Thursday, June 30, 2016

Crazy week so far...

I haven't had a lot of time near the computer this week.  A few ups and downs of our week...

We actually had a very calm Monday... nothing on the calendar but FHE.  The kids and I ran errands all morning.  Quayd needed his glasses changed from tinted lenses to normal because they don't "untint" very quickly and he looked like a gangster walking into the chapel from outside.  Thankfully, that was covered in the plan, if they needed to be changed.  Zee had an ortho appointment.  She should have her braces off before school. Quayd confessed that he's lost his retainer at the missionaries apartment and has yet to find it. $190!!!  No amused.  We're not ordering a new one until he's searched again and I've offered a reward for it.  Doug gave a little lesson from Steven Covey's principles and we had a cookout on the patio for dinner.  Short and sweet evening. 

At 8PM, Alan and Jill arrive with their trailer and we drove over the mountain to Honeyville, I think it's called, to buy a nice leather sectional for the cabin.  It was after 10 when we got back, but it was a fun way to spend our evening... gabbing about everything under the sun with two of our favorite people. 

Having lived on his own for a bit and then coming home to "Clean your room" and "Lights Out" when you are 18 and about to go out on your own isn't always fun.  Let's just say that we realize that this last three weeks is going to be full of emotional ups and downs... he's anxious, excited, nervous, anticipating and feeling every emotion under the sun.  We are excited for him, but worried "Did we teach him all that he needs to know?  Is he really ready?  What more can we do/squeeze into this last 20 days?" 

We are physically prepared, but emotions are flying high around here.  One minute, I'm excited and proud and confident.  The next, I'm wondering, "Have I totally failed?" One minute, he's my little boy and the next, he's a man and the next, and the next he's like a total stranger! There's a lot of emotion happening around here! 

Tuesday...Doug informed me that we were responsible for feeding 100 YSA kids hotdogs for dinner the next night!  We planned and organized our thoughts.  We had a fun night with visits from Bishop and his wife, Denise, Layne and Julie and Grace's LTC leader.  The whole night was a swinging door at the Corbridges.  Good times!

Wednesday... Quayd was my angel!  He spent the day helping his mother!  He loaded and unloaded and lifted and followed every direction as we prepared for the YSA Hotdog Cookout.  He worked his heart out for me.  He even picked out the biggest watermelons he could find and I mean, he was tossing those babies around to get just the right ones.  Then, he pushed all eight of them around for me all day!


  Apparently, the High Councilor who usually is in charge of this activity was out of town and they asked Doug to take over this time.  I made lists and Quayd and I hit the town running to grab what we needed then he loaded everything up, took it to the park, set things up and helped get prepared.  Doug cooked the dogs.  I sliced the watermelons.  YSA are very easy to please... they grab the food, eat and play! And they always say thank you! They played softball and volleyball until dark. 

 
It was so great to see some of our old friends from the ward he served in the bishopric.  There were hugs and handshakes all around!  Thankfully, there was a beautiful cloud-cover that appeared just as we were starting, which cooled things off immensely!  We ended up feeding 82 students.  A great night!  I was wasted when we got home!  The guys unloaded and then we made a quick run over to check on Carol, who had knee surgery earlier in the day.

I had to snap a shot of Zulu.  I've been asked a lot if he misses GoGo.  He definitely does.  He walks to GoGo's grave quite often and sniffs around, which is so odd because he never went into that ground cover area before. Never. He also will jump up and look for him under the bed if he hears his name.  However, I think that he is getting a bit used to being an "only child".  ZJ spoils him constantly.  I went into her room and found him up on her dresser, on a pillow, covered with a blanket.  Can you say spoiled?


Today has been pretty tame.  Denise and I went out for a very early lunch, then I stopped over at Carol's for a while.  She is A.MAZ.ING!!!!  She's doing so well.  She'd hop up to grab something and I'd say, "STOP THAT!"  She was doing super!  A total answer to our prayers.  She has so much on her plate for the remainder of summer and I was so worried that she'd struggle through it like I had a few years ago.

All sorts of things happening... just busy work and silly things that still need to be done, but we are almost there.  Quayd is nervous and excited and every emotion imaginable.  I think that he's not the only one.  One minute we are all excited, one minute we can't wait for him to go the next minute, I want to cry and say, "Don't leave your mommy!  My little boy is walking out the door and will never be my little boy again."  However, it's what the Lord wants, it's what he wants, it's absolutely what we want.  This is what's supposed to be happening.  It's a wonderful time.

Life is good!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

weekend ... and I have a silly husband

Carol had plans to go to Island Park for a vacation and things fell through.  She was really counting on this big trip and asked me to do something fun for the weekend.  We talked about a fast trip to see Liza but I needed to be here on Friday for commitments and back at church on Sunday.  So.  We opted for a quick trip to the ranch.  Alan and Jill asked me to check on a few things anyway, so we went up and did our little to-do list and then spent the night just playing games and eating and gabbing and laughing.  We do have fun together and the ranch is most beautiful at this time of the year!


My favorite thing when we do have "Girls Night Out" is when it gets late at night and we talk.  Not that we don't talk non-stop all the time.  But, there's something late at night that makes us talk about more serious things and create "hypothetical" situations, where we talk about how we would handle things and why.  It's always good conversation.  One of us usually falls asleep on the other's response and we wake up the next morning and pick up where we left off.  One of the things that we discussed was my relationship with my brother.  Bottom line is... I'm thankful for the sisters that I've chosen to have in my life!

While up at the ranch, Mom and Norm showed up to do some work at the cabin.  We got to visit with Mom for a while, which was nice, and we even started to watch an old Doris Day movie together before Norm finished his project and was ready to leave.  It was a nice visit.    The cabin is coming right along!  It should be done before the reunion and this week and next, furniture is being bought while the carpet is being installed!

 

While I was away, I felt a bit guilty for leaving even for an overnight, because Quayd's time is so limited. However, it worked out for the best.  Doug took Zee and Quayd canoeing together and the three of them had a ball!  I wish they'd have taken some pix!  Zee was telling me all about how Quayd tricked her into getting into the canoe after they'd pulled it up on a rocky slope "to help balance it", but what he really intended was to push her back into the water alone.  They flipped it and both got soaked.  They both had lots of laughs as they told me their stories.

Grace was working a double, so they also went together to see Finding Dory and both loved it.  I was glad that I went away, after I returned, simply because they both had a nice bonding time together and that would not have happened if I been here.  Now, he needs some time with Grace, as well.

We attended our own ward yesterday.  Grace spoke for a few minutes, sharing her testimony and the good time that she had at LTC, at the request of the bishopric.   Following church, I made a quick dinner of chicken and rice before Doug and I attended a YSA Marriage class and then a Finance class for soon-to-be married couples, which are two of his responsibilities on the High Council.  It was a fun little date.  The kids stayed home and napped while Grace practiced piano.  So many directions!  All the time!

Last night, we went for a short walk around the block, actually two blocks, to see the abandoned  mullberry tree, which Doug is insisting that we plant our own now.  They are pretty tasty!  We visited with a few neighbors while on our walk and had a nice little visit with Quayd alone.  Really, 22 days is going to fly by! We are almost done shopping and gathering.  There are still a few things he needs, but he's almost there.

Last night, when we got into bed, I was mentioning something about a funeral.  I don't even remember why.  Doug and I were talking about the marriage class, which we are supposed to teach (I think... shocker... Doug and Sophia teaching a family relations class... isn't that what we always do and have done for decades now...We get this assignment wherever we go... I think that's because the Lord wants us to eventually get it right!)

ANYWAY, I digress... we are laying in bed talking.  Funerals came up.  Doug said, "I don't want a viewing.  I don't want a funeral.  I just want a little gathering where people can just eat and go home." I said, "The viewing and funeral are not for the dead.  They are for the living.  They help the living have closure and a viewing gives them the chance to say their goodbyes."  Doug, out of the blue says, "Babe!  I know!  What if you have my arm rigged up to a little motor and I can be laying their in the casket waving goodbye to everyone as they walk by?"  I started cackling!  I'm cackling right now as I think of it!  He kept waving his arm in the beauty queen wave, but, really stiff. (I'm literally cackling and in tears laughing again right now.)  I was snorting!  Then, very seriously, he says, "Man, I wish I'd been in the military so that I could have a flag on my casket."  I said, "I don't think you have to serve in the military.  If you want a flag, you can have one."  He is still waving his hand, "Oh!  I know!  We could have a motor under my other arm and put a little flag in that hand!  I can wave goodbye with one hand and wave the flag with the other!"  I'm sure that Layne and Julie could hear me laughing! For the rest of the night, until we fell asleep, I'd look over and he'd wave.  This man... he makes me laugh!  I pray every day that we have years and years together here on this earth and then eternity and beyond!

Life is so very very good.

good stuff

A few ramblings today...

Tuesday night, for our YW activity, we took the girls "Rock Climbing".  We had so much fun.  This was one of those days that I was so not amused about my foot because I was photographer and not rock climber.  We did some rapelling years ago, against a grain silo, and sliding back down that silo was one of the most fun things I've ever done in my life!  So, I was sad to miss out.  However, someone needed to be taking pictures and cheering everyone on. Since I was the only one not climbing, that made me that one!  Most of the girls loved it.  We took eleven girls and four leaders.  How cool is that!  A great turnout.

The thing that surprised me the most was that GRACE was the most excited of my two girls.  There was only one other who reached the top of any wall.  That girl really rocked it and was doing the ledges.  But, Grace, who never wants a muscle, never likes to do anything but be "cute" was up there on that wall all night long after their 90 minutes of instruction and certifying.  ZJ hated it!  She never wants to do it again.  But, Grace was "Tom Cruisin'" it all night long!  I love that she did something so physical and could walk away feeling so good about it!


 ZJ did it, even though she hated it.  She said she never wants to do it again.  She no likee heights.  That's so odd because she's usually the one who loves to walk on the edge.  No more, she says!



 
Quayd is home again, but still spending much time with the missionaries.  We finally had a little talk tonight.  At first, he was a bit blue that he was home and not full-time with them.  Now that he's been home, he's glad to be here and it is harder to get out with them.  After transfers and a new companion came in, he experienced the reality of the fact that transfers are hard.  He missed Elder Taylor and isn't as connected with the new missionary because he hasn't lived with him.  I finally was able to talk with him a bit and get it out of him.

He told me that he's got three and a half weeks left.  He wants to be doing all sorts of fun things at home, but feels guilty because they want him to serving with them.  I explained to him that this is not his mission.  His mission doesn't begin until July 20.  He has 26 days left to be Quayd before he's officially Elder Corbridge, so he doesn't need to feel guilty at all for telling the Elders who are serving full-time that he wants to be Quayd for his last few weeks.  You could literally feel his relief.  He will still serve when he wants, but he doesn't need to feel obligated because his mini-mission is over.  Anything he does from here until July 20 is up to him!

The Elders woke him up bright and early this morning to go to a District Planning Meeting, which he really didn't need to be at.  He got up, got dressed and went.  This afternoon, he went out to teach a discussion with them.  I texted for him to call after the discussion ended, because I knew that they'd have another appointment, so I wanted to give him an "out".  I asked, "Are you ready to come home tonight?" and his "Sure" was pretty telling.  He was home in twenty minutes and spend the evening working in the garden/flowerbed with Doug and I and ZJ.  Before too long, they were having a water/mudfight and laughing loud enough to be heard a block away.  I was frustrated that the weeding wasn't done, but they had a bawl and I finally had to concede that this was a good memory being made, the weeds will wait.  (And we did get most of them.)  Too fun!  The Elders called to see if Quayd could come later in the evening and I told them, no, Quayd's busy with family.  I hope that he's busy with family a lot this last few weeks!


As is obvious, Quayd got the best of Zee!


 Zee has had a sore throat for a week and hasn't been out much.  That's the most she's been out and about all week long.  My mother would die if she saw Zee out in the cold water and evening air.  And I hear Quayd coughing now.  My bad.  But, they'll still be alive and they'll remember one of their last crazy times together.


It's been a busy and fun week.  We did a lot of mission shopping and are almost done.  There's a checklist of things to do for Quayd on his mission preparation online list.  The church keeps track of what's done and not.  He's only got one or two boxes left to check.  His new mission president actually arrives in California on Monday.  This is such an exciting time!


Grace will be speaking in Sacrament Meeting to tell about her LTC experience last week.  Then, we have three Sundays left before Quayd leaves.  Time is moving far too quickly!  I saw a meme or something that said, "You call it empty nest.  I call it a Craft Room."  This made me laugh out loud.  I'm still debating... Doug's private office, craft room or guest room, but I call it something.  But, anyway around it, I call it, "I miss my boy!"  My friend, April's son, Braxton, returned from his mission tonight.  Her joy has been absolutely thrilling to watch over the past few months.  She's lead the way.  My dear friend, Kara's son, Tyler, is hitting his "hump day" this week.  Again, what a thrill to be a missionary mom!  Love it and looking forward to it!

And last but not least...  Kelly's 36th birthday is Saturday.  I took her to lunch today... just the two of us alone.  Oh my.   We had a nice visit over lunch.  I insisted that her phone stay in her purse the entire time we were seated.  After five or ten minutes, she realized that I wasn't changing my mind and we had a nice visit together.  That girl.  Yagottaloveher.  I do... tattoos, piercings, phone attached to her hand at all times, crazy lifestyle and all.  I love her to death!


Life is good!  Very, very good!

good stuff

A few ramblings today...

I made this cute banner for the den a few days ago.  Not loving the patterned paper that I used for the lettering but I wanted it now and didn't want to make a trip to Hobby Lobby for dark solid blue cardstock.  I gave away/donated bins and buckets and trays of paper when we moved.  For the few times a year that I do decide to do a papercraft, it's worth it to just buy it when I need it, rather than keep a room full of "someday" paper.  Anyway, "Land that I LOVE" is one of my favorite holiday catchphrases all summer long!


Tuesday night, for our YW activity, we took the girls "Rock Climbing".  We had so much fun.  This was one of those days that I was so not amused about my foot because I was photographer and not rock climber.  We did some rapelling years ago, against a grain silo, and sliding back down that silo was one of the most fun things I've ever done in my life!  So, I was sad to miss out.  However, someone needed to be taking pictures and cheering everyone on. Since I was the only one not climbing, that made me that one!  Most of the girls loved it.  We took eleven girls and four leaders.  How cool is that!  A great turnout. 

The thing that surprised me the most was that GRACE was the most excited of my two girls.  There was only one other who reached the top of any wall.  That girl really rocked it and was doing the ledges.  But, Grace, who never wants a muscle, never likes to do anything but be "cute" was up there on that wall all night long after their 90 minutes of instruction and certifying.  ZJ hated it!  She never wants to do it again.  But, Grace was "Tom Cruisin'" it all night long!  I love that she did something so physical and could walk away feeling so good about it!


 ZJ did it, even though she hated it.  She said she never wants to do it again.  She no likee heights.  That's so odd because she's usually the one who loves to walk on the edge.  No more, she says!



 
Quayd is home again, but still spending much time with the missionaries.  We finally had a little talk tonight.  At first, he was a bit blue that he was home and not full-time with them.  Now that he's been home, he's glad to be here and it is harder to get out with them.  After transfers and a new companion came in, he experienced the reality of the fact that transfers are hard.  He missed Elder Taylor and isn't as connected with the new missionary because he hasn't lived with him.  I finally was able to talk with him a bit and get it out of him. 

He told me that he's got three and a half weeks left.  He wants to be doing all sorts of fun things at home, but feels guilty because they want him to serving with them.  I explained to him that this is not his mission.  His mission doesn't begin until July 20.  He has 26 days left to be Quayd before he's officially Elder Corbridge, so he doesn't need to feel guilty at all for telling the Elders who are serving full-time that he wants to be Quayd for his last few weeks.  You could literally feel his relief.  He will still serve when he wants, but he doesn't need to feel obligated because his mini-mission is over.  Anything he does from here until July 20 is up to him!

The Elders woke him up bright and early this morning to go to a District Planning Meeting, which he really didn't need to be at.  He got up, got dressed and went.  This afternoon, he went out to teach a discussion with them.  I texted for him to call after the discussion ended, because I knew that they'd have another appointment, so I wanted to give him an "out".  I asked, "Are you ready to come home tonight?" and his "Sure" was pretty telling.  He was home in twenty minutes and spend the evening working in the garden/flowerbed with Doug and I and ZJ.  Before too long, they were having a water/mudfight and laughing loud enough to be heard a block away.  I was frustrated that the weeding wasn't done, but they had a bawl and I finally had to concede that this was a good memory being made, the weeds will wait.  (And we did get most of them.)  Too fun!  The Elders called to see if Quayd could come later in the evening and I told them, no, Quayd's busy with family.  I hope that he's busy with family a lot this last few weeks!


As is obvious, Quayd got the best of Zee!


 Zee has had a sore throat for a week and hasn't been out much.  That's the most she's been out and about all week long.  My mother would die if she saw Zee out in the cold water and evening air.  And I hear Quayd coughing now.  My bad.  But, they'll still be alive and they'll remember one of their last crazy times together.


It's been a busy and fun week.  We did a lot of mission shopping and are almost done.  There's a checklist of things to do for Quayd on his mission preparation online list.  The church keeps track of what's done and not.  He's only got one or two boxes left to check.  His new mission president actually arrives in California on Monday.  This is such an exciting time!


Grace will be speaking in Sacrament Meeting to tell about her LTC experience last week.  Then, we have three Sundays left before Quayd leaves.  Time is moving far too quickly!  I saw a meme or something that said, "You call it empty nest.  I call it a Craft Room."  This made me laugh out loud.  I'm still debating... Doug's private office, craft room or guest room, but I call it something.  But, anyway around it, I call it, "I miss my boy!"  My friend, April's son, Braxton, returned from his mission tonight.  Her joy has been absolutely thrilling to watch over the past few months.  She's lead the way.  My dear friend, Kara's son, Tyler, is hitting his "hump day" this week.  Again, what a thrill to be a missionary mom!  Love it and looking forward to it!

And last but not least...  Kelly's 36th birthday is Saturday.  I took her to lunch today... just the two of us alone.  Oh my.   We had a nice visit over lunch.  I insisted that her phone stay in her purse the entire time we were seated.  After five or ten minutes, she realized that I wasn't changing my mind and we had a nice visit together.  That girl.  Yagottaloveher.  I do... tattoos, piercings, phone attached to her hand at all times, crazy lifestyle and all.  I love her to death!


Life is good!  Very, very good!

about Father's Day

I am a few days late posting about Fathers Day.  For some reason, this year, it hit me hard, like Mothers Day often does.  I love Fathers Day!  LOVE it!  I love making it special for Doug!  I love having the kids make it special for Doug!  But, this year, and I'm guessing it's because of the disconnect with my dad, I felt a bit sad for him.  So, I posted, like most people did, a fathers day post on Facebook.  (A friend commented about her own, "Every dad deserves a shout out on his special day."  I agree.)  Here's what I posted.   What started out to be a simple, Doug's a great dad! ended up being a long post with much deeper feelings than I expected to come out!

I grew up in a home with a very absent father.  He had yet to grow up himself.  I loved him because he was my dad.  When he was there, he was awesome.  Although we have never been able to maintain a close relationship, he's my father and I'm thankful for him and my heritage!  My parents divorced when I was just 13 and my mother took me away from all that was my dad, including his extended family.  How grateful I am for being reunited with them all when I was in my late 40s.  What a gift!

 I also was blessed with a wonderful step-father, who was just fabulous and treated me like his own daughter, until his dying breath.  I adored him!  On Father's Day, I am thankful for the good men in my life who have been a huge influence.  Not all were even father age to me, but they have made an impact!   Doug's uncle, Eldon Corbridge, a real life hero to me.  Each of Doug's uncles were incredible men. My brother from another mother/past bishop/boss/friend, Chester Gibson.  A dairy farmer from Malad ID, Dave Nielson, who was as loving to me as any father I could imagine.  Doug Bradt, who's a surrogate father to Doug and I and grandfather to all six of our kids.  

The REAL father in my life has been the good man that I married.  His love and patience, his positive attitude and ALWAYS cheerful and loving disposition has been exemplary to me for 40 years now.  He's taught our children to love and accept those around us unconditionally.  He's taught us that obedience brings blessings.  He's taught us to Love God with all our hearts.  So, although I may not have had a "traditional" dad, my life has been blessed tremendously with many good men.  Happy Fathers Day to all the good men out there!

Best Dad ever... in my world, that is! 
 Quayd and Doug before Graduation

That came from deep in my heart.  What a gift to have been blessed with good men in my life.  I could list a dozen more.  I thought about it later in the day and thought of men that are, today, a very important part of my world.  Doug's YSA President just impresses me more everytime we are together.  The bishop that he served with/Doug's good friend and one of his heroes and his gift of making life exciting and wonderful and all about serving and bettering everyone he comes in contact with.  Our good bishop in our home ward. Layne, our friend/neighbor and his example to say, "What can I do to help!?" with such enthusiasm, no matter what the task. I feel blessed that the Lord continues to bless us with good leaders, good friends, good neighbors.  I also feel extremely blessed to know that there are four great men who our grands call "daddy", who've adopted these children into their hearts and homes.  What a blessing!  

SO.  I guess that my main thought on Father's Day was that my Heavenly Father loves me and mine.  He has carefully placed good men in my life, throughout my whole life, to love and guide and direct and bless me.  Father's Day was very special this year!    And it wasn't at all about the gifts Doug opened or his breakfast in bed.  For me, it was about the gift of fathers, not gifts for fathers.  That's all.

Life is good!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

a banner, a son, a scream and a weather report

I decided to create a little patriotic banner for the den and wish I'd have taken time to run to Hobby Lobby and buy some Navy paper because I don't like the patterned paper for letters.  For fifteen years, I had, literally thousands of pieces of scrapbook paper.  The paper companies sent me samples for years.  When we moved, I decided to just give it away. It's only the rare occasion that I papercraft and I will never really scrapbook again.  When we moved, there were laundry baskets stacked end to end with 12x12 paper.  I'm used to just grabbing exactly what I need and have not found much that I really love at Hobby Lobby. I don't even know where to buy paper any more unless it's HL or Michaels.  Ugh.  Anyway, I made this banner.  It's hard to see the lettering with the flash, but the bakers twine is sure cute.


Doug and I were driving home from dinner with Wayne and Vicki and I texted him the photo of Doug and I.  He sent me back a great shot of his family.  Willow and Erica's girls are in the back seat.  They are one happy family! We have never met Erica, but she and her girls are part of our family!  We just love her!  This picture just made me smile all night! 

 
Shortly after this photo, while Doug was driving, we had a "near miss" that scared me more than I believe I've ever been frightened in my lifetime.  We were on Highway 89-91, which runs north and south through the entire state of Utah.  A Main Street that's hundreds of miles long...the old highway before I-15. We came to a traffic light at a busy intersection, five lanes with a left-turn light.  Heading south was a little boy.  I'm talking LITTLE boy.  Doug guessed five.  I said six at the most.  The kid was walking alone on this busy HIGHWAY.  ALONE!  I said to Doug, "Look at the little boy.  Holy cow, he's too young to be alone on this highway.  Where's a parent or sibling?"  We looked everywhere, certain that there would be a grown-up somewhere.  Nada.  The kid walked right into the intersection, where the traffic had the green light, crossed and came to the corner.  He never looked.  There were cars a bit back but most of the traffic had already gone because the light was green.

THEN, the kid turns and starts crossing THE HIGHWAY!!!  We were first and in the left-turn lane.  This a BUSY intersection!!!!  The kid never slowed down at the corner to look before he turned on to the highway.  Our light was now green and he's walking across it.  He walked in front of the outside two lanes and then keeps on bopping in front of us.  We are looking ahead and there's a large blue pick-up truck flying south in our direction!  I'm SCREAMING!!!! "He's gonna hit him!  He's gonna hit him!  He's gonna kill him!!!!"  Doug lays on the horn!  JUST HOLDING IT DOWN!  Both of us are in total adrenaline shock.  The truck barrels through the intersection and just before he hits the kid, he slams his breaks, the kid keeps walking like nothing's happening at all into the other lane.  We were absolutely certain that if the truck had been hit, he would have flown a few hundred feet and been dead instantly.  We were shaking.  The truck driver was probably wetting his pants.  The kid just kept walking "laa-dee-dah" like he was the only one for miles.

Doug still had his hand laid hard on the horn.  He turned and still didn't let it up.  We drove along side the kid on the street, STILL LAYING ON THE HORN, in hopes that some parent somewhere would look outside, step outside, something!  We debated on whether to call 911.  This kid was TOO young to be outside alone, let alone at least a block or two from home without supervision and certainly to be walking alone on the major highway in Utah!!!!  When we arrived at Texas Roadhouse, both of us were shaking and it took about 20 minutes to get over the adrenaline rush.  Seriously, I had nightmares about that kid all night long.  I could not believe how close that little child came to losing his life and he didn't even seem to realize it.  The kid finally looked at Doug, as he was honking and driving along side of him, like, "WHAT!?!?!?"  GRRRRRR!!!!!  Some people's kids!!!  YIKES!!!

And in other news...

  • Have I mentioned that it's hot!?
  • Have I mentioned that Sonic Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshakes are HEAVENLY!?
  • Have I mentioned that it feels like mid July?!
  • Have I mentioned that LIFE IS GOOD!!!  IT IS!!!




Monday, June 20, 2016

weekend update

Friday morning, bright and early, I headed up Logan Canyon to pick Grace and the other Senior age girls from Camp Lomia.  I arrived just before the final devotional message and prayer.  As the girls ended their prayer, they stood and looked up to the balcony of the huge lodge for a group photo and they began singing the most beautiful song about "believing" in Christ and all that he does for us.  There were tears.  Uncontrollable tears... not the girls... me!  I was standing there, visiting with Carol's sister, Lee and couldn't stop crying.  She also shared with me that Grace had been a delight.

She mentioned that Grace had cried a few times herself.  She bore her testimony last night and Lee told me about the letters from the mothers that were written quite a while ago.  Lee said that they were all being distributed and she came across this bright red one in a fun homemade envelope... "Of course it's Graces from Sophia."  That made me feel good.  But, far more than that, was that Lee watched her as she read it and said that she'd been very touched by my message to her.  What a wonderful experience that our stake gives these sweet young girls to look to their futures with hope and goals of making wonderful choices in their future!

I brought the girls home, four of them from our ward, and they were just gabbing away about how much better LTC is than girls camp.  They loved it.  I enjoyed listening to them all, but could hardly wait to be alone with Grace and hear her feelings and thoughts.  We talked as we unloaded and the minute Zee heard Grace's voice, she was right there with us and the girls were talking 90 mph, filling each other in on all that they'd done.  They raced downstairs together because they "needed to talk".  Okey dokey then.  What a gift to have a sister to share everything with the way that they do! 

They didn't care a bit when I said that I was meeting Ann for lunch at Elements.  We had a delightful visit talking family and homes.  I think that one of my most favorite things about summer is eating outside on the patio beside the river at Elements!  And one of my favorite things is spending time with Ann!  So, this added up to a perfect afternoon!

I came home and went down to the dishroom to grab some paper for a little papercraft that I've been wanting to do.  As I walked through Quayd's room, I noticed that Quayd's room has gotten a bit messier each time he's slipped in for another shirt.  (I realized that the reason he's needing so many shirts is that their service is removing the fiberglass insulation from our new neighbor's home and he's ruining his long sleeve shirts.  (Not that he will need them in less than thirty days!)  I grabbed what I needed from the dishroom and asked the girls to join me in his room. We hung up the few shirts that he's left laying on his bed, put away his clean laundry, which ZJ had just set on the foot of his bed and picked up a few things that he's left around. While working on it, we got a "bright idea"!

Quayd and the missionaries have been asking consistently, "Why did Corbridge get the smallest bedroom?"  So, today, our "bright idea" involved making his room girly!  We removed all of his masculine black/red/grey bedding and changed his sheets. I had a leftover quilt that's pastel green and pink and a pink baby blanket.  Zee found a pink ribbon to tie back his grey curtains.  Grace found a few feminine pillows and a stuffed animal.  We remade the bed quickly, after cleaning his room.


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 The Elders returned with Quayd's things.  He was visibly heartbroken to see his Mini-mission end.  All three of the Elders were!  You could see it!.  They came in carrying his things and you would have thought they'd never see each other again.  Literally... five minutes after they got here, they left together to teach a discussion. And he spent every spare moment with them all weekend, doing service, teaching and then going to their apartment until their curfew.  He can hardly wait to get on with things and to get to California!  I think that three weeks at the MTC will be killer for him because he's already being "Trained" and he's not one to enjoy sitting in classes all day long in the first place.  BUT, he loves teaching!  On Saturday evening, when they returned, he shared that they'd committed an investigator to baptism, which is scheduled for the day before Quayd's mission farewell!  He is thrilled for this man to join the church!

 
When they got downstairs, turned on his light and walked into his room, it was a hearty laughed, then, "MOMMMMMM!"  We laughed so hard!  The first thing he did was check under his bed to see if I'd cleaned everything.  Payback!  It was great.


On Saturday evening, we had a fun double-date with Dave and Trisha, our good friends from Smithfield.  We sat for almost three hours at Cafe Sabor visiting over dinner and not enough cokes.  Our server was too busy for refills, but we enjoyed our time together.  We can't spend enough time with them!  SUPER friends and WONDERFUL people, always filled with optimism and great life experiences.

It was Summerfest weekend, which used to be our favorite event of June.  However.  We've passed the last few years.  My foot no likee Summerfest like it used to.  The crowds, the standing, the walking... we came home from dinner and watched a movie with the kids.

Fathers Day in another post this week...

Sunday, it was a beautiful hot afternoon!  We attended my favorite niece, Samantha's mission farewell. She gave a fantastic talk!  When we arrived, we ran into a few boys from SVHS.  I asked them, "You're here for Sam?"  No.  They were here for Garrison.  TWO missionary farewells in the same meeting and it turned out that both Sam and Garrison were leaving this Wednesday for the same mission in Minnesota!

After the farewell, we went to Elk Ridge Park for a gathering with family.  There was a nice pavillion that we all were able to be in the shade because it was H-O-T!  It was the first time we have all been together as family since the holidays.  Good food, good company.

Doug took the day off on Monday.  We went to Salt Lake City to see a specialist about my foot.  Good news is it's not some dreaded disease.  Bad news is that it's nerve damage and I'm going to have to live with it.  Period.  This is the sixth doctor to tell me the same thing.  Some nerves never heal and almost four years later, this hasn't improved.  It's probably not going to.  Lucky me.  I get to live with a foot that feels like I've just hit my funny bone and then attached a hot iron to it most every minute of my life.  On the bright side, I stll have a foot. I can still walk and stand and do most things... I just get to do them with a chronic pain. But, I'm still alive!

Following my doctor appointment, Doug and I went to IKEA to grab a few things that are only available ever at IKEA.  I could spend hours and hours in this store.  We were there for less than 40 minutes.  There's a huuuuuuge RC Willey furniture store right next door.  That's when my foot pain makes me cranky...I was done about half way through IKEA.  So, we passed on RC Willey and headed north.  Doug had never been to IKEA.  As we drove there, he kept asking, "Is that it?"  No, Babe.  It's HUUUUUGE.   "Is that it?"   No, Babe.  Bigger.  He couldn't believe the size of the store!  And his favorite part, which we spend five of our short minutes there looking at... "They have cowhides!"  Where do they get these?!"  And then he gave me a little lesson on tanning cowhides and leather care.  So funny.  I just needed some chipclips and organizing things that I was out of and he got all happy about cowhides.  I love this man!
 

We had made plans earlier in the day to meet Wayne and Vicki.  Wayne and Doug were missionary companions 39 years ago at this time.  We met at Texas Roadhouse in Bountiful and oh, my, as always, we laugh so hard when we are together!  Our poor server!  She was adorable.  What a wonderful time together! Always, lots and lots of teasing.  Lots and lots of fun! We are truly blessed with amazing friends! 


By the time we came home last night, it was after 8.  We stopped and picked up a dozen Krispy Kremes for the kids, who'd been parentless all day long.  Quayd had spent the day with the Elders.  He came home long enough for a short family counsel and went back with the Elders until curfew again.  He's loving his missionary time.  I think that he's loving his time learning from this two great missionaries!  Sadly, Elder Taylor found out that he was being transferred to Malad ID.  We had to say goodbye to him, which breaks Quayd's heart.  So, now he's experienced, teaching, giving blessings, service, Zone Conference, dinner appointments, Prep Days and transfers.  He's so loving this.

It was a busy and happy weekend!  Quayd is literally 4 weeks away from leaving.  It's happening too fast!  MUCH too fast!  We have much to do to get him prepared and packed, and he's making every effort to be spriritually prepared.  It's fun to have gospel discussions with him, to see him studying and reading and mostly to spend this time sharing his testimony with others.  It comes very natural to him.  It's happening.  It's really happening.  He's done with his job at Lee's.  His next 29 days will be spent doing busy work, saying lots of goodbyes and with lots of mom hugs... if I can catch him in between his agenda!

Life is good!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

only

Zeej and I have really had fun together this week.  I think she could get used to being the "only child"... I know Liza sure did when she had her turn.  We joke that Liza was "the baby" for the first 17 years of her life, the "only child" (when Dale and Kelly moved out), the middle child (now), the oldest (for the short while that she was still living at home when we got the babes), "the oldest" (because she's the only one of the bigs who's really had a close relationship with them).  She's been all of the positions in the birth order.  All she cares is that she's "my favorite".  ZJ has enjoyed a week of being "favorite" and "only".

However, we've had enough Quayd sightings that the "only" has been intermittent!  Tonight, Doug and I went for our walk around the block and ran across Alan and Jill, who were parked at the corner visiting with their friends/our newest neighbors.  We had a great tour of their home and got to know them a little better.  I think that our neighborhood is getting better every day!  While there visiting, Elder Weston came out of the home and into the garage fridge for a glass of water.  I was shocked to see Quayd follow.  It's amazing how often this week and how not once last week, we've run into them.  He is coming home at noon on Saturday.  The party is over.  ;)  I foresee Quayd continuing to work at the new neighbors next week whenever he can help.


This morning, Zee and I visited with Harli, who bought our Smithfield home and she said that we could run over after lunch for a tour of the home to see what all she has done.  I could not believe it!  Neither of us could!  It's soooooo different!  We both kept saying how many changes they've made.  All of the home is painted a tan with pops of teal throughout, including the front door.  There's western stuff, cowboy things all throughout. It's darling!  BUT so different than when we lived there.

  They've completely removed every tree, except on plum, the apple and cherry trees.  All of the tall 60 foot trees are gone.  They've replanted evergreens everywhere and planted the garden north and south, which we never did once.  The raspberries are gone.  They finished the garage with sheetrock and shelving.  It's amazing, the difference!  I think that the biggest difference to me, aside from the yard, was the fact that every room seemed so small.  Doug called as we were leaving and I said, "Thank you for buying me our new home."  Every room seemed so tiny compared to the size of the rooms in this home.  Our bedrooms are all larger than any room in the old home.  The kitchen.  Wow.  SO weird.  But, it feels so homey and cozy and they are taking such great care of it.  Nothing makes me happier!

Doug and I took Zee to the movies this afternoon to see "Me before You".  What a beautiful story.  All I could think of throughout the whole movie was Christopher Reeve, who I have absolutely adores since I was 18 years old.  The actor looks so much like him and the story... wow.  Grab a box of tissues and go see it!  Total chick flick, but Doug loved it and cried too!  Another reason to love this man of mine!

Grace comes home tomorrow.  Our Young Womens President just dropped by for a sec and told us that she'd been at the LTC tonight.  She attended the Testimony Meeting tonight.  She said that all of the girls began their testimonies with "I didn't really want to come but my mom made me."  Grace stood up and said, "I've been so excited to come to LTC!  I couldn't wait!  And I've loved it!"  I can't wait to hear all about it!  I'm picking them up tomorrow and I'm very excited!

So, our week of lots of different directions will come to an end... Grace on Friday. Quayd on Saturday.   And Sunday we will be attending the mission farewell of my favorite niece, Samantha, as she departs to Minnesota for her LDS mission.  Good times!  Good times!


This morning,  Our friend Dan, who installed all of our carpet and half the floors came by.  Alan and Jill dropped by too so that we could make some definite plans for carpeting at the cabin.  The cabinets are in and the floors are one of the last things to be done before the cabin restoration is complete!  It should be done before the Corbridge Reunion!  More good times!

Life is good!  Busy, fun, exciting, exhausting and oh so good!



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

a real treasure! and a hunt!

For over thirty years, I've done treasure hunts for my kids and anyone else who has lived with us for every birthday, minus two for Zeej because she had other plans.  EVERY birthday.  I think that in the years, I may have had one treasure hunt for my own birthday, maybe, but I don't even remember if that happened.

Anyway....  As I've shared, Quayd and these two awesome Elders are having a blast!  The first week, we didn't see Quayd at all.  No place.  NOWHERE.  We usually see them on the street all the time because they walk everywhere.  No car at all.  The first week, NO Quayd sightings.  Period.

Then, on Saturday night, they dropped in, asked if Quayd could extend for one more week and left us a sweet gospel message.  Then, on Sunday, they sat with us in church, because ironically, they were scheduled to visit our ward that day anyway.  On Monday, they snuck in and out of the house for something Quayd needed, without our knowing.  Yesterday, they tried to sneak in for a long sleeve work shirt because they were doing service, removing fiberglass insulation for a family and Quayd needed more protection.  ZJ caught them slipping in the walk-out door, so we visited for a few minutes and they were off.  (We keep this door double-deadbolted all the time!  ALL the time!  It's been odd to have it open for him, but he has needed things here and there, so I've not worried about it during the day time. Once he's back home, security time again!

This afternoon, I thought I heard Quayd's voice downstairs.  (Our home has four entrances, so he could sneak in all sorts of ways.)  ZJ was downstairs and we were heading to Hobby Lobby for a little bottle of craft paint.  I went downstairs to double check for the paper I needed.  My craft supplies are all in my dishroom, which is through Quayd's room.  When I opened his door and turned on his light, there stood all three missionaries in the dark!  I SCREAMED!  They burst out laughing!  It was hysterical!  Quayd had slipped in to grab something else and was trying to do it without our knowing they were even here. When they heard me coming downstairs, they slipped into his room and closed the door thinking I'd never come in there. It was a riot!  

So much for being away from family!  *He also asked if he could extend one more week.  I said, "No, sorry, but we need you here to get you ready!"  But this is great because he's loving missionary work!

I haven't mentioned that he has been instructed to wear glasses and not contact lenses while on his mission.  When we ordered his glasses a few weeks ago, we ordered the kind that change to sunglasses when they are outside.  Quayd hates them!  They take five minutes to turn back to normal clean lenses and he feels like he looks like a criminal when he's walking into people's homes and the chapel with shades on his eyes.  (And he's blind as a bat without them!)  So, while he was here earlier, I'd asked if he had his glasses with him because I have to return them in order to get the lenses replaced.  (He'll be wearing contacts for the next few weeks after all while we wait for that exchange.)

SOOOOOO....

Being that Zee is an "only child" this week, we are doing fun little things with her.  Tonight, Doug and I took ZJ and Zulu for a drive to Sonic for a milkshake.  When we got home, there was a note on the front door.  We looked closer and realized... A TREASURE HUNT!!!!  (NOT Quayd's writing!)
Clue #1 led us straight to the fridge!
 Attached to the gallon of milk, which lasts more than a day while Quayd is absent, was clue #2.
 We raced straight to Zee's room and found clue #3 inside the Modern Family DVD case on top of her TV.  From there, we went back to the living room where I took that picture of the Elders visiting on  last Saturday evening...
 A few days ago, apparently, ZJ walked into her bathroom downstairs and discovered an unflushed toilet.  Grace and Doug were both at work.  I never go to the bathroom downstairs.  She was disgusted by the toilet, flushed and said, out loud, "SERIOUSLY?!?"  What she didn't know, and we didn't know until a day later, was that the boys were in Quayd's room hiding.  They'd stopped for a bathroom break and didn't want anyone to know that they were here.  When they heard her coming, they raced into his dark room with the door closed and, then, slipped back out after she went back upstairs.  (I think that this "cat and mouse" game has been more sort of a fun challenge for them.  AND I've made sure that the girls have been cautious to be modest and careful since Quayd left because "we never know".)  Anyway... clue #4.
 Up to the laundry room!
 Back down to Doug's desk.  And might I add that this is more trips downstairs in one day that I've made EVER since buying this home.  I can go days without going downstairs as long as Doug is double checking for locked doors and clean rooms.  (He's much more lenient about their rooms, by the way.)  Clue #6 lead us to Doug's desk.
 When we read clue #7, we went straight out to the hottub.  However, no clue to be found.  I said, "Our bed?"  And nothing.  Then back to the hottub to make sure we hadn't missed it.  Nothing. These are the only two places that I go to "escape".  Back to our bed.  Clue #8 was on Doug's side, not mine, which is why we missed it the first time.
 Clue #8 is was a joke that was made 20 years ago and has never been forgotten. No further explanation.
 Clue #8 made me laugh so so hard.  The first time the Elders and Quayd came to visit, Quayd said, out of the blue, "Hey, Mom?  Why did I get the smallest room?"  The Elders had brought up the "issue".  We've lived here in our new home for 18 months and never once, has Quayd even said a word about his room being the smallest.  I didn't hesitate to think of an answer because the answer was plain and simple, "The girls had twice as much furniture as you." (And he never really cared, they did.  He's so easy going.)  Since that mentioning, he's brought it up everytime I've seen him.  When I caught him in it today, I said, "Your room is sloppier than when you left."  It's the smallest.  HAR HAR. So, clue #8 made me laugh so hard!
 
 We went back downstairs to Quayd's room and there on his bed we found the last one, attached to his glasses (and in his handwriting.)  We were laughing hysterically!  It made our night! My first REAL treasure hunt! I do love this boy's sense of humor.  And I love that he loves his mom!
Denise called later tonight and said, "I just saw Quayd being a missionary on the street!"  She was so excited! It's how I feel every time I see him with them.  I know that his last few weeks at home will be even harder because he's raring to go!  What a great experience this has been.  He's loving teaching and I've heard reports that he's a born teacher...from the elders and from people he's taught this past two weeks.  He's always been a hard worker and really enjoys doing service.  He's had several opportunities at both and loved each one.  He loves people and I've loved hearing tidbits of his teaching opportunities... from him and from others who've seen him.  Being in California will be completely different for us all, I know, but what a gift this has been to "break us all in" a bit.   I'm thrilled for him!  But, I'm also ready to have my boy home and spend his last 30 days together getting his suitcases packed!

Life is good!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

this and that

Grace was up before our alarm went off on Monday morning because she was so excited for Laurel Training Camp.  This is a camp, similar to the Aaronic Priesthood Training Camp that Quayd attended last summer.  Only three girls from our ward will be there.  I'm guessing that there will be less than thirty girls there total.  She has been counting down the days and could not wait!  She'd been packed for two days. https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=2356477577411050239#editor/target=post;postID=3849328699055832277 I had her climb back in bed with me after Doug went to work to try to get another hour or two of sleep before she needed to meet the other girls at the Stake Center. 


When I dropped her off, she was smiling from ear to ear and so very excited!  She kept saying, "Thank you!"  As if we would not have wanted her there!  We are thrilled for her enthusiasm!  It will be a wonderful experience.  Our stake Young Womens leaders are remarkable and they go all out for everything.  The girls will be spirtually fed, there will be amazing activities and great food.  I was asked to write Grace a letter two months ago.  They are very organized.  This is an event for girls who will be Seniors this coming school year and then next year, they return as leaders for the incoming Seniors.  I'm so thrilled for her!  I can't wait to hear all about it!

This morning, when I woke up, as I knelt to say my morning prayer and began to pray for my kids, it was the strangest feeling ever... five of the six of them are not at home right now!  Bless them all...wherever they are!  It was a real eye-opener!  Last night,

Speaking of kids being out of the home... I received a call today from a couple who'd fed the missionaries last night, Quayd being one of them.  This sister had called to let me know that she'd fed Quayd last night and that as soon as they were done with dinner, he jumped up and started helping with the dishes.  She said he had such wonderful manners and was so helpful.  "I told him, "You're mother raised you well."  WOW!  There's a call that every mother wants to receive!  He'll be home this weekend, but he is certainly learning a lot during this mini-mission.

Julie teases that she's seen him sneaking in and out of our home several times.  They've stopped her for potty breaks and to grab things that he's needed, using whatever door we are not near.  I think that he's really grown to love these two Elders.  We've visited with them a few times this week, and we are super impressed.  What a great experience for Quayd!

Today, I took a few minutes to write our next 34 days schedule on our chalkboard wall.  It's going to be a crazy month!  Life is good! 

Monday, June 13, 2016

weekend update

A few weekend highlights....

Of course, numero uno on our list was seeing Quayd!  It was so fun to visit with him.  Shortly after they left, we saw them walking up the hill to the Stake Center.  I'm obsessed, says Zee!  But, we are happy for him!  So, it's a happy obsession!

ZJ has had her mojo on!  She's been creating toys for Zulu.  Stuffed animals.  She'll say, "I think I'll make a shark."  An hour later, she comes up with a shark.  No patterns.  She makes the pattern, cuts up a shirt and makes a shark.  It began with a bone.  Now, she's making unicorns.  This girl has more talent than I ever dreamed of at her age!



Doug and I finally made it to the World's Greatest Corndog Truck.  Right in the middle of yardwork.  We stopped and went!We've been looking for it for over a year and finally heard that it's parked permanently on Main St.  If anyone would have ever told me that I would eat from a food truck, I'd say, "NEVER!"  However, we've heard nothing but rants about this place since before we moved.  We were very happy to finally try it and to even return again with Z the next morning for her to try.  We met the nicest kid there, Bryce, who served his mission in Georgia.  What a nice boy.  Visiting with him alone was worth going for.  Nice kid.  Great corndog... with honey on it!  They are HUUUUUUUGE and so so nummy!  $5 a piece!


Kayson's homecoming... Miki's big brother, Kayson, returned from El Salvador last week.  We attended our old ward to Smithfield for church to hear his report.  It was so strange to be there again.  There were lots of hugs and lots of "Welcome Home!" but they say, "You can never go back. It's always different."  And it was.  We love our old friends just as much as ever.  But new faces.  People move on.  We sat in front of Justin and Harli, who bought our home.  We visit with them occasionally and felt very comfortable with them.  It was wonderful to see Trish and Cheryl and the Durrants, who we still do things with.  It was fun to see deacons (12 year old boys) who've grown a foot or two!

 Kayson's talk was A.MAZ.ING!  He spoke with confidence and wisdom and a very cute El Salvadorian accent.  It's always fascinating to me to hear them with their accent when they return from a foriegn country and to hear them "thinking", literally, in their language.  Kayson referred to getting an address and called it "direction".  To me, that says that this boy worked hard and truly was in tune to what he was doing there, even thinking in the language.  He has always been a favorite teen of mine, but WOW, what a man he has become!  We couldn't love him more!

Following the meeting, we all congregated to the B's for a potluck kind of brunch.  It was fun to visit with Todd and Myra, Stott and Wendy, Kayson, Wendy's sisters and her folks.  What a great family they are.  I also enjoyed watching Kayson interact with a few of his missionary companions who had also served in El Salvador.

I had to get a picture of Miki and Doug.  Miki's little cousin, Grace, jumped right into the picture and Miki wasn't sure she liked that, at all.  "He's my Grampie!"  But, she quickly decided that they could both be in it.  I'm so thankful that Mikelle has Grace for a cousin.  They are only days apart in age.


We came home from Kayson's brunch and headed straight to our own ward.  ZJ spoke in Sacrament Meeting and did a great job.  I was a little annoyed with a few of the boys who kept teasing her while she was on the stand and she couldn't stop giggling.  To be fifteen, right.  She got a little talking to after church... and the boys, they knew that we were not happy with them!  Mine and Doug's looks were all that needed to be said!

The highlight of that meeting, aside from Zee's talk, was that the missionaries walked into the chapel!  They stood there debating and finally decided to come and sit with our family.  A couple spoke, following Zee, are serving full-time missions from their home here in our stake.  Quayd leaned over when he sat down and told me how wonderful they were.  He'd been in their home this past week.  As Sister Salturn began to speak, she complimented the missionaries that we have serving in our ward, including Elder Corbridge, and she went on and on about what a good missionary he's going to be in California "and we just learned this morning that he has extended his mini-mission here in the valley for one more week!"  She was delightful and I appreciated knowing that someone else recognized his strengths, as we do!  (I will say this... if Quayd growns half as much as Kayson did, he's going to do great!)

Following the meeting, the Elders said goodbye and went to another meeting.  I was amazed.  "Bye, Mom.  Love you."  And he was gone.  He had work to do!  Love it! 

I taught my lesson on the Blessings of the Priesthood in Young Womens and we were home, after almost five hours of church through the day. I made a stirfry for dinner for just the girls and Doug and I.  He'd been excused from all of his YSA meetings for Kayson's and Zee's meetings.  It was lovely to have us all just casually chilling on a Sunday afternoon and evening.  The thunderstorm filled our evening.  Doug and I have been taking a walk around the block every night for the past few weeks.  I miss my long 3.5 mile walks but this is casual and gives us a chance to just talk alone for a minute.

It was a great weekend.  This week is much less involved.  Grace is leaving for Laurel Training Camp tomorrow.  Grace will be gone all week.  Quayd is gone all week.  So, it's just Zee, Doug and I.  We will have to do a few fun things for just the three of us.  I've decided that I want to sell my huge oak dining table, which seats 12.  I love it when we have company and YSA kids.  But, it's huge and takes half of the den.  It's too wide to play cards on.  We will have company once or twice a month.  I think that I want to go smaller.  Doug's still not sure and wants me to give it more thought.  I may just have him take it to the downstairs family room and bring up the smaller one.  For the most part, we are going to only have four people at our table after Quayd leaves.  Change is coming.  Crazy. 

Life is good!

beautiful earth


This was on Saturday afternoon as a small storm blew in.  We loved the fact that everyone on the block was outside on their front lawns with cameras in hand.  Beautiful!


 It was brilliant!


What a fabulous sight!  We love living so near the mouth of the canyon and at the foot of the mountain!  It's always spectacular!


Then, on Sunday evening, at about 8:45, Doug heard thunder off in the distance.  A storm was blowing in from the southwest.  I happened to notice the red sky reflecting to the east of us just at the mouth of the canyon.  WOW!






I couldn't grab my camera fast enough!  This wall of rocks and trees and mountainside is always breathtaking, especially in the mornings as the sun rises, but after 17 months of living here, this was the first time we've seen the sunset affect the mountain.  It was incredible!
 

The skies were still blue to the east, but the west was as dark as could be with a brilliant orange!


We all gathered outside for the next hour to watch.


 It was pretty amazing.  We could hear our neighbors outside oohing and aahing over the lightning strikes in every direction.

 

Within moments, though, the storm got serious and moved right in on us.  The skies were just as dark and ominous as could be.  There was lightning every few seconds.  The sound of the thunder rumbled up the canyon and you could feel it!  It was incredible!


Then, the rain came and the wind blew and we literally felt the storm blow over our home.  Layne and Julie moved from their back patio to their front porch.  We moved from our front porch to our back patio.  My front porch, right now, is totally saturated.  My Americana quilt ... soaked.  Pillows ... dripping wet.  The "garden" drowning in little rivers that formed as the rain poured off the roof where there is no gutter.  It was the perfect summer storm!  More are expected tomorrow...

And all I can think about is... does my son need a rain slicker?  

Life is good!  So are summer storms!