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 real...like 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 early....it 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 Stevo...in 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.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sghwe4TYY18&feature=youtube_gdata

And this is a new song to me, but it's destined to become one of my favorite christmas songs:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3wujkozv9E
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!  http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/watch/guest/dCr2whry4eRNGjIsHmvMEw

Dear Benjamin

This is for you!   http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/watch/guest/L4mF-hLNh7deda3yYQKM4w

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.  Wow...fun.  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 out....so 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!  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/13/AR2010121301351.html

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 KSL.com and make a couple of bucks?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Real Meaning of Christmas

As told through the eyes of a child:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PURToRRq7gM

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Provo Utah Girls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84u5k4bboU4 Provo Utah Girls - Divine Comedy (has close to 100,000 hits!)
Some good Christmas fun(ny): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFtveCz6QZk

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!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXh7JR9oKVE  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):    http://kottke.org/10/12/how-to-fold-a-fitted-sheet

Of course the ONLY way I fold my T-shirts these days is this way:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An0mFZ3enhM

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: http://www.apple.com/ipodnano/ 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: http://amzn.to/dM605m ($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 want...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!