S: Blessed By You - a book of appreciation for Dorothy Stephenson Steadman
FC: A book of appreciation for Dorothy Stephenson Steadman | Blessed By You | Blessed By You
1: For Dorothy Stephenson Steadman on her 96th birthday, March 20, 2011 With love from her thankful family, the Smiths
2: How lucky am I to have Dorothy Loucille as my mother! She has always been optimistic and cheerful, and she tries to make the best of every situation. She is smart and talented, interested in everything and everyone. I loved hearing her play the piano. She was a good teacher, caring about her students and making a difference in their lives. Mother, thanks for all those clothes you sewed for you and me both--you looked spiffy and fashionable and still do at 96 years! I remember your staying up most of the night to finish a new dress for me to wear for eighth grade graduation. It was pretty pink with bold print. Thanks for all those high school parties and girlfriends’ PJ parties at our house. I am sure that was a big factor in our class' friendships and the fun we have had through the years. I even liked the redecorating, remodeling, and whatever we did to the houses we lived in. I think I passed on that "gene" to my daughter, too. You have always tried to take care of and encourage and teach all your family, extended family, and students. I am sure you have made a big difference in many lives. These are a few thoughts out of many possibilities! Happy 96th Birthday and many more. Love, Kay
3: I was glad Dorothy did not run me off when I came to see Kay, although SV probably would have a couple of times. However, Otho liked me after I shoveled a wagon of oats for him when I had come down to attend a Christian Endeavor picnic. I have appreciated the opportunity to live and work here on the family farm. Thank you and happy birthday, Dorothy. -John
5: Grandmother, I am proud and thankful that you are my grandmother. It is a tremendous blessing to have a family tree so deeply rooted in faith and family. You are a wonderful example for how to live a full life focused on the important things. You have made a strong impact on all of us and on nearly everyone I meet. Almost everyone knows you and I have heard many tell about the influence you had on them as a teacher, a relative or a friend who genuinely cared. Some observations: - You are bit of a rebel: getting married as a new teacher and not telling anyone about it so you could keep teaching; getting married again at 93 years old to a younger man; teaching Sunday school when a preacher challenges the idea of women teaching; having your girls PE class take off their dresses (or something) so they could play softball; becoming a school board member so you could straighten out education at WW; taking on life barefoot, drinking ice coffee. - You like to try new things: teaching any grade, any subject including Latin and calculus; becoming the school librarian; starting a real estate company; farming, raising chickens, goats, horses, pigs, and many plants in a greenhouse. - You care: more for people than about what people might think. Many times you had someone living with you that needed a place to stay or a helping hand with life. You often made room for them. And you always had time for us and made our visits fun and interesting. Some random memories: - The story of you shooting a hundred frogs so you could make frog legs for Granddad after you were first married – also, shooting birds occasionally. It’s neat having a grandmother who can wield a firearm. - Flying kites, fishing in the pond, playing softball in the backyard, making a leaf collection in the fall after the leaves had turned color, using an iron to press some leaves for a spring leaf collection. - Books, books and more books – the living room was like a library. - The chalkboard – the list of things to do, the notes and drawings we made when we were little. - Swimming in the various ponds – you may not have known about some of that – playing with cousins. - Halloween parties: I looked forward to these all year long -- the costumes and the large participation in dressing up by many in the church; the treasure hunts - especially the treasure hunts – they were exciting and challenging. We felt like we had really accomplished something after we traipsed all around the countryside deciphering clues and finding the treasure. - “Processing” chickens in the back yard and utilizing the clothes line in part of the process. - Going to the Louisville Zoo, Squire Boone Caverns, Devil’s Backbone and Spring Mill. - Staying all night. I remember vividly the complete peace I felt waking up one morning in the upstairs bedroom with a very gentle breeze drifting in the window, the sun starting to shine in, the doves cooing, the bed hugging me. Sometimes even now, when I hear doves and just start waking up, I am transported back in time and enjoy for a moment that peace, safety and feeling of total freedom from the worries of this world. That’s the kind of environment you helped create for us – perhaps this is a glimpse of what life might be like when we get to a new earth and new heaven. There are many more things I could list. I really do enjoy telling people that you are my grandmother. (I also enjoy telling people that my grandmother taught Latin and Calculus – I have yet to meet anyone not impressed with that.) Thank you for being who you are, loving and caring like you do and setting a high standard for us all. Love, Jeff
6: Dear Grandmother, I am writing to wish you a very happy 96th birthday and to thank you for the many ways you’ve touched my life. Let me reminisce and share those with you. First, I’m so glad that you are a mother, because through you, I am privileged to have married your grandson, Jeff. He’s a wonderful man and the father of three great kids. He grew up with a good example of marriage by his parents and grandparents, and I’m very thankful for that. He is also a terrific dad to the kids. He loves them, enjoys them, plays with them and guides them on the right path. He has learned this from the example set before him. I know you and Granddad made time for the kids and spent time with them. That is a HUGE gift and really knits a family together with strong memories, fun times, and a lot of love and caring. This is evidenced by the Halloween parties you used to give, birthday celebrations, graduation parties, and the ponies you raised and shared with all the grandkids (just to name a few). You’ve given much to the grandkids - not only your time, but also good memories and a lot of love. Secondly, I’ve always been impressed that you have a college degree. What a good example for your family! That was a big accomplishment for a female in your generation. By being educated, you were able to impact the world around you. You could speak up and take action where needed. You used your degree to educate many children and help them better their lives. Most of your grandkids followed in your footsteps and attended college, and now, your great-grandkids are going to college as well. What a terrific way to learn about oneself, to grow in maturity and to have a good foundation for all your future employment. It makes a big difference in your finances over a lifetime and helps you to think and find resources to help with whatever is at hand. It’s great to look back and say Grandmother did this, so I can too! Thirdly, I want to thank you for your service to your church and community. How many young men did you help raise while teaching school? You took them in, fed them and loved them when no one else would. You have been a pianist at church ever since I can remember, and who knows when you started doing that. You have always been faithful to attend church and help in whatever way you could. You’ve taught Sunday school, helped with Revival, and organized events. You’ve been faithful to the Lord. You’ve reached out to your family and have always been there for them. You’ve taken food, helped get clothes, and helped people move and find a place to live. Your willingness to serve is another quality I admire in you. I hope to serve as long as you have. | Fourth, I want to thank you for all your creative skills in foods, fabrics, sewing, and plants. A meal wouldn’t be complete without your yummy homemade biscuits! Those are the best! I love to eat them with a meal or AS a meal. They are terrific. Your pie, particularly your cherry pie, is awesome. Your homemade pies have always been a delight and brought smiles and anticipation to the table.
7: You have made me and all the kids so many things over the years. I still have both of our comforters, the quilts, the potholders, and the needlework items you’ve made. I use the potholders every day and love them. They are stained with years of use, but I keep using them because they are just the right size and not too thick. You gave me a little black velvet heart with flowers on it, and it’s hanging in my kitchen on the bulletin board. It reminds me of you every time I see it. And of course, your love of plants and flowers and ability to grow them is amazing. I love flowers too and enjoy watching things grow. You’ve always had a garden and the best tomatoes in the world! Your family has benefited from all the good food and has been trained in patience, diligence, and perseverance while working in the garden. Another trait I admire about you is your willingness to try new things. I’m impressed that you got a computer, learned how to use it, and did your genealogy work on it. I probably would have been afraid to try it at your age. I think that sets an example of always improving yourself, embracing new technologies and change, and using them for your benefit. One last thing I want to mention is your cheerfulness and the absence of complaining. You always see the cup half full and look for good in everything. You do not complain; you improvise and always make the best of things. I can take a lesson here and use it every day. You have always been positive and encouraging to everyone. Thank you for a life well lived, your love and concern for others, your commitment to family, an attitude of service for your fellow man, and a faithful walk with the Lord. What a difference you have made in the lives of many! I hope to be able to impact my world as you have. Have the best birthday ever, Kim
8: Grandmother, Wow! I can’t imagine all the amazing things you have seen during your long and glorious run here on earth. I would love to climb inside your head to see how it was during the eventful 20th century of America. I, myself, can only say that I was a part of the tail end of the century and, unfortunately, unable to know you through the majority of your life. What I can remember, however, is several fun times in your presence and knowledge gained from your experiences and skills. One of my earliest memories is of holiday gatherings at your old house in Livonia when Granddad was still alive. I can only barely remember him being around. Another memory is of the work days we would have at your old house as well. I can’t say that I contributed much to the effort (my role was more of playing with the cousins!), but I can remember it being a fun and productive day’s work. Trying the learn to play the piano was a skill I never mastered, even though you gave me many hours of your time trying to help me to. Grandmother, you have inspired many who have had the privilege to know you. You have proven that you can truly hold your faith and family above all else in this crazy world. It has been an honor knowing you and learning from you as I have grown into a man. Here’s to wishing you many more years! Happy Birthday, Joshua Stephen Smith
10: Grandmother, Happy Birthday! Wow – it’s great to celebrate the blessing you are in my life and the lives of so many others today. I’d like to share with you just a few ways you have touched my life on this special day. I look up to you immensely, Grandmother. Though I’ve only known you in the later parts of your life, I can see how you have always been a servant of God and of others. That is a rare and beautiful quality. You have shown Christ-like love to others by always being ready to help, work hard and serve. I am always amazed when I see you in public settings, because people you have helped or loved always surround you! What a testament to your beautiful spirit! The memories I have made with you over the years will always be precious to me. I remember snuggling up in your handmade quilts from a young age. I think it’s awesome that you made a quilt for everyone in our family! That’s such a special gift of love, time and effort. You also took the time to teach me to play piano, and I greatly enjoyed hearing you play at Carter’s Creek. In addition, you taught me how to make those amazing dinner rolls of yours. I also remember helping you with your garden. I don’t know anyone else with a green thumb like yours. Your creativity and many talents were and still are an inspiration to me. I have always been impressed with your knowledge and intelligence. I wish I were as good at crossword puzzles as you are! And I love that you poured yourself into our family’s genealogy to preserve our history for generations to come. Grandmother, your story is amazing and inspiring. I cannot express adequate thanks for your example in the testament of your life. I think the highest compliment I can give you is that I have seen Jesus through you over and over again. Your beautiful heart will inspire me for the rest of my life! Happy Birthday! I love you! -Jessica
11: Dear Grandmother, I have so many memories at your houses that I’m not sure where to start. I spent many of my kindergarten days at your old house while Mom worked there, and I remember exploring the house, yard, and wildlife quite thoroughly. I remember driving to and from your house and always begging Mom to let me stop at Little Twirl for an ice cream treat. I also remember getting your help when I wasn’t quite sure how to do my little kindergarten homework. When kindergarten was over, I did not go to your house near as much but still went every once in a while to visit. Then you moved closer to me and somehow, sometimes it feels like I see you less. I climbed trees, did things around the house, put up Christmas lights, and played in the small creek with siblings and cousins so many different times. It’s always good to come and help with whatever I can or just come and sit around and visit. Hopefully I will have many more visits and many more things to help with in the years ahead. Love you Grandmother. Happy birthday! Love, Jonathan
12: Who is this woman who... - played softball with us when we thought she was too old - taught Latin (who does that?) - let us shoot guns and hunt - pounded a possum with a skillet - grows her own herbs, flowers and things - knows the Dewey Decimal system - made pies in multiples – never just one - always has an angel food cake handy - used tools like a pro - loves God, and it shows - taught Sunday school – who better? - played piano at church for years - only person I knew with a violin when I was young - had a super cool basement to play in - never met a crossword she couldn’t handle - surfed the Internet at ninety (e-mail too) - is known by everyone around - is loved, respected, and cherished by all - touches so many people - is always smiling? No, it’s not Superwoman... it’s MY GRANDMOTHER. I am so proud to be your grandson. You are like a precious gem and a shining example to us all. I remember staying overnight when I was young and going to church with you. We would always slow you down (I guess we weren’t much help), and one time we got to church and entered late, hurried up the main aisle and sat to the left near the front half as usual. Shortly after settling in, the preacher gave his invitation and we rose to sing the final song. We had just barely made the last of the sermon – it became the shortest service I ever attended. I remember seeing your hair down for the first time and not up in a bun. Boy, was I shocked to see that it seemed to go down to your ankles! Going to the store or around town, when we were with you, we would be stopped by someone you had taught in school. They would say how they enjoyed having you as a teacher. Even now people ask “How’s Dorothy?” or “How’s your Grandmother?” or “Oh, you are related to Mrs. Stephenson? I had her in school.” Happy birthday! You deserve the best one. Love, John
13: A Message of Thanks To Dorothy Stephenson, an Inspirational Teacher Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher,exemplary role model, and caring person. Thank you for knowing your subjects and sharing your knowledge. Thank you for not being afraid to treat students like real people. Thank you for showing acceptance,approval, and appreciation. These are all gifts that are so important to a student's development and that your students will always remember, just as they will also remember you. Words of encouragement, a little respect, simple gestures of kindness from a teacher promote the perfect climate for students to study, learn and grow. Your attitude translates into a spirit of friendliness and good will toward others in an atmosphere of creative freedom, joy and ease, and you foster this feeling in your classroom and the classroom of life. I salute the good work you've done. I appreciate the person you are, and I thank you for your positive influence. You have passed on invaluable instruction and wisdom and created pleasurable moments associated with learning that will always be sweet memories to many. Thank you for answering the call to be a teacher. Thank you for the enduring impression you've made in the lives you have touched. Every community needs people like you. Your contributions are immeasurable. Your lessons are permanent. You improve our world. You are so important. Love, Pam
14: Happy birthday, Grandmother! I remember one time when I was small. Josh and I were playing with our tractors, hauling some bricks around on wagons. I recall a brick smashing my finger. Grandmother came to the rescue and asked if I wanted her to put the bricks away. I concurred. Another memory comes to mind when I was a bit older, but not much. We were at her old house having a family kite- flying day. Years later, Grandmother got each great-grandkid a goldfish in a jar for Christmas. My fish lived for seven years and was as long as my hand. It survived many tank mates, even an eel, which ate part of Goldie’s tail. I have heard that when sick, Grandmother actually eats Vick’s vapor rub. This may be a myth. I hope it’s not because it’s pretty cool to say my grandmother eats Vick’s. At times, I find myself wishing I could read as fast as Grandmother does. Grandmother, I think that you are one of the kindest, smartest ladies I’ve ever known, and I’m glad you’re my great-grandmother. | Love, Jacob
15: I remember when Great-Grandmother made me my blanket with all the cats on it. I loved it and slept with it on my bed every night. I loved kittens, so making me a blanket with cats on it was perfect for me. I also remember when she got all of the great-grandchildren goldfish for Christmas. It was one of the most memorable Christmases I have ever had. Of course, mine didn't live very long, and Jacob's lived for years. I also will never forget going to Grandmother's house for scavenger hunts. We always had to make our way across the cow pasture to make it there, and I was always terrified. Then we would have to find various items that were listed on our paper or maybe even take our pictures with Grandmother. I want to thank you (Grandmother) for all these special memories that will stay with me forever. I will never forget what a wonderful and loving woman you are. I love you. | -Olivia
16: Grandmother, you are so special to me. You were such a wonderful grandmother to grow up with. You were a very important and influential part of my life. You and Granddad set such a great example of how to live, always teaching, loving, giving and involved. I will always carry with me all of the memories, examples, and love that you have given. I hope that I can pass this example to my children and grandchildren. Also, thank you for my quilts. I have a lot of great memories related to Grandmother and going to her house: - Riding our bikes over there - Gathering eggs, milking goats, and milking the cow by hand - Fishing and swimming in the pond - Gardening, butchering chickens - Riding horses and ponies, camping out (with Bill and Bob) - Working at the Salem School Library after the end of the school year to put away and check all the books - Even having to go out and get a switch from the willow tree There are also so many sights, sounds, and feelings of Grandmother and Granddad’s that made it so comfortable and a fun place to be: - Waking in the morning upstairs to roosters crowing - Bottles of vitamins on the table – how many different kinds were there? - Able to go around and around the house (in a circle) - The hard shower, the cool basement, the wonderful porch - Cooking with Grandmother I remember all of the big events throughout the years: - Church at Carter’s Creek every Sunday, Bible school, and Revivals. Grandmother was always there, teaching and leading, and many times we also did things after church. - Halloween – what great parties with costumes (and a contest) and fantastic treasure hunts along with the entire church - Christmas Eve – Over the hills and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go (singing in the car on the way over). Eating all together, sometimes two different dressings (one with oysters). Waiting impatiently for everyone to finish eating and Dad to arrive (and eat) before presents. - Reunions – Summertime with pitch-in food, horseshoes, and sitting around the shaded yard (with the “old people”) Getting all the grandchildren together to see nearby educational and historic places: - To the Zoo - Visiting Corydon and the glassblowers - To see Abe Lincoln’s boyhood home - To the caves - To Spring Mill State Park – often Grandmother, you are: - A great example – for anyone - Always thinking of others - A Teacher – always - A Christ-Follower - Strong - A Leader - Always bringing people together - Firm in your convictions and morals - Loving - Adventurous - Caring | Happy birthday! Love, Joe
17: Grandmother helping others by giving. One story that I heard was from my great aunt, Ruth Lane Barrett. When Ruth was working as a school cook, Grandmother was a teacher. Grandmother encouraged her to obtain her teaching degree. Aunt Ruth did and went on to teach many years of school as a second grade teacher at Salem’s Bradie Shrum Elementary School. Thanks, Grandmother, for always being there and always being willing to help out. Thanks for the many special quilts you have given us. I know Weston’s quilt was a challenge to finish, but I knew you would get it done. Thanks for all the encouraging words, crocheting lessons, and genealogy books you’ve written. I hope someday I can | Love, Beth | Something that will always stand out about Grandmother in my mind is that she is a giver - not just of material things, but of encouraging words. She has changed many lives from her unselfish giving. I have heard lots of stories of | carry on the same traditions. I hope to live a life as full of yours.
18: The best thing about Grandmother is that she is always willing to teach and help others. Not too long ago, I remember she taught me how to crochet, which was really hard, but with the help of Grandmother I was able to learn. I also enjoyed helping make my parents’ quilt and receiving my own. I also really enjoy visiting her on Halloween, and I think her idea of scavenger hunts at the parties is awesome! When I get to be her age, I hope I can look back on a life like hers; a life where she helped others, made an impact on lots of people’s lives, and most importantly, was an amazing grandmother. Love, Madison | Roses are Red Violets are Blue You are my grandmother And I love you. Richly blessed is how I feel, having a grandmother just like you. I will always treasure the barn quilt you made me and the piano lessons you gave me. I will never forget the visits to your home and those scavenger hunts on Halloween nights. Happy birthday! Love, Simon
19: Happy birthday, Grandmother. I love my quilt that you made me, and I always like trick-or-treating at your house. I like your house cats. You are the oldest person I know. I hope to be 96 too someday. I love you. - Weston | Great Respect Amazing Nice Delightful Merry Outstanding Thoughtful Teacher Honest Enthusiastic Resourceful With all my love, Sidney
20: Thank you, Grandmother, for the traits, values, and gifts you have inspired and nurtured in our family. You have left a legacy of faith in God and a compassionate life. You have the gift of MUSIC and have given it to us as well as many others. You have shown us the importance of music in our world. All those years of playing at church set the tone for using our gifts for God. Your love of READING is definitely alive in the Oldham family. When the kids were little, they would try to figure out how many words you could read per minute. They were impressed with your reading abilities. I remember all the books you had on the shelves in your house in Livonia. I was always so impressed with how many you had. We love to read in our house! Thank you. Your CREATIVITY has left a stamp on everyone you have met. We have many examples of your skill and imaginative thinking. "I remember the many different craft projects we worked on at your house. I remember learning to blow eggs so we could paint them, and they would last forever. We worked on paper mache projects. And for several years, you gave me a great creative birthday present; I loved our shopping trips to Louisville. Certain things stick in my head about those trips – Farrell’s ice cream shop, my first chimichanga, and the aching legs from walking and shopping so long."—Anita I think your love of LATIN skipped a couple of generations, but it seemed to run into our family.
21: Kayla and Jarret have studied Latin for several years. They wrote this for you. Can you still read Latin? Dear Grandmother, Agas multam et bonam vitam. Tua familia amant tuam. Docuisti omnem multam magnam. Amas cantuum et liberum et multa. Gratias agamus. Es optima. Amante, Kayla & Jarret Your LOVE of ANIMALS is evident throughout the family. You have loved animals, and that definitely passed on to your daughter and her children. We have all enjoyed God’s gift of animals. "When I stayed overnight at your home, I remember waking to a rooster crowing and wondering where I was. I remember milking the cow by hand and even making butter. The peacocks that you gave to us were enjoyed for their beauty and loud noises. And, didn’t Merry Legs (the pony) come from your house? That was one crazy pony. (Of course I could mention the chicken-killing days, but that doesn’t seem to fit under “love of animals.” But it definitely left an impression in my mind.) At our house, you can find three sheep, two goats, seven chickens, two cats, a dog, a few goldfish, and several thousand bees." --- Anita Thank you for sharing your many gifts and modeling how to use them. Love, Anita, Brian, Kayla, Jarret, and Grant
22: Feeling special Many times after church, we were allowed to ride home to Grandmother and Granddad’s and stay the day. They would drop us off at home on their way to attend evening services. I would ride in the backseat of the Buick while Grandmother drove and Granddad rode shotgun. Grandmother always drove. I remember that they would carry on a conversation as if I were not in the car, bragging about how I was such a good boy and how great all their grandchildren were. Granddad would talk about Chris-TOPHER, as he used to call me. I remember feeling pretty special. That feeling characterizes my overall memories with both of them. Staying overnight. I always remember waking up at Grandmother and Granddad’s. The crow of the roosters and the bright sunlight that filled the upstairs room would confirm where I was even before I opened my eyes. It was always exciting to know that I had the whole day available, which back then seemed like an eternity. Downstairs, I would find Grandmother and Granddad drinking coffee, having typically already finished their breakfast. The prior evening, as we prepared for bed, we would often take a shower there. At home, just maintaining a steady stream in the shower was a success. Grandmother’s shower provided extraordinary power. It had enough strength that it would hurt if you stood under its full power. At night, Grandmother would always throw extra blankets on top of us and say, “I know Kay always keeps you kids warm.” I never protested, and I did stay warm, usually working up a good sweat. "Let’s go for a tall cold one." It’s hard to recall memories of Grandmother without thinking of Granddad, so I’ll include this one. Grandmother always drove when they were together, but we often rode into Livonia alone with Granddad. Sometimes after he took us fishing or some other activity, he would say, “Let’s go get a tall cold one,” which meant a Coke. Growing up, it was a rare treat to get a Coke (which generically referred to any soda). So, it was always fun to go into the old Livonia grocery store with the wooden floor and pick up a Coke. I grew up thinking everyone knew a “tall cold one” referred to a Coke. Scared the crap out of me... It was always exciting to see the high-powered rifles with scopes, the double-barrel shotgun and various other models that Grandmother and Granddad kept in a gun rack on the wall. Across the short hallway and adjacent to the gun rack was the bathroom. I remember in particular one visit to the bathroom as a teenager. During that moment, a cousin was showing my brother John the double-barrel. Unfortunately, the gun was loaded. More unfortunately, when pulled out of the gun rack, the 12-gauge was accidently fired into the wall next to the bathroom. I can confirm that the blast of a shotgun sounds louder when fired in the house! As the saying goes, it “scared the crap out of me.” I still remember running out of the bathroom and seeing that foot-wide hole in the wall. Later, I remember what a poor legacy it would have been to be remembered as the poor young guy “killed on the can.”
23: Adventure trips Grandmother and Granddad took us on a lot of trips. I remember our trips were usually with Anita, Jeremy and myself along with our cousins, Jim and Cathy. These were pretty big trips for us at the time and included the Indianapolis Children’s museum, the Louisville planetarium, and a glass-blowing factory. During the visit to the planetarium in Louisville, we met Bill Steadman, who accompanied us. I even remember eating at specific places during these visits like Captain D’s and Pizza Hut. Just like having a Coke, eating out was a special treat for us. So many experiences There are too many other special memories to describe in this short space, but here are a couple brief ones to finish up: I remember staying a week at Grandmother’s while Mom was in the hospital, which included the only time I remember every getting disciplined by Grandmother. And it was Anita’s fault, honest! I also remember all the projects, like building paper mache masks, making homemade candles, and baking cakes and cookies. And finally, who could forget the big chalkboard that we could draw, write and have math races on? I remember Grandmother sometimes filling the entire board up with her writing. Her handwriting was so hard to decipher; now that I think about it, perhaps it was written in Latin. Grandmother, thank you for everything. Have a very happy birthday! Love, Chris
24: An awesome memory I have of Grandmother is her loving commitment to Granddad. I remember her taking care of him and even feeding him when he couldn’t do that for himself anymore. Her love and compassion for him set an example to me of how a married couple, even after many years, commits to each other and puts the other person’s needs first. I also remember their 50th wedding anniversary. Chris and I were engaged to be married then. Our wedding was in Indianapolis, and Grandmother and Granddad were a little late that day. They had locked the keys in their car, but they were determined to get to our wedding. We were so glad they made it. Grandmother also hosted many Clipp reunions that we were able to attend. I remember Christmas Eve at Grandmother’s with the cousins. The food was delicious and plentiful, and the company was always entertaining. The workdays at Grandmother’s were hot, but very productive. She amazes me to this day, how she keeps all those plants and flowers alive! I definitely don’t have a green thumb like her! Grandmother’s example of strong values and love of God has made an impact on me for sure! Thank you, Grandmother! Happy birthday! Kimberly | Some of the memories I have of Grandmother are from our stops over at her house to visit. I would always look through all of her books. If I found one I liked, she would let me borrow it. Another memory I have is when we would walk over to her house through the pasture on Halloween, and she would give us candy. I also remember when Jonathan and I would climb to the top of the huge pine tree in her yard. I enjoyed helping her around the house when we had the workdays, too. Thanks for all you do, Grandmother. Happy birthday! -Zach
25: Every time I would visit Grandmother when I was in elementary school, she always knew what I was thinking. No matter what I focused on first, whether it was her pictures, magazines, or the piano, I would always end up at the same place: the computer. She would always have it set up to play the game Crystal Maze before I even moved toward it. She would let me play for (what seemed like) hours and would help me beat the levels when I was stuck. We never did end up beating the game, but we had fun trying. She also attempted to give me piano lessons in elementary school, but since we lived so far away, she could not give me consistent lessons. So, I only had one lesson from her. She gave me a few beginner books to try to teach myself how to play, but it was not the same as learning from her. To this day, I still wish that I had gone back for more lessons and had truly learned to play the piano. Ever since I have gotten old enough to be on the “big kids” team in the Halloween treasure hunt, my favorite part of the game is taking the adventure across the field and braving the bull (that has only shown up once) to visit Grandmother. She is always waiting to see how many clues we have solved and to give us candy. Even though we take as much as we can carry, she always insists that we take even more before we walk back across the field. I always look forward to getting our half-way-finished candy! Thanks, Grandmother, and I hope you have a happy birthday! -Isaac
26: I remember going over to Grandmother’s to help clean her yard and trim the plants. I always loved doing that because we got to help and visit, and that was always exciting! One time, when we were helping harvest and clean strawberries from her garden, I told Grandmother that I hadn’t ever tried strawberries before. She couldn’t believe that I’d never had a strawberry before. So, she picked up a big one and told me I had to try it. I tried it, but I didn’t like it! But Grandmother was just happy that I tried it, and the look on my face when I tried it made us all laugh. I like strawberries now, but I can’t believe I didn’t like them when Grandmother had me try one! I hope you have a wonderful birthday, Grandmother! Love, Kristal
27: I remember when I went to Grandmother’s on Halloween, and she gave us candy. I got two Snickers and a Butterfinger. I loved it. I also remember when I went into her greenhouse and looked at all the flowers and plants. They were cool because some of them were curled and twisted. Happy birthday, Grandmother! -Josh | I remember once when I went to Grandmother’s, and we went to her backyard. We played hide-and-go-seek. I hid in the big pine tree in the backyard. It seemed like all day before someone found me. Then, after they found me, we went in, and Grandmother gave us some milk. We talked with her for a while, then she showed us her cat. Later on, Mom and Dad said it was time to go, and soon after we left with a goodbye. Grandmother, I hope you have a nice birthday. -Luke
29: I have many fond memories of spending time with my grandmother. From birthdays to Christmases to Halloweens to Spring Mill to staying the night at her house, they are all good times. I remember my fourth birthday when I received from her a book written about me wandering away from the house to ride the tractors and the frantic search that followed. The book was titled, “Jeremy Lost, Jeremy Found.” Grandmother wrote it all and drew all the neat artwork. What a good book! I still cherish the book and read it to my own children when they were younger. I remember spending many big Christmases around the large warm fireplace and enjoying our family and good food. I also enjoyed the large amount of work Grandmother put into her Halloween parties. I was fairly young through a lot of them, but I enjoyed the scavenger hunts and the many people that attended. Grandmother and Granddad always enjoyed eating at Spring Mill after church. And we were always eager to go with them and hopefully wade in the cold waters of the creek in the pioneer village. When we got a chance to spend nights at Grandmother and Granddad’s during the summer, we knew we were in for an adventure. After falling asleep upstairs, you were usually awakened by a crow from a rooster or a yell from a peacock. As you came downstairs, you would find Grandmother and Granddad sitting at the table with a pile of vitamins in front of them. Maybe this attributes to Grandmother’s longevity. Then you knew your day would be filled with pony rides, row-boating in the pond, tree houses in the woods, milking goats, enjoying a “tall, cold one” with Granddad, swinging on the porch and many other fun adventures. Thanks for the memories, Grandmother! Happy birthday! Love, Jeremy
30: In the 25 years or so that I’ve known Grandmother, a couple of memories stand out most in my mind. First, when Jeremy and the kids and I started attending Carter’s Creek Christian Church in 2000, Grandmother was still teaching the adult Sunday School class. She was 85 years old then! She was a very good teacher and made the topics interesting. The other memory I have is when Grandmother made each family a quilt, and each family took a turn at her house finishing its quilt. What a great idea! Grandmother put a lot of hard work into making all those quilts, not to mention all the quilts she has made for her great-grandchildren and others along the way. If I live to be as old as Grandmother, I hope my mind will be as sharp as hers! I would also like to be as aware and interested in what is going on in the world and my family as she is. I hope I’ll be able to continue to enjoy hobbies (hers include plants and flowers, genealogy, reading, and quilting) and stay busy, as she has. Grandmother is an optimistic, strong-willed, generous, and loving woman, and she is an inspiration to all of us. Thanks for all you do, Grandmother! Happy birthday! -Liz
31: My most memorable gift from Grandmother is the live goldfish she gave me for Christmas when I was just two or three. Mom let me feed the goldfish on my own once. I fed it too much and, unfortunately, it died. Grandmother made me two blankets: the soft, fleece truck blanket and the quilt with farm scenes. All the farm scenes were handmade by Grandmother. One scene is of Mojo in the back of Dad’s old blue farm truck. I also LOVE Grandmother’s awesome sugar cookies! They are so good! Happy birthday, Grandmother! -Jaxton | I had a lot of fun when we went over for dinner at Grandmother’s house (Felix also had a lot of fun.). I have a quilt and a fleece blanket that Grandmother made me. The quilt is lavender and purple and has little Dutch girls handmade by Grandmother. Each Dutch girl represents a month of the year. Grandmother’s sugar cookies are my favorite food she makes. I hope that I live to be 96 and that I still have a lot of the abilities Grandmother has when I get to be that old. I love my grandmother, and I am very thankful to have such a greatly awesome grandmother! Love, Hadleigh
32: Grandmother, thank you for all you've done: for all the lives you've touched, for all the hope you've inspired, for all of yourself that you have given in your 96 years. We have all been blessed by you. We love you and wish you the best birthday yet!
33: -The Smiths