9/02/2014

Climbing Mountains


I CLIMB MOUNTAINS
By
Granny B
Happy tenth birthday Sandy.
I love you very much.

            My name is Sandy.
I climb mountains.
            When you climb mountains you need to wear a good shade hat to keep your face protected from the sun and comfortable hiking shoes. You also need to bring along water and food. But the best thing to bring is persistence and a positive attitude. Persistence means not stopping when you feel like it. A positive attitude means you don’t complain even when you’re doing something hard.
            The first time I climbed a mountain, I thought it would be too hard for me. I found out that I am strong.
            When you climb a mountain you always reach a place where you feel like stopping or giving up. That is the time for a short rest, not giving up.
            Sometimes you get hot and tired. That is the time for a drink and a snack.
            Mountains are like life. It is hard to keep going sometimes; but if you do, you get to see your world from the top.
Up on top the wind cools you down and see your life below from a new perspective. The fields look like a patch-work quilt. The cars look like ants and the roads like ribbons. You see patterns that you can’t see when you’re down below.
            I feel closer to God on top; like if I wave my arms, He can see me and hear me.
            I feel brave on top because I had to fight through being grouchy and tired.
            I feel light on top; like I could fly if I just had wings.
            I feel beautiful on top because I know I’m strong
            I feel heroic on top because I didn’t give up.
            I feel fearless on top because I made it even though I felt like giving up.
            I feel reverent on top because I see better how I fit into God’s plan for me.
            I am Sandy.  
I come from a family who climbs mountains.

            When I am grown and have children of my own, I will teach them to climb mountains. 

Poem for a Four-Year-Old

KATIE La Mazie
by Granny B
Happy 4th birthday my sweet little Kate.


When you are four
you’re never a bore.
You dance in a twirl
and take bows galore

You won’t eat your cheese
Or turnips or peas.
But you’ll eat lots of candy;
some more if it’s handy.

When it’s time for a snooze
You don’t want to loose
So you pout and you muse
It’s playtime you choose

                                    Then before you know it
Your eyes droop a bit
And you’re off to drift
With no place to sit

So you find a soft place
And a blanket with lace
A purple unicorn pillow
With a song in the middle

Then rub your eyes
And droop to the side
And you’re out like a light
With moonbeams in sight

For Katie La Mazie
Is bright as a daisy
Though when she gets lazy
She’s a little bit crazy

But when she is sleeping
Her parents are peeking
And kissing her cheeks

For their dreams are complete

8/20/2014

WHERE DID SUMMER GO?

                                  WHERE SUMMER WENT
When summer break ends, parents tend to get overly sentimental and utter things like, “Where did the summer go?” Mind you, these are the same parents who claimed they’d go raving mad if they had to endure another camping trip with their barfing children. These are the same parents who thought they’d die of embarrassment when the neighbors called to inform them that their young children were running through the sprinkler without swimming suits . . . again.

Well, just in case you’re wondering, I’ll tell you where summer went.

Summer floated down the irrigation ditch along with my young son’s tennis shoes and childhood.

Summer flamed, then flickered out like old street lamps with flashes of exploding fireworks and ebbing orange embers in a dying fire.

Summer soared away like the injured sparrow my children brought home to mend – later watching with still breath as their old friend flew too high for returning.

Summer danced over hammer-smashed rocks, grasshopper collections, and weaving hollyhocks, like mountain rivers to the valley floors.

Summer hopped from family reunion to family reunion like backyard pet rabbits stopping long enough to nibble on the garden fare best suited to their liking.

Summer grew up, cut off from home roots, like toppled corn stalks in the field and heavy melons fallen from the vine.

Summer dozed off in an ocean of blackness like children in sleeping bags wishing on falling stars in the backyard and telling scary stories in the dark.

Summer swirled upward like backyard barbecue smoke laden with the steamy smell of thick, dripping steaks filling the air.

Summer aged from green to brown like dying tulips that save their buried hears for next year’s blooming.

Summer raced past us like hot August afternoon rainstorms filling flowers bed, gardens, and ditches with life-giving water, and then moving on.

Summer paraded past like colorful floats, precision marching bands, and candy-throwing clowns. Stretching our necks, we peer down Main Street, unsure that the celebration has ended.

Summer was cut short like faded blue jeans with threadbare knee-holes.

Summer melted away like soft butter left too long on the kitchen table when it is one hundred degrees outside in the shade.

Summer rustled past us in the morning air like freshly washed sheets on the line. Now at sunset, someone has taken in the linen, carefully folding it away for the next change of season.

Summer grew wild like tender asparagus along the ditch bank, ready to be plucked and savored at just the right instant. Now grown old, the ageing plant has gone to seed and survival.

Summer unfolded like the yellow rose in the white vase by the kitchen window. Early sunlight from the eastern sky uncurled the tightly closed bud, revealing the flower within. Now, the soft pedals have fallen.

Summer is going out. Children are growing up. Garden vines lie heavy. Harvest is near.


And that is where summer went.

8/13/2014

SOUL IN THE MAKING


We often speak of an artist's finest work as their masterpiece when in reality their greatest creation might be a life they've touched. I know from personal experience that an artists's finest handiwork might be the result of an ordinary conversation on an ordinary day. I took Introduction to Drawing from a graduate student in the early seventies at Brigham Young University. I do not remember his name. He was not well-known, rich or tenured, yet because of two conversations we shared, the trajectory of my life changed forever. His ability to see into my soul enabled me to contemplate new possibilities and take flight.
I was wearing multiple layers of worn thrift-store clothing, working three jobs and taking a full load of classes when I stepped into my first drawing class. I’d always longed to be an artist but believed my mother’s opinion about my lack of talent. To my dismay all the other students in class were excellent artists. When asked to display our work, I was embarrassed by how my creations compared to the others. Still, an eager student, I relished the learning process and quiet awakening of every drawing assignment.
A few weeks into the semester, my teacher asked me to stay after class.
“Would you consider becoming a model for the art department?” he asked me.
“Why would you ask me?” I replied.
“Because I’ve noticed you have a perfectly proportioned body.”
I told him I’d have to think about it. After class I walked home alone deep in thought. I’d never heard a positive comment about my body before. After opening the front door to my apartment, I headed straight for the bathroom and locked the door behind me. Then I looked in the full-length mirror. Slowly, one piece at a time, I removed layer after layer of thrift store clothing. Someone appeared in the glass that I’d never seen before. I dropped to my knees and sobbed as past comments from those who might have loved me filled my mind.
“You’re fat and ugly. No boy will ever want to marry you.”
For the first time I wondered if those words were a lie, if I might be something more. Though I did not have the courage to be a model that semester, I would never be the same. On the last day of class, my teacher had each student bring their portfolio and present our drawings in the hallway outside our classroom. One by one I placed each piece of work on the cold floor and waited. My teacher carefully studied each piece, then looked up at me and smiled.
“You are the only person in this class who earned an A.”
I dropped my jaw.
“But I’m the only person in this class who doesn't know how to draw.”
“You are the only student in this class who is a true artist,” he replied.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“You are the only one who did more than I asked and tried new techniques that might not work out. You were the only one who searched for truth deep inside yourself and wanted to share. I don’t know what art form you will pursue after my class, but I do know that you have the soul of an artist.”
I walked down the steps of the Harris Fine Arts Center that summer evening with a new image of my future. Something deep inside knew this man spoke the truth.
Sometime later, when I tried to locate this teacher to thank him for what he had done for me and present him with the gift of my first published book, I was told that he had passed away. I was too late to thank him that day. I hope I am not too late to thank him now, and to express my deepest gratitude to all who lay aside personal ambition to do God’s work. Are we not all artists? Is not the highest of all art the ennobling of the human soul?
Now when I’m painting pictures with words or looking into the lives of my ten children or twenty-five grandchildren, I think about my art teacher. Perhaps it is fitting that this gentle giant of a man will remain anonymous. For the greatest creator, the finest artist in the universe tells us that we are His best work and glory – His masterpiece.

8/12/2014

Pulling Faces

For some reason when someone pulls out the camera, my husband's silly side comes out.
When my daughter April snapped these pictures for posterity,
 I had no idea what my better half was doing.

7/29/2014

Blessing Day For Rachel Anne Baadsgaard

My wonderful granddaughter Rachel Anne Baadsgaard was given a name and a blessing on Sunday.
 Don't you wish you could kiss those cheeks?

7/20/2014

LDS Church History Tour







In the garden next to the visitor center in Nauvoo.
Kanesville or Council Bluffs was the headquarters for the Church between the time they left Nauvoo and their arrival in the Salt lake Valley.

Brigham Young was sustained as President of the Church here.
Five hundred men left here to fight in the war with Mexico better known as the Mormon Battalion.
Statue to honor the Mormon pioneer family.
At the Kansas City Temple with my sweetheart Ross.

Winter Quarters Temple.
A cabin at Mount Pisgah.
Garden Grove was a camp site in Iowa during the great exodus to the valley in Utah.

This is Parley Street - the road the Saints traveled as they left their beloved city and temple. They were forced out of their homes and farms by violent mobs.
This is the Carthage Jail where Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered by angry mobs.
This is Joseph's Smith's Red Brick Store where we sang "Praise To The Man".
This is the Mansion House in Nauvoo where Joseph and Emma lived for a time.

This is a statue of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum as they rode out of Nauvoo to Carthage Jail where they would seal their testimony of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ with their blood.

The reconstructed Nauvoo Temple just before the Pageant.


Where Adam and Eve dwelt after leaving the Garden of Eden. Where Christ will appear in glory.
Far West - one of the places where the Saints were living when they were
expelled from Missouri. This is a site of a future temple.

Independence Missouri where Zion or the New Jerusalem will be built.

Looking out over the fields at Adam-Ondi-Ahman.

Far West - where the Saints gathered after being expelled from Jackson County Missouri.

Trail to a monument honoring the Eight Witnesses to the Book of Mormon.
Joseph Smith -the prophet God used to restore of gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter-days.
Liberty Jail
Joseph Smith was wrongfully held here
while the Saints were being expelled from Missouri.
The Saints later found refuge in Quincy Ill
and later founded a city called Nauvoo.

From this prison came some of the most beautiful scripture ever written
D &C 121 and 122.


7/07/2014

Celebrating July 4th at Colonial Days in Orem Utah

I attended Colonial Days in Orem with my amazing daughter Arianne and my grandchildren.
Arianne is not only a wonderful wife, mother and photographer, she spins wool, makes her own soap, gardens and preserves her own food, paints beautiful pictures and creates home-made wood and cloth toys.
She also home schools her five children.
I just had to share these amazing pictures that she took while we were there.

7/05/2014

July 4th Hike to Maple Mountain

On the way up the mountain
My son John on the top of Maple Mountain
My granddaughters Emily and Sandy on top of Maple Mountain
My family on the top of Maple Mountain
Ross with John and Alisa on top of Maple Mountain

7/03/2014

MOTHER'S BLESSING


  1. We had a "Mother's Blessing" for my daughter Ashley last night. She is about to have her second child and all the women in our family gathered to honor her. This is not the standard baby shower where the attention is about cute decorations ...and baby clothes. This is a rich and powerful evening where the women who love Ashley in a deep and meaningful way came together to share our strength and love. We organized visits and meals to be brought to her after delivery. We shared our most sacred birth or motherhood experiences. We created a bracelet engraved with words of power and strength for her to wear when she needs to feel our love. 
    Ashley will soon put her life on the line to bring a new daughter into the world and devote the rest of her life to nurturing her soul. The world is confused about the true nature of power. Love is the greatest power in the world. My newest grandchild will be named Eden a tender reminder of our mother Eve . . . and the honor, power and strength of motherhood from the beginning of time until the end of days.

6/27/2014

Happy 39th Anniversary Sweetheart

My husband Ross and I knelt across an alter in the SLC Temple 39 years ago today.
I think these ten children were there in spirit celebrating that wonderful day as they prepared to come to our home.
What started as two people in love has grown to include 45 people I love.
Celebrating 39 years of joy with my sweetheart Ross today.