"Middle children have remarkable diplomatic skills."

-The Secret Power of Middle Children, by Catherine Salmon

Monday, January 30, 2012

Birthday celebrations continue...

Tracie and I celebrated our birthdays(which are 3 days apart) by going with our hubbies to The Lobster Shop restaurant. Fancy Schmancy. I had cedar plank cooked salmon...it was delish!
...and a little creme brulee for dessert. Yum-O!
****** Also, Judey took Tracie and myself out for a little breakfast at the golf course...oh boy, three words: Fab U Lous!

Gracie Jayne

Some things in life are just meant to bring you joy. Grandbabies are definitely one of those things!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A glance back

Today marks 44 years to the day that I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. January 28, 1968 was a significant day in my life, but I wouldn't realize how significant for years to come. When I was eight years old my mom had only been a convert member for four years. She was an amazing woman, without a great LDS support system. My father was (to put it mildly) an inactive member. So much so, that I didn't even know he was a member of the church until I was an adult. Needless to say, our home wasn't a gospel centered home, and I wasn't quite sure what being baptized really meant. I now marvel at the eight year olds who have been taught gospel principles their entire lives, and are prepared to be baptized. This year we will have two grandchildren baptized. They have each grown up in amazing families who teach and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And for that, I am grateful. I would like Ella and Tyler to know I have a testimony of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for each one of us. I love my Savior. Forty four years is a blink when you look at the whole picture. I have been blessed beyond measure.

Friday, January 27, 2012

One Amazing ARK

My uber talented brother-in-law, Clayton, made this ARK for me. I asked him to build it so Ron and I could put our animals on it that we collect on our travels. The top (the house part) comes off and it's empty inside. I love it! And I love my bro.-in-law for making it for me when his workshop was officially closed. Thanks Clayt!

More Happy Birthday

...It was as if Heavenly Father said "Hey, it's your birthday, here's some gorgeous sunshine." It was the loveliest day. My dear friend, Becki, picked me up and treated me to lunch at Burgerville. I had a cheeseburger and the most devine chocolate cherry shake! She is so much fun to visit with.
Becki is the kind of person who inspires you to be better than you are. I love that girl! Some friends stopped by with fun surprises, and our kids sent me some fun things to open as well. I got texts and calls wishing me happy birthday and I got to go to the dentist...hey, who doesn't consider N2O a happy birthday present??
******** ******** Later, my hubby had fresh flowers delivered to me. He also gave me a beautiful necklace and pair of earrings, which I can't wait to wear someplace fancy, and he cooked a most delicious (and surprising) bacon wrapped filet mignon dinner, cleaned everything up himself, and gave me the Most. Amazing. Footrub. Ever! Yep, it was a great day to turn 52!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dreams really DO come true!

What a wonderfully perfect day this has been so far! It began at 5:00 a.m., with juice and a birthday card, then a bit of a treasure hunt. My hubby is always surprising me with the funnest gifts. Last year I wanted to make a headboard for my bed and I got a beautiful, (huge) piece of plywood. This year I just asked for a foot rub (he gives a killer foot rub!) but he had been busy in his office for more than a week. So if he was practicing giving a foot rub, it wasn't on me! Ok, so back to the treasure hunt...
These were the clues I found in our bedroom, my artroom, the bathroom by the guestroom, in the guestroom, in the linen closet, in Ron's office, in the bathroom across from Ron's office, and our bedroom closet. Which eventually lead me to the toy closet in the bonus room where I found this:
Notice the size in comparison to Ron's drums. It was big and heavy! >WE INTERRUPT THIS POST TO BRING YOU THIS ANNOUNCEMENT: I am a super fan of artist James Christensen. I have been dreaming of one day owning a print of his work called The Ten Lepers.
Back to my post... So finally after years of dreaming... of wishing...of coveting... of searching on EBAY, Craigs list, KSL.com... my wish was fulfilled!!! I finally got the print of my heart's desire! . . . .
.. . I absolutely L.O.V.E. my husband. He makes me laugh every day! This is the best birthday EVER!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

OK, I cry 'UNCLE'!

I'll be the first to admit that I have mocked many Washingtonians (is that a word?) for being such scaredy cats of a little snow. Calling snow-days at the schools when there is barely a skiff of snow on the ground and it's melted before first recess. I lived most of my youth in Utah, and we walked to school in 3 ft. drifts...uphill...both ways...barefoot! Ok, maybe not barefoot. But it snowed a lot when I was a kid, and we just carried on. This week I showed you the pictures of our beautiful culdesac covered in a fresh blanket of newly fallen snow, so pretty...see the happy pine tree in the upper middle?
HA! Well the wicked step-sister of mother nature has reared her ugly head, and she is called ICE! See how sad that same pine tree is now?
Most of the trees in our neighborhood have suffered damage. The yellow circles indicate breakage, and the red arrows indicate the broken limbs. The green color indicates the only trees on our street which didn't sustain any damage, because their gardener chopped the heck out of them last fall. Hmmm...maybe THAT's the ancient Chinese secret!
Our sad tree in front has broken off onto the street and onto the second terrace of the yard. Our power went out for a little while during the night, but our house stayed pretty warm. Ooh I hear the garbage truck coming, I want to watch him do the 'Ice Capades' down our street!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Love Snow Days


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's a puzzle

I love doing puzzles. I get a little obsessed when I get started on one, however. It's just like reading a good book, I don't want to stop until it is finished. * On a strange side note, say the word puzzle several times and it really starts to sound weird. See?? You tried it didn't you?

Snow day!

It doesn't take much to call a snow day here in the Pacific Northwest. But this is an honest-to-goodness-real-snow day! Ron's office even called a snow day. Usually we have "fake snow". Which is snow that falls and melts faster than you can say "snow flake". But not this time!
Ron and I even went out and played in it and made snow angels.
My snow angel...
....Rons snow angel

Monday, January 16, 2012

Let there be light!

Yay! We finally changed the light fixture in the bonus room. Although it's not the most flattering of lighting, at least we can now see up there! A big ol' thank you to my man for installing that little bugger. Mister, you are magnificent!
HANDSOME HUBBY INSTALLING NEW LIGHT FIXTURE. When he rolls up his shirt sleeves...exposing his forearms...Mmm Mmm Mmm! I love that look on him!

Grandbaby # 15 is here!

Emmet William Bang came into this world yesterday morning. We are so happy to have you here little one!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


This is what we woke up to this morning. The culdesac from our bedroom window. Just glad it wasn't snowing last night when we drove home from the Temple...'cause people up here get a little cray-zee when it snows!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I swiped this from my step-daughter's blog. Thanks Erin! I love it and I think you might also if you are a fan of Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson or Alex Boye. Enjoy!

More of God's artwork

This was the view out my bedroom window last night. It was taken with my cheapy phone camera so this picture doesn't do it justice, but the Puget Sound was fuchsia and the clouds were a bright pink. It was beautiful! Unfortunately, there is a glare from my bedroom light....but it was quite a sight!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Comfort and Joy

I was sitting in sacrament mtng. on Christmas morning, seated next to me was one of my darling little primary girls with her family. As I listened to my stepson Christopher sing his solo, a wave of emotion took me over for a moment. The combination of missing my children, juxtaposed with the joy of being in that moment, and hearing Christopher's beautiful voice, brought uncontrollable tears. Then that sweet little 8 year old sitting next to me, put her arm through mine and handed me this picture.
What a sweet little blessing.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Let them eat cake!

This is our wedding cake that my very sweet and talented niece made for our wedding.(A big belated THANK YOU, Heather!) It was just what I asked for, simple and pretty, about seven or eight layers high and it was so delicious! Coconut cream filling. Two words: DEEE VINE! To the right she had also made these incredibly scrumpcious cupcakes, which were a huge hit!
This is what a portion of the top looks like a year later! Ha! After being smushed in our freezer with chicken breasts, tri-tip roasts, Rhodes frozen rolls, and FatBoys! ...But it was still tasty!

Give a little, gain so much more in return

You know when you do something for someone else and you end up getting more in return? This past weekend was like that. It was Helen and Cecil Talbot's 60th wedding anniversary. The Talbot's are Ron's first wife's parents. Ron was concerned that with first Kathy gone, her brothers wouldn't be planning anything in the way of a celebration, so he started planning and asked if I'd mind helping. Mind? I love this kind of event, and I have come to know and love Helen and Cecil. They have been very kind and loving to me. Of course I wouldn't mind! Decorating I know. Food for large groups I'm not as comfortable with. And not knowing exactly the number of people who would show didn't make it any easier. So I took it to the Lord. Now I know that Heavenly Father doesn't really care if I'm serving meatballs in gravy, or meatballs in barbeque sauce. But I do know that Heavenly Father loves his children, expecially chosen ones who have valiantly served Him, and have been married for 60 years. I prayed that there would be a good turn out of friends, that there would be enough food and that the Talbots would know how much they are loved. Prayers are answered. Coincidentally, yesterday was Ron and my first anniversary. To be able to do the celebration for the Talbots, and see how happy they were, was the best gift Ron and I could have given ourselves. Heavenly Father never ceases to amaze!
The happy couple, Cecil and Helen Talbot.
The night before, us girls hosted a "bridal shower" for grandma!
And the guys had a "bachelor party" for grandpa!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wow, what a year!

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life! Has it really been a year? It has been the most amazing year, indeed, and more adventures to come!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New year, new diet, or "why can't they have M&M's at the drypack cannery?"

We are off and running with the new year! Yesterday Ron and I started our "be healthy, stay healthy" regimen. The program I started in October that took me through the holidays was much easier than I had expected! Although I didn't start with the specific intention of losing weight, (I have a migraine situation I'm trying anything in order to tackle it). Weight loss would be a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious by-product I could live with! I thought I would be hungry and wanting to eat all the great food that goes with the holidays...and by holidays, I mean Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Yom Kippur, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, the end of Daylight Savings Time, Hanukkah...anyway, I still eat pretty much anything I want, but with more control. Instead of eating an entire bag of dark chocolate covered pretzels, I can eat one or two (or none) and call it good. For me that's a big deal. (see my 31 Day Challenge post) Food is part of my happy existence...don't judge. But I am eating "cleaner" and incorporating fresher, natural foods into my diet. I even found myself craving broccoli the other day! I KNOW, huh!?! Yesterday we started something that I have been avoiding. But now that Ron is on the train to good healthsville < C'mon, that was funny!> I am now drinking my Ionix Supreme first thing in the morning. Yesterday was tough.

Today was a little easier. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Happy New Year...and CHEERS!