Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Friday, November 26, 2010

To Grandmother's House We Go...

Grandma Brown asked everyone to bring a plate of cookies to Thanksgiving dinner, along with their main dish/dessert assignment. I was asked to bring my peanut butter surprise cookies.

I made them the night before, and put a note on them, that said, "Do Not Eat". Instead of complying with my specific instructions, my kids would sneak one, and rearrange the cookies. Instead of a heaping plate of cookies, I brought just a plate of cookies.

They went fast at Grandma's house too. I guess they are irresistible.

The Thanksgiving meal is always delicious!

There are many food traditions, besides the obvious ones, that are unique to only Grandma Browns' Thanksgiving feast. They are: cranberry sauce,(in a special dish that has been passed down for generations); yams with the marshmallow topping (Steve's favorite); and you can't forget the turkey rolls (rolls shaped like turkeys).

The adults love to MINGLE, while the kids find other kinds of entertainment.
The Ping Pong Tournament is another tradition. You are matched up with a partner, and whoever wins moves up in the bracket, until a ping pong champion is produced. I think my relatives underestimated me......I won in the first bracket to my 22 year old nephew Brandon. Yahoo, sorry Brand! I moved up a bracket and won Wayne, a little more relaxing of a game. We had to leave before it was completely over, but I heard through the grapevine that my nephew Dan was the champion.

Dessert consists of pies, pies, and more pies. There were chocolate pies, coconut cream pie, pumpkin pie, and apple pie.

Grandma's famous turkey cookies are the coveted cookies. She also made her yummy homemade fudge, and each family brought a plate of cookies to share.

Lots of food!
We are grateful for family.....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks & Giving

This week on the early morning Today Show, they featured a segment on Thanks & Giving. What an appropriate way to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. The theme was centered on things we are thankful for, and also on giving. I enjoyed watching different people describe what they were thankful for, and learning the art of giving by spending time helping others less fortunate.

Much of the focus was on the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. It was so touching watching people's lives being changed, both those receiving service and those giving service. It warmed my heart.

I thought about this theme a lot during this week. I first began to think of all the things I am grateful for. I am so blessed and have so many things to be grateful for, it’s difficult to narrow down my list. Two things in particular that I am grateful for are my children, and for health and strength.

I am blessed with amazing children. Much more is expected of them than other children because of our unique circumstances. Besides the normal kid responsibilities, my kids have some duties that are usually performed by parents. Sometimes you’ll see one of my kids helping another with homework, grocery shopping, carpooling, fulfilling nanny duties, dates with their mom, and the list continues. I admire and love each one of them with all my heart.

I am grateful for health and strength. This year with Sarah’s tumor situation, I became keenly aware of how important health is, and how much we take it for granted. I am so grateful that her health situation had a happy ending, and that we are all healthy and strong.

I wanted to complete the second half of Thanks & Giving, by volunteering somewhere with my children. I must say, it never happened in an organized fashion, but we were able to help out our elderly family friend. She allowed one of my kids to clean her house, one to mow the lawn, run errands for her, take her places, bring her meals, and visit with her. We always love helping her. It brings us so much joy.

I hope that next year my family and I will be able to take more time implementing the giving part of Thanksgiving.

I have so much to be thankful for, especially our wonderful friends and family who continue to support us through our ups and downs. Thank you so much, we love you!

Baby Steps

Grief doesn’t magically end after a certain amount of time has lapsed after a loved one’s death. There are times when I have daily reminders of my loss. Certain reminders of Steve are inevitable, especially during holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. Reminders of my loss are not just special dates, but can be tied to a particular song, restaurant, activity, building, or sights and smells around me. They are everywhere.

I try to avoid places that might bring back difficult memories for me. Memorial events or news of a sudden death triggers the pain and sadness of my own loss. I am not only sad about my loss, but I can truly feel how a young wife who suddenly losses her husband may feel. I have empathy towards these women.

This week I confronted two of my greatest fears. My first fear, was visiting the same mortuary that was host of some of the memorial events accompanying Steve’s death. Monday night I attended a viewing of a young husband/father, whom passed away suddenly. The viewing was not only at the same mortuary, but also in the same room that Steve’s viewing was held in.

The day was full of anxiety for me as I contemplated whether or not I would be able to confront my fear. I finally made the decision to attend the viewing. Katelyn agreed to accompany me, she is so brave. We came early hoping that I could just process my feelings without a lot of people around. I walked past the room were Steve’s parents and I dressed Steve in his temple clothing. Memories of a very tender time with Steve’s parents were brought to my mind.

I walked down the hall and entered the hallway leading to the viewing room. Many thoughts, memories, and tender feelings came back. My mind was filled with memories of my grieving children, spending time by the video, and table of memorabilia of their dad. They wanted to remember the happy times with him. The tears flowed, but it was ok. I gave the family my condolences, and left quickly out the side door. I was surprised that I was able to successfully face one of my fears.

My second fear was visiting the hospital where Steve was taken to the night of his passing. I have driven by this hospital many times, and have been filled with pain, and sadness.

Tuesday, an elderly woman I visit teach asked me to take her to this particular hospital for some tests. I obliged, thinking that it would be on the opposite end of the Emergency Room entrance. When we arrived, she told me that we were to enter through the emergency room entrance. I dropped her off there so she wouldn’t have to walk, and contemplated my dilemma.

I thought I could be as brave as I was Monday night and confront my second fear completely, but it didn’t happen. I wasn’t able to enter through the Emergency Room doors; I walked to the front of the hospital, entered, and found my way to my destination. Nothing was familiar; it didn’t remind me of that dreadful night.

This sweet, bright, woman noticed that I had come in from a different direction. Not many words were exchanged, but she knew, and I knew, why I had chosen a different path.

I wasn’t entirely successful at confronting both of these fears, but I felt like I made significant progress. Someday I’ll be braver, but for the time steps.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meet The Players Night

Meet The Players Night, was held at Bountiful High School Thursday Night. The Bountiful High School men and women’s basketball team were introduced, and competed in a two quarter game, younger teams verses the older teams. A slam dunk competition kept the crowd’s attention, and filled the night with cheers and excitement.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gremlin 2010 Football Season

Gremlin Grey Team
Head Coach: Nicoll
Assisted by Coach Wright, Terrill, Brooks., and Stowers.

Team: #84 Jens Ballantyne; #87 Dylan Brooks, #78 Jackson Brooks, #17 Ben Brown, #39 Jordan Gomm, #19 Mitch Gulbransen, #77 Jamison Hale, #41 Hunter Henderson, #72 Caleb Jensen, #95 Jonas Lunceford, #40 Peter Murray, #16 Jacob Newkirk, #55 Parker Nicoll, #60 Quinton Pidgeon, #80 Jaxson Royall, #81 David Stevenson, #5 Adam Stuber, #27 Jacob Terrill, #15 Kaoni Wiley, #92 Hayden Woolever, #11 Bronson Wright.
Ben had a great time playing for the Bountiful Braves Grey Team. The team consisted of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade boys. Ben was on the younger side, but learned a lot about football, and was well coached.
The boys' worked great together as a team, and all got along very well. The team went 6 and 3 in the regular football season.
Ben played tied end most of the time. His only touch down during the season was during a scrimmage. I must say it was an awesome touch down. He was handed off the ball, and ran it the entire way. He was so excited!
Our team went to the play-offs, but was defeated my Bingham in the first round.

Ben with the ball.
Football parties!