KARA: "Marie, you were nominated by a friend, to be featured here on Incredible Women. I want to share with our readers some of the things she said about you, if that’s ok?...
'I would love to nominate my eternal friend, Marie Tuner. She was the best cook in town and all the kids loved going to their house for Friday night hangouts. Marie was the best listener, advisor, and friend that anyone could ask for. She always had time for you no matter what. She was full of wonderful advice and outstanding in all she did. Whenever anyone had a question about life, medical, romance or anything, we would all say, "Just ask Aunt Marie!" She taught me to make my first baby quilt. She sewed most all of her families' things and there was always a batch of clothes hanging on the line in the backyard. There was always a smell of homemade bread in the house. Her hens layed the best eggs. Her garden was gorgeous. She is the queen of canning. She is known for her sourdough pancakes and waffles, her huckleberry pie, huckleberry jam, and huckleberry syrup. She is a very humble, kind, Christ like soul.' --Rae Ann Nilson
"You are obviously an amazing person. I’d like you to tell us a little bit about yourself – how would you describe yourself (hobbies, talents, etc.)? Why are you an Incredible Woman?"
MARIE: "First, let me say this is really a difficult task for me to write about myself with thoughts of being an outstanding or incredible woman. I feel like I'm an ordinary person doing what the Lord and my husband and family want me to do!
I hope my style of answering will work for you. I am a writer, so I'll try to do more than just answer the questions:
Hobbies - crochet, knit, cross stitch, sew, tat, quilt, writer, Family History Research
Talents - teacher, writing, singing, speaker, artist/painter
Interests - Teaching Institute Classes for the past 15 years; travel to foreign countries to visit our daughter and son-in-law and family; Temple Ordinance work, especially for family names; vacation to our farm house; touring LDS Church History sites
* Raised our children with my husband's patient, wonderful help
* 4-H Leader for 17 years and all of our children participated in learning to cook and sew, even our two sons! Now they can mend and sew for themselves!!!
* Served as 4-H County President and Vice-President, 4-H District Director, 4-H Foods and Craft Judge for other counties, on planning committee for State Leaders' Conference
* Taught art to students in grades K-12, and Art Challenge classes to grades 4-6 (w/o a degree!)
* Served as our school representative on the School District Gifted/Talented Committee
* Discussion Leader for Great Books in Grades 3-6
* Went back to college after 23 years of marriage and being a Mom to get my Bachelor
Degree in Elementary Education. I Graduated in 1988
* Received a Masters Degree in Lifelong Learning/Adult Education with my emphasis on Adult and Family Literacy in 1998
Awards - Outstanding Teaching Award; Dean's Honor Roll, Assistantship to work on Masters Degree, Jaynes Scholarship (Masters Degree), Elect Woman Award (LDSSA)
Why am I an Incredible Woman? I guess I am, but I've never published a book, received an award in the community, etc. I always look at those things and think - I am just an ordinary woman doing ordinary things, and praying I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do to reach my eternal potential."
KARA: "Will you describe your family to us? Tell us something special that you love about each one of them.
MARIE: "We are the parents of 7 biological children and have shepherded a few others in our home, mostly nephews. We also claim an 8th child as our own. She is the age of our 2nd daughter and they were friends from the moment they met. We claim her children as our grandchildren also. When we first met her, she was terribly withdrawn and it was obvious she'd been abused and we just fell in love with her. She and her husband and children are such a sweet addition to our family that we can't think of life without them. So, we are officially a family of 8! - 6 girls and 2 boys:
1- Linda Sue Byrd - has been my beacon to keep me focused on Gospel Principles and obedience for most of my life as a Mom. I've learned so much from her as she's gently pointed out ways for me to improve, without really saying it. She's a registered nurse with a Masters Degree in Nursing and working on her Nurse Practitioner License. She is always learning something new, interested in doing what's right. She and her husband Carl have 4 sons and a daughter.
2- Dian Marie Bretones has the brain of an engineer and the feelings of a woman. When I have a problem, I will seek her advice because I know she can reason like a man and understand my feelings as a woman, then give me wonderful options to choose from. She just amazes me with what she can accomplish and her ability to succeed in whatever she does. She's a fun-loving, person, and laughs easily. Dian has a double Bachelor Degree in Music - Piano Performance and Music Composition. She also has a double Masters Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy of teaching Piano. She is a gifted piano player and teacher. She and her husband are our Stake's liaison for people with Same-Sex Attraction to try to bridge that gap and counsel with young adults and their parents. Dian and her husband Aaron have 2 sons and a daughter.
3- Kathryn (Kathy) Woodcox - is my quiet, mellow child, yet she's brightened our family with an imaginary friend, named Mildred when she was 16 (because she didn't have one as a child!). We have a gentle, yet close relationship that gives me sense of fulfillment when I'm around her. She makes me want to be a better person each time we've been together. Kathy is currently completing her Bachelor Degree in Education and had been teaching at a Charter School for the past 6 years. Kathy and her husband Bryan have 2 sons and 2 daughters.
4- Angela Turner- is our spunky, fun-loving daughter. She's taught me about honoring personal agency and that it's a gift. We've spent lots of time together overcoming lots of problems in her life. Her personal choices since she was 16 have dictated much of what she's had to overcome in her life, but I've watched her get through it all. As a result of needing to forgive, I have an inkling of what it must be like for Heavenly Father to overlook our sins and forgive us. This has been such a blessing for me to understand that repentance and forgiveness process. We have a very close relationship because of what we've needed to do. Angela is a registered nurse working to finish her Bachelor Degree in Nursing. She is divorced with a son and a daughter whom we love dearly.
5- Laura Lee Budd is very strong in her testimony of the Gospel and unwavering in her desire to live it properly. I have such love and admiration for her strength to stand up for that and to speak up to others who may not be as strong or understand the gospel concepts as well as she does. Yet, she is patient and kind as others learn what she already knows. Some children come to homes to be taught while others come to teach us. She is one of those children. Whenever she and I had a difference of opinion during her teen years, I would send her to pray and ask the Lord for the right answer. She always did. She always got the right answer. Thank Goodness!!! Laura has an adaptable personality that makes her a very versatile wife and mother. Her husband is in the military, which requires her to do lots of training and keep the "Home Fires always burning." Next May, their family will be sent to Armenia so he can be the military attache' to the U. S. Embassy there. She has not completed her Bachelor Degree but only lacks a couple semesters to complete and will one day. Laura and her husband Justin have 2 daughters, a son and are expecting a new baby next April.
6- Michael Allen realizes the most important thing he can do in this life is to build a solid relationship with his Savior and fulfill the eternal reasons for coming to this earth. He has struggled most of his life with his agency. He is a proud, handsome young man with a beautiful singing voice and many other talents. His choices have placed him in situations that have compromised his testimony and standing in the gospel, but he's learning now that repentance is possible and necessary. I've learned much watching the growth of his spirit in the past year as he's sought our forgiveness, and to be more loving and repentant. Michael is presently enrolled to become a Nurse. He has been divorced with a sweet little boy for 4 years and preparing to remarry next month.
7- David Ryan was the child who blessed our family with that last ounce of love and laughter. He was such a fun child to raise and be with. He wondered at everything around him and had to know why. He wanted to learn to do everything we all did and attacked it with zeal and great energy. He was honest about everything and his goal was to do what he should. David thinks outside the box. He thinks of everything no one else does. I was determined I would not spoil him, just because he was the youngest, and I think we succeeded! Lately, we've learned he has a myriad of health problems but has a great determination to live with them and overcome them. I truly admire his courage and ability to do that. David and his wife Patty, our favorite daughter-in-law for now! have 3 sons.
8- Shirley is our "borrowed" daughter. She had come from such a neglected and an abusive home life, I don't know how she ever survived. She's overcome all that she was confronted with to become one of the most beautiful people I know. She has the patience and love and appreciation of a person who was given everything. I just know our Heavenly Father has taken good care of her and helped her to endure so she could teach and show us what love really means, and the patience to become the shining Daughter of God she has become. Her testimony of the Gospel comes from many other people who have influenced her life and growing years when she couldn't be in our home. For that, I'm eternally grateful. Though I wish she were my own daughter, I know I can only "borrow" her for this life and love her forever. I'm so grateful Dian brought her home after school in 6th grade. That simple step has changed the lives of all our family members as we've interacted with her over the years. Shirley and her husband Bill have 2 daughters and a son.
All those grandchildren now equal 24 with #25 on the way! I don't give my grandchildren Christmas presents anymore. I give each grandchild their own set of 12 Days of Christmas before Christmas each year. When given the choice of a gift or the 12 Days of Christmas, it was the 12 Days -100% vote! It's lots of work, but I collect things all year to keep the cost down and Patty helps me bag them each year. It's our fun day together and then I mail the ones that need it. I love doing it and it keeps me in touch with each grandchild so we can have a personal relationship that is meaningful. I love all those wonderful grandchildren."
Some of Marie's favorites:
1 - Book of Mormon (click here if you'd like to know more)
2 - When A Child Wanders by Robert L. Millett - I bought the cassettes and listened to them as I traveled to visit my mom in Idaho years ago. It has helped me so much and I've bought several copies and given them away or loaned them to people who need to hear them.
"We choose to vacation outside of the U. S. to wherever our daughter and husband are stationed. It's been exciting and most enjoyable to see so many parts of Europe while they were stationed in Germany. I fell in love with Hungary where our son-in-law served his mission and have learned to cook several Hungarian recipes that I truly enjoy. Laura is the best at them but gave me an extra cookbook so I could enjoy them too."
Date Night ideas:
"We couldn't always afford a babysitter for a date night when we lived on the farm, so often I would make homemade pizza for the kids and tell them it was a date night for daddy and me. The older girls took the younger ones upstairs to eat pizza and play games and read to them while Allen and I stayed downstairs and had a candlelight dinner I'd cooked. I reserved a couple tender steaks to cook, made baked potatoes and a fance tossed salad and dessert, lit the candles and when Allen came in from milking his cows, he could see we had a date night set up. I never told him ahead of time. I finally learned that it's just as important for the wife to court her husband as it is for the husband to continue courting his wife after they are married. It's a 2-way street and to expect the husband to read a wife's mind about when she needs flowers or a date is ludicrous! If you need or want something, ask for it. Eventually, we all hope it sinks in and we'll get some surprises, but it's not a total loss if you have to buy your own flowers or ask to go out with your husband. He needs to know your needs because he isn't a woman, nor does he think like one!"
Sogno by Andea Bocelli
A More Perfect Light by AfterGlow
"See? I told you you'd love Marie! I'm going to add the recipes that she sent to me on the sidebar, so if you are interested - check them out! Please visit again tomorrow as we continue our interview."