mothers day

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Our trip to St George

A few weeks ago Ed and I went down to St George with another couple in our ward and went through the St George temple. Dave and Linda had been to St George before but had never been inside the temple. We had a great trip down, visiting all the way - the guys sat in the front seat and Linda and I sat in the back seat. We stopped in Beaver to get gas and then we went on over to the cheese factory - they loved the freshness of the cheese they bought. We knew they would.

We went as far as Cedar City and stayed the night there. While in Cedar we made the drive up the canyon - I had forgotten what a pretty drive that is. We missed the turn off to Cedar Breaks the first time past it because we were so busy looking and talking about the fantastic snowmobiling areas. I'm glad we did because we continued an extra 15 miles of wonderful scenery before turning around and heading back to find that the road to Cedar Breaks was closed - too much snow. After we got back to Cedar we went to eat and then back to the motel where I called my old college roommate and Linda and I chatted for a good 40 minutes!! FUN!

The next morning we got up and ate at the hotel and headed South to St George. It got warmer and greener the farther South we went. It brought back memories of College Days when we would leave Cedar with six inches of snow on the ground and head to St George to enjoy the green grass and pretty flowers.

After completing a session in the temple we walked the temple grounds and went over to the annex and then into the visitor's center. In the visitor's center they had a display of the most beautiful sculptures...there were 13 pieces, all based on the life of Christ. They were done by a lady who was an opera singer who tried her hand at sculpting later in her life and they are gorgeous!

I finally got through on the website that I've been trying to access for the last three weeks and I wanted to share this with you. If you go to you will read about this lady and be able to see each of the 13 sculptures. If you double click on the small views it will show the enlarged view (above the small views) with an explanation of the sculpture.

There was a wonderful spirit in the visitors center as we looked at the display and I was so thankful for the talents God has given different souls here on earth to be able to enrich our lives.

After we left the visitor's center then we over to Santa Clara and toured the Jacob Hamblin home (he was a pioneer that worked very closely with the Indians for most of his adult life).

We then headed north again, and took Dave and Linda to the top of Kolob canyon - that was a beautiful drive too - the blue blue sky and the red rocks! We got home that night about 9:30 pm so it had been a quick busy trip and we were both totally tired but it was lots of fun too!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Benji watching Dirk on video

Last time I was in Lehi Melinda mentioned something about Daddy to Benji. He immediately insisted on going downstairs to the computer and watching the various video clips Melinda had taken of Dirk playing with Benji before he left for Ft Lewis. Benji was so cute to watch - he would get so excited watching his daddy - he would point and laugh and say daddy over and over again. I finally got my camera out to catch his actions but by then he had watched all six or seven of them and though he still enjoyed it he wasn't as excited. But I thought I would post this so you could see how a little boy is enjoying his daddy even though said daddy is far from home. I told Dirk he needed to have his fellow soldiers video him doing mundane things through out the day so he could send the video's to Benji...he does love watching you!

I am putting this second video clip so that Dirk can see how cute Melinda looks and how quietly Benji will sit and watch these clips of his daddy !! Dirk let me know if these are too difficult to watch or if you want me to take and blog more of them.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

When Cheryl and I were walking in the park today we happened upon this momma duck and her brand-brand new chicks. I had my camera with me and decided I needed to take some pictures. So instead of blogging about grandsons and granddaughter (new tooth and all) I wanted to share these darling babies. There had to be at least 15 of them in her batch of babies. We will have to see how many live. Thank heavens they are far from the lower pond where all the seagulls hang out - (they gulp them down whole!) so they have a better chance at surviving the first scary weeks of life.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Treading the Boards

I went to the dress rehearsal of Cade's play today and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a cute play with an hilarious story line to fits well the mindset of Jr High School - as an old time drama director there were definitely major staging problems that I would have changed or worked on but all that aside it was so much fun to see young people experiencing their first attempts at theatre. Cade did a good job (though I wanted to go up and turn up his mike) and it was so much fun to see a grandson acting in a school play.

I didn't realize until I was in college that drama was in my blood and I thoroughly enjoyed the two college courses I took down at the College of Southern Utah. Because of those classes I was able to work as a drama director on both ward and stake and region levels when Ed and I were first married. At least until Ed got tired of all the hours of practices and productions - I allowed his complaints to pull me from something I really loved and I regret it now.

But back to Cade's play - if you are looking for something fun to do either Friday or Saturday evening go see him play the bad guy in a cute production at Sunset Jr High School.

Way to go Cade - Grandma is proud of you. Have fun!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jill's Play - an emotional roller coaster

Well tonight was Jill's play and it was a rough night.

It started great - I went over to Rocky Mtn and got Jill out of her Bingo party. She had won some popcorn and other treats and had had a great time. I helped her get dressed and we headed out to McDonalds for dinner. She seemed to think that was a lot of fun.

Then after we were through eating we drove over to the Layton High School where the play was to be performed. We got there nice and early so we got great seats and even got to park really close to the main door. We waited for Janene Crosby to show up with Jill's costume. Jill was so excited to see all of her cute friends. Robyn Ballentine was there along with Rachel Donahue and Diane Wiser. All of the leaders were so excited to see Jill - they were hoping she would show up for the production since she had missed the last two rehearsals. Dad and I had just decided she would get too tired with four hour rehearsals Tuesday and Wednesday nights so we made arrangements to have Jill come just for Thursday's production.

The show was titled "Around the World in 80 minutes and it was a cute bright fun production with over 140 handicapped cast members in it. The audience was totally hands on with lots of cheering and booing and clapping and laughing. It is always so wonderful to see how the audience loves these kids and wants to help make the night a total success for each one of the 'stars'.

Dad and Jeff and I were there to support Jill in her great moment. She was one of the can can girls from France and she looked so cute. Her costume had a gorgeous ruffle around the bottom of the skirt with black lace gloves and a fancy feather for her hair. And then each of the girls had on a pair of matching pantaloons - cute!!

I think that Dad and Jeff and I were all very emotionally drained after watching Jill's performance. It was a real eye opener - we know that she is going downhill. I expected to watch her have to be lead out onto the stage and have her hang onto Janene's arm and have to be told each and every step to do and how to do it.

What I didn't expect was the total lack of ability to do much more than shuffle her way along. All of these years of performing and dancing and laughing and singing - and now she is the clinging vine that can't make a move without a leader helping her every step of the way. All three of us talked about how Jill had been Cinderella - the main lead in one of the first productions that was completed. And now she is one of the kids that is so handicapped that she can't make a move without an adult leader holding her up.

This is Jill's wonderful leader Janene Crosby. Janene loves these girls with all of her heart and reaches out to them above and beyond her calling as teacher. Jill is very blessed to have her. They did the whole dance arm in arm like that so Janene could help Jill make it through the dance.

After the production was over and all the hugs and loves were given to the cute 'star's Jill and I and Janene headed back to the dressing room. It was at this point that Janene leaned over and whispered to me...we just got word that Andrea Phillips passed away at 4 pm this afternoon. Even though I knew that she was doing poorly and had been in a coma for three weeks it still was a shock.

One last picture - with my new camera sitting in the dark trying to document the play I tried a different setting and got the 'good' pictures above. This is what I was getting on the 'auto' setting with a flash - I put it in so you could see Jill (center) and Janene (on the right) as they were on stage for the actual performance.

Its the end of an era. Jill and Andrea and Robyn were a threesome that would never end ... or so we thought. Life is fragile and not an easy pull - Jill has been such a major part of my whole life - how much longer will we have this blessing? I know that this will be Jill's last production. When I think to just last year's play and this years there is a whole lifetime of changes.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Rough Duty

Well I am about at the end of my second tour of duty here at Melinda's...its really a rough life. I have to play with Benji and tickle his belly and read him stories and help him stack blocks!! I also have to put up with cute grins and sudden hugs. I don't know if I can handle all this hard work. I have been working on my hats that I make to give away and Benji loves playing with the balls of yarn. He has discovered which of them are especially soft and he will stop and rub it across his cheek before he tosses it. He decided it was great fun to try on the hats after grandma finished making them. Right now Benji is over at aunt michelles playing with Erin. FUN!! Since Benji has had a cold and cough since Sunday, it was decided to keep the boys apart as much as possible so he goes and plays with his cousins and has a great time. Then comes home for lunch and play time with mom and then a nap and more play time with mom and then back over to Chelle's house.

When Melinda is playing with Benji then I have to hold the new baby and watch him look at the world with those great big dark eyes... or watch him sleep so very peacefully. He is such a good baby - he is eating every 2-3 hours and then he lays and looks for a while (unless of course he simply goes to sleep while nursing, since that is such hard hard work). One thing he doesn't like is for mommy to unwrap him and change his diaper...that is sooo cold! We have gotten to see his smile a few times (mommy calls it gas, Grandma calls it talking to the angels!) and it is a beautiful smile. His lips remind me of Mauri's perfect lips. Beautifully shaped. Did you know that a dentist told me once that Mauri had a perfect smile! She was 3 years old then!

So I'll head home today and find out what they are doing with the property behind our house and where the hospital is going to be built. Thursday is Jill's play, Friday Ed and I are heading to St George to go to the temple with some other ward members and then Sunday I will come back to Lehi and work sooo hard.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Simon - day 2

Actually this picture was taken on Thursday when Benji came to the hospital to meet his new brother Simon.

This morning poor Da was experiencing excruciating headaches from the anesthesia and was ready to have them do a patch on the previous epidural but before they could give her the shot, she started to feel better on her own. Simon has played favorites today it sounds like. One day old and he knows who he wants MAMA!! Forget Aunty Chelle or Aunt Nancy or even Grandma Marilyn...he wanted to be held by mama!!

Dirk came back home on Friday afternoon to spend a couple of hours with Benji. He was so excited to have his daddy here. They got his shoes and socks and jacket on and headed off to Cabella's to see the fish....and the deer, and the goats, and the bobcats...I think he drug his poor daddy all around that whole store four times!! Then when they got back home he went out in the backyard and enjoyed the sunshine and the slide and the dirt pile.

Dirk finally got ahold of a member of the Bishopric to follow up on a phone message he had left two days before to see if they could get permission to bless Simon before Dirk headed back. He finally got ahold of some one in the Bishopric and they told him yes, they would be at the hospital about 6:30 that evening so that Dirk could give Simon a blessing before he headed off to war. So we grabbed a hamburger and headed back to the hospital. There wasn't enough time for anyone to come except Grandma Susan and Aunt Kecia and Emma. So Simon Porter Willden is now official. Dirk gave a lovely prayer and blessing. This picture was taken just moments before their First Counselor showed up at the hospital. As you can see, both days Benji was very taken with Simon's snot snorter. :-)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Good work DA!!

AT 8:16 am this morning Simon Porter Willden made his entrance to this world. Dirk sounded great when he called me about ten minutes later - He said Da is doing great - so is Simon. He was 8 lbs 12 oz - good healthy boy. 20 inches long so he is already tall.

Da was supposed to be induced at 7 am but she went into normal labor herself and they went to the hospital at 3 am.

I will add pictures and more details as I learn them!!

Simon at four hours old!

Benji is walking around the house making the sign for baby and was so excited when I showed him this picture of his daddy and mommy and baby. I will take him up to the hospital this afternoon after he gets up from his nap.

I didn't want to put him down - he is such a softy little bundle. I asked them if I could just take him straight home but they said the hospital frowns on that. Dirk said that he let out a really good bellow when he was born and Da said that he is already latching on really well so it sounds like he was ready to come!!

What a precious family they have now. I had to get matching outfits for the boys (they'll fit in about a year - or a year and a half) but that is the fun of having two boys so close together. Good Friends and someone to practice being mean to! But also someone to stand up for you and protect you from the bullies.

Melinda is in room 225 on the second floor. If you don't know where the hospital is, take the American Fork exit and head East to 1000 East. Then turn left to 170 north. As you get within a block or so of the hospital you will be able to see it. You will need to call Dirk to get the code to be allowed on the floor. MapQuest says that it is at 1100 East but it is set well back off of 1000 E.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I talked to Dirk tonight and he said that Benji was so excited to see his daddy. That is so fun to think about. He has really started talking lately since Dirk has been gone (he has discovered he can make NOISE!!) and I guess he just kept jabbering 'daddy, daddy, daddy". I think that is so cute.

Dirk sounded really good and I am excited to see him. I am going to Lehi tomorrow to stay with Benji until Saturday afternoon. I will see Dirk whenever it works out best. I would imagine that after Simon is here and Da has a chance to rest they will call me and I will take Benji up to the hospital to meet his new brother.

Dirk said that they have an appointment at 7 am to start things rolling tomorrow. And I am sure that as soon as Dirk can, he will download pictures to the blog or wherever.

Heads up on Kris - keep her in your prayers. Her doctor is really concerned about her kidney functions ... she will have an ultrasound on Monday so they can 'look' at it. Plus other tests.

Kecia still has Glenn's family visiting. I haven't heard yet what Debbie thinks about Emma and/or Eden. I am sure she has given them both a thumbs up.

I haven't talked to Mauri for some time now and I miss her... especially your blogs...are you blogging on facebook? How would I read them? Like I said I know nothing about that program and get frustrated trying to find my way around.

I haven't talked to Kelly lately either. Not since he called me all excited about the Neti Pot. But it sounds like Jamie is taking good care of him.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Krista's Shower

Kristanne and I headed South yesterday about 11 am to go to Krista's wedding shower. Since neither of our families could make it to the wedding on April 18th we decided we needed to go to her wedding shower. The sun was shining the sky was blue and the roads were clear. We got down to Grandma Bea's house with a couple of hours to spare so we visited with her and helped her find her glasses - thanks to Kristanne. We all hunted and hunted and finally Kris got the idea to go and look under her pillow - that's where they were hiding. Grandma was soooo glad to be able to see again!

About five pm we headed up to the shower and got to visit with lots of special people. Krista is a cute quiet red head with lots of freckles and a big smile. I don't know how anyone with Willden blood in them can be so quiet!! She had lots and lots of people show up during the two hours of the shower and got lots and lots of presents.

She will graduate from Beaver High in May but has been attending school in Cedar City all year . She is taking CNA classes right now and is aiming for an EMT license.

Paula, Malena, Sharla and Kristy were all there. As was Shirlene, Jodi, and Sheina. Just before we left at 7 pm Bonnie and Natalie and Macey all showed up. She had lots and lots of friends from school and church plus lots of family from the Fails and Bradshaw sides too.

I wished I had brought my camera as she opened one present which was a bra made out of candy necklaces. I need to talk to Shirlene as it sounds like this is one of her talents too. She was comparing notes with the gal who made it - sounded like Shirlene said that she had made a nightie out of them!! Jamie and Kecia and Da aren't you glad Aunt Shirlene didn't make it to YOUR showers? Poor Krista turned as red as her hair!! But she was a good sport about it and even put it on over her clothes.

About 7 pm we headed back home - again - dry roads and not too much traffic. We got home by 10:15 and that was with a ten minute delay as they closed down the freeway by Lagoon and shunted everyone off onto Hwy 89.

Kris and I had a great visit all the way down and back. I drove to Nephi and then needed to lean back more so she drove the rest of the way. After sitting up right at the party for two hours I let her drive from Beaver to Nephi again and then we switched places and I drove the rest of the way home.

If you are planning on going to the reception itself on Friday the 18th you need to RSVP so they will know how many people to plan for the dinner. I have email addresses for Malena and/or Paula.