Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Countdown to a Wedding

Weston set up a countdown to his wedding on his Facebook page when there were close to 200 days until the big day. I just checked it and it said "2 days, 21 hours, 37 minutes, 57 seconds". I think it might be getting close! I'm sure he also wrote down a list of things to do before then. Here's our version of a wedding countdown:

Eight days before - Jeff co-chairs youth fundraiser (spaghetti dinner and service auction), several bags of lettuce left in fridge

Seven days before - youth softball tournament, work on wedding decorations, trip to the beach, no time to eat lettuce

Six days before - discover flat tire on way to church, home teachers visit, Michelle home from school chorus trip, attend Primary fireside, told to bring home bag of lettuce (because you have a lot of kids!)

Five days before - take care of flat tire, get haircuts, do laundry, start eating bag of lettuce

Four days before - send David to x-ray broken finger, visiting teachers visit, eat more lettuce

Three days before - help friend whose car broke down, do laundry again, pack suitcases, try to finish the bag of lettuce

Two days before - throw out remaining lettuce, fly to Utah

One day before - buy groceries for family luncheon - but no lettuce

Really, we're getting super excited. It's hard to believe our oldest son is getting married this Saturday! But we're looking forward to having a great trip, meeting Megan's family, visiting with our relatives, and making some wonderful memories.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Little Bit About Me

1. What book have you read recently?
The Visitor by Lori Wick (thanks, Susan, for the recommendation of a good author)

2. Given the chance, what special abiility/power would you like to have?
I'm a mom, I already have all the special abilities and powers I need.

3. List two things you have eaten today.
pineapple with fruit dip and tuna macaroni casserole

4. What's your favorite color? Why?
blue, because it's comforting and soothing - the color of the sky , the ocean and waterfalls

5. Where is the place you want to go the most?
My house - isn't it neat that's where I get to be the most?

6. Name two places you have lived:
How about all of them? - California, Maryland, California, Utah, California again, and Florida

7. Do you believe in seeing a rainbow after the rain?
quoting Weston: "I believe in a lot of things. However, seeing a rainbow after a rainfall is something I've EXPERIENCED!!!"

8. What would you do if you were a billionaire?
Whatever my husband and I decided! However, I'd suggest donating something to the BYU Scholarship Fand the Perpetual Education Fund. Then I'd hire a personal mechanic so I wouldn't ever have to worry about my car breaking down. I guess I'd also keep myself supplied with new cars!

9. Which type of person do you hate the most?
I really don't hate any type of person. Sometimes I get annoyed by people who don't follow the rules or don't honor their commitments.

10. What are two things on your to do list right now?
I wish there were only two!!! At the top of this afternoon's list is finishing the laundry (including washing Michelle's choir dresses so she can return them) and figuring out something for dinner.

11. If you have a fault, would you rather the people around you point it out to you or would you rather they keep quiet?
I know I should say "tell me", but since I'm already very aware of my many imperfections, I think I'd prefer "be quiet", at least until I've perfected all the things I know are wrong!

12. List two jobs you have had:
apricot cutter and elementary school choir accompanist (my teenage jobs along with babysitting and working on the "family farm")

13. What do you think is the most important thing in your life?
I KNOW my testimony and relationship with my Savior is the most important thing in life, which makes my family, especially my husband, the most important thing as well.

14. Is there anything that you have done which you regret?
Too many things - one at the top of the list is not attending a former roommate's bridal shower - that still bothers me after 25 years.

15. Name two of your bad habits:
procrastination and forgetfulness

16. What are your feelings about the person who tagged you?
Even though I wasn't technically tagged, here's the answer: How do you put a mother's love for her son into words? He's fantastic! We appreciate his great example, and we're thrilled for him and his new bride.

17. Who do you tag? Why?
I really liked Weston's answer: "I don't tag anyone, but I invite anyone who reads this to post a version on their own blog!"

(This was originally posted May 14th, but I moved it so all the wedding posts would be together.)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Family Almanac

Several years ago I came across the idea for a "family almanac" from a Christmas email list that I had joined. It sounded like a wonderful idea, so I eventually got around to doing it. Setting up the cards was easy. Then one of my summer projects that year was to go through my journals and find things to add. Some days and years are pretty sparse, but it really doesn't matter when you start - just do it!
When I made ours I thought for sure my teenage boys would think it was a silly "mom/girl" thing, but they've surprised me. Occasionally someone will say, "Make sure you add that to the almanac." Sometimes they'll even add it themselves! It's a wonderful tool for remembering the fun things that make our family unique. For example, through this we learned that Brad and Jeff learned how to walk on the same day of the year - February 10th. I could go on and on, but you get the idea :)

I've posted the instructions I followed below. Hopefully they'll be helpful to someone! Becky

Family Almanac

Materials needed: 367 index cards (4x6 is a good size), 12 index dividers, a card file box (or some sort of container to hold the cards)

Preparation: Label the dividers with the months of the year. Make a card for each day of the year (January 1, January 2, January 3, etc.). File them behind the appropriate monthly divider. Use the remaining to cards for explanations to be kept in the front of the box. Decorate the box and/or cards to reflect your personality, if desired.

On one card write:

“Tips for Keeping a Family Almanac”
There is a card for each day. All you need to do is fill in the year and the event.
Make sharing your almanac a family event. During dinner may be a good time.
Write birthdays, weddings, baptisms, deaths, etc.
Go through baby books for information like when your son or daughter took their first steps, first tooth, etc.
Ask relatives to recall special events.
Photo albums may remind you of a special event and its date.
Look through medical records to find important information.
Past calendars or planners may be a good source of information.
Consistently update your almanac as events occur. Just remember, at first you almanac may seem small but as the days pass, it will grow!

On a second card write:

“Family Almanac”
The moments that happen day to day in your family are priceless. The purpose of the Family Almanac is to keep a record of these memories—not only the birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and deaths, but also the less celebrated events. The time your son scored the winning run. When your daughter lost her first baby tooth. The day you received your promotion or bought a new car. The day you got your dog or the day your son had his appendix out.
All of these singular happenings make up the memories that define your family. This box will become a treasure box filled with a collection of stores and events that shaped your family.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Congaree National Park, part two

Part of the tradition and fun is watching Dad read every single sign he can find. Even more fun is playing GameBoy around the campfire.

I was there too! And it's too bad that Weston wasn't, but we took of picture of Weston Lake for him.

Don't let them fool you, they had a great time on vacation!

Congaree National Park, part one

Spring break is over! But we had a great time in South Carolina at Congaree National Park. We set a new family milestone -- everyone who went hiked every trail! (The older boys may not think much of that achievement, because this was a small park with only 40 miles of trails, but it's still a cool accomplishment.)
The first day was drizzly and chilly, and rain before we arrived flooded out some of the trails. Here's where we turned back on Tuesday - notice the red blaze on the tree which means that's where the trail goes.
However, when we arrived from the opposite direction on Wednesday, the water was gone, leaving a path of mud and muck, which we were able to cross. Yes, the boots got muddy, but the feet stayed dry!
And by Friday, the trails were great and the weather was delightful.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Family Almanac - April 5th

Sitting on our kitchen table, we have a little basket which we call our family almanac. In the basket is a card for each day of the year where we write things we want to remember.

While listening to conference earlier today, I was thinking it would be good to occasionally post some of my "conference memories." One of the first that came to mind was the day I was cleaning the playroom (bleaching the mildew off the walls) one Saturday while listening to general conference. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself because no one else was helping me. Then I heard Elder Holland tell me how important motherhood was, that he understood the sacrifices we were making, and that it would really make a difference in the lives of our children. All of a sudden, I was okay.

So, right now the boys are at the priesthood session and Michelle is at a friend's house. I was in the kitchen going through our camping supplies and making sure everything was in order for early Monday morning when I noticed that the kids had flipped the cards to today's entry, and there it was! 1997: Clean playroom during Elder Holland's "mothers" talk. For eleven years I've been able to draw on his words for comfort and encouragement. I decided to take a quick break and post that memory now! (If you're interested, you can read that talk here.)

For the benefit of the kids who are away from home, the additional entries are -

1982: Visit Salt Lake with Wayne's parents and meet President N. Eldon Tanner. (This was when we were engaged and they came to Utah for conference weekend to meet me. My mother-in-law was Pres. Tanner's secretary before her marriage, and they liked to visit whenever they could. - I hope I remembered the details correctly!)

1985: Santiago North Chile mission reunion (A chance for Wayne to catch up with his old mission president and companions)

2006: Mutual - Senior Send Off (This would have been for Brad. Our ward has a tradition of taking a mutual night to spotlight each senior - someone makes a slideshow of pictures showing them growing up set to a song of their choosing, the parents read a letter to them, and they bring their favorite dessert. It's a lot of fun and we're looking forward to Jeff's next month!)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Another Typical Saturday

A week ago Michelle and I came home from her chorus concert to the announcement that "We were flooding the neighborhood! Dad turned off the sprinkler pump and here's the part that needs replacing." It took several trips to the store, another bout of "flooding the neighborhood," and some muscle on the part of Wayne and Jeff, but the anti-siphon valve has been replaced and our neighbors should be free from any more flooding danger.

Once that was taken care of, it was time for the regular post-wrestling-season Saturday chores. Steven mowed the lawn while Jeff helped his dad work on removing the tree stump. (First they had to sharpen the tools.)

Then they switched positions and Jeff edged the lawn and cleaned up the mess while Steven took a stab at exposing tree roots.

Michelle got out of hard labor by working with her friend at a PTA Spring Fling. She said she needed the service hours for school (and she did), but we all think she just didn't want to get her hands dirty!