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.