Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kindergarten Graduation

Dan graduated from Kindergarten on Friday the 18th.  He spent a lot of his time making sure I was watching him, and he spent a lot of time doing awesome moves.  I wish I had been closer to the front so I could have seen them better.    Dan is rather proud that he is now a first grader.  His pictures will be worth more than any words I can say.

I took this picture because Dan was watching to make sure I did. 

Dan after graduation.

Dan Thomas

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Uncle Chris


Chris and Tina's wedding day.

Tina and Chris.  I believe this was May 7, 1988 (four days before my wedding)

I met Chris when I was 13.  Chris was in our ward (church congregation) when my family moved to Missouri, and he started dating Tina before much time had passed.   Tina was 16 and Chris was 17.  Chris became good friends with my brothers Brian and Ray too.  Ray and Chris would sometimes go camping.  Brian and Chris like to play games.  Chris was often at our house, and I remember occasionally being at his.  Chris likes music, and in an attempt to expand my horizons (or to save Tina from Air Supply being constantly played) he took the time to make me a tape recording of music that he thought I would like.  I still have at least one of those songs on my ipod's favorites list today.  Chris is good at playing the piano and used to play quite a bit of ragtime music.  I was not above begging him to play, and he was always fabulous to listen to (in my opinion). 

Chris went to Japan on a mission, serving honorably there, and trying occasionally to teach some of us a little Japanese when he got home.  I think I can still ask where McDonalds is in Japanese, and perhaps sing a few lines of a song.  We had moved to Colorado before he got back from his mission, and I went off to college before he married Tina.  I remember waking up in my apartment and thinking "my sister is getting married today", and wishing that I could be there.

Thankfully, Chris and Tina moved to Provo and didn't live too far away from me when I went to BYU.  They were very good to have me over and feed me.  I'll always remember the timely phone call Tina made that meant I didn't have to finish the noodles with salt I was having for dinner!  I spent Christmas with them the year that I met Derek -- a couple of weeks before Derek and I got engaged.  Tina made me a stocking (that I still use every Christmas) and they both were very welcoming.  I was so thankful to have family to spend Christmas with!  They had their first baby boy by then and I always enjoyed being with baby Bryce.

After Derek and I got married, going to Chris and Tina's became a regular thing and and we'd all watch Star Trek together, and often eat their food together too.  Chris went to school for a really long time, and eventually got his PhD in Psychology with an emphasis in behavioral neural biology.  They had several children during that time, and even more after he started working as a professor at BYU-I.  Tina and Chris now have 8 children, 2 children in law, and will soon have two grandchildren.  They are good at knowing the importance of family, and we love to visit with them still, though it's a little harder to find the time to drive to Idaho!

I know a lot of this is about Chris AND Tina, but I do not think Chris will mind.  Chris is a good person.  He is thoughtful and kind.  He has a lot of different talents and has tried out a lot of different hobbies over the years.  He really has enjoyed backpacking and hiking and he has taught his children to like them too.  The brothers on my side of the family try to get a backpacking trip in every year.  Some have gone more smoothly than others, but they always see beautiful things and enjoy each others company.  Chris has been my brother for a long time.  I am thankful for him and his good example to me and to my children.
Tina and Chris with their children.  I couldn't find a more recent one.  My apologies to Jamie and Kat.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Occasions

At the end of last week Derek and I celebrated our 24th anniversary.  We had grand plans that didn't work out, but we enjoyed what we got to do.  We saw a movie that made us laugh, went and ate a delicious dinner that I didn't cook, and then enjoyed the beauty of Utah Lake and the chance to talk without interruptions.  We even skipped rocks.  I'm not too bad at that, but I discovered that Derek can flip little rocks with his thumb quite a few feet, while I can flip them at least a couple of inches -- if I concentrate.  Luckily, I don't need that skill to get into heaven.

It has been a great 24 years, and we are hoping to have lots and lots more years to enjoy.

Sunday was Mother's Day (as I'm sure you all know).  It was a really busy day, and kind of emotionally exhausting for me and so I had a slight come apart at the end, but that doesn't take away from the awesome things that happened.  My favorites are these:

When I got back from my early morning meeting a very nice note and embroidered "doubt not, fear not" was on my pillow from Kayli.  She had also drawn a colorful "Happy Mother's Day" on the white board.

Dan gave me multiple pictures, including one from school with "a really cute picture of me" (says Dan).  He likes pictures of himself.  In that one he guessed my age as 33.  Bless him.  He guessed my favorite food was "beans", which made me laugh.  He hates beans, which he gets from me.  He must figure though, that if I make them at all, I must love them!  In Primary he made me a picture of multiple black hearts that was apparently his favorite picture for me because he talked about it the most.  He hugged me several times throughout the day and told me how much he loved me over and over again.  Dan is great to have around on Mother's Day!

Derek gave me a wonderful letter that I love and went for a little walk with me after church.

I talked to my own good Mother for a little over an hour.  It is always good to get a chance to talk to my Mom.  After that I talked to Tia and then Trisa.  By then it was almost time to go on over to Derek's parent's house for a Mother's Day dinner.  While there we had a chance to talk about the hard things and the good things about being a Mother.  The hard things are really hard, but the good things outweigh them -- at least for me.  I am thankful for all of my good children.  Hooray for them, and hooray for good Moms everywhere.

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Derek

 Derek had his birthday on Saturday.  I love him.  He is a great husband, dad, son, brother, friend, etc., etc.  I always say that he is a bit like Mary Poppins -- "practically perfect in every way".  He disagrees.  I am right.  A good share of the good things that I do, that I get credit for, are Derek's idea.  He is very thoughtful and compassionate.  He is good at helping us all smile.  He works hard.  He plays hard.  He is a good man and I am thankful for him.

Derek had a busy birthday.  We spent a lot of the morning with family attending and celebrating our nephew Ethan's baptism.  Next we went home and sent off a picture message to our niece Maryn who was being baptized in the afternoon.  The puppets participated by being in the picture.  Derek returned Trisa and Tia's several calls and text messages that we had missed while we were out.  He put them on speaker phone while he unwrapped his presents.  I'm sure it was a thrill to hear the wrapping paper crinkle over the phone line -- but it was the closest we could come to having them here--which would have been our favorite. 

The pictures show our next adventure.
Derek, Dan, Kayli, Jake, and Connor at the beginning of the trail to the pine forest.

Dan Jake and Derek in the "fort" up in the woods.


I think Jake and I were still saying whatever long thing Derek told us to say before he snapped the picture.

When we got home I accidentally made about three cakes worth of frosting for a few cookies.  This is Derek right before he blew out his large candle.  Hopefully he'll get his wish.  That was a ginger cookie with cream cheese frosting.

Next we did a little yard work for Derek's birthday, ate some food from Wendy's, and watched a movie.  All in all I think it was a good day for a good man.

Happy Birthday to my Derek.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jake's First Cub Scout Campout

Bat Jake is in the back on the left.

They had tin foil dinners.  Jake had tin foil pizza tortillas.  He really doesn't love meat and potatoes.

Jake and Derek are standing in the middle -- at the back.
Jake was really nervous about this campout, even with his Dad going, but he had a great time!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Wishing Plant

A couple of weeks ago Dan came in and told me that he had "wished on a wishing plant" that he would be able to go faster on his bike, and it worked!  So then, he excitedly told me, he wished that he could be grown up in two days.  I was not so excited about that wish and I said, "But I don't want you to be all grown up in two days!"  He then tried to console me by saying, "I don't know if it will work.  It is magic, so I don't know."  Thankfully he is still not grown up.

I wasn't sure which plant in our yard was the "wishing plant" and so I asked him.  He said, "You know, that white one that is out there".  Hmm.  It wasn't until I was outside so that he could show me, and he started looking around, that I clued in that "the white one" is a dandelion gone to seed -- of course!. 

A few days later he came and told me that he had wished on the wishing plant that he could ride his bike better, and it had worked!  He said that Jake had wished that he would be the best soccer player ever.  Jake was there and so I glanced at Jake.  He gave me the "Jake look" (Which is one eyebrow raised and an amused look on his face).  He shrugged his shoulders and said "Well, I do like soccer!"