Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas

And there went out a decree from Ceasar Augustus....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

An Impromtu Hike can be a spirtual experience

Saturday, December 22nd. A great day to do some last minute preparations for Christmas. Hopefully time to bake a little and sew up some bags for the gift we were making for several people on our list. We didn't jump out of bed because we thought that we had all day to get everything done.

JVA and SLA just discovered that the Bear and his girl are not going north as planned. New plan, they would leave Monday AM. So as we have been putting JVA off for many years about hiking Devil's Chasm. Our latest excuse had been that we needed to wait until the Bear was home. So, as the moons had finally aligned with Jupiter and Mars it was time to attempt the assent into the wilderness of Cherry Creek.

We stopped at Safeway to purchase some lunch stuff and off we went. As we drove past Picket Post JVA called on the radio and told us that we should climb this also as we would probably be done and back by early afternoon.

We turned off of the pavement onto Cherry Creek Road and realized that we didn't have a map. I told them that the road would take us there even though Abe was remembering a turn somewhere. So then we started discussing who was right. We drove through Cherry Creek which was running quite nicely. Our explorer would have been too low and would have probably ended up with an engine full of water.

For once, I was right and we arrived at the correct location to begin our assent. Seeing how much water there was in the creek coming off of the mountain we knew that we may have some problems with the climb. We walked and walked and went up and up and discussed whether we were on the right trail. All we knew for sure is that if we followed the creek up we would get where we needed to go. The higher we went the colder it got. There was ice on the trail wherever there was a little water.

We had attempted this hike several years ago - JVA's Junior Year a few months after he had his ACL surgery. We had gotten a late start and had not completed the hike the closest we got was within viewing distance of the ruins in the previous picture. We got to this rock that we had to get over and it took two people - one pulling and one pushing to get several of us up the rock and through the rabbit hole that you have to get through. That time there was no water in the creek - or very little. When we got to this rock, the waterfall was rumbling over one side of the rock, but the place you have to go up was dry.

This picture was taken on the first hike. We took pictures this time also, at the end of this blog showing the water in the creek.

We got to this place and I was having one of my really bad, scared of heights days. JVA and da bear decided that they would help me up, so one pushed and one pulled as I was telling them that it would be better if I just stayed at the bottom and waited for them. But they managed to pull me up. I told them that this was like child birth, it was that painful. JVA said that he was scared. I asked him why and he told me that he was scared that they wouldn't be able to get me back down the rock.

Whe we got to the top of the rock I realized that this was the place that we had to cross the face of the waterfall the last time we were there. The difference was that last time there was no water and this time you would get soaked. So they decided to go up and around the waterfall. Knowing that this wasn't an option for me, I told them that I would just wait. We had Bella and Blue with us so I thought the three of us could just sit here and watch the water flow while we waited. Abe decided that he would wait with me and we would start heading down. After the other four had left I really got scared. Here we were on top of this rock and we needed to get the dogs and me down.

We went under the one rock and into the rabbit hole to the top of the rock. I helped blue and bella down for abe to help them slide down the rest of the way. And that is when I had the most horrible extreme attack of fear that I have ever had. As I was sitting there with abe and the dogs in the creek below I started thinking that I wouldn't ever be able to get down. That they would have to sedate me and air evac me out of this place. Then I decided that this was ridiculous, so I closed my eyes and asked the Lord for strength to get down the rock. Immediately I knew I could do this, so I told abe to help guide me and told him that I needed to do this right away. I laid down on the rock and he guided my feet, then I slid the rest of the way down. When we got to the bottom I realized that I wasn't alone getting down. That I truly had help.

We continued our return trip to the car marveling at the blessings that we have received. After 30 minutes or so the rest of the group caught up with us. They decided that it was farther than they thought and they would come back in a few months, starting a little earlier. Maybe by then the Bear's girl won't have her wrist in a cast. (she out hiked all of us, even with her arm broken)

They asked how abe had gotten me down and he told them that he didn't. So I told them that I had prayed myself down. They were amazed. But then, so was I.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Phone Home

This morning my home phone rang and before I could answer it it stopped. Then my cell phone rang and I raced into the bedroom to answer it. It was our bear calling from New York, jut wanted to let us know that he is back in the states. He'll be back home in mid December for awhile, then out of the military a few months after that. Yes, he's bringing the girl back to meet the family and if we don't scare her off.....

It was Brain Surgery

We had to drive into the desert on Saturday to repair do some maintenance on one of our geocaches.

As we were trying to get out of Cooltown we had to stop and wait for a really huge funeral procession to get by. Back on the road and a few miles out of town we noticed a firetruck blocking traffic. This time we had to detour as there were some power lines down on the highway. We thought maybe we should go home and give up for the day.

Finally we got to where our cache was located. A previous cacher told us that our "half a brain" was now two quarters of a brain. They recommended that we take some JB weld or something out to repair the cache. I disabled the cache when I found out that we had a problem. We even got an email from a cacher who planned on being in the area and wanted to know if they could fix the cache for us.

So with some gorilla glue in hand we preformed brain surgery. Feeling we had accomplished a lot for the day we headed home. We placed one more cache on the right road so that we could encourage more people to find our newly repaired half a brain.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Pardon me

So abe finally did it.

He was finally pardoned by the governor, or he officially retired, whichever makes the best story as both are somewhat true.

He would love to become a fisherman full time, but....

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A weekend of halloween and fun

Friday was the annual MLT Halloween bash, leaner, rhayn and gwen came to town to help celebrate.

Good food and fun for all.

Saturday abe, JVA and SLA needed to sight in their rifles for the big deer hunt. So since leaner was in town and Beth and Gav were over (mom and dad were out of town celebrating their anniversary) we decided to invite everyone out for a picnic at Coyote Pond. Fishing wasn't the best- too much duck weed. But Beth and Rhayn each caught a fish. Gwen decided that G'ma was the best chair at the pond.

That evening it was on to the next halloween gathering -Trunk or Treat. Beth and Gav put on their costumes, but G'ma didn't have the right makeup for either of them so Jack Sparrow had a pretty scraggly beard. They participated in the costume parade, fishing pond, bobbing for donuts, face paininting, haunted house, etc. Bowls of chili and fritos and homemade rootbeer. Of course the highlight was the trunk or treating in the parking lot. We brought home more candy than we took with us.

Sunday we are making cookies for my RS board meeting and the kids have parts in the Primary program.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Early in October I had to go on a trip to Kentucky. In between conference sessions we managed to visit the Louisville Slugger Museum and watched them make baseball bats. We also took a taxi ride and spent a few minutes at Churchill Downs. The weather was almost perfect even though we thought that it would be cold.

One evening, our group went to the restaurant at the top of the hotel. This is a picture from the bathroom at the Rivue. Notice how great these sinks were. We even had one of the men check out the men's bathroom to see if it were as cool as the women's. (It was the same).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The challenge

Okay leaner here goes:

Artistic, unless whatever I am doing needs to be random, and everything I create tends to be symmetrical.

Not a loud person, or a party person, pretty much content with quiet and solitude especially at work.

Never at a loss for words, if you give me enough time, just don’t expect me to respond quickly. I need to think through what I am going to say.

Although not the most nurturing of individuals, I love my family and enjoy them. Watching the kids grow and change and now getting to know each of these grandchildren is truly the most important thing I can imagine.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Release and a call

Sunday, our bishopric was changed. abe was released for approximately two minutes and then recalled as the 1st counselor in the new bishopric. The interesting thing is that our bishops wife happens to be my 1st counselor in RS. That is a lot of leadership in two families. I called the bishop today to verify that we were going to leave everyone in as it now stands and he told me that his wife needs something to do. Pen-nut you are very familiar with our new bishop and his wife. I think they were in your ward or at least in your stake. He has already served two different times, abe told him that maybe this time he will get it right!

Sunday, September 02, 2007


So now that I have called all of my children to tell them about this, I guess it is okay to blog about it.

A week and a half ago I received a phone call. I was asked if I could meet with the bishop that evening. We were sitting around minding our own business and were pretty much settled in for the night. I went ahead and got dressed to meet with the bishop. Knowing that because abe is in the bishopric, the chance of me having a heavy calling was pretty slim. So I was shocked when the bishop extended the call he had in mind; we were wrong. I have had 10 days to get used to this responsibility. So many amazing things have happened during the past few weeks that point to preparation for this calling. When we left the church that night, abe asked me why I was so quiet. I told him that I feel utterly and totally overwhelmed by this responsibility. Being called as the RS President isn't something that any sane person aspires to. But then I guess I never have been totally sane.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Where were you when the lights went out?

For those of you who don't live in the great state of HOT, you may not know that we had a power outage after a severe thunderstorm. We were sitting around having a nice meal, celebrating JVA b'day and our other J who also had a b'day. The wind started, followed by thunder and lighting and then massive amounts of rain. We watched our tree in the backyard touch the ground because of the strength of the storm. Then the power flashed off once and then again, this time it did not come back on.

We thought that it would be on again before too long and so we pulled out the lanterns and watched the storm. When the rain quit our road was like a river. Everyone went home and abe went to the church for a few minutes. When he got home we went for a drive to see how far the power outage extended. Most of town was dark, but there were a few lights in various places. We went home and opened our bedroom windows and then went to bed. We hoped that the power would return soon. At six thirty AM my phone rang. It was one of my teachers telling me that school was canceled. We had a meeting scheduled with some business & industry people that afternoon- we decided that that wasn't happening. I got up and went to school to find out what was going on.

Abe had therapy and then a doctor appt, so we went to the valley. We also went to a movie and returned home to a dark house. We spent the night with our niece - thank you hairball. All of our children were without power also, so they had to find other placed to be. Hairball and her brother had powereven though we all live in the same town. G'ma also had no power so she spent the day and night with hairball.

Friday AM and still no power. We went home and changed clothes and decided to drive up the mountain to get out of the heat. It was almost 4 PM before our power was restored.

We have gone over this a few times in our mind - what could we have been more prepared with? We had a generator that we borrowed, so our freezer and frig were okay. We could have slept at our house and we had enough water and food. Our phone worked, but not everyone has our cell phone numbers. This was a great preparedness exercise. Our bishop has been asking us to see how prepared we are. We decided that next time we just hope it isn't quite this hot. But I guess that is part of an emergency - it has nothing to do with convenience. We kept thinking that our power would come back on and everything would be back to normal.

We are all back home, no worse for the wear.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Three AM and driving home from the emergency room. It was a Saturday EARLY morning and I had been out all night helping a member of our church. Her husband had fallen in the parking lot after the football game and so I volunteered to drive her to the hospital and sit with her. Thinking it surely couldn't take too many hours. It was nine thirty when we got to the hospital. He was in immense pain, tied down to the board that they strap you to. We talked and got to know each other better during the long night. I had a ten dollar bill in my pocket and decided to buy a bottle of water for $1.25. I put the bill in the change machine and it gave me the correct amount of change - $10 in quarters!! I only had my pants pockets - no purse. So I walked around jingling the rest of the evening. At 2:30 they had finally decided they were taking him to a hospital in the valley and so we decided to head home as soon as he left.

Six-forty AM - brie brought maddie over as she had to work. I tried really hard to open my eyes as we started the DVD of Finding Nemo for her. By seven thirty it was obvious that any thought of sleep was far gone. So I got up and tried to get something accomplished. Eleven AM and finally we could take a brief nap.

One-thirty PM - time to get ready to go to the temple - we were going with the rest of the bishopric for the 4 PM session. The nap we had at least was a reprieve for awhile, and so I was awake during the session and the meal afterwards. By the time we got home though I was ready to sleep.

Priorities- what comes first? I managed to fit it all in, and I really didn't think that was possible at the time. I guess when we have the right intent we can accomplish miracles.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Just some pics

A birthday phone call

A ruined visit to the Besh Ba Gowah ruins. Can't complain about the rain in Arizona though.

Keeping cool in the desert.

Pioneer children sang as they walked.....

Feeding grandpa's fish


We have been looking at TV's for the past few months. Our current TV has been trying to die, making weird noises and you can only turn it off and on with the remote as the on/off switch broke sometime also. Flat screen, LCD, High Def, etc. All pricier than were willing to pay. Last week we spent a few hours in town and stopped to pick up Season 10 of StarGate SG1 that had just been released. (yes, this is what we do for fun) We walked through the TV section and again looked at all the offerings. Abe decided that we didn't want anything smaller than a 32" TV. We noticed one in a box with $100 off tag on it. We looked at the model on the wall, it of course wasn't marked down. We asked one of the salesman if this were the same model. It was, so we asked if they had to charge the reduced price. Yep. So we went ahead and took the plunge.

We got home just before a huge dust storm that was blowing through the valley. We carried our 400 lb old monster TV out of our room and uncrated our new 32" wide screen HD LCD TV. Plugged it in and attached our lovely antenna - no we do not have cable. We let the TV program itself and it found stations we didn't even know existed. We get all of the stations from Tucson and Phoenix. There are four PBS stations, all different all the time. Everything is clearer than it has been for years.

Is this a good thing? I don't know, but last weekend we could finally let Rhayn watch Shrek 3-D with the 3-D glasses. Best of all abe can actually work the remote!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

August desert pics

We have finally had a monsoon season. Here are some pictures of the area outside of San Manuel, toward Peppersauce. These pics are for LVH, except for the one Ocotillo - that's for leaner.

Flew the coop

Our third pair of mourning doves this summer hatched just fine. Their parents had determined that our plant wasn't good enough for them, so they tried a different place. A few days ago I was outside putting some plants on stands that we had purchased (clearance at Loews). I went in the house to do something and Blue walked over to me. I looked down and saw that he had brought me a baby bird. It was still alive, he had carried it very gently in his mouth. I couldn't put it back in the nest so just put it in the plant which is about fifteen feet from where it's mother sat with the other baby bird. JVA came over later and he tried to put it back in the actual nest. But the nest wasn't made very well and the two babies wouldn't fit. So JVA put both of the birds in the plant and we hoped for the best. The next morning I looked out and there was the mother bird with the two babies. They both flew away today. Our retriever had saved their lives. I tried to get a picture of the last baby as it sat on the fan blade, but it flew away.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Do Bears?

Camping has been something we have done for years. Not the trailer with all the amenities in a campsite with electricity, water, etc. The tent, air mattress, sleeping bag type of camping. When our kids were little we always took them with us and everything was well. Since becoming grandparents we have been anxiously waiting for the grandkids to be old enough to take on a trip sans parents. Before we went to SD for vacation we took a few days and went camping with the Raginin'Az group. We also took Beth and Gav with us. We drove twenty plus miles down a dirt road, away from the crowds and traffic. Away from people. We set up our tents and campsite. The weather was perfect.

By day two things were great, except for an accident by one of the younger campers. This camper tried to "go" in the forest, but didn't really know what to do. Now one thing is one, but two is a totally different thing. We turned this situation into military hands and after some amazing and detailed instruction everything was resolved. Except one of the other young campers mentioned that they were going to wait until we got home to perform this bodily function.

2nd Lt took control of the situation and before long we had a training session on "pooping in the forest". The training including the proper method of squatting and what options you have to use to prop yourself up. Taking the shovel, TP, and some wipes into the forest, the training also included a simulation and where to dig and how to lean. Upon the return to camp it is necessary to wash your hands with water - in case there may be some solid matter remaining from your trip. A quick wipe of the hands with a baby wipe and then some anti-bacterial lotion and you are back to play.

The things we take for granted!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Your Personality is Somewhat Rare (ISTP)

Your personality type is reserved, methodical, spirited, and intense.

Only about 6% of all people have your personality, including 3% of all women and 8% of all men
You are Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


So as we were checking out geocaching in South Dakota we noticed that we had inadvertently forgotten to log one that we had found two years ago. Usually I wouldn't remember every cache, but this one was quite a pain to find. A mosquito infested swamp, teaming with ticks, only a tenth of a mile from the car. We did find it and we had to pick each other for ticks afterwards - kind of like a new song they are playing on the country stations. Anyway, I decided to log it almost two years after the fact. When I asked abe if he remembered our experience he actually remembered this one. But then he said that I couldn't be mad at him anymore for losing our ice cream cone antenna ball. After all, we didn't get that at our 600th find. it was really our 601st find. Takes all the fun out of him losing it after all.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Third times a charm

So I haven't taken time to write for a few days. I am sure that I have been extremely busy. Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know that our new "bird dog" Blue hasn't scared off our newest entry into the maternity ward plant. Here we go waiting for this newest dove to hatch her eggs. abe went to water the plant and he noticed the mom sitting patiently on her nest. I would think it would be way to hot under our porch to birth anything. Hopefully Rhayn will be able to come see this one before it hatches!

Rate this

Last night we were standing outside after helping our friends, the Carps, wrap meat (they do that for a living) anyway, I said I was tired and abe said,
"Yeah, you've been short on your beauty sleep and it is starting to show."

So we are discussing the rudeness level of this. Please let us know how many rudeness stars (1-5) you would give this. Secondly, abe wants you to rate the humor level (1-10) Bro Carp thought that it was the funniest thing he had heard all week.

one fish, two fish, red fish....

When we had R visit us for a few days last week we had lots of fun. One day she stayed with aunt maymay's, she spent a night at G'Gmas house. She also spent a day at G'rats.

She is such a big girl now that we had to put up an air bed for her to have her own room and not sleep with us. We really enjoyed her visit.

One of the nights abe took R and G fishing. They caught lots of fish! JVA almost ate a fish! They had fun.


Just got an email from the mother of one who is part of our blogging world. Amiedanny were on their way to UT and were in a fairly serious car wreck.

Here is part of the email......."All had seatbelts...thankfully...Cam may have internal injuries and is being air-evacced out. Ethan needs stitches. Rest have seatbelt bruising so far. Van is totaled."

Please remember them in your prayers.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A rose by any other name.....

Hairball - we discussed Jethro for quite awhile prior to your post, and while he is kind of Clampetty he isn't a hound. So it just didn't fit.

We spent almost all day Sunday thinking that the perfect name for this horse of a dog would be Trigger. But it didn't work, calling him Trig made us think too much of math.
As we went for a walk Sunday evening, and we took him for his first stroll around the track it suddenly hit. We've done this all before. It was all kind of Deja vu. There we go, a perfect name..
So, introducing
Deja Blue
AKA Blue, Ballew (he is kind of Jungle Booky), Blue Boy, Big Blue, etc.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Back to three

So even though abe has been fighting this, we finally got a dog. Last winter our neighbor told us about some people who had Weimaraner puppies for a sale and she knew we wanted a dog at some point. We told her that we needed to wait until we didn't have any kids here. So we didn't think any more about it.

A week or so ago, she caught me in the street and told me that they still had one puppy. Five months old and they were willing to give it away. The mother had a huge litter and living in Florence it was difficult to get people to drive all the way out to buy the puppies. The down side to all of this was that this puppy was a male. After reading about the breed and finding out that they tend to be a little rambunctious, we weren't sure if we really wanted to do this. The neighbor had done a little more research on this puppy and found out that he is very calm. She told us she would bring him over so we could look at him and decide.

It took us several days to arrange this meeting. Finally on Thursday we finally connected and so our new family member met us for the first time. We were envisioning a puppy, what showed up at our door was a huge puppy, every bit as big as Cur when she died. That may be the worst part, he looks a lot like her.

Now we have to come up with the perfect name for this new addition to the family. We joked about Cur-sir, Recur, Concur, etc . But no derivative of Cur would be a good idea. So any great ideas???

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It was on sale

We have been planning on buying a patio set for a long time. Today abe had a Dr. appt so we had a little time to shop. He was even willing to go into more than one store, that in itself was amazing.
Our last stop of the day was Home Depot, we stopped there to get some stuff for the wood floor and they had this set $50 off. We sat in the two swivel rockers and then in the regular chairs. Since it is what we were looking for we decided to go ahead and buy it. The best part was that when we went to check out it came up for $100 less than the regular price. Guess we'll have to have a BBQ and break it in.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Time passages

Well, I'm not the kind to live in the past
The years run too short and the days too fast
The things you lean on are things that don't last
Well it's just now and then my line gets cast into these
Time passages
There's something back there that you left behind
Time passages
Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight

Okay, so a song from 1978, but knowing I haven't sat down to blog for awhile, it seemed like the perfect title and thoughts.

Empty nest.

We've finally (for a few months) achieved that plateau. How do we feel about that? Everyone told us we would be lonely. Everyone keeps telling us that we will get bored. Advice from left and right.

No one told us that we might go through a little depression when we realized that our kids are actually all out on their own, you can't get that time back with them. It makes you feel OLD, which again is quite depressing.

No one told us that we would miss the goodnight hugs and kisses from Katie, and Gavin, and Beth. We have missed so much of their lives anyway it was good spending time with them. Each of them have their own special qualities and the intense day to day was good for awhile to make up for lost time.

We aren't lonely or bored, we actually like each other. Imagine that after all these years, we still have conversations and common interests. Yesterday I did lock abe out of the house. Thought he had a key, which he does, but he didn't have it with him.

And our empty nests in the back yard.....
one is full of the second set of mourning doves for the season. So we are watching this new mom and dad deal with their offspring. They will probably be gone before long.

Oh, and by the way, our dishwasher broke the day after everyone was gone. So we've been washing dishes by hand, not a big deal for the two of us. Probably makes more sense anyway. So all in all - life is grand!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No more news for me

This has not been a good day. Too many reports and other things due by April 15th. I put together a sample calendar for the district and it ended up on the board agenda for tonight, let me just say that I had to revise it four times today, even though I had a few other things to do.

As I was driving back to work after eating lunch the radio informed me that troops that are deployed are going to get the privilege of spending an additional three months in Iraq or Afghanistan.

I have been a good mom, I have been patient and faithful. But I know that our bear is ready to come home. His calls have had a little more homesick ring to them than ever before. He mentioned a couple of months ago that there was a pretty good chance he would be extended. Then the last time he called he was pretty sure he wouldn't be. This hit me like a ton of bricks. My eyes welled up with tears and even as I type this my eyes are spilling over. Maybe it is just PMS, but if I let myself go, I know I could have a good long cry. Next month his four years are officially over. He has spent 20 of those months in Iraq. I shouldn't complain, there are so many families affected by this. Young fathers and mothers who are away from their children.

I am sure that when he calls he will be upbeat and accepting, he always is. I just need to complain a little, to vent, because we miss him in our lives. He has spent over six years away from us already and we are ready for him to live close to us so we can get to know this wonderful man who has had so many interesting experiences.

So for now, we will continue to pray for his safe return and put on a brave front.

The picture was taken the first time he was in Iraq - he insisted that we all take turns putting a few shells through his new gun. Note that leaner is holding the gun - something she has never liked to do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Birds and buds

Here are our babies - dacheese took this pic. They posed nicely for this.

The other picture is Rhayn's rose. It is getting ready to bloom and it will be beautiful just like her. It has three more buds on a lower branch and they should all bloom together.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Arizona Potted Birds

For some reason this year two different species of birds have decided that our back porch and our potted plants are the ideal nesting sites.

The nest closest to the house is a mourning dove. We think she has two eggs - they have hatched and we can now see a tiny bird next to her. Both parents take turns with the babies and the nest is never left alone. The plant that they selected is a philodendron that barely survived the winter freeze. It looks pretty rough at this time, but we don't dare do too much with it.

The other nest, in our asparagus fern, is four cute little guys. After trying to determine what type of bird this one was dacheese finally was able to figure out that it is a house finch. The dad is brightly colored, with a red head and red down his back. The mom and dad don't spend as much time with their babies as the mourning dove and we are hoping that we don't scare them off.

The hardest part is keeping the plants alive and not disturb the maternity ward or hurt the babies.

You never know what may happen in Abe's garden, or what you might see.

Birthday Bonanza week continues

On Thursday, we picked up mom and took her to LB Inn in Florence for a birthday dinner. She had lunch with Laree and Shari. When we picked her up she noticed a box on her porch filled with fresh flowers from her favorite daughter.

Mom, G'rat's family, JVA and SLA, Brie and Maddie and abeNanna enjoyed chips and salsa and some other food in celebration of her 86 birthday and Maddie's 18 month birthday.

That evening we received a phone call from our bear, thanking us for the easter stuff - a camo basket and camo eggs. We reminded him what day it was, so when he hung up he called his grandma. Leaner called her also and had Rhaynn sing her a Happy Birthday.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Birthday Bonanza Week

Thanks to one daughter-in-law planning an impromtu egg coloring event and inviting all the locals over, we decided to end the evening with a surprise b'day cake for a grand old lady.

The two older kids picked flowers from G'pas garden. We ended the evening with ice cream cake from Safeway.

We will continue the birthday bonanza (something we learned from our other daughter-in-law) all this week and make it special for our mom, grandma, and great-grandma.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pic from the Desert

He'll probably shoot me, but here is a picture of our Bear and his friend. It was a very dark picture and when I lightened it up it is a little grainy, but much more visible.

They are both almost smiling (LOL)!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Field trips and flowers

Monday, we took Katie to the Sonora Desert Museum and met Gavin on his first grade field trip. There were almost as many chaperones as there were kids, so we had Gavin to ourselves.

We managed to find the animals in every one of the locations we looked. The cats were mostly sleeping, but they were visible. The wolves were up walking around. The otter was also sleeping, which was sad because they are fun to watch. The beavers were in their den sleeping on their backs.

We saw a hummingbird sitting on her teeny tiny nest. Katie walked a lot, but by the time we were at the hummingbirds, she was done. So we decided we better head home.

When we got home we noticed that our Lady Banks (Tombstone) Rose was in full bloom. So we got a picture of all the kids that were at the house.

Other than it being a little warmer than it should be this time of year, we had a good day.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Girls climbing walls

Today we met at the Phoenix Rock Gym to celebrate dacheese and Rhayn's b'day. JVA had decided that he wanted to pay for them to climb for their birthday present. Rhayn is an experienced climber as we have seen in a few blogs of the past.

dacheese is afraid of heights and was determined that she couldn't get very high. We also took Bethie for this climbing adventure. SLA and JVA have been here a few times climbing. Will also joined us for the climb.

All of the climbers made it to the top at least one time - even dacheese!!! Bethie started out climbing just a few feet up before she was done with the climb, but by the end she had made it to the top of three different places.

Afterwards we all met at leaner's house for Corned Beef and Cabbage and of course b'day cake from Costco. It was a great day, thanks JVA for the fun.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Golden Birthday

Since we knew this was the year of Rhayn's golden birthday we have been talking for months about celebrating this on her special day. The biggest problem is that it fell on a Tuesday so we couldn't be out too late.

When LVH said that she was coming to Arizona and her g-daughter Jules would be here we decided to make a date of it with the two girls and us. We had celebrated dacheese's golden birthday together so it sounded like fun.

Rhayn's favorite food is French Onion Soup, so we started our adventure at Claim Jumpers. Rhayn had her cup of soup and cheesy garlic bread. For dessert we ate an IDeclair, or we shared one and attempted to eat it all.

After eating way too much we went to Arizona Mills and rode the carosel. Rhayn picked out a pink bunny and Jules picked a pretty horse.

On to the photo booth for pictures of the two girls. Since the technology has changed a lot since LVH or I have sat in one of these we didn't realize the girls were way too low. The first set of pictures came back as big white squares. So we had them pose again. Let's just say that they had their pictures taken.

Our last adventure was at the IMAX theater. We asked the girls if thy would like something to drink and the kid behind the counter said he would give them a cup of Icee and some popcorn for free. So they both chose white cherry icees and probably marched into the theater.

They both decided that this was a really big movie. The glasses for the 3D were a bit too big for both of these little ladies and had to be adjusted several times during the Deep Sea Adventure (narrated by Johnny Depp).

This was a very Big day - Big food, Big movie, Big glasses and one very Big Birthday Girl. Happy 6th Rhayn! Thanks for sharing this day with me.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The presence of presents

I was planning on putting this on my blog a few weeks ago, but haven't had time.

Abe said that he can't ever think of anything to buy for me. Anyway, a co-worker of his found this Book of Mormon at a yard sale and picked it up. The lady didn't charge him anything for it. He offered it to abe, because he thought abe might want it. So abe decided to give it to me for my birthday.
The publication date is 1874. The leather cover is a little worn, but it appears like new on the inside. Okay, to get really corny, we met in 1974, 100 years after this book was published. What a really neat gift, and so much neater than anything you could buy at the store.
Now for the other "notable" present from my birthday - yes leaner and hairball, you know what I'm referring to - your gift to me. Let me just say it came in a bag with the word Castle written on it. It is a modified version of my favorite game - Yahtzee. I can't even leave it sitting around as the picture on the front is too descriptive.
If these two presents aren't opposite sides of the coin, I don't know what are. I will not share my experiences with one of these gifts, but I may share from the other. You can just decide for yourself which of these is most like me.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Survival of the fittest

Yeah! it is Saturday! We survived this week. It was wild and crazy and pure chaos. On Wednesday, we had over 380 students touring the high school. Everything went well and even when the buses arrived late to bring the kids from the valley, we had enough time to adjust and allow each group a shortened time for their tours.

Thursday evening we had around 90 people at our expo. This doesn't sound like a lot, we were glad because we had over 15 8th graders and their parents there. I don't think we've ever had that many. We even had fabulous prizes, including a two-night stay for two at the Embassy Suites.

The best thing about this week is that on Monday we did manage our hike and geocache. On Tuesday there was time for a bike ride and on Wednesday enough time for another bike ride.

Not that fit, but yes, we survived.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

It's all downhill from here

That should mean that it is getting easier to meet your goal, but if you are on a downhill slide that is a bad thing. This week that is what it was--a bad thing. Monday was great 30 minutes on the bike then a 2.5 mile walk with abe. Tuesday-- a late meeting then no time left to get anything done. Wednesday--to CG with abe for supper before the Stake Youth Valentine's Dance. We got out of here late and then of course everyone was eating out, so we didn't have enough time to go to a real restaurant. Supper at Filiberto's then off to the dance. I had planned on leaving him there and then returning home with ample time to exercise. Instead we stood around until 8 and we both left, bishop had finally arrived and we thought it would be okay to go. Thursday - well that is the blog prior to this one. Friday - my job is quite interesting, and this day I got to play bus driver so at 5:30PM I was on my way back from CG where I was picking up students. Saturday I actually had a meeting all morning and by afternoon I had to get home and clean the house. Can't convince it to clean itself unfortunately.

I am not looking forward to next week being any better as I have two huge events (my fault, I planned them) taking place at our school. Our annual 8th grade visitation, and our annual Career Expo. Since we are responsible for every aspect of this Wednesday and Thursday activity, not counting the two state meetings in Mesa, I also have to attend this week. I know Monday will be good as we will plan a hike or geocaching adventure, but the rest of the week does not bode well. If I gave up sleeping I may have time to get everything done. Needless to say, the last week in February I WILL SUCCEED!!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Happy Birthday to me

To celebrate my very last birthday ever I took the day off work. I had decided that this would be the ideal time to sew the dress I was supposed to make for Rhayn's Christmas Present. We cut it out in January, and hadn't even sewn one stitch.

After pulling out my machine and having nothing but problems with everything I almost threw it in the trash. Finally I got the top done and realized that I hadn't cut out the skirt right. There were supposed to be two pieces and somehow I had cut only one. So I cut that one in half and also cut the band for the bottom in half. It made a shorter dress, but I really wanted to get it done. Abe called about 11 and told me he would be home at 11:30 so we could go do something. I managed to get the dress done before he got home.

We got in the truck and drove to leaner's house to give Rhayn the dress. We stopped along the way at Joanne's to see if they had any wonderful Valentine things on sale. They didn't but we found a wonderful pair of socks for Rhayn and a weird chicken thing for Gwennie that makes funny noises when you throw it. Rhayn loved her new dress and socks, but we told her not to wear them together.
Rhayn and I went for a drive and spent a little time together without g'pa and mom.
After that abe and I went to the theater and saw "the Work and the Glory".
Home by 8:30 so that we could both get some sleep (we are getting old after all).
No cake, but it was a nice day after all.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Weak too - or is that week two?

Were there really seven days this week? I think that this was one of those short weeks with only five days, no quantity, not much quality, and just barely meeting my goal- we got two walks in, plus a bike ride. I hope that next week will be better.

Lots of bubbles

Thursday I got to do something I haven't gotten to do in a really long time. Take a bath! Now that isn't as weird as it seems. We have two bathrooms, one with a shower, one with a bathtub. The hot water going into our "big" bathroom has slowly gotten worse over the past few years to the point that it wasn't much more than a drip. The plumbers came to replace the water pipes in the entire house on Thursday morning and by that night we had all new plumbing. Complete with water pressure that is amazing.

I told abe at 9 that I was going to take a bath, at 9:30 when I returned to our room he told me that I didn't stay in very long. So I explained to him that when you can fill the tub that quickly it doesn't take as long to take a bath.

We also have hot water to our kitchen, it too had slowed to a drizzle and was getting worse by the day. We had them replace the 15 year old water heater with one of the new tankless kind. It heats water as you need it and doesn't waste so much energy. They claim it can pay for itself in around three years.

Can't wait for one of those cold rainy days again, thats when I love doing dishes and soaking in a tub.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl Sunday

After hearing that Superbowl is second in caloric intake only to Thanksgiving, I realized that we have been doing this right all along. We usually go over to our friends house and have hot-wings, chips, dip, potato salad, spinach dip, and on, and on, and on.

This year we missed the kick-off as we hadn't really gotten home from church early enough. But that didn't stop us from enjoying good food and good friends.

After eating an assortment of non-sweets we broke out the dessert around half-time: one Texas Sheet cake to celebrate mr. briep's birthday; a chocolate torte; and a cute cake decorated like a football field which included Peanut M&M players, a tootsie roll football, Hershey Hug's for refs and pretzel goal posts. We even turned off Prince long enough to sing Happy-Birthday to the birthday boy.

Then briep and SLA cleaned off the table and we pulled out the sewing machine, material, patterns, etc. To sew up a scrub top for SLA. Amazingly enough we were sewing the last seam just as the Bears bit the dust and the Colts came forth in a victorious miracle. Peyton Manning won that long waited for Super Bowl Ring.

After it was all over I realized that I didn't watch even a second of the game. Usually we move from the dining room to the living room off and on during the game, but not this year. So I just had to take the sad look on some of the faces that the Bears had indeed lost.

I forgot to ask abe this year who he thought would win, he has been right for the past 30 years, if we were just betting people we could be rich by now. Maybe next year? Nope we can't start now.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Ragged top

Yesterday we took JVA and SLA for a little geocaching adventure disguised as a hike. My thought was that we could find a geocache at the end of a trail somewhere. I found several in the Ironwood National Forest area down by Picacho Peak. The first obstacle we encountered was the Santa Cruz River, which had the nice sign "Do not enter when flooded". We stopped and talked about our options and about that time a truck drove up, and stopped to survey the situation. They too pulled out a map to see what their options were.

We told them that if they would drive through we would pull them out. They seemed a little adverse to swimming since it was less than 50 degrees out, and who knows how cold that water might be. About that time we saw a truck pulling a trailer driving quite fast towards us. He got to the River and went ahead and crossed. So we went ahead and drove through. The water was wide, and deep enough that it went up to the bottom of the doors on our truck.

We stopped at the Sasco ghost town. Our friend Bob had told JVA about a really cool place to have a paint ball war. Abe and I knew where this was as we had been there a couple of years ago on another geo adventure. We took a pic of JVA in one of the Smelters. Climbed around in the basement of the old Rockland hotel and also walked along the Railroad platforms. Fortunately the river must have kept the paintballers away on this day as there weren't any at war. Last time we were there they were having a great time.

Our next stop was at the Big Bull Nose geocache. We got to within a half mile and decided to take another route since there was a deep wash between us and the cache. After driving down another road and getting to within a half mile we decided we could walk as opposed to driving around all day looking for the right road. After grabbing the cache we had lunch back at the truck.

Instead of finding the other two caches we decided that we would go over to Ragged Top (a huge outcropping similar to Picacho). We drove around looking for the closest road in and after three mis attempts finally found one that got us to within .43 of the cache at the Summit. JVA got really excited and wants to tackle this bad boy. It is about 500 feet taller than Picacho, there are no established trails to the top, there are no lines to help you attain the acme. He is now looking for any takers who want to go with him. We actually got out and climbed up to the foot of the cliff face. He got to within .10 of the cache, which is a little more than two football fields. Of course that was as the crow flies, and he hit an impassible point. While there was a lot of sheep scat around we didn't see any of the desert bighorn that live on this mountain. It is apparently their lambing season and not the best time to attempt the climb.

After climbing back to the truck we headed off towards Cortaro Road in Tucson for some Texas Roadhouse fare. Steak, and pulled pork and fresh hot rolls dripping with cinnamon butter. What could be better?