Monday, September 23, 2013

Lessons Learned From The Past Generation~ Love To My Aunt Alene and Aunt Della~


Aunt Della - Happy 100th Birthday~
This past week my dear Aunt Della turned 100 years old. I would say that is quite an achievement. My sweet Aunt Alene is 92 years old and has always been an inspiration to me. I loved watching these two elegant woman as they laughed and enjoyed just being together as sisters. My mother was the middle sister and she passed away in 2006 at the age of 90. My mother had written her own history  and before she passed a way I completed her history and my Dad's and was able to read it to her before her death. Thus my desire to do histories was born.
Aunt Alene and Aunt Della~
Aunt Della, Aunt Alene & Uncle Keith~
First let me talk about my ever endearing Aunt Alene. Growing up I spent countless hours in their home. Whenever, my parents wanted to take a trip; I often times stayed with my Aunt Alene. I loved being around my cousins. I especially enjoyed Mari and Mitzi  my two younger cousins. We would play house and dress up all the time. I remember well the little tea set used as we dressed up and pretended to share cocoa from a small table and chairs. We also loved to play with dolls.  I was the oldest of the three and we had wonderful fun together. The three oldest sons had a room in the attic of their home and I remember having a great time with all five cousins whenever I visited. We loved bouncing on the beds in the attic bedroom.There was a very large tree in their yard that we loved to climb. To me, my Aunt Alene was always a wonderful mother to her family. I'm sure I never heard her yell at her children; of course, I've said that also about  my own wonderful Mother. I probably didn't follow those examples.
My Aunt Alene is a hard worker and a great cook. I remember enjoying dinners and other celebration at their home. I loved the trips that my Mother and Grandmother would make to the small town of Monroe where my Aunt lived. they were always fun visits. My dear grandmother would make mention on the way home how she didn't know how Aunt Alene managed with all of those children. She would say: "Oh That Poor Little Thing". I also loved my Uncle Kirtley. He had  such a fun personality. He always had a story to tell and no one could top his stories. They both had beautiful voices and would sing in church, at local celebrations and for many funerals. I loved to hear them sing. As I grew older I always felt  close to my Aunt Alene. In some ways she was like a sister to me. I didn't have one, so she seemed to fill that role in my early teenage and adult life.

 
Aunt Alene and Uncle Kirtley~
Now a few thoughts about my lovely and amazing Aunt Della. I didn't know my Aunt Della very well while growing up. They lived in Washington and would usually make just one visit a year while we were living in Richfield, Utah. she and my Uncle Bill were always a delight to be around. Their son Billie, was the same age as my oldest brother Mac. They, along with my other brother John, would constantly tease and torment me, but I probably enjoyed the attention. I also remember that my Uncle Bill was a lot of fun to be around. Later in life, my Aunt Della and Uncle Bill moved back to Utah.  My Uncle Bill developed dementia  in his later years and my Aunt tenderly took care of him for over 8 years. She had to place him in a care center but never missed a day of being with him to feed him when he was unable to do so. She was an ever dedicated wife to her dear husband.
Bill and Della's 50th Wedding Anniversary~
Eight years ago we moved back from Washington to Utah. My wonderful mother moved in with us for the last few months of her life and passed away in 2006. After her funeral I began to make regular visits to my Aunt Della who lived close by in Bountiful. Eventually I asked her if I could prepare her life history and she said yes, but she couldn't imagine anyone being interested in her life. Thus began the best part of our sweet endearing relationship
I have been fascinated with her life story. She is so different from what I thought.
I have learned many lessons from her. None of these three sisters had easy lives. When they were born they lived in a little home on a small farm Their father passed away in 1922 during the flu epidemic.  My Aunt Della was eight at the time, my mother was five years old and my Aunt Alene just two years old. Both my mother and my Aunt told me the story of  grandfather Peterson's death. They remember going into his room to say good by and witnessed him talking to his mother who had passed away barely two months earlier. Thus their testimony of life after death was born. My grandfather had just sold his farm in Central, Utah and was moving his family back to Richfield; which was just a few miles away. Now my grandmother was left to raise three girls on her own. Later my Grandmother sent  my mother and Aunt Della to stay with other family members while she went to Murray, Utah to become a nurse. She took my Aunt Alene with her. Later she came back and operated some maternity homes and was the town's nurse for several years. The three girls had to learn quickly how to cook, iron and clean a house. The years were hard but my Aunt Della said; she never felt like they were poor even though they were.
All three sisters were seasoned with spunky fun personalities, a strong work ethic, and sprinkled  with a bit of Peterson stubbornness. They've each been remarkable examples of devoted mothers and wives. I learned many things about loving and caring for others by watching  them through the years. Each of them experienced difficult times with great fortitude and  grace. Life wasn't easy for them yet they persevered.
My mother, Leone, Alene and Della~
Alene, Della and Leone~
Alene, Leone, Della and my Grandmother, Dora~

Aunt Della had just one son; whom she loves with all her heart.
 
Bill and his mother, Della~
I often wondered why she didn't have more children but eventually learned that his birth was very difficult and she was strongly advised not to have more children.
Her life took a different pathway; and she pursued it with energy and dignity. One of the things that I have admired about each is they have always strived to look their best. Each has made it personal standard to have their hair done and make-up on before leaving the house. Both Aunts are like that today. They always looks so nice with their jewelry on and ready to go.
They each exemplify the finer virtues of modesty, grace, humility, kindness and love. There isn't anyone that has known them that doesn't love them. They have had countless friends who have loved and cherished them. 
My Aunt Della was excited to make it to the age of 100. She had three Birthday Parties and enjoyed them all. Saturday was a Birthday Party with all of her children and a two of her grandchildren.
Front row: Aunt Della, Bill and his wife Mary Jo -
Back row: Della's Grandchildren; Keith, Julie and Chip~

Aunt Della's family: Back row: Mark, Julie's husband, Keith, Chip, Great Grandson; Jacob, Granddaughter Julie and Great Grandson, Zack~
During the past several years as I have come to know her better, I have grown so close to her. Both Aunts have eased the ache of losing my mother.
My Aunt Della is a great listener and has listened to my tales of woe; and my greatest joys. She gives sound advice when asked but mainly just remains a steadfast supportive influence in my life. 
Aunt Della's years have taught her much and as she has shared her life experiences I have gained such a love for her and her generation.
I have found that we all have certain stories we should share with others that can uplift and strengthen many.  These two sisters are treasured by me I have loved learning about their individual lives. I greatly value the time I've been blessed to share with them.
A special thank you to my Aunt Della and Aunt Alene; you both have enriched my life in endless ways. May you be blessed by your loving Heavenly Father with health and strength to  share more time with those you love.
More Birthday Pictures of Aunt Della's Family Party~
Front Row: Della and her Sister Alene, her husband Keith
Back Row: A few of Aunt Alene's Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren with
Shirley, and Dave; Aunt Alene's Son and daughter in law,
her son Jim and her daughter Mari~
Back Row: Della's Niece LeAnn (me) and Roger  -
Front Row: Della, Bill and Mary Jo~
 
I had the joyful moment of presenting to my dear Aunt Della
 her completed history at this birthday celebration~

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~ A Peek Into My Day


FOR TODAY - September 16th 2013
Be sure and drop by other Simple Day Book Entries here. Enjoy and perhaps join the fun!

Outside my window...it is a  beautiful pleasant fall day. I can see my apple tree loaded with apples that I need to pick. It won't happen today.
I am thinking...this is not a good day. If there was a day for things going wrong; today is that day. I can hear my dear husband in the other room struggling with work issues. He has been busy working 24/7 except for Sunday trying to do post audit updates. He was  just notified that he has to put together a meeting scheduled for the 24th of September for a large group of people coming from corporate to visit the facility. This means finding rooms for presentations, getting handouts together, badges and etc. for the meetings plus arrange for snacks and lunch. He has a 1 hour presentation to put together also. Mighty prayer will be needed on this one  To add to the days concerns my dear sweet brother has cancer and just completed aggressive chemo and radiation. This didn't get all the cancer so now he is facing surgery on the 26th of September. At least the tumor is smaller. There will be fasting and prayer for this one. We have had some very sad things going on with our Inner City Mission brothers and sisters that we are assigned to assist. Life does suck sometimes and I hate that word.
I am thankful for... wow, a moment of gratitude.

Yes, I do have gratitude for many many blessings. One of my greatest blessings is a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which keeps me centered. I do know that I have a Savior and Heavenly Father that loves me and in the eternal realm of thinking; all will be well.
 We had such a sweet week-end  with an adult session of conference Saturday evening and then a wonderful Regional conference yesterday. Our heart were uplifted and our thoughts edified. Those special moments help to temper the sad moments of today. I am so grateful forprayer; I couldn't survive without it.  I am forever grateful for our posterity which bless our lives constantly. I know too that our children love us and are there to help us through these harsh moments.  Likewise, we are there to support and love them. I am grateful for our extended family. I have a multitude of good friends which are such a gift to me. I am grateful for my Aunt Della and Aunt Alene  who give me great hope.
 


 They have both had their own lives of difficulty and now my dear Aunt Della will celebrate her 100th birthday on Thursday. I am working diligently to complete her history to give her on that day. I treasure them both and have learned so much about patience and endurance from them.
 
From the learning rooms...I am finding that there are really more days of sunshine than gray days. I hope to emulate that in my own life. I hope to be cheerful, happy and optimistic as I face those gray days of sadness and concern.
From the kitchen...more fruits and veggies today. I had chocolate overload over the weekend. At least I don't have a chocolate headache which is another blessing.
I am wearing...a pink and white housecoat and white slippers. Yes, it is 12 noon and I am not dressed. I do have my hair done and make-up on.
I am creating...more work for myself. Yes, I do manage to think I can do more than humanly possible. I do plan to slow down after this week's storms.
 
I am going...to spend most of my day completing my Aunt Della's history. I edited it over the week end so now I need to just add more pictures and then take it to be printed and bound.  
I am reading...at this point just "The Book of Mormon"

 Other books are on hold. Although I did start a new novel recently, it is entitled "The Guardian" by Gerald Lund. It is a mystery and I will be so happy when I can have a moment to read it. It looks like a good one. 

I am hoping.....tomorrow will be a better day.
I am hearing...the TV on in the kitchen. I need to turn it off.  There was another killing spree in Washington DC; so tragic. This is a continued sign of troubled times and I just keep reminding myself that it means the Savior is coming soon. That is a positive thought! 
Around the house...our dog all of a sudden doesn't want to go outside to potty; that is not a good thing. He now will need close monitoring.
One of my favorite things...is to surf Pinterest.. I do have to give myself a time limit on this one. It is amazing all of the ideas and other things out there. I really think it can put us all on overload. Technology is wonderful but does need some careful monitoring or it can take away precious hours when we can do more valuable things.
 
A favorite quote for today.... is one of my favorite scriptures: Proverbs 3:5-6; "Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths." I live by this one.

Something New About Me...I have found more wrinkles on my face; rats, I am getting old.
Pet Peeves...is that there are people in this world that are not likeable. I know we must love everyone and I am working on that; but right now I am peeved with a few of them.
One of my guilty pleasures...I can't think of any more; maybe that is a good thing.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Complete Aunt Della's History by tomorrow - Shop for her birthday - attend her celebrations and just enjoy the sweet moments that do come and go throughout my day.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

 
 Update: My dear husband just received an email that the meeting scheduled for next week is being rescheduled for some time in October. Wow, prayers were answered today. That will ease his overload. and my concern.
 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Becoming Free - A Woman's Guide To Internal Strength" by Christy Monson -


I am so amazed with the insight that Christy Monson brings to this beautifully written book: "Becoming Free - A  Woman's Guide to Internal Strength." Last week I did the review on her Children's book entitled; "Love, Hugs, and Hope - When Scary Things Happen.". I now find that this new self-help book is another outstanding book by Christy. In this book she caught my attention immediately with her description of the metamorphosis of the caterpillar becoming free to become a beautiful butterfly. We all have issues in our lives that we would like to change and become free. 
I find this book is an answer to my prayers. I have been diligently praying for a way to get control over my life; to free up time for things I love doing but still do those have to's we all have in our lives. Each day ends with me not completing the most important things to me.
I have been struggling with some relationships issues in my life. I am finding that I constantly worry about my children and become easily frustrated with some of their choices.
 I recently had two of my older grandchildren come at  different times to stay with us for a short time. During this time I found I didn't know how to communicate very well with them. I have felt guilty that I haven't been able to help them like I thought I could or should have.
My husband and I are serving on an Inner City Mission and have found that those we are assigned to work with have very complicated lives and some are suffering with mental illness and almost all of them have been victims of abuse. We have prayed for ways that we might be able to guide them in making changes in their lives. With all these concerns, I feel like this book was written just for me. 
We all experience change in our lives; we are constantly evolving through different stages of life. As I intermingle with friends, I find all of us have a need at one time or another to seek  help in making the corrections we desire in our lives. 
Through the years I have read various self-help books but this is the best I have read.
Christy shares real life stories of those she helped in her family therapy practice. She worked with all ages and with all kinds of different life situations. I found her book to be positive and very uplifting. One of the suggested ways to use this book is to read the book first and then go back and work through each chapter. I loved how the chapters flowed. This book can help you deal with your own individual struggles. You will also learn how to communicate with others in your process of transforming.
I loved the chapters on goal setting and how to work through that process. The overview steps after each chapter are helpful in sitting up your individual goals,  thus working through your own unique process of change. I loved the idea of writing your feelings and thoughts in a journal along with visualization techniques, mediation and especially looking for moments of gratitude. I love to journal so this will be the best way for me to use this book.  
As I read each of the parts and sub-headings; I found  answers to my various questions   about my own way of dealing with my life. The book is positive and filled with insights on handling  the delicate relationships that we all have.
Part 4: Practicing the Process just pulled all of the other parts together to make one great whole.
I planned to use this book to make adjustments in my own life and I hope you will too. I want to become like the butterfly; I want to be free.

Look here to purchase both of these new books by Christy Monson~

Friday, September 6, 2013

"Love, Hugs, and Hope ~ When Scary Things Happen" ~ A Children's Book Review

I  have personally become good friends with Christy Monson, the author of this book. She has vast experience not only caring  for her own children but through her practice as a Family Counselor. She had a family therapy practice and worked with many children that were dealing with struggles of one kind or another. She says that Talk Therapy is good for kids and art is another way for them to release their feelings.
Christy was also inspired to write this book after the Sandy Hook school shooting and the shooting in the Claskamas Towne Center in Oregon.  She wants families to learn to share their feelings and find hope when faced with some of the tragedies and circumstances of life.  I feel that the writing of this book was so inspired. 
 I love how it has been illustrated by Lori Nawyn. I think children will be drawn to this book with it's simple dialogue and it's colorful pictures.
I think this is a must read book for not only children but teenagers and adults too. We are living in a scary world and almost all children and ourselves will go through trying times where we don't understand what is happening to us.
This book has a very sweet message of hope for children who have experienced a trauma or tragedy in their lives that they don't understand. This book will help them to open up their feelings and be willing to talk about it.This book offers love, hugs and hope for all.
I am going to purchase this one for all of my younger grandchildren - It is a must read!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Random Thoughts And A Sweet Moment In Time~


It is so interesting to see how our lives unfold. These past couple of months have been especially rewarding with visits from Children and Grandchildren. It is fun to observe your children and grandchildren as they interrelate with one another. Parenting in today's era is not an easy task but I marvel at how skilled my children really are at providing teaching moments for their children.
The children of today seems so advanced in comparison with when I was raising children. Most of the younger children learn how to read before they start kindergarten. I also find that my grandchildren are great thinkers. They love to create and it's so much fun to see how their talents are progressing.
This year we were able to have more one on ones with our grandchildren. Usual there is just a lot of group activity but with smaller groups of our grandchildren we can spend more time getting to know them better. We have such a large posterity that it is difficult to have close relationships with them because most live out of state.  I have been trying to figure out a way of gaining a closer interrelationship with them all.  I have had many thoughts such as weekly letters to one child at a time. It would take almost a year to just write one letter to each of them. I do try to write messages on their birthday cards. We do talk on the phone occasionally. We Skype with our families; but not often and it isn't a one on one time. With the technology of today we do have more ways to communicate. Sometimes, I can communicate with them on emails, through blogs and etc. However, I have a number of grandchildren that are not old enough to use the computer and other technology. I do have a blog site just for my grandchildren and that has been fun to do. Still it isn't that one on one that I would love it to be. If any of you have some suggestions on what you do to draw closer to your grandchildren; please leave me a comment.
I have found it very challenging this summer to find time to do other activities that I would like to do. Time just seems to fly by and I don't get much accomplished on a day to day basis. I have several projects that I would like to complete but I haven't been able to find the minutes needed to even work on them. It seems like each day brings some kind of a challenge that prevents me from completing my to do list. Perhaps now I am taking too much time smelling the roses. I need to find balance in my life. I think that re-evaluating my timing issues is a good thing to do in September. I need an every 6 month re-thinking what is really important to accomplish in my life.
Right now I am on a time crunch because I am trying to complete  my Aunt Della's History. I must have it completed by September 19th; because she will turn 100 years old on that day. I didn't  really know her very well growing up or through the years until we moved to Salt Lake City, 8 years ago.  I find her so amazing. She is still so alert and her memory is so good. I have really enjoyed our time together. She is such a joy to be around. She has a younger sister, my Aunt Alene who will turn 93 years old in December. She also has a very sharp mind and actually enjoys going in on face book. She has spent many years doing genealogy and family history work. Through the years I have had many opportunities to be around her; she too has brought great joy to me. I love them both so much. They have enriched my life in many ways.

Aunt Della and Aunt Alene
My husband and I are continuing to serve on an Inner City Mission. This has been a growing experience for us. We have learned many things about the struggles of those in poverty. I find that we had such a limited view of what it means to be in poverty or to be homeless. I don't think we could have imagined how prevalent it is in our society and in this area. Almost, all of those we work with ask for food first. We who are so comfortable and have never felt the gnawing pain of hunger are so deeply blessed. There are so many out there who need the basic essentials of life; food, a roof over their heads and etc. There are so many young single mother's out there with children to feed and most of them in our area of assignment only make minimum  wage; which is not sufficient for raising children. It is true also that most of them at sometime in their lives have suffered abuse. Many of them have mental illness problems. You would think in the United States that we would take better care of our own; but that isn't happening. Our church has wonderful resources to help many of these people become more self-reliant. However, they struggle to do so because they can't really relate to having a middle class life. Many have been in poverty for generations. Some of course, have a sense of entitlement so that is also a difficult situation. We do have a deep love for those we serve even though our success rate in lifting them out of their poor circumstances isn't very high. We are grateful to have had this experience.
As I am writing these thoughts I have a sense of wonderment at how deeply blessed I  really am. I have a lovely family, a very dear husband and a deep love for my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I, like all of us have trials, and difficulties that we must go through but if we are reading this right now or spending time with technology then we aren't in poverty; we are blessed.
Well here was my random thoughts for the night.
May you feel the joy of our Savior's love and the enjoy the sweet moments with those you love.
Here is a minute of joy that I had this week with one of my grandchildren. Sariah, age 15 is extremely talented on the piano and I know she is going to be a wonderful pianist. She didn't bring her piano books so this was by memory. Enjoy, Here is Sariah at the piano.

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