Trosper Family 2016

Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Halloween Story--From a speech given at Toastmasters 10/31/17

It was an perfect Halloween night in the little community where I grew up in Denver 1958.  The air was crisp, there was a ring around the moon which foretold of the rain soon to come.   Not tonight though.  We just had a good rain the night before giving us a perfect amount of spookiness for our holiday spirits. 

 I just turned 11 and my mom stayed up all night finishing our costumes.  The kimono she made me was blue with a big red sash.  My hair was piled on my head with chopsticks finishing my geisha girl look.  Dad was on a business trip and mom was very pregnant so I was taking my 3 little sisters and little brother trick-or-treating.  

This was when I was 11 at the age of the story.
It was a very different world in 1958 so there was no concern.  I was a very “responsible” big sister too.  My biggest problems were keeping my brother Billy’s dinosaur tail on and keeping my sister Lynette from wanting to sing “trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!” at every door.  I kept trying to push her to the back of the group before she could embarrass us even more.  It was fun to trick-or-treat in our little neighborhood on Forest Street because we knew everyone, and we knew what treats we would find at each house.  We started at the Samek’s across the street.  “Trick or treat!”  A popcorn ball!  Wow!  We just couldn’t wait to get home and sink our teeth into that treat.  First we had to make our way around the block.  Delicious chocolate chip cookies from Mrs. Selman, a candy apple from the Levitts two doors down.  Mr. Wallace made us do a trick before we could get our delicious hershey’s kisses.  At the Bell’s we had to borrow their bathroom to clean the chocolate off Billy’s face and hands.  “Billy, you have to wait till we get home to eat the candy.” I said in my best big sister tone.  Lynette, I told you it isn’t polite to tell someone to smell your feet, and you are supposed to say please and thank you. 

I loved Autumn in my little community.  The air was crisp, and so were the colored leaves that fell from the trees on our street.  Forest Street was a lovely tree lined street with beautiful Ash trees.  They were planted by the Ash family that lived in the big house on the little hill around the corner and down a few blocks.  Ichabod Ash worked at the Piggly Wiggly at the Village Center a few blocks down.  Whenever we came into the Piggly Wiggly he would say “There are those Bliss kids with their happy smiles”, then he would give us a penny candy from the jar by his register.  We loved Ichabod and loved going to his house on Halloween.  His house was a little further to walk to and it had been there for a long, long time.  It didn’t fit anymore with all the little suburban houses that cropped up around it in the past few years.  Billy was getting tired and Lynette was jumping around like the clown she always was, but Susie, Karen and I were determined to head around the corner and up the steep incline to Ichabods house.  After all he had the whole Piggly Wiggly to choose the best treats from.  Usually it was a huge candy bar. 

As we crossed the street we noticed a small gathering of neighbors at the bottom of the hill at Ichabod’s house.  They seemed to be keeping kids from climbing the steep walk to Ichabod’s door.  Why?  Lynette wanted to ask, I stopped her. I didn’t know why, maybe I just didn’t want to know.  Intuition maybe.  She was determined though, and certainly she wasn’t scared of anything….so she scrunched down low and creeped into the center of the group of adults.  Big sister Leslie had her hands out to keep her other siblings from moving forward into the danger.  I stretched my neck and perked my ears to see what I could hear.  Part of me, a very small part, wanted to follow my sister to see exactly what was going on.  The other bigger part wanted to run with my brothers and sisters as fast as I could the opposite direction. 

Though my mind was quickly trying to decide my body was frozen.  I sensed fear.  Our little Virginia Village in Denver was a place right out of the “Pleasantville” era of the 1950’s.  We didn’t really know what fear was.  Except for the “duck and cover” drills we had to do in school in case a bomb came.  That fear was based clear over in Russia and it didn’t really enter into our understanding really. 

But what I was feeling that Halloween night was fear, and I didn’t even understand what it was I was afraid of.  The stark quiet stares of the neighbors as they stood in that human fence.  The glint of fear behind their eyes. What was it?  As we stood frozen we heard a siren in the distance through the spook in the night.  It grew louder, and louder.  Soon Mrs. Brown my 2nd grade teacher came over from the group.  She encouraged us quietly, trying to sound calm but definitely not calm, to go home.  Still frozen in fear I raised my hand to point at my sister, Lynette, who had almost scaled the small hill behind bushes and was almost ready to drop into the center of the group of people.

I don’t know what broke the deafening silence first the policeman’s whistle as it pierced the air to move through the larger group of people, or my sister’s scream!  Everyone moved at once, Mrs. Brown dropped to the ground and grabbed us all in her arms.  We could see though, we saw the horror……human bones, lots of them in the roots of the tree, the Ash tree as it slid down the hill. 

Halloween in Virginia Village would never be the same…………..
Here is another version I was thinking of prior to the one above. 
I am a baby boomer!  This means I was born in the crazy romantic time after WWII.  Men were rushing home from war, marrying women quickly and having kids right away.  I was born in a car and my parents couldn’t find a hospital to take me to because even the halls were packed with women and babies. 
The Bliss home where I was raised was in Denver was just under 1300 square feet.  They paid $10,500 for it in 1955.  My bedroom was off the front porch with blue cornflower wall paper.  I had story book dolls around my room costumed in traditional clothes from 22 different countries.  I shared my room with at least one sibling because eventually there were 7 kids and 2 parents living in 3 bedrooms using 1 bathroom.  My dad was an executive with Ford Motor Company so we weren’t poor, that’s just the way people lived in the 50’s. 
Have you seen the memories posted on facebook sometimes that show that we survived even though we didn’t have seat belts, no car seats, drank with our mouths on hose nozzles.  We stayed out until the lights came on playing kick the can, hide and go seek, king of the mountain. And Rover red Rover send Johnny right over.  Roller skating with skates that had to be adjusted to fit on my shoes with a skate key that hung around my neck always, even when I was playing jacks with a ball that we cut from the inside of a golf ball. 
It was an awesome life really.  Girls couldn’t wear pants to school.  In Denver it was cold too.  So even in junior high we would wear pants under our dresses to walk to school in the snow (at least 5 miles uphill both directions with the wind beating against our backs), then we would have to remove them and hang them up when we got to school. 
Until Halloween 1958.  My mom made my kimono with a big red sash, put my hair on top of my head, and drew my eyes to accent my squint so I could be a “China girl”.  I took my little siblings out to trick or treat….little did I know what that night would hold……even though the ring around the moon added a haze and spookiness to the night.  We walked through the streets through the fallen colorful leaves.  All the neighbors knew us as we went to each home ringing the door bells and saying “trick or treat”.  Of course I was embarrassed as a big sister would be when my little sister would say “Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat.”  I would quickly push her to the back of our little group.  Sometimes we would get a popcorn ball, or a little package of cookies, candy apples or a cupcake.  No one was ever concerned about razor blades being in any food.  Maybe we should have been though……
The development we lived in was called Virginia Village, and on the corner was a Piggly Wiggly supermarket.  Each house had a tree planted in front.  They were the most beautiful trees.  You see we had our own special Johnny Appleseed planting trees.  His name was Ichabod Ash and he seemed to have a very green thumb and we all thought he was pretty amazing because the trees were the tallest, fullest, prettiest Ash trees you ever did see.  No neighborhood in Denver had prettier streets than we did in Virginia Village.  We were proud, until that Halloween night in 1958 when it was discovered…….shudder……..that under each of those perfect trees Ichabod Ash buried a body. 
Maybe life wasn’t as perfect on Forest Street in 1958 as we thought.  But those trees sure were pretty!!

This is pretty much how I saw my mom.  Such a cute gal, and very efficient

This is similar to the table and chairs we met around for dinner every night. 
Ours was kind of a greyish white with a bright blue scallop around the edges and the chairs were blue.

The bottom yellow cupboards were just like ours down to the v-shaped handles.  They were metal and very modern.

I wish I had a picture at my fingertips of our living room, but this one has the feeling.  Especially the lamps.

We played jacks, kick the can, king of the mountain, red light green light,
Rover red rover,  roller skated.  What an awesome childhood.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


The element that I placed second in importance is to "Teach Them"!  Isn't that what we fear as parents the most?  Fear that we won't be capable of teaching our children all they need to know to grow up and become great adults?

First in importance is to love them, and then  to teach them!  Honestly we could keep it simple and say if we LOVE them and TEACH them, that is all we really need to do because the others could fall under those two categories.  My other elements could easily fall under those two.

Play with them
Respect them
Discipline them
Sacrifice for them
Love them Unconditionally

For the purpose of confusing things I will talk about teaching them with this blog and continue the others on later blogs.  

We hear the quote "It takes a village to raise a child", I agree it certainly does.  I couldn't be more grateful to my wonderful family (my kids grandparents, aunts, uncles), neighbors like Aunt Milly and Uncle Grant, all the Larkspur Lane Mafia who watched, coraled, and loved my kids.  Teachers in school and church, scout leaders, sports coaches all made our job so much easier.  BUT....that does not give us as parents the opportunity to NOT PARENT.  I think this is vitally important to re-learn.  Having been very involved in PTA's, as school district employee, and community liason in my parenting years I am sorry to say I have seen parents leave too much to "the village" that they should be taking on themselves.  With households having to have dual incomes these days it happens even more.  Please remember your children are the most important legacy you leave in this world.  Work to bring home the bacon, but don't let the bacon become more important than those little ones you are in charge of and love.  

I tried very hard to live up to this priority.  Though I did become an insurance agent with an insurance license I chose to not have a career in the industry, I just had a job.  In other words I didn't have my own agency I worked for other agents.  In many cases I did the work, but didn't collect the higher paycheck.  That was okay with me because my job was insurance, my career was my children and family.  My work gave my kids the extra things like sports, scouts, vacations, nicer clothes but it was easy to quit or work less if there was an issue that needed to be dealt with.  

So I guess the first hint in teaching our kids is to BE AVAILABLE.  Another thing that I learned was important was to LISTEN to them.  I learned from very important things about parenting from my kids.  I will give you a couple of examples,viz., One of my sons was about 2 1/2 or 3 and he kept coming into my room and saying "Mommy will you play with me?"  I would reply "Just a minute hon, Mommy's doesn't have time right now, but I will."  After the third time he came in and said "Mommy if you don't have time I will give you some of mine, cause I have lots!"  He threw his arms up and then down to his side to express his frustration.  What did I learn?  To look at things from his point of view, maybe to explain patience and the necessity of doing other duties, and to keep my priorities in order.  Don't you love being in a car with your kids?  So many things happen in a car.  Another time two of my sons were squabbling in the back of the car.  The oldest one about 3, hit the younger one.  I turned around and smacked him making that ironical statement, "Don't you hit your brother, ever!"  Pouting for a few minutes he was brave enough to say, "Mommy, if I'm not supposed to hit, why did you hit me?"  Now some mothers or fathers might have considered him to be a little smart aleck, but it struck me so hard that I listened to him.  It didn't make sense to hit when I was teaching not to hit, or bite when I was teaching not to bite, or yell when I was teaching not to yell.  Not to say that I always was able to avoid those things, but I tried, because it made sense.  I will talk more about that in the DISCIPLINE THEM part.  

What do we teach them?  This is part of intentional parenting instead of reactive parenting.  We need to actively participate with the other parent to decide what it is you want to teach.  It can come from our own experiences, how we were raised, what do we want them to learn?  Bud and I had conversations before we were married about what was important to us.  Bud joined my church so we could raise our kids with faith and with a religion we felt focused on family values.  We spoke many times as we were waiting that first 9 months.  Then it is an ongoing conversation.  One thing I think is vital is that parents be united in front of the children.  There may be differences about what to teach or how, but those decisions need to be ironed out before presenting to the kids.  Some of those things I think we chose to be the most important things we taught were:

(ours not someone else's)

There were several things I have learned since that I wish we had taught them, or done a better job at teaching.  They say however you can't give a gift you don't have.  So things that we didn't teach them were things we didn't know well enough to teach them.  Again, that's why you always have to keep learning so you can keep teaching.  One biggie was financial knowledge.  We did get life insurance as one of our first steps in marriage, we did always pay our bills on time, we did know how to squeeze a dollar and we taught our kids those things, but we didn't save for college, we didn't plan for retirement, and we did have a bit of a scarcity thought process.  My kids are successful and learned so many things on their own and will pass what they know on to their kids.  There are always regrets about what you didn't teach.  That's when I remind myself  "I did the best I could with the knowledge that I had at the time".  When you get frustrated with your parenting, you need to give yourself a break and tell yourself  "I am doing the best I can with the knowledge that I have right now", then maybe determine to find a way to improve.  It's always one step at a time!

I  hope these little blogs can help you in some way if you are in the middle of parenting.  Please share some of your ideas as well.  Afterall, I'm not an expert.  I didn't get that little manual with my children either.   We just all have to help each other.  

Saturday, September 23, 2017


Yesterday I posted on Parenting 101--Trosper Style.  Again I want to remind you that no one can be the parent you can be to YOUR child.  Sometimes, we think we have to listen to other people, and that is okay.  It is okay to listen to other opinions and consider them, but don't follow someone else's advise "willy nilly" because they say it worked for them.  Your parenting style, your children, and your circumstances are different from anyone else's.  Your children are your stewardship and no one else can do the best job raising them.

This, however, is my soapbox so I get to share what worked, and didn't work in the Trosper house. No parent is perfect all the time, so these suggestions go with the disclaimer that it may not work for you just because it worked for Bud and I, and it didn't always work for us either. We found if we focused on these things then at least we are parenting with a purpose, not just flying by the seat of our pants.  Intentional  (Proactive) parenting always seems to work better than Emotional (Reactive) parenting.  When we respond to situations in a reactive way we can say or do something we regret, or that can damage our children.  So it's better to be prepared.  To remind you our Seven Elements for parenting are to :


Today we will start with the First and most important element, LOVE THEM.  I thank God for his amazing design that allows us 9 months to prepare for each child.  While the baby is forming in the mommy's belly in such a well planned organized process, we as mother's get to change too.  We have the chance to prepare our bodies, spirits, and minds for the upcoming birth, and for many years of motherhood to follow.  Father's watch and play there part in the process preparing themselves as well.  We are bonding with this "wee one" during this period carrying them with us wherever we go.  We have to connect don't we?  If the baby is a "surprise" then the 9 months can give us time to go from that surprise, to acceptance, and adoration.  Even birth mother's choosing to give their babies up for adoption bond with the child and desire to make the best choices for a whole life.  Adoptive parents usually have sooooo much time to plan and prepare for the little one as they pray a baby into their lives.  Oh we certainly go through a lot of fear as we are preparing as well.  "Will I be a good mother?"  "Will he be a good father?"  "What if we break him?"  "How will we teach him?"  "What will we name her?"  "Will she be teased about her name?"  We have fear about the actual birth process too, but we will realize for the first time that "what is bought with coin of pain is dearly kept." 

I remember that I was expecting my first baby that I kept a little journal about all those feelings.  Somehow, we as mothers, don't need that journal because we seem to remember every detail about what we thought and felt.  We were trying to decide on names and I have to admit we focused on girls names because we were convinced we would probably have a girl.  In my family we had 5 girls and 2 boys and the girls outnumbered the boys in my extended families as well.  In Bud's family the girls were way more plentiful than the boys so we had just sort of accepted we would have a girl.  When the Dr. told me after a C-section that we had a boy I actually said, "Are you sure?"  He assured me that he definitely could verify that Marque was a boy.  I couldn't quite figure out why Bud wanted to name his baby after him when he always hated his name, Raymond Marquist Trosper.  He also didn't want to call him Raymond, he wanted to call him Mark after his father.    So we considered Mark Raymond, but there is a little egotism in naming your son a Jr.  so that's what we did.  
Jimmy was always going to be James after his grandfather's middle name.  His middle name was going to be Gavin after the family name of my patriarchal grandmother, McGavin.  Somehow in gratitude to my doctor we ended up changing it to James David.  Two very plain names for not plain Jimmy.  
We had a funny story about Scott's naming too.  My mother liked the name Scott and when she mentioned it we loved it too.  He was going to be Scott Timothy.  I had a dream in the hospital the night before having him c-section.  When I had the baby (in my dream) it was a boy.  See we were getting very used to the ideas of boys by this time.  Anyway in my dream they announced he was a boy and the "drug dealer" that was controlling my happy feelings said.  "What are you going to name him?"  I replied "Scott Timothy"  He said, "Scott Timothy Trosper, too many T's".  So the next morning before he was born Bud and I changed it to Scott Andrew.  

With all these plannings and imaginings, we are so primed and ready to LOVE the baby as it is born.  No one ever can imagine just how much they love that baby though.  When looking into the newborn's eyes, feeling their skin, counting their toes, smelling their smell, we are hooked.  Our hearts seem to stretch way out of our chests to encompass this little spirit straight from heaven.  The love grows beyond the baby, the family, the room, it seems to stretch out to all human kind because LOVE for a child is a gift that can't be explained.  I have heard it said that it isn't that dramatic for the daddy's, but I don't believe it.  All the daddies in my family have been swept into love and tears immediately by their newborn.  

So this one is easy, right?  

Luckily we have people to turn to for help.  New grandparents are usually very willing to lend a hand, neighbors, community members, church friends, but mainly God.  God is in partnership with you in raising these children.  He understands.  He has children of His own.  He has been frustrated with us at times, He has seen us not reach our potential, He keeps telling us over and over again.   Yep, he understands.  He mostly understands and tells us that LOVE is most important because He loves us.  

Even when that first child is laid on your chest, or your arms you can't imagine how much more your love will grow.  There will be times you may wonder if you "like" your child, but you will never not LOVE him.  

This might be a good time to tell you, or remind you.  These are not steps, they are elements of raising children that you will pass through again and again.  They will not go in order either.  It would be nice if we could get one down, and then the next.  

This is by far the easiest element though.  You did all the thinking and planning 9 months ago.  Now just go and LOVE THEM. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Parenthood 101--Trosper Style

A few weeks ago I volunteered to speak at Toastmaster's the next day to replace someone who wasn't able to be there for their speech.  I just had a couple of hours to prepare so I had to choose something I felt comfortable to talk about without much research and preparation.  So I decided to speak about Parenthood.  Now I'm sure I could find really wise advise if I did research.  After all Parenthood is one of the most difficult, and important subjects.  It is also one with many varying opinions. So, I decided to just consider it from my point of view and my own experiences.  

Parenthood 101.  "Wouldn't it be wonderful", we all say, "if each baby came with a manual?"  Why yes it would!  Especially if it was particular to that specific child.  Heaven knows one manual wouldn't work for all children.  I found that out raising my three boys.  Each one was incredibly unique.  There are a few general points to start from but then we have to individualize raising each child.  What works for one kid certainly won't work for the next.  That would just be too easy.  

I am not an expert on Parenting.  However, I do have some expertise because I was a child once.  My parents were great parents.   I didn't start admiring them after I became an adult, I thought they were pretty amazing even when I was a teen.  .  There were things I wanted to follow that my folks did, and things I wanted to change.  Added to the things I learned  as a child being parented, there were even more bounteous lessons in the 47 years I have been a parent to my three son's.  Again, some good, and some bad choices taught me what to do the next time I needed to use those skills.  There was no option.  I couldn't fail, and then give up.  There was no abdicating on Parenthood, so I needed to learn from challenges, successes, and failures.  Furthermore, my kids are now Parents and I can continue learning from their styles of Parenting.  I personally think they are doing a great job of Intentional Parenting their sweet adorable grandchildren.  So you see I do have a bit of a soapbox I can stand on here.  

Back to Toastmasters and my speech on Parenting.  Time was an issue.  It always is.  I have so much more to say on any given subject than the clock allows.  Silly me to think I could cover Parenting in 6-8 minutes.  It just couldn't happen and didn't.  I need to learn to break huge subjects into much smaller bites.  I will try to do the same with these blogs.  

I feel there are seven key elements to Parenting.  These are.... them

.....teach them with them

.....respect them

......discipline them

......sacrifice for them them, unconditionally

My intent is to write a blog on each of these seven elements for the next seven days.  It will be a challenge for me.  Maybe you can gain something as well.  Maybe it will  be a springboard to a conversation between you and your spouse for your kids!  

One thing I want to clarify right now is that even though I have expertise on Parenting, and there are certainly other experts on Parenting that you can research.  YOU, however, are the most important person raising your children.  YOU and the other parent you parented with, have the clearest cut expertise for your child.  There will be times in your life that you will think anyone can do a better job, but that is not true.  

Combine your efforts with your Heavenly Father and your stewardship over your children will flourish.  When you forget to work with your spouse (or the other parent) and your Heavenly Father you may flounder.  Also, you will have many challenges along the way.  As stated earlier the challenges will differ with each child.  We also need to keep up to date with possible chasms that our kids can fall into in each generation.  

Those of us that willingly choose Parenthood as our main career don't get to get off the ride before it is completed.  So buckle up and enjoy this "white knuckler ride".  

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Why Am I So Blue?

I encourage people to write when they are depressed, grieving, or having emotional issues they don't understand.  So I encouraged myself to do this today.  I am blue.  Is there really a reason?  No.  Probably not.  I'm not down in the dumps, severely depressed, but definitely feeling a little less than.

So, I don't know what good it will do to write because I don't really know what it's all about.  I think I will explore a bit.  I stopped taking my anti-depressant a few weeks ago.  I ran out and didn't get any right away.  After I refilled my prescription I didn't start taking it right away because I wasn't sure that it was to my benefit.  I was prescribed this medicine many years ago to help with my fibromyalgia and lupus, not for depression.  Last year I tried getting off it and had a major lupus flare lasting several weeks, so I decided to get back on it since it was apparently doing more good than I had realized.  But, this time I was discovering that the pain I had in my muscles was definitely more significant.  I always have knots all over my body, but now they were massive.  I can only imagine the toxins in my body to create them.  I also was feeling each joint in my body much more distinctly.  The good news was that I wasn't feeling the complete lethargy that I have been battling lately.  Perhaps the anti-depressant was creating much of the total fatigue.  I find I would much rather deal with pain than with chronic and overwhelming fatigue.  That is the reason I haven't started taking that Lexapro again yet.  Maybe my "blues" could be attributed to that too.

Or maybe it's still unresolved grief.  The other day I had another of my "moving" dreams.  I have had those dreams for years.  Ever since Bud and I divorced.  They aren't every night, just every once in awhile.  Probably an average of once every one or two months.  They are always changing in part.  One time the kids will be little, sometimes they are grown.  Once in a while the kids aren't even in the dream at all.  The house we are moving from isn't one we actually lived in, but the dream does include our Chino neighbors.  We always have a time limit on staying in our house.  It is always imperative that we move quickly, for some reason.  Sometimes it is to move to a new unplanned foreign place.  Once in awhile it is because we either are losing our house or have sold it.  Sometimes it is even because the house is falling apart due to earth moving underneath it. In these dreams over the years Bud has become more and more aggressive in his actions, and I have become more and more frustrated.  In the beginning he just procrastinated packing and renting a truck to move things.  I used lots of polite encouragement to move it along and failing miserably in the dream.  Then Bud's actions toward helping moved toward passive aggressive and apathetic in nature.  Mine matched in a level of frustration and angst.  The dream this week had Bud downright impossible to move and very angry.  Nothing like the real Bud's character.  I was then yelling and screaming to create action.  Nothing like my real character.  In the dream I recognize it's a reoccurring dream and question what is it supposed to mean.  When I wake I recognize that I want to remember details and do remember more than one usually recalls of a dream.  The feeling of the dream affects the entire day and sometimes I have to recognize that an incident or feeling is from the dream not reality.  So maybe that's the reason my shoulders are down, tears are at the edges of my eyes, and I just feel uneasy.

Then maybe it's because I just spent the evening last night and the morning with Scott, Cynthia, Grace, Jane, Lucas, Marque, Sarah, Leah, and Dax and I'm missing that family that I'm not around more often.  I feel sad for the relationship I don't have with the kids.  I think Grace feels connected to me, but Lucas and Jane do not and that does sadden me, though I don't take it personally.  Or try not to.  I understand, logically, that it's because they don't see me enough, not that I'm not lovable. However, we can't always help the feelings that sneak in around the logic.  Scotty gave me a couple extra large hugs but it makes me realize how far we have drifted apart.  Again logic gives me plenty to help me understand, but I actually grieve those old connections we had. I actually feel more comfortable with Cynthia than I do him.  Cynthia's mom was with them.  I think we had the best connection we ever had.  It felt genuine on both sides I think.  I was so grateful for that.  But,  maybe still a little jealous to know she was going on this trip with them and they never considered including me.  I'm glad she was going, and I certainly wouldn't want to impinge on their trip together just still a little sad not to have been invited, or at least considered, or even told that she was going with them.  Also, Marque and Sarah didn't invite me.  I know that is a matter of space, time, and alot of other reasons but since the other grandma was going I just felt a little left out.   I am very grateful for Donna (Samantha's mom), Cheryl (Cynthia's mom) and Christine (Sarah's mom).  We share grandchildren so they are very important to me too.  It's great the the grandkids love their other Grandma's but I think I wouldn't be normal if I didn't get jealous of Cheryl because she does get to see the kids more.  Perhaps Christine and Donna have the same feelings.  I am sure they are happy I grandparent their grandchildren, but also feel some jealousy for time spent with them that they don't have as frequently.  Maybe none of this has anything to do with my blueness either.   Just not sure.

I am so excited about Jim and Samantha's upcoming endowments in the temple and the opportunity to be there with them. It is just a blessing to know how much they are enjoying their new involvement in the church.  It ties a few more ends up when we think of the Trosper Family continuing into the eternities.  There are so many things to be grateful for and of course I am really good at counting my blessings and usually can turn things around pretty quickly when I am down.  Maybe I am supposed to be in this moment a little longer to distinguish what the pain comes from, or maybe I am supposed to go read my scriptures, communicate with friends, have a conversation with the Lord and get over it. Hmmmmm.....I guess I will just go and ponder. I'm sure I will be back to normal tomorrow if not sooner.

It does do good to write it out.  Just to let the thoughts wander, and spend some one on one time with Leslie.  She is a pretty good listener.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Questions to Ponder

Sometimes I want to write, just to practice, but I don’t know what I should write about.  So I googled “Questions to Ponder”.  There are obviously many people in the world that have the same dilemma.  I found a few questions that will give me the opportunity to write, but also are probably are some good ones that I ponder, and leave the answers to my kids and grandkids.  So here they are.

  1. What are the things that stand between you and complete happiness?  To be honest I would have to say my health. I had back issues from the time I was 24-44 when I had back surgery finally.  But I have had blood pressure, acid reflux, fibromyalgia, heart, kidney issues, lupus and chronic fatigue syndrome.  These kept me from always being the mother I wanted to be, and now keep me from being the grandmother I want to be.  When I have energy and health I AM completely happy!
  2. What will people say at your funeral?  This is an interesting question and one that I actually do consider from time to time.  I try to live into what I want my legacy to be.  But of course, I fail miserably sometimes.   My mission statement pretty much says what I would like to be said about me.  “I want to be the me God created me to be.  I will face the world with integrity, unconditional love, a sense of humor and gratitude. My greatest desire is to be a light of faith to my family and friends.  My life will be bountiful as I experience growth, nurture others and recognize God’s gifts and glory, and live each moment to the fullest.
  3. Standing at the gates of heaven, and God asks you “Why should I let you in?” What do you reply? I want to be able to say, “Heavenly Father, I hope you would let me in because I love you, and because you love me.  You have watched me struggle.  Sometimes I have failed and sometimes I have met and overcome my challenges.  I do hope, however, you can see my desire to be righteous, to live the way I should.  I hope you know that I loved my fellow man and tried to serve my family and friends.  Will you let me in because I want to help you scatter sunshine, and distribute rainbows of joy and sing in a Heavenly chorus.  Dear Lord, please let me in so I can continue to grow and learn.”
  4. If you lost everything tomorrow, whose arms would you run into to make everything ok?  I actually did lose so much and I did run into arms that loved and supported me.  My most agonizing loss was my marriage.  After that I lost money and my home and my health.  I will say the first person I ran to was my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Then he taught me that I didn’t have to feel alone because He was always there and so were my children.   Shortly after this all happened I had a dream that I have thought back on many times since.  There was a new addition going on to my home.  My three sons were up above the garage being in charge.  They called me up the ladder to review the options and help me make decisions to see where this addition was going. Down below were my Daughters-in-love running a garage sale to help me remove the things I no longer needed, and choose what I wanted to keep.  When I started going down the ladder my boys supported it from above and my three daughters-in-love came over to support the bottom of the ladder.  This dream was pretty clear to me.  The new addition was the new chapter in my life. My sons were helping me but letting me choose what to add to my life.  The girls at the garage sale were helping me go over the things that had been a part of my life.  Which things should I keep, and which should I leave behind.  The ladder was my life.  My whole family was there to support me.  It is a very real answer to what I feel about moving forward after losing everything.  I am so blessed. 
  5. Does this person know how much they mean to you? When was the last time you told them?  Oh yes I think they all know how much they mean to me.  I tell them all the time how lucky I am.  My sons are my sons and I know it’s not a given that sons love their mothers, but in spite of how goofy I am they love me.  I hope they know that I am here for anything they need that I have the capability of giving.  My Daughters-in-Love are exceptional.  They are each unique and have special talents and gifts.  I’m grateful that we have a good relationship. 
  6. If you could send a message to the entire world, what would you say in 30 seconds?  Friends, Countrymen, and world neighbors.  I want to speak of you about LOVE.  So many wars have been fought over religious and moral differences and it makes no sense.  Even if we may all believe in a different God, each God is all about LOVE.  Please elect to go to your God and beg for an answer that will help you do as He asks us to do “Love one another”.  In the name of religion we cannot turn away from God and hate our fellow man for being born into a different country, culture, religion, dynamics and different God.  We must LOVE each other for our similarities and embrace the differences.  It would be so easy if we could just get that message.  Part of loving is not judging.  Making war may be necessary, but it shouldn’t be necessary.  It is each individuals choice and we can create a movement of LOVE if we each individually choose it.  Because Karma is real.  What is put out into the world is what we get back. 

These questions were very thought provoking.  I’m sure I will continue to contemplate them.  I look forward to finding more to answer at another time.  That last question, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could send a message that was heard to the entire world?

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Kids Say the Darndest Things
March 28, 2017
11th Speech

My 3 year old grandson, Dax, is quite a character.  He keeps me laughing.  Depending on what day you are talking to him his name could be Daxie, Daxilicious,, or Captain Underpants. 

One day he was supposed to say the prayer at church.  This was his first time in public so of course Mom and Dad coached him about being reverent, folding his arms, and being grateful. He walked up to the podium so slowly and quietly then he pulled the microphone down to his mouth and said “!”  The crowd of munchkins roared with laughter and approval.  Mom not so much.  She stepped up and removed him as quickly as possible and said the prayer.  Of course this little guy with his new found power and gift for creating laughter continued “,”.  Don’t kids say the darndest things?

Toastmaster, Ladies, Gentlemen, and friends:

How many of you have heard of Art Linkletter?  He had a program back in the 50’s and 60’s called House Party.  A small portion of that was devoted to talking to children.  He didn’t have to do much to draw the funniest comments from them because kids are just so willing to share. 
How many of you have children or grandchildren?  Then you too could tell us stories of your kids being silly, making you laugh, or embarrassing you!  Too bad, my turn!

My oldest son (Dax’s dad) had a habit when he was young of taking off all his clothes and running into the front yard.  Of course we put protective knobs on the door but he figured out how to use a rope, tie, or purse handle to pull on it so he could bypass the knob, and out he would go.  He was under a year old and we just couldn’t seem to think faster than him to prevent an exhibition. 

My youngest son Scott had a gift for laughter.  Seriously, it was amazing.  He would start laughing about something and he could not stop and it would be so contagious.  Soon everyone was laughing.  That was great, right?  Not so much in church, or a Dr’s office or movie theater, or playing games with a serious game player like his great grandma.  She would tap her card on the table and just wait for us all to stop laughing. 

My friend is a kindergarten teacher.  She teaches her students not to say bad words but also not to tattle.  Children are always coming up and saying “Johnny said the “S” word, or Susie said the “B” word”.  She says to them.  It’s not nice to say bad words but you don’t have to tell either.  One day a young boy came up and said “Billy just said the “Q” word.”  Q word?  She was curious so she said “Can you whisper it in my ear?”  The little boy came very close and whispered “Quap”.

Sometimes if we listen to our kids they give us teaching moments.  My 3  year old and my 2 year old   were fussing in the back set and I had been a patient mom but I leaned back and swatted my older son and said “You don’t hit your brother, ever!”  He folded his arms, pouting and thinking.  In a few moments he said “If we aren’t supposed to hit why did you hit me?”  Some might think that was insolent, but I learned from it and realized it wouldn’t make any sense to a little boy at all. So I changed my parenting after that. 

One time I was frustrated with something that Marque (Mark then) was doing.  I took him by the shoulders and tried to have him focus.  After my explanation I could tell he wasn't listening.  I asked him to repeat what I had said.  He sighed, shrugged his shoulders and said, "Mommy, I can't.  My battery ran down."

Another son, Jimmy, wanted me to read a book to him.  I was busy paying bills and asked him to wait.  “I don’t have the time right now, in a little while.  Okay?”  He went away and came back a little later and asked again and got the same reply.  After what must have seemed forever to him he came and asked again.  “Do you have time NOW mommy?”  “No I’m sorry, in just a while”.  He said “You don’t have any time and I have lots of time so I will give you some of my time so you can read me a story.”   Yah.

Two and three year old kids are super funny.  They can communicate now and they have been stacking up questions and wisdom for a long time.  Jimmy was 2 when he was hanging around me while I was paying bills.  Something that he wouldn't do later in his life.  He was playing with the calculator.

Jimmy:  Mommy what is this?
Mommy:  It helps mommy add and subtract.  It's a calculator.

Jimmy:  No mom, It's a calcu"now".

I was one of those Mom’s in the 70’s that didn’t want her children to have toy guns, but somehow they came into our lives.  My son was playing cowboys and shooting the bad guys.  I told him not to point even a toy gun at anyone.  I said Real Cowboys use their gun to shoot in the air to herd the cows because they don’t want to lose them.  So if you want to be a real cowboy do that okay?  Daddy came home in a little while and asked what he was doing? “I’m making the cows go through the right exit!”

Sometimes the funniest comments come from misunderstandings or kids just hearing things differently than it should be.  Like the little boy who told his parents that they sang the song at church about a crosseyed bear.   Oh, this cross I bear. 

Or the little girl who wanted to sing the song about the Silver dishes?  Anyone? (The Golden Plates)  Jimmy was about 6 when he was taking Gymnastics.  Little 2 year old Scotty loved watching him doing cartwheels and walking on the beam.  He said, "Mommy, when can I take Scottnastics?"  [Jimnastics.  Yah!]  Marque was born with a small birthmark on his cheek and foot.  It was only later that Marque thought it was called a birth.  How would he know different when we would always say things like "Show Grandma your birth Mark."  

Jimmy once was rebellious about having chores.  His friends weren't required to help around their house so why does he have to.  He was about 10 I believe.  I explained that as members of a family we all have to help each other.  But, I took his name and chores off the chart.  Pretty soon he wanted to go to soccer practice but I was too busy doing his chores to take him.  Another time he was wanting  Dad to play catch with him, but Dad was too busy doing the dishes that used to be Jimmy's chore.  Soon I noticed that his name was back on the chore chart with some chores listed beneath,  

One time we were getting home very late with 3 tired boys in the back seat.  My husband said, “Okay boys when we get home I want everyone to go in and hit the sack right away”.  Our 2 year old son walked right in quickly obeying his dad got into the closet grabbed a paper bag and started hitting it.  He had no idea why, but he was a very obedient son.

One day I was showing Dax all the popcorn popping on the trees and he said “Gramma you know that’s not popcorn.  It’s flowers.  That’s just silly to think it’s popcorn cuz popcorn doesn’t grow on trees.”  Yah that may be silly but the day before he was telling his dad that the Princesses went to the money store to buy some money to get a cowboy balloon for his dragon.”  Yah, that’s not silly. 

How many of you have adopted some of their words to add to the English language.  We now watch Tarcunes instead of cartoons.  We love susketti.  No, you don’t want a burrito, you want a debrito.  Two cars are the “same as” but “fifferent”.  Dinosaurs have all disappeared into the hot wabba just ah cuz. 

Yep, Kids say the Darndest Things and it never gets old.  Nowadays we don’t have Art Linkletter or Bill Cosby, but the internet has created instant stars from so many cute kids.  We do have Steve Harvey and Ellen Degeneres bringing those munchkins right to our device wherever we are.  It’s a world of laughter!

It's fun to hear the silly things that I said when I was a wee one too.  A few that I remember hearing about were going on a roller coaster at a very young age, three I think.  As we were coming down the hill I was shouting "I'm gonna shwow up.  I'm gonna shwow up!"  I gave my dolls interesting names Belonk and Golonda were a couple.  Also, when I was two and a half my baby sister Lynette was born.  My Grandma Johnson was there to help.  She had worked and worked for me to sing "If I Knew You Were Coming I'd have baked a Cake".  I had it down perfect.  But when mommy and baby came home I just rushed out saying "I baked a cake, I baked a cake."a

I'm grateful to remember these things.  Some were written down, some just remembered.  But I wish I had excellent recall because my kids had me laughing all the time, and now my grandkids do.  But I just don't remember them all.  Enough to be reminded that "Kids Say the Darndest Things!"