Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Leaving Home

This past Monday evening we had a "Goodbye Dinner" for Jenni & Cordell for Family Home Evening. We had a great night of food and company. Everyone was here with the exception of Christopher & Samantha who were in California visiting Christopher's old mission.

When Jenni first told me about this opportunity I have to admit that I was really reluctant. I was not sure if she was really ready to be on her own...completely alone and a state away. Of all my children, Jenni has always been the one that has needed me just a little but more. I am not really sure why. Even as a small child, that was the case. Greg and I have often said that Jenni takes "baby steps" in life. I guess I just did not really see this giant step coming. Funny how when Christopher and Tara married, I never even worried about them. I knew they would be just fine. Both of them have always been so independent and pretty much "soared" away from the nest. I guess each of these spirits really are unique.

When Jenni and Cordell eventually made their final decision to go and Jenni told me about it, I felt such a strong feeling of warmth. I KNEW that they were making the right decision. That has been such a comfort to me. I know that Cordell will be right with her, but moms still worry. I am actually kind of experiencing similar feelings that I had when Christopher left on his mission. Sad and happy at the same time. I am sad because a large chapter in my life is closing, yet happy because I know she is doing the right thing. Watching my children leave one by one has been an interesting journey. While I am happy to see them each progress and move forward, I am also grateful that I have two more children still at least for now.

Cordell, Jenni and Emma
Cordell, Jenni with Grandpa W and Grandma W
Tara and Austin

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More Prom Pictures...

I guess the pictures kind of say it all!

Prom 2010

Saturday night Josh went to his high school prom with a group of boys from our ward. I thought it was great that three of these boys were in our ward and all wanted to go together. From the report Josh provided to me, it sounds as though it was a great evening.

I believe it was the evening before that they guys finally decided on what activity to do for their day date. They had a great idea, but it needed just a little bit of tweaking. They wanted to go on a hike and have a picnic - love it! However when I questioned what they would take on the picnic, Josh told me "peanut butter and jelly sandwiches". I had to remind him that he was going on an actual date, not to preschool. He finally agreed to get a footlong sub from Subway ($5.00). Much better.

The big evening finally arrived and Josh looked pretty great all decked out in his tux. McKay's sisters had planned to cook dinner for the group and I heard that they did a great job. All of my children have told me that they would much rather go to dinner at someone's home than go stand in a line at a restaurant. It just seems so much more enjoyable. Jenni and Tara still talk about the prom they went to were the grandparents of one of the boys cooked and served for them. They absolutely loved it!

The only really bad thing that happened the entire evening was the pictures. Evidently not one of the boys found out when the school was providing a photographer for the dates. In translation this means that they ended up not getting any professional pictures. I guess the photographer was there from 5-6 pm. Okay...who planned this? Aren't most kids either getting ready for the big night or already at dinner somewhere? Wouldn't it have made better sense to have the photographer there around 9pm - you know, when the main onslaught of kids are at the dance? Thankfully the Jermans took pictures after the dance. Hopefully I will soon have some copies in my possession to share. In the meantime, Teri Sue did her magic and provided me with this. Thanks Teri Sue!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Meet The "Nightmares"

Yesterday Emma had another steller soccer game. She scored 4 goals for her team in a game that they eventually won, 5-1. She has been playing with this team for about 3 years now and they have really developed into something fun to watch. They had to choose a name for the team and they chose to call themselves "Your Worst Nightmare"...pretty funny. You should see the look on the opposing teams faces when they ask what their team is called. Priceless.

They have an amazing coach, Aryl who possesses enormous amounts of patience with these chatty gals. It is fun just to sit and watch him do his magic during the game. He is GREAT. This year they have continued their winning streak and are undefeated. He is certainly doing something right.

Emma has really developed into a great little player. Yeah...I know...I am her mom, but seriously - she is REALLY good. I have watched her on numerous occasions take the ball from an opponent while on the far end of the field and dribble it down the entire field, splitting defenders and leaving a battlefield of bodies in her shadows as she races madly towards the goal. And just when you think she is going to be completely selfish and shoot, she passes it to the middle for an assist. Beautiful.

Her teammates are pretty great in their own rite. All of them are unselfish and work together throughout the entire game. I am not sure how Aryl has done it, but he has made this little group of girls a cohesive group. I hope that they continue to play together for many years to come.

One of the most entertaining parts of the game is at the end, after they congratulate the opposing team. Emma's team forms a circle and all together they shout this chant...


I keep forgetting to take my camera with me to record this little diddy. Hopefully next week I will remember so that I can post it.

(Emma is 5th from the left in the team picture above)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Back In Business!

Today I finally finished by blog book. Yipee!!! It felt so good to upload that little thing and send it on it's merry way to be printed. I can't wait to see the final product and discover all the mistakes that I missed. My sister-in-law, Gina, inspired me to do this when she showed me the book that she printed last year. It was incredible. Thanks for the example, are great. It will be so nice to have a hard copy on hand...especially since I consider it my journal.

Having said all of that...I am now back in the blogging business. Now I just have to find something interesting to blog about...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wow...They Have All Grown Up!

(Back Row L-R - Stephan, Stephanie, Eric, Bobby, Samantha & Christopher-Front Row- Tara, Kirsten & Jenni)

I was at my sister-in-law, Stephanie's home the other day and somehow we ended up talking about this photo. She graciously allowed me to bring it home and scan it into my computer. I have always LOVED this photo! I love how cute all the little kiddos look all decked out in the "Sunday best". My sister, Dayna, made the dresses for the little girls...cute-huh? This was taken on Stephanie and Bobby's wedding day...17 years ago? I remember Tara running around temple square that day picking the tulips while we were all in the temple at the sealing. For the life of me I can't remember who was supposed to be watching the kids, but oh well, it is a funny memory. We still tease her about it.

While we were looking at this picture, Stephanie pointed out the me that two children are married now (Tara & Christopher, one almost married (Jenni), one more has passed away (Samantha-the baby) and my nephew, Eric who is sitting on Stephanie's lap, is on a mission. The little boy in the suit (Stephan) and the other little girl sitting between Jenni and Tara, Kirsten, are Bobby's niece and nephew. Everyone is so grown up now that it does not even seem possible. Where has the time gone?

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Good Laugh

A couple of days ago I was sitting with Emma at the computer looking at music videos on YouTube. We came across some dance videos from weddings and one of them had the groomsmen dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller". I explained to her that when this song and original video came out in the mid 80's it was simply AMAZING and that nothing like that had ever been made before. I then found the original video and we both sat and watched it together. As we were watching the video she turned to me and said "Wow...he can sing AND dance...was he discovered on American Idol?" I think she is beginning to give Jenni a run for her money in the funny department :)

I've Been Distracted

About a month ago I won a gift certificate to to use towards publishing my blog into a book. I have been wanting to do this for quite some time and when I won the contest, I decided that I had no more excuses. So...for the past few weeks, I have been busy editing/compiling my previous posts. I hope to have this little project complete in the next couple of days so that I can have the hard copy to take with me when I fly to visit my mom and Dayna at the end of this month. So...I will be checking back in a bit...after the book is complete. Until then just assume that we are all happy, healthy and otherwise great :) Back to editing...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Favorite Story From My Grandmother

Today would have been my Grandmother's 96th birthday. I miss her. I was thinking about her this morning and pulled out her life history that she wrote a number of years ago. As I was reading I came upon the following story. It is one of my favorites. It communicates so effectively the great faith this woman had.

"We were approached one afternoon by a person from the Washington State Highway Department. He informed us that the state would like to buy some of our acreage as a new highway was to be constructed and it had been surveyed through our land. Not only did he tell us that, but he also said that the highway was to be constructed in such a way that we would lose the use of our barn. That came as a shock as losing the barn was tantamount to going out of the dairy business! Compensation was paid according to the present value of the barn and as the barn was quite old, payment would not be sufficient to build a new one. We were trying to pay off debt an did not want to borrow more money in order to build a new barn and keep in business. Nevertheless, there was nothing to be done about it and after negotiating for what seemed to be the most payment that we could possibly expect, we signed the right-of-way permission papers. Sometime later construction was begun on the new road.

I need to explain that the barn was situated on a hill which had the road going north and south on the east end, a gully on the north side, the hill was cut off and steep on the west end and the cows came up the hill on the south side, entering the barn beside the road on the east end of the barn. The reason that we were to lose the use of the barn was because the new road bed was going to be much lower than the barn and the banks on either side of the road at the point would slope back so far that there would only be 3 feet of clearance to the barn doors. That was not sufficient space to get the cows into the barn. Hence, the reason for the loss of use of the barn.

It was at this time that Heavenly Father intervened on our behalf. When the bull-dozer started to work on the road at the end of the barn, it did not get very far down into the earth until it was very evident that the machine could not scrape, push and level off the dirt at that particular place. There was a thick strata of blue clay! An engineer was called in for consultation and it was decided that the road bed would not be lowered much more than it was at that point. As a result the banks would not be sloped back so far as earlier indicated and we were left with plenty of room to get our cows into the barn.

We already had our payment. Everything had been legally settled. As a result we were allowed to keep our money and we paid off the mortgage on the farm. The barn is still being used by Stanley Cass who purchased the land when we left Skamokawa, moving to Cathlamet about 1968."

In General Conference this past weekend, the choir sang one of grandma's favorite songs, "I Wonder When He Comes Again." We sang it at her funeral (at her request) and whenever I hear it I can't help but think of this incredible woman. I love you Grandma and look forward to seeing you again! Thank you for your example and persevering attitude. You are truly a remarkable woman.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Beautiful Sight!

A couple of weeks ago when Greg and I visited Astoria, we spent a day in Portland with my dad and Mark. As we were crossing a bridge, Mark pointed out the blossoming trees across the river and the GREEN, GREEN, grass surrounding them. Now keep in mind that when we left Utah, there was snow on the ground. This site was simply breathtaking! Greg quickly snapped a picture (through the window of the car) and although it is not the best, you can kind of get the idea.

Don't you just love spring? It seems that this year I have been looking forward to spring more than usual. It has been a rough winter for me and I am not really sure why. For some reason the dark, cold, gray days really got to me. Perhaps this northwest girl is slowly becoming a Utahn after all --NOT.

I really love spring and all the symbolism that it brings. Everything around us testifies of rebirth. The flowers, trees, birds...everything in nature is becoming alive again. I have been thinking a lot about that in the past week. I have thought a lot about the creation of the earth. Isn't it wonderful that Heavenly Father gave us flowers? He did not have to, but He did. They do not really serve a practical purpose (although some ARE edible), yet sometimes when I am having a bad day, just seeing a flower can make me smile. How grateful I am for the simple things in life.