Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Carynn tells me that "Relax" is one of Ty's new favorite words. He uses it when he's trying to get his mom or someone else to stop what they're doing and do something with him.

I had found this little wooden sign that said "Relax" (78 cents)at Michael's craft store in their clearance aisle. I love to go cruising for treasure at Michael's clearance aisle. I had put the little sign away with my potential gifts in the sewing room. Of course after what Carynn told me I had to get it and give it to Ty, which I did last week. He likes it. Last Saturday he was carrying it around at his house.

So follow Ty's advice this busy time of year and RELAX!


Tunnels and Tents

Last week Michael and I stopped off at Carynn and Jamie's for a quick visit as we were out and about in the valley. We invited ourselves to lunch enjoying some delicious left over stew (Thank you Carynn!).

After lunch we all decided to take naps, pretend naps. Michael was already laying on the floor (He wasn't feel too perky-all those medical issues that we're addressing right now.), Carynn was sitting in their overstuffed chair and I was on the couch. Ty decided he'd take his pretend nap with Papa. He shared his stuffed bear (not Elmo, but another one) for Papa's pillow. Carynn threw the throw over them and we (and Ty) made our pretend sleep noises. Picture how they do that on cartoons. That was our version. So after pretend naps it was time to play in the tunnel.

I thought we were playing in a tent not a tunnel. Let me explain...Whenever our children would throw a blanket, quilt or sheet over themselves or a table, etc. we always called that a "tent." Well Ty calls it a tunnel and he said that when we pulled the throw over our heads. So he played in the tunnel and I laid in the tunnel. All for about ten seconds.

What fun!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Thanks-Christmas!

It was our turn to have the children celebrate Thanksgiving with us this year as they had celebrated Christmas with us last year. All's fair, etc., etc. So here's how the scheduling went:
Carynn, Jamie and Ty live in town so no problem
Melinda and Landan live in town so no problem
Lynette and boyfriend Sam took off work so no problem
Bret and Laura had Thanksgiving off so no problem

So with so many no problems-how did it all work? Well, becyond the plans made there is the actual reality. So this is how it REALLY worked:
Bret and Laura both had to work on Black Friday so that meant that it wasn't worth it for them to drive 5 hours on Wednesday night (or Thursday morning) to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday and then go back Thursday night so we opted to do Thanksgiving on Saturday instead of Friday.
Lynette and Sam decided that since Bret and Laura weren't coming over until Saturday, that they'd drive over Friday afternoon/evening and therefore spent Thanksgiving itself with friends.
Since we weren't going to do Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving, Melinda and Landan had Thanksgiving dinner with Landan's parents.
Michael and I joined Carynn, Jamie and Ty for an "alternative" Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving. We had cornish game hens, rice pilaf, asparagus with hollandaise sauce and yummy pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.

So Saturday we had our combined Thanks-Christmas. (We'd already decided that we'd do our Christmas gift exchange over Thanksgiving. Here was the schedule:
Friday night: Lynette, Sam and doggies Sammy and Daisey arrive
Early Saturday afternoon: Bret and Laura arrive
3:00 PM All are at our home for family pictures. Photo session wasn't very long as Ty's patience wasn't very long.
4:15 PM Traditional Thanksgiving dinner with everyone helping to either cook, set up, clean up or eat!
5:30 PM Decorating the Christmas tree
6:00 PM Opening Christmas gifts-We started with Ty's gifts as his bedtime is early.
7:00 PM (or son) Time for Ty to go to bed, we finish opening gifts.
Later on-We all enjoyed pumpkin pie or cheesecake, watching movies (UP and Cars), I was the recipient of a pedicure (Bliss!)Bret helped Michael on his computer and in general we were ALL in the same place, at the same time for about 12 plus hours.

It was short, it was sweet, but it was great! (It's also "weird" to be done with Christmas shopping so early. I kind of like it. It totally turns the focus to other things. Perhaps we should do this every year!

Happy Thanks-Christmas to all!


Monday, November 23, 2009

"I'm Running." " I'm Okay."

I may have mentioned in a previous post (can't remember if I did for sure or not and too lazy to look) that when Carynn and Ty accompanied Jamie on a day long business trip they stopped along the way for Ty to stretch his legs. Well, he stretched them all right! They stopped at Lowe's and let him run through the aisles. Since then, Carynn tells me, Ty ALWAYS wants to run; especially when he's in a store. That doesn't always happen, but when it can, he enjoys it tremendously. I saw that the other day when they stopped by to see how Michael was doing (Michael had some outpatient sinus surgery). I met them outside as I was about to get the mail. Carynn called out to Ty-"On your mark, get set, go!" and he started running towards me. He called out as he ran, "Im running!"

When I had the mail safely gathered, Ty was ready to turn around and do the return trip back towards the house. He ran and fell. He didn't "bonk" his head, but landed with his hands out in front of him. His coat broke his fall too. What was cute/funny was that he called out "I'm Okay" immediately when he fell before Carynn and I could even ask him if he was okay. He didn't really cry but was a bit sad and did appreciate kisses on his hands to make the owies all better. Then it was time to go into the house and see how Papa was doing.

I'm okay too!

Love, NS

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Old Friends

I had the opportunity last week for a quick get-a-way. One of my friends, who lives in the Portland-Vancouver area, and I have been trying to have a good visit for nearly a year. That's how long she and her husband have been back from their three year church mission. We had seen each other briefly when I stopped to change planes in Portland, Oregon last winter which was nice, but not nearly long enough.

We used the occasion of their moving into their new (to them) home over the summer and needing some "help" fine tuning before the holidays as our "reason" for my visit. It was so wonderful to spend some time with her and to help her out a bit too. I've known their family for over twenty years and have been her friend for at least twenty years. Don't get me wrong, I did work my buns off (which they needed and still do-but that's another story) but it was so nice to jump right back in to that easy comradeship that we've always had.

I was also able to re-connect with another of my friends. I've known her nearly as long as my aforementioned friend. We stood at the bus stop together with our then kindergarteners. That particular kindergartener is now 25. My friend has had her share of trials and challenges. Her character is "true at all times" and though she does not share my faith, she has a strong sense of faith. This has helped her particularly over the past year with her mother's failing health. We had salsa with chips (always a favorite of mine) and spent a happy evening. She texted me after I got back home to let me know that her mother had finally passed away. I do not mean to be insensitive, but her mother had been in hospice care for eight months. I am sad for my friend, but grateful that her mother has finally completed her earthly test. I would say that my friend has definitely passed the test as well as she has remained a dutiful, caring daughter during this trying time.

I still remember the round we used to sing in Girl Scouts. It went, "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold." I didn't learn the rest of the song until I was older, but I like it just as well. It goes, "A circle is round. It has no end. That's how long I want to be your friend."

Friends are a blessing, and we can be a blessing to our friends.


Chugga Chugga Choo Choo

As I've mentioned in previous posts, Ty remains facinated with planes, trains, automobiles, trucks, heavy equipment and earth movers. We had brought back an an old three piece wooden train set that the previous owners had left at the cabin. Michael sanded it where their dog (I'm assuming it was their dog) had gnawed on it at one time or another. We "debuted" it when Carynn and Ty came over for dinner last week. (Jamie was studying for this HUGE test he's taking next week.)

Immediately upon seeing it Ty dropped down to his knees, called out, "chugga chugga choo choo" and then the word "broken" -since the train doesn't have any couplers (yet) joining the three pieces together. We used two small, but not swallowable (is swallowable a word?)chain links as a stop gap to solve that problem. They were easy for Ty to take on and off, but they'll keep the pieces connected until Michael makes wooden couplers. He had fun guiding the train around the rug in the family room, calling out "chugga chugga choo choo" and taking them apart and putting them back together.

Isn't transportation wonderful?


Puzzle Time

Ty has enjoyed the puzzles that we've had for forever. Okay, not forever, but some of them date back to at least Melinda's tender years. It has been fun for me to observe how his manual dexterity has increased over time. At first, I would need to put the animals or objects into their correct places in the puzzle tray with Ty identifying them. Now the shoe, or the puzzle piece, is on the other foot.

Just yesterday, Ty brought the two wooden tray puzzles that we have into the kitchen and sat down with me. He dumped them both out at the same time and I held the bases while he deftly maneuvered the pieces into place. He would twirl the piece around and then "pop" it where it needed to go and then quickly move on to the next piece. Sometimes he, or I, would make the sounds associated with the puzzle piece whether it was an animal or some other object.

Puzzle time is fun!



Carynn had been working with Ty on acclimating him to his tiger costume for over a month. She had it hanging on the coat rack and would occasionally have him put it on and do a "dry run" for Halloween. Bright girl! :)

So now it is finally time for the big night after the birthday fun. (He really didn't want to stop playing with his toys at all!) Carynn popped him into his darling tiger costume. He looked SO cute. He had worn it for a longer time the night before when their ward from church had a "trunk or treat" in the church parking lot. As he'd been practicing saying "trick or treat" for a while (and also "thank you") the trunk or treat had been a successful adventure.

As we were sitting around waiting for the right time to take Ty around the neighborhood we tried to coax him into leaving his tiger "hood" up. He would have none of that though as he still was playing with his toys. When it became evident that it was nearly time to go, he finally allowed his mom to pull up his hood and then the cute little tiger (with the cute little tail) was ready for doorbell ringing and treat receiving.

Just around this time, unbenownst to anyone, Michael had slipped out the sliding door and had snuck around to the front door. We had all been wondering when the first trick-or-treater would make their appearance, but we were all VERY surprized when Jamie opened the front door and their was Michael on his knees, saying sweetly, "Trick-or-treat!" We all had a hearty laugh at that one. And then it was time for Ty and his entourage to go hit the neighborhood for sweets.

I had volunteered to stay home and handle the trick-or-treaters that came to C. & J.'s, but the others headed out with cameras and coats and the adorable tiger. They weren't gone very long, because Ty is only 2 and he doesn't need a ton of treats. So it was probably less than thirty minutes before they were back and Ty was ringing his own doorbell. He was so cute. After his treat from me he closed the door with him (and everyone else) still on the outside. He also did that for some of the neighbors too after they gave him his treat. He was polite-saying "trick-or-treat" and "thank you," but after the pleasantries were over at each place, he was ready to move on.

His parents didn't allow him very much candy and he went to bed not too long past his normal bedtime. The rest of us enjoyed watching movies downstairs.

Halloween this year was so much fun! It included a "trick" (Michael's antics at their front door) and plenty of "treats" (family fun and candy too)!


Ty's Birthday

Notice that there are two separate postings. One is for Ty's birthday the other for Halloween. I did that because that's how we celebrated it. I was very pleased that Carynn and Jamie decided to commemorate Ty's birthday BEFORE we all got into the Halloween festivities. :)

C. and J. opted to NOT have a birthday party for Ty this year. He had a HUGE 1st birthday party so I was personally glad that they decided that as I don't think a child (any child) needs a huge party every birthday. It was just family this year and though their siblings were invited it ended up just being those of us that lived in town.

We started off with a "Ty friendly dinner"- pizza. That was followed by a birthday cake decorated as a car-including oreos for tires since some of Ty's favorite things have continued to be planes, trains and automobiles.

It was so fun watching Ty "catch of vision" of opening birthday presents. The first one that he opened was a seek-and-find book Michael and I had gotten for him centered around the movie "Cars" which is also one of his current favorites. He was so excited that he started shaking and then he didn't want to give the book up so he could open something else. I think the next thing he opened was a Tonka ambulance, complete with noise, from Auntie Melinda and her new husband, Landan. Talk about an instant favorite! He didn't want to put that one down either, but by this time he "got it" - that the bags and boxes wrapped in bright paper were for HIM. It was fun to watch him and Carynn and Jamie too as he opened his gifts.

He had practiced blowing out candles at our house since I often have scented candles burning, so he had that down pat. We all enjoyed the cake and ice cream and then adjourned to C. and J's living room so that Ty could play with his new toys before it was time to get him into his costume for the rest of the night.

It was a fun birthday for all!


Monday, October 26, 2009

2 year anniversaries

Actually we have 2- 2 year anniversaries this month. Today marks the day when Bret Thomas and Laura Elizabeth were joined for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple. It has been a blessing to watch how they have lived their life as a married couple. I see great strength and love for each other. I have witnessed the humor that they enjoy-which never seems to come at one another's expense. They've had some challenges (car problems, finishing their bachelor's degrees, employment and more) but as far as I've been able to see (as I'm somewhat at a distance) they continue to be equally yoked as a couple-one not trying to pull ahead of the other and working together to build their lives. Though they don't need it, they have my blessing.

Our other 2 year anniversary this month is the arrival of our sweet grandson, Ty Michael. I remember at Bret and Laura's wedding when we were anxiously anticipating his birth and praying that the young woman that had committed to placing him with Carynn and Jamie would follow through.

I think of that young woman often and wish her well. Her choice has brought so much joy into our lives, I pray that she has continued to find peace with her decision to place Ty for adoption and that she has also continued to progress in her life choices.

The festivities for Ty's second birthday won't be as huge as those for his first birthday. (I kind of hope Carynn and Jamie will decide to do what Michael and I did-our children had a friend birthday party one year and then a smaller family celebration the following year. Of course there were exceptions for "landmark" birthdays.)But though the celebration may have fewer people participating it does not mean that there is not quite a bit of planning and love going into his party. We're looking forward to being there.

Have a great week!


Ouch! I looked at the last date that I posted and I thought, "Where did the time go?"
Of course I know exactly where it went...Spending time with our children and grandson, a ward conference, getting ready for a stake meeting, two day trips to the cabin (Michael to help with the docks, the winterizing we did October 9 in preparation for the cold) and one short overnight trip. I also participated in our Young Women Stake Meeting last night which had a lot of preparation time, working on cleaning and organizing my craft room (again), writing a TON of thank you notes, teaching a lesson in Young Women, trips up and down the hill for shopping, church, planting bulbs at the temple and of course all of those mundane everyday tasks like dishes, wash, vacuuming, doctor appointments, and much more.

Time for another post!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What I learned on our Fall Vacation

I had initially termed this trip our "American Revolution Fall Color Church History Sports Tour." It was that and so much more. Historical architecture, pre-American Revolution and American Revolution events, gorgeous trees and beaches, light houses in stone and metal and glass, quaint bridges, sacred places, sports heroes and more.

Our trip was a masterwork of preparation by my husband. I didn't realize, when Michael was briefing me prior to the trip, just how much work he had put into planning it. Yes, we did put 3100 miles on the car, and with all the ground we covered and everything we saw I know we did indeed drive those 3100 miles. But the way that Michael ahd organized and planned our stops, it wasn't a burden to drive those miles.

I enjoyed this time with my husband. It had been an incredibly busy summer and September had started that way as well; it was wonderful to reconnect with him beyond our usual day-to-day routine. I enjoyed the opportunity of getting more than a glimpse of New England. I gained an even greater appreciation for the sacrifices and challenges that those that paved the way for our country and our faith made and that have directly impacted my life.

I wore a t-shirt at our Young Women Camp in 2008 with my camp name on it. I had chosen "Thankful" because I am thankful for my many blessings. Now that shirt would have to say "Profoundly Thankful."


Home Again!

The final day of our trip was our travel day home. We were up early and ready to go. LaQuinta's van shuttled us there in good time, we checked our bags, cleared security and then we were on our way.

Although our flight from Boston to Chicago wasn't really "late," by the time we landed and taxied the 300 miles (just kidding, but we did taxi a very long time) to our gate our Chicago to Seattle flight was already boarding. We hopped off the one plane and were very glad the other one was only a few doors down. Seated and ready to go we were VERY pleased to see from the window that our luggage had made the flight too!

Safely in Seattle we grabbed our bags and then headed upstairs to check them in. For your reference-American Airlines doesn't have an "agreement" with Southwest so they don't automatically transfer your bags. Not a problem for us as we had two hours before our Seattle to Spokane flight.

Back at our gate and waiting to board and with an hour to kill, we were missing our usual "lunch" which has been for this trip anyway, ice cream cones; so at Michael's urging, okay, he didn't need to twist my arm, I walked down to find out what we could get in the frozen treat department. We ended up with frosty's from Wendy's.

Jamie (Carynn's husband) was waiting for us when we arrived. After snagging our luggage one last time we headed to their home. After being enthusiastically greeted by Ty and Carynn, checking out Claire (who had been boarding at C & J's) and visiting for a bit, Carynn did the honors and drove us home. Where we found all was well.

Good night!

Connecticut Part 2, Rhode Island, Massachusetts One Last Time

Day 17 we took our time leaving and then headed down to Stonington whre we found the Old Lighthouse Museum (closed since we were there a bit early), a cute lighthouse. We continued to work our way along the remainder of the Connecticut shore to Rhode Island. Rhode Island is the 8th state in our trip. We found more lighthouses, some sea shells and a bit of wind. We saw Newport (playground for the rich and famous) from a distance (we didn't want to pay the $4.00 toll just to say we'd been there)and we didn't really have time to stop. and then skirted our way around Providence and back into:


Back to Boston (or very near it-Somerville)where Logan Airport is located. We returned the rental car which had 3100 miles on it from our adventures. We ate next door to the LaQuinta Inn and turned in.

Massachusetts revisited, Connecticut Part 1

We're at Day 15 of our excellent adventure or if you're keeping track-Day 16 of being away from home. It's now October 5. We backtracked a bit to get to a highway that would take us east from Cooperstown through New York and into the Southwest corner of Massachusetts. We passed through a bit of the Catskills and ended up at Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The Comfort Inn had just been renovated and was a great property in which to stay. The staff was wonderful too. They really bent over backwards to be accomodating. We ate at a Mexican place-okay, but I like the less healthy version of Mexican food that we get out here and not paying for the chips and salsa. Nighty, night.

The next morning we found another covered bridge in Massachusetts before we even crossed the border into Connecticut. (I've always had issues spelling the word Connecticut-now I think I'll always get it right. We'll see...) We also ran into some folks at one covered bridge and told them about the others that were coming up. They were from Michigan. We ran into them at Kent Falls State Park too. Great minds think alike... Our last bridge of the day was Bull's Bridge. Then we concentrated on getting over to see the Elises'. Yes, there's two of them.

Elise No. 1 we met for lunch at Stamford, Connecticut. She's been someone I'd only talked to on the phone. She helps us with our investments and is based in Greenwich, Connecticut. (See if I keep typing Connecticut enough times, it's going to be automatic to get it right!). It was nice to put a face to a voice. After our enjoyable lunch we headed to:

Elise No. 2 who is now a very grown-up lady from when I first knew her 20 (gulp) years ago as her Young Women leader for church. She lives with her husband and two children south of Norwich, CT. Her children a boy age 7 and a girl age 3 1/2 are delightful. It was nice to reconnect with her and her husband, have a home cooked meal and play with the children.

Sweet dreams

Niagra Falls, NY; Harmony, PA; Cooperstown, NY

After an early start (Saturday, October 3)we headed west to Niagra Falls. I had initially thought, "No big deal," in reference to visiting the Falls, but after speaking with friends andhearing their experience, I was really glad that we had kept that on our itinerary. We pulled into Niagra by 9:30 AM and got in line to buy our tickets for the Maid of the Mist. There was a bit of a line, but we ended up being able to go on the first boat out which had been Michael's plan all along. We and perhaps a hundred of our closest friends boarded the boat with our blue ponchos on and headed out to the Falls. We got wet! It was great! In fact it was fantastic. It was a big deal. I highly recommend Niagra Falls to anyone who has the opportunity to visit that area. After our trip we sloshed back up to the park, checked out the falls by seeing them topside versus boatside and then left around 1:00 PM to continue south to Bradford, PA our stop for the night. On our way to Bradford, we passed through Boston (New York, not Massachusetts)

We had a quiet night in Bradford and then started out for Cooperstown. This was slated to be one of our LONG drive days (nearly 300 miles and approximately 5 hours of driving). We broke it up with covered bridges along the way in Pennsylvania and New York. One of my favorite stops was Harmony (now Oakland), PA.

For those of us that are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Harmony, PA is a significant location. It's where a majority of the Book of Mormon was translated; important revelations occurred there: the Aaronic Priesthood was restored there and Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry were baptized in the Susquehanna River. There isn't a visitor center or guides or missionaries at the site. There is a bronze monument placed in 1960 commemorating the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. There's a cemetery next to the monument where Emma Hale Smith's parents are buried as well as Emma and Joseph's son Alvin (named in honor of his older brother who had passed away. Plaques set on posts mark the locations of Emma's parents home and Joseph and Emma's home. There's directions on how to walk to the Susquehanna. We did that. I picked up a smooth stone from the river to remind me of the significance of that spot. I'm very grateful to have been able to visit there.

We swung back up into New York state and to Cooperstown. I had read about more covered bridges and found that the oldest one in New York state isn't very far away so we determined to visit that in the morning before we headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. After dinner at a local BBQ place we turned in.

Monday, October 5 we got up early, had breakfast and drove to Glimmerglass State Park. We found the bridge. It was in a lovely location and we had it to ourselves. Then it was back to town. We were too early to go to the Museum so we wandered around Cooperstown. I'm showing my ignorance in that it didn't "click" until I saw James Fenimore Cooper's statue that Cooperstown has significance beyond baseball. Yes, Cooperstown is where James Fenimore Cooper (Last of the Mohicans, etc.) is from. The cemetery there shows that his family goes back a ways there on both sides. We didn't get to the Fenimore House museum, but you get the idea. It was a fun discovery. Cooperstown is also on Ostego Lake (as is Glimmerglass State Park). Glimmerglass State Park gets its name due to J.F. Cooper using it as a place in one of his writings and calling it Glimmerglass instead of Ostego.

The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was a lot of fun! It's very user/people friendly. They encourage , yes, that's correct, encourage you to take pictures with the memorabilia, etc. I'v never been in a museum before that allows that. Michael was hesitant to do that, but I did persuade him to get his picture taken with the representation of Comiskey Park-the home of the Chicago White Sox. I really enjoyed reading and viewing all the artifacts they had from people that I knew about (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, DiMaggio, etc.) and finding out about some other interesting players. It was an enjoyable morning.

Back to Massachusetts!

Palmyra and Fayette, New York

I left off with trip summary in Oswego, New York. After a nearly sleepless night for me due to the highway outside we started toward Palmyra, New York. We had done some background reading, A Lion and A Lamb by Rand H. Packer, which gave some great insights into how the church was able to obtain the property on which the Hill Cumorah stands and also improve relations with the townspeople of Palmyra. Great read. We also knew a bit of our church history so were very happy to visit where so much concerning the restoration of the gospel occurred. Our first stop was to the Hill Cumorah visitor center. Then we climbed the Hill Cumorah. Thankfully the rain didn't start until we were heading back down the hill. We also visited the property where the Smith family was living during the momentous time. The cabin is a reconstruciton using period materials. The wooden "frame" house is 85% original. It's a short walk from them to the Sacred Grove.

We call it the Sacred Grove because we believe that God the Father and His Son, our Savior appeared to Joseph Smith and answered the question that he had prayed about. I wish I could say that it was a glorious day and that we sat and pondered and meditated in the grove. Unfortunately for us, the sky had opened up and it was pouring rain so we did take a half an hour or so to walk the grove and I gingerly sat down on the end of one of the benches that are placed at intervals throughout, but it wasn't really conducive to just sitting and pondering. It was a wonderful experience though just being there. Some of the trees are old enough to have been there that spring morning in 1820 so we tried picking out the witness trees during our walk.

After our visit at the Joseph Smith farm we stopped by the Palmyra Temple. It's beautiful. I picked up a few leaves from the temple grounds. From there we drove into Palmyra and stopped at the E.B. Grandin Print Shop and toured that. Finally we drove out to Fayette, NY to where the church was officially organized on April 6, 1830 at the Whitmer Farm. It was a 45 minute drive from Palmyra, but worth it to feel the spirit of the place. We ate at a little place on the way home-great Italian food recommended by one of the missionaries and then went back to Palmyra. We stayed at the Palmyra Inn. I highly recommend it. Great people, nice rooms. I did wash that night.

The next morning we got up early since we had a longer day of driving. Michael got some great pictures as we were leaving of some mist over the homes at the Smith Farm.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Shanna and Mike's Excellent Adventure continued

After leaving the Boston area we headed to Cape Cod. We were blessed again with gorgeous weather. We had great fun discovering Plymouth Rock, lighthouses, beaches and towns going all the way to P-town (that's what the locals call Provincetown) and then doubling back and spending the night at a Bed and Breakfast called The Ships Knees Inn at East Orleans (Orleans here rhymes with beans). The next day it was more lighthouses as we made our way to Salem, Massachusetts.

Since we aren't into witches we didn't do any of that in Salem (Well Michael did take a picture of the Samantha statue)-but did enjoy the four centuries of architecture represented in the town as we walked it. We stayed at the Hawthorne Hotel named after writer Nathaniel Hawthorne who lived and worked in Salem for a time. Nice hotel but tiny room.

We then started working our way up the coast of Maine-more lighthouses, great weather, beautiful scenery and we were surprised to find as we headed inland the day following that Maine had covered bridges too. Our route took us by 3.

Our first stop In New Hampshire was the Auto road up to Mt. Washington-the highest point in the Northeast (6,288 feet). You have to pay to have the privilege of driving up this very narrow 8 mile road to get to the summit. Mt. Washington holds the record for the fastest wind speed-231 miles per hour-yes that's not typo. 231 miles per hour! It happened in 1934. After the drive back down we had more covered bridges (6), quaint towns with old churches and cemeteries and beautiful fall colors.

In Vermont, where we knew they had covered bridges (we found 7) our most important stop was to Sharon, Vermont. Which is the birthplace of Joseph Smith, the prophet. We were early, but the missionary staff let us in and were very kind. Besides the monument we also saw the foundations from some family homes, part of an old fence dating back to the time that the Smith and Mack families lived in the area and an old stone bridge. The weather had changed-some rain, but the sun did come out later. One of the sister missionaries gave us a map showing covered bridges and that helped us in our quest. We stopped the car often for photo opportunities and are thankful that in most cases the fall foliage cooperated.

Continuing west we entered New York state. We spent the night in Lake Placid directly across from the facility that houses the 1932 and 1980 ice rinks. For those of you old enough to remember-that's where the "Miracle on Ice" occurred at the 1980 Winter Olympics. As we ate our pizza at Mr. Mike's (of course we had to go there), it started snowing, yes, snowing! It stopped before we finished dinner after which we walked to the Olympic complex and watched figure skaters practicing at the 1980 rink. Turns out one of them is the current Junior National Champion and an Olympic hopeful. We didn't get her name, but should be able to figure out who she is with that kind of information. We enjoyed the indoor hot tub at the inn before we turned in for the night.

Today (October 1) we woke up to snow on the car! We drove through the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. More beautiful trees, lots of lakes and one covered bridge (although it's a newer one-1985) in Old Forge. We stopped briefly at the Adirondack Museum-would have loved to have spent a lot of time there. We also enjoyed some additional tastes of American Revolution history at Ft. Stanwix in Rome, New York and Fort Ontario, in Oswego, New York. We're spending the night at Oswego not too far from one of the Great Lakes-Lake Ontario.

To be continued...


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


We're enjoying our trip to New England. This whole area is steeped with/in history. The place where we've been staying is called Back Bay as it was the Back Bay of the Charles River. Before it was homes and businesses it was water! That's right. The walk-up we're renting is built upon land that was "added" to Boston by landfill. The place we're in, Copley House, probably dates from the mid to late 19th century, so it's "new" relative to Boston standards. And when I say walk-up that's what we had to do with our luggage. Yep, no elevators here. Luckily we weren't all the way to the top floor, just the third floor. The place has character I'll say that for it. I just wouldn't have gone for PINK paint on the interior walls. Fortunately, the room we're in is painted a light yellow. We have a little kitchenette a couch, a table and three chairs and a nice TV. The floor's wood, the area rug has seen better days as have the bedside lamps, but since we're not into having "luxury" we're fine. It's been comfortable and we check out tomorrow.

We spent Monday getting to Boston. Tuesday we spent taking the Freedom Trail. This trail covers some of the significant sites of Boston-in particular those that featured prominently in the War of American Aggression (that's what my friend Ellen calls it.) We walked and walked and walked. We listened and walked and walked some more.

Some of my favorites included the Behind the Scenes tour of the Old North Church-you know the one if by land, two if by sea place. The Behind the Scenes tour was worth the 8 bucks each. We got to go where you don't usually get to go-down in the crypt below the church and up in the Bell Ringing Room as well as the upper balcony where the organ and "cheap seats" are. I thoroughly enjoyed it-Michael did too.

I loved the old cemeteries we visited as part of the Freedom trail. With some tombstones dating into the 1600's. Unfortunately for Michael I LOVE reading the inscriptions on them. It's interesting what some people either have written or their family has written for them. Some of the inscriptions are very involved-not so much epitaphs but almost eulogies/obituaries. Others are very simple. The symbolism of the artwork is also fascinating as it reflects religious beliefs of the time.

I could go on and on about Boston. We did get a good taste of it, but I'd welcome the opportunity to visit it again. Today we drove out to Lexington and Concord.

Lexington and Concord are all about the Minute Men. I thought I had a pretty good idea about pre-Revolutionary activities especially those surrounding "the short heard round the world." I feel like a sponge as I've absorbed (or tried to absorb) so much more information. After being in both of these places and touring some of the historic homes involved, think every child should be required to actually GO to these places of importance and truly get a feel for what went on; the lives and livelihoods sacrificed, the differing opinions, I will not be the same.

While we were out near Concord we went to Walden Pond-the site of Henry David Thoreau's two year odyssey of simplicity. I was surprised to find people swimming there and wish we had brought our swimsuits with us (they were back at our place). We did walk down to the pond and I'll admit to collecting one small rock to remind me of the message of this place which I take to be to simplify your life and pare it down to the things that mean the most and are worth the most to you.

A lesson well worth remembering. Tomorrow it's time to head to Cape Cod.



Last Saturday we were getting ready for our trip. We had stopped by Carynn and Jamie's to borrow their car and to get a "Ty Fix" as we wouldn't be seeing our favorite little guy for nearly three weeks. Melinda happened to be over there as well so it was nice to see her too.

Ty looked so darling in his jeans and was very happy to see Nana and Papa. In fact he was so happy to see us that he wanted to go with us. As I sat down by Melinda he grabbed my hand and said, " "up/hand/go. He grabbed Michael's too. So he had both of us by the hand and he wanted to head out the front door. He was in a bit of a dilemma as he was also trying to figure out how he could hold one of his riding toys and both of our hands at the same time.

As much as we wanted to we couldn't take Ty with us as we had a church function to go to. Carynn used the element of distraction so we could semi-sneak away. We'll miss seeing Ty (and his mommy and daddy and Melinda and her hubby) while we're away. It'll be good to see Bret and Laura and Lynette though.

Time to Up/Hand/Go

Apples and Pears

Ty had "helped" Papa pick apples and pears up over Labor Day. Well, Carynn and I had our "Second Annual Mom/Carynn Applesauce Fest" on September 16. Now September 16 was a very busy day in and of itself though it didn't necessarily start out that way.

I had committed to hosting the BYOP (Bring Your Own Project) group and had scheduled the first meeting on September 16. We didn't have a huge group, but we all had things to work on and at noon I had invited Carynn to come help do the sauce. Since we had a late start we didn't get as many batches done before she had to leave, but we did get one batch ready and in the canner and one ready after that.

Anyway, it ended up being a long night, but I was all done by 10:00 PM. In addition to the applesauce I got 4 quarts of pear sauce done. I'm excited to try those. The apples and pears from Michael's trees look much better this year. Between the spraying and the pruning they aren't as buggy and they are bigger.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor of Love

We had a wonderful Labor Day weekend and a busy one. While Carynn and Jamie headed west for some R and R; Ty Michael spent the weekend with us. We had such a good time. I was very tired (Michael too) when Carynn and Jamie picked up Ty on Monday, but it was a good tired. Here are some of the things we did. Note: some of Ty's favorite words are bolded.

1. Lots of PLAY- This is Ty's word for either playing with the toys in the toy cupboard downstairs or with the ones in the cupboard upstairs in the family room. This usually involves:
2. TRUCKS and BYE BYES. Ty definition of trucks includes the pick-up variety as well as the tractor/trailer variety. We have two small tractor/trailer type trucks. The trailer for each detaches. Ty likes switching these with each other (fortunately they still work when he does that) and often involves him handing the pieces to me and saying FIX IT. He still likes calling cars bye byes since that's what you do when you get in them. A few of the cars have doors that OPEN and SHUT and Ty and I practice doing this and saying that with those cars. He's also extended open and shut to other concepts correctly too. What a smart boy!
3. PLAY may also involve the little pink HELICOPTER (Yes he can say helicopter) and a space shuttle that he calls an AIRPLANE.
4. More PLAY includes playing with Melinda's old See and Say toys, the Little Tikes playhouse where he likes putting the family, especially the BABY in the car that goes with it. Sometimes the baby gets STUCK.
5. EAT. Ty usually wakes up hungry so breakfast is something we get to right away. He tries to say breakfast, but it doesn't quite sound like breakfast yet. Involving food he will say "please" but it often sounds like PEAS.
6. He understands "thank you" TINK YOU and will sometimes use it preemptively as in thanking you in advance for something he hopes you'll give him.
7. WALK is something Ty likes to do all the time. More often he walks with his PAPA but sometimes he walks with NANA too. On one of my latest walks with Ty we used the path that Michael made around the property and walked down to the picnic table to eat our lunch. We took the time to SMELL wild flowers that were along or near the path.
8. Ty's walks with Papa may include stops to eat an APPLE from one of the apple trees, and grabbing some BERRIES and GRAPES from the garden. He also has learned that PEARS are not apples. Since it was apple picking time at our house Ty ate a bunch of those (or began eating a bunch of them) this past weekend.
9. We also took in a SHOW or two. This is Ty's word for a movie. Some of the ones we watched with him included: Wall-E, Cars, Elmo, Lady and the Tramp, Quick Cutz kids.
10. He'll sometimes sit still through part of Dora the Explorer. He recognizes DORA and her sidekick BOOTS. When the character Swiper appears he'll echo Dora's, "Swiper no swiping." and Swiper's "OH MAN."
11. We'd also NAP. Ty's favorite naps are when we pretend to nap. We'll take BLANKY and ELMO (his bear) and lay down, putting our heads on our folded hands and snore loudly. This usually doesn't last very long. Ty doesn't like real naps as well as he likes pretend ones, but I'm glad he'll still take them.
12. Getting dressed can be an adventure! After a BATH where Ty gets WET in the WATER. We'll get him all dressed. He knows when he's supposed to stand UP to help and realizes that if he wants to do something outside he needs to wear his SOCKS and SHOES. It was cool enough outside that he sometimes had to wear his ACKET (jacket).
13. We also went to CHURCH while he was here. He enjoyed Melinda's old quiet book, eating a SNACK or two or three. He especially likes TOOKIES (cookies). Cookies are most any kind of cracker kind of snack. He did pretty well in Nursery considering he didn't know the kids, it was way past nap time and he doesn't have the concept of sharing down yet. But then none of the other KIDS did either.
14. I admit to caving in on a few things. I'd let him take a BOOK and a bye bye or truck or two and maybe his JUICE when I was putting him down for a nap/bed. I figure that's my perogative as a Nana. He'd still give me a HUG and a KISS even though I was putting him where he didn't want to go.
There are plenty of other words that Ty uses that I haven't noted,but you get the idea. He's a very vocal young man. He'll try most any word out and most of the time it'll sound something like the real word. It was a very busy weekend, but it was a-

Labor of Love,


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Coming soon--new words by Ty!

So when I'm bragging (okay, I try not to brag, but how can I help it) about our grandson, I tell people what a great vocabulary Ty has for a 22 month old. Next posting I'll write some more of his words. For right now...

I'm "all done." (a Ty-ism sometimes he's all done before I'm all done. Sometimes it's the other way around.)



We stopped by Carynn and Jamie's a week or so ago. Michael and Carynn were talking inside and Ty and I decided to go outside and play. Ty was mowing the lawn with his bubble blower mower and then decided he was done with that. He went over to his bucket of yard toys, dumped them out, grabbed what he wanted and then invited me to join him by saying, "Sit." He often accompanies that with a patting motion on the empty space next to him. So I sat. We had a good time playing with his toys.

Then we moved over to the gravel/sand area. He invited me to sit again, so I sat. It felt good sitting next to my grandson, talking with him, playing with him. I think there is often time in my life where I don't take the time to just "sit." Whether it's with him or with someone else. I'm going to try to be better at that. I hope anyone reading this will think about that time.

Take time to sit. I've an empty space by me, won't you join me?


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pretty Pictures

We have the photo CD back from Melinda and Landan's wedding and reception extravaganza. Great pictures. Good fun. A lot of people. Now it's time to pick and choose which ones go where. One blessing of a being part of the digital world is that you have so many choices. One frustration of being part of the digital world is that you have so many choices. I'm hoping to get pictures up to my Facebook profile by next week.

We're heading to the cabin for a few days R and R. It'll be a nice break from this wonderful, yet hectic summer.


Fix it!

I was out with Carynn, Ty and Melinda having a bit of pre-birthday fun last week. We were driving to the restaurant when Ty started identifying the different vehicles he saw. He'd call out, "Truck!" whenever he saw one. One time he noticed that the truck wasn't pulling a trailer-it was the rig only; that's when he called out, "Truck, fix it." I was a bit perplexed until it struck me that's what he tells me when we're playing downstairs and the tractor and trailer come apart from the small trucks that we play with. I can fix the toys, I wasn't able to fix the real live thing, but I thought it cute that he said what he did.

Fix it!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Birthday Time!

Last night Carynn, Jamie, Ty, Melinda and Landan came over to celebrate my birthday a few days early. It was great to see them all. My little guy, Ty, was happy to see his Nana and his Nana was happy to see him too! While we waited to start dinner Michael and Ty went for a walk. They also went for a wagon ride. Yes, it's that ancient yellow wagon from Melinda's childhood. We really DO need to replace it and we will, but it's still working SOMEWHAT well, so we haven't yet.

Ty and I played a little bit downstairs with the toy cars. Yes, we did separate the ones that had doors that opened versus the ones that didn't. He also briefly enjoyed the keyboard and the Bop It game. Then it was time for food. He was looking very grown-up in his shirt from the wedding reception, twill pants and his new shoes (size 5 1/2). Carynn had given him a haircut too. He's growing so quickly. He has quite the vocabulary. I'll have to update it on another posting.

After dinner Melinda and Landan started opening up their wedding gifts. People were very generous....We took a break so we could do my birthday cake and presents. Carynn had made a yummy french vanilla cake with chocolate frosting and caramel and chocolate chunks. I blew out my candles, cut the traditional first slice and opened my gifts. I was excited to get a steamer from Michael. I had been wanting one for a while. It'll be great to have for sewing, etc. Michael was silly...He made sure that I knew (it was on the box) that it was 5 times faster than ironing and came with 2 bonuses (pet/lint brush and upholstery brush). It'll be fun to try out.

The kids went in on my gift and gave me a potpourri of items: 2 blouses, a cute belt, earrings and bracelet, a Ken Follett book and a pint of my FAVORITE ice cream...Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk. I'm excited to try that too.

After cake and ice cream it was time for more present unwrapping. Jamie had already taken Ty home (for bed). Carynn stayed a while to facilitate the unwrapping, then she left too. After they finished unwrapping everything (only one gift has an unknown giver), Melinda and Landan watched the wedding day video. It was great to watch them watch the video and relive their wedding day.

I'm planning on stretching my birthday out until my ACTUAL birthday (Tuesday). It's not so much that I want "stuff," it's that I enjoy being remembered.

Oh, I know I said I'd tell more about the wedding reception, and I will, but not today.


And the heavens opened....

This last week was our church's young women camp. We were at a new location as we had outgrown Camp Peine where we'd gone the previous 4 years. So new location, new traditions to make, new territory to explore. The biggest difference is the waterfront area. Camp Peine is on the Pend Oreille River. Camp Zion is on the Little Spokane River which IS little as it goes through Camp Zion.

There will be bugs(literally-the bees can be agressive) to work out, but I really like Camp Zion. I'm also more of a lazy river kind of girl than a swiftly moving river kind of girl so water-wise, Camp Zion is my cup of tea!

It was very hot the beginning of the week and there were girls and leaders that had heat issues. I helped someone get help and in turn someone helped me before I got to the point that I needed nursing kind of help. It's that light complexion of mine. Even when I'm not overheated it LOOKS like I'm overheated; but in this case I WAS getting overheated so glad that my friend intervened. It was coming on so fast...I THOUGHT I was drinking enough, etc... While I'm not glad that I experienced some of the early warning signs of heat issues, I am thankful that now I can RECOGNIZE when it's coming on in myself and others. That knowledge may come in handy this next week when we do the youth handcart pioneer trek.

Camp ended up ending early. The heavens crashed, thundered, lit up and poured torrential rain on us Thursday evening just after 7:00 PM. The decision was made to send the girls home and end camp a half day early. There was a lot of rushing around trying to take advantage of the remaining daylight. Our stake leaders called the bishops from each ward and arranged for drivers to come get the girls and their gear. After helping the girls get situated, we loaded up our personal gear and worked on striking the camp as best we could.

I rode back to Liberty Lake with Jenna Lake and we got to the stake building at midnight. There were just a few people left there as the girls parents had already picked them up. I was home and in bed just after 1:00 AM.

It was very interesting to see how the girls/young women reacted...Some of the younger girls were frightened by the thunder/lightning. Other girls comforted them. We sang hymns and songs and I threw in some comic relief when I showed up in my "rain gear"--a gallon sized ziploc bag opened up on one side as my bonnet-fastened with a safety pin and still faintly smelling of the cooked chicken it had once held (I wore it inside out so my hair wouldn't smell like chicken) and a clear garbage bag with head and armholes.

The YCLs (youth camp leaders) and the adult Level Leaders met with the camp leadership to hammer out the details. I requested that this year's 4th level help choose songs etc. as they will be NEXT years YCLs. I could almost literally see them square their shoulders and step up to the plate figuratively speaking. I spoke to one of them later and she said that what I had observed was true in her point of view. It was a changing of the guard.

Back home I've been going through the items that were in the Lost and Found. If there's one thing I would preach to people it would be...MARK YOUR ITEMS!!! There are only a handful of things that have been labelled. Those I'll get to people prior to the post-camp fireside. The rest will be placed on the lost and found tables at the fireside.

Some of the lessons I've learned this week:
**Take care of yourself (put your oxygen mask on first) so you can help others.
**People will rise to the occasion if you expect them to.
**Don't complain unless you have a suggestion to help make it better.
**Give others the gift of the benefit of the doubt--don't jump to conclusions.
**This too shall pass.
**You'll probably find bruises that you didn't know you had when you wake up in the morning.
**Choose to bloom where you're planted.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

The house is quiet

Wednesday, July 29 Michael's dad left to make the long drive back to Texas, he should be back there by Monday night after stops in Pocatello, ID; Las Vegas, NV; Phoenix, AZ; somewhere in New Mexico; Fort Stockton, TX and finally his home near San Antonio.

I've been running around getting the house back in order and getting ready for camp and trek. It was definitely a week for meetings! Now it's time to finish up the loose ends and go on to camp.

I'm so glad that Carynn, Jamie and Ty will be coming over for dinner tomorrow. I'll miss them while I'm away. Melinda and Landan are still honeymooning. Bret and Laura are working. Lynette is too.

More later--


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Whew! Whew! (Note the double whew.)The last two weeks have been a wonderful blur! Family, wedding, family, wedding, a bit of Young Women, playtime with Ty, getting the house ready for all the festivities, etc... I'm finally starting to surface before jumping into the balance of this summer's activities which include Stake Young Women Camp and the Stake Youth Conference Trek within a week of each other.

Brief rundown:
July 14 Grandpa Miller arrives after his roadtrip from Texas to our home
July 15
July 16 Michael, Carynn, Jamie and Grandpa Miller bike the Hiawatha trail. Ty and I have lots of fun! Stake Pre-camp activity 7:00 PM that night.
July 17 Carynn and Jamie go to Silverwood. Michael, Grandpa Miller and I have Ty for the day. We had lots more fun. Ty loves playing in the water!
July 18 Michael, his dad, Carynn and Jamie float the Spokane River. They had quite an adventure! Ty and I had lots of fun too!
July 19 Church today.
July 20 Melinda comes to finish packing up her room. She, Carynn and I move the piano out of the rec. room. (Three determined women can accomplish alot--that and using physics principles.)
July 21 My brother Grady's flight gets in from Colorado; My mother, sister Erin and niece Taurie drive in from Selah, WA; my sister Karra and two of her children arrive. Karra finishes up wedding jewelry. Thanks Sis!
July 22 Karra's son Issac arrives in the evening. Melinda goes to the temple. It was wonderful to be there with her and to also have many of the people who care about her in attendance as well.
July 23 Family movie time-Most opt for Harry Potter; we have one for Transformers and two for Up. It was nice to take a break from everything and relax for a few hours. Post movie it was time for a major Costco run (thanks Erin and Taurie for helping!)Karra's husband Carl arrives.
July 24 I finally finished the table runners for the reception. I go with Joann and Margaret to get flowers for the wedding reception. Sun Rentals drops off tables, chairs, linens. Paul Halversen (our Home teacher from church) stops by to help with set-up. Bret and Laura drive in from Utah; Lynette, boyfriend Sam and dog Sammy drive in from Seattle. Barbecue by Fisk's this evening.
July 25 Early Saturday-the marriage and temple sealing for Melinda and Landan was beautiful! Florist (Sabrina) delivers wedding bouquet, etc. to temple. Photographer Marianne and her assistant Mike take loads of pictures of Melinda, Landan and everyone else at temple grounds. It is VERY warm outside. We all disperse. I stay to help Melinda get out of the wedding dress and into her regular clothes. Melinda and Landan take off and are given assignment to be back to our home by 4:00 PM so they can get ready for pictures.
The rest of us crank it up into high gear for the reception. EVERYONE pitches in to help. I'm rushing around trying to finish last-minute things. Thanks to my family for sharing and caring!
Melinda and Landan are a bit late getting here. Photographer is on time. Carynn and Lynette get Melinda ready for pictures. I'm rushing around still. Lynette makes me take some time so that she can do my make-up. I throw on clothes. Time for family pictures. 5:30 PM the first shift of friend helpers arrive. (We have two shifts.) Family and friends are wonderful! Watch next post for more reception details.

Monday, July 13, 2009

At the Lake Parts 2 and 3

At the Lake Part 2 (July 3 and 4)

Ty LOVES riding in the golf cart round and round our neighborhood at the lake. He lives to drive down to the "Water" which is what he calls the lake and then back up to the cabin again. He LOVES playing in the sand on the beach there. He is a bit more tentative when it comes to actually being IN the lake. To me it seems like he views his sit-in floatie a bit suspiciously. I can almost hear him thinking/asking, "You want me to get in that and do what?" I think it's because lake water is not as warm as pool water...just a theory. He can get a bit concerned when he sees his mama, daddy, papa, etc. actually swimming. He's not quite sure how that works yet. But I know he'll figure it out.

At the Lake Part 3 (July 10, 11, 12)
We took the boat out of the garage and put it into the boat slip. Carynn and Ty had come up with us and Jamie drove up after work. Carynn got Ty all cinched up in his bright orange life jacket and we were off on our first lake cruise of the season. Ty wasn't sure that he liked or even wanted to be part of the cruise at first. I think the rumbling of the boat engine and the feel of riding on the boat was something he couldn't find a reference in his current experiences (he doesn't remember last year it seems) so at the beginning he was holding on tight to his mom.

To help "lighten the mood, I would call out "Weeee!" so he would know that going on the boat was a good time. Carynn did this as well and every now and then Michael pitched in with his own "Weeee!" Talk about the power of positive thinking....for whatever reason it worked! Ty loosened up and actually began to enjoy the ride.

I think he still prefers golf cart rides to boat rides, but he's definitely making progress!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Traveling Ty

Last Monday Carynn and Ty followed my sister up to her place north of Omak. Karra (my sister) had been at our home the previous weekend to participate in Melinda's bridal shower. Since Jamie had Scout camp last week, and Karra had a major project she wanted help with, Carynn and Ty decided it was time for a road trip. Since Jamie had the big car with the DVD player, Carynn borrowed my portable DVD player to help Ty pass the time. One of my sister's children also rode with them. All went well on the trip up. Carynn worked hard to help my sister achieve her goal of reorganizing her craft room. What a difference! (They sent me pictures via phone to keep me updated.) The Dynamic Duo of Carynn and Ty started their trip home on Thursday, the 25th. We invited them to stop by the cabin to visit us and break up their trip. They thought that was a great idea (Jamie was still at Scout camp) and made the 3 hour drive in good time considering it was just the two of them. (Thank goodness for portable electronics!)I really needed a Ty fix so I was glad they could. Papa was too.

Ty loves riding in the golf cart that we keep at the cabin. As soon as he could, he made his way to the garage and climbed in and waited. He eventually got his ride. Or I should say rides. He played a bit on the beach with Papa, and even got wet, but the water was a bit brisk.

The four of us had a relatively quiet night as we were all tired from our various adventures. Traveling Ty went down for the night at a good time and the rest us stayed up a while longer but were very low key. It's so relaxing just to be at the cabin.

Early the next afternoon it was time to head for home. Traveling Ty and his mom left just before I did. Michael had left an hour and a half earlier as he was riding his bike part way home. All arrived home safely.

More travels to come!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Negligent Nana

Well, okay I'm not really negligent, just really busy! Ty and I still enjoy playing downstairs with the cars and trucks. Some of the cars have doors. We always pull them out and separate them from the cars that don't have doors. Ty loads up the shopping cart and pushes it down the hallway to the door and then sometimes back again or sometimes not. He occasionally detours to the ping pong table and grabs a ping pong paddle and ping pong ball and attempts to play. He likes to have his bag of "cookies" (cinnamon bagel crisps) near him when he gets the munchies. I still read Brown bear, Brown bear What Do You See to him. He also really enjoys Melinda's old See and Say toys. The one that makes animal sounds is his favorite. The Muppets counting one is a close second.

Carynn and Ty stopped by today. They'd been running errands in our area and we were a good place for a nap stop. :) Ty rode on Papa's lawn tractor and took a little walk. After his nap he and his mommy sat on our front steps while he enjoyed an orange sherbet push pop. Such are the joys of summer!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to Papa

We had quite a crew here yesterday (Sunday) to celebrate Michael's birthday. Michael's actual birthday (Friday) didn't work out since we were at the cabin, C & J were at the temple and Melinda had work. My mom is here visiting so she helped celebrate. Melinda and Landan came up after church and Bret had driven up by way of our house Saturday for a job interview in Seattle so we were just missing Lynette and Laura to have our family complete.

We gathered after a busy Sunday and enjoyed cheeseburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, chips and lemonade. Michael's favorite is devil's food cake with dark fudge frosting so that's what we had along with chocolate and vanilla ice cream.
Ty's favorite part of the celebration was when Michael opened up one of my gifts (a bag of bing cherries) and you could hear "Happy Birthday to You" from the little electronic chip that was attached to the closure. So what were we to do but to open it again so Ty could hear the song again. He'd look at the open bag and try to figure out where the sound was coming from (cue photo op for Carynn). I don't know that he could place where the sound originated but we obliged him by opening and closing the bag numerous times (to the groans of the rest of the family) so he could enjoy it.

Ty especially enjoyed the vanilla ice cream and kept saying "Peas" for more. I kept giving him just little bites more. After all he was being so polite. It's my job, right?

Have I said how much I enjoy being his Nana?


Eesheesh, bips and tookies

Does the above title confound you? Continue reading and I'll clue you in on the latest in "Ty speak."

Ty is wonderful about trying new words. His mouth might not be able to wrap itself around the phonetics of the word correctly, but he sure gives it a try. He's not above trying three syllable words-applesauce for example, but prefers to take them down to two syllables. By the way applesauce doesn't come out applesauce when he says it, but hey, even attempting it at 19 months I think is pretty fantastic.
So to get to the translation of the title:
Eesheesh is Jesus. Carynn noted that the Primary Nursery Leaders told her that Ty was the only one in Nursery who identified Jesus when they showed his picture. This could also be a reflection of how many times C & J have him out in the hallway looking at the pictures of Jesus during Sacrament Meeting. :)
Bips are chips as in potato chips and anything resembling potato chips
Tookies are cookies and also includes one of his favorite treats-cinnamon bagel crisps.
Truck is truck which is different from bye byes (cars). One of Ty's favorite things to do is to play with the small cars and trucks that we have downstairs.
Papa is Papa
Nana is Nana
Carynn says that when they're coming to our house as soon as they hit the hill he starts saying Papa and Nana nonstop (I love it!)
Mina is Melinda
Bet is Bret
Mama is Mama
Daddy is Daddy

Hope you're able to enjoy some bips and any tookies that come your way!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Can I get an amen?

We went up to the cabin for part of Memorial Day weekend. Carynn, Jamie, and Ty beat us there by just a half an hour. Melinda and Landan came up later Sunday night. Memorial Day (Monday) after half a day of enjoying the lake Michael and I offered to take Ty home with us to spend the night since Jamie had also taken Tuesday off. C & J appreciated our willingness to take their little guy so we got ready and headed home.
We had an uneventful ride home and went downstairs to play with the toys. We lined up the little chairs from Melinda's old Little Tikes doll house and placed the dollhouse family on them. Right after we did that Ty folded his arms and said, "Amen." I didn't think a whole lot about it until later and then I wondered if the little people on the chairs reminded Ty of his Primary nursery class; so I decided to conduct an "experiment."

Tuesday morning before Jamie and Ty came to pick him up we were downstairs playing again. We lined the four little chairs up and sat the dolls on them and Ty did the exact same thing...he folded his arms and said, "Amen." So I think my surmise was right, we were playing Primary Nursery.

He sure is a bright litle guy.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Papa! Papa! Papa!

Last Sunday I had a Stake Young Women Event. The Stake YW president was out of town so I was conducting. As I was being recognized as part on the program for completing my Personal Progress I invited Michael, Carynn & Co., and Melinda to come. I was sitting up on the stand right before the meeting started when I heard a voice call out, "Nana." Yes, Ty was there too!

As he was being a bit too happy, Carynn got up to take him out. Just before they exited the chapel, it clicked in Ty's brain what was happening and he called out at the top of his lungs, "Papa, Papa, Papa!" and reached out towards Michael to "save" him. (I heard and saw this from my vantage point on the stand.) Of course he was just using a variation of the "Old Somebody Save Me" ploy. It didn't work, but it was funny.

I called Carynn the next day and told her that I hoped she wasn't embarassed because of Ty's being loud and dramatic. I explained that EVERY parent there recognized his outburst for what it was: a last ditch attempt to stay in the chapel by pitting one adult against another. She's a bright girl, she'd already figured that one out.

No anger, just smiles-

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thirty-five years!

Michael and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary yesterday. On May 16, 1974 we were married for time and all eternity in the Los Angeles LDS Temple in Santa Monica, CA.

As we were eating dinner last night Michael asked me to identify where we were living on our milestone anniversaries. Here's the list:
1st year 1975 Phoenix, Arizona
5th year 1979 Yakima, Washington
10th year 1984 Kennewick, Washington
15th year 1989 Vancouver, Washington
20th year 1994 West Linn, Oregon
25th year 1999 Issaquah, Washington
30th year 2004 Liberty Lake, Washington
35th year 2009 Liberty Lake, Washington

So, do you notice any commonalities? Yep, you're right, we have officially lived the longest in one place. We've been in Liberty Lake since July 2002. I might add that a few of our other moves figure in between those milestone dates (Spokane in 1985-86, Yakima again 1986-88, Sandy, Utah from late 1994 to January 1996, Danville, California from Summer 1999-Summer 2002).

As Michael and I enjoyed our steak dinners at Outback Steakhouse-very yummy I might add- we reminisced about our time together. We have been so blessed. Yes, we've had heartache and trials in our lives, but our blessings far outnumber and outweigh our challenges. Our song all those years ago was, "More today than yesterday," by the Spiral Staircase and I do love him more today than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow. Our sealer (the man who performed our marriage ceremony) told us, "You think you love each other now, but this is just the beginning and if you honor your marriage covenants your love will grow to be so much more than it is now." I didn't believe him at the time, but I do now.

For time and all eternity,

Tractor Boy

So after we were done playing, we walked out to see how the painting was going. We went by way of the garage and Ty spotted Michael's John Deere tractor mower. I've set him up on it before. It's one of the things he calls a "Bye Bye." Which makes sense as it has four wheels and moves. I sat him up on it again and he had a fun time trying to move the steering wheel.

When Papa decided to take a break from painting he took Ty for a ride on the mower. Please note, at NO time was there any lawn mowing going on, so no need to worry on that score. Anyway, Carynn cautioned us that Ty might be frightened of the noise of the tractor and sure enough he was, because it is loud. He initially didn't want to go to Michael for his ride, but he conquered his fear seated with papa, gave a wave and was off. He enjoyed his ride around the driveway. Carynn took him for a ride too. Now he'll probably want a ride whenever he comes. Have we created a monster?


Time to play!

The other day Carynn and Melinda came over to help Michael paint the house. It needed it and with the wedding reception here later this summer the timing is great to paint it too. I volunteered to do "Ty duty" while Carynn helped her dad and sister paint.

We had SO much fun! We went downstairs to the toy closets and Ty got out Melinda's old shopping cart complete with a now ancient Cabbage Patch doll. He began pushing it up and down the hallway. When he'd start to veer to far to the left or right he'd course correct himself. He'd occasionally get the baby out, give the baby a kiss and a love and then attempt to put it back into the seat in the shopping cart. I helped him put the legs through the holes. Then he'd repeat his circuit of walking the cart down the hall and back. He looked so cute.

Ty also discovered the Match Box car collection. He calls cars "Bye Bye" because that's what you do with them. He also goes "Beep beep" to simulate horns honking. So we had a lot of fun with the "bye bye's" going beep beep. There were some smaller trailer tractor rigs also with the cars. Unfortunately they would often come apart in play so I'd hear "uh oh" and put them back together for Ty. This happened a lot. So we had more than a few "uh ohs." There are also some minature wooden street signs that are well loved. Ty enjoyed fitting these together, taking them apart, etc. We had a few "uh ohs" there too.

After naptime I started to take Ty back upstairs and he didn't want to go upstairs. He said, "Play" so that's what we did. Oh, I forgot we used the old keyboard for background music. The pre-programmed songs and rhythms are great for that.

I love to play with Ty.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bye Bye

My dedicated blog readers may recall a mention I made a few weeks ago of having Ty over so Carynn and Jamie could finish up a project. I drove him up to our house in their car (so much easier to not switch Ty's car seat from car to car). He enjoyed going "bye bye" with Nana up to Nana and Papa's house. We did that twice. Now whenever I say I'm going "bye bye" he thinks he's going with me.

Earlier this week I popped by to pick up Melinda to do wedding dress stuff. When we returned Carynn and Ty were back from running their errands. I said a quick hello and then an equally quick good bye since I had tons of stuff to do. Ty heard me grabbed his socks and made a beeline for me thinking that he got to go bye bye too. Unfortunately this time was not a time that he could go with me. He was sad. :(

It's so nice to be wanted!

Bye bye for now-


Mr. Mimic

Ty is learning SO many words! He loves to talk. He'll give neighbors a cheery "Hi!" while on a walk in his stroller. He really enjoys talking on the phone, his, "He-low" (with the emphasis on the "low" is very cheerful and then he'll launch into other words that HE knows but that I haven't quite figured out yet. He is a flirt with people while shopping, as long as Mama, Dada or some other familiar figure is close by. Though a flirt, if a new friend wants to hold him he may not go to them as he likes to flirt, but keep his distance.

The other day while Carynn, Jamie, Ty were over for dinner (Melinda poppped by too.) Ty was sitting happily in his high chair when Carynn said, in relation to what topic I don't remember, "Mom" with the "aw" sound drawn out so that Mom seemed like a two syllable word instead of one and Ty pops right up with "Mom" (saying it multiple times with the exact same inflection Carynn used). I can see that we may have to guard our tongues more carefully, because Ty is so quick with repeating (or trying to repeat) what he hears.

Tah Tah for now-

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fun and games

I think the best method for diet and exercise is the Ty Michael plan! I know I burned more than a few calories while we were playing last week. We have toys for Ty in the family room, but a week or so ago I took Ty downstairs to where we have the toy and game closets. There are all sorts of fun things in there.

One of the first things Ty discovered was the shopping cart. It has held up really well for the past 15 or 16 years as one of Melinda's toys. Ty liked putting a baby in the cart and wheeling down the hallway. Every now and again he'd take the baby out and hold it carefully. He also liked the pink Barbie car and the other toy cars. We took turns rolling them down the hallway.

One of his favorites was the old electronic keyboard. The kids have used that to accompany their dances for YEARS! Ty loved pushing the buttons that play the various rhythms and songs. He also liked the Bop it! game. We're great dancers, Ty and I.

We played and chased and laughed and crawled. Like I said in the first paragraph it was one of the best workouts I've had in a while. Every now and then we'd read Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you See for a small break.

I like being silly with Ty.



Last Friday we took care of Ty for a bit so that Carynn and Jamie could work on their patio. They were at the stage where they were putting down the pavers in the sand. Well, Ty loved helping a little too much and every time they'd try to smoothe the sand he'd play in it. I think that's perfectly understandable. After all that is what sand is for. Anyway, we said that we'd love to have him come over so he did.

We had a fun time playing. At one point Ty picked up an older family picture that I like to leave out. It was taken in 1993 when we lived in Oregon. My friend had taken our "official" family portrait and then thought it would be fun to pose us differently. Michael's holding a rake, Carynn's pretending to style her hair, Lynette's talking on the phone, Bret's posed on his mountain bike, Melinda's holding a doll and I'm pretending to read a book. Ty held the picture, pointed to Michael and said, "Papa." Then he bent and kissed the picture. It was so sweet to witness his spontaneous gift of afffection for his grandpa. Ty loves his Papa and Papa loves Ty.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Fun

We had a great weekend celebrating both the lighter and significant sides of Easter. On Saturday morning we joined Carynn, Jamie and Ty for their ward Easter celebration. There was yummy food (egg/sausage/hashbrown casserole, biscuits and gravy, cinnamon cake, orange slices, orange juice), singing by the Primary children, a spiritual program on the Savior and finally the Easter Egg hunt.

The weather wasn't cooperating (not a surprise really as the weather hasn't been cooperating for a while) so we didn't know if they'd do the egg hunt inside or outside. The rain stopped enough that they opted for outside so we joined Ty and his parents for his first "official" Easter Egg hunt. They had a special area for the 3 and unders behind the church. The plastic eggs (filled with candy kisses) were scattered out in the open on the wet grass.

At first Ty wasn't quite sure what to do. Being a bright boy he caught on fairly quickly and gathered his eggs. When he realized that they had candy in them he wanted to stop after every egg and get the candy out, but he was persuaded to finish hunting. He really "got" the concept of the eggs needing to be put in the basket when he picked them up, however, instead of gently placing them in the basket he tossed them in. The hunt didn't take very long which was good since it was cold and wet. We all took pictures and some video. Hopefully some of them will turn out.

On Sunday, Carynn, Jamie and Ty joined us for dinner so did Melinda, Landan and Landan's mom. Landan's dad and grandpa were supposed to come to dinner too but they were sick. After dinner the kids hid the eggs I had creatively colored (watch out Martha Stewart)for each other. They hid them in the living room and got really creative considering that all 12 eggs were in one area. They also "hid" the eggs for Ty. He liked finding the eggs but again had some "placing versus throwing" issues when getting them into the basket. There were definitely some cracked eggs. He also threw an egg towards the basket (it went quite a way) which was retrieved by one of the adults.

He had a moment where he took a bite out of the egg, shell and all. You should have seen his face when he realized that he didn't like the taste of egg shell AND egg.

A good time was had by all!


Monday, April 6, 2009


Yesterday Carynn, Jamie and Ty came over to watch General Conference and to have dinner with us. Michael had the binoculars out as he's keeping track of the birds as they return and (hopefully) set up housekeeping in the nestboxes on our property.

Ty found the binoculars and immediately put them on, but under his nose. Papa showed him how to use them, but he still likes to wear them under his nose. When he holds them with the lenses reversed he can see his Papa quite well.

I loved it when Ty ran to me when I held my arms out to him. Carynn said that he recognized that he was coming to Nana and Papa's house. Yay!

Happy Spring!


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fun with Nana and Papa

We had a lot of fun with Ty while he was with us. One thing I noticed right away is that he is verbalizing so much more. He'll say Papa for Grandpa. He says a version of Nana too. Anything round is called "Bah" for ball-this includes oranges, apples and balls. "Dah" is our dog. He still uses "uh oh" too. Plus all the other words I mentioned in previous postings.

Boy is he sharp! When Carynn and Ty stopped by the day after we got home Ty made a beeline for our bedroom. I thought he'd mess with some of the decorative items I have on display, but no...he went right for the remote for the fan though he hasn't been ito our place in 3 months. What a great memory. He LOVES all the ceiling fans we have in the house and he loves pushing buttons, so it makes sense that a remote control that works the fan would be high on his list of things he likes.

Ty maneuvers the steps really well. He slides down on his belly and crawls up. Whenever he would try to do otherwise I'd help him by puttin him in the right position. Otherwise he might get too big for his britches and try to walk up the steps...not a good idea.

We played the "who will he go to" game the other day and guess what? Ty went to me first. I'm excited. That was a first. He ususally goes to Michael first.

Ty really enjoys the old Fisher Price toys that we've had for a LONG time. Some of them since Carynn was young, really. Others are from Melinda's time=meaning they're going on 19 years old. I like the durability of Fisher Price.

Ty went with me to Saturday's Young Women General Broadcast and Service Project. Michael could have watched him, but a 4 hour time period is a bit long for Michael so I took Ty with me. He met lots of new friends-he is a charmer, and discovered a way to get some sweet treats.

We had two tables in the Cultural Hall that were for refreshments for the girls and their moms to enjoy ater they'd finished sorting the clothes that we were going to give to a local women's shelter. The table was very colorful and springlike. Jenna (the Stake YW President) added a festive touch by scattering M & M's down the center of the table. Ty discovered that he could just barely reach over the top of the table and found that if he stretched a little he might enjoy some M & M's. That's what he did until we started pushing the M & M's toward the center of the table. That may be one of the reasons he was SO active as I was trying to get him to be still during the Broadcast. We ended up listening to it from the Mother's Room, the kichen and for a very, bery brief time in the chapel. I was pretty pooped by the time everything finished up. Everything turned out well though and Ty settled back down later.

A tired but happy,


Busy, Busy, Busy

We jumped right back into life on Tuesday, March 24. I had a young women presidency meeting and then I watched Ty while Carynn had an appointment. It'd been just short of a month since I've seen him, but he's matured even more. We had a good time. More meetings on Wednesday night, Thursday night and Saturday afternoon/evening. Whew!

We watched Ty while Carynn and Jamie went with our other children to Seattle for the weekend. We had a great time, but wow, he wore me out. I know I've said this before, but boy, does Ty have a lot of energy! With him being with us 3 nights-4 days we got reacquainted really fast. Here was our typical schedule:
6:00 - 6:30 AM Ty wakes up. Time for breakfast, diaper change
7:30 AM It's time for the tub! Ty loves bathtime. I used the big tub in our bedroom and put not a huge amount of water in it. Ty splashes, plays with the fish and blocks I put in the tub, the washcloth too.
8:00 AM Time for "our" favorite show on Noggin. It's about an octopus called Oswald. My strategy to get Ty to sit still was to put him in his high chair with just a few of his favorite snacks (yogurt covered raisins) in front of the TV. We worked up to him watching the whole show. This was a good way to get him to quiet down before his nap. I sat right next to him on the couch while he was in the high chair so he wouldn't be alone and we talked about the show.
Between 8:30 and 9:00 AM I settled him down with a drink of milk for a nap. Sometimes he takes a longer nap, sometimes not.
9:00 AM-? Naptime. Depends on how he's feeling
1:30-12:00 Lunchtime
After lunch play time
1:30 or so time for an afternoon nap
3:00 or so time to get up-juice/snacks
After naptime more play time
5:30 or 6:00 PM is dinner time
6:30 PM Ty gets some warm milk to settle him down
7:00 PM or so Bedtime

Now we didn't follow this schedule exactly but it did help to have a kind of order to the day. More on our activities in the next posting.


The Snow Followed Us Home!

We left Ivins on Sunday, March 22 and went to Salt Lake to spend the night with Bret/Laura at Laura's parents and coincidentally celebrate Bret's 25th birthday. It was cold in Salt Lake and we woke up to snow Monday morning. We left with no problems but ended up on I 84 instead of I 15 -still not sure how we did that. So we took the road less traveled (by us anyway)and came home by way of Boise, Tri-Cities, WA (where we stopped by our old home in Kennewick (It was still recognizable but the trees have certainly grown in the 24 years since we've lived there.) and were home by 9:03 PM-just in time to watch my favorite show 24.

We settled to bed and woke up to snow. We've had snowy weather off and on since, including today. So you see what I mean when I say the snow followed us home.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Silver and Gold

When I was in Girl Scouts many, many years ago we learned a song that we sang as a round:
Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other's gold.
Later I learned the other verse:
A circle is round. It has no end.
That's how long I want to be your friend.

That's been my experience in Southern Utah. I have missed the close association with our family and my friends in the Northwest, but have enjoyed my season and forming friendships here in "Dixie." I'll probably miss some names and hope they may forgive me if they come across this message, but there's Fred and Barb; Sue and Ron, Marie and Jim, Sharon and her husband Richard, (who is not to be confused with their dog, Jack, that's an inside joke); the wonderful and yes, classy ladies at water aerobics (you know who you are) where we solved the world's problems while toning our bodies to the disembodied voice of the super cheerful lady on the cassette tape; the marvelous individuals with incredible stories I met and grew to care for while working on Humanitarian projects; near neighbors Alan and Charlotte, Marilyn, Joyce, Cathy and Jerry; new friends from church including Nancy, Pearl and Salty, Loraine, Brent and Diane, the Garners, the Sorensens, Ann R. Then there's my "phone buddies" Jim, Brother Scott and Joel. I accepted the temporary assignment of calling them on a daily basis to make sure that they were alive and kicking-they live alone. Brother Scott would always answer when I asked him how he was doing, "I'm still movin'." Thanks Nancy for asking me to do that. Getting to speak to those gentlemen has enriched my life, helped me to count my blessings and given me a greater appreciation for my family.

Most everyone I've met, though not all, are of a certain age, one might call them senior citizens, but though some may have had more than a few years lining their faces their spirits are young at heart.

Silver and Gold


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stack them up bright boy!

It has been almost a month since I have seen Ty. I could tell right away that he's definitely changed, not so much physically as developmentally. One example that particularly strikes me was when we were playing with his blocks. Last month he would have just knocked down the blocks from the tower I made. This month he stacked blocks on top. He did this with both his wooden and plastic blocks on different occasions.

I love his laugh! It is infectious. I caught myself laughing just because he was. He was so pleased with himself when he slid on his slide. He climbed up with no problem and slid down. and popped up laughing and ready to do it again. He also attempted to crawl UP the slide. He reminded me of the little boy in the Christmas Story movie. He almost made it too.

He likes when I read books to him. His favorites seem to be the ones that are barnyard animal themed. One of them kind of reminds me of the old "Pat the Bunny" book-you "tickle" the dogs fur, feel the lamb's wooly coat, etc....He likes feeling the different textures and hearing me make the animal sounds. The board books are great because their heavyweight pages are easier for Ty to turn without tearing.

His vocabulary is changing too. I am almost 100% sure that he said, "Nana." Really and truly. His "Mama" is a definite Mama now too. When he was talking on the phone to his Grandpa it sounded like he tried to say, "Papa." He says his version of Melinda as well. It's not quite, "Ninda" or "Minda" because he does try to get the "L" from her name in there. It almost sounds garbled, but you can tell that he's saying it in relation to her.

It was great seeing Carynn, Jamie, Ty and Melinda; Landan too. I'm grateful to be back in St. George with Michael and to bee able to enjoy such NICE weather, but I''m also glad that we'll be home in 3 weeks.



Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 1, 1973

36 years ago on this date I met the man who would be my husband. I was at a young adult dance for our church. I remember the dances were held on Thursday nights. I can't recall who I rode with (I didn't have my driver's license yet and was between boyfriends) but it was probably one of my girl friends.

This very cute, tall guy with brown hair and glasses asked me to dance. I was wearing a long yellow dress that I had made. I danced a fast dance and a slow dance with Michael. I kind of blew him off since he wasn't a member of the church (he didn't know what ward or stake he was in) and offered a "See you next week," at the end of the dance.

He came back the next week and the rest, as they say, is history. Thirty-six years of it.

And making a long story VERY short, that's how I became....

Nana Shanna

Two Fisted Drinker

Since I was in town I was more than happy to watch Ty so that Carynn and Jamie could have a night out. It was between 6:30 and 7:00 pm on Friday night and Ty was starting to show the signs that it was near bedtime. I thought this would be a good time to get him his bottle and that I'd sit with him while he drank it.

I heated up his milk and gave it to him in his bottle. Right as we were getting ready to sit down he grabbed his sippy cup which had diluted grape juice in it. He pushed his bottle with the milk into it in his mouth with one hand and cradled the sippy cup with the juice to his chest with the other.

Now he's ready for anything!

He's a little sweetheart!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Jibber Jabber

We had another iChat conversation with Ty and Carynn the other night. Ty had SO much to say. Unfortunately I couldn't understand much of it. Sigh....I know that he's telling me something, but to me it just sounds like jibber jabber. They were happy sounds, though so that was good. Ty was being very busy, but seemed to enjoy it when I sang some Primary songs to him. He actually stopped and listened. That was very gratifying. I'm so glad that I get to seem them when I pop home next week.

We're enjoying Southern Utah. There's so much to do nearby. This week we visited 2 other states-Arizona and Nevada. Today we went to Pipe Spring National Monument in Arizona and Wednesday we went to Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. The volunteers at Pipe Spring were very helpful and gave us some ideas of other places we could go to see petroglyphs. I enjoy the historic structures that we've seen too.

The weather has been cool for here (high 50's) but still very nice.

More next week.


Thursday, February 12, 2009


Technology can be wonderful! We were talking to Carynn and Ty on iChat the other day. Ty was talking too. We couldn't understand a lot of what he said, but he was trying to tell us lots of things. He's a great mimic too. He did one of his funny things where you think he's going to talk but he just opens and closes his mouth and nothing comes out. When we finished talking I blew him a kiss and he blew me a kiss back. The first time he's done that.

It was wonderful to hear AND see them. Like I said technology can be a wonderful thing!

Happy Valentine's Day with kisses,


Stand up kind of guy Part 2

I was talking to Carynn the other day and she told me that one of Ty's latest "things" is standing up on items that he shouldn't be such as:
His fire truck riding toy and the plastic box that holds his Fisher Price Nativity Set pieces both of which he tried just in the short time that Carynn and I were talking. She shared that the fire truck toy had to be put away because once he gets something on his mind he is VERY determined.

That's my boy...a stand up kind of guy!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Oh no!

When I was outlining Ty's vocabulary I forgot a very important word that he knows. Yep, the "n" word: No.
No-1. Ty uses this word to let you know that he's aware of what he shouldn't be getting into but wishes that you'd still let him get into it anyway. When used in as defined it involves him turning around and looking at you hopefully as he says the word. 2. When spoken more forcefully this word indicates he knows he's not supposed to be doing what he wants to do. 3. Word sometimes used while moving his head back and forth while moving towards an object, etc. that is forbidden.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ty Communication 101

So here's a summary of Ty's communication methods that I've observed:
METHOD 1-Telling you in HIS language and hoping you understand him so you can give him what he wants.
His current words (and my interpretation of what they mean):
Uh-oh- Means he has dropped something accidentally or on purpose. That's the one Michael and I taught him. :)
Dada-Refers to his dad. But if he's using different inflections this word may apply to others as well. You must listen closely to figure out if it's you he's referring to.
Mam-Sometimes refers to his mom, sometimes mom is called dada.
Hi-Means hi
Bite-This word has many definitions. Currently they are: 1. He wants something to eat. 2. He wants something to drink; this usually refers to milk, but may refer to other drinks as well. 3. Sometimes Bite means one of his soft blankets. 4. Sometimes Bite means one or more of his stuffed animals.
Nana-Really I think he said it today relating to me. We'll have to see if he does it again.
METHOD 2-Crying while saying a word (such as Bite) to emphasize just how desperately he needs (in his mind) whatever it is. I witnessed that one today.
METHOD 3-Demonstrating by his actions what he wants, such as holding onto his blanket and backing himself up so he can sit on your lap while reading a book, playing with a toy, etc...

It's interesting trying to interpret what Ty's saying. Sometimes I/we figure it out right away and sometimes we don't. And that's the way it is all of our lives isn't it? When it comes to communicating, sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don't.
The important thing is to keep trying.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Back in town!

I got back into town yesterday afternoon. It was a very long day. We got up very early to get me to where I needed to go. All went well, but by the time last night came around I was dragging...Carynn and Melinda convinced me to spend the night with all of them and so I did. It was wonderful catching up with everyone (Insert Ty's name here!), and "chilling." I woke up early this morning since my body is used to another time zone. Ty happened to wake up around the same time so he and I enjoyed some time together. He smiled when I gave him the two spoons to bang together while he was eating breakfast; I smiled too.

There's so much to catch up on so first things first...15 month status report...Ty had his appointment (and some more shots) the day before yesterday. He's now 31 1/2 inches tall and weighs 21 pounds 7 1/2 ounces. He's in the 50th percentile for height and in the 110th percentile for intelligence. Okay, so I exaggerated a little bit, but he is very bright. Here's an example from just the other day. Carynn was in the living room when Ty comes walking in with a diaper and the travel size package of baby wipes. Sure enough he was poopy.

Ty's also very quick when it comes to figuring things out. He figured out that not only will the angel figure on his Fisher Price Nativity make the music go on when he puts it in place, but that if he SITS on it it will make the music go too. Fortunately it'll bear his weight. I shouldn't have laughed when he did this, but it looked quite funny.

Ty's also a TOP CHEF! He's not only into spoons, but will open the drawer under the stove (about the only one that isn't babyproofed since nothing in it can hurt him) and pull out the skillets and use utensils to stir food. He even puts them away. When I asked him to close the drawer instead of using his hand he used his belly.

It's so wonderful to see my favorite little guy. I get to spend some time with him again tomorrow as Carynn and Jamie have a bank function to attend. I know we'll have fun.

I love being a nana!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Missing you!

So it is January 11. Melinda's 19th birthday is tomorrow. Our youngest child is no longer a child, but will always be our child. I miss her.

We were so happy to have Ty over New Year's Eve. Ty celebrated the New Year by sleeping through it. Michael and I saw the New Year in, toasted it with some sparkling cider, and then headed to bed since we knew Ty would be up early. He's such a fun little guy and we wanted to have as much time with him (and with his mom and dad) before we headed south for warmer weather. I miss him. I miss them.

We left on Saturday, January 3 for our Utah experience. We budgeted two days driving because of the time of year. (It's 15 hours door-to-door from where we live in WA to where we're wintering in UT.) The mountain passes were not a problem at all and after spending the night in an Idaho Falls Motel 6 (since they're pet friendly), we arrived at our place around 4:00 PM tired, but safe.

We had a vegetarian dinner of cooked carrots, potatoes and onions since that's what we had with us. The 5th through the 10th we've spent time (it seems like a lot of time) driving to and from WalMart and Home Depot. Things are settling down now though I still have plenty to do. Probably only two trips to WalMart/Home Depot this coming week. :)

We've been enjoying the weather and blue skies and have spent time out in it almost every day. Yesterday we went hiking at Snow Canyon State Park. I don't know that I'd term it "true hiking," since quite a bit of the terrain we covered was flat and some of it even paved, but we did do some rock scrambling.

Bret's been helpful with tips on working with a Mac, since the Apple versus PC conversion is a bit different (and sometimes difficult) for us. It's nice to think we're in the same state as he and Laura. Hopefully they can visit soon. I miss them.

Lynette called and she's spending the weekend at Whistler with friends. I miss her.

I wouldn't say that I'm homesick necessarily. I certainly miss my family and I do miss my friends at home and my home, but I have Michael here and where he is is home. I'm spoiled though in that I'm flying to WA next week so for right now I guess you could say I have the best of both worlds. I'll take that, with pleasure.