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Special Memories

"You Made Me Love You"
Meeting Eva by Jim

The first time I met Eva was at the dance.  She was wearing a straight black skirt with a large bow in the back just below her butt.  I was thinking to myself, "she has some great legs."   As she passed I made the comment that I liked the outfit and the bow.  That was our first encounter.  The second time I met up with her was at the dance and I asked her to dance a few times.  I tried to take her home that night and she said that she had come with another guy and that wouldn't be the right thing to do.  So it seemed to me to be the end of our relationship.

Fate must have been playing a part because a few months later we met on a double-date with a friend that I was in the Air Force with.  He had asked me if I would like to double-date with him and his girlfriend and I answered "yes" as I didn't have a car and the girl that I was dating at that time lived in Renton, about 50 miles from the base.  First we picked up Eva and then to Renton and to a movie.  At that time I had no interest in Eva as she was a girlfriend of a friend and I didn't think she was interested in anyone but him.  My thoughts were getting out of the service and heading back to Taylorville, Illinois.  As the days and months passed he was discharged and left the service.  My comments to him were that he had better take Eva with him as someone else would take her.

Then in early December 1958 a friend of mine was going with Eva's sister and asked me if I would like to go with him to play Christmas carols at her house.  I went along and couldn't help noticing how much attention Eva was paying to me and I can't say I minded at all.  It was a really fun night.  Then my friend asked me if I would like to go out with Eva.  I think that my remarks at that time were she really doesn't want to go with me.  She was different than any of the girls I had been going with.  She had a job, she was smart and had goals for her life.  He said, "I have her phone number, call her and ask her."  I was somewhat surprised that she would go with me but we went on a double-date with her friend, Betty, and my buddy from the service.  After that my friend would go to see Lois and ask me if I wanted to go with him and see Eva.  Didn't take long for me to say yes.  As the days passed I knew she was the one that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with but didn't know if she felt the same.  The guys at McChord AFB told me that I had met the girl that I would marry.

Eva bought the first car that we owned.  I didn't have a car so we had to ride with someone all the time.  A Captain at the base was getting discharged and had a 1949 Chevy Torpedo body for sale for a good price.  I was trying to find out how to buy this car so that we could be together whenever we wanted.  I told Eva about the car and she said she would buy it for us.  I told her, "no that wouldn't be right", but she convinced me that it would be fine.  I knew then and there she loved me and I knew that I loved her.

Now, fifty years later we are still together and love each other even more.  I'm glad that fate kept intervening so that we would end up together.  I can remember that the first time we went back to Illinois to see my mom and dad.  Dad said, "there is a song that goes. "I Want A Girl Just Like the Girl that Married Dear Old Dad".  He also said that he thought I had found the right girl.  Would I do it all over again? You can bet your last dollar that I would.  There are times that I have missed my family in Illinois but the family that I have here in Yelm has filled that space in my life.  They have accepted me for what I am and I truly thank them all for that.  There have been some tough years but the good years have outweighed the bad.  Thank you Eva for being my wife!


Fairy Tales Can Come True 
Meeting Jim-by Eva

There he was again! He had to be the best looking guy around. From across the room I would see him week after week but he never asked me to dance. I knew I was living in a fairy tale but he was what I dreamed of.

One night I had come to the dance with a date. My date and I were sitting there talking when I could tell he was acknowledging that someone had approached. Imagine my surprise - there he stood even handsomer up close with nearly black hair, a good tan, and a smile to drop dead for. The shiny black shoes, black slacks, and a white dress shirt against that tan - WOW! He said, "Would you like to dance?" WOULD I - I was thinking to myself he must be kidding. He took my hand in his and led me to the dance floor. As he took me in his arms to dance a feeling came over me and I knew this is where I wanted to be forever. I learned his name was Jim and he was from Taylorville, Illinois. He asked me to dance twice more and each time he would return me to my date. I felt a strange sense of sadness come over me. When I went home that night I was so full of happiness. All week long I could hardly wait for Saturday night. He was on my mind at work, at home, everywhere. My heart was telling me that the next Saturday he would ask me to dance and to take me home. My dream would come true! Saturday finally came - I had my hair styled at the beauty shop and wore my prettiest dress. There he was as handsome as ever but the evening wore on and he never even looked my way. That night I went home the saddest girl alive.  Each Saturday for several weeks I did the same thing, but he paid no attention to me.

After feeling rejected I accepted a date from another Air Force guy that my sister and I sometimes danced with. We started going out regularly but Jim never left my heart or my mind. One night the guy I had been going with asked if I would like to double date. I said "sure!" Imagine my surprise when I saw the guy in the backseat with his date was Jim. My heart dropped but at the same time a certain excitement welled up in me. How I wished I could trade places with her.

A few weeks after that the guy I was dating asked me to marry him. What should have been a happy time was a time of sadness for me. I could not put Jim out of my mind. I told Mom and Dad about the proposal. Dad said "he's a prince of a guy." Mom said, "He will make a good steady husband and after all you are 19 years old." After a time I relented and accepted his proposal knowing in my heart it was not right for me. I knew why I was not accepting an engagement ring.

Time went on and one night my sister's boyfriend asked Mom and Dad if he could bring a friend over to play guitars and sing Christmas carols. When the two guys walked through the door his friend turned out to be Jim. Was this fate? It was such a fun evening with the family singing, laughing, and being silly. This time he seemed to be focusing on me, smiling at me, and joining me in singing. When he began to leave I walked to the kitchen and said, "I hope I see you again." As soon as he left I said to Mom, "I am ending my engagement tomorrow. I should never have accepted this proposal in the first place." I could tell she was not happy and said to me, "You just have that Jim guy on your mind, even if you get him he will not stick around. He is just another Romeo." The next night I told my fiancee that he was a really nice person, but that it wasn't fair to either of us.

He said to me, "It's Jim, isn't it?" I said, "You know what, I have never even been on a date with Jim but I feel such a connection to him. From the first time I danced with him I could not get him out of my head or my heart. I'm sorry I hurt you." I knew I had done the right thing and finally, even if nothing came of it, I would feel better about myself for facing my feelings honestly.

A few days later the phone rang and I immediately knew who it was when I heard the voice on the other end. Jim was calling for a date. How he learned I was no longer engaged I still do not know. This much I know, from that day on I never looked back. I can't imagine my life without the love and happiness I have shared with Jim over all these years. YES, SOMETIMES FAIRY TALES DO COME TRUE!


Our First Date-December 1958
by Eva

After Jim called me for our first date I could hardly wait for the next two days to go by. He had asked me to get a date for a friend of his named Frank. My best friend was my minister's daughter so I asked her to be Frank's date and we double-dated. I did not know that Jim didn't have a car.

Jim drove around Tacoma and the Christmas lights were still up, so it was really pretty to see the big city lights. Then Jim found a parking spot overlooking Tacoma and turned to me and said, "there's something I've been wanting to do all night." I said, "and what is that?" He said, "this" as he leaned over and gave me a kiss. I knew this was the guy I had been waiting for. I could not let him know my feelings for fear of running him off. After Jim took me home Frank told him "that is the girl you will marry." Jim told Frank, "you have to be nuts."

Our courtship was such a special time-it didn't matter to me what we did or where we went as long as I was with him. We liked to go to McChord Air Force Base and have hamburgers and milkshakes at the bowling alley. While we were there sometimes we played the pinball machines or would just walk hand in hand singing. One night walking along on the sidewalk at McChord we found ourselves singing, "Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money, maybe we're ragged and funny, but we'll travel along, singing our song, side by side." Just laughing and being together made it all fun.

We double-dated quite a bit and sometimes we found ourselves all dressed up pushing a car in bad weather or dates based on a double-date or borrowing a car.

So one day I told Jim, "let me buy you a car." His pride said "no", then I found out he could get a fixer-upper quite cheap so I said, "let me pay for the car, you can pay for the parts, and you and your friends can do the work." Mom did not think I should buy the car and she warned me that he would probably just leave me and he would have the car and my money. After working on the car for 4 days I was at the sink washing dishes with Mom and I saw a white car coming up Baker Road. I had gotten 2 letters from McChord that week from him describing their progress and what the car looked like. I went flying out the door and he jumped out of the car, ran up, and gave me a big hug. When I went back in the house Mom said, "when you saw him I could tell you were really in love. I think I have been wrong because it seems he felt the same way." That made me feel good to hear Mom say that because even though he had declared his love for me I was wary of rejection.

We continued to date about 3 to 4 nights a week and love letters were "flying" back and forth from McChord and Yelm. In May, Joann and Lee had a birthday party for Randy, my nephew, and Jim and I were invited. On the way there Jim took a detour. I said something about you should have turned there. He had this little smile on his face and he turned into a spot further down the road. He had my engagement ring in his hand and said, "I love you so much, will you marry me?" This was my fairy tale coming true! He knew how much I loved him, now I could finally tell him how long I had loved him. On May 15th we were officially engaged and shared our happy news with the family at Randy's birthday party.

The next few weeks were really hectic planning for the wedding but it was truly exciting and fun. Mom and I shopped for and found my fairy tale dress with a short veil. Jim and his attendants all wore their dress blues. We found the perfect dresses for Mom, Lois, and Faye. It would be a beautiful wedding and it was.


Early Memories by Jim

Being asked to write some of my childhood memories down after 70 years will be something I'm not sure how will turn out, but here goes.  My earliest memories were when we lived in Taylorville, Illinois at a place called the "Y".  This was a road that came into town from Pana and Decatur.  There was a little hill in front of the house and I would sit there and call out every car by make and year.  Dad used to tell people that I didn't miss many and even today I know a lot of the older cars.  That place was the first time that I was introduced to gambling.  There was a gas station across the street where mom had sent me to get something.  After I paid, I had a nickel left and the man at the station talked me into putting it into this machine.  When I did I got quite a few nickels back so I went home to show mom and dad.  Since dad was a minister and didn't believe in gambling and I really didn't know what I had done as a small kid, Dad took my little butt back to the owner and told him to take the money back and give us our nickel.  We took our nickel and went home after dad explained to him about his beliefs.

I remember my Grandma Huddleston, (my mom's mother) coming to see us there, she drove a gray 1939 Chevy.  She would take me to her house on their farm and I would help her with chores, like gathering eggs, pumping water with a hand pump, etc.  We would make lunch for my Grandpa and take it to him in the field where he would be working.  That was fun times for me.  My Grandpa and Grandma Enlow lived about 80 miles from Taylorville.  During the summer I would go there and visit them.  My Grandpa loved to fish, so we would go and fish all day long. My uncle would pick us up in the morning and pick us up at night when he got off work.  Grandpa had so many stories to tell, I am not sure they were all true but they sure got my attention.

We moved to the country for awhile in Stonington.  What fun we as kids had there.  We could go fishing anytime, we made gardens, milked a cow, we had chickens (I hated the messy chickens) and pigs.  I knew that we were poor but didn't realize just how poor as it seemed we always had something to eat.  When the berries were ripe my Aunt Mary and Uncle Lee would come to stay and we would pick berries and sell them at the supermarket.  They kept us busy as they loved to pick berries.  My time on the farm was just great as I had a friend named Jerry Smith and we could ride miles on our bikes.

We then moved back into Hewettville where I was raised until I went into the Air Force.  I was in the 3rd grade when we moved there.  My 3rd grade teacher was Mrs. Ward, she was one of my favorite teachers but I think that my 5th grade teacher was the best, Mr. Soloman.  I look at the house now, as my sister Sharon still lives in it, and I wonder how my folks raised 9 kids in a two bedroom house.  My bed was the couch in the living room.  There were a few boys that lived close to us and we seemed to get along well.  We did get into a few scrapes here and there but nothing real mean as our dads would beat our butts with a strap.   Dad believed in spare the rod and spoil the child.  Frieda and I can atone to that as we did get most of the strap.  Dad built a church there and we went to church Wednesday night, Sunday School and Sunday nights.  Dad was very strict and made us walk the line or else.

After turning seventeen I went to the Air Force recruiter and he let me know that one of my parents had to sign before I could sign up.  When I went home Dad said he would not sign but informed mom if she wanted to she could sign.  I had told dad that it didn't make any difference whether he signed or not that as soon as I turned 18 I wouldn't need another signature.  The next day I told mom that I would go sooner or later so would like it is she would sign and she did.  Dad also would not sign for Eva and I to get married, but mom did.

Life has been good for Eva and I.  We have had some bumps in the road but through it all we have a good life together.  I would not change anything.  We never had a lot of money but things have always worked out.  I love her and the kids with all my heart.  I do miss my family in Illinois but have made a new family here. 


Early Memories by Eva

My earliest memory is of walking on a dock and seeing through the boards the dark, swirling water below.  As a very small child it was very scary for me.  I asked mom about it several years later and she said that her and dad would do night fishing.

I wanted so much to be in the May Day program as a little girl.  But, when my mom left me alone to practice I cried so they told mom I couldn't be a part of the little girls wearing their pastel dresses and winding crepe paper around the May pole.

Seeing my mother cry when she got the news her brother had died in the war.

Going to school in Kansas and the teacher having each student begin the day by reading a current event or a Bible verse.

How hard mom and dad worked.  It seems that their days never ended with dad farming, and mom with 7 kids to take care of.  I remember especially her baking day, when you got home from school the whole house smelled so good and she would always allow you to have a baked sweet roll. 

The cold weather in the winter and the hot weather in the summer in Kansas and running to the icky cellar every time we thought there was going to be a storm.

When we lived in Kansas and the school bus driver told we Baker kids that when we got home we would have a new baby which turned out to be Faye.

One time in Kansas Virgil was messing around with dad's saw and cut the end of his finger off.

The old Victorola we played songs on while living in Kansas.

Joe and I deciding to help mom out after dad told us we should help her because she had just had a baby.  We decided to mop and we had so much soap and water on the floor that dad ended up getting the broom and sweeping it out the door.

As an 8 year old living in Kansas I was an avid collector of movie star pictures.  My other passion was trying to find news on my favorite country music stars as my secret desire was one day to sing on the radio.  I guess you could say I was a dreamer because it would never happen as I was much too shy.  Even as a child I knew there had to be something better than Kansas and I longed for it.

Being the smallest one in a tiny school in Kansas where we all had to play together.  How I hated the game Red Rover.  It hurt as a big kid crashed through as you held tightly to the hand of a classmate trying to stop him.

Listening to the Grand Ole Opry and Friday night fights on the radio.

I lost a quarter of mom's money when she sent me to the store and I was walking home.  I retraced my steps trying to find it.

Mom would let me and Lois walk up town for an ice cream cone and we would bring one back to Faye.  We would lick it all the way home because it was melting anyway.

What a fighter Lois was.  She would kick, bite, hit - use anything at her disposal to fend you off.

Lee always getting to ride in the front seat of the car because he was the biggest.  The rest of the kids were jammed in the backseat and if we would get to bickering dad's hand would come flying across the backseat and you better duck.

When I was in 5th grade and I could bring a little brother or sister to school for the day.  Mom let me take Faye and I was so excited.  Mom had even made her a really cute light blue organdy dress for the occasion.

Dad's relatives being reluctant to have us visit because my brothers would always get into some kind of mischief.  Once they even painted my Uncle Bake's pigs various shades of colors.  Another time they took the doll I got for Christmas, put her on a post and used her for beebe gun practice.

Seeing mom and dad at the table with a stack of bills and hearing dad say as his voice broke, "how we gonna' do it, Mommy?"

How funny Virgil was when he did his robot walk.

When Joe and I attempted to make a garden, I accidentally hit him in the head with the hoe and thought I had done him in.

Dale was sitting in the dirt playing and Lois picked up a big rock and dropped it right on his head.

Getting our first TV and how much we loved watching wrestling (not anymore)!

Lois, Faye and I being silly as we did the dishes and discussing our imaginary boyfriends, especially Jake Snake from Venom Drive.

Dad's town of Yelm's baseball team and my four brothers playing on it.

Singing to Lois and Faye when Mom and Dad went to the dance to help them go to sleep.  Faye says she will always remember those special times.

Christmases with Grandma Brandfas and our families.

Lois putting a whole bottle of Alka-Seltzer in the toilet just to watch it fizz.

My mom allowing me to buy my first straight skirt rather than the gathered, full ones that the girls wore.

Getting a job at barely 17 in 1956 for the State of Washington and being able to buy really cute clothes and even having Minnesota Woolen Mills come to the house where I bought pleated skirts, sweaters, etc.  I even had plenty of money to buy things for mom and dad.

In 1957 having my first niece, Debby, and my first nephew, Randy.  I thought they were just about the greatest joys in the world and I would also buy them things.  It was fun!

Meeting and falling in love with Jim and our wedding day.  

Our train trip to Illinois in December 1956 for me to meet Jim's family.

When I was just over 6 months pregnant with Bryan and it was nearly Christmas.  Jim and I were in the old Miller Store in downtown Olympia.  I passed a mannequin with a red maternity top on.  I remarked how cute it was with little red covered buttons and special stitching.  I said something about it would be cute for the Christmas party.  I didn't think any more about it knowing our finances.  On Christmas Eve I was getting Sandy all prettied up and Jim walked in holding a box and with a twinkle in his eye said, "maybe you would like to wear this."  There was the red top I had so admired.

Jim's sister, Sharon, telling me that if she had another girl she was going to name her Eva.  Guess what, she had two boys.

Several family members were trying to jump a broom.  Jim said, "Oh, I can do that."  He went to jump the broom and the entire seam in the back of his slacks gave way.

It was league night at the bowling alley.  I went running out to make my shot and fell flat on the floor.  I had put my bowling shoes on the wrong feet.

I unknowingly cured Jim from drinking at Joe's housewarming party when the novice "drink-maker" that I am mixed him a very potent drink.  Seeing all the bottles with tiny amounts left I mixed them all together.  He liked the drinks and had several.  For days he was a gray color and had to wear sunglasses to face the light of day.

While Jim and I were on vacation in Illinois as young parents with Sandy and Bryan.  Jim and Joe (my brother) decided to go up town to a bar.  Both babies had serious diahhrea from the change in water and I was left stuck there changing diapers which was constant.  After many hours, when Joe and Jim returned from the bar, I let them both have it.  Someone in the family was saying, "boys will be boys" and I was having none of it.  I never forgot how proud I felt when my brother piped up and said, "no, she's right, and I hope someday I have a woman who loves me enough that it matters what I do."

Bryan and Jim had a rooster named "Bok-Bok".  When I got home from work one day they were in their bedroom.  I heard the sound of a rooster coming from their room.  I yelled and threatened until I finally lost my temper yelling, "get that damn rooster out of this house right now".  I grabbed the door handle and yanked the door open.  I  joined two little boys in laughter as they showed me the recorder.

When Sandy was learning to drive, her and Jim would both come back angry and upset.  I told Jim just be more relaxed with her.  So he decided to try it again and did exactly what I had told him.  Trouble was, she took him on quite a scary ride nearly circling a telephone pole and going through a field while he "relaxed" in the passenger seat.

Mom, Dad, Jim and I were eating after going to the dog races when Jim mistakenly picked up the syrup and mom the cream so Jim put syrup in his coffee and mom poured cream on her pancakes.  At least we all had a good laugh.

We had gone to Reno for a short vacation and Lois had gone with us.  It was late at night and I was busy shoving nickles in a machine when suddenly I felt someone bite my ankle.  Who could have done such a stupid thing?  You guessed it, my nervous sister!  She blames me and says it was because I would not give up and head back to the motel.

 The kids had a 35th anniversary roast for us.  During the roast, Virgil said he could not think of another couple who had as good a marriage as Eva and Jim and that they always seemed so happy.  That has always stuck with me.

After dad had his stroke he didn't talk very much.  One night we had gathered several members of the family together and Jim was playing the guitar.  We were all singing and when I began to sing a religious song called "Farther Along" to our amazement dad was singing along.  It was truly an emotional moment.

While on vacation in Illinois, Jim's family was having its annual picnic.  Everyone was sitting around talking and the subject came up as to how all the brothers and sisters had fared over the years.  Several were bragging on Jim saying how well he had done when Shirley, Jim's sister said, "just a minute now, I think Eva had plenty to with how well Jim has done."  I never forgot that.

I was very sick in the hospital and Sandy told me that Jim had a tear in his eye as he was talking to her about my condition.  He stayed with me and took better care of me than the staff did.

Our trips to Disneyland with the kids and trips with grandkids stand out as favorite vacations.  Also, our trip to Nashville (Opryland) and Memphis (Graceland) are favorites.

A few months ago Jim walked through the door with a small bag of groceries.  I went to unpack them and was surprised to see a bottle of Beano in the bag.  I said that I didn't have that on the list.  Jim said I decided I better get it to save my marriage. 

Way to many memories of Christmas, holidays, anniversaries, weddings, and special events to list.

Our kids giving us the most priceless gifts called grandchildren.


Memories of Our Kids

When first we learned that we were going to be parents we were actually scared.  Jim was out of work and the State of Washington would not allow me to work past 6 months of pregnancy.  But when that little baby girl arrived that was the farthest thing from our minds.  How easy it was to love her and take care of her.  We showed her off to anyone who had any interest and took her everywhere with us including the noisy bowling alley where we bowled in league.  It was the same way when our two sons came along.  It was so much fun to have a family and to take them places and see their excitement.

Money was super tight but Jim landed a job and we made it.  One thing about it, kids don't care about money that much.  They loved the simple things we did, like going to the river and camping.  

They all did well in school - with a few exceptions!  

Overall they have made good lives for themselves and all work for the State of Washington.  They have certainly been a source of pride and have given us our most prized possessions, our grandchildren.

My remembrances of the kids when they were young: 

Sandy - As a child she loved to plan and loved to teach.  I was babysitting a number of kids at the time and she would have a little class and how the kids loved it.  She would take orders for their lunch and help me fix it.  If our family had a special event she would put her heart and soul into making it all work out and be special.

Bryan - He was our most easy-going, laid-back child always aiming to please.  Of the three kids school was the easiest for him and he aced everything.  He was so good with his little brother always being his protector.  We lived close to a backstreet so it was good to have an extra little watchdog.  He also was the most sensitive and could easily be hurt.  He loved all his pets totally.

Jim was our most mischievous child - not mean, just tricky.  When we gave him a little swat, he would turn in circles, ducking and giggling.  Then he would tell Bryan, "it didn't hurt a bit," as he wailed in the background.  If we gave the kids money he would say, "I don't want it, Bryan can have it."  He was outgoing and always had a bunch of friends.

The kids, Jim and I were all excited when we actually bought our first home.  Jerry Sprague built it and at each stage the excitement grew.  We had always rented so being a homeowner was totally awesome and we still live in that home.

When Bryan and Jim were given the tennis awards from Coach Olson and he stated, "If I ever am lucky enough to have a son I hope he is just like the Enlow boys."

Sandy had started a preschool at the church.  We were extremely proud when several of the parents after learning who we were told us how much she had helped their children and how much they appreciated her.


Memories of Our Grandkids

Sandi was probably the most attached to us of all our grandkids.  When we went to Illinois on vacation she demanded, the way a 2-year old can, that we be right back here, right now.  Her mom said she was a very unhappy little girl.

Sandi - When she was little I accidentally gave her 2 spoons when she was having cereal.  She looked at me quizzically and said, "Gammy, I only have one mouf."

Sandi had imaginary friends named Water Faucety and Orange Juicity and they seemed very real to her. 

Sandi wrote a poem just for Jim and I in 1998 titled "Home to Grandma's."  It is really nice and we have it on our wall.  All the grandkids have given us so many treasured cards, notes that say "I love you" when they leave and many pictures they have drawn of us.

Mindy - One day a strange thing happened.  A peacock showed up at our house.  Three year old Mindy was totally enamored with it.  A couple of days later she came over and said, "Where is the Seahawk?"  I said, "what do you mean, the football player."  She looked at me like I had rocks in my head and said, "no the big, pretty bird."  I said, "oh, Grandpa took him back."  She definitely was not happy with her Grandpa.

Mindy - Jim and I were walking to Grandma and Grandpa Baker's house when we heard a little scared voice calling, "help."  Well, Mindy, had climbed much too high in a tree and when Grandpa got her down she looked at him as though he was truly her hero.

Mindy - A short while ago I had a bad case of the flu.  Mindy appeared at my door with a big bouquet of daffodils.  I warned her that perhaps she shouldn't come in because I did not want her to get sick.  She did anyway and the thought and the beautiful flowers sure brightened my day.

Michelle - She accepted and loved us immediately and unconditionally as her grandparents.  It was never an awkward situation and we feel the same way about her.

Michelle - When we took Michelle and Sandi with us to Illinois Michelle was very helpful with Sandi since Sandi had a habit of sleepwalking.  It was good to have someone else make sure she didn't sleepwalk away from any of the motel stops.

Michelle - Jim and I love the true enthusiam that Michelle and Jay have at Christmas.  They have so much fun opening their gifts.

Nicole - She always wore the cutest little hats because of ear infections as a little girl.

Nicole - She would start a song and if interrupted would answer the question and go right back to where she had left off with her made-up song.

Nicole was so cute when as a little girl she came to stay overnight with us.  She would come through the door smiling from ear to ear and carrying her little suitcase announcing, "I'm here Grammy and Grandpa."

Nicole - Volunteering to do this website when she knew it would entail a lot of work.  But between her and I we pulled it off with perseverance and love.   

Brenden - Several of the grandchildren were in our backyard pool one day.  Brenden was the littlest at a little over 2.  I briefly turned my head away from the pool and Brenden came up coughing and sputtering.  He was really mad at me because he said I let him drown.  Then he said, "I'm never, ever, ever coming back to your house, Grammy."  About 20 minutes later he was back.

Brenden had an imaginary friend named Pete.  Pete could do anything better than anybody and was tougher and meaner than anyone.

Brenden - One day Brenden and I decided to gather flower seeds.  I pulled a big, huge weed from the row of dead flowers.  All at once, I said, "What's that sound?"  After looking at each other we both said at the same time, "BEES" and took off running.  I think my head got ahead of my feet and when, in, fact, I wasn't going nearly as fast as I assumed.  I fell flat and face first in the soft dirt.  I knew Brenden wanted to burst into laughter seeing me covered from head to toe in dirt.  I said to him, "go ahead and laugh."

Bryan and Jeanne had invited Jim and I and Brenden to go along on their trip to Discovery Bay.  Brenden would be riding with us.  As he entered the car he held out a CD.  It was all the songs he had me list that I really liked.  We put it in the CD player and listened to it all the way to Discovery Bay.

Brenden - It was Brenden's final basketball game in high school.  His great-grandmother had made considerable effort to come to his game and even had given up her Friday night bingo game.  She was 90 years old at the time and has arthritis.  When it came time for him to be announced and run to center court he instead went straight to where his Great-Grandma was sitting and gave her a high-5 before going out on the floor.  It was an emotional moment for all of us along with those in the crowd who had witnessed it.

Jaedyn adored her cousin Brenden who was 5 1/2 when she was born.  When Jaedyn's mom was pregnant with Jessilyn, I asked her, "do you want your mommy to have a boy or a girl?"  As 3 year olds usually do she surprised me by saying, "I want her to have a Brenden!"

Jaedyn - One day I said to her, "well, where are you going to go to college?"  She said, "of course, Yelm College!"

Jaedyn - What fun it was to see Jaedyn putting on Elvis in her school play.  She was dressed in a white jumpsuit and really looked like Elvis.  This along with the gyrations made her the hit of the show.

Jessilyn - When she was little I was getting ready to do the wash.  She picked up Grandpa's undershorts which were damp from being covered by a wet washcloth.  She said, "Bamma, I think Bampa tinkled in these."

Jessilyn - Her mom had hit her finger and she said, "Oh, darn."  Jessilyn said, "don't say that bad word."  Janet said, "and what should mommy say."  Jessilyn told her, "say sh--, that's what Grandpa says."

Jessilyn - When she was 3 Grandpa was leaving to get the mail.  He started out the door.  Jessilyn said to me, "Why doesn't Grandpa have his hat on?"  I said, "Why does he need his hat on?"  She said, "So he will look like Grandpa!"

Jessilyn - One day Grandpa had fallen asleep in his recliner.  Jessilyn walked quietly behind him and slowly took her little finger around his bald spot.  She softly whispered for Jaedyn to come over.  She said to Jaedyn, "Bampa has a balded head."

Over the years we have attended countless dance recitals, plays, sports events, choir, award ceremonies, graduations and we wouldn't trade any of it, even the hard benches and bad weather that comes with outdoor sports.  

All the flowers that have been given to us for every single holiday are wonderful.  I keep them until there is no sign of life left in them.  All the kids have brought May Day flowers and Jaedyn and Jessilyn continue that tradition.  Michelle has brought Easter lilies the past 2 years.  

Our grandkids are very special to us and we thank God for them everyday - we have had a blessed life and are grateful for all we have been given.

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