Sunday, December 5, 2010


“It is not possible to sin enough to be happy. It is not possible to buy enough to be happy, or to entertain or indulge yourself enough to be happy. Happiness and joy come only when you are living up to who you are.”
––Sheri L. Dew, BYU devotional address, December 9, 2003

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kristin!

Dear Kristin:

Happy 23rd birthday! Here is a picture of you:
This is a picture of you and dad at Jon's baptism. You were always glad to be near us. As long as you could be around your parents, you were happy. A story about you that we like (although we pretended not to) was how you would come into our room at bedtime and get in between us in our bed, making like you were going to be there all night and that was that. Sometimes it took us hours to convince you to go to sleep (you were never a good sleeper--sorry about that genetic mess-up!). When you were a baby you were easy to love because you would cuddle up close around our necks and just dwell there.

You are good to your friends and a good listener. You are a sweet person. We are very proud of you for getting your education. You wanted to be an archaeologist since you were very small and you got your degree!

We hope your birthday is a great one. We will be thinking about you all day. We love you.

Love, mom and dad

Monday, November 15, 2010


In September we traveled to see our longtime friend, Brenda. What can you say about a friendship that endures over time and distance? It's one of the tender mercies in life. Thanks, Brenda, for being there through thick and thin.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Grammar Tip

When you're writing an invitation, is it "your invited" or "you're invited"? A quick memory trick to try is to think about the word. Is it two words or one?

Two words, put in an apostrophe and an "re." You are becomes you're. (You're invited to a party.)
One word, don't use the apsotrophe. (The party is at your house.)

I was reading a professional manual today and this grammar error was in their book. Many people make this mistake. But just remember to think--one word or two?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kathy!

Dear Kathy:
Happy xxth Birthday. As my mom would say, I was there when you were born. I could say that I was only one of four (you, me, dad and the doctor), but that was not true. We were at a teaching hospital in Houston and something was going wrong during your birth, so 20 students ran into the room to watch as they asked me to stop your birth (kind of like stopping the tide). You were half-way here. As we paused to fix the problem, you decided to put your thumb in your mouth for comfort. It stayed there for the next eight years. But thanks to Dr. Bosler, your teeth are beautiful, so no harm, no foul (as many of the relatives say).

Some things we like about you: How hard you try to take good care of your family, how craft-y you are, how you are good at decorating, playing the piano, cooking, running, planning fun adventures, and how good you are taking care of children from all over.

We hope you have a great birthday year.
We love you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Dear Benjamin:
Happy Birthday! Here is a picture of you that we like:
This is the railroad museum we visited when we went on our long car ride. You got to ride on a hand car with grandpa. It was his first hand car ride, and yours, too. We love that you are happy, and that you are working so hard on learning. You're doing a great job on your alphabet and alphabet sounds, and you have a great singing voice. You're right on key. We love you!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Katelyn!

Dear Katelyn:
Happy Birthday! Here is a picture of you that we like:
We're so proud of your horseback riding skills, and your piano playing and your crocheting and your singing. We think you are a very great person, who tries so hard to be helpful and kind.
We love you!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Monday Memories

For my 50th birthday, Kerry got the family together and made a book of memories for me. It's made out of quarter-sheets of scrapbook paper, with a cover, a plastic front on top of that, and a back page of a cardboard/plastic-type material. The spiral-bound book is made up of 50 memories and/or paragraphs about what they liked growing up. There is a break every 10 pages.
It's a wonderful idea, a wonderful book to reminisce with, and it's cute and crafty!

Inside are a lifetime of memories from:
Martin, Kerry, Stephen, Samuel, Lily, Jonathan, Kathryn, Joel, Katelyn, Alexander and Kristin

Thank you more than you can ever know for taking the time.
I love you all.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Grammar Tip

Kathy and I spend time working as typists. It behooves us to stay up on grammar usage. So in that spirit, here's a tip:

Katelyn and I; Alex and and me. When do you use them?
Here's an easy way to remember:

Just say the sentence to yourself without the other person in it at all.

"Sam and I went to the store." (Just say "I went to the store." Yes, that's correct, so that's it.)

"Sam and me went to the store." (Now say me went to the store. Correct? You can hear that it isn't.)

How about at the end of a sentence?

"They went to the show with Lily and me." (To check: They went to the show with me. It works. How about: "They went to the show with Ben and I." (Check it. They went to the show with I. Doesn't work.)

Now that you have this memory tip, see how often people get it wrong, and you can act nice and smug. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy XXth Birthday!

We hope you have a wonderful birthday, Melissa. Here area some pictures we like:

1. We think the red dress was made by mom in Alabama. See how shy you were? We were glad you came and we called you our huggy buggy. Chris called you CC. He was only one.

2. Your shrug was hand knitted and the dirndl was from Germany.

3. This was sitting on the front porch at grandma's house in Sonoma.


4. The big house in Ridgecrest.

and finally,

5. Go burros!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Congratulations, Elijah!

Elijah was baptized on September 11, 2010. Congratulations!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Memories from the Other Side of the Family

Something we like from Marty's side of the family is how Great Grandma Clift has always written letters and sent them. She does it about once a week, and we have been kept up to date for 30 years that way. Thanks for the letters, Great Grandma, and thanks for emailing them for so many years, Great Grandpa!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Baby Shower Gifts

There seems to be an uptick in the number of babies in our ward. Time to get out the sewing machine. Here's a picture or two:

On the left are burp rags. I sew them like this or with an edge to it. I'll put in a picture of the edged one a little later. I told you about the diaper and wipes cover before. The bottom one is tinkle tents, or pee pee tee pees. Having a little girl first, I was in for a bit of a surprise when my baby boy was born. I didn't know the cold air hitting him would create a sprinkle. Here's the web site where I got the idea (Little Birdie Secrets):
Start with a circle 7 inches in diameter. Cut out one piece. Fold it in half, sew around except for about two inches (to turn). Clip corners and notch edges. Turn, iron (tucking in the two inches where you turned). Put two short edges together and sew, forming the tent. Turn inside out. I put four in a bag and stapled a tag at the top. (Hmm, better get a picture done of the last part. I'll get back to you later...) Oh, and later for a fleece blanket and tool to put holes in for crocheting, too...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Marty

I hope you have a wonderful year. Not like last year where you were in the hospital for nine days!
A robe. He thought it was a dress.

Alex added the paper hat.
Kathy and Joel were there. Melissa, too, but she has forbidden me to show pictures.
Thanks for coming everyone. He said he had a great day.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lily's New Yoga Skirt, Owl Fabric Picked Out by Katelyn

I found a blog that had a yoga skirt tutorial. knit waistband skirt. That's a skirt with a ribbing waistband and then the waistband is folded over. Katelyn picked out the fabric (hers is cut out and half-way sewn). It was a quick skirt to sew with a serger. I have just realized that the interlock knit fabric from the 80s is now back in style. So I'm also going to dig out my skort pattern and my old interlock fabric and sew, sew, sew! Wish me luck finding a 30-year-old pattern :) I finished the skirt, but wanted her to have a complete outfit, what with her mother a little distractedly busy lately, so I picked up a clearance t-shirt and brought it with me. But Lily would. not. wear. it. She said it looked liked her dad's underwear and that was just not acceptable, and she promptly put her head down into her folded arms. Luckily we found a pink blouse that Aunt Kathy had gotten her last month that sort of matched. Now to finish Katelyn's skirt...

Excuse Me, Will You Rub My Feet?

I was in the hospital when I was seven and eight. I remember I asked complete strangers if they would please rub my feet. The skin grafts hurt bad then and they hurt now. It's not so cosmically great that I have a daughter who got skin grafts, too. What a world. It's hard to wrap my brain around that. Her legs are aching so bad. She doesn't know why, but I do.

So if you see her, would you please rub her legs?


Friday, August 27, 2010

Flashback Fridays

I was just remembering today about touring Washington D.C. when I was about nine years old with my family. My memory is about how my parents acted so enthusiastically whenever we got to a monument and told us how amazing they were and we should be proud of our country.  But I'm glad they were enthusiastic because I remember those monuments now with good memories and feelings of awe.

When the moon landing took place I was around 12 years old. My mom made me come in from the back yard and told me I had to watch, that I would regret it if I didn't watch. At my age a little bit of rebellion was kicking in and I remember thinking that I would not be mad at myself if I didn't watch it. But between you and me, I'm glad I watched. So thanks, mom and dad, for the enthusiasm. Faked or real. It's appreciated.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Grands and Swimming Lessons

Here are a few pictures of the grandchildren at their swimming lessons in July. Sam and Lily were staying with Kathy while Kerry had surgery, so four out of the five of them took swimming lessons. Kathy will have to send me a picture of Ben at the pool, because I don't have one. Above is a picture of Alex, Sam and Lily.
Lily swam at 6, then they all played in the park for a half an hour, and Katelyn, Alex and Sam's lessons were at 7...
Here are pictures of the olders:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Marshmallow Shooters

I was reading a blog:, and saw a post that looked like some summer fun. It was Marshmallow shooters. I figured we had all the supplies, so we got them together and brought them to Marty's family reunion. We actually put together a gun or two early to make sure it was nice and fun. It was.

The ammunition of choice was mini-marshmallows.

But wouldn't you know it, we don't have any pictures of the fun the grandkids had when they were playing with the shooters. Luckily, when I was reading my niece's blog (Audra) she had made these, too, and got some pictures, so hopefully if she doesn't mind, I'll post a picture of hers instead:
The grands played with them again when they were at our house a couple of weeks ago. After they were all done, there were bunches of marshmallows everywhere. But they're gone now, so either the birds got them or some nice marshmallow fairy picked them all up.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Alex's Baptism

Here are some pictures of Alex's baptism. Congratulations, Alex!

Marty Officiating at His First Wedding

Here is a picture of Marty officiating at his first wedding. When I get a better picture from the bride's family, I'll replace this one. Marty's talk was short and sweet. Both families said they liked the ceremony. Note to self when scheduling: Brides are not usually on time. All's well that ends well, though, Marty made it to his meeting at work just in time. Tonight's schedule: Two Eagle courts of honor, and a wedding reception--that is if all goes smoothly at work.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yogurt in the Sea

This was supposed to be blue yogurt, but it was purple instead, so the beach theme didn't work well, but here's a picture with the color adjusted somewhat. Katelyn and Lily liked this, but not Sam.

Put yogurt in a cup, add crushed graham crackers for the beach, top with fish fruit snacks. I found this online at a blog where they show each other's blogs, so I couldn't really tell who gets credit.

By the way, I have Katelyn, Sam and Lily here because Kathy ripped out her back like crazy. Three was all I could fit into my car yesterday. They're being very good.

Omelette in a Bag

Saw this recipe on the Food Network yesterday, thought I'd try it today. Trouble is, only Sam wanted eggs.

It is a boiling bag omelette. Just put eggs and any other ingredients you want into a Food Saver bag. Sam had ham and cheese. Seal and simmer in water for eight to nine minutes. Et Voila!

Hints and tips: Some say you can try it with Ziploc freezer bags, others online are worried about the plastic melting--you choose.  Some people commenting online said they had trouble holding the bag down in the water. The suggestion was using a heavy spoon to hold it down. With the Food Saver bag, though, it was not too light. Others suggested getting the air out of the bags before cooking. Still others suggested simmering instead of boiling for the plastic leaching scares. One more tip is to write each person's name on their bag once they add their own ingredients. On the television show she had an electric frying pan so that it was a nice and big surface for multiple omelettes cooking at the same time. Also, chopping the ingredients the night before is a good idea to save time in the mornings.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

We're Officially Old!

We sound like old people when we say that we are amazed with technology, but we are AMAZED with technology. We just clicked on a name on the computer, and within 10 seconds we were talking with Sam and Lily's grandpa Mark in Dubai! We are going to meet up with them in San Francisco next weekend when they are here for a conference and we will drop off Sam and Lily to spend the night at their hotel and then fly home with them the next day. Sam and Lily have been staying with Kathy for a couple of weeks while their mom recuperates from surgery. We wish you all the best, Kerry! Isn't technology something?

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm Scanning Negatives

I'm scanning in negatives to the computer and it looks like it's just in time. These are, sadly, deteriorating, but at least I got them in time. We have a scanner that scans slides and negatives, it just takes about 10 minutes a slide to do it, and then freezes up my computer every third or so picture. But it's so cute! Kerry loved to ride her "horsie" everywhere. It gave her hours and hours of enjoyment. This must have been BYU at an apartment complex on 5th West on the third floor because I recognize the snowsuit. We wouldn't have needed it for the desert, where we spent some summers when Marty worked for Kerr McGee in Trona. I have the print, I'm sure, but just in case, here is the negative. This was someone's birthday, but I'm not sure it was Kerry's birthday--but it must have been because of the new-looking snowsuit, and the horsey looks unabused--and we were such poor college students at the time that that is all that she probably got--unless you count the re-purposed clothes we made her--I especially liked the jeans with Kerry's name zigzagged on the pocket that were made out of Marty's old jeans--including the re-used pocket. (Are there enough dashes in that last sentence?) Now let's see, Kerry was born in Utah and we went to Ridgecrest to live for eight months and then moved back to the apartment on 5th West, so this could very possibly be her first birthday--shaking the cobwebs out of the old noggin is a very hard thing to do, so youngsters, keep up with your blogs, you'll be grateful when you're in your dotage.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Alexander K!

Dear Alex:
Happy Birthday! Some of the things we like about you are your smile, your kindness and your happy spirit. We like how you care about others. We like how you want to be a cub scout, and we like how you are anxious to be baptized. We're glad to be your grandparents and we love you.
Grandma and Grandpa Clift

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Paradigm Shift, Revisited

I said I had another story about paradigm shifting and parenting. This last one was really the first. I thought of this story first, but then the other stories kind of made more sense to me, so they were posted first. The harder concept with this story is that our parents did a good job of maintaining our twin individualities. We were so often frustrated when someone would give us a letter/permission slip to take to parents, a flower, a birthday gift and tell us, "You don't need two, you're really one person anyway." My answer is: How do you share a "Jingle Jump"? The point of that Jingle Jump was to turn the bell around your ankle all day, so, when was the sharing going to take place?

My parents were very good at letting us maintain our identities. We wore different colored tennis shoes so they could tell us apart, but one day, my mom let us switch our usual red and blue shoes so we could "trick our daddy." In my mind, at a very young age, that fun game was what helped me do my earliest "deep thinking," as Kerry and Steve call it. I was able to think through some "I'm an individual" thoughts. So hard to explain, but a great technique. Thanks, Great Grandma and Great Grandpa!