So some more catching up to do. I was uploading my random pictures for the last little while...
OK so this day Taylor was supposed to go out to a remote area and do a field study for his science class. It couldn't be around houses or where people normally go...OK like that's easy to find around here. Much time was wasted driving around trying to find a good spot just to be rejected by Taylor for being "too close to people". Luckily I hooked up with Shaney and we each took a turn bringing the boys to Sycamore canyon. We were hoping to see animals but all we saw were insects, birds, and a beware of rattlesnakes sign. (Comforting) We saw coyote droppings which consisted mostly of rabbit fur but we never saw coyote's or rabbits. Anyways at least they got their observations done.
Notice Jacob in the waaaay back totally fed up with our "hiking" and walking back to the car on his own.
Here we have Jacob's cake entry for this years blue and gold dinner. The theme was red white and blue so his cake is supposed to be featuring fireworks. He won an award for it but he lost it before we got home. (Not too suprising) So lets say he got the award for..."best use of candy?". By the way Ashley was veeeerrrry upset that we were using HER rainbow candy that had been sitting in the cupboard for months...that she never had any interest in any time we got the candy out...that she could care less about until she saw it on the cake and wanted us to rip it off IMMEDIATELY. Luckily we got her calmed down enough to get out the door with it. Whew!
OK so here is the next night. This actually was a crazy day. I went to the stake women's conference early in the morning, which was great, then came home for about 45minutes before Jeff and I went to the Kiser/McClellan wedding. Our navigation system actually kept taking us to an entrance that we couldn't get in to the complex and we ended up being 40 minutes late and missing the ceremony. Though we were there in spirit as the father of the groom's cell phone goes off in the middle of the wedding as Jeff tried to call to see how to get in. Hee Hee. Sorry brother Kiser. From the reception (which they did a great job on) we went straight to Jeff's kickoff dinner out in Upland. We had a great dinner and then there were some awards. My pictures of Jeff getting his awards came out too dark so you'll just have to imagine it. The highlight was him making number 3 in the office last year. Way to go honey! Note I am wearing the "other" blue dress from Norstroms that I had to go back to the store to take the tag off of after sitting in my car for a month. (what a hastle)
Here is a recent picture of our lovely pond in the backyard. Every year when it starts to rain it fills up with water...which turns green. Eventually I get a bucket and drain it...and then it fills up again in the next rain storm. So I haven't emptied it since the last rain storm so now Ashley has discovered how fun it is to stir it around with a stick and watch the green stuff swirl around. Nice.
This was Sharla and I's big idea for a fundraiser for our boys to earn some of their own money for scout camp. I admit it's much easier to just pay for it and call it all good. But we thought it would be better to give them an opportunity to do some work and earn some of the money themselves. So Bea (in the ward) has a grove of tangerine and orange trees in her back yard that she offered anyone to come and pick. So after school that's where we were...picking fruit to let the boys sell for scout camp. Though the whole thing has been a lot of work it's been a good lesson for the boys about work, sales, the value of money, tithing and stepping out of your comfort zone. I mentioned to Taylor as he got another "no" that this is what being a missionary probably will feel like. He told me that for him the hard part is asking people to pay for something. He thinks that sharing a message for free will be easier...so we shall see.
We still have a bunch of bags of oranges and tangerines in the garage...anyone want any???... Anyone?
So this was a fun night. It was my sister's birthday and we went to the Canyon Club to celebrate. It was a place where you bought dinner and then watched a concert. Since I've missed like every one of Angela's birthday's as an adult I thought we'de make it a priority to go. The food probably wasn't worth the price but I had a lot of fun and was glad we went. Thanks Jeff for braving the 2 hours drive and all:)
The band that was playing was English Beat, they're music is considered ska, new wave and reggae. I remember them from when I was growing up and knew some of the songs from my KROQ days...(Mirror in the bathroom, Twist and Crawl, I Confess) Angela knew them because I used to play that kind of music when she was younger. The crowd was pretty thin while we were eating dinner but as soon as the concert was starting the place was packed. Since we ate we got to sit in comfy chairs the whole time. I had to admit that the crowd was a lot of us white, late 30 somethings and older. Angela said she felt old for the first time when the guy at our table guessed her in her mid 30's. I told her not to be offended that just when the music was popular:). My favorite was the short, bigger guy with no rythm dancing spastically in front of his cute, petite date? I would've loved to know what she was really thinking. Thanks for inviting us Angela.
Two days later I was flying out for Emilee's funeral. I stayed at Elaine and Leonard's with my mom. Those of you who have come up with me to Women's conference should remember them. (They're the greatest). I flew in with enough time to help with the set up on Sunday night with the rest of the family.
I was suprised with how many people were at the viewing the night before the funeral. I would guess over 200-300 showed up. People were very nice and David and the boys held up really well considering.
The next morning was another viewing followed by the funeral. All of us family took up almost the entire middle section of the chapel. There were people from all over the country who came to pay their last respects. I thought the speakers did an awesome job at the funeral (including uncle Leonard).
When we got to the graveside service we were greeted by a bagpiper (Uncle David's friend) which set the tone. The pall bearers brought her over (her oldest son is in the middle) and then her husband David dedicated the grave.
I have to say that I was amazed at David's calm peaceful demeanor during this whole time. I could'nt imagine myself or Jeff in his place but he expressed his assurance that though he doesn't know details he knows that the Lord is watching out for him and in the end things will work out.
He shared some of the most touching and spiritual things that have happened during this hard time that has sustained him, given him hope and helping him to remain peaceful during such a difficult time. It's another testimony to me of how powerful being strong in your faith is in helping you get through tough things.
One example was that the bishop offered a prayer requesting that the snow hold off until after the services and again the tender mercies of the Lord were manifest when it the first flakes didn't come down until David was leaving the gravesite.
Here is my cousin Lori, who I went to college with as well, and her cute matching girls. I guess she used to match all their clothes until the oldest got into junior high.
Here's some of the 120 or so odd family at the luncheon afterwards...with uncle Larry covering his stomach with the tablecloth so we wouldn't see it in the picture. Thank you relief society, I know that's no small feat.
After the luncheon those of us who could came back to my aunt Elaines for a more private get together. Here is my uncle Roger who has become known for falling asleep at events. So I couldn't resist a picture of him asleep...along with crazy uncle Larry pretending he's asleep:).
The last family member left by 9:00 and then my mom and I wounded down for bed and got ready to fly back home the next morning.
When I flew into Utah everything was dry and brown. By the time I was leaving everything was white and I got my first experience of scraping snow and ice off my windows so I could drive.
I was so lucky that getting there and getting home was very smooth both ways. With all the traveling mishaps I've had in the past I was very grateful for this. I was able to fly into John Wayne by 12:00 and get to long term parking, get my car and drive to the kids school by 1:15 which I didn't think I could do. I came home to a clean house, and a cute homemade sign that Jeff made with the kids at family home evening the night before.
Jeff is always super-dad when I'm gone. Maybe I should leave more often :)
The only way you can tell if I'm out of town is by looking at Ashley's hair. Hee hee.
Seriously I came home to a clean house, happy well fed, slightly spoiled kids.
So today I spent the day in my gym clothes doing laundry and Relief Society damage control. Sheesh you can't even miss one Sunday;0). I never did get to the gym...I gave up and got dressed for reals at like 3:30.