Sunday, December 21, 2008
The first Christmas after Josie, my daughter, was married, she told me that her husband, Blake, told her they didn't have enough money to buy a Christmas tree. She said, "That's o.k. I found a little table-top artificial tree for only $1.00.
We had made plans to take them to see the ballet "Swan Lake". Josie thoroughly enjoyed it and Blake endured it, politely.
I had thought of taking them a Christmas tree but took them a Poinsettia instead. I love Christmas and spend time every year looking for the perfect Christmas tree. When we walked into their apartment, I saw the pathetic $1.00 plastic Christmas tree sitting in their living room. On it was one ornament, the most exquisite red heart I had ever seen. Josie explained that they had decided to buy one new ornament every Christmas. I had a flood of good memories from Christmases when Ralph and I were first married and had more love than money. I was so glad I had not brought a Christmas tree.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Jessica is my oldest grandchild so we have the longest relationship. She is 11 and just entering her teen-age years beautifully. Who knows what the next few years will bring. I don't know but through experience I know that teen-agers kind of depart from the human race. I also know that they gradually come back. Our teen-agers turned into adults that I really like. I also know that parents become the enemy for awhile, (Ben,our oldest child, was sure we wouldn't be happy unless he became an engineer. Where he got that, I don't know.)while teen-agers are trying to figure things out. I hope that Jessica will always know that her grandparents are her friends and she can count on them.
Emily (the third Emily in the family) came into this world at 28 weeks. Despite all the worries and accomodations of a premature baby, her mother has been vigilant in taking care of her needs and Emily is now a successful third grader. I loved playing "Magic Carpet" with her and sharing her wonderful imagination.
Ashton is a third grader too and shares a love of poetry with me. When I cry (which is an embarrassing aspect of MS,) she gets me a kleenex and we go on with what we were doing like nothing is wrong. I appreciate this compassionate and practical approach to the problem.
Anna is a beautiful girl. She has a flair for fashion and carries it off beautifully. When I went to visit their new home in California, she wore a scarf around her neck for the occasion and looked beautiful.
Jack is an enthusiasic boy and is always pushing the edge to see what he can do. He is intelligent and always tries to figure things out, When I went to stay at his house, he patiently explained to me the difference between an airplane and a helicopter.
Reese loves fish. He wrote me a letter that confirmed, "Yes, grandma you are correct. A whale is a mammal, not a fish."
Alayna is a happy, thoughtful person. I stayed at her house while Grandpa took a trip to Guatemala. In her blessing on the food, she blessed grandpa in Jottemala. I knew what she meant and knew that grandpa would come home safely from the country with the highest murder rate in the world. She also helped me button my blouse one morning when I was having trouble.
The twins, Bella and Maya, are happy, enthusiastic, little girls. I still can't always tell them apart but I heard them bless me in their sincere prayers when I visited them in California.
Sam sits or lays beside me and we read books together. We have read books about birds, about flowers, and about Indians. Someday he might be too old to read books together but for now, I enjoy the snuggles and the sharing.
Kennedy is showing more of her personality as she gets older and goes to preschool. She wants to be helpful. Recently she said, "Don't worry Grandma. When you grow up, your legs will work."
Jacob is only one but his big smiles show what he is feeling inside.
Jeffrey is our newest and youngest grandson,still a baby. I am looking forward to discovering his personality as he grows.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I have read that if one can control the tongue, one can control the whole body. I am not perfect and probably my kids have done or said some things I'd rather not know about but at least I think they know what is right.
Here is my pet peeve. Most people have been taught that swearing and bad language is inappropriate. Sometimes they substitute another word that sounds like a swear word even if it has only one similar letter. To me, the intent of swearing is the same.
As I have said, I am not perfect and sometimes I am not even aware that I have offended someone. I find it best, especially when relationships are strained, to stick to "yes", "no", and "thank-you".
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The most immediate I see every day - my faithful husband, Ralph. When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I knew there would be some hard times coming so I told Ralph he could leave if he wanted to. He is still here and continues to be a source of real help. Sometimes when the changes become too much for him he spends time in the garage or backyard shop. He always comes home after being at work or away.
There are many things he does on a daily basis like cook meals. He has learned a lot, asks questions to become more expert and does all the shopping. He maintains our household and has built a cabin in the mountains that I love which accomodates all my special needs. We go there on just about a weekly basis. He always makes sure we have a movie to watch while we are there. It is kind of like our date.
I have a plaque on my wall that says: "Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain". I am grateful Ralph is still dancing in the rain with me.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday we went to church in West Yellowstone, MT but no one was there. We figured out that it must be Stake Conference in Ashton. By then it was too late to drive the 60 or more miles to St. Anthony. About that time Ralph said, "Aren't you going to wish me Happy Birthday?" I was mortified. True to form, I had not realized that Sunday was the 16th. I knew his birthday was coming up and even had a birthday present for him in Rexburg. I got the dates mixed up for Sara's birthday once and I have never forgotten it.
Anyway, we decided to take a Sunday drive to Virginia City, MT, a favorite childhood memory of Ralph's. When we got home to Rexburg. that night, we had Birthday brownies and I played Happy Birthday for him on my Happy Birthday music box. We both agreed that at our age, it's O.K. if someone forgets that we are one year older.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Still I feel I should pay tribute to him some way so I am writing this. Most of what I know about Grandpa Kern are the good memories we made with our family. Many were at the cabin in Island Park where we spent summers while Ralph helped his parents (Grandpa Kern readily admits he is a "chainsaw carpentar") remodel their cabin. We made many lasting memories in a beautiful setting. Once Ralph and I had to get away due to misunderstandings in the newspaper, on TV, and in the community. It was a nightmare that only happened when we were awake. Grandpa made his cabin available to us and we were able able to gather our strength in a quiet place where few people knew about us.
Later Grandpa Kern allowed us to build our own cabin adjoining his garage. Now we can go to Island Park, renew our energy and have many wonderful memories of Grandpa Kern
In later years, he always took our grandchildren to see his horses in Island Park and let them have a ride. I am glad I have pictures of this.
Once when our son, Ben was visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Colorado while he was on a business trip, Grandpa explained to him why he loved Grandma Kern. I watched her meet and deal with this reality that Grandpa was going to go first with courage while they were staying with us last week. Now we will take care of grandma.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Ben is my oldest and firstborn. As he grew, I felt like he was more like my brother than a son. He was wise even when he was very young. When he was about 5 years old I would run around a nearby track at the local University late at night, after dark with a friend.
Ben begged to go until I finally took him with me one night. Though I was focused on my task at hand (running a certain distance), to a 5 year old it must have been pretty scary, running into the blackness so late at night. Finally he said, "If you'll just hold my hand, I will keep up." What I learned: I should embroider this wise statement and hang it on the wall so I don't forget that even when a child is scared and feeling insecure, they just want you to hold their hand so they can keep up.
Before he could read or write, I decided to have him dictate something for his journal every night. When we began I asked him how he wanted to start his entries - Dear Diary or something else. He thought for a minute then said, "I think I will begin by saying, 'Dear Children'." What I learned: Even at that young age he had a sense of the eternal nature of life and that someday there might be posterity that will look to him for guidance.
My first daughter, Josie, has taught me much about "trying hard". While in college she went to the hospital with spinal meningitis. I talked to all her professors to find out what she needed to do to complete the two weeks of the Spring semester before returning in the fall. One professor, a professor in Medical terminology, told me not to expect her to return in the fall. She not only returned in the fall, she completed her Associates degree and continued her schooling to become a registered nurse.
Josie's first baby was born at 38 weeks, very premature. You could hold her in one hand. Josie has done many things to make life as good as possible for her daughter. Today she is thriving successful third grader.
My second daughter has taught me about having a zest for life. As a child, she would show enthusiasm about the most ordinary things such as, "I just lo-o-o-ve red jello!"
My third daughter taught me about perserverance. Just before her Freshman year in High School, she had an accident and ran a pitchfork through her knee. Some kids at school talked her into going out for the cross-country track team. She told me that when she ran her first race they had cleared away the finish line by the time she finished.
She stayed with the track team all 4 years in high school and even took third place in High Hurdles for the State in Spring track.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
When our kid were little we looked ahead to their teenage years. We didn't want our teenagers spending Halloween as a night of vandalizing and other tricks. Even though Halloween is my least favorite holiday, we began a tradition of Halloween Parties at our house on Halloween night. Coming up with a creative invitation to relatives was always something I enjoyed. When Emily, my youngest daughter was born on October 26, one year I thought we were going to have to cancel the party but my mom offered to have a party at her house that year. We made a little round pumpkin with a bow on it to match Emily and the bow in her hair.
Everyone on both sides of the family supported the party, dressed up in costumes and brought a pumpkin and sharp knife for the pumpkin carving contest. Even Grandma and Grandpa Plant came one year dressed as Teddy Roosevelt and a WWI flying ace. Marilyn and Howard's family always came as clowns. One year Ben was popeye with muscles made with stuffed nylons. Josie had the perfect skinny legs for Olive Oyl and baby Emily was Sweet Pea wearing a long green nightgown that trailed behind her when she crawled. I think Sara, a toddler, was Miss America wearing a swimsuit and sash over her shoulder. We had lots of fun and made lots of memories. HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!
Monday, October 6, 2008
We enjoyed watching the LDS General Conference this weekend on TV. As usual, all the talks were so timely. It was fun to hear our son, Ben call last night. It was interesting to hear him and his Dad have a good conversation about their favorite talks.
We are hoping to go to the cabin in Island Park at least one more time before winter sets in, peobably for Emily's birthday at the end of October. It is already getting cold in Rexburg though fall leaves are still in their splendor.
I have just about finished recording all the journal entries from past calenders. It has been an enjoyable journey into the past. I bought a new saying to put on my wall. Reading all your blogs reminds me of it. So here's the saying for the day:
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain." Happy dancing!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I have been going through my box of personal history the last few days and I have remembered many things. A couple of interesting items: I found some flyers that I had made up when I was running for student body office at Ricks College. The simple picture was drawn by either Del or Leon Parson, whichever one is about my age. He most recently did the artwork for the murals in the Rexburg and Twin Falls Temples. He didn't sign my picture so you will just have to take my word for it. As I remember, he was not a close acquaintance of mine and just jotted something out quickly while standing in the Manwaring Center (student union building).
The other interesting thing I noted were the kinds of things I had in my journal. (Really just a Calendar on which I wrote short daily happenings as well as my daily schedule.) I noticed that I was busy with the same kinds of things that my childen are involved in now - church callings in Primary, planting a garden, family vacations and activities, running with friends early in the morning or late at night when the kids were in bed, assignments from my husband. I even wrote down menus for supper. Life really is a series of stages. I just haven't given much thought to this stage of my life.
Ralph is finished with his first draft of his "Homes of the Prophets' project. He has it turned in to the Dean of his department (as required by the conditions of the sabbatical he took last semester). He has also sent a copy to Deseret Book so we will see what comes of that. Whatever happens, he has personally benefitted greatly from the study and research he has done. Now we're back to the "usual" and preparing for snow and winter-time.
Save your calendars - you'll be glad you did!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Next weekend I think all the girls are coming (Blake might come too) and going on a hike into the southwest corner of Yellowstone Park. When they make their goal, Denanda Falls, there will be a natural hot tub to soak in. All the kids are staying at the cabin with me and Ralph's niece, a BYUI student, is coming to help babysit. I have been thinking of some "grandma projects" to keep them busy. I think it will be a fun time if they can avoid the mosquitos and the rutting elk. I'll give a report in the next post.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Stephanie walked to the BYUI bookstore and bought some music. there. I enjoyed listening to her play the piano while she tried the pieces out. Ralph does a great job of seeing to my physical needs but I enjoy my sister because she lifts my psyche as well.
She left a few hours ago to drive home to Caldwell, Idaho. I am looking forward to her next visit, possibly in September. She might convince another sister, Priscilla, to come with her.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I had a wonderful time at Sara's and enjoyed my grandchildren. Sara did many things to make the stay comfortable and enjoyable. I especially enjoyed conversations with my grandaughters, Ashtyn and Alayna. We took an excursion to IKEA Monday and all in all had a great time.
Now we are home in Rexburg, it feels like fall and Ralph is busy finishing up his research on his "Homes of the Prophets" project and getting ready for the fall semester at BYUI. He says this feels too much like his doctoral dissertation. I guess its the old school teacher in me but I am ready for fall to be here too.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
We stayed up at the cabin after the reunion until this weekend. We are going back up tonight and Ralph says he is finding a corner to hide in so he can work on his " Homes of the Prophets " project. In the meantime he has helped his father who is recovering from stomach cancer, done some of his mother's projects, taken two horse rides with his brother, Paul, into the southwest corner of Yellowstone Park and visited with other members of his family. He also went to a car auction in Las Vegas with our son-in-law, Chad, and enjoyed it immensely. The biggest news is that he attended without buying a car. He said he was impressed at Chad's self-discipline not to get caught up in the emotion of car buying.
We got back some pictures of the reunion yesterday which brought many good memories of family at the reunion. Ralph says he will post some on my blog later today. The wildflowers have changed to millions of Sticky Geraniums and Lupine. We also have white daisies blooming now too. I hope everyone enjoys what little bit of summer is left
Friday, July 11, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
For Sunday dinner yesterday he got to choose whatever he wanted, even if it was nothing, so we had fish sticks and french fries. To prove it was Father's Day we had no vegetables.no salad, just cookies for dessert that the girl's had bought at the grocery store the day before. Then Ralph and I sat on the porch and enjoyed our beautiful backyard.
This morning he is at the Dr. to try to get some relief for a knee that has been giving him some problems. We are going up to the cabin and will probably stay there until after the reunion or about the 4th of July. Ralph needs some ubintterupted time for his projects. I think I will leave my computer in Rexburg so it will be awhile before I BLOG again. Happy Summer to everyone!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
I wasn't feeling too good and all that comes with that so I was pretty much a bump on the couch which isn't too much different than usual. I did read some interesting books on lives of the orophets and the U.S. presidents. I think we are going up again this week because Ralph didn't get much done on his summer project. He also has some cabin projects he wants to do before the WallyPlant Family reunion which is on June 29. Ralph did move our little pot-bellied stove back in and it looks perfect against the rock wall.
Sorry this is kind of a boring, ordinary entry but I guess we live boring, ordinary lives.
Friday, May 30, 2008
1. I have freckles on my tummy.
2. I have set off an alarm in the Louvre in Paris
3. My favorite color is green
4, When I was a little girl, I told everyone my favorite color was black. It was really red then but nobody ever chose black and I didn't want black to feel left out.
5. When we lived in Finland, most people in the grocery store would say, "Excuse me" instead of the Finnish word which is "Anteeksi". I felt like I must have "American" written on my forehead.
6. I used to want to be a News Anchor.
7, I liked it when my Dad called me "Princess". I don't like it so much when anyone else calls me that.
8. When I was a teenager, I asked my dad if they had basketball in heaven. I loved it so much, I wasn't interested in going there unless we could play basketball.
We are going up to the cabin again this weekend. Ralph's father is undergoing treatment for stomache cancer and we just found out he and Grandma Kern are going to be there at 2:00 this afternoon. I think lots of people like Island Park. Grandma Kern calls it " a healing place".
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The snow is melting fast in Island Park and we can see out of our windows. There are puddles of water everywhere. At church on Sunday the youth speaker said something that I hadn't thought of. I had realized that farmers pray for rain for their crops but he mentioned praying for rain to keep the forest fires down. It was enjoyable seeing spring emerge up there. This should be a beautiful wildflower year. Ralph's Mom planted a bunch of daffodil bulbs because the forest critters don't eat those. They were in full bloom and Ralph brought in a bouquet for our dinner table. They were fresh and beatiful three days later when we left.
We are going back up in a couple days for next weekend because Josie and Blake's family is coming up for a few days. Ralph is looking forward to Blake's expertise on some building projects. I am looking forward to a visit from the grandkids.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Ralph is spending today getting his shop in the back yard cleaned and organized. I am trying to be as excited as Ralph is about his new welder. I am spending my afternoon (as usual) on the couch. Oprah and re-runs of M.A.S.H. get old after awhile so for now I will keep on "blobbing".
Monday, May 12, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Well so much for my first post on a blog. Thanks to Sara for setting me up. I guess someday I'm going to have to enter the 21st century instead of just being proud I can do word processing and e-mail. I've discovered that one advantage to blogging is that you don't have to do it with the stigma of a wheelchair and you can be the real person you are inside. Beides no one sees the "ugly cry" when you are writing about something touching. All in all, it has been a great weekend of firsts for me including my first pedicure.