Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lucy's latest and greatest

Oh man, I'm trying to sum up our big reunion from this month but that always takes forever! 

So in the meantime let's just take a look at some of Lucy's latest. Oh man I love this girl so much and I love how her mind thinks and what she comes up with.  

Her writing really cracks me up.  

And her texting melts me every time.  

A while back it was stake conference (church where all the congregations meet up together and listen to speakers).  That poor Lucy had come home from school the Friday before with a fever and had been pretty much sleeping ever since.  She was starting to feel better on Sunday but we had her rest while we were gone to church and left my phone with her so she could text us as much as she wanted.

And when that girl gets a hold of my phone you never know quite who she'll text, filled with funny emojis and exclamation marks.  Here's part of she and Claire's conversation...it was the end of our month-long sugar deal:


Elle had hurt her foot over in Hawaii the week before.  We had been texting back and forth trying to figure out how to get her to a doctor.

Lucy added this little thing at the end while she was home from Stake Conference (text below):
And when I found it later I thought it was pretty funny, especially because it kind of confused Elle wondering why I was telling her my ailments were worse than hers.

Loved her notes to my Mom for her big 70th birthday:

(Our dog's name really is "Bo Jangles" but Lucy likes "Jankles" better...)
Love how she takes my phone every Sunday and spends a long time typing up some sort of note to Max:
This is her note to her piano teacher when she moved away at the end of the school year:
I love seeing what that mind comes up with to write.

Last but not least, here are a few pages from her autobiography that she wrote at the end of school:

 Her teacher and I had a good chuckle about this page:

Friday, July 21, 2017

molton gold gleaming in the ashes -- grammie camps 2017

My great, great grandmother was born in Switzerland and was named Verena.  She fell in love with a hard-working, gregarious man named Samuel.

They got married and worked hard, Samuel as a millworker and Verena as an expert seamstress who tried to help make ends meet.  They had thirteen children, four of whom didn't live past childhood.  They met missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and through some pretty amazing circumstances were baptized as members in their early marriage.

In June 1888 they decided to take their then six children to make the journey to America to settle with other Mormons in Utah.  My Great Grandmother Ida was one of those children.  It was a long and difficult journey filled with severe seasickness and lice and trepidation, and I can imagine the emotion involved leaving their homeland forever and ever.

But they arrived in Staten Island and headed to Utah where they settled and struggled to make a new life for themselves.  Two of their children died shortly after they arrived and I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to navigate a new country in a new language they did not understand.  Eventually they moved to Star Valley, Wyoming where they had more land and could start to make ends meet.

That beautiful valley is where their daughter, my Great Grandmother Ida, grew up, married and had my Grandmother Hazel (my mom's mom).

Why do I explain all this?

Because this year at Grammie Camp my mom held an "ancestor museum" where she assigned each grandkid (before they arrived) to study and "become" one of their ancestors.  She did three different groups on three different days, each representing a different family of ancestors.

And as each group presented, I couldn't help but think over and over again about my Grandma Hazel's quote I talked about a while ago:

"But when you master the seemingly impossible, it does something for you that fits into your very character for a lifetime, and makes the next impossible thing seem that much easier."

These people all did the "seemingly impossible" and became stronger and shone brighter because of it.  And I'm so grateful!

ancestor museum GROUP 1

Claire was Verena and boy, we learned a lot as she prepared to tell the other kids about her life.

Each child stood up and explained a little about "themselves" (being the ancestors) and they all learned so much!
Claire was also Erwin, one of Verena's sons who was instrumental in helping the family join the church...so she had a quick costume change for that :)
 Her cousin Charlie was Samuel (Verena's husband).
 Here they are:
All these kids gave pretty fabulous stories about who they were representing.

The moms were invited to Grammie Camp this year, so after the kids were done presenting we packed up and headed to Freedom, Wyoming to see where they used to live...
...and meet up with my mom's cousin who lives there and told us all kinds of stories about those the kids had studied, plus played the piano exactly how my Grandma used to play and had us sing along.  (Her daughter helped teach us the words sitting there in front of the piano.)

She also yodeled for us because that art was passed down to her from her Swiss roots and it was pretty cool to listen to.

She showed us her journals and told us all kinds of stories from them.  Check out this row of journals:
 ...and I thought I was a good journal keeper...

 Then we went to the close-by cemetery to find the graves of those the kids talked about.

 Stopped at the new Star Valley temple on our way home:

ancestor museum GROUP 2

The next day we were on repeat with the group of younger kids, except this time it was about Grandma Hazel's family AND there was a "pet show" to kick it off.  Ha!  (Lucy and her cousin were so excited about their new-this-year pets and wanted to show them off a little.)

Cousin Lyla has a guinea pig so she showed us some of her tricks too :)
Very exciting stuff I tell you!

Lucy was SO excited about this whole ancestor ordeal.  She took copious notes on her Great Grandma Hazel and was so excited to "be" her for the cousins.

My mom had her mission journal that was fun to look at, and some other cool pictures and certificates to show us.

Someone was my Grandpa Roy:
...who was a farmer at heart and worked the land his whole life.
And I love these pictures of their daughter, my mother:

Each kid did a great job presenting all they had learned.

And then they got presented with stuffed animals who they named after each of those ancestors they had studied.
Seriously, my mom is amazing.

And these kids know it.
 I didn't get to go on the little adventure after the presentations since I had to get ready for reunion stuff (we were in charge this year), but here they are as they headed off...
 ...and luckily my sister got some pictures for me.

ancestor museum GROUP 3
The last day was the oldest group of Grandkids.  Elle got there just in time to join in (she had been in the desert working until that day).

This time they learned all about my dad's side of the family, so he was there to help out.
 This side of the family was from Sweden.
 Elle was my Grandma Ruthie.
They learned a ton and then headed to Logan where my dad grew up, stopping en route to check out this memorial made for my Grandma's sister who became well-known for her poetry.

 They visited the graves of those they studied as well.
And I could go on and on but I'm out of time, as I'm sure any reader who has made it this far is as well.

But my heart is so full of gratitude for my dear mother for spending so much time and energy to teach these children (as well as us mothers) about their roots.  Roots of the people who did all kinds of hard things, "impossible" things, so that they can live the lives they live.

I adore this quote my mom shared with the oldest group:

They cut desire into short lengths
And fed it to the hungry fires of courage.
Long after, when the flames had died, 
Molton gold gleamed in the ashes.
They gathered it into bruised palms
And handed it to their children
And their children's children

--Vilate Raiche, Mormon Pioneer

How grateful I am for those who went before us and gathered those gleaming ashes and handed them down to us.
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