Wednesday, December 30, 2009

At the Oregon Coast

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Much Needed Update

I haven't blogged in quite some time. There are many reasons. Mostly just excuses and a lot of guilt. You know, when you don't get something done and then time passes and then you feel really guilty because it has been so long that you just keep putting it off. That is a lot of it. But the other day, I realized it was more. I haven't wanted to blog because I know what I must blog about to finally get through this. But it is hard.

I lost my dear sister Suzie. We have known it was coming for a while. But the effects of diabetes and battling this disease that has afflicted her for so long became more than what her will to live could overcome. A while ago, I remember her asking me if she had a right to ask for a miracle again. She has had plenty of those. I didn't have an answer for her. Do any of us have a right to plead for miracles, especially when we have already had many? She knew there were others who were probably in greater need. Over the last year, as her quality of life went down hill, I admit that I got to the point where I felt ready for her release. She wasn't totally my sister anymore. Then I felt like maybe there was more for us to learn as we watched her go through infections, amputation, strokes, blood clots, dialysis, and congestive heart failure. I was with her and other family members as she passed from this life to the next. There is such peace in the Plan of Salvation. If you don't know what that means, please find someone who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints and ask them to explain it. Because of this Plan of Happiness, we were able to laugh and cry together as a family. I have had distinct impressions that she is busy talking and counseling with others who struggle and helping them to understand this great plan themselves. She is busy. She is free from pain. The limitations of her physical body are now gone. We miss her. I miss her. I still cry for her. That is why I could not blog for so long. As I watched different family members say goodbye, I put myself in their place. My heart aches for her children, her husband, her sisters, her father. But I know my mom was there and helps her. They are together. I will see them again. We will all be together again. Family get togethers will be difficult for a while. But I remember being told when my mother passed, you just keep going. It took a long time before I accepted that, but I now know it is truth. You just keep going and growing.

I know this is rambling, but is more for me than for anyone else. I don't know how to close, so I will just say: I love you Suzie.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Fall time is harvest time. Reed loves growing big pumpkins. This year he had to harvest them with the tractor. We couldn't lift and carry them up to the house. They are currently still sitting in my driveway. The boys were willing to pose with the smaller ones!!

It is only about 6 more weeks until Jackie "harvests" her little pumpkin! And, no, she did not put a pumpkin under her shirt. She is really bigger this time!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

For Keegan and Kayden

While I am away, I am keeping up with Keegan and Kayden and Katarina, but I miss seeing them all. The neighbor across the street passed away earlier this year and his house sold. It is sad to see the passing of an old family friend. They are currently tearing down the old house so the new owners can build a new one. Soon there will be a HUGE house across the stree from us. That is the way it is in America. Tear it down and build something bigger. I personally like the small, quaint beach houses. Anyway, it is exciting to watch them tear down the house. I have been talking to Kayden and telling him about the big track hoe that is here. So I am posting some pictures for the boys to see. Katarina is probably too small to really appreciate it. Next year honey!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

For Reed

Poor Reed left just as a strong northeaster hit the coast back here in Delaware. Today the waves were perfect. The beach was back to like Reed remembers from his surfing days. So the vidoes are for Reed to see what he missed. I sure miss you honey!
This first one is Jill.

This is Owen surfing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Take 2

The first time it would not upload the video. Got it now!!

Killer Kayak Waves

We have had a strong Northeast wind blowing for about a week. The waves are 8-10 feet with a few that are larger. Reed was able to get some video of some of the rides and wipeouts. The one above is Buzz. The pictures does not do justice to the size of the wave. On one of the wipeouts, Buzz was headed out and a HUGE wave came. He tried desparately to climb up it, bu the wind caught the end of his kayak and he did a complete flip. On another one, they were out and a big wave came. As Buzz and Jill paddled to get over it, Buzz crested the wave and he and boat were airborn as they came down the other side. Today the winds are even stronger. A tide pool has formed (which only happens on very high tides) and high tide is not for another 2 hours. BIG SURF!!
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Uncle Buzzy's Wild Ride

This is the video of Buzz as he is riding. When you see his feet up in the air he is actually airborn. He happened to land back on the kayak and was able to ride it in. Amazing!! Be sure to see the previous post for a full explanation!

Kayaking At the Beach

Each year as we go the beach, one of the main attractions for Reed, his sister and brother-in-law, is the kayak surf. This started a number of years ago. Over the last couple of years, they have been discouraged due to the changes in the beach. Bethany has done a "beach renourishment". This was done to try to add sand and extend the beach off the town of Bethany. It was not well planned and there have been problems. Not the least of which is that it has destroyed the wave action at the beach. There have been many prayers offered for a hurricane to come up the east coast to try and flatten out the beach. Unfortunately Bill and Danny have not done much. Danny did leave a few lingering waves that they decided to try and ride. The video above is of Reed. He had the wind knocked out of him on this ride. Realize that I am standing on a ledge that has been eroded by the wave action and I am actually about 4 feet above the ocean surface. Those waves were pretty big. Also, the force of the back wash sucking out was almost as strong as the waves themselves. Both Reed and his sister had really rough rides. I will try to upload the video of Buzzy next.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rocky Mountain National Park

The next big stop on our trip driving across the country was to travel the Rocky Mountain National Park Highway. This highway goes up over 2 miles above sea level . We were well over 12,000 feet high. The scenery was breath taking. Thankfully Reed obliged Jessica and I and made plenty of stops for pictures and sightseeing. It had been a long time since I had traveled this way and at first I was disappointed in the devestation from the bark beetle. The west side is the worst with most of the entire national forest destroyed by the bark beetle. This little critter has done major devastation from Canada down. The place is now ripe for a major forest fire. We need a couple of hard winters to kill off the beetle and hopefully reestablish the forest again. But still the scenery was spectacular and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was well worth the drive. You feel like you are on top of the world!
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Baptism In Utah

Our first stop on our trip out to the east coast was Utah. We spent just 2 short days there. We got to see Norma, Ward and their girls. But the main reason for the stop was to be there to help baptize Megan and Chrissy. They are Tommy's oldest girls. It was a wonderfully unique blessing. The girls were baptized in the South Fork of the Ogden River. There is a deep swimming hole on the old Glasmann property. Reed, Jessica and I got in the river and helped stack rocks to build up a little dam to make the water deeper and clean up the area. It was so neat to be on the bank and see them all dressed in white. It was a peaceful, beautiful setting. We kept thinking that this was how it was for the pioneers. After the baptism we went up river a couple of miles to the Brewer Camp for the confirmation. Reed also did this. It was touching as he blessed each girl and reminded them of their heritage and of their Great Grandma whose presence was felt and how happy she was.

We also got to meet Josh's first missionary companion who has returned home. He made the trip up to meet us and witness the baptism and be a part of the confirmations. It was so fun to meet him and talk to him and see some of his pictures. All in all is was a really neat start to our journey.

Stay tuned for more pictures!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

What to Do In A Heatwave!

What do you do when there is a heatwave and the temperature soars to 108? (BTW this is an all time record for Corvallis Oregon!) Well, you head for Grandma's because she has air conditioning!! EVERYONE came (except Josh, who must endure the heat in Alma, AR right now!). Here are some of the fun things we did to pass the time:
We picked, snapped and canned some beans from our garden. Of course Kayden and Katarina liked to eat them first!!

We played LOTS of Wii!!! How convenient that Wii Resort came out at the beginning of the heatwave!! Jackie and Jayme show off their style for archery.

Jessica and Jackie demonstrate Team Canoe racing. We laughed sooo hard!!

Even Grandma and Grandpa got in on the action! Lots and Lots of Laughs!!
We played in the pool and Mommies got wet.

We danced to old Sesame Street videos and did the "Batty, Batty, Batty, Bat!" dance.

We played with all the toys at Grandma's, like the rocking horse that can hold two people at once, if you are cute cousins. Grandma's chair is lots of fun.

We visited the Fire Station with Grandpa and got to see the BIG Fire Engines!

At the end of the week, the heatwave ended and it was time to go. According to Kayden it was time to "Lolly, golly, go Bapa's caa." (Translation: Let's go, let's go, let's go, Grandma's car!)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Guess Who Had A Birthday!

Keegan turned 5 years old today!! Wow, how that little man has grown! Keegan arrived 5 years ago in Rexburg, ID. I was blessed to be there. I found out that watching your daughter go through labor was NOT a fun thing. Jackie ended up having a C-section, which was not her first choice, but we have all adjusted to birth this way for her. I loved the hospital in Rexburg. As Jackie and Zach were whisked off to the operating room, I was escorted into the newborn nursery. I was prepped and gowned and got to watch from a window in the nursery. After Keegan was born, he was handed through the window to Grandma's arms. I got to hold him while Dad stayed with Mom. When Mom was okay, Zach joined me in the nursery to help clean Keegan up and have him weighed and measured. I loved that the hospital let Grandma play a role and allowed me to be right there. That has not been the case here in Oregon.

We celebrated Keegan's birthday here at our house on Saturday. We had a big family dinner in our favorite Mexican restaurant (Thank goodness Keegan changed his mind from McDonald's at the last minute!!). Keegan did not want to wear the big sombrero!
Keegan with his Dad and his Uncle Jace. What a bunch of cheese faces!

The cake was a community effort. Kayden got into the act. We had so much fun!! Happy Birthday Keegan. You have brought so much joy, wonder and just plain fun into our lives. We love you very much!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


What a week it has been. I find that my heart is very full. We had a wonderful opportunity to be surrounded by family as Josh spoke in church. A non-member friend of one of our relatives was there and was very touched by Josh and his sincerity. She told me afterwards that she felt that she was supposed to be there. We had a BBQ following our church, where even my sister Suzie was able to come and visit. She gets very tired, but it was so good to see her here and have her be a part of our celebration.

Early the next morning we headed for Salt Lake City. We stayed in Park City and had breakfast with Reed's brother and his family before heading down to SLC to go to the temple. What a GREAT experience we had there. Josh was very touched by the spirit and loved the beautiful building. We all felt such a wonderful closeness to our pioneers and their great sacrifice to bring about such a beautiful place. We were moved to tears as we thought of loved ones who have gone on and the closeness we feel as a forever family. Later we visited with Norma (our foster daughter from CA) and her cute girls. I had made each of them an afghan for their birthdays and it was fun to watch them choose which one they wanted!!

The next morning Reed gave Josh a beautiful, tender Father's Blessing. We knew that our goodbyes needed to be done that morning, since we would literally be dropping Josh off. The MTC has had a flu outbreak and they are trying to minimize it and keep it from spreading. Goodbyes were done at the curb and then missionaries were ushered inside. For Josh it was better. He hates goodbyes. We took Reed's dad along since he was visiting in Utah. I flew home that night, while Reed went on to Montana for professional meetings.

Here at home, I have Jackie and her boys. Jayme and Virginia are out here a lot too and so the house is filled with the chaos of little children. Keegan (Jackie's 5 year old) reads to me like an adult and he hasn't even started kindergarten yet. Kayden (her second) has begun to cuddle with me and will run to me with arms outstretched. It is such a tender thing for my heart. I love it. Katarina (Jayme's little girl) lights up with the biggest smile when she sees me. Oh how I love being a grandma!!!

We have had our first letter from Josh in the MTC and he is doing so good. He was made a District Leader and so he is working hard to fulfill his responsibilities. Wow, how quickly they grow! Poor Jackie has contracted poison oak and is climbing the wall. This poor kid is so susceptible to it. We need to contact the Dr. since she is pregnant to find out if anything can be done.

I am so grateful for my wonderful family. I feel such love for them. We will be celebrating Keegan's birthday this weekend. He will be 5. How fast time flies!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sweet Memories, Bittersweet Moment

We had many plans for possible activities for Memorial Day. We didn't really do any of them. We just hung around the house with everyone here (minus Jayme who was sick again) and enjoyed each others company, planted the garden and did yard work. Reed did another bike ride Saturday morning with the Teachers and Priests (boys ages 14-17) in preparation for their Oregon Coast bike trip. Zach joined them while the women folk stayed home and got things done around the house. Then the girls (plus Kayden) headed out for some quick shopping in Albany.
Monday evening, we picked flowers from around the farm and headed to the cemetary to visit my mom's grave. Keegan was very interested and helped with gathering the flowers. I chose to take some blossoms from the Snowball bush that had been at my mother's childhood home and transplanted here. A couple of years ago the main tree blew down after a huge storm and I was so disappointed, but it resprouted and had HUGE blossoms this year. We also took some blossoms from my Mom's favorite BRIGHT orange azalea and then some rhododendren flowers. Keegan asked lots of questions and as we talked at the cemetary, I told him that his Great-grandma would have loved him. Then Josh looked at me and said that he doesn't remember my mom. My mother died when he was barely 2. We moved to Oregon shortly there after. Reed's mom also died before Josh was born. Even now, I cry that Josh, who is so sensitive has had no opportunity yet to know his grandmothers. I think they would have loved him and been very proud of him. How grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation that helps me to know that families are forever. I know that Josh and Keegan will have the opportunity to one day know my mom.
(The following picture was taken a couple of years ago. I forgot my camera this year!)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Refresher Course

I have had the wonderful opportunity lately to reconnect to dear friends, former Young Women, and people that have had an impact in my life. Some of these people I found by blog stalking, others I reconnected with when I joined facebook. I am not an addict. It has been wonderful to reconnect with these dear friends. Since many of them I have not seen or heard from in almost 20 years, they have requested an update on my life, so here is my refresher course. For those of you who are current with me, I apologize, but catching up with old friends and taking an inventory of my life has been a neat experience for me!!

We moved to Oregon 18 years ago at the death of my mother. It is hard to believe that we have been here that long. During that time, my kids grew up. Some have married and had kids, some are in school, some have fulfilled (or are about to fulfill) missions and currently they are all close by and I am very thankful for that! Reed and I own our own business. Some years are good, some are hard, but we always manage to continue on and we are doing great! We love living here on our farm. I love the peace and beauty of being away from town! We have had many church responsibilities. Reed has continued to serve in High Councils, Bishoprics and the Young Men's organization. We had the unique blessing of him serving as a Bishop of a student ward here in our area. We loved it and have a whole family of kids that are very near and dear to our hearts. Reed is currently the YM president in our ward. I have served as Ward and Stake Camp director, YW 's counselor and seminary. I taught seminary for 7 years and was the Stake Supervisor for 4 more years. I am currently the 1st counselor in YW. I love the youth and I hope I stay here forever!! The only difference is now I tell the girls and the other leaders that I am the "OLD LADY"!!

Our oldest, Jayme, is married and has an adorable little girl who is 7 months old. They currently live here in town by us. We love having them so close. They are trying to figure out the next steps in their lives. Whether is be work, school, a move, we don't know, but we are enjoying them while they are here!!

Jessica is currently finishing her 1st year of a 2 year Masters of Social Work. She graduated form BYU with a degree in psychology, then worked in her field in Provo for a few years. We love having her close by where we can see her. She is currently looking forward to her summer break before she starts up on her last year in the fall. From there, who knows!

Jackie, married with 2 children, lives in the Portland area. Her husband is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering. They have a few years left on his program, so they will be close by at least until then. She has 2 boys, one who is about to turn 5, the other about to turn 2. She is expecting her 3rd and we are so excited for them, if she could just get over this sickness thing!

Josh, our youngest, is about to head out on a mission. He will be serving in the Oklahoma, Tulsa mission. We are all so excited for him. He had 1 year at BYU and plans to return there after his mission.

As the name implies, we are a Managerie! But we are very happy and feel so blessed especially by all those who have come to mean so much and had such a huge impact in our lives. We love you all!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Very Special Mother's Day

The best gift of all for Mother's Day came on Saturday for me this year. I had all my children (except for Norma - we missed you honey!) in the temple to share with Josh receiving his endowment prior to his mission. It was such a wonderful day to all be together. We celebrated by going out for lunch afterwards and we were joined by my grand kids. What a special day, one that will probably not be repeated too often. How grateful I am for children who are obedient and love the Lord and are willing to live by His precepts. I couldn't ask for a better gift for Mother's Day!!

Spring Cleaning (with Crutches)

Just like everyone else, the Spring Cleaning bug has bitten me. However, I am at a disadvantage, since I am still on crutches. So, while Reed and Josh were off on the field seminar adventure, Megan came to stay with me and help out the crip! We decided to go through all my drawers and my closet, get rid of things that I no longer wear, fit or Megan deemed "too old ladyish". (Hey, that is either a compliment, or else she is trying to tell me to dress younger than I am!!)
I think Megan had an ulterior motive - she calls it shopping in my closet. There were a few things that she was desparately trying to get me to get rid of just so she could take them. Very clever girl!
The best was her "arrangment" of my shoes. Since I will not be wearing the left shoe for another couple of months, she lined up the shoes I wear the most - right shoes only. The left ones are thrown in the back of the closet for the day when I will be able to get back there to retrieve them AND wear them!!

This the "get rid of" pile!!!

This is the finished closet!

Right shoes only please!!

Thanks Megan!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thru the Eyes of a Child

Sometimes in order to "think outside of the box" you have to know what it is like INSIDE the box!!Do you remember doing this as a kid?

"Grandma can I use your crutches?"

"Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy!"

"Make new friends. . . "

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's a Jungle Out There

Note: The following post must be read with a strong Australian accent!!

It was sunny and warm. Just right for an adventure - a real hunting expedition!
We started out on our trek. We made sure we were armed. After all, you never know what you might encounter out there!

We looked high!

We even kept ourselves camouflaged!

Shhhhh! An actual sighting!

Whoa! That's scary! Those are real live tree lizards! And they move!

Wait, what's that? It's another sighting! Who are these dangerous creatures?

Wow! What a fun adventure! You never know what you will find out here on the farm! We'll be back with another fun adventure cuz "It's A Jungle Out There"!!