Showing posts with label Family History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family History. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Behold the Cuteness, Old School Edition

Tom Melin, 1950
Rosalie Melin, 1951

Last night we had a Family Home evening honoring Grandpa & Grandma Melin-- it was partly for Mother's Day (Mom Melin's gift last year was dinner and Family Home Evening with us the first Monday of every month for a year-- this would technically be the end of that gift, but we decided to keep up the tradition as long as we can) and partly for teachign our kids family history and learning more about Grandpa and Grandma.

With the help of Rich's far-flung siblings, we made a pretty little scrapbook of favortie memories with Grandma & Grandpa, including letters and photos and interviews with the grandkids (#11 was just born this week--eleven grandkids in less than 5-1/2 years!). Then I printed out some pictures of them as kids and had the kids guess who was in the pictures. When the kids figured out that we were talking about grandpa & grandma, we played a game. The kids drew cards that had statements on them like, "I was born on June 10 1947 in Lewistown, Montana" or "My dad's name was George" or "I married Rosalie Dotson on September 1, 1966" or "I love to eat popcorn!" They had to figure out who made the statement--grandpa or grandma. It was pretty cool. Addie actually remembers a lot of the facts.

Here's the game board--please note that their anniversary is wrong here--it's 9/1/66, and I totally know that--I don't know why I wrote the zero in my delirium!

The dinner was delicious! I made up a recipe for pork roast which I will now share cuz it rocked:
Pork Tenderloin Roast
olive oil
salt & pepper
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 apple, sliced in wedges
worcestershire sauce
Dorothy Lynch salad dressing
a little water
Spray your crock pot with PAM, throw in sliced onion. Grease up your roast with olive oil and cut 4 slits across the top deep and long enough to fit the apple wedges. Then sprinkle a few tablespoons of W. sauce over the roast and in slits, put apple wedges into slits. Pour about 1 cup of Dorothy Lynch dressing over the top of the roast, then salt and and pepper. Put on the lid and cook on low for 5 hours, adding water every two hours or so to keep moist.

The drippings made a tasty gravy over rice, and Angie made some delicious rolls. We also had Costco's Parisienne salad (with the feta, cranberries and candied nuts-- yum!) and mom's choclate chip cookies and ice cream bars for dessert. It was great fun and all the cousins had a great time together (but we missed Liana, Sariah, Jared, TJay, Summer, and Matthew!). I am so grateful to have such awesome in-laws! I love that my kids have such rich heritage on all branches of their family tree.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"On the second Day of Grandpa, My Blogger gave to me..."

...A story about the best Grandpa in the world.

Gramp & Heidi 2004

My Grandpa (along with his wife, my Grandma) is probably my best friend in the whole world. He single-handedly saved me (time and again) from succumbing to The Natural Man side of myself (selfish, worldly, self-destructive, judgmental, obsessive, etc...). He also nurtured my talents and interests in small but significant ways. For instance, one time in 1984 we were riding in his car and listening to a tape of Strauss waltzes. I told him I loved this music, and when he dropped me off, he gave me the tape. It was the same for books, maps, sheet music, food... every time I showed an interest, he presented me an opportunity. I have tried to follow that example with my girls so they will pursue their interests and have full and well-rounded lives, and TONS of self-confidence and self-respect.

Another great lesson I learned from my Grandpa through actions, not words, was the Dr. Phil-ism "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?" Growing up, I had, as my dad put it, an "over-developed sens of justice," meaning things were pretty black-and-white/wrong-or-right on my little world. I could cry "NOT FAIR" and be pretty merciless at times because Being Right was so important to me.

Once I got into a disagreement with my grandma and I knew that I was right. So rather than respecting her and considering her feelings and wishes rather than facts and my own self, I argued with her. Grandpa talked to me about it later, not in a scolding way, but in an adult conversation. He said, "You should have listened to your Grandma and respected her wishes. Not because she was right but because she is your Grandma and because you love her." I felt like a tiny, bratty little ant at that point. I watched my Grandpa and reflected on his past behavior and realized that he lived that principle all the time, and not just with Grandma. The facts are that Grandpa is probably right about stuff 99% of the time, but he goes with the flow and lets people learn things by themselves, gently SHOWING or nudging us in the right direction, but never in a very didactic way...just out of for us and love for God.

I could make a list a mile long of what he has taught me, and back it all up with stories and quotes and scriptures, but right now in my life, this is the lesson that means the most. It helps me in so many relationships. It's a lesson I have to refresh for myself over and over again, but I need look no further than my Papi (Poppy) to remember how to let it all go.

Elrey Family 1975 (that's me and my Pops on the left)

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!
I love you!

Love, Jamie

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Click On Over...

Grandma Muriel and Aunt Maxine in 1940 Framanisco to read about the life and times of my darling Grandma Layton.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More Arizona Photos

Central Arizona Mountains
Grandma's beautiful flowers--pink & purple never looked so pretty!

Dad and Me
(me looking buck-toothed--what is that tooth doing catching the light like that?)

Aunt Gwen's grave
My Mom (right) and her sister, Aunt Marti--so cute!
A Gang of Laytons
backrow- Erin, Dad holding Kennady Layton, Becky, Sam, Jake, Dasha, Ross Canaday, Willy Post; front row-Tyler Oslin holding Willy's Maeby, Cody Oslin, Kristen, Me holding James, Aunt Maxine Canaday (Dad's sister), Kliss Crosser, Audrey Post, Spencer, Melanie, & Liam Post

Great-Grandpa Elrey got to bless Maeby Lynn before the family dinner
Sam at Grandma's House-

the last inhabited house on Church street, where the Laytons lived for 67 years.
Willy with Maeby, and Kristen at the house.

Unco Hamma and Aunt Dizzen

This is Sam's & Kristen's Home in north Phoenix. It's really quite lovely, and that's where I stayed on Friday & Saturday nights.
This is my brother Willy with his family and my brother Sam on the far left. Sam is holding Spencer, Willy's 3rd child. Spencer used to be a grumpy mama's boy, but he has come out of his shell and his personality is HILARIOUS. He has a funny speech pattern where he pauses between each. and. every.word, and drops or substitutes initial consonants or consonant blends. He also adds a subtle "uh" to the end of certain words. For instance, he calls his baby sister "Maebyuh," he said "I. love. you. too-uh!" when I left, and he calls Uncle Sam "Unco Hamma" and Aunt Kristen "Aunt Dizzen." It's so adorable! On Sunday as we were getting ready to leave, Kristen said to Sam, "Let's get out the video camera! We're never gonna see him like this again. He won't talk like that next time we see him." So they filmed him being so cute and funny.
Here's Sam teasing Liam at a Phoenix fountain. Poor Liam.
I spent a mellow Saturday with Sam& Kristen and the Posties. I will publicly chastise Lisa for not coming and hanging out with us...Lisa, FOR SHAME! What could possibly be FUNNER (yes, I know that's not a word) that hanging out with your far-flung siblings, huh? Anyway, Saturday began with a delicious breakfast cooked by our hosts, then we hung out looking at pix and videos while mom got up and got packed. Then Will & Sam took mom to the airport while we ladies stopped for beverages and took the kids over to a playground and visited. It was nice to be with my sisters-in-law. They are good women and my brothers SCORED. I
t was so fun to play with my niece and nephew and not have to worry about what my own kids were doing--sometimes I really miss being fun single auntie. Liam (who also has some speech issues, which make everything he says sound SOOO cute) tried to convince to me to come ward off the bees so he could pick flowers; Spencer wanted to slide with me, but got side tracked by laying face down on the top level of the play place, looking down through the grate at his siblings below. He was so still and focused, I thought he was asleep there! The boys sent mom back to SLC on the plan and came back to join us at the playground. We went back to the house to freshen up at about 3pm, then headed over to In-N-Out Burger for lunch-dinner, then Old Navy so I could get some spring clothes and we could all shop some clearance sales. We headed back home and the boys went to the store and got us some ice cream. We put the kids to bed and watched "Waking Ned Devine" (one of mine and Sam's favorite movies ever), and ate ice cream and Dr. Pepper in memory of Grandma Muriel. We know she was with us in spirit, enjoying the treats and laughing at the crazy Irish folk on the movie.
The next morning we enjoyed some delicious french toast and we all got ready for our trips home. Will & Audrey loaded up their van and headed off to SLC; Sam & Kristen had to miss their Stake Conference to take me to the airport at 10:30am, but they caught an 11am Sacrament Meeting with Kristen's sister in Chandler. Things went smoothly for me on the way back home, and Rich met right at the curb in SLC. I hopped in and we headed straight up I-15 for home by 3pm. We got home safely by 11pm, dodging lots of blizzards and sleet, and slept soundly in our comfy house.
It's Tuesday night and I am still in my "post-trip funk." I am almost unpacked. I am tired and a bit unmotivated. My spring cleaning seems insurmountable. Did I tell you that our guest room still looks like Christmas threw up in there? I took down all the decorations and piled them up in there, and then piled up all the after Christmas sale stuff in there, too, with stuff for the gift closet, too. It's BAD. If anybody gets a wild hair and feels like cleaning and organizing, feel free to come and share you enthusiasm. Mine is at an all-time low, and I don't' know why, because I know that I will feel SOOOO good when it is all done. UGH! Maybe I need some light therapy or something.
In closing, I would like to welcome two of my best, dearest, most-missed friends to the blogosphere. Tom & Adriane, thanks for keeping in touch!!!

Monday, February 19, 2007


Dad Layton, Me, Lisa, Willy, & Sam at Grandma Layton's Grave 2/16
Pallbearers at the church in Thatcher 2/16

I used to make fun of snowbirds (people who fly south--to Arizona, for example--for the winter). Now I have a testimony of Snowbirdism and wish I were in a position to live the life. I enjoyed a few February days in AZ so much! It will do me good to make a February or March visit a habit. The holidays are just too crazy to enjoy the sunshine! Of course I hope I won't be visiting for a funeral again anytime soon.

I read the entire Ensign, cover to cover (well, I skipped a few articles) in the tub tonight. I've got a new favorite gem from President Hinckley, from a New Year's Eve address:
"You can be wise and happy or stupid and miserable. The choice is yours." Well said, dear prophet. Another gem comes from Elder Nelson's article, Faith and Families: "I want you to think about yourself...50 years from now. Your broad minds and narrow waists have traded places." Too bad that doesn't seem to have taken 50 years for me! Another article deserves its own entry--Forgiving Oneself--but I liked this quote: "We don't' forget the sin and its effects; rather, the memory ceases to be part of how we see ourselves." Think about that for a while. The article goes on to explain that it is Satan who want us to feel defined by our sins, while the Lord wants us to learn from them and use Christ's atonement to move on. I'll be writing about some of that stuff on Framanisco when I get a chance. I haven't been writing much, but I have been musing!

My trip to Arizona was WONDERFUL! It got off to a rough start trying to celebrate V-day AND clean AND pack AND go to two doctor appointments before 11am, but we got off okay and had a good sleep at Willy's house (his family was already gone to AZ). Rich took me to the airport Thursday morning and I got there an hour before my 10am flight, but the flight closed before I even got into the security line. They put me on standby and I missed an 11-ish flight and a 1-ish flight before I got a seat on a 3pm flight (only because a bunch of connecting flights were delayed on the east coast in a snow storm. So that was a fun day in the SLC airport with James. Of course, he never made a peep and enjoyed just hanging out with mommy and looking at new things.

I arrived in Phoenix the same time as my half-sis, Erin, flying in from Boise. So my sister, Lisa, picked us both up and we slept over at Lisa's house in Ahwatukee (south Phoenix, Tempe area). Sam called from North Phoenix to tell us they'd rented a minivan and would pick us up at 8:30am to drive to Thatcher. That got messed up and he picked us up at 10am, so we high-tailed it across central Arizona (ewwww!) to Thatcher for the family viewing at 1pm, followed by the funeral at 2pm.

We barely made it, but had such a nice reunion! Grandma looked beautiful and the decor and memorabilia around the building were so nice. I really do not like funerals, but this one was very well done, with very talented family musicians and a really entertaining life story given by my dad's cousin, Jenene, and my cousin, Dasha. I suppose it helps if you've led an interesting life and you have a sense of humor. I have emailed a request for a copy of those remarks and I will post them on Framanisco when I get them. My Grandma was already "old" (59) when I was born, so there was much from her life that I just never knew. It was so cool to think about how much of my personality and tendencies came from her. I certainly know where the smart aleck part comes from now! Grandma was buried at the LDS Cemetery, next to Grandpa, whose grave we had visited so many times with Grandma--walking around the corner from her house and straight up to the dirt hills where all those hardy Arizona pioneers and their descendants are buried. It was a sunny, windy, warm day and the starkness and brightness just really struck me. So many people are born, live, and die in this valley--it's so weird. And I wondered what Arizona will mean to my kids, if anything at all, since they were born in Montana. Will they return to Arizona for a funeral some day and look around and think, "Why does my mom love this place?" (I have been known to say things about the Gila Valley like, "If Brigham Young had sent my family here, I might have pulled an Emma and gone right back to Utah.") But I do love it...I love the way my ancestors marched right down there and made that desert blossom like a rose, just like the prophets said they would.

The whole day was surreal to me. I felt like I was in some kind of bubble or time warp or something. And I also got a little bit sad and sentimental about what might have been--perhaps what should have been. After my parents divorced when I was five, I was young enough that it didn't bother me all that much. It's just the way things were, and we stayed close to my Layton side, even when we became Posts. It wasn't until recently that I have found myself wishing--like some pouty teenager--that my parents had found some way to stay together. that they had grown up a little faster and let the two worlds of my Elrey family and my Layton family be ONE. Because seeing everyone together at stuff like this (my Elrey grandparents were there, as were my mom and her sister, Marti) reminds me of that Nibley quote on my wedding announcement ... "memories of how things should be."

I'll write about the rest of my trip and post more photos later...G'night, yall.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

With A Shiver in My Bones

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
-Robert Frost

I have been waiting to post until I can find some photos, but I give up. My Grandma Layton died last night, so instead of going to Cousin Bill's wedding in Mesa on March 3rd, I am going to Grandma's funeral in Thatcher next Friday. Rich and I have to postpone our sixth anniversary trip to the Billings Temple (we've done that for 5 years)---we will be apart on our anniversary for the first time. That stinks.

I am sad about losing my Grandma today. I've been okay all day until we sang "Nearer My God To Thee" in Sacrament Meeting. She has been sick for a long time and she has come up to say good bye to me twice, so I know she has been ready to go for a while (my grandpa died almost 29 years ago). But I had just decided (perhaps selfishly) last week that I would go see her while I was down in AZ for Bill's wedding because I would rather see her alive than go to her funeral. I had that exact discussion with my brother Sam on the phone last Sunday, and he agreed to come with me to Thatcher so I could see her and get a picture of James with her. Shucks. So James and I will go down for her funeral instead.

Adding to my blues (as if death and winter weren't enough to be blue about), James went to the doctor for his cough last week and he has bronchiolitis and has to have prednisone, azithromicin, albuterol nebulizer, and a humidifier. He hasn't been fussy at all, never had a fever, just a bad night time cough. He is sleeping better now--the breathing treatments really help (he has this pacifier thing with a little vent on it for his nebulizer--it's pretty cool and it works great, except he is wired and won't stop babbling after each treatment). I went to a dermatologist about a bunch of rashes I have. She diagnosed most of them as psoriasis, but had to take a chunk of skin for a biopsy from the cracks of my legs (yeah, I know--nice. I was just celebrating the fact that I wouldn't have anybody poking around down there again for a long time, but alas--) cuz there's some kind of skin cancer that looks like that. So I've got stitches AGAIN, which means no sanity-saving jet tubbing for a week. I should get the results at my follow up visit on Valentine's day (the day we drive down to Utah to catch my plane on Thursday). Also, Addie fell down at my Mom-in-law's house on Friday and hurt her arm. She is still not using her arm today, so it's off to the clinic tomorrow to get it checked. I think she dislocated or sprained her shoulder, but we'll see.

On the lighter side of things, a fellow blogger needs some help. She is trying to get comments from all 50 states. Click here to see if your state is listed; if not, leave a comment and what state you are from (you could leave a comment anyway--that always brightens a blogger's day).

And even brighter, I have joined the staff of Segullah Magazine as assistant features editor. Have a look at the magazine; it comes out three times a year in print and on line and is aimed at LDS women from all walks of life. Tell your friends and buy a copy if you can! I hope to be able to contribute some writing to the next issue as well as editing (if I can get my head out of these winter clouds for a while). I am really excited, mostly to be exercising my brain a little more and to be in the company of some really talented and entertaining mujeres.

I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel;
For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within.
But, for the unquiet heart and brain,
A use in measured language lies;
The sad mechanic exercise,
Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.
In words, like weeds, I’ll wrap me o’er,
Like coarsest clothes against the cold:
But that large grief which these enfold
Is given in outline and no more.
-Tennyson, In Memoriam (V)


Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                         1...