Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Power of 10

This past weekend all my parents' grandchildren were in town. And although we had been down in Provo for Papa's funeral most of the day Saturday, as soon as we were home we packed up again and headed over to my mom and dad's for the evening. Getting all those kids together is just too good an opportunity to pass up.

There are some tender emotions being dealt with by my parents these days over things they were already trying to handle before the death of my grandpa added fuel to the fire. I am hoping the company of these beauties eased their sadness some. And that it continues to do so.

Mom and Dad--we love you.

So there are only 9 in this pic.
Miss Sadie was present but not to be disturbed during her evening slumber.

In 2008, when my Dad turned 60, he and my mom had 5 grandchildren.
2 years later they have 10. Incredible how we are growing!

These sillies sure love a good goofy-faced pic. Max, your cousins will teach you about crazy poses next time you are in town...

Back row: Will (C&C's), Olivia
Front row L to R: Max (H&B's), Caroline & Bentley, Maddie & Connor & Ethan (C&C's) and Mason (T&S's) in Eth's lap

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tulip Festival

Could a spring day get any more glorious than this? The Horsley cousins are off-track right now so I let my little guy skip school today. Bliss for my Beans I tell you. Heid is still in town and it is officially her birthday today, and Max's too. We celebrated by letting the kids run wild together while we soaked up the warm sunshine and gorgeous colors all around.

Get ready for a hundred was just so beautiful today...

the pink crew

tiny tulips
(Max, as ever, my kids favorite "little brother")

indulging the kids in silly poses...I love these

my happy babe (as long as she had a "nana"--snack)

all the mamas
will my daughters be salt and pepper in comparison--like me with my sissies?

sweet little friends

our best attempt at a LeBaron photo...that Livs was not at all interested

she just wanted to get close to these lovelies

Grandma Bobbi and the gang

Bentley, my loving, gentle lily

Caroline, my passionate little rose

Olivia, my lovely violet

Random sidenote:

When we got home today we looked up the birth flowers for each of the children in our family (depending on their zodiac sign). Bentley's birthday is right on the cusp between Taurus and Gemini so he and I decided he and Cares should have separate flowers even when their birthdays are 3 days apart...

As an Aries, my birth flower is the sweet pea, meaning "blissful pleasure." Yes, please...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Papa's Funeral

We attended Papa's funeral yesterday and it was such a beautiful meeting. I loved hearing the endearing stories his children told and the way they captured his unique personality as well as his great legacy. I cried and cried through it all. It was very cathartic and actually quite exhausting. But what a wonderful way to celebrate a life well-lived. I loved that each of my grandpa's children shared their love for their father right along with their love of the Lord and the truths of the gospel.

The proceedings at the cemetery were equally moving for me. My Papa, an honored war veteran, was buried with military honors--a powerful and patriotic thing to experience. The 21 gun salute was very cool to witness, and it was followed by Taps played on the trumpet. It was such a reverent and beautiful event, and I know my Papa would have enjoyed it very much.

April 24th, 2010

the pallbearers

the whole family

my family

the 21 gun salute

Tutu's grave

the grandchildren

the children

and their spouses
I love these people, my aunts and uncles. They are all such amazing, loving people.

view of the lake from Papa and Tutu's graves

Friday, April 23, 2010

For Posterity

Papa with my daddy, baby Sherman, 1948

Grandpa's Obituary (from

Wilford E. Smith 1916 ~ 2010 Courageously submitting to a recent crippling illness, Wilford E. Smith died at home on April 20, 2010. He was born in Holladay, Utah on May 16, 1916 to George Carlos and Lillian Emery Smith, their seventh child and second son. He grew up on the Smith Brothers Dairy Farm, forming tight bonds with his three younger brothers in their daily chores and playful frolicking. After his father died, he found work at a CCC camp in Southern Utah. He was a motivated learner and doggedly pursued his ambitions to be a teacher. He served as Chaplain in the U.S. Army, participating in the Pacific Theater in World War II and achieving the rank of Colonel. After retirement, he was elected President of the National Chaplains Reserve Association. He held memberships in many professional and service organizations acting as president in them on many occasions. He especially enjoyed being a part of Central Utah Football Officials Association and coaching his sons among other young boys in many sports.

He earned a Bachelors Degree from the University of Utah, lettering in wrestling. His Masters degree was granted at B.Y.U. and his PH.D was earned at the University of Washington. He taught in several seminaries and for 35 years taught sociology at B.Y.U. He directed educational tours for B.Y.U. He spoke Maori, French, and Bislama. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many capacities; notably as a missionary to New Zealand under President Matthew Cowley, twice as a bishop, and as a Mission President over the Suva Fiji Mission. His testimony was unwavering. He authored two text books on sociology, wrote articles for professional publications, as well as several journals of discourses, personal histories, and poems for his posterity.

He always told us he was the richest of men because of his extraordinary wife and wonderful children. He carefully tended to her care during all of her illnesses spanning 68 years. He was a mentor to extended family, students and friends. Every mealtime in his home became a mini seminar on a variety of subjects. He taught righteous precepts and was a consistent example of those tenets. He, Papa, is loved because he first loved us. He was always looking out for the underdog. He shall be dearly missed, but we gain comfort in knowing he is joyously reunited with his dear wife, Ruth, his forebears, all 10 of his siblings, and his son, George, who lived but a few hours in mortality. He is survived by his children, Charlotte (Kent) Knudsen, Boise, Idaho; W. Emery, Jr. (Pamela Packer) Smith, Salt Lake City; Sherman Christensen (Bobbi Aboe) Smith, Salt Lake City; Ronald Tye (Adriana Castalan) Smith, Cedar Hills; Jeffrey Randall (Karen Bone) Smith, Provo; 28 grandchildren, 59 great-grand-children, Andrew Christensen, bro-ther-in-law,; Beth Christensen Cannon, Leah Smith, sisters-in-law, and many nieces and nephews. Contributions to the Perpetual Education Fund would be a valuable remembrance. Farewell then, to an honorable, noble, son, husband, father, friend, our Papa.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Smith family 1975

My sweet Papa Smith passed away this afternoon. And I am certain there was an immediate reunion in heaven--one that was most joyful, most tender and highly anticipated by his sweetheart of almost 70 years. I love thinking about the two of them together again. It makes me so happy I can hardly contain my emotions (and why is it that the tears keep flowing as I think on it?)

My good old grandpa. He was a man among men--a hard worker, a patriot and war veteran, learned scholar, proudest of proud fathers, and always a devoted saint. There is much to say to his credit but last night, in his quiet and subdued bedroom, all 5 of his children and their spouses gathered around him to say goodbye. And I think my papa would count that alone as one of his finest moments. I was lucky enough to be there too, to see his beloved daughter doting on him and caring for him as she always has, to see his 4 sons gather around him and give him a heart-felt Priesthood blessing, to see his daughters-in-law quietly and lovingly strengthening each other and all around them. It was beautiful to be there and be a tiny part of that sacred evening.

Joseph and I had the chance to visit my papa just 10 days ago while he was in the hospital. He was doing very well then, considering how fast things turned for the worse, and we were able to have a long and lovely chat with him. My children brought cards they had made for him and he read Bentley's cute Kindergarten writing with pride. He recounted tales from the past for us--something he was always very fond of doing. He could spin quite a tale and even at 93 years of age he never forgot a detail or specific name and place from the past. We listened and enjoyed his company. My darling little Caroline sat on the foot of his bed and carefully and gently rested her hand on my papa's leg. A little later she moved her hand up to his hand and was softly rubbing his old and aged skin. She looked at him with a sweet smile and was just content to be at his side, sharing her love with a man she knew I loved. I think it was one of the sweetest and kindest things I have ever young girl teaching me about love, about charity. I hope to have that image forever imprinted on my heart.

I am grateful for the many memories I have of my grandparents and being in their home on Ash Avenue. My grandpa loved to refer to us grandkids as "hoodlums" and ask us what kind of trouble we were getting into when we saw him (classic grandpa move right?) When I was in college, he and my Tutu would host a college kids fireside one Sunday a month. I remember attending those first with my big sis when we were both at BYU and then with Joseph. It was the perfect chance for our retired professor grandpa to wax eloquent about any topic he deemed pertinent. We had a lot of fun egging him on as preached/taught. But the best part was watching my grandparents interact with each other during these events. My Tutu always called him out when he was taking things too far or talking for too long. She was such a great partner for him and it gave him a sparkle in his eye to see her get fired up. They were such a funny pair--and perfectly in love through it all. Such great examples to me. I love and miss them both.

at Tutu's funeral in 2008

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Evening Hipsters

Enjoying a very warm Sunday evening in Grandma's backyard

Hipstamatic pics on the iPhone

I sometimes think my sister's kids are mine--I must because I ended up with all these pics of her babes and just one of my own. Funny. But I do adore them.

And I must give 3 cheers for our current's making me a happy girl.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Just letting the blogosphere know that life has been crazy around here this week. "Crazy" translates to messy, busy, loud, and hard. Our Livs has been one unhappy girl since late Sunday night. She threw-up that night and then started running a relentless fever which finally let up on Wednesday morning. I could not keep up with it, even when giving her the good old Tylenol/Motrin double punch. As soon as the fever abated the poor thing started losing it all out the bottom end. We are on day 3 of this and her sweet baby bum cheeks are soooo red and sore. And to top it off she has a splotchy rash all over her abdomen which started yesterday morning. I don't think it is bothering her at all but it still looks pretty sad. My dad (and dr. for all my immediate health woes) told me not to worry about the rash--that it's a common side affect with gastrointestinal troubles. He thinks Livs has a virus that is just working its way through her system.

at the park last night. a happy moment from our sweet baby Livs. we dragged her along with us on an evening walk. the kids and I were dying to get out and play in the gorgeous weather.

The babe has been sleeping much better since the fever went away but she is still quite needy and really does not want to give me much (or actually any) freedom. We have a date night at the temple planned for tonight and I keep thinking we'll have to cancel our plans. I really don't want to--I would love to be there tonight. I have been feeling it all week long--the need to be there, to write names on the prayer roll (so many beautiful, obedient loved ones who need blessings of healing both physically and emotionally), to remember the blessings I've been promised and the covenants I have made, to feel quiet and calm and very still, and to feel the closeness of the Lord. I hope my baby will cooperate with our plans.

**It is now 9:45 and we are home from our date night. Olivia woke from her afternoon nap in a happier mood than I've seen all week. I was so relieved. We did delay our plans some and opted for a late start so we could get Livs to bed and asleep for the night before we left. It meant we couldn't make our scheduled session but we had plenty of time to do initiatory work instead--something I always love doing. We hit the grocery store together on our way home. Classic date night move for us--I swear we do that all the time lately!

It was a good night.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


A manicure is good for:

1) Dressing up a date night (which Joe and I had on Thursday--the exact reason I decided to paint my nails in the first place)
2) Feeling sassy as I type on the computer

Things that are not good for a manicure:

1) Cleaning the inside of my car
2) Swimming laps
3) Washing bottles and dishes all throughout the day
4) Slicing my thumb open while opening a can of refried beans
5) Changing poopie diapers
6) Bathing kids

Oh well--my purple nails were fun for the 24 hours they lasted. And at least they were free (shoddy from painting them myself, but free :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I discovered Olivia playing with/gnawing on my shoes after lunch yesterday (not an uncommon thing--she is obsessed. It's gross, but they keep her happy).

I saw her in the corner and realized it was suddenly a very maroon spot in my house with my shoes, cardigan and Liv's shirt all gathered in one place. If you asked me point blank I don't think I would even admit to liking that color. And yet the evidence clearly states otherwise. OK, I do like it. I mean I wear those shoes all the time so I must...

And that mohawk on Livs? It stayed for hours. She had grape juice (and some cheese and yogurt) in her hair after lunch and washing it out afterward resulted in that hairdo. Who knew grapes could work like hairspray on baby soft hair? I loved it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I like this look for me--meaning the bangs (and the adorable kids surrounding me, of course). I keep thinking about trying them again but 1) they drove me crazy every day. I couldn't wait to be home and done with the day so I could pin them up and off my forehead. 2) I don't think bangs would look good with my currently very short hair.

So, you can see how I am just thinking...

And doesn't this pic (from April 2008) just capture spring so well? Can't wait to spy some tulips in bloom. Or anything really!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Remembering the Sun

Our last big adventure before heading home last weekend included a fun little hike to a red rock hill and cavern like lava tube. We hit the canyon between conference sessions on Saturday with my parents, Ben and Max in tow. Did I mention that my hubby flew back down to us on Friday night and rescued me from single parenthood?

Starting out on the Butterfly Trail

We happened upon this lava tube

and my kids, Joseph and Grandpa Sherm were down inside it within a matter of minutes.

See the rocky hill in the background?

In this pic the kids are halfway up it.

And here they are at the top!
Cares informed us that she used up all her "energies" on each part of the hike and by the time she reached the car at the end she only had a "teeny tiny bit of energies left."

We got home last night and woke up to quite a yucky day outside today. Wet, gray and cold. I got hailed on running out to the car after volunteering in Bentley's classroom this afternoon. But then again this is typical April weather around here.

I am definitely missing the sun after our 10 day indulgence down south. My goal each day was to wear the kids out from running and climbing and swimming and hiking and breathing in tons of fresh air and basking in the spring sun's warmth. It worked. And managed to wear me out each day too--but it felt so good. I started some swim training for this summer's triathlon and it was such fun. Back in my swim team days (waaaaay back) I hated swimming laps in the early morning hours and trying so hard to keep up with my team mates during workouts. Now I just swim as many laps as I please at any pace I want--which makes me push myself just enough to really feel it but enjoy it too. My mom describes it as very "Zen" exercising and I would have to agree.