Friday, June 29, 2007

37 years down... Eternity to go!

Happy Anniversary sweetheart! Yes, just a short 37 years ago today Paul and I were married and truly we have been living "happily ever after". Our courtship and engagement was quite the whirlwind but it seems to have worked out just fine. Paul was in the Army (Vietnam era) and he had come home for a 30-day leave when he came over to my house to visit my brother whom he knew from their mission days. Fortunately, my brother was not home.... but I was. For our first date my brother and Paul decided to take out each other's sisters so Kent went out with KJ and I went out with Paul. We continued seeing each other every day for 8 days before I left for a semester abroad in Salzburg, Austria but we did agree to keep in touch via letters. Our relationship progressed very quickly and actually became a little too intense for me after just 4 short months so I "wrote him off", as we used to say, about the time my semester was over and I was back home. Paul was stationed in the Philippines at Clark Airbase and unbeknownest to me, my letter arrived to him just as he was recovering from some surgery -- bad timing. By about September I had realized how much he really meant to me and I wrote him again and suggested we keep in touch but maybe take things a little more slowly. He was given another 30 day leave starting Memorial Day weekend and we anxiously anticipated spending some time together. I met him at the airport -- I can't even remember if his family was there, I think it was just me -- and flew into his open arms and it just felt right. When Paul had been home about 24 hours, he gave me his fraternity pin which being "pinned" in those days was a form of "being promised", a sort of pre-engagement step. Six days later on June 6th we were spending time at the cabin and he gave me a box of cracker jack and when I opened the surprise little packet that you always find in Cracker Jacks, I found a beautiful diamond ring. I immediately said yes!! Now, when should we get married? October? No way... we didn't want to be apart again. So we kicked it into gear and pulled off a beautiful, memorable wedding 23 days later!!! Amazingly enough we were able to get engraved invitations, a wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, the reception center, everything just fell into place. Our honeymoon was spent driving across country to his next Army assignment at Fort Holabird, Maryland. I have always marveled that my parents were so accepting of this seemingly crazy plan and when my children were getting married I couldn't imagine trying to pull their weddings off in 23 days. Our engagement was very short but very magical. We were spending every moment we could together -- Paul would come and pick me up in the early afternoon and we would do things and go places and just be together until he would drive home as the sun was coming up and he would sleep for a few hours and come over and start again. I had even taken 30 days off from my job at Walker Bank when I knew he was coming on leave and they were pretty surprised when I told them I wasn't coming back.

If I could have done anything differently, I wouldn't have. I have married the perfect man for me and it has been a wonderful 37 years. Paul is very talented and ambitious and grounded and fun and interesting and supportive and encouraging and accepting and hardworking and hardplaying and kind and considerate and loyal and faithful and responsible and dependable and generous and giving and wise and I could go on for ever. I am so happy for a seemingly impulsive decision made 37 years ago that has blessed my life ever since. So after all these years and our wonderful four children and three in-laws and 6 (soon to be 8) grandchildren and a successful accounting practice and a lovely home and lots of precious memories, we still love to hang out together. Here's to the next 37 years and beyond! I love you Paul!
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Thursday, June 28, 2007


Honestly there is nothing much funner than getting a surprise package in the mail!!! Actually the fact that I got a package wasn't a surprise since I had signed up to participate in a "My Favorite Things" swap but the contents of the package were a total surprise! You can see what a unique assortment of treasures this quirky little box contains. I definately got paired up with an over-achiever since the perimeters of the swap stipulated that you send 3 of your favorite items... I was so excited as I dug deeper into the pink and green paper crinkles and kept pulling out fun items. In case you can't tell from my photo, here is what my package contained: a HUGE bundle of grogrein ribbons in a rainbow of colors; seriously, yards and yards of ribbon, a small carry-with-you notepad for sudden spurts of inspiration (Vera Bradley) , a wallet-like luggage tag (Vera Bradley also) -- so I can spot my suitcase instantly from all the others that look just like it--, a nice shade of lip liner that I am excited to give it a try, and in the candy department (which was a big hit with me as well) almond roca, Riter chocolate bar and another chocolate bar from Trader Joe's plus a printout from her blog where she told all about Trader Joe's and since we don't have that store here in Utah I enjoyed her informative narritive, plus she included her favorite fruit stripe gum (my grandkids will love) and some very special jelly beans (but that is a secret so shhhhhh) and finally a book marker quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. Okay, I think that was a little more than 3 items but who's counting --- not me! Thank you so much my dear new Swap friend, Kristi. If you think this package was fun and informative, you need to check out her blog. In honor of Kristi, I think I'll finish this post in pink. So once again, thank you, thank you, thank you... you made my day!!
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Quilt of the week

Here is another one of my quilts that I thought I'd share with you. I actually replaced the tie quilt above my desk with this one because it is more summery. This quilt was made from a pattern by a company called "Piece of Cake" and is titled "Tulips in the Park". I seldom make a quilt exactly like it is designed but this time was an exception. And I actually used the fabric that was released along with the pattern. It was the first time I had used a brown background and I loved how the colors popped because of the strong contrast. All the flowers are hand appliqued and then the blocks and border strips were machine pieced together and then I did have it machine quilted by someone else. The original pattern had 12 blocks in the center but I wanted mine to be square so I chose 9 blocks that I liked the best instead. No matter how hot or dry it gets this summer, these tulips will keep blooming as fresh and radiant as ever.
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Monday, June 25, 2007


Last week Paul sent Heidi some "fast" pink sunglasses for the speedy life that she lives and today he got this delicious edible fruit arrangement delived to him at the office... We had to snap this photo fast before the whole bouquet was eaten! Thanks Heidi from everyone in the office!
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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ironman Weekend

What a crazy, busy weekend we have just finished! It started on Thursday evening when Cam and LaRane brought Collin here while they headed off to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho for Cam's first ever full on IRONMAN! What does that entail, you ask... 2.5 miles swim, 112 mile bicycle ride and a full on marathon! Let me not keep you in suspense! Cam aced it! He did the swim in 1 hour 22 minutes 17 seconds and was in the 1036 position exiting the water. Then he did the bike ride in 5 hours 36 minutes and 47 seconds (averaging 19.95 mph) and shot up to the 323 position. Then he finished the marathon in 3 hours 52 minutes and 47 seconds (averaging 8:53 minute miles) and finished the race in a total of 11 hours 6 minutes and 50 seconds and was in 253 place --- fantastic!! We are so happy and excited for him! We were able to watch portions of the race on the live coverage feed on the ironman website. We saw him on camera at about mile 3 and then LaRane called us when he crossed the finish line and since the webcam had about a 30 second delay we were able to catch him just as he was approaching the finish line. He had a great big smile and he didn't look the least beat up or exhausted. Whewwwwwww.... what a relief! Collin could see Cam and he was jumping up and down yelling "daddy, daddy"... almost as good as being there! Way to go Cam. We are so proud of you and happy for you. What a great example of setting a goal and taking it to the bank!!! Amazing what you can do when you truly put your mind to it.

Our weekend here on the home front has included swimming (sprinklers), biking (with brief stops to check out the swam of ants along the sidewalk) and definately lots of running (mostly done by Grma and Grpa trying to keep up with a 4 year old!). We all went to see "Surf's Up" on Friday afternoon and we thought it was a great movie. It was very entertaining, had a good message and the animation was very impressive -- we recommend it highly. We played with "flying discs" in the park Saturday morning and Collin played with his buddy Jason from this neighborhood Saturday afternoon and we had a slushie date Saturday evening. Today we went to Primary and Sacrament meeting and made it through the whole 3 hours without any tears (way to go Grma & Grpa!), played in the sprinklers, took a nap and made chocolate chip cookies. Bedtimes have been easy and after a few tickling and scratching sessions, Collin has gone right to sleep -- us too-- we are all sleeping like babies (exhausted babies). We're so glad we could have Collin all to ourselves for all this time and that Cam and LaRane could have this great get away. Drive safe... see you soon.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What am I doing wrong?

I don't know why the photos don't post the first time... ahhhhhhh!!!
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Service with a smile... most of the time

Last January when I started Heidi's online Big Picture Scrapbooking class, I had to chose a goal that I wanted to work on for this year and then create a layout to represent it. Ta-da... here it is. I actually did this layout in January but I have been working on giving more service since then. Some service comes easily and some I have to actually work on. For the past 10 days or so my mother has been so sick and it has necessitated a lot of service. Of course, I haven't really thought of it as "service"; I just want to be there and help out because I love her (and I owe her big time for all the service she has given me through the years). She is 86 years old and her health is declining and every so often there is a big bump in her road. We have been to the emergency room two nights in a row and she was even admitted to the hospital for about 12 hours. But for the past week she has pretty much been bedridden and in need of constant care. My Dad is 88 and he has stepped up as the primary care giver but seriously, he is 88! It is quite easy to pick a goal like service and then bake a few cookies once in a while for the neighbors but it is a whole other reality when the service is needed and all of my priorities have to be laid aside. Just about the time this whole episode had started to feel like a burden, I was touched by so many other people that have stepped up to give some service as well. My siblings have been wonderful and helpful and involved. My husband and children have been supportive and encouraging. And what would we do without medical and health professionals. There is no end in sight for my Mom's situation yet but we're taking it one day at a time and really I think my goal will not be completed this year... I think it is one of those lifelong endeavors.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Quilt of the Week

In honor of Father's Day I have selected this quilt for my "quilt of the week". This is the quilt that hangs above my desk at the office. I made this quilt about a year and a half ago. I made it from Paul's ties and my dad's ties. I took the ties apart and removed the wool liners. Then I washed them (the silk washes beautifully) and then I cut them down into these smaller tie-looking pieces. I pieced the fans together on the sewing machine but I hand appliqued the fans to the wool suiting material that I used as the backgrounds. I hand quilted this one using a wool, charcol-colored batting. I positioned the fans together so as to resemble a bowtie as a secondary design in honor of Paul since he wears bowties about half the time. This quilt has been so enjoyable at the office and has received alot of comments especially from men which I think has been interesting since I always have a quilt hanging there but they are usually florals or more feminine and men have seldom even noticed them but the men like this one. When my Dad comes to the office, he loves to point out the ties that were his and accompanies it with "I remeber when I wore than tie to...". So Happy Father's Day Paul and Marv; enjoy your ties.
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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Flag Day

As I did my early morning walk through several neighborhoods around my home today, I noticed that the Boy Scouts had been out already and placed flags in many of the yards along my way. I always love to see this on the several "flag flying" holidays. It is always touching to see so many flags lining both sides of the different streets as I stroll my various routes. But this year, right across the street from my house is a new flag -- the one in the photo above. As you may know, this flag represents a serviceman in combat from this family. Up until now, I have been quite removed from the whole conflict going on in the Middle East. I haven't known anyone serving over there but as of a week ago, the young man that used to mow my lawn is now "in harm's way" and this flag has become quite personal to me also. When we built our home here in this neighborhood almost 14 years ago Brandon was 4 years old. He is an identical twin. As twins sometimes do, he and his brother were best friends; you never saw one without the other. They were really nice kids. Did the typical kids stuff and pretty much kept to themselves. But as "across the street neighbors" we would observe them as they were growing up. About the time they got to high school we noticed that they wore their hair very short and they worked out alot and during their Jr and Sr years they were in ROTC (or whatever the high school version is) and we saw them come and go in their crisp military uniforms. They always looked very impressive. I could never tell the boys apart ... I never knew who I was talking to but I did know that they were counting the days down until they graduated so they could go into the Army. The first brother to go was Aaron; that was 1 year ago from about right now. Brandon couldn't quite commit. He was torn between a mission and the military. But by about October, Brandon, too had decided to go the military route. Paul & I ask about the boys every time we see their parents and they are so proud of them and always have lots to share about their training and adventures but I know I wasn't prepared to hear that Brandon was shipping out to Iraq the first of June. Now I know first hand who is serving me and my country and if he represents the other thousands of military service personnel, then we are in good hands. So on this Flag Day, as you observe the stars and stripes, I hope you will take a moment and picture the faces behind the flags. Please remember them in your prayers and no matter how you feel about the war, remember our service people with gratitude. I will be praying that this star remains blue and never turns gold!
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Missing photos (again)

I seriously have no idea what I'm not doing right when these photos don't post. Thanks for you patience.
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Please don't eat the sand!

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Sunday afternoon

What a great way to rest and relax on a sunny, peaceful Sunday afternoon. The entertainment was provided by Aspen and Collin and the bubbleblowing machine Collin got for his birthday. Collin was perfecting his NBA slam dunking skills... look out Tim Duncan!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Class assignment

Heidi has been teaching a year-long online scrapbooking class on the Big Picture Scrapbooking website. There are 1200 participants in her class and I am lucky enough to be one of them. The theme of the class is "A Year To Remember". At the beginning of the year, she encouraged everyone to choose a goal for the year... something they wanted to work on or include in their life. Then each month she introduces a theme for that month along with "life" challenges that help motivate you in regards to your goal and "art" challenges that help you interpret your goal on a scrapbook page. This month's theme is "change" and that change is good -- "if it weren't for change, we wouldn't have butterflies". So this is my attempt at meeting the challenge for this week. Basically I have evolved from a baby to a child and now to a grandmother and I get to enjoy it all again through my grandchildren. I really had so much fun creating this page using all the techniques that Heidi also taught (step-by-step) in this week's lesson. What a joy and a thrill to see Heidi in her element and get to participate with her and create lasting memories as well. She is one talented lady that's for sure!!! (and she is responsible for 5 of my soon to be 8 grandchildren!)
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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Here's the missing photo

This photo is supposed to be with the post below.... who knows what happens in cyberspace.
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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sewing project of the week

Don't these sweet little aprons just make you want to race into the kitchen and whip up something as delicious as they are?!! I have had so much fun sewing these together and they work up in a snap. I had some special birthdays coming up so I made the orange/red one and couldn't stop after that. I did give the orange one away and it was a hit. I'm definately going to be sewing up a bunch more -- after birthdays, I'll make holiday ones. If you are expecting a gift from me anytime in the near future, you can most likely count on one.

Lucy and Ethel

This reminds me of the "I Love Lucy" episode in the factory -- minus the conveyor belt. Katie & I took a trip to the Church's dry pack canning facility. She made the appointment several months ago so we thought it must be very popular and hard to get in to. Turns out, we were the only people there which was very adventageous for getting lots done. We packed up big tin cans of flour, sugar, oatmeal, spaghetti, macaroni and rice, mostly. It is always nice to fill up empty storage room shelves.
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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Then we PLAY!! (and eat)

(read this cabin post by scrolling down and beginning with the "First we work" 2 posts below)

Now this is what going to the cabin is really all about!!! There are so many memories and traditions associated with the cabin it is hard to know where to start. Nothing much nicer than a relaxing rest in the hammock except maybe snacking on an apple for Aunt LaRane and Aspen. Every generation of children that has spent any time at the cabin has thrown rocks in the river. What is it with kids and water? I'm surprised there are any rocks anywhere on the ground near the river as 47 years worth of kids have thrown every rock they could find into it's swift current. Here Aspen, Collin and Courtney are trying to hit the pieces of wood that Uncle Mark was throwing in the river upstream and as they passed the kids, they were pummeled with rocks (the wood, not the kids). Ok that is an exaggeration, Aspen's rocks never made it to the water and Collin was mostly going for the biggest splashes -- hoping to get us all wet. We had brought our ATV's up and so the kids loved going for rides to the main gate for which they never get tired of either. And of course, any cabin party must include grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, homemade rootbeer, homemade ice cream and every conceivable flavor of chips made to man. As everyone packed up and left, the cabin was clean, orderly and open for business; we however were all tired, dirty and well fed.
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