News from Nonna: January 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


We got home from Kansas City in time to celebrate the New Year with our kids that live here.  I must say, I don’t think Richard and I are too exciting anymore, just exhausted!  What happened to dancing, and Guy Lombardo?  We had just enough time to get Richard ready to go back to his “time,” in Pocatello.  He left with a packed car the day before our 34th wedding anniversary.  Talk about romantic, well at least my kids spent the night with me so that I wouldn’t be so afraid! He however remembered that I don’t like flowers and so I got something near and dear to my heart!  FOOD!Verlinda Camera 084 Now that is true love!  An Edible Bouquet! 

Jacqui and Dave have spent several nights with me, sorry Dave, but I have really appreciated it.  I never was very brave.  When Richard went out of town, which was rarely, I packed up all the kids in the car and off to Mom and Dad’s we went.  I have gifts but bravery was never one of them……….

Went back to the temple for a week without Richard. Then got a call from Janae saying she NEEDED me.  Greer has thrush, she has four children under six, and is seeking a little support.  So I get back on the plane and to Arizona I go.  The weather was spectacular and I get to see all of the kids.  I loved being there.  I got to bond a little more with Greer, bike, go to the park, color, play blocks, bake cookies, bake cookies, read books, play, play, and have great one on one time with Janae.  So even though I was trying to help out, I was the one that was blessed.

I fly back after a week, and then have an ENTIRE week to get ready to go to Idaho!!!!!!!  This is Richard’s busiest time with his tax business and so he needs my help.  I will spend three weeks in Idaho and by the way, living in the squalor that I lived in last year.! How can one man be so lucky as to find the same hole of an apartment, two years in a row?   Cheep,cheep,cheep!

The last of the time that I will be there, all of my girls, including Jaimie, will be together for our first “GIRLS” getaway.  I can’t wait.  So, until I get home and can post again…………..Hang in there, I am trying to!


Merry Christmas and ANOTHER NEW YEAR!

After my book group and the SHEEP, I was on my way to Arizona to help Janae and her family as the new baby came.  What an awesome experience!  We left on the 10th of December and Greer Mae Burkinshaw was born on the 11th! Greer Janae named her after my grandmother. Vera Mae Upchurch. If she grows up to be half of the woman my grandmother was, she will be blessed.  Janae had a very spiritual experience the day of her blessing with feeling the presence of Grandmother very strongly.  Another tender mercy, especially for Janae.   This is the first child that I have ever seen delivered and let me tell you, it is something that I will never forget.  What a miracle to behold.  She was only 6 lbs. and 10ozs. but so beautiful.  The amazing thing was is that Jacqui helped deliver her.  She is a labor and delivery nurse and so she was at the hospital that she used to work in with the doctor that she loves, Dr. Russ Beck, and so she was one of Janae’s nurses.  She took Greer after the delivery and cleaned her up and did all the new baby stuff.  She took such good care of Janae and it was a moment in time when I was in awe and so pleased that we could all have this experience together. Another Tender Mercy for me.  I am having a lot of those and I realize it and am so grateful. 

So after having helped  Janae for 10 days, we flew back to Colorado and got home at 3 AM. Went to the temple the next day for our 10 hours, and then were up at 6 AM to drive to Kansas City for Christmas with my folks.  Keep in mind that we had three dogs with us that we had to take, because Jonathan and Jaimie went to SLC!  This is the way that I rode in the car for 10 hours!  Richard insisted that he needed to drive the whole, entire…….way.  I wonder why?   Verlinda Camera 043

So along with “White Lung Disease,” I now have a hairball that will last a life time.  (See earlier post.)

We had a great time with Mom and Dad, and spent a lot of time with the Upchurchs’.  Christmas with them was fun, we did everything from eat, eat, eat, to playing Christmas Bingo, reading the Christmas Story, (with Lotto tickets as an incentive :) way to go Tara!, to playing Guitar Hero, Karaoke, and just plain fun.Verlinda Camera 055 Verlinda Camera 060 Verlinda Camera 063 Verlinda Camera 066 Verlinda Camera 058 I taught Tara how to make homemade rolls.  She was so excited and now I have passed on the recipe to the younger generation.  Mom started it and it better carry on!

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We had a special Christmas morning with just my folks.  Not much hoopla but so nice.  We opened gifts and just enjoyed each other.  It was a special Christmas for me.  My mother gave me my Grandmother Upchurch’s old wedding ring and it is something that I will always treasure. It was a Christmas that I gave the best present that I have ever given.  I have been working on a book for my mother for the last six months.  It was a book filled with pictures of her life and my memories of the times I remember.  It is something that she will treasure.  She was so touched and I am so grateful that it is something I did.  Tender Mercies.Verlinda Camera 067 Verlinda Camera 074 I enlisted Daddy to help decorate gingerbread cookies that I took over to the Upchurchs’ and he is pretty artistic…Verlinda Camera 077 Verlinda Camera 078 Verlinda Camera 079

Then I also had a little chance to visit with some of our friends.  We went to church at our old ward and saw lots of dear friends.  Went over to the Carlsen’s and got to see Elaine and Justin.  He is one of my boys………He is a big time pilot in the Marine Corps and will be going to Iraq in March to fly those big planes.  Verlinda Camera 082 Verlinda Camera 083 I’ll let you know when we all need to start praying!  Maybe it will be over by then!

I’m Afraid To Close My Eyes!

I know that it has been three months since I have last posted on my blog.  Honestly, the time has gone by so quickly and has been so filled with things that I had to do, that I am struggling to remember all that has happened!  But for the sake of a journal, I will attempt to put things down.  Followers of my blog, you may click out at any time. 

These are some of the projects that have kept me on my toes, literally.  In October I went to Arizona with Jacqui to help move her belongings up to Colorado.  I went out a little early to spend some time with Janae and her family and as always, love to do that.  Then we loaded up Jacqui’s U’haul and unloaded it in Monument, Colorado.  We helped her set up her house, hung pictures on the wall, got cabinets organized, and christened her new home. 

Next came getting ready for Thanksgiving with all of my family coming home except the Burkinshaw’s.  Janae was due in December and couldn’t make the trip.  We missed them.  We however had a wonderful Thanksgiving with the other kids here and my folks as well.  Lots  of love and fun to go around.  Verlinda Camera 001 Taryn and Shea were so sweet, they ran a nail salon.  We all got manicures and pedicures and they seemed to love the “tips”, they received.  It was a great holiday because not only my folks were here, but Mike and Debbie as well.  It really isn’t a party unless they are here and we did party.  Lots of playing cards, and laughing, laughing, laughing!!!!!!!!  I loved it. Creed Broggan Shea Taryn Blakely jagger2 Navie2 (Working with this new program and so I just put in all of my BEAUTIFUL grandchildren.)

Then December rolls in and my plate is full to overflowing!  Remember that RIchard and I work 10 hours a week in the temple, which we love, but that takes a little time.  In December I was in charge of having book group at my home.  I didn’t put up Christmas decorations this year, because no one was going to be here including me.  So I tried to make the tables look good. Verlinda Camera 006 I fixed a typical “Christmas Dinner,” for the girls with turkey and dressing, homemade rolls, Verlinda Camera 009 mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade rolls, salads, and my famous Brandy Snap Basket dessert.   That took some timVerlinda Camera 008e, Verlinda Camera 011 but everyone seems to love coming to my house.  One more commitment down.

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I was the first counselor in the Relief Society Presidency for a very short while.  So, I was in charge of the “HANDOUTS,” and refreshments for our Visiting Teaching Conference.  Let me tell you all that I worked on this project for three months!  No joke, I didn’t realize that these cute little sheep could take me so freaking long, but they did.  Just ask Richard, who had to bring out his saw to help me. (Thanks RIchard) 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,……50…..75……100!Verlinda Camera 032  (I’m NEVER counting sheep again!)  Really, they were so time consuming and if I find out that one sister threw them away, we will have words!  Verlinda Camera 018 Along with that, I had to make 120 sheep gingerbread cookies.  They even looked like they had curly fur.  Verlinda Camera 028 Thanks to Jerianne, Verlinda Camera 019I had a label that said, “Feed My Sheep,” and they turned out darned cute.  So, one more project completed, but not without me getting “White Lung Disease”! After all of that, I am now the Home Family Enrichment Leader, and my first big bash is in March.  Thank heavens, cause I won’t be home until then!!!!!!!!!!!!!