Friday, May 30, 2008

Last Day of School

Well, the school year is finally over. Over much too fast if you ask me although I think we are all ready for summer break. The kids went to school for a couple of hours and then participated in some really fun "last day of school" traditions. There is a woman in our neighborhood that serves ice cream cones for all the kids on the last day of school. She's been doing it for years and the kids really look forward to it. After that, we were invited to a neighbor's house for a great slip and slide party. A great way to start the summer...

A few cute shots of the baby

Finished Bathroom

The master bathroom has been completed for a while - I just realized that I never posted pictures of the finished project! So here it is - nothing that spectacular unless you take into account what it looked like before and how much work the hubby did all by himself.

You can look back at the progress posts here, here, here and here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Jump for Joy

I am not sure whether Wes bought this more for the kids or himself but it is something he has wanted for a loooong time. Even now - as he jumps as high and hard as the kids - he will say "I can't believe I have a trampoline!"

Why the masks, you ask?

Let's just say I was a little premature on my cotton prediction...

This is not the permanent location for the tramp - we've got some major landscaping in the works. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Living in a Snow Globe

That is what Wes said last year when the cotton started to fly - it's like living in a snow globe! There are two drawbacks to having tons of cottonwood trees in our backyard. The first is the colossal amount of leaves we have to rake each fall as I described in this post. The second happens in the spring with seed dispersal. The seeds are surrounded by fluffy white cotton that floats through the air and looks like snow. And not just a little cotton - there is a lot of cotton! I grew up with cottonwoods so I was fully prepared for this annual event. Some people (like most of our neighbors) think it is quite a nuisance - which in some ways it is. It gets into every nook and cranny of our yard and garage and even in our house each time someone opens the door. It is also a major pain for anybody with allergies. And can be hazardous to your health! Yesterday Addie was running around outside, inhaled some cotton and had a coughing fit that lasted about 10 minutes.

But shhhhh, don't tell! And don't laugh! Even as I sit here sneezing I have to admit that I love the cotton. I think it is magical. I always have - even as a child. There is something so neat about looking outside and seeing the "snow" fall in May when it is 80 degrees outside! I love to watch my children run around with little clouds of cotton at their heels as they gather the fluff convinced they are going to make pillows (just like I used to do). Take a look at these photos to get an idea of how much cotton we get...

Can you see the big cloud of cotton in the background of this picture?

You can't see it too well - but these next two pictures are of the cotton falling.

Normally, the cotton lasts about 10 days and we are only on about day 5 so we would expect a bunch more. However it is scheduled to rain over the next few days and I think that will pretty much end the cotton season. Until next year!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Celebrity Spotting

Have you ever met anybody famous? We had a fun and random celebrity encounter when we lived in California. We were eating at this little out-of-the-way cafe in San Gregorio Beach when we spotted Tyler - one of the winners of the Amazing Race. We weren't faithful followers of The Amazing Race but did catch the season with "the hippies" (as Tyler and BJ were called) and definitely were fans. We loved these guys and even our kids got into it. So when we passed him entering this restaurant we knew we had to meet him. He was so friendly and nice! He gave us both hugs and signed an autograph for Isaac. It was pretty exciting.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Look at the Celebration

Here are a few photos and clips from my parents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration. It was held at the clubhouse owned by my brother's condo association. It was very nice and worked out perfectly for everything we had planned. First, we had a sit-down dinner. Everyone was there except for my oldest brother and his family.

After the dinner we had a program. The first part of the program was a short presentation my parents gave about their life-long creative and business pursuit - their company, The Naturalist. They brought old products and catalogs from the very beginnings of the store and then spoke about the history of how it started off as a gift business and then ended up as a furniture company. They shared some highlights with us and I only wish I was able to get better footage. This first clip is of my dad talking about one of their products from early on in the store's history. The video is poor quality but the audio should be fine. He is explaining about how one of their products - the display of old, rusted toys - was actually bought and sold by Bloomingdales. The second half of the clip is my mom talking about her different pillow designs and how she was featured in the magazine, Better Homes and Gardens.
The second clip is of my parents discussing one of their most memorable products - the tire swing and the story behind my mom's appearance on the old game show, What's My Line? I am constantly amazed at all that my parents have done, the things they have created, and the recognition they have received. Because I was born later in the family - I am most likely only partly aware of the significance my parents and their business had not only in our community but in the gift and design industry nationwide. I seriously believe a book could be written about their experiences. It is truly remarkable.

After my parents' presentation, the program continued with tributes, memories, and musical/dance numbers given by members of the family. We then moved to the "theater" room where we watched an animated movie that my 15 year old nephew made. He is a very talented animator and more specifically does amazing movies with claymation. The movie he made for this anniversary celebration was a cartoon of him interviewing different members of his family about some of their favorite memories of my parents. It was so cool! He even used the real voices of his family members for the characters. I wish I could include it with the post but I think it is too long. After his movie, we watched a picture slide show set to music. My parents had no idea we were doing any of this! I think they were deeply touched.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Be Prepared

I recently read about a local company called The Ready Project. They sell "gourmet" food storage meals. "Gourmet"? I can't attest to that but there were a couple of things about the project that appealed to me. First, I liked the meals that they offered - soups, pastas, oatmeals, juice and chocolate milk. Sounds like stuff my kids (or I!) would eat - even in an emergency! Second, you can pay a fairly reasonable monthly payment (I haven't really shopped around but it seemed ok) and have containers of these meals shipped directly to your home. I liked this idea because I have been a little delinquent when it comes to this food storage/emergency preparedness thing. I am getting better, but I felt like this would at least get me ahead a little. So I opted for the monthly shipments. I have only received one shipment and I can't really vouch for the meals themselves - I haven't tried them yet. But I was sent an email with this deal:
If you decide you would like to make a purchase from The Ready Project (and even though they are a local company - they ship worldwide) - you can enter this coupon code and get 5% off your purchase: 60479. And if you use my coupon code, I will also receive 5% off my next purchase.

Just in case anyone might be interested!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Queen Ruth

We went to Grandma Great's funeral today. It was a lovely tribute to a lovely woman. She will be greatly missed!

Ruth and baby Cate

Ruth grew up right outside of Capitol Reef. On our most recent visit, we found the rock where Ruth and her sister carved their names - and the year - 1938.

Monday, May 5, 2008

50th Wedding Anniversary Book

One of the main presents we gave my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary was a digital photo album created with I had made a couple of books with mypublisher before but this one was going to be a lot more involved because most of the photos would have to be scanned to create digital files. My brother and I snuck in to their house and stole a whole bunch of photos dating from my parents birth to present day (fortunately my mom is ultra-organized when it comes to photo storage). I probably scanned over 100 photos! But the book came together fairly quickly and ended up being a great gift. We also used the scanned images to make an i-photo slide show set to music. We surprised my parents with these things at their anniversary party and they were deeply touched.

I loved seeing the old black and white photos from my parents youth and early marriage.
The twins - Jon and Joan

My dad, the quaterback

Janet and Brent
Linda, Janet and Larry
Doesn't my mom look like Addie?

The lovely bride
Their special day - 50 years ago...
The early years
I love this picture! The following three pictures were taken in a photo shoot for American Home magazine. They featured my family and my parents' gift business in one of their articles (1972).



My parents - 2006

50th Wedding Anniversary

We celebrated my parents' 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday. We met with just our immediate family for a nice sit-down dinner and program. It was a wonderful occasion and something my siblings and I have been working on for quite a while. I would have posted about the projects I was involved with but it was sort of a surprise for my parents. So now that the event is over, I hope to post some pictures and memories about this day. But for now,

Happy 50th Anniversary Mom and Dad! Love you to bits, body and bones!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Lovely Dancer

Our lovely little dancer had her first dance recital last night. I think she was more excited about wearing make-up and the big pink bow! But she did a wonderful job. Here are a few cute photos before the recital: