Sunday, December 21, 2008

Helen Oldham Olsen

Dale called me this morning but I missed his call since I was in church. He wanted to talk about motherwho passed away three years ago yesterday. Sometimes I get so busy with my life, working a good chuck of the time, and filling the rest of my days with writing, so at times I forget to remember mom. I had to stop and think about her yesterday because a man who commented on Tim's blog wanted to talk to him. Before Tim talks to people he likes to check them out to make sure they're not kooks. He found this guy's ancestral blog wherein he mentioned having some relatives from Paradise, Utah. I was intrigued because his ancestor's last name was Bishop. My great-great grandmother was a Bishop. I went through my PAF program and found his great great grandfather. They were brother and sister. Small world, isn't it?

Anyway, I was thinking that mom would probably know this man. It seemed like she knew everyone that lived in or around Paradise and their children and children's children.She was just that linked in to the community of people there. There was a lot of intermarrying between groups that came from England and settled in Paradise. Anyway, that started me thinking about mom. There wasn't anything that I liked better than to sit in the dining room of the old Paradise home and listen to the stories of ancestors. Mom and Grandma Oldham knew everybody in Paradise and was probably related to about 80% of them. There was always an Uncle Ez or Aunt James or Cousin Lydia that would come around and talk for hours. I just wish I would have been smart enough to write down some of those conversations. Gosh, I miss mom if for no other reason than she knew so much.

After talking with Dale and commiserating about missing our mother, I hung up the phone and cried for quite a while. Sometimes I feel like I'm not being loyal and feel guilty because I don't think about her enough or mourn for her enough. But isn't that the beauty of the gospel? We don't have to sit around in sorrow and anguish because we know where our beloved has gone to and we know that with any luck and a lot of hard work, we'll see them again.

So at this time of Christmas when we remember mom and the Savior and that He was resurrected and made it possible for ALL of us to have that same privilege, let us remember mom, even though her body may rest in the groundshe will once again walk upon the earth, hug each of her children, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren that she didn't have the privilege of meeting while she was here on earth. Isn't that the true meaning of Christmas--the blessings of immortality and eternal life? The blessings of being forgiven, renewed and cleansed from sin? Isn't that the beauty of the gospel? It is, my dear family. I loved my mother very much. She taught me the gospel and expected all of us to live it. Her legacy to us was her capacity to love and her testimony of the truth. When I remember mother, I don't want to sit around and weep and wail, I want to get up and work. I want her to be proud and pleased with my behavior and the things that I accomplish. There is no greater tribute to a mother than to have faithful, righteous children and grandchildren.

Merry Christmas to the Olsen's!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Labor Day Pilgrimage!

The Olsen clan has taken camping trips on Labor Day weekend for many, many years. 2008 was no exception. For those of us in the family that couldn't attend, we missed out. We missed the bugs, the animals, the blackened camp food, the incessant smoke, the freezing temperatures at night and the fun-ending torrential downpour. But we also missed the camaraderie, the family craziness, the laughter, the Rummy, (the cheating), and the family bond that's strengthened from just being together in a shared experience.

This year, as in year's passed the group at large decided on Strawberry Dam in Eastern Utah.(It's on the map under Soldier Creek.)According to my niece, Amy Pretl, they camped on Current Creek a few miles away from the actual dam and lake. For the most part, a good time was had by all. However, the last two days they were drenched by a rain storm. Too bad, sorry I missed it. (Not!)

Here's some pictures of their activities:

One thing the Olsen's do well is talk--and I'm sure they had a lot of time to do just that. Looks like everyone's having a great time.We're always eager to pass the love of camping onto the next generation. Babies are included.We're not always sure what kids pick up to eat. We just hope it isn't bugs or animal left overs or ashes from the fire. Carter simply looks like he's having fun, regardless of what he just ate.
One of the main disadvantages of Strawberry dam is the bears. Look out Judy, you've got an old grizzly behind you! Quick Judy, get the Raid!Reed's been attacked by a vicious animal, luckily he was able to subdue it before anyone else was harmed. (That's just Maggy! She wouldn't hurt anybody.)Old traditions are passed along to the new generation. Looks like Grandpa Olsen's rummy's still going strong. Where's Dale? Is he cheating?Did somebody mention smoke? You could always use it to send signals all the way to California if you're lucky.Anyone ever see "Passage to Zarahemla". Too cute! Gotta love those children. They're the ones that remember these camping trips the most.Nobody could be happier that when surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, even if he can't remember their names. That's what we have computers for. Right?

Must have been a blast--right up the part when the rain fell. However, I doubt the Olsen Family Camping Spirit was dampened even if the weather was nasty. That's just gives us something to talk about at the next family camp out, like the folding chair incident and the rubber raft incident and the hurricane incident, and, many more that I can't name.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Celebrating 90 years of life!

On October 25, 2008, the Paul Olsen clan celebrated Paul's 90 years of life. It was a great party for Paul surrounded by his loving HUGE family. All of his five children, (Pictured at the top of the blog as youngsters), were in attendance. (Just one apology up front. My pictures did not turn out even with a digital camera. They looked like I took them under water. So thanks to Hillary King, my beloved niece, the following pictures are what we have of the event. It my family has more pictures, please advise.)

The Head of the Paul Olsen Clan:
Paul Olsen and his wife, Edna

Paul Olsen's children: David, Reed, Paul(father), Dale, Carol Anne & Scott
Twenty of his thirty four grandchildren were there and numbers concourses of great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren were there. As well as dear friends and close relatives. We enjoyed browsing the numerous photos of family, looking at picture books, and reminiscing. We ate a delicious meal of baked potatoes and a varying variety of homemade salads. Laura, Joe's wife made a fantastic cake. With pictures of Paul's life actually made in frosting as the decoration. Isn't it remarkable. Congratulations to Laura, great job!
Scott and Judy Olsen's Family
Scott & Judy (Paul's oldest son and his wife, the former Judy Jorgenson)
Allen and DiAnne, (Scott's third son [twin] and his wife the former DiAnne Ranjael)
Mark and Dora, (Scott's fourth son [twin] and his wife Dora Ranjael) Joe and Laura Olsen & family (Scott's son Joe and his wife, the former Laura Findlay) Chris & Stacy Olsen (Scott's son Chris and the former Stacy Hanson) Amy and Matt Pretl (Scott's daughter Amy)Mandy and Jim Landon (Scott's daughter Mandy)

Reed & Jeannie Olsen's family

Reed & Jeannie, 5 children, spouses and grandchildren
Dale & Sharon Olsen and Megan
David & Shari Olsen's family:
Sharon & Shay Stott & family (David's daughter)
Sarah & Jeff Brighton & Family (David's daughter)Rebecca Olsen (David's daughter)Paul and Jennifer Olsen & family (David's son)Jeremiah Olsen (David's son)

(Saving the best for last) Carol & Tim Malone (Paul's only daughter)
Of course there were some family members that couldn't be there and some who are camera shy or were among the blurry photos. But when we consider the day as a whole, I'm sure the rest of my family would agree with me--family is precious. Being with family a joy, and belonging to such a large, multi-generational family a blessing from God.

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Additions to the Olsen Posterity

Carter Paul Olsen - Son of Paul and Jennifer Olsen, Grandson of David Olsen:

David’s son Paul and his wife Jennifer welcomed a new addition to their family, Carter Paul Olsen. He was born on July 3rd at 8:57 am weighing six pounds and three ounces and was eighteen and a half inches long. Unfortunately, he was taken to Primary Children’s Hospital about thirty hours after birth as we found out that he was born with Hirschsprungs disease like Paul as a baby, just not as bad. They were able to bring him home on July 16th, and they were so grateful for that he is doing awesome. He is a very well mannered baby and Nicole loves her new little brother.

Charley Olsen - Son of J.P. & Brenna Olsen, Grandson of Mark & Dora Olsen, Great-Grandson of Paul Scott & Judy Olsen:

Scott and Judy’s grandson J.P. and his wife Brenna welcomed their first child, Charley on July 7, 2008. Charley weighed seven pounds and eight ounces and was twenty inches long. Brenna describes Charley as a milk lover, sleepy-head, cuddler, and bathtime devotee. “I swear this kid smiles, apparently never at the opportune time for a picture but I'll catch it one day.” (Catch her blog.)

Sean Jack Fitzgerald, Son of Shelly and Shawn Fitzgerald, Grandson of Shari Olsen:

David’s step-daughter Shelly and her husband Shawn Fitzgerald welcomed a new son into their family, Sean Jack. Sean was born on July 2, 2008.

What's better than that? New husbands and wife's welcoming to their family God's greatest gifts. It's such a miracle to witness and be apart of something so spiritually significant. Congratulations to all these young families.
Good luck and God bless you all in your endeavors to raise a righteous posterity.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

September 08 Happenings in the Olsen Clan

September 2008; Volume 2, No. 3

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Where did July and August go to? I’m still shaking my head at the rapid pace this year is passing us by. July 4th, back to school, Labor Day all came and went quickly leaving me speechless. So much has passed under my bridge.

Mike has decided that he’s had enough of living under parental control, (not that we had any control). So he's moved in with some friends and has left us high and dry. We’re empty nesters now. It’s a weird surreal feeling knowing he’s not here, he’s not coming home at night and doesn’t need his mom anymore. Of course when he’s hungry and out of money, then he needs his mom and dad.

So Tim and I have been writing. I finished my third novel Saturday night, Sept. 13 at 10 o’clock. I marked the calendar and we had a celebration. I’ve started four more books with lots of ideas for more. I’m not sure where this inspiration has come from, but I welcome it. It’s a challenge. It’s cataclysmic! We also are continuing to write in our blogs. Brenna, J.P. wife has her own blog now. Very cute. Good job. Here are the three sites:

Tim’s is at:
Mine is at:
Hillary's is at:
Check them out when you have a minute. It’s good to have a purpose and a goal. Blogging is like journaling for other people to read and comment on. You should read the comment some guy left on my essay on Proposition 8. Some people just want to be contrary.

It was such a pleasure to be able to travel north to Utah in July for the two family reunions. You just don’t know how much joy I get from seeing a good many of you at these events. Being in California and separated from the majority of my family is not something I find tolerable. But finances being what they are, we’re still in California.

I know we get wrapped in the day to day survival and forget how important family really is. And you know that I don’t tell you enough how important you all are to me. So here’s my attempt to let you know that I love you all very much. I miss the interaction of family, the comings and goings, births, baby blessings, graduations, marriages, other monumental moments in your lives and all the other normal activities that you pass through on your journey through life.

So think of us here in California once in a while. Send a photo or leave a comment.

Look Who’s Turning 90!

On October 19, 2008, Paul Lund Olsen will be turning 90! Is that fantastic or what? Our father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather will be 90! That’s a great milestone.

Paul Lund Olsen, Born October 19, 1918 in Mantua, Box Elder County, Utah the third son of Abner Scott and Geneva Lund Olsen. Brother of Roy, Orma, Blaine, Lois, Frank, Larry, Roger and Zola. Married to Helen Oldham Olsen for 65 years and to Edna Garrett Betenson for two years. Father of Scott, Reed, Dale, David and Carol Anne Olsen Malone. Grandfather to approximately 35 people and great-grandfather to much too many people to count. (Sounds a bit like an obituary, doesn’t it?)

Paul, dad, worked as a Navy man, a cop, a fireman, a sheep herder, farmer, chicken rancher, turkey grower, business owner, restaurant afficionado, provision house worker, teamster, semi-truck owner, handyman and mobile home manager.

Dad loves to golf, fish, deer hunt, go motor boatin’, campin’, crabbin’ and raise chickens and hang with his boys. He loves all of his family, fiercely. Sometimes he even gets our names right. When we moved to California, he took me and mom all over the state, from San Diego to Shasta, then up into Oregon and Washington, Idaho back down to Arizona.

Dad was a handsome young man who worked hard and instilled that work ethic in his family. He was a intensely loyal friend and brother. He loved his mother and cherished her love and teachings. He has an outgoing personality that draws people to him. That’s why the little old ladies from Mobiland adored him, he cared!

Our father has been an inspiration to all of us. We are all enriched by having this great man in our lives.

Come celebrate his 90th Birthday in Brigham City, Utah, October 25, 2008.