Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Uncle Remus

I have one older brother and the nickname I gave him is Uncle Remus. Samuel is the type of person who everyone gathers around at a party to hear what story he's going to tell. He's very funny and he really knows how to tell a joke or a story. He's also very kind just like Uncle Remus. Samuel would give you the shirt off his back. He's a very good friend. I'm the type that is friends with the people who I'm around. Sam stays friends with people forever. He is good at staying in touch and getting together with old friends. I think that shows how loyal he is. He is also a great worker. His employers always love him and his fellow employees sure enjoy having him around. I love hearing tales of his workplace because Samuel can make it sound like the funniest place on earth.
Samuel has been referred to as a momma's boy. I don't think he minds that at all. They say if you want to know how a man will treat his wife look at how he treats his mother. I can see that between Samuel and his wife. He's a great husband.
Samuel has had some tough times with his health. He's had some scares, but he continues to be positive. There are some things he can't do like swimming. He can't because of a catheter he will always have. Besides keeping him from swimming it's also a pain in the neck. He has to keep it clean and drain it and all that stuff. To me I'd make a big deal out of that. But he just sees it as a part of his life and leaves it at that. His attitude is what amazes me.
One time I think about a year ago, Samuel and I got to go out to dinner with some friends. We hadn't seen each other for awhile before that, but we just could not stop laughing. Nobody else at the table got the jokes but we could not control ourselves. It was so funny and it reminded me of old times. Sometimes it's bad to get Millers together because we can get into some giggle fits especially during church. I seem to remember one patriotic Sunday and one stake conference where us four little ones really lost it. Good times.
So anyway, Uncle Remus, my brother, holds a special place in my heart. He's a good honest man who has a good reputation. He can make anyone smile, which makes him very special. I'm also lucky because he lives close to me. I'm thankful for that. If you don't him you're really missing out.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Last week I attended a Time Out For Women. I was listening to one sister who told a lot of personal stories and she was really funny. As I was listening to her and listening to everyone laughing I began to feel uncomfortable. I couldn't relate to her. She was speaking as if she represented women and we should know what she was talking about. I agree she was funny but I didn't agree with what she was saying. I was talking to someone else who attended about it and they said they were right with the lady and they couldn't believe how right on she was. I felt like maybe I was just a weirdo. Then I said no I'm not. I knew that the way I feel about things though they may be different than how other women may feel, is right for me.
This realization has been on my mind. Then today at church it was reiterated. Someone came to our ward today and stole someone's purse. They then went out and spent thousands of dollars before church was even over. Luckily the sister who lost her purse cancelled her cards, made a police report, and did what she needed to. They got a picture of the woman who stole the purse from security cameras and they will probably catch her soon as they also got a picture of her license plate. Anyway, I was talking to the sister who lost the purse thinking she might need a hug or something. She didn't want one. She was angry. She said if she could get "that woman" she would. Now she won't have to pay for the items bought with her cards. She may have to buy a new purse and make new copies of keys if the purse never gets found, but that will be the extent of her inconvenience.
I was a little surprised to hear her saying how angry she was. I mean, we know the lady will most likely get caught. Police were looking in the area she was shopping and they have her plate number. I don't think she'll get away with it. I would be happy in knowing that and call it good. So again I felt out of touch. But others would be like her, and be angry that they were victimized. It's all a difference in personality. I'm not saying I'm better than her, because with as angry as she was I'm sure that she will show up at that woman's trial and sentencing and make sure justice is served. I think we need people like that.
Recently I've had some blows thrown my way but my reaction to them has been to remain calm. I know there is reason behind it. I have faith and a testimony to rely on. Others will give me advice and their opinions but I have to step back and really think about what I'm doing. I know that what they would do is not what I would do. I'm different. Perhaps this is why I am different so that I can handle stressful situations calmly. I admit there have been times when I may have gotten a little worried but now I know that everything will be fine.
It reminds me again of how special each of us our. How the trials we face are meant specifically for us. Some people can handle a very hot refiner's fire while others may need it to be very mild. I know my trials are very light compared with most others. I must keep it in perspective and realize that I am the way I am for a reason.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Have you ever had that aunt who is always having fun and actually plays with the kids? This is my sister Rachel. I called her Hopscotch because I could totally see her out enjoying a game with a bunch of kids. I also named her that because in order to play the game you must first get out there and draw the board. My sister is an artist and she enjoys drawing and using chalk and anything like that. She even does wood burning. So I liked the artist part of hopscotch as well. My sister used to live near me and we talked like everyday. We either chatted over the phone or went somewhere together or I'd be over at her house hanging out. It was nice to have family so close. She moved away though, and left me out here without a sister. So sad.
I think my favorite memories of my sister will be those years when we lived close to each other. We were always there for each other. We had a lot of things come up where we needed to depend on each other. We both had to make trips to the hospital and the other would stay with all the children. She also watched my kids so I could go to girls camp and youth conference and things like that. I probably depended on her way too much, and perhaps that is one reason she moved. I guess I'll never know the truth because she's too nice to tell me that, but I do have my suspicions.
I even had to call her and her husband sometimes to come over late at night because I thought I heard a noise. They came and checked things out for me. She also was there for me to talk to. I think it's good to have somebody who knows just about everything that's going on in your life so they know how you're doing.
Another great thing about her is she is multi-talented. She can do the arts and the crafts but she can also sing, dance, act, play instruments, write stories and poems, take photos, and make up stories right from the top of her head to tell to crying children to help them calm down. She also likes parties as much as I do and it seems like we were planning events a lot. Sometimes they were for birthdays, sometimes reunions, sometimes just for fun, sometimes for a fireside at church, and sometimes for our kids. It was fun planning parties even if sometimes we never even ended up having a party. It was fun to plan anyway. See one of us would come up with an idea and mention it to the other. Then our imaginations would start driving us and we'd feed off of each other with all these great ideas until we had a fantastic thing planned. Maybe the world just wasn't ready for our dynamic duo.
Another thing I love about her is that she genuinely loved my kids. They loved her too. She always had a fun activity for them to do at her house. She would be the perfect preschool teacher because she has all these creative ideas. I would sometimes mention them to someone else and they would say that they once had a teacher like that or an aunt or leader or something. I was lucky to have a sister like that who lived so close. I know that now she's probably doing the same thing with my other sister and my mom. They are soooo lucky.
Also if you know Rachel you know that she doesn't seem to get embarrassed very easily. She has no qualms about dressing up like a clown and going out in public. She would happily make a fool out of herself if it meant others could have a great time. This is an admiral quality to have. I think it stems from her ability to act. She knows that she's just playing a goofy character and therefore she needn't be embarrassed. None the less she's a blast to have around. Kids enjoy her as well as adults. She is just funny.
I miss singing with her. We used to sing together, her soprano and me alto. Our voices blended well together. She is a great soloist as well and I enjoyed hearing her sing by herself too. She also has a great imagination and encourages it in her children. She lets them believe in fairies and leprechauns and the like. It's fun for her kids and even for her. She basically just enjoys life and making life fun. I bet you could go up to her right now and ask her if she'd be interested in a game of hopscotch and she'd say sure. She's a great sister to have. I miss seeing her everyday but maybe someday we'll live close again. I hope so.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


My second oldest sister I named Ipod. My sister is very musically talented. Growing up she hogged the piano, I mean she played the piano relentlessly. It paid off because now she can play anything. I named her Ipod because she plays music but also because ipods are cool just like her. They are sleek just like her. Teenagers like ipods and teenagers like her. She is in style. Also, because I know she listens to music a lot, I mean, she listens to a lot of music.
Emma has been a great older sister. She was called Little Mother and she helped watch me when I was little. I remember playing with her and she would tell me what part I was playing and what I should be doing. I was often Tammy and I was just a nice little girl going to school. It was fun playing school with her. She was a great make believe teacher. When Emma was growing up she had a style all her own. Her fashion sense was compared to that of Denise Huxtables. For me this meant receiving hand-me-downs that I just couldn't seem to pull off the way she could. I did my best and treasured every article of clothing.
Emma is a great story teller and when I shared a room with her it was great listening to her tales and tips. She was full of them. She seemed to know everything. When she began working she would take me to the soda fountain for sodas. I loved it. When I got a job at the same drugstore I did the same with my younger sister a few times because I enjoyed it so much.
Emma has always known who she was and she always seemed to be enjoying herself. She had a lot of friends as a result. I was four years behind Emma so as she was leaving high school and young women I was coming in. A few leaders would make comments to me about following in her footsteps. Some even said she was a hard act to follow. I never really felt like I had to try to be like her though. I did some things that she did and some things that she didn't. I never wanted to compete with her because I appreciated who she was and what she did as Emma. Not me. If there was anything that I wanted to copy her in it wasn't her talents, looks, or popularity. It was her ability to lead while having fun. If Emma was in charge, she didn't lead as a tyrant but as a friend working with us. When I applied for a job at age 16 the owner asked me if I'd be okay with having my sister be a manager over me. I said I was used to having her be over me and I actually kind of liked it. The boss lady seemed pleased with my answer and my winning Miller smile and gave me the job.
Now Emma did sometimes have the reputation for being bossy. It was funny because even though she might have been I usually enjoyed being bossed around by her. Here's a funny story about that. One evening I was watching television. Emma yelled for me from upstairs. I ran up to see what she wanted. She was on the phone which was a common occurrence. She asked me if I could get her a drink. I said sure and went and got her a drink. When I returned she noticed I forgot the ice, and told me of my mistake. I went back down for the ice. She seemed pleased and released me from my duties as sister servant. I was only downstairs for a few minutes when she was calling for me again. I ran up and saw her with drink all over the place. She told me she spilled and needed towels. I ran downstairs, got towels, and started cleaning up the mess. When all was clean, she asked me for another drink. Suddenly I realized I was getting taken advantage of and told her no. It sort of bothered me that it took me that long to realize it. She just sort of had a spell over me I guess. I wasn't angry with her though. When I think back on it now, it makes me laugh. I wonder if she remembers that and if she does she probably remembers it differently than I do. Ha ha.
Another story I remember is one year we were planning stake girls camp. Emma was in Hawaii at the time going to school and being pregnant. I missed her a lot and I knew she was going through morning sickness and was having a bit of a difficult pregnancy. Anyway, during the meeting somebody brought up Emma and how awesome she was as a leader. I remembered how much fun it was having her as my leader at camp and also just to have her around. I started to cry and everyone was wondering what was wrong with me. A friend of the family told everyone of Emma's difficulties and they all gave me the chin up smile/frown and then commented on how much they all loved her.
Emma has always had a special place in my heart. I'm not sure where the bond between us came from but it has always been there. I feel like I'm her biggest fan and she's my biggest cheerleader. I'm a very closed person and I don't usually share my feelings. Sometimes with Emma I wish I could. There are times when I'll read her blog and realize that she's not giving herself the credit she deserves. That's when I wish I could call her and tell her how wonderful she is, but I let my shyness win out and I leave a cheesy comment instead. I know that's something I need to work on but I know if I'd call her she wouldn't be able to hear anything from my high pitched overly emotional voice. It's a curse I have.
She's great because she is so kind. She gives of herself so selflessly. She makes others feel like they fit in. She's multi talented. She succeeds at whatever she put effort into. She has the gift to get others to listen and follow. She's funny as all get out. She's gorgeous inside and out. She's a terrific mother. She's a great friend. She feels everything so much stronger than most others. She's brave enough to take a chance and put herself out there. She has to put up with a lot of people who give her a hard time just because they themselves are jealous. She keeps going though, and she knows enough about herself to not let them bring her down. She's loud and she's proud. Best thing about her is she's a good sister and that's why I love her.
So, that is a bit about my second sister Emma. Though I wish we lived closer because I would love to see her everyday and have fun adventures and hear her hilarious stories I know that we can still be close over the distance. We are linked forever.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I gave my oldest sister the nickname Prank. If you know her you know that she likes to play jokes and she's good at it. Now she doesn't just go around playing little gags on people here and there. She will have a target and then she will come up with a brilliant plan. She usually has cohorts to aid in carrying out the plan. The joke is played and the victim is left feeling gotten. I don't know if the ideas just come to her or if they take hours to come up with. All I know is that they are funny and unique.
Now that you know why I dubbed her Prank, let's move on to some background. Naomi was the oldest of seven kids. I viewed her as the top of the totem pole. She got to do everything first. Sometimes that was a cool thing and sometimes it was a scary thing. She handled it all well and paved the way for the rest of us. My three oldest sisters were clumped together, then a brother, and then me. So I didn't really play with them a whole lot. I do remember watching them though. I would watch them all the time just to see what they were doing. I knew I couldn't do it yet, but someday I would be able to. So it was interesting to me. I remember just watching Naomi doing her hair. She has super curly hair, so it was amazing to watch her do it. I remember her picking through it and then using White Rain mousse in it. I still love the smell of that stuff and it always reminds me of her.
She also was a talented singer and dancer. I guess I shouldn't say was. She still is. She was in choirs and the dance team, plus she would dance and sing at home. She was good enough to be in The Sound of Friends. That was a show choir in our high school. I tried out for four years to be in that choir. I never made it. So I say it was very exclusive. I enjoyed watching her be in it though. They would come to our school to perform. On one occasion they were getting ready to perform. The choir was all standing still and then they began to dance and sing. Some kids around me were freaked out because they thought my sister was a mannequin. I heard them talking about it. They were saying that she was too perfect to be real. She had awesome curly hair, very fair milky skin, she was very thin, and really pretty. I wanted to tell them that she was my sister but I didn't think they'd believe me.
When we get together nowadays, you know a game will break out. Naomi is good at games. You probably want to be on her team. Some of us talk about if our family was on a tv game show and only two or four or six people would be allowed to compete,we would have to make cuts and Naomi always was one of the contenders. She just knows stuff and she's competitive.
My sister is a good mom and wife. Her family seems so happy around each other. That's evidence that she's doing something right. She is just so well rounded. She's got the funny side, but she can also get serious and down to business. She can do anything from crafts to cooking to running a summer business. She's one of those people who you look at and wonder how they must have more hours in their day than you do. She has a family, she goes to school, she has callings at church, she was working and she's planning an internship right now, she does the family business, she works out, she keeps up with all of us via internet, and she looks good doing it all. I mean, seriously, how can somebody be so put together? Well, she is.
I think it all comes down to what kind of a person she is. She is determined. She doesn't ever think she can't do something. If she wants it, she works to get it. Maybe that bravery comes from being oldest. I don't know. Maybe her confidence comes from all her past successes. That's likely. Maybe her desire to always better herself just comes from within. I guess it doesn't matter where it all comes from but she definitely has it, whatever it is.
I know she's setting a great example for her kids, her fun awesome great kids. I mean, she's a mother of a couple teenagers and I have never seen them give her any attitude. Granted I don't get to see them very often, but still, NEVER!!! I think her kids respect her a lot.
Okay, so now that everybody knows how cool my sister is, they can see why I wish we lived CLOSER. I think if I could spend more time with her, maybe she'd begin to rub off on me. That'd be cool. Anyway, you should definitely see if she'll let you in on a prank sometime and then the fun will begin. I love her a lot and I'm glad she's the oldest. She's a good number one. I can't wait to see what she'll do next.

Friday, April 2, 2010


My mom I nicknamed Matinee. My mom loves movies. She'll watch anything from an old black and white to the newest Disney film. She watches them at home, she watches them in the theater, she watches them anywhere. I attribute my love of movies to her. Now she won't watch anything rated R or higher so she hasn't seen every movie in existence but she has seen the good ones. Also, because of her work schedule she doesn't typically go to movies at night since that is when she works, hence the Matinee.
Now about my mom. She wasn't the typical June Cleaver. I believe she has been compared more to Roseanne. Well she wasn't quite like Roseanne but she was funny and cool. Growing up the phrase "If mom ain't happy, nobody's happy" was probably accurate. Mom was not someone to mess with. Now sometimes I wasn't sure what the threat was but I know it wasn't good. Sometimes we might be sold to the indians and other times we might get our arms ripped off and beaten with them. I have never seen either of these carried out. But most of the time we tried to shape up, because we did not want to ship out.
As we got older, Mom got cooler. Our friends were becoming her friends. Mom began doing "I'm Fifty" sketches at girls camp. For me things suddenly changed from supposing to be embarrassed that my mom was around, to being proud that she was so "down with it".
Mom also was an example for us. She went to college with seven kids still at home and studied hard and got good grades. She graduated and became a nurse. We actually graduated the same year, me from high school, and her from college. She knew what we were going through with homework and assignments. She probably even had it worse. She definitely taught us the value of education and achieving goals. Another thing I remember is my mom sharing her testimony with us. Sometimes it was on a Saturday afternoon after we spent the morning cleaning and we'd sit around and she'd tell us her conversion story or share experiences with us. Other times is was as things came. Maybe she had a prayer answered or she witnessed a miracle. We all knew that she had faith and if she believed I wanted to believe. I wanted my own stories though, and I had my own experiences and I was able to recognize the hand of God through her sharing her stories.
One other thing about my mom is that she is strong. I grew up never doubting her ability to do whatever she put her mind to. If she wanted to move all the furniture in the house around, she could do it. If she was put in charge of organizing a huge event, she did it. She got things done and if something wasn't right she knew it. She'd pray, get an answer, resolve the issue and keep going. She was a wonder woman. She's still like that. Now if I ever need to do something hard, I call Mom to hear what she has to say. I respect her opinion and experience so much. I know there has been a joke that I take whatever Mom says as gospel. Now that's not entirely true but I do listen to what she says and most of the time she's right. I think I'm lucky to have someone as wise and as in tune with the spirit as she is just a phone call away. One last thing. My mom is a giver. She would do anything for me, my siblings, and our families. She just loves us that much. They say that when you add your children your love grows exponentially. That happened with Mom so now she just has so much love it's unbelievable. I have some friends who have crazy moms. When they tell me stories about things their moms are doing I am in shock. My mom is awesome. I tell them what she does, and they think it's impossible to have such a great mom. It isn't. My mom's for real. She is so not about the drama she is just a good person. I hope that someday my kids will think of me the same way that I think of my mom. That would make me very very happy because I love my mom. I love everything about her. And I'll say it again. I wish we lived closer together. It would be so awesome to have her here to do things with. I'll just have to take the emails and the phone calls, the blogs and the facebook statuses for now. I just want everyone to know I'm not happy about it. But if it's all I can get I'll take it.


Some of my family members have recently done posts about other family members. I decided I should do the same. Last year I made up nicknames for everyone in my family and then had them try to guess who was who. It was a lot of fun. I dubbed my dad Monkeywrench because he can fix just about anything. Honestly, I don't think he's ever come across something he couldn't fix. Now the monkey is there because my dad has a tendency to act very goofy sometimes. Two of his idols were Heathcliff Huxtable and Earnest P. Worrell. When I was a little girl my dad even had an outfit referred to as a monkey suit.
I grew up in a small town called Middlebury. My dad also grew up there and knew just about everyone in town. As we walked around town everybody said hi to him. I took pride in knowing that my dad was a respected man. He is a good, honest, man of integrity. The funny thing is, it seemed whenever any kids were visiting he turned into a clown. It was hilarious. He also got that way if he found certain cereals in the cupboard or if we were about to have ice cream. I wish I could show a video clip of my dad's hyper antics. I don't have one though, but it's something that really needs to be seen in person. No words can describe.
Yesterday I drove by Cardinal Bus where he worked during my youth. It brought back a lot of good memories. We lived two houses down and we often went to bother him about something. I also remember calling him at work to ask questions. One time I called and asked for dad. The receptionist asked if I meant Sam. There were other dads there but ours probably got the most disturbances. He never complained about it though.
My mom sure does love my dad and she let us all know it. I remember one time she sang a song to him in front of a large audience. I'm sure he was embarrassed but he humored our mom and was a good sport about it. The girls in our family were spoiled with such an example of what a true man is that I know some of the husbands feel like they can't hold a candle. I don't think my dad feels that way though. He has always been very humble. I think that his humility might be a result of his gratitude. He has had a very blessed life.
I know that I am grateful that he was the patriarch of our family. He had a father's intuition that sometimes amazed me. He seemed to know things that I never told him. He just knew. I wish that every girl could be as lucky to have a father like him. I'm not just talking him up either. He really is that awesome. I think that since most of the people who read this blog are family I don't really need to convince anybody because you already know that.
Now I could go on and on about my dad but I don't have all day so I'll finish it up by saying I love my dad very much and I wish I could see him more often. I know we'll live close again someday and I'm just being patient until he finally moves back out here.

How it's going

So here is my report for my weight loss. I have not lost a ton of weight but I have lost some. Considering I am barely exercising or dieting I think it's great. Losing weight is at least in the right direction. I just need to keep going in that direction and slowly but surely I'll be where I want to be. Oh and I did end up joining the YMCA. I go with two of my friends and we laugh at how bad we are at the routines. We still go though and we have a lot of fun. I think I should mention that while I'm writing this I'm eating strawberry pie. I saw on Dr. Oz that you should eat strawberries everyday, so I think I'm still good. I almost forgot my exciting news. I can fit into some pants that were too tight before and I have other pants that keep falling down now so I had to buy a belt. I haven't worn a belt since I've had babies. How cool is that????