Thursday, December 10, 2009

For Katie

I'll be home for Christmas...

You can count on me...

Your Heart is the Highest!

Um hmm. You better be good!

MeRRy ChristMaS!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When I Was Young: Episode 1

I was thinking about how long it has been since I have written a post and thought to myself it's like I dropped off a cliff...

When I was young whenever I would say, "Dad I'm hungry." He would say, "I'm cliff, drop over sometime."

Number 1: I thought "Cliff" was a person that Dad knew and I was ready to go to Cliff's house to eat. I would plead in my little girl voice, "Let's go to Cliff's house, I'm hungry." Dad just laughed.

Number 2: It wasn't until years later that I understood that "Cliff" was a mountain cliff, and why would I want to "drop over sometime."

What a witty guy! He loved to tease and had a great sense of humor. Now I laugh when I think about "Cliff," but I'm still convinced Dad knew "Cliff" personally and he had really good food...

Some days I really miss him. Dad, not Cliff.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lydia Time

Lydia fed the ducks.

She would toss a piece of bread and say,
"Here you go ducks! Here's some bread for you!"

Old Goosey Lucy and Lydia stood eye to eye.

This is a Chuck, a cross between a chicken and a duck.
Kidding! I made that up, but he did look part chicken with the red on his head. He was a little intimidating because he was hissing instead of quacking.
Poor Chuck, he was really ugly!

Lydia had a great idea: "Let's go to McDonalds!"
She ordered a Happy Meal with chicken nuggets, french fries and chocolate milk. When I asked her if I could have a french fry she said, "No, not one!"

Lydia noticed the spots of tar on my car and said,
"Grandma, I love the polk-a-dots on your car. They look really good! When the rain washes them off, you can put some more on!"

Lydia was explaining the grandparent situation to me.
"There is Grammy, you're not Grammy, you're Grand-MA.
Then there is Grandpa."
I asked, "How do you know if you're talking about Grandpa Barber or Grandpa Cruze?"
Lydia: "Grandpa is Grandpa, but we can call Bacca whatever we want."

And by the way, pink is her favorite color!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fun in the Sun

The yard looked soooo good after I raked the leaves!
The streak of sunshine caught my attention,
So I got my camera...
Stepped into it...
And had a lot of fun!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Katie's Challenge

No sugar: Desserts and candy
October 24th - December 15, 2009

The addicts: Katie, Kay, Rachel, Mandy, Katina and Suzi

My sugarless life:

1. After committing to no sugar I am filled with thoughts of temporary insanity. Thoughts of cheating fill my mind. The only thing that keeps me going is not to be the first addict to cave and my determination to win the $25 prize!

2. All my chocolate stashes flashed before my eyes.
E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e of them!

3. Utter panic and the cold sweats kick in when I think about being stash free.

4. The first real challenge: The chocolate birthday cake I made screams, “Eat a piece!” But I didn’t have one piece, not one bite, not one crumb!

5. I bought Halloween candy marked 50% off and laid it on the kitchen table and stared at it all afternoon. Addiction is tough.

6. The sneaks and emotional eating set in. After spending 2 hours with twelve 11 year old girls the stress relieving Hershey Kisses are all I can think about. I circled the candy dish a couple of times telling myself, “I could eat just one and no one would know.” But, I didn't!

7. Wandering aimlessly around the kitchen, looking in Oinky, opening the pantry door looking at the Oreo’s and chocolate covered grahams – is there anything, something that is sweet that would qualify as a sugar free snack. Nada.

8. Hormone levels cause the worse kind of sweets craving there is. Chips, crackers, popcorn…nothing helps. It was a bad junk food day…

9. Consoling one of the other competitors with words of encouragement, “If this is stressing you out, just quit. Maybe one snack a day would be better.” After feeling her pain for a few minutes I finally offered the right support and encouraged her not to give in. STAY STRONG! You can do it! She reminds me several times she is not a quitter.

10. I’m hoping the worse is over when grapes give me the same satisfaction as eating a piece of chocolate. When eating a banana or apple is as exciting as a piece of cake, but I’m still working on the veggies, their not the same as a cookie…yet!

I am enjoying the impressed look of the scoffers and skeptic’s who thought it couldn’t be done!

And oh, the sweet words of Shane saying, “Maybe I should stop eating sweets too…after I eat all the Chocolate Covered Grahams!”

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Toast Tutorial

Are you tired of toast that has crunchy edges?
Make perfect toast every time!

Grandma Clawson said, "I don't care how much butter you put on,
just make sure you get butter all the way to the edge."

Toast Tutorial

Butter, softened
1-2 slices of bread

Toast your bread to the desired toastedness
(Yes, that is a word, I made it up.)

Using a butter knife, spread butter all the way to the edge.
Don't rush, take the time to butter ALL THE WAY TO THE EDGE.

Grandma knew what she was talking about.

I'm going to make me a peice of toast right now!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Is there anything lovelier...


a nap?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hey, Guess What?

Jingle Bells
Jingle Bells...
Jingle all the way

It'll be here before you know it!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New York at Night

In the middle of a New York night I heard Cyrus crying.

Then I hear Wyatt shout, "No, I not go to Memaw!"

For a few seconds I thought about ignoring those sounds, but then I came to my senses and remembered I came to help Katie.

Flipping open my cell phone I was jolted by the 3:38 a.m. time I was looking at.

Rolling out of bed with my eyes sort of open, I climbed up the stairs, opened the basement door only to find all the lights on. I instantly thought, "This can't be good."

Hearing noises in the kitchen I sleep shuffled in there finding Wyatt eating bologna. He was way to awake for me! I quietly told him he could finish his Bologna, and thankfully in three bites he was finished and we were on our way to bed.

He snuggled right in and was sleeping soundly within minutes.

I listened to his breathing and enjoyed the moment until...

  • I woke up with his feet in my back
  • Him lying sideways in bed
  • His arms on my head
  • His face in my face, Bologna breath and all

Feeling crowded in my bed, I was awake at 7:00 a.m.

Wyatt slept soundly until almost 8:30 a.m.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Oh, New York, New York!

I wish you could all see Cyrus in person, he is one of the sixteen most beautiful grandchildren I have ever seen! His face is very chubby and he is giving the Conan Cruze's a run for their money in the big cheeks department! He has a facial feature that none of the other grandkids have had - narrow Oriental eyes - yup. Even Katie and Noah are wondering about that. I'm sure it is a Shafer thing, since the Cruze gene's are so weak and haven't appeared anywhere except in red hair. He is sweet, sweet, sweet!

Now for the rest of the story:

Last night Calvin and Wyatt went to co-op to play with their friends. About an hour after they left Katie received, shall we say, a frantic phone call from her friend. Both Calvin and Wyatt were throwing up! YUCK! Katie and I looked at each other with that "not the barf's" look. I immediately started feeling a little squeamish, I know Katie did and even Noah because the boys had been touching EVERYTHING! You all know how I feel about puking viruses.

Poor Calvin and Wyatt looked so pathetic when Noah got home with them. They got a bath, put clean PJ's on and went to bed. Of course they threw up all over their covers, and the floor and other places! My job has been to keep up with the pukie laundry. I'm just thankful the chunky, stinky throw up happened at their friends house. I know that isn't nice, but that part always makes my stomach churn just a little - actually a lot! Katie has several containers of sanitizing wipes and EVERYTHING has been or is getting wiped down with them. I am washing my hands like crazy! And Katie too, at one point she said, "Be sure and wash your hands Mom" - like I would forget. If there is a good thing about this virus it is that it hit fast and furious because the boys are better this morning. Hopefully this is the end of the pukies. If not...gulp

By the way, I won't say who brought this home...but their name starts with an N.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Where Am I?

I went out to eat with all my daughters last week and enjoyed the evening. I found myself listening to their conversation and realized I am far removed from where they are in their lives. I went to a study group last night and enjoyed the evening. At one point I found myself listening to the conversation and realized I am far removed from their interests too. This has caused me much reflection. I'm passed babies and teenagers, college age children and marriages. I have lots of grandchildren, and feel like I have accumulated some wisdom along the way. But, I would like to know what this spot I am at is called. Obviously, I am not young or middle age. I don't think of myself as old. I'm over 50, but I don't feel like it. I do have that "mature look" with gray hair and wrinkles...

So where am I?

I'm thinking I must almost be at the crest of life, still far away from the peak. If that is the case, then when I peak I want to do a long slow walk down the other side of life. I want the descent to be just as rich and fulfilling as the journey up has been. This is like riding my bike up a big steep hill and feeling the exhilaration of reaching the top and then experiencing the reward of riding along the top before enjoying that smooth, easy ride down. Oh, I'm not ready for it to be the last hill, I want to keep peddling and enjoy the challenge of another hill and another and another...

So how about if I just am. I am happy. I love life. I am in love with my husband and love my children and grandchildren. I am happy that I still ride my bike. I love that I can look back and see where I have been and look ahead and see the road yet to travel. No peaks in sight!

I guess I decided I'm riding the crest. I hope it is a big hill, maybe even a mountain, and that it will last a long, long time.

I feel better now,
Thanks for listening.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Summer Guest

toDD the toaD

This is toDD, toDD the toaD,
He came to live on our road.
He's very quiet, never makes a peep,
But we have to watch where we put our feet.
He likes to sit in the soft porch light
That glows in the dark every night.
He sits and sits and sits some more
Just outside our back door.
As bugs circle the glowing light,
toDD just smiles at the lovely sight.
And when his tongue begins to sail,
We never hear a buggy wail.
When he's full and can eat no more
He disappears from our back door.
toDD the toaD has grown fat
From eating bugs for a snack!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Sleep Over

Four of the loveliest girls I know!





This is my favorite picture!
Aren't they beautiful!

We had our GIRL sleep over.
Shane was on a business trip, which is important because there are absolutely
We took picture's
Ate food. (Cherry Limeade and Munchies)
Made anklet's and played SPOONS!
Once again, Georgia was the champ and
Camryn was the s-p-o-o-n.
We, talked and talked and talked and talked.
Had the traditional pancake's, scrambled eggs and bacon breakfast.
It was fun!
We are already thinking about the next one,
and the next, and the next...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sweet Words

Joey had his tonsils taken out and hasn't been feeling well. He told me he was "very sick." I asked him how sick he was and he said, "27." I'm not sure what 27 means, but I took a picture of him to document what a "very sick 27" looks like. Doesn't he look terrible!

His throat has been very sore and he hasn't had much of an appetite. He would say, "Grandma, I'm hungry." We tried a banana, pears, oatmeal and mashed potatoes. He would take a couple of bites and say in his most pitiful 27 voice, "I don't want this."

Kacie was here too and when she heard Joey say I don't want this, she would say, "I eat it Grandma." And she did, she very graciously ate everything!

Leile went back to school this week and was given two cookies for her snack and she saved one for me. After school she brought it to me; it was in a sack that had Grandma written on it. She smiled so big and with sparkling eyes said, "This is for you, Grandma!" I felt so loved. By the way it was a chocolate chip cookie, um mmm!

Lydia was very happy to see me when I went to babysit them Tuesday night. She was very chatty and had lots to share with me. One of the first things she said was, "Grandma, Emma and Ben lost toofahs!" (tooth) And yes, the Tooth Fairy did come.
Sweet words.

Monday, August 3, 2009


One, two, three, four, tell me that you love me more!

Pump, pump, pump it up.

On your mark...get set...let go!

Simply fun!

The end.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Isn't she beautiful !

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ending and Beginning

Saturday, August 7, 1982
"Our baby finally made it! He was born on Thursday August 5th at 12:34 p.m. He weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces and was 19 3/4 inches long. We named him Austin Marshall Cruze. He is a beautiful baby so plump and pink!"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Our baby finally made it! Austin and Katina were married in the Temple today! It was a very tender moment to see their love for each other shinning in their eyes. They were pronounced husband and wife and a new family was born.

This is it, the last one,
There are no more left.
Austin is the caboose, kaput!
May you, "Live long and prosper." (Spock)

Waking up to morning breath, stinky!
Seeing true love as it really is...oh, the possibilities!
Cooking 101
Crankiness, testiness, irritability, good days, bad days etc.
Laughing, teasing, private jokes,
Happiness, tenderness, kindness, compassion...
Growing and learning to be a family.

But don't worry, "All you need is love!" (The Beatles)

It was a beautiful day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Rule

I made a rule for myself: If I find money in the washer it is mine to keep. When I do find money, I smile with excitement and gleefully think, ah ha, 5 bucks! I don't tell anyone when I find the money, and since nobody knows about my rule nobody has ever asked, "Mom/Kay, did you find $5 in the washer?" If they did ask I would have to say, "Finders keepers, losers weepers."

I kept the nickel, but the pocket knife...I just put it in the basket on Shane's dresser, and a new rule was born.

Finders weepers, losers keepers.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What's This!

I reached into the washer this morning and felt my hand brush against something that felt wispy soft. Wondering what I touched, I looked inside and found myself to startled to make a sound. There was this spider inside the washer! INSIDE! It was just a little bit to comfortable sitting on its web in my washer. It didn't even move when I touched it and it didn't look like it had any intentions of moving either. What a nervy spider! Unfortunately for him, he had to leave and was unceremoniously removed as I mumbled to myself, "Take that you wispy, nervy spider!" I can't believe I touched it!

Friday, June 26, 2009


I remember when I was pregnant with the twins; I was totally overwhelmed with the thought of having two babies, wondering how I was going to take care of them. When our two beautiful babies finally came they brought a love to me that I didn’t know existed, an immense, deep, abiding, sacred love. When I became pregnant with Eldon I didn’t think I could love another baby as much as I loved the twins, but again love showed me there is no end or beginning or a set limit to our love. My love has grown with each child we added to our family. With each marriage of our children we gained another child and our love widened to encompass them. We looked forward to the birth of our first grandchild, ready, willing and able to love some more, and we discovered yet again another dimension of love. Grandma and Grandpa love, just as rich and fulfilling as all our other loves.

Today is a milestone. It is the last day I will be caring for Thomas every day. He will be going to the babysitter now. It feels like the day the twins started Kindergarten, they were thrilled and I cried. It feels like experiencing the kid’s high school graduation, leaving for college and missions and getting married all rolled into one. You would think I would be use to this by now, but I am not. It has been such a lovely experience to care for Thomas.

So here I am full circle. I will be lost without Thomas for a few days, the house will be so quiet and I will miss him.

I have been so blessed to have love so abundantly in my life.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Lucky Me

This is Spidey Girl, she has been hanging around for about 4 days. I know she is a girl because there is an egg sac on the leaf beside her. She is a nice looking spider, as spiders go, but I'm not as impressed with her as much as I am my photography. The name of this photo is "Lucky Shot." I'm lucky I have a camera that takes nice pictures with or without me and that Spidey Girl was at the right place at the right time. What luck!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Truck!

sundaY morning shane had a flat tire; he was going to take the truck but I gallantly told him, "take my car, i'll drive the truck." he gave me his winning smile and was on his way.

i had a nice leisurely morning getting ready for church. my hair cooperated and looked great. i had on my brown straight skirt, a cream colored sweater with its matching jacket, brown alligator heels, anniversary pearls and diamond wedding ring - I was ready to go!

but then...
i walked outside, saw the truck and was immediately horrified.

it was filthy, nasty and FULL of trash! i became aware of the wafting stench that subtly tickled my nose. i said to myself, NO WAY! but, myself said, "you must." i had fleeting thoughts of having a quiet sabbath at home; but they fluttered and then died. swallowing my pride, but not my embarrassment, i faced the challenge head on, accepted the fact that i would be smelled a mile away and that people would think all sorts of stuff - because i was!

i opened the door, hitched up my skirt, and climbed in.

i put my skirt back down where it belonged, buckled my seat belt, started the truck and while looking out the dirty windshield, i laughed at me, sitting in trash and filth wearing my pearls and diamonds.

i parked as far away from the building as i possibly could, like next to the dumpster hoping to blend in.

and, you know i did! i snuck out of church five minutes early so no one would see who the trashy people were that drove that truck!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Beautiful World

What a perfect way to start the day. I went outside and saw a butterfly on one of my flowers. I immediately got my camera and captured the delightful moment... and several others. Enjoy!

It was an enchanting find.

My B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L view! I love it.

This is Mary Jane Magnolia. She lives at the corner of the house and blooms outrageously every spring. Much to my delight I enjoy her blossoms every few weeks. I always smile and laugh when I see her putting out her buds. Isn't it great that she doesn't know she should only bloom one time a year.
What a lady!

I don't like spiders, but isn't it cool that you can see
the spiders shadow on the leaf.
Its web adds a nice touch too.

My stunning Stella d' Ore Day Lilly's

Just a rose in bloom, LOVELY!

Sprinkle in some good company.
And there you have it, my beautiful world!