Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Cookie Roundup!

Ahhh. I'm so sorry I'm tardy on this one. I've been under the weather in a big way- think 2 trips to the Dr, a few prescriptions, and some time off work. Luckily, I'm up a little today, only a few hours late for this post. Sorry...

Here is my Christmas Cookie:
These are the sugar cookies of my childhood. My mother got this recipe as a teenager and made it for us every Christmas. Here it is:
Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
1 c shortening
5 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking powder
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Mix well all ingredients. Chill 2 to 3 hours at least. Roll and cut into decorative shapes. Bake at 350 degrees until edges are lightly browned. Do not overcook. Frost or decorate.

Here is my sister-in-law's fabulous easy, secret frosting recipe.
Jello Frosting
1/4 c Jello powder (use the color/flavor you need)
1/4 c boiling water
6 Tablespoons butter
1 lb. powdered sugar

Dissolve the jello into the water. Add the butter. Then add the powdered sugar until it reaches spreading consistency.

Decorate and enjoy!
Happy Holidays!

For the next recipe check out Critter Creations. Click here.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

30 Posts in 30 Days

Thank you, thank you ladies and gentlemen! No, please sit down, really, I don't deserve such applause! I'd like to give a special sound out to the following people who helped make this event possible: First, to Beckie for helping me get this whole ball rolling and for your ongoing support. I love you, Beckie and I'm so glad I can call you sister. Next, to Kaleena who sat next to me and encouraged me and tutored me several times this past  month. I appreciate your help and love and support also. Also, a special thank you to my daughter Taylor for all you've done to allow me access to the computer when I know you'd rather have had access. Also for all the good supply of blog posts that you've given me lately, a special and loving thank you. No thank you would be complete without a huge shout out of gratitude, love and more love to Daniel who has suffered through my feeble writing attempts, late nights at the computer and a consistent drop off in my ability to complete any household tasks. I love you, sweetie, and i appreciate you buying the laptop that sits on the kitchen table that I use to post. :*
Finally, a great big hug and kiss to all the readers who read my blog. All 8 of you! I love you and I love your comments. Thank you!!!!!

See this look? I melt with this look. I love Daniel! He's so fun and charming and can make me laugh just as hard as I did when I met him 19 years ago in the middle of the night in the parking lot. He's looking at our daughter, Taylor, and he's just got the pizza dinner that he spoiled us with. He drives 5 hours a day and works 8 hours so he can support us and be with us, even if for a few minutes. I do love this man...

Today I went to lunch with these 2 ladies: Karen and Sally. Doesn't this look like we are about to spend more than 2 hours laughing, crying, having fun and eating great food? Thanks, Sally! I love my friends!

There's that guy Daniel again. I sure do love him. He's the kind of guy that you want on your side. He's the one that makes me laugh and feel good being around. He's also the guy who makes me a better person by being around him and knowing him. How lucky can a girl be?

I've been hanging out with these 2 for 9 years now. The one on the right, Taylor, I've known for about 13 years. In spite of everything I adore her and love her so much. And Katie, well, Katie is like another daughter to me. Except I don't have to pay for her orthodontia. (Taylor hates this photo, btw)

I went to the Aquarium yesterday with this fun group of people. The Chemers Family. Sorry I posted the blurry one. I have some others that I'll email to the family if they leave me a note in the comment section with their email address. 

Tonight's the night.
I've completed 30 posts in 30 days.
Thanks for coming along for the ride!

I've shared a lot these past 30 days. Did I find my blogging voice? Sometimes. Sometimes I did not. And I had a few moments of writers block. I've learned a lot about blogging and I've also found that I literally CRAVE comments. I've tried to be better about leaving comments on other blogs that I stalk.

For now though, let me raise my glass in salutations and gratitude to all the readers out there: Thank you for hanging on through this crazy month and thank you for being kind and loyal in spite of my ramblings. I salute you, readers, for getting through the last month! Cheers!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


You know, it's almost the end of 2008. I just got another year older. It's an interesting time in which we live, isn't it? It makes me want to sit down and really assess my life. What's right with it? What's wrong with it? What's in my future? What have I done well and what do I still need to learn? Where have I been and where am I going? 

The only problem is that as I sit down to do this, my mind doesn't know where to start. I instantly start thinking of all of my friends and family who might be reading this and I can't stop thinking of all of you. There are some of you that I miss so terribly that my heart hurts just thinking about it. There are some of you that I am filled with regret about things I should have told you or should have not told you. There are some that I have just seen or will likely see within the week. And here's what I'm thinking: It's all of you that still hang in there with me and are willing to glance at my bizarre writing/thoughts on occasion that really make my life meaningful. All of you are the ones who add the brushstrokes to my life that make it what it is. And I want you all to know that of all the things I'm thankful for, you all are on the top of the list.

But would you like to know what I still need to learn?
1. To balance a checkbook
2. To prioritize
3. To live fully
4. To stop feeling like I disappoint certain people.
5. To learn how to live with my adorable 12 year old daughter all the time.
6. To keep in better touch with all of  you.
7. To change my own windshield wipers.
8. To stop procrastinating.
9. To stop worrying.
10. To remember this list!

Are there things you still need to learn? Things that you want to share for me to help me take stock of my life? Feel free to leave a comment!

What On Earth?!?!?!

And just like that, it comes to me this morning that I totally forgot to post yesterday. I mean, really??? I drove across Utah, Nevada and California exhausted, and managed to still write a few lines going each way. I have gotten up in the middle of the night to post. And then, it's the day after Thanksgiving and then it's a holiday weekend and I just forget until this morning???? What is going on with me?

I will tell you all a secret. I think I know what happened to me. I allowed myself to get lost in a book and it was all I could do to come up for dinner and the next thing I knew it was today. 

The book I've been engrossed in is _The Story of Edgar Sawtelle_. It's the Oprah book. And I know what you're thinking...but really, this was a GREAT book. And at the end, I just had to sit there and think and think and think. (I don't want to hear any jokes about that...)

But here is what else I did yesterday: I went to the mall. Not to shop. Not to contribute to our nations failing economy. No. I went to see Twilight again with my gal pals AGAIN. At 10:45 AM! 

And I took a nap.

Consider it a late birthday present to myself. I indulged in almost all my favorite things!

I'm going to post twice today to make it up to myself.

And here's another weird thing: My birthday post date says 11/26. But it was 11/27. Promise.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Because it's my birthday, Thanksgiving, and I won't have time to really post, here's one I made for today. Happy Thanksgiving, dear ones!

Here's what the signs around my office should/could read: 

Special Thanks go the Pioneer Woman from whom I borrowed these images.
I think I would actually love to work where they had enough of a sense of humor to actually post these.

Here it really is!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Look at Me!

Special thanks to Marie B. for putting this together. Look at me! Well, not that closely...I'm wearing the famous green scarf that's since been sent on to Claudia Perry in Utah! I believe that picture was taken in Chinatown, San Francisco last spring. You could listen to this over and over while you're preparing your Thanksgiving Dinner! I know I will...just kidding.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

National Day of Listening

See that little box on the side of the blog? The one that says, "National Day of Listening"? See that picture above that reminds us that Listening is the greatest gift?

If you push here you will be taken to the StoryCorps  site and can find out about the Day of Listening. There, you can hear really cool stories that will make you laugh, cry and be in awe. The amazing thing is, is that these are stories told by ordinary people like you and me. You will learn about a cool project that people are trying to do this year: LISTEN to the stories of others. 

The idea is this: The day after Thanksgiving, you set aside about 45 minutes with a loved one, you go into a quiet area and you interview them. Ideally, you record the interview and then you have a cherished memory for the future.

You will find such interview questions as:
What was the happiest moment of your life?
What are you most proud of?
What are the most important lessons you've learned in life?
What is your earliest memory?
How would you like to be remembered?
When in life have you felt most alone?
How has your life been different than what you'd imagined?
Is there anything that you've never told me but want to tell me now?
Is there something about me that you've always wanted to know but have never asked?
Who has been the kindest to you in your life?

There are other questions that you can look at for the specific relationship you have with the interviewee. 

I love this idea, and I hope that everyone in my family does it and records them and then we make one big family CD with memories and interviews. I think it's a great idea to give a gift that really only costs a CD, listening and time.

What other interview questions do you think would make a good interview? 

Listening is an Act of Love...
By listening to the stories of others, you tell them that they matter and won't ever be forgotten. It may be the most meaningful time you spend this year.
Think about participating!

39 Lessons Learned

I'm pretty sure I've had that same lesson somewhere along the way!

My Dear Great Aunt Grace sent me an Email this week with some lessons learned from life. Because I'm gettin' ready to roll on out of my 30s soon, I thought I'd share some of the lessons I've learned:

1. Life isn't fair, and that can be a good thing.
2. When insisting you're right, you make someone else wrong.
3. Crying with someone is better than crying alone.
4. After you give birth, your bladder somehow moves to behind your eyes, causing such embarrassing leaks called tears over things you swore you'd never cry over.
5. Being 12 sucks most of the time.
6. Being the parent of 12 year old sucks sometimes.
7. Reading a good book all day is never a wasted day. Reading a bad book is.
8. When you compare yourself to others there will always be people above and people below. It isn't worth it.
9. Never make major decisions about your life after 10 PM.
10. A good night's sleep can change your whole view.
11. 2 wrongs don't make a right.
12. If a job isn't worth doing your best at, it isn't worth doing.
13. Being competitive can push you harder. Also, it can be a pain in the hiney.
14. You can be poor, but you don't have to be messy.
15. Wood floors cleaned with Murphy's Oil Soap is a fabulous smell.
16. That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.
17. Deep breathing can get you through some tough moments.
18. Get rid of anything in your life that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.
19. Every night is a good night for eating dinner by candlelight- you'll look better, feel better and save $ on electricity.
20. Cloth napkins just make more sense.
21. Only you can make you happy. 
22. You can only change yourself.
23. When faced with a tough moment, ask yourself, "In 5 years will this matter?"
24. Holding a grudge is heavy work- let them go.
25. Time heals almost everything. Really.
26. Good or bad- change is constant in life.
27. Your family will miss you when you're gone. Your work won't. Remember that and live your life accordingly.
28. Practice Random Acts of Kindness
29. Live life! Don't just sit back and watch. You only get one life- make it memorable!
30. When you're feeling down: Get up, Dress up, and Show Up!
31. Look people in the eyes when you're with them. Listen to what they're really saying.
32. They who laugh, last.
33. Insurance is the one thing you can't buy when you need it.
34. Well behaved women rarely  make history.
35. Talk to people around you. You'd be surprised what you can learn.
36. Everyone has something to offer. Look and listen with your heart. 
37. It's better to be poor and happy than to be well paid and miserable.
38. Facebook could be called Crackbook.
39. If you find yourself with an empty heart, fill it with flowers you give to yourself.

But maybe in the end it's like the cartoon said: Some of the lessons you teach aren't the lessons learned. Any lessons you've all learned that you want to share in the comments?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

No Time Like The Present

I think I'm ready for a new look. I'd like to be thinner, have fewer lines in my forehead and be taller. None of those will change before I turn 39 in a few days. But- one thing I can do is get a new haircut. I'd like to get a new look, because I've had basically the same hair since the first Bush Administration. Don't believe me? That picture up above was taken in approximately 1988. My permed hair was held back with a pencil. Nice purple pompom slippers, eh? Actually, I'm not sure what part of this picture is the best part. Please be kind, the 80s did strange things to all of us.

I've always been a big fan of this look. But I've also just been a big fan of Amelie. Bangs? Do I dare go for the bangs? They seem like such a commitment, and you know I'm a commitment-phobe on several levels.

I used to have bangs.  Here I am in the 1970s with bangs:

Special thanks to my friend Chaunine whom I borrowed this picture from. We were cuties swimming at Sherwood Hills. This photo was taken 1st or 2nd grade, circa 1977.

I'm also thinking about some sort of compromise with this kind of look:

I don't know....Is it too much like my hair for the past million years? 
Maybe I should just go Sinead O'Connor.
I'm in agony, I can't decide! What do you all think? Please help me!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Night


So Far So Good!


This  movie's _how_ old?

Here's what Saturday Night is looking like at my house:
Taylor's sick with a cold. Daniel has to go to work early tomorrow morning, and I didn't get enough done today. It's cold, it's dark.

So what do we do?
We watch old movies. Are they classics? You decide: First we watched Oceans Eleven. Then we watched Max Dugan Returns. And now we're starting The Gods Must Be Crazy.

I'm pretty sure WE'RE the crazy ones.

But I've included pictures, including some scrumptious pictures from Oceans Eleven that should make this lame post up to you.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I'm just getting home from seeing the new flick _Twilight_.
It was a crap movie but I loved it. I loved it when Edward kissed Bella. I loved the cheesiness of the movie. I loved the storyline. I even will confess to enjoying the main characters. I thought Jacob was much cuter in the movie than I had imagined him. But was anyone else distracted by the Columbia River in the background instead of the Pacific Ocean? And how cool was Stephenie Meyer's cameo in the cafe? Go Stephenie! My movie experience was definitely enhanced by seeing it with Daniel, some Mom friends and 15 twelve year olds in a theatre full of adolescent girls. The best part was when Edward was kissing Bella and a young man behind me whispered, "What's taking him so long????" 
So what did the rest of you Twilight-a-holics think? The girls in my car going home wish that the movie was 6 hours long and had incorporated all the books because they can't wait. And several young ladies think Edward and Jacob are scrumptious! Please leave your comments on the movie/book!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Everybody's Working For the Weekend

Here are some interesting things Taylor Simpson downloaded while she was doing her "homework" that I found on the desktop tonight:
Hmmm. Should I tell her about Flo and Alice and the Kiss My Grits Phenomenon?

Do you think she gets backstage because of her talent to stand on her tiptoes? Or do I want to even explore that further? Nice kerchief, by the way.
But what was the old pink? What did Black used to be? Do you think this girl forgot a whole leg of her tights? I like the concept though. You all know I'm a big fan of wearing all black whenever I can.

Is it just me, or are the rest of you exhausted by Thursday night? My house was clean last Sunday when the week started. There was order when I looked around.  Now, I see mail, peppermint cookies, laundry folded, a backpack, hot pads, a box, some's just crazy! I know I should be tidying up, but I have to blog! Thursdays are always the moment when I just take a deep breath and I usually get my second wind by Friday when I perk up because it's the weekend. I don't know why the dishwasher has been loaded for 2 days and has yet to be turned on. I don't know why I haven't emptied the trash. Well, it could have something to do with just being lazy and tired. I didn't get home tonight until almost 7 PM. I worked 8 hours and drove around the peninsula- almost running out of gas. I did stop what I was doing and look into the eyes of someone trying to talk to me and listened beyond her words and found someone who was worried, scared and needed a hug. I was glad I did that. But you know, my house is still untidy, my desk is still scattered, and I have 4 days of newspapers in my car that haven't even been opened! What is going on with me???

In other news, the jury came back on the Brad Perry murder  trial today after finding him guilty last week and sentenced him to life without parole. You can watch more here. If you watch the video, you'll see Claudia Perry wearing my fashionable green scarf. Doesn't that color look great on her? Also, just for the record, you should know that Brad's sister who is talking with the red jacket isn't Valerie at all. It's his other sister, Nan. 

It wouldn't be right for me to end tonight without also thanking all of you who read last night's post and left a comment or talked to me today giving me encouragement. Wouldn't you know that within minutes of coming home, Taylor Simpson announced to me that she was done talking to me for the night. I didn't know if I should be relieved or disappointed. It turns out out though, that she made some inaccurate remarks. She talked to me after she got some food and a little stop at the Goodwill. I even got a hug and an air kiss after dinner. Unfortunately, that's when I noticed that she was only about an inch shorter than me. 

Maybe this weekend when I have some more time and energy, I'll try to grow a little. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What They Don't Tell You Before You Take The Baby Home...

Here's a cute girl. Let's call her Taylor Simpson. Taylor Simpson was an adorable little baby. She was the apple of her parents' eyes. She was even tempered, loving and fun to be around.

Here's Taylor's Mom, Esther. She looks mostly put together, has priorities, has reasonable expectations for life and is willing to work hard to get what she wants and where she wants to be. She's about to be in for a rude awakening.

Ahhh, this guy is Daniel Simpson. He's very deliberately chosen to be a part of this family. He loves Taylor and Esther Simpson. He is  smart, thoughtful, compassionate and the voice of reason. He also is willing to work hard, love always, and drive 5 hours a day to be with his family. 

What they forgot to mention at the hospital is that after about 12 years of familial bliss, the baby turns into a pre-teen. That means that she thinks that she knows everything, that her parents can't make a reasonable decision, and that she is the most persecuted child in the universe. Despite her parents' mantras, "It isn't about me" and a lot of deep breathing, Taylor Simpson  manages to make her parents crazy. 

Only about 1960 days until she turns 18 and can escape her lame parents. I think she's already collecting moving boxes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One Big Family

Here's a picture of most of the family at the funeral. Whoever can leave a comment and name every person in the picture and where they live will win a sweet prize from me! Bonus points if you can tell me where they each slept the night before this picture was taken!

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Saturday Memories

Here's Taylor with my cousin's daughter Dakota. The sun is lighting them up, and they are both so beautiful anyway...

My sister Laura, My brother Drew and My gal Angie again. So happy to be together again!

My Grandmother's memorial. I don't know if you can read that poem, but it epitomized my Grandmother.

The "Grown Ups" of the family: My Mom, My Uncle Ron and my Aunt Suzi. They are all wearing beautiful leis because they grew up in Hawaii.

The Cousins: 
Standing: Dorothy, Eli, Caleb, Asa, Ali, Flower, April and Kara
Front: Drew, Antje, Gerrit, Esther, Steve
I love this group- we're missing a few cousins, but this group managed to have a good time anyway. 

Scenes From Last Week

One year my grandparents had a grandchild from each of their children! 
Here are all the grandkids that were born in 1975: Flower, Steve, Kara and Caleb. I love them so much!
My cousin Asa that is making me so proud, My Uncle Ron- who might be the world's coolest uncle. Only my brothers compete for that title, My cousin April, who has always been beautiful and hilarious, and my adorable little sister, Antje. She is my rock in life, and I love her sincerity and enthusiasm with which she approaches life.
Gwen who makes the world's best videos, Gerrit- my little brother who is not so little compared to me and is the best magician are talking to Newell and Claudia Perry- some of the most down to earth kindest people on earth. My fab sis Angie is right there. She always looks great, keeps it real and I wouldn't be caught without her on my side. I love those folks too!
I love Kelby, my niece. She is wearing my pearls, which match her fabulously and she is a child that mirrors my own soul. I adore her!
My cousin's daughter, Cheyanne and Ellie, my niece. Those are some of the sweetest girls around! Look at that love!

An Award For Me??? Aww, shucks...

A huge shout-out to my sister, Beckie who has taken me by the hand and led me into the world of blogging. I'm not sure there is much I could ever do to repay her and even less I could ever teach her, let alone with the amount of patience and love she shows me when I call her and ask stupid questions. But she has kindly nominated me for a Superior Scribbler award, and I humbly accept. Thank you a million times over. And if any of you want to check out her blog at Hobbs Family, you should go over just to see my adorable nieces and nephews. I love those kids so much, I could burst. But that wouldn't be a pretty sight. But she always has some good things to say and to talk about. Also, she has another cool homeschooling site that she maintains. I don't know how she does it, but she does. 

And so for my 5 nominees, I nominate:

Sarah has been my friend since Taylor was in Kindergarten, since she was Taylor's Kindergarten Teacher. I have adored her since I first met her and have been so glad to call her friend ever since. I think she's a great new mom, and a Wild Thing too. I love her! If nothing else, go check out her cutiepatootie baby Arabella.

Kaleena is my cousin's cousin's daughter. But I call her family, and I've known her since before she was born. She's a great person, a fabulous photographer and I love her for her loyalty and her kindness to my crazy family. She's thoughtful, fun and has a fun feature on her blog on Wednesdays. Go check her out! Also, she has posted a picture she took of my dog, Louie next to my parents' dog, Matata last week. She's so kind to keep the dogs part of the family.

Alicia was Taylor's 4th grade teacher and director of _The Velveteen Rabbit_ that Taylor and Daniel practically starred in a few years ago. She is one of the bravest Moms I know- she packed up her and her cute daughter, Eve and went off to teach in Kiev, Ukraine for a year. How amazing is that??? Check out their adventures- her mullet posts are the best!

Jason's my crazy friend in Texas that is a paint-ball god, a philosophy professor and a darn good dad. His 2 boys are always entertaining and he's always posting interesting things on that site. I've known Jason for a long time, and he still makes me laugh out loud.

and finally:
I nominate her, even though she requires people to log in to see her work and she hasn't posted since the end of July, because if you could read what she writes, it would make you laugh and cry and just get to know her like I've had the honor to. She is one of the most beautiful, talented people I know and I am so proud of her. I love her, I love her fabulous children (all 5 of them), and I love her humility, her constant passion to learn is an example to me always. I will be forever indebted to her for driving with 4 children for 2 hours to come and sing at Grandma Joyce's funeral. I've loved her for 20 years and I consider her one of my soulmates and someone I will know forever.

Here are the rules for this award:
* Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award 
on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
* Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and the name of the blog from whom they have received The Award.
* Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on their blog, and link to This Post,
which explains The Award.
* Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on their blog.
*Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add their name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home is the Sailor

I'm so tired. I'm home from Brigham City. I must go to sleep. More tomorrow.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Brigham City Day 6

Today was Grandma Joyce's funeral. *big sigh*
It was a perfect type of funeral. I saw some dear friends there. Thank you to everybody who came, especially Suzanne and Camille. I love those ladies.
My huge family gathering is still going strong, it's 8 PM, and I need to gather my things and pack so I can leave early in the morning to come home. I just wanted to check in. More photos, etc. in a few days when I have a moment to unpack and calm down.
I'm leaving for California EARLY tomorrow morning. Sweet dreams to all, and to all my family who is already out of here, and those I won't be seeing tomorrow, a big hug, kiss and LOVE to you all!!!!
To those who are just my friends and casual readers: Thanks for hanging in there with me this week. And to Daniel, who might have time to read this: I love you and I'll see you LATE tomorrow night! XOXOXO(for Daniel).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Brigham City Day 5

I got some good sleep last night. Tay and I slept in the car with Louie. And I'm not joking. It was GREAT! We slept until 8:30! When I got out and went in for breakfast, I discovered that our old family friend's the Guzman's had arrived. There was 3 of them here now too.

We buried Grandma's and Grandpa's ashes today. I have a million pictures that I have taken that will just have to be downloaded later, because I never have any time, and it's always so late when I get in here finally to type. 

Today, my great brothers Eli and Gerrit arrived! I love them! Also my cousin Steve and his wife Lisa and their 3 kids arrived. Apparently my little sister, Antje arrived tonight but she's in SLC staying with my great brother and sis-in-law Drew and Laura. I can't WAIT to see them and their cute little baby Brayden tomorrow!

We had a great time as cousins putting together a poster of Grandma Joyce's pictures from her life. I love my family so much. As we did it, we told Asa that we'd each pay him $2 if he "accidentally" spilled some water on my Mom. It was hilarious! But a few of my cousins still owe him a few bucks.

My cousins and I sat around the chiminea tonight and laughed and hugged and loved each other. My great brother Caleb was there. I watched him pick up his cousin's exhausted 2 year old tonight and gently and sweetly put her to sleep. A task that nobody else could seem to accomplish.

I'm not joking or exagerating when I tell you that it's a full house and a lot of energy and fun around here. I'm so tired and yet I'm so happy being together. And you know what? I think that Grandma Joyce would be having a ball with all this family and energy. 

Today the Perry's Murder Trial heard back from their jury. Guilty in the 1st Degree on all 4 accounts. Here's a link to find out the latest news. On the last day I was there, during the Closing Arguments, I gave Claudia Perry my green scarf to wear, because she kept being so cold and shaking. But it was nerves, not the temperature. I put it around her with a hug and told her that now she'd be fashionable while she was cold. Also, I figured that it would be easier to hold it up over her face when it was hard to watch what was going on. Today my Mom sent me a message from Claudia that she clung to that scarf so hard and she just couldn't give it back until all the court events were over. I want Claudia to know that I want her to have that green scarf and that it is my hug around her when I'm not there. I want her to cling to it and to know it comes with free angels around her and her family too. I love that Perry family.

Must take my daughter and my dog to sleep.
Sweet dreams.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Brigham City Day 4

Ok. I'm so tired tonight I can hardly type. This morning at 5 AM, my sweet niece Kelby came in to whisper in my ear, "Auntie Esther, can I sleep with you?" Of course she could, and of course there was no sleeping after that moment.

Tonight I get to sleep in a room with them and my wonderful cousin Kara and her wonderful daughter Olivia. Kara and her sister April arrived today and so did my other cousin, Alisha and her dad, Uncle Marc. I haven't seen Alisha in forever, and I adore her. One time when we were just young kids, and she was about 15 and I was about 22, Ali asked me to teach her how to drive. Of course I would do that for her! So we headed out to the back field, and of course as I said, "Brake!" she accelerated. And then I said, "Watch out for that blackberry bramble and post!" and she hit it. We had a lot of explaining to do to Aunt Suzi when she got back home and I believe Ali has been paying for a new bumper since then. So if you know how old I am, you know how long she's been paying.

NOT 50 YEARS, KALEENA!!! More like 25. or so.

Also, my sweet little brother, Caleb came home tonight! I love him and adore him. We got to go to the Stake Center and watch him become a High Priest tonight because he's going to be a High Council Member. I think that means he is destined to give talks every Sunday from now until eternity. Maybe, they have to be long, boring talks. I'm not sure.

I went back to court today to be with the Perry's while they had closing arguments and then the jury went out to deliberate. It was another heart wrenching experience, and I was glad to be there with the group. Today, as we left the court house, I rode down the elevator with the accused man's mother. What do you say to someone in that situation? Luckily, Aunt Suzi was there and she admired her necklace. As we left, I put my arm around her and told her that my thoughts and prayers were with her and her family. Because I can't imagine how it would feel to be her and that family and live with that potential agony. Like I said, Angels need to be surrounding everyone in that court room. If you want to read more about, check it out here.

Good night, dear readers. I must go find several little children to snuggle with tonight.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brigham City Day 3

Grandma Joyce's Senior Picture. She went to Soquel High School by my house.

My Grandma was a hottie! Here she is with one of her children on the beach.
Probably in Hawaii where they lived when it was still a territory. One thing I love about
my grandma is that she worked at the leper colony on Molokai, Hawaii.

My Grandma Joyce was celebrating 50 years of marriage with my Grandpa in this picture. They were long years and had a lot of rough times and some good times, but they were an example in endurance and working to get better with time.

My Grandma Joyce with all 4 of her children: Kathleen, Ron, Dora (dark dress) and Suzi (the baby). Circa 1953.

Remember yesterday when I told you I was so sleepy. I'm beyond that tonight. I'm emotionally tired, physically tired, and unfortunately, there is no end in sight. Today more people arrived to stay at my Mom's house. My darling sister-in-law Angie and her adorable 3 girls and my wonderful cousin, Flower, whom we realized I haven't seen for 11 years. How sad is that? I _LOVE_ Flower, whom I sometimes call Mildred Olson. I adore her. And tomorrow even more are expected to arrive.

Remember last week when I told you my heart was aching to be with my parents and their friends who were having troubles? Remember I was longing for the seasons? I've seen a lot of snow this week. I've seen a lot of fallen leaves. I know about seasons again, and I can tell you this: They can be cold. They can also be gray. And I got my last week's wish: Today I went with my Mom and our dear family friends to court in Logan.

I was awed and amazed to have the privilege of being with the Perry Family today in court. Their family member, Brad Perry was murdered 24 years ago, and finally, thanks to the right people in the right places at the right time, and DNA testing, there has been a crack in the case. And so they've been spending every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in court all day long. I know it cost at least one of them their employment. And one of them has been laid off during this time. And here was the amazing part: They are a close knit family, who display love and kindness to each other and to those around them. Including the accused man's family. Today I was introduced to his mother and she was indeed very nice. And they recognize that it must be horrible to be where she is. And I met his ex-wife. And I ate lunch with Brad's parents and siblings and I wondered how they do it every day. How can they face this, and here's what I realized: They do it gracefully and full of strength because they have to. They wouldn't choose to be anywhere else right now. And they have a lot of people there backing them up. Remember when I sent them angels? They have visible angels in the court room supporting them.
Tomorrow are closing comments and then at noon the jury will begin deliberations. I hope for justice to be served. If you want more information about this, check it out here and here.

I must go to sleep. Thanks for enduring with me this week.