Thursday, March 27, 2014

Our Son...39 Years Old Today!

You and your Mom!

This morning I woke up very reminded me of the early morning of March 27th, 1975.  It was a day we hold very close to our hearts, the day our only son was born.  He arrived on the scene at around 7:25 AM.  It had been a hard day's night and worth every minute of it. When Jennifer went to bed the night before at Gramma Jo and Grampa's Ross' house she had a very pregnant Mommy.  When it was time for breakfast for her...she was a big sister.

One always thinks that babies are born at night..Chris was our only one.  Both of our girls were born during the day.  There is nothing quite like that feeling of working so hard and then finally holding your precious child in your arms.  That experience, as husband and wife, bonds you like no other.

Your parents long after you were born
About 2009

Chrissy and Jenny 1977

1997~The Wedding Day
 In The Salt Lake Temple 
With Reception at The
 Joseph Smith Memorial Building

Your goofy family of five At Sundance 2011!
This pose had some kind of significance
to someone in this  group...
No idea what?
Let's just call it a "shelfie" 
instead of a selfie!

The brothers your sisters gave you!

Mom, Jen, Grandma Gloria, Melissa, Laura

Your own little family!

Our Clan
Much Love from all of us, Christopher!
Happy Birthday!!!  You are Loved!

We are so pleased with you, Chris, and the choices you have made and the path your good life is taking.  We are so excited for your family to have the change to move to England in June to fulfill your Fulbright Scholarship opportunities on your  Sabbatical from BYU for one year.  What a wonderful chance for your children to live abroad again!  So many in our family and at Loughborough University will benefit.

Chris is in Brazil this week so we cannot even wish him a proper Happy Birthday today.  But that is OK. He's a man with important places to go and people to see.  We have learned in our family that the real celebrations and holidays happen whenever we can be together.  The date hardly matter anymore.  We are thankful for all the high quality times we do have together.  The Lord has richly blessed us all.

I adore this photo of my two Handsome Men
working together to improve the world and our world.

So a big shout out to you, Son! 
 We love you and wish you 
the very best today and always.

Love and big hugs,
Mom, Dad and Company

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Simple Woman's Day Book~March 25, 2014

Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this Daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One entry at a time.

Just for today~Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Outside my window...It is a cozy, rainy-like day.  We have been getting some drizzle but nothing too productive as far as the draught is concerned.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a stormy day.  We have been nesting and cleaning and cooking all day.  It is has been nice actually.  I like to get it all done on one day and there was a lot to do today.  (I didn't quite get it all done but close!) 

I finished up on the Easter decorating and cleaned the front porch and put a little spring into it.  Here is what I see out of my window.  The hydrangea is confused.  One warm day, one rainy day, one cold day.  Right now she is half-blooming with raindrops on her buds. 

Earlier today in the driveway 
we had four turkeys 
on a double date.
Girls were checking out the front porch
just to the right of the brick walkway.

Boys were all puffed up, and
standing back on the driveway
 and struttin' their tail feathers.

As handsome as they looked... 
the girls were shopping the porch..
and not the least bit interested!
Jim says it's a metaphor for life!

I am thankful for....the fact that Jim will be getting his hip replacement this coming Friday.  In just three days he will be a man of steel once again in both spirit and body.  I have been amazed at the amount of pain he has endured over the past several months and the determination he has had to finish his workshop.  Not only that but he and Dave have helped every Tom, Dick and Harry on the planet near us that has needed anything during that time as well.  

I have really never seen anything like it.  The lesson this taught me is that no matter how much I asked him to slow down and take it easy he doesn't.  He is a rugged survivor and you cannot change another person's character no matter how good your advice may be they remain as they are.  It's in the DNA. Determination exists beyond any kind of reason or to be found in my wildest imagination.  I'm not a nag or a person who like any kind of discord...So I just smile and say, "Yes Darling!"  And worry in silence.  If this pain did not defeat him, this man is going to die standing up.  No wonder we had the same couch that looked like new for 35 years.

From the learning room....Life is full of surprises.  Some good and some bad.  We need a way to deal with them and a support system we can count on.  Simply stated, I choose God; His comfort, peace and protection.

I am reading...bits and pieces of several things on my iPad Kindle app.  I have a bad habit of reading books like other people read magazines.  I pick one up for awhile then switch to something else.  I manage to keep them all straight...I am not sure how.  Just started Unbroken by Laura HIllenbrand.  It is about  pre-WWII and intriguing so far.

From the kitchen...we're making a bunch of stuff today for the freezer for Jim's convalescence.  Soup, spaghetti sauce, etc. Our beautiful friend brought us some tortellini soup, some yummy cookies, crunchy, crusty Italian bread and some books on CD and a movie for our collection.  Thank you, Carol. She scatters pixie dust everywhere she goes.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having... Sometimes when scary things are about to happen we want to push them back a little because we do not feel ready or up to the challenge.  That is how I had been feeling about Jim's surgery until yesterday.  I had doubts about myself and taking care of him with my own knee issues for fear I'll hurt him or I won't be able to see clearly what he wants me to do, or needs, etc.  I shared this with my friend and was sent some very helpful links to videos of after care for hip replacement patients.  I said something to him like..."Don't they know I left the medical profession 11 years ago?  Don't they know I am a genealogist now?  Oh well, at least I don't have to wear one of those goofy hats and orthopedic white shoes to be his nurse." So along with the links to the videos he sent this: (The master photoshop expert he is.)

I cannot tell you how this cheered me up and made me laugh out loud. Pretty goofy, but so nice of him.  It was exactly what I needed and helped me visualize myself doing this.  And once I watched the first video I felt so relaxed and that made me realize my apprehension was because I didn't have enough information.  This is how the Lord blesses us through our dear friends.  

I have another friend who also helped me by talking to me about faith and things that she and I discuss regularly as we face challenges and share them at least weekly.  She reminded me of what I had forgotten when being afraid had clouded my vision.   She assured me that with the Lord's help and my faith and my love for my husband I would succeed. These are those very special friends that walk beside you when you falter and strengthen you with their own way of lifting you up. They are both angels and such a great blessing in their own special and unique ways.

I am hearing...You Are The Sunshine of my Life.  How appropriate.

One of my guilty pleasures...escaping into the world of Pinterest to share the beautiful things in this life with others. It cheers me so much to create these boards that I love and others seem to also. 

It is almost like being curator of your own personal art museum.  It covers a lot of bases for me and gives me time to reflect on the good in this incredible life we all have.  I ponder all kinds of things as I work (using the term loosely) on it.  It is an antidote for the blues and pessimism of the daily news.  It is a creative outlet and designing...I just love it.

Pet Peeves...Facebook, I like Instagram better.  It is not polluted with politics and meanness...cannot say the same for Facebook sometimes.  I do like the broad scope of Facebook, however.  A simple request to borrow a walker for a few weeks turned into support from people as far back as kindergarten.  That part I find amazing about it.

I am quoting...Pinterest..Thomas S. Monson

If I could change one thing it would be...that my parents were still alive.  We never really outgrow our need for our parents if the relationship is healthy.  I really miss them often.

An enjoyable movie/ TV show we have watched lately...we will watch The Book Thief either tonight or tomorrow. We just received it as a gift.  I adore this movie and Jim has not yet seen it so, "Yay!"  It is a remarkable story of a young girl who will teach you some great lessons about life.

I am curious I will keep my very active husband still for days and days.  Zip ties?  God will provide a way. your stuff!

Plans for the rest of the week...Tomorrow finish the cleaning here in the house.  I have only a bit of dusting left and then the floors.  I have a pedi appointment, a bit of shopping to do and some paper work.  Thursday all the pre-op stuff and appointment.  Friday surgery, Saturday hospital, Sunday home or hospital??  Monday put on my goofy cap and go to work taking care of my hubby and spoiling him rotten.  That part I look forward to.  Pamper the heck outta him is what I'll do.

One of my favorite things...Taking a walk or drive in the spring and seeing the sunshine through the trees and being able to identify all the new growth by that beautiful lighter green foliage.  I want to have my camera in hand all the time.  It is so breathtaking!

One thing that made me so happy this week... spending time with my good friend, Maureen who just had hip surgery herself on the 5th of March.  She is doing great and has talked with Jim a lot in an uplifting way and I love her for that and many other things.  She and I did a little crafty thing yesterday.  She is the queen of all that sort of thing, me...not really.  We created centerpieces for our tables for Easter.  She gave me the box for Christmas with that lovely Christmas decor in it if you happened to see it.  Well, here it is all decked out for Easter and spring.  

The most surprising things this week..That Jim got called for the surgery two months early.  That I actually like this crafty thing I made.  It was because I did it with Maureen...her talents rub off.  

Some photos I am sharing this week...I think I have over done the photos this week but here are a couple more of the yard I took this afternoon and of the"springified" front porch.

I edited these two with the antique filter just for fun.

Looking east from the driveway and porch.
It felt good to get the porch cleaned up!
I can stick my patient out there
when it is time for him to go out and play!

And when we're done there 
we can go out on the brick patio and 
plant some flowers in our pots 
as he can sit in the chair for that.
This is going to be a really good thing.

   Until we all return...happy day to you!
     ❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s, Bon

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Starting The Morning with


Every morning when I wake up I love to spend a few minutes in bed reading my email subscriptions and checking news, weather, etc.  I guess it is the equivalent of someone needing their Starbucks and newspaper or Good Morning America each day.  Since I don't do any of those I have to get my information elsewhere.  We choose to pass on coffee for religious and health reasons, the newspaper for lack of real journalism and extreme bias, and the TV because we don't want cable.  So Internet it is and topics of my choosing.  I love having more control over what I surround myself with and absorb by osmosis.

I have spoken of several times on this blog and one of my favorite contributors is Kristen Welsh.  Today she has an amazingly good post so wanted to share part of it with you here in an attempt to get you to finish reading it on their blog.  Then you can look around for yourself, if so inclined.  Here is what Kristen had to say about her kids...

"I bet you feel the same way.
I came close to death bringing them into this world, by way of epidural, you understand. But still.
I gave up my body to nourish them, more hours of sleep than I can tally with a calculator, more money than I can count (and still counting) and half my granola bar yesterday morning.
So, I’m committed.
I have sacrificed hours of time sitting in carlines, waiting in bleachers, making doctors appointments, waiting up for them to get home and waiting for the hot water heater to recycle.
I have cried more tears than I can hold and held my breath over every moment I couldn’t control.
I have fretted over their pain and wondered if they understood just how much I loved them, just how much I would for them…
I would die so they could live.
And that’s the way God feels about you. 

The rest of what Kristen has written is very compelling.  Just go to http:// and scroll down past the chalk board and it is the first post entitled "How God Feels About You!"  Let me know how you like it.  It is a great blog to subscribe to. Always uplifting and encouraging and Christ-centered.  It is a great way to get your day off to a positive, up-beat and good start.  It helps me stay positive and less worried about the state of the world or the neighborhood.  And it increases my faith. Win/Win. Enjoy! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

1909 vintage card

Ireland Green

A Special Wish for You Today!

Watch P.S. I Love You Today!
Sweet movie with some gorgeous Ireland Landscapes
and Jeffery Dean Morgan Eye Candy

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Day Trip To Sonoma, CA

Sonoma's Corner Stone parking lot!

I cannot understate how important it is to get out and away with my spouse on a regular basis.  I think the past year has been very hectic for us.  We had that lovely, lovely trip to the east coast that lasted 5 weeks in May 2013.  Then came home and have been like two ships passing in the night with our noses to the grind stone ever since. This has been due to his very intense work on the wood shop for many months and lots of obligations and commitments that have put our Day Trips on hold for way too long.  All work and no play makes Jack and Jill pretty dull.  So we have vowed to get away at least 2 times per month ALONE and I know it will be better for us in all ways.

My bouquet!

So when Jim brought me flowers, just because he's sweet, the other night and asked me if I wanted to go out on Friday for the day I was thrilled.  I changed my schedule around and it happened!  It was a spectacular day!  Neither one of us could tell it if it was truly as sublime as we thought or it was just so special because it had been so long!  I think it was both actually.

Driving over was so beautiful. 
 The land looks like velvet.  
The rain has been been very gracious to the entire area. 
 This is my favorite kind the green, 
all the shades as only God can make them.

We happened upon our first stop quite by accident.  It turned out to be a delightful serendipity experience.  It is called Corner Stone and is a nicely appointed shopping area and gardens that are quite secluded from the roadway giving it a feeling of being in the countryside more than in town.  There is some amazing art out in the meticulously manicured garden.

This kinetic sculpture is absolutely amazing 
as it twists and turns in the breeze.  
There are two of them.
They are almost hypnotic.

Strange Fishy Bench!

 The mobile sculptures we really liked for their large scale and uniques qualities.  We need a large scale in our yard so it was very inspiring to see what they had done.  There is also a very nice gallery of sculptures inside and we stayed in there quite awhile looking at the different art pieces.  Here are a few we found intriguing.  Both of these are so wonderful and done by very talented sculptors.  I am sorry I neglected to capture their names.  Just go see them if you can.  Of course they are for sale as well.

This is some kind of a resin sculpture that
has depth and texture and you almost
have to touch it (but don't) to realize it is not a stack
of terry cloth towels.
They had a white set as well that I loved.

Although I do have to ask why someone would
want fake laundry laying around 
when inundated with the real thing?
Is it just me?
That is part of what makes art super 
fun as accessories though!

This is a bust (no pun intended)
of a swimmer just getting out of the water
She is life size.  The thing that is fascinating
about it is she looks so real and has
acrylic water droplets all over her.
The eyelashes really make it perfect.

They also had a few shops, all high end and very unique.  Again scale was emphasized.  Lots of larger than life accessories and yard decor.  Lots of rustic and mostly one of a kind items and they are lots of fun to look and and be inspired by.  The whole place had a special museum quality, even the shops.  And all items were for sale for the right price.  Here is an example from one of the shops.

Huge Urn

Who doesn't love these beautiful urns and other pottery pieces from Italy?  This is the biggest and grandest one I have ever seen.  It was nearly 5 feet tall.  Great scale for a large space and grande scale price as well.  $2500.00.  We have one that is about 3.5 feel tall that I bought at a garage sale for 10 bucks, painted it black and it looks great.  But that is not the point.  These lazy day trips are not necessarily for shopping (although they can be...just sayin') but for browsing, imagining and dreaming.  This one is just purely awesome to look at and I am satisfied having a photo of it to remember it.  And if you really love it...they have a four foot matching one for $2300.00 just for the taking.

Through out the grounds they had great art for gazing upon and for sale everywhere.  I have a pear collection so thought these were quite fun.  I thought of Jim when I saw the art piece below the pears.  Check out the galvanized big planters behind the pears.  We love those and they would be fabulous in our yard.

Poor James, an avid cyclist, with his bum hip
 to be replaced in the next couple of months!

We thought the most elegant store was this one below.  It had a big salvage inventory outside in the back and Jim entered heaven there so we spent quite a lot of time here.  They had the coolest things out there really and they made them into these amazing accessories for your life.  We had a ball finding things that would be just perfect in our yard for this and that.  Day dreams are free.  Found these gianormous rusty springs that we thought would be great for the deck steps in lieu of a hand railing.  The coils were about the circumference of a soccer ball.  Should have snapped a picture. Price prohibitive, but really cool.

No clue what this stuff is but it 
warranted a photo on Jim's camera.

Right here is where Jim's world and mine collide! 
 Haha!  Same place but on the inside!

So eclectic, colorful and enjoyable.

I love this!

Funky wire chandelier that looked so elegant from afar.

These pillows are the size of beach balls.  So fun!

This was a salvage item for sure and a wonderful old piece
 for storage in a mud room or any spunky place really.
It is from an old swimming pool changing room.

The flowers around the grounds were so pretty!

You just have to go to Corner Stone, it is so much fun!
And they have some lovely restaurants
 and an outdoor cafe. 

However, we didn't eat there.  Usually we enjoy bringing a picnic.  Not always, sometimes we will eat out but mostly we love a little gourmet private picnic in a secluded spot.  Our specialty is finding secluded spots in a big metropolitan area.  If we eat out we like to go to a fancy little bakery and share a pastry early in the morning but we got a later start yesterday.  There is something about Daylight Savings Time when it first starts that precludes getting up in the dark and taking off.  When it is warmer in the summer it is a lot better, but not just yet.  

Now here is a big hint when you go exploring in a new place or where you are not a frequent visitor.  At your first stop ask about a great place to picnic or have lunch dining in.  The locals usually have it down pretty well. Yesterday was no exception.  We were directed to the Bartholomew Winery for a free, private and drop dead gorgeous picnic area.   The picture that you may have seen me post on Facebook is the entrance to the winery.

One of the buildings called The Villa on the winery grounds.

Right across the way from our picnic table. 
 Eucalyptus Trees are synonymous with 
vacation time to me. 
We only see then when we are
 out having fun someplace.

We have decided we have to bring some fancy tablecloths in our future adventures.  We do bring stemware so it only makes sense.  We are cheap date...what can we say?  Ok and yes a little weird! But we are use to each other!

There are some nice flat pathways for
 wheelchairs and strollers. 
 It is easy navigation for all ages.
Nice grassy areas for kids.

Permit information for large groups.
Note no BBQs or Fires allowed!

And when you turn around 180 degrees this is what you see.
Acres and acres of rolling hills and vineyards. 
Can you even imagine how beautiful this is in the fall?
Just before the grape "crush" is the time to come here.

We stayed here quite awhile and enjoyed the privacy, the quiet and the birds chirping like crazy. They were ecstatic; intoxicated with spring.   Our last stop for the day was the town of Sonoma.  We had never been here before which is very odd since Jim graduated from Sonoma State University.  However, it is in another town nearby and we never came to Sonoma perse.  It is an amazing little town.  It has an old white New England style church with  wooden steeple, a town Square like the ones in Savannah, some architecture like Charleston, and some aspects of Europe all here in one little place and an art deco theatre to boot.  The shops are plentiful, unique and fantastic and the atmosphere, clean, healthy, and good.  We enjoyed being outside most of all.  It was just one of those stellar days from beginning to end.


Fountain ala Savannah!

Classy Town Square

Creme Brulee Gelato

And this pretty much summed it up.  
This is the cutest bug ever. 
 All cherried out and a little bigger
 than our claw foot bathtub!  They could have 
sold rides in this on such a perfect day!

Total Cost of the day...Gas, bridge toll,
 free parking, free lunch, free fun and 
two small gelato cups=negligible!