Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Made it home

9 1/2 hour drive home. 1 30 minute stop in Mesquite at McDonalds, 1 other potty-break stop. Thanks to dad's DVD player and my fixed power outlet it wasn't that bad of a drive. It is a GOOD THING we took your dvd player those since mine is apparently non-functional now.

Lydia who had abandoned all potty training in Utah came home and immediately went in the potty. Then she did it twice more independently before bedtime and went and told steve when she was done. Apparently, Utah potties are not good enough for Lydia's tinkles.

I got home in just enough time to change my clothes and go to work. Good thing my job is more of a break than work. But I just keep thinking of the thousands of things I need to do at home right now....

My Angel Mother is gone :(

This is something that is hard to blog about. And it is harder today than it was yesterday. Mom passed on to one heck of a celebration in Heaven (I am sure) 2 1/2 days ago. But I have had my kids and grand kids and sweet husband to distract me from the pain of mom's departure. This is the first time I have really been alone since she died.

Katie and Erica...and all of my kids in love...I wish you could have known my real mother. She was an amazing woman. She spent her lifetime loving, teaching serving all those around her. She was fun, and somehow managed to "be there" for those she loved in her life even while being a full time school teacher, Relief Society President, and taking care of her own mother in her old age. Mom was always a rock, and anchor in the storm that I knew I could depend on. And even though in reality she hasn't been taking care of me for a very long time...in fact that role was reversed in the end...she has always been a source of comfort to me: Even just knowing she was around to talk to was comforting. But she did get me through several big crisis's in my life. Her love was unconditional and very precious to me.

Well, no, they didn't just decide to put the funeral on this blog actually. It just turned out that way. I am so grateful I have a wonderful family to distract me from the ripped out section of my heart while it tries to heal. Thanks everyone. I sure love you all!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Holiday, Oral Haslem 2010

Thanksgiving took a far 2nd place to the passing away of my dear mother in law, Oral Haslem.  What a great woman.  Cambrie left California and was able to visit her grandma before she died.  Of course the frail, old and failing body was not what Grandma was for most of her life.  She was a wonderful mother who raised some great kids, including my wife.  When I was trying to court Marilyn, her mother was on my side even before Marilyn was!  She made anyone feel welcome in her home.  I told Marilyn a couple of years ago that going to the mountain was more fun when her parents were there.  Grandpa was always off doodling with something but Grandma would make the mountain fun.  A few weeks back when she was mostly mentally gone and sleeping through most visits, I asked her when we were going to go to the mountain again and she opened her eyes and started talking to me about the mountain.  She loved it.  I can't count the number of water fights I've been in with that woman and she was a fierce water fighter!  She usually was the first one to let the grandkids get her all wet. However, she gave as well as received.  She had the entire family over for dinner EVERY Sunday.  That was until we were too big of a family to fit around her kitchen table and card table at the end.  She was a classy woman and I never had the traditional "mother in law" relationship with her.  She would hug me and tell me how handsome I was (the big liar) and always told me how lucky they were to have me in their family.  I loved that woman.  She was smart too.  A school teacher for many years she had a sharp and witty mind.  It was hard the last couple of years to see her go downhill with the Alzheimers.   We are born, we live, and we die.  There's no part of that cycle that we can skip. Dying is something that is hard to watch a loved one go through.   Grandma had kids that loved her and took care of her through the most difficult part of the cycle.  Though we lost the real grandma a while back to her failing mind, seeing her body follow was hard, none the less. She lives on though in her values and teachings and her DNA in my sweetheart Marilyn who has cried a lot over these past several days.  May we all live to make Grandma proud.

Thanksgiving was a good time to have the kids and grandkids that were available to share time with.  We missed Buff, Steve, and Brigham & Nelsons but Cambrie & girls showed up the next day.  All 6 grandkids were running all over the house playing together which was enjoyable.  Brigham also was able to come yesterday to be with Marilyn and were a great comfort to her the day after her mother passed away.  Marilyn and I have an amazing, wonderful, and enjoyable family that never hesitates to show love and compassion.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. From the sounds of it, my mom likely only has a few days to live.
Katheryn called from the care center. Mom's breathing is really irratic, shallow and with long gaps between. She is sore all over now, and not just her legs. They have to give her liquid morphine ( in addition to the longer lasting morphine she is now on 24/7) before they try to change the depends, because the liquid morphine gives quick short term relief of pain. But even on both, she cries out in agony to be moved at all.
David was with Kathy. He was with his mom when she died a few years ago. He said that what mom is doing tonight is what his mom did, 2-3 days before she died. And I remember, that the day that we had Jack moved to Saundra's (because I was joining Kim on a Sysop trip) he was also in great pain to be moved at all. That was the day before he died.

I will go and probably stay the whole day with mom tomorrow. I am sure that mom won't be aware that I am even there...she couldn't say really anything yesterday...And Katheryn says that she didn't acknowledge at all that she was even aware that they were there tonight. Yesterday, she could still drink from a cup. Today she can't. She is having trouble breathing and swallowing at times and Katheryn says that she heard a bit of the death rattle. I am losing her soon, until I join her...so I would like to be with her while I can.

It is such an emotional tug of war in me. I hate to see her suffer, and she is suffering. She hasn't had quality of life for many years. I know she needs to go, and have praying for her release from her miserable existance since August. But while I know it needs to happen, my heart is still breaking because I am losing my mom! This is going to be HARD!

Anyway, I thought you should know. If you want to go say your goodbyes you can. She will probably not be able to acknowledge that you are even there. But it might help you to let go of her, and not have regrets later about not having done it.

Brigham, the Nelson tribe and BJ, we missed ya today. Brigham I hope you get better soon! Love you all. MUCH! And I am surely grateful for Kim who can hold me and kiss me while I cry.

Nelson thanksgiving

Hopefully I'll be able to post pictures soon; but no promises. 
Nelsons had a good Thanksgiving with steve's parents and 1 younger brother (Kyle).  We had dinner about noon.  Kiera had a few bites of beets and that was all because, just like last year, she filled up on junk food before the meal (last year she didn't even eat 1 bite of dinner).  Lydia did better though. 
Bev cooked all of the food 100% by herself other than the pumpkin pie that I made.  Too much work I'd say!  Although we had rolls, they were not orange rolls.   But I made some a few weeks ago so it wasn't TOO sad. 
After thanksgiving dinner we had a turkey piniata (nothing at all like katie-quality piniatas).  The girls hit it a few times before I gave the bat to Kyle who graciously busted it open.  The girls enjoyed it, but I think they'll like it more next year.  Personally,  I like the tradition more for thanksgiving since Christmas  has enough traditions already and it is fun to slay our own turkey on thanksgiving day. 
After that we went to a movie (a tradition of Steve's parents).  We saw Tangled.  It was Kiera and Lydia's second experience in a movie theater.  Both were missing naps and were very obviously falling asleep during the movie and getting whiney and fussy.  But we loaded them up on pinata candy (recycled halloween candy) and they survived.    After that it was time for dinner.  Yep, you guessed it-- Kiera wouldn't eat because she had filled up with candy.   6:00 both ladies were asleep on their grandma's floor.  Thanksgiving done!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Planning an overseas trip?

Google can help!  http://bit.ly/gwoXCl  Check out step 27 (and 38)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Storm's a comin'

I dunno if you folks in Utah have been listening to the weather reports but they say one of the biggest storms in years is supposed to move in with blizard conditions Tuesday afternoon about 5 to 6pm and stay through Wednesday about noon:  http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=88   They were saying that people shouldn't be out driving during that time at all.  Not only shouldn't people be traveling on the freeway for Thanksgiving, but not even in their towns.  Temperatures are going to be so cold that salt on the roads won't help.   I love my kids.  I don't want to see your heads smashed.  Don't travel during that time, OK?  Should be fine on Thanksgiving day.

On another note, you may have heard that Attachmate bought Novell today.  Not a whole lot of news there..they say they will run Novell as a separate business unit and that employees *generally* won't have to move to a new location.  There will be some layoffs but mainly in redundant positions (I'm glad I don't work in the HR dept.).  Everything has to be approved by the SEC and that pro'ly won't happen until Feb/March so it's business as usual until then.  When I know anything more you'll know something more.   On another note...it's almost TURKEY DAY!!!!!

Happy Birthday to Kiera!!!

Kiera is FOUR!! Happy Birthday to our sweet little Kiera! We sure with we could be with you today...but I suspect that you will be at Disneyland having a good time with mommy and daddy, after school for dad. I sent you a birthday card last week. I hope it gets to you by today. And I hope you enjoy your present! We sure love our adorable little princess, Kiera!

Friday, November 19, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

I have heard quite a bit of talk about this movie being too dark and that there was a nude scene.  Bunk.  I thought this was one of the better Harry Potter movies.  It was intense...the little kid version of HP definitely wasn't there any more.  This was for an adult mind.  It wasn't anywhere close to being as dark as "The Dark Knight"   It showed the battle between good and evil just like the book but you always knew that good was the right side. I asked Marilyn if she liked it.  She said it wasn't nearly as bad as she had been told. She actually liked it.  The "nude scene" was the horicrux trying to convince Ron that Harry and Hermoine were bad.  It showed a fake Harry and Hermoine from shoulders up (bare shoulders) hugging and telling Ron they didn't want him around.  Ron smashed it with his sword.  A nude scene?  Hardly.  You see much worse on TV underware commercials.   It was a good flick.   Can't wait to see part II next year when I know that good triumps!  By the way, can you find Hermoine in this picture?  She's in there!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Be afraid

Be afraid....be VERY affraid.  I'm just sayin.  The 4th is coming right up.....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Party Suggestion

Would it work better for people to have the party on Saturday the 4th? Brett and Brigham both work the night before, so we couldn't start the party until about 4ish (or would it need to be later, Brett?). Better or worse? Also-- would Emmy be having a birthday party that day?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wahoo! It is coming!

Hey, fam...it is time to reserve a spot on your calendar for the annual Groneman Family Christmas party!!!
Of course, the biggest hurdle to cross in this effort to schedule is to get days off to line up together...no small feat in a family of medical people with non traditional hours of occupation. I have talked to Christa, and we looked at Brett's calendar, and right now, we need to say that it is Friday, Dec 10, just as soon as others can get here after work/school. Brigham as every weekday off that week. Christa suggested perhaps he could trade one of those days to get Saturday off instead (if anyone will cooperate), in which case we could do it Saturday and have more fun (nobody will have to rush home at 6 pm to get little ones down). So kinda hold that day open too until we know for sure.
I thought that the foods you call brought for the Halloween party were spectacular! I don't know that we will ever top that...but if everyone brings something, it will be fun and tasty. I think that each family can again, be in charge of some game, or nativity or something. I am open to suggestions.
- Where we only have 4 grandchildren that will be at the party, and 3 of them are in one family, I don't know what you will want to do with little kids exchanging gifts. Christa, any thoughts since you are the one with the 3 kids?
-What about the pinata? Kinda tradition...but Benjamin didn't enjoy it when he was 2 or 3 at all. Shall we try something else? I am REALLY open to suggestions. ..
-do we want to carry on in the tradition of white elephants gift exchange? It is only fun when people put some thought into what would be a fun white elephant (and I confess, I am not very good at that).
-Would someone else like to be in charge of providing the money trees this year? :)
I would like to hear what has worked really well in the in-law sides of our family's parties. So, there....we await your very valuable feedback!
-We will provide the Spiral sliced ham for this event...you are welcome to volunteer for what you would like to add to that list...first volunteers for each category gets to bring it...you know, so we don't have all desserts. Etc! We will fill in those category's that don't get taken.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nelson post

For the past 2 weeks or so, every prayer Kiera says includes "and thank you for Buff to come home soon".  I try to tell her that Buff is not coming home for a year but she doesn't get it.  Then on sunday on the way home she was talking about when Buff comes home (a subject initiated by her)  "When buff comes home from Georgia and takes off her missionary clothes then we can have FIVE people in our family again!"  She talked about how Grandma came and took Buff away in the red car.  (Mean old grandma!)  I tried to explain that buff wasn't in the Nelson family.  All of this is difficult for a munchkin to understand. 
Also on the way to church Lydia was talking about Utah and suddenly said "Brett!" (with muscles).  Brett if you were meaning to make an impression or help them remember you, it worked. 

I'm working working working.  This week has been long and frustrating.  Trying to keep up with this crazy schedule of ours when it doesn't feel like it is getting us anywhere at the moment is discouraging. 

Steve is studying for boards that are coming in December (23rd)  He was going to take them at the end of december but convinced him to do it before his birthday so we could at least have a few days to spend together before he is back in school.  So, he is studying like mad every second that he is not in school, lab, or being a full-time daddy in the evenings (since I'm working full-time).  He is super-man.    Oh, he does take a break once a week for intramural football.  My in-laws watch the girls at the sidelines.  Apparently they love footfall.  I come home from work after the games and Lydia is sleeping with Steve's football.  Brainwashing

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A day of traveling

Started in Utah waking up at 4:30 am for a flight that left at 7am. Had to change planes in Detroit.  Once I got on the other plane..they said they were having a little problem and it should be fixed in 15 minutes.  30 minutes later they said they had an oil leak in an engine and were waiting for parts.  90 minutes on the plane and they said the first parts didn't work so they were waiting for more parts.  2 hours on the plane and they said anyone that wanted to get off could to walk around.  15 minutes later they said they didn't expect the plane to be fixed until 7pm so everyone had to get off.  Then they told us to go to another terminal to see if we could get on another flight going to Orlando.  Went clear over to the other terminal to be told they found another plane our flight could use that left at 5pm from the original terminal.  Went back over there and finally got off the ground at about 5:30.  I guess I missed the meeting in Florida that started at 5. Just got settled in my room and it's 9pm. 

BUT!......it wasn't all bad.  First I helped an older black lady get her bags in/out of the bins as she couldn't do it and nobody else was helping her (I came from 6 rows back to help her).  While sitting in the terminal waiting, I sat next to a guy from Italy who lived in France that was going to DisneyWorld for the first time.  All by himself.  His European phone wouldn't work here and he was going to miss his shuttle since our plane was about 4.5 hours late.  I loaned him my phone so he could call and reschedule.  He was grateful.  A little later I sat next to a soldier that was returning from Iraq and his family was waiting for him in Orlando and he didn't have a way to call them to tell them about the delay.  I also loaned him my phone so he could call his family. He was also grateful.  (When we got to Orlando, he was sitting in the back and the entire plane let him get off first so he could meet his family....all the passengers applauded as he walked up the aisle).  Getting off the plane in Orlando, there was a lady a couple of rows up from me with a baby and a 2 year old by herself.  Reminded me of Cambrie.  I helped her carry her bags off the plane.  

A long and frustrating day of travel, but there were enough opportunities for me to feel good that it wasn't all that bad.   Funny how helping someone else you don't know makes you feel good.  Anyway...here I am in Florida.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Orange rolls

I found an easier way of making orange rolls.  You make them exactly like you would regular rolls except add the sugar/orange mixture to the butter before cutting into circles and folding over.  I for one am not a fan of washing all of those muffin tins.  They are prettier in the muffin tins, but they taste great this way too. 

We need your faith and prayers

Hi Family,

So, most of you know that we have put an offer on a new house (still waiting on it to be accepted, but we're confident it will be). All of this opportunity of moving to a new home is contingent on our selling our townhome (or getting renters, which we really prefer not to do since we already have a rental property) in 30 days from when the offer is accepted--so the timer hasn't officially started yet but it will soon.

We have had 2 people walk through our townhouse, and we have received one extremely low offer. We counter offered, and they then counteroffered a tiny bit higher offer from their original offer. Essentially, we are done with these buyers. It makes me extremely nervous to let them go when the market could slow to an even more crawl than what it is when the snow/cold comes. But we are walking by faith.

That's where the prayers come in. We NEED to sell this place, and we need to sell it fast. We don't want to give it away, but we want to be fair. We are going to drop our price a smidge to attract more buyers, hoping that they6 will be reasonable with us. Please pray for us to find an individual, couple, or family who will be fair with us and be able to buy this place quickly. Everything depends on it.

Thank you, fam. We love you!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Movie Review: Stardust

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0486655/    What a cool movie!  I thought it was great.  Your mom liked it too.  It's about old England and a wall in a field that separates this world from another fantasy world.  Three stories mesh.  First, a boy who has one parent from each world goes on a quest to find a fallen star to bring to the girl he wants to marry...only the fallen star turns out to be a girl.....long story.  The other story is about the king of the fantasy world dying and his sons competing to see who will get the throne...they too must find the fallen star.  The third is a bunch of witches that in order to stay young, must ALSO find the fallen star.

It has Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, Clair Danes, and a bunch of other people.  We've got it and it's definitely fun to watch.  The checkout book is next to all the movies in the laundry room.
The perfect dress for church when a high councilman is speaking.  Would probably also work good for things like Opera and Ballet, etc.  Elegant yet functional.

Friday, November 05, 2010

2 things...

First, I got BJ's snail mail today. She gave me her new address which is:
4315 Lexington Road Apt 6-C
Athens Georgia, 30605-2545
So now you can all write her plenty!

So we usually have our Sunday dinner for the fam each month on the Second Sunday. However, I just talked to Christa, and that is her mother in law's birthday and she will be hosting Brigham's family up there on that day. So we are looking for another day. Yes, I realize that it is Thanksgiving in a few weeks, but I am thinking it would be fun to get together before that. Brett and Brigham can you compare notes and see if there is a day somewhere that you both have off . Chad starts his new job on Monday, but I think it is just a standard 8-5 job with weekends off right Chad? Saturdays work too you know. I suggested this Sunday, but today both Ty and Jacob are sick with fevers...hopefully be gone by Sunday, but one never knows. IF they are better by Sunday, does that work for the rest of ya?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

I'm so excited about the holiday season!  I'm ready to sloberate through New Years!  I hope it snows all winter.  And who is it that wants to eat turkey instead of ham?!?  Huh?!?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

So, da plan!

The Thanksgiving feast this year will be at 3:30-4ish. Sounds like that works for everyone. And that, in and of itself, is something to be thankful for!
And before I forget to ask: Did everyone (but Dastrups, evidently) vote to have ham this year? Christa and I think it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the Turkey. We CAN to both, so don't panic people. But I would like to know what your preference would be.

Kim and I will provide Turkey, Ham, gravy, Pies (and I wouldn't cry buckets if someone wants to take over pies-I hate making crusts, but it would have to be our traditional recipes or Kim will likely boycott the whole thing!)
Christa -Sweet Potatoes and Stuffing
Chad and Erica-Mashed Potatoes and Fruit something or other
Brett and Katie-ROLLS! Maybe a few Orange rolls even? :) and Veggie Tray
If you choose to take over pies, I will provide the pie apples (bottled) and take over one of your assigned dishes.
If anyone has a traditional thing on their side of the family, feel free to bring it! And an appetite! Just remember, calories don't count on Thanksgiving day.

Voting advice from Dad

With regards to constitutional changes, initiatives, etc. my advice would be to never vote FOR something that changes the status quo unless you really understand the issue.  Too many times changes have been voted for that end up having unintended consequences.  Don't vote for changing something just because someone else is, or you have heard one compelling side of the story.  The voter information pamphlet that comes out in this state is a good starting point to understand all sides of the issues.   If you don't feel you understand it, I would suggest voting against it.  If you understand it and want the change, vote for it.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Anybody want to buy a house?

Here's one I think you'd like:  http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/4575216


http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=13103515       Ewww!

Dastrup Halloween Pictures

Can be seen HERE.  Looks like all three boys were into the Halloween spirit.  Jacob looks like he's enjoying it as much as Ty.