Thursday, January 29, 2009

We Figured It Out...Kind Of

Tara had been complaining a lot lately about stomach pains. We finally took her to the doctor and he ordered her to have some tests run last Monday. Well, we received the results and she has Celiac Disease. That means that she has to be placed on a gluten-free diet...poor girl. No more bread, cookies, baked goods etc. I am starting to do research and get familiar with it and it seems like she can still eat as many fruits and vegies as she chooses. She can also have meat as long as it is not marinated in any kind of sauce that contains wheat or rye. If she chooses to eat food with wheat, it can start to break down her immune system. Yikes! If anyone has any suggestions and is familiar with this, please email me their suggestions!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Big Deal

Anyone that knows Jenni knows that she is always telling people jokingly that she is a "Big Deal". Well for her birthday a few weeks ago, two of her "guy friends" had this shirt made for her as a present. It was hysterical!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy 70th Birthday Grandpa!!!

Yesterday was Al's birthday and we had a really fun celebration at Stephanie and Bobby's home. Janice told me earlier that he did not even realize that it was his birthday until she told him. He was even more surprised to find all his children and grandchildren had gathered to surprise him and celebrate! It was a really fun afternoon full of lots of visiting and catching up. We really enjoy getting together and having fun. The above picture is all the grandchildren with their Grandpa. Christopher is the only one missing. It was really hard just to gather them all up from various corners of the house. We actually took a few pictures and then realized that Emma, Abigail and Amy were missing!
Grandpa had help blowing out the candles. We did not put 70 candles on the cake because it was a white cake, not a wax cake :)
Jenni and her Grandma visiting in the above picture.
Tara and her boyfriend, Austin. Yeah...we like him.
Jenni and Bobby "hangin' loose". Bobby thinks he is a teenager :)
This is my nephew Calvin. His mom, Stephanie, cut him this huge piece of cake to entice him to finish his meal. She even placed it right in front of him to tempt him. It was pretty funny.
This is Josh with his new glasses! I keep forgetting to take a picture and finally remembered at the birthday party. I think he looks pretty good!
Jenni and Tyson have a staring contest. Tyson won.
All the men downstairs in the family room watching sports and playing the Wii after filling their tummies.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Old Farm

My brother, Kirk and his family recently returned to my old stomping ground in Olney, Oregon. While they were there they took a lot of photos and the old place. My sister in law has posted them on her blog and when I read them, it totally made me homesick! You really need to click on her link below on my bloglist to see them. Her blog is "Finding Joy In The Journey". That farm was the best place to raise a family. We had 15 acres to roam around on all day long. My mom never worried about where we were or who we were with as long as we came to the dinner table in the evening. Oh...I miss that place!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

One Month From Today

I was talking to my sister in -law today and she mentioned that one month from today we will all be at the airport waiting for Christopher to get off a plane! Wow!!! I cannot believe how fast these past two years have gone by. Our conversations at home are changing a bit too. We now say things like "When Christopher gets home..." and "We need to wait to do that when Christopher is home..." It hardly seems real that we are at the end of this journey.

I have been in the airport a few times since he has left and each time I have been able to see families waiting near the baggage claim for a missionary. I always kind of just put that out of my mind and thought that it is a long way off. Now the time is almost here and soon it will be our turn. Before you know it, we will be the Mormon family at the Salt Lake airport with lots of yellow balloons and banners anxiously waiting to see a young man in a suit coming down the escalator. I can't wait!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why I Love Art

I have always loved art. I have many times tried to get my children to have the same kind of appreciation for art that I do, but I think that I may have failed. I remember one time Greg and I decided for Family Home Evening we would take the kids down to BYU to see an art exhibit. We got to the exhibit hall only to find out that it was some kind of expressive art display...and it was VERY strange to say the least. I think that left a sour taste for art in each of my children's mouth and they often tease me when they remember that experience. I hear taunting such as "Remember that time Mom tried to make us appreciate art..." and then they proceed to talk about all the negative things from that experience. Yeah, yeah, yeah...well I still love going to art exhibits. My Dad instilled this love I have for it due in a large part because he was an artist and art teacher.

When I was a child, we were not allowed to have coloring books. I remember having all the blank white paper I wanted, but no coloring books. I think that something is to be said for that because all four of us children have some kind of talent for art. However, my Dad is the only one that was able to make a living with it. He spends numerous hours, even years working on his bronzes. The one above is of the race called Peking to Paris that happened on 1909. It is really an amazing piece. Below is one of my favorite bronzes. It is called "Cattail Escape". I think that I love it so much because it reminds me of all the deer I would see in the large field just outside our picture window in the old farmhouse.

Just below is a watercolor. This one is called "Forgotten Lilacs" and is actually the home that my Dad was born in Waverly, Iowa. This is also one of my favorite watercolors that he has done. I have a copy of this print in my front room so that I can see it everyday. I love it.
Maybe sometime my kids will appreciate art. I am not sure when, but I hope that it is soon or they may someday realize that they missed something wonderful.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Jenni's Room

This may seem like a strange post, but I promised Jenni that I would put some pictures of her new room on here. Jenni moved out of last Octoberish. It was time for her to move on and experience life on her "own" a little bit. She was very excited at the prospect of having her own room. Although we miss her very much, it has been a good thing.

She decorated and coordinated everything in her new room and I think that she did a pretty good job! The headboard was actually my Grandma's and used to be a light oak. Jenni sanded all the furniture down and painted everything black and then sealed them all. I forgot to take a picture of her dresser. That actually used to be her cousin, Samantha's. Samantha passed away 16 years ago when she was two years old. I am not sure why, but we have had that dresser in our garage for a long time. Jenni discovered it and has made it look brand new. All the furniture in her room was given to her and she refinished it and all the bedding and decorations she found for a steal. I am kind of proud that she has finally figured out that you never pay full price for anything.

When I visited her for the first time, I was amazed at how clean her room was. When she lived at home, that was certainly not the case. She used to drive me crazy. Maybe all that nagging actually paid off :) I took the picture of the closet just to have evidence that she knows how to organize things. It makes a mother proud!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Some Good Things About Snow...

1. I can burn lots of calories shoveling snow for 1 1/2 hours at a time! My friend, Krissy, pointed out that you can also get some "ripped abs".

2. Young children can go outside and get rid of all the extra energy they seem to get in the winter months. I love watching them sled on the hill across the street at Evergreen Park. Emma has spent almost everyday there for the past month.

3. You see the kindness of neighbors helping each other with the shoveling of sidewalks and driveways. I can't tell you how many times I have seen the young men in our neighborhood shoveling snow for a single lady, widowed man or just because they want to help someone. It really warms your heart :)

4. It helps us maintain our water levels in our reservoirs. If we did not have the snow, we would be facing drought conditions in the spring and summer seasons.

5. Gives us a great excuse to consume large quantities of hot chocolate. Need I say more?

6. It reminds us of our Heavenly Father and the beauty of the earth in any season. Winter is typically not my families' favorite month (however, I love it). They complain that it is cold and they want spring to come quickly. Yet if they take the time, they can see that there is always beauty. Isn't it wonderful that our Heavenly Father was so thoughtful as to create beauty in every season? The trick is just to find the beauty and have gratitude for it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Funny Picture...

I have been meaning to post this for a while, but kept forgetting about it. Last fall while I was heading to the Bountiful temple with the laurel class we passed this sign outside a Baptist Church. I loved it! It is not the best picture, but you can get the idea. It was taken inside of the vehicle as we were passing by, so it is kind of hard to read. If you click on the picture, you can read it better. Someone out there is pretty creative!