Grace went to the orientation day for Sophomores today and she came home just grinning. She was telling us about the clubs she was signing up for, all excited, when she mentioned that she had signed up for the hiking club, "only not sweaty hiking club, just nice hikes." I teased her about it. She's such a princess. I love it!
Dinner was my favorite and our first of the summer... tomato and cucumber sandwiches, fresh from the garden...oh my!
Following dinner, Doug gave the kids thier father blessings, which he does every year on the night before school begins. The kids always stand and give their dad a big hug. It's always a tender moment for me to watch between them all.
The rest of the day, I spent at the computer doing an inventory list of the cabin contents for the insurance. Who'd have ever guessed that we'd still be so neck deep in this whole flood all these months later!!
It's late and I'm ready for bed, but I have to comment on the fact that I absolutely ached when I dropped Grace off at the school this morning. High School. UN.BE.LIEV.ABLE!
attract what you expect
reflect what you desire
beome what you respect
mirror what you admire
Our summer officially ended an hour ago when Grace went to bed on the first "school night" of the year. We had a very fun day together though. This morning, I told them to make sure their jobs were done and get ready, we would have our last day of summer fling beginning at 10:45. They all went their separate directions to get busy. An hour later, when it was time to go, I noticed two things on the floor. Quayd had not picked them up and said that he didn't see them. I asked, "How'd you not see those?" His answer has made me smile all day long. He said, "Mom! I was looking up! I wasn't looking at the floor! Remember, President Monson said 'It's better to look up!'"
This comment comes from a talk given by Elder Cook. It's fabulous and it's a few years old...been around for a while. I loved the talk and was glad that Quayd had remembered it. Here's the link to the talk, if you'd like a quick refresher or want to have a moment of inspiration.
We went to town to run a few last minute errands and our last day of summer lunch at Black Pearl, which has become a tradition. While we were driving, I noticed that Quayd and ZJ were in the back seat "head dancing". So, we cranked up the music and all four of us started bouncing our heads and jamming to the music. When we'd pull up to traffic lights, we'd look at the people in the cars around us and see if we could get them to smile. When we got to the bank, Quayd had the truck, literally, bouncing. Our favorite teller was just laughing at us and said, "Looks like you guys are having too much fun. I can see that you've all had enough treats. I'm guessing you don't need any suckers." We just busted out laughing.
It was a fun afternoon. Quayd bought the new Spiderman 2 release and was excited to come home and have a little movie date with his sisters, watching the extras before they went to the Aquatic Center for their YM/YW activity.
The kids were supposed to eat at the activity, so Doug and I had a quiet dinner alone... fresh corn on the cob and sauteed zucchini and onions smothered in cheese. As I was cooking this simple dinner for the two of us, I realized and commented, "Wow. This doesn't happen often." We began a conversation about how much I'd spent getting the babes ready for school this year. Then I multiplied it out by how many years of school. The number was shocking to Doug. I then pointed out that "Back to School", Christmas and spring wardrobes for the past twelve years have added up to about "this much". Doug was stunned! I was surprised that he was surprised and that he'd never even given it a thought. But, we both agreed that they are worth every penny...a million times over!
Here's my two favorite pix of the day...
Quayd and ZJ were teasing Grace about a blonde moment.
Aylabelle crawled away from our Skype conversation and Liza followed her to the front door. She sat there and looked outside, then would scoot around and gibberjabber to us, then back to the door for 20 minutes. She's growing up so fast!
Life is good! Even when wake-up calls are at 3:55, 5:15 and 6AM!
Life is about using the whole box of crayons!
What a lovely weekend! Doug and Quayd came home on Saturday and we just chilled together! It was so exciting just to be together. Even though the girls and I had a great time together, I never love it when Doug is away. I love that he and Quayd have made such special memories and have had so many wonderful experiences, but I absolutely prefer having everyone right here at home together!
Today, ZJ gave a talk on values in Sacrament Meeting. She'd written the talk on Thursday and gave me the talk about fifteen times over the rest of the weekend, so when she got up to give the talk, she breezed through it. I was really proud of her. When the kids give talks, we discuss the topic and I type everything that they want to say in their words as they tell me, then they edit and make the changes they want. Once they are ready and comfortable with it, they print it and practice it over and over and over, a minimum of ten times, before they give it.
ZJ practiced this talk so many times and she added a ton of very funny practice moments. She's a riot. Today, I walked into the chapel for Sacrament Meeting, and she was wearing her new Nerd glasses. I said, "nooooooo, pleeeeease??" She said, "But, they're so cute!" We talked back and forth about it and I said, teasing, "Choose. Today or the first day of school." Before the word "first" was spoken, she handed me the glasses. We both got the giggles. She didn't realize that I was teasing, but I didn't mind not giving them back to her until after church. We laughed about it all afternoon. After church, Brother Lynch told her what a great talk she'd given and said, "I looked over at the girl in the glasses and wondered where ZJ was. I didn't even recognize you!"
We are asked to not take pictures inside the chapel and I never have. I had my iPad open before the meeting began and took this. It was before the meeting, so I think it was okay. The reason Doug is sitting on the stand is because he gave the opening prayer.
Also, I taught my last Marriage and Family Relations Sunday School class today. It breaks my heart to see the class come to an end. It's a 16 week course, but we've taken up to three weeks to discuss one lesson, so we've been at it for quite some time. At the end of the class today, Brother Englar, the other Bishop's counselor told me that they are still "talking" about what to do with me next. I teased back, "As long as you do something with me." I hate not having a calling!
After church, we had a BBQ with the B's and the D's. We had a wonderful meal and then four hours of fun discussion and three tasty desserts. I loved every minute of it. As we were all gathering things at the end of the evening, I shared that Doug and I were in bed this morning talking about the fact that we, the three families, have a truly wonderful relationship. It's a gift to have such great neighbors/friends/family, which is what we all feel that we are!
It's been a great week. It's been a great weekend. It's been a great summer. This week, it all comes to an end. Grace goes a day before Quayd and Zeej because it's her first day at the high school. She's the most excited about school beginning again! I think I'm the least!
The pool comes down tomorrow night. Fashion show night and father's blessings. Deep sigh. I hate to see it end! I really hate that there are only five more of these "Back to School" experiences before we are done for good!
Life is good!
No one ever injured their eyesight
by looking on the bright side of things!
I didn't take as many pix as I should have or could have but, here's a few from our day.
The girls got up bright and early and went for a walk with the dogs. They woke me up, it was so early, so I got ready while they were gone.
When they got back, I said, "Let's go!" and we were ready in 20 minutes to head to town. We stopped for a visit with Doug's mom. I should have taken a picture then! I adore Doug's mom. She said, "Oh, it's so good to see my beautiful granddaughters," and gave them both big hugs. It's only been two weeks since they saw her, but it was like we'd not seen her for months. The girls always love to visit with Grandma.
Following our visit, we went for lunch to Firehouse. ZJ bought these glasses with her own money. I laugh every time I see her in them. She thinks it's so funny to see me laugh. They are so dorky but they are so popular now, she had to have them. Help me! Looking at this picture, you'd think I told them to "Let's go" before they had two hours to do their hair! But, you can tell that ZJ cut quite a bit off and got layers. Grace got layers too, but hers aren't as noticeable in this picture. They are both very happy to be eyebrow free and layered!
I had to catch this shot. The iPad was open but they didn't know I was taking pix. Here's ZJ singing and doing very cool dance moves from her seat while Grace is quietly reading her book. This photo depicts their personalities perfectly. I showed them and they both cracked up laughing!
Their favorite Firehouse dish, Alfredo! Notice they changed sides. Every time we go out to eat, they sit down on the wrong side of each other. Once the food comes, they remember, "Oh, one of us is a leftie!"
After shoe shopping, Staples shopping, Michaels shopping, we hit Sonic for Happy Hour, came home and watched Sabrina with Julia Ormand and Harrison Ford, today's chick flick.
After heating the leftover two day old Pizza Hut pizza for a late dinner, the girls had their friend come over to watch Mrs. Doubtfire. I spent the evening alone in my thoughts, working on my written life history, a project that I've been working on all summer.
We laughed so hard while driving home. We passed an intersection and I told the girls that I'd been in an accident in that intersection before they were born. ZJ said, seriously, as only ZJ can do with a straight face, "Really? Did you die?" I said, "Yes, I did. But there was no Diet Coke on the other side, so I came back." ZJ said, "Oh, I hate it when that happens. I promise, when you die, I'll put Diet Coke in your casket like your Grannie had that doll inside of hers." She elaborated that she could bring Diet Coke to my grave every week, then I could come and get it and take it back with me and tell people on the other side, "Here's earth in a bottle." This girl! Where does she get her sense of humor!?
Speaking of humor, ZJ is speaking in Sacrament Meeting this coming Sunday. She's got her talk written and keeps practicing it over and over. With each "run-through", she gets more demonstrative and humorous. At one point, she says, "whether you are 13 or 93". She ad-libbed, "Whether you are young or wise...whether you are 13 or older than dirt... whether you are reeeeeeealllyyyyy olllllllllllllllllllld...." She's a card, but, honestly, I love her talk. She'll do great. I remind them often when they give a talk that they are the only ones who knows what's on that paper. No one else knows a word you are going to say, so there's no need to fear. THankfully, my kids have no stage fright!
Doug and Quayd will be home sometime in the afternoon on Saturday. They've been missed, even though we've been having our own High Adventure at home. We are ready for school, completely! Grace realized that there is a mistake in her schedule and needs to go and in before classes begin next week to get that taken care of, but they are ready! Oh, summer, I hate to see you go!
I asked the girls if they wanted to go to Kneaders for breakfast in the morning. ZJ said, "I'm never eating again. I'm still full from lunch." Grace, on the other hand, said, "I could go for Kneaders." We'll see what morning brings!
Life is good!
There is a certain happiness in being silly and ridiculous.
The girls and I have been having a blast together. I've kept my phone nearby, in case Doug had cell service, but so far, no word from my guys. So, the girls and I are playing and enjoying our time together. We're all in the middle of reading our own books right now, so when we aren't playing together, we've been sitting in the room together reading. It's been a sweet week.
A few ramblings for the night. Oh I can't wait to blog in the morning again, when I'm not so tired that I can't think.
Time is precious. Waste it wisely.
It was a busy Wednesday, beginning quite early. By 8:30, we were at the high school, getting Quayd and Grace registered. By 9:30, we were at the Junior High getting ZJ registered. By 10:30, we were at the dentist for ortho checks and Grace's bi-annual cleaning. By 1, we had gone to Sam's Club and Old Navy for a few back to school items. And by 1:30, we had Quayd and Doug packed and ready to head to the church to meet the guys for their annual "High Adventure" trip. The girls and I spent the afternoon at home reading, then pizza for dinner and we called it an early night. A crazy, but fun day!
A few rambling thoughts...
I always love watching Quayd and Doug as they get ready for one of their father/son adventures. They make the most of every minute! Today, as they were getting ready and I pulled out the iPad to take a picture, the tables were turned. DOUG was the one who stood on his toes to be as tall as Quayd... a proud moment for them both!
Grace was waiting for her turn at the dentist this morning and pointed out this picture in a kids book. She said, "Mom, it's you yesterday." Yesterday was a rough day. Thankfully, today was much better. There were apologies and much better attitudes today. Not every moment can be perfect, right.
A few of my expectations in the house lately have not been quite up to par. I'm sure that part of it is that summer is coming to an end and everyone is ready for the new routine and tired of the old. BUT, that's no excuse. As I tell the kids, "We are a team and all of us need to do our best for us to be successful!" After a frustrating few experiences throughout the day yesterday, which was already emotional enough, I told Doug that it had been a pretty rough day. Doug said, "Regardless of what they do or don't do right or as well as expected, they are still the greatest kids in the world." Wow! Talk about a reality check! I am so grateful for his constant reminder to be positive, for his example and for the fact that he loves our kids so much! It's kind of hard to stay frustrated when you are reminded that they are "the greatest kids in the world."
A new discovery: The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie from Pizza Hut. Forget the pizza! Order the cookie! It was fabulous!
When school begins next week, I'll get back to blogging in the mornings when my brain still functions. I'm dreading bedtime (my own) and early wake-up (all four to seven of my alarms will begin again next week...) but, we are all looking forward to the change. One thing is for certain, I always love change.
That's it. Bedtime! The girls and I have some serious fun to have tomorrow!
Life is good.
See the light in others and treat them as though that's all you see.
What a sad day this has been. I watched the news in the morning and loved every second of celebrating Robin Williams' life, but once they start talking about the details of his death, I had to turn off the TV. I didn't want to hear it. I don't want to envision him in his death. I'd rather see him as Mrs. Doubtfire or Peter Pan in Hook. What a loss for us all.
The girls and I went to see Ashlee for their back to school eyebrow waxing. The girls have been begging for layers in their hair for months. Last night, Doug gave the okay, so Ashlee gave the girls a trim and layers in their hair. ZJ's is quite noticeable. We'll take some pix tomorrow when we go shopping and get them registered for school tomorrow.
Sad day. The most touching story of the day was the story of Robin Williams going to visit Christopher Reeves in the hospital after his accident. Chris Reeves is one of my all[time favorite celebrities and their friendship was timeless... from studying at Juliard to the death. What a reunion they are in for now!
I have nothing more to say. It's just been a rough day for everyone. Life is good. Complicated, hard, but good.
Only those who care about you can hear you when you are quiet.
Jill made this fantastic lunch on Sunday after church. The kids all but licked their plates! The bacon really makes it. It sounds really different but it was so dang good, I had to share!
1 pound bacon
1 pound fresh or frozen greenbeans
1 large chopped yellow onion
1 package bowtie noodles
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (2 cloves)
lots of salt and pepper
1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Fry the bacon until crispy in a large frypan, saving the bacon grease. Remove the bacon and break or cut it into bits. In a sauce pan, boil the pasta in salted water, as directed on the package. Reserve some of the water (about a cup) that the pasta was boiled in. Meanwhile, sautee the onion and garlic in the bacon grease. Add the green beans and cook until they are done. Drain the pasta and pour into the skillet with the beans and onions. Add the bacon. Pour the reserved liquid over the pasta and stir. Top and stir in the parmesan. Enjoy! How can this not be good with a pound of bacon!
A few other ramblings...
Even though our pool is about the be closed for the season, it's been a gift all summer and brought much joy and fun to our family!
Our garden has hundreds of tomatoes, peppers and the beginnings of some tasty salsa that will carry us through the winter months next year! We've got hundreds of peaches and plums and apples ripening by the moment!
There were ten people who walked out of Doug's place of employment last week for their last time, with no warning. Doug still has a job and even got a little recognition gift today for a good suggestion he'd made!
The kids are excited about school and not dreading it.
We've been able to enjoy the talents of Robin Williams since his Mork and Mindy days! Nanu-Nanu!
The girls and I are planning a fun "girls weekend" for our last weekend of summer!
I just remembered that there are brownies in the oven!
Life is good!
"You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up
to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to."
We went up to the cabin on Wednesday as soon as the guys got off work and we had a great weekend! This was a total "fun" weekend, not one for working on the cabin. Alan and Jill and their son, Adam, met us on Thursday. The teens all had a great time together, Doug and Alan always get along great and Jill and I always have a blast together. We really are two very compatible families!
A few pix from the weekend.
Quayd and ZJ decided to swim in the river. When they'd been down long enough (after sunburns two weeks ago), we (the adults) thought we'd go down and tell them it was time to come back up to the loft. We started joking that we needed to grab snacks for our "trip"... all two city blocks in length of it! Here's what we took for our 90 second drive.
Zeej floated the river a few times. They put their little floaties into the water about half a mile up and float to the bridge. With the exception of right under the bridge, the water is not even waist deep in most places.
ZJ was quite proud that she'd floated the river without wetting her flat-ironed hair. By the way, Grace took a walk with the kids later in the afternoon and that was the first time she's been out and about since the reunion two weeks ago. She's finally getting over her pnuemonia, but not ready to get back into the water!
Just about to go under the bridge.
Quayd swam along side of ZJ, rather than floated. He's all about "mucscles". We laughed when he was swimming away, then stood up and it was only knee deep in the spot.
On the other side of the river.
Quayd would be content to spend every afternoon in the river!
Doug's brother, Alan, keeps us entertained all the time!
Quayd had a ball jumping off the bridge!
I've never swam in the river, but the kids sure love it!
On Sunday, when we came back from church, we had dinner and started gathering things to head home. ZJ noticed this badger out in the back yard. Doug had been showing her the badger holes all over the ranch and particularly, around the yard. ZJ saw the badger and asked, "Dad! Is that the badger!?" We all raced to the window and then eventually out to the deck to watch him.
After watching him go into the huge hole that he'd dug, Alan and Adam got the garden hose and cautiously dropped the hose into the hole, then turned on the water. We waited a few minutes and the badger came out of the hole, soaking wet. Alan said, "He's not had a bath in years!" He was almost muddy. When he came out of the hole, however, he was not a happy camper. This guy is dangerous and destructive. They dig huge holes in the ground that could cause cattle and horses and people, for that matter, to get injured. Sadly, he needs to be gone, but, he lucked out. There was no gun handy. Doug did get a shovel but the badger was getting pretty agitated by the time the guys were cornering him. We were all laughing, and pleading with the guys to stop! before someone got hurt. Thankfully, he ran off into the trees! It was our afternoon entertainment, for sure.
Most of the weekend was spent talking, laughing, eating, exploring, watching a couple of movies, and did I mention eating? We could have stayed a few more days because we had meals that we never even got to cook! Most of the weekend was spent talking, laughing, eating, exploring, watching a couple of movies, and did I mention eating? We could have stayed a few more days because we had meals that we never even got to cook, but unfortunately, duty calls. We also planned on attending the funeral of our brother-in-law's mother over in Malad, Idaho, which is about 80 miles from the ranch in the other direction. On Saturday morning, there were a few circumstances that changed the plan and we were unable to make the rest of the trip. Anne and Bob were in our thoughts and prayers all weekend.
One other very special part of the weekend was attending church in town. The Bishop of the ward invited the kids to a dinner/fireside for all of the youth after church. They wanted to go, so we drove around while they enjoyed their hour with the youth. The had a blast!
We love the ranch. We love Alan and Jill and Adam. We love our time together! Another awesome weekend!
Now, it's back to reality for a few days. This week, school registrations, shopping, all sorts of busy work and a few other surprises. Life is good!
Collect Moments, Not Things.
Denise and I had an interesting conversation over lunch at Costa Vida today. As I've mentioned, her brother passed away three weeks ago. He was homeless and had not been in contact with the family for almost a year. There have been some complications regarding his funeral because, apparently, it has to be "next of kin" who makes the decisions. Her brother had an estranged son that he'd never had a relationship with, not even at his birth. So, when Denise and her siblings went to make funeral arrangements, the mortician, upon realizing that there was a direct relative, could not allow them to do anything until the estranged son was contacted. They had to locate the son, a grown man who lives in another state, before they could even begin to make progress with the funeral. That's taken almost three weeks now. (Personally, I think that the whole thing is heartbeaking, but in the world we live today, I get that businesses (funeral directors) have to "cover their bases"... how sad is that.)
Anywaaaaaaaaaaaaaay... Sunday, Denise was standing at church, visiting with a lady in her ward. The woman is having some serious issues in her own life at the time. She and Denise were catching up on what was going on in their lives. After Denise listened to her neighbor's sorrows, she began to tell about her brother and the situation that they have been facing.
Out of nowhere, a man that was visiting their ward, had been standing a bit off, listening to these two women talk, walked up to Denise and said something like, "Wow. I thought I was having a rough life." He shared that he was having some severe health issues that, according to Denise, were a much bigger problem than hers. BUT. The man felt that he needed to count his own blessings! The man continued, "I've been listening to this and I have a cemetery plot right here in the Logan Cemetery. I want you to bring your brother here and bury him in that plot, I'll notify the cemetery and let them know. It's yours." Denise thanked him profusely, started crying and said,"I've never imagined someone being so kind in my life." Apparently, Denise was in the same ward as this man over twenty years ago. She knew his name, but hadn't seen him in two decades and they barely knew each other then.
Yet. This sweet and kind man was willing to do something this kind and generous to an "almost" total stranger. Denise assured him that they have a plot and all is well for the funeral, but she was overwhelmed by his generosity. Really. We cried together at Costa Vida as she shared the story.
I was driving home from our lunch and errands and thought about the man and got all verklempt all over again. That was a huge act of kindness. But there are little ones all around us each day. There's hardly a day that goes by in my life that someone doesn't touch my life for good. I have to remind myself constantly to be thankful and try to reciprocate to others. In the middle of all the yucky "headlines", there is SO much good out there. Look for the good. Give thanks for the good. BE the good. Just saying.
For the millionth time, today's quote hangs on my gallery wall...
Do Good and Care Not to Whom.
a few quick latenight ramblings...
Either you run the day or the day runs you!
As promised, here's my teeny tiny room that we call the gallery because it is filled with family photos everywhere. Ironically, the smallest room in our home, it's the room that is most often used. I live in here. It's where I read, study, gab, Skype, plan, organize, nap, you name it. It's the sick room when someone needs some TLC. It's the "Mom, can we talk?" room. It's the "Dad and I need some alone time" room. It's the "My friend is here for a visit and we need some privacy" room. The door is rarely closed. Rarely. But, it's my private space when I want it to be and the gathering place any other time. It's my "Zen Room" with my music, my channel on the TV or my quiet peace.
At General Conference, all five of us are gathered in here to watch all four sessions. We have a family room with a big TV downstairs. I probably turn that TV on four or five times a year. Go figure. (A good reason for a nice small flatscreen replacement TV in here, right?) Honestly, if we ever move, the new home will have, by purpose, a "gallery". I'm betting that when the babes are all grown and move away with families of their own, more of their memories than not, from home, will take place in this room or the kitchen. I love it!
The best chair in the house, comfort-wise, is the Lazy Boy rocker/recliner that Doug bought me for Mothers Day five years ago. He sits in it more than I do, but that's because he's usually in it brushing my hair or rubbing my shoulders while I sit on a pillow in the floor in front of him. Who could complain about that!
A friend and I were talking a few says ago about someone we know selling their home. The buyers wanted to buy it "As is", including all of the furniture and decor. A. I can't imagine having that kind of money to make an offer like that. B. I can't imagine having that kind of money and not wanting to do it all myself with new and fun things that I discovered along the way. and C! The big one! I can't imagine selling the contents of my home because so much of it is a part of our journey through life.
This giant entertainment center is a part of me! It was built by one of the most amazing men ever, the father of one of our closest friends, a gifted craftsman. I refinished it a few years ago and it was the hardest project I'd ever worked on. It just went on and on and I never thought it would be finished! As soon as I'd think I was done, I'd find another side or piece needing paint! It holds my most important books, photos, information. I could never part with it, not for any amount of money. (By the way, the seller did not sell the contents.)
We all have our comfort spaces. A couple of days ago, I noticed a friend's post on Facebook. It was a photo of her son, but, he was standing in her "Zen place". I've spent hours in that room with this friend and just seeing that photo, again of her son, I barely noticed him because seeing the room took me to the happy place that it is for me. I'm a huge believer of having a special place of your own that you can do your own thinking! This room is mine. Enough said.
Life is good!
If you are always racing to the next moment,
what happens to the one you're in?
Enjoy the ride!
What a day! I woke up this morning and got right to work. The kids and I did some furniture re-arranging. (Meaning, I gave orders, they followed.) It's wonderful having a strong backed son! We got rid of a rocker, a table, a desk. We brought my Lazy Boy back up to the gallery, which is now a totally relaxing sitting room. There'll be no crafting without putting up a card table. I'm fine with that for the few times a year that I craft. This room has morphed so many times in 17 years...from when it was a sitting room, a guest room, the babes bedroom, a dream scrapbooking room (Three times redesigned completely) to a great craft room, to a craft/sitting room to now... with a daybed and lazyboy... it's my "Zen Room" for studying and relaxing with Doug. I love it! (I'll add a photo or two tomorrow.)
In the afternoon, I wentbto town to buy a new washing machine. I was so not amused. First, I went to an appliance store at my end of the valley. I walked into the store and there were two salesman right up front. Neither even acknowleged my presence. I went toward the back of the store and a woman was at the "desk". Nada. I walked to the second side of the building and there was a man wrapping a microwave in shrinkwrap, talking with a woman about the weather. I stood there, about five feet away, making my presence known, but not entering their "bubble". They continued to talk about everything under the sun. He did not address me with a "I'll be with you in a minute" or "Did you have a question?" Nada. I stood there. I waited. They gabbed. I had found what I was looking for but it did not have a price. This place is three miles from home. I could have it tonight. Done. But, he kept talking. Finally, the lady started to walk away. I thought, "Now, he'll say something." The man continued one more layer of wrap, turned his back to me and walked away. He never even said HELLO! I was standing there, looking him in the eye and he turned and walked away! I was stunned! I said, out loud, "OR NOT!?" Quayd was with me. We left, passing him, the lady, the other two guys and not one person spoke a word. SERIOUSLY!
As we got into the truck, Doug called. I told him what had happened and he was shocked. Ironically, the owner of this store is the neighbor building the house across the street from us. Doug said, "He needs to know that we've shopped there before, he's treated us well, we wanted to give him our business today, but they didn't want it. I think he should know what happened."
AND so. NEXT! We've been looking for a week now and have not found what we wanted in our price range. I drove out to the middle of the valley to a second locally owned appliance store. (Doug's all about doing business with the locals whenever possible, even thoughh it's out of the way). I walked into the store and started looking up and down the washer aisles. There were four employees. I was the only customer in the store. Not one car in the parking lot but mine. Four employees. I looked and looked. Five minutes later, again, not one, "Hello. How are you today? May I help you? Are you just looking?" NOTHING. I have known the owner of this store since 1979 and he would die if he knew that this was what I got for customer service because his whole motto is that it's worth the drive for their friendly service. And the saddest part is that a few years ago, I drove out there in a blizzard with cash in hand for another appliance and got the same treatment. Again, I walked out without a "Thanks for stopping in, Hello or Goodbye." I won't make that drive again.
Now, I realize that I'm my mother at times and have high expectations, but really? Is "Hello" too much to ask? In this day and age where money is tight for everyone, wouldn't you think that they would want to say hello, may I help you? Seriously. I don't get it.
And so. I came home, got online, made a few calls, found a wonderful new HE washer for a steal of a deal in Bountiful, 90 miles south of Smithfield. I deliberately looked as far as Bountiful because that's where my vacuum was at the Electrolux Repair Center, ready to be picked up. Doug got off work, we drove almost to SLC, picked up the washer and got the vacuum, stopped at InnNOut for a Burger and drove home in an incredible downpour all by 9. (It was an hour after his bedtime, but we both enjoyed the time together! It was a nice date, four hours in the truck with Doug, uninterrupted, wonderful conversation, happy with our new washer and repaired under warranty vacuum... perfect! I'm actually glad that it worked out the way it did. I LOVE the washer. I feel bad that we spent good money out of the valley and didn't support our local businesses but apparently, they don't care. Oh. Well.
In other news...
Life is good! And so is having a new washer!
Respect is earned.
Honesty is appreciated.
Trust is gained.
Loyalty is returned.
I have literally not turned my laptop on since I blogged on Thursday night. Not that we had such a crazy weekend, just that I've not been alone. I love weekends when Doug is home because we are together every possible minute.
This past weekend, things did not go the way we'd been planning for months.
It was supposed to be our Dale/Anna Reunion with Doug's mom and siblings. At the last minute, on Friday morning, we decided to cancel the whole thing. There were several conflicts and I could tell that, although, many family members were going to work around their own busyness to be here, it was going to be hard. My brother-in-law's mother is close to the end of her life and his family is gathered from, literally, around the world, to be by her side. Another family member has a daughter buying their first home and were moving them in. There were a few illnesses, overtime work, a class... just lots of things happening in our lives. I cancelled by calling and texting everyone to let them know and, literally, felt relief from some. It's not like we did not just spend last weekend together and we thought that it was for the best. The best part was that not once during the remainder of the weekend, did I feel regret. It was the right thing to do for this year.
I did have to laugh when Danny called at 4 on Saturday and began the call with, "5:30, right?" "Um, Danny? Did you not get the message?" He laughed, "Just messing with ya!"
A highlight of the weekend for me was that, after Doug and I went to town for errands and had dropped by his Mom's to let her know, we pulled into our driveway and Doug's sister was waiting with a sweet gift and the kindest card of appreciation for my efforts in keeping the family in touch. It meant the world to me! She stayed for an hour and we had a great visit. I do love being a part of Doug's family!
The rest of the weekend, Doug and barely left each other's side. Quayd worked and the girls kept themselves entertained, so we did yardwork, housework, ran errands, studies my lesson and talked. SO much. We've spent more time on the backyard swing this summer than we have in all the years we've lived in this home combined. I love it. And we've had lots to discuss.
One concern, this weekend, was the fact that we've got a broken vacuum, washer and dishwasher in the past few weeks. The vacuum is only one year old and under warranty. It's repaired and ready to pick up but it's in Bountiful. So, I may be taking a drive south tomorrow or Tuesday. We did go "looking" at washers but did not buy anything. Holy cow! Appliances are outrageously priced! Doug's not a believer in buying something without doing our homework and then "thinking about it" for a bit. I teased him and said, "If we don't buy a washer by Tuesday, we are out of towels!" That's all it will take! The man likes clean towels!
Sunday... Quayd had a bad 24 hour stomach flu. ZJ woke up saying she felt queasy and Grace is nearing the end of her pneumonia. SO. Doug and I went to church alone. That's a first since 2001! It felt so strange! At church, they called a new Young Womens Presidency, which we knew was coming because our YW President's husband was called to serve as a Bishop at USU, and that it would affect the girls. Thankfully, they didn't make many huge changes, they just reorganized things and the girls were happy with our reported news after church. The two positions that were not called, yet, were the advisors to both of their classes. It will be interesting to see who "lands the job", but with these leaders, I'm certain that their new advisors will be wonderful too.
After church, we Skyped with Liza, Buddy and Aylabelle for an hour from the backyard swing and watched a storm blow in. I'm not sure that it rained more than 100 drops in all of Smithfield, but the wind and thunder were so pleasant! Love summer storms!
I did make a tasty Pinterest dinner on Saturday afternoon and wanted to share the recipe. It was so good! And very simple! It took about 20 minutes start to finish!
CPK Kung Pao Chicken
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 boneless, skinless thin-sliced chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
2 green onions, thinly sliced
FOR THE SAUCE
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry sherry (I used chicken broth instead)
2 tablespoons red chili paste with garlic, or more, to taste (I was out and googled: 2 Tbsp. ketchup and 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper instead. It was plenty spicy!)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon sesame oil
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, chicken broth, dry sherry, red chili paste, sugar, red wine vinegar, cornstarch and sesame oil; set aside.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, to taste. Add to skillet and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces; set aside.
Add garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in pasta, chicken, peanuts and green onions.
Serve immediately. I also added some steamed broccoli at the end. Oh! And I doubled the recipe. It was perfect!
I also made a pretty fun breakfast, suggested on Pinterest. We dug out the panini maker. Spread cream cheese on bread. Fresh strawberries with a touch of sugar sprinkled over. A thin layer of cream cheese on the second slice of bread and then cook. The kids were in heaven!
This week's goal is to do our end of summer dejunking and move some furniture around from room to room, to work on a personal project of my own and some back to school prep. UGH. I'm not ready for summer to end! Please pass another three months! Life is good! So are long weekends!
I found this quote board on Pinterest this weekend too and loved it! Isn't this board fab!? I need, I need!!!
Holy cow! It's 11 and I've not had a second to even think about blogging today. This summer is getting the best of me!
Here's ten rambling thoughts for the night...
A healthy relationship doesn't drag you down.
It inspires you to be better.
I had my annual physical this morning and was I ever surprised. Since the Chili's door fell on my foot, my walking days have ended. This foot thing is really strange. I have nerve damage. I've had three doctors tell me that it's permanent. A few weeks ago, Doug and I were lying in bed in the morning and I asked him if his phone was in the bed because I could feel it vibrating. When I got to church, I thought I could feel the vibration of the air conditioning in the floor. Neither time, was it something vibrating. It was inside my foot. Most of the time, it feels like I've just hit my funnybone inside my foot. But, this is new, it feels like a cellphone is vibrating inside it. SO strange. Regardless of what if feels like, I don't get to walk the 3-5 miles a morning that I was walking two years ago. Sadly, as a result of no exercise, I am two sizes larger in clothing, yet according to the doctor's scale, I weigh one pound less today than I did a year ago. I've lost muscle mass and become "flabby". I no likee that! So odd. But, I do love my doctor. He's awesome. We always have a good laugh or two and much teasing. I never mind the "girlie appointment" of the year. He says I'm healthy... good heart beat, good cholesterol, good blood pressure... just a lousy broken foot. Woe is me.
Quayd picked up a shift for someone else last night and worked until almost ten. There's no cellphones in our home after nine. (All electronics are turned into me before bedtime.) He came upstairs at 10:15. "Mom, I know I'm not supposed to be texting this late and I forgot to turn in my phone, but I got two texts at the same time and I had to look." He then explained that two friends wanted to make sure he was invited to "hang out" today. He didn't want to text back, because he's not supposed to, until he let me know he was texting. I asked, "What does "hanging out" entail?" His answer: "We want to go to the temple and do baptisms." Okey dokey then. I guess. Of course, he can go! I was thrilled to hear his plans! So, this afternoon, they went to the temple. Tonight, they went out again to play pingpong and eat. I love that I have an almost seventeen year old son who's idea of a good time in the middle of a summer afternoon is to do church service with his friends! PLEASE let him continue to be such a good boy!!! Here's Quayd just before they left...peeling sunburn and all! Did I mention that he got fried swimming the mile in the river at the ranch last weekend!? Oh, I do love that boy!
It''s cool! It's rained off and on for a couple of days, been overcast and breezy. The pool is chilling fast. We have the backyard Corbridge Reunion here this weekend and honestly, I am wondering if the water will be chilled enough to just close the pool for the season. Once August first comes, the nights are cool enough that we're done with the pool anyway. School in three weeks. Where does the time go!?
And cooler weather means spiders! Two nights ago, just as I was settling in and reaching to turn off the light, a huge wolf spider was crawling along the baseboard. I had creepy crawlies all night long! Doug's already sprayed once and it's time again. August... spiders, harvest time, peaches, tomatoes, cool nights, cool mornings, time to start thinking about soup day. For some reason, this year, I am so not ready.
That's it for the day. I've got tons on my mind but haven't found the words to share yet. In the meantime, life is good.
Our job is to love others without stopping
to inquire whether or not they are worthy.
I've been in quite a serious mode the past few days. I've had lots on my mind and lots going on in life, which has kept me a bit more on the serious side. This afternoon, Denise called and said, "Can you get away for dinner?" Doug had things going on, Quayd was working, the girls had Young Womens activity - baptisms at the temple. Grace is still sick and has been in bed most of the day. Perfect night to get away!
We met at Texas Roadhouse at 4:45 and left at 8:15. And we laughed. A. LOT! Our server was a cute gal, Megan, who's been there a couple of years and this is her final week serving before she begins her "grown-up job". She's taken care of us before and was just a delight. Denise and I visited over Cokes for an hour before ordering and then after eating, we just chatted with Megan. I don't know how we got there but I made a bold and silly comment about our friendship. First, she had asked how we knew each other and we explained that we are sisters by choice. We told her how we've been friends since our kids were in diapers and they are all married now and have kids of their own. We had a good time chatting and, again, I don't know how we got to that point, but before we knew it, she was sitting with us, sharing dessert.
We started telling stories and laughing. Denise is known for saying, "Oh, I hate you!" whenever you say anything to tease her. It's our joke. I have bet servers before, to say this or that before Denise arrives, telling them that she would look at me and say it. I always win!
So, we were telling silly stories and laughing so hard. I'd say "OH! And then there was the time that...." and she'd say, "OH, I hate you! I KNEW that one was coming!" Megan would laugh and egg us on some more. Before we knew it, we were all cackling so hard that we had tears rolling down our cheeks! We joked that other people were saying, "We want what they are having!" The manager came over at one point and said, "My, my! We're having fun!" We told him that we'd insisted our server join us (she had no other tables) and he was fine that we were having such a great time. Oh my heck, we laughed hard.
One story that we always get around to is when Denise had her stroke a few years ago while we were out having breakfast at Village Inn... I knew something was seriously wrong and insisted on driving her home instead of her driving herself home. She was furious with me, insisting that she was fine and saying over and over, "Eewww! I hate you!" I would respond, "You love me and you know it but go ahead and hate me, I'm not letting you drive home." I got her home and helped her lie down, but I knew that it was something serious. The voice inside me said, "DO NOT LEAVE HER!!! TAKE HER TO THE HOSPITAL NOW!!!!" I called her husband, Clint, at work, and told him what was going on. He agreed that I get her to the hospital ASAP and she said, the entire way to the hospital, "I hate you both!" As we told Megan the story tonight, I teased, "Oh stop yourself! I saved your life! You owe me dinner whether you hate me or not!" (Denise was buying tonight and got lots of mileage out of that comment.) Megan could feel the love! She told us that this was her favorite night ever at Roadhouse and it was a perfect way to end her "serving career." Glad we could help!
I teased that if Denise dies before me, I will speak at her funeral and tell these stories. Then, she will sit up in her coffin and say, "Sophia Lynn Corbridge! I hate you!" Maybe you had to be there but we were all in tears.
When I got home, I told Doug and was in tears, again, telling him how silly we were at dinner. Later, the phone rang and it was Denise. She said, "Thanks for making me laugh so hard. I needed that." (Remember that he brother passed away ten days ago and they have still not been able to have his funeral, due to some out of their control complications.)
I thought about this after we hung up and realized that this was the hardest I've laughed in some time too. It was much needed. It felt soooooooooooo good! It never ceases to amaze me how close our emotions are... from laughter to tears to laughter. During our teasing, Denise was saying, "Sophia Lynn Corbridge!" when I'd say something and I responded, "Well, we could be sitting her talking about John (her brother) or ...this or... that."
It hit me as I was driving home...
There are some things that are out of our control. Literally. We can sit and focus on them. We can wallow in the sadness or disappointments or challenges that life brings. OOOOOORRRRRRRRRRR, we can let those things go, set them aside until neccessary to focus on, and try to find a few of the good things, even if it means pulling them waaaaaaaaaaaay out of the past to enjoy and laugh. For us, tonight, it was medicine for our souls! Just sayin.
Life is good. So are sisters by choice.
Always fine a reason to laugh.
It may not add years to your life,
but it will surely add life to your years.
Oh, how I love the Corbridge Reunion weekend. There is nothing that compares to this weekend, which is always filled with amazing people, conversations and uplifting experiences. This year, our family, (Doug's sister Anne, in particular) was in charge of the hayride. Anne took it to a new level, where we learned about an ancestor, Anne Shelton Howard and "experienced" some of her journey across the plains. I'll share a few details and highlight of the weekend in photos...
Here's Anne (who by the way is one year out from their near-fatal accident last summer and doing great) introducing the program. Anne was able to get around almost as well as the rest of us, after having more bones broken than not. It brought tears to my eyes to see her actually running out in the pasture! Miracles happen!
All three of our kids had parts in the hayride skit. Quayd, was William, one of Ann Shelton Howard's sons. ZJ was Mary Ann, one of the daughters. Grace was the Grandmother. Quayd even brought out his British (slightly Australian sounding) accent. Uncle Alan (who served his LDS mission in England) helped him with a few words and Quayd had everyone laughing. He's a natural ham!
I shot this from across the corrals before the hayride began with a zoom. There are no words. I love this boy!!!
This was a "grave" that Alan "assembled" for part of the story. Although I knew it was just sagebrush and that it wasn't there an hour before and would be cleaned up within the hour, it touched my heart to think of all of the lives that were lost coming across the plains in the 1840s. At the point in the hayride where "Mary Ann" collected "buffulo chips" for fire, and her shoes were worn right out, she knelt and prayed for new shoes. Only a few days later, there by the side of the trial were a pair of shoes just sitting there along the road, waiting for her. They'd been left by some other pioneer and they were just the right size. True story. As the kids reenacted this story, ZJ stepped away from the family and knelt near that grave to pray for shoes. (She spoke no words, only bowed her head and knelt to the ground. It was a tender moment...my favorite of the entire weekend. She told me today that she didn't even realize that she was that close to the grave.) I can't tell you how this touched my heart... the story and seeing my daughter portraying and loving her ancestor, who'd sacrificed all those years ago and yet, her influence is still felt all these generations later. Seeing the photo two days later, it brings tears to my eyes again.
Later along the trail, the shoes were found. We had a laugh at the fact that they were cowboy boots, not pioneer boots, but hey, we work with what we have, right?
Another fun moment was a game played by the entire group. They broke into two circles, held hands and each circle had to thread a hula-hoop around each person's body in the circle until the hula-hoop (without letting go of their hands) had made it's way through the entire circle. (I missed the part about how this fit into the history, but it sure was fun!)
Quayd, the "kid-whisperer", was shadowed by two of his little cousins the entire weekend. I'm always so proud of his ability to entertain little children. And quite frankly, I think he enjoys that just as much as he does being around the teens his own age. I can't count how many comments were made about how good his is to play with the little ones.
The apple didn't fall too far from the tree because "Kid-whisperer #1", Doug has always been the one who loves entertaining the kids with his "Donald Duck" voice. Here, he was spinning our great-nephew, Gordon in circles. They did this off and on all weekend. Between Doug and Quayd, the little boys were quite entertained.
After the hayride. Grace has baby powder in her hair to make her look older. Everyone said she was the most beautiful "grandma" ever. Grace has had a relapse of the pneumonia and wasn't up to much after the hayride for the whole weekend, other than reading and playing on her Kindle Fire. She spent most of the weekend in bed. Sadness.
What a gift to be a part of this amazing family!
At times during the day, the flag was at "attention" in the wind. Later, as the sun was setting to the west, it was a gentle breeze.
Gordon was pretty shy at the beginning of the weekend with Uncle Doug, but he was totally comfortable by the end and if he wasn't with Quayd, he was with Doug!
I loved this shot of Doug and two of his cousins, Danny and Kirk.
Here's a few other cousins, singing the last verse of "Come, Come, Ye Saints" at the end of the hayride.
This was the very last moment of the hayride. I won't explain it because it wouldn't make sense without the entire story, but my favorite niece, Jocilyn and my great-niece, standing up at the top of the barn when we returned from the hayride brought tears to the eyes of many. It was a very different hayride this year. There were laughs and fun, but it was more of a spiritual experience. Again, I do love this family!
As the sun was setting, and most people had left the ranch. We stayed for the whole weekend. Doug and ZJ went out to bring in the flag for the evening. We were the only ones from our family still there. It was interesting this year, to not have the cabin available. It's completely empty and half-gutted and still needs much work. So, most of our immediate family brought tents or shared the loft. We were grateful to have our tent-trailer and own space, but spent most of the time in the loft when others were gathered there. I loved that special time! Extended family time is choice! Time with our siblings and their children is always wonderful. And the alone time with our own kids was priceless. I missed the bigs and wished that they could be a part of the special spirit that is felt at the ranch all weekend long!
Later on Saturday evening, while Doug and the kids were watching "Les Miserable", I went and sat outside on the cement below the flagpole to take some photos of the sunset, to ponder some things in our life right now and to listen. I could hear horses and Doug's cousins across the river. I could hear birds and sandhill cranes. I could hear crickets. Best of all, I could hear that still, small voice speaking some things that I've been needing to hear for quite some time, but it's rare that I'm alone, unplugged, and still. Sometimes, that's what we need to be able to "hear" what needs to be heard. It was a special and much needed time for me.
These last few photos were taken and sent to me by my favorite niece, Lindsey. She's amazing behind the camera! She's amazing ANYWHERE!
It was. A. Perfect. Weekend. Life is good.
Family is not an important thing. It's everything.
Ten things I did yesterday:
Nine people I spoke or texted with yesterday:
Eight blessings I counted yesterday:
Seven things I will be preparing this weekend:
Six people I am especially thankful for today:
Five words fitting for today:
Four things I'm craving right now.
Three things I really dreaded but did anyway yesterday:
Two quotes that I love lately:
One really great quote too. Life is good.
I haven't slept much this week. Lots going on. Lots on my mind. It's been a crazy one, but we're rolling with it, enjoying it, handling it, dealing with it, loving it.... all that and more! A few random thoughts in no particular order this day....
I hit publish on this early this afternoon and came in tonight to realize it was still a draft. What' s up with that?!
It's been a lovely morning. We've just returned from the funeral service of my sister-in-law's father. What a wonderful man he was. I never really knew him, other than the hellos and a few conversations at family gatherings through the years. Doug and I attended the viewing last night, since Doug was unable to get off work today, but the kids and I enjoyed hearing the stories of his life and the great example and father that he was at his funeral today. A good man. It never ceases to amaze me how we leave a funeral wishing we'd had more time with the deceased. This was the case. Grace even said, "He sounded like a wonderful man, Mom." He was, indeed.
This morning, bright and early, I was out and about on a little project. As I was driving home, I was thinking about service. I was thinking of all the services that have been done to and for our family through the years and about the times that I am able to do for others. As wonderful as it feels to receive, I believe with all my heart, it feels a gazillion times better to be on the giving end. We often pray that we can look for ways to serve those around us. I resolved, as I drove, to be more observant and to act on those promptings more often! I have a plaque in the gallery that says, "Do good and care not to whom." I love that reminder!
One of the hymns sang at the funeral was "Each Life that touches Ours for Good." I love this hymn. And ironically, the words of it were what had been on my mind all morning.
Here's a total random thought...I was talking with Doug on the phone about weekend plans on our way to the funeral. In the conversation, I thought about gas and noticed that I was just at the half tank. When we returned to the Expedition after the funeral, my gauge said below empty! I was mortified. WHO steals gas from cars at a funeral!? I coasted down the hill to the first gas station, put gas in the tank and decided that I should notify the police, in case others had the same experience. Just as I was dialing dispatch, I noticed the gauge, which now should have moved back up to the top and it still said below empty. So, apparently, something electrical died during the funeral. Grrrrr. Never a dull moment.
I have not been in the pool myself, yet, this season. Today is the day. It's hot and I don't feel like doing a thing but stay cool! It could be that I've been up since 4 and didn't go to sleep until 1:30. It could be the heat. I could be that I want to play with the girls. Whatever it is, today's the day. (Edited to add: GOT IN AND KICKING MYSELF FOR WAITING SO LONG! Only another week or so till it's too cold again! First of August, nights cool the water to the point that none of us want to be in it!)
It's ninety-seven degrees outside and I just took Quayd to work. He works in black jeans and black polo shirt. Quayd brings in carts a lot of the day from the hot asphalt. He commented, "It's gonna be a long hot day. I wish it would rain!" I'm sure he does. For his sake, I wish it would too! I reminded him to drink lots everytime he goes inside!
Often the answer to our prayer does not come while we're on our knees, but while we're on he feet serving the Lord and serving those around us.
Deiter F. Uchtdorf
Last night, I was staring at two zucchini and an avocado that needed to be used. I remembered that I had a chicken breast that also needed cooking. I searched on Pinterest and the net for some wonderful recipe and didn't find anything that really appealed to me, until I discovered something that had the beginnings of something that sounded pretty tasty. I played with it, added a few things and it turned out to be the best zucchini I've ever tasted...well...the best zucchini recipe that that did not involve chocolate and sugar and flour.
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 chicken breast, chopped
1 cup chopped purple onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small chopped jalapeno
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and then sliced about 1/8" thick (they were about 9" long)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 -2 tbsp. dried cilantro
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. curry (I know...that sounded strange, but it's awesome!)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high and cook the chicken, onion and pepper until tender. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute or so. Add the zucchini and seasonings. Stir and cook until tender. (Cover it in between stirring, but stir often.) Remove from heat and drain any liquid. Put the mixture in a bowl to the side. Wipe out the skillet and place a tortilla in the skillet. Cover half of the tortilla with shredded pepperjack cheese and/or colbyjack. Cover the cheese with some of the zucchini mixture and then add more cheese to the top of that. Close the tortilla in half, cover and cook on medium heat for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is golden brown. Serve with salsa and avocado. Enjoy!
Oh my!!! So good! ZJ said, "Mom!!! This is the best zucchini I've ever tasted! It doesn't taste like zucchini!" I think that was a complement!
This morning, I met Carol for breakfast at 7:45. It was so good to catch up and visit. I am so blessed with great friends in my life. We laughed and gabbed and had some pretty tasty strawberry crepes!
We've done our family devotional already this morning too. I'm so glad that the kids are actually getting something out of reading the Book of Mormon. I love that they are actively involved. This is the first time that it wasn't just me reading to them. We hope to finish the Book of Mormon again before school starts! It's a stretch, and even if we don't complete it, we'll be almost there and are growing from reading it! I love the scriptures! I've offered before, and was excited to have positive response... Again... I offer... if anyone is interested, I'll happily send you a copy of the Book of Mormon. Just send me an email and let me know!
The rest of this day includes time with the kids, finalizing the list of things needed for food for the Corbridge Reunion, some housework and attending the viewing of my sister-in-law's father. Another busy summer day! We're hoping to find some time in the pool and I'm hoping for some time with a good book, as well.
Life is good. So was that Zucchini! Today's quote is much needed!
If you have a bad thought about yourself, tell it to go to Hell because that's exactly where it came from.
Quayd and I had a great weekend together, filling every moment with fun until he went to work each day. I loved that special time with Quayd alone, since it's usually Quayd that is off with Doug camping someplace! And I also loved the time that I had alone. During my alone time, I read a whole book, watched it's movie, cleaned, did laundry, took a short nap and thought. A lot.
The girls returned home with big smiles and lots of stories to share. Both were feeling better than when they left, although, I could tell immediately that Zeej had overdone it. (As if that wasn't what we had expected.) Doug said that he'd loved hearing both girls bare their testimony the night before and watching them interacting with the other girls. The girls loved having their dad there. We sat outside in the backyard for hours while they shared all their stories about hikes and activities and Doug told me all about the terrain and the trees and this amazing spring and his impressions of the girls in the ward and the great job by the leaders.
We celebrated their return by going to Firehouse for dinner while Quayd worked. It's so strange to not all be together for everything we do as a family, but such is life when we have teens. Only a few more months and Grace will be out the door all of the time too. So, for now, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
I missed visits with Liza most of the weekend. We only caught each other a few times because her mother-in-law was visiting and she was busy celebrating her birthday. I have to mention that her friend, Liz, is becoming quite proficient at shoe design. Her gift to Liza was a pair of "Liz Lewis Originals"...how awesome is that!? No friend of mine has ever made me a pair of shoes! The grey ones are Liza's. Aren't they lovely!? And I would be remiss not to say that Liz is far more than a wonderful designer of shoes...she is truly an answer to my prayers and a wonderful wonderful friend to Liza!
After church, I called Wendy to ask what she was doing for dinner. She didn't know yet. I said, "Neither do I. Shall we not know together and see what we can come up with?" And we had a feast! We made chicken kabobs with zucchini, onions, mushrooms, jalapenos. Wendy made brown rice and I made spinach salad. I made deviled eggs and the girls made some banana-nut brownies. Wendy made garlic bread. We couldn't have planned it and had a better meal. We visited and debated and discussed the issues of the world, which was quite interesting conversation for a couple of hours. I love our relationship with the B's because we can just be ourselves and "we work". It was a perfect Sunday!
Speaking of which, Grace spoke in church. Her throat is still sore and she struggled to speak loudly, but she gave a nice talk about how the "gospel truths" have impacted her life. Just before Sacrament Meeting, a sister in the ward came up to me, handed me a letter and gave me a hug. Her letter was letting me know her thoughts after spending time with my girls at camp all week. I cried and definitely had a mommy moment. I'm not bragging, but I do want to remember this sweet moment. In the letter, among other things, this sister said that she's watched them and seen their "Sunday side" but after three days and nights with them..."They love each other so much, they watch out and protect each other, they watch out for the "lonely" and the ones left out. These traits are so precious and I saw both ZJ and Grace show these wonderful gifts many times!" Could there be a better moment in a day when someone recognizes those things in your children? I think not!
I had another moment at the B's when I looked out the window and saw ZJ and Jayden talking by the swings. A few minutes later, they were on them. Then sitting on the patio swing together. These two are friends, like brother and sister. Yet, they are at that age where I see them as teens now. Just watching them talk, I saw my lovely daughter "datable" in only a few years and thought of Grace, who will be also in just months. Time is just moving by too swiftly!
This week will be a busy one. I have a large plate and it's full! Life is good.
Nobody is too busy. It's just a matter of priorities.
This morning, I woke up and texted and called Liza to wish her a happy birthday. We visited a bit and when she felt like it was time to wake Aylabelle, she let me do it on Skype. It was a fun visit with them both. Aylabelle now says "Buh-bye" and waves and gives me kisses on Skype. It kills me, but I'm grateful for the technology to have a relationship with her a thousand miles away.
Liza and I were on the phone last night at 11. Buddy is away for the week at a Youth Conference, so she's been alone all week until tonight. We've talked late at night each night. Last night, at about 11:15, we were gabbing away when my other line rang. I looked and it was Dad. Here's the conversation... Oh, how I love my dad!
Me: Hello. Dad?
Dad: Is this the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world?
Me: It's me, Dad. Are you okay? Is everything alright?
Dad: Yeh, Baby. Everything just fine. Why?
Me: Well, what are you doing calling me at 1:15?
Dad: Is it 1:15 there? Oh, Baby, I'm sorry. Were you sleeping?
Me: No, I am on the other line with Liza. It's 1:15, what are you doing up so late?
Dad: 1:15! That means it's 3:15 here.
Me: No, Dad. It's 1:15 there. It's 11:15 here.
Dad: 1:15! Well no wonder nobody wants to talk to me.
Me: You mean you called someone else?
Dad: Yeh, I called Cuzzin' Verlie and she said she'd talk to me tomorrow. I called Sister Sue and she said she'd talk to me tomorrow. No wonder!
Me: Dad, you're so silly! I'm glad you're doing so well.
Dad: Well, Baby! I gotta go! I gotta get my beauty sleep. What are you doing calling me in the middle of the night, interrupting my beauty rest?
Me: I'll let you get back to it.
Dad: I love you, Baby.
Me: I love you too, Dad.
I hung up and busted out laughing. I called Liza back. "Is he okay?! Is everything alright?" I told her the story and she laughed as hard as I did. My silly Dad! I do love that man!
Quayd and I went to the matinee and saw Spiderman again today. He loves Spidey! It was a fun date and he loved that I was interested in his trivial knowledge. I dropped him off just before his shift began at work. He gave me a peck goodbye and signed, "I love you." I drove away and said, out loud, "Oh, how I love that boy!" Before we went to the show, we stopped at the bank and he withdrew part of his paycheck. I love that he is so quick to just say, "This much for tithing, this much for my mission savings." Then he gave me a wad of money and asked me to hold onto it for him, so that he didn't have to carry it around. He even told me a good hiding place for it at home. He's being responsible! YAY, QUAYD!!
Denise texted while we were at the movie and invited me to dinner, so after dropping Quayd off, I came home, had a quick rest and then we went to Elements for dinner, outside on the patio. Lettuce Wraps! Our favorite thing at Elements! We sat outside on the patio alone and the server commented that no one wants to eat outside when it's that hot out. We laughed. That's our favorite place, outside by the river... our reason for going!! ZJ will be jealous! She loves Elements!
After dinner, I came home and watched a movie alone, watered the garden, read a bit, sat on the swing along after sunset, chatted with Carol and then, went back to pick Quayd up after work. While waiting for Quayd, Doug called! Happiness! He said that the girls are both doing great. He shared lots of details about water and hills and hikes and trees. Heloves nature so much. I love him so much! What a team! Quayd came home from work with donuts for us and we watched "Bird on a Wire" together before scriptures and bedtime. It was a busy, fun, relaxing, memorable day.
The family will all be home together tomorrow. Doug just called a few minutes ago to say goodnight. He said that the girls had been doing great and feeling good! It's been a good experience for them. It's been a good experience here at home, as well. Life is good.
Liza turned thirty last year, so we won't say how old she is this year! It's so amazing to me to think of the baby of my bigs is in her thirties! And I'd say that this has been a very big and important year for her. In the past twelve months...
Liza celebrated her pregnancy.
She had a beautiful baby girl...
She learned how to be a good mommy...
...a really good Mommy.
She made two very very happy grandparents!
While learning to be a new mommy, she served as a counselor in the Relief Society Presidency and wife to the Bishop's first counselor.
She became a stay-at-home mom and loved every minute of it!
She brings us more joy that words could express!
She's a beauty inside and out.
We couldn't love her more. Her birthday is one of the happiest days of my life! Happy Birthday, Liza! We love you!
Sometimes when I need a miracle,
I look into my daughter's eyes and realize that
I've already created one.
I got the girls off to camp, but not without some drama... Grace woke up and was "in a mood" or so I thought. That's not like her because, normally, she would be flying high with excitement. Instead, she was quiet, just not being herself at all. We went into town for her to get her achey filling filed down some before heading out of town for camp. When Brett was done with the 20 second job, she had tears in her eyes. He and I were talking and I looked at her and knew something was wrong. I said, "Grace? What is it?" She just started to cry. We said our goodbyes, walked out to the Expedition and I said, "I'm not starting this truck until you tell me what is the matter." She said, "I can't tell you. If I tell you, you won't let me go to camp." We talked for a few minutes and she finally confessed that her throat was hurting and she didn't feel good. I. Was. Sick. We've all been amazed that no one else has gotten sick since we've all been exposed to ZJ's pneumonia. I said, "Let's go and talk with Sister Stone and see what she thinks." (YW President)
We drove to Ang's and knocked at her door. She took one look at Grace, gave her a hug and said, "What's the matter?" We explained the situation and discussed the options. As a germaphobe mother, I'd not be amused if someone knowingly came to camp with pnuemonia and exposed my daughters to it. One of the options was to get Grace on antibiotics immediately and have her wear a mask for a few days. We decided that this would be acceptable and Dan, Brother Stone, gave Grace a blessing before they left. She was smiling behind her mask, although feeling a bit uncomfortable and embarrassed.
Two girls, both, very happy to be going to camp!
Each year before camp, the girls are required to do specific tasks, including first aid training and a five mile hike. Saturday morning, Grace went on the hike. ZJ stayed home and rested. Grace came home, very happy that it had been such a good time. She's definitely maturing!
Here's where I find Doug a lot of the time right now... picking raspberries. He picks them for his blender drink, to bring me a bowl or just to snack. I thought about it today...he'll be at girls camp and I will be the one out there picking and snitching! I feel another raspberry s'more and a few bowls of cereal with fresh raspberries coming up soon!
Here's one of the girls' lunches for their drive to camp... in the bottom of the cello bag was their sub sandwich, which was cut to fit and then topped with a ziplock bag of cool ranch doritos and then covered with lots of salt water taffy. Tucked in the side were candybars and the Sobe is just a given. They love Sobes like I love Diet Coke. I found these fun banana takeout boxes and thought they'd be fun for them to keep their treats in after lunch. The girls saw them and got all excited... "Mom! You're the best!" My thoughts on the matter...if you're gonna live, ya may as well make it fun, right?
Here's the girls waiting for the others to arrive. They were all excited to be there. Grace looks a little uncomfortable. Oh, I hope she's okay. Quayd said a sweet prayer for both of his sisters a few minutes ago before going to bed.
She took the mask off for this one but Zeej blinked. Darn!
One big group of happy campers... well... cabiners, this year. They are going to a cabin near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Not so roughing it, this year. A good year for it, where my girls are concerned. I'm glad that it won't be that rough of a camp with both of them feeling the way they have.
Secret Sister gifts...nail polishes, lip glosses, giant candy bars, beach towels and a piece of jewelry for each. We didn't quite keep within the $5 budget, but, it was easier to just buy what we wanted. I've had too much on the brain to worry about that one this year.
So they are off. The leaders always go all out for the girls. It will be a wonderful experience for them! Doug's off to join them tomorrow after work. Quayd and I will do something fun together tomorrow evening since he works Friday and Saturday. Liza's birthday is Friday. I would love to be together to celebrate! Such is life. Speaking of which, life is so good!
walk gently, breathe peacefully and laugh hysterically.
It's the most laid back time of the year, supposedly, and I feel so overwhelmed with all that needs to be done! The girls are packed. I went to make their lunches for tomorrow's roadtrip and realized that the giant sandwich that I bought for them to take is not in the fridge. It wasn't in the bag when we got home. So, a trip to the store will be required in the morning. Just as I was thinking about that, Grace mentioned her tooth was hurting again. I'd mentioned it to Brett, our dentist while at the ortho appointments earlier today and he said if it keeps aching, to run in before she leaves for camp tomorrow. So, my plans of making blueberry waffles for a nummy breakfast send-off are now a quick trip to Lee's for a replacement sandwich, a trip into Brett's to have her filling filled down a bit and a probable and requested quick stop at Kneaders Bakery before picking the B's daughter up to drop them all off for their way to Wyoming. Crazy!
HOWEVER! Once they are gone, I'll have tomorrow and Thursday with Quayd and then Firday and Saturday to myself because.... change of plans! Doug is now going to camp, as well. He won't be going until Thursday after work. We've had a death in the ward and all of the drivers/chaperones/leadership has had to be changed so that the Bishopric can be here to attend the funeral. Therefore, and in behalf, Doug is needed at camp.
The girls were just asking yesterday why their Dad wasn't going this year. It's the first time in five years. But, now, he is! They are happy about it. I had to laugh though, when Grace commented, "I love having Dad there and he only embarasses me a little bit." I asked when and she said, "You know. When he eats the weeds." I said, "That's just Dad and it's what we all love about him! Everyone loves that about Dad!" Such is the life of living with "GranolaMan". As always, I'm so grateful to have a husband that's so willing to support his kids!
I think another reason I'm so stressed tonight at bedtime is that I've not had a Diet Coke since yesterday at noon. That's 36 hours and boy do I have a killer headache! I feel a Sonic run on our way to our early morning dentist stop! I thought there were two more 12 packs outside and they were gone! Doug usually keeps me stocked! I haven't had time to run back to the store today. BUT... I'm still alive! Barely! ;)
It's almost 11. I've got a huge morning ahead of me. At 10:40, things will be calm for a few days. My plans for the next few days, while Quayd works and everyone else is gone... laundry, movies, reading, studying my lesson, pizza, some Chinese food, maybe some Brazilian food with my favorite boy and taking a few days "off" from being a full-time Mom.
Tonight, while Quayd and Doug were on a hike up Logan Canyon, the girls and I sat in the backyard, swinging, going over the lists and making sure that everything is packed. We talked and laughed and had a great visit. Grace commented that she always misses being away from me. She said that the last day is the hardest day for her. I love that we had that little time together. I love that they love being home. I love that we are a family!
Life is good!
If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!
Weekend ramblings... there's just not enough time in the day!
Doug ended up working on Thursday, which meant that we just hung close to home. ZJ still doesn't have a lot of energy yet. She's dying to swim and be out and about like Grace, but even getting ready for church was enough to send her into coughing spells, so I had her get back into her jammies and stay home. She is determined that she's going to camp, regardless of how she feels, but we don't want to see her go backwards, so we are being pretty tough about her resting!
Saturday morning, Zulu decided to go "walkabout" when someone left the gate open. I cried. I prayed. The kids were really surprised to see how attached I am to this dog already. Quayd found him and hour later and three blocks south at our friend, Trudy's home. He was fine and just happy as could be. Always. That's him. It made me wonder, does he miss his old family? Is he not happy enough here? Then, after a few minutes of that kind of negative thinking, I realized, "What's not to love at our home? We spoil the dogs like they are kids. He was just on a little sightseeing tour, checking out the neighborhood." He's not left my feet since we found him.
My Sunday School lessons are coming to an end soon. Only a few more to teach. Between weekends at the ranch and the fact that we are taking our time getting through them, not just calling it good at the end of the 40 minutes, it could be the end of summer before I'm done with the last three lessons. But, I ask myself, "what next?" Will I still be a Sunday School teacher? Will I be a sub? Will they have me teach another class? Will I get a new calling? One of the things about being a member of the LDS Church is that change happens... often.
We had so much fun with Boatwrights this past weekend! We have such a special bond with Dave and Katie! I've waited until I'd shared this news with Liza first, but.... drum roll... as everyone knows, my number one bucket list item is a trip to NYC. And as of Saturday, it's official! My ticket is purchased! I'll be spending my birthday with Katie in the Big Apple! Details to come! I'm more excited than words can express!
Girls Camp is almost here. We went shopping this morning and bought the last minute items, other than the girls' treats. They are packed and waiting for my inspection. They can hardly wait! We got their "secret sister" packages wrapped and labeled. We kept it simple. The girls made me grin... They both said, "Everyone knows that we are their secret sister as soon as they get their first gift. They just don't know which one of us is who's. As soon as they see how cute they are wrapped, they know it." It made me smile when ZJ added, "Mom always makes everything special." YAY!!! A mommy moment, indeed!
With the girls at Camp and Quayd working, I will have the house to myself in the daytime and Doug and I will be alone for two evenings this week. We won't know what to do with ourselves! I'm thinking we will end up doing what we usually do... swinging in the back yard and eating a little sushi at Black Pearl.
Dentist bright and early in the morning... ortho for Quayd and ZJ. A few last minute camp treats to purchase and we plan on spending the rest of the day at home chillin' in our 97 degree heat! Life is good. Busier than it should be, but good! I'm going to put an out of order sticker on my forehead and call it a day!
always find time for the things that make you happy to be alive!
French toast and fresh blueberry syrup... that's as far as we've gotten today. And it's noon. It's a hazy day outside and feels like we live in Indiana again with all of the humidity. We've been having a Twilight Marathon at our house. We're about to begin movie number four. The kids are loving it. I'm getting some other things done while watching, but it's fun to see them again. I'd decided that I was totally over them, but...hmmm... not so much.
ZJ continues to do better. She's still using the inhaler to breathe, but she passed on the cough syrup most of the day, which is a sign of huge improvement! And she's laughing again. I missed that!
Here's not something to laugh at. Not at all. Last night, I had the police scanner on and heard a call that went something like this: "We have a 14 year old girl calling in to say that there is a boy in the Hyrum Dam and he can't swim anymore." It caught our attention immediately. The police responded and emergency teams were instantly on their way. I was frantic, bawling, thinking, "Why doesn't someone at the dam help him!!!" We listened intently and two minutes later, the dispatch operator said, "He's gone under. They can't see him." I noted the clock at the 24 minute mark. The police were not even on scene yet. The boy didn't come up again. I watched the clock and sat with tears falling, imagining the helplessness of those around him. The boy was only 20 feet from the beach. The water was murky enough that the recovery divers had only six inches of visibility. Three hours later, they recovered the lifeless body of a fourteen year old boy, who'd been out enjoying a day with his cousins at the beach. I cried myself to sleep.
I am not an ambulance chaser. I hardly can stand to watch the news anymore. I always watch it after the fact so that I can fast forward through the rapes and murders to get to the weather. But, I do turn on the scanner ap if I hear a siren nearby or when someone calls and says, "Do you know what's happening?" Sometimes, it's almost comical to listen to it on the weekends... drunk people do silly things and there are lots of "stupid criminals"...like the night a man was trying to run from the police and ran into another dam here in the valley. 40 degrees outside. 40 degree water. He swam while the police brought in boats, ambulances and lots more support. The guy was finally getting tired after 45 minutes and they talked him into going to the shallow waters so that his feet could at least touch the bottom. Really? Then the guy didn't want to get in the boat that came out to rescue him. Silly people.
But, this. Last night. This got to me. I have to say that my hat is off to the police and emergency workers. And that dispatch woman. Oh my. How she maintained her cool while being the contact person for so many emergency people. These people have my respect. They deserve more pay. They are true heroes in my book. And that poor family. They have my prayers. And a lot of my thoughts this morning.
Life is good. So dang good. We just never know how much more we get to enjoy it. Make every moment count. Even the not so good ones! At least we've got them!
Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.
Sad news yesterday. After trying to get her in to see a doctor all day long (Ours took the day off, which was odd for the Monday after a long weekend.), ZJ and I ended up at Instacare. It's confirmed. She has pnuemonia. I spent a months worth of grocery money on medications to get her better. (Four surgeries in one year meant that we'd met our out of pocket max last year. But, we are back to "meet the deductible time now. Ugh. Not that the money matters, where her health is concerned.) She's flat down in bed for the next seven days, regardless, says the doctor, or she doesn't get to go to girls camp. She's so not amused. And there it is...our traditional "someone ends up at the hospital on the week of July 4th again". Poor Zeej. She's not amaused and neither am I. So sad. However... after double doses of two kinds of antibiotics and use of an inhaler, Zeej says that this afternoon, she can actually take a breath that feels like a breath... huge asked-for-and-depended-on blessing!
This morning, bright and early, I took Grace in to our dentist. She needed a filling It never ends! But, she sure has a beautiful smile and we want to keep it that way! Here's an amazing thing... Grace gets teased all the time because she tries really hard not to have muscles. No lifting because it will cause muscles! No exercising. It's a joke, but she is seriously not a fan of woman body building. We keep telling her that she's gonna need those muscles when she "starts birthin' babies!"
ANYWAY, this morning, Brett gets her in the chair and pulls out the needles to numb her mouth. She said, "I don't want to be numb." He explained that he would be drilling into her tooth and she needs to be numb. She hates the numbness for hours, not the shot, but the numbness. She insisted that she was tough. I'm thinking, "There's NO way!" Brett explained it again and she insisted. So, he gave her some happy gas and told her that when it starts to hurt, just raise her hand and let him know so that he can give her the shot. AND, he made her promise to never say a bad word about her dentist hurting her. (He's the best! We love him! Remember, he's the one that sent me a Diet Coke to enjoy after my colonoscopy. He's the best!)
SO. He started drilling. She never flinched. He even said, "Now, this is the deepest part. Just raise your hand if you need me to stop." Nada. She laid there like no big deal. I was hurting watching! I'd told him about Grace and her "no muscle fetish". When he finished, he told her that he was impressed, put his arm up on the countertop and teased, "Come on, let's arm wrestle!" She refused, grinning from ear to ear. He told her that next time she comes in, he's going to have the pathway blocked for something just for her to move to get into the office. Let it never be said that Grace is a wimp! She may not have muscles but she's one strong woman!
Here's a few other rambling thoughts...
Life is good! And beautiful! And amazing! And wonderful! Today's quote is "a thinker"...well worth the thought!
You are not separate from the whole.
You are one with the sun, the earth, the air.
You don't have a life.
You are life.
We had a most casual Fourth of July weekend! Quayd worked, so we opted to not go to the ranch after all. It turned out that it was for the best. ZJ is still fighting a serious case of walking pnuemonia. She's coughed to the point that her ribs are constantly throbbing. She's on antibiotics, so we are hoping to see some improvement fast!
Highlights of the weekend...
The fireworks at Danny and Alene's are always the best! We loved visiting with the family, the nummy food, chilling until the traffic dies down afterwards. It's just the best! Kelly and Zaylee joined us even.
On the morning of the 4th, Doug and I made a quick run to Sam's Club, then visited with his mom for a couple of hours and headed home to just relax for, literally, the rest of the entire weekend. We talked about going to a movie several times, but everytime we discussed it, everyone said, "Nah, let's just stay home." So. We did.
At home, we watched a movie or two, swam in the pool a bit, worked in the garden, picked another five gallons of cherries, gave a lot of them away, made s'mores around a backyard campfire, ate some fun meals and my favorite part, Doug and I sat and talked for hours and hours in the shade on the backyard swing. It was a perfect relaxing weekend...other than the moment that the hornet flew by my ear, stung me on the neck, laughed and flew away. I know I heard him laugh!
And then there was Quayd... who had an exciting weekend...Not only did he work, he went on his first date! It was a group date with two other couples. They went mini-golfing and to Sonic for an hour just sitting and chatting under the neon lights, playing "one in a million". Quayd's big dare was to go up take some guys hat off. Quayd was smart! He went up the guy, asked him if he could before doing it, took off the guys hat, put it on, gave the "I did it" look to his friends, said "Thanks!" and then proudly went back to his friends. He came in just after 11. Doug and I had looked at each other and said, "We never told him what time to come home." just before he walked in. It's amazing and wonderful to have a son who is so responsible and trustworthy! He had a great time. He said that he walked her to the door and said, "Thanks alot", gave her a hug and turned back to the guys. He said, "I had to give her a [little sister] hug or the guys would have teased."
No kissing till after his mission is his goal. He teases me, "It's getting harder though." We have a deal with the kids. If they graduate from highschool without kissing, they get a $500 bonus! We'll see who makes it. Quayd is not looking for a girlfriend. He wants lots of girl friends to hang out with but not one "girlfriend", so that he can leave for his mission in two years unattached. Let's hope he keeps that mindset. It will simplify his next four years of life so much! Then, we he comes home from his mission, DATE AWAY!!!! Doug always says, "Date long, engage short, marry forever." It's hard for me to imagine that this time is already here! He's excited about his job, having his own money and having all of the fun he's enjoying right now.
And then, there's Grace. She can't wait for some of Quayd's friends to want her to be a part of this ""group" dating scene.
Here's a few pix from the weekend...
Zaylee had a big weekend... Kelly had her permanency hearing and was granted final permanent full custody of Zaylee. I think (?) that in 90 days, her case with DCFS will be closed completely. She's done so well. Apparently, her "husband" is ready for a divorce. We can only hope and pray! He still gets supervised visits for 2 hours a week. We'll see what happens there. I can't let myself think about it. ANYWAY...Kelly has signed her up for a dance class and Zaylee danced at the Stadium before the fireworks. She was too shy (or too busy playing) to show us her dance when she arrived at Uncle Danny's. (We do not go to the Stadium for anything!) But, she had a blast playing with the kids and watching the fireworks! She does repeat her dance performance in two weeks and we'll see it there, in a much smaller venue.
Here's the family waiting for the fireworks to begin. Four of the six siblings in Doug's family were there with theirs. It makes for a fun crowd and good food! I just pointed and shot in the total darkness, with the flash. Here's what we got... followed by a lot of blind eyes! We laughed so hard at this picture because Quayd was coughing!
As the babes said when they were younger, "BOOM-FIRES!"
Here's Quayd, just before he left for his date. He's silly!
Before we built the s'more fire, I asked Grace to get her hair pulled back in a pony so that it was safe and away from the fire. Here's how she came outside. Only Grace would dress in all white for a campfire with a matching white grocery sack on her lovely curly locks!
ZJ was given the same isntructions. The pony wasn't a problem. She just felt the need to roll up her sweats. She's too funny! Weird thing about these pix is that it was dark, almost totally. Strange how the lens changes the light.
Quayd played with Zuey-Lewis until Zuley was worn out! We laughed and laughed. Go-Go just about ripped Zuey's head off when he thought he was going to hurt Quayd.
It really was laid back, casual and care-free all weekend...just the way we like them. Life is good!
Better to be the one who smiled than the one who didn't smile back.
Okay, this is rude. I know it is. BUT. I'm beside myself. And if they read it, I. Don't. Care. We have a home next to us that has been our nightmare since shortly after we bought this home. When we purchased this home, there was a young couple in the home next door that kept the lawn groomed, gardened, took such pride in the home. It was darling. Later, we discovered they were renting the home when he graduated and they told us they were moving. After that, we've had several renters and with each new renter, the home declined. It was unkept, there was a dog that threatened to bite your head off if you closed a cupboard in your own kitchen, a single mom who abused her son quite loudly, some partying neighbors. It's been rough.
Then, last year, a cute family moved in. We had hope! Seven kids...ages 2-14. They are cute kids. One of them, the oldest, has become our girls' close friend. Five boys. Five very loud boys. The kids are home schooled. So, they don't keep the same hours as most kids. When most kids are getting in bed for school nights, they are still outside playing. When most kids are getting up to go to school, they are already outside playing. And they are L.O.U.D. They have literal screaming contests. CONSTANTLY! Screaming at the top of your lungs screaming. Screaming so loud that there's been times I thought someone was dying and I should call 911 screaming. Have I mentioned that they scream?
In the past year, they've beaten on our windows with dirty wet sand filled socks at 6AM, rang the doorbell until it buzzes instead of rings, climbed the fence and gotten into our cherries, left bikes and toys in our driveway and yard, and they scream. A lot. A. LOT.
Now, I'm fine with toys in the yard. They're kids. I'm fine with them being loud all day long every day. BUT. I'm NOT fine with them screaming at the top of their lungs fifteen feet from our bedroom window at 10:57PM while my husband, who gets up for work at 1:55AM or 3:55AM, is trying to sleep. I've gone over and asked them if they could play on the other side of the home when it's late and Doug is sleeping. I've gotten out of bed and, in my pajamas, gone over and asked if they could please keep it down. Doug sleeps with earplugs. They still keep him awake. They scream!
Now, I realize that it's summer and kids play outside late. I get that. And I'd hate to have some cranky neighbor telling my kids to be quiet all the time. But, really. If my kids were making this kind of noise and screaming like this at 3 in the afternoon, I'd be telling them to "knock it off" or they'd be coming inside. But, at 10PM, there's a noise ordinance. If my kids were making that kind of noise at 10PM and especially at 11:15, there would be more of a repercussion that just coming inside! My kids would not be outside at 11:15 in the first place and they are teens!.
Last night, I was so frustrated! 11:15 and they are still screaming. I recorded it from inside my gallery on the iPad and you can hear it as though I am holding the mike up to them. It's that loud.
Why am I writing this on my blog? Because I'm beside myself. I don't know what to do. I don't want to call the police on my neighbors. I don't want to be the cranky neighbor. But, I don't think that I'm being unreasonable. And I realize, my southern upbringing leans to some seriously high expectations about manners. But, seriously? Common courtesy, in my opinion, says you don't let your kids sit and scream blood curdling screams all day and all night or ever! Screaming is for blood or fire! Common courtesy says that that when it's dark outside, some people sleep and it's time to settle down. Common courtesy says that when your neighbor comes over and asks you, several times, late at night, in their pajamas, and obviously climbing out of bed to talk with you and plead with you, you "encourage" your children to be quiet! OR Here's an idea! BRING THEM INSIDE! Common courtesy says that when you live in a neighborhood, you try to be respectful of your neighbors all day long every day.
I'm seriously seeking a solution. Here's a few I've thought of:
I told Doug at 3:50 this morning, "I want to turn the Bose Dock on as high as it can go and play "Super Massive Black Hole" out on the deck, aimed at their kids bedroom window!" Wake up every kid in their house and let them deal with it for a few hours instead of sleeping.
Call the police. (We go to church with these people. We live next to them. I don't want to be enemies.)
Start going outside and screaming at them every night... which would wake Doug even more.
What the heck should I do? Glaring at the kids has failed. Telling the kids has failed. Asking the parents politely has failed. Moving sounds divine, but really? Thoughts? ETA: We are not the only ones in the neighborhood to hear or resent the noise. It comes up in conversation often. It's out of control.
This is beyond frustrating. I try to be positive. I try to seek peace. But, REALLY? And notice how I didn't even get going about their sad pets. I'm ready to put up a "For Sale" sign. I'm tired. I'm cranky. Enough said.
Other than that, life is good. And the quote today, comes from Doug:
SILENCE IS GOLDEN!!!!
It's hard to blog when there's nothing to blog about. We are smack dab in the middle of our lazy summer days. The kids and I slept in, had a delicious brunch, spent the afternoon in the pool and talking about life. Dinner was super easy and tasty. A swim in the pool and it's bedtime now. It reminds me of the old Cheech and Chong recording from 1970... "The first day of summer, I woke up. Then, I went downtown to hang out at the drug store. The second day of summer, I woke up. Then, I went downtown to hang out at the drug store....the third...the fourth... the eight day of summer, I woke up. Then I got a job downtown, keeping kids from hanging out at the drugstore." Hey, I'm a product of that era... it was funny then.
Brunch... Crepes with Nutella, fresh strawberries, bananas, blueberries and powdered sugar. Oh my! SO tasty. Here's the recipe for crepes.
It's been an odd Tuesday. Denise and I did not go to lunch because she's having major jaw surgery. Instead, I sat waiting for a call from her family. ZJ is still sick, so we watched Akeelah and the Bees (wonderful story) together while Quayd and Grace spent the afternoon out in the pool. Tonight, we'll get the lawn mowed and pick cherries instead of the kids going to Young Women/Young Men. (None this week since it's the holiday.) An odd Tuesday, indeed.
I have absolutely nothing else to say, other than life is good. And it is. Somedays may feel out of sorts, but it's always good.
Wait. I will say that we've never seen a dog adapt to a family so quickly as Zuey has. Holy Cow. It's like he's been with us since he was born. We adore him!
Okay. Now. Life is good.
No. Wait! I was going to share the pix of ZJ's cactus. She brought home a cactus over a month ago from the cabin and stuck it in a planter, filled with potting soil and topped with sand. Last week, she said that it was growing something. This week... a beautitul yellow blossom which the next day was a lovely apricot and it has a new blossom beginning on the side. She is so thrilled! It is lovely. It's my happy thought for the day.
With freedom, books, flowers and the moon,
who could not be happy?
Liza and Buddy are gone. Sadness. I always feel those empty arms for a few days after they leave. We had a wonderful visit though. I can't get enough of that baby. I can't get enough time with my girl. That's all I can say about that without getting teary-eyed. We did have a lovely Friday before they left. Buddy and Liza, Doug and I went to lunch at Cafe Sabor, dining on the patio, which is one of my favorite places on earth to eat. I tried something new for a change and will definitely order it again... a shrimp burrito. Oh my! Aylabelle entertained us with limes. She loves them! And cherries! She couldn't get enough of our fresh cherries!
A few other fun pix from Liza and Buddy's visit...
Here's my beautiful girl picking cherries. They were ripening just in time for them to take home a gallon bag full and eat them all week long! Isn't Liza gorgeous. That girl! There are no words!
One of my favorite things about Liza coming home is that she plays piano! This fall, if things go the way we are planning, we'll be sending the piano to Arizona. I'll miss knowing that she'll come home to play but love that she'll have it at her home to play and to begin teaching Aylabelle!
Aylabelle was crawling around the corner into the kitchen her first day here when Doug walked in not knowing. She was spooked and it made her jump back so quickly. She's been a little stand-offish to Doug ever since. It was only the last two days that she warmed up to him again. I was glad for that because I know he was dying to hold her. She's a mama's girl anyway, so if Liza is around, she wants her mommy. Thankfully, Doug and Aylabelle had some good time together on Saturday before they left! He loves this little girl! He took her outside in a diaper so she could "get some Vitamin D". Only Doug. He's so funny.
Saying goodbye on Saturday morning was hard. So hard. I never say goodbye to them that I don't imagine how it was for my mom putting me on a plane to come to Utah, me at age 18, knowing that more than likely, I'd never come home again. And that was the case. At least, I know, Liza will always come home, if only for a few days at a time. I can't even let my mind go on about the fact that Aylabelle and her future siblings will not have a grammie around the corner. I survived it. They will too. But, that doesn't mean I have to like it. I'll just focus on the time that we do have together and be thankful for Skype, which we did five seconds after they pulled into their driveway last night. A happy thought! And there's always the thought of more siblings! (NOT an announcement, just wishful future thinking! wink-wink!) I love that baby!
On Thursday, our neighbor, Kay, the wife of our chief of police, called. She told us that a week before, an abandoned puppy had been brought into the shelter. To no avail, the pup had not been claimed and was going to have to be put down. She said that on Thursday morning, her husband mentioned that the cute little pooch was on it's last day. She asked him to bring the dog home to her and said she'd find a place for him herself. She said that all day long, she kept having the impression, "Call the Corbridges." So, at dinnertime, she did. She shared the story and said that that there was no pressure, but.... would we like to meet him?" Five minutes later, he was on our doorstep, still wrapped in a towel from his bath. ZJ took one look. Okay, I took one look. It was love at first sight. He's adorable. The police scanner code for the Smithfield Police Dept is "Zulu". So, ZJ and I decided to name him Zulu, short for Zuey Lewis. We call him Zuey. We're strange about dog names, as is obvious. But, Zuey has stolen our hearts!
Aylabelle loved Zuey and he loved her right back!
When the kids got home from Youth Conference, they walked in and saw Zuey. Oh my word! They went crazy with excitement! Grace cried. They were thrilled and have not stopped smiling and oohing and aahing over him yet!
Grace is on the phone to Liza as I'm typing. I was about to write about their youth conference experience. Liza just asked her about it, so I'm typing her words as she speaks....
"We went to the Pioneer Park above SLC. That's the place where Brigham Young said, "This is the place" when he saw the Salt Lake Valley for the first time. Then, we went up to the cemetery where the prophets are buried. That was pretty spiritual. We went up to our dorms and I got to be with everyone I know.
After that we went to the Manti Pagent. (This is a beautiful live "play" that takes place on the grounds of the Manti LDS Temple hill. It's amazing and spectacular!) It was just great. I loved it. It was my favorite part. I loved the story and the Spirit in it. It was a really great experience.
That night, M kept me up til at least 3 0r 4 cuz she kept talking, but I eventually went to sleep. I was really tired the next day! The second day, we went to the church to eat breakfast. We had omelettes and fruit. And then, we went to the Manti Temple and we were going to weed the outside so it could be pretty. That was our service project. Then, we went back to our dorms and spent an hour there to get ready and change.
Then, we went to the other church and we got to hear someone like Jon Bytheway, except his name was Hank Smith. He was talking about fighting for our family. He was really cool. I really liked him. He was hilarious. I think he has a website or something. He was really awesome.
The sad thing is that I left my blanket on the bus and never got it back. Then, we went back the other church. We went to at least two churches and the temple which was really fun. We had line dancing. It was really fun. I wasn't good at it, although I tried. After that, we went back to the dorms and watched all sorts of cool episodes on Nickelodeon on the bigscreen. Then we went to bed. It was really late. Everyone else went to bed and M and I slept in the room where the TV was. I thought M was going to turn it off. I fell asleep before her. And in the morning, we woke up, it was still on and we woke up to this really weird cartoon. We slept with it on all night.
Then after that, on Saturday, we went to the church and had devotional testimony meeting. Everyone was bearing their testimony about their hero. I didn't bear my testimony because I didn't really know who my hero was. Then I thought about it a lot and I decided that my hero was my sisters. I really liked that part. Then, we spent an extra 45 minutes in their bearing our testimonies cause we were supposed to leave, but, at 12:30 we came home on the buses and I got to go on Quayd's bus. That was really cool! It was a great experience."
Quayd had a whole other version. His version included that the Pageant was super-spiritual and Hank Smith was AWESOME! But, it also included a story about being romantic and tossing pebbles at a girls dorm window until her roommate came out and said, "Back off!" Then, he had to apologize to the girl and all ended well. He also told lots of stories about "the guys" and his friends and the girls. He loved the line dancing. He loved the spiritual side of things. The one story that he did go into great detail was about the rain and wind. Apparently, the night of the Pageant, it had rained before and when they got there. The grass was wet. (You sit on the lawn to see the temple. This photo below was taken by friend, Duane Williams, from another ward.) Anyway, apparently, the skies opened in a circle right above and around the temple. The rain and wind stopped and the weather co-operated all around where they were but on the perimeters, the weather continued to storm. He thought that was pretty cool.
I'm just so grateful that they got to attend this wonderful conference. They both came in the door with big smiles and Grace was in tears as she told us about it. What a gift for them both! And all of our youth!
And in other news...
Quayd is learning that having a job isn't always easy or convenient. His friends called last night to invite him to Lagoon Amusement Park today. He was so excited to be invited and then had to say no because he was scheduled to work. I told him that he'd gotten the three days off last week and he needed to be there, not trade shifts, today. He said, "Having a job is hard!" I said, "Well, if you didn't have the job and they called to invite you to Lagoon, you wouldn't have the money to go anyway. So, look at it this way, when it comes time for proms and dances, you can schedule in advance and have the money to do the fun stuff that goes with it." He's learning fast. Welcome to grown-up life!
ZJ has been so sick since last Thursday. She's not seen the doctor but she's coughed until her ribs hurt, suffered through the fever and chills and now seems to be over the bad part. She hasn't eaten much all weekend and just lies around with Zuey Lewis. Crazy. We don't even know anyone who's sick. Where did she get it!? She didn't like having to stay away from Aylabelle at all!
Carol's husband, Robert, begins his cancer treatments today.
Denise is having major jaw surgery tomorrow.
The fireworks and one of our favorite nights of the year, at Doug's brother's home, is this week. It's a busy scheduled week with lots going on. Life is good.
It's a good day to have a good day!
Life just keeps moving at such a fast pace. I see Aylabelle, who has so many similar characteristics of Liza as a baby...both physically and in her little activities. Liza was a "hummer". When she would nurse, she would "mmmm-mmm-mmm" all the time. As a toddler, she would "mmm" while she ate. Even when she was in elementary school, I'd catch her "humming" when she ate something and the more she liked it, the more she hmmmmed. Aylabelle does the same thing. I love it. The cherries off our trees make her "roar", not hum. She loves them!
I think ZJ grows up right before my eyes. I sat watching her at lunch with her sisters and saw this beautiful young lady, who's become a teenager, entirely, too fast! Her wit is so appealing. She makes me laugh. All the time. The girl has got chutzpah. She made me laugh so hard yesterday. We have four cherry trees that are ripening right now. We also have some neighbor children who have picked one tree, literally, bare, up as high as they can reach. The tree is bare to a certain line and then covered with cherries above that line. ZJ came in yesterday with this sign she'd made. I had to remind her that the children doing the picking are young and can't read, but her personality shows in her words. She's a hoot! I especially love the heart at the end. And no. she did not hang the sign.
Yesterday after Doug got home from work, we all played games around the table and had a ball. I sat looking at my family, with my sweet granddaughter crawling (dancing to Michael Jackson under the table) and all of us gathered together around it, laughing, having a great time. I don't think that anyone realized how emotional I was, but it moved me to tears to see us just have such fun together... and all so grown up. WOW. I felt so completely blessed! It was one of those "Can we please stop the clock and freeze this moment forever?" moments.
We played Telestrations, our new favorite game, and we laughed so hard at some of the comments and drawings. Really, it's a must have game for every family.
Aylabelle is just a delight to watch. She keeps us totally entertained every waking moment!Download Trim.8026E1CD-DD0F-4A17-9080-2D1258961265
Then, everyone started to scatter. Liza and Buddy went off to dinner with another friend couple. The girls were busy doing their own thing. Quayd went off to a friend's house for a birthday party. I thought to myself, "He's really becoming a young man!" He's so social and friendly to everyone. Here, Liza and Buddy are here and he's still off to hang with his friends, working, doing his own thing but still "making" time for them. Liza and I visited with him after the party and he told me all about the Lego movie that they'd watched together. He's got a great group of amazing boys that he calls friends...all are clean and wholesome, inside and out. They are making good choices. Quayd makes me happy! When he left this morning, he told me to make sure that Liza knew that he was sorry he hadn't been around to spend as much time as normal with them. I thought, You're almost seventeen. This is your normal now. Goll, I love that kid!
Liza, Buddy and I sat up playing cards until after 1 last night. It was good to talk and felt so so good to be playing cards! Grace was sad that she couldn't join in but she needed some sleep, which barely came, she informed me this morning. She was too excited!
Grace was up curling her hair at 5. Doug was in the kitchen making his blender drink at the same time. Quayd was up at 6. They got ready and I made breakfast and packed their sack lunches for the trip. They were so excited! (I kept thinking about Quayd's experience of almost not being able to go. Tender mercy, indeed!) They loaded the things up into the truck, we had family prayer and we raced over to the Stake Center where we were greeted by a ton of very happy and excited youth!
The Stake seemed to be so organized. They had ribbons for each ward to tie to their belongings so that things were all dispensed at the University where they'll be staying with ease. The kids were given their youth conference t-shirts to put on. Lots of giggles and teasing. The leaders were busy keeping on top of things. I just know that this will be a wonderful experience and am praying that one of the leaders brought a good camera to share some pix with us later!
We said our goodbyes and I pulled away before the tears started to fall. Happy tears for them. Sad tears for me because they really are growing up too quickly!
I came home and had a good visit on the phone with Doug's brother about the cabin. Progress is being made, but there are still so so many decisions in the air.
Everyone's still asleep and I'm enjoying the silence of the moment. I'm certain that if I lie down for a nap, it will insure that everyone else wakes up immediately for breakfast. I got about 3 hours of sleep. ZJ and I are going to the movies this afternoon. It will be a good naptime for me. Tonight, steaks on the grill and just some quiet time with ZJ, Liza and Buddy. Doug has the rest of the weekend off. It will be a wonderful weekend at home.
I thought about it this morning, as I drove home. Liza and Buddy will be leaving just hours before Quayd and Grace return... another tender mercy for me! Something to be very excited about after being very sad to see them go. Time flies just too quickly... the days, the weeks, the years. The minutes. Really.
I have been quite emotional for the past few weeks. The tears are near the surface all the time... part of it is that I feel such happiness and joy in my own immediate world. Part is that there is so much happening in the lives of those I love so dearly. One thing I do know is that I am so so grateful for Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness, that helps me to remember to focus on "the big picture". Were it not for that, life would be so much more difficult. I'm also grateful for the many tender mercies shown to me each day in my life that remind me that each and every one of us does matter. I'm also grateful to be so busy moving forward that I don't have a lot of time to sit and worry about the things I can not control. Prayer is much better than worrying.
Life is good.
HAPPY birthday, Kelly!
Lunch with my girls at Buffalo Wild Wings... a first ever. Great time. Good food. We sat outside in a pleasant summer breeze, where it's not as noisy. It's been one of my favorite days ever! Went shopping before and after. Before to buy Kelly a large laundry basket of goodies to make her clean, beautiful and nummy smelling! After to buy each of the babes and Aylabelle some fun summer clothes. Old Navy loves us. We love Old Navy!
I looked at this photo and was totally overwhelmed. I have been so blessed with these five lovely beauties. There are no words for how I love them each...and each in their own special ways. We had the most delightful time together. It will be a memory that I will cherish always! And hopefully, it won't be the last time we can all get together and make such a wonderful memory!
We were celebrating Kelly's 34th birthday. I look at this picture and can't get over the fact that Zeej and Grace look so grown up and that Kelly is actually 34 and that Liza is such a wonderful Mommy.
LIFE IS GOOD!!!
A mother's greatest masterpiece is her children.
Yesterday, Liza, Buddy, Aylabelle and I met Denise at Firehouse for lunch. Liza and Buddy had a few errands to run and since Aylabelle had fallen asleep in the car after lunch, I gladly sat outside with her. When she woke up, we played peekaboo and a few other fun little games. I decided that we needed to take our first selfie together. It made me laugh! I can not get enough of this baby. I adore her. She's stolen my heart completely!
Really, she's an angel...just like her mommy.
There are no words. I love this happy little family!
And a few other ramblings...
A beautiful day beings with a beautiful mindset. When you wake up, take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive. The moment we start acting like life is a blessing, I assure you, it will start to feel like one.
It's been a wonderful weekend visiting with Liza, Buddy and Aylabelle!
Friday morning, Doug and I did some running of errands and grabbed a quick moment alone at Black Pearl for lunch before all of the action began. Liza texted cryptic clues all the way through the valley so that we'd be guessing where they actually where. The last clue, "laundry" made me guess some apartments on the highway and know that they were only blocks away. We were waiting outside by the road and Buddy drove right past the house with Liza waving hello. A quick U-turn and we were all hugging and fussing over the baby! HAPPINESS!!
We had a simple dinner and Buddy was off to his best friend's home for the evening. Liza and Aylabelle stayed with us, which was a gift for me! Buddy stayed at Derek's until 1AM. Liza and I just talked and talked until everyone had gone to bed. Aylabelle slept between us on the daybed in the gallery while we gabbed. Oh, how I love these girls!
The purpose for this trip is for Liza and Buddy to attend the LDS Temple Sealing of Derek and his wife, and also for them to attend the wedding reception of his cousin. So, on Saturday, they attended one sealing, two dinners and a reception. It was a busy day. We kept Aylabelle at home for the wedding in the morning and she went with them for the remainder of the day to the rest of the festivities. I was touched when Liza texted a five generation photo of Aylabelle, Buddy, his dad, grandma and great-grandma. Awesome!
Aylabelle has taken quite the liking to Quayd. Everytime Quayd enters the room, she's tickled. When he went to work on Saturday, she got the sweetest little poutyface and just burst into tears. He's loving that! She's a delightful baby. She's full of energy, for sure, but she is just so dang sweet. And those eyes! WOW!
This toy has been in our family since Quayd was a baby. It's the one baby toy I've kept. Aylabelle loves it!
We spent lots of time outside and she loved playing "tag" on the trampoline.
It's funny to me... our family has always found comfort in just "chillin" on the trampoline in the shade. No matter how old. Even Denise and I have just layed out on it in the shade to talk. So, it was natural for us to gravitate to the back yard. Grace took a little teasing and had lots of giggling pix, but this was my favorite, when she was just listening and thinking. Grace loves being "a grown-up".
My favorite guy!
When Aylabelle saw the pool, she was all excited to get in. However, the water is still barely 65 degrees. It will be a week before it's warm enough to enjoy, if we have a week of hot days!
She ate the whole thing!
Aylabelle loves when Liza plays "Belly Button" and gives her "raspberries". When Quayd came in from the pool, Aylabelle saw her opportunity. She got the giggles and actually thought she'd give Quayd a raspberry. We all just laughed out loud. (By the way, Quayd's trunks are not sure. It's just how he was laying on the floor. That looks strange.)
Baby bathtime is one of my favorite things! Apparently, Aylabelle agrees!
Okay, one more, just because.
On Saturday, after Aylabelle left with her mom and dad, we spent most of the afternoon and early evening in the back yard. The netting is up on the cherries, the kids swam, the garden was attended to and Doug and I enjoyed a lot of time on the swing in the shade... a lot... like hours. It was the perfect way to spend the first afternoon/evening of summer!
Quayd's up on the roof. We purchased six 12 ' square nets and sewed them together like a quilt. Doug came up with a great idea. We tied a large tarp to the netting and drug the tarp across the top of the trees. The netting didn't get stuck in the trees until it was completely over the top. Doug's so smart! Then, it was just adjust and tie to the fence so that it stays in place. Perfect! And two days later, the birds are leaving the cherries alone. Honestly, one day last week, I saw four robins walking down the sidewalk in a row with cherries in their mouth. It was time! Like Doug said, "We'd be happy to share if they'd eat the whole thing, but they take a bite out of one and move to the next one for the next bite." Sorry birds.
Love these guys!
Speaking of summer, we called my mother at dinnertime, after Quayd got home from work and sang Happy Birthday to her. Mom is 74. She was just thrilled to have had Liza and Buddy spend the night before with her and to be able to meet Aylabelle for the first time.
Liza and Buddy are spending the first few days of their visit at his family's home. Buddy's mom is actually in Arizona with his sister and her family right now. So, they are keeping his dad company. They'll stay with us the second half of their trip.
I was so surprised when Liza walked into Relief Society yesterday morning. I didn't even notice who it was that walked in and sat across the aisle and a row in front of me for a few seconds. When I did, I gasped and started to cry! (I'm a dork, I know.) Liza slid over a seat and I joined her, giving her a big hug and the tears would not stop falling! I was so happy to have her there. When I asked, "Where's Aylabelle?", she said, "She's sleeping in the car." I knew that meant that Buddy was sitting with her and then Liza teased, "I"ll check on her after this." Har-har. She slept clear through my Sunday School class and had to be woken up for Sacrament Meeting. She was a live wire through the meeting, and I gladly offered to take her out to diaper her and then go for a little sit under the pine trees. I was wishing I had my camera so bad! When I came back inside just in time for the closing prayer, Buddy asked, "Did you go home to change her diaper?" ;) I said we'd been enjoying the breeze under the pine trees. Liza teased, "What are you teaching my daughter!?" Yep, Grammies get away with things like that.
The Sacrament Meeting was extra special to us because Miki's big brother, Kayson, spoke. He leaves tomorrow for his LDS Mission to El Salvador. We adore Kayson. I can't get enough of him. He's had just a special place in my heart for years. Kayson gave a great talk and is so prepared. We just love him! I can't say it enough. Following church, we spend the next several hours at the B's, enjoying a fun dinner and visit with friends and Stott's family. We didn't want to leave! It was a wonderful Sabbath. Liza and Buddy stayed for quite a while before having to leave and have dinner at his grandma's. I teased that they are eating a lot of "double meals" over the weekend. Aylabelle loved playing with Quayd on the lawn and eating ice while we all just sat and admired her. This baby is so loved! Miki would just lie on the grass watching her. My camera battery died and I didn't have the camera bag, so I got exactly two photos. Sadness! Here's Kayson...Elder Barwick, that is.
And here's Miki, who's growing up much too quickly. She's adorable and so dang smart. Isn't she pretty!
Today, lunch with Denise and Liza and Buddy and Aylabelle. Then, they'll go back to his family for a cookout. This is working out well because we are getting to see them a bit, even on their days away. It allows me to give the babes their attention too.
Speaking of which, oh my heck, ZJ! Last night, we were in the kitchen after the day at the B's. I was making sandwiches for a snack and ZJ got this very serious face. "I'm going to show no emotion for the next hour." I looked at her like "Not!" and she burst out in laughter with that huge tinsel grin, which she proudly wears. Literally, it had not been two seconds of sober, then laughter and Grace's immediate response, "Total fail, Zee, Total fail." We all lost it! Zeej made several attempts at the sober hour but never made it past twenty seconds.
Tomorrow, we will prepare for the Paparazzi party, which is in the evening. The kids are preparing for Youth Conference. It's the biggest our stake has done in a decade and Quayd didn't put in for the time off work, so he's scheduled to work the entire weekend, every day of the conference. I was sick! I'd reminded him over and over but he didn't get that he had to do it that far in advance. So, he's going to be trying to trade shifts with kids in other stakes to be able to get off the weekend. This is huge! He needs to be there. We are just praying that he can find someone to cover for him. Grace can hardly wait. If things go right, Zeej will be here alone with Liza and I until they head back to Arizona. (You have to be 14 for YC.) We'll make it a fun weekend. Kelly's birthday is Wednesday and we're trying to put something together for that. She's not even met Aylabelle yet.
We're all so happy to be together. The weather is beautiful. Summer is awesome. Life is good!
Life is about using the whole box of crayons.
Liza just texted from Provo! That's only two hours away. a few quick ramblings....
Life is good. And so is FAST internet that stays connected all the time!
The grass is greener where you water it.
With all that's going on in our world right now, my friend mentioned this beautiful song yesterday. I listened to it and bawled. Perfection. I had to share.
I am not at liberty to share any more details than this, but I do feel that the family would appreciate any and all prayers...A close family member is in ICU with critical complications following the delivery of a beautiful baby. They are a very private family. But, please, if you could, just keep them in your prayers.
The furnace ran all night and when I picked Quayd up after work at midnight last night, the heat was on in the Expedition. It be c-o-l-d!
Last night, I took the girls to the movies. We were going to see "Heaven is For Real" and realized that we had misread the time and were an hour late. SO. We ended up seeing Spiderman 2. I sent Doug a text before it began, "Ended up at Spidey. Shoot me!" He wrote back a big LOL. I actually ended up loving the movie. I texted Quayd a few lines from the movie so that when he had his break, he'd know we had seen it. (He's seen it twice already.) He wrote back, "YOU DIDN'T!!? Did you love it!?" I wrote back, "Almost as much as I love you!" Score for "cool moms"...just sayin'.
Today... grocery shopping for Liza and Buddy's visit! Fresh sheets on ZJ's bed for them! Treats in Grace's fridge for them! A little somethin-somethin for Aylabelle! They'll be here tomorrow! Life is good!
When it rains, look for rainbows. When it's dark, look for stars.
Still cold! Crazy that it feels like November. INSANE. It was so odd to hear the furnace kicking on and off all night long. Liza's leaving Arizona tomorrow and I'm just praying for some warmth before she arrives. She no likee cold and we want her to want to come home ... if she comes in late June and has to deal with winter, that doesn't help her want to come in January!
We've been busy doing little errands and such, getting ready for them to arrive! Can. Not. WAIT!!! So excited! I'm counting hours and in less than 48, they'll be here! They are stopping at my mother's on the way to spend the night, so that Mom can meet Aylabelle. She's not seen anything but pictures yet and I think my mother is almost as excited as I am. I'm glad that Mom is half way... a perfect stopping point for us all when we drive down to Arizona. Mom suggested the other day that I pack the kids up and bring them down to visit. I said, "We can't because we are too involved with the cabin right now." BUT. I thought, "Mom, if I'm coming that far, I'm going to spend the night and head right on to see my girls!" Shhhh. Don't say I thought that!
Natalie and I had lunch this morning. Her son had broken his ankle last night at football practice. Never a dull moment for anyone. We were talking about how life brings it's problems and none of us get by without facing some or a lot of them. How important it is for us all to deal with them with the understanding that that's what we are here for. Although, sometimes, it's not easy to understand, I believe that how we face our challenges is the most important part of the challenge. I really do believe that.
Speaking of challenges, the family member who had their own major challenge is improving and witnessing miracles already. We are feeling such gratitude for their improvement and felt a very strong bond as family, in our prayers. Quayd's prayer yesterday touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Although he's almost seventeen, and he's all big and tough, I do believe that he has the faith of a child. I love that about him! His first words this morning when he came up for breakfast, "How's ____?"
Total opposite direction of thoughts... CenturyLink guarantees that they'll be here on Friday morning at 9:45. Still debating on Comcast. We'll see.
The cherries on our trees are ripening. We were stunned when we came home from five days at the cabin and found them turning. Every time I look out the window, I see a big fat robin or three rolling big fat cherries along the sidewalk. Not amused. Tonight's project... to cover the cherry trees with their netting before the robins get them all!
Life is good. Busy, fun, crazy, sometimes challenging, but good.
a beautiful heart can bring things into your life
that all the money in the world couldn't obtain.