Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Party Hearty in the Bowerman's Flower Beds!

Monday I worked and worked and worked in the yard. Things are starting to look super nice. Lots of the perennials I planted last year are back and looking beautiful. And then I went out yesterday to do some more bedding work and couldn't believe my eyes! More than half of what I have planted and coaxed along were gone, pulled up, nibbled on, discarded in the grass! I was really astounded. The more I looked around, the more damage I saw...a tad bit depressing. The nerve...
Some creature, I think it's the deer, like tulips...
And I think it's the deer that nibbled the tops off these hostas! Bunnies must have attacked the Johnny Jump-ups, Geraniums, and Columbine...they pulled them out and tossed them on the grass. Hey, but they left Johnny Jump-ups that are growing in the cracks of the driveway kind...
Geez, I wonder what I'll find this morning when I head out there. Alas, the weather has been perfect to work in the yard and I need to get on top of it all!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


My, oh my, sometimes time just starts to fly and it seems as though it is all I can do to keep up. I have had the chance recently to meet several different women who seem to be so busy, with full time jobs and busy callings and busy homes and schoolwork, etc. One thing I have learned over the years about myself is that I definitely accomplish more when the pressure is on, but personally, I am SO grateful for my life right now. I truly do acknowledge that a great deal of my freedom is due to the fact that I have a hubby who works very hard at his job. I have tons and tons of things to be doing and responsibilities to fulfill, but my days truly are mine for the most part. It has been a long time coming. My challenge is to priortize and move forward. I must admit that my days are often lonely...never thought I would say that. I think that at times it would be nice to go to an office and work together with others, but trade my independence? No way. I do what I can to help friends with children, which I love. I get to spend this next weekend caring for a sweet family in our ward and I can't wait. Ah, changes. It just happens.

Anyways, this post really is a catch up of sorts. I think blogging is an excellent way to record what has been happening...more for me than anyone else.

So, early March 22nd I headed out to Utah to spend some time with my kiddos out yonder. Doesn't seem right that they are so far away. This has got to be remedied some how. I rented a cute little "Fast Ford Focus" that we named "Fonda". Got me where I needed to go! So good to spend some time with Sweet Baby Claire (and her parents) and Lindsay-Loo and Chris and Holly...I think Claire and I finally connected this time. We have been trying to get her to call me "Grammy", but clearly "Mum Mum" was what was coming out. So for now that's fine with me. She is just a character! I loved getting up with her in the morning and learning how to eagerly greet the day. I loved her inquisitive ways. The girl can figure out anything! She's into everything! She especially loves sharing time in the bathroom. She stands on the toilet and watches everything, doing her fair share to make getting ready kind of difficult. The best way to get anything done quickly is to put Claire in the bath tub, which she loves, and keeps her somewhat confined. Claire loves to GO! She loves to be out and about. She loves her playground outside her door. She is a collector, especially of rocks. They're definitely her fav!

It was fun to tackle some projects with Katie. We pulled out her new sewing machine and got it humming. Made up a pattern for a table runner sort of thing and she did a great job for her first project. It seems so like yesterday that I was in Katie's shoes. I wanted to try new things, I wanted to move things around in my house all the time, I wanted to organize and often didn't know where to begin. We had a fun time getting some things in order. Often times it just takes a little something to spur you on. Katie is a great little homemaker and I am very impressed. She takes it very seriously...I love to see her in action. Lindsay's apartment also needed a little organizing/clean-up detail work. It was fun to work together on that with her. Lindsay and I also spent some time doing a little jogging...good stuff!!

So, here are recent pics of some "goings on"...
I brought a little doll stroller with me for Claire. Ummm...she LOVES to sit in it and be pushed around - the faster the better! She definitely does get the concept that it is for all of her animals and dollies, though, too.
One rather cool morning we ventured out to Thanksgiving Point to the petting farm. After Claire's initial encounter with a lamb that was chewing on her finger and a bit of a scream, she settled right down and figured it all out and we had so much fun. Loved all of the noises and actions of various farm animals.
These roosters were so loud. As funny as they are, I am really quite thankful that I do not wake up to that every morning...
Ummm, yea, we loved the pony ride!!
Back in December I mentioned that my niece Jayne and her husband Ta had been able to adopt a sweet baby from Samoa. We got to finally meet Poppy! She is THE most beautiful child. Poppy is as dark as Claire is fair. They had fun discovering each other. I hope they will be good friends over the years. Let's clap together!!
Sarah joined me in Utah for my 2nd week there. It was her Spring Break and I don't think she'd rather be anywhere else than with her siblings. Claire loves her Aunties!
But the true highlight of Sarah's week was a night out with Lindsay...and Michael Buble! Apparently this was quite the concert. So glad they got to go together. Bye, bye girls!!
The day after the concert we tried to have a "Girls" day...didn't totally work out as I had envisioned, but we did get out toes done! Mind you...I do believe that it was SNOWING outside! Yikes, the weather was just pitiful while I was there. BEFORE the pedicures we had the exciting opportunity to go to Katie's ultrasound. We all crammed in the little room to get a look at the newest little Brewer! So amazing to me. I had thought all along that another little girl was on her way, but I was so wrong. Joseph has an amazing smile, but as difficult as it is to imagine, I think his smile doubled in size when the tech announced, "Well, that would be exterior plumbing that we are seeing" and "Girls don't have those!" He was beside himself with excitement! Over the next several days I saw him standing at the refrigerator door where the ultrasound pics were posted. So fun...a dad and his boy!
That same day some dear friends came to visit. The Raymond family used to live in Edwardsville, but moved to Las Vegas last summer. How fun to see them again!! They are all much taller, and we realized how much we have missed them. Thank you so much for taking the effort to come visit us!
Claire's Yaya sent her the cutest Easter basket. As I mentioned, Claire is a collector. I knew that she'd get right into the Easter egg thing, so we put together a little hunt for her. Took two seconds to get that game down! And we had to do it several more times. So fun to watch.
Alas, all good times seem to come to an end. Claire had fallen asleep in the car this morning, but we needed to make one more Deseret Book stop. How fun to listen to General Conference play while shopping! Anyways, I ADORE this child.
Came home and sang our "Sunshine" song and went sweetly to sleep. I love her little bum up in the air, blankets all arranged in a pile, animal friends put just so, and then sleep! Her curls are multiplying! So fun to see. I never had one with so many curls so early!
A transformation that only can be described as "simply amazing" had taken place during the two weeks I was gone! I got home late Saturday night and so it hadn't hit me yet. I was looking out the window Sunday morning as I was waking up and realized I was seeing "GREEN"! WOW! It is amazing. I felt so humbled. I had complained to a California friend about a month previous how long and awful our winter had been and how she should really appreciate her weather in California. I realized that Sunday morning just how lucky I was to partake of this - this kind of transformation doesn't happen in California and to me it truly is miraculous! I must have looked out the window 1000 times, just to make sure I was seeing it right. Everything is growing and blooming and it's just glorious! I love "Johnny Jump-ups". They remind me so much of my mom. She got to the point where hand sewing was not an option, but she could make cards. And her favorite thing to do was take little pressed flowers and glue them on the front of a card. I used to press lots of these for her. So, the funny thing about this picture is that these "Johnny Jump-ups" are not growing in the planter area out front...they are growing in the drive way cracks! What's with that? I know there is some message/metaphor here, but the first person that drives over them will be in trouble!
One of our cherry full and pretty. My camera is not doing it justice!
And then there's this tree! The Primary children sing a song about a "Popcorn" tree. In fact, Claire is learning this song. This is the ultimate "Popcorn" tree! It is on the island as we leave our driveway. This display lasts only a couple of days, but it is so amazing! When the wind starts to blow, it almost looks as if it is snowing because there are so many little white petals. So, so, so pretty!
As far as what else is happening...I've started quilting once a week with a sweet friend. Last fall my oldest sister brought out two valences that my mother had made for her when she was a little girl and asked if I could think of something to do with them. They have six little dutch figures on them that my mom had appliqued and embroidered. Such detail...only my mom! Anyways, I have dismantled those valences and am in the process of piecing a quilt together...way fun! Pictures soon...
My hair is getting a little longer...actually almost long enough to put into a ponytail! Every time Sarah walks by me she whips off her pony tail holder and pulls my hair funny. It's been over 20 years I suppose. Sure is an easy hair-do...
This last weekend was the high school prom and the weekend before that was a prom for all church youth, age 16-18 for four stakes in the St. Louis area. The theme was "In the Garden". That was easy to work with. We had about 160 youth and it was wonderful to see them all dressed so modestly and appropriately. I was able to pull together a lot of the decorations, thanks to my sisters and a trip to Salt Lake and lots of flowers from Katie's wedding - used once again! I'll get some pics of Sarah up soon...she was gorgeous! Rich and I get to work together in our callings right now. We are busy into planning all of the summer activities for the youth, which will be many, but the biggest is a Youth Conference in July. Lots of planning for that one - but it's all good!!