Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Rager

I'm flying out to Texas in the morning. Dorothy passed away on Monday and it's okay. Actually, it's better than okay, it's good. Of course, she will be missed and thought of, and hopefully, through lots of stories, my children and my children's children will come to know and love this lady like I do. She's irresistible.

As I mentioned before, she loved flowers, plants, anything alive...animals (in fact, she was nicknamed "Dogorthy Cherdogsky"--yes, it's true) name it. So, my lovely sister, Adrienne, will be singing "Consider the Lilies" at her funeral. I've listened to the song all week. My kiddies keep saying, "Why are we listening to this? It's not even Sunday." I know my dears, but it's so beautiful and it reminds me of her.

So, in her honor, I had to post this first picture of the two of us in Italy. She took me there right before I was married. I love this speaks volumes. First of all, I'd like for you to notice the massive 5,000 lb. bag I'm carrying. This was her "purse." Frankly, I have no idea what she carried in there (a small person could have possibly fit), all I saw was hot pink/red lipstick, kleenex, and a nail file come out. I never did figure out what was so heavy. But, she carried her "purse" everywhere. Also, take a close look at that hat she's wearing. I have many beautiful pictures of our trip to Italy, but I had to have this one on here. We were in Pompeii and it was so bright and hot that she insisted on getting some shade. The only thing she could find was an Italian vendor selling baseball caps with sports cars on the fronts. So she wouldn't miss too much of the tour (so like her), she quickly grabbed the red one to match her outfit...never mind that it had a hot red Ferrari on the front. I couldn't stop laughing. Even to this day, it makes me laugh.

The second picture is of Papa and Dorothy with Annie when we lived in Santa Barbara...very sweet and very like them.

In hearing me describe Dorothy, our dear friend Adam B. replied, "The party that awaits her on the other side...I bet it's a rager." Yes, a rager indeed.

Monday, October 19, 2009


October is such a delicious month, don't you think? It is full of my favorite sights, flavors, and smells. I love it for many reasons, but a couple of them in particular. My baby baby Erika lou-lou was born , nearly a year ago this month (sheesh, where does the time go?!) and her namesake was also born this month, only 93 years earlier...Dorothy Louise.

Dorothy is my grandmother, and I wrote about my last visit with her down in Texas last December. I love Dorothy...everyone does that knows her. She is THE poster girl for a positive attitude and a par-ty animal. She's like a lightbulb that can brighten even the dullest of days with her twinkly eyes and smiley, dimpled, wrinkled cheeks. I had the incredibly good fortune of living in the same town (a rather large one) as my grandparents, Papa and Dorothy. Papa and Dorothy have always been such a huge part of my life...and all of their grandchildren's. It's evident in the fact that almost all of her grandchildren flew in from the four corners of the earth to celebrate her 94th birthday.

She can't sing "Once der was a pretty little girl and her name was a Alecus Rumsey," take care of all the flowers and plants in her yard and her neighbors', she can't volunteer at M.D. Andersen Hospital like she did for about 40 years, she can't play bridge, speed, or dominoes and beat her daughters and grandchildren like she always did, she can't travel like she always loved, she can't tell you a story about her growing up days in Luling, TX or West Columbia, TX, she can't cook her famous chocolate pie that still lives on in all of our Thanksgivings...but, she can still sing the University of Texas fight song, "The Eyes of Texas."

I'm sorry this post is a little disjointed. It's after 11 p.m. and my brain is short-circuiting. Two weekends ago, we all flew to Houston, Texas to see my grandma, Dorothy. She had a stroke about a month ago, so she can't talk anymore, she only mumbles and sings the UT fight song (totally cracked us up--she's a UT alumni and has always been a fan). It just about tore all of our hearts up to see her in a nursing home, in hospice. She would try to communicate, but it only came out in mumbles. Several times, she would just stop mid-mumble, look and smile at us, and then just wink. She knew we couldn't understand her mumbo-jumbo, but we could understand her smile.

I'll never forget that weekend. My children will never forget that weekend. Our hearts were full of happiness and love for this dear woman who has been a ray of sunshine in all of our lives. I think about her everyday. If she were more alert I would tell her this story and she would laugh(I'll tell you instead). Today, my Joseph kept getting into my Costco-size Nestle chocolate chip bag. I kept telling him, "Joseph, get outta that bag!" Finally, in a last-ditch effort for one more handful, he exclaimed, "But Mom, little boys LOVE chocolate chips!"

Love you Dorothy. Hope you had a very Happy Birthyday!
(And a huge thank you to my dynamo sister-in-law, Natalie, for scanning that second picture for me, as she was two days away from moving...thank you Nat. loves to you)

Saturday, October 3, 2009


From the very beginning of our marriage, Adam and I have referred to Thursday evening as "Christmas eve"...we like Fridays just that much. We cherish our weekends; however, usually we have back to back most of you I suspect. I love empty calendar weekends. The kind that you can do whatever whenever--blissful.

Even though this weekend wasn't empty, it is still one of my favorites. It's conference weekend! We've got the cinnamon rolls ready to be baked in the morning, so we can all sit, take notes, and be every way. I look forward to this for a good six months.
This week, by chance, Adam and I came upon some good parenting tips from a lecture we watched on BYU TV. They were so good that I thought I'd share. Maybe it could help?
(They now have a permanent place on my bedside they can sink in better).

So, the speaker talked about how important it is to balance rules/consequences and nurturing in our families. We need a healthy balance of both. As most of us have a good rule system in our homes, it is important to know how to nurture our children. He gave 4 suggestions to better-nurturing:

1) Give your children words of affirmation, appreciation, and approval. Tell them, regularly, what a good job they did on xyz. For example, even if you've told them a million times to empty the trash, just take their hand and escort them to finally emptying the trash. When they do (even though you practically did it yourself), say, "Good job! Thanks for emptying the trash!"

2) Create a positive environment in your home at these 3 critical times in the day, the crossroad times: in the morning, when they get home from school, and when they go to bed. Instead of a "Get up!" in the morning, replace it with "Good Morning!"

3) Spend time together as a family

4) Give your children physical contact. It's so important...especially at those 3 times. Hug, kiss, pat them on the back. They did a study that waitresses who had even the slightest contact with customers were given more in tips. We all need a good hug!

So, that's it. Simple. Sweet. Helpful (at least for me).

Today, I found a cute little Jack-in-the-Box toy at the thrift store. Instead of a 'Jack' it's a bunny rabbit inside. Joseph, looking for the toy said, "Hey mom! Where's the 'Bunny-Get-Outta-There toy?" When I started giggling, he added, "I mean, the 'Bunny-Box' toy." I giggled even harder.