Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Layout and Wienie Dog Outfit #1

First up is a layout I did about my Grandparents about a month ago. This picture was taking in 1963 and it is the only photograph I have of my Grandfather. He passed away shortly after this was taken. It was originally meant to be a tribute to my Grandfather, but then Grandma's health declined shortly after I created it so it is even more special to me now. I used all of my faves: Thickers (of course), Primas, bling, ribbon, and my Fiskars Upper Crest punch.

And here is Katie in her Wienie Dog outfit. After reading my last post, I had a few people say they, too, wanted to see the outfits so I thought I'd just put them on the blog. This is a full-body shot.

Followed by a close-up of her barrettes. She loved these so much, she refused to wear only one of them.

Here is a close up of her pant leg. Notice it is the same dog as the barrettes, which is the same dog as the bottom one on her shirt...

...right here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

God always knows...

I was going through my usual blog-hopping routine and found myself quite bummed that many of my favorite girlies hadn't updated their blogs as of late. Then I realized that I was guilty of that same infraction. Sorry.

I expected this week to be really, really difficult. It hasn't been. Granted, I do miss my grandma, but I was missing her before she died because it wasn't really "grandma" laying in that bed in Alabama. I've been mourning the loss of that sweet, amazing woman for many years now. But I have been so blessed with comfort and peace this week. I am always amazed how God just knows what I need, when I need it. I mean, I KNOW He knows, but I'm always amazed at how He remembers little ol' me, I guess.

This week, God made sure that I would have some really wonderful stories to hear about Grandma. New stories. Never-before-heard-with-mine-own-ears stories. They have caused me to laugh, and even shed some happy tears. But mainly, those new stories gave me comfort and and joy and appreciation for the lovely souls who shared them with me:

Aunt Sandy called first thing Friday morning to tell me she was sorry and that she loved me. She also shared about the first time she had ever seen my Grandma. You see, my mom's parents and my dad's parents were close friends. Aunt Sandy is my mom's sister and she met my Grandma Genevieve when she was a small child (Aunt Sandy, not Grandma - obviously). Anyway, Aunt Sandy told me that the first time she laid eyes on my Grandma, she thought Grandma was a movie star. She looked like she had stepped right out of the TV set because she was so glamorous and put-together. Grandma was always dressed to the 9's and fully coiffed - even if she was just sitting around her house reading a book.

Then my brother called. He was sad for many reasons. First, we lost Grandma. But, he also had a fall-out with our father several months ago. Plus, he's going through a divorce and wanted to complain. Honestly, I didn't want to hear it, I wanted to focus on Grandma. But it was nice of him to call me anyway. I think. At least I was able to comfort HIM though. You gotta take your blessings where you find them sometimes. :oD

Then mother called. She, too, was sad. She had known Grandma her entire life, then she married my Dad and Grandma became another (well, an "only") mother to my mom. They were very close.

Then Aunt Linda called and we shared some hilarious stories about Grandma. I mean "LOL with tears running down your face" hilarious. My Grandma was such a proper woman. She was all about "appearances" in more ways than one. She insisted on the highest of decorum. So when she happened to slip up and do something "human", it was really funny. And the good thing about Grandma was that she would laugh, too - well, most of the time.

Then yesterday I received a sympathy card from my Grandma's step-daughter. She was the sweet angel who cared for Grandma in Santa Barbara before she went to live with my Dad. Diane was a godsend. Grandma was really quite nice when she wanted to be - but she had a very stubborn and mean streak through her, too. And poor Diane got Grandma's bad side more often than the good. Grandma resented relying on anyone and she really gave Diane a lot of grief. Anyway, Diane wrote that "God better be on his toes because he's just received the sweetest and most fiesty woman I know". Diane always tells me I'm wonderful and makes me feel just so darned good.

I've had emails and comments on my blog - all from friends wanting to provide comfort. I really am overwhelmed at how blessed I am. Truly, truly blessed.

The week has also been busy with the kidlets. Brendan ran for Student Council Rep for his class. They were choosing two reps and he came in tied for second place. Then he lost in the run-off. He was sad at first, but I quickly cheered him up. He was laughing at how all the kids in his class kept asking if they could have his poster. Everyone else had hand-drawn posters (which were cute and just fine), but Brendan's poster was a little more "embellished". We cut everything out on the cricut and I was finally able to use up a few of my MAMBI die-cuts from eons ago.

But the funniest thing this week was Katie-ism #1729. It goes something like this:

Marti: Katie, show Daddy your cute weenie-dog outfit Mommy bought you.
Daddy: Oh, that is so cute, Katie!
Marti: I told Houston I'd take a picture of Katie in her outfits and email them to her.
Daddy: Oh, does Houston have a weenie dog?
Marti: She has two: Hans and Edgar. Hans is a Rescue Dog.
Katie: (sudden loud intake of air) Does that mean he can fly?!?!
Marti: (trying desperately not to laugh hysterically at her sweet and ever-so-sincere daughter) No, Katie. That means he was rescued. He doesn't do the rescuing.

God always knows what I need, just when I need it. . .

Friday, September 18, 2009

Genevieve Kienke Rosendahl Green 1912-2009

I received word at 2 am this morning that Grandma had passed away. I am sure she is having a glorious reunion with my grandfather and that they are dancing together on a cloud and catching up on the past 45 years or so. I miss her already, but happy she is no longer bound by earthly limitations. I am so grateful that she was mine.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Grandma G-String

My phone rang at 7:55 this morning. The caller ID gave an Alabama area code. I just KNEW this was bad news about Grandma. When I answered the phone, the caller identified herself as Lela and said she is the nurse who has been caring for Grandma for the past 4 years while she's been at the nursing home. I was still waiting for the bad news. She didn't have any. She said it had been on her heart all week to call me to talk to me about my grandmother. Apparently, they really bonded these past few years and she just wanted me to know how much she loves my grandma. She said that Grandma is the sweetest lady she's ever worked with and that she has been dreading reading the 24-hour reports each morning when she arrives at work because she was afraid they would indicate Grandma had died. We spoke for 20 minutes and I told her all about the woman my grandmother was before. Before old age caused her mind to fade and her memories to dim. Before she was trapped in a body that wouldn't function properly. Before she was dependent upon other people for her every need.

My Grandma was an amazing woman. She was the original Valley Girl. She was raised in the San Fernando Valley in southern California. She met and married my Grandfather and they adopted two children (my dad and his sister, Linda). She was a wife and mother who became a widow while still in her 40's. I never knew my grandfather, but I know he was wonderful.

She was a widow for many, many years before she re-married. Grandma was a hair stylist who, when it became too difficult for her to stand on her feet all day, began styling wigs for her little-old-lady friends. She married Grandpa Oscar when I was in 6th Grade. They had several happy years together and then she cared for him while Alzheimers slowly took him from her.

She continued to live on her own in Santa Barbara, in the little home they had shared two blocks from the beach. She kept her body active until she was close to 90 years old. She used to walk in her neighborhood and down by the wharf several times each week - until she tripped over a crack in the sidewalk one day and nobody would stop to help her up. She stopped walking for exercise after that.

My grandma was my stability during my childhood. I didn't have a lot of that in my home, but I always knew Grandma was just a letter or a phone call away. She took me to church with her when we lived nearby and I always treasured our Sundays together. We'd go to church, then she'd take me to A&W Rootbeer (drive-in) for root beer and chili dogs, then we'd go to the park before she took me home.

Grandma was always very stylish and kept up with the latest fashion trends. Even as a teenager, I would've worn 90% of the clothes in her closet. I was the only girl I knew whose grandmother wore Jordache Jeans. She wouldn't go outside until her "face" was on. I loved to go shopping with her because she had really great style.

The only bad advice she gave me was to marry my first husband. I found myself a teenage-mother-to-be and she felt I should marry my boyfriend. I did. And a year later when we had our marriage sealed in the Salt Lake Temple of the LDS church, my grandma was so very proud. She had a strong faith the church was so very important to her.

Unfortunately, I was married to a man who didn't love and respect me as a person. When I found myself a young single mother 9 years later, she was as devastated as I was. Then, fifteen years ago I met the sweetest man I've ever known. He loved me and cherished me - and wanted to share his life with me and be a parent to my two sons. The only thing he asked of me was a shared faith - and he was Catholic. When I married Tom, and converted to Catholicism, I broke Grandma's heart - and that broke mine. She never complained or lectured me though. She didn't understand, but she didn't judge. After she met Tom, she took me aside and said, "God knows your heart, Marti. I can see you've married a wonderful man who loves you and values you and I am so thankful to see that. Your Heavenly Father understands everything. I love you and I only want for you to be happy.". What a gift that was for me.

When Marc and Sean were 8 and 6, their father and I took them to California for vacation. Grandma, being the stylin' Grandmother that she was, was trying to figure out what they should call her. She liked "Grandma Green" and "Grandma GG". One of the boys called her "Grandma G Green" and his father said, "Grandma G-String?"... and it stuck. So, Marc and Sean still refer to her as Grandma G-String. She laughed hysterically at it, but I don't think she was overly impressed with her new moniker.

Grandma G-String is going to be reunited with my grandfather within the next day or two. It will be a joyous time for them. I know she's missed him so very much. I will miss her more than I can say, but I have so many wonderful memories of her. I am grateful that she's been with me for so long. Not many people live to be 97 years old. I am blessed to have had such an amazing example of love, faith, style, and grace.

Godspeed, Grandma.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sean's birthday...

...was yesterday! My sweet little 5 lb. 8 oz. little guy has grown into a 6'1", 225 lb. man. He'll be coming home in October to enjoy his birthday gift - tickets to the Broncos v. Cowboys game! He is very excited.

I also didn't get a chance to post about the Good Grief Blog . My layout of Quincey was spotlighted there this past week. I will be a guest contributor for a few more of their challenges. If you have suffered a loss, you might want to check it out. They will be doing two challenges each month for a year (at least) and if you follow along, you will have a wonderful scrapbook highlighting your relationship with your loved one. Here is the layout I did of Quincey. Go to the website to see the journaling and the story of little Q.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boy, it has been a crazy month!

Isn't my new blog pretty? My bestest pal, Houston, fixed it up for me. I love it - and her - so much! Thank you, girlie! I seriously don't know what I did without you!!! I wish you didn't live 2 hours away so I could give you a big hug.

Just a quick update so you know that the pneumonia didn't put me down for a permanent "dirt nap" (as Marc calls it).

1. I got really sick after my last post. The scrapbooking day was fabulous, then I woke up the next day without the ability to breathe. Went to HealthReach and was given chest x-rays, breathing treatments, steroids, cough syrup with codeine, and instructions to rest. The meds helped, the rest never happened. ;oD It still took a few weeks to completely recover.

2. Computer got a crazy virus, which required a trip to the computer hospital for 9 very long days. I was lost without it.

3. Marc is in Kodiak (or is it ON Kodiak) until October 20. No phones. I miss him like crazy.

4. School started for both children. Brendan is in 4th Grade and Katie is attending preschool every morning. They are both happy and loving their teachers and classmates.

5. My Grandma is expected to pass away at any moment. She is 97 so one would think I would've prepared better, but I haven't. It has been a rough week, but I am so grateful to have had her love and guidance all these years. She was my stability when I was growing up. I will miss her so very much, but I know she is looking forward to being reunited with my grandfather, who died over 40 years ago. (expect a nice long post on my grandma this week - she was quite a fun lady).

6. Biggest Loser begins again tonight. I need it. I wasn't able to work out when I was sick and I've gained back 8 of my 25 pounds. Grrrrr.

7. The stomach bug is making it's way through our family. Brendan first, and now Tom and I both feel like we're coming down with it. Ick. Ick. Ick. Hopefully Katie doesn't catch it.

That's all for now. It's good to be back. I've missed my blog.