Monday, May 31, 2010

Love me a HOLIDAY

We started the morning with a 2 hour bike ride up the canyon and back while the boys golfed. My usual morning Hot Tub soak. Headed to the Cemetery. Then to lunch at California Pizza Kitchen where I had my most favorite avocado egg rolls and Thai Crunch Salad(food can really make or break a day for me!), followed by the Movie ROBIN HOOD ( I really liked it even with all the violence?) then off to find Sam a new 1st base glove and success. Topped off by All You CAN EAT wings at Winger's for the boys....I feel rich today. So satisfied. So content. The beauty of the canyon with my Ipod singing to me, the smell of the air, the breeze, even the snow on the mountains. Everything just seemed SO BEAUTIFUL and SO RIGHT in my world. So right inside of me.

Memorial Day

It was a nice day...the sun was shinning and it was almost 70 degrees FINALLY. I felt like we were the LAST to get to the cemetery...every grave seemed to be covered except for you can see the grass is still funny from GrandDad's burial. His death date has already been engraved and it looks nice. I don't find comfort at the cemetery. I never have. When I was perplexed about which flowers to get it was like Mom was standing there saying I DO NOT WANT ANY FLOWERS....and then I remembered GrandDad always asking me to take something NICE to Grandmom's grave... another year, another picture, and just us to take flowers. Just because everyone else lives so far away and can't bring flowers doesn't mean they loved them any less. I looked out across just our not too large section of the cemetery and quickly calculated the number of scholarships to school just that section could provide if that flower money had been donated to scholarships. I wish to heck I could figure out a way to honor our dead that blessed the living...for those of you thinking I am calloused and unthoughtful...maybe I am. But I feel pretty sure all those that have passed on appreciate being thought of, but really don't care about having flowers brought. Take note: NO FLOWERS for Natalie when she goes--I MEAN IT!!! You take your flower money and give it to a scholarship fund, cancer research, a family in need...take your OWN family out for dinner in celebration of a life so grateful to have been able to have lived when YOU were on the planet with her.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day XXOOXX Love you GrandDad!!!

This is my Grandad and Grandma on their wedding day. Don't they just OOZE love??!

This is a post Sheri (my little Sister) made when GrandDad died, and I love it. And emotionally it is easier to just post this, than try to do justice with my own post. Today we are off to the cemetery to put flowers on the graves....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My SWEET Grandad, William Archibald Steadwell, died today May 12, 2010

I'm just betting there was a sweet reunion for him with my Mom (his daughter) and his wife, my Grandma today. It makes me smile just thinking about it. He was born on March 20, 1920. He served in WWII. And he taught this girl (Sheri) that men DO cry, and its ok. He called it "water on the brain." :) And he didn't go by William or Archibald. Everyone called him Bill.

He and my Grandma would come from Canada to Florida and park their RV in our yard for 6 months out of the year when I was growing up, and oh how I loved that! You could count on getting some kind of treat anytime you went and knocked on their trailer door for a visit. And we watched a lot of Wheel of Fortune together.

When I would get home from school Grandad would say, "Well Hello there Miss Sheri! How was school t'day a?" "Did ja kiss any of those ugly old fellas?" And it always made me blush and grin from ear to ear. Then he'd get to laughing so hard, and tell me he just had to tease me.

When I got a little older he would offer me a beer everytime I went to visit him in the RV. He got a kick outta me saying "No Grandad!" "You know I don't drink beer!" And he told me that if I ever got the itch to try smoking that I'd better let him teach me and no one else. I never got the itch to smoke, and somehow I know he was glad about that.

My Grandad never liked to sit for very long. He liked to stay busy. And if he did sit, he would always fall asleep. Unless, he was talking politics or religion! And he could chop wood like nobody's business, right up until he died.

When I got married he would tease me all the time about having to name one of my kids "Archibald", after him. And when I was pregnant he would always ask me, "So how's that little Archie doing a?" Then he'd laugh. But I showed him, and I DID name one of my children after him, but I chose William, instead of Archibald.

In my mind, my Grandad was nothing but love and kindness. And I cant wait to talk politics and religion with him again on the flip side! :)

I love you Grandad! And I hope by now you have realized that the "other side" isn't so bad after all a? :)

Love your #3 Grandbaby,

Josh's response to Don's request for advice to preparing missionaries

to be honest, my only advice would be to learn how to cook and learn to work hard. the rest of it i dont think can come without practical experience. and while its not something the can really work on i would let them know that it will be THE HARDEST THING THEY HAVE EVER DONE!!! EVER!!!!!!!!! but that it is also worth it. i just heard all of the stories of how great a mission is before i came out and not nearly enough about how hard it was. at home you hear what i call the "miracle stories" but not really the "this sucks" stories. i'm not trying to discourage anybody, i just think it would be better if they expected the hard times to be there because then they can at least think "well they said it would be this way" instead of "i swear my mission is 12354845798 times harder than anybody elses and i just want to go home."
but i am grateful for the way that my testimony has grown over the time that i have been here. there is one of the couples that likes to say "you all come with your mothers testimony, but you leave with your own." and in the mtc the area authority told us "the testimonies you have now just simply arent enough." i'm not going to say that i didnt have my own testimony when i came, however the second statement may be more acurate. the words may be the same, but the feeling now is entirely different as i say that i know the church of jesus christ of laterday saints is true, i know the book of mormon is the word of God, and i know that joseph smith is a prophet. i love my time here for the testimony it has given me of these things, and i say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

here it is dad, have a great day. i would advise the stake presidency to slow down on all of the firesides and things if they havent from the time i left anyways because it really was overloaded and it felt like i have heard from many missionaries that they felt like they were being force fed the gospel due to the peer pressure of being at all those things and their parents expectations of them being there, but mostly they mentions how it was just too frequent and they just wanted a brake sometimes. they say things like "i dont have any problem with going to church on sunday but when you also have mutual on wednesday and then a fireside on top of that i dont have time for anything else." i just think you would all be shocked at the negetive effects it has on somebodies mission when they feel the church has given them too much to do and to be at prior to their missions. most of them end up feeling that their mission is just one more way to get the gospel down their throats. and that is not how we want missionaries to feel because then they dont work as hard. and funily enough, its normally the kids that were "rebelious" and skipped those kinds of things that are the very obedient and powerful missionaries. i am not saying they arent good every now and then, but they were far too often back when i was home.

and mom, i am sending this to you too incase you want it for something but dad asked me to write it for some young mens thing

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Letter from Josh on his NEW PDAY 29 May 2010

dear family,

the kilungu hills were fun. its the type of place that people might actually think of when they first think of Kenya, and also the type of place that Mom is glad i am not living in. It is super beautiful though. they call them hills but its really more of mountains and they are green everywhere with sugar cane and banana trees and that kind of stuff everywhere. it amazes me how many people live there. every hill is covered with houses and terraced gardens and then at the top is some sort of "town" but would be more appropriately called a market. i took a bunch of pictures and will send them soon, the card i am using is almost full.
we are super busy here though. today is suppose to be our p-day but we spent the whole morning in Kilungu getting them running water, which we are not even sure if it will work. but they have plenty of water to hold them through monday when we go back. and as soon as we finish here we have to go buy the stuff they they still need so that we can leave early enough on monday morning. tomorow is our only really free day but we still have to plan the trainings for the zone conferences and i have to learn to drive a stick and there are a few things that we need to run to dome of the missionaries here in Nairobi. then monday back to Kilungu and tuesday is zone conference for upper-hill zone then wednesday they will orient me on the office work then thursday we go to eldoret, a city in western kenya. friday is the zone conference for eldoret and saturday and sunday we do exchanges with them. i dont think i will be able to write next saturday because of that but i will try to on that next monday. i dont know what the plan is for then if there is one yet so we will see.
there are some nice perks to being in here, for example we have a washing machine. i think i am in love with it. and we also get fed every now and then when there is some sort of training in the office and they order lunch for everyone. so this week i ate pretty good. we had dinner at presidents with the new missionaries and wednesday night and then thursday they ordered pizza after the orientation of the new missionaries. and sister Nevin, who works in the office, brought in chocolate chip cookies that were probably the best i have ever had, but that opinion could be biased based on the fact that they are the only ones i have had in the last year and a half.
its wierd for me that spencer is graduated, i swear he is still the sixteen year old that i left. he looks a lot like Preston to me now though. sorry about the guy coming in to the house. just remember that those guys dont want trouble, and that means they dont want to hurt you, they have a flight not fight attitude. because if they fight they are much more likely to be caught and then there are much more serious penalties. and i dont think he will come back after being seen.
anyways, i love you!!!! i hope you have a great week. and i believe this is the week greg gets home, its either this one or next anyways, but give him a big hug from me and this e-mail address so that i can start communicating to him that way.

Elder Harris

Josh and Michael

Just in case you DO get to see your e-mail today Josh, I wanted to get the week mostly posted. It will be weird to have your PDAY's on Saturday's now. Michael is on a 5 day tour and is not reachable by phone. I love you BOTH!!! We missed you like crazy at Graduation. Life is still at what feels like break neck speed around here. They didn't dig the pool yesterday because Lindon City still hasn't issued the permit. I was a little relieved with all that has been going on...I want all the BIG BOYS to be rested and "helping" as they tear into the sprinkler system, etc. Crossing my fingers for early this next week. Gary Hoglund will be our LUCKY is that??? Gary will make SURE everything is done PERFECTLY. I am such a blessed woman!!!
Sunday we'll head out to the cemetery to put the flowers on the graves for Memorial Day. I love that Memorial Day has come so close to GrandDad's leaving. My mind can hardly process everything that has happened this month. Seems like life is on fast forward. I am grateful school is out so hopefully now I can get into a routine. As much as I tire of routine, my spirit actually LIKES them I've decided.
Sam will start summer ball next week. Spencer is praying the weather will work itself into some kind of SPRING if not summer so he can golf. Megs is same ole, same ole...same as Dad.
I love you both SO MUCH!!!!! I am eager to hear of your adventures and new loves. Happy WEEK!!!

WHAT THE ?????

Yesterday morning started out gorgeous and sunny. I thought it would be a hot day so I opened the windows all the way to let the morning cool in. As I was leaving the house for work about 9 am I wondered if I should close the windows but thought of all the BIG BOYS sleeping off the Senior all nighter at my house and decided to just leave them....
Eventually the boys awoke and left and at about 2 o'clock, Spencer was home alone sitting on the love seat in the family room...from where he can see into Sam's room...a window I had left open...and in comes some man in a beanie hat with a grey hoodie and jeans (he stepped up on the air conditioning unit outside Sam's window to help himself in).--- was shocked to see Spencer!! He immediately slammed Sam's door shut. Spencer promises he will never do this again, but he ran after him into Sam's room only to see him running up the garden path. By the time Spencer shut and locked the window and ran out front he was no where to be seen. He called the police, they came, checked it out, they said they would ask the neighbors...they didn't. I'm still confused about that...but maybe they didn't want panic to set in....we have TONS of little kids on our street. I guess they are putting an extra patrol car watch on our street. Can you believe that? It makes me feel just YUCK inside. Scares me to death when I think of all the times I have been here alone with the windows open. NO MORE. Suddenly that security system moved up on the list. If the guy only knew that if he really needed something, I would have just GIVEN IT TO HIM...I feel so yucky that I am awake at 3:25am blogging and wondering if I'm brave enough to run the canyon, even with Marci, in a couple of hours. Darn guy. I am so relieved Spencer was safe. Becky next door showed me her Tazer...that also just made the list of "gonna get me one"!!!!

Spencer , the "BRETHREN" and the "SISTEREN"Graduate

It's hard for me to feel happy on this marker day in their lives because it really on means one thing...they are leaving soon. ARGH!!!! Megan made Spencer the money lai...I thought it was SO CUTE...and Spencer loved the money! GrandDad B met us for a celebratory dinner at Carrabas. Our family (except Dad, he had church interviews) went straight to the movies afterwards and then later that night all the graduates went off to their all night party at the High School. Sweet day, but sad for Mom.

Happy Happy DAY!!!

Part of Megan's responcibilities at the High School just happen to be over the GREEN HOUSE and teaching the kids about starting things from seed....these are some of the flats that didn't sell and would have been thrown away!!!! Sometimes I just MARVEL at the sweet things that come my way!!! My yard it going to be"swimming" in color this summer! THANK YOU MEGAN!!! Thank you LPHS Ag kids!!!!


McCay came by for a Sunday visit and made good use of my kitchen sink water:)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Message from Josh 27 May 2010


so i dont know exactly what day i will be e-mailing anymore. our schedule is a bit different and especially now with transfers. we are opening up a new area in a place called the kilungu hills. its way out in the bush and we are going to move the elders out there today and try to get them running water somehow because they dont have it yet. normally p-days will be saturdays for us but i think we will be staying the night in kilungu to help out more tomorow with getting everything they need set up. i will fill you in more later but i love you and hope you are all doing well.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Letter from Josh 24 May 2010

hey family!!!

this week was good, but in some ways sad. i will explain the sad later and mom dont freak out its not anything bad really. but moses was baptized and confirmed and i was stoked for that. he is such a good kid and already has so many friends in the church aswell. any week with a baptism is a good week. it was also good because we got some awesome referals from some of the members in an area called pipeline. we had been prarying for investigators in that area because our days were basically filled with contacting anytime we went. we expected to find the investigators by contacting; but God did us one better, he gave us referals through the members and the people are golden. the sad part of the week wasnt actually part of the week. i actually found out just now. i got a call from president taylor and he wants me to be an assistant. Which was definitely not expected. this is the first time since i have been out that both the assistants were white ( i will be with Elder Thornton) and it is also the first time that both assistants came at the same time. in some ways i feel excited, but in general assistants are there for 4 transfers. i only have four transfers left. which means that this week was my last week in the field. the assistants here double as the office elders and cover those responsibility's as well so they dont get to really proselyte. from what i hear its basically only if the assistants get referals that they get to go teach, and even then its not as regular as other investigators might be because of the busy schedule. so i am sad about that. but other than that it was a good week.
Gregs tornado alarm thing was kinda funny. i'm sure the new kid was scared, but i am sure i would have done the same thing as greg.
i cant believe graduation is this week. thats just crazy. but spencer have fun these last few days and throughout the summer. meg, looks like your life is still crazy. idaho, and tiffs party on the "fun" bus. sam, congrats on the 3rd place in baseball. mom, i am so happy for you to have the pool. but dont try to heat it until i get home, i will be plenty happy with the hot tub till summer rolls around again. you have to remember, my pool love is big, but its nothing in comparison with yours. Dad, congrats on the promotion or added responsibilities or whatever. mike, i am glad you like alaska, but i would like to hear from you, so write me.
i love you all, have a great week!!!!!!!!
Elder Harris

My poor flowers and tomatoes....and me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Josh and Michael...XXOOXX

Hey Guys!!! We LOVE YOU!!! Spencer has had his last day of High School and now only has year book parties and Senior Lagoon Day Parties and Graduation on Thursday and his all night Party. They started with a PRE PARTY tonight...first a fire until it rained and now I don't know what they are doing.
Sam is sad they lost in the semi finals, mostly to have the Seniors be leaving. They get so close on the team. But already, even with summer baseball starting in 2 weeks, he is on to GOLF with Spencer. We are all so ready for summer. Now if we could just get some warm weather!!!
Megan went to Boise to meet some internet guy this weekend . She stayed with Stacey. She said he was SO NICE, but no love connection.
Dad is getting new responsibilities with his job tomorrow...they announce it tomorrow...he will be over all the South American countries now. Yes, he is elated. Now he is ensured many more trips to his beloved countries and friends.
For the BIG NEWS of the week/year/MY LIFE!!!!!!!! My dream is coming true. The pool will begin construction as soon as Lindon City gives us the permit. We should be swimming by August 1st (before that actually, but I'm not sure what will happen if this rain doesn't stop). Kimmie Cooper, draftswoman extraordinaire is drawing up the gazebo plans, and I am thinking if Greg is interested I am going to try to hire him to help with sprinklers, taking trees down, rocking the hill steps...all with Spencer and Sam's help of you guys aren't sad to miss that!!!! I will post pics as it moves along. Depending on how much it costs to heat it through October, I will try to keep it open for at least ONE swim for when you get home Josh!!!! I am as excited as when I found out that I was pregnant with each of you. I have that same funny feeling wondering if this could be true and will it all turn out alright (although a pool doesn't come with ten fingers and ten toes as a safety check!!!) I can FEEL myself immersed and looking out of the water now!!! There will be a built up beach play area for those Grandbabies to splash around as well as a slide for them to squeal down and me to catch!!!...and a swim lane for me!!! And a diving board and basketball hoop for YOU!!!! This world is a WONDERFUL place. I really am glad I came. ESPECIALLY that you came with me!!! I cannot wait for us all to be home together again.
With that, I am heading to bed to dream of us and pool playing,, to complete the dream ...I had to google soft serve ice cream machines, right??? And good on Dad, when he happened upon the page left open on my computer screen this morning, instead of having a fit, he just "chuckled". You never know what will turn up...but I know one thing, Dreams can't come true if you don't have ANY!!! Dream boys, DREAM!!!!
You are my love and my light, I MISS YOU BOTH!!! Josh...Michael is LOVING Alaska just in case you still haven't heard from him.

Sam Goes to the State Championship Play Offs

These pics are SO out of order. But knowing how I LOVE a BALL GAME..especially if MY boy is was sweet balm for my sad heart after the week preceeding. This HIGH SCHOOL field in Kearns melted me to the even had the OLD TIME score board where the boys sit up there and place the numbers. I guess a really rich baseball lover died and left the school the funds to build this COVERED stadium and left funds of 30k a year to maintain the fields etc...The huge flag flying, the singing at the stretch...watching the boys play...I am happy deep inside. The High School did the coolest pep rally as the boys left to go...they had the band circle the school on the inside playing this rocking music with the whole baseball team following them, and as they passed the classrooms the students would come out and join in the long "line" until they all reached the commons area where the boys were ushered up front and the coach gave a RAH RAH speech, the boys threw out candy and then loaded the buses we decorated with the students cheering--SO COOL...check out my "WOLF" ---nobody told me I had to be an artist to be a baseball mom. Check out some of my baseball MOM friends who GIVE GIVE GIVE to help the team. I love em!


Being loved is such a BLESSING!!!! Jamie stopped by with these. True comfort to a southern girl, maybe only understood by another southern girl. :) LOTS of people called, I got several sweet cards. THANK YOU ALL for thinking of me/us. Really, THANK YOU. I need to invent a word that means Thank you but goes as deep as you can feel. I feel wrapped up in a blanket of caring, I intend to stay wrapped for a while.

Springville Evergreen Cemetery

GrandDad always loved a big breakfast...Dad took us all to IHOP for breakfast afterwards...very fitting. The good thing about seeing them dead is it leaves no question that they are gone, and for that reason alone makes it bearable to put them in the ground, and just walk away. I forgot the flowers. I haven't had the heart to take them back out there. We've had lots of rain. I'm grateful Memorial Day is next weekend...maybe someone will go with me. His death date has already been added to the stone. Dad checked. Thanks Dad.


Here she is in the purple pants suit GrandDad bought for her. OLIVE FERGUSEN. Woman that I love. Her parents named her well. I think of Noah's dove bringing back the Olive branch, the hope it brought to a whole family and generations that would follow----and there is no better analogy for her in my life. She has brought me absolute PEACE. She has taught me a new form of CHOSEN happiness that I had not witnessed in my life to date. She is always laughing and making the best of things. I've only read about Mother Theresa and St. Francis and Ghandi and lots of other noble souls who have changed the world, and been truly inspired...but I didn't know them personally. Olive CHANGED MY WORLD --PERSONALLY!!!! Olive tended to GrandDad when I couldn't do it . She is the embodiment of patience. Because of Olive GrandDad was able to live out his life just the way he his farm, with his car, going out to eat most days...with his woman. Now granted, he begged her to marry him. I BEGGED HER TO MARRY HIM...but she is a woman of independent thinking. She has already buried one husband and did not want to do that a second time. Bless her heart, burying is burying whether husband or no. I am sad to leave her there. I will go back to visit her in a few weeks. God gave her to me and I'm NOT giving her back. She's mine. I wish there was some kind of official ceremony to adopt an adult child into a family. I would adopt me hers. Thank heavens I don't need a ceremony or anything official. World, I scream my LOVE for OLIVE FERGUSEN!!!!!XXXOOOXXXOOOXXX

The Brussels Legion

GrandDad was adamant that there was to be NO we didn't have any...kind of....
The Brussels Legion has been GrandDad's life pretty much over the last 12 years. This is were he goes for his Sunday night dances, where he eats his Fish Fry, where he has his fund raisers, where he went pretty often for a "Jolly" at the end of a day...where he went for company. Olive requested that we just let the Legion have a "bit of time" to pay their respects. So we announced on the radio at noon on Thursday that we would be having a remembrance for him at 6, and over 50 people showed up. My heart was SO FULL. And if we had had another day I am sure there would have been more. I love these people. I wasn't sure what was respectful and what wasn't, so I didn't get any pictures like I wanted. Legion members came in dressed to the hilt in their uniforms and stood in two rows side by side while the female Reverend read a sweet message about service and sacrifice. They played the hymn Amazing Grace, and ended with God Save the Queen (which with GrandDad's lack of love for her made me smile through my tears). Then each member came forward and took their poppy off their uniform and laid it on the table as they took a few seconds for a silent remembrance. So many rituals of love to love. That they would take the time so unexpectedly from their busy lives and come to honor him. I will never forget it. I took some of the poppies and brought them home so we could use them here when we buried him. I have always loved poppies, I am going to plant some red ones now. I wish I was allowed to plant some on his grave.
Afterwards we had Subway sandwhiches and an open bar for everyone who came. New territory for this Mormon girl, but it felt so right that there was no room for the uncomfortable.
I am sad that I didn't get more pictures. So many people to greet and thank. Upstairs they were practicing the Scottish soul rejoiced...TELL ME THAT WAS JUST A COINCIDENCE!!!!!!