Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thoughts on a Tuesday

So, I'm getting close to not having any more pictures for the blog. I need to get doing stuff!

It's another beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest. There are good and bad parts to these beautiful days. The good part is, hey, it's beautiful! It's reminding us that spring is on the way! But, here's the bad part...the air quality starts getting yucky. We don't get smog over here, but we do get burn bans. Today is one of those burn ban days. I don't feel really great today, so I'm wondering if it's because of a cold or the yucky air. I'm hoping the yucky air because it is suppose to start raining again this weekend. Hopefully I'll feel better by then. :)

We had an ok weekend. Brent had to work on Saturday morning, so we got a later start. Sunday was great, as usual. Busy, but great. I'm TRYING to sing in our ward choir. There are a few reasons that I dislike ward choir -
1) I'm not as good as I used to be about sight reading and it makes me embarrassed.
2) sometimes people are kind of rude to the director
3) I think that the songs that the director chooses are too hard for the choir
and 4) they just kind of suck! I can pretty much out sing the entire group, which I try not to, but you can still hear me.
I realize that I am somewhat snotty about choir stuff. I was trained to be that way. Every time I say I'm not going to sing anymore, I hear my old choir director saying that we should add our talent to our ward choirs because that's why we have talent. It's amazing that a teacher from high school can still guilt me into doing things. But, he can. At any rate, I'm singing with the ward choir. I am going to try to blend with the somewhat nonexistent voices. I am going to ignore the snotty people who pick at the director and give her my full support. And, most of all, I'm going to enjoy it!

Today is New Beginnings for Young Women's. I'm excited. I think it's going to be so cute! We're playing the Friendship Game, which is a lot like the Dating Game. It's so much more relaxed than Young Women in Excellence was. I'm in charge of the food though, which is scary because I don't have confidence in my cooking ability. It will go well. I hope. :)

Here's some pictures...
This is my cousin Adam and his little girl Gentri. Yeah, Gentri. I was questioning myself for a minute, but that's Gentri. Anyway, I think it's so funny because she has these little tiny legs and HUGE moon boots. Hee hee!

This is another one of Adam's daughters Cami. She just fell asleep so they put her in the play pen under all the coats. Jen didn't know she was there and started rifling through the coats. She almost had a heartattack when she found the little one at the bottom. :0

More of Adam's kids. The one on the left is Linsi, the oldest. The middle is my aunt, and their grandma, Jackie. And the one on the right is Gentri again. I got them to smile in this picture by asking them to show me their teeth. Works every time. Well, Gentri does look like she has an overbite, but it's still cute.

Ok, enough rambling for the day. Hope it is pretty where you are.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Are you addicted when you should be doing something else??

I should be working on Young Women stuff, but I just don't want to. Brent had to go into work today and it's a beautiful day, but still cold, so I'm enjoying looking out the window and thinking it's warm before I have to go out and know it isn't.

Brent is going to sunny San Diego for training next month and we thought it would be awesome if I came down and took a long Disneyland weekend. We all know what a sucker I am for Disneyland. Well, plans have now fallen through for the Disneyland long weekend. Bah! Oh well. We're going to use the money to start finishing our basement. That sounds like it's just bare walls, which it isn't. But it is concrete walls that are underground so VERY cold. We're going to build up the wall enough to put insulation in. Should be fun. Then painting. And RIPPING UP GROSS CARPET! I'm glad the upstairs carpet is better than the downstairs because this carpet is gross. It will be so nice to have a nice downstairs. Especially when people come to visit. So, the take home message is...no Disneyland for Ashley :(, but a nicer basement :).

The other day, I noticed that they had primrose at Fred Meyer. I told Brent that as soon as they went on sale, we were getting some. They went on sale last week, so...

Theres nothing like a few flowers to make you smile! And, like I said, it's sunny today. One of those dumb tricky sunny days, but still sunny. I need to go read my book and sit in the sun. That sounds nice!

Brent just called and said he's almost done! Yeah! Off to Silverdale and Costco.

Have a great weekend. I hope it's nice where you are!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Everyone Needs A Little Sadness

So, I was talking to Court the other day about the talk I gave at my Grandma's funeral. I think it's a really good talk. Since I don't think I'll ever be able to read it again, I'm going to write it. So many of you never got to meet my Grandma because of her illness, but she was so wonderful! Here's my talk. If you don't want to read it, I don't mind.

On Tuesday in the hospital the nurse told us to gather together because it wouldn't be long. Gather together. That has stuck in my mind ever since. Gathering together as family and friends was Grandma's love. We would gather for every birthday. We would gather for every holiday. We would just be together whenever we could and Grandma was the happiest then. And here we are today, gathered together to honor her life and what she gave to each of us.

I asked my cousins if they had any special memories of our Grandma. Most of the answers were similar.

Danny was amazed at how totally selfless she was. She wanted to take care of you and she would whether you liked it or not. She reveled in the role of a mother and grandmother. She would mother you until you just thought you might scream, but you always came back for more. Adam talked about how Grandma's real word for "I love you" sounded more like "be careful". She would tell you that whenever you were going somewhere. And we would always say, "I will Grandma, don't worry." But she did worry because she loves us and that's her job. This is all because she was the most overprotective grandma in the world. She was constantly reminding us to look both ways before we crossed the street, and for heaven's sake, don't walk in the street, wear your coat, and countless other caustions that we are so used to hearing, got a little tired of, and will probably miss now.

We all talked about how much she just loved to sit and talk to you whether in person or on the phone. The hours would fly by as she asked you about everything in your life and then related that to hers. We all loved the way she told us stories about living near the mine in Price when she was growing up. Adam remembers how she would have to take baths in a big galvanized tub in the kitchen. Even just on Monday, she told me about how her father would take her to a sulfer pond by the mine and make her drink a cup of sulfer water every spring to cure what ailed her. When I asked her how it tasted, she said, "Well, pretty much how it smells." Her sense of humor was so great. She would say something with this somewhat monotone voice and then look at you with that wonderful smile and you knew she was teasing you.

Most of my memories of Grandma are outside. I, like my cousins and countless other children, had the opportunity to spend most of the summer at my Grandparent's house. When we were little, Grandpa would go off to work with his tan overalls on and his black lunch pail. As soon as we had had breakfast, we would all head outside. Grandma LOVED the outdoors. She loved the flowers and the birds. She loved to work in her yard. I remember the white daisies that grew on the side of the garage, the beautiful roses that bloomed all summer, the lilies of the valley that we would endlessly pick and she would endlessly tell us to leave outside and her garden with the tomatoes, peas, broccoli, crook neck squash and zucchini all of it surrounded by zinnias to keep the bugs out. We have probably spent at least half our lives in Grandma's backyard.

James wrote a poem for Grandma and Grandpa's 50th wedding anniversary that I think just sums it all up. It says,

As I slowly take the path into the backyard
Memories of my childhood flood into me.
Summers spent playing basketball, riding bikes, wandering.
of family gatherings,
Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving,
Spent with the ones I love.
Memories of times some bad, most good.

A smell, familiar, yet unknown fills the air.
I try to place it, amongst the other hundreds I remember.
Smelling of no flower, herb or food
no cake, nor any of the other hundred recipes that
Grandma just knows.
Suddenly, I remember the smell.
The sweet, warming smell
of home.

To our Grandma, our friend, our listening ear, our cheerleader, our teacher, our confidant, our one who kept us sane, we honor you today. We are your legacy and we hope to continue to make you proud. In the end, the influence you had on our lives goes beyond the words and emotions that we can express. Most of us came into this world surrounded by your love, and you left this world surrounded by ours.

So, there it is. I had the amazing opportunity of having my Grandma be one of my best friends. In the family prayer, Brent said that now she's waiting on the otherside to welcome us home. I know that I will see her again and that's the only way I can do this. I am so thankful for that knowledge.

This is how you would always see my Grandma. With a kid on her lap. This is her great-granddaughter Cami. It's a couple of years old.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Very Good Christmas Gift

One of the Christmas gifts Brent gave me was tickets to a hockey game. Some of you may say, "What a completely stupid gift!" Whereas I said, "Yahoo! This should be great!" So, we had a really great date night in Seattle! That's what I like about living here. We live close enough to a big city to enjoy it, but far enough away that we don't live in a big city. :)

As we were driving to the game, this was the view we saw outside our very dirty car window. Even with the dirty window it's a great picture!!

I didn't realize that the Seattle Thunderbirds would have such small players. Hmmm....Just kidding. This is the between the periods entertainment. If you've never been to a hockey game, it's worth going just so you can see the little tiny kids trying to play hockey. There was one who kept scoring goals and doing a little dance then falling down. It was cute.

Ahh, that's more like it. We cheered for the Seattle Thunderbirds even though they were playing the Everett Silvertips. It was a pretty exciting game. The Silvertips made their first goal in about 1 second, but then the Thunderbirds scored one soon after. It was tied at the end of regulation. The overtime was REALLY LONG! First, I think 5 minutes of play, no score. Then 3 from each team tried to make goals, still tied. Then I think everyone on each team tried to make a goal in the sudden death before the Silvertips made the winning goal. Exciting!! Needless to say, neither team was NHL material. They fell down a lot. But it was awesome anyway!

I think we must be the reigning king and queen of scrunch pictures. They're the best! Oh, and I even got Brent to pay for parking. It was AMAZING!! :)

That's pretty much it for now. I'm almost caught up. Wow!

See ya!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Merry **Belated** Christmas

I thought that I would now post some Christmas pictures. This year, and the end of last, has just been weird. I don't get it. Where has the time gone?
Let's start with our cute Christmas tree. I love it. It's small, but it's just the right size for us. We do need some more red balls though. We haven't found any we like yet.

This is our nativity. Doesn't it look nice against the red wall? I love it! :)

I'm going to split this up a little bit. On Christmas, we had a wonderful pajama day with Brad, Court and the kids. I love Chloe's robe. Court made robes for both the girls.

Kyle being a cheese, as usual. He has a really cute personality. He calls me "Aleeee" and, in pictures, he calls Brent "Bent", but in real life, he gets somewhat confused. He calls Brent "Aleeee" too. The other day, Court came to pick me up and as soon as they pulled in the driveway Kyle started screaming "Aleeeee". So, I come out and he is happy for a second and then looks at the door and says, "Alee?" We say, "Just Ashley today, not Brent." To which he replies "Alee....Bent" and then promptly looks at the door and says "Aleeeee???". It was hilarious. Brent keeps saying that he just doesn't know who Kyle's talking to. I'm under the impression that most of the time, it's him. Oh, and Kyle tries to call us at least once a day. Court just loves it. :)

And, of course little Miss Sarah doing her ABSOLUTE favorite thing - reading. She just loves it. She reads for everyone! I can hardly believe that she's going to get baptised this year. Time flies. She has the preliminary program done right now and she's not getting baptised until May. It's super cute. I love that she is so excited!!

And now onto Boxing Day. Here in America we call it the day after Christmas. Boxing Day is a better title, I think. In the morning, Court and I got up early and braved the stores to find deals on Christmas lights for next year. I can hardly wait. Our house will be decked out. I might start putting up the Christmas lights the day after Thanksgiving! :)

Then, in the evening, Ryan, Marcela and Reyes came down for dinner. Brent got a ukelele in Hawaii so Ryan had to show him how it was done.

Reyes' new favorite thing to do is fly. It's pretty funny. She just loves it.

We thought it was pretty funny that Reyes was only a little bit bigger than the Santa. She's on her toes to make herself look that much taller.

While we were shopping in the morning we found this ornament that was the old fashioned Pooh Bear that said "Baby's First Christmas" so we got it for Reyes. She REALLY liked the paper it came in and seemed to enjoy the box. Hopefully she likes the ornament too.

We had a great Christmas. I got Brent some more DVD's of "His Man" Alton Brown - remember the pizza one you had to watch. And Brent did a great job. He even bought me shoes. What a guy! :)

Merry **Belated** Christmas to all!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I'm Home

What a crazy week and a half. Now I'm trying to get back to real life. I just want to say thank you for all your well wishes, prayers and thoughts during this difficult time. I adore my grandma and it will be hard for awhile, but I know she's happier now and that makes me happy.

It seems weird to go on with life. It also seems like it's been at least a year since I last wrote. So, I'm going to finish out my Hawaii stuff because I need to remember happy times and warm times since I'm freezing.

I like to call these pictures "Being Warm". As you probably know, Utah has been in the single digits for the past week and a half and when I got home, the 30's felt warmer, but still cold.

Here's me and Brent at what I like to call Bilbo Beach. Let me tell you the story. When my mom and grandma came to visit us, I had to keep reminding my grandma to not take any shells with living things in them. So, on our way around the island, I noticed some legs coming out of one of my shells. Yep, I had a hermit crab hitchhiker. So, we stopped at this beach to let him go. I named him Bilbo like the hobbit in the Lord of the Rings series since he went on a long journey.

Here's Bilbo Beach without our big heads in the picture.

I love this picture so much. We didn't make this sandman, but we sure enjoyed it. Isn't it great? Only in Hawaii!

Here's Brent and John from Dillingham Beach. It's the end of the road on the Western side of the island. We had a good time trying not to hurt ourselves on the sharp rocks. There were little fishes and crabs in the pools. Kind of fun to see. The next few pictures are Dillingham.

And now for the best part. When we were in Hawaii before, we would go snorkeling at Shark's Cove. Here's a picture from then...

Ah, beautiful and relaxing.

Here it is when we went in December.

Still beautiful, but not relaxing. I know you're thinking, that's not the same place. Well, it is. And from almost the same place. Needless to say, we didn't go snorkeling this time. We thought it would be great to go wading in the tide pools to the left of this picture.

Well, maybe not. Holy cow!!

I love this picture of Brent. He's such a goof ball, but so cute!

And thus ends our December trip to Hawaii. Wonderful times!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Good bye Grandma

On Tuesday, January 9th, my dear Grandma Sally passed away. She was 79 years old. She was also one of the best people ever. I will be eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father for influencing so many things so that I could be there when she did pass away. I got to talk to her the day before. Heavenly Father knows our hearts and loves us. That's all I can say.

I will write more when I can.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Atlantis Submarine

Ok, it's the second to last memory of Hawaii today.

We got to go on a submarine that has windows in it so you can see what's out there. When Brent's mom was there, she and I went on one, but Brent had to work. So, this time he said he really wanted to go on it, so we did. I have to say, the first time I was a little disappointed with the ride, but this time was better. We saw a lot more marine life and I knew what to expect.

Here we are getting off the sub, but you get on the same way. You take a boat out a little way into the ocean, then the submarine comes up and you get on. It's a good way to do it. I wondered how they brought the subs up to the dock.

This is what we looked like in the submarine when it was the deepest. I think it was 135 feet, but if I'm wrong, Brent will fix it. I thought this was a cool picture. I didn't even mean to do it, I just forgot to turn the flash back on. Happy accidents.

As I said before, the first time I went on the sub I was a little disappointed. I was expecting to see reefs and fish like that. When in actuality they've sunk boats, planes and "replacement reefs". This is one of the plane's wings and under it is a shark. It's a white tip reef shark. I hate sharks, but it's not too bad to see them when you're in a sub. We saw about 5 sharks. One swam along the other side of the sub for a little bit and another one swam underneath us. This is a spotted eagle ray. It was fun to see this one. It was just swimming along minding it's own business.

And, now the best, a sea turtle. (Hawaiians call them honu) We saw a bunch of turtles. I think it was like 7, but I could be exaggerating a little bit. They are cool to watch swim around.

That's it. It was a fun outing. And, I got pressed pennies!


Happy Belated Birthday Rylee

Our little niece Rylee turned 2 on the 3rd! Happy Happy Birthday little one! Here she is from her blessing so long ago.

And here she is now. Love the pig tails. Thanks for the picture Jess!

Blogs are so wonderful because even though we're far away, we can all keep up with what's going on. I'm glad we can do that!

Happy Birthday Rylee, we love you!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Laie Temple

Hello and welcome back to the Hawaii recap. I will eventually get to the Christmas and New Year's recap, but I want to finish Hawaii first.

So, today I was going to talk about the day we went to the Laie Temple. We went on a Monday so we couldn't do a session, but we did have a really great Family Home Evening in the visitor center.

When you go to the Laie Temple, all the Sister missionaries are in muumuus. It would be kind of nice to be able to know what you're wearing everyday. They always offer to take your picture in front of the Temple. It's cute. (Yes, John is 6'8" and Laura is 6' so we look like little tiny shrimps.)

I think this is the coolest place to take a picture of people at the Temple. So, what does Brent do, try to lick me. And what does John do, take a picture of it. Silly Brent!

Ahh, here's a better one. Isn't it a pretty setting?

Come on, this is an awesome picture, even if it looks a little tilty right now. Weird. It's a pretty place. Every Temple has it's own beauty. This one is no exception!!
Well, that's it for today! See ya!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Great News

Hello all!

I just wanted to let everyone know that my Grandma's surgery went well. She is back in her room and doing good....a little groggy, but that's how you are after surgery. I mean, I sang Super Trooper after my surgery. :)


Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandma Cherryl

I had to start a new post because the last one was very sad, at least for me.

Today is my Grandma Cherryl Zina Morris Lund Rose's 77th birthday. That's right, she is turning 77 in 2007. It must be her lucky year! Happy Birthday Grandma! I love you!

I wanted to put in some pictures of her, but I was having a hard time deciding which ones, so I went with these two. Here is Grandma in Hawaii when she and my mom came to visit us last year. We were driving around the island and Brent mentioned that coffee has now become the biggest crop in Hawaii. When she heard that, all she wanted to do was see what a coffee plant looked like. We finally found one at the Dole Plantation. It's a big shrub with red berries on it. She was so excited. Ahhh, my silly Grandma.

This one just cracks me up! I know it's kind of hard to see what she's doing, and this needs some background information. My grandma feels that the best thing to kill bugs with is your fingers. She will squish anything between her fingers. This is not something I inherited from her. I find it to be GROSS! The only thing she doesn't like to squish with her fingers are tomato worms. For those of you who don't know what those are, they are these HUGE GREEN catapillars that eat your tomato plants. So, how does my grandma kill those? She steps on them. And green goo spurts out both ends. It's horrible. Anyway, in this picture she's pretending to squish a snail. Normally she just throws those in the street to get cooked. I say she's pretending to squish this snail because the shell was AT LEAST 2 inches long. It was like the Northwest slug's really big cousin. (This is all in Hawaii) She didn't squish it, but she would have done something to it had it been in her yard. Oh, here's a weird aside - don't step on snails. The eggs can get on your shoes and you can take them back to your own yard.

My Grandma Cherryl is pretty much the opposite of a "normal" grandma. She really doesn't like to cook (except she does make good candy), she isn't really great with children - they kind of get on her nerves, and she is pretty sure that a little dirt never hurt anyone. I absolutely love that about her. She marches to her own drum and even if sometimes that just DRIVES ME CRAZY, I still love her so much for it!

Happy Birthday Grandma! We love you!

It's Christmas time...Grandma's in the hospital

I haven't really talked about it, but last Sunday my Grandma Sally went into the hospital with pneumonia, again. It seems like every holiday season she does this. It makes me kind of angry. I know it shouldn't, but it does. I just want her to be healthy and happy and she hasn't been healthy for a really long time.

Well, now she's going to have to get a pacemaker put in tomorrow. Part of me isn't worried, but part of me is. I know my mom is really worried. I hope and pray that this operation will go well tomorrow and there won't be any complications. I love my Grandma so much!

This picture is from May of this year. My grandma has been on oxygen for a REALLY long time. At least 20 years, but none of us remember exactly when she went on oxygen. And, now she has a feeding tube. It sucks for us, but it must really suck for her to be so sick all the time.

I remember when I was little that she would spend so much time in her garden and yard making it look just so. She always had zinnias around the garden. I still think of her when I smell zinnias. I also remember how she would make apricot nectar and serve it in these special cups. (There you go Jess, some childhood memories.)

I'm not telling you this so that you'll feel bad for her or me, just talking.