S: Memories of Mel and Nancy Olsen: From the Hearts of Their Children -- December 2011
BC: With Love, Your Grateful Children
FC: Sweet Memories
1: There is Beauty all Around; When there's Love at Home | BRADLEY MELVIN
2: Brad's Memories of Dad | The book of Mormon begins “I Nephi having been born of goodly parents” The first time I read those words and every time since I knew that the same was true for me. I Bradley Olsen was truly born of goodly and I was taught in all the learning of my father. Of all the things that Nephi could have started with his most important background statement was a tribute to his parents. I feel the same way. One Sunday, while we were living in Irving, Dad took me to a ward where he was speaking. I think it was Waxahachie branch. In his talk he told the story of Ammon. I still remember him raising his hand high above the pulpit and bringing it down hard in chopping motions as he cut off the arms of all the raiders. He brought the scriptures to life for me at that time. He talked about the power of God and how all things were possible when we are on the Lords side. My heart burned within me and I knew that every word that he was speaking was true. I would like to say that I gained a testimony that day, but I cannot for I have always known that the gospel is true. My earliest memories always include the gospel. I was taught the gospel my entire life. My parents not only taught me with words, but more importantly they taught me by their actions. They have always been an example of Christ like service. One General Conference Sunday in Irving the prophet told us to plant a garden. Guess what we were doing the next day for Monday night. We were planting a garden. It didn’t matter that our backyard was clay and nothing would grow. The prophet had asked us to plant a garden and so we did. It was always that way. As for me and my family we will follow the Lord and his servants. I have tried to carry on many of the traditions that my father started. We still sit on the front row at church. We sing Love at Home for family home evening. My kids are restricted for six weeks when they come home late. They are not supposed to date the same person twice. Family always comes first with my Dad. One time I got kicked out of BYU for grades; that caused us to be evicted by campus housing. Of course I waited until the last day to look for housing. We moved into the Comfort Inn right by BYU stadium while we looked for housing. Of course I had to finish a house I was working on before I rented a new place to live. A few days later I finished the job, but the man didn’t pay me. We used what money we had to stay three or four more weeks in the hotel. One Sunday afternoon we ran out of money. I loaded my young family into the car and we started driving around. I did not know what to do or where to go. We had no family or friends in Utah to help. I was too proud to call home and ask for help. It doesn’t need to be said that Shanna wasn’t too happy with me either; but she was with me, loving and supporting me. All I could think to do was to continue praying. We only drove about 30 minutes when Shanna saw my parents driving the other direction. I did not believe it, but sure enough they were there. My Dad had listened to the spirit and come to rescue my family. He has done that many times for me. I know that he has done it many, much time for lots of other people. I am eternally grateful for my father, and that I am his son.
3: Daddy's Boy
5: Brad's Memories of Mom | I LOVE my mother. My Mom has always been there to pick me up during life’s biggest trials. She always knows when something is bothering me, and she is there to comfort me. She kept the peace between the teenagers and Dad. She always used to let Dad bring in random people to live with us. Mom spent countless hours helping them out. She accepted and loved my wife like her own daughter. She taught her how to be a Mom. One of my proudest days as a young boy was when I went to school and announced that I was eight years old and had eight brothers and sisters. She baked homemade bread, sewed my clothes, made my school lunches, and changed thousands of diapers. She would cry when she came home after I was baby-sitting and looked at the baby’s bottom. I would wait until the last possible minute to change the diapers, and they always got their bottoms burnt. She wouldn’t just be mad at me, but she would cry for her baby. In Westchester, I learned to love Red Vines. I loved going to Vons for Mom to get bread because I could always get a pack of Red Vines too. My friends always wanted to come to my house. They were always welcome. In Connecticut, we lived farther away from friends so I always looked forward to Primary. Mom must have been in the Primary leadership because we always went early and stayed late. It was in the middle of the week after school. It was held in a building that had a playground outside. I loved playing on that playground. I remember Mom leading Primary teaching gospel lessons. I was always proud of my Mom. Dad worked in the city and got home late during the week. Mom still made sure we all sat down and ate together, and saved Dad a plate. I don’t ever remember being bored. We always had fun things to do. One time we all went to church in Dad’s VW bug. I don’t ever remember hearing a complaint from my Mom. We took a lot of vacations which I have learned are a lot of work for the Moms. When I made mistakes, I worried most about how my Mom would react. She wouldn’t yell or scold, but I knew she would be hurt because she loved me so much. I also knew that would hurt me the most. Mom has had many difficult trials in her life. As her children we should know about them, but I don’t. She never talks about them or dwells on them even while she is enduring the trial. She dealt with two sets of twins, Aarons lengthy hospitalization, Dad’s very serious health problems ,three cross country moves with many little children, many broken bones some that required a lot of her time like David’s, Relief Society President and counselors. We all know that Mom also goes through our trials with us. When our babies are sick, when our children are injured, she is there for us and them. Recently Janessa had been struggling with our move to Independence. She was mostly mad until Nanny hugged her, then all her emotions came to the surface because she knew that Nanny knew she was in pain. She is a great example to all of a life of unselfish service to others. I love my Mom.
6: Michael Eugene
9: have been thinking a lot lately about gratitude and all that I am thankful for in my life. One thing that I have pondered that I am most grateful for is the name that I carry as an OLSEN. I have contemplated what it means to be an OLSEN to me. And I know other OLSENS will have other things. Here are a few of those things of what it means to me to be an OLSEN and how I have seen this exhibited in Dad's life that I hope I am learning to represent. Devoted Husband and Father: Through the years dad has showed where his greatest treasure is. You can know a mans heart where he places his affections. For dad it has always been mom and our family. As I look back at my memories of dad I can say wholehearted that dad did what he did and made the sacrifices he did because of his love for mom and his large family. One funny story we often joke about, dad once had Dilea at work order flowers for mom and he had her set them up for monthly delivery. His intentions where good and shows that even during his busiest year he wanted mom to feel appreciated as a mother of 12. Even though his approach was off at least he tried and I would say his heart was in the right place. He is a family man! Hard Working: From my earliest years I recollect how hard dad worked for his family. He was intent on providing a good living for his growing family and was diligent each day in giving his best to his employer. He was rewarded for his hard work and business savvy. Service Oriented to the core: Besides making sure he provided well for his large family dad always served others. He seemed to always be there for others. I learned from dad the true meaning of service and giving of oneself. Inspiring Youth Leader: Most of my teenage years dad served as a Scoutmaster or if not as scout leader than in Bishopric where he still spent time with the youth. Dad loved the youth of our ward. I remember camping most months with dad and a few other YM. I remember often going to someones house and pulling a boy out of bed or from their house to join with us. Dad knew how to reach this youth and make them feel a part of things. Obedient with Exactness: Dad was never one to triffle with the commandments or the words of the living prophets. He learned from Dad that obedience with exactness is essential to happiness in this life. Jointly with this principle dad life reflects his beliefs that he has consecretated all to the Lord. I will always remember the time in connecticut where our Bishop came to dad and asked for a donation to the building fund. The Bishop asked him how much he could donate. Dad's response was Bishop I have consecreated all to the Lord you tell me how much the Lord wants from me. The Bishop asked for a large sum of money that would be a big stretch for our family. Faithfully dad led our family to save that amount to donate to the building fund. Shortly after dad received a bonus at work in the exact amount we had saved for our donation. This was a faith building experience for the whole family. Faithful Priesthood Leader: Whatever the calling dad was faithful and magnified his calling. He was a great Bishop and blessed many families because he followed the spirit. I remembered for some time dad fasted every Sunday and had a different person (usually member of our family) he fasted for each Sunday. I have often thought about this and the faithful and diligent service of dad as a priesthood leaders. Ever wonder why our family was so blessed, we were blessed because of dads obedience and many faithful hours of service in the Lord's church. Love for the Outdoors: My fondest memories with dad are being in the outdoors. I can remember so many outings as a family going backpacking and hiking. I remember hanging bear traps with dad. Watching a bear reject Grandpas stew that none of us kids would eat. I remember dollar rock and hiking many many summits. I remember snow skiing most winters with dad at crested butte. It was in the outdoors that I developed my testimony of the gospel and started developing my relationship with the savior. I attribute this to dad and his interest in providing opportunities for his children to be in the outdoors. I am grateful for dad and my memories of him. I am glad to be an OLSEN and hope to leave a legacy like dad worthy of the OLSEN name. | Mike's Memories of Dad
10: Mike's Memories of Mom | The first memory I have of Mom portrays the kind of Mom she was to her 12 children. When Mom and Dad were early married and their tiny house (might have been a rental) was very close to their neighbours. One day Mom walked out to the porch and saw the mom yelling and screaming at her child(ren). Mom resolved then never to yell at her children. Mom was true to her word. I have no idea how she raised 9 crazy and wild boys and 3 girls without ever yelling at her them. I share this memory only because it shows even further how much mom loved us (her children) and would not lose her temper with us. One day later in the afternoon (Brad and I would have been in the 12-14 range) after we kids had pushed Mom to her limits of sanity she said something like in her quiet voice ‘fine I have had enough with you kids and I am leaving’. I remember mom was true to her word and she left the home and starting walking up the canyon oaks street away from our house. I remember that we were all devastated and knew that we were in for it with Dad, who would come home and set things straight. I know we all give Dad a hard time sometimes for his firm hand but he left no doubt in our minds that he loved our Mom and our kind of behaviour would not be tolerated. Thinking of Mom walking out of the house and up the street because of our rowdy behaviour makes me cry and wish I could go back in time to show more kindness and love to the most gentle Mom of all time. In reality that will be my strongest memories of Mom through all time will be of Mom’s kindness for all, gentle nature, soft spoken words and love for her family. Family vacations - I have a lot of fond family vacations. I remember the times dad rented a motor home and we lived out of the motor home for a week or so. Mom was so patient and tried so hard to make these wonderful trips for the family. But I know now that these were no vacation for Mom. She had to work her tail off. Dad helped but I remember Mom making peanut butter sandwich after peanut butter sandwich. Changing kids diapers and chasing kids down the beach, etc.... These were no vacations for Mom but she put us first and agreed with Dad to take us on many family vacations which ended up being lots of work for her. I know she enjoyed being with family and that was what mattered to Mom. I was so grateful that Mom was always aware of my needs and concerns. She was ever so discerning and always knew how I was feeling and would always help me through uncomfortable situations. One example is that I ran cross country in High School and Every friday night before my cross country meets Mom would make me a dish of spaghetti to help prepare me for my race. That meant a lot. When I was leaving on my mission I had no doubt of my Mom’s limitless love for me. I could feel it. Not that the tears didn’t give it away also both at my farewell talk and MTC departure. I was so grateful for the care packages and letters from mom, dad and the family. I know it was Mom that made everyone consistently write to me. After my mission driving between Idaho and Provo I feel asleep and rolled my car a few times. I nearly killed myself as there was a cliff on one sides of the highway. My car landed upset down, I let myself down climbing out a broken window. My first thought after giving a police report and catching a ride home with some BYU co-eds was to call my Mom. I needed Mom for comfort. Mom provided a lot of comfort to me all growing up and still does to this day. Lastly no specific incident but I have a lot of memories of Mom’s laugh. I used to try to say silly things just to get Mom laughing uncontrollable. She is contagiously happy and I love her laugh.
12: Mathew Leo
14: Matt's Memories of Dad
15: Excitement, Adventure, and fixing things are the 1st thoughts that come to mind when I think of Dad – Oh yeah, and being amazed at where in the world he had travelled to on any particular day – especially if he really smelled of cigarette smoke from being on planes and in meetings all day long. I remember being astonished to hear that he had been on several flights that day – and through several cities – only to make it back in time for Family prayer or Scouts. I am still amazed seeing Dad and Mom on Google Latitude and seeing that they are randomly all over the country – or Hawaii – when I had no idea that they are even gone – and I now live just blocks away. Adventure – we went everywhere from Jackson Hole, to Canada, Guatemala, Europe, Mexico and on and on – and I don’t know many Utahans now that ski more often now than we did while living in Texas! Scouts was an adventure too- I will always remember scout camp and a other camping trips with Dad and especially learned while under his skilled supervision that the scouts Mommy’s weren't there – he had a way of turning boys in to men quickly by letting them fend for themselves – with enough back-up help and food that no one starved to death – the younger scouts expected everything to be easy and accomplished for them – Dad taught them to make do with their own work and cleaning – and then quickly thrive on their own, I’m sure that the scouts that Dad had would agree that they, and us, probably learned more life skills in a week with dad then they did over years of others scout camps. I was also always happy and amazed to see Dad pull up late if he had meetings – even if the scout camp was hours away. I have memories too of family event s that served to toughen us up a bit, and I have since drug my older kids through the bush up mountains to help them to tough it out and be made stronger for it – I really remember well- when in the middle of the summer while hiking some mountain range that we started to get snowed on – and then it got really cold – I know I talked with either Aaron or Mark – about whether or not if they had to go pee, that it would be a good idea to pee on each other’s hands to help warm them up for a few minutes! (If you don’t remember that – that’s what I was thinking.)- We were in shorts with heavy back-packs and in the middle of no-where. Fixing things- I think Dad inherited this from Grandpa – because a lot of the memories I have seen to be with Dad and I fixing things around the house and either Blackner was there professionally helping – or grandpa was there laughing, telling stories and supervising while I was always watching and helping and amazed at how it seemed that Dad never seemed to tire of working – and was always able to map out – on paper – what needed to happen to repair or fix a problem that needed to be fixed and often ended up fixing things right the first time that people had tried to fix for years - like the game room hallway the always used to leak - it was pretty cool when it seemed that the whole wall was taken down for that repair and left in just plastic sheeting for a bit- and sure enough I don't think that the wall ever leaked again! The Van- seats and trash were constantly interchanged – seats out – trash- or debris to take to the dump in – then seats back in- scouts in- then scouts out – seats out clean the van – seats back in - back and forth – never-ending. I guess to sum it up – I really admire Dad – he is an example still to me – on being honest and hard-working – on everything, an example on being able to teach us more through example and adventure then by lecturing us – and especially an great example of President Kimball’s motto – to Do It! – Dad has always been anxiously engaged in good causes and always able to get lots of activities, church meetings and make everything exciting ( he even made our FHE this last Monday exciting – we had gone to the lot to play football – changed plans when we saw Papa cleaning up weeds – and we ended up bringing in a police SUV and a great big fire truck that the kids toured for an hour.)
16: Mom has always seemed to me to be practically perfect in everything that she was a steward over, she is a great organizer and planner, we always had people over growing up who were either swimming, working on bike hikes and merit badges, learning to make bread, having receptions and parties and all sorts of other activities, the house was full with us - and seemed to always have lots of others over too, and everyone seemed to have a great time, and Mom quietly ran everything so smoothly, I know now how amazing that is. We seemed to have many people outside of the family over at the house, I know there were several people during my mission, as well as before - Michael Morgan, the little Micheal who was found in a crib at home all day and couldn't walk flat on his feet, a lady who I remember Mom bringing home in the van after her husband kicked her out of her apartment and many others both long term and short that show how Mom cares for us and others. Mom was always busy at Relief Society or Primary - she was a great example of how to magnify your calling in whatever calling she had. Funny - Mom has a pretty good sense of humor and must is more that willing to share a good laugh - probably my earliest most embarrassing moment was when Mom took the movie of me kissing Robin and showed the whole primary (during a weekday) I think she was the one that filmed it too.(Hmm) We can often get her to laugh hysterically until she has tears coming out of her eyes. She has always been a great example of a positive, happy person even with all the chaos we were causing around her. | Matt's Memories of Mom
19: Mark Daniel
20: Mel Olsen - my Dad. The executive. Executive of the house. Executive VP of the company he worked for throughout my childhood and executive of all you put him in front of. I admire his knowledge, power and skill at making the best of any situation. He is shrewd, skilled and sharp as a tack. As my scoutmaster he was there for a purpose. To turn boys into men and missionaries. (Given the weaknesses of some of the leaders assigned to be his assistants he also turned some of them into men as well. There are many stories about campouts where the assistants and the dads that came along couldn't keep up and they were the ones who needed help up the trail, down the mountain or back to their bed for a week of down time to recover from their scouting 'vacation' - really they did end up in bed for a week.) When we were with Dad everything was done to the extreme. We hiked higher, longer and younger than anyone else. One hike, I believe it was Mt. Whitney, was lead by my dad and broke the records for the oldest to summit - Eugene Foss Olsen - and the youngest - Andrew Olsen the youngest in our family. When we skied we did the most skiing in the shortest amount of time. We were part of the Jackson Hole Vertical Summit program and we would literally race up and down the mountain racking up as many vertical feet as was possible. Though we weren't know for our beautiful style we could go down any run on and off the mountains and were known for being able to ski whatever we wanted. From Lumps to the Colbys we had boys in our house all the time working on merit badges. Our house was the beginning and end of both bike rides and the trail to eagle. Dad bought all the scouting merit badge books so that we boys no longer were able to us the most common excuse for not completing a badge - but, I don't have a book. Of course I also see dad in every Stealth, 3000GT, Grand National, and older Mercedes that I see. I still remember being so grateful that dads power cars gave it away when he got home so we could pretend to be doing homework when we were really just playing Mario Brothers. Most impressive is his devotion to the gospel. With the same precision he used for scouting, fun and work he lives what he teaches. He has helped thousands to learn, live and love the truth. Dad taught me and all of us to work and to as he said on many of our ski trips enjoy the ride cause you can never please everyone. I now sit back in disbelief when I think of the hundreds of times Dad offered to take me or others of us to Bermuda, Europe, all over the world for a quick trip and we turned him down most of the time. He is a wise old man and a hard working world traveler - it still amazes me when Sara or I will look at Google Maps and see dad zipping around the country like he owns Google Maps. That's my dad. He executes on all he endeavors to do with the precision of a level executive. His newest project is just days old, revamping the lot to turn it into his next home, and yet he has already met with the architect and has plans on paper, a date to start and a date to move in. | Mark's Memories of Dad
21: Life is not Measured in Minutes, but in Moments
23: It takes a saint to live with 12 rowdy kids and a man who knows exactly what he wants and goes forward with never ending conviction until he gets it. Enter Nancy Olsen. Mom was either blessed with or learned patience beyond any other. She has sat back and listened to each of her kids and many of her sons and daughters in law as we complain, look for a place to vent or just talk about nothing in particular. She has been blessed with the ability to help solve our problems by simply listening, supporting and offering words of comfort. As mom raised us we often had new faces show up to live with us for weeks or even months. Kids that did not come from a strong home would be sent off to live with the borrowed support of our family and I believe in particular the strength of a woman who knew how to love everyone despite the abuse they may have faced in their own homes. Mom was and is a great homemaker. Effortlessly gliding around the kitchen preparing meals for dozens - making it so effortless you'd think she was making herself a toast. When I got married and saw this same trait in my wife that sealed the deal. As I've gone through life and its ups and downs I've see that only true experts exhibit this ability - to do something very complicated as if it was no task at all. As we were raised my dad worked many long hours. Mom was always there to say prayers with us shuttle us around town and listen to our problems. Its always hard to recount what mom did simply because she is such a natural at raising kids, leading and comforting them. She never seemed fake or like she had to force her love for us. It all came so calmly it seemed as though she knew exactly what needs to be done all the time. Thanks Mom for all you do - you are truly an angel. | Mark's Memories of Mom
25: Aaron John | Sometimes you will never know the true value of a Moment until it becomes a Memory
27: The first thing is I remember Dad coming to every single one of my gymnastics meets and that included my away meets. Recently I started to feel bad that looking back I hardly gave him any acknowledgement that he was even there. Like some of the meets I wouldn’t even say hi to him, but he would still sit up in the stands and just be there to support me. I started to think about this because I now have a teenager that is ignoring me, but it meant so much for me to have Dad there. Even though I ignored him, I did notice, and was grateful to have him there. Dad was a lot more vocal and proactive in encouraging us to try stuff that we weren’t used to and he taught us to have confidence in trying new things. He always believed in us and taught us to not worry about failing. There is fun and adventure in trying hard things. I got a little upset recently when Dad told my kids to get out of a stream below a waterfall because he was nervous for them, but as kids he was the one throwing us in the stream, he has gotten a lot more cautious with age. I’m still scared from a memory I have of Dad stopping at a lookout stop and all us kids pile out of the van to look out over this cliff and I was scared to death. But he had so much faith and trust that we would be ok and he never worried about it, but I was scared. I remember the skiing trip where Brad broke an arm; Dad was right there encouraging us to jump off the cliff. I loved that he pushed us and had so much confidence in our ability and trust that we would succeed. I was always grateful for the Priesthood blessings that Dad gave. I remember one time right before I was speaking in sacrament for my mission farewell and I started feeling sick. I was really worried about being sick at that time because I wanted to enjoy my time with my family, so I asked Dad to give me a blessing. We went in his office and it was the only time that I’ve had in a blessing that I felt the sickness being pulled out of me and I felt the spirit and I wasn’t sick after that, I was healed. | Aaron's Memories of Dad
28: Aaron's Memories of Mom | I remember that you just couldn’t ever get a rise out of Mom. Kids would come in all bloody or torn up and she would just stay so calm. She was all empathy, hugs and kiss, pat you on the head and tell you to go back out and play. She was always serving us; quietly doing the chores but sometimes she would get frustrated with us. I remember one time I was fully asleep in bed and mom came in and dragged me out of bed an hour after everyone was in bed because it was my night to clean the kitchen and I had forgotten to do it. She sat there with me and made me clean the kitchen. I was shocked at how determined and how fierce she could be when she wanted to be; which was rare. Mom was really soft spoken and I didn’t feel like she taught me a lot through words but more through her example. Right before my mission I had just read the book of Mormon and I was all pumped up on a spiritual high. And I just expressed to mom how invincible I felt and how ready I was to go on my mission and she got really stern with me and she stopped and said we are always vulnerable and Satan is always after us. It was just a humbling teaching experience where she used words to teach me something. And I felt the strength of her words and the power of the spirit. Mom taught me how influential Satan can be and how we always need to be watchful. But I would say most of all I felt like I always knew that Mom loved us all and would do anything for us. And for me I’m not sure exactly how she did it but she made me have confidence in myself. I felt from her that she believed in me and she trusted in me to be able to make my own choices which have helped me throughout my life.
32: Dancing Queen
33: I feel so blessed to be born into such a wonderful family with fabulous parents. I have a lot of memories of Dad some are funny and others are dear to my heart. I remember knowing that Dad was the enforcer in the house. Wen we heard the garage door open we would all scatter like cockroaches because we knew he would be upset that we were watching “the idiot box” – we would quickly come out of hiding after he made his long trek down the hall to the front of the house. I remember playing after we were put to bed and then dad coming back through the house to see if we had really gone to bed. We used to play games where we would see how far we could make it into another room without being discovered or knock on the wall and talk to each other through the walls. I remember Dad sometimes being on the other end of the wall or waiting as I snuck into the boys’ room. Ooops! I LOVED all the vacations we were able to take because of Dad’s job at American. My teachers would always ask if they could hide in my suitcase. I remember being jealous of the boys getting to go camping so much with Dad but I also knew that Dad loved being with his kids. Every time he went anywhere he would beg and plead for someone to join him. It made me feel special. As a teenager all of my friends LOVED dad, he would tease and joke around with them and offer to take all of us out. Many weekends he would offer to take all my friends out for ice cream or dinner. I turned him down but wish I had made more of an effort to spend time with him. As a teenager I argued and fought with Dad a lot. I regret the way I was defiant and am so thankful now that I look back at those years for the rules and discipline that Dad gave. We model a lot of our parenting after things we learned from Mom and Dad. Dad and I are both very stubborn so that led to a lot of the fighting but Dad always came to my room after a fight and hugged me and let me know that he loved me. That always meant a lot to me but I am certain I never told him. When I was in college Dad was the Bishop of the Irving ward and would call me a lot just to talk. He shared a lot of things he was learning, not specific situations, but life lessons. When situations arise I am often reminded of these pearls of wisdom. My most favorite memory of Dad is his Father’s Blessings. I loved that Dad would get emotional and that I would feel his tears dropping on my head. I always felt loved and knew that I was his little princess. I always knew that Dad had a testimony of the Gospel and would do anything to serve others. Thank you Dad for your love, strength and example throughout the years. | Alisa's Memories of Dad
35: Mom! What is not to love about mom! We all know that mom is the kindest, most patient, and angelic woman around but I thought of some of the more quirky things that we all love about her. I remember when either Brad or Mike was a teenager and she kicked him in the butt for mouthing off. I remember thinking Good he deserved it! You can’t talk to my mom like that. It was a shock to see her do that though because it was so rare. And of course she didn’t do it with anger or malice but rather a playful smirk on her face. Usually, when someone did something bad we were told that our Dad would hear about this and then we had real cause for concern . I will never forget the advice mom gave me in the Temple just before we entered the Endowment room before I got married. I will leave it at that but it was definitely one of the more memorable and funny moments in my life. I will spare you the details but some of you may know this story and will have certainly chuckled by now. Makes me smile every time I think about it. Now on to laughter... I LOVE when mom laughs! Not just her everyday chuckle but her I’m laughing so hard I can’t breathe laugh. The innocent bystander may wonder if they need to jump in to perform the Heimlich because all they will observe is a woman who is bright red in the face, shaking back and forth, with no sound coming out. This is definitely a cause for concern unless you know mom and then you are joining with her in the awkward, silent laugh. We better not go out in public! I love that Mom loves everyone and remembers what he or she likes. Dan was so impressed when he came to visit Texas for the first time. She knew he liked spicy things so she filled the Refrigerator/ Freezer with food that she thought he’d love. It was very kind and we’ve observed her do things like that for other people. She has a great memory and pays attention to what her “in-laws” like so that she can try to make them feel loved. Mom loves people but as she’s gotten older she “says what she thinks” more and more often. It makes me laugh and then at times she has suggested that I tell so-and-so what she thinks. She told me once that Sue (name withheld to protect the innocent) looked so much better with her hair a certain way like she used to wear it and that I should let them know. I decided against following her advice in this instance. Mom, thank you for being who you are! I am who I am today because of you. Thank you for being such a good friend to me as I’ve grown up. I know I can turn to you in times of need or just for companionship. Thank you for teaching me the Gospel of Jesus Christ and passing advice on to me through the years. It always sticks with me and helps me become a better person. I love you!!!! | Alisa's Memories of Mom
37: Phillip Charles
39: Phillip's Memories of Dad | A memory of Dad that comes to mind was a particular trip to Louis' Barber shop in downtown Irving when he took several of us along to also get our haircuts. Louis decided to try out a new style for Dad that day - heavily gelled, elevated, and slicked back. After what seemed like an hour of careful sculpting, Louis proudly turned Dad's chair to face us kids and asked what we thought about his work of art. All of us hesitantly voiced our approval, nobody daring to hurt Louis' feelings; while inwardly mustering up all our strength to prevent the laughter from somehow reaching our vocal cords or the expressions of our faces. We somehow managed to suppress the laughter during the drive home, even as we listened to Dad's analysis of the pros of this new style. As we walked into the living room, Mom and a few other kids burst into laughing; and of course that caused our laughter to burst out uncontrollably. Amidst the laughter, I vaguely remember Mom asking Dad something like "what did you do?" Dad looked over at us and asked "Why are you laughing? I thought you said you liked it?" I didn't know how to respond, but I think one of us said something about it looking ok at the time we were asked. Dad talked to us briefly about being honest in our opinions and told us that it wouldn't have hurt anybody's feelings if we had said we didn't like it. A great memory and a great lesson learned. Like each of you, I feel blessed to have had so many opportunities to experience a wide variety of fun outings in so many different places. As I walked by the rainbow tower yesterday with Allison, she was pointing and telling me all the things she remembered from two years ago. I told her that when I was about her age I also came here with my family several times. Those memories here in Hawaii are so precious to me, and it really touches me that mostly in part to Dad they have been extended to the next generation of my children and your children.
40: Phillip's Memories of Mom | The memory that I have of Mom that has been the most influential to me as a parent is not so much one particular moment, but how she consistently and constantly kept her patience and was not abrupt with her kids. Even though there would be hyper kids roaming the house and creating mischief, on top of all the other stresses of life, she always kept her cool and would not lose her temper. Another memory I have of Mom is from when I was in 6th grade. One day at lunch a kid had fallen asleep at the table and when he woke up, he accused the other three of us at the table of stealing money out of a pouch that he had chained to his belt. The three of us who had been accused were taken to the principal's office and questioned about the whole thing. I think the boy's parents had even come to the school. Later on during the day, some of the older kids had told me that the police would come to question me and create a permanent record that I'd have all my life. I had never been falsely accused of anything before and the whole thing was rather traumatic. When I got home from school, Mom asked me what was the matter and that unleashed all of the emotions and I started to cry. Mom took the time to call the principal. I don't know what she told him, but after the call Mom told me that the principal said that he had no doubt that I did not steal the money and that I had nothing to worry about and that I wouldn't hear another thing about it. He also told Mom that the Olsens were the "salt of the earth." This caused all of my worry and anxiety to immediately diminish. I've always felt very blessed to have such a loving, patient and Christ-like mother. I love you Mom!
42: Paul Christian
44: When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers
45: When I was a teenager, Dad was either the Scoutmaster or the Bishop. With both callings he was always taking us on camp outs and high adventure trips. I remember him pointing out how attitude really makes the difference if the boys were having fun or not. On a camp out there would be a lot of boys camping at the same location with the same weather and the same bugs. Sometimes the camp outs were rainy and cold and other times it was very hot and humid with lots of ants and mosquitoes. Some boys would whine and complain the whole trip. While other boys would find ways to make the trip fun and exciting. I always remember him pointing this out to me and I glad he did. It has helped me always try to have fun and make the best out of every situation. I also remember Dad giving Mom lots of gifts. Every Christmas she would get lots of jewelry and kitchen supplies. Dad would often surprise mom with flowers and I remember him getting her roses a few times in the car when people were selling them at red lights. He would also hug Mom a lot, even though most of the time he really had to fight for them. | Paul's Memories of Dad
46: Paul's Memories of Mom | She made really good bread and all my friends liked it. She always brought homemade bread in to my teachers and one time a news reporter came and did a story on her and her bread. We always loved having her bread when we got home it was so soft. I especially loved her homemade cinnamon rolls the best. I used to always look forward to when she made them. I remember one time she grounded me because she was driving by and there was a bike in front of the house; I didn’t put it in back. When I was in 6th grade mom was trying to get me to try-out for the 7th grade cheerleading team. She was going to pay me $100 and buy me a new pair of shoes if I would do it. I went to the first practice and there was like only 1 other boy there besides Phillip so I felt embarrassed and wouldn’t go back. Every time we went to Crested Butte she would just sit in the Condo all day, but one time she took ski lessons. We watched her through the trees and she just kept falling over and over again. We felt bad for her so we didn’t go up to her and say, “Hi” because we didn’t want her to know that we saw her falling so much. Every year the first day of school when we came home mom was always like talking to us a lot wanting to know how our day went. She was always really concerned about how it went. Mom rarely lost her temper even though we did plenty of stuff to really get after us for. She was always there and it was nice knowing that she would always be around.
50: Daddy's Little Princess
51: My earliest memories are being excited when he got home from work. He would (or at least he did once) get down on one knee at the front door so we could run and "climb upon his knee" just like the primary song goes. I even remember putting my arms around his neck, patting his cheek, and giving him a great big kiss. When I was 2, I got the tip of my pinky smashed in a door and it was hanging by a thread of skin. The Dr. wanted to just cut it off, but Dad said, "No" and took me to a specialist, who took a lot of care to stitch it up. I am so grateful that Dad cared as much about my little pinky as I do. I remember one time when I swallowed 2 pennies he took the time to show me in an encyclopedia a picture of my intestines and how the penny would go all the way through me! I also loved when he let me fix his hair with bows, a curling iron, and even hair spray. I loved using the tweezers to pluck out his grey hairs. I probably have the most memories while I was a teenager. Dad was the Bishop then and I begged him to take the Young women camping more, because the young men always got to go. I was so happy that he listened to me and I think we went camping/hiking at least once a month. We had so much fun. I remember Dad telling me to go change my shorts when they didn't touch the floor during family morning prayer. I remember one Sunday, he took me after sacrament meeting to go pick up my less active friend. We woke her up and waited for her to shower. I remember waiting in the church lobby while he interviewed other Women so he wouldn't be in the church alone. It was always neat for me to watch him serving and caring about others. I loved how Dad interviewed us at 16 and had us sign a contract in order to be able to drive the car. I want to do the same thing with my kids. I enjoyed Dad being my Bishop at BYU. I am so grateful that Dad was consistent with discipline, family prayer, scripture study, FHE, and eating together as a family. I'm sure those things played an important role in holding us together as a family. I am grateful that dad is always there when you need help. I always know that if I'm in a bind Dad will come to the rescue, no matter how far he has to drive. I have fond memories of Dad's father's blessings and I always felt the spirit really strong when I got a blessing from Dad. We have truly been blessed to have such a wonderful father. I continue to have good memories of Dad as I get older as he is "Papa" to my kids. I also love visiting him and having gospel discussions with him. | Mandy's Memories of Dad
52: My mother was raised in Idaho and met my dad, Mel Olsen, at BYU and they were married in 1967. They moved into a small apartment where my mom could always hear the neighbor screaming and yelling at her children. It sounded so ugly to her that she vowed to never yell at her children, and she never did. I remember one time when I was being loud and pestering her while she was lying down. She could have snapped at me and said, "Get out! You're giving me a headache!", but instead in a very soft and loving voice she said, "Mandy, I really have a bad headache. Can you please let me take a short nap?" At that moment, I felt real compassion for my mother, probably for the first time. If she would have snapped at me, I would have felt hurt and unloved. My mom is the greatest woman I know. I believe that one of her greatest attributes is her ability to show unconditional love to others. One night when I was a young teenager it was my turn to clean the kitchen. I had forgotten about it and went to bed without doing it. So, my dad came in and dragged me out of bed to tell me that I had to do it. Tired and grumpy, I quickly threw the dishes in the dishwasher and ran a washrag over the table. I remember clearly my mom coming over and standing next to me staring down at the table. She looked at me and asked, "Is that they way that I would do it?" That simple question has lingered in my heart all these years and I often ask myself, "What would my mom do?" More importantly it caused me to reflect on My Savior and how I could be a better disciple by asking in all that I do, "Is this the way He would do it?" I remember laying on Mom's lap and her playing with my hair. I felt so comfortable and loved. She is so good at making others feel important and special. She is always serving others and rarely thinks of herself. She is not a complainer or a whiner. She is a doer. And she doesn't do it for the whole world to see and acknowledge. She does it quietly ~ out of out pure love. Most of her service goes unnoticed and unappreciated by the world, but I am certain Heavenly Father has taken note and appreciates each and every crumb she has swept, mouth she has fed, and tear she has wiped away. She is my hero and I feel like I won the lottery to have been selected to be her daughter. | Mandy's Memories of Mom
54: David James
56: Wow, this is tough ... how can I possibly capture my memories of Dad in a short message? It is not possible but I will do what I can. In 2007, while living in Boise, I was asked to speak in Sacrament meeting on Father's day. I thought about including excepts from it, but it didn't feel the same to me without the whole thing. I won't embed the whole talk in the newsletter because it's too long, but if Christina will include it as an attachment, anyone who wants to read it can. Dad gave us countless opportunities to grow. Because of Dad's faithfulness and hard work, he was blessed abundantly and was kind enough to generously share with each of us. Thanks to Dad, I traveled more before I was 16 than most people travel in a lifetime. I was able to snow ski and snowboard at tons of amazing resorts. I was able to go to college early before I was ready to earn all of my own money. I was able to go on a business trip with Rick's college that I didn't have the money for, which trip benefited the rest of eternity for me (it's how I met Maren). Growing up, I was able to try out tons of different sports and activities that many don't have the opportunity to develop. Dad gave me the opportunity to try gymnastics, football, basketball, soccer, softball, baseball, tee ball, rollerblading, rollerskating, skateboarding, swimming, diving, jumping on the trampoline, hiking, fishing, camping, building, climbing, biking, cliff jumping, snorkeling, track and field, horseshoes, bowling, and the list could go on and on. My point is that thanks to Dad, I, like all of you, have had the privilege of trying so many things. One of my favorite ski trips that Dad took me on was when I was a teenager and he took Andrew and me to ski in Colorado on a Saturday. We caught a plane from Dallas in the morning, drove straight from the airport to the ski resort, and then straight from the ski resort back to the airport at the end of the day and back home to Dallas the same night. Seriously ... who does that?! I felt so special and privileged to do things like that. We did that a couple times too and had so much fun together. | David's Memories of Dad
58: I'd like to talk to you today a little bit about respect, kindness and charity. A few questions came to mind as I thought about these principles: 1) to whom or what should we show respect? 2) To whom should we show kindness? And, 3) to whom should we show charity? Our two greatest commandments, as spoken by our Savior, are that we should Love our God and that we should love our neighbors, which essentially includes everyone around us. We can read the famous word from Moroni: "And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." I feel like each of us has a pretty good understanding of the great importance of respect, kindness and charity, as spoken of to this point. I'd now like to talk about these principles in a bit of a different light if I may. I'll start by telling the story of a man from California. This man actually received the nickname of mighty midget as a high school wrestler, because he was small, but very tough. As a wrestler, he quickly rose to become one of the top 5 best high school wrestlers in the state of California. As a teenager, this man started selling encyclopedias, and he excelled at that as well. He very quickly became one of the top ten best sellers in the nation. He left for college at the age of 16. He held a full-time job while studying as a full-time through most of his college experience. He also served in the army, thus adding to his discipline and experience. After the army, he worked his way up from baggage handler of a small airline to Vice President of American Airlines. As the eldest of a family of 6, he developed the skills of a leader from a very early age. Those traits were refined in the army, as a missionary, as a student and as a professional. His presence in a room seemed to demand the respect and attention of those around him. His philosophies of work were unparalleled. He strove to teach his children how to work, and to work hard. Some of his boys weren't quite as into these philosophies, and came up with this chant: "Slaves in bondage work, work, work", which they used to repeat as they worked. This man was a firm believer in rules. When he said "lights out", it didn't mean in 10 minutes, 5 minutes, or even 30 seconds for that matter. When he gave an order, he expected it to be followed with exactness. There is no question that this man was highly respected by those around him, but the question that I'd like to discuss is if he himself was full of respect, kindness and charity? I ask this question because this man has been accused on more than one occasion for being too gruff, or unkind. To answer this question, I'd now like to take you down another path of this man's life, which I am a sure you have all guessed is my father. | David's Father's Day Talk
59: There was nothing that my father enjoyed more than spending time with his family. He gave countless fathers' blessings, with 12 children and all. He never hesitated to serve the Lord. He served a full-time mission to Argentina. He served as a bishop of a family ward for about 6 years, and bishop of a BYU student ward for about 3. He served as a stake mission leader, and also as a stake seventy. And, he served as a scout master for many years. I wanted to share just one more experience that I had as a teenager with my father, to finish the point that I'm trying to make. This experience may seem very insignificant, but it had a profound effect on me. One night as I was reading my scriptures, all of the sudden the lights went out. Of course, it was my dad making his usual rounds in which there were no questions asked, it was just lights out and that was it. Without much hope, I blurted out, "Dad, I'm reading the scriptures!" Without hesitation, the lights came back on. I know, it sounds a little dumb, but it really solidified in my mind what was really important to him. I know that these principles of respect, kindness and charity ruled my father's life. I'm not sure if this is coming out clearly, but what I'm trying to demonstrate the synergy of traits that can exist. As I think about my father, another man comes to mind. In the Book of Mormon, we read from Alma that "if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men." -Alma 48:17 We know that Moroni was full of the Spirit and these principles that we've been discussing, and at the same time, he too was a very no nonsense type of guy. Remember when the king-men rose up among the Nephites and began to threaten their freedoms. There was absolutely no hesitation in Moroni's response. He tore his cloak, wrote the title of liberty, and ran throughout the city to gather followers and commanded his armies to go against those king-men "to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth" On another occasion, when his armies desperately needed additional men and supplies, he did not hesitate to march into their capital city and pull down again the insurrections that had occurred. While both of these men may have been seen as rough or unkind to some, I am 100% certain that among the true Disciples of Christ, they are both viewed as some of the kindest and most respectful men that you will ever meet. With today being Father's Day, I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have had to remember my own father and everything that he means to me, but that is not the only purpose that I hope to portray here. We all know that Respect, Kindness, and Charity are essential characteristics for Latter-day Saints. I hope that we have established here that these are in no way "weak" principles.
61: There is no way to put into words the impact that Mom has had on my life. She is the supreme example of Christ-like love, patience, and kindness. Almost everyone that has ever known Mom has felt the same way about her, based on countless experiences where she demonstrated those attributes. What a lot of people don't know, however, is something that I learned about Mom about ten years ago, that opened my eyes to something that I had never considered. I was talking with Mom about how patient she is and how amazing it is that with all of the chaos that she seems to constantly have to deal with, and she told me that her personality (which I always assumed was natural) was actually the result of a conscious decision that she had made decades ago that she did not want to be a parent that yelled. This seems like such a simple story, but it had a profound effect on me and the way that I think about people. As we look around at others who seem to "have it easier or better than us", because they're just "naturally like that", we need to always remember that we don't know all that they've done to bring those things about. Additionally, it helped me realize that we can be however we'd like to be if we are determined and will work at it. | David's Memories of Mom
62: Andrew Thomas
65: Of course the first things that come to mind from my childhood are all the adventures dad took us on. Mount Whitney – where it was so cold the night before we made the summit that I had to sleep inside dad’s sleeping bag (and Uncle Maynard made hot cool-aid in the morning – it was nasty). Colorado – when dad decided to tie a rope around my waist before I crossed a steep glacier which ultimately saved my life (I think it was Brad that was holding the other end). Half way across I slipped but was caught by the rope. We later discovered that at the bottom of the glacier was a ginormous cliff! The green ski boat, canoe trips, campouts, horses, and all the fun stuff we did when dad was the scout leader and then bishop. I remember that we read the scriptures every day and always had family home evening. I remember father’s blessings at the beginning of each school semester. I remember sitting on the front row in church and getting a remote control car for bearing my testimony (I also remember complaining that it was a cheap one). Dad is a great dad and we are all lucky to call him dad. Thanks Dad! We all love you! | Andrew's Memories of Dad
66: The power of good example can easily be seen in the influence mom has had on her kids. It may be because I’m young and didn’t see how the older kids were raised, but I almost have never seen mom impart much of a punishment on any of us. Even so, we knew very well what she expected of us; she expected us to good. The small infractions often when unnoticed, even when they were done right in front of her. I think we can learn a lot from her in this regard. Kids will be kids, and mom’s patience with us, love for us, and great example, had a way of doing all the necessary disciplining we needed. We wanted to be good because she was good, and she loved us. Of course she did discipline when discipline was needed. Probably my most vivid memory with mom as a kid was one of these moment. I don’t remember what I was doing, but she told me that I needed to stop. I was pretty mad about that so I told her to “shut-up.” Immediately she slapped me right across the face, I was shocked! She got her point across very well I think and from then on I knew that I needed to respect my mom. I think the fact that her punishment was a once in a lifetime event, is what really made it so effective. If she had slapped me everyday before that moment, I probably would not even remember that day. But as it was, I never forgot the lesson of that moment as I grew up. As Christina said before, I think we can all agree that Mom’s laugh is contagious! Mom has sacrificed most of her time to us; to making us happy. But it is fun to see the other side of her; the things that she enjoys. It is fun to play games with her. When Cortney and I lived at home I think we played RummyCube every night; it was a lot of fun. I know that she also likes the beach a lot. It is easy to tell she really enjoys Hawaii when we have gone there. She likes to go in waist deep and just role with the waves. Most of all, it is easy to tell that mom loves us and wants all of us to be happy through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love her for her example and the endless measure of sacrifice she has made for us. | Andrew's Memories of Mom
68: Christina Marie
70: Christina's Memories of Dad
71: Where Oh Where to begin? This might be a little sporadic because I’m just gonna start writing the things down as they come to me, so sorry if it may be a little confusing. The first thing that comes to mind is Dad’s claustrophobic hugs. Since I was very young Dad would always try and come up and give me these huge hugs, and shamefully now I have to say that I would always whine and try to shove him away. I am very grateful for these hugs now, because I always knew that Dad loved me, and I remember him doing the same thing to Mom and her reacting in the same way as me. Hmm, maybe I was just taking after my Mom, I don’t know. I also remember getting in trouble, or in an argument with Dad and running to my room to fling myself on my bed and pout(I’m pretty sure I still do the same thing to Liji), but the thing that I loved was that Dad would without fail come into my room a few minutes later to tell me he loved me and give me a hug. When I was younger, I remember getting scared at night being in my room all alone. Sometimes I would try and talk Andrew into letting me sleep in his room, but he usually wouldn’t let me. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and being scared and wanting to go to my parents room but thinking of the long way I had to go to get there; and it would all be in the dark, and then Dad would sometimes lock their door, so I couldn’t get in anyways. But on the occasions that I would finally pep myself up enough to make the long journey, I would love snuggling right in-between Mom and Dad. The thing I remember about Dad, was the part where he would have to wake me up to get me to stop kicking him in the head, because I would usually end up laying horizontal across their huge King size bed, with my head sharing Mom’s pillow and my feet sharing Dad’s pillow. He really liked that As I got older he made me start sleeping on their small love seat in the room and not their bed. That was never nearly as fun. Dad was definitely the strict enforcer between the 2 parentals, and I remember a few times being just a little scared of him. When Mom was really fed up with me I remember her threatening me that she would tell Dad about it when he got home, and that would get me to stop rather quickly. But then I would just start whining and crying for her to please not tell Dad. Even though at the times of his strictness I hated it, I know that it was for the best. I’m sure it kept me out of trouble many times. For most of my younger years Dad was a Bishop. I remember feeling so special when I was young that my Dad was the Bishop. I loved going into his office to get Cert’s or jelly beans that I thought were like medicine because he kept them in a round bottle that looked like a medicine bottle. Mom and Dad did a good job of teaching us about the scripture stories and I also learned a lot of them from watching the Living Scripture videos, so in Sunday School I remember always being able to answer a lot of the questions in class that other students couldn’t. In Texas I remember them teasing me that I knew so much because I was the Bishop’s daughter. I think they were doing it to make fun of me, but I didn’t mind; I was proud to be the Bishop’s daughter. I’m sure a lot of you remember Dad having you find grey hairs to pluck out for him. I remember doing this and every hair that I pulled out I had to put it on something black so he could see that it was a grey hair and not a dark one. He didn’t want us just plucking out all his hairs, so I always tried to be extra careful and felt a little bad when I would accidently get a few hairs out at once with the tweezers Dad would also let Mandy and I curl his hair with the curling iron. This was of course especially fun for us to do. Dad always looked so cute and was definitely a good sport about it. Even though he had mostly boys, he still went out of his way to have a special connection with his daughters. He may have not felt that way though; illustrated through a little talk he had with me one day when I was home visiting from college. I think we were talking about what classes I would be taking and he started telling me that I would probably do well to take some etiquette classes for girls, or something of that nature, because he was used to raising sons and he didn’t think he taught me to be as refined as I should be as a women, I guess. I don’t know, I remember thinking it was so funny when he gave me this speech. He was also referring to it being able to help me get married sooner.
72: Daddy's Baby Girl
73: I remember going on Daddy-daughter dates together for church and of course stopping to ice cream afterwards at Braums. Dad LOVED ice cream, which has now carried on down to me and that’s not necessarily a good thing. I also remember him taking me to get ice cream after all of my choir concerts or other school performances. “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM.” Dad really liked bowling and is pretty good at it. We didn’t go a ton, but he would take us out every now and then. Well I remember a specific time when I was in High School and a few of us from the family went bowling together. Well on one of Dad’s turns he slipped and fell right down to his bum. It was so funny! I guess I will always remember this because it is one of the few times that I have seen Dad do something clumsily or embarrassing. Moving to Utah and having Dad retired and home all the time was a big adjustment for all three of the rest of us; Mom, Andrew and I. It was so weird to go from Dad being gone most of the Day, working, and then to suddenly be home all the time and “into all of my business,” or so I thought. Dad really wanted me to do well in school and to finish High School early, so he started pushing me a lot and also coming to my school to take care of stuff to help me graduate early. I wish I could say that I had been a better sport about all of that. I really am happy I graduated early. Even though sometimes I may have been a little embarrassed by Dad, my friends loved him. They thought he was just so great. He always made a big effort to talk with them when they were over and get to know them. He mostly tried to make funny jokes. Andrew and I didn’t like family vacations as much when it was just the two of us kids and Mom and Dad. Too bad Andrew and I couldn’t have gotten along better when we were younger. We really were lucky to get to go to so many places. But after Andrew left on his mission, Family vacations, were even less exciting, though I did like them, a lot more than Andrew seemed to, from what I remember. Anyways, I remember going to Hawaii alone with Mom and Dad. Well Dad had to stop like every 5 minutes to go to the bathroom; we hadn’t even made it to the hotel room yet!! So I was getting pretty impatient and I told Mom and Dad that I felt like I was going on a vacation with my grandparents, not my parents. I was pretty sassy to them a lot; poor parents. This brings me to another common memory, of me getting spanked or sent to my room for being sassy. Dad did not like sassiness at all, especially if I sassed Mom. Another thing I really loved was that I also felt very comfortable to go to Dad for a Father’s blessing and some counsel. Every year before starting school Dad would give us a Father’s Blessing, as well as any other time I needed it, but I don’t think I took advantage of this until I was a bit older and visiting from college. I’m especially grateful for his advice when I was making a very important decision in my life, regarding my eternal companion. I feel that Dad is very wise, and through his experience as Bishop for so many years he has become a very good counselor. Dad and I butt heads a lot when I was younger, but I realize now that it was just because I took after him in so many ways. And some of my greatest memories are of sharing a frozen concentrated orange juice can straight from the freezer to our mouths, or any other sort of cold and tart thing, which we both really love. Now here are just a few other random things I remember doing with Dad that I’ll just list down. Camping Snow/Water Skiing Helping pick out presents for mom. Jewelry for Mom; every Christmas Sports Cars Wake up calls in the morning; dragging me out of bed 3 or 4 times. Getting paid for good grades “If you’re going to scream like that, you can either go in the backyard, or the garage.”
75: The earliest memories I have of Mom is her having to drag me out of bed and make me trudge out to the car in my pajamas wrapped in my blanket to take older kids to school (at least I think that’s where we were going every morning) and then her waking me back up to get back out of the car to go inside. I probably went straight back to bed too. Probably I wasn’t that pleasant while she was doing that but I don’t remember her ever getting mad. Mom is the epitome of the type of mother that I have always pictured when I read the mothers role in “The Family Proclamation.” Mom’s hugs always made everything better and they still do. I remember having to hug her every family prayer through the entire prayer, sometimes Dad would try to still me away. I also remember countless times of feeling sad and crawling onto Mom’s lap to have her just hug me while I cried and tell me it would be alright. Mom has always been a wonderful cook. Even though Andrew and I were pretty picky eaters Mom would cater to our needs and blend up the chunks or put the tomatoes on the side so we would still be happy to eat it. Mom is the perfect example of looking after others needs before her own. I remember several nights where she would be cooking this great meal and I would be super excited to get to eat it only to find out the food wasn’t for us, it was for another family There were also many nights where Mom was still hustling about getting everyone food that they need or drinks while the rest of us were sitting down enjoying our meal. She remembers what everyone likes and doesn’t like so she can make us happy. Even now when Liji and I come and visit she always seems to stock up on our favorite foods. Mom teaches through example. I could never picture her forcing any good habit or doctrine upon anyone. Through her actions towards Dad she taught me so much about being a good wife. She always wants to cook Dad’s favorite foods and get him just the perfect plate prepared. When I was a kid and she would cook salmon for dinner I remember whining and complaining because Andrew and I didn’t like fish and mom doesn’t even like it that much so I didn’t know why she would even bother cooking it. She would just say that Dad loves it and she was cooking it for him so that night we’d have to just find our own thing if we didn’t want to eat it. She always made sure to take care of Dad’s needs. Mom also always encouraged me to pursue my talents and even strengthen abilities I felt I didn’t have. She had me take piano lessons even though I pretty much cried before going to every lesson. She had me singing in public at a very young age and made sure I was always in the choir. I was also able to do gymnastics. She really encouraged me often to try out dance lessons but I was just too much of a tomboy to ever even think about that. I now sort of wish that I would have, maybe I’d have better rhythm Mom also taught me the basics of sewing and let me use the machine on a number of projects and I probably wasn’t that gentle with it. I’m pretty sure everyone loves to see Mom laugh. She laughs so easily and so hard that she is crying. Her head shakes quickly up and down but no sound comes out. Usually everyone else ends up laughing too, but usually it’s more at how cute her laugh is than at whatever she had thought was so funny. I LOVE it!! | Christina's Memories of Mom
76: Love At Home There is beauty all around, when there's love at home. There is joy in ev'ry sound, when there's love at home. Peace and plenty here abide, smiling sweet on ev'ry side. Time doth softly, sweetly glide, when there's love at home. Love at home, Love at home. Time doth softly, sweetly glide, when there's love at home. In the cottage there is joy, when there's love at home. Hate and envy ne'er annoy, when there's love at home. Roses bloom beneath our feet, all the earth's a garden sweet, Making life a bliss complete, when there's love at home. Love at home, Love at home. Making life a bliss complete, when there's love at home. Kindly heaven smiles above, when there's love at home. All the world is filled with love, when there's love at home. Sweeter sings the brooklet by, brighter beams the azure sky. Oh, there's one who smiles on high, when there's love at home. Love at home, Love at home. Oh, there's One who smiles on high, when there's love at home.
77: We Love you Mom and Dad! Thank you for teaching us what it means to have Love in our lives.