Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Absinthe...goodbye

Sunday Lois Hudsucker came to church and we walked through the parking lot together.  She asked me what kind of bird I had in the front window.  I told her a Peach-face Lovebird.  Then I looked at her and asked, "would you want him?"  And she said yes.  I asked if she was serious and she was.  She used to always have birds until she had a bazillion foster kids.  Now she just has her adopted daughter's 2 daughters.  Her granddaughter died, then one of her dogs died 2 weeks later, and finally her husband died 2 weeks after that.  I think she is interested in a squawky bird, which Absinthe is not...but he's lively...altho he's old.

Aunt Carol had called me about 14 years ago.  A friend of hers had called to see if Carol knew of someone who might want the bird that her daughter had dumped on her...and Carol replied, Of course I do...my crazy niece.

I agreed because by this time my mom had been diagnosed with cancer and knowing she loved birds thought something colorful would be entertaining. Mom was delighted but within a few weeks she was just too ill to handle the bird so the bird came back to live with us.  Marissa is the one who named the bird.

I have to say that I struggled over this decision to give away this bird. It's not that I wanted the bird.  I never did. But I don't dispose of any pets.  .  .EVER.  But I know Lois would take good care.  So this morning I called her to be sure she was serious and she was.  So I cleaned out the cage, bagged up all the supplies and put Absinthe into a small box for the short drive to Lois.  Today was an inservice day for the elementary grades so Rebecca and Elizabeth were at home and were so excited to have a bird.

I think Absinthe is in good hands and will be happy to be in a room with a lot of activity.  I did tell Lois that if something changed and she didn't want the bird anymore she had to return him to me.  She agreed.  So now I am trying to figure out how to stop feeling guilty about this, stop worrying about whether or not Absinthe is mad at me, will hate me for taking him some place else.

Oh well..what's done is now done.  But thanks Absinthe for all these years bringing color to my life, hanging upside down, putting your head in the bell chandelier, and making Marissa, Hillary, Drew, and James all snuffly when they have been here.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Saturday, April 30, 2016

May Day

Tomorrow is May 1...imagine that!  It took me back to realize that next Sunday will be the 2nd Sunday in May, hence Mother's  Day.  How fast this year has gone by.

This morning I went to Pettiti's Garden Center and put together 2 'tea' cups. One with an African Violet, and one with a tea rose which actually has already been planted outside and in its place is some violas.  But as party of this Make-It Take-It craft were two fairies.


I could select my own fairies and as soon as I saw this little girl I knew I had to have her...she had the appearance as well as the countenance of my own Autumn.  Robert named the boy  Reuben.  They are lovely, very delicate and sweet.

And then I got a bigger surprise from Pam.  Pam called to say she bought me a present and what a present it was....a fairy boot house.

And it is already in the garden spot but I haven't planted some things to come out the toe and from the top area.  When the weather warms I will return the fairies, Giddis and Henry, to their rightful place in the fairy garden but now they have wonderful home to live in as well as a yard to play in safely.

How I love my fairies...and my friend Pam who knows it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

#19 Grandchild, Val Oaks Christensen

Val joined his siblings and parents on April 6, 11:24 pm.....9 lb 7 oz, 20" long  Jocelyn had that as her due date and we were sure the child would come on that special day but as it dawned, doubts began to surface.  Then Jocelyn went into labor and Dawn and I just knew come hell or high water, this child was going be born on that day.  And he was.  His sex was a surprise til the birth but we are so glad for Guy that he gets a brother finally.

He is such an amazing big brother to his sisters that he can't help but be the same to wee Val.  The best part is that Val looks just like Guy and to be honest, like his sisters as well.  Cannot miss the fact he's a Christensen.


Robert and I left Sunday after Fast and Testimony meeting and drove to PA to help the family.  Not sure what we are helping to do but we are here.



After we arrived, Jocelyn informed us that this little guy had failed his hearing test and that's a concern. Steve's brother was born deaf and his sister deaf in one ear.  I think we all did a lot of praying that this was an incorrect reading OR that he was just so rushed to get here that he just was too pooped to listen to the test.  A few of my friends were told and they all immediately joined in prayers.


Not that Jocelyn wouldn't have been able to handle this.  She would have made this child even more successful and wonderful than his uncle.  But it's a daunting situation.

Here we are, having just arrived in Lewisburg, meeting our new grandson.

 Not sure what noise he made but it surprised me.



Yesterday I was holding and singing to him and Jocelyn snagged this picture of his smiling.  Nope, not because at my nonsinging voice.  Maybe he's laughing at me.  I sang his some Garth Brooks and played him some Home Free even tho I'm not really a goat-roper.  Jocelyn says if he grows up to become one, it's going to be all my fault.

Just after this picture was taken, Jocelyn went to the doctor for herself and a repeat for Val's hearing test, and Hallelujah, his passed the test with flying colors.  We are all so grateful...and I am grateful for friends who would rally around my family with prayers.

When it was learned that Steve's parents would not be coming out for the blessing, they decided to bless Val this week, while we were here.  But alas, the 1898 christening gown was back at home. I could kick myself because I had several thoughts to just stick the gown in the suitcase so it would be here in case we could not come.  I HATE MAILING THIS TREASURE ANYWHERE, even tho I am thrilled to share it.  I always hold my breath til it comes back into my hands.  I texted Pam Barlow and asked her how much she loved me? And if it was enough, would she be willing to go get the gown and overnight it to us.  

Pam is my good friend who will always do anything for me but she's the most respectful person of boundaries. She was a bit nervous to go upstairs, through my drawer and get the gown.  But she did. She walked in, called me on the phone to say she was at the top of the stairs and then we 'walked' though the hall together, to the red room, into the dresser drawer, found the pillowcase the held the christening gown.  She took it immediately to the postoffice, calling me 3x to ask questions about mailing as she stood with the postman.  She is adorable.   She worried crazily...worse than me if that's possible. She had trouble sleeping fearing there might be 2 pillow cases in that drawer holding things and she had sent the wrong one. I knew there was only one so it was all good.  And it was all good and it arrived the next day. Of course I alerted her so she could stop worrying and get some sleep.

This afternoon the bishop arrived to help assist and record the blessing.  It was very sweet and very special to bless a child in his own home.  Steve gave his son a lovely blessing and then we took lots of pictures afterwards

BUT when I went to get them for this blog post, my camera announced that the memory card was damaged and there were no pictures.  I was so spazzin out .  There were NO pictures on the card, nothing showed up in the camera nor on my computer.  But after 4 tries, suddenly the pictures reappeared. I guess it's been a week of blessings of all sorts.

 Honor is experiencing the typical moment with the advent of a new sibling.  Here she is between her dad and their bishop, Curtis Nicholls and the bishop is reading to her to calm her down before the blessing begins.
 Guy....reading while he waits.
 Scarlett and Autumn


 I love the moment that the babe is dressed in my grandfather's christening gown.  It is a connection that I have with no other ancestor.


 I had not knitted the customary Baby Mary Janes that I knit for every baby (since I was 8 years old) but had brought along the baby yarn and needles. Good thing...so I just started knitting and finished the sweet shoes yesterday.  Autumn was the perfect little mom, putting them onto her baby brother.

Robert, Steve with  Val, and Bishop Nicholls.

A family grouping.  We certainly missed Steve and Christy.  We weren't able to reach them by phone but we did Skype with Dawn.





Happy and Good parents







And sadly we finally had to say goodbye....




Saturday, April 02, 2016

Priesthood Broadcast April 2016

THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT:


SO REMINDS ME OF THIS:



AND THIS IS HOW IT'S DONE!

Carol Ann Holman Etzel

My Aunt Carol turned 80 on March 31 and her son/daughter-in-law and a room packed with friends were on hand today to through her a surprise birthday party.

  Richard had taken her car shopping, supposedly, but then had to do something for Megan and that's how they got her here.
She was surprised.  That's Richard and his son Zak smiling with delight.

 We had driven to Euclid to pick up Patsy, these are the remaining first cousins (we were never a large family) and then drove to LaGrange for the party, then back to Euclid, and then home to Sheffield Lake. It was a day of driving but so worth it.
There was a wonderful picture board set up and these are my favorites altho most were pictures of Al and Carol with all their Corvettes.

 This is Carol as a lovely little child...So pretty!

This is a family gathering picture....Carol is holding my father's hand.  My mom is behind Carol.  Next to my mom is Auntie Florrie (Florida) and her sister, my beloved grandmother, Gladys Holman and then my godmother Patsy.  Behind and between Florrie and my grandmother is Florrie's husband, Gus Piotrowski (became Peters) and to his left is his son and daughter, I think.

When my father died, mom and I moved in with my grandparents and Carol who was just a kid so she is more like my sister than my aunt.  I love her and am glad we are family.  It was a great day.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bathrooms 2 and 3

Today should finally be the last day of the bathrooms renovation.  After Robert had completed his bathroom, the one off the master bedroom, I suggested he take a break and perhaps do the 3rd one after he had his gardening season.  Robert just wanted the whole ordeal over.

Here Robert is working on the floor tiling in the bathroom off the bedroom.  In this he was instructing Nila Eddington on the process.  Nila is an amazing woman.  She redid all the floors in her home with laminate herself!
 Here she its watching the process of cutting the tiles.  She has a couple of bathrooms that she would like to rehab.
 Here's Robert's finished bathroom done in Panoramic.  Hence the bit distortion.  He opted for the same grey color as in the bathroom on the main floor but went with a black shower curtain.  I'm telling you, we are in love with the new technology of toilets (isn't that a funny thing to comment on?)  But very little water is used and yet it swooshes out the elimination in quick time.


Next came what we call my bathroom, off the hall upstairs.  We had removed the shower curtain before taking the picture.  The light fixture we called dingle balls but I really do like them.  However, if we are rehabbing and making things look more like 2016, Robert felt they could be replaced. He is right, of course...but they were my mom's and there's just something about them that connects her to me and I will miss them.  HOWEVER, the good news is that Jordan said he'd like to have them if we do take them down...so perhaps I will still get to see them -- only now in his home.

Robert started to remove the old toilet. The first thing he found behind the tank was this piece of wallpaper that my mom had used on the wall. Black background with flowers in almost foil.  It was lovely and very much her but very much NOT me.  He also discovered that the wax ring was so old that it had collapsed in onto the exit hole which is why not all things would flush with one flush.  Jordan had mentioned how he hated this toilet.  Now we understand the problem.  But both the wall paper and the toilet is gone. 

Be sure to take note of the dingle balls (light fixture)  because I'd like you to see the change.


 Among the things found was this pin used for hot curlers.  Might have been my mom's but equally might have been mine.  I just know what it was and we had a nice chuckle.  I used to hate when I'd misplace those pins and spent each curling session counting the pins to be sure I had them all. I'm a bit of a fanatic when I lose anything, but especially these pins.



video video

 Here's the almost sad moment...the scary thought of not dingle ball lights. Will I like the ones I selected?  Just didn't know.  Here's Robert working on the electricity.  It was a bit tricky at one point to get the fixture squared but he finally got the screws lined up and he says, "There!  A job Jordan would be proud of."



I want a small table with drawer thingy for the corner which is now available. We looked when the Barretts were here but found none.  Dawn found one yesterday (4/8/2016) up in Michigan so when I get it down here I will add a picture of my finished bathroom.  It's lovely.



After all was set up and we were putting away the tools and what nots, Robert is coming up the stairs and I notice he's weeping.  I ask him what's up.  He doesn't answer.  I ask, did you hurt yourself?  Did you break something? Are you tired?  Do you like my bathroom better than yours?

He wonders why I thought he was crying.  Really? Do I not know my man?  Finally he says, I was just thinking of the Savior.

That's the man I've married.

IF

Robert selected this word IF for his biggest word in the world for Seminary class this year.  It gets repeated often for quite a number of things.  IF you will obey, you will be blessed.  IF you keep the commandments or your covenants, you will gain exaltation.  He says 10x a day this word could come up.

Next to this IF word, the Seminary class word of the year (which might just continue for every year), comes the scripture "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down."  Nehemiah 6:3.  It was reported to me that at least one of his students used it in reply to his mom's request that he come down for some chore.  Yes, a little humor.  But it works perfectly with Robert's forever mantra...once you put your hand to the plow you never remove it.

So Gideon Tonkinson decided to design a teeshirt for the class and anyone else who wants to order one.  And this is what it looks like. Gideon (nicknamed Zeke by Robert who has the worse time remember his rightful name, and only calls him Zeke) took this picture of Robert with his phone one day in Seminary.

The tee shirts will be shipped soon and I cannot wait to see them.  Naturally I ordered one and some of the Hatchlings ordered one.







Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 2016 in Ada, Michigan

New Home of the New Hatch Batch. We had a lovely weekend.  Jordan and Hillary invited us to spend Easter weekend with them but it was too late to get Niko in at any of the doggie stays but they graciously agreed he could come up.

We left home mid afternoon on Friday and drove up to Ada, MI.  The kids were still awake and Lily was thrilled to be able to give me a tour of their home. I didn't learn until we got home that Robert was never given the tour of the upstairs.  Now how did that happen?

ROB

LILY

ROB, MARIUS AND LILY

ROB IS WEARING BUNNY EARS BUT IT ALMOST LOOKS LIKE KAULA IS WEARING THEM TOO.

GREAT NIGHT FOR CANDY!
I THINK PAPA ROBERT THINKS HE NEEDS CANDY.  EVERYONE IS GETTING THINGS READY FOR SATURDAY'S EGG HUNT AT CHURCH.

SATURDAY NOW...AND HERE IS JORDAN AND ROB AND LILY ENJOYING THE FIRST OF 3 MINI CLASSES.  EVERYTHING WAS SO WELL PREPARED FOR THE KIDS.



THIS CLASS IS WHERE EACH KID GOT TO PUT TOGETHER AN EASTER BASKET WHICH THEY WOULD USE FOR THE EGG HUNG.  I'M HELPING MARIUS WITH HIS.  HE'S THE HOODED TOT ON MY LAP.


I THINK HILLARY HAD TO DO THREE OF THE BASKETS HERSELF.






THE HUNT WAS HELD IN THE CULTURAL HALL.  THERE WAS ENOUGH EGGS AND LITTLE GIFTS FOR EVERY KID AND MORE TO SPARE.







THEN THE LAST CLASS WAS AN ART CLASS...TOTALLY ADORABLE ACTIVITY.






WHEN WE GOT HOME ROBERT AND JORDAN AND ROB MADE THIS WONDERFUL HIGH RISE APARTMENT HOUSE FOR THE BIRDS.  THEY HAVE SOME BINOCULARS FOR BIRD WATCHING.




AND SOME BIRD FEEDERS...AND LILY EVEN PUT OUT SOME CUT YARD IN A SUET HOLDER FOR THE BIRDS TO USE TO BUILD THEIR NEST.

Saturday night was the Women's Broadcast for General Conference.  Hillary gets BYU-TV on their cable so we were able to stay home.  Jordan had bought  Hillary an electric skillet as a surprise Easter gift.  Because I knew this, I brought up my fried donut dropper and Jordan got busy and made us refreshments for during the broadcast.  Hope they make lots of these...as well as the real donuts...yeast/risen ones.  And oh the things they can now make in the skillet.

Niko chose to lie next to me during the broadcast, under one of Hillary's blankets.  We both kept very warm.

EASTER SUNDAY DAWNED LOVELY AND PERFECT FOR PICTURE TAKING BEFORE CHURCH.  DAWN AND FAMILY CAME OVER AS DID ROBERT'S NEPHEW BEN AND HIS FAMILY.




BEN AND KAYLEE AND CORA AND ELSIE MCELROY FROM OKEMOS, MI


BARRETTE FROM LAKE ORION, MI

DAWN EVEN REQUESTED A SHOT OF HER AND KEN ALONE.

I LOVE THIS SHOT OF ROBERT AND ME...NOT BECAUSE OF US BUT BECAUSE OF THE ACTIVITY GOING ON BEHIND US AND HILLARY WRANGLES YOUNG ROB OFF THE ROCKS.


AND THANKS TO A TRIPOD, WE ALL MANAGED TO PULL OFF A GROUP PIX



We got into cars and drove to their Grand Rapids ward.  Their church service was lovely.  The musical selections were incredible, especially the bishop's 17 year old daughter who played the clarinet as if she was a professional.  The talks were right on the mark.  We loved everything about this ward and the people were so friendly in greeting us all as we took up a row and a half.

Then it was home to assemble the dinner and enjoy eating the Easter feast.

The art room was set up with two tables and everyone was able to eat together.  It was perfect!  Colorful and comfortable.


Rob demonstrates the perches that the birds will sit on.
Ben and Kaylee snuggling together.

                                          I spy Ben but he was checking out the binoculars.
                                                  And discussing them with Rob.




                                          Jordan had smoked a chicken and a turkey for us




                                                          He is such a great chef.


Dawn and Hillary worked to assemble the food.

After dinner, Jordan snuck out and played Easter Bunny, laying down filled eggs for the kids to find.




                                                                Elsie and Lily
Someone directed young Elsie to an area of eggs that no one else had found.
Seemed to be a lot of counting of eggs and more looking.


This perhaps is a naughty picture, of sorts...keep your eye on Marius and forget that Niko needed to pee on their bush.





Then it was time to clean up.  Dawn and Hillary started but I think the Barrett men finished up.




Say Cheese Rob....only one more picture and then Granny will put away her camera and leave for Ohio.


And that was true.  We needed to get back home much as we didn't want to leave so soon. But it was a wonderful Easter weekend. We felt the redemptive love of the Savior, thought on the Atonement, was grateful for family that lives close.  And those far away, were able to chat by phone.  It was all so lovely and we are so grateful to have been invited.  

Thanks New Hatch Batch for everything!

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