Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Week of New Arrivals

When I look back, I can hardly believe that it's only been a week. Let me explain...

Last Saturday, Brent got home from Portsmouth, NH where he was for work for a week. It's always nice to have him home so that was a fun arrival.

When I went to Fred Meyer, the primroses were finally in. I love being able to plant primroses in January. Just when I'm needing a bit of spring.

Speaking of spring, my bulbs have started their arrival. They are a little early this year, but it has been quite warm even for us. I'm so looking forward to their explosion of color.

I got my first shipment of new seeds! I'm trying to grow broccoli from seed this year, along with my tomatoes. I'm really looking forward to it. Along with my ordered seeds, there was a packet of carrot seeds that said, "Plant these free seeds and give the carrots to your local food bank." What a great idea! I definitely am going to do that!

Our newest nephew, Jackson Ryan D* arrived this week as well. When Jessica called, I thought she sounded so rested that she was just calling for some other reason, but sure enough, Jackson had made his appearance. Everyone in the D* household is happy to have him around and we're really excited to meet him in person!

And....after 12 years of searching, we have finally found her...

Daisy! Our new cat also arrived this week. I've been having a lot of fun remembering what it's like to have a cat and she is really cute. So now I have to remember to ask, "Do you like cats?" whenever someone comes over.

All in all, a great week of new arrivals! Hope yours was too!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Birthday Girl

This is me and my Grandma. Do you see a resemblance, because I really don't. Not that that's bad, I'm just curious is anyone else does.

Anyway, Grandma turned 80 on January 1st. To celebrate this momentous occcasion, my mom came up with the great idea to have people write Grandma a letter talking about how they feel about her. She got a lot of great stuff. And this is what I said...

Dear Grandma,

It’s hard for me to believe you are 80-years-old. You sure don’t look 80. You sure don’t act 80. But, then again, you never really have been the“norm,” have you? The other day I was helping tie a quilt. This is not something I’m good at or can do well. While we were tying, me much slower than the rest, I said, “Well, at least I can saddle a horse!” That got me to thinking of how much I do know that I’ve learned from you.

I can saddle, ride, clean, etc, etc, etc, etc a horse. Because of you, I found friendship in animals - Buttercup, Sar, Tide, definitely not Boldara - that I never would have had otherwise. Because of you, I spent countless hours in the mountains soaking up the beauty of this world, as well as your company. (Remember the discussion about the moose being the biggest deer?) Thank you for always listening during those rides. I can just image what you thought about my crazy musings, but you let me get them out and I will always appreciate that.

I know how to plant and care for a garden because of you. I don’t know if I ever told you that you were a big influence in my wanting to go into Horticulture. Your knowledge, that you shared with me, wetted my appetite for more. It still surprises me when you ask me questions -shouldn’t you know more than I do still? I also find myself sharing whatever extra I have from the garden - that is definitely something I learned from you.

I’ve learned so many interesting and silly sayings from you. I find myself saying “You’ll frost your bobbers off” more often than is really decent.(What is a bobber anyway?) “That is just as cute as Christmas.” I’m not 100% sure what that one means exactly, but it makes me smile. I mean, is Christmas cuter than other holidays? Just this morning, I said something was up to my “antegoozlem.” And, the ever present weather forecasting “You could make an apron out of that.” We can use that a lot in Washington.

I learned how to laugh - at myself, at other’s jokes and silliness. Especially at myself. Why take yourself too seriously? You don’t. You are willing to laugh right along with me when you’ve done something worth laughing about. Goodness knows I do silly things all the time. I love your laugh, Grandma, especially when you are laughing with me.

You can hardly talk about my grandma without talking about hardwork. That is your motto and way of life. Even though I sometimes think you should slow down a little bit, I am still impressed by how well you get the job done. You taught me to work. And while I may not be as busy as you are, I still know what it is like to do a job and do it well.

I, however, did NOT learn a few things from you. I did NOT learn to be pushed around by other people. I did NOT learn to keep quiet when something needs to be said. I did NOT learn to not be stubborn. I did NOT learn to cook - even thought you can, I think we’d both rather be outside. I did NOT learn to tie a quilt, or sew a shirt. And, I did NOT learn how to program a VCR because, well, “the cows could do it by now.”

But, most of all, I learned, have always known and will always know that you love me. You have done so much for me with hardly a thought for yourself. You have welcomed Brent into our family with open arms even if he is a prickly one (on the outside at least). You may not be the“normal” grandma, but you are definitely the grandma I would choose to be my own.

And even though there is no way that Grandma will ever read this isn't her friend, I want to say that I do love my Grandma. She is the craziest, weirdest, silliest person I know and I just plain old love her for that.

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas in Review

Well, we're home from our Utah adventures for Christmas. The most adventurous part were the flights home, but that is totally another story which I may or may not share. (I'm still a little bit grumpy about it and I hate it when I'm grumpy.)
Our week in Utah was packed full of fun! However, I didn't take a ton of pictures...don't know what was up with I'll share what we have in no particular order.

Jayson really wanted to sit on the chair that I was sitting on, but I wouldn't move, so he wiggled himself behind me.
This year for Christmas, I made bags for most of the kids - the smaller ones got pillowcases. I think Aaron liked his bag more than he's letting on.
This is a Christmas play that was actually performed on New Year's Day. This was the quietest Rylee was the whole time we were there. She was a perfect Baby Jesus with Tay being Mary. Sorry Julie, I don't remember who you were...Joseph?
I like this picture of Court. One of her kids took it.
Jayson got a Wow Wow Wubsey (is that how you'd spell that?) pillowcase. I don't know where he was when I was taking pictures.
Tayler put on a "fashion show with animals." It wasn't really "fashion show-y" but she did make some pretty cute animals.
Here is my Grandma and her husband Gene. My Grandma turned 80 on January 1st. She doesn't look 80, does she?
Tay looks so innocent, but then Brent's cousins came over and when they left, she was covered in tattoos. It was so sad.
Jayson is such a cutie! He just talks NON STOP and if he gets a laugh, there's just no stopping him!
I don't know who took this, but it's kind of funny.
On New Year's Eve, all of Brent's family wanted to "be there" for the big opening of the time capsule that they sealed in 1999. So, we set up a bunch of laptops, started up skype, and we were "all there." Isn't technology amazing?
Ok, I admit, Brent's cousins tattooed me too.

And Rylee...

And Tayler

Brent and Jayson became really good buddies. It was fun/scary to watch him throw him around.

So, I guess it turns out that there were whole days that I didn't take pictures of. I did get to see almost my entire family, which is the first time since my Grandma's funeral. My cousin, James, is getting married in April, and I got to meet his fiance, Chelsie. It was really fun, but not conducive to picture taking.

We saw Avatar - amazing effects - and The Blindside - amazing story - which is a lot of movies for us!

It was a good week. It's kind of crazy that 2009 is over. I'm having a hard time getting used to that idea. Weird.