Monday, May 30, 2016

The Vacation by Polly Horvath

       I really enjoyed "Everything on a Waffle" by Polly Horvath.  I had read it and posted about it a few years back (here).  Last week I started reading "The Vacation" by same author.  It is hilarious.

       Henry lives with his free-spirited mom and his dad who works for Fuller's Brushes and is away from home a lot as he is making sales.

       His mother gets the notion that she wants to go to Africa and serve as a missionary - which her dad finds odd as they are not even religious.  She looks into Mormonism to see if she can be sent to Africa that way, but when it doesn't work out, she ends up going to Africa anyway to help build a school house and just tells everybody that she is a Mormon missionary. 

       Henry's dad reluctantly heads to Africa with her, but they leave Henry at home with his two middle-aged aunts who don't seem to have a clue about raising children and seem to ignore Henry overall.

       His aunts names are Magnolia and Pigg.  After redecorating the house (where Henry lives - not because they were asked to redecorate, but because they are bored) one of them gets the wild notion that they should go on a road trip and go to the beach. (I think it was Mag who instigated the trip, as she had been sick for so long)

       Henry tells the story about the adventures, places they pass, motels where they stay and mostly what happens in the car or each restaurant where they order food.  No agenda to follow.  I wonder where all these characters came up with so much money to go to Africa and drive aimlessly so far to seven different states - starting in Virginia and going to Kentucky, Arkansas, back track to Florida.  Texas, Oklahoma.  They actually just left Oklahoma and are making their way to the Verde Mountains in Colorado. 

       Mag and Pigg sound like an old married couple disagreeing about practically everything.  And poor Henry just wants to get away and not be a part of them.

       So funny.  Haven't finished.  I think I have two more chapters left. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Falling Without Landing

Gideons’ International is an evangelical Christian association founded 1899 in Janesville, Wisconsin. The Gideons' primary activity is distributing copies of the Bible free of charge.  I remember when Gideons had come to my school to pass out palm-sized copies of the New Testament plus Psalms and Proverbs when I was in junior high. Mine was red. 

I thought it was great to take with me when I went to camp or in the car.  My small book had taking a beating through the years, but I actually still had it in my possession until just before the move to Oregon.  I don’t know why I didn’t bring it.  My eyes can no longer view the small print, but I would have thought I could have let Jenna use it.

I know some states or schools have had a problem with mixing of school and religion – though I don’t think passing out free scriptures is a crime, some lawsuits were brought against schools for allowing Bibles to be passed out during time that could have been spent in class.  I don’t remember my younger sibs or boys ever coming home with scriptures brought around by the Gideons.  But on Wednesday Jenna brought home a small New Testament/Psalm/Proverb combo that was the same size as the red one I had.

         In Douglas County, it appears that most people worship God in one way or another.  All throughout the county one can see crosses and signs – even billboards that promote Jesus

         Myrtle Creek has 17 churches – each a different domination.

         Probably 10% of all of my posts (thus far) focus on whatever bizarre weather is taking place that certain day, week or month.  Since living in Oregon, there have only been less than 10 posts that even mention the weather.  Most of my weather-related posts are about the bizarre weather in Utah.

         Overall Oregon hasn’t had the extreme peculiarness that Utah’s weather seems to bring – though there have been questionable moments – and never having lived in Oregon before, I haven’t always known what is normal and what isn’t.

         Having spring start in February was surprising to me.  Needing shorts in February seemed unreal.  I was upset that I had packed the majority of them.  This month it’s been regrets on packing coats and hats in the shed. I’ve had need for them this month.  Yesterday I actually shut all the windows and turned on the heat.

Yesterday the wind was blowing, and for the first time since arriving in Oregon, I felt like I was in a trance due to the wind.  I don’t even think the move left me feeling as drained as I felt the entire day.

         The Myrtle Creek library had advertised for a volunteer board member, and I applied.  I dragged Roland to a meeting last night.  Apparently they’ve been open to the public all along, but last night’s meeting was the first I had heard of being invited to.  The staff was really excited to have someone from the public to represent the civilians.  I think I would have attended before if I had known

         Turns out that I was the only individual to put in an application, but I did not get picked to be a member of the board.  At least not yet. 

The library system is in jeopardy.  I’m having a hard enough time dealing with the oddness of hours as it is.  I can’t imagine not having the option of being able to go to the library at all.  The idea of pulling the plug on the library makes me sad.  I’m not alone.  Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be that great of an interest for the amount of citizens involved.  One librarian put it this way: “The library system is on life support.  As of now, we honestly don’t know the outcome of the patient.”

         I want so badly for the library to live and grow more healthy and strong.

         Jenna is always asking us to take her to the church so that she can use the basketball stand that is in the parking lot.  There are courts across the street from the library that she could use.  There is also a park next to the library.  And so we dragged her along so that she could shoot baskets or hang in the park.  We didn’t think the meeting would last more than an hour. 

         I don’t know if the weather was having the same effect on Jenna as it was on me, or if something else was going down, but she appeared outside the library window worried about the time for some reason. 

         When we finally got out of the meeting, she asked if we would take her to the school.  We told her it was too late and that we had to go home.
         “But I’ve already missed the buses,” she said.

         “What are you talking about?”

         Somehow (even though we had left the house two hours after she got home from school on Thursday afternoon) she thought it was Friday morning.  Our meeting at the library didn’t drag for THAT LONG.

         What a weird turn of events.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Out of Publication

          I don't know if I had purchased this book before or after Jenna was born.  I'm thinking before.  I'm thinking 50 cents.  And what a treasure.  It is called "A Child's Story of the Pearl of Great Price" by Deta Petersen Neeley.  This is a book I would love for my granddaughters to have, but sadly it is no longer in publication.  I think it would be a wise thing for the Church publish it again.

          The particular copy that I have was published in 1954 by Deseret News Print.  I think when I initially purchased the book, it was in pretty good condition.  Much better than its present state.  It looks like it has received some water damage, and the pages have started to yellow.  I need a backup in case it falls apart and I plan to scan it in a pdf or tiff in order to read it better and perhaps I can create a new format to give to my granddaughters - still giving credit to Deta Petersen Neeley of course.

          The book includes 143 pages of 17 chapters divided into four sections

and ending with the Articles of Faith (see here

Big project.  I have four years before the eldest will be baptized.  I hope to have completed by then.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tears and Eyeglasses is NOT a Good Combination

My apologies about this disjointed post.  I should have written this all down while it was happening.  Too late now. 

The elders had showed us this video before.  They showed it again at the baptism.  I cried the first time that I saw it.  I cried even harder at the baptism.  Both times I had thought of Annaleigh, my brother-in-law's first wife, who was in need of assistance getting her to various doctor appointments and such, and how it felt like there were only a few of the sisters serving her needs and how much time and planning was involved.

My brother-in-law, Bill, is great. Some of us just didn't know how depressing the situation was.  Bill lives up to his last name, Jolly.  He was devoted to Annaleigh and if someone just knew him but not her, there was really no clue about Annaleigh's condition or her attitude or needs.  Overall, I felt depressed just being around her.  Nevertheless, she still needed to be served.

I really enjoyed sacrament meeting yesterday.  The youth speaker shared her experience from being at the temple last week. It was refreshing to hear her take on the things she learned and how she felt.

The bishop’s son spoke next.  He is moving to California for his job.  I enjoyed hearing his own personal history and his spin on the scriptures as he entertained us and used examples from the Old Testament of prophets and compared their situations to the prophet Joseph Smith.  Several people have had trouble with the fact that Joseph Smith was only fourteen when he was visited by God, the Father, and his son, Jesus Christ.  Samuel (from the old Testament) had also been just a boy when he was called.

I think the talk that touched me the most was Jerry’s, whose emotions and descriptions tugged at my heartstrings. I had to remove my eyeglasses so that they wouldn’t fog up.

He talked about the ailing health of each of his parents – one who had dementia when he passed and how when he had received the phone call about his dad’s passing, he was not upset or sad but felt a sense of relief and appreciation.

Jerry talked about his conversion and his family’s reaction – which wasn’t positive and actually put a strain on their relationship.  I think for many, there is a misunderstanding about the church and unfortunately choose to distant themselves from their children who have made poor choices at “joining a cult” instead of loving them unconditionally. Disowning association as many have had negative reaction to a family member coming out with same sex preference. Children need to be loved, not banished.  Jerry was crying.  I was crying.  I don’t know who else had tears, but I would think the talk may have touched stirred up emotions for others as well.

I wish I could have written this down while it was all still fresh in my head.  I would have remembered more detail instead of just highlights.  I really die enjoy yesterday’s meeting.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Getting the Most Miles from that Long Drive

          There was a Relief Society luncheon yesterday afternoon.  The tables were decorated so nicely.  There was LOTS of food.  I'm quite certain that there were leftovers, but I had gone back home to give Roland a message as he wasn't answering his phone.

          I had returned to assist with the clean-up but was told I wasn't needed.  There were several who had helped clean-up the food table to redecorate for Vanessa's shower.  It's fortunate that both were scheduled so closely together as I don't believe the luncheon would have received the turn-out that they did.  At least half who had attended were there for Vanessa's baby shower - which received a good turn-out as well.

          I almost didn't go to the shower as we are down to only one car and Roland had a need greater than my own.  But Sister Neilson said she would follow me home and bring me back again and return me home after the shower. 

          The shower turned out to be really fun.  There were several games - one involving math and baby product knowledge.  I was off ten dollars on the diapers and five dollars on the wipes.  But good grief - most of my guesses after that were either way over or way under.  The list included several items which featured a grand total.  I was 4.50 under the grand total price.  I won the biggest prize that was given.  Wow.  I don't think that has ever happened with me before.  Especially about baby products and math.  But I did it.  Jenna was quite crushed that she hadn't received a prize.  But I shared.  She took a selfie with the prizes that she had claimed from my basket.

Silly Girl!

           I have so much admiration for many of the members who live in this ward and the great distances that several of them make to the Church each week. 

          I thought Aurelia traveled the furthest distance to get to church, but I was wrong.  Cindy, our librarian, actually spends a longer amount of time of the road.  Yesterday she came for the luncheon, stayed for the shower, stayed in town to do laundry as there was a baptism scheduled at 7:00 and remained in Myrtle Creek for the better part of eight hours - the same amount of time as one would spend at a full work day on the job.  Aurelia and Cindy are always the first to arrive and the last ones to leave - by choice.  Both have the attitude that since they're in town, they might as well make the most of it - always making the hours they spend in Myrtle Creek last longer than the time spend on the road.

          I know several members who aren't willing to travel 10 - 30 minutes because of inconveniences.  They come up with all kinds of excuses, and yet I look at the dedication of these two sisters and feel so blessed to share in their wonderful strong testimonies.

          Melanie was baptized last night.  The service was so wonderful, and her attitude was beyond description as she glowed and demonstrated such upbeat behavior.  There was a lot about her baptism that reminded me of Jenna's.

          Primary baptisms are usually so much different from convert baptisms.  When I was a youth, our confirmations took place on Sunday during Sacrament meeting.  Today the youth are confirmed as soon as they have changed from their wet clothes.  I miss seeing those confirmations done at the Sunday meetings. 

          Converts are confirmed on Sunday.  Those that did not have an opportunity to see Melanie get baptized last night will get to see her confirmed this morning as she is receives the gift of the Holy Ghost (who has obviously been with her for a very long time)

          I'm grateful for the opportunity I have of attending baptisms - both primary and convert - as I don't remember my own.  I do remember Jenna's.  And I do remember the one in which a friend was baptized - each on a stake level and conducted by the Spanish ward.

          It was quite the awesome day.  I am grateful for how it has made such a positive influence in my life.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

That Awkward Age

          Jenna and I have read together since she was a baby.  After we had moved to West Valley, she researched a program for a Mother/Daughter book club (which I've mentioned in a few past posts) but I think Wonderstruck is the last thing that we read together.

          I have tried to get her to read with me - but she's either too busy, not interested, or just seems to have outgrown us reading anymore.  Too bad.  I've recently read a couple that I think she would like.

           The characters in both books are the same age as Jenna.

          Rebel McKenzie (Candace F. Ransom) wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up (one who works with ice age mammals and not the dinosaurs).  There is an Ice Age Kids' Dig and Safari camp offered twice in the summer. She doesn't have the money, but decides to make her way to the camp - mostly without a plan of fitting in once she arrives - but gosh, darn-it, she scrapes her feet and gets reported as a run-away.

          In order to keep her in line, her mom and sister decide that she will spend the summer watching her seven-year-old nephew.  As if that wasn't bad enough, Rebel also has the responsibility of looking after the huge cat  that's part of the rental agreement for her sister's trailer.  Rebel is not happy.

          Bambi is the girl who lives across the way.  A winner and contestant of several beauty pageants.  Rebel is not at all interested until she learns there is money involved.  If she were to win a pageant, she would still have an opportunity to go to the second dig. Instead of keeping a close eye on her nephew, she drags him and his bully along to learn skills to help her succeed at winning a pageant.  On the road to success, she makes discoveries that aren't ice age related.  She forms friendships and matures faster than I believe is possible. 

          I enjoyed the narration and the humorous  descriptions. I really liked how the story end - though it did take me by surprise.  I found the growth of the character turned out quite fantastic.

          The other book, After All, You're Callie Boone by Winnie Mack, had quite a bit of humor to it also.  I laughed aloud and would read Jenna certain pages that I'd come across.  In this book, Callie is also the same age as Jenna.  Her best friend since the first grade has started hanging around with her nemesis, and she doesn't understand why.  Amy won't even take the time to explain to Callie why they're not friends anymore, and learns the truth through vicious gossip.

          Hoot moves into the house across the street.  He befriends Callie, even though she is less than pleasant to him - and not just once.  How can she possibly be seen around town with a boy?  How would she explain him? 

          Callie is interested in swimming.  After a fiasco at one pool, she is told to never return. she continues training at another with her dad's assistance.

          Normally, I like books with polished endings and not ones that will leave the reader hanging to draw his or her own conclusions.  I did not care for the last two chapters of this book because the ending is not polished.  But then again, neither is life.  Things happen that cannot be helped.  We may not control the outcome or the situations or outcome of other people.  That is life.  And life goes on. 

          I enjoyed  both .books. They both faced devastation and realistic choices of youth.  I laughed more with Callie  than I did with Rebel - though many of her descriptions did put a smile on my face.  The grammar's not perfect - but then again, that really is how a lot of youth talk - especially in that particular area.  I did like the ending of Rebel much better than the ending for Callie. 

          Jenna was the outgoing sponge before we moved to West Valley.  She did try, but felt unsuccessful and I noticed that she had withdrawn.  Slowly she's coming around to being outgoing again.  Last night she had two of her friends over.  We took them to what was supposed to be a pot-luck dinner.  Turned out to be a coleslaw salad, Jell-O salad, coffee cake, cookies and brownies.  Jenna thought it was awesome, though her friends and Roland and I would have preferred some more substantial food. Roland says we're always doing hot dogs from now on.

          We ended up taking the girls to McDonalds before returning them to their homes.  As it turns out, one of Jenna's friends is just as freaked out about bridges as I am.  (see this post)   

Monday, May 16, 2016

Treasured Memories on Imagination

My last post was about the treasures I discovered on 8mm tapes.  Yesterday I found a notebook with a couple of stories that I would like to share.  The first came from Jenna's head when she was three going on four.  I wish I had filmed her telling it, for it doesn't read quite the same (even with visual aids) as it is to watch her tell the story as she uses "Cootie" parts to emphasize particular parts in the story.

For my readers who may not be familiar with the Milton Bradley game, Cooties, here is a brief description and history.

The younger generation may view "Cooties" as "cute" game pieces.  The heads on the game I grew up with looked like ants.

Keep in mind that Jenna was using a cootie body to demonstrate as she told her story (again and again) 

And So the story unfolds:
            Once upon a time there was a 
caterpillar named Date  who wanted 
to grow up to be a butterfly.  
But his mom said that he would 
not be one right now and would 
have to wait until tomorrow.  
So he went to bed and the next 
morning he woke up and made a 

 so he popped off his head  (she told me later that she had said out, but I had heard off) 

 and slept in his cocoon and when he came out he was a beautiful butterfly 

who flew around .  And he flew and he flew until he was dead.  And then they sweeped him up.

            I don't remember laughing at her.  I thought her ending was kind of morbid - I mean - where did she come up with that? but I do remember her dad and brothers laughing.  She was amused that they found it amusing, and thus repeated the story.  It's funny that I had forgotten that she had once told it quite often (which is how I remembered what words to write down)

            I also had struggles with getting her to eat a balanced meal (still do) and used this story on her.

          Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl named Jill.  She had brown hair and brown eyes and a wonderful imagination.  Jill could ride unicorns to school and fly home on the wings of a giant bird.  She could grant wishes with her magic wand.  She could swim in the oceans with mermaids.  She could be a doctor, a teacher, a mother, model, dancer, magician, even and animal.  Jill could do and be whatever she wanted except for one thing.  Jill could not eat whatever or whenever she wanted to. 

          Her imagination didn't work in her mouth or her stomach.  It wouldn't have been so bad if Jill would eat fruit and vegetables as a snack and not just candy or if she would eat the same dinner as the rest of her family and use her imagination to make believe it tasted like cake or ice cream.  Jill didn't always appreciate the snacks that her mom would give her.  Often Jill wished she could really perform real magic, then she could eat whatever and whenever she wanted.  But then so could her mother who was fat and whose teeth were falling out because she had eaten whatever and whenever she wanted her entire life. 

           Jill's' mother loved her and didn't want Jill to become fat and toothless and sickly because of her poor eating choices.  She also wanted Jill to be grateful. 

          One day Jill ate a casserole that her mom had made - even though it had red sauce and meat.  Jill imagined she was Goldilocks and that mom's casserole was baby bear's porridge.  Jill ate it all up.  And it was good.  She didn't throw up.  And she didn't die.  Jill and her mom made a deal with one another.  Jill could have a candy bar once a week.  And she would always eat nutritious food such as apples, pears and even broccoli.  And Jill and her mom lived happily ever after in good health.

It didn't work then.  There's no way it's going to work on her now.  She does like fruit and will eat two or three apples in a given day.  However Vegetables are still a sore subject.

I also have (in her handwriting - er, print) "The Happy Feather" by Jenna, illustrated by Jenna . . . that is all.  No story.  No illustration.  It's nice to have an example of her writing however.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Finding Treasures

I personally have never worked with a camera
this large - though I do remember them

          When we moved from West Valley to Oregon, I felt rushed.  I think I left behind all the family tapes.  Tony and his wife were moving into the house and I knew that he would enjoy having the tapes - if he happened to have a working VCR.

          I wondered if I should bring my camcorder as finding blank VHS tapes seems obsolete.  Many I had purchased over the years.  Many (as it turns out) are ones that got passed down from my brother Corey. I don't remember having so many camcorder tapes in my possession, but thus far I have come across almost 25

          We're still not fully settled with the move.  The counselor in RS had called me to remind me about having an activity and suggested that we call the committee together to go over something for next month.  We've been asked to plan a food storage or emergency preparedness activity. The counselor of the committee sounded even less thrilled that I was/am. I don't have a problem with testimonials - but really, what kind of turn out are we going to get if that is the subject? 

          I had also mentioned an activity that we had done in my last ward and so have been going through the camcorder tapes to find said activity. I don't know if I ever transferred or where the VHS ended up if I did.  I found it after going through the first 11 or 12 videos.  I wasn't floored by all of the recordings I came across, but did find myself in awe about some of them.

          I came across recordings forgotten or misplaced - that I didn't really view as treasures at the time.  The year I had received my first camera and several Christmases and activities with the boys, Jenna growing up - even one my niece and nephew as babies - both now in their twenties with babies of their own. 

          In addition to family events,  I found a few tapes that I know were not transferred.  My wedding reception for one.  Within the first year of our married lives, our house had been broken into.  I had always believed the tape had been stolen.  What a treasure.  I found a few treasures - a couple that I think Corey would be interested in viewing - or perhaps he already knows them by heart.  

          I actually don't remember having gone through the house with my mom - but I have it on tape.  After her house had been broken into, we had gone all throughout her house to document items in case of another robbery.  I also found some tapes including interviews on journaling, my dad's responses to a bunch of questions, and participation from neighbors (a few who have passed on) in a video that I attempted to make for an annual event for my dad's birthday that my family had started shortly after he had passed. There are also a few performances (two poorly recorded) including Forever Plaid, Wizard of Oz and Into the Woods.

          I found a couple of blank tapes as well.  What a waste.  Camcorder still works.  I had even filmed Jenna opening her gifts our first Christmas in Oregon so that I could share it with her brothers and their wives (my daughters) and they could see her opening the gifts that they sent.  It hadn't occurred to me that I was working with a relic and that I wouldn't have blank VHS tapes on which to transfer to - nor knew if any of them even have a working VCRs.   When am I ever going to be able to use the blank tapes now?

          I'm certain I lost a lot of footage before our move to Oregon - like watching Daisy (a dog we had when we lived in Kearns) catching soap bubbles in her mouth or Houdini (our first dog) catching a baseball or bouncing a basketball on his nose.  I did find a camcorder tape of him catching darts in his mouth.  Crazy dog.

          We left behind a few scenes that documented Jenna's sisters.  Our wedding in which the bishop performed the ceremony - only the bishop wasn't in the shot and so it looks like we're being married by a shadow.  Early family videos of the boys before I had married into the family.

          But then again they're VHS.  Lots of them. Some people still own VCRs - and they're not quite as overlooked or foreign as say the Beta - but still.  The boys have their opportunity with VHS right now.  It may be a foreign concept to Jenna by the time she graduates high school.  Too bad.  Lot of great things about modern technology - but really sad when something only three years old seems outdated.

          I'm grateful for my memories.  Wish I could make them all tangible to share with my family.

          Fun discoveries.  Discarded treasures.

The Tale of Jack and Sparky

            Sabrina, from next door, came over to apologize for the cries of her young kids (goats) Truth is I don't even hear them unless I happen to be outside and behind the house.  Sometimes I hear Jack through the kitchen window.  I think Sparky may answer him, but Jack is definitely louder.

            Sparky is the dog who lives next door.  He shares the fenced yard with the goats.  Jack lives behind us.  His yard isn't fenced.  He feels free to go wherever he pleases at any time.  I don't know all of his daily routine, but it appears to me that his morning routine is to descend the hill that leads from our yard to his and torment Sparky.

            I don't speak dog, but this is what I hear, "Ha, ha.  You are stuck behind a fence all day. I am better than you.  Certainly more trust worthy.  I am the more superior breed"

            I could be wrong.  Perhaps it's more friendly than it appears.  Perhaps Jack is angry about the fence and wishes he could play with Sparky.  Overall, Sparky looks sad.  Perhaps he feels trapped in his yard.  I don't think Jack's routine is helping.   

           Do I have too much time on my hands?  or am I just overly tired?  Why am I posting about two dogs that I don't even know? 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Traditions and Mothers' Day

The last ward I was in had some cool traditions that I don't suppose I appreciated as much than as I do right now, as I discovered I have missed them.

Take this last Saturday for instance - the annual fundraiser for young women's organization.  Last year the ward had actually combined young men's, young women's and primary scouts into one fundraiser.  Usually auctioning off desserts.  We had done that in my mom's ward, too.  Only we had professional auctioneers and more generous pockets.  But still.  A tradition that continues.

These are the cakes we made last year and the themed picture of Roland, Jenna and me at said activity. 

we donated three cakes and two plates of cookies

we didn't actually auction off this cake.  We had to try one

farm theme

cowboys and Indians

This one actually wasn't made until we moved to Oregon

Westward Pioneer!

This was for our family memorial day bbq

I don't remember having done themes until last year

We had moved to Oregon just before Fathers' Day and Jenna missed the tradition of seeing the priesthood members wearing hideous ties - this is the year she would actually get to cast her vote as she is now a member of the young women - the sponsors of the Father's Day traditions.

One year the young women filled up gift bags with things that started with POP - like POP tarts, POP rings, POPcorn . . . and passed them out to the men in addition to their annual awards to all ugly tie wearers (many who were not fathers).

I think the first week that we attended our current  ward was on a Fathers' Day. Fathers' Day was barely mentioned.  There was no program about it, no gifts, no acknowledgement except for the wish-with-the-announcements-and-that-is-all.  I don't even think the primary children sang.  The talks were on modern technology and the internet - which I thought was odd.

So I wondered if Mothers' Day would be just a regular sacrament meeting like it had been on Fathers' Day, but the programs were pink and Mothers' Day was printed on the cover. 

It sounds as if the speaker's had been called over a week ago, so I don't know why their names were missing from the program.  I saw a high council man on the stand and thought, "really?  they're giving us a dry speaker for Mothers' Day?" - perhaps he would have been a fantastic speaker - I don't know.  It was just my first thought.

The first speaker mentioned instilling values into our children - or children we may associate with.  Teach them things like how to cook, make their beds, vacuum and other house hold chores, teach self-reliance.  My mind went back to a time shortly after Roland and I were married.

Natalie was an only child whose parents had were so excited to have her in her life that they did everything for her.  EVERYTHING. They picked up after her, they waited on her hand and foot.  She didn't have to lift a finger.  She never learned.

I don't know how old she was when her dad passed away.  I don't know what kind of grievance she went through, if any.  She was in her first year of high school when I met her.  We weren't all that close, but she and Biff had some classes together and so I knew of her.  And I had heard about the problems she had encountered when she tried living on her own.

I don't remember where went to college.  It was close enough to visit mom on weekends, but  far enough that she needed/wanted to experience dorm life.  She hadn't been taught to pick up after herself.  She hadn't learned to cook or make her bed or use a vacuum.  Her experience away from home had a created quite a rude awakening.

She tried moving back in with her mom - who by then was having failing health - and Natalie certainly hadn't been prepared for anything like that - which puzzles me.  I know that her mother had provided service for Natalie's grandmother who hadn't been doing well either.  But then again, Natalie's mom was a very doting person and found it difficult to accept charity from others. 

I remember Natalie talking to Jenna at one time explaining how lucky she was to have siblings.  Natalie had wished with all her heart that she would have had a blood-related sibling to be raised along side of her.  She's finding her place - but the haul has been a rather slow and painful one.  She has learned a lot.  But everyone thinks she would have had it so much easier if she had been taught to work instead of always having things just handed to her - because in the adult world, things were not just handed to her.  Though her mother loved Natalie with all of her heart and soul, she hadn't prepared her to be an adult or take responsibility.

We all have different methods of rearing and raising our children.  I remember having lunch with the boys across the street.  We were at their grandma's house and each of them was hoping to eat his lunch with the coveted "gold" fork.  

It was decided that since I was the only "girl" at the table, that I could get to use the gold fork.  The truth is, I didn't want the gold fork.  I thought it would make my food taste weird.  I think it's weird that I had even thought that. It's not as though I possessed gourmet taste buds at the time, or even had a gourmet lunch.  It was probably something like macaroni and cheese or Jello salad.

The second speaker shared her experiences on "hating" Mothers' Day as she and her husband tried for children without results - at least not for the first 8 - 10 years they were married.  It is possible to enjoy Mothers' Day without being a mother.  Two years ago I found that I had a really hard time dealing with it,  but was really touched by the Mother's Day program in our ward in 2013.  I said nothing about Mothers' Day last year.  I think the ward passed out small loaves of homemade bread that year.  Awesome!  That ward was quite creative with Mothers' Day.

I think it was before Jenna was born when my two older boys surprised me when they each gave talks for Mothers' Day program.  The first year that Tony was on his mission, I received a rather creative and unexpected gift from the other two.  They used up an entire roll of film on themselves and bought a frame for three of them.  I still have that frame.  As of now, it displays three photos - one of each of my granddaughters.

I've had some really awesome Mothers' Days and some that were not so great.  It is always my attitude that makes or breaks - so why not just make with a great attitude every year?  I don't know.  I don't dislike Mothers' Day but there are some years when I would rather not deal with it.  I was pretty good about it this year.