Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Back

I have found myself going over the last year in my mind and evaluating what has occurred in my life. There have been many changes and adjustments, but lots of learning, growing and understanding along the way. Last November when we learned of Mom's cancer, I had nightmares about what might be coming. Every time mom and dad said "We're OK with this" I would think, "You have no idea what 'this' is"! I knew they would handle it in the eternal sense, but the physical was scary to me. It was easy to quit working and just be available for them, but I didn't anticipate the notion that I wouldn't be able to stay away from their house. Not because they needed me, but because I needed to be there. I don't think I ever really thought about what was happening, it just happened and I just did what ever needed to be done. I didn't realize until later what a blessing that was. The being needed and busy and close all made saying goodbye so much easier. I feel selfish, in a way, because I was there so much. I know all of you would have loved to do that very thing. Watching Dallin say goodbye to Mom in the hospital before he left on his mission was harder than watching Mom die. I knew they wouldn't meet again in this life, but they both promised to hang on for 2 years until Dallin got home. It was heart-breaking to see them both register the unlikely chance that that would happen and cry together without talking about it. She was his biggest fan in everything he did, and he loved her intensely. I weep as I write these things, not from sadness, but from recalling the emotions in the room. After Mom's passing, Dad became like a helpless little child and needed so much to not be alone. I asked him what I could do to help. He doesn't know and neither do I. I knew what to do for Mom: prepare meds, rub her feet, do her hair, get her things, but Dad, his affliction is so internal. I just go and when I need to leave, I have to close my eyes and ears to his subtle pleas for me to stay. Last week, I was particularly emotional about "things" and I realized that amid all of this, I ceased to be a daughter. I think that is my loss. I have stepped into a care-giver role and no longer get to be the child. I thought I had done that when I moved away from home, but it is not a physical separation. Although she is not here, I still feel her, but she took her "mothering" with her. I miss that. I hope this doesn't make everyone cry. That is not my intention, but, it was good for me to understand what had changed in me. I hope and pray for a calm, uneventful 2009, but I wouldn't want to have missed any of 2008.

Monday, December 29, 2008


I don't think so, but this has been an eventful week and I don't want to leave anything out. Friday we went to Miami and spent the day with the Gordon's. It snowed on us while we were driving and snowed most of the day. It was a fun change of environment. We stayed inside most of the time. Of course the kids are not included in that "we". They were out driving grandpa's golf cart all over.

The teenage girls amused themselves with "synchronized sitting". Very funny. Marisa fixed tacos for all of us and we ate everything. Grandma mongrammed fleece blankets for all the grandkids. They love them.

We took a scenic route out of Miami and got this beautiful sunset.
The boys were laughing and joking about everything. Here Duane, Darrin, Riley, and Robert hang out after lunch.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Saturday was my grandmother's 100th birthday! She wanted to have balloons and Dairy Queen ice cream. She got them. So many friends and family stopped by. Grandma had a great time. Here are just a few of the many kodak moments.

Uncle's Fred and Mel Curtis (grandma's brothers)
Grandma, Aunt Beverly and Cherie saying good-bye.
Grandma with Dylan, her oldest great, great grandchild.
Grandma talking to Jordan through Alayne.

Nona and Rachel in the kithcen. Lasagne anyone?

Friday, December 26, 2008

More Christmas!

I have to share the rest of Christmas because it includes a phone call from DALLIN! It was sooo great to talk to him again. And to hear him say "I love you so much"! Wow. It was hard to hang up when the time was up. favorite gift of the day....Darrin gave me a 20 year anniversary ring. I had a ten year ring already (on top) and now a 20 (on bottom). Love it.

We are off to Miami today to visit with Darrin's family. His Dad is steadily going down hill. He is still aware and happy, but can't communicate well and struggles to get around. He is such a sweet man. Rainy and cold here this week. We weren't dreaming of a wet Christmas, but we got one anyway. Oh well, we need the moisture. Jesse was pretty sick yesterday. He has had a nasty cough. He seems a little better today. Poor kid. No one should be sick on Christmas. Tomorrow my grandmother turns 100! Crazy! Alice is hanging up decorations and balloons. She is so great!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Brady Bunch!

You may not know it, but we have our very own Alice now. No, not that one.
Alice Conley. She is Grandma Carpenter's "Elder Elf". That is what she calls herself. She is not a nurse or a housekeeper. She is just a helpful friend. Grandma really enjoys It was a rocky start, but Alice danced her way into Grandma's heart and apartment. She is so perfect. She speaks fluent ASL and interpreted when Curtis came to visit her. She is blowing up 100 balloons for her birthday, she reads scriptures to her, helps her organize things and reminds her how blessed she is. She even fixes lunch! Maybe she will come to my house too.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Just Because

I wanted to share these pictures just because... Just before Thanksgiving, a paint truck pulled out in front of Darrin on the highway and spilled a 5 gallon bucket of paint on the road. Well, Darrin missed the bucket, the paint...everywhere. He got the license plate number and found out who it was and called him. I went and got an estimate from the body shop here. $2,700!!!!! I couldn't believe it. He said it would have to be buffed and repainted, tires replaced, chrome replaced, underbody steam cleaned and sealed, etc. Wow. So the other guys insurance came and inspected it and sent us a check for $1,500. I don't know what we will do, yet. Other news. I found this picture of Sarah on my computer. I have no idea where it came from, but I love it so I am sharing. We went to the EAC basketball tournament last night. Darrin's neice, Raime, was playing for Miami. Guess who they were playing. That is right..Safford. Talk about a weird experience. I really tried to cheer for Raime, but I found myself rooting for Emily's old team. It is all the same girls minus her. WEIRD!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

SHOPPING!........and chickens.

I had a fabulous weekend with Emily and Jeannie at their house. I went with the intention of getting all of my Christmas shopping done, and.....I got everything I was looking for except one and it is on craigslist. I even stayed within my budget. So Great. It was fun to hang out with Em. We shopped and played and ate and lazed around. Of course we had to take a jumping picture. Notice the "TEXAS" sign in the background. That is for Dallin. I was an old women though cuz I couldn't stay awake past 9:00. Very foreign concept to college students. I'm glad to be home. My own bed is always better than anyone else's. No offense Shanna! Emily is done with finals on Monday and will come home after that. One more week of school for the other two. Wow has this year gone by fast. Funny, funny video. Google "dog house commercial" and watch it. Soooo hilarious. So, I only have 14 chickens now. We gave some to our friend that let us use his back hoe to dig the deadman for the zipline. They are looking much more like hens instead of chicks. Check it out.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Sarah made this at YW this week. She did a great job. It didn't last very long after she brought it home. Note to future GBH makers...don't put M&M's on it. It is or was the only Christmas decoration in our house so far. We are not very motivated to put anything up. Our neighbor goes all out at Christmas and puts all kinds of lights and objects in here yard. She keeps asking us when we are going to put ours up. Next tuesday and 2:00 I guess. he he Oh so glad it is friday! Got a great email from Dallin yesterday. He is a district leader and had his first meeting. He is so funny. He was all excited that he did it right. He said he even answered a question. No baptisms yet, but he is working hard and loving it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Chickens, AGAIN?!

I know you have all been anxiously waiting for an update on my chickens. They are out of my house and into theirs. They seem to have doubled in size as well and they like bare toes!? the wait is on until they start laying eggs in months. Just so you don't worry, 10 of them are going to a friend that wants chickens, not chicks. 15 is still a LOT of chickens to me. I know Cara and Alan have 40, but they live on a farm. I can't tell them apart anymore so I guess they will all have the same name. I don't know what that is yet. Time will tell. Nugget seems to be a favorite around here. Kind of morbid
huh. Oh well, such is life. Right?!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Full, Busy, Happy!

Thanksgiving was great. Lots of food, family, football, and fun. Here are some pics from this week.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Here are the pics as promised

I am currently trying to get the crib set up in the office room. Any of you who have an opinion as to the crib, sound off. With these new accomodations, 9 guests can stay at Dad's house. Isn't that great. It feels very inviting now, so you are invited! Thanksgiving will be cozy. It will be really good for Dad to have so many of you around him 24/7, well ok, 24/3? Anyway, he has been more emotional this week as we have gone through things. Too many memories. He has been walking with me every morning for about 2 weeks now and seems to be a little more energetic. He still walks VERY slow at Walmart. Odd.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Come Back Tomorrow!

This week has been very busy at Dad's house. We completly redid three rooms. The master bedroom and the other 2 bedrooms. It is nice to have them done. I just need to get a crib mattress and a valance and I am totally done! Pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This is Amelia (as in Earhart) She thinks that she is a parrot. She loves to fly up on my shoulder and sit. She usually tries to eat my earring. She has a distinctive feather so I actually can tell her apart from the others. The birds are 4 weeks old today. One more week and they can go outside to their brand new coop. (not quite finished yet) Yipee! They are moving the day before Thanksgiving. I can't wait.


Monday, November 17, 2008


The flu hit our household this week and shut us down. I had it first then Jesse, and then Darrin and Sarah. Emily even got it and she hasn't been here in three weeks. Happily we are all well and back on schedule. I am so glad that Dad got a flu shot a few weeks ago. We have stayed away just in case, but I was still worried about it. Hard to believe but Dallin is rounding the corner to his 1 year mark. It seems like yesterday. He is doing well and loving every minute. He will also turn 20 in January. MY BABY WILL BE 20! Boy do I feel old. Oh, well. It is inevitable.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


My chicks are 3 weeks old and are they ugly. They are getting so big that we need a bigger brooder. Yikes. Crazy week. Darrin was in LA presenting at a conference and took his computer, so no internet for me. We finished painting Dad's new bedroom and the carpet was installed on Tues. morn. Now we just have to get up the energy to move all the furniture. His new room will be beautiful. The other two rooms will both be guest rooms with multiple beds in them. Yes we are eliminating the office and painting over the sponge decorating. (sorry Amanda) The desk is going and all the files too. We are adding a crib to one of the rooms to encourage visitation. Grandpa is lonely and loves company. He has been waking with me every morning and is working on his speed and endurance. Yesterday we went 4 miles in an hour. He has a different pace at Walmart. Snail pace would be an appropriate name. The zip line is finished and has been ridden. A LOT. Jesse is fearless and even got on it with no one else around. We quickly made that a rule. No riding alone! I even rode it. Yehaw! Addie and Kim came out to my house to see the chicks. Addie loved the trampoline instead. She is a doll. Can't wait to see everyone at Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Which came first....THE CHICKEN!

WOW was I preaching yesterday or what. Don't know what came over me. So here we are...Election Day, 2008. Yikes! That is the end of my political ranting. chicks have grown again. The coop is all painted and just waiting for the nest boxes to be installed., ie, Darrin to have time to do it. (it is the red box on my porch) My chicken "pasture" is sluggish right now. I think it needs cooler weather. They are Austrian Field Peas and they grow in cool weather. They are a green crop legume. For those of you who don't know those terms, they are to be plowed under to enrich the soil for future plantings. The chickens will scratch around in it and look for bugs and such and leave their nitrogen rich droppings behind. Then next year we will plant corn! Boy do I sound like a back country hick. Funny story...when Blake and Michael (my nephews from Mesa) were here last to work on the zip line, I was talking about our steer and calf that we had just sold at auction. Blake says "Whoa, what is a steer? So, we had Cattle 101 on the spot. It was funny to watch his reaction to my explanation. Needless to say, he was a little shocked at the procedure that makes a calf into a steer. Nuf said. Dallin's last letter was way encouraging. He has lots of people to teach and seem to be on his way to a baptism. It would be his first. I forwarded it to everyone, but if you didn't get it, let me know. Thanksgiving is all planned and food assigned. Those who are able to come this weekend for Mom's 80th birthday are redecorating the master bedroom in Dad's house. Out with the old and in with the new. The carpet goes first. It is 50+ years old. Yuck. New paint, bed, linens, etc. Then we will fix up the big bedroom that Dad is in now. Bigger guest bed and trundle in there for family visits. Then the office. ??????? Don't know yet. Dad has to decide. Side note. I went through all his open files a few months ago and sent everyone a letter stating that Dad was closing down his practice for good and to come and get their files. There were a few that had not paid significant bills. I gave them a lecture on taking advantage of Dad and they are all paying up. Mom and Dad were way to nice to the ones who stiffed them. So, in steps the ruthless daughter. Can you just see it. Ta Ta

...physically and mentally!