Sunday, January 31, 2010

28 Days of Love

February 1, 2010

I decided in the dreariness of last week that I needed to have something to focus on in the coming month. Ah, February...we made it through January! And what is February but a chance to focus on LOVE! I started making a list of things that I love, people I love, activities that I love, along with what I am particularly grateful for, and therefore love! And decided to share them on this blog.

This will not be in any particular order. However, at the top of my list is the Savior, Jesus Christ. My feelings for the Savior definitely fall into the category of gratitude - although gratitude seems to be a little weak. Maybe there are not words for how grateful I am to Him...for His life, for His sacrifice for me! Today I share a YouTube video with Elder Neal A. Maxwell speaking about the Savior.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Geez, it is Downright Cold and Depressing Here in January! is one supposed to get through January without being depressed?? It has been pretty darn cold, one blast of snow that brought a couple of snow days, but the reality is is that it is just not a very pretty time of year! I'm anxious to get on to some projects that I've been saving for this particular time...need to do something to lift my spirits.
Here's proof that it was cold...this was 2 Sundays ago...Bluebell was taking me to church, bless her heart, and here's how cold it really was. Never seen her say this before! And mind you, zero in IL is much colder than zero in parts west.
So when it's depressing, what's a girl to do but spend money! Just kidding. We've been in the market looking for a new flute for Sarah...was definitely time to upgrade. Unfortunately there aren't too many music stores that carry higher end flutes to try out, so we ordered three in the mail to try side by side. The third one is a Gemeinhardt. The verdict is still out a week later, although she's narrowing it down pretty fast. Hearing her play definitely lifts my spirits!
Well, the BEST thing to do when it's depressing outside is order in pure that's what we did!! Katie and Claire came to town on the 12th to visit for a week. And pure entertainment is just what we got! Claire is a hoot and a half!! She has the funniest, silliest, goofy and happy personality. Love, love, love this little girl!! Seeing as she is not here too often and I didn't want to have to tell her "no" over and over, we put up two gates in the kitchen, locked the cabinets we could, removed things that she would break from other cabinets, and let her have at it. It will take me several days, maybe weeks, to put things back the way they were, but it all needed reorganizing anyways. She had great fun rearranging everything. It's always amazing to me how she thinks the toys are just ok, but anything in the kitchen is way more fun! And the heavier and bigger it is...she'll definitely go for that! I do have a little table with two kids chairs that she enjoyed sitting at and telling us stories. Too funny...jibber, jibber, jibber, then "ummmm", then right back to the jibbering. She has a definite agenda about everything. But she adapted to new sleeping quarters and play areas just fine. Loved, loved, loved the piano and the fish tank...under close supervision!
This baby was in the crib and Claire attached herself right away. It was just amazing how she hugged and kissed and carried this baby around. She often held her while watching Sesame Street. This is all, of course, very good to know...hopefully she'll continue to have great feelings towards babies because there's going to be a NEW BABY in her house in August! Yay. It's finally official and I can speak about it. Grandbaby #2 is on it's way. Check out Katie's blog for more details. We are way excited!
We didn't go on too many outings this time, except one day we went down to the mall to check out a few sales. We were in Children's Place and came across this cute rain outfit. We didn't buy it, but it was sure fun to try things on!
There is a merry-go-round at the mall and Claire and I had it all to ourselves! Katie wasn't sure she'd like it very much. Ummmm, she LOVED it!
OK, so none of my kiddos had curls. Sarah had one, but nothing even close to this. This does my heart good, too! I love giving Claire her bath, simply because she makes it so fun. Then we do "lotion time", which I think she really enjoys, too. Oh, the baby lotions smell so good. And her hair is always so cute and curly after her bath when it first dries. Too fun.
So they left yesterday and it's still rather dreary outside. Not good. I need to go into "project mode" super fast to get through this! I'll have to figure out how to post pictures of what I'm thinking of doing. Going to be super cute! Here's to hoping you're handling January okay in your neck of the woods!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Welcome to Baby Poppy!!

What a journey! I finally was able to talk to my sister Becky in Salt Lake yesterday. She had been in Samoa with a good part of her family for the Christmas holidays...and check out this present! Can you believe the beauty of this child? Becky's daughter Jayne is married to THE neatest Samoan! They've been married several years, but as yet have not been able to have children-until earlier this year when they found out that baby Poppy was coming to join their family. I sure make that sound easy, but as with any adoption it was anything but easy. Nonetheless, after many prayers everything came together. Jayne and Ta went to Samoa before Christmas to pick up Poppy, headed to New Zealand (for whatever reason) and then came back to Samoa to celebrate Christmas with the rest of the family.
Obviously, Poppy is not her real of these days I'll get her real name in writing. But Poppy definitely fits...her smile and apparently her personality. Too fun, though, because my sister has two other grand-daughters whose names are Lily and Tulip!
The Pauga's family first swim together...ah, that water in Samoa looks so inviting!!
Stephanie, Jayne with baby Poppy, and April...Steph and April are Jayne's sisters!
Poppy was able to be sealed to her parents in the Samoa Temple before coming home...what a great day! Families really are forever!!
Do they look just a little bit happy??!!!!! Apparently Poppy was an absolute angel on that very long trip home. I'm so excited that Poppy has come into the Pauga family. I can't imagine a more loving set of parents than Jayne and Ta. What a bright and happy future is ahead for this very blessed child and her family.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Rich and Merry Christmas from Orlando!!

Happy Birthday Rich on December 16th...and Happy Birthday to Holly on the 19th! Yay, another December birthday. I always feel like December birthdays get the short end of the stick. Rich is holding his favorite present...a real live hand-written letter from Marshall in Brazil. I am so grateful we're able to do the e-mail thing with our missionary, but getting a hand-written letter is still pretty fun!
Right after Marshall left back in August we quickly realized that we would only have Sarah and maybe Lindsay come home for Christmas this year. Not very much to my liking, but I certainly understand the circumstances and will patiently wait until next year..oops, this year! In the meantime, since it just didn't feel right being at home without most of the kids, we decided to do Christmas a little different this year...we headed to Orlando, in hopes of a chance to thaw out and get some sun. Well, we thawed out, but it wasn't nearly as warm as we hoped. Still, such a nice change of pace for the week. Orlando is actually a great place with tons and tons of things to do...we have barely scratched the surface after our first two visits. We were thinking that Christmas week wouldn't be all that wrong! It was super, super crowded and the traffic was crazy. DisneyWorld was said to have been sold out most days by 10:00 a.m. Yikes...
Not our traditional ham, potatoes, creamed corn, jello salad, and rolls for Christmas Eve dinner...we went to the Melting Pot instead. We decided for a New Year's Resolution to go once a month and try each of the dessert fondues...what do you think?
Downtown Disney...Lindsay and Sarah trying to re-create art forms!
Merry Christmas Lindsay and Sarah...some little elves even brought stockings to our room!
One night we had tickets to see this show and LOVED it! So how do you describe Blue Man Group to someone who doesn't know what it's about...comedy, few words, interesting music but not really music, lots of paper, lots of drumming, highly entertaining. That about sums it up!
Rich has always loved Ripley's Believe It or Not! Decided to stop in and it was fun!
Sarah's hand reading produced "You need a Friend"!
And Lindsay on the Throne of Love is "Hot Stuff"!
We drove by the Sling Shot numerous times and each time the girls said they really wanted to do it and we said, "Yea, right..." But they were serious! Where did we get these daredevils from??
Ready to launch...
Up, up, and away...390 feet in the air!
Looking straight down...
And they survived!!
All in all we had a great time, although we missed everyone else! We had a fantastic Christmas Day phone call with Marshall in Brazil...he was able to talk with Orlando, in North Carolina, and in Utah. Marshall told us all about his routine, how he does his laundry, the area where he lives, how the language is coming...all in all he's doing just fantastic! We loved sitting in the jacuzzi, watching The Sound of Music while eating Capn' Crunch, seeing Shamu, shopping, trying new restaurants, trying new make-up, playing games, reading, computering, and doing something totally out of the ordinary for our Christmas vacation. Oh, and definitely doing Word Search puzzles in the airport on the way home!!
And now I declare my blog caught up...that only took over 12 hours and I'm sure I've forgotten something!! Sarah, it's your turn!!!!

Finishing Up Our November Trip

We had a fun Thanksgiving week visit in Utah after the wedding, filled with lots of visiting. Rich and I got away for a couple of days for our 29th anniversary (wow!) and headed up to Midway...lots of fun.
In order to have plenty of room for Thanksgiving dinner the girls and I decided to hike up to the "Y"...a pretty darn ambitious hike. This was the first time for Sarah and Lindsay. Katie, as you may remember, hiked the "Y" on the day that Claire was due. It did not, however, put her into labor. Was a little bit easier this time.
Claire loves to climb in, on, over, under, and through anything and everything! The rascal has been up and walking before she was 8 months old...there's no stopping her now. However, we did do our best (and it was a constant battle!) to keep her off the top of the kitchen table. In the meantime she was content to...
climb on the chair seat as it was still tucked under the table! Silly girl!!
Made a little trip up to the BYU campus one day...Sarah and I wandered over to the Harris Fine Art Building...she hopes to one day be spending a lot of time in and around this office! Lots and lots of work to do to get there!
Good job Sarah-bear!!

It's a Wedding!!

Chris met Miss Holly Beecher early in 2009 (wow, it's really 2010 now!). The rest of the family first met Holly in May and immediately we were hoping that Chris would do everything right! Holly is wonderful...I don't know how else to say it. She is a perfect fit for Chris. She is a very accomplished, energetic, and a super fun gal and the more we're around her, the more I love her. I guess I love her most because of the vision she has for Chris...she truly sees his potential and I have no doubt that he wants to be all he can be because of his love for her.

I was in Utah early enough to participate in a shower that some of each family were able to attend. Yummy Saturday morning brunch.
I love fun parties!!
And fun gifts!!
And fun best friends!!
The group that was at the shower...including two of my sisters and three of my nieces.
Chris and Holly at their special dinner the night before the wedding. Wedding day...Sarah, Lindsay, Rachel (their cousin), and Katie...such cute girls!
Miss Claire found some snow!
My beautiful daughter-in-law Holly Beecher Bowerman!!
Holly went several weeks before the wedding to have these portraits done at the place where the reception was to be held. It was the most perfect day and setting...can you believe the beautiful leaves??!!
I particularly loved her bouquet...beautiful fall colors.
Holly is just like me in that she doesn't like her picture taken all that much, but she sure does have a beautiful smile. Chris is SO lucky!!
Chris LOVES kids and they love him...he's going to make a great dad some day. Here he is with Claire!
My better half!!
Chris and some of his favorite girls!!
Their photographer was wonderful! I love the black and white, with some color thrown in!
Chris and Holly were married in the Bountiful Temple, which is way, way up on a hill overlooking the valley. It was a beautiful day, but up there it was a bit chilly and windy. I'm so happy they got so many nice pictures. Chris has always been Mr. Photogenic! They make the cutest couple...I'm so happy for them. There just aren't words to describe the joy one feels as a parent when they see pure joy in their children's eyes. Holly, welcome to the Bowerman Family!!

Time with Claire

I absolutely LOVE spending time with this little did I get so lucky to have such a perfect grandchild?? It is so hard to be away from her...did my mom feel this way about each of her 33 (?...lost track of the #) grandchildren? How did she stand it?
This was while we were waiting at the photo studio for our turn.
Aunt Laura sent this super fun little magnetic/song/matching toy for her birthday.
Happy Birthday little princess Claire!!
Claire (and Grammy) love bath time!!
I found one of these fun skirts at a boutique I went to...wasn't sure if she'd like it. Ha, she loves wearing it and immediately got into the twirl/dance routine!
Yep, the box for the toys is actually meant for Claire to play in!
I took her out one morning to find a dress to wear for Chris' wedding. We ended up in the Gap dressing room. Claire loves giving Claire kisses!
Such a cutie!
Katie and Joseph have done a super job of getting Claire to fall asleep on her own. It is a very simple routine of blankets just in the right place and certain toys to hold in just the right place and then "night, night Claire" and walk out. Wow, that never worked for me with 5 kids. It's always sweet to go back in and peek on her. Everything kind of ends up in a pile with her on top.