Saturday, August 16, 2014

Thank You for Your Wisdom, Donna Voss






            About half the blogs I read are by friends or relatives that I know.  But once in a while I am drawn to one that either someone else has recommended or one that I have come across myself.  Such is the case with Donna Carol Voss.  She posts to this blog usually once a week on Sunday.

            I used to leave comments, but now she has a no reply and I haven’t been able to leave comments – not that my comments are important.  So many of her posts just resonate with me.  I just want to be able to tell her that.  Express to her how much I value her opinion.

            I absolutely love the unconditional love that she expresses for each of her children and for those who are not members of the Church and being careful not to use labels and very accepting of those who fall away from the Church.  She has such a great perspective on life and values.  I particularly like her posts written on July 20, 27 and August 2. 

            Often there are members of the Church who look down on those who have left the Church and seem to lack understanding or don’t even try.  Wouldn’t it be great if we all had the same outlook on life as she does?

An Awesome Smile Says It All




       Jenna and I took a bus out to Kearns Friday morning.  A member of my former ward had passed, and I wanted to attend the funeral.

       We have taken that route several times all summer long, but we had never had the driver that took us that morning.  She had a million dollar smile that was so sincere.  She greeted each passenger, as he/she was a personal friend. 

       I’ve had pleasant drivers before.  I’ve had many recognize me and assist with needs when I couldn’t find my pass or knowing exactly where to stop or even asking, “Which stop will you be getting off today”

       Most drivers are quite friendly – though there are the occasional passengers who will provoke.  The driver’s I have seen have dealt with the situation well, but there are some who are obviously bothered and let the human side shine perhaps more than it should.

       But this particular driver looked positive like nothing bad would interfere with her day and she would continue smiling no matter what.  She deserves to be acknowledged.  Thank you!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Flies by Day, Mosquitos by Night



         I have always hated flies.  Annoying creatures that buzz around my face and land their teeny legs on my skin to share their germs.  My idea of hell consists of non-dying flies.

         Mosquitos never bothered me quite so much when I was single.  They loved my brother, Patrick.  I could stand next to him anytime the mosquitos were out and never be bitten.  He could even be doused in an entire can of repellent and I with nothing, and the mosquitos would still go after him.  I had actually convinced myself that mosquitos actually died on my blood.

         During the last five years or so, my blood must have improved in taste – or else the mosquitos are just getting more desperate.  I know the Red Cross is.  They had also taken my blood out of desperation.  It’s never been wonderful blood like Patrick or Roland has. 

I don’t know about Patrick, but Roland gets contacted by Red Cross every two months as though it’s mandatory now.  So why do the mosquitos always feast on me instead of him?  Because he’s always hidden under a blanket while I am always exposed?  Back in my childhood day, the mosquitos would have found a way to get under the blanket to get Patrick’s blood and still leave me alone.

         I have written this post about a family tradition in which we honor Christmas in July.  Though the last two years have been in August. 

         Michelle had messaged family members on facebook to give us a date and to make/get food assignments.  Messaging is supposed to be discreet, but somewhere along the way, at least one mosquito learned of the event.

         Corey had already responded that he and Joh would be unable to make the event.  When Michelle announced that we had surprise visitors, she was absolutely right.  We were all surprised to see Joh and Corey walking towards us.

         As the food broke out, so did the flies.  As Corey and I sat and visited, we both waved our arms as we swatted at flies.  As we were waving our arms I made the comment that I didn’t know which was worse: mosquitos or flies.  Within a matter of minutes I got my answer.

 

         Mosquitos, aware of our party, must have sent out a bulletin that read:

Free Blood Banks!

Free succulent blood!

Backyard party at Michelle’s house.

Tell ALL of your friends!



Every mosquito within a 500-mile radius must have shown up to chomp on my family.  The itches usually don’t start up quite that soon for me.  These mosquitos were ruthless.  They showed no mercy.  Amazingly none of us needed to leave in an ambulance.  We’re all still alive.  None of us were devoured to death – though I think that may have been preferable.  At least I wouldn’t itch anymore.

I’ve got huge bites on my arms and legs.  One even dared bite the bottom of my foot.  HOW DARE HE (or she)!  My family was not designed to be the source of another creature’s picnic food.  I wonder how swollen Patrick is right now.  Or Corey.  He received just as many bites as I had – or more.  Perhaps all of us got bitten equally – except for Joh.  He claimed the mosquitos weren’t bothering him. How's that even possible?

If it was fat that mosquitos were feasting on instead of bloeed, I could learn to live with the itching.  All family members involved would be so thin right now.

Mosquitos MUST DIE!!!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Missing R and Number 3


     



I am currently using an ancient Mac laptop – one that was purchased at a pawnshop at what we believed was a reasonable price.  Roland needed it for his class.  Frustration set in as he toyed with this problem for more than a year.

     The keys on the top row would stick.  Well, 1-6 did.  It was okay.  He didn’t need the numbers.  But when the top row of letters (particularly the e, r and t) started sticking – well, that was a problem.  Most often, the keyboard from the computer was plugged into the unit.

     We took it in to be serviced.  Less than a month later, the “r” key started sticking again and is often missed into the words now, unless one pounds on it.  So often when I am typing, the “r” doesn’t make it into my word.  It can be frustrating.

     A spell check will usually pick up on my missing “r”s, but it will never catch my missing “3”s. Nor does it catch words like “bother”, “dove”, and “dive” when I am really writing “brother”, “drove” and “diver”.

     The 3/# doesn’t stick.  In the case of the 3/#, it was the actual button fell off.  We still have the key, but I find it easier to hit the white peg from underneath than to try to push it through the broken 3/# tile.  And so often when I am using the numbers (I actually use the number pad when using a regular keyboard) on the laptop, my “3”’s don’t make it in either.
Roland doesn’t even use this laptop anymore.  He’s “borrowing” a more updated laptop – for two more months.  Only two more months to go and he will be finished with his schooling – and hopefully he will be able to get a job in which he can use his degree.

Just thought I would mention my missing “r” button.  Perhaps you have run across some posts on this blog that don’t quite make sense.  I’m just giving a suggestion as to a possibility.

Some Examples on Gifts of the Holy Ghost


           Lola gave the lesson yesterday on the gift of the Holy Ghost.  She asked for participation – though the first example that came to mind took more time to explain than I thought was appropriate.  As I listened to her lesson, I came up with a few examples from my own life.

         The first example I thought of was one of Warning  
      
         I was 17 and hadn’t had my driver’s license for long.  I hadn’t learned to drive a stick and thus drove the family station wagon (since it was automatic).



         My brother, Patrick, and I both worked at Snelgroves Ice Cream Store – approximately a 15 minute drive from where we lived.
I had asked Patrick if he would move the Honda, which was behind.  Patrick was only 15, but he had a lot more experience with the cars than I did.  He told me that if I wanted to drive the Honda to work, he would work the stick for me and tell me when to clutch.  I thought it would be good experience and decided to take him up on that.



         We were less than 2 blocks from Snelgroves when I tried to slow down using the brake, but was stepping on the clutch and not slowing down.  We rounded a corner going about 35 mph and I veered from the right lane into the left lane, went over a curb and came only a few feet short of hitting the store that sold organs. 

         Patrick’s eyes bugged out of his head, but he never said anything.  I have always admired him for that.  We were both somewhat shaken when we got to work.  I was determined NOT to drive home. 

         At that time the store closed its doors at 10:00 or 11:00.  Clean-up took a couple of hours – depending on what job task we were given.  That particular night we didn’t get out until well after 1:00.  The next day was Sunday.  Church started at 8:00 a.m.

         I handed the keys to Patrick and said, “If you want to get home, you’ll have to drive because I’m not driving.  We’ll say a prayer first.”

         Patrick was nervous, as he knew what the consequences were involved if we were pulled over and he was found behind the wheel.  At the same time I think he may have had a secret desire to “test his wings” so to say. 

I swore him to secrecy that he was never to tell anyone about this until he was interviewed by the bishop for his mission.

         During Sacrament meeting, my mom turns to me and says, “Did Patrick drive the car home last night?”

         You think that would have surprised me, but I was actually quite offended that she would even think such a thing.

         “Why would you even ask me that?” I let her know that I was offended. 

         “I don’t know”

         She asked me two more times in the process of arguing with herself – or rather questioning the promptings of the Spirit.  It finally came out that “Yes – Patrick had driven the car.”

         I think that she was in greater shock than how I felt offended. 

         It turned out that I had broken the rims of the wheels – probably all four of them.  And if my dad had taken the Honda to work the next day, it may have landed him in an unnecessary accident. 

         Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had inadvertently asked for that blessing before Patrick and I had left the Snelgrove’s parking lot the night prior. God does answer prayers – often in ways you don’t expect.

         The next example that came to mind was a time when Sunny was preparing for a primary sharing time on the subject of the Holy Ghost and the gifts we can receive.

         She had pondered all month about her approach.  On Saturday night (12 or so hours before the sharing time message was to be shared) she had a dream about a video she really had seen in real life.  She felt that was the message she was to share.

         She had gone to the Church early enough to reserve the video.  However it couldn’t be found in that library, but Sunny knew she had seen it before – at a stake activity.  So the stake center library was called, but they didn’t have the video either.  Sunny was frantic.
         She went into the primary room and got on her knees and poured her heart out as the tears fell.

         Meanwhile, a sister (I’ll call her Pat) who was in her same stake, was walking passed the Church when she felt a prompting to go inside and find the primary room.  She thought it strange as the ward she attended did not even meet in that particular building.  Fortunately she followed the prompting and went inside.

         She found Sunny in the primary room crying and asked if she could help.  Sunny blubbered her thoughts and described the video in detail. 

         Pat knew what video Sunny was talking about.  It was one that Pat had in her personal collection.  She went home to get the video for Sunny to share with her primary children.  But it wasn’t so much the video that Sunny had to share – it was more to relate the experience she had had in obtaining it.

         Translation          One of the first primary baptisms I had attended in this stake was one conducted by the Spanish ward – which then was just a branch.

         The first speaker gave a talk on baptism.  She spoke in English, but there was a brother there who translated her words into Spanish (as there was a youth from the Spanish ward being baptized that day) The second speaker spoke in Spanish about the gifts of the Holy Ghost and the same brother translated in English.

         The English Speaker paused after every sentence or two to allow the brother to translate, but the Spanish speaker didn’t seem to allow much for translation. 
         I remember one part in particular as she was rattling on, I thought, “Give that poor man the opportunity to translate.”

         And when he got up (I don’t remember the exact quote) he said that one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost is the power to translate.  Let me demonstrate as I finish my talk and let Bro. Hill translate what I say.  But he will be translating by the Spirit  . . . “

         Wow!  That demonstration was so powerful.  I really did understand the message that was brought by the Spirit.

         At the time Jenna was baptized, it was also the Spanish ward that was conducting.  Each speaker had brought his/her own translator.  The second translator seemed to miss much in translation.  But oh, you could so feel the speaker’s spirit, and that was more powerful than any words that were spoken.

         As Lola concluded her lesson, she focused on the Holy Ghost acting as a comforter. I know I have more recent experiences, but this is the one that pressed most on my mind.

         I was working for a privately owned business in which communication was just not that great.  Only five people were involved.  The owner (Thomas) his wife (Penny) her mother (who was co-owner) Charity (my co-worker) and me.
In frustration, Charity and I decided to put in our notice.  Penny seemed quite understanding about it, but Tom did not seem so understanding.  Charity and I were both in tears when her mom came to pick her up. 

It sounds unprofessional that Charity’s mom was acting as the mediator on our behalf – but I know that if Tom didn’t understand us when we were speaking clearly, there was no way he was going to understand our blubbering noises.

My mom called me just as we were wrapping things up.  She was wondering why I hadn’t gone to a tithing settlement I had signed up for.  In all that had happened, I had forgotten, but was told I could drive to the church to meet with the bishop as soon as I was done.

At the conclusion of my tithing settlement, my bishop asked if there was anything that I needed.  Still in tears and upset with the prior situation, I asked if I could have a blessing and explained a bit about the events that had taken place. 

At that point I didn’t care if I still had a job or not, I just wanted to feel some peace.  And I did.  Immediately.  It was awesome.

For me it is easier to write about the past than to post something I consider sacred right now.  Perhaps I will share more at a later time.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What Kind of Parents are You? - You Don’t Even Know Us


         About a year and a half after we moved in, Jenna was out in front playing with Wesley.  Wes introduced her to Blake, who lived around the corner.  Blake and Jenna decided to be friends and ditched Wesley who had decided to climb on the roof next door.  Both Blake and Jenna were mortified by his decision.

         The next day Blake came over to play with Jenna.  It just happened to be her birthday and she had turned seven.  I had a party planned with many of her friends from the old neighborhood.  Jenna asked if Blake could go with us.  I told them both that we would need permission from Blake’s parents – or parent rather.  Like many of the children over here, Blake came from a broken home.

         Blake left the house and made his way back in what felt like only two minutes.  He said it was all right for me to take him to another city.  I didn’t feel right about it unless I talked with an adult first.  And so I drove him home and talked with his dad.

         His dad, who doesn’t know me, who had never even met Jenna before, said that Blake was a good kid and it would be all right if I were to take him to Kearns.  Are you kidding me?  Yes.  Blake was a very good kid.  Out of all of Jenna’s West Valley friends, I think I have actually  liked Blake the most.  But just because he was a good kid didn’t make me a reliable person.  I am.  But he doesn’t know that.

         So I took Blake to Kearns with us – still in awe that he’d been allowed to go with a virtual stranger.  There is no way in the world I would be allowing Jenna to get in the car of the parent of a friend that she just met and I don’t know.  Blake was not only allowed to go to the party, but his sister had gone out and purchased a Barbie for him to give to Jenna.

         Then there was Sadie.  Cute little Sadie.  She showed up at our doorstep one day.  Jenna had met her through some of the other neighborhood kids – and actually spends more time with Sadie than anyone.  She happened to be here as we were getting ready to go to Anna’s 4th birthday party.  Jenna asked if Sadie could go with us.  So I put Sadie in the car and drove her to her house to get permission.  Unlike Blake’s father, who spoke English, Sadie’s father doesn’t speak any English, and so I had to take her word (and his nod) for it that he has given permission.

         We’ve taken Sadie on bus rides to Kearns a couple of times.  And last night she had her first sleep over at our house.  Why would a parent allow their child to sleep over at someone’s house they haven’t met?  Again, I am not comfortable with the idea of Jenna sleeping over night with strangers – though I suppose that slumber parties could be in the future and maybe I won’t know the parents – or even the children – as her classmates also live in another city.

         And then there’s Desiree across the street.  She has two children, ages 8 and 6.  I really like the 8 year old.  She has been taught values and respect.  I think she has been the most respectful of any of Jenna’s West Valley friends, and would like to see Jenna learn that same respect – except for Desiree seems to be overly cautious about letting her children go anywhere – which I fully understand.  She doesn’t know us either. 

Jenna and I were walking somewhere when she said “Hi” to us.  I asked Jenna if she wanted to invite Alisha to walk with us in which Jenna replied, “Her mom won’t even let her walk to the corner” which made me laugh.  But I’ve learned that she wasn’t joking.  Alisha and her brother have to be within eyesight at all times.  

I wonder if something tragic happened either in Desiree’s life or the lives of her two young children.  I would highly suspect that both have different fathers – and maybe there’s a custody battle going on and perhaps one or the other has been taken and that’s why Desiree doesn’t trust anyone.  But I actually understand her overprotectiveness more than the allowing your child to ride in the car with someone you don’t even know. 

I wish I were more casual and trusting of people.  I wish we lived in a world in which we wouldn’t question the motives of the adult but be happy to let our child go – knowing that he or she will have fun and nothing bad will happen and that suspicions would be non-existent.    But there is suspicion and bad intentions and caution.  And labeling on my part – as I’ve referred to them as West Valley friends, and school friends instead of just friends.  But then there’s a degree of friendship as well.

Tomorrow I will be going to Kearns to watch my youngest nephew.  I will be taking Jenna with me.  Her other two cousins have play dates set up, and I am hoping to have one for her as well. So far it is looking good that she will be spending time with her kindergarten buddy. I hope so.  It will be good for her to play with somebody her age on her same level.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bussing it to St. Mark's


When Jenna goes to school, I have taken the bus with her.  I normally have my backpack which contains my water bottle and a book.  Or at least I try to have a book – so I can read during the ride when Jenna isn’t with me.

Jenna and I have ridden the bus all summer.  We’ve gone in a variety of directions.  But we have always started out on the same bus that we have taken when she’s been in school.  Instead of continuing to our normal bus stop near her school, we have been getting off at the college and making a transfer connection to a different bus.

Just north of the college is a foot bridge that leads to the junior high across the street.  Jenna has always wanted to cross it.  I figured she’ll have the opportunity to cross it in two years – almost daily for the three years that she attends the junior high. My initial plan was to cross it with her, as I’d need to take a return bus home.  But this morning I learned that is no longer in my future.  She will either have to get off one stop before me, or cross at the light.  I think she will choose the bridge – which is what I would prefer for both of us.


 Jenna was so excited about being on this steep uphill bridge; it did make the crossing worthwhile.  But the side with the junior high is fenced in, and there is no slit in the fence and so we had to walk around and it took us more time than if we had just gotten off at the college and crossed the street.  Jenna apologized for my error.  But it was my error.  And it really was nice to learn about it now as opposed to when it’s full of junior high traffic.  And Jenna really did think it was cool to be on the bridge.  So it was fine.  I wasn’t upset about it.

We took a bus to the train station and transferred to another bus that took us to St. Mark’s hospital.  Before my mom passed away, I had driven to the hospital many times to see her – the same hospital I went to today, but for a different reason.  It was actually my first time riding the bus to St. Mark’s.  It was so different arriving at the hospital with a different form of transportation.

Instead of going to see my dying mother, I entered another part of the building that brings new life.  Up in the maternity ward is my sister, Kayla and her husband, Bill and their new arrival, BJ (not his real name – but I highly suspect that he is a “Bill Junior” as he seems to have had Bill’s sense of humor even while in the womb; and as their other two look like Kayla, I suspect BJ will not only act more like Bill but look more like him as well – kind of hard to tell right now who he takes after in the “looks” department) who’s been named after mom.

Roland’s office is located about four and a half blocks east and south of St. Mark’s.  I noticed that he hadn’t taken his phone, and grabbed it since he was so close.  Though I considered just keeping it as my phone has been flipping out the last two days and every call is broken and gets cut off.  I wondered if he had left it for me intentionally. 

I don’t like calling him at work through his work phone as I’m often redirected to the location in Phoenix – even with an extension.  Sometimes I am tempted to call the President of the United States just to see how much harder it would be than trying to get Roland at his work.  But that’s beside the point.                

While we were at St. Mark’s, Bill’s sister brought his kids to see their new little brother.  Anna lovingly held her new brother and smiled at him.  Gary, on the other hand, seemed freaked out and afraid.  I’m thinking it was time for a nap (perhaps he hadn’t had his Super Why fix)  He clung to Bill who wanted to take pictures and handed the camera to one of his nephews as Gary wouldn’t let go of his dad.  I noticed the time on the clock and asked Jenna if she wanted to go see her dad and come back later.  And so we left.          


The hospital and Roland’s office building are both on the same side of the street.  I told Jenna our two choices.  We could either cross the street, ride the bus down four blocks, cross the street(s) again or we could stay on that side and walk to Roland’s work.  We ended up walking.        

I didn’t remember Roland taking a lunch and wondered if he was at the nearby drive-in.  Jenna and I checked before making our way to his office.  I had her stay downstairs so we wouldn’t miss him if he got off the elevator.  I went from cubicle to cubicle not even knowing for sure in what section he was even stationed (he’s been relocated several times due to change of management and HUGE turn-overs)

I placed the phone on his desk and wanted to know if he’d be going to lunch.  He finished up what he was doing and met Jenna and I in the downstairs lobby and we went to lunch.  I should have gotten something for Bill, but just dumped the leftover fries in a bag along with half a shake and half a drink.  But he seemed grateful.

He asked me if he could take Jenna with him to the DMV as he and Kayla just purchased a van that still needs to be registered.  Their kids call it a bus.  Jenna’s actually excited about it because they will have room for her in addition to their three children.  She normally has fun with Bill and usually delights in his overly-done sense of humor.

I actually ended up leaving shortly after they did.  They may have still been in the parking lot actually.  But Kayla looked really tired and I could sense that she wanted to rest more than she wanted to visit.  I’ve actually had an obnoxious dry cough that seems to worsen when I talking, and so it worked out for both of us.   I hadn’t planned on returning home alone as I naturally figured that Jenna would be with me; therefore had nothing to read.
From the train station I have three options on returning home.  Instead of transferring back to the 41 (which is the route Jenna and I had used for getting to the train station) I decided to take the train to the next stop and wait for the 35 which gets me closer to wear I live.  

Now i am home writing this post, frustrated by a stuck shift key that keeps giving commands on my word that i have to go back and correct.  (That cap is one example.  It was also underlining and bolding – but the caps don’t seem as correctable – even on a different computer.  I was able to change the font size.  But I had to copy and paste this part)

Now that this is posted, I will go to the other room to wait for Jenna and the kids (who will be staying with us for a couple of days) I don’t know when Bill will be dropping them off.  He may try calling, but I can’t guarantee there will be a connection. It's been almost five hours now and I haven't heard from them.  Roland is home now.  Perhaps I should use his phone to find out where my daughter might be.

According to customer service, I’ll be receiving my new phone in just a few days.  That sounds unbelievable to my ears.  I’ll be surprised if it comes on Saturday or even Monday.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Walking in Heaven


I don’t know when mom became an avid walker or how many years she and Pam Sanders had walked together practically every weekday morning.  I know that Corey was still in high school and driving because many times mom and Pam would end their walk at the high school and take the car.

            Once, as they were leaving the parking lot, a security officer from the high school pulled them over to see their ID – wondering why the car was being driven off the high school grounds during school hours.  I guess he figured out that they weren’t high school students. They laughed about the experience of being pulled over and stopped by a diner on their way home. 

            The girl behind the counter started to ring up their order.  I don’t know what they ordered, but evidently it was available at a senior price.  Neither one of them were of age at the time, but took the discount as they had been offended that they had gone from high school teenagers to senior citizens in the matter of only a few minutes.

            They didn’t always do the four miles.  Some days they would only do two.  Mom was in really great shape physically and sorely missed her walks when she had broken her bones one year and her leg was in a cast.

            I didn’t pay much attention to when mom and Pam got back into their routine or when they had stopped walking due to Pam’s ailing health – which seemed to come and go but lingered more as the years passed.

            Pam volunteered to assist with my wedding and worked in the kitchen and fixed plates for any guest who happened to the open house. 

            She and Jenna became fast friends when Jenna was two and three years old.  I remember giving her a picture of Jenna and she was thrilled. 

            As Jenna got older, Pam’s health deteriorated. I did not see much of hear or even hear much for that matter.  My own mom had her good days and bad days after she’d been diagnosed with dementia.  Pam seemed to have disappeared from her mind along with so many others she had known 40 – 50 years.  I stopped by a few times just to see how Pam was doing, but I never did see her again.  Her health had gotten worse.

            Today I heard that she had passed.  I don’t have the details.  I am hoping that I will be able to attend her funeral.  That makes how many that I’ve gone to in less than a year? 

            Corey posted a thought to facebook that perhaps the two of them are taking a walk right now.  What a nice thought.
 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Devastation of Adolescence and Experiencing Peter Pan Syndrome




         When Jenna was two and three, she insisted that Roland stop calling her the baby.  “I am a big girlr” she’d inform us (actually I don’t remember the exact pronunciation; she said it as one syllable, but it sounded like she had an extra ‘r’ at the end.)

         When she started to go through adolescence, she no longer wished to be a big girl.  She wanted to be like her hero, Peter Pan – without having to move to Never Never Land.  Becoming a woman was something she was NOT looking forward to her.



         Two years ago I started a post which I did not attach to my blog.  It was the day when I bought Jenna’s first bra.  The very idea was just too devastating for her.  And I told her that I wouldn’t tell any family members – and because I have family members which read my post, I didn’t post about it – I had made a promise.

         I understood the devastation.  She started developing early.  And although the two bumps were rather small at the time – they just seemed to stand out more when she wore tee shirts.  Roland and I both agreed that it was time to do something about it – though I personally haven’t ever been aware of one developing at eight or starting off third grade wearing bras (training bras – but still)

         She gets her early development from her father’s side.  Unlike Jenna, who has always seemed be ahead of her peers both academically and *physically, I was a late bloomer.  Unlike many of my friends who were wearing bras before junior high school (some as early as fourth grade), I don’t think I got my first bra until midway through 7th or 8th grade.

At age 12 and 13, I was probably where Jenna is now – though I was always skinny and flat chested.  In addition to another early development, Jenna’s body also seemed to be going through a chunky stage.  Her belly and chest nearly resembled that of a sumo wrestler.  (Just what every girl wants to hear, right?)  But just as skinny girls can balloon out (which I did by the time I hit my mid thirties) chunky girls can lose the weight (my second daughter-in-law was quite chunky between 8 and 14.  You’d never know it now)

With tears in her eyes Jenna said she didn’t want to wear a bra.  I understood.  Early developers were probably teased even more than the late bloomers were.  She said that I was lucky that I didn’t have to wear a bra in elementary school.  I think she’s right. 

We had gone shopping for shoes and pants as well.  Jenna had her heart set on getting some high heels.  At that time she was wearing a women’s size 5 ½.  At least according to the shoes that she selected.  She paid for them herself and wore them to the mall.  

I was amused at watching her clicking down the aisles in shoes she had obviously never experienced before – but felt proud to be wearing as a children’s pocket book dangled from her arm.  



My little girl is no longer little.  She is blossoming in all directions.  She’s becoming a young lady though she would like to remain a little girl.

Today Roland is taking Jenna to the dinosaur exhibit at Southtown Expo.  He had invited me to go along, but I think Jenna really needs some alone time with her daddy.  And perhaps I need some alone time with just me.
It would be fun to go just to take pictures – though I can give the camera to Roland just as easily.  I hope they have a fantastic day together.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Trading Treasures and Wheelin-Dealin’


Randy has always been charismatic.  Often he has conned others out of favors based on his charm.  One time in fifth grade, someone dared him to wear a dress onto the playground.  Of course Randy needed incentive and said he’d do it for five dollars. 

Randy wore the dress for the entire recess – but there had been a commotion about it.  Roland was called in and learned all what was involved.  Randy ended up having to give back the money on Roland’s orders.

When the boys were older, we had a family home evening on the talents.  To each boy we gave 20 dollars and told them to go multiply. 

Randy purchased 20 candles the following day.  He took his 20 candles from door to door and sold his one dollar candles for three dollars each.  And he would use his profits to purchase more candles until he had doubled his money and had made 40 dollars with the twenty.

Jenna was a cute baby.  People would melt whenever she would smile.  Many thought she was so cute, they would give her money – mostly elderly looking grandparents, but there had been a few that were obviously not old enough to be grandparents.  I remember hoping that it wouldn’t last – as it somehow felt inappropriate when she became older. 

Like Randy, she has charm and charisma and is somewhat of a wheeler dealer.



My Jenna left the house with a bag of rocks – most of them had been given to her several years ago by the neighbor next door.  She came home with a bag of toys.  Some surprised me.  In her collection were two bracelets, a bendy flower, a care bear, two plastic animals and a Barbie.  She had gotten the care bear for her cousin, Anna.  But why on earth would she want a Barbie?  We had given those up because she never really enjoyed playing with him.  She said she got it so she would “fit in” with her seven year old friends.

The thing I have been most surprised about is how much time she has spent playing with Barbie and combing out Barbie’s hair.  And this morning she brushed her own hair.

Okay, who are you and what have you done with my daughter?  Jenna’s favorite Disney princess is Merida.  Merida has unkempt hair – or so it seems.  Merida is not typical of girly stereotype.  She admires Merida for not giving into pressure.  And there she is on the couch combing her Barbie and setting her down so that they can both watch television together.  Interesting.