Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Greetings

It's a family tradition to send out photo greeting cards each year. If you are interested in viewing cards from the past 30 plus years, I posted them in 2011. CLICK HERE
Just promise you don't laugh at the peach-colored outfits of 1988!

Let's get up to date!

Four out of five of our children had babies in 2012 and the fifth was expecting!

Love this snowy view of the Salt Lake Temple. 

2014 Our 2014 card features a jumping Kylie on the front. Look at that hair fly!

And inside, our fourteen precious grand elves and one little rein dog (not in any particular order.) We never could get everyone together! We hauled the photo equipment,white background, and all the red and green outfits we could collect to Emily's home in Dillon, Montana and took half of the pictures there during our Thanksgiving holiday, then hauled it all back home again to take the other half. Each "elf" was photographed individually then masterfully combined by Potts.

I wish you could see this bigger. It is delightful!

Potts also made cards for each of our children's families. Now's a good time to tell you a little bit about them.
These are Jenni (and Mark's) children - Lucy 2, Sadie 6, and Payton 9. They live in Covington, WA where Mark works for Boeing and Jenni teaches violin and served as Concert Master for the Ensign Orchestra.

Here are David (and Katie's) five. Lily 8, Tate 4 months, Oakley 2, Kylie 6, and Paisley 4. They were so excited to welcome a little boy to the family this year. They live in Eagle Mountain. David teaches Math at American Fork High School and Katie teaches dance part time.

Michael (and Desiree) have three little ones, Evylee 6, Ethan 4, and Aiden 2. A baby boy, Quinton Randolph will join their family on Jan. 7, 2015, if not sooner. Michael and Dez also live in Eagle Mountain and Michael works for the glasses division of 1-800 Contacts as a programmer.

Here are Emily (and Joe's) boys, A.J. 3 and Andy 1 1/2. They just moved from Virginia to Montana this year where Joe is an attorney. Emily fits right in with her braids, plaid shirts, and cowboy boots. 

This is Audrey (and Matthew's) Adalynn 2, Addy for short. They live in Orem. Matthew has one more semester in his MPA program at BYU, then who knows where they will end up? I'm praying right here in Utah.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

When Family Gets Together

My Babes with Their Babes



and MORE cousins!

"A happy family is but an earlier heaven."
George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Remembering My Father

Dad was born on October 31, 1927, in Idaho Falls, Idaho., the youngest of three siblings.  A rather premature baby, his parents were surprised at his gender and hadn’t picked out a boy’s name. The attending nurse suggested “Richard” as a manly name. Another nurse thought “Del” was ideal middle name. And so he was named Richard Del But was known by all as Del.

He showed musical talent at an early age and was rewarded with small change for singing for relatives and friends, but he was shy and never really enjoyed performing this way.

As a typical young boy he roller skated and biked with friends. He remembered walking on the frozen Portneuf River on a dare. One friend stuck his tongue to the frozen metal bridge necessitating a fire department rescue.

He recalls an invitation to stay at a friends farm which was a novelty to him and very exciting. There he learned that “hitting the hay” had nothing to do with work, but with sleep. 

His enthusiasm for music began in the 5th or 6th grade. His teacher, Miss Olsen had her students learn about and listen to the music of great composers. It was then that he whittled his first baton.

Dad attended Pocatello High School where he was involved playing clarinet and saxophone in the bands and orchestras. His first feelings of a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith came at about this time as his father helped him to understand that Jesus Christ was Jehovah of the Old Testament. His testimony resulted from pondering section 87 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph Smith prophesied the beginning of the Civil War 28 years before it’s occurring. If this was true, and it was, so were the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price. The Restored Gospel had to be true.

In 1945 and shortly after graduation he joined the U.S. Navy, serving for a short period as World War II was winding down.  It was while serving in Bremerton that he wrote one letter to our mother to be, Julienne. He had never really been interested in her because she had red hair and freckles, and she happened to be dating one of his best friends.

His mother encouraged him, “You ought to date Julienne Hill.”

“But she has red hair and freckles!”

While he was away he got thinking, “What difference does hair color make?” He decided right then and there that he was going to see Julienne when he got home. There were four guys he had to fight off to get her, but he had the advantage because they played music so often together.

Mother and Dad were married in the Logan Temple on May 22, 1950. They spent their honeymoon in Sun Valley where mother was broken in as a new wife, nursing Dad who had acquired food poisoning.

Dad graduated from Idaho State University and earned his Masters in music education from the University of Utah. Mother and Dad spent most of their waking hours over their entire lives together making music and teaching music to young people.

This is when David, Linda, Mark, and I came into the picture.

I learned at a very young age that there was something special about being a Del Slaughter’s daughter. For one, my neighbor, Mr. Alexander would greet me with a, “Hey there Slaughter House!” then he’d laugh and laugh. I was taught to answer the phone, “Slaughter House, Spareribs speaking.” For years I didn’t even know what a slaughter house was.

My dad was famous! When I was very small, I would walk the couple of blocks from our house to the high school stadium or gymnasium look at the big men at the door and declare (as if I was a princess or something) “I’m Del Slaughter’s daughter!” They would give each other a quizzical look then glance back at me and part the way. That declaration was my ticket to join my father and his Twin Falls High School Pep Band for all the football and basketball games. Mine as well. I never felt so important!

Dad taught band and orchestra in public schools in St. Anthony, Boise, and mostly in Twin Falls for for 32 years. He taught private wind and brass students before and after school, He was also the conductor of the Magic Valley Symphony, the Twin Falls City Band, and the pit orchestra for the Diletante productions. Our family vacations most often consisted of attending various music camps in Idaho and Utah where mother and dad were asked to teach.

Dad was handsome and dressed smartly in a dress shirt and tie every day of school. His shoes were polished and always looked brand new. He knew that his students would respect him if he dressed the part. He always carried a pen and comb in his front pocket, both of which he used often. On Saturdays, he dawned his jump suit and on Sundays his Wool Suit

Dad loved mother, and we kids knew it.  He loved us because we were part of her.  We came in about third.  Mother, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it was a tie between his love of music and his children.  We were fine with that, in fact when we would see Dad catch Mother at the sink with her hands in the dishsoapy water, and bend her backward for a kiss, we would be outwardly embarrassed and inwardly delighted!  Dads favorite quote was from Pres. David O McKay:  "The most important thing a man can do for his children is to love their mother."

Dad taught at least one of his children in both High School Band and Orchestra for eleven consecutive years. It was a very special experience. We learned to know our dad and he could depend on us to perform well and set a good example. Both Linda and I served as Concertmaster of the Orchestra. After each performance, Dad would have the orchestra stand and receive an ovation. He would walk over to me and give me not just the traditional handshake, but also a kiss... on the mouth. The violinist who was to take my place when I graduated, came to me seemingly a bit worried, “When I’m concertmaster, is your dad going to kiss me too?”  

It was a tradition in our family to go out for treats after concerts. Our favorite treat was a Cherry 7-up Float at King’s Food Host. The server had just brought our tall glasses of cold goodness, when Mother spotted friends in the booth behind her and in her happy excited manner. turned about to talk with them, unknowingly knocking a float squarely into Dad’s lap. With quick reflexes, he caught the ice cream and just sat there while she chatted merrily.

Dad was strict and principled, but fair.  He felt that students and his own children would rise to the level of expectation.  He  lectured like a teacher at home, but as we grew older, we realized that all that teaching was because he cared what kind of person we would become.

When Dad retired from teaching, mother was worried about what he would do with himself and thought he ought to have a hobby other than music, so she bought him a Band Saw. Maybe she thought he would take to it because it was a “Band” saw?! Nope. He just wanted to be with her.

While Mother was outgoing and gregarious, Dad was pretty quiet. He was a man of few words.  During summer break between my years at the Y, I met Randy Collier, dated him a couple of times, then went back to the Y and.... kind of dumped him for another.  The next summer, I realized my great error and expressed my concerns to my parents. My dad surprised me by asking, “Would you like me to speak with him?”

“Ummm... sure!”

We invited Randy over for dinner. Dad sat down with him in the living room.
A bit nervous, mother and I perched ourselves out of sight, but within ear shot in the kitchen.

I heard my dad’s voice, “Randy. We want you to know that whatever you would like to do with our daughter is okay with us.”

My mother and I “lost it” completely.
Randy was speechless.

Dad had some funny little quirks

I loved it when he turned his glasses upside down and did the highland fling in his bathrobe!

Every Christmas, Dad would agonizingly make us wait for him to shave before we could see what Santa had brought us!
We had just one car. When I asked him if I could borrow it, he would reply, “Let me think about it.” After what seemed an eternity I would give up on getting an answer and just walk or take my bike. I guess I didn’t need the car that badly after all.

Whenever I would ask Daddy for a dollar, he would pull one out, make his lip quiver and kiss it good-by.  Made it tough to ask him for money, which I think was Dad's intention

But Dad was perfect in so many ways.

He joined the Rotary Club and had perfect attendance for 27 years. I was born during one of those meetings. Mother thought she was just having heart burn and sent him to go have some lunch.

Dad was not only always on time, he was always early.

I don’t ever remember him missing school, or church meetings, or rehearsals. Maybe he did because of illness... then again, I don’t remember him ever getting sick!

I had no doubt that he loved our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and knew their gospel to be true, a testimony that he was not afraid to share. And because he loved Them so completely, he loved us as his children unconditionally. I believed in him as Patriarch of our family. The many Father’s Blessings that he gave me were inspiring and comforting.

The night before Randy and I were married, Dad gave Randy his very first Father’s Blessing, and me, my last... from him. I shed tears that night realizing that from the next day forward, another man would be the patriarch of my home. Randy and I and our children feel his example and influence each day of our lives.

When Mother became sick, he was there at her side.  We watched their true love change into eternal love.  Dad continued to be our example as he dealt with Mother's death in 1998 and as he grew older himself, aged by her loss.

For the past year or so, Dad slowed down and faded away. He passed away on June 26.

We looked through the manuscripts of his original music compositions and found a beautiful little love song that he wrote, “I’ll Know Her". The words are sweet and remind me of what it might have been like just before he left mortality to be with mother again. What a sweet reunion that must have been…

I’ll know her, the one I’m dreaming of;
I’ll know her, the one that I can love.

I’m waiting for her first hello
And her voice soft as it can be.

For when our eyes meet I know 
I’ll know that she lives only for me.

I’ll take her, hold her warm and close,
I’ll know her, the one that I love most.

And so I’ll keep on looking high and low 
‘Til I find her, to tell her that I know.

Today I am grateful for so many things. Especially for my dad who taught me what it means to love. You, dad, are my example of courage, faith, dedication, and honor.

Thank you for everything. I am so blessed to be your daughter.

Till We Meet Again!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fun Times in Covington, WA

Sunday, June 8

Dear Payton, Sadie, and Lucy,

I have been with you for 10 whole days while your mommy and daddy took a trip to Hawaii. We have had such a good time together. 

Potts and our new dog Dexter missed us so much, they drove all the way from Utah to visit. At first Dexter was a little shy with you, and you were a little nervous about him; but soon you became the best of friends. He took you for walks and loved it when you tickled his tummy. We missed them when they drove back to Utah. 

Then came reimforcements; Aunt Audrey and Addy joined us for the next week. Two babies made life pretty lively!  We watched movies, ate lots of snacks, made trips to the park, played in the sand, and picnicked together. 

Your Mommy and Daddy fly home tonight. I will miss you when I leave tomorrow. 

Lucy, you were such a happy little girl, even when you had a cold and weren’t feeling very good. Cuddling in the dark in the middle of the night was pretty special. I liked how you shared your squeaky shoes with Addy and how you two ran around the house making funny noises together.

Sadie, I am so excited about how you love to read. I don’t think I have ever heard a five- year-old read with such feeling and expression. You can read to me any time.  I also loved the time we spent together walking to school and back home from the bus stop. We had fun imagining “What if...”

Payton, you are becoming a fine cellist. I’m so glad I was able to hear you practice and listen to your lessons. It is easy to see that you love playing and that you are excited to share your music. 

Playing catch at the park, just the two of us, was pretty fun too! Remember we caught twelve in a row. Your Gammie loves to play ball! Next time I come we will practice batting too!.

And here are some additional events I won’t forget:

Sadie sculpting Lucy’s hair with her  Dad’s computer screen cleaner spray. Works well, I might add, but requires an immediate bath afterward.

Lucy dipping the shower curtain in toilet water then draping it on her head. Does not work well.

Maple Bars on the way to Payton’s cello lesson. Payton, yours was gone by the time we left the parking lot, so you ate Lucy’s too.

Praying my phone would keep it’s 1% power to enable the GPS to lead us safely home.

Finding an entire snake skin on our Sunday walk.

And dodging grape “land mines” on the kitchen floor -- Lucy is kind of a wild eater.

Thanks for having me, for loving me, and for being so good to me.

I will always treasure this time together.

Love You!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Charity of Choice

Randy and I swept Jenni's Fitness Challenge; Randy won the "pot of money" by loosing the largest percentage of his original weight (down 42 lbs.), I had top accumulated points (only missed two) and lost 20 lbs by being consistent. So I was first to choose a prize (We each donated one - so every participant gets to choose.)

I had an inkling I might be the first and I had an idea in mind:

Konrad offered $150.00 to a charity of choice. Of course I had my sights on his prize; it was worth the most! What are the chances he would count adopting a puppy? I began searching the internet and visiting the local shelters.

I found this little guy.

I wrote Konrad a note the day before the contest ended,

Hi Konrad.

This is Kathryn Collier, Jenni's mom, and in the number #1 points spot for Jenni's fitness challenge. I've got my eye on your prize. Who wouldn't? It's imaginative and SO generous! 

So... Here's my idea and you tell me if it's feasible. I'm an advocate for the abandoned puppy. I've rescued two dogs from shelters and they each lived over 16 years with our family!  I've been without a dog for a year or so. sniff. sniff. Knowing I might win your prize, I began looking yesterday and found a little guy who is a stray Yorkshire terrier mix. 

May I please adopt him for my prize? He is $75.00 and I would donate the extra $75 to the shelter.

Hey! I'd even name him after YOU!  
Konrad -- I like that!

What do you think?

Hoping with my fingers crossed,
And thank you in advance, whatever you decide.


Pretty convincing?

Konrad said, "Yes!" and Randy and I drove to the county shelter to pick up "Benji" (that's what they had named him.) We looked in his kennel.

He was gone!!

Seems they had moved him to the Best Friends shelter in Sugar House. They were prepping him for a big dog adoption show the next day.

We drove straight to Sugar House. I spotted him and adopted him on the spot!

Meet Dexter Konrad (that's what WE named him). He is one year and a month they figure, so I gave him an April Fool's Day Birthday, 2013. He is cuddly, sweet, smart….

…and just a LITTLE stubborn. 

He likes to ride in the car...

...on the bike,

and is very patient with the grand babies.

He seems quite comfortable in our home.

You've got to see this!
Does it every night when it's time to go to bed.

In fact, I think he thinks he's in charge now.

"Happiness is a warm puppy"
Charles Shultz