Sunday, November 12, 2017

Personal Revelation

Rich and I have recently moved to Clovis, California from the East. We lived in the suburbs of Washington DC for over forty years. It’s been a big move but Clovis already feels like home. We are Mormons and are part of the Dry Creek Ward. (Our congregation). I was ask to speak in our Sacrament Meeting recently on personal revelation. This is my talk which includes many events which were very personal about times I cannot deny the influence and divine direction of the Holy Spirit in my life. 

Sacrament Meeting Talk
October 22, 2017

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and know what a great privilege it is to enjoy the benefits of the gospel. I know  personal revelation and I know we are all eligible to access that divine power.  Personal Revelation is just that  - personal.  Very personal.  What you receive is yours alone.  No one can take it away from you. 

When Elder Neil l Anderson invited us to maximize our viewing of General Conference, a few weeks ago, he said reverence invites revelation and challenged us to revently listen for guiding revelation. 
I think it’s interesting that the word reverence and the word revelation begin with the same four letters.  They have the same Latin root.  Yes, so there is a connection. 

Think of times you have felt the most reverent. Or times when you knew you were receiving divine direction and answers. Those times are personal and sacred. 

Questions to ask yourself. 

1.  Do you have to be reverent to receive the gentle feelings of the spirit?
2. What frame of mind do you have to be in to receive a revelation? 
3.  How do you ask the Lord for divine answers?

In contrast most of us have times in our life when we drive the spirit away.  We build up walls and emotional defenses around our hearts — and sometimes those walls keep us from feeling the embrace of the spirit.  

  I can think of a time in my life when I had hardened my heart to positive reverent feelings. 

My little sister, Julie,  died when when she was in her 40s.  I was feeling heartbroken and wronged because she and her husband had two baby boys who were then 6 and 8 and now these  little guys had lost their mother. It was such a huge loss and it didn’t seem fair to me.   They had worked so hard to have a little family.  I know my testimony must have been fragile and weak and I felt desperately sad about my sister.   I have lots of brothers, (not that I could spare any of them) but I have only one sister.  My feelings went from sad to bitter.  I was so unhappy that her life couldn’t have been spared.  And so, I couldn’t bring myself to go the temple for a couple of months because of those feelings.  

Then our son, Jeremy, who was in law school in Michigan came for a visit.   He hadn’t been through the Washington  DC Temple since he left for his mission and wanted to go.  Because he asked, I of course agreed, but I didn’t feel very good about going.  When I got to the bridge at the temple I sat down and tried to gather up some reverent feelings and  I kept a prayer in my heart as I proceeded.  I really felt like my feelings were being tossed to and fro.  When I picked up the name for the person I would be going through the temple for,  I had to sit back down.  Sometimes when you pick up a proxy name from earlier centuries  there will only be a partial name.  And this was the case. There was only a first name.  I stared at the slip of paper a long time. The name on the slip of paper was “Julie”.   My sister’s name. 

It was a profound instant of personal revelation for me,  I was completely overcome and started crying. I knew I had been given a wonderful gift and message of the spirit that day.  And   I knew then that Julie was where she needed to be.  My bitter feelings were gone. 

This experience was beyond my own breadth of revelation.  

So What did I learn about personal revelation?   Many things. 

1.  The first thing I learned was that my Heavenly Father loves me and often blesses me even when I don’t deserve it.
2. The second thing I learned was about proper   prayer. 

I had offered many prayers but my bitterness was blocking anything the spirit could offer me.  I wasn’t  reverent. 

3. I also learned I had to pray with great faith and reverent feelings knowing that the Lord knows what is best.

Elder Richard G Scott said The Holy Ghost communicates important information that we need to guide us. 
One of the great lessons that each of us needs to learn is to ask. Why does the Lord want us to pray to Him and to ask? Because that is how revelation is received.

4.    I also learned that I needed to listen properly. 

The Holy Ghost will show us everything we should do, [so] (but we still have choices) so it only makes sense to learn how He communicates—or to learn the language of revelation. Our challenge is not getting the Lord to speak to us; our challenge is understanding what He has to say.5” We have to be ready to hear.
One morning I had a huge fight with my oldest son as he was leaving for school.  He was in the 5th grade and already taller and bigger than I was.   And It was a battle.   Instantly I knew I couldn’t let that boy of mine head off to school so angry and upset.  What kind of a day would he have??  I ask for immediate help from Heavenly Father.  My answer came quickly.   PRAY with your son.
I said to Matthew, “We need to pray.”  
Of course he angrily said,  “No.”
I tackled him onto the couch with him fighting me all the way and started praying.  Soon his body softened and I finished the prayer.  Then we stood and hugged.  He said, “ I’m sorry Mom. I love you.”  I also said I was sorry and expressed my love. He picked up his backpack and walked to the door.  When he got to the door he turned back to me and said “Mom.”
and I said, “Yes”. 
He said, “I’m still right. “  I just smiled. 
 That was an occasion when I needed immediate help and I listened and it worked.  My boy went to school with all of the anger gone. 
5.  Another suggestion from Elder Scott 
Was to remember To turn to the scriptures for examples. 

He said:
The scriptures give eloquent confirmation of how truth, consistently lived, opens the door to inspiration to know what to do and, where needed, to have personal capacities enhanced by divine power. The scriptures depict how an individual’s capacity to conquer difficulty, doubt, and seemingly insurmountable challenges is strengthened by the Lord in time of need. 
(Remember Elder Scott was a true brilliant rocket scientist who became an apostle. . So I will read this paragraph again.   Slowly)
And he said
As you ponder such examples from the scriptures, there will come a quiet confirmation through the Holy Spirit that their experiences are true. You will come to know that similar help is available to you. 

And remember in Mosiah when king Benjamin is talking with his three sons.  And tells them because of the Records  the people will not have to - suffer in ignorance  -  but can know the mysteries of God. 

And that’s exactly what we do when we try life on our own without prayer,  without scriptures to inspire us. We Suffer in ignorance and then wonder why we make poor decisions. 

Ten years ago we  retired further out of the Washington DC area to a small Revolutionary/Civil War town near the Blue Ridge Mountains.   This was to be our last house we thought.  Then circumstances became such that we knew we needed to move.  We started praying for inspiration and even considered California.  But that would have been such a big move clear across the country.  It felt like way too much. We felt so uncertain.  We continued to look for housing in the suburbs of Washington.  And praying. 
We also looked at housing in California in the fall and then again in April. Still very uncertain.   Then President Witt stopped by our son’s home and we were visiting about our possibilities.  He made a couple of statements that really answered some questions I had been pondering and I knew what we were to do. 
We went home and prepared to sell our home.  I kept thinking if ever I needed a divine intervention for events to fall into place, this was the moment.  I knew we needed to put ourselves in he Lord’s hands. We moved forward and put our home on the market.  It sold the first day.  Only one person came through our house and they bought it. Now we were homeless.  
I hurried back to California to look at properties and ended up putting a down payment on a lot over on Peach and Teague.  I then flew back home and started packing up our home.  Again things started feeling wrong.  We looked one more time in Northern Virginia — our home of over 40 years.  Nothing felt right. Still everything felt wrong.  Then we decided to put an offer on the home we are now in — still feeling uncertain.  Not knowing the area and suddenly everything seemed overwhelming.  Now we were going to have two homes in California.  Yes, I felt a little crazy.  I asked Pres Witt if we could still attend Mtn View Ward. He said, “You will love Dry Creek Ward.” So that was a “wise”no. 
I asked our son, Jeremy to go to the home inspection on the house and to see of President Witt would accompany him to the home inspection and he agreed.  I knew we could still get out of the contract if we needed to. Then I received the phone call.  Jeremy called me from the inspection and said, “When we drove into your new neighborhood, President Witt said, ‘well, Jeremy, your parents have bought a home that is surrounded by other Mormon families.  Great Mormon families. The Loveland’s live across the street, the Stouts live down the street, the Parkers live around the corner and the Pittman’s live around the other corner.’
 We had no idea. 
 During that phone call I had the most peaceful affirming feeling come over me.  And here we are.  We wouldn’t be here today if President Witt had not been involved  showing  me the Lord had already answered our prayers.  I could cry when I think about what a blessing he has been for us. 
It felt like divine direction because it was.  
Thank you, Pres Witt!
Elder Scott adds 

If you feel that God has not answered your prayers, ponder these scriptures—then carefully look for evidence in your own life that He may have already answered you 
or in my case may be trying to. 
Like many of us, Oliver Cowdery did not recognize the evidence of answers to prayers already given by the Lord. To open his and our eyes, this revelation was given through Joseph Smith:
“Blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.
“Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth.”4
You wouldn’t be where you are if I hadn’t already answered your prayers.  I finally got it. 

I love the story of Ebenezer in 1st Samuel in the Old Testament. 
What does Ebenezer mean? “Stone of help” or “Hitherto the Lord had helped us” 
One of the most catastrophic military losses in Israel’s history occurs when the Philistines capture the ark of the covenant at Ebenezer. 

 About twenty years later (and after retrieving the ark), the Israelites engage the Philistines in another significant battle, only this time it is they who prevail. Unlike the first battle, in which the nation acts without consulting The Lord, they choose to rely on divine intervention and are rewarded with an improbable if not miraculous victory.  This is a significant triumph as it marks the first time in the nation’s history that they defeat the Philistines.

Samuel, Israel’s last judge, first prophet and de facto leader, commemorates the occasion by erecting a monument which he names: “Ebenezer” Remember what it means. Hitherto the Lord has helped us. 

I'm telling you this story because I want you to apply it to your own life. We learn two things. 

   1.  Rely on the Lord
   2.  Remember when the Lord has helped us.  

     I believe it is important to build our own symbolic Ebenezer. Your own monument. Build it. 

When has the Lord helped you do something? Our church leaders have encouraged us to memorialize these experiences.  Make your list. 

My sister has been gone now for 17 years.  She taught me well.  I have learned in my life that if I’m going to fall, I want to fall down on my faith, on my knees in prayer to ask for divine direction from a loving Heavenly Father.  He always answers. I just have to remember how to listen. 
I’m grateful for personal prayer, for divine examples from the scriptures and for unconditional love from the Savior.  
Remember the lyrics from 
Come Thou Fount 
A wonderful hymn that we have all come to love due to Mac Wilberg’s arrangement. I first remember hearing it when our son was singing with the BYU men’s chorus and Mac was their  leader. He now leads the Mormon Tabernacle choir.The second verse references the Ebenezer. 
“Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here there by Thy great help I've come.”
Remember your own Ebenezer. When you get to be my age you may not remember so build your record. And acknowledge the Giver. 
One of the last lines of the 2nd verse says:
“Here’s my heart oh take and seal it.”

I’m grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who sacrificed his son. I will strive to always give my heart to the Savior who has blessed my life so greatly with the sacred privilege of personal revelation. 

Quotes from Elder Richard G Scott, April General Conference

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Clocks

My mom and dad were the BEST ever!  Boyd and Donna Neider.   I can't say enough wonderful things about them.  They worked hard everyday for their six kids.  They wanted to make sure we had everything we needed to be happy and successful people.  They loved us unconditionally and we knew it.                                                                             

We were lucky and blessed to have such dedicated parents. One day not too long after Rich and I were married I stopped by Mom and Dad's for a visit.   They  were deep in discussion about the clock below.  At that time the clock was on a shelf near the kitchen. It is a beautiful clock that previously was in my grandparents (Bee and Leona Neider's home).  And before that the clock was in the home where Grandpa Bee grew up.  At some point his parents, John and Lillian Neider  gave the clock to him and he passed it along to Mom and Dad. 

Originally Grandpa wanted the clock passed down to the oldest son as he had done, but at some point changed his mind and said he now thought the clock should be given to the brother just younger than I.  They continued talking about the clock and what to do about the new situation.  Of course I asked, "Well, what about me?  I'm next in line after all".  After telling me my name was no longer Neider and that made my unqualified to receive the clock, they ask my opinion. They were quite astonished at my thinking that I would be in any kind of line.  Oh well.  I told them they should just wait until Grandma and Grandpa died and then give the clock to the first son.  They said that was no longer possible because Grandpa had spoken to son #2 about the clock.  Well, Mike did go to Grandma and Grandpa's 50th wedding anniversary party in California.  That's probably where the conversation took place.  


Well, I could tell my mom and dad felt very concerned about the turn of events with the clock, but before long the legacy clock was given to son #2, Mike.  Then unbeknownst to all of us, Mom and Dad  had been searching all over the West for similar clocks.  They purchased clocks from Idaho to California and yes, we now all have a kitchen clock of our own.  

Here is the beautiful clock Kenny and Margo have in their home in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

This is the clock in our home in Virginia -- even if my last name is no longer Neider.  Mom and Dad saw to it that this Crowley girl got a clock.  It's beautiful and I love it.  They drove it all the way to the East.

This is the clock in Mark and Renee's home in Pocatello, Idaho.

This clock was given to Julie.  Julie died in 2000 and the clock has hung in her kitchen area in Murray, Utah until her husband, Jack died in June of 2015.  I was in Utah for Jack's funeral and to help clean out some of the items in the house.  Here sat this beautiful clock.  None of the boys wanted the clock, so I brought it home.  The youngest two boys, Ross and Lewis may reconsider and I will have it for them if they ever want it.

This clock is in Darryl and Anna Marie's home in Granite, Utah.  He's the baby of the family.

The clocks are all unique, but similar.  They are a testament of love that our parents felt for all of their children and a legacy we will be able to pass down to our children.

However, this entire episode sparked my thinking.  Really are the brothers going to inherit all of the family heirlooms because their last name is Neider.  Of course I protested that idea many times.  Thinking:  we will see about that.

Many years later I had the opportunity to help my dad pack up the home for a move.  Mom and Dad had sold their home and their new home wasn't ready for a few months.  As I was packing everything for storage, I came on to this picture.  This isn't the framed copy I have.  The one I have is in an oval frame from the 1940s.  Mother called this her wedding picture, but it was really her senior prom picture.  This is just the most beautiful picture to me ever.

This was lots of years later than the clock incident by the way.   On the back of the framed picture had been written.  "This belongs to Mark Neider.

I said, "What's this, Dad?  It says this picture belongs to Mark."  Dad said something about taking it up with mom as he knew nothing about it so I called her immediately.  She was in St George, Utah recovering from surgery and couldn't help with the packing.  She told me Mark wanted the picture.  Really!  She had promised he picture to me.  So in my mind that meant she wanted him to have the picture.  I called him right up.  He still lived in Pocatello near Mom and Dad.  When I asked him about his desire for the picture, he asked me what picture?  Um Huh!  When I described it he said for me to take it.  It was fine with him.  I thanked him.  He is such a good brother giving the picture to his sister.  I took the picture straight to my suitcase.

I told him later it would always be his since his name was on the back and if he wanted to see it, he could come to the East where it would be hanging in my living room. Yes, I'm a stinker, but come on.  That picture had been promised to me by my mother who then forgot about the promise.  I noticed the next time I visited Mark's home he had two of the prized oval framed pictures.  Well, that's okay.  They were not promised to me.  True to form my mom made sure all of her children and grandchildren who wanted copies of this picture have a copy.
Come see your picture Mark!  I'm lonesome for you and Renee.

Yes, we rolled into the end of 2014

I'm so far behind -- okay two years behind, but had several posts unpublished.  So here are a couple of posts I'm adding the pictures to to get them into my journal.  Here's the end of 2014.  Please try to do better, Andrea.

We came home from the West after laying Mom to rest pretty tired and ready to catch up with everything going on in Virginia.    Here's what kept us pretty  busy!  Mostly our adorable grandkids.  They are just wonderfully amazing.

We had a fun date with Audrey before she started 1st grade.  We took her shopping and to I-Hop.  She really wanted ice cream for dessert, but needed a blanket from the car to be warm enough to eat that cold dessert!  She's adorable.  (now in 3rd grade)

               Wrapped up in a blanket with her Grandpa feeding her the very cold ice cream.

More tire swing

     The kids have a blast in the tire swing in the back yard.  Some of these pics are from June and some from the fall.



                                                  Nathan and Uncle Jeremy



                                     Grandpa Rich, Charlotte, Emery, Nathan and Jeremy

                                                               Emery, our CA girl
         These kids have such a fun time on the swing.  It's been great to enjoy!

Rich took this adorable picture of Andrew and Melanie's girls at Yowell Meadow Park.  They are just the cutest.  Jocelyn, Audrey and Harper.

Next we celebrated niece Jordan's wedding weekend with the Crowley Family.  This is Rich's brother, Ken with his wife Tricia and three daughters, Kara, Jordan and Shannon.  They got the girls and we got the boys.

We had a great family reunion at the wedding.  It was near Gettysburg and we were there for the weekend.
Standing:  Terry and Annette Berger (Rich's sister and our bro in law) Doug, (Rich's brother) Ken and Tricia
Seated:  Rich Andrea (me) Matthew,  our son, and Shane (Annette's son)

Fun visit from Mark and Renee
     My brother, Mark and his darling wife, Renee came to DC from Pocatello, Idaho for meetings and then stayed on with us for the next week.  We all wanted to go into permanent  fun and retirement.  We had such a great adventure visiting  important Civil War sites, laughing, and catching up on everything since our last visit.  Did I say we kept laughing our heads off.

 This is in Fredericksburg, VA and shows what is left of the stone where slaves were sold.  A very sobering and sad commentary of our country.  Now, it's really hard to believe the atrocities that happened during our history.

Celebrated Halloween
                                       Charlotte and Nathan

Celebrated Andrew's birthday - come on Andrew -- this is a celebration.
 Melanie made a delicious cake and we did celebrate Andrew.  Fun times.  That's Matthew in the hat, brother Mark and Melanie with her back to the picture.  Nathan, Charlotte and Audrey.

Mark and Renee flew home to Idaho a few days later and left us lonesome as could be.  We visited many Civil War sites as Mark is a Civil War expert.  He didn't have to look up any other the history and told us exactly what had happened everywhere we visited.  We were at Chancellorville, the Sunken Road, Graffiti House, Cedar Run Battle site, and more.

Thanksgiving - Very sad and lonely day
            The table was set, the turkey in the oven, the stuffing was curing, the pies were made and we were reading.  We always have Thanksgiving with the Maryland Crowleys (Rich's brother's family).  It was our turn to host and we were excited.  We always have a Crowley Family Amazing Race and it's so fun!!!  It was ready to go.   THEN... Nathan started throwing up.  Oh no!  We had five more little children coming to the feast.  So yes, we had to cancel.
     Andrew and family went to the lake to be with the rest of the Maryland Crowleys.  Rich, Matthew, Charlotte, sick little Nathan (bless his little heart) and I had our own very quiet feast without the rest of the family.  Shoot.  Plans are made to be changed -- right.  Andrew dropped off some rolls on the way to the lake and he really needed some of his mamma's stuffing so we traded.  It was a quiet celebration, but we still had a great day.

We made it to California after Thanksgiving to spend a couple of weeks with Jeremy, Shelly and family.  We don't get to see our California kids enough.  We celebrated Tanner's birthday, the kids all made gingerbread houses, and we got to see many basketball games.  Those Crowley boys are great little athletes.  We had a fun Christmas celebration with the Fresno family and exchanged Christmas gifts.  The kids were so cute and very excited.  I have very few

                         Here's Chase with his gingerbread house.  He loved this activity!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                       Emery's gingerbread house
 We got to attend a fun concert with Emery.  Her class was singing on the Christmas program.  We got to meet her teacher too.

 Grandpa Rich reading to Chase.  They are the best buddies. Chase and Emery also love to listen to Grandpa Crowley's stories on the recorder as they go to sleep.  (The Magic Bunks)

An added bonus in Fresno was getting to meet a Neider cousin.  Our grandfathers are brothers who grew up in  Pocatello, Idaho, my home town.   This is Janeil and I think we look like we could be related.  I need to enjoy getting to know her better.  Her mother, Joy Neider is my dad's cousin, but just a few years old than I am.  I loved getting to meet her.

Okay, that's it for 2014.  Now if I can just get all of the 2015 posts in I will be happy and feel like I have accomplished something great.  Stay tuned.  I hope.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saying Goodbye To Mother Part Two

 One of my very favorite pictures with my mom.  My ruffled socks and cute hair!  This little girl was loved.  We are on the sidewalk of Neiders Grocery Store that became Boyd's IGA in Tyhee, Idaho.   We've had lots of years together.

I've spent the last many years thinking and worrying about my mom and now with her gone, it feels wrong to not be worrying about her.    It's just a big transition for me. I love thinking about her with my dad and sister. That is a very tender thought, but still. Since everyone in her family has lived until they were well over ninety, I thought surely we would have our mom for a few more years. Her older sister, who is still alive, is going to be 96. I feel a little loss of purpose to not be worried about how Mom is doing.

Planning Mother's Funeral

As we were planning Mother's funeral in July, we wanted to make sure everything was just perfect for her and for us. It all felt so personal to me. Music, speakers, flowers, programs, pictures and on and on and on. We tried to plan everything that would be meaningful for us and for her family and friends.
We gathered in Pocatello, Idaho, our hometown, for the funeral. The evening of the viewing, we all met at FIVE GUYS. Mother had been at about 26 FIVE GUYS openings with my youngest brother Darryl, including the one in Pocatello. We all met there for dinner as a tribute to Mom. She really loved the FIVE GUYS openings and her FIVE GUYS costume. Darryl put a picture of her on the counter for all of us to see.
Here's Mom and one of the Boise Five Guys!

    Earlier that day I had gone to the funeral home to see Mother. I was so worried about how she would look. In the hospital she looked so awful so I had reason to worry. Her skin was so grey and her hands and arms were swollen. To my joy and relief, she looked beautiful. Her skin was beautiful again and her white white hair was perfect. She looked peaceful and lovely, even regal. He sister, Aunt June had given me a pair of her favorite earrings for Mom to be buried in and she was wearing her pearls with the crystal hat Dad had given her for their 50th anniversary. I thought I would feel her presence there, but I didn't, though I did feel peaceful and comforted. Two of my sisters-in-law, Margo and Anna Marie set up two tribute tables that had many fun pictures and examples of some of the activities in which Mother was involved.

    The evening viewing went very well. We were able to visit with extended family and dear friends who we hadn't seen for years. I did feel the genuine and heartfelt love expressed by those who came and this also carried over to the viewing before the funeral the next morning. I couldn't believe how happy it made me feel to honor Mom in this way.

    The funeral was held in the chapel that our family attended when Rich and I were married. Our wedding reception was in the cultural hall there. Lots of memories and sacred events in our lives happened in this chapel.

    Funeral Program

    Here is the front cover of Mom's program.. The picture is about 10 years ago..

    Here is the back cover of the program. The top picture is of two Donna Neiders. Mother and her youngest granddaughter, named for her. The picture of the Tyhee Church down the road from our home and an ad from Dad and Mom's IGA store that was just across the street from the church.

    This was the inside of the program with pictures from Mother's life.
    1. Mom and Dad as missionaries, 2. Favorite horse 3. Wedding pic, 3. Mom and granddaughters,
    4. Family pic 5. Five Guys pic, 6. Golden Wedding, 7 Christmas dinner 1955
    8. Family pic w/ Dad home from WWII, 9. Boyd and Donna just married, 10. Young Donna

    Family Prayer - Shawn Neider (grandson)

    The family gathered in one of the larger rooms before the service for another viewing (that morning) prior to the service and before closing the casket, Shawn, Mother's oldest grandson offered the Family Prayer. The funeral home attendant helped me arrange her temple clothes and through tears I removed the pearls and her wedding ring. I said tearful goodbye to Mom and the casket was closed. Matthew came from the back of the room to give me a big hug of support. The casket was then rolled into the chapel and the family followed. We were fortunate that my brother, Mark could conduct the service. He lives not too far from the chapel is is currently serving in the Stake Presidency of the area and was allowed to conduct. That made it very personal and Mother would have been so pleased. The entire program was Donna's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She would have loved that too and hopefully she was there enjoying the celebration.

    Mark welcomed all of the family and friends and said to them his mother loved everyone of them and that was true.

    Presiding and Conducting
    Mark Neider (son)

    Prelude - Isa Neider (great granddaughter)

    Prayer - Cole Neider (grandson)

    Musical Number
    You Raise Me Up
    Matthew Crowley with Whitley Sargent on the violin
    (Grandson) (Great granddaughter)

    Eulogy -- Andrea Neider Crowley (daughter) (me)

    Musical number
    God Bless America -- Quartet by Grandchildren
    Matthew Crowley, Andrew Crowley, Natalie Neider Carruth and Jeanine LaKouta Neider

    Granddaughter - Kristin Neider knapp

    Sons = Kenny, Mike, Darryl

    Remarks Mark Neider (son)

    Closing song
    Abide With Me Tis Eventide Rich Crowley (son-in-law)

    Prayer Mark Darryl Neider (grandson)

    Postlude Isa Hopkins

    Dedication of Grave Kenny Neider (son)

    Pallbearers (grandsons)

    Donevan Neider Cole Neider
    Brant Neider Ross Selders
    Mike Neider Jr Matthew Crowley
    Curtis Neider Gabe Selders
    Jeremy Crowley Andrew Crowley
    Ryan Neider Lewis Selders
    Mark Darryl Neider Shawn Neider

    I included the eulogy which is very similar to the obituary, but with lots more information and more personal. I tried to talk many others into giving the eulogy, but I was not successful -- everyone insisted it should be me.

    Mom's Eulogy
    (This is the eulogy I gave at the funeral. I've scattered a few tandom pictures in the text.)

    On thing I've discovered you are never too old to need your mom.

    She raised us up to be more than we could be!. Thanks Matt and Whitley. Grandma would be so pleased with the two of you and that beautiful song. She loved music especially the violin. She grew up listening to her Grandpa Hansen and her brother, Arvel play the violin

    It's a honor to pay tribu'te to our mom's memory today. She was our example of how to be. When I needed advice, I would call her or say to myself, "What would Mom do?"

    This tiny little woman has logged a lot miles. She raised six children has 28 grandchildren and now has 69 great grand children. So with our spouses our family is now 134.
    Mother has taught us all so much. Her influence will continue with us to all of her posterity.

    Darryl, Mark, Andrea, Kenny and Mike with Mother's casket before the service

    She is an accomplished writer, artist, and horse woman. She loves music and poetry and has written both. Above all she is fiercely loyal to family. She is the all- world Mother who loves life and people and taught her children to do the same. She didn't allow us to be lazy, bored or too tired. She is feisty! Especially when she wanted something done or something for her children or righting a wrong for her children. And mom had such a cute sense if humor.

    At our brother - sister reunion in September, Mother had an accident. We were sitting at the table at Darryl's having a beautiful dinner. Mom felt tired and asked to move to the couch to rest. We were still eating when we heard a big crash. Mom had dropped her tissue and reached down for it and fell off the couch. We quickly picked her up, but she had a big gash from hitting her head very near her eye on the glass table. It was awful. Darryl administered some first aide techniques and all seemed okay.
    Mom had been unable to walk for about a year and a half and when my brothers wheeled her back to her rehab facility that evening, the nurse said, "Donna, what happened?"

    She quickly replied, "Well, I'll tell you one thing. I'm never going to a bar with these three guys again!" Her sons, however, would never go into a bar.
    That was our mom and that was her sense of humor.

    I love this Shakespeare quote that very much applies to our mom.


    That was our mom too. She was a tiny little woman, but her influence was felt by so many.


    Mother was born in Newdale, Idaho just north of Rexburg and moved to a farm in the Blackfoot area when she was two.

    Mother described her childhood as wondrous and happy surrounded by her family. Her parents were Vern and Stella Hansen. She has one brother, Arvel Hansen, whom she adored, and three sisters. June and Helen are here today. Her oldest sister Vella and her brother Arvel preceded her in death. Mom's sisters all babied her because she was so little and even though June was five years younger, Donna was always the baby. She loved her early years growing up on the farm in Lavaside

    When Donna was15 her family moved to Tyhee. She loved Tyhee, Idaho all of her life. Mom noticed the really handsome Neider guy that worked at the Tyhee store that was owned by his uncle, Roy Neider. He finally asked her on a date. In 1940 after Boyd graduated from high school, they were anxious to get married. Mom was only16 - Dad was 18 when they eloped. They kept it a secret and thank goodness Mom was 17 before anyone found out. Mom still had her senior year to finish and did graduate in 1941 from Pocatello high school. Boyd and Donna moved to California where Boyd and his dad worked in central California at Muroc Dry Lakes running shovel.

    After Pearl Harbor was hit in December of that year, they were desperate for shovel operators and my dad and grandpa left for Hawaii for a year to help with the clean-up and fortification of Hawaii. Donna happily came back to Tyhee, Idaho while dad left for Hawaii and he was gone most of that year until November of 1942. While Boyd was away, In June of that year Kenny was born and they were a growning family. Boyd and Donna were very lonesome and Boyd was able to come home one month short of a year to meet his six month old little son.

    After working for a year in the devastation of Pearl Harbor, Dad heard the patriots call and joined the Navy. He was in boot camp at Farragut and radio school at the University of Idaho. I was born there in Moscow and 4 days later my dad shipped out. Donna, Kenny, and baby Andrea, me, didn't see him again for almost two years. Because of their war experiences, Boyd and Donna were fervent patriots. They were the Greatest Generation.

    I was the only child of Boyd and Donna's that wasn't born in the St Anthony Hospital in Pocatello.

    Mike joined the family in 1948, mark in 1951, Julie in 1953 and Darryl in 1955. Boyd and Donna's family was complete.

    Growing up on Tyhee Road was an unique experience. The church was down the hill with Boyd's IGA right across the street and Tyhee elementary school was across the street from our home. We were one big happy family in Tyhee. In the Tyhee community, we all took care of and loved each other.

    My Mom loved and appreciated the families in Tyhee all of her life and credits our community in Tyhee with so much goodness of which our whole family was the recipient.

    These are some of the things my mom enjoyed
    1. All of her church callings - especially primary. She had the biggest primary closest ever. She loved the choir and planning programs with the Lemmon Family
    2. Her horses - The Silver Sage Riders Possee, Fair Fillies 4H club leader, and the trail rides
    3. Tyhee Literary Guild
    4. China Painting
    5. Attending all of her kids activities and then starting attending her grandchildren activities - also add her nieces and nephews to that. She attended everything she could.
    6. Visiting her sisters and brother with her kids or any family gathering
    7.She loved having a garden and canning stuff
    8. Quilts for all

    Let me just say, it was hard to keep up with all of her projects. After Mom and Dad sold the store in Tyhee, Mom worked for a time at the Wee Amble Inn for the Wards and then went to work at Garrett Freightlines.
    My Mother always worked hard to make sure our family had everything we needed. She always thought of others.

    A wreath of sweet peas for Mom. She always grew sweet peas at the side of the house on Tyhee Road

    Here are some of the other lessons from MOM.

    1. She always wanted me to put my best foot forward -- even if that foot hurt. I would say -- I can't do it and she would say - you can and you would be darling at it.

    2. She gave me the courage and confidence to be and try anything and everything. (Called Blackfoot - said she was me and got me the interview)

    3. She taught us always to honor our grandparents and father. She engendered in our family a fierce family loyalty and pride. I did get one spanking for sassing Grandma Hansen. I even had to pick my own switch. She didn't want me to forget that lesson.

    4, She always told me that my brothers and sister would always be my best friends.

    They are..........

    She really loved her kids

    There are so many other lessons I've learned from my mom. She has always been a great example to me. I can see her in my minds eye kneeling at her bedside in prayer. I caught her praying so many times.
    She loves the Lord and honors her covenants. She made sure her kids were in church every week. She involved her kids in church in every way. We all still remember her coercing us into a fashion show when she was in charge of the grand opening of the new DI in Pocatello. We got to keep one item which we all found hilarious. How can you beat that?How did she talk us into so many things? She was good!

    After the family moved to Chubbuck, Mom really missed her Tyhee Family, but soon found a new group of friends in Chubbuck to love. Rich and I had moved to the East and I always heard about the adventures that Mom and Carol Stoddard had. I'm surprised they weren't arrested
    Mom loved the friends of the 33rd Ward and after Dad was made bishop of that ward, soon they were her family too.

    Mom and Dad had a very full life in Chubbuck. They were active in the community and received the Citizens of the Year in
    1990. It was during this time that they started spending their winters in St George, Utah, but did interrupt that time to serve a LDS mission at the LDS Employment Center in Pocatello.
    So many have been Touched by Donna -- Glenn Mcminn said she was the very best Sunday School teacher he ever had.

    She loved her nieces and nephews. She thought they were her own kids.
    When Craig Farmer began working in the Mt. Timpanogas Temple in Utah, Mother kept telling me how beautiful he was in his white suit. I finally told her I didn't want to hear about how beautiful Craig Farmer was. The last time I went to the temple with her, it was at the Mt. Timpanogas Temple and she was right. Craig was there and he was beautiful .

    Kristian McClellan, one of Mom's neices (Ann Lewis) sons she changed his life by helping him complete his high school diploma. She was such an amazing woman.

    She was also crazy about her great grand kids. All throughout her life she tracked all of her grand kids and great grand kids. She made all of her grand kids quilts in their school colors and I have one of her great grand kids that has a thread bare quilt he still loves.

    Her reputation with those grand kids is also legend. She had visited the Air and Space Museum in Virginia with Jeremy's family one year. The next year I was with them at the museum. Tanner and I were standing near the Enola Gay, the airplane that dropped the bomb in Japan. He asked me where the bomb hatch was and I said I didn't know. He looked up at me and said, "I bet Grandma Donna knows." I called her up and she did. She remembered everything. Her mind was always sharp. After Julie (my sister) died mother moved from Idaho to Salt Lake City to be near and help with Julie's young sons who were six and eight. She volunteered at their elementary school until they both went to junior high. She received the Volunteer of the Year award from the school district.
    During this time Mother lived with Mike and Rosy and then bought a place of her own. Mike and Rosy were so good to Mom.

    Mother was always so thrilled to go with Mike to church related events when he was in the Young Men's General Presidency. Sometimes she was a little too enthusiastic. That was our mom.

    When Kenny and Margo left for their mission to New Zealand, she couldn't have been prouder.

    Kenny and Margo

    Mike and Rosy left at that same time to serve as the president of the Las Vegas mission. Again, she couldn't have been prouder. This was in 2011. In fact she would have gone with them if she could.
    Mike and Rosy

    About half of the Neider Family Reunion in Blackfoot, Idaho 2012

    Mom's health started to fail while Kenny and Mike were gone and it was a difficult transition for all of us. Darryl, her baby, devotedly cared for her and continued to involve her in all of the FIVE GUYS openings. She loved Five Guys! She went to about 26 openings and Darryl said she was one of his best assets. We all had dinner in her honor at FivE GUYS last night.

    For the last two years she has resided in Draper, Utah in an assisted living center. She picked the heme-like setting with only about 10 residents and grew to love the staff and care-givers. She especially loved Chef Don and he loved her right back. He prepared a wonderful lunch for Mom and her two sisters, June and Helen just last month. Cousins Doreen and Diana joined us for a fun luncheon with chocolate dipped twinkies for dessert. Mom really loved her sisters and they her. The Hansen girls were always close.

    Darryl was able to take her to his home most Sundays where she able to interact with his two grandsons. She loved all of her great grandchildren and loved being part of their Sunday afternoons.

    These last years have been such a special time for me to spend with Mom. She was an amazing woman her entire life. No matter how ill or fragile she became, she never lost her joy of life. Writing her history, I learned what an incredible woman she is. She never gave up on herself. She continued to fight. What a great example.

    She always worried about her kids. I've always said that age didn't bother me so much because my mom still thinks I'm a kid. I think she will always think that about us and worry about how we are doing.

    It has a privilege and an honor to help my sweet little mother who always cared for me and would do anything for me. Above all mother was devoted to her children. Wherever we were, she wanted to be. We will carry that love and devotion in our hearts along with her strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and everything else she taught us. Love you, Mom. In the name of Jesus Christ ...

    Mother's Burial
    Mom is buried beside Dad in the Grove City Cemetery in Blackfoot, Idaho. There are many Neider relatives there along with Mom's dad and mom. We all gathered for the dedication prayer of the grave given by my brother, Kenny. Before the prayer we sang "You are My Sunshine" and "Families Can Be Together Forever". We all had small American flags to wave while we were singing. Some of the little children planted their flags beside Mom's headstone.
    Some of the pictures from the cemetery

    Here is Chase Jeremy Crowley planting his flag. Mother was a true patriot!

    Darryl, Mark, Andrea, Kenny and Mike
    From the left
    Andrea, Aunt Helen, Aunt June, Aunt Carolee, Renee and Rosy

    Mom's beautiful grandsons all lined up and ready to take her to her final resting place.

    After placing the coffin at the grave, each of the grandsons put his boutonniere on Mom's coffin. It was a very tender gesture.

    Some of the Crowley girls
    Melanie, Shelly, Lauren and Emery

    I wanted to include a story that I meant to tell iat the funeral that Julie, my sister who died in 2000 would have told. We've all had Mom defend us and this is Julie's pre-defend story.

    When Julie was in the third grade her teacher was Mrs. Magelby (all six of us had Mrs. Magelby) at Tyhee Grade School. Mother told Julie the first week of school if they tried to move her to another class that she was not to go. Sure enough Mrs. Magelby's class was too full and the principal came and ask two rows of students to please stand and follow him to anaother classroom All of the students complied except Julie. She gripped her desk tightly and would not budge. When she was told to get up she said that her mother wouldn't let her leave Mrs Magelgy's class. The principal let her stay. Our family loved the story that Juiie was more afraid of her mother than the principal. The principal was probably afraid of Mom too.

    I have no idea when I will be able to put away the sadness I feel about losing Mom. It is just here and comes flooding in when I am not expecting it. I am not a person who is usually so maudlin, but I do feel a huge loss in my life. I have had her for all of my 70 years. I love what Darryl said in his tribute to her and want to close with the quote.
    "My mother was with me when I took my first breath in this life and I have no doubt she will be with me when I take my first step into the next life."
    I'm sorry Mom for all of the times I was mad at you or wasn't patient enough as a daughter. You gave me so much and sometimes I wasn't deserving. Thanks for being such a good Mom. I love and miss you.