Friday, December 23, 2005

Two days 'til Christmas

Getting cookies, popcorn, and nuts ready to deliver to people for Christmas. What a good heper we had today (that is she rocked nicely in her swing so we could cook.)

We baked Cinnamon Bread with and without raisins, and little loaves of Cranberry Orange Quick bread.

When we made cookies and sugared nuts (Lynda's recipe), Madison wasn't too helpful.

Okay, so we never put lights on the house, the Christmas card didn't get sent (they didn't even get ready to send), so far we haven't made any chocolate bears, we didn't drive around and look at the Christmas lights in town. There are probably a lot more things that we didn't do this year. There is always tomorrow, and after that......well we can always do better next year.

Friday, December 16, 2005

December ramblings

In case anyone forgot what Garrett looks like, here is a picture of him. Of course it was taken two years ago, but he hasn't changed that much.

We are planning on making the drive up to Ely the week after Christmas. Wonder if there will be snow like there was two years ago? We had fun didn't we dacheese? Since that Christmas, Andrew has spent a year in Iraq and is now back in the states. We have four new granddaughters a new son-in-law and soon to be one or two daughter-in-laws. I don't think we have aged at all - anyway we sure don't feel any older. Where does time go?

Thanks to dacheese and Rhaynnon we have a decorated tree in our living room. I think this Christmas is the hardest one yet. We have children at home, but they aren't ours anymore. They are their own people and have their own families. Who is Santa? Who will fill the stockings? I didn't realize how hard this year was hitting me until last week when I was freezing cold and alone in Kansas City. Then I realized that this big change is real, we don't have our own babies anymore who will wait wide eyed for Santa. That is a resposibility that falls to the next generation, and even though we can be there to watch, we are just onlookers. There won't be children all piled into one bedroom, staying awake all night, talking. We won't need to find an ingenious way to block off the living room to hide any unwrapped presents. No great treasure hunt type gifts. Nothing the same as it has been for the past 25+ years. Maybe the mom won't be so grouchy either?

This year we may be able to act out the Nativity, but who gets to be Mary? We have the perfect candidate for the role of the Christ child, but who should be Joseph? Oh for the simplicity of the years when we grabbed a doll, wrapped it in swaddling clothes, had two wise guys H & G, Joseph Jesse, Mary Briana, and Angel Andrew. Putting appropriate headgear on the dogs so that we could have a donkey, a camel or a sheep. We can't go back, so I guess we'll just have to move forward and honor those wonderful memories.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The hunt

Two hunters and their guides - Scott C., Craig, Jeff and Scott A. ready to find the elusive elk. By the end of the day they had seen a mule deer, a brief glimpse of a five-point elk, but no shots were fired.

It was cold, but little wind and the sun was shining, so it couldn't have been a much nicer day for a ride.

Maybe they'll have better luck tomorrow.

Where does time go

How did it get to be this late in November? I know for a fact that we just celebrated the fourth of July the other day. Then a day later the babies were born and they are getting too close to being two months old.

Tomorrow is our oldest daughters birthday. She was born on a Tuesday and we went home for her first Thanksgiving dinner. When we pulled into the driveway my brother Jack ran out and said "So you named her Helena, we call Tiffany 'Tif' so what are you going to call her?"

This is her birth story. I wrote it on a piece of paper towel the day after she was born.

"My dear little Helena. It has been a very quick 8 months since we first heard about you. You were a very much loved baby long before you even showed me any signs of life. I want to tell you about this "labor of love" we went throught to get you here.

I woke at two AM Tuesday morning and shortly began to feel pains - which persisted until we left home around 9 AM. Your father helped keep track of the pains about 30 minutes apart. When they got to 20 minutes we left home- which was good, since around Aguila (20 miles from the hospital) you then became more urgent and the pains slipped to barely 5 minutes apart. We came to the hospital, they sent us back to the doctor. He sent me straight back out to the hospital. Then the contractions came every minute. Long, hard pains. I think I scared your father as I was hurting so badly. Yes, dear, birth pains are the most intesnse hurt you will probably every feel, but it is worh it. Your father gave me a blessing, he told me my pains would ease and you would come soon. Less than 2 hours later you took your first breath and uttered your first sceam of protest. My pains were eased, only a little, but I was able to sleep between pains.

When I said you are special I meant that in many ways. To your father and I you are an important part of us, so much love, along with pain. But it will be only a little pain. The kind you have when you are growing. To the Lord you are a special part of his plan, and you are his spirit child.

Also, Helena, to yourself you should be special. Be the best person you can be. Love the Lord and show the world his light.

When they cut the cord and released you from being a part of me, right then I knew you would be an individual. And I pray that we will treat you like you are an important individual."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Going on a snake hunt.....

In mid August, Jesse promised the missionaries that he would get them a rattlesnake. I wasn’t overly thrilled that they were going to go out and try to catch a live snake. Their dad wasn't thrilled that they were driving around in a very muddy desert. The Powell’s, Jesse and Stacey loaded up in our Explorer to drive out into the desert. It had been raining quite a bit and dad told Jesse, “don’t drive through any puddles because we aren’t coming out to get you when you get stuck.” We went to bed and a few hours later the phone rang. “Mom” “What Jesse, are you stuck?” “No, but we can’t get the car started. Ask dad how long it should take to start after you get the engine wet.” “He said it should start right away.” “Well, it won’t and we have tried everything. What do you think we should do?” “We can’t help you, we don’t have a car, remember you have ours. Call the Carpenters, maybe they can help you.”

Another hour passes and they don’t call back, so I call them. “Jess, where are you?” “We’re on our way home.” “Did you get the car started?” “We’re on our way home.” “Did you leave the car out in the desert?” “No, we’re towing it behind Jake’s truck. Tell dad that whatever I did to the engine I will pay for.”

Then next day they pull a spark plug to see what is going on with everything and realize that the engine is completely full of water. The amazing thing is that after changing the oil, putting in new plugs, the engine worked just fine. Craig said simply, “I told him not to drive through any puddles.”

The moral of the story….listen to your dad, he might know what he is talking about.

Did they get any snakes???? Of course, they actually found two, one right by the road when they were broken down – Bri almost stepped on it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The lost is found

Just wanted to let everyone know that our "special treasure that the cat coughed up" is alive and well. Her computer is on the fritz and they are working on a solution. Hopefully she can rejoin us soon as we are missing her a lot.
This picture was taken a few years ago (obviously) not far from home. Note our missing relative in yellow on the bottom row.

Monday, October 24, 2005

My dad

If I had enough time I could write a real tribute to one of the bestest men who every lived. We all have our own special memories of him and we need to share these so that our grandchildren can know him.

He was a great cook, well he liked to experiment and try new things. Danny got that talent from him and he makes some good stuff. He would pull out his dutch ovens and cook fried chicken and biscuits and potatoes with onions. He would be cooking them all at the same time and would have his head wrapped in a red bandana to keep the sweat from dripping into the food. When he wanted to know if the chicken was done he would take a piece and test it. I think he did enough testing that when everything was done he didn't eat anything. There isn't a lot of food better than that meal cooked outside in dutch ovens.

He was a great singer, well not really, but he sure loved to sing the old cowboy songs. I remember him singing Billy Venero, which he never could remember all the words to. I rounded up those words after he died and wish that I could have found them before that. Just remember him singing until he wasn't sure then he would tell us what happened next and then finished the song. He always sang when we would drive home from Globe when I was little, and whenever we would go on a road trip. He loved the hymns also he would love it when one of us girls would sit at the piano and play them. His favorite of course was “Love at Home”. He sang, “You Are My Sunshine” to Helena, and we got him to sing that on a tape that he sent to us. We listened to that tape a lot and I will try to find it and see if we can preserve it for everyone.

He was a great farmer. He planted flowers and roses along with the cash crops. He grew a garden and even though I am not sure how much he worked out in it, we had wonderful watermelons and other things including okra – which mom would coat in flour and fry in a little bit of oil, tasted just like fried chicken. He didn't like sweet corn as much as Mexican June - a white field corn. It was so good on the cob. One year mom made a casserole that was similar to green corn tamales with that corn. I think that is why I like green corn tamales- they remind me of him.

He was a great dad. When we were little he worked so hard and don't know how much free time he had. Once in awhile we would load up and go to the mountain and have a picnic. He would tell us stories along the way about the area. Stories about the stage robbery, the old Carter sawmill, the Powers family massacre, and others that his father had told him. He loved to spend time with us and made every one of his kids feel special. Our last Christmas in Pima he didn’t even let us know that the entire world had fallen apart, that he didn’t have a job. Everything was as normal as it could be. After he got a job offer in Wenden, he brought Danny, mom, and me together and told us that we had seen everything in the area and we were moving to the other side of the state, there would be new things to see and explore and we would get the chance to see them. He never made it look like a negative thing, and yet you know that was a hard thing for him to do.

He was a very spiritual man. When we moved we had to drive 60 miles one way to church on Sunday, but we faithfully went. He would take Danny early every Sunday morning and mom and I would drive out later. He would stay beyond the regular meetings and fulfill his responsibilities as a member of the bishopric. The farm work would wait on Sunday. After a few years in the valley, the local gin owner called a meeting of the farmers in the area. He told them that the gin was going to close on Sunday so that there workers could get a day off. Several farmers complained that there would not be enough time to get everything done that needed to be done without all seven days. The gin owner turned to my dad and said, “Lynn has one of the biggest farms in the area. He never works on Sunday, his workers get a day off every week. His crop is always one of the first ones in.” The gin was closed on Sundays after that. There is now a branch in that small town and the people don’t have to drive far to church. I know that we ended up out there because dad would provide the influence that the community needed to get a building built. Abe was the first new member baptized in the Wenden Branch, when dad baptized him he said that he would have to welcome him as a son-in-law since he had the opportunity to drown him and didn’t. He served as Branch President for many years up until a few months before his death.

He was a big man. I was never sure how tall he really was. When you looked up to him literally, with his cowboy boots and hat he looked so very large. He always wore boots, a western shirt, and Levis. He never wore tennis shoes or t shirts. He always had his shirt tucked in and a red bandana in his back pocket. On Sunday he wore a western cut suit. He wore a straw hat or felt one depending on the season. He loved to have his bald head massaged as tif-do remembers. He would tell you that if you rubbed it maybe it would help his hair grow back or it might bring you good luck. He would have you check to make sure there weren’t any long hairs trying to grow in, and if you found one you had to pull it out. His eyes were a pale grey blue and there was always a twinkle in them.

When we moved our family to SD, he followed us the two miles down the dirt road to the highway. There were tears on his face and he told us it was just the moisture in the air. I never knew how hard this was for him until we had children and grandchildren of our own so very far away and then it was easier to understand. He called us every Saturday, and after his death I would have a real hard time on Saturday, knowing that the phone wasn’t going to ring.

When he died I would have dreams that he was still here, that it was a bad dream. I know that he is still watching over our family. I really feel that he spends time with each of our children before he lets them come to earth - he had a hard time letting Gwen and Maddie go since he loved their moms so much.

Some of these things you all know and have probably heard, but we need to write them down so that our children and grandchildren can understand this great man who was the patriarch of our wonderful, big, crazy family. I am glad that we now have a way to share our thoughts and day to day doings with each other so that we can get to know each other and at the reunion next summer it will be family who knows each other and loves each other, not just a bunch of strangers who are somehow related.

Monday, October 17, 2005


1. Favorite quote, verse or song lyric?
"I am a child of God, and he has sent me here"
2. If you could meet w/ anyone dead or alive for lunch, who would it be?
My dad, oh, how I miss him.
3. Sweetest thing your significant other does for you with or without knowing it?
Calls me up when he gets home from work to see when I will get home.
4. Do you wish on stars?
Not really, but I enjoy looking at them on those dark desert nights when we are sitting outside away from town.
5. Favorite drink?
Okay, this is my greatest sin - Diet Coke
6. Favorite meal?
Almost anything spicy.
7. Last person you spoke with on the phone?
Garrett for just a few seconds, he was calling to wish his dad a happy birthday
8. Favorite month?
Probably October because it is finally starting to cool off and the holiday chaos is only a few short weeks away.
9. Favorite day of the year?
Probably our wedding anniversary - Sept. 18th
10. What was your favorite toy as a child?
My Chrissy doll. I even sewed clothes for her when I was too old to play with dolls - when was that anyway?
11. Who is the friend you have had the longest?
Actual keep in touch with friend? I haven't been the best at this, Lowette Rohrig - Kim's oldest sister was my friend when we moved to Wenden and I meet with her at the CTE summer conference in Tucson. But new old friends would be Crystal. She is the one we call when we need a quick makeover or decorations for something. She has been through a lot and has been there for me when I needed that little extra boost, both spiritually and otherwise.
12. When was the last time you cried?
When I was writing the answer to question number 2.
13. What are you afraid of?
My greatest fear is heights. No matter how hard I try to overcome this fear, I just can't get past the first step.
14. Favorite flower?
Jasmine for the scent. But the wildflowers everywhere, anywhere are my favorites.
15. How many states have you lived in?
Just two, AZ and SD. SD - a great place to visit, but don't want to live there.
16. If you could change one thing in your life what would it be?
Okay, leaner, you know the answer to this - since we are on the same page. Getting a degree simply because so often in this great big world people value it more than the knowledge we have.
17. A favorite memory of a family trip.
The last year we went all together to SD. The ride home when it was 99% humidity and over 100 degrees. Stopping in Omaha at Winter Quarters and trying not to die from the sheer misery of the outside air. The air conditioner literaly freezing up on the old Suburban.
But, oh how we loved those crazy road trips and the silly sites we saw. The Big Well, Dalton gang hideout, hole in the wall places that were tourist traps, but probaly better because we had a chance to get out of the car for a little while.
18. A nice thing you did for someone and it backfired.
I seriously can't think of anything to write here, maybe I don't do nice things for people very often because I have to think everything through too long before doing it.
19. Something you always wanted to do but are afraid to
Not so much afraid, well, maybe a little - go on a cruise.
20. Who are your idols?
There are a lot of people that I would like to be like, but don't have any real idols.
21. Favorite Dessert?
Anything sweet, and possibly nutty, and gooey.
22. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wasn't going to be anything except someones wife and mother. Thought I would marry a rich farmer, stay at home, cook, clean, sew, be the president of the PTA, etc. Guess that didn't work as well as I thought.
23. How many candles where on your last B-day cake and when is your B-day?
According to Abe who has a top ten reasons why they didn't put candles on my cake, there weren't any. My B-day is Feb 15.
24. Do you dye your hair and if so what color/brand do you use?
No, the two times in my life I did I didn't like the amount of work involved in maintaining the look. Will wait and see how I feel in a few years.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Bear

Our Bear (aka Andrew) called over the weekend, he is back in the states. Now stationed in New York State. We decided that they wanted to keep him as far away from us and still have him in the continental US. He assures us that his platoon is rebuilding and won't be going back to Iraq for at least 12 months.

When he called he told us it was rainy and looks like it is going to be a cold winter. He doesn't mind the cold as much as his mom does, and that is a good thing.

This is a pic of him upon his return to Germany getting ready to attend the ball they held in their honor.

Friday, October 07, 2005

This one's for you leaner

Just some of your favorite people.

Anyone remember this cute baby? She is now one of the worlds best big sisters. I told her we were going to steal her baby and she got very mad at me. She was so fun to take care of for a few days. She told me this story one night.

Once there was a baby princess and her mom and dad told her they loved her. And they were happy. And then she was a big girl. And then they told her that she would be a big sister. And then they had a new baby and then there was the baby princess and the big sister princess. And they lived happily ever after.

Not bad for a four year old I think.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Madison Renae Powell
7 lbs 8 oz
20 1/2 long
12:41 AM
October 5, 2005

We'll write more later!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A death in the family

Craig called me this morning and told me the sad news.

It seems that this weekend, our dog Curplunk's husband to be was killed in a hit and run accident. For some this may seem like a silly thing, but Buddy was such a sweetheart that every one who met him thought he was one great dog. Our friends, who are obviously the dog's pets, were greatly saddened by the loss of their friend. In fact, rumor has it that Scott in all his manly attitudes, actually shed a tear or two.

It is quite amazing how an animal becomes such a part of the family. Buddy and Cur were both born in the early summer of 2002. He was a Golden Lab, and she is a German Shorthair. When we got Cur it reminded them how much they missed having a dog. Within a few months Buddy became a part of their family. Both dogs went through a bout of parvo together, they both almost died two times during that first year of life.

Yes, I complain when Cur walks past EVERYONE in the house to find me in my room and let me know that she needs to go outside. And yes, I complain when she demands her nightly treat. I really can't imagine our home without her. Animals do that, they come into your life and remind you about unconditional love, about everything good in the world.

We will miss Buddy he was our friend too. Thanks leaner for the pic of Buddy and two of the cute grandkids.

Monday, September 26, 2005

An antique perspective

Back in the dark ages, almost before the dawn of man...

Okay, not that far back. In the early 70s (that would be the 1970s) in the era of rock and roll, free love, miniskirts, vans, etc. There was a sweet-sixteen country girl - and I do mean sweet sixteen. The family made its bi-annual trek to the Southern state of the Dakotas. On the first day there, our young maiden -let's call her PollyAnna for fun - was walking downtown with her cousin. This town was so small that they had to share their one horse with a neighboring town. But I digress; anyway as they were walking by the local grain elevator she spotted a young man with long blonde hair. Her cousin introduced them and his first words to our PollyAnna were, "would you like a beer?" Somewhat taken aback by this cavalier attitude our sweet young thing politely stammered, “no, thank you.”

Fast forward two days and the couple met again at a twenty-fifth anniversary dance being held in honor of Aunt De and Uncle Arnie. He asked her to dance and she told him that she didn’t want to, but they went outside and talked for awhile.

A few days later he told her, “if you were 18 and I were 19 I would ask you to marry me.” She told him, “I would have to say no, I want my family to be together forever.” Now this was a new concept for our young man and so they had deep religious discussions that went something to the effect of, “but I couldn’t give up beer.”

She returned to her small town 1600 miles away and they wrote letters. They had agreed that it would be good for them to date other people. One day he sent her a letter breaking up with her. A month later he sent her his class ring. She went to prom with a local boy. They continued writing letters.

That summer her Aunt De and Uncle Arnie came to visit and she hitched a ride to that Northern Southern state. The funny thing is that her parents let her go. When she got there they started talking about everything and anything. It was as if they had always known each other and other than the differing opinions in religion everything was perfect. After two glorious weeks the vacation was over and back to the South she went.

In January, he caught a ride with another aunt and uncle who were making a trip to the South. After a few weeks, they were ready to leave and he asked her dad if he could come back and work on the farm. Within two weeks he had all of his earthly possesions loaded into his Chevy sedan and was on his way to his destiny.

He had already known that he would join her church, as he had received direction relating to this from his mother years before (even though she had died when he was nine).

That May she graduated from high school and they were married in the middle of September. Fourteen months later they had their first child, fourteen months after that their second was born. It is a good thing that they didn’t continue that way. Anyway when they were getting ready to have the first child, she was determined that it would be a boy, to protect his younger sister. He told her, no, they would have a girl, three boys and then another girl. Needless to say, that is exactly the way it happened.

Maybe not some peoples idea of a love story, but true, and the best kind, because so far they have lived happily ever after.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Two in one day

The waiting game is hard when you are the grandma. Thought having babies was tough? Try not even being the one going through it all, but wanting to help along the way. Plus the sheer excitement of just waiting for young ones to be born. Having one at a time is hard, having two at a time that are twins is hard (I guess) but having two at a time with two different daughters is almost more than I can stand. I am at work, but not able to get anything done because I think maybe the next phone call....

So then the one daughter calls, and you know it's her because the phone tells you on the caller ID. Does she tell you that she is in labor and needs you to take her to the hospital? Does she call to tell you that her water broke? Does she call about anything baby related?

No, she calls to ask how to make meatloaf because her brother wants to have that for supper. Now granted, I must make okay meat loaf because even her husband said mine is better than his dads (he is a great cook, just ask anyone), and my son told his fiancee that she needed to learn my recipe for meatloaf. Well at least I know I don't have to worry about supper tonight.

Questions anyone

Okay, the story goes that our oldest son and Jody kind of dated when he was a Senior in high school. She was about 16 at the time. Anyway, she became pregnant and there was another guy in the picture. She was kind of a wild child. She married the other guy she was dating who was in the military at the time (I think). Guess he was abusive and I’m not sure how long the marriage lasted. She divorced him and moved back home. She had settled down a lot and decided to get her life together. Her mom has been very supportive of her and seems to be a really nice person.

She met some older guy and they ended up married. She then had another daughter – who turns one on Sunday. She told me that when her second child was born the dad showed absolutely no emotion and between his not caring and his mother being involved way too much in their marriage, she couldn’t deal with that anymore. So she asked him for a divorce. They have been divorced since shortly after their daughter was born. In the meantime our son and she found each other somehow on the internet. He had known that his older child may be his, hadn’t told us, but our oldest daughter knew.

They started talking and she went up to visit him. While she was driving to see him and get to know each other again she fell asleep and rolled her car. Our son drove to the hospital - four hours away and spent three days with her while she was almost dying in the hospital. She went home with him and spent a week with him and they decided that they wanted to give this a try.

I guess they did the DNA test and Bethanie is his daughter so they have told her the story – she will be 8 in January. She is very precocious, a real sweetheart. She isn’t sure how she likes having brothers.

For our son this has been a good thing, just hope that it will all be good in the end.

We are excited about this new found grandchild and are looking forward to getting to know her.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Monday, Monday

So you come into work after accidently turning off the alarm, this makes you late and you forgot that the days schedule has changed and school now starts at 8 instead of 8:35. You weren't there on Thursday or Friday, so your voicemail is full, your unread email is well past the 250 mark. Three different people come in almost as soon as you open the door and you haven't had a chance to even check your mailbox (snail mail). The state wants verification on a few items, budgeting needs to be addressed, the school is looking at disallowing field trips due increases in gas prices and the teachers are concerned as they have leadership activities that need to be attended. Reviewing the calendar you notice that you have a meeting on Thursday that needs to be planned along with info on a Saturday meeting that needs to be handed out including a report for the previous years actvitities to be presented at the Saturday meeting. Sadly to say but the thought from Nemo "just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." and the second thought (also from Nemo) "that sign says es ca pe - it's spelled the same as escape," both are appropriate for the Monday morning experience.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Entering the new millenium

I had great plans of staying as far away from the world of blogs as possible, then my youngest daughter showed me what my oldest daughter had written, then they shared what my sister wrote and in order to comment on anything, you have to create your identity and if you are going to get into it that far you might as well spend some time writing....

Enough rambling.

This year has been exciting in our family. We have gained a son-in-law, and are getting ready for the birth of two new granddaughters, along with the surprise of an new/old granddaughter that we didn't know about. Our youngest son is making wedding plans and our oldest son is actually in a good relationship. Our middle son returned safely from Iraq and should be back in the states this fall.

Just a continuation of the craziness that is our life.