Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Arizona monsoon sky

During July and August, thunderstorms blow into the valley from the mountains usually in the late afternoon and evening. Tonight, there was a special quality to the light which drew me outside.

The above pictures are of the north and west sky.

These two were taken during the same time period looking south. Last evening we got over a half inch of rain. Tonight we appear to be on the northern edge of the storm with no rain. Nate and Nichelle just came to pick up Oscar. They said it had been pouring at the office building just one mile southeast.

I love our summer monsoon storms!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Never wear your swimsuit in public

At what point did I decide that I could no longer wear a swimsuit in public? I can't even remember for certain, but I do know that now I hide behind the grandchildren fully dressed when at the public pool. Before she left, Janae took this picture of my favorite little people in all their cuteness. The only ones missing from this picture are the two new babies. Janae had them line up by age. Not quite stair steps, but they are definitely water lovers!

Grandma's pool doesn't quite cut it anymore. No high dives, spiraling slides, or splashy water park equipment to hold their interest. The moms like the public pool because there are life guards to help watch the little water nymphs. Janae thought it was time I tagged along to see the great skills they had honed over a summer of water play and I was impressed. Six year old Ruby learned that sometimes height is everything as four year old Raymond jumped off the high dive and she was turned away. I was still impressed with her head first dives and somersaults into the water from the low dive. They have all found their gills and they cavort under the water!

Sometimes a Konfidence Jacket helps out a bit. I think that the grownups enjoyed the variety as well.

Janae was right in line for her turn.

Emilia also joined us for an afternoon of wetness and cute kids.

Sometimes you just need a snack and a good friend.

I would have been a lot more comfortable in a swimsuit. Thank goodness I have my own private pool in the backyard. I seriously don't know how people survive a hot Arizona summer without pool time!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pioneer Day

I can honor several pioneer ancestors on this Pioneer Day. Warren Foote is probably the most famous. He served as a Captain of 100 of a pioneer wagon train which made its way to what is now Utah in 1850. He was also a meticulous record keeper and journal writer. When we visited the museum at Winter Quarters in Nebraska, it was his record of the Warren Foote Company which was on display. I imagine that he might have been a great blogger if born in a different time. To find out more about his adventures, read his journal. To find out more about his company go here.

Next time you are traveling on Highway 89 in southern Utah, you will notice something new in Glendale. This little rest stop area is on the west side of the highway. Warren Foote finally settled here after stops in Utah and then the Muddy Mission (now under Lake Mead) in Nevada.

The rest stop sits approximately where his property was in Glendale. His house burned down in the early 1900's but he was known for his apple orchards and there are still apple trees growing on this land.

He was also a miller. He worked in a mill in Iowa across the Missouri River from Winter Quarters. He was able to earn the money necessary for an outfit to cross the plains by milling grain for those heading to California during the Gold Rush. Once in the Salt Lake Valley, he worked in a mill at Fort Union. He also helped with the mill in Glendale. Those are old millstones displayed at the new rest stop.

Warren and Artemisia Sydney Foote are buried in this cemetery. Their grave stones have special inscriptions added at the 150th anniversary of July 24, 1847 identifying them as some of the original pioneers.

The Nyborg cousins and Ryan visited the grave sites in July 2003 during a family reunion at Clear Creek Ranch.

We also traveled to the top of Lydia's Canyon just north of Glendale to see the remains of a cabin built by Warren and his sons during the 2003 reunion. This location served as their summer home. There is a spring located near the cabin where they kept the cheese they made cool until it was delivered to Panguitch to be sold or traded. Notice the rock display which looks like Bryce Canyon at the top of Lydia's Canyon. It was especially memorable to see and touch this hand hewn cabin.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Deja Vu

It was just two semesters ago that we were helping transport these same duffel bags (now restocked for two more semesters) to the check in at Sky Harbor Airport. In December, we accompanied the Ranes family early in the morning. Once again tonight we loaded up both cars for an airport run.

This time brave Janae was traveling with her boys solo. Henry fell asleep in the car before we hit McKellips. They land tomorrow morning in Atlanta, then catch Delta's once weekly flight to St. Kitts where Andrew is anxiously awaiting their arrival tomorrow afternoon.

Andrew hasn't been with them since June 5th. However, he has been pulling "A's" in their absence and has also moved them to another room at their residence hotel. This one has a generator for when the power goes out. The storm that is now approaching the Gulf hit St. Kitts earlier this week leaving them powerless for almost 24 hours. A generator sounded like a good idea heading into hurricane season.

We have enjoyed their visit - now back to empty nesting!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

# 10

Little Mabel Ann arrived while we were in Utah. Today after church, we hustled over to meet her in person for the first time. She is wonderful and so tiny (unlike #9, Oscar, who is wonderful just not tiny:)

She was 6 lbs. 14 oz. and has evened things out. We are now the proud grandparents of 5 boys and 5 girls. Life does not get any better than this!

Congratulations Sally and Dave!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

My mom would have celebrated her 86th birthday today if she were still with us. Here she is blowing out her candles on her 54th birthday. It's pretty appropriate that the newspaper is open under the cake pan. She was always reading something and there were enough books in her personal library to pass on a substantial library to each of her six children. That was one of her gifts to me, an example of a great reader.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Faith, Family, Freedom

Nathan and Nichelle gave their first-born son a name and a blessing during sacrament meeting at the Kleinman Park Ward yesterday afternoon. Oscar's father, grandfather, uncles, great uncle, and a cousin circled around him as his father used his priesthood authority to name him and then gave him a blessing for his earthly life. It was a special occasion and one filled with memories.

34 years earlier, Glen and I also blessed and named our first born son on July 4th. The year was 1976, our great nation's bicentennial birthday. It was a very special day as have been all the baby blessings in our family. When Nathan was a new missionary in Brazil, his brother David was to bless his 2nd daughter, Sadie. We were missing having Elder Jensen with us, but in his next e-mail home he shared with us a tender mercy. He had been asked to bless a little girl in Brazil on the same Sunday, thus sharing this special experience with his brother.

Oscar looked so sweet in his new outfit. His grandpa told me that not only did he not cry during his blessing but that he smiled three times!

Elma June Baker Jensen, Glen Jay Jensen, June Smith Baker
and Melissa Fitzgerald Smith holding Eric Jordan Jensen
July 4, 1976

As we shared a meal together later at Nate and Nichelle's new home, Glen shared with everyone the special privilege of having five generations present for Eric's blessing. We were not so fortunate yesterday, but as Nathan blessed Oscar telling him that angels would watch over him, I knew that some of those angels would be his great grandparents and that they were aware of us meeting together in that chapel.

Later in the evening most of the family met back at our home for "Grandpa's Amazing Light Show" and Nate's not so legal fireworks plus some delicious homemade vanilla ice cream with brownies and toppings. It was grand kid nirvana!

Eric's Photo of Toby

This morning, Glen, Raymond, and Henry decided to set some balloons free in honor of the many freedoms that we enjoy.

As they let them go,

Grandpa told the boys that they were going all the way to the moon!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Henry wishes you a wonderful 4th of July. . .

He's napping now so that he can stay up for the fireworks and homemade ice cream!

Friday, July 2, 2010

July is HOTTER than a firecracker!

Both July days so far have been scorchers! The way you can tell that it has gotten really hot in Arizona is that suddenly car batteries begin to fail and grandchildren and their mother become stranded at swimming lessons. After being rescued by Uncle Eric, the car must be taken in the next morning for a new battery. This means that I miss out on my morning swim. I wait for the afternoon shade to hit before my lap swim. Afternoon swimming is much different than morning swimming because:

- I burn my feet walking across the "cool deck"

- I burn my hand on the pool stair rail

- I feel confused as I enter the very warm water floating on top of the cool water

- After I act as the pool water mix master, the water temperature is 8 degrees warmer than morning pool water

- As I swim, I watch the birds lining up to sit in the bubbling bird bath as they are terrorized by dive bombing humming birds

- I stay in an extra 15 minutes just floating and enjoying the "hot tub"

You will also know that we have reached a new level of "hot" because the sweet potato vines are growing several inches a day. They love the heat. No need to replant these vines. Just cut them back when they become sickly from the cold. Months later when it hits 100 degrees, out they come again in an effort to cover the world!

The plumbago bush also loves the heat. That is why it is covered with beautiful blue blooms in July. When it is too hot to be outside, I stay inside and sew. We will celebrate the Fourth of July by attending Oscar's blessing and naming on Sunday. This is the romper that I made for him to wear.

The smocking on the front is a bit different than any I have done before. The stitching in the middle is composed of Van Dyke and honeycomb stitches. It makes the smocking very stretchy.

I found the pattern in issue number 88 of Australian Smocking and Embroidery.

It is made from lightweight cotton Swiss pique and is trimmed with blue and white striped piping. It is a perfect summer blessing romper.