Monday, March 30, 2009


It is hard to believe that Gage is 7 years old today. It seems like yesterday that I was on my way in the dark to Vernal. Ashley Medical Center...Have you ever even heard of Ashley Medical Center? It sounds like a cute little place doesn't it! It was the blackest of nights and I was going via Indian Canyon all alone because Steve had to be at work the next day for some big meeting of some sort. Honestly, you could go off the road in Indian Canyon and be lost forever. Dead or alive!

Because I am a nurse, Stephanie thinks I know stuff...I think I am supposed to know stuff but it has been so long since I knew stuff that I have forgotten most of the stuff that I knew so she just mostly wanted me there for the "mom stuff" and what fun that was! A grandma for the first time. I am sure that it wasn't quite as eventful as Stephanie becoming a mother for the first time but, there is nothing like it. And now 7 years later it is still SO MUCH FUN to be a grandma! Perhaps it is because I have such cute grandchildren but still...I have learned that you don't really have to know stuff to be a grandma you just have to be able to DO stuff! I love doing stuff. It is easier than knowing stuff!


Saturday, March 21, 2009


Oh how I wish I could take pictures like Shauna. All grandmas think that they have the cutest grandchildren in the world but, if you know how to use a camera like Shauna you can actually PROVE it! How fun to just snap away and try and get the perfect shot. That has not happened for me yet but maybe someday if I keep practicing and I keep having such fun subjects to photograph I will be able to become better. I will tell you one thing, blogging has made it much more fun to take pictures just knowing that there is someplace to put them all. I love these little candid shots of the kids. They don't have to do too much to show off their personalities, usually nothing more than just smile. Sometimes all you have to do is put a hat on them or dress them up in a Halloween costume and there they are... the cutest things on earth!

My favorite thing is when you ask them to smile and because they have had their picture taken so many times they actually POSE! Or if your Ali you... simply refuse to look at the camera anymore...after all enough is enough period!

Gage is just about the most photogenic little guy. What beautiful blue eyes he has. Even in black and white you can tell that he has the most exquisite blue eyes! I love that about him. Ali loves to act like she hates the camera but she really loves it. She is a little like her mom when it comes to pulling faces. I love that about her. We tease Stephanie about never being serious about a picture and I think that her daughter follows in her footsteps. It is fun to see what face the camera will catch with Ali because she is so quick to change expressions.

Cole is a busy little guy but can always stop long enough to let you take his picture. He is most happy to put on a hat or stand with silly string in his hair just long enough for you to take a picture then off it all comes...I mean after all how much can a 3 year old take...he is so much fun. He loves his Papa and his "Shatze grandma" and we love having him close enough to "hang out" with. Little sister Maddie or "Punkin"
as he calls her keeps him busy protecting his turf. He is learning to share, share be fair because of Miss Maddie and it is sometimes a difficult lesson to learn. Maddie loves her new found independence now that she has become vertical. She is a tiny little thing that can rule the roost and melt your heart all at the same time! Little girls learn how to do that VERY early in life especially with daddy. Abigail had it down pat upon arrival. She wrapped herself around her daddy's finger from the very start and hasn't even begun to loosen her grip! It is hard to get a good picture of her because she never holds still...NEVER! This is a little girl that is constantly on the move. Clark and Cami tell me that she really does sleep but I have yet to actually see her sleeping with my own two eyes. She giggles when she eats, after each bite. It is the cutest thing. I should video her instead of trying to take a there's an idea. Next blog look for a video of Abigail, I am sure that it will be enchanting...the back of her head as she runs from me!

Who knows if I keep this blogging thing up it might just be the back of all the grand kids heads as they run from me. One day they are going to look at these pictures and the things that I have written about them and laugh and will have been worth the chase!


I have had a few people ask me to post some pictures of Guatemala so I thought now would be a good time! We had such a wonderful trip and these photos really don't even begin to tell our story of Guatemala. If you ever want to go to a place that will stick in your memory banks forever go to Guatemala. It isn't what you expect, it is just the opposite. At least it was for me. I loved it and would go back again in a heartbeat!

These pictures are taken in Tikal, the ruins have been taken care of pretty well but, I can't help but wonder if we had something like this in the USA what kind of National Treasure it would be! Of coarse, there is nothing this old in the USA! As you continue to scroll down the pictures go from Tikal to a little village across Lake Atitlan (The Waters of Morman) called Santiago. The children were irresistible. I had to take pictures of them. The next picture is of a Church there that was established in 1549 WOW!

We go from Santiago back across Lake Atitlan to the hotel where we stayed. The pictures of all the flowers ( and I have MANY more) are from the hotel grounds. This place was more than amazing. I have never seen such well cared for grounds . They had all kinds of birds and wild life as well. It was actually a little spooky to go out on the grounds by yourself! They have birds that talk so you think that people are out there all the time trying to carry on a conversation with you in Spanish... If you are the adventurous type however you can wander for hours and just enjoy garden after garden of beautiful flowers, fountains and footpaths. It is truly an amazing place. Steve and Garett made so much fun of me for taking sooooo many pictures of the flowers and gardens. I think when I tallied all of them there were 73. But, in my defense, hydrangeas grow here like weeds! People, I spend the entire spring and summer trying to get one measly branch of a hydrangea plant to produce one small cluster of blue, pink ( or by the end of the summer I would even take white) flowers and every year I fail miserably yet, at Lake Atitlan they have to prune them back to keep them from taking over the rest of the gardens!! I could post so many more pictures of flowers but, as you can see in the next picture Steve and Garett are starting to get a bit annoyed with me and the picture taking in the flowers...

Lake Atitlan has 5 valcano's that rise out of it and around it. The picture of the three of us standing with the lake in the background is looking down on the lake from Solola, a quaint little village above the lake and my favorite village of Panajachel. ( This picture is the spot of my recurrent Hawaiimala/malenoma dream for those of you that know that story). Anyway, there are 10 different tribes ( villages ) of people who live around this lake. ( hummm 10 tribes...???) Most of them speak their own language which is not Spanish. One tribe (village, I believe it is called Monte Carlo) is only accessible by boat. There are no roads connecting it to the other villages. It is also the most distant. I would have loved to have gone there but time was not on my side.

The pictures with all of the cool architecture are taken in Antigua. I was a little less impressed with Antigua because it was very crowded and so much more commercial. Still, you could not help but be incredibly impressed with the detail and the workmanship that went into each one of those buildings. I just couldn't help thinking that if any one of those old buildings had been in the USA just ONE, how different it would be treated. It seems they take their history and the fact that everything there is SO old for them it is no big deal. To us it is just plain amazing!

These are just the pictures of some of the places that we visited. I could post picture after picture of the people that we met. What wonderful people there are in GUATEMALA! Family after family invited us into their homes and made us feel like we were family. They fed us, tried to visit with us as best they habla espanol... and gave us gift after gift until we didn't know if we were going to be able to bring everything home in our suitcases! Thank goodness we had Garett with us to speak the language and introduce us to all of the special people that he had met over the two years spent there as a missionary. The families that we met think of Garett as one of their sons. He looks a little out of place with his blond hair, blue eyes and his 6'2 frame but that didn't seem to matter at all to them. In a world full of strangers we certainly can find a family of friends no matter where we go!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Sometimes I think I have it all figured out and then it all falls apart and I have to start over again at the beginning. I hate beginnings! Sometimes I am convinced that I will never get it right so why even try starting over when I'm just going to end up falling short in the long run...there I'll be, regretting that I ever started in the first place. Sometimes I try too hard to make things too right setting me up for certain disaster and then sometimes... I could just care less .

When I really think about it, I mean REALLY think about it, it's the "sometimes" that make the difference. "Everyday" I need to think I have it figured out, that I have it right. Everyday I need to try, to care and to not fear the failures...I will fail, I am going to have set backs, and I most definitely will be disappointed. I learn many a harsh lesson from such insight but, lessons are learned and with that I gain strength in myself. I can figure it out, I can get it right, there is a place where there are no regrets and it is not that far away from "EVERYDAY" instead of "SOMETIMES".


Stephanie came down for the weekend to celebrate her birthday with us. We had such fun! She gets to share her birthday with her son Gage so we went to "Build a Bear" with Ali and little cousin Abby and built some of the cutest little animals you ever did see complete with little outfits and names! Then it was off to Soldiers Hollow for a night of tubing with all my adventurous work associates. What scary fun that was! Skyler, Cambria and Ali could not get enough but Stephanie after doing a flip over the fence decided that going too fast down an ice slide with no control or way to stop or even slow down was not an extremely fun way to spend the night. She was a great sport however and kept going even when she really didn't want to. We ended the evening with hot chocolate and donuts in the lodge and then headed home with some very tired youngins! What a great weekend! Thanks everyone.

Thanks Clark and Cami for spending time with us on Saturday. We know that you have had lots on your minds this weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you always! We LOVE you!

We stuffed and fluffed and dressed. Then we filled out the birth certificates and put them in boxes made just for them and brought them home!
It was so fun for all of us big and