Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part 1

            I enjoy looking at the memories that facebook reminds me for each day.  The thing I enjoy most is reading comments from friends who have since passed away - like yesterday morning for instance, I was reading thoughts to wish my husband and I "Happy Wedding Anniversary" for almost each year I'd been on facebook.  The last comment I read was from my mom.  I think that's cool.

            Mom was not an avid facebook user.  She seemed to allow herself to get flustered with modern technology.  The year I started my facebook account was also the first year her children all wondered if there was some instability happening with mom's mind.  I don't know if that was the first year she'd been tested for Alzheimer's.  I do know she was tested at least twice, but the results didn't show Alzheimer's - but she was in the early stages of dementia.  Many people assume they are the same thing as Alzheimer's is a form of dementia.  I personally don't understand the difference, but here's how it was explained to me:  Dementia is like a wheel and Alzheimer's is just one spoke on the wheel -  

thus everybody that has Alzheimer's has dementia, but not everyone with dementia has  Alzheimer's.  I have never heard any other names to refer to dementia except for Alzheimer's.

            Corey is more well read on the subject than any of the rest of us are - plus he has friends who had been schooled in the subject.  There are seven stages one goes through when he or she has dementia.  My mom passed away during stage five - which provided us with fun memories.  I have always been grateful that none of us had to see her at stage seven.  

            My mom turned 70 the summer of 2009.  Sunny had suggested doing a tribute themed party for her.  We would invite everybody in the ward, everybody she had ever worked with, everybody that we could remember she had known.  I made up some fliers - I don't even know how many.  I had mailed about half, emailed a few and hand delivered quite the rest.

            A neighbor had called me to ask if watch her girl who had been in pre-school with Jenna.  I told her that I had to run some errands, but if she was okay with it, I could take Amber with me.  That actually turned out to be an awesome blessing for me, as I didn't even have to stop the motor on the car.  I would hand the fliers to the girls, tell them which houses to leave them at, and made a game of it.  I think I must have picked a day that my mom was not home as we were able to hit all the houses in her neighborhood without having met her.

            When I was down to my last six invites, I asked one of the neighbors if the girls could play in her yard until I came back.  As it turned out, the neighbor was doing some gardening and the girls volunteered to assist.  The neighbor was disgusted by the amount of snails that she'd come across while gardening. Jenna and Amber would eagerly pick them up and play with them.  They each had three snails on the table when I returned.  They were watching them "race". 

They wanted to keep the snails but I told them that snails were not allowed to ride in the car.  The neighbor put them in the garbage can after we left.

            We encouraged those who couldn't attend mom's party to send a letter which might include any memories they had of mom.  Sunny provided paper and pens for those who wished to write a letter during the party.  We held it at Patrick and Sunny's house.  Their children had made a giant banner and hung it over their garage. The birthday party was great!  Mom was certainly surprised.

            Corey had a special tribute to share and read a list of 70 things he loves about mom.  He read the list of simple words or phrases, but would pause to relate an experience of why a certain thing had made it to the list.  It was an awesome program.  Wonderful memories.  Enjoyable night.

            All of her children took pictures, and Bill asked us to send in what we had and he would put ALL of our pictures on one disk. We started a scrapbook  for my mom to put the cards and letters and I added the pictures.  I had created 15 pages on the computer, but had added handmade pages with photographs and incorporated them with the letters - more than 65 pages total.

            I don't know how often she looked at it.  We brought it to her after we had moved her to assisted living.  I pasted this to the top of it: 

            I thought if she looked at it every day, she wouldn't feel so alone (not that she was, but before she met Harold, she often felt that she'd been forgotten) but she kept it in a drawer - which defeated the purpose.

            I'd forgotten that she had passed away the day after my 12th wedding anniversary date to Roland - or that she was buried the day before dad's birthday (which he didn't seem much for celebrating on earth - probably not in heaven;  though I'm certain that their reunion was a great birthday gift)

Monday, April 10, 2017

How Cool Is That?

          Jenna LOVES it when we sign up to feed the missionaries.  Just a few days after we fed the missionaries, Eva called to ask when we could sign up again.  If it were up to Jenna, we’d be feeding them on a daily basis, I think.  But I really wasn’t ready to make a commitment for the optional dates which Eva had given. 
          She had really been pushing for this past Friday, but Beth had already contacted me to see if Roland and I could meet her and Graham for lunch as they were passing through from Ashland on their way back to McMinnville.  At that time I didn’t really know how late we’d be eating and so said I would just talk to her on Sunday.  Only we didn’t have church on Sunday as it was General Conference.  I think she called five times in less than 24 hours.  One was to fill in for a cancellation the Elders had made for yesterday. 
         I told her that we would be at the Pizza Palace between two and four as we’d be having a birthday party for Jenna and had actually planned on mentioning it to the Elders anyway.  Jenna was ecstatic when I told her that the missionaries would be coming to her party.  I think she had invited over 20 peers – some friends, some just acquaintances.  We ended up with 14 people total - six were adults. 

          Annette had spent the night so that she would be sure she made it to the party.  I really don't enjoy when Jenna has sleepovers as she doesn’t sleep and therefore I don’t sleep either.  And then I am grouchy.  Jenna, on the other hand, is always happy.  She says that’s what she is known for by many people – and they admire it.

          Savannah's mom went wild with the birthday gift – or giftS rather.  In case Jenna didn’t already have a stuffed animal collection going, the gift bag came with a collection starter – five animals I think – not counting the other three or four that Savannah had won for her after they had finished eating.

          The first at the top of the bag was an angry faced emoji pillow with a note explaining that “The happiest girl needs to know what ‘mad’ looks like."
          Jenna enjoyed the company of her friends and shared her wealth.  When she presented the Elders with coins, they declined and said not only was it against the rules to play the electronic games, but  they couldn’t in good conscience accept the money either.  That went for the huge stack of coins that Savannah’s mom had placed in front of them – possibly passing out more coins for the entire teenage crew than Richard had.
          Roland played chauffer to several of Jenna’s friends.  Kylee spent a few hours with Jenna before we took her home.  She would like to do a sleepover.  I don’t want to deprive her.  Perhaps if I have enough notice, I can take a nap before she comes.
          Jenna did not get her rainbow on her birthday, but did get one on the day of her birthday party.  For after we returned from taking Kylee home, we found a rainbow at the end of our street.  Battery in my camera decided to quit at her party and Roland’s phone needed to be charged.  So Jenna took my cell phone to take pictures.  When we were viewing them on the monitor, I realized that it had been a double rainbow as there was a faint mirrored image in several of the pictures.

Monday, April 3, 2017

I Hope You Find Your Rainbow

          Today is Jenna's birthday. It is also "Find a Rainbow Day". She now starts life off as a teenager although she has absolutely no desire of growing up.  She tried watching conference yesterday.  I admire her for trying.  And I know she really was trying to make comments each time she made an off-the-wall comment that brought a smile to my face.

          The first was during the morning session yesterday when the camera had swung around the men performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  The view was from behind and two the side.

          "Is that Donald Trump?!?  That guy [in the choir]'s hair looks like Donald Trump's!  Why would anyone want his hair to be like Donald Trump's?!?"

           I think it was during Ronald A. Rasband's talk in which a picture was shown of two missionaries.  Jenna's comment: 

          "I like their suits.  It looks like they're going to prom."

         Don't know that's really the image that the Church would want to be portrayed.  I guess that's why the dress code has more restrictions now.

          In the afternoon session, she didn't think Joaquin E. Costa's  voice matched his face. When he showed his wedding photo, we both agreed that he looked like John Francis Daley who played Sweets in the TV series "Bones"

          We did watch conference and did get more out of some talks than others.  She said her favorite talk had been given by Joy D. Jones.  I think she related more to the youth centered talk and finding examples among her friends.  Plus she has always liked the story of Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego.  

          I don't know if Jeffery R. Holland's (from Saturday morning session) was my favorite or not.  I did enjoy his illustration of being a part of a choir to our very existence all while interweaving "sunshine in my soul" - I enjoyed his analogy.

          I hope Jenna may find a rainbow like the one that shown on March 30.  Perhaps it will have to be a metaphorical rainbow. Her party won't be until the 8th.  Happy Birthday, honey!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Belated Gifts

            We celebrated Jenna's birthday at the end of the month (see here) because of the move.  Sadly more would have showed up if we had stuck with the original date.

            Savannah and Bella had both shown up to the bowling alley with gifts, but Kyle did not have one - which is okay.  In the past we have always expressed our interest is with the guests themselves and gifts aren't even necessary. 

            Kyle was overly quiet that day.  Seemed sad, almost.  Was it because she hadn't brought a gift?  The other night we took her and Jenna to the movies as Jenna had been given tickets by the school earlier in the year for her good behavior.  They expire at the end of this month.

            Kyle must have loaded up between April 23 and this past Monday, as she entered the car with an armload of gifts - on top was a green and black fedora - which Jenna immediately put on her head before rummaging through the box of "treasures" that Kyle had handed her.

            So many wonderful gifts that Jenna truly enjoys, among which were: a little bubbled game of trying to get the candy into the frogs mouth, a small lava lamp which Kyle had made, two camouflage barrettes (one in the shape of a flower), green headband, notebook, pencils, fingernail polish, zippered pocketbook, playing cards, silicone popsicle maker, 4 packets of kool-aid, a small jar of body butter . . .

            We had taken them to see "Finding Dory".  Kyle was way more talkative than she had been at Jenna's party.  Maybe she just does better on a one on one?  Different girl.  Much happier.

            And yesterday Roland received socks and tee shirts for Fathers' Day from one of the boys.  He loves Superman and Superheroes.  These gifts were so awesome!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

No Clown This Year

     I had hired a clown the year that Jenna turned three.  Her first birthday party with friends – one redhead, five blondes, and Jenna with her dark hair.

     The clown’s name was Wheeler.  Two of my boys told me that I should hire my brother-in-law, Bill – who was actually not my brother-in-law at the time.  His wife, Annaleigh had some serious health issues and she would be a priority to whatever party plans I might have made.  At the time, I wasn’t aware that he really was trying to get gigs as a professional clown.

     So on Jenna’s 6th and 9th birthday, we had Rocko come entertain the troops.  It was on her 9th birthday that I realized she had had a clown at her party every three years.  I jokingly asked, “ Will you have a clown at your party when you turn 12 and 15?”

     She said if it were possible, she would have had Rocko again this year.  She decided on a bowling theme party instead.  We had planned on celebrating with friends on the 2nd, but decided to wait until after we closed on the house.  Poor Jenna hasn’t had her birthday plans fully carried out for the last three years.

     When she was ten she forfeited her birthday with friends.  We went out to dinner as a family -  Mom, Dad, three brothers, three sisters-in-law and a niece.  We celebrated her 11th birthday in McMinnville last year.  She had absolutely no choice about coming to Oregon.

I think she said she had invited twelve girls – most of whom said they could have gone on the 2nd but not yesterday.  She had three guests who attended and at least three of them seemed to have fun.  We still wonder if Kyle enjoyed herself at all.

     Bella was the first guest to arrive.  She was actually waiting there with her aunt before we had arrived.  The party started at 1:00.  Her aunt said she’d return at 4:00.  That seems like a long time, but at that point we didn’t know how many guests would show or how long it would take to bowl.

     Kyle arrived before Bella and Jenna headed towards the lane.  I typed in the names for the three girls who were bowling.  They each had bowled three rounds when Savannah showed up.  We got her shoes and added her name.  We had fries and cupcakes, but Roland wanted for something more.  He was hoping to order a pizza, but I misunderstood.

     Before the girls finished their second game, we asked if they would like to go out for pizza, but had each one call whoever would be picking them up so that there wouldn’t be a problem.  But there was.

     Savannah had the wrong phone number and wasn’t able to get a hold of anyone.  Bella was able to get someone right away and Kyle left a message – though I thought she had talked to someone in person.  I had told Roland to go out for pizza and bring it back so that we would be at the bowling alley when the rides arrived, but it was raining.  Savannah said her ride would not come early.  I wish I could rewind and make certain each parent had my phone number. 

     Savannah and Bella had really enjoyed themselves.  Savannah said it was the best birthday party she had been to.  She also confessed that it had been the first birthday party she had ever been to.  That sounded sad to me. 

     Bowling was great.  Pizza was great.  Visiting and entertainment.  And then it was time to take Savannah back to the bowling alley.  Oh, no.  Her ride had already come and gone.  Now what?  I felt so horrible and kept apologizing and Savannah was trying hard to take the blame and tell me that it wasn’t my fault – but it was.  I left my number at the bowling alley (which is what I should have done in the first place) and headed in the direction of Savannah’s home.

     As Roland had seemed to shut off his phone, I stopped off at the Pizza Palace to make him aware of the situation at hand.  I took Savannah home. She told me that I could just drop her off where she catches the bus but I wanted to talk to her family who hadn't received our message until after the fact.

     Her family actually seemed cool about it and thanked me for talking to them and apologizing about the situation. I was invited to bring Jenna to come hang out with them sometime. Savannah may still be punished because she got in the car with strangers. I am so so sorry if that is the case. 

     As I was making my way back to the Pizza Palace, I heard my phone go off - twice.  I knew it was Roland.  He knows I don’t answer the phone when I’m driving I didn't understand the urgency. It turned out that Kyle’s parents did not get her message either - or perhaps it was never left? Roland was willing to drive her home.  I told her to call her ride to make certain that would be okay.

       Her dad arrived in a very angry mood.  Poor Kyle.  I felt so bad, especially because I don’t think she particularly enjoyed herself, but I could be wrong.  She just didn’t seem as vocal as the other three. Jenna says she will talk to her on Monday, and I plan on calling her parents later on today.  I hope there are no hurt feelings between Jenna and Kyle because of this.

     I have always stayed with Jenna when I don’t know her friends or their circumstances.  Maybe I’m just not trusting of others.  Of course Jenna is as oblivious as Kyle seemed to be as far as making proper contact.  I hope that Kyle understands that her dad’s anger was the result of love.  I hope that the situation at hand was a learning experience for each of the girls. (I know it was for me) I hope that this will not be the last party for Savannah or Kyle because of the scare that was involved.  

     We did not have a clown this year. I think Jenna may be too old for a clown coming to her birthday party anyway. Savannah, for one, was very glad we didn't have a clown.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Speaking of Not Being Able to Plan a Party Due to the Weather . . .

               Earlier last month, the neighbor next door invited Jenna to a birthday party for her niece.  The plans included outdoor bbq, games and a bouncy house.  She somehow had the impression that Jenna was/is younger than she is (that is actually the first time anybody has made that assumption. Based upon physical appearance alone, people have always thought that Jenna is older than she is.)

        I, too, had been misled.  I presumed her niece, Molly, would be a little older than she is.  She is actually younger than what Jenna and I had been expecting.  But still, the family really did want Jenna to come.  The weather put a damper on all original plans.

        The party had been moved from next door to grandma's house located downtown.  She (the grandma) had even stopped by our house an hour before the party started to extent the altered invitation.  The room was decorated nicely.  The girls wore crowns that said "Happy Birthday". Games had been thrown together to accommodate the last minute change.  And it showed.

        When we arrived, we were told that the guests were working on an art project, but there wasn't actually any evidence of any art related materials or craft projects that I could see.  Jenna tried to make the best of it, but I could tell she was bored out of her mind. 

        There were hot dogs served and a rather quick game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. 

        One of the girls wore a shirt with a "Merida" print. 

        I made the comment that Merida is Jenna's favorite princess in which the birthday girl responded that Merida is her favorite princess, too, because she's not so girly.  I was amused by her comment as the birthday girl was dressed in pink with frilly tutu and looked very girlish.

        Presents were handed out, and I was impressed by Molly's pleasant gratefulness as she opened each gift. 

        There were a lot more cupcakes than there were guests - probably enough for four each, but everybody took only one.

        About an hour after we arrived and presents had been opened, the girls were taken outside to break a piñata - of course Jenna was chosen to go last. 

        She managed to whack it open.

        I remember taking pictures, but somehow they didn't get transferred over.  I didn't get to view them.  I don't know what happened.
        In the meantime, Roland was circling around the house, but finally parked.
         We thanked Molly and her family for having invited us and they thanked us for coming. 

        I don't know how often we will see Molly in the future.  We don't close on our house for another two weeks.  We'll still be living in the rental next week when we celebrate Jenna's birthday.  But we'll be moved out before April is halfway through.  Or at least that is our plan.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Jenna's Birthday on April 3

             Before we had even packed, Roland and I stopped by the store for some gift ideas.  Jenna had recently told us that having footie pajama would be cool.  The first ones that I saw were bright pink with rubber ducks.  Jenna has always had a thing for rubber ducks but as I looked around, I saw something else that looked more like something that she would pick. We chose what she calls a “cheetah print” because she is somehow in love with animal print – first cheetah and then zebra.  

Jenna and Roland had gone to the pool while I had the opportunity of taking a hot bath.  (Roland is so good to me – knowing I have been wanting a bath in a large tub for some time – at that point neither one of us were aware of the hot tub located next to the pool)  Jenna was still in her wet swim suit when I got out of the tub.

I told her that she could open her first gift that first night.  I was thinking those would be the pajamas she would wear most of the vacation.  And so she stood in her wet bathing suit waiting for Roland (who had gone to get something to eat, unaware that Beth had invited us for dinner – even though we hadn’t really planned on showing up until the next day) to return before she opened her gift.

We had gotten a woman’s extra small because they looked like they ran big (pajamas almost always do) and they did fit – but not comfortably enough to sleep in.  And so we returned it to the bag to take home and exchange – hopefully.

Jenna turned eleven on Friday.  She was actually quite pleasant for someone who had absolutely no say in having to be in Oregon on her birthday.  And what we had planned was not all that exciting either as Beth had given us the names of a few surrounding towns that we might want to look at.

We enjoyed a continental breakfast.  Roland made waffles for Jenna, himself and me.  We drove to Forest Grove, Dayton, Lafayette and surrounding areas.  We did find a manufactured home for sale in Lafayette – a price we could afford.  But we learned it needs a new roof.  It is in a park verses its own land.  Roland would rather have our own land – but I’m okay with a structured community – at least I think I am.

We had stopped somewhere to get Jenna a drawing pad.  Roland also let her pick out a toy which she could have for her birthday.  She chose a stuffed frog marked “Hoppy Easter”.  She received texts from both Tony and her dentist to wish her happy birthday.

After four we went to meet Beth and Graham for dinner.  He made macaroni and cheese (Jenna’s favorite) asparagus (which she tried and ate one of) and chicken.  I forgot what fancy name he gave it.  It was good.  The whole meal was really wonderful – and filling.

Beth had made a cake earlier that day – a gluten free cake.  It was in a large stemmed bowl with eleven candles.  It was really good.  We lit the candles twice as I hadn’t taken my camera out until after she blew the candles out the first time.  I only got five pictures.

Jenna shared her wish as she was certain it wouldn’t come true.  She wished she had gotten a pool toy instead of her frog.  After she had excused herself from the table, Beth found a rubber duck that she could use.  So her wish came true after all.

Before we left, Beth taught us how to play Labyrinth – which may not be in production anymore.  I know I have never heard of it.  Jenna, Roland and I played with Beth.  Jenna ended up skunking everybody.  Beth offered to let us take the game for the night, but I knew Jenna would want to go swimming again.  I knew that I’d be too tired to do both.

The next morning Beth took us to a bead store so that we could make some jewelry in honor of Jenna’s birthday.  Both Jenna and Beth chose to make bracelets but I decided that I would rather have a necklace.  

necklace by LaTiesha, bracelet by Jenna

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Looking for Answers in the Skies

     Randy helped Roland put the A/Cs up on Memorial Day.  Roland had wanted to do central air, but the cost would have been more than remolding the bathroom (and getting a new tub – which is I wanted – but not the entire expense all at once) Three fires and still just barely getting by on Roland’s check.  

     Ten more days and Pamprin will be eighteen.  No more child support – well except what the stupid state is suspending from his paycheck on the two years that Roland was UNEMPLOYED – and what’s the point of fighting it when the lawyer may end up sucking more out of us than Maleficent did (still does)  Still we should notice an increase in his paycheck – at least I hope.

     It was 88 degrees in our city yesterday.  Roland had looked it up online.  He said there was a difference of ten degrees from what his family members were experiencing in Tucson.  It wouldn’t be so bad if the climb or drop in temperature was gradual, but it’s not (and hasn’t been) 

     62 degrees.  Bamm now 88.  Bam, oh we’re back to 40.  Gradual would be 62, 62, 63, 65, 64, 66, 67 . . . . I wish the temperature would just stay between 66-72 all year long.  I really don’t like these constant 15-25 degree jumps!

     We had the air on last night.  It often dries me out.  But I can’t stand the heat.  So my choices are to wake up dry (often with a headache) or not even sleep at all due to the heat (which I am actually surprised hasn’t killed me off)

     It’s that time of year when laundry has to be washed more often than once a week – particularly the tops and bras.  I’d just to braless if there wasn’t so much weight in my sagging chest – but they are needed.  I don’t own any air conditioned underwear.  Thermals were invented to keep us warm – where is the underwear that will keep us cool?

     Yesterday was hot!  Deadly hot.  Okay, perhaps calling 88 degrees “deadly” is a slight exaggeration (especially when I have lived through some ugly three digit temperatures) the 20 degree jump just makes it feel deadly.  And now we’re back to an indecisive sky.  Will we have rain? Will I need my sunglasses?  I’m not taking my umbrella.  It will be worth getting wet (should the sky choose to rain)


     Well, those were my thoughts this morning.  I could feel the wind.  I put on long pants, but changed my entire outfit before we left the house.  It hadn’t even been an hour since I dressed when the top of me was soaked!  It was gross. 

     I don’t pick Jenna up today.  On Wednesday s after school, she takes a charter bus to her practice for the 5K that she’ll be running on Saturday.  Today will be her last day before the run.  And she’ll be out of school next week.

     Today is my birthday and she made a power point card which she showed to me this morning.  I’ve always had access to power point but never used it.  My ten year old showed me how.

     I’d like the skies to rain.  It has rained on my birthday before.  I had taken Jenna to the doctor that year.  Tomorrow I will be taking her back to the dentist (initially she was supposed to have six teeth pulled but three came out on their own)


Google wishes me a happy birthday each time I sign in.  Facebook friends and others have sent me wishes – but only Google has said “Happy Birthday, LaTiesha” 

     One of my visiting teachers came and got me and took me out to lunch.  That was a surprise.  She took me to a place that I had never even heard of before.  Good food.  Good company.  It was nice to visit with her.  It makes me feel like I’m not a very good visiting teacher though.  I’ve never done that for any of my sisters.

     The day is not over.  It hasn’t rained.  Perhaps after I put my first load on the line.