Monday, March 29, 2010

Big Foot's Steakhouse

Whenver I visit my dad he takes me to get prime rib at a zany little restaurant in Seaside. The name of this place is "Big Foot's Steakhouse" and if you ever happen to be in the area, I highly suggest you stop by for dinner.

As you walk into the door this is what you will see ready to greet you. I could not resist snapping a photo last time I visited. It always makes me chuckle to see this big dude staring you down in the entry way. I am sure many a children have had nightmares over this site. I also love the big fork in the background...just like the one on the kitchen wall in the show "Everybody Loves Raymond", only a bit bigger. When I visited in early February Big Foot was holding a bouquet of roses. I am sure this was in honor of Valentine's Day...very funny.

The food is not bad either. At least the prime rib...haven't ever ordered anything else, so I can't really say much about the rest of the menu. But the prime rib melts in your mouth! My dad eats dinner here every Tuesday night and even has a personal waitress, Laura, that dotes on him each week. Thanks for taking care of my dad, Laura! You are the best.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Road Trippin' With Josh

Josh and I just returned from visiting BYU Idaho in Rexburg. Josh is considering attending there after he graduates in 2011 and we thought it would be fun to visit the campus and get a tour.

A couple of weeks ago Dayna called me and mentioned that she was going to have a work conference in Pocatello. She then asked if we would want to come and stay with her for the evening and then head to Rexburg the next day for our tour. I passed this by Josh and he was game. We made the necessary arrangements with the University and headed out on Thursday to meet Dayna. I was looking forward to spending some "alone" time with Josh and I have to say that we really had a great time. That kid is a funny dude. While we were driving I could not help but realize that the last time I had driven on this road was 1985 -- twenty-five years ago! Dayna had even brought her college scrapbook so that we could look at the pictures and relive some of the memories from our college days at Ricks. Time has certainly flown by!

We arrived in Rexburg at lunchtime and the first thing Josh wanted to do was eat....surprise, surprise:) So...we headed over to the Manwaring Center. Wow...what a has certainly changed. Actually the entire campus has changed since I had gone to school there. Josh was instantly impressed with the food court, as was I. It had just been remodeled and was simply amazing. When he found out that this is were he would be using his meal ticket if he chose to attend there, he was smiling from ear to ear.

The actual tour was wonderful also. They took us around in a little golf cart and had a student ambassador as a tour guide. She gave us some great information. You could just feel the "spirit" of the school as we drove around. It really reminded me of what BYU (Provo) used to be. The only negetive was the wind. I had warned Josh about the crazy weather in Rexburg. I had also informed him about the cold, unrelenting wind that he would encounter in the winter months, but that did not seem to phase him too much. He was pretty much sold on the was I. After the tour I knew that we had found the perfect fit for Josh. He was giddy and smiling broadly. The other big bonus was that Rexburg now has a temple right next to campus. What a blessing to know that you could have that wonderful refuge of peace so near. I wish that when I had attended that this had been available to me. We finsihed up our visit with a trip to the bookstore where Josh bought himself another hot chocolate mug to add to his collection. He also scored a free t-shirt from the tour.

The ride home was a lot of fun. Josh and I took turns finding music to listen to and belting out the lyrics. I like to play a game with my kids whenever an "oldie" (sad to say that the oldies are actually songs I listened to in high school and college...I'm an oldie too) comes on the radio. I always ask them to name the artist and if they answer correctly, I will buy them a candy bar. In all the years I have played this, not one of my children has ever succeeded in naming the correct artist. That is until now. Josh made me so proud :) Rod Stewart's song "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?" came on and I instantly asked my question and to my great astonishment, Josh knew the answer! Not long after the song finsihed, Josh turned to me and told me that he loved me. Those three little words paid for the trip in full. What a great way to end a great two days. And...I love you too, Josh and I need to buy you a candy bar!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Traveling Show

Last week all of the fifth grade classes at Emma's school performed their annual "Traveling Show". In the years past, this show traveled around the area performing their production. However, in recent years they now just show it to their school and parents. The show recaps a study unit of United States history. I have to admit that I was not really looking forward to attending this event. I guess I am just schooled out when it comes to these performances...five children will do that to you! But after attending this production, I have repented. I was rather pleasantly surprised.

Their program was very patriotic and made me proud that my children attended this school. They sang and danced to a large selection of patriotic songs. Emma had one of the few speaking parts and did a great job. I was very impressed with the values they were focused on. At the end of the program they sang a tribute to all the divisions of the, navy, air force and marines. While they sang the songs they asked members of the audience to please stand if they had served in that branch of the military or had family members that had served or were serving. That site really got me. I saw people from all stages of life stand...grandmas and grandpas, widows and young men. It made me think of my ancestors who fought so hard to defend the freedoms that we enjoy today.

Since researching Greg's family line I have come across ancestors that fought in all the major wars in our country's history. The one that really stood out in my mind was John Justice...don't you just love that name? It sounds like a super hero... and to me, he is. He fought for our country in the Revolutionary War. How thankful I am for his willingness to fight for our freedom. So many people throughout history have given their lives so that we can be free. What a humbling thought.

I also thought of a dear sister in our ward who lost her sweet husband overseas just a little over a year ago. She is left with two darling little boys. What a sacrifice she has made. What gratitude fills my heart when I think of her!

At the end of the program the children started to sing "God Bless The USA". As they were singing, the audience joined in and people began to stand one at a time. I could not even finish singing the song I was so touched. What a simple act, yet it had a significant impact on me. The principal then came to the stage and simply said "God Bless America". Now, how many principals in this country have the courage to stand and say that? It has become so politically incorrect that many are fearful to make this short statement. I am very thankful that our principal was not afraid. How grateful I am that I live in such a wonderful country and enjoy such rich freedoms. I hope it is not something that I ever take for granted.
(Emma with some of her classmates after the the way she HATED the vest she had to wear. She told me she thought she looked like a clown-ha!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Little Splash of Color

While in Astoria a week ago, I decided to spend an afternoon driving around and taking photographs of some of the colorful homes you can find there. I have always wanted to do this and have never just taken the time. Astoria is a small coastal town that is built on a hill that over looks the Columbia River, Youngs Bay and if you look to the north west, you can see the mouth of the Pacific Ocean. This city was the first port on the west coast...even before Los Angeles. If you drive just a little further towards the ocean, you can visit the spot where Lewis and Clark spent the winter. Most of the homes were built just post World War II. Astoria is rich with history and has a very unique charm to it. I can not think of any other place in the United States that you could paint a house pink and it would work. Many of the early settlers came from Scandinavian countries and brought this colorful pallet of house paint with them. I have often thought that on a dreary, gray day nothing could lift your spirits more than to see a splash of color on the hillside. The picture above is actually periwinkle and just about blows you over when you turn the corner and see this staring at you. Strangely, and without any reason, it works. I actually kind of liked it. Here are some more examples... (Take notice of the GREEN grass and flowers everywhere...ahhh Springtime!)

Okay...this house may not work, but I still could not resist taking a picture of it. My first thought when I saw it was "McDonalds...mustard and ketchup"
I saw a glimpse of the backside of this home from the road way down below and knew I had to somehow find it. It took me about 30 minutes of driving through narrow, winding streets to locate it. Love it!
I love the door beside the garage on this one. That little red trim just gives it that "Astoria Charm". Personally, I would have painted the trim the same way on the garage door too.
My camera did not do the colors on these homes justice...but you can get the idea. The middle one is actually a mauve with purple trim. Notice how narrow the streets are.
This home is actually more purple that it looks. The trim was a bright teal.
This is a store that sells seafood. We were driving with my dad and I spotted this one. He rhetorically asked why anyone would paint a business that color. I thought for a minute and when I noticed that it was a seafood store I said "maybe they were going for a salmon color!" Ha! You can also see a glimpse of the famous Astoria bridge just to the left.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

She Said Something Funny Again

Jenni and I were driving in the car this afternoon when she began to tell me about a situation at her work. She was telling me about a fellow employee who was sent into the office to discuss some issues. She incredulously told me that his infraction was so bad that he had to talk to the (and I quote) "SBO". I replied, "Do you mean CEO"? Jenni: "Oh yeah...what is a SBO?" Me: "Isn't that a Student Body Officer?" Jenni: "hahahahahahha! What is a CEO?" Me: "Chief Executive Officer". Jenni: "Oh, yeah that one" Never a dull moment.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Home Again

Greg and I just returned from Oregon to visit my dad. Our main purpose for this trip was to help him set up his art studio once again. He took down his studio a little over two years ago and has not produced any art since that time. The reason behind taking down the studio was mainly due to his health. He still is not near the man he once was, but I think having the studio available will lift his spirits a bit. We spent the better portion of a week getting it moved and set up. Thank goodness that Greg came or we never would have completed it. There was just no way that I would have been able to move everything on my own. I had no idea how much "stuff" he had. For some strange reason I forgot to take a picture of the completed studio...what kind of blogger am I? Next visit I will be sure to snap some photos to share.

In the picture above you can see my dad with his beloved cat, Max. If you knew my dad before two years ago you would be shocked to see how he looks today. I was encouraged when he called and told me to come help him get everything set up again. I must be feeling better. Sadly, that was not the case. He has aged so much in such a short period of time. I will be very surprised if he actually creates anything new. He just gets too tired. It really breaks my heart to see him and watch him shuffle along. Sad.

While were where visiting, my dad also decided to purchase a rather large flat screen television. You can see just how large it is in the picture below. Isn't that crazy? His eye site is deteriorating (another reason I doubt the creation of art will actually take place) and his old tv was going out. So...he decided to go nuts and get a large enough tv that he could see easier. He was really pleased when Greg and Mark set it up for him.

I was really sad to leave my dad behind and come back home. My dad is so lonely and refuses to move close to any of us. I wish that he would change his mind. I am the one that has time to take care of him and would love having him close by. Visiting every few weeks just seems so inadequate. I do talk to him everyday on the phone to check in with him, but that is just not the same. Perhaps someday he will surprise us all and decide to move close. I hope so.

(In the background of the photos you can see some of the bronzes my dad has created over the years. He has them all over his home...pretty cool.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Checking In

I have been in Astoria, Oregon again this past week with my dad and Greg. We have had the best week! Even the weather was better than we expected...sun for two days! If you are familiar with the Oregon coast at all, you will realize that this is nothing short of a miracle for this time of year. Sure we had a couple of days of rain and wind, but that was expected. Two days of surprise! Springtime has definitely come to this small coastal town. Daffodils, blooming trees, and very green grass EVERYWHERE! What a wonderful site. We even succeeded in setting up my dad's art studio. He is really excited to be able to putter around again in that well lit room (we hung 4 huge lights so that he would not have to worry about any shadows while working on his bronzes). I am not sure if he is really physically ready to start producing art again, but at least the spirit is willing. I guess we will just have to wait and see. Greg and I are both sad to see this week end, but are also ready to return home and see our children. We actually really missed them ;)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Josh...Student of the Month

We received a letter a couple of days ago informing us that Josh was chosen as the "Student of the Month" at the high school in the English department. Woohoo! Josh is really a great kid who definitely has a wonderful gift with words. He loves to write and is actually writing some poems right now that are pretty incredible. One of them is about Easter and when he completes it he is planning to submit it to The New Era. I read what he has written so far and I have to say that I was blown away. Okay...I know that I am his mom and therefore not very impartial but even was truly amazing.

Josh has always loved to read as well. For Christmas this year he asked from for the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes. How many sixteen year old boys want a book for Christmas? He also had a teacher give him a book that was a collection of Ralph Waldo Emerson. When I asked why she gave it to him, he replied "Because I told her I loved his stuff and she was surprised that I would read it without it being an assignment."

Congratulations Josh! You make us all proud and we love you :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blurb Book

I have been thinking a lot lately about publishing my blog to give to family members for Christmas. My sister in law did this last year and it has been on my mind ever since. A couple of weeks ago I also found out that a friend of mine did this and that seemed to inspire me even more! I checked that friend's website, and was happy to see that she is now giving away a gift certificate to the website to make these little books. Hence the reason for this post...anything for something free :) It is actually a pretty cool program and if you have ever thought of doing this yourself, it is well worth your time to check it out. and :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Jenni's New Allergy

Last night Jenni had dinner at Cordell's home with his family. Cordell's mother, Joy, served shrimp and crab legs. Jenni is allergic to any type of shell fish (as well as melons, berries and nuts) and gets hives, turns red and starts to swell. Anyway...Joy was aware of this and made Jenni a separate dinner of chicken...What a thoughtful woman!

Well...this morning I received a phone call from a rather alarmed Jenni while she was at work, stating that she was red all over and that her throat felt swollen and that she was itching all over. I immediately knew she was having some kind of allergic reaction. I asked Jenni if the fish that Cordell's family had the night before was cooked side by side to her chicken and could have possibly cross-contaminated her food. She was not sure. She decided to call Cordell and find out. Jenni then received a phone call from a worried Joy. She felt awful and could not figure out what could have possibly have happened. After a lot of questions from both Joy and myself, Joy made a brilliant discovery. She asked Jenni if she had kissed Cordell last night after dinner...ahah! She then replied meekly "yes..." Can you believe that??? So basically...(as Josh pointed out) Jenni is allergic to Cordell :) Yep...another Jenni story.

Side Note: I found out later that when she came home last night the reaction was just beginning. She told me that her eyes were burning but she thought it was because she was tired. This morning her eyes were a little swollen, but I thought it was also from lack of sleep...Crazy. She is fine now. Thank goodness for Benedryl.