Husband and Father

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

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Third Grade Field Trip

I was fortunate to be chosen to be a chaperone for Ben’s 3rd grade class, on a field trip to the Ogden Nature Preserve. I really enjoy accompanying my kids on their field trips, and sign up to be in the drawing to be a chaperone as the opportunities arise. My lists of field trip ventures is long since I have 6 kids.

Usually, I am with the well-behaved, mild mannered, group of children, in which category my child would be. This time however, I was placed with the “high energy” group. Hmmm.... It didn’t take me long to figure out why. The teacher, not wanting to offend asked if she could “tag along” with my group, since it was the most demanding one.

The Ogden Nature Preserve is located on 152 acres of land. The students walked along trails leading to various animal habitats. Really, we didn’t see many animals, when Ben brought that to our guides attention, she was absolutely offended.

They bird refuge (as I call it) was lovely. We were able to see many endangered birds and some even did some tricks for us. I learned a lot about nature, and about nurture, or lack of. I learned from our guide that caged birds can be bullied. She stated that if the students talked or were loud they were bullying the birds. She also informed them about the penalties for taking fallen feathers with them. They would be fined $10,000 and sent to prison. Wow, pretty deep stuff for third graders!

Our guide also insisted that the kids walk on the trail without speaking. Well, that didn’t work out so well. My group got sent to the back of the line several times for excessive talking. I was relieved that there was a little noise, the last thing I wanted to come across on the trail was a SNAKE! Yikes!

Maybe I am defending my rambunctious group just a little too much, but really, for the most part, they were full of energy, but fun and enjoyable.

Mrs. Strong's Third Grade Class
The Pond

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Ruth (Grandma Brown’s sister), and Burt Hill have become an unplanned part of our Memorial Day traditions. Many of Steve’s relative graves are around his. For the past two years we have happened upon Ruth and Burt at the cemetery.

Burt and Ruth couldn’t have been more kind. They both talked to each one of my children, lent us their clippers to trim the grass around the grave-site, and took some family pictures for us. As they were leaving Burt yelled out his car window, going to I-Hop and I am buying. We have three extra seats in our car.

How sweet, but we weren’t quite finished visiting the grave. When we arrived at the grave, we noticed that the headstone was dirty, and the grave needed to be cleaned up a bit. Fortunately, I had some wet-wipes in my car that did a fine job. We cleaned the grave, told funny stories of Steve (there are plenty), played Billy Joel songs (thanks to Pandora), took pictures, and placed flowers with a poem and messages from our family at the foot of the headstone. Meg had a cute little red binky that she left.

The kids were starving after, so we went to Hires for lunch. They seated us at a table for 10. The chair across from me was empty. I kept it together even though my thoughts were centered on the empty chair. I miss Steve so much!

When we got home the boys went to the storage unit and retrieve all of my baby gear. I was amazed at how much I have kept. Then again, it has only been 9 years sine I had my last baby.

We had a barbeque at Grandma and Grandpa Brown’s later that afternoon, and Ben had a baseball game in the evening. A bit of an emotional day, but it was nice to be surrounded by my family.

Family, flowers, and bink.
The poem we left with messages written on the back.
My favorite crew!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Approaching Memorial Day

Memorial Day must be fast approaching, because sometimes my thoughts drift away into questions of what if, why, and why now.  These thoughts can get me in a bad place pretty quickly, so I try to avoid them.

I found a quote today that has boosted my spirit. I do have incredible faith, and need to remember to always trust in the Lord and his timing, even when I don't understand it.

Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

Friday, May 25, 2012


Rec baseball games are always fun! They are especially fun for Ben because he gets the opportunity to play many different positions. Tonight he played catcher. He has been practicing in the backyard with Mitch for days. He told me that he was going to play catcher, but I had my reservations. I’m never sure what is really going to happen at the ball park. 

Well, he really played catcher, and did a mighty fine job. He was full of smiles, and had a great time. Of all the positions, I would never think this is one Ben would enjoy, but he did....he loved it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rec Specs

What the heck are rec specs anyway? Well, if your child can’t see, and he chooses to play sports, you learn rather quickly.

I have been aware of Ben’s vision limitations for quite some time. He has glasses, but refuses to wear them to school, or pretty much anywhere. Now that he is getting older (9), it becomes more apparent of his need for vision correction while participating in sports.

I have never heard of rec specs. I had to become informed (phoned a friend) of what was the appropriate vision correction for sports. Ben was resistant at first. Thank heavens for his coaches encouragement. He now owns a pair of rec spec. They are supposedly indestructible, and they tint if the sun is shining, making them perfect sunglasses for baseball.

His coach informed me that he is now hitting 1000. Things have changed a little, but he is still hitting well with his new "sunglasses". I think he looks mighty cute!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Voodoo Doll

Recently, I was a recipient of a voodoo doll, bought right in the heart of New Orleans. I have never owned a voodoo doll before, so I googled it and this is what I learned.

"Voodoo is a powerful mystical practice that could bring spectacular gifts and rewards to anyone who believes, who is willing to place his destiny in the hands of loving spirits, who await the call of service. The Voodoo doll is used to represent the spirit of a specific person.

You can address the doll as if you are talking to that person, requesting a change in attitude, influencing the person to act in accordance with your wishes, your desires. Once in possession of an authentic Voodoo doll, you can request the doll to call upon powerful forces known as Loa. You can perform a simple but effective ritual to fulfill a specific dream, an urgent desire. This timeless ceremony is carried out to persuade the spirits to exert their influence in this world.”

I’m not sure I will use my doll in such a complicated way. However, my kids have had a lot of fun with it. While I was taking a Sunday nap, an unnamed child of mine, labeled the doll, hung it by it’s neck, and put pins in it here and there. It was all in fun, just to entertain.

However, just in case we get serious about it, remember, don’t cross me. If you do, and you feel a little prick in your neck, well, I may or may not know something about it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bountiful Boulevard

Bountiful Blvd. is the high school hang out. The good weather brings the kids out in flocks. There are all kinds of activities that you will see on the boulevard. Some may include: caulk art, ordering pizza, barbecuing dogs, roller blading, biking, skate boarding, water ballooning, enjoying the view in a lounge chair, and the list continues.

For the most part, the kids keep mischief to a minimum. Well, that's what I think anyway. But what do I know, I am the mother of a teenager.

What's wrong with this picture?  Mike towing others with a boot on his leg.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy Boys; Happy Mom

Ben plays on an accelerated baseball team for Mueller Park on Saturdays. Unfortunately, the games are never close by (at Mueller Park). Today, they played at the Cal Ripken field in Taylorsville.

It was a great day at the ballpark when Ben’s first up-to-bat was a home-run! He was so excited, the team ran out on the field to greet him. I overheard him say, “That felt really good.” Yes, home-runs, feel good!

The umpire gave Ben the game ball for his performance. He quietly showed me it after the first game. We went away from the crowd to take a picture of him and his game ball, and I placed the ball in my purse. I don’t want him to be a bragger, I’m doing a good enough job of it here:)

The team won both games and Ben is a happy boy!

Mike went to his friend’s cabin today. He sent me a text, with this photo. The look on his face tells it all!

Happy boys, equals happy mom!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Battle of the Brides

Sarah and Jordan recently celebrated their 1 year wedding anniversary.  Time has definitely flown by this past year.  It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating their wedding.

I have 2 beautiful bridal photographs of my two married girls.  The photo of Meagan was hanging in the entrance of my home.  When I bought Sarah’s, it leaned against the wall close to Meagan’s  for quite some time, since I wasn’t sure where I wanted to put it.
One day, my cleaners, decided Sarah’s picture needed to be hung and they removed Meagan’s, put Sarah’s up, and put Meagan’s in an empty spot in the dinning room.  I thought it was funny that they would take such initiative when I wasn’t home.  I left things as they were, happy that the picture was now off the floor.
My daughters have noticed the “changing of the pictures”, and have made several comments about it.
Today, I noticed that Meagan’s picture is now hanging in the entrance again, and Sarah’s is in the dinning room.

The cleaners cannot take the blame since they have not been around.  I think there has been a little mischief going on in my house. Hmmm.....wonder who will win the "Battle of the Brides"?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothers Day 2012

Mothers Day was such a lovely day. It began with breakfast in bed from Ben. He made me toast, a perfect breakfast for me. He was so excited to give me the gift that he made, I opened it this morning. It was priceless. A beautiful jewelry box labeled Mom.

Church is always uplifting. All my children came, and I couldn’t have been happier. The closing song in church was" Love at Home".  Kate turned to me and said, “This is your favorite song mom.” I think she said that because, when we kneel in family prayer, I always pray that we will have love and harmony in our home. That is so important to me. There is a verse in the song that states, “Kindly heaven smiles on high, when there’s love at home.” I can just imagine Steve smiling down from heaven upon us when there is peace and love in our home.

Sarah and Jordan gave me the book Forget Me Not, written by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. It had a tender note in it, and two pages which she earmarked especially for me. Meg, Quinn, and Lizzy gave me much needed steak knives and a sweet note.

The kids made me a fabulous dinner. Pomegranate Chicken, grilled vegetables, parmesan potatoes (recipe from Si's blog).  For dessert Lizzy made chocolate bowls (idea from pinterest), with brownies on the bottom, and ice cream on top. Wow, I am so blessed to have fabulous kids! Love them!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Today Kate is hiking to Elephant Rock with a couple of her high school friends. She wanted me to remember what she was wearing in case she got lost and I had to call in Search and Rescue. I told her I would take a picture to remember. Really, I was taking a picture to mock her overachieving nature for emergency preparedness.

Note the 25 pound (or around there) backpack filled with provisions, emergency essentials, and first aid needs. You won't find me carting around a backpack of that magnitude. The hike is one frequented by many, and isn't too far or too strenuous. I may bring water and possibly a granola bar, but that is about all.

Hopefully, Search and Rescue won't be needed today. However, just in case they are, no worries, Kate is prepared!