Monday, June 22, 2009

Your homework for Utah trip, part 3

This is where you will be one week from today.

What is the name of this temple?

What special feature does the decorative water fountain have?

Which temple is the smallest? This one, the Mesa Temple, or the Twin Falls temple.

What is unique about the baptistry?

What unusual thing happened to the Angel Moroni atop the temple on June 13th?

Answers: Here and Here

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I left my heart in San Francisco

Gary holding 3 month old Laurel at the Nyborg Home in Ashton

Today as I climbed into a pre-cooled car (thanks Glen) to come home from church, the radio played "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" sung by Tony Bennett. Suddenly the memories flowed. I certainly love and honor my father, but I've often felt cheated that I never had the opportunity to know him adult to adult. Our normal father/daughter relationship ended before my second Daddy/Daughter Date when Grandpa George had to fill in for his ailing son. As his health declined, roles changed and soon his family, especially my mother, became his caretakers and protectors. He lived until I was married (a wedding he could no longer attend) and had two little boys. He died days after Ryan was born. Eighteen month old Eric, who was being cared for my mother and sisters, was perhaps the last person to see him alive.

My siblings, however, may envy the memories that I do have as eldest child. I'm almost certain that none of them even had a Daddy/Daughter Date or Father/Son Outing. I hope that I am wrong. The song by Tony Bennett brought back one of my most vivid memories. It is a cold December day with snowflakes flying and I am sitting in the back seat of the car, just me and my dad taking care of errands. Tony is singing this beautiful song and I am so happy to be with my dad on this crisp,cold day getting ready for Christmas. I feel so full of love and happiness. Somehow, this seemed like a tender mercy today as I left the church, where fathers had been praised, to have this special reminder of a day with mine.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

This year's trauma and drama

Remember last year's trauma and drama. This year it only got worse AND occurred after hours of cleaning and trimming and getting everything ship shape this morning. Oh, it was worse, much worse. There was even yelling and screaming and eventually some apologies and cleanup. There was even talk of taking those palms down altogether. You should see all the flustered birds looking for their homes.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Eric's First Birthday Card

Upon Eric's birth, this was the first card which he received. It was a card created by his newly made Ostler aunts and uncle. I think they thought they were pretty funny and I must admit that it has its own charm. I've been sorting through stuff all week and came across this over 30 year old masterpiece (I won't reveal his real age but the card includes a clue :) and since the tape holding together its accordion shaped self had disintegrated over time, it was easy to scan. I thought it was perfect to share on his birthday!

I also came across some pictures returned to us from Glen's mother's photo albums. They are very faded, but I wanted to share.

Our own "American Gothic" on Eric's blessing day, July 4th.

Eric was fortunate enough to have five generations attend his blessing in the Provo. Glen shares his first born son with Eric's great, great grandma Smith.

Shortly after birth, he attended his first Jensen family reunion at Murray Park. So cute!

This is my favorite picture of Eric during his first week of life and one that his father shot on an outing to Cascade Springs. Since I was a first time mom, I took pride in the fact that I was bouncing back fast and maybe I was. I also remember attending church a week after his birth.

There is nothing quite like having your first baby. New babies help one define what is really important in life. My mother used to tell me she was sorry that I had to be the one who was her first child as she parented through so many experiences for the first time. Thank you for letting us practice on you Eric. Your father and mother love you very much and wish you all the best on your special day!

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Red hot chili peppers

This year the Anaheim chili peppers that I planted last September have been very happy. Last season they were full of bugs which I think tagged along from the nursery and ended up in the trash. This season, once they got more Spring sunshine, they have exploded. I decided to let a bunch turn red on the vine so that I could make a chili ristra. A month or so ago, I roasted a cookie sheet full of green ones which were very yummy. Those six plants really have been prolific.

I didn't sew mine together. I used red crochet thread to kind of slip knot and tie them together with a slip knotted loop at the top for hanging.

Because I love all things RED, I am very happy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Your homework for Utah trip, part 2

Who will get up early to watch the inflation of the hot air balloons at the Balloon Festival in Provo? Who will be the sleepy heads who just wait for them to float by the windows at the condo? Which ever camp you may fall into - lets see how well you know your hot air balloon trivia?

Quiz, Part I:
How many years have they been inflating balloons at the Freedom Festival?

What do they call the special game which balloon operators participate in?

How many mornings do you have a chance of waking up early enough to go see them inflate?


Quiz, Part II:
What year was the first hot air balloon flight in the United States of America?

Where was the first hot air balloon flight in the United States of America ? (Nate and Nichelle should get this one right:)

What was the nationality of the first hot air balloon operator in the United States of America?

Who was the unexpected passenger in the basket of his balloon?

Why would so few buy tickets to see this unusual feat?


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Young and Smart Characters

TJ, my oldest grandchild, is still young and is definitely smart. He also provides good company. Both Grandpa and I enjoyed his company this weekend. He is holding copies of my two latest reads, both delightful because the main characters are young, a bit quirky, and very smart.

THE SELECTED WORKS OF T. S. SPIVET by Reif Larsen is the tale of a 12-year old boy living on a ranch in Montana. The ranch life is not his true passion, cartography and scientific observation are. His illustrative skills are outstanding and his work soon earns him the Beard Award at the Smithsonian. This is the tale of his journey east to accept the award without telling his family. The Smithsonian is unaware of his true age. It is also the story of an extended scientific family. This is a book to be savored. It is a bit oversized at 8 x 9 1/2 inches. This allows for wide margins which are full of T. S.'s maps, drawings, diagrams, and notes. One can't help but learn new things. I will never forget Tecumsah Sparrow Spivet. Surely there is a sequel already in progress.
(Thank you to Eric's family. This is how I spent my Mother's Day Border's gift card:)

by Alan Bradley is a winner of the Crime Writers' Association Debut Daggar Award. I do not regularly read mysteries, but the title and a great review of this book piqued my interest. Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce lives in England on a country estate called Buckshaw which has been in her family for generations. She is an aspiring chemist with her own on-site laboratory (created for a promising chemist in the family during the time of Queen Victoria who was sent home from Oxford after a mental breakdown) and her speciality is creating poisons. She is also at constant war with her two older sisters. Her mother died in a mountaineering accident and her father hides away in his study with his stamp collection. A dead bird with a penny stamp impaled on the beak left on the doorstep followed by the discovery of a dieing man in the cucumber patch sets the stage for Flavia to use all of her smarts and skills in solving the mystery. Flavia is a most engaging heroine. I see sequels in her future as well.

I found it interesting that I picked two books to read in a row which were based on such young, imaginative characters. Two weeks prior, I picked three books all set in the early 1900's with political overtones with regards to immigration and anarchy. They would not provide the basis for such an engaging post, eh?

This morning I turned on the BYU channel as I was getting ready for church. A former talk of Elder Richard G. Scott was playing. He was basing his address on:
  1. 23 And now I would that ye should be ahumble, and be bsubmissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.
Elder Scott stressed that his trying to be "easy to be entreated" had made a huge difference in his life as regard to his personal relationships and the pattern of his life. I ran to a dictionary to look at the meaning of "entreated."

entreat - bid: ask for or request earnestly

So, I assumed that "easy to be entreated" would mean that as one would ask for or request earnestly of another that if they were easy to be entreated, they would respond positively and with love and kindness.

So are we "easy to be entreated" when our visiting teacher calls to make an appointment, we are asked to substitute in the nursery, or when a friend or family member asks for our help and support? That has been my Sunday Musing today.

I can say that my sweet TJ, at the tender age of 10 1/2, exemplifies the scripture above. Those are his very qualities and I love him so much. He was easy to be entreated when I asked him if he would like to help me clean out the game closet.

He and grandpa filled the back of the Tahoe with games and puzzles which they delivered to DI. We kept the special ones. (I hope this includes any of your sentimental favorites. Simpsons' Trivia, Nathan?) TJ gladly returned home with a rock collection, fossils, and a compass plus other odds and ends. We managed to free up a shelf for "grandpa collections" and you all know what that means!

Thank you TJ for helping to move it all out including vacuuming the dust and debris.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Your homework for Utah trip, part 1

While in Utah, I would like to visit the Museum of Art on the BYU campus. I think the children will enjoy the Walter Wick Exhibit currently on display. I discovered some places to visit online before we make our visit. This 10 page educational packet can be viewed online.

To learn more about Walter Wick and his photography techniques, visit here.

For games and more, visit this Scholastic web site.

Can't wait to spend a "day and/or night at the museum!"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Grandgirls' Spa

The grandgirls' parents left for rejuvenation outings this weekend so they came to our house for their own R & R.

They visited the breakfast bar on the patio for cinnamon dusted waffles and apple wedges.

They joined the owner for a mid-day swim and relaxation. They practiced their cannonballs, timbeeeeerrrr falls, belly flops, and monkey walks. They engaged in some friendly competition.

On your mark, get set, GO!

Ruby enjoys a slight head start.

They're off!

Ruby ditches her kick board as Heather surges ahead.

And it's a tie!

Sadie warms up poolside in grandma provided towels. This was followed by a moisturizing massage.

Back inside, they recreate the old west and divy up the horses.

It's a perfect way to spend an Arizona day in creative playtime.

They will soon return to back bedroom where they provided R & R for the American Girl dolls .

Then they practiced their tickling skills on the master teacher.

They soon bring to life the sleeping giant who loves them so.

On cleaning the premises after a busy weekend, the owner found the following debris. Please advise as to rightful owners.

Note: Spa owners recovery was enhanced by long Sunday afternoon naps. The many hugs and "I love yous" (especially when given during the Primary lesson for which grandma was substituting) was pay enough!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Destination - Thanksgiving Point

Are you aware that this place exists just off the freeway between Provo and SLC just south of Point of the Mountain? You may notice a water tower, shops, a movie theatre, museums, and restaurants as you drive by on the west side of the freeway. Those are fun, but this beautiful garden in a depression further west is inspiring! We made it part of our Memorial Day this year and vowed to bring everyone when we return for the 4th of July. We quickly did the math and bought a grandparent season pass. Get your walking shoes and a hat packed! Grandpa is considering renting one of their golf carts to travel the many pathways. I think we should go with a Segway and take turns being futuristic.

The hill holding these Grecian pillars is the highpoint of the garden and our vantage point when I took the previous picture.

We had fun exploring the parts we missed during our Tulip Festival visit last year.

In a month, surely the roses will be in bloom.

Grandpa can buy you food to feed the fish instead of for these anonymous little boys.

You will love Monet's Garden with its ponds, water lilies, and bright colors.

I spy a frog, do you?

Now I don't!

Perhaps you can create a picture, inspired as was Monet.

Heather and Ruby, Grandpa is relaxing in the Secret Garden.

This is a picture of the entrance from inside the garden. I'm keeping it a secret as to how you find the outside.

Hopefully, there will be beautiful blue skies and puffy clouds on our next visit.

You will probably also enjoy this stair step fountain. If you look closely, you might find the lovely lady at the top.

We finished our morning with lunch at the Trellis Cafe overlooking the garden. It was sooo good. Grandpa ordered tomato basil soup. When we got home there were so many ripe tomatoes and a bunch of basil in the garden so I made soup, too.

We didn't go to the Children's Discovery Garden, but we will when we have all of you to "discover" it with us. Can't wait!