But also notice how it is so carefully laid out on a towel!!!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
But also notice how it is so carefully laid out on a towel!!!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Ryan has a huge crush on my second cousin, Amy. Many of you know that she was Miss Utah a few years ago. (Ryan just can’t believe that she wasn’t chosen to be Miss America. “Not even Vice Miss America?!?!”) All morning before the party, Ry kept asking me if Amy was going to be there. I kept answering that she probably would. He waited somewhat patiently. Finally Amy and her brothers came. Ryan poked me and pointed at her as soon as he saw her. When she said hi to him, I thought he was going to fall right over! It was hilarious! Ryan has now informed me that we need to visit Jim and Flora more often – preferably on Sunday evenings when Amy also visits.
With his overwhelming fascination with Amy, Ryan had not realized how much fun Amy’s brother, Andrew, is. Andrew served his mission in New Zealand, and knows the haka! So after a few minutes to coordinate their moves in the hall, Ryan and Andrew entertained the party guests with the haka. (I bet you’ve never seen Indiana Jones do the haka! Yes, he wore his Indy outfit ALL WEEKEND…except to church and to bed. Note: he changed from his tan tee shirt to a white oxford shirt. Early in the day, he only had the bottom two buttons buttoned, exposing his whole chest. I made him button up the rest before the party.)
Many families travel on Memorial Day weekend. Our Memorial Day weekend travels take us to three cemeteries. My brother and my Jensen grandparents are in the Bountiful City cemetery. My dad’s mother and brother are in the Sunset Lawn cemetery in Salt Lake. Saturday after Uncle Jim’s party, we made the cemetery visits and decorated the graves.
One of our favorite Memorial Day weekend traditions is the bagpipe program at Lakeview cemetery on Sunday night. We have gone for years, and always love it. The weather was nice for it, and watching the sunset over the lake while the bagpipes played was wonderful, as always. I know, it’s not a good picture because of the crowds around. Oh well.
Of course, Ryan was still in his Indiana Jones outfit (although, I did make him change his pants). We walked around a little bit in the new expansion area of the cemetery. Here are a couple of the cute pictures of little Indy there.
Our plans for Memorial Day were to work in the garden and the yard in the morning, and then go hiking in the afternoon. It rained – HARD – all day. So much for our plans. Instead, we got some cleaning and organizing done inside. We did have our traditional family barbecue on Monday evening, which was fun, as always.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
What kind of mother would I be had we missed that? And what kind of mother would I be if I hadn’t let my kid go to the movie dressed like this…
Yes, he really did. The funny thing was that about a dozen people (both adults and kids) told him that he looked AWESOME! Another half dozen asked him where he got his cool hat. It was my Grandpa Jensen’s (with whom Ryan shares his middle name).
So, in case you’re wondering, we give it mixed reviews. The kid in our group LOVED it. The adults…not so much. Well, we decided that we liked the first 80% of the show, but after that, it got a little too cheesy. We decided that it was “National Treasure 2” meets “ET.” Sorry if that gives anything away for those who haven’t seen it yet.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Well, sadly, the Jazz lost to the Lakers on Friday night. That’s all I have to say about that. Please, my Southern California friends, no more. I watched it. Every last miserable second.
Spring weather in Utah is about as frustrating as watching the Jazz. Here is our forecast for this week.
True, there is only rain, no snow...this week. However, it snowed a couple of days earlier this month. Fortunately, we were in Hawaii and missed it all. (Although, here is my backyard during the 40-degree temperatures and hail storm last Monday.)Maybe we should plan tropical vacations every May. We could avoid the snow AND the playoff games!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
We ran into a good friend of ours who is going through a divorce. We hadn’t talked with her in a while, so we moms stood with her baby and talked while Ryan and her other two kids went on the rides. It was great to see her and talk with her, and Ryan had fun with friends he hadn’t seen for a while.
I’ve never been a big fan of “winning” goldfish or having a REAL fishing pond at carnivals. Some of you may remember a couple of years ago when Ryan “won” two goldfish at the Eaglewood 4th of July carnival. It was on a Saturday afternoon/evening, and we toted those poor fish around with us through eating, games, and fireworks. We found marginally suitable temporary lodging for them when we got home late Saturday night, and then had to run to the store Sunday before church to get food for them. Unfortunately, Nemo and Gil had gone belly up by the time we came home from church. Ryan is convinced that they died due to the deadly combination of the loud fireworks and us shopping on Sunday for their food. We had a small graveside service for them. Ryan said the prayers, sang the songs, and gave the talks. And cried. A lot.
So when I saw that there were goldfish at the school carnival, I tried to talk him out of the whole idea. But he has been trying to convince me for quite a while that we need a pet. A Yorkie has been at the top of his list. Hmmm…let me see…$1300 for a Yorkie or a buck for a goldfish? I let him get the fish. He was extremely thrilled. He named the fish Nemo II. I am certain that local pet stores donate cheap goldfish to carnivals just to get people to come into their stores to get the other “necessities” that come with fish ownership. After I picked up Ry on Thursday, we went to the local pet store to get more suitable lodging. Ry also decided that Nemo needed a friend, so we looked at other fish. I had an amount in mind when I went into the store of what I thought we’d spend. I obviously haven’t set foot in a pet store for a long time. No, we didn’t spend anything close to the $1399.00 price tag on a Yorkie there, but the bill ended up to be about three times what I thought it would be. That’s ok. Nemo now has a beautiful aquarium, some plants and a treasure chest to swim around and through, and a beautiful blue betta-fish friend named Brock (don’t ask).
We ran home from the pet store, had dinner, and set up our yard for cub scout pack meeting. The theme for this month is “Leaf it to Cubs.” We decided to have a leaf identification/collection activity in our yard and neighborhood for pack meeting. My mom was our guest speaker. She did a great job teaching us about the different types of deciduous trees, and then we took a walk to identify and collect some of them.
Ryan also earned his Bobcat and EIGHT belt loops!!! (This picture is Ryan pinning the "Mother's Pin" on me.
We also had a lot of fun this week and weekend having lunch with old friends and dinner with new friends. Thanks! :)
Ryan had an amazing opportunity today (Saturday). Since Uncle Marc now has an “in” with the Highland rugby team (working on “Forever Strong” with them), he was able to introduce Ryan to coach Larry Gelwix and some of the players today! Today was their Pacific Coast Conference tournament game before the national game in Pittsburgh. So they went to the game, and then had fun talking with Coach Gelwix and some of the players after the game. Ryan took his rugby ball and the coach and some players signed it for him. He was in heaven!!! I sent his camera with them, but it apparently had a technical malfunction as they were trying to take pictures of the event. That made me sad. Those would have been great for blogs and scrapbooks. Ry had a great time and was totally star struck!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I do laundry and clean the house EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE!!!
I’ve realized how much more I could accomplish in a day if I didn’t have to do so much laundry and clean the same parts of my house every single day. It is amazing to me how many stains and messes one small (well, medium) child can create! Some of you were here on Saturday to witness this interaction:
Melanie: “Ryan, there are two rules for today. First, greet every guest. Second, do not spill fruit punch on that new white Hawaiian shirt.” (I know – what was I thinking?)
Ryan: “Ok, Mom.”
He made it all the way through the party obeying rule number one (I think. Although after Melissa’s comment on yesterday’s post, I’m not so sure). He made it about halfway through the party with rule number two. I had just done all of the laundry that morning, but did another load after the open house to remove the fruit punch stain from the new shirt.
Ryan has two pair of shorts which are appropriate to wear to school, one tan, one navy blue. The tan pair came home from school with horrible grass stains. That’s ok, we still had the blue pair. Nope, the blue pair had some sort of unknown goop stuck to the rear. So Ryan was forced to wear (gasp!) size 7 shorts to school because he refused to wear long pants. Yes, I’ve done more laundry.
As all of this was happening the past few days, I came across this poem on a friend’s blog. I have to admit, although I have experienced most of the not-so-pleasant things mentioned, I definitely experience the tender moments, too. Ryan did bring a bunch of dandelions to the door on Sunday. Oh, wait…then he proceeded to do that timeless and morbid “head popped off” ditty with each one of them. I guess maybe the moment wasn’t that tender after all.
I scrub the wall of fingerprints,
~Roberta I. Teague
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Friday and Saturday we worked preparing our home and yard for Ryan’s open house. Of course, since there is never a dull moment at our house, we had a few unexpected surprises.
You all know that we chopped down three trees a few weeks ago. Well, the person who could grind out the stumps for us was able to come Saturday morning. So, as we were trying to clean up the yard for Ryan’s open house, we had stump grinding going on. It was an absolute mess all over the driveway and the front yard. A special thanks to my dad for quickly getting it all cleaned up before the party. Ryan was fascinated by the machine and took this picture.
We also had some friends that came into town on Friday, but had to leave early Saturday morning to head to southern Utah for a softball tournament. They have a son who is Ryan’s age, and the two of them are best buddies. He ended up spending Friday night and all day Saturday with us. Both boys were great to help with jobs that needed to be done around the house and the yard.
Oh, I almost forgot. When I went to get the mail on Friday, wasps had started building a nest INSIDE my mailbox. The postal carrier had apparently been so alarmed that he/she just threw the mail in and left the mailbox door open. So I sent Ry as far away as possible and batted the nest out of the mailbox with a rake. I know – you’re all wishing that a neighbor had a hidden camera going for that one. There’s no video footage that I’m aware of. (There isn’t any, right Melissa?)
Ryan’s open house on Saturday afternoon was a lot of fun. We invited about 100 of our closest friends and family to help us celebrate Ryan’s baptism. Thank you so much to all of you who were able to join us! It was fun visiting with you. We missed those of you who weren’t able to come. The weather was beautiful (not like the 40 degrees and pelting hail yesterday), so we were able to have it in the back yard. We had a Hawaiian theme for the party. We put up several tables with light blue tablecloths, and decorated the tables with bamboo plants, sea shells in vases, and framed pictures from our trip. It looked beautiful. Here is a picture of Ry and me before the party started.
The food was great! Special thanks to my mom for helping me put it all together. We had fruit skewers with pineapple and strawberries, coconut macaroon cookies, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, chips and salsa, and bowls of three different kinds of Hershey’s kisses – plain chocolate, vanilla crème, and coconut! The coconut kisses were a hit. My cousin, Nate, dubbed them as “having no structural integrity.” We all told him that our interpretation of that was “melts in your mouth.” They were yummy!
I didn’t take any pictures since I was making the rounds as the hostess. But my mom took this one of Aunt Jean, Uncle Ted, Ryan, Uncle Randy, Aunt Dott, and Nate. We hadn’t been together since Christmas, so it was fun sitting around a table and chatting with them for a while. Thanks for coming!!!
Our Mother’s Day Sacrament Meeting program on Sunday was great. It wasn’t the typical one where I leave feeling depressed about the past few years of my life and guilty about all of the things I don’t/can’t do as a mom. It was pleasant and uplifting, and I really enjoyed it. Our ward gave boxes of Cavanaugh’s chocolates, so even if it had been the typical depressing/guilty meeting, I would have felt better later! :)
We had family dinner at my parents’ house for Mother’s Day. Ryan wanted to make a Mother’s Day card for Frances, so we printed the pictures of the babies and he made a card with the pictures, saying how excited he is about his new cousins. It was really cute. We had a great dinner, and had a lot of fun sitting around the table talking. Marc is feeling better, and spent a lot of time outside with Ryan playing rugby. (In the media kit that Excel sent out for “Forever Strong,” they included rugby balls. Marc brought one to Ryan. He should have known that would require him to play with it for hours!)
Since this is my Mother’s Day write-up (a couple of days late), I want to make sure that I let my mom know how much I love her. She has always been such a great example to me of unconditional love and of thinking of others before herself. I try every day of my life to be more like her, although most days I don’t even come close. She has been such an amazing support to me throughout my life, especially the past six years. I don’t know what Ryan and I would do without her. She does something to help us every single day, and I want her to know how much I appreciate her selflessness and service to us. I love you, Mom! (I love this picture of my mom. I took it while she was giving her “Holy Ghost” talk at Ryan’s baptism.)
Kristin sent me this quote in a Mother’s Day wish on Sunday. I loved it and wanted to share it here. A belated happy Mother’s Day to all of the great moms I know!
“What does it mean to me to be a mother?”
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
To quote Frances… “It’s a girl…and another girl!”
She has felt pretty certain that one would be a girl, but was thinking that the other one was a boy. (They’re obviously fraternal.) Ryan has informed Frances and Marc that he wants them to have a girl. Just as we’ve all talked about…probably to minimize the competition. :) Ryan loves his Uncle Marc, and enjoys the rough-and-tumble activities and sports that they do together. He’s pretty happy that it appears that will continue.
So here they are…the first pictures of my nieces…
It’s interesting that they already look so different. Frances says that this baby definitely has the Anderson nose – long and straight.
Frances thinks that this baby has the Inman nose – shorter (Sheesh! Even our noses are shorter!), with a little slope up at the end.
And here they are both squished together.Marc is a little apprehensive. (“I don’t know what to do with GIRLS!”) We all know that he’s a softie deep down, and will be totally smitten. As Mom said, “You love them!”
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
We’ve had a REALLY hard time getting back on a “mainland time” schedule. As I have put Ryan to bed at his regular 7:30/8:00 bedtime, it has occurred to me that it is 3:30/4:00 in the afternoon on the schedule we’ve been used to! No wonder he can’t go to sleep for a couple of hours! I’ve had difficulty going to sleep, too. Sunday night, I finally fell asleep at about 1:15 or 1:30, I think. At 2:40 am, my doorbell rang. It was Delta delivering our luggage. In the past when I’ve had lost luggage, they just leave it in the middle of the night as a pleasant surprise upon waking in the morning. Apparently due to theft and wrong addresses, they now wake up the already jetlagged and cranky weary travelers to have them sign for their luggage. Oh well, at least we have it.
My poor little Ryan went back to school to end-of-year testing yesterday and the rest of this week. I was really concerned about how he’d do without a full night’s sleep, but it sounds like he did ok. After I took him to school, I logged in to my work email account and discovered that I had 226 emails from and/or about students. (That’s actually not as bad as I thought it would be!) I only got through about half of them yesterday, so I still have a busy day today. The nice thing about working from home is that I can throw in a load of laundry between student phone calls or emails. I did two weeks of laundry while sorting through two weeks of email. How fun for me! Last night after Ry went to bed, I alternated between folding the aforementioned two weeks of laundry and sorting through two weeks of regular mail that was all delivered yesterday. But my “economic stimulus rebate” notice was in there! I checked my account online, and sure enough! That made me pretty happy, since I did such a great job stimulating the Hawaiian economy the past couple of weeks!
Marc went straight from the airport to the InstaCare. He has an ear infection/sinus infection. He was pretty miserable our last couple of days in Hawaii, but still did a great job entertaining Ryan in the water. What a super uncle! He is now on antibiotics and ear drops, so we hope he feels better soon.
We’re glad that we were able to come home to nice, sunny weather instead of six inches of snow like the last time we came home from Hawaii! It has made the return to reality a little less shocking.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Friday, May 2 we spent most of the day at Kama’ole Beach in Kihei. Since there had been a couple of days of high surf advisories, we hadn't been able to swim or snorkel much. We slathered on the sunscreen and spent the day in the water and on the beach. We snorkeled a little bit, but the water was still pretty cloudy after the high surf. So we had a lot of fun taking turns on Ryan’s boogie board.
Cloud: Even though we all put on a lot of sunscreen, all of us got burned on our shoulders.
Silver lining: We didn’t really burn anywhere else, and are coming home with nice tans. :)
We went back to the condo, showered, slathered on the aloe and went to Lahaina for dinner. We had decided to go to Bubba Gump’s, and had to park several blocks away and walk. Frances and I were walking together a little bit ahead of everyone else. As we approached the block where the restaurant is, a man suddenly appeared right in front of us, flashed his FBI badge about 4 inches from our faces, and said, “Excuse me, ladies…FBI…I’m going to have to ask you to cross the street.” We did, and as we walked down the other side of the street, there were about a dozen FBI and INS agents questioning a whole bunch of people right outside the Bubba Gump kitchen entrance. We went in and were seated at a table right on the water with a gorgeous view. We had an Australian waiter (now a US National), who appeared distracted as he was taking our order. Obviously something was going on. Before long, we were informed that the INS had raided the restaurant, half of the kitchen staff had been taken away, and that they were closing the restaurant. We would still be served, but no one else would be let in. We were one of the last groups in. With most of the kitchen staff gone, the managers and some of the waiters were doing the cooking.
Cloud: Our food took FOREVER! By the time we got it, we were starving!
Silver lining: We sat there long enough to watch a beautiful sunset. More silver lining: They also gave us an extra entrée and took off half of the bill because of the inconvenience. We all decided that it was worth the wait and the excitement to get a cheap dinner. Oh yea, and it’s a great story for the blog!
Throughout the night, we had seen the manager, a woman in her mid-30’s, hugging employees and crying. I went up to her as we were leaving and told her how much we had enjoyed our meal, and that we had a very pleasant evening, despite everything they were dealing with. I thanked her for keeping us posted on what was happening, and thanked her for keeping everything running the best that she could. She started bawling and just mouthed “thank you” to me. We’d love to know when they were able to open again.
Saturday, May 3, we had to check out of our condo by 10:00 am, but our plane didn’t leave until about 8:00 pm. We drove north to the Iao Valley and hiked to the Iao Needle. It was cool, but we decided that we weren’t as awed by it as other busloads of people pulling up because of our experiences with similar amazing monoliths in our Utah parks.
Ryan had been singing “I wanna go back to my little grass shack” all day. The Iao Needle state park had a few trails that we took. On one trail was this little grass shack. We had to take a picture!
We then drove the rest of the way around the northwest part of Maui. There was a 12-ish mile stretch of road that was all one lane and very narrow, with steep cliffs all along. It was pretty nerve-wracking. But Frances and I had read in our guide book about the Olivene Pools – lava rocks with calm pools of water right out into the pounding surf. We HAD to see them! They were beautiful, but since we had already packed our bags and dressed to go home, none of us swam in them. We just enjoyed hiking down to them and around them.
Cloud: Extremely scary road with crazy drivers. We were all stressed and had motion sickness by the time we got to the end.
Silver Lining: Beautiful pools and views. And “the best banana bread on the planet” according to our guidebook. (And pretty yummy dried coconut and dried mangoes, too.) We turned in our rental cars and went to the airport in Kahului. It was a zoo! Marc and Frances opted to go through the regular check-in line, while the rest of us let the porter/sky cap check us in. We were a little concerned that the porters just kept stacking bags on carts, and didn’t seem to be taking them anywhere. We explained that we were flying to Honolulu, with a connection to Salt Lake City, and asked if our bags would make it. We were assured that they would.
We flew to Honolulu, then on home. It is a 6 ½ hour flight. It was all night, but none of us really slept well. We landed just before 8:00 am, and went to get our bags. The carousel kept going around and around, with no sign of any of our bags. When the conveyor belt stopped, we knew it was a bad sign. We reported our missing bags to the baggage office, and were assured that they would locate them and deliver them to us. As of the time of this post, we are all still missing our bags.
Cloud: All six of our bags are somewhere between Kahului, Maui and Salt Lake City.
Silver Lining: We didn’t have to unpack yet! We came home and slept for several hours to try to make up for no sleep last night.
Even though there were a few unexpected glitches, we had an amazing time together. With Frances and Marc’s twins due in a few short months, we’re not sure when we’ll be able to do a vacation together like this again. We had a wonderful time, and made a lot of fun memories.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Monday, April 28 we went to the dive shop and rented all of our gear for the week. We followed the guide book we have and stopped at a tiny town called Olowalu. We drove on a dirt road to the mouth of a little canyon, where we then hiked to some petroglyphs.
We drove to Lahaina and enjoyed sightseeing. We saw the old courthouse, the Baldwin House, and Banyon Tree Park.
We had a great lunch at the Front Street Grill, where Ryan was fascinated by Duke Kahanamoku’s surfboard on the wall (his surfing hero).
We visited the old jail and other famous sites in Lahaina, and enjoyed shopping at Hard Rock, Hilo Hattie’s, Crocs, Del Sol, and other favorite stores.
We left Lahaina and went to Ka’anapali Beach/Black Rock Beach. Ryan and I snorkeled, and were thrilled to see a humuhumunukunukuapua’a in person! I thought Ryan was going to inhale half of the ocean as he was trying to get my attention! We also saw several different colors of butterfly fish, a needle nose, several grouper, and even a puffer fish!
That's Ry and me snorkeling in the middle left with the divers in the background.
Tuesday, April 29 had a high surf advisory, so we started the day at the Maui Ocean Center in Ma’alaea. We were able to see the only tiger shark in captivity in North America…
We were fascinated by "the tube"…
And the jellyfish…
We made friends with a gecko on our bench…
And learned that humuhumunukunukuapua’a means triggerfish (humuhumu) with a snout (nukunuku) that looks like a pig (apua’a).
We met Marc and Frances in Lahaina for lunch at Cool Cats Café. Both Monday and Tuesday, we talked with Mani, the newly returned missionary who spoke in the Sacrament Meeting we attended Sunday. He is a fourth generation carver and is set up on Front Street. We bought a turtle and a tiki from him, and he carved our names, the date, and his name into them for us.
We went to Ka’anapali Beach again, but the high surf advisory was still in effect. The surfers loved it, but it wasn’t conducive for snorkeling. So we just played in the surf for a while.
Wednesday, April 30 we took the famous Road to Hana. We enjoyed playing at several different waterfalls…
We were awed by the surf pounding against the lava rock…
We tried breadfruit, and Marc taught Ryan about the extremely non-nutritious, but hilariously fun EZ Cheese…
One of the neatest things we saw was the Black Sand Beach near Hana (that's Ry and me walking into the surf)...
We also saw a very cool red sand beach near the Hana Bay Pier (I'll post a picture later, it's not on a digital camera).
We had heard mixed reviews about the Road to Hana, but we were extremely pleased that we decided to do it.
Thursday, May 1 we drove to the Haleakala Crater. We drove the same route that our friend Kevin ran about a month ago. We went from sea level to 10,000 feet in just a short period of time. As we ascended, we went through a layer of clouds, and ended up above the clouds. It was an amazing view.
We picked up a Junior Ranger booklet for Ryan (we do at every state and national park we visit). We had fun doing the activities and having him “sworn in” at the end of our journey.
The Haleakala Crater was amazing! It is HUGE! The pictures don’t even do it justice. But I’ll share a couple.
As amazing as the crater was, we made it home in time to see the most beautiful sunset tonight! We’ve been out pretty late the past several nights, so it was fun to be home early enough to see it. This was the view of the sunset from our balcony (lanai).