Daddy/Daughter Date 2013

First you get your Dad ready for the game by putting a shaving cream cap on his head.
Then you throw cheese balls at him. (So do all the other girls.)
Then you count the cheese balls on his head to see who wins the game.
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The Power of Extended Family

My beautiful daughters:
Arianne Cope
April Moody

Click on this link below to read two touching essays
written by my daughters Arianne Cope and April Moody
about the power of extended family.

Our Extended Family 2013



Poem For A Three-Year-Old

Liam Is Three You See

      By Grandma Baadsgaard       

Happy 3rd Birthday Liam. I love you very much.


 Sometimes when you’re two

You can’t always find your shoe

And if your find your shoe

Then your socks have lost their glue


Sometimes when you’re two

A stick will catch a fish

Sparklers make you rich

Dandelions grant your wish


Then suddenly you’re three

With all the world to see

You look up to the sky

Let go of Mom’s hand . . . and sigh


 For when you’re turning three

You must jump into the sea

Or dive under a blanket and be

The king of magic who is free


For soon you will be four

So now’s the time to roar

Your brave has room for more

Leap, spread your wings and soar


For when you’re three you fly

When Dad throws you up high

Then laughs and holds your hand

When you come down again.
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My daughter Amy taught our entire family a ritual that persists to this day. It happens whenever someone leaves our house for any reason. It doesn't matter if we're walking outside to get the mail or if we'll be gone for several days.

When Amy was young and she saw any member of her family walk toward the door, she would immediately run to our side and plead, "I need a kiss and hug!"

Amy's request could not be taken lightly. She simply could not bear to see any of us leave the house without an intimate show of genuine physical affection. Mind you, not just any sort of hug and kiss would do. The hug had to be the wrap-your-arms-around-the-neck variety, and the kiss had to be one to knock your socks off. You could not fake it, because Amy would keep calling you back until you got it right.
Once, when I was in a hurry, I tried to sneak out of the house before Amy noticed. But Amy had extra-sensory perception. When I was halfway out the door, she appeared out of nowhere, grabbed my leg, and held on for dear life.
"Just kiss my leg," I said, trying to shake her off. "I'm in a big hurry, Amy. I'm going to be late." Amy would not let go until I did it right.
After all this hugging and kissing stuff, Amy would move into the next phase of her ritual, which involved racing to the front-room window, parting the curtains, and waving. If you didn't wave back, Amy would cry, hard, for a solid hour.
Amy trained her family well. No one slammed the front door without hugging and kissing or raced out of our driveway without looking up at the front-room window, waving and throwing kisses.
Amy's little sister Ashley took night classes from her older role model. So soon instead of one voice screaming, "I need a kiss and hug!" we had a vocal duet. It took twice as long to get out the door.
All this good-bye stuff and waving business used to bug the tar nation out of the whole family. We were always saying things like, "Amy, I can't. I'm in a hurry. I'll hug you when I get home. For heaven's sake, Amy, relax. I'll be right back. Oh, Amy."
But Amy won out in the end. Because of her persistence and insistence, the whole family readjusted routines and priorities. We all gave ourselves a few extra minutes before we left because we knew parting was such sweet sorrow at our house.
All this attention by our twosome had a way of making the rest of the family feel rather downright loved. And once you get used to it, hugging and kissing isn't so bad after all. In fact, if Amy and Ashley happened to be busy playing with their dolls and didn't notice one of us leaving, we'd search through the whole house for those two sets of soft arms before we felt like facing the cold, cruel world out there.
"Where are Amy and Ashley?" I heard my older children, my husband and myself say when we left the house.
What we meant was: "I need a kiss and hug."
We all need to be acknowledged and cared for. Though we quit asking for it as we grow older, we all need lots of love and someone standing in the front-room window blowing kisses when we close the door and walk away.Pin It


Replica Martin's Cove Trek Dolls Given as a Gift

These beautifully crafted and detailed dolls were given as a thank you gift to my husband and I.
Andrea Christensen carefully re-created the outfits we wore on a four day trek up at Martin's Cove.
She said she wanted to thank us our for ten years of service
as the President of the Spanish Fork Maple Mountain Stake.
Thank you so much Andrea.
These replica dolls will always be a treasured keep-sake.
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Fathers . . . Thankyou.

This is a beautiful video about the sacred role of fathers.
I am surrounded by wonderful men.
The father of my children and the fathers of my grandchildren.
Thank you for all you do in your sacred roles as fathers.

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The LDS Mother's Almanac is now available as an e-book!

My book
is available as an e-book.
This book is a comprehensive treasury of practical advice and creative ideas for mothers in any stage, from diapers to driver's ed and beyond.
If you're looking for a fun and helpful book to help you navigate the challenging years while raising children - this book is for you.

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Jay Lessley, You Are My Hero

Jay Lessley, a man who forever changed my life for the better, died in a airplane crash today.
A number of years ago he found out what was happening to me and said, "Janene, don't you know that you don't deserve to be treated like that? There's something you can do to stop it and I'll help you."
That is how my personal journey to healing from abuse and neglect began.
Thank you Jay. You will be missed.

You are my hero.


Happy Birthday Sandy!

Sandra and the Pearl

By Grandma Baadsgaard

Happy 9th birthday Sandy. I love you very much.

I hope you like this story I wrote just for you.


When her teacher made a new seating chart, she moved Sandy next to McLain.

“McLain has trouble focusing, sitting still and completing his work,” Sandy’s teacher whispered in her ear. “I’ve noticed you usually get your work done early. Do you think you could work with McLain on his assignments after you finish? Don’t give him the answers. Just encourage him to keep working.”

“I’ll try,” Sandy answered.

Sandy was a little nervous about her new table partner. He was always making funny faces and loud outbursts in class. Some of the other children teased him. But when McLain sat next to her, she smiled.

“Hi,” Sandy said.

McLain didn’t answer. When her teacher started their science lesson about oysters, McLain poked Sandy and wouldn’t stop talking.

“Shhh,” Sandy said turning to McLain. “I’m trying to listen. “We can talk at recess.”

McLain stopped talking and listened for a few seconds. Then he poked her.

“Please don’t poke. That irritates me,” Sandy said.

 “The making of a pearl is a quite miraculous,” her teacher said. “Unlike gemstones that are mined from the earth, pearls are grown by live oysters deep in the sea. Gemstones have to be cut and polished to bring out their beauty. But pearls need no such treatment to reveal their beauty. They are born from oysters and their luster and soft inner glow is like no other gem on earth.”

Sandy loved beautiful things. She often searched through her Grandma’s old jewelry in round metal boxes near the dress-up clothes when she went to visit. Sometimes Grandma let her take something home with her.

“A natural pearl begins its life as an irritating object,” Sandy’s teacher said. “Things like a piece of shell, bone or parasite accidentally lodge in an oyster's soft inner body where it cannot be expelled. To ease this irritant, the oyster's body takes action. The oyster begins to secrete a smooth, hard crystalline substance around the irritant in order to protect itself. This substance is called nacre. As long as the irritant remains within its body, the oyster will continue to secrete nacre around it, layer upon layer. Over time, the irritant will be completely encased by the silky crystalline coatings. As a result, something lovely and lustrous called a pearl is formed.”

McLain grabbed Sandy’s pencil and started scribbling on her desk.

Sandy gently took the pencil away and directed McLain’s attention to the front of the classroom where their teacher was showing samples of pearls.

“Cultured pearls share the same properties as natural pearls,” her teacher said. “Oysters form cultured pearls in an almost identical fashion. The only difference is a person carefully implants the irritant in the oyster, rather than leaving it to chance. Then they let nature create a miracle.”

McLain pulled Sandy’s hair.

“We don’t pull hair,” Sandy said with a calm voice. “Pulling hair hurts. We don’t want to hurt each other.”

When it was time for recess, nobody wanted to play with McLain. One boy called him stupid and one girl called him autistic.

“We don’t say mean words,” Sandy said with a calm voice. “Mean words hurt. We don’t want to hurt each other.”

Then Sandy took McLain by the hand and they walked around the play-ground together. Sandy noticed McLain was sad.

“Don’t be sad,” Sandy said. “Sometimes my Mommy says hurry up Sandy. You’re too slow. But I don’t like to hurry. I like to go my own pace. You just have your own pace for learning McLain. You don’t have to be fast.”

After recess it was math time and then it was time for PE. Sandy’s teacher was giving all the children instructions on how to waltz. Each child chose a partner. No one chose McLain. Sandy walked over and took his hand and danced with him. All the other children stared at them and laughed when McLain tripped.

“We don’t laugh at each other when we fall,” Sandy said. “Laughing hurts. I like your dancing McLain.”

McLain smiled.

That day when Sandy got home from school, she told her dad all about pearls. Then they looked on-line to find out more. 

“Did you know that some people used to believe that pearls were the tears of God,” her father said after he read an article he found. “Other people thought they were dewdrops filled with moonlight that fall into the ocean and were swallowed by oysters.”

“I like that,” Sandy said.

“Did you know,” Sandy’s father added, “that the coating the oysters make is made of crystals of calcium carbonate aligned with each other so that light passing along the axis of one is reflected and refracted by the other to produce a rainbow of light and color?

 “I like that,” Sandy said.

The next day at school and the next and the next Sandy made McLain smile. Then she made him smile every day after that.

“Thank you for being such a good friend for McLain,” her teacher said one day after all the other students had gone home.

On the night before the last day of school, McLain got all the money he had saved all year and asked his mom to take him to the jewelry store.

On the last day of school while they were at recess, McLain’s took Sandy’s hand and pried her fingers back until they were in cupping shape.

“This is for you,” McLain said as he gently placed a small white pearl in the palm of her hand.
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Happy Birthday Kate!

Kate and the Nursery

Grandma Baadsgaard

Katie, this is a story I wrote just for you on your 3rd birthday.

Never forget how much your Grandma loves you.


             Today is Sunday. Sunday is church day. Kate is sitting on a bench at church. Kate is old enough to go to the nursery now. Kate likes nursery because they have toys and treats in that place and she doesn’t have to sit down and be quiet any more. But before she goes to nursery, Kate knows she has to go in the big room with long hard benches. Benches were tall and block everything Kate wants to see. So Kate pops up to take a look around.

“Sit down,” her Mommy says.

Kate doesn’t sit down. Kate doesn’t want to sit down because the only thing she can see is the back of the bench in front of her and her legs have to stick straight out from her hips in a very uncomfortable way. Sunday shoes squish her toes, so Kate wiggles until she can’t take it any more then she takes off her shoes.

 “Kate, leave your shoes on,” her Daddy whispers.

Then Kate hears a big loud sound from the big wood box in the front of the room. Kate stands up just in time to see a lady stand next to the loud box and wave her arms. So Kate waves her arms.

“Kate, stop waving your arms,” her Mommy said.

Then someone stands up and talks into a metal stick with their eyes closed. So Kate makes her arm into a stick, closes her eyes and talks into her hand.

“Shhh!” her Mommy and Daddy said, “This is the prayer Kate. Sit down, fold your arms, bow your head and be quiet.”

Kate tries to fold her arms but they get stuck the wrong way and she can’t remember what bow your head means. Then another man stands up in the front of the big room and starts talking into the metal stick. Kate pops up to see who it is.

“Sit down,” her Daddy said.

Kate doesn’t sit down because she is busy looking at a lady sitting on a bench next to the loud box again. Then the loud sound comes again. Kate knows what is going to happen next. She watches another lady stand next to the loud box and wave her arm in the air again. Now everybody sitting on the benches makes loud noises with their mouths. Kate makes loud noises with her mouth.

“Not so loud,” her Daddy says. “This is an opening hymn not shouting time.”

Then three tall boys in white shirts stand behind a table with a white tablecloth hiding what is under there. But Kate knows what is hiding under there. Then one boy kneels down and says a short prayer. Kate likes short prayers. Then two rows of short boys with white shirts carry around trays with tiny pieces of bread and small cups of water. Kate doesn’t understand why portions have to be so skimpy at church so she takes matters into her our hands.

“Just take one,” her Mommy says as Kate tries to grab a hand full of bread.

“No slurpping,” her Daddy says when Kate sucks out her water in the little plastic cup.

After everybody has the bread and water, the boys in white shirts all sit down then stand up and walk to a different place. Then more people stand up and talk and talk and talk into the metal stick. But every time Kate pops up to see who is talking, her Mommy and Daddy pop her right down again. Finally Kate’s Daddy takes her onto his lap and holds her very still. Then her eyes get so heavy Kate can’t keep looking any more.

Kate wakes up because the lady sitting in front of the loud box is making noise with her fingers again. Then the other lady waves her hand and everybody gets to make noise again with their mouths. Then a man stands up and talks into the stick with his eyes closed. Sometimes Kate closes her eyes when she’s scared too.

When everybody stands up, Kate knows it time to go to nursery. She grabs her Mommy’s hand and drags her down the aisle and through the benches.

“Hurry up,” Kate says when her Mommy stops to talk to another lady.

“Slow down Kate,” her Mommy says. “Give your nursery leaders time to get there.”

But Kate can’t slow down. Because she knows pretty soon she can play with toys, march around the room, wave her arms, make loud sounds and eat treats. Nobody pops her back down or tells her to be quiet in nursery.

Kate’s mommy keeps talking and talking and talking. Kate breaks away and runs down the hall. Then she finds the door with a happy face on it that is open.

“Kate!” a smiley lady in nursery says when she opens the door. “I’m so glad you came today.”

Kate smiles too because she knows . . . when you’re one or two or three . . . nursery is sure the fun place to be.
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