Tuesday, January 29, 2008

President Hinckley

Around 10:30 Sunday night the phone rang. It was Jenny Wood with the news of President Hinckley's passing. Because I know of the joyful reunion he is having with his wife and family -I don't feel sad - But I will miss him. I will miss his humor at conference. It is wonderful to think back of memorable and life-changing addresses he has given. I feel like I knew him very well - though I never met him.

One of my favorite memories - is a BYU women's conference where Sister Hinckley and her daughter spoke. They told incredible but ordinary stories about their family and the experience of being related to the prophet. We were laughing so hard - we had tears rolling down our faces. The time came for them to end and the audience cheered for more. After that - I read the book "Glimpses" about Sister Hinckley - it really told a lot about President Hinckley and the kind of husband and father he was. They are an incredible couple and I am overjoyed - just thinking about them being together again.

My 97 year old grandmother is feeling lonely today. She used to say she was in good company with president Hinckley - being the same age. I said to her yesterday - "Grandma, you are still in good company." She replied, "No, there is no one left. Everyone is gone." It must be hard to be 97 and know that all the people you know your age have passed on.

Grandma tells the story of going to see Gordon B. Hinckley at his office. At the time he was in charge of the mission department of the church. Grandma had a missionary son (my Dad) who was about to come home from his mission in the Netherlands. The church had just announced that the missionaries in Europe would now travel home by plane instead of by ship. My worried Grandmother had heard scary stories of planes going down over the ocean - so she went to Gordon B. Hinckley's office to express her concerns. President Hinckley assured her that if the Lord had decided that the missionaries would be safe traveling by plane then they would be safe.
I picture him saying it with a smile and a chuckle.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sweet Home Alabama!

We have never lived in Alabama - but it sure seems like home. My sister gave my mom a little plaque that says "Home is where my Mom is". It is true - and where my Dad is. My parents have moved a lot in their lives -but have been in Alabama for 9 years - the longest they have lived anywhere. So it is home. When I hear the song "Sweet Home Alabama" - I smile and have the same feeling of home as when I hear the Cougar fight song. Don't ask me to sing them. Just know that I love those songs and the feeling I have when I hear them!

Tanner told everyone that he wanted a boat for Christmas. We don't know which came first - Tanner asking for one or my Dad deciding to buy one. . . Actually Dad has been planning this for a while. The kids loved riding in it - even though it was a bit chilly!

These pictures were mostly taken with Eliza's new camera that she got for Christmas. Even though - I took this one of Eliza - it was nice having Hannah and Eliza be the photographers for the vacation.

Hannah and Mom. I don't know if you can see it -but you may notice Grandma and Grandpa wearing beautiful hand-crafted plastic necklaces in some of these pictures. It is fun to be with them and hear them rave about our children. Steve and I love to go there for the relaxation and great food but the the best part is just talking with Mom and Dad about how awesome our kids are. You can't do that with everyone!
We had many great family dinners at Grandma and Grandpa's house but the only picture I have is this one at the Mexican restaurant we went to. I also wish I had pictures of us at the symphony our last night there. Grandma and Grandpa gave me, Steve, Hannah and Eliza tickets to see a featured violinist and hear Tchaikovsky. It was wonderful. I think G and G are hoping to inspire the musicians in our family.
Our friends, the Owens came to visit us while in Birmingham. They braved a 3 hour drive from Atlanta! We became friends while living in South Pasadena. Leah and I both managed our apartment buildings while our husbands were at USC. She helped me a lot with my two little girls - especially the summer I was pregnant with the third! We have not seen them in seven years but after a bit of catching up - it was like we never parted.
The two Dads took 6 of the 8 kids out on the boat.

This is Daphne and Tanner. I took about 8 pictures of them. They kept asking for more. They were giggling. I wish I had audio to go with this picture. It would make you laugh!

Kellie and Tanner playing with a new pirate toy. It was fun to see Kellie and get to be with her for a few days. She showered the kids in presents.
The highlight for all of the girls was their individual dates with Grandma. They each got to choose what they wanted to do for an afternoon. The best part was having Grandma's undivided attention.
Grandpa kept the kids full of ice cream, cookies, chocolate milk and everything sweet. I was not shocked when I found him helping Eliza make the biggest chocolate chip cookie she had ever eaten. She even took a picture of it before she ate it. We wish all of our grandparents lived closer. Life is better with Grandparents. It's true!


A few days after Christmas, Shelby came to visit. We only got to see her for a few hours - but it was great to see her. Shelby was a beehive when we moved to Ohio. We watched her in marching band and in several pageants. We watched her learn how to drive. We went to her graduation party. We watched her grow up. She taught our daughters piano. She sat by us in church when I needed help. She tells funny stories. She is lending Hannah her flute. She is one of Tanner's first girlfriends. She is wonderful. We miss her and her family.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Just So I Don't Forget. . .

No picture for this blog - but funny stories I have to write down so they are not forgotten.
The First is about Tanner. We were going visiting teaching and my companion was asking him about our recent trip to Alabama. He excitedly told her about his Grandma and Grandpa, feeding the swans and riding in the boat. She then asked, "Did you fly to Alabama?"

Without hesitation, Tanner replied: "We don't have capes!" That one had me laughing for days.

The second conversation was between Grace and my Mom. My parents have a rather large masterbath/ walk-in-closet. There are lots of cabinets and drawers. They use some of the area to store paper products and other sams club type things. There is a small cupboard door at Grace's eye-level. She opened it. The only thing in the cupboard was a 5 pound bag of pinto beans. She asked my mom why the beans were in there. Mom told her that the beans were their "food storage." Grace replied with, "I hope they are magic beans."