Friday, September 26, 2008

Baby Bill and Daddy Bill

I love when I find pictures of Bill. As a baby he had crazy eyes. The picture was taken in California on Grandma Sparks coffee table. The next picture is Bill and an unidentified baby. It could be Michelle or his niece Chessie. He was a young good looking Daddy.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bill growing up

Oma was going through tons of family photos and I snagged a few of Bill. He is a pretty cute kid. I think I was lucky to have such a wonderful brother to grow up with and hang out and get into trouble with. Sure love ya little bro. Helen

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

My dad absolutely adored his mama. She was everything to him. He would constantly tell us what a good woman she is and how she wants nothing but to serve others. She was a great mother to him, even up until his dying day she took care of him. Her and Opa were so kind and showed such great love in the moments he needed it the most. I know he will be eternally greatful for the wonderful parents he was blessed to have.

Happy Birthday daddy. I keep waiting for you to call and tell me you want some good ol' mexican food and a back rub for your special day. Life is just not the same without your sweet words and great humor. You left such a legacy of love and faith in the Lord behind you. It will take a lifetime to retell the incredible miracle that was your life. Here's to being forever 49! We love you more than ever.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Surf's up

Ever since I can remember every Saturday morning I'd wake up to either The Beach Boys or The Beatles blaring through the house as we reluctantly did our Saturday jobs. Dad would sing along happily and dance through the house filled with memories of surfing. He'd often recount all the different exciting parts of surfing. The perfect wave, making it into the "pipe", going over the falls and getting stuck in the laundry-machine attached to the surfboard. He'd tell us about the riptides, the sea turtles popping up like dinosaurs rising out of the murky waters. He'd tell us about his friends little brother who could lure the girls to the bonfires by playing the guitar so well. Dad loved to surf. He did it non-stop growing up. His hair would bleach on the top from when he'd shake the water from it. He'd skip morning classes to go surf all the time. I loved hearing about it and imagining him out there tearing it up. I find myself imagining it still; I hope they have waves in heaven.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Dad always loved photography and fancied himself a pretty talented amateur photographer. He loved to pose us and find just the right backdrops for his "masterpieces". We loved having him take our pictures...or were at least good sports when we would spend a good part of each Sunday after church posing for him. I wish I had some of our more memorable posed pictures to add to this post, but alas they are all at my mom's house.

Dad also loved to develop his own film adding special effects and playing with filters, light, etc. I remember spending hours with him in the "dark room" - aka bathroom with a red light and towels stuffed under the door- learning how to develop film. Those moments are very special to me and I loved that he took the time to teach me a hobby that he really enjoyed.

All in all he managed to capture a lot of great shots of his family. But the photo that he is best remembered for is unfortunately this "self-portrait":

I think I would title this one "Mustache in the Wind"...

Daddys girls

This was taken at the little white farm house. Bill loved to snuggle with his girls.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Young Elder Sparks

Bill was so happy teaching the Gospel in Germany/Switzerland. I know he is being a great missionary in Heaven. I wish I could take a peek and see him working his magic and charm in the spirit world. He really could talk to anyone. It was one of his blessings.

My silly brother

Notice that oma is in the background cooking. Bill probably just tooted or something.....why else the funny face?????????????????

Saturday, February 23, 2008

True Love

This is the moment that Taylor was referring to in his last post. All he needed was his Lisa and life was good again. Thank you Mom and Dad for showing me what true love really looks like.

This is what life is all about....enjoying every moment we have together and then spending the rest of our lives reminiscing. I love you daddy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

you're never too old to do goofy stuff.

I was going through my old phone and found a couple of images I hadn't seen in a long time.

Here's one of the old man being devious. He was always up to something. Armed with his sweatshirt which read "You're never too old to do goofy stuff" dad would wander down the hall and do his witch cackle and threaten Alicia with swirlies, threaten her boyfriend with buckshot from his shotgun, tell David he was gonna put him on salt peter and tell Andy openly that he was not OK with homo's being in his living room. Then as mysteriously as he'd appeared he hobble away again only to return once he'd thought of another good one or two liner.

Here's dad in the hospital getting "the good stuff." He was so happy to be drinking again, and we even smuggled the man the occasional coke. I am so grateful for the months I had to say goodbye to him each night as I came home from work. I was amazed at the cards and letters, gifts, pictures, books, music and treats that people would leave for him. One of my favorites was when mom was visiting him in the hospital and he wanted to go home so badly (like always) and when he finally realized that he wasn't going to be able to go home he scooched his buns clear to the side of the hospital bed and asked my mom "Tanner, you comin to bed?" We are so lucky we had that time to let go and to say our last goodbyes.

Saturday, February 16, 2008 mom from Billy

Bill and Jeff Beals went fishing and they came home with a Icechest full of trouts....I old them that was a great catch .What did you use for a bait......Well uh we found them in some bodys ICECHEST..........WE HAD FUN EATING THEM......
Bill bought himself a nice Wolkswagen Paid for it and had his own insurance on it.He worked for Alpha Beta Grocery store and got the Loan and insurance thrugh the company.That was his
pride and joy.He never let us drive it ........except when his Tank was empty.He knew I was going to put gas in it.After a few times I put only a few Dollars worth in it..He still let me drive it when it was low on gas.That CAR had to be sold when he deceidet to go on a Mission .He learned a great lesson from that.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bill and Lisa

Bill loved Lisa so much. I love this picture of them at the Mesa Arizona Temple. They are sweethearts.

I confess

This is a picture of me in my buggy. Apparently we three Sparks kids shared this one. Bill insisted he had memories of me leaning over his crib/buggy and poking him. I know Bill had a wild memory chip and liked to "embellish" the truth so I never believed this particular story. Gee was I feeling bad when my mother told me the other day that I REALLY did do the poking in the crib thing. Sorry Billy.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Sisters view of Billy Willy Dinky

First of all if my 76 year old mother could figure out how to get on this blog thingie then shame on me for not trying!!!! I was looking at a picture of my brother feeling sad and lonely and how much I missed him and then...................I started laughing. I looked at his funky eyebrows and nose and thought of how much we look alike and how he HATED it when people pointed that out. Not that he didnt love me, he just thought I looked strange. Now you Sparks kids think you got all the tricks pulled on you from your dear dad....hahaha. I was the original experiment of his evil plots! Yes the good ole days of him hiding under my bed and waiting until I fell asleep and then jumping out to scare the pee pee out of me . Or the time he would run in my room, smile, fart and then run. (In that order) I was the one that had my lovely pillows farted on, my arms pinned back so that he could direct his spit over my face, my silverware and glassware licked clean before I used it. Just a side note here......Bill and I used to fight over who could set the table. You see the winner would lick the plate etc of the loser. I dont think my mom ever caught on to that one. She was just happy to have someone set the table. Oh yes the memories are coming back to me now. He would scare away boyfriends with things like....oh do you know my sister has a MOLE on her butt, or do you know my sister picks her face or something else that would embarress me. No wonder he never wanted to bring any girlfriends home! He knew the wrath of his sisters would get him. Of course Barbara was the favorite one. He was not as mean to her as he was to me. I suppose it was due to the fact that I was perhaps a bit mean to him. I love my brother. He made growing up so fun and interesting and a real adventure.
Stay tuned for more memories...................................
Oma and Opa
Hello to all of you Children , Grandchildren and Greatgrandchildren.I finally found out how to log on.Hope this works.Thanks to all of you for all th nice stories and pictures.I dont know how to put pictures on ,I will keep trying.Maybe Lindsay will show me howHugs to all of you.Oma

Sunday, February 3, 2008

What Is This Thing That Men Call Death

What is this thing that men call death,
This quiet passing in the night?
'Tis not the end, but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light.

O God, touch thou my aching heart,
And calm my troubled, haunting fears.
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure,
Give strength and peace beyond my tears.

There is no death, but only change,
With recompense for vict'ry won.
The gift of him who loved all men,
The Son of God, the Holy One.

Thank you President Hinckley for these sweet comforting words!

Mission Beginnings

As we have written many times now, Dad was an amazing missionary. But I don't think we have mentioned yet what a miracle it was that he ended up on a mission in the first place. Dad had somewhat of a wild say the least. Let's just say dad did a lot of experimenting during his teenage years, culminating in a short stay in the Los Angelos jail system for "joy-riding" a car that he may or may not have owned. His parents let him serve the jail time hoping to scare him back onto the straight and narrow. It worked.

Dad came out of the experience determined to do something with his life. By the time he was 19 years old he was undecided on whether to join the military and pursue a career in the armed services like his father or to serve a full time mission.

One day as he was out surfing he felt something brush up against his leg. He had paddled out away from the shore quite a distance and at that moment he was absolutely certain that the "thing" in the water with him was a shark. He quickly pulled his arms and legs up onto the board and balanced as carefully as he could hoping to keep any delicious parts of him out of the shark's interest.

In that precarious moment as he sat hoping not to be eaten, he began to pray. He pleaded with the Lord to preserve his life and promised that if he was saved, he would serve a mission and be the best missionary he could be. Just as this sincere prayer came to a close, the "thing" in the water surfaced. Dad's fears instantly dissapated as he looked up to the sky and said, "Never mind, Lord, it was just a Dolphin".

It wasn't until the ride home that understanding dawned on him. He went home and filled out paperwork to serve a full time mission. He never overlooked the Lord's intervening hand in his life again.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

dad on parenting.

Dad loved his family so much. He never hid how much he cared for us all. He would constantly teach us and make us feel good about ourselves.
Here's one excerpt from Dad's amazing missionary journal

"June 19, 1977- Today was Sunday and we had a great day. We are planning to baptize the Venetz family Thursday instead of Friday. I sure am glad that I'm a missionary here. I just can't impress on my mind hard enough how important the gospel is. I am going to be working on my attitudes on several subjects. I also want to be a good father: Little children don't go astray, unless someone older leads the way. Beings so young, how would they know which path to take, which way to go? They must be taught to choose there way? Good example is important every day. They learn love and kindness from you, or they learn wrong by the things you do. Whether you lead them in paths of right or lead them into the darkness. A child will follow and imitate the things you do, YOU mold his fate. We have to pray for guidance, then lead with love and care. Our examples will either make them good or ? We have yet another great responsibility on our heads. But isn't it fantastic that our father in heaven has given us this opportunity to learn and progress. And wouldn't it be a shame if we abused this opportunity. "

He later wrote...

"Aug 10, 1978- ...All 6 contacts should be baptized. For a quick 24 hour fireside this one went the greatest. We did as the spirit directed and received the blessing for it. I cried for happiness tonight. This church means so much to me. I want my children to grow up in the gospel and someday go on a mission also. This is the Lord's church, this I know, for the spirit has revealed it unto me."

I wonder if the old man realized that the very words he was typing in his journal each night would be a major reasons his children have turned out the way we have.

Yes indeed, Dad was an amazing father. He would always randomly say good things like "Life is too short to be dishonest. We are so proud of you. I sure love you kid. You've got it so good you know. You're so lucky to have your spouse. Education is so important. Don't you dare join the army unless you're an officer first. You're so smart kid. If I was half as smart as you. If you mess up, fess up. etc...."
Now, don't get me wrong he had his fair share of completely inappropriate fathering techniques. For example, a few of the family favorites:

1) A stiff dick has no conscience. Dad thought that this one was so clever that he couldn't even contain himself from only telling me and David. He proceeded to shock us by telling all our friends. Andy in particular seemed horrified when Dad explained it to him.

2) It's better to want something you don't have than to have something you don't want. This would sometimes be replaced by the similar Don't trade what you want forever for what you want in the moment. This clever little phrase was so often repeated to David and I that he actually made us commit it to memory and say it back to him when we left with our friends or on dates. On at least three occasions he made me repeat it to him in front of girls. The funniest thing is, that David and I had no clue what this meant for a really long time, we finally came to the conclusion that he must mean that it's better to want sex and not have it than to want sex, have it, have a baby and not want it.

3) More than two shakes and you're playing with it. OR the similar... You'll go blind! Dad started telling David and I this when we were like 5 in lieu of having the dreaded sex talk (which we never got). Again, we had no idea what in the world he meant. He would just say one of those two things out of the blue at random times and then go off giggling to himself.

4) You're home late, lick your fingers. I forgot about this gem. Jodi still doesn't get it.

5) Remember who you are. Which went nicely with and was always followed immediately followed by #6.

6) Return with honor. A true dad classic.

7) If I found out you're gay I'd kill you! My father was absolutely PARANOID that either David or I or both of us were gay. He fixated on it constantly. He was certain that we were gay. It didn't help that Miles would occasionally call and leave a message on the answering machine that went like this "Taylor, just tell your dad. He won't be mad. He'll understand! My parents understood when I told them. We love each other! Don't let you dad get in between us." And it didn't help that some people thought it was ok to refer to David and Kenny as the Thompsons, I guess we know who the guy is in that relationship.

8) You're grounded indefinitely! This was especially relevant to David who referred it. The poor child was grounded his entire life.

9) The poo poo train, the poo poo train, Everybody rides on the poo poo train. Dad loved this little jingle. He'd sing it all the time when we were getting potty trained. We would sing along too. The problem was that it sorta lost it's novelty when we got older and he'd still sing it in front of our friends expecting us to sing along. (important note: I thought I'd add a funny picture here of a poo poo train. However, upon doing a websearch of poo poo train I can fully discourage that any of you make that same mistake.)

10) Don't even think about coming home high cuz I've used them all and I'll know. True as the gospel. There was no foolin the man on that front. The old man made all the mistakes so we wouldn't have to.