Saturday, May 18, 2013

May Days

Yesterday evening Sarah was honored at a special banquet along with 30 other students at Springville Junior High for achieving a straight 4.0 grade point average for all three years. A few weeks ago we had thought she would have to miss attending the banquet while she recovered from surgery. That surgery has not yet happened. We are still waiting for her blood pressure to drop a little lower. Her medications were adjusted Thursday and we are now gearing up for a tentative operation day of May 29th. The good thing about the delay is that Sarah has not and will not miss end of school activities--final Choir concert, awards banquet, Lagoon Day, yearbook signing etc. That bad thing is it may mean she might miss June's girl's camp and the stake youth pioneer handcart trek.

Sarah with two of her best friends (from choir, orchestra and the musical) who also received the 4.0 award. They are the tallest ninth grade girls and Sarah is the shortest. In anticipation of Sarah's surgery (when when thought it would be last week) I checked out a bunch of musical and classic love story DVDs from the BYU library for Sarah to watch while recovering. Tonight she and Hayley (right) watched Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. When it ended without the two lovers tying the knot a frustrated Sarah announced that she was going to need to write a sequel.

A few Fridays ago--once my Friday teaching days were over--I went to Will's weekly game hour at school. Parents are invited to come and play games with their second graders. I enjoyed losing at Yahtzee with Will and his friend Trevin. It is good math practice. 

Will showed me his boa constrictor habitat, his two still life drawings and his Flat Stanley on the map visiting India.

On Friday May 10th, Mom and five of her six children, plus spouses, enjoyed dinner and visiting at Maddox in Brigham City in celebration of her 86th birthday.

On the Monday after Mother's day, my brother Bob and I helped mom with some gardening. Bob is still nursing a broken thumb so while he mowed the lawn (riding mower) and ran errands (and took this photo with my new i-phone), I planted the vegetable garden. My youngest brother Tom had already mulched and tilled the garden. In former days when the combined team of mom and dad were in good health they would "turn in" the water to the garden from the ditch, that came from the canal that came from First Dam Reservoir that all were put in place by early pioneers so they could farm the valley. The thought of having to irrigate the garden by hard to regulate ditches was overwhelming to mom so for her combined birthday and Mother's Day gift I bought her four soaker hoses. Bob then came up with the brilliant idea of linking all four hoses to just one valve with four lines so that mom would not have to keep moving the hose to new lines. After laying out the hoses, I then planted the tomatoes, peppers and many different seeds along the route of the hoses. I have used soaker hoses in my garden for years so I'm hoping it works for mom too. I spread out the day's grass clippings to keep down the weeds, to preserve soil moisture and to add additional mulch.

The first Saturday in May Joel and I participated, along with all the other young men leaders and young men in the ward, in a big fund raising yard sale. For two weeks in April we gathered end-of-the-school-year discarded items (mostly clothes) from several student apartments in Provo. The biggest haul came from Raintree Apartments where all of the students were moving out to make way for it becoming a temporary expansion for the Mission Training Center. On their final move out day we moved in with trucks and trailers and picked up many TVs, irons, brooms, plates, utensils etc. All the donations were then sorted and displayed and sold in order to earn enough money for our scout adventures this summer. While sorting on the night before the yard sale, Joel came across some pink argyle socks that he thought were cool. His scout master told Joel he would buy them for Joel, if Joel would wear them to church the next Sunday. Surprisingly Joel agreed. He wore the socks with the hope of soon buying a tie to match. He then wore the socks to school and then to play some backyard soccer with Will and friend.

. These and many other backyard ball games are not conducive to raspberry (on the terraces in the rear) and tomato growing, but I have to keep telling myself that raising boys is more important than raising raspberries. All I feel I can do is to occasionally encourage caution.

On the day after planting mom's garden in Logan, I finally finished planting our vegetable garden (rear).

Will and Joel both love their hair gel and hair spray. Ever morning is quite the bathroom production.  Joel spikes his up into a faux-hawk and Will has been experimenting with a part and what he calls a combover.

One evening this week while kids were playing kick ball in the back yard, I distracted myself from the damage being inflicted on tender plants, by taking photos of some of the lovely blossoms in our yard. Most are perennials.

These violas were the Mother's Day gift to Marie and the other women in the ward two years ago.

A pink blossom horse chestnut. Luckily in this variety few blossoms actually mature into chestnuts and those that do lack the sharp spikes of the white blossom variety that was the beautiful bane of my parent's backyard.

Bleeding Hearts


 Lilacs blooming outside Sarah's window. To liven things up when the lilacs aren't blooming (and in honor of the new Pope), Sarah bought a metal statue of St. Francis of Assisi (lower right) to grace the garden and her view.

A newly planted annual---Lantana, a favorite tropical flower that I first discovered in Indonesia and then later in Israel.  The newly emerged yellow blossoms will eventually turn red. Like tropical fish, flowers with their amazing colors in varied combinations, sizes and shapes testify of a very creative Creator.

This morning we (along with several other ward members) took our turn participating in the church's program called "every member a janitor." Will dusted the chapel and vacuumed the entry ways, Sarah and Joel washed the entry way windows (they are still at the apprentice level), Marie vacuumed the halls and classrooms, and I vacuumed the chapel floor and all of the pews. Here are a few things I learned: there is no sized or shaped vacuum currently made that can optimally clean in and around pews; whole cheerios are not vacuumable but crushed Cheerios are--so if you leave Cheerios or fish crackers on the chapel floor please stamp on them so that the every-member-a-janitor can more easily clean them up; and tiny, rubbery, stretchy green salamander toys get stuck in vacuums.

Today was the final game of Joel's second season with HC Storm. His team won 8-0 and it was one of their best games all season--they lost as many as they won  It helped that they were not playing in cold rain like many of the earlier April games. It was a stormy day and part of the field was a mire, but no drops fell while playing. In this first photo Joel fakes out his opponent by cutting the ball back behind him.

and then taking the ball toward the goal.

Joel plays forward and he is full of hustle.

His coach has used Joel as a positive example of communicating while playing. You can see Joel with his armed raised calling out for the ball. 

Joel's two goals came late in the game. Here he kicks the first one in. 

Soon thereafter he crossed the ball to the center for a great assist.

Soon after that he took the ball from mid field down..


 and in for the eighth goal.

Tryouts for next year are the day after Memorial Day. Both Joel and Will will be trying out. 

Friday, May 17, 2013


Celebrating the 144th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike and Grandma Emmett's 86th birthday at Maddox

Monday, May 6, 2013

Riding Sheep in Providence

From age 2-6 we lived in Providence Utah at 152 West Center in a two story brick home with a large back yard. One summer a friend of the family gave mom and dad a sheep thinking it would enjoy grazing on all the weeds and grass. Mom and dad thought this might be a good beginning to a "Green Acres" type of life. The sheep only lasted for a summer in our backyard before it was returned to the friend. That summer of the sheep is one of my most favorite childhood memories. We three oldest boys soon discovered that the sheep liked green alfalfa (from the large pasture in the center of the block) to eat. We also discovered that if someone held green alfalfa in front of the sheep the sheep would chase after the alfalfa and take whoever was sitting on its back for a ride. I remember trying  from the back of the sheep  to try and lean out over its head with a handful of Alfalfa for a self propelled ride, but it didn't work as well as having someone else do the leading.  In the above photo, brother Bill is leading the sheep while Bob gets a ride. Tagging along behind is cousin Jimmy McMurrin visiting from Ogden. Jimmy was my closest male Emmett cousin (a year younger than me) and so he was always my playmate at family gatherings.

Here uncle Jim McMurrin joins in the fun and Jimmy moves in for a closer look.

A few years before the summer of the sheep we held an Emmett Family reunion in the same back yard. Grandma Harriet Dudley Emmett is in the center with two daughters on each side. Her two sons are standing on the back row second from the left (dad) and second from the right. I am the second from the left sitting on the front row with cowboy boots. All of the 22 grandchildren at the time (five were still to come) are there except for Dorothy's (sitting to the left of Harriet) four. Of those 27 grandchildren (many of whom are now happily connected via Facebook), two have now passed away. Pat's (sitting two to the left of Harriet) oldest son John (standing behind his mom) passed away about 15 years ago and today Jimmy (Jim) (sitting with turned head on his mother's lap) passed away after a valiant and dignified battle against colon cancer.  

Jim McMurrin last month at his daughter Emily's wedding. Farewell (for now) to a life long friend.