Friday, December 31, 2010
On my sixteenth birthday we went downtown to watch the parade. I don’t think I’d ever before attended one in person. It was a fun experience. I really enjoyed that month, just because I enjoy exploring towns in the middle of summer when there’s nothing else to do. I also enjoyed EFY, although I felt a little out of place because I wasn’t staying in the dorms. However, I learned a lot from the speakers and the activities.
Driving back to California, Mom let (made) me drive a lot so I could have some practice. We were in the Ford truck which had manual transmission and I had trouble shifting. My brothers and sisters in the back did not appreciate the lurching very much. The greatest compliment I received was after stop-and-go traffic in Stockton, that I managed without stalling, when Louise said she thought Mom had been driving.
During the week I was home before Girls’ Camp, I took the test for my driver’s license. I was a nervous wreck, but I did pass it – just barely, but I got it the first time. I was pleased. I’m a much better driver, but it’s hard to learn when your parents get frightened easily, and you don’t have much practice. The day I got it, we went up to San Jose to the grandparents and they all surprised me with a big cake and then all of my birthday presents. Grandmother had hurt her foot so we did all the celebrating around her bed. It really was a lot of fun. My junior year in high school was really exciting. My classes were P.E., Trigonometry, French III, Camerata, Choir, English, U.S. History, and Biology. I was doing my French independent study because of class conflicts, but was in the French II class along with Louise. We studied some during class, but we also did a lot of visiting and just had a good time.
Biology has never thrilled me, but I loved the teacher and I did learn many new things. Louise was also taking biology, but from another teacher, so I had someone with whom to discuss the things we were studying.
Mr. Dunn was my trig teacher and he was absolutely fantastic. We had a good group of kids in that class too. I really did have a lot of friends and I knew many people. A lot of people knew me also, and that’s a neat feeling.
At this time I was the official accompanist for choir and Camerata. We had a great time together. Sometimes I wish those days could come back, but that can’t happen. Our spring trip was really special. We were able to participate in a week long festival in Hawaii. I’ll never forget that trip. I loved being able to relax and enjoy the atmosphere with my peer group in a way that would not have been possible with my family. We sang quite a few times and that was a good experience. At one of the schools the teacher was a Mormon so we were able to make it to church on Sunday. It took a lot of courage to ask for her assistance, but I’m glad I did. She picked me and Cindy Stephens and three others in our group up and we attended Easter Sunday services in the Honolulu tabernacle. That night there was also a dinner activity that I declined to participate in and that gave me the opportunity to discuss the church with some more of my friends. Not everyone has the chance to travel as I have done, although many have done much more, so I’m thankful for all the beauties of the world that I’ve seen.
The summer of 1979 was the Martin Family Reunion, this time in the Tahoe-Donner area of California. I truly enjoyed those few days spent with my cousins and other relatives. I feel the closest to this side of my family because we do have these tri-annual events.
Senior year brings back many good memories.By that time I had cut my niche at the high school and I was very busy. I went five periods all year long, instead of taking seven and graduating at the semester. I was at the head of my class, student body secretary, choir and Camerata accompanist, active in three or four clubs, as well as church and community service. I was honored and received many awards, and $10,500 in scholarships by the year’s end, but I like to think that that didn’t change me too much. If anything, I realized that there are many people in the world who have greater talents than I have, but it’s up to me to magnify the ones I’ve been given.
(Here are the Kimball Scholarship Finalists for that year. I'm in the center of the front row. Interesting sidenote: Brad's mother-in-law is in this picture - the back row, far right - small world!)
June 13, 1980 indicated the end of a fantastic period of my life. I graduated from high school as the valedictorian of my class. I’d been accepted to Brigham Young University where I had been awarded the highest scholarship they had – the Spencer W. Kimball Scholarship. In the letter informing me of the honor, I was exhorted to learn about the life of President Kimball and to follow his example and work towards perfection. That is my life long goal.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
For piano lessons, I continued to go to Mrs. Lillian Parrish in San Jose, making the 100 mile round trip once a week for four years. It was kind of hard on Mom until I got my license, and then I did the driving. My sophomore year, Lori Ross, one of our neighbors, also took piano lessons from Mrs. Parrish, so our moms switched off driving.
The second semester of my freshman year, I joined Camerata as their second pianist. Charrie Cheshire had been it, but she was also doing stage band which met at the same time. I still don’t understand why Mr. Molina let me in, because I don’t think they really needed me. About three weeks into the semester, Carol Rose went to Taiwan with the AFS and they asked me to take her place. This was very unusual, first because I didn’t audition, and second because I was a freshman. I felt kind of out of place, but I did enjoy the association with the other kids.
In Seminary that year we studied the New Testament. Now I wish that I had gotten to know my Savior better than I did through reading about his life. It was a good class, though, and I enjoyed having it before school. I was able to participate in the stake scripture chase and that really helped me to learn the scriptures pretty well. I truly do love the scriptures. Hopefully, I will always continue to learn more of them.
My classes at the beginning of my sophomore year caused me a lot of problems. I challenged, and passed, grammar so I needed another class. In order to make my schedule work out, I had to switch English, Algebra II, and P.E. This put P.E. first period and Algebra II sixth, both with different teachers. I was quite upset because I didn’t want morning P.E. or afternoon math. And that was just for the first quarter; the second quarter my math teachers were changed, and then changed again third quarter. That year there were three Algebra II classes, and I was in all of them. In the spring when it started getting hot, I even appreciated having P.E. in the morning. From that experience, I learned that Heavenly Father knows what’s best for you, and if you look hard enough, you can find something beneficial in every experience you undergo.
That year I was in Camerata, the audition-only, small choir, and in the spring we went to Southern California for a competition. That was the first time I’d been away from home except for girl’s camp and it was a good experience. We stayed in a motel in Huntington Beach right across from the ocean, and that was really fun. We sang a lot of places, but we also did some sightseeing. We toured the Queen Mary, went to Knott’s Berry Farm, attended dances and went swimming. The Sunday we were there was the day for Disneyland; that was kind of disappointing. Because I had no way of getting to a church and I was supposed to stay with the group, I went into the park but I didn’t go on any of the rides. It was a nice day, so I picked a bench and read and watched the people and surroundings, and my friends enjoyed using my spare ride tickets (this was before the days of unlimited passes). The whole trip was super fun and I really appreciated that opportunity.
The choir always sang at the high school graduation and I was really excited about that. However, about two weeks before then I became ill. When the fever and cough didn’t go away, I went to the doctor’s. There I found out that I had bronchial pneumonia and I had to stay in bed for awhile. It was kind of fun being pampered, but I hated being sick. I like doing things, not staying in bed, although I did do a lot of reading and helping around the house. Sometime during this period, Dad and my home teacher gave me a blessing and that was really special. I missed my finals and spent the first week of summer vacation in bed. I made up my English final at home, and I went back to school when I was better to take my math final. I was really kind of sick often during my sophomore and junior years in high school. I think I missed school because of it about three times a month.
At Christmas I was taking in-the-car training for driver education. It was really an awful experience. I was at the head of my class in written work, but I got C’s in practical training and barely passed the final. I was the only girl along with three boys in a group and I had never driven a car, and they had. We did the twelve hour course in two weeks – two hours each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during vacation. I was so awful because I didn’t have any time to practice; Mom and Dad were busy with holiday activities. One day I had to ride my bike home (about two miles) and I had just left town when I got the most awful case of cramps. I backtracked about a block where the Taylor’s and Wein’s lived to see if they could help me but they weren’t home. I remember laying on their lawn and just crying because it hurt so bad. I had to get home so I said prayer and started walking down the street. At the corner a man was working in his garden and I asked him if I could use the phone. Mom was kind of upset when she found out (you’re not supposed to talk to strangers) but I felt it was the answer to my prayer. His wife gave me some aspirin and called Sister Jukes who came and took me home. Once I got there, I threw up and went to bed. By that evening I was feeling much better. The family who helped me were the Hill’s and they are truly special people, although now he is a widower. That experience was my favorite Christmas present that year because it proved to me that prayers are answered and that I have a loving Heavenly Father who cares about what happens in my life.
Monday, December 27, 2010
"No other combination of children, not even twins, can create so much chaos or camaraderie. Even the most introspective child will join the team - them against you - and like all good players, they encourage each other to bigger feats of daring.
"We recommend the advice of so many successful mothers of three boys. Give them as much outdoor playtime as possible, and indoors, set up two rooms: one for sleeping, with nothing but beds and bureaus, and the other for playing, with much climbing equipment. With three children, one is bound to be quieter than the others and he probably will need a corner somewhere else.
"You will be frazzled in the early years but when your boys grow up, we think you'll find yourself perhaps more treasured than most other mothers."
Edited - Starting off with three boys runs in the family!
|My dad (on the right) was one of three sons.|
|Wayne was the oldest of three boys in three years, followed by a sister 10 years later.|
|Our oldest three sons - ready for church in 1989.|
|Our current Pennsylvania grandsons.|
Sunday, December 19, 2010
In the midst of our crazy, busy schedule, I've been trying to remember these two words. I'm thankful that I received the reminder (see here) that peace and joy come from obedience and service. It has definitely helped me this month. So, no, we're not really ready for Christmas, and I'm going to spend the next four days away from home, but that's okay. We're scaling back, the most important things will get done, and we'll still feel the real reason for the season. We hope you do as well.
Have a wonderful Christmas!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
One time in Government, Dad came in and gave a presentation on patents, when we were studying the age of inventions. I had never before realized what exciting things Dad did, and I guess it’s been a long time since then that I’ve talked to him about it.
I continued my 4.0 grade point average and graduated as valedictorian of my class of 1976. I received my first pair of high heels for graduation and really felt grown up. Graduation was happy and sad. It was particularly sad because I knew I was moving. My best friend, Leslie Pinkney, gave me a surprise going-away party. That was fun, but I wish I knew what had happened to all of those friends.
My church activity those two years was hectic also. I was Beehive President my 8th grade year and there were only three active girls so it was a real challenge. Sister Burdett was our advisor and she was terrific. I loved MIA and we had some good times. One time we had a square dance and I was still sewing buttons on a new dress in the car on the way there. We also had some fun snow trips and terrific lessons.
This was also the year we went to court to have the adoption of George, Ida, and Ben become official (the top picture). And I continued taking piano lessons (the bottom picture).
Oh, I remember the story now. One of the classes I took in junior high was a cooking class. The other night I didn't feel like doing the dishes before going to bed, so I just rinsed everything and left the crockpot to soak. I was going to add the wooden spoon to the crockpot because it was crusty too when I remembered the "cooking class incident" and couldn't. Apparently you're not supposed to let wooden spoons stay immersed because they get swollen and yucky. One day in cooking class, before I learned that important information, I left the wooden spoon in the dishwater while I went to do something else and my teacher yelled at me. It was a traumatic experience. And so the other night, I left the wooden spoon on the counter and just washed it in the morning. Isn't it interesting what we remember?!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I think Vermont was my favorite place during the whole trip. We visited the birthplace of Joseph Smith near Sharon, and also Fort Ticonderoga. The whole state was just beautiful. I had a lot of fun imagining what it would be like to live there. We then drove through New England and I really enjoyed that as well. We visited Mom’s relatives in Connecticut where they had a swamp in their back yard. We also stopped in Concord, Massachusetts, to visit the Alcott home and Revolutionary War sites. I just love history so it was really neat to be able to see those places.
We spent a day in Boston and walked all over it. There was some sort of historic sites trail that we took. Dad wasn’t with us then, but we met somewhere and had dinner together. We quickly stopped at the Mayflower and walked through the village at Plymouth Rock. Everyone there was dressed up and living like they would have when they first landed. The authenticity was a neat experience.
Our family continued on to New York City. It sure was fun driving through the downtown area. We took the ferry and climbed to the Statue of Liberty’s head. I was afraid I would get claustrophobia, but I didn’t, so it was fun. Ida’s birthday was celebrated in a park in Washington, D.C. I liked being able to visit all the presidents’ monuments again. We even went to the Smithsonian and looked at planes, rockets, and the presidents’ wives’ inaugural gowns.
We went to church in our old Silver Spring Ward and then visited the Fox and Candland families. My parents really enjoyed that, but I think I liked their homes and yards better. There weren’t any fences! And at that time of year everything was green. We also saw the temple there, but it wasn’t finished being built then.
In Virginia we visited mount Vernon and I loved that. We also drove by Williamsburg and other places before heading west. On the way home our vehicle broke down somewhere around Michigan so we had to fix that. I remember walking along the highway to a Holiday Inn where we spent the night. That was an unusual treat.
We drove through the northwest corner of Yellowstone Park and stopped to play in the creek and have a picnic. Then, in Idaho, we visited the place where Grandfather Beckstrand grew up. We also stopped to visit our second cousins, the Ted Johnson’s, in Boise. Then we arrived home in early August. My two years in Junior High School were the best of my life (at least up to the point that I originally wrote this). I went to Quimby Oak Junior High in the Evergreen School District of San Jose. We had to ride the bus, that that was fun. Mrs. Bolling was our bus driver, and she was a super neat lady. During seventh grade we were on double session with 7th graders going in the morning and the 8th graders going in the after noon. I took Pre-Algebra, P.E., Choir, Band, Language Arts, Science, Geography, Ceramics, and Spanish in seventh grade. Band was held after school every other day so on those days I ate lunch at school. The other days I went home and ate leftovers with Mom. It was so neat to have that time alone with her.
(I don't think I mentioned that I got my first pair of glasses sometime in 6th grade.)
I loved my classes, except sometimes P.E. Mrs. Samdahl and Miss Lawler were my Language Arts teachers. That class gave me the best preparation for high school, and life. Mrs. Samdahl was also the choir teacher, which I accompanied, and also lived just across the street from us. We are still pretty good friends. That spring (1975) we put on the production “Annie Get Your Gun” and I played the part of Jessie, Annie’s little sister. That was a terrific experience, and I totally enjoyed it. (The picture isn't actually of "Annie Get Your Gun" but of the ward roadshow that same year.)
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
The other day we sang the following hymn during family scripture time and I realized its message encompasses my feelings about Thanksgiving:
We give thee but thine own,
Whate'er the gift may be,
For all we have is thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from thee.
May we thy bounties thus
As stewards true receive,
And gladly, as thou blessest us,
To thee our firstfruits give.
To comfort and to bless,
To find a balm for woe,
To tend the lone and fatherless
Is angels' work below.
And we believe thy word,
Tho dim our faith may be;
Whate'er we do for thine, O Lord,
We do it unto thee.
This hymn, "We Give Thee But Thine Own," reminds me of this scripture in Mosiah 2:20-24
I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has cpromised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
I have been given so many wonderful blessings, and I don't deserve them. In reality they aren't really mine. However, I do try to appreciate them. So to all of you, who are part of this marvelous miracle, thank you for being you. And have a very Happy Thanksgiving!