Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Night Before Christmas

We had a nice Christmas Eve celebration at our home Saturday. Everyone was here and we had a great time. Some of the highlights:

*Josh's white elephant gift. Let's just say, what happens in the Williamson household, stays in the Williamson household ;)

*Setting Jenni's birthday cookie on fire.

*Listening to Cordell read us stories from the book he purchased to give his friends...funny stuff.

*Eating Greg's famous Chilequilles (casserole) haha. You had to be there...

*Aubri. What can I say. Everyone wanted to hold her.

*Remembering the reason for the season.

*Having friends and family stop by to visit.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Bonfire

Saturday we celebrated Jenni's 23rd birthday in the middle of our Christmas family celebration. Jenni does not like cake so each year she requests me to make her a sugar cookie. So...here is her sugar cookie all ablaze with 23 candles :) I can't believe we didn't catch the house of fire...
(Please forgive the awful pictures. I had to use the camera on my cell)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Isn't She Sweet?

Aubri is now one week old. Cute little bugger, isn't she???

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Meet Aubri

She is here and she is perfect and very precious.

Aubri Roo Anderson was born this morning at 6:43 am weighing 7 lbs 7 oz and 19" long. In case you are wondering about the creative middle name, Austin served his mission in Australia and wanted her middle name to have a connection to that country. Tara came up with the name and they ran with it. I have to say, the more I hear it, the more it is growing on me. Now I am on the hunt for stuffed kangaroos haha.

Becoming a Grandma is a great thing. Yep, I am old and loving it :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Pure Heart

Remember in my last post where I said that Josh had lost his wallet twice and that Emma had prayed both times and found it? Well here is another one to add to her list...

Last night Greg was looking everywhere for his watch. He said he had put it on his nightstand like he always does, but it was not there anymore. He hunted and hunted and hunted. Finally I suggested that he have Emma pray to find it. I was kind of kidding, but not really :) He laughed and kept searching. After a few more minutes of searching and out of complete frustration, I heard him ask her to say a prayer and within sheer minutes after her prayer, he was shouting for joy that he had found it! It had been stuck in a weird place on the shelf on the bottom of the night stand.

I told Emma that she has a pure heart and perfect faith to have her prayers answers so quickly and so consistently. What a great testimony builder she has become. Here's to hoping that she continues to bat 100%!

Monday, December 12, 2011

What's Up

During the busy time of year I just can't seem to find time to sit and post too many things. A lot is happening, I just don't have time to record it. However, tonight I plan to take a couple of minutes and update my journal. Here goes...

We are waiting for our granddaughter to arrive. Tara has an induction date set for December 26th, so the end is in sight. In the meantime, I am madly getting things done so that I can help her when the big day arrives. Austin is finished with finals and now just working and waiting to be a Daddy. And I am getting excited to be a grandma :)

Jenni has had strep throat. Poor gal. Thankfully, Cordell has been taking care of her and she is finally beginning to feel better. This is the first time in years that she has been sick. Come to think of it, we have all been blessed with great health. Well, all except for Greg. He has been struggling lately with his heart condition. Hopefully we can get it under control soon.

I am also trying to refinish a vanity for Emma for Christmas. I spotted it on a recent trip to DI, sent Jenni a picture of it and purchased it. Jenni has an amazing ability to transform old things into new. It has a lot of potential. Fingers crossed this turns out as I envision it in my mind :) I have it sanded down and ready to paint pearly white - pretty, huh? Hopefully I will have it complete this week BEFORE the baby comes.

Josh has lost his wallet TWICE in the last couple of weeks. That boy makes me crazy. Anyway, both times Emma has said a prayer and found it for him. You would think that after the first time he would get a clue and keep better track of it. Kids. Wednesday he finishes classes for the term. He is looking forward to powdery mountains and snowboarding mingled with work.

Christopher and Sam are finished with finals and ready for the Christmas break. They both did really well :)

Funny comment I heard Emma say to her friend, Casey Anne "My parents are old and tired and I like it that way." Made me giggle. Yep, she is right on the money...old and tired.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Last Three Days

What a crazy couple of days. Tara and Austin came over Thursday afternoon and told us they were heading to the hospital. What???? They baby is not due until January 1st. Evidently, they had just returned from a weekly doctor's visit and Tara's blood pressure was through the roof. They wanted to observe her for 24 hours and if they could not get the blood pressure to lower, they were planning to induce her and take the baby.

Austin had to work all day Friday, so I went to the hospital and stayed with her for the day. We had a great visit and by the time I left, her blood pressure seemed to be much better and I figured she would be going home and be put on bed rest. That is what happened and now we are just watching her closely and hoping that she can hang in there for a couple of more weeks.

While I was at the hospital I received an email from Josh detailing his Christmas list. I had asked him to make one and here is what it said:

"The Last Hero" (book)
"Son of Neptune" (book)
Dress shirts
ties for mission
AE beanie
AE jeans
Google stock
World peace

Hahah...the last two items cracked me up!!! That kid...

I love how simple the things he has on there. Nothing too crazy and all pretty practical. Maybe he IS growing up :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Last Sunday one of my former Primary class children was visiting his grandmother, who happens to be in our ward. His name is Kai and he moved to Logan a couple of months ago. His father died in Iraq and he is the oldest of two boys in his family. I just love this little guy. He is VERY shy and often can go most of the Sunday without saying a word. Just a sweet and pure little boy.

After Primary he came up to me and gave me the BIGGEST hug. After the hug, he simply said "I have really missed you." Melt my heart. I almost cried right then and there, but I managed to hold it together. From teaching him for an entire year in Primary previous to this calling, I knew that this was a big deal for him to not only say, but to show. I was finally able to tell him that I had really missed him too. We talked for a few more minutes and then he smiled and waved and then was off with his mom. Thanks, Kai for making my day :)

Our Turkey Day

We had Thanksgiving this year at my brother, Mark's home. It was a nice, relaxing day. Lezlie and I decided that we did not want any pressure and made a simple, traditional dinner. Turkey (38 total lbs...that was Mark's idea so that we could have a lot of leftovers), stuffing, mashed potatoes gravy, sweet potatoes souffle, vegies, rolls and lots of pies...Perfect.

The day began with Christopher showing up at 8:30am ready to play in the traditional "Turkey Bowl" that occurs across the street from our home at the park. Every year Christopher's friends and former YM leaders show up to play. It is fun to watch and see everyone. They ended up playing 2 1/2 hours...holy cow.

We then loaded up the car and headed out on our 1 1/2 block trek to Marks. We did not worry too much about accommodating every one's schedule this year. Dinner was set for 2pm and if you could make it fine, if not, fine too. We also announced that pie would be served at 4pm for anyone that wanted to come just for that. Tara, Austin, Jenni, Cordell, Kortney and Chase all came just for dessert. After dessert we sat around the table and visited for a really long time. It was once again, perfect.

To finish off the day, three of my five children ended up at the Black Friday sales. Silly kids. What were they thinking? I tried to warn them, but they all wanted the deals. Whatever. Josh went to the Cedar Hills Walmart and came home swearing that he would never do that again (told you so, Josh...), Christopher and Sam went to Walmart in AF (were able to get everything they were after in the midst of pandemonium) and Emma went with Casey and her dad to Target. She ended up spending the night at Casey's and told me the next day that she went to bed at 3 am, but it was worth it because she got what she was after. A curling iron. Haha...I would never do that for just a curling iron. Can I say it again???? Silly kids...

I, meanwhile, sat in my warm home and watched a Harry Potter marathon in my pj's with Greg snoring right beside me. I still have not been to any of the stores and have no desire whatsoever to go anytime in the near future...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How To Make A Pumpkin Pie

Step 1: Send son out to the west desert with his priest quorum and a lot of ammunition and guns.

Step 2: Track a pumpkin, find it and shoot it until it is dead...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Another One

I am having fun with Picassa's Picnik program that adjusts the pictures...here's another one from that day :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Family Pictures

A few weeks ago we actually managed to get everyone together for family pictures. Talk about a miracle :)

We asked Sam to bring her nifty camera and tri-pod and we set the timer and this is what happened. Not too bad :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Last Week...

*Took my mom to the ER four hours after arriving at her home in Boise

*My mom undergoes an emergency procedure 48 hours after ER visit

*Dayna gets the flu while I am visiting her and my mom

*Greg has chest pains for days and is finally diagnosed with angina (while I am in Boise)

*Received a phone call yesterday informing me that my mom has fractured a vertebrae and will need another procedure to fix it

Please, Heavenly Father, just make it all stop...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Passed Over Again

I flew home from Boise last Thursday. I always laugh when I go through security at the airport. I know most people get frustrated with all the rigors we have to go through just to get to the gate, but for some reason, I have not had that frustration.

Since 9/11 and all the new securities at airports have been put into place, I have been on numerous airplanes flying to Oregon and Boise to take care of my parents. In all the times that I have had to go through security, I have only been either "patted down" or had the "body scan" once. Every other time I am told to just walk on through.

Last Thursday was no exception. As I was standing in line I began to notice that the security people were having everyone go through the body scanner. There were about 40 people in front of me and as I turned around I noticed about the same amount behind me. I was thinking, this will be the time that I will be scanned...it has finally caught up to me.

As I approached the front of the line and watched the people in front of me go through the scanner, the security man stopped and looked at me. After a few moments, he said "Come this way with me", so I did. He took me over to the side and opened a little gate and said "Go on through". I went through a metal detector and that was it. I looked behind me and saw him close the gate and go back to shuffling everyone else through the body scanner. I sat and watched for a while and noticed that he did not let anyone pass by...just me. No one in front of me went the way I did either. Just me.

This happens on a regular basis. Wierd, huh? I am not sure what this means, but it makes me laugh. For some reason I must not look too threatening. I am probably jinxing myself by posting this and now I will be picked every time for the full body scan, but for now I am just smiling.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tender Mercies

This past week Dayna and my mom came to Utah for a visit. I came home with them to help my mom and we arrived in Boise yesterday around 4 pm. At 8 pm last night my mom had some physical problems that lead us to the ER. Fortunately, we did not have to admit her and we both came home around 11:30 pm.

It is amazing to see how Heavenly Father sends tender mercies into our lives. My mom could have had problems on the drive home, but she didn't. If she had, I really do not know what we would have done. It really could have been BAD. Thankfully her problems did not start until AFTER we had returned home - AFTER we had gone to the store for food and AFTER we had both had a short nap that enabled both of us to be rested after a long drive and ready for the long night at the hospital. Tender mercies...

I am also thankful that my mom felt prompted that I should return with her and that my family stepped up and helped out in my absense. If I had not been here, Dayna would have been wiped out when she returned to work on Monday morning and my mom would have been here alone. Another tender mercy...

And...my mom and I had a moment of uncontrollable laughter at the ER. It is not something that I will go into detail about, but it is something that we will always remember and giggle about (a lot) for the rest of our lives. Actually, we are still laughing about it this morning hahaha. Isn't it wonderful that Heavenly Father gave us the ability to laugh? Life would be entirely too stressful without the ability to smile.

I love that even though life is hard and sometimes downright discouraging, there is always something to be grateful for. I love tender mercies :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grandpa's Barn

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. I decided to draw her a picture this year for her present since she has just about anything she wants. When mom's get to be 76 years old, they become difficult to shop for :)

This barn is the barn she milked cows in as a child. I love it. I remember seeing it many times as a little girl when we would go to Skamokawa to visit my grandparents. It is no longer standing, which makes me kind of sad. Last June when we visited the northwest, we stopped there and walked around the collapsed remains of the barn. Hard to believe that something that used to be so grand and immense is gone. I decided then that I was going to draw it to record it for my mom. I gave it to her yesterday on her big day and she seemed to like it :) Happy Birthday, mom!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gathering, Eating, Laughing


Monday evening we finally were all able to get together for Christopher's birthday dinner. Holy cow, is it getting to be a headache to find a time when everyone's schedule can work.

Being the health nut that he is, Chrisotopher did not want a birthday cake or any kind of dessert for his birthday. However, I decided the rest of us should not have to suffer because of his healthy lifestyle and made homemade doughnuts - ha.

I recently obtained my Grandma G's famous doughnut recipe and decided to try it out. They turned out just like I remembered them as a child...yummy :)

After dinner Grandpa W decided that he wanted to wrestle with Christopher. Serious? The man just got out of the hospital from a heart-attack. He just about gave all of us one when he announced this.

It was funny to watch that silly old man try to take Christopher down. I have to say that Grandpa W was very entertaining and we all got a good laugh. While I was watching his shananigans, I was thinking how wonderful it is that all my children will remember him and have a lot of funny stories to tell about him after he passes on someday.

Yep, I love my family. I am one lucky gal.

(sorry the second photo is blurry...it was the only one I had with Christopher and Grandpa W from that night)

Monday, October 17, 2011

It Just Keeps Coming

We did not plant our garden this year until the last week of June. Between the weather and our schedules we just did not have time. However, I told Greg that I still wanted a garden and that we would be blessed because we were being obedient. Wow...have we ever been blessed! I can't believe how much we are pulling out of that plot. I even picked a large bowl full of tomatoes today and already have them canned. I can't believe that it is the 17th of October and I still have tomatoes coming...I love it!

My grapes went a little crazy too. I have never seen as many grapes on the vine as I had this year. We now have a lot of yummy grape juice.

The only thing that seemed lacking this year was my apples. I still have quite a few, but not as many as I have had in years past. I tried juicing some of them and it seemed to work quite well. I am now in the process of drying the rest. Emma loves to take the dried apples to school for snacks.

I had intended to pull out all my squash plants today, but when I went out to the garden I realized that they were still producing vegies. Incredible. At this rate, I will have produce until Halloween!

I even planted mini-pumpkins this year. I love them and can't wait to plant more of them next year. I also planted regular pumpkins...at least I thought they were regular pumpkins when I planted the seeds. I will have to post a picture soon of how large they turned out to be. Holy cow...I was not expecting them to be that enormous, but I have to say I love them. I especially love the tangerine color they turned. Beautiful. I had to have Josh roll them to the front of the house to put by the porch. No way am I carving those puppies...it would take FOREVER. A picture of the gigantic pumpkins will be coming soon...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Something That Made Me Giggle

Last week Tara's MIL threw her an open house baby shower. Tara and Austin have been living in their basement for the past two years and last Saturday they moved into an apartment (next to Christopher!). Anyway, before they left the ward, the Anderson's wanted to give the shower.

I had a Primary activity that very evening, so I was late arriving. Jenni and Emma came with me. When we arrived many of the guests were already there visiting and eating munchies. I sat by Tara, and Jenni and Emma sat close to us. It was fun watching all the ladies that came and went. They seemed like very nice people and also seemed to really like Tara and Austin. It made me feel good.

As we were visiting with some of these ladies, I happened to notice that a lot of these gals are your typical "Young Utah Mormon Moms" who dresses much younger than she should in their $150 pair of jeans and carry their Gucci handbags. Anyone that knows me realizes that this is definitely NOT me. I am cheap and simple:)

One of these ladies sat down next to us and began talking to Jenni. They were having a great conversation and seemed to be really hitting it off. As the conversation progressed the nice gal told Jenni that her purse was cute. It is one of the hippie looking things - kind of like a poncho made into a handbag -- and Jenni, being the free spirit that she is, replied without a thought "Thanks! I bought it at a gas station on the way to California for 10 bucks..." Hahaha! I was cracking up inside.

You should have seen the ladies face! Talk about priceless. What is even funnier is that Jenni did not even skip a beat and could have cared less what those ladies thought. Tara, Jenni, Emma and I got a good laugh later when we talked about it. It still kind of makes me giggle when I remember that ladies face...heeheeheee...ten bucks at a gas station...

Monday, October 3, 2011

On My Mind

I have a lot of little things on my mind lately. Nothing earth-shattering--just stuff.

1. I am dying read "Killing Lincoln". I love historical fiction and this looks like an excellent read. I want it. Bad.

2. I have vines full of grapes. Lots and lots of grapes. I am not sure I have ever seen so many grapes on my vines as I have this year. I love walking by them and smelling that wonderful smell. Tomorrow is the big juicing day.

3. Tomorrow I also will be dehydrating apples. Yep, a busy day in my kitchen. Gotta get those little guys preserved. I am also kicking around the idea of juicing a few of them. Not quite the cider-press juice from my youth, but I think it will still taste wonderful.

4. Fall is knocking on the door and I don't like it. I usually love Fall, but not this year. It seems like Summer just arrived and the thought of Winter peering around the corner makes me a little sick to my stomach. Hard to believe that we are already having to throw on an extra blanket at night. I even found myself wearing -- gasp -- socks around the house tonight because my feet were cold. Arggg...make it stop.

4. General Conference - I loved every minute of it. I wish it happened more than just twice a year. It always makes me feel calm and ready to face whatever lies in front of us. I had a couple of moments that really hit me. Both moments came while President Monson was speaking. He mentioned a couple of things that spoke to me and to some of the circumstances I find myself in.

The first was to trust in your inspiration and follow it through. It reaffirmed my feelings that once directed by the spirit to do something, you do it. Period. I already knew that, but it felt great to be reminded of it again.

Second he quoted the scripture "Be still and know that I am God". Once again, this applied to the same situation. I have heard this scripture numerous times, but this time when I heard it, I found myself thinking about it with a new perspective. Totally new. I know it was the spirit speaking to me and once again, reaffirming my resolve to follow through with the situation I have been struggling with. All will be well in the end :)

See--nothing earth-shattering. Just stuff.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Drive Home Tonight

Today we traveled to Provo to watch Emma play soccer. I just don't get down to Provo very often anymore. Honestly, there really isn't any reason. As we were driving home we passed Jamestown on University Avenue. It made me kind of teary eyed realizing that my Grandma was not there anymore. Actually, she hasn't been there for quite some time, but it still caught me off guard.

We then traveled up the hill into Orem and drove past the nursing home where I saw her for the last time. More misty eyes. Mark and I had gone to visit her that last evening she had on this earth and we even took a picture with her. I still have that picture. It was the last one she was ever in. I can't seem to make myself post it. She looks so frail and gray and that is not how I want myself or my children to remember this vibrant woman.

As we continued to drive, I realized that it has almost been exactly three years since her funeral out in Washington. As that thought came to me, I happened to look out the window of the car and saw the spires of the Timpanogas temple. That sight made me smile. It reminded me that even though she is not on earth with us, one day we will all be together -- forever. THAT will truly be heaven. At that point my misty-eyes were replaced with one large smile and a warm feeling in my heart. I think I had a little taste of heaven in that instant. Can't wait for the entire meal :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

High On A Mountain Top

Josh and his priest quorum in conjuction with the laurels climbed Mt Timp a few weeks ago. Evidently, this climb traditionally begins around midnight and you arrive at the top just in time for sunrise. This was the second time Josh had hiked this mountain in three weeks...CRAZY. It is 7 miles each way...wow. They had a great time and were dead tired when they returned home. One of the other boys' mom and myself cooked breakfast for them and had it ready to serve when they arrived. They were hungry, tired and ready to go to bed. Yet all of them said it was worth it. Judging from the photo, it looks incredibly beautiful. Still...not sure I am up for that climb, especially in the middle of the night.

California Adventure

A couple of weeks ago Jenni, Coredell and some friends went to California for a short vacation. They had tickets to see some concert on the beach that lasted all day. These are some of the photos that Jenni sent me while they were there...looks like they had fun! She said the weather was perfect the entire time and all of them had a lot of fun...ahh...to be young again...

Miss Nimble Toes

While at the cabin last weekend, Emma practiced her moves from the dance class she is taking at school. The cabin has a deck that she used and it was quite funny watching her fly by the windows. What was even funnier was how the cabin would shudder and shake as she bounced around.

I tried to grab a couple of photos of her, but I really had a hard time because she was flitting around so quickly. Here is what I ended up with. One is a bit dark, but she has great form :)

Grandpa W

A couple of days ago I received a text from Greg telling me that his dad had gone to the hospital early in the morning due to chest pains. He has not been healthy for years and we are never quite sure if this is the "time". He did suffer from a heart attack and they also had a hard time getting his blood pressure to regulate and also his heart rate. He is beginning to feel better and Greg told me that he is heading home today.

I spent most of that day getting in touch with my children and trying to coordinate a visit to the hospital in Salt Lake. Unfortunately, we could not all make it at the same time, but we did all manage to drop in that evening at some point.

This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago at Eliza Blue's baptism (isn't she cute?). I snapped it with my cell phone as we came out of the chapel and when I later had time to look at it, I kind of like how it turned out.

Emma's Photos

While we were at the cabin Sam took some pictures of Emma. I had promised Emma that we would get some pictures of her because I had refused to pay the outrageous price of school pictures.
Every year it makes me crazy when those little packets come home. One picture for $20 or more and you are not even sure it will be good. Serious?
Anyway, Sam did a great job and it kept Emma occupied for an evening...thanks Sam :) I think they turned out really cute!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Today I have felt yucky. Flu yucky. We are supposed to be going to the cabin with Tara, Austin, Chris and Sam (Jenni and Cordell have to work) tomorrow, so I hope I feel better soon. I was determined that flu or not, I was going to finish organizing my newly painted family room/computer room. I couldn't stand the chaos one more day! It had to be done...

While doing so, I came across a biography paper that Josh wrote in high school for an English class. Tucked in the very last plastic cover were 2 letters - one titled "Parents" and another that said "Children". Yep, I opened and read the one that said parents and what I read made my flu feeling subside for a bit.

Here is part of what he said in his letter:

"Mom, thanks for teaching me ethics and teaching me how to work and how to appreciate the small things in life..."

Moments like that seem to make all those years worth while. No, it is not a monetary payment, but an eternal payment. He gets it. At least on that day he did and hopefully in the future it will stick with him as well.

I know people will think I am crazy for typing this when I feel utterly awful, but I wanted to remember it and knew that if I did not do it right now, I would forget.

There. It is done and I can go lay down for a while and rest--And hopefully feel good enough to get up in a bit and get everything ready to head out of town...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Day of College & A Project

Yesterday was Josh's first day of college. He is going to LDSBC and they started a lot later
than everyone else. In addition, they get out of school for the end of the term BEFORE anyone else. Cool.

His classes begin at 7:30 am and go until 1:30 pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. LOVE IT! He then comes home and goes directly to work and stays there until around 8:30 pm. This is what I"M talking 'bout :)

I love keeping kids busy and I think it is great getting him on the missionary time schedule a whole year before he leaves.

You will notice in the picture that I am in the process of painting my family room and things around him look a little scattered. I am slowly putting the finishing touches on everything and I hope to have it all complete in the next week or so.

Actually that is what I said last week, but I had so many unexpected things arise, I was forced to put my project aside. Hopefully, this week will be more eventful.

She Did It

Yep. They really put "Beiber" on her soccer jersey.
The only problem is that they spelled it wrong...bwhahahahahha. (Should have been "Bieber")
Emma was very disappointed :(
I wasn't :)

Monday, September 5, 2011


This past couple of weeks I have had a couple of
experiences with Christopher. I realize that I don't blog too much about him... I think it is because he is TWENTY-THREE (almost twenty four...when did THAT happen???), married and does not live at home anymore. But, he is one amazing child and I wanted to share a couple of thoughts to be part of my "journal".

About two weeks ago he came to our home one night and burst through the back door saying "Mom? MOM? MOOOOMMMMYYYYY??? Are you home???" I could immediately tell by the tone of his voice that something was wrong. That, and he called me mommy! haha!!!

He had been playing football with some friends a couple of blocks from our house and during one of the plays he did something to his knee. He could barely even walk. As soon as I saw him I thought about the time he had torn his ACL and ripped both of his meniscus' playing basketball while in high school. I hoped it was not that bad...

Thankfully it wasn't. Greg gave him a blessing when he got home and I drove Christopher (he could not drive) home with Josh following to take me home after. It is kind of funny to realize that no mater how old children get, when they are hurt they want their mom. I know I do.

Last Saturday my niece, Eliza Blue (I love just saying her name, it has a ring to it) was baptized. She is the last of all the Williamson cousins to be baptized...strange. Anyway, when she was confirmed, it was so neat to see my family members in the circle. What a blessing to have son who honors their priesthood and shares it. I don't think there is much on this earth that makes me happier than to see my children live righteous lives. Watching Christopher stand there with his hands on her head really touched me. What a great young man he has become and I am sure Heavenly Father is pleased with him as well. I also loved how he helped his grandfather walk up to and back from the circle, steadying him each way. That is love in action and it made me smile.

Lastly, yesterday Christopher helped me with my Sharing Time in Primary. Our theme was about missionary work. I had asked Brett J and Christopher to come in and share some stories from their missions. It is so amazing to me how Heavenly Father has sculpted them into these spiritual leaders. They both did great and it was fun to watch them up there interacting with the children and sharing their experiences and testimonies. It made me realize how blessed we are for having these young men in our lives and what great fathers they will be one day. Thanks for your example, Christopher! Love ya :)

Monday, August 29, 2011


It has started again. Actually it never has really stopped. Soccer. Emma loves soccer and her team officially kicked off the fall season tonight and won 3-2 :) They have been holding practice all summer and it looks like it really paid off.

I am going to brag a moment about my child...yep, she scored all three of the goals. They were beauties. And Greg, Tara and I were cheering and making fools of ourselves...haha...that is what you get to do when you get to be our age ;) It was great.

Her team has bumped to into a harder league and I was a bit concerned that they would get creamed, but now I have hope. These gals can certainly hang with the big boys.

You will notice that her jersey has yet to have a number and name printed on it. After the game tonight her coach took them to get done before their next game. Emma informed me that she told her coach that she wanted the name "Bieber" on the back. Oh Emma...what are we going to do about your obsession?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Conquering Her Fears

Monday was a great day for Emma.
It wasn't too shabby for me either ;)

She was VERY nervous at the thought of going to junior high.
Freaked out actually.
If you happen to know Emma, you realize that
very little in this world freaks that child out.

Sunday night came and we had planned on
having Greg give her a blessing to help
her calm her nerves.

But since Greg was sick with a bucket close by,
we decided that this was not a good idea. He will give her one when he gets better :)

So...Emma and I said a little prayer together before she headed out the door.

When she came home later in the afternoon, the first thing she said to me was
Haha...that girl. I knew she would be fine :)

Unfortunately, in all the drama of her fears that first morning of school,
I forgot to take a picture of her.

So...here is Emma on her SECOND day of school. Second days are good too--right?

Funny Fact: Emma and her best friend, Casey, have different bus stops. I pass Casey's stop every morning on my walk, so Emma now walks with me to Casey's stop where I drop her off so they can spend a few minutes together before school begins. (They don't have any classes together and wanted to visit with each other each day)
This picture was taken on the way to that bus stop this morning. I remembered that I still had not taken her picture while we were walking, so I pulled out my cell phone and took a quick picture of her.

Go conquer the world Em! Love ya :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Another Beginning

Monday Emma starts junior high.
That's right, we are done with elementary school.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Funny Memory

I spent this past weekend moving Dayna and Peter into their new home. Or as my mom put it, it is actually "a shop that happens to have a house" hahaha. That seems about right.

I admit, I was a little sad saying goodbye to their old home...and it is not even mine. Dayna and Peter have lived her for the past 9 years and I have had some fun times inside these walls.

As I was moving I recalled a memory that I had tucked away a long time ago. When I mentioned it to Dayna and mom they confessed that they had forgotten about it too. It is just too funny not to share, so here goes.

When Dayna and Peter moved into this home years ago, they did some major renovations. One trip to Boise I spent helping Dayna put some of the finishing touches into her home. There is a bathroom downstairs next to the guest room (that I used all the time when I visited) that Dayna had redone. New paint everywhere. She wanted to put a cute wallpaper boarder around the top of the walls to finish it all off. So...she asked me to help.

We had that gooey paper wrapped around almost completely in place when all at once we both noticed (at the same time) the corner begin to peel back from the point of origin. It was like were watching a slow motion movie. We couldn't get to it in time to stop it and both of us were so shocked that we didn't even say a word. All we could do was watch it peel away from the wall in a clock wise motion like a tidal wave coming straight for us. When it reached the point directly above the sink, the paper drooped down and landed on top of the vanity lights (all six of them). As it did so, each light exploded with a loud BANG and shattered pieces of glass where flying EVERYWHERE. Haha...it was hilarious. Both of us looked at each other at the same time and burst out laughing. We were laughing so hard that we began to cry.

My mom had been sitting out in the family room close by and because the door to the bathroom had been closed, she did not see what had transpired. All she heard was our uncontrollable laughter and a six loud BANGS! Maybe this is one of those things where you had to be there...I don't know. I do know that I have not laughed that hard ever again.

I hope her new home will hold some great laughs as well...time will tell.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

His Big Day -- Late

We finally were able to have a family celebration of Josh's 18th birthday last night. Finally.

I can't believe how hard it has become to get everyone gathered. I finally just picked a date and said come if you can, and if you can't, sorry.

Fortunately, everyone was able to drop by throughout the night...not all at the same time, but hey, we take what we can get.

Josh has been whining to me lately telling me how he was the only child who did not get a decorated birthday cake each year. So not true. Why do children seem to have selective memories? I decorated cakes for all of them, EVERY YEAR. Anyway, because he was feeling so picked on, I decided to make him a kiddy cake to make up for all those lost memories he can't seem to find. I went with a jungle theme because when he was small he was OBSESSED with
The Lion King. Notice the pond for the gator and the cave for some other critters...
I got a little carried away ;) I even placed "Simba" on top of pride rock hahahaha...good stuff.

Not my best work, but we all got a good laugh :) Tara also made a gluten-free cake for her and Greg to chow on. I had some of that one and I have to say it was actually quite tasty. Thanks Tara :)

Happy Birthday Joshers!!! Love ya :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Not Myself

Today I had a bad day. Not sure why, but I was really not feeling like my usual self. I was in charge of Sharing Time and I woke up a stress case. Once again, not sure why. I had it planned and ready to go...all I had to do was show up and talk. If only it had been that easy...

Junior Primary Sharing Time was not so great, but I finally managed to pull it together by the time Senior Primary rolled around. Even with all my preparation, I found myself having some problems. My heart was flopping around like it used to a few years ago. Not the nervous kind of flopping, but rather the something is wrong with my heart kind of flopping. I have had these problems in the past, but today is the first time in a long time that I felt that strange feeling coming on. Thankfully, I was able to manage it and keep it all under control. Now I am just wiped out and don't want to move from my bed. Ever.

Here is how my day in Primary started:

As I was setting up the Primary room I suddenly realized that I had forgotten over 1/2 of my Sharing Time at home...not like me, at all. I had to go home and get it. Then I went into what I thought was the ladies room and found myself in the men's room....seriously, what is my problem? NEVER had done that before. I then took my list of things to do into the library with me and forgot things, THREE TIMES and had to keep going back--even with a list to remind me. And when it came time to start Primary, I actually felt faint. I thought for sure I was going to topple over at any moment. I even found myself having trouble putting sentences together. My thoughts were all over the place and I had a really hard time focusing on anything. Weird stuff. I am not sure what is going on, but I really don't like it.

I have not been feeling like myself for the past week. I am beginning to wonder if something is wrong with me physically. I just feel out of whack and can't seem to put my finger on it. I don't feel sick like the flu, just not right. Thursday I woke up, went for my usual walk, came home and did some chores and found myself completely exhausted by 10 am. What in the world??? Friday and Saturday were fine, and today is another bad day.

Here's to tomorrow and hoping that I can get back on track and feel normal for more than two days in a row....After all, I have a trip to Boise to take on Friday morning and a house to help Dayna move. I hope I can pull myself together by then...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Joshua's Jots

I was reading Josh's blog today and this is what he wrote:

"Day 4: the old folks.

What's to say? They're tired, and I am the oldest kid currently living at home. So we just joke around and get through each day. My dad works at 1 800 Contacts, and I get free stuff aplenty and cheap eye stuff. Free soda, movie tickets, eye exams, and discounts on glasses and contacts. *jazz hands* Mom stays at home and reads.... at least that's what it seems like ;)"

REALLY???? "Stays at home and reads.." That's it??? I think he just declared war. Let the games begin...

(You can read about his little world for yourself at joshuajots.blogspot.com ....Have to say, it does make you smile)

Service Eggs

Last Sunday we had all the Primary children gather in the cultural hall so that we could take a picture of them to put on the front of a book that we are sending President Monson for his birthday. Sadly, a lot of children were missing, but we had to go with it. It was hard for me to accept the fact that we would never have a Sunday with all the children present so that we could include all of them in a picture. Oh well...

Anyway, back to the book. Last Easter our ward had their annual Easter Egg Hunt that the Primary was in charge of. Bishop Wirtz asked that as we planned it this time that we really try to give it more of a purpose. We spent a long time thinking, praying, revising and thinking again about what we could do. One day it just came to me...we needed to do service for the people in our ward. I talked to Kim (one of my counselor who was over this event) and we came up with the idea of having "Service Eggs" for the kids to take home. Each family was given the name of a individual/family in the ward boundaries that might appreciate a small act of service. It could be something as small as a smile and note, or as large as providing dinner. Whatever...it was up to the child and their family to decide. These acts of service were to be their birthday gift to President Monson.

We gave them a couple of weeks to complete this service and then one Sunday during Sharing Time we talked about service and had each of the children draw a picture of the service they provided and we wrote a caption on the picture telling about the service. When we gathered them, it was so fun to read all the different types of service. Some were funny ("I helped my dad brush his teeth" --would LOVED to have seen that), and others were sweet ("We baked brownies and took them to our bishop").

I have since gathered them all and am taking them to Kinko's tonight to have them bound together with one of these pictures on the front and a note telling President Monson what these sweet children did for his birthday. I am now trying to decided which picture to use. I took two...one of them just smiling and another of them waving to him. I think I like the waving one...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Josh's Big Day(s)

Yesterday was Josh's 18th birthday. Holy cow, where did the time go?

This past week he FINALLY completed his Eagle project. This project was all he had left to do for quite some time and he just never did it. Merit badges were done, advancements complete and the project had been approved. All he needed was motivation. I guess he finally found that a couple of
weeks ago.

For his project, he made a desk that was handicapped-accessible for a teacher that had fallen off a roof a couple of years ago.

For some strange reason, the school district had not accommodated him and he could not even get his wheelchair under the desk. Josh made one that he can easily use now. This project took almost 120 hours to complete---WOW. Many people stepped in and helped a great deal. I am happy to have this crossed off our to-do list and now I have a Court of Honor to prepare. I can handle that :)

With Josh turning 18 I have been thinking a lot lately how quiet our home will be one year from now when he leaves on his mission. I think one of the things I will miss most will be listening to him play the piano. He really has a gift and a beautiful touch.

Happy (late) Birthday Josh! I hope that this year is your best one ever :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

This Past Week...

Hard to believe that summer is almost over and it is about time to start the school routine again. A few significant things have happened this past week that I want to share so that I can have it in my "journal" for future family members to read.

1. Josh completed his Eagle project! Yipee! That kid about gave me a heart attack waiting until almost the eleventh hour to get it done, but he pulled through. I decided a long time ago that I was not going to be a mom that did the project for him. I wanted him to do it because he wanted to and because he felt it was important. Not because I expected him to do it.

He built a desk for a teacher at the elementary school in our neighborhood who is confined to a wheelchair. He had a LOT of help from fellow troop members and especially Bro Jackson. After we tallied up his hours, we discovered that he had almost 120 hours logged for this project. Wow. Glad he did it :) Now I have a Court of Honor to look forward to...

2. I have been working on a book to give to my in-laws for their 50th wedding anniversary and finally completed it. It was a book that had the Family Proclamation in it, word for word, with family pictures that I had gathered, scanned, edited and uploaded along side it. It turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself! Ha! I had a little (BIG) scare just before completion when my computer freaked out on me and shut down and when I finally got it to come back up, the book was gone. Ekkk! Thankfully, Greg came through and found my files and was able to put everything back together again. Whew.

Putting this book together was really a great experience. As I was breaking down the pages with the different parts of the Proclamation I began to find myself thinking about the words all the time. What a marvelous thing that document is. Have you ever really read it? I mean REALLY read it? It applies so much to everything that is happening around us today. It has now become one of my favorite scriptures. I love everything about it. I challenge you to sit and ponder and think about each part of that incredible revelation. It will change you and touch you. Promise.

3. Dayna and Peter are buying another home. Translated, that means I am once again heading to Boise in a couple of weeks to help Dayna with her big move. They will still be in Boise close to my mom, but Peter was needing a shop to put all his 1960 Camero's in so that Dayna could reclaim her home. His car parts were slowly taking over the house. I have teased Dayna that most people who are about to become empty- nesters downsize their homes...not get bigger ones! Ha! It will be fun to visit with her again as I have not really seen too much of her during my last visits to see my mom.

4. My garden has finally taken off! We planted about a month later than usual this year due to our crazy schedules and the even crazier weather. I am still amazed to see all the vegies out there growing. We have been blessed :) I know it sounds a bit silly, but I include my garden in my daily prayers. I know that the scriptures talk about people praying over their crops and fields, so why wouldn't the Lord not bless mine too? And He certainly has...I never dreamed that just a little over a month since planting, we would already be producing yummy vegetables. Tender mercies. I love being able to walk out my back door and pick FRESH food for dinner to feed to my family. No chemicals or anything weird. Just pure, simple food. Exactly how Heavenly Father intended it to be.

That is all I can think of for now. I really need to get back to taking more pictures of things. Hopefully that will happen soon and I will have some to post.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mom & Me Roadtrip - Part 3

I have an obsession. Barns and old buildings. I am not sure what my problem is, but I probably need some kind of help. I love everything about them. Textures, colors, shapes...EVERYTHING. (I want one of these next to my chicken coop someday - ha)

While on our trip, my mom was very patient with me. I would stop the van on a dime if I spotted a barn of some kind. I was snapping pictures left and right. It even got to the point that she could spot them before I did! I have a great collection of photos that I hope to translate into drawing and painting someday. Here are some of my favorites that I thought I would share...

This first picture is of an old farmhouse that was once owned by one of my ancestors. Don't you just love the tree? That is an amazing tree. I had to tromp through quite the field to get this shot...in my flip-flops...through blackberry bushes...not the best combiniation:) It was worth it though.

The next barn was on an old back road and we just happened to stumble upon it. We had left the main road to take some pictures of a covered bridge and the road took us on a loop. This was on that loop. Talk about hitting the jack-pot! I love everything about this barn too. Especially the weathered boards on the front of it. It almost looks like it is crying...good stuff. Also...notice the blackberry bushes in the foreground that are growing out of control??? See...they really are weeds out there.

The next picture is of the barn my grandmother used as a child. I really like the simplicity of it. I also like how it is nestled in between all those gorgeous, large, green, green trees.

The last picture down is just of some random barn I saw...no ancestral ties. Just a cool barn...

And finally, these building are located just outside of Lime, Oregon. I pass them each time I go to the coast and I have always wanted to stop and take a picture of them. So...this time we did! It was raining and I had semi-trucks flying by me, but this shot was worth it.

Mom & Me Roadtrip - Part 2

This is "Farmer Kirk's" garden. My mom designated that name for him, and it fits :) I love his little (big) garden. I think my favorite thing about it is the greenhouse he made from SCRAPS. That's right, scraps. It even has running water inside...how cool is that? I am a bit jealous...

If you look right behind where he is standing you can see a wall of berry bushes. Kirk gave me some starts to take home to plant in my garden. Hopefully in a couple of years I will have some grand raspberry and marionberry bushes like his--SWEET! We actually had to wrap the starts in shredded paper with water to keep them moist during the drive home. Taking them on the plane from Boise to SLC was even trickier, but somehow we managed and security did not take them from us. In the picture below you can see what my bushes will look like someday. So far, 4 of the bushes are thriving and seem to be strong and will pull through. Not too shabby when you consider the difference in the climate. I also asked for some blackberry starts, but he just laughed at me (in Oregon they grow like weeds...farmers actually spray them to keep them from taking over fields). Actually, I was serious...I also want blackberry starts. So...maybe next time I am out there, I can get some of those too :)

In the bottom picture if you look really close by the tree, you can see Kirk's chicken coop. I want a chicken coop. Really, I do. Greg thinks I am nuts, but wouldn't it be wonderful to just step outside and grab a fresh, pure and perfect, non-chemical egg? That is my dream...I know, I need bigger dreams :) And...if I was a chicken, I would want to live in Kirk's "farm". Look at all that shade and the tall, tall grass to find all those wonderful bugs to eat. Sounds like poultry heaven to me. I wish we lived closer. I would volunteer to be a farm hand :)

Mom & Me Roadtrip Part 1

In mid-June my mom and I took a road-trip to Oregon. It was great :) We had a lot of fun and I was even able to read two complete books throughout the whole thing! ( I highly recomment the Hunger Games series...addicting stuff). I was talking to my mom the other day and we both agreed that we are ready to go back again. I know I will always remember this trip with her--it was a great memory I will always treasure.

The day we left was actually pretty crazy. I had to leave the house by 6:30 am to catch my flight to Boise to meet my mom. I ended up having a horrible night's sleep and when morning arrived, I only had about 4 hours of sleep. Not good, especially when you realize that I was supposed to fly into Boise, grab my mom and drive her van all the way to St Helens (typically about 9-10 hours of driving). I also woke up not feeling too well. Really not good. I was pretty concerned. I asked Greg to please give me a blessing that somehow I would be able to make it through the day and that I would be able to drive safely to St Helens, Oregon.

Upon arriving in Boise, I met up with my mom, packed up the rest of the items in her van and took off. We were both excited to finally be on the open road and heading for the coast!

About 1 hour outside of Boise, I suddenly realized that my cell phone was not with me. I am still amazed that I even realized it at this point. We stopped the van and searched everywhere. Nothing. I said a quick prayer to myself that somehow I could remember what I did with it and I instantly could see it in the small bag I carried on to the plane. I had left it at my mom's thinking I did not need anything in it and it would just be extra baggage to tote around. So...that meant that we would have to drive all the way back to Boise and instantly loose 2 hours of driving time. Not good when you considered how much sleep I was surviving on.

You also need to realize that my mom has many health limitations and we were originally concerned about her sitting in the van for such a long period of time because of her hip problems. When we realized that we had to turn back, it was rather heart-breaking. I began to wonder if we would even make it over the Blue Mountains that first day.

After returning to Boise and getting the phone, we were both laughing about the situation. Isn't laughter wonderful? When everything seems awful, sometimes laughing is all you can do. We even joked about mom's neighbor seeing us and what would he think of us returning so soon. We had decided that we were going to tell him that we needed to go to the bathroom! Ha! Fortunately, we did not see him and we were on our way again.

I KNOW that angels were with both of us that day. I did not have ANY feelings of fatigue AT ALL during the entire drive there and my mom only had to stop twice to get out and walk. It was truly a miracle. I actually did not even so much as yawn until I dropped into bed at the hotel around 10:30 pm. How grateful I am for a Father in Heaven who loved us both enough to watch over us and strenghen us so that we could make this trip. It really is humbling when you stop and think about it.

The pictures below were all taken on the day we went to Skamokawa, Washington with my brother, Kirk and his family. It was another great day. Our original intent was to comb the cemetaries searching for ancestors. My mom knew where many were buried, but Kirk and I had no idea and we wanted to know in the event that she was to pass away. We also drove around the valley stopping at various family landmarks and getting an "Ancestral Tour" by my mom. I loved every minute of it. It is great to know where you come from. We spent a lot of time in a cemetary in the middle valley. We even had lunch there! Some people may call it crazy, but we called it a family reunion :)

Funny story: While eating lunch at the cemetary, one of Kirk's kids spilled soda on top of one of the graves. I can't remember who, but one of them said "You just spilled pop all over great-great grandpa!" I told them that he was probably thinking "AHHHH....I have been waiting 75 years for a good drink of pop--thanks!"

While driving around near my great-uncle Clyde's home, I spotted some fox-glove flowers. I remember as a child my grandpa showing me how to "pop" them. I suddenly stopped the van and my mom and I jumped out and picked some to show the kids how to pop them too. Kirk was following behind in his van and I am sure he thought "there goes crazy Aunt Dawna again..." It took a couple of tries for the kids to figure out the method of "popping" them, but they eventually got it. One of the pictures below is of Evan with the fox-glove flowers that we left on Grandpa's grave.

Anther picture is of my niece, Lauren toting around the large family history book my mom brought. She looks so cute! And...my favorite picture of all is of my mom coming out the portable outhouse in the cemetary. I told her that I would use this for her obituary photo someday ;)