Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Life is to be ENJOYED not endured"

I love the man in this picture (President Hinckley), and I also love his counsel:

"Life is to be enjoyed
not endured." 

When life gets hard, I get frustrated and tend to complain and endure through it. However, I need to take this counsel and ENJOY the journey. Not everything is meant to be easy, which is okay.  I just want to know that I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do.  I'm coming to learn that sometimes this means that I must have the faith that the Lord won't let me go astray if I'm doing my part.  However, it may require that I, first, make the decision and put it into action before I receive my confirmation.

For those of you who know me just a little, you know how I hate making decisions. I can be very indecisive especially when it comes to major life changing decisions.
  • Should we stay in the ARMY or get out?
  • If we get out, which college should we attend?
  • Where will we live?
  • How do we find safe neighborhood to live in when you've never lived there?
  • Will we buy or rent a home?
  • Where will I work?
  • How long will it take me to find employment?
  • Will we continue to purchase Tri-Care insurance at the COBRA rate?
  • Etc., etc., etc.
I used to feel like I could complain a little bit about different events in my life because the ARMY always dictates where we will live, how far we can travel without prior approval, which doctors we can see, etc. However, now that we have decided to get out of the ARMY, all of life's decisions are being given back to us.  It is kind of scary, but I'm excited to make some initial decisions so I can relax and quit worrying. Instead, I can ENJOY each phase of life and begin making plans for our next adventure!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Lost Hereo-Grandpa Wren

Claude Theron Wren
May 27, 1916 - March 4, 2012
About I week ago, I received a sad phone call from my parents that my grandpa Wren had passed away in his sleep about 4:30 a.m. I LOVED this man! He lived 95 GREAT years and only quit driving the last 3 years. Although I know he is in a better place where he can walk, think clearly, eat normal foods again, etc., it still does NOT take away the sting of pain for those he left behind. On the other hand, It does provide comfort knowing that Families Can Be Together Forever.
I’m so thankful that I lived only a few minutes away from my grandpa for most of my life. Although he wasn’t one for attending our school events, I know he did love me! I have many memories with him:
90th birthday!
·    Grandpa always said, “The way your life starts does not have to dictate the way your life ends.”  Grandpa began his life in poverty.  His father was an alcoholic and rarely came home.  As a child, he remembers his mother pulling a wagon (with all of the children in it) into to a bar to beg for $10 for feed them.  Since he was the 2nd child of 12 children, he always felt the pressure to help provide for his family.  Thus, he left home when he was about 12 years old to go make money to send home to his mom. 
 He went on to own his own bus business, 18 in total.  He drove students back and forth to school, sporting events, and even to the ski hill.  Forty years later, he finally sold the bus company and then went to work part-time for the City of Blackfoot until he was forced to retire at the age of 89.  During this time, he also began his salvage business.  He quickly became one of Pacific’s preferred customers as he always made sure his metal was in tip top shape.  During the month of his 90th birthday, they gave him $90 a ton for his loads.  He was so happy about this price that I swear he had a load to take down to them almost every day!  So it goes to show that you can definitely change the way your life began.  And he did it well.

·    Grandpa always said, “Anybody can make money, but it takes a better man to save it.”  All of his friends and family like to joke about how Grandpa paid his help.  It didn’t matter how hard or long you helped him, you always came home with a $5 dollar bill.  We came to learn that  the $5 bill was grandpa’s way of saying, “I Love You” because those were words he seldom said.  We also knew that if we were in dire need of money that grandpa would help us.  However, he felt that we should all struggle and learn to take care of ourselves.  I did think about flying home for grandpa’s funeral.  But every time I thought about it, all I could think of was grandpa turning over in his grave over the price of my flightJ

·    Education was always important to Grandpa.  He always felt bad that he didn’t have the opportunity to finish high school.  However, he made sure that his children did.  He paid for each daughter’s tuition in full.  They only had to pay for their living expenses.  From this came three school teachers and one bus driver.  I always knew that grandpa was proud of me completing my education because he has told me over and over again.

·    Grandma and grandpa came to our house for Sunday dinner every week.  During that time, we would get to hear about his week driving bus, working for City Hall, about all the money he would make hauling junk (or precious metal as he would call it) to Pacific, etc.  Sometime during our conversation, grandpa would let out a swear word or two.  Growing up, if we swore, we would be disciplined.  So when we would hear it come out of our grandpa’s mouth, it would make us giggle.  Grandpa could never understand what was so funny!
·    When grandma was still alive, she would like to stay after dinner and play games with me and mom.  Somehow, we would convince grandpa to go take a nap for a while so we could play.  One day, this is where we found himJ

      ·    Grandpa had lots of funny phrases.  Instead of saying Idaho Falls, he always said
           Ideeoo Falls.”  Instead of saying aluminum, he’d say, “aloom-neee-um.” 

·    Another phrase that he always told my younger sister, Cindy, was, "You keep praying, and I’ll keep paying," or "Now don’t spend it all in one place and be sure to save a litte."

I’m so glad that I was able to go home for Christmas and create a few more memories with him.  He didn't feel well, but I know he appreciated the company.  He also was still very aware of what was going on because one day I came out to see him with my mom and all grandpa said was, "Where's Jared?"  

A couple of days before his death, he fell out of his chair and broke his hip.  His health was not good enough to perform surgery, so he would no longer be able to have a very good quality of life. 

Thanks to the Hawker Funeral Home, I was able to view the funeral via the internet! 
Our wedding 2008


Thursday, March 15, 2012


I’m so proud of my husband.  Ever since he got back from deployment last year, he has been working very hard!  Not only is he working full-time, but he is the Scout Master at church, taking on-line college courses through the UMUC, and being a great husband.  He is exhausted, but keeps on trucking.  Since we have decided to get out of the ARMY, he is trying so hard to finish his associate’s degree so he can transfer it to his new college.  He is SOOOOO close.  He only has two classes left—Biology and Math!  It’s going to be close, but I know he can do it…Love you Jared!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas 2012

This year Jared and I decided to go home for Christmas. We had such a great time visiting family and friends. Oh, and don’t forget how much we BOTH enjoyed shopping and going out to eat! Until you’ve lived here in Germany, you wouldn’t understand why we would say that. First of all, German food is very blah. None of it has much flavor. For example, one of my co workers went to dinner at a Germans house and took brownies for dessert. Her neighbors were quite blunt and told her not to bring brownies back to them again because they were way too rich. Second of all, there main food is schnitzel (pork) and bratwursts. We are not big pork fans, so we don’t enjoy eating out much. Lastly, good quality clothes and shoes are very expensive, especially when you’re dealing in Euros!

The famous 1/2 meter bratwurst at a Christmas Market
The Friday before Christmas, we had a Christmas party with Jared’s family. Jody and Kip graciously invited everyone to their house. Jared was so excited because he actually got to see all of his brothers. Mike was supposed to be driving a truck to California but was able to get off work at the last minute. We had yummy pulled pork sandwiches, salads, and pumpkin rolls. Afterwards, we did a small gift exchange.

Gabe, Mike, Jard, and Steve Jackson

The Jackson brothers and mom (Clara)

The Jackson brothers, John, and Clara
This year, since Christmas fell on a Sunday, mom switched things up a little bit, which was fun. On Saturday, Teresa, Adam and family came for Christmas and a short visit. We had our big Christmas dinner for lunch. Then while the kids were outside playing, all of the family gifts were brought out. We brought everyone back together and had CHRISTMAS! The kids were ecstatic that they could open gifts before Christmas day!

Thomas was so excited to get a Nintendo DS
 I have to tell you about this shirt.  Grandpa LOVES to play the "IT" game, especially with Rachel and Anna.  For Christmas he had grandma embroidery on shirts, "Anna/Rachel, You are IT forever~Love Grandpa.

Thomas sporting grandpa's socks!
Then on Christmas day, we opened the sock gifts that Santa Claus dropped off during the night. Needless to say, the grandkids were in heaven having two Christmases in a row. They kept saying, “Wow, this is the best Christmas ever!” Afterwards, we attended the Christmas program at church, which was wonderful. Then we came home, ate leftovers, relaxed, and enjoyed one another’s company. The way my mom and sister chose to do Christmas so was nice. It wasn’t full of the hustle and bustle that usually happens. I just may make this my new Christmas tradition.
Jared and his buddy~Benjamin

The remainder of the week was filled with shopping, eating out, visiting friends and old coworkers, playing games, and visiting grandpa Wren. 

Jared, cousin Buddy, and Tammy
Friends~Anja, Alison, and Tammy
Stephanie and Tammy

Tammy, Grandpa Wren, and Jared
It was difficult to come back but was reminded that this was my last year being so far away from home. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed living in Europe and being able to travel the world, but there is no place like home!