Thursday, May 10, 2012

And The Year Goes Marching On!

Well, April started out like March- with the passing of another family member.  My Uncle Roger Pugmire (married to my dad's sister Janene) passed away after battling with ALS (or Lou Gherig;s Syndrome).  My Aunt said he was very peaceful at the end and ready to go.  He was such a kind, fun and generous man. He was involved in keeping history alive down in the Bear Lake valley. He and Aunt Janene worked for and built up much of the Oregon Trail Museum. They were in a square dancers group for several years and they also served a five year mission at the Paris Tabernacle for the church.  I love my uncle very much.... he and Aunt Janene were one of the "safe" places of my childhood.  He will be missed greatly by our family.  

Top left photo is Uncle Roger... then Aunt Janene at the dinner following the services.  I also got some really nice pictures of my two sisters and me and Mom and Daddy.  Although it was a sad occasion, it was fun to see a lot of relatives I don't get to see much of. Even "met" one cousin I hadn't seen since we were just tiny children.   

Following the funeral for my Uncle, I spent a few days with Donnie and Katie and the boys.  We had such a fun time together!  Man those boys are growing way too fast!   I just love being with them and watching each of them with their individuality... It's such a wonder to me that I can be so close to each of them in unique ways that just fits.  
Arm wrestling, kite flying, playing at the park... all kinds of fun!  We laughed at the picture of Katie in her hoodie!  There's been a lot of conversation in the news about hoodies lately so we had to take that picture.  At one point (see bottom middle pic) Blake got so dizzy he about passed out!  Haedon was crazy fun, Carter busy being Carter (he he) and Nash just running from the swings to the slide to the jungle jim- all of us swinging and climbing and thoroughly relishing our time together. 

Took a trip over to Idaho Falls to see the O'Connors for a little while.  Again we had so much fun.  I can't believe what a joy and privilege it is to be Gramma to so many awesome children.  Eliza was her usual sweet self..even made me a paper cheetah which is her favorite big cat right now  (I will have to take a picture and edit it in later).  Evie ran around giggling and taking hundreds of pictures with Phoebe trying to help and Tommy kept loving on Gramma.  
Of  course we all had to take a picture on Gramma's lap.. first a nice one and then a funny face one.  Amanda at 9 months pregnant looked as beautiful as always. Busy momma with a house full of busy kids.  And this Gramma loves to see them all. 

Once again I got to have some quality River time.  I got her for a whole day and took her to see Mikey and Mailei and Maddy's music festival on the 18th.  She was adorable as always and just loved and loved on her Gramama.  

River has such a fun personality!  She tries so hard to "talk" and just laughs and smiles so much.  She has this thing she does when she accomplishes something, where if someone says "VICTORY!"- she will raise her arms and hands up with a huge smile. She is still a momma's girl, but she loves her daddy so much.  I think one of  the most tender things I've seen is her sweet smile of adoration when her daddy gets out his ukulele and sings to her.  Between her mom and dad's personalities, this little girl will be something pretty awesome!

The music festival for the Pocatello Charter school on the 18th was amazing!  I am so thrilled I got to see it this year!  Each grade or crew performed a theme song or two around Native American history and the choirs that Heather accompanies performed.  They started out by coming in and surrounding a section of the auditorium and singing a beautiful hallelujah acapella  song... it was so cute- River was singing right along with them (and quite loudly too!).   
The choirs were really really good.  It was very emotional for me to see the love of music carrying on down through some of my grandchildren.  And I have to say I was more than a little proud of my daughter Heather too.  She was acknowledged with appreciation and flowers at the end of the program- I'm so glad she stuck with her piano all these years.  She plays so beautifully and another fun thing was seeing how well loved she is by the other kids at school... I remember loving to be around my children's friends and peers as they were growing up.  I think it is really good for parents' relationship with their children to be involved at school, church and to know who their friends and peers are. 

After the festival we met Brady and Jade for pizza.  River was pretty happy to see her mom and dad. The other kids were happy to see them too!  Uncle Brady and Aunt Jade and River are pretty popular in our family with all the kids.  

Last but not least- he he he- I just had to post a picture of Haedon and Gramma sharing a moment of craziness!  I saw this cartoon that said, "When I'm old I don't want people saying "what a sweet, little old lady" - I want them to say - "Oh crap! What is she up to now?"   Yup, that's how I roll... this way no one will ever know if I'm crazy by choice or by happenstance....

 Gonna close for now... Mother's Day is coming up this weekend so I'm hoping to have some fun things to post next week.  Posted with love and gratitude as always... counting my blessings and loving my family.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Another Month in the Life of....

It has been another eventful time... some trials and many blessings.... some fun and some sober times.  
My niece, Wendy, lost her husband Garth to cancer.  It was a quick breath taking time from the time he was diagnosed in November to his loss in March. He was just 48 years old and his loss devastated her and the family for her.  He was such a blessing to her at a time in her life that she needed to find stability and joy and know that she was thoroughly and unconditionally loved.  Her children, especially the youngest who has known no other dad, will miss him greatly and his children were nearly inconsolable. They were all raised in the gospel though, so they know that he lives on and will be there for them in spirit and to greet them at the end of their time here on earth.  

The week of March 19th through the 24th was very, very busy!  The Boise Philharmonic Orchestra and Master Chorale performed Brahms Requiem.  Monday, Tuesday & Thursday we had rehearsals; Friday evening, Saturday morning and Saturday evening we had concerts.  Friday evening was out here in Nampa at NNU; then we did a Saturday "casual" matinee partial performance in the morning at The Morrison Center followed by a full performance Sat. evening there.  This music is absolutely glorious! Most requiems are about funerals and death... kinda dark.  This requiem looks at death and the ones left to grieve. It was so very beautiful and moving. One solo is about a mother's feelings and assurances to her son that is grieving.  This music spoke to my heart as I imagined my grandmother reaching out to assure us from heaven.  It was probably the most challenging music I've ever participated in by far... and some of the most rewarding. I feel so blessed to be a part of this great choir.  

For spring break this year Mike, Heather and the kids came to visit.  Heather and Mike went on to Seattle for a little getaway and the kids stayed with Gramma and Grampa!  We had so much fun!  The kids were very good and they were especially good for Grampa and aware of his need to rest throughout the day.  Each time he would go to the bedroom to rest, they would all calm down and Molly would go in to "check" on him off and on.  Grampa was very touched by her concern.  
One of the activities we did was making pictures on our V-Teck art game that you hook up to the TV.  Mikey didn't try it-- it looked a little babyish to him, but the girls loved it.   We also have a whiteboard easel that they love to draw on and a huge stock of paper, crayons, markers, colored construction paper, glue, glitter... but we didn't get to the paint!  Oh well, I think the kids still had a blast!
 Fun at the park!  There was this spinning thingy that the kids just loved... as you can tell by their faces!  We had kinda gloomy weather, but the day we went to the park the rain cleared up and it warmed up just enough for us to have a fun, fun time!
We had a bubble day too!  It was super fun... Molly and Maddy really cracked me up wearing a couple of my jackets... they drowned them, but oh how they loved wearing them!
While the kids were here, it was interesting that Maddy just kept loving and loving on Scooter. Molly was afraid of him for a bit, but she finally warmed up enough to pet him too.  Of course Scooter LOVES it when kids come to visit!  The funny thing is he's getting old too!  He plays for a bit, then he has to take a break just like Grampa!  

 Of course it's not complete without some input from the other kids too!  So while the Barlows were here Gramma got picture messages from the Lindsay boys  (being crazy as always---can't wait to get crazy with them) and from River with her "flat" smile we all love so much and doing the army crawl!  
 I just had to include these pictures of the girls and gramma with our masking tape whiskers... we actually did this when I was down there for Garth's funeral... it was a moment of fun that lightened the purpose of this trip. It actually started with Molly... but we soon all joined in.  Except Mikey... he just watched us and laughed at us - but check out his "rock star" pose with the pink guitar!  he he he!
In closing- I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!  Hope everyone enjoyed conference (it was truly wonderful this year and very family oriented)-  
Here's a picture of River on her first Easter- looks like she's saying  "Hi Gramma!"  

 And here's a very happy, tired out Brooke Anne on Easter... with chocolate and yummy showing on her face... he he he.  

Will be posting again soon.... heading back to Blackfoot, Poky, IF this weekend...   posted with love and gratitude as always by a Gramma who loves her family and feels so blessed!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Help! It's March!! The Year Is Getting Away From Me!!

I had these great intentions of blogging for sure every other week... back in January!  WHOA!!  What happened?   Ummm- I guess life happens!   My sweet niece's husband passed away this week and I found myself pondering on the importance of living and loving every day, every moment with all my heart and giving more time to the things I love (family, church, home, friends, etc.) and less time lounging with books and puzzles... and even cut back on my computer (facebook) time.  I need to be the daughter, friend, wife, mom, gramma, sister, -  well you get it -   Heavenly Father knows I can and should be.

So- great intentions aside, I am finally back to my blog.  It has been a busy, interesting couple of months.  Instead of trying to post a lengthy articulation... I'll post some picture collages with a bit of explanation and description of each.  
River got to spend the night with us!  We had such fun and she was so so good. I was amazed that she slept nearly 10 1/2 hours through the night!  She has decided she loves her Grammama very much!  She was so cute with Grampa-she'd smile at him, jabber at him, then duck and hide in my shoulder.  I am looking forward to many more visits and overnight stays with my River girl!
We had a family get together at Heather's house and all the cousins had a blast!  
When Jim came to Pocatello to get me, we had a really good visit with his mom (Grandma Esther) and a couple of his kids and their families.  We get pretty crazy sometimes... this Gramma is as kookoo as her grandkids!
So-Mailei had this valentine that had this lip shaped chocolate.  After she ate the candy, well we had the plastic lip shape thingy and it was just too tempting not to play!  Maddy and I win! No-one else could keep it on their lips... Maddy struggled, but she got it!  
For the last couple of years Mikey and I celebrate his birthday when I can get there.. this year it was in Feb. (His birthday is Jan. 29th)- by going to Buddy's and then shopping for his present. We have so much fun as you can see... I really like the head on the table and the headless body...bwaahaahaa.... and he really likes his game!  We decided to try to make it a yearly tradition.

So this is how I spend my time... he he he!  Oh- and I spend my time at home taking care of Jim and
Scooter and Brooke and going to church and facebooking and reading... and life is pretty okay right now.
I love my family and my friends and my spouse and my dog and my church and through everything.. the 
good, the bad, the norm and the challenging... I know my Heavenly Father watches, loves, and cares.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wrapping Up 2011 With Family, Fun, And Tons Of Love!

So another year is over and the new one has just started.  As I look back over 2011 I am once again amazed and humbled by the many blessings in my life.  Jim and I definitely have our trials- mostly health issues- but we are abundantly blessed with the joy and love of our family.  We watch as our children are raising their children - living lives of integrity and decency and love.  Each of them with a partner in life that they adore and that gives them the love and support they deserve.  We watch as Brooke Anne continues to grow- how she is starting to "outgrow" some things and learning to appreciate new things.  Her world is ever expanding- and again, I am so grateful for the people that live and work with her. 

As the year drew to a close, as we celebrated the birth of our Savior, we were blessed again and again to be with and celebrate with much of the family.  

Our "first" celebration was of course, just Jim and I and Brooke Anne- as has been our Christmas every year-especially mine since her birth.  She was happy to be home once again, just hanging out with us.  For the first time she tried to say Scooter instead of Muffin (she has called him "Muff" because he looks so much like our little Muffin we had years ago).  She was not overly interested in opening gifts... she'd open one, then after a while open another. It has been this way with her since she was little. I think Jim was more excited to have her open the necklace and earrings he gave her than she was... although she proudly modeled them later on.  We just love her so much and I can't imagine my life without her. 

Next on our "holiday" agenda- Malaya's baptism.  Jim took a really bad turn with his pain and his back the day before we were to travel to Pocatello and Shelley. The doctor firmly restricted him from traveling, so I went alone as Jim desperately wanted at least one of us to be there for her.  It was very sweet.  We bought her a white dress and when she came out of the dressing room after being baptized I found myself in tears. She looked so sweet and beautiful.  Got to see a lot of that side of the family too- just didn't get enough pictures there... I think I was too busy visiting.   

After the baptism and luncheon at Josh and Tringle's, we had my side of the family holiday get together at Donnie and Katie's house.  Oh my goodness we had so much fun!  The girls loved their tutu skirts and fairy halos.. Mailei got a sequined hat... and the boys each loved their toys... Nash and Haedon especially loved their little flashlights.  I think the big kids liked theirs too.... Jim had picked out all the grown-up kids' gifts this year and it was fun watching them open them.  Donnie, Mike and Brady of course each got a knife and Heather, Katie and Jade got - what else?- jewelry!  We had this activity where we each told what we loved and appreciated about our parents... the kids were all so sweet and the grownups were very thoughtful and funny at the same time.  It was a wonderful moment of sharing that I will treasure always... and I think a new tradition for us each year.  I sometimes am overwhelmed at the depth of love and joy I share with my children.  I am truly, truly so very blessed.  

I took so many pictures it was hard to pick which ones to post. These family shots were really fun... I love the one of the grownups where Donnie is pulling a funny face (he thought we were doing a funny face pose I guess)-  The one with Gramma and the kids pulling faces looks to me like River is saying - What am I supposed to do here?  I think River managed to get in more pictures than anyone... everyone wanted to hold her and her mommy and daddy are never far away from her.   
The day after the party with the kids, Heather and her kids and I headed out to visit with Great Grandparents.  First we went to Grandma Esther's- the kids just love going there.  It was so sweet-Mikey just kept giving her hug after hug- and when we left he said, "I just felt like Grandma needed a lot of hugs today."  He is a sweet boy and very thoughtful of others.  (I hear Grandma Esther has been raving about Mikey's hugs to everyone she talks to!)   Then off to Granny & Grandpa Toomer's (or as Molly says- Granny and Grampa Tuner).    It was so good to see them.  I miss them all the time.  My mom is getting more and more forgetful and it's hard to see, but Daddy takes good care of her.  It is going to be really hard for him when he can't and some of us are afraid that time is coming sooner than he realizes. I don't know if she has ever truly realized just how much he cherishes her.  They were both very happy to see us all!  Grandpa kidded and teased the kids just as he did Heather and her siblings when they were growing up and Granny just kind of loved on everyone.  It was a good visit and I am really thankful that Heather and kids came with me.  It is hard to travel alone so much.  

While we were at Grandpa and Granny "Tuner's"- Molly had us each sit with her little ballerina bear so she could take a picture of us.  That's one of the things I really love about my family- we are not afraid to be silly and goofy and still know how to play.  We love each other deeply and no matter how many years or miles may separate us from each other, we are there in a heartbeat when there is a need.  

Finally - our last Christmas celebration was this past weekend.  Jon and Katrina came here with the kids so we could open gifts with each other.  Again, we had a blast!  These kids are so thoughtful... it has been such an honor to see them grow- especially Sam. He is now 13 and has become quite an awesome young man. Oh he still gets crazy and silly with Gramma, but he is a good, good boy.  I love all these kiddos so so much.  Trying to get pictures with everyone smiling or looking in the same direction was quite a conundrum!  Jacob cracked me up so much with his Paper Jamz guitar... he was born to rock that kid!  Tabitha was all princess in her tutu and had fun playing with some of Gramma's baby dolls...she was very gentle with them.  Aaron and Ben had tons of fun with their new toys too!  It was a great time for all of us and it really made Jim's holidays complete.  He was just beaming with love and happiness to have his kids come here to see him.  

All in all this was a fabulous holiday season for us! Jon and Katrina gave me a beautiful Children's Songbook that I have been longing for... made me cry of course.  Besides all these family times and blessings,  I got to sing the Messiah with Boise Master Chorale and Orchestra, participate in our ward Christmas program for Sacrament meeting on Christmas Day.... and it all means that much more since we know the purpose of this glorious time of year - to celebrate the birth of our Savior- to be reminded again of the gift of His life and all that it made possible for each of us.  

So- goodbye 2011 and welcome 2012!  Can't wait to see and experience all that the new year has in store for me and mine.   Whatever comes our way, we will all be in it together in love and joy and the knowledge that we have a loving Heavenly Father watching over each and every one of us.  

Posted by a humble, grateful Gramma. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

November 2011 - Here and Gone So Fast! Sheesh!

So November was an exciting, busy month this year.  We started it out with Carter's baptism on the 5th.  There is no joy like watching your grandchildren grow and blossom... watching them learn and display the integrity and character that will carry them into adulthood.   
After Carter was baptized we all went and watched him play basketball, then back to share lunch and celebrate this awesome little man.  He is so full of zest for life!  He has such a funny personality and yet has depth beyond his years.  He is also a little artist- always drawing.  It was a wonderful weekend for this gramma! 
During that trip to SE Idaho, I got to see other grandkids... Heather's family; Jonathon's; Justin's, and Brady's.  I'm trying to make my trips so that I take turns seeing the kids - I haven't done very good at that in the past and I hate to think I may have hurt any feelings.... so look out kids when Gramma comes "whirling" through!

On the 18th & 20th the Boise Philharmonic Choir and Boise Baroque Orchestra put on a Mozart/Back concert.  It was some of the hardest music I've ever sung, yet some of the most beautiful too!  It was exhausting, yet totally filled my soul.  I love classical music so much... the beauty of it is so inspired and just fills the heart and soul.  

Then for Thanksgiving, Donnie & Katie came here for the weekend and Brooke was here for a few days.  We had lots of fun and got to celebrate Blake's birthday a little early.   We went to Red Robin (his choice) to eat.  While we were sitting he noticed some of the RR staff singing to another birthday patron and he looked at us all and said  "oh no- don't you do it!"  Which of course we ignored!  It was so funny- they tried to get him to stand up on his chair but he is so tall now that he was bumping into an overhanging blimp thingy- so he had to just kneel on his chair.  They put balloons around his neck and oh did his little cheeks turn rosy as they announced his birthday to the whole restaurant and then sing to him!  (I can't believe he is 11!)
Blake is so much fun!  He is so tall!  He will soon be taller than his parents and Gramma!  He is a hard working kid who loves, loves to read!  In fact his mom has to get after him to put down his books once in a while.  But how wonderful is that?!  He has such a special place in my heart... I remember when they lived her in Nampa, he and I would go on these special "dates".. to the movie or McDonald's or dollar store (or all three!).  I once told him that when he got to be a teenager and started dating girls his age, he should tell them his first "date" was with his Gramma!   His reaction was pretty funny!  

Granny Toomer was in Boise at my niece Jesse's house so we got to go in and see her.  Brooke was so happy to see her!  She loved and kissed on her and made Granny sit right down by her and rub her back.  Granny Toomer was happy to see Donnie and his family too!  She is getting frail and it is a bit frightening... but she did look better than she has for a while (even though she needed help getting down the stairs). I love my mom so very much- it is heartbreaking to see her getting frail with age.  

Brooke with her Granny

Carter, Blake & Granny

Brooke was so happy to be home!  She loves being here with Jim and I.  He is so good to her- we are both so blessed to have him in our lives.  He walks with her whenever she is home.  It was so cute, she heard him asking Scooter if he wanted to go for a walk and she came out of her room with her shoes on, a giant smile and signed "walk"....   she wanted to stay close to him most of the time.  When things got a little hectic for her she came out of her room with a pair of Jim's jammy pants on, her shoes, and signed "go"... she was ready to go back to some peace and quiet.  But she loved seeing Donnie... she so loves her siblings.  And of course she made Katie sit and rub her back too!  :)  
It was so cold!  But she wasn't about to let him go without her!
Playing with her beloved "koosh"  

Oh!  I almost forgot- the boys and I had a "slumber party" in the living room on Friday night!  It has become one of my traditions when grandkids come here or when I stay with them to try to have a night where we watch movies, stay up late and sleep out together! 
No- I did not stay on the floor all night- moved to my recliner after they all fell asleep.

All in all it was a wonderful month!  I am so blessed to have the family I have--- and to have the joy in my life that comes through sharing and learning and growing always in the gospel and in all areas of this amazing journey we call mortality.  

Posted with love and humble gratitude to Heavenly Father for all these blessings. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

This Doesn't Happen Every Day!

Okay- so I just had to post these pictures of my pantry.  Usually it is a jumble of "stuff".... Jim sometimes uses it as his bullet/knife/gun cleaning stuff storage...  when I find that kind of thing in there I take it out and put it in his "gun room"-  then, I am notorious for just shoving food in wherever I can fit it...  then I let the kids and Brooke just rifle through at their whim... anyway  ((sigh))- last week we discovered one of Jim's water jugs (he has tucked/stored them all over the house and garage) had been smooshed and cracked and had leaked... probably slowly over a period of time.  So there was waterlogged boxes and well, just a mess.  I ended up spending several days pulling out everything, cleaning up and salvaging what I could.  I washed the shelves and walls and floor with a water/bleach solution and then reorganized.  These pictures are the result and a strict vow to keep it this way- rotate food, treat it like a good little pantry and strict orders to Jim reminding him this is NOT where bullets/knives/gun stuff go! Ha Ha!  

posted by a tired, but kinda "pleased with my work" gramma!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some Precious Moments - Oct. 2011

Just thought I'd post a bunch of pictures from my last trip to Pocatello and Idaho Falls.  The hardest part is picking which ones to post.  And I want to post so many, I made collages- yup-again!   

Baby sitting River while Brady and Jade move to a new apartment.

Hangin' out playing with the Barlows.  
 Heather canned a bunch of fruit (I helped peel the pairs!)     
More playin' around with the kiddos.

Had a blast with the girls and Tommy.
They're showing Gramma their tumbling tricks.

Mailei and Gramma- oh how I love this girl!
I'm pretty sure she loves me too!

It was so fun to see Blake's football game. So shocking
to see how tall he is!  Sheesh!
Celebrating Carter's 8th birthday.  He was so funny.
Blake told me he already had a lot of the same art stuff
I bought.... but one color book was different!  he he he

Mailei's 2010 Halloween costume and just a pretty pose.
River in 3 different costumes... so far... who knows what she will actually dress up as on Halloween.
Molly and Maddy in their princess dresses from Gramma. 

Evie is a crazy crazy girl!  We were laughing so hard while taking all these.  Every time I aimed the camera, she jumped in front. Then had me do close-ups of the others too- even a silly dolly. 

Excited for my next post- in a couple of weeks - Carter's getting baptized!  

Posted by a Gramma who never gets tired of having fun with the kiddos!