Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's a jungle out there

On Candice's birthday, I got some grandkid time while she and Dean went to a temple session.

I understand there was quite the battle among the small world toys in my office.
Jack Sparrow was the hero of it all.
His soldiers recruited creatures to help fight their battles.
Somebody had to direct it all
and somebody had to follow orders.
Somehow it all worked out.
But you had to watch our for low flying fighter planes!
Levi was in charge of testing the chew-ability of
the over-sized miniatures.
And Micaela displayed her cute new hairdo
by posing with Hansen,
a very patient canine.

That was fun.
We never did get to the
crayon melt activity.
Maybe next time, kiddos.


Look at these pretty women
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What a special treat on this Sabbath day.
Cousin Marilyn (Jones) Price was in the valley to help a daughter with a new baby.
She contacted me and we arranged to meet at her daughter's home.
She wanted to be sure and see mom,
so I drove her there for a short visit.
Mom was thrilled to have company.
I drove by the two little houses that Uncle Lincoln built
and took pictures of them for Marilyn
to share with Aunt Mabel.
I got to meet two of Marilyn's six daughters---and their families.
I loved getting to reconnect
and share some extended family love.

Angela: Marilyn's husband, Lorin, works in college text re-sales.
He was on USU campus recently.
I told him to get shaggy
and come see you for a haircut next time
he was in Logan.

Marilyn, a first cousin to me, is a daughter of LeRoss and the late Elizabeth (Ison) Jones.
Elizabeth is a sister to Joseph Richmond Ison.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sweet Slumber

All right . . . .what a joker my dream was.

Apparently without the alarm set to wake me, I got into some deep sleep----- and had a sliver of a dream on my mind as I woke.

I dreamed I was forking down a piece of chocolate cake.


I was so miffed at myself, as I dream-thought, "It's not my chosen "free day" for eating desserts! Bummer."

In real life, I am doing a three month "Wellness Challenge" with some other folk online----and I WANT TO CHOOSE WHEN I GET MY 'FREE' DAY WITH SUGAR - - - - not sneak past myself with some unconscious slip.

Besides that, the cake was dry and didn't even taste good. (You can taste in a dream? Who woulda known.)

But since I'd already blown it for that day - - -I went ahead and took some more bites.
A mini nightmare..Ha!

Sorry to say - - -that's like me - - - - "more bites" once I've messed up.

BOY was I was glad to wake up and discover that tasteless chocolate cake was only in my mind.


Because I have a little handful of Hershey kisses for Sunday, that will taste MUCH better than fake cake.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sometimes it is almost magical

Today at work I had one of those kiddo sessions where beauty flowed.

Some meanness was going on. With some instigators, I was able to create a discussion process where those around my table brought up all the factors in the meanness, imagined what the other kiddo felt, were aghast at the thought of what it would be like to be the picked on kid, dug deep inside to name actions they thought they could do better-----and even were spot on when I wondered aloud if there were actions they thought they should be doing LESS of.

Each wrote a sticky note reminder of the personal action idea they'd come up with. We picked a date on the calendar to get together for a check in - - -and to have them tell me what they discovered in their experiment.

Won't it be interesting to hear their learnings as they run the experiments to use their personal power to made a GOOD difference in their world.

But back to the title of this post.

Sometimes the counseling process is better than useful. Once in a while I get to be part of a peak moment where there is an exquisite shift. Like two and two equal more than four. When careful listening and gentle inquiry work respectfully together to bring out the receiver's personal wisdom - - -it is a reverent thing to witness.

I am grateful.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wild thing . . . .You make my heart sing!

Daisylyn Maliah
I have so enjoyed getting time with the Arizona grandkids an d Tawnya this past two weeks.
It's fun to see all the cousins be friends together.
My heart is grateful for every grandchild.

We took our own wild things to the zoo
BEE-U-TI-FUL sunshiny, crispy cold January day
Some seal wrestling for Kyrick

Sterling slept through the wild roaring
of the honest to goodness live lion
It was great fun to have the first outing of the new year.

These boot are made for walkin' . . .I wish

His mom tells him
he looks like Woody in these boots.
Here's Woody in his GQ pose.
I'm trying to give these boots away to some daughter.
Tawnya was the first Cinderella to try them on.
Too big
I love, love, love the detail on them
the color
and the shape of the toe
but their height and I don't get along.
I have some odd development----
a bone change or something
in one foot.
I can't put that kind of pressure on the ball of my foot.

There goes the cute.

Any more Cinderellas out there?

You are if you think you are

Kyrick tells me he is a good drawer.
"Do you know why I'm a good drawer?" he asked me.
No, why?
"I'm a good drawer because you draw good, grandma."
(I'm pretty selective
about my audience.
My grandkids are kind and
are my most enthusiastic drawing fans!) Several times during this visit, Kyrick asked,
"Can I use your drawing book?
I'm thrilled to notice his happy confidence.
His sister notices his fun, too.
"Ine daw . . . . Ine daw"
(I want to draw, I want to draw)
she begs
and is quieted when I hand her a paper and pencil.
Once finished, she announced,
"Ine daw a 'pidah."
Open your arms, artists of the world.
The younger generation is joyfully joining you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Disney fan, for sure

Maliah takes her Disney play seriously

She can name any character that hangs out with Mickey and Minnie


You've been found!

Surprise, surprise

Corner on Goofy

I must be seeing double!

Is it nap time yet?

What Every Almost-Two Year Old Knows

You start sort of clean

to please the tall people

You even use a spoon

to hear them say

What a big girl you are

Then you do whatever you want

Drop your pancakes in the applesause

Dip and lick

Dip and nibble Tell the truth

you know you want to do it, too

Girls Night, Oh Yeah!

Long post.....for a long, fun night.

Alisha knows how to throw a PAR-TAY!

First off, it was crashed by some young men

See below

Lydia was escorted by two boys

They had a little floor time together.

Lydia's trying to make a hand-holding move on Levi.

Sterling is just dreaming about having a good time.

Sterling, Levi, Lydia

Our babies of 2010

I got some snuggles with all three. Lucky me!

Some pics from around the room

I think I missed some corners, bummer

Talk a little

Snack a little

talk a little

snack a little

chat, chat, chat

snack a little

talk a little little more . . . .

We played the fill-in-the-phrase game

we used for the Utah party last fall

Fun to hear everyone's opinions

and stories

THANKS for organizing, Alisha.

We so enjoyed one another

And are glad to not only be family,

but also glad to be friends.

We hope some more of you can make it

next time the shout out for a Cousin Party happens!

Get out your journal and write it down, Josh.

I cooked!

Bacon swirls.....yum

And here's where you

imagine the picture

of the chocolate and cheeto toast

to all the rest of you cousins and aunts

(We missed you!)


we did some serious inhaling

of the loot

on the snack table

Then it was Good Night, but really Good Morning

'cause we were way past midnight!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011


please linger
such a beckon
stay with me
don't end
join my peaceful stroll

unhitch your wagon
from the moving train

float in clouds
of rest

turn off the
calendar checks

cradled by stillness


don't shut your eyes
make this

Do you ever cling to the evening, staying up WAY too late, knowing you'll be rummy in the morning - - - -just because you love owning the night?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Great Grandpa Richmond Ison

Great Grandpa Richmond Ison

Youthful allegiance to his congregation
zestful determination to mob the Mormon missionaries
There will be no mobbing by him
just anger
from his family
for this young man
His only refuge, God's promise

clearing a wooded Kentucky hill
vision of a log cabin for his young family
burning branches, his work light at midnight
Four mile return to home
sound of crackling twigs
panther stalking him
knobbed branch defense
heart pounding
thrash through darkness
Once again brought
to safety
by God's hand

Monday, January 10, 2011

Memory Lane

Posted by PicasaMom 1953

Age 38

How do you like this cute pic of grandma as a young mommy? This was when Jana was just a baby.
Taken in Lakeside, AZ, I believe.
And, yes, this picture is not related to the post below....just thought
you'd like to see the picture of grandma.
Cousin Loma, if you ever read this blog, you are a babe in arms close by on the couch in the original pic.

Over the weekend during some of my low-energy holdstill time, I gave myself a memory lane treat. I had been digging in old papers, looking for some history items. I happened onto the VCR tape Noel Hales made for us. It's the 50th wedding anniversary party of mom and dad. July 1990.

Slid it into the machine and set it to running while I shuffled through a bag of old files.
I had fun attempting to name everyone I recognized. Many folks in this valley were there to greet mom and dad at that anniversary bash.

So Sunday night, I called mom to chat. Told her about watching the tape. She was amazed to hear about that party, telling me she didn't remember that at all. I assured her we gave her a great party and she had a terrific time there. "What did I wear?" It was a pink dress you sewed and you looked cute, Mom. You were smiling a lot. I assured her that we daughters sang for her - - -one of her favorite old songs (Alice Blue Gown). "Well, I've got to hear that."

I reminded her that was where she got the present of the clock with all the figures representing her and dad's life. She was sitting in the dining room as we spoke. She looked up at that very clock. We talked about each of the symbols as she named them. "Well that has a lot of meaning to it."

One of these days, I need to see if I can get her VCR player to do its thing and pop the tape in for her. We can play Name That Face. And she can hear us sing to her. I think she'd like that.

What do you think?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Looking Forward

Maliah Kyrick Daisylyn
Hallelujah . . . . . I think I feel some energy coming back.
I musta needed some suga'!

The germies just may be receding.

That would be such a good thing.

I know I have some highlights right ahead.

This week Tawnya and kiddos are flying in from AZ. It will be a blast to see her, Kyrick and Maliah. I will miss you, Josh! I look forward to hearing what Maliah can say now. And Kyrick always is fun to talk to.

I am looking forward to the Girls Night that Alisha is graciously sponsoring next weekend. With TD coming into town, Alisha put out the word, inviting all the girlie cousins/aunts who can gather. Thanks, Alisha.

This month, I also have the beginning of two classes: taking one, teaching one. That will make my non-work time feel full. All good stuff.

The class I'll be teaching is a 6 week series of Love and Logic Parenting, through the school district. A counselor colleague and I will co-teach at Maple Grove Elementary, starting the last week in January. That's always a fun series. Parents, especially the dads, really like the DVD parenting examples that we get to show.

It is really interesting to see how the "personality" of the class develops each time I teach. I love seeing eager parents. There are always some moms and dads who are like magnets. They soak up the concepts and try experiments each week, looking for what they can do to help fill their goals as parents. And then they come back to share what they learned from their experiments.

I've always said, my education didn't begin til I had kids.

The second class, I get to TAKE for me! It is "Soul Restoration" - - -it will use art/collage as a vehicle, but it is a personal exploration process. . . . I think. It is probably right up my alley. I haven't had the energy lately to feel my usual anticipation of something like this - - - so I'm just going to sidle into it - - -and see where it takes me. It is an online version of the Brave Girls Camps that you might have read about. I expect you'll hear more about it here.

So-----lots to look forward to (pardon my participle).

I shall see how I can parcel out my energy to cover all this good stuff.

And will eat some spinach salad this week to build some Popeye energy for myself.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ally time

I have a sweet blessing in my life. I call it Ally Time.

I was introduced to the concept last June at the Segullah Writing Retreat in Utah.
One of the presenters talked about creating this unique style of communication with a friend because she needed and wanted it: ally time.

It goes kind of like this. You and a friend discuss the concept and agree that this is something you'd like to try. You probably pick a friend who deeply values the gift of being heard----and the benefit of self-care - - - and who is willing to take a risk with you.

As described by the presenter, you schedule a regular time for your talk. You split the time in half. Each of you gets your turn to talk exactly half (uh huh, using a timer is a good thing) of the time. The listener attends totally - - -but without making comments. Maybe some "oh's" or "wow's" or "uh huh's", but just sending love, not words. (A phenomenon in its self.) The talker can talk about anything, everything, nothing . . . . can unload, shed tears, rant, be repetitive, list her blessings or her annoyances, be brilliant, be boring, be herself . . . . .whatever. She knows she will be heard and loved.

Imagine that.

So for the last several months, I have enjoyed Ally Time once a week.
It's on my calendar.

I look forward to it. I am refreshed by it. I am tickled to have discovered a buddy willing to run this experiment with me.

Yesterday had an "Ally Time" scheduled in.
Ah . . . . . . that felt good!
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011


OO-ooo, having a hard time getting back in the groove of school. Feeling kind of irritated, isolated and sad.

Imagine a picture of some fussy girl scowling and stomping. That's the picture that should be with this post.

I know part of it is the organizing tasks I need to do as we get ready for a new semester. I'm so much better at carrying out a plan than the actual creating of a plan. Bummer. Part of it is giving up the random-ness of vacation time. Oh, the sweet luxury of being an at-home girl. Part of it is my body keeps trying to get sick. First some chest junk. Then I woke up with a congested head and the achies. Gr-r-r. I thought I was outfoxing the germs.

Just needed to rant.

Over and out.

Softening Edges


Momma fading
sits and stares, drifts into silence
I don't feel good
she says
Forgets to eat
not shuffling papers
with discovery interest
Is her
its hold
her body,

Last time Mom came home from a hospitalization, she seemed so very delicate and detached from this life. I wonder about her a lot.

How do you comfort yourself when you anticipate a loss?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Blessing Day

Here is a snoozing Sterling. I love this kiddo's kissy lips. Isn't he a sweetheart. With the birth of Levi and Sterling in 2010, that brings the cousin count to 15. What a blessing to have 15 grandchildren. I am a lucky woman.

After having Sterling blessed in church, we took a few pictures. I see I missed getting daddy Brinton in any of my shots. Brinton gave Sterling a beautiful blessing.

Daisylyn looks like the holding of baby brother is not her idea!

Mommy and kids. What a sweet family she and Brinton are building. I think Sterling looks so good and seems to have grown out of his "premie-ness." Started under 5 pounds, now just over 8 pounds. You go, little guy!

Here's Uncle Dean. His morning high council meeting ran long. He zoomed to the building where we were having the blessing - - - -and he just missed it. So Sterling is having some Uncle Dean time after church.

Some formula just puts a guy to sleep. He is the best little day sleeper, especially when being held . . . . . and I'm pretty sure his parents will enjoy it when he gets to be a good little night sleeper, too!

I am deeply grateful for all these healthy, growing grandchildren---and for their wonderful parents. I admire the important work they are doing as they teach by example.

Ward Service Project

Cheri and I
determined and willing
wash clean
high school windows
clear their vision of the world
squirt solution
scrub with paper towels
ladder up and down
happily engaged
hard water crusts not budging
we do not have what it takes to
wash clean
Liken to my lesson pondering
without the tools of God's restored word
no earthly congregaton could
wash clean
their patrons
Our crust of mortal sin
only gives way
through Him

Have you ever been excited about a service you planned to give------and then it turned out different that you expected? How did you take care of yourself with that?
Apparently, I write! What do you do?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Vertical Poetry

I have a thing for words .

I love to read, of course. And because I love to have things written down, (and my journal is better than my memory) that requires me to write. So I do.

It used to be excruciating---a dreaded task--- to get myself to write regularly....less so now, after making myself do it for some time now. (That's another post.)

For the last few months I've been doing a little experiment. I call it "vertical poetry." Basically, it's word chunks that I list . . . . . . uh huh. . . . vertically.

My usual writing tends to be pretty wordy. The vertical poetry challenges me - - - -to put down the essence of something in less words than is natural for me.

be still

journal in hand

ponder the day past

notice what emerges inside me

grasp the essence

write phrases

Yea . . . . something like that.

My inspiration is a blog I enjoy. Actually I'm a lurker on her blog (Lodestar). Christie somebody. A grandmother aged woman. She uses that short phrase style a lot. And she uses lots of rich colored crisp photos. Her brevity and the love she pours out for her family draws me to her, and the fact that a grandmother has something to say, among all the young mommy blogs. (I'm consideringing breaking my silence and letting her know she has influenced me.)

Last August, I decided to experiment with that style for a few minutes each time I sit down to write. I kind of like it, as constrast (but certainly not replacing) my other l-o-n-g-e-r writing.

Some of that will be showing up as I go along here. It would be interesting to me to hear a reader's response----if the essence is there for a reader. We'll see.

What writing changes have you noticed for yourself?

Christmas gathering

I had the fun of having most of my children gather Christmas night.
Buffet, gifts and lots of chat.

My rather unusual gift to the married grown kids was BEEF!

We'd talked about keeping preparedness in mind as we chose gifts this year.
A friend at work was butchering a couple of calves and asked if anyone wanted to buy.
Well, OK, beef it is.
Their gifts were in bags in the freezer.

There were books for each of the kiddos.

At one point I looked up and saw four clusters of heads bent together, all reading new books.
A little bit of heaven . . . .
people you love
a good book to read

It was a BOOKS N BEEF kind of day
with a tasty ham on the side

What unusual gift did you enjoy giving or receiving?