Saturday, 29 March 2014

Grandmas and Quilts!

I love to create things - especially sewing! My latest creation is a quilt for our newest grandson - Brigham James Wilde!

Amy told me what colors she liked and what she wanted his new little room to look like - and this is what I came up with (thanks to a pattern and great instructions that I found online).  After it was all done, I started thinking that I hope  Brigham knows how much I love him everytime he sees or holds or cuddles this quilt.  Being a grandma is a pretty cool thing.  Most of the time I don't really think of myself as a 'Grandma' - I'm just Amy's mom and she happens to have three adorable children!  Because if I stop and think about it too long, it seems like an impossible and overwhelming responsibility.  My mom is the most fantastic Grandma - all of the grandchildren know they are loved and she does special things for all of them, all of the time! She knows what they are doing and interested in, she is concerned and caring and somehow keeps track of  all 24!  She has made endless baby quilts and blankets and now quilts for the all the grandchildren when they get married! 
Then there is my sweet Grandma Jensen - I didn't appreciate her near enough when she was alive.  I don't remember how old I was, but my Grandma Jensen made me this quilt - and I DO think of her everytime I see or hold or cuddle this quilt. 

It is worn right through in some places and I remember it being the softest and warmest blanket I had ever felt when she gave it to me.  I took it to girls camps, I took it to college with me, it came with me when I got married and every place we have lived.  When I started to write this entry, I knew right where to find it in the closet in the hallway to take a picture of it.  My Grandma's sweetheart and husband passed away very young and left her a widow with 5 small children.  I think I remember my dad saying that she stood outside her little home with 5 children clinging to her apron calling for Daddy, saying goodbye to her husband as he went off to the hospital never to return again. She worked to support them and struggled and was very poor for many years.  She had an impression during a church meeting that she was to marry Einar Jensen, the bishop at the time with a large family of his own.  She raised those two families with unconditional love and patience and I am sure a lot of hurt and struggle and adjusting along the way.  When I came into the scene, all I knew was that she was petite, quiet, sweet, tender, determined and lived in a cute, very tidy little house on a farm where we loved to visit - I never questioned why we called her Grandma Jensen and not Grandma Anderson and why we shared her with so many other families.  I never knew she was too scared to live alone after Grandpa died and that my mom and dad eagerly opened up our home for her to come and live with us.  I have a vivid memory of being sick one night and was coughing and coughing, Grandma was sleeping in the room right next to mine, I rolled over and there she was standing right over my bed and quietly whispered that she had brought a cough drop for me.  I will also never forget the night I got home from the hospital with our new baby Brooke, we were coming to my parents to spend a few days and Grandma Jensen was in the hospital in Taber.  It was Saturday night and we decided to go in and show her the baby, Brooke was wide awake and they both just stared into each others eyes for the longest time.  The next morning we got a call that Grandma had passed away in the night - I will forever be thankful that we went to visit her that night.
So I guess Grandmas and quilts just go together - and I will try to continue that legacy of love to my grandchildren, not only by the soft blankets I make for them, but by the way I make them feel when they are with me!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Have miracles ceased ? . . . Nay!

I was reminded last night of a very spiritual experience in my life that I just assumed my daughters all knew about but then realized that Paige was only 4 years old and Abby wasn't even born yet.  Without going into a lot of detail (you can read in my journal if you want the whole play by play) I claim Elder Jeffry R. Holland as 'my Apostle'.  Twelve years ago we lived in Claresholm and were a part of the Fort Macleod Stake.  We got the news that Elder Holland would be attending our Stake Conference and we were so excited.  Then about 2 weeks before his visit, I got a call from President Whitehead asking me speak at the Sunday morning session of Stake Conference, Elder Holland had requested that a sister speak.  He asked me to speak on the Temple and to direct it to the children and youth and it was to be exactly 10 minutes long (not 1 minute longer or shorter).  Needless to say, I had divine help and felt so guided in every word I wrote.  As the weekend approached though I started to get very sick, a bad cough settled in and I could hardly speak, you could say I was kind of stressing out at this point.  So I prayed very hard before we left for the adult Saturday night session that I would feel peace and reassurance that I could do was I was asked to do.
We sat very close to the front in the chapel and after the closing prayer, President Whitehead motioned for me to come up to the pulpit.  He put his arms around me and introduced me to Elder Holland and then told me that Elder Holland had picked me out of the crowd during that meeting to be one the people to spontaneously come up and bear their testimony - he had said "We need to hear from that sister".  Pres. Whitehead then told him that I was the one that had been asked to speak the next morning in conference, so thankfully that was good enough for him.  There was my answer to my prayers, that was my reassurance that Heavenly Father knows me and would help me deliver my talk.  The meeting was fantastic and Elder Holland left an apostolic blessing on our stake and the people and the whole area - we were experiencing a severe drought at that time and he promised that the moisture would come.  And it came - two days later we had a snow day! 
There were many miracles associated with that Stake Conference - one of which was my testimony being secured in the sure knowledge that Elder Holland is an Apostle of Jesus Christ and that a loving Heavenly Father knows each of us personally and the experiences in our lives that will help us to grow and change!
That was almost 12 years ago - now fast forward to yesterday - Elder Holland came to speak to the youth in Lethbridge with Elder Walker who was also at the Fort Macleod Stake Conference. Paige had a basketball game in Medicine Hat and we weren't sure how the games would go and if the timely would work to get to see and hear him. Here was 'my Apostle' so near again and I wanted so badly for Paige to be there and hear him. I made her miss the boys final basketball game and we were a bit late but we drove right up and walked right in and were able to hear Elder Walker and Elder Holland! And guess what they both mentioned in their talks, the miracles from the Fort Macleod Stake Conference. I have never forgotten that experience and neither had they. The talks were fantastic and so inspiring and I am so grateful I got Paige there because I know that meeting with an apostle and feeling and hearing his council and love can be a testimony changing experience and worth every effort!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

My Sister - My Friend!

I have the most amazing sister!  We are nine years apart and have been best friends since the day she was born (which I claim to be a big part of by praying her here), we have never had a fight or even a slight disagreement.  We shared a bedroom from the time she slept in a crib til the day I moved away to college.  She would approve or dissaprove of my boyfriends (she could do this because she would always meet them and was even known to join me on a few dates), we named our first daughters after each other who happened to be born on the same day 9 years apart, the same number of years we are apart.  We live 2 minutes away from each other and sometimes that's not even close enough.  We dress alike, we sound alike, we decorate alike, we cook the same meals for our families and since we shaved our heads last July with Brynn - we even kind of look alike!  I have learned a lot watching my sister these past few years deal with heartache and unimaginable trials as she helped her daughter Brynn fight cancer.  Some people would crumble and fall apart and deal with it quietly and privately - but not my sister and her family!  They opened their hearts and lives to everyone they came in contact with and because of that we felt their pain and joy and discouragement and love and peace that has helped change so many people for the better.  Everyone my sister comes in contact with always feels that they surely must be her very best friend, she always has hugs and kind words for everyone she meets - that never changed no matter what she was going through!  Because of her example to me, I have realized that I have tended to pull away and separate myself from others when I was feeling sad or hurt or overwhelmed and that is just what I shouldn't do.  So now one of my goals for this year is to open up my heart more - be more friendly, give more service, smile, help strangers, ask people about their lives, pray for opportunites to be of help to someone.  And you know what - its working!  I feel happier, lighter, my troubles don't seem so big - I know this isn't a new concept, but I just get so busy with life that I sometimes forget why I am here and what I need to be doing to learn while I'm here.  Thank you Christy, you may be my little sister but I'm trying to follow your example! 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

I'm a Blogger!!

I have a Blog, yeah!!!
I have been reading my daughter's blogs for quite a while now and my sister did an amazing blog about her daughter's fight with cancer all of which have inspired me to start one myself.  (When I say 'start one myself ', I mean my daughter was here for a week and she set it all up for me and then my other daughter helped me to actually find it and walked me through the process of entering things - thanks Amy and Brooke!).  This was one of my new year's resolutions, and it's still February - not bad!
Speaking of February - a quick shout out to all the people I love with Birthdays this month (there's a lot, and this is just in our family).  Happy Birthday to - Reese, Eric, Mark, Brock, Emily, Christy and Zach!! You were certainly thought of on your special day and I love you all!
I hope for this to be a place to write about everyday things that have an extraordinary impact in my life!  I hope by knowing in the back of my mind that I am going to write things down, that I will be more aware of the little blessing in my life that I quite often take for granted and don't think enough about.
Today is Sunday and I am thankful for the Sabbath day - we went to Edmonton and Red Deer this weekend to see Kelsie and watch Paige play basketball (they won the tournament by the way).  They were in the final so we didn't leave Red Deer until 9:30 pm so that got us home at about 1:30 am.  It would have been very easy to just stay over another night and come home sometime on Sunday or even stay in bed at home justifying a short night's sleep (church is at 9:00 am) - but I really don't like to miss church!  I always learn and hear and feel something special everytime I go - and today was no exception.  It was our Ward conference and heard two excellent talks by our Bishop and Stake President and then an excellent lesson in Relief Society and then I went back to Barnwell 1st Ward's meetings at 1:00 to hear my mom talk in Sacrament meeting.  She gave a great talk about blessings and the other speaker spoke on courage and Brendan O. talked about his conversion and baptism.  I came home feeling so uplifted and grateful for all of my many blessings - it is definitely the best way to start each week!
I know from reading blogs that a blog just isn't a blog without great pictures, but I'm afraid that my girls haven't given me a tutorial on that yet, so today it's just typing, but hopefully next week I will know how to include pictures!  For today, this will have to do  :)