Monday, August 30, 2010

What a long, strange trip it's been....

And I mean our road trip. I should add it was wonderful as well, though it didn't end the way we'd planned. But what does? Life? No, it doesn't. They say it's not the destination, but the journey and they're right.

Our journey began Friday the 13th. For some of us it ended on the 22. For me, it ended on the 26th.

We had planned to leave early in the morning on Friday the 13th but even our beginning didn't go as planned. We left at midnight and I drove for six hours while the rest mainly slept until dawn and a nearly empty gas tank caused our first stop.

It was a beautiful sunrise, by the way.

We landed in the podunk of podunks. I'm not even sure I remember the name of this no-stop-light town with a curmudgeonly store owner who growled at us while his wife used an old adding machine atop a battered, ancient desk. We purchased crushed ice from the man and his wife and then went across the street to have a morning picnic in a small town park. We had to kill time before the gas station owner decided to show up and pump our gas. You can't pump your own gas in Oregon you know. You might blow yourself up or set off an explosion that could take down an entire podunk.

This was the main street. As far as I could tell, it might have been the only street.

This might have been the town mayor. He was hanging around looking important.

After we ate, there was more of this:

Hours and hours of that. After a bazillion more miles, we stopped at the Twin Falls Temple.

So beautiful.

After another few hours we landed in Chubbuck Idaho, land of thrills, spills and our good friends the Ericksons. We mostly love them because they have a trampoline and three handsome sons. This is their youngest, Bryce, showing off his mad skillz.

Then we were informed that we should pick up Alli from Especially for Youth in Rexburg that night instead of in the morning, so we got back behind the wheel and started driving. Again. You know, because I didn't drive enough that day. On the way there we remembered that the car top carrier on the top of our suburban wasn't latched nor locked. I pulled off the freeway right next to a wheat field.

What happened next was frightening. A cricket (the field was FULL of them) attempted to hitch a ride with us. Well, Stephanie in particular. As we were getting back in the suburban she began screaming so loud I'm surprised the windows didn't shatter in a five mile radius. She leaped out of the vehicle, jumping and screeching. (note to self: get her a t-shirt that says: I survived the GREAT Cricket Attack of 2010)

After that beautiful picture I was surprised to drive into a rainstorm in Rexburg. Enormous raindrops soaked us as we searched for the right building where a youth dance was taking place. Finally locating it, I signed my beautiful Alli out and off we went.

Genea and Doug were as wonderful to us as always as we took over their living room and some of their bedrooms for the night. The next morning there was a parade just for us! Ok, it was Chubbuck Days. (I know, isn't that a funny name?) The kids went to it and collected a pile of candy tossed from the parade cars, trucks and horses. They came back and the trampoline got a work out again. Then Doug and Lance took the girls (with Landon) up to the hills with their quads. Much fun was had by all.

Then it was back to the trampoline.

We laughed like haven't laughed in ages. The Ericksons are like that. Since I'd never slept on a trampoline before, I decided to give it a shot. Genea, good sport that she is, joined me even though she knew how cold it would get. After everyone went to bed, we lay outside looking up at the star studded sky watching the meteor shower and laughing our butts off. I think we fell asleep in mid-giggle. It's nice to have a friend that you can laugh with until the wee hours of the morning.

On Sunday we got up and put on our church clothes to drive south to Utah. We were going to the house of a former mission president to Brazil who is now serving as a stake patriarch. We needed a patriarch who was fluent in Portuguese to give Sam his patriarchal blessing. It was a very precious experience we had that morning.

Afterward we went to Temple Square to visit and show Sam all the beauty that surrounds the Salt Lake Temple.

We stayed for hours in the hot sun, wandering around the grounds and visiting with Sister Martinez, who was one of the sister missionaries who taught Sam the gospel. It was a wonderful time.

Later we drove to Orem to our good friend's house. Annabella and Paco are wonderful people. We visited and laughed and talked for hours until it was time to go to bed for the evening. Lance and I slept on an airbed, which became a floor-bed in the wee hours of the morning, dropping us way down. Sleep was fitful.

Thus ends my story for now. To be continued tomorrow...if I can find the time. :)

Monday, August 09, 2010

This is my beautiful fourteen year old daughter. She's about about 800 miles away from me. This is very far. Very far indeed. She's attending EFY, which is Especially for Youth with a great many other kids her age. She called me and then sent me a picture of her dorm room. She said she loves it!

I'm thrilled that she's so happy. Happy is good. Happy is much better than not happy.

I love this child, and will be thrilled to take her in my arms and give her a huge ole hug next Saturday when we pick her up.

In the meantime, I've got three other children and a job to keep me occupied, and occupied in a big way.

I LOVE what I'm doing. Totally love it. I was given high praise from my boss today, which is just a big ole cherry on top of a delicious ice cream sundae--which I'm not eating but you get the picture. What I'm doing is making a difference and helping people. It's fulfilling and exciting and I get paid nicely to do it. What more could I ask for?

Lance and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary on August 1st. Well, it was our anniversary. The celebrating part was earlier in the week when the two younger girls were at camps. We had such a wonderful time. We went to a movie one night and then we took a day and went to Mt. Baker. We made it to the Baker Lake and not the actual mountain but that was fine. It was soooo incredibly beautiful. See? We took a great many pictures, but I'll just post this one. Others are on my FB. Life is good.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Luther Burbank Park

When my handsome man got home from work today, we headed to Mercer Island to have a barbecue at his old childhood stomping ground--Luther Burbank Park. The weather was glorious and we brought our swimsuits, though we didn't end up using them. We had most of the area to ourselves while we ate burgers and corn on the cob and grapes. I had a Gardenburger, which was pretty yummy. Here's Lance getting things going.

Alli really enjoyed her corn!

After a nice meal, we cleaned up and went for a walk. Alli and Ash out on one of the docks.

They dipped their toes...well, Ash did.

Ash and her Daddy

Slides were next!

We had a wonderful FHE together and the girls topped it off by their big brother taking them to see the new Shrek movie. They just came home, all happy and excited about the movie.

And now, it's time for me to close my eyes. I have work in the morning. Yep, me. Life goes on...