Saturday, April 30, 2016

Fashion Show

Emma, Heather, Hannah, Megan, Alyssa, Kathleen, Gabby, Sariah, Julia
missing from the photo: Susie
Hannah was asked by the stake primary to organize a fashion show for the activity day girls.  They had a stake activity for the girls today and at the end was lunch, and the modest fashion show. 

It turned out really well.  We had some cute decorations, pink and purple helium balloons & gold arc.  Hannah was the MC and she did a great job, the girls all modeled 3-4 outfits and they looked very pretty.  I think the little girls enjoyed it a lot.  The other adults there were very impressed with how articulate Hannah was, and what a nice job all the young women did.

As soon as it was over Rob and Hannah headed down to the temple.  Our ward had a youth baptism trip planned and she wanted to catch up and enjoy the day with them.  Grace and I stayed to clean up and then we had our own afternoon plans.

new whale pants
Meanwhile I took Grace, who said she loved the stake activity day morning very much, shopping for a birthday present for her friend Amanda. Then she went to the party. It was at Mulligans.  Amanda has been quite sick this year and has missed a lot of school.  She and Grace are really good friends and I am glad she could go.

Tonight we will all go to Joyce's 85th birthday.  Fun and busy day.  
Update: birthday party was tons of fun! It was great seeing everyone again and catching up with the family! They played their instruments and had dinner and cake and fun!

Friday, April 29, 2016


This morning I found Percy on his perch. It's the first time I've seen him sitting there. 
After we got everyone off to school Sierra and I went to the movies. We saw "Mother's Day", and we both laughed and liked it.  We ate popcorn for lunch.
Grace goes to swim team every day. She likes it a lot. 
These two went out for Indian food with some friends. This pic was on Hannah's Instagram, which means it's public:)
We facetimed the grandpeople and had a fun little chat.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Double header

Grace's fish science project went south due to a high fish mortality rate. Now she's doing tomato plants. She has 6 and is feeding them either water, milk or Gatorade and seeing which grows best. We think it will be water.
Sierra and I had Chinese for lunch. Also we did a lot of laundry. I'll miss her when she goes home.
Rob got home from Ohio. Mr Percy liked the suitcase and took a nice nap in it.
Sierra watched the kids and did all the chauffeuring so I could go with Rob to the temple. I did 2 endowments while he did his shift. The first one had about 5 women in it. (About the same amount of men). The second was in Spanish and there were well over 100 women (probably 60 men). What a difference. It was a good day, it's always good. Sometimes I go and it's good. Sometimes I go and really feel instructed and edified. Today was such a day, lots of insights and "ah ha"s, nice for me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


I went to Disneyland with Sierra. It was awesome, that is all.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

tuesday morning

I just got everyone out the door.  Can I just say that watching them get ready for the day take a Herculean act of patience.  Especially Grace.  She finds so many things to distract herself with that I almost can't stand it.  I usually have to busy myself with chores in her vicinity so I can keep pestering her to do this and do that but not actually watch her.
Also may I just say that the last two mornings I have got to clean up pet vomit.  Yesterday it was Z, today it was P.  And one of the hamsters looks to be on his last leg and one fish tank has got to go, it is stinky.
Yesterday mom and dad left.  We had a wonderful visit with them.  They were so helpful and also so fun to have around.  We went out to lunch on their way out of town.  Now they are visiting Anna for a few days.

Also yesterday we made cookies.  Hannah volunteered to make some for Sister Pincocks baby shower . And then she was busy so Sierra and I made them.  They turned on cute but I think I need some different tools because my piping could be better.

Sunday was a good day.  I had to go to the Somerset Ward ward conference so mom and dad came with me and Sierra took the kids to our ward since Rob flew to Ohio to do some work stuff for a couple of days, which worked out great because it happened to be Abba's birthday and they got to spend that time together. Anyway the ward conference was really nice.  We met with the yw presidency during Sunday School and had a nice visit with them, then we meet with the youth and that is always fun.  It was my turn to speak for part of it and it went fine as well. Then we had sacrament meeting which was just lovely.  They had a beautiful musical number and Bishop Richardson and Pres. Crawley both spoke.  Both talks really touched my heart.  I am so grateful to be a member of Christ's church and to have such wonderful opportunities to feel and be taught by the Spirit.
Bishop Richardson spoke on the parable of the 10 virgins.  He talked about how all the virgins were members of the Christ's church, and all were good people who did what they needed to do.  They were all there with oil in their lamps waiting for Him to arrive.  But some were wise and some were foolish and what was the difference?  And was he wise? (speaking of himself and inviting us to to think of ourselves).  The bridegroom (Christ) tarried and took longer than expected and some ran out of oil.  What was the difference?  What helped some to endure all the way to His coming, to not run out of oil (faith/testimony/).  He suggested it was love.  The pure love of Christ.  Love for Him, love for others around us as we serve them, love of the scriptures, love of doing what is right, love=charity.  
It was food for thought for sure. 
President Crawley spoke powerfully of keeping our eye on the Savior.  Of staying the course and not being swayed by anything, including our fears that we are not doing good enough.  A common problem is self doubt, of shame in our sins and the feeling that we can't do it.  These are tools that Satan uses.  God knew, and knows that we are imperfect, that we will make mistakes, and that we are weak and flawed.  That's why He provided the atonement.  That's why we NEED the Savior.  He is good enough, and HE shares that goodness with us.  It is only Satan whose lies tell us we can't, we aren't worthy, we aren't good enough.  Where there is faith there can not be fear so we we need to have faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ, and in His atoning blood.  Every day we repent and we try our best and we have faith in God's plan.  
It was a lovely talk and a lovely meeting.  

And tonight we have the baby shower, and Grace has talent show practice after school, and we still have Sierra staying with us for another 6 days so that's super fun.  Grandma Joyce's 85th birthday party is Saturday and Sierra stayed to attend, which is lucky for me because we get an extra week with her:) 

Saturday, April 23, 2016


We made waffles for breakfast. Our favorite mix is the kodiak brand and it was yummy!
When I am old and gray and living in a nursing home I am going to miss mornings in a crowded bed. I love it. The kids and the dog and the hubs and the cat. It's awesome!
Papa and Grandma went to Daisys to help her out with some stuff and to visit with Chuck. The rest of us went to see the jungle book, which we liked. Then to the grocery store. 
When we got home Dad and Sierra went biking.

Ethan had a friend over.

Hannah went out with some school friends to the bookstore and to eat cupcakes.

In the evening we went to the high priest stake social. It was very nice. They had a 50's style quartet, a tasty dinner, great decorations and we sat with mom and dad, Wes and Nellie and Tami so that was fun

Friday, April 22, 2016

Devils Chair

We hiked the Devils Chair today. We were a little faster than last time we timed it. Papa and Sierra came. Sierra zipped up and down the trail no problem. Papa is also a great little mountain goat. It was really nice on the trail. 

We always meet nice folks on the trail. This time we met two different groups who were hiking the whole trail. One couple had been hiking for 3 weeks and planned in ending up at the Canadian border. The other was a man from Alaska who is 70 years old and a commercial fisherman. He had already walked almost 400 miles. 
We only walked 8 but it was fun if not ambitious.
This evening we are watching a movie and Hannah's going driving. She will probably get her license in July.

back home

Here we are on the first leg of our journey.  Happy travellers.  It really could not have been a nicer trip.  I can not say enough about how beautiful it was, about how much fun it was to travel with these 3 girls, how easy and stress free(minus the driving on the left) and peaceful it was.  Every morning we knelt and prayed and expressed our great gratitude for this lovely opportunity.  Every night after reading scriptures together we knelt again and again our prayers were just full of gratitude.  I will always remember our nice time and the happy feelings of the trip.  I am so grateful to Greg, and Rob and mom and dad for holding down the forts and keeping everyone safe and well so we could go worry free.  Poor Marshall got sick while we were gone but his dad is a trooper and everyone did fine. Mom and Dad did so much carting kids here and there, keeping the home clean and the clothes washed and nice dinners on the table.  When I got home everyone told me how much they enjoying having Papa and Grandma here and how nice it was to have their sweet presence and careful help.  Now we have a couple more days together before they take off to help someone else so I am glad for that time too.

I found these beautiful roses blooming in my own backyard when we got home.  How pretty and cheery they are.  We also have herbs growing and mom made capri salad with our basil last night.  It was super tasty!  I think I ate a lot of it all by myself :)

I also came home to this darling birthday present from Jenna.  I loved it!  She knows me well!!
Sawyer came over right after school and heard all about our trip.  Hannah got him this fun hat and they enjoyed being reunited.  Ziva was also very glad to see him :)

Daisy and Sawyer came for dinner last night and we had a fun little visit. 

Also last night Hannah had a bunch of the young women over for some fashion show planning.  It went well and we had a fun time.  Only about half the girls came that we we expecting so she has some phone calls to make.  It's been a bit of a pain since she had a set of girls ready to go and then we found out that our ward has a temple trip that day and they all backed out, of course.  Then she had to find another set.  And now she needs to get in touch with half of them and make sure they can do it still.  But this is the way of a big project and you just carry on with it.  

Our flights, fyi, were fine.  Meaning we all arrived alive.  Heathrow to LAX was a bit turbulent and super, super long.  They fed us good food and we watched lots of movies and landed at the end so I guess it went as well as a long flight can.  

It's good to be home. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Heading home

We are headed to the airport and the all day flying fest ahead of us. 

I asked everyone what their favorite part was, well we actually talked about it last night too. It was almost impossible to pick. When forced Sierra said Blarney and her favorite food was her sandwich at the cupen tea. Dani liked the leprechaun museum and the story telling best and the dingle sea salt ice cream. Hannah liked our Dingle day and she liked all the food. My favorite was also Blarney and my favorite food was a blue cheese and carmalized onion burger we ate one night in a pub. The food here is really good, I think it's because it's real food, 

Everyone we met or talked to was super friendly. We had one negative encounter with a drunk man in Galway but other than that I have felt safe and we've enjoyed everyone we met from Joe the sheepdog man, and Joe the singing tour bus driver, and Cailen the story teller, and Aron the waiter, Sister Faloon the relief society teacher and Karen the barn guide and every other friendly person we talked to.

The countryside is beyond words lovely.

Driving was a challenge but it got easier as the week went on. Dublin traffic is like any big city (except NYC which is the worst)
The exchange rate was not in our favor but the Irish wage is lower so things didn't feel too expensive. 
Limerick was the least clean city we visited, Dingle the darling(est).

We bought a box or 3 of Jammie Wheels every day. The tastiest "biscuits" ever. 

When driving in roundabouts we liked to count out loud "one", "two", "tree". The Irish accent is so pleasant and impossible for us to not try to mimic. 

The magpie is my new favorite non-predatory bird.

I am pretty sure I saw a leprechaun on the grounds at Blarney, and Dani & Sierra stayed in a haunted room at the castle...maybe there is magic afoot here at the Emerald Isle. If not it was definitely  magical for us.

So thanks for having us it was the best!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Last day

Our last vacation day has come. It went fast!
We went to the Leprechaun Museum which was even more fun than we had hoped. It's a story telling museum so you go in with a guide who tells you lore and history, woven through stories and fables and legends. It was so well done and so interesting. We all loved it more than we even thought we would!
Our guide was named Cailen (kill-E-en) and he was a skilled story teller.
After we wandered the market and the mall. Everyone bought souvenirs. It was a fun many hour shopping extravaganza.

We split for lunch. Dani and Hannah had pizza and Sierra and I went to a 6 euro multi cultural buffet. 
We saw some cute elders and talked to them for awhile in the street too.
On the drive home we stopped at the beach and collected some shells.
It's been a great trip!
My birthday shirt from Dani! So fun!
I'll be sad to leave the land of 40 shades of green. I will be happy to see Rob and Ethan and Grace though. I've missed them:)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Wicklow National Park

We drove to Dublin this morning and went on a bus tour to Wicklow. Our guide was informative and interesting. 
The countryside was beautiful! So beyond words; magical and enchanting.

Birthday selfie. I am 48. How crazy is that. It's been a blessed and wonderful life so far. Hopefully I am doing good and becoming all God wants me to be. 
We hiked in the park. I keep saying how beautiful it is here but it really is. It makes me miss MD. It also feels a bit like San Fransisco, the weather I think. 
God is amazing. I can't believe what He has made!

There is a cemetery with an Irish legend surrounding it, I know, surprising. If a single lad or lass can wrap their arms around St Kevin's tombstone and touch their fingertips together they will marry within a year! 
Sierra had a very half hearted go at it, and we made sure Hannah stayed far away and didn't even touch it:)
We heard lots of fun Irish lore and history. 
Tonight and tomorrow we are staying at the Fritzpatrick Castle Hotel. It's very swanky.
Tonight we ate dinner in the dungeon!