Friday, October 31, 2008

Obligitory Halloween Post

I would be a (more) sorry blogger if I didn't include Halloween photos.

Waiting to hand out candy to fellow moochers. . . er . . . trick-or-treaters
Andrew was Superman with muscles. Ellie was a bumblebee. Brianna went as a ladybug (or in her words laid-a-bug). Caious (look closely, he's hard to see) was a pilot. Kaiti dressed as Ivy from "My Sister the Vampire" but by the end of the night, she told people she was "goth".

The school had a costume parade for the younger grades. Only two of the children participated. One more willingly than the other. Can you guess who?
In the evening, we went house to house - in the pouring rain - asking friends, family, acquaintances and total strangers for goodies. They obliged and we ended the night with enough junk food to fill a warehouse. Luckily, a local dentist buys Halloween candy ($1 per pound) to send to troops overseas. Even if we had to pay him to take it off our hands, I think it would be worth it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Love Story

by Favorite Aunt Cheryl

The happy couple
Once Upon A Time . . . there was a beautiful young lady who worked for a large home improvement store. While toiling away in the light fixtures and plumbing supplies, she met a handsome young man who shared her passion for home improvement products - or just thought she was cute and fun to be with.

The chose an absolutely beautiful day to get married. Everyone enjoyed the sunny weather.
A friendship developed. A few months later the handsome young man gave the lovely young lady a ruby red engagement ring.

One of the lovely flower girls preparing the way for the beautiful bride.
A few months after that . . . they gathered together with family and friends from far (Tennessee) and near (Lehi) to celebrate the start of their new life together.

The very cool wedding cake. It was tasty too.
They had a wonderful party to celebrate the beginning of their life together. And they lived happily ever after . . . (or most likely had ups and downs, good times and bad times, but weathered it all with grace and humility.)

Congratulations Callie and Richard!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Abby Fest

The birthday girl.

Because of my nice Callie's wedding, my brother (Crazy Uncle Tony) and his family came to town. His delightful daughter, Abby celebrated her 10th birthday with the whole family.
The doll cake. (The little cake in the foreground says 'Happy Birthday Abby'. It was just the right height for Brody - the cake lover - to reach.)

Grandma Kathleen put together an incredible party. She made a complete meal for 50, a doll cake and homemade root beer.

Crazy Uncle Tony dolling out advice to his young and impressionable nephews.

Everyone was encouraged to wear costumes. All of the children did. Crazy Uncle Tony, his wife Aunt Kiwi and Grandpa Buddy were the only adults who dressed up.
Karlee the witch and Emmy the monkey.
We even got to have the party in the new garage. It was the perfect place to break the pinata and have a great time. Abby said is was a great party.
Tyler as Zac Efron. Hey, get a haircut and I will stop saying you look like him . . .
. . . and you won't have to deal with the paparazzi.

. . . And more about Andrew

Andrew attended his first pack meeting as a cub scout. He was awarded the rank of bobcat. In this ward, the tradition is to turn the scout upside down and place the pin on the scout right side up. Once he has done a good turn, he can spin the pin around.

I'm not sure if the pin has been turned around yet. He better work on his helpfulness.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why I Love UEA

When I was little we had a a break from school in mid-October. School would get out at noon on Friday and return for classes on Wednesday. It happened to co-inside with the beginning of the deer hunt in Utah. Hmm . . . Luckily for me my family was pretty much finished deer hunting by the time I came along so we only had to suffer through one or two really awful hunting trips with me along. (After the "Vienna sausage incident" I was never involuntarily taken hunting again.)

Go Broncos! Ellie helped me paint the sign. Can you tell?

Now the state teacher's union (Utah Education Association) conveniently plans their annual convention for the opening weekend of the deer hunt. The children had no school Thursday through Monday. Our original plan was to accompany Bill on his sales calls in Montana. For a lot of reasons - including a flag football game we had to coach - that didn't work out. Friday morning we packed up our bags and hit the road. To where? We hadn't decided.
The children with Abner and Elliot at the zoo.

After making few stops along the way (Hill Air Force Base Museum, dinner . . .) we ended up at the Hilton Garden Inn in Boise Idaho. Thanks to Bill frequent stays with the Hilton family of Hotels, we had enough points to pay for two adjoining rooms. Yes, our family is big enough that we need two rooms.
Children with some cousins playing in the Boise river. They caught a few crayfish by hand!
It was a good choice. Our good friends Rob and Karissa moved from Boston to Idaho two weeks after we moved from Boston to Arizona. They are much less nomadic then us and are still in Idaho. They were gracious enough to let us stay with them for two nights.

This isn't really from our time in Idaho. But I like it and I don't anticipate creating another fly fishing entry anytime soon. This seems like an appropriate illustration.
Bill went fly fishing with his cousin Brian, Caious and Rob. The rest of us went to the Boise Zoo, played outside, ordered pizza, watched a German cartoon (the kids) and took a nap (me).

Kaiti hitching a ride. She was spun, pulled, reversed . . . and kept her balance through it all.

We also got to see Bills' Cousin Brian and his family. It was a beautiful day so we had a nice picnic at a park by the river. Kaiti spent a lot of time being "towed" by Taylor. The jury is still out on whether those heely shoes are a good idea. So far, she has only had one major fall. It resulted in ripping a hole in the knee of her favorite jeans, a nasty scrape and lots of tears. But she was undeterred, she got right back on them and has been rolling around the neighborhood.

By the river. Brianna hugs are few and far between some days. She was especially affectionate this day.
After this weekend, I am more grateful then ever for the wonder friends and family we have. I a so happy that Rob and Karissa put up with us for two whole days. We hope they will be able to visit us in November.
This was to precious to leave out.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


We woke up this morning to this. It's only October! This is a far cry from the 80 degree temperatures Tuscon enjoys in October.
Luckily, we were warned well in advance of that a "cold spell" was headed our way so Bill and I (mostly Bill) covered the tomato plants in an effort to get a few more of the 1000 green ones to ripen on the vine.
Only two days earlier, it was a beautiful 75 degree day. Now we have snow, snow! It melted quickly, which is a good thing because we can't find our snow scrapers. A must-have item if we are going to survive a winter here. The warm weather is scheduled to return for a while. I am glad because I am not ready for winter yet.
The children's Halloween costumes will definitely include thermal underwear this year.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Conferences and Me

Living in several different states through the years, I have never been able to attend a church meeting in the Conference Center. This year, I was doubly blessed.
A little background: I have been lucky enough to have a group of really wonderful friends. We go waaaaaay back to junior high and even elementary school. So every year, all of the members of the group are invited to go to dinner and watch the broadcast from some one's stake center. I have always been invited (at least, that's what I choose to believe) but I have never been able to come.

Marianne, Donna, Heather, Me and Laurie. We missed the people who couldn't be there with us.

All those years I sat alone in watching the broadcast I felt a little less lonely knowing that these women were listening to the same messages I was. This year, we were lucky enough to get tickets to attend the broadcast live. So after a great dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, we headed off to Salt Lake to watch the broadcast. We had fantastic seats and sitting with such wonderful people made it even more fun.

Andrew was thrilled to be at such an important event with his dad.

My very smart husband also got us tickets to attend the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference. Because Andrew was baptized one week earlier, he was old enough to attend. The tickets came in packages of six, so we let Andrew invite a friend. He chose our neighbor Isaac.
I brought everyone a notepad and pen. They were given instructions to take notes, draw . . . whatever they wanted as long as they were quiet.

All of us before the session began. We arrived an hour early and got great seats. Unfortunately, the children were ready to leave an hour into the broadcast. Oops. I guess two hours is their limit for a sit-and-be-quiet church meeting.

My plan worked well. The children all said they were glad they went. We had good seats. The children thought it was really cool to be so close to the prophet.

The rain seemed to keep people away. Seats were available for both Saturday sessions.

While we were in Salt Lake City, Ellie and Brianna were at grandma's house, eating lots of good food, coloring, watching t.v. and playing games. We all had a wonderful time. Living in Utah has lot of advantages.