Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Brent

This cute little guy was born 25 years ago. He has been such a blessing to our family. He has worked hard and has overcome many obstacles in his life. It has been a privilege for me to be his mama. I know that I have shared this before, but it is something I will never forget. When we received his autism diagnosis, we were told he would never understand religion. Well, one Easter I put a box of Legos in his Easter basket. When he found his basket, he looked in it and said, "Legos are great, but the Atonement is such a better gift". I THINK HE UNDERSTOOD.

In spite of it all of his struggles, he has never stopped smiling. I wish I was in Utah to celebrate with him today. I know he's going to have a FANTASTIC DAY.

I wanted to do something different on my blog today, so I'm going to share one of his little productions. Ever since he was a little guy he has had a love for movies. When we would get together for family reunions, he would come with a script and everyone would have a role to play in his production. And 2002 at Park City was no different--he had written this story for us to do. It was a whole lot of fun and in honor of his birthday, I present: THE ULTIMATE WATCH.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oh Please, Say It Isn't So???

Over the last few days I have been looking EVERYWHERE for Clodhoppers--and they have been nowhere to be found. Whenever I go into the U.S. to visit my children/grandchildren, they all want me to bring Clodhoppers. Imagine my sadness when I went to one of the stores and was told "I think the company went out of business". WHAT!!!!!!

Allan and I drove all over town and finally found some at a video store. So today I went to another one and bought what they had. (And didn't even rent a video ; ) He is doing a little traveling over the next couple of weeks and has specific instructions to buy all he can at the airport. I can't imagine going to see my children EMPTY-HANDED. Frankly, I think I would be greeted by faces like this one:

SIDENOTE #1: We had such a great dinner with 4 of the missionaries last night. It was so fun to sit and visit with them. They are such fabulous young men. After they left I realized I really should have taken a picture and e-mailed it to their folks. Two of them are from Utah, one from Las Vegas, and one from England.

Can I say I am so incredibly frustrated with the Post Office. Elder Rob is asthmatic and our Prescription coverage will cover medicine purchased in Canada, and when I send his medication it is a big production because they want to be sure you're not selling it--so you have to include a lot of paperwork. On August 10th I mailed via expresspost his medicine. In his e-mail today he told me it finally got there TODAY--I CANNOT believe it took so long.

SIDENOTE #2: Found out this morning our newest grandchild (coming in January) is a girl. That will make 5 girls and 7 boys. I'm very excited. As you can know from the pics I have posted of Georgia, I really like those headband/bow/flower combinations. Of course, Georgia's mom and I have similar taste. I remember when Kiah (who is holding her little sister in the above pic) was born and Daphne went to town making tons of bows. We'll have to see about Macy--not sure if she is a bow person. I'm sure Garrett will be very happy to have a little sister.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Sort of "To Do List"

The other day I was purging some files, and I came across this sweet list of "Ten Ways to Say I LOVE YOU To Your Child"--
  1. When you and your child are around other adults, include your child in your conversations
  2. If your child breaks something, help him/her fix it
  3. When your child says, "Watch me", take time to watch him/her. Afterwards say, "Great job!"
  4. When your child says, "Read me a story," treat it as the most wonderful invitation you'll receive all day
  5. Say "I love you" as often as you can. Definitely you make sure to say it just before your child leaves for school (or you leave for work) and last thing before turning out the light
  6. Take up a new hobby or sport with your child
  7. Give your child a hug--in fact, give them lots of hugs
  8. Write notes and put them in your child's lunch box
  9. Sometimes, take your child for ice cream or a special treat "just because you're such a great kid"
  10. Set aside some time to talk with your child every day. During that time don't work on the computer, watch television, wash the dishes, or pay bills. Just be there.
Take it from this old empty nester---ENJOY EACH AND EVERY MINUTE WHEN THEY ARE HOME WITH YOU!!!! Each time I read this list, my mind is flooded with memories and I get weepy. I'm sure glad I have those little Mii Characters on my Wii--some days I feel like I'm surrounded by family--then I have to remind myself THAT'S A LITTLE CRAZY.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Things, as in possessions, and Miscellaneous Stuff

My husband has a birthday coming in a little over a week. I have been wanting to get him an iPad. For awhile when he would travel he had to take two laptops because he couldn't get into his regular mail using his company computer. Although he packs lighter than I do, he still carries a lot of stuff. I wanted to try and lighten the load and thought an iPad was the answer. (I didn't realize that he solved the problem with needing to take the second computer)

We went to Best Buy and looked at the iPad. Yeah, he thought it was cool but then he broke the news to me--he really didn't want one. The most shocking news of all, when he said, "When you get to my age you realize you really don't need all those little toys". WHAT!!!! I don't think I'll ever get THAT old. I love toys. And fortunately for me, he knows I love them. When Elder Rob left on his mission he left his iPod touch with me to use. One night when I was coming upstairs it fell out of my hands and dropped onto the kitchen floor--and I was shocked because the screen cracked. I was sick. When I came home from California, I found a dozen red roses, a beautiful card and a new iPod touch.

I am happy to report that I did find a great perfect birthday present for him. I booked us a trip to Banff. Allan loves the mountains (and we live in the flattest places on the planet), so going to the Canadian Rockies is the perfect spot. When we lived in Toronto, we took our first trip to Western Canada about 6 weeks after Kyle was born--that was 19 years ago. It was wonderful. The kids loved riding the tram up to Sulphur Mountain--goodness could these two already be in their 20's??? We flew to Calgary, went to Banff and Lake Louise, drove to Jasper and ended up in Edmonton--spending time at the West Endmonton Mall. (That's when my little kids learned how cool I am--they were in awe when their mom got on the upside down rollercoaster. (I'm happy to report that today they all love (well, tolerate is a more appropriate word) rollercoasters)

It was a great trip--in fact, we took a similar one a few years later with Allan's folks--no West Edmonton Mall ; )

Tomorrow, my 5 year old grandson, Drew, starts Kindergarten. I can't wait to hear how he does. His mom and dad are just hoping he doesn't yell at the teacher ; ) Can you imagine that cute little boy yelling at anyone--YES, I CAN.

In other news:

Elder Rob is doing great. I love Mondays and getting my e-mails from him. It is so touching to hear him talk about the people he is teaching and serving. Missions are great--they grow so much. I'm so grateful he is having this opportunity. I know it will bless his life FOREVER. I have to admit it is still so hard for me to imagine him teaching--this is what I see in my head when I imagine him out there. (Perhaps it is because he will always be my little boy ; )

And speaking of little boys--Very hard for me to imagine this little boy is the father of 6--two of those 6 in college. In honor of football season fast approaching--a little video clip from 20+ years ago when he played high school football. (His wife was a cheerleader) I miss those days. His second boy is playing varsity football this year--maybe I'll get out to California to see him in a game ; ).

And, I bet you thought there wouldn't be a picture of Georgia here--GUESS AGAIN. Her big sister is moving to Utah and so Georgia, Ki, and their mom made a trip out there a couple of weeks ago. I know Ki will miss her.

I have said it many times--wish I could visit with my family more often. On our way home from the temple this last weekend Allan and I were talking about a road trip after he retires. We will get in the car and go all around the country visiting our kids and grandkids. (Yeah, we make plans WELL IN ADVANCE ; ) In between missions we will be doing lots and lots of visiting.

Of course, Neal is making it a little easier since he and his family are moving to Texas--so we won't have to go so far East and it will be a bonus to get to see Chris and Heather, too. I know that when the baby comes in January we'll have a chance to see them again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Been Awhile

I realize that I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, but when I got home from California I felt lousy, ended up going to the doctor and found out I had pneumonia so have been pretty much laying low. I'm feeling better now and decided to do a bit of an update on things that have been going on:

  • We played Wii a lot--Just Dance was a hit. I did the Wii fit and LOVED IT. When I came home I got one and one of the first things I did was create Mii's for everyone in the family--they are hysterical. I love it when I go out for a run and little Georgia runs by me (I know considering she isn't even a month old that's impossible but I love it anyway) I love when I get done with a part of the obstacle course and G-man or Drew are there cheering me on.
  • We played lots of games--one of my favorite was one called Snorta. I loved it because little Drew could be right there playing with us (and he had a ball). It is such a fun game--each player has a little barn and selects an animal and hides it in his barn. All the cards (which are different animals) are passed out and then you go around the circle and each player flips over one of their cards. When someone matches one of the cards already up on the table, those two players have to try and remember what animal the other one has in their barn and makes that sound. For instance, if Drew and I match cards--and I have a cat and he has a dog--he has to meow and I have to bark and whoever does so first gets to give up their cards to the other one. May sound easy but believe me for an old woman who is slowly losing her memory remembering what everyone has in their barn IS TOUGH but tons of fun.
We also played a lot of Yahtzee, Apples to Apples, and Scrabble. (BTW, I'm lost without the Scrabble dictionary. (They don't use it and whenever we play we use it ; (
  • It was great just hanging out with them. We had lots of great meals together--because of the heat we had a lot of barbeque--which I love. We saw a few movies at the theater and watched a couple.
  • Little Georgia is growing and changing. I can't wait to see her again. I have to post this picture of her--it looks like she's thinking--"No, not another bow" ; )
  • I did run about 4 or 5 times a week when I was there. It was hot--a little too hot for me, but it always felt good to get out there and run. The hills were hard, but I know it was good for me.
  • Unfortunately, since I've been home and dealing with this bug, I haven't been able to run. There must be something to this endorphin thing because not running is definitely effecting my mood. I'm going to try and get back to running next Monday.
  • Allan had a speaking assignment out at Girls Camp last week, so I made the 3 hour drive with him and it was beautiful. This year the girls went to a new camp and it was beautiful. I was so glad I had a chance to go with him and his talk was GREAT.
  • I sure miss my family. After the whole experience with my Uncle and seeing the results of family not keeping in touch, I realize how very important it is to. My mom had 8 brothers and two sisters and apparently no one knew where one of the brothers was. I did some checking and found out he died in Florida several years ago. It broke my heart to think this man died and no one in his family even knew. I love my children and grandchildren (and my little great grandson) so much. I'm so grateful we have opportunities to get together--I just wish it was more often. I've been trying to figure out a time to go to Boston to see Neal and Macy--now they are moving to Texas--so I guess I'll just wait until they get there. By the way, they have some other BIG news--check this out, and be sure and watch until the end. think I'm do for a hug from their little G-man. The other day I had a long phone conversation with my oldest grandson and IT WAS FABULOUS. In my mind this very tall young man is still a little boy (goodness I have tons of memories of him). He has grown into such a great young man and I'm so proud of him. And since he and his wife are in Texas I may even get to see them a little more often.
  • Allan and I had every intention of going to Utah--we had some friends who were celebrating their 50th anniversary and we wanted to be there, but it didn't work out. Then I thought we'd go for Allan and Brent's birthday, but I don't think we can. I'm missing Heidi and Brent, but I know we'll see them soon ; )

  • Before I give you an update on our little Elder, I wanted to tell you about something that happened shortly before I left for California. Allan set apart a young man who was going on a mission to Missouri. This man joined the Church a few years ago and is the only member in his family and is an only child. I watched as this mom sat there listening to my husband speak and then watched her after her son was set apart. I was so humbled--I can't even imagine what it would be like to send a child off when you do not have an understanding of what he is doing or why he is doing it. He is a wonderful young man and will be a great missionary.
  • I so look forward to Mondays when I get my e-mails from Elder Rob. He sounds FABULOUS. Allan and I each write him and he responds via e-mail to each of us, and rarely does he tell each of us the same thing. He is loving his mission and I'm humbled by his desire to be in tune. He sent a photo CD and I'm happy to see that he continues to have fun--he understands that being a missionary doesn't mean you can't have fun. Please don't get me wrong he's very dedicated and striving to always be obedient. As I read his e-mails I know he is growing in many ways. A few weeks ago he had a problem with allergies and I guess it got so bad that he resorted to a neti pot. Now, I have to tell you I was shocked that he would use one, but he did ; ) I

    Now a couple of pictures from his time in the MTC.

    He loved his MTC companion and wrote that he was the funniest guy he had ever met. It's amazing to me how close these guys become in three short weeks--I LOVE IT.

    I always love the pictures of missionaries at the temple.