Happy Birthday Emily!

Emily and Rudy


Grandma Baadsgaard

(This is a special story for my granddaughter Emily on her ninth birthday.)

Emily has a cat named Rudy. Or perhaps one ought to say . . . the mighty Rudy has a girl named Emily.

“Mom,” Emily sighed one night as her mother tucked her in bed, “Rudy thinks he is a wild tiger. When I try to pet him, he scratches me. I wish Rudy was a nice kitty.”

“Pets are like people,” her mom answered. They come in all varieties. But every single one has something loveable about them. You just have to keep paying attention and pretty soon you’ll know what that is.

So Emily carefully watched Rudy every day after that.

The next day when Emily said, “Come here!” Rudy pounced out of sight. He was more interested in a cricket in their back yard.

When Emily rode her bike with her friend Maysie, Rudy darted under her bare feet and made her fall off her bike.

When Emily played on the trampoline with Taylor and Dillon, Rudy meowed and meowed until she picked him up. But when Emily tried to jump, Rudy panicked, scratched her cheek and flew off the trampoline.

When she practiced her piano, Rudy rubbed his body fur back and forth on the sliding glass door and looked so lonely Emily just had to let him inside. Then Rudy scratched the couch with his long claws so Emily tried to catch him and put him out again. But Rudy ran into the laundry room, jumped in a basket of nicely folded clean clothes and left a pile of matted cat hair and muddy paw prints all over everything.

Emily started wondering if she would ever find something loveable about Rudy. Then one day, quite unexpectedly, it happened. Emily was outside on her swing set crying. Her grandma had given her a sparkly lady bug pin for her birthday but her younger sisters found it when she was at school and lost it.

Emily was dangling her feet on the swing and rubbing her red eyes when she spied Rudy in the tall grass. He pounced on a grasshopper. Then all of a sudden he leaped straight in the air, did a back flip and plopped up-side-down on the ground.

Emily laughed so hard she forgot why she was sad.

“Oh Rudy,” Emily said with a smile.

“I think I know one thing that is loveable about Rudy,” Emily said as her mother tucked her in bed that night. “He makes me laugh.”

Caleb is improving

Caleb is making steady improvements at the hospital.
 Thank you so much for all your prayers in his behalf.

Caleb's Get Well Poster at the hospital.
My daugher April kissing her son Caleb
Caleb working very hard to get better.


Caleb is in the hospital

My grandson Caleb is in the PICU at the Primary's Children's Hospital in SLC. 

Please send along your prayers.  He is a very sick little boy.


The Joys of Marriage and Family

My husband spoke at a Seminary Graduation this past Sunday.  He talked about the stress that comes with graduation and the sudden realization that you have to start making adult decisions for yourself. He told the students that there were many people who loved them and were praying for them. He told them that there were others praying for them that they couldn't see right now. Then he related an experience in his own life when he was their age.

My husband Ross was the janitor at the stake center when he graduated from high school. One of his assignments was to dust the pipes to the large organ. Most of the pipes were behind the ones you see in the chapel in a small private room. He told them that up to this point his decisions about what college to attend, an upcoming mission and what career to choose were foremost on his mind. But when he was alone in the pipe room, the words to his Patriarchal blessing came to his mind . . . they were, "Your greatest assignment in life will be that of raising a family. Through the teachings that you give to your children and seeing them grow into man and womanhood, believing in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, patterning their life in a way that they can do much good here, you will receive your greatest joy."

Right at that moment he fell to his knees and plead with his Father in Heaven to help him be a good father and husband.

Then he said, "Now a good wife and ten wonderful children later, I realize that there were ten people in heaven praying for me to make good decisions. Their pleading and my pleading with God opened the window to the greatest blessings in my life."

Both my husband and I know that our children prayed for us before they were born. Those prayers sustained us through those difficult adolescent years.  Now as we see our growing posterity we are filled with so much joy. We receive our greatest happiness by being sweethearts and our opportunity to be parents to our wonderful children and grandchildren.


Sharing A Tender Post By My Daughter April

My daughter April with her son Caleb
Tonight my nine-year-old son Matthew curled up on my lap and asked, "Mom, do you ever wish Caleb had a regular body?"

I answered, "Well, I think Caleb and his little body just go together- his body is a special part of his mission."

Matthew replied, "I know, but don't you ever wish he could be normal?"

I could see that he was tearing up and responded, "I bet you'd love to run around and play with Caleb like your other brothers."

"No, it's not really that." Matthew explained.

Then I knew.

"Matthew," I said, "Do you want to know what is the hardest part about Caleb's special body is for me? I worry that someday I'll have to say goodbye. I worry he might die."

Matthew broke down.

"Me too." He continued, "I just don't understand why Heavenly Father would give you some years of such great happiness, but then you might have even more years of sadness.... I just can't ever picture how it would be without Caleb...."

We both cried. I explained how thankful we are that we've had Caleb longer than any doctors ever thought. We talked about how it is a miracle we've been granted the blessing to care for Caleb and feel his pure spirit every day. We understand no matter what the future holds, our family can be together forever. I am eternally thankful for that knowledge and testimony -

but it's still hard.

It's hard to have the quiet worry of goodbye in the corners of our hearts. It's hard to know our time together on Earth might not be as long as we wish...

My grandson Mathew with his brother Caleb
Matthew prays every night that Caleb will live a long time. I do too. That's what we plan for! That's what we keep foremost in our minds. But tonight I was reminded that my carefree little Matthew- quietly worries. And my heart was a little broken.

If you want to read more about Caleb - you can find his story at http://winkfromheaven.blogspot.com/


Girl's Retreat at the Cabin


I spent a wonderful evening with some of my daughters last weekend.  We hired an expensive photographer to come take our pictures . . . yeah right . . . April just held her camera with her outstretched arm and told us all to look our most beautiful selves.

How did our evening together go?  This is how my daughter April described it. . .  

"Last weekend my mom and some of my sisters had a little retreat at the cabin. It was a very solemn occasion. We wore our fancy clothes, lots of make up and worried about being perfect...


We piled on the jackets and blankets

enjoyed yummy food

and drank lots of hot chocolate.

We laughed and cried together until our eyes couldn't stay open any more.

We made flower hair clips with fabric scraps all morning long, then finally decided we should go see if our homes were smoking craters.

I'm so blessed that my mom and my sisters are my best friends.

I will cherish you forever!

(we missed the sisters who couldn't come-- don't worry, we'll do it again soon!) "


Don't Let Life Get You Down

DOWN HOME with Granny B
Don't complain about getting older.  The only alternative is dying young.

*  Most folks take life way too seriously.  Remember nobody gets out of here alive.

 *  Add years to your life and life to your years by preventing a hardening of your bad attitudes.

*  It is not easy to find happiness in yourself but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.

 *  When life gets hard - throw your fist into the air and yell, "I refuse to be intimidated by reality!"


Happy Birthday Libby Lou!!!

This is a special poem written for my granddaughter Libby on her fourth birthday. 
Happy Birthday Libby.  Your Grandma Baadsgaard loves you very much!

Libby likes to sing
A happy birthday song
Then play in her swimsuit
All day long

Libby likes to smile
And gives the biggest hugs
But she doesn’t like to touch
All those awful bugs

Libby likes her blanket
And her fairy tale book
She makes her own bed now
Before Mommy takes a look

Libby likes to dance
And be the wedding girl
With her best friend Cienna
She takes a stately twirl

Libby likes her new friends
So she waves good-bye
She’s off to Joy School
Princess backpack at her side

But when the day is over
And Libby rubs her eyes
She kisses her Daddy on the cheek
And breaths a gentle sigh.


Building Nests

In an old cherry tree just outside my kitchen window, I watch robins build a nest for their young every spring.  

Nest building is a careful and deliberate job.  For days the robin hops around my garden carefully collecting bits of mud and tiny pieces of grass and twigs.  

One sunny morning it happens - tiny eggs appear inside the feathered cocoon.  If I foolishly suppose the mother is away and climb a ladder to get a closer look at the delicate blue orbs -  the mother, who is always near, suddenly swoops and dives around my head to protect her young. 

Then comes warming and waiting.  One bright morning, quite unexpectedly, I see tiny heads and beaks bob up and down above the matted mud and straw.  These are busy days - searching for worms - constant feedings.  

Soon the young birds with new feathers take their first awkward free fall from the nest.  For several days the mother stays near by keeping guard - watching, teaching, and protecting her young from preditors as they gradually learn the secrets of flight.

Mothers . . . nest builders, guardians, nourishers and teachers of the next generation.  Mothers . . . inspiring, uplifting with gentle watchcare as their young find their wings . . .  and learn to fly.   


Did I Lose A Day Or Am I Losing My Mind?

DOWN HOME with Granny B

I'm starting to wonder if I'm losing it.  Maybe it's not full blown Alzheimer's but I think it's halfzheimers.  Thought I was doing so great today . . . got the hubby and children off to work and school, did my workout video and cleaned the house - then off to orchestra.  But when I get there. . .  no one else is there.  I'm thinking . . . didn't I read the e-mail carefully.  Is this where we are suppose to rehearse today?  Where is everybody?  How strange.  Everybody forgot but me?  Oh, well . . . I'll just go shopping instead. 

It took me the rest of the day to realize that it was Tuesday and not Wednesday.  Nobody was at orchestra practice because we practice on Wednesday.  Why did I think it was Wednesday when it was Tuesday?  I don't know.  But I did ask my husband to tell me what day of the week it is before he leaves for work from now on. 


Happy Mother's Day to Women Everywhere

You might think these words would make me the happiest . . .

"You just won the lottery!"

"Your book just made the New York Times Best Seller List!"

But these are the words I treasure most . . .

"I love you Mom."

"I love you Grandma."

"I love you Sweetheart"

There is no treasure so rare and precious as the love of a child.

Happy Mother's Day
to all women everywhere
who choose to
and love. 

What is the true measure of a year - or a life? 
 As we willingly care for the needs of those around us,
 we are renewed and reborn,
for real mother love transforms both the lover and the beloved.  The true value of a year or a life
is not measured by the number of our children
or by our seasons
but by our personal capacity 
to love. 

Each woman's contribution is meaningful;
each choice to love is significant and profound.