Christmas Box Angel Ceremony - Remembering Our Children Who Died

April and Caleb
Our precious Caleb lived for seven years.
He was a sacred gift to our family.
My daughter April spoke at a special ceremony at the Spanish Fork Cemetery tonight. A Christmas Box Angel Statue was placed in the Spanish Fork Cemetery on July 18, 1999. Since that time, a ceremony has been held every year on Dec. 6 for members of the community who have lost a child. The ceremony usually consists of a musical number and a story or speaker, then each attendee receives a candle and a white carnation. The candles are lit and then the flowers are placed at the base of the statue.

Movie Stars In The Family

My daughter Arianne and her husband Jared 
were featured in a documentary 
on the "Hole in the Rock" pioneers
that aired for the first time last night.
I saw it and it was great. 
If you are interested 
it will be rebroadcast on KBYU channel 11 
on Sat. Dec. 10th at 4:30.


Happy Birthday Matthew

Dear Matthew,
I'm giving you a soft warm blanket today.  
When you wrap this blanket around you I hope you will think about how much your grandma and the Savior loves you.
Though I love you a whole bunch, He loves you more. He is your comforter, Redeemer, Advocate, Counselor and friend. 
You will never be alone and comfortless with the Savior as your covering. 


Grandma Baadsgaard
Happy birthday 15th Matthew. I love you.

You are my covering
When I am weary
My cloak
When the night is cold
You are my comforter
When I weep
My champion
When I fear
You are my mantle
When I doubt
My protector
When at war
You are my physician
When in pain
My compass
When I am lost
You are my Savior
Redeemer and friend


Happy Birthday Sophia

Raggedy Ann’s Secret

By Grandma Baadsgaard
Happy Birthday precious Sophie. I think you already know the secret.

Once there was a Raggedy Ann doll who just wanted to be loved. She was so desperate for love that she searched and searched and searched for someone to love her. But everyone she found was too busy thinking about their own problems and looking for someone to love them.
Raggedy Ann was discouraged. Everybody around her was downhearted.
How can I find someone to love me if everybody is looking for someone to love them? This is not working. I think I need to learn more about love.
Raggedy Ann decided to go on a learning journey and find the people who knew the secret of love. First she found a newborn baby. But the baby was crying. Raggedy Ann picked up the baby and said soft words while she hugged the baby. The baby stopped crying and smiled.
Raggedy Ann took out her notebook and wrote, “Love says soft words and hugs a lot.”
Next Raggedy Ann found a toddler but the child was too busy learning how to walk. The toddler kept falling down until it stayed down and whimpered.
Raggedy Ann picked up the toddler and said, “That’s Okay. Everybody falls down sometimes. Just get back up and try again.”
The toddler stopped whimpering and tried again.
Raggedy Ann took out her notebook and wrote, “Love picks people up and encourages them to try again.”
Next Raggedy Ann found a school age child who was sitting alone at lunch time looking awfully lonely. She walked up and sat next to the child.
“Can I sit by you?” Raggedy Ann asked.
“Why sure,” the lonely child said. “Sit right here. You want some of my desert?” she answered with a smile.
“Sure,” Raggedy Ann answered.
Raggedy Ann took out her notebook and wrote, “Love looks for someone who is lonely and makes a friend. Love shares treats and smiles.”
Next Raggedy Ann found a young mother with many children but she was too busy trying to clean and fix supper. She looked tired.
Raggedy Ann walked up to the mother and said, “Can I watch your children while you take a nap?”
“Oh, thank you,” the mother said. “I am so tired.”
Raggedy Ann took out her notebook and wrote, “Love helps people when they are tired.”
Next Raggedy Ann found an old man who looked sad.
“What can you teach me about love,” Raggedy Ann asked the old man.
“If you are kind, you have lots of friends. If you are mean you have lots of enemies.”
Raggedy Ann took out her notebook and wrote, “Love is kind.”
That’s when Raggedy Ann knew the secret  . . .  She took out her notebook and wrote, “Love is a choice to be kind, pick people up, say soft words and hug a lot.”
“I can do that,” Raggedy Ann said.
Then Raggedy Ann grew up and had many children of her own. She made lots of friends. She loved her friends and family with all her heart. Some of her friends and family loved her back and some were too busy with their own problems. She didn’t let that stop her. For now she knew the secret of love.
“I can’t control how many people love me, but I can control how many people I love,” Raggedy Ann said. 


Poem for a Fourteen-Year-Old

Grandma Baadsgaard
Happy birthday to my amazing grandson Brad. I sure love you.

                                              Today’s the day I turn fourteen.
Afraid I’m losing my summer tan.
This is my time when I’m stuck between
Being a boy and being a man.

Everyone expects so much of me
Just wish that they could see
I’m trying and trying and trying some more
To be the best person I can be.

So don’t say, “My you’re a long green bean.”
Say, “Why Brad, you are so tall and lean.
You are the most awesome eighth grader
This old world has ever seen.”

Sometimes my voice just has to crack
Right at the world’s worst time -
Like when I’m standing near to her
In a very long lunch line.

I always hope its pizza pie
My favorite lunch in junior high.
And even if she doesn’t sit by me
I breathe a sigh when she walks by.

My pants keep getting way too short
And piles of homework is a bore.
But if I win a game after school
I feel like I can soar.

Fourteen is when you start sprouting hair
In all the places where you used to be bare.
But there’s one thing I know for sure
Some days are hard and some days are fair.

Parents say, “Hurry up, don’t be late,
Teachers say, “Your paper is due on this date.”
There are school dances, Scouts and lots more tests -
Homework, housework and no time to rest.

I want to sleep in when it’s time to get up.
I want to stay up when it’s time for bed.
Mostly I’d rather be riding my skate board instead
And Mom says it’s hard to keep me fed.

But even with all the teen times I have
There’s always mom, sister, brothers and dad
A forever family we’ll always be
So I don’t have to spend even one day sad.

Pretty soon I’ll be done with school
And lots and lots and lots of rules.
But I’ll always need a great big hug
And a large, loving family around to love.


Poem For A Three-Year-Old

Bad Guys Under The Bed
Grandma Baadsgaard
Happy Birthday to my little super hero . . . Daniel. I love you buddy.

There are bad guys hiding under Daniel’s bed
And when it time to go to sleep
Daniel can’t remember what Mommy said
So he grabs his sword and shield
And his super hero shirt that’s red
He leaves a trail for the bad guys to follow
With little pieces of broken bread
Then Daniel growls and hisses and pokes
And fills the bad guys with dread
Next he leaps to the light switch on the wall
Even though his feet feel like lead
For bad guys vanish with the light
Their nastiness no longer well fed
He turns on the switch with all his might
For then all the bad guys are dead.


Piano Keys Music Studio with Ashley Baadsgaard Worthen

My daughter Ashley has a wonderful music studio
called "Piano Keys Music Studio" where she teaches piano and voice lessons. 

She also offers an honors program for highly motivated students.
In addition she provides music for special events.

"From private lessons to competitive programs, from recitals to music for special events, Piano Keys will find the way to bring the love of music into your life."

Check out the link above to see her beautiful new web site.


Happy Birthday Griffin

Griffin Likes To Smash It
By Grandma Baadsgaard
I love you Griffin. You make me smile.

Griffin likes to smash it
When his brother builds a tower
When he mother says, “Stop that!”
Griffin’s face turns sour

Griffin likes to throw it
When he sees a round red ball
When his big brother takes it
He breaks down and bawls

Griffin likes to take it
When he sees his Granny’s hand
Then they go for rides
All over Disneyland

Griffin likes to hug it
When he sits on Mommy’s knee
He puts his arms around her neck
And squeezes till he’s free

Griffin likes to eat it
When he sees candy anywhere.
And when it is time for baths
He runs around in the bare.

Griffin likes to blow it
When his straw is in his drink.
Then he likes to dump it
Right in the kitchen sink.

Griffin likes to push it
When with someone half his size.
But when they start to cry
He can’t figure out why.

Griffin has been two a while
But now he’s turning three
He is an angel . . . when asleep
As quiet as can be.

Happy Birthday Daniel

By Grandma Baadsgaard
Happy birthday my sweet Daniel

Sometimes when you’re four
Life can be a bore
So you stand on your head
Before you make your bed
Then it’s time to jump
With elbows for a pump
Cause you don’t like to wait
For any important date
No more frowning faces
For you are going places
You don’t like to walk
When exploring your home block
You just have to run
To soak in all the fun
If a plane appears in the sky
You have to stop and yell, “Hi!”
If you see a truck
You know you are in luck
When you feel the beat
You stomp your foot and leap
When you see the cat
You throw treats at her mat
You eat chips and rice
And cheese just like a mouse
If you have a boo-boo
Only Dan can kiss you
But when it’s time for sleep
Mom will take a peek
And kiss your little head
Before you get out of bed
And explore for one more day
Of four-year-old fun and play.


Grandma Baadsgaard
Happy Birthday to my very astute six-year-old grandson Rylan. I love you so much.

Rylan is a detective supreme. He solves mystifying mysteries both big and small. First he locates his magnifying glass and then he finds his notebook and pencil. Next he walks about the house looking for mysteries to solve.
“Any puzzles you need solved today?” Rylan asked his mom.
“What I’d really like to know is why so many socks come out of the dryer without a mate,” his mother answered shaking her head.
“Do you always put socks in the wash in pairs?”
“I think so.”
“Well maybe,” Rylan said rubbing his chin, “you should pin the pair of socks together with a safety pin before you throw them in the wash.”
            "Why that is a lovely idea,” his mother said. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
            “Any puzzles you need solved today?” Rylan asked his dad.
“What I’d really like to know is where the television remote is hiding,” his father said shaking his head while he turned the couch cushions upside down.
“Well maybe,” Rylan said rubbing his chin. “You should Velcro your phone to the remote. Then when it gets lost you could use mom’s phone to call your phone and you will hear it ringing and find the remote straight away.”
“What a stupendous idea,” his father answered. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Then Rylan thought about his grandpa who lived far away.
I wish I could talk to grandpa and see his face. I know how I’ll solve that puzzle.
Rylan borrowed his mother’s phone and face timed his grandpa.
“I was missing you today,” Rylan said when his grandpa answered.
“I was missing you today too,” Grandpa answered.
“Do you have any puzzles for me to solve?” Rylan asked.
“What I’d really like to know is why I keep growing older,” his grandpa asked.
“That’s easy,” Rylan said smiling. “Old stuff is called antique and antiques are worth a lot of money. So you’re not just growing older; you're growing more valuable.”
          "I never thought about that way," Grandpa said. "Thank you Rylan."
Next Rylan talked to his grandma.
“Any puzzles you need me to solve today?” Rylan asked his grandma.
“Why do I feel all warm and happy inside whenever I see your face?” Rylan’s grandma asked.
“That’s easy,” Rylan answered. “That's because you love me Grandma.”
Only a detective boy as smart as you knows that,” his grandma said. “A little more love would sure solve most of the puzzlements in this world.”
When Rylan went to bed that night he placed his magnifying glass on the night stand right next to his notebook and pencil. Then he thought about his brother Griffen and his baby sister Alice. Then he thought about and his mom and dad.
Why do I suddenly feel so warm and happy inside when I think about my family? Good thing I'm Rylan the detective because I know the answer to that mystery.


Children Are Diamonds

This post is dedicated to the woman who taught me that children are diamonds . . . Florence Cope. She is my friend and I learned a lot from her. She was buried yesterday . . .
One day I was waiting in line for my child’s evaluation with his new kindergarten teacher. A stylish young mother and her son sat in the chairs next to us because the teacher was running behind. I was obviously eight months pregnant and hovering on the huge side of big.
This young mother stared at my belly and asked, “Why do you want to do that again?” Her question caught me off guard. I blushed. “This is it for me,” she added. “Boy am I ever ready to get this last one in school. Now it’s my turn for me.” She was wearing beautifully tailored clothes, her hair was elegantly styled and her long fake fingernails were polished pink with jeweled flowers on the tips. “Just bought that,” she finished pointing to a shiny red sports car in the parking lot. “Nice huh.”
I looked down at my protruding mid-section and asked myself . . . Why am I doing this again? My worn maternity clothes were stained orange across the belly with my preschooler’s spaghetti from lunch. I still had dirt under my fingernails from playing in the sandbox. My wind-blown hair was stuck to several sticky kisses on my cheeks. The old van I drove was covered with mud and still smelled like hot dog and marshmallow smoke from our last family camp out. Yet, I knew exactly why I was doing this again.
I cleared my throat several times, turned to this woman and asked, “What if a highly important person brought you to the opening of a diamond mine and said you could go inside and gather as many diamonds as you wanted? But, there was one condition. You only had a certain amount of time before your opportunity was over and then you couldn’t gather any more diamonds. Would you do it?”
“Sure, who wouldn’t,” the stylish young mother answered.
“What if some of the diamonds were hidden in the rocks and you had to work really hard to find them and keep them?”
“I’d be willing to do whatever it took to get those diamonds because then I’d be rich,” the young mother answered. “Even one diamond is worth a fortune.”
“That’s why I’m doing this again,” I answered patting my abdomen.
I’m not sure that woman understood what I was trying to say. But I noticed that my little boy, who was seated next to me, took my hand and quite literally beamed. Children always know when they’re somebody’s treasure.
Wiping runny noses, changing messy diapers, fixing endless meals, sorting dirty laundry, soothing crying infants, waiting up for teenagers, supervising homework, cleaning up after the stomach flu, washing dishes, bringing in a paycheck and picking up after another toddler tornado doesn’t seem like important work. It is. Loving and serving children of all ages is the only work that really matters. The value of each person’s soul is priceless.
So, the next time you’re in the middle of cleaning up yet another mess, repeat these words . . . Children are my diamonds. I’ll do whatever it takes to nurture their souls because then I’ll be rich with love forever.
Florence Cope
The last thing she said to me on her death bed was,
"I have learned that people are basically good . . .
and even when they're not, they are still trying."
Florence Cope's children at the cemetery.


New Horizons Orchestra A Fun Place To Learn

When I was in my fifties I learned about an orchestra in Utah County sponsored by BYU where they let you start as a beginner. I'm so happy to be part of this group. We meet twice a week and play beautiful music together. There is a moment during every rehearsal when I am transported to a place of peace and joy. That feeling stays with me all week. I feel so grateful for this opportunity.

Here is a fun link to an article about the New Horizons Orchestra I play in.