Sunday, February 16, 2014

Family Life

We are here!!! Let the three day Volleyball Tournament begin.  I will share photos and scores as we go.  Let's do something a little different for now....let's talk about my family life growing up.

1) What kind of apartment or house did your family live in?  We always lived in a single family home.  My father was in the U.S. Air Force so we either lived in a home in base housing or in a home somewhere close to the base.  
2)  What was the neighborhood like?
We lived in nice family oriented neighborhoods.  The first home I remember was on Webb Air Force Base.  I played with all the older kids in the neighborhood.  I was the oldest in my family and the neighbor kids kept an eye on me whenever we played games as a group outside.  I remember many a night playing outside in someone's yard until the sun went down.  Or playing games late at night in the street with the street lights on just outside my home.  I loved to ride my bike and after my little brother was born I would take him outside and push him around in this little car thing he had.  I was very proud to be the big sister and to take care of my little brother.  It made me feel like such a big girl. Living on base made everyone feel a little more safe for some reason.  When I was about 5 years old we moved to Arizona.  My dad was stationed at Williams Air Force Base.  We lived in Queen Creek until our house was finished being built in Apache Junction.  I went from attending a catholic school for pre-kindergarden, to a public school just outside of the base in Texas, to a one room school in Queen Creek, and then settled in at the only Elementary School in Apache Junction at the time.  It was called Superstition Elementary.  We stayed in that newly built home until after 6th grade.  Then we moved to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California where we lived in base housing again.  We sold our home in Arizona.  Then when my father retired as a Master Sergeant we moved back to Arizona.  This time to a house on the street just behind where my grandparents lived.  We moved to Mesa just as summer vacation began between my junior and senior year of high school.  My parents still live in that home today in East Mesa.
3)  What were family meals like?
We always ate dinner as a family together.  My mother was an excellent cook and she was always good at anything she made.  We tease her about leaving the plastic on the cheese when she made grilled cheese sandwiches or banana cream soup pie.  But those things only happened once in all the time she cooked for us.  The plastic on the cheese was just an over sight and the soupy pie was due to a bad recipe in a new cook book.
4). What kinds of foods were served?
My mother was an awesome cook.  We had all kinds of things.  My mother would cook spaghetti with homemade sauce that would cook all day or chicken enchiladas with chicken she would cook until it just fell off the bone and she would make her own sauce for it too.  My favorite nights were usually homemade pizza night or taco night.  Chicken cordon bleu was great too.  My mother was amazing!  She even baked well too.  She took many many many cake decorating classes and made several wedding cakes over the years.  You know the ones with cake for every layer.  Not the kind you see now a days with Styrofoam for most of the cake.  I would watch her making flowers for days ahead of each wedding.  Each cake was a work of art.  In fact, my wedding cake was 5 tiers high with seperater plates between each layer and about 4 more cakes around the base too.  Mom can make anything!
5) How did certain dishes become family favorites?
Usually the only way the food my mom made became a family favorite was if dad liked it.  I was a pretty picky eater and my brother and sisters were too young, at least when I still lived at home.  My brother Shaun is six years younger than me.  Susan is six years younger than Shaun and Shelley is four years younger than Susan.  My parents spaced us out quite a bit.  So, they were pretty young when I got married.
6) What did Saturday mean to the family?
Saturdays at my childhood home usually meant dad was home.  He worked Monday through Friday.  When I was little mom and I would get my clothes ready for Sunday.  As a family we spent many a Saturday morning or early afternoon watching PBS documentaries or old movies, or pretty much anything that we wanted or that needed to be done.  It was my dad who introduced me to all the classic movies like Easter Parade, My Fair Lady and anything with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in it.  I loved it. I also remember many a Saturday spent down at our church for various activities.
7) What did Sunday mean?
My parents were raised Lutheran.  When we lived in Texas, Mormon missionaries knocked on my parents door and introduced them to the Mormon faith.  Both of my parents were baptized when I was about 4.  Did I mention that Webb Air Force Base was the same base President Uchtdorf was stationed at and where he learned to fly.  Back in the day our Air Force taught many foreign soldiers how to fly.  President Uchtdorf was there about 9 years before my family was there.  President Uchtdorf shares a story about the little branch in Big Spring, Texas.  Eventually the church built a building in that little town.  My parents were baptized in that building and I still remember being pushed around on the dirt grounds by a man from the ward in a wheel barrow just outside that building.  I think he was our bishop at the time.  To hear my husband and children tell the story, they change it up saying I was pushed around by President Uchtdorf in the wheel barrow. So, from the moment my parents joined this church, Sundays were always spent going to church meetings.  Once we moved into our house in Apache Junction my father was called as the 2nd Counselor in AJ 1st Ward in the Salt River Stake.  Eventually he became the 1st Counselor.  He served in the bishopric from the time I was in
kindergarden until I was in 6th grade. So, Sundays meant dad would be gone really early in the morning and came home much later than we did on Sundays.  So basically, dad was gone a lot.  Mom took care of us kids.
8). Did your family belong to a religious group?
YES!  We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  That meant our religion was not something we practiced only on Sundays.  Belonging to this church is a way of life and becomes a part of everything you do.  Is there any other way?
9) How important was religion in your lives?
Growing up, our religion was THE most important thing in our lives.  I remember traveling with my parents and my little brother to Los Angeles, California to be sealed together forever as a family.  We went to California because the Mesa Temple was closed for repairs at the time.  We made sacred covenants in front of our Heavenly Father that day.  That day has always been one of the most important days of my life.  Not all kids get the chance to kneel at the alter with their parents in the temple.  You see, because my parents were converts to the church they had to be sealed after the fact.  Most Mormon couples are sealed in the temple together when they decide to be married.  When my parents were married outside of the Mormon faith they were married for time only.  Meaning they would not remain married after death.  By being sealed in the temple they will remain married forever.  This is how eternal families are made.  We believe those covenants (a two way promise) that are bound on earth will also be bound in heaven.
This is an incredible blessing and this very fact, knowing that we are sealed together forever, brings peace to those who have lost a spouse or a mother or father or even a child.  We know that we will see our loved ones again as long as we keep up our end of the promise and remain true and faithful to those covenants we have made.  The best part about making g covenants with a loving Heavenly Father is that once He commits and makes a promise with you He cannot go back on his promises.  The only person in the agreement that can break the covenant or promise is you.  That too can bring peace and comfort too.
10) What special words, sayings or nicknames are used in your family?
I don't recall any special words or sayings growing up.  I do remember my nickname.  It was Sondi. My father gave me the nickname.  It was short for Sondra. Now in the Mormon faith we call each other Brother or Sister.  My parents were from Pennsylvania and Michigan and nothing sticks out.  My grandfather on my father's side worked for Ford and my grandfather on my mother's side was an engineer for Massey Ferguson.  A tractor company from back east.  They were mostly German families and nicknames, saying, or words are not something I recall.
11)  How was your family like or different from other families in town? Why?
There are all kinds of ways I could answer this question.  As a military family were appeared to be just like most other families.  But as you got closer and realized that my parents didn't drink or smoke and we spent a lot of time at church meant that we were so different from other families.  If you looked at us from a religious stand point we were exactly like any other family who loved the Lord and tried to serve others and keep the commandments.  This is still true today in my own family.  To look at us we are the typical American family.  If you look closer you will realize we do not drink, smoke or have tattoos all over and pretty much spend a lot of time with family and friends while trying to serve others and keep the commandments.  Like any other family we are far from perfect and we can always find ways to mprove.  Kevin and I love each other and we consider each one of our children our greatest blessings.  We are not wealthy in any way, by the worlds standards, but that is not what is most important to us.  Having a strong, healthy family is.

The Volleyball team had a rough day today.  They lost every game they played today.  It seemed like the girls were just having an off day or something.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.  Let's cross our fingers.  It's 12:50am now and we have to make it to church tomorrow.  Good night all.

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