Thursday, October 30, 2008

Noelle (the Camera Dodger) and Her Flute

Upon review of my past blogs, I realize that I have posted very few that feature my youngest daughter, Noelle. Not because she isn't fun, adorable, smart, cute, brilliant and good-hearted. She is all of those things, and more. This is a girl who said her first word (hello) at 2 1/2 months! (I have witnesses!)

It is because she suffers from the same affliction that I do. She hides whenever a camera is pointed her way. Now, I realize that I have some posts that actually do include a picture or two of me. A couple are all about me. But you can be sure those pictures are for the most part very carefully chosen to not highlight my gray hairs, wrinkles, and various other flaws, and since this is actually my blog, this seems right. Even though my profile includes my family, because they are the most important thing to me, it still is a blog written by me about my life from my point of view. OK, now I can retire the self-centered streak already...
Back to the point, Noelle is a camera-dodger. This is a well-honed art, learned at her mother's knee. Totally unlike her sister, Rachel, who will take the camera right out of my hand and start snapping pictures of herself. But she's 15, loves her makeup, and need I say more?

But since Noelle noticed the lack of information pertaining to the specifics of her interests, and because I have realized that posts aren't all that fun to write without a picture or two involved, I have been making a real effort to catch her unaware and snap a picture. Not so easy. She was practicing her flute, and caught me trying to get a shot, and actually ducked under the table until she could fix her hair and make sure the goobers were out of her eyes.

This is a girl who loves music - all of my daughters do. That psychic at the Realtor's Christmas party back when I was pregnant with Kayla knew what she was taking about. She predicted that I'd have a girl (this was before routine ultrasounds), and that she would be musically talented. Little did she know that all 3 would turn out that way.

But I am still talking about Noelle here. She practices the piano almost every day, even though we are currently on piano-lesson hiatus right now. She also is a budding, gifted lyricist. You show me a big studio songwriter that can out write her, and I'll tackle you to the ground.

(Now that I think of it, the psychic also advised me to write a book, which I never did, but maybe this blogging thing could count. Seems like I can hardly write a post or even a letter to a friend without starting a chapter. But she didn't say that I would be a good writer. hmmmm...)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Arizona Wedding Trip

When we got the word that our good friend and a former missionary who served in our area, Brandon Armstrong, was getting married, we knew that we absolutely couldn't miss it.
Such a wonderful, sacred occasion (combined with the chance to warm our bones before another Cliff Harris prediction of a cold cold winter here in this...)
Just kidding, we would have gone anywhere, anytime to see him get married!

Here he is on his mission, celebrating his birthday with us... and Chad, who is now on his mission in Chile! (See numerous other posts on that subject!)
We also took the opportunity to visit the parents of another one of our favorite missionaries who trained Armstrong while he served in our area.

We all had a great time, and hope we'll get to visit with them again someday. It's really rewarding to get to know the parents of these awesome missionaries a little bit, and to be able to give them the credit they so deserve for raising such great young men. (Of course, Chad was born a really good kid - we were just very blessed.)

Here's Mark with the Alexanders . . . and me

I think that of any area we have seen in Arizona, Marana is the prettiest spot, an oasis, in the desert.

The outdoor BBQ at 'Lil Abner's, a great steak place that they recommended to us. Yum Yum! We had the whole morning on Friday to find our way around Mesa, and had time to walk the temple grounds...

Is this a Mesquite tree?

Mark thought it was sacrilegious to park a Ford so close to the temple (haha, what a Dodge man)
The last time we were here, these were ripe!

Beautiful Mesa AZ Temple

Brandon & Alisha Armstrong

So In Love...

Wipin' off the Kiss...

Newlyweds and Not-so-newlyweds...

Both Families

Cutting the cake...and they didn't mess their faces up

Our gift to the happy couple... He's a really lucky guy. Alisha is such a beautiful girl, and spunky enough to keep him in line!
Gardner & Turley - a couple more RM's from AZ that served in our area . . . and they're not married yet, girls!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hannah's First Birthday!

On October 27th our granddaughter, Hannah, had her very first birthday!

Big brother Dillon is a great helper. He totally helped upwrap Hannah's gift for her, and Hannah is lovin' it!

Hannah loves her baby doll.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I don't know about you, but I think that the computer is one of the greatest inventions ever. They are such a huge part of our lives, that sometimes we take them for granted, and are even abusive towards them when they don't cooperate.
My dad worked on the inner workings of them from the time he began working in 1968 at Tektronics in Beaverton, OR, until he retired several years ago from Planar Systems. I began using one while taking a college accounting course when I was first married, when we still had to use long and complicated codes to get from one program to another, and continued when I worked at the bank after I had my first 2 kids. But the generation of computer that I am so loving these days is our current incarnation, complete with Windows systems to easily navigate from here to there.

However, there are times when they are also my source of complete frustration. Take for instance, the times I log on, or try to, and that nasty, ugly message appears, the one that signals the demise of all information (thankfully I have it backed up, thank you, Carbonite). This happened to me twice this summer, and most recently, last week, the day we were to depart for Arizona for a good friend's wedding.

So I guess that this is the long story of why I haven't posted any pictures -yet- of one of the best couple of days that I have had in the past few years, right up there with taking Chad to the MTC in February, and going to the temple with Mark's family in July. I will soon have my computer, or a computer back, depending on the prognosis. It may be time to retire my ancient Sony Vaio (must be about four years old by now). So till then I will have to do the work (and play) that I need to do early at night and early in the am, when I can borrow Rachel's homeschool laptop.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Temporary Mohawks

The boys are always talking about getting a mohawk, but we always say no... at least, no to keeping one. They got to have one today for about as long as it took to take this picture:
Here's the clean-shaven boys that I know and love!!

Memory Lane

I got this from a friend’s blog. I feel a little silly doing it, 'cause it's all about me, but I thought it would be fun! I hope you will play along. Here are the directions:

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you have of me, or me with my family. It doesn’t matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It’s actually pretty funny to see the responses. ...and I'm sure you won't be afraid to embarass me!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Can You Believe It? My Baby is Five!!

Just want to share a couple pictures of Tanner on his fifth birthday. Where does the time go? Tanner requested that I make his birthday cake with "airplanes and helicopters, all crashed up". I did my best!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tough Love vs. Spanking

Good Argument...

A lot of people think it's improper to spank children, so I have tried other methods to control my kids when they have one of 'those moments'. One that I found effective is for me to just take the child for a car ride and talk. Some say it's the vibration from the car, others say it's the time away from any distractions such as TV, Video Games, Computer, IPod, etc. Either way, my kids usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our car ride together. Eye to eye contact helps a lot too. I've included a photo below of one of my sessions with my son, in case you would like to use the technique.

***This works with grandchildren, nieces, and nephews as well.

(Thought we all could use a good laugh today!!)