Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Phoenix was phine!

Daniel in front of his newly purchased home!!
We recently returned from a 5-day trip to Phoenix.  
Dan had some training from work to do down there, so Mary and I tagged along.
It was so nice down there - sunny and warm.
We got to see lots of Daniel III and meet a girlfriend of his.
We also got to eat at several of his favorite restaurants, which is always fun!
And, another bonus, Daniel closed on his house while we were there.
It was really fun to get a good look at his home-to-be and see all the possibilities there.
I only took a picture or two while there (shame on me) but it will have to do.
Besides missing Jess and Rachel, it was a great week with lots of R&R, good food, and being with an awesome son!  
Can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sweet Sixteen - and I'll shoot him if he kisses you!

In keeping with the tradition of Birthday tributes, this one is dedicated to my youngest child, Rachel 
She turned 16 yesterday - got her driver's license this morning.  
I can't believe she did that.

I have told her most of her little life, that she could NOT grow up.  

I wanted her to stay little forever.  But, she has been disobedient and has been growing up anyways - on the sly.  So, I guess I must consign myself to it.
She's my baby, the one who awakened me (sorry - older siblings) to the fact that the happiest times of my life have been with my young ones.  
Age 8 months
I have been reluctant to let it go.  In her defense, she has obliged me somewhat, by staying "small".  But, I noticed a few days ago that she is now as tall as me. 
But, enough lamentations.
On to Rachel.  
Born 16 years ago on a lovely spring afternoon in Arizona, she was the last to join our family.  A tiny bundle, with enormous eyes, she surprised and delighted us from the start.  
As a toddler, we knew she was "special".  
She was the BOSSIEST 25 lb bundle you ever saw. (the result, I'm sure, of having so many older "bosses".)
She had funny little ways, like; collecting and hiding odds and ends (our car keys for example), taking the cat for stroller rides,  demanding to go to bed early each night, sticking cheetos and fingers up her nose to be funny, and squealing each time she saw a hot air balloon.
As she grew, she became slightly less bossy, and continued to collect things.  
Being around all older people at home, she had a grown-up sense of humor that would surprise her teachers.  
She loved all sorts of creatures, from bugs, to snakes and lizards, to sea life, to horses.
After a few trips to Mexico, she discovered her love of the ocean and the things that lived in there.
In Mexico
  Even after being stung by a sting-ray, and it's excruciating effects, she loved the animals in the sea, spending hours reading books on that topic.
With Shamu at Sea World
A favorite thing for mom and Rachel was to watch Jacques Cousteau specials on TV.  
5th grade report on Jacques Cousteau
 She learned to play the clarinet, then the bass clarinet, and then moved on to the drums.  There's a good story here - about her determination to play drums, but I will save that for another day.  
Homecoming game 2010
She was always active and we became well known at the Dr.'s clinic with all of her broken bones.  

I can't even keep track with how many it's been! 
She loved sports, soccer especially, playing for the high school JV team.
She discovered horses, and loved those too, taking lessons on horse care and riding from a dear friend. 
Bro Crane and Rachel
She entered High School last year and discovered another hidden talent.  Running!! 

Yep, the girl is good - AND fast.  We love to watch her run!
But, the things I really love about Rachel are her uniqueness-es.  Oh yeah, she is one unique 16-yr old girl.  For example:
*She loves to EXPLORE!!  (no fear!)
*She can beat bop with her mouth - she's good!
*Her favorite magazine subscription is (drum roll) Popular Science!
*She makes hilarious movies, starring herself - and sometimes a friend.
Rock Star
*She likes to help her Dad work in the yard or build things.
*She still collects things - right now it's  STAMPS.
Another thing I love about her is her hugs.  When she was little, she'd come to me for a hug, but wouldn't let go.  She still does that sometimes!  :)
And she is thoughtful and empathetic.  She feels for others.  She helps Mary, she helps me; 
she anticipates others needs.  Unusual for a teen-ager!
And so, we celebrate Rachel.
Happy 16th year girlie!!
We love you TONZ!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lawnmowers and Freight Trains

I slept half the night next to a snoring freight train.
Now I feel as if I got run over by one.
You see,
my husband snores.
No kidding.
When we were first married, most of my dreams involved motor boats 
or lawnmowers.
I wasn't used to hearing those sounds all night and so my overactive sleep imagination would incorporate them into my dreams.
Now, however, I just get woken up when the "volcano" is going off.
Then I get frustrated and cranky.
So, last night, after 4 hours of motor cross next to me in bed, 
I kicked him out.
I told him it was my turn to get some sleep.

No worries, though, for those who don't appreciate my 'tongue in cheek' humor.
I still love the guy.
The snoring is little price to pay for being with the best man in the world.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Birthday to my 3rd son!!

A little over 2 years ago, a new son, "JON", was "born" into our family - through marriage.
Today is his birthday!
And we want to wish him a "wunnerful" one!

Here's why he deserves it:
*He is an awesome guy.  Yeah, even though he's a bit of a football nut, we can overlook that little quirk and love him anyways, since he's a BYU fan.  
*He is kind, thoughtful, helpful, brave, thrifty - yep, he's a good scout.  He's really smart too!
*He puts up with us, the Stone family.  And yes, we are a little quirky ourselves.
*He married our daughter Amelia and took her off our hands.  
Thank you Jon, from the bottom of our hearts for that.
j/k - even though we ARE grateful that he married Amelia, we love that he loves her and treats her like a princess and makes her so happy.   
You are the best Jon!!
Happy Birthday!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thankful on Thursday

I'm just going to tell you ONE thing I'm thankful for today, since it's been on my mind so much.
I am thankful to be almost 53 and 3/4 old!
It's true.  I embrace it!!

First of all, it took a lot of work to get here.
I'm happy with the journey so far and looking forward to the future.
I've had some great experiences and I've been able to share them with the most awesome people ever - my family!
Here are my thoughts:
In this crazy world, where young and thin is idealized and even worshipped, I had begun a decade ago to dread getting into my 50's and getting older.
But accepting the inevitable, and being STRONGLY opposed to anti-aging fads, I began to notice some of the perks.

*I am really comfortable with who I am
I know me, I am okay with me, and I even appreciate me.  Doesn't mean I'm perfect or that I can't improve, but just that I'm okay with it all.

*I'm much, much less influenced by the trends and whims of society
I feel like my objective eye has been sharpened over the years, and I can see things better for what they are.  I can see the pros and the cons less emotionally, and I can debate them and understand them better.

*I am thankful for my opinions. 
They are hard won through the exacting school of experience.  I am not embarrassed of, or will apologize for them.

*Life is sometimes awkward. 
  Yeah, it feels uncomfortable, but it's how we grow.  I have a cute little Campanula that sits near my computer.  When I brought it home from the store, it was covered with cute little purple blossoms.  Then the blossoms fell off.  I watered it and cared for it, but no new blossoms.  Then I went away for a few days and forgot to have someone water it.  The lack of water stressed it, causing it, once I returned with some water, to bloom even bigger than before!   The best growth comes after trials.
*I no longer feel the need to apologize for my faith or beliefs 
- religious and otherwise.  I am entitled to them, and often it's all we have.  If my faith in something, or my belief in an ideal, offends or inconveniences someone, it's okay.  That's life, and we will all get over it!

*Life is short -
in the eternal sense.  Very few things in this life are permanent, and most things will pass.  Like hard times.  They won't last forever.  There is always a brighter day.  BUT, even on the dark days, we can MAKE it better.  There is always something WE CAN DO to ease the situation, if only in our own minds.

*Love and gratitude are magical.  
If ever there was magic in the world, that's it.  They have to be combined though, to work properly.  Love and gratitude together can work miracles - I promise.

54th birthday - BRING IT ON!! (and many more!)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Put Your Shoes On :)

I had a dream last night.
Mary was talking.
Not a lot, but enough to cause some real feelings of joy.
Yep, it was a good dream.
Then I woke up and reality set in.
After breakfast, Mary and I had a stand-off..
She didn't want to put her shoes on for school.
It's not something she ALWAYS does on her own, but 5 mornings out of 7 she will put her own shoes on - no fuss or problems.
Not today.
First she tried yelling at me.
I calmly kept saying, while sitting right next to her and placing the shoe in her hands, "Mary, put your shoes on."
When the yelling didn't phase me, she began her sobbing, which is kinda fake and self-induced. 
It sounds very woeful. 
I just kept calmly putting the shoe back in her lap (she kept pushing it off) and saying in my nice voice, "Mary, put your shoes on."
After 15 minutes of this, (yeah, I persisted, never losing my temper) she finally put ONE shoe on.  
Good enough for me.
I put the other shoe on for her, gave her a big hug and told her I loved her.  Then she was off to school.
Luckily, when I asked her to put her coat on, she did. 
Good thing, cuz I was done by then.