Friday, January 29, 2010

Another Disneyland Day

Melissa wanted to go to Disneyland one last time before our passes expired (and we maybe take a break before renewing them this time. We're thinking about holding out until fall or maybe even later). After all our rainy weather last week, it was nice to be outside. It was perfect weather: low 60's and sunny! It was a beautiful day. That means not cool enough for sweatshirts and not warm enough to sweat and melt and have to put up our hair up in clips. A new experience for us!
Not only was the weather perfect, there was no crowd at all. We were actually able to have our picture taken in front of the giant floral Mickey at the entrance. . .
. . . and in front of the castle! Even though we were all blinded by the bright sun, it was too good of a photo op to pass up! Notice how cute Melissa looks in every pictureMelissa took both the boys on the rockets, but it was a little tricky getting Dylan to follow directions and scoot up . . . .
. . . . . so Melissa could get her long legs in the jet and then strap them all in.
They did it! It was amazing that there were no lines. While they went on the Buzz ride I fed Austin his bottle. We only waited 10 minutes for the Peter Pan ride which I got to ride on with the boys and Melissa went with Austin. We ate lunch in Fantasyland. It was nice to eat outside where there were tons of tables. Melissa and the boys walked right on to the Carousel before we headed over to California Adventure for the Monster's Inc rideAustin was such a good baby, he even took a nap for over an hour and a half in the stroller. Such a sweet boys
Just as we noticed the closed sign on the Monster's Inc ride, they opened it back up so Melissa and the boys could walk right on it! Too cool.
Just as they were coming off the ride (I waited with sleeping Austin) I noticed Mr. Incredible and signaled to them to hurry for the photo op
His pal Frozone was there too
And Peter Pan! He was so cute with the boys. We have had such good luck with "nice" characters that make it extra special for the kids.
Then just as we were leaving we spotted Goofy! The boys were so excited to see all their favorite characters from their favorite movies.
We couldn't have asked for a better day. Luke noticed the "L" in the CALIFORNIA sign. He must have a great preschool teacher!
 And of course Dylan wanted a turn!

Such sweet brother! We walked right onto the tram to the parking lot, too. On our way out we even scored the front row where you don't have to fold up the stroller!
Dylan was out before we even left the parking garage! Did I say it was a perfect day???

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Last night Josh proposed to Krista Huckvale and she said YES!!! We are so excited and so happy for them. Cirlce June 5 and save the date. More details to follow : )

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The year of 2010 began with a big change for us, as Jamie and the kids left to join Ben in Waynesville, Missouri where he is in training at Ft. Leonard Wood. Originally, he was going to be in Missouri until the end of February, and when his class was extended to the end of March, Jamie made up her mind right then and there that she would just load up the kids and meet him there. They got this news on Monday, January 4, and she left the next Monday, January 11!!! Once Jamie makes her mind up, just get out of her way and watch her do her magic. She is amazing!!!

So, that little fireball got online, found a house to rent, mapped her route and planned to drive 6 hours each day, and made hotel reservations in advance. The remainder of the week was crazy getting things packed and washed and ready to move and travel with a 3 year old and 11 month old in a car for 4 days.

The most difficult part of the move was having to give up their beloved dog, Roxy. She is truly an amazing dog, ( and I am so not an animal lover) but with the moves ahead of them and the uncertainity of what Army life will bring, it was for the best. Jamie put the word out and in a few days Melissa found a home for her with one of her friends. Jamie took Roxy to the new home the day before they left while Kaylee was napping. Although it was difficult, Jamie feels so glad that Roxy has a new family that adores her and they keep in touch with texts and emails. Interestingly, Kaylee has not mentioned Roxy once since then. It will be a sad day when she realizes her puppy is gone, but until then, no news is good news!

Their stops were Flagstaff, Arizona; Santa Rosa, New Mexico; and Oklahoma City. The third day was a bit challenging for her but all in all it was a good trip and everyone survived. Check out their blog at for more details. She packed every belonging into the car, with just enough room left for the 2 kids and she put the cooler, food and diaper bag in the front seat. These pictures do not even begin to show how full that car was, but you get an idea! The car has a dark tint on the windows so I couldn't get any other pictures.
We are so glad that their little family is together that it has helped us not to miss them quite as much. I keep thinking I hear Blake waking up upstairs, Kaylee playing or I expect Jamie to come walking through the front door. It's been way too quiet, but I think we could get used to it! We are just so glad we got to spend the last 5 months with them. I finally finished Blake's quilt --- I got the fabric in April and it's been cut out since August. [brown minkee on the back and flannel on the front] It was so nice to sew again [after being lazy for so long] and I got it done in the nick of time!

My Grandmommie

My sweet grandmother passed away just 10 days before her 97th birthday. Her health had been failing and it was a blessing when she passed away after being in a care center for over 5 years. The thing that was difficult for me was realizing that it had been over 20 years since Grandaddy passed away. It doesn't seem possible that they have been apart for that long. What a comfort to know that they are together at long last! Because they were from Texas/Oklahoma, we always called them Grandmommie and Grandaddy and thought how special we were to have them AND a Grama and Grampa!

My sister, Suzy, and I visited her in November and her eyes were so bright. We were so happy that she recognized us. Aunt Sharon later told us that was her last good day. What a huge blessing that was for Suzy and I!

The funeral was last week, so my parents made a quick trip down here, arriving on Tuesday, attending the funeral on Wednesday, and returning home on Thursday where Dad had his first Parowan City Council meeting.

I loved this beautiful poem my cousin, Gayle, read at the funeral. I don't think I've ever heard it before, and it was perfect. It was titled Life is Eternal but I also found it listed as Gone From My Sight or A Parable of Immortality, by Henry Van Dyke:

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a
speckof white cloud
just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone"
Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mastand hull
and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able
to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready
to take up the glad shout:
"Here she comes!"
And that is dying...


On January 4th Dad was sworn in as the Mayor of Parowan, Utah
He won both the primary and general elections by over 60% of the vote!
Mark Bryant came up with the following slogans:
No wonder it was a landslide!!!

Don't You Kind of Love December

There is a cute Disney Christmas sing-along video with this sweet song:


Don't you kind of love December
When the merry snow bells chime
We're together once upon a wintertime

Every single snowflake falling
Plays a jingle down your spine
Lovely weather once upon a wintertime

On a frozen pond folks are swaying
Sweetheart, who cares
We'll have more fun sleighing
behind two chestnut mares

When we say goodbye December
Merry bells no longer chime
We'll remember once upon a wintertime

I found myself humming this song as I thought about December 2009. I don't just kind of love December, I love it to pieces! But this was a weird one for us this year with 3 of our kids being out of state for the first time. We've had one missing due to the boys' missions, or Ben's Army assignments, so we have truly been blessed. Now we are trying to figure out our new role as traveling grandparents. As long as we are together at some point during the holiday, it doesn't have to be Dec 24 or 25. This year we had our family Christmas on Dec 26th and it was fun to stretch out the holiday one more day. Our trip to Idaho gave our Christmas spirit a big lift. While we were there we completed most of the shopping for the kids there and Renee and Nick let us gift wrap and store the gifts at their house. Jamie helped set up our tree when we arrived home, and I'm finally coming to terms with my artificial tree. Craig, ever the grinch, now complains that 9' is too big and bulky. ( we've always had at least a 9' tree and I have enough ornaments for lots of trees - so I don't get it) It's paid for and it's bulky just 2 times a year, so that seems to be a no-brainer. However, I will always miss having a live tree.It was fun again this this year to use my child-friendly ornaments that I've had since Rebecca was a baby. I wanted the kids to be able to enjoy the tree and not have to worry about losing a special ornament or having them feel bad. It was a fun tree and Jamie was an angel to string popcorn with me with while we watched White Christmas. Kaylee even helped for the first time. It seems like a silly thing, but stringing popcorn makes me happy and I love the way it looks on the tree.
Ben was able to have a 2 week vacation from his training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. Of course Jamie, Kaylee and Blake were so happy to have him home. Craig was glad to have at least one son to go to the movies with and help with a few projects.
The girls had a top secret project, and I was so thrilled to get this wonderful apron with hand prints of all the grandkids (and they left room for Nick & Renee's twins***). It is my treasure! I have the greatest kids in the whole wide world! I am truly blessed. They are my joy. The Apron says "Tiny Hands Touch Our Hearts Forever"
We got this cute train for Luke and Dylan (Luke calls it his frain frack) and children young and old played with it all day long. Actually, the kids were lucky Ben and Greg gave them a turn! Gotta love fisher-price.
My sweet MelissaSuch a cute picture of Greg and Austin! My parents came down the day after Christmas and got here just in time for dinner. It is always fun having Grama & Grampa great here. I think Grama Great spent most of her time with Kaylee and Luke in Kaylee's new princess tent.
Mom and Dad were able to visit Grandmommie ( my Dad's Mom) at her care center in Orange. Grandmommie's 97th birthday is on January 16th.

We celebrated Dad's birthday on the 28th with a visit from the Sand Diego Burningham's. Once again, shame on us for not taking any pictures!

So as I say good-bye to December, it will be interesting to see what the New Year of 2010 has in store! I love New Year's and being able to make a fresh start.

***DISCLAIMER: this is a family joke since Renee's Dad was an identical twin. No, she's not expecting.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What a woman---if I do say so myself!

Okay, I'm feeling quite accomplished since I changed the background and colors on my blog single-handedly without having to call Jamie or Melissa.I even figured out how to switch my playlist back to regular music from the Christmas music. Hopefully the changes will still work when I sign back on tomorrow. 3 posts down, 5 more to go and I'll be caught up! It has been a crazy couple of months but I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Today there was the coolest thunderstorm. All of a sudden there was the loudest clap of thunder that I have ever heard in my entire life!!! I was upstairs cleaning my sewing room and I thought the roof on the house was going to blow away!!! Then it rained like crazy and the wind blew. The power and directv flickered but stayed on, thank goodness. I love the blustery, rainy weather we're having this week. And it's supposed to last 3 more days. Yippee!

BEST OF ALL. . . hooray for Scott Brown, who won his election for Senator! Thank you, Massachusets.

The California Grandkids

Disneyland is magical at Christmastime and it has become a tradition for us to go with all the grandkids. We had the perfect day with no crowds and lovely, cool weather. Our big plan was to go get the kids pictures taken with Santa first thing, while everyone was still cute.
Kaylee and Blake were so good getting ready that morning and Kaylee was so excited to see Santa. It looked promising that for the first time Kaylee would finally cooperate for family pictures. She was so excited about seeing Santa, but as soon as we got to the little building where Santa was, she had a change of heart. . . and freaked out. . .
. . . and started crying and had a complete melt down, as only our Kaylee can do. . . So Jamie sat her on this bench just outside the door. . .. . .While the boys took pictures with Santa in their matching shirts. Our 4 grandsons are just too cute! Blake's cute scrunchy face.
The Merry-Go-Round is always a favorite, and Kayle was happy again.
< Even Austin enjoyed the Merry-Go-Round
Luke's cheesy smile is so adorable
My darling little Dylan---such a sweet boy Our friends from Las Vegas, Jeremy Melvin and his daughter, Shelby, rendezvoused with us for the parade
Luke entertained the crowd with his break dancing
Melissa was quite surprised by her son's skill!
Blake actually let me rock him to sleep, and he looks so cozy. Such a fun day! After the parade Kaylee said, "I love Santa! Santa waved at me!" REALLY???