Thursday, August 25, 2011

An Amazing Man!

I am married to the most wonderful man in the world.  Okay, maybe I am a little prejudice, but he really is amazing.  I was hoping to get this out for his birthday but I was sick and it just got put off.  Sorry.  

 He works hard for his family and sacrifices a lot.  He is quick to see a need and will help to fill it if he can.  He will even stay home and work long hours so I can go and help with the grandchildren.  He loves children, his own, his grandchildren and any other children around.  He has the touch.  To bad our grandchildren live so far away.  Moments with them are precious.
He is my best friend.  The one who listens to my complaints and tells my how to fix them (or me).  The one who's shoulder I rest on, cry on, lean on.  The one who calms me when I panic and encourages me when I feel inadequate.  He brings me flowers, tickles my back, dances with me, kisses me crazy, tells me I look great, tells me he loves me, worries about my safety.  He is the one I want to talk to, play with, hang out with, travel with, eat with, cuddle with.  Luckily we like a lot of the same things but he is always good to take me to the sea shore or to a chick flick or to a Mexican restaurant even when he would prefer something else.  I enjoy spending time with him and miss him like crazy when we are apart.  
To list just a few qualities he has: Hard worker, dependable, brave, spiritual, righteous priesthood holder, loves the Lord, current temple recommend, good provider, patient, observant, romantic, family oriented, creative, practical, smart, funny, loves the outdoors, giving, obedient, wise, far seeing, loves children, respectful, caring, faithful, fun, handsome, etc. One of my young women said that he was a stripling warrior!  He does have many of the same qualities as Captain Moroni or the stripling warriors.  He would be willing to go to battle for what he knows is right but would prefer to just live it quietly and peacefully.  
He can fix anything (and frequently gets to prove it).   He is my mechanic, my tech guy, my tree trimmer, my fridge/washer/vacuum/whatever repairman.  If it is a money question, a computer question, a car question or a home repair question we all know who to go to, Craig.  Over the years about the only hobby he has kept up with is fly fishing.  Between church callings, family and work the others have gone by the way side.
He really is my best friend and the love of my life.  I am so grateful for him and all that he is and does.  I am a better person because of him. 
For Time and All Eternity!
 I am enjoying the time and hope to do so for a long while and am grateful for the promise of all Eternity. Craig, I love you more each passing day.  Thanks for the past 32 + years.  (Remember, you promised me we'd go on a mission so take care of yourself.)
Grow old with me, the best is yet to be!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hello! Goodbye!

Richard holding Mary for the first time in over 5 weeks. 
She was 6 days old when he last saw her.
Aunt Lori getting to know Mary.

Isabelle, Brooklyn, Grandma, Mary, Wendell, Richard at Brooklyns 2nd birthday party.  4 of the 6 cousins were in Idaho Falls.
Isabelle and Brooklyn.  They had a mutual admiration thing going.
Aunt Christina hugging Wendell goodbye.
Lori and Richard.
Cousins!  Isabelle, Mary, Wendell, Annie, Porter in Lacey Washington.

The newest moms.  Brittney with Annie and Amy with Mary at
the park in Lacey Washington.

Aunt Kimberly with Isabelle.

Me and Kimberly just before she flew back to Florida.

Uncle Richard with Annie.

Grandpa with Wendell.

Grandma with Wendell and Isabelle.

Isabelle hugging Annie goodbye.

Aunt Amy and Annie.

Final goodbye shot before half of us head back to California.

Isabelle, Annie, Porter and Wendell.

Our farewell committee. 
Sometimes it seems like Hello's are to brief and Goodbye's come to quickly.  Isn't it a wonderful reasurance that our family is eternal and Goodbye's are only temporary.

It Brings Back Memories

While staying with Richard's family this past month I had ample opportunities to take pictures of very cute kids.  My main subjects; Isabelle, 4 1/2 years old, Wendell, 2 1/2 years old and Mary, 1 month old.  I have pictures of swimming, playing, dancing, singing, dress-up, etc.  Every once in a while I could get all three to hold still and be good at the same time to take a group picture.  Not often but a few times.  When I was going through the pictures these few seemed so familiar. 
Here are my three, Christina, not quite 4, Richard, 2 and Brittney, 1 week.  The similarities don't end there.  We moved when Brittney was 1 month and Richard and Amy moved when Mary was 6 weeks. (Of course, we moved about 45 miles and they moved 1900 miles but moving is moving.) 
I really enjoy being a mom, as exhausting and messy and demanding as it is.  It is the best job in the whole wide world.  I had amazing children who grew up to be amazing adults with the only major complaint being that they live so far away.   I am sure as time goes by there will be more de ja vu moments. (Yes, I have been working on my french.  It helped pass some of those 1900 miles.)  I am grateful for those I get to witness and participate it.  Keep up the good work, kids.  I love you.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What I have been up to!

Isabelle and Wendell at the park.

Mary and Grandma, taken by Isabelle.

Reading lots of stories, taking lots of walks, pushing swings, dancing, singing, rocking and walking babies, baths, parks, splash pad, checking out every bug around, discovering fireflies, puzzles, building zoos, dress up, clean up, play games, dance class, nursery, fruit snacks, pizza, oatmeal, dishes, laundry, hair saloon, 100 + degree weather, the library, painting, stickers, scriptures, chasing geese and squirrels, cuddling in bed at 6 am, kisses and hugs, playing horsey or lion or doggie, spoiling the kids, hopefully helping Amy, missing Craig.
Wendell (2), Isabelle (4) and Mary (1 month).

At Splash Pad Wendell wanted to get Grandma wet.
It really has brought back memories of when mine were little.  How quickly they grow. How exhausted I was.  How much fun and work.  My cousin asked me last summer what great adventures I had been up to.  I told him raising my family was what I had been doing.  It really is an amazing adventure and I am grateful for all that I have been able to enjoy and looking forward to much more.   
Isabelle and Wendell would live in dress ups if they could.

At Play Group.

Another picture taken by Isabelle.


There are times in our lives when we do something we really don't want to do because we just don't know how to say "no".  It really isn't convenient and we kind of had other things we could do with ourselves but we just can't say no.  Sometimes we regret it, often it isn't so bad but every once in a while it turns out to be a truly wonderful experience and a gift from the Lord.  Such was my experience with our exchange student, Claudia. 

I really enjoyed getting to know her and she was a real sweetheart to have around.  It is good to be kicked out of my comfort zone every once in a while.  I was sad to turn her over to an other family, wonderful as they are.  Claudia, I wish you well.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


 Blueberry tarts.
I read in the newspaper about a place in Ripon where you could pick your own blueberries.  I love blueberries.  My uncle Clair lives in Oregon and grows all kinds of wonderful berries and I had picked from his garden where it was green and lush and cool so the idea of blueberries doing well in this hot dry valley interested me.  I took a couple of my young women and went early one morning.  We had fun and picked a bunch of berries before it got hot.  I made blueberry muffins and a lemon blueberry pound cake.  I also froze a few.  A friend was interested so on Monday we went out again and picked a bunch more.  My freezer was full of muffins and so I froze most of the berries but I did make a few blueberry tarts.  They weren't half bad. 

Vegetables from my garden.
I love growing things and harvesting and using the things I grow.  This year, so far, we have enjoyed spinach, onions, radishes, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, chives, basil, yellow squash, and peppers.  We had a long, cool, wet spring and I got off to a late start so it is still early but we have had salad, fried zucchini, stuffed zucchini, sauteed vegetable, and just fresh vegetables.  The space in my yard is limited but I like to try growing something new each year.  This year it was radishes and carrots.  I got the carrot seeds from Craig's brother David.  He has an amazing yard that is full of wonderful produce.  Thanks for sharing David.  Hopefully I will still have a garden to enjoy when I get back from Richard's and Amy's. The garden has struggled a little this year.  I think it knows I will be abandoning it for a while. Craig said he will take care of it for me but his time and priorities are limited. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dearest Kimberly

"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. Most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride." - Gordon B. Hinckley
My beautiful daughter with the amazing smile and huge, giving heart.  Welcome to adulthood.  I am so sorry that you are having all of these struggles so far away, on the other side of the country.  I wish I could shelter you, help you, protect you but if I did you wouldn't be the exceptional young woman you are becoming. You have grown so much this past year and I am sorry to say it, but if the trials had not been there it would just been a year of fun experiences and not one of personal growth.
Like the shirt says, have faith and trust, in yourself and in Heavenly Father's plan for you.  Discouragement is Satan's tool.  You are smart, resilient, talented, hard working and great things are in store.  "Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment." Oh, and you know where to find Pixie dust, don't you?

"It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers."                                      Gordon B. Hinckley 

 You have all of us cheering you on and remembering you in our prayers and sending help and comfort and good thoughts at you. We are far away in body only and are with you in heart and spirit. You will get through this all. I know that deep down you know that. I want you to know that we know it too. We love you tons and miss your buns. Hang in there, great things are headed your way, but on the Lord's schedule, not ours. After all He knows what is best for us in the long run and can see what is ahead. 

"If Life Gets Too Hard To Stand, Kneel."
Gordon B. Hinckley