Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Coaching Again

Tom has been involved in Special Olympics for quite a few years.  We've always had great volunteer/parent coaches.  The athletes favorite sport is Bocce Ball.  They all participate and love it! I've wanted to be a coach for some time but the opportunity to be trained was never convenient.  It was an in person all day kind of thing that was always somewhere far away.  

Our Bocce coaches hung up their coaching duties last Fall.  I decided I needed to get trained.  These days it is a lot easier to get trained.  Just go online and take a test.  It's the kind of test that if you get a question wrong, you go back and find the right one.  You can't move on until you have the correct answer.  Do the test and voila, you are now a coach!

Pat and I have taken over coaching the 2 Bocce teams.  We split them up by gender this year rather than by scores.  The male team is Lightning and the female team is Girl Power!  Last week we had our scrimmage and both teams did fantastic!  They both won both of their games.  

So here I am, back coaching again.  This time the practices are once a week and very fun compared to making the athletes work hard like in high school.  I'm having a good time.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Memorial Scholarship

Twenty-three years ago after my mother passed, her boss, Frederic Eberlein set up an outstanding 8th grader award along with a scholarship.  He put enough money in the fund to last for 20 years. It's been given out for 23 years with enough left for one more year.

The criteria are as follows:
1. Student has displayed and demonstated a positive attitude, cooperative, considerate, courteous.
2. Character:  willingness to follow rules, dependable, truthful, punctual.
3.  Outstanding within their own dimensions regardless of ability or disability.
4.  Academic achievement commensurate to one's ability.
5.  Involement in extra-curricular activities.

This is voted on by the staff.

Mr. Klopke always presented the award when he was still working at school.  Since his retirement, I have been asked if I would like to present this award.  Over the past several years I  have taken this responsibility with great joy.  The funds in the account are low and my husband and I are considering funding it for many more years.  In fact, if we do that, I'd like to add my dad's name to the scholarship as he was a local hard-working businessman.

It fills my heart to know that someone thought enough of my mother's work ethic to name an award and a scholarship for her.  I think that is a testament to her character.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


 Back in December when we were interviewed by Elder Scott, our area Seventy, to be extended the calling as Area Temple and Family History Advisors, I will admit I had my reservations.  I sat and listened to him describe the calling (He wasn't too sure what it all involved, or so it seemed.)  I knew it was something I had no desire to do and didn't know how I could tell a Seventy "no."  Since my husband had alread accepted, I didn't feel I had much choice.  Besides, I have covenanted to do whatever I can to build up the Kingdom of God on the earth.

In the past 6-8 weeks, I have discovered that I can add memories to my family search page and those of my relatives.  I've gone crazy!  I've uploaded more than 150 photos and stories and documents.  I started with obituaries since they tell a story.  Then I started with photos and finally stories.
I feel that finding these people's names is really important.  But just as important is finding out who they were.  Pictures tell a lot of stories.
 Cards and letters tell an even greater story.  I spent several hours typing people's words from their condolence cards into my parents' memories.
 Anyone who takes the time to look and read will find out that my dad was a kind, gentle, generous man with a heart as big as all outdoors.
 You'll find out that my mother was a woman of great testimony and who loved to serve.  Mostly anonymously.  She loved and cherished others.
 You will find out that others looked up to and wanted to be like them.  This is a marvelous legacy they have left for their posterity.  Now the grandchildren will have place to get to know these wonderful people.
 Once I feel I'm finished with them, I will go on to my grandparents.  I've actually started a little there as well.
 I wrote my own conversion story after I typed one of my mother.  I I researched her conversion by speaking with my dad and my uncle as well as the missionaries who taught her.  I wish it were her own words instead of mine but I don't have them.  What's worse is that I know nothing of my own father's conversion.  He was here and I never asked him.
As we meet with the stake presidencies and high counselors over family history, I am inviting them to write their conversion stories as well as the courtship with their wife and about their missions.  The Lord has commanded that we keep records and this is one way of doing it.

My husband has been bitten by the research bug and I have been bitten by the memory bug.  It is truly exciting!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Stake President Wrap Up

Who knew that when a person gets released from being the Stake President that an area historian would contact them and ask for you and your wife to do an oral history?  Certainly not us!  This wonderful woman, Sister Rosemary Palmer along with her husband are area historians.  The best part of their calling is that they live in Nauvoo kitty corner from the temple.  A beautiful home built to look like it fit in the Nauvoo era.  This oral history could easily have been done via the phone but they live in NAUVOO so we made the trip.
We left on a Thursday afternoon and stopped for the night in Poplar Grove to spend some time with Jack and Sharmon Ward.  We love those two people.  We met them while he served as an area seventy.  They have been called to serve as President of the Roseville, California Mission.  We asked some questions about their receiving this call.  They talked about a lot of things and concerns they hadn't spoken to anyone else about.  I guess we are far enough removed that they didn't have a problem voicing the things they are feeling.
We enjoyed a wonderful evening meal and another wonderful meal for breakfast with them.  It was just so great being with them again.  They are truly kindred spirits to us.  Our entire visit consisted of talking about the gospel.  We didn't worry about the things of the world and barely discussed anything like that.  Just a good-for-the-soul kind of visit.

We traveled to Nauvoo on Friday and stayed at "Nauvoo Neil's" home on the flats.  We took the Community of Christ tour.  I can imagine what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints would do to those homes if they owned them.  Still, a nice tour.

We attended the temple in the evening.  It was the first time in months that I have gone through an endowment session as a patron.  I believe October was the last time.  As I sit through it, I image what I need to do as the follower.  I did help an elderly woman with dressing as much as I could.  It was a very nice evening and we went home and to bed early after finding out how the boy's basketball team fared.

The next morning was our traditional meal at Grandpa John's and then over to the Palmer's for the purpose of our trip.  We spent 3+ hours with them talking about the history of the church in our area as well as our time growing up and what our families were like.  We spoke of our important callings through the years.  By the time we were finished, we hadn't even begun talking about the stake president calling.  We agreed to finish the interview on Tuesday evening via phone due to our need to get on the way to Wausau for stake conference.

The time we spent at the Palmer's was very interesting spiritually.  Pat shed quite a few tears and I only a few.  It was basically us talking about our lives and adding our viewpoints or other details when each of us took our turn.  It was quite spiritual reliving those time and experiences.

On Tuesday we finished the history.  This was most exclusively about the calling as stake president. This time Pat did the bulk of the talking and I added a few details here and there.  It was much more spiritual for me this time.  I could barely speak without shedding a tear.  At the conclusion we were able to bear our testimonies.  It was a sacred experience for me/us.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Struggle is Real

When I was younger I thought that perhaps, just maybe, I would have to assist one of my parents in their old age.  In reality, my mom.  Of course, she passed from this life far too young and I never had that thought again.  I never thought I would have to care for my dad because he was always so full of life and vigor.  As it turned out, I cared for him for a few weeks prior to his hospitalization and eventual demise.  It wasn't difficult as he slept a lot and really didn't need any help except that he was no longer driving so he needed someone to take him where he wanted to go.  Usually just to the mill.

I never dreamed that it would be one of my siblings that would need care.  With the sham of a marriage that Bonny was in coming to an end, she moved here.  I didn't recognize how much help she needed and just how much she was incapable of doing until she was living in my home.  She literally did nothing.  I gave her a few odd jobs now and then but even with my assistance she couldn't really do them.  It was a huge relief when she moved into Brett and Sue's home.

We needed to get some health coverage in place prior to her divorce.  I was the one to do the paperwork.  I've never applied for Badgercare before.  It seemed that everything that could go wrong for her did.  We hired an attorney specializing in trusts to help us out.  After Dad's passing and Bonny receiving her divorce settlement, we had to put the money somewhere so she would qualify for aid.  The amount she had in cash and assets seems like a large number until you realize that it will need to last the rest of her life.  Now it isn't so much.

Fast forward.  She has HUD sponsored housing.  Its a nice apartment.  She has health benefits and meals on wheels as well as food benefits.  Here's the big problem.  She doesn't take care of her personal hygiene.  I shouldn't have to go to her place and tell her that she smells bad and take a shower.  I shouldn't have to figure out how she acquired a credit card and what she's been spending and how it will get paid.  She's living off of a trust which is funded by her spousal support.  That trust will NOT pay a credit card balance.  All these things have been put into place for her support and protection and yet she doesn't comprehend them.  It's a constant battle to remind her of them.

I spent my day cleaning her apartment, unsubscribing and deleting emails and getting rid of 1-800 phone numbers from her contact list.  I took her to return some merchandise and get a haircut.  I got the most foul smelling of her laundry in the washer.  There's more to do but it doesn't smell like the bedding did.  I shouldn't have to be the "bad guy" or her mother and yet between Sue and I, we have to in order to keep her safe and healthy.

I love my sister and I feel horrible that she has this disease which has robbed her of her physical abilities and makes her forget and unable to focus on anything for very long.  I feel that the abuse she suffered for all those years in that horrible marriage is the cause of some of her worst behaviors.  She needs counseling and won't even consider it.  Yet she will talk to anyone who will listen about the abuse she suffered.  I can sympathize but at times my patience is very thin.

Yesterday before going to her home I prayed that I would have help.  I specifically asked that I would have patience and that I could be the Savior's hands.  I accomplished all I set out to do in the manner in which I desired.  The Lord truly will strengthen anyone who asks. The struggle is real but when I turn the matter over to the Lord, He helps me more than I can imagine.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Papa's Birthday Lunch

The last birthday that my dad had prior to his passing, he asked me to provide lunch to the guys at the mill.  I made Indian Tacos and it was a hit.  He came over to my home a day or two later and expressed his gratitude for my contribution to his special day.  He said he loved it and the guys loved it and it was so delicious.  I was glad to have a part of making him happy.
I've continued that tradition in the years since he's gone.  Yesterday would've been his 79th birthday. I made a mountain of fry bread as well as German chocolate cake (his favorite).  The guys appreciate my efforts as well and it makes me feel good that I'm continuing something small that he was so grateful for.  I don't do much as an owner of that company, but I can boost morale.

I miss my daddy at times.  As a little girl I didn't think there was anyone more wonderful than he. Even as a teenager, I didn't think there would ever be any guy who I would love more than my dad. Amazingly I found a man just as kind, gentle and genuine as my dad.

I was sad to let him go from this life but knew that he wasn't happy in the body he was left with. Who would ever choose to have constant headaches and a body that you couldn't control?  That wasn't him.  I'm ever grateful for the time I had him and even more grateful that eternally he will still be my daddy.  I smile when I think of him.  Just a twinge of sadness that I can't see his smile and feel his touch, but so much gratefulness that he's free of the burdens of this life and can be with his eternal sweetheart, my mom.

Monday, January 23, 2017

I'm a Temple Ordinance Worker

Back in October my husband and I were set apart as temple ordinance workers in the St. Paul temple. I wasn't sure I could ever memorize and learn all that needed to be done.  After being there two months in a row, I felt that I could learn everything necessary.  I was looking forward to being back in December and then we had a blizzard come through that kept us home.  I was disappointed.

We were back this past Friday night and Saturday morning.  I love the women that I work with on my shifts.  I still feel like the newbie but not like I did in the first two months.  My coordinators have such faith in me and believe I can do whatever they assign me to do.

I had a very tender moment while working in an endowment session.  As I was performing my duties, I felt that my hands were indeed the Savior's hands.  I was doing what He would do.  It was so tender. I loved having that feeling.  I cannot express wholely just what I felt.  I just know it was amazing.

I am blessed once again to be able to do what the Lord asks me to do.  I will forever be grateful to be His hands in this work.