Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Touching Hinckley Tribute

What with our following of presidential politics, Glen and I have been watching Glenn Beck on occasion. This was forwarded to me by e-mail, but I thought you might be touched by it, too.

Glenn Beck is a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Saints.

Reflections on Christ

I wanted to share this site with everyone. Mark Mabry has been acquainted with the family since Glen coached him in Little League. He and Ryan are the same age. He has been my favorite photographer for your engagement and wedding shoots when available. For the last few months, he has been working on an amazing photography project to be displayed in the Visitor's Center at the temple in conjunction with the Easter Pageant. They recreated scenes from the Savior's life using locations throughout Arizona and costuming and actors from the pageant. I've been following his blog during the process. It is currently up and will be so until June 2008. I know that it has touched Mark's life. I think it will touch yours as well.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Friday with Sadie

Sadie came to stay with Grandma while sister and Mommy went to Disney on Ice, Princess edition with cousin Kate and aunt Amy. We had a very good time. I always feel bad that I have had less time with Sadie than some of the other grandkids. She has never lived with me or even stayed with me for an extended period of time.
Grandpa got a set of Magnetos from Santa, just perfect for Sadie and I to explore. As you can see, I was pushing color identification. Sadie was more interested in rolling balls under the sofa and then retrieving them with the magnetic rods. I call that some pretty good problem solving.
Just look at that face, so inquisitive and alive. I love her eyebrows, long eyelashes and dark hair.
After a little tumble, we went for an exploratory walk outside to get her mind of her hurts. Sadie's favorite thing was watching the honeybees on the Icelandic poppies. This picture does not do justice to the fervency of the bees. They were awash in pollen and so unaware of us even being in their neighborhood. Sadie just watched and watched.

The best part of her time at grandma's house was her unrestrained, excited response to seeing her daddy coming up the front walk. She could not contain her glee. (Not that she was unhappy while with me.) I asked Dave if she always reacts like that. Indeed, says he, that's why he likes to go home!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Calling all Jane Austen fans

PBS has a new Masterpiece Theater presentation "The Complete Jane Austen" which began two Sundays ago. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves Jane Austen, or maybe just enjoys women characters who are smart and a good story which ends well. Here in Arizona it airs at 9 pm on Sunday night. Check your local listings. I have the first two on my DVR list.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Velvet Mitt

I couldn't resist adding this picture from Tara's (on the right) blog. Her friend on the left received this velvet painting of Mitt from her husband for Christmas. Check out her web site at:

There has been a bit of a buzz at our house since Mitt announced his run for the presidency. My husband was quick to send money, bumper stickers came in the mail, picture postcards and Christmas cards followed, and we've been following a presidential campaign more closely than ever before. I've been sporting a Mitt Romney bumper sticker dead center on the back of my bright red car since my husband placed it there months ago. He's even started to donate money in my name. So we were pretty pleased with the MSNBC debate last night. We thought that he presented himself well and we were pleased that the Republicans were nice to one another unlike the Democrat debacle earlier in the week.

My mom was equally excited about presidential politics in the 60's when Mitt's father, George Romney ran. I remember well her disappointment when he dropped out of the race after the New Hamshire Primary and the entrance of Nelson Rockefeller into the race.

BUT the best reason to vote for Mitt Romney . . . . . he and Janae share the same birthday!

An amazing Caldecott

I just finished "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Sleznick, winner of the 2008 Caldecott award. Very interesting story with amazing art work to carry the story forward. The former librarian in me knows that this book must be flying off the shelves. Don't let the thickness of the book frighten you. It's a short read, but a long 'look.'

For fun follow up information on automaton go here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Three "G's" - Grandkids, Greenhouse & Garden

On three day weekends, we sometimes sponsor a "Grandkids Sleepover." TJ, Heather, and Toby joined us last night. Ruby had her other cousin in town to play with, so didn't make it this time. We visited the garden, explored the green house, planted some peas in a pot (each child has their own pot), sang around the fire in the outside fireplace, popped some corn in my Cuisinart popper with the see through top (Toby was amazed to see the process, something not visible in a bag in the microwave), and watched "Veggietales" until we were sleepy. All in all, a very fun evening. They were great kids and made it fun for us.
This is the greenhouse Glen surprised me with for Christmas. Sweet Andrew and the missionaries worked on it mornings (Andrew most the day) for three days before and after Christmas Day. It's eight and a half by eight and a half feet and as you can see, Glen has added water and electricity to the corner. He has also put pipes in from which we can hang things and shelving with a grow light so we can try starting our own seedlings. We moved in the tomatoes, peppers, and basil plus a few ornamentals which don't like the cold. Yes, fresh home-grown veggies in January is a marvelous thing. With a small swamp cooler and shade cloth, we are also hoping to extend our Spring garden when the heat starts up. Arizona is great for two growing seasons, but both are on the short side.
This is the old pool fence transformed into a growing platform for my container gardening. These are my cool weather veggies. They include lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, sugar snap peas, parsley and cilantro, spinach, and cabbage. They thrive during our Arizona winter. When I retired from teaching I pictured myself reading and quilting. It has turned into more gardening and reading. I love being outside with the birds and my plants.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ryan's birthday surprise

My 2nd son Ryan celebrated his way into a new decade yesterday on his birthday. His lovely wife, Emilia, planned a surprise party for him at our home. We hope that we surprised him just a little. At his birth, his father was the most active labor and delivery coach ever. His motivation - he did not want Ryan to be born on a "Friday the 13th!" Due to his diligence in cheering me on to push, Ryan made his arrival at 11:55 PM on January 12th. Thus, we celebrated with him yesterday and not today. I want him to know that many good and wonderful things come your way after "30" and that he will enjoy his next 30 years just as much.

Emilia baked and decorated an amazing and delicious cake.
Many friends and family came to surprise Ryan on his birthday.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Henry's big day

Henry Glen was blessed and named on December 30, 2007 while visiting the Mesa 76th Ward. It seemed easiest to bless him where more family could attend, plus Mesa 76th Warders love his mother, Janae. This is a quick picture of the family before leaving for church. Raymond was pretty proud of his new church clothes. He thought that he was "gorgeous."
Henry is wearing a new outfit hand smocked and sewn by me, his Grandma Laurel. It was a pleasure to create this for him. I crochet each new grandchild a baby afghan, usually while traveling in the car between Mesa and Provo.
Grandpa Glen loves this new little namesake. We miss Henry Glen and his big brother, Raymond. They kept our house busy and fun. We look forward to visiting them later this year. We are glad that we were able to share in his special blessing day. Many great uncles, uncles, cousins, and two grandpas were able to assist his father, Andrew, in blessing and naming this special new baby boy.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hedgehogs on New Year's Day

Ryan enjoyed hedgehogs for New Year's Day once again as Lynette and her family were in town. Lynette chose my kitchen to create in which is very lucky for me because of bowls and spoons to lick (and she left the extra supplies.) Hedgehogs have always been one of Ryan's favorites (Lynette even fixed them for his high school graduation celebration) so he showed up on New Year's Day wearing his new hat and bringing his lovely wife to help out. They shaped the bodies and put in the almond spines, watched the chocolate coating part and then smuggled a couple of extra ones out the door when they went home. The whole extended family shared in this treat later at Janis'. Thanks to Lynette, Brittany, Lisa, Ryan, and Emilia for getting down and dirty and putting these together for all of us (It was a two afternoon process.) Yummy! I guess we could ask Lynette for the recipe and make these once a year ourselves, but this is a pretty big project. Glen piped in that he had seen some in a catalog but they were $2 a piece. Lynette told him she thought that was a bargain!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I've shared his birthday for 33 years

We took this picture to show our autumn in January. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day, so colors seem duller than in real life. Glen is standing in front of our new tree, a flowering pear, which is known for colorful leaves when the cold comes and white flowers which bloom first in the Spring. Glen's 57th birthday is tomorrow. I have celebrated the last 33 birthdays with him. We are sure that he will not be adding any height soon, so this shot can be a comparison from year to year as to the growth of the tree. Tomorrow will be a quiet day, but Sunday will find he and his grandchildren raking up and then playing with the leaves in the front yard just like last year. It is a part of his birthday celebration now, birthdays made more fun with the enthusiasm shown by his grandchildren. Happy Birthday Glen! Isn't is great to have little ones around who are not tired of parties and celebrations by January 3rd?
Glen and Henry Glen take a final snooze together on New Year's morning before the Ranes family began their journey back to Provo. Check out those matching chins.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A New Year's Baby

I used to fantasize about having a New Year's baby. Back in smaller town days, the first baby born on January 1st received a bounty of gifts, like diaper service for a year and a large gift certificate at the children's clothing store. While living in Bountiful, Utah I had two chances for possible grand prize fame. David was due the first part of January, but arrived two weeks early on Dec. 20th. Ryan was due on January 18th and did arrive early on Jan. 12th, but not the required 18 days early - so, I never had a New Year's baby.

Then Sally entered our lives when she met and married Dave. We now can celebrate a birthday on New Year's Day because Sally was indeed born on Jan. 1st. I don't know if her mother won any contest, but she most certainly got a prize. She had a beautiful baby girl who grew into a beautiful young woman who blesses all our lives with her thoughtful ways and giving spirit.

Happy Birthday Sally! I hope that you are enjoying a great day with your family and I will be forever grateful that you became a part of mine.