Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Trusty Bike

Me and my bike.  Photo taken by Dan.
I have had my bike for 25 years.  My Dad bought it for me when I was in college so that I wouldn't have to walk everywhere.  It has seen times when I rode it a lot, and times when it spent the whole year hanging in the garage.  A few years ago I had it fixed up, but in the beginning of the year it was in bad shape again and so I went out with Derek and got a new bike.  My old one is a Schwinn and so was the new one.  It was white and red.  It had a little bell, and a rack on the back, and fenders.  I rode it around the store for a while and then bought it.  Of course, when we got it home we discovered that its gears didn't work, it's brakes were always on and were impossibly hard to adjust, and the handle bars were installed off center.  I took it back and was assured that it could be fixed in about 40 minutes.  I decided to get my money back.

After more looking, and lots of considering, I decided that fixing my old bike up was a cheaper option and a really good one for someone as sentimental as me.  So, I took it to the local bike shop and they put road tires on it again (I had replaced its road tires with mountain biking ones).  They replaced the rusty cables and oiled the chains enough that I wasn't having to work extra hard to pedal.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that my bike was fun to ride again!  I added a bike rack on the back (for snacks, jackets, or library books) and a speedometer (It's fun to know how fast you are going and how far you have ridden).  So, the bike that my Dad bought for me, and he bought me a good one, is working for me still.  Good exercise and good fun.  Thanks Dad!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Family Fun in Idaho

     No summer is complete for us without a trip to Idaho.  Unfortunately, our summer was so busy we didn't make it there during summer vacation.  Fortunately, we figured out a way to fit the trip in later.  We left right after school on Thursday (Aug. 25) and had the kids skip their first Friday of school.  Trisa and Tia were not able to come, but the rest of us had fun.  Here are some of the highlights of our trip.

     We stopped at my parents house for dinner on the way to and from Idaho.  The food was delicious both times, and it was "Dan safe" including the Oreo "cake" to celebrate Dan's birthday number 5.
     Friday the kids played a lot and Derek and I got to attend the Rexburg Temple with Chris and Tina.  It was a blessing to get to go and it was nice to spend a little time with Tina and Chris.  W also enjoyed delicious Jamba Juices afterwards.  Tina's carrot one was not really making me jealous.

     We got to see their new beehive.
Emma handled the bees, Kayli got near them because she was in a suit.  Derek, Connor and Stephen could look into the hive from above.

Emma, Kayli, and lots of honey bees
     We got to see the chickens and watch the roosters strut around cock-a-doodle-dooing.  This is funny if you are not the one being woken up at four or five every morning.
Handsome Rooster

Stephen and Connor in the chicken coop.

Connor gazing lovingly at the chicken

Connor being amazed that he is holding a chicken.
     Saturday was also fun.  Chris and Derek took some of the kids on what was apparently a fabulously awesome hike (thanks Chris).  They went to a cave that had a wind tunnel.  Derek had me buy so many sweets for the hike that the sugar buzz alone should have kept them happy. While they were off seeing beautiful things Tina and I took some boys and went to the splash park.  They rode the carousel before getting wet.  Seeing the cute boys waving at us from their horses on the carousel was probably my favorite part of that trip, though it was kind of funny when Jake accidentally squirted me in the face when I told him it was about time to go.

     That night we had a big family dinner with my sister Tina and my brother Brian's families and that was really fun too.  We spent quite a bit of time trying to think of ways that the roosters (that were supposed to have been hens) could meet their demise without Christopher feeling guilty.  We obviously weren't successful as, last I heard, the roosters were still strutting around cock-a-doodle-dooing.

     Sunday was spent at church with Brian's family.  That Relief Society room was about the temperature of the Antarctic in the winter, but Brian found me a nice lady to sit by and the lesson was good.  I can't remember the trip home.  I think I had trouble staying awake and was glad that Derek was able to make the trip without falling asleep.  It was good to be home, but we are glad that we fit in some good family fun in Idaho.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Brother's Hike

In August was the annual "Brothers Hike".  The brothers and brothers-in-law from Derek's side of the family, and his Dad when he is not on a mission, try to get together to tromp through the woods together (or some other scenic location).  This year not many could go -- just five.  They went to the Uintas.  Trent took pictures and generously shared them with us.  Derek asked me to pick a few and print them for his scrap book.  Since this generally IS our scrapbook I thought I would post them with a thanks to Trent for taking them and getting them out to family.

Jordan, Trent, and Derek

Jordan, Doran, Quinn, Derek

Derek, Quinn, Jordan

One of these boats had a big leak.  Quinn got to hold his finger over it the whole time they were on the lake so they wouldn't sink.  He had a life jacket on just in case.  (Okay so they probably all worse those).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Beautiful Mother

My Mom (Anna) and her sister Gail
My Mom is beautiful.  She isn't just pretty, she is also kind, thoughtful, generous, fun, and smart -- and that is not an all-inclusive list of her good qualities!  I could not ask for a better mother, and that is why it is rather inexplicable that out of all of the birthday blogs I chose to write this year, it is my Mother's tribute that is late!  Still, it is heart-felt and I know my Mother well enough to know that she will overlook its late arrival.

My Mom's birthday was almost a month ago on August the 16th.  She was born in a little mining town in KY where she lived until she was almost 19.  Sometimes now, when she is really excited about something, or is talking to her Sister in KY, I can hear that twang sneaking back in and it makes me smile.  I always loved to listen to my KY relatives speak.

It is hard to know what to write about the person who was there for me from the time I needed her to do everything for me, until now.  She remembers things I did that I don't remember myself!  Through it all she has loved me by listening, teaching, helping, and serving.

When I was eight we moved from Nevada to Kentucky.  I still remember crying my first night there.  My mother must have been exhausted from moving and getting us all settled, but she took the time to listen to me when I told her I was sad, and a little nervous too.  The time she took with me that night was important enough that I have remembered it for decades now.  I think it means even more to me now that I have been a Mom myself and I know how hard it can be to listen when you are tired!

My Mom taught me a lot of things.  From almost my earliest memories I had chores.  I can't imagine that it was really helpful to my Mom for me to do these chores when I was little.  I'm sure it would have been faster for her to do it herself!  Yet, she knew that I would need to do things for myself one day and that I needed to know how.  I learned to clean, and bake, and cook, and even sew (a little).  I learned to bottle fruit, do laundry, and give talks and family home evening lessons.  My Mom read to me, and bought me books so that I could read too.  She loves music and she sang to us, and with us.  She sacrificed some of the family funds so that I could learn to play the piano, and when we really could barely afford it, she bought me a flute so that I could learn to play that too.  I knew that I was a child of God, and that he loved me and wanted me to choose the right because of the songs we sang.  What an amazing gift my Mother gave me through music!

My Mom has the mistaken notion that she isn't very smart.  Though we aren't inclined to argue much in our family, I have occasionally argued with her over this.  What is more smart than to know how to find answers when you need them?  Life has sometimes been hard for my Mom.  Dad worked a LOT of hours for a while and she had five of us to take care of, teach, and listen to.  Then we started moving.  We moved from Nevada, to Kentucky, to Missouri, to Colorado before I was eighteen, and she and Dad, and Brian and Jenny moved more often after that.  Friends were made and left behind.  Jobs were found and left behind.  And she had some health challenges to deal with along the way as well as the normal challenges of being a parent.  My Mom is really very incredible.  When challenges came she would turn to scriptures, and books, and ask people, and most importantly, she would pray.  She learned to listen very well to the help that Heavenly Father would send through the whispers of the Holy Ghost and she did what He said.   My Mom is smart.

I could probably write whole chapters about my Mom's many good qualities, but I will finish by talking about her compassionate nature and the service she gives.  I remember her taking care of me the many times I had tonsillitus when I was younger.  I would get so sick, and she would always offer to make whatever I wanted to eat when I got better.  Then, when I was pregnant with Trisa, she came to Provo from wherever they were living at the time and took care of me.  Since then she has cooked many meals for me and my family, and done lots of laundry, and watched grandkids, and written letters, and done dishes, and cleaned floors, and helped us move, and any number of other things.  I'm sure she has helped my siblings in many of the same ways.  My Mom is an extremely hard worker.  I have also watched over the years as she has made meals for others, or called them, or visited them.  She is good at loving people the way they are and, at the same time, inspiring them to want to be better.

I love my Mom.  Her heart is a loving one, which helps to make her incredibly beautiful. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Mom and Dad's 50th Anniversary Tribute

The Story of a Girl and a Boy
(My Parents)

A boy was born in a western town,
Where the LDS church was the main church around.
He had parents who loved him,
And he had siblings too.
He was taught what was right,
He was taught what was true.
He grew up and left home,
On a mission he went,
Knowing his life would change
But, to what extent?

A girl was born in a mining town
There were hills, and trees, and churches around.
She had parents who loved her.
She had siblings too.
She was taught what was right,
She was taught what was true,
To the fullest extent that her parents knew.
But the girl still had questions
Where could answers be found?
And it was about then
That the boy came around.

The girl's family was taught by the boy.
They learned more of truth.
They discovered new joy.
And the man he discovered
By unusual means
That this girl, from this town
Was the girl of his dreams!
So once he went home he wrote letters galore.
He had really strong hopes
He would see her some more!

He sent her a ring, by way of the mail,
And he called on the phone
What a tale he can tell!
Of the girl that he loved
Bravely telling him yes,
And going out with her Father
To buy a new dress.
One fit for a temple that was far away
Where she'd marry the boy
On their own wedding day.

So on September 1st 1961
They were sealed in the temple
Their marriage had begun.
The girl and the boy
Were now to be one.
They would sometimes be happy,
And sometimes be sad.
There would be times that were hard,
And times that were glad.
Through all things they were
Determined to stay
Together to work
Through each challenging day.

They welcomed five children
They taught them with love,
Of their Heavenly Parents
Watching from up above.
They sent two boys on missions
And welcomed them home.
Boys and Girls soon grow up
Leaving parents alone.
But not so alone as they were before.
Because the children got married
And then there were more!

More people to love
More children to hold
More joy for the years
All more precious than gold.
This because two good people,
A girl and a boy
Who valued good family
And worked to have joy
Were sealed in the temple
Making promises there
Then worked hard to keep them
With diligent care.

I wrote this for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary party.  Mom and Dad are really good people who have worked hard to be good parents.  I am especially thankful that they taught me about Jesus, and His love for me and all of Heavenly Father's children.  Because of that knowledge my life has been full of hope, joy, love, and peace.  I love my parents and hope they are enjoying their anniversary adventure today.