Saturday, July 26, 2008

In the Good Old Summertime

There's a time each year
That we always hold dear,

Good old summer time;

With the birds and the treeses

And sweet scented breezes,

Good old summer time,

When your day's work is over

Then you are in clover,

And life is one beautiful rhyme,

No trouble annoying,

Each one is enjoying,

The good old summer time.

Lyrics - Ren Shields
Music - George Evans

Father & Son Outing
July 23-25, 2008

Tom and Hugh ventured out for three days last week on a memorable trip before Tom leaves on his mission.

Hugh (center) looking and listening on the Hearst Castle tour.

Tom with his deep sea fishing catch for our Friday night fish fry.

Good Friends - Kaley Thacker, Janna Blair, Zoe Burgess

Lancaster Stake Girl's Camp

July 22-26, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008
Me, Doyle, Julie, Cassie, Jim, and my sister, Beth

Alas, so much to blog, so little time. The summer is not over yet and our busyness continues with more doings to report. I'll try to keep up. Hope you're having a great summer!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Pioneer Day

"Stand as witnesses of God at all times
and in all things, and in all places"
(from the Young Women Theme, Mosiah 18:9)

"So where should each of us make our stand? As we demonstrate our devotion to God by our daily acts of righteousness, He can know where we stand. For all of us this life is a time of sifting and refining. We all face trials. Individual members in the early days of the Church were tested and refined when they had to decide if they had the put their belongings in a wagon or a pioneer handcart and travel across the American plains. Some did not have the faith. Those who did traveled “with faith in every footstep.” In our time we are going through an increasingly difficult time of refining and testing. The tests are more subtle because the lines between good and evil are being eroded. Very little seems to be sacred in any of our public communication. In this environment we will need to make sure where we stand all of the time in our commitment to eternal truths and covenants."
James E. Faust, “Where Do I Make My Stand?,”Ensign, Nov 2004, 18

Through all our playing this summer, Janna took the opportunity to participate in our stake youth conference. It was a reenactment of the pioneers crossing the plains. Their version involved pushing and pulling fifteen handcarts through the high Sierra's for four days along with other activities to enhance their understanding of the pioneer experience.

Janna with her pioneer family, The Chandler's, marching into the Great Salt Lake Valley.

I can't recount all of Janna's feelings and knowledge she gained from the event, but I do know how I felt as we greeted and hailed the incoming pioneers. I get emotional just thinking about it. No doubt our adulation was similar to those who were met so long ago. When Janna and I saw each other our eyes filled with tears. Hearts communicated with hearts. She was so grateful to be home. Grateful for the gospel. Grateful for her faith in Christ. I felt those things too. Surely our hearts were comforted and knit together in love.

Glad to have Janna home. Glad to be home.

Pioneer Day Commemoration Concert - I might mention that in celebration of Pioneer Day (July 24th)there will be a special broadcast on Saturday, July 26, at 7:30 p.m. mountain daylight time, (6:30 p.m. pacific daylight time). will provide a one-time, live Internet stream of the Pioneer Day Commemoration Concert, featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Orchestra at Temple Square, and special guests, the Osmonds. This presentation will not be archived like other broadcasts. Hope you read this post in time to view this special program. I'M ALL ABOUT IT!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Honor thy Father and thy Mother

Through all my blogging I haven't mentioned my parents much and yet they take a good portion of my time and concern. They are aging and I'm a caregiver, of sorts. I say, of sorts, because they are still living at home. They have tried to stay in their own domain, but as their health has declined they have needed more and more support. They need daily care and I'm not in a position to give it. It might be easier if my parents were closer in vicinity, like next door or living in my home. They do live in town, but it is a bit of a drive. Their care has become more and more of a burden on me because of their choices to try and stay "independent".

We've encouraged them to get more help, but my mother has refused to pay for what they really need. Yes, she's called repairmen, a housekeeper, yard help, etc., periodically, but still more help is required. I walk a tentative tightrope in offering my opinion on what I think would be in their best interest and letting them preserve their autonomy. Some days I think I'm outright irresponsible as I let them make choices that seem wrong for their welfare. It's a constant concern about what is best for them and where to draw the line in fostering their independence. It seems that what I do is never enough.

Anyway, I always include some kind of picture with my post. I have a wedding photo displayed instead of a picture showing my parent's current state of affairs. They have been married 57 years. Once robust and active, these days their situation is really quite awful and I'm not inclined to exhibit their ruin. Their gradual demise is sad and demeaning. My dad has Alzheimer's. He is literally the walking dead. My mother is diabetic with congestive heart failure and a bit of dementia I might add. She is full of anxiety and worry as she tries to hang on to what she once had physically and mentally. There is no quality of life. They are in a downward spiral.

Currently, I have opted to let them make choices and then stand back and watch, but things seem to be escalating. My mother finally admitted to me this week that maybe she does need to live with someone. My mother would like to wait in dealing with these decisions because my sister, Beth, is coming to visit next week. With Beth's help and my brothers' too, hopefully, we can come up with a consensus for my parent's well-being. We'll see how it goes.

Dorothy & Bill Reynders - A BETTER DAY

"Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Michael, Janna, Sammy, Becky, and Emma

My brother, Adam, and his children arrived over a week ago. Zoe's friend, Sarah Shelley, is in town too, visiting from Florida. We had 13 plus people, at times, in tow or at home, as we kept everyone entertained. It's been fun, but it's just the beginning of a crazy busy month. We are booked with cousins and other activities. This is just an example of it:

Monday - Family Home Evening/Apollo Park/Foster's Freeze
Tuesday - Zoe's Luau
Wednesday - Swimming Party at the McEwan's
Thursday - Movie
Friday - Beach House, visiting the Shirley Family/FIREWORKS
Saturday - BBQ/Sparklers
Sunday - Church

No wonder everyone likes to visit Aunt Martha. Between all this is eating, piano, Pioneer School (my home version of summer school), chores, appointments, tending Poppy and Grandma, etc., etc., etc. Am I booked or what?! We're the hub of activity.

Adam is back in Utah today, but he left his kids here for more cousin time. My sister, Beth, will be here next week with her two youngest. And we'll all be rendezvousing with my other brother, Mark, sooner or later. I could share more details, but I won't. I'm too busy!!!

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
-- John Lennon

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!

My mother says she doesn't want a senior citizen for a daughter, but it's finally happened. The 4th of July has rolled around again celebrating our nation's birth and my birth. I've hit the golden age of 55 today. Guess what my present was? I was home alone. Everyone went to the beach and I stayed home. How sad you say? Au contraire, my house seems to be constantly filled with people these days, I was happy to take a break. When everyone got home, we had tossed salad and chimichangas. Later that night, after the firework show, we had sweet bread with berries, topped with fresh whipped cream. "Happy Birthday to Me!" It was a great day. I'm glad to share my B-day with America and I'm proud to be a citizen of this country, a senior citizen that is.I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
Who gave that right to me.
--Lee Greenwood