S: Our Dearest Mother
FC: Our Dearest Mother | We can never repay you for all the lessons we learned from you! We love you so much! Love, Your grateful kids
1: I can't repay the lessons, You taught when I was small. Or give you gift for gift, at the treasures I recall... I can't return encouragement, or loving words or praise in quite the way you did for me throughout my childhood days. But there is one give that I can give, It's all the love you earned. For love is what you always taught... and love is what I learned. | ~anonymous | Dearest Mother, We all love you dearly! Love, Josh & Cristal Caleb & Katie Ben Brittany & Tim Tyson
2: Mom always tried to choose the right and make sure that we knew what was right and wrong. When we did make wrong choices, she would pull us aside and explain why it was wrong. She would explain the consequences, how they affected things eternally, and then would express her love for us. Sometimes it seemed like a long lecture, but I think it did me a lot of good. She also shared her testimony by example, by being willing to help others. As far as I know, my mother has never turned down a calling. When the ward had called for volunteers, both mom and dad usually volunteered, which usually meant more work for us, but it was a good thing. I know others would agree that they were always willing to volunteer and it makes a big difference in a ward, and in our family. Mom also cared about sharing her testimony with us. I remember several car rides and phone calls talking about gospel topics. Many times she is willing to share her testimony and even sacred experiences. In sharing her testimony, it has strengthened my testimony as well as my other brothers and sisters. | Dear Mom, Thank you for sharing the value of testimony!
3: Finally mom helped each of us grow our own testimonies by making certain experiences special. Some of these experiences include our patriarchal blessings, going to the temple, going on missions and getting married. Both of our parents made these experiences big deals by reminding us how important they are. They would also make the day special by inviting many of our friends and relatives. They tried to make the whole day special. She would share her experiences at each of these events, which made the events even more exciting. Love, Josh
4: Thanks for teaching me it is okay to be different from everyone else! Sometimes when you are different, there is more room for you to shine.
5: Dear Mom, Thank you for teaching me it is wonderful to be different. I remember this most vividly when I was getting ready for Junior prom. I remember all of my friends (and even people who were not my good friends) found out I | was going to wear a dress with sleeves. I remember them asking me "How will you manage that" or they just smiled as if it really couldn't happen unless I wanted to look ridiculous! My mom knew better! We looked through countless patterns and summoned up all sorts of ideas. The | finished product was amazing; all because my mother cared so much. She wanted me to look beautiful and being different from everyone else, really made me stand out that night! Thanks for everything mom! Love, Brittany
6: Dearest Mother, Thanks for teaching me to appreciate what I have in front of me.
7: I remember a time when I used to hate eating stroganoff. It didn’t have anything to do with the noodles, or even the sauce. I guess I just didn’t like mushrooms. Whatever the reason, whenever we had stroganoff, I always thought I’d done something wrong. I thought of it as a form of punishment given silently with the expectation that I would finish my plate regardless of if I actually enjoyed it. Looking back this is ridiculous. Stroganoff is no longer a memory of punishment or spite, instead it reminds of the love and care my mom put into a home-cooked meal every day. I wasn’t the only one that had an issue with the menu, but I think that we all appreciated that there at least was a menu. For Brittany, pancakes were to her what stroganoff was for me; and we had pancakes every morning. Ultimately though, I think this helped all of us to learn to appreciate food a lot more. I was always shocked when I would go over to my friend’s house and see just how picky and spoiled they were about the food they ate. I think this is largely due to the fact that I was expected to eat the food that was served to me. I have found this to be such a blessing over the past few years that I am willing to eat most anything and appreciate what I have. Although I may not have appreciated it as much at the time, I will always miss those home-cooked meals I can only get from coming home. Love, Tyson
8: Mom, Thank you for teaching me the importance of persevering and learning to play piano. | I am so grateful for my mom’s persistence and foresight in knowing what a blessing playing the piano really is.
9: Dearest Mother, Piano has always been something expected at the Perry home. I remember mom always talking about how there were fewer and fewer pianists available to play in primary or sacrament meeting and how sad it was. Unfortunately, the rest of us weren’t always quite as convinced of the importance of playing piano. Mom had a solution for that. She would always look for the thing that would best motivate us and use that to get us to play piano. Over time the bribes changed but I can recall such motivators as tokens, micro machines, Warhammer miniatures, and Magic cards. It wasn’t uncommon for mom to tell us that she would do our chores if we would practice. There was always something around to help keep us practicing, especially while we were receiving lessons. Looking back, there was a lot that went into us learning how to play the piano. The teaching costs alone were significant as was the piano itself. But if you consider all the effort that was put into keeping us motivated, I’m sure it took a lot to pay for our piano experience. I am so happy that I was able to learn such a valuable skill starting at a young age. It’s hard to quantify all the dividends that have come as a result of learning to play the piano. I’m sure it impacted my intellectual development while I was young and resulted in much of the academic successes I’ve had. It also helped teach me discipline which can be applied to every aspect of my life. But to quantify the value of learning to play the piano one would also have to include all the blessings that have to come to others as a result. I remember playing for priesthood in church every Sunday and for scattered events that would come up every now and then. I am so grateful for my mom’s persistence and foresight in knowing what a blessing playing the piano really is. I know that my life will continue to be blessed because of it. Love, Tyson
10: Dearest Mother, Mom has always been EXTREMELY interested in our educational endeavors. This was constantly demonstrated in all the toys and games she got and encouraged us to use growing up. I remember countless hours, on trips and at home, playing with the ‘GeoSafari’. I
11: think we all remember practicing our math skills on the ‘Wrap Ups’ (with the string that we wrapped around to the answers...). I even remember the ‘Jump Start’ educational video games mom bought for us to learn with during summer vacations (I still feel bad that I wasn’t able to rescue all the kids from that evil teacher on the haunted island...). In high school, mom even bought an electronic gadget to practice SAT vocabulary on. I know that I wouldn’t have done nearly as well if mom hadn’t found so many ways to keep me interested in learning. Love, Caleb
12: Thank you for Early Morning Seminary!!! | Dearest Mother, With growing up comes high school; and with high school comes early morning seminary. At the time I may have looked like I didn’t enjoy it, but the truth is that looking back on it I did, in fact, enjoy it. Mostly this was due to seeing mom put in all of the time and effort that she did. The time was spent well and as a result the lessons have stayed with me and helped me to express gospel ideas to others in such a way as I would not have been able to do on my own. I know that it sounds cheesy and kind of silly but I really did enjoy seminary with my mother and I appreciate how much it has helped me in life. Thank you Mom. Love, Ben
13: The lessons have stayed with me and helped me to express gospel ideas to others in such a way as I would not have been able to do on my own.
14: Dearest Mother, Whenever I think back onto my high school years I remember not so much my classes and teachers, but all the activities and clubs that I was involved in. I remember how supportive mom was with EVERY activity that I was involved in. I HATED riding the bus. I think almost all the activities that I joined (starting back to even 7th and 8th grade) I joined because I knew that if I had to stay after that my mom would pick me up instead. I don’t think that when I first joined Science TMSEA or UIL - Literary Criticism and Computer Science, that I was REALLY that interested in them. I just didn’t want to ride the bus. I’m sure I won’t fully appreciate the sacrifice it was for mom until I see it with kids of my own. ...getting up early enough to have kids to band by 7AM... ...
15: picking kids up at random hours of the day... ...spending evenings and weekends getting kids to and from various events, competitions, and performances... ...the countless dollars to allow kids to buy food and souvenirs at said events... ...even private lessons for music or sports... I know that my mom sacrificed so much for me. She made my childhood a dream, a time that I look back on with happiness. I just hope that I can give the same opportunities to my kids and that their time growing up with me with that same joy. Love, Caleb
16: Dearest Mother, I may not have been the most alert at church. Nor was I the one that learned the most from the speaker at the time. I did however learn some very important things from our sleepy row of soon to be dishwashers. I would like to thank you Mom for all the effort you put into keeping us all awake. I in particular always had a hard time staying conscious for more than the songs and sacrament but I am grateful for the effort you put into keeping we awake regardless of how grumpy I may have been at the time. Looking back I realize that it may be hard to stay awake, but it is worth it.
17: From all the many nudges and pokes I realized that those few hours a week at church give us the opportunity to show our devotion to Christ and to learn gospel truths from those around us. While much of my time may have been lost to do this in early years, I am grateful for the silently taught lessons of WHY it is important and not just WHAT. It has given my more desire to learn and retain the gospel in my life. Thank you Mom for all that you have done, do, and more than likely will do for all of us. Love, Ben
18: Dearest Mother, One of the things mom cares most about is making others happy. She has often told me that keeping her kids happy is what matters most to her. She has cared for us in our activities, our schooling, sending us on missions, and even today as we have families. While helping us, she has also helped others. One of the things everyone needs, to have a better life, is a good education. This was very important to mom. She would get us involved in many activities. With 5 kids, 6 including Sharla, even having one activity per kid can be a lot. She tried her best to make sure she was on time to things so that we would not have to wait. This was nice. To help us do well in school, mom did lots of things. She would buy us computers and computer programs to help us do well. Many times these computers ended up full of computer games, but they were really there to help us. She would also encourage us to get tutors as we need them. Buying computers, computer programs, and books to help us was a sacrifice, but mom and dad made it to help us get ahead. As we got older, it was time to go to college and leave on missions. To help us succeed, she would get us practice tests and books. She would have us take both the SAT and the ACT to make sure we received the best scores possible. She would help us apply to the schools and get in the programs we wanted to be a part of. As we were accepted, she would help us find scholarships. Other areas that were not covered by scholarships, she and dad would help us with, whether it was food, books, cars, or other living expenses. This was the same with our missions. By sending us on missions and off to college, mom and dad gave us better opportunities to succeed and be happy. This is one way she has shown us she cares for us. We have been given many opportunities in our life. Most of them were through mom and dad and the things that they taught us. Helping their children was not enough. Both mom and dad care a lot about helping others. One way mom has helped others is by helping them get into school and identify programs that would be good for them to go into. I can think of a few people she has helped with. One in particular was even about to get kicked out of school. When this happened, her and grandma worked together to keep this person in school and get them where they should be going. Growing up, seminary and church was important. This was so important to mom, that she even taught seminary for several years. While a teacher and before, she would help those that wanted to go, get to seminary, even if it meant getting up even earlier, and running them around a bit more. As a teacher, mom enjoys working in schools with children that have received fewer opportunities. She wants to make a difference in their lives. She does this by caring for them. When someone was in need, mom would try to help them. She still does. I believe this is why mom keeps so much of her “stuff” even though we give her a hard time. When someone needs something, she is happy to see what she has and offer it to others. I really appreciate mom and dad’s love and generosity. They both care a lot about others. Love, Josh
20: Thank you for making me a part of the family!
21: Dear Julie, I remember when you came and helped Brittany organize when we moved into Aunt Becky's house. You did a really good job; Brittany needed the help! It showed me how much you love your daughter and me. That made me feel good. Thank you for respecting my space as well. I'm also glad you let me come to Texas. It was lots of fun and you made me feel at home. You made sure I was always comfortable and always busy with something to do. I really enjoyed six flags. My favorite was the biggest roller coaster. Thanks for making me a part of the family. Sincerely, Your favorite son-in-law, Timothy Rainsdon
22: Dear Julie Thanks for all you’ve given us. We as a family truly appreciate everything you have offered us to help make our house a home. I could quite literally walk through the house and point out every single thing that you have shared, and it’s quite a list. Aden loves to play in the drawer under the TV in the entertainment center, he also loves to run around and on the couch. The kitchen table has been a wonderful family gathering place. Josh is in love with the pool table as is Aden, every other night I’ll hear balls clashing around and squeals of delight while I’m cleaning the kitchen. I wont mention who does the squealing, I'll just let you imagine it, but I know you’ll have a hard time getting that back J. Thanks for coming up and spending time with me before Aden was born. I know it was a push, but know that it was appreciated. I wont forget how much fun curb walking was.Playing Frisbee was tons of fun though, as was shopping though that one really tired me out. Thanks for being supportive to us as a couple, and raising Josh to be who he is. I can see where he gets his go getter attitude. Thanks for consistently sending us all birthday cards as well, that’s always fun to see something personalized in the mail once in a while. Thanks for all your support and your love. Sincerely, Cristal
25: Dearest Mother, Thank you for teaching all of us kids to be nice to each other. I remember whenever things would start to get heated, mom would start to sing. I can still hear it, "let us oft speak kind words to each other...." Sometimes, when I get angry, this same song will start to go through my head. The memory makes me smile and then it starts to diffuse the anger. Mom always made sure that we were nice to others, no matter who it was, what made us upset, or where we were. Thank you for teaching us to be nice to others. Love, Brittany
26: Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. | Dear Julie, One of my favorite things about the Perry clan is that they know how to work hard and have fun. That was one of the things that I really liked seeing in Caleb and it helped me to become seriously interested in him. I loved going out to Texas this last Christmas (2010), because I got to see Caleb do handy work I never knew he could do! Coming into a home that was so recently acquired - yet so well remodeled was remarkable. All the beautiful decor, new paint, carpet, flooring, spoke to how much hard work and skill went into it. And all the effort left it already feeling like home. When we arrived we were brought to the "bear room" - that was so well coordinated and cute! I couldn't stop staring at the walls and all the eye candy that they presented. The Christmas decorations and embellishments in nearly all the rooms of the house helped me to know that I was welcome and loved. How beautiful it must have been to grow up in a home like that. Work is something that adds value to a creation and it’s creator. It endows them with a sense of self-esteem, accomplishment, and motivating sense that they are destined to become something greater. I love how it is important to my husband and the family he comes from, because it is a trait and a beautiful legacy that we can pass on to our future. And it is something we anticipate our kids will enjoy as they come to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Sincerely, - Katie Perry
27: One of my favorite things about the Perry clan is that they know how to work hard and have fun... | ...it is something we anticipate our kids will enjoy as they come to visit Grandma and Grandpa