Sunday, May 11, 2014

Fancy Nancy: Happy Mother's Day

Before I go any further, you must know why I call my mother "Fancy Nancy."  I'm quite positive the popular children's book, "Fancy Nancy," was inspired by my mother!!  She loves everything fancy!!  Even when she is preparing a meal for herself, she places her food on her plate in just the right way so that the colors of the food on her plate look artistic.  My mother always loved beautiful, fancy things like fairies and ice skaters… When I was in high school, my mother made her own set of fairy wings and danced around the house like a fairy- just for fun.  I laughed so hard and adored her free spirit.  I am excited to share with you a few more reasons why we love my mom…  Here's FANCY NANCY!!

Abe: Nanny is a do-it-yourself woman. She knows something about most everything; from construction and entrepreneurship, to gardening and cooking. She is a pool specialist and an amazing artist. In addition to knowing a lot, she is constantly sharing and teaching what she knows to others. 

Every year she does Nanny Camp for all of her kids and grandkids who can come. It is quite the event! Usually, it lasts a week or two. She always remembers the little details to make it memorable for everyone. She is a very organized person. I always enjoy being around her. Thanks for being a great Mom, Nanny! I love you!

Jackson:  "I love Nanny because she's really creative, and she's very talented.  She's a very good artist.  She gives me great hugs, and she is very beautiful.  She has a nice smile, and she does fun things for us like taking us to a castle and the YMCA.  She's a great cook.  She takes time to appreciate things.  Nanny makes sure that nobody is left out.  She is great with kids, and she is a hard worker.  She's very sweet.  She lets us swim in her pool… a lot, and she gives everybody a big hug when she sees us. I love Nanny a lot."

Tyson:  "I love Nanny because she's always loving, and she's always trying to find kind things to do.  She makes sure everyone gets a turn.  She's an awesome cooker.  I love her because she's my grandma.  She does a good job taking care of the babies.  I like going to Nanny Camp and visiting her.  She always wants to make sure we have a fun time when we come to her house.  She has an amazing garden.  I like cooking with her.  I like it when she takes me fishing.  I love her soooo much."  

Jordan:  "When we always come to 'Nanny Camp' she always teaches me how to cook, and we always go out and water the garden together.  She cheers for us when we play kickball in her front yard.  Nanny teaches me how to paint, and she always writes me letters.  She is always excited when we are going to come, and she likes going swimming with us.  She's really fun, and she's nice.  I like it when we go out to feed the squirrels and the birds in her backyard, and I like her cooking.  I love Nanny!!!"

Mariah:  "I love Nanny because she helps me cook with her, and she does fun things with me.  She plays board games with me.  She lets me feed the birds with her, and she gives us hugs and kisses.  I like her food… actually I LOVE her food.  She takes us to the park, and she takes good care of us.  I love you soooooooo much Nanny!!"

Juliana:  "I like her because she loves Jesus.  She's 2 stars like Gragran.  Nanny has good food.  She's not afraid of spiders.  I like her painted toes.  I love Nanny!!"

Jayden:  Jayden adores his Nanny.  Like the other children, he loves to cook with Nanny.  In fact, he loves to do anything he can with Nanny!!

The children always talk about "Nanny Camp."  I wrote about "Nanny Camp" last summer.  Here is the link to that amazing, annual event:

My Turn:  How do I even begin to write about my dear mother.  I remember feeling such great excitement in college when my friends would meet her.  They ALL loved her and always said to me, "After meeting your mom, now I understand YOU so much better!"  (We were both a bit eccentric.)  That was the greatest compliment ever:  to be compared to my mother.  It is still my dream to become like my mother.  I can't catch up though because she keeps getting better, learning more, and inspiring me more!!

It is because of my mother's support that I continue to write in my blog.  Every single time I write she gives me specific feedback on my insights and writing.  She encourages me and teaches me in many ways that nobody else can!!

It's Like Magic:  All my life… even now… whenever ANYONE goes to her house for a visit, (even unannounced) she "magically" pulls out an amazing, homemade treat.  The guests always look shocked, and I just smile because I already know she has special powers.  None of us really know how she does it… we just accept the fact that she's quite incredible.  She is frequently compared to Martha Stewart, Mary Poppins, Betty Crocker, and June Cleaver. :-)

Skills:  My mother wanted an alarm system in our house.  She climbed up into the attic and installed one!!  She now has it rigged so that she is alerted anytime anyone comes up her driveway!!  Another time, I remember she wanted a beautiful arched lattice beside her pool, so she cut a picture out of a magazine and built it!!!  What!?!?  How?!?  Everything in her house is labeled and organized… even down to a random screw.  It is sized and placed in the correct compartment.  My mom even has her storage room alphabetized from A-Z, so she can find things quickly.    Last spring I wrote about my mother's doll business… ummm simply amazing.  Here's the link to that story:

Miracle of the Scriptures:  When I lived at home, every morning my mother used to wake up extra early to prepare a very special, candlelit breakfast before school.  At that candlelit breakfast, she read the scriptures to me.  She even made a huge board with raised, textured mountains, so I could visualize the stories as she told them.  One particular morning, she felt inspired to read longer than usual because the scripture stories were especially enthralling to us.  Because we stayed a little longer reading instead of racing off to school, we smelled smoke from the basement as we were about to leave.  We discovered that our dryer was on fire!!  Within minutes the whole basement was filled with smoke!!!  The firefighters came and put the fire out, but we had extensive smoke damage in the basement.  I am certain that had my mother not followed the prompting to read longer in the scriptures, our entire house would have been greatly damaged… it could have possibly even burned down!!  Her love for the scriptures and how she valued them has definitely strengthened my testimony.

Story of Support:  When I was 14 and starting my freshman year in high school, my mother advised me to walk through the halls of the school as if I was the president of the school.  She told me to hold my head high and walk with confidence keeping my shoulders back.  She told me to smile and greet everyone I saw.  I tried that!!  At the end of my Junior year of high school, I actually ran for Student Body President.  On the day of the big election, my mother had to leave early in the morning and travel to Kansas City.  My father was out of town too.  I cry now thinking about how much faith she sent up to Heaven on my behalf… she told me that she went to my school grounds before anyone else arrived and blessed them and me with all the energy of her soul.  The election was extremely close!!  The student body voted, and it was a tie between another boy and me.  On their second vote to break the tie, I won by only 5 votes.   Funny thing is… in middle school I ran for offices but was never once elected. After I took my mother's advice and walked with confidence, I became Freshman class vice-president, sophomore student council member, Junior class president, and my Senior year I served as the Student Body President.  I thank my mother and of course my Heavenly Father for those opportunities of leadership and growth.

My Wrestling Mama:  My brother was an EXCELLENT wrestler in high school.  We spent many hours on the weekends going to his tournaments.  One night, my mom and I decided to do a wrestling match!!  I was 13-years old, so that means my mom was probably around 50-years old!  She put on a leotard and tights.  It was hilarious to watch my mom flex and get hyped before our big match.  I laughed so hard I could hardly wrestle her!!  I don't remember who won or how long our match went on.  I know my brother and dad were our coaches, and I vividly remember thinking my mom was the coolest, most fun, craziest mom ever!!!

Broken Spanish:  I apologize for this slightly risqué story… but it MUST be in writing!!  My mother came to Bolivia to pick me up after my mission.  We toured Bolivia and Peru for several weeks.  While we were in Bolivia, we ate dinner at a family's home in La Paz.  I did not even know them very well, but they prepared a marvelous dinner for us.  My mother, being the most amazing connoisseur  of good food wanted to compliment them for such a fine meal… In her broken Spanish, she wanted to tell them that the food they cooked for us was so good she was going to write about it in her journal.  INSTEAD she said that the food was so good she was going to write about it on her xxxxx (bodily part).  Everybody stopped eating and looked at her with the strangest faces.  I said, "No! No! No!  She didn't mean that!  I laughed so hard that I fell out of my chair and couldn't even speak.  We have laughed about that for years!!!  Btw:  That trip was AWESOME in every way!!  We went river rafting in a raft which deflated in the middle of the river!  We went canoeing in a canoe with a leak… and threatened to sink us with caymans nearby.  We visited "Monkey Island" and had monkeys literally jumping on our heads and all over our shoulders.  We explored Machu Picchu and took naps in hammocks in the Peruvian jungles.  Wow!!

Testimony Meeting:  One summer many years ago, there were many of  us visiting our parents for a family reunion.  It happened to be that my sister, sister-in-law, and I were all pregnant at the same time.  My mother, feeling so overcome with love for her children and her growing family decided to stand up in church and bear her testimony about this fantastic event.  She said, "I have 3 children making babies right here in this very room!!!"  All of us girls looked at each other with big eyes and tried hard to stifle our laughter.  Many in the congregation began to snicker.  An older man in front of me turned around and said, "Geez, I figured if you were making babies back there I would have heard something."  Oh we laughed so hard!!!!!  My mom had no clue what she had said.  She just sweetly smiled and continued to share her beautiful testimony.  We often call her "Lucille Ball."

Oh, of course I could go on and on about the many amazing ways my mother has inspired me, made me laugh, and shown me love.  How could I ever write them all down?  I just hope my mother knows that I am trying to be like her, and I'm trying to apply the teachings she continually shares with me.  I feel blessed to have such a great example to follow.  Happy Mother's Day Mom!!  You are always in "The Winner's Circle" of our hearts.  We're here in Florida lifting our arms in the air in honor of YOU!!  I love you.

She adores her grandchildren!!

She actually cooked a hog for us!!

My silly brother stuck these potatoes in her waist and pockets.  She was so busy bustling around the kitchen cooking for everyone she didn't take the time to take them out!!! Lol! 

THIS is what ALL the children LOVE to do with Nanny!!!  COOK!!!  She makes them feel like the most brilliant cooks that ever existed.