Monday, December 04, 2017

Day of the Dead in December.

I found myself alone Saturday and Robert had said he didn’t want to see the movie "Coco" but I did so I called Marissa to see if her boys would like to go…I mean what’s better than a date with Granny, right?  Marissa and Hank agreed to come along with us and if you know anything about Marissa know that she’s all about Halloween and Day of Dead. I had no clue what Day/Dead was about more than sugar skulls and death.  My friend Brandy said I would learn something about this culture so I was game.

Now the backstory:  I totally am an LDS member. I believe in Christ and the atonement. I believe in a premortal life, a mortal life, and have had to rely on Robert’s testimony of a hereafter where I will see my loved ones again. It’s not that I don’t believe in a hereafter. I do.  I have just never been here.  It’s not my gift to know/understand about it but it has always been Robert’s gift.  and I have relied totally on his testimony of this for years even tho I have wondered why it was not my spiritual gift nor why he is so sure about ti.    But altho I don’t  have to see my mom, I just want the assurance that she knows we’ve redone her kitchen, we are still active, etc, etc., etc. But I seem to be weepier this season than in the past.  I wonder what my father Henry is like, is he around or near me. What are my grandparents doing.

So off we go to see "Coco"…a movie I knew nothing about other than it was a cartoon and I am usually very hesitant to even go see animated shows.  I found myself weeping and was glad the boys were so into the movie that they didn’t notice my tears.  But it was a delightful movie and suddenly, I felt the odd confirming assurance that my dead relatives are truly still involved with me and my life and my family.  It was the long awaited confirmation and so strange having come through this particular movie.  But I am grateful the Lord answers prayers in ways we each can hear, if we listen.

Yesterday we had dinner with Marissa and family and I asked her about the various elements of the Day of the Dead (and this was after I fell down her stairs from the upstairs bedroom and really did a number on my poor old body but I have a doctor’s appt at 2 today so all will be taken care of) as I sat and tried not to move.  I have never been a fan of marigolds but you can bet I’ll be planting some next summer and hope there will be some petals left come end of October.  I shall strew them to our doors in hope this tradition will call forth my dead to know they are always welcome to drop in.  I might even buy a couple sugar skulls.

Thank you for sharing your sweet story and your new found testimony of our ancestors!  The Latin culture is so rich in their customs/traditions and that is what I love most about them...they are very traditional people but their traditions mean something to their whole culture not just them personally!  So whether you are Catholic or not, Day of the Dead is important to them!  Gives you a whole new perspective on the sugar skull, doesn't it?  Now I would rather decorate for day of the dead instead of Halloween.  I like Halloween but I absolutely dislike all the gory, horror, and blood associated with this holiday.  Brandy

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Orchids blooming again

The top 2 small ones came from the Lorain County Fair a couple years ago. The large ones on the bottom were from Carole Morgan's funeral. Michelle offered it to me since she has cats and knew they'd destroy the plant.  So when it blooms I think of her mom.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Oskar and lunch

A couple weeks ago, Marissa asked us to pick up Oskar at 11 from preschool because she had a meeting and Hank had some business meeting.  Happy to do so, I drove through McDonalds and bought Happy Meals for him and Simon (Robert was dropped off at the house to care for Simon).

Today Marissa called to see if we had any old newspapers she could use for the art class she was holding next week. Luckily we had a bunch from Patsy and so I told her yes.  Oskar heard us on the phone and in his sweet little voice he asked if we could pick him up from school.  Of course we could.

Robert kept the car running and warm (suddenly it's 30 degrees and there's snow in the air) and I walked to the door to get him.  I took his  hand and as we walked back to the car this is how the conversation went when I asked if he wanted some Jimmy Johns or Burger King....all from Oskar:

My mom says we always can eat lunch after I'm done with school.  We always eat after school.

And she says we can go to McDonalds because she really liked McDonald. (which we know she so does not BUT they did have a grilled chicken wrap so I guess she survived a McDonalds lunch.

Obviously we went to McDonalds.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Lily's Baptism

This was such a special day.   We drove up on Friday and checked in at the Motel 6..a bit tacky motel but clean and cheap.  Good grief. We paid enough to put Niko into Paws so our budget was limited.

Saturday was a lovely day for Miss Lily to be baptized by her dad.  Her program was lovely.  Her Grampa Kinkead talked about Love and her mom gave a great talk about listening to the Holy Ghost. Then there was the sweetest of duets, Lily and her mom.  Teach Me to Walk.  They looked at each other for the first 2 verses and then out at the audience for the last.  They were accompanied by a mini harp.

 Cora and Elsie McElroy on either end, Savvy Eve and Lily.  Such sweet little girls.  We had witnessed Cora's baptism the Saturday before.

After the baptism while we all waited for Lily to get changed, we had a viola solo by Ben McElroy, Dawn played the ukulele and 2 Primary songs and we all sang along, and her Grandma and Aunt Brownie sang a duet.  So sweet.

Such a pretty white dress for such a pretty granddaughter!

We asked for one more picture, this time with us, and then we left for home.  Such a lovely day.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Coy Boone

Grandchild #21 arrived on Monday, October 30, 2:14pm.  weighing in at 9 pounds 5 ounces. Steve had sent me a text they were at the hospital not many minutes before Coy arrived but we didn't get the actual news for a few hours.  But new babies are so fine!  And as always, Jocelyn and Steve picked out another lovely name.  I love Coy but I think he needs to be Boo to me, born so close to Halloween.

Robert and I drove to the hospital Tuesday afternoon to meet him and greet Jocelyn.

After we visited for a couple hours and knew Jocelyn needed to rest, we drove to their home and saw the kids in the Halloween splendor.

Due to Lily's baptism  on November 4,  I left the next day and stayed with the Christensens til Wednesday and Steve's mom came 2 days later.  It was great fun to be with the family get to hold the baby, feed the baby as everyone struggled in faith and in doing all we could do to help him get his bilirubin count down.  After 5 kids and decades of baby land, I had no clue about that blood draw from my babies' heels at birth.  But I learned.

Luckily I was able to be there for Honor's 5th birthday.  I took her on a shopping trip to give Jocelyn time for a nap.  As we walked into Walmart, Honor found a painted rock

 The message on the rock was Think Positive...good for any given day.

Honor skipped and hopped and talked about being 5 to everyone and everything.  I remembered Robert's story about when his sister Barbara had gifts for everyone in the family for one of her birthdays so i asked Honor how excited she was to open her presents and what did she think about buying a small gift for each member of her family.  She was very excited to do that.

But that took a LONG time to accomplish even tho 4 of the gifts (one for herself) were exactly the same except for the colors.

Afterwards, phew, we ate lunch at McDonalds which fortunately was in Walmart itself!

She kept the secret the whole day!  We wrapped each item in a piece of copy paper and I helped her spell out the names for each person.  After the dinner prayer, she passed out each gift and thanked everyone for being her family.

I think she enjoyed explaining what the things were.

Honor with her American Girl Doll.
It was such a special week and I am grateful Jocelyn shared the time with me.  Yes, I think Coy will end up being Boone to me but then again, I think the middle names might help me as I call to them.  Guy le Gros, True, Frosta (Jocelyn remembered Frosta from She-Ra when I called Autumn Frostie), and Ivy.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Spiritual Crocodiles

Robert used the Spiritual Crocodiles talk given to the youth by Elder Boyd K. Packer, April 1976 for Seminary yesterday.  Right afterwards he said he needed a crocodile costume.  I suggested one of the party stores to see if they had a costume or a piƱata.  But then I remembered Marissa's amazing ability to create robots from all her packing boxes. So I gave Marissa a call to see if she would be willing...and thus began a day of her marvelous creating.

Initially Marissa send me this text picture and said the fun creative juices were flowing and she was excited.  She had considered paper mache so Robert drove over to help her but in the end, it became easier and better.

Then this one:

Then she posted this on her FB page:  This my dad. He's a pretty cool guy. Being the good guy that he is, when he and my mom randomly asked me to make him a crocodile mask today, a crocodile mask is what he got. Have you ever made a crocodile mask? I hadn't before today, but I gotta say, I loved doing it! Also, I convinced him to wear the costume before it was dry, and he got spray paint all over his forehead. Because no one leaves my house without getting messy.

 When Robert came home with this amazing crocodile he and I were delighted and immediately I returned her text picture with my thoughts of her as a Heavenly Mother, creating other worlds which just might not look like the one we live on today.  I am sure Heavenly Father and Mother are thrilled that Marissa has used her gifts in such a delightful way, her strength in being solid and firm...a good mother and wife to her little family.

This morning I awaited in the upstairs hallway to hear the start of the Seminary lesson, knowing that pretty soon, I'd be hearing Crocodile Rock and Robert would be coming into the room with the crocodile head in place as a reinforcement  to yesterday's lesson.  I snuck down to catch these couple of pictures.

I sure hope the kids remember yesterday's lesson and hearing Elder Packer's voice in this talk, and then seeing Robert who loves them come in with the croc head on.  I pray they will remember this message and that there are people out there to warn and direct them, who will attempt to guide and direct them back to Heavenly Father.  This is such an unsettled world with so many enticements.  They need to be reminded often of what lies in muddy water, invisible to the eye, and learn from those strong people, like Robert their seminary teacher, to see with eyes not clouded or muddied from the world. To depend on those who depend on Robert.  I think they are all blessed to have had him as their teacher.  I know I have been.

Elder Boyd K Packer excerpts:
"“Nonsense,” I said. “There are no crocodiles out there. Anyone can see that.”
I thought he was having some fun at the expense of his foreign game expert, and finally I asked him to tell us the truth. Now I remind you that I was not uninformed. I had read many books. Besides, anyone would know that you can’t hide a crocodile in an elephant track.
He could tell I did not believe him and determined, I suppose, to teach me a lesson. We drove to another location where the car was on an embankment above the muddy hole where we could look down. “There,” he said. “See for yourself...
I couldn’t see anything except the mud, a little water, and the nervous animals in the distance. Then all at once I saw it!—a large crocodile, settled in the mud, waiting for some unsuspecting animal to get thirsty enough to come for a drink.
Suddenly I became a believer! When he could see I was willing to listen, he continued with the lesson. “There are crocodiles all over the park,” he said, “not just in the rivers. We don’t have any water without a crocodile somewhere near it, and you’d better count on it.”
Those ahead of you in life have probed about the water holes a bit and raise a voice of warning about crocodiles. Not just the big, gray lizards that can bite you to pieces, but spiritual crocodiles, infinitely more dangerous, and more deceptive and less visible, even, than those well-camouflaged reptiles of Africa.
These spiritual crocodiles can kill or mutilate your souls. They can destroy your peace of mind and the peace of mind of those who love you. Those are the ones to be warned against, and there is hardly a watering place in all of mortality now that is not infested with them.
It seems almost to be against our natures, particularly when we are young, to accept much guidance from others. But, young people, there are times when, regardless of how much we think we know or how much we think we want to do something, that our very existence depends on paying attention to the guides.
Now, it is a gruesome thing to think about that young man who was eaten by the crocodile. But that is not, by any means, the worst thing that could happen. There are moral and spiritual things far worse even than the thought of being chewed to pieces by a monstrous lizard.
Fortunately there are guides enough in life to prevent these things from happening if we are willing to take counsel now and again.
Some of us are appointed now, as you will be soon, to be guides and rangers. Now we don’t use those titles very much. We go under the titles of parents—father and mother—bishop, leader, adviser. Our assignment is to see that you get through mortality without being injured by these spiritual crocodiles."

Saturday, October 21, 2017

M2T2's Halloween 2017

Marissa decided to turn her moving/packing boxes into costumes for the 5 of them for the wards' Trunk or Treat.  And this is what she came up with.  So creative.

And of course they won a first prize blue ribbon and Hank hung in on the rear view mirror.
 Even the smallest details were perfect.  There's a  green propeller on Oskar's head, antenna on Simon and maybe a slinky type thing on Henry.  Love the mustache on Hank and as Marissa declared, Lady Gaga was her inspiration.  She's holding the blue ribbon and looking very happy.  As she should be.

But look at the outside of the plastic pumpkins...even they are sprayed silver.  Incredible.  And the perfect way for Marissa to actually celebrate her birthday.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Marissa's birthday

Since we didn't have our kitchen set up to help Marissa celebrate her 38th birthday, she suggested I cook at her house.  I made the lasagna in the basement here, and salad, bought garlic bread and the DQ ice cream cake decorated for Halloween and off we went.  Robert insisted we buy the candles that relight and the boys thought that was too much fun.

It was a nice evening...I worked in  the kitchen as she worked on the family Halloween decorations for the Truck or Treat at church.  It is great having her here again...for however long. I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

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