Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Came Early This Year

It came in a Mazda from California.

When Amy was expecting our first grandchild a friend told me a little of what I could expect. "Grandkids are like a part of you and when you are with them you feel so much joy and when they leave it's like a part of you is missing, a literal heart ache you miss them so much."

I feel the same way. Last night, after our early Thanksgiving feast, Ruby and I played balls in the basement and Grandpa soon joined us. Peter and I climbed up the stairs over and over and over again to his delight. I stuck out my tongue "ble blur ble blur ble blur" over and over and he would smile brightly and do the same back. He would gently tip his head onto my cheek giving me loves. Then we read books, Jenn read with Peter and I read with Ruby. Long after Peter moved on to other things Ruby and I were still going strong. Seven board books and then seven longer books. I could have read all night. As she snuggled in my lap and soaked up the stories, I soaked up the moment. The weight of her in my lap, the softness of her hair on my cheek, her sweet smell... and her comments, giggles and smiles as we read. Memorizing every detail so that after she left this morning, the memory could help fill the missing space in my heart. Soon it was time for bed. Amy read the last book to Ruby, Caps for sale! Ruby knew every word and detail. Amy read, shaking her finger, 
picture credit
"You monkeys, you...give me back my caps. But the monkeys only shook their fingers back at him and said..." Then Ruby would shake her finger and say, "Tsz, tsz, tsz.". 

These are such a loved children. I could see, and had seen all week, the difference that it makes to a child to have a mother who is willing to be there for them each and every day and to have a father who wants the same thing. Some of our (adult) conversation this week was about the challenges of raising children in the world we live in. Where moral values are skewed or absent and what's popular is often mistaken for what's most  important. In Kindermusik this week we talked about the importance of children having a secure base and how that helps them have the courage and security to explore the world and eventually become independent. 

I am so thankful for children and their spouses and so many others who are sacrificing and working hard to give their children a good foundation in life. Young adults who often live a less than glamorous life, in the trenches each day nurturing, providing and protecting this most precious resource for what ails the world, our children.

Children grow up so quickly. 
These moments are fleeting. 
The time and love given by their parents each day really do make all the difference.

Despite all the challenges in the world, 
I can see hope in our future.

Monday, November 14, 2011

From Elder Z

Hey family,

It was good to hear from most of you! I am glad to hear that everyone is doing well, and that mom had a good birthday, that amy and jordan´s trip has been good, and all these blessings! How wonderful! 

It pricked my heart to hear about Grandpa Jim´s passing, but having the knowledge of the resurrection, and of the nature of God, that he loves all of his children and that brings me alot of comfort. He really will be missed though. He has been missed for the past year or two it seems. 

This week it seems that I have been studying the plan of salvation a lot. As I have read about where we go after this life, and what happens, and the opportunity we have to achieve exaltation, my heart has burned within me, and it has been a testimony to me of our divine natures. It has been a beautiful experience, and it seems quite timely with the passing of Jim this week. 

I have been reminded of over and over this week, that we are all spiritual children of our Heavenly Father. We lived with Him before we came to this Earth but left his presence to gain a body, learn and grow and to show our willingness to obey his will by performing ordinances and living the commandments. We did all of this, so that one day, if we are faithful, and do all that he asks us to do, we can be like him, having all that he has. Like it says in Matthew 25:23 (something like blessed are ye faithful servant, ye have been faithful over little, over much you will be. enter into the joy of your lord) sorry only have my spanish bible.  How beautiful is that! And how much does this knowledge change in our lives. We know where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. So when trials or temptations come, we can weigh them in the balances of eternal life, and no matter what it is, the promise of eternal life weighs more. This also goes with whatever the Lord asks us to do (D&C 122). Bueno, there is so much that I have learned here. 

Love you all Elder Zimbelman

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Forty Eight

...reasons I love my life:

1 - I'm married to my best friend. 
2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - I have five completely amazing children.
7, 8, 9 - I have three wonderful people that are married to my children
10, 11, 12, and 13 (in eighteen weeks)  - the cutest most fun grand children ever.
14 - Skype, which keeps me connected to # 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12
15 - email which keeps me connected to # 5
16, 17 - wonderful parents who sacrificed much and continue to love me.
18, 19 - the wonderful people who raised my husband.
20, 21 - the spouses of my in-laws who have loved all of us.
22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 - six very fun and loved Kindermusik classes who help fill the gap in my heart          because 10, 11 and 12 live far away.
28 my dear friend and neighbor who got me involved in Kindermusik.
29 - 33 awesome friends and neighbors who are like my family when mine are far away
34 - 38 extended family members who don't allow distance to create distance between us
39 - a healthy body
40 - a fairly sound mind
41 - a beautiful home
42 - a good education
43 - membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
44 - temples where I can receive inspiration and be sealed to 1-13, 16 & 17 and more
45 - ability to pray and talk to my Heavenly Father.
46 - the gift of the Holy Ghost to prompt, direct and comfort me.
47 - scriptures to guide, inspire me and answer my prayers.
48 - knowing I have a Father in Heaven and Savior who love me and care about the details of my life.

the rest will have to wait for another post.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Grandpa Jim

Grandpa Jim and Grandma T. (picture taken shamelessly from Facebook)

"Rudolph and his wife were sitting in their home in communist Russia one evening, you see. Rudolph, a weather man, looked out the window at a clear blue sky and said to his wife, "It's going to rain". She looked out the window and scoffed, "What are you talking about, there's not a cloud in the sky". He went back to his reading and she went back to her knitting. Before long a bright flash and the loud boom of thunder startled her. She looked up from her knitting as the rain began to pour. Shocked, she turned and looked at her husband who sat with his nose still in his book. He said..."

We waited. The smile left Grandpa Jim's face and you could tell he was struggling, searching to find the punch line. We agonized with him, hoping and silently praying the words would come to him. It's not that we didn't know what came next, he had told us this joke every Christmas season for years. But this year was different. The Jim we had known and loved had been slipping away due to the effects of Alzheimer's. We had spent the afternoon together. We ate at the same Marie Calendars we always ate at when we got together in Phoenix between Christmas and New Years. Went to the same park afterward. Jim had ordered the ribs but ate only one. Pie was always ordered regardless of how full we were. It gave us more time together and Jim especially doted on his sweet tooth. But today, Jim was disoriented in the restaurant. He would quietly lean towards Grandma and ask where we were and why we were here. He was unusually quiet as we ate. At the park afterward he sat and watched the whirl of our children and his new great granddaughter play around him. Then all too soon, it was time to go. They had a good two hour drive and wanted to get back before dark. As we walked towards our cars there was a feeling of sadness in my heart. It was more than just missing them. The changes in Jim were much more pronounced this year, it was clear he was slowly slipping away. Then Jim announced that he had a joke! We stopped walking to allow him to concentrate more fully. I remember Amy had been walking next to him... I think their arms were linked. As I looked back she smiled brightly. We all gathered around to listen... and then to wait. The punch line went through my mind and I summoned all of my telepathic powers to send it to him. As I looked at the faces of the others it seemed they were doing the same thing. 
Then Jim's face brightened, 

"He said, "Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear!"."

I don't remember exactly our outward reaction. I know we laughed and hugged him and told him how much we loved his jokes. Really how much we loved him. Inside I was cheering and jumping up and down. This was huge. Grandma smiled and as we turned to continue on to the cars she said quietly to me,
"I'm so glad he remembered it".
"Me too."

That was 2008

Jim passed from this life last night around 8:50pm Arizona time.
It has been a long and hard down hill slide.
Jim is at peace now and our hearts and prayers go out to Grandma T., 
Jim's children and to all those he left behind who have been touched by his goodness.
We look forward to a glorious meeting someday... 

and a lot more jokes. 

PS His sister, with whom he was always close in this life,
 passed away a few hours before he did, also of Alzheimer's.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I spent this weekend and part of last weekend getting our rental property ready for the next renters. Once everything had been moved out of the living room, Mark and I were not sure the carpet would be salvageable. Not only had it not been vacuumed with any regularity but I had doubts that spills had been even attempted to be cleaned up. Last week I did some research on the internet and found that red stains can often be removed by using a mixture of half hot water, half ammonia sprayed into the stain. The spot is then covered with a thick towel and a hot steam iron applied over the towel. The towel wicks up the red dye. A little scrubbing with the hot towel also helps. It works quite well, but requires repetition and patience. Five hours doing this and other spot cleaning as well as overall cleaning on the living room alone gave us hope that the carpet would come clean. This past weekend I personally spent eight hours on the carpets throughout the house, and a few more hours cleaning windows, walls, doors, baseboards. Maybe we should have just replaced the carpet... but it is only a few years old. I was very grateful for the two women that we hired to clean the kitchen and bathrooms as well as Jennifer and Mark who also put in many hours of work.

As I cleaned I had a lot of time in my head. I forgot my ear buds so I had no access to music. I found that as I cleaned I became more frustrated and angry with our renters. How could adults live in such squalor? Slobs! How could you function day to day in this mess? Irresponsible! What kind of people trash a house like this? Inconsiderate! Where do they go now - to trash another place? Users! I went from room to room gathering evidence as to the despicable nature of these people. I was sure they sublet the house (not allowed). Obviously they had a pet hamster or guinea pig or whatever (despite not pets being allowed). They were dishonest. Although there was no smell inside of cigarette smoke inside the house, washing the handles around the closet doors removed a layer of grime that made it necessary to wash the whole door and made me wonder. Ink (mostly) comes out with hairspray - rinsing with a vinegar and water mixture. Large spots of matted down carpet come clean with Oxiclean, a little dish soap and hot water saturated into the spot and gently (or not so gently) teased out with a soft scrub brush - allow to sit for 5 minutes while you go to another spot and then come back and suck it out with the carpet cleaner, rinse with vinegar and water and rinse and rinse again. Gum... well sometimes Oxiclean mixture, other times scissors, depends on how long is has been there.

By then end of the day the house looked sparkling clean and even smelled good. But I was upset and frustrated. Little things made me mad or brought me to tears. On the way home we began to talk about how much, if any of the deposit will be returned and I hit the wall. I felt sick inside. I had poisoned my own heart with all of my negative thoughts. "Enough with the negative, someone tell me something wonderful about some one!" the plea tumbled from my lips and my heart ached for the antidote. I needed to see the good in others, to have empathy or sympathy or love. I needed to feel kind, thankful, warm feelings about people. The three of us were silent for a few minutes... my poison had spread and infected the others. We finally talked about my sweet grandchildren for a few minutes, an instant fix when I need to feel some joy. It was a start but my heart was still hard and hurting. We couldn't come up with anything else (pretty pathetic state we were in), so we turned to music and I tried to focus my thoughts on the evidence all around me that life is good and people are good, kind and considerate and doing the best they can.

The next morning I was still amazed at how my heart has not fully healed and how thoughts, when dwelt upon and left unchecked, can change the way we view others, and life in general. How quickly I could loose my perspective and how much effort it was taking to get it back.

As we were driving home we passed through some road construction that caused all the traffic to be merged into one lane. Our car has one headlight that has a short and goes off and on while we drive. No one's been able to fix it for us. There were a few places where we would go back to two lanes with just enough time for the faster traffic to pass slower traffic before being merged into one lane again. At one of these passing places the car in front of us began to go very slowly. We passed him and he jumped behind us. For the next stretch of one lane highway he proceeded to flash his brights at us repeatedly (as I'm sure he assumed we had done to him).

The driver misjudged us. We laughed at the whole situation and I wonder how I had misjudged our renter(s). Maybe they truly don't know any better. Maybe they grew up being used and not taught to care. Maybe they had issues with their wiring that they haven't been able to resolve. I doubt I would rent to them again and they need to be responsible for the mess and damage, but who am I to condemn them as individuals? Especially when I have my own flaws I'm continually working on... like learning to watch my thoughts and learning not to judge others. A little bit of compassion began to work its way back in to my heart.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ha ha ha... seriously

A few Pinterest pins.. not all from this week... it's been a slow week as far as pinterest goes. 
 Probably because it's been a busy week in the real world.
(There's got to be a way to teach blogger to recognize "Pinterest" as a word 
and get it to stop changing it to interest!... ideas, suggestions...anyone?)

Grandchildren loving stuff first.             Been laughing at the first one for weeks now.
Order now for Christmas delivery!
Any takers?

Or anyone for that matter... 

Good to remember. 

That is all.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Grinch... and David Archuleta

I grew up in the olden days...
you know, way back before VCR's and VHS*.

I grew up in the day where each Christmas special
was shown on TV one evening a year... 

usually at 7:00 or 8:00 on a weeknight
in December, and if you missed it...

well, Christmas just wasn't the same.

I had my favorites:

       Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,

Frosty the snowman,
  and his cute friend Karen

The Little Drummer boy
who's name was Aaron...hmmm

 - Amazing how they got those figures to move like they did.
It was technology at it's finest.

And of course How the Grinch Stole Christmas. 
My love for movies with character development began early. 

Times changes though, which is a good thing.

VCR's and VHS came along allowing people to watch these treasures whenever they wanted.
Even if it wasn't Christmas time.

When Christian was 2, he and his friend Celeste loved to watch
the dog pulling the Grinch down the mountain
(just watch the first few minutes)
I always knew where they were at in the movie because
they would begin laughing hysterically.

Things continued to change as my kids grew.
Soon nobody was watching the Grinch, even at Christmas time.

When it was time to decorate the tree
I had to round up people to come and do it with me,
 schedule it way in advance... or just do it myself.

I discovered that it's not as fun to have a "decorator tree" as I thought it would be.
Over time getting ready for Christmas began to feel like a chore.
Like I was obligated to create something that no one really cared about.
I began to understand the the Grinch,
my heart felt a few sizes too small when it came to Christmas.

But what to do.

I was feeling guilty that I felt this way when a dear friend
posted this link on Facebook
(to say she is a HUGE David Archuleta fan would be gross understatement)

Twenty two seconds was all it took
My Grinchy heart began to grow again.

That was my answer.

Do the things that would help me
and those around me feel

All the rest doesn't really matter.
The tree, the presents, all the fluff.
Turns out the Whoos had it right!

so Wahoo doraa, Da hoo doraa Welcome Christmas come this way.
(are you singing it in your head?)

I'm not sure what Christmas will look like at my house this year
but I hope that I and those around me will feel more clearly
His Love
If so, then Christmas will be a huge success.

(excuse me while I go sing the rest of the song)
 (start it at 3:30 is you want to hear it)

*you can look it up on Wikipedia if you don't know what I'm talking about.