Thursday, December 30, 2010

Greetings from California!

Well, I have all 3 of my children down for naps. Kim, Kiera and Lydia are all snoozing, and Cambrie and Steve are off having a rare bit of alone time with each other. They don't get a lot of that. Especially, lately!
This morning we went over to the VA Hospital to feed the duckies...and there were baby Duckies! SO DARN CUTE! They have probably only been hatched out for a few days, cause they were oh so small! It was really fun to watch them and the little ladies.
Yesterday was another rainy day in Southern California. Not that they needed that. For the last 3 days they have been trying to get rid of the mud in the streets from the 18" of rain that they got last week. We are talking THICK MUD! And even where they have cleaned off the worst of it, so there is a little bit left, the traffic makes it fly around as dust so there is dust everywhere too. And the storm drains are filled with THICK solidifying MUD. I am not quite sure how they fix that. But they are sure working at it.
Yesterday, while it rained we did FHE and made a graham Cracker gingerbread house for the activity. It was fun. And today after lunch it was a fun time again, eating it :) Actually, I enjoyed eating Cambries corn and bean salsa more than the house. It is really good! She says she will put it on Brett's new recipe website. So get ready.... good stuff!
Yesterday we also went to the "Soup plantation" for lunch....where there was nearly weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. When we asked Kiera where she wanted to go for lunch she said, "to the place that has MAC N CHEESE!!" So we did. Only they were out of MAC AND CHEESE. Crisis time, I am telling you! Thankfully a shipment came in while we were there, and Kiera was able to have her 3 plates full of the yellow death, and the crisis passed.... there was much relief in the land!

We were going to come home on Dec 31, but that plan has changed. We will come home Jan 1 instead. Here is some MOTHERLY you won't ever want to forget: DO NOT EVER EVEN THINK ABOUT COMING TO OR FROM CALIFORNIA ON A DAY CLOSE TO A HOLIDAY !!! Or you will experience that weeping and wailing I referred to earlier on. One half of California goes to Vegas for any holiday. We decided rather than face the nightmare that it would have been on the freeway last Sunday, that we would come on Monday instead. It was still pretty much a nightmare. Just not a total parking lot. So we figure that if we get up and charge early New Years day, everyone in Vegas will still be sleeping off their hangovers and we can pretty much sail home unimpeded. Sounds good. THERE. That bit of information alone was worth the reading this whole long blog for. So. AMEN, and I am done.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Brrrthday, Brrrett!

Well, well... if it's not Brett's Birthday. Happy Birthday dude!

I don't know if you can call it a Brrrthday today though. With y'all being in Hawaii, it might be more of an Aaahhhthday. When are you coming home? If you come home this weekend, you might get some belated Brrrthday.

Have a good one!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Added Family Recipes

I added a link over there ← on the left under the wish list for "Family Recipes".  It's a page Brett made for Christmas that allows us to add/share/print recipes.  Today I added:
  • Kim's Krunch
  • Bread Pudding with Lemon Sauce (mmmmmm!)
  • Marilyn's Stroganoff
  • Kim's world famous meat loaf
  • Raspberry Chipotle Chicken
  • Yellow Death Supreme

Movie Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

A Christmas Eve movie and A first for me...the first full length movie I've seen in 3D.  (We paid for it because we had a $20 Cinemark gift card). I liked the movie.  Action and adventure and good triumps! Unlike some other recent adventure movies (Harry Potter, Lord of the rings), evil in this movie never stood a chance...which makes it a pretty good feel good movie.  The 3D experience is one I think is going to become popular and probably the future of movies if they can get the price in line.  I really liked it.  It wasn't the extreme 3D like you see at Disneyland, but this 3D just made things look very you were there. 

Christmas at the Groneman house

Here are PICTURES OF OUR CHRISTMAS. It started for me about 4:30am when I woke up.  I laid in bed until I could hear indications from the basement that someone was awake.  I got up and brought come carefully hidden presents upstairs, turned on all the Christmas lights and just looked at the magic for a few minutes before Chad called to say they were about ready to come upstairs.  I originally thought this was going to be a quiet, uneventful Christmas for Marilyn and I as it is an off year for Christmas....the married kids were supposed to spend it with the other side of the family.  Well since Katie's parent are in Hawaii they decided to spend the morning with us after Brett got home from work.  Erica's family had their big shindig on Christmas Eve so they decided to share their Christmas morning with us.  It was really fun being able to watch Emmy's Christmas.  She didn't understand it but it didn't take her long to get into opening presents and playing with new toys.  Watching young kids like that discover the magic of Christmas is just the best part.  When Katie/Brett showed up we got breakfast underway.  We had bacon and sausage (most of which didn't make it to the breakfast table).  We had monkey bread and blueberry muffins, fruit, and orange juice.  Breanna suprised us by calling fairly was good to hear her voice and to know she was having a good fun Christmas with a family back there.  After we opened presents, we took B&K to the airport for their week long trip to Hawaii to spend with the Borups.  After we returned, we had lunch and then the Dastrups showed up and we got to spend some Christmas time with them.  We got to talk to Cambrie for a little bit too, though it was too busy around here to take the time to sit down and talk.  It was a great day and much different than I had anticipated it being.  There's nothing like having loved ones around to share Christmas with.  I had a real smile when I found Benjamin had learned some dipolomacy.  I asked him what was his favorite gift he received.  He said "The one you gave me" and pointed to a silly little race game I had given him.  :-)  When I pressed him further, he said it was probably his BYU stuff.  It made me smile to think he was trying to please me.   A sure sign of maturing.   Thanks everyone for making my Christmas so special!  Now we get to go spend a few days with the Nelson's and enjoy them.  Sorry laws are on their way!  (I can't upload any pictures right now because Blogger is having "issues")

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wake Up kiddos!

6:30 christmas morning and my little fam is sleeping away. I've been up since 5:30. Visions of suger plums were dancing in my head all night long and I can hardly restrain myself from going in and waking up my tiny ladies (except I don't want them to be grumpy so I'll let them sleep).

We put our cookies, carrots and milk by the tree last night after our drive home from Grandma Nelsons house. Kiera kept searching the sky for any sign of Santa. I told her Santa goes to Georgia and Utah first and Califoria last. No fair hu?
The girls were all very excited yesterday when we talked about santa loading his sleigh. Of course, Santa had to have a nap (same as my girls). They were so cute and excited. However, as I put them to bed and they realized that the fat beared man was going to be in our house they both got scared. I did my best to calm their fears but it was cute and funny.

Yesterday we acted out the Christmas Story 5 times in a row. Steve was Joseph, I was the innkeeper and the shepherd, and Kiera and Lydia alternated being an angel and Mary. Kiera was to scared to be Mary first, but after watching Lydia do it twice she decided it would be ok. After 3 times through the entire story she was begging to do it again. Thankfully, it was time to go out to lunch for Steve's birthday. Kiera insisted on wearing her Mary attire to the resturant. So Mary, complete with towel on the head and my shirt that went below her knees, went to Souplantation and ate 6 servings of Mac and Cheese. Many people at the resturant were chuckling and commenting on how cute she was (and she was). Then Mary came home and had a nap with her attire still on and the wooden manger and the baby in her bed with her too. So cute-- I should have taken a picture.
I'm so darn excited for tiny ladies to wake up!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A couple of really good Christmas videos

This is titled a social network Christmas.  It's a serious video, not a humorous one.  Kind of cool actually.

And this is a new song to me, but it's destined to become one of my favorite christmas songs:
Happy Birthday Steve!  I hope you get a nice, relaxing birthday.  No studying, no tests to worry about, no work.  Play with your girls.  Did they bring you breakfast in bed?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sorry for not coming to visit yall.  But frankly, I'm really glad I'm not traveling to Utah today.  After going 100MPH for the past few weeks non-stop we are so behind in home life it is rediculous.  Today we spent just trying to catch up on life: car maintanance, bills, cleaning, laundry, haircuts, bank, post office,  etc etc etc.  I think it will take at least 2 more days of this to catch up on everything.  Then we will be happy to take a break.  I need to find another job, we need to find Steve a job (and a place to live), we have enough to keep us busy every day of this break.  Sorry, but I'm glad that I'm not going to Utah!  Plus, we never could have been able to transport christmas to and from Utah. 
We'd love to do a video chat one of these days with any of ya'll. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear Kiera

This is for you!

Dear Benjamin

This is for you!

So it is really TRUE!

A couple of days ago, I paid an washer repair man $189.00 to replace the pump. OUCH!! I asked him while he was here what caused it to crack. He said mostly it comes from little things coming out of pockets and getting stuck in the pump. Baby socks, barrettes, screws and small things like that should be washed in a bag that can zipper close. But, yeah. WASHERS REALLY DO EAT SOCKS! And ruin them. I thought I should pass that along.

It was fun today: I got a call from the older lady in Georgia that Breanna talked about being such a sweetheart in her letter a few days ago (that took them out to lunch on p day). She just wanted to call and thank me for raising such a wonderful daughter! (It helps to have the cream of the crop from Heaven to begin with though-I am not taking credit!) She says that she is "perfect, and I just love her!" She says that she is going to church now-because of these sweet missionaries that came and helped her, and she is just really excited about them. She also said that they were going to come again today to teach her, and she is really looking forward to it.

Breanna called her "Sweet Bete" and she really is! It only took her 5 minutes to make that phone call, but it is making my day :) How often do we miss opportunities to make someone else's day by doing something simple? I know I have room for improvement in that category.

Good luck/skill Steve!

Go Steve Go!  I'm pullin' for ya today.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Birthday T-ta!

Happy birthday bug.  Hope the kids let you get some reading time in. :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sweatshirt switch?

I brought home and gave away some blue Novell sweatshirts.  I had a 2xl for me and gave away some XLs.  Well, now all I have is an XL.  Did someone take home the 2XL by mistake?  If so, I'll trade you!   An XL fits me fine but I like the 2XL to fit over other stuff and I dunno anyone else in this family that would want a 2XL except maybe Katie in a couple of months.

Picture of Christ from the Tabernacle

It's the most wonderful time of the year

I dunno why we were so lucky, but Erica/Chad & Katie/Brett came over for dinner last night.  Emmy was adorable as usual.  She loved the tree and would point out the mice, baby Jesus, Santa, and the dinosaurs. We saw folks up at Brigham's/Christa's on Friday, got to see most on Saturday when Chad moved, had a dinner last night, will have another one on the 22nd, then Christmas, then to Nelson's.  For the record, we have new neighbors now.  The OTHER Groneman family are our closest neighbors for a little while.  I told them they should just step in and take over Brett/Katie's callings in the ward. I got some cute pics of Emmy by the tree...I'll see if I have time to upload some tonight after work.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

MANY, many thanks!!

We are so grateful for everyone who came to help us move. We could not have done it without you.

Grandma: Thank you for doing the kitchen and for cleaning and cleaning!
Gramps: Thank you for the trailers and for organizing everything so by some miracle it didn't get wet!
Christa: Thank you for leaving your family to help us and for cleaning the gross bathroom!
Brigham: Thank you for holding down the fort at your house so your wife could come help us!
Steve: Thank you for helping us with round 1, even on your vacation!
Cambrie: Thank you for thinking about us. We know you'd have been here if you could.
Brett: Thank you for lifting and lifting and going down for another trip!
Katie: Thank you for coming and helping organize and pack everything even being preggers!
Buff: Thank you for being such a good missionary! Emmy loved her birthday card from you.

This is not even to say how grateful we are for those of you storing our stuff!

I wish we could say we're done but stay tuned for our moving party encore in a couple months! :)

We've got the greatest family ever!!!

Nelson post

Crazy crazy week.  It was one of those weeks where I felt like I was barely sliding through each day.  The girls were a bit neglected and thus were acting up which made things a bit worse.  (I always find that my girls are sweeter and more obedient when they get more attention). 
Steve takes his board on tuesday and wednesday.  Baby steps until wednesday afternoon!!!  
Kiera has a countdown until Christmas and I obviously have a countdown until boards are done.

I hope that Chad's move went ok.  I hope that living with the in-laws isn't too hard for you Erica  (not that mom and dad are difficult people or anything).  : )  I is just hard to live with ANYONE besides spouse and kids.

Brigham has been in my thoughts and prayers this week.  I hope you Dastrups are all doing ok!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Benjamin: "Mommy, can we have a dog for Christmas?"
Christa: "Absolutely not.  We'll have ham just like everyone else"
And I hope Benjamin/Kiera get to watch Santa's progress on the NORAD Santa Tracker

The day the Provo Tabernacle burned

I can see the smoke from the tabernacle from my office window.  When I heard it was burning down all kinds of memories came to mind.  My grandfather was the Bishop of the ward where the tabernacle sits for 15 years and lived a couple of blocks away.  When I was a boy around 10 years old (~1965) my grandmother took me for a walk in that direction.  Her grandfather, William Strong (from whence Chad gets his middle name) was a policeman for Provo city.  On the night before he was to retire from the force, a hobo shot and killed him about a block away from the tabernacle.  His funeral was held at the tabernacle.  My grandmother knew the caretaker and got the him to let us inside.  She showed me the stairs where they carried his casket and the spot on the floor where it sat during the service.  Her father had taken her on the same tour she was giving me. The care taker talked to me about the history of the building and how it had been the place where funerals for many important people in Provo were held.  He took me back up through a little door behind the organ and showed me the pipes people didn't see and told me about his responsibility to care for the organ and keep it oiled and clean.  He showed me construction back there and I could see the nails.  He told me of how the nails and the wood carvings inside were hand made  in a labor of love.  Marilyn and I attended conference in that building when we lived in Provo.  It was so beautiful inside (and out).  It's sad to look out my window now and watch it burn down.  As I was talking with Marilyn last night, the shores of the past are getting further and further away from the boat of life we travel in.  The building and the memories many people have that go with it can never be replaced.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Trying to get together again before Christmas...

Kim and I were thinking that we would like to have the family over again for dinner before Christmas. And we were thinking this Sunday would be a good time. But then we heard from Chad today that Emmy is sick with a fever, and Brigham also said this morning that Jacob is starting to get something. So lets NOT get together and share the joy of the germs of the season! But perhaps, we could try a Christmas Eve dinner (and I could try to have Nativity costumes done) . With work schedules that may not work. But Kim has Christmas Eve Day off. Maybe Chad does too, and school will be is that even a possibility? Need Feedback folks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Once there was a snowman!

Emmy loves singing Once There Was a Snowman, tall tall tall! Today's snow was absolutely perfect for making one. We invited our next door neighbor (Emmy's friend Townsend) and his mom to join us. Emmy was having a great time until Alena brought out the Oreos for the snowman's eyes and mouth--then she just wanted to eat one. (Sorry the pics are out of order, but you get the idea.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Erica & Chad

I don't usually remember anniversaries (heck, I need my calendar to remind me of birthdays!) but since the Google calendar reminded me it's someone's anniversary today, I may as well wish Chad & Erica a happy anniversary!  What's this...three years now?  Good start guys.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm done

Today I made rolls for a Christmas party.  Last saturday I made orange rolls and Cinnamon Twists for a RS brunch, Last month I made....etc.. It is flattering to be appreciated for my bread-making skills, and in the past I've been happy to make bread of some sort for EVERY single enrichment activity and party that there is.  But I'm officially done.  It is hard to say no sometimes but after baking ALL afternoon, taking the rolls to the party and chasing my kids so I don't get a chance to socialize at the party, and then coming home to a disaster kitchen I've officially decided I'll practice saying no for next time.  Not worth it!  I'll go buy some at the grocery store!

Brigham! This is for you!

Cancel that trip to Hawaii!

Anyone want a free printer?

We have a brand new, never used, Lexmark ink jet printer we've been storing in our basement for a few of years now.  I don't even remember why we have it.  I think it came with one of Grandpa's computer bundles (??)  Anyway, it's new, in the box, never been used.  It's taking up space.  Anyone want it?  If not does anyone want to sell it on eBay or and make a couple of bucks?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Real Meaning of Christmas

As told through the eyes of a child:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Provo Utah Girls Provo Utah Girls - Divine Comedy (has close to 100,000 hits!)
Some good Christmas fun(ny):

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I have just gotta say...

that looking at the MRS Claus banner at the top of this blog for this month is a great reminder that I NEVER want to get fat!

And I also need to add my public praise and thanks to Brigham and Katie for their musical # at the funeral. My dad was here for dinner last night. He says that many people told him that that was the best funeral they have ever been to, and the most beautiful music that they ever heard! Dad is very happy with how it turned out. I know Katie spent many hours getting that down in just a couple of days, and I am SO GRATEFUL to her for it! That number was REALLY magnificent. It is still in my mind this morning.

Dad also said, "I'll bet people in the audience were dumbfounded that I have so many beautiful grand-daughters!" about our singing "Always". I know mom loved that. One of her best loved piece of music sung by her most loved people: What's not to love about that?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas food court flash mob - Halleluja Chorus

This looks so fun!  I'd like to see the MoTab do that!  They could have a great time.

Monday, December 06, 2010

How to fold a fitted sheet FINALLY!

This has been driving me bonkers for years!  I usually just end up wadding them up and stuffing them in a cupboard when I do it (not often, but often enough to be frustrating):

Of course the ONLY way I fold my T-shirts these days is this way:

Emmy picts Nov-Dec

I realize we're probably too late for Buff to see these today when she checks her email, but I tried. Emmy sure loves her family! :)

Family Christmas Party - Take II

I'm just passing along and verifying what I heard.  Christmas party has been re-scheduled for this coming Friday the 10th at 4 pm (??)  We're having some Walmart take home pizza, someone is bringing some dessert and someone else root beer.  We'll still do White Elephant and pro'ly play some little kid games (??).  Nelson's/Buff wish you were here :'-(

Happy Birthday Emmy!

Yea, I know we sloberated last night, but today is the day and I want to wish my little sweetheart a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  You were SO GOOD at blowing out the candles for only being 2 years old! 

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Emmy's Birthday, part 1

We celebrated Emmy's birthday today with the Groneman side of the Family. We committed to Gramps that we would get some media files on the blog. Unfortunately for Breanna, the first one we've tried was the ~500 MB video of Emmy opening presents. It took a while for the computer to shrink the file enough to get up on YouTube. Working on videos is pretty intense for computers, so we let it do it's thing, and it is below. Breanna, we'll work on getting some pictures up. But it's past our bedtime here.

It was a fun day -- Emmy was in heaven. For Buff's benefit, Emmy was way into her presents and into her cupcake. She would squeal in delight each time she ripped off any wrapping paper - whether it was the whole thing, or just enough to be noticeable. She loved us singing "happy birthday" to her, and she blew out the candles. On the second try, she got both candles with one blow! She and Ty ran around in delight (especially Emmy) all evening long. It was a lot of fun.

Video of Nelson ladies in the snow

I dunno if anyone is reading this blog any more, but if you are, HERE IS A VIDEO of the Nelson ladies in the snow.

Grandma's Funeral

Here are the pictures I took yesterday and for Buff's benefit (and my printed blog history) a couple of samples:

More advice from dad

I held my sweetheart last night as she cried over losing and burying her mother.  I remember 3 years ago when I lost my father, laying in bed and tears coming in the dark and a loving pair of arms wrapping me in an effort to take away the hurt.   I think that though our bodies mature, and our minds continually learn through experience, we are still that same child we always were and from time to time we need someone to take care of and comfort us. Though near the end of our parent's lives, Marilyn and I were taking care of them instead of them taking care of us, we both still had an emotional dependancy on our parents because of the many years they were there for us when we needed their love and support.  Losing them still feels like losing a leg on the stool that our emotions sit on, and that the children we really are still depends on.  When that happens you need other people that love you to fill the void.   Don't ever get out of the habit of giving the special people in your lives hugs.....regularly.   It's an outer manifestation of love and the fact you are there for them when they need you.  My advice is to hug that one person you depend on, and that depends on you today.   You never know when they, or you, will absolutely need that support.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Grandma - a slideshow

UP for auction

This is up for auction. Ask your mother for details about how to bid. This was bought for Grandma to listen to in the care center:
An iPod nano: I don't know if it has 8 ($149) or 16 ($179) gig. You'll have to ask your mom. Kathy has the instructions.
and an iHome clock radio: ($54)
It's going out to bid to the entire family..highest bid takes the package. If you DO place a bid, be sure you specify it's contingent on getting all the cables and instructions. We've got the two units at our house, but nothing else.  Bid what you may get it for  a steal.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Pictures of November

CLICK HERE if you want to see some of the cutest kids in the world.    Here are a couple of samples:

Party On!

Because we realize that December is the month for Parties, we've decided to throw one. We're going to have a moving party on December 18th, we wanted to make sure we don't forget to invite anyone -- so we're just going to post it here on the blog.

We don't want to conflict with any other parties, so we're thinking we'll do it in the morning. Probably 9 or 10 AM. If you'd like to come, but can't at that time, let us know -- we're flexible to change the time.

Recommended Attire: Warm grubbies

Please RSVP to Chad or Erica if you are coming, so we can make sure we have "party favors" for you!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Made it home

9 1/2 hour drive home. 1 30 minute stop in Mesquite at McDonalds, 1 other potty-break stop. Thanks to dad's DVD player and my fixed power outlet it wasn't that bad of a drive. It is a GOOD THING we took your dvd player those since mine is apparently non-functional now.

Lydia who had abandoned all potty training in Utah came home and immediately went in the potty. Then she did it twice more independently before bedtime and went and told steve when she was done. Apparently, Utah potties are not good enough for Lydia's tinkles.

I got home in just enough time to change my clothes and go to work. Good thing my job is more of a break than work. But I just keep thinking of the thousands of things I need to do at home right now....

My Angel Mother is gone :(

This is something that is hard to blog about. And it is harder today than it was yesterday. Mom passed on to one heck of a celebration in Heaven (I am sure) 2 1/2 days ago. But I have had my kids and grand kids and sweet husband to distract me from the pain of mom's departure. This is the first time I have really been alone since she died.

Katie and Erica...and all of my kids in love...I wish you could have known my real mother. She was an amazing woman. She spent her lifetime loving, teaching serving all those around her. She was fun, and somehow managed to "be there" for those she loved in her life even while being a full time school teacher, Relief Society President, and taking care of her own mother in her old age. Mom was always a rock, and anchor in the storm that I knew I could depend on. And even though in reality she hasn't been taking care of me for a very long fact that role was reversed in the end...she has always been a source of comfort to me: Even just knowing she was around to talk to was comforting. But she did get me through several big crisis's in my life. Her love was unconditional and very precious to me.

Well, no, they didn't just decide to put the funeral on this blog actually. It just turned out that way. I am so grateful I have a wonderful family to distract me from the ripped out section of my heart while it tries to heal. Thanks everyone. I sure love you all!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Holiday, Oral Haslem 2010

Thanksgiving took a far 2nd place to the passing away of my dear mother in law, Oral Haslem.  What a great woman.  Cambrie left California and was able to visit her grandma before she died.  Of course the frail, old and failing body was not what Grandma was for most of her life.  She was a wonderful mother who raised some great kids, including my wife.  When I was trying to court Marilyn, her mother was on my side even before Marilyn was!  She made anyone feel welcome in her home.  I told Marilyn a couple of years ago that going to the mountain was more fun when her parents were there.  Grandpa was always off doodling with something but Grandma would make the mountain fun.  A few weeks back when she was mostly mentally gone and sleeping through most visits, I asked her when we were going to go to the mountain again and she opened her eyes and started talking to me about the mountain.  She loved it.  I can't count the number of water fights I've been in with that woman and she was a fierce water fighter!  She usually was the first one to let the grandkids get her all wet. However, she gave as well as received.  She had the entire family over for dinner EVERY Sunday.  That was until we were too big of a family to fit around her kitchen table and card table at the end.  She was a classy woman and I never had the traditional "mother in law" relationship with her.  She would hug me and tell me how handsome I was (the big liar) and always told me how lucky they were to have me in their family.  I loved that woman.  She was smart too.  A school teacher for many years she had a sharp and witty mind.  It was hard the last couple of years to see her go downhill with the Alzheimers.   We are born, we live, and we die.  There's no part of that cycle that we can skip. Dying is something that is hard to watch a loved one go through.   Grandma had kids that loved her and took care of her through the most difficult part of the cycle.  Though we lost the real grandma a while back to her failing mind, seeing her body follow was hard, none the less. She lives on though in her values and teachings and her DNA in my sweetheart Marilyn who has cried a lot over these past several days.  May we all live to make Grandma proud.

Thanksgiving was a good time to have the kids and grandkids that were available to share time with.  We missed Buff, Steve, and Brigham & Nelsons but Cambrie & girls showed up the next day.  All 6 grandkids were running all over the house playing together which was enjoyable.  Brigham also was able to come yesterday to be with Marilyn and were a great comfort to her the day after her mother passed away.  Marilyn and I have an amazing, wonderful, and enjoyable family that never hesitates to show love and compassion.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. From the sounds of it, my mom likely only has a few days to live.
Katheryn called from the care center. Mom's breathing is really irratic, shallow and with long gaps between. She is sore all over now, and not just her legs. They have to give her liquid morphine ( in addition to the longer lasting morphine she is now on 24/7) before they try to change the depends, because the liquid morphine gives quick short term relief of pain. But even on both, she cries out in agony to be moved at all.
David was with Kathy. He was with his mom when she died a few years ago. He said that what mom is doing tonight is what his mom did, 2-3 days before she died. And I remember, that the day that we had Jack moved to Saundra's (because I was joining Kim on a Sysop trip) he was also in great pain to be moved at all. That was the day before he died.

I will go and probably stay the whole day with mom tomorrow. I am sure that mom won't be aware that I am even there...she couldn't say really anything yesterday...And Katheryn says that she didn't acknowledge at all that she was even aware that they were there tonight. Yesterday, she could still drink from a cup. Today she can't. She is having trouble breathing and swallowing at times and Katheryn says that she heard a bit of the death rattle. I am losing her soon, until I join I would like to be with her while I can.

It is such an emotional tug of war in me. I hate to see her suffer, and she is suffering. She hasn't had quality of life for many years. I know she needs to go, and have praying for her release from her miserable existance since August. But while I know it needs to happen, my heart is still breaking because I am losing my mom! This is going to be HARD!

Anyway, I thought you should know. If you want to go say your goodbyes you can. She will probably not be able to acknowledge that you are even there. But it might help you to let go of her, and not have regrets later about not having done it.

Brigham, the Nelson tribe and BJ, we missed ya today. Brigham I hope you get better soon! Love you all. MUCH! And I am surely grateful for Kim who can hold me and kiss me while I cry.

Nelson thanksgiving

Hopefully I'll be able to post pictures soon; but no promises. 
Nelsons had a good Thanksgiving with steve's parents and 1 younger brother (Kyle).  We had dinner about noon.  Kiera had a few bites of beets and that was all because, just like last year, she filled up on junk food before the meal (last year she didn't even eat 1 bite of dinner).  Lydia did better though. 
Bev cooked all of the food 100% by herself other than the pumpkin pie that I made.  Too much work I'd say!  Although we had rolls, they were not orange rolls.   But I made some a few weeks ago so it wasn't TOO sad. 
After thanksgiving dinner we had a turkey piniata (nothing at all like katie-quality piniatas).  The girls hit it a few times before I gave the bat to Kyle who graciously busted it open.  The girls enjoyed it, but I think they'll like it more next year.  Personally,  I like the tradition more for thanksgiving since Christmas  has enough traditions already and it is fun to slay our own turkey on thanksgiving day. 
After that we went to a movie (a tradition of Steve's parents).  We saw Tangled.  It was Kiera and Lydia's second experience in a movie theater.  Both were missing naps and were very obviously falling asleep during the movie and getting whiney and fussy.  But we loaded them up on pinata candy (recycled halloween candy) and they survived.    After that it was time for dinner.  Yep, you guessed it-- Kiera wouldn't eat because she had filled up with candy.   6:00 both ladies were asleep on their grandma's floor.  Thanksgiving done!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Planning an overseas trip?

Google can help!  Check out step 27 (and 38)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Storm's a comin'

I dunno if you folks in Utah have been listening to the weather reports but they say one of the biggest storms in years is supposed to move in with blizard conditions Tuesday afternoon about 5 to 6pm and stay through Wednesday about noon:   They were saying that people shouldn't be out driving during that time at all.  Not only shouldn't people be traveling on the freeway for Thanksgiving, but not even in their towns.  Temperatures are going to be so cold that salt on the roads won't help.   I love my kids.  I don't want to see your heads smashed.  Don't travel during that time, OK?  Should be fine on Thanksgiving day.

On another note, you may have heard that Attachmate bought Novell today.  Not a whole lot of news there..they say they will run Novell as a separate business unit and that employees *generally* won't have to move to a new location.  There will be some layoffs but mainly in redundant positions (I'm glad I don't work in the HR dept.).  Everything has to be approved by the SEC and that pro'ly won't happen until Feb/March so it's business as usual until then.  When I know anything more you'll know something more.   On another's almost TURKEY DAY!!!!!

Happy Birthday to Kiera!!!

Kiera is FOUR!! Happy Birthday to our sweet little Kiera! We sure with we could be with you today...but I suspect that you will be at Disneyland having a good time with mommy and daddy, after school for dad. I sent you a birthday card last week. I hope it gets to you by today. And I hope you enjoy your present! We sure love our adorable little princess, Kiera!

Friday, November 19, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

I have heard quite a bit of talk about this movie being too dark and that there was a nude scene.  Bunk.  I thought this was one of the better Harry Potter movies.  It was intense...the little kid version of HP definitely wasn't there any more.  This was for an adult mind.  It wasn't anywhere close to being as dark as "The Dark Knight"   It showed the battle between good and evil just like the book but you always knew that good was the right side. I asked Marilyn if she liked it.  She said it wasn't nearly as bad as she had been told. She actually liked it.  The "nude scene" was the horicrux trying to convince Ron that Harry and Hermoine were bad.  It showed a fake Harry and Hermoine from shoulders up (bare shoulders) hugging and telling Ron they didn't want him around.  Ron smashed it with his sword.  A nude scene?  Hardly.  You see much worse on TV underware commercials.   It was a good flick.   Can't wait to see part II next year when I know that good triumps!  By the way, can you find Hermoine in this picture?  She's in there!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Be afraid

Be VERY affraid.  I'm just sayin.  The 4th is coming right up.....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Party Suggestion

Would it work better for people to have the party on Saturday the 4th? Brett and Brigham both work the night before, so we couldn't start the party until about 4ish (or would it need to be later, Brett?). Better or worse? Also-- would Emmy be having a birthday party that day?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wahoo! It is coming!

Hey, is time to reserve a spot on your calendar for the annual Groneman Family Christmas party!!!
Of course, the biggest hurdle to cross in this effort to schedule is to get days off to line up small feat in a family of medical people with non traditional hours of occupation. I have talked to Christa, and we looked at Brett's calendar, and right now, we need to say that it is Friday, Dec 10, just as soon as others can get here after work/school. Brigham as every weekday off that week. Christa suggested perhaps he could trade one of those days to get Saturday off instead (if anyone will cooperate), in which case we could do it Saturday and have more fun (nobody will have to rush home at 6 pm to get little ones down). So kinda hold that day open too until we know for sure.
I thought that the foods you call brought for the Halloween party were spectacular! I don't know that we will ever top that...but if everyone brings something, it will be fun and tasty. I think that each family can again, be in charge of some game, or nativity or something. I am open to suggestions.
- Where we only have 4 grandchildren that will be at the party, and 3 of them are in one family, I don't know what you will want to do with little kids exchanging gifts. Christa, any thoughts since you are the one with the 3 kids?
-What about the pinata? Kinda tradition...but Benjamin didn't enjoy it when he was 2 or 3 at all. Shall we try something else? I am REALLY open to suggestions. ..
-do we want to carry on in the tradition of white elephants gift exchange? It is only fun when people put some thought into what would be a fun white elephant (and I confess, I am not very good at that).
-Would someone else like to be in charge of providing the money trees this year? :)
I would like to hear what has worked really well in the in-law sides of our family's parties. So, there....we await your very valuable feedback!
-We will provide the Spiral sliced ham for this are welcome to volunteer for what you would like to add to that list...first volunteers for each category gets to bring know, so we don't have all desserts. Etc! We will fill in those category's that don't get taken.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nelson post

For the past 2 weeks or so, every prayer Kiera says includes "and thank you for Buff to come home soon".  I try to tell her that Buff is not coming home for a year but she doesn't get it.  Then on sunday on the way home she was talking about when Buff comes home (a subject initiated by her)  "When buff comes home from Georgia and takes off her missionary clothes then we can have FIVE people in our family again!"  She talked about how Grandma came and took Buff away in the red car.  (Mean old grandma!)  I tried to explain that buff wasn't in the Nelson family.  All of this is difficult for a munchkin to understand. 
Also on the way to church Lydia was talking about Utah and suddenly said "Brett!" (with muscles).  Brett if you were meaning to make an impression or help them remember you, it worked. 

I'm working working working.  This week has been long and frustrating.  Trying to keep up with this crazy schedule of ours when it doesn't feel like it is getting us anywhere at the moment is discouraging. 

Steve is studying for boards that are coming in December (23rd)  He was going to take them at the end of december but convinced him to do it before his birthday so we could at least have a few days to spend together before he is back in school.  So, he is studying like mad every second that he is not in school, lab, or being a full-time daddy in the evenings (since I'm working full-time).  He is super-man.    Oh, he does take a break once a week for intramural football.  My in-laws watch the girls at the sidelines.  Apparently they love footfall.  I come home from work after the games and Lydia is sleeping with Steve's football.  Brainwashing

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A day of traveling

Started in Utah waking up at 4:30 am for a flight that left at 7am. Had to change planes in Detroit.  Once I got on the other plane..they said they were having a little problem and it should be fixed in 15 minutes.  30 minutes later they said they had an oil leak in an engine and were waiting for parts.  90 minutes on the plane and they said the first parts didn't work so they were waiting for more parts.  2 hours on the plane and they said anyone that wanted to get off could to walk around.  15 minutes later they said they didn't expect the plane to be fixed until 7pm so everyone had to get off.  Then they told us to go to another terminal to see if we could get on another flight going to Orlando.  Went clear over to the other terminal to be told they found another plane our flight could use that left at 5pm from the original terminal.  Went back over there and finally got off the ground at about 5:30.  I guess I missed the meeting in Florida that started at 5. Just got settled in my room and it's 9pm. 

BUT! wasn't all bad.  First I helped an older black lady get her bags in/out of the bins as she couldn't do it and nobody else was helping her (I came from 6 rows back to help her).  While sitting in the terminal waiting, I sat next to a guy from Italy who lived in France that was going to DisneyWorld for the first time.  All by himself.  His European phone wouldn't work here and he was going to miss his shuttle since our plane was about 4.5 hours late.  I loaned him my phone so he could call and reschedule.  He was grateful.  A little later I sat next to a soldier that was returning from Iraq and his family was waiting for him in Orlando and he didn't have a way to call them to tell them about the delay.  I also loaned him my phone so he could call his family. He was also grateful.  (When we got to Orlando, he was sitting in the back and the entire plane let him get off first so he could meet his family....all the passengers applauded as he walked up the aisle).  Getting off the plane in Orlando, there was a lady a couple of rows up from me with a baby and a 2 year old by herself.  Reminded me of Cambrie.  I helped her carry her bags off the plane.  

A long and frustrating day of travel, but there were enough opportunities for me to feel good that it wasn't all that bad.   Funny how helping someone else you don't know makes you feel good. I am in Florida.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Orange rolls

I found an easier way of making orange rolls.  You make them exactly like you would regular rolls except add the sugar/orange mixture to the butter before cutting into circles and folding over.  I for one am not a fan of washing all of those muffin tins.  They are prettier in the muffin tins, but they taste great this way too. 

We need your faith and prayers

Hi Family,

So, most of you know that we have put an offer on a new house (still waiting on it to be accepted, but we're confident it will be). All of this opportunity of moving to a new home is contingent on our selling our townhome (or getting renters, which we really prefer not to do since we already have a rental property) in 30 days from when the offer is accepted--so the timer hasn't officially started yet but it will soon.

We have had 2 people walk through our townhouse, and we have received one extremely low offer. We counter offered, and they then counteroffered a tiny bit higher offer from their original offer. Essentially, we are done with these buyers. It makes me extremely nervous to let them go when the market could slow to an even more crawl than what it is when the snow/cold comes. But we are walking by faith.

That's where the prayers come in. We NEED to sell this place, and we need to sell it fast. We don't want to give it away, but we want to be fair. We are going to drop our price a smidge to attract more buyers, hoping that they6 will be reasonable with us. Please pray for us to find an individual, couple, or family who will be fair with us and be able to buy this place quickly. Everything depends on it.

Thank you, fam. We love you!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Movie Review: Stardust    What a cool movie!  I thought it was great.  Your mom liked it too.  It's about old England and a wall in a field that separates this world from another fantasy world.  Three stories mesh.  First, a boy who has one parent from each world goes on a quest to find a fallen star to bring to the girl he wants to marry...only the fallen star turns out to be a girl.....long story.  The other story is about the king of the fantasy world dying and his sons competing to see who will get the throne...they too must find the fallen star.  The third is a bunch of witches that in order to stay young, must ALSO find the fallen star.

It has Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, Clair Danes, and a bunch of other people.  We've got it and it's definitely fun to watch.  The checkout book is next to all the movies in the laundry room.
The perfect dress for church when a high councilman is speaking.  Would probably also work good for things like Opera and Ballet, etc.  Elegant yet functional.

Friday, November 05, 2010

2 things...

First, I got BJ's snail mail today. She gave me her new address which is:
4315 Lexington Road Apt 6-C
Athens Georgia, 30605-2545
So now you can all write her plenty!

So we usually have our Sunday dinner for the fam each month on the Second Sunday. However, I just talked to Christa, and that is her mother in law's birthday and she will be hosting Brigham's family up there on that day. So we are looking for another day. Yes, I realize that it is Thanksgiving in a few weeks, but I am thinking it would be fun to get together before that. Brett and Brigham can you compare notes and see if there is a day somewhere that you both have off . Chad starts his new job on Monday, but I think it is just a standard 8-5 job with weekends off right Chad? Saturdays work too you know. I suggested this Sunday, but today both Ty and Jacob are sick with fevers...hopefully be gone by Sunday, but one never knows. IF they are better by Sunday, does that work for the rest of ya?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

I'm so excited about the holiday season!  I'm ready to sloberate through New Years!  I hope it snows all winter.  And who is it that wants to eat turkey instead of ham?!?  Huh?!?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

So, da plan!

The Thanksgiving feast this year will be at 3:30-4ish. Sounds like that works for everyone. And that, in and of itself, is something to be thankful for!
And before I forget to ask: Did everyone (but Dastrups, evidently) vote to have ham this year? Christa and I think it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the Turkey. We CAN to both, so don't panic people. But I would like to know what your preference would be.

Kim and I will provide Turkey, Ham, gravy, Pies (and I wouldn't cry buckets if someone wants to take over pies-I hate making crusts, but it would have to be our traditional recipes or Kim will likely boycott the whole thing!)
Christa -Sweet Potatoes and Stuffing
Chad and Erica-Mashed Potatoes and Fruit something or other
Brett and Katie-ROLLS! Maybe a few Orange rolls even? :) and Veggie Tray
If you choose to take over pies, I will provide the pie apples (bottled) and take over one of your assigned dishes.
If anyone has a traditional thing on their side of the family, feel free to bring it! And an appetite! Just remember, calories don't count on Thanksgiving day.

Voting advice from Dad

With regards to constitutional changes, initiatives, etc. my advice would be to never vote FOR something that changes the status quo unless you really understand the issue.  Too many times changes have been voted for that end up having unintended consequences.  Don't vote for changing something just because someone else is, or you have heard one compelling side of the story.  The voter information pamphlet that comes out in this state is a good starting point to understand all sides of the issues.   If you don't feel you understand it, I would suggest voting against it.  If you understand it and want the change, vote for it.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Anybody want to buy a house?

Here's one I think you'd like:

Mmmm....candy       Ewww!

Dastrup Halloween Pictures

Can be seen HERE.  Looks like all three boys were into the Halloween spirit.  Jacob looks like he's enjoying it as much as Ty.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sorry, no pictures....just my weekly blog

Blogging from work again.  No pictures.  I actually haven't even seen the pictures of Halloween myself yet.  I was working.  I probably could have got it off had I wanted to, but I figured we needed the $ so very reluctantly I went to work. 

Steve took the girls to the ward trunk or treat.  Kiera has been counting down for 2 weeks (literally counting).  Their ride to the party bailed on them a few hours before it started so Steve had to frantically call everyone trying to find a ride.  He finally found one 30 minutes before it started.  The girls didn't get to bed until 2 hours past bedtime because Steve couldn't find a ride home either.  But at least they had fun.  Steve said they were wearing their costumes (cinderella and sleeping beauty) for hours before the event but apparently right before they left to go they both decided they wanted to wear something else so they ended up wearing tu-tu's to trunk-or-treat in.    Oh well! 

In our previous house or next door neighbor was a very nice lady who would randomly come over with mountains of gifts for my girls (I'm talking like $200+ worth of gifts in one day).  We haven't seen her since we moved in may, but she came and found us in our new house and unexpectedly brought us mountains of gifts again for our little ladies tonight for Halloween.  I'm not going to complain!  What a blessing!! 

As of now I'm working 37 hours per week.  Busy busy busy.  OH, and the tiny room I work in is infested with cockroaches which is disgusting.  Last night they were crawling around the diaper change table as I was changing my patient's diaper.  Tonight when I picked up my lunch bag off of the floor, one crawled out.  I see them crawling up walls, up my employer's leg.  YUCKY!!!!!!  

Halloween is over...on to THANKSGIVING!

You parental units out there are shirking your DUTY! Where are your kids Halloween pictures? We are waiting with baited breath!

Also, Dastrups and Chad and Erica: see if you can get together to decide when you would both like to bring your kids here while you do your temple/date. I like them to come together for cousin bonding, and I am pretty flexable on when I can do it.

Also, Thanksgiving is coming in a few weeks. Dastrups, I am not sure if you are coming or not, and if you can what time. Also I need to know what time Brett will be available. I am assuming that Chad will be available anytime that day? I just need to know the medical peoples schedules.

I think this birthday will be her last...

We just got back from the Care center. My mom was quite out of it today. She mostly slept through our conversations with dad. She was really struggling to try to get a drink out of the straw. It has a cap that you can cover the straw with and she kept trying to drink out of that, even though I kept putting the straw in her mouth and trying to get her to suck on that. I finally removed the cap and she did better. But she was on another planet today.

For those of you who remember Wanda-the lady in the wheelchair that was always trying to find someone to take her home. Well, God finally did. She died yesterday from a viral infection. Rather sobering really. She seemed like she was doing great on Wednesday when I saw her. She still had her blue bear and was eating dinner. I thought she was the most likely one in there to outlive the rest. Dorothy , another resident who lived there, came in mom's room one day and laid down on the bed. When the CNA came to get her and take her back to her room, she said, "I'm not going in there, there aren't any people there!" She wanted to be where there were visitors, hers or not. She also died this week. She had been a widow for 50 years, so I am CERTAIN there was a very happy reunion for her in Heaven.
Both of those women had seemed pretty perky before they died. It made me realize how little time we might have left with mom. It could be this week.
Mom's birthday is Nov 12th. We will be having a sibling dinner there that night. She may not be very aware of her surroundings enough to even begin to have a conversation, but she likes her people there. Every time I go to leave, she protests. I know she won't be with us for very much longer...I think at the most she may have only 3 months. If any of you are interested in sending her a Bday card here is her address: 2877 W Center St; Provo, UT 84601

Mom has been such an influence for good on me. Any good qualities I may have are because of my sweet mother. And I know that part of the reason you kids did so well in school was because of the Education Scholarship $ she started with her kids and carried on with her grand kids (and because she did it and it had been a good motivator for me, I also wanted to do it with you kids) Since you got $ in no other way, it helped you to be good students. But more than that, I just appreciate that she taught me the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I value my testimony of the church and my great love for my Heavenly Father more than anything else. She put me on that path to happiness I have now, and as I see the trials in the world today that people struggle with, and how so many don't know where to turn for peace and happiness that I know, I just feel sorry for them. I wish I could just give people what the gospel has given me. But that is something people have to do individually. Well, enough. I mostly just thought I would share how mom is doing.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


<- - - -  The Dastrup blog is back!  Christa, did you know you can have one email address forward email to another with gmail?  You can use both email addresses but only actually use one.  I do that.  I have my gmail address forwarded to my address so anyone that sends me email to my gmail account will get to my novell account.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Christmas Gift Exchange

UPDATE: See Brett's shared google document.

I believe the previous spending limit was $20 time to spare!

Hurry!  Someone notify your aunt Nadine (or Jonell as she likes to be called)!  Maybe she'll be enticed to move to Bulgaria!

If you haven't lost your blog

For those of you who haven't lost your blog, I just would like to take a second to remind you of THIS.

SLEDDING, anyone?

We got walloped! I have been out with my broom shaking the branches of my trees that are loaded to the point of touching the ground, so that they don't break. There is at least 12" of snow out there! We were supposed to get 1/2 in but the biggest part of the storm came right over the top of us! It was shocking to wake up to, but it puts me in the mood for the holidays. If we can just get Halloween out of the way.
It sure is beautiful though. For those of you counting your blessings that you don't have snow to contend with, it is supposed to be in the 60's this weekend. It won't last. We aren't even going to shovel.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

who has who?

who has who for christmas this year?  I can't remember for the life if me who I gave a gift to last year. 

On a lighter note....

Click here for chat at it's finest:  HERE

Monday, October 25, 2010

Keeping your password safe

Dunno how someone got Christa's/Buff's/Katie's accounts but here are some tips to keep you safe:

1 - NEVER NEVER NEVER enter any passwords, especially banking information if you are connected to an unsecure wireless.  If you are unsure if it's unsecure, don't do it.

2 - Don't ever use your spouse's name, your birthday, his/her birthday, your hometown, or anything else that is easy to find as your password.  There are machines out there that will compile that information (available online mostly) and automatically try combinations of it on your accounts to try to hack in.

3 - When you do have a good password, put some non-alpha characters in it somewhere.  For example if you like "forest", make your password "&forest1" or "for*est".  The longer your PW the better. Change it up once in a while.  Go from "for*est" to "fore$t" etc. etc.

4 - If your password is so complicated you have to write it down's too complicated.  Make it something you can remember without writing it down or [shudder] keeping it as a note in your iPhone, etc.

5 - If the URL you are at when you are entering your ID/PASSWORD doesn't start with HTTPS:// then DON'T TYPE YOUR PASSWORD.....EVER.  If it just starts HTTP:// it is totally unsecure. (In your gmail account, go to SETTINGS and set it to always use https)


UPDATE:  Christa says she lost control of her email account and lost her blog, etc. so apparently this is more serious than I orginally thought.  Suggestion:  Change your password to your google mail accounts asap:

"Hi" That's the subject of an email I have received from both Breanna's and Christa's gmail account.  Here is the text of the email without the KIM included:

my dear
Is everything ok?By the way,i found an excellent website in a few days,
and the goods on there are cheap and economical,
here is the address of that company You can log on their website
http://www.famous-elec.kimcom/ well,nothing special,just send u my truely regards,
hope u hv a nice day,and god bless u!
Sincerely yours.♀
It's coming from: "Received: from not authenticated" which means that someone is spoofing the email addresses and routing them through google servers.  It's actually quite common and nothing really you can do about it so don't worry about it, but just be aware it's happening and you may want to let your friends know it's not you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Nelson update

By the way,  who has whom for Christmas this year?

News with us...hmmm...   Lydia has been sleeping in a toddler bed this week.  She does fairly well but she is a little jack-in-the-box in the middle of the night.  It seems like every time she wakes up she has to wander in my room and start climbing on the bed.  Then I have to take her back.  Yesterday while I was at work Steve says she apparently fell out of bed.  Her ankle was swollen and she

refused to stand on it for hours.  Today she is walking with a cute little limp.  Poor lady!!!  

I put curlers in Kiera's hair to curl it for church today.  She was so excited and proud of her curlers. Funny girl.  I hated them at her age! 

We have not had any time to try to figure out where we are going to be working 8 months from now.  We need to do some more research and phone calls.  but between my working full time on top of my already busy schedule and steve going to school, tending kiddos while I working, and trying to study for boards we just haven't made the time.  It is absolutely imperitive that Steve pass his boards the first try.  If he doesn't, we have no idea if our baby(s) will be covered by insurance when they are born.  Lots of pressure on Steve. 

The only family time we have all week together is saturday and sunday mornings.  Saturday we went to our local pumpkin patch again.  It is owned by someone in our ward.  The father if the people who own it is also in our ward and has a particular liking of our family.  He told us he would get us some free tickets if we went there again.  To our surprise though he got us wrist bands (which they sell for $200+ each) to get into any ride or anything for free.  We had tons of fun with our girls.  We took them on $25 worth of just pony rides!  Lydia of course had to do it by herself.  Oh, they had one of those things with the trampolines that you can jump on while attached to the bundgee cords so you can jump super high and do tricks.  Yes, Lydia wanted to do it REALLY bad.  They said she just barely made the weight minimum.  But then they informed us that it was the only thing in the park that you had to have tickets and not the wrist bands.  Too bad!  I really wanted to see her do it! 

VERY anxiously awaiting news wednesday.  Nervous and excited.  


To anyone who thinks that they will be home buying soon. Everytime you live somewhere you expand your parameters of what you would like in a future home. After having been alive for 55 years, this is what I think I would like. I welcome anything else you people think is important too.
-Location, location, location. The schools and church that your children will attend is very important. The church is the same everywhere you go, but the devotion of the people isn't. Schools are easier to detect as you can seek out where the best districts and schools scores are online. By location I do not mean fancy. Fancy matters not. But you need to find good neighbors in a clean and well cared for neighborhoods. Run down neighborhoods don't usuallly produce the best neighbors either.
-A west facing house so that you have afternoon and evening shade in the backyard for BBQ's and the like.
-A large kitchen with lots of cupboards.
-If you are having a home built upgrade the heater, AC, shingles. The cost isn't much more, but will save you a lot of money in the long run.
-Tile floors. Be careul not to buy the kind that when the top chips it shows darker underneath. Porcelin is best.
-A wood stove if possible, for Emergency preparedness, and the cozy comfort of a fire in the winter. Gas stoves produce neither. There is some heat that comes off a gas fire, but they are very inefficient at producing warmth-mostly just for looks.
-A place to have food storage, perferrably cooler and darker than the rest of the house as that helps to preserve the food longer.
-A house that is within easy means of making payments. Lots of people try to get EVERY LAST dollar that they can possibly qualify for with your wage. This leaves them "house poor" for a very long time, which adds stress to marriage and family life as their family gets bigger and more expensive as HS /mission/college age approaches. I would buy a house adequate to your future NEEDS not necessarily your future wishes. Freedom from financial bondage is a GREAT asset in a home, as many people in this country who have lost homes in the last couple of years can testify.
The home teachers are here...add away
[time passes and Kim takes over the computer....bwahahahahaha!]
What was wrong with our Orem house? Dining area way too small. Master bedroom on the small side. Family room in the basement (cold) and too long/narrow. No garage (I built the carport into a garage eventually).
What was wrong with our AF house? The master bedroom was in the front right next to the front door. The "living room" was way too big and we never used the dining room because the table was in the family area next to the kitchen. The family room there was too small.
What we had done special in this Cedar Hills house: Wall sconces instead of centered overhead lights. Outside entrance to the basement. Extra linen closet in the master bath. Extra room in the family room and living room (though the living room is still basically a waste of space). Extra attic insulation, extra efficient furnace/AC, 40 year shingles
What I wish we would have done here: No tub in the master bath, all we need is a shower.
General advice: lots of closets and storage space..especially if you have a wife that is a squirrel at heart....and now I turn the microphone back to Marilyn

Marilyn has returned to reclaim this post! Amen about my squirrel genetics!

One thing that many people don't seem to understand about home purchasing: Your 30 loan doesn't pay off the principal on the home at the same rate at the beginning of your loan as it does at the end. For instance: Let's say that you have a $1K per month mortgage. For the first year or so you will probably be paying 99% interest and 1 % towards the principal (the amount that actually goes to paying off your loan). So if you pay your $1K then $10.00 goes to the principle. Therefore, if you paid $1,050.00 instead of the $1K required, you are basically saving yourself 5 months of the full payment at the end of your loan.(towards the end of your loan most of your mortgage payment goes towards the principal). So you can see how important it is to put as much money in the early years of your mortgage as you can. Other "investments" will not payoff like putting extra money on your house payment. Kim and I payed off our 30 year mortgage in 13 years by paying extra when we could on our mortgage, and that is really NICE because that is the time frame that kids become a whole lot more expensive with missions, college and the like in your face. My advise: Follow the prophets counsel and get out of debt as soon as possible. And as far as following the advise of financial "experts" who give you differing counsel- just know that they are WRONG! If you go against counsel of a prophet of God, in the long run you will be sorry. I know that is true!

Do with this information what you will. But I thought you ought to know.


You are all likely to think that I should have made this decision about 15 years ago, but I couldn't because I was raisin' kids.
As Kim mentioned, yesterday I spent most of the day canning Spagetti Sauce and basil/garlic tomatoe juice. I had lots of time to think.
I am always trying to figure out ways that I will have more time to do Family History and geneology, which is always calling me to come do it. It is why I have taken out 2 of my flowerbeds in my front yard, so that I will have more time for Family History. Well, yesterday, I decided that I can "Can" most of my canning! All except for the stuff that I can't buy something reasonably close at the store. That means that I won't have things all be exactly how I prefer them, but we will survive that, probably.
I am glad I did it for all of those years you kids were home. It saved us a lot of money and helped teach my children to work, which is one of the most valuable things you can teach them, (right after teaching them the things about Christ and his true gospel). But those times are past. Now, I need to seek out my ancestors and give them access to the most priceless gift ever. It is a driving need in me.
So don't be surprised if I start offering up my canning jars as I empty them. Right now, they are nearly all full...but it won't stay that way.
BTW, if anyone wants to bottle tomatoe anything...Webers have about 15 bushels of them in their garden that will get frozen Monday night. They are welcoming any takers.


There's this one place on our walk that always grows mushrooms.  It varies from a couple of them to a couple of pockets full.  A couple of days ago it had more mushrooms there than I had ever seen.  Must be about 10 pounds of mushrooms we picked, chopped up, and put in the freezer.  They are nummy in spagetti sauce (which your mom bottled yesterday...along with some spicy tomato juice.....she was tuckered out at the end of the day).