Saturday, May 24, 2008

Which Disney Princess Are You?

I am Pocahontas! Free-spirited and wise. You have a strong passionate spirit that touches and changes all who know you. The wisdom and common sense that you have is really what guides you through life. Even so, you also have a very playful side that loves adventure and excitement.

Take the test for yourself!

Memorial Day Tradition

Rich's parents, Rusty and Gloria, were very much into Memorial Day. Every year they would buy the most beautiful Mum plants they could find and travel over three counties to decorate the graves of their forefathers. That tradition has continued in my husband's heart; he honors his parents by continuing to make the trek each Memorial Day. I have been involved on some level for years, but this (I'm ashamed to say) is the first year that I was involved in the entire process.

It all started on Wednesday evening when we bought the sixteen Mums that we would take to the graves.  It was fun picking out the pretty colors and thinking about which ones would be appropriate for which graves.
We next took highways 132, 148 and 6 through rural Utah to get to Silver City and then Eureka. It was a rainy day, but scenery was beautiful nonetheless.

We left at 7:30 am and our first stop was in Springville where Rich's parents are buried. Gloria always loved the little trees planted by the headstone. The pink flowers were the ones Rich took for Mother's Day, the white ones for Nanna on Memorial Day and the orange/yellow ones for Rusty.

Our next stop was the Levan cemetery. For those of you not familiar with Levan, it is a small town about 30 minutes south of Nephi.

There we visited the graves of William and Mary Sherwood. Mary Sherwood came across the plains and later worked in Brigham Young's home; it is through her that our family has a chair and platter belonging to the second prophet.

Also there is the grave of Aunt Leah, Gloria's aunt who was a favorite for her fun personality and joking ways. Rich could remember visiting her in Levan when he was a boy.

I thought this old Levan Chapel built in 1904 was just beautiful with its gothic arches.

We next took highways 132, 148 and 6 through rural Utah to get to Silver City and then Eureka. It was a rainy day, but scenery was beautiful nonetheless.

Rusty built this fence around the grave of his grandfather, John Samuel Rife who was famous for leaving Spanish Fork to join the Texas Rangers (not the baseball team).

It rained furiously as we traveled from Levan to Silver City and the dirt roads almost got the best of us. We were sliding as if we were on ice and snow and worried that we would get stuck, but fortunately we made it out and stopped at a Santaquin carwash to clean off the tires.

Silver City is a ghost town; the cemetery is all that remains visible. The land is now used for grazing sheep and it was fun to see the new spring lambs frolicking.

Our next stop just down highway 6 was the Eureka Cemetery

The graves of Gloria's paternal grandparents.

Aunt Elsie was also a favorite great aunt that Rich could remember from his childhood.

On the way from Eureka to Santaquin we shared the road with this herd of cows with their real cowboys on horseback. You don't see that everyday, and who would think you'd see it so close to home!

fter a delicious lunch at Marie Callendar's at 3900 S and 1100 E our next stop was the Wasatch Cemetery, where we remember the location of Gloria's parents by finding the shortest tree in the line.

Alice Howard Rife is the wife of John Samuel Rife who is buried in the Silver City cemetery.

Uncle Bill, Gloria's "baby brother," lives in Spokane so we always put out a flower for his dear wife.

Next we traveled downtown to the Salt Lake City Cemetery - the oldest cemetery in Utah, being established in 1848 - just one year after the pioneers arrived in the valley.

Earleen and Frank Gear are aunt and uncle to Gloria. It's obvious that she was a favorite niece and loved her aunts as she remembered many of them each year on Memorial Day.

everal years ago while in this cemetery Rich visited President Kimball's grave and was astounded that no one had placed flowers there; ever since he's always included President Kimball in the graves that we decorate.

Beautiful clouds over the SLC cemetery.

Another beautiful old chapel, this one near the SLC cemetery. I just love older architecture, it has so much character and beauty.

Our seventh and final cemetery stop was in American Fork.

The Robinsons were Rusty's maternal grandparents and we have a picture of Grandma Rhodes, as she was known, holding Rich as a small baby. She died when he was under a year old.

This is the grave of Rusty's parents. His Dad died while Rusty was serving in the Pacific in WWII. I remember Grandma Rife and we have a picture of her holding Mary as a baby.

So ends our adventure, it was a wonderful day to spend a day with my sweetheart, honoring those who have gone before.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Book Review

I recently read this book. Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher. He teaches that we need be Conscious in each moment and be in touch with the Eternal in each of us. The best part was the 10-week webclasses with the author and Oprah. Each Monday night they covered a chapter of the book. The next day I would download the (free) podcast and listen to it on my ipod while skiing, walking, driving, etc. I liked the book, but I thoroughly enjoyed the podcasts. People listened and called in from all over the world. It's deep and thought-provoking and enriched my life and I recommend both the book and the podcasts.


I've been in a slight state of mourning over the passing of skiing season for the year. (it's eight long months until I can hit the trails again) Because of my newfound love of winter and skiing, I had forgotten the beauty of spring. But then my flowering plum trees blossomed in my back yard . . .

right next to the bright golden forsythia bush . . .And the snow-capped mountains with blue sky and green foothills, almost made me forget about skiing.

I love that we live in such a beautiful world and in such a beautiful spot on this earth. I love all the seasons; but I have been touched again by the delicate beauty of spring with all it's flowering in soft pastels.

Thank you, God.

Sophie Lynn

Mary just called to tell me that Sophie has been asking for me everyday. She says, "uh - Nana?" to which Mary asks if she wants a banana, and Sophie says, "No - go a Nana!" She pats the door and says she wants to go to Nana's house. Boy, do I love that! When she comes to our house she runs to me with open arms saying, "Nana, Nana, Nana!"

The JOYS of being a grandparent!

Definitely worth getting through all that parenting stuff!

Mother's Day

I had a lovely Mothers Day. I like that it's on Sunday because I love Sundays. With our 1 pm schedule I enjoy a leisurely Sabbath morning. Pictured above are the gifts I received: A special occasion calendar (listing family birthdays, etc for the year) and homemade card from Laura, a flat of lobelia to plant and a blue hydrangea plant from Brian and Anna, the beautiful Timpanogos Willie Holdman photo book from Todd, (I love it!) a card from Michael, the cute "freedom" sign (she knows I love all things Americana) and scentsy from Jenny, Rich got me a beautiful pink orchid corsage (to wear to church on Sunday so everyone would know I am loved!) plus he mentioned me kindly in his Mother's Day talk. My parents gave me a card and $20 with which I bought beads and had a creative moment Saturday afternoon making the pictured bracelets. Thank you!

I couldn't resist posting these pictures of my beautiful "daughter-mothers" with their cute kiddies on Mother's Day.

Michael's First Prom

Michael had his first date and first Prom on Saturday night. Doesn't he look handsome in his tux! His group consisted of (L-R) JD Ashman and Alysha Parsons, (my cute niece) Michael and his date, Hillary Bodine, Braden Lanham and Jordan Guinn, Shelby McKell and Jenson Nelson. I'm so grateful the Michael has great friends and they are all GOOD kids!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Family Reunion

My Mom has three remaining siblings from the original seven children in her family, and they all live in different states. Her youngest sister, KaJeen who lives in New York, came to Utah for her youngest son's graduation from BYU so it was a great opportunity to get together. So all the posterity of my Mom's parents, George and Annie Carlsen, were invited to our humble abode on Heather Drive for yummy food, catching up and picture-taking. We had a lovely afternoon and it was good to get reacquainted with my aunts and uncles and cousins. Families are Forever!

Members of my parent's posterity at the reunion: (top l-r) Ryan, Michael, Brian, Dad, Brian, Jacob, (bottom l-r) Rich, Janet, Mom, Dani, Marissa

Spring Cleaning!

The week after Disneyland I got down and dirty with the spring cleaning. My motivation? On April 30th I had fifty-two of my Mom's side of the family at our home for a family reunion. I'm grateful for the motivation! I had quite the week cleaning EVERYTHING! Every closet, drawer, cupboard, inside and out, light fixtures and fans, showers and tubs. It sure felt good! Company is the perfect motivation to get your house clean and then enjoy the visit.

Then I moved to outside and spruced up the front porch flower bed. We had recently pulled out the overgrown bushes and a huge blue spruce and so I had an empty canvas to work with. It was still early for putting annuals in the ground, so I just did some pots for color. There will be a hedge up against the porch when the 11 boxwood plants grow together. I love my new simpler and cleaner flower bed, the perfect spot to look out onto from my porch swing.

Disneyland 2008

As promised here are pictures of our Disneyland trip 2008. We had a great time making memories and bonding. Thanks, Rich, for being such a wonderful cruise director!

Nana and Papa with the gkiddies at Disneyland.

Our six kids showing off their "guns" in Toon Town.

The Hammer family with Pluto.

Laura, Connor and Abby with Flik - Abby was laughing hysterically at Flik.

Jenny with "her" princess, Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty.

This is the sight we met when we arrived home from WICKED. Rich stayed in the hotel room with 5 kids under 5 for 5 hours so the rest of us to go to WICKED together, indicative of the loving and generous family man he is!

My six boys: three sons and three grandsons!

We went to Newport Beach the last day; it was pretty windy and cold so laying down in the sand was the only way to be warm.