Sunday, May 30, 2010

Giving Thanks This Memorial Day Weekend


We are proud of all of you and all that you
do to insure our freedoms.
It has been a long mission for you
and we thank you for every day of it!

All Our Love, Your Family


Saturday, May 29, 2010

86 Degrees Downtown Today...

One day it's pouring and the fireplace is blazing, the next it's 86 degrees. Gotta love the unpredictability! Today was divine!

One time when Laura was living in Mississippi, a stone's throw from the Gulf, she commented that she finally understood why people 'talked about the weather' because it can really affect you. It was 2005 the year of Katrina...so, yes it surely can!

The funny part about that is that we live in such a fantastic climate that we rarely even think about the weather, let alone talk about it. We have no snow, no tornadoes or hurricanes, no summer rain, and usually no more than 3 hot days in a row before the ocean fog rolls in and cools everything off. It is a paradise really in the weather department. Our weather can be summed up in a few sentences. Sunny and nice most of the time with very little bothersome humidity. Rainy during the winter 3 month off and on with moderate temperatures and a little damp when it does get cold. Cold for us is the low 40s high 30s. That's it. Not much to incite a conversation.

But this year it has been the topic of conversation everywhere you go. It has been six months of very unpredictable rain with odd bits of sun now and then.

But the one thing that is not unpredictable is that in just one month, I will be looking forward to some great, little, thoughtful surprises from my hubby. As an example, he prepared the yummy lunch in the photo above for us today. It consisted of white grape juice, asiago and cheddar cheese. Lightly toasted, garlic and cheese, sourdough bread, fresh strawberries and Trader Joe's bruschetta (this means HEAVEN in Italian!!) He has a cute flair for putting it all out too. Note his presentation with the bruschetta container and the fancy stemware! I love it!

Here is my TJ's commercial for all of you that are lucky enough to have one in your neck of the woods. The garlic cheese bread is baked with those ingredients to flavor it. Therefore you do not need to add anything, you can eat it dry and add the bruschetta. Seriously, you have just died and left the earth as you know it! And between us and Connie and Torrey this stuff flies off the shelves lickity split, so help yourself if you stop by TJ's.... but don't take ours!

So it is my prediction that it is going to be a very fun summer over here! And I better be coming up with some surprises myself to make it more fun for him! He is much more creative in that department than me!

Buon Compleanno, Robert!



It has been a very good year! Happy Birthday, Robert! We are so thrilled about your next assignment! We enjoyed our stay with you in Italy so much! It is bittersweet to see you leave. You have made world travelers out of us all. One of the best things about traveling with you aside from putting up with us, is that you teach us, Robert. And we love how you are always teaching the boys too. Here are a couple of photos that do remind me of this very thing. Celebrate your special day~Eat Cake! Thinking of you and wish we could join you!



A school day for Spencer
~one on one with Dad!
What a wonderful
enriching experience for him!

I cannot think of a single classroom
experience that could be better.

Teaching Ross how to enjoy the culture!
Discretely and with kindness!

( Spencer cannot eat gelato)
Although you did leave

the evidence on his face!


P.E. Pointers for Spencer on the ice rink

Enjoying family fun and sharing
the joys of your cruise ship!


Here is something that a dear friend sent me that I think will brightened your birthday! We love you, Robert, and thank you for being the outstanding son, husband and father you have become!

You just keep getting better and we thought you were perfect from the start!



Friday, May 28, 2010

Zachary is Six!


Happy Birthday Zacharooney!

Zach on the first day of school!
(Nice hair, Dude!)

Zachary started and is almost done with kindergarten this year. He really enjoys school and did very well. He is a smart guy and he loves the computer. They have a Wii and he really gets into jumping all around and playing that with his family. He is very coordinated. Zach is our little grandson that just calls to say Hello! We love that about him!


He started to lose some teeth this year. I like this photo!

I decided to do an interview with Zach for his birthday post. We use to do this with our own kids all the time and they have enjoyed going back and reading them over the years. So here is my phone interview with Zach~

What do you want for your birthday? A watch!

What is your favorite color? Blue, always.

What is your favorite video? Land Before Time Walnut Migration (?)

Favorite Song? Old Mother Witch

Favorite Book? The Berenstein Bears ~Too Much Junk Food

Favorite Food? Rice with good flavoring.

Favorite Dessert? Cake with chocolate frosting.

Favorite Friend? It was a girl but she went on a long vacation so…Josh.

Favorite thing to do with Mom? Help her out.

Favorite thing to do with Dad? Read with him and play.

Favorite thing to do with Connor? Read The Diary of the Wimpy Kid. He reads it to me and we are almost done. It has over 200 pages.

Favorite thing to do with Aynslee? Umm, I am not sure yet…(prompt) Oh, yeah…Puppet Shows.

Favorite thing to do with Owen? Mostly playing on the computer.

Favorite place to visit? Oklahoma but I cannot remember it.

Favorite thing about Kindergarten? The very end of school (when the teacher says good-bye), not the walking home, I DO NOT like that.

Favorite video game? Most Fun Games on the Planet because it does have the most fun games!

Are you excited that summer is almost here? Yes!

Where are you going this summer? Oklahoma to see my Grandma and Grandpa George.

Who is the President? President Monson. Oh, you mean the other President.."Brock" Obama then.


Zach learned a lot of fun songs while in kindergarten. The one below is just so sweet and I love it so thought I'd include it. Bless Missy's heart for capturing it on video while holding Owen in one arm and the camera in her other hand. A treasure for sure.


video


Here is Zach on the right with his Daddy,
big brother Connor and little brother Owen!

His big sister, Anyslee, is in the store with Mommy.


Here a chocolate cake with seven candles. 6 for being six years old and one to grow on, Zach! Grampa and I are sending you lots of love and hugs for your birthday along with your birthday bucks. Hope Mom got you something cool with them! Have a great new year!
XOXOXOXOXOXO XO

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Snap!


Jen's Facebook Status Update today...
Chloe's interpretation of her adoption: You and Dad went to the adoption store and you saw Amy (her birth mom) and you saw me in her tummy and I was the best one so you picked me and then: SNAP! I was yours forever!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lazy Day

Our Jennifer at 18 months old 1974

And Here's Her Baby Hazel with the
matching red polka dot shoes
30 something years later!

Today I have been feeling rather ill so I have just been sleeping and sorting through a ton of photos for a tribute that will be done for Jim at his retirement party by a co-worker. I ran across two I just had to share. Some moldy oldies but left a little heart print for me when I saw them again. That means for 2 minutes today I forgot I was sick! Tomorrow should be lots better..right?

Laura with Baby Spencie in 2000 in NY.
He is also about 18 months~an age I adore!




Lovin' me some cuteness today!

Bonnie :-)

Looking Back 2 Years

Here is a funny little post from two years ago at Jen's house. I love looking back at these! Kids say and do the darndest things.

The Big Sisters

I do enjoy it when Jen shares the funny things her kids say and do. It reminded me of a couple of funny ones I heard while I was there. You know how kids hear idioms and get the idea of the meaning of it, but don't exactly remember the phrase? Well Piper was having some frustration with one of the sisters and she said to me, "Gramma, I am really at the end of my string with that kid!"

Another day I was talking to Piper and she was telling me how they all have perfect names. She is Piper and is a Princess from Scotland, Julia had kind of a Latin name and she loves salsa, Chloe is a French name and she loves everything dairy, and one of Hazel's nicknames is Halo and she is a little angel.

Of course the whole family knows that Chloe really likes dairy products and would live on milk if they let her. We also all know she is very independent and if you read Jen's blog regularly, you know that before she was three she could make her own scrambled eggs in the microwave. So one Sunday afternoon Jen, Lowell and I were in the office chatting and Julia comes running in..saying, "Mom, Mom, Chloe is eating the baby's formula!" Upon investigation we discovered she had gotten into the refrigerator and poured some Parmesan cheese in a cereal bowl and was sitting there at the bar eating it with a spoon. It looked exactly like the formula too!

The Little Sisters

Chloe Jane's First Love!

Knowing about Chloe's thing for milk, Julia's conclusion was very plausible and for some reason it really struck us all as being so funny. We also know that the formula was plausible because anything that is Hazel's is fair game in Chloe's book. She isn't called the Binky Bandit for nothing! She wasn't eating formula because she hasn't thought of it just yet! It wouldn't surprise any of us though~ all things considered!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My First Joke....


A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his father as to when they could discuss his use of the car.

His father said he'd make a deal with his son: 'You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible a little, and get your hair cut.Then we'll talk about the car.'

The boy thought about that for a moment, decided he'd settle for the offer, and they agreed on it. After about six weeks his father said, 'Son, you've brought your grades up and I've observed that you have been studying your Bible, but I'm disappointed you haven't had your hair cut.

The boy said, 'You know, Dad, I've been thinking about that, and I've noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair...and there's even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.'

You're going to love the Dad's reply:

' And did you also notice they all walked everywhere they went?'

A Before, An After, And A Thank You!

The Naked Truth...
In three words "too much oak!"

The area rug you all helped me select!



Adding the quilt to the table and
the little
metal child's chair and
some sparkly pillows
softens the
lines of the room and
adds
texture to all the wood!
Finally! And the best
part of all..
Jim loves it!
I think he thought
it
would cover too much
of the
floor that he
loves so much.

I how it has just a little red in it
to make the chair feel more welcome.

It blends perfectly with the rug in the library!

Thank you for helping me make
this room feel a little more done.
It is always a work in progress but
the area rug is a nice new
addition to the mix.


On the wall color..The flash always makes it look so limey. It is more like the olive color in the corner where the light is not as bright on the wood. The walls are several shades lighter and definitely not chartreuse!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook~May 24, 2010

To join in focusing on the simple things and pleasures of your daily life or to read other people's entries, you can click here.


So, For Today...Monday, May 24, 2010
I decided it is time for a new picture for My Daybook

Outside my window..It is actually sunny but only for awhile. It is 1:00 pm and has been threatening to rain all morning. From my desk I can see white daisies in a large terra cotta pot swaying in the breeze, some stone bunnies and some pretty yellow and purple mums on my front deck sitting on a little table and some other fun garden elements.

I am thinking...my body is trying to fight off a cold. I haven't had one in a long, long time and I want to keep it that way.

I am thankful for...Cold-Eze that really works for me if I take it every two hours for the first day or so if I feel one coming on. It usually knocks the cold out completely. Fingers crossed. And I am also thankful I don't have to be anywhere and if I do get sick I can just hang out at home and get better.

From the learning room...blogging is a requirement for me to keep my happiness level high and I love that I have a computer to do it on and that it and you, my readers, brings me joy.

I am reading...Book 3 in the Zion Covenant Series by Bodie Theone. Munich Signature, still. Last week was very busy and I didn't have much opportunity to read it.

From the kitchen...the cupboards are full enough and Jim's soup is made. I need to go to Trader Joe's for just a few items and we are good for the week. I made a new casserole that I saw online over the weekend, for another family and I have a nearly a whole one left over for us.

I am wondering...how much fun it could possibly be to have my two men, Jim and our son Chris, for three whole days all to myself? Jim wants to go and climb Half Dome in Yosemite after his last day of work and Chris is coming. It just works out that he will be able to stay until my birthday a few days later. I am thrilled for Jim that he can do this fun activity with Chris and so happy for the time to see him. It is my first time to go to Yosemite and I have lived all but 3 years of my life less than half a day away. That is crazy. Like the New Yorkers who have never seen the Statue of Liberty or the Parisians that have never been up on the Eiffel Tower.
God knows how I love Missy for letting him come after he just returned from over 2 weeks in Europe with his students.

I am hearing...Have You Ever Been in Love~Celine. Have I mentioned this week how much I love my discovery of her. Love her music. We are going to see her in Las Vegas next year when her new show opens in March if at all possible.

I am going...to scan a bunch of photos of Jim for his retirement party master of ceremonies who is doing a little program about him. Just had to fly through this first and then I am on it
.
Today if I could change one thing...it would be how fast time flies. Life is short and fleeting. We miss so many opportunities in our busyness. Busy does not = important.

I am quoting..."A lot of people miss opportunity because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas Edison.

My spiritual thoughts include..The realization that when we repent The Lord remembers our sins no more~but if we don't seek after the healing effects of the atonement upon our hearts and minds through prayer, we may not obtain the peace that comes through forgiving ourselves and letting go of it.

Around the house...Those darn dust bunnies are back and I need to wash the windows! My solution...it can wait for another day.

I am missing...Some girls friends I have not see in a long time. And some that I have but just not enough!

I am hoping....I will get my new rug tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest!

One of my guilty pleasures...fun rings.

One of my favorite things...cherries!

I am curious about... how a violinist like Jenny Oaks Baker can remember all the pieces she plays in such magical, spellbinding performances as we enjoyed last night in her concert. If you haven't ever heard her play look her up on youtube. She is the daughter of Dallin H. Oaks for those of you that know him.

An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...Dr Zhivago

A few plans for the rest of the week...Getting the photos done, talking to all the kids, getting a post done for little Zachary who will be six on his birthday on Friday, doing some work for my calling at church. Maybe trying to find some great prices on some large pots for the back yard. Friday night date and getting ready for our three day weekend of planting, trimming, etc. Robert's birthday on Saturday. It looks like a slow week but they never seem to turn out that way, right?

Here are some pictures and a thought I am sharing with you~

I took these photos not long ago to show how I like to do some whimsical things in my home decor. I had this primitive black cat carved out of wood and this cute bird cage. I didn't want to get rid of my primitive cat as it has sentimental value to me but I don't do primitive either. So???

She had been sitting down in my warehouse but I just had to hang on to her, but my space is so limited. I also had the little green bird with the upturned tail. I grouped them together in this way with the cat in the cage and the bird on the outside looking it. It is just a fun way to create a little point of interest in an area with a whimsical tablescape.
The non-observant will walk right by but it does put a smile on the face of some, including me.

This one is for my friend in Scotland who is a big cat fan. Enjoy, my cat (Miss Austen) and the St. Andrews picture, Margaret!

Serving in the Community

Last Thursday night Jim was honored by an organization called SELPA. The Awards Presentation was held at a beautiful golf course. The green was just so beautiful everywhere you looked. {One of the great benefits of our never ending winter. It is supposed to rain 3 days this week. Really??

The program

A poster made that depicts
Jim's students making the awards

The organization presenting the awards is a special education entity that works with the county to provide individualized services to each student that doesn't mainstream. Jim received his award for serving them by manufacturing all of their awards for the last several years with his students. So he got one of the awards he had actually made himself! Awesome! We had a lovely dinner and the awards presentation were really cool. Some were given to educators and some to the students themselves. Now I have been to my share of these types of presentations in the past and this is probably our last one. It is great to know it was the best one! Here are a few of the photos.

Ellen, Jim's instructional aid
worked over time to get
all the awards wrapped in
cellophane and ribbons.
Thanks Ellen, you saved me!

This is Jim with his boss, Diane.
She is awesome!
She was in a 15 story high rise
hotel when the earthquake hit in Santiago.
Her son was getting married that day in Chili.
All went well for them but she
was telling me it was pretty scary.

189 people attended

The Presentation of Jim's Award

The gourmet dessert buffet


The Award sitting in our library on Jim's desk.

These wooden books are individually inscribed on a very big, fancy machine and then sanded, painted and assembled by the boys. They have a different design each year but they always have a signature wooden apple on them. This one has a space on the top book for sticky notes. Jim and his kids also make a lot of the centerpieces for other awards presentations throughout the county like Teacher of the Year Awards. Lots of people told me how much they would miss him! Awww!

A picture of us that isn't that great but
as Michelle would say..."It is what it is."
I cropped it way down to put it on
the sidebar for Dorothy.
She had requested one along with all
the rest of our family photos.

Don't know why I didn't think of it
but I suspect it is that I am not that crazy about photos of myself!
Jim's cuteness neutralizes it for me though!
So this one is for you Dorothy! :-)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Huggy Health

I saw this paragraph about hugging and it got me
to thinking about this lovely gesture of affection.

"I'm trying to hold my hugs for a longer time. Research shows that if we hold a hug for at least six seconds, we optimize the flow of mood-boosting chemicals. According to studies, a family member is 47% more likely to feel close to a family member who often expresses affection than to one who rarely does. Sometimes it's good to say, “I love you”; sometimes it's good to express that thought without words. Also, frequent huggers have lower blood pressure and higher levels of oxytocin (a chemical that promotes bonding)." Real Simple

Spencer & Piper

We are a big fans of hugging in our family. We love it and do it so much that, remember Rossie wants to do it as his life's work! Somewhere years ago I read that it takes seven hugs a day to be healthy. I go for that. We go for the full on bear hugs around here. I have hugged some people that are as stiff as an ironing board. It is like they are trying to hug you without touching you. I find that sad. Everyone needs this form of expressing affection in my humble opinion. It says I like you, I love you, I think you are awesome, you mean something to me, I want you to know you are wonderful and worthy of love and acceptance, you are a great friend. It also says I want you to know you are not alone, I am sorry you are going through this, I am so proud of you, thank you, I am happy to see you, good-bye; I will miss you...etc. etc. Sometimes all that is needed is a sweet hug to set someone's day aright. The dividends are great for such a small effort. Go hug someone you care about today! Seven times is even better! And don't rush it! 6 Secs!

For a wonderful Christ-centered article about hugs
click here.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

After the Diner...


Just kidding... we didn't really go to breakfast at the diner and see ourselves in the mirror as you might have thought from the previous post...but I wish we could have!
Today was filled with the bigger projects that you just cannot get done during the work week. Jim cleaned all the winter goop out of our pond and got the water fall up and running. Then he started to put up our outside patio lights.

Gotta love your man when
he is outside making things fancy!

That is always quite the project but once done, we love it. While he did that I did the house work, grocery shopped and made dinner for a family with a new baby and packed a few in the freezer for another day for us. Now Jim is off to church for a dinner and program for the Young Men. I am going to get in my jammies and enjoy a movie. There have been so many fun comments about the post I did on Mamma Mia the other day..I am half tempted to watch it again. But twice in one week, maybe not.

It was beautiful today but cold! And all day long Jim was opening the doors and windows and I was following behind him closing them. Let's just say the house got aired out. Now I am lighting the fire and getting under a blankey. Hope your weekend is going great.

P.S. When Jim gets home he has invited me on a date to go outside and adjust lights with him. Hmmm, I think he is overusing the word "date," don't you? And just to make sure I was on board, he told me he was verrry excited about it. He is just too sexy for his shirt funny! I'm not buying in, but I will go help him adjust the lights after the movie! Burr, I am cold all over again.

video

Just wanted you to hear the waterfall. Peaceful!


The Date!
{I love how Jim caught the Blue Hour in the
upper left corners of the photos.
The black part is the the trees.}

A portion of the family room from the path
coming down from the man shed.
We strolled around and enjoyed the lighting
he had been working on
it was lovely really~a great date after all.
Oh me of little faith!