Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Carina is half a year old!

Length: 26 1/4 inches, 50-75%

Weight: 15 lbs 12 oz,  50%

Head: 44 cms, 75-90%

Picnik collage

She is rolling, scooting, rocking on her knees, chewing on everything in sight, and playing with her feet a lot.  She is starting to have a little stranger anxiety, but most of the time she  passes out the smiles to everyone who looks at her, especially her brothers.  She never sits still anymore and is so delighted in exploring the world around her and trying to figure out what is going on. She has become anti-car rides since school started back up and fusses almost every day when we go to pick the boys up, until the moment Colin gets in the car and talks to her.  Then she is just fine and happy.  She also has a favorite song, Mindy Glendhill’s Anchor, which calms her down almost every time I play it in the car.  As soon as it is over she starts to fuss again until I restart it.  Luckily it is a favorite of her brothers too, so no one really minds.   Sometimes I hear her making happy noises in the car and I ask Colin if she is talking to him, and he says that she is just looking at Gabe in the back and trying to get his attention.  At night, she has started to flip towards Chad when she is ready to sleep, so she can get a little daddy time, and if she is awake at all, she will flip over and bat at him to play, and then flip back really quickly and laugh, teasing him.  We love our girl and I can’t believe it is has been six months!

(Oh, and her eyes are still blue! Who would have guessed it?!)

I am hoping to make this Carina week – maybe I will finally get around to telling you where she got her name and maybe, just maybe, her birth story (finally).

Friday, September 23, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance Tour 2011

 imageAudra and I went to the So You Think You Can Dance tour on Wednesday for the fifth year in a row.  It was a great show – they greatly improved the flow of it this year, cutting out all the lame jokes and talking, and working the choreography so that each dance flowed from one to the next.  Just a gorgeous show.  We went to dinner beforehand using a Groupon I had, and it was so bleh that I have been dreaming about Cheesecake Factory ever since.  We didn’t stay after to meet all the stars this year.  The crowd was getting younger and larger every year and we are getting older and busier.  Neither of us could really afford to stay up ‘til 2.  It was so much fun though that I really didn’t miss it, and it was nice to be home by ten to find my husband unfrazzled and my baby asleep (she hasn’t been dealing with me being gone very well lately  and will have nothing to do with a bottle, so I was worried).  Anyway, some of the highlights of the night:

  • Melanie’s solo.  Brought tears to my eyes. 
  • Laughing with Audra

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  • Talking about the dancing with Audra (we are of one mind when it comes to SYTYCD)
  • Just being out on the town at night!

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  • So many of the dance numbers that I can’t list them all.

 

I had a great time and went home exhilarated but with a somewhat achy heart.  Sometimes I miss dancing and performing so much.  I want to be Melanie!

BTW, yesterday I showed said to Chad, “Hey I took a pretty cool picture uptown” and showed him the picture above.  And he goes, “Oh, you took a picture of my building?”  Yep, I took a picture of the building he works in without even realizing it.  They did just move in over the summer, so I guess I’m not a totally idiotic wife. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oliver starts preschool…and more

 

So, let’s see if I can catch you up on what has been going on around here in the month of September.  Oliver started preschool last week.  Like I did with the other two boys, it is a mom’s group – we all take turns teaching at our house.  I taught last week and Oliver was a model student.  I never started the other two this young, but Oliver has really wanted to go to school for awhile now, and he loves being around other kids.

IMGP9453 He is about the cutest kid in the world, isn’t he?  I took this picture on Monday. 

On Tuesday evening after dinner, I heard some horrible screams coming from outside, where the kids were playing.  You know those screams where you can immediately tell one of your kids is hurt, and hurt badly? Colin came running inside with Oliver, and as soon as I saw Ollie, my stomach dopped. 

 

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I don’t think this picture comes close to capturing how swollen up he was.  Colin was in the backyard throwing a ball up into the air and swinging at it (with one of Chad’s bats)  and didn’t hear Oliver walk up behind him.  Ouch.  I felt so bad for the tiny little guy.  He was perfectly coherent and with it, and didn’t even cry after the first half hour or so, but he wouldn’t let us put ice on it or anything.  We let him stay up a few hours so we could be sure he was okay, but he hasn’t even complained about it since then.  I was pretty ticked off at Colin.  He a typical, implusive eight year old boy and sometimes….I get very frustrated - especially since he actually gave one of his friends a black eye with a bat a couple of years ago.  All serious bats have been put away again. I think I have been mad at him mostly because I feel like a really bad mom every time I look at my little boy.

Here he is on Thursday, and on Friday.  It really had a lot of color to it – it just started fading a lot today.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

The winner of the birthday giveaway is……..

 

James-1

My brother-in-law James, who actually teased my sister Ashley about stacking the deck yesterday. I am happy you won, James, for many reasons….but mostly because it meant I got to put a tiara on your head. I hope this means your luck this week is improving!

As a side note, Ashley had more than 20 entrances in the drawing.  Can I tell you how much I love my sister for always reaching out by commenting? I don’t blog to get comments, but it is always nice to know that someone out there is reading.

heartattack

Each of your comments from yesterday’s giveaway was put on a heart and left on my mom’s lawn in the dead of night last night for one of her classic “heart attacks.”  Thank you to Sabina for cutting all the hearts out.

Thank you so much to everyone who has commented and contributed to this celebration of my mom.  Every word written will be cherished!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Today is the day – Let’s celebrate with a giveaway!

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My Mom Is……

An Ice-Cream Lover.

Any time she came to visit us and wanted to treat us to some junk food, she would stock our freezer full of ice cream.  Yum.  So today, on her birthday,  I am giving away a $20 gift card to…..

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How can you win this delicious prize?  Just join us in a party here on my blog by leaving  a comment for my mom with your birthday wishes.You will be entered in  the drawing once.  I will draw one name as the winner. Here are a few rules.

1.  Each person who wrote a post for the “Who My Mom Is” series will be automatically entered once. 

2.  Each person who made a comment on one of the “Who My Mom Is” posts before this post was published will be entered once for each comment.  Yes folks, rewards for past comments.  You liking that?  I sure am.

3.  Anyone who leaves a comment on this post, before 10 pm MY TIME TODAY (that is 7 pm for you west coasters) will be entered once.  Please leave your name and if we don’t know you that well, tell us where you are from. 

4.  The first 20 people to comment on this post will be entered TWICE for that comment.

5.  Since I want the kids to be involved in celebrating my mom, kids may dictate birthday wishes to their parents, who can then enter on their behalf.  And don’t feel like this is cheating.  I really really want their wishes. There are some advantages to having lots of kids, right?

I know, sounds a little complicated, but it comes down to this, please leave a comment here with birthday wishes for my mom before 10 pm tonight, with your name, and one of you will get free ice creamEven if you have never met her in your life.  Even if you have never met me in your life.  I am blatantly pandering for comments here folks and I fully encourage you do to the same with your friends and family.  Post this on facebook.  Email it if you need to. My goal is at least 100 birthday wishes for my mom.

Last but not least, let me mention that you don’t have to have a google account to leave a comment on my blog.  Just click the “name” bubble underneath the comment box and write your name in.  So no excuses, right?

Winner will be announced tomorrow, Sept. 16.  And then I can take a nap. Whew.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who My Mom Is, Part XXXII

This post was written by my father, Bob Jeppson.

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What can I say?

Linda is my companion and sweetheart.

It was 40 years ago this week that we went on our first date. We will be forever partners. Linda has always been the rock in our family. When it came to gospel standards there were no gray areas. Joshua’s theme was hers, “As for me in my house, we will serve the Lord”. If everyone put in the time and effort into their callings that Linda does, we would truly be a Zion people.

“Blessed are those who do hunger and thirst after righteousness” is another scripture that describes her. Linda’s trips every year to Education Week weren’t just for our teenage kids, she really loved to go to reenergize herself and grow as a person. These trips really strengthened her and our children.

Linda’s companionship is one of support and love without criticism. Linda continues to meet these new challenges with dignity and courage. Her intelligence and creativity are unaffected. She bears her testimony with her love and example.

Who My Mom Is, Part XXXI

 This post was written by my mom’s sister Diana Berry.  Let me just mention that the order of these posts has been somewhat random – Di was the first to send one to me (had to give her credit :o). Credit for the picture goes to my Aunt Pat. I love it because it is a nice, recent  picture of a few of the people who have written here.

Camiwedding My Mom, Pat, Grandma and Grandpa, Di and Kathy at my cousin Cami’s wedding last October.

Linda Sue is... GOOD! 

There is no better word to describe my sister!!!  She has always been good.  She is kind to everyone she meets.  She never talks bad about others.  Her family knows she loves them because she is always there for them.  She serves others and doesn't need recognition for it.  Linda loves the beauty of this earth and enjoys keeping it beautiful. She is kind to animals and they can feel her love. She is the perfect Granny!

Linda has a testimony of her Savior, Jesus Christ and is a good example of Christ-like living.  She has been my example and hero for decades!  When she meets her maker, He will throw his arms around her and say "Well done, thou good and faithful servant!

I love you sis,

Di

Who My Mom Is, Part XXX

This post was written by my cousin Danielle, the daughter of my mom’s sister Diana. 

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I have SO many memories of my Aunt Linda. I remember when we used to go to California and see all or our cousins. ( My Mom's sisters all lived there and we lived in Idaho) I remember going to Linda's house and making pizza with EVERYBODY! I thought it was THE COOLEST thing ever! Linda had a HUGE table and all of her kids and me and my brother were all able to sit around it! The pizza was the best pizza I ever had! I remember that the kitchen would be a HUGE MESS after, but Linda never seemed stressed about it.

I also remember my Aunt Linda always making time to talk with me when I would visit. She would ask me about school, dance or anything else I was doing at the time. I wondered how she could even remember what was going on in my life when she clearly had SO MUCH going on in her life. I remember always leaving Linda's house feeling loved and special.

One thing that will stick with me FOREVER is how GREAT a Mother Linda is. She always made time for each one of her kids. They always felt special. I never understood how Linda could do it with SO MANY KIDS! Now that I have 7 kids myself, I still don't understand how she did it! I often think of Linda and how calm she was whenever I was around her. She didn't let the little things bother her. She was happy to be living her life with her family. Nothing else mattered. I am so grateful for such an amazing example in  my life.

A few years ago, Linda stopped in St. George to spend the night during some trip. (I am SURE it was to help one of her children) I remember trying to talk with her. I knew that it was hard for her to communicate with me but I could see in her eyes just how badly she wanted to know what was going on with me. I decided to spill my guts to her that night. I told her EVERYTHING that I was doing and what was going on with my family. Linda listened patiently and smiled all throughout my rambling. :) I decided to quit talking after a while because I knew that she had to be tired and that she needed to wake up early the next day.

Linda~ I love you and I am so lucky to have you in my life. I hope you have the most wonderful Birthday. You deserve every happiness in the world!

Love

Danielle a.k.a Dani

Who My Mom Is, Part XXIX

This post was written by my Nana (my Dad’s mom) and mailed to me. 

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Dear Linda,

Happy Birthday – What a great time to let you know how much you mean to me and how much you have added to our family. 

Your family is a reflection of the success you are as a mother – your talents and leadership ability show through them.

We don’t know what the Lord has in mind for you, but we know you will and have endured it well.  Blessings will come your way – You are loved by many and they are there or you.

Love, Mom Jeppson

Who My Mom Is, Part XXVIII

This post was written by my sister Christie Blair.

Christie's kids Christie’s own cute kids in Halloween costumes Christie made.

 

My mom is my example.

If I ever know what to do with my kids, if I ever know how to serve in a calling, if I ever know how to handle a difficult situation, I learned it from my mom.

My mom was only 19 when I was born, so by the time I graduated from college I realized that I could remember my mom at the age that I then was.  I know who my mom was at 25, at 30, 35, etc.  Going off to college way back in the dark ages (1993) meant only a 30 minute phone call every other week, but lots and lots of letters.  Now, more than ever, I am grateful for the boxes full of letters I have from my mom during those pre-internet/cell phone days.  Someday I will organize them.  And then there were the cell phone years...during a time when I was all alone and had plenty of time to talk and my mom would vent and troubleshoot and work out situations with my teenage siblings, my newly married siblings, her callings, work, etc, etc. 

My parents always taught us that they were raising us to be better than they were.  If we found their old report cards or heard stories of things they did when they were younger, they would remind us of that fact.   As a teenager, I fully trusted that would be the case, that each generation would learn from the mistakes of the past, take only the good, and raise the next generation better.  I was certainly going to do a few things better than my parents ;)

Of course now as a mother of 3 young children I just hope and pray I can do half so well as my mother did with her 8.  She's always been very open with her children about her weaknesses and shortcomings, but also sharing with us the ways she has overcome them. When I think of my mom as my example it's not just the amazing woman described on Katie's blog this month, but also the young mother with a very messy house who yelled a lot.  It's the mom who talked on the phone with her sister for what seemed like hours before I finally got her to pay enough attention to me to realize I was trying to show her I'd come down with chicken pox. It's the mom who try to start a "capping jar" where we would have to pull out a slip of paper with a chore written on it every time we "capped on" someone but stopped because SHE was having to do it, too!  It's the mom who didn't always do everything right and didn't always know what to do...and let us see that.  I treasure those memories because those are ones that give me hope.  It's also the mom who took me to Education Week the week I turned 16 and every year after until my mission, and talked long into the night with me about what she was learning and how she was going to try to apply it to our family.  It's the mom who taught seminary during my mission and wrote long letters about how she was learning to love the scriptures (as well as her struggles with some of the same people who have written about her this month!). 

The happy picture of 8 temple-worthy children came out of a lot of tears and laughter, mistakes and apologies, and I treasure the front-row seat I have had, giving me years and years of watching the development of a truly great example.  I am forever thankful to have known that she wasn't just born the amazing woman she is today.  More than the stellar example she now is, I love my mom for the example she has given me of what it is to struggle through growth and change to become tomorrow more than what you are today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who My Mom Is, Part XXVII

This post was written by my Dad’s brother, David Jeppson. Picture courtesy of Meredith.

DavidMy dad’s family circa 1977? Back left:  Uncle Paul, Uncle Buckley with Aunt Marie , my mom, my Dad, Aunt Sharon, and my Uncle David.                                       Front,: Papa holding my sister Christie, Nana holding my brother Bobby

Linda is my 1st sister-in-law. 

I remember meeting her just before my brother Bob (her husband) went on his mission.  She was soooo young and full of energy.  She told us about her job being a cartoon character at Knott’s Berry Farm.  I thought that was sooo cool and still do!  I wanted her autograph!  She was perfect for the job as the world is her stage!  This is just one of the many talents that Linda possesses. 

Who My Mom Is, Part XXVI

SusanHarward

This post was written by Susan Harward, a longtime friend of my mom’s.

Linda is… I’ve been thinking about this for weeks now. Most everything I’ve thought about has been said by others, and said better than I could have. She’s a pretty amazing person.

So, Linda is a good friend. I didn’t like her when I first met her. But how can you not like her once you get to know her? Despite our differences, we became good friends. Distance doesn’t change that. Our friendship has continued as we’ve gone our different geographical ways. But it’s the kind of friendship that just picks up again whenever we talk or get together. I loved seeing her when we both went to Ed Week. We’d get together for breakfast and then attend some classes together. I think the last time I saw her was at Ed Week. Cathy Monnett drove up to join us and we got a motel room and caught up. Part of that catching up was talking about aphasia. Linda bought each of us a little charm, one side a sun, and the other side said “Glory of the Sun”. I still carry it around with me. I treasure our friendship. 

I also have to mention that when anyone asks about examples of charity, I always use Linda and Bob.

Happy Birthday Linda!  Wish I were there so we could celebrate together.  I love you.

Who My Mom Is, Part XXV

This post was written by my mom’s sister Rhonda.

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My Sister Linda is an actress!

Always has been, always will be! Very dramatic, but in a good way! I remember Linda standing out in every roadshow she performed in. I loved to watch her! I can say all 50 states in alphabetical order because of Linda and "Fifty, Nifty, United States!!" I forget the name of her singing group but I would have watched her perform in anything!


She's cute too! She has always been the cute perky one of us Parkins Girls. Who else could crank out 8 kids and have time for anyone who asked? I love her craftiness and artist touch.

Most importantly I love her kind spirit. She and I could not have gone more different directions if we tried but I still love seeing her and listening to her tell stories about each one of her children. She had time, love and attention given to each one of them, and now her grandchildren.


I am proud to call Linda my sister. Her eyes twinkle and her smile brightens a room. I know if you asked her she would say that she is blessed; I say, " I am," for having her in my life. Happy Birthday Sis!

Who My Mom Is, Part XXIV

This post was written by my brother, Bobby Jeppson.

IMGP8712-2 My mom and Bobby share a laugh this past summer.

My mom is a witch.

Not the evil, wart on the nose, pointy hat kind of witch.  Something a little closer to Glenda the Good Witch.  Or even better, a combination of Molly Weasley, Minerva McGonagall, and Hermione Granger.  She not only has magical qualities, but actual, real-life magical powers!  She can transfigure herself, stop time, apparate, read minds, and transform other things.  She can exercise power over other people in a way that cannot be explained using scientific reasoning or logical deduction.  There’s really no way to explain or understand her abilities without watching her in action.

As I read the posts of the last few days, I came to realized that mom can transfigure herself into anything in the world depending on the needs of others.  She is exactly what someone else needs, yet she is always herself.  She never pretended to be a second mom to the teenager who needed it, she literally was that second mom.  I never knew her as a great scripture scholar, but she was for those seminary classes.  At times she has been my nurse, my psychologist, my drill sergeant and my friend.  She is a leader when the occasion calls for it, and a follower when Christ requires it. 

Mom can read minds.  How else would she always know I needed her to call me at college?  How else would she write just the letter I needed on my mission?  How did she always know I needed to say something but couldn’t find the courage to say it?  How would she seem to sense when one of her kids was about to do something stupid and find a way of talking sense into us?  And don’t even bother trying to lie to mom.  She knew.  She always knew.

Mom can apparate.  She must also have a time-turner.  There is no other way to explain how she can be in so many places at once.  I first noticed this power when I was in high school.  Somehow she would be making costumes for one of Christie’s plays one moment, and the next moment be cheering from the stands as I sat on the bench during a basketball game.  (Which brings to mind the power to embarrass her kids in front of their friends.  Yes, Mom, everyone knows I’m your son.  You don’t have to yell it so loud every time I get in the game.)  Then before you know it she’s back home feeding the little ones and putting them to bed.  Having eight kids required the impossible of being everywhere, all the time.  Surely she had supernatural powers to pull that off.

I think Mom’s greatest power is the ability to transform things.  Mom would take a hideous  floral print of fabric and transform it into the raddest pair of Jams in the fourth grade.  Who else could take a short, skinny, dweeby little kid, add some homemade shorts, knee high socks, a customized t-shirt, and cleats and turn that combo into the coolest dude on the playground?  How do you take a Monday night filled with rowdy, tired kids and turn that into a sermon without even opening the scriptures?  Or how do you put 12 teenagers into a van, drive 10 hours, sleep on the floor every night, go to 10 classes a day, and turn that into the most anticipated part of summer vacation?  Yet year after year she kept trekking up to Provo for Education Week with a van full of kids, some her own and some belonging to others.  And with those trips she made the most impressive of transformations.  Somehow she turned lazy, rebellious or indifferent teenagers into engaged students, missionaries, and humble followers of Christ.  She takes the gospel of Jesus Christ and transforms it from words on the page into living action.  A theoretical concept becomes a concrete example every time she welcomes a new family into the ward over dinner, takes a struggling youth into her home, or fulfills a calling without a hint of reluctance.

Yes, no doubt about it.  Mom is a witch!  For years and years she has been manipulating everyone around her.  She has used her powers to make people do things they never would have otherwise.  So many graduations, missions, temple marriages can be blamed on one individual.  She is responsible for so much happiness, so much progress, so much joy.  It must be magic.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Who My Mom Is, Part XXIII

It’s sister-in-law day!  This post was written by my mom’s sister-in-law Sharon Morgan.

100_8587-1 My mom with my Nana (my dad’s mom) and my Aunt Sharon

Linda is a source of joy and strength for all of us.

I have always been amazed at her dedication to her faith and family.  There are times now that I wished that I had followed her example.   She may not be able to express her feelings and thoughts through her words as well as she used to, but she continues to show them through her acts of love and service.  She is still a joy to be with, even if not many words are spoken. 

Who My Mom Is, Part XXII

This post was written by my sister-in-law Jamie Jeppson, Aaron’s wife.


My mother-in-law is talented!

One of my earliest memories of her was when she played in the stake road show.  She played a wicked witch and I still remember her coming out onto the stage with her black cape and using her best witch’s laugh. It still brings a smile to my face when I think of that.  She always had a talent for performing in front of people. She passed that talent on to her children and helped many of them participate in their High School plays.


As you may have heard from others she is also a great seamstress. I remember her making Halloween costumes for many of her grandchildren. I still remember her telling me with excitement she was making a chef costume for her grandson Colin. She made a gorgeous wedding dress for her daughter Christie. She also hemmed my senior prom dress. She was awesome!


Not long ago, I was talking with my mother about a funny conversation she had with Linda. My mother said that during a ward activity she and Linda starting talking about our upcoming wedding. They started talking about the dresses they had bought to wear. As they both starting explaining what their dresses looked like they both came to realize they had bought the same dress! My mother had offered to take hers back but Linda kept insisting that she keep it and she would wear another dress. She even went ahead and made alterations on the dress that my mom needed done. Not only was she talented but also generous.


Linda is a talented and loving woman. I feel blessed to have her as my mother-in-law.


Happy Birthday Linda! Love you!
Jamie

Who My Mom Is, Part XXI

This post was written by my sister-in-law Audra JeppsonLevi’s wife. 

My mother-in-law Linda is... awesome!


I was trying to think of the right tag-line for the top of my post! Ideas have been swirling around in my head:
My mother-in-law Linda is... aware of her children's needs!
My mother-in-law Linda is... is thoughtful!
My mother-in-law Linda is... an incredible Granny!
My mother-in-law Linda is... a great example!
My mother-in-law Linda is... really fun!
My mother-in-law Linda is... the not-like-any-of-the-mother-in-law-jokes mother-in-law!


But awesome is word that rolls everything my mother-in-law is into one all-encompassing clump!

My favorite story about Linda has to do with the first I listed, her children's needs. It involves how Levi proposed.
He called me and related a conversation he had with his mother. In the conversation she asked "Are you going to marry Audra?" He said yes but said we could not be married until May when the school year was up so there was no point in proposing now. She asked why so long and he explained since Bobby and Sabina were to be married over Christmas, there was no way another wedding could happen on an opposite coast in that short amount of time. Plus, he did not want to take away from Bobby & Sabina's special time.


But... she had a plan!


Bobby was getting married right before Christmas. We could come to California for that wedding, fly to Virginia, they would follow a few days later, and we could marry right before New Years! Perfect! She had it all planned out!


He related this conversation to me over the phone and followed it up with, "So what do you think?"


Yes... that was my proposal! But I would not change it for the world!


I think she knew Levi's concerns before he even voiced them and she gave him the motherly nudge he needed! She knew his concerns, she knew his intentions, and she had come up with a plan to make it work! She is really good at making things work! And she is very creative. She took time to get to know me and understand how quirky I am and even went so far to come up with the best centerpieces ever for my open house. Bettas in a bowl!!!


She is also the best granny! She gets to know all her grandkids individually and is always very thoughtful in her gifts to them. And I will never forget when she showed up to the hospital when Nolan was born. She could not stop exclaiming with a delighted high-pitched voice, "He is SO DARN CUTE!!!" I can still hear it in my head. The exact pitch, the excitement, the light in her eyes! She was a Granny! It is one of my favorite memories and always makes me smile! She has doted similarly on each and every one of her grandchildren.

100_0517-1My mom with  Levi and Audra with their kids Silas, Yonas and Ruby.  This was the first day my mom met them.

 

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Levi and Audra’s girls in aprons that Granny made for them.


Thank you Linda for being a great example of a great mom, mother-in-law, friend, member of the church and granny!

Who My Mom Is, Part XX

 

This post was written by my mom’s parents.

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Linda is... so talented! 

Linda, we hope you know how much we love you.  We have always been so proud of you and how you enjoyed performing. It was fun to watch you in plays. You are also a good mother and it makes us proud of your beautiful family. You are a good daughter and we enjoy your visits when you can come.

2 pieces,

Mom & Dad

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Who My Mom Is, Part XIX

I got posts from both Adena Hebdon and her mother Terri Ulmer, longtime friends of ours in Blythe, so I decided to post them together.    adenaandterri

Linda is a joy to be around.


It's impossible for me to see or even think of Linda without a smile coming to my face. When I was little I visited her home regularly and I remember it being a happy and joyous place. That's not to say we didn't get scolded for staying up waaaay too late, but that was well deserved. She is so quick to smile and to give a reassuring hug. The world needs more people like her.

Linda is a true friend in every way.

I can still remember what she said the first time we met. She said," Hi, I'm Linda Jeppson. We plan on leaving Blythe soon but I'll be your friend ‘til we leave."  Instead of leaving she stayed and blessed my life in innumerable ways.  She helped me adjust to Blythe, raise my children, and always set the example for me to follow. We laughed and cried together, shared tender moments and leaned on each other when needed. When I needed advice, I knew she would always point me in the right direction.  She was my number one source for parenting advice. I could call her in the middle of the night with a sick child and she'd know what to do. We served together in Primary, Scouting and Young Women’s. She taught my children in Seminary and her knowledge of the gospel and her strong testimony is an inspiration to me. And even though she may not be able to speak as well anymore, I know that the fire of her testimony still burns bright.  She is compassionate and genuinely loves people unconditionally. She builds people up, never tears them down. When I needed a boost she'd pick me up and help me get back on my feet. Her laugh was contagious and just brightened the room.

Linda, you are such a remarkable, amazing woman. Your influence for good will continue to bless the lives of generations. I love you.

Happy Birthday, Terri

Who My Mom Is, Part XVIII

This post was written by my sister Lindsey Morris. 

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My Mother is a Disciple of Christ


While reading each of these posts one particular thing stood out to me. Everything my mother does is because of her faith in our Savior. She is dedicated to her friends, family and community because she follows the example of Christ to love and serve others.


She knows her children well because each and every night of our lives she knelt in prayer to receive guidance in raising us.


She was a great seminary teacher because she truly loved each of her students and worked hard on every lesson she taught. She knew how important it was for them to understand the gospel and gain a testimony if their teenage years.


Even the small things like being frugal come from the fact that she knew she needed to be home for her children instead of working.


She is everything she is because she used the Atonement to better herself.


My mother recently came to help me with the birth of my 3rd child. She inspired me with her patience and dedication to serve, but one thing stood out to me the most. On more than one occasion I found my mother reading her Book of Mormon. I know that reading is hard for her, but she has an eternal perspective and knows the importance of staying faithful in this life.


In my life I know that we will be a family, together for eternity, because of the life of my mother (and father) and their righteousness.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Who My Mom Is, Part XVII

This post was written by Kenneth Witham.  I have known Ken since he was this big:

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Linda was my second mom.

It was Linda who finally convinced me, after much trial and tribulation, that I should pee standing up. I am not sure whether my parents or Linda funded the plan, but my learning was done in the Jeppson family home on B Street in Blythe. Cheerios were placed in the bowl and target practice was begun. Truthfully, as I remember it, the target practice was fun, but not fun enough to entice me to make this regular practice. The solution was to use pennies. I would receive a penny each time I used the bathroom correctly. To me, this was sheer genius! I was paid to use the bathroom correctly!! While I am no longer paid for my efforts, I’ve kept up the habits learned in that little house in Blythe, California.

Fast forward a few years to seminary. My parents divorced the month before I started high school. Linda and her husband, Bob, made every effort to include me in their seminary classes. They left early, dragging along at least two teenagers of their own, to my house a few blocks away just to be sure that I had a ride to seminary. As a freshman in high school, my attendance in seminary was abysmal at best. The following year, having moved in with my father instead of my mother, my attendance improved drastically. I can’t say that it was always enjoyable, but it was worth it. I spent my junior year in Sacramento, but I did attend my senior year in Blythe and Linda was my seminary teacher. How anyone can display such exuberance each morning is impossible for me to understand, yet Linda seemed to have an innate ability to be lively and to physically show her love for the scriptures. Whether it was doughnuts on Fridays, Linda acting as “Alexis Trebek,” the female host of Scripture Jeopardy, or any of the other countless ways she had for sharing that love of scripture with us, Linda did her best at all times to ignite our own love for the scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I was saddened to hear that Linda was suffering from any illness or disorder. Having had some physical issues myself in my lifetime, I can somewhat sympathize with what she is going through. I’ve understood that this specific malady affecting Linda affects language skills; that would be almost too much for me to deal with. I imagine that Linda is dealing with this as best as anyone could be expected to deal with this illness. When I was sent home from my mission, after about a year of service, to deal with paralysis brought on by Guillan-Barré Syndrome (GBS), Linda made sure that I was included in the various ward activities. She’d invite me over for dinner on Sundays and urged the missionaries to include me in their proselytizing efforts. While I was home for that three or four months, I helped the missionaries baptize four individuals (a divorced man, as well as a single mother family with two boys.) It was a great experience to be included in that missionary effort and I don’t doubt that I was meant to be home to assist those elders with those baptisms (even if they may not be active currently.)

Whenever I would visit Blythe for a weekend, it was usually Linda who would be the first to spot me and offer me a welcoming embrace. I began to suspect she really did have eyes in the back of her head on some of those occasions. It was nice to feel her love for me as a person in such moments. I will forever be linked with Linda and her family and my life is better for each experience I have had with Linda and the family she raised.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Who My Mom Is, Part XVI


This post was written by my Great-Aunt Carolyn Johnson, my dad’s mom’s sister. 


Linda, my niece-in-law, was always such a joy to visit with.

 
She is always upbeat and happy and I love her sense of humor.

One summer I was Young Women's President again and picking Linda's brain for new ideas. I remember filling a whole sheet on a yellow legal pad with new ideas from brain- storming session with Linda. I always knew she was the most creative person I knew. I think I can thank her and your family for the "heart attack" that Carroll and I loved! I can just picture camping and always holding a cute baby. Happy Birthday Linda!!

Love,
Carolyn

Who My Mom Is, Part XV


This post was written by my Aunt Kathy Middough, one of my mom’s four sisters.

Growing up with 4 sisters wasn't always fun & games but .….

Linda is a great sister!


 
She would always take the blame (maybe we forced her to). I remember a time when she hid from all of us and we looked for her for what seemed like hours. She was the jokester and now that I'm an adult, I think I more fully appreciate the joys of having a family of sisters!


Love you Linda. Happy Birthday!

Who My Mom Is, Part XIV

This post was written by one of my best childhood friends, Karen Monnett Dick (who will always be Kari to me).  I happened to have this picture of her with her first son on my computer – I hope she doesn’t mind me using it – I thought it was the perfect picture of Kari.

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Linda is the life of the party.

Growing up, the Jeppsons were kind of a sister family to ours. Like us, they were a big, noisy, happy Latter-Day Saint family. I’m not sure if Katie and I were close because our moms were close, or the other way around—but we spent a lot of time at each others’ houses. And that means that I spent almost as much time with Linda as I did Katie.

There was always something going on at the Jeppson house, and Linda was the ringleader. There were art projects ranging from tree ornaments to—when my brother was born—a cute little infant tuxedo sleeper. That one Linda “supervised” me making, which meant she never let on that she had done 99% of the sewing, and passed it off as a gift from me.

As we grew to be teens, Linda opened her home to friends of her kids and not only tolerated our antics, but was usually the ring-leader. She led countless toilet-papering raids (all in good fun, of course) on fellow ward members’ front lawns. She thought up and carried out hilarious practical jokes, whether it was April Fools Day or not.

She was a clever mom: if there wasn’t a way for her to be officially involved in her kids’ activities—as she often was—she would find another way to work herself in. She would drive us hundreds of miles to stake dances, temple trips, and youth conferences. That woman must have chaperoned activities her kids attended every weekend for thirty years straight. When I remember my youth activities I remember her presence just as much as that of any one of my friends. She was always right in the middle of things, her quick sense of humor and ready smile lighting up the room. I wonder what was more annoying to her teens: the fact that she was always there, or the fact that all of their friends so clearly loved having her around?

I can’t remember a single year she didn’t participate in girls’ camp, to my recollection generally providing and packing up her family’s whole arsenal of outdoor equipment for the use of the girls in our ward. Once there, already exhausted from her preparations, she partied with the best of them. She good-naturedly jibed grumpy young women around the morning campfire, pulled pranks when things got dull, and laughed the loudest at whatever joke was told. Her energy and enthusiasm were viral—there was never a dull moment in the Blythe campsite.

Don’t get me wrong—she had her grumpy mornings just as we all do, and when her kids deserved it, she could bring them back in line with a few choice words. But she had a talent for making things fun, and for seeing the humor in everyday life.

It’s hard for me to imagine Linda without a steady stream of words tumbling out of her mouth. She was always busting with great ideas, funny stories, witty comebacks and good news--all delivered with her trademark grin. She told long and involved stories about mundane happenings, somehow making even a trip to the grocery store interesting. I’m sad that the world doesn’t get to hear her voice as often as it used to. But there are many of us lucky enough to know what goes on behind that smile of hers. And if I know her, she’ll never quit finding ways to make the people around her smile.

Happy Birthday, Linda!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Who My Mom Is, Part XIII

This post was written by Patricia Bolton, one of my mom’s sisters.  She also provided the pictures.

Linda is a ROCK.  

She is strong, determined and unwavering in her beliefs. Strong was not always the case. As a child, she was a wimp. She cried during every episode of "Lassie". She was an easy target when I wanted to pull a prank. And with 2 older sisters to join me, we were able to manipulate her a little too easily.

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But then she grew up. And she grew up strong. Linda, with other family members, took missionary discussions and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at the age of 13. Even though the others faltered and went in other directions, Linda stood firm in her beliefs and continued to grow in spirituality (and never gave up hope that others would also join her, she was so annoying at times!) She was determined to have a temple marriage and raise a strong family. And she did just that.  She really was Molly Mormon as her family grew. She used every resource available and developed her creativity to help stretch a "one-income, teacher's salary" and make it all work.

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Linda and I were especially close during the early years as our kids grew up. We visited them often. I loved to see her in action. With Linda, it was what it was. There wasn't a fine line between right and wrong, it was a strong black marker line. There was no faltering. I learned by her example. I guess that is why our family left the "big city life" and moved to Blythe when the opportunity came.

I enjoyed the time we lived close and were in the same ward. I watched her serve in callings with so much zeal. My two daughters were blessed to live close by Linda during their impressionable years. Thank goodness they were impressed by Linda. She was a tough cookie and she told it like it was.

I cried when she moved to Charlotte and I still miss her like crazy. But I like being in a community where she made an impact. Just recently at a yard sale, I overheard 2 women (who I did not know) who were looking at boxes full of fabric, talking about "you know that Mormon lady who did grad nite when the kids graduated"...I missed part of the conversation "...I know, remember how I tried to get it changed, but she said it wasn't appropriate for the kids... and she was right..." missed more conversation... "how many kids were there? they were so darn smart"...missed... and then " that lady could do anything...costumes...decorating, remember the..."

Yeah, that's my sister.

Thanks Linda for being my example, have a great birthday. Miss you and love you 2 pieces.

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My mom and her sisters –Kathy and Pat in the back, Rhonda and Diana in the front

Just a few words about Who My Mom Is

Thank you all for all the comments –  I have loved what has come out of this celebration of my mom.  I just wanted to answer a few questions real quick:

If you are wondering what all this is about, click here first, and then read on!

If you are interested in writing something about my mom, there is still time.  Even if you didn’t get a personal invitation, if my mom inspired you, I would love to hear about it.  You have probably noticed that there bit of a format going on.  I have asked anyone contributing to begin with “Linda is_____”  and then to give examples or a short story.  That way everyone will get to know all the wonderful attributes my mother possesses.  I have also asked the writers to keep it relatively short and use simple language.  If you are interested in writing something, please send it to rillalev@gmail.com before September 12th.  If you have a picture to include, WONDERFUL – if not, let me know if I can steal a picture of you from facebook :o)

The posts will get more and more frequent until the 15th (my mom’s birthday)  because I already have enough posts to do more than one a day.  That makes me so happy.  The more posts I can do, the better.  Thank you!

Who My Mom Is, Part XII

This post was written by my brother Aaron Jeppson, who even provided the picture of himself starting 1st grade. 

1st grade

I can’t find one word to describe my mother. So I will just write.

My mother knows me.

I remember when I was 17. I was getting ready for a date and my mother said, “Do you know who I think would be someone fun to take out some time? Jamie Bowles.” Surprised, I pretended to be upset that she was interfering with my social life.

In reality I didn’t want her to think it was her idea. I was waiting for Jamie to turn 16. But it was nice to know I had my mom’s approval.

So much of who I am comes from my mother. She is outgoing and never afraid of a crowd. She’s creative and can think on the spot. Like Bryce, mom helped me through numerous school projects the night before they were due. That’s how I learned to brainstorm and how to go off-script (or B.S.) when needed.

Mom is frugal. I learned that from her. She made almost all my clothes for school for at least the first 3 years. (I don’t blame her for early 90’s style) I learned how to manage money and separate wants from needs.

My mom is funny . She’s a quick joke, a nose-scrunch, a smile and a chuckle.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Who My Mom Is, Part XI

100_7006 Yes, she really did slap him.

My mom is fun. 

I can’t tell you how many times we would kneel for family prayer and end up in fit of uncontrollable laughter, started with a giggle from my mom.  I can still picture her, tears streaming down her eyes as she tried to calm down.

Whenever we went to Mesa Verde National Park, there was an overlook above one of the ruins.  You could see the visitors milling around, and my mom would yell, “Cindy!  Cindy!!!! CINDY!” while waving her arms wildly, until someone was kind enough to wave back.  Who was Cindy?  Who knows? 

My mom loves a good practical joke.  I can barely believe it now, but we actually invited people over to our house for dinner, and then ambushed them on our front porch with water guns and balloons from every corner….even from our roof. Crazy kids? No, a crazy mom.

My mom’s favorite victims were the missionaries.  Every couple of years she would organize the women in the ward to feed the missionaries the same meal for six or seven nights in a row.  When I mean same, I mean exactly the same.  The same recipe, the same salad dressing, the same flavor of Kool-Aid. 

One time when we were getting new Elders, she got into their apartment and left live fish all over – in the bathtub, in the sink, the toilet, and blender.  When they told her that they dumped the fish in the canal, she pretended to cry about how they were our pet fish.  She had the Elders so convinced, they were ready to take fish food to the canal to try and attract the fish back to the surface to re-catch them. 

And once a food fight was started, and continued, at our table while feeding the missionaries.  It was so intense that the next time they came over, they wore trash bags over their clothes. 

My mom was a hoot at girl’s camp, a wild woman at Education Week, and always the fun chaperone on school trips.

I could go on and on, but believe me when I say my mom is more fun than your mom ;o)

(Feel free to share any stories you have about my crazy mother)

Who My Mom Is, Part X

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This post is by my youngest brother Bryce, who keeps it short and sweet.

My Mom is the best.

She always knew what was best for me and I could always go to her. She helped me complete my projects in High School and made me do my best.

Who My Mom Is, Part IX


This post has two contributors – Bonnie and Tom Crook (who will always be Bishop Crook to me).  They also happen to be the parents of the lovely Missy from last night’s post.


Linda is a friend to everyone.

There are no strangers in Linda's life. Anyone who needs help, an encouraging word, a ride somewhere or a baby tended Linda was always first to volunteer.

We moved to Blythe in 1994 - she was the first to come up and introduce herself, welcome us into the ward and invite us to dinner. Linda's energy and sewing talents always amazed me, she always knew the answers to my sewing questions and is an amazing seamstress!

I miss Linda's spirit here in the ward, but how great to be by most of her children and grandchildren. Have a beautiful birthday!
Love,
Bonnie Crook

Linda is dedicated.
 
As I think of Linda, I think of all the causes she totally had her heart and soul into.

1. Her family. No matter what they were involved in she was too. She may not have known all there is to know about raising a 4-H pig but she was into it with both feet.

2. Her church callings -the same way. She was my Primary president at one time and to see her love those little kids with her whole heart was Linda.

3. Community events- Totally dedicated to the walk for life -All night- dedication!  And I love her smile. It is always the most genuine. We will always love Linda! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Who My Mom Is, Part VIII

This post was written by Missy (formerly Crook) Kelly.  When I was looking for old pictures of Missy, I realized that I had several with her in them at functions that my mom took us to, and I realized my mom really took us all over!  Forgive me for the old pics Missy, they are to prove a point :o)

image0-3 Autumn, Missy and Lynda at a leadership conference my mom chaperoned for.

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Autumn, Missy, Me, and Breanna at a Girl’s Camp daytrip that my mom took us to – she may even have been camp leader that year, as she often was.

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And a picture just to show how beautiful Missy was, and still is.  She is the blonde in black (and I am the albino one with the double chin.)

So, onto the post:

Linda is a ball of energy!

I was 13 when we moved to Blythe, and Linda is one of the first people I remember welcoming our family into Blythe.

I remember her being so excited to haul a bunch of teenagers all the way to BYU for education week just so we could experience how exciting the Gospel can be. I definitely have to mention her zeal for the scriptures and being my seminary teacher.

But what stands out the most to me was the love she has for her family. Every time I'd come back home to visit, if I saw her she'd give me a big hug and bust out all her pictures of all of her beautiful grandbabies. Her eyes just sparkled as she told me all their names and I could see the love she had for them radiating from her. Linda you are an Amazing woman. Have a wonderful birthday.

Who My Mom Is, Part VII

This post was written by Kevin Ralston, who was a friend of mine through my teens years, and who was lucky enough to be one of my mom’s seminary students.  The picture below was taken at a prom dinner that my mom put together for me and some of my friends.
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Sister J is bubbly.
You would think that I would have learned my lesson, once referring to her as such from the pulpit when our Senior Seminary class was asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting. It drew laughs from the congregation, and immediately I wished I could take that description back, fearing it may have embarrassed her. Who was I kidding? Sister J didn't embarrass easily.
She was the most down-to-earth teacher/friend/friends' mom you could ask for. One of her more memorable quotes (for me) was "Your body is a temple, not a visitors' center." Risqué? Maybe. Hilarious? Yes. Easy for teenagers to understand? Definitely. Her main concern was to teach us rowdy kids, and to make sure we held to the Iron Rod.

What better testament of her love for youth, than her own kids? I am lucky to have been acquainted with the Jeppson 8. I knew the older 4 the best, and enough can't be said for their friendship, their love of the gospel, and their academic accomplishments.

A little over a year ago, by sheer happenstance, I ran into a very pregnant Lindsey one day at the grocery store in Mesa. She told me that her mom was coming to town soon. My wife and kids and I were lucky enough to get to have dinner with her and Lindsey's family, and my wife finally got to meet the famous Sister Jeppson.
At the end of the dinner, as we were leaving the restaurant, I got to hug her goodbye. I thought my choice of words was kind of random, at the moment.. I told her "I love you." She returned the gesture and told my wife that she really did love me. Looking back, I'm glad that those were the words that came out. I really do love Sister J. She stands out in my mind as a great influence during the formative years of my life, and I will always be grateful for that.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Who My Mom Is, Part VI

Written by my brother, Levi Jeppson

May-June2007 140-1 My Mom, Levi, and Levi’s daughter Jovie, in June 2007, very shortly after my mom was diagnosed with PPA

My mom is devoted.

Her entire life has been centered around her family, her religion, her friends, and her community. Whenever a favor has been asked, a calling has been extended, a need has presented itself, my mom has responded without hesitation. From service projects to volunteering at schools to running Grad Night, she embraced Blythe and did everything she could to improve her community.

She has made countless friends through the years from every walk of life. She has always held her friends close and gone out of her way to make sure they felt special.

In the Church, she has served tirelessly in virtually every calling possible. No matter the calling, big or small, she makes sure it is done well and done RIGHT!

You would think with all of the energy she expelled outside of the home serving others, her family might have taken a backseat at times. But her devotion to her family is her most amazing quality! There has never been a time in my life when my mother hasn’t been by my side, guiding me with love and patience (lots of patience!) She was there every day when we got home from school. There during the late nights finishing science projects or book reports. There at every school or athletic event. There at every church or scout function. There when important life decisions had to be made. Now, with 8 graduations, 5 missions, 7 temple marriages and 24 grandchildren behind her, she is more devoted than ever with frequent travel, an insatiable desire to babysit, thoughtful gifts, and a smile that lights up every room she enters! Thank you Mom!

Who My Mom Is, Part V


This is Cathy Monnett, who has been one of the best friends in my mom’s life.  This is what she has to say about my mom:


Linda is giving.
 
In the ten years we spent in Blythe, I watched her make so many sacrifices for her children. She would spend all night sewing to make them school clothes, costumes, whatever they needed. She was always there to drive them wherever they needed to go, to attend all their events, and to cheer them on. She focused all her energy on making things nice for them. I remember her buying larger size baggies for their lunches so she could send homemade popcorn as a snack, and we both bought bags of cereal marshmallows to add to the generic cereal we used. (If I were allowed an extra word to describe her, it would be resourceful:)

Linda gave so much of herself to her children that I think it's fair to say that anyone who knows them, knows her.

Linda is a beautiful person (I know, another adjective) and I'm privileged to know her. Love you!  Happy Birthday.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Who My Mom Is, Part IV

This post was written by my Aunt Meredith (my dad’s brother’s wife).  You can read more from her at her blog The world according to Merf.  Even though I don’t think I have ever called her Merf in person, I always think of her as that in my head now.



 Picture provided by Meredith. My parents with Levi, Bobby, and Christie.  Based on Levi’s size, I am thinking it was right around Christmas 1978.

Linda was my competition---oh yes you were!

I came in as the 3rd daughter-in-law----you and Marie were already well settled into the family.  I married the baby.  How could I compete with you!?! Christie was 5 and quoting poetry!  Christie and Bobby were sweet and cute and well-behaved---and you kept having MORE sweet and cute babies.

And then you moved to Idaho and had goats----so I could compete with that. And then you moved BACK TO CALIFORNIA! aaaaaargh!

You taught seminary, gospel doctrine, you directed the road shows, you sew, you shopped at Sam's----and worst of all---you were nice. You were nice to me. HOW CAN THAT BE?  You are everything i want to be----AND NICE....well....except the goats---never wanted goats.

The sweetest moment----in Cedar City at that farm museum type thing with the 10ft tall sunflowers---we talked about the PPA.  We had gone to the Monticello temple together a few years before and that began your fight.  As we walked, we cried together, we laughed together----you felt like a sister----you are my sister.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Who My Mom Is, Part III


This is Christine Defreese, a friend of my mo, and this is what she knows about her:
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Linda is genuine.
 
She is real, what you see is what you get. She is kind and loving and a great example. She was such an example to me as a young mother. I watched her with her children and it helped me. It was a joy to be one of her counselors in Relief Society. I learned so much about serving in the church from her.

Happy Birthday Linda, I love you. And thanks for being YOU.

Who My Mom Is, Part II


This post was written by my brother-in-law James Blair.  I really liked hearing his perspective.
My mother-in-law is love in action.

She accepted me pretty quick. She did not have much time, but she didn’t need it.
See this dress?

It did not come from a store. It was a custom order. She made it with love for a special daughter who finally found the man who matched the dress.

She also made something special for me. It was a surprise. It was a good surprise. The groom’s cake tradition was new to her, but she took it and had fun.
Speaking of having fun, she has never missed a chance to have fun with her grandkids. This was right after Jeb was born. How many Grannys would do this for their grandkids?

http://blairbears.blogspot.com/2009/09/granny-dancin-in-rain.html  (click for a video)

Love in action sometimes means dancing in the rain with 2 and 3 year old granddaughters.