Saturday, December 08, 2018

Robert helped Santa

Marissa's Lakewood Ward needed a Santa Helper desperately and Robert got the call.  He agreed right off but then started to worry about it.  He didn't want his own grands to recognize him so first he thought he could be Black Santa, then Jewish Santa.  In the afternoon he started assembling 'things'.  He got out his Doc Martin boots but then forgot to take them.  He put together a HUGE book with some blank pages at the start so each kid could write name/desired toy.  He then used my mom's quill 'pen' and ink stand which she used as decoration in the red room.  I attached a ball point pen cartridge and it worked.  I didn't go and watch because I didn't want any connection of me to him as well as Jocelyn and 5 kids came by and stayed the night.  This is the FB post Marissa left:

Little did Simon know that his bubba is one of Santa’s helpers! The magic is that Simon still had no idea, even after the lengthy conversation the two of them had in which Simon listed every toy he’s ever heard of, leaned in close, and heard Santa speak in his oh so familiar voice. Christmas is so magical for little kids-something I’m feeling so poignantly this year now that my oldest and I have already had the “talk”. Long live grandparents who do a great job pinch hitting for Santa!
And here are a couple comments:

Cara Kennedy Isn’t that the best thing to hear an oh so familiar voice who your heart and soul feels the most safe and willing to share your deepest desires even before you fully realize you really do know who it is?

Dawn reposted this and added:  Well of course this Santa raised me! I had only the best!

Luckily the whole Trefethen Family got a shot in...I"m going to have to print this off.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Cleaning the basement

Robert and I were tossing out things this past week.  We must clean out the stuff that collects in the basement.  I found my 5 years worth of BYU Banyons...aka Yearbook...why in the world did I buy them?  I don't think I've look at them past the year I bought them.  I boxed them to throw them away. Sadly, Robert looked in the box and decided we needed to keep them.  He did find the one picture I had been looking for.

It was funny to me that this page that we landed on would be titled DATING.  One of the things that bothered me so much was the emphasis in EVERY class about dating, marriage, romance, etc.  Jokes abounded in almost every class.  Sure, I found all of that but I wished that at least during my years here there would have been more emphasis on education. That did come when they came up with the theme E=80.  Education in the 80s.  I was gone by then so I can only hope they concentrated on education first. But then again, this was a church-run school.  What did I expect?  Oh, I

When we were in Utah in October we visited BYU.  I might have mentioned I had hoped to feel a stirring of nostalgia but none came.  I enjoyed being able to attend a religion class with Cody (which was always something I loved as a student and still reflect on the things I learned there and was lead to continue that education as an adult).  Still even that experience was marred by a female student who sat behind me and talked THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE CLASS to anyone who would listen and it was not about the class!  Nor religion!  I looked around and discovered no one else was talking like her.  Everyone else was thoroughly invested in what Hank Smith had to say, and to participate in the discussion.  How sad that she was missing out on so much.  If I hadn't have been the visiting grandparent and was with Cody, I'd have sent Br. Smith a note. But hey...who cares but me?

So "BYU's spiritual beauty is its social aspect".

Friday, November 23, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018 in Cranberry

 WHAT A GREAT WAY TO START THANKSGIVING!  REMEMBER ME!  Perfect theme for the holiday. We arrived at Jocelyn and Steve's on Wednesday at noon and then the rest came along.  Barretts, Trefethen and the Mark's  Steve's sister and family  24 people, 14 were kids.  The 2 Barrett kids were the oldest but they handled all the littles ones so well as well as helping to move in a family on Friday!

Dawn came equipped with the first craft.  She had taught the YW in her stake to make these bead bracelets a couple of years ago at their Stake Girls Camp and had some beads left over.  It took me one bracelet to get it right since I opted to start with non-round beads.  I was going to just leave it as it was until I made a correct one and Dawn said I needed to undo the incorrect one and start over.  She was correct.  And yes I did.
  VERY Pretty.  Very cool craft to start the holiday.

Wednesday was dedicated to Coco the movie about our deceased relatives. I thought they were talking about Hot Cocoa.  There's a chance everyone had the hot cocoa but Robert and I had gone to bed.

 Honor had made us all a head band with flowers and sugar skulls on it.  I'd almost bet the headbands called the spirits of our loved ones to join us throughout the holiday.

2 absolute beauties!  Adelle and Dawn

The turkey pin I'm wearing below were the gifts Jocelyn made everyone 5 years ago.  Mine is still going as are a couple other people's turkeys!

Val seemed to enjoy sitting on Robert's lap.  I was most worried about poor little was so loud and so busy...and he didn't have his own bed/room at night (we did but we stayed out when he needed naps).

All throughout the house were pictures and items of our relatives or things that symbolized our lives. It was the best scavenger hunts ever.  Everyone was able to record a number and what the item/picture was all about.  As we assembled to talk afterwards, the specific details were enlarged upon.  And the stories were incredible and touching and again, I felt the spirit of our relatives were popping in.  Here are just a few of the hunted items.

  Dawn and Guy discuss family history of one of the photos.

Here the clock was set to 9:00.  Marissa explained that when Dawn left for college  and continued as each other one left, we always set 9am as family prayer times. So anyone could call in for prayer time and be a part of our family circle.

 Here's little Marissa as a pilgrim for Halloween in her preschool class party.
 And here is our beloved 809 Warwick Drive where all the joy began. It was the Little House that Could and it became The Little House That Did when we moved up here to 3830.

 Evan and  Robert investigate another artifact.

Me and Renae check out the pictures

Oskar was investigating this plane, which belonged to Bonpapa that Evan treasures.

Everyone crowding in

This is a cabin which Steve's family had used for camping and was painted by a family friend.

Even Elder Day and my grandparents were in the game!  This is the sweet note Scarlett made in Dawn's Thankgiving book:

   Altho this picture wasn't a numbered one I needed to include this family history sake. This is Marissa the year she went to Sheffield, England and her hosts took her to Cornwall where she was able to meet my grandfather's (above) brother Gordon Holman.  It was such a special moment. He cried when he met her and before she left him, he had given her jewelry from his deceased wife.  Very special keepsakes for Marissa!  Marissa said Gordon is somewhat of a hero in the maybe?
Here is the door music box which was connected to our backdoor at 809 and told us how she would unhook it so we wouldn't hear the door opening.  cute remembrance.

This was a kitty that Adelle got from my mom.  She had one when she had cancer that Adelle fell in love with and I think my mom gave it to her.  She still loves this thing.

After the scavenger hunt finished Jocelyn had gifts for everyone. She started with the youngest to pick

Autumn started a game early Thursday. We were each given 2 bows and would listen to hear anyone use the words "I" or "mom" and then steal the ribbons.  Hank was very involved in the game and really was just happy to swipe some bows which got the younger kids into grabbing.

Hank and Robert are still the best of friends, silly as they both are.  I love their love.

Dinner was superb.  Steve had filleted 2 turkeys and cooked them on Wednesday but they were so still juicy when warmed onThursday.  Jocelyn had made so much food and either froze or refrigerated  them.  All so easy.  We ate in one room on several tables and ate buffet style. So everyone could just get up and get what they wanted when they wanted more.

Evan came and sat by me after dinner and showed me his AirPods and let me try them out.  They are really cool...and I had looked into such earphones and everywhere I looked all said the same thing.  Apples AirPods are still the best for any brand of phone.

Most of the family played a card game which I totally don't like nor do I understand. They call it The Bean Game but it's really something like Bohnanza.  Again we, being so old, opted to go to bed.

Friday we had one more activity after breakfast and that was the decorating of all the gingerbread houses that Jocelyn had made and put together for us.  She whipped up some royal icing, actually a lot of royal icing and we all had brought candies and away we went.

Barretts the wreath!


Christensen's made a couple houses.  This one belonged to Guy, Scarlett, and Autumn!


Our home.  I had seen a baker on the Great British Bakcoff use shredded wheat on one of his bakes and thought it was a great idea so I  bought a box.  Robert wanted a smily face so this is on the back of ours.    I also brought the fruit loops that Adelle used on their house.


And here is the Trefethen...the kids obviously need more sugar in their lives!

This would be the Marks'.

These kids had another go at Heads UP on the phones.

 And of course these girls needed another selfie of them all...while someone else took a picture of the picture taking!

 Can you see how totally in love with Adelle the 'twins' are?  especially Oskar!

  It was a superb Thanksgiving and I got a bit emotional and I thanked them all before breakfast...having felt my relatives I realized that altho I keep saying how much I miss Niko, what I am really trying not to say is that I miss my mom, Bonpapa, Grandparents etc.  And I know that one day I will be the one (hopefully) who will be missed.

The way Jocelyn planned the party to the littlest detail was what my mom would have done...only mom kept an itemized list of things, food and expenses. That last one Jocelyn didn't want to reckon up.  I don't blame her!

Dawn is my mom in every detail and she had no better example.  Dawn will be the first to offer assistance, to serve, to clean and be willing to talk.  And to prove this's what Marissa posted on her FB page:

My sister Dawn was a champ last night. These two hooligans were determined to never sleep, and partied hard, and Dawn was with them trying to calm them down-long after I went to sleep. Then when they were up at the crack of dawn, she was with them again. It’s finally catching up to her.

Marissa loves children and is so good with them.  Different than my mom but still the same. And as my mom was a product of her generation and spoke her mind, Marissa does exactly the same for her generation. Total opposites but totally the same.  Very interesting.

Cara is like my mom in the tender way she goes about life.  Her spiritual nature is never touted but just present.  And she always encourages everyone she comes in contact with. Not in a gooey sweet way...just good at putting everyone's best self forward.

Jordan...the wee kid who had to stay with my mom while I taught school during Robert's unemployment?  well, he certain learned to clean like my mom.  Yet I see in him so much of Robert. Can't get any better than that!

And we are so Thankful for our families as well as the families that have been mingled withers.  Ken is always willing to share what he's read and thought about.  Steve is so good at often calling me MOM which I had always hoped would happen.  Jacob does this too, sometimes.  Hank will spring a surprise on us like his newly purchase Porsche and then drive me around at such speed I swear there's some calculable G-force force.  Hillary is a perfectionist like my mom and studies up on everything that involves her kids/family and is always willing to serve.

Our home made it home and it looks lovely in the front hall.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Fast and Prayer for young Rob

This was a very sacred weekend for me.  Because Hillary has been very vocal about her love and concern for Rob, as a family with friends we embarked on a day of fasting and prayer for this amazing little boy.  Hillary wrote this:

This is what my kid's vitamin regimen looks like when I'm desperate to find ways to help Robert regulate his mind and body in a more peaceful way...
We are 10 weeks into school and he is still struggling. As in, really struggling. 
Most mornings before school are filled with chaos, screaming, refusing to eat/get socks on/brush teeth/you-fill-in-the-blank, angry outbursts, throwing objects or a general grumpiness.
And the afternoons after school look pretty much the same but added in is intense hanger (hungry +anger) from school (most days he won't eat more than a few bites of his lunch) which is draining on all of us. Then we move onto dinner which is generally met with "That is gross.. I'm NOT eating that!" Then comes the crash at the very end of the day. Tears stream, his remorse kicks in, he feel ashamed, he feels defeated by his ever-busy brain, he feels like - and I quote him - "A bad boy". 
We are all - all six of us - worn out. 
If your child struggles with emotional regulation, school anxiety, moodiness, refusal to go to school - know that you are NOT alone. So many children struggle on different levels and I think most of us parents stay silent. We don't want anyone to think our child is a problem or less-than-perfect. If there is one thing I know, it's that silence breeds shame. And I refuse to be quiet. 
This is what ADHD and anxiety look like for my 1st grader son.

Now look at this amazing child:

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, child, tree, outdoor and nature

Is this not the face of the most amazing boy, so full of joy and life and ... and OH SO SMART!  He's going to change the world if we can just get his through school.

So the fasting and prayers took place and it's with faith we believe that the right course of action will come to us.

Having asked my very bestests of friends to join us, I have been moved by their support and suggestions.  Same goes for what Hillary has received from her friends and family.

Now I await the blessing Rob's dad will give him, in a quiet, one-on-one moment and will expect to see wonderful results.

It truly was a special fast day, a day to totally reflect on the Savior's atonement and to plead for our young Rob.  Monday found Hillary and Jordan attending a parent teacher conference.  Hillary went armed with all her preparations and suggestions, armed as a kind but firm mother bear protecting her cub and using the God-given intelligence to search out possible aids.  The teacher being new was also willing to give a few things a try, including an afternoon snack not just for him but also for her whole class.

This truly was an example of doing all she and Jordan could and then allowing the Lord to step in and finish the deal.  As of today (Nov 17), Hillary says all Rob's days have been better and she believes he has turned the corner.  I truly believe that the Lord needed our faith and prayers just as He needed what Hillary and Jordan could study and present.  I am grateful. So very grateful!

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