17 September 2009

Family History Catch Up

One of my goals this year was to write a little bit about members of my family on their birthdays. Well, I haven't been totally successful but I thought I'd try to catch up on a few.
My Paternal Grandmother
Grandma Martha Ann
was born the 6th of August 1896. She married my grandfather at age twenty-one and had five children. They said she played the piano and organ by heart and played every Sunday for church. She passed away from tuberculosis when my dad was only six month's old. One of the teachings of the church that my dad responded to when he was learning about the church was "The Plan of Salvation" and how families are sealed together forever. He was anxious to have ordinance work done for his mother. Martha Ann died the 25th of December 1927.

My Maternal Grandmother
Grandma Cassie
She was born on the 4th of September 1899; they say she was only 1 1/2 pounds at birth and that her parents put her in a shoebox and fed her a drop of whisky through an eye dropper every hour for the first night. She survived. Her family made a meager living picking cotton on farms in east Texas. She didn't go to school and taught herself to read and write when she was eighteen. Her family joined the church when she was about eleven years old. She moved west at age eighteen and at age twenty-seven married my grandfather, a widower who was raising two boys. They had twins of their own--my mom, Dorothy and brother Doyle. They raised their family in San Bernardino and San Dimas, California. They also homesteaded property in Lucerne Valley for two years. Grandma loved children and loved to care for others. In addition to her family, she often took care of lots of cousins, nieces and nephews. She ran a boarding house and in later years, lived with and took care of my Great-Aunt Pearl. I have fond memories of going to her house for sleep-overs and also going to lunch at her apartment near the high school. She was a great cook, very thrifty and hard-working. My favorite memory was when I was a young adult and grandma started collecting cans. It started because I believe we were collecting cans for scouts. When Grandma found out that boys were getting cash for cans she took recycling to a whole new level. Besides having family, friends, and neighbors saving their cans for her, she had her own little route that she would go on daily which included dumpster diving at nearby businesses. I was kinda embarrassed for her because she would dress up in a big garbage bag and wear a shower cap. One day I told her she shouldn't do it, it was dangerous and she looked like a crazy bag lady. Besides, how much money could really be made from collecting cans. Was it really worth the trouble? I'll never forget her response, "this money that I'm making is to send your nephews on missions." She then proceeded in her own simple way to tell me the blessings of missionary work. I don't remember ever hearing grandma bear her testimony but I did feel the spirit from her that day and I knew her motives for collecting cans were sacred in nature. From that moment on, whenever I saw my grandma in her "can collecting get-up," walking down the street, I thought to myself..."there goes an elect lady." Seriously, and for the record...my sister Martha said that the money grandma made was put into a savings account and it did pay for both Ricky and Billy to go on missions. True story. Grandma Cassie passed away 24th March 1987 and there's a sacred story to her death that I'll have to save for another post. I love my grandma.

My Paternal Grandfather
"Pop" Dee Allen
He was born 6th September 1885; died 14th December 1975. Pop was a high school teacher in Grand Rapids Michigan. He taught drafting. With the help of his sisters, he raised his young family of five children who are all still living except for the oldest son, my uncle Jim. Pop lived with us after he had a stroke. His hearing was very poor by then but I can remember coming home after school and we'd play "Scrabble". I love that game. I can remember my father being very caring with him as he got older. Pop would take a walk everyday in the neighborhood to keep himself going.

11 September 2009

Remembering 9/11/2001

I guess everyone remembers where they were eight years ago today. My experience was as most, I was doing my normal, everyday things. I had just taken Jessica to school and was home with Carson. Dave called me from work and told me someone had attacked the World Trade Centers in New York. I turned on the television and watched in horror. The next few days were quite numbing, wondering how something so horrific could happen. I can remember worrying for my children and wondering what awful things they'll witness in their lives. But I'm grateful for the knowledge that this life is just part of a greater and better afterlife. We all have to experience sorrow and pain in this life but I know its so we can truly appreciate the good things we have and to have faith in the better things to come. The day after the tragedy of 9/11, I was shopping at the store and I saw a lady wearing a gas mask. Seeing her made me wonder, is this the way the people of our country are going to be now, always living in fear? So, I was glad to hear the words of Gordon B. Hinckley when he said:
"Are these perilous times?
They are.
But there is no need to fear.
We can have peace in our hearts
and peace in our homes...
We can be an influence for good
in this world,
every one of us.”
~Gordon B. Hinckley

04 September 2009

Back in the Swing

Its been hard to get back in the swing of things. Especially since my laptop hasn't been working. I spent almost 3 hours with "Dell" getting it cleaned up from some viruses obtained on our road trip. Anyway, all is well now so I thought I ought to recap some of the past few events.

Dave & Jake "Gone Fishin'"

Dave hasn't gone fishing in a long time. Jake was home for a week in between semesters at BYU- Provo so they went out like old times.

Hope Mills 1st Ward
Primary Temple Trip

We all had a good time going to the Raleigh North Carolina Temple and hearing Sister Draughon and Bishop Lockhart tell the importance of the temple.
Lauren, Erika, Carson
Cousins--Together at the Temple
"As we touch the temple
the temple will touch us."
~Thomas S. Monson
Angie, Carson & Jessica
at Carthage Jail, Illinois
We had a great time with Angie. She took us up in the Arch at St. Louis and then we all went and stayed a couple of days in Nauvoo and also went and saw Carthage Jail. It was a great way to end our road trip out to California.

Perfect Playdough

1 cup flour
1 package Kool-Aid, nonsweetened (used for color and smell)
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cream of tarter

DIRECTIONS: Mix flour, cream of tartar, Kool-Aid and salt together. Mix water and oil together in saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add dry to wet, stirring constantly until dough pulls away from sides of pan. Remove play dough and knead, knead, knead until all ingredients are well integrated and play dough is smooth. Warning: it will be a little hot to touch when you first start to knead. An adult will need to do it for a bit before handing the job off to a child. I like to divide the dough in two and knead it that way. I actually made a double recipe this time so I divided it into four. Once dough is completely cooled, store in plastic bar or air tight container in the refrigerator. If stored correctly, it will last several weeks and be ready for play whenever you need a quick boredom buster! (I don't actually refrigerate it, but you could if you wanted.) .

This is my sister-in-law's sister-in-law's recipe. She's one of my newest friends "Tia Juana" and she has this great recipe website. I can remember making this kind of play dough once and loving it because it smells so good...enjoy!