Monday, September 29, 2008

No naps!

Garen has started to forgo the naps a few days a week and when he does take one, I just hear him play in his room for about an hour and then find him sleeping by the door, in the rocking chair, or in the middle of the room. I am so not ready to give up his nap time, but I'm afraid that it is coming soon!
So this is how I find Garen during nap time these days, anywhere but his bed and surrounded by toys-

Also thank you to Jann and Boyd from Maddie and Garen for the dollar bills. We went to the dollar store today so they could pick what they wanted and buy it themselves. They were both very excited about their choices! Maddie is really loving these opportunities to use her own money and to count it out for the cashier. She's getting pretty good at counting coins. Then she keeps her receipts in her purse for weeks.

Maddie got a ball shooting gun-
And Garen picked a monster truck that jumps-

And for you girls that asked for the cake recipe, you are not going to believe how easy it is!

-Just use a cake mix (white or yellow) to make two 9 inch round cakes.
-put vanilla pudding and defrosted frozen strawberries or fresh strawberries between the two cakes.
-cover the whole thing with cool whip
-Then put fresh cut up strawberries on top and all around
-you can also drizzle some strawberry sauce from the frozen strawberries on top.
And that is it!!! Easy and delicious.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Planting Grass and Early Birthday Party

Andy's parents came this weekend and Andy and his dad were able to till up the the back yard and plant some grass seed. So we are hoping next Spring we will have a backyard filled with green grass. It was so nice for Boyd to bring his tiller and help Andy all Saturday get the work done! We really appreciate it! And Jann probably played 30 games with Maddie, which she absolutly loved!
Andy working hard tilling up the yard-

Spreading grass seed-

And done! No, we didn't plant hay, it's just there to keep the seed down and help it grow-

Then to top it off Andy's parents took us to dinner at Applebese to celebrate Andy's birthday. Andy turns 29 next Sunday, but his family won't be here and he will be working all weekend, so we celebrated a little early.
After dinner I made a strawberry shortcake with pudding in the middle (one of Andy's favorites).

Then after the kids were in bed Andy's parents watched a movie with us. We got the movie 21, I'd never heard of it before, but it was pretty entertaining.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Minnesota Trip

My sisters, their boys, my dad, and I headed out in the afternoon for our long drive to Minneapolis. We took a break at Martin's Cove (a place the pioneers tried to take cover from the cold and several died) and saw Devil's gate. It was a neat place and gave us a chance to stretch our legs and let the boys run around.

The rest of the trip we only stopped for gas and bathrooms and for some breakfast in the morning. We arrived at my grandparents house at 12:00 on Sunday (20 hours after we left). The trip went really well considering the 2 pregnant people and the 2 toddlers. Luckily my dad is amazing and can drive for hours with no sleep!
Devil's gate-

Colton and Joren-

In the Martin's cove visitor center-


My sisters and I went with my mom and aunts to dress my grandmother's body. This is the first time I saw her so it was incredibly hard for me, but I'm glad I went and got to have that quiet spiritual time with her.

I really don't know how people that lack the knowledge of life after death can get through times like these. Although I felt such sadness and emptiness with her absence I felt an overwhelming peace and even happiness in it's place because I know without a doubt that she is perfect and happy and I will see her again in a short season.

Sunday night several of my cousins and aunts and uncles were over late with us at grandpa's house and we enjoyed our time talking together since we don't see each other very often.

This day was just filled with family and my amazing mom coordinating every aspect of the funeral arrangements.

In the evening was the viewing. I was glad to see so many people come and everyone smiling and sharing memories.

Afterwards, I went out for awhile with some of the cousins and again we had a bunch of family over at grandpas' up late talking. My grandpa would walk around the house and point out grandma's shoes or what they would have been doing just then. He is such a sweet man and he will be incredibly lonely without his wife of 62 years.
Grandpa and some of the grand kids-

My grandma loves pink-

This morning there was another viewing followed by the family prayer and the closing of the casket. It was so hard to say goodbye one more time and to watch my mom, her siblings, and my grandpa say their goodbyes.

The funeral was beautiful! There were some amazing things said about grandma's accomplishments, her humor, and her life. The closing song was a recording of my grandmother singing and playing amazing grace-it was nice to hear her voice and incredibly touching.
The Funeral program-

Next we went to the cemetery where my dad did a wonderful job dedicating the grave.
Then there was a luncheon at the church that the ward relief society did a fabulous job with. It looked beautiful and the food was great.

Grandpa Mel and I-

Grandpa and his grand kids-

my family-

We went back to grandpa's house and I soaked in all the memories of grandma and that house before we had to leave. I got to take with me a few pieces of grandma's jewelry collection which I will cherish.
The days went by to quickly and I was sad to say goodbye to my cousins, the house, and especially my grandpa. We left about 7pm for the long ride home.
Cousins oldest to youngest (John, Dan, Danette, Sadie, Mandy, Denise, Nikki, Sara, Emily, Ben, Darianne)-

Grandpa and his kids-


We stopped at Independence rock (one of the main landmarks for the Oregon Trail, Martin Handcart co. and other pioneers) for a little while on our way home so the boys could run around a bit. And we ended up getting to my house at about 2pm (about 18 hours from when we left). It felt good to be home and the past few days are kind of a daze that seem like faded memories or a dream.
I'm so glad my dad made it possible for us girls to go! He was an incredibly patient man to drive almost the whole time, have no sleep, stop way to often for me to use the bathroom, and to listen to little boy whining. Thanks Dad!
And I'm so glad Jann (Andy's mom) took such great care of my kids while I was gone.

My brothers John and Dan-and family- stopped in at my house later in the night for a break from their travels and some food. It was fun to see them for a little while longer. While I was making the food and Maddie was waiting for her cousins she went and got Grandma Vonnie's CD and listened to her favorite yodeling songs. It was cute to hear Maddie trying to sing along with grandma. And also hard for me to make dinner with wet eyes.
Colton and my dad at Independence rock-

Joren climbing the rock-

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Grandma Vonnie passed away on Saturday, September 20th at 12:40AM surrounded by her children and family. My sisters and I will make it out there for the funeral.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Dear Grandma Vonnie

My grandmother has been battling bone cancer for a few years now and things have been positive. But the last couple months have taken a turn for the worst and my sweet, and wonderfully funny grandma has become extremely weak.
She is still hanging on, but is now non responsive and she has not had anything to eat or drink for 6 days. So it looks like her job well done is over very soon here on Earth. She will be sorely missed, but I know she will finally feel comfortable again soon.

I will miss her dancing in her bathrobe in the kitchen and listening to her play the guitar and singing her old country songs!

I leave tomorrow morning with my two sisters and my dad (my mom is already out there) to Minnesota. I am very thankful to Andy's mom for jumping in and helping with the kids so I can make this trip.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Office

Okay, so neither Andy or I have ever seen a full episode of The Office before. We just never got into it or maybe it was on at a bad time or something. But the last couple of weeks, Andy's friend from work let us borrow Season 1-4. Now every night after the kids are in bed or when Andy gets home from work we watch 2 or 3 episodes. We are loving it!!!! It is so hilarious!
It's something I've come to look forward to every night with Andy. I will be sad when we finish watching the episodes from season 4. But I think Season 5 will be starting on TV here soon.
Many of you have probably figured out the greatest of this show before now. I'm glad we came across it to give us our nightly laughs!

Nature Walk

I got to volunteer to go with Maddie's Kindergarten class on a nature walk today. It was so fun to see her interact with the kids in her class. They all wanted to hold her hand and I could always hear one of the kids yelling out "Maddie wait!" I was glad to see her behaving herself and to see that she is enjoying her friends and teacher!
The teacher did a great job with the walk. The kids made a list of things they thought they might see before they went. They looked for all those things, found shape in everything, and she pointed out every street sign and address along the way. You could tell the kids were just eating it up!
Yesterday was the first day I let her walk to school by herself. She was very excited. The truth is that if I stand on my back deck I can see her walk the whole way except for about the last 10 feet to the front door. So she gets to be big and walk by herself and I still get to be protective mom and watch her the whole way.

So Maddie is just loving every minute of Kindergarten and I am so glad!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back to school open house

Last night Maddie got to show me and Andy around her classroom at school. She showed us where she sits, where they do calendar, her picture on the wall, her birthday candle, and her favorite story they read. She was very excited to have us see everything she does each day.
I'm so glad Maddie is loving school so much. Each day I ask her what her favorite part was, which is usally lunch, friends, recess, or coloring. Then I ask her if there were any bad parts or anything she doesn't like and so far she has not been able to come up with anything. She says it's all fun! I hope it stays that way.

Clifford the big red dog was there, so Garen spent most of his time screaming and clinging to Andy. Not even Maddie would get close enough to Clifford for a picture. Who knew the big friendly dog could be so scary.
Maddie also had gymnastics last night. Her class is huge but she loves it. There are 5 kids from her Kindergarten class in there and 2 girls from church. She doesn't seem to mind that she isn't getting much coach time like she did in Logan-she's just being little miss social.
Maddie is in the white and black-

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dinosaur Exhibit

Andy finally got a day off work today, so it was so nice to have him home! He walked Maddie to school this morning and Garen loved playing with him all day. After Maddie got done with school we went up to the college campus here to check out the dinosaur exhibits. Maddie thought they were incredibly wonderful and was so excited to see each new thing. Garen would excitedly say 'dinosaur' but he didn't want to get to close.