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.

...physically and mentally!