Saturday, February 14, 2009

"The Meanest Mother In the Whole World"

Yesterday one of my daughters received a title that I once held. I think most mothers get it during their days of raising their children. Cyndi probably gets the title as well with her preschool children. My Mom before me, also received that title... from me! It was the title of "The Meanest Mother in the Whole World."

That was a title I held with honor,especially after I read the following story written in 1967, and quoted in many talks:

"The Meanest Mother In The World"
Written by
Bobbie Pingaro ©1967

"I had the meanest mother in the whole world. While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you can guess, my supper was different than the other kids' also.

"But at least, I wasn't alone in my sufferings. My sister and two brothers had the same mean mother as I did.

"My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were on a chain gang. She had to know who our friends were and where we were going. She insisted if we said we'd be gone an hour, that we be gone one hour or less--not one hour and one minute. I am nearly ashamed to admit it, but she actually struck us. Not once, but each time we had a mind of our own and did as we pleased. That poor belt was used more on our seats than it was to hold up Daddy's pants. Can you imagine someone actually hitting a child just because he disobeyed? Now you can begin to see how mean she really was.

"We had to wear clean clothes and take a bath. The other kids always wore their clothes for days. We reached the height of insults because she made our clothes herself, just to save money. Why, oh why, did we have to have a mother who made us feel different from our friends?

"The worst is yet to come. We had to be in bed by nine each night and up at eight the next morning. We couldn't sleep till noon like our friends. So while they slept-my mother actually had the nerve to break the child-labor law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us.

"She always insisted upon us telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed us- and it nearly did.

"By the time we were teen-agers, she was much wiser, and our life became even more unbearable. None of this tooting the horn of a car for us to come running. She embarrassed us to no end by making our dates and friends come to the door to get us. If I spent the night with a girlfriend, can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really there. I never had the chance to elope to Mexico. That is if I'd had a boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old fashioned mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 and 16. Fifteen, that is, if you dated only to go to a school function. And that was maybe twice a year.

"Through the years, things didn't improve a bit. We could not lie in bed, "sick" like our friends did, and miss school. If our friends had a toe ache, a hang nail or serious ailment, they could stay home from school. Our marks in school had to be up to par. Our friends' report cards had beautiful colors on them, black for passing, red for failing. My mother being as different as she was, would settle for nothing less than ugly black marks.

"As the years rolled by, first one and then the other of us was put to shame. We were graduated from high school. With our mother behind us, talking, hitting and demanding respect, none of us was allowed the pleasure of being a drop-out.

"My mother was a complete failure as a mother. Out of four children, a couple of us attained some higher education. None of us have ever been arrested. Each of my brothers served his time in the service of this country. And whom do we have to blame for the terrible way we turned out? You're right, our mean mother. Look at the things we missed. We never got to march in a protest parade, nor to take part in a riot, burn draft cards, and a million and one other things that our friends did. She forced us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, honest adults.

"Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my three children. I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean. Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world."

When my kids called me the meanest mother, I would tell them that they were right, I was the meanest mother and that was o.k., because I was going to have the best kids in the world. Of course, it made them more angry that it didn't bother me.

Now that I am seeing all my kids grown and working with their kids, I keep seeing glimpses of how I taught them, or how I helped them through a situation. It amazes me that Cyndi uses the same psychology on her preschool and after-school kids as I used on her. Did she realize what I was doing when she was little?

So all you mothers, wear that title with pride. You will be richly blessed at the end. And you will feel righteous pride in knowing that you tried and did your best, and your children will honor you with a title of being the "Best Mother in the World."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Stories from the Past

Since Casey tagged me on writing a story from the past, I thought I should tell a story on him and Hailey.

About 8 1/2 years ago when their parents were building their house, their mom was having to be a "gopher" almost every day. That is, she had to go to Home Depot for this and for that, and of course, she had to take Casey and Hailey along as well. I would often go with her to sit with them in the car. They would really get upset if they had to go into the store, and of course, they weren't too happy about being in the car either. But they couldn't be left alone, regardless.

So, to keep them happy, I would make up stories to tell them to keep their interest up until their mom returned to the car.

Casey was really into fire engines, firemen and all that stuff. So I would make up a story about Casey and Hailey being Jr. Firemen. I would create a scene in their imagination, then it would revolve around the two of them alerting the firemen, or people who may be hurt, or whatever a 3 and 4 yr old would or could do and how they were heroes in the eyes of the fireman and the people or things they saved.

Of course, I inserted some teaching moments into those stories as to what a child could or couldn't do and why. Sometimes, they would help me with the story or how it ended.

Another story I would tell them, and I did this when I used to watch Marissa, Gavin, and Mackenzie. I watched Morgan too, but she was too little to understand what I was saying. I would tell them about a little girl, or little boy who woke up in the morning and all the things they did, what they ate, what they said, and so on. It would sometimes take more than just a few minutes for them to realize that I was telling them about themselves, what had happened to them that very day. The kids all loved those stories. I probably fudged a little on some of the things that happened, especially if I wasn't there when they woke up, but they were amazed that I knew so much about them. And, they never seemed to be tired of my telling their story.

When Marissa was old enough to draw or write, she would sometimes say she was bored and that we hadn't done anything fun that day. So, I started having her draw or write a journal about what she had done that day and she came to realize that her life was full of good things each day.

Those were fun days. I loved watching these grandkids and being an influence in their lives. I hope they will remember the fun things we did and will carry on these traditions with their children and grandchildren.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

#4 Service

On my blog where I mentioned the 5 things I like, #5 was Family History, and #4 was doing service. I have enjoyed doing things for other people since I was just a little girl. I was always trying to help my little brother Robby and my friends as well.

I was about 4 or 5 years old, when our neighbor, Mrs Busbee,in Provo asked me if I would help her while she went to the store. Her four children had the chicken pox and she didn't want them to get out of bed. So she asked me if I would stay at their house while she left on her errand. They were all older than me. Her daughter, Donna,who was my friend, was only a few years older, but Donna had three older brothers.

They were very poor. As I recall their house, it was only a three room wooden house with an outhouse for their toilet. I think they even had a pump in the back yard to get their water from.

Well, I thought I was pretty big to be baby sitting kids older than myself. And I see now that they thought it was pretty cute to have a little girl waiting on them hand and foot. They kept asking for water, so I'd have to run out to the pump to get water for them. Then they would say they were too hot, or too cold. I think I was constantly running around whenever they would ask for something or another.

I didn't realize that I must have been Mrs. Busbee's method of keeping the kids from fighting one another and keeping them in bed. They were kept plenty busy just finding things for me to do. As I had already had the chickenpox when I was about 2 years old,I wouldn't catch it from them.

I guess that incident was my first nursing job.

I grew up always wanting to be a nurse because I knew I would enjoy helping other people.

In 1982, the year Christie was in first grade, I got involved with her classroom as a room mother. Her teacher, Mrs Cook, used me almost every day in listening to the various kids read. She, herself, had two first graders at home, and she said that after listening to her class read the same stories over and over, that she had a hard time going home and hearing those same stories all over again with her children. So, I listened to the kids read, ran papers off on the copier, helped the students with their projects, almost every morning.

That spring, I was nominated by the PTA to be the president-elect of MarLon Hills Elementary. However, before school started in the fall, the president bowed out as she was expecting a baby, and I became the PTA president without ever having any experience with PTA other than volunteering in a classroom.

From there, I was involved with PTA for about 10 years until I started watching Mackenzie, Marissa and Gavin and it was too difficult to take them all to the meetings with me.

One time, Christie said to me,"Mom, you are so popular!" I asked her why she thought that and she replied, "Because you are president of so many things." (I had been a Primary president twice, DUP Camp and Company President, and PTA president at MarLon, South Jr, and Council President) I laughed and responded, "No Christie, I'm not popular, I'm just someone they know will accept a job that no one else wants to do."

I really enjoy sharing my time and my talents helping others. For some time I have been involved with humanitarian projects for the LDS Church. I enjoy looming hats, making stuffed bears, crocheting leper bandages, and making and tieing quilts for the project.

Recently I started to index census and vital statistic records for the FamilySearch indexing project. Knowing that it will help others with their family history, makes my efforts all the more rewarding.

On the Humanitarian web site there is a quotation from President Gordon B Hinckley which says: “All about us there are many who are in need of help and who are deserving of rescue. Our mission in life, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, must be a mission of saving. There are the homeless, the hungry, the destitute.”

I have been blessed in my life with so many good things. I have a wonderful husband, great children and great in-law children, and exceptionally wonderful grandchildren. I had a good education. I have a very nice home. I have all that I need. With that said, I know it is my obligation to give and share with others so they may feel the blessings I have. I would like it if my posterity will feel the same way about the good things they will have and will have a desire to share theirs with those less fortunate.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Five Gifts from Gramma

Feeling Lucky?
I saw this on christie's blog and it sounded fun!! The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It'll be done this year (hopefully sooner than later.)
4. You have no clue what it's going to be.
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange :)

The catch? Oh the catch is that you must re-post this on your blog. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me you did will win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me!

** Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Personal Histories and Blogs

Casey tagged me to write "Five Things I Like" that I published yesterday. However, I thought I should expound upon all of those things so my readers will understand a little more about me. I will have to do them separately because I will have so much to write on each one

As you all know, I am very interested in Family History. And that includes writing personal histories as well for those ancestors that you know something about. Of course, that also means that I cannot leave this life without also having my own personal history written or kept in some form. It may be easy for some descendant to come up with some kind of information about me, but I think we should also let them know something of what we are made of...that is: our personalities, our likes and dislikes, our sense of humor, our trials and our joys and most of all our testimonies.

So, I am also putting these blogs into "Personal Historian", so they will be found on my hard drive as well on CD's. And also to make it easier if I wanted to publish my histories as well. Or just parts of them.

Your blogs should be included in your personal history. They will give your grandchildren a glimpse of your everyday life and, of course, all your ups and downs. Blogs are great journals, but we need to store them in several different places.

Now, if I could only add my Facebook comments to it as well, then my grandkids will really know that I still had some wit about me in my old age.

A few years ago (and now I am off on another tangent), I transcribed all my old diaries and journals and put them into "Personal Historian"...and I kept the original spellings, etcs. However, I wrote comments on some of the events that I had written about as to how I felt about the event or what else I remembered about it, knowing that time changes our memories and our feelings about an event. I used a different font on the newer comments so that my readers would know what was then and what was now.

Here is the entry from January 15, 1947

To day I went to shool and had fun.

"Today I went to school & had fun."

Looking back: (28 September 2006)
I really did enjoy school. At this time I was in the fourth grade. There were only five classrooms in the building, and so they built a lunchroom and a classroom to hold the sixth grade students next to the old building.
Mrs. Merlin L. Throlin was my fourth grade teacher. She was from American Fork.
I usually always had school lunch. I can still remember the smells of walking into that lunchroom. Even today when we come home from church on Sunday, and there is a pot roast in the oven, I will remark "Smells just like school lunch!"
I'm sure my family doesn't understand that remark because their school lunch room doesn't smell like pot roast. I don't remember if we had pot roast for school lunch, but the smell is the same. And it only cost 10 cents a day.

So, I encourage all of you to keep your blogs elsewhere as well, since you are most likely using these as journals. Anything we have posted on our computers and on the internet can be lost as easily as a piece of paper or a written journal. We need to have copies in multiple places and in different mediums. I am lucky to still have the journals I wrote when I was 9 years old. By transcribing them, hopefully I can save them for my grandchildren to read in the years to come.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Five Things I Like....

Casey tagged me for "Five Things I Like" (I didn't know until I scrolled down through his blog, but here it is)

Five Things I like...

1- Grampa
2- My Kids and Grandkids
3- The Gospel of Jesus Christ
4- Serving Others
5- Family History

I don't know how to tag anyone else, but my readers could just cut and paste and put this into their blog. :)

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Did Your Time Drag by in 2008

If time dragged by this past year, you weren't just imagining it. The scientists at Greenwich in England have had to add a whole nano-second to our clocks. That means that the year 2008 needed to have more time.

As for me, I think it went by pretty fast. It was just a little over a year ago that we put Cyndi on the plane to go back to Utah after her Christmas visit with us in Hawaii. Her being in Hawaii with us on Christmas was really great and I think she had a great time as well. She was especially excited about all the "Lost" sites that I had researched out before she came.

I celebrated my 70th birthday while we were in Hawaii. It was a special day with special friends, those who dropped by the office during the day, and eating with them at the Ambassador restaurant in the evening. The PCC guides surprised me in the plaza with leis and "Happy Birthday" in the midst of the crowds there.

At the end of January, Cathy and Terry came over to visit us there as well. Where Cyndi had slept on one sofa, we pulled out the hide-a-bed for them. And topped it with an air mattress so it would be more comfortable. We were able to visit with them and go to all the great places on Oahu and still get our office work done. And the weather was great...not rainy nor hot.

On February 16th , after a great evening spent the night before at Sam Choys, a birthday gift with and from our friends and fellow missionaries, LaVere and Karelyn Adams, I got up to fix a birthday breakfast for Gordon, who was celebrating his 72nd birthday. I could feel my heart fluttering but didn't pay much attention to it until after it had gone on for several hours, I looked in the mirror and saw that my face was gray and I was in a cold sweat. I knew that was not a good sign, and told Gordon that we were not going to go to the New Zealand devotional that morning, but instead we would have to visit the E.R at the Kahuku hospital.

We drove over there and immediately the E.R. nurse admitted me and put me on a monitor. The EKG confirmed that my heart was in fibrillation. The E.R. doctor was one who flew in from another island several times a month. Thank goodness he had the presence of mind to call The Queen's Hospital in Honolulu and talked with a cardiologist. They could not stop my heart from fibrillating, and when the E.R. doctor asked about shocking my heart to get it to go back into normal rhythm, the cardiologist told me in no uncertain terms that he shouldn't do that because I could have developed some blood clots in my heart and shocking me would cause them to get pumped out and cause a stroke.

Meantime, Gordon called the kids at home and asked them to remember me in their prayers. We tried to call the Adams, so Bro Adams could help Gordon give me a blessing, but their cell phone was off. Finally, we found another missionary couple and that was Brother Wilcox. He came over to assist Gordon with the blessing. While Gordon was so worried, I felt very calm about the whole ordeal. I wasn't frightened and I knew that everything was going to be o.k.

Finally the E.R. people gave me coumidin to dissolve any clots that may have formed, and gave me some other heart medications...those of which they happened to have on hand. However, my heart continued to fibrillate. Finally about 11 p.m. the doctor decided to send me home after spending about 11 hours in their facility. He had wanted to send me down to Queens in Honolulu, but said that by the time the ambulance came up from town and got me down there that it would be about 3 in the morning and he didn't think that any of the residents on staff would be alert enough to check me out until morning. So, he gave me two kinds of medications (the only ones they had on hand) and told me to get an appointment with that cardiologist the coming week.

The next morning, Sunday the 17th, I woke up without any fibrillation, but decided to just stay at home from my meetings. Bishop Keala sent Gordon home after their Bishopric meeting and told me to be there with me. Monday was President's Day, and I knew that the cardiologist was off-island, so I continued to rest and research my problem. We called Gary Christensen in Utah, who was Gordon's doctor and I told me what had happened to me. I also told me that the doctor had given me amiodarone and metropolol as medications, and he verified what I suspected about the amiodarone. He told me not to take it unless I was near death. And he also told me not to try to come home on the plane until I was very stable. I had already stopped taking the amiodarone because of what I had read about it.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling a heaviness in my chest and some pain. Knowing what the Kahuku hospital was like,we opted to go down to Queens. I checked in through their emergency room and was admitted to their observation floor. Dr Magno, the cardiologist, came into see me and started the a full workup of scans, EKGs, Stress Test, and complete blood work. They could not find anything out of the ordinary by then and so I was discharged on Wednesday afternoon.

What a birthday it had been for Gordon. I felt bad that I ruined his special occasion, but I was also very thankful that he was close by me all the time.

March was uneventful, except for the wonderful experiences we had with our BYU-Hawaii students, many of whom also worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center. They were so full of love and life. It was a joy to be around them.

In April, Christie and Randy and their family of six kids all came to visit us in Hawaii. Tyler who had just turned 8 was baptized by his father at Temple Beach in Laie, with both grandfathers as witnesses. It was a beautiful morning, 6:15 a.m., just as the sun came up over the ocean. The water was warm and calm. All of their children were there in addition to both sets of grandparents, a friend of Marsha's and Bishop Keala from the our student ward. Our friend, Karelyn, on her way to a seminary class that morning, stood up on the bluff and witnessed the baptism from there.

Casey who had just turned 12 a few weeks before received the Aaronic priesthood there on the beach as well. It was such a beautiful and sacred occasion for all of us.

Later on,at the end of April, Mike and his family came to visit. We got to meet Joseph who we had only seen each week on the web cam on Sunday afternoons since his birth the previous August. There again we got to visit all the Oahu visitor sites. Mike's family especially enjoyed the PCC and we spent three whole days looking and visiting all the various "islands" at the center.

May and part of June were spent in finishing up our work at the PCC so that the new missionaries could take over easily although they wouldn't be coming for about a month after we left. It was hard to leave that beautiful setting, the warm and gracious people there and hardest of all was leaving the students. I surprised the young sisters in Relief Society by telling them they could join me on my Face Book page. They laughed and thought it was pretty funny that an old lady would be on Face Book, but I have been able to keep track of most of the kids and still be part of their lives.

We came home on the 14th of June and I had a full-blown case of pneumonia. It took over a month for me to finally shake it. And, coming back to a high altitude after a year at sea level also took some adjustments as well. It was great to be back with our children and grandchildren, although we had seen most of them sometime during the year. Dave and his family and Steve came in the previous October. We regretted that Steve's family was not able to come, but hopefully we can go back with them sometime in the future. After all, Gordon and I have life-time admission to the PCC now.

The next six months have been busy with many doctor's appointments, surgery for Gordon, and Family History Conferences. We were able to visit Dave and his family in Tucson in September when Gavin had his farewell before he entered the MTC on his way to Thailand. Cathy and Terry were here for Melinda's 18th birthday at BYU Provo.

We went to Yellowstone with Steve and his family and Mike's family as well over UEA weekend, and we spent four days in December in cool, rainy California with Mike and his family and Cyndi.

Gordon is again teaching at the various Family History Conferences around the West. He is a popular speaker with topics on Beginning English Family History, Photographing your Family History, and Photography.

We hope to see some of our friends this coming year when we visit St. George, Denver, Sheridan Wyoming, Redding California and Logan Utah as well as Mesa again in Jan of 2010.

It has been a busy year. We have been richly blessed through it all in spite of having health problems that have taken months to resolve, if they are resolved, but we realize that while we are getting older we are still able to do many of the activities that we did before...just a little slower.

We realize that many of our friends are having difficulties too, but with our faith in God and our knowledge of His plans, we can endure. We pray that you too will recognize the blessings that are yours through this coming year, and that the year will not drag for you, but will be one of joy. We send you our love and if you can visit us, we'd love to see you. If you can't visit then go to our Face Book sites or to to see what else is going on in our lives.