Friday, November 25, 2016

Catching Up

It's the day after Thanksgiving. I'm getting ready to go pull out the leftovers for tonight's dinner. I did manage to go out and do some Christmas shopping today at the Super Mall. I did a quick trip to Hobby Lobby and that was really fun. Christmas was 50% off.

The Super Mall was busy, and I had to stand in the check out line at Carter's for probably over 20 minutes, but it was worth the sale.

Summer has flown by and I sit here now with our Christmas lights turned on outside. No tree up yet, maybe next Saturday. In the summer I did a quick trip to Utah the end of July. I was able to attend the temple with my college room mate Susan, take a trip up the Manti canyon to the family cabin, go four wheeling in the mountains with my cousin's son-in-law and his kids, and celebrate Natalie's birthday by having brunch at Stein Erickson Lodge in Deer Valley. It was a really fun weekend trip.

With Aunt Margaret at the Manti Cabin July 2016
In September I went to the fair with my coworker and her brother and his friend. We went to the Tim McGraw concert. It was great. I love sitting outdoors in the late summer at the fair.

Work has been keeping me busy. Wally had back surgery in mid-September. Successful surgery I should add. Looking back we now realize that a lot of his pain and limitations weren't from his arthritis, but from the pain of his pinched nerve. He's back to climbing ladders and full activity around the house.

Also, in September we had a super fun visit from my niece Serene and her family. They drove up from Sacramento. We did a fun trip up to Snoqualmie Falls. Seneca and Levi were really fun and loved watching my squirrels out the patio door.

I recently lost my Aunt Margaret. She was one of my Dad's sisters. He was the oldest of 7 and she was the second to the youngest. Living this far from family, I was unable to attend her funeral with airfare being too expensive. I really wanted to go but just couldn't make it. My cousin sent me the program and stories that were shared. I'm fortunate that I got to see her twice this year.

I love this time of the year. We had Wally's girls over for Thanksgiving dinner along with Tim and Gisele. Gisele will be turning 16 in December, it's hard to believe it's been that long. Now it's countdown to Christmas. I'm planning on enjoying the next four weeks of this holiday season.

I love the lights, the sounds, the colors of Christmas. I already have bought my Christmas cards and my Christmas postage stamps. I have things that I can start wrapping now. Next week kicks off concerts, Victorian Country Christmas and a fun filled December.

I'm excited to start making my chocolate covered caramels for the season as well as mint patties and truffles. It's a fun time of the year. We have been enjoying pretty decent weather. Some rain and lows in the 40s in the mornings.

I'm really enjoying the hummingbirds in the front of the house at the feeder. If I keep the bedroom door open, I can look out the window while standing in the kitchen and watch the cute tiny birds.

I'm taking photos when I get a chance. There have been some gorgeous sunrises on my way to work since the time change.

Here's hoping you can enjoy the next four weeks, whatever they have in store for you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Summer Family Vacation - Henry's Lake 2016

I just love our annual summer trip to the cabin. This year both of my kids and their families were able to come for some of the time. We started out on Saturday morning, June 18th. As always we stopped, in La Grande for a late lunch (breakfast for Wally). We discovered the Smokehouse Restaurant a number of years ago. They are famous for their smoked meats but also for the flapjacks.

Saturday evening we spent the night at my sister's new town house in Boise. My nephew, Bart and his family from Oregon joined us there. We had barbecued hamburgers with sister's son and his family. The kids had a lot of fun playing together. After dinner we walked through the grade school lot to a really nice city park and let the kids play and watched the sunset.
Boise sunset

Sunday morning was Father's Day. We always go to McDonald's for breakfast before getting on the freeway. On Father's Day, Dad's eat free. We arrived at the cabin on Sunday afternoon. Joe and Nikki with Kali and Taylor were already at the cabin in their new trailer with their two dogs. They spent Sunday in Yellowstone Park. Sue and Dennis arrived on Sunday, as did Bart and Autumn. Over the next week we had Becky, Dave, Nancy, Emily, Katie, Kylah, Eli, Scott, Natalie, Scott, Wayne, Andrea, Annelise, Avea, Amoura and Andrea's parent's Ted and Grace from St. George.

It was so much fun having so many kids there this year. They had a lot of fun playing together. Wayne and Andrea stayed at Mack's Inn with her parents in a rental cabin. They loved being there near the river. They had dinner with us one night and spent many afternoons hanging out, playing, canoeing and boating.

Our Dad's cousin Frank Peterson was driving a semi from Montana into Idaho and he was able to stop for a short visit and meet Wally.

During the week there were trips into West Yellowstone, some groups went into the park, we thoroughly enjoyed the new deck at the cabin. Jim came over and visited with us. And then there was the kayaking down the Henry's Fork of the Snake River.

It was going to be Natalie, Scott and I, then when we went over to the rental place we ran into Wayne and the family so they joined us. I started out in a tandem kayak with Natalie and Scott was by himself. Wayne and Andrea each had one girl with them. Amoura stayed behind with Ted and Grace.

At the beginning where we get in the river, it was very shallow. I had to keep getting out of the canoe and pull us. Eventually I talked Scott into trading with me. Then I was solo in a kayak for the first time ever. And I loved it. It was beautiful scenery, very relaxing. There were other kayakers and rafters on the water.

Then as we got closer to where we would be getting out we got a big treat. A mother moose with her baby drinking in the river. Natalie and Scott got awfully close to them. I stayed a little bit behind some people in a bigger raft, just in case I needed to get out of their way as they crossed the river. It was so much fun.

During the week at the cabin we had some really good food. I made bread twice for dinner. We ate white chicken chili, chicken haystacks, enchilada casserole, Emily's chicken, chili and a baked potato bar. We also had caramel corn, fudge and other treats.

My new quilt. Pieced by Sue and quilted by me.

Scott and his hammock.


Great Uncle Dennis with Amoura. She always knew right where she was headed and it generally involved a dog.

Annelise and Kali.

It was a great week and it was nice to have the five of us siblings together.
Beautiful Kali. I could take her picture for days.

Grandma Becky with Taylor

Uncle Scott with Eli. Or as Eli referred to him one day, "that guy".

Joe and his fish

My grand daughter Amoura. She turned two on July 6th.

Aunt Natalie with Amoura.

This was our attempt to get all the cousins together. Nine kids, oldest 11, youngest not quite 2. This is one of the better pictures.

My grand daughters Annelise and Avea.

Scott and Wayne (cousins) these two have entertained us at the cabin for many years. I think my favorite was the video with Wayne and his gloves in his best Crocodile Dundee voice extracting a bat from the cabin. But then there was the time they got decked out in Grandpa's hats and jackets, or the time they walked in the dark outside the window with the axe and pretended to be One-Eyed Henry.
Carry on you two!

Katie with Elsie and Kylah

Having a little fun.


Getting ready to go home.

It was a great week. Wally and I drove I-90 home in one day. We stopped for breakfast in Ennis, Montana. They have fry bread on the menu. Yay!

Thanks Mom and Dad for the cabin and all the great memories it holds.

See you all next year!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Sister's Trip Utah 2016

I'm writing this almost 3 4 months later and I wish I would have jotted down some of the details. It was a great trip. I'll try to remember as much as I can.

Another year rolled around and it was once again time for our annual gathering of the sisters in Utah. I flew into Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 6th. Natalie picked me up at the airport and we went for a morning pastry snack at Gourmandise.

We did a Costco run and then we met up with my friend Susan. Susan and I met in college in 1976. I'm very fortunate that we have stayed in touch all these years. We had a good time hanging out and visiting a candy making supply store. Then we met my sisters and cousins at Mimi's for lunch.

My cousin Russell organized a lunch with Aunt Margaret, her daughters, Jill and Dana and daughter in laws, Donna and Leslie. Along with my sisters, Sue and Becky, we had quite a big group. We had a lot of fun. I'm still trying to locate the photos. Aunt Margaret is one of my Dad's sisters. Of the 7 children there are just Aunt Margaret and Aunt Velois.

After lunch I drove Sue's stick shift car with Becky and Sue and we headed to Nancy's house. For the next couple of days we camped out in the living room. We went into our spring cleaning mode and made the place shine. Emily kept us well fed and stocked up with Creamies. We watched movies, visited, read and stayed up way, way too late! Luckily we had no place to be early in the morning.

There was also some trampoline jumping and an evening trip to the Provo City Center Temple.

Love these things!

Sisters April 2016

Sue and Emily at the temple fountain

Provo City Center Temple
On Saturday morning Natalie picked me up and we dashed to St. George for Avea's baptism. We arrived at the church just in time to change clothes and get seated in the chapel. It was a fun afternoon. After the baptism we ate at Ted and Grace's house. Then Natalie and I checked into our hotel.

Wayne came and picked us up and the three of us went bowling, then to Village Inn for a late night snack. It was fun hanging out with my kids.

Sunday morning Wayne, Andrea and the girls come over to the hotel and we visited for a bit. Wayne and the girls hit up the breakfast buffet. Natalie and I walked around downtown St. George and then drove home to Salt Lake. It was a really quick trip to St. George, but I'm glad we got to be there.

We walked by this cute little building with a pink door.

Avea's baptism.

Aunt Natalie with Amoura
 Sunday night Natalie, Scott and I went out for Italian food at a really small little place that had super good food. For an appetizer we had bubble bread. It was like a pizza crust cooked in a wood fired oven with oil on it. Very good. It was my first night sleeping in their house that they moved into one year ago.
This was an amazing ravioli dish.
Monday I flew home. Then back to work on Tuesday. It was another great trip with family in Utah.