Who Knew?

I remember watching my Grandma Moffitt crochet when I was a kid.  I was always kind of fascinated, but never curious enough to learn how to do it from her.  She crocheted those intricate doilies and crocheted around handkerchiefs.  That’s means working with a VERY small crochet hook and very fine yarn!  Something that takes good eyesight!

By the time I was 9, all my Grandparents had passed away and I never learned a skill from any of them…. something I regret!   (Sure wish someone in the family had Grandma Moffitt’s rice pudding recipe!)

I learned to crochet in a Primary class when I was a young girl, after my Grandma Moffitt had passed away,.  For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, Primary is an organization in my church for the children.  It’s the time where they are taught about spiritual things and learn songs about the Savior and loving others.

Back when I was in Primary, and it was in the middle of the week, not on Sunday, they taught the older girls (10-11 yr olds) homemaking type of skills.  We earned ‘badges’ for learning those skill and placed them on a bandana, similar to the way the Scouts earn their merit badges.

I learned to crochet, knit and cross stitch and I don’t remember what else….but it was fun.  I didn’t use those skills much at that young age.  It wasn’t until I was in High School and college that I remember picking up a crochet hook again and making some afghans.

Now…. many years later, I have discovered that I LOVE to crochet!  Even though I haven’t mastered using the small hooks and fine thread like Grandma did (I haven’t even tried it), I still think my Grandma Moffitt would be proud of me!

As I’ve mentioned before here on my blog, probably mostly in my “When Your Life Hits a Wall’ section…. I have crocheted many hats for charity.

Last year, all my hats were donated to cancer centers.  This year, I have created 25 hats that I am donating the to Festival of Trees for their Boutique shop.  All the proceeds from this festival go to Primary Children’s Medical Center.

Over 40 years ago, a committee of women was formed to try and find ways to raise money for the Medical Center to be able to give very much needed medical attention to children who couldn’t afford it.

That committee eventually started the Festival of Trees, which has grown exponentially over the years and now raises millions of dollars every year for the Medical center.

Just a few of the hats I'm donating to Festival of Trees
Just a few of the hats I’m donating to Festival of Trees

My Mom was an original member of that Women’s Endowment Committee.  Last January she asked me if I would donate one of my charity hats to the Festival.  I promised her I would.  Since she passed away in March, I decided one hat would not be enough!  My original plan was to make 15 hats, to represent the number of women on that first committee.  But, I have so much fun making them, I just couldn’t stop myself at 15!

The thing I love the most about making these hats is that my crocheting skills have improved dramatically.  I’m crocheting things I never thought I could and teaching myself how to read patterns!  Grandma’s talent must have rubbed off on me a little!  I’m so grateful for that.  I love that I can pretty much find anything on Youtube I need about crocheting…. it’s a great tool for learning all kinds of crafting skills.

More hats for the Festival!

I look forward to the day when I have little ones (as in grandkids) around of my own to spoil with my creations!  In the meantime, I hope other people will get joy out of my work!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?



If you want to see the rest of the hats I’m donating to the Festival, here’s the link to my Facebook album:



Here’s the link to my Facebook album of all the hats I/we donated to Cancer centers:




Goodbye Mom! Heaven Is a Little More Sassy Now

Mom took a bad fall on Thursday.  The worst one she’s had since her stroke 6 years ago.  This one was about all she could take.  She just knew she was going this time.

I got a call from my sister at about 7:30 am Thursday morning.  She said Mom had fallen and she wanted all her kids around her NOW.  Unfortunately, my husband was subbing for someone in the temple that morning and he had taken my car.  I told my sister I would get there as quick as I could.  I would call the temple and have them track him down and come out as quickly as he got home.

We made it out here just after 9 am.  By that time, they had moved her off the floor and into her chair.  They didn’t want to move her without Paramedics just in case she had injured her back this time.  She was in a lot of pain when I got there.  I was the last one of the siblings to arrive since I live the farthest away of the local ones.  We have a brother in Oregon.

Mom relishing that they made such a fuss over here at the Festival of Trees in 2010
Mom relishing that they made such a fuss over her at the Festival of Trees in 2010

Mom’s had some pretty challenging times the last couple of years.  Every time she took a fall, her dementia seemed to get a little worse and she would sometimes be very ornery with the aides at her Assisted Living facilities.  In fact…. we’ve had to move her…. 3 times, since we put her in Assisted Living.  This last time was the hardest move because it was to a memory unit, and yet it has proven to be the biggest blessing we could have asked for.  We were able to still surround her with the things she loves to look at and she got a Mountain view back out of her window.  She seemed very happy.  In fact… she’s only been here two weeks.  The staff was just getting to know her and most of them have said that they really liked her.

What can I say about Jen?  ….Also lovingly known as “Grandma Shit” by her grand kids.  She was a character.  Always kind and accepting of everyone, but she did love to cuss.  It really was just a part of her.  The last few years, as her dementia got worse…. the aides took more of it than some of them could handle.  She could be very mean some days, which comes with aging and dementia.  But that wasn’t my Mom.  My ‘real’ Mom?  Well…. that’s a different story!

I remember being embarrassed as a teenager that my Mom swore.  It was something we were taught in our church that we shouldn’t do.  Though I was embarrassed…. my friends thought it was funny.  They actually loved her for it.  It became easier for me to accept it because of that.  They thought she was a hoot.  Though I became accepting of it….. I did NOT want to become one who would cuss myself.  I pride myself that I didn’t….. at least till I started having kids!   It’s funny how being frustrated with your kids can bring it out of you!  For some reason…. it’s not as ‘funny’ when I do it.  It’s something I really do need to bring under control.

Despite her cursing…. she was a jewel.  As I reflect upon her life and all the things she has done over the years, she was a pretty amazing lady.  She was always busy doing something, or volunteering for things.  She was blessed to be able to be a stay at home Mom, but she was always involved in something.  I’ll mention the things that I remember….but I may miss a few.  After all…. I AM the baby in the family!

As a kid, I remember Mom always taking care of Dad for lunch.  Dad had his own business as a Brick Mason.  Whenever he was working locally (within a couple of miles or so) Mom would often bring him a fresh lunch.  I remember her packing his lunch box to take on the job.  Many times I would ride with her to take Daddy his lunch.

My Dad loved to garden.  He was raised on a farm, so gardening was  passion of his.  We had several fruit trees in our back yard as well as a large vegetable garden he grew.  And guess who got to take care of the harvest?  Mom of course.  I remember her spending hours canning fruit and vegetables and even freezing some.  She also made freezer jam for us.  Our ‘fruit room’, as it was called, (under the porch where it was all stored) was always full of bottled goods.  Of course, she made sure all of us girls knew how to can fruit and vegetables. Every year they insisted that we all share in their harvest for our own families.  After all…. Dad was producing the same amount of food but with no children left at home to consume it!

I remember Mom giving service at the local hospital as a “Pink Lady”.  I don’t know if they even call them that anymore.  She would sit there close to the entrance and help people as they came in the hospital looking for patients.  I believe they also circulated around to the patients to see if there was something they could help them with or bring them.  It was a good way for her to spend her days while Dad was at work.

Mom was always involved in music.  Even from a very small age.  She was involved in what would be considered her High School musicals.  Though they were called Operettas back then.  She was able to play the leading lady her Senior year.  I remember her always telling us about the big seminary choir she directed. She was very proud of that.  I think I was too young at the time to really remember, but she said it was very big.  The high school kids loved it and gave her great support.

Since music meant so much to her and singing herself was something she loved to do, she finally got involved in the Bountiful Sweet Adeline’s.    Oh, how she loved her Barbershop music!  It was there she met her friends, Ann Schow, Eulala Butters and Thelma Robinson.  They formed a quartet which they called “The Classics”.  They were together for many years and did a lot of traveling and competing.  The won the Region 12 title champs one year.  They really were great and it was a big part of her life.  It became a big part of mine too.  I have great memories of attending Sweet Adeline concerts and performances.  In fact…. I got to meet the Osmond Brothers before they became big!

Taken on Mother's Day 2012.  They insisted we all wear a hat.  Mom loved this picture.  It's my two sisters and I with her.  How come they don't do this with the men?  My brothers missed out!
Taken on Mother’s Day 2012. They insisted we all wear a hat. Mom loved this picture. It’s my two sisters and I with her. How come they don’t do this with the men? My brothers missed out!

Unfortunately, my Mom started having some health challenges pretty early on.  She had some issues with her lungs and felt she was never really able to sing after that.  That pretty much ended her Sweet Adeline’s and quartet career.

She was asked to serve on the very first committee for the Festival of Trees here in Salt Lake.  She was one of the 13 original board members.  It was fun to watch that thing grow from just a very small event to becoming one of the biggest fund raisers for Primary Children’s Medical Center.  We watched it go from one small armory building to two armory buildings within the first few years.  Then they moved to the Salt Palace and just had to keep expanding using more of the conference center space every year as it continued to grow.  Now I believe it’s the largest festival of it’s kind in the nation.  (I might add that it was also the FIRST!)  What those women created became a popular idea to copy for many other areas of the country, including a couple more here in Utah.

I think she served about 15 years on that committee.  Still to this day, they are honored to see her when she attends.  I took her for a couple of years and they loved to bring her back to the board room area and introduce her to all the current board members.  She loved it!  In fact…. I think it was the 2011 Festival that was a 40 year celebration of it’s beginning.  They had made pins for all the board members that year and she was thrilled when they gave her one.  Who knew the Festival would last 40 years…. and it’s still going.  I doubt it will ever stop.  It’s one of the most loved events for the public to attend at the beginning of the Christmas holidays.

This year… I will be crocheting and donating several hats in my Mom’s honor.  I promised her I would.  I’m kind of excited to do it!

As I mentioned earlier… Mom’s health challenges started at an early age.  She had the trouble with her lungs that pretty much ended her singing career.  Though she had had several incidences prior to being diagnosed, it took several years for them to discover that she was diabetic.  Just that alone has brought on many problems over the years.  It’s amazing how well she has done though.  She’s was one tough cookie.  Unfortunately, many years ago she had to have a false eye front put in because her corneal transplants rejected two times, so they had to make a false eye front for her.  It was kind of eery to walk in the room when she was sleeping and have that one eye be open and staring at you!  We all got used to it and actually kind of loved it.

Mom and Dad did a lot of traveling.  They loved it.  They bought themselves a small place in St. George so they could escape for the winter.  They loved being Snow Birds and made many friends in the community.  It was a heart breaking year when Dad decided they were through going down for the winter.  If he couldn’t drive them anymore…. then he was through!  It was only a few months later my Dad passed away.

Mom was truly friendly to everyone.  I remember how lost she was when Dad first died.  She would just sit at home most of the day and stare at the TV.  Most of the time it wasn’t even on.  After her stroke, she needed more care.  It was a tough decision to move her to Assisted Living.  After she got out of rehab for her stroke we had to move her for better care.  She was going to need help 24/7.  We did promise her however, that if she hated it after three months, we would figure out how to take care of her in her home.

She loved it!  She gracefully accepted her condition and made new friends immediately.  In fact, she discovered a few friends from her high school were there.  She didn’t have any trouble with the idea of us selling that big house.  In fact, after she had fully rehabbed from her stroke…. she became a little mother hen.  She was always concerned about the other residents.  She’d check in on them and make sure they got down to dinner, etc.  It was wonderful to see her feeling like she was needed.  Even though she couldn’t do it to the extent she did in those earlier years, she still always seemed to be concerned about other residents, right to the end.  If they weren’t eating their meals or something, she was concerned.  Always the mother hen.

Even though we only moved her two weeks ago, the staff at her current place quickly fell in love with her.  Once they saw her sassy and fun side, it was much easier to tolerate the harder days when she wasn’t as pleasant.  I’ve been amazed at how many of them commented on how much they loved her and were sad that they didn’t get much time with her.  The people from hospice that have worked with her for the last year particularly loved her.  It was so nice to see that others could still see our ‘real’ Mom and love her for it.

Her grandchildren loved her.  She always made us laugh and made us realize how important family is.  The more family gatherings we had, the happier she was.  Unfortunately, those became harder as the family got bigger and began to grow up.  Our yearly Christmas parties were very important to her.  Even amongst all the chaos and noise, she still loved to see the family.

Mom passed away peacefully today, March 4th at around 7 pm.  I’m so grateful for the testimony I have of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I’m so grateful for the knowledge of knowing that we will all be together again.  I’m so glad she is now reunited with my Dad and is happy.  I know Heavenly Father was there to greet her with a big smile on his face.   I’m sure she is running and laughing and so grateful that she is mobile and no longer needs help.  I’m pretty sure Heaven will be a little more fun with her there!

Thanks for all you did for us Mom.  Thanks for being such a wonderful influence on me and on all the family.  Thank you for passing on your musical talent to me and my children as well as many others.  Thank you for all your support over the years.  I know you’ve been so concerned about me lately.  Now you know I’m going to be fine…… and you and Dad will both be there to watch over me and make sure I am!  Thank you for that!

I love you will all my heart.  You will be sorely missed by us all.  I’m not sure what life will be like without you!  We will carry on and your legacy will live on forever.  I hope I can have half as much influence on my posterity as you’ve had on yours.

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

I just remembered I did a blog post about my Mom on her birthday two years ago.  Here’s the link.  It even adds a little more I didn’t talk about here.

Festival of Trees

Mom with a few board members for the Festival of Trees 2011

I hope you’ll indulge me today.  This could be a long post…. I hope you’ll bear with me.  This is a topic that’s dear to my heart.

Let me start off by saying that taking my Mom to the Festival of Trees today takes me back to many years ago when it all began.

My Mom was one of the original board members for the Festival of Trees back in 1970 when they first started.  I remember it well.  I was in high school when this new venture started as a fund raiser for Primary Children’s Hospital.  For those of you that don’t know what it is….  this is an event where people donate time and money to decorate a Christmas tree (and now many other things as well….) and then other people are invited to an evening of auctioning where they bid on the trees.  The highest bidder, of course, wins the tree (or other item).  All of the proceeds are donated to Primary Children’s Hospital.  The trees then go on display to the public for 4 days before the winning bidder is allowed to take his prize home.  A small fee is charged to the public to come look at the trees, which is an additional source of fund raising money for the cause.

The Festival has grown huge over the last 40 years.  It literally takes thousands of man hours and volunteers to pull it all off.  The current committee is run by several women, (I honestly don’t know how many anymore!) who then head other committees all over the valley that they are in charge of.  It pretty much takes the whole year to plan to make sure it all runs smoothly.

Back in 1970, when it first began, it started off rather small.  My Mom was one of the original board members of what she thinks was 13 women.  The first year it was held in one of the buildings of the Salt Lake Armory.  The next year it had gained in popularity and added more trees in the second Armory building.  Within the next few years, it had become so popular that it had to move to the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake.  It was there for many years and just kept expanding into more of the convention center.  Each year there were more people wanting to donate something for the cause.  Several years ago, it moved to the South Towne Center in Sandy, Utah.  I think the committee felt that was a more central location for the people all over the state that want to come see it.  Also…. parking was free and little more convenient.

One of many trees today. See the elves stacking presents for one elf to stand on to put the a decoration on the top?

The gift shop and the sweet shop came early on and they continued to add other features over the years.  Now, besides trees, (of all sizes,) there are many more things donated for auction including,  table decorations, crafts, art, quilts, door wreaths, and ginger bread houses and more.  The creativity that goes into the auctioned items never ceases to amaze me.

My Mom was always in charge of the entertainment when she was on the committee.  It took a lot of hours to fill up those spots.  Especially in the early years when people were still just learning about it.  Even now…. the entertainment committee spends hours lining things up for the multiple stages to perform on.

It meant a lot to my Mom to be able to attend today and see what it has turned into over the years.  There is still one board member currently involved that started getting involved as a teenager years ago when my Mom was on the committee.  Sharon Goodrich has been instrumental in making sure that my Mom still receives her invitation to the opening Lights On ceremony.

Last year when I decided to have my Mom’s care center bring her in so that I could meet her there and take her around to see the trees, we made a point of finding Sharon to say Hi.  Sharon was so thrilled to have my Mom there that she had me bring her back into the area of the building where the board members have an area set up for them to continue on with all the work that needs to be done during the Festival.  Sharon gathered the board members around and introduced my Mom as one of the original board members and they made such a fuss over her!  They were so excited to meet her and thanked her profusely for being a part of getting such a wonderful cause started.  They gathered around her and we took pictures of her with them.

It meant so much to my Mom to feel appreciated and loved.  So much so that she wanted more of it this year……  she wouldn’t let us leave the Festival today until we found Sharon and the board members to say “Hi” again.  Once again, they made a fuss over her and took pictures with her.  It really made her day.  My husband mentioned how nice it was to see her face light up as she was talking with those wonderful women.

Next month my Mom turns 90 years old.  I told Sharon today that if she’s still around, that we would make an effort to try and get her into the Lights On ceremony next year.  Mom wants her kids and their spouses to all attend if we can.  My sisters and I all worked at the Festival of Trees as Hostesses for many years.  It would thrill Mom to death if we could all be there with her.

I’m so grateful to those wonderful women for fussing over Mom again like they did.  I’m so grateful that Mom was a part of the beginning of something so wonderful that has become a community favorite at Christmas time and raises a lot of money for Primary Children’s Hospital.

I’m glad Mom felt good enough to attend again this year and that it got her Christmas season off to a great start!  Thanks to all of you wonderful people who have kept the Festival of Trees going for over 40 years now!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Below are some pictures from the Festival of Trees that I took today.  You name it….. they put it on a tree!  If you want ideas for how to decorate a Christmas tree….. you can’t find a better place!


Probably one of the most popular trees there today..... The "UP" tree


UP must be a popular theme this year! Here's a gingerbread house replica!


Here's one you might consider more traditional



Anything goes for color! Now this one is bright!


A huge fireplace wreath with a Penguin theme.... plenty of penguins to fill the room too!


An elegantly decorated tree with a music theme in tribute to an accomplished student who was tragically killed. And yes.... the Electric baby grand is part of the package!


More ginger bread houses.... so many to choose from!


Some even come with multiple trees per display!


This barely touches the iceberg of what was there today!  Try and get there if you can!!  It ends tomorrow, Dec 3rd.  If you can’t make ti this year……. there’s always next year!