Friday, February 21, 2014
Neli Belle was born on October 19 2011. My grandmother Elsie's birthday. She is a fiery red head with blue eyes and looks up to her older sisters so much. She really is a delightful child and has a really funny personality.
Pepper Peach is now 5 and in preK. Due to her birthday being in November she can't go to Kindergarten until next year, even though she is ready! She is a funny girl as well who enjoys the word POOP a little too much. She loves to make people laugh and loves to play with her friends and her sisters.
Libby Nancy is now 17 years old. How can this be? She will graduate next year - just as we are starting over with Pepper and Neli to follow in 3 years. Well life won't be dull that is for sure. Libby still loves to perform. She has been active in choir and theater for the last 2 years. And she still loves to dance.She is currently rehearsing for Once Upon a Mattress where she has a lead dancer role!! And was named the dance captain for rehearsals. And she is anxiously awaiting her trip to NYC for theater!
That's all for now - will be back soon!!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Elsie Jewel Nielsen Foster (written in her own words, July 2000, assisted by her daughter, Karen)
I was born in my parent's home in College Ward Logan Utah on October 19 1924. I was the fifth of a nine children. Mother passed away when I was seven years old. Her Mother, my Grandmother, passed away a couple of weeks before that. My father's sister, my Aunt Violet wanted to take me to live with her. Her daughter, my cousin Ivaloo, was my age and Aunt Violet thought she could raise us together. My Dad said "No" because he wanted to keep the family together. Just a few years later, Aunt Violet passed away. The highlights of my life as a young girl were visits to my mom's sister's houses, Aunt Becky, Aunt Bertha, and Aunt Elsie, especially Aunt Becky. Aunt Becky came to stay with us after Mother passed away and lived with us for 18 months until Father remarried. She became a mother to me.
I was a little accident-prone when I was a child. Amongst my mishaps: I fell while visiting Grandma Jensen and hit my head on the corner of an open oven door. Another time I stood on a spike in a board and ran the spike clear through my foot. When I was around eleven years old, several cousins and I were jumping off a derrick pole, which was used to load and unload hay from the attic of the barn. One evening, I went first and there wasn't any hay. I couldn't go back, so I just jumped. This resulted in my face smashing into my knees and left me with scars and pain I still have today. As an adult, I seemed to have this continuing problem. When my youngest son, Jay, was around four or five years old, he talked me into taking him for a sled ride. I swerved to miss a tree and flew over an embankment and ended up with a fractured tailbone.
When I was 16 years old, I left home and moved to Ogden, Utah. I lived with my sister, Mildred for a few months. I then got a job cleaning and cooking in a boarding house, where I lived for the next six months. Then I found a job as a nurse's aide at the Dee Hospital in Ogden and moved into a one-room apartment. I made $15 a week at Dee Hospital. I saw an ad in the paper for help at Walgreen's Drug Store. I applied and got a job there.
One night while skating at the Berthana Roller Rink, I needed a partner for the multiple couples skate. When they blew the whistle to change partners, my friend pointed out his friend. He said, "Go ask my friend Jack. He's a little shy." I said, "I like shy guys." So I went over and asked Jack to skate. He told me he didn't skate. I asked why he had skates on then, so he had to get up and skate. After that whenever the whistle blew, he said I had gotten him up, so I had to keep skating with him. Before my 18th birthday, August 20, 1942, we were married. In December 1942, Jack was off to war. May 1943, our first daughter, Karen, was born. May 1944, Karen and I moved to Omaha, NE. We moved because I needed someone to watch Karen so I could get a job. We couldn't live on our allotment check of $80 a month. My mother-in-law offered to care for Karen.
December 1945, Jack returned home from the war. He joined us in the house we shared with a friend and her four children. Her husband and my two brothers, Aaron and Jay, who returned from the war, also shared this house for a short time.
A few months later, Jack and I rented a small house in South Omaha. December 1946, our second daughter, Kathleen was born. When Kathy was six months old, I went to work nights at Armour Packing Plant, so we could save money for a house. About six months later, we had an opportunity to move into a house with a friend. We shared the rent and all had our own bedrooms. It was a large and comfortable home, which we eventually purchased. We lived in this house for the next six years. I took in roomers and boarders to help with expenses. Jack's parents moved into our basement because they had a very low income.
Our third daughter, Kristie, was born December 22, 1952. Our son Jack was born June 26, 1954. In 1954 we sold the big house and moved to an acreage just outside the Omaha city limits. There we had 50 fruit trees, 25 of them apricot. We also had lots of garden space. The 20 years we lived there were very busy ones. I picked the fruit and sold what we didn't need. I raised a big garden and canned and froze the fruit and vegetables. Jack's father had passed away. His mother, having only around $45 a month social security to live on, became part of our family. Our youngest son, Jay, was born January 18, 1957. Karen, our oldest daughter, married in May 1963. Jack's mother passed away in 1964 from com;ications from diabetes. Our daughters Kathy and Kristie, and our son, Jack married in the next ten years.
I wish I'd written down all the funny things my kids said and did. If I had I could write a book. And what fun it would be for me to read it. Like most mothers, I thought mine were the cutest, smartest ever born. Of course, I think the same about the grandkids and great grandkids. We have 15 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. We count ourselves very fortunate for having them.
In 1974, we moved again to Lavista, NE, where my occupation as a homemaker, gardener and private canning factory continued. During the twelve years we lived there I also taught primary, Sunday school, was homemaking leader in the Stake, and then in the ward. I was back in the ward as homemaking counselor, and then I held that position in the Stake. Then back to ward as Relief Society President. Then back to primary and class leader in the Relief Society simultaneously. Our ward was divided and I was called to be homemaking counselor to Relief Society President for the second time.
In 1988, Jack retired and we moved to the town where he'd been born, Ulysses, NE. We attended church in Columbus, NE, 45 miles northwest of our home. It was a small branch. We just loved it. There I was called to be education counselor in Relief Society. The President was released and a new one sustained. She asked for me to stay on, which I did, but she only lasted a year. Then the third one asked for me for visiting teaching coordinator. I was also called to teach eleven-year-old girls in primary at one time.
After only four years in Ulysses we moved to Cedar Bluffs, across the alley from our daughter Kathy. We moved in March 1992, and received a mission call the week after. We left for the Chicago Illinois Temple the end of August and served there for the next year. A few months after our release, we were called to serve there as rotation workers, which we did for the next four years. Serving in the Temple was the most rewarding thing I ever did, as well as the most spiritually uplifting. It's like being lifted out of the chaos of the world and I would even say as close to heaven as we can get on this earth.
May 30, 1999 the last day we served in the Chicago temple, I had a bad fall (there I go again). I still suffer from that. I injured my legs, right hip and shoulder. After that I had problems with my heart again. I was experiencing immature beats which led to a 2nd heart attack. I had angioplasty and six weeks later, I was back in the hospital again. The stint was plugged with scar tissue. The next 3 years I had 9 heart caths, 2 corroded artery surgeries, bypass and another angioplasty. At this point, I say enough.
We've had to give up temple service; I can't sit to ride long enough. Now I have fibromyalgia added to the other problems. Some days I'm convinced I'm a senior citizen.
I started swimming for exercise after a surgery I had 17 years ago, and I'm still trying. I go to the Y almost every day. Since my 2nd heart attack I have only been able to do half as many laps. But I am thankful I can do that much.
Currently my church calling is supervisor of the visiting teaching in Fremont NE ward. I've been doing this nearly three years. I enjoy it very much. The church and my family are my life. I don't know what I'd do without them both.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Memoirs of an Invisible Girl
Did you ever have the feeling you were invisible? Not in the literal sense, but in living your every day life? Well I am that girl. Actually I am 40 years old, but have dealt with invisibility my whole life. You have probably seen me on the street or in the mall, or perhaps worked with me in a previous job, or even met me face-to-face, but due to my invisibility, you don’t remember me and probably would need to meet me several times before you remembered me. And you would probably have to be a close family member to acknowledge my birthday or perhaps wonder how I am feeling.
I think it started in Junior High. I was never the pretty girl or the popular girl. I was smart and had friends, but never seemed to own a room or stand out in a crowd. I remember going to the roller rink on the weekends with my friends and being a wall flower as they announced the snowball skate. The one where one couple starts the skate and when the DJ says “switch” each partner selects a new person from the “wall”. I stood on the wall so long sometimes and I would eventually fade into the benches and eventually give up.
My invisibility didn’t stop there. 7th grade was awful for the self esteem factor. People made fun of my name and changed it into a horrible slang for the male sex organ. We don’t need to go there though.
Then as I progressed into high school I was flat chested and had short hair and often got teased for being a boy. There was one time where we were changing after marching band and I was in the main music room putting away my clarinet. This was also the room that later became the boys dressing area once all the girls were out. Some boy actually said “oh Invisible is the only one left, we can change”. That was a real up-lifter. At least they saw me.
But high school invisibility didn’t end there. I tried out for cheerleading my freshman year. My best friend’s mom was the nurse at the school and was told the list of the girls that made it. My friend couldn’t wait to tell me. Was invisible girl going to be finally seen? Well low and behold my utter shock when the next day at school they announced the 9th grade squad and my name wasn’t on the list. Evidently my name wasn’t popular enough, they switched me out for the principal’s daughter. How cruel!!
I never did have a serious boyfriend in high school until my senior year. I did have a major crush on a boy that was from California. Every girl did. I was invisible to him except for letting him cheat off me in Spanish class and hanging out a few times outside of school. At one point I really thought he liked me too, boy was I mistaken. I was just being used.
I dated a few times, but I didn’t play the field and have the fun that other girls were having. Boys just didn’t notice me, and if they did they weren’t really boyfriends that I wanted to have. I had boys that were friends and that I liked to hang out with. And looking back they are the ones I should have stuck with. Hanging out and having fun.
I went to all the major dances of my high school career. The snoball dance was one where the girl asked the guy. Sometimes it took a few guys to get one to say yes, but hey at least I went. I never was a knockout when I was all dressed up. I was always a plain Jane with poofy hair that my mom tried to fix. I have a crooked smile. Thankfully I went through braces and got straight teeth, but have worn glasses since I was 5. Luckily back in those days I could wear contacts though. So that improved my image a little.
Then once I started dating my most serious high school boyfriend who later became the father to my son and my first husband, other boys started asking me out. But after several years of low self esteem and my invisibility, I was too ignorant to accept their invitations and play the field. I was “in love” and going to spend my life with my new beau. We were married when I became pregnant and divorced only 3 years later.
Then I married the man of my life when I was 22. He made me feel special and appreciated me for who I was. With the divorce and other stress of my life I dropped a ton of weight and was down to a size 4 and I dyed my hair black. People were actually starting to see me. That was probably the least invisible I ever was.
Funny thing is, when I married my Mr. Right, I was marrying Mr. Invisible. We used to joke about it. We would go to a wedding or other gathering with many people around who we knew. We would sit at an empty table and see how long it would take for someone to sit by us. Usually it was never people we knew that joined us and they joined us in groups because there were no other tables. We said we repel people. We tell this story to our close friends (yes believe it or not we have a few), and they laugh. I don’t think non-invisible people realize that this is serious.
One time Mr. Right and I decided to sit at separate tables for a bit at a church event, just to see which one of us repelled people the most. I think I won that prize. Someone we knew went up and started talking to him first. This is not a trophy you want friends.
I am a social media person. I have Facebook and Twitter accounts. I do have friends and followers. But let me tell you, if it weren’t for diligent Facebook users, I wouldn’t get birthday wishes other than from my family. I think I could not talk to someone for several years and they would not even give it a second thought.
I will continue to live my invisible life and continue to maintain my friendships via text, email, and social media, but I don’t think I will ever outgrow my invisible life.