Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Christmas Tree Forest
We only had a week until Christmas when we returned back home from Orlando. Steve and I went out first thing Saturday morning to buy out tree, I still buy a real tree. But while driving to the Christmas tree lot, I started thinking that we only had 1 week until Christmas, why buy a tree now. So we came back home tree-less. I looked around the house to see what I could use so it wouldn't seem like we were total Scrooges and to have something for Scotts presents.
I came up with the idea of a christmas tree forest. You all have those pencile thin trees, so do I. Steve was at the office and when he came home and saw my creation, he really like it. But then, he is cheeper than I am. So this is our christmas tree(s). I say, four trees are better than one. (Craig, Nicole & Scott are not too sure about it.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Disney Doesn't Disappoint!
For almost 25 years Steve has wanted to go to Disney World in Orlando. We were always busy, had too many kids, too little money, boys always had some sort of ball game. Now that we no longer have any young kids at home (I know we still should count Scott, but he's in college. Although he is mad we went during finals and didn't invite him), we have the time and money. But even better, we have grandkids. For 7 days we were in Disney heaven with Kelli, Ryan, Derek & David. We went to Disney World, Disney Aminal Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios & Disney Epcot. The weather was perfect, at nice 80 degrees. We went to Kennedy Space Center and the beach and swam in the pool almost everyday. The boys were so good. They walked all day long, never complaining or whinning. We were somtimes surrounded by kids crying, screaming and thowing fits, but David (5 yrs old) and Derek (7 yrs old) were the best grandkids ever. We had a really good time and I'm not sure who was more tired at the end of the day, grandma & granddad or the boys. It was so much fun, Steve is trying to plan another trip there with more grandkids. I just want to get through Christmas first.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dress done, Waiting for baby.......
The blessing dress Stephanie (my daughter-in-law) asked me make is finally finished. Stephanie sent me an email link to the dress she wanted it to look like. I at first thought I would just buy it, but the $250.00 price tag shut that thought down. So off I went in search of material, trim and pattern. Who would have thought it would take almost three weeks to get it done. Well, I couldn't find a pattern with everything she wanted so I had to adjust, add and redo, make up. The trim is pretty darn close to that on the original dress so I was happy with that. The material was the biggest problem, she didn't want anything to shinny. Kelli (in Utah) finally went off looking and sent some down for me. Turns out it was the winner, just hope Stephanie likes it. A big thanks to my friend Rebecca for letting me use her serger on the seams, it makes the dress look so professional, not that a 2 month old baby cares if the seams are serged or not. Oh, speaking about the baby, she's late, not here yet. I would mention her by name but I notice that Kent & Stephanie haven't giving the name up yet, so I'm not going to be the one to spoil the anticipation.
I'm leaving for their house on Tuesday, Stephanie said if she hasn't had the baby by then, she is being induced that morning. So either way, there will be a baby born on Tuesday. I hope it doesn't rain for the three weeks I'm there, typical Seattle weather.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No Beans in Beantown
We just got home from being in Boston for a week and I didn't have any beans, but I did have a Boston cream donut. There are Dunkin Donut stores on every corner,really, every corner. I have never seen so many in one city. Didn't find out why it is called beantown until the end of the week.
I had the great idea not to rent a car while we were there so we took the "T" (Bostonian for the subway train) everywhere. It was an adventure and very fun. I recommend it to anyone going to Boston. They have a 1 week ticket for $15 that gives you unlimited riding on the "T" and the buses. We walked all over too, walked the Freedom Trail, saw Fenway Park, took the "Duck tour", went to the museum on a rainy day, walked around Beacon Hill, visited Paul Reever's grave & house, and many more historic site from before the Revolutionary War. I loved it. Boston is a great city to visit, you should go there sometime.
Our room is in the building with the clock tower, pointed at the top, on the 14th floor.
Walking through the Beacon Hill neighborhood, it was old and lovely

The harbor view from our room "Make way for ducklings"- the book based on a real incident in Boston. Love these bronze ducks
We went to Fenway Park and took the tour
Steve can always find an old ship to tour, a battleship from WWII

Our tour on the Charles river.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Perks of the President

The nice thing about having presidency meetings at my house is that I can make dessert. Since there is just Steve & me home, if I'm in the mood for a cake or something sweet, there is no sense in making something just for the two of us. But now I can subject my counselors to my sweet tooth whims, so sorry girls. They are always so gracious and accept my baking frenzy with humble thanks. Last night I tried to stay on the low calorie side of dessert, this made from scratch angel food cake, from Cooking Light magazine, was only 270 calories a slice. It was really good and Steve even had two pieces. I think it's a keeper.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hot from Guatemala We started our trip in Guatemala City at a very nice hotel. It was sure a welcome after the all day flight. It was a 11 day tour with lots of bus rides, boat rides, smaller bus rides, plane rides and really small plane rides. It was a truly great way to see some possible site from the Book of Mormon. To read each day from the Book of Mormon and maybe be in some of the areas was wonderful. We had a great archaeologist, he gave us a study guide and versus to read everyday to open our minds to the possibility of Guatemala being the place for some of the Nephite and Lamenite lands. We were both visually feed as well as spiritually.
We had a police escort all the time we were in Guatemala. Two of them were with us where ever we went, even walking through the ruins. They were even helpful when I was throwing up in the bus and couldn't find the light in the bathroom. Good thing we went first class and had air conditioning and a bathroom on our bus.

We stayed at beautiful Lake Atitlan,

Hiked to the top of the ruins at Tikal

Hiked to the top of higher ruins
Rode through the jungle for two hours on a bumpy dirt road
Saw the beautiful ruins in Caracol, Belize
Listened to a lecture in the rain
Then sweated until out shirts were wet from sweat

Stayed in the jungle in an eco-lodge before going cave tubing
My dad was with us on the trip

Took a boat ride to get to more ruins in Belize

Hike up a very steep ruin, you needed a rope to hang on to

Spent two relaxing days with a beautiful view out our window on the beach
We are now relaxing at home, anticipating our next trip in October, stay tuned

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mermaid or Whale?


Recently, in a large French city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym.
It said:
A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.
To Whom It May Concern:
Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans).
They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have
adorable baby whales.They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia.
Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.
They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.
Mermaids don't exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up
outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity
crisis. Fish or human? They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them......not to mention how could they have sex?
Therefore they don't have kids either. Besides, who wants to get close to a girl who's skin is all scaly and smells like a fish store?
The choice is perfectly clear to me... I want to be a whale.
P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful,
I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my Grandkids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a latte with
my friends.
With time, we gain weight because we accumulate so much
information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.
Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, "Good gosh, look how smart I am"!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lake Tahoe

We had a wonderful week at Lake Tahoe with the kids and grandkids.The weather was perfect, the nights were wonderful. Steve didn't want to come home, it was 107 when we arrived home. As he always does after a trip he said, "Now remind me why we live here."

It was fun to hike and play with everyone and ejoy the beautiful mountains all around us. Thanks everyone for coming! Kelli & Ryan from Utah, Stephanie from Washington, Nicole for flying back and forth to drive down with Stephanie and the boys, Kathryn for coming up the hill. Looking forward to next year.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom and Dad

This weekend we celebrated my mom & dad's 80th birthday. We had a grand celebration at my sister's house, my parents live next door. All my brothers and sisters were there as were many of the grandkids and great grandkids. There are 7 children, 30 grandchildren and many,I don't want to count them all, great grandkids. It gets harder and harder each year to all get together so this was extra special. We always take a funny picture and convinced my mom to bare her thinning hair (after her next chemo treatment she will probably lose it all). The funny one is always the best picture and that is usually the one you see in our houses. My mom and dad are wonderful parents and we all own them many thanks.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Back to the Mother Country

It is hard to imagine why anyone would leave Switzerland. But my grandfather did in 1918, he didn't have a great life there. His mother was a widow with two small children she couldn't support so my grandfather was put in an orphanage at age 8 and was there until his mother remarried, age 10. He wanted to be an architect and there were only old buildings in Switzerland (I love the old buildings)so he left and came to America by way of Ellis Island.
Steve & I are so blessed to be able to travel. We love going to Switzerland and renting a little apt. and living there for 2 weeks. At night when we came home from a day of hiking in the beautiful Alps, the dairyman would be driving his cows down the middle of the village main street after milking. We had to dodge fresh cow poop, but somehow we didn't mind. Everyday we would pick a new place to hike and everyday the views were breathtaking. Paris was wonderful, but Switzerland is all Gods work. I wish you could all see the beautiful views we saw everyday. I wish my grandfather was alive so I could share with him the love he had for his beautiful country. I still have the music box he brought back from his trip there when I was around 10. We rode the trains, buses and boats and had a wonderful time, I love how the Swiss people put the dates on their houses of when they were built. The house in front of the one we stayed at was build in 1766, and it is beautiful. Our apt was on the 2nd floor of the home of the Bruggers, a lovely older couple who spoke very little English but willing to help any way they could. It is good to be back, but I we are thinking how soon we can get back.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Paris in the Spring

It is sometimes hard to believe as I sit here eating the last of my Swiss candy bar that I was really in Paris for a week. Eveyday life kicks in real fast when you get home and you find yourself back to the same routine, only with a little jet lag thrown in. But here is a recap and some pictures. One of the things I read in my trusty Rick Steve's tour book was dont let anyone offer to take you picture in Paris. Apparently it can be a tourtist scam and the would be picture takers run off with you camera, so I only have one picture of Steve & I together. Of course I took plenty of other people's picture, I must look trustworthy.

We flew all night and arrived in Paris around 7:00 am, by the time we got our bags and figured out how to get from the airport to the hotel, a train ride and metro ride and a short walk, it was around 10:00. Luckly the hotel would hold our bags until check-in at 1:00pm. We had tickets for the Open Air bus ride, a double decker bus, around Paris that stops at all the main site and you can get off and on all day. It was a good way to get oriented to the lay out, we just didn't plan on it raining off and on all day. We sat on the top with out umbrella's for a while but it was became too windy and wet, which wasn't a bad thing when you are going on about 5 hours sleep in a 32 hour period. The following days were better and the weather was really pretty good, not to hot, but I was suprised by the humidity. We went everywhere: Notre-Dame Cathedral, Louvre (the biggest in the western world) & Orsay museums, Sainte-Chapelle (built from 1242-1248 with 6,500 sq feet of stained glass and more than 1,100 different scenes from the Bible), Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Napoleon's Tomb, Rodin Museum, walked down the Champs-Elysees a couple of times (our hotel was right in the middle), Sacre-Coeur basilica, Opera Garnier, Orangerie Museum, St Sulpice Church (featured in The DaVinci Code), we went to the Sunday mass and stayed for the organ concert after, it was great. We walked through the Left Bank, went underground to the Catacombs which contain the bones of 6 million Parisians, it was bizzare, it goes on the about 1 1/2 miles. And last of all, I think my favorite, Versailles, home of kinds and queens of France. We went on a Saturday when the fountains are going, it was awesome! I have never seems so many fountains in one place going off at the same time, it was just beautiful. Well, I could go on much longer, but who wants to read a long blog. Hope you enjoyed the pictures ( I took over 500 and edited them down to 300, don't worry you didn't see them all)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jet Lag, but we're back!
After being gone for 3 weeks, one week in Paria and 2 weeks in Switzerland, we arrived back home Friday night. What can I say, our trip was awesome (I wouldn't call it a vacation, I came home ready for a rest). We have been on the go the whole time. We started in Paris on Thursday, May 14 after a 3 hour flight to Dallas then a 3 hour flight to Boston then an over night 6 hour flight into Paris at 7:00 am the next morning. I can only say Thank goodness for flying First Class. I think that was just as much a fun part of the trip . We loved the seats that went flat into a bed and your own personal T.V. that played about 40 movies and video games, I loved the little kit they give you with the sox to keep your feet warm, the ear plugs, night shades, tooth brush, hand lotion and chap stick.
The flight home wasn't as much fun. Leaving Zurich at 7:00 am, flying to London (only 1 1/2 hours). London to Dallas, 9 1/2 hours, a 4 1/2 hour layover in Dallas and finally a 3 hour flight to Fresno, home by 9:30 p.m. It was daylight the whole time. We were awake for about 22 hours, so this is just a short post, with more pictures to follow. Glad to be back, I missed everybody, my grandkids, people speaking Engligh and your blogs.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

36 Years and where do we go from here?

On April 27 Steve and I celebrated 36 years of marriage. I not sure where the time has gone and it has gone by much too quickly. I has been wonderful, fun, sometimes rocky and never a dull moment. Five terrific children (and 4 children in-law) and 5 grandchildren (with one on the way) have added to the wonderful moments. We have seen the blessing of our temple marriage enrich our lives and carry us through the tough times. So what will the next 35 years hold for us? We thought we would find out in the most romantic city in the world. We will be gone for 3 weeks, first to Paris, then to Switzerland. See you in a month!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Disneyland fun..past & present
We had a great time a Disneyland this past week with Craig and Nicole, Kent, Stephanie, Taylor and Erik. Having grown up in So. Cal., I have always loved Disneyland. I remember when each ride had a different ticket value and it was hard sometimes to decide which ride to go on. Thank goodness that changed, I think we went on Buzz Lightyear 8 times. That was Taylor's favorite ride. We were there three days, but never seemed to make it over to Tom Sawyers Island, (aka Pirates Liar). Things seemed to be a little more commercialized but it was still a happy place to be with kids and now grand kids. I'm a good grandma to take, I don't like many of the rides so I can babysit! It is sometimes more fun to just people watch anyway.

This is 1965, I'm the one with the camera, the others are my brother and counsins

This is in 1984, before Scott was born, I know we took him to Disneyland, but can't find the pictures, isn't that how it is with the last child?

Here we are on at the Captian Eo show, Jack is sitting between Steve & I, that used to be one of my favorites, but Michael Jackson has fallen far and that 3-D show is now "Honey I shrunk the kids". It's 1985, Scott has been born but we left him with my mom.

Taylor wants to ride in the truch

At Mt. Rushmore

Devils Tower Wyoming