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My Life's Journey

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FC: My Life's Journey

1: Willadean Bryce was born on August 25, 1931 at 7:20 a.m. She weighted 7 pounds, 6 ounces. She was born to her parents, William Ebenezer Bryce and Lucille Marie McMahon Bryce. She had one sister – Wanda Marie Bryce Engel – and one brother – Terrill E. Bryce. All of them have passed on and she is the only one living of her immediate family. Who would have known she would have been the last one on earth the ways things started out with her birth. Willadean’s mother had red measles before she was born and, as a result, was very, very sick ,as well as Willadean. Willadean’s kidneys didn’t function and her mother’s milk was like poison to her. The doctors did everything they could but finally walked out and said there was no way that she would live and very little chance her mother would either. The Elders of the church were called in and they gave Willadean a blessing and they said immediately after, her kidneys began functioning. That was not all the moisture in the room. Everyone there was crying. Willadean lived and so did her mother! | Willadean Bryce McRae

2: During Willadean’s elementary school age years she would do everything that a normal kid would do. She played dodge ball, hopscotch and marbles at school. After school, she would ride horses, ride her bike, play paper dolls, color in coloring books and jump rope. She absolutely loved to lie on the grass and watch the clouds and guess what the clouds formations looked like. | One time Willadean disappeared and the whole town of Bryce was looking for her, afraid that she might have fallen in the big ditch (canal). As it turned out, she was playing out in the orchard and there was a round tub which she crawled in while playing hide & seek. She fell sound asleep. When her mama’s helper found Willadean, she thought she was dead because she was so limp. Her mother assured her worker that she was fine and informed her that she was always totally relaxed when she slept! | Willadean loved to go to the rodeos. Her mother would always make her a denim fringed skirt for the rodeo and buy her a new satin shirt, boots and the works. She and her family went to all the rodeos in the valley and even to Phoenix to the rodeos. Willadean tells of an incident when she was just a little girl around four, with the rock fireplace in the living room. Her Dad was sitting in his chair with his boots on and she tripped over his boot and went headface into the fire! They took her first to her Grandma Bryce who put a “special” ointment on her and then off to the doctor. They said when she fell into the fire, she threw up her hands in front of her face and that helped her from getting severely burned on her face.

3: Elementary Years

4: During High School, Willadean was secretary of the G.A.A. (Girl’s Athletic Association), played basketball and loved to play volleyball, sending spikes from the front row! She was in the Glee Club. Willadean became a “Baton Twirler” in her freshman year in high school and stayed with it for three years. Her senior year she was chosen to be “Drum Majorette.” She led the band in the parade at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. It had snowed and was freezing. She had bare legs, with no tights, but continued her march through the five mile stretch of the parade. | High School

5: While in Thatcher High School, Willadean headed up the M-Men/Gleaner convention in the valley. Willadean began to learn how to embroider and sew with her mother teaching her that skill. Music is a huge part of Willadean’s life. Her talent started blossoming when Willadean began taking piano lessons at age six. Practicing the piano was just a normal part of her day. Willadean was in piano recitals all her life. Her cousin, Diane Bryce, and Willadean gave piano recitals at Willadean’s home in Bryce. They performed several numbers each, all from memory and then Willadean’s mother would serve refreshments. Later in life, Willadean and Diane would laugh together and wonder if her parents had to “pay” the people to come to their home recitals. Today, of course, Willadean is very accomplished with her musical talents, sharing them with others in many venues. She writes and accompanies the choir’s Easter and Christmas Sacrament Meetings and organizes performances on other special holidays. She plays the piano and organ for church, always organizing a special musical number and plays for Relief Society and accompanies many as they sing and perform.

6: College Years | Willadean went off to college at the University of Arizona where she earned her bachelor’s of science degree in Home Economics with a minor in Business. She became active in the LDS Institute, Lambda Delta Sigma Sorority and served as Secretary one year and President another. She also kept busy playing the piano for Sacrament Meetings held at the Institute and sometimes directed the music. Willadean served as the first Relief Society President that was ever organized at the institute in 1955-56. During her university years she worked for the director of the BPA (Business and Public Administration) performing secretarial work and later after graduation, she worked for a private detective. Between her junior and senior year of college, she went with her roommate to attend a summer session at BYU. She did well in her courses that summer and loved the social life there.

8: It was in her senior year that Willadean met the love of her life, George Neil McRae. She was attending an institute social activity and knew Neil’s cousin, Donna McRae. Willadean was using her brother’s car that evening and was already giving Donna a ride home, so Donna asked if Willadean could give Neil a ride home, as well. She agreed. However, Neil had just moved and really didn’t know where his home was. She dropped him off and then he came running down the driveway, as they were pulling away, yelling, “No, wait, this isn’t it”, and then it happened again. Willadean jokes that since Neil didn’t know where he lived, she was just going to take him home with her and marry him!

9: Soon they began dating and they became engaged by the time she finished college in May. She received her engagement ring in September and they were married on November 20, 1953 in the Arizona Temple for all time and eternity! They had a reception that evening in the Thatcher church building and a week later, another reception in the St. David church building. They enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon in Santa Monica and Malibu, California. Willadean remembers that their honeymoon suite was on stilts and the ocean would come up crashing underneath their room. It was magical! And so her married life began! | Honeymoon

10: To My Wife and Eternal Companion, You will read in my journals usually on your birthday and/or mother’s day this quote, “The best thing that ever happened to me is my loving wife.” You took a chance on me. I had just transferred from Utah State University to University of Arizona. I was too late to get into the dorms, so I rented a room just off campus. My Cousin, Donna McRae, had a roommate, who had a new 54 Bell Air Chevy, and I needed a ride to my room, that’s when I first met you. The following comedy should have been a warning “this is it.” I would run up to a house and then come storming back stating, “No it’s not the right house.” After several tries I finally found the house. As you remember the church’s answer to the Greek sororities and fraternities was LAMBA DELTA SIGMA. You were president of the women’s group and I was president of the men’s group. We met to work out an agenda and I asked you out on a date. Again, I made a poor impression. It was pig season and I had been away on a two- year mission so I really wanted to hunt wild pigs. So, much to your chagrin, our date was postponed. But we were meant to be. You mentioned the upcoming dance; it blew right by me ---“Go to a dance??” or “Go wild pig hunting??” In my mind, there was no choice. This should have told you all you needed to know. But, eventually you accepted my LAMA DELTA pin, kissed me goodnight and I was able to come up with an engagement ring. I checked the temple schedule and I decided that the temple was probably closed in October so we decided on a November wedding date, the month that you did not want to get married in. We were married November 20th 1953 in the Mesa, Arizona temple for time and all eternity- some 58 years ago. You were working for the city of Tucson as a #2 stenographer. You had your bachelor’s degree and I was putting myself through a bachelor’s of Physical Evolution and a master’s in Agronomy. In 1955 Rande came into our lives. What a joy, what a shock. It was right at the deciding point of my master’s program. We were broke. You, of course, did quick budget tricks as my little $90 per month fellowship barely covered the rent. Rande cost 78 dollars and our insurance paid for the hospital. Both the doctor and hospital took pity on us. We borrowed 400 dollars from your folks and later paid them back, every penny. You went back to work. The city of Tucson found where we lived and offered you a job stating they would pay you anything you wanted (in reason) if you would come back for a few months and do their budget. Every morning you cried when you handed Rande over to my sister, Francies, until one of us picked him up. In our life together, you have bailed us out time and again. How can I say I love you? I graduated, got a job with USDA and moved to Phoenix. We wanted five children maybe six. And so it was, next came Colleen, then Ty and soon followed by Bret, and Keri, our little Swed. Then we moved to northern California and I finally landed a position with the University of California as a Farm Advisor in the Coachella Valley. But, there was still a little spirit waiting, waiting. Marnie was our California addition, making it three boys and three girls. How even can you get? And as you say, we now have 12 children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren, all with homes of their own. But you never tire, never miss a birthday. Your love I’ve always known, but you have enough to spare. So it comes back to, “The Best thing that ever happened to me is my loving wife.” With all my love, Your Husband.

12: Happy Birthday Mom...80 years WOW! My earliest memories go back to Phoenix , AZ, to the cul-de-sac where we lived. I remember the wonderful birthdays ( my favorite cake was Devil's food), the nights you would let us sleep in the backyard with Blacky, the evenings you would help me with homework ( I can still remember one paper where you worked with me, it seemed for hours, before I got it right) seeing me off to school(P.T.CO)in the morning and being there when I came home. Your millions of home cooked meals that I loved, all the Christmas’s that you made special, this and so much more that isn’t really appreciated until you have your own family and realize how hard it is, the sacrifice, the pain and the joy of raising your children. I remember the clothes line in the backyard. Iwasn’t tall enough to hang the clothes but I would watch you and you were fast! I remember that I had a problem with bed wetting , and I never, never remember you making me ashamed or humiliating me even though much later in life I realized many mothers did use this tactic. I wet my bed for quite a few years and it had to be frustrating and hard to keep washing my sheets (maybe that was why you were fast on the clothes line).. thanks for being that kind of Mom.

13: When we moved to Hamilton city you were the cub leader, if I remember right. You were always there when I got my scouting awards..lion, bearI think Bobcat was firstanyway, the important thing was you were always THERE. That is what mattered to me. I remember baiting birds in the morning before going to school and shooting as many as I could with my trusty pellet gun could before I had to leavehow many mothers would tolerate that today? Or then? It had to be tough being a mother in Hamilton city where it always rained, it was hard to dry clothes and sheets outside, and I remember the plumbing was always backing upa great situation with six children to clothe and bath. Then it was off to Indio. No problem drying clothes, that’s for sure. This is where the church memories come to mind. I remember you taking us to primary every weekwas it Tuesday? Wednesday? you always had us ready for church every sunday. Then when older it was “mutual” every week. There was never a question of your support when it came to the Churchyou were always THERE. It was your example of church service that was the foundation of my own testimony. Thank you for the greatest gift of all. I remember my little league baseball games that you were always at.I’m sure their were a million other things you ‘d rather be doing, but you were THERE. And so on, and so on So I guess the theme for my birthday card (letter) to you this day, on your eightieth birthdayis that you were always THERE , and I will always love you for that and count myself blessed to of had a Mother that loved me enough when I was growing up to give me her most precious gift time Love Your Son, Rande | When we moved to Hamilton city you were the cub leader, if I remember right. You were always there when I got my scouting awards..lion, bear, I think Bobcat was first, anyway, the important thing was you were always THERE. That is what mattered to me. I remember baiting birds in the morning before going to school and shooting as many as I could with my trusty pellet gun could before I had to leave. How many mothers would tolerate that today? Or then? It had to be tough being a mother in Hamilton City where it always rained; it was hard to dry clothes and sheets outside, and I remember the plumbing was always backing up, a great situation with five children to cloth and bath. Then it was off to Indio. No problem drying clothes, that’s for sure. This is where the church memories come to mind. I remember you taking us to primary . Every weekwas it Tuesday? Wednesday? You always had us ready for church every Sunday. Then when I was older it was “mutual” every week. There was never a question of your support when it came to the Church; you were always THERE. It was your example of church service that was the foundation of my own testimony. Thank you for the greatest gift of all. I remember my little league baseball games that you were always at. I’m sure there were a million other things you would rather be doing, but you were THERE. And so on, and so on So I guess the theme for my birthday card (letter) to you this day, on your eightieth birthday is that you were always THERE , and I will always love you for that and count myself blessed to of had a Mother that loved me enough when I was growing up to give me her most precious gift, time. Love Your Son, Rande

14: As I consider the many attributes and characteristics that I admire in you Mom, one keeps coming forward in my mind. That is the characteristic you possess of being a wonderful HOMEMAKER. It was Mary Ellen Edmunds who stated “A good home is never an accident.” I never really appreciated all you did and continue to do to provide a good home life for all of your children until I had my own home and my own family. I now know how much work it is to keep on top of everything. Growing up, I never even considered that you “might not make dinner”; there was always dinner and even though sometimes we had a strange dinner like homemade bread and milk, it was dinner! Ha! Growing up, I never worried that the “house might be a mess” if I had a friend come over; the home was always in order, the clothes were washed, mended (my girls ask, what’s that?) ironed and put away. I knew that every Saturday was cleaning day and we had our chores. I only prayed that I wouldn’t be partnered with Keri who dusted the house with her OCD tendencies and would take forever to finish the job.

15: And then, of course, I truly dreaded the weeks that Ty was my “kitchen” partner knowing I would be doing most of the work and it would take twice as long! Ha! There was a place for everything and everything was in its place. Our home was a place of love, a place to retreat and feel safe. It was a home where I grew spiritually. Growing up, I never stressed that we wouldn’t have costumes for Halloween (usually homemade by you), a few new outfits for a new school year (also homemade by you) with school supplies, birthday parties with all the extras, a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, the most wonderful, magical Christmases and vacations (yes, some were questionable and scary, but we all know that was Dad’s fault.) Special days were always thought out and honored. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who stated “The career of motherhood and homemaking is beyond value and needs no justification. Its importance is incalculable.” That pretty much says it all, “HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY MOM”, thanks for being a wonderful homemaker and a loving mom to me all these years. I love you! | Love your oldest daughter, Colleen

16: Dear Mom, When I read Colleen’s email about how we were to write about one of our favorite characteristics about you, I want you to know that several characteristics have crossed my mind. You have so many! One particular characteristic I always have admired about you is how you love and treat Dad. You always have been so supportive of Dad and always have been there for him. Whether it’s being out at the farm working and washing squash, or always making sure you have a wonderful meal for him, or how you keep the house clean for him and take care of his clothes – as soon as they hit the ground as we all know they are washed and hung before you know it! This list could go on and on . . . . But the most important thing that I have observed is the genuine love you have always shown him. I have always been so proud of my parents. There has never been a question in my mind that my mom loves my dad, and of course my dad loves my mom! That’s always been so important to me and an example that you have set that will always be with me, and my wife and family, and all of my brothers and sisters. How lucky we are to have parents that care for each other! In the world today you, Mom, have one of my favorite characteristics of all, and that is love – for your husband, your children, and your grandchildren. I cannot thank you enough! I love you, Ty

18: Mom, Throughout the years of growing up to the man that I am now, I give full credit to you Mom. Just as the 2000 Stripling Warriors were great young men their success was because of their Mothers and so is my well being in life. The thing that sticks out most about you Mom is being caring. Always caring about us kids. What we were doing, who we were with, what time we would be home, making sure we were in our beds at night, making sure we always remembered who we were and what we represented. Thank you Mom for being there for the many school activities, sport activities, church activities, and just everyday stuff growing up in Phoenix and Indio. Thank you for supporting me through my mission years. I realize now how much a Mom means to you when you serve a mission, other than the obvious, washing clothes, fixing meals, cleaning up after you, etc... A Mom can never be replaced. My boys, Bryce and Conner now realize that. As Dad once said, when kids come home they always want to know where Mom is? How true that is! I could go on and on about all the different characteristics that you have that have made a difference in my life. Love, kindness, calmness, thoughtfulness, unselfishness, happiness, always putting your kids wants and needs first in your life. Words can't express my love and appreciation for you Mom. Thank you for 52 wonderful years, from the 11 lbs 6 oz. baby boy to the man that I am. I am proud to call you Mom! I love you, Happy 80th Birthday! Bret

20: Take a sprinkling of fairy dust, An angel's single feather, Also a dash of love and care, Then mix them both together, Add a sentiment or two, A THOUGHTFUL wish or line, A touch of stardust, a sunshine ray....It's a recipe for a wonderful Mother truly fine. When I think of a Characteristic Trait for my Mom, I think of the word "thoughtful", not everyone has a mom that thinks of you on those special occasions like Birthdays, Mothers Day, and of course Christmas. I have been accused of being very thoughtful myself, and I owe that all to my mom! I feel very blessed that I have a mom that will Never miss a birthday, that is always thoughtful in sending thank you cards, calls to see how you're doing if she hasn't heard from you in awhile, and checks on you if you're sick. It is the "little" things that matter the most. Speaking of "little" things, I just recently pulled out my album of baby photos that mom put together for all of her kids and I just love looking at all the photos of me when I was a baby clear up until college. I especially like the ones of Grandma Bryce & Grandma McRae holding me, priceless memories. The time it took to do all the albums for her kids, and write above each photo, was not only thoughtful but I know it was time consuming. I recently have forwarded some recipes to girlfriends that not only don't know how to cook but never learned from their moms! I feel so blessed that I have a mom that not only takes the time to look up recipes for me but has shown me how to make recipes such as her famous toffee:) Not only does the word "thoughtful" come to mind but also the word "selfless". I'm truly thankful that I have a mom that is thoughtful who cares about me, who cares about my family.... so on that note I would like to say this.....Mom, you've always been the best..... A better mom than all the rest. I'm thankful for all the things you do, I'm glad my mom is extra special you! Happy 80th Birthday, I love you, your daughter Keri<3

22: episode aired with Phillip and Beth dancing for the first time at their prom. Well, flash forward a few weeks later to my high school friend John French coming to the house to work on a project. We were in my room (door open of course) and you came running in the room yelling, “Marnie, Marnie, they’re showing Phillip and Beth at prom again on the Guiding Light. Come to the family roomHurry!!!” When you walked out of the room John said, “Wow, your mom really likes her soap operas.” When I told you he had said this we must have laughed for an hour and then continued to repeat the story over the years and you would start laughing so hard your face would turn bright red and you would almost stop making a sound, Such a great laugh.! | In thinking about a characteristic of yours that I most admire, love and cherish, I would have to say (amongst your many) that I have always loved your sense of humor and laughter. My earliest memories bring an instant smile to my face as I think of the many joyful times we have shared. One of my favorite memories goes back to high school when you and I shared a love of “The Guiding Light.” (Which continued until it was canceled in 2009 ) It was 1983 and the DVR “recording system” had not been invented so I was only able to watch a few episodes here and there when I was home. And, of course, I was in school when the most memorable | "The Laughter of a Mother is the light of the home"

23: A more recent memory was in March of this year (2011) and you, Keri and I were all heading back from San Diego after going there for the afternoon to take Colleen out for her birthday lunch. You had brought one of your internet jokes that you had copied and wanted to read to us. It started out really funny and Keri and I were already laughing(A man and woman who were going out for a night in a taxi but didn’t want the taxi driver to know their house would be empty for the evening etc.) Anyhow, you were laughing so hard by the time you got to the punch line you couldn’t even read it. And again your face turned bright red and you stopped making a sound mid-laughter. I was driving and trying to read the end of the joke at the same time.! | All of us in the family know you are infamous for telling a joke from memory and then forgetting the punch line and then you’ll start laughing so hard and then you REALLY can’t finish. I think we all get a kick more out of that ,than your actual jokes. Ha. Not to brag or anything but I also happen to think I have a wonderful sense of humor and a hearty, contagious laugh. I doubt that is any accident since I have two parents who couldn’t help but pass that trait to me. And I must say how truly grateful I am to have grown up in a home filled with love and joy, music and faith, and smiles and laughter. I am also fortunate to still share many laughs with you and to know there are many more to come. So I think it is appropriate to end with some quotes from an author that I know both of us love to “laugh with,” Erma Bombeck “Humor is a spontaneous, wonderful bit of an outburst that just comes. It’s unbridled, it’s unplanned, and it’s full of surprises.” “Laughter rises out of tragedy when you need it the most, and rewards you for your courage.” “Sense of humor is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp on life.” Happy 80th birthday to my wonderful Mom and thank you for all the joy you have given me! I love you! Love your youngest & prettiest & smartest, Marnie

24: What can I say but just to say that Grandma is perfect in everyway. She has defined what it is to be a grandmother to me. I remember coming to her house when I was young and she always had a lot of barbie stuff for me to play with, the coolest pool with a slide, Sees candy boxes that were like 6 pounds and of course I was always excited because when she baked chocolate chip cookies she always used the whole bag of chocolate chips! What is most impressive are the Holidays. I’m always in awe how grandma can host so many people- the meals, the organization, and the presents. It’s so much work but she does it so happily. And it has created such a tight unity in our family. Because grandma values family so much I know my aunts, my uncles and my cousins. Most people aren’t close to their grandparents and hardly know their extended family. But I feel I have such a huge family which means I feel more supported and loved and that’s because Grandma always brings her family together. She always makes you feel individually special with things like cards on your birthday and a Christmas present just for you. And so I hope someday I can be a grandmother that unifies her family, no matter how big, how distant, how diverse and still can make one granddaughter feel loved and special. | Love, Gina

25: I have many memories of Grandma McRae. I remember When Alex and I would go down to the farm for a week in the summers! We would go out to the farm in the mornings, swim in the afternoons and back to the farm in the evening. Grandma would always have great meals prepared! Breakfast, lunch and dinner were great. Grandma is a great cook! She would always make sure Grandpa wasn't letting us do stuff that we should not probably do! Like when Grandpa let us drive the truck home from the farm by ourselves. We were 12 and 14! We came in the house and Grandma asked where Grandpa was, we told her " at the farm." She then asked how we got home and we said " drove". Grandma had to remind Grandpa of our age! ha-ha! I also remember September 1st every year coming down for the "Dove Hunt" . The highlight of every trip was going back to the house for Grandma's breakfast: pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast, OJ! And not to forget the best chocolate chip cookies ever! I have many Memories of Grandma McRae! Thanks Grandma for the memories, Happy 80th and I look forward to many more memories! Love Matt McRae

26: One of my favorite memories of Grandma is of her being in the kitchen making delicious food for the whole family to enjoy! Every holiday, every gathering since I can remember were accompanied by yummy smells coming from Grandma McRae's kitchen where you will always find Grandma making mashed potatoes and gravy, along with other yummy food! I always enjoy spending time catching up when we get together. I am forever grateful for Grandma that she raised my father to be the man that he is. She instilled in him the love of the gospel which has not only shaped me and my siblings lives but our children's as well. What a legacy. Happy 80th birthday Grandma McRae! Love The Hyde Family

27: As we pile out of the brown mini van, I can see the smoke coming from under the hood. The heat hits my face and I think that I have walked right into an oven. Aaron is crying because he had to sit in the back with Andrea and Dillon. Dillon's car seat left him with no room to sit and Dillon just spit up on himsekf. My mom is combing her hair trying to look halfway presentable as my Dad mumbles something about the van and how the AC went out back in Hemet.. Gina is oblivious to all this as she listens to gangster rap on her portable CD player. I grab 2 suitcases and walk up to the door. I see grandpa's muddy work boots by the chair outside and I get a little excited about where I am at. As i walk in the door the old familiar smell goes though my body like wind though a tree... Grandma is in the Kitchen doing her magic, humming a song, she is always humming. She hugs me and I am reminded of what the pure love of Christ feels like. She never misses a birthday, baptism or graduation. She tells me she loves me often and seldom uses her words. She is the reason my mom is nothing less then an angel, she is the glue that keeps us together... she is and forever will be my Grandma. LOVE ALEX

28: My favorite time of year is Christmas! I remember as a little girl going to Grandmas house on Christmas day and listening to her play Christmas songs on the piano! She is such an amazing piano player! Anytime you go to grandmas house you can expect the great smell of her cooking, something that my husband Mike now looks forward to anytime we get to visit! Thank you for all the great holiday memories. I'm excited to come this year for Ruthie to experience it too! Love you grandma! Love Megan

29: One of my favorite memories of Grandma was going over to her house at Christmas time. Of course the food, as always, was delicious but what I was most excited for was to get to open my Christmas present. I knew it would be a beautiful dress. Grandma used to pick out the very prettiest of dresses for me and I loved and looked forward to that. I also remember Grandma's house always being so clean and perfect. When I was a kid that detail didn't mean very much but now that Im older and have kids I have a renewed respect for Grandma and her housekeeping skills. I have a hard time keeping up with 3 kids and to think that Grandma did it with 6 kids is completely amazing. Another memory I have of Grandma is her telling stories about her family and ancestors. You could tell how much she loved them and how important her history was to her, this in turn has become important to me as well. I hope to be able to teach my kids the same stories so they have a deepened love and respect for their family history. | Love, Kiera

30: My favorite memory of grandma is what took place on September 1st of every year when I was growing up. I remember looking forward to the dove hunt weeks in advance; it was the best part of grandma and grandpa having a farm. I have never admitted this before, but my favorite part of the dove hunt was the breakfast that grandma prepared for us when it was done. It is literally the best breakfast someone could have. She is such a great cook! Every campout that I have been on with grandpa she sends chocalate chip cookies. They are so good that sometimes we have to sneek them away from grandpa when he isn't looking. But i want to thank grandma for more than just being a great cook, she is someone that all of us can count on when we need her, so thank you grandma for all you have done for me and my family. We appreciate it more than you will ever know. I love you. | Love Marc

31: Love Bren | One of the best memories I have of Grandma would be when we would spend Thanksgiving with her. The first thing I think about when I think of Grandma is how she'd hug everyone who came in the door. I remember the awesome food she cooked and the hospitality she gave us. Grandmother loved nothing better than entertaining company. The more the better. She enjoyed having Thanksgiving at their place and seeing everyone who would come. It was a priority to her to make sure everyone was taken care of and enjoying themselves. The best Grandma ever!

32: Dear Grandma, I have scores of memories of you and I will share the ones that stand out the most . Im not sure where to begin however my thoughts keep wandering back to a particular week one summer when I stayed with you and grandpa while my parents were away. I was maybe nine or ten years old. Here's what I remember: I was in the living room seated in front of your television probably watching Tombstone (my favorite movie) when you asked me if I wanted a snack. Of course I quickly replied “Yes” with excitement because I know grandma always has the best snacks stashed away. Shortly after you brought me a stack of graham cracker sandwiches with frosting in the middle. I immediately knew what heaven tasted like and discovered my favorite snack. Along with the amazing snack I discovered how excellent you played the piano. I remember going through and picking random piano notes and having you play every one which you did like a pro without any practice. The one song that stood out the most and I had you play repeatedly was Beethoven Fur Elise which you later recorded for me on a cassette tape . Listening to you play the piano is one of the most relaxing and peaceful things to be around. I could write a novel on the memories I have of you and grandpa but the last thing I want to say is you are by far the best cook. I always look forward to Sunday dinner because you always know your going to get an amazing home cooked meal. My mom tries to mimic your cooking, however, its not the same and does not taste quite as good.. Love you grandma and I look forward to many more Sunday dinners . Love your favorite grandson, Garin

33: I remember being excited every year for the dove hunt. Since I can remember we would head out early September to the farm at around 4am before the sun came up. We would get there right when it was starting to get light and would hunt the entire morning. I have many great memories from the dove hunt, getting hit by bbs, my father and Uncles yelling at the game wardens, my Dad shooting a duck, and many others. One of the memories that I will never forget was the post dove hunt feast that grandma would prepare. We would all sit around the table and talk about how many birds we had shot as we enjoyed the delicious meal prepared by grandma. Those were good times that will always be remembered due to the efforts of my grandparents. | Love Micah

34: Well there are many great memories with Grandma. What I always remember are the times when Grandma always had breakfast ready and waiting for us whatever time we wake up. It didn't matter how early it iwas. Grandma would always be willing and happy to make her grandkids breakfast. And it wouldn't just be any breakfast, it would be like a 3 course meal at the crack of dawn. Well i went over to Grandma and Grandpa's house to work on the farm on one of my school breaks. Garin and I were working on the farm for about a couple of days. Garin was saying that he hadn't worked this hard on the farm before in a long time and was expecting to receive a hefty reward. So I was pretty excited for the results. However, it just so happened that Grandpa gave us a 20 dollar bill for both of us to split in return for our labors. Garin and I returned to Grandma and Grandpa's house pretty disappointed in our earnings. We were going to go eat somewhere but we didn't want to blow all of our money on one meal, so luckily Grandma made us lunch. While we were eating lunch Grandma could tell that we were a little down and started asking questions about the work and how much we got paid. We told her , "We got 20 bucks for the work.." Grandma said,, "20 dollars each? " And we said, "No, 20 dollars for the both of us.." She started to chuckle and said we'll take care of that and pulled out her purse. She then gave 40 dollars more to each of us and we both started to smile. She said, "Grandpa gets confused some times, don't worry, we'll keep this between us." I'll never forget that memory because we were so down, and there Grandma was to fix everything and make us feel so much better. Love you Grandma! Love, Aaron

35: Dear Grandma, What a lucky girl I am to have you for a grandmother! I want to thank you or all you have done for me and the support you have been in my life. When I think about grandma one of the first things I remember is going on trips to grandma’s house. I can picture going to the end of the hall and getting the Barbies out and playing with them in the living room. I would pick out an outfit for the Barbies and then you would dress them for me. Whether it was dressing the Barbies, sending me just want I wanted for Christmas and birthdays (I had quite the large porcelain doll collection thanks to you), or being there for big events in my life, you were always willing and there for me. I always love going to your house! It was always clean, smelled like good home cooked food, and the best part was spending hours in the swimming pool. Thank you for wonderful memories and being the kind of grandma I can look up to in my life. You have left behind an amazing legacy for your grandchildren that will be passed down. I love you grandma! Love, Kaylee

36: Dear Grandma, How blessed I have been to have someone as wonderful and beautiful as you in my life. I want to first thank you for raising my Dad. I look at the father he is today and I know that is because of the example you and grandpa set in raising your own children. You made the gospel the center of your home, and I am so grateful you passed that to my Dad. Thank you for all the support you have shown for me over the course of my life. You have been to numerous events in my life and that support means a lot. I remember years ago after one of my dance recitals, you gave me this beautiful ballerina music figurine. I loved it so much and would turn it on and dance to the music all the time. Thank you for sharing your talent of music. I love to hear you play the piano. Your music brings a serenity to any setting, and I know there are others not just I who enjoy getting to experience your abilities. Thank you for all the Easter picnics you organized and camping trips. I remember one camping trip in particular when we were in the White Mountains. You brought various Christmas decorations and we decorated one of the little trees. I had so much fun on all those camping trips and picnics. Thank you for all the Sunday dinners you hosted. I miss those so much and wished I lived closer to come when you have them. Those Sunday dinners were something I looked forward to very much. I loved coming over to your house, playing with my cousins, being with my family. I remember playing dress up with some of the dresses you saved, or barbies, or sneaking into the bear room with grandpa. The best part was your mashed potatoes and roast. No matter how hard anyone tries I don’t think anyone can ever make them quite as good as yours. It’s hard to put all the wonderful memories and everything I am grateful for about you on one page, there simply are too many. I look at those who were not as lucky as I who lived so close and could grow up having their grandma so much a part of their lives. Thank you for everything you have done. | Love your granddaughter, Sydney

37: Well Grandma, I’m not too sure where to begin because I have so many fond memories with you. Some of my most favorite memories are during the holidays. I always love waking up on Thanksgiving and Christmas morning with my family, and knowing we are going to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house for holiday dinner. It’s the best when everyone arrives at your house and we all take a seat in the dinning room and everyone is talking and telling stories. While everyone is doing that, Grandma is in the kitchen preparing one of the greatest meals ever made. Mashed potatoes & gravy, roast beef, turkey, green beans and my favorite, Squash. Grandma you are the best cook. One of the best times I’ve had with you if I remember correctly, was when I stayed over at your house one day and you took me on a grocery shopping trip. We were laughing and smiling and having a good time, (Grandma, you always make me feel happy). Towards the end of our shopping adventure you asked me if I wanted to make cookies when we got back to your house, the ones with the chocolate kiss in the center, and with a great big smile, I said ,"Yes." We got back to your house and got all the ingredients together and whipped up a quick batch and then threw them in the oven, then as a good 8 to 10 minutes went by we took them out. We then lined all the cookies up and started to put the chocolate kisses in. We sat at the dinner table and had a delicious snack. The best cookie I have ever eaten till this day. Thanks ! I love you so much Grandma, thank you for all the wonderful memories. . . . I will never forget them!! Happy 80th birthday Grandma, | Love, Blake

38: As I look back on my memories of Grandma I remember her sweet love for me as one of her dear grandchildren. For every birthday, Christmas or accomplishment in my life I would receive a loving letter or card from Grandma. Not only did I admire her special attention to each grandchild but I looked forward to every moment I was able to visit her home and smell her wonderful cooking. Grandma was always smiling, loving and happy to see my family and me walk through the door. No matter what time of day it was she always had a home cooked meal ready to greet us with delicious dishes made with love. There are so many things to admire about Grandma, whether it’s her cooking, service for others, her love for her family or her love for the gospel, she has proven to be a great example of the pure love of Christ. One of the things I admire most about Grandma is her musical talent. As a young girl I struggled with piano lessons and was sometimes reluctant to practice everyday on mastering the art of piano playing. However, when I would hear Grandma play so beautifully and effortlessly on her piano I was inspired to dedicate myself to connect with the music as she does. One time I had a recital to practice for and we traveled to Palm Springs for a family event the weekend before my big debut. I was particularly nervous about a piece assigned to me for the recital called “Water”, which required effortless finger coordination in order to continue a beautiful set of scales that sounded like flowing water. As I sat at Grandma’s piano I begin to get frustrated at a particular section of the piece and Grandma walked into the room looking over my shoulder at the music. She gave me a helpful tip on the challenging section and asks me to take a deep breath and play the piece for her from the beginning. I can still remember from this day grandma sitting in her chair with her eyes closed and my fingers playing the piece effortlessly. It was so beautiful and I was so proud of myself for playing the piece with the grace and elegancy like my Grandmother. Thank you Grandma, for showing me the love of music, family and Christ. Happy 80th birthday! Love, Andrea

39: There are so many wonderful memories that I have of grandma; memories that have been part of my entire life. Some of these memories occur regularly, like a great pancake breakfast waiting for me when we come back in from the dove hunt, or a delicious roast dinner on Sunday after church. I'm not sure that I've even tasted any ones else's fudge.These have become a part of my life and make grandma so wonderful to me. You can also pretty much guarantee that the stake will ask grandma to play the piano at stake conference or for the ward Christmas program or Easter program. These are memories that are so special to me that they have become expected and I always look forward to Hunting Trips, Holidays, or even Sunday Dinner. But besides the common things that make Grandma so amazing, she loves all her grandchildren and knows what is going on in their lives. I can remember going over to Grandma's house at 4 in the morning when a sibling was being born and she gladly was awake to take care of us and feed us and to make sure we made it to school on time. I also have the specially memory of walking off the plane at Palm Springs Airport, coming home after two years and not only was my family there to greet me but so was Grandma and Grandpa. I know that grandma loves me and cares deeply about me and my well being. I'm so lucky to have you in my life Grandma. Words cannot express my love and appreciation for you! Happy Birthday Grandma. | Love Bryce

40: Grandma, I have always noticed that whenever I am in a room with you there is this warm feeling that comes over me. A feeling that is so soothing and full of comfort and love, like a blanket. I remember when I was younger and came down with the Chickenpox you came over with some goodies, like you always do, and became that blanket and made me feel better for just the short time that you were there. You have that special affect on me and I’m sure the rest of your grandchildren can say the same. You passed that great gift down to my mother and I hope to one day be able to make my children and grandchildren feel my warm blanket whenever I am present. I’ve always wondered why the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of you is your kitchen. Grandma’s kitchen. Maybe it’s because that’s where us grandkids spent most of our time. Looking for Grandma’s cookies. Using our fingers to get a taste of Grandma’s mashed potatoes and sneaking a piece of roast off of Grandma’s pretty china. Or maybe it was just sitting at the counter watching you throw together one of your incredible Sunday meals. I’m not sure why kitchens and Grandmothers go so perfectly together, but one day I’ll have it completely figured out.. “As a daughter, you think you know everything. As a mother you know you know everything. As a grandmother, you know they really don't know diddley.” Happy 80th Birthday, Grandma. With love, Brandi

41: My favorite memory of Grandma McRae is the awesome smell of her house and the great taste of Thanksgiving dinner! She always had the best food and it was fun staying at her house. I also have a lot of memories of her and grandpa coming to my house to stay and visit. They were a part of all of my and my family's important occasions such as my baptism, mission farewell, etc. I always felt very important and loved when they came to celebrate these times with me. Grandma writes me on my mission and I enjoy that also. I really love my Grandma! Love, Jake Neil McRae

42: I have so many wonderful memories with Grandma that I've accumulated throughout my life. One of my favorite memories that has always stuck with me since I was a little girl began with a visit to Grandma & Grandpa's house with my mom. There was no particular reason we went down there, we just decided to say a "quick" hello. I remember I was in the first grade and my school pictures were the next day. I kept bugging my mom to buy me a new outfit because I wanted to look pretty. My mom insisted that there was something in my closet that I could wear. My face must have shown my disheartenment because Grandma told me she would take me to the mall and buy me a new outfit. I was overjoyed. The outfit I chose was black overalls with mini mouse on the front. I still remember how obsessed I was with it. Once I saw it I didn't want to look at anything else. So, Grandma bought it for me and I remember thinking my mom wasn't that cool anymore, but Grandma ROCKED! (just kidding mom). One of Grandma's best qualities is that she's always giving. Now, for my last memory that I can share is Grandma's amazing cooking. My favorite meal will always be roast and mashed potatoes. Also, I love Grandma's treats ---my favorite being her chocolate chip cookies, they are to die for! She inspired me to start baking and I feel sort of like an amateur Betty Crocker now. Grandma has assigned me to bring desserts for all our holiday gatherings now, though I don't think I'm quite up to par with her skills yet. Grandma, I hope you know that I love you and that you truly are an amazing Grandma! Happy 80th Birthday, Love Lexi

43: Grandma, Thank you for always going to and being there at everything of mine and for showing your love and support for me all the time. I love your cooking. Your Sunday roast dinners and especially the big breakfast after our dove hunts were the best. Happy Birthday! I love you, Conner

44: Dear Grandma, When I think of memories of you, I think of all the support you have given me all my life. I especially remember you and Grandpa coming to my Varsity basketball games. I think it is so cool that you made time for that because you have so many grandchildren and you and Grandpa drove all the way over to see me play ball. I loved looking out in the audience and seeing you and Grandpa cheering for me and my team. At every important event in my life you have always been there and you have always been generous with a gift. Also, when I think of Grandma McRae, I think of your amazing cooking! I especially remember the homemade bread that we would toast in the morning and how you would buy Apple Jacks cereal just for the kids when we came to visit. Also, I loved your mashed potatoes and that you taught my mom to make them! I especially loved Thanksgiving Dinner at your house, it was such a plus! There was always amazing food. I love you. I’ll see you when I get back from my mission! Happy 80th Birthday Grandma. Love Dillon

45: I will always remember the times I had at your house and the farm with you and the other cousins. Family dinners were always so fun and of course Grandma McRae's cooking was delicious. I remember playing football or basketball in the front yard waiting anxiously for the call to dinner, while all the while smelling good things coming from the house! I used to love being at the farm- riding the 4 and 3 wheelers, shooting guns, and playing with the dogs. I also remember feeding the Camel with Grandpa, that was fun and a very interesting, unique experience most kids probably wouldn’t have. I love my memories with you guys, and will never forget them. | Love Kenton

46: One of my memories of grandma is all of the Christmas’s we’ve had together and the roast dinners and gathering around the Christmas trees together and opening presents. But most of all , I still remember the first year I got a hundred dollars. I remember that like it was yesterday. I was so shocked when I opened that bag. My jaw dropped. I love all the memories that I have with you and all the ones that we will have. Love, Reed

47: One of my favorite things about Grandma is going over to her house with all the family and having her roast dinners. The mashed potatoes & gravy are my favorites and hers are the best! I also loved that she always had coloring books for me to color with . I love you Grandma, Summer

48: Great | Gage Robert Smith | Anna Kalia McRae | Ruthie Rosell Johnson | Micah James, Hale Rosell, Brock R. Hyde | Braxton Rosell McRae

49: Grandchildren | Blaze Daniel and Bella Marie Velasco | Annie Kay Baird | Kyla Gwyn, Bryce Neil and Claire Diane Bockholt

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  • By: Andrea D.
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: My Life's Journey
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  • Started: over 6 years ago
  • Updated: over 6 years ago