Sunday, September 25, 2016

Nila teaches again

Our teacher in Relief Society today was my friend Nila Eddington who always gives us the most amazing real life experience but then  zings us with eternal implications.  Nila, as a review, was born in Indonesia.  Her parents joined the church when she was young.  Her dad was the first branch president and now he’s the first patriarch.  Summer 2015 Eddingtons took their whole family to Indonesia, first time Nila’s been back in 20 years.  They got permission for the grandpa to give a couple of the kids their patriarchal blessings.  Obviously it was in the Indonesian language and now Nila is working to translate the blessings into English, into a way her children would understand. But here’s the problem.  In her birth language of Indonesia, there is no verb tense. There’s no past, present, nor future.  So how oh how would her children understand.  (I wondered that too). But then here comes the ZINGER.  As she’s prayed and worked on this, the Lord reminded her that we were all children of Heavenly Father in our pre-earth state. That we are His children now in mortality and when we die and return to that realm we will still be children of Heavenly Father. So there is no past, present, future.  It’s one continual round.  Very interesting.    I think I’ll be reading my blessing again with that thought in mind.

But this also reminded me that our 'calendar' is linear whereas to the Jews it's cyclical.  How much nicer it is to think of life as an eternal round.

Nila finished her lesson with a poem she wrote on a day she couldn't take a nap.  She entitled it NAP on Sunday for: Nila's Attempt at Poetry.  Robert and I renamed it HUSH!


“Hush” I said to my little angel as I cradled him to sleep,
He smiled and opened his eyes briefly,
And I saw his fears and challenges in the world ahead.
My heart sank.

“Hush” I said to my little angel as I rocked my baby gently to sleep,
She smiled and opened her eyes a bit longer,
And I saw her faith, courage and perseverance within her soul.
My heart was comforted.

“Hush” I said to my little angel as I laid my baby back to sleep,
He smiled and stretched his arms with eyes opened wide but then fell fast asleep,
And I saw Kings, Queens, Priests and Priestesses 
With their power, dominion and principalities, even heavens without end.

Then I marvel and my heart rejoiced.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Unconquerable Spirits

I was watching the Churchill episode on Masterpiece Theater and this was read...I wanted to keep it and remind myself to be grateful for my own Unconquerable Spirit.

We all face challenges in our lives. What separates men of character from spineless wieners is the way they face those challenges. In the poem “Invictus,” British poet William Ernest Henley describes how a man should respond to challenges. “Invictus” is Latin for “unconquerable.” Every man should have an unconquerable spirit. When life kicks you in the gut, get back up and kick life’s butt.
The poet himself had the unconquerable spirit which he wrote about. When he was 12, Henley developed tuberculous in the bone. He had to have his leg amputated to the knee and doctors told him he would have to have the other one amputated if he were to survive. Henley told the docs that they were full of hogwash and let them amputate just one leg. He ended up keeping the other. He led an active life with one leg and had a successful career as a poet and literary critic. Henley was truly the captain of his soul.
“Invictus” by William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016


Earlier this summer I was chatting with Jane Koker next door.  Her husband, Mike,  does almost nothing around the house/yard.  There is a huge dead tree...totally dead and dry their yard but right next to our fence.  It's been a worry for me and Jordan has commented that it's so dead it would probably fall over into our home.  I mentioned the tree to Jane as she was talking about all that needed to be done. She looked at it as if she'd never seen it before and said another neighbor had commented on it and maybe in a month they'd have money for a tree cutter.

Mike came over to talk to dad about a phone number for the 2 men who stopped by when we were trying to take down our first tree ourselves and who did it for us.  Naturally I have no idea who those angels were so again, naturally, Robert said he would do it.  He got 2 missionaries to come help him.  It was really hot and by the time the elders had arrived Robert had the tree strung with the guide ropes and had started the cut.  The elders jumped right in after shaking hands with Mike, grabbed the ropes and yanked.

Robert had worried the dead thing would snap back on him or fall on him so he dogged the fall as did the elders when the things came down.   Robert sawed up the trunk into logs and the elders tossed them over the fence.  But at least that's done.  One less things to worry about.  Tomorrow Robert says he's going to cut down the 'weed' size tree (his words, not mine) that the cicadas killed this summer.  OH joy.

This is Elder Morris standing next to Robert.  Wish I had gotten a picture of the other elder as well.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Trip to Columbus Temple

The day finally came when we traveled to Columbus and met up with Uncle Johnny's nephew and we started Johnny back on his return trip to heaven. I had asked Ray Anderson for a favor ... to NOT do Johnny's work and he agreed as long as he could be there.  But it took til last night before he realized just how much Johnny had been a part of life as my godfather.

Another fun aspect of the day was that Sarah Fulton, Theresa Anderson's sister, was in town as well.  We had such a lovely time together both in the temple, at lunch and shopping.  Chatting all the while.

Next to me are the two Valderrama girls...Sarah and Theresa.

We went to BD Mongolian BBQ in Dublin, OH.  Ray had never been here before and declared it will now be their new stopping/eating place.

Between activities in the temple we went to Meijer, across Sawmill from Meijer, and bought OSU attire for NHB.  They are in in Michigan and cannot find anything OSU up there.  Tomorrow I will need to find one more shirt for Rob up our way.  The racks were pretty bare this time of year, as expected.

I am so grateful for the restored gospel and the power of the temple.  This event today filled me with great joy and peace, more than at any other time lately.  Maybe it was the break between. I don't know...but it was lovely.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Our trip to Livermore, CA and M2T2

This is the moon reflection on Half Moon Bay.
Teri picked us up and took us to the airport.  We flew into SFO on August 17 after about a 7 hour delay in Cleveland, Frontier of course.  It is a cheaper airlines and very affordable but the stories from the passengers are always filled with craziness.  At least this time the airlines figured out that when an airplane has issues, they bumped the people on the next flight and give the plane to us.  The rest of the flight was uneventful. We did get food vouchers so we had food...just hours and hours of waiting.  Hank picked us up and it was so good to see him and them all.

This sign met us as we walked in....They missed us and they have no idea how much we miss them every day.  Sad how much grandkids make the grandparents life!

We took things easy when we first awoke but then we hit a park.  It was a lovely park for sure. At one point, I lay on a 'hammock' that was warmed from the sun and really could have just stayed there for hours enjoying the warmth on my back from the plastic and the sun on my face.  I didn't tho.

While in the car we learned from Oskar that a fart is clear.  Funny boy

Handsome grown up in so many ways.

And adorable Simon loves to say STOP! when he wants you to stop talking.
One of the best part of this morning was getting in to see Marissa's chiropractor.  He uncrinked us in a matter of minutes.  He even unlocked my left ankle and foot.

We visited Carnegie Square for a Farmer's Market.  It was so very hot but i noticed the art and history museum.  We went inside just to get some coolness and they had very old office machines that children were able to play on.

Friday we were able to go visit Henry's school.  He is in the same building he was last year as TK, right next door, actually.  He has a wonderful teacher, sweet as could be.  The kids loved playing on the playground.

Saturday Robert built a 'bowling lane" for Henry and they had a fun time

But the best part of Saturday was Marissa asked me to go with her to JOANN FABRICS to buy the material to make Mr. Rickety Rack.  I had made these guys back with the kids were young.  And one for my mom.  Jordan and Jocelyn each got them when I got rid of them. Dawn wanted one and so did Marissa so Dawn found a pattern on eBay and then copied off the pieces for Marissa and Cara.  

We got all we needed but then Marissa found some Dr. Who fabric and decided to make Henry a quilt for his birthday.  I was just SO jazzed to have Marissa actually want me to take her to the fabric store. This girl can figure out how to do everything.  

Even Henry wanted to learn how to sew. No time like this....He's going to be able to do everything.

He was completed and I also finished a panel for them which I had brought from home.  And I guess I didn't realize that it glowed in the dark!  Marissa came out with it at night as she had just gone to bed and discovered it glowing!

Sunday was church.  Breakfast first.  Enough sugar, don't you think?  Marissa has a ward filled with the kindest talking women I've ever heard talk.  Maybe that's how they grow 'em in California.
Naturally Marissa needed a pianist for Primary and naturally Robert was just so willing to play.  Me? I lasted 1 hour in their and then ran to Relief Society, grateful to all the people who CAN do Primary so well, and for so long.

Breakfast before school on Monday.  Loved how the boys were both eating while resting the other hand on Robert's arm.

Monday was Henry's first day of Kindergarten. He was all set with his lunch box and snack container.  He is adorable.  Of course there was family pictures, minus Hank of course who was in Australia.  Sadly.

Walking to school, we pass Oskar's favorite tree and so we have to cross the street to talk to Cowan
the tree

Henry has his R2D2 lunch box as well as a snack container. He was so ready for school.
Walking down the cut through

Outside the fenced area.
All the children play on the playgrounds til the bell rings and then everyone and their parents line up by their classroom doors.

                                                    Oskar was great on the parallel bars.

                                   Henry on the hand over hand bars proved he is very strong 

 Oskar down the slide
                                                     And Henry follows right after him....

                           Hanging up his backpack unusual for those of us in Ohio..

Henry's cubby

The teacher greeted each child and put on a special name tag for the first few days.

After we saw Henry off we waited til noon and then drove out to Modesto to meet up with Debi and Kent.  We had gotten to this one AltaMount pass and I said, Isn't this the ugliest scene? and Robert laughed cuz he was just getting ready to say, Isn't this beautiful?  Funny how we both see things differently but of course he grew up in the desert.

                                       And then I saw this sign on the side of a store...oh joy.
We had a lovely time talking together, eating out at a lovely Italian restaurant and afterwards we met with Jeremy and Lizzy.  We used one of Hank's car to drive there and that was nice.

Tuesday was Oskar's first day of Preschool.  He goes to school from 1 to 6 pm...I found that really strange.  He seemed perfectly fine to have his mom leave him but when Marissa returned for him at 6 he asked her why she left him for so long.

After school, Henry and I made a lemon pound cake.  He really loves to bake and cook and is very efficient.  Plus he loves anything LEMON.

This is the shish kabob that Henry had in his Tuesday lunch.  Marissa is creative even in lunches.

Here's Monday's sandwich

I spent some time making and freezing meals for Marissa to use after we leave. I made 8 meals so she should be in good shape til Hank returns.  It is so strange to shop in Safeway...things are set up so differently for what I'm used to so I spend too much time finding things.  And then usually I forget to take Marissa's tote bags and don't like to pay for bags so we toss the purchases in the car and then get the totes from Marissa when we get back and then load the stuff into the totes, then into the house.  This happened several times.

Finally it was our last day in Livermore.  I managed to get Marissa to agree to take us to downtown and visit a few shops. It's a great city with super stores.  I went into a quilt store and they did have the Row by Row Experience but somehow the organization had lost their email so they were not listed as participating.  I chose to buy their last year panel because this year was about camping and well, let's face it, I'm not a camper.

There was a cowboy store and Robert got this wonderful straw will keep the sun off his neck and out of his eyes.  He also bought a beaded belt.
We ate lunch at the First Street Ale House and the burgers were HUGE! It was a lovely last meal out.

Henry and Oskar and I made cinnamon rolls before we left.  They are such great helpers.  I had been doing laundry in the garage and the garage was so nice and warm and the dough raised quite quickly.

And then it was time to order the Uber car.  I was all packed, laundry all done.  It seemed so hard to leave this group of family cuz they are so far away.  FaceTime does help but not enough. I so miss having them in Lakewood, OH.  I honestly don't know how Marissa will be able to do this on her own. These are wild Indian braves who need a lot of busy time and attention. It has to wear her out.  Hank did buy a Wii so that Henry and I could play tougher and I hope when he gets home he can sort out how we can play together across the continent. It is possible.

Our first Uber experience was wonderful.  Much easier on Marissa if we hired the car vs her taking us to the airport.  We took the redeye home with 2 toddlers who SCREAMED bloody murder just about the whole 5 hours. Jill met us at the airport and brought us home. That was so kind of her cuz it was like 6am and she had a full day ahead of her helping Teri pack up to move.

We came home, slept for 3 hours and got Niko from Paws and then just tried to get on east coast time. I stayed awake but Robert kept napping.

It was a wonderful week and I was very grateful to Hank for buying us the tickets and letting us come out while he was gone.

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