Friday, July 29, 2011

Gma Duke we Love you!

Merle Adams Whitesides Burningham, Gram to me, Grandma B to my sisters, Grandma Duke to my children, passed away Wednesday July 27, 2011. Gram shaped my life in a way that I will never forget. I was privileged enough to live with Gram for a total of 7 years. We moved in with her when Hunter was 1 year old and Harley was 3 years old. She absolutely loved having the kids playing in her house and in her yard. She often sat on the patio and watched them wrestle around in the front yard. She got a kick out of how rough they were and called them "wild Indians".

When Hayden was first brought home from the hospital I was really sick, and Gram would come downstairs every morning take my laundry, Harley, and Hunter upstairs. She would wash and fold my laundry brings it back down and swap it for Hayden. Gram loved to hold Hayden. They had such a strong bond from the moment he was born. Gram would come down every night at bedtime and get baby Hayden, take him up to the patio and rock him and talk to him for hours. I would get the older kids in bed and go up and sit with her while she rocked him.

Hayden spent every day with Gram following her around the house, the yard, to the store, and even around the neighborhood. They were really cute together, she would get mad at him when he got rowdy and he would scowl back, but it never lasted long before Gram would grab him by the back of the neck and give him a big hug. She would laugh and say, "You’re such a wild cuss, I just love you!"

When Harley would get home from school, she would go straight to Grams kitchen and sit and tell her all about her day at school. Gram would listen give her cookies and juice and they would talk and talk until dinner. Hunter and Harley both loved sitting with Gram in the kitchen talking and snacking.

When we moved out of Grams and into our own house the kids had a really hard time not having Gram with us. They missed her a lot and we made many visits to her house, but it wasn't the same, we always had to say goodbye.

3 years later we moved back in with Gram and much to others disapproval it was one of the greatest blessings for our family. My kids felt at home there and were so excited to be back with Gram. They bombarded her with attention, so much so that they were asked to leave Gram alone and play in the backyard where she would not be disturbed by their ruckus. Well, sneaky Gram would go to the bedroom window, open it up and holler out to the kids, "Come up here in the front yard so I can see you playing." They would joyfully tromp upstairs into the front yard and wrestle around for hours while she sat in the kitchen window and watched them. Sometimes she would go to the front door and holler out, "move to the left I can't see you."

We absolutely loved our time with Gram and are so grateful for her positive influence in our lives. Gram taught me about forgiveness, patience, endurance, love, and the importance of family. Family meant the world to her; she lived for her family visit her and talk with her.

Grandma was proud of each and every one of her children and grandchildren. We would sit on the porch and talk about every one of them in great detail, how they were doing, what they were doing, what they planned on doing, their families, and their successes.

The thing I will always remember about Gram is that she was truly someone I leaned on in hard times. She always had a shoulder to cry on and words of love to heal a hurt. She never judged anyone and always looked for the positive. I always felt that I was her favorite, but the secret about Gram is that she made all of us feel that way. Each family member WAS her favorite. Gram may have been my kids Great-Grandmother but she was always Gram to us. She was a friend, a mother, and a grandmother to my family and I will forever be a better person because of her!
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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stadium of Fire 2011

The 4 teenagers went to the Stadium of Fire with Maka this year. They started the night with a BBQ in the backyard, then it was off to BYU for the show.

It was so hot sitting at the very top with NO SHADE.

Brad Paisley and David Archuleta performed and it was AMAZING!

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Saturday, July 2, 2011