Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Homemaking - Keeping a Record


I'm doing two new family history projects this year.

One project is a-picture-a-day on Instagram.  I write a family letter most every Sunday evening with the news, thoughts, and events of our week.  This year, as I print and file the letters in a journal, I'll add the Instagram photos. Here are a few examples from this month:


Ande used to do all of our ironing when she was in high school
and I was busy.  Today I returned the favor.

#ioweher   #day5  1-5-15  


Melanie (who now lives 70 miles away) called and left a message saying,
"I'm passing your house and called to say, 'hello.'  I know you're busy so I'll
call next time I'm in town."  Even though I never answer the phone in the
WalMart line (I can only handle so much confusion and
Walmart + tabloid aisle + candy bar shelf + phone = pandemonium) I
called her back and said, "Help! I need a haircut badly and I have
sewing scissors or kitchen shears you can use.  Please turn around."  She did
and met me at home and cut my hair and laughed and visited and ate cake with me.
Everyone needs a friend like Melanie.  

#day9  1-9-15


Chores.
#day17  1-17-15


W'ere going to have neighbors 256 steps from our kitchen door.
#wonthavetogofartoborrowsugar   #day19   1-19-15


This is not a throwback picture. No sir, that is me sporting my 1990's
coat AND the price of gas in the reflection is 1990's gas prices --
a full gas tank for less than $24.  

#day20   1-20-15


The pictures cover the routine that isn't necessarily recorded in the weekly letter and yet is a very real part of life.  It's the easiest record-keeping I've ever done.

I'll share the other idea next week . . .



Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Memories - Name That Cat


I don’t think I’ve ever told you about Goldie, our Shetland pony. My brothers and sisters and I grew up on a ranch in southern Idaho and we had plenty of horses for herding cows. I don’t remember who gave us Goldie, the Shetland pony, I just remember she was mean.  She had foundered so her hooves were long and curled - witchlike.  She tried to scrape us off on every fence or tree she passed. She'd turn around and bite your leg when you weren’t paying attention.  Goldie didn’t like us anymore than we liked her. 

But Goldie had four legs so when it came time to move cows and you were the youngest and all of the real horses were taken, Goldie was your mount (using the term very generously). No one ever had to worry about Goldie racing for the barn at the end of the day; she didn’t believe in racing anywhere. If it was exciting or good, Goldie did not participate.

Goldie's name did not fit her.  She was not gold nor was she golden. 

However, some of our other horses' names fit them:

There was Shorty.  He was born in a snow bank and his ears were frozen short.  

Two-Bits cost $250 or two bits.

Forty Below was born when it was forty below.

Tomahawk was a tediously slow, stub-tailed appaloosa, with a short choppy trot.

I wish I had a picture of each of these horses, but I don't.  But I do have one of Sunny.  Someone in the family poetically suggested Sunset Beach for his name so we held a family vote, compromised, and called him Sunny.  It fit his personality perfectly.  He was one happy and fun horse. Here we are at a rodeo competition.




All this to say it's very important to get the right name for an animal.  

Recently we got two cats and they needed names.  This is Cat 1.  You will have to imagine Cat 2 as he doesn't pose.  




Calvin could care less what their names are so I called Afton and Levin to help name them.    


 

Afton named Cat 1, La-TA-ta.  




Levin named Cat 2, Jelly-doo.  

I think they'll fit perfectly.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fifteen Pictures for the 15th of January 2015


Michelle: There MIGHT come a day when I wish this phase
of bedtime snuggling away, but I seriously doubt it.

Afton: Maybe she needs a jogging stroller. 

Ty: Practicing in the simulator.

Eliza:  I discovered my shadow tonight (mom's flash made it disappear),
but I was much more brave about seeing it than Afton was
when she discovered hers.

Zeph:  "I'm happy."

Joe:  "I'm busy."

Ezra:  "I'm tired."

Ande:  "Me, too, Ezra.  Me, too."

Calvin:  On my way to Idaho to see Trevor who just had back surgery.

Jane:  This is what bathroom graffiti looks like in a seminary building. 

Levin:  If they aren't hugging back there, they are punching . . . Atlas
being the worst offender.  About time for me to start threatening to pull over.
Levin said, "I'm having a hard day."

Atlas:  Like a shark in a penguin aquarium . . . act natural and maybe they won't notice.  

Henry:  Banging on the glass.

Grace:  Watching Henry climb the stairs.

Abe - Henry telling me that his first word was "Dad".
(Grace thinks he has already said "Mom" but I'm not buying it.)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Memories - The Beebee


Blogging is exhausting.  It's taken me 2 weeks to write this post.

Actually it's the indecision that fatigues me.  Bertrand Russell said, "Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile."  Hear, here.  Two weeks of no decisions = two weeks of no memories recorded.

This was my problem:

I had a perfect time with Joe and Ande, Zeph and Ezra last week.  Even though 255 babies are born per minute, 353, 000 per day, it does not lesson the beauty and wonder of a new birth. Ezra Wilhelm is a sweet little miracle and it was special being a part of his first week on Earth. Maybe it’s because of the frequency of being with newborns (eight new grand-babies in four years), maybe it’s because I’m not swimming in postpartum recovery myself, maybe it’s because I’m closer to death than I am to birth, but I better recognize now more than ever before that being with a family as they welcome a newborn is an incredible experience in its simplicity, spirit, and sacrifice. Simply put, birth is a miracle.

But . . .

How do I capture it right?  How do I write about it?  Which pictures do I use to show the process of a growing family?

This one . . .



. . . or this one?




And which picture should I save to remember Zeph meeting Ezra for the first time?

This one where he seems to say, "Oh my goodness, it's a miracle," . . .




. . .  or this one where he squeezes his nose and says, "Honk! Honk!"?




Then there was the decision of which picture to use remembering mine and Zeph's morning walks while the rest of the family was busy.  Should I use this one of the sea water . . . 




. . . or this one of the alligators lying by the fresh water ponds?




Which picture?  The one of Joe and Ezra where all of Ezra's face is visible . . . 




. . . or this one where all three boys are present and watching Curious George.




I really, really couldn't decide between the hat pictures that kept Ezra warm.  This one . . .




. . . or this one?




Joe, Ande, and I spent hours reading to Zeph.  Which picture should document that?  This one . . . 




. . . this one . . . 




. . . or this one?




The day we brought Ezra home from the hospital Zeph said, "the beebee" no less than one hundred times (we counted) as he searched high and low for him.  We had to hide Ezra to keep him safe from Zeph's love.  Which picture best shows how we camouflaged him?  The one where he is swaddled on the bedspread . . . 




. . . or the one where he is hidden among the laundry on the dining room table?




Sometimes, to keep Zeph quiet so Ande could rest in the mornings, we stayed in my room. Which picture best captures keeping him busy?  Pluto and the Puppy. . . 




. . . or coloring all over my list?




There should always be a picture of a child with his handsome father and beautiful mother.  But, again, which one?






Now you can see why I had such a hard time recording this memory.  

There is a sense of wonder to a new birth.  Not only is it miraculous at seeing the body's development from those nine months of pregnancy, but seeing a little spirit and body unite and work together independently for the first time is pretty marvelous . . .    





. . . and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it.

Welcome to the world Ezra Wilhelm.  Our family is better because you're here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Monday Memories - Welcome to the World




December 29, 2014



Ande and Joe have a new baby boy.  He weighs 7 lbs. and 5 ozs. and is just as cute and sweet as he can be.  Ande and the baby are both doing well . . . and so are Joe and Zeph.  Zeph went straight for his nose, tweaked it, and said, "Honk. Honk."  I'm loving being here with them all.

Wilhelm is the name of my smart and thumb-twiddling grandfather (he later went by William). He was a good, industrious man that served others. 




Sunday, December 28, 2014

52 Blessings -- No Harm or Accident


Safety.  It seems like "please bless that no harm or accident will fall upon us" is a frequent phrase of many prayers.  But just because it's repeated often doesn't mean I'm any less grateful for it.

We left Idaho early this morning and as we knelt on my sister's kitchen floor she prayed that we would be protected and watched over as we drove home on slick roads.  Her pleading was so simple and so sincere it brought a warmth then and a comfort the whole way home.

We made it without harm or accident and had an enjoyable trip listening to Undaunted Courage, the story of the Lewis & Clark expedition.  (Who also enjoyed great safety in their travels.)  And, because the roads were bad, traffic crawled, and the trip lasted a few hours longer than normal, we got to listen to lots of the book.




I'm grateful for safety.  Always.