Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dan's Birthday

Almost a month ago Dan turned 9.  He was a good and happy birthday boy.  He really wanted a party this year, and so we took a cousin and a couple of other friends and went to Lowe's Xtreme Sports. This is a place with lots of trampoline's, a climbing wall, and a "Ninja Warrior" course.  It was interesting to watch the kids play, because they mostly played by themselves, occasionally stopping to talk to each other when their paths crossed.  They did play together some -- just not a lot.  After that we came home to find that the house had been decorated, and the pizza was on the way.  It was a fun party for Dan.
Mason and Dan.  Dan loved the notebook.  He writes and draws in it often.

Jocelyn and the presents she gave Dan.  He loved all of his presents.

Noelle and Dan.

It is possible that Dan was faking this for me because, naturally, I somehow didn't manage to get the  real thing.
On Dan's actual birthday he opened presents.  Trisa and Travis came to celebrate with Dan too.  What a lucky boy!  Not too long after presents we took a trip to St. George to go and hear cousin Weston speak before his mission.  Dan loves visiting the cousins in St. George -- and their technology.  When we got to St. George we visited my parents first -- and even though my parents had already given Dan some money, my Mom spoiled him with a bag of presents.  Naturally, he thought that was pretty awesome.
Morning presents.
Dan and his new turtle.  I like this picture.

The more normally dramatic picture was blurry.
This is Dan and his birthday loot.

Travis, Trisa holding Dan, Connor, and Jake on birthday morning.

Dan opening presents at Grandma's
He had birthday cake at Grandma's too -- but the picture wasn't taken with my camera.

The other fun thing Dan did for his birthday was to go out with Grandma and get food.  They ate while watching Scooby Doo at Grandma's and then he went and got a present of a shirt and legos.  He loves his time with Grandma (and Grandpa too) and he is a huge fan of getting presents.

Dan is a good and happy boy.  He gives us lots of entertainment, fun, and love.  He had a very happy 9th birthday.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Back to School Pictures

Jake -- 8th Grade

Connor -- 12th grade (Gotta love the purple socks)

Dan -- 4th Grade (And there are more pictures of him because of Elementary School picture taking traditions -- and because he does such interesting poses for his pictures)

My Helpers and Me

This is one of those times when I was smart, and asked for help instead of trying to do the canning by myself.  Connor and Jake froze the peppers, Dan and I got the tomatoes ready for bottling.
Connor, Jake, Dan, and Me (Sherie)

By "asked for help" I really meant that I told the boys they were going to help.  They were good sports.  Connor was not frowning over his work here -- he was frowning over having his picture taken!

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.