Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Granny

4 generation picture with my Granny, my Mom, me and Tiaree

My Granny, Gladys Valerie Hancock Steadman, passed away early this morning. She had been struggling with Alzheimer's for probably 10+ years so her passing is something that is actually a relief to me. My Grandad, her husband, passed in 2006 and to know that they are together again makes me so happy! Also comforting is knowing that she KNOWS who I am again. She knows me and she knows Tracy and she knows my kids! She knows I have 4 kids and that I have 3 girls and 1 boy! She knows their names! (This turned into something of a joke in my family as she would constantly ask how many kids I had and then she'd call Jarik and girl and the girls boys! Kind of a coping mechanism for dealing with the hurt of her forgetting.) If I saw her there would be recognition and love in her eyes instead of confusion and frustration. This brings me such JOY! Honestly there is more joy in her passing than sorrow. She is herself again, she doesn't have to suffer any more and she is with her husband who she so loved and who just adored her!
I am so very grateful for my knowledge of the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation. To know that she is still my grandmother and will be for eternity and that I will get to see her again brings me such comfort and strength. I am so grateful for my Savior and his atoning sacrifice that makes all this possible! I'm also grateful for the time I was able to spend with her before she passed. Last week we took the kids to say good bye. She was awake and talking, but not to those of us in the room. It was a very sweet, spiritual experience to know there were people there to help her transition. Jarik was watching her and was really quiet. When we got home he told us that he'd felt other people there and that when he got even closer to her, he felt it even more. What a neat experience for him to remember! I got to go spend time with her and my Aunts and Uncles on Friday night. It was so special to just sit and hold her hand and talk to her and rub her arm. Kind of payback for the years and years of her doing that to us :) It was a very sweet experience that I will never forget.

Granny's story is one of strength and faith. I want to share a bit of it :) She was born in Durban, Natal, South Africa on March 24, 1929. Her family was baptized into the Church when she was like 2. She grew up listening to Music and The Spoken Word on the radio, when they could get it :)She loved the Choir and she was blessed with a beautiful soprano voice. When she was just 21 years old she boarded a boat and set sail for New York, all by herself. I think of me at 21 and I don't know if I would have had the courage to do that! She came to America with the purpose of singing in the Tabernacle Choir and marrying in the temple. When she got to New York, she went to the mission home and met President Morris. He wanted her to meet a certain Elder who had just left the mission to go back home to Salt Lake. President Morris gave my Granny a sock and said it belonged to an Elder Steadman and asked if she'd be kind enough to return it when she arrived in Salt Lake. She did, they fell in love and her first desire of marrying in the Temple came true. She was married with none of her family present because they weren't in the US yet. That would have been so hard, to be alone on your wedding day! I'm sure my Gandad's family took care of her though!

Well my Grandad was a very musical man. He and his brother's had a radio program in Salt Lake that they'd sing on and his mission turned into a very musical mission. That is one thing that I remember really well about my Grandad, his love of music. Well my Granny's 2nd reason for coming to America was fulfilled with my Grandad. They both were members of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir for 20 years! I have such memories of my Granny singing. She was ALWAYS singing! She'd sing while she cooked, she'd sing while she got ready, she'd sing while she rubbed your back and that just lulled you to sleep! :)

Granny was such a classy, put together lady. I remember watching her get ready for the day and it was such a routine! It was so fun to just watch her as she did her hair and makeup. She always looked immaculate! From her clothes to her nails to her makeup and hair. Anyway, she was just fun to watch and to emulate.This is at my wedding and shows just what a classy lady she was. Crappy pic though :) Took a pic of the pic with my cell phone cause I couldn't get it out to scan it! Love that it's her and Grandad too!!

I will miss, and have missed, my Granny. I'm so glad that she is happy again and with Grandad again. I'm sure theirs was a very sweet, happy reunion! She is probably already busy singing and visiting and ready to get put to work on the other side! I love you Granny!!
Granny and Bree 2008
Granny and Jarik 2008
Granny and Tiaree 2008
Granny and Keighlee 2008

Friday, December 3, 2010


I am so not good at this blogging thing and I really want to be. I take pictures so I can put them on the blog. I think of things that would be fun to put on the blog. Night hits when I have time to blog and I'm exhausted! I really think I'm still recovering from the yuckiness that invaded my body this summer. I can't stay up late. I just can't. Not unless I plan for it and take naps and kind of store up sleep. I know you really can't do that, but that's what I do. I did it a few weeks ago for an amazing night with some amazing friends. I got to hang out with my ladies and stayed up until like 3:00. I got up at 8 and wasn't too bad for the rest of the day. By about 5 though I was done. I think I was out for the night by 9. So my body is just weird now. Or maybe it's getting old. I like thinking it's just weird :D

I don't know if I should try to play catch up with pictures and everything or just talk about the fun few months we've had! I'll start with talking and if I have time and energy to add pics, I'll do that later!!

So September. Nothing much happened in September. I started preschool again. Keighlee is in my Pre-K class. The "big kids" as they call themselves. They are a lot of fun, silly kids! She is doing good and I really love teaching! My cute little 3 year olds are so much fun. They are all still so little and mostly very quiet. It's a hoot to teach them!

In October I started doing the Crescendo choir at the elementary school again. I LOVE doing this! It's so much fun. We are singing in 2 weeks and the kids have worked so hard and they sound so good. It's another way I get to teach and as an added bonus, I get to teach singing. I knew there was a reason I did a music emphasis in college!! And speaking of singing, can I just say how much I LOVE my calling?! I get to sing with the cute primary kids every week. It's such an amazing calling being able to feel the spirit through the kids' singing. And it teaches such amazing truths too. If you ever want a refresher course on the Gospel, sing the songs in the children's hymnbook. So cool!

Also in October was Bree's 7th birthday. We didn't have a friend party this year, just had family over. She loved it anyway! I can't believe how big she is getting. It's just crazy!! She is beautiful and smart and such a blessing. Love you Bree! Lastly in October was Halloween!! I got to go help at the elementary school for their Halloween carnival. I loved seeing all the kids in their costumes. I got to eat lunch with Bree and Keighlee got a sugar buzz from all the candy she got to eat being there from 8:30-1:30!!! I truly love being a stay at home mom and being able to go be in the school with the kids helping with all the different things I get to help with!

November flew by! I seriously don't know where it went. It was Halloween and then it was Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was fun as always. This year was hard though, going to Tracy's Grandpa's house. Grandma Norma was very much missed. It's crazy how teary eyed we all still get when we think of her. How many little things are missed when you go visit Grandpa. Her bone-crushing hugs. Her whispers of encouragement in your ear. Her laugh! Her joy at seeing her family all together. Even her stress of wanting a perfect dinner and knowing she wanted to do it all! Grandpa mashed the potatoes this year because that was all Grandma used to let him do and he wanted to be able to do it again. This is probably the last year we will go to Grandpa's house for Thanksgiving. It's very sad to think about. Christmas will really be hard this year not going to Grandma and Grandpas house on Christmas Eve.

Thanksgiving Day was spent with my family at my moms house. It was so much fun! Yummy food, fun times and watching The Santa Claus. I so love traditions! I don't think the holiday's would be the same if we stopped doing certain things. I'm sure we'll just keep adding things and keep our December chuck full of fun-ness!!

Anyway that's the last 3 months in a nut shell. Life is blessed and I'm enjoying every minute of it. I'm thankful for my health returning and letting me enjoy my family and all the fun things we are involved in. Tomorrow all my girls dance at a Christmas festival. I'm excited to watch them and know that it'll bring even more Christmas spirit. This is my favorite time of year and I'm excited for all the fun things we have planned for the month, starting tomorrow! Maybe I'll keep updated with all the fun stuff! But probably not!!