Thursday, May 31, 2007

School's Out for the Summer

Yippee! Today was the last day of school!

Years ago, when our oldest child was back in elementary school, my friends and I started a end of school year tradition by hosting a neighborhood picnic in our backyard. Nothing fancy, really, but fun none-the-less. All of the neighborhood children are invited to our home for hot dogs, chips, drinks and cotton candy. This year we served up over three dozen dogs and only one kid ate so much that she barfed!

After the party was over, Jocelyn and her friend, Bee, put on their swimming suits and jumped on the trampoline with the sprinkler underneath. Isn't this picture funny? It looks like Bee is stepping off of the neighbor's roof, onto the fence and trying to attack Jocelyn!

Graduation Day

She did it! She finally graduated from high school!
Rachel is a wonderful daughter. I can't imagine what my life would be like without her in it. She can be both serious and funny, pleasant and moody, intense and aloof. She's a talented singer, an entertaining sister, an English language fanatic, a loud laugh-er, a devoted friend, a faithful employee, a daughter of God, and an all around amazing young woman.

This year I've watched in awe as Rachel has devoted herself to her homework. Night after night she sat on the sofas in our living room. On one hand I often got tired of looking at the books, paper and her laptop computer spread across the living room floor. On the other hand I was grateful that I had a daughter that didn't need to be nagged to get her homework done (although I'm sure she'd say that I did my fair share of nagging). I often cried silent tears of pride as she persaveered hour after hour, night after night to understand what she was learning in her AP calculus class. I can say without hesitation that she is far better at math than anyone else in our family. Even though high school wasn't much fun for her and she eagerly anticipated her completion, she stuck it out and worked hard until the end of her senior year. My heart was truly full as I watched her accept her diploma yesterday!

This is Rachel (center) with two of her best friends, Meggan and Hannah. I just love this picture. It reminds me so much of the one that my parents took of me and my friends at our high school graduation twenty six years ago. Although I spent a good amount of time looking for it today so that I could post it, I came up short.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why I Haven't Been Blogging

It's the end of the school year and we couldn't be busier. Here are pictures of a few of the events that have been keeping me away from my computer and sewing machine.

This is Kirsten's final choir concert. She's loved her time in the women's addition choir. This year Kirsten was the choir teacher's assistant so she was in the choir classroom for two periods.

Our neighborhood friends hosted a BBQ for this special group of graduates. These eight high school seniors have grown up attending school and church together. I'm so proud of each of them. From left to right: Taylor, Alexsandra, Taylor, Rachel, Desmond, Kimberly, A.J., and Kabri.

Today was the dance festival at our elementary school. Each of the grades did performed a special dance for the parents. Jocelyn's fourth grad class danced the rumba. What a bunch of cuties!

Tomorrow is graduation day, so stay tuned for more pictures!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lovin' from the Oven

Mid-May is always a busy time in our house. Eighteen years ago our oldest daughter was born on Mother's Day, the day before our 5th wedding anniversary, which means this year we had three days in a row of gift giving and celebrations.

Mother's Day was great! The kids came up with wonderful and thoughtful gifts. Handmade beaded bracelets, potted geraniums, books and a picture diary of my life put to music (DD2's specialty!). The "fam" even made dinner and didn't ask me to lift a finger. Gotta love that!
Monday was DD1's birthday. Her birthday wish was simple.....she wanted a new printer for the laptop computer that she saved for and purchased this month. One more thing checked off the list before she leaves for college in the fall. DD1's other request was her favorite birthday cake. We usually bake this cake in the Dutch oven surrounded with hot coals. No time this year so I improvised and baked it in the kitchen oven. You take a regular chocolate cake mix and bake it as usual. Then 10 minutes before the cake is finished baking you sprinkle a package of semi-sweet chocolate chips over the top, followed by half a package of coconut and a bag of minature marshmallows. Bake 10 more minutes and then serve warm. YUM!!!
Instead of a birthday party, DD1 opted for an early morning breakfast for her and her friends. They're a busy bunch of kids trying to get though high school finals. This is one of our family's favorite breakfast casseroles. You know, the type you start the night before and finish up before tossing it in the oven an hour before breakfast.
These are my favorite sweet rolls. Don't they look great?! I'd like to tell you that I made them from scratch but, to be truthful, they came from the frozen foods department in the bakery. I set them out to raise before I went to bed and then woke up at 5:00 a.m. to pop them in the oven. Cinnamon rolls are on the right and orange rolls are on the left. I know that Rhode's frozen bread doughs are a "made in Utah" product, so I'm curious if there are similar products in other parts of the country.
After 23 years of marriage DH still knows the way to my heart. I have a weak spot for "apple pie" caramel apples. Nothing like a little fruit for breakfast this morning. LOL!

Am I the only one who finds this card funny? This describes our relationship to the "T". My sweety still has a sense of humor. He has to to put up with me! :-)

Now the celebrating is over. I guess at some point I need to do some house cleaning...and this is the day!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!

This is how my day started. I had a "photo shoot" planned for my daughter, DD1, who is graduating high school at the end of the month. She wants to put a photo in with her graduation announcement and we haven't gotten around to having her senior pictures taken by a professional photographer...she's been way to busy trying to keep up with her classwork. Boy, won't we all be happy when she takes the last of her three AP tests next week.

Last night DH and I took a walk up in the canyon. He's been under a lot of stress lately and needed a nice escape. It was such a beautiful walk that I decided this might be the perfect location to take pictures of DD1. This is the Provo River. It looks so wild and angry, but wait a few weeks till the spring run off is over and the river will once again become one of the best fly fishing locations in the state.
Oh, how I love Bridal Veil Falls! Years ago there was a tram to carried passengers to the top of the mountain where there was once a restaurant and then a dance venue. I only remember taking the tram to the top once and I think it was shortly after DH and I met. Several years back an avalance came down off the the falls and wiped out the snack shack and gift shop at the bottom. The same building also housed the mechanism that ran the tram to the top. Since this was not the first, nor the last, avalanche to come down the falls, the owners made the desicion not to rebuild. The building at the top remains vacant.
And here's my beautiful daughter. This is one of the pictures that I took of her sitting on a rock in the middle of the lower falls. DD1 will photoshop the picture, of course, and make herself look more amazing than ever.

I came home to find the rest of the family working in the yard. That was my requested Mother's Day gift.

Mia, Mia, Mia! She loves to chase the stream of water that come from the garden hose. It sure makes it difficult to water those new plants in the garden. She's stomps all over them.

And here she is drying off. Or is she just waiting for me to turn the water back on? Funny cat!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Where has this week gone?!

Wow! It's been a while since I've posted. Lots going on, I guess, that has taken me away from my computer. Kim mentioned that she was tired of looking at the wrotten bananas in my last post, so I figured it was time to do some updating!
Last week was the Women's Conference at BYU. I was on a committee that involved hosting an "idea fair" called Sharing Stations. I was overwhelmed by the attendance and all of the positive feedback. My part was very minor when compared to the overall conference. During the months of meetings and preparation I learned that there are a lot of really amazing women in this world...and some of them don't even know how to quilt!Last weekend Quilt Market was held in Salt Lake City, just north of Happy Valley. It's been fun to read about all the hoopla on different blogs and posts. I was a little bummed that I wasn't able to attend, but I did have the pleasure of attending a Buggy Barn quilt class on Tuesday after Quilt Market that was taught by Janet Nesbitt and Pam Soliday, who are the Buggy Barn proprietors. That's Pam, me, my friend Sherry, and Janet, in the picture.
We did the Star Bright pattern from the new Crazy Snow Days book. Sherry and I had a delightful time. Pam and Janet are great teachers and are really fun to visit with. The whole day was wonderful!!!
My 26 blocks are all stitched together. Now it's a matter of getting them trimmed and sashed. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Gift of Bananas

Don't you just love an unexpected gift? Yes, I know, four bananas isn't much, but hey, it's something. You see, there's this new convenience store in the neighborhood and it's not just your average convenience store, it's a drive through grocery store and like other markets they carry produce that when it's not sold eventually starts to over ripen!

Yesterday morning I was heading out to run my errands when I stopped by Seasons drive through market for a diet Coke. The gal that came out to take my order asked if I could use some over ripened bananas. Instantly a picture of banana muffins popped into my head and next thing I knew I had a free bag of bananas.

It must have been a lucky day for our family. When I talked to DH in the middle of the day and told him about my good fortune, he told me that when he had stopped to buy gas and get a soda that the guy gave him his drink for free!
My children were delighted to come home from school to the smell of freshly baked muffins. Of course, since I don't ususally make muffins they started to wonder what was up with mom. Sheesh...can't a mom make muffins just because she wants to? lol!
Last night we went to watch a baseball game. Our friend, Austin, has been playing baseball since he was old enough to stand up to the plate. His hard work and dedication landed him a scholarship to our local university. This is his freshman year, but he's already making quite a name for himself! What a beautiful spring evening we had. Oh, and watching that full moon come up over the mountains was something else! As was the hot dog I had as a late night snack! YUM!
The next few days I'll be heavily involved in a Women's Conference at BYU, so hopefully after that I'll be able to get back to my sewing machine. I have a little kit that I want to get stitched up and need to get going on my class sample for Jo's Little Women's Club. I can't wait to get back to quilting!