The Personal History of Ryan Philip Gardiner
By Ryan and His Parents
Mom: July 22, 1983, Last night I went to bed with a swollen, sore abdomen and prayed, "Please, dear Heavenly Father, I really want to have this baby in the next few hours...and I've done all that I can do--now I'm leaving it all up to you. The ball is in your court..." Tonight I went to bed with a large, plump baby boy across my abdomen and a sigh and a tear, "Thank you, dear Father. Help me to love this baby, gain insight into his special spirit, and raise him righteously."
Special Note from Your Mother
Ryan Philip, you were a very WANTED child. I knew after I had Eric that our family wasn't complete and it was very soon there after that Chad began asking when we were going to have you! I told him to wait until Eric was two years old, and then we would discuss it, but already your father and I were planning ahead when the best time to have you would be. Several of the children's playmates` parents had babies near the time that we conceived you (the Whites and the Blairs--each with children the same ages as your siblings) and so Chad and Rachel began to ask again and we told them to ask your Heavenly Father.... and they began praying in earnest for another baby in our family and their private prayers. Chad in particular prayed fervently for another brother.
Your father and I were concerned about planning the timing of your arrival, and gave the matter much thought and prayer. When I was called to serve on an 18 month stake mission in June 1982, both Kent and I told the member of the stake presidency extending the call of our plans to have you in the next year and he said that my time could be adjusted if necessary, but that the Lord had great plans for me--he wanted me to serve him on a mission. Oh how I have longed to serve on a mission! I love missionary work! And so I planned to give it all I could for at least twelve months. And I did, and the people (Don and Lila Swauger) are progressing in the gospel and referring their friends to the missionaries...Other missionaries have stepped in and been lifted by the Lord to more than fill my shoes, and I have had great joy in serving the Lord this past year.
And so you see you are a missionary child--and in more ways than one! I had planned a John Jones reunion this summer (3 weeks after your expected birth) with a Jones cousin from Tennessee, and was concerned because I knew that I could not come, but the Lord softened the heart of your grandmother Brown, (William Alfred Jones oldest grandchild) and your grandpa Brown into going back to Tennessee for me. I have been able to gather much information...and just finished compiling it for your grandmother the night before you were born.
But I want you to know Ryan Philip, that even with all these great things your mother was doing--missionary work and genealogy--nothing deterred your father and I from wanting to have you. As I held hands with your father in a Swenson`s ice cream Parlor the night before you were born, I told him that "As difficult as this has been for me (physically) and as crazy as the world must think us for wanting another child, I know that
20, 30, or even a million years from now, we will look back on our lives here and realize that having this baby was one of the most significant /important things we've ever done." (And I want more children too, Ryan.... Having you makes me want to have more.)
Your father and I know just about the exact time we conceived you in late October 1982. And then there were the weeks of waiting to be certain...the quiet satisfaction of knowing you were on your way. Through all the weeks of morning sickness, physical humiliation in the beginning and tremendous discomfort towards the last--I knew that what I was doing was right and I wanted to have you. And when well-meaning strangers would ask if this was my first and what did I want (a boy or a girl) and Id say, "either a boy or a girl--this is my fourth" (and they'd nearly faint or roll their eyes), "We enjoyed our first three so much we thought we'd do it again!" Then they'd be speechless. (Most people do not want to have four children, my dear.) But because I meant what I said and so obviously wanted you and planned you, most people respected us. You are a testimony to the phrase, "Children are the heritage of the Lord", and "happy is the man (woman) who hath his quiver full of them."
The Other Children get Into the Act
I was about 3 months along 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 told them in a special family home evening at about 3 1/2 months. Chad was ecstatic and announced that his prayers had been answered. Eric immediately had a baby in his tummy, too, and gave you kisses and brought you blankets and toys to play with even though you were still inside my womb. He also added you and his baby to his prayer list of significant people 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 you would be healthy and strong. And that you are!
Suzanne is Sick
(When I was a few months pregnant with you, a neighbor boy in our school carpool contracted Fifth's Disease. I felt a strong compulsion to avoid contact with him despite the assurances from the parents that this was a childhood disease and in no way dangerous to the baby or me. Their pediatrician felt so too. Much later I was to find out from a Newspaper article in our local paper that 2 out of 6 women exposed to the disease had miscarriages and the fetuses showed signs of the illness. I feel that is another instance in which the Lord protected you, Ryan.)
(Note: Mom's missionary companion, Nancy Morgan, who tried to have a baby for 12 years, unexpectedly was able to adopt a baby boy, Charles Wayne Morgan, in January 1983. He and Ryan are just six months apart in age and had missionary mothers who were companions at the time of their birth. Wouldn't it be something if these two boys became companions when they grew up and went on their missions!)?
Kent: In November and December Suzanne, pregnant, had a virus, which made us worry about the condition of the fetus. Rachel has really prayed hard for a healthy baby, preferably a girl while Chad prays for a boy. This could be confusing to those in heaven who deal out the spirits.
The year was 1983. Earlier in the year we had taken a family trip to Big Bear with Sandy and Ron. They had rented a cabin and our families enjoyed the snow. On February 23, I taught five hours, went to the temple and did confirmations, then came home and played basketball down at the ward house. When I got home I found Suzanne crying, she had tried for hours to get a babysitter with no success, but happy day, she felt movement. This was unusual timing since last Friday Suzanne (potty) trained Eric. This year Raiders of the Lost Arc came out and Chad and I enjoyed it together.
On July 19, the family was staying with the Browns in anticipation of the birth. Today Grandma Great came over to the house for lunch. She gave Eric a blue Tonka Truck with a matching boat and trailer, Chad got a very nice set of foreign coins with a clear plastic coin purse and Rachel got a neat set of dishes. The children particularly enjoyed the visit, and playing with Lady and Duchess, their dogs. Eric is about the same size as the dogs, and they enjoy lick him while he pets them.
Our family is also looking for a van. With the next addition it seems to be the time for extra room and more comfortable transportation.
Mom: We went to stay at your Brown grandparents the week before you were 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 like children and hold onto our Father in Heaven's hands as we walk through life.
I worked on genealogy for Mom to take back with her to the reunion and did as little walking as possible. You were so heavy, it hurt to move. Your daddy kept calling from work every couple of hours all week wanting to know how close my contractions were. They were erratic, light Braxton-Hickson ones, but nothing definitely labor. I was anxious because Chad and Rachel started school Monday the 25th (on year-round schedule) and I wanted to get back home with you and settle in before sending them off on their first day.
Kent: The night of July 21 we put the children down at the Browns and went shopping at Best for a changing pad, Penney's for Chad and to Swensens for ice cream. Suzanne was having some difficulty walking. She is somewhat self-conscience about her walk since Dick Zazaweta (neighbor down the street) asked if she was all right because of the way she looked walking down the street. We split a "Black Bart" at Swensens and on the way home she said that she wasn't having contractions, however she felt
"Uncomfortable." She said it was similar to when she had Eric. We went home. She had a shower and went to bed.
The Actual Birth
Mom: Thursday night the 21st (your due date), your daddy and I went out to Puente Hills mall to the Penney's store and got Chad some pajamas, and Kent a jumpsuit. I was so uncomfortable; it was excruciating to even walk. We went to Swanson's ice cream store after that and I sampled some of daddy's ice cream rather than order any myself because I knew I would go into hard labor soon and I didn't want the ice cream to make me sick or give me heartburn. When we got home I took a long hot shower and remembered my shower in that same bathroom 3 years and 4 months earlier just before Eric was born. At that time I was feeling so emotional and teary-eyed over leaving Chad and Rachel. This time I was DETERMINED to give birth to you in the next 12 hours. I begged Heavenly Father to start things rolling, break my bag of waters or SOMETHING! Sure enough, at 3 am I awoke with a start as water gushed out over my legs. I stumbled to the bathroom trailing water, elated and pondering my next move. I awoke your dad and grandpa and told them I wanted to go to the hospital.
"When Are We Going To Have Another Baby?"
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 changes), wash his hair, and laugh at him. She even brought him to school for sharing the week she was Yankee Doodle Dandy 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.
Eric now prays, "Bless the baby get safe and strong" in his prayers.
Kent: At 3:15 I was awakened by faint talking, I moved in bed and found that it was wet. I had a feeling and when Suzanne came back to the room, (She later told me that she told me in my sleep that her water broke and I rolled over and went back to sleep.) I asked if we should hurry and she said no, but we had better go. It was 3:15. There was no traffic on the road. We arrived with Suzanne leaking somewhat. Just the beginning of her indignities. She was let in after signing her name seven times in admitting. There were three other ladies so she had to have a bed out in the hall. There was a screamer. (Dr. Brown calls women who scream Mamma Mia's.) One lady came in four times, all false labors so they sent her home.
Kent: The hospital waiting room had a few sleeping dads lying on couches. I went back to the maternity ward and hear the babies crying--oh, how I wanted to have you! I had to lie on a bed in the hallway because the labor rooms were full. I arrived after 4 am. By 6:30 or 7 I was able to go into a labor room, but my contractions weren't coming that hard yet. My dad came in to see me about 7:15 (He had come in about 5:30 earlier to check on me)
This time dressed for surgery. I asked him to give me a blessing--mainly because I wanted the labor to come fast and smoothly--more than fear concerning your safety. You see when I was 2 months pregnant with you I had a number of viral headaches and infections, and feeling very down and depressed then, I asked for a blessing at that time from your dad and grandpa. I still remember your grandpa promising that you would develop according to the Lord's plan for you. This promise comforted me many times during my pregnancy.
My labor came stronger although somewhat erratic after that. At one point you hiccupped and began pushing yourself down with your feet. At 8:45, when Grandpa Brown came back from surgery, he said you were just about ready and the nurses pushed me into the delivery room (the same one that I was born in).
Dad: Suzanne lay quietly with no contractions of any consequence till about 7:00a. Her dad came in as he was going to do a hernia operation on Ed _______. The nurses kept on checking her pulse and blood pressure and temperature and the child's heartbeat, which was 136-144. At this point we thought it was a girl and even had Rebecca for a name. At 8:45 she was 10 cm and wheeled into the delivery room. She had little difficulty in labor until then. She pushed ten times. Her dad was in front and Kent was behind. The nurse would count to 10 while she pushed. The last couple of pushes were anguishing. At last she yelled, "I can't!" However she could. Jim held the baby up and said, " It's a boy." The baby was 9 pounds 1 oz and 23 inches long. Because it was so large the nurse later did a sugar test on the baby by pricking the left big toe. I took three rolls of film to make sure we didn't blow it and lose the film like we thought we did with Eric.
Ta-da! Ryan is Born
Mom: I had a hard time pushing you out, but at 9:22 am you were born--a BIG healthy boy at 9 lbs., 1 oz. and 23 inches long (that's almost a record length, my dear). Grandpa says you'll probably be 6'6", 220 lbs. someday. You were so beautifully formed, you fooled your grandpa as to how long and big you really were. He said you were a "perfect 10 baby" (quite an achievement already!) on your Apgar score.
Anyway, I cuddled you in the hospital and stared at your face, trying to study this special little stranger I had carried so long and now was suddenly trying to become acquainted with.... You had a slight ridge on the top of your head where the bony pallets overlapped each other. We asked your brothers and sister what name we should give your. Chad and Rachel liked "David" (your Uncle David babysat them while daddy and I were at the hospital giving you birth, and they followed him around like tiny shadows)
Eric liked "Grandma Brown" and "Kent". Daddy and I liked Philip (your uncle David's middle name, and your great, great, grand father's name) but I didn't want you to be a "Phil" all your life. The hospital recorder went home for the weekend and told me to call her early Monday morning with your name. For some reason, I just couldn't give you a name that would fit you and represent you your whole life. Of course, a name is what you make it...but a name also represents you too. I finally settled on Ryan Philip.
Ryan is Celtic and means "capable executive". Philip is Hebrew and means "lover of horses". I wanted something that would connote quiet strength and integrity, yet sensitivity, grace, and guileless--many of the same qualities your Uncle David has.
Your daddy said he felt a real deep sense of responsibility now he had 3 little boys. He felt a real spiritual desire to be a good role model, set a good example. I thought how I needed to take care of my little boys` father to make sure he'd live a long and healthy life and could help raise 3 fine young men.
The Other Children Meet Ryan Philip
Kent: When we brought the children to the San Gabriel Hospital we were not allowed to bring them into Suzanne's room so we took them to an outside window. After first yelling into the wrong window, they finally looked into the room and then into the nursery. We asked the children what they thought of the baby. Rachel said "Yesterday we had five people in our family. But this is funny. Today we have six people." She also added, "I already know how to change diapers and the baby is going to stay in my
room." Eric said, "You have to take the head off and take mommies baby out." Chad wanted the name Scott James, Rachel thought Jason was better and Eric liked Gardiner Kent.
Suzanne: Chad was very excited to have a little brother and again announced that his prayers had been answered. Rachel was somewhat disappointed you were not a girl, but became pacified to learn you'd be sleeping in her room (much to the jealousy of her 2 other brothers who wanted you in their room), and that your name started with an R like hers. She has really become a little mother to you and a big help to me. You are almost as big as she is, and she lugs you around the house to wherever she is playing, gives you her toys to suck and clutch, props you on her blankets and pillows beside her in every room and in front of the TV with her. She loves to get you laughing and change your paper diapers by herself (faster than me), wash your hair, and laugh at you. She brought you to school for sharing the week she was Yankee Doodle Dandy in kindergarten and showed her classmates how efficiently she could change your diapers. All the children wanted to touch, kiss, and hold you.
September 4, 1983, we blessed Ryan in Fast and Testimony Meeting. Chad bore his testimony. He said that he was grateful for his grandma and grandpa and his new baby. Kent bore his testimony too. He told about noticing that Eric had his shoes on the wrong feet one day. When he told him, Eric looked up at him and said: "But Daddy, I can't change my feet!"
Mom: September 4, 1983, we blessed Ryan in Sacrament Meeting (9:00am) Grandma and Grandpa Brown, Uncle David, Uncle Charles and Barbara Brown, Aunt Judy and Uncle Mike Wooten, Great Grandma Breiten, Grandpa and Grandma Gardiner, Great Aunt Audrey Kroksh, Uncle Mark and Aunt Karen Gardiner and their children came out and attended Sacrament Meeting. The male members of the family stood in the circle when Daddy blessed Ryan--and one dear member of our ward, Clyde Nelson, the membership clerk. Kent called him about 8:00 in the morning about a card to fill out before the blessing, and he mistakenly thought we were inviting him to be a part of the priesthood circle. Clyde Nelson has been a friend of our family for seven years; an outstanding man of tremendous faith, humility, kindness, good nature and humor--qualities I would be proud to have a son of mine develop. Clyde is one of those rare guileless individuals who inspire deep love, affection and loyalty in others for him. It was a privilege to include him.
Ryan was blessed by his father that--
--His body would function properly and work well.
--His spirit would shine forth and all who would see Him would know that he is a child of God.
--He would be a contented child and enjoy his time in his home and family; He mother would know how to care for him appropriately, and enjoy caring for him; that he would be able to
feel the love and caring given to him.
--He would be blessed in his life to grow up in the church, fill a mission, and enjoy those who are in the gospel.
While his father was blessing him, I prayed silently a mother's blessing that Ryan would be righteous, humble, sensitive (to the Spirit and others needs) his whole life, and that he would be a father in Zion. As I prayed this, the Spirit bore witness to me that he was a very special spirit child of Father in Heaven, fore-ordained to eternal life...Just as Heavenly Father had once been born as a little child like Ryan, so someday Ryan would grow to fill the same position as Heavenly Father's.
Chad bore his testimony. He said that he was grateful for his grandma and grandpa and his new baby.
Kent bore his testimony too. Told about noticing "Eric had his shoes on the wrong feet one day. When I told him, he looked up at me and said: 'But daddy, I can't change my feet!' In life we make mistakes and yet occasionally we feel the Lord's spirit say that we're on the right track. Today I feel that we're on the right track. I'm thankful for my children and the spirit that Suzanne presents in our home and all she is willing to do. Her sweet spirit is all I could want in our home."
Adam Wooten (Ryan's) cousin bore his testimony too. He said that he knew that the church was true and he loved his parents. He's about 5 years old and lives in Lakeside, Ca., near San Diego. I think that its marvelous how the church is the same everywhere, so that a small child could travel miles away from home, attend a ward for the first time, and yet feel at home enough to bear his testimony in front of 200 strangers.
I said that I was grateful for my family, especially my parents, for their righteous teachings and example. The Plan of Salvation is very dear to me. I know that God is our Father in Heaven, and that we are His spirit children, created in His image. I know that the gospel is the way to become like Him and united with our families in the larger family of God--forever, through the atonement of His son Jesus Christ. I am grateful for what the gospel can do for ordinary people like myself, and for great people like the prophet Joseph Smith who are instrumental in helping the Lord make the gospel available to everyone.
I said that I knew that giving birth to Ryan was one of the most important things Id ever done, and that in spite of the difficulties--the physical hardships, the interruption of mission and genealogy, etc.--millions of years from now I would look back and be grateful for his birth and our sacrifice. I expressed love and gratitude for those I served with in my mission: Randy Favero and Mike Padovich (now in the Bishopric), Nancy Morgan and Margie Stewart, my two companions, and for my husband, the best companion of all.
(Note: Matthew Paul McGuire, was born September 6, 1983. His family lives three doors down from us and his brother Craig is one of Chad’s best friends, and his sister Lizzy is one of Rachel’s. His mom is a real sweetheart who was much relieved to learn we were expecting another child near the time she was. Ryan and Matthew have been best buddies all the time we have lived here in our yellow and white house on Hyssop.)
Your First Thanksgiving
Mom: At Thanksgiving, Rachel said that she was most thankful for you. Eric always says, "Bless the baby get safe and strong" in his prayers". At Rachel’s class Christmas Party (I'm the Room mother), when Ms. Hankla (Rachel’s teacher) asked each child individually whom they would like to give a warm fuzzy to nearly each one came over and gave you a big hug and kiss. (That was about 20 hugs and kisses from little boys and girls. You were 4 1/2 months old then). Ms. Hankla said that this activity did not come out the way she had hoped. I'm afraid you sabotaged her efforts to encourage the children to express love to their classmates.
First Months of Life
Mom: Jan. 14, 1984, Ryan is 5 1/2 months old now. I started feeding him cereal the week before Christmas and Christmas day I felt something hard in his mouth--sure enough, it was a little tooth. He's real proud of that tooth and chomps down on everything with it. Everything he grabs goes into his mouth too.
He is such a sweet, contented baby. Motherhood is such a joy. I feel sweet and contented with him too. I find such pleasure in caring for him--I've begun to think lately that I sincerely hope that there is real joy in priesthood ordinance work for my husband's sake, and that it is okay if some men receive adulation because of their positions--it is nothing compared to the adulation of children for their mother (though unworthy she may be in her position). I truly enjoy being a woman. And Ryan is such a delightful baby--it makes it easier to delight in my motherhood.
He's never had a babysitter yet--I take him with me everywhere I go, even to long 3-hour movies (such as "The Right Stuff", about the first astronauts) and he NEVER cries. He smiles at everyone. He is a lot like my brother David in his sweet good nature. This evening David commented on how cute Ryan was and I said, "That's good, because a lot of people say he looks like you." (My mother said that he is like the way my brother Jim was when he was a baby and she had to keep reminding herself that she really did have a baby--he was so content and quiet all the time she almost forgot about him.)
Tonight I took him with me to Saturday evening Stake Conference session with my folks to hear Paul H. Dunn (a member of the Council of Seventy). I nursed him on the way and carried him in the building still nursing, covered with a blanket. And who was the first person I saw as I entered the building? But Paul Dunn and behind him was Pres. Jim Smith (of the Hacienda Heights. stake), who turned to Brother Dunn and said, "This is Pres. Brown’s daughter". He shook my hand and said, "Who's this?" reaching for Ryan's blanket to pull it down to expose him (and me!). Fortunately, he thought better of it.... I took Ryan up after the meeting, when he was awake, and showed him off.
During the meeting, he sat on Grandma Brown’s lap, gnawed on her compact and drooled on 2 hankies. Grandma laughed at his cute characteristic of clinching his three last fingers of his right hand and extending his pointer finger and thumb. That makes either the thumb or the forefinger easy to stick in his mouth and suck or chew occasionally. He stuck out his tongue between his lips and amiably gave grandma the raspberry when I got to hold him. He was an angel as usual. He gave some big yawns, didn't cry, came home and had some cereal, then went to bed in David's room in a port-a-crib. Having him makes me never want to stop having babies.
He Begins to Crawl
Dad: On March 10, l984 Ryan started to crawl. He crawled across the floor to get my wallet and immediately stuck it into his mouth. The next day I came home to find Ryan eating paper.
Mom: Saturday, March 24, 1984, Ryan is scooting all over the place on the floor, rocking back and forth on his knees, and sitting up. He's become a "human vacuum cleaner"--eating all fuzz balls and pieces of paper, etc. He's become quite irritable in the afternoon and wakes up in the middle of the night.... must be teething or a cold. But he still seems quite guileless by nature.
A real joy.
Saturday March 24, 1984, today we are celebrating Eric's birthday (it's Monday, really). We had to work out the time with Kelly Shite's family. Her birthday is today, two days before Eric's. He invited only four friends: Aaron Blair, Kelly White, Jeff Pfahler (3 LDS friends that he car pools to Preschool with) and Lizzy McGuire, a little neighbor girl 6 months older than him. He wants to go to Centurion Park, have with cupcakes with black licorice, and invite Aaron's bit sisters Heather and Amber. We'll have Hot dogs and chips. I got a little writing pad for each of them with their name on it, a pack of sugarless bubble gum and a helium balloon for each child. We also got him Cowboy boots, a ping-pong ball gun, and an air pump racing car. He's so funny: all morning long while the others are in school he harasses me about getting one of his four friends for him to play with. After we've called all of them and can't get one to play, he lies around watching
TV, typing "letters" on the typewriter (which he puts in Lizzy's mailbox anonymously) and asks me for treats "because he's been real good". He has such a TEMPER! He gets so frustrated if things aren't just right his bed must be straight with no bubbles, his drawer must open and shut good, his pants must button, etc.
On Wednesdays I've been trying to fix a really nice dinner for the family. Last Wednesday I fixed Meat balls, cottage potatoes, Chinese green beans, French bread, salad with ranch dressing, onion soup, and fresh pear pie. The kids liked the French bread - which was all. Ryan was real cranky all day today and didn't take his nap.
1st Birthday Party
Wednesday March 28, 1984, Saturday was Eric's birthday party. We went to the park (Centurion across from Blairs). Kent didn't realize what time the party was and went to look at a car with his friend Kevin Large, and consequently arrived when it was nearly over. I had a terrible time! The wind was blowing everything away; I couldn't get the Bar B Q started or wait on the kids fast enough. Ryan was crawling around on the grass whimpering (he hadn't eaten in 5 hours) Eric was having fits because things weren't going exactly right...In the end Eric was thrilled with his presents; his four friends liked their complementary gifts, Ryan and I survived, and Kent and his friend cleaned up after the party.
Ryan has a bad cold, and I hate to leave him or take him out.
Mom: Saturday, April 7, 1984, (I had the flu, and) during the night Ryan cried a lot with stomach cramps too. I got up to nurse him 2 times. He is getting so big and precious.... sweet, gentle, docile personality. Reminds me of a little puppy the way he gets up on his knees now. I had to turn his crib around; Id come into get him from a nap and he'd be kneeling in his bed with his hand on the railing, grinning his lopsided 3-toothed grin. He rocks
back and forth on his knees and hands and takes a few crawling steps, but mostly scoots all over the house on his belly. This evening he got part way into the fireplace and tasted the charcoal. The other day he had Rachel’s trashcan over and was lying on his back holding a piece of paper in the air and cooing at it. He is SO CUDDLY and SWEET. I cannot look at him without knowing that he is a very special spirit child of God, fore-ordained to follow in His footsteps.... I truly enjoy caring for him, and am beginning to have second thoughts about leaving him this summer to go to Youth Conference at Dixie College in June 27-July 2 and the Livesay/Jones Reunions for 1 1/2 weeks in August. I'm not only concerned about his well being while I'm gone--I honestly don't think I could stand to be away from him.
Ryan The Big Time Eater
I have been giving him one bottle a day now for the feeding after his long nap--when he's least interested in nursing, and I'm busy with dinner. He's drinking must less milk now, and no longer takes a long morning nap (usually only 1 hour) but a longer one in the afternoon (2-3 hours). He's eating 3 meals a day. I'm probably giving him too much to eat--He's gotten a little more chunky lately. He eats 1/2-c. formula with cereal (for breakfast or dinner) 1/2 c. yogurt and strained fruit (mixed) and 1/2 slice white bread (in little pieces) lunch and 1/2-3/4 mashed banana, 1 Tb strained vegetables and 1 Tb. meat all mixed together. That's probably 1-2 cups. He seems to want to eat (he eats bread crumbs on the floor below his seat when he's hungry, whimpers and looks at me, pulls my pant leg, etc.) When I put him in his Lil People Sitter at the table he rocks back and forth, leans forward and grabs everything within about a 12-inch radius. He turns over his food, grabs handfuls of mashed banana, slices of bread, milk cartons, etc.
He seems to really enjoy going outside. He's real quiet and looks around and when the sliding door is open and he's inside, he makes a beeline for the porch. He is very good-natured, quiet, self-entertaining a lot...likes to crawl into the Boys` room closet and see what toys he can pick up and chew on. If I could describe his personality, it would be "peaceful". He's really a
model baby. I sometimes think Jesus must have been like him as a baby.
Mom: Saturday, April 14, 1982, Ryan has really gotten mobile in the last week. He gets everywhere: He's been in the fireplace, Rachel’s trash can, standing up by the toilet, behind Rachel’s door, you name it. I'm afraid he's gotten too active for a playpen. (I'm borrowing one tomorrow) but I'm afraid to go off for Youth Conference without knowing he'll be contained and safe...He's got four teeth coming in the top now...He's drinking more and more from a bottle and taking less naps.... He’s into Cheerios, and will be content for a long time eating Cheerios from his high chair or jumping in his Johnny Jump Up.
Easter Vacation (first week of May) we videotaped the kids at the Gardiners and Browns. The last place was pretty exciting right after the Easter Egg Hunt when the Bar-B-Q area caught fire but was put out immediately by Uncle Mike Wooten.
Ryan at the Movies
Mom: June 1, 1984, I'm glad May is gone; it was sure a busy month. Kent took the older kids camping with the Beitlers over Memorial Day Weekend up to King's Canyon in the Sierras. They came home with Mosquito bites, bear stories, dirt, and good memories (while I stayed home and took care of Ryan, watched some movies, and helped with the Debutante Ball as Stake Laurel Leader). Ryan and I went to see "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" adventure movie. It was pretty gory and intense. I kept squeezing Ryan so hard, he'd wake up (he was suffering from a bad bout of the flu and was pretty uncomfortable). I took him home early (skipped my errands and Ball-decorating). Poor little sweetie wasn't feeling too good.
Mom: Sunday July 1, 1984, I'm writing this from Dixie College Youth Conference. Yesterday as I read the Book of Mormon account of Ammon and his brethren among the Lamanites, I wept because of the great goodness of God to all of his children.... I sure miss my children--especially Ryan since he's my baby. I can see him in my mind sitting in his "Lil' people sitter" up to the table, swinging his legs, picking up Cheerios to put in his mouth, his strawberry blond curls, his sweet face, toes turned in slightly, a pile of Cheerios and bread crumbs below his seat. He is the sweetest child. I love to hug him, rock him with his blanket and bottle and hum, "I am a child of God" or "Teach me to Walk in the Light".
Mom's Journal Entry August 8, 1984: (I took off for my wonderful Jones reunion.) Last night Kent gave me a blessing. He blessed me (among other things) that I would know that my family at home was being taken care of.
Rachel Saves His 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 was 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 flu a 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.
Ryan Staring at the Ceiling
Mom: August 17, 1984, I’m writing this while waiting for my older sister Johanna to come into town...we're going out (to the Browns)...for a family portrait--the first one with all my brothers and sisters for 19 years! Wow, what an occasion! The last 36 hours have been so full of ups and downs, joys and fears, and pain and happiness since I returned home (from the Jones reunion). On the way home from the flyaway Bus stop in Van Nuys,
Kent told me that while I was gone Eric had the flu (a temperature, etc.) got some medicine and snapped out of it. Then Ryan came down with it 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 the children--Rachel particularly, 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 sockets so that only white was showing. Kent picked him up but he was limp and didn't change. Then Kent noticed he wasn't breathing at all. He began to panic by now and dashed him into the bathroom, gave him a little breath from his mouth and began splashing water on, sponging him off, cooling him down. He came too, and began clapping his hands and smiling. When Kent was sure that he was fine, he took his temperature and called my dad.
My dad said that he was in a heat convulsion". My dad asked him if he'd turned blue and Kent said no, just very white, and my dad said that was good, and to watch him very closely, checking on him every few hours at night. Well, while he told me this in the car on the way home from the airport, I nearly had a heart attack.
Sunday, August 19, 1984, Yesterday Johanna and Glenn Goodman and their six children came over (their staying with the Browns for a week) and we took the kids to the park and swimming, boiled some hot dogs, and had ice cream. Then I cut the boys hair in our family and we went out to my folks for family gets together and picture taking. We didn't get started taking pictures until almost 9:00pm, and then it was a ZOO! Children crying, my mother panicking and wanting to quit. But somehow we all persisted. Dick
Smith, the photographer endured, and Jim and Brenda Smith taking videocassette recordings encouraged us. It was the first time all the Browns had been together in 19 years!
Mom: August 19, 1984, Ryan is taking his first steps. Mostly he just likes to stand up by himself from the floor, then sink down and crawl around. Sometimes when you're lying down on the floor he'll giggle, crawl up to you, then lay his head down on your chest with his mouth open and coo, "ahhhhh..." It's like he's hugging you and kissing you. He is SO precious! I am so grateful that he is all right. I told Delbert that I didn't want to bury any of my kids--I wanted them to bury me. He pointed out that we don't always have a choice in these matters; nevertheless, with the Lord's blessing and preservation, I plan to be a lucky grandma to MANY righteous grandchildren by each of my children.
1 Year Old
Mom: September 2, 1984, Ryan is taking several steps on his own now--as many as 10 or more. He goes slowly, teetering back and forth, and if he sees you watching him he falls down.... He’s becoming a picky eater-only wanting food he sees others eating. He's meat and potatoes man...will eat some fresh fruit, but NO vegetables. He's long since refused baby food and often spits out food offerings. He loves to play with cars--sometimes for nearly half an hour he'll run a little car or truck on its wheels and "Brrrrrrr", make a little noise of the car. He and Eric sometimes fight over favorite (cars). He shakes his head "no" at you or waves his arms in the air if he sees you looking at him, and he's into tearing apart my bathroom cupboards and dragging the contents all over the house. He has the most darling strawberry blond curls and when he smiles, his eyes crinkle up and nearly disappear. He loves the water--when we took him to the beach Friday he kept crawling towards the water and backing down the bank towards the waves. He got quite excited to put his feet in and was startled more than once by a big wave that splashed over him while his daddy and mommy held him up so his feet could touch the water. When he wasn’t crawling towards the ocean, he was picking up handfuls of sand and waving them around in the air--letting the sand slip through his fingers so that it was splashing in the faces of Rachel and Angela who were buried up to their shoulders. He's walking around the house now, teetering from couch to chair to doorjamb or bed--from one place of safety or balance to another.
Mom: Friday, Sept. 14, 1984, Ryan's walking all over the house now, although he's still a bit tipsy on his feet and the slightest distraction can buckle his knees. He seems more comfortable on his hands and knees anywhere away from the house and is most assuredly faster that way.
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.
Ryan's First Words
Mom: Sept 16-22, 1984, Ryan said his first words this week. One afternoon, I was putting him to bed for a nap and said, "Night-Night", and he took the bottle out of his mouth and said, "Thligh-Thligh", then put his bottle back in his mouth and grinned at me.
His favorite thing to do is to climb up the kitchen chairs and sit in the middle of the table and grab whatever's on it put it in his mouth or dump it on the table and spread it around. He finds food a creative medium.
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 art 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: Sunday March 24, 1985, Ryan is such an angelic child; he even looks like a cherub with his rosy round cheeks and fair coloring. (My folks say Ryan looks like my brother David so much it almost hurts. My brother is so sweet he IS an angel.) Lately he's taken to mimicking and copying others. He loves to put Rachel’s shoes on and clump around the house, chortling and shouting delightedly. He's had fun with Rachel’s skirt, Kent’s shirt, and some snow gloves he found in my drawer. He's so excited when he gets them on. He seems to be a very observant child. He knew how to wear the gloves, and after watching Eric have his pictures taken, he sat so still and smiled so pretty--he had a perfect take first time around (and in fact, took the best pictures of all the children). He's really close to Rachel Partly because they 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.
He likes to eat: milk (all day long) hot dogs, Cheerios, chicken and beef and ham, eggs, crackers, cookies, candy, gum, cereal, and peanut butter. He does not like to eat: vegetables, most fruit, baby foot, or whole wheat. If he doesn't reverse his tastes, eventually I'm afraid he's going to be a high cholesterol high blood pressure candidate. His favorite things are his nanny, a bottle of milk, and anything on wheels.
Dad: In May of `85, Ryan talks or babbles incessantly. He loves his bottle, is good-natured. He still drools. When is asked a question he wags his head no. Eric loves to love him but usually ends up bugging him. He is big for his age. Suzanne carried him a mile or so to our camping area on our Memorial Day trek to Kings River. He sat up there and drank a bottle the whole time and just enjoyed the scenery.
Ryan is Two Years Old - Hospitalization
Mom: On Monday, December 2, l985 I took Ryan in to see a local urologist (Dr Garrett) because his scrotum was red, quite enlarged over the last one-and-a-half weeks and very tender. He dashed us over to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital emergency with him to be examined by the surgeons for an emergency hernia operation. It was the longest afternoon of his life. He hated having blood tests and his temperature taken. It took two nurses and me to hold him down and take an X-ray. One nurse let him play with her flashlight and he warmed up to her a bit. Drs. Rio and Rodriguez were gentle with him too. As time progressed and the temperature and blood pressure sampling continued he reluctantly acquiesced-whimpering, but holding his arm out to them. They gave him a shot to calm him down before surgery. It was quite pathetic to watch the nurse’s push him into the surgery room away from us with him lying on the gurney bed so limp, flushed, and staring confusedly at his hand with the IV in it. I thought my heart would break. Our Elders Quorum President Brother David Bronson and his daddy had given him a blessing and we had the calm assurance all would be well, although as soon as an hour had passed (6:20-7:20pm, the estimated time of surgery) Kent and I began to get nervous. But a few minutes later Dr. Rodriguez came in to say all had gone well.
One hour later he came back to his room - still asleep from the anesthetic. I spent the night with him in the room in a bed next to his crib. He slept pretty well until 2a.m. when he awoke and whimpered a bit, drank a half a bottle of juice, was changed by the nurse and finally went to sleep again about 3 a.m. He kept turning his head to the side and looking at me to give him security and reassurance.
A little after 6a.m., he awoke again, drank another bottle and a half of milk, whimpered when the nurse came in because his arm-- still strapped down with the IV (water and electrolyte so he wouldn't dehydrate), bothered him. She took it off and he immediately wanted to get out of the crib and get into bed with me at 7:30a.m. But before that, about 7a.m., Suzanne called Kent and let each of the children talk to Ryan on the phone--holding it over to him in his crib. He babbled their names excitedly and hugged the phone quite close when Eric talked to him.
Kent came after 8a.m. and three of us squeezed into the single bed and watched TV. (Mostly Sesame Street, and cartoons.) Ryan really enjoyed playing with the TV and soon was walking around, turning on the water faucet, adjusting the bed, etc. We were anxious for Dr. Rodriguez to come and release him before he drove us nuts and destroyed the hospital room Kent took him for a walk around the hospital while I napped and when they returned Ryan fell asleep in Kent's arms. Dr Rodriguez came in about noon and said we could go home--but to bring him into his office for a check in one week. He was tired on Tuesday, the day of his release--taking a four-hour nap, but by Wednesday he acted like nothing had happened.
Christmas of 1985 was a wonderful time for Ryan, he got a red Matchbox car from his Uncle Jim Brown (he took it to bed with him Christmas night, it was his favorite present), a set of little cars from Grandma Gardiner, and a big yellow dump truck from Grandma Brown that he used to cart the set of little cars around in. His least favorite gift was a new potty-chair from his parents.
Ryan Flirts with Disaster
Mom: There are, at least, two instances in which the Lord miraculously preserved his life that we feel must be noted. In January of 1986 I was fussing with boxes and paper work in our closet looking for an insurance hospital pre-admission form for Ashley's birth. We'd had some trouble getting our insurance to pay for Ryan's surgery and so I was preoccupied with this most of the morning while Ryan played by himself. He had come to where I was typing letters to the insurance company and wanted to play with a screwdriver. I had used it to fix the typewriter. I said okay and he went off happily to 'repair' his cars and trucks and I went into the closet. I thought I heard a popping sound and the lights went out, followed by a deathly silence. I paused for a moment, shrugged it off and then went on with what I was doing. Ryan came running in and insisted that I come with him. In his vowel - no consonant babble he kept saying "igh!" "igh!" but I did not understand him and tried to brush him off - but something in his manner made me go with him. He took me to his room where he showed me the screwdriver stuck in the light socket behind the night light, black burns all over the back of the light, and the point nearly corroded in two. Had any part of him touched the metal he would have been electrocuted. There was probably a blinding flash, and many sparks. It had shorted out half of the house. I told him "NO!" then hugged him as he cried, I was weak with the realization of what had happened.
Ryan is Three Years Old
Mom: July 22, 1986, this was Ryan's three-year birthday. He celebrated it with a party with his brothers and sisters and best friends: Amy Bronson, Andrew Pastor, Drew Lewandowski, and Matthew McGuire. We played "Doggy, doggy, where's your bone?", Ring around the Rosy, and London Bridge. We opened presents; he got many cars, some GI JOE sunglasses, 2 balls, boats, and a flashlight. Then we had Big-stick Popsicle and Gum.
Mom: August 12, 1986, Yesterday Ryan went down to play with his buddy, Matthew who wasn't home. So he stood out in front of Matthew's house and watched some men from the water company working in the street 15-20 feet away. Kent was working on the yellow Volvo we hoped to sell and heard a loud gushing and looked up to see a gigantic spurt of gas spewing in the air--a gas main had burst. Ryan went right up to the hole, until Kent yelled to Ryan to come home. He started reluctantly, got half way, and then wanted to go back for his bike. Kent grabbed his hand and brought him home, told me, and then left on an appointment. I wondered if we should leave, felt I should get dressed and ready just in case. As soon as I was ready, a knock came on the door from the fire department advising us to leave for a couple of hours. So we went to K Mart. Tonight we learned that if a spark had hit it - 12 houses around would have been fried. We feel that this was another instance when the Lord was protecting him and his life was miraculously preserved.
Kent had given the older three children blessings before they started school--we've decided that Ryan needs one as well. Every morning he sits with us during scripture reading with his book and wants a turn "reading" too. We feel that he has a mission to fill, and pray that the Lord will continue to preserve him and bless us for his sake.
Mom: August 31, 1986, Labor Day Weekend, we went to Reds Meadow above Mammoth Lakes. Ryan and Rachel enjoyed taking off their shoes and socks and wading in the stream.
Note: Ryan still enjoys his blanket that was given to him as a baby gift from Sister Beverly Nelson (Clyde`s wife). It has a picture of two raggedy dolls going up in a patchwork quilt hot air balloon over a farm scene, bordered in red/white checks and ruffled with white eyelet. The reverse side is white with little blue dots. He still likes to sleep with it spread over him, on top of his covers. We got him a regular bed to sleep in the same room with Rachel. He went through a period of being afraid of the dark, and many times he climbed into bed with Rachel to sleep. He is bonded to her; she is like his 2nd mother.
This summer he has really enjoyed the water: he loves to sit with Matthew in a little wading pool and fill it with water from the hose and buckets. He also loves his baths and pours water over his head with a glass or puts his face in the water or lies on his back...when he slips or falls and is not really hurt, he says "ooh that was fun!" He's a pretty sturdy little guy. (Rachel says he's weird when he says that after falling.) Our nickname for him has been Biddy Buddy. But in truth, he is the least "biddy" of all our buddies. One time in the library I couldn't get his attention when I called out "Ryan" so I called, "Hey, Biddy, Buddy" and he immediately turned around.
The Fruit-Roll-Up Era
He absolutely loves fruit roll-ups, and no one can relish or eat one like he can. After it is peeled off the wax paper, he rolls it back up and sticks his forefinger into the middle of it and licks it for the longest time.
Mom: Feb 2, 1987, Ryan is a sweet chubby cheeked cherub, every day he wants to go to "Doy ool" (Joy School with Andrea Hilton, Andrew Pastor, Spencer Mefford, Jeni Gatherum, and Drew Lewandowski. We feel very blessed in being able to provide this little school for him. It’s actually a parent co-op -all LDS families. Christmas time we did a nativity skit for a nursing home and delivered food and presents to a needy family in Canyon Country. Ryan was a wise man. He also played a wise man at the Brown Family Christmas Eve celebration.
Ryan's Best Friend
When Ryan's not at Joy School, he likes to play with Matthew McGuire three doors down. They ride trikes out front, dig in the dirt in back with spoons, climb in the playhouse, and splash water on each other, chew gum, and eat Popsicle's. His favorite videos are Dumbo and Winnie the Pooh, his favorite toy is a big red and blue car he got at a garage sale for 50 cents. Ryan used to speak almost completely in vowels - no consonants, and would get so frustrated when no one understood him. He's say "e a o u"
etc. We had his hearing tested - (okay!) and got him into a speech program at Rosedell that we found out about from the Hiltons. Just in the last three months he's has been going his speech has improved one hundred percent. He's worked on F, V, S, z, sh, and now J - which he gives a D sound. Mostly he seems more aware of different sounds and tries to put consonant sounds at the beginning and the end better now than he did.
Mom: June 4, Thursday evening was Ryan's Joy School graduation ceremony. We met at Hyssop Park for family picnics and a little program. I was Master of Ceremonies. I mentioned how it was with mixed emotions that we came to the end of this year. It has been such a nice association for the children and such choice families belonged to this group of LDS children. But if the other mothers were like me, they dreaded their turn to teach because of all the work involved in preparation, and the fact that their child was the worst one for their mother/teacher. (Ryan wouldn't mind me or share his toys, always wanted to sit by Andrea who didn't want to sit by him, and screamed at the other children when they wanted to all climb the peach tree in the back, move the gray milk cartons around, or go up in the playhouse.) The children sang songs, gave their mothers a hug and kiss, each family gave a family presentation; the children wore hats and got special diplomas. For our family presentation we described the members of our family and had the audience guess that we were talking about. Then we sang "Families Can Be Forever". We left for Reds Meadow Campground very early July 22, Ryan's Birthday. We celebrated his day by buying Swanson's ice cream for everyone in Mammoth (Ryan chose Bubble-gum). He liked digging in the dirt and he slept in a tent with Chad and Eric. When we got from the trip Sat the 25th, we learned that Grandma Brown had died while we were gone.
The Death of Grandma Brown
At Grandma Brown's funeral, Ryan stuck to Grandpa like glue, not leaving his side the whole day. After the funeral he began to cry and demanded to see "the grandma that died." He pelted us with a stream of repetitive questions about her death for about an hour on the way home. She did her best to explain Grandma's death again until finally in desperation we silenced him. That night I prayed that the Lord would help him understand the separation of the body and the spirit and where Grandma was in the spirit world. The next morning he started in again, and I showed him the hand and glove analogy several times. The next day our neighbor, Jan McGuire told me that over lunch, Ryan had told her whole family that Grandma's spirit was with Jesus and that he had all the power and was going to bring her back to Grandpa.
"Grandma Died. Jesus is going to help Grandma. He is going to bring her back to Grandpa when he comes again. Then she is going to hug me and I will give her my flashlight." (The latter was a birthday present from Eric. Jan said that it was a special experience to hear such a wonderful explanation of death from such a small person.
He has been very concerned about Grandpa being lonely and said that if we were mean to him he was going to go and live with Grandpa. Then he thought a minute and asked if Grandpa spanked too. I told him about a time when Grandpa had spanked me when I was a little girl and had pulled my sister's hair. He thought some more and then said, "Well, I won't do that!"
Ryan is Four Years Old
At Ryan's birthday party celebration on Aug 1, (since we were camping on his birthday and his grandma died, we waited a week and a half) he said, "I had Popsicle's and also all my toys. Andrea, Matthew, Drew, Andrew, Amy and Jeni came. Cars, and a new cycle (a battery for a motorized motorcycle), one truck, two water guns, sunglasses, Legos" (when asked what he got for presents). We passed out fruit roll and a pack of gum as party favors, and played games and relays.
Dad: First week in August 1987, early in the summer of `87 Ryan and the other children were playing in the playhouse. A disagreement arose and Eric pushed Ryan out of the playhouse he flew 6 feet and landed on a board on top of some milk crates. There was a lot of crying, someone got spanked, and yet wonder of wonders there was no broken bones or serious injuries. We really felt blessed over that incident.
Yesterday Ryan went to the beach. Robert Hilton, a neighbor, gave him some Root Beer. He made a road in the sand. The next morning we took a walk with Ryan to the store to spend his birthday money. He bought a large bottle of Root Beer, a package of tootsie roll lollipops, some tic tac candies and some Chewels gum. He pushed his little Tuff Stuff shopping cart all the way to the story and brought the treats back home in it. Ryan freely shares any goodies that he gets with all of his brothers and sisters, and can never understand when others won't share with him.
Mom: One morning this past week, Ryan said that he saw Jesus. He watched him while he slept. When I asked him what he looked like he said that he was all in white, his clothes were all white. When I asked him what Jesus said or did, Ryan said that he didn't talk, he just looked at him. I asked him if he saw grandma too, and he said no, Grandma was at Jesus' house. I asked him if Jesus hugged him, and he said no, but he kissed him when he made him. He also said that a bad witch came in to his room and Jesus and the bad witch fought and Jesus hurt his hand and the bad witch went away. He asked me where the bad witch lived and I said far away. (Is this the Pre-existence that he's remembering?) He has been complaining of bad dreams for the last couple of weeks, even wanting to sleep in other children's beds because there are bad dreams in his and he thinks there are not any in the other children's bed.
Playing With Matthew
Dad: At this point in his life Ryan likes to take baths, run through sprinklers, water plants and spray windows with a squirt bottle. He loves Popsicle's, candy and gum. He enjoys being first on a run, out of the van, in line for Popsicle's and in a game. He really enjoys playing with his friends, especially Erica down the street and his longtime friend Matthew McGuire.
Matthew and he have played in all the dirt in the neighborhood, rode hot wheels together and broken bricks on the sidewalk down the street from us. They had to clean up that mess. Ryan asks questions constantly, he loves to talk to anyone who will listen. His favorite toys are big cars, trucks, snails, worms and pill bugs. The top of the list is a plastic sedan that we bought at a garage sale for 50 cents. One morning I walked out to the playhouse and found that Ryan had gathered thirty snails and was racing them on one of the posts of the playhouse.
He is about a head taller than any of the other children who are his age. He is built sturdy with a cute stomach that his father often asks him to display, whereon he and his dad discuss the relative size of his stomach to how recently he has eaten. He is a lot of fun although at times he does lose his temper and tends to yell very loud. At other times, when he wants to get your attention he will jump up and down, all the while repeating your name. He is very sweet to those who love him. He walked up to Grandpa Gardiner tonight, September 7, l987, and said "Grandpa, I love you". At other times he will walk over to me and just kiss me and smile.
Ryan: 16 Aug 1987, I am four years old. Daddy fixed the playhouse so I won't fall off. I won't fall off ever again.... I don't like somebody that is mean; if somebody is mean, I don't like them. My friends are Drew, Andrea, Spencer, Robert, Adam, Dad, Grandpa, Matthew, Andrew and Erica down the street.
A Very Expressive Face
Dad: January 26, 1988, Ryan had a lovely Christmas. He got hot wheels with a special squirt gun on the front and he loves to drive up and down the street looking for people to shoot water at. He loves to play with his friends, Erica, Matthew, and Andrea. Yesterday he was told not to ride in the street and Erica was found riding Ryan's hot wheels right down the middle of the street. A few days ago I inadvertently left a box of cookies down and within seconds he and Erica had eaten or stuffed into their pockets an entire package of cookies. Quick work for small hands.
He now crosses the street himself and takes pride in being grown up. He often wants to say the prayers. At times he cries and pouts when we won't let him pray because we are letting someone else have a chance. He eats like a horse. At breakfast he will eat with the other children and then have a couple of slices of cinnamon toast just for good measure. Ryan has the most expressive face of anybody I have ever known. If he is unhappy his eyes close, his entire face goes into a pout and his body looks like you've shot him. He's unhappy at being yelled at or not getting his fair share or having to go to bed. When he is happy his whole face lights up, his eyes twinkle and he has a broad grin that warms my very soul.
Thank You Heavenly Father
Ryan: January 30, 1988, Mommy gave me a magnet that pinches things. Matthew thought it was his but it was mommies. And mommy gave it to me. She wrote my name on it. It was fun at the church. We get to play beanbag. It was fun; I played with Matthew last night. Thank you for Heavenly Father made trees and me. Thank you for Heavenly Father made my daddy and mommy. Thank you for people made houses out of wood. Thank you for Heavenly Father made dirt, and the sidewalk, sky, clouds, moon and the sun. Thank you for people made computers. Ryan is learning the difference between what Heavenly Father made and what people make. I told him that Heavenly Father made trees, people cut down the trees, made wood and then made the houses from the wood.
1988 Update Ryan
Ryan: A most remarkable young man. Tonight in family home evening for his business, he said that he wanted Kent to stop yelling at him and spanking him and making him do jobs. Kent said he wouldn't do it any more, and told him to come and give him a kiss. Ryan said "Oh yes you willlll." He has the most expressive face, showing such innocent delight or abject misery within five seconds of each other.
When he doesn't want to clean his room he says, "I'm not going to clean my room and that's final! Then he gives a little mischievous grin, because he knows he is not going to get away with it. Sometimes Kent says, "Please change your mind." Then he smiles and says, "Okay maybe I'll clean it again."
He always prays, "Bless that no spirits will come out of our bodies". He has been very fascinated with death, the resurrection, Jesus and Heavenly Father ever since Grandma Brown died this summer. He thinks about it a lot and asks questions. The other night he was asking about what happened to your brain when you died, and concluded that your brain was part of your spirit and so went to heaven with you when you died. Hard to dispute that. Tonight he wanted to know where your spirit goes after you died, where heaven was and where Heavenly Father's house was. I know that he is a child of the covenant; just think if he'd been sent to a home outside of the gospel and his parents couldn't answer his questions? Knowing him, his innate hunger to know would eventually lead him to the truth. I know of no other four-year-old with such an intense interest in the plan of salvation.
A Simple Strong Faith
He says that he remembers when Heavenly Father made him and put his spirit in his body in my tummy before he was born. He does have a remarkable memory, but I'm not sure about that one. He does know that H.F. is the ultimate authority figure and has more power than anyone else has. A few weeks ago when we were practicing his name, he justified making his R the way he did (a bubble with two legs coming down from it) as the way "Heavenly Father said you're s'posed to do it. I saw him do it that way". I looked at him out of the corner of my eye and he had a hard time keeping a straight face through that one. Another time when we drove up to the church he wanted to know if that was Jesus' van parked there. He wants to know how all the churches can be Jesus' house and how come he never gets to see Jesus, and when WILL he get to see him. He says, "I NEVER get to see Jesus and I want to." He has a very simple and strong faith, which he seems to have been born with, I do not believe I gave it to him. Tuesdays and Thursday from 912 Noon he goes to "Miss Barbara's" for Prime Time preschool at Santa Clarita Park. Barbara Sivley is a plump cheery gal who runs a real upbeat, firm, well-rounded pre-kindergarten crafts and socialization program. He was the "special helper" a few weeks ago when his mom took her turn helping in the school. He got to lead the class in the flag salute by himself (Miss Barbara went in the back of the classroom), say the name of the month and count up the days that had gone by, and help with a snowman flannel-board poem. He got to lead the kids in and out of playing on the playground equipment, and tap them on the head to come sit at the table for lunch. He is in class with his 3 of his joy school friends, Spencer Mefford, Andrew Pastor, and Jeni Gatherum. He also knows Amy Bronson from church. Every morning when it is time to go he takes a lunch pail and invariably mom notices (too late after we're already there) that his sweet face has milk on it and his bouncy blond hair is sticking straight up in the back. He likes to play with the cars and tools when he first arrives. After group time on the mat, they go to three stations. Ryan has been in the blue rectangles and the green diamond groups. They make alphabet puppets, holiday crafts, cookies, jewelry, pictures, hats, etc. He is proud of what he makes and likes to show me when he gets home.
On Wednesday mornings I take him to story time at the library. He likes the movies and he likes to pick out books about the ocean and animals. He goes to speech on Wednesday and Monday afternoons with Andrea Hilton and Kelly (a little girl who is babysat by Wendy Tell, a neighbor of the Hiltons). He is working on his double consonants and blends, like str, br, tr, etc. Those with the t are difficult for him still. He has improved in his speech a hundred percent, or in other words, since starting a year ago last October he has brought his percent of speech impairment down to half of what it was. A lot of it is just bringing to his attention the way words sound and the difference between that and how he has been pronouncing them. He still says "'irthday" instead of birthday, but I did hear him say the word "color" on his own and put the hard c in without prompting from me. That is a first for him. I do not know why he has had this speech impairment. Maybe he had ear infections a lot when he was learning to talk and I didn't know it because he was such a good baby. Or maybe it was because he always had a bottle in his mouth during that critical speech learning months. Whatever it was, I'm grateful that my prayers have been answered and that he is improving so much. He may turn out to be the one who goes on a foreign speaking mission. You never know.
Certainly his persistence will help him along in life. If he wants something, he does not let up until he gets it. He asks more questions and speaks in a louder voice than anyone in the family.... except for Chad when he was that age. I am always telling him to "Shhhhh, not so loud, Ryan", or "go play and quit talking to me so I can do such and such". When he wants something, like skittles for taking out the trash or saying his phone number, he says "I usually want 7 skittles (instead of the mere five I was offering him), and he grinned at me from the corners of his eyes. On Thursday afternoon last he went on a hike with Dad and Eric, and kept up with them the whole way, never complaining once. He hates it when he gets left behind when the older ones go fishing. He is determined to keep up the whole time. One Saturday when we told the kids that we would take them Miniature Golfing after one of Rachel's soccer games, that was all he talked about for days. Unfortunately he got sick and couldn't go, so we postponed our plans.
What do you do when your bored?
On Mondays and Fridays when he has nothing to do, he is quite bored. Sometimes he watches Sesame Street or Donald Duck cartoons with Ashley, or he wants to call up his friends to come over and play. His really good friend and neighbor is Matthew McGuire three houses down the street, who is just 6 weeks younger than he is. They usually play pretty well together, although Ryan's dominant personality frequently shows as he bosses Matthew about or yells at him. Then Matthew wants to go home. A few weeks ago he and Matthew were into this little stage of pulling their pants down while they were outside. One time I drove by in the van and saw the two of them at "Ryan's property" (a dirt patch where some people at the corner house of Hyssop and Masterson Ct. across from the Hiltons were going to put in a driveway to their backyard). Both of the boys were squatting on the ground wearing heavy jackets and naked as nature boys from the waist down.
Ryan is a very special young man. I frequently marvel at his gifts and talents, especially his sweet disposition. For all of the attention that little Ashley gets, he rarely shows any jealousy towards her at all. He usually wants to kiss and help her like the rest of us, and is quite gentle with her. She is his little shadow most of the time, and refuses to do many things unless she sees him do it first. He thinks that this is real funny, but it helps him to hold my hand when we cross a parking lot so that she will want to also.
I know that Ryan will accomplish much good in the kingdom of God when he grows up.
Biographical Sketch - Career
March 19, 1997
I interviewed my father, Kent Gardiner, at home on March 18th. He is a teacher at UES, a large private elementary school on the campus of UCLA. He is very fit for the job because he has his Master’s degree. He has had many previous employers but the most important one that was the gateway to this career was being a teacher for two years at Glendora Unified School District. What has motivated him to this career was enjoying working with children. Being a teacher has been his original goal since he was 24. He has no future goals and is happy were he is at. The advantages and positives of being a teacher are that he gets three months vacation and many other vacations during the school year. He says it is interesting and fun. The disadvantages of his career are that it’s very tiring. You also don’t get paid much as a teacher and there are many boring meetings. He might consider getting a job that would pay more, but if he chose the career again, he would not prepare any differently.
Biographical Sketch - Career
March 19, 1997
I interviewed Ron Garrard at my house over the phone on March 18, 1997. He is a friend of the family. He is a television postproduction mixer. He works at 4 Media Company. To prepare for this job he went to college for two years. He has been doing this for eleven years. Before his job as a production mixer, he worked at a television station, which is a similar field. What motivated him to pursue this career was an interest in sound and music. What Ron always wanted to be was a songwriter and so he ended up in a related field. He still has some more goals he wants to accomplish before the end of his career. His main goal is to be self-employed. The advantages of this career is that it’s interesting and also a hobby. His job is different everyday. The disadvantages are that he has to work long hours. If he was making a career choice again, he might do something of more value to people. Something to help mankind. If he did not change his job and pursued the same career he would not have prepared any differently.
Ryan Gardiner 8\28\97
School starts in less than a week. I am not really nervous but I don’t want to go. I still need shoes and pants. Dad is going nuts with the pace that he wants me to work on merit badges. In fact I just got done working for about an hour! Dad got a new Volvo. It is the newer body. It is very nice. It is a 1990 model I think. I am so sad another summer is nearly over. As usual the summer flew right by. My classes for this year are Keyboarding (even though I don’t need it), Cross-country, Geometry, Spanish 1,honors Earth science, and English.
Who will benefit?
The Placerita Nature Center will benefit by my project, as well as the public that visits the Nature Center. It is now easier for people visiting the nature center to take a nice walk down the nature trail. Each spot on the nature trail is clearly marked with the posts in the right position.
Frank McDaniel, who is the trail boss of this project, walked the trail a number of times with a nature specialist in order to determine where posts should be moved. He also walked the trail with us a number of times in order to make sure all trial markers would be done correctly (positioned and labeled). His number is 252-1493. He is a volunteer for the Placerita Nature Center.
Planning - Over the period of months I planned the project. I first decided the project with Frank. I wrote up a plan and got the signatures for the project. I then began getting the materials together. I wanted to have the materials donated. So I went to Home Depot in hopes of getting wood donated, I had to go back a number of times, but I got nothing. I then went to Newhall Lumber and they donated half the wood I needed, but the wood was not suitable for making signs. I finally decided to earn the money and buy the wood myself. (We spent fifteen hours on this part of the project)
In order to get the cement I called Newhall Hardware. Who kindly donated 6, 60-pound bags of pre-mixed concrete. As it turned out this was just the amount needed for my project. (We spent 3 hours on this part of the project)
I got the templates, for the lettering on the signs, from Frank McDaniel. I centered the words on the wood. We burrowed a router, routed out each letter, stained the wood (brown), and painted the letters yellow. (We spent 15 hours)
Tools - Tools and things used during the project: A wheel barrow which was burrowed from Chad Lemus, stencils which Frank McDaniel provided, shovels, sand paper, hand drill, paint brushes we already had, and a router, we burrowed Brad Packer. (3 hours)
Project - August eleventh we walked the nature trail one last time with Frank McDaniel and got the key to the gate. August twelfth nineteen ninety-nine about 4:00 p.m. we put all the materials needed for the project into the van, picked up pizza soda and two scouts and headed for Walker Ranch (another scout meet us up there). After pizza and soda we dug holes for the main sign. We mixed cement, placed the sign in the cement, and made sure that it was level. Next we moved three of the 13 posts along the trail to there proper location, and secured them in the ground with cement. At last we drilled holes and placed the centennial tree sign.
We then heard the voices of the second crew. I gave them directions as to what to do. They went around the trial sanding and painting the 13 nature trial posts. By now it was dark and so we gathered all of our materials up and went home.
The next day my dad and I went back and spray painted the numbers and words onto the posts as well as repainted a sign near the nature trail. We then took pictures and returned the Walker Ranch key.
Sean Malloy assisted me for 4 hours on 8/12/99. I was assisted by Chad Lemus for 5 hours on 8/12/99. I was assisted by Greg Packer for 3 hours on the same day. I was assisted by Jeff Nelson for 3 hours on the same day. I was assisted by Brad Packer on the same day for 2 hours. I was assisted by Ricky Garrard on the same day for 5 hours. I was assisted by Kent Gardiner the same day for 5 hours. I worked on the project this day for 5 hours. on 8/13/99 Kent Gardiner assisted me for 4 hours. and on the same day I worked on my project for 4 hours.
Materials - Materials used were: wood 8 feet of 2 inch by 12 inch wood, which we bought at Home Depot. Paint (yellow spray paint and a bucked, which we bought at home depot. Cement 6 bags of 60 pounds each which where donated by Newhall Hardware. Brown paint which the Nature Center provided. And 2 poles which where also donated by the Nature Center.
Dates and Hours
Met with Frank McDaniel from March through August 5 hours
I wrote up a plan and got the signatures for the project. March 7, 14,13, March 31, March 28, March 29, July 18 5 hours
Tried to get wood donated July 10 hours
I then went to Newhall Lumber to get cement July 30, 2 hour
I finally decided to earn the money and buy the wood myself. July 31, 8 hours
I got the templates, for the lettering on the signs, from Frank McDaniel. 1 hour
We burrowed a router, routed out each letter, stained the wood(brown), and painted the letters yellow. August 2, 4, 5 we spent 20 hours
A wheel barrow which was burrowed from Chad Lemus,
shovels, sand paper, hand drill, paint brushes we already had, August 12 2 hours
August eleventh we walked the nature trail one last time with Frank McDaniel and got the key to the gate. August 11, 2 hours
Completed the project August 12,1999 32 hours
Spray painting poles August 13, 8 hours.
Total hours 101
Romeo and Juliet/Rob and Rachel
A love story by Ryan Gardiner
The person in my family that I choose to give their love story about was my sister Rachel. She was just nineteen when she meets her Romeo while away in college at U.V.S.C. I choose to write about their love story because when they very first meet it was a lot like Romeo and Juliet’s first meeting. They were immediately attracted to each other and liked each other very much. Rachel was Juliet and Rob, Rachel’s lover, was like Romeo. They have been happily married since their weeding such as Romeo and Juliet would have been had they not meet the terrible tragedy that had ended both of their young lives.
It all started at T.G.I. Friday’s where Rob worked. When they very first saw each other their eyes locked. Afterward they both went and talked to Valerie Murdock who was Rachel’s friend and Rob’s fellow employee at T.G.I. Friday’s. Rob told Valerie that he was going to Marry Rachel. Rachel told Valerie to "set them up". So Valerie told Rachel what Rob had said and told Rob what Rachel had said and yet Rob, being shy did not ask Rachel out for 2 months. After seeing Rob a couple of times after the first meet but only briefly Rachel told Valerie to tell Rob that if he was going to marry her he would have to ask her out. So Rob finally asked her out on a date that would change their lives forever.
While Rob was thinking, what a babe Rachel is, Rachel was trying to decide if Rob was a dork or not. One thing that worried her was the fact that Rob was thirty-two and Rachel was nineteen at the time. After Rob passed the “not being a dork test” they went out again just three days later. Then they went out again and stopped dating any one else.
They started to joke about getting married after their first couple of dates. After a couple more dates the joking became serious. Shortly after Rob proposed to her on the beach during their spring break. Rachel said “sure” and they planed to be married the 14 of August which was seven months later. Their relationship only grew. The wedding plans were set. They were happily married here in Los Angeles.
Their marriage has gone well so far and they are convinced it will go well for the rest of their lives. Rachel is a happy “house wife” and Rob is working in the FBI, They say that they love each other even more than when they very first married. Both of them love each other more than any thing else in the entire world. They say that their relationship was meant to be.
I thought that Rachel and Rob’s story would be perfect for this 2-page composition on a love story. The major difference is that it has a happy ending. It is also a modern day love story. It was love at first site for both of them. They both feel that their love was meant to be.
1981 Conceived late Oct at Big Bear Cabin
1982 Mission call for Suzanne, June
1982 1983 Birth, July 22, 9:22 a.m. 23 inches, 9 lb. 1 oz
Blessed, Sep. 4
1984 Crawls, March
Salt Lake City, June 27
Walking 10 steps, Sep. 2
Good walking, Sep. 14
1985 Operation on scrotum, Dec. 2
1986 Electrocuted, January
Explosion averted, August 12
Camping, Reds Meadow, Mammoth
1987 Joy School Graduation, June 4
Camping, July 22
Marjorie Brown, dies July 22
Funeral, July 27
Falls from playhouse, First of Aug.
Birthday party, Aug 1, July, cars, sunglasses, balls,