Thursday, January 22, 2009



Family means something different to everyone.  Growing up I had always heard the saying blood is thicker than water.  It was usually said when my brother wanted to hang out with his friends and not have to take his little sister along and I think I also used it to snag the front seat over one of his friends on occasion.  Growing up I had a lot of family members around.  Both sides of the family were just an hour away.  My brother and I were spoiled royally.  One grandparent's house always was stocked full of ice cream, not just any ice cream but the best, Blue Bell.  At the other grandparent's we knew that our grandpa would take us to Putt Putt where we would spend a few hours playing video games and once in a while play a game of mini golf while our mom and grandmother were off shopping.  We also had plenty of aunts and uncles to entertain us with trips to the movies, go kart rides, public pools, not to mention they would come out to visit us on the farm and we could always have lots of fun.  We also had two cousins we could play with at all the boring adult functions.  Come to think of it, I guess we didn't have a big family, but what family we did have were very active in our lives. 

Life took us to Las Vegas and soon brought our family 3 little girls (through adoption).  My family unit that I had known for 17 years grew and the phrase blood is thicker than water had no meaning any longer.  This was an adjustment for everyone involved.  It changed my belief of what a family was.  I was able to look at close family friends and consider them family.  My idea of family was not restricted.  Maybe that happens to us all as we grow up. 


Kyle with Great Grandma_edited-1 When I married Ronnie my family grew even larger.  I hadn't even met Ronnie's parents until they flew out to Las Vegas for our wedding, but I knew if they raised Ronnie then they must be good people.   It was almost a year later before we were able to go to Missouri to see the rest of Ronnie's family.  It was at this time that I first got to meet his grandparents.  When I met them I never thought that they would have much influence on my life or my kids lives since they lived so far away, but I was wrong.  Every time we went to visit his grandparents we always walked into a bustling kitchen.  His grandma always fixed us a big lunch which almost always included fried fish that his grandpa had caught, potatoes, biscuits, hush puppies, some vegetables, and striped delight cake.  By the time she was finished cooking dirty dishes were piled a mile high.  She obviously showed us her love by cooking and we tried to  show our appreciation by doing the dishes.  His grandpa would visit and play with Kyle and Lana while all the cooking was going on.  He also really enjoyed fishing. He shared some of his secrets with Kyle and taught him how to hold a fishing rod.  Then he took Kyle out on his boat and watched as Kyle reeled in his first fish.

Great Grandpa teaching Kyle how to cast 2 black and white-1_edited-1 DSCF0091_edited-1

The short amount of time we have been able to spend with Ronnie's grandparents have taught our kids and ourselves to take some time to relax and enjoy every phase of this life here on earth.  Sometimes our kids get into a really obnoxious phase and his grandparents would share with us the little obnoxious things their kids did and how short those phases actually lasted.  His grandparents find joy in taking care of each other.  I can only imagine how much their love for one another has grown through the years. 


This past week Ronnie felt it was important that we take a trip to visit his family in Missouri because both his grandparent's health was failing.  We would go to visit his grandmother in the hospital then go to see his grandfather at his house.  Every time we would walk in the door his grandfather would  smile and greet us, but I knew his mind was elsewhere with concern for his wife.  My heart ached as I would hear him ask about his wife and receive bad news.  I felt like I was keeping a selfish secret inside about what I knew about life after death and that families can be forever and that marriages can last for time and all eternity and not just till death do you part.  But still I sat there quiet probably because I was afraid.  Afraid of him not believing me, or not wanting to hear what I knew, or making him more sad talking about death, or not being able to understand me or comprehend what I was saying.  I think that the thought crossed my mind that I was too late to talk to him.  But I know it's never too late even if I never talk to him.  I can still do the work needed for Ronnie's grandparents so that they can make their choice even after this life.  I am grateful for my family and I am grateful for the Gospel that can make us an eternal family. 

On a lighter note...I sometimes jokingly think...will my kids really want to be stuck with each other for eternity?  As much as they fight and argue with each other the thought has crossed my mind more than once, but I've never taken it seriously.  Today as I was writing this I stopped in the middle to go pick Lana up from school and this is what her teacher sent her home with today:

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Skeletons in the Closet

As the kids went back to school on Monday I was kind of sad.  They have finally got to a point where they can play together and also do things individually without pestering one another.  It was actually nice to wake up and not have to run them to school.  We actually had days when we didn't even leave the house.  Winter break was a welcomed change of pace, but now it's back to the norm.

On Monday after I dropped the kids off at school I didn't quite know what to do with myself, so I clean and organized my pantry.  Everyone thinks I'm an organized person, but I'm not.  I'm very particular about how I like things done so I usually put them off until I know I have enough time to do it and do it right.  I seem to never find the time, so things are left undone.  Quite silly I know, but it's me, what am I going to do? 

I started my little endeavor with camera in hand.  Here is what I was up against.

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This is not a pantry of an organized person.  Where to start?  Well I emptied everything out and checked for expiration dates.  On somethings I couldn't find the date but a few had expired Box Tops, so you know it had to be old.  Those Box Top deals are good for like 4 or 5 years, if the Box Top is expired the food it beyond expired.  I also came across blood worms, how many people can say they had blood worms in their pantry?  I can, only because we used to have fish that ate them.  I had to move the fish food into our pantry because my darling Lana emptied the whole container into the fish tank on more than one occasion.  I also came across, not 1, not 2, but 3 jars of nutmeg.  I actually had to take a picture of that find.

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It's kind of weird because I don't even know what I would put nutmeg in so why on earth do I have three containers of it.  I carry on and empty the pantry and clean the shelves. Then I realize I have flooring as a shelf liner.  I'm not so hip on that so I grab my purse and head to the store to find some new shelf liner. 

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Before I left I made sure I measured.  I have a really deep pantry, 23 inches deep to be exact.  What does one do with shelves that deep?  How does it make any sense to have shelves that deep.  You can never see what's in the back.  Should I fill up the back with some old home videos we never watch but have to hold on to.  These are the thoughts running through my head as I walk around the store looking for shelf liner.  I finally find the liners and pinch and feel every one and decide I like the flooring option I have better.  While I'm in the aisle I take a gander at the kitchen organizational stuff and leave with 3 shelves and one really long bin.  I was really excited about the bin because it was actually a media storage bin, but I had another use for it.  I love when I can find another use for something.  It's like I'm saying, yes I know you told me to use this bin for my CDs but I'm going to use it for my baking supplies, so neener neener neener.  I'm still a rebellious child at heart.  It's sad, but that's about as rebellious as I get now a days.

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Here is my "baking" bin filled with my special cookie cutters, food coloring, cupcake wrappers and what not.  In the end I don't know if my pantry looks any more organized but at least I feel like it is.  And I would love to meet the person that thought a 23 inch long pantry was a good idea.  With that said here is my "organized really long shelfed pantry" minus the blood worms and 2 of the 3 containers of nutmeg.

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