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.