Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Newest Find

This is my mother's passport when she came to America.

The passport is hard covered.



Of course being from Canada, it's in French and English.



Funny the picture in the passport is sideways!!






Luckily, I know how to flip it.  That is really her signature.






The markings on the bottom of the page on the right I found interesting.  The passport was issued in 1948 and there are notations from 1978.  They apparently have something to do with her Permanent Resident Status.  I'm not sure what was happening in 1978 or why a  change was made, or why it was necessary to make notations in a passport form 1948.  The paperwork has been sent in and I'm waiting to receive her immigration papers.  They should be very interesting.  I need to be patient though, I have heard it can take several months. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Trip

We drove down to San Diego to have Thanksgiving with John, Amy and little Aiden.  It was worth the drive!!  We had a great time!  We were surprised we didn't hit much traffic going down Wednesday morning. I think we made it in record time.  Which was great because we had more time to visit.  
Evan is a nephew magnet!  They are very attracted to him!!

Wednesday afternoon we visited the Mormon Battalion Memorial.  I had never been there before.  Actually I had never even been to Old Town San Diego before. 

RoseAnn (Amy's Sister), Amy, Aiden, John, Cindy, Mike and Evan at the Mormon Battalion

The memorial was awesome.  The display and video's were interesting to watch.  I liked how the portraits on the wall came to life.  You could really experience what it was like for these brave faithful men, women and little boy!






Evan at  Old Town San Diego State Historic Park





Ready, Aim, Fire!!



Mike and Cindy...but where are the horses???




A different way to ride.







A beautiful star of David on the Jewish Temple at Old Town

Evan practicing make bricks at the Mormon Battalion
That evening we meet my niece Jessie and her fiance Chad for dinner.  It was great to see her again, it had been 10 years.  Way to long.  She has grown up to be one very amazing woman.  I really admire her a lot!!  I was surprised to learn the company she works for, is the same company that raised money so that Evan and kids like him can get hand cycles.  Cool!!

Jessie and Cindy.  Isn't Jessie beautiful.



Thanksgiving day, we just hung out, played games, went for a nice walk to the park and of course ate a yummy turkey dinner.  Thank you, Amy!!


video
Aiden had fun with Grandpa!!





Aiden is an extremely happy baby!!




Friday we had a great visit with my brother Doug and his family.  I could kick myself I didn't get out my camera and take pictures.  Especially, since Doug was sporting a new beard.  We had fun catching up on all the exciting news about finding long lost family.

After our visit with Doug we headed to Katie, Brad and Kyle's house.  Saturday was Katie's birthday so we celebrated with her at Grandma and Grandpa Price's house.   Last few times we have visited Grandpa has surprised us, and stayed out and visited with us the whole time.  He used to get tired and go to the back bedroom to watch TV and nap. We always enjoy our visits with them. Our niece Tiffany came over too!!  I admire her a lot too.  She is busy working on a master degree, and needed a relaxing day!

Kyle and Grandma!!  He doesn't cuddle very long any more, too much to explore!!

See what I mean about a nephew magnet!!  It's the wheels!!


Grandma Price eating out of the ice cream carton.
Then sharing with Evan.  He didn't really want to be spoon fed, but how can one resist ice cream, especially if you are a Price??

The beautiful face of Tiffany!! 
Brad getting in a much deserved nap.  (p.s. Brad, Katie took the picture and Evan gave me permission to post this, I'm innocent!!!)

Katie Rose, 29 forever!!


Kyle found a cool little cubby!!  He even bypassed the cat food to get there!!


video

This is why little boys pants don't last long!! 


We headed home Saturday.  As fun as it is to see family, there is no place like home.  Now we are getting ready for a wonderful Christmas with all of our children home!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

This Thanksgiving as in the past, my cup runneth over with blessings.  They are just too numerous to list.  So, I will share what I believe are my top two blessings this year.  

Number one, The Spirit of Elijah

In the Old Testament we read the following:

 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."  Malachi 4:5-6.
This Spirit of Elijah causes people to learn about those who came before and preserve their memories. Sometimes the Spirit of Elijah can help us get closer to those who are living.  I'm grateful for the opportunities I have had to search my family history and also to help others.  I'm especially grateful the Spirit of Elijah touched my brother Ron to search for information about his father.  That searching allowed me to be able to find family that was lost.  That is a priceless blessing.  
The second blessing is the The Holy Ghost.
  
This year as I needed comfort, guidance and direction, I felt the tender touch of the Holy Ghost in my life.  The Spirit helped me to know when to visit my mom , before her passing.  I was also given guidance with I was released from my Church service mission.  I just seem to feel closer to the Spirit this year, and it has been a wonderful blessing in my life.  I can feel the love of my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ all around me. 

Even though Thanksgiving is over, I am going to strive to have a attitude of gratitude for my blessings through out the whole year. I hope you do too!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks

This week Slice of Life is all about expressing gratitude for someone who has done something for us.  Wow, that is hard one.  How to choose??  I have been the recipient of  many acts of kindness.  Picking just one is hard. Well here goes...

Thirty three years ago this Christmas Day an event happened that changed my life forever.  My husband's brother's family came to visit us for Christmas. We decided to attend church with them.  (we weren't members of any church, or even attended church, but I was interested)  Laurel, my sister-in-law asked me if I would mind having the missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints come to my home and share the Gospel with me. I readily accepted, and have never regretted the decision.  The Spirit was so strong in our home as those two young missionaries shared the gospel.  I often wonder what my life would be like if I had not joined the Church.  Would my marriage have survived?   I know that I wouldn't have four of my children.  I can't imagine life without them.  I'm so grateful that Laurel gave me that invitation on that Christmas Day and for her example of living the Gospel.  How does one say thank you??  While I don't consider my self a poet, I wrote a little heart felt poem.  Hopefully, that will convey my gratitude.

sisters,
not by blood,
but by spirit.
gospel shared,
truth accept.

new life begun.
my escort when,
forever family was created.
eternal thanks.



Thank you, Laurel, I love you!!



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Heart Attacks

  This week's Slice of Life is Happy Heart Attacks.  Have you ever given some one a happy heart attack??  It's fun to do, you make paper hearts and stick them all over someone's door with a note to say thank you for what they do.  

This week we are to tell about a time when someone said thank you to us.  I have a drawer full of thank yous from my children.  Parenting is hard work.  It is nice to know you are appreciated and it can lift a parents heart.  Here are a few that I found. (click on the letter to make it larger, if you can't read it)

Even though David was compelled by a Sunday School teacher to write this thank you, it was very heart felt and appreciated and touched my heart.






This is a thank you that April sent to her Daddy.  Mike would tell our children stories at night, the name "Daddy Long Stories"  stuck when we were camping and he would tell these long long stories until the everyone would fall asleep.  I know it touches his heart to know his children enjoyed the stories.

Naming children can be really hard.  I'm so happy that Katie Rose loves her name!!  Katie was our most prolific letter writer.  I would find little notes from her all over the place.  I loved it!!
By the way, I had her fooled, I was no where as near magnificent as Katie thought.  Yet, those little notes would give my heart strength. And now she is a magnificent mother in her own right.

I love all the little tips Rachel would write to me.  This letter was written when she first went off to BYU!  It is interesting how children appreciate parents more when they leave the house.


Sometimes, we get thank yous from other people too.  I found this one thank you, that touched my heart.


It's from my dear friend Diane who passed away earlier this year.  I really miss her.  I'm so glad I saved this card as a little reminder of her. She was a great example of writing people little notes to say thank you. Or calling them and singing "I Just Called to Say I Love You".  I still have one of her messages on my answering machine.  Hopefully, it will never get erased.


One of our families fun Christmas traditions was being a "Secret Elf" to a family.  We would do a 12 Days of Christmas and drop off little treats and goodies along with a piece from a nativity set for the 12 Days before Christmas.  It was very hard not to get caubeght.  We did this anonymously and worked really hard to be sneaky.  Usually, we never heard if our efforts were appreciated or not.  One year however on Christmas morning early, when dropping off our last little gift, we found this note and picture on the front porch.







It was great to know that we brought joy to this wonderful family's Christmas.  If you are reading this blog and know this family, please, please don't tell them it was us.  It's been many years and I don't think they know and we like it that way. 

Sometimes we are thanked when we are trying to thank others.  That happened to Mike and I one year.  We were volunteering at a wheelchair camp at the University of California Santa Barbara that Evan had attended for several years.  We were just trying to give back and help those who make this camp such a success.   We were surprised with the Charlotte Colton Volunteer of the Year award. This almost gave me a heart attack!  So many people work hard to make this camp successful.  It was amazing they were recognizing us.




All these thank yous and many more really do touch my heart. It's the good kind of Heart Attack!! 

You can join Slice of Life by clicking here.  By the way, a big THANK YOU to Texasblu for starting Slice of Life. 





Thursday, November 18, 2010

Twinkle Twinkle

Yesterday we spent most of the day at Stanford Medical Center for appointments with Evan. It was going to one of those days where our bottoms were going to get very tired of sitting.  At one point we had about forty five minutes between appointments.  So, we decided to walk the halls.   We walked past the surgery waiting room.  (My does that bring unpleasant memories, but that is another story).  There was a lady playing classical music on the harp, so we stopped for a few minutes to listen.  At one point a little family came up with a toddler in a stroller.  The harpist said, "let me play something she might know".  She started to play ever so softly and sweetly "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", while the child watched wided eyed.   As, I listened and watched, I thought how touching, just a simple little act of kindness, can gladden a heart.  It's was just a small thing.  

By the way, Evan is doing great!!  Both doctors we saw were pleased with how well things are looking.  We always like that good news. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Political Ancestor

Thanks to my wonderful husband we have made a very exciting family history find.  On Saturday I found this obituary for my Grandfather, John Thomas Crowley.  I had heard stories that he had served in a political office but didn't know which one. So, I was excited to see his obituary said he had served in Congress. 
click to make larger


While I was at a meeting on Sunday night, Mike searched Google and found some cool information to verify where my Grandfather had served. 


Here is the cover of a Legislative Souvenir from Massachusetts 1915.



Here is his picture on the bottom right hand corner. 




And these two pages have information regarding the service they provided. My grandfather John Thomas Crowley is on the bottom of the first page and top of the second page. This document includes what committees they served on and also how many votes they received.  It looks like there was 19 votes between him and his closest competitor a member of the Progressive Party.  


He also served in 1917,  I love the cover of this one!!  



You can find him in District Five. 

  I have often wondered why my Dad didn't seem to know much about what exactly his father did politically,  I can see now that it was because he was a little boy at the time.  I'm proud that as a first generation born American my grandfather was concerned enough about our country to serve in that manner.  

I never knew my grandfather, he had died before I was born. Now, I'm filled with questions.  What was it like for him to serve as a State Legislator?  What were his major concerns at the time?  Did it take a lot of time away from his family to serve in this manner?   I wonder if other descendants have or will follow in his footsteps in politics.  


You can find the whole 1917 document by clicking here.  Then chose PDF in the "see other formats" button on the left. The 1915 version is here. It has cool pictures of the meetings rooms for the different committees.  Wow, what would I give for a hard copy of one of those documents??? 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Communications

This week for Slice of Life, we are to share how communication has change in our life time.  That got my mind to thinking about this box:


I pulled it down off the top self in my closet and have been going through it off and on through this week.  It is filled with letters.  Mostly letters that Mike and I wrote to each other while we were dating and in the first few years of our marriage.  He was serving in the Navy at the time. We have hundreds of letters.(My children are forbidden to read them until we are both passed and gone, as it could prove to be embarrassing)  Letter writing was the best way and many times the only way for us to communicate in those early years of our relationship.  The box also has letters from family and close friends.  I thought I would share just a few examples.  If you click on them you can read them better if you are interested. 

  
 This letter is from my Aunt Gertie, my Dad's sister.  She is missing her husband Ray, but also expresses gratitude for her blessings.  That is a great example to me.


This letter is from my mother.  Whenever she bought a pineapple she would cut off the top and try to get it to grew in a pot.  I had forgotten about that, until I read the letter.  I also love how at the end, she says, she is "just trying to be a mother."  Our jobs as mothers don't end just because our children are grown and married.








This letter is from my brother Mike.  He wrote this soon after I was married. I'm not sure why I needed to R.S.V.P!!  If you want confusion in communication marry someone with the same name as your brother.  I would always have to clarify with my mom, which Mike I was talking about. 

This letter is from Mike's (my husband's) Grandma Pearl.  I had forgotten I even had a letter from her, so this was an extra sweet find.  I love having the signatures of Grandmas and Grandpas!!



This Thank You came from the sweet Elders who baptized us.  I loved the stamp with the Mission name.  We were able to meet up with Elder Barth a few winters ago and had a great reunion.  I had forgotten about this letter too.  I also found a wedding invitation from Elder Barth.   Oh, and if you are wondering who Niki is, that was our dog. 


Here is one of Mike's many, many letters to me!  This one seemed safe to post. It is so fun to go back and read these.  Hopefully, you are listening to "If", I added it to my playlist. 




And, of course a letter that I wrote to Mike.  Sometimes we would get silly and write backwards, or in circles or in many different colors like this letter.
In spending time this week looking over this treasure box of memories, I couldn't help but wonder about the next generation.  How do you save text messages, or Facebook posts?  It is sad that we are losing the art of communicating with letters.  I realize that I need to write more letters to my children and grandchildren so they can have something tangible to remember me by. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Reminders

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my mom. (Bless her heart, she passed away in July.)   The reminders are every where. From my favorite spot to read in the whole house, her blue recliner that sits in my bedroom,





to the spreader I use to butter toast, 




to the silly plastic frog the chirps when you walk by, 


 to the cactus that she had on her patio, that is amazingly still alive, I love how she was very creative in her plant containers,






To birds of all types, 



to the beautiful white china in my cupboard,




Even looking at my feet reminds me of my mom.  My big toe seems to be a little too cozy to the second toe.  My mom had really bad feet for as long as I could remember.  She had a pretty severe looking bunion, and always had problems with corns. She said it was because she wore pointed toe shoes when she was younger.  I have always been a very practical shoe wearer. So, guess what now I have a bunion too  It's mild for now.  So, I put on my shoes and I'm reminded of Mom.



I remember going for walks with Mom and she would complain if the sun was bright.  Being born with cataracts, the glare really bothered her eyes.  She loved walking in the fog.  I loved walking in the sun, it feels so good.  But, guess what?  I'm developing a cataract  and the glare of the sun now bothers me, and I know exactly how she feels.  Another reminder.



When mom walked she always carried tons of facial tissue for her very drippy nose.  Heaven forbid she forgot her "Kleenex".  Now I have to do that same thing.  Before I go out the door for my morning walk, I make sure I have plenty of tissue.  



There are many more, I could go on and on.  I'm grateful for all these reminders.  I never want to forget my mom. 




What reminds you of your mother? 
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