On Friday, February 21, 1964 we, Ruth Blacker and Laron Waite, walked into the Minidoka County court house in Rupert, Idaho, and gave our vital statistics to Geraldine. Laron passed some green bills to her and she gave us a license to marry.
Laron and his parents left Homedale on Thursday, February 27, 1964. They traveled through Arco to Idaho falls. The roads were covered with snow with snow banks on both sides of the roads. They stayed the night in a motel in across the Snake River from the LDS Temple in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Ruth attended a Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet in Rupert with her parents and her younger brother John.
The next morning, at 7:00am, Friday, February 28, 1964, we met at the Temple. Ruth was wearing her cranberry colored jumper and pink blouse she sewed for her wedding outfit and her new aqua full length coat. Her mother had made her wedding dress which cost $12.00 for the fabric.
We presented our license and temple marriage recommends to the keepers of the records. We went through an endowment session wearing the tags on the right. Ruth was able to wear her wedding dress in the session because it very simple. Then we were taken to sealing room four, where we were married by William Killpack for time and eternity.
We ate lunch in the temple with our parents, then said goodbye to them. Laron's parents rode to Rupert with Ruth's parents. As we had no car, we traveled in Laron's parents' car to Rexburg, Idaho where we had met four and one half years before. We spent the night there in a motel.
The next morning we discovered that Laron's brother Richard, who was attending Ricks College, had decorated the car. We had made arrangements to take him with us to Rupert to attend a reception in our honor at the LDS Rupert First Ward building. The decorations for the reception followed a Valentine theme of red, white and pink. Ruth's wedding veil was loaned to from her sister-in-law Lynn Blacker. Ruth wore a single strand of pearls Laron had given her for a wedding present.
After the reception Laron's brother Gary and his wife Wanda took Laron's parents and many of our presents and left for Homedale. The Interstate was not finished then, so the quickest way to Homedale was to cross the Snake River near Hammett and follow the river. Near Grand View they skidded on the icy road and slid into the barrow pit. As it was late at night and the road was deserted, they had wait for morning for help to get back on the road, so they used some of our new quilts and blankets to keep warm.
We spent the night at Ruth's parents. The next morning we left in the Waite's car with the rest of our presents to drive to Homedale, where Laron had rented an apartment. When we arrived there Laron's parents were there with our presents and some groceries.
We had rented a humble one bedroom, furnished apartment at 220 West Montana Avenue in Homedale from a Mr. Upton. There were three or four units housed in two old buildings. We lived in the upper level of an old shed-like structure. The couch was homemade and very hard, covered with bright red plastic. It looked terrible.
We entered the apartment by going up stairs and through a door at the top into the kitchen. An open space led into the living room. We had no telephone or TV. We did have small portable radio. We had to borrow sheets from Laron's parents because we received 16 pair of pillow cases as wedding presents, but only one sheet. We received two sets of white Mel mac dish sets with pink roses in the center, one from each set of parents. Mel mac was the hot item in dish ware at the time because it was unbreakable.
Laron's parents gave us a reception at the LDS Church meetinghouse in Homedale the weekend after we moved into our apartment.
We had no car so we used an International pickup belonging to Laron's folks. It was old, beat-up, light green and much of the time the speedometer would squeal and howl, which was nearly unbearable. Sometimes the noise would stop when we pounded on the dashboard. Once while driving home from Caldwell the squealing started and didn't stop in spite of the pounding. In desperation and driven beyond endurance, Laron kicked at the dashboard, breaking the glass. We were horrified, but the squealing stopped and never began again, nor did the speed odometer work. Laron's father was NOT happy.
Laron was attending the College of Idaho in Caldwell about 16 miles east of Homedale, where he was working on a degree in education. He also worked part-time for his father at the packing plant in Nyssa, Oregon.
We had a part time job cleaning the Homedale meetinghouse and maintaining the coal furnace that paid us $125.00 per month, which helped pay rent and buy food. At first we lived on the wedding cake left over from our receptions. Many times when didn't have enough food we would show up at Laron's parents' place at supper time.
Ruth's parents sent us wedding present of a mattress and box springs on the train. Ruth earned $5.00 babysitting and we went to get the bed. When got to depot we found that the charge was $5.36. We returned home and counted the pennies in the dish on Laron's dresser. There were 37 pennies!
We spent our leisure time together reading and playing games. We read "Lord of the Flies" and "Adam Bede". There was a ping-pong table in the church so sometimes we would play ping-pong when we finished cleaning. Laron was on a bowling team.
There was laundromat about two blocks from the apartment, where Ruth did the laundry. Since Laron needed the pickup to get to school and work, she had to walk that far carrying the laundry and five blocks to get the mail from our box at the post office.
The area south of Homedale is a sagebrush desert. There are a some farms there but most of the land belongs to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or large cattle ranches. There are three creeks running through the area. Succor Creek flows through a large canyon with high, steep rocky sides. Jump Creek is smaller and runs through a very narrow canyon with many different rock formations and over a high waterfall. Farther south into the Owyhee Mountains is an old ghost town called Silver City.
While living in Homedale we made three trips into the hills. Sometime in April of 1964 we went camping for the first time together. We borrowed a pickup from Laron's parents and went to Jump Creek. Our food consisted of a gallon of root beer, salt and pepper, and a frozen roast. In those days if you took a glass gallon jar, usually a vinegar bottle, to an A&W Root beer stand, you could buy a gallon of root beer for 50 cents. For camping equipment we had matches, two sleeping bags and a knife. We stopped near the creek and started a fire. Then we cut the roast into small strips and roasted them over the fire on willow branches. The root beer tasted good and the blackened meat was exquisite. We slept in the back of the pickup under the stars. The next day we explored the canyon, drank the rest of the root beer and went home.
In May we went to Succor Creek and Silver City with Laron's family and in June we went camping at Deadwood Reservoir north of Boise.
We were active in the Homedale ward. Ruth taught the Blazer Scouts in Primary. We took them on a hike to a Boy Scout camp on Squaw Creek. Laron taught Sunday School and worked with the Aaronic Priesthood boys. Laron's mother was Relief Society president so Ruth helped her on home making days.
That summer we got a white female kitten from Ted Carson, a local farmer. Laron brought her home in his briefcase. Ruth named her "Cat". She kept a small blue spot on her forehead by rubbing food coloring on it and taught her to lie down and roll over and sit up. She loved to ride on the broom while Ruth was sweeping and would hang tightly with bulging eyes if we swung the broom around. She followed Ruth when she walked through the town to get the mail. On one occasion she became lost. Ruth drew photographs of her complete with blue dot and our telephone number and posted them around the town. The people at a home for Senior Citizens found her and called us.
The lady who lived in the apartment below us had a Siamese cat called Echo. Her husband was in the Navy and she needed to move to the base where he was stationed so she gave Echo to Ruth. Echo was very good at jumping. She could jump from the floor to the top of the refrigerator. She was not an outside cat, always wanting to be in the house. She would jump on the on screen of the kitchen door to try to get in. We tried to break her of it by throwing water on her.
Since Laron was in school we didn't have much money so Ruth looked for a job teaching. She earned $12.50 by substituting one day at the high school. She signed a contract to teach at the elementary school in the fall. However later she discovered that she was pregnant and teachers were not allowed to teach past the fourth month of a pregnancy, so she wasn't able to take the job.
Laron finished the school year in May. After that he drove a school bus each day to and from Nampa taking children to the swimming pool there. He also got a job as a flag man for a spray plane pilot. He usually went to work about 6:00 pm and work until after midnight. Once he was gone all night.
Laron's mother was badly hurt in a car wreck on her way home from Education Week in Boise. She was in Laurel Leavitt's pickup and she and Sister Leavitt were thrown out. We were very worried about her. Some of her ribs were broken and her head was cut. Her recovery was long and she suffered from headaches for many years..
During the summer Ruth's father offered Laron a job as a carpet layer for Home Furniture in Rupert, Idaho. We accepted the job and made plans to move in July. We rented a white duplex apartment #2 at 815 A Street, Rupert. On July 28th
we loaded the few things we had, clothes, kitchen ware and two cats into some vehicle, we can't remember which, and traveled to our new home.
Our apartment had a living room, kitchen, one bedroom and a bathroom. We bought some furniture and appliances from Ruth's grandfather's second wife Luella Blacker (Aunt Luella).
Laron started working for Home Furniture earning about $350.00 a month. He began learning how to lay carpet and was given a pickup to drive. The pickup was an old red GMC and had a small camper shell on it. It was used to haul carpet and supplies to the carpet installation jobs.
We attended the Rupert First Ward. Ruth was a the teacher trainer and a counselor in Primary, Laron taught 13-14 year old Sunday School class and was a counselor in the Elder's Quorum presidency. The meetinghouse was across the alley from our home.
Laron's brother Gary, his wife Wanda and their two children, Coreen and Kelly lived in Paul. Gary worked for a seed company there. We visited them regularly.
Ruth began to have contractions on the evening of January 22. About 10 pm she felt it was time to go to the hospital. We went to her parents' place so they could help us decide what to do. Laron and Ruth's father administered to her and her mother (Mabel) called Dr. Moellmer. He told us to wait until the contractions were about five minutes apart then take her to the Minidoka County Hospital in Rupert.
About 2:30 am Laron and Ruth's mother took her to the hospital. She was there all night and the baby wasn't born until the next afternoon. Laron had to work on a job laying linoleum in a restaurant the next morning. The baby, a boy, was born at 1:56 in the afternoon. Laron was able to get to the hospital just before he was born.
We named him Adin Laron and he spent the next few months spitting up. It was called pyloric stenosis a forceful vomiting. Another name for this condition is projectile vomiting, which is not just mere spitting up. Most of our clothes were vomited upon. We wore constant "baby corsages". We suffered embarrassment when he vomited on Sister Williams' beautiful black dress in church.
While we lived in the duplex we were close to everything we needed. Home Furniture was about three blocks away. Ruth could walk to the stores on the square and to her parents home a few blocks away. We spent a lot of time at Ruth's parents place. They provided many good meals for us and helped us with anything we needed.
We didn't have much money, but we always had enough to live on. Ruth recorded in her journal that one week we spent $7.55 for groceries. Laron's monthly salary was raised to $400.00 in March.
Laron played softball, basketball and volleyball on the ward teams. He also bowled with a league team.
In March, 1965 Laron's brother Richard visited us as he traveled from Nyssa to Rexburg. He told us that he was being drafted and would be called up soon so he wanted to sell us his 1963 Volkswagen Beetle. Laron drove the pickup to work and we used it for shopping, but we felt that Ruth needed a car so we decided to buy the Volkswagen. A few days later as Rick came back from Rexburg and Laron went with him to Homedale to drive the car back.
While we lived in the apartment our cat Echo disappeared. We never found her.
We enjoyed living in the apartment, but our neighbors were rowdy and some nights it was hard to sleep. We wanted a more quiet place so we looked for a place in the country to rent.
A Mrs. Brazeal who was a frequent customer at Home Furniture told us of a small place she and her husband wanted to rent. It was part of a farm that they were renting to Shelby Hayden.
In September of 1965 we moved from the duplex to the Brazeal place south of Rupert. The postal address was 100 West, 400 South, Heyburn, Idaho. There was a barn, corrals and garden area on the property.
The first time Ruth's parents came to visit us, her father (Loyn) recognized the home as one that his uncle and aunt William and Ella Blacker had owned. They were living there when Loyn's parents Thomas and Hettie Blacker moved from Star Valley, Wyoming to a farm in Rupert. William who was Thomas' brother picked them up at the Rupert train depot and took to his home until they were able to get to their farm. While living there William and Ella had a baby girl also named Ella who was born June 23, 1927, and died the same day. She is buried in the Heyburn cemetery.
While we lived in the Brazeal house Laron's salary was raised to $600.00 per month. We attended the Heyburn 2nd
Ward. Ruth taught the Top Pilots in Primary and later served as the Beehive Advisor and Laron was the Senior Aaronic Priesthood secretary. We were involved with the young married group in the ward. We provided an activity for them where we made fish and chips and showed slides of England and Scotland.
We bought a sorrel mare from the Moncur family who lived about a mile from us. She was called Lady. She was gentle enough that Adin could ride her with one of us leading. We used Laron's saddle on her. We liked to ride her through the fields and along the canal near our home. Laron used her to help Bryce Chugg move cattle from his place to a summer pasture in the hills.
When we lived in the duplex in Rupert we didn't have a telephone. In the Brazeal place we had one that was on a party line. That means we shared a telephone line with at least six other families. If another family was using the phone we had to wait until they were finished. Once another family left their phone off the hook for hours so we couldn't use the line. Ruth shouted into our phone hoping that someone in the other home would hear her but no one did. She finally resorted to blasting away with a toy whistle for a long time before they heard and hung up. On June 13, 1966 we finally were able to have a private line.
We heated the house with a heater in the living room that burned heating oil. The controls didn't work very well so we had a hard time keeping the fire at the correct temperature. Sometimes it would get so hot that the heater would shake. Ruth was afraid that it would explode so she would panic. Once she became so afraid of it that she called Laron to come home then left the house with Adin.
We had many problems with the plumbing and the water from the well. The toilet, tub and clothes washer never drained properly. Many times water flooded over the floors. The drinking water had an oily taste. We thought that maybe some heating oil had leaked into the well. We often pumped water with a hand pump from a well in the corral to drink and wash with. The plumbers came many times and had a hard time finding the problem. They eventually put in a new drain field and the oil taste left the water.
Ruth became pregnant again and we expected our second child in October, 1966. To prepare for the birth Ruth read "Childbirth Without Fear" by Dick Grantly Reid. The book told her that if she could put herself in a relaxed state the birth would be much easier. On October 8th
Ruth felt some contractions. The next day the contractions continued, so we called Dr. Moellmer and went to the hospital in Rupert. We left Adin at Ruth's parents' home. The baby was in the posterior position and after a very difficult delivery, our daughter was born on October 9th
. We named her Jennifer Ruth. Ruth and Jennifer were in the hospital about three days. Ruth found that putting herself in a relaxed mode during the birth was impossible so the book wasn't very useful.
In January 1967 Laron was released as a Sunday School teacher and Aaronic Priesthood secretary and made Explorer leader. In March Ruth was released from her church assignments and called to be the Beehive leader.
Ruth wanted to earn some money to help pay the bills so she learned how to do re weaving, which is a process that was used to repair clothes with holes in them. The re weaver would cut a small piece of cloth from the garment, then use a special tool to weave the piece into the cloth where the hole was. When the process was completed it was very hard to detect where the hole had been. It was tedious and required a lot of concentration.
Each year we lived at the Brazeal place we planted a garden. The soil was very sandy and the winds very strong. Twice after planting peas we found the wind had blown the soil away and the peas were sitting uncovered on the ground like a string of pearls. However we were eventually able to get the peas and vegetables to grow.
Cat had several batches of kittens. Adin really liked to play with them. We had trouble with stray cats eating Cat's food. Laron had to shoot one.
Laron could tell that he didn't want to lay carpet as a career and felt that wanted to go back to school to get a teaching degree. We talked about it for many months. He was accepted by Boise State for the fall term in 1967 to work toward a degree in elementary education. We planned to move to Boise in August 1967.
On 30 April 1967 we traveled to Nyssa Oregon to visit Laron's family. The next day we went with Laron's mother and brother Richard to Boise to look for houses and a job for Laron. He got a part time job at a new furniture store that T. C. Blacker planned to open in Boise in August. We didn't find a house to rent so we decided to come back later.
The following is a quote from Ruth's journal for Thursday,4 May 1967.
Laron worked in Burley today. Laid 45 yards of carpet! I went to Heyburn to get poster paper for the reverence campaign in the ward. Mailed letters for transcript of credits. Went to State Farm agency filed a claim for our broken windshield. Made bread. Can't get the "pink wash" white, so Laron has 3 pink T-Shirts and 2 pair of violent pink socks. Saw my first butterfly this year... black velvet with white crocheted edges. Adin sing's "Yittle peanut wabbit has a fly up his nose". Jennifer can nod her head. Supper-a disaster. Cheese cutlets!!! Took mattress and carpet to store. Priced carpet tools-$250.00. Went to folks for a while. Came home in rains. Shampooed carpet.
Sometime between 1 June 1967 and 12 June 1967 we went back to Boise to look for a house and a job for Ruth. We found a house at 1816 Yale Court across the street from BSU. It belonged to a lady who taught biological science classes at the school. She had never married and lived by herself next door to the rental. It was very small but we had small family so we felt it would be fine for us.
We also went to elementary schools in the towns around Boise to see if any of them would hire Ruth. Middleton Elementary needed a first grade teacher. Mr. Mabe, the principal told us that he would call us at home by 13 June if he had a position for her. On the 13th Ruth waited all day for him to call. Finally at 4:00 pm she called him. He said another woman had been offered the job. He also said that Ruth could have if the other woman didn't want it. He called on the 19th to say that Ruth had the job.
Since we both had jobs waiting for us and a house to live in we began to feel that we should leave for Boise sometime in August.
Sometime in August Laron's brother Richard came to our place with a truck to help us move. Cat liked to roam in the fields and when it was time to leave we couldn't find her. None of us were happy about leaving her behind. We made the move without any problems.
Our new place was on a small lot with a fenced back yard. There was also a small house at the end of the drive way. It had been converted from a garage to a home which the landlady rented to BSU students. It was rented to Pam Pinn who was a member of the church. She was very nice and was a good neighbor. She did many things with us the two years we were there.
We attended the College Ward which met in the Institute building about a block from our house. We both soon had positions in the ward. Ruth was the literature teacher in Relief Society and Laron was in the Elder's quorum presidency. The ward had a lot of activities and we attended most of them.
Ruth started teaching first grade in Middleton the last week in August. she also had to take a class on "new math" so she could teach in to her students. Her sister, Beth, and her husband Terry were living in Homedale and they agreed to baby sit Adin and Jenny. At the beginning of each week we took them there and picked them up at the weekend. It was very hard on us to have them gone for the week. Jennifer learned to walk at Beth's place. Ruth was very disappointed that she wasn't with us. Terry found a job in Boise so they moved there sometime in September or October. After that Ruth would take the kids to Beth's each day on her way to school.
Laron began delivering furniture and appliances for Blacker's Furniture store in August. He started school the first part of September. He also worked on the school grounds crew.
We enjoyed spending time in Ann Morrison and Julia Davis parks on our free time. Julia Davis had a large slide we like to use. We also went to the zoo many times. We purchased bicycles and put seats on the back wheel for the kids. We rode them to many places around Boise with the kids on the back in their seats. We also visited Beth and Terry and Laron's brother Richard and his wife Anita. Richard was also attending Boise State earning an education degree. We had picnics in the Payette River and Rabbit Creek canyons north and east of Boise.
We went to Rupert to celebrate Christmas 1967 with Ruth's family. Ruth's sisters Lois and Beth were there with their husbands and Lois' daughter Kimberly. Mary and John weren't yet married.
We never had much money. Once in a while we would buy large bags of outdated bakery products for a dollar from Eddy's Bakery. However they would smash the bread and cup cakes because it was intended to be used for animal food, but we ate it anyway. Ruth had only two dresses that Mary had made for her to wear to school. In those days women school teachers were not allowed to wear pants to school. The teachers collected money for fabric and one of them made her and Jenny matching dresses. Ruth was embarrassed but grateful.
In the spring of 1968 we went to Rupert to visit Ruth's family. While we were there we went to the Brazeal place to look for Cat. We drove toward the house, as we drove over the canal we saw her in the field near the road. We parked the car and called her. She came running to us. She had spent the winter alone and uncared for. Her ears were frost-bitten and black on the ends. We took her home with us.
The day school finished in the May of 1968 we went to southern Utah with Laron's family. We drove our Volkswagen which didn't have air conditioning. We stayed in St. George with Laron's grandmother, went to Bryce and Zions Canyon national parks and attended an Iverson family reunion held on the Arizona Strip on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We also went to Bunkerville, Logandale and Las Vegas, Nevada. Because of the heat Adin got sick and we had to take him to the emergency room in the St. George hospital.
After the 1967-1968 school year we felt that Middleton was too far for Ruth to drive the fifty mile round trip each day, so she looked for a job closer to Boise. She found one teaching first grade in Eagle just twelve miles west of Boise. She would drop the kids off at Beth's each day. Laron quit working at Blacker's when the 1968-1969 school year began so he could take more classes. He continued to work with the school grounds crew.
The Apollo space program is almost ready to send the first men to the moon. On 21 December 1968 Apollo Eight was launched. It was to be the first one to leave earth orbit and take men around to the other side of the moon. It took three days to get to the moon orbit. On 24 December it went around the moon and as it came from behind the crew read the first ten verses from Genesis. It orbited the moon ten times then began the return trip to earth.
Christmas 1968 was the first we started alone with our children. The following is from Ruth's journal for that day.
Just couldn't sleep last night. Finally talked L. into getting up at 5:45. Went in to get the kids up. Took them into the living room. Jenny saw her blue bike & said, "He came, he came!". Adin got on his bike & it was all we could do to get them off. They were so exited. It was a lovely time. I'll always remember it. J saw her doll in the little pink crib and said, 'Santa Cwaus brung me a dolly.' Then they had to write on their blackboards. They got so many presents from the folks. Beth and Terry gave us a lovely picture of the kids. Laron gave me a yellow dress and a gorgeous expensive blouse and slacks set which was too small. (Called my folks).
We packed up and went over to Homedale to spend the rest of the day with Waites. More presents. They gave us a popcorn popper, the kids some clothes & two little stuffed frogs. Ate a huge dinner. Mom's back really bothers her. Spent the night. L coughed most of it. Woke up too sick to go to work with Dad."
Apollo 8 reached Earth on 27 December. It splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. It was considered a great success and most of us thought that NASA would land men of the moon sometime in 1969.
Laron finished his classes at the end of the spring semester in 1969. He began student teaching sixth grade at the Campus Elementary School in June 1969. He also began looking for a teaching position in the schools in the area. He found an open position for a fifth grade teacher in Emmett, Idaho about 30 miles northwest of Boise. He applied for the job and was hired on the condition that he would finish the classes necessary to get his Elementary teaching certification. We made plans to move to Emmett after the his student teaching was finished.
Emmett is a small agricultural town in a fertile valley created by the Payette River. The river flows from McCall to Horseshoe Bend and goes just north of Emmett on its way to Payette where it joins the Snake River. The farmers in the valley grow hay and grains and fruits such as apples, peaches, pears, cherries and plums. The Boise Cascade Company had a sawmill in Emmett and Horseshoe Bend so logging trucks were on the roads most of the day.
Black Canyon Dam was a few miles northeast up the river toward Sweet, very small farming community along a creek that flowed into the river. There were picnic beaches along the banks of the reservoir. A large butte called Squaw Butte was located north of town.
Beth and Terry moved to Virginia for a few months in the spring of 1969. They asked us to live in their home while they were gone. We must have moved there sometime in June 1969>.
The following is a quote from Ruth's journal on July 4, 1969.
"Laron's folks came over this morning to spend the day with us. We went to the parade. Laron and Dad commandeered a picnic table to sit on. The rest of us sat up next to the street. Every little old lady sat with Laron and Dad. They looked so glum. Ate at home, went to the parachute jump. That was great!
Came home to nap, then drove up on our mountain. What a view. Came back & later went to the fireworks. I love them. Came home. It was late so folks stayed here."
Laron finished student teaching on July 13. On July 14th we went on a fishing trip to Horsethief Reservoir with our friend Steve Beck and his son David, who were in our College Ward. We had a great time fishing. We returned home late the next day. When we got home we found that we had lost the house keys. We had to force our way through a window. We got in just in time to watch the Apollo 11 leave for the moon.
Sunday July 20 was a very hot day. We suffered through church and the ride home, in time to watch the Apollo 11 astronauts land on the moon. The next morning we watched Neil Armstrong become the first human to walk on the moon.
While living at the Levangers we continued to look for a house to rent in Emmett. We finally found an old house with a unkempt but large back yard on 810 East 1st Street. The house was run down but livable. We rented it and planned to move in in August. The house had a refrigerated room in it for storing fruits and vegetables. Terry and Beth returned home about the last of July.
We moved to the house in Emmett as planned in August. We were members of the Emmett First Ward in the Weiser Stake. The stake headquarters were in Weiser about fifty miles west of Emmett.
When we moved Ruth was pregnant with our third child. She usually suffered from morning sickness during her pregnancies and this time was no different. The smell in the refrigerated room really bothered her. The kitchen cupboards smelled like a mixture of Juicy Fruit Gum and cinnamon, which sounds pleasant, but really nauseated her. The house had an air conditioner built into a wall and when it was running the smell nearly drove her out of the house. While we lived there Laron's father brought us a tiny, fuzzy, Pomeranian type dog. We called him Fang.
Laron started teaching fifth grade in Butte View Elementary near the end of August. Ruth helped him prepare with bulletin boards and posters. The school had three or four classes per grade. He had almost thirty students. We lived eight blocks from the school so he walked back and forth each day. He also walked home for lunch when he didn't have lunch duty. We needed a larger car so we traded the Volkswagen for a later model, blue, station wagon.
Ruth continued to have problems with smells in the house so we looked for another place to live. We found a small pink house located at 501 E7th
Street, owned by Louis Johns, a member of our ward. It was smaller but cleaner and didn't have the moldy smells the other one had. We moved into it sometime in the fall of 1969. Laron was called be the Mutual Interest teacher. Ruth's ward job was primary teacher development leader. She also babysat Richard Landers each week day, all day to earn money.
We liked to take long drives after school into the country around town. We went upon and over Squaw Butte. We went to Black Canyon Dam and up the reservoir for picnics. We also went through the hills east of town to see some cattle ranches and down the river through the country roads.
Our car developed problems, the speedometer squealed when we went over fifteen miles and hour and it had an oil leak. It also would stop as we drove and we couldn't restart it. On December 2, 1969 Ruth was driving it to a Relief Society meeting during the day when it stopped. She couldn't start it so she walked home, called a friend for a ride to the meeting. She tried to start the car numerous times during the day, but was never able to get it going again. After school Laron got a friend to tow it home. We couldn't get it started the next day so Laron walked to school. No garage in Emmett was equipped to repair the car, so Ruth arranged to have it in Boise at European Motors the next morning. Later that evening Terry and Beth arrived to tow us to Boise. The kids rode in the warm car with Beth, Terry and Nathan, and we rode in our car with no heat, the speedometer howling the entire thirty miles! Then Terry drove us back home.
While we waited for the car to be repaired, Laron walked to school and Ruth and the kids got rides to meetings and the store. The car was in Boise for a week. On the evening of December ninth, Laron borrowed a pickup from a friend and we went to Boise to get the car. When we arrived, we had to wait for it to be finished before we could go home.
The Levangers went with us on December 13th, to cut Christmas trees. Ruth described the trip in this manner.
We took sandwich fixings and drove up past Ola. Laron and Terry went to cut trees. Kids were not well enough to leave the car. Adin got angry. "Why did you bring me up here if you won't let me get out?" Made sandwiches in the car. Laron and Terry came charging down hill dragging three trees.
December 23rd we went to Homedale for an early Christmas with Laron's family. We took our animals Cat, Yellow Cat and Fang with us so Laron's parents could take care of them while went to Rupert. On the 24th we went with Terry and Beth to Rupert for Christmas. Laron, Glen, Bryce, Terry and John went rabbit hunting on Bryce's mother's place on Christmas day. We spent the week in Rupert and Laron laid carpet for Home Furniture. On New Year's Day the men played football in the street in front of Blackers' house. Jenny washed her Christmas doll, Milkfrod's, hair and ruined it. We stayed in Rupert until Sunday, January 4th.
While were in Rupert the following from Ruth's journal took place.
Adin and I were upstairs. On the way down, Adin said, "I'll let you go first." I said, "What a nice gentleman!" He replied, "I'm afraid you might step on me."
Laron started a speech class at BSU when got home from Rupert. On January 8th, 1970 we went to Homedale to get our animals, but sadly we found that Fang and Yellow Cat were dead and Cat was missing. Some big dogs had killed Fang. We went home without any of our pets. On January 11th we went back to Homedale to find Cat, but she was still missing.
February 20th went again to Homedale to find Cat. This time Ruth found her, she had staying with people nearby. Ruth called her and she came. Her ears were almost gone and she was in pain. We took her home. On the 21st we took her to the vet and left her overnight so he could work on her ears.
On March 9th Tom Farnworth, the second counselor in the stake presidency, called Laron to be the Weiser Stake Executive Secretary. The stake house was in Weiser about fifty miles west of Emmett. Laron traveled with President Farnworth to Weiser one or two evenings each week and every Sunday.
The baby was due April 2nd. We were expecting it everyday. Then on April 9th Ruth recorded the following in her journal.
Baby girl born today! One week overdue. Woke up this morning and started having pains nine minutes apart, but decided to ignore them. Made Laron a lunch and got the kids breakfast. I baked bread and cleaned house. Did the washing. Make a batch of chocolate chip cookies after spending over 1/2 hour cracking black walnuts with kids help. Got lunch. Pains came about every 5 minutes. Put Jenny to bed. Called Beth to come after kids. Packed their clothes. They were all excited about the baby coming. Pains started coming every 2 minutes. Called Laron at school to come home. Started after him in the car. Met him on the way. Went to the hospital around 3:00. Had baby at 5:53. Not bad time compared to others. Surely glad it's over. The baby is so cute. She weighs 7lbs 4.1/2oz. and is 21 inches long. She is long and slender and very fair. I think her eyes will be blue.
We haggled over the name for her. Ruth wanted Heather and Laron, Amy. We named named her Amy Lou. Ruth and Amy came home from the hospital on Sunday, April 12th. Adin, Jenny, Grandma Blacker, Bryce and Mary, Terry and Beth came to the hospital to escort them home. Grandpa and Grandma Waite, Mark and Julie, Pat and her family also came to the house. Our Boise neighbors the Gockleys came. Our house was very small and crowded. Ruth thought she would have a nervous breakdown.
After school was over we went to Rupert for a few days. Laron spent two days laying carpet and earned $61.00. Laron took some summer school education classes for his teaching certification.
Tom Farnworth worked for the FHA (Federal Housing Agency) and invited us to visit him at his office to see if we qualified for a housing loan. We would never have thought that we would qualify without his assurance that we probably would. We applied for a loan and on June, 13, 1970 we received a letter informing us that we qualified for the loan. We still couldn't decide that we wanted to buy a house because we didn't know if we wanted to stay in Emmett.
On June 17, 1970 we began looking for a house to buy and a lot to build a house on. We first looked in the hills on the east of Emmett. Then we went west toward Letha to look at a spot on land owned by Jake Jensen and farmer in Letha. He had offered us a lot for $600 and acre. We looked at a nice spot on a rise by a small creek.
We spent the last two weeks of June in Homedale at Laron's parents' place to take care of their yard and garden and feed the animals, while they went to Canada. We took our cats, goldfish and gerbils with us. Adin and Jenny did their best to tear the place apart. Cat's frozen ears never healed and caused her to have a lot of pain. While we were in Homedale we decided to we would have to put her out of her misery. She had been such an important part of our lives it really broke our hearts.
Sometime in June Laron was asked to teach an early morning seminary class. The class was to be held at the Emmett meetinghouse. It started in the fall semester of 1970. Sometime during that semester Ruth replaced Laron as the teacher because he had to take another class at Boise State. Ruth was pregnant at the time but was able to finish the rest of the school year, with great difficulty. In February, since Laron was still the director of the seminary class, we were both attending a Seminary Teacher Conference in Boise when Ruth began hemorrhaging and was in severe pain. Laron took her to the emergency room at St. Luke's The doctor told us that she was threatening a miscarriage. He said he would perform a D&C or she go to our own doctor. The next day she went to Dr. Halvorsen, who told her that she was losing a fraternal twin, but the other twin was still alive. We found a substitute for the seminary class while she stabilized.
We finally decided to accept the FHA loan and build a new house. We wanted to buy the land Jake Jensen offered us but some people living about a hundred yards down the road didn't want any neighbors and pressured Jake to sell them the land. We decided not put more pressure on Jake, so we looked for another place. We choose some land on Frozen Dog Road about four miles northeast of Emmett next to hills and adjacent to the Triangle Ranch. The owners were an old couple who had lived in the same spot for a long time. They lived in an old house built into the hill and owned about fifty acres in the hills. They agreed to sell us about three acres over the hill from their house, by the road.
We found a contractor who proposed a house plan that he thought we could get a loan for. The plans called for a split level home with a living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. The basement would be left unfinished except for the framing of two bedrooms, a bathroom and a laundry room and the plumbing for a washer and dryer in the laundry room. We accepted the plans with some minor adjustments. The loan was issued and the building began in the spring of 1971. The loan total for the land and the house was $17,000.00. Our monthly payment with a subsidy from the FHA was $58.00. We were anxious for the house to be completed and spent a lot of time that spring at the site watching the progress and working on the land.
After the basement was cemented we decided to spend a night in it. Laron, Adin and Jenny spread their sleeping bags on the floor. Ruth and Amy were in the back of the car. Ruth had a terrible sense of foreboding so she got up in the dark and climbed down into the basement and woke Laron. We worried that something would happen. We finally decided that we should leave so we woke the kids, packed up and went back to the pink house. The next day we learned that a group of Hells Angels from California were riding around in that area during the night.
We painted the entire house and layed the carpet and linoleum that we bought from Home Furniture. The house was finished in July and we moved in on July 13. Ruth was eight months pregnant and the baby was due in August, so it was a hard move for her. Ruth's parents brought us a flowered couch, a love seat, a coffee table, two end tables and two lamps.
We always seemed to have problems with our cars. Our station wagon began to wear out. We repaired it a number of times. However the motor eventually quit and the mechanic told us that he couldn't repair the car without getting a new motor. We had no money, so we borrowed a car from Laron's parents. We finally found an old, cheap American Motors Nash at a garage in Emmett. We really didn't want it but it was all we could afford, so we bought it. Ruth immediately christened it "Brain Fever" because it didn't run well. A short time after we bought it, the cable to the starter solenoid broke so we had to start it by lifting the hood and grounding the solenoid with a screwdriver.
Laron had been asked to speak at a stake Single Adult conference in Weiser on August 11, 1971. He was going to miss his "fantastically interesting" theory class for it. It was to be a fancy affair with a dinner. We were looking forward to it. We had arranged for one of the Heavrin girls to babysit Adin, Jenny and Amy. However, Ruth began to have contractions that afternoon. We thought that it was a false alarm so we started for Weiser. Just west of Emmett we decided this was for real and that the baby would be born soon so we turned back. Laron called the stake Single Adult leader and informed him that we would not be able to be at the conference. We called Larry Heavrin and he and Laron administered to Ruth. So we missed the long-awaited dinner and went to Walter Knox Hospital instead.
Our fourth child a boy was born at 9:58 pm. He weighted 7 lbs 9.5 ounces and was 21 inches long. We named him Ethan David. We had wanted to name our next boy Ethan because Home Furniture carried a line of furniture called Ethan Allen. Ethan Allen was the leader of a group called the Green Mountain Boys. They were a militia group established to protect their area, which later became New Hampshire, against the British in the Revolutionary War.
Laron finally finished his teaching certification classes and received his diploma on August 13. He didn't go to the graduation ceremony and Ruth was very disappointed because she had worked very hard to help him through his classes and had really looked forward to seeing Laron walk across the stage in graduation.
On the first of September, Laron resumed his teaching of the fifth grade at Butte View Elementary, and Adin began his first day of school at an old Catholic school, called Sacred Heart which the district was renting for it's first grade classes. He wore his new jeans and new shoes, and was very nervous. In Ruth's journal, she recorded that day, "... Hurried getting Laron ready for school, and drove him there, came home to finish getting ready. Ethan needed fed right when we should have gone. Tore down and took Laron his lunch money and glasses he'd forgotten. Hurried Adin over to his school. Left the girls in the car. Adin was frightened, and my heart just broke for him. His body was stiff, but he acted like a little man. I cried after I left him. He was so little. Picked him up after school, and he acted very wise and knowledgeable. Jenny seemed in awe of him. He talked constantly all evening about school, and Jenny kept asking, "When can I go to school?"
Going to church was very difficult, as we had only one car, "Brain Fever". The only way to start it, was to put up the hood, and ground the starter solenoid with a screwdriver. This was very embarrassing, especially when Ruth would be expecting, which made it very difficult to lean over under the hood. Laron was the stake executive secretary during that time, and the stake presidency would meet in Weiser, forty-five miles away. On Sundays, Ruth would have to get up early, load kids into the car, and drive Laron about ten miles to President. Stiles home, so they could proceed on to Weiser. Then back Ruth would go to get everybody ready for Sunday School, then handle the kids by herself through church. Many times, Laron wouldn't be home until evening, after the repeat trip of the family back to church for Sacrament Meeting. Once, a well-meaning woman congratulated Ruth on being so faithful about attending church with her children even though her husband was inactive!
We spent the 1971 Thanksgiving in McCall, Idaho with Rick and Anita and Laron's parents.
We didn't have enough money so Laron continued laying carpet for Scott's Furniture when he wasn't attending classes or teaching. He was also the loan officer for the Emmett Teachers Credit Union. Since Laron was working for Scott's furniture we were able to get a good price on an avocado colored dishwasher.
Our drive way up the hill was long and steep. It would become muddy and we couldn't drive up it. We couldn't afford gravel, which meant parking the car at the bottom and hauling the kids, groceries, etc.. up to the house.
Laron started having pains in his back on February 23. The pains continued for several days. On February 27 we called the doctor and he said it was probably kidney stones and told him to go to the hospital for a pain shot. We hauled all of the kids down the muddy hill in the wind and the rain and went to the hospital. The pain shot eventually helped and he was able to sleep. The next day on our anniversary the doctor told us to take him to the hospital for an x-ray and tests. On March 1 Laron got another pain shot. The shot wore off at 2:30 in the morning and he started for the hospital
Sometime in the spring of 1972 we were able to get rid of "Brain Fever". We bought a bright yellow GMC Suburban that was about three years old. It ran great and we used it for many years. However again we had to use it so long that it too wore out. We called it "Shivering Elizabeth".
We had no flowers, shrubs or trees on our property. On April 9 1972, Amy's 2nd birthday, Laron's parents brought black cap berry plants, bulbs, iris starts, three trees a stag horn, a maple and good-sized poplar. Later we planted a garden, strawberries and lawn behind the house. Ruth planted petunias in the front of the house, morning glory by the door and zinnias on the south side.
Later in April, Amy cut her face badly when she fell from our bed onto a glass lamp. In May all of the kids had chicken pox and we were ALL miserable.
The 1972 summer was busy. Ruth was called to be Young Womens President. We spent most of the summer in Rupert laying carpet for Home Furniture. We hired the Heavrin boys to water the place. We came home when Laron had stake meetings. We also planted the front lawn. We found out that Ruth was pregnant, she was very sick and tired. While we were in Rupert she had a miscarriage and was hospitalized for a D and C.
In September, Jennifer started first grade. Laron, Adin and Jenny all went to school in the same building. Ethan started talking, crawling and falling. Once he fell down the stairs, but was stopped by the vacuum cord around his neck. He hung there until Ruth rescued him. Adin tried to burn the house down by setting fire to a bale of straw stacked against the north wall.
We spent Christmas at home then went to Rupert for two days. We were back home by December 28 because Ruth was in charge of the Gold and Green Ball and had to prepare for it.
In January 1973, Ruth realized that she was pregnant again. She was concerned that she would lose the baby as she had with Ethan's twin and the miscarriage she had in the summer.
Also in January, Ethan developed a bronchial infection. His temperature reached 106 degrees. He was hospitalized for three days. To reduce the fever the hospital staff tried cold water enemas, alcohol baths, aspirin and three cold water baths. Ruth stayed with him most of the time. She slept on a cot in his room. Laron stayed with him for a while each night after school, while Ruth went home.
Adin was baptized on February 4th. When Ethan saw Laron and Adin in the font he thought they were going to take a bath and yelled, "Baff! Baff!" After the baptism we celebrated with hamburgers from the local drive-in.
In March Ruth was exposed to German measles. Doctor Halvorson felt that at that stage of the pregnancy the baby could be affected with blindness or deafness because of the exposure. He advised her to have an abortion, but we decided against it.
Sometime in the spring, Ruth was released as Young Womens president and called to be the Primary inservice leader. Laron taught summer school for six weeks in June and July. We had a large garden and planted a lawn on the north and west of the house. Ruth planted flowers in the front of the basement windows, but our dog Smokey laid on them so she had a struggle keeping them going. Ruth canned fruit.
We spent the Fourth of July in Boise where we watched a dance festival in Bronco Stadium. It was followed by fireworks.
Laron's mother, Grandmother Iverson, Uncle Grant and Aunt Ina drove to Tennessee to search county records for information about the McCain and Chamberlain families.
We anticipated that the baby would be born on August 11th, Ethan's birthday, but the day came and went with no baby. We continued to expect him or her to be born each day but he delayed.
On September 25, we were supposed to go to the annual stake presidency and high council dinner at the Eastside Cafe in Ontario. However after Ruth had gone to Primary and picked Laron up from school, she began to have labor pains. We made arrangements with Jean and Julie Heavrin to take care of the kids and went to the hospital. Our 5th child, a son, was born about half an hour later. We named him Ryan Paul.
When Ryan was two or three weeks old Ruth took him to Dr. Halvorson for a checkup. The doctor spent a long time listening to his chest. Then he said, "I can hear something I haven't heard before." Ruth thought he meant the lungs but, Dr. Halvorson said, "He has a heart murmur." Another baby that Dr. Halvorson delivered also had a heart murmur. Ruth met his mother when she took Ryan to Dr. Halvorson for a check up. After a few weeks that baby died, which caused us great concern for Ryan.
We were to referred to Dr Johnston, a cardiologist, in Boise, who said his heart had a large hole in it. The hole was a grade 4 with 0 being normal and 6 being the worst. That began a long series of visits to cardiac specialists in Boise. We were told to keep Ryan away from crowds and exposure to illness. We would listen to his heart by putting our ears against his chest. It was frightening to hear a whooshing sound rather than a heart beat. Even as an adult, he still has doctors comment on that sound.
In May or June of 1974, Ruth was released as Primary Inservice Leader and sustained as Primary President. She chose Darlene Caroll and Joyce Walnum as her counselors. Laron continued to serve as the Weiser Stake Executive Secretary and a member of the stake High Council.
Sometime in the fall of 1974, the Weiser Stake was divided and a new Emmett Stake created. Laron was called to serve on the High Council of the Emmett Stake. We were glad that we didn't have to go to Weiser any more for stake meetings.
Ruth became pregnant with our sixth child. She again suffered greatly with morning sickness. The baby was due January 23, 1975. Ruth studied and practiced the Lamaze technique that was supposed to make the birth easier. The baby was late as usual. In the evening of January 28th, Ruth began to have labor pains so we went to the hospital. Ruth's friend Barbara Honn was in the labor room with us as a Lamaze coach. In those days, only the husband was allowed in the labor room, but even he was not allowed in the delivery room. This birth was the easiest and soon a little red-headed girl was born. We had heard the name Chelsea on our missions in the British Isles and Laron's mother's given name was Marie. So we named her Chelsea Marie.
Chelsea's sister Amy composed a song just for her, which went:
I love she.
And you know what?
She loves me.
On March 27, 1975 we went to Rupert to attend Ruth's brother John's marriage to Mary Chandler on the 28th. Ruth had made a maroon, long, pleated skirt and vest for the occasion. Ryan had a cold and because of his heart condition we didn't dare leave him, so we stayed home from the wedding to take care of him and the other 18 grandchildren.
When everyone returned from Idaho Falls, we had a family portrait taken. In the portrait, Ruth is wearing her homemade skirt and vest. She removed the sleeves and neck from a large sweater to make Adin's vest. Jenny and Amy are wearing homemade dresses. Ethan and Ryan are wearing homemade pants. Ryan is wearing a homemade vest. Chelsea had an accident all down the front of Ruth's vest and skirt so she placed her right hand to cover the site. After the portrait was taken the wedding reception was held in the garage.
Since we had only one car Ruth would have to take Laron, Adin and Jenny the four miles to school so she could have the car to attend Relief Society or Primary. She was the Primary President. The journal image at the right explains some of the problems this caused.
In April of 1975, Laron borrowed a tractor from a neighbor and leveled more of the land in the garden area. The garden was located in the bottom of the galley near the road. We increased its size so we could have more berries. Also about that time, we purchased a small horse called Blaze for Adin. He was a reddish-brown color with a light mane and tail. He was hard to control so Adin was seldom able to ride him. We decided that since Adin couldn't ride him we would sell him before winter so we didn't need to buy hay. We sold him in the late summer for $45.00 to Mr. Rose, a horse trader.
Since we lived in an area where there were many orchards and the fruit was cheap Ruth canned and froze as much as she could. We could buy cherries for 10-20 cents per pound and peaches for $3.00 per bushel. She also canned apricots, pears and apples. She made prune and grape juice. In the fall we were able to buy fresh apple cider from farmers who had apple presses.
Laron continued laying carpet for Scott's Furniture to earn extra money. Sometimes he took Adin with him. They went as far as Ola, north of Sweet and west as far as New Plymouth.
In the summer of 1975, Sister Hale, the wife of the Sweet Branch president, asked Laron to apply for the position of principal of the Sweet-Montour School. He did apply and was given the position that fall. It was a very small school with grades 1-8 and four teachers. Laron taught grades five and six. He usually rode to the school with another teacher, Mike Hardwick so Ruth could have the car at home. Ruth would have to take Laron to the river so he could meet Mike.
In the last part of 1975, we bought an old Mercury from Art Walnum. It was a large, black, four door sedan and very comfortable to ride in it. However on the side of each front door a large round shield that said "Official American Taxpayer". We thought the shield made the car look like a state police vehicle. Ruth was mortified to drive it but Laron liked it. The cost was low, in fact it was so cheap that it quit running about two weeks after we bought it and we had to take it to be repaired. We waited for more than three months to get it repaired.
Amy started first grade at Butte View in August 1976.
Before October 1976, the two Emmett wards were divided into three. We were moved from the Emmett Second to the Emmett First Ward. Ruth was called to be second counselor in the Relief Society and Laron was released from the High Council to become the second counselor in the bishopric.
That fall we canned more that 750 quarts of fruits and vegetables.
Ruth was pregnant with her seventh child and calculated that the baby would be born February 15, 1977. That day came and went with no baby. On February 23, Laron took the only working car to school. During the day Ruth felt that the baby was on its way, so she became worried about getting to the hospital. Adding to her stress, the electric company told her the power would be off for an hour and two Jehovah Witnesses knocked on the door. Ruth paced and practiced her La Maze breathing. When Laron got home we went to the hospital. That evening our seventh child, Megan Laurie was born. She had dark hair and a low voice.
When Ruth's parents came to visit us to see Megan her father ask Laron to consider working with John at Home Furniture. At first we decided against it but changed our minds. We were sorry to sell our wonderful new home, but we felt it would be for the best.
We found property near Heyburn about 7 miles south of Rupert that we felt would serve our family well. We purchased it on 6 June 1977. It was part of the Sonville Subdivision that was created in September 1962 by Othniel and Cleo Son with land on the western edge of their farm just south of the Heyburn city limits. The subdivision had 17 lots located along South River Drive. Lots A-H were west of the road and each had a front along the Snake River. Lots I-Q were east of the road. Lots A-E were not developed. Lot F was set aside to provide access to the river for the lots east of the road. Lots G and H belonged to Nick Cozakos with lot G into pasture. Lot I belonged to Jim Davis and lot J to Brad Cottom. Lots L and K just north of us belonged to Art and Sharon Rathe and lot K was undeveloped. Our place, lot M was across the road from lot F and was 1.4 acres in size. Lot N south of us belonged to Larry Edwards lot O to Max and Karen Fowler, lot P to Allan and Norma Hardy and lot Q to Vearle and Saundra Taylor. Taylors lived on their farm so lot Q was undeveloped.
The house on our lot was built by Chord Starry sometime in 1963. It was purchased by Donald and Olive Martin in July 1973. When we purchased the property the postal address was Route 2 Box 90, Heyburn, Idaho. Later it changed to 517 South River Drive and again to 606 South River Drive.
As soon as we moved in Laron began working with John in Home Furniture. They sold furniture, blinds and floor covering.
We were members of the Heyburn 2nd Ward, which met in Heyburn. Ray Bailey was the bishop. The meetinghouse located at 1701 J Street had been built in 1936. It was remodeled and added on to many times. The last was in 1983 when Laron was bishop. A new meetinghouse was built in 1995 on land donated by Ray and Irma Bailey The old meetinghouse was sold to the US Postal Service in 1995. They tore it down and built a new post office in it place.
We were not in the ward very long before we received callings. Bishop Bailey asked Ruth to be the Relief Society President. She said yes but when he saw how many children we had he said that he would call someone else. Laron was called to teach the 17-18 year old Sunday school class and assistant to High Priest Group Leader. Ruth was called to teach the CTR B class in Primary and Spiritual Living lessons in Relief Society.
We spent a lot of the summer cleaning and repairing the house. We put paneling on the south wall of the living room. We slept in the master bedroom upstairs. There were two other bedrooms that Jenny, Amy, Ryan, Chelsea and Megan slept in. The basement was completely unfinished. We cleaned it and put bunk beds in the southeast corner near the bottom of the stairs for Adin and Ethan. We continued to repair and remodel the house through the years. It took us many years to finish the basement with two bedrooms, family, laundry and storage rooms.
We began as soon as we could to clean and change the yard, however like the house it took us many years to landscape it the way we wanted. We started with the lawn and weeds. We had vegetable and flower gardens. We fenced the front and made a pasture that we used for calves and horses through the next 36 years. We removed debris and rocks from the lawn. We made a rock garden and a fish pond on the front slope. We fenced the north side of the back yard, built a barn and corral on the northeast corner of the back yard.
That summer we borrowed Bryce's and Mary's camper and went to Salt Lake for three days. We stayed in the Ramada Inn and visited Temple Square, This is the Place Monument and Hoogle Zoo.
Ruth's father and brother had planted a garden for us before we moved in. When Ruth picked to beans she was inspired to write "The Bean and I".
The kids started school 29 August 1977, Adin went to West Minico Junior High and Jenny, Amy and Ethan to Heyburn Elementary.
By September 1977 Laron found that he liked teaching more than selling furniture, so he began looking for a teaching position. Heyburn is in Minidoka County so he thought about applying with the Minidoka School District. However he heard from his friend, Art Walnum, who was the director of special education in the Cassia County School District in Burley that they needed someone to teach a fifth grade class in Declo. In September he applied for the position and was granted the contract. He began teaching about October the first. There were two members of our ward, Sisters Price and Hardy who worked in Declo Elementary so he rode to work with them.
Ruth began to have morning sickness in December 1977, so we knew she was pregnant with our eighth child.
Sometime in early 1978 Laron was released from his callings and made Young Mens First Counselor. So he began to attend MIA with Adin. He also began working at the Burley Family History Center. In May 1978 Ruth was called to serve as 2nd Counselor in the Relief Society Presidency.
On June 15, 1978 Laron was in Homedale to attend the funeral of his Uncle Lee's wife Mary. Ethan's tonsils were infected so we had an appointment to have them removed that day. When Ruth took him to the hospital for the surgery the nurse saw that she was pregnant and assumed that she was there for the birth of her baby.
The baby wasn't born until August 11, 1978 on Ethan's seventh birthday. It was a boy and we named him Jarom Edward. Ruth skipped writing in her journal from May to October 1978, so we have no record of the time of his birth.
In the summer of 1980 during the time that Ruth was canning tomatoes and peaches she took time off to have our ninth child a son. On September 22, 1980 she felt that the baby was starting to come. That night we got all of the children to bed and waited for the birth. Laron went to sleep and about 10:30pm Ruth woke him and they went to the hospital. The baby was born at 2:05am on the twenty-third. It was a boy with red hair who weighed 8 pounds 8 ounces and was 21 inches long. We named him Caleb Sean.
In 1981 Ruth was pregnant with our 10th child. The baby was due on March 3, 1982. On March 5th, Ruth woke very early thinking that the baby was on the way. About 6:00am we went to the hospital. Another women was also having her 10th baby. Her baby was born but soon Dr. Page sent Ruth home because nothing was happening. At home she paced around until late afternoon then we went to the hospital again. The baby was born at 8:05pm with the doctor barely arriving in time. Laron was able to be in the delivery room. The baby was a boy and we named him Morgan Jacob. That night Ruth missed reading scriptures the first time in two and one half years.
Adin graduated from high school in May 1983. That summer he went to Palmyra, New York for the Hill Cumorah Pageant, he was a member of the work crew. He went to BYU that fall. In February 1984 he began a mission to the Columbia, Bogota Mission. The Missionary Department was not able to get a visa for him so he was sent to Los Angeles, California to wait for a visa. The visa was never issued so he was sent to the Mexico, Guadalajara Mission.
In 1985 Ruth was expecting our 11th child. Laron's mother had come for Thanksgiving on November 28th. We cooked and baked for a big dinner. The next day around noon, Ruth decided the baby was coming. Late in the afternoon we went to the hospital. The ground was covered with snow and the drifts in the driveway were to deep for the cars so had to park on the road. We had to walk down the long driveway through falling snow to get to the car. Our seventh son, Cameron Rodney was born about 7:00pm, one year to the day of his Grandfather Rodney's funeral. His brother, Adin was on a mission and didn't see him until the end of March, 1986. Adin's first words upon seeing Cameron were, "He is so white".