Saturday, November 27, 2010

San Diego T-Day

My next most memorable Thanksgiving was 8 years ago.  
Memorable because it was my first Thanksgiving without my mother - she had passed away that spring.  
And Dan, being sensitive to my missing my mom AND Danny who was on his mission, 
thought we should do something out of the ordinary.  Something a little more fun.

So, we went to California for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We loaded up the car with all 7 of us (Danny was in Russia) and made the 7-9 hour (depending on # of potty stops) to Escondido, CA.
 The STAR of this memory is NOT Amelia - but she is one of the STARS.  
(Sorry baby girl!  Gotta share the spotlight once again!)

We had a great Thanksgiving dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Stone.
I even tried to make a low-fat pumpkin pie - but it bombed. 
(Don't try to worry about low-fat on Thanksgiving.  
Just go for the good stuff and repent later.  Or not.)

 After stuffing ourselves, we drove down to the ocean for a walk on the beach and the pier.
That's part of what made this memorable.  
It was just so much fun to be together and enjoy the beautiful day.  
 (plus, getting away from all of Amelia's boyfriends was nice!)

Even Mary was enjoying the water!
And we got to listen to some "hippies" playing their guitars on the boardwalk.
It was a pretty darn good Thanksgiving!!
(can't figure out why Loren isn't in any of the pictures - unless he stayed behind with his cousins?)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Where's the Turkey?

2 days and counting to Thanksgiving!
Danny & Mary - cute little Indians - about 1987
So...I've been thinking
About my favorite memories about Thanksgiving.
So I'm going to share a few of them.
 The star of this first memory is my oldest, Danny; the year, about 1993.
(Yep, sorry kids, I know you've heard this one - but it's my fave.)
While living in southeast AZ, we always had the annual Thanksgiving feast in Ft. Thomas with the extended family.   We are talking about A LOT of family.  We would always hold it in the Ft. Thomas church - in the multi-purpose room.  Of course , it was wonderful to see and visit with all the cousins.  But, there was SSOOO much food.  This side of the family - my grandmother's side - believes that the most important ingredient to a successful family gathering is FOOD - and lots of it - and most delicious it is!  You walk away disappointed if you don't get to try everything there!!  
But, I regress.
When our children were small, we lived close enough to attend each and every year.  
About the 3rd or 4th year attending, Danny, who was about 9 yrs old by then, was a bit frustrated because his mom(me) wanted him to eat some good stuff before the dessert.
Danny & Loren  Fall 1994
  And there were SOO many desserts!  They had a full long table - JUST for dessert - and he couldn't eat all he wanted to.
So, the next year he planned.  He happily told me of his plan about a week before Thanksgiving.  With twinkling greedy eyes, he told me he was going to eat very little between now and the big day.  And then, the night before Thanksgiving, he wouldn't eat hardly anything at all!  Then, when he got to the "feast", he'd have tons of room in his stomach!
On with the story....
Big day came.  He was hungry and a bit grumpy.  We made the drive to Ft. Thomas and there, sure enough, were the 3 long tables, end to end, full of food.  The desserts looked even better this year.  There were pies of every variety, cream, fruit and pumpkin.  There were doughnuts with frosting, cookies, cakes, whipped cream, ice cream (homemade), custards and puddings.  It was a 10 yr old boys dream come true!!
After the prayer, he was one of the first in line.  He came and showed me his 'token' turkey and potatoes.  
"Where's the turkey?", I asked, teasing him. 
He didn't get it.
Before I even got to my seat with my plate of food, he was back in line for desserts.  And he loaded it up good!  I think he almost had a little of everything, a lot of his favorite things.
He sat down and dug in.  Not even halfway through, he began to turn a little green and run out of steam.  His stomach had 'shrunk' with his self-imposed fast, and he couldn't fit it in.  I couldn't tell if he was sick from all the sweets or just bummed that he couldn't eat it all.
He pushed his plate aside and sat there looking sad.  After a while he wandered off to play with the cousins.
We all remained and visited for an hour or so with the relatives.
Danny & Mary  fall 1995
As I gathered up the kids for the drive home and handed Danny his leftover cookies and doughnuts wrapped in a napkin, he said to me, "I've thought up a new plan for next year!"
The kid never gives up!!
And I LOVE him for it!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The bloggin' blues.... plus Teen Q & A

What do you blog about when you don't have anything to blog about?
Hmmm...let's have some rare introspection....
This week was a real break from the craziness of the earlier weeks.   
Coming off of end of season races, awards banquets, 
Hahahaha!!  That's too funny!  It's upside-down Rachel!!
concerts, parades, photo shoots and ward quilting projects, 
One of the girls working on a quilt (one of 5 quilts!).
it's been kind of nice to not have a million places to go all at once.
So, what did I do this week?  
I got caught up a little.
I bound 4 quilts.
I cleaned my room and bathroom.
I caught up on laundry.
I made a menu for 2 weeks.
I began editing pictures from 3 photo shoots (last week).
I finished a pillowcase doll for the boutique.
I cleaned the kitchen.

I have been asking myself a question - since last Saturday. 
Have I forgotten how to have fun?
Okay - rewind to last week.
 Dan wanted to do something spontaneous.   I forget what, but I remember feeling that it would just be too much trouble. 
And then I realized, I don't know how to have fun anymore!
(This picture proves it - as do all our pictures!!  I'm never in them having fun!)
It's become really hard for me to let go and relax and just do something fun!
That's really sad.
So, I'm trying to change that.  And it's really hard.
I'm always thinking about stuff I gotta get done, or things we hafta pay for, or how much time is there, or that I just don't feel well enough. 
So - my goal for this week. 
Last spontaneous thing I did - took a ride with Dan to the top of a mtn. at Heaton Ranch.  It scared the ba-jeemies out of me!!  But it was memorable!!
Weird goal I know, to plan to do something unplanned.  
I'll let you know how it turns out.

Here's a Teen Q & A:  
Q:  Why do adolescents delight in embarrassing their parents in public?
A: They are holding grudges for the little corduroy jumpers with the choo-choos on them and the white frilly booties and over-sized flower bows you put on them when they were too young to fight back.  Each time your teenager embarrasses you, he is remembering the time you licked your hand to press down those little stray hairs on his head for the photo shoot.  Pray he/she never remembers the 'taking their picture naked' episode.
Danny -  naked! 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Braces Off! & Teen Q & A

Well, Rachel finally got her braces off last week!!
After having them on for nearly 3 years (but who's counting?) it was a Red Letter Day!!

Here is the "Before" shot. Isn't she cute??
This is a "During" photo - still a cutie!!
And here we are "After"! Beautiful!
Just look at them Pearly Whites!!
Okay - now she's scaring me!!

All righty! Here's the next TEEN Q & A:

Question: Why does my 15 year-old daughter stare at any shirtless teenage boy that she sees walking down the street?
Answer: Because she hasn't yet learned what every grown woman knows, which is that if a guy is walking down the street without a shirt on, it's because he doesn't have a job, a car or enough money to buy decent clothes.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cleaning the church

What is more fun than a roller coaster ride??
Being pushed by your brother in the wheeled trash can down the halls of the church!!

Our family got the lovely assignment to clean the church on the Saturday of our "Utah Halloween".
Sound like drudgery?
Not with this family!
It turned into a fun time with lots of antics.

Thank you to our budding photographers, Rachel & Jessica!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Teenager Q's & A's!!

I need some motivation to write in my blog more often.
So, I am starting a little column.
Feel free to send in questions!

A carload of teenagers leaves Salt Lake City at 9am traveling 50 mph. At that rate, how long before they are all hungry?

Don't you hate math problems? I do. Besides, this is a trick question, because you will NEVER find a carload of teenagers willing to only drive 50 mph, AND it would be a miracle to get them all on the road before noon. Also, they are always hungry, so pack a cooler!!

Next time:
Teens and phones....