In honor of my mom's 60th Birthday we threw her a big birthday party. It was very well attended and a great tribute to the life she has lived. We thought it would be fun to have it in her yard so that she could show off her new home and the work she has put into the landscaping in the year she has been there. We also hoped it would cheer her up as she hasn't been well since Christmas and is now finished with school and trying to figure out the rest of her life.
My cousin Diana made this beautiful play barn to match the old farm house barn in Idaho. Of course this one is the fixed up version with no missing doors! Merle bought farm animals to go with it.
Mom likes to call her grandchildren by number. These are the first two sporting the customized shirts with their first name's and numbers on the front and their last names and numbers on the back. It was fun to have her 14 grandchildren there in their numbered shirts.
Stephanie created a memory book for mom. We all contributed pictures and memories. I'll include a few pictures and the memories I wrote for that book here as well.
My mom was the 6th of SIX daughters and grew up on a farm in Elwood (outside of Tremonton) Utah.
She married my dad at age 21 and had me nine months later. Fourteen months after I was born my sister Christie joined our family.
My mom dressed me, Christie, and Cathie in matching cloths often. We were her whole life.
I don’t know how mom did all she did when we were growing up!! She did so many extra curricular projects with us, and she always did 110%. I remember taking a day trip to see Craters of the Moon. I think it was for Idaho History when I was in 4th grade. I remember it was a longer drive than she expected and we drove at leas 100 mph to get home for piano lessons or something. She was always willing to go the extra mile so that we could excel in whatever we did.
She allowed us each to have two lessons outside of 4H and school. When we moved from Soda Springs to Preston we were all really disappointed that there wasn’t a ballet school in Preston so we settled for clogging, and we were especially disappointed that there wasn’t a swimming pool. (I was sure I was going to be an Olympic underwater ballerina.) Despite our terrible financial situation mom found a private teacher who would drive us to Logan for private swim lessons. She was willing to let me pursue the most expensive wind instrument, the oboe and not only bought me reeds but allowed me to take weekly lessons at USU. When we were little we lived in the car as she chased us from one extra curricular activity and lesson to another. When she got the license plate “c iva go” she truly deserved it. She was racing many times a day from our home 15 minutes up Glendale canyon to town.
Mom not only encouraged extra curricular activities but she even stepped in as the advisor for many of the things we did. I remember her leading the Drug Free Council for many years. She would help us to plan red ribbon week and make it an outstanding experience for all of the members of that Junior High School and High School Club.
Mom lived 4H especially in the summer helping us each to complete 10-20 projects each year!! The amount of work she did was unheard of. She would sit at her typewriter, while we sat on her bed, and type up our record books while we glued in the pictures and put the pages in sheet protectors. The week before the fair the house would be covered in paper and picture clippings from all of our record books. We didn’t just complete 15 projects each, but they were the best projects at the fair. Mom made sure of that! She would also go all out with our 4H demonstrations. I think each of us won top demonstrator at the eastern Idaho State Fair at least once during our time in 4H, and most of the credit for that goes to mom for making our posters and writing outstanding demonstrations.
Dad was extremely dedicated to farming and worked way to much. Mom took it upon herself to take us camping in Yellowstone, among everything else. It was extremely memorable because we got soaked by the rain on the first night. We dried off in a hotel the second night but continued to camp and cook over the fire for the rest of the trip. Our last night the tent caved in with snow! Mom was quite the woman to continue that trip!
Each year for 4H mom helped me, and each of her daughters, sew a dress that we could model in the style review. This particular year I was making a formal I loved and wore many times. Unfortunately I was new to surging and sewed right into one of the pleats destroying the bodice. Needless to say this mistake made it so we had to buy new fabric and reconstruct the bodice. We were all a little sad about it, but mom and Grandma didn’t give up on me. The dress turned out beautiful. In teaching us each to sew mom always did the pinning, pressing, and unpicking, making sewing much more enjoyable for us girls.
Mom and Dad had a very limited budget, but you wouldn’t know it from the way that mom treated us. She hated that they were poor, and she felt that her kids shouldn’t have to go without because of the financial circumstances of their family. She taught us that no one ever needed to know how poor we were. We could be poor without looking poor. She would make sure that our cloths were clean and in good repair so we could always feel confident about the way we looked.
Much to dad's discomfort mom wanted us to experience the joy of travel. We went to Disneyland, with or without dad, whenever someone in the family turned 5. Mom grew up with Disneyland and wanted us to love it like she did, we do! Here we are pictures on our amazing trip to Hawaii over Christmas break when I was a senior in college.
Pageants were not something mom encouraged, but she supported me in my expensive and time consuming hobby. I am grateful for the loving support she provided. My pageant experiences were not easy on her, but she went right along when I decided to participate.
Christie enjoyed drama as a child and mom allowed each of us to pursue our interests so she encouraged Christie to try out for The Music Man production at the Worm Creek Opera House. While Christie did that production mom realized that we were all stuck in town waiting for play practice anyway so we all just as well be in the productions together. Some of the plays I remember being in with mom and my siblings were: Brigadoon, South Pacific, and King and I. Here she is pictured as the head nurse in South Pacific.
This is one of my favorite family pictures! It was taken just outside of the MTC the day I left on my mission.
When I received my mission call my mom was not crying tears of joy! She was so sad to say good-by to me for 18 months. She was never a worrier, but I think she was also a little concerned that I would be serving in the former Soviet Union. I have never felt so loved. She and dad were so happy when I returned.
I remember each time mom was released from a church calling (or even had a change of visiting teaching route) she would be devastated because she had given her whole heart and soul to the calling. In my childhood she was the activity chairperson multiple times. She felt very strongly that every person in the ward, especially the inactive and non-members know about the activities. She would drive around our rural ward and we girls would jump out of the car and run the fliers to every house in the ward. She and dad were so good about friendshiping everyone. I remember the 100’s of hours she would put into ward activities. She was attentive to every detail. I remember her putting on a ward rodeo, carnivals, and other huge events.
Her children were her life! She was willing to do anything for any one of us at any time. She was one year from graduating from USU in Elementary Education when I was born, and she decided to quit school to be with me. When I was in 4th or 5th grade she was preparing to go back to school and the prophet, President Benson, gave a talk about mom’s staying home with their children. She chose to heed that council and postponed school once again. She has always been an extremely dedicated mother!!
Now her grandchildren are an important part of her life and the feel her love.
Grandma, Cara, and Caleb crawl racing.
Sometimes I think she drives a truck because she loves to let the children ride in back. They love it too! Cara, Caleb, Colter, Grandma, Corbin, Emi
Caleb, Cara, Colter, Grandma, Andy, Danny, Corbin, Emi
Mom sharing her balloon hat skills with the grandkids. Cara, Ali, Ethen, Caleb, Grandma, Kate
Mom came to Caleb's baptism the day she got released from the hospital from a knee replacement.
I am grateful for my mom and all of the things she has taught me!