Thursday, April 30, 2009

Flashback Friday

This flashback is of my mom and dad, truly two of the greatest people I have ever known. They are eerily similar to Garry and I with our backgrounds:

  • Mom and dad grew up in the same town, Garry and I grew up in the same town

  • We were all High School Sweethearts

  • My dad converted my mom to the gospel, I converted Garry to the gospel

  • My mom is older than my dad by two months, I am older than Garry by two months

  • We were all married at 20

  • We had our first children at 25

Next year will mark my parents 50th anniversary. They are a perfect fit for one another. Here's what my mom had to say about my dad in an old blog post:

Take Ron for instance: He isn't a real exciting person, as far as wanting to do new and unusual things. But, he is a good man--one who puts the needs of others in front of his own, one who loves his family, his church and his country, and one who is a peace with himself, his life, and his past. I love that he does all the laundry, never ignores me when I ask him to help me, and goes the extra mile to make sure HE doesn't add a single thing to MY work load. He loads and unloads things, puts everything away after a trip or after he uses it--well, I could go on and on.

My dad doesn't gossip, sticks to the adage, "If you can't say anything good about someone, don't say anything", he's generous with his money when it comes to his kids. When he comes down to visit he always takes us to dinner and lately has been taking me to Sam's with an open credit card policy to help with food storage and such. For years, he has gone Home Teaching on the first Tuesday of the month, religiously, literally for as long as I can remember. He has always taken care of older extended family members in his family, whether it was his own parents when their health was failing, or his uncle who recently passed away. He is 69 and still farms cows and loads hay trucks and unloads hay for the cows all winter, usually by himself! He's just amazing and I'm blessed to have him as a father.

My mom is so selfless. She always says "Never make a plan because something will always come up". She always had an open door policy and had strays (friends of her children) living in our house at any given time that it was needed. She truly goes out of her way to make each and everyone of her children feel important. She is a GREAT grandma, always wanting an adventure to happen for the kids when they are with her. She is an amazing cook, she loves to learn new things and was constantly upgrading her education. She gets more done in a day than anyone I know as long as she can start early (she's such an early riser!) She continues to exercise and take control of her health, even when living in snowy La Grande where it's hard to get that exercise in in the winter. She has stayed in touch with her sisters even when living far apart, and she's taken it upon herself to do a lot of her families geneology and get them those temple blessings they deserve. She just truly inspires me and amazes me.

I love them both so much and am lucky to be their daughter!

Monday, April 27, 2009

What a week

Tanner had a group project due today. So last Thursday, the two girls in his group came over to help him work on it. They had to prepare an African landscape. They were here two hours and all they managed to accomplish was coloring the lions mane and the two pelicans while Tanner painted the board and sculpted a few things. Oh yea, they also managed to have a paint and Sharpie fight! Tanner wasn't too happy.
So Sunday after church, he got help from the people who really care about him, Dad and Taz!

Coming right along!

The finished project, now if only he can make it to school safely!

Garry left two Wednesday morning. He had to go to California for work. He got back Friday night which just happened to be his birthday. I had been sick since he left with a bad head cold and a terrible cough. I even had to cancel piano on Wednesday! Tanner was at a friends birthday party when he got home and I was picking Taz and Cynjyn up from ragball practice. So he had already saw the candy poster that we'd made him. (If you click on it, it will blow it up and you can read the message!). Taz was off to a friends for a sleepover and Cynjyn had someone over for a sleepover, so we didn't do anything Friday.

Saturday, was our choice for a party day. We went to our favorite, Olive Garden for dinner with two gift cards we got from my sister for helping at her reception!! (YUM and a big thanks to Krissy and Brian!)

Taz said "Dad, don't you think you want to go to a movie for your birthday?" Garry replied, "Sure, what though?" Needless to say Taz had his perfect suggestion: 17 Again. So we all went and we all liked it!! It ended up being a good birthday after all.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Flashback Friday

With the birth of Beckham, it really got me thinking about "cousins". We knew my sister was in labor Wednesday night. We were all excited and anxious to hear the news. We were all thrilled Thursday morning, but Taz and Cynjyn were with me when we got the text that Beckham had arrived! They started jumping up and down and squealing with joy. I was so touched that they would be so happy. I am so greatful that I make an effort to let my kids KNOW their cousins. We all live so far from each other that it is not possible to get together often. I envy those of you that have this opportunity. This is why I go home every summer for long periods of time. My kids know and love their cousins~that is why. My brother's have always been willing and happy to let their kids come to Grandma's for weeks on end during the summer too just because I am up their visiting~for that I am grateful. The first "batch of kids" are all getting older and involved in teenage stuff and so this summer I think it will be a little different. This makes me very sad. I am grateful for the new crop of "cousins" joining the family. It is my hope that we get to see them and know them just as much!! So, all that musing got me thinking of ME and MY cousins...

I am the oldest of 39 grandkids on my Dad's side of the family. When we were growing up, we all lived within about a 50 mile radius of each other and weekends were filled with visits to Grandma and Grandpa's house to see everyone. I loved all my cousins and I still do eventhough I was much older than most of them. I am so glad that we all stay in touch pretty much and still try to support one another when we can. Most of us have our own families and are in different stages of life, but it is nice to know there are people out their that share special memories that I have too. So this is a shout out flashback to all my cousins out there...I love you all and love hearing and seeing what you're doing at this point in your lives (this is easier when they blog, thanks to those of you who do!!) So, the above picuture was taken in oh, 1981, I'm guessing. I am the tallest and these are all the girl cousins who happened to be there that weekend!

These are all the boy cousins!! What fun times, what fun memories!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My cute sister Ky had her second baby this morning: Beckham La Grande Thurston was born at 8:25 am and weighed 7 lbs. 7 oz. and was 20 1/4 inches long. He joins his big brother Kresimir, dad Clay, and mom Ky. We are so happy he is here and everything seems well!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I'm trying to create my signature, so here is my attempt

Wow, it worked!!

Now, how do I add a little picture to it?? (Carol, I know you know!)

I know, I'm a little slow on the blogger front, but at least I have one now!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Norwegian Nosedive and more!

Tanner and I like to watch Ellen in the afternoon before I have to go pick up the kids. She is always doing crazy games. Well, she has started doing one lately called Norwegian Nosedive. It is hillarious to watch and so we thought it would make a fun FHE game. Taz had two friends over Friday (Shae and Josh), so after dinner I suggested we try Norwegian Nosedive. This is how you play: You pair up into teams of two. There is a caller (Me) who will call out certain body parts and as soon as I'm done saying them, the teams have to put those and only those body parts mentioned on the floor as a team. The team that does it the fastest and the most creatively wins a random number of points given them by the caller. We all had a blast playing this game, it gave us good laughs. Here are the snapshots taken by the caller (Me).
Shae and Taz trying to put three knees, one nose, no hands, no feet on the ground,

Taz and Shae putting one elbow, two hands, two knees on floor.

Tanner and Josh putting one bottom, one foot, one hand on floor.

Garry and Cynjyn trying to put one forehead, one bottom, one foot on floor.

Taz and Shae putting one nose, two hands and two feet on floor.

Taz and Tanner putting one back, two hands on floor.

Sunday was a crazy day. During church, our friends the Witts asked if they could come swimming after church because they were babysitting their two nieces from Maine and one of the to do things on their list was swimming. Garry is their hometeacher, so he figured that he could kill two birds with one stone...So they came over 2-5. Talon informed me after church that it was Richie's birthday and he was coming over later, so I quickly whipped up a cake after church, put it in the fridge to cool and frosted it around three. Richie came at 5 right after the Witt's left. Garry made some smoothies and we had Richie blow out his candles (they are in the shape of a 21, I know you could tell that!). He seemed pleased and I reminded him that just because he's know!! After that, Tanner, Garry and I went back to the church for a Court of Honor and a parents meeting for this summer's scout camp. So, our day of rest wasn't too restful, but we had a good day.

Talon with the birthday boy (who calls me mom and likes to confuse me when he calls me on my cell phone and say's Hi mom, this is the other son!!)

After much hype from Tanner, Garry and me, and after watching the movie twice, Taz has decided to read Twilight! This is how we say him all Saturday night and most of Sunday. He even stopped swimming early to get back to his reading! Go Taz!
And that's our weekend in a nutshell.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Book Club

Grade 9 Up–Zusak has created a work that deserves the attention of sophisticated teen and adult readers. Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands. The child arrives having just stolen her first book–although she has not yet learned how to read–and her foster father uses it, The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when shes roused by regular nightmares about her younger brothers death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayors reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents. Zusak not only creates a mesmerizing and original story but also writes with poetic syntax, causing readers to deliberate over phrases and lines, even as the action impels them forward. Death is not a sentimental storyteller, but he does attend to an array of satisfying details, giving Liesels story all the nuances of chance, folly, and fulfilled expectation that it deserves. An extraordinary narrative.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
This was the book I hosted last night at Book Club. I really loved this book, it made me laugh, it made me cry. The story is unique in that it is narrated by "death". The story of Liesel is gripping and has you interested from the start. Most of the characters are endearing and it is different to read a book about the Holocaust that is about Germans and not primarily the Jews. If you haven't read this book, go to your local library and pick it up. It is worth it!

Flashback Friday

So, my friend Carol challenged all of us to post a picture of our past crazy hair days. This picture isn't very high quality, but it does showcase my crazy perm hair days. This is 1981 and I was perming my straight hair. Now, I have to caviat this with the fact that after I had kids, my hair changed and became wavy and curly, almost like I have a perm. Now I'd give anything to have that straight hair back that I always permed!!

In the above picture, it is me, my brother Randy, my sister Ky, my baby sister Krissy and I think the middle girl in Julene (help me out with that someone!!).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Festivities continue

After church, we came home and had a turkey breast I'd cooked for dinner with some real mashed potatoes and stuffing. After dinner Talon of all people asked if we were doing an egg hunt. It's nice to know the traditions are still enjoyed when you're 19!! So we lined everyone up after Garry and i had hid the eggs in the back yard and here they are set to go!!

Each child could find six eggs. It's always a mad dash for Taz to get his six before everyone else.

We hid eggs three times, first Garry and I hide them, then Tanner and Talon hid them, then Taz and Cynjyn hide them. The only stipulation is you have to remember where so we don't have rotten egg smell weeks after Easter.

Not a single egg went missing this year.

Taz almost forgot, but remembered at the last moment where he'd hid the one missing egg!

Later in the evening we did FHE. We do it on Sunday's. We had our traditional Easter lesson with the dozen eggs each depicting something from the Savior's last days on this earth. We had a very good discussion this year as the kids are getting older and can understand more indepth. Cynjyn started crying about egg 6 because as she said "this story always makes me sad". That is when Garry brings out his big railroad spike and explains that this was the size of the nails driven into our Saviors hands and feet. It is a powerful and sombering site. We always feel better ending on the joyous fact that He was resurrected and we can all live together as a family again because of his Atonement and this wonderful blessing.
Cynjyn had activity and chose to do Charades. Her and Taz were team captains and picked teams. C chose Garry, T chose me, C chose Tanner and T chose Talon. Talon was put out because he was the last one picked. He said he's never been chosen last before!! We always do three rounds. First a movie, then a book, then a scripture story. We have a rule that you can't guess the scene until the "acting" is done. So Cynjyn's team goes first and they act out a scene from Twilight, good but, that was the movie we chose, not only that, but the same scene!! Too funny, we all got a good laugh at that. Next came the book. This time we go first and act out a scene from Hatchet. Garry, Tanner and Cynjyn are laughing hysterically, they get up to go and do the SAME SCENE from the SAME BOOK!! Too funny. Well, no, we did not match up on our scripture stories, but C's team went first and Talon, Taz and I were going to pretend that no matter what they acted out, we were trying to make them think we'd done the same one! (They did Nephi tied up on the boat, we did Joseph Smith getting his leg opereated on as a child!) It was a fun night and we ended the day with treats of deviled eggs and milkshakes.

Happy Easter

The kids woke up to semi filled easter baskets this year. I got the three youngest watches and each got a bag of their favorite candies. Cynjyn got some bath supplies (a brush and a bath pillow) and some little notebooks. Taz got some sidewalk chalk and an egg with $5.00 in it. Tanner just got the $5.00 egg. Talon got two $5.00 eggs. Taz's candy of choice: Skittles, but i tried a new crazy core one and he doesn't like them. He prefers his sour skittles, so next year i'll know.

Cynjyn got M&M's. She likes those. Tanner got chocolate covered raisins and Talon got a bag of sweet and sour doritoes. I usually get them specific chocolate animals from Wal-Mart, Tanner getting the racoon, Cynjyn the bunny and Talon and Taz the deer, but WM didn't have them this year, so they all got a chocolate Reese's bunny and they all complained that they didn't get their annual forest animal!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The day before Easter

So, it's the day before Easter and what do you do?? Make three batches of raspberry freezer jam.

Prepare the dye for coloring,

stir, stir, stir.

Color said eggs. At last they are a growing up too quickly, these were the only two interested in still coloring eggs!

Make our favorite dinner! CHICKEN ROLLS!! Taz and Cynjyn are such good little helpers when it comes to making this labor intensive dinner.

I think it's because they love licking their fingers when it's all said and done.

Digging out the roller blades after several years of storage (Talon used them last!)

Cynjyn had to keep up with Taz.

Do never ending yard work! That's what we did, what did you do??

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Friends (AKA: I'm bored)

It is spring break. The kids have been off school since last Friday. Monday, I had got some DVD's from the library, some oldies, but goodies that the kids hadn't seen and we spent the day together watching DVD's. Taz and Tanner now know what we're talking about when we say the phrase: "I see dead people", and they now know who "Wilson" is. (Those are clues to what we watched, tricky huh!). Tuesday came and we tried to go to volleyball, but no one else showed up. Apparently, they decided to cancel it during spring break, but forgot to tell the person who has the key and lets them in every week! ARGGG, so we came home and forced Taz to play Carcossone with me and Tanner. Cynjyn had spent the night with Alexa and was gone all day Tuesday too. That brings me to Wednesday. Taz woke up with "I'm bored". I told him it was going to be a long summer and he'd better not be saying that all summer. What he was really saying was: "I want to go play with someone". I was trying to tell him that he needs to find things other than friends to entertain himself with, because they won't always be around. Case in point. The above friend, Josh, is out of town all week, so he can't play with him. He did go to Shae's house at 10:30 this morning, because she is leaving for the extended weekend today. He was home at 2:00 and "bored" again. So he left and went to play at Jaden's.

Cynjyn has Alexa and Rebecca that she regularly plays with. Today was a Rebecca day. She loves having the Hopkins right next door as she always has a friend to play with. I haven't seen much of her this spring break, she'd better not tell me she's bored today! (She has no one lined up to play with). Talon has his friends and we never see them. He's really at the stage where he'd rather hang out with friends than at home. But Tiffany is moving to California on Friday and that will take a big chunk out of his life, so I suppose he'll have more time to spend with RJ and Richie now.

That brings me to me. I'm bored and I want friends. I don't have any friends that I call up on a regular basis to "play" with. We've had dinner at the Hopkins and we've had them for dinner, but Sheri is crazy busy now and I never see her!! I miss that friendship.

I get to hang out with these ladies once a month at book club, but sometimes three hours of "friend" time is not enough and then I'm tired all the next day!!
I get to see these ladies because we're in a presidency together. That is one nice thing about calling, you make friends, but I also know that we will be released eventually and somehow, won't see each other as often just because of time constraints. I miss having friends. I was never a big friend person. One or two close friends was all I'd ever have even growing up. And I do consider my family friends. It is fun to hang out with the kids now that they are getting older, but I so enjoy going out or hanging out with other couples now and then. It's just not something I make a priority. Sometimes during the day, when all the kids are at school and I just can't bear to do another load of laundry, I want to have a friend to call and "hang out with". I need to remember to try and do that more often. I just figure everyone is busy and doesn't have time, but maybe more and more people are like me and just want a friend. Something to ponder.