Monday, November 15, 2010

Our first move to Utah

In 1958 when Jay was 3 months old we decided to move to Utah so Larry could go to BYU. We didn't have a car so we arranged with friends, Tony and Todd to pull our trailor that had all our worldly possesions in it and we all drove to Utah. When we got there we found a basement apartment to rent in Provo. We then began to look for a job for Larry so we could pay our next month's rent. It was December and we thought he would apply to BYU for Spring semester. For the whole month he went out every day looking for a job. He even tried Geneva Steel. There were no jobs to be had. When we got dangerously close to the end of the month, and the money, we took a trip to Salt Lake to see JoAnn and Ted. They suggested Larry should look for a job in Salt Lake, so he applied at the State of Utah. He got a job right away as an Engineering Aid. We stayed with JoAnn and Ted till we found an apartment. We got Ted's brother Chuck to move us from Provo to Our new apartment in Salt Lake.

When I think back on those times I can't believe how brave we were. No job, no house, very little money and no car. We were so blessed by the Lord. He provided for two very young, and very inexperienced kids.

That was the first time I had ever seen snow. It didn't snow that year until Christmas eve. We woke in the morning in our new apartment and I remember saying to Larry, "Why is it so quiet?" He took my hand and led me to the service porch that was on the apartment. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was so beautiful. Ice was on every tree and on every telephone wire. It was so quiet and so breathtaking. We didn't stay long watching because it was so cold and we were in our pajamas.

We stayed in that apartment for less than a year, but I remember it with fondness. It was there that Jay learned to sit up and crawl. We enjoyed spending time with my sister and her cute little kids. Kris was a toddler and Steven was about 6 months older than Jay. That winter I had a lot of firsts. My first time to build a snowman, my first time to see the Temple, my first time to learn to be a mom. We were so young and sometimes foolish, but we were very happy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our first apartment. Where it all began.

Our very first home was an apartment near downtown Sacramento. It was only a few blocks from Joanne and Ted and my folks. It was an upstairs apartment and everything was pretty small except the bathroom. We lived there about a year. Jay was about 3 months old when we moved the first time.

We loved this apartment. When we lived there Larry was the Priest Quorum advisor. I think I taught the 12 yr olds in Sunday School. Since Larry was the advisor to a bunch of boys who were getting ready to be missionaries he spent a lot of time with them. We had a ping pong table in our little front room. We always had one or two priests over. The table took so much room that you could just walk around it between the furniture. When you served on one side of the table you were nearly standing in the kitchen and when you served on the opposite end you were nearly in the bedroom.

We had a dark room in the bathroom. We were really into copying genealogy pictures for people in the stake. We also copied a couple of books for Larry's genealogy. We did all our own developing. We had a pretty good camera. We enjoyed it for many years.

Outside our kitchen on a little porch high above the ground we had a close line that reeled out from the porch. As you hung the clothes you would push the line out on a reel and then pin the next item, and push it out again, until the line was full. Of course only rich people had dryers. And we were not rich.

When we married Larry had a job selling shoes in Karls Shoe Store. We soon figured out that we couldn't pay our $50 rent and eat on what he made. He canvased a few stores in the area (we had no car) and found a store that hired him to draft rooms of furniture so they could see how they fit into offices etc. He just made up the job and talked them into hiring him to do it. That still didn't pay enough but it was a little better. I worked in a nursery school until I got pregnant and then I had to quit because of the danger of my getting a contagious desease while I was expecting. Remember this was in the days before vacinations for such illnesses as Measles, Mumps, diptheria, etc.

The whole time we lived there we had to take the bus or walk where ever we went. I was pregnant for most of the time we lived there. We loved our ward and I had many wonderful mentors who helped me learn to cook and sew. I learned to bake bread while living in this apartment. I will always be grateful for that time and remember it with fondness.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Our Wedding November 27,1957

Larry and I got married when I was 19 yrs old and he was 23. We met and dated in Sacramento. We married in the closest temple to us at the time which was the Los Angeles Temple. Not for us was the big wedding many of you enjoyed with sealing rooms full and large receptions. My grandpa Cram and his wife, my step-grandma, drove us to Los Angeles. We didn't have a car.

There were just five of us there for our wedding. My Aunt Faye Olsen came with us. She lived in the L.A. area. Grandpa was one of the witnesses and they found a brother in the hall to come in and be the second witness. We loved it. We didn't see anyone but each other anyway.

After the temple Grandpa drove us to Hollywood to a hotel. He and Grandma went back to Sacramento and we were on our own for transportation for our honeymoon. We took a bus to Long Beach one of the days and went to the fun land on the beach. We walked all over Hollywood. It was Thanksgiving time so we watched the big Macys parade.

When we got home from our honeymoon we had our reception. It was held at my aunt Marva and Uncle Bay Hutching's home. I didn't have any attendants. I didn't even have a photographer. I had asked my brother to take the photos, but he thought my cousin Bob was taking them so no one brought their cameras. They were both good photographers. Uncle Bay did get an 8 mm family movie of about 6 seconds of the cake ceremony. Sandra had the movie film made into a video for us. We have loved watching it. We got some pictures from it, but they weren't very good.

The reception was fun and we had a good crowd. One of my college friends sang for us a song that was popular in our day..."The Glory of Love” We loved it. We almost forgot the only thing my Mother asked us to do for the reception...the flowers. We both remembered it as we were going out of our apartment to go to the wedding. We stopped at a local florist at 5 pm, as they closed, and we asked if they could do a bridal bouquet and some boutonnieres and corsages. They said they were closing and we begged them and they agreed to hurriedly put together the flowers we wanted. Ah the irresponsibility of the young!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lake Tahoe in the 60's

I don't really remember if it was in the late 60's or early 70's that I took the kids to the mountains for a week with another friend and her kids. Our husbands drove us up on the week end and helped us set up the tents and get camp ready for the week with 12 kids. (five were mine and 7 were her's). Michael was a baby so I guess it was in the 60's.

It was really fun even though we didn't have disposable diapers and we both had kids in diapers. We did have a little camp stove, but we cooked most of our meals over the camp fire. We washed clothes and diapers in a bucket and hung everything on our clothes lines. We took the kids on hikes and played games with them, but mostly they kept each other entertained. We even had time to read a book. It was surprisingly relaxing. We had it all planned so that all the hard work of setting up and taking down camp would be done by our husbands on week ends.

All good plans are subject to change. On Thursday I woke up with a strange foreboding feeling that we needed to get home. I asked Ann, my friend, how she felt and she said she had the same feeling. We acted on our feelings and began to pack the car and break camp as fast as we could. We both felt very urgent about doing this. Before we had finished getting everything we could packed up, and in and on our station wagon, I began to feel sick. By the time we were on our way down the mountain I had a high fever and felt so ill I could hardly drive. Ann was sick also, but the kids were fine. It was a four hour trip and by the time we reached home I was so ill I couldn't move except to groan. I had a very hard flu, the kind where you think you are going to die and afraid you won't.

We were very grateful for the prompting to leave when we did. If we had stayed with 12 kids and both of us were too sick to watch them it would have been disasterous. We had to leave the tents and some other things there as it had taken 2 cars to get us set up in the campground. Larry and Arnold had to go back up and bring the remainder of our things down on the following week-end. We had to get a babysitter for the children while he was gone because I was too sick to take care of them.

It was a wonderful vacation for 6 days. I think we all had a great time. I know I did.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Movie Night

Back in th 60's when there was no video, no IPod, no vcr's, no Dvr's, well pretty much no technology,we decided to have a big movie night at the ward. In those days you couldn't watch any movies at home except 8 mm home movies if you were lucky enough to have a movie camera.

Larry and I contacted Disney and rented a movie from them which was a 16 mm movie reel to reel. They sent it to us in the mail, which took about a week to get there, and we borrowed the projector for it from the stake or ward. We advertised the Movie Night to all our friends and ward members and assigned people to bring pop corn and little bags. We made home made root beer. We set up all the chairs in the cultural hall in North Highlands and Larry went over early to figure out how to get the projector to work. The movie was "That Darn Cat".

Our Movie Night was very well attended. The cultural hall was pretty full. The kids had fun. Remember, the only time any of us saw a movie was in the movie theater or on TV if there was ever one worthy of watching. We only had 4 channels on a 15 inch black and white tv with rabbit ears. No one had even imagined High Def!

I think maybe Jay or Sherry or Sandra may remember this event, but the younger kids from Victor down weren't even born yet. It was one of those memories that almost got lost...hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Vacations Before Yosemite

Long,long ago before we started taking the family to Yosemite every year we had different vacations. As a girl I never had vacations. The first time I ever left home was when Uncle Bay and Aunt Marva took me to Utah when I was 17. So when we got married we had our first vacation when I was expecting Jay. We went to the Redwoods and went camping with our friends the Cranes. It was beautiful and I loved it even though we slept right on the ground in our sleeping bags.

I still remember that time and many activities we had. We were very young and adventuresome. We decided to climb down into a hole in the mountain and I was 7 months pregnant. Dad let me down by a rope and that wasn't so bad, but coming up was a little scarey.

We also went to visit Aunt Maude, my dad's sister. I had only seen her a few times but it was wonderful to visit with her in her own home in Arcata. Arcata was the town my Dad was born in.

Over the next few years we took the family to the Redwoods often for vacation. It was about a four hour drive from Sacramento. We also took them to Helen's in Washington and to JoAnnes in Provo. Sometime we went to Pollack pines or to the beach. We even went to Lake Tahoe once. We had a vacation nearly every summer. I am not sure if Jay and Sherry and Sandra remember some of those vacations, but I expect they do. We started the Yosemite phase when Mike was a baby.

I am so glad we had regular family vacations. I am grateful to Dad for wanting to have a trip every year. That is one tradition I highly recommend!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Root Cellar

In pioneer times a root cellar was part of the structure of the family home. The practice of having them continued for many years and root cellars are still part of many farm houses. I can still remember my grandma's root cellar in her house in Sacramento. A root cellar is a great way to store your autumn harvest or to stock up on root vegetables for the winter. When we bought our home in Springville Larry decided that a root cellar was a very good idea. He made plans for digging one in our small backyard.

You have to dig down at least 6 ft. Larry planned to make the root cellar 8x10 suare and 8 ft deep. That is a lot of digging. Lucky for him Jay was a strong 16 year old and his friend Bill was willing to help too. The rest of the boys were too little, and although the girls did help some, most of the job was accomplished by Jay and Dad. We bought 100 lbs of potatoes from a local farmer, along with some apples, onions, and carrots. Those potatoes really came in handy as money was tight that winter. The kids can still tell you a million ways to cook, fry and grate potatoes.

Ever since the Lord told Adam to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow man has known that work is good. Every child needs to learn to work and boys need to learn that working so hard you sweat is good!

When we moved to West Valley in 1981 we had a new crop of boys. We needed another root cellar to teach that great principle of work til you sweat! This time Mark and Mike were the teenagers so they got life's great lesson. I think Dad even put Vic and Dave to work with a shovel. They were only 8 and 9. We did get a great root cellar again! It was even a little better than the first one and boxes and boxes of fruits and vegetables were stored for the winter.

Probably the best thing produced by the Root Cellars was strong boys. They learned that work is good and sometimes it really feels good to work until you sweat!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Christmas in the Mountains

In about 1967 we decided that it would be fun for the kids to have a white Christmas. They had never seen snow and they were very excited. We took our Christmas account and by adding to it we were able to rent a cabin in Lake Tahoe. We purchased our Christmas gifts at the Good Will since it took so much money to rent the cabin.

We left home for the mountains on Christmas eve day. What should have been a 4 hour trip took us at least 6 as we were in front of a huge storm. We had to stop and put chains on and we barely made it to the cabin when all the roads from Sacramento were closed. We were so excited to be in beautiful Lake Tahoe, and snug in our little cabin in the snow. We made dinner and did the Nativity Scene with the kids. After steaming cups of cocoa we put all the kids to bed. Jay was about 9 and Sherry was 7,Sandi was 6 and Mark was 4 and the baby Michael was about 18 months.

Larry and I set up all the gifts on a table and went to bed in anticipation of Christmas morning. What we awoke to was a huge snow storm. It had piled snow up to the middle of all the windows and we couldn't even open the door. It was beautiful. After breakfast and after the kids had opened their gifts we bundled them all up and went out to play in the snow. We shoveled off the porch and as Larry was just finishing up a huge pile of snow slid off the roof and onto the porch that he had just shoveled. We all had a great laugh. Then we went sledding and Jay found some 6 foot icecyles hanging from the eaves. He had one huge popscycle! We were snowed in for 2 days which was exactly perfect as that is when we had planned to leave for home. We had to dig the car out, it was completely buried.

The kids loved their first white Christmas and they didn't even notice that they had Good Will toys! I'm sure if you asked them they would still remember that Christmas as one of their favorites!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mike and the Donut Job

When we lived in West Valley,then known as Hunter, Utah, Michael took a summer job delivering donuts...actually spudnuts. He worked for a lady in the area, I think her name was Shirley. All the kids who worked for her would go over in the morning on Saturday and pick up from her the amount of donuts they thought they could sell. They would bring her the money and she would pay them their share of the profits. That's the best I can remember on the details. Well, Michael being the sharp business man that he was figured out that little kids would work for a donut. He would get the little 11 year olds to go door to door and sell his donuts for him and he would give each kid a donut when he finished his route. (Vic can probably expand on this as he was one of the little kids who sold for Mike) So when mike would go to shirleys to pick up the donuts he was picking up more than half of what she had to sell. He would sit at home and hand out boxes of donuts to the little pre scouts and collect the money from them. He got all the profit except for the small amount of donuts he gave the kids. Finally one day the lady asked Mike how he sold so many boxes of donuts every saturday. He honestly explained his business to her and she said to me, "he's doing my job!" It really was a win win situation. She didn't lose anything, Mike was cleaning up and the little kids were perfectly happy eating their profits. It is an example of American free enterprise at its lowest leval! I think I am the only one who lost! I was out two helpers every saturday and in fact spent more time than I"d like to admit in helping with the accounts and transportation. Ah well,such is Motherhood!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Grandma Jorgensen

Many of the older grandchildren remember Grandma Jorgensen but for those of you who don't I want to introduce you to the most incredible woman. Larry's mom, Grandma Jorgensen, was born in Deweyville,Utah in 1906. She was the oldest daughter and was raised on a farm. It was her job to drive the cows to the pasture everymorning as a child. She loved to be with her brother Will, but she was really good at getting out of farm work as often as she could as a child. She would hide in a tree or in the outhouse til her mom stopped calling her. That seems relly hard for me to understand as she was the hardest working woman I ever knew.

Grandma was the best mother-in-law any girl could ask for. She loved me like a daughter and I loved her as much as I did my own mother, which was a lot! As I look back on my life all the very hardest times she was there to help me through. Once we had to move from Cleveland to Maryland with two kids in casts,and 6 other children of various ages. Larry had gone ahead to start a new job and I was left to pack up and move to a new place all by myself. So grandma flew out to help me. I know I could'nt have done it without her. She would just roll up her sleeves and pitch in. In Maryland they had the most severe thunderstorms any of us westerners had ever witnessed. One night about 10 pm it started to thunder and lightening was flashing and the whole house shook. Larry and I were clinging to each other in bed when the children started to arrive. One by one they jumped up on the bed and clung to each other. The last one in was grandma. She jumped on the bed with the rest of us. We all ended up laughing and finally we all traipsed out to the front porch to witness natures fireworks. It was frightening and amazing and a whole lot more fun cause grandma was there.
When we lived in San Jose in the first house we rented she came for a visit. She never stayed with us that she didn't do more than her share of the work. She always insisted on doing all the dishes. One day she decided Mark should pick the fruit on our cherry tree. After he had climbed the tree he whined that he couldn't do it, so Grandma-who was in her 70's - just cimbed up that tree and showed him how to do it.
She was a wonderful friend to me and a wonderful grandma to the kids. I can't wait for all of you to meet her and learn to love her like all of us who knew her did.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


In the spring of 1979 Shrerry was finishing up a semester at the Y and we decided to take a trip from Cleveland to Provo to pick her up. It seemed like if I told the kids ahead about anything relly fun that they would get out of control with excitement! Trying to get ready for a trip with five little kids who were impossible to control seemed like a nightmare to me. I told Larry that I wasn’t going to tell them that we were going, so we planned our little surprise.
I began preparations in secret…kids are pretty clueless if you can keep a low profile. Somehow was able to get a lot of things done without them getting wind of an eminent trip. The night before we were going to leave we said to them,” How would you guys like to sleep in the Van tonight…You can have a sleepover and pretend you are camping?” Of course they loved the idea. I said, “You can even sleep in your clothes if you want to.” They always loved that.
So we got them all bedded down in the back of the Van. There was Mark, Mike,Vic and David and Christine. James was only one and so he stayed in the house. After they were all asleep we packed the car around them. We put each child’s clothes in a pillow case and stuffed them under the seats.
At the crack of dawn Larry and I got in the car and started driving. It was several hours later that the kids woke up. One by one their sleepy heads poked up over the back seat. We were met with big smiles, and lots of questions. They loved the surprise of going on a trip clear to Utah. They loved stopping in a rest stop for breakfast. It was probably the easiest trip we had taken, and we had taken a lot of trips. What started out to be a break for me turned out to be the best surprise ever for them.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Did you ever notice how many bikes it takes to keep a family going? I'll just bet if you added them up they probably would average at least three or four each. And to think I didn't even ever have one! At one point when we had four little boys and their big brother I couldn't even tell whose bike was whose. Not because I wasn't paying attention, but because every bike was transformed periodically. If one bike was missing a seat someone would take one from somebody elses bike that was flat. If someone needed a tire or a tube or a peddal and there was an idle bike, oops there goes the peddal! Sometimes the handlebars on Daves bike would end up on Vics and Jay would need to get somewhere right now so he would repair his bike from whose ever looked broken.

We even, periodically, would take a whole Saturday for dad to just repair all the bikes. That was sometimes extremely interesting! Knid of like a chinese puzzel. Just imagine trying to sort out all the parts and get the right ones back on the right bike in the right order and repaired. You can see why I think my husband is a geneous. He was so patient with all the lost tools, the inspired combinations and the spats over parts. Those were the days myfriend, those were the days.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I had the cutest babies.

Sometimes I just wish I could jump back in time and hold my babies again, they were all so adorable. I know everyone thinks their kids are the cutest but mine really were. Jay had the brightest eyes; sherry had such an adorable smile and was so cuddly; Sandi was such an independant spirit and so determined even as a tiny baby; Mark was such a fighter and was so hard to win over; Mike was an imp with a twinkle in his eye; Victor was such a mommas boy, so loved; David was my only grumpy baby, but it wasn't his fault. We found out when he was still very little that he had ear infections. He had a most engaging smile; Christine was probably the most played with baby of all time! Sandi was 11 and Sherry 12 when she was born and since she was the first girl in nearly 10 years. They had to try on every little outfit she had everyday, and she had a lot! James was number 9 and he was born 5 years after Christine so you can imagine how treasured he was; Valerie was so cute and feminine. She got lots of attention from all her big brothers. Probably more than she wanted.
I really miss holding my babies but I am very blessed to have grandbabies and great grandbabies to fill my arms and my heart.

Friday, August 27, 2010

More on Grandpa Davis

My dad wasn't a member of our church until I had five children and he loved to tell the story of when he and my mother were young marrieds. A couple in their apartment building invited them over for dinner. Dad loved to shock people with the comment, "You know we aren't really married cause we were married by a mormon bishop who was an undertaker, and they can bury you but they can't marry you." He just started the story with "You know we aren't really married..." when the other couple burst out with "Oh really, we aren't either!" In those days that was not something people shared with their neighbors. Dad didn't finish the story and Mom was mad at him for leaving the wrong impression...but they laughed about it for years.

My Dad loved to play the piano. I guess he didn't play all that well, but to me he was a genius! He played rag time and songs of the day and sometimes he played classical music. He and Mom had a deal; If he would entertain us all with music she wouldn't ask him to help with the dinner. I remember setting the table lots of times as I danced to his ragtime music.

He also did posters for people. This was in a day before all the graphic design and things we all have access to now on the computer. He often sat in the front room with a drafting board on his lap making a poster, or a christmas card design for some family. He was a very good artist but all his art was in black and white as he was color blind. He used to draw us stories as he made them up for us.

As I said yesterday, I wish all my grandkids could have an hour or two with my dad!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Grandpa Davis

Oh how I wish all the grandchildren and great grandchildren of Grandpa Davis could have known him as Helen and I knew him. He was so much fun and so entertaining. He had all his favorite sayings and stories that we delighted in and still delight in. Some of you may have noticed how the first generation never eat their pie point first. that is a legacy of Grandpa. He would always turn his pie around and eat it from the crust to the point. If you asked him why he ate it that way he would simply say I don't want the point to stick me. When we were little he would begin drumming his fingers on the table, starting with the index finger to the baby finger and while he drummed he would sing "Hi Ho Pinky!" We would all start to giggle as he intertained us with pinky stories. He loved to sing...incidently he sang a beautiful baritone, and he would regale us all with songs like " I took a trip on a sailing ship with a walloping window blind" or "I had a dog and her name was daisy when she sang the cat went crazy", and many more. When he read stories to us he would have us all in stitches as he changed the words of well known stories and made up his own versions of them changing every thing around. I was so surprised as I got older and heard the real version of such stories as "Alice in Wonderland" and "Uncle Remus"...they were so different than I remembered!

Dad was so fun to be around that when he would meet someone in a line at a bank or a store he would end up with a lifelong friend. He loved to act in community theater and was in many plays including "The Man Who Came to Dinner" and other classics. Because of his parts in plays he had many nicknames. When someone called on the phone for him we would know if it was work or a neighbor or someone from the theater or his lodge by the name they called him. He was known as Dave by the neighbors (his last name being Davis) as Frank by the Lodge as JF or Doc by theater friends as Jack by the people he worked with, my mom called him Franklyn, his sister called him Jackie but I just called him Dad.

Someday you grandchildren and great grandchildren will get to know him too and you will just call him grampa, and he will love it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Alma 5 -My interpretation

I love Alma 5 and thought I would put into my own words some of the things I got out of his 41 questions.

1. We should never forget what our ancesters and others did to make our lives comfortable and free. We should remember that they were delivered by the hand of God as we are everyday.

2. We need to remember that the savior has delivered all of us from all the bands of death(physically and spiritually) We can only hope for salvation through his atoning sacrifice.

3. We must be spiritually born of God.

4. We must have his image in our countenances.

5. We must have a mighty change of heart. Sometimes everyday!

6.We must exercise faith in the redemtion.

7.We must look forward to the judgement with faith...we will be judged by the deeds we have done in mortality.

8.We need to have clean hands and a pure heart.

9. We must not become subjects of the devil.

10. Now we need to want to sing the song of redeeming love.

11. We must walk blameless before God. ( to do that we must repent everyday)

12.We need to be Humble.

13. We need to be stripped of pride and envy.

14.We must not make a mock of our brothers or persecute others. I,ll have to finish later.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dogs Dogs and More doggone Dogs!

As in many families, our family dog was an important part of our family. It just wasn't 'one' dog. Over the years we had many family pooches. Different children in our family remember different dogs and 'man's best friend' in our lives was everyones best friends(plural).

When Larry and I first got married we got our first dog within the first year. Jay was a baby and we wanted him to grow up with a dog. Our first faithful pet was a beautiful cocker spaniel. She was rust colored and papered. We loved her, she reminded me of Lady in "Lady and the Tramp". Unfortunately she died before Jay was big enough to remember her. She got distemper.

A few years went by before we got our second dog. Sherry was a toddler and we had just moved into our first house. This time it was a beagle. He was very cute when he was a puppy but since we were not experts in training puppies he soon became a biter and left a scar on my toddlers cheek. We had to give him away. Now I wish I had just taken him to a class and learned how to train him.

After awhile we were offered a beautiful german shepherd puppy. Because of his beautiful color we named him Smokey. He was a sweet dog and didn't have any of the bad habits that lots of dogs have. He didn't dig, he didn't bark needlessly, He didn't jump on the kids or bite. I loved him and had great hopes of his becomming a wonderful watch dog and family friend. Unfortunately my watch dog got stolen. The kids and I were broken hearted and put up fliers and everything but he was never found.

Sometime later we aquired Doby. He was a doberman mix and he had all the bad habits that smokey didn't have. We tried to keep him in the back yard because he was very protective and would bark and bite anyone who came near the kids. Larry even buried chicken wire under the fences so he couldn't dig out of the yard. Then he would either chew his way through or just leap the 6 ft fence. When the mailman reported us because he got bit we had to get rid of Doby.

Finally we got Tramp. She was a cute little poodle mix. We found her running around the parking lot at the grocery store. We checked the ads for weeks but never found her owner. She became ours and was with us many years. We bred her first with a poodle and got adorable puppies. We sold them all but one. He looked like a black miniture poodle. Victor, who was a little guy at the time named him Jaques. We bred her the next to a peekenees and had 'peek a poo' puppies. We sold them all and finally got her fixed. When we moved to Utah we found Tramp and Jaques both a good home together. Can you even imagine trying to move across two states with 8 kids including a screaming 18 month old and two dogs in a station-wagon?

Several years later we got our best friend and the dog most of the kids remember as 'the family dog'. We took the kids to the pound to find a dog and Mike picked out Happy. She was a Basset/Beagle mix and looked anything but happy! She had big sad eyes and floppy ears and she was the sweetest pet we ever had! We had Happy for many years. We even moved her with us across the country more than once. She lived with us in Utah then Ohio, then Washington DC and then back to Utah! When we moved to California in 1982 we left her with a family Sandi was staying with until I came back in a month to pick up Mark. I was going to bring her home with me then. The last week before I was to leave Sandi called and explained that Happy was gone. She used to go out each day for awhile and then she would come back, but one day she didn't come back. Sandi called animal control and tried to find her but she was gone. We only hope that she found a good home. The kids were heartbroken as were Larry and I. We didn't get another dog for years. She was the best doggone dog of all!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Auction

As the kids were growing up we started a tradition in our family, 'The Auction'. Starting the day after Halloween the kids would get to start earning their money for the auction. The money was monopoly money and had to be earned by doing household chores. The bigger the job the more money you could get. The jobs ranged from easy ones the little kids could do to much harder ones the older children would tackle. The money was saved carefully until Auction day. We usually held the Auction after Thanksgiving a few weeks before Christmas. The purpose of the Auction was three-fold. First to help the kids to have a way to buy each other presents for Christmas; the second reason was to teach them that work could be fun; and the third purpose was to learn responsibility. If a child had earned a lot of money and lost it he had to start over. If he spent all his money at the auction for food he wouldn't have any presents for his siblings. If he waited too long to start earning his monopoly money he wouldn't have enough for all he wanted to buy.

It was comical sometimes watching the kids fight over the jobs. One afternoon as the older kids came running in the house from school they were trying to be the first one in the house so they could get the job of washing the hall walls. My neighbor was over for a visit as they came scrambling in trying to be the first to get the job. "Mom said I could wash the walls!" "Huhuh I got here first so I get to wash them" they were shouting. My neighbor turned to me in shock and said, "How do you get them to do that? My kids won't even clean their rooms!" I explained to her that the walls were worth a lot more than cleaning their rooms. One time a neighbor child was playing with my kids and they were working for money for the auction. The child watching got so excited he asked if he could have a job too! He didn't even know about the auction or the money, my kids were just so enthusiastic about the jobs that he got caught up in the fun.

The Auction itself was an exciting night. At the Auction you could buy all kinds of things including food, toys, books, things for yourself or for others. We tried to make each item unique. We would sometimes sell whole pies or sometimes cupcakes or hotdogs or small items for the price the first one ended up going for. Dad was the auctioneer and many lessons were learned as children would start by bidding each other up and then if a child was smart and saved his money things would go much cheaper as the money got scarcer. The children were able to view the items before we started so they could plan their strategies. There was a lot of laughter and some tears as someone won out on an item that the other coveted. Little ones didn't realize the toy he wanted would probably be under the tree from an older child. It was fun to watch the older children help the younger ones learn the art of bidding and strategy.

Since we had so many children it made the auction really fun. As our family grew and we only had our last two at home we began to include grandchildren. Finally, though, it had to end as James and Valerie got too big to enjoy it. I am happy to say that some of the married children have continued the tradition in their families. We all remember the auction with fondness, and all have learned a lesson or two from those great times.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Red Carpet

Our first house in North Highlands was 940 square ft. It was small even when we moved there with four kids but as the years went by and the family grew it seemed to get smaller and smaller. We had three bedrooms and two of them were 10x10. By the time we had 7 children we had 5 boys and two girls and that meant toys and clothes and dressers and beds and there simply was not enough space for everything. Larry thought it would be a grand idea if we had new carpet laid and took out all the beds and made everyone a sleeping bag that they could roll up in the day time. Then they would have room to play and there would just be dressers and toys to deal with. So we got bright red carpet laid throughout the house. It was bright! The kids loved it because they felt like they could go to sleep wherever they wanted to. At first we let them, but that soon got old. In one of the first days Jay decided he wanted to take his sleeping bag into the bathroom and sleep in the bath tub! We figured he'd find out the "hard" way that that wasn't a good idea. He did! He woke up with all kinds of cricks in his body. Even a 12 year old can't take that kind of punishment.

At first I liked the idea of clean rooms all the time and since we all kept our shoes off in the house it didn't seem so bad when a child would roll off his pillow and have his face on the carpet. (something I worried about) After a while though I changed my mind. It was down right embarrassing when one of the kids got sick and had to have a blessing.

Eventually we brought the beds back and Jay who was the oldest moved out to the garage. Then we only had 4 boys in one room and two girls in the other. Much later I thought about the effect that red carpet probably had on my ADDHD kids. Live and learn I always say and isn't it true..we all do.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jay , some stories of his young life

There are so many memories and stories of Jay as a child that it is hard to know where to start. Since it is nearly birthday time for him this post is in his honor.

Everyone knows how wonderful and exciting the first child is. As parents we are inexperienced and need to use trial and error in everything we do. Oh how we loved our new baby and how intimidated we felt.

Jay was a happy baby and an adorable toddler. For his third christmas his grandma Jorgensen gave him a red shiney fire engine that he could peddle. We lived in a house on 53rd street in Sacramento which was about 3 miles from our chapel. When Jay was 4 primary was held on wednesday mornings. One day his usual ride to primary didn't come and instead sent a lady to pick him up that he didn't know. When he got to primary he had a substitute teacher. I didn't always go with him and I guess he felt lonely and nothing seemed the same so he asked his teacher if he could go get a drink of water. When he left the room he just kept going and left the building and decided he would just go home. The route home was not a straight one. There were many turns and large boulivards to cross, and as I said it was about three miles from our house. He walked the right way but only got about half way when a lady stopped him and asked if he was lost. He said no, "but would you call my daddy, I'm tired." He then told the lady his fathers name and the street he lived on and she found our number in the phone book and called us. By then the primary and noticed he was gone and were in an uproar trying to find him. By the time they called us we had just hung up from the call from the lady who had Jay at her house. Needless to say I was very shaken and cried all the way over to get him just thinking about the danger he had been in and could have been in. He wasn't the least bit upset. He was just glad he didn't have to walk the rest of the way home.

When Jay was about 8 or nine his daddy built him a club house in our backyard. We lived in North Highlands then and had a large back yard. The club house was 6 ft off the ground on Tall legs with a sand box underneath and a rope ladder to get up into the club house. Larry also built some swings underneith and put a flag on the club house. It had windows and a door in the floor. Jay and daddy even slept out in the club house one time. He loved his club house and shared it with his sisters when they got big enough to enjoy it.

There are so many stories, but that is enough for today. I will write more later. Happy Birthday Jay!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Football Momma style

Anyone who knows me knows I love football. I have loved watching it since I was 15 and my brother-in-law, Gene introduced me to it. At the time I didn't think any thing about the fact that all girls got to do was watch, it was how it was. As the years went by I realized that girls missed out on a lot of good stuff. I figured football was one of them. I continued to watch all the football I could, and I continued to wish they had let me play football in school.

My husband and I moved to our first house in 1964. Our oldest son was then almost 6 years old. When he became a cub scout I became a den mother. It follows, doesn't it? I thought so. We had many fun times together in our pack meetings and one day all the boys decided they would play football. Ah Hah! My chance! I was sure it would be a piece of cake with a bunch of 9 year olds. I could show them how to do it. I could TEACH them all the things I knew. I could be a quarterback!!!!!

Don't get too excited. They all knew how to play 9 year old style and even though I was not yet thirty they thought they needed to teach me! I didn't even get to be the quarterback. They did call one play where I got to be the reciever. That would have been great if I had caught the ball. Then they had me block for awhile, but I didn't want to hurt any of my little scouts. Finally they decided to let me kick. I always loved the kickers. I think they are the unsung heroes of the game. So we placed the football carefully ( someone had to hold it of course) and I went back for my grand moment. When I kicked the ball I somehow broke my toe. It wasn't my fault. I was worried about the little ball holder. And anyway it was a game being played on cement. I am sure I could have been a great football hero. The only trouble is I was born too soon.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A tale of a big wind and a sail and me!

Larry and I are updating our little yard in back. We have planted half of our 15x20 yard in garden and the rest we are making into a patio. Larry has been working or should I say laboring for days laying stones for the extension to the existing cement slab. Yesterday I bought a 10x10 portable gazebo for shade. It is so huge in our yard that it covers the whole patio. It looks great and made laying the tiles in 90 degrees a lot easier than when the sun was beating on Larry and baking him. Well now the story begins... he went to the temple today to do a shift and a little thunderstorm blew in with gusts of about 30 to 40 miles per hour. When I heard the wind I jumped up and ran outside and sure enough the gazebo was blown across the garden. I grabbed my shoes and ran out to save it. Very funny! It was a giant sail and when I tried to move it to stablize it, it nearly blew me away! It would have been really funny to watch me trying to hold on to it so I could secure it without stepping on my new garden. First I tried to hold it down by putting some 10 inch spikes in each leg and hammer them thru a plastic ring into the ground, but it was just like a toothpick and the thing was still trying to blow away. I was hanging on the bar that goes around the top of the roof and the four 8 ft legs were skiddering around the patio. It actually partially picked me up and I was afraid I couldn't hang on to it. By then I was trying to figure out what to do to secure it. So while trying to hold it, one leg blew over the fence and I couldn't move without losing the whole thing in the wind. I lifted as high as I could and the next gust blew it back into the yard and onto it's top. Ah hah that was the answer! I positioned it to fit the patio and put some bricks and a planter on top and just as I got it secured the wind died down and I stood there sweating and panting and laughing!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Time for another family group picture. This is about 1962. We were living in a house on 54th street in Sacramento. Jay was in kindergarten. We loved that old house. It had a huge front room and dining room and areas, but only had two bedrooms and a small bathroom. We lived there until Mark was born and then we bought a house in North Highlands. One of the fun things about the house was it had a huge wrap around porch. You could enter the house by either the front room door or the one that went into the dining room. I think that was kind of an archetechtural style of the homes built in those days. On one side of the porch there was a garden of Calla lillies. The drop from the porch to the ground was about 8 ft. There was a wall around the porch with about a foot wide top on the wall. The kids used to love to run around on the top of it. I tried to stop them but they thought they were invincible. Of course in their enthusiasm someone got pushed off into the Calla lillies. 8 ft down. Lucky no broken bones or lasting injuries.

That was the house where I remember our first Christmas. (the first one I remember) Jay was about three at the time and Sherry was a year and Sandi was a baby. Larry's mom bought Jay a little red fire engine that he could peddle around. He really loved that fire engine. Larry and I got the kids a horse that had springs that they could rock on. Anyone older than my oldest kids will remember those rocking horses. It was the favorite thing for years. I think we had at least two of them if not more over the years.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Soon to be added upon!
Today my 10th great grandchild will come into the world. (RoseAnne is in labor and expects to deliver her baby boy tonite.) Thinking of the miracle of birth and of the joy that comes at the birth of any child reminds me of some of my experiences in child birth. I was very fortunate in that I gave birth pretty easily. My longest labor was 7 hours and my shortest 3. Valerie, my last child was one of the funniest. I had toxemia so the Dr decided to induce me about 3 weeks early. They started the drip at about 9 am and a couple of hours later I was telling the nurse she had better get the Dr. He had left to go change into his scrubs. Luckily she believed me when I told her the birth was eminent. She hurriedly left the labor room to go get an intern. Before she got back I had to push and out came Valerie . Larry said "what was that?" I said "its the baby." He lifted up the blanket and sure enough there was Valerie. Right at that moment the Nurse and the intern walked in and took over. I think this is proof of Valeries need for privacy. I'm sure she planned her entrance to be as private as possible.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

means flowers and babies and family

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Station Wagons that go down in the Haskin history.

We had several station wagons over the years and so many stories attached to them. One stationwagon we had had kind of windows on the top. you could look up and watch the sky as you were riding. It was cool. It had a back,back seat that faced backwards. The kids used to love to sit there and watch where we had been. One day I was driving by the high school near our home and someone hit a homer over the fence. You can guess where it landed. Yep right on top of my car. It broke the window that was on top of the car. I remember how difficult that was to explain to the insurance agent.
Another station wagon we had had a back gate that layed down flat to climb in and out of. We went to Yosemite every year for vacation and we had just pulled up to our camp spot and were unloading the car. Everyone was carrying something and last of all was a watermelon. Mark was about four and he got up in the back of the station wagon and rolled the watermelon right out and onto the ground! Of course it was smashed to pieces. We ask Mark why he had done that and he simply said "I don't like watermelon." I guess it made sense to him.
I got one of the two tickets I have ever had, driving the kids down to Paula's. The kids were playing the game where you pump your arm when you pass a truck and the trucker would blast his horn. The kids kept telling me to hurry up to the next truck and since I had a non functioning speedometer in the station wagon I was soon speeding. When I stopped for the flashing red lights and the police officer came to my window, Jay blurted out from the back seat.."It wasn't her fault our speedometer doesn't work!." He thought he was helping but he nearly got me two tickets instead of one!

Friday, May 7, 2010

In 1975 we sponsered a Vietnamese family. This picture shows Vo and our three littlest kids. I love this picture of Christine. (Chrissy at the time) Dave and Vic taught Vo english in all their playing. One time they were jumping on the couch and knocking each other off the back of the couch. Vo kept repeating 'nocadom' over and over. We thought it was vietnamese but later we figured out he was just trying to say 'knock ya down'.

At the time we had our family of eight children and the Vietnamese family which consisted of Hao and Hong who were newlyweds, Tung (20)who was a brother of Hao, and Vo (4) and an older sister (16) of Hong. There was also Trung(20) who was unrelated to them. Our house was full and we were supporting everyone at the time as it took awhile for the family to find jobs.
One Sunday when I went to prepare dinner I realized all I had was a few cans of tuna and some bread. I was pondering how that was going to work when there was a knock on the door. There at my door stood a family of angels. They were our neighbors who had felt impressed to share with us. They had their arms full of food and a wagon loaded with home canned fruits and vegetables. We were so grateful to them and to our Heavenly Father who watches over all his children.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We all know the stubborness of the Crams...I have a great story about my mom (Erna) and her dad(Grandpa Cram) when she was about 19 years old. She used to love to say that the street car she took only went to 'Q' street so she had to walk a block to 'pee". I guess when grandpa heard her make the comment he called her on it and told her the street car did stop at P street. Thus commenced a huge argument on whether the street car stopped at Q or P street. Finally in frustration mom said to grandpa "I'll prove it to you! " and she called the bus line. When she got the lady on the phone she ask her the question, and sure enough she was right. She thrust the phone at grandpa saying "would you repeat that to my father please". After Grandpa listened he hung up the phone and in a loud voice exclaimed, "That woman doesn't know what she's talking about!" Oh the confidence of the Crams...they are always right, even when they are wrong!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I remember one spring when we had 5 kids and we lived in North Highlands which is north of Sacramento. It was a rainy foggy early spring week and we wanted to get out of the fog. We planned a trip to the mountains above Placerville on Saturday. As anyone with children knows it took a lot of preparation to get ready. We were finally set to go about 10 in the morning. We had loaded all the food, coats, kids and parents in the old station wagon. After the usual arguments about who was going to sit where and who was touching who we took off. Everyone was excited for the mini vacation. We drove to the out skirts of town and the car just died. We pulled into a service station to see what the problem was. After sitting in the car for what seemed like hours as Larry checked everything he could think of we had to give up and call off the trip. I don't remember how we got the car home. (It was, after all, over 40 years ago) The rest of the day was spent with Larry trying to solve the mystery. He finally took off the gas tank and found that it was full of balloons! One of the kids had put water balloons in the gas tank! I won't mention the name of the child but I think it was a hard lesson to wonderful day in the mountains and everyone blaming you!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This is our first family group picture, Taken in 1958 in Salt Lake City at the Temple grounds. The baby, of course is Jay. Wow don't I look young? What happened? (besides age and gravity)
I am hoping to share lots of the funny stories, experiences both fun and sad, family fables, myths and misnomers of the Haskin Clan. Every family has stories. It is what makes each family unique. Each family has it's own style and flavor. I hope by sharing some of our history and stories and chapters you will be able to sense who we are. So here goes...hope you enjoy the ride!
By way of introduction: I am Arden Davis Haskin and I was born in Sacramento Calif. in 1938. I am married to my wonderful husband of fifty two years, Laurence (Larry) J. Haskin. I will tell how we met and our love story in another post. We are the parents of ten wonderful , amazing, terrific children. Our first is Jay Laurence Haskin, born in 1958 then came Sherry Elizabeth Haskin born in 1960. Our third child was Sandra Rosemary Haskin born in 1961. Mark William came next in 1963. He was premature and I was advised to wait three years at least before having another child sooo...Michael Bay Haskin was born in 1966. Then came the second half of our family: Victor Owen was born in 1968 followed by David John in 1971. We finally got another girl; Christine LaPreal was born in 1972. James Daniel in 1978 and Valerie Lynn in 1981 completed our family.
In the coming blogs I will attempt to relate experiences that will be humorous and revealing of the Larry and Arden family. Feel free to make comments, edit where necessary and ask any questions you like