Monday, July 30, 2007

Back to a beginning

My mom and I recently took the kids to the annual Hadfield Family Reunion. This reunion is held in Logan Utah every July, the weekend of the 13th, as that is the birthdate of my Grandfather's father. My 90 year old Grandpa and his remaining siblings spent a day with us in their place of birth; Grouse Creek Utah. I won't spend too much time here telling you about getting lost in the back woods of Northern Utah-that is an entry all on its own. But I will say that going back to those beginnings was so significant for me at this time in my life.

Grouse Creek is exactly what you see in this picture, accept for a few homesteads which still remain. It was in this small area of the world that my grandfather and his 9 brothers and sisters worked with their widowed mother and stuck through thick and thin. Grandpa eventually ended up, during wartime, a merchant marine in the middle of the ocean. He had to set his back to the valley and face a world of unknowns in places he'd hardly even read about. Then, after starting a family Grandpa would eventually move them across the ocean to Australia, where they hopped from city to city as he was an engineer for a mining company there. From what you see in this picture, a little lonely valley, my grandpa left to see the world. And while the adventures he encountered out there were defining and amazing it is these roots my grandpa returns to, roots that go down deep and ground him as a man of faith and hard work. A man who believes that family should stick together and that where we come from makes such an impact on where we go and who we become.
The very day we drove the 4 hours to Grouse Creek my partner in crime and parenting called to let me know he'd been given an assignment in Johhannessberg South Africa. We already knew we were moving to Texas, and we were in the throws of preparing another house to sell, another group of friends to separate from and another goodbye and farewell from our family. But this call meant that instead of flying down to Dallas and buying a house, setting up shop and laying groundwork for a happy school year we were instead going to fly into the wild blue yonder and land with 6 kids in the middle of South Africa; what an adventure indeed. The assignment is short; 3-6 months, but the task daunting and the distance looming as we try and help our kids wrap their minds and hearts around a new place and another new beginning.
Now John is gone, flew to Jo-Berg on Saturday. While that country is a world away for me, I know I belong there with our children because where ever John is I am home. So, we go. And I'll try to do it with a smile. Wondering how a girl like me ended up in a place like this...
Maybe I have some of my grandpa in me somewhere; a person who isn't afraid of the big world and who is willing to trade it for the little valley where she is surrounded by siblings who will work through thick and thin to keep it all together. Maybe somehow in galavanting our crew of 6 around the planet like this we will instill in them a sense of purpose, a sense of family togetherness and perhaps even a longing for roots that go deep and a belief that family is everything and that where we come from will make an impact on who we will become.
So I set my back to this valley, and face the adventure ahead, hoping it will be all that it could be for me and mine. Hope you'll come along on the adventure. We'll keep our blog and even be better at keeping you informed as to what we are up to on our new side of the world.
Here we go!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Expect the Unexpected

We are learning to expect the unexpected in our family these days. Diaper blow outs and melt downs during errands are just precursors to bigger surprises to come. Shoes that need replacing A.S.A.P. and swimming pools that need parts repaired are just the run-ups to expenses that are unplanned and yet so necessary. I feel blessed every time I can write the check to fix something we didn't know needed fixing or buy something that has to be bought-but it does take a little out of you every time your bank account ticks down over something you didn't want to spend for...such is life I guess.

We have "burned rubber" too many times in our trusty old suburban. Finally had to replace our tires. Now, tire replacement is an expenditure I reluctantly make, and even more reluctantly do I make it with my children wandering with me through the Costco in Murray, Utah while the tire guys give my pewter colored ride an unnoticable face lift.

Two hours, 5 kids in Costco, $680.00. Not pleasant.

In the end, a Costco lunch in our bellies and $115 dollars of this and that in the grocery cart, we left with new tires and an assurance that we wouldn't blow out on the road for another few thousand miles. I guess that is worth something. I left the parking lot and drove home, wondering if anyone on the road could discern that I had just invested lots of cash in shiny new rubber. Probably not. Checking out someone else's car tires isn't something you expect to be doing as you head east on Interstate 215 toward Holladay Blvd.; but, I guess you should learn to expect the unexpected...
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 01, 2007

My Mom

From the time I was young my mom has supported my every endeavor. Her life has revolved around the needs of her kids for over 37 years, since her mothering began. Six of us she raised-of course with my dad by her side-to be responsible contributing adults who have a strong moral center and a compassionate heart. And she's still going strong. Over two years ago she and dad welcomed Alex into their homes and into their lives. He is our Molly's brother, and they have been "grandma and grandpa" to him; seeing him through surgeries and through very long therapy sessions (Alex has some physical limitations due to a tramautic birth) and being his guardian angels through thick and thin. Somehow in helping to run the family business, raise little Alex and manage the remodel of their home my mom has come to our rescue a million times since our life in Utah began two years ago. Living with the kids while we brought Lucy home, babysitting in a pinch so I could be in one of the kid's classrooms, and generally keeping me afloat on many occasions when life as the mother of six little kids had become more than I could manage (mom does a mean load of dishes, and her laundry skills are bar none!). Mom has been there for me at so many times and in so many
ways that no tribute, no list of help given would be adequate to express how much she has meant to me in the time we have lived "back home".
Mom Recently saved the day again, moving in this last week so John and I could be a part of our Church group's pioneer trek (pics and stories to follow soon!). She raised my kids for 4 days while John and I tried to help the youth of our area learn valuable lessons and experience the spirit of the pioneers who founded this terrific state. She survived with kids sick, a house that is a disaster area and little ones who can't get to sleep without a yelp from their mom. She did it-of course with dad's help-but it was mom that cooked the meals and washed the laundry and took the kids to McDonald's. My mom, the lady can do anything I tell ya. Her crowning achievement of this week's rescue was the loading of our children into the family suburban on Saturday morning, driving to the Wyoming border, and hauling them to the "receiving line" to watch their parents come off the trail, dirty and tired and anxious to see their little Grahams. Mom did that for us. She did it for me, because she is mom. I know she'd go to the ends of the earth for me; and sometimes it feels like I've asked her to. No matter the cost, my mom is willing if I need her, to do whatever I need her to do. My gratitude cannot be verbalized. My reverence for her is complete. She is divine indeed; a slice of heaven, an angel of help. A heart of love and a shoulder to lean on. My mom is all those things. Oh how I love you, mom!
Posted by Picasa