Friday, February 29, 2008

Big Bad Bruce




This is my big brother
His name is Bruce.
He's 8 years older than me.
I never see him anymore.
He lives in Canada.
I live in the US.
He never forgets my birthday.
He has skinny legs...just like our mom did.
He has five beautiful children.
He loves to fish.
He's the cute kid in blue. (above)
He's handsome.
I like him.


Two quick memories:
1.  On my first day of first grade, he had to lift me up onto the bus because I wasn't big enough to climb the steps alone.

2.  While driving with him in his car (I was about 8 years old) his odometer in his red car (I have no idea what kind of car...Mustang maybe?) flipped over to 55,555 miles.  He pulled over to the side of the road and proclaimed "LET US PRAY!"  I've never forgotten that for some reason.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Sister-Daughter




Erin is the wife of Terry's son Spencer.  I affectionately call her my "sister-daughter".  I would have loved to have her as my real life sister.  She is an amazing person and whatever I write about her here could never do her justice.  She's just that darned wonderful.
If I had a "do over" in my life, I would pattern my parenting after Erin.  Not that I think I did a poor job of mothering or anything (right Melissa and Erika??), but she is just doing everything right.  She feeds her children healthy food and they actually like it.  That is a miracle in and of itself.  Her children are almost perfect!  Erin made them that way.
I wish I had Erin's drive.  She is a marathon runner, a nurse, a reader, a blogger, a chef, a friend, a patient wife and mother, and so much more.  She makes me feel like I am the most important person in her life.  The thing is, I know everyone who knows her thinks the same thing.  That is a trait of an exceptional person.
She made up the name "Grami Tami" which I adore.  After all, I'm too young to be a grandma.  Grami sounds so much younger.  I love those twins she gave birth to.  I love that Erin reminds them that they have a Grami Tami far away in Utah.
(Erin...remember my journal experience I let you read about our visit to the beautiful big building in American Fork?  That is my most treasured memory of you and always will be (uh oh!  I'm tearing up!)  Thank you for that day.)
So, as anyone reading can see, Erin is a tremendous spirit.  I love her.  I like her.  She means more to me than I could ever write on a public forum.  Everyone who meets her is better because they did.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My BFF






She is my twin sister from a different mother.  I met Kathe over 19 years ago.  We were (and are) teachers in the same school.  She was my friend from day one.
There are so many things I like and adore about Kathe.  Here's my list:
1.  She is fiercely loyal.
2.  We lived through the deaths of both sets of parents.  I will forever remember being with her at her mother's side when she passed away.  I hope she knows how much that meant to me to be there.
3.  She laughs at my jokes.  She really does get me.
4.  She is an amazing mother.  She reminds me of my mom in the way she defends and loves her kids.  They can do no wrong.  (That is a good thing Kathe, just in case you ever read this:)  )
5.  She is the cutest grandma.  Her grandkids are the luckiest children ever.  She would give her life for them I'm sure.  She spends a lot of money on them.  It cracks me up.  She has 11 of them.  Wow!
6.  This cracks me up about Kathe...she fights getting older harder than anything else.  She really doesn't need to worry about that.  She is beautiful.  She will be beautiful until she is 92...or older.
7.  She loves my girls.  Well, really, who doesn't?
8.  She swears (at least once a day)
9.  She keeps me on the straight and narrow...even with all that swearing!  She makes me want to be a better person (corny I know) but she really does. 
And finally... 
10.  She'll always be 10 years older than me (thank goodness)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

She's Abbietastic!




What can I say about my little Abbie?  Abbie is Terry's youngest daughter and the first of his children that I met.  She was 13 at the time.  I fell in love with her the minute I met her (I'm not sure she felt the same about me though :)  )  She was a lively, outgoing, little ball of muscle!  I knew I'd have my hands full with her.
There are so many things to like about Abbie.  First of all, I am thankful to her for being a big sister to Erika and Melissa.  I would love it when Abbie came over and the three would get along so famously.  One time, she introduced my daughters and their friends to the wonderful world of ROCK!  She dressed them up and did all of the necessary gothic make up to transform them all into the "Smack Girls".  That was a great time that we all still talk about when we get together.
Let's talk about Abbie's face!  I know that sounds weird.  But Abbie's face is like no other.  She has the biggest, brightest smile in the world.  She has sparkling eyes that smile with her.  Many have compared her to Julia Robert or Anne Hathaway.  But to us, she outshines them all and is just our Abbie.  I smile when I see her smile.  What a beauty.
I like Abbie for her drive!  She put herself through pharmacy school and worked as a technician before she met and married Forrest.  She is a wonderful mother.  On her last visit to Utah, I loved watching her with her Eli.  She was gentle and patient...two things I aspire to be. I can't wait to see her mother her new baby daughter who will arrive sometime in May.  (Woo Hoo!) I know that she sometimes thinks she has work hard to be as good of a mother as she sees others being but, she shouldn't worry about that.  She already is.  
What I don't like about Abbie is that she lives far, far away.  I miss her terribly.  I miss her stories about her childhood she always tells about her dad.  I miss her laugh.   I miss her kindness and her spirit.  I just simply miss HER.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Second Melissa I Like



Besides my two beautiful daughters, I get to have four other children without the rigorous peril of child birth.  One of those children happens to share the same name as my first born.  Melissa is Terry's oldest daughter.  She holds a very special place in my heart and she probably doesn't even know it.  Here's why.
As anyone who has had to blend into a family as the wicked step-mother knows it can be extremely scary.  When Terry and I were engaged, I was scared to death of his kids (sorry guys!).  All I wanted was to be accepted and liked.  I wasn't expecting them to fall all over me or anything, just to feel comfortable around them.  And I did.  I loved them all from the first time I met them...because Terry loved them.  It was still a concern for me though. 
While attending Terry's oldest son's wedding, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of taking on this new family.  As we left the wedding, Melissa followed us to the car to get something we had in our trunk.  I was trying hard not to be intrusive so I headed to my side of the car.  It was then that Melissa walked over to me and gave me a huge hug.  I don't remember her exact words or if she even said anything at all, but I knew at that moment that everything would be okay.  I cried like a baby.  I've always loved her for that hug.
Since then, I have come to appreciate that sweet girl.  She has been on my mind a lot lately because she was just here on Sunday.  She was married two years ago to Justin (I kinda like him too! :) )  But the best part is, she gave birth to TWIN girls six months ago!  Melissa is a wonderful mother.  I watched her on Sunday as she cared for her girls.  She is gentle.  She is loving.  She wasn't irritated at all when they cried.  She trusted me with the babies.  I could tell how much she truly loves her children.  I can't wait to see her as she raises them.  I know she will be a great mother.
I also appreciate Melissa as a friend.  I love to talk to her.  She's an interesting and smart woman.  She has been through a lot in her life.  I have always been impressed with how she has taken her trials and used them to improve herself.  I could take a lesson from that.
I am so very lucky to have Melissa in my life.  She changes me for the better whenever she is around.  

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Last Born Daughter




Erika was my second and last born child.  She was born only 13 months after her sister in 1989.  I was so happy to have another girl and so happy that it was Erika.
Since the day she was born, Erika has provided our family with interesting ideas and comic relief. She is the typical second/youngest child (which happens to be one of the reasons I like her so much being one myself!)  She was born on Friday the 13th but brought us no nightmares or scary moments...ok, maybe a couple.
Here are my reasons why I like Erika so darn much:
1. Her eyes.  Erika has these eyes that can tell whole stories when you look into them.  They are big and hazel with giganticly long eyelashes.  Her grandpa (Ray) used to say that her eyes melted his heart and that there was something very special about them...and her.  I know that she has used them on more than one occasion to get what she wants.  If the eyes are the windows to the soul, you could see Erika's soul every time you look into them.  Nothing breaks my heart more than to see big tears fill her eyes.  They are beautiful.
2. Her sense of humor cracks me up.  It's not that she tries to be funny.  She just is.  She can be so goofy.  She also "gets" me and my jokes (which is a task in itself) and actually laughs at them.  I also appreciate it when she tells me I'm NOT funny (even though I don't believe her).
3. She loves kids.  I am so glad that she has chosen a profession that works with children.  She is so calm and loving toward them.  I love to watch her holding her little nieces and nephews or reading them stories.  I know she will make an awesome mother someday.  Which means, I can be an awesome grami!
4. She is paying her way through college.  No loans.  No cosigning.  Nothing.  She is working hard and using her hard earned paychecks to pay for her tuition.  Honestly, that is something I never thought would happen.  I am amazed by this.  I'm not sure I could have done it all by myself.  I truly admire her for that.  I know it's hard not to keep her hard earned money for things she wants but she does it.
5. She is deeply spiritual.  She loves the lord.  She knows what is right and she knows where she is going in her life.  
If you know Erika, you like her.  If you don't know her, you would.

Friday, February 8, 2008

My First Born Daughter


In 1987, I gave birth to my first child.  Since day one, I have liked that kid.  She has been an easy daughter to raise.  She's obedient and respectful.  I could write many memories of her here but, it would take up too much space.  I've been thinking about her a lot lately and trying to conceptualize why I like her so much.  Here are five reasons:

1. Every so often, Melissa makes a proclamation about how she is going to improve her life.  It's not so much that I like her ideas for change, but it's HOW she announces it.   For example, "This is the year of being strong and healthy" and just last night..."I'm now going to start cooking something sweet every week!"  She's just so cute when she decides to do something new.
2. I don't know how she got her brilliance but I like it!  Melissa is so smart.  She is on an academic scholarship at UVU.  I know it doesn't always come easily to her but it LOOKS like it does.  She works hard and retains it all.  I also like that she doesn't flaunt it.  Now, me, I'd definitely flaunt it if I were smart like her.
3.  I like her fashion sense.  She's just so lovely.
4. This reason cracks me up.  I like how she thinks she is manipulating me into buying her lunch.  She uses such phrases as: "Do you want me to go to Sonic and get you a drink?"  OR "You want to go to lunch?" OR  "I'd love to go get you some ice cream or something."    Then, I say "well thanks honey, I'd love some tots"  Melissa: "Okay, which one of your cards should I take?"  She's so sweet, isn't she??
5. And finally...I like Melissa's spirituality.  She has a strong testimony of the gospel.  She is a great example to me of faith and obedience.  I wish I could be more like her.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I like Terry!







Husbands come in all shapes and sizes.  They come with emotional and traditional flaws.  Wives love to  complain about their husbands just for fun of course.  Well, my dear husband is not in the greatest shape.  He has several medical issues which create daily obstacles for himself and for our family.  Any time a medical problem exists within a family, adjustments have to be made.  BUT, I choose not to dwell on my loves medical issues because by doing so...I'd miss out on all of the amazing traits he has that make me like him so stinking much!
Ask anyone who has met Terry and they will say that he is the most kind, gentle man they have ever met.  He is compassionate and giving.  He reaches out to everyone.  Thinks only of their comfort before his own.  Sometimes these behaviors can be very "buggy".  I have to finally tell him to stop hovering.  Really, though, the hovering is such a part of him and I know he truly is concerned about my well being.  I'm his queen and he treats me just like one.
One thing I was attracted to was my husband's talents.  He is an amazing artist.  He can draw portraits, oil paint, scrimshaw, and now his latest project...scultpure!  And he's really good at it.  He recently donated over 100 prints to the Boy Scouts of America.  He just gives things away.  He is never selfish.
Finally, I like my husband because he is a good and spiritual man.  He reminds me all the time about the importance of  keeping our family strong.  About joining our two families.  Because of Terry, I have six gorgeous grandchildren that we both love and adore.  He is available when we need him.  I always know I have a rock to lean on.
I am lucky because I do love AND like Terry all the time.  I'm so lucky.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

MRS. HUGHES

Today, the person that I like is Mrs. Hughes!  I truly gave a belly laugh when I watched this video.  One of the traits that draws me to a person is humor.  Honestly, if a person can't make me laugh, I'll politely say hello/goodbye and move on to find someone who will.  Life is too short to take seriously.  My favorite quote by President Gordon B. Hinkley is "In all living, have much fun and laughter.  Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

Who can argue with that?


Laugh on Mrs. Hughes!
video

Monday, February 4, 2008

My Sweet Mama


Abraham Lincoln said, "All that I am, I owe to my dear mother"  (or something like that!).  My mum taught me many things.  She taught me:  to sew, to clean, to sing, to play the piano, to cook, to treat my husband like a king, to be compassionate, to be honest, to cry, to laugh, and to be a "lady".  She was so adorable yet so fierce.  
I was born after three boys with seven years between me and my next sibling.  Of course I was my mom's favorite.  She was a true mother bear who defended her children no matter what.  Don't get in Norma's way.  She loved her children and grandchildren.  She loved the underdog.
I loved the weekly breadmaking she did.  She would make me deliver bread to the widows and  widowers in our neighborhood...even though I hated it.  She gave perms to the neighbor ladies. It seemed she could do anything.
I could list thousands of things about her.  I could tell hundreds of memories.  But, I just wanted to scratch the surface and include my mother in my list of the people I "like".  You would have liked her too...I'm sure of it.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


My Pops!
It's fitting that I begin with the man who taught me all about how to "like" people, even the hard ones.  My dad.  Ray was his name.  He was a man of great strength and incredible humor.  The top three things he taught me:
1.  "No matter if your work for McDonald's or a major corporation, you give the same amount of effort for your employer."
2.  "When you're driving, it isn't YOU I'm worried about, it's all the other people who don't know how to drive."
3.   "Your integrity is your most important asset.  Never lose it."
My dad was a hard worker.  He couldn't sit still.  He was always taking care of something or someone.  He carried his toolbox in the car wherever we went.  He always encouraged me to DO not sit.  When he was diagnosed with cancer and got to the point where he couldn't leave the house, he told me "Do you know what the worst part is?  I can't go out and shovel the snow."
Most of all, he taught me how to love my spouse.  He loved my mother with a fierceness of 10,000 warriors.  She could be difficult at times I'm sure.  But, he was patient and loved her beyond measure.  He treated her like a lady and like she was the most important thing in his life...and she was.  When they would travel places, he would stop along the road, turn up his Lawrence Welk tapes and they would have a little dance on the side of the road.  
I never had any sons, but if I did, he would have been my model for training them to be great men.  He loved the Lord and lived his religion.  He was never half and half in his commitment.  I love him for that and for so many other things.  I wish that everyone who reads this could have met him.  You would have liked him a lot.
This blog is not about love.  Don't get me wrong though.  Most of the people I write about I actually do love but it isn't about that.  It's about "LIKE".  It's about important people and items in my life that have changed me for good.  It's easy to love someone out of long standing tradition and respect.  To actually like these people and things, is a whole different story.

So, watch for your day in the blog.  Find out how you have influenced me and changed me.  That's my goal for this blog.

Enjoy!
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