Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Might Have Been

I think one of the worst parts of losing someone that you love is thinking of what will no longer be.  No more snuggles with Granddaddy.
No more made up silly games.
No more stories read.
No more little smiles.
No more granddaddy laughter.

No more fun days with him at the farm.
No more faces lighting up when I tell my kids that we are going to see Granddaddy.  I sorrow as much for what my kids will be missing as much as I will miss my dad myself.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Did you know that we were once named Farm Family of the Year by some Florida farming association?  Funny, right?  But did you know that it had absolutely nothing to do with raising crops?  We were named the Farm Family of the Year because my dad raised catfish!
Yep, that's right, for years, my dad had lots of ponds full of catfish.  It actually was a pretty cool operation.  He would put these 5 gallon buckets that had been attached end to end and a hole cut out of it into the ponds.  The catfish would go into the little contraptions and lay eggs.  Then he would pull it up out of he water and hatch the eggs in a special tank that constantly circulated the water.  Once they were hatched, he kept them in a larger tank until they were big enough to release back into a pond.
Watching him harvest the large ready to eat catfish was a pretty cool thing too.  He had this huge net that stretch across the whole width of the pond and was weighted at the bottom.  He would hold one end and either David or someone else he had working for him would grab the other end. Then they just dragged the net down the length of the pond scooping up all of the fish.  Talk about an efficient way to catch fish!
What was also rather strange about the whole catfish farming business is that as quiet as my dad was, he actually had a pretty big voice in lobbying state legislature for the promotion of aquaculture in the state of Florida.  I remember once going to some shindig at the huge house of some state senator where Daddy cooked them fried catfish nuggets and talked with all the senators and representatives there about aquaculture.  I remember being so proud of my dad as I saw all of these supposedly important people deferentially conferring with my dad and respecting him so sincerely.  But really, who wouldn't respect a man who delivered little nuggets of pure deliciousness right into their hands?  Seriously chicken nuggets ain't got nothing on catfish nuggets!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Farmer David

Growing up and even as I moved out on my own and had my own family, I think my Dad went to his farm everyday to check on things.  In the spring, he would plant a huge garden.  Much larger than what we as a family could actually eat.

Layton&Grandaddy May 2009

While we did put up a lot of food, I think even more of it he gave away.  To lots of different people.  In fact, I think he grew the garden as much for his love of giving things away to people than anything else.  He loved to give to people. 


For few years he kept lots of chickens.  I’m not even sure how many, but at one time I think there may have been around 70 or 80. 


Did he sell the eggs?  Nope.  He gave them away.  Just because he wanted to.  He enjoyed doing the farming and loved giving away the product.  It made him happy.  And I’m pretty sure it made all of those on the receiving end pretty happy too.


Every year he would pick the wild  blueberries and blackberries.  He loved for Mama Doris to make him a blackberry pie.  He had a sweet tooth and blackberry pie was one of his favorite desserts.

IMG_0944I think the farm was my dad’s happy place. He always seemed happiest when he was there.   


Monday, May 24, 2010


This week, I thought I would share some pictures and thoughts about my dad.
In general, my dad was a REALLY quiet person.  In group conversations, he rarely spoke up unless he felt what he had to say was very important.  One on one though, if you got him on a topic that he was greatly interested in, he could talk forever.  Like his farm or books or even gospel topics.  His knowledge of the scriptures was tremendous.
Because he was so quiet, and only spoke up occasionally, I think some people were left with an impression of my dad that he was a little gruff and rough.  But in reality, the opposite is true.  My dad was pretty much a great big teddy bear.  And every child that ever met him knew it. 
Babies especially loved to cuddle up with him.  My dad didn’t really sing.  But when he held a little one, he could always get them to sleep, usually by a low toned humming and laying them on his soft warm belly.  It was like magic.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Not So Perfect

It has recently come to my attention that there have been people out there referring to me as being “perfect”.  And because I am supposedly perfect that I can be intimidating.  So in order to dispel that notion, I’d like to share a few of my ditzier moments from the last few weeks. 

1.  We were going home to visit my dad for the day on a Saturday.  I had gathered up all the stuff I needed and was holding it.  I had the diaper bag, Layton’s cup, my camera, and book to read along the way.  Then I turned to the piano to grab my purse and it wasn’t there.  So I looked around for a few minutes and couldn’t find it.  I asked for Nathan’s help and we looked some more.  Dallin came walking up behind me and said “Mom, your purse is right there.”  Ummmm, apparently it was on my shoulder hiding under the diaper bag.  WOW!

2.  I totally ran a red light the other day and it wasn’t even on purpose.  I was in the left turn lane and saw that there was a break in the on coming traffic so I took the opportunity to turn left.  It didn’t even dawn on me until after I turned that the left turn signal had a red arrow.  OOPS!!  In my defense, that intersection really should be a yield on green.

3.  I referred to my divinely delicious Alfredo sauce as Alfonso sauce.  Then I laughed until I cried.  I think my laughter may have been the most embarrassing part.

4.  I gathered up the kids in the car and headed to the grocery store.  10 feet out of the driveway I realized that I left my grocery list inside.  I backed up into the driveway, left the car running, opened the garage, ran inside to grab it, then ran back out and jumped in the car.  I came back home from the store to find the garage door left WIDE open.  Thank goodness nothing was stolen.

5.  As noted, I took my list in with me to the grocery store.  I still forgot to pick up a couple of items that we needed.

6.  And speaking of garage doors, I totally broke ours.  We had a garage sale last Saturday to get rid of some of the stuff we cleaned out of the bedrooms/closets.  Nathan had pulled his car partially up into the garage to give us more room in the driveway.  After the sale was over and we cleaned everything up, I walked back into the house and automatically hit the button for the garage door to close.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw that it had stopped.  I turned and looked to find the garage door sitting on the roof of Nathan’s car.  I immediately hit the button again thinking it would go back up.  Nope, it tried to go down again and the arm of the garage door opener popped off and the bolts flew everywhere.  Luckily Nathan’s car was not hurt and he is a pretty handy guy and was able to fix it.  I was sweating it for a little while though!!!

7.  And it gets worse...Wednesday I left the keys in the ignition.  With the van unlocked.  In the on position.  All night.  Needless to say, we are very grateful that the van was not stolen.  We are also grateful that we have AAA and I was easily able to call them to get me going again.  Dude - how dumb can a person be?  I do admit to being a little distracted this week for obvious reasons, but still!!!!!

I could keep going on, but I think that is embarrassing enough.  Could you ever think of a person that did all that as being perfect and intimidating?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  So if you ever hear anyone say that about me just laugh and realize that it is not even close to the truth.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I think today we could all just use a really big hug.
And Mandy hugs are the best kind.

P.S.  Even more pictures to see, this time of Jason and Cassie – click here and here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Meet Deanna

While we have lost one beloved family member, we seem to have gained one too.  This is Deanna:
IMG_2852 copy
She has come to live with us for a little while.  She has run into some family problems because of her decision to join the church and so needed a place to stay.  We had already been planning on putting all three kids in a room together because that is what they wanted, so that left us with an open bedroom which she moved into it.

I think her coming was a really good blessing for our house.  It hasn’t been so clean in FOREVER.  We totally cleaned out that bedroom and closet, plus the kids’ bedroom and closet and we got rid of a LOT of stuff.  Stuff we probably should have gotten rid of a LONG LONG time ago.

We’re hoping that Deanna enjoys staying with us.  I know the kids love her.  I hope they don’t get on her nerves too badly because they are always wanting to spend time with her!

I’m really proud of her though.  She is 18 years old (almost 19) and she has handled the situation as best as anyone could.  She went out and found a job at a daycare center.  She’ll be starting college in the fall.  She is a wonderful young woman.  We’re hoping and praying that one day her dad will realize how much he is missing by not having her in his life and that she’ll be able to reconcile things with him.  In the meantime, we are just happy that she is here with us.

P.S.  You can take a peak at some photos I did of Justin, Nancy, and Hazel here and here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Any disease that can take a wonderful healthy man


and strip away every bit of vitality and strength from him


is just wrong.  No one should have to die this way.  No one should have to suffer that much.   I hate it.  At least I do have the consolation of getting to say goodbye.  Knowing that my last words to him were I love you.  Getting to tell him how much he means to me.  Letting him know what a great father he has been.

I love Dallin’s outlook on things.  When I told him yesterday that Granddaddy had passed away, Dallin immediately wanted to write him a card to put on his grave.


He wrote: 

I love you Granddaddy.  I hope you have a great time in heaven.

I love thinking of it that way.  That Daddy is just going away for a while to have a great time!  And I really think he will.  I know he has greatly missed his own father and I know that they are very likely having a beautiful reunion right now.  I have a feeling that even though we can’t see him that my dad will be watching over us.  He loves his grandchildren too much to miss anything that they do :) 

We will miss him so much.  His quiet laugh.  His simple outlook on things.  His generous heart.  His unfaltering belief in us.  His faith in Jesus Christ.  The great man he was.

For any of those who wish to attend, his funeral will be held on Wednesday, May 26th at 1:00 p.m.  It will be a simple graveside service because Daddy liked things simple.  It will be held at the family graveyard. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

I’m Hiding

Layton has reached that stage where he thinks that if he can’t see you then you can’t see him.  So now, when he wants to “hide” from you he just closes his eyes.  Like here when he was trying to “hide” from the camera.


Don’t you love that little smile?  He thought he was being so clever and cute!


P.S.  I’ve been busy taking more pictures.  See them here and here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Shoe Switch-a-roo

The kids decided that it would be fun to switch shoes.  Mandy put on Dallin’s -


Sarah put on Mandy’s -


Layton put on Sarah’s -


And my personal favorite – Dallin put on Layton’s


I love it that my kids make me laugh all the time!  It is always non-stop craziness with them around!


P.S.  I put some more pictures on my photography blog and a few more from the same session on Facebook if you want to take a peak!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

You’re So Special


Don’t I look beautiful?  I really do wish my eyes were that blue :)  Dallin made me this at school for mother’s day.  It reads:

My mom is special because she hugs me and kisses me.  She lets me play.  She lets me ride my bike.  Thank you for everything!

I think Dallin is pretty special too because he LETS me hug and kiss him whenever I want.  He is very fun to watch play because he has an amazing imagination.  He is one mean bicycle rider.  And he and the rest of my children (Nathan included) are everything to me.  I sure do love them.  They made my mother’s day this year the best one yet!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Super…um…something….


While I might not know what super hero she is, I do know her super power.  And I quote, “I have the power of wind – to keep people from sweating.”

Best. Super. Power. Ever.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Guess Who Has a New Bed!

Out little Layton Sugars does!


And I think he loves it!  It only took me 1 1/2 hours and two mistakes to get it put together.  Not too shabby considering who the constructor was :)  It went from this:


to this:


I really like it!  All three kids are now sharing a room together.  They LOVE it!

Monday, May 10, 2010


make awesome costumes :)
For the Primary activity, the kids were asked to dress-up like the days of old and then they “traveled” to different areas in Israel to learn about Jesus.
IMG_2115 IMG_2118IMG_2112 
They even felt the stormy seas and learned how Christ calmed them.
After their travels in Israel, they came across the ocean to America and learned of Christ visiting the people there.
Nathan makes a pretty cute Nephite, don’t you think?

Friday, May 7, 2010


Mandy is quite the little thinker and planner.  Did you know that she has to have the whole day planned out from the moment she wakes up until she goes to bed?
Every day when she gets up, she asks, “What are we going to do?”  I tell her and then that question is followed by, “and then what?”  over and over and over until we get to the end of the day’s schedule.  I have to admit.  It drives me a little nuts. It gets exasperating to answer the same question over and over and over.   But I love her for it anyway.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


The hot weather has set in and I would say that summer time is truly here!
Thank goodness for swimming pools to cool off in (literally, the water was COLD).
And for a Daddy to go into the freezing cold water of the pool so that Mommy doesn’t have to :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Picnic Tables

Our picnic table died.


We held a funeral for it. 


Not really, but we were very sad to see it go.  But, we were very happy to get a new one.


Father and son working together – it doesn’t get any sweeter than that -


It is officially kid tested – and mother approved.

IMG_1991 copy

We are looking forward to lots of outdoor eating this summer!