Saturday, October 17, 2015

Star Wars Day

Dave's out of town again - seems like a good time to catch up on some blogging.

We enjoy the Springville for library story time - that library has the most wonderful kid activities. All free and family-friendly. Win, win. A few weeks back, a few of the librarians staged a promo light saber fight right before story time and, well - hooked us! We had to check it out, along with about half of Utah valley, I think. I have to say: blew me away! For a library, they know how to throw a party. There were game stations and trivia and photo ops with Star Wars characters, tattoos, make-your-own light sabers, and candy at everything.

 And Jedi training! Can I please join!? It was such a blast, and so well organized. Librarians of Springville! You rock!

A geeky fan film for your viewing pleasure:

I guess we'll be going to see the new Star Wars in December.

The library is having a spooky story time on Monday night, but I don't think we'll make it to that one. These little ones don't always appreciate "spooky." Riley won't even let me sing "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly" anymore. It is a rather gross song though. Riley had a panic moment of a different sort today. We were taking Dave to the airport this morning and she asked why.

Me - "So Daddy can go visit his Texas family."
R - "Instead of us??? Daddy is getting rid of US?"
Me - "No, no, no! Daddy has brothers in TX! He is going to see his brothers!"
R - *Nervous laugh.

R - Mumble: "Thank goodness."

Except, you know...not "goodness."
I still am not sure if that last bit was meant as a prayer or a swear. She was relieved. But lately has been spending time with some neighbor kids who, turns out, swear like sailors.

We miss Daddy already of course, but I'm so glad he is going to be at Grandma Anderson's funeral and see his brothers and extended family he doesn't see often. Too bad he had to miss this moment though:

I learned how to screenshot my phone to share that with you. Your welcome!

Haha ok so I know it might seem like I make fun of my kids on the blog (or Instagram...) but kids are awesome! They keep things interesting and I don't want to forget these things that make me giggle, and I know the grandparents like to giggle too. Also, I want to remember not to say, "Enjoy every minute of it," when I'm older, because sometimes, moments are just not enjoyable. Like the moment you get a poopy finger waved in your face.

But, enjoyable moments:

Scenic drive of the Nebo Loop last weekend
Hiking with the kids today.
Bridal Veil Falls with Uncle Tim.
And Star Wars! (That post rambled, eh?)
Gucht nacht. (Why yes, I did google to find the correct spelling of that. And I like my original spelling, "Gooten nagen," better. Just sayin.)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Grandma Anderson

The past few months we have been praying for a very special lady, Dave's grandma. Yesterday she passed away. Alzheimer's is a difficult disease and she has been declining for a while, but it is still sad when such a golden person leaves the earth. I was lucky enough to meet her and spend days here and there in her company, when we could make the trip down to Sweetwater, TX, or later Abilene, after she moved into a care home in her final days. I wish we could have visited more, and someone like that, you wish your children could grow up knowing and know the kind of stock they come from. So I'm writing about her here and hoping that something is better than nothing. They can know that their Great Grandmother Francis Anderson was a gem and salt of the earth.

I first met her in 2010, a month before Dave and I got married. Thanks to Dave, I already knew one or two things about her - such as she made unbeatable molasses cookies. Seriously - I've tried to make them and they are never quite "like Grandma made." I knew that she lived in the rattle snake capital of the US (once a rattle snake threatened her dog and she just chucked it into a dumpster with her cane) and that she was liable to give away anything in her house if you took an interest. Actually meeting her though was like, I don't know, being embraced by an angel. A bacon-making, chihuahua-flanked, snowy haired angel. Her smile was so ready and sincere, she was quick to see humor and goodness, but frank and clear-eyed about morals and responsibility. She had a generous, resilient heart. She loaded up our car with kitchen items she thought newlyweds might need, and gave us a huge jar of coins - totaling about $40 - which I believe might have been originally intended for the plate at church, but she felt like we needed them more. Sorry about that, church. We couldn't turn her down.

That time we went down for a traditional Grandma Anderson Thanksgiving at the truck stop. Nicest people, good food, and easiest cleanup ever.
In bits and pieces I learned she had not had an easy life (does anyone?) But rather than grow bitter or withdrawn, life had made her more giving, more bighearted. She chose to see the good and serve those around her. I'll never forget that last visit to the nursing home. I was apprehensive - what would it be like, having to give up her home of decades, her beloved chihuahua, Missy, and sign over her freedom while she waited for Alzheimer's to take it's course. Depressing thoughts. I hadn't considered what strong metal she was made of though.

She was actually genuinely happy that day we came to visit. She wasn't in her room when we arrived, but we heard her coming down the hall saying cheerful things to one of the other residents. "What happened to Missy?" I asked. "Oh I gave her to one of my angels, here." She called the nurses 'her angels'. She took us around to meet some of her neighbors. One was unresponsive and she told Riley to go ahead and wave in front of his face - he didn't have a clue. Ha! She was cheerful. She saw things as they were and took joy in helping the many people who were worse off than her. Her roommate was fairly far along with the disease - confused, sometimes falling out of her bed, and unable to get up. Grandma Anderson was of course the first responder, going for help as quickly as her walker would allow. She watched over her as a dear friend, although she probably wasn't easy to live with.

Grandma told us she was physically in the best condition she'd been in years, thanks to weekly therapy and daily long walks around the building. And I could tell - no neck brace for the first time since we'd met, and she'd put on some weight as well. She was excited and she was grateful! No one can tell me that would be an easy attitude to come by in her situation, and I think it must be the result of a lifetime of rising above, and continued, conscientious effort every day. Her conversation, the pictures and quotes on her wall, were reflections of the attitude she chose for herself. I am to this day in awe. I took a picture of one of her collages she'd made from magazine clippings.

I love reading those and thinking how each one spoke to her and were modeled in the way she lived her life. "Everything God does is purposeful. And since God is in each of us, each of us has a purpose." She was purposeful. She was a blessing in so many lives. "Family matters. Family are the only people who will tell you when you're getting off the tracks a little. Surround yourself with people who love the Lord, love themselves and love you, and you can't really fail." That describes the type of person she was so well.

We haven't seen her since that trip last summer and have been unable to communicate with her aside from cards and letters that she couldn't respond to, but I still think of her often, praying that she felt our love and had peace in the hard times. She will be very much missed by those who loved her, and to know her was to love her - but what a profound joy it must have been to see her husband and daughter again, and be able to look back on a life well lived and many lives touched. Thank you for your legacy, Francis Anderson. It was a blessing to know you.

The Munions Picnic

Hiking, about a month ago. It was colder and windier than we realized it would be. Luckily, we had a neck pillow with a fox hood attached so Riley's ears stayed nice and warm.
Riley, you're so cool. Never change.
You guys are cool too.
Joe was truly concerned about one of us would fall off the edge of the earth. (It was not a cliff, but a steep enough incline.)

A selfie, featuring glasses I sent back.! Is the best!
Happy Fall!

Mostly it has been too hot to feel comfortable talking about fall but, and I'm daydreaming about snowy winter days. And when it's February I'll daydream about hot sunny days - I'm only human.