Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kayli Goes to Prom. . . . .

. . . . but before that Kayli, Dan and I went dress shopping.  The other girls are off at college, and the other boys and Derek were with scouts.  Who knew that Dan would love helping Kayli look for a dress?  He really liked that three way mirror in the dressing room so that he could see himself looking awesome, he liked picking dresses for Kayli to try, and he loved riding the escalators (which is how we got him to go without complaining in the first place).  He also got a Wendy's hamburger out of it and so dress shopping was a good thing for Dan.  He was a bit disappointed that she didn't pick the one he liked the best, but he didn't cry over it.  We went to one store and got one very nice dress.

When Prom day came Kayli went and got her hair cut in the morning, and then later her YW president kindly did her hair for the dance since Tia was not available and I do NOT do hair.  Here are some pictures of Kayli looking gorgeous.
Kayli.  I forgot to tell her not to hold on to her dress.  It was a little long and so she didn't want to step on it.  She's holding on to it in all of the pictures I took.  Oops.  It's still pretty.

The back of Kayli's hair and dress for you to admire.

I made Kayli pretend to put on the boutineer.  I really put it on -- which is funny because my Mom put on Derek's for our reception since I didn't know how!  I watched a video on how to do it -- and Kayli's date Ryan had instructions for me too.  Besides, I've done a couple for Tia and Kayli's dates before.

Ryan and Kayli.  They are friends.  He is in our ward and Connor said he's never seen him looking more nervous than he did when he came to get Kayli!

Kayli pointed out my flash hadn't been going off, which was causing blurry pictures.  Here is a clear one.

The last one before they left.
Ryan and Kayli went with a pretty big group and had a good time.  Kayli's dress ripped when she was getting in the truck, but it was just a seam coming loose and was easily fixed before church today.  Dances and dates make Kayli really nervous, but she said that she did have a really good time.  Derek and I even propped our eyes open until she was back (at around 11:30) and got to hear about it and get hugs from Kayli before bed.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Uncle Quinn

Uncle Quinn with some of his children and some of mine.
I "met" Quinn for the first time through letters while he was on his mission.  He didn't get home until I was officially his sister-in-law.  I have had a few years since then to get to know him in person, even though, once he got married, they became the travelling family for a while, living in a few different states before coming back to Utah (Hooray!).

Quinn and his wife Tonya have five children and I write about visiting them quite a bit since they are always graciously hosting us at their home.  I suspect we invade their home, eat their food, and enjoy their hospitality more often than any other family.  This is nice for us, and I have written about it before.  My kids still talk about the family home evening we had while visiting when we had a marshmallow battle using marshmallow guns.  Some of us laughed so much we had a hard time "shooting" those guns without inhaling the marshmallows!

Quinn is an occupational therapist who is good at caring for people.  He does a good job of listening.  He listens to neighbors, friends, family members, and the people he works with.  This is, I suspect, one of the reasons that Dan follows him around talking whenever he's here or we're there.  Quinn is also patient when Dan tackles him or otherwise does kind of pesky things. Connor describes Quinn as "fun", and all of my kids love him. 

Quinn has a notorious sweet tooth, which I think he has been trying to curb.  There are lots of family legends about Quinn eating all of his Easter or Christmas candy in one sitting, and then not feeling too well later.  Fortunately he enjoys being active too and so the candy hasn't killed him off.  He likes sports, and hiking, and he's done lots of scouting activities before -- both while earning his Eagle, and while being a scout leader.

There are lots of good talents and qualities that Quinn has, and I'm sure I don't know them all.  He does have a gift of making people feel like they are important to him.  He has a good sense of humor, he is compassionate, he is thoughtful, and he has a good sense of adventure.  He loves his family, and works hard to take care of them, and his extended family too.  As of yesterday he is my age (for a few months).  If only I could remember how old that is........I have conveniently forgotten.

Happy Birthday Quinn! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Break Part Last

Day four we got up and swam, pretending it was warm.  The pool was heated, the hot tub was nice, and we had a good time.  Next we drove to the Valley of Fire.  You drive and drive and then, all of a sudden, there are fabulous red rocks to climb on.  We didn't really see even close to all there was to see, but we were ready to head back to the cousin's house.  Dan opted to start out sleeping on the mattress this time.  We all enjoyed that visit, and we made it home safely the next day.
This is a picture of what Derek did a lot of during our trip.

Tia with some petroglyphs


Jake, Kayli, and Connor

Jake, the back of Dan, and Derek

Derek and me

Dan, Kayli, Tia, Connor, Me (Sherie)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Break Part 2

Day 3 (Wednesday):  We climbed around Red Rock Canyon until the weather got to be rainy instead of just really windy and not very warm.  We drove around after that, had lunch in the car, and drove off to Vegas where we saw the Bellagio's fountain show and saw their pretty flowers.  Then Derek humored me and found the house I lived in until I was 8 and the elementary school I went to until halfway through third grade.  I even got a glimpse of our old church!  We went back to the hotel, swam, ate, watched Psych, and drove to the Las Vegas Temple.  That was one busy day.  Perhaps I wasn't as un-grouchy as I should have been the whole day, but I did enjoy a lot of it!
Another day another Hawaiian shirt!

Dan is always ready with a dramatic pose.

Connor and Me on a ledge

Climbing was a great favorite with the boys, who loved the little caves.

Jake did not seem as afraid of heights as usual.  He had a great time.

This was the view at lunchtime.
We stopped by the visitors center.  Dan has a happy smile.

Us at the Bellagio.  Kayli says she is not looking because Derek said everyone's name but hers so she was sure he didn't want her to look.  Silly Kayli.

Kayli, Tia, Me (with Dan), Connor, and Jake

This shows a little of how tragic Jake and Dan were about not being back at the hotel yet.

Tia by the flower picture.
I'll finish up tomorrow -- I hope. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Break

Day 1:  We eventually pack up and drive to Cedar City to say hello to Trisa and drop off some of Tia's stuff.  Then we head to "the cousins" in St. George.  There we picnic, pay semi-attention to the concert at the park, and then head back for sleep.  Dan insists that he is sleeping on the ottoman (Not too wide and not as long as Dan).  We all try to tell him he'll fall off, and Uncle Quinn strategically places a mattress on one side hoping he will fall that direction.  At 2:30 a.m. I can witness that he is still on the ottoman.  Derek, who sleeps poorly no matter where he is says Dan stayed on much longer than that.  By morning though, he has landed on the mattress.  He says (sounding a bit disappointed) "I fell off".

Day 2:  After the cousins are off to school, we desert Aunt Tonya to her busy day and head off to Lake Mead and Hoover Dam.  The weather is really warm, and really windy, which makes the warm bearable, but occasionally threatens to blow us over.

The windy picnic.  Think sandwiches that are dry before you're done making them.

Lake Mead is beautiful!

The wind whipped up some dirt with the water by the shore.

Dan with "crystal rocks".  He loved Lake Mead!

Hoover Dam spillway (we think) -- it was really amazing.

Jake and Derek.  Derek was meant to be born in Hawaii I think!

Dan, Derek, and Tia

The Hoover Dam is awesome.

Connor kept Dan from blowing away on the windy bridge that crosses above the dam.

This is the bridge we walked across (halfway)
We ended the day with a swim and a soak in the hot tub at our hotel in Henderson.

Writing about more days today would overload you with pictures.  These two days were our warmest weather wise and we did have a really good time.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tia Arlene

Tia graduated from high school almost a whole year ago.  Since then she has gotten her cosmotology license, gotten contacts, had another birthday (a little over a week ago), gone on a spring break adventure with her family, and moved off to Cedar City to get a job and have fun adventures with Trisa.

When Tia was here I felt like I hardly ever saw her.  Either I was busy and gone or she was hanging out down in her room.  Still, having her gone makes the house seem a lot more empty.  As Dan was smacking while eating a cinnamon roll this evening I suggested that he do his "magic trick", which was Tia's way of teaching him to eat with his mouth closed.

When Dan was telling me super long stories that I couldn't understand, I was missing Tia who was good at talking to Dan when he gets home from school and asking him questions that would have them both laughing.  I can't even think of what she and Dan said to each other, just that it was fun for me to listen to them.

Tia was good at sitting by her Dad in the evening and laughing with him too.  I'm afraid there won't be enough laughing around here without her.  Kayli is sad to be the only girl at home, not counting Mom.  Connor will miss her too.  I'd better come up with a few funny stories to liven up the evenings!

When we were leaving her at her new apartment with Trisa, Jake started crying.  I think he just wanted to go home, but I knew he'd miss her too so I started crying, and then Kayli started crying.  Trisa and Tia laughed.  Tia said something like, "Oh my gosh you guys!  I'm coming home next weekend!"  Which is true.  It was kind of funny really.  Hopefully Trisa didn't feel bad that we didn't cry when we dropped her off.  I have cried when she's gone back to college after a visit before -- mostly because I feel sorry for me that she's not here anymore -- but I know that it is time for them to have adventures without Mom.  Sigh.

Tia is great.  She usually has a good story to share.  She is fun.  She laughs a lot.  She makes us smile.  We are sure she will be creating smiles wherever she goes, which will help us to be happy too.

I love you Tia!

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Biking Boy and a Pretty Girl

This is Kayli, the "pretty girl" from the title.  I may have failed to mention that she got her braces off on March 13.  She was always beautiful, but now she smiles more.  This is her opening her ice cream bucket full of ice, which also contained an invitation to Prom.

Look!  No training wheels!  Of course, he's already flipped over the handle bars once.  Derek said he was going too slow when he hit the edge of the driveway.  Dan maintains that he hit a rock and that did it.  Either way, he was fine.

Dan likes to go outside and practice.  He proudly showed me that he knows how to stop.  That's an important skill.

Tia was practicing braiding on Kayli.  It's too bad Tia will be off living in an apartment with Trisa on prom day, too far away to be helpful!

Pretty hair.