Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Grandma Judy's Eulogy

My Grandma passed away peacefully on June 17, 2019. I was asked to give the eulogy. At first, I felt unqualified to do so, but after some nudging and reassurance from my mom, I agreed. Once I agreed, ideas about how to honor my grandma started to come mind. I literally felt the Spirit guiding me as I wrote this tribute to my grandmother. It was very healing and I am grateful for the time I had to reflect on her life, the memories we have together, and the kind, generous, loving person she was.


Thank you for coming to celebrate the life of Judith Tull Wanger, or as I know her - Grandma.

This week since grandma’s passing I have reflected on the many memories I have with her and I have been overwhelmed as I have realized how truly influential she has been in my life and how many of the everyday things I can trace back to a memory with grandma. As a result, I have been filled with so much love and gratitude for my sweet grandma.

Her influence actually starts at the very beginning for me. My parents originally named me Amy, but then Grandma came to meet me at the hospital and kindly suggested “How about Anne?” and it stuck.
The night before Jesus died he showed great love and service by washing his disciples' feet. As he did so he taught them: 

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you,.. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35) 

By this definition, Grandma Judy is truly a disciple of Christ. 

As I was collecting memories from Judy’s children JB, her oldest son, shared: “I always knew Mom loved me no matter what.”

I think we all feel that way of Grandma’s love. Each of her children and grandchildren feel special because of the way she loved us individually.

Grandma was very influential in me starting to study French in middle school. I went on to study for 8 years through high school and college and eventually lived in France for a study abroad. While I was living there, my parents and grandma and grandpa came to visit me. 
During that trip, Grandma and I made a goal to find the best almond croissant in all of France. We must have visited over a dozen bakeries sampling the croissants. And I believe we found the best one in Provence.

Memories are an interesting thing. They can be triggered by sight, sound, or smell. Memories involving food can be some of the most vivid and powerful because they use all five senses. 

My mom used to tease Grandma that she could write her life’s history solely on connections to food! Well, she actually kind of did!

Many of you own the small cookbook that Grandma compiled in 2006. In the intro, she writes, “It seems that many of my memories center around food. Swapping tuna sandwiches in grade school because my friend's had green peppers chopped up in hers, hot dogs at Grant's before piano lessons even if it made me late, hot fudge pecan sundaes on Friday nights after the movie before we rode home, and on and on. Enjoy what follows. Any questions call Brad." (Brad is my grandpa.) 

Some of these recipes have become family favorites in my own home: corn chowder, split pea soup, cranberry caramel cake, and of course, the hot fudge sauce that gets hard and chewy once it touches the ice cream. You all know which one I’m talking about!
The oldest recipe in the cookbook is Meat Cakes. Under the recipe Grandma records, "This is the oldest recipe I have. It was given to me by Mrs. Capen, my babysitter when I was 10 years old. I thought they were delicious! 

Judy was born October 11, 1931, in Hartford Connecticut. She has one older brother, Allan who is 2 years her senior. 

I chatted with Allan this week and he shared a fond memory of when the family would drive about 50 miles from Bloomfield to Meigs Beach on Long Island Sound. On the beach, they’d have a picnic, after which they'd have to follow mother’s instructions to stay out of the water for an hour after they ate. They’d have such a good time, and in his words “We didn’t have sunscreen in those days so we roasted royally for 4 or 5 days after the trip!”

Allan remembers his dad asking him to be in charge of keeping Judy out of harm's way. And taking her and her friends around in the car to make sure they got where they were going safely.

Allan described his sister as kind, considerate. and loyal.
Judy grew up in a home that was built in 1760. Her parents, Francis and Winifred, loved antiques. Grandma carried this love throughout her life collecting many antiques herself.

Her 2 next door neighbors would prove to be very influential in her life. Betty, a life long friend, lived on one side of the Tull home. I also chatted with Betty shared: “Because of the war we didn’t have any gas to go anywhere so you played with who you lived by and they were the only children on the street!” Betty and Judy remained life long friends!

Betty remembers when they were 10 and 12 years old eating Chef Boyardee ravioli from the can and they felt so exotic eating Italian food because their mothers didn’t cook Italian food at home.
Grandma didn’t include that recipe in the cookbook, but she did include similar a recipe for Clam Chowder. The recipe goes as follows:

Clam Chowder
- 1 can Campbell's Chunky New England Clam Chowder
- Open can and heat. Divide into 2 bowls. Yummy!

The neighbor on the other side of the Tull home was Bob Splaine. Bob married Brad’s sister, Barbara, and Brad and Judy met at the rehearsal dinner.

They were later married on June 14, 1952. 67 years ago last Friday. And some of you may know that June 17 (the day Grandma passed away) is Judy's mother's birthday. She always had a way of making her special days special for others as well. I'm sure it was a lovely reunion between them.

Before marrying Brad, Judy attended a junior college in Boston and completed 2 years of secretarial school. She would later use many of the skills she learned there, including bookkeeping to contribute tremendously to the success of the family business. Her children remember mom being so ecstatic about "getting the numbers down to the penny!"

In 1960 missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints knocked on the Wagner’s door. Grandpa was so impressed by the 2 young boys he invited them in and on April 15, 1960, the two of them were baptized. That choice has blessed our family eternally.

In 1961 a new job was waiting for them in Northern California so they drove across the country with their four small children, JB, Jeff, Carol, and Tom, in a station wagon to start the new journey.

Grandma always loved station wagons - especially the woody station wagons! As we know, Grandpa was always buying cars and as JB recounts, “One time Dad bought her an Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon and brought it home with a loud aftermarket exhaust.  She demanded that he take it back and get the original mufflers put back on.”

Grandma’s style of cooking was simple and easy to make. And that’s the type of person she was. Grandma was never one to seek out attention. She much preferred to be in the background and not be fussed over. A loud exhaust was certainly not her cup of tea!

With the raising of children came some new family favorites: grilled bologna sandwiches after Sunday school and hot fudge sundaes Sunday evening. Tacos, meatloaf, baked beans and ham, spaghetti, stew were among the regulars as well as peanut butter and jelly crackers.

In the 70’s she had her first trip to Hawaii where she loved to ride in convertibles and she also grew a taste for Hawaiian flavors, especially macaroni salad and chicken teriyaki at Ted’s! 

I remember many trips to Hawaii with her. As we all know Grandma was very particular about her hair, so it was always an exciting event the day she could get her hair wet. She’d get so excited before doing her "dip" as she'd call it. And she'd come up of the water so thrilled with herself that she actually did it! She'd gotten her hair wet. (The "dip" happened routinely once a week.)

As the 4 children grew up there came many grandchildren that joined the family. 15 total and now 31  great-grandchildren.

Grandma excelled at being a grandma. She consistently showed her affection for each through simple acts of love: birthday cards, shopping trips, special holiday traditions - which usually included Bingo with quarters and cash prizes!
In the Book of Mormon Alma teaches: “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.” (Alma 37:23-24)

Grandma’s small and simple acts have created a great legacy of love.

I will always remember the smell of her house, breakfasts of real maple syrup on waffles as a child, looking through her bathroom drawers of lipstick, nail polish, charm bracelets, and Mickey watches. Sliding on the wood floors in our socks, playing in her small playroom that she’d set up so nicely, and sneaking into the pantry for a bite of See’s candies. Grandma’s house was safe and comfortable. Grandma was easy to love and her love in return felt so natural.

If I were to ask any of the grandchildren what Grandma’s favorite holiday was, we’d easily all answer Easter. The last big Easter party I remember was in 2011, some of you were there with me. The theme was yellow. We all received a yellow hanker-chief that you just had to wear to see the smile on her face. And we each got a basket - The boys’ were filled with a yellow measuring tape, a yellow flashlight, and scrub brush - that was of course, yellow. The girls got a yellow notebook, a yellow pen, water bottle. All wrapped with a yellow ribbon of course! Grandmas loved putting these details together. She would go to so much effort to make it special - memorable. 

I have been filled with so much gratitude and peace this week since Grandma’s passing. Boyd K Packer said: “We are close, very close, to the spirit world at the time of death.” I have been filled with a “peace that passeth all understanding.” I know Grandma has been "taken home to the God who gave her life.” The Lord promises: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”

He provided the way, the plan to return not only to God but also to our loved ones. I know that through the grace of God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ we can have a firm hope of a glorious resurrection.

We will celebrate Easter again with Grandma when we are reunited at the resurrection. 

I testify of this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

These pictures are from the last Easter we celebrated before she had her initial heart failure incident about 8 months later.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bee-attitudes Poster

Katie got a some fun toys for Christmas and we made a playroom out of our empty loft. She is having so much fun playing in her kitchen, bounce house, and with her new horse. It's the perfect play area for her.

I am having fun adding the finishing details. I was really excited to make this cute poster that features 6 of Gordon B. Hinckley's Beatitudes and I'm so happy with how it turned out. I printed a 16x20 print at Costco and it fits perfectly by the window. (I'll have to add another picture when everything is finished.)

I've envisioned a print like this for a while. I would love to recreate something like this on wood with a more rustic feel and hang it above my fireplace! Any wood carvers out there?!

Anyways, I was really excited about it so I wanted to share. :)

Download 5x7, 8x10, 16x20
Download for canvas print (A little more yellow on the edges so it can wrap the canvas.)


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Face Cream Giveaway Winner Announced!

Congrats to knmkendall who is the winner of the 
2oz jar of Jamie Sager's Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizing Face Cream! 

Please email me at plumeberry(at)gmail(dot)com to claim your prize. 

For those who did not win, remember... you can use the coupon code ANNEBROWN and receive a 30% discount on the cream at her 
Etsy Store.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Bathroom Makeover, 5 Bathroom Must-Haves, and a GIVEAWAY

Whew! That's a lot packed into one post! Let's get started... (Scroll to the bottom for the giveaway.)

After moving to our new house almost one year ago, the to-do list has been never ending. A bathroom remodel was on the list and after a few months we got to it. Well, we got to hiring someone to do the bulk of it! We did paint, change light fixtures, and decorate.

While spending more time in my newly renovated bathroom, I got thinking about which bathroom items I absolutely love and wanted to share.

1. Clarisonic MIA Cleansing Device

The first time I used my MIA it felt like I had unveiled a new layer of skin. I compared the old way I was washing my face (just using some soap and my fingers) to brushing my teeth with just my finger. I don't know why it took me so long to find out about this tool! Hopefully, you'll take my tip and get one too, so your skin can feel fresh, clean, and healthier than ever!

2. Coconut Oil

I have a little bowl full of coconut oil on my countertop that is my go-to body lotion every morning after the shower. You can also use it to oil pull if you start feeling a little under the weather. Just take 1-2 fingerfuls and swish around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. I had a sore throat coming on and noticed a big improvement after doing this. You can Google the term "oil pulling" if you want to learn more. 

3.  Squatty Potty

After hearing about this product a few times and chalking it up as gross, I finally decided to take the plunge (pun intended). And I'm glad I did! I won't go into details, because that would be TMI. I'll leave it at - I love it! You can learn more about it here.

4.  Redmond Clay Toothpaste & Face Mask


I am a huge fan of Redmond Heritage Farms. They own my favorite grocery store, Real Foods, where they sell their raw milk and cheese. They are the manufacturers of many fabulous products, including Real Salt and Redmond Clay.

I love the Redmond Clay toothpaste in Peppermint. Katie loves it too - in any flavor. And I don't have to worry if she swallows it because it is completely natural and beneficial. I let her have a couple toothbrushes full and she gets her daily dose of clay.

I also love their clay used as a face mask. I just mix it 1 part clay to 2 parts water, apply it to my face liberally, wait 10 minutes and wash it off. My face feels tingly, clean, detoxed and fresher than ever. I notice a huge improvement on any blemishes after using the mask.

5. Jamie Sager's All Natural Wrinkle Cream Moisturizing Face Cream

I met Jamie when I was teaching an intro to Dressing Your Truth at a retreat my friend was hosting and she so kindly gave me a free bottle of her hand-crafted face cream. I was excited to try it, as it is made of all natural ingredients featuring oils, herbs, and essential oils specifically chosen to improve the elasticity of the skin. After applying my skin gets tingly and I can feel the natural ingredients working their magic on my face!

Well, those are my top 5 bathroom faves! I am still on the hunt for a favorite face wash. Please share any face wash suggestions! And share your bathroom favorites!

Now, onto the GIVEAWAY!!!

Jamie (the creator of the magic face cream) has been so kind to donate a 2 oz. bottle worth $24 to one lucky reader. Thank you, Jamie! She has also extended a 30% off coupon code for all readers that can be used at her Etsy Store. Use the code: ANNEBROWN to get the discount.

To enter the giveaway do one or all of the following:

1. Make a comment
2. Subscribe to my blog
3. Share this post on Facebook

(If you do #2 and/or #3 comment to say you did it and that will enter you in the giveaway up to 3 times.)

A winner will be chosen next Sunday, April 13th.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 3, 2014

25 Inspiring Ways to Recognize the Love You Give!

When Katie was just born I had some people tell me that everyday would get better, I wasn't sure it was possible. But they were right! Everyday with my little Katie Claire is sweeter than the day before! 

Today she did something cute, I can't remember what exactly, but it made me laugh and I thought "I smile everyday thanks to this little girl!"

It's pretty amazing that such a little person can bring so much joy! And I imagine it will just keep getting better, right?!

Unfortunately, sometimes I forget to slow down, or stop what I'm doing to enjoy it all a little more.

Please tell me I'm not the only one that struggles with this! I constantly feel at odds with myself - when I'm playing with Katie I feel a nagging that I need to get things done and once I start do get things done I feel another nagging feeling that I should stop and play with Katie (maybe it's the little hands grabbing at me??)! This inner battle gets really annoying!

I realize that there are many roles I play in life that need my attention, and being a good mom doesn't require me to sit and play "peek-a-boo" all day long! I am working on finding more balance with this struggle. (Any tips welcome.)

The greatest tool I have learned to help manage this is listening to those little nudges that come throughout the day. "Stop cleaning and go play with Katie." It works the other way too - "Now's a good time to do the dishes." The days I follow those promptings closely are always satisfying days! 

I think it's also important for me to recognize that everything I am doing I am really doing for Katie - keeping a clean house, making good food, working hard to create a good life for us, etc. etc. I am just having this insight for the first time now! (There go the little voices again.) I am so grateful for this insight I am having! Hallelujah! Perhaps this will bring a little more peace the next time I find myself in the kitchen a little longer than planned. ;)

I want to share a book with you that I was honored to be a part of called How Do I Love You: Let Me Count the Days. It is meant to be used as an inspiration and provide ideas of how you can show a little more love to your family throughout the month of February. But you can also use it in another way - as you read the ideas recognize and honor yourself for all that you're already doing to show your love to your family each and everyday. And then find a few more fun ideas along the way!

You can get it for free here. If you start today the 25 ideas will take you all the way through February!

Happy Valentine's, you amazing person, you!