Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Grace's Graduation Week!

What a interesting week we have had in preparation and celebration of Grace's exciting graduation! Liza and the girls arrived on Tuesday and will be with us for twelve wonderful days.  We've been doing all sorts of fun things to celebrate, after a very stressful final week of school for Grace.

The celebrating began with Grace's LDS Seminary Graduation, last Sunday night, signifying her completion of four years of attendance in Seminary, as well as reading the Standard Works...the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. That's a huge accomplishment of which we are most proud!

We enjoyed shopping for new clothes for graduation and then getting her graduation photos taken.  I loved doing that!  Another post!

Grace's senior year has been challenging in several ways.  Socially, she's had a rough time.  Her friends were seniors last year, so this year, she was sort of left on her own.  She is friendly, but she is very shy.  So, this year, she's not really had a "Best Friend" at her school, just lots of "acquaintances".  Bella was very challenging because, although she was in the Presidency, there were Juniors with "strong" personalities who came in and ruled the house.  Grace, being Grace, just stepped back and let them do their thing.  She even opted to not go on the big trip to San Francisco over Spring Break, because she knew that she would just feel "awkward".  She has done a little dating, but not much.  So, it's been hard.  She was asked to Senior Prom by a boy who then said, "Never mind, I'm asking someone else." and THEN was turned down by the other girl, so he came back to Grace and said, "Yeh, let's go."  At that point, Grace said, NOT!!!  As I say, she's had a rough senior year.  Doug and I have shed our own tears watching her get hurt.  It's been so hard for my red personality to not call a few parents, especially "prom boy" and tell his dad, "You are doing such a wonderful job of raising a jerk!"  But, I refrained.

SO.  Suffice it to say, we are extremely proud of Grace for holding her head high, suffering through this last year and hanging in there with dignity and grace.  I've counted the days until she could toss that hat into the air and be done with high school and move on into a new world!

Grace's last time walking into the High School as a student!

Sadly, her last week was probably one of the hardest.  On yearbook day, her last day of school, Grace was informed that she still owed fees, which she did NOT.  There was a fee for a $4.01 book for a class that she'd taken her sophomore year, but a book that she'd never even heard of, that was mistakenly added to her list.  I spent four hours calling the school, after getting a text from her telling me that they wouldn't give her her yearbook until this fee was paid.  I called and called the school getting voice messages because everyone was too busy checking out the students to answer the phones.

Grace spent hours in lines trying to work things out and it was 2 in the afternoon before I could get to the school in person and clarify that this was a mistake on their part.  The finance lady apologized and said that yes, she'd goofed up.  I was not amused and I made that clear, firmly but kindly, as she handed Grace her yearbook at 2:15, after every other Senior in the school had already left hours before, that her mistake meant Grace how has a yearbook without one single signature and no one left there to sign it.  The woman's response, "Well, she can take it to Lagoon tomorrow."  Seriously!?, because everyone wants to carry a yearbook around an amusement/waterpark all day long.  AND GRACE WASNT EVEN GOING TO LAGOON!  Nope, we were not happy.  As a matter of fact, I think I cried for her more than she cried herself.  We walked out of the school, both of us in tears, and she said, "Well, this day pretty much sums up my senior year.  It sucked."  AMEN!

It was at that point that Zeej shared that, while I was talking to the finance secretary, the other finance secretary-in-training, sat there mocking me with little facial gestures, repeating every word I was saying, with "Nee-nee-neee-nee-neee" voice and rolling her eyes.  She looked up and saw Zee standing there and said, "May I help you with something?" not realizing that Zee was my daughter.  Zeej gave her a crusty glare and said, "SERIOUSLY????" and walked around to where I was talking with the other secretary and Grace was finally getting her yearbook.  She was livid and shocked to see an adult acting like a five year old.  Zee's RED personality was showing!  "Seriously, Mom!  What adult acts like that!!!  IN FRONT OF STUDENTS!!?!?!?!?" She continued, "ANNNNNND she didn't even blend her eyeshadow!!!!  I mean, Seriously!!!!"  This was almost comic relief to the tears that Grace and I were sharing, as we walked to the car.

We hopped in the car, stopped at Sonic for Happy Hour and as we drove past the theater, I pulled in and said, "Let's drown our sorrows and calm our souls with popcorn!"  We bought tickets and sat down in the middle of previews to watch Everything, Everything.  Both girls have just read the book and they were thrilled to see it together.  I noticed Grace tearing up a few times that night, when the yearbook came up.  SO frustrating!

On Wednesday, Lagoon Day for the Seniors, Grace opted not to go and to spend the day with me. Liza and the girls had arrived for graduation, but I'd already told her to make plans with a friend so that I could spend the day with Grace.  We woke up and raced out the door for pedicures.  Grace got glow-in-the-dark mint green toes (her favorite anything is MINT!) and then we raced to grab lunch before going to see Pirates of the Carribean.  We loved the movie (Zee and I saw it opening morning, so it was my second time and I loved it better this time!) then we went shopping for shoes and a few other things and made an afternoon Sonic Run before coming back home.  When we had family prayer that night, Grace said that it had been a perfect day.  She was glad that she chose "us" over Lagoon.  A happy mom moment for me!

It really was a rough ending for Grace's high school senior year, but we made the best of it.  She is really and truly so glad to be done!  Grace started attending the YSA ward a bit ago and is really enjoying it and the opportunity to make some new friends that are older and a bit more mature.

Grace has felt a bit overwhelmed about graduating.  She's so not ready, yet she is so done.  She isn't ready because she isn't sure what she wants to do with her life yet.  She's not registering for college yet because she's considering an LDS Mission.  We are sooooo not pushing her.  Missions are HARD!  And I, personally, think missions are even harder for girls!  Just sayin'.  We have talked about it and with all that we have on our summer schedule, we have decided that she isn't going to have to make any decisions till the end of summer.  I don't even want the girls to work this summer. So, we will spend our summer hosting bridal showers, decorating for a wedding, planning YW Girls Camp and making memories.  Fall will be soon enough for jobs and decisions and getting serious about life.  We want her to take some time to make her own decisions.    In the meantime, we will enjoy our time together!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Grace's graduation pix!

I am not a fan of fall graduation photos because by summer, when graduation actually takes place, quite often, the senior is a totally different person!  So, we waited for spring to come.   However, we didn't anticipate that I'd be sporting a new shoulder or that we'd have the winter that made history, leading to a flooding spring.  So, we have put off Grace's senior photo shoot for an extra two months.  Lifting the camera to my eye is still very painful.  Every time we've made a plan, we've had a great thunderstorm or even snow storm.  So, last weekend, we finally got our great weather, I cowboyed up and we did it!

Doug hauled a chair out of ZJ's bedroom and off we went for a Logan Canyon adventure on the first opening weekend of camping for the year.   We went to two campgrounds that I knew had wonderful waterfalls and backdrops, but the campgrounds were full!  This has been quite a dangerous month, with the death of several people, including a two year old and a four year old and her mother and a stranger, who jumped into the river, trying to save her.  After a few trips through campgrounds and driving through the canyon, watching the raging waters, I decided that river pictures were not worth the risk and we went, instead, to the mountain top!

Grace looked absolutely breathtaking.  The scenery was spectacular.  The weather was perfect.  It all added up to some wonderful pix of Grace for her Senior Graduation Announcement what will end up being mailed two days after her graduation.  Here are several of my favorites!

That's the river down below a few hundred feet and that was close enough for us!

This was one of my favorites because it captures her "Sweetness" so much!

This one reminds me of a glamour shot we had taken of Kelly when she was sixteen.  Grace is quite naturally glamourous.

She said her dress was a "hippie dress", which is so not her personality, but we both fell in love with it when we saw it...the first one she chose.  She did try on three others and didn't even want to continue shopping because this one was "perfect".  I hope we have that easy of a time when time comes to find a wedding gown!  I also hope that's far far away in a different galaxy time wise!

As much as I love all of the pix of Grace, this one was my favorite!  My girls do love their daddy!  Grace still calls him "daddy", which melts my heart! 

When the wind picked up, we loved the cool breeze but also the fun shots we got!

Again, this is Grace!

Her Zen pose.

The "I'm excited to be free of high school" look!

Natural beauty... background and subject!  (Not that I'm biased.)

We do love this girl!

This was Grace giving me some "Sass"!

She was leaning backward downhill and trying not to roll over backwards, so that was a natural smile, or even more, a trying not to laugh!

 And, finally, the announcement! 

 We could not be any prouder of this sweet girl and all of her hard work to be who she is today!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Here comes summer!

I have so much on my plate at this moment that I'm making lists of lists and checking them all several times to make sure I'm keeping up.  And truth be told... there's been a few times that I'm not!   Funny, as I typed that sentence, I just realized that I forgot one thing on my to-do list from today and will need to make a little quick trip to deliver something before the day's over!  Oops!  This new shoulder is trying to win the battle and I refuse to let it, but it's definitely a struggle!

So.  Summer is upon us.  Tomorrow is ZJ's last day of school (one hour, actually) for the year.  Grace and the other seniors at her school have one more week but the underclassmen have even a few more days than that.  It's crazy!

So, here's a few things on my list of "happenings" for the summer so far: 


  • Host a bridal shower for my favorite nephew Jake's fiancee'.  (That's this week.)
  • Liza and the girls are arriving for a ten day (as long as the stars align perfectly) visit.
  • Grace graduates!
  • Between now and then, I still have not taken her senior pictures (I've not been able to hold the camera up to take them, and even now, it's a fight.) and then have announcements made and mail them.  They may be "Grace graduated" announcements instead of Grace will be graduating.
  • Get Grace ready to go to Laurel Training Camp (a special spiritual LDS camp experience for Juniors and Seniors. Grace is going to be serving as a Camp Counselor this year.)
  • Get ZJ ready to go and spend a little time helping Liza with the girls in St. George.
  • Host a second bridal shower for my favorite niece Lexi.
  • Decorate and help prepare my favorite niece Lexi's wedding because I'm the official "wedding planner".
  • Host a bridal shower for my favorite nephew Dillon's fiancee'.
  • Celebrate Lexi's wedding day and reception.
  • Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration (which thankfully, all I do is make a gigantic batch of potato salad and enjoy the night at Doug's brother and wife's home!)
  • The Corbridge Family Reunion at the Ranch
  • Prepare a "Faith Walk" for Girls Camp
  • Make all of the favors/pillow gifts/preparations for our Ward Young Women's Girls Camp
  • Celebrate some way and send Quayd a memorable and exciting ONE YEAR hump day package!
  • Attend and be in charge of Friday Night Celebration of a separate Family Reunion at the Ranch.
  • Girls Camp
  • Get ZJ prepared for school
And during all of this, with my one arm, I'll be having physical therapy regularly, serving in the YW presidency (which means teaching Sunday lessons and Tuesday activities), trying to keep up with Doug, my girls, the house, family, friends, being a missionary mom and healing this shoulder!

I'm not at all complaining.  I'm stating a fact.  I am thrilled to have all of these fun things to look forward to and I'm so thankful for my cute girls who are uber helpful 99% of the time!  It's going to be a busy and great summer!  I am just needing to be more focused and more organized than ever!  I started this post this morning and was feeling overwhelmed but today, at the end of the day, I'm feeling more on top of it. 

The showers are organized in my head and on paper.  The thank you gifts are in the works.   Tomorrow, I have a couple of things to grab for the first one and the girls and Doug will help get the house company clean!  The other two shower assignments ready to be made to helping hands of a couple sisters-in-law and the girls.  Getting the house ready for the shower will be a quickstart to being ready for Liza to arrive!  I can do this!  I just need to look at it on paper, just like I've listed here!  Fire to fire!  With a little wedding planning throughout it all!  I got this!  Life is good!

Monday, May 22, 2017

another May catch-up

A few random things that have happened this month that I've not gotten around to sharing... some trivial.  Some NOT!

FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT!  I can finally share the news that Liza and Buddy are moving!  From St. George.  BACK TO ARIZONA!!!  My heart is broken that they will not be so close anymore.  Up until my fall, I was able to see them every six to eight weeks.  Now, it will be back to 13 hour drives or a plane ticket.  UGH.  Right now, neither sound inviting.  Buddy has a new opportunity in his career that is part of that climb that they anticipated when he went into his field.  He will be a athletic director for a High School Southwest of Pheonix.  He's getting out of the collegiate sports and into High School sports, which was not a direction that they had predicted, but it will allow him to be home more on Sundays, travel less and the pay is a plus!  We are so proud of how hard he works and the steps he's taken to provide well and be there for his family!  Liza couldn't be more thrilled about moving back to her beloved state of Arizona.  This Grammie is not so thrilled about being six hours further but very happy that they are very happy!  That's what matters!

Grace had her Seminary Graduation on Sunday evening.  It was a lovely program.  The YSA bishop introduced himself to the graduates as they will all now be attending the Young Single Adult LDS Ward.  Grace has already been attending for a bit and she's loving it!  This is just too strange to imagine her being out of high school.  She's not yet decided what she will be doing... a mission, a job, college.  She doesn't know yet.  She feels quite overwhelmed about it.  We've decided that with our insane summer ahead, neither of the girls will get jobs for the summer because they'd need every other day off.  So, we're encouraging her to enjoy her last summer of freedom and then get serious about life in the fall!  We have had fun getting ready though... here's a little lunch after graduation dress shopping....

ZJ is one happy camper about summer coming!  She has got big plans for the summer of being a Youth Camp Leader at Girls Camp and making a trip to help Liza with the move to Arizona!  I think that I have some pretty cute daughters.

Our trusty little Subaru gave up the ghost two weeks ago.  We spent a week looking for something new to us and found a cute silver Honda Accord.  I've not driven a "car car" for years.  Literally, over twenty years.  It feels strange and different but I love that I can steer it and shift with my right arm and not so much pain.  Bonus!  We are not new car people.  Well, Doug is not.  He could win the lottery tomorrow and would not buy a new car.  (He'd have to buy a ticket to win, of course, and that won't happen either.)  "A vehicle gets you from point A to point B and depreciates every day.  NO new cars!"  So, we paid cash, he's happy and I'm happy to have heated leather seats and a nice stereo. That's all that really matters... Point A to Point B, good tunes and warm buns, right?

I have not had a diet coke for eight days.  That doesn't mean that I won't tonight or tomorrow, but I decided to give my body a break.  It's been nice and I haven't minded until tonight when I got the girls a Sonic slush and my Route 44 Ice Water didn't sound quite so good.

Big news... silly TMI news... I am now wearing a bra most days!  AND I can put it on all by myself!  That's journal material because six months ago I couldn't lift my phone or move my arm an inch!  Life is good... no where near what it used to be but it's improving.  Between my right foot, my left knee and this whole new shoulder, I'm really missing my thirty-something body!  (Not to mention it's shape!)

Just a few days ago, our backyard looked like this!  We got four inches of snow and several broken tree limbs and branches.  Sadness!  The snow was gone by the end of the day, but only after much damage to the valley.
8AM We woke up to this.  (Trash Day, obviously, too.)  It snowed all day long!

5PM view from the hottub.  Still snowing but melted.  Notice the dangling branch, which is bigger than the one on the ground.  Sadness.  But, as Doug says, "It's Mother Nature doing her job."

That's plenty of catching up for now!  Life is good!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mothers Day 2016

I did have a Mothers Day entry ready to post and when I returned, my computer dumped it!  SO... I will write it all again and make sure to hit Save before I leave the desk!

I couldn't have asked for more this Mothers Day.  I heard from all six of my kids!  That was lovely and doesn't always happen.

I woke up before anyone on Mothers Day because I'd started reading a new book and couldn't stop!  I went to bed with it and woke up and decided to fit in a few chapters before Doug or the girls were up.  While I read, they prepared me a lovely breakfast and served it in bed.

After church, Zee prepared a yummy spaghetti dinner and two pies from scratch! And she made up both recipes!  Key Lime and a Banana Pecan Crunch, she called it.  OH MY!!!

I watched the clock all day, waiting for Quayd to Facetime.   We'd planned on 5PM our time and he was only a few minutes after when my screen showed this happy smiling boy of ours!  We were so excited!  The connection was terrible.  We disconnected about fifteen times in the 40 minutes (that ended up being an hour because of the disconnects) but it was great!  We facetimed Liza at the end so that she could say hello and that Quayd could meet his new niece, EdieAnn.  Edie smile a big smile for him, which made him tear up.  He was so happy to visit with us all and I managed not to cry until our goodbye.

I've mentioned that Grace has had a problem.  Since her tonsilectomy three years ago, she belches.  Uncontrollably.  They surprise her and they are LOUD!!  And LONG!!!   As soon as she turned eighteen, we scheduled her for an endoscopy, which concluded that she has Celiac sprue.  So not cool!  She also had her esophogus stretched during the endoscopy to see if that would improve things.  Nope.  It made it worse!!!!  So, Grace can outbelch a football player.  Tiny teeny Grace can be heard throughout the house... on dates, in church, while singing, we never know.  Diet has not made one bit of difference.

SOOOOOO.... we are facetiming with Quayd.  His companion, Elder Allen, is sitting next to him. Quayd asks about it and if she's doing better.  We tell him no.  We've had our time together on Facetime. I start to choke up and get teary-eyed.  Everyone tells him goodbye.  I'm last.  I say, "I love you so much, Bug.  We miss you!  Fourteen months to go!!!" and I start crying and sign "I love you."  Then, I say, "WAIT!  ONE MORE SCREEN SHOT!"  I hit the buttons on the iPad and the screen goes black.  I say, in tears, "Dang.  We lost them.  But, yay, we got to say goodbye first!"  At that point, Grace belches one of her loudest ever and lonnnnngest belches in history.  We are so used to it that we don't usually address it.  She says "Excuse me" and we move on.  BUT, this time, she belches this loud belch and we hear Elder Corbridge and Elder Allen BUST OUT LAUGHING and  Elder Allen says, "WHOOOOOAAAAAAA!!!  DID YOU HEAR THAT!?!?!?!?!?!"  I touched my iPad screen and there they were again.  We were all laughing soooooo hard!  Her belch fixed the internet!  Sadly, we still had to go, but it was the best laugh we've had in a lonnnnng time!  Poor Grace.  She is so dainty and feminine in every other way!  Her future husband will be impressed!  Not a story she is proud of but then again, she loved making Quayd laugh because Quayd's laugh is our favorite thing in the world!

It's hard to believe that he's been gone for ten months already!  Best Mothers Day EVER!!!!  Talking to him made my day!!!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

New Beginnings 2017

This was actually two weeks ago but it's been a crazy two weeks, so I'm just getting to posting our Young Womens New Beginnings.  It was a great evening and the highlight for me was seeing Grace get her YW Medallion, which she had earned almost twice since she was twelve.  She was supposed to receive it before my new shoulder and then we waited all these months that I was not able to attend church.  We, the leaders, decided to give it to her at the New Beginnings so that all of the girls would see.

So, here's a few pix of the evening...

Grace received her award on the same day that she began attending the YSA.  She's 18 and graduating in a few weeks, so it's time for her to move on to the Young Single Adults.  She's loving it already...however, she was a little nervous when an "old guy" asked her on a date last week.  She said no and neither knew how old the other was, but Doug informed her and she was "AAAHHHHH!"  about it!  ha! New Beginnings was her last "official" Young Womens Event, although she will still go to Girls Camp as a leader this summer.  Lorna, also received her medallion, and both girls also received a  "Willow Tree" praying figurine.  Grace collects them and was thrilled!

Raising four daughters, attending over twenty New Beginnings, they are almost always the same thing... explain the YW Values, tell what each class represents, introduce the new girls and award the older ones.  I wanted to try something new and different. I wanted to simplify it and yet cover our bases.  We found these three "posters" representing each class/age group and displayed them.  No more was said about the individual classes.

Rather than explain or describe each of the eight values, we asked the girls to each stand, impromptu, and had them share any value and what it means to them.  Every girl took a turn.  I loved hearing the girls share an experience or their testimony of how that particular value had made a difference in their life.  No one took more than one minute and this was the biggest part of our program.  No one had been asked in advance, all the values were covered and some a few times.  Loved it!

Our theme for the evening was ASK, LEARN, GROW.  Our president shared her thoughts and had asked four girls to share how Young Womens has brought them closer to Christ.  Zee was one of those four girls.  The girls had some great insights to the beauties and blessings of the Young Womens Organization.

Decorations had been on my mind for weeks and weeks.  With my shoulder, there's not a lot else that I can be working on, so it was wonderful to have a project!  I decided to keep it simple and down to just a treat or two for refreshments.  Valarie decorated these sixty cupcakes to look like flowers.  They were cute, but oh, my!  They were divine. She's quite the baker!  She also made a wedding cake the same week!  That's love and sacrifice!

simple is what I do these days.... found this quote on Pinterest... just like that.

It really was beautiful.  When Bishop walked in, he stopped, took a look and said, "WOW!!"  That was cool to have a man notice the detail!

Ann, the other counselor, had hosted her son's wedding two days prior... hence, Val's wedding cake bake.  Ann brought her flowers from the wedding to enhance the decor!  We were happy to have all those roses still looking beautiful for New Beginnings... Budget friendly decorations is always a plus!

You can't tell, but the flat tray that is not cupcakes, are little white chocolate daisies, which Ann made the morning after the wedding.  Seriously... these ladies are dedicated!

Here's Grace and Lorna!  These two are great friends.  Lorna keeps us all laughing!

 As always, I'm thankful for Doug, who is willing to load up and haul half or our home to every event that I have anything to do with at church.  He is always willing and helpful! I am blessed to have such a supportive husband!

We made these 18 inch paper daisies during presidency meeting a few weeks ago.  They are "Folded Crepe Tissue", not tissue paper.  We cute the petals out, about thirty per flower (details on pinterest under Folded Crepe Paper Daisies) and the centers were large pompoms made of yarns in each of the value colors.

I was touched by ZJ's thoughts in her talk.  She mentioned that we had lost the white pompom for a minute before gluing them on.  She had told me, "It's okay, Mom.  All of the flowers are white, so you can get away without the white center in one."  Then she said that as she had thought about it, the white, which represents Faith, is necessary for each and every one of the other values.  We need faith for every value, every step of the way!   She said it quite eloquently and I loved her sentiment!

The whole evening was perfect!  One little side story.  On Saturday afternoon, late, Doug and I were both sitting down for a moment with our planners. Since he has been serving in the YSA, we don't have a lot of Sundays together.  HOWEVER... He reminded me, "Oh, Babe, because of Easter, they moved our YSA Marraige class to tomorrow night at 5:00, so we teach tomorrow."  I looked at him and said, "HON!  NEW BEGINNinGS is at FIVE tomorrow!"  We both gasped!  So, he grabbed his phone and sent out a few texts.  We teach this class to the YSA engaged couples just before they get married.  It's about communication and strengthening your marriage right from the beginning.  It is our favorite thing that we have EVER done together through our 40 years of serving in the church!  We would never want to miss this class!

SO.  Doug texted and arrange to trade hours with the other High Counselor who teaches the Finance Class, (both are taught back to back, once a month, for the soon-to-be newlyweds). We would teach at six instead of our normal hour at five and he would teach first.  Problem solved.  I informed the Bishop and other YW leaders that I'd set everything up, be there for 45 minutes (which was about the length of the program, but I would not be there for the refreshments.  Then, I asked them to just leave everything for me to come back and pack my things after the marriage class.

All went as planned.  We left and returned and no one saved me a cupcake!!!  NOT ONE!!!  One of the YW leaders sent a group text to the rest of us later that night, after we had come home.  I teased that my heart was broken because I'd left early and I'd not gotten to eat one of Val's beautiful cupcakes.  Two minutes later, the doorbell rang.  It was Kelli, our YW President bringing me the very last cupcake that was left.  Oh, my, it was delish! She is too sweet!  Doug had answered the door and invited her right into our bedroom where the girls, Doug and I were all casually chilling with our scriptures all over our bed.  We visited for a few minutes and agreed that it had been a perfect evening!  Especially now that I had a cupcake!  

Since then, whenever we are out of anything or someone didn't save me a bite, I say, "And no one even saved me a cupcake!"  The girls remind me quickly that Kelli brought me one!  

I do love serving in the capacity of this calling in Young Women, working with my own girls and with the fun ladies that I've become such good friends with!  What a gift!