The Personal History of Rachel Ann Gardiner
Suzanne: We conceived Rachel the week I was working on the Stake Debutante Ball as the Ward Laurel Advisor. Someday she'll be a debutante with her Daddy. That was April 30, 1977
When I went to the temple a couple of weeks later, I had tried to prepare myself spiritually that day and had prayed for a spiritual feast while in the temple. The names of the woman I went through the temple, in proxy, were "Rachel," "Ann," the exact names Kent and I had picked for our first little girl nearly a year before Chad's birth. I took this as a witness from the Lord that I was carrying a very special little girl. Perhaps Rachel's spirit was with me in the temple that evening. The memory of the sweetness of that experience sustained me during a very uncomfortable pregnancy and delivery. And when she was born, my spirit nodded assent yes, of course it was a daughter, Rachel Ann. Having a precious child like her and having Chad is worth all the distress in giving birth.
The Story of Her Birth
The loosely woven curtain to the right of my cherry wood sewing cabinet were fully drawn to let in as much light as possible this late afternoon, Tuesday, January 24, 1978. The ancient black motor, faintly resembling a giant mosquito, hovered motionless over the blue baby's bubble-suit that was beginning to take shape under my swift fingers from some leftover scraps of matching Christmas cardigans that I had made for my husband and son. In my private communication with eternity, I knew my unborn child was a girl whom I would name Rachel, "the beloved." She would be my parent's first granddaughter. Because my yearning for her was so deep souled, I outwardly pretended, even to myself, that this one would be another boy. I could not bear my "premonition" to be wrong, and I must confess that I tend to be a "doubting Thomas".
I was ready for "him" to be born had been ready for three weeks now. The bags were packed and waiting....the large pink Samsonite suitcase filled with underwear, nightgowns, robe and slippers for me to take to the hospital; a small, monogrammed, blue denim bag leaning next to it contained my "Lamaze kit"; a voluminous "Save-Our-Trees" muslin bag stuffed with diapers, toys, change of clothes, and a schedule for Chad...I even had a list made out of things to grab at the last minute. It had been so long since I had gotten ready that I had to use several of the "take-a-longs" several times over already. I was two days overdue and I was tired of the waiting...Tired of the gawks people gave my bulking shape as I waddled around...still! Tired of having my form conscious vanity dampened by my tight, ballooning distention, my elephantine bulge that kept me from wearing anything remotely chic. Tired of the pain in my lower abdomen, of muscles that angrily protested against this unaltered burden. Tired of the utter humiliation of vomiting after meals with such violence that the contents of my already squished bladder gushed warmly down my legs (and of having my one and a-half year old son imitate my actions). Tired of the terrible dark depressions, wondering if the baby would be born whole, or well or even, alive. Tired of the constant ache in the small of my back caused by my disproportioned posture, and the longing for the time when the small of my back would effortlessly hug the bed's flat surface instead of arching painfully away. Tired of lying awake the first half of the night with heartburn; or worse, getting up at 2am to empty my punished bladder and lying awake the last half. And I was tired of sleeping on the couch because it was the only thing that gave in to my bulges and sags. I WAS READY FOR THIS BABY TO BE BORN.
Birth -False Labor?
I braced my legs again and the present came sharply into focus as another pain churned inside my bulge under Kent's "El Sleuth" sweatshirt. Could I be in labor? But my bag of waters hadn't broken yet, nor had I lost my mucous plug. I had Braxton-Hickson contractions before, but not this insistent or regular. I laid the sewing down and looked at my watch. It was nearly six o'clock time to get dinner on for Chad and Kent. Maybe if I moved around the contractions would go away. That was supposed to be the way you could tell real labor from false labor; in real labor the contractions got harder; in false labor, the contractions lessened or disappeared.
I hobbled into the kitchen, threw some hamburger on the fire, and began grating Mozzarella cheese with one eye on the clock. The strong turning over sensation came every 1015 minutes. Chad's labor, from start to delivery, had been only seven hours. Since successive labors are much, much less, and since Panorama City is nearly as far from San Gabriel as Santa Monica, I was a bit concerned about getting to the hospital in time. No time for pizza, I'll have to be pizza burgers eaten on the run. Kent scurried circles around me, throwing the sandwiches into brown paper bags, chucking all the gear into the brown Plymouth Valiant, calling the friends who were going to watch Chad, and calling my mom to make sure my dad would get the message and meet us at the hospital. I lived in fear of having the baby in the car...or, almost as dreadful, not making connections with my father.
It's time for the big event
We pulled up to Bob and Judy Garcia's house about 6:45pm Chad recognized the house and began to giggle with eager anticipation. he bounded up the walk, darted through the partially open door, and beelined right for the boys' bedroom and toy box. Kent and I looked at each other and laughed, embarrassed, and my heart trilled a note in my throat. It was hard to leave him, my soon-to-be-no-longer only child. I struggled awkwardly up the driveway to plant a kiss on his flushed, fair face. He beamed ecstatically back, happy just to be with other children.
I made my way slowly back to the car, leaning heavily on Kent, and thought about that first, wild, early morning ride to the hospital. The ride over to the hospital this second time was much easier, not just because this car rode smoother, but because the labor was much milder. This is a piece of cake, I thought. I don't even have to think about distracting myself. The blurring lights along the lightly traveled Golden State Freeway had a fuzzy, dreamlike quality about them. Everything seemed unreal. It is strange how the mind detaches itself from the body during momentous occasions and looks on as an amazed and neutral observer. I felt my ego slip away from my id and hover slightly above and behind my head, noting with casual interest the various happenings. It didn't seem possible that this could be happening to me...that I (me!) was having my second child already. My ego's self-identification will always be that of a young free spirit. It seemed that there were not two people riding along in that car sharing the same front seat, but three people: a pleasant looking man not much past thirty, a mother-to-be in her early twenties, and an invisible, slim young girl, perhaps in her late teens.
Where is the Doctor?
Kent ran into the main entrance and came out with a wheelchair.
Then he wheeled me into the dimly lit waiting admittance area.
The T.V. was on (It was a horror film Dracula chasing a pretty young girl around a castle dungeon) and a few people lounged in the shadows. It was 7:30pm While Kent parked the car, I filled out the admittance form and answered "Dr. J. Brown", to the receptionist's query. "Good, he's in already and waiting for you. We can take you back now." I heaved a sigh of relief.
Last time he showed up "just to see how (I) was doing", and I delivered forty-five minutes later. I wanted no close shaves this time. The nurse paused at my insistence as another contraction somersaulted forward and down my tightening belly. then she began the long walk towards the double metal swinging doors in the outside middle curve of the "m"shaped, one story hospital. It was a small, old, community hospital with only eighty patient capacity. My dad said he liked to send his "special" patients here because of the slower pace and more personal attention they received here unlike most other monstrous, prison/hotel like medical complexes. Four of my five brothers and sisters and I were born in this same hospital sixteen to twenty-three years earlier.
I liked its moderate charges, too. We passed my dad's outdated, chief of staff picture on the corridor wall and paused again just inside the metal doors as another cramp rolled forward.
"There's your father now. Hi, Dr. Brown. Do you want to check
her now, or would you like me to?"
"Oh...I will," he said congenially. "Hi, Precious, how are you?" his face crinkled up and he stooped to kiss my cheek. "Let's get her settled." I was wheeled into the bright, posie-papered labor room. My dad disappeared while I changed into the blue checked hospital gown. I lift my socks on, remembering how ice cold my feet hot last time during transition.
The Indignity of It All
It seemed as natural for me to trust my dad now as it had when I was a little girl. I gulped and mentally pushed the curtains of my modesty and self-dignity aside. I, who had been a virgin until marriage had known and would only know one man, found it terrible painful to be probed and displayed in such an ungraceful manner, but if I had to endure it, I would rather let my Marcus Welby-mannered, clinical father poke me than any young and good(tm)looking "Dr. Kildaire." Once, I had to get a physical exam at Cedars Sinai hospital because a government study program I was involved in required me to do so. The doctor was in his late twenties and had dark curly hair and deep blue eyes. I nearly died. I thought, I've dated and loved guys older than you and I never let them do what you, a perfect stranger, are doing. It was terrible.
My dad came in the room and spoke quietly to the nurse while pulling on a second skin like glove. "I'm not doing very much,
"I told him," my bag of waters hasn't broken yet." He nodded thoughtfully. "Okay, I'll be as gentle as I can, honey." I gritted my teeth and mentally blocked out all my inner feelings. "Let's see that's ... (probing)...umm,.... (oooOWW I screamed.) three centimeters," he said coolly, ramming his hand up to my navel and withdrawing it warm and dripping. "I broke the amniotic sac," he casually said aside to the nurse. I gasped painfully and clutched the sides of the bed. "I'm sorry, honey," he looked at me sheepishly. "This way it'll get things moving a little faster. You don't want to be here all night, do you?" I shook my head, still in a state of shock. "Okay," he squeezed my knee. "I'll let the nurse prep you and send Kent in a little later."
"Surprised you, huh?" the little oriental nurse said shyly as she bustled about, arranging pads under me and gathering a razor and enema bag. I was still too shaken to mind the further indignity of the shave and enema treatment. Amniotic fluid oozed warmly out between my legs, wetting the bed linen and trickling across the floor as I trotted to the bathroom. When I came out Kent was waiting for me in a chair beside the bed, flipping through the TV channels. I recalled that when I was in labor with Chad he had found an early morning Laurel and Hardy movie on television. He yucked it up and then, exhausted by all the excitement and lack of asleep, had curled behind me on the same narrow twin be and fallen asleep. This time I made him leave the channel on a dull Fred Mac Murray movie about a woman president of the United States and all the problems her husband, Mac Murray had. The dialogue and acting were so dry I had to really concentrate to comprehend any thing that made sense. And by now I needed the concentrated distraction. The contractions began rolling forward again forcefully and hard.
Where is This Baby?
I sucked on ice chips and began my second phase breathing -"pant pant pant pant blow," thinking to myself that child rhyme, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can," in rhythm with the breathing. I alternately focused my eyes on the clock (just 20 more seconds...I can hang on for just 20 more seconds...now 10 more...) and Fred Mac Murray's mouth (what nonsense is he saying?) The contractions lasted 60 to 75 seconds and came every two to four minutes. They started in my lower back and moved up to my rib cage and then forward and down to my cervix. My round belly was so sore. I couldn't stand anything touching it nor could I stand leaving it along. I slid my fingertips along my side and moved them forward and down with the contraction, sometimes with hand lotion, sometimes with ice water. My cervix cramped with a dull pain, like a charley hose, during every contraction. I gave in to each pain, mentally shouting "Open! "oooo-pope-open!" As if I could will it to dilate a centimeter each time. The vertebrae in the small of my back ground mercilessly and I cried for Kent to rub it harder. Rolling two tennis balls against my back with his palms and all his might, he helped relieve the pressure and made the pain tolerable. It was uncomfortable lying on my side, but even more uncomfortable on my black because I had no relief from the back labor.
My dad checked on me briefly a little after 8:30pm He patted my head gently and said, "it's just a matter of putting in time, honey." I couldn't respond. I prayed for the time to go by faster and continued to will my cervix open with each successive contraction that seemed more like one long, continuous contraction, with varying highs and lows, strengths and relaxations.
At 9:15 pm Kent pulled on a surgical suit while the nurse and my dad slid me into the same delivery room where I had been born twenty-three years earlier. "I feel..like...my back...is going...to break...in..two..!" I whimpered as the nurse strapped my legs down in the stirrups.
Rachel is turned the Wrong Way!
"Oh, dear, sounds like it's posterior. That's the way Johanna (my older sister) had Matthew. I'll see if I can turn it around a little bit."
Kent lifted my shoulders with a pillow. I held my breath, gasped, and bore down as hard as I could, my face turning red and my ears popping, the lay back on the table. "now!...no..Yes,now!...aaaghk!...get your hand out of there!...Stop!...I don't care how the baby is born...JUST GET
YOUR HAND OUT!"
My dad smiled. "I think I got it turned around...Wait...Ah, it turned back the other way...that's too bad." I groaned. I wanted out. All my will and fortitude were gone. My back felt like it was breaking ion two and I felt like I was stuck in limbo. Held in suspension between two worlds, the dead and the living, I belonged to neither one. I did not want to go through with this any longer. My dad paced the floor and knit his brows. I thought about one of "my girls" to whom I am an advisor in my church, who had given birth to her illegitimate child (since then given up for adoption) just a week ago. At the time I only thought about the situational irony of this seventeen-year old girl who had never known a sick or uncomfortable day in her entire pregnancy, having her girl one week before mine and two weeks earlier than due. Now I remembered she had delivered Cesarean because the baby was in a posterior position. Please, not a C-section, I prayed again, the tears sliding down my temples.
"Okay, let's do it again," my dad said somberly. I took a deep breath, gritted my teeth, and pushed down again. Tuuurrn it! I shouted against my mind's walls, echoing and deafening my senses. "Oh, Father, Father, Father." I groaned. It was no earthly father I called, but the upward stretching of my soul to clasp an omnipotent, invisible hand.
It's a Girl!
"Oh, dear, it's turning back again. Well, we'll leave it alone." He paced the floor again, agitated, and looked at me sharply. I can give you something if you want...a saddle...it's only a little bit longer, though...almost over...try again...there, it's coming...just a few more pushes..can you push harder?" I shook my head weakly, my sensitivities numb with the agonizing discomfort. Kent spoke soothingly, encouragingly. Again and again I tried. Then..."Now it's coming...hold it, hold it...(clip)...push now...there's the head!!...one more push and you've got it, honey." I fell back on the table, heaving, took another breath, pushed hard, then shouted exuberantly as an exhilarating gush bulleted the baby into my dad's waiting hands. "It's a girl! A beautiful baby girl!"..."Listen to that yell," Kent joined in.."She sure is a feisty thing...Yes, it's a beautiful baby girl, born 10:05pm with an Apgar score of ten." My dad beamed. I fell weakly back on the delivery table, relief flooding my sensibilities. I watched him hold the squalling, red baby, sheathed in a white waxy coating, by the feet as he cleaned the mucous and fluid from her nose and mouth with a bulb syringe. My spirit nodded silent assent. Yes, of course it was a girl. My dad laid her across my deleted stomach and I wept. A beautiful baby girl. Perfect little girl. Rachel. Rachel Ann Gardiner. I'd go through all this over again in a moment just to have you. Oh, thank you, thank you, Father. A quiet elation filtered through my system and I cried, as I had done after Chad's birth. The miracle of procreation had so awed me at that time that I had never again considered the sexual relationship between a man and a woman without deepest reverence.
I did not seem to notice the stitches, the convulsive shaking, the afterbirth cramps they were nothing compared to what I'd just been through. The nurses wrapped the baby and I each in warm linen. We paused for pictures outside the nursery. Then I handed Rachel to the nurse and was placed on a firm, smooth bed in a dark room of the adjoining wing of the maternity ward. Ah, it felt so good to feel the bed's hard surface press against my sore back, and see my flattened tummy. Kent kissed me and went out to call his parents.
Rachel Recognizes Grandpa
My dad appeared some time later, dressed in his customary suit.
Placing his hand on my head, he whispered. "Well, you have a beautiful little girl. She has pretty features..looks a lot like you did when you were born...You were a pretty baby...her head is a little flattened, but that will straighten out...near as I can tell she looks all right none the worse for wear...I called Mother, she sends her love...you know what I put in the hospital report? "This is the most beautiful little baby girl ever born in this hospital! What a remarkable girl! When she was born she immediately recognized her grandfather and began to cry...he laughed softly, "a grandfather's prerogative. Well, try and get some sleep now. You did a good job, honey. I love you." He kissed my forehead. Rachel was a beautiful, dark eyed, dark complected baby. She reminded me of a little sable kitten. I smiled and sank into the darkness and a kind of soul sleeping.
During Rachel's Pregnancy
I remember when Chad was so sick with the flu for 2 weeks during Christmas when he was only 18 months old. He was delirious and it was such a nightmare for us. We became zombies hearing him scream and run through the house trying to drink from faucets, dirty dishes, etc. I really leaned on Kent's strength at the time I was 8 months pregnant with Rachel too. Kent change Chad, fed him, sat with him all night so I could sleep. Chad has grown into such a delightful boy now (writing this three years later-so smart, obedient, generally kind and helpful, very gregarious and curious about the world, competitive in nature. He is big for his age, and has his moments of extreme emotional needs, but is open and malleable.
The Other Half of the Story From Kent
Dad: On January 24, 1978 I came home after signing up for some administration classes at California State University at Northridge. Suzanne said she had experienced a contraction or two and soon we took Chad to Bob and Judy Garcia's and then we headed out for the San Gabriel Community Hospital. We arrived at 8pm, Suzanne was 3cm. I gave her a blessing at 9:00pm and told her that her mind would be clear and that she would enjoy the birth experience. She then had me rub her back with tennis balls and my hands as she was experiencing some back labor.
Suzanne had an overly helpful nurse, which made her rather nervous. At 9:45pm she went into the delivery room and sweet Rachel was born into this world at 10:05pm, seven pounds nine ounces and a full 21 inches long. In the hospital record her grandfather, Dr Brown, who delivered her, wrote "The most perfect girl ever born at this hospital. As she was born she immediately recognized her Grandfather and began to cry."
This day made for a special and moving experience. Rachel has the same skin tone that Suzanne has and will probably have the same eyes as well. Her head is full of wonderful dark hair. Her fingernails need cutting already. She cried a lot until Suzanne or her Grandfather held her. She, enjoys attention at 5 minutes old!
Suzanne was mended and taken back to room 307 so she could rest. I walked out with Suzanne's Dad who is a wonderful man. I love him. This was a great thing to be present at a miracle.
First Months - Blood stained face.
Mom: When Rachel was about 9 days old (I think it was on Feb 2, my birthday), Grandma Gardiner came out to watch the children for me so that I could go to the temple to see Bob and Judy Garcia get sealed. I was going to meet Kent down there after work. It was pretty hectic trying to get everything ready on my own. I pushed Chad outside in the back yard to play so that I could nurse Rachel and he came back in a few minutes later screaming with blood pouring down his face. He had fallen from the porch and split his head open. I was near tears with guilt and frustration, and wondered if I shouldn't go. But he survived and it was a beautiful experience for me to attend the sealing session. I held little baby Eddie up to the altar during the sealing of the children to the parents. We had fellowshipped the Garcias ever since they joined the church, and Kent taught them in temple preparation classes. They watched Chad for us when we went to the hospital to have Rachel, and later sold us the bunk beds.
Recovering after Rachel's birth
Mom: Feb 23, 1978, I write in my journal at night after Chad goes to bed, and read my scriptures in the morning while I nurse Rachel. It rained all day today. I sent Chad to Relief Society with Laurel Storrs while I lay in bed writing thank you notes for Rachel's baby gifts. I'm not up yet for taking Rachel out to R. S. yet especially in this weather and on so little sleep. I'll be glad when her colic is over and she doesn't keep me up 'till midnight. She is a beautiful baby though a pleasure to watch and care for. She is very good-natured for all her gas pains and Chad's vigorous and rough attention.
Chad helped me with the dishes and poured water on the floor and dropped several dishes too. He's still just a baby, not quite two years old, but I feel so cranky and impatient with him on so little sleep. For over a month now since Rachel's birth I've shoved him off on his daddy and everyone else to get rest and my sanity back and the house in order. Before we were the best of friends; now he has turned away from me to his daddy. He is a bit jealous of the baby (hits her) and I'm sure he suspects that she is the cause of his misery and my meanness. I feel very badly about it, and miss that special closeness that we used to have.
Mom: February 28, 1978 Journal Entry: It rained all day today... I lay in bed writing thank you notes for Rachel’s baby gifts. I'm not up yet for taking Rachel out to Relief Society yet-especially in this weather and on so little sleep. I'll be glad when her colic is over and she doesn't keep me up 'til midnight. She is a beautiful baby though, a pleasure to watch and care for.
She is very good-natured for all her gas pains and Chad's vigorous and rough attention. I feel guilty for ignoring Chad while tending to the baby's needs and for being impatient with him for want of sufficient sleep.
Chad adjusts to having a sister
Mom: March 2, 1978, it rained last 2 days, so I kept Chad in. I'm trying to spend more time with him "reading" books, etc, to make up for all the time I have to spend with the baby. He seems to understand when I say "NO" firmly when he wants to be held while I'm fixing dinner. Lately he likes to crawl and sit on me and poke me in the face while saying "eyes, ears, nose, mouth," etc. Today he threw his bottle at me (because I didn't want to fill it again) and hit me in the face. I confess to finding motherhood to two small children who need or want my attention most of their waking hours to being somewhat overwhelming. I sure miss a little privacy. I'm going to ask Kent to put up a little gate across the bedroom door so that I can occasionally read or rest or write or sew by myself, or just nurse Rachel and not be mauled by Chad. This is going to be hard on Chad I know.
Mom: March 5, 1978: (I put a gate up across the bedroom door so that I could spend time alone with Rachel and not be mauled by Chad.)
Dad: On March 4, 1978 we blessed Rachel. With me were John Reese, Mark Gardiner, Jeff Gardiner, J.H. Gardiner, Mike Sekulich, Gerry Kroksh, James C. Brown, Charles Brown, along with Bishop Bert Higley and my home teacher Lee Thorn. The spirit was very strong. Everyone considers Rachel to be a beautiful baby.
Mom: March 5, 1978 Sunday, This weekend was Stake Conference and our visitor was Elder A. Theodore Tuttle. Kent gave a talk in the Saturday evening session and we visited with Elder Tuttle for a few minutes afterwards. He saw Rachel (thought she was beautiful, of course) and asked if she was our first aid that we ought to have a dozen of them.
The gate has worked well it gives me time alone with Rachel and
Chad can still see me and talk to me. He is a delightful beautiful child sweet natured, with a desire to please and be obedient and affectionate. He loves to hug both Kent and I at the same time and kiss us. He likes books of animals best of all and can say what all the animals say: "woof, woof, meow, haw hee, cockdododo, oink oink, etc. While Rachel is a beautiful dark baby, Chad is blond and blue eyed. The Lord has sent me choice spirits. I hope that I shall properly teach them by my example and precept. I see now why my dad said, "Can we ever be worthy to be parents?" My greatest desire is to always have my children spiritually, emotionally, and physically safe, true, and bonded to me. My family is my joy and my wealth.
Mom: Monday March 6, 1978, Rachel and I went in for our six-week checkup. She'd grown 2 1/2 inches and 2 1/2 pounds. That night
Kent gave the Family Home Evening Lesson at my folks on Infant Blessing, and Rachel slept the whole time in her infant seat in the middle of the room with everyone sitting around her. Chad kept moving a little chair around to various spots and sitting in it.
Rachel's First Relief Society Meeting
Mom: Tuesday March 7, 1978, today was Rachel's first Relief Society debut. I fed and fussed with her during the Spiritual Living lesson: "God's Promises are fulfilled" (about the last days).
In the first few weeks of having Rachel home she was such a pretty, dark, rosy little baby, she reminded me of a little sable colored kitten. In fact one night I was so tired that I did not immediately awaken when she began to fuss and I dreamed about a little black/brown kitten that kept meowing.
I've had a very special feeling about Rachel, that she was a very choice daughter of God, one who would bring us great joy and contentment all of our lives. In fact one night I lay awake for sometime feeling a sweet spirit of peace concerning this lovely little girl that has come into our hearts and home.
Mom: Rachel was blessed Sunday, March 12, 1978. Bishop Bert J. Higley of Panorama City Ward , which met in chapel A of Van Nuys
Stake Center, presided at the Fast and Testimony meeting. His granddaughter, Katie Zurenburg was being blessed that day, too so he had many family members in attendance in addition to all of our family and the attendance was 51%. Once, some time earlier in a moment of weakness, he had jokingly said that he would sing a solo if the attendance ever got up to 50%. He lived to regret that rash comment because a couple of months later at a mutual Talent Show he was cornered into singing "God Be With You."
The Actual Blessing
The blessing, as near as I can remember: "Our Father in Heaven,
We, as elders in Israel holding the Melchizedek priesthood, unitedly take this infant in our arms to give it a name and a blessing. And the name by which she shall be known upon the records of the church and throughout her life is Rachel Ann Gardiner. Rachel, we bless you that you will receive the Spirit of the Lord in your body and mind to guide and direct you and help you in making decisions throughout your life. We bless you with a strong body......"
Mom: March 12, 1978 Sunday Fast and Testimony Meeting
Today we had Rachel blessed in church. Bishop Bert J. Higley presided at the Panorama City Ward, Van Nuys Stake Center. We went to the Gospel Doctrine Class taught by Ron Kellor instead of the Family Relations class that we've been regularly attending since it was held in the chapel and was easier for our families to find and all fit in. The lesson was a review of the Book of Mormon. Rachel was the first baby blessed that morning. The Bishop's granddaughter was also blessed that day Katie Ann Zierenberg. Katie was born two weeks after Rachel. Her mother, Terri is my age and has become a good friend. With all of the Bishop's family and the Gardiners and the Browns present the attendance was 51%.
The Bishop had earlier jokingly said that he'd sing a solo in church if the attendance ever made 50%. I think he'll live to regret saying that.
Those who participated with Kent in the circle were
James Hulet Gardiner
Mark Robert Gardiner
James Cyril Brown, Sr.
Charles Thomas Brown
Bishop Bert J. Higley
Lee Thorn (home teacher)
Those unable to attend were my brother James Cyril Brown, Jr. (at
BYU), my brother-in-law Glenn Goodman, Johanna's husband (living up in Northern California), Kent's uncle Frank (had to work) and
brother-in-law Ron Blunck, sister Sandy's husband (living in San Diego).
The blessing as near as I can remember:
"Our Father in Heaven, we as Elders in Israel, holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, unitedly take this babe in our arms, to give it a name and a blessing. And the name by which she shall be known upon the records of the church and throughout her life is Rachel Ann Gardiner.
"Rachel, we bless you that you will receive the Spirit of the
Lord in your body and mind to guide and direct you and help you in making decisions throughout your life. We bless you with a strong body and that you might have the health and strength needed in growing up. We ask thee Father, to bless her parents with patience, wisdom, and knowledge that in raising you they may give you knowledge pertaining to your Father in Heaven. We are very thankful for you and say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."
Kent bore his testimony told of the great feeling it was to have
so many fine family members join him in the circle, the great
spiritual feeling to bless your own child, etc. He said that he
was grateful for the family that raised him and the family he had
married into. Chad saw him up there and walked up the aisle and
climbed the stairs to the stand to be with his daddy.
It is a tremendous feeling of pride and indescribable joy to see
one's child be blessed by a righteous father and have all your
faithful family members gathered around. I bore my testimony,
too, saying: "A family is a great blessing, and a great family is
one of the greatest blessings there is. I have no greater desire
than to be with my family forever all of them. I am grateful to
my Savior for making this possible. I know this church and gospel
are true, and this knowledge are most precious to me." My dad also
stood up and thanked the ward members for taking us in, being
kind and good to us, and keeping us busy.
After church everyone came over for a luncheon. We had a salad
bar and cold meats and rolls. Lots of food and very tasty. Nice
visit with everyone too. My mom and grandma helped out in the
kitchen much to my appreciation. Our many personalities and
different gifts are a blessing to each other. Those who came to
the luncheon were:
Belva Breiten (Grandma Great)
James and Marjorie Brown (Grandma and Grandpa)
Uncles Charles and David Brown
Julie Wadsworth (2nd cousin to Rachel)
James and Carol Gardiner (Grandma and Grandpa)
Uncles Jeff (brought a date) and J. T., and Aunt Julie Gardiner
Uncle Mark, Aunt Karen, and Cousin Lisa Gardiner
Uncle Mike, Aunt Janice, and Cousins Lisa, David, and Christie
Great Aunt Audrey and 2nd Cousin Gerry Kroksh
Home Teacher Lee and Janet Thorn and their son
Uncle John and Aunt Gayle and cousins Jennifer and Julie Reese
were not able to stay because of illness.
Angela is Born
Sunday May 7, 1978 - This evening Laurel Storrs and I went to visit Glenna Rae White in St. Joseph's hospital. She just had a little girl Angel Rae-this morning. I brought flowers (camellias from the bushes in front of our bedroom window) and cookies, cupcakes, and party favors for her son, who was sick and couldn't come to Chad's party. Glenna Rae has a son Chris, just a few months younger than Chad, and a new daughter Angela, just 3 1/2 months younger than Rachel. She is approximately my age (will be 24 in July while I just turned 23), and is one of six children like me. Her father is Dr. Glenn H. Walker, heart surgeon. We have so much in common, are so much alike. She is now my best friend. Her husband Jim, is relaxed and easygoing like Kent. They moved into the ward shortly before Rachel was born, and we had them over for Pecan Pie to celebrate my birthday when Rachel was just two weeks old.
Suzanne: Monday May 8, 1978, Today I did the wash and vacuuming in the morning. Rachel wanted some company so I brought her in the bathroom with me while I hand washed some clothes. Chad jumped around, showing off and talking to her, trying to play and share his cars with her. I did the vacuuming a little late and pushed the kids on their lunch. Chad especially got hungry. Rachel couldn't relax and eat cried when I tried to feed her.
So, I gave her a little Enfamil in a bottle. I did the same thing Sunday in fast meeting with her under similar circumstances. Seems to be a little gassy period for her. Both times she took to the bottle, relaxed, and then was able to nurse. I'm glad she seems able to take the bottle and formula (easier to leave her occasionally with someone). Chad went through a period at 35 months where he couldn't nurse at certain times during the day but could take a bottle.
When I finally got the children down, I baked some cookies, picked a rose for in our front room, and wrote about yesterday in my journal. Read 3 Nephi 17 & 18 in the morning, all about prayer beautiful. I cleaned up the bedroom and folded clothes and made dinner while Kent and Chad planted some more vegetables in the garden and made ice cream. We had pizza and ice cream for Chad's birthday and sang to him for Family Home Evening. Gave Chad a bath and cleaned up the kitchen with help from Kent. We are working on our personal histories for Family Home Evening. I love my children. Sweet natured, fair Chad is more precious to me than life. A good natured, obedient child, loveable and loving, a perfect first child. My darling golden boy, my precious son. I hope to live worthy of the challenge to be your mother. I was just a little girl myself not so long ago, and I'm afraid that I must do all of my learning to mother and be unselfish on you, my firstborn. Be charitable with me, I change slowly.
A Terrible Accident
Dad: One Wednesday night in May I came home to find that Rachel had taken a terrible fall from the sink. Suzanne was doing the dishes with Rachel in a carrier next to her, on the oven. Rachel leaned forward and fell out of the position on the sink to the hard floor below. She landed on her right temple, which is actually "dented" in. Wow what a scare! She seems fine. Suzanne's Dad looked at her and said that she will mend. She did, thank the Lord and his forgiveness of careless parents!
Suzanne: One day in May I placed Rachel, strapped in the infant seat, in the center of the stove so that she could be near me while I washed the dishes. Then I could talk and sing to her and entertain her while I worked. Well she was just beginning to try to sit up, and would hunch her shoulders and lean forward while sitting in the seat. I reclined it back and turned towards the sink when I heard a sickening thud behind me. I turned suddenly just as Rachel began to wail, to find her face down on the floor with the infant seat on top of her. She had leaned forward and fallen off the counter, about three feet or more to the ground. I thought my heart would fail me, especially when I picked her up and saw a pronounced dent on the right side of her forehead where she hit the linoleum covered cement floor. I quickly called my dad, crying and praying for her safety. He said to watch her closely for a concussion. I rocked and held her most of the rest of the day. She seemed fine, and over the next couple of months, the "dent" gradually popped out again. It was a terrifying experience.
Suzanne: July 9, 1978 Sunday, Rachel was tired and fussy and could not go to sleep. I looked high and low for the pacifier and couldn't find it. The more I searched and the more she fussed, the more it became an obsession to find it. I swore, cried, and prayed. Finally I gave up, patted her bottom a few minutes, and she went to sleep.
I was just beginning to really enjoy nursing Rachel when at 5 1/2months I had to wean her so that Kent and I could spend 11 days in Hawaii in August. He taught an extension course with Madeline Hunter at the University of Hawaii. We left Chad and Rachel at Grandma Gardiners while we were gone. Grandma adored baby Rachel, who by this time was a very good baby. But Chad, who was only 2 1/4 really missed us, and told Grandma soon after we left that he was just going to wait for us to come and get him. And he sat on the steps in the back for hours at a time waiting for us. While we were away, we missed the children, and it was good to get back home again. But Chad ignored us for a while. I think he felt that we had rejected him. Grandma Gardiner has always had a soft spot for Rachel.
A few weeks after we got back from Hawaii, we took the children to Utah for a Gardiner Reunion in Salt Lake. Pretty dark haired Rachel was teething and drooled over everything. She constantly sucked on her fingers, was interested in 1 1/2 year old Lisa Gardiner, and of course, captured everyone's heart.
Dad: During the month of July Rachel learned to roll around the room and loves to stand up, assisted. Suzanne says she could be on T.V. she's so cute.
Suzanne: Fall 1978 at 9 months old, a poem,
Rachel my brown and round, chortling imp
Rocking unsteadily on dimpled buttocks
Stretches clasping hands and quivers, wishing
That desire had wings to fly her to me.
Squealing, squirming, wordless mouthing,
She wrinkles up a tree-tooted grin
And gleefully waves some chewed up string
Triumphantly over a brown silk head
Then slyly stalking, awkward waddling
She pounces my protruding foot
And fist-clenched-wailful mourning
Bites my near but innocent knee
Stamping her foot in righteous wrath
She grinds her teeth and spews forth bubbles.
Squeezing her middle and exploding giggles,
I carry her warm and purring off to bed.
Panting, chortling, heaving, dimpled imp
Miniature shadow of my former self
3 toothed grins.
Grinning, grunting urchin.
Eyes like brown earths
Twin brown earths set in
A round, firm, ripe face
Smooth and fleshy, plump
Brown and round
Pinchable, cherubic, kissable cheeks
Adoring, devoted, worshipful
Attentive eyes, follows my every move.
Cap of brown silk on her crown
Probing, searching fingers,
Clasping, grabbing hands
Mouth a drawn tied bow between 2 plums
Eyebrows drawn close
Purring warm sable kitten
Wiggles when she smiles
Spider like crawl
Panting and heaving
Patting, stalks and pounces a bit of string
Mouths wordless sounds
She tugs at my pants
Fists clenched she dangles
Near my calf and howls discontentedly
Wails mournfully into my calf
Tastes everything very seriously
Squeeze her and she chuckles
Colt-like crawl, awkward
Chews on my foot
Kicks and stamps foot when standing,
Holding on to something.
Teeters happily beside a chair.
Squirming, twisting, wriggling
Smiles with whole body.
Sunday Sept 6, 1978, this week Timmy MacIlrath and his mother came over for lunch. Timmy is a friend of Chad's in kindergarten.
Suzanne: Fall 1978, Rachel is very good-natured, and reminds me of a little brown, round, chortling imp. She loves to crawl out on the porch and stand up holding onto the metal poles that hold up the awning. She also follows Chad around the house and yard. She tugs on my pant leg and whines when she wants my attention. The time goes by so quickly.
Dad: By Thanksgiving 1978 Rachel is up and walking around. She loves to follow us around and will hold onto our legs so we can't walk.
Dad: During Christmas 1978 everyone had the flu. Rachel has had a runny nose for about a month. She is a good-natured child and as cute as can be. She will still hold onto your legs and demand to be picked up and properly cared for. Chad and Rachel play some with her although Chad is a little rough for such a small girl. For Christmas Rachel got some dolls, and a plastic blow up Santa. She enjoys being tickled and smiles a great deal! How did we ever rate such a wonderful spirit in our home!
The Joys of Parenthood
Suzanne: Tuesday Feb 28, 1979, I was trying to get Rachel into bed and feed Chad so I could watch Dick Cavett interview Jacques Cousteau on his Talk Show on KCET. Rachel was screaming, and Chad was drinking Rachel's bottle and wetting his training pants. I was counting the minutes until Chad's naptime and I knocked over Rachel's empty bottle that clattered to the floor. Chad, obviously copying my authoritative voice, orders: "Pick it up, Mommy. Right now, or get a spanking and go to your bedroom."
After I picked it up, he came over to my chair and said, "That's a good boy, Mommy." I chuckled and called him a "funny honey". He said, "No, you a funny honey". I blew him a kiss, and he pointed at my face, finger going clockwise around. "Black eyes and a red mouth.....beautiful!" he said approvingly. Then he pulled my head down and gave my nose a kiss and ran off singing, "A,B,C,D,(tm),F,G,H,I, etc., unconsciously omitting E. I watched his tall blond body diminish in the distance and remembered not long ago when he could barely toddle into my arms, and I used to sing to him while I did the housework. I naively thought that I could never raise my voice or hand against him. He'd tug on my pant leg and whine and I'd sit cross-legged on the floor with him in my lap and sing to him. My breath would catch in my throat as I thought how dear he was to me. I'd hold him in the air and let him stand on my tummy. Now I do these things with Rachel. I feel a sense of loss for time gone, never to be recaptured. That
moment was precious, and I wanted to hold it, keep it, breathe it in and make it a part of me forever. Eat your heart out Dick, baby. My little boy will never point at your face and say, "Beautiful"....or "Good boy, Mommy", nor ever give your nose a kiss!
Chad and Rachel like to watch Captain Kangaroo at 8:30 in the morning followed by Sesame Street, then play or go for a walk around the neighborhood, Chad on his trike and Rachel in the stroller. Then at 11:00 Chad can watch Electric Company while I feed Rachel and put her down for a nap. I fix Chad a sandwich and try to watch the Dick Cavett show afterwards. It's not easy with these two little ones and serving as Young Women's President, but I try to remind myself that these are my golden days.
One Year Old
Dad: June 25, 1979, Rachel is one year old plus. She is a charmer with her bright brown eyes. cheese smile and cute laugh. She is very responsive to those around her. She didn't want me to leave this afternoon. She said a number of things. The first word she said was bye, bye. She now says; thank you, here, don't!, no!, baba (meaning milk bottle), mama, milk, car when she wants to go and she can cry up a storm. She also walks, crawls, climbs, takes off her diapers, and sometimes even puts them in the toilet herself. We have been thinking seriously about moving from the Osborne home lately. Inflation is bad, taxes bad and the cost of gas hit $1 a gallon. This may be our only chance to get out.
Chad and Preschool
September 2, 1979 Sunday
I am looking into a Pre School that meets 3x a week for 2 hours in the morning for Chad. It's just down at the park on Chase Street, just 2 blocks south of us. I think that it would be a good experience for him. His teacher will be "Miss Cindy". It is a Parent Coop. I believe that it will help to fill his mornings, give him the stimulation he needs and I can't provide, and get me out of the house and somewhat on a schedule. It is close enough that we can walk and I can push Rachel in the stroller, which she loves. He also starts Primary soon on Tuesday afternoons.
Today the children were both stung by yellow jackets that are making a nest in Chad's swing. And a week ago Friday Rachel ate some mushrooms growing in the backyard by the steps. I gave her two doses of Ipecac to get her to throw them up, then called my dad, the poison control, and the paramedics, who came by the house. I panicked, but she seemed fine after vomiting. Yesterday I caught her playing with some more! I'm going to have to be real careful from now on. All this can go in a chapter called "Bittersweet Joys of Parenthood". We still don't have Chad bowel trained yet...It's almost time to work on Rachel. Maybe they can learn to be potty trained together.
We're trying to buy a house out in Saugus. Kent's aunt works for J. M. Brock and Sons building company. They're building a nice tract of homes just a block away from a new chapel the church is building too. We hope to get one with a larger yard for the children to play in. They'll build a park and recreation center with a pool too. Our friends the Whites, Stanleys, and Nelsons from our ward are moving there too. We feel like it's the right move and trust that the Lord will help everything fall into place for us.
One important reason we want to move is so that we can get a larger home. Our little two-bedroom home here in Panorama City is too small, especially now that I am about 2 months along pregnant with #3 child. The baby will be due the first of April, 1980. I sort of hope that it will be a boy for Chad's sake. I got pregnant sooner that I expected, but I have resigned myself to
the realization that it is the Lord's will for us to have this child.
Suzanne: Thursday Sept 6, 1979, I stepped on a rusty nail a few days ago (Sunday). It went through my shoe. I haven't had a tetanus shot for many years and since I'm two months pregnant, it would be unwise to have one at this time. I've been praying about it and am at peace concerning the matter.
Monday (Labor Day) we dropped Rachel off at Mom and Dad Browns and took Chad to Disneyland. Rachel was so cute...in order to leave her without having her be all upset I put her on a chair in front of my dad (who was talking on the phone to Brother Towse), gave my dad some marshmallows to cup in his hands, and snuck away with her grinning up at my dad and stuffing her mouth. She was real attached to him the whole day...followed him around, wanted to be held, let him feed her, put her down for a nap, get her up and change her diapers...I don't think my dad did anything else all day but I think also that he had the time of his life. When we got home my dad was holding her. When she heard my voice she called "Mae,Mae!" and held her arms out all excited to see me; but when dad left to meet a patient she wanted to follow him. My father is such a choice individual and has such tremendous understanding of the gospel I hope my children do take after him. My mother, too. She is charming and gracious. As my dad looked at sweet little Rachel before he left, he wondered aloud how anyone could mistreat or not want a little child as precious as her.
Suzanne: January 5, 1980 Saturday, Chad has been doing well in Preschool and Primary. In the ward Christmas Party he was a flower (sang "Hosanna" and "Jesus is Risen") and an angel (sang "Silent Night"). Sweet Sister Kellor is his Primary teacher. In Preschool Christmas program he was a Wiseman (sang "Away in a Manger") and a boy waiting for Santa Claus in his pajamas (sang "When Santa Claus Comes to Town"). Preschool in particular has been very beneficial for him in his self-esteem and feeling of competence, and ability to relate to others. He loves his teacher
Cindy, enjoys the interaction with the other children, the toys, feelings of importance and grownup-ness, and special-ness of having something of his own to belong to and attend. Something he can productively expend his energy in. He makes crafts and learns concepts (pre-reading skills) brings home school papers to show daddy, is learning to follow directions well, and relate to others. For his sake, it was an inspired move. I nearly dropped him out after Christmas because of all the petty fines and rules, but things have lightened up so I plan to keep him in until we move to our new home in Saugus this spring.
Two Years Old
Suzanne: Jan 6, 1980, Rachel is a beautiful, good natured, affectionate child with wispy brown hair, large brown eyes, dimples, a ready giggle, a toothy grin, quick on her feet, impish ways. She's started glowering when she doesn't like something, but she never pouts long, she can always be teased out of it. She takes my finger and leads me where she wants to go. Warms up to strangers slowly. She is most dear. I pray that the Lord will bless and protect her that she may ever be virtuous, a ray of sunshine , and the handmaiden of the Lord.
Dad: Jan 6, 1980, Dear Rachel, You are two years old! Your 33" tall and really don't weigh very much. You have dark eyes, eyelashes that are a contrast to your fair skin. Mark, your uncle, says that this makes you look like you are wearing make up. You are very beautiful! You enjoy a great many things such as: foofiea snoopie dog, your blanket, Fisher Price Toys, Dad, Mom, Chad, Playing in the dirt outside, candy, your doll and Christmas stroller. You scream a shrill scream when anyone invades your territory! you are spoiled, loved, and fussed over to a great deal. We've made a small table that you enjoy eating at. You like to be held although at other times you are rather independent Ann Gall style. She is your great-great-great grandmother and looks rather independent.
We cared for a small baby yesterday and you were mother solicitous; feeding, watching, caring and generally mothering the little fellow. You don't like wearing many clothes and went potty for the first time on the night of Jan 3, 1980.
A big moment.
Dad: March 9, 1980, dear Rachel: You are 23 pounds, often
smiling, reader of books, you pick up your own toys, you have blonde/brown hair, like sitting in the back seat of the car, and sometimes you say the prayers by saying just one word of each phrase.
Moving to Saugus
Suzanne: March 21, 1980 Friday, We did a little packing, got the children dressed and said prayers. Then Kent took them in his M.G. to McDonald's for breakfast before taking them over to his mom's to watch all day, night and part of Saturday while we moved into our brand new home on Hyssop Lane in Saugus. I went to McDonald's too, but drove through the car line instead of walking in with the family so that I could head on out to the new house and begin a day of cleaning while Kent was loading up the rented
U-Haul. As I drove up I could see Rachel sitting on the counter waiting for the food with her daddy. She smiled and waved, then turned her head slightly looking off into the distance. I knew she and Chad were excited about going to McDonald's and Grandma and Grandpa Gardiner's but I'm sure they must have been marveling about all the commotion and unusual circumstances. We had talked to them about the new house, move, etc., to prepare them, but I'm sure they really didn't understand, and everything must have seemed strange. I knew they would be happiest at their grandparents all day and then Kent and I could accomplish much more without them too. Still, my heart caught in my throat. They are so dear to me.
Suzanne: Saturday March 22, 1980, my folks and David came out early to finish helping us arrange things and were wonderful. Kent went to get the children in the afternoon. They were excited about the new house and had trouble going to sleep that night in their new beds and rooms. Rachel especially, who was used to sleeping in the same room with Chad.
Kelly Ann Is Born
Suzanne: Monday March 24, 1980, this morning Jim and Glenna Rae called at different times to tell us they had a little baby girl (Kelly Ann) at 6:30am. Thinking about that made me feel that my baby would come soon. I was very anxious to get everything ready and out to my folks as soon as I could. I moved slowly until noon, when I organized the food cupboards with Rachel's help (which I received from that charming precocious little 2year old going on 22 with mixed feelings), washed and took care of clothes, went over the budget, got the baby things ready and packed to go to my folks. We got there after 7:30pm. Ate some of my mom's good homemade soup, bathed the children, and all went to bed.
Suzanne: Wednesday, March 26, 1980 today I went shopping with the children at Puente Hills Mall. We got daddy and grandpa presents as we planned to jointly celebrate their birthdays that evening at the Browns. We also got Rachel some everyday shoes (that ended up lasting all of three days she wore them out dragging her feet while riding her horsey). It was extremely exhausting going up and down escalators about 20 times, getting drinks, going to the potty...Chad threw himself down and bawled in Sears because I got Rachel shoes and not him...We went out the wrong exit on the wrong level and had to climb some stairs and walk half a mile (so it seemed to me) to get to the car. The children were hungry and thirsty and tired (and so was I) and Rachel fell asleep on the way to the Browns. I begged them to eat lunch quickly so we could all take naps. I slept on mom and dad's bed for a couple of hours but the children didn't sleep at all....in fact, Rachel poured out 2 bottles of my Escelsis make up all over my new robe, the rug, and a tray in the girls' room during "nap time".
When I got up the children "helped me" wrap birthday presents for daddy and grandpa and frost an angel food cake with jam and cream for their birthday celebrations. They had fun giving my dad his presents and were anxious for Kent to come so they could give him his. They carried them around the house until I took the one Rachel had away when she threw it over the banister. I found the one Chad had with the ribbon off and partially opened .
I was bone tired and ached. It was hard to move around and I lay down frequently reading some short stories from a schoolbook of David's. Just after I finished the cake (about 5:15pm) and dad left to go perform proxy sealings at the temple (and while Chad watched Sesame Street), I called Glenna Rae to find out how she was doing and give her my folks phone #. I also called Grandma Breiten about making me some pillows. Then I went to lie down again with David's book (Rachel came too). Mother came in to tell
I'd become increasingly aware of some light contractions coming more and more frequently and harder. I hoped they would stop if I rested (they didn't). I had told GR that I couldn't have the baby that night I was too tired and had too many things planned. I thought about dad at the temple 'till late and Kent not here, and nonessential things like the children's Easter Party and our Music Center tickets on Friday, and the Reed's sealing Saturday morning and prayed, "Please Lord, not 'till Saturday night." Then when I knew it wouldn't wait 'till Saturday, I changed it to...."how about after dad's sealing session and Kent gets here". But somehow the Lord has his way, through the birth of babies, of putting all things in life in their proper perspective of importance. I wondered how I would feel if Kent missed his birthday party AND the baby, but knew I would probably forgive him since he was just trying to take care of everything. We had almost a $1,000.00 invested in that cement, and as far as he knew, the baby wasn't coming 'till Saturday, the 29th, when it was due.
After 6:30 I went down to help mom get dinner on for the children and told her I didn't think I should eat since I had been having contractions. She said she had wondered if I were and suggested a second time that I call Kent. I knew that I should, but I hated to alarm him or get him out early then have to sit around waiting. While the children ate I packed a bag for the hospital.
Mom tried to get dad at the temple and didn't get through once. It was about 8:30 when I was officially admitted. At 8:45pm I began having a couple of very hard contractions, and had dilated to nearly 9. They put me in to the delivery room table. I kept expecting Kent to arrive but feared he would just miss it. Everything seemed a bit unreal (like it couldn't be happening to me) and up 'till then it had been easy to be distracted during labor. Now it felt good to push although my back ached somewhat. Dad said labor was too strong and fast for it to be a posterior birth like Rachel's (for which I was grateful). He could tell the cord was around the baby's neck and had the nurse put a fetal monitor on. The baby seemed to be all right but pushing and delivery seemed slow and agonizing. At first I had wanted to stall so Kent could see the birth but that lasted only a few minutes. Very quickly my one consuming interest became pushing the baby out and getting it over with. I soon got the knack of bearing down, and as soon as the head poked through, dad had HIM out. We were all elated: me, because I think I had secretly wanted a boy, and my dad, because he had delivered his own grandson on his own birthday March 26, 1980, Wednesday. Kent walked in not 5 minutes after Eric's birth, while they were cleaning me up. He took pictures of the baby and all of us.
As I lay on the table I thought: Well, he'll be Eric James (a name we had previously picked out): James after my dad (especially since he was born on my dad's birthday) and Kent's dad; Eric for his own individuality and as a name Kent and I both liked. I knew an outstanding LDS boy and student body president named Eric Bladh. But as soon as Kent walked in he said, "Oh, well I guess this is Seth Thomas". He had been reading in the scriptures about Seth and had been deeply impressed with it and decided he'd like to name his boy that. We didn't make a final decision until the day Eric and I were released, and as you can see, I won, and Eric James it is! Although the clerk mis-spelled James and Gardiner. I'm glad we decided upon Eric James. Maybe Eric can grow up like Seth did and follow his father's righteous footsteps.
As they were taking me to my room my dad marveled at how blessed he'd been in his life. He said that he'd wondered if the baby would be born on his birthday and thought that it would be nice, but didn't really yearn or hope for it. He said that it had to be some kind of first. A man delivering his own grandson on his own birthday.....Later before I was released from the hospital and he came by to see me, fill out the forms, and do Eric's circumcision, he stood at the foot of the bed, leaned on the rail and beamed," Now, you're really rich, aren't you?", referring to my now three precious children. I remembered how he would always introduce us to visitors as his "wealth". My father always treasures the things the Lord does.
I got a private room in the hospital, hopeful that insurance would pay for it (it did). It was well worth it for all the rest I got. The night before I came home I got 7 hours uninterrupted sleep. I never watched TV...read some short stories, started sections of my journal, napped every chance I could.
Kent brought the children for me to see. I sure missed them, especially little Rachel. I had my dad get a wheelchair and wheel me out to see them. Chad was real happy to see me and wanted to take me home he tried to push the wheel chair and was a real little man, so grown up. Rachel ignored me some what didn't want to sit on my lap....insisted on pushing the wheel chair, too. It reminded me of how Chad had reacted after I had Rachel. After my dad left a bossy nurse came out, saw me, got very upset, and took me back to my room. She was afraid the children may pass a cold on to Eric, and me and then the rest of the babies in the nursery.
Suzanne: March 29, 1980 well, here we are all home in our new house. Kent brought all of us home on Friday, then took the children shopping so Eric and I could get some sleep. I was just dropping off when I was awakened by the phone University Elementary School giving me congratulations but chastising Kent for taking the day off from school. I was so mad I couldn't go back to sleep. That night when I went in to kiss little Rachel goodnight in her new bedroom, she turned her face to the wall and sobbed a little. My little darling princess was dethroned by the arrival of a usurping prince. I felt rather badly....just like I did for Chad when I brought Rachel home.
Rachel was so very clingy when I was pregnant this Fall I could
not even move out of her sight in a grocery store without her coming all unglued. Her hands would move up and down on her face and she'd act so distraught. She was very bonded to me, and always wanted me to hold or carry her until my arms ached and I begged Kent to take her. Now as I look back at those pictures of her at this age, how my arms ache to hold her again. I felt guilty having my first three children so close to each other - guilty for the child just older than the baby, and especially for Rachel who was sandwiched in the middle. But I was very blessed in Rachel: as soon as she neared the age of two she wanted to grow up and be like Chad. She was potty trained at two years old, wanted to follow him to friends houses to play, and no longer wanted to be treated as a baby especially with the new baby in the house. Perhaps she sensed the baby was coming; but she seemed to grow up overnight. While I mourned the loss of her babyhood, I appreciated how mature her little personality was. She was very easy to care for. She tended to hold her own feelings in, and became a little mother to Eric, trying to mimic me in tending him.
Suzanne: Easter Vacation, 1st week in April, 1980, Kent took advantage of the week off from school to work as hard as possible putting in the brick wall in our back yard so that Chad and Rachel could be contained and I wouldn't need to worry about them during the day while he was at work. Rachel in particular, was a worry since she was just barely two years old. It was one of the craziest weeks of my life with a new baby, all the commotion and noise going on in the back yard, and Chad and Rachel who wandered around the neighborhood making new friends. I was in a panic many times, taking care of Eric or trying to get a needed nap in and not knowing exactly where the older two children were.....and just praying that they would be all right, and that my new neighbors would watch them for me when I couldn't. Often times during the day I walked up and down the street in my robe looking for them and trying to get them to tell me where they would be, or to keep Rachel at home so that I could keep an eye on her. It was General Conference that Easter weekend as well, and Kent didn't get finished in time for the Priesthood Session, but he did stop for Sunday.
Kent is a hard worker around our new home, trying to get everything done. We really make a good team, but it was very difficult with him working all the time while I tried to care for the children. He made our patio roof cover and was drilling and sawing, hammering away and keeping the baby awake, sending sawdust flying all over and getting tracked into the house, breaking light fixtures, having me hold up huge heavy beams and getting my arms scratched up while he drilled, etc. Our house began to look real cute, and it was fun to pick out paint, wallpaper, pictures, etc. We tried to copy the model home that the sales office was in that was just like ours.
Before we moved, a mother of one of Chad's Preschool friends gave me a swing for Eric. And when Eric would fuss and I was trying to care for the other children or fix meals or even sleep, many is the time I would prop him up in that swing and crank it up. He'd kind of hunch there in the swing with his head cocked uncomfortably to one side, and doze off in between windups. That swing was his babysitter, my second pair of arms, and his bed. He took many naps in that swing when I didn't dare move him for fear of waking him up. I joked a lot about the seesaw view he was getting of life, but I'd heard that rocking stimulated the cerebellum, and so hoped that he would have an active and stimulated intellect to compensate for my inability to always tend to his every need with three small children now under the age of four years. I even put him in there in the middle of the night on rare occasions, wind it up as tight as it would go, and jump back in bed to try to doze off before it wound down and I would have get up and recrank it.
He is darker as an infant than Chad, not as dark as Rachel. He is finer boned in his features than Chad, and grew and gained weight slower than either of the other two children. His fussy period finally tapered off at 3 months and he became a contented, good-natured baby, and I began to really enjoy him as I had time to care for him while Rachel and Chad consoled and entertained each other.
It seems like nearly every family in this phase of new homes has young children or is planning to have a family. Chad and Rachel have made many new friends, such as Craig and little Lizzy McGuire, Kara Moody, and Larissa and baby Aaron Cox. All of these children live within three houses of us on the right. Chad is particularly taken with Larissa, our neighbor's daughter, and they play together nearly all the time, with Rachel tagging along behind.
Suzanne: Saturday, June 28, 1980, Eric is getting so big, alert and responsive. When I'm pregnant it seems like forever. But babies are babies too short a time. I wish I could preserve them in their sweetness, innocence and dependency a few moments longer in eternity. As hard as pregnancy is, as challenging as it is to rear a family in today's world, it is worth everything. I used to struggle a bit against all the demands put on me with having little ones so close together. Now I know what a short time I will have my children to care for. My patriarchal blessings promises me that there is a joy found in being a mother that can come in no other way. I know that this is true. Nothing can compensate for the joy, the learning, the need to give and care for that is found in mothering. I pray that I may become the mother I must and want to be. Perhaps in the eternities we will count our blessings by the number of righteous posterity we have.
Certainly being a mother in Zion is the greatest privilege and blessing that will come to me. The inward struggles I felt were just a natural part of growing up, learning to be less selfish, and putting righteousness before worldly honor. I recently read about Sister Myron Tanner, an accomplished poet and literary woman, who after struggling to write and study all through
raising six children realized upon the eve of publishing a book of poetry that she was more proud of her son than of a half dozen published books. While I cried when I left BYU to marry Kent, I wouldn't trade my children in for all the college degrees in the world...and truly believe that in time I shall be prouder of their accomplishments than I will my own. There are great spiritual blessings that come to mothers. I feel such a special closeness to my children when I can meet their needs, nurse and care for them. Little Eric is beginning to support his weight on his feet, coo, smile, giggle, trash his arms about and look so alert and sweet. He looks like his uncle
Jim Brown (my brother). When he's hungry he curls on his side and grunts and pushes things in his mouth. I feel a sensitivity and bond with all of nature, and can not look at even a long bodied but curled on my window seal or a skittering mouse in the garage without feeling my heart leap inside and a bond of sympathy between us for another of God's helpless, dependent creatures. I am loath even to swat at a bee or a fly inside the house. I so adore the children when they're little, I'm afraid I consciously favor Rachel and the baby over Chad and Kent.
Suzanne: July 17, 1980, Kent took Rachel swimming, and Cathy
Harmon, Amy's mom, took Chad swimming.
Sophisticated Nursery Student
Dad: July 27, 1980Rachel is having a wonderful summer. She has been attending a nursery, Sunday School class with quite a large group of children. She is not sure if she really wants to stay by herself in class at first but after a few minutes she enjoys putting together puzzles, pushing cars around and having books read to her. Today there was a note on the door, "Children born in '78, here, children born in '79 there" however they needed children for the older class so she went into the '79 class. She always looks pretty with her dark eyes and eyebrows and her blonde hair. Because she has played out in the summer sun she is very brown.
Dad: July 27, 1980, She has a pink and blue blanket that she enjoys, values and won't let anyone touch. She takes it to bed with her as well as some treasured sandals, which by the way, she can put on herself! She has good dexterity. She can make her own bed. She likes to play with her Fisher Price dishes, likes to go shopping end enjoys eating gum. Although the stuff is a mess, she adores play dough She takes her clothes off and must be dressed at least 10 times a day. She is also in constant need of help with doors and drinks.
Suzanne: Friday August 29, 1980, I don't think I have ever so thoroughly enjoyed my children like I do now. They area delight tome. I love to tease them and make them giggle, then smother them with little smooches. Sometimes when I am feeding Eric in the middle of the night I imagine all kinds of horrible things that could happen to them (like falling out of the car like Charlie my brother did (one door of our Valiant doesn't always shut tight), etc. I break out in cold sweats and sometimes go check on them sleeping so sweetly, twisted in odd positions, and fall on my knees beside their beds in fervent prayer for their safety. How barren my life would be without them! May the Lord ever bless them and protect them from harm, evil, and the wicked designs of others....and may they ever learn to obey and love the Lord their God. I guess there are worse things than losing a child through death losing a child through sin...but I do not wish to lose a child either way.
Kent and I went up to the World Conference on Records in Salt Lake City. We left Chad and Rachel with Kent's folks. My heart yearned towards them even before we left. And it was so good to see them again when we got back. The conference was enjoyable but long and hard with Eric, who couldn't get enough to eat or sleep. The last couple of days I nursed him and put him to sleep on the floor behind a cake concessions stand on the 3rd floor of the Salt Palace. He was kinda cranky much of the time he was awake I guess he missed home and a regular schedule.
2 Years Old - Magic Mountain
Thursday April 1, 1981, Last Saturday we took the kids to Magic
Mountain. I really enjoyed being with the kids. They loved the log water rides (Jet stream and log jam) I walked my feet off(tm)had to remove my shoes. We spent most of our time in Children's World in the morning. Eric loved the motorcycles and cars. In the afternoon Eric went to Vivian Mark's while we went to the Marionette show and Spilliken corners.
Sunday we went to my brother's ward for the blessing of his baby. I sat through Primary opening exercises to introduce Chad and Rachel to their teachers and make sure the kids adjusted to the different ward. Rachel had a great time. She came out with handouts and insisted on coming back for a Primary activity-"Manners for Meals" where the children put on a dinner for their folks.
Suzanne: Friday April 24, 1981, today did not start out very happy. Yesterday I spent a marvelous morning reading the scriptures, reading to the children, and practicing the piano (Beethoven's "Prayer" from OP 48 No. 1) while the children colored and played happily together. Then Chad went off to "Fun for Fours" Preschool, and Larissa, Aaron, and Joshua came over from next door for me to watch while Marilyn Cox went to a doctor's appointment. I heard Chad call me outside about the time he came home from Preschool, so I ran out to find him. Then Kara, another neighbor girl came over as I was changing Eric. I locked the door so the kids would stay in and took a nose count to be sure I had everyone (8 children 5 and under). I noticed crayon markings on the sidewalk and I asked Rachel if it was her. She said yes, and I started to give her a time out, then changed my mind since she told the truth and told her she'd have to show Daddy and help wash it off. Anyhow Kent came home and took the older kids swimming, (Aaron slobbered and sobbed the whole time home with me while they were gone). Then when he got back I took off for Piano Lessons at COC and to Xerox genealogy. When I got back the whole family came out to meet me and show me the crayon markings ALL OVER the house outside, sidewalk, patio posts, swing set, air conditioner, storage barrels, gate, door, tricycle. It was unbelievable. Turns out Kent found them and really wailed the daylights out of poor Rachel who told the truth. She kept screaming for me. He gave her a long time out (it was the 3rd day in a row she'd marked on walls, etc. with crayon or pens, pencils. Kent's actions so traumatized the other children they all denied any knowledge of the crayon marks (many of which were too high for Rachel to get. We got Larissa and her mom over to show them and talked about it but Larissa denied it. Then Kara and her mom and dad and Kara denied it. Earlier Chad had denied it to us and we believed him since he is generally truthful. Kent and I went to bed heartsick. I prayed for wisdom and that the truth would come out, and also for the well being of the culprit. I do confess however that Kent and I went to bed suspecting the neighbor girl Larissa. But I knew what I had to do with Chad.
The next morning (today) when we all were up I gave Rachel a cookie for telling us the truth yesterday. Chad became incensed-extremely upset over that cookie demanding that I give him one too. I refused, told him maybe later. After breakfast we went into his room where there were drawings on the wall. I knew he had done some, I recognized his style vs. Rachel's. The night before he had denied doing them, but said one was a picture of Craig, another neighbor and friend. So I showed it to him again, told him I wouldn't spank him if he told me the truth and I asked him if he did it. At first he denied it, but when I nailed him a little, he admitted it. We tried to clean it up some. Then we went to the refrigerator where there was another picture like the first (too detailed to be Rachel's). He hedged some, then admitted it. We tried to clean it, then we went outside and I asked him about the markings out there. He hedged again, then admitted to it and showed me what he did enough to convince me it was him including where he put the crayons when done: in his dinosaur can filled with water in the bathroom. He and Rachel had been playing in the bathroom yesterday morning after they marked outside while I practiced the piano.
I felt sick inside. I had him tell Larissa's and Kara's moms so they would know (since we accused their daughters), coached Kent somewhat about not overreacting....Kent told him he was proud of him for telling the truth and that he wouldn't get a spanking. Chad stayed home all day. I think he felt badly about it. And when Kent came home, he tried to help him clean the crayon off. Kent and I made a rule after this: if you tell the truth, you won't get a spanking. But if you don't tell the truth and we find out you get punished real hard. I want my children to be honest....but also to trust us and have a good relationship.
I was sure embarrassed at having accused the neighbor children...
Oh well, they can learn to exercise a little compassion towards us.
Candy and Make Up
Mom: Sunday, May 3, 1981, Rachel likes candy and make up. She filled a work chart up by helping mommy set the table and make dinner. We took her to K-Mart and she had a hard time deciding between a bag of candy and some makeup. Finally she chose the makeup (Fresh and Fancy). We keep it in Mommy's medicine cabinet with her finger nail polish. She likes for mommy to show her how to put it on.
She loves to play with her dishes and her friends: Missy Mark (whose mommy trades babysitting with Rachel's mom), Angela White who lives around the corner, and Heather Blair, who goes to Tiny Tots with her on Friday morning. (All girls are in the Nursery with her on Sunday morning. Rachel likes going to Park for Tiny tots. She likes to play with puzzles, draw pictures, finger play five little monkeys jumping on the bed, and eat the punch and cookies. She also likes Kara Moody who lives two doors from us.
Rachel and Chad drew on the outside of the house with crayons.
Rachel told the truth even though her Daddy spanked her hand. I gave her a cookie for telling the truth. She said she's not going to write on the walls anymore "only paper."
Rachel likes to put curlers ("curlies") in her hair and wear ponytails (pigtails) and ribbons, barrettes. Rachel still loves her "gangket" (blanket). I call her my "little Ray blossom," for she is.
Suzanne: Sunday May 10, 1981, Tuesday, Rachel played at Missy Marks house while mommy sewed a baby gift and worked on the couch slipcover. She was so happy about going she sang all morning until Sister Marks came to get her.
She used to refuse to go into the nursery at church, she'd be screaming and clinging to mommy it was quite heart wrenching for me we started treating her after church if she was a "big" girl and I had her play at some of her little friends houses on baby sitting exchanges. Now, when she goes in the Nursery she runs in, smiles, and puts her arms around Missy, Heather, or
Angela. Missy is her favorite. Mommy and Missy's mommy trade
Baby sitting every other week or so. Rachel loves to play with her friends and pesters me all day to play with so and so or whom ever . Usually it's Kara or Laurissa, two neighbor girls. Lately Rachel has really enjoyed climbing on the swing set and slide; sometimes sliding upside down or hanging on the ladder. She's doing "tricks" sometimes standing on her head, legs and hands holding her up or doing somersaults. She is such a pretty girl the loveliest face and smile. I pray that she may always be pure and clean and lovely inside and out. Sometimes when I fix her hair I tell her "Pretty is as pretty does" the way to be really pretty, on the inside and out is to be good and kind. She is very dear to me.
Friday Rachel came home from Tiny Tots with a picture of flowers wrapped up in tissue paper for me for mother's Day. She is very proud of going to "school" like a big girl. She came home with Chrissy Binghams mom (a neighbor of the Blairs) who asked her if she could run some errands. Rachel said "no", then "well, maybe..." a bit distrustfully. She is shy and distrustful of strangers and people she doesn't know well. She is too precious to us, perhaps it is just as well. Anyway, Chrissy's mom told her she was an angel. She asked me when she got home what an angel was. I told her it was someone who was good and kind. I asked her if she was an angel and she said "no!" I said, (teasing) Are you mean and bad?" She nodded her head and grinned, then went off to play . Later I was disciplining her
harshly about picking up her puzzle pieces so the house wasn't such a mess. She nodded her head and grinned at me so sweet and cutely. Then she picked them up immediately. Rachel, you are an angel.
She has some little red sandals she always puts on the wrong feet but at least she does it "by myself!" Her friend Angela White insisted on some red sandals "just like Rachel’s."
When she went to the store with Chad and daddy to get Chad's birthday dinosaurs she chose a Nestle's Crunch Bar "just like on T.V. and your supposed to eat it like this." She mocked chomping it and turning the candy bar from side to side. She shared it with Chad when they got home from church today. Whoops! Daddy says she did not share it with Chad. She ate it all by herself. You're almost an angel, Rachel. But always one to me.
Late Sunday afternoon Rachel and Chad enjoyed wrestling with their Dad on the grass outside. I took some pictures of Rachel on the seesaw swing doing "tricks." Before going to bed we acted out the Book of Mormon story of the Nephites separating themselves from the Lamanites just shortly after arriving in the Promised Land. Rachel and Chad were sheep (they crawled on their hands and knees and baaaaed) leaving with the Nephites (Dad & Me) Then we helped build temples and planted gardens.
Once for Easter we acted out Jesus appearing to Mary by the garden tomb. Chad was Jesus and Rachel was Mary. Now Rachel\ always wants to be Mary whenever we act out the scriptures.
Sometimes for play she'll wrap a towel or blanket around her head and say "I'm Mary."
Suzanne: Saturday May 16, 1981....I made some cupcakes, then went down to Rosedell School to be the Pocket Lady at their Carnival.
I agreed to do that before we had to postpone Chad's party because he and Eric were sick. Then I dashed home, bought some more Hot dogs and buns at 711's on the way, and set up for Chad's party.
It was fun, we played games and had hot dogs...my neighbor, Marilyn Cox came over to help me. Eric was so cute, he kept grabbing the hot dogs (he loves them) out of the buns, and carrying them around and eating them. Kent did an interview on cassette and took some pictures.
We didn't invite one neighbor child (Kara Moody), who is 2 years
younger than Chad mainly because I felt she was more Rachel's
friend than Chad's. I found out she was very sad and disappointed
(she feels like one of the gang)....I set aside some party favors
and tomorrow, Rachel and I will bring some over to her along with
a cupcake. I am sorry to break a little girl's heart.
Suzanne: Tuesday May 19th, 1981, I got ready to go work at Chad's school (Fun for Fours) in the afternoon. They are preparing their "To Kindergarten We Go" Program. It's darling, and I am amazed at how sharp those little four year olds are! They perform as well as many teenagers do in ward Road shows. Mrs. Elvington, Chad's teacher has pleased me. She is able to command the kids' respect and obedience, and the children adore her. Chad was tested for kindergarten and the testing K teacher said Chad was developmentally at 5 years old, very ready for kindergarten.
Suzanne: Wednesday the 20th, 1981, the afternoon I took Chad and Rachel to the circus at COC (except Eric, he was in the baby sitting coop). The kids had fun and I kept buying them goodies to keep them occupied.
Suzanne: Thursday the 21st of May, 1981, I was supposed to watch
the Favera children for their mom who just had a new little baby, but we made it the next day since Eric's eyes were so matted over and I wasn't sure what was causing it. I kept putting Visosulf drops in when I could, but I hated doing it because he always squirmed, yelled and rubbed his eyes. I tried to get a sub for Chad's preschool, but when I couldn't, I got Marilyn next door to help watch him and went anyway. Rachel had a good time participating with everyone. She said she liked Chad's school, and she played some Alphabet games with the children while I stuffed life size figures of the children in the class.
Crying In Church
Suzanne: Sunday the 24th, 1981, I gave the closing prayer in Sacrament Meeting, but before I did, Rachel came dashing up to the stand to be with me, sobbing her heart out all the way up.
Suzanne: Wednesday May 27th, 1981, Yesterday, I got my hair permed and cut for the first time, like Janelle Young in our ward. When I went to pick up the children at Vivian Marks', Eric gave me a queer look, Chad said he liked my hair the other way better, but Rachel said she like my curls.
Kent Leaves Rachel For Canada
Kent is in Canada for a week with his elementary school children. Chad and Rachel ask about him a lot. I tried to show them on the globe in Chad's room where he was. They've been praying for him Chad says "Thank you that Daddy will come home safely and fastly."
Rachel was bothering Chad so I told him to "ignore" her. Then Rachel tattled, "Mommy, Chad's `ginoring' me." Later Chad wanted to know what 'ginoring` was.....Oh, well.
I took an hour nap and gave the children a late lunch. They played so nicely and well together I promised them an ice cream cone. Candace Waldheim came by at 4 pm to take them to the library for story time. She bought them an ice cream cone because they were so good at the library.
Rachel fell asleep during Wonder Woman. I carried her into bed and put a glass of milk by her bed. I gave Eric bath and as soon as I began filling the tub he began screaming. He ran out of the bathroom and came back with his blanket and bottle; I guess he though he'd take those in the bath with him for security. He screeched and tried to get out the whole time. No toys would entice him to relax and enjoy it. I think Kent's bathing and dowsing him has traumatized him.
Chad played in the bath awhile, dressed himself, and cleaned his room. Then I read him a story. The children were sure well behaved today.
Suzanne: Friday May 29th, 1981, this morning I worked at Rachel's school while Debbie Hilton watched Cad and Eric for me. Rachel is a sweet girl. She loves the school ("Tiny Tots" at Santa Clarita Park) and so for her sake, I endure some of the teacher's lack off skill and organization. We brought Christy Bingham and Heather Blair home to play for a while.
I fed the kids lunch, then washed and set my new hairdo. Rachel was very cranky and whiney the whole time. She must've been tired, she's usually not that way. Chad was extremely cooperative and good-natured all day. He had his moments, but he responded to reason and quiet words. I think I'm doing alright as a mom when he's like that.
I got the children to bed and Jan McGuire came over to watch them while I drove down to UCLA to get Kent, back from his Canada trip. The children wanted him to come in and kiss them as soon as he got home while they were sleeping. Eric saw Kent when he changed him, and cooed, "Dada" for a while.
Suzanne: Saturday May 30th 1981, when the children got up they all came in to see Kent lying in bed. Chad ran to kiss him; Rachel just peeked through the door. They watched TV cartoons until Kent got up. Then they all wanted to know if he had kissed them during the night and he said yes, and hugged and wrestled with them. He could barely walk two steps without having the kids all over him. He brought out presents for the children: a Canadian commemorative pen and some candy for Rachel (Eric got some of Rachel's candy too), and three wooden train cars for
What a Beautiful Girl
Mom: May 31, 1981, Sunday: Rachel is such a pretty girl. She has become quite brown in the sun already. She went with me to work in Chad's school lately and eventually, (with encouragement) joined right in with the kids playing some alphabet games and without Mommy. She said she wished she "could go to this school." She really loves the Park 'Tiny Tots' all the songs, finger plays, crafts, and snack. For her sake, I appreciate the program. And she loves to play with other girls especially Laressa and Amy two older girls who live in the neighborhood.
When Rachel says her prayers, she says..." And I love my whole family, and Je'us, Amen." She can count to five now, most of the time. She filled up her work chard and bought a "Traveling Make(tm)up set", with a mirror, comb, brush and toy make up in a little case, and Eric loves it. In fact he loves everything Rachel has and likes, to her dismay. But she adores and bugs him as much as he does her. She still likes to get on the counter and watch me cook dinner and is a very good worker. She will empty the trash, help clear up or set the table and always fills up her work chard before Chad has his.
She wanted Kent to kiss her when he came home from Canada (he was there a week with school) and she peeked at him through the door when he was in bed Saturday morning, but wouldn't come in. He brought her a Canada pen, some candy, and a Canadian commemorative coin. But she found a slinky in his cupboard and decided she liked that better. Eric loved her candy and pen. Rachel lorded the pen over Chad refusing to allow him to look at it. She does this sometimes to get the upper hand but usually she's only too willing to do what ever he wills her to do. She calls everything a "coco" her funny word for everything when she's silly, and she's silly a lot. She played on the swings today a lot likes a push then she pumps her feet to keep going. Yesterday she went swimming with her dad and Kent put her whole head under the water. Good girl!
Suzanne: Monday June 1, 1981, we got up at 7:30 am, got dressed, ate, picked up the house, and packed into the car. The kid's were so excited (Rachel got up twice in the night) they bounced and chattered away in the car all the way to Grandma Gardiners. We left Eric there; he didn't know what was going to happen and he really screamed when we all walked out and left him. He tried to chase and dive after us, but Grandma held him with his blanket.
Chad threw up a few blocks from Buena Park Mall from carsickness and excitement. We stopped at John Reese's store "The Athlete's
Foot" and got shoes for Chad, Kent and I. The children were getting ancy, and we finally arrived at Disneyland about noon. We went first on a horse drawn carriage from Main Street, and secondly in the haunted Mansion. It was too dark and scary, Rachel quaked and trembled the whole time. The children liked Country Bear Jamboree, Jungle Cruise, Cars U Drive (2 x) Boats U-Drive (2 x), Merry-Go-Round Carousel -, Dumbo Elephant (2 x),
Cartoon Theater, Tom Sawyer's Island, and It's a Small World
(Kent took them on this while I went on the Matterhorn). They didn't like Pirates of the Caribbean (too dark and scary), Sleeping Beauty's Castle (boring) or the People Mover (boring, Speed Tunnel was scary). Lastly we went on the train through Grand Canyon and the Primeval World. Chad remembered the dinosaurs on the train ride from last time and did not want to go on it again (too scary), but we talked him into it as the last ride. We said he could tell his friends he saw the dinosaurs at Disneyland. It was pretty realistic, but I thin he liked it. It was a great day for it clouded over so not too hot or cold, on a week day so short lines. The longest wait was for Dumbo the Elephant. We had cheeseburger special plates, soft drinks, ice cream and jellybeans. We got the candy at the shops under the castle.
Eric was sure ecstatic to see us again. We stopped in to see
Gayle Reese and John, Jr., their new baby, and thank John for the purchases.
Wednesday June 3, 1981 , I was going to watch Vivian Mark's kids today but she changed it to Thursday....so I took the kids up to the pool instead. I met Glenna Rae White and her three kids,
Debbie Blair and her three, Margo Mumford and little David, Lisa
Esposito and her three, Nancy Pfahler and her two, and some others I didn't know. There were at least 20 children there, all preschoolers. Chad had a hard time-sharing the inflated "doughnut", which irritated me some since he knew how to swim, then Glenna Rae shared an extra one with him. Eric loved the water once he got in. I had to watch him or he'd just jump into the pool. I got in with him and held him afloat. He squirmed, kicked his feet, squealed, blew bubbles, and gulped water had a great time. Rachel enjoyed the "doughnut", went out in the water a ways and then squealed for help getting back into the steps. GlennsRae's Kelly fell in the pool twice.
Mom: June 7, 1981, Sunday, Last Monday Rachel went to Disneyland.
She was so excited, she got up twice in the night once to get a drink, and another time because she "heard noises." She could hardly wait to get there and she and Chad raced around the
Buena Park Mall and played in the clothes racks of The Athlete's
Foot Locker where we shopped before going to Disneyland. Rachel did NOT like the Haunted Mansion. She quaked and yelled "get me out of here!" She liked the Country Bear Jamboree, Small World,
The cars and Boats U Drive (after a while at first she refused
to drive them. Dumbo the Elephant, the Cartoon Festival and the Merry-Go-Round the very best In fact, when we gave her a choice of any ride to go on again she chose the Carousel Merry Go Round. She also picked jellybeans and seven up for a snack. She loved her yellow Mickey mouse balloon we got in going home she ran with it trailing behind her (Kent tied the string to her wrist.) She fell asleep on the way home.
She went swimming a couple of times during the week, and loves to take her "doughnut" (an inflatable ring.) She played with Angela
White, Missy and Sarah and Emily Mark, went to Tiny Tots with
Heather Blair, and went into a new Primary class today "The
Rainbows" for 3 year olds. She brought home a paper doll and was quite excited about that. She really enjoys doing "tricks" on the swing set. She also helped me take care of little "Joshy" a boy we baby-sit.
Rachel filled up her work card and began another so she could buy some pretty scented soaps like mommy has (she got into mine).
Rachel is a willing worker...emptied trash, clears off and sets the table.
Rachel Learns a Lesson
Mom: Sunday, June 14, 1981, when I came home from church today
Rachel had gotten "her makeup" down from the medicine cabinet and put some on her cheeks and fingernails all by herself. She'd been real careful not to get any on the sink and everything, but I had told her to remind me and I would get it down for her after we got home and she could put it on. She saw me getting ready for church and wanted to put some on) Kent was napping and I guess she got tired of waiting. I found her under the kitchen table eating one of the cookies I made for fireside desert. We had a little talk and I asked her what I should do to help her remember to ask first and she said "spank me and tell me NO!" It broke my heart but I gave her a little pat on the bottom (not hard). She's going to ask next time and I'll get it down for her and let her put it on herself. I'll just watch. She is such a pretty girl. She doesn't need make-ups but I guess she wants to be just like me. I consider that the most priceless compliment I've ever received sweetheart.
Rachel had Jennifer Thompson up Monday to play with dishes and dolls. Jennifer is a year older, but Rachel remembers her from the Nursery, and the two girls have a real affinity for each other. Tuesday Rachel played at Missy Mark's while Mommy sewed and worked on a piano piece. Then she went swimming and to the library for a tour and movie. Wednesday and Thursday she helped me take care of Jonathan and Joshua, and several other children of ward members. Friday she went to the last day of Preschool at the Parks, had a party, brought home a cookie, played on the slides and jungle gym a little at the park afterwards. She also played with Larissa and Amy in the afternoon.
Lots of Perfume
Wednesday evening we went to K-Mart to buy "flip-flops and a reward for filling up our work charts. She got into my perfume and so we're going to get "lots" of her own perfume next time we go to the market with a newly completed work chart. Rachel got some bright blue flip-flops with multicolored straps. She picked some Play dough for her prize and has really enjoyed playing with it and sharing it with Chad and friends everyday since we got it. (She and Chad are playing with it now) We mixed some of the colors to see that red yellow make orange. Rachel is doing pretty well at her colors now. Red is her favorite color though.
Saturday dad helped make a playhouse out of plastic piping and sheets. Rachel got real excited when she discovered a "dot" (mole) on her hand she has dots just like Mommy does!
I have been teaching her to say in her private prayers "Help me to take good care of my body." I do so want my precious girl to grow up pure and wholesome so that she can fully enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Feeling In Between
Mom: Sunday, June 21, 1981, Rachel has been quite disappointed
that she hasn't been able to come with Mommy and Chad to his gymnastics class. At 3 and a half she is definitely ready for some extra activities herself. She's at the age Chad was when he started Preschool. I worry that she feels "in between" Chad who's getting ready for school and baby Eric who gets kissed and teased a lot So Mommy spent some extra with her this week. Tuesday Rachel came with me to my folks her Grandpa and Grandma Browns so mommy could get copies of genealogy from Grandma Great (Breiten). Grandma Brown let her choose a "treasure" from a big
box of discarded items, and Rachel chose a metal round box with some jewelry in it a rhinestone broach, a blue and silver breaded bracelet, and a red bead necklace. She had fun putting them and parading as a "fancy lady" Then taking them off again and putting them in her "treasure box." We went out to lunch at Marie Calendar pies and all Rachel wanted to eat was crackers and sprite. She took her treasure box with her everywhere and talked about going home. I think so that she could show off her treasures to Chad and Daddy. It was overwhelmingly hot (107 degrees) but it was nice to have Rachel with us. I asked a passerby to take a picture of "us girls" four generations of women in the family Grandma Great, Grandma Brown, mommy, and Rachel. We stopped at a needlepoint and craft shop for Grandma Great who was looking for a pattern for a footstool she bought.
Rachel has many talented great women in her family. I hope she is grateful to be a girl and a part of our family. I got some interesting histories of men and women on Grandma's side. I was particularly touched by the Oviatt's Patriarchal Blessing and Criddle's histories. On the way home we got some French fries and ice cream. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon she went swimming with her dad and brothers. She took her doughnut but daddy got her to try a little bit without it. Friday we went to the beach. Rachel loved having the waves chase her. She looked so pretty laughing and running on the beach her golden hair waving and her body so brown. Her daddy buried her up to her neck, standing up, in the sand. Then he dug a tunnel to her hand and poured water (cold sea water) down it. She really giggled. Her body was already so brown she didn't burn like everybody else did. Sometimes she lay down on the blanket to "sunbathe" like her mother who is not so brown.
Mom and Rachel play
Saturday, when Chad went to his grandpa Gardiners with Daddy,
Rachel and mommy played "school" and makeup. Rachel had a nice long bath, then we washed her hair, put in "curlies' and put nail polish on her fingernails and toes. Rachel and I played school. Our cousins the Reeses stopped on their way to visit us. Rachel had a marvelous time playing with her three cousins, Jennifer, Julie and Jill and was sorry to see them go home. Jennifer Reese left her sandals here and Rachel got them on and clomped around the house in them, pretending she was Jennifer. She wanted to go right out and visit them again and return the sandals (and stay and play awhile).
After church Sunday, Rachel said her teacher told her she was supposed to give daddy a big hug and kiss but she was too bashful to do it.
Parent Child Swim
End of June 1981, Vivian Mark babysat Eric while we took Chad and Rachel to COC for Parent-Child Swim lessons. Another parent in the class, Candace Waldheim and her son Kevin needed rides, so we took them also. Candace became quite taken with Rachel. She also became somewhat interested in the church, and began attending R.S. homemaking meetings with me. She invited all of us over for a lovely Chinese meal as a thank you for the rides.
Mom: Monday July 6, 1981, Rachel filled up her work chart in a week and could have easily filled up another one if I had made one. Last Monday while I was cleaning the house and getting ready for our trip to Big Bear, she vacuumed the whole house and I gave her two stars. Rachel is such a willing and sweet worker.
A Big Bear Vacation
On the way to Big Bear Rachel sat in the back with baby Eric and
I. She got real thirsty crossing the desert to Victorville and wanted a drink right then! So we played a game pretending different hills, plants, houses or cars were the stores and we were going to stop and get her a drink. We finally made it to Victorville and after what seemed like forever to Rachel her daddy came out with a 7 up for Rachel and some lifesavers for her to share with her brother Chad.
Rachel was happy to see her cousin Jessica again. I pushed them both on a wooden swing dangling from a tree limb. Rachel helped me play Poor Pussy a game Grandma Brown taught us to play. We also played a game where you shout "Run sheepy, run" with your back turned, then stop! and turn around fast trying to catch those moving before they tag you.
Rachel enjoyed her visit with her cousins the Goodmans and
Grandma and Grandpa Brown for the day and a half visit at Big
Bear. Grandpa Brown showed us some card tricks. Grandma Brown painted a picture of the bay, and we played Poor Pussy for Family
Home Evening, Poor Pussy is a game Rachel's mommy used to play when she was a little girl with her brothers and sisters. The one who's "it" pretends to be a cat and "meows" trying to make you smile before you can say poor pussy with a straight face. She sat on her daddy's lap and put her fingers to her mouth to keep from smiling. She "meowed" to Grandma Brown and got her to smile.
She woke up in the night afraid because she was in a strange place. Our whole family slept in one bedroom. She and Chad shared a bunk. Rachel slept on the bottom. Her brother woke her
up at 7am the next morning because he wanted her to play with him (he and Eric were up at 6:30am)
We went swimming at Green Valley Lake 13 1/2 miles from Big Bear.
Rachel didn't want to go in much because the water was cold. She wanted me to take her out to the floating raft that Chad and her boy cousin were on, but as soon as I took her out there she wanted to go back to shore. Boy was that water cold. She was curious about the moss or plankton or lake plants that had washed to shore in the murky lake. She liked playing on the swings and monkey bars. Everyone comments on how brown she is. On the way back from Big Bear that evening she again rode in the back with Eric and I. Eric was spread out on the seat, so there wasn't much room. I made a bed of sleeping bag and her "gangket" for her on the floor. She lay awake a while talking to me and I told her about when I was a little girl living with Grandma and Grandpa Brown. She says that when she grown up to be a mommy she is going to get married in the temple and wear a pretty white dress. She asked what if she didn't have a white dress, and I said I would help her make one. Since she slept to and from Green Valley Lake she wasn't too sleepy (she had gotten a bit car sick and went to sleep on my lap).
Special Time in the Cool of the Evening
Some of the sweetest times with Rachel have been in the evenings, outside in the backyard, just before dark when it has cooled off.
We'll play house, she'll be the mommy and I'll be Rachel. She thrives on being able to be in charge. We went to lots of meetings. The grassy mounds were "the car" and she told me to go to sleep because it was a "long time" before we were there. When I asked for a drink or some candy like she does she told me "just a minute," she was "busy " reading or doing something. I did lots of waiting when I was Rachel and she was real busy and went lots of places when she was mommy. I sometimes think Rachel was born at age 1640. She certainly seems mature for her age.
Saturday the 4th she went to the store with her dad and saw the local parade on the way home. Later her dad took her swimming,
we had a barbecue picnic with some neighbors and then we saw some fireworks at night. We had fun sitting on the back of the car she cuddled up next to me.
Sunday we went to Grandma and Grandpa Gardiner's Ward to help
Uncle John Reese blesses his son. Rachel heard her Grandpa bear his testimony. He told about going to see some strip mining and the mountains and mountains of gravel they had gone through for a few ounces of gold and precious metal. He said he's been through lots of gravel in his life but that this moment with all his children and grandchildren gathered around was a golden nugget in his life. All the worthy priesthood holders in the family who were present were able to participate in the blessing including
Rachel's father, her uncle John, the proud father, said he hoped that this was a tradition, which would continue in the family. John, who is in the Bishopric in the Glendale II Ward bore his testimony and said that there was no greater calling in the church or priesthood than that of being husband and father. Her aunt Gayle, also bore her testimony of the joy and responsibility of being a mother ion Zion.
Rachel ate a sack lunch out under the trees with her cousin at the Reese’s home, and happily followed her girl cousin Lisa, Julie and Christy (a year older) around the house. She slept all the way home and went to bed early with a fever. Her daddy and I were quite worried about her. We each got up several times in the night to check on her, give her drinks, Tylenol, sponge her off and take her temperature. I said more than one prayer for her, too. She is so dear to us. Today she took a long nap but is doing better temperature normal. We will postpone seeing the Muppet Movie for a while until we are sure she and I are better.
Mom: Sunday, July 12, 1981, Tuesday we went to the "Muppet Caper" and Rachel really liked it especially Miss Piggy who helped save Kermit the Frog from the Jewel thief; Charles Grodin. She liked this movie much better than "Dragon Slayer" which we saw last week (it had a scary realistic looking dragon in it). We went swimming nearby everyday this week. Monday for Family Home Evening mommy told a story about when she was a little girl and was visiting her great grandma Henderson's Farm She was holding a big heavy crow bar to show "how strong" she was and
her little sister Judy wanted a turn to try it. So mommy tried to yank it away and it hit Judy in the forehead and made a big gash. Grandpa Brown stitched it up with ice and a needle and thread. There was lots of blood and Aunt Judy really screamed. Mommy felt bad and wished she had shared nicer. Having my own way wasn't worth Aunt Judy getting hurt. She still has a scar on her forehead by her hairline. I always felt bad about it.
Camping on the Beach
Friday and Saturday we went to Carpentaria Beach to spend the night with the Standleys, Nelsons and Whites. Angela White was there and Rachel had fun playing in the sand, tent and motor home with her. She slept in a borrowed tent in a sleeping bag with the family next to Eric and Chad. Eric kept waking up in the night and crawling over her, but Rachel slept well. She ate breakfast with Angela in their uncle's motor home (Trix and bananas) and took a nap on the beach under a lounge chair and sheet. All she had to eat on the way home was 7up and crackers
(she loves 7up) and she had a bath and we fixed her hair in "curlies" and 2 "pony hairs." All weekend she wore her hair in 1 pony hair but it was really short and kept falling out at the front and sides. She likes "pony hairs" because Sarah Mark, who has long hair and is the older sister of her friend Melissa Mark, wears her hair in a ponytail. Today after church Rachel and
Chad and mommy and daddy played house and danced and played piano. Rachel was always the mommy.
Mom: Sunday, July 19, 1981, I got real sick this week. On Wednesday I had to lie down all day. I asked the children to get me a blanket and Rachel went to get it for me. I thought of the parable ....who loves the most? The one who serves. Rachel has always been a willing helper and worker.
Learning to Swim (Red Cross)
Chad started a Red Cross Swim Class but they didn't have one for
Rachel, so I told her that her swim lesson would be in the afternoon with Daddy. She came in very insistent the afternoon I was sick to ask if her swim lessons were now with Daddy. I said yes (several times) and Kent said he's never seen so much desire in a child before. She spent nearly an hour swimming back and forth from the steps or wall and Kent. She'd jump in even in the deep end and swim to the steps. She doesn't take breaths yet but she really flails her arms and legs about. She's beginning to float now on her stomach with her arms out and on her back (clapping her bathing suit). One time she jumped in to swim to Kent but he didn't realize it and had moved away. When she didn't feel him there in front of her or see him (she swims with her eyes open). She turned back to the wall all by herself. She looked wet, bleary eyed and scared, but she was all right. Sunday (today) in church I got her from the Rainbow class and then turned the corner to talk to a sister in the ward. I couldn't find her so I walked down the corridor to her class and found her outside her class, sitting on her teacher's lap crying. I was sorry she couldn't find us, but grateful that she knows to return to where she was when she got lost to return to familiar territory. I hope that whenever she is lost in life, she'll know to return to familiar territory. Until she can get her bearings or we come to get her.
When I was sick in bed with the flu she went to school (UES) with her daddy. He said she followed him real closely all around the classroom, drew a few pictures, ate some punch and cookies, and sat on his lap. He was teaching a summer school class on rocketry for three hours in the morning. All the kids were real friendly to her but she wouldn't say anything just hung close to Kent. Kent said he enjoyed spending extra time with her getting closer. When she got home she would come in to see me and talk and show off, entertain me for nearly an hour, doing
"tricks," pretending different things, asking questions. She really enjoys a one to one relationship. We spent some sweet moments playing school, house, or dancing. She's always the mother or teacher.
Mom: Tuesday, July 28, 1981, Chad started school yesterday, so
Rachel and I have had more time together. She's been singing in the morning, going for walks with me to visit Angela White, helping me clean house, going to exercise class with me. I am enjoying the time with her, she is a sweet girl.
Washing Black Socks
Mom: August 9, 1981, Rachel has played a lot with Angela while
Chad's been in school this week. Last Sunday we went to Grandma and Grandpa Brown's ward for daddy to help bless Jenny Brown.
Her daddy, Uncle Jim bore his testimony about the privilege of blessing his own daughter and of maturing in the gospel. He told about how he washed his new black socks and new white shirt together on his mission then rewashed his shirt three times trying to get the grey out and was too embarrassed to even tell his companion. As we mature in the gospel our perspective broadens we can laugh a little at ourselves and have compassion
on others. Grandma Brown bore her testimony that the church and her family was most dear to her and that she tried to do everything the prophet, the stake president and the Bishop counseled her to do. We had a nice dinner at the Browns afterwards and mommy and daddy planned to go to the temple with everyone the next Friday night before uncle Jim and Aunt Carol went home to Missouri again.
Last Saturday Grandpa Gardiner dropped Jennifer Reese off to play with Rachel while he and some other coworkers helped a young widow from work put her yard in.
Camping at El Capitan
Mom, Sunday, August 16, 1981, we went camping with the Blairs on Monday through Wednesday at El Capitan. Rachel shared a bedroll with Heather, and liked throwing bread to the fish and ducks in the pond, chasing and running away from the waves. At home she and Kara Moody and Angela White who came over to play Friday had fun taking all of Rachel's clothes out of her drawers, trying them all on, stuffing them in bags and purses, and taking them and all her other toys all over the house and outside. She has been very anxious to learn since we have been working with Chad and his phonetics. Thursday I took her to school to have her picture taken like Chad. She was so excited but disappointed that she didn't get to stay and attend class. She looks so pretty in her pigtails and ribbons and dress.
Sunday August 29, 1981, Today Chad and Eric went with Kent to his Ward Missionary meeting and Rachel came with me to visit Solemint Ward's Relief Society as part of my calling on the Stake Relief Society Board. We had a nice time together, and got back in time to attend Primary and Sunday School.
Mom: August 30, 1981, When Rachel prays she always says: "And bless our whole family and bless that we'll be safe." She takes care of the important things first anything else is "extra."
She has enjoyed playing with friends this week. Next week she starts gymnastics on Thursday. Last Friday when Chad went to a slumber party she was quite lonely so we stopped to see if Angela
White could spend the night and she was invited to stay with Angela who had another friend Jennie Thompson over. We came back home first, packed a bag with blanket, nightgown and brush, just like Chad did.
Glenna Rae said they made cookies, then she and Angela stayed awake until 9:30 playing with dishes in the bedroom. The next morning Glenna Rae fixed all the girls hair pretty on their head with flowers. Rachel loved it, and came home so contented and pleased.
Today Rachel came to another war's Relief Society with me. We had a sweet time together. Oh last night we had a picnic with the Blairs hot dogs!
Mom, September 6, 1981, Thursday Rachel started a gymnastic class at COC with three of her friends Heather Blair, Stephanie Beeston and Lisa Mitchel. She just showed us a back bend and walk. She wouldn't show us any thing at first, but she's been wanting to go to gymnastics ever since Chad took it. She's been wearing her hair in pigtails lately and looks like a pixie.
Friday she played at Missy Mark's house while daddy and I went shopping. We stopped at Deseret Industries and got her some dress up clothes and dishes. She and Chad were so excited about the dishes it was like Christmas. They played all afternoon with them. Kent asked her what her favorite thing was and she said the big red and green salad spoon and fork.
Yesterday she played with Erin Wheeler all day. And when Grandma and Grandpa Brown came over she went swimming with them and ate outside on the small table with Adam Wooten her two-year-old cousin.
Thursday September 17, 1981, I think I found a preschool program for Rachel at Old Orchard Park. It is really for four year olds, but they do not have enough to fill the class, so they are allowing three year olds to come in too. Rachel is so bright, and seems to need some more social stimulation than I can provide. Angela White and Heather Blair are going to enroll also.
Mom: Thursday September 17, 1981, Rachel seems to be enjoying her gymnastic class. She is a little shy, but a willing participant who tries to do everything she should and does well. Dawn, the teacher went to hug each child Rachel wouldn't but gave her "five."
I've looked and prayed and tried to get a preschool for Rachel even waited two hours at Santa Clarita park to get her in there - and finally got her an Old Orchard park in Valencia and got three of her friends Angela White, Stephanie Beeston and Jennifer Thompson in too. Unfortunately it's on Tuesday and Thursday from 912 and so it looks like Rachel won't be able to continue gymnastics much longer. She is so lonely and bored during the day while Chad is at school and always wants me to call up
Missy and have her over so I usually call around and try to import friends for her in the morning. Monday afternoon Missy and Emily came over to play and have a picnic with us at the model airstrip with the Crawfords that evening she had a temperature. I didn't last the night but Tuesday she couldn't play with anyone and was so bored. She usually plays so nicely with Chad in the afternoon while I try to take a nap. She likes to bug me some while I try to nap ask me to do things but she's getting better.
Learning To Be Responsible for Others
Last night she got a spanking because she left the front door open two times and Eric went out both times.
She loves to play in the red and white dress up dress I got for her at D.I. and wear the red lace Missy gave her and have her hair in pig tails and play house with her dishes. Chad likes to play "snakes" with her necklaces.
Sunday September 27, 1981, The other day Rachel said evening family prayers and daddy told her to say a LONG prayer. So Rachel said: "Heavenly Father, Bless our whole family, and bless that we'll be safe. Bless our whole family and bless that we'll be save. Bless our whole family, and bless that we'll be safe," etc. over and over again. I am pleased that at least she realizes a dependency upon God for everything important to her. She used to always cling to me so much that I could hardly do anything. Now she is so independent and is hardly ever cuddly it seems. I miss that physical closeness. There is nothing quite so sweet as a precious little girl, especially when she puts her little arms around your neck and squeezes. It is enough to melt the busiest and hardest of hearts.
Mom: Sunday October 18, 1981, Rachel has been in preschool for three weeks now. She seems to enjoy it, is proud of her pictures and we've noticed a difference in her dispositions she seems more confidant, socially outgoing, better natured. Sometimes when she wants to do something she says " My teacher says...." in a very authoritative voice. I worked at the Preschool once drive most Tuesday mornings. I also work in her class in the
Nursery now the Rainbow class. Today I taught a lesson on small animals. We saw some pictures acted like specific ones (Rachel did a rabbit) and acted out a story of catching a lizard We played "The Bear and the Zombie" and "Who's afraid of the little Brown Bear?" and had crackers, playtime and songs . Rachel also said the opening prayer in her class in a very soft voice so softly only I could hear but I was pleased she tried it.
One day she had a hard time getting to school. We got up late and she didn't want to change her clothes into something nice for school and wanted to wear "curlies" in her hair, and her sweater (which we couldn't find. When Angela's mom came for her she didn't want to go, so I sent her on. Later she changed her mind and I brought her to school (I didn't want to encourage her staying home every time she wanted to). We talked about letting mother help Rachel because mommy loves her and next time she misses her ride she'll have to stay home After that we never had any problem. I think she was just tired mentally unprepared for school.
Hiking With Grandpa
A week ago Wednesday, her Grandpa Brown came out and we went up
Bouquet Canyon to explore the Falls up there. Rachel held my hand and screamed and whimpered and clung to me as we both slipped and slid over the leaves and rocks. I realized she wasn't dressed adequately. She was not in shorts and Sunday shoes nor was I in my thongs. At one point when I could go to further I deposited her on a small rock halfway up to the road and crawled the rest of the way up myself. Then took Eric from my dad and he went back for her. It was very touching to me to watch him slide down the hill to her as she clung to the rock and cried. I stretched my hand down to her as they came up and pulled her up to me on the edge of the road. My heart was in my throat the whole time.
Sunday October 18, 1981, I took a class learning how to make hair ribbons for Rachel in Relief Society homemaking. Today I taught Rachel's Nursery class (Rainbows) in church a lesson on "Small Animals". It was fun but exhausting. Last Friday was ward Talent Show. Eric really took to Debbie Blair patting her, cuddling up, wanting to sit on her lap, and calling her "Mommy". At first I thought it was her yellow sweater, but he did it again during Sacrament Meeting today. I felt several tinges of jealousy, I confess. I guess he recognized her from the times we've been with their family visiting, picnicking, camping, exchanging babysitting, etc. He even tried to push Heather Blair off her lap so he could sit there. I kinda felt bad; he didn't want anything to do with me.
Suzanne: Monday October 19, 1981, Today we went to Grandpa
Brown's office for immunization shots, then to his home for Family Home Evening and dinner. Chad and Rachel went home in Grandpa's car, and bought some chicken and complements for dinner. Chad dropped a glass cruet on his Corelle dish and it shattered all over the place.....kind of a mess to clean up, but fortunately, Grandma Brown was in Israel with Grandma Great and wasn't around to see it. For FHE we read postcards from mom, and a letter from David (on his mission) and then the kids played
"Octopus" with Grandpa on the floor. They loved it, but we stopped it before too long for his sake. We had family prayers and Chad went for a walk with Grandpa. On the way home Kent sang funny songs with the children. Everyone was happy. Even Eric, who travels pretty well now (not so carsick like he used to get), and rides contentedly in his seat. Rachel looked so pretty in her dress and curls. Chad sat in front with us and was very companionable and grown up. He was happy to be back in school.
"We love you, Bishop."
Mom: Sunday November 8, 1981, Last Sunday after church the kids wanted to go say "hi" to the Bishop who was still on the stand. I went with them to say hello and he said "Hi kids!" and turned to do something to that he didn't hear Rachel say "We love you, Bishop." Rachel, who is generally so timid, let go of my hand, stepped forward and said again a little louder, but still shyly, "We love you, Bishop." This time Bishop Morris heard her, and he turned knelt down and held his arms out to her, melting as she ran to embrace him and give him a spontaneous kiss on the cheek. I prayed that Rachel might always so cherish the Lord's servants, as a lump came into my throat, too. Rachel is usually so timid around others, especially adults so this incident especially was touching.
Hide and Seek
November 13, 1981, I am working on a velvet blazer almost done in fact. One day I looked everywhere for it and couldn't find it. I said a little prayer, then meditated for a moment, trying to imagine where the children might have put it....then in my mind I could see Eric putting it in the dirty clothes bin, like he has done to other clothes he's found lying around. I walked over to it, lifted the lid and searched through the clothes. And sure enough, there on the bottom was the jacket. He likes to think he's helping sometimes. Like emptying the dishwasher: he'll take the dishes out, stand on tiptoe, and throw them into the silverware drawer everything from eggbeaters to bottles, bowls to tablespoons.
A couple of Sundays ago, the kids wanted to go up and see Bishop Morris on the stand after Sacrament meeting. They said "Hi, Bishop," and he beamed "Hi, kids!" back, then turned to talk to someone else; so he didn't hear Rachel say" We love you, Bishop." She took a step forward and said it louder, "We love you, Bishop." He heard this time, and saying, "Aaaaah! he knelt down and held his arms out to her. To my surprise, shy Rachel ran forward and gave him a little kiss on the cheek. Bishop Morris really melted then, and I was very touched that she would feel such affection, trust, and reverence for the Lord's servants. May she always do so....
A Fairy Princess
She is becoming such a long legged young lady. For Halloween she was a fairy princess in pigtails and ribbons, a tinsel crown and wand, tights, and a borrowed yellow tutu and leotard. She is no longer my clinging, shy, brown, and round little imp but a young lady. She is still stubborn and independent. I have a terrible time trying to fix her hair as she always has her own opinion of how to fix it and wants to do it "herself." She is hard to cuddle she doesn't like to be fawned over but will accept affection if its in a gentle teasing form like when I grab her foot and tell her I have 3 feet and she only has 1 foot.
I have been a little concerned that she is still so dependent on others when she has no one to play with she often times just wants to watch T.V. Preschool has seemed to help broaden her interests as well as increase her self -esteem somewhat. She draws pictures of herself watching T.V. and daddy getting mad at Chad for not picking up the toys.
Mom: Sunday Nov 29, 1981, For Thanksgiving Rachel went to Grandpa Brown's for dinner then to Grandpa Gardiners to visit, while Daddy and Eric stayed home sick. Last Tuesday at Preschool Rachel brought her two goldfish (won at Halloween church carnival to share, celebrated a birthday party, and made a turkey on a stick, Thanksgiving day she and Chad made turkeys out of apples and sticks, and Thanksgiving cards to give to their grandparents. She's had a cough the last week or so and never keeps her shoes and socks on to keep her feet warm She takes them off 510 times a day. I helped in her Rainbow class again today. She likes it when I do.
"When is it going to be Christmas?"
Mom: Sunday, January 24, 1982 "When's it going to be Christmas?" seemed like the only thing Rachel could say for a month before Christmas. We made a little chain like Chad's, only red (one for each day of the month) with a blue Hannakah chain and a yellow Christmas chain. I had to watch her or she'd take off more than one chain a day in her anxiousness for it to come. She and Chad were in a church Christmas play "Angels and Lambs, Fireflies and Ladybugs" she was a pink Flamingo. We borrowed the pink tights and leotard from Amy Bartholomew and dad helped staple her costume together just in time before the performance. She saw
Santa (Brother Skip Amy) and got a toy mixer but her greatest delight was that costume a bag (covered with pink tissue feathers) and wings pinned and tied to her arms. She carried that costume around for a few days afterwards. She also had a Christmas party at preschool with Santa and she was so shy of Santa that she was the last one to go up and see him. She got some crayon and wipe off coloring cards and candy cone. Eric who came got one too.
I made her a long sleeved ankle length strawberry calico dress (she picked out the material) and matching eyelet bows. She already had a white pinafore that looks real sweet with it. I also made her a burgundy velveteen long sleeved dresses with a pleated, pink flower embroidered bodice and lace collar. It is nearly the same color as my velveteen jacket. She is quite fond of both. I also made some bows for her hair and some for gifts (tm)I hadn't made enough yet so she had to give away all the ones I had made to her friends. She thought about it for a moment then very graciously gave them up they were really gifts from her heart and it was big of her to do that. I made her some more.
Little Red Riding Hood
Christmas Eve she went to grandma and grandpa Brown's and wore both dresses one in the morning and one at night. She got a pretty red and white umbrella from Grandma Brown, and a wonderful Grandma/Big Bad Wolf/Red Riding Hood doll from Grandma Great. It was handmade by a little old lady at Pilgrims House (a retirement home for Christian missionaries). Grandma Great told her the fairy tale as she gave her the doll and Rachel's eyes were so BIG. She lugged that doll everywhere it was the favorite of all her presents (a big Georgette doll with open/shut eyes, magna doodle, magnetic writing pad, a purse, doll bottle from us), a neighbor, Jan McGuire even inquired about getting a doll just like it for her daughter Lizzy. The day after Christmas we went to the Gardiners for a Christmas party with the Gardiner cousins. Rachel had been anxiously waiting for weeks to play with her Gardiner cousins. She was so excited to run around with Jennifer, Julie and Jill Reese and Lisa Gardiner she took awhile warming up to them then ran right along with the rest and fell and cut her lower lip quite badly and had to hold ice to it for the rest of the time. She got a beautiful pink velour turtle neck top, a red denim bag, coloring book and crayons from her Reese cousins, and some erasable coloring cards from her Aunt Audrey.
She wears the pink top over her hair (like long hair or bunny ears) upside down over her legs carries it in bags and every way but the right way.
In Primary she graduated from the Nursery (Rainbow into the Sunbeams class). But the first thing she said and has been complaining about is that there are no treats or toys in the class. Her teachers are Sister Blackburn and Sister Mark
We re-registered in the park Preschool program. Her old teacher had to quit because of marital problems. But her new teacher Joann Yamodo is real sweet with the children had a nice curriculum and wide exposure for the children They are learning the alphabet one at a time and have reading, math and science times. Rachel warmed up quickly and soon let me leave her there by herself. The old carpool system we were in fell apart no one else wanted to keep driving that far. I knew that driving to Valencia four times a week would be too hard on me so I prayed about it and felt inspired to call Debbie Blair about enrolling Heather. She immediately assented, so now Rachel has a little friend to go with, and I have someone to help share the driving.
Four Years Old
She has been smiling, singing, and prancing around the house all week in anticipation of her birthday. One day I teased her and said I didn't think she should have a birthday it would be too much fun. She said "Aah, Mom. you're kidding!" We bought strawberry shortcake invitations and passed them out to all her friends. She got a package in the mail from her Reese cousins with a blue velour top and some very pretty lace blue ribboned bows for her hair. It's her favorite top to wear now. She also got a card from her Grandma Great Breiten with a dollar in it. She wanted to know why grandma sent it to her and I told her that she did so Rachel could but a present for herself. She said she'd buy a present for Grandma "a sxxxxxx". I said "what?" and she said a "sewing machine." And I said "oh," you think
Grandma would like one? and she said "yes" then she thought for a moment, looking at her dollar I think I'll buy a present for Grandma with Chad's money." Rachel also received a $5 check and card from Grandma Gardiner. She decided she'd use her money to buy birthday candles (we were out) but daddy said no we'd pay for them and she could buy something else with her money. She went with her daddy to the store to buy them (and chose the magic "relighting" kind). And when she passed the candy machines, she said that was what she wanted to spend her money on.
She got back form the store just as all her friends had arrived for the party. Daddy and Chad helped with the games they played "Who's afraid of the little brown bear?" but everyone just wanted to scream and run around the yard; no one wanted to get caught. Then they all went down the slide a few times, and came in and danced to some old Beatles music freezing when the music stopped. Then they played "Duck, duck, goose." Chad directed that one. By then I had all the different colored hats cut out and gave one to each child to decorate with crayons, felt tip markers, and glitter outside (pink and red were the preferred colors) Some made hats like firemen hats. Then all the kids just ran around until we got the refreshments served up, and I think that they enjoyed that the best especially chasing each other; Chad being the monster.
Her presents were:
Heather Blair cute pink twin stars purse with accessories
Angela White water color paints and coloring books
Jennifer Thompson came
Larissa and Aaron Cox Skipper doll and dishes to go with the
Kara Moody Orange scented lip gloss, hand cream and some
Lizzy McGuire Mr. Potato head
Missy Mark little stuffed brown bear
Melanie Williams little black purse and make up
Kayte Aberg crayons and four coloring books.
For dessert we had strawberry Cool Aid and two different kinds of lemon cake with whip cream and lemon drops. Mommy was practicing making lemon dessert for Stake Conference dinner (with general authority George P Lee). The kids liked the lemon drops the best. We passed out pencils, balloons, and gum as party favors after all the trash was picked up. Missy Mark stayed a while after the others left and she and Rachel both wanted to know why all their friends had gone home and Rachel cried because she couldn't play with her longer and then fell asleep in the car on the way home it was a long day for her. We watched the original old "King Kong" movie that night on TV and Rachel was scared at the monsters. Sunday was her real birthday Kent and I gave her a big stove and some dishes with play food like a neighbor girl had gotten for Christmas. Rachel plays with them all the time we got out the little wooden table and chairs, too and put them near the stove in the family room so they could play house. She and Chad played with it all day Sunday but she kept wanting to know why her party had come and gone so fast. I asked her if she liked waiting for her party to come and she said "yes." I told her she could look forward to her birthday party next year and that seemed to help appease her. Monday for Family
Home Evening she, daddy and Chad went to the store and got some candy she gave Chad a candy bar and shared the rest all around and was real sweet about it. Monday morning we made some lemon nut cookies (with a lemon drop in the middle) to bring to preschool and Tuesday I went with her to the park where she shared them and some more Kool-Aid with the other children in the class.
Thursday her Sunbeam teachers Sister Vivean Mark and Sister Blackburn took her and Scott Whitaker to 31 Flavors for Birthday ice cream and Friday she went to work with Daddy. I meant to tease her by asking her to stay home with me but she said "all right" and I then had to talk her into going. She had a wonderful time all Kent's fellow teachers on his team told her she was beautiful and she went with them to the Children's Museum and played with the Legos there. Then she went out to lunch with Daddy and went shopping and bought some candy for herself and Chad. That night we had her friend Heather Blair's family over for enchiladas and brownies.
Wednesday, March 3, 1982, A week ago Sunday I was alone in Sacrament Meeting with Chad 5 1/2, Rachel 4, and Eric 23 months. Eric had stayed the whole time without a nap, and now was uncontrollably hungry and tired and restless. The other two were also, but mainly restless. Kent was home taking a nap not feeling well. I sat on the front row and gave Chad crackers, paper and pencils, and told him he was in charge. Then I walked around outside with Eric, fighting back the tears. I went back in for the Sacrament because I yearned for it enough to struggle through it with the kids. As soon as the boys sat down I was walking out with Eric again and ran into Kent. I told him to please "never leave me alone in church with 3 kids again!" After church I told the Bishop that making it through Sacrament meeting in the afternoon with little children was the hardest job I'd ever done in the church. As tough as it is sometimes though, I believe that the seeds that I sow in my children will someday bear much fruit.
San Diego Outing
Mom: March 14, Sunday, Last weekend Rachel went to Grandma and
Grandpa Gardiners for the weekend. She was so excited about it even plotted out what she's wear and bring.
She put her clothes, toothpaste and brush and birthday present for Cindy Blunk in my pink temple clothes bag, and brought her blanket and musical teddy (from Grandma Great Breiten) along too. Then slept in the car on the way over. I dressed her in her nightgown and socks, wrapped in her blanket before leaving Friday night. She stayed up and watched Dukes of Hazard, and ate popcorn with Grandpa.
They left about 8 in the morning for San Diego to visit their Blunk cousins. They had a hot dog picnic in the backyard and party for Cindy. We gave her a jump rope. They came back about 7pm, Saturday night with crayons, coloring books, and bubbles (tm) gifts from Reese and Blunk cousins. And she had quite warmed up to Grandma, playing hide and seek games, with her giggling, and telling jokes.
Rachel's First Talk
Dad: March 8, 1982 Yesterday Rachel Gardiner gave a talk in church all by herself. She said: "I love my friends, I love my church. I love my family. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen."
Mom: Last Sunday she was supposed to give a talk in Primary, her very first one and I really wanted her to be successful in it. So, I asked her what she wanted say, then got out paper and pens and asked her to help me draw pictures of it. She said she wanted to say she was thankful for her family, her friends and her church. I drew the pictures and put them in her purse for her to take with her. I told her teacher about the pictures, then slipped into the back row of the chapel during opening exercises of Primary. I really didn't know if she'd go up or not by herself. I waved at her. Fortunately she followed Kayte Aberg, who had a picture of her family and was very confidant in saying her own talk. When her name was called next, she looked very startled, then tried to suppress a self conscious smile as she walked up to the podium. She stood there for a moment, and Sister Melanie Dvorak (the Primary councilor) took her paper with the pictures and words out of her purse and held them up for everyone to see. Then Rachel said very loudly and clearly " I'm thankful for my friends, for my daddy, and my mommy, and my brother and my brother Eric....and my church. Amen." then she sat down. What a moment of elation that was for me as a mother to see her do well on her own! I breathed a prayer of gratitude to Heavenly Father especially when I saw the next girl giving a talk burst into tears and her mother, kneeling next to her had to say it for her it was a long talk on Reverence that her mother had probably written for her.
What a pay day that was for me. I really didn't know if she's do it or not. She was so self consciousness and refused to practice at home wouldn't draw pictures on what she wanted to say. She said she was worried they (the Primary presidency) wouldn't be able to find me and tell me when she was going to give it (I was working in the nursery) and that the loudness of her voice over the mike scared her. But she presented herself as well or better then any four old Primary child giving a talk as I have ever heard (in my prideful mother's opinion). I gave her a big hug on the way to class and told her I was very proud of her, and she beamed (I grabbed her as her class walked down the aisle, folding their arms, on their way to class).
She is developing into such a beautiful young lady. What a challenge it its to develop a real close friendship with her throughout our lives. I hope that we can.
Saturday March 21, 1982, Yesterday Kent took Chad, Rachel, and Eric to the snow while I worked on a paper for my COC technical writing class, and got some material to make some dresses for Rachel.
March 1982, Friday evening, Grandma and Grandpa Gardiner had Chad and Rachel spend the night at their house and then travel down with them and their Reese cousins Jennifer and Julie to see their Blunck cousins in San Diego for Cindy Blunck's Birthday party. The kids were so excited. I am very grateful for my husband's parents, and for their willingness to build good memories with my children.
Sunday Rachel gave her first talk in Primary all by herself. I made pictures of what she wanted to say and put it in her purse, then sat way in the back of the chapel. I didn't know if she would do it or not. But she followed a real confident girl, and when it was her turn, walked slowly up. She stood there for a moment, then said very loud and clear: "I'm thankful for my friends....and my daddy and mommy, and my brother, and my other brother Eric, and my church....Amen" I was so proud of her, and relieved.
Chad then bore his testimony in Fast and Testimony meeting. I was holding Eric in the back and he sat up by the Bishop all by himself. When he went up to the mike, he was pretty nervous, so Brother Greg Beeston whispered in his ear a moment and then he started out. He said he was thankful for his family. He knew the Holy Ghost was true (the Bishop's daughter had just been confirmed) and that he hoped no crooks would get him. He did a fine job. It was pay day for me.
Tonight for Family Home Evening Kent measured, weighed and outlined the children's hands and feet and their bodies in their journals. Then we dropped cupcakes and a letter of appreciation by Bishop Morris's house and visited with him and his family a moment. He's special: I especially appreciate the attention he gives my children and how he teaches and reinforces gospel principles such as tithing with them.
Mom: Sunday May 9, 1982, The day after Eric's Birthday we took the children to Magic Mountain, and spend most of the morning and afternoon in the children's world, where Rachel liked the children's roller coaster the best even though Chad didn't like it I waited for her while she went around three times by herself, smiling, giggling, and screaming gleefully. She also liked the air trampolines, and since getting her Sears rainbow pocket jeans, which she calls her "Jorda jeans", she thinks she can go back on the air trampolines if she wears them. (The Jordashe jeans for kids commercial shows kids jumping on air trampolines and wearing Jordashe jeans). She got her rainbow pocket Sears jeans and belt with some birthday money.
But her very favorite rides were the Log Jammer and jet stream (which we called the water rides), which we went on after Eric, went to the Marks for a nap. She claimed she wasn't tired at all but fell asleep in the car about two blocks from home.
We went to Glendora I Ward for Rachel's baby cousins blessing Jeremy Charles Brown. I went to Rachel's class in Primary (the Sunbeams) introduced her to her teacher, and to my surprise she stayed, enjoyed it immensely, and announced that she had to come back the following Wednesday for a primary activity.
For Easter I made her two strawberry print dressed one short sleeve and one long. She picked out the material. I still have to make her a pinafore to go over them. Grandpa Brown came out for lunch and had some Easter eggs on Saturday. The night before the children made their own Easter bunny baskets out of milk containers and woke up to find goodies inside, and a toy. Eric kept trying to help Rachel with hers (to her dismay) so we let him make one too. Rachel's toy was "lil Pocket kite" which broke or lost some parts the first time we flew it. But she really liked it. She saw it on TV and picked it out for Heather Blair's birthday party in March
Her favorite toys are her stove (that she got for her 4 year birthday) her "gangket" that she's had since a baby (my Laurels made it for me) and pillows, books, towels, clothes, shoes, dolls and anything else she can cart around the house and drape stack or design with. She also likes to pick the yellow flowers by herself for hours especially in the afternoon when she's tired after preschool. Her favorite playmates are Chad, Kara Moody, and Missy Mark, in that order.
Thursday May 6, 1982, Chad slept all day yesterday, woke up in a real chipper mood wanting to go to school. I managed to get he and Rachel off but decided he shouldn't play with friends after school.
Solvang and Santa Barbara
June 11, 1982, Kent took me up to Santa Barbara and Solvang while
Grandma Gardiner watched Chad, Rachel and Eric. When we picked up the kids they were pulling out all stops to impress and show off to us how much they missed us. Grandpa Gardiner said that if Chad were his child, he'd make him stop talking so loud.
That night after all of us were in bed asleep we woke up to find all the lights in the house on (including the outside lights) and Eric asleep in the hall across our doorway. Kent put him back in bed with a bottle and turned out the lights. The next morning we woke up to find the bathroom light on and Eric asleep across our doorway again. I guess he was making sure he new exactly where we were. When I told a friend (Bob Garcia) this, he said, "Well, you know, you have to look out for these parents." It was very touching to both Kent and I. Is this part of turning the hearts of the children to their Parents?
Father's Day Weekend, 1982, Rachel and I went up with my folks to
Payson, Arizona for a Young family reunion in a rented large motor home. My brother Jim and his wife and two girls, and my sister Judy and husband and two children came too. It was pretty crowded. Rachel and Adam slept on the floor, while I slept on the back bed pressed to the rear wall, sharing it with Jenny and Christy, (my brother's babies) and Judy and her baby Lachelle. In Mesa we met Charlie and Barbara and their baby Jeremy, and my uncles, Robert, Floyd and their wives, and picked up Great
Grandpa and Grandma Brown (Gr. Grandma is a Young) and drove up to the reunion. That night around the campfire our family came off with the most rewards: Great Grandpa for being the oldest patriarch; my brother Charlie for being the youngest father; My dad for being the patriarch with the most posterity present.
We stayed for church on Sunday, and Grandpa Brown (my dad) was the Sacrament meeting speaker. He spoke on the legacy we leave behind. On the way through Payson back home we stopped at McDonalds for lunch because that's were Rachel wanted to eat. She was so happy the whole trip. She was practically purring from all the attention. She smiled and prattled on to everyone and played with her little cousin. I was so glad that I brought her and that she could have something special just for her. Last week of June 1982, I was just home from the Young Reunion 2 days when it was time to pack up and leave for Big Bear with my folks, grandmother, and all my brothers and sisters and their spouses and children (except David who's in New Zealand on his mission). It was delightful. We went for boat rides, walks, made puppets, had cooking shifts. I slept upstairs with grandma and
Eric and had cooking detail with Grandma Breiten too. We fixed old fashioned beans, cornbread, and Jell-O pretzel salad. We made a tape for David on his mission.
Mom: Wednesday, June 16, 1982, Rachel was out growing her "Sunday shoes" (they were tight) and she hardly ever wears her "running shoes" so one night on a date, Kent and I stopped by K Mart and got her some sandals. Boy was she excited it was as good as a birthday for her she put them on, tramped around the house, and wanted to run down the street, knock on all the neighbor children's doors and show them her new sandals. And she puts these shoes on the wrong feet just like the others. She keeps
saying that she doesn't know, but she puts them on the wrong feet so consistently that I'm convinced that she does know I just need to teacher that whatever way she feels like putting them on to put them on the other way. I thought that she just did it because it was easier to buckle shoes on the inside of the foot (tm)but one time at her preschool I pointed out to her a little girl wearing "flip flops" (thongs) just like her only yellow and as
I looked I noticed they were both wearing them on the wrong feet the thongs turning outward rather inward and I burst out laughing much to Rachel's chagrin. Now she asks me "Is that the right foot or is this the right foot?" moving her shoe from beside one foot to the other before putting them on.
She colored a picture that was sealed on a dinner plate at preschool. She says that it is a picture of mommy (in the center) and Rachel (smaller, above me to the left of center). I was deeply touched. I asked her if I could give her a kiss and she said no so I kissed her picture on the plate and she giggled. She is deeply bonded to me still has been since a baby She loved all girl things always plays "Mommy" I hope that I can live worthy of that adoration, and nurture real lasting friendship between us. She's real interested in any little moles she finds on her body, because she thinks it means she growing up. (I have a lot) She found one on the palm of her
left hand, and since I have one there too (mine's more on my thumb). I told her that it meant that we were special buds, because we had "matching dots." Sometimes I think she feels left out since Eric gets so much affection, and Chad tends to demand it but she is self-conscious about receiving affection herself she'd rather be teased chased, or tickled. Once when I sent her to her room for not talking nice to me (she was tired ) and I wanted to make up with her she didn't want me to kiss her, but said that I could shake her foot. So I did. She wants to dance like her friend Angela White. She says that she'll share her school with Angela if Angela will share her dancing with her....so now that preschool is over, I'll try to get her in some Ballet and Tap lessons from the sister in Mint Canyon Ward who teaches a lot of girls in our ward.
In the afternoons when I've been going over some reading words with Chad, I've had Rachel practice some letters in her name. She's got the R down. Great in fact she writes R her trademark all over everything that's hers and all letters, pictures, cards etc. Now that I'm trying to get her to write her whole name, she insists that she doesn't need to write the R anymore since she already knows how to do that. To encourage the kids to put on their seat belts. I've been having the kids do something if they're first or last. When driving for Rachel's preschool I'd tell her that the first one to put their seat belt on got to choose the first song to sing the second one the second song. Rachel really liked that and was sure to be the first one most of the time. She chose songs like "Ring around the Rosy" ....sometimes she'd hurry to be first, then announce she didn't want to sing Nothing. Just to be able to talk and everyone else listen, or she'd make up songs "Lalala" Heather Blair always chose "Frosty the Snow Man" And once when I drove on a field trip to McDonalds we sang "Ruldolf the Red Nosed Reindeer" about six times. One little girl Sara Bara, I called her, told her mom that Rachel's mom was sooooo nice. I helped plan a surprise baby shower for her preschool teacher Joann Yamada. And told Rachel about it before hand. But afterwards she insisted that it was not a party for teachers, but a birthday party for someone since there was cake and punch like at birthday parties.
Last Day of Preschool
The last day of school we went to Placerita Canyon, played on the play equipment, went on a Nature Hike, saw some animals (Rachel liked the snake the best) and had a hot dog picnic party. The teacher made Rachel a nice black graduation had and Diploma. There were a lot of nice children and mothers there watching another LDS child Dane Archer who's moving into our ward, and Brett Martin, who's mother and I became good friends. I gave her a FHE manual and sincerely hope that his family joins the church.
Rachel had a wonderful time at Chad’s birthday party. She rewrapped some goggles Daddy bought for her to give Chad because she wanted to "trick" Chad and have a present like the other kids. I was sure she could see during the "stick the nose on Mickey Mouse" game though, since she quickly stuck his nose on twice in exactly the right spot.
She's had some wonderful times with her Gardiner relations lately. We all got together on the Sunday during Memorial Day Weekend When her aunt and uncle Janice and Mike Sekulech were in town. She clung to my skirts for about an hour until dinner time. I sat her next to Julie Reese (who's 5) and she gradually warmed up. She took a real liking to Christy Sekulick (who's also 5) and keeps asking when she's coming down to visit again. I think she likes Christy because Christy is also quiet and a bit shy, and they had fun hiding from us under the telephone table in the dining room....We had Mark and Karen Gardiner out (their Lisa is 5) for a Barbecue and swim last weekend. It was too cold to swim so we wondered about canceling it, but Rachel, who had been ready for them since 7am said "I got it. Why don't they come out and just PLAY, and have a barbecue?" So that's what they did. And Rachel said that it was a special day because it was "Cousin's Day"....Kent and I went up to Santa Barbara over night, and Grandma Gardiner watched the kids. Rachel wanted to know how come Grandma wanted to see her so much, and I told her it was because Grandma loved her so much, and she really liked that. So when we got to the Gardiner's she played hide and seek and giggled a lot with her. Carol's mom fell in love with Rachel and wanted to kiss her when they saw her Monday but Rachel giggled and ran away. Tuesday they went on a picnic at the park with her
Reese girl cousins and she got to play at their house awhile. I told Gayle last Saturday that I think Rachel's dream is to live in a family of all girls some day.
Mom: Feb 10, 1983, In September I started Rachel in dance lessons like her little friend Angela White. She got in the same class. At first she hung back and just watched except when the class skipped across the room she did that too with the teachers encouragement. Unfortunately she followed a girl who wasn't very coordinated and of course, mimicked her exactly. But since going every week she has become very graceful in her dance movements (including skipping) and is conscientious about following the teacher’s directions exactly. The class has been practicing singing the song Annie for their show in June and she sings it with real gusto and her mouth wide open (per teacher's instructions) we took the children to see the movie in November, and she requested an Annie doll for her birthday in January, which Chad gave her. She decorated cookies for the dancing class
Christmas party and is obviously one of the teacher's (Judy Hallen, Canyon Country Ward) favorites because of her maturity and sensitivity.
She has been thoroughly enjoying "Fun for Fours Preschool" at Rosedell and always wants to know if "today's a school day?" She goes on Monday and Wednesday afternoon from 1pm. Her teacher is Mrs. Elvington, who was Chad's teacher and Rachel is very proud of her work and likes to do "homework" just like Chad (we practice counting and writing one letter of the alphabet).
At a school Christmas party complete with a parent dressed up as Santa Claus, Rachel leaned over to me confidently and said "I know who that really is (referring to Santa Claus) and the other kids don't....it's Santa Claus's brother!"
Five days before Christmas she came with me for a doctor’s appointment at Grandpa Browns and spent the night. We decorated Grandma's Christmas tree and went to dinner at Uncle Charlie and Aunt Barbara's. She loved the extra attention.
Frosty the Snowman X 1,000
I bought the children an album of Disney Children's Christmas songs. Kent taped it for her and put a tape recorder in her room for her to listen to. We heard "Frosty the Snowman" every day three or four times at least for the next two and a half months straight. She and her friends (Angela White, Heather Blair,
Lizzy McGuire) would hole up in her room and listen to the Christmas tape repeatedly all afternoon or morning.
For Christmas she wanted (and told Santa Claus this) a Strawberry shortcake Doll but got a Barbie, a doll case and some Barbie clothes. She liked this so much that after Christmas she bought with her own money ($4 K Mart) another Barbie doll. Most of her friends especially older ones have Barbies so she's pleased to have one too. Even Chad plays with her sometimes.
After Christmas I got her a skirt and she is very fond of that but in tears the next day wanted hangers for all her clothes like Chad had.
The weekend before her birthday we went up to Big Bear with her Blunk cousins and gravitate to the oldest Blunk girl (four years older than her) Karolee who has the same coloring (brown eyes, gold hair) and similar personalities (quiet, feminine, calm, gentle and sensitive). She said going down in the sled (Uncle Ron and Kent pulled her in the street), which was her favorite activity. She appeared so pretty and photogenic in the video film uncle Ron took of our family, and she volunteered (to our amazement she's usually shy) to give the opening prayer in our joint Family Home Evening Saturday evening. Sunday she fell asleep during Sacrament Meeting and said she didn't feel good or want to attend Primary, so she attended with me. Because she didn't go, cousin Ryan (1 month older) wouldn't go to class either. She had fun making a snowman and singing Frosty the Snowman.
Five Years Old
The Monday after the snow trip was her birthday. She helped me make cupcakes for her preschool class putting the little candies on top. Her teacher gave her a special birthday had and 5 pretend birthday spanking. Rachel told me about the birthday spankings before class she thought they were funny. We went to Chuck E. Cheese Pizza time theater for FHE with her presents and used her school birthday had to convince them it really was her birthday since we didn't bring her birth certificate. She got her own mini pizza and some game tokens. She got Annie Chad candy Eric block dance leotard, tights, a slip, some makeup and a play house family, and furniture from mom and dad. She loved the slip the most to wear under her dresses. She wanted to wear it to bed. Later she got a Crayola kit and tooth pillow from the Reeses. She got a barrette hanger from Gardiner cousins, and a coin purse with money from Grandma G. Grandma and Grandpa Brown gave her some more money (so did Great Grandma Breiten) so she's rich. She wants to buy some more doll furniture since we had to return her birthday set as it was incomplete).
She had a birthday party Saturday friends and presents were:
Melissa Mark wallet with $2.50 enclosed
Elizabeth Owen 5 helium balloons, Crayola art kit and transfers
Elizabeth McGuire cootie game
Heather Blair homemade strawberry shortcake pillow
Malanie Williams makeup kit and ribbon barrettes
Angela White 2 Disney books with records
We played "Put the nose on Mickey," "Duck, duck Goose"," Doggy, doggy where's your bone" made bead necklaces, got big balloons blown up by daddy, and ate cupcakes and ice cream cones. Chad helped.
She along with Chad has been praying for some time for another baby saying that it will sleep in her room and she'll take care of it. She's a marvelous baby sitter helping me with all the babies I care for occasionally. She says she'll wake up in the night an give it a bottle. One time she prayed "don't send two babies just one at a time" after I told her that was easier than twins (both she and Chad wanted turns at first) then the last prayer: "send 2 more babies, not at the same time...a girl and a boy..."
We told the children we had some exciting news to tell them at FHE, then announced that we were expecting another baby Chad was ecstatic and fired questions away but Rachel wanted to know what the exciting news was before being rushed off to bed. I think the concept of waiting 6 more months had no meaning to her. To her we really wouldn't have the baby until she could actually hold it in her arms.
Last Monday, she went shopping with Dad and the kids for a birthday present for me. She picked the pizza pan that they all eventually decided on. Rachel wrapped it herself (amidst some tears of frustrations) and shyly, sweetly, carried it into me. She kept wanting to know if I liked it or not and when I was going to make pizza next. Unfortunately my order of mozzarella cheese didn't come in so I told her we had to wait but that when I made it she could help me. She beamed happily. She is such a beautiful, thoughtful girl it's a pleasure to be her mother.
For sharing at school she brought her little red riding hood doll that her grandma great had given her a year ago Christmas. She told the class for clues (they had to guess what it was) that it had 2 heads, three faces, and four arms with no feet and was red on one side. She delighted in planning to stump the class but in the end called on her friend Angela, who knew what she had brought.
One of Rachel's jobs is to vacuum the floor every morning. At first it was fun and she did it very thoroughly. Now she doesn't like doing it and runs the vacuum in an out of each room very quickly.
Purses, makeup and eye shadow at 5
At 5, she is quite a young lady delights in putting on makeup - and pretty dresses (she's picked a white eyelet dress out of the Sears catalog (size 7) that she really wants ( I told her next Christmas). She acts quite mature in many ways ...except that every time I buy a purse she wants to claim it. She used to clomp around in all my shoes until I gave her an older pair of my dress up shoes.
She is also trying hard to assert some independence and is at times pouty and irritable, but her daddy can usually tease her out of it. She likes to make up jokes and wrestle with him. She is learning to skate and ride Chad's old two wheeler bike with training wheels.
We went shopping for shoes Saturday, March 12 and looked everywhere for some skinny black patent leather shoes. We finally found some that fit at K Mart in Panorama City. She also got some pink canvass sandals. Since her old sandals broke she has been wearing her tap shoes everywhere or going shoeless. Even with new shoes she still likes to go barefoot around the house. I guess she takes after her mother.
I made Rachel a dress out of the same material as a dress I made myself and in a similar pattern only hers didn't have pockets or buttons down the front. She was quite crushed so I said I would add some to her dress.
Mom: Sunday, March 27, 1983, Last Monday Rachel was in charge of the lesson for Family Home Evening. She picked the topic "Jesus wants us to be nice to each other". She spent the morning (Monday) drawing a picture of Jesus, telling me what to write down, choosing a scripture and making puppets. That evening she held up her picture of Jesus while I read Matthew 5:44. Then she had me read off the list she had given me earlier of how we should share, not hit, be good, and be nice, not mean. She ended the lesson with a puppet show : 3 stories, first of two girls being nice, second two girls being mean and last 1 girl being mean the other nice making both girls nice. Today I asked her what I should write in her journal and she said "that we would be nice." After she said prayers tonight she said "oops I forgot about the baby..;.but Chad will remember ...he'll pray for a baby boy..." She asked me what I wanted and I said it didn't matter, but a girl would be nice, and she got excited "Yea! and when she's 2 years old we could sleep in the same bed...and I won't have to go anywhere I could just stay and play with her!"
The Social Life of a 5 Year Old
We planned some special things to do this week, go to a movie, L.A. Children's museum or zoo or someplace.
Mom: April 10, 1983, Rachel went to the park with Lizzy and her mother, Jan McGuire, Heather Blair and Missy Mark. We had a picnic, played on the park toys and played some games: hot potato, tag, doggy, doggy, where's your bone?, duck, duck goose, ring around the Rosie, London Bridge. That was her special day during her two week vacation.
She also played over at Missy's house, which was a real treat. She saw "Sword in the Stone", and "Winnie the Pooh" 2 times: once with Heather and Amber Blair, and the other with Chris and Angela White. Rachel's dance teacher said Rachel was a good student and that she really likes Rachel. Rachel is going to lead her class out on stage when they sing Annie for their dance show in June. Rachel knows just when to lead everyone out.
Friday night Rachel spent the night at Lizzy's house. She slept in her sleeping bag on the floor in Lizzy's room. They stayed up and talked for a little while. She knows all of her alphabet letters big and small and is practicing counting to 40. She can count to 30 real well.
Mom: Sunday April 17, 1983, I made Rachel a new dress red with little white stars and white eyelet lace on it. She's been wearing it every day since I finished it. She's getting quite good at roller skating better than Chad. She helped me make chocolate chip cookies, Tuesday, and chose the song "Jesus said love everyone" for FHE song. She gets a little impatient at times and is working on asking nicely for things.
Mom: Sunday, May 8, 1983, Rachel got some new sandals, socks, underwear and a sun suit this past week, and has been enjoying wearing them...so much so she won't wear anything else. For Mother's Day she made me a special plate with her handprint on it, colored in green with red hearts in it. She put a picture of me on side and a rainbow on the other. Now we each have a special plate to eat on (she made one a year ago in her park preschool class) Today was Chad's birthday, and between all his attention and mine, she was feeling a little out of sorts today. she screamed and cried a lot, wouldn't do her work, whined, tattled, hid her chicken outside at lunchtime and said she ate it (got spanked and had to pay some money). Such behavior (fortunately) was very unusual for her.
Yesterday her Brown grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins came over. She played and ate dinner with them, then went to Angela White's house for birthday dinner with her family. She was able to invite one special friends and she chose Rachel. We tried to discourage Rachel from eating so much with our family but she wanted and ate everything and ate some ice cream with Angela's family.
May 29, 1983, Kent took Chad and Rachel with him to King's Canyon in the High Sierra's to camp with the 3 Beitler brothers and their children for the weekend. Eric and I came out to Grandpa Browns so he wouldn't feel left out. He's had more fun following his Uncle David and "Bompa" around, doing whatever they do and asking a million questions, etc.
July 22, 1983, Soon after Eric was born Chad began asking when we were going to have our next baby. I told him to wait until Eric was two years old. Several of the children's friends (the Whites and Blairs) had babies in '82, and Chad and Rachel began to pester us again. We told them to ask Heavenly Father. They began praying in earnest for another baby in family and private prayers. Chad in particular prayed fervently for another brother.
I was about three months pregnant with Ryan when I heard Chad praying "Well, I think we're about ready for that baby now" and I looked at Kent and said, "I think we should tell them, don't you?" We waited until I was over the sickness and just beginning to show (then it wouldn't seem so long to them. We told them in a special family home evening at about 3 1/2 months. Chad was ecstatic, and announced his prayers had been answered. Eric immediately had a baby in his tummy too gave you kisses and brought him blankets and toys to play with even though he was still inside my womb and added him and his baby to his prayer list of getting home safely. He'd pray "Daddy get home, Mommy get home, Chad get home, Rachel get home, Eric get home, Mommy's baby get home, my baby get home, Je'us too, AMEN!" And sweet good Rachel prayed that he would be healthy and strong.
We went to stay at the Brown grandparents the week before Ryan was born. The children were happy playing with the dogs and going for walks with grandpa. Chad would run ahead and Rachel and Eric would sweetly, trustingly hold onto grandpa's hands. Grandpa Brown later said that it struck him that we need to be like children and hold onto our Father in Heaven's hands as we walk through life.
I was anxious to have Ryan that weekend, because on Monday July 25th, Chad and Rachel were to start back to school on the four vacation plan, and I wanted to have the baby and get back home so that I could show the children their new classes and get them off to school on that first day.
Thursday evening the 21st, we went to the Puente Hills mall and bought Chad some pajamas, and fried ham the next morning, Ryan was born. Chad was very excited to have a little brother and again announced that his prayers had been answered. Rachel was somewhat disappointed that Ryan was not a girl, but she became pacified to learn that he'd be sleeping in her room (much to the jealousy of her two other brothers who wanted him in their room),
and that his name started with an R like hers.
She really became a little mother to him and a big help to me. Ryan was almost as big as she was and she would lug him around the house to wherever she was playing and give him her toys to suck and clutch, prop him on her blankets and pillows beside her in every room and in front of the TV with her. She loved to get him laughing and change his paper diapers by herself (faster than her mother), wash his hair, and laugh at him. She even brought him to school for sharing the week she was Yankee Doodle Dandee in kindergarten and showed her classmates how efficiently she could change his diapers. All the children wanted to touch, kiss, and hold him. At her class Christmas party (I was the room mother) nearly each child in the room came over and gave Ryan a big hub and kiss when Ms. Hankla (Rachel's teacher asked them to give a warm fuzzy to someone. At Thanksgiving time Rachel said that she was most thankful for Ryan.
Dad: Rachel is a month into school and seems bright. She has been moved from the early bird group to the late bird group, which means she is starting to learn how to read. She is a quiet student at school however she seems to have made a number of friends because two girls recently invited her to be their special friends at their birthday parties. Rachel L. is one of them.
Six Years Old
Mom: January 24, 1984, Today is Rachel's 6th Birthday. A sweeter, lovelier daughter never graced her mother's home. She is very self sufficient and quick to see what is needed and do it. She seems much older than her age, and is such a help to me with Ryan: entertaining him and carrying him around the house to where ever she's playing, holding him when he's fussy and I'm trying to fix dinner.
We had a special birthday dinner for her last night: Ham, scalloped potatoes topped with corn flakes, biscuits, canned pears, cooked carrots (with honey), and "Strawberry Jewel cake" for desert. Daddy went in and out of the garage trying to finish up a yellow bike for her present, Chad helped, and Eric danced around and couldn't resist telling her what they were doing. She opened a rust colored warm up suit and "smurf" purse from her cousins, and went to sleep with the little smurf kit on her ear. The purse has in it a writing book, paper clips, a pencil and a phone book.
She wore her warm up suit to school today and showed her class mates she could whistle and where 4 baby teeth used to be (They were pulled by the dentist last Friday, because her 2 permanent teeth had grown in behind them on the bottom. She said she cried "in her mind." The dentist Dr. Amelang said she was a very brave girl. She had a chocolate Sundae afterwards.) She got to wear a special T-Shirt at school and choose six friends to be her birthday candles and blow out as her classmates made a big birthday cake around them and sang "Happy Birthday to her." Michele Onesto, Isela Jimeniez, Andrea Mankoff, Kayte Aberg, Christy Watson, and one other girl were he candles.
Sharing Nail Polish
Saturday Feb 4, 1984, For my birthday on Thursday Kent took Rachel shopping at K-Mart and came back with presents and some groceries. Rachel gave me some nail polish, a deep burgundy color, very pretty. I told her that we could share it. Unfortunately, I'd broken a nail off the day before. She suggested I buy fake nails, then I could use one, and she could put on the rest. She wants to have long shaped nails like me and wishes I'd use nail polish more often. To please her, I put it on yesterday. Wearing nail polish always seemed like a waste of time and money. But Rachel has such a love of extra touches and feminine pretty things. I will wear it for her.
Kent gave me some silk flowers, including a yellow one that Rachel picked out. We had strawberry ice cream cones for dessert. I stuck a candle in mine, and Kent and the children sang "Happy Birthday" to me with Chad adding, "and many more on channel 4!" Rachel asked what I wished for, and I told her” a forever family". Eric can't wait 'till his birthday next month.
I know and believe deep in my heart that none of the superficial things such as the plaudits of men will bring any lasting value. If I got to the end of my life and had everything but my family, I would be the most wretched and poor of all people. Even the loss of just one of my children would bring incomparable sorrow to me. On the other hand, if in the sunset of my life I had nothing but my husband and all of my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, I would be most wealthy and gratified.
February 7, 1984, I got the children off to school. Eric has been attending "New Beginnings over at the Boys and Girls Club at Emblem Elementary School. The director is LDS, Kay Hansen, the wife of the former Bishop in Saugus I ward, a very sweet grandmotherly type woman. Eric has been attending with several of his LDS friends here in the tract, like Kelly White, Jeff Pfahler, Aaron Blair. He goes from 8:15 to 11:15 (approx.) But I've had a tough time getting him moving lately in the morning. He says every morning that he's sick and doesn't feel very good and has a headache and so he can't do his jobs or get dressed or go to school. He can just lie on the floor and watch TV. Chad helped Eric this morning and hurried with his jobs. He seems to be growing more responsible. I permed Rachel's hair yesterday it took me four hours! But it looks real cute, she looks like Annie.
May 2, 1984, Easter Vacation seemed very busy. We rented a video camera and porta-pac VCR and took pictures of the family at Grandpa Gardiners for lunch and Grandpa Brown's for dinner and an Easter Egg Hunt. A bit of excitement happened when the Bar B Q area at the Browns caught fire, but (Thank the Lord!) it was put out immediately by Uncle Mike Wooten. The fire truck came too. On Tuesday we took pictures of the kids and their friends, and took the children to see "Greystoke, the Legend of Tarzan". Friday I got Rachel's Easter dress, and on Saturday last took Chad to Sears to try on a suit for his 8th Birthday. The children also spilled glue on the dining room table and chairs. aaagh!
Saving Ryan's Life
Sunday August 12, 1984, I am attending my John Jones reunion. I called home to Kent and the children, and told them I had a surprise they could eat (some stick candy) that I was bringing home for them. Eric said that he and some of the others had been sick. Kent said mostly Eric, Ryan a little, had a temperature and were on antibiotic. Kent said that he was spending all of his time taking care of the kids and cleaning house and couldn't do anything else.
August 17, 1984, I have just returned from my Jones reunion trip and Kent told me about the children and how Rachel "saved Ryan". It seems that while I was gone Eric had the flue temperature, etc. got some medicine and snapped out of it. Then Ryan came down with it on Tuesday. His temperature went up and down, but mostly up in the evening. Kent put him on the floor with Rachel while he took a shower. After he got out he noticed that Ryan was lying very still on the floor. Then Rachel commented that he was REALLY looking up at the ceiling a lot. Kent tuned in that something was odd and went over to see. Ryan was as white as a ghost and his eyes were rolled back in their socket so that only white was showing. Kent picked him up but he was limp and not breathing. Kent rushed him into the bathroom and began breathing into him and splashing water on him to cool him down. Ryan came too and began clapping his hands and smiling. We found out later that it was a heat convulsion. It was very scary, and Rachel credits herself with rescuing him so quickly.
Mom: Sunday September 1984, Friday we took the children to the beach, and took Chris and Angela white as well. Ryan loved to pick up handfuls of sand and let it slip through his fingers and splash into the faces of Rachel and Angela who were buried up to their shoulders in the sand.
7 Years Old- Presents, Presents, Presents
She invited the following to her birthday party:
Elizabeth Owen 2 sundresses
Andrea Mankoff purple purse
Michelle Onesto Barbie album
Angela White dazzle doll
Heather Blair basket, bubble bath
Missy Mark soap and address book
Liz McGuire marking pens
Kara Moody dazzle dolly jewelry
Rachel Le Blanc Barbie furniture
Mom: Sunday Jan 27, 1985, Rachel celebrated her 7th Birthday. She is drawing a picture of her favorite present a handmade Pollyanna doll made of yellow gingham check, with brown curls, blue eyes and a yellow print dress and blossoms with a white eyelet pinafore. She wanted a Cabbage Patch doll but mom couldn't find one in he store and Rachel decided, fortunately, that she likes this doll better.
She had a party after school on the day of her birthday. They played "Doggy doggy where's your Bone", pop the balloon, and chase the girls (Chad, Robert Hilton and Eric against the girls. Pop the balloon was Rachel's favorite. Everyone got a balloon blown up and the object was to keep your balloon from being pooped while popping everyone else. They played this in the back yard. Rachel won this game.
Guests and presents were:
Tricia Callahill stickers and cabbage patch card game
Karen English Rose Petal Place book
Robert Hilton doll and doll carrier
Lizzy doctor kit
Elizabeth Owns travel kit
Angela Barbie paper doll
The Real Rachel
Rachel Interview with Mom: Jan 6, 1985
Favorite food: waffles, but hates eggs
Gift would like: l Cabbage Patch doll 2. make up 3. keys and key
Like to Improve: Piano playing
Favorite friends: Angela, and Lizzy, least favorite: Kara M.
Likes about self: good in schoolwork doesn't like: math ability
Like to dogo: change bedroom back to yellow
Like about school: getting work done, recess/dislike: Mrs L.
We planned out Rachel's birthday party.
Rachel Interview with Mom: March 3, 1985
Food: waffles, pancakes, root beer, ,7up, ice cream (rainbow
gift: flashlight for camping, brownies
Improve: Spelling neater sentences
Reading: more words
Math facts: memorize
Friends: Angela, Heather, Lizzy, and Rachel l.
Bedroom: curtain rods, shorten bedspread (yellow and pink)
Do: bike riding more
Invite: 2 people spend the night
Unhappy or dislike: not enough friends over
Doing better at: not yelling so much
Me help Homework more, saying piano notes before playing. I
told Rachel that we appreciate her thoughtful, helpfulness to
Ryan and me.
Tearing a Tooth Out
Kent, Saturday, March 16, 1985, Tonight I tried to pull Rachel's left front tooth. Her other tooth is coming in and this one needs to be gone. I went out in the garage and got my yellow long nose pliers. I tried and slipped off. We were in the family room. Rachel was on the ground, and I was over her and Suzanne was sitting in the rocker with a horrified look on her face. Rachel finally had an idea. Push the tooth back, a yes, now I can get a grip on the tooth. I then pulled it out. She didn't even cry, we put a popsicle on it and the blood ran down the popsicle. We changed from the popsicle to a piece of ice and I held her in the rocker in my arms it was a tender sweet moment. She was very brave, the tooth fairy left her a 50 cent piece with a note she even remembered the words of the last tooth fairy note.
Mom: Sunday March 24, 1985, Ryan loves to put Rachel's shoes on and clump around the house, chortling and shouting delightedly. He's had fun with Rachel's kart today and is so excited when he gets it on.....He's really close to Rachel, partly because the share rooms, but also because she responds so much to his needs, etc. Whenever he wants something, she is the first person he turns to squealing, and gibbering away and pulling her fingers until she comes with him. He often leads her by the hand about the house.
Mom: March 24, 1985 Rachel left front permanent tooth began coming in front of her baby tooth, which was loose, but still hanging on; so Saturday the 16th daddy told Rachel he would pull it out (the baby tooth). He got some long nose pliers, and while Rachel lay down on the family room floor he tried to pull it out, but the pliers kept slipping off the tooth. It was too gross for mother to watch so she went in the kitchen. Daddy was getting the willies too, but Rachel told him to bend the loose tooth back, then grip it with the pliers This time it worked, and out came the tooth! Rachel got to eat a big bowl of ice cream and the tooth fairy gave her a 50c piece, with a note saying that since she was so brave, she could buy lots of "wishes" with the money.
Rachel found a sheer yellow nylon robe that used to belong to my penoir nightgown set that I had when I got married she's been wearing it around the house draping part of over her head like a bridal veil and having fun pretending to be a fancy lady. Last night she took a bath with Ryan she and he have a special relationship she is the first person he turns to when he needs something or is hurt (next to us) and often leads her around the house to look at stuff or get something for him. She is turn enjoys helping him and seems to relate in sympathy to all younger children who are helpless or underdogs. When Eric's two friends Robert and Adam Hilton are over to play, Adam the younger brother always seems to get the short end of every deal and whines quite a bit. Rachel is quick to defend him and take his side. I wonder if she feels the underdog to her too volatile brothers Chad and Eric.
Mom: April 20, 1985 Favorite:
color: purple velvet
toy: the TV
friend: Angela, Heather, Lizzy and Kelly
wish: have her own checkbook
something hates: when doesn't gets to watch TV and she wants to
need: more friends
proud of: that she's in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints and that "I'm Me and all the things I can do"
bothering her : Eric's squeeze
special about: no one else looks like her, draws good
Rachel: I like our camping trip. But we didn't get to sleep there. It was fun. On Saturday night we came home. I liked it. On the way home daddy bought ice cream cone for me.
Rachel: June 16, 1985 Today I want to the church that I went to when I was 6 but now I'm 7. I'm 7 at a good age. I like my church that I want to when I was 6. I was fun and I met the mom that baby-sit me. She is nice. I like her and she likes me. I like my self too and she like her self too. We like each other. I'm nice to her.
Mom: November 4, 1985, Goal: is to get better in math times tables. Important in life: learning different things, going camping with family more often, not taking things from strangers, improving in jump rope and continue to finish work at school.
Lizzy Ross Gardiner?
Rachel: Nov 10, 1985, This is my doll. I got her on my
birthday. I like her very much she has brown hair and blue eyes
and you can dress her. Her name is Lizzy Ross Gardiner.
Rachel: I like my journal very much. If I know how to do bigger words I would write more. I love my family. Eric , Chad, Ryan Mom and Dad and Me! I'm glad that I'm in this church. This is my creation. I hope you like it.
Rachel: On Saturday I bought a Christmas tree and today I decorated it. It was fun. I had a good time. I hope when you decorate your tree you have a good time.
"I like candy very much."
Rachel: I gave lots of candy. I gave Chad and Eric three and
Ryan 1. Dad and mommy but Eric ate daddy's. Eric got in trouble. It was so bad to do that. Chad and Ryan were trying to beg for the candy and they got lots I like candy very much so much that I can't live with out it. I love candy, so much.
Rachel: I love candy so much that I feel like I'm made of candy. Everybody in our family loves candy and I love candy more then they so I get the most candy. candy! candy! candy!. I wish I had all the candy in the world! but I do not have all candy.
Mom: Favorite Christmas presents
Grandma Brown art chest
Grandma Gardiner stamp set, book, white heart watch
Grandma Great Breiten White Teddy Bear
Uncle Jim and Aunt Carol I am a child of God necklace
Santa Claus crayons, rock tumbler
Rachel: December 29, 1985 I like it when the star shown above
Jesus and Jesus is the savior, that's why we have Christmas. My favorite part is when I get to open the presents. I like the crayons. I brought them over to Heather's house and Melody broke some of my crayons and by accident I left them there so I'm never going to bring it again.
Rachel: I got a art box from Grandma Brown. It has all the art things that you can think of.
Eight Years Old
Mom: Jan 25, 1986, For Rachel's 8th birthday party she wanted a surprise slumber party. But in order for her to be truly surprised, we knew we couldn't wait until her birthday to have it so, Friday Jan 17, I made arrangements for her to have dinner at Lizzy McGuire’s house (all the while pretending I had nothing to do with it) and played along with her idea to invite Lizzy to spend the night. While she was eating at the McGuire’s (who live 3 doors down) her friends Heather Blair, Angela White, Alysia Parkinson and Rachel LeBlanc came over with their sleeping bags and presents. When they had all arrived, and daddy had come back from the store with film and batteries (so we could take a picture of her surprised face) I called Lizzy's mother and told her we were ready. After when it seemed like forever (with everyone hiding behind furniture, me looking out the window, and daddy ready to take a picture) Rachel came up the walkway with Lizzy, helping her carry her sleeping bag and clothes. When she opened the door and stepped in I flipped on the light, everyone jumped out and yelled "surprise" and Kent took a picture of her with her mouth open. she received the following birthday presents. Loving you Barbie, pink stuffed pony, Chinese checkers.
After she opened her presents, I filled goodie bags with popcorn, chips, candy hearts, a piece of gum and a tootsie lollipop. We spread out a sheet for the girls to sit on and eat and watch. Disney's "Gnomermobile" on video. Then they had root beer floats, got ready for bed, and jumped into their sleeping bags in the living room , which were spread out in a circle around Rachel. In order to keep them quiet daddy told them that if anyone talked they'd be separated. So there was barely a whisper all night from 9:30 until 6:30 the next morning when we were awakened by giggles and running feet.
After a breakfast of waffles and clean up they watched "Fairy Tale Theater" "Snow Queen" on video, Then we all knelt around the couch for family prayers. It was quite touching to see 6 such lovely girls all together. I told them that this is what it would be like to have 9 children 6 daughters and 3 sons. One little girl (Rachel L. not a member) asked "Do you want that many children?" And I laughed and said "If I had the energy and strength to do so I would." Angela White gave a cute prayer, thanking the Lord for everything and asking him to bless us that we could all relax and not work too hard that day. Then she slipped off to magic Mountain with her family and I took all the rest and Eric and Ryan to the Blair's park so they wouldn't destroy the house or each other that hour until the party was officially over. They were as happy as could be running through the hills and grass, collecting flowers, sticks and rocks as happy or more so than playing with the store bought toys and watching the video movies. I thought, watching them play, that if I had the strength energy, means and room I would like t have many children.
The following week, Friday the 24th, Daddy and I have her a card
and a small heart shaped box of chocolates (which she shared with
an insistent Ryan). I took punch and cups to school for a school
class birthday party, and Karen English, whose birthday is the
same day, brought next shaped cookies with jelly bean eggs in the
middle.) The next day was her baptism day and there was much to
do getting ready.
Rachel: Rachel got baptized on Feb 2, 1986
Rachel: I feel mad at Chad a lot because he bothers me a lot. I got real mad at him today because of him.
We went to the water slide some weeks ago. It was fun. I brought Heather Blair. First I went on the fast one, she went on the slow and we kept on doing so. At last I said, "Heather go on the fast ones." but she did not then I went backwards on the fast one, finally she went on the fast one, then I went on my tummy but she did not. Finally we left.
Rachel: I saw many different trees in my life so far. I saw the tallest biggest, and oldest. I saw the tallest and biggest a very long time ago when we were out camping. I think it was a year
ago. I saw the oldest trees when we went camping too. We did not
get to stay long because Chad, my brother got bit by a golden
mantle ground squirrel.
Sunday: July 28, 1986, Father's Blessing night before starting 3rd Grade, Mrs. Geiran, Rosedell. Enjoy school, continue learning skills. Good rapport with teacher, friendly, cheerful, talk nicely to friends, get along with them, know what is expected. Develop talents. Outside of school develop skills typing and testimony through reading the Book of Mormon.
Rachel: I enjoyed swimming in the rivers. One was hot the other was cold. I enjoyed playing bear with Ryan in the tent.
Rachel: I won 3 soccer games. The one this Saturday was 4 - 0 and we won. I was center full back. It was fun because I like center full back the whole game!
Rachel: Grandma Brown has cancer. She gave us an invitation and we came and we got candy hearts and I hope that she will finish everything she wants to finish.
Rachel: I got a bike, art, lotion, candy and a book for
Rachel: I got an alarm clock, Barbie, tooth brush, ball, game and stickers for my birthday.
Nine Years Old
Saturday, January 24, 1987, Today was Rachel's ninth birthday
party. When the party was almost over, and the children were
playing outside, my dad called to say that my mother, Grandma
Brown, had cancer. They did a biopsy on a bone sample from her
back and discovered that it was a cancer that had originated
elsewhere and spread to her vertebrae in her back. It was a very
sad ending to an otherwise very happy day for all of us.
Mom: Jan 25, 1987, Yesterday was Rachel's birthday party. She made cards on our computer and passed them out to her friends during the week. Her friends who came were:
Kim Faulkner Upwards game
Lizzy McGuire Backgammon
Rachel Le Blanc pound purries stuffed kitten
Angela White candy, necklace, pen
Heather Blair Barbie doll
Alicia Parkinson Rose petal stickers and book
She got a clock radio, some marking pens, and a red rubber ball from her parents. Chad gave her a pink wallet. Eric some long white pearls, Ryan a pink toothbrush, and $2 from two grandma greats. She played Statue, cow, Queen and Princess. We video taped the party and the children that day.
Father's Blessing: Gratefulness spirit you bring to our family. Your willingness to do the right thing. Your smile. Ask that you be strong and happy. Have the spirit with you during the coming year that you know right from wrong. Be wise in choice of friends. Be a good example of the gospel to others. Thankful you’re a good sister and daughter and that you take time and care in things you do. We ask the Lord to bless you in schoolwork, and be safe. Bless you to be happy and content and enjoy childhood, testimony grow, know right things to do by feeling in heart. Blessed with all things stand in need.
Rachel: We went and saw Harry and the Hendersons. It was really
good. My favorite part was when Harry said "no fighting". Harry
is a Bigfoot. A legend. He is a monster. He looks like a big
hairy man. It was rated pg.
Rachel: June 28, 1987, This is a personal priesthood interview between Kent and Rachel at the end of June. Dad just got back from Catalina. When I got back Rachel and Eric really felt left out. Chad and Dad were very tired and Dad asked Rachel to make dinner. And when Rachel was getting the soup out Mom says don't use the soup. The soup fell and hurt Rachel's foot. We were doing haircuts, Mom said that Rachel was tired but she said that she was really hurt, and mom said, Ohhhh. Later in the evening Rachel made friends again with Dad. Dad and Mom went out on Saturday night to Stake Conference. When they got home they found this letter.
Me and Eric Have Been Doing All The Work
Dear Dad and Mom,
I love you. As you know, Eric and me have been doing all the work. That's why we feel mad. And because you dad, hurt my feelings. Could you get the largest box you can find for me as a hope chest? From Rachel
Dad: I then and there promised to get Rachel a hope chest of her very own so that her little brother, Ryan, can't get into her stuff. Ashley also makes a mess in Rachel's room.
Monday, Dad is going to take Rachel and Eric for dinner on Monday because they didn't get much attention when Dad when away with Chad to Catalina. Then they will go to a movie and really have a fun evening.
Red's Meadow A Favorite Place
Rachel: August 2, 1987, We went camping at Red’s Meadow. My favorite part was the hot showers there that are heated naturally by underground springs. I got tons of mosquito bites. There was a stream in back of us. I caught a fish. It took a long time to get there and come home.
We went to Grandma Brown’s funeral. Mom said a talk. I felt like grandma was there at the funeral. Grandma’s dead body didn’t look like her at all. It looked like a plastic model of someone else. Grandma gave me her stove that she played with when she was a little girl.
I am in a new class at school (fourth grade) and I have a new
teacher that just moved to the school. I am in a brand new
bungalow. My teacher’s name is Saytida.
All About Rachel's Ancestors
Rachel: Homework assignment, August 3, 1987
James Gardiner was born in Malta, Idaho in l921. He worked as a youth on the farm. This was hard work. He later went to California and learned about the radio and television. He worked for many years for NBC on their machines. He is now retired, living in Glendale.
His father was a sheep herder in southern Idaho as a youth. His name was Fred Gardiner. He worked hard under very difficult, trying conditions and did not make a lot of money. But he had a big family and had many happy years in Malta, Idaho. He had one son who died a few weeks after being born. They think it may have had something to do with paint fumes or possibly a sickness.
Elaine Scholl was born in 1925 in Los Angeles. She went to Marshall High School. She met James Gardiner at church and they were married in 1943. Her oldest child was Kent Gardiner, born 18th of March 1946. She died of cancer after having seven children. Her husband remarried and had one more child.
Kent Gardiner liked to fix and make things like his father. When he grew up he decided to be an elementary school teacher.
James Cyril Brown was born in Tuscon Arizona in March 1920 on his grandfather’s farm. Everyone knew his grandfather as Farmer Brown. He worked hard and was very good in sports. One day he accidentally set fire to his house and felt very bad. But his dad forgave him and he always tried to be a good boy after that. When he grew up he wanted to be a doctor and help people. While he was going to Arizona State he met a very beautiful girl named Marjorie Jones. He knew he wanted to marry her right after she invited him on a picnic and fixed him walnut and honey sandwiches.
Marjorie Jones was born in Chino Valley Arizona on her Grandpa Wilcox’s farm in 1924. When she was about 9 years old she got polio and one foot and leg didn’t grow as much as the other one. But she had lots of therapy and could walk without a brace. She was very good in art and music and studied these in school when she met James Brown. They dated during the Summer of 1947 and got married in December of that year. She taught elementary school in El Monte California while her husband went to medical school where UCLA is now. They had six children: three girls and three boys. Her second child was Suzanne Marie Brown born 2nd of
February 1955. She was delivered by her own father.
Suzanne Marie Brown was a very bright and friendly child. She always got into things and made friends very easily. She was a good student at school and enjoyed student leadership. She met Kent Gardiner at church. They liked to go to the Hollywood Bowl for dates. They were married in December 1974. They had five children: two girls and three boys. Their second child was a beautiful brown little girl named Rachel Ann Gardiner born 24th of January 1978. Rachel was delivered by her grandfather, James C. Brown in the same hospital room her mother was born in. Rachel is a very good student like her mother. She is good in art and music like her grandmother, and she likes to help others like her grandfather. She wants to be a teacher like her father. People say she looks like her mom and Grandma Brown.
Rachel's Journal: August 1987, This weekend I spent the night at Angela's house. In the morning we went to Angela`s cousins birthday. We left early so we can help set up. Ten we went to my house to spend the night. Then we went to church. Then we played Barbies. Then we wrote this.
4 Pills or Die
Rachel's Journal: August 23, 1987, This week I got very sick. My
temperature was 101. I have to take 4 pills a day or I could
die. I most take 4 pills a day for ten days.
The pills taste so yuck, I put chocolate all over. The chocolate is almost all gone. Everyone says I take too much, but I think I take too little.
Rachel's Journal: August 30: The Ocean, This weekend we spent the night at the beach for one night. We went with some people in our church. It took one hour to get there. I slept in a big tent with Mom and Ashley. Chad slept with the Standley`s, in there trailer. Eric slept in a small tent with Dad and Ryan.
We went to the shore in the morning. Me and some other girls made a city out of sand. After my Dad said get ready to go home, I went in the water. After that a gale fish stung me. Then we went home.
Rachel’s Journal: November 29, 1987, For Thanksgiving I kicked around some leaves because I was bored. Then Jessica Goodman asked me if I wanted to play house. They were hoping that I would be the mom since none of my other Brown cousins wanted to be it. So I was the mom. We played on the living room porch for our house. I decided to find the "family" a bigger house. I took Jessica with me. We looked and found four possible good places to play house in. Then Jenny, Christy, and Chandra Brown found a better place and they wanted to pretend that they were our neighbors. The place that Jessica and I found was next to the driveway, in the hollowed out rose bushes. We made it up but were afraid that the older boys would wreck it. So we made Jeff Layton, our cousin Jeremy’s uncle, our guard. Jeremy Brown was the other cousins` guard. Then it got dark and so we went into the house. This was the favorite part about my Thanksgiving weekend. It took place at my Grandpa Brown’s house and all of my Brown cousins and aunts and uncles were there. I have 17 cousins and 9 aunts and uncles. The End!
Ten Years Old
January 23, 1988
Here it is, another year has gone by, and low and behold you are
10 years old. It seems like just yesterday that I saw you born, carried you around the house, changed your diapers, and put you in a crib. Now you read like a champ, type, play the piano, play soccer, sing, make funny jokes and are becoming a young lady. I really have enjoyed knowing you and having you in our home. You brighten up each day of my life. I wish you would kiss me more and you hardly ever give me hugs. One thing I have noticed is you do like to express your feelings in letters. You are very good at that so I guess I'll have to write you a lot more. Another thing I have noticed is that when I take you out to breakfast or on a hike by yourself, you are very friendly, talkative and you tend to share your feelings more. That is nice.
I hope that this is the very best year of your life. Lots of candy, lots of love, good books, nice movies, hugs, kisses and everything you need. I don't have any money right now so I thought I would give you a gift certificate (below). You can redeem this in about two weeks when one of our escrows closes.
I love you,
Rachel 10 Years Old Birthday Party
Sunday January 24, 1988, A week ago Saturday, after Rachel's soccer game, she and I stopped in at "Truth and Treasures" and she picked out some black scriptures and a burgundy tote bag for her birthday present. She announced Sunday that she was looking forward to bringing her own set of scriptures to church with her next week.
Lizzy McGuire couldn't come to Rachel's birthday and so she had tacos for dinner with us on Thursday. Later her mother brought over a yellow sweatshirt for Rachel. On Friday, Kim Falconer and Laurie Scovis had pepperoni or sausage pizza with us, and Kim gave Rachel a airbrushed white sweatshirt with "Rachel" on it, and Laurie gave her a little raccoon. They were in swim meets the next day and couldn't come to her party either.
Yesterday (Saturday), Rachel's friends Heather Blair, Rachel Le Blanc, Karen English, Kayte Aberg, Elisha Challgren, Alysia Parkinson, and Christine Lamereau came over. We played about 1/2 an hour of Pictionary, but it was boring because Rachel's team of she, Heather and Rachel L kept moving forward and everyone else stayed at the start. Kayte kept saying that Rachel probably had the whole stack of cards memorized, but it was the first time that she had played the game. Her team had fun, but nobody else did, so we went outside and played some relay races with balloons around the peach tree in the backyard. Daddy videotaped the party. Ashley stood out by the tree trying to figure out how to pop her balloon. Rachel got some nice presents: some jewelry and jewelry boxes, writing and school supplies, "Babysitters' Club" books, bears, bath foam, etc. We had root beer and make your own sundaes. Angela White missed the party but is coming next Friday night to spend the night with her.
On Sunday morning Rachel came out to find on the table in the living room her scriptures, $6.00, a garnet necklace that was the first gift her Dad gave her mom when they were dating, a Barbie dress knitting kit, and a letter from her dad with a coupon to go out to breakfast with him. Rachel proudly brought her new scriptures to church with her and spent the day knitting a black and silver dress for her Barbie while watching "The Time Machine"
Rachel: January 30, 1988, On Christmas I got a Walkman and a
Whitney Houston tape. For my birthday:
Rachel L. a bucket full of pencils and care bears and school
From Katie I got a watch a keepsake box, phone bath and sour
From Alicia I got 2,3,5 of the Babysitter books
From Karen I got 1,2,3 of the Babysitter books
From Kristeen I got a jewelry box and hair ties
From Heather I got a bear in a basket from Alicia P. I got thank you cards, paper clips, write and
white board, two paint pens and two bright liners
From Kim I got a sweatshirt
From Lori I got a raccoon
From Lizzy I got a club sweatshirt
From Angela I got a cute shirt and skirt
The most fun part of the party was Pictionary and the ice cream sundaes were good. We had M&M's and chocolate and Carmel on them. They were really big. Some people couldn't even eat their firsts.
When Angela spent the night she spent the night because she didn't hear about my party. We played tether ball and pass back with the ball. I could almost beat her in tether ball. We played Barbie dolls in the night before we went to bed and when she left she left two of her socks.
Date with Rachel:
Kent: Feb 14, 1988 - She dressed in Bobby Sox, sang splish splash and danced on the COC floor at the half time of a basketball as I sat in the bleachers. She looked cute down there on the basketball floor. Afterwards we went to Music Plus to buy tapes, and Longs for candy because she lost a tooth and had a dollar that needed a home.
The Soccer Championship
I won the finals in soccer and now I am in the championships. We won the first championship game. Last year we didn't make it, we lost the first. This year there was this girl named Jody who can do anything, on the other team, she was hard to beat. There was a tie so we had to do a tiebreaker. No one won so we had to do a different kind of one and we won by one point, or one goal. It was very exciting. They were a very hard team.
1988 Update on Rachel
Rachel: This year Rachel says that she doesn’t like her teacher, Ms. Seidita at all; she says that she is mean and has dumb rules.
Her teacher is new to teaching, and perhaps she hasn't learned to relax and enjoy the students. It's a shame because Rachel used to want to be a teacher herself, and used to enjoy always being the teacher's pet. Maybe because her last few teachers used to have Chad in their class and were so relieved to have Rachel later. But Rachel continues to do well and finish all her work in a snap. About the only subject she doesn't do well in is penmanship. She hurries through her work so quickly she isn't always neat and precise. Perhaps her best area is in creative writing. For Valentine's Day she gave Kent and me a marvelous story entitled "Which Door?", about a little girl who lives with her uncle and discovers two secret doors under her bed that lead to two magical but very different kingdoms. She is also good in art, reading, and math. She was invited to join the Math Club at school, but she didn't want to because she said that she would
NEVER have any free time if she did. She takes to learning and school so well that it is the standing opinion in the family that she most likely has the highest IQ. In fact, Chad, who has been tested, used to bug us continually to find out what his was until we pointed out how bad he'll feel when he finds out Rachel's is much higher. Now he doesn't ask us anymore.
Ever since she got "spooked" babysitting Ashley one night a few months ago, she has really enjoyed reading books about babysitting. She said that "Babysitting is a Dangerous Job" by Willo Davis Roberts was the best book that she ever read in her life. At the school book fair she picked out "Boy Crazy Stacey" of the Babysitters' Club. For her birthday she got several more from the series and has been devouring them. She likes them so much that she told me that she didn't want me to suggest loaning any of them out to her friends (like I was when she got doubles of some for presents). Recently from the library I got Robertson's "Henry Reed's Babysitting Service", which she said was VERY good.
At home she continues to shine in her sweetness and understanding of the younger children like Ashley and Ryan. Ashley calls her Zchaezchoe, and likes being chased by Rachel who crawls on her hands and knees on the floor after her. She also gives Ashley piggy back rides, and "reads" animal books to her when no one else will, and dresses her for church on Sunday. It is rather a pain sharing a room with Ashley, who loves to shut the door and get into her stuff, but her heart always softens when she sees how Ashley laughs at her, comes to her for protection from the boys, and wants to kiss her goodnight.
She complains about doing something until we tell her that she has to do it, then she throws her whole heart and soul into it and does marvelously. At home she empties and stacks the dishwasher before most of us have even figured out what we're supposed to be doing. And she practices the piano consistently and constantly especially when mom or dad are on the telephone or want to watch a special program on TV, it seems. We "forced" her to take chorus so she could learn more about singing on pitch, and we catch her humming and singing occasionally now. She loved participating with the Junior and Showtime chorus at COC during their basketball game halftime with Kim Faulconer as her partner. It was a 50's theme, and she wore her long hair in a pony tail, tied with my red scout neckerchief to go with her red chorus T-shirt. Her daddy went to watch her perform. While she did it perfectly, the whole line above her messed up.
Today was the last game of Rachel's Soccer team playing in the Multiregional playoffs. This is the second year in a row that Rachel's team has come in first place in the region and gone to Multi-Regionals at Balboa Park in Van Nuys. They were eliminated today, but maybe next year her team will go all the way. Rachel sort of burned out on soccer for a while this Fall (she says that she never has time to play with her friends because of all the extra stuff she's doing), but she is an excellent half back and rover. She blocks that ball and turns it nearly every time. Very few get past her. Her dad and brothers wish their soccer teams were as good as hers.
Rachel is a very lovely young woman. I'm grateful for her sweet disposition and willing, helpful ways. She's smart, and she gets along well with everyone. She's a flower in the midst of her cowboy brothers and budding sister. She always writes the sweetest love notes to her mom and dad. Thursday night she and Chad made Chocolate chip cookies for my food committee meeting. Rachel did most of the work.
Rachel: March 6, 1988, Ashley drank about 5mm of my fruit gloss. Every day she craves for it and tries to get it from me. She opens her mouth like an O and tries to put it into her mouth. Today I said a scripture that was about five lines long. It was Moroni 10:4. My dad said that Sister Ambridge opened her mouth because she couldn't believe that I memorized it. I get two scoops of ice cream for memorizing it.
For shopping I bought tights, sox, shirts, pants, underwear, hair ribbons. My favorite thing was the summer shirt. It has yellow flowers and palm trees on it and blue sky. It is short sleeved, and is for the summer.
We went to the Sizzler to celebrate having money again. I got the burger. Mom ordered all you can eat ribs, and I got some of hers, because I love it. Chad got shrimp. I kept on trading him pieces of burger for shrimps. Eric got steak and shrimps. Ryan got left overs. Ashley just picked off peoples plates.
We went to get the clothes for a picture. I picked a black dress. Actually mom picked a black dress. I am going to wear white tights with it. My hair is going to be wavy, with my top hair in a side pony tail.
1977 Conception, April 30
Rachel Ann, Suzanne goes through temple for Apr.
1978 Rachel Gardiner born, Jan. 24, 10:05 pm 21inches/7lb 9oz
Doctors, has grown 2 1/2 lb, 2 1/2 inches
Rachel blessed, March 14, by father
Accident, falls from stove, May
Stands next to things, July
Hawaii, Kent and Suzanne, August
Christmas, dolls, plastic Santa
1979 1 Year old
Hearst Castle, Kent and Suzanne, Apr. 26
1980 Went potty, Jan. 3
2 Years old, likes Snoopy, Fisher Price, blanket
23 pounds, Mar. 9
Eric James born, March 26, 9:15 p.m. 21inches/8lb 2oz
Eric blessed, June 15, by father
Edward Britein dies, Oct. 8
1981 3rd Birthday
Canada trip for Kent with 81 students (one week), May
Decides between makeup and candy, May. 3
Nursery, refuses to go, May 10
Mary, was in play, Easter
Disneyland, June 1
Learns colors, June
Wears Red Sandals, Summer
Carpentaria Camping, July 1011
Swimming, begins with dad, July
El Capitan camping, Aug. 16
Gymnastics, Sep. 6
Pre School, Sep.
Christmas, is a pink flamingo, gets Lil. Red Riding Hood
1982 Graduates from nursery, Jan. 1
4 Years Old, stove, scared at King Kong
San Diego with Grandparents, Mar. 14
Talk, in church, Mar. 7
Magic Mountain, liked Jet Stream, Mar. 27
Strawberry Print, Easter
New shoes, on wrong feet, Easter
Dance lessons, Sep.
Fun 4 Fours
Christmas, falls in love with Christmas Music, Barbie
1983 Big Bear with Blunks, Jan.
5 Years Old, playhouse, makeup, tights, Annie record
Van, Bought a Blue Plymouth F.H.E. lesson on Jesus, Mar. 27
Ryan born, July 22, 9:22 am 23inches/9lb 1oz
Ryan blessed, Sep 4, by father
Latebird in Kindergarten, learning to read, Aug.
1984 2 -Teeth pulled, Jan
6 Years old, Pollyanna doll, yellow
1985 7 Years old
Tooth, pulled by dad, Mar. 24
Christmas, Art Chest, rock tumbler
1986 Ashley born, Jan 22, 7:45 pm, 21inches/7lb 2oz
8 Years old, surprise party
Rachel baptized, Jan 25 by father
Ashley blessed, Feb 22, by father
Heather born, April 11,
Acton Property bought in foreclosure, June 10
3rd Grade, Mrs. Geiran, July 28
J.T. and Kris married Aug. 16
1987 9 Years Old,
Rachel, Eric do all the work, June (dad Catalina)
Marjorie dies, July 22, 9:15 pm
Reds Meadow, Aug. 2
Britain Trip for Kent and Suzanne Oct. 1 14
30's style depression for Kent and Suzanne, Aug-Feb
1988 Soccer Regionals
10 Years Old,
Eric baptized, Mar.