Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"I Miss My Siblings"

Amazing...the blog thing is working correctly today!

So, our lives are changing once again as we relocate to Houston..."we" as in Rich and I. Which seems so strange to me. Our first move sans children! How did that happen? Sarah will be attending BYU-I in the fall, Marshall will return from his mission and head to BYU-Provo, etc. etc. So Katie calls me the other day and rather subtly made the suggestion that instead of going to Houston with us in July that Sarah should just come out to Provo and spend the remainder of her summer there "with her sisters". I think my heart skipped at least 2 beats! Where did she get such an idea? I didn't mention it to Sarah...

...until our Home Teacher was visiting the other night and somehow it came up. And Sarah, bless her heart, said, "What? Of course I want to go out there as soon as I can! I miss my siblings!!" I'm sure she did not appreciate the look that I gave her...as in "NO WAY JOSE!!" The reality is, though, that as I've pondered on that comment over the last couple of days my heart has soared. I'm SO glad she misses her siblings and the deepest desire of her heart is to be with them. Sarah is experiencing so many different emotions right now and feels very torn between wanting to "get on with life", but realizing that she will be leaving a lot of very good and supportive friends behind here in Edwardsville in the process. "Let's just stay home for Spring Break this year so I can be with my friends." Which I totally understand. But in the end, I think she understands that "family" is where it is at. And so do I.
July 2009

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lovin' Me Some Strawberries!! February 2011

I had the most wonderful few days with some dear friends in Southern California about a month ago, although it seems like "forever"! The weather was most amazing and provided the very-much-needed thaw I was looking forward to. We had pulled off the freeway to make a visit somewhere and what do you know - a strawberry stand! Very much to my liking! Yes, we had crepes the next night.

Jennifer and I did a fair amount of walking and visiting and meeting up with a lot of friends. One night we even headed over to Huntington Beach - my goodness that place looks way different than when we lived there...so different. However, sometimes you meet up with friends you haven't seen in forever and it's like you never left.
Chryssa Holdaway, Janet Edwards, and Lisa
We ventured down to San Diego for a fun getaway, and got Jonelle to come along with us. The weather couldn't have been more gorgeous! Had a dream walk along the beach Saturday morning and then had lunch at the Hotel Del Coronado and sat in the SUN!!
Sunday night another dear friend from long ago, Susan Dunn, came down from Northridge for a visit. Susan is the best!! She amazes me.
And then there's Betty! You wouldn't believe this woman!! Betty taught Lindsay and Katie baton twirling - they loved her. OK, so our lunch went over by a little and she said she had to hurry off...to TEACH BATON...at 70!! Couldn't believe it. She has filled her life with so much that is good and praiseworthy. I admire her more than I could ever express.

Let's just say, I had a blast! So much fun. Just what I needed to get me through the next several crazy months ahead! Thank you dear friends!!

Lots of Visiting with Cousins - Jan/Feb 2011

I'm having quite a difficult time with this blog stuff tonight...pictures are just not cooperating, so I'm just going to have to go with it. I was able to go back out to Utah in January for what turned out to be a couple of weeks. Love being around the kiddos - the little ones AND the big ones. Lindsay was gone part of the time to her CHA conference in southern California. We were all quite jealous of her time on Venice Beach. Sarah came out on a Friday afternoon...Saturday morning she had her audition at BYU-Provo, which went relatively well. Saturday afternoon we did a little prom dress shopping and found "the perfect" dress for Sarah...yahoo! Saturday night was spent at Becky's house - we were up rather late making Valentine Day banners. I think we all are like our mom in that we never just make ONE of anything...it is always multiples. We had fun crafting and talking to early in the morning. Sarah and I left Sunday afternoon to go and visit with Chris and Holly for a bit, and then we headed over to visit with Jenny and David Hawks...our dear missionary friends. Had dinner and then hit the road to head up to Rexburg. We got to spend the night with Lindsay, Heather Porter's sister! We kept thinking we were hearing Heather! So fun. We also got to visit with Miranda Goree Conkle and her good husband for a few minutes. Monday morning we headed over to campus for Sarah's audition with the flute professor and it went amazingly well. Sarah's decision to attend BYU-I was pretty much made before we left town! We made our way back down to Provo Monday evening, only to find out that we wouldn't be leaving town on Tuesday as planned because of the bad, bad weather back in St. Louis. In fact, we didn't make it home until late Thursday.

So Wednesday, since we didn't leave, we were able to get together with Becky's family...way fun for the kids to be with their cousins. I LOVE the first picture above...2nd cousins! Baby Caleb Brewer and baby Matthew Ridge. (Katie and Nathan are cousins.) Caleb is about 2 1/2 months older than Matthew, but keep in mind that Matthew's parents are both 6 ft. tall, plus some! The second picture above is of Sterling and Nathan - Nathan is holding baby Matthew.
Katie, Jayne, Sarah, Ta, and Mandy...
Orson and Bryant in the back, Brooke, Poppy, Claire, and Isaac in the front...Claire loves kids!! Love, love, love being with family!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Christmas 2010 - Our Last One in Edwardsville, IL

We had a super fun Christmas last December - our last one in Edwardsville. Lots of great memories had by all. So fun to have everyone be able to come - and we had a great conversation with Marshall on Christmas Day. The joy in his voice was felt by all. These pictures are all way out of order, so I'll just label as we go along...
This first one is of Katie and Lindsay after they got to go have their hair done...Katie had hers chopped off and Lindsay came back much darker with bangs. They love visiting Carmen...fun way to start the new year... One of Joseph's presents was a stadium tour of Cardinal's Stadium...we went a couple of days after Christmas...here they are in the dug out!
Our beautiful home on Christmas Day! Also, this was Rich's first ever white Christmas. Made it just a little extra special. Claire loving the snow in quite the get-up!
One of Rich's favorite toys as a young child was Lincoln Logs. Guess what I found for him for Christmas...to share, of course, with his grandchildren!
A surprise visit from Santa on Christmas Eve. This was SO fun. Our dear home teacher, Dan McNeill, spends a good part of his Christmas Eve making visits to families with children, and he knew we'd have some extra company this Christmas Eve...made it super special for us. Everyone loved his visit, but Claire...
...but Claire did LOVE working in the play kitchen, next to her own Christmas tree!
We tried super hard to get a decent picture of Rich and I with the kiddos...and this is about as good as it got.
My creativity on Christmas Day...loved the snow!
Lindsay, Katie, and Holly all got the same Nike jackets...extra long arms with thumb holes.
Chris and Holly with Santa!!
Love this little guy!!
Grammy and Caleb!!
Grandpa and Caleb!!
Auntie Sarah with Claire! All in all - a very special holiday indeed!!

Thanksgiving 2010 - 30th Anniversary - in Chicago!

Catching up here! How to back up and cover the last 5 months...
So last Thanksgiving we decided we didn't want to stay home (surprise, surprise). It was our 30th anniversary, too, so the 3 of us decided to head up to Chicago via the train for Thanksgiving. Way fun, bitter cold! These pictures are not particularly in order...
We went to the Museum of Science and Industry on Friday, the 26th. Sarah and I had done a little after-Thanksgiving shopping (no great bargains in Chicago!) and then we took the bus and headed to the museum. Way fun! Saw lots of fun exhibits and behind-the-scenes stuff. Happy 30th Anniversary to Rich and Lisa!!
There's a building on Michigan Avenue, can't remember the name (maybe the Post Office), that has pieces of buildings from all over the world. This piece is from the Great Pyramids in Eqypt. Way cool. Our hotel was right close by Michigan Avenue.
This picture is for Marshall, my Lego-man.
Sarah and I doing a little shopping along the Magnificent Mile...how fun!!
Oh yeah...can't go to Chicago and not experience pizza - Chicago style!! I think we were each able to barely eat 1 piece each, but it was sure good! All in all - a great and memorable weekend!!