Saturday, December 20, 2008

And this is our daughter Andrea and her husband Greg. They've been married about 2 1/2 years and such a cute couple. They have such fun loving and happy personalities and are such a joy to have around. Andrea has always been the peacemaker in our family and Greg has a terrific sense of humor. We are lucky to have them. Love you guys!

So - I have 2 more kids - Justin and Kristi, but I don't have any recent, good pictures of them. When I find some or take some,I'll post again.

This is our oldest daughter, Jeni and her family - husband, Dan and kids Ryleigh, Spencer, Ethan and Olivia. They wanted some family pictures for Christmas cards so we went to a park here i town and I did my best. I think they turned out really well - of course I had great subjects to work with. Love this family!

My boys...

These are my boys. Left to right is Tyler, Devin and Chad. Tyler is 25 and has spent the last 10 years living a pretty hard life. Thankfully with age comes a little hindsight - I hesitate at this juncture to say wisdom - and he's trying to get back on track and be a productive adult. Devin is 20 and is already gaining a little wisdom. He's not always made the best choices, either, but he seems to be coming around. Maybe watching his older brother has made his "learning curve" a little shorter. (hope, hope...) Chad is 15. He's the youngest of 7 and has - so far - watched the mistakes and successes of all 6 of his older brothers and sisters and has managed to live his life without too many pitfalls. All 3 of my boys are sensitive and kind and they love their mommy. I can't ask for much more than that!!
I love these guys!


So on November 21 Jeff and Chad and I decided that we would leave the next day and drive down to Arizona to spend Thanksgiving with my family. (Why plan??? Spontaneity is so much more fun!!??) It took 20 hours, but we got to the Valley of the Sun Sunday evening and had such a fun week. Jeff was going to have to go down to the valley to work anyway, so he spent much of his time working. Chad spent time with his friends and I spent time - much needed time - with my mom and sister. Can I just tell you that I love these women? The three of us are pretty different personality wise. I realized that more this trip. My sister is definately the calm before the storm. I am the storm. My mom is the aftermath - she's there to make everything better when it's really not. But we seem to compliment each other and being with them is one of my very favorite things to do.
Thanksgiving was fun. We had 13, which was a nice crowd. Garret and Cori are moving to Utah in January, so it was especially fun to be together before they moved. My two boys Tyler and Devin even came down to give me hugs and I'll post those pictures in another blog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I'm going to be brave and post my 3 - yes THREE - SPT (Self Portrait Tuesday) photos for November. I think I told you that I did take the pictures, I just didn't post them. I didn't post them partly because I'm fairly vain (as I've already admitted to) and I'm getting old and I don't want to be reminded of that. I like to think that I'm the 19 year old in my brain!! But alas, if I was the 19 year old in my brain, then I wouldn't be nearly as "seasoned" as I am now. I'd be flaky and confused and well, YOUNG!
Let me say - I love my camera and my monkey slippers and ... my hands, well - if any of you know me well enough, you'll notice that something's missing. Yep, I took my acrylic nails off. I actually don't mind my hands without fake nails. I guess I must be finally growing up and becoming more comfortable with myself.
Here's looking at you, kid!

Friday, November 14, 2008

All in one...

This has been a challenging week. It's been hard for me to keep up. I told myself last week that I would try to do a Thankful Thursday each week and then I checked out this ladies blog that gives out a challenge to do on Tuesdays. This month it's self portraits. I was going to try to do that as well because if anyone looks at my photo collection they'll think I didn't exist.
Well, I took the photos on Tuesday, but still haven't downloaded them. Yesterday was one of the hardest days I've had in a long long time - and believe me, I've had my share of hard days lately. So I didn't get my Thankful Thursday in either. However, I've been thinking that blogs aren't supposed to be about guilt. No one in the world cares about what I "didn't" do - especially not my self portraits or lists of things to be thankful for. So I'm not going to go there. I'm not going to feel guilty for things I didn't do. I'm going to be Thankful for the choices I made and the things I DID do.
1. I give service to my daughter and her husband by watching their youngest - Livy, who is almost 11 months old - about 3-4 times a week while Jeni works and Dan goes to school full time. Some days I only have her for about 4 hours. Other days I have her about 7 hours. It's not hard to have her around - she's a joy. It's only hard because honestly, I don't get one other thing done when she's here. We just play and have fun. I'm trying really hard to be a wonderful grandma and I'm thankful for the chance I have to spend time with Livy.
2. I walked to my presidency meeting last night instead of driving the truck. It was only about 3 blocks - but I live in a neighborhood that is built on a rather large hill. To get to my house, you go up the hill and then back down again. My presidency meeting was on the other side of the hill. I know - still, not such a big deal, but I usually drive!! It was beautiful outside last night. Full moon - at least it looked like it, cold air (about 45 degrees), quiet. It was a good time to think.
3. I'm having my acrylic nails taken off today. For those of you that know me - you know that that's a big deal. I'm fairly vain and about 10 years ago I decided that I was sick of having short nails. My nails took the brunt of any frustration or anger or sadness I felt. Back then I was raising 7 children - 4 of them were teenagers and life was full of those emotions. So I decided to have nails put on. I've loved every minute of that. It's so fun to have people tell me what nice hands I have. However, my life can no longer accommodate them, so off they're coming. I'm sad, but also excited about the prospect of not being a slave to my nail appointments. I'll keep you posted.
4. I'm thankful for choices. I'm making a lot of them right now. I've made a lot of them in the past - we all have. Good, bad or indifferent I probably won't know for a while how my choices will turn out, but I'm thankful that I have the opportunity to make choices and hopefully learn from them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not much going on...

Wow - not much is going on around here lately. At least not much worth blogging about. Finances are still super tight - the rainy season has begun in earnest - most of the trees have lost their beautiful colored leaves - and I'm seesawing on the scales at weight watchers. Life is just so blah right now I can hardly stand it.
On the good news side, however, I'm excited for my sister, Cori and her husband Garret. He has a new job in Utah - so they'll be packing up their home in Mesa and moving the week after Christmas. This is such a great change for them - one they've needed for so long. I am so happy for them! It's, of course, tramatizing to our poor mother who will have none of her 3 children living close. I'm hoping she will look at it as more vacation destinations! :) Smile, mom!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thankful Thursday

So my dear friend Kathy does this - I think she got the idea from her sister in law. Each Thursday she posts some things that she's thankful for that week. Since this is seriously an area that I could work on, I think I'll give it a try.
This week I am thankful for -
*Like Kathy - I'm so thankful to have "reconnected" with her. What a great friend she is and it's so fun to have a friend with a similar personality to mine!
*Spending halloween with my grandkids. They were dressed up so cute and had such a good time trick or treating in my 'hood! Livy wore the pumpkin costume that I actually made for Jeni for her first halloween. Each of my 4 kids wore that costume for their first halloween and each of Jeni's 4 kids have worn it as well. Fun tradition!!
*The chance to vote - even though it doesn't always turn out the way I want, at least my voice is heard.
*Having my hair colored - no gray for me thank you! Maybe I won't always be this vain!
*Chad and I got through an entire week of getting up at 5:50am and got to seminary on time - every single day!! Wooo Whooooo!!!
*Chad got his baseball fundraiser information - that means baseball season can't be too far away!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've been thinking about Grandparents lately. I'm one of those lucky people that had all four of my grandparents alive and well until I was 26. Then my Grandpa Grant died - September 30, 1987. That was tough because he was great!! He was neat and organized, loved cocktail peanuts, had a great flattop haircut with really soft hair and loved me so much. Then I was one of those lucky people that had 3 of my grandparents alive and well until I was 37!! Wow - that's something to brag about and be happy. Then my Grandpa Kay died - June 4, 1998. That was tough because even though I didn't see him that much - he lived in Northern Utah and we lived in Arizona - I always knew he was there if we went up to visit. Not anymore. He had a great farm, a great laugh and when he laughed really hard, his eyes twinkled and he got tears in his eyes. Change is hard. Then I was one of those lucky people that have both of their grandma's still alive and well until I was 45. Then my Grandma Eddie died.. That was really tough. She was almost like a second mom to me. My parents and I lived with her and Grandpa Grant when I was little for a while. When we moved from Utah to Arizona when I was 4, she and Grandpa moved down there 3 years later. She was ALWAYS there in my life. Cheering me on, wiping my tears, laughing with me - and at me - hanging out and just holding my hand. She always made me feel like I was her favorite. She made us all feel that way. We were all her favorites. She died October 27, 2006. I had moved to Oregon just 4 months earlier. I felt so guilty for moving away and "leaving" her. I should have stayed a little while longer. But I know now that she was happy for me - happy that we moved somewhere we wanted to be, happy that I was having adventures in my life.
So now, I'm one of those lucky people that has 1 Grandma alive and well and I'm 47 years old. She's my Grandma June. I don't get to see her nearly as much as I'd like. She's still in Utah and I'm in Oregon now. I did get to see her in August when Chad and I were there and it was fun. She's a fun Grandma - always has been. Like my Grandma Eddie, she makes you feel like you're number 1 with her - you're the most important person in her world. She has wonderful dimples (thank you Grandma), she smiles a lot and as I've gotten older, I realize that I look a lot like her. Life hasn't always been easy for my Grandma June, but she's a trouper and is always trying to think of things she can do to "help out".

So I just want to say that it's my hope and prayer that I can be the kind of Grandma to my sweet grandbabies that my grandma's (and grandpa's) have been to me. One that loves unconditionally and across the board - they're ALL my favorites. One that is there for them in fun times and when they just need a hug. One that understands and loves them even when their parents "don't" ;). And I really hope that they'll be one of those lucky people that has their grandma with them alive and well for a long long time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Update - still blogging along....

Let's see - my last post was April 22 - seems I have a little catching up to do.

April - Chad is still playing baseball in the rain, but having a great time. We're still sitting in the stands in the rain watching him and having a great time. Thanks to the Linn's for being such great supporters!! They make it to almost every single one of his games - home or away - and that makes Chad feel so good.
The restaurant is doing a brisk business, but we're having a hard time trying to catch up from Christmas time - when the kids are gone there is NO business.
I am still attending weight watchers - which I started September 25 - and have lost 40 pounds so far. I'm feeling really good about that.
I love my primary calling - 2nd Counselor. It's so fun to be with the kids and the ladies I work with are wonderful. I have to say, right now in my life - it is a bright spot for me.

May - Still playing baseball and watching baseball - in the rain. We are told that this is an unusually wet and cold year. I hope this isn't how it always is - I'll die. I have been pretty depressed the several months. I must have that syndrome where you need sunshine. Imagine that - an Arizona girl needing sunshine?? Honestly, I didn't think I'd be like this, but I am.

June - School is out on June 12 and we finished our first year of early morning seminary. I say "we" because it was truly a group effort for Chad and I. Getting up at 5:45am to be out of the door by 6:15 is tough to say the least. I'm so proud of Chad for his efforts.
Still playing baseball and watching baseball, but not as much in the rain. I'd say about half way through the month it started to dry out a little. That was rough. Chad is a great baseball player. He has such concentration and love for the sport.

July - Wow - most of the kids are gone for summer and it shows. The restaurant is SO SLOW. We're a little worried to say the least. I'm not sure we'll survivie the summer. It's so hard because we have such a great product and people LOVE us, but our location is killing us.
4th of July was so cold and wet that we stayed here at home and had the kids over for a BBQ instead of going to the coast like we've done the last 2 years. It was fun, though. I love to be with my kids. They make me smile.
Chad played baseball through the middle of the month and then they were done until next spring. It's a long wait for him.

August - Long month. Dead at the restaurant. Chad and I take a road trip and head south to Arizona for a little family time. I have been so homesick that I just needed a hug from my family. Chad and I drove down through California - 22 hours. We stayed about 10 days and then drove back up through Utah and Idaho - 25 hours. It was so good to be with my family. I have always prided myself on being a fairly independent soul. I found out that that's because I always had my family around me. I still do have some of my family around me in Oregon, and I am so very thankful for that, but my soul knows that there are some important ones that are missing.
While we were in Arizona, Jeff made the agonizing decision to close the restaurant. I felt so bad for him - it was traumatic. I am relieved. Now what do we do to make a living, though?? That is the million dollar question.

September - School starts. So does seminary. Chad is called to be seminary president for the Freshman/Sophomore section. He is also called as 2nd counselor in the Teacher's quorum. I am so proud of him. He's struggling a little in school, though - which isn't like him. Too many fun things to do and too many cute girls to flirt with??
We are inundated with financial worry and bills from closing the restaurant. It is almost overwhelming at times. I have to constantly reach inside and find my happy serene place. I KNOW it's in there somewhere!! Luckily - the rain hasn't started and we have beautiful weather right now.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

O.K., so I'm not very good at this Blog Thing

Or is that the understatement of the century!! I'll try to be better, although I refuse to promise anything!

Baseball has started - or is trying to - and we are happy! We've had more rain out days than we'd like, but have gotten to play quite a few games. Chad calls Oregon "The state that killed baseball". I think that's an overexageration (is that how you spell it?), but I'll go along with him. Baseball in a small town is kind of fun. The snack shack BBQ's hamburgers and they have this thing called "Spartan Crunch". Basically it's a bag of fritos with chili dumped in and topped with cheese. You eat it out of the bag with a spoon. I haven't had any, but it smells delicious!

Slices is holding it's own. Which is great considering that the price of flour has risen 500% since we opened 14 months ago. A 50lb bag of flour has gone from $7 to $32! Gross! We've had to raise prices, but still have quite a loyal following and more and more people try us for the first time!