Sunday, February 19, 2017

Happy First

I can't believe a year has passed since this sweet girl was born.
In one year you have grown so much.

You love your dogs,

your mom

and your dad.

And of course you love your gramma.

I can't wait to see what the next year holds for us both. 

I love you Aspen, Happy First Birthday!


"Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Ps. 23:6

Saturday, February 11, 2017


Did I mention we have a new grandbaby? 
Meet Braxton Marshall.
He was born December 14, 2016.
 Big brother Beckham adores him.
Braxton and his family share a living space with us. 
What a blessing to see this boy grow and change every single day.


"May you live to enjoy your grandchildren! And may God bless Israel!" (Ps. 126:6)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Happy Birthday Beckham

Two years ago, you came into our lives a little peanut.
What a delight it has been to see you grow. 

 You love sports of any kind, golf, 
 basketball, soccer.  
You like eating off the floor, making silly faces.
You have a sweet demeaner and are an amazing big brother.
You melt gramma's heart when you want fruit snacks 
or anything Gramma can do to avoid taking a  nap.
You are my superhero.

 I love you Beckham. Happy Second Birthday!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Christmas Letter Part 3

My dad finished the Christmas letter and included a bit about each of us kids.

This year was a poor year for fishing, for me, that is.  I didn't go 
as often as I should have.  But, I did some some trout fishing, which 
I hadn't done before.  I discovered two nice lakes on the San Carlos 
Apache Reservation,  Dry Lake and Point of Pines lake.  The elevation 
of both is about 7200'.  The country is beautiful and the fishing 
excellent.  Come over and go fishing with me.

Our recreational activities this year were held to a minimum.  I spent 
a considerable amount of time in Phoenix, either training for, or 
waiting for campus and political demonstrations to occur.  When we 
weren't out of town, we had to stay home by the telephone waiting to 
be called.  This next year, I hope we will have more time of our own.  
I have been doing some researching on ghost towns and early mining 
camps in this area.  I plan to do some exploring around them.  Maybe I 
will come up with something interesting.

I am going to speak for Kathleen and the kids.  We would love to see 
you.  If you should get anywhere near here, stop by and see us.  Our 
number is in the book, just give us a call.  We can go fishing, 
exploring or whatever.

Carolyn thinks school is great this year, and I suspect it has 
something to do with the fact that she has all men teachers.  She puts 
forth a lot of effort into her work and her grades show it.  She is 
11, and in the sixth grade attending a new Jr. high school that was 
just finished this fall.  She is still taking piano lessons and has a 
lot of music theory behind her.  Carolyn keeps herself busy and rarely 
has a spare moment which helps to relieve her abundance of energy.  
She sings in our church choir, is active in 4H, learning sewing, 
cooking and continuing her knitting.  She is also involved in various 
school activities.  Reading is a favorite pastime with the Nancy Drew 
mysteries at the top of her reading list.  This year at the county 
fair she won several blue ribbons, plus to her delight, quite a bit of 
prize money.

Greg won  a blue ribbon in the fair for his electrical entry.  He also 
won a county award for his work in electricity.  His 4-H activities 
this year include: geology, cooking and dog care.  I have the boys 
group in cooking and they are really getting good.  Greg is not the 
daydreamer he was last year and he is to busy learning history and 
volunteering for every science experiment that comes along.  He still 
spends a great deal of time in the hills looking for fossils.

Joanne is a happy, 8 year old in the third grade.  Joanne especially 
loves animals and babies.  She was thrilled over winning two blue 
ribbons at the fair, one for cookies and one for a knitted pair of 
slippers.  She too enjoys reading, but most of all cooking.  She has 
made cookies, cakes, pancakes, biscuits, and complete dinners.  She 
also likes to draw and write and asked to share one of her poems.

Santa Claus

This is Santa fellow
His stomach is like jello,
He is fat and plump
and he can jump, jump, jump,
He's got eight reindeer,
than can even fly over a sphere,
I hope he comes this year,
For I want his reindeer.        by Joanne

Laurie is six and is in the first grade.  She is delighted to find she 
too can read.  Laurie says she has a corroded smile, being at that age 
when she has a few permanent teeth, lots of baby teeth and gaping 
spaces in between.  She also does well in school and has become quite 
a chatterbox.  To Laurie, the highlight of the year was when she got 
to be a flower girl for a friend's wedding and wore a floor length 
dress.  She thought she looked just beautiful and I must admit, I 
thought she was kind of cute too.

Our thoughts are with all of you and we wish you a Merry Christmas and 
a Joyous New Year.

I love that my dad seemed to capture a bit of our personalities, even way back then. Laurie is still very social, is beautiful and loves doing well in all she works to accomplish. No longer has a corroded smile.

Greg should have been an engineer. He is very gifted in all he undertakes both at work and in his personal life. I do not think he is interested in dog care at this point.

Carolyn still has more energy than expected and accomplishes a lot. She continues to be an avid reader, involved in many various activities and could also be called the dog whisperer and rescuer.

I don't write nearly as much as I'd love to. My poetry hasn't improved, but I still love cooking.

That's about all for now, from the Christmas letter of 1970.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Christmas Letter Part Two

On many occasions, I've tried to convey to others just how amazing and talented my mom is. While others share memes of growing up in the 70's with moms who watched soap operas, drank Tab, and smoked cigarettes, my mom did none of these. She was busy learning new art mediums, taking classes, and earning her Master's Degree. All the while, spending time with the four of us kids,expanding our learning, creativity and all the things necessary to become responsible adults. As promised in my last post, here is another portion of my Mom and Dad's 1970 Christmas letter. Here is her introduction:(Reminder, she was 30, he was 31. We kids were 6, 8, 9, 11.
(circa 1977)

Dear Family and Friends,

We greet you this year filled with thanksgiving and joy. The Christmas  
season finds us busy, busy, busy.  The children have kept us busy  
attending school programs, and now we are practicing for our church  
Christmas program.  The children have also been helping make Christmas  
decorations, baking cookies and making candy.

We have really enjoyed our trips as a family to such places as old  
ghost towns, Apache tears mines, and visits to other areas of the  
state, such as Flagstaff.  Globe is close to many places of interest  
and in the past six years we have learned a great deal about Arizona.

The girls keep me quite busy making their clothes, but I enjoy  
sewing.  It seems the children are always volunteering me for  
everything that comes along at school. I continue to take college  
classes, active as a 4H leader in charge of a group of boys and  
kindergarten Sunday School teacher.  This summer I made wild grape  
jelly and prickly pear cactus jelly for the first time.  I was pleased  
with the results.  I have really enjoyed oil painting and hope to be  
able to devote a little more time in that area this coming year.  All  
in all, it has been a busy but good year, and I even got Ricky to  
write a few lines.

I loved the many dresses my mom created for me.
(first grade)
(3rd grade)
(4th grade)

In each of these pictures, I was wearing a dress that my mom made for me. I am so very blessed to grow up with a mom who was so very talented, wise, creative, and generous. I will share more of the Christmas letter in my next post.

Thursday, December 01, 2016


This was a post from 2008. I wanted to revisit my parents' Christmas letter from 1970, and this contained a portion of it.

Pet Peeve: Cruising along the highway, doing the speed limit, when all of the sudden nothing but brake lights ahead. I slow down to under the speed limit. I wonder what could be causing the slow down. Up ahead, on the side of the road, is a patrol car. No lights, no accident, nothing. The car is just sitting there. Why is everyone braking? If these cars aren't speeding why the need to slow down? Guilt is my guess. They must be regular speeders who watch for police cars. I have never feared or felt guilty seeing a police or patrol car. My dad drove one.

Dad emailed me his 1970 Christmas letter. I wanted to share a portion here. Dad was 31 at the time, mom 30.  My siblings were ages 6, 9, and 11. I was 8.

"Kathleen says the time has come for me to reveal what I've been up to the past year. Life seems to revolve around my work schedule, which can be day shift, night shift, and a combination of the two. I have been working on the road as a patrolman for the past 16 months. I never dreamed that I would ever get to work on the road. I always wanted to be a policeman, but when I didn't grow tall enough to meet the height requirements, I gave up the idea. Now, here I am working along with the six-footers. I may be the smallest patrolman on the highway patrol, but there are a few others not much bigger. We peewees are known as the mini-patrol.

Sometimes, I wonder why I ever left the cool/warm, depending on the season, comfort of the radio room. While sitting overlooking the Salt River Canyon, watching the river below, and inhaling the cool, pine scented air, I am grateful for having been liberated from the four walls. On winter nights, while carrying an injured or dead person out of a canyon, I wonder why I'm not back in that nice comfortable radio room,& sipping a cup of coffee between radio calls. People tend to make my job interesting. You meet the good and the bad. You meet them at their worst and their best. You get to help them when they need help the most. The disabled motorist is glad to see you, but the violator wishes you were in some other county. I could go on about my job as I find it fascinating, but I'm going to leave it here."

For anyone who starts braking the moment they see a police or state trooper, I thought it might be fun to read the thoughts of a patrolman.

I laughed at the next part of dad's letter:

"Being church treasurer keeps me busy a couple evenings per month. I sometimes wonder how I ever managed to acquire the job. Bookkeeping never was high on my list of aptitudes. The congregation certainly must have a lot of faith."

Dad wrote more, but that is enough for one post. His email brought back fond memories. I remember special training he had to do. It was a time of demonstrations turning into riots and complete chaos. I don't recall what the commotion was about, but do remember the extra protective gear he had to wear at that time. Seeing my dad in his uniform, I saw my strong protector. I felt safe, knowing my dad was watching out for not only our community but his family.

Dad is retired now. He no longer wears a uniform, protective gear, or carries a gun. (At least not daily.) But he continues to be a strong protector of our family and others. His weapons are not visible, except when he's on his knees in prayer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Day 3 Atlanta

My morning began with giving Aspen a bath in the kitchen sink. Sink baths are kind of my signature thing. I haven't had a grandbaby yet who didn't like a sink bath. It was a success. This girl is so happy.

The two of us then ventured out with my new Iphone 7 and Siri to find the local Kroger Grocery store. I wanted to buy some groceries so I could make dinner. I wanted to buy some snacks that Aspen can eat while she is at daycare. What could go wrong?

The roads around Atlanta are scenic, but winding. As I'm driving it feels like I have gone every single direction and I no longer have any idea which direction I'm going or which direction I should be going. I glance down and the map says I will arrive at my destination in an hour. No I do NOT want to go to South Carolina. I am in Atlanta. Aspen started to cry. I had no idea where the nearest Kroger was, which is where I asked Siri to take me. Siri failed me. I wanted to cry along with Aspen, but couldn't because I was driving. I remembered passing a Publix. I knew they wouldn't have everything I wanted but I was stopping anyway. I think I might have entered the exit.

Aspen was happy in the store. Everyone was very helpful and happy. One of the employees came up to our cart and clipped a balloon on for Aspen. Um, not sure that is a good toy for a baby, but it entertained her for a bit, so I let it go.

Thankfully, the drive home was uneventful and we arrived at the parking garage without getting lost or being directed towards South Carolina. At the third level, I stopped for the gate to open. It did not open. I pushed the FOB button. Nothing. I put the car in park, turned the car off, got out of the car, and attempted to open the gate. Nope. Not working. Frustrated, I back up, and find a parking spot just outside of the gate. Fine. There are signs about getting towed for parking in the wrong spot. What else can I do???

I get the stroller out. I get Aspen and the carseat out and snap it in the stroller. I load the groceries onto the stroller and load the rest on my arms. I go to the nearest door. Once inside, I feel a little dumb. There is a landing and stairs going up or down. I can NOT drag the stroller up the stairs, or down.

I walk back to the car, remove Aspen and the car seat, fold the stroller and put it back in the car along with the groceries, except two bags of freezer stuff and the car seat. I pick up Aspen, (why didn't I just leave the car seat in the car???) and the freezer food and drag us all up the stairs. Once upstairs and inside the building, I realize I went up a flight of stairs when I should have gone down.  I look for the elevator, but suddenly, my arms feel weak and I'm not sure I can carry all of this stuff to the apartment. I set it all down for a minute. Pray another quick prayer. Then I carry everything down a flight of stairs and make my way to the apartment.

I'm exhausted. I put the food away while holding Aspen and realize I left the dogs out. I had no idea that I also left the bath toys where the dogs could chew them up. Oh man, I need to figure out how to replace the cute bath toys. Mr. Bear and Mrs. Duck are in bad shape. They are a set that came with an Eric Carle book.

Since Aspen was asleep at lunch time, her mom had to pump. I tried to feed her but Aspen was having none of the bottle of milk. She did however really enjoy eating dog food out of the dog's bowl. I'm wondering how helpful I am. I feel like I take one step forward and two back. If my rental car gets towed, this is not going to be a fun day.

I go back to the car to retrieve the rest of the food. I watch a lady attempt to open the gate with no luck. She swears and threatens that if her car gets towed, someone else is going to pay. I don't feel so bad now. It's not just me. I pray my car doesn't get towed.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner. Miss Aspen was as cute as ever. She's eating new foods and seems to be enjoying them-dog food not included.


"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." (Ps. 56:3)