighting that one.  Bood Hall was the incident commander and took that really hard.

Ryker turned 2 on July 7th - that is Trace's (Emily's little boy's birthday, too) He is such a smart little guy and like his dad will talk to a rock.  He talks all of the time.  Dr. Wilson said his communication skills were exceptional for his age!  He loves his daddy and Tad loves his boy. 

Tad and Brianne got a house together on Poverty Flat road - their relationship is pretty rocky at best.  She claims to be pregnant and due on my birthday with a girl.  By July we aren't seeing a baby bump.  I heard that she was drinking at Tim's wedding in Tucson in June...  They had a nice bbq at their house on the 4th - then we all went to the fireworks.  Kresta spent the night with me.  She and other firefighters walked in the parade to honor Yarnell Hotshots and local firefighter Michael Pena who died in a car wreck the end of June, too.  That was too touching, I cried when they walked by.

Jenna and Weston went to California for a Young reunion for the 4th of July so the 4th was different for us.  Jenna's kids started school the middle of July!  That's still SUMMER...she hates that part of living in the valley.  Gunnar is in 2nd grade and Bailey is in Kindergarten at Riggs Elementary.  They both like school...Bailey in particular.  She LOVES learning.

Brinley turned 3 on August 4th - She shares that day with Sarah.  I missed her birthday.  Weston was going to Alaska so they did it early.  Jenna and the kids came up for Valerie's wedding on August 10th and then I went back with them for a week while Weston was gone.  Jenna has her hands full, that's for sure.  Brinley is such a little mess...I love her!  She loves makeup, dress up, dance, ballerina, mermaids, princesses, anything frilly and girly.  She is my "drinking buddy"...she loves to share my pop with me.  I was busy with the ATV Jamboree and Trophy Elk Contests at the same time.  I am crazy and I over do and get burned out.  I have to figure a way to cut back...

The 10th annual ATV Jamboree was held in September.  Tad called and asked if I would be interested in cooking at Elk Camp at Josh Ranch again in September...the hunt started on Friday after the jamboree was over so basically I was home for three days and gone again for 13 days.  It was a lot of work but fun.  I enjoy the hunters and they seem to enjoy my food... a win win for me.  As it turned out I cooked in September, October, November and December...I left home in September and was home two or three days an gone again until January 14th...  I felt like a stranger in my own home.
Maggie turned 29 in September.  Where has the time gone? 

My mom turned 76 October 16th.  She is getting forgetful - tells the same story or asks the same question many times in a short period of time.  It makes me sad.  Daddy is her world.  I hope and pray that they go together.  One will be lost without the other.

In November I went to Datil to cook - Tad and I were never in the same camp until December - that was for 2 nights...we passed each other like two ships in the night.  I was blessed to be able to pay my bills and buy my pellets for the winter.  Can't ask for more than that. 
Don would have been 61 November 1st - I still get mad at him for missing the best part of life.  He truly would have loved all of these grandkids...and they would have loved him.  We all miss him  all of the time.  Tanner has been sick a lot and the Dr. did some tests that came back inconclusive and they are sending him the Phoenix Children's hospital blood disorders/cancer unit.  We are all concerned for him and pray that it is nothing.  He is still a little peanut.  Smart as a whip and a good baby, just small. 

December 3rd was Troy's 35th birthday; Jenna turned 33 on the 9th and then we had Christmas...we all went to Vegas the 1st weekend in December for Gunnar and Trentin to wrestle.  They did ok...6th place but not their best.  It was still fun to go watch them.  Tad, Kamryn, Maggie, Tanner and I were all sick for Christmas.  I got the bug about noon on Christmas day and the next day was horrible.  Vomiting, diarrhea, yuck...for three days.  The kids got me an Ipad for Christmas.  I was so shocked but am so happy with it.  Cache turned 5 on the 26th.  Chelsea and the boys spent Christmas day with us before she went to Las Vegas.  It was good to have them here.   Maggie and Troy moved to Thatcher during Christmas break and I went to Datil to cook on New Year's Eve.  Really a different New Years for me.  I was out there on my birthday, too.  I turned you know how close to 60 that is? 

Cache had an incident at school where he was spurring another little boy and Chelsea called Tad to talk to him.  It was determined and decided that Cache can call Tad what ever he wants, it's his choice.  He chose "dad"...Tad was so happy.  Another incident at school caused Chelsea to visit with a therapist who told her that she and the boys were "blessed to have Tad" and that they were blessed that Cache chose him to be his dad.  One step forward...

Life is good.  I have been blessed way  beyond my worthiness.  I am so grateful for my own kids, their spouses and extended families and my sweet grand kids.  Jenna is bringing us up to 10 in March with another little girl.  We are blessed!

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!