Sunday, May 10, 2015

Trip to Rexburg

We just spent a wonderful 10 days in Rexburg, stopped in Salt Lake on the way up, stayed with Keith and Linda and caught up with them.  It was the first time we had been with them since their mission and it was so good to share together again.  They are very special in our lives and we love having access to them.  We spent the day at Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival…a real treat, then Catherine and Anne joined us for dinner at The Joseph Smith Memorial Building Garden Room.  What a delightful evening it was.   

We then had a day with Julie and Set’s family. After Saturday jobs were done we  headed out to bowl and have dinner together before heading north.  Always so good to be with those cute kids!  

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Steve & Liz Poelman Family

Before Easter we hosted an extended family gathering to see Stephen and Liz Simmons and their two children Matthew and Julia.  Julia has just completed her mission to Mesa and they wanted to return to meet people, etc before they head out to be Mission President in Singapore and also to help our children and grandchildren  get to know them better. We learned all about their calling and anticipated service, how they are learning Malay since Malaysia is part of their mission and the miracles that have surrounded their call.What an adventure they have ahead of them...flying almost 100% on the time to accommodate the massive geography of their responsibilities!
We will be routing for these two and their orphaned children (one more on a mission)while they are gone. This is their introduction to "empty nesting  Kind of a stark transition! ". All the family will be in our prayers.

Adult Poelman Cousins

Saturday, March 14, 2015

And a New Year Begins

I made some New Year's resolutions and realize that I didn't keep them very well the first day of the New Year.. My greatest desire is to have control over my choices and make decisions in accordance with my value system. The things I would like to change are 1. Make food less of a priority in my life and  2. Focus more on others and their needs and be more in tune with listening in my conversations and 3. Making those interactions more meaningful by discussing things on a deeper level that have meaning to the person I'm talking with.

I need to truly see people and focus more on them. I do pray regularly for others and am very concerned and sincere. However in my interactions I think I get to caught up with what's going on and don't give enough attention to the needs of those around me. My heros are Angela and Shawni. They never talk about themselves but ask good questions that help others to share. I want to do that naturally but will need to think about it and practice it to accomplish that.

Carol Lynn and I had lunch at Crackers with Lynn Wieneke...enjoyed a great visit.

David & Shawni and their family took us to dinner as a Christmas gift!  It was great to have that time together to share stories of both China and Africa since we had not had time together since before we left for Africa.  We only saw them briefly in the airport as we arrived home and they flew out for a semester in China the same day.  We missed them soooo much and are grateful to have them home!

It's fun to take the little ones to the park and we seem to make it to the ice cream store before returning home. Now every time I visit Steve's children, Bennett asks if we can go to the park.  If I say "Not today" he then asks, "Can we get ice cream?"

Annie's Jimmy and Steve's Bennett

Of course, one thing these boys LOVE to do is play games or watch a movie on my iPad. I rarely let them do it, but sometimes we make it a treat and they do it.  I watched these boys overnight and loved it!

Andrew & Jimmy engrossed

Bathtime for Luke.  Don't you just love towel babies?
 The kids got out of school early one day and I took a bunch to the park...had to borrow Laurie's car to get them all there... Once there some liked to play on the equipment while others built sand castles, complete with motes and water.  These girls preferred to try out some new hairstyles they learned on pinterest.  I think they have outgrown the park but LOVE to be together.  Sure hope they never outgrow that!
Laurie's Ava; Christy's Annie Jo and Steve's Hallie

I was thrilled to be invited by David and Shawni to attend "Joseph's Amazing Technicolor Coat" at the Grady Gammage Auditorium and was delighted to learn that three of the girls would also be going.  It was their first time to see the play, so we worked together to piece together the story so they would be prepared.  We all loved it!

This is our sweet Lucy

Every Sunday I get to spend time with this cutie so his parents can enjoy church (one advantage to living by Nana)
He's a happy little guy and seems to enjoy being here.  I love that he knows us well and is so responsive.  Our treasured Sunday study time will resume once he is old enough to go to nursery (End of April) But for the time being we are loving this special opportunity to bind one-on-one.

It's amazing how different the grandchildren are when their parents are not there.  I love having them all to myself

We REALLY enjoy visitors, especially from Idaho!

Bob with BYU Idaho associates

In about 1978 we were asked if we would consider having an Indian placement student in our home. Woody Kaye Jr, a 16 year old Navajo boy joined our family and comes at least yearly to visit and get a fresh supply of oranges.  We had such a great visit with him and his wife, Irene, this year.
They are concerned parents and loving friends.  We wish them well!

David and Shawni had an opportunity to go to Hawaii.  We were delighted to have some extra time with their 5 children.  It was such a pleasant experience and felt good to be able to help out ("be needed") and to have this special one-on-one time with them. They have spent the last 4+ months in China and we missed them terribly!  
It was totally a breeze as they went to school every day which gave us an opportunity to try out the new Top Golf facility near by and accomplish other personal tasks.  Then when they returned they took turns cooking us dinner.  Now, there is no "down side" to such an opportunity to "help out".
It was fun to visit with them and basically see them come and go!
Thanks kids. You are the best!

A little extra fun bowling on family night!
Elle, Grace, Claire fixing dinner - delicious!
 We love to gather as a family on Sunday evenings to celebrate birthdays!  Everyone is far too involved on the actual birthday having their own fun with family and friends and people are not as available. But somehow Sunday evenings lend themselves so well to "gathering" and we love doing it. Often a text will go out late in the afternoon that someone is open to hosting such a gathering and family members respond. It's amazing how many are available at that time.  We LOVE this tradition of unplanned family gatherings.  They occur often and include all who can attend.

Hallie, Ava, Lucy, Nana, Claire and Annie Jo
(Not a great picture but I love it!)

Add caption
Hallie, Ava, Lucy, Nana, Claire and Annie Jo
(Not a great picture but I love it!)
Jaylee's 16th Birthday - Love you girl!

One night in January we had 5 little girls sleepover.  When we refurnished our home after family moved out, we made sure we had lots of beds.  This room has come in handy for these girls who LOVE to be together.  Lucy was happy to have a big bed to herself in the next room.  I love Nana Sleepovers!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Park Weather

It has most definitely been park weather and I have enjoyed gathering up some grandchildren and spending some time there.  It is such a joy to have them to myself and get to be a real grandma for a couple of hours.  Sometimes I have to trade cars with one of my children to have room for everyone, but they are generous and don't seem to mind. It's not worth it to us to own a van again!  Besides, how fun it is to snuggle in together.

Before one park trip we went to the dollar store and bought containers and items to use in the sand. There weren't any official sand toys but we managed with ice cream scoops, strainers and plastic cups, etc. They worked out just fine because it kept not only the grandchildren entertained but all the other children at the park also!  Hunter and Lyla especially loved making sand castles, digging motes, etc.
 Bennett and I tried out the park equipment and
enjoyed the swings!

The girls did each others' hair and caught up on all their "getting back to school" sharing and other recent events.  Oh, how they love to get any time together!

Then, of course, a park outing would never be complete without a visit to Water and Ice for an ice cream cone of their choice!


Trip to Wickenberg

Petra Morrison with Bob - A very dear relative!

Every winter Bob's father's cousin comes to West Phoenix to stay out of the cold.  She has a home in Sun Valley that we love to visit.  She has always been the dearest example of a true Christian woman and is most dear to each of us.  I am hoping to get her to write down some of the stories that are still in her head while she can.  We visit her each year and treasure the opportunity. One year we held a family gathering for a few days in her basement with lots of little grandchildren.  How gracious she has always been!
We love you Petra!

We were so close to Wickenberg where my sister-in-law, Annie Osborn Poelman and her sister, Lucy were staying that we dropped by there for a visit.  We had such a wonderful evening enjoying a lovely dinner and great conversation.  Thank you Annie!  We are blessed to have you and Lucy in our lives!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Comes to a Close

December 31, 2014

It's the end of another year and what a wonderful year it has been! We've been to Africa, we've had a fabulous gathering of our family for our 50th year anniversary celebrations and my 70th birthday...what a sweet  time with our family. We are serving as ward missionaries and have had some good experiences with that. I've developed a great desire to do family history work and missionary work in the new year. We have declared 2015 is the year of the family. We want to have as much family interaction with our grandchildren as we can and possibly.

As we move into our 70s we need to take extra good advantage of the health and time that we have. We are seeing more and more of our friends lose their companions and realize how precious it is to have this period of time together.

For Christmas Bob gave us a Caribbean cruise that we plan to take February 14 through the 21st. We are finalizing those arrangements with the air transportation. He is most anxious for us to have some experiences together while we still have the health. What a blessing it is to be healthy and able to do as many things as we do.

It's true we get tired faster and work slower but there's still so much that we can contribute. We are blessed to be near family. We have six of our nine children right here in the valley and many of our 36 grandchildren. Life is moving forward for each of these families and we are grateful to be a part of it. I don't think a day goes by that we don't think about and express our gratitude for the many blessings that are ours.We realize that those blessings stem from a foundation of the gospel and we're so grateful to have had it to raise our families, to build our marriage and to give us direction in this life. It is my greatest desire to share those same blessings with others by teaching them and helping them to understand the plan of salvation and the beautiful blessings that are available by living the Gospel. I feel like this comes through missionary work and family history.

We attend the temple weekly whether we are in Arizona or in Idaho and that's such a great blessing to us. We hope that our children and our posterity will develop a true love for the temple and want to be there as often as they can.

Sometimes we struggle to know just how to develop personal relationships with each of our children and grandchildren. We have nine children and 37 grandchildren at this point and the numbers keep growing. I would like for each of our grandchildren to know how very dearly we love them and that we are here for them as much as we can be. I know we need to spend more time having the little ones over. They are the ones that enjoy being with us so much. There's nothing better than to have them greet us with warm smiles and hugs and be excited when we come by. Yesterday Bennett ask if I could stay to lunch or stay and sleep at their house. Sometimes by living close we don't have the same opportunities of interaction that we would if we were staying right with them once in a while. We need to figure out how we can make it work well in our circumstances.

We are thankful for a new year to make new years resolutions and to look forward to improving in the areas that we see that we are weak. I pray the Lord will help us in our journey. He's done a pretty good job so far, and we are grateful to know that he's the source of our strength and our power and all our opportunities.

For Christmas we gave each of our children the opportunity to come and have a destination vacation in Rexburg Idaho. I'm not sure each of them will take advantage of it but we look forward to hosting some of the families this summer and having a good time with them in our Idaho home. We are anxious to have one-on-one time with them so that we can be grandparents in a more individual way.
How grateful I am for this new mini iPad that makes it possible for me to speak my journal. That will make all the difference! It was a Christmas gift from our children.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Home Temporarily!

We returned to Mesa for a couple of weeks to catch up with family and check on things here. Tomorrow we are off  for a week of family, friends and meetings in Utah and one week from today will arrive in Idaho. School starts there the 15th and we will be ready to coordinate our Africa projects with those in Idaho.

It has been so good to be with family. We all gathered together for the Labor Day holiday with a BBQ and swim to celebrate Dan's birthday. I thought everyone would have plans and we would be lucky to have any "takers" but it worked out that four families could join us by evening and we had a great time together.  Dan's parents were in town so they joned in. It was so fun to see these great people again.

Each day has been as full as we could make it and we still didn't get to everything we would have liked but are grateful to have had this time.