Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Have you ever seen a "road for sale" like this one I saw near Snow Basin Ski Resort, Utah.  Well, I thought it was hilarious and had to go back and take a pic of it.  Whoever would try to sell a road?  Oh, you would, uh?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ode to Isis

Some pets have owners.  But it is a well known fact that cats have STAFF.  Our feline, Isis, was named by her original master, Jesse, who thought that a name of an Ancient Egyptian goddess was fitting. An offspring of the “royal line of Nelson” (our neighbor’s cat) she was the most adorable little fur ball you’ve ever seen. Kittens are always cuter than after they grow so we were prepared for her to become sleek and less loveable as time went on.  Well, it never happened.  She had a long-haired breed in her somewhere and each winter she plumped up on fur so she always weathered the cold well.

Isis was typically feline in so many ways  She would rub up against your leg and meow loudly when she needed attention.  She could display a totally teenage attitude by ignoring you or acting aloof.  She could hold up her nose in dislike of certain “cat” food and just meow all the louder.  Yet she was so very un-cat-like in so many ways.  The most obvious was her ability to be trained and to be predictable (dare I say it?) like a canine.  She would come when you called her name (unless she was hiding from you in the basement).  This astonished a lot of people as they had never seen an obedient cat.

Isis grew into a attentive mother who had 5 litters of little fur ball kittens just like herself.  She warmed to the idea that all the neighborhood kids loved her and wanted to love her kittens as much as she did.  She would often run to welcome the children on their way to and from school.  And she knew the sound of our car because when we turned the corner toward home she was always half way across the lawn to greet us.
We could never leave a window open because Isis would climb up on the roof and come in our bedroom in the middle of the night.  She would just sleep on the floor until morning when we would discover her there.  The only exception to this was if she wanted to get outside again and meow loudly until we obeyed her wishes.  She assumed that she could wake her “staff” at her whim.  She definitely taught us to put the screens on or keep the windows shut.

We couldn’t ask for a better companion for our dog, the late Pups.  They didn’t always agree on everything but they had fun over the years until her sad passing about 5 years ago.  Today, I’m sorry to report, was another sad day at our house as we tearfully bid goodbye to Isis who was with us for about 15 years.  . Isis, you were one in a million and completely unrepeatable and irreplaceable. We will miss your unconditional love, your pretty full coat, your lovely white bib and paws.  We will even miss your very necessary, annual spring haircut which always left you unmated but looking wimpy and wounded.  We will miss your pacing outside on the front window sill to remind us of feeding time.  We will miss the amazing ways you found to get in and out of our house, yard and especially our hearts.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Step back in time: Candlelight Christmas 2011

Decorations at This Is The Place
Christmas in the Village 
December 25th 2001 We traveled in our warm and modern car and vans from Provo, Draper, and West Jordan where we experienced a rare treat devoid of commercial Christmas.  What a pleasant evening we had and what a wonderful step back to the mid 1800s!  Vanessa, Andrew, Grant, Faith, Clark, John, and Drew and Mindy, Jeff, Jack, Jane, and Alice joined Grandma Ottley and Doug and I in a Pioneer Christmas at This is the Place Heritage Park at the mouth of Immigration Canyon.

Earlier in the day we celebrated Thanksgiving by gathering with Joanna and Laren's family, Jesse and Danielle, and friends Dane and Bethany and Jack. We were so blessed to have Grandma Ottley with us as well! See the turkey in the middle of the table ready for us to dig in?  It's the first time in my life that we have actually set the bird on the table whole and then carved it after the blessing on the food. It was a fun change.

After dinner we raked the leaves into bit piles and the kids jumped in them over the over.  It went something like this:  Rake, run, jump, rake, run, jump, etc., etc.
Even Grandma O got into the act by shooting baskets with Christian!
Father Christmas was listening so carefully to everyone's requests as well as suggesting ever more simple solutions to the growing gift list.  He was a right jolly old elf and his beard had been trimmed in rare form.

 Jane, Mimi, Grandma Ottley and John.
Grandma spoke to Santa about getting a new husband for Christmas....then made sure that he understood that she was "just kidding"
We listened to carolers in period costume!

We danced around the Christmas Tree to the "Pat-a-cake Polka."  Mom couldn't be outdone by any of the other revelers.
We made pioneer Christmas crafts and drank hot chocolate after we road the train around the village.  We also visited the live nativity scene which was appropriately happening in the stable with a donkey housed in a nearby stall.  There were angels singing and a hundred dim stars lighting the sky with the star of Christmas hanging over the place where the new child was being cradled in the arms of his mother and father.  Very touching.  I went back twice! Loved  it so much.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Photo Card

Snowflake Dream Christmas
Turn your favorite photos into personalized Christmas cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


WHITE NIGHTS staring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Targets to Shoot At by Sidney J. Ottley

Today I ran across this set of "goals" once written by my Grandfather in 1939

1.     Be myself, all that I would expect of others and be not too concerned about the opinions of others, except as they may apply to my case, and profit by them.

2.     Play no favorites.  Give the same attention to and consideration of those in lowly station as the, so called, higher ups and that do without consideration of his attitude toward me.

3.     Give my family every opportunity that is within my power without depriving them of the privilege of striving for themselves.  Try to leave each a legacy of a healthy body and mind, an independent spirit and love for the truth and virtue; to be a good father and husband in every way that the word implies.

4.     Be more attentive, in detail, in business, church and personal matters, avoiding “flock shot” methods and following through on everything that I begin.

5.     Take a more positive stand toward those who have taken my merchandise and labor and have failed to pay for it – who have betrayed confidence and friendship.  Demand and attempt to enforce payment from those who I have accommodated, being charitable toward those whose circumstances have been beyo0nd their control and doing all in my power to assist them to work out from under these obligations so acquired.

6.     Seek out the blessing behind each seeming misfortune and never allow grief from present and past misfortunes to stand in the way of future opportunities.

7.     Cherish the love of God and the love of, my fellowmen above everything of an earthly nature, placing a premium on Real values of live, here and hereafter.

8.     Stand for peace with honor in a vicious world and ever pray and work for and teach for the might that comes with right.

9.     Maintain, if possible, adequate life insurance and other assets, that my wife and other dependants may not be burdened with debt when I shall leave them.  It is my hope that when I am no longer with them that a spirit of cooperation will exist between them and that they will never neglect each other and the memory of their mother and dad, who have striven for them.   By SJO 1939

Monday, August 29, 2011

About the Man

There is definitely one less good man in the world today. Our father, Wayne, had many great attributes but the greatest was his dedication to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He seemed like a big man to me. Big in convictions, big in righteous purpose, and possessing a big heart full of love for all of God’s children. We were so blessed by his enthusiasm, by his missionary zeal, by his unconditional love for his ancestors as well as his descendants.

At 54 years old Dad and Mom served their first mission to the Wash. DC visitor’s center. They hated leaving our family when we were all just out of the nest and starting our families, but I remember talking to Dad…maybe even complaining a bit about how WE needed them both at home . . . and he wrapped his arms around me and said “Linda Lu, we are going on a mission knowing that tears will be shed but we are going to continue the legacy of missionary service in the Ottley family. I promise you that you can do it (and we did) and I promise that when your children are ready for missions that our service will have set the bar high for them (and it did). Yesterday I found where Dad wrote this: “None of us know how much time there is left to do the work that has been charged to the peoples of the restoration. All we know is that the time is short. I testify that there is no sacrifice in serving the Lord. If we had not made a covenant to serve we would not have been called. We do it with joy in our hearts that all will be blessed.”

They subsequently served as representatives of the church in the Tiberius area of Israel where Dad acted as Branch President to the little congregation of many nationalities that held services in their home overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Dad was proud that Mom brushed up on her piano and made mountains of food for after meeting dinner. Oh, how he loved to walk where Jesus walked!

Home briefly, but just long enough to get acquainted with the new grandbabies, they were called to South Carolina on a proselyting mission. I was lucky to fly back and follow them around for a whole week. I got tired and come home but the Lord blessed them with the energy to convert and baptize. They loved the southern hospitality and made friends for life. Dad was the gospel engineer and mom was the love machine and there were many lives changed including their own and ours.

Dad and Mom also served a mission on Temple Square and another on the Hosting Committee of the Church. They were always serving and always hosting whether at home or away. Over the years Dad had many callings that stretched him and many that used his musical and leadership abilities but none that he loved more than serving in the mission field.
And all through his life he wrote – learning to peck and hunt on a keyboard, he would spend many hours recording beautiful spiritual impressions or stories about his life. He kept lists of family members and knew all the stats on each of his 25 great-grandsons and 25 great-granddaughters. And all of this he did until the final week of his life.
One or Dad’s granddaughters took some beautiful picture of Dad’s hands . Her photo label says “These are the hands of service – service to God, to Country, to family, to friends. These hands scooped ice cream, tended to plants, pleated draperies, held babies, administered priesthood blessings, and built things.” Dad loved those pictures. He was always our greatest cheerleader.. I don’t think he ever attended the ballet or a Shakespearean play but he knew what he liked. He loved music …inspiring , patriotic, sentimental and barbershop.. You could say that Dad was a supporter of the arts---our arts…the visual, the performing, the literary... If his family did them – he supported them. Be it singing, dancing, fiddling, piano, sports, telling a joke or just looking cute. He would love that todays program, the video out in the foyer, the songs and music on the program were a result of his posterity using their talents. Dad loved it all….and loved us all…all of the time.

After Dad’s death I was haunted for a couple of days with the “what ifs”. In my anguish my husband Doug asked me to read a scripture of comfort in DC 42: 45-46. It says:
“Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection. And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them….”
I gained solice in that scripture and in this verse that I had written for Dad about ten years ago:

Born to goodly family here, To humble parents you were dear,
Engendering love and happiness within the home you came to bless.

In kindness, charity you grew, you learned in faith just what to do.
Each truth you gleaned and stored inside, in truth your talents did not hide.

Teen years were full, carefree, fun, work to do and studies done.
Your sister, Lael, and brothers four became a part of Millcreek lore.

The mountains beaconed, trails did call, your bag, your boots you packed them all.
A lake to seek, a peak to climb, a fire to build, on jerky dine.

Soon you wrote that you had seen your future wife, though just fifteen,
Was she a vision? No, for sure she was the girl moved in next door.

The years went past and war began, and you worked fast to gain her hand.
Times were hard but gave you hope that with your love you two could cope.

Serving country across the sea, you flew with honor and dignity.
Because of blessing, and much prayer health and safety found you there.

And then one day as a soldier tall, you returned to wife, new son and all,
With country pride and family love, thanks was offered up above.

Upon the hill you built a home, removing rocks and sandy loam.
Soon it was your only dwelling, with that little “garage house” selling.

A mountain home was once a dream, but though unfinished it was seen.
And work and work and working more with a growing family to adore.

You reared each one to firmly see happiness in those who thrifty be.
To purposefully seek His face and keep Christ at the center place.

You owned a business, made it grow, your perseverance made it go,
And with each child came their turn, to work the shop, to learn and earn.

And when they left and were all raised, you spent your life in serving ways,
With many missions for our God, you filled each one on different sod.

Your legacy is standing tall, your good life lived gives light to all,
For generations, and then some, will bless your name for years to come.

So we will ever honor your name, and in our days take better aim,
To focus our path more keenly now because your life has shown us how.

We love you Dad.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wayne 1950 001 Wayne W. Ottley 1922-2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Daily Doings of Jesse Rich at 20 months

8:00 am: wakes and runs from person to person for hugs and kisses
8:03 am: takes everything out of all three drawers in his room
8:05 am: crawls all over us during family prayer and "circle of love"
8:10 am: shakes the music stands until everything falls off onto the floor
8:11 am: slides down the stairs and eats all the cheerios off the floor in the kitchen before we let the dog in to finish the clean up
8:20 am: rolls around in and tears to shreds the newspaper left out from the night before
8:21 am: run to every painted white wall in the house and indelibly leaves his imprints on each one
8:25 am: throws the half empty bowls, cereal and milk on the floor so the dog won't be disappointed shen she comes in
8:26 am: sees what's in the bottom of the trash sack before someone takes it to the barbage outside and it is lost from discovery forever
8:28 am: climbs the stairs and stands squeaking by the tub until someone comes and decides that a washrag will NOT be enough to erase the sgar coated face, the milk stained knees, the soggybottom or the oaty cherrios smashed in his hair - so he goes in the tub
8:40 am: decides he's cold after letting the water all out 30 seconds after he got in and sitting there for 15 minutes waiting for the water to come back up
8:41: stands and cries for someone to rescue him but won't get out when we do come
8:45: clean and happy now, he returns to his bedroom to tacle his drawers again, looking determined to do a better job on them this time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


What makes a really memorable grandmother? My grandmothers, Lettie Sanders and Alice Ottley and my Mom, LuRee Ottley and Mother-in-Law Ruth Rich were super grandmothers! What qualities do these great women possess that makes us love them, even now with distance and death in the mixture?

What will our grandchildren remember about us? Will they remember the house being polished and all the laundry caught up? Will they remember that we had dinner "on time" or that when we were tired of cooking we had cold cereal with bananas on top? I think NOT. What I recall is a sweet person who:

~Stopped their "work" to wipe my tears and hear my complaints.
~Listened when I asked question and always answered even when it was the tenth time I asked.
~Taught me many life skills that have brought joy to me time and again. For example, Grandma Alice taught me to crochet and Grandma Lettie taught me to sew. My Mom taught me how to insert humor into awkward situations. She also taught me how to be aware of other's needs.
~Taught me to live with faith through the challenges of life.
~Made me feel like the most important person on the earth to them.
~Sang to me. Told me stories about when they were little girls. Let me make a huge mess while doing crafts, baking cookies, or building a clubhouse with chairs and blankets in the middle of the living room. And pitched in to help me clean it up.

Actually, the most important things about the amazing Moms and Grandmoms in our lives is that they love us unconditionally and gave us their attention when it was most needed. Which in my case was ALL THE TIME!

Grand (your first name)

Any other's from your life?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Write Something Today

Since the fathers of the sons are the sons of men
And the men are the sons of others,
And the men who are brothers of other men's mothers
And uncles and children and then;

Those kids are the pals of the boys and the gals
Who will wed and be fathers and mothers
Of untold thousands of the creatures of earth
Who are somebody's cousins or brother;

Don't you think it is time to collect and record,
For your grandchild won't know this profusion
Of valuable data or manifold kin,
And will give up the quest in confusion.

Record now these names and file them away
For the sake of the worthy descendant
Who will rise up and bless you who taught to record
In this day of opportunity resplendent.

Now..write something TODAY! BY sjo 1958

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mayday, Mayday!

Well, you couldn't call me a prolific blog writer. Actually, you could call me that but you'd have to be crazy. I'm still here, wandering around my computer off and on almost daily, but haven't gotten inspired to write about another of my near-death experiences. Frankly, I've been too busy living, I guess.

Since last I wrote I have truly been through several experiences which could be considered "near death" experiences.


In 2007 I was working with a doctor as a follow up to a scare with pulmonary embolisms. While he viewed my CT Scan he mentioned that there was a little "shadow" in my right upper lobe of my lung. To make a long story short, he suggested that I visit my pulmonologist. The pulmonologist sent me to a thoracic surgeon.

I had cancer in my lung. And me with never smoking in my whole life! Okay, it was a shock to say the least. To make a very long (about 9 months of ill health) I'll just say that I had lung surgery where they removed the top lobe from my right lung. Promise me that you'll never do that! It was the worst experience of my life. I would gladly have 37 children than do that. I was on oxygen for about 6 months and spent a lot of time in bed recovering....falling down the stairs....passing out in the hallway then doing more time in bed recovering from all that.

My family thinks I'm a klutz but it is a newly acquired attribute because I remember myself as a dancer with lots of grace. I will say that I've learned to compensate for my clumbsiness...or at least I thought I was compensating. When I was finally well enough to travel my sweet husband, Doug, planned a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean to celebrate my new found health. (I never did have to do any chemo or radiation and was declared healthy by my oncologist) While on this "victory" vacation I broke my leg! This new issue kept me on crutches, in a wheelchair or on a knee scooter for another three months. 2010 was not my best year, but the outcomes were good and I feel very blessed. I will write later about just how blessed I was during this heavy burden in my life.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's Life or Death

We all think that we will be old when we leave this life. I don't particularly want to think that way any more because, you see, I am now "old".

Well, this got me thinking the other day when I had a moment to sit in the warm sun after a cold winter and contemplate life and death. Christ lived on earth and died for us so that we could rise sometime after our own death. That's really the message of Easter--that He wakened and left the tomb on the third day. He displayed the wounds in his hands, feet, and side. He called out to those he loved and told them not to be afraid. And because of that sure message our paths in this life should be clear.

I know, I know! You're thinking that it isn't really THAT simple and what does she know about it anyway. Well, the only things I could come up with were the times in my life when I could have clearly slipped from this existence but didn't for unknown reasons. My life doesn't read like some "Final Destination" movie script, but it has had plenty of gut wrenching, nail biting, sweaty palms moments. Because I have never written them down elsewhere, I thought I would write them here, just for the record.

My very first close call was when I was about 9 years old. I was at the movies with my cousins and brothers in Murray, Utah where my dad had an interior decorating store. I had a few grunt jobs there on Saturdays, but when I could, I'd skip out for a couple of hours and enjoy a show. I remember that particular Saturday they were playing "The Incredible Shrinking Man". We were all sitting in a group and the theater was nearly full. There was a man sitting by us who kept talking to us all through the show. It was a scary show so we were kind of glad an adult was close by.

But then a very strange thing happened. I went out to the bathroom by myself and on my way back into the auditorium the man came up to me and said that my "friends" had gone out the front door and told him to let me know. Of course, I was raised in a very trusting environment so I didn't really think anything of it. When he said "we better go out and find them" I began to wonder why he would be going out there. I started out the door in front of him, but my suspicions got the best of me and I ran back in the door on the other side and past the ticket taker who was yelling at me but then stopped the man in his tracks when he tried to get in without a ticket.

I was terrified of that strange man and worried that I had been silly to trust someone who may have thought he had the perfect plan to get me to walk right out the front doors and into a kidnapping or assault or worse. I ran straight to my friends who, of course, were in their seats where I left them. I gathered everyone up and we all moved to new seats far away from where the stranger who expect us to be. I was shaking and nervous and couldn't stop thinking about what may have been my fate if things had turned out differently. I have never told anyone about that stranger and know that I was blessed and naive that day in many ways.

I was working as a flight attendant for the old Frontier Airlines based in Salt Lake City. One of my favorite schedules was flying from Salt Lake City with with an overnight in Phoenix. It was what they called a "milk run" because the airlines were regulated to carry the mail into very small airports that had few passengers but always had a mailbag to drop off and pick up. I flew on a Convair Jet Propelled 580 that carried 52 passengers, one flight attendant and co-pilot and captain. Our route was Salt Lake City, Vernal, Moab, Grand Junction, Farmington, Gallup, Albuquerque, Silver City, Tucson, and Phoenix. One day when we got close to Farmington, New Mexico the captain called me to the cockpit and told me that I should prepare the cabin and the passengers for an emergency landing. My training drills kicked in and I did just as he said then went to the back of the aircraft to my jumpseat to wait.

Apparently, one of our engines (the aircraft had two) needed to be shutdown due to a fire warning. They didn't have the fuel to just keep flying to Albuquerque where the airport and emergency response was larger. They had to land and to make it all even worse, the Farmington airfield was situated on a plateau so you didn't have enough runway to do a "go-a-round" if something went wrong. Add to that a dense fog and choppy air and it was a recipe for fright in my mind. It seems like it took forever to get that aircraft on the ground, but they finally did it and just as I was ready to open the back door for evacuation, they announced over the PA that we would be deplaning as usual down the stairs at the front door to the plane.

I don't know how my shaking knees propelled me through the cabin for the deplaning and farewell to very shaken passengers, but I felt blessed to be alive and bidding farewell to everyone because we were grounded overnight while parts and a mechanic were flown in from Denver for repairs. I flew into Farmington, New Mexico many times after that and each time I felt shaken and weak at the thought of that day.

Well, that's the first installment of my brushes with death. I hope you'll come back, if interested, as I post some more in the weeks ahead.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Celebrating Bonnie, a great mother and grandmother

Today in my neighborhood we attended a birthday party for a sweet friend, Bonnie Young. It was fun to see all the evidences of her many talents and contributions throughout her life. Bonnie toured with the USO during the Vietnam war sharing her love for song and dance to entertain our troops. She has become a favorite in my life since moving into our ward about 15 years ago. A couple of years ago Bonnie was struck with ALS (Lou Gehring's disease) which has taken away her ability to sing, dance, and talk. Even in her present condition, Bonnie remains a bright spot in my life. Bonnie, you are so loved!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Don't move a muscle!

I've decided to stop getting any older. No I'm not going to die, nothing THAT drastic. I'm just going to go the other way . . .no, not to HELL . . . the other way in age! I'm going to start today to get closer to my grand kids, not moving in with them, but closer to them in age. Why? Because they have more fun than I do.

I think I spent all my growing up years thinking that I'd have more fun when I grew up. Things like having my own room, staying up late, and eating all the candy I wanted occupied much of my young years as I longingly looked forward to future years. I could hardly wait until no one would tell me what to do, how to act, or when to start or stop certain behaviors. Now I realize that it may just have been the best time of my whole life.

Kids are too young to understand how much fun they are having. Like today when my grand daughter Jane lead me to her room to show me around. She was so excited for me to see what was in there and had obviously forgotten that I unpacked the moving boxes and lovingly "decorated" her shelves, made her bed, and hung up her pretty dresses just a few short weeks ago. I say "lead" me because I was walking behind her and giggling at her bare bottom peeking out from under her shirt (she's potty training) all the way to her very own fairyland she calls her room.

We played and played with all her soft glittery, sequined, boa-feathered princess items. Then she apparently got hungry and ran off to get something to serve for tea. Afraid of losing her audience (me) she immediately ran right back and commanded "stay right there, don't move, remember, stay right there, don't move." Afraid of committing some crime against the kingdom, I did as I was told.

Frankly, there wasn't much threat of me going anywhere because I was deep in thought regarding the reversed aging idea that I had been pondering while playing queens of the castle. I can't say that I've come up with a positive course of action to accomplish that. It seems that the more I think about it, the more complicated the whole theory is. So, until I come up with something (two heads are better than one so I'm soliciting your help here) I think I'll just keep working on the next best part of my life - being her grandmother. She calls me Mimi!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bibbidy....Bobbidy ... Boo!

Today Grant asked to hold "lil buddy" aka Drewbug aka Drew Michael Croshaw. I sat him in a big chair in Vanessa and Andrew's bedroom and laid Drew in his arms. With in a couple of seconds Grant knew something new about his brother that was completely cool in his book. "Look, Mimi, Drew is doing what it took me 9 years to master....come here and look." He was right. There sat the two of them looking cross-eyed at each other with Grant giggling hilariously. The kid has a killer giggle!

Friday, February 27, 2009

How do I wov thee, let me count the ways . . .

#1 Abbie, you make me so optimistic about the world. You are always looking for a way to serve in your family. If every 9 year old cared about their family as much as you do, many of our familial problems would become extinct over a period of just a few short years. You are always thinking about others.
#2 Grant, you always run to give me the biggest and hardest hug no matter how long it's been since I last saw you. Two minutes ago I left the room, but surprise! I'm back and you're at my side again. I wov (translation: love) that. Out of the blue you'll start a conversation with something like this: "Mimi, do you know that in deep space traveling at mach 13, you can......."
#3 Christian, I'm still laughing at your antics in the movie we did last summer. Just thinking about your energy and your unique contributions to our fun makes me so happy. You always find the humor in every activity. Every family should have a "Christian"!
#4 Faith, I love it when you have a story to tell. You go into great detail and make sure I know not only what is happening in the story, but how everyone felt and what everyone said. Evening the tiniest of details are important. I love the enthusiasm in your voice when you do that!
#5 Jack, your never-ending creative juices remind us all that there is still a "child" in each person. Watching you make a space station or a super hero costume from some paper, three rubber bands, and five paper clips is an exercise in imagination. Your industry and dedication to inimitable ingenuity inspires us all.
#6 Clark, oh how I love to see those fast little legs carrying you towards me with a favorite book in hand with the look of anticipation on your cute face! Do you still remember that "a human head weighs eight pounds?" I love it when you say that to me.
#7 B. J., you are fun to eavesdrop on when you don't know people are listening because you are so entertaining! You act out whole scenes and carry on both sides of the conversation complete with sound effects. The good guys (that's you) always win in the end!
#8 John, it's fun to have you around because you always get so into anything that is going on. You totally invest yourself in the game or story or activity at hand. It makes me laugh when you repeat something one of us has said about 30 seconds earlier with so much excitement in your voice as if you had just thought of it!
#9 Jane, you give us all a lot to smile about as you act as your brother Jack's personal assistant. You like to be part of all the action all the time. But you distinguish yourself as a very feminine little girl while wearing your fuzzy princess crown and unflappable fairly wings. There can never be to much pick and purple in your life!
#10 Momma Mia, our little Amelia is walking, talking and teasing at age 2 going on 6. We always know when you are around because you constantly sing songs over and over. You are a little cupid in our family's world and always bring so much love to everyone.
#11 Drew, at 2.5 weeks old you have brought God's love straight from heaven. You come to a family with a lot of affection for you already and have a ton of love to give. Each time I kiss your sweet head I feel so peaceful and happy.

#12 and #13 to come later.

Go ask MOM (or DAD as the case may be)

We've had Vanessa and her husband Andrew plus five kids living here for about 7 weeks while they found a house. They are in the process of moving now with their brand new 6 day old baby boy. While they have been living here I've decided that grand parenting is a lot more fun than parenting. I've been both and believe me when I say that I "know" the difference.

When children live in your house for more than 24 hours you have to impose the same rules that parents do because your stewardship is to rear children to be competent and successful adults. If you don't have a routine, healthy food, and "rules" then they turn into something else. I agree with all of that and have tried to support the parents in every way. But there are some drawbacks. Most conversations go something like this: "Mimi, can I have a banana?" "I don't know, Clark, you'll have to ask your Mom." "Mimi, Mom said I can have a banana if it's okay with you." So a simple request turns into a hunt and seek for each think the child wants.

Or sometimes like this: "Mimi, can I have some candy?" "I don't know, Clark, you'll have to ask your Dad." "Dad, Mimi said it's okay for me to have candy." "Oh, did she?" "Yes, and some chocolate milk too!" "Oh, we'll think about it." "Mimi, Dad says we can think about having some candy." "Well, Clark, if he says you can have some candy after you think about it, what do you think?" "Mimi, I think YES!"

Actually, it's a lot more fun being a Grandparent than being a Parent. :0)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Drew Michael Croshaw was a miracle from heaven among many miracles this past week. He is perfect, eating heartily, and gaining weight. At birth he was 7 lbs. 11 oz. (the same as his mother, Vanessa, at her birth) and 21 inches long. His name, Drew, is from his daddy, AnDREW. His middle name comes from a sweet family friend and employer of Andrew, Michael Leavitt who shares the same birthday with little Drew.

Drew with mother, Vanessa, looking beautiful and rested even three days after giving birth. Some women should have lots of children. Vanessa handles it so well. They only bump in the road is that Drew had too high of a count when they checked his jaundice so he had to stay in the hospital an extra day. But the nurses loved having this little guy because of his easy disposition. The picture at the left is of him being treated at home yesterday in a bilibed that gives him the lighting to solve his problem. He is a beautiful angle and I especially like the goggles. He looks like he's ready for the cockpit. Some Mimi's have lots of grandkids but few have this kind of grandchild with such an "electric" personality and "glowing" with undeniable charm. What do you think?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Doug Rich, Joanna Hawkins, Linda Rich, Mindy Hillman, and Vanessa Croshaw

The people in my office threw me a super great retirement party where Doug and our four girls and 6 grand kids came and joined some of my BYU friends for pizza, some fiddling, and visiting. It was the best day! I was so happy to have all three of my daughters there, since they moved here at Christmas time so we are now all in the same state! I'm going to enjoy my retirement even more since they are closeby. A lot of magic happening all the time in this Mimi's life!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Okay, my blog has a "new face" and a new purpose. I have been thinking about my role as a grandma (call me Mimi) and remembering how much I loved my own grandmothers when I was growing up. Another component of that is how superb my own mother is at grandparenting. I was just daydreaming about how I would love to have even half the skills as Mimi to my beautiful crowd of ten (soon to be 13) grandkids.

Before I just go on and on about my grandchildren and then on and on some more about the nurturing grannies in my life, I'd like to invite my readers to share some of their notions, remembrances, and tried and true grandparenting.

To kick it off I'd like to introduce you to my Grandma Lettie Sanders. She loved having me as a grand daughter. . . or at least she made me feel like I was her favorite. One of the ways she did this is very simple but meant so much to me. I don't remember her telling me that I was beautiful, though I felt beautiful around her. I don't remember her telling me that I was smart, or talented, or clever, but then again, I did feel as though I was all those things when I was with her. I specifically remember that instead of praising in generalities like "you were fantastic" she knew me well enough to say things like "Linda, when you were practicing that I knew it would pay off" or "I bet you are really happy with how you did that."

Complimenting the effort instead of praising me created a realization that I was good at working hard to achieve something. I remember thinking that my Grandma Sanders really understood me in a deep and meaningful way.

My mother, LuRee Ottley, had a similar way of helping my own children as they studied violin and other instruments while growing up. While I worked with them from day to day and often overlooked the plodding progress, she would be amazed at what they had learned between her visits. She helped remind me from time to time that their efforts really showed and to see them I needed to step back once in a while and pat everyone, including myself on the back.

Grandmothers have an unconditional love that is not clouded by exuberant expectations of parents who are closer to the situation on a daily basis. I was reminded of this when my oldest grand daughter, Abbie, was about 4 years old. We were reading Cinderella when all of a sudden she turned to me and said "Mimi, are you my Fairy Godmother?"

Well, almost, since everyone knows Mimi Magic really can exist for each of God's precious children.