Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happenings...lots and lots of happenings!!

July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday to my country...I feel so blessed to be able to live in the "land of the free and the home of the brave"! Sarah and I saw a fantastic fireworks display last night--right here in Edwardsville!!

I can't believe that the last time I did a post was Mother's Day...crazy! The last two months have flown by. Lots of end-of-the-year activities for Sarah, trips, concerts, friends, parties, on and on...So I'm making an attempt to catch up just a bit. The entries are all mixed up, but basically most everything mentioned has happened since May.

The family was recently out in Utah for several reasons, which I'll get to later. While there, though, my sister Trish that lives in Orem let us know that she had breast cancer. That I was there and able to facilitate and take part in a certain doctor's visit, a super fun shopping trip, and a rather memorable sister dinner was...well, I'm learning more and more to not look at happenings as coincidences, but more and more as "tender mercies". We are currently waiting for the final diagnosis, but Trish has had a lumpectomy and some serious (long-awaited) reconstruction. Her future will include a rather aggressive chemo and radiation regimen, but so far things have gone well.
This is Trish and her good husband, Cliff, at Chris' wedding last November. I love her and know that with her very positive and determined outlook she'll get through this and come out on top!
Ah yes! Guess what I got Rich for Father's Day?? Tickets to Michael Buble! Wasn't that nice of me??!! So the concert was on June 25th...and let's just was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!! We haven't been to a concert for well over 30 years, so this was pretty darn fun. Fortunately we had some great seats and the folks in front of us didn't stand up very much, so we didn't need to, either. Such a great evening...he's an amazing performer with a fantastic voice!
Happy Birthday...and let's have a Tea Party while we're at it! Kirstin and Heather, here in Edwardsville, have fairly close birthdays, which are always fun to celebrate. As I was thinking about those that would like to help celebrate, I realized that almost all of them had little girls, so I decided to get another good friend, Melody, to help me and put this little event together.
Our little girl friends had such fun getting dressed up and playing with all the "girl" stuff that I've collected over the years.
Bella was particularly happy to find some clip-on earrings!
The group! Thanks fun to put this together. You are all such great friends and moms to your wonderful daughters!
Last year my good friend Karen Wall, who has a yard that pretty much looks like the Garden of Eden, introduced me to the many varieties of lilies that exist. I had NO idea! She shared several with me last year and I've waited so patiently to watch them bloom this year. Here are some of beautiful!

So Rich, Sarah and I headed out to Utah on June 13th. We took Sarah to BYU and dropped her off for BYU Summer Fest - a music camp - for the week. She had a fantastic time. I need to do an individual post just on Sarah and will talk more of her experience in that post. (I'm realizing that these pictures are SO out of order!) Anyways, after her week at BYU and Father's Day, Sarah and I remained in Utah for a couple more days while Rich headed home. We had so much fun with "you know who"! On one of our outings I had bought some M & M's, which surprisingly enough, Claire loves. But, of course, all things come to an end, and she had definitely had enough.
At which point, she gives you this look, "Are you serious?" At which point you show her the empty bag...
At which point she shows her disgust about the whole tears, but clearly distraught.
Claire is such a good sleeper...most of the time...or maybe she's a good sleeper when Mum-Mum is not in town. Katie and Joseph have moved her out the crib and for now her mattress is on the floor, and that works fine. But generally she doesn't fall asleep on the mattress.
She loves things piled on top, and always has something covering at least part of her face. So funny!
Claire also loves to play much as she can talk anyone into taking her out. She's such a social butterfly. Loves to play with any other kids that happen to wander by.
One of my sisters passed on several dresses to Claire. This one was hanging in the closet and I decided she should wear it for Father's Day. I thought she looked like a little angel!
When I brought her downstairs the girls were doing their best to stifle their laughter, which I simply did not understand. Finally they let me know that I was stuck in the 80's! This dress reminded them so much of what I tried (successfully!) to dress them in. I did my best to not show all day how my feelings were hurt. In my mind, some styles are "timeless", and this is one of them! Claire cooperated beautifully and didn't seem to mind one bit that she was a little behind the fashion times!
Claire with Auntie Lindsay!
Happy Father's Day to my daddy!!
The group on Father's Day...Holly is taking the pic and Joseph had gone to work...
Yummy Father's Day Dinner...thanks kids!!
Dinner at the Red Iguana in Salt Lake - night before Father's Day. I love this pic of Chris and Lindsay...let's just say that when I look at this picture I think to myself, "Wow, they've come a long ways!" I'm sure there are some out there that can understand my sentiment. Love these kids!
Rich and our daughter-in-law Holly! Such a good Mexican (Rich's fav!) restaurant...thanks all!!
Grandpa and Sweet Baby Claire!
One of the things about having lived lots of different places is that you meet lots of different friends along the way...and sometimes those paths really do cross again!
Such is the case with Kim Nitta. I knew Kim when Chris and Lindsay were little, before I had Katie. They moved, we moved, but we've stayed in touch over the years. Sure enough, two of her kids now live in the same ward in Provo as Lindsay! Too fun. Anyways, she happened to be in town for Father's Day and it was so fun to surprise her and spend some time visiting.
Lindsay and Heather knew each other well as little girls, and now again! Too fun!!
So, that week that Sarah was at BYU Rich and I decided to spend some time in different parts of southern Utah. We had a great time!
Over in the St. George area is an outdoor amphitheater called the Tuacahn. It is amazing. I stopped there a couple of times with the kids on our journies from southern California up to Salt Lake, but Rich had never been. So we went to see "Cats". It was super fun. Love that place!
Over on the other side of the state is Moab...the Jeep capital of the world! And we found out why. What a neat place...all these amazing sites that we'd never taken the time to see before.
Rich's sister, Rebecca, and her husband, Todd, came up from the Four Corners area and spent one day with us at Arches National cool!
Todd and I decided to brave the sun and heat and hike...
...and hike...
...the 3 mile round trip up to this amazing structure...Delicate Arch! So worth it! All in all we had a very fun and relaxing time together discovering this part of the country.
Several months ago a young lady came to our church building. She was 20 years old at the time and had crossed paths with some of our missionaries. I remember the first time I met her...I remember that she radiated a certain happiness and goodness. I remember thinking, "this is a special, special girl". Over the next several months she gained a testimony of the gospel and made the decision to be baptized, much to the dismay of her family and friends. While I understand that we Mormons are considered by many to be a tad different, I simply do not understand a family that would turn their backs on their daughter because of this. I know that her parents must be wonderful people...they have raised a wonderful daughter. I'm sure it is difficult to watch children make choices that are different than what they desire. But, if anything, she is better. Heavens, look at the good choices she is making every day. Regi has made the choice to go out to BYU Idaho, which we think will be such a great experience for her. In order for her save some money, she came to live with us for awhile.
Needless to say, Sarah and Regi quickly became best friends, and have spent many late nights chatting and laughing together. It has been such a good experience for Sarah, to see how Regi's testimony has grown over the last several months. To see her exhibit such faith until she has fully understood, and then to see the "lights go on" when she understands...amazing.
Red hair, lots of freckles = loads of fun!
A couple of weeks ago Regi's mother and sister came down to visit her...a huge step in the right direction! Their conversation led to Regi thinking that she should go home for a couple of months before she heads out to BYU. They have agreed to let her take the car to church meetings (huge!) and even have church friends come to the house (even huger!). She hopes, and we most certainly do also, that her influence will only bless her family in good ways. Regi left this last Wednesday and we miss her tons already!!
Well, that was pretty much not in any particular on to July! Girls' Camp and Youth Conference are right around the corner...big events for both Rich and I. Marching Band is already in full swing with tons of other events filling up the summer! Can't hardly believe we're reaching Marshall's one year mark!!