During April 2017 I will be blogging about my Courtship Memories from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Siblings


This is a family group photo taken on our wedding day and is possibly the only photo in existence with my DH, myself, and each of our siblings.   Included are also our parents, several aunts and an uncle, several cousins, and a friend.   DH is the eldest child in his family with 3 younger sisters.  I am the second to youngest in my family with 3 sisters and two brothers.   DH was the first child in his family to marry, and I was the last child in my family to marry.   Needless to say, our siblings were quite a big part of our courtship.

My younger sister and I lived together in the same apartment for most of the summer of 1981 just after DH and I first met and started dating.   She was engaged to be married, attending her very first semester of college classes, and planning her wedding.   We did do things all together once or twice, but she spent a lot of time with her fiance' that summer.   One of my brothers and his wife lived in their own apartment nearby as my brother was also attending school.   Their first little girl was born that summer, and DH and I volunteered to babysit my new little niece a time or two.  I believe that DH was even called upon to babysit on other occasions after I left for my missionary service.  I believe that my other three siblings were living out of state that summer, but my family did keep in touch with DH while I was gone and invited him to various family functions.   After I returned home,  the strong suggestion of my dear sister-in-law, we chose our wedding date based on when all of my siblings were planning to be home for a visit, August 11, 1983.

DH's sisters also played an important part in our courtship.   One Friday evening in late July 1981, DH and I drove to his parents home where his sisters had prepared a fancy gourmet dinner for us, served up in a romantic setting on his mother's best china dishes.   We spent several pleasant evenings with them playing board games or on the trampoline in the backyard.   DH's sisters also played a big part in our wedding planning, helping their mother with both a family dinner after the ceremony and a very fabulous open house held in our honor in their own backyard several weeks after our actual wedding day.

All of our siblings still play an important part in our lives, welcoming us into their homes often and to celebrate special occasions or to enjoy each other's company.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Roses




What is a courtship without roses?   One of the sweetest things that DH did for me that summer that we met was to bring me roses from his mother's flower garden.  Who wouldn't appreciate a beautiful home grown rose presented by the cutest guy around?   I don't have any photos of my Mother-in-law's roses right now, but they always have been are always will be much lovelier than these ones from my own yard.

Courtship shouldn't end after the wedding day, and DH would bring home flowers fairly often long after we were married.  At one point he had an arrangement with a local florist where he bought a vase, and then would periodically take it back to the florist and have them fill it up again.   Am I a spoiled lady or what??








Thursday, April 20, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Quail Run and Quilts


I mentioned earlier on that DH and I often spent time together in the kitchen at either his apartment or mine, but we also had some lovely evenings eating out.  One of the first special evenings we enjoyed together was in July of 1981 when we had dinner together at a restaurant called Quail Run.  The restaurant was located up in the foothills and dinners were seated next to large picture windows overlooking the meadow and forest outside.   Little creatures such as rabbits and quail were often seen scampering around outside, and perhaps a deterrent to the appetite if you happened to order something similar from the offerings on the menu.   I don't actually remember what I ordered that night, but I don't believe it was rabbit or qual.

I can't seem to create a letter Q blog post without bringing up one of my favorite subjects:  Quilts.
This is especially true this year that I am blogging about our courtship.    Quilting is quite the tradition in our family.   My dear mother-in-law created a gorgeous work of art during the time that I was in Colombia, and presented it to DH for Christmas while I was gone. The photo below doesn't do justice to the hand quilted fan quilt pictured below, where it is folded in half over a small twin bed.  This quilt is a true treasure in our home.


My own dear mother has made several quilts for us over the years, including the colorful patchwork quilt pictured below.



Every time a young couple becomes engaged to be married, my extended family gathers together to create a quilt for them, so one summer day in 1983 we all gathered at my Aunt's home to work on the family quilt.

As you can see, all family members, young and old, male and female were invited to eat and visit and quilt,   My dear father no undoubtedly put in a few stitches, as did my brother with his long arms.  My mother and one of my dear aunts are pictured above . .

And who else is sitting there right in the middle putting in his own stitches? 


 You're absolutely right.  It's my own DH.

This beautiful quilt has been used well and often in our home throughout the years, as a covering for our bed, to bundle up cold babies and children watching TV, and even as a prop in a favorite game invented by the kids that they called  "The Green Blob"  I'm still not sure exactly what the rules were, but somehow involved older brothers covered by the quilt sneaking up on and scaring younger sisters.   Even though the batting in the quilt is now quite compressed and the fabric is very well worn,this is still a popular bed covering for visitors in our home.   

But perhaps the most cherished attribute of this beautiful quilt is a special message stitched along one edge, the brainchild and creation of my own DH.


Can you see it???  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Parents


My father, mother, myself, DH, my mother-in-law, and father-in-law on our wedding day 1983

Both sets of our parents, though not front and center during our courtship, were close by and very supportive of DH and I while we were dating. It has often been said that to truly know a person, it helps to know that person's parents.   DH and I met each other's parents within weeks of meeting each other, and I for one was very impressed with what I saw.

Since we were living away from home going to school, we didn't see our parents every day, but we probably saw one or both sets of parents almost every week during that summer that we met.   There were plenty of family activities going on, and we were welcomed almost any time of the day or night at either home.  Family picnics, barbecues, family dinners, board game nights, family reunions, graduations, weddings, hikes, and more family activities were a big part of our courtship.

Both of our fathers worked long and hard, my father as a dairy farmer and DH's father in his own carpet business.  Our mothers were both stay-at-home moms who also worked hard to make their homes comfortable, loving places to live and visit.  Both sets of parents have always set high standards for themselves and for their children.  They all have strong faith in God and a love for their country and fellowmen.  None of our parents have ever been overly protective, but they have been supportive of our goals and dreams and willing to offer advice when asked.   We were allowed to make our own choices and decisions in regards to education, careers, missionary service, friendships and our marriage.

Our children have been blessed with wonderful, loving grandparents, and we all cherish the examples these four splendid people have been to us over the years.  My dear Mother-in-law is the only one of the four still with us today, and we're grateful to have her living nearby, and often feel the presence of our other parents in our lives.  We could not have wished for better parents!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A to Z Challenge: October and Opera


October 1981 was a very good month, yet a very hard month for DH and I.  I was committed to leaving my future DH behind so I could serve as a missionary, but we had one last month to spend time together.   I was living at my Aunt's house in our college town for several weeks as I finished up my job at Bridal Veil Falls, and we spent almost every evening together.   We attended football games, a Christopher Cross concert, and our college Homecoming Dance.   We toured the new Jordan River Temple during the month-long open house, along with over a half million other people.  We had parties and gatherings with family and roommates and friends.  And on the Friday before I was to enter the Missionary Training Center DH and I had one of our last dates for a year and a half and attended the opera.

Carmen, the famous opera by French composer Goerges Bizet was my first exposure to this art form.  I was familiar with much of the music, but had never seen the production before.  It was impressive,  and I was grateful for the written program that helped me to follow the story line as soldier Don Jose' leaves his childhood sweetheart and abandons his military duties as he is seduced, and then rejected by the Gypsy Carmen, who then dies a tragic death.

Opera still is not my favorite form of entertainment, but I can appreciate the music and the talents and abilities of the performers.   What is your experience with Opera?

Monday, April 17, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Night Sky




I grew up on a farm near a small town in a mountain valley, so grew up with spectacular views of the night sky, and I love, love, love a clear starry night.   In our culture, the courtship period usually provides many opportunities for a young couple to enjoy time together under moonlit, starry night skies.   Our official first date, helping to cater my cousin's wedding reception was outdoors in a park, and I'm sure it was dark by the time we were finished there.   On the Fourth of July DH and I spent the day with my family, and then drove back to our college town to watch the fireworks from a blanket on the lawn outside of the nearby football stadium.   The Manti Pageant from my "M" post was held outdoors under a starry night sky.   The tram ride down from the dance above Bridal Veil Falls was under a beautiful night sky.  There were many rides home in Gully in the night time and many long talks under the night sky as we came to know each other, including the August night we were thinking about thinking about becoming engaged.  If I remember correctly, there was one evening when we planned to visit the college campus planetarium, but it happened to be closed that evening.  

After we married and our family gradually grew from one baby to six, we naturally spent less and less time outside together under the night sky, but our interest and enjoyment of the starry skies is still there.   Over the years we have spent some nights camping under the night skies with our family.  There have been concerts in the parks, and more fireworks shows.   We have made visits to the planetarium and enjoyed the star shows there, and have even invested in several telescopes over the years.   It's  a bit difficult to find places far enough away from the bright city lights to see all that we would like to see in the beautiful night sky very often, but an evening under the stars together is still a favorite time for my DH and I.  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Gethsemane, Jesus Loves Me



One of my favorite Easter Songs by Claire Ryann

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWIx24J00Wc)



"The Miracle"  is great too!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY6O-5iEtYs&feature=youtu.be



And for good measure, here's one more: