journal entry

Hybrid school year, here we go

A post about today. And Thursday. And a little bit of Friday.

From Monday, Gabbi’s first day of Kindergarten

Today is Tuesday. That means it’s online school day. We don’t have online assignments yet. Teachers sent home some papers. Dom and Gabbi did them with Maeli and Sadie. They’re the neighbor girls I hired as tutors. It was quiet for a bit. Now they’re running around, yelling, playing, and bouncing off the walls. I suppose they finished their work.

I told Dom he should start piano at 11:15. He said he would check the microwave clock to know when to start. It’s 11:29.

I’m in a meeting with Lydia (in Virginia), Dasha (in South Jordan), Julie (in Texas), Matt (in California), and Doug (in Washington). So I ignore the noise and don’t worry about the piano practicing.

Grandma DeeDee died last Friday. So piano practicing feels a bit different, obviously.

She called last Monday. She told me it hurt to talk and breathing was difficult so she would no longer teach piano. She told me to keep having Dom practice Anitra’s Dance with me. She told me to have Gabbi “spell” words with the keys on the piano: CAB, GAB, DAD, BEG, etc.

Mom sent a text on Thursday: “Come visit Granma DD today if you can”.

I was out on the patio at the time. Dom and Gabbi were inside watching GoNoodle. I was kicking and punching the air with my iPad playing a Les Mills Body Combat workout. I was 30 minutes in so I stopped it.

“I’m going to shower,” I told my kids. “Go do piano, k?”

I cut up a peach from my neighbor, Stacey’s tree, peeled it, put it into a cleaned out sour cream container and called for Dom and Gabbi to come with me.

When we arrived at Grandma’s, she was sitting in the chair in her piano room. Laura, Annabel, and Phil were there, along with Candace, someone who I think they hired to help clean and garden. My mom showed up not long after.

I sat next to Laura who sat next to Grandma and we watched her go through a pile of clothes. We took turns graciously taking them from her as she donated things. Mom brought in her wedding dress from the upstairs closet. Candace helped Laura find her bag with her temple clothes in the front closet. Mom also pulled out a bag of plastic masks that Grandma liked to wear to her Halloween ward parties. I took a video of Mom holding them up to her face. Grandma put the hat on and laughed. I took some pictures. I had no idea that would be my last picture of Grandma, wearing her sister’s hat, laughing, with her oxygen tubes in her nose and wearing her Columbia sweatshirt.

When I left, I grabbed Grandma’s hand. Thane had arrived and was now sitting next to her. I leaned down and told her I loved her. I figured I would be back again. I wanted to bring the music for Anitra’s Dance so Dom and I could play together for her. I had forgotten to bring it with us like I wanted.

We passed Laina and her kids as they pulled up to the house.

We went to Ikea. Wearing our masks, we stood in line outside, standing under a giant tent set up with a winding line and social distancing markers on the ground.

Eventually, we got in and walked around, looking at furniture, hunting for desk chair pads (which I never found), and getting items to finish organizing Dom’s desk. I wanted a standing laptop desk for my office. It was sold out. I wanted a patio storage unit. It was sold out. We found the things for Dom’s desk and got in line. The line went all the way back through the self-pickup area, then split into two and wound through piles of items for sale. I picked up a duvet cover. We shuffled forward, keeping socially distanced from those in front and behind us. Eventually, we made it through the checkout, loaded up our car, and drove off to home. It didn’t look like I would get much work done before Dom’s soccer practice.

Our day changed in an instance when Mom sent her text. I was glad for it. And glad for a job that gave me that flexibility.

Friday afternoon, Gideon (15-year old neighbor) babysat Dom and Gabbi. I drove up to Layton to pick up Karen with some river tubes and life jackets. We met Sabrina up along the Weber River to put our tubes in the water in Henefer.

Grandma taught piano students in Henefer, Coalville, and Hoytsville for years.

When she first married, she and Grandaddy lived in Hoytsville. He had a job as a seminary teacher. She taught lessons.

I was floating the river from Henefer to Taggart when Grandma DeeDee, resting in her bed, passed away. She had done her NYTimes crossword the night before. She got up and dressed that morning to meet the hospice chaplain. Around lunch, she went back to bed to rest. One last time.

Mormons: A Talented, Peculiar People

I found this random list in a sketchbook I scribbled in my freshman year at BYU. For this entry, I remember writing it while sitting in one of the desks at the back of the lecture room in the Joseph Knight Humanities Building where my student ward held sacrament meeting. I was sitting next to my roommate, Ruth, and we put this list together. What do you think? Did I miss something important that we Mormons are good at?

Sunday, November 12th, 2000

Things Mormons do best: folding chairs, eating bread, crying, singing the melody, lowering & rising pulpits, drawing on programs, resting their heads on the row in front, never sliding to the middle of the row, graciously leaving with screaming kids, making jello, trading in station wagons for suburbans, reading First Nephi, trying to start their talk with a joke, showing off a clever tie, arranging flowers, always having tissues on hand, praying to find their missing sock, braiding up 12-year old girls’ hair in corn rows, reciting Articles of Faith, praying for 5 minutes at the end of a too-long meeting, eating cheerios while sitting on padded benches

A Little Note on Enthusiasm

I have several journals where I write personal, spiritual experiences. I’m the only one who gets to read these journals. Some of the stuff I write down, though, I find interesting and perhaps you might, too. So here’s a little “nugget” from an entry I wrote during a church meeting that I wouldn’t mind sharing.

April 19, 2009

I have learned to be enthusiastic. (Enthusiastic comes from Latin: en (within) theo (God) – God within us.) This is a very conscientious choice, one that I make constantly every day. I choose to react with a good attitude. I choose to be happy. “How long will you choose darkness rather than light?”

Larrie’s Favorite Things

More journaling fun from an 8-year-old Larrie. This was a fill-in-the-blanks page. How would you have answered when you were 8? I wonder how many of my answers have even changed at all.


My favorite subject in school is Art.

My favorite outfit is ___.

The name of my favorite movie star is Aarnold Schwartneger.

My favorite television show is Cosby Show.

My favorite color is Blue.

My favorite thing about being 8 years old is being Baptized into the church.

My favorite way to spend time is reading.

My favorite song is Families Can Be Together Forever.

My favorite book is The Long Secret.

My favorite food is Chicken Divan.

My favorite time of the year is October.

My favorite time of the day is afternoon.

My favorite possession is soccer.

My favorite animal is liger.

Cleaning the Garage is the Best!

Continuing with my 8-year old journal, here’s an entry where I had to write all of the things I remembered about being little. It’s not a very long list. At all. But boy, those baths were memorable.

There are lots of things I remember about being little. I’ll write them down now so I won’t forget.

“I always had to take a bath with Maren and Thane and share a room with them. Everyone in the family thought I needed shorter hair. One of my favorite jobs was cleaning the garage.”

My Weekly Schedule… When I Was Eight

I found the coolest old journal of mine at my parents’ house the other week. It’s called All About Me. Did you ever have one of those journals where you fill in the blanks? It asks you questions, gives you lists of boxes to check and offers prompts to get you writing about different ideas pertaining to your life? Well, this is one of those books. And guess how old I was when I was filling it out? I was the responsible age of EIGHT! See why it’s a cool journal? Thoughts of an 8 year old! Well, I enjoyed reading it so maybe you’ll enjoy some excerpts from it over the next few Thursday journal entries.


Sunday Morning: Paper route, get ready for church.
Sunday Afternoon: Go to church, come home from church.
Sunday Evening: (every night) Eat dinner, go to bed.
Monday Morning: Get ready for school, leave for school.
Monday Afternoon: SCHOOL
Monday Evening: Paper route
Tuesday Morning: Get ready for school, leave for school.
Tuesday Afternoon: SCHOOL
Tuesday Evening: Paper route
Wednesday Morning: Get ready for school, leave for school.
Wednesday Afternoon: SCHOOL
Wednesday Evening: Paper route
Thursday Morning: Get ready for school, leave for school.
Thursday Afternoon: SCHOOL
Thursday Evening: Paper route
Friday Morning: Get ready for school, leave for school.
Friday Afternoon: Come home from school, Treasure’s Club.
Friday Evening: Paper route
Saturday Morning: Paper route

My favorite day of the week is Friday.
My busiest day is Friday.
My favorite activity on this schedule is Treasure’s Club.
The thing I wish I could change about my schedule is NO SCHOOL.

What was your schedule like when you were eight year’s old? Or more importantly, what was your FAVORITE ACTIVITY on that schedule?

A Brief Story of A High School Relationship

I had a journal that I started writing in my creative writing class that I took my senior year of high school. I really didn’t like the teacher, but I did like that the class forced me to write in a journal again, after a hiatus of a couple of years. I tried to be more “creative” with my journal entries by telling stories about what had happened to me. Here’s one of them. It’s a bit jumbled, but it might make sense to you. Maybe. Only a handful of you, though, will know what LIBWSE stands for. Do you remember?


I laughed. My laughing did not fit the mood. I knew others were looking at and judging me while they continued singing. I knew, while I was fighting for control over my laughter, that Drew was looking at me while conducting the other singers. I could not look up. I could not meet his eyes. That was Sunday; after Thursday.
Four-thirty, Thursday afternoon, finally reads on the small clock on the table. The last parent collects her little boy and I collect my bag and damp towel. I push the heavy glass doors open and step from the air-conditioned fort into the heat of the first day of July. I am exhausted. Climbing the cement steps to the parking lot takes too much effort. Across the emptying lot, I see my car sitting alone. Something on the windshield catches me eye. Instantly, my thoughts flash through two previous memories:

Was it the end of the first day of work? Walking out with two older counselors, Shannon and Lisa, I listen to them talk. Lisa arrives by her car first. She also arrives by a flower and note tucked in between her windshield and wiper. She pulls them off, smiling, and I continue on, feeling jealous.

Earlier, that same Thursday, starting July, I pulled into the lot and Lindsey’s car, driven by Lindsey, parks next to me. It will only remain for half the day.

I hope that it is a flower or flowers, but thinking more logically, I guess it is a “present” Linds left me of garbage. All I can make out as I approach is that there is clear plastic. So, I don’t stop walking until I step up beside my car and glance over. There, wrapped in clear plastic and white tissue paper sits a flower. I leave it, unlock the car and throw my bag and towel in the back seat. Then, I grab the gift revealing a note. Scrawled on a small, ripped-off paper is a message: “LIBWSE – Drew.” I smile, glancing around the parking lot to see if anyone, especially Drew, is in sight. Seeing no one, I jump in my car and drive off to Lindsey’s afternoon workplace. She will be jealous.

The Flying, Springbar Tent

The following journal entry is from one of my MANY camping trips to southern Utah. This trip, Karen, Alison and I went down ahead of the boys and set up camp. The boys left so late that they stopped in Cedar City to park and sleep for the night so we were all alone in our rather large tent the first night. This was a good thing because somehow a pillow fight started and eventually it was really hot in the tent and nobody wanted to sleep in their PJs or in a sleeping bag or with the windows zipped shut. Also, the tent could “fly” because we had forgotten the stakes so the rocks and poles we’d come up with as workarounds held down bits and pieces of the springbar tent, while the rest of it floated, therefore flying. I’m sure we had a DELICIOUS dinner that night (we were experts at campfire cooking) and I do remember hearing some strange bird or creature that loudly flew over our campsite late in the night. The sound: “Shhhhhhe shhhe shhhe.” And that’s how the tent was named the “SheSheSha.”