Sunday, December 20, 2009

Where We Grew Up

In our trip to the West, Rich and I had the opportunity to visit the old house on Tyhee Road. My brother Mark and his wife Renee talked with the contractor who is remodeling the house and took us by for a visit. Amazing! So many of the ideas implanted in my heart and brain were nutured there. So many happy memories. Loved that community and everyone who lived there. Tyhee School has been gone for many years -- replaced by a new building. Our house, now completely gutted and changed is very different, but our home none the less.

Wow..............I discovered
I grew up in a time and place that reallydoesn't exist anymore. Mom and Dad operated the Boyd's IGA store in a small farming community outside of Pocatello, Idaho. Across the street from the store was Tyhee Church and our house was up the hill. Across the street from the house wasTyhee Grade School. Everything important very close together. I don't think anyone could have asked for a more secure or a happier place to grow up. The community thrived with everyone taking care of each other. All the families in the community loved each other and depended on one another. That I miss.

Andrea and her charge (Darryl)

Mark, Vicki, Mike and Andrea...................loved those kids.

Mark and Julie -- Mark always had the nifty attire

Andrea's real live dolls. The car was a turquoise blue

The swing (the biggest I have ever seen) the picture could fly over the moon.

The apple trees, the raspberry patch, the horses, and pastures are gone. However, little children hand prints are still there in the cement. My brothers and sister -- forever will live there . My hand prints were from when I was about five. The younger kids were on the sidewalk by the swing. Kenny and I were by the house along with Aunt Carolee.

Above............Christmas dinner, I think. Ham prepared by Boyd Neider. A long time family tradition. Julie, Andrea,Grandma Hansen, Grandpa Hansen, Kenny, Mike, Mark, Donna. Boyd taking the picture and holding Darryl. Look at Grandma's beautiful table with the china from Japan that Uncle Nathan sent. Love it. Mom gave it to me -- I love it so much. Since Julie is about two years old here. I am about age 11.

As I walked through the old house, I could literally feel the memories that were made in that home. Just like the handprints in the cement, the memories are there. Part of the original hardwood floors were still there -- dining room and in Mom and Dad's bedroom. Wow what feelings came back to me. What happy feelings. Thanks Mom and Dad for making our home such a happy place.

Rich commented that it appeared to be a "less than desirable community". How could he have known or felt the love and presence of our humble, but loving community in Tyhee. I didn't know we weren't rich......................we had everything and couldn't have asked for a happier setting. Growing up in the '50s and '60s was very different, but we were the lucky ones. We had so much.

The magic of the home and community lives on in my heart. We were one big happy family. We loved our friends, our neighbors and each other. All my life I have continued to believe in the magic of my childhood community. I am the person I am due to my experiences in Tyhee. It was a special place and time. A real community. I would like to give a big hug to Tyhee and to thank my family, the Davises, the Lewises, the Hatches, the Wards, the Nashes, the McNabbs, the Johnsons, the Miles, the Fitches, the McMinns, the Empeys, the Stingers, the Facers, the Cutlers, the Satos, the Bringhursts and many more for what I was given.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas is Coming

I have to admit that I have had a very nice experience decorating for Christmas this year. Okay, it's the first year in a very long time that the decorations have not had to be thrown up in a hurry. Rich put his iPod on Christmas music -- all 257 songs and I took my time for a week putting up this and that. It was wonderful...............

Most of my decorations have been accumulated for many years and I treasure them. I have a gold and white tree and a red apple tree (very Virginia) with wool plaid bows. I thought I would share my finished product. It feels so good to be relaxed and ready. Some of the pictures are a little out of focus. So,use your imagination.

Close up of the gold and white tree. I bought the white glass ornaments the first year we were married in Idaho in 1967.

Gold and White tree - twelve feet tall

Fireplace mantel

The fireplace is so blurry, I added the angel from the wreath. She is my favorite. Look at her sweet little face.

Dining Room table - our little father Christmas in the middle

Apple/Cranberry Tree in the foyer

We've had this sweetest nativity forever. Jeremy broke the ear on the donkey when he was about five years old. The little cherub angel was on our wedding cake. We're talking old.

I've always included this picture of the Savior in our Christmas. It was in my room growing up and came from Dad's home.

Our Russian Icon of Mary and Baby Jesus. The faces are so sweet. Her gown is shell. You can't even tell that baby Jesus was broken off (Carsen and Charlotte) and glued back on. It's okay.............they are my precious grand kids.

The kneewall between the kitchen and family room. I love the bark trees and cranberries. Oops, Rich's foot and leg are in the picture. Ha Ha.

The decorations are beautiful and feel so good. It makes our home feel so cozy and warm. We have candles in all of the windows (also very Virginia)and some twinkle lights on our cranberry trees on the porch. We are ready to celebrate this magical season.

We have always had a special Christmas FHE with another family and each person has to participate on the program. It's always fun to see what everyone wants to do. My favorite Christmas memories are of these special FHE's. Okay...............once the kids were older it was sometimes under duress, but they came through. So as I said, I'm ready to celebrate.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Five Guys

One of the fun events of our USA tour was being at the opening of Five Guys in Boise a couple of weeks ago. Before the day of the grand opening Five Guys invites friends and family to eat free for the practice. It's a big party with the greatest fries ever. Yes, we love Five Guys that started in the East, but bro Darryl and partners have franchised Idaho, Utah, Oklahoma and part of Northern CA.

My mom goes to all of the openings and is a big hit with the customers. She loves the openings too. Darryl teasingly tells the customers that he has fired her many times, but she will not leave. Ha Ha

Here's someone to keep you on your toes.

Rich, Andrea, Grandma Donna, and Darryl

Actually we just had dinner tonight at Five's a fun place to eat. Try the vinegar on the fries. We first tried vinegar on fries at Rehoboth beach. Very tasty.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

She's Back!

I can't believe I haven't had time to blog since Mother's Day. Tsk Tsk on me I guess. a nut shell.

*I retired in July..............can't say enough good things about this.
*Beach week with the family in July. (I long for the beach with our gang.) Just when we think we can't stand each other another minute, it all ends and we yearn to be there again.
*Reunion in the beautiful mountains above SLC with my brothers, their wives and Mom.
We can still spin our..... how you say..............?? Stories. Love those Neiders.

*Rich retires. Yes, I know this is the second time. We'll see if it sticks.

Part of the Crowley Gang at Rich's retirement party.

***6 week road trip across the country. Started in VA to WV, PA,OH,

First stop in Kirtland Ohio

Kirtland Temple

Second stop was Nauvoo, but pics from Cool pix.

This is Rich in the beautiful BADLANDS of South Dakota.

Again in the BADLANDS

Loved Rushmore - that Borglund guy - what a genius

,WY,MT,ID,WA,OR,CA,ID,UT,CO,KA,MO,TN,and back to VA. 10,000 miles on the rental car. I will blog about the highlights soon.

Okay, I was in a hurry to leave and left the charger home to the camera battery. No pics until I arrived in CA. Gabe mailed the charger to Jeremy's

So this is our adorable Emery.

Shelly, the fixer with Carsen and Emery

School carnival - Shelly, Carsen, Tanner and Grandpa Rich

*Thanksgiving with the Crowleys except Jeremy's gang and Kara and Drew. Fabulous. Thanks for those rolls and spiced punch Gabey.

Only one pic of Thanksgiving

You can see Andrew, Tricia, Jordan and Matt.

More pics of the trip to come..................

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Well, mothering is just one of the best things I have ever done. I don't remember being exhausted or lonesome for adult conversation. Sometimes you are just too busy to think. I do remember being really frustrated one day and maybe that was because I was exhausted. Who knows!

Here are some of my sweet memories of Mother's Day.

1. Waffles in bed with syrup and the whole schmear. Delighted faces beaming with joy to bring it to me.

2. Two bottles of the same perfume from two little boys who both wanted to give their momma the swan perfume. I am pretty sure I still have those swans.

3. Standing on my first Mother's Day in 1975 with my two month old baby in my arms to get my flower in sacrament meeting. I can still remember the dress I wore. What a thrilling and happy moment.

4. Receiving the Happy Mother's Day plate in 1987 made by a very cute seven year old. On the back, "I love MOM!" Andy

5. Mother's Day missionary calls. Never forget them. A mother's heart longing to see her boys and knowing they were where they should be.

6. Rich giving me two beautiful bridal wreath bushes for Mother's Day and watching them bloom every spring.

7. Going to Matt's preschool for the Mother's Day party to see a big poster with Matt's name at the top of the list.
Matthew Crowley -- She taught me not to mess with her. Hmmmmmmmm.

Other children - My mother taught me how to read, color, cook.............the lesson? Ask your child what he would say if someone ask him what his mother taught him. Ha Ha -- then you can help him with something wonderful as a response.

Somehow it didn't matter. You just love everything your kids do and say.

8. Remembering Andrew reciting in preschool for all he was worth, "Here are my grandma's glasses."

9. Seeing the two little pigs salt and pepper shakers that Jeremy picked out with Grandma Crowley's help for me.

10. I could go on and on. The memories are precious. Remembering those sweet little faces -- now grown up beautiful handsome faces and so accomplished. Love 'em.

The best gift of all was just having those kids. My kids were the best ever. I am just so happy I am their mother. No one else gets to do that. Just me. I am selfish about mothering my boys. I do share with their Dad and wives, but I save the best parts for myself.

The childhood part of mothering goes by very quickly -- just remember that. Keep up the good work all you moms -- it's a great job. Pray hard.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring is Finally Here

Life is just too crazy -- you know what I'm talking about. It's finally the weekend and I am off the clock waiting for Rich to chauffeur me to our beautiful home in the I will catch up on this blog thing.

Last night I was so excited to make freezer jam (strawberry)for the first time in years. The cooking group (Enrichment) was to come make the jam. Strawbs were on sale at Walmart and away we go. I made two batches.
I feel so good about myself. Had fun too. It is amazing how digging in and doing something with your hand can make you feel so accomplished. I've been patting myself on the back all day.

Two little darling granddaughters in the cutest dresses ever.

Rich treated us to a Honey-Baked Ham --
Melanie treated us to cheesy potatoes -- Gabe treated us to raspberry jello, marinated green beans & brownies with reeses peanut butter cups. What did I do? Oh yah, the fruit kabobs. Rich tried a kabob, but those big boys -- they are -- how do you say cowards in a nice way?

The highlight of the day was Gabe's presentation on the Savior from her part of the Relief Society lesson. Check it out on her blog. It is amazing. She is amazing.

It might be the last time at our old dining room table. We finally ordered one to fit our ever growing family. The old Ethan Allen set is about Matt's age and small. We put it up for sale last week and think we have a buyer. Lot's of fun memories were made at that table. And if you look really really close, you can see Matt's name from completing a homework assignment many years ago.

I was off for the week and welcomed the opportunity to stay home and get some much needed rest. Rich took the week off to make sure I rested. We had a very nice week doing little catch up jobs at the house. Found the new dining room set -- Planted some new flowering trees, azaelas, and bridal wreath bushes. Actually we just did the selecting. Took a drive in the mountains -- had lunch at the Thornton River Grill in Sperryville - I had shaved lamb on a homemade bagette roll. It was about the best thing I have ever tasted -- Walked the mile walk in the park during the day and just had a relaxing time. It was very good for us.

This was about the most amazing conference weekend ever. It's always a relaxing time, but this one took the blue ribbon, the Golden Globe and really out-did anything I have ever experienced. Andrew and Melanie came for the weekend and we just soaked up speaker after speaker. It was just the best.


One of the first speakers at the Sat morning session was my brother Mike. I knew all of my family was in the Conference Center to hear him and I was a little blue about having made the decision to not go. When Pres Monson anounced his name I started crying -- then two speakers later when he actually started speaking -- I was crying like a big baby. I think the tears were tears of joy and humility. It was such a humbling and exciting experience all wrapped into one. We are such a close family, I think all of us felt like we were up there with him. Well, sorry everyone else, but he was the best speaker of the Conference. I can't even tell you how PROUD - YES - PROUD! I know, the pride thing, but I'm pretty sure I was feeling so much pride. What an honour to be part of such an amazing event. He is just awesome. In fact I have such amazing brothers. We were keeled over with witnessing and being part of our brother speaking in general conference.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Well call it coincidence if you like, but I don't know. I haven't gotten to my blog for four weeks............................ever since I was released from my Young Women calling and put in the RS presidency. Anyone that knows me knows how much I love RS -- yes centerpieces and all. So hopefully I will be able to keep up with my blog.

Right now we are getting ready for the RS birthday and I found this quote in trying to find some encouraging quotes to participate in the on-going activities.

"I don't know much about being a millionaire, but I'm sure I'd be darling at it." (Dorothy Parker) I want to show my RS sisters that there are lots of things we don't know about -- but we can still be darling learning.

I do have to tell you it has been such a pleasure to be in RS every Sunday -- I just love being taught. We had the best lesson in Ward Conference. "Choose Ye This Day" It was focused on "this day". What we select daily -- even our tiny little choices makes us who we are and in turn reflects to our children and friends, etc.
It was such a good reminder to me to remember "this day".

Anyway, love my new calling already -- love having lots of new girlfriends. There is so much to learn and so much fun to be had. I hope you all love RS as much as I do. The program is there for us for a very good reason. We need it.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cutest Girls

I'm trying to get caught up with my blog and have many pics to post. I added some to previous posts, but this one didn't seem to fit any where. Andrew and Melanie came for MLK weekend. So..............Audrey was having a bath in Grammy's sink and Charlotte wanted in on the action. How cute is this!

My darling granddaughters.

This picture was before Gabe had Charlotte's hair cut. Can you believe the hair on this little girl? She will be two on Monday and this picture is about two months ago. I had just stacked a bunch of stuff on the desk and she was very curious about it. What a doll!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wedded Bliss

Rich and I voted last night and decided to stay married for yet another year. I hope none of you were worried about the outcome, but you never know how the tide will swing on voting day. It's really amazing that after all these years -- we still like being together. At least most of the time. Coincidentally it was our anniversary so we try to vote on the matter once a year. We use to say (ha ha) that we would divorce, but neither of us would take the kids, so we had to stay together.

We got to spend the day together on the 28th as the heavens opened and poured down snow and freezing rain. Yahoo! My school was closed so Rich took the day off and we celebrated. He spoiled me this year with beautiful Roses -- a lunch date and we ended up at an afternoon movie. However, he almost canceled the vote when I spilled the entire very large box of popcorn. He said, "That's $7.00 worth of popcorn you know." He decided to keep me anyway and replaced the popcorn.

I think marriage can just get better. There have been moments when I really felt like killing Rich, even threatened, but then I would come back to reality. The Neiders don't want me back. Who would take care of me and my kids? I would have to take care of myself and there wouldn't be anyone around to make me laugh. So, the threat has remained only a threat! I never really planned how I would kill him so that is a good sign I think.

Life with Rich is just crazy and fun. I have always said that the only thing predictable about him is that he is unpredictable. For example: A few years ago I pulled up to the house (anniversary weekend) and he scooped me into the car and said, "We are going away for the weekend."
"Really," I said. "Where?" Then he told me I would find out when we arrived. Well, I asked him about clothes, etc. He told me not to worry he had taken care of everything. Arrive we did at a hotel at the Inner Harbour in Baltimore. Well, he kept packing in suit cases and I was amazed and curious to find out what was in the suit cases. What would I be wearing on this fun weekend? Many suitcases for two days. When I opened one suit case, it had only shoes. A lot of shoes. He told me that he knew I would want several pair to choose from....................ha ha ha. A whole suitcase full of shoes. So funny.

The other wonderful husband/wife moment of that weekend was about my hair. I stress over my hair all the time anyway and feel like it is one of my best features so I work hard to be cute. You know what I am talking about. Anyway, at this time I was wearing my hair "naturally curly". I had just spent a long time in the bathroom getting it just so. When I came out he innocently and in all seriousness said, "Okay, hon as soon as you get your hair done, let's go." Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. That was the end of the curly phase. It was so funny because he didn't really know what he had said until I laughed and told him how long I had been working on my hair.

Husbands are funny. Love'em tho'. Rich has learned that any comment about hair and weight is not going to be a well-received comment no matter what is said -- so better run rather than answer the question of, "Does this make me look fat?"

So we have been married longer than the Israelites wandered in the desert. Man that is a long time of wedded bliss. But, without my better half there would literally and figuratively be no music in my life. I better hurry and think of something fun for him before he calls for a recount of the vote.

My own Rock Star

Rock Star and Grandpa with Emery

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Proud Momma!

Seriously, it's an amazing feeling to watch your children manage their lives and families. Sometimes, yes, you are thinking...........what the heck are they thinking ? ? and at other times you are trying to somehow take credit for their brillance.........thinking that a great decision or an outcome is most certainly due to your good parenting. I love observing what dedicated mothering and fathering is taking place with my sons and daughters-in-law. Well, yes, they have all had good training, but they all go way beyond the measure. As a parent you feel such appreciation and respect to see their skills in action.

So yes I'm a proud momma.............

Two shout outs for two recent accomplishments:

Matt just made partner in his law firm. First partner in about 14 years, I think. It was announced this week and yes we thrilled for Matt. Congratulations

Andrew just finished his MBA in December. Excellent work Andrew. We celebrated at Arties.

A proud momma indeed. I'm very confident I had something to do with something here. Don't you think? Two excellent accomplishments at the same time. My Kings of Virginia.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Day

Last Friday was just the craziest. Check this out. Rich and I commuted to Fairfax (we leave at 5:30 a.m.) and I dropped him at his office. I had an eye appointment at 8:00. Traumatic, but no treatment. I didn't have to have the eye shot so that was good news and I was at work by 10:00. I raced back to get Rich so he could drop me off at school. So I work work work all day and one of my cute teachers, Anne dropped me in Centreville for my hair appointment -- about 3:30. My hair was seriously lousy as my hair stylist had been in Utah for about a month. After I was sufficiently cute Rich picked me up in Centreville and we drove back to Fairfax to meet Andrew, Melanie, and Audrey for dinner at my favorite restaurant. We had a fabulous dinner and a fun visit with A, M, & A. We then left the restaurant to go to the Sea Chanters concert in Fairfax. We got to see my cousin, Bob, his wife Veronica (from Seattle). Antje, their daughter performs with the group. It was superb. Anyway, what a day. We were home by 10:30 and yes...............tired. That's called logging a lot of miles in one day. Yep, we're old. Can you keep up with these senior citizens. Ha Ha.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Okay, I started this on Jan 2. Phew! We made it into the new year. The last week has been so much fun! It started on Christmas Eve with dinner at Matt and Gabe's. The stockings were hung and all the gifts wrapped. Gabe put together a fabulous dinner............cheesy potato soup and pumpkin pie for dessert. It doesn't get any better for this Idaho girl. We all opened a gift as we usually do on Christmas Eve and enjoyed being together. Charlotte was in the spotlight. The next morning...........that little Charlotte was amazing. After looking at the tantalizing packages for days she was finally able to open some.......Wow! She was so precious and what a delight to be a part of that magical wonder in her little eyes. We all had fun with our new treasures. It was a necklace Christmas for me. I know -- I'm lucky. Two Brightons and a beautiful butterfly necklace with an outfit to go with it. I also got a fancy white scarf from CA and a fab George Forman grill that I have used many times and love. I'm spoiled. Rich received his new flip camera and a requested sweater.......books and an itunes card........hmmmmm. Music for the rock star. He loves it.

I had to show you the addition to the gold and white tree. I like to add something each year and Margo and I found these leaves in a little shop in Culpeper. She bought some then I bought some. Then she gave me hers. Thanks Margo.

I did get a really fun present for myself...............that is allowed, I believe. I have given the reading "White Kid Gloves", by Margaret Cousins, many times at Christmas time and was looking for a better copy than the old copy I had. I didn't want to retype the darn thing. Anyway, I found the collection of Margaret Cousins book, Christmas Keepers, on Amazon. After looking in the library and online for many hours, I bought the book. It was published in the 1950's. I am a happy girl to have this fun collection of stories to add to my library. $6.00.

On Friday, Lauren arrived just in time to go the the White House with Matt and Gabe. We got to keep Charlotte for most of the day Saturday. The next few days were fun filled trying to keep up. Lauren and I shopped our legs off in downtown Culpeper. I found a beautiful Mary and Baby Jesus -- okay,
it's a Russian Icon of the Madonna, but it is beautiful with a gold shell gown. It is very special. Matt did ask me if he would now have to genuflect every time he came in the house. No, it is a beautiful work of art.

New Year's Eve -- we were all in bed by 11:00. Lauren said she was the last one up at her house also. New Year's Day -

we had our Christmas traditional breakfast for Lauren. Hmmmmmmmmmm more Sugar Lump Bread and Gabe made the breakfast casserole. We polished off the ham and bean soup that night. Then...........

Lauren finishing a puzzle lickety split.

Two Crowley Sisters Snuggling at Grammy's House

Just wanted to show you Lauren's long legs. Yes, she is taller than her Grammy now.

On Friday Gabe made her absolutely fabuloso everything from scratch lasagne. We were in Heaven. Later the Utes killed Alabama and I thought Matt was going to pass out with excitement. It was an awesome game. Go Utes! I vote #1. But come on let's not sue the BCS. What a fun week. Lauren left Sat morning for Utah. We are sad and lonesome without her, but what a treat to have her.

I hope to add pics to go along with the events. Who knows..........I am way behind.