Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blessing day

My third son, David, blessed his third daughter on Sunday. He gave her a name, Mabel Ann, and then blessed her to live a beautiful life with special characteristics and gifts of the spirit. It was a wonderful blessing.

Grandpa peeked and tells me that Mabel gave her daddy a big smile as he began to speak and then intently watched his face with wide open eyes as he blessed her.

All of our lives have been enriched as we welcome this little one into our family circle. The Priesthood blessings in all their forms are indeed a gift.

Sally is special mother for her lovely little brood of girls.

Dave and Sally have created a wonderful family of sisters.

Luckily for grandma, it was also the Sunday for the Primary Program, so I got to hear Ruby and Sadie sing and do their speaking parts.

If you would like to see Ruby and Sadie as "ladybugs" at the ladybug picnic, go HERE. SOOO cute!

I love it when family members converge to celebrate these special occasions. Aunt Emilia took a turn giving Mabel snuggles. Sally and her sister Amy prepared a most delicious brunch making for a very special Sunday morning.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Don't tell my grandchildren. . .

but we had a "grandkids sleepover" without them.

Uncle Glen played host this weekend to his sister, Wylene and her husband, Leioni. They brought with them their three youngest grandchildren.

Leioni named after Grandpa



Grandpa Leioni is a hands on grandpa. His cousin was getting married here in Arizona, thus the visit. We love it when they come for weddings. Tongan weddings always have full extended family support (and lots of yummy food and dancing.)

We took Wylene to Tia Rosa's and enjoyed lots of visiting. Oni and the grandkids enjoyed the pool.

It was so fun to have new faces at grandma's breakfast bar. Come back soon!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mabel Ann's blessing dress

Sweet Mabel will be given a name and a blessing on Sunday morning. I finally finished and then delivered her dress and accessories this evening. When I held her, she talked to me in her gentle little voice and that was all the thanks I needed.

This is called a Bishop dress and the smocking goes all the way around the dress.

The dress is partially sewn together before being put through the pleater. I then smocked the blue foundation, blocked the smocking to size, and then embroidered the roses over the smocking.

The buttons go up the back. I also embroidered roses around the bottom on top of the ribbon and lace trim at the hemline.

Rather than elastic in the sleeves, I also smocked around the sleeve and added a rose as well.

And here are her matching accessories. Now she will be ready for her early morning Sunday special event. My fingers would tell you, "That's a lot of roses!"

Here is Mabel with her other grandma last week in Utah. She is such a sweet little dumpling!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Grandparents' Day

Some days are more interesting than others. Wednesday was like that. I had returned home from a RS meeting and a stop in at the office to see if I needed to make a deposit. Glen had returned home from an appointment in north Phoenix and due to a somewhat sleepless night, had just awakened from a short nap. The door bell rang and two young women stood at the door. They were somewhat expected as mission transfers had just occurred.

Glen, the ward mission leader, welcomed them inside and seated them in the living room with ice cold glasses of water. I joined them for the introductions, Sister Holliday from Idaho then Sister Stephens from Maryland.

"Glen, don't you have family in Maryland with the last name of Stephens?" I asked.

"Yeah, my cousin, Kaylene," he replied.

"That's my MOM!" exclaimed Sister Stephens.

And so the reminiscing began. Sister Stephens is pretty young, but she vaguely remembered Grandma B and her home in Draper, especially since her grandparents (daughter of Grandma B) lived right next door to the south. I told her about the missionary board on Grandma B's dining room wall with a map of the world surrounded by pictures of her descendants with a ribbon leading to the location of where each had served as missionaries. That map was bordered shoulder to shoulder with shining faces and it was covered from top to bottom and side to side with colored ball tipped pins. I'm sure that Gina is included on her map in heaven.

Talking of Draper and Grandma B took me right back to her front porch with its view of the mountains. Family barbeques in her yard were a constant experience for our young family. My sons had just participated in the annual Easter egg hunt in this picture.

While on FB today I was reminded that it would be Grandparents Day on Sunday. The poster had also shared a story about her grandmother and challenged her FB friends to share a memory of their grandparents. I've thought about that all day and once again felt saddened that many of our grandparents had left us at a young age. I wanted to share a picture or two with my children of the grandparents that they knew personally.

Grandma B always welcomed visitors. Here are those same three great grandsons, who once sat on the porch, stopping by to say hello.

Sister Stephens remembered the toy closet in the corner of Grandma B's living room and also remembered her sitting in her favorite chair. Her husband, Raymond, passed away from cancer in August 1975 just after Glen and I were married.

Grandma B (June) had a daughter whom she named Elma. Elma married Jordon and had a son named Glen. My children were in heaven when the pickup truck with personalized plates would arrive in Arizona from California for a visit.

They also loved it when they would go to California to visit Elma. She loved to share the "happiest place on earth" with her grandchildren. When she had cancer one of her final wishes was to have ALL of her grandchildren join her on a last Disneyland visit. Unfortunately, she was unable to go with them but they returned to her home to tell her all about it.

June and Elma loved to have a good time. Whenever a new ride would open up at a Southern California amusement park, Elma would secure an airline ticket for her mother, June, so that they could be among the first in line. Unfortunately shortly after June's 80th birthday, Elma died of cancer.

Jordan didn't stay much longer. He died in his sleep a couple of years later in the home on the north side of Grandma B's in Draper where they had planned to retire together. He was a quiet, gentle, and loving man.

My mother, Velva, was a pillar of strength to all who knew her. Her husband, Gary, passed away after a long and lingering illness just short of his 50th birthday. Her life was one of service to him as well as her six children.

Velva's life ended after an 8 year battle with Alzheimer's disease. We lost her piece by piece so my youngest son, Nathan, never really knew his grandmother as she really was.

My grandfather, George Ostler, lived into his nineties. This picture was taken on his 80th birthday in Idaho Falls. His second wife, Alice, sits by his side. His daughter-in-law, Velva, as well as myself and my children, David and Janae ,were in attendance at this special party. During my childhood, I spent more time with George and my grandmother, Georgianna, than with my other grandparents. They had three sons, the oldest of whom was my father, Gary. When I, their first grandchild, was born they were thrilled to have a girl and I was often invited to spend several days and nights at a time in their home. Georgianna passed away when I was almost 12.

Glen's father Jordan's parents both passed away when Glen was quite young. My mother Velva's father passed away when I was 7 and her mother when I was a very young mother myself.

As family members have gathered to celebrate special occasions over the years, I have often wished that these special people could still be in attendance. We've missed them at mission farewells, weddings, and grandbaby blessings. Perhaps they have been closer than I knew.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oscar's a swimmer

Oscar had his first swim in grandpa's and grandma's pool on Labor Day.

His parents are happy that he likes the water.

The pool was full of cousins and crazy uncles. Grandpa grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and Grandma made homemade ice cream. Then the girls played in the "fairy house" while Boise State beat Virginia Tech.

I think that everyone left happy!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Images of Christ at the MOA

While at BYU Education Week, one of my favorite afternoons was spent in the Museum of Art. Currently on exhibit in the museum's basement is "The Life of Christ" by James Tissot. In the late 1800's Tissot journeyed to the Holy Land where he sketched and then painted in water color over 365 paintings from the life of Christ. These were printed in a bible called the "Tissot Bible." BYU was donated a copy of this bible by Joseph Fielding Smith. It belonged to his father, Joseph F. Smith. 124 of the original paintings, now owned by the Brooklyn Museum, are on display. They are small in size but amazing in detail. This one took my breath away. It is Christ's view from the cross. These paintings are on display until January 2011.

Learn more here and here and here.

Interestingly, I found on another blog the Tissot paintings which were included each month in the 1908 issues of the Children’s Friend:

Saint Joseph Seeks a Lodging at Bethlehem.

St. Luke ii. 4. “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea,
unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem.”

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.

St. Luke ii. 28. “Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God.”

Jesus Sitting in the Midst of the Doctors.

St. Luke ii. 46. “They found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors.”

Jesus Found in the Temple.

St. Luke ii. 49. “And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me?
wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”

First Miraculous Draught of Fishes.

St. Luke v. 6. “And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their net brake.”

Christ Sendeth Out Seventy Two-by-Two

St. Luke x. 1. “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two.”

The Blind Man Washes in the Pool of Siloam.

St. John ix. 7. “He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”

The Rich Young Man Went Away Sorrowful.

St. Matthew xix, 22. “But when the young man heard that saying,
he went away sorrowful for he had great possessions.

Christ Driving Out Those that Sold in the Temple.

St. Matthew xxi, 12. “And Jesus went into the temple of God,
and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple.”

The Palsied Man Let Down through the Roof.

St. Mark ii. 4. “They uncovered the roof where he was; and when they had broken it up they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.”

Jesus Healing the Blind and Lame.

St. Matthew xv, 30. “And great multitudes came unto him,
having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed.”

Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes.

St. John vi, II. “And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks,
He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were sat down.”

I purchased "James Tissot The Life of Christ" published by the Brooklyn Museum in conjunction with its 2009 exhibit. It includes the complete set of the 350 watercolors owned by The Brooklyn Museum. Because of the small size of the originals, the images in the book are close to full size. I hope to share them with my grandchildren.

The Carl Heinrich Bloch exhibit is to open mid-November at MOA. Altar piece art works are being borrowed from churches in Denmark. These pictures of Christ's life and work are familiar to church members but this will provide an opportunity to see the very large originals in person. They were first brought out of obscurity by the Church when prints of Bloch's work were used in the "Improvement Era" in the 1950's. Timed tickets for this exhibit will be available online beginning the end of September. The exhibit runs until May 2011. See more here.

"A Miracle at the Pool of Bethesda" by Bloch (1884) is one of the MOA's signature pieces. It takes an entire wall. It arrived on September 10, 2001 from a port in New York City. This was a bit of a miracle of timing. Any later and it would have been delayed with the events of 9/11. The Bloch exhibit is a special opportunity which has been several years in the making. It has taken much time and effort to secure the agreements which will allow these paintings to make their way to Utah from Denmark.

I also bought "Jesus The Son of Man: The Life of Jesus in the Words of the Gospels and the Paintings of Carl Bloch" for the perusal of my grandchildren.

For two months it will be possible to experience both exhibits at the same time; the small water colors of Tissot and the very large oils of Bloch come together as "Images of Christ."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's a mother to do?

NOTHING! I have no control over this week of weather assaults on my daughter and her family.

There they are like sitting ducks in the middle of the ocean just waiting their turn to be blown and pummeled.

First Earl came knocking followed by Fiona whose personality wasn't all that strong, thank goodness! Now they await Gaston (I only wish this was an animated movie.) Danielle at least had the decency to follow her own northerly path.

I guess I'll put this little on site cutie in charge! It looks like he is ready to fight back!

Go get them little hurricane storm trooper!