We always tease Mom that our church (and her ward) always have a birthday celebration for her every year! Her birthday is on the 24th of July! In reality they are celebrating the 24th of July in remembrance of all the pioneers coming to the Salt Lake Valley. The Columbia Basin Ward enjoyed a night of pioneer reenactment, pictures, homemade ice-cream (where Mom has won in the contest every year with her Tutti-fruiti ice-cream) and fun with friends. If I would have attended I would have made it feel like a celebration for my Mom too! Happy Birthday Mom. You are a wonderful example to us all!
Our Mom and Dad are amazing. Here are 40 reasons why...
40 years of marriage
Married- March 20, 1971 in the Idaho Falls Temple.
Settled in the Columbia Basin- loved it so much they haven't wanted to leave!?!
6 kids (4 girls and 2 boys) along with their 6 spouses
Sent two sons on missions- Sacramento, CA and Arequipa Peru.
Six Temple Weddings- all in different Temples... Jordan River, Seattle, Logan, Mesa, Arizona, Las Vegas and Columbia River. All four girls married returned missionaries.
At ShaRae's wedding we were all able to attend with our spouses. It was a wonderful experience all of us worthy and able to attend.
19 grandkids (12 boys and 7 girls)
Mom a school teacher Grandma Howard is the book Grandma- she finds the best books for each of her grandkids. Dad a farmer and chemical applicator/grassphopper operator (according to my kids).
Raising and selling cows. We would feed baby calves in our backyard with houses made of straw bales. (Janelle)
Campouts on the front lawn
Many ball games in the yard and spending hours playing ball in the church gym.
Mowing the church ballfield lawn with "Big Red" (Janelle) and watering it with handlines. Handlines were sometimes filled with water and mice. (Zach) I still love going home putting on water boots and helping Dad change water, now I have little boys who put their water boots on and help too!(Shauna)
A big willow tree in our front yard that we would climb, hang a tire swing from, swing from the branches and trim every year. We had a huge lilac tree and somekind of nut tree/bush that we would make forts and play house in.
Four girls in a bedroom, sharing one bathroom- how did we do that?
Most of us had an opportunity to cut the alfalfa with very crooked windrows, Dad would say, "Just keep them close enough so I can rake them together." Dad taught us hard work on the farm, bucking bales, moving pipe, weeding beans and all the work that comes with hay.
The rule on Christmas morning- we weren't able to see what Santa brought until the cows/calves were fed and the newspaper brought in. We got smart... feeding the cows and bottle feeding the calves for Dad- sometimes very early in the morning. (Michelle)
My Dad had an old cow truck, the ward would borrow it every year to take all the girls belongings to girls camp. It was our job to spray it out and make sure it was clean enough to load up for Girls Camp. (Michelle)
Many ball games whether church sports or school athletics. Our biggest fans were Mom and Dad! Mom and Dad hardly ever missed a game- going to most away games. I always did better knowing that they were there.
Numerous family pets, a baby goat that was tied to a tree, chickens that we got from a church party, stray cats that would never leave and our favorite dogs Bandit, Dolly, Bandita and Cutter to name a few.
They forked out lots of money to make us all happy. Even though money was scarce at times, we always had plenty of food, clothes and love!
Supported all of us in atheltic events, band, choir, Scouts, Young Women activities, etc.
Mom was so good about consistent Family Home Evening, family scripture study and kneeling around the dinner table for family prayer. Most of the time it was a fight to get us there and more fights when we there. She never gave up on us.
Great family vacations- Oregon Coast, many camping trips- on one trip we woke up in the middle of a horse pasture with horses surrounding us, (Mom would make homemade granola and we would eat it with yogurt- Janelle) Mt. Rainier, The Cascade Loop, The Olympic Peninsula, The Grand Canyon and Zions National Park, Disneyland/Sea World, many trips to Idaho, Howard Reunions in La Grande Oregon and Platt family reunions at Lehman Hot Springs. We always had one family vacation a year. Mom had summers off with us, but that was Dad's busiest time. We had to schedule our vacations around Dad's hay schedule. These are some of the funnest memories ever!
Mom made sure we were involved in music. We all played an instrument starting in 4th grade and all were forced to take piano lessons. I wish I wouldn't have stopped lessons... (Clarinet, saxophone, flute, trumpet and trombone)
Saturday morning chores- we couldn't do anything or go anywhere until all the chores were done. (Cleaning the floor Cinderella style! Thanks Mom.)
Picking raspberries early in the morning, before it got too hot and getting our arms cut up, then making jam.
Picking Strawberries at Bama's strawberry patch.
We always had a huge garden that we all weeded, then spent the summer canning.
Canning peaches, Mom would peel and cut the peaches in half and we would make up the sugar water.
Picking apples at Ringold. (Janelle)
Going in the potato truck with Dad, drinking homemade grape juice out of this thermos. (Janelle)
Crashing Dad's motorcycle in the ditch with Ryan on the back.
May 18, 1980 Mt. St. Helens erupted. Came home from church in the dark. Dad had to go get hay for the cows and we were scared he wouldn't make it home. Mom still has a bottle of ash from that memorable day.
Playing on haystacks and making forts.
MOM: organized, thorough, first one to work-last one to leave, devoted, musical, good cook, loving (Michelle)
DAD: friendly, kind, hard working, My kids have to explain to their seminary teacher that they are not really cousins with Columbia Basin Ward youth, they just call him Grandpa Bob too! (Michelle)
Going for walks with Mom- to the stop sign and back.
Sunday afternoon cookies- we would beg to make cookies after church and then play Primary on the front porch.
Mom and Dad taught us the gospel and lived what they taught. Baring their testimonies often to us. We all knew the gospel was true, thanks to the example of our parents and the love they continue to show us.
We love when we get to see Grandma and Grandpa- they are so amazing at attending all the important events in each family (Baptisms, ordinations and baby blessings). We know we have their support in everything we do.
And Zach added these after I (Shauna), had finished the 40, so thanks Zach:
1) Living in the same house for 18 years ... with 2 different addresses
2) Playing cars in the dirt patch underneath our big willow tree
3) Being chased out of the church for playing ball by certain church janitors
4) Cheering up mom after she torched her little Escort
I think we could add so many more memories, but for this occasion we will include 40. Thanks for the help from my siblings. Thinking back to all the good times we shared together with Mom and Dad, tears come to my eyes. We have been blessed with goodly parents. So many great memories...
We don't get out to the movies much so it has been a lot of fun this holiday season seeing a couple with family members.
First Audrey was able to take most of the local grandkids to a daytime showing of Tangled. It was a very fun show for parents and kids and a lot of fun to go see.
Bob was able to go to see True Grit. He took a few older kids, along with Derek, and Zach. It was really fun for him to get out and see a movie since he doesn't do that near enough. He thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but stated, "it's not John Wayne" multiple times. So the next night, he dug out his original True Grit DVD and they sat down and watched the original.
All in all it has been a fun holiday season for all.