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You Might Be a Large Utah Mormon Family If…

Posted by Nancy on June 17, 2008



  1. The first day you are there they fix breakfast, and cook four pounds of bacon and three dozen eggs.  There are no leftovers.  Most of the family isn’t there yet.
  2. They send someone out to buy milk and say “Just pick up four gallons, I’m short on refrigerator space.”  There are two refrigerators.  They pick up milk almost every day you are there.
  3. There is a funeral the day before the wedding and they fix food for both without breaking a sweat.  Food keeps appearing from their kitchen, like the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
  4. No matter how often you run the dishwasher and hand wash dishes, the dishes are NEVER done.
  5. The silverware drawer looks like it could supply a ward dinner.
  6. There are 49 grandchildren in the family.  The groom’s four children make 50-53, and 54-57 are on the way. 
  7. If you are a kid, no matter how old you are there is someone your age to play with.  Probably several someones – maybe even lots of someones.
  8. There aren’t enough beds, couches, or floors for everyone to sleep on, so some of the kids sleep outside on the hill.  They think it is great fun.
  9. Twelve of the 16 children have served missions (two are still too young), and they have served on every continent except Antarctica.
  10. Everyone gets along, helps with the work, and is proud of the family.
  11. The sealing ceremony is for immediate family only and there are 60 people in the room – including the officiator, who is the bride’s uncle.
  12. You gather the immediate family on the steps of the temple for a photo and this is what you get (most of the grandchildren aren’t here because they stayed home – they couldn’t go in the temple):


The wedding went well, the bride was beautiful, the groom was happy, his kids are thrilled with their new extended family, the reception was wonderful – what can I say except I think everyone on both sides of the family is thoroughly pleased that Doug and Lolly found one another and are starting a life together.  It really seems like a marriage made in heaven.

I want to blog more about our time out there, but tomorrow is another day.  


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The Wally-Lolly-Palooza

Posted by Nancy on June 14, 2008

Or as Doug suggested, Wally-Lolly-Doodle all the day.

Yesterday was Uncly Wally’s funeral and today is Doug and Lolly’s wedding. There is never a dull moment here, with innumerable people in and out and all about. When you run out of beds, there is still plenty of space in the yard. In fact, some of Doug’s kids have been sleeping there since we got there – because it’s different and fun.

The video of dune hopping is going to have to wait for later, as Doug hasn’t gotten it done yet and I’m guessing he won’t be caring about it today.

Meanwhile, here is a view from the mesa where the funeral was held with the Zion Mountains and Zion National Park in the background.  The picture on the right is a view of the mountain right behind the family farm.  It is called Molly’s Nipple, and I~ says he thinks that is just wrong to call it that.  The locals don’t know who Molly was, but I bet there aren’t many girls in this town with that name.

I took pictures at the funeral, but somehow it seems inappropriate to post them.  Let’s just say it was definitely another Napoleon Dynamite moment though.  It was held on the mesa on top of the mountain, and the trip up and back was quite the ride.  The road is a series of switchbacks on a one lane road with no guard rail.  It didn’t help that halfway up Lolly told us, “This is where my uncle Elliott was killed when he was 16, when the car he was in rolled off the edge and down the mountain.  He wasn’t driving, but he was thrown from the car and killed.”

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Napoleon Dynamite Makes SOOO Much More Sense Now

Posted by Nancy on June 13, 2008

It started out innocently enough, with Lolly asking Bud and me if we would like to ride out and see the lake on the four wheelers.

Sister Shelley said, “You can’t go out to the lake on the four wheelers anymore because they changed the law and you’re not allowed to ride them on the highway now.”

“I can get you out to the lake,” long-time-friend Matt chimed in.  “We can go on my sand rail.  It’s licensed”

My first warning should have been seeing the sand rail – a homemade dune buggy powered by a Corvair engine, equipped with roll bars and seatbelts for five.  No muffler or windshield, though.

My second warning should have been the harnesses he strapped us all in with, tightening them securely to make sure they fit properly.   Everyone was saying not to worry, that Matt was taking Jamie, his wife, with us and she would keep his driving controlled.  Besides, she was the sixth passenger and didn’t have a harness so he would have to be careful.

I now know what the windshield of a car feels like – wind, sand, rocks, bugs and all.  Four words of advice – keep your mouth closed. 

I also know why the grandmother in Napoleon Dynamite was out jumping sand dunes when she broke her leg, and it totally makes sense.  I am now a dune-jumping grandma and I loved it.

We had a wild ride out to the dunes and drove around and over them for a little while, with Jamie pointing to all the biggest ones for Matt to climb.  Then Matt had us all get out to lighten the buggy and took us on some serious dune hopping one at a time.  What a rush!  He told me I can tell people I caught about fifty feet of air jumping one of them.  (Check back for video – when Doug gets back later I will download it from his camera and post it.)

We all came back sandpapered faces, covered with fine red sand. 

Sadly, I somehow messed up my pedicure from earlier in the day during the two hours of jostling around out there.  The pedicure itself was awesome, with an hour of foot pampering which only included a few minutes of actually painting nails.  I had hoped to keep it nice for as long as possible, but I guess four hours was as long as possible under the circumstances.  Besides, it’s only one toe.

Doug and Lolly got their marriage license earlier today, Doug picked up his tux and left his ring to be sized, they got massages, I got the pedicure, Bud acted as chauffeur, and we all went out to lunch.  I am now pretty familiar with St. George, and it is a very pretty city.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (literally), Lolly’s mom lined the coffin, handmade by an acquaintance at church, for Uncle Wally’s funeral tomorrow; her father and brother went up on the mountain with the backhoe and dug the grave.  There isn’t actually a cemetery up there, but Wally wanted to be buried on his land and he sent away for the paperwork to dedicate part of it as a cemetery once upon a time, and, well, they’re just going to go ahead and do it and worry about the niceties later.

Wally died unexpectedly on Monday and seems to have been the family trouble maker.  His obituary mentions how in his youth he was well known for the trunk full of dynamite that was usually in his car and the “community services” he provided with that dynamite.  According to the family those services included annoying everyone and evading the police.  It also mentioned his love for fishing, where he “developed his talent for exaggeration.”

We’re going to a funeral Friday and a burial up in the mountains.  I wouldn’t miss it.  But first we are going to Zion National Park to see some sights.

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The Waltons, Writ Large

Posted by Nancy on June 12, 2008

That’s what Lolly’s family and Doug’s new in-laws are like.  Wow, am I impressed.

Our flight to Vegas was uneventful, but we didn’t have a chance to see the sights because we had to leave immediately for Hurricane.  I saw enough slots in the airport terminal, let alone go to a casino.  We drove by the city on the interstate and saw a lot of the casinos and cranes building more, and all I could think of was how it is all financed on the backs of people who lose their money by gambling.

Breakfast today included bacon and eggs from their own chickens and hogs, along with whole wheat pancakes.  There are so many relatives and kids in and out that I can’t begin to keep count.

The day looks full, with all sorts of activities on tap.

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All Dressed Up With Somewhere To Go

Posted by Nancy on June 10, 2008      Go to fullsize image  

Doug and the kids are on their way to Las Vegas, and Bud and I leave early in the morning.  I am packed – and ready to go.

I took the dog to the kennel this afternoon, and he was very excited with all the new sounds and smells.  He kept dancing around on his hind legs trying to see over the counter, which was very cute.  He didn’t even mind going with the kennel personnel, but I suspect he wasn’t happy when he got put into a cage.  I hope he does well in there – it’s his first time in prison and I feel sorry for him.

Bud checked the weather and it is supposed to be 103 in Vegas tomorrow.  He is such an Eskimo – he loves cold weather and doesn’t tolerate the heat well, and I am just the opposite.  I keep telling him it will be a dry heat, but he spent over two years at Nellis Air Force Base just outside Vegas and knows that when it is that hot it doesn’t matter that it is dry – it is hot.  They used to have contests to see how long it took to fry an egg on the sidewalk.

We’ll be leaving Vegas as soon as we get there though and it lookes more promising in Hurricane, with highs forecast in the 80’s.  Up in the mountains and more than tolerable. 

I got some results from my annual physical today, and my cholesterol is 222.  It’s supposed to be below 200 and the doctor talked about maybe putting me on medication for it, but I don’t know.  Is it that serious if your blood pressure is low?  This time it was 114/68, but it’s often lower.  I’m going to try eating healthier for a few months and have the cholesterol checked again to see if I can bring it down naturally.  I hate taking medicine.

Now is the opportunity for Elaine to say, “I told you so.”  He said to cut out white rice and pasta, and eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.  Lots of salads, chicken and fish, not much beef, pork, or shrimp.  Maybe I will finally take your advice, since that is what you have been promoting for how long now?  That thing about the shrimp hurts, though.  I thought it was a better alternative for the red meat – and such a tasty one.  Oh well, it was tuna steaks tonight and they were mighty fine.

Tonight’s township meeting was actually collegial.  We had a lot of residents with complaints, many of them from one short street with a speeding problem, but even with all the concerns everyone seemed to be in good humor and trying to work together to solve the problems.  The meeting didn’t take quite as long as normal – perhaps because we were down one trustee. 

At the end of the meeting when people asked if I had to drive up to Doug’s tonight I grinned and said no.  It felt oh, so good.  After three years I don’t have to drive up after late meetings any more.  The next time I see his kids I will just be Grandma and not a pseudo-mom.  I will still love them and visit them, but it will be different.  They will be a complete family without me.

I have my camera and will take lots of pictures of the bride and groom, the scenery, extended family, Vegas, and everything.  Life is good..

Posted in Township, Travel, Wedding | 1 Comment »

Pit Run and Puppy Prison

Posted by Nancy on June 9, 2008

Almost four hours in a meeting with a representative from the township’s architectural firm this eveing.  Gaaahhh! 

Not only was it long, but it was not good news.  We have been so happy to have a piece of ground that is flat so we don’t have to pay a lot for site preparation, now he comes along and tells us there will be drainage problems and we will have to elevate the fire station about four feet.  And just how many square yards of pit run gravel will that take?

All together now – prohibitively expensive.  I don’t know if this is a stake in the heart of the project or just another problem to be dealt with.

I got a call from my future daughter-in-law near the end of the meeting asking if I would rather have a manicure/pedicure this Friday or a massage.  Hmmm.  Tough decision.  She has been given certificates for two manicures and pedicures and one massage, and is sharing them with her mother and me.  Looks like she will get the massage and her mom and I will get beautiful nails.  Should be fun.

I need to pack early tomorrow in case my meeting runs long again.  I also need to take Doug’s dog to the kennel, or “puppy prison” as we have been calling it.  I’m sure he won’t be happy, but it can’t be helped.  I will take him late in the day and then retrieve him early next Tuesday.

Posted in Local happenings, Township, Wedding | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Tadpoles, Bullfrogs, and Cows

Posted by Nancy on June 8, 2008

We spent the afternoon in Radiator Springs and had supper with Elaine and her family.  Katie, et al, were also there.

The kids spent the afternoon swimming in the pond and cultivating their sunburn (it was the second day in a row in the sun for all of them).  It looked like fun but I had better things to do.

I checked on Elaine’s tadpole collection, which is now buckets with leopard frog tadpoles, toad tadpoles, and bullfrog tadpoles.  Some of the toads have completed their transformaiton and are the tiniest little amphibians I have ever seen – maybe 1/2″ in length.  The leopard frogs are just beginning to develop little legs, and they will also be tiny frogs.  One bullfrog is already a frog, and he is a respectable size although not nearly as large as he will be when he finishes growing up.  Later we saw clusters of eggs and even tinier tadpoles swimming in the pond – probably younger leopard frog tadpoles.

Late in the afternoon we heard two big bullfrogs talking back and forth from the south end of the pond and went over to check them out.  The one hopped in quickly, but the other just sat there while we studied him thoroughly.  They are good sized, but not that big considering the size of the noise they make. Their heads are very green, which I guess camouflages them better among the algae and water plants against predation from birds and other animals. 

Elaine said she asked G~, age 5, if she heard the bullfrog when one was vocalizing a couple days ago.  G~ said, “Oh, is that what that is?”  Elaine asked her what she thought it was and she said, “I just thought it was a drowning cow.”

The crazy thing is, I can hear it – not that I have ever heard a cow drowning.  It’s what a child might imagine one would sound like, though.

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One Week and Counting

Posted by Nancy on June 7, 2008

Katie is now taking voice lessons from Jill and has made tremendous progress in just over a month.  She brought some music over yesterday for me to practice so I can accompany her, and it is O mio babbino caro from Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi.  The accompaniment is going to take some work, but she sings it pretty effortlessly.

My daughter singing opera?  She is doing it with aplomb, and hitting that high A flat with no difficulty.  Shows what a little guidance can do for you, and I’m proud of her for doing it.

Doug and the kids left for home about 8:30 this evening and the next time I see them will be in Las Vegas.  Plans have changed again and we will be leaving for Hurricane as soon as we get off the plane to have dinner with Lolly’s family.  The lights of Las Vegas will have to wait, either for the night before we fly back home or for the next trip.  Either way, doesn’t matter. 

The wedding is a week from today.  I can’t wait.


Posted in Local happenings, Wedding | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Viva Las Vegas

Posted by Nancy on June 6, 2008

We decided we can’t fly into Vegas without spending a night there, to see the lights, so we have rented a car and are looking at hotels. 

Neither of us gambles or cares to spend time in casinos, so we really are comparing rooms and their amenities for the price.  I am amazed at how inexpensive rooms are – well, some of them anyway – and assume they expect to make their money off guests dropping money into the slots on the way in and out. 

Maybe a quarter, just to say I did it, but probably not.  Or do they even make slots that take quarters?

I want to see the fountains outside the Bellagio and the lights on the strip in general, and that is about it.  Maybe check out some of the marriage chapels, to see where someone would go if she wanted to marry her girlfriend – with one of them dressed as a pimp and the other dressed as Elvis.  Just saying.

The photos are displayed in her living room for the world to see, including the children.  Wow, doesn’t that engender pride?

Bud was stationed at Nellis just outside Vegas for over two years before we got married, but of course everything is totally different now.  He got the good assignments before we married, with four years in Berlin and two in Las Vegas.  It was all downhill after that and I never did get to go overseas or anywhere exciting.

The kids and I cleaned off and on the last three days trying to get the laundry caught up, their clothes packed for the trip, their rooms straightened up and the common rooms cleaned, etc. so everything will go smoothly next week.  Doug has them this weekend, then they will spend Sunday evening through Tuesday morning with their mother.  They fly out on the redeye Tuesday night.

It looks like I am being drafted to help paint/babysit at Drew and Kelli’s new house three days after we get back from Vegas.  I don’t mind painting, but Bud is definitely the better painter between the two of us.  Kelli and her mom want to get it done by the 22nd, when Drew should show up with the van and their belongings. 

I will give them Thursday and Friday, but my Saturday is already claimed for the township’s cleanup day. I will spend three hours at the collection site helping direct residents to the appropriate dumpsters so we can help them unload their trash. 

Actually “we” refers mostly to inmates from the county jail, out on work assignments.  The sheriff has always sent men who are respectful and helpful, and they enjoy getting out in the sunshine and doing some physical labor.  It’s sort of a win-win situation where they get the opportunity to work and we get a lot of trash disposed of from around the township.

My life is never boring.


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One More Week

Posted by Nancy on May 30, 2008

It was almost midnight when I got back from Doug’s tonight (Thursday).  I helped with homework (I make a mean construction paper stovepipe hat for an Abraham Lincoln costume) and baking till almost ten, then stood in the parking lot talking with Doug for almost an hour.  It was nice – we seldom get to talk seriously with the kids always around.

Next week will be my last week of babysitting.  I will continue to go up there some and help the kids transition gradually to having a new step-mother and my not being there all the time, but it won’t be a requirement anymore.    As I~ says, “Grandma, you’re the closest thing I have to having a mother.”  Or as Z~ says, “I’m going to finally have a real mother!”

Keep in mind, they spend half their time at their mother’s.

I sure hope this goes well, for their sakes.  Expectations are running high.

I finished Eclipse this morning, all 675 or so pages.  It only dragged in a few spots, and then not badly, so overall it was a very enjoyable read.  The fourth book in the series comes out later this summer; meanwhile, it is easy to speculate all sorts of possibilities to finish the story line. 

I’ve decided my biggest problem with these books is the fact that I am almost always cold and the heroine is in love with a vampire who is described as hard as marble and cold as ice.  I just can’t picture curling up with something akin to a living Michelangelo’s David as something I would want to do, no matter how handsome or how dedicated he was.  He would suck the warmth right out of you.

This afternoon I took the girls shopping for bathing suits but bought nothing, since that is close to how much most of the bathing suits covered.  Guess I’m hopelessly old fashioned, but I am not buying things that make my granddaughters look like they belong on a stage with a pole.  Let their Dad take them and deal with it, if indeed they really need new bathing suits.  His only rule is “it has to be something you can wear to church girls’ camp.”  They know what that means, and one seems fine with it while the other is kicking against the pricks. Acts_26:14

Following our fruitless shopping expedition we met Doug’s real estate agent at the house he is trying to buy so we could all see it.  His offer has been accepted and he is just waiting for the final word on financing, with closing the week he and Lolly return from their honeymoon.  It is in a very nice neighborhood and the house itself is lovely.  It has four bedrooms, two and a half baths, kitchen/dining area, family room, living room, den (or could be a formal dining room), laundry room, and unfinished basement.  Lots of storage space too.

The landscaping is a little overgrown and I offered to come up and help whip it into shape.  I then asked if Lolly likes to do yard work and he just looked at me like that was the most ridiculous question he had ever heard.  “She comes from southern Utah where it is pretty much desert.  No one does yard work – there is nothing green,” he said.

Oh.  Well.  Maybe she will want to learn?  I love yard work and don’t mind mentoring.  Or they can figure it out on their own – this isn’t his first house and he has managed to keep the others in good shape.

One more week to babysit, two weeks till the wedding, four weeks till the move.

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