Monday, October 29, 2012

Trisa's Birthday

On October 18th Trisa turned 22.  Next year she will have been here on earth for half of my life!  Wow!  Time keeps marching forward.  Trisa was in Cedar City on her birthday and so I sent her a package, but I saved the nicest presents for when she came home the next evening so we could watch her open them.  It was so fun to have her and Tia home.  We had a lot of fun with them that evening and we even got to meet three of their friends, which was nice.  I didn't get pictures of the visitors, but here are some pictures of Trisa's birthday celebration.
Trisa, after having re-claimed her Batman hat that she left last time she came to visit.

Trisa opening her present that was not the book she asked for.  Oops!

Kayli was probably trying to steal the Batman hat, or help open the present.  There was a lot of tackling during present opening this time!

Trisa, Connor, Tia, Jake, and Dan.

Derek likes to squeeze our kids really tight and ask them questions so that he can make their voices come out funny.  They sometimes try to squeeze rather tightly in return.  This is a squeeze battle.

This is on Sunday.  We were getting ready to take family pictures, but were practicing with those that were ready.  Kayli is on the left.  Trisa is doing the Superman across Connor, Dan, and Jake.  Trisa is always fun to have around.  All of us love having her at home.
Tia made a pumpkin pie on Trisa's birthday.  That was really nice because Tia doesn't like pumpkin pie.  I heard it got left out during their trip and got rotten.  Ewww!  We didn't make Trisa any treats, but I did send her some. 

Trisa is a beautiful, talented, and generally awesome daughter.  We love her and hope that her birthday was happy, and that this year ahead will be a good one for her.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Harvest Dinner

For a few years now my family has had Thanksgiving early, and called it the Harvest Dinner.  This year it fell during our younger kids fall break and was as fun as ever, though we were sad to be missing Trisa and Tia, and other family members who couldn't make the trip fit into their busy schedules.

The Harvest Dinner was held at my sister Jenny's house and, this time, I made sure to take pictures of some of the fun.  Here are a few for your viewing pleasure.

Charlie, Miles, and Bryce playing a game.

My brother-in law -- Grandpa Chris -- with Lorien and Lorien's Aunt Anika
My sister -- Grandma Tina -- with Lorien.  Sister-in-law Stephanie is there too.  Lorien has lots of admirers.

Lauren, Emma, Stephen, Kayli, and Connor -- also playing a game.

Our beautiful hostess Jenny with our tasty turkey.

Our manly host Jeff carving the turkey.

My nephew Bryce, his wife Katherine, and their beautiful Lorien (who you can't see very well)

Jenny and Mom working at the sink. 

Brian, trying to protect his family by sleeping before he had to drive them home.

Noah and Jake -- two good cousin buddies.
The only complaint I have about the Harvest Dinner is that it seemed to go by too fast and pretty soon I had to say goodbye to all of these good people (along with the ones who managed to avoid my camera) that I love so much.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Uncle Bryon

This is my kids' Uncle Bryon.  He is holding Claire who is not really a baby anymore.  This picture is from 2008 like all of my pictures of Bryon. 

Bryon is married to Derek's sister Diana.  This is her holding Sara who turns one tomorrow.  I stole this picture off the internet since Diana is in "my circle".  They also have two boys.  Dallin is Jake's age (10) and William is 7

This is Bryon playing football with nephews.  Bryon loves football and I love that he goes out and has the boys running plays, even though some of those boys probably didn't know what a play was before Bryon had them running them.  He is good at playing with his nephews.

This is Bryon playing chinese checkers with his son and Connor and Tyler (nephews).  Connor plays chess with him sometimes (or at least has talked about doing it) and Bryon likes to play chess with Devin as well.

This is Brandon, and Bryon (on the right).  The brothers like to play basketball, and this includes the brothers-in-law.  I have heard that Bryon plays enthusiastically and perhaps people have been slightly afraid to guard him before.
When Diana was dating Bryon, Bryon used to spend time playing with Connor.  After they got married they lived close by for a while, but then they moved away for school and work.  We basically get to see Bryon once a year nowadays since they live in New Jersey, but Connor is still always especially happy every year when Bryon comes for the family reunion.  Bryon still takes time to do things with Connor, and Connor likes that.

Bryon has a PhD in Chemistry.  That means that he is a bit intimidatingly smart, but he doesn't make us call him Dr. Bryon or anything.  I always like to see what book he has picked up to read because the books he picks up to read for fun are not at all the same as the kind of book that I pick up for fun.  Of course the idea of Bryon sitting down to read a romatic comedy is kind of hilarious.  He likes to learn about history, and about Book of Mormon lands, and scientific stuff . . . (I'm obviously not very scientific).  He knows lots of interesting things.  I particularly enjoy hearing about his experiences as a scientist who is also a Christian, and the conversations he gets to have with his fellow scientists about his beliefs.

Bryon served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Puerto Rico.  I have heard him speak Spanish.  He does not speak with a native accent, but he can communicate!  Maybe he spoke more like a native when he was doing it every day.

One of the things I like about Bryon is how obviously he loves his family.  I remember seeing him look at Diana once, and he looked like he thought he must be the luckiest person on the planet to be married to her.  I have heard him say that something is wrong with you if you don't get along with Diana.  He also loves his children, and they love their Dado.

Bryon is a wonderful Uncle and an excellent brother-in-law.  I am always glad when we have the chance to see him, and visit with him for a while.  We stayed with them in New Jersey as a part of our summer vacation a little over a year ago, and Bryon was our helpful tour guide in New York City.  He and Diana were fun to stay with.  We are blessed to have Bryon in our family.  I love him, and hope that he has a most excellent birthday.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Derek and I went to Switzerland on September 27th with other people from his work.  This is the annual reward trip for Nature's Sunshine's top managers in the field.  We go as "hosts" and are required to be nice.  Since the people we travel with are generally nice, this is not really a hardship.

We arrived in Switzerland on the morning of my birthday, and I spent time doing the head bobbers on a bus just as Derek predicted.  It was a beautiful trip.  We have been blessed to see many wonderful locations around the world, but I do not remember spending so much time trying to come up with more adequate descriptive words because "awesome", and "spectacular", and "beautiful" didn't seem to cover it.

I will share a couple of photos here, and a link where you can look at all 150 + pictures if you really want to, but I must say that even the pictures aren't quite adequate at showing Switzerland's beauty.
Switzerland was green, with beautiful Swiss houses that had flowers in window boxes.  This was just a pretty farmouse that I liked.  It was one of the very few houses without the flower boxes.

This was taken when we were on top of the world (or it seemed like that).  This was when we went to Schilthorn, and took four tram rides to the rotating resaurant at the top.  It was awesome.

Derek and Sherie and, on the right, the rotating restaurant.
Click on the blue Switzerland to see lots of beautiful pictures.  Unfortunately, I never was able to capture a picture of the vinyards that go to the tops of many of the mountains.  They have built rock walls to make terraces and the grapes are planted right up to the edge.  We're not sure how they get up there to get all of the work done, but it sure is gorgeous!

My great, great grandparents (My Dad's Mom's paternal grandparents) are from Switzerland.  We were not able to go to north eastern Switzerland to see the places they were from (St. Gallen, and Thurgau), but I did talk to one Swiss gentleman who had studied there.  I was thankful that he was able to tell me a little bit about it, but I couldn't help wondering if I have some distant cousin running around up there that looks like me that I could have seen had I been able to go.  You never know!

Switzerland sure is beautiful!  I enjoyed everything I got to see and had a wonderful time with Derek.  Thanks to Derek's parents who stayed with our kids, and therefore made it easy for us not to worry, and thanks to all of those who were at home wishing me a happy birthday while I was far away.  I was thankful for my friend Erika (Derek's co-worker Al's wife) who sang happy birthday to me and gave me some Swiss Chocolate, and for the NSP manager who wished me happy birthday several days in a row and made me smile.

Porch Project

Before Derek and I headed for Switzerland, I was very busy trying to finish up some canning, and shopping, and lists, and Primary work, but mostly I was busy doing the porch project that has been on my list for a couple of years.  Here are the before and after pictures:
Ceiling Before

Railings before

Porch After.  Ceiling is painted white and the beams, rails, and floor are stained chocolate brown.

The stairs.

The Porch.  The color is so much like chocolate that Kayli says it makes her hungry.

 There is still some touch up to be done, but my Dad, who built the porch, did think that it looked much better, and I think so too -- but I sure asked myself what I was thinking several times while working on it!  Hooray for mostly finished projects.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dan Thomas Turns Six!

Dan had his birthday on August 29th.  He had been looking forward to it since the day after his last birthday.  Here are some pictures from the occasion.  Dan is a sweet boy who still has a knack for making us smile.  We love him!

Dan wanted two things for his birthday (well, sort of -- he would like LOTS of things).  He wanted robots, and a party.  I remembered the robots and forgot the party.  Lucky for me, nice Aunts were able to send cousins to the rescue for a last minute party.  This made Dan very happy.
This was a gift from my (Sher's) parents.  It was a big hit -- especially the semi trucks.

Dan with all of his loot.

Kylie, Dan, and Noelle decorate cupcakes with LOTS of sprinkles and some red hots.




Dan and his robot cake.  Last year I made a cake that looked like a robot.  This time he suggested I get robots to go on the cake.  I asked if he would like that better than last year's robot cake.  He very diplomatically said, "No.  It will just be different".  He liked the last one too.

First Day of School Pictures

Connor 9th Grade

Kayli 11th Grade

Dan and Jake

Jake 5th Grade

Dan 1st Grade

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Those Lovely Days of Summer

Summer was lovely, and we did a lot of things, hardly any of which did I capture in a photograph.  Here are a few that I did capture.
This is Jake, and Derek on Father's Day.

This is the fabulous card I found and got for Derek because....look at that one penguin wearing a Hawaiin shirt.  Notice that Derek is wearing a Hawaiin shirt.  That is what Derek wears on special days, something bright to celebrate a happy occasion, even if everyone else dresses in a less colorful fashion!

Jake and Dan
One of the fun things we did was to go to the zoo with my children's Aunt Laura and her kids.  Somehow I foolishly didn't get one picture with her or her kids in it.  I obviously wasn't thinking very well.  I was glad she had invited us.

Connor in the spiders web -- at the zoo.

Kayli at the zoo.  Awesome!

Dan and Jake and a giraffe.
 Another fun thing we did this summer was to have two fabulous family reunions.  I only got a few pictures at the first reunion, and none at the second.  This does not mean I am favoring Derek's family over my own -- I just forgot my camera -- or never got it out -- I can't remember which.
 Weston and Trevor

Connor and Porter (Cousins and good buddies)

Tia spending time with her brother Dan

Dan loved the balloon animals Aunt Michelle made and there was much woe when it died.
This summer there was also youth conference, girls camp, scout camp, a vacation to Idaho (Hey -- vacations are best spent with good family!), dentist appointments, soccer practices and games,  doctors appointments (darn asthma!), and trips to Trafalga and 7 Peaks with local cousins.  There were other things too.  It flew by as usual and was over before we were ready.  Still .... fall brings the excitement of holidays to come ... and time marches on.  Before we know it more lovely days of summer will be here to enjoy.