Thursday, August 20, 2015

Traveling Week

 On Monday July 27th I took Jake to SLC so my brother Brian could take him to Idaho.  Jake went to stay with his cousin Noah for a week.  They don't always sleep much during their time together, but they always have fun!  Tuesday the 28th I flew to Missouri with my brother Ray, and on the 29th we flew home.  Friday Connor and I drove to get Jake (with Dan in the back seat), and Saturday we drove home.  In between getting there and leaving, we did some visiting, and had an adventure.

I have some pictures of the same quality that you have come to expect!
Here I am at the batting cages.  I had such a good time hitting.  Slow pitch softball did make me feel better about myself than semi-fast pitch baseball.  Gotta love the sweet spot!  On the other hand, you have to hate that I'm old enough that my back wasn't quite the same for a week or so.  Sigh.

Caleb in his race car.

Dan driving his race car.

Stephanie trying out a climbing wall for the first time.  She made it to the top!

Tina and Stephanie getting ready to scream a lot as they were made extremely dizzy in this crazy spinning machine.
Traveling week wasn't really over after Saturday.  Sunday Connor and I drove to St. George.  My boys stayed with the St. George cousins, and I stayed at my Mom and Dad's house.  Dad had back surgery that Monday, having two discs fused.  It has not been fun, and he is still trying to recover in a rehabilitation center.  I stayed with Mom until Wednesday.  The only pictures I got have nothing to do with why I was there.  They are of my Sister Jenny's dogs since she was gone that week and my Mom was taking care of them.  I also got a great picture of this giant sandwich my Mom got at the hospital's cafeteria.  That cafeteria has good food!
Max is getting old and wouldn't want to expend too much energy eating!

Naturally, the sandwich was too big for Mom to bite.

The dogs know who to beg for food.  My Mom spoils them.  Here she is getting the good stuff out of the fridge.  It was really the only way we could get them out of the house long enough to close the door before they got back in!
It was great to get to do all of that traveling, and to see people I love, and even to try to be helpful.  It is also great to be home.  There is no place like home!

Missouri Trip Pictures

When I wrote the blog about my Uncle H.D. and family, I looked and looked for pictures.  I totally forgot that I had taken some on my trip!  They really are rather random, and not all of them are terrific, but they are the best I've got.  It's a good thing I was not the official photographer!

Aunt Vanda and me at the cemetery.  I actually went to get a picture with my
Aunt Ada Lu but she insisted I really wanted one with Aunt Vanda (and I wanted one of those too)
so Aunt Ada Lu took my camera and took this picture.  I never did get one with her!

I have two of these that are almost identical, but I get different people better in different pictures.
Left to right there is David, Julie, Cristy, Melissa, My Aunt's hair, Mike, Deanne, Rose Ann, Don, and Dennis

Same people, same order, except you can see Aunt Carol Ann

Deanne, David, and Aunt Carol Ann

Ok, I look goofy, but David had to lean down about a foot so we would both fit in the picture I was trying to take!

Deanne and me.  We were wearing matching shirts!  She lives in North Carolina :-)
Naturally, I wish I had taken my picture with everyone, or at least a good picture of everyone, but it sometimes feels a bit awkward to go up and ask for a picture, and people are good at sensing cameras when you are trying to sneak pictures -- and they don't always cooperate!

Friday, August 14, 2015

In Honor of Uncle H.D. and His Family

Aunt Carol Ann and Uncle H.D. on one of their missions.
The Summer when I was 13 years old my family moved from our home in Kentucky to my Uncle's house in Missouri while my Dad looked for a new job.  My Uncle has 10 children, and my parents have 5. Big cousin party -- all summer!  It wasn't a huge house, but not too small either and we all squished in somewhere.  I got to sleep on the floor by Julie's bed.  She was my best friend cousin.

Being a clueless child, I never thought about how hard this "party" was for the parents of both families.  I just enjoyed it.  My Uncle was a Doctor, and he sometimes worked all night.  He would come home in the morning, hug us all good morning, and head up to bed.  I do not know how he slept. We weren't particularly quiet.  My youngest cousin in that family was still very little, and I remember my Aunt rocking her to sleep. I also remember my Aunt singing in the mornings, as if she had had enough sleep, and was thrilled to spend another day with lots of kids running around the house!

They had a piano and an organ and often both were played at once.  This wasn't necessarily beautiful playing, just "fun" playing where we made up our own songs.  There were large family scripture studies, and I think some Family Home Evenings, though my memory is a little vague on that.  I do remember us all gathered together to hear my Uncle telling us a tall tale where he was hunting, and the deer ended up pedaling the bicycle down the mountain.  He liked telling stories.  We did a lot of things including playing games, and doing activities created from our imaginations.  I do not remember being bored -- ever.

There were delicious Saturday morning pancakes, and evening ice cream parties.  There were meals of bottled fruit and crackers and milk.  I actually don't remember the other food, but I'm sure we ate plenty!  I had so much fun that summer! 

By the end of the summer my Dad had a job and we had our own house, but we lived close to my Uncle H.D. and his family for three years, and they were very good years for me.  What a difference good friends can make.  My cousins were my friends.  I always knew that my Uncle and Aunt loved me too, and they liked me being around, and that meant a lot to me.  They even took me on vacation with them once!

We moved again when I was 16, and I really didn't see my Uncle and Aunt a lot after that.  Still, we occasionally had a reunion, and they took the time to come to the airport once when Derek and I had a layover in Saint Louis.  I felt very loved.

I was very sad when my Uncle got sick, but I loved to see how well my Aunt and cousins took care of him and loved him.  So many plane trips, and time off work, and doing hard things.  So much love shown every day.  I was far away, and I was so thankful that they managed to take care of him as if they lived next door, and not in different states, or different towns.  My Uncle loved his family, including me.  I love his family too, including him!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Getting Away for a Day

Derek writing in the cabin journal, and Connor playing with fire.

It may be summer, but it was kind of cold that day.  Kayli and Jake were snuggling up to the fake fire.

This is Dan. Snacks are a happy thing.
Connor.  I was getting frustrated with him for turning away every time I took a picture.
He was getting frustrated with me for taking pictures of him :-)
We actually took this trip sometime between our two reunions.  We took my four wheeler too and enjoyed riding around.  I might have enjoyed it more than the rest because I took a jacket.  We stopped in spots of sunshine to warm up, and it was good to get away for a day.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Keep Your Eye On The Prize

This was the theme of this year's Christensen reunion.  Every year has a different theme, and a different shirt to go with it.  It also has lots of devotionals, lots of activities, and lots of good people to visit with.  The reunion started Thursday evening and ended on Saturday.  Naturally I only got three pictures.
This is Travis in our back yard pulling Chewy in the wagon.
What a patient dog.

This is breakfast in our back yard Friday morning.  Breakfast for 71 people!  Tonya was sporting her belt from back surgery.  My Dad got a matching one yesterday!

We spent Friday night up Payson Canyon at the Blackhawk campground.
This is Trisa, Derek, and Kayli.
We also had water activities, paper rockets that were shot high into the sky, a hike, lots of meals, programs, singing, and a little birthday celebration for Derek's Mom.  Everyone came except Trevor, the family's missionary.  It is always good to see everyone, and it is always hard to visit with everyone enough before it is time to go home!

Trisa is the only one sporting a reunion Tee shirt in the pictures I took.  Unfortunately, she wasn't really facing the camera.  She was happy though, and that's the best!

Kebabs, Kebabs, and more Kebabs

...and not one picture of the Kebabs or Trisa, Travis (our son-in-law) and some of their family and friends selling them on the 4th of July.  Last year for the 4th Travis' family took us to Lake Powell for some relaxing fun (if you didn't listen to Dan whining about having to wear a pink life jacket).  This time Travis and a friend cooked up the idea of selling Kebabs at the annual 4th of July celebration in Blanding.  We made about 1700 kebabs one day, and a little over a thousand the next morning.  I don't have one picture of Trisa's messy kitchen, or garage, or Derek's awesome kebabing invention that saved us lots of time.  But, I did get some pictures.

We couldn't possibly go to Trisa's house without getting a picture of the dog.
Ha ha! We don't have any of Trisa and Travis, but we have Chewy relaxing during our visit.

This is the view from Travis' parents new house (still under construction)
Connor is the one with his head hiding.
Travis' Dad got a new toy for his birthday. A drone.   It was a great toy and he let the boys catch it, and launch it.

This is Dan.  I can't remember if he was holding the drone up to launch it, or if he was catching it,
but he liked both.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Jake and Dan's Summer Activities

Jake and Dan have spent hours on the trampoline, including one night outside sleeping on it.

They have made terrifying creatures in the family room

They have built tall buildings
And short ones
They have built forts and slept in them (for at least a part of the night)

Then they got their braces on.  Jake was first.

And Dan was next (the same day)
They have also played with friends, gone to the pool, played their instruments, played Wii games, played computer games, gone to the library, and watched movies.  There have been a lot of "picnic" lunches in front of movies downstairs.  They have also done piles of laundry (That's one of their main summer jobs this year) and made treats with me.  Of course their have been moments of boredom too, but they mostly don't mention that because I might give them more jobs.

It has been a busy, happy summer so far, and these are some good boys.