Saturday, November 29, 2008

There's No Free Lunch

When my younger sister (and the fifth daughter) was born my mother sighed and said, "More puffed sleeves to iron." We don't know much about that kind 0f thing around here, but with five boys in the house, we have no trouble generating dress shirts to iron.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 28, 2008


A number of years ago our family learned to play Sardines. It's been a family favorite ever since, especially for the grand kids. It is a version of "Hide and Seek" played in the dark and in complete silence. While one person hides, the rest of the players gather at "base" and count to 25. Then, with all the lights out, the rest of the players fan out to find the hiding place. If you find the "hider" you join him in the hiding place. By the time the last player crams their body into the hiding space you truly feel like "Sardines."
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 27, 2008

How to Scale Back Thanksgiving

With Britt barely getting back on her feet and with four little boys to care for and all that comes with that, we decided to have a "scaled-back" Thanksgiving this year. Grandpa flew in from Chicago, which was perhaps even more exciting than Thanksgiving itself. We thought about going to Boston Market, but couldn't quite wrap our arms around the idea of having no left overs, or having a house that smelled like nothing better than Cheerios or peanut butter sandwiches, or having no pie for tomorrow's breakfast. My mother-in-law always cooked a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner and I've spent my entire life trying to "measure up," and actually think I've done a pretty good job. When my daughter called this morning I felt a little sheepish admitting that we were having Stove Top dressing, Rhodes rolls, and sweet potatoes from Boston Market. I was somewhat comforted when she told me that 90% of American families considered that to be a "fabulous" Thanksgiving dinner.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 24, 2008

Britt had surgery last week and I'm in Ohio doing "The Grandma Thing." This is Burke, whom I'm meeting for the very first time. He's doing a great job of eating, pooping, and burping -- clear to see that he is destined to be a gifted child.

This is Charlie. I arrived sort of in the middle of this sugar crisis. It was a great way to make me feel that I was needed.

During the surgery, a woman from the ward came to watch the boys until I could get here. She told me that she had asked the boys if they would like to read some scripture stories. Four-year-old Theron said, "Sister Dean, we don't read the scriptures. We feast on the scriptures, and if you don't know what that means, it means we study them.

Six-year-old Isaac was looking for a Sunday afternoon project. Here's an example of what you can do with a squirt of glue, paper, and an entire roll of scotch tape. I miss these "creative years."
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

102 years old

November 17th -- my mother's birthday. Today she would have been 102 years old. My mother was a beautiful woman, and while I don't feel that I inherited any of her physical features, I do think I am a lot like my mother in many ways. I often catch myself doing things that cause me to say, "I've turned into my mother."

My mother raised seven children, one of them born with a congenital heart defect that took his life at age 15. It was a time when mothers didn't have cars. They were at home. Mother came pretty close to being a "perfect" homemaker. She baked bread twice a week, washed twice a week (with a wringer washer) and hung everything on the line. Then she ironed it all, including the multitude of starched petticoats her five girls wore during the 50's. She grew beautiful roses and gladiolas. When we woke up on summer mornings we knew we would find her in the garden. She knew how to cook for a crowd and could cook up a dutch-oven meal for 80 in the middle of nowhere. She sewed all our clothes, including our formals and bridal gowns. She could entertain general authorities and political leaders with grace and class, but she could also work on the farm, build a mountain cabin, or run the Stake Primary. We lived in a small four-bedroom home (no family room, one bathroom to share). Besides our own family of nine, she rented the basement apartment to student couples and also took in borders (college students who paid for a room and ate their meals with us). When I see how small the home is now, I'm amazed that she was able to keep it so clean and organized.

Oh mother, when times get hard, I pray that the things I have inherited from you will serve my family as well as you served yours.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dream Pillows

When our children were young their grandma made them each a "Dream Pillow." It was a pillow case made out of Christmas fabric. You were supposed to put it on your pillow on Thanksgiving and then dream about Christmas until December 25th. I started out to be a pretty good grandma, but as the number of grandkids has risen to 16, I realized that I've gotten a little behind. I got three new ones made today.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 10, 2008

What's missing from your record?

Yesterday in our gospel doctrine lesson we talked about 3 Ne 23. The Savior asks Nephi to bring the records for him to look at. He examines them closely and then points out a particular prophecy that was missing. Since prophets have told us that we should keep our own records, I wonder if the Savior were to ask to see my record, what would he point out was missing. I suspect a great deal. Since it's been a while since I shared a journal experience I thought I would share an entry I wrote a year ago today.

"Today was Adams Lindsey's funeral. It was quite a remarkable experience for me. I was struck by several things. It was a very simple funeral. There were only two or three flower arrangements, and they were very small -- not even a casket spray. There were not a lot of tears or drama, but the talks were very inspiring. They caused me to reflect on my own life. I don't feel like I have truly been "tested" in this life. Perhaps my real challenges are still to come. Perhaps they have been here around me and I simply haven't seen them as challenges, but it seems to me that my life has been a constant stream of blessings. When I learn about someone like Adams, who has faced so many difficult things and been so faithful, so positive, such an example to others, I wonder if I would have the faith and strength of character to live as she has. I love the C.S. Lewis quote:

'No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the enemy army by fighting it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have led a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it; and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means.'

My life seems to have been filled with gentle summer breezes. Could I walk against a hard wind? Can I resist temptation -- not the easy things like being honest, attending church meetings, paying tithes and being generous to others, but the hard things -- things like being proud, judging others, being impatient, being jealous, comparing myself to others. Will I be able to stay on my feet when the strong winds blow? I worry about this, because as the years pass and age becomes a factor I don't seem to have the stamina and endurance that I used to have. I guess it's all part of the 'enduring to the end' process."

This old "enduring to the end" stuff is way harder than I ever dreamed. Thank goodness there is still time to repent!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Will You Look at That!

I didn't know if we'd ever see gas under two dollars again. It's almost worth driving to Champaign just to gas up!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Grandpa Comes to Visit

Hey Grandpa, meet Clayton Henri Peterson!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 3, 2008

Double Birthday

I know this sounds impossible, but I've been working on this blog all day and have nothing to show for it but this picture. Some days things just don't go the way you want them to. Nevertheless, we think November 3rd is a great day for a birthday. Not only is it Heidi's day, our sixteenth grandchild was born early this morning. Happy Birthday to little "no-name" baby boy. More to follow!
Posted by Picasa