Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Grandmother Harmston

I have been reflecting this month on how lucky I have been to know my grandparents so well in my life. I made a tribute to Nana, but it was after she had left us. I want my other two grandparents to know how special they are in my life too. I don't have all of my pictures out, but I do have some special memories to share.

My Grandma Harmston is almost 94 years old. She grew up on a farm in Utah, and entertained me growing up with several stories about her childhood. Grandma would type me letters and I looked forward to each of them because she would include a story. My favorite was about Shorty, a work horse that they had who would not cooperate with her. Even though that may have been a difficult thing in her life, I always got a lot out of her stories.

Grandma is amazing to me because she accomplished many things that women did not do in her day. First of all, she served a mission for the Church. She was called to the Eastern states mission. This was in the 1930's. She was there for the beginning of the Palmyra pageant.

After her mission she went to college and earned a degree. That was amazing to me also, because not many women went to college in the 30's let a lone finished their degrees. She met my grandfather there. He told me once that he had heard that she was a wonderful cook, and that she was smart and beautiful so he felt compelled to meet her! It was love after that!

They were married, and Grandpa was called to go to war. Grandma stayed at home to work, and care for their first child Linda. She taught school. When the war was over Grandpa continued his education. Grandma cheerfully followed him with their family wherever he needed to be. They ended up in Missouri with their 4 children. My Grandfather finished his PHD there, and became a professor in Economics. They were married for 64 years!

I have wonderful memories of going to their home, playing in the woods behind their home (which to me felt like the never ending forest) My Grandfather had a Library, with lots of book shelves. We were sure that there were secret passage ways if we could just find the right book to pull out, we knew the book shelf would open. We never did find the right book.

Grandpa was told right about Grandma's cooking, it is wonderful! We always looked forward to her meals. We would awaken to wonderful aromas and race down stairs to see what there was for us! She always was making cookies, and had plenty of ice cream on hand! A kids paradise!

I fondly remember playing Uno around the dining room table, and Ping Pong in the basement. They have 2 fireplaces, and we had so much fun getting cozy in front of them. They had a large area rug in the living room. There was a border that we loved to run around. Grandpa would sing Indian chants and try and grab us. Grandma said that is one of her favorite memories.

We also had single beds in a room with our pictures over our beds. Even though other grand kids slept in those beds, we really felt they were ours. (My sister Holly & I). In this picture of the beds, Spencer & Logan are sleeping in them. Since Grandpa passed away, Madison has had the pleasure of being Grandma's room mate at the beach, and sleeping with her in her bed at her home. What a treat!

Grandma & grandpa traveled a lot and they always had neat souvenirs for us to see and pictures to view. I think my love for picture taking stems from that. I loved seeing where they had been, and could feel as if I had been too! In this picture Grandma came out to the New Jersey shore for Thanksgiving with our family & my Aunt Linda & her family.

I could write forever about my happy memories of my beloved Grandmother. There are too many memories too count. I will say that she is very good at spoiling Grand children. Every time I bring my kids to Columbia, she takes them to the Merry Go Round. I think she enjoys it just as much as the kids do. I enjoy every visit that I get with her. She always makes me feel special and loved, and my kids feel that way too. I love you Grandma! Thank you for the example you have been, and the love that you freely give.

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Job

I am going to make a post without any pictures this time! I am using this blog as a great way to share family news and our feelings. Trent is finishing his last day as a contractor with the DIA. He has been there for 5 years. It has had its ups and downs, but the last 2 years have been more downs than ups. He is still going to work for the DIA, but now as a government employee. We are so grateful for this job change. Trent has really sacrificed for our family to provide for us, and I love him so much for doing it with very little complaint. He is a very good man. He starts his new job on Monday. We are very excited! There are already so many wonderful benifits to him taking this new position. We are thankful to the Lord for hearing and answering our prayers. We know that this can open up the possibility of us moving closer to home someday. We feel so very blessed. Thank you to all of our family and friends who have been praying for us. We feel your prayers, and we love you for thinking of us! Happy Day!! :+)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spencer's Baptism

There is no better feeling in the world than coming together as a family to support someone you love in following our Savior. You look forward to them taking this step for years, and then when you finally witness it, there are no words to describe the ultimate Joy that is felt! Seeing them heading in the right direction is the most rewarding thing there is as a parent! I can hardly imagine how great it is going to feel to see him receive the priesthood, go on a mission and ultimately get married in the temple! I am so excited just thinking about it! I am so thankful for the happiness that the gospel brings to us and the closeness that we have as a family because of it! I am so thankful to My Mom, Trent's Dad and my sister in laws Chrystl and Trisha for sharing this wonderful experience with us.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Tribute to my Nana

My Nana, Jennie LaBrue, passed away February 19th, 2009, just 3 days shy of her 85th birthday. I was born the day after her birthday and named after her (Jennice is my middle name.
She loved music, and could play multiple instruments. She won music competitions. She was a music teacher, and in later years, her and my Papa were in several bands together. Actually they played together until this past summer. When Nana and Papa moved to a retirement community she donated her organ to the common room so that she could still play.

She Married Verle LaBrue in May 1945. He was a soldier, so she joined the USO to be close to him. She was always so daring, and not afraid to try new things.

They opened a jewelry store together. Nana had a wonderful financial mind. My Papa was a jeweler and a watch repairman. We loved coming to their store and dressing up as princesses! The store was robbed on a few occasions, and one time, Nana chased the burglar into an alley and sat on him until the police came. He had swallowed some of the rings, and she made his stomach get pumped!

The bought an RV to start taking the grandkids (there were 6 of us) on vacations every summer. Not to mention all of the fun we had sleeping in it at their house! We went to Disney World, the Kentucky Derby, Nashville, and many other places. That is still what us kids like to talk about!

They were parents to my mom Verla, and Jerry. They lived in Columbia Mo almost their whole
married life. A great place to raise a family! ( I was born there too)

Family photo in later years.

In 2005 we all gathered together to celebrate their 60th anniversary! It was a very hot summer day and I was pregnant, but it was so worth the trip to be there with them.

Aren't they cute!! This is almost 64 years together.

Nana loved music, and her and papa were rarely apart. Here they are playing at one of their many concerts together.

Here Nana is with Madison. When Trent joined the Army I went and stayed with them several weeks. Almost every night she sang to Madison and rocked her to sleep.

They are so in love! They are always taking care of each other.

Here is 4 generations together.

Nana & Aiden. We were with them for his 1st birthday.

With family at a get together.

Here is me & my Nana. My grandmother, and my friend.

These are stoclings that she made for everyone in the family- her entire family! Logan's got ruined in my shed, so this Christmas she made him a new one eventhough she was beginning to get arthritis in her hands.
Last summer she decided that she wanted to divide up all of her worldy possessions and see people get them. All of the family heirlooms that were passed on, she included a letter telling their story. This is a bowl that her father had given his mother (so my great great grandmother.) That was just one of the treasures I recieved.

Nana & Taryn

This is the last picture we have with her, and with thier house. They lived there 43 years.

This is a clock I made for Nana & Papa with our family pictures on it. It was one of the few things they brought with them to their new apartment.

These are flowers that we made them that the kids were happy to see at their apartment.

Nana's organ, now in the community room.

This was a tribute the other people in her apartment building put up for her.

I was able to make a picture tribute to her to display at ther funeral. She left me all of her pictures. I will now have fun getting them into albums.

Me & my Papa.

Nana wanted to be put in a mosyleum. Here the kids are putting flowers in front of it.

My brother Brenden having a moment. He is 16 years younger than me, and he spent a lot of summers alone with Nana & Papa. They took him around with him to play in their band. He also was spoiled of course!

Nana loved purple and she wanted all of the grand kids to have a balloon to release in the sky.

Good bye Nana. We will love and miss you, but are thankful that you are at peace with Heavenly Father. We are so thankful to be a Forever Family, and we will look forward to being with her again. She did so much for me, for all of us, and really anyone that she met. She was the most charitable person that I have ever known. I will try to follow her example. Thank you for all you have done, I love you.