Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What I Am Doing These Days

I have been very lax about my blogging lately. I have tried to keep up with most of you, but I have been consumed by other things. Besides having kids and grandkids around whenever I can, I have been working hard on a calling (an assignment within out church)that I was given last spring. I am the director of our Corvallis Nativity Festival. This is a community event that has been hosted at our church for 17 years. Last year it was held for 3 days and about 3,000 people came through. This year we have expanded to 5 full days. We have up to 3 concerts in the evening where other church groups and community groups perform for about 1/2 hour. On Sunday evening, we broadcast the annual Christmas Devotional featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This year on Monday we are having our first ever community Messiah Sing In. Our theme this year is "Come Unto Bethlehem" where your are transported to the streets of Bethlehem with tents and shopkeepers and costumed people. We have live background music going on during the display and all the nativities are displayed within the design. We have between 600 and 800 nativities that are displayed.
Needless to say, this is a HUGE project and it has been consuming me. This year we are doing a big push with social media. You can check out our web site at or go on Facebook and type in Corvallis Nativity Festival and go to our page. We even have a couple of YouTube videos that are posted for people to see what we are doing.
I promise to get back to what is going on in my life after this month. But right now, I have TONS to do!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Last Gasp of Summer 1/2 Marathon

I hope everyone understands that I am not trying to brag, but this is a big deal to me. A couple of weeks ago I completed my second 1/2 marathon. I walk, I don't and can't run. It is a big deal for me because 3 1/2 years ago I had a total knee replacement on the right knee. In addition, one year after that I had major reconstructive surgery to rebuild my left foot and ankle. I had what is a called a deep tendon transfer to re-stabilize and realign my foot and ankle. I spent nearly a year (before and after surgery) in a walking boot and in physical therapy. So for me to walk 13.1 miles is quite an accomplishment. This year I competed for the second time. Not only did I finish, but according to race results, I shaved 27 minutes off of my time from last year. I completed the race this year in just over 3 hours. I consistently walk at a pace of about 15 minutes per mile and I knew I was really pushing during this race. My friend Lori walked with me, along with Reed and Jessica. My son-in-law ran the race. It is a beautiful race on the Oregon coast that takes you up along the town's water storage with trees and ponds on both sides of the road, along a nature trail to the beach and then about 1/2 of the race is right on the beach. Jessica and I were true walkers while Lori and Reed did a little jogging. This has become for me a huge way in which to compel myself to keep active and try and stay in shape after these surgeries. It has helped me to be more active and hopefully to prolong the life of the left knee which is having the same problem as my right. I know that eventually I will have to have that one replaced too, but for now, I will keep walking.
Please excuse my race attire. I get very warm while I walk!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Sweet

This sweet little girl will be 3 years old in another month. I just got a phone call from her. She wanted to call and sing me a song. So she did. She sang the whole song of "I Love to See the Temple". All by herself. Twice. Wow, I was so impressed. She knew all the words and she sang the tune! I was so excited and happy. It is so wonderful to watch your children grow, embrace what they have been taught and then teach it to the next generation! I am so proud of all of them!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I have been horrible at blogging. I check everyone's blog on a regular basis, but for some reason, I can't motivate myself to do my own.
It has been a really hectic summer. There have been LOTS of ups and downs. Things are finally starting to settle back down and I think I might be able to do this. We shall see.

We started off our summer with Josh returning home. I cannot describe what it was like to finally have my baby back home and be able to talk to him whenever I wanted. He is so fun to have around. He was all smiles as we welcomed him home with EVERYONE of the family at the airport. We had silly signs and a new nephew and niece to welcome him home. His funniest statement on returning home was "Wow, everyone has all their own teeth"!!!!
We took family pictures while everyone was home and had such a fun time.
Poor Josh was only home 5 days before we loaded him up in the car and started driving back east to the beach house. We took 65 hours on the way there. We enjoyed the 4th and gathering with Reed's family to distribute his dad's ashes at sea. Coming home from Delaware we took a week. We headed south and visited Arkansas and the home of Popeye Spinach (in Alma), drove through Missouri and stayed in Oklahoma for a few days. The people that Josh served are such wonderful, humble people. They loved him and I am so grateful to have met many of them and seen the love that they have for my son.
Then we continued our journey into Rocky Mountain National Park, Utah and finally home. I cried when I saw the Cascades. They are such beautiful mountains. In the words of Josh, they are REAL mountains. Jackie and her boys spent a lot of time with us at the farm this summer as Zach concentrated on collecting data and working on research for his doctorate. Reed and I headed out again for Utah to meet up with his family for the final distribution of ashes. We are now home and don't plan on going anywhere - until the latter half of September. But I will enjoy my time here.
I have been so busy helping my dad move a couple of times and now we are full on into canning. This week I have canned fresh tuna and green beans. There are more beans to go and then it will be peaches and tomatoes. I love filling up the pantry and storing up food. You never know what the future will hold.
This next weekend will find us down at the cabin, painting and hopefully relaxing. After such a busy summer, I need it.

The family at the beach!!
The grandkids at the beach!!

EVERYONE together at home.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Beach time

This summer we took the whole gang back to Bethany Beach, Delaware, for some much enjoyed time in the sand and surf. Jayme's girls went completely Hawaiian and decided they wanted to come back every summer! Aloha!

Aunts and uncles and cousins - all ready for a fun day at Sussex Shores!

Some eat corn, some eat sand. The beach has it all. It all comes out eventually.

Nothing beats Delmarvelous sweet corn at the beach!

Sunglasses, sunscreen, muscle shirt - this man is ready for the beach!

What is the best thing about a vacation to the beach? If you ask this crowd, you'd get 5 different answers. The worst thing is having to leave when vacation is over....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Countdown

Well, I have decided that I will officially start counting down the days. In exactly one month my baby will be returning from his mission to the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission! I am excited. We will have a wonderful Father's Day celebration! His homecoming is on Sunday, June 19th at 9am in Corvallis 2nd Ward. We will celebrate with family and friends at 1pm that day! These last few months have just DRAGGED for me. But I am happy now to realize how close it is. I have the official travel plans, but Josh's current companion is trying to talk the mission president into a 1 transfer extension. I don't think they do those anymore, but I am so happy that they are doing so well together and are finding success in their teaching. I am a HAPPY MOMMA!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Trip To The Zoo

Last week, Jayme checked the weather forecast and it called for sunshine, so he suggested we head up to the zoo. Jackie had an appointment, so I took the 2 smaller K's and headed for the zoo. Typical Oregon weather started out sunny but with a COLD breeze blowing, then it rained, hailed and finally some sunshine, but not very warm. But we had so much fun. Katarina has been patiently waiting for me to get some of my pictures up, so here we go!
I wish you could hear Kyler in this picture. I merely told him that I wanted to take his picture. He said "Deeeezzz"! That is 1 year old speak for "cheese"!!!
Kayden climbed on the big lion statue!

Katarina and daddy riding the wood horses in the barn! She LOVES her daddy!

The tigers were up, out of doors AND moving around! They were very big!

The giraffe was inside today. Maybe because it was so cold!

The zebra is bright with
all it's stripes!!

That is one BIG hippo!

Elyssa crashed part way through, but mom kept her warm zipped up inside her jacket.

While we waited to ride the train since it was raining - again, we went inside the place where they have the Lorakeets. You could purchase a cup of nectar and the birds would come and perch on your arm or hand and drink from the cup. The kids were FASCINATED with the brightly colored birds. They were not allowed to touch them, but they were very close to them.

The train ride was so much fun. We rode right by the elephants and saw the new baby. We could see the wolves and eagles. We heard the whistle blow and went over and under bridges. We had such a fun day at the zoo!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

This is the definition of Aloha.

This is the definition of the Big Kahuna. I've never seen such a BIG SURFER.

The surf at Makaha was beautiful, but the area north of the beach was a homeless camp. The west shore of Oahu is pretty rough territory, but the ocean is fantastic.

Cruisin' Hawaii

Reed and I spent the last week on a cruise around the Hawaiian islands. It was so much fun. Here a few pictures of the trip!
As we sailed away from Honolulu we were blessed by a beautiful rainbow to send us on our way.

The lights of Honolulu as we sailed away!
The first day found us on Maui. We spent part of the day at the beach, kayaking and snorkeling, before we headed up the volcano to watch the sun set from the top of the world at 10,500 feet. It was the only time I was cold!
The next day we were on the big island of Hawaii. On the Hilo side we visited the volcano and hiked across Kileae iki (the little crater). Reed was right at home being the geologist. A couple from Texas attached themselves to Reed and asked tons of questions. Reed was in 7th heaven explaining things.
From there we visited the falls.
On the Kona side we kayaked and snorkeled. We also saw some of the damage from the tsunami. On Kauai, we kayaked up a river and saw where they filmed the opening credits to MASH, Neverland from Hook, and Indiana Jones. We also hiked through the jungle to some remote waterfalls.

As we left Kauai, we sailed along the Na Pali coastline, where we were entertained by whales spouting and slapping their tails as well as the dramatic coastline.
It was a wonderful week. I will post later about the pictures from our visit to Pearl Harbor and time on Oahu!

Friday, April 1, 2011


After leaving Kailua we headed over to Pearl Harbor to spend time rendering thanks to all those who sacrificed so much to preserve our freedoms during WWII. We toured the USS Missouri, then went out to the memorial over the USS Arizona. Quite a day, to remember the events of December 7, 1941 and the days that followed. Then we found out hotel on the beach at Waikiki and strolled the beach road with 10,000 other people, watching the crowds surfing. Enjoyed a great dinner watching the sun set over Waikiki. Pretty neat.

What is a trip to the beach without a few early morning sunrise pictures? All those years of getting up early to check the surf conditions as a kid make it hard for me to sleep in at the beach. Our final morning in Kailua, rain showers on the horizon, trade winds blowing, not much surf, but a beautiful sunrise for those up early - mainly joggers and people walking their dogs - just like Sussex Shores! Only with palm trees and volcanic mountains, 78 degree water, ....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Driving North on Oahu

Today we took off up Highway 83 around the eastern edge of the island of Oahu, driving as far as the North Shore, then back around through the Dole pineapple fields to Pearl City before heading east over the pali back to Kialua. It was a fun drive, great weather in the early afternoon, but we got soaked at Wiamea Bay by a sudden tropical downpour. I love dark chocolate-coated macadamia nuts!! They are sooooooo good.

This was a small beach park popular with body surfers just south of Laie. Don't know why the kids like it - it's like an angry version of Bethany, 6-ft waves that smash right on the beach in 6-inches of water,or into the rocks - take you pick. Must be the challenge of it all.

The Hawai'i Temple is probably the most beautiful building on the North Shore. We walked all through the gardens and went to the Visitor Center to watch a brief film about the history of the Church's growth in and around Laie. Sure makes you believe in modern prophets.

We drove around Oahu this afternoon and stopped in at Sunset Beach Park, where the surf was breaking over 10-feet, with some waves up to 15-feet. It was really something to watch the guys out riding these big swells.

Hawaiian Vacation

So for the first time in a long time, Reed and I are actually taking a REAL vacation!! We are not visiting family, taking family, or work. It is just the 2 of us and we are in Hawaii!! Yesterday, after we landed we drove around Oahu to the windward side to stay in the town of Kailua. We are staying at an bed and breakfast in a residential area.

Hey, I'm on vacation!!

We spent the day in the water and walking on the beach. I am learning that Hawaii is much closer to the equator than Bethany Beach and so I need to use LOTS of sunscreen. The water is soooo warm and gentle and CLEAR! Today, after our walk on the beach we are going to do some sightseeing. We have never spent much time on Oahu, so I have been asking lots of questions and Reed is perusing his geology book. Should be fun!!

This is the view from our little bed and breakfast room!!
I have also discovered that Reed likes Large, bold Hawaiian prints!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Evergreen Air Museum

A shot of the Spruce Goose.

Today we went to the Evergreen Air Museum. Jessica had originally wanted to take Keegan on a hike. That became a hike for all of us, but the weather intervened. So we decided to try the air museum instead. We all met up at the air museum and spent the day looking at different aircraft. One of the highlights for me was the tour of the B-17. We were able to go inside where volunteers explained to us how it operated and how different crew members performed their tasks. Our volunteer had actually flown in a B-24 during the war. He was able to show us some photos of his crew and shared some of his experiences. He was the one who sat in the gun turret UNDER the plane! He showed us how the turret worked and talked about what it was like to be in there. He shared one experience of when he had appendicitis that caused him to be pulled from a mission. That particular mission, the crew was shot down and the guy in the turret who had taken his place was killed that day. Over and over he reminded us that he was only 18 and that most of the crew was between 18 and 21. The oldest one on his crew was 25 and he was called "Pops". Sometimes we forget that these young men who fought so valiantly were so young. How grateful I am for their willingness and even their eagerness to serve their country. We owe such a debt of gratitude to these men and women.
The kids thoroughly enjoyed the day. Jackie's boys were all in their bomber jackets that Grandpa got for them. We even added another jacket for Katarina, this one in pink. Somehow I did not get a picture of this on my camera. Kayden LOVES the Blue Angels and was thrilled to see a Blue Angels jet out in front of the museum. We even got to see the Spruce Goose. That plane is amazingly big.
I am so thankful that we have all the kids close at this time. We have many opportunities to get together and do fun things. What a fun day!!