Sunday, May 25, 2008


Thank you uncle Brad, aunt Kathy, and aunt Janice for this wonderful tribute:

Vere Hodges Johnson was born on August 30, 1921 to Alphalus Ariel Johnson and
Blanche Jesse Hodges Johnson in Beaver Dam, Utah. Vere had what he described as the perfect childhood, surrounded by a large extended family. He graduated from Bear River High School in 1939, Utah State University in 1944, and Western Reserve University Dental School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1948. He served two full-time missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; first as a young man in the North Central States Mission (1942-43) and later with his wife in the Frankfurt, Germany Mission (1985-86). He was an active member of the church all of his life. Vere preached the gospel and lived its precepts faithfully. He married Winifred Amacher in the Logan Temple December 19, 1947. They were married 56 years when she passed away in March of 2004. They were the parents of eight children. Family was all important to them. Vere worked hard at his dental practice. He practiced dentistry in Roosevelt, UT; throughout Florida; and Logan for 35 years. His home was a secure place where all were well fed and entertained by his quick wit. Learning and education were not only encouraged but financially supported. He had many interests. He loved the gospel, people, Beaver Dam, family history work, his grandchildren’s sporting events, good deals, buffets, building projects. Arabian horses, computers, but most of all his family. He valued education, hard work, thrift, integrity, and stressed to the very end that “family is everything”. Grandpa’s large smile, big laugh, and constant joking were infectious and endearing to all who knew him. He had a nickname for everyone or a story he would tell to introduce his friends and family to others. His teasing indicated that one qualified as his friend. We’ve all been educated or enlightened by the wisdom which he freely gave. If it could be built, he wouldn’t buy it. If he had to buy it, he found the greatest deal in town, and the story of its acquisition became legendary. But we all know the acquisition of which he was most fond –his dear wife, and the family they built together. He was preceded in death by his wife Winifred, his parents, and his brothers Don and Thiel. He is survived by his children; Rand (Nancy) – Dripping Springs, TX, Janice Stauffer (John) – Bountiful, UT, Kathleen Thatcher (David) – Paradise, UT, Paul (Jill) – Santiago, Chile, Bradley (Rosemarie) – Enumclaw, WA, Todd, (Diane) – Annandale, NJ, Scott, (Melanie) – Snellville, GA, Robert (Mary) – Providence, UT; 55 grandchildren, and 46 great grandchildren; sisters Mae Zollinger and Renee Nielsen. The family would like to sincerely thank all the friends and family who cared so lovingly for Vere, especially the never tiring devotion of grandson, Kent Thatcher. Funeral Services will be held Friday, May 30, at 2:00 p.m. at the Providence 2nd & 3rd ward chapel, 309 South Main, Providence. Viewing will be held Thursday, May 29 at the Nelson Funeral Home, 162 East 400 North, Logan; and Friday at the Providence 2nd & 3rd ward chapel from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Interment, Beaver Dam Cemetery.

Yesterday, my grandpa Johnson died.

He took his last breath surrounded by his family that adores and admires him. It seems a good transition, going from the arms of those who love him here, to those who love him There.

I drove up to Logan when I heard the news.

He was in a lot of pain, and was ready to go Home. It was still hard to see my big grandpa lying there quiet and still.

I got to spend a day with grandpa a couple of weeks ago. He was sick, and humbly asked how I deal with all this going on in my life-the pain, the fear, the anxiety. He said he was inspired by the way I was carrying on. He said when he got to the other side, he would plead for mercy on my behalf. This touches me somewhere deep inside, and gives me strength and hope.

A light rain fell as we drove out of the valley. The sun was low in the west and scattered a misty glow on the fields, mountains, and trees. Ive never seen the world so perfectly lit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

i heart david archuletta

I hope he is a sweet as he seems, James and I are huge fans. I guess we find out tomorrow if our little Utah mormon wins. Go David A!!!

Its not like I dont have anything else to write about, I cant decide between all thats in my head. Hopefully Ill get some time this week.

Monday, May 12, 2008

this is my mothers day present

Yup, your looking at it. My mom said all she wanted for mothers day was for us to write a letter with every detail of our lives. She has broken her knee cap and is bed ridden in Chile and is very bored. Who would want to know my details? Of course mom does. But that would take forever, so here is one day. Yesterday. Mothers day.

At 8:45 Josh came in to wake me up. I hate 9:00 church. He had gotten the kids all ready for church. They actually looked good. Josh however had blue striped pants, teal and navy striped socks, white and blue striped shirt, and topped it off with a green and pink flower tie. "nice" I say. I had to smile as a small memory from the 80s crept up on me.

I had the perfect outfit. And it was Sunday (there is never anything to wear on Sunday). My mom had made me a knee length royal blue skirt. I had a white and blue striped button down collared shirt, white tights with blue stars all over them, and thick striped keds. How could this all come together so easily? All my blues were matching!! I still remember how proud I was walking in the chapel with everyones eyes on me.

I couldn't believe my mom let me out like that. Should I make Josh change? Na.

I chose for mothers day my favorite long white islet skirt with a ruffly white top and my favorite bright green sandals, and dangley earrings. Saturdays make up looked good enough (I put on extra that night cause I went out with some of my nursing friends).

Out the door, and late.

I might not have had Josh wake me up except I remembered the kids would be singing to me in sacrament, and as ridiculous as it was, I would be taking it personally. Luckily since we were late we got front row seats.

They only sang one song. James stared into my eyes sincerely and missed half of the words. He kept grabbing Sams face and forcing it in my direction to get him to sing to me. But Sam was watching sister Drake trying to get some of the words right.

After a great meeting I came to the conclusion that moms all agree on one thing: its worth it in the end. The valley of the shadow of death is nothing compared to a sweet little 6 month old reaching up for your cheeks. Sleepless nights are nothing compared to a two year old laying in the hammock telling you stories. Throw up and boogers don't stand a chance against kisses and hugs.

The hard times of motherhood get drowned by the happiness it brings.

Now I'm getting cheesy....sorry.

So after sacrament James said he felt sick, like he was going to throw up. As he now uses the argument "you don't know, cause your not me" and he has been known to throw up in primary, I decided to stop the fight before it started and take him home. I also think he knows I can tell if he has a sore throat (red tonsilles, swollen lymph nodes), a fever (over 99), a cough (fake ones are very obvious), but I cant clinically tell if he's nauseous.

I don't know because I'm not him, but I think he was okay. He immediately ate a full meal and proceeded to run around the house like he didn't even know how to act sick.

"James, how are you feeling?"
He puts his hand to his forehead, "Um, a little better than I did at church."
"Oh, good."

I never know what to do when my kids fake sick. I know that my mom let me do it all the time, let me stay home from school and lay in my bed. She even treated me like I was sick, when I know now she knew I wasn't.

Thanks, mom.

I decided to make the potatoes for dinner while Josh was gone. Even though he insisted on cooking, I knew it would be easier to do it myself than explain. I love this way of doing mashed potatoes, you fix them up then refridgerate until 40 or so minutes before dinner starts. It makes it easier to get the meat and potatoes done at the same time. The recipe goes something like:

potatoes peeled, cut, and boiled
drain and mash
add butter, cream cheese (maybe half a small package), and some sour cream
add garlic salt to taste
spread in 9x13 pan and sprinkle with paprika
cook at 350 until hot

These don't even need gravy, although gravy never hurt anything.

I cleaned up after myself and Josh and Luke came back from nursery. This is Josh's new calling, and he loves it. A few years ago he was the nursery leader and did an awesome job of. When he got released Bishop Pierson said he would always be the nursery leader in his eyes.

Luke made me this in his class. I love it.

He also showed me a piece of chocolate and ate it in one bite. I later found out was meant for me. I wouldn't have been that bugged, except for the big Symphony bar they gave all the mothers in our ward was devoured mostly by the kids.

Its sometimes hard to share chocolate.

Luke got on my lap and insisted that Jesus said he needs new underwear that arent owie. I changed his underware. He then told me Jesus said he needs different pants on. I change his pants. Jesus then told him what book I was to read him. How am I going to argue this one?

I talked to my mom for a while on the phone, wishing I could help her out.

After lunch we put Luke to bed and things got quite. James was working on some homework and as I got to the top of the stairs he asked "Mom, what kind of animal sleeps a lot?" "I don't know....a bear?" "Oh, thats a good one."

I peeked over his shoulder at his work. It was a 'family animal' poem. He had to fill in the blanks:

Dad is like a cheetah because he is fast
Sam is like a monkey because he is crazy
Luke is like a giraffe because he is tall
Mom is like a bear because she sleeps a lot.

I looked up at Josh all shocked and hurt. He shrugged his shoulders and said apologetically, "I tried to tell him to think of something skinny or pretty."

I went to my room all sad that my kids notice how much time I spend in bed. Then I fell asleep.

I woke up to the sounds of Josh in the kitchen. He made us grilled chicken, cut up fruit, and steamed broccoli. We had a nice dinner with his parents and brother. The weather was perfect. I spent some time in the hammock with the boys, then watched them golf.

They were ready for bed at 8, so I had time for a bath. I read a little of this and that. Josh massaged my leg while we talked. He gave me my pills, then a shot in the tummy.

So there you go mom, life is great here. Thats all you really want to know right?