Saturday, July 15, 2017


We left to go to Bluewater last week on Thursday, drove 8 hours to Roswell after TJ got off work and spent the night at a hotel there. The next day we drove the rest of the 4 hours to Bluewater. It was nice to be there early Friday afternoon to be able to hang out with everyone and in plenty of time for the family dinner that night. Since we traveled on Levi's 6th birthday, it messed up our plans of celebrating but he was totally happy with waking up to balloons and cake. He then got to pick out a candy AND a drink at the gas station. Ha, to be a kid again!

It was a beautiful funeral. I absolutely loved the flower arrangement on his casket, sitting on top a saddle blanket. His branding iron, gloves and hat that he wore right up until he passed. Describes him perfectly. 

During the Friday night family dinner, we all shared memories for about two hours! I love hearing all the stories. I shared about when I bought the little brown Toyota truck from him and how now I realize he didn't give me a deal or anything, haha! Typical grandpa ;) I flew into Albuquerque and he picked me up and I spent a few days there. Then I realized it was a stick shift and had to learn how to drive one the 5 hour drive home! I also shared when I had just moved to Provo after my mission and was trying to find a job. It was pretty lonely living in student housing with everyone busy in school and I was only trying to get job interviews. Soon I decided to go to my second home, Bluewater, to wait for something to happen. It turned out to be one of the best trips with so many memories because I had Gram and Grandpa completely to myself. They spoiled me and we had so many good talks. Grandpa always called me "my Tara Jo" and would pat and hold my hand. He also was always so interested in my education and talk to me about it all. He didn't have many words at times but when he did it was full of genuine love and interest in your life. He was such a good, good man and the reunion of him and Gram in heaven always brings tears to my eyes. It was SO good to be there with everyone. The only grandkids missing were Jordan and MaKenna who are serving their missions right now.  

 My kids had a BLAST playing with their cousins all weekend long in Wes' big backyard. So cute to see them having so much fun together.

TJ is a sucker for little Miss Ruby- she's the BEST baby! I've seriously never seen one cry as little as she does! 

My family (TJ and the boys) were brave and stayed at the Big House. Ever since my Gram died 7 years ago, no one has taken good care of it (my Grandpa lives in the cabin on the ranch property) and it's just gone downhill. It was decent enough to sleep there for two nights though and we brought our own bedding. It was like camping in an old cabin. But oh my goodness, that house is SO full of memories. It was actually therapeutic to spend some time there. I love the family brands on the kitchen cabinets and the wall where all the kids and grandkids have marked their height for 25 years at least.

Ty was SO into reading all the headstones and learning their stories, especially our family ones. He kept grabbing Shawnda's hand and showing her Shawnda Leigh's grave (her aunt who she was named after) while he would go to Uncle Tyrell's right next door. They were so cute about it. 

I loved the casket with the brands burned into all the sides- it looked so awesome.

All 8 kids with their parents.

It was such a long drive but so worth it!! The kids did pretty good overall. Molly is just like one of the kids- she loves sitting on her own seat. We had only been home from Marana for about a week so this month has been full of many hours of driving. 

The sons all wore wranglers, white shirts and a suit coat- just how my Grandpa would dress to go to church on Sundays.

One of my very favorite pictures of my Grandpa and his 5 sons. 
Terry, Wesley, Delwin, my dad Clayton, Grandpa, and Tracy.

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