Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shall I publish your age, Leslie?

Today is Leslie's birthday. If I publish her age I will not only be telling on her, BUT I will be telling on me. Do I care if people know that I am 54? Hmmm.....

Well then.

25 years ago Leslie Inez was born in Slidell, Louisiana. She is daughter # 4. We had a fun time that evening before she was born. We went to a softball game where Robert was playing. I sat in a lawnchair wondering if I was truly in labor or just getting ready. No regular contractions had set in. We made it through the whole game.
After the game we drove to the Bishop's Storehouse. Joe and Carolyn Clark were the Storehouse Managers and they actually ended up at the hospital at one point. The suggestion was to play cards. That didn't really sound fun at the time. I just wanted to be with Robert and have the baby born.
I don't remember who took care of the other kids. Wow. It pays to write things down, huh?
My labor never did become regular so I ended up having a pitocin drip. I guess it helped. After a while they gave me first epidural. I hadn't had pain killers for deliver before except for 5 minutes before Jared was born. (Saddle block)
This is terrible, but I don't remember what time of day she was born. I will have to see if I can look that one up. But I do remember that she was 7 lbs 14 oz., the exact same weight as Sara. And she had a perfect little round head like all my babies.
Robert and I had discussed what to name the new baby. BTW we didn't know if it was a boy or a girl. Ultrasounds were not regularly performed anciently, only if there was a problem. I don't remember what the boy name was but I clearly remember how we came up with the girl name.
Leslie Corday was a news anchor on a station in New Orleans. I heard her name and really liked it. Within minutes of Leslie being born while she lay in my arms and we checked her out, (Yep! 10 fingers and toes. 9 on the apgar. Dark hair. Perfect.) I asked her if she liked the name Leslie and it almost seemed as if she lit up and jumped at the name. So I said, "Leslie it is!" Then we chose Inez for Robert's mother, Inez Lorraine.
When we brought Leslie home, Amanda wanted to take over. most of the time that was great. Once I heard the front door open and when I walked into the room, Amanda had Leslie in the stroller and was getting ready to take her outside. I suggested we wait for a while. Leslie was 2 weeks old.
Leslie didn't sleep through the night or even want to go to bed until she was almost a year old. We used to put her in the crib together, proclaiming our intentions to head off to bed too. We would turn off all the lights and sit in our bedroom quietly for about 10 minutes. Why we didn't just go to bed too is beyond me. I know we needed the sleep. After she grew up, Leslie was the typical teen who only wanted to sleep.
Leslie was grumpy when she got up in the mornings. We used to be as quiet as possible for a while. That isn't necessarily easy with 4 other children, but our children weren't all that loud anyway. Les didn't like normal breakfast foods either, so every morning once she was eating regular food she had a baked potato.
As she got older Leslie would often come to me and ask to sit on my lap. She would say, "Hold me."
Now Leslie is a mother herself of 2 beautiful little girls.
Happy Birthday, Leslie! I hope you have a great day.

See? Amanda has her baby girl.

Daddy-Daughter Party

At Amanda's Graduation Party

This is me with Leslie's daughters.


Just go here. I have not figured out how to add to my blog yet. BUT I WILL!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


On Beth's blog she wrote about something called Wordle. I want to try it but I don't know if it just takes your last post, your whole blog, or a new blog. I am going to try it and hope that it doesn't screw up all my hard work.

If it takes the last blog (this one) then I want it to use certain words. I understand that the words used the most are bigger or bolder, etc.
Here are my words:
Robert Janice Ottley Poppa Grammie Love Jared Amanda Sara Beth Leslie Spencer Love Adrienne Taylor Andrew Cameron Olivia Sawyer Parker Love Dan Jayme Jessica Kyle Love Ryan Kimberly Jeremy Love Brian Alexa Ayla Love Husbands Wives Children Grandchildren Happy Joy Love Gospel Love Nikki Love Reading Love Sewing Love Sunshine Love Music Love Singing Love

Wish me luck. If it works I might try other word groups at other times. It looks like fun.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cam Bam Funny Man Has A Birthday

Cameron turns 5 today. He is one of our funny men and he loves math. One time I was babysitting him and his sibs and we sat down and I wrote math problems on a piece of paper. He finished those and we did more. We did about 6 pages of math problems. If you give him a math problem to do in his head he will either get it or be pretty close which tells me that he understands the concept.
He likes jokes and he usually has a sort of mischievous look on his face with dancing eyes. He dresses up in ridiculous costumes and I dare not post the latest picture of that. He wouldn't live it down.
He is our first brown eyed grandchild.
He keeps up with his big brothers just fine, thank you very much.
Cam is Mr. Skinny. His pants always fall down. I usually think at the time that he needs to have suspenders because even a belt doesn't work all that well.
And Cam is a lover. He is cuddly for a boy of 5 years but first you have to get him away from the Wii, computer, or Gameboy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Andrew's Birthday

Today is our Andrew's birthday. He is 6 years old.
As you can see from this picture Andrew was born a little early and under trying circumstances. Poor little boy. Poor tired family. It put them through the wringer. Of course we were living in Colorado and were only of marginal help. I was able to go down for a week. To show you how confused my thinking gets I can't remember if we went down twice? Someone remind me. I know we were there while he was still in Slidell in the hospital. Then I know he went to Children's Hospital in New Orleans and then he came home. I don't remember if I was there for the week to help while he was in Slidell? Or were both of those times the same. Whew. I better do more crossword puzzles.
We also went down for his Blessing. But I do remember going down and there was a hurricane coming. Iris, I think?
(One side note story: When Adrienne and I went with the children to John Slidell Park to fill sandbags we left the boys in the car. Wouldn't you know it that Taylor locked Andrew, a preemie needing special attention in the car. Taylor thought it was great to have the police come to open the door. Of course, Adrienne and I did not.)
Jared went on a business trip. Robert came at the end of the week but he was not there either WHEN ADRIENNE AND I HAD TO SANDBAG!!!! I had never filled or used sandbags the whole 21 years we lived in Louisiana so this was a new experience. It's a good thing we had them too.
Anyway, Andrew is growing up. He is very bright and uses big words in a combination that most adults don't. Beth said that one time he also brought her a blanket to put over her legs to make her more comfortable. He is very intense too and we found out that he has a form of autism. Asperger's Syndrome.

"Asperger syndrome (AS), one of the autistic spectrum disorders, is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by an inability to understand how to interact socially. AS is commonly recognized after the age of 3. People with high-functioning autism are generally distinguished from those with AS because autism is associated with marked early language delay. Other characteristics of AS include clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements, limited interests or unusual preoccupations, repetitive routines or rituals, speech and language peculiarities, and non-verbal communication problems. Generally, children with AS have few facial expressions. Many have excellent rote memory, and become intensely interested in one or two subjects (sometimes to the exclusion of other topics). They may talk at length about a favorite subject or repeat a word or phrase many times. Children with AS tend to be self-absorbed, have difficulty making friends, and are preoccupied with their own interests."

Andrew's parents suspected for a while that he had autism. After he was diagnosed they got to work on getting him the attention needed. So he has an occupational therapist, I believe and an aid at school.
He is a cute little boy and we love him alot. We watch with vivid interest the progress he makes and want to learn what we can do to help him and his parents and siblings as well.

Andrew and Poppa at the Denver Temple Visitor Annex.

Happy Birthday Andrew! I tried to call you tonight but the phone was acting weird. I hope you had a fantastic day and that your present arrived! We love you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Alexander Pushkin

A Moment to Remember

A magic moment I remember:
I raised my eyes and you were there.
A fleeting vision, the quintessence
Of all that's beautiful and rare....

This poem continues and speaks of other things, but I felt it properly described my beautiful granddaughters. Don't you agree?
My previous post was about MY Grandmother as a granddaughter. Now we get my perspective from the other side of the coin with me as the grandmother!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Grandmother Reel

Anna and Alice Valin

Royce and Anna Reel 9 February 1930 (They were married 4 days before>)

Anna on her Baptism Day 1942

The Reel Family 1945

The Reel Family 1947

I have been thinking a lot about my grandmother, Annabelle Valin Reel lately. She's 96 1/2 years old. We live a long way away from each other. I may not see her again in this life. My memories of playing at her home and visiting with her are precious to me.
I used to write to her all the time after we moved away from Indiana. I wrote for many years. The letters which I kept from her are great to re-read now. With the birth of my children, the advent of emails which she doesn't have, and starting to work outside the home I dropped off in my correspondence. I don't write much to anyone anymore. But I have begun to write to her again. She can't write back now. Although she did send me a birthday card this year. She signed it herself, but her once beautiful handwriting is gone.
My mom told me Grandmother is blind in one eye and cannot see very well out of the other. But I can picture her sitting in her chair while some one reads my letters to her. One thing she likes to do is to re-read letters which she receives.
She still lives in her home and a couple of my aunts take care of her.
I have been thinking about her life. I have been thinking about the experiences which we share as women, wives, mothers, and grandmothers.
The connection which we share has not been broken with the passing of time, distance, and will not be broken after she is gone from this earth.

Grandmother and I

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Grand Canyon

Over the 4th of July weekend we went to the Grand Canyon for our 2008 Family Reunion. Each of the children is assigned to take a turn and host. This is a new plan. It will be held every-other-year. Because Jared is first born, he and Adrienne took on 2008. They did a great job.

It's beautiful at the Grand Canyon. Almost so beautiful that it looks unreal. We took in the IMAX movie and it actually made me teary-eyed as I contemplated the wonderful world we live in.
We camped at the Ten-X campground close to the park in a group area with new facilities all to ourselves. There was some rain which dropped the temperatures and so we were very comfortable.

How could we not have a marvelous time visiting one of the 7 Wonders of the World with our family?

YES! We flew in a helicopter over the canyon! Janice & Spencer



Jared & Adrienne & Children

Sara & Dan & Children

Beth & Jeremy

Kim had a "firecracker" hair style in honor of the 4th!

California Condor (Reintroduced to the park)

The Watchtower

Junior Rangers! The grandkids who were old enough completed their assignments so they could get their Junior Ranger Badges. You can see the badges pinned to their shirts. Here they are with Ranger Brian. He did a thorough job quizzing them and looking through their books. This is serious business, folks!