Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Flashback...Toilet papering

When I was a kid, quite frequently for entertainment, we would go and toilet paper somebodies yard.  I know that kids also do this now days, but I don't see it as often as waaaay back when I was a youth. 

As a kid, we didn't have a computer to spend countless hours on, and half the time the T.V. wasn't working.  When it was working, we only got 4 channels--one being PBS which can be a real snoozer to a older kid.  We didn't have video games or electronic gadgets.  It seems like some of our weekend late night entertainment consisted of---

1. Toilet papering
2. Prank phone calls (You could get away with it back then because caller I.D. did not exist.) 

I don't think my kids would know what to do if they had to "create" some entertainment.  Everything is just so "in your face" now days.  I might add that the prank phone calls were completely innocent, lame, and not in the least bit funny.  Although we thought we were completely hilarious.

Back in the day, our house was frequently targeted when it came to getting "toilet papered".  My guess for being targeted---we lived in the country (not a lot of cars driving by), we didn't have a dog, lots of teenage girls lived in the house, and our yard had TONS of trees.  One weekend a kid toilet papered our house and it seriously looked like it snowed.  He used several cases of toilet paper--totalling about 112 rolls.  My dad was not exactly happy with the mass amount of toilet paper that was cascading down from all the trees, although it was kind of pretty.  I wish we had taken a picture of it.  I think my dad got stuck cleaning up most of the mess.  Now, we know that it should have been Monica out there doing the T.P. collecting.

One particular night, I was coming home late when I happened to stumble on several girls toilet papering our house.  At the time, I must have been a Freshman or Sophomore in High School and had several cute younger brothers.  I guess that is a way to show someone you like destroying their house/yard.  You don't get the fact that it is completely annoying, until you have a house and yard of your own.  When they saw me pulling in the driveway, they scattered and I went in the house.  I went and woke up my dad and told him that someone was out toilet papering the yard.

My dad and I decided to sneak out the back door and hide and wait for them to come back.  We figured they would return, because they hadn't gotten very far in their "toilet papering job", and I just unexpectedly showed up and put the kibosh on all their fun.  It was kind of exciting waiting for them to return.  It was like playing a game of hide and go seek.  You know the feeling when you are waiting for something and you just almost can't keep from giggling with excitement.  I still remember crouching down next to my dad, on the side of the house.  We were whispering and trying not to break out in laughter.  It was a great little "hiding place" because of all the trees.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, they returned to finish what they had started.  We let them get comfortable and then we jumped out of our hiding place.  They all started to scream and run.  I got a harebrained idea to chase after them, and the chase began!  We all took off down the road.  I was running fast enough that I caught up and was running along side the pack of them.  At that point, they thought that I was one of them.  They jumped in the "get away car" and were screaming at me to get I did.  They started to drive off and then realized that I was technically not supposed to be there.  The expressions on their faces was priceless.  They were nice enough to stop and let me out and not force me to jump. 

My family still laughs about the time that I jumped in and rode off with the toilet paper hooligans. 
I am posting this picture to give you an idea of my age at the time.  I realize that this is a hideous picture filled with ugly hair and lots of make up.  Don't judge.

And my dad may have looked something like this...
Another scare ball picture of me with what looks like "triangle hair".

**Some other time I will have to post another funny toilet papering experience and dedicate it to my good friend Camille.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

28 years ago today...

I am thinking of my brother Brian, who was killed in a snowmobile accident 28 years ago today.  I was reminiscing about past times with him, while I undecorated the Christmas tree today.  I was taken back to Christmas Eve 1982.  I remember laying on Brian's bed listening to his Chicago Album.  He loved that album and had comments for each song.  Brian played the trumpet, so he really liked the "Chicago" sound. Needless to say, that music with always remind me of him.  A couple of years ago I went to a Peter Cetera concert and just about bawled during several of the songs.

That Christmas Eve night in 1982, Monica, Brian, and I were laying on his bed listening to "Love Me Tomorrow".  He insisted that we listen to it in the dark.  His bedroom had no windows and so the room was pitch black.  I think he wanted us to listen to it without any distractions.  He always had the music completely cranked up, so that we wouldn't miss anything.  Click here for song

This year however, Brian and my dad have both been on my mind.  I'm sure that they were incredibly happy to be together for Christmas this year.

This picture was taken just a couple of days before Brian was killed.  It was the last family picture with him in it.  Brian is in the middle row---yellow shirt with the blue jacket.  To read an older post about Brian click here...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tis the Season

Whew, what a busy last couple of weeks I have had around here!  I am just now feeling like I can take a breath!  Awhile back the church was offering tickets to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert with special guests--singer David Archuleta and actor Michael York.  They were giving tickets away (lottery style) and I was lucky enough to receive 4 tickets.  So, John and I went with Riley and Brynn.  My sister Monica was sweet enough to take Jace and Haley.  It was an ULTRA QUICK trip to Salt Lake City and back.  We went down on Saturday the 18th and came home the next day.  It was a fun, quick trip with just the "big kids".  The roads on the way down were so scary that I felt like I was going to have a full blown anxiety attack.  Is anyone out there quite as bad as I am in the car with slick roads and fast traffic?  I KNOW that I was driving John crazy, but I just couldn't help it.  There were cars sliding off the road every where.  At one point the car in front of us went flying off the road.  Luckily they were not hurt, but that just about did me in. 

We spent our time in Utah going to the Church Museum, shopping, seeing the lights on Temple Square, eating out, swimming in the pool, and going to the concert.  Can I just say that the concert was AMAZING.  What a great way to start the Christmas season.
Visiting the Church Museum

Riley is posing like she is giving quite the sermon.

The size of the sleeping quarters for those that traveled to America by ship.
The picture above is of President Brigham Young.  I don't quite know how to explain it, but every time I see his picture, I feel like I know him.  I know that sounds completely crazy, but I feel some kind of a tie to him...almost like we are related.  You are thinking, wow, this lady is nuts!  I guess I will find out someday why I feel that way.  I do know that my great grandpa worked closely with him helping the saints cross the plains.  So, while visiting the museum I had to take a picture of him.

Love this saying!
Love this saying too!

The lights at Temple Square we just beautiful!

I can't believe how many people were at Temple Square going to view the Christus. 
What a great thing to see at Christmas time.

The choir, dancers, orchestra, bells, etc were AMAZING!

President Monson came to the concert and when they announced that he was there, people gasped and stood up quietly while he walked in and sat down.  I labeled the picture where he sat.

My girls had LOTS of energy.  I thought the trip would be quiet and peaceful without Jace and Haley.  I guess I forgot to figure in all the energy these two girls have.  They were like the energizer bunnies!
We made sugar cookies on Christmas Eve day to leave out for Santa.  I think that Haley had more flour on her dress then on the cupboard.
We spent Christmas Eve night at my mom's house.  We sang songs, and acted out the Nativity.  Due to the number of grandchildren we had SEVERAL angels, shepherds, and other participants.  It was a bit loud and hectic at times, but what can you expect with that many kids!  They all seemed to have a great time.
My sister Monica sat in dad's place and read Luke 2 to us. 
Santa took time out of his busy schedule to pay us a visit.  Most the kids were VERY excited to see him.  Some of the little ones were a little frightened.  I was so busy taking pictures that I didn't take the time to sit on his lap this year.  He was good to me anyway on Christmas day.
Riley and some of her cousins were coming up with some crazy things to ask Santa for. 
Funny girl! 

We had a program that night and Riley played the piano.  She didn't really want to, but her mean mom made her.  Brynn played a violin song and Jace sang along with her.  I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it because I was helping Jace sing.  He was a bit nervous to do it alone.
Stan read one of the Christmas stories that dad usually read.  It was/is a tradition.
My sister Lori and her husband sent Christmas cards with bracelets for EVERY family member.  So there are 50+ people walking around with these bands on.  I loved the idea.  There was a scripture included with the bands....
Helamen 5: 6-7
6--Behold, my sons, I desire that ye should remember to keep the commandments of God; and I would that ye should declare unto the people these words. Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good.
7--Therefore, my sons, I would that ye should do that which is good, that it may be said of you, and also written, even as it has been said and written of them.
It was a very different Christmas without my dad.  We still carried on all of the traditions, but it just wasn't quite the same without him here.  We sure miss him.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas From Heaven

Merry Christmas From Heaven

I still hear the songs.
I still see the lights.
I still feel your love,
on cold wintry nights.
I still share your hopes,
and all of your cares.
I'll even remind you
to please say your prayers.
I just want to tell you
you still make me proud.
You stand head and shoulders
above all the crowd.
Keep trying each moment
to say His grace.
I came here before you
to help set the place.
You don't have to be
perfect all of the time.
He forgives you the slip
if you continue the climb.
To my family and friends,
please be thankful today.
I'm still close beside you
in a new special way.
I love you all dearly,
now don't shed a tear,
'cause I'm spending my
Christmas with Jesus this year.
My sisters friend gave her this poem with an angel Christmas ornament.  I just love it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Busy Week

It seems like I have had a busy week....and all of this on top of trying to get ready for Christmas.  For some reason, I just feel a little behind this year...mostly just in the shopping.  It is so hard to make sure that my kids get at least a few things they want (especially the older they get), and to also make sure that one kid doesn't get a lot more then the others. 

It certainly is feeling like a different Christmas season to me--without my dad.  I cannot say enough how much he loved Christmas.  He sure knew how to get into the spirit of giving at Christmas time.  MAN COULD HE SHOP!  He liked to buzz from store to store picking things out.  He loved to buy clothes for my mom.  He loved the color red, so he would pick out red dresses, suits, shirts, etc for my mom.  He always seemed to enter a store and have something picked out in no time flat.  He wasn't so much into "shopping around" and he had no problem making a decision.  This trait has not been passed to all the members of the family however.  Some of my sisters crack me up when it is time to make a decision on something.  It can be shear comedy watching them mull over a purchase (which is more a trait from my mom).

Riley and Brynn both had concerts this week that we attended. Brynn had her orchestra concert Wednesday night. She is playing the violin (this is her 2nd year).  
I was sitting in the very back of the auditorium, so I put on my large camera lens to take this picture. It looks like she is looking right at me.
Riley's concert was a choir concert and it took place on Thursday night in the same auditorium. Riley and two of her friends tried out for a special musical number and were chosen to perform it. I was very nervous for her. I know that she was nervous and wanted to do a good job. It is a lot of pressure when you are singing in a full auditorium. Their little trio sounded great!

My sweet little mom accompanied them on the piano.

After the concert we rushed over to my sister Lynette's house to watch her son open his mission call.  He was called to serve in England.  There were a lot of people both there and on the many different cell phones to hear him read his call.  What an exciting night!!  It is so much fun to watch a missionary open the call!  Congrats Austin!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Phone calls from my Dad---Christmas Caroling

A couple of weeks ago I turned the big 3-9.  39 years old, wow!  When my mom called to wish me a Happy Birthday, she told me that life begins at 40.  So, I guess I have something to look forward to next year.  My mom is always happy to turn another year older.  Her older sister Shanna was killed in a airplane accident, along with her husband, when they were in their early 30's.  The had 3 beautiful girls that they left behind.  Since then, my mom thinks that every birthday is just a blessing.  I guess it is a good way to look at it.  My sister Heather just recently found a homemade card at my parents house that I had made for my dad when he turned 38.  It was fun to see the card and what I had written to him.  I must have been around 7 or 8 years old.

The evening of my birthday, I received many phone calls from my brothers and sisters.  While I was talking on my home phone, my cell phone was ringing.  I happened to miss a call from my brother Kevin.  When I went to see who called, the cell phone was showing that I had 2 new messages.  The first message was from my dad.  For some strange reason an old message on my phone had come through as a new message.  The call took place when my dad was in the hospital.  He said many things, and that he was wondering what was happening at home.  The next message was the new message from Kevin.  I had to call my mom and tell her that dad had called me from heaven to wish me a Happy Birthday.  I cannot figure out how that old message got put in with the new message, but it was a nice surprise.
Last night we had our annual Christmas caroling hay ride. We have been doing this for many many years.  My dad has almost always been the driver of the hay ride.  Last year he insisted on driving, even though it was a very cold night and he wasn't feeling all that well.  I thought a lot about him last night. 

It was a good night to do carol because it was warm and the roads were dry. We met at my sister Lynette's house. We had a good time visiting and eating dessert before we headed out to carol.  The kids were full of energy and we all had a great time.

After caroling we came home and went to bed.  During the night I had a dream about my dad.  I dreamt that I was standing in the kitchen and the phone rang.  It was my dad on the phone calling me from heaven.  As dreams are--half the time you can't remember all the details when you wake up.  But, I do remember that he sounded very happy.  In the dream he said to me 2 different times how wonderful the funeral was.  He also said to me 3 different times in the dream, how he couldn't believe how great his legs felt.  I called my mom this morning to tell her about my dream.  She teased me that it wasn't fair that he called me and not her.  I told her that he would probably be calling to talk to her soon.