Monday, June 28, 2010

Southwest Spirit?

Me...Suzzy Kew (Q) Rice...born on the 4th of July... love patriotic anything! I just adore red, white, blue...stars and stripes. I have a Christmas Tree dedicated to patriotic...the "playroom" in our home is decorated in all the wonderful patriotic attire I have acquired over the years...the little that is NOT included in that tree. I love to look at small town decorated with flags, with bunting. Last summer, on my birthday, thanks to two sons who wanted to go mountain biking, we drove to Prescott, Arizona...about 1 hour away. The weather was wonderful, and the best part was house after house decorated for Independence Day. We even got to see some of the parade.
Now, step ahead to this morning. I run, very early, before the sun and its heating rays take all the energy out of me. I run by house after house, homes of stucco with tile roofs. Then, I saw house-typical southwest in style, but there was bunting on their front gate, and a patriotic star in the middle. Now, it really lost something, being that it was not decorating a lovely white siding covered house, but a brown stucco one. Don't know really what to think...but it was a good effort!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Fathers' Day

In my typical crummy wife fashion, this comes a day late, and many dollars short. In my defense (feeble, though it may be) I DID have a week! I was sitting in Relief Society (the organization for women in the LDS Church) and my friend asked me how my week was...At first, I said "Oh, pretty normal". Then, I thought...not one, not two, but THREE low blood glucose episodes with Kayty (one with seizures, one after a young adult activity away from here, and the final one on Saturday night, right after Ethan and Cameo left, right in front of me...It took me awhile to realize what was going on), Nathan getting injured at football practice, involving a doctor visit and then getting x-rays (nothing serious, thank goodness, though it took me a moment to think of what COULD have happened had the straight on hit to his chest caused his heart to stop beating), an adult child's consequences from past mistakes catching up with him, (Moms...even though they are adults, you NEVER will fail to feel sick every time they have troubles...but sometimes, the hardest thing is to let them suffer the consequences and pay the price, knowing that you are here loving them.), Visiting Teachers from church coming to visit AT THE SAME TIME Dee is "attending" a weekly meeting with India via phone/computer, a son having friends over for pizza, me having jury duty, Nate volunteering at a ranch for recovering teenagers, plus the on-going pizza oven project (he's doing the pretty stuff: river rock on the bottom, stucco still to come), Kayty looking for a car, Nathan's every morning football practices and weekly big man tournaments, Young Men's church activity...Ugh! So, needless to say, the men that mean so much to me and my children and grandchildren got quietly put on the back burner.

I think the prime example of one of the things I love most about the father of my children came last night: daughter and dad talking on the phone, her desire to save money to build a new piece of furniture, and him, finding there was a need, sprang to action, with solutions, one of which, is a well built, straight from the great grampa that just loved her to pieces, piece of furniture. It may not be perfect, but oh, the history...oh, the love...and it's sturdy, and she can make it whatever color she wants. That...the "jump and help, find a solution" Doran is the Dad/Papa that I cherish. If there was a science project needed to be built, he was there with design advice, and material help. If there was a problem in a sport, he was there to pitch balls, take to the cage, coach a team. If there was a band, or chorus concert, he was there-cheering all the time. Vehicle trouble, you guessed it...there to fix, or advise, or purchase. If someone needed something at a yard sale, he would ask at every one till he would find that something for his special children or grandchildren. He has built playgrounds, fixed up bikes, folded paper airplanes, purchased and played marbles, taken dress shopping (a truly terrible torture!), photographed, baited hooks, chaperoned field trips, cooked the best Chinese food, taken hunting and fishing, driven to Pismo Beach, and the Grand Canyon, and Medicine Bow Wyoming, and Yellowstone National Park, and Monterrey Bay Aquarium, and Black River, and ... well, way too many places to mention. He is their biggest and loudest cheerleader, and, whether they truly realize it or not, the most loving and dedicated and forgiving man...he truly wants only for them to be the best they can be...He has proven himself, time and time again, and, though the delivery sometimes can be rough, and his sense of humor can be hard to take, and he isn't the most subtle when it comes to his opinion, he truly loves them with every fiber of his being!

Now, for Mike, the sweet husband of my daughter, and the father of my grandbabies. I just love him so much. I knew he loved my daughter when he sat up all night with her, in my living room, and cared for her every need when she had her wisdom teeth removed. I remember, after losing a pregnancy, my daughter needed rest, and could not climb the stairs to their room. That sweet guy carried their huge mattress, all by himself, out of their room, across a family room, down a flight of stairs, and set it up downstairs so she could be comfortable...What a guy! And as a Daddy, he is superman! He can find the best sales and buy the cutest dresses for Grace. He can fix cars and bikes and everything. He can grill and dutch oven cook like NONE other! He reads to them, bathes them, feeds them (the yummy things that Mommy is not so fond of!), and I have watched as he really tries to help my daughter work the magic that she does! I saw a very ill young man go to the hospital, go to a school presentation, go back to the hospital, stop and bring a treat on the way home to big brother and sister, hope to go to bed and get rest, and then get a call from his worried wife and return to her side to comfort and love. He loves my daughter, and Adam and Grace and Joshy.

Daddy doesn't mean just here on earth either. My Doran and his sweet Danyel lost a baby over a year ago. His brain did not form, though he had a perfect, but very small little body. That Daddy sat by Mommy as she labored for days, suffering sickness, and sadness, knowing that there hopes would not be at the end of their labors. I saw his love for sweet Charles as he looked at him. That Daddy sat by her, loved her, and then took picture after picture of his sweet son that had returned to the Lord. We have those pictures to cherish...He put aside his sadness to record the passing of this sweet little son of Heavenly Father. And this Daddy is also one super duper Uncle! He gets to deliver furniture to Las Vegas, and, when he gets time, there is nothing better than to get a visit from Uncle Doran. He loves his nephews and niece to death, and you can see it!

I used to love it when my Uncle John would make this "special" drink for my brother and sister and me: seven up, cherry juice, and a cherry in a small glass. Imagine my shock when we went to a restaurant and ordered a "shirley temple" and got Uncle John's special drink!! Uncles are special people too! And sweet Ethan is one of those special uncles. He makes sure he takes trips to see those sweet little grandbabies of mine, and he loves to visit them and play with them.. I remember when Adam used to stay at our house while Mommy worked, he would love to come in and scare the beejeebers out of Adam...and Adam would jump every time Uncle Ethan did this! He scares the beejeebers out of me every time he gives on a little "toss"! He is the uncle that brings a special Barbie doll to a birthday girl on his way back to Phoenix from a softball game. He is the one that has the best video games. He is the one that works and works to make babies giggle. Uncle love...nothing else like it in the world!

So, to all the Dads and Papas and Uncles out there...Happy Father's Day, and thank you for making the world stay in balance, for doing the "Non Mommy And Grammy Approved" things! And thank you for being understanding about a Mom/Mother in Law/Wife that had a week not to forget. Your "unforgettable-ness" makes weeks like the last one are truly a happy, and wonderful memory!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Unpredictably Awesome

Have you ever met, or known, someone who is never predictable or planned, but just enjoys and lives all to the fullest, and makes almost everyone smile, not just a little smile, but a big grin from ear to ear? And was that person three, going on four? I have just described our sweet Grace, and, yes, just looking at our pics and thinking of her has brought me a huge grin! This little lady can turn any day from bad to good, just by looking at her. She has to touch, to taste, to try, and if she doesn't like something, well, there's no guessing needed. Gracie lets you know.

Her sweet big brother received a bug exploration kit as a birthday gift, and he willingly shared the magnifying glass with her. She looked at paper, her skin, Grammy's skin, Grammy's eye...and then outside we went, looking at blades of grass, watching ants go in and out of their hole. She can take the most mundane activity and make it an adventure.

She got a newer bike, and after checking out all the features, she had to test its ability to scare her Grammy (Mommy is much more calm...apparently more accustomed to this). All the while, she's smiling. That bike was just a bit big for her, but that little technicality wasn't going to stop our Grace. She just figured out that Papa and Grammy would give her a little push start every time she rang her bike bell. (Sorry, Mike and Allison...don't know how that has worked out for you now that we are miles away.)

Gracie likes most things: singing, dancing, swimming, playing, reading. But, if she doesn't like something, there is NO mistaking her feelings. Her future hubby will be mind reading needed with this girl. If she doesn't like it, she will let you know! Sometimes, though, I really think she likes to try different faces when Grammy is busy snapping off pictures. A perfect model!

What is most remarkable about her is her determination. We were at the library and she was showing me how she could do the puzzles. She was good, but there was this one...I even was messing up...She kept at it, and finally finished it, and then, later, selected it again, and did it by her self!

She loves her little brother, though I think he is the one person, right now, that is not very appreciative of her affection. She does nothing small, so hugs are big. She helps big, sometimes to Joshy's dismay. (Though, I do think, now, that Joshy likes Grammy better than one person...yep, Grace...and that's sure to change soon!)

Here's to our little butterfly, our bubbly Grace...Thank you for making our mundane, sometimes over planned world, and happy, spontaneous place...and for making us all smile!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Choice Spirit

"You are choice spirits, many of you having been held in reserve for almost 6,000 years to come forth in this day, at this time, when the temptations, responsibilities, and opportunities are the very greatest."

This is a quote from one of the Latter-day Saint Prophets, President Ezra Taft Benson. I have seen evidence of these elect spirits in my own home. Each child is choice and has such strength and conviction. I am humbled by the opportunity to be their mother, and continue to feel this way now that my youngest is 17. And, as I visited the next generation, I see that the Lord indeed has sent even stronger spirits, with conviction, dedication, an overflowing amount of patience, and goodness, and love in his next generation. My sweet 7 year old grandson, Adam, is such a young man... so hard for me to think of this sweet little boy that I used to snuggle near me and sing "Blaaauuump, Went The Little Green Frog One Day" to (yes, Sister Taylor, just like I used to hear you sing. I really even tried to include the cute face you always made!) as a young man, but his Spirit is already wise beyond those seven years. My sweet Adam is forever patient. I see the love he feels and shows to his full of life little sister. She was so tired and having a hard time getting a book selected to read before bed, and tired little girls sometimes make mistakes, so she wasn't going to get to read a favorite book, and that made her very sad. So, Adam got to pick one, and...right you are, he picked HER book for us to read. Such a gem. He is so kind to his baby brother...Joshy just loves Adam and you can see it in his eyes, and in his sweet beaming smile!!! Yes, even at just 7 years old, Adam is a true, kind and loving big brother. While a great big brother, he is also a wonderful friend. He had a new bicycle from Papa and Grammy, and never even blinked when a neighbor came up and asked if he could ride it. Adam was so kind to share and he was not the least bit jealous or possessive. That is just the way he is...Such a chosen Spirit.

There are many great things all rolled into this seven year old package, but none stands out more than this...One of his birthday gifts from Daddy and Mommy was his very own Book of Mormon, with a colored marking pencil, to read on his own. Mommy said that if he read 1 page plus 1 column every day, he would finish it by his next birthday, his 8th birthday-the one where he is old enough to choose to be baptized. Now, for me, this was his best gift, for I love the Book of Mormon. I love to read and learn of what happened on the American Continent before, during and after the Savior's birth, life, death and resurrection. I read it over and over...start to finish and then start again. I read every morning, and it was so wonderful for me to think that this sweet young grandson of mine might be able to accomplish what many adults have not accomplished. I awoke the next morning, got out my scriptures, and began my morning reading. He came out of his room and did the same. We talked about the scriptures and I showed him how I had marked mine-that I pick things that make me feel special when I read them, or things I really want to remember, and included little stories and quotes on papers that I had glued in. The next morning, I looked and saw that he had his new marking pencil sharpened, and had already marked the most important thing he had read: the testimony of Mom and Dad that they had each written in the front. Oh, Adam, how special that must have made you feel. What a perfect start to your Book of Mormon reading. Again, what a choice and elect Spirit to know how much those words mean now, and will mean all your life.

While there is so much to see in the world that is bad, and sad, and discouraging, this sweet 7 year old, the full of love and life little sister, and the fervent and strong baby brother, and many others like them, show me that the Lord did reserve this little ones, with very large and strong Spirits, for the last days: when there is so much evil in the world, they show us that there is goodness, and kindness, and happiness. I get an almost front row seat to the spectacle that is these sweet grandbabies of mine. They are strong, they are brave, they are fearless, they know Christ, and they want to do the right thing. I know why their mommy and...I am sure..their daddy were so strong and valiant: so they could be the parents of these steadfast and immovable spirits.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How Wise They Are

Maybe I am waxing philosophical tonight, but, after our wonderful three days celebrating our 7 year old grandson's birthday, it has brought me a smile to think back and remember. This little man is now 6 months old...six months on the earth...six months of eating and sleeping and communicating, in his own special "Joshy" way...and yet, he has learned what we often forget: The one person who will always protect us, keep us safe, care for us, and never ever stop loving us is: our Mommy! This little man certainly knows who "butters his bread" so to speak, and wants to never be away from her, never have her out of his sight.

The look of concern begins with the eyes, and a cute little lower lip that starts to show bigger and bigger. Then, it's the terror in the eyes, then the cries..."Where is she? Where is the only one who can truly love me? Where is my Mommy?"

Now, this little one is totally happy, and even long as he is in her protective arms.

Every morning, he would get up...and look at me...Yep, Joshy, she's still here...that strange lady that tries to hold you when Mommy goes with brother or sister, that crazy one that tries to kiss you over and over on those sweet chubby cheeks.

Yep, she's still here. For Daddy's sake, he IS finally preferred over someone...Grammy holds him one morning, and he frantically tries to get to his daddy!

Oh, Joshy, I am not mad! You are one smart boy! Please always, always remember that Mommy will never, ever, ever stop loving you, no matter what you do, or what you say. That's the way ALL mommy's are. I love your Mommy...always have, and always always will, no matter what!

Riding A Bike

They say you never forget how to ride a bicycle. That may be true, but oh, how we forget how much work it was to LEARN to ride a bicycle. From training wheels to balance, to getting on and off...there's a lot to it!

We were able, thanks to extra dj events, provide a brand new bike for our grandson, and we found a pretty neat one at a yard sale for our granddaughter.

Two sweet children: one very new to riding, one who knew how to ride, but had to adjust to a bigger bike after having his bike stolen much to think about...and yet, as each child grew in wisdom and experience,

the small bike rider could ride quite well...just needed a push, and her new bike came with a bell that, when rung, summoned Daddy...or Papa...or give a little push.

The veteran bike rider, after a crash or two,

discovered how he could get on the bike, first using the curb, and then all by himself; how to pedal and turn; and then he pedaled and turned, faster and faster...even went a little too far as he ventured out.

It is amazing the size of the smile, the look of that grew and grew with each pass by Papa or Grammy...

As I returned to laundry and cooking and cleaning, yard work and bills...I stopped and thought of that big seven year old, with the wind in his hair, and a smile from ear to ear...riding that new red bike, and of that sweet Little Miss on her new bike, ringing her bell...hopefully someone else could give her a little push...Oh, how Papa and I miss those little pushes, and that sweet smile! And now, they both can never forget how to ride a bike!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June First: A New Month and A New Plan

Memorial Day Weekend blog entries: full of barbecues and family parties. Our weekend was not so much that picture. First, hey, it's Arizona...and yesterday it hit 100 degrees. Now, it really isn't so bad here, once you get used to it. In fact, come October, when the temps are dropping, we will actually say that 90 degrees is cool! However, it's really not that much fun to do ANYTHING in the sun. The pool...I actually got up to 85 degrees, so I could stay in a bit without moving constantly. Second...hubby works on Saturday Night...a job he loves: dj for Saturday Night church dances for the youth, but that means, we don't go anywhere far on Saturday, so he can be ready, be rested and play a good dance. Now, mind you, I did have a WONDERFUL lunch yesterday with Ethan and Cameo-for my mothers day fun!!! But, I did find myself sitting around Saturday, pouting about the crummy yard sales that morning (Dee gave me 20 bucks to spend on my own for Mother's Day...and I swear it's cursed...I have not found ANYTHING worth purchasing since I got that 20 bucks!), and that there was just NOTHING to do. I did laundry, I cleaned...then, I looked on my desk...I could have caught up Nate's photo album...I could have traced some Christmas ornaments...I could have done some pages in the family scrapbook...I could have started embroidering that stocking IN CASE ANOTHER GRANDBABY EVER DECIDES TO COME TO EARTH TO ETHAN AND CAMEO OR DORAN AND DANYEL-not that I'm hinting or anything...I just want to be ready, just in case!. So...
Goal for June 1st...take paper, write down various things that need to be done, like "Scrap One Folder for Family Scrapbook" or "Cut out 10 ornaments", put these in a jar, and then, when I have another "Pouting Pity Party" there will be a solution...instead of food!
Oh, by the way, I did take and catch up Nathan's AND Kayty's photo albums yesterday...Only Morgan left to do! Hooray for me!