Happy Birthday Griffin!

Grandma Baadsgaard
I love you Griffin. You are a joy to your grandma.

There is a little boy named Griffin
who really, really likes to wiggle.
When it’s time to talk at church,
he blurts a word that makes people giggle.

When it is time to pick up his mess
Griffin says, “No!” and off he huffs.
“Don’t you know I’m just a little boy
Way too young to pick up my own stuff.”

“Don’t play with your food,” says Mom
When Griffin makes his plate a bomb.
“Don’t jump on your bed when it’s time to sleep.
Just be quiet and don’t make a peep.”

“Griffin, its’s time to learn to use the potty
“No!” says Griffin a little snotty.
“I’m just too busy for such a chore.
Going to the potty is such a bore.”

Because Griffin has a motor in his skin
His poor old mommy never wins
But she knows these days go by so fast,
And she knows too well they just won’t last.

                                                     So she takes Griffin in her arms
And turns off her mommy alarm
For boys grow up in the blink of an eye
And when they’re gone, their mother’s sigh. . .

“Where in the world did my little one go?
I miss those messy days and so . . .
I think today I’ll just enjoy my boy
His bright smiling face is such a joy.

Boys are only little once, you see.
Then a man they soon grow to be.
Someday I’ll remember these days with delight
Before I know it, he will be out of sight.

When I’m old and he holds me in his arms,
I’ll remember all his little boy charms
And love the man he’s grown to be,
And all the grandchildren he’s given me.”


Happy Birthday Daniel!

Grandma Baadsgaard
Happy Birthday to my awesome grandson who likes to run, hop and wiggle.
Your rosy cheeks and great big smile reminds me of the sun when it comes up in the morning.

Once there was a frog named Daniel who lived by a pond with his family. Daniel’s mother, father, brother and sisters liked to sit quietly on lily pads in the sun all day and think deep thoughts. Daniel didn’t like to hold still. He liked to hop and hop and hop all day long.
“Why don’t you hop over here next to me,” his mother said. “Then you can rest a while.”
“Why would I want to rest?” Daniel answered.
“Why don’t stop and think for a while,” his father said.
“Why do I need to think?” Daniel answered.
“Why don’t you snuggle next to me and I’ll read you a story,” his sister said.
“I’d rather be a story,” Daniel answered.
So Daniel hoped and hoped and hoped all day long. It made his mother dizzy to watch him. When Daniel got hungry he whipped out his long tongue and caught a fly.
“I’m the mighty fly catcher,” Daniel said as he puffed out his chest.
Then he hopped and hopped and hopped some more.
When Daniel was bored, he went exploring. He found a dragon fly resting on a cat-tail. Daniel sneaked up next to the dragon fly and whipped out his long sticky tongue once again.
“I’m a mighty dragon slayer,” Daniel said.
One day a boy came to the pond looking for a frog to catch. He brought a net with a long handle. He saw Daniel’s bright green skin sparkling in the sun.
“That is the frog I want,” the boy said.

So the boy sneaked up behind Daniel and swung the net with all his might. Down came the net but not before Daniel had hopped away. When Daniel stopped hopping, the boy tried again and again. No luck. Daniel was too quick for the boy. Soon the boy went home.
“I guess your hopping is not so bad after all,” said Daniel’s mother.
“You are the hopping king,” his father said.
“Will you teach me how to hop faster?” his brother asked. “That boy might come back and try to catch me.”
“Sure,” Daniel answered.
From that day forward, everyone in Daniel’s family took hopping lessons from Daniel. The boy did return again and again to the pond, but he never caught a frog in Daniel’s family. 


Happy Birthday Rylan

Rylan’s Key
Grandma Baadsgaard
Happy Seventh Birthday Rylan. I love you so much. Can’t wait to see you soon!

Rylan is a seven-year-old boy who lives in Pennsylvania. His grandparents live far away in Utah. One day Rylan received an intriguing letter from his grandmother that read. . .

Dear Rylan,
There is an extraordinary key at the cabin waiting for you to discover it. It is hiding in plain sight A mysterious person gave this key to me long ago when I was just your age.
This person said, “Janene you are full of stories. As long as you continue to write and tell your stories, you may keep the key. But when you stop telling stories, you must give this key to an uncommon child who will honor the gift of the key and continue the legacy.”
 I have chosen you Rylan. I am giving this key to you. With this key you will unlock a door that will take you to a world only you can discover. There are three tasks that will help you find the key:
1. Read lots of books.
2. Write in your journal
3. Tell your brother and sister a bedtime story every night.
The next time you come to Utah and go to the cabin you must search for the key until you find it. This key will unlock a hidden door only you can find. Then you must go through the door alone. This magical key is a secret only you can discover. Good luck completing your tasks. I hope you find the key.
Love, Grandma
Rylan folded the letter and put it in his pocket. Then he found his mother.
“When are we going to Utah?” Rylan asked.
“Next summer,” his mother answered. “That’s nine months.”
So Rylan began task number one…read lots of books.
Rylan soon found that the more he read, the more he wanted to read. Sometimes his parents had to take away his books and tell him to go to sleep when they found him under the cover with a book and a flashlight at night.
Then Rylan began task number two…write in your journal.
The more Rylan wrote in his journal the more he thought everything that happened during the day. He wrote about all the details like the crunchy autumn leaves, the geese honking in the blue sky and the smoky bonfires he noticed as he gazed out the window while he rode the bus to and from school. He wrote about pumping so hard and flying so high in the swings at recess that he almost flew over the maple trees.
Then Rylan began task number three…tell your brother and sister a bedtime story every night.
Rylan noticed that his brother Griffin liked silly poop stories and his sister Alice liked stories with animals that made funny sounds. Every night he got better and better at holding their attention. Pretty soon Griffin and Alice begged for more and more stories from Rylan.
One night Rylan called his grandmother on the phone.
“I’ve been working on the three tasks,” Rylan said. “Do you think I’ll be ready to find the key when I come to Utah in the summer?”
“What are you learning with your tasks?” Rylan’s grandmother asked.
I’m learning that the more I read, the more I want to read. The more I write in my journal, the more I pay attention to everything I see, hear and smell all day. The more I make up my own stories, the more Griffin and Alice sit still and listen. They never sit still and listen. It is like magic.
          “I think you’re ready to find the key,” Grandma answered. “Rylan, I can’t wait for you to come to Utah this summer.”


Autumn. . . Change Feels Like Dying

                                        As the seasons change it feels like the world is dying.

     When life requires us to change, we also feel like we are dying. Yet I believe that life happens for us not to us. Every day the circumstances we encounter require us to choose...love or fear.

     Autumn ushers in a time of dark and cold - nature's last flame of color before the winter. Yet no matter how dark, long or cold the winter. . . spring always follows for those who wait with patience and a willingness to change.
    Life can be painful. Yet we always have a choice. We can learn from the pain and become a better person or we can refuse to feel pain, blame someone else, get mad or attempt to go around it. The problem is we can't really go around pain. We can only hide from heartbreak or deny pain. Hiding from and denying pain is one definition of mental illness. 

     We can choose to feel pain and move through it. Pain hurts, but when we own it, we have the opportunity to become a new person with a deeper capacity to of see, feel and experience life. That is the definition of mental health.

     Don't be afraid . . . choose change . . . choose love.



LDS General Conference Denmark Missionary Get-together

John had a Denmark missionary reunion at our home on Saturday during General Conference.
We loved having these wonderful young people in our home.