Officers and Gentlemen

On Memorial Day, we commemorate those Men in Uniform who gave their lives in service to their country . . .

What is it about a Man in Uniform that just makes our heart melt? There is an element of appeal for many women {even with police officers}-of authority and masculinity in the design and wear of men's uniforms. I remember everytime I saw my brothers, or other soldiers, there was just something there...so clean and fresh and sexy about them when they were in their uniforms. Besides my brothers, there was a certain guy my sister dated that was to die for! To me, he was a copy of Cary Grant and I think I swooned over him moreso than she...still do!

Some attribute the cache of men in uniform to have been significantly enhanced by the film Officer and a Gentleman starring Richard Gere. However, we have a significant cache of handsome Officers and Gentlemen in our own family! As I posted for Memorial Day weekend, I had photos of my 3 brothers, a couple of nephews and Wood. However, I soon found that I had neglected to put others up who are equally as dashing, and deserving of our gratitude to them for those freedoms that we enjoy. So, in keeping with the theme of 'Men in Uniform', I present my sister's husband, and 3 more nephews.

My niece who grew up with her Father in the Air Force {yes, she was one of them BRATS}, feels a little tainted because her husband looks great in his Scout uniform ('but I guess that doesn't count!'). Most definitely - don't believe for a minute that the Scouting uniform doesn't bring just as much honor as the other! Where do you think our fantasy begins of these men, if not as young boys in their scouting uniform?! Thanks for giving my old memory an excellent thought! Below is a photo of the Smith Eagles Nest {Parker, Jameson, Ashton, Cade}, and our most recent Eagle scout, Taylor with his parents {Tom & Teri} after he had received his Eagle. Almost as neat as this accomplishment, is the fact that a real bald eagle, Liberty, was brought to the ceremony - it was beautiful! It had flown into power lines and been injured and cannot fly anymore. So this fellow helps the eagle recuperate from its injury, and then uses him to take to demos throughout the State.

DANG! Ain't they handsome dogs?

to Taylor on his accomplishment.


So Much in So Little Time. . .

And this is ALL I have to say about THAT! For all the festivities and rollicking good time we have had for the past 2 weeks with family, please read Michele's and Cara's blogs. Each of them have about 4 entries a piece on what we have been up to, so be sure to look at each post newer than the first.

To Cade - wonderful job in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - one of my personal faves with great music!

To Ashton - so great to have you home from Brasil
To Jameson - so great to see your enthusiasm for your mission to Brasil

To Ben, Kwonna and family - it was wonderful to visit with you and see that cute new baby who is now a 1 year old!

BTW - to the lovely children of Elma and Wayne, thank you for a delightful time and the great tribute to Elma.


When God Created Fathers...

When the good Lord was creating Fathers he started with a tall frame.

And a female angel nearby said, "What kind of Father is that? If you're going to make children so close to the ground, why have you put fathers up so high? He won't be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping."

And God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him child size, who would children have to look up to?"

And when God made a Father's hands, they were large and sinewy.

And the angel shook her head sadly and said, "Do you know what you're doing? Large hands are clumsy. They can't manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on pony tails or even remove splinters caused by baseball bats."

And God smiled and said, "I know, but they're large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets at the end of a day...yet small enough to cup a child's face in his hands."

And then God moulded long, slim legs and broad shoulders.

And the angel nearly had a heart attack. "Boy, this is the end of the week, all right," she clucked. "Do you realize you just made a Father without a lap? How is he going to pull a child close to him without the kid falling between his legs?"

And God smiled and said, "A mother needs a lap. A father needs strong shoulders to pull a sled, balance a boy on a bicycle, and hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus."

God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had every seen when the angel could contain herself no longer.

"That's not fair. Do you honestly think those large boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries? Or walk through a small birthday party without crushing at least three of the guests?"

And God smiled and said, "They'll work. You'll see. They'll support a small child who wants to ride a horse to Banbury Cross, or scare off mice at the summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill."

God worked throughout the night, giving the Father few words, but a firm authoritative voice; eyes that saw everything, but remained calm and tolerant.

Finally, almost as an afterthought, he added tears.

Then he turned to the angel and said, "Now, are you satisfied that he can love as much as a Mother?"

The angel said nothing more. - Erma Bombeck

Wishes for blessings to each and every Dad out there this Father’s Day for all you do to shape the lives of our children.

“Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be called DAD.


Happy Birthday, Nic!

This is a guy who keeps a very low profile with the fam - he's celebrating his 24th birthday today. We wish you great things for the year 2009, and hope you have a GREAT day.

This picture was taken in Mexico just after Christmas 2008, when they went down on a humantarian trip with their church group. That's {l-r} Taylor, Jessica, Nic and friend Tyler.


Happy Birthday, Sloane!

I did not forget to post for my youngest grand-daughter's birthday last Friday - I've just been waiting for photos from her parents! Blame it on them. I guess I'd have to say the HIT of the Gifts was a pink scooter from cousin Connor - she loved it {as evidenced by the look on her face}, and kept going back to it after every other gift opening. She was quite stylin' in her pink glasses, and her silver handbag hooked over the handles of the scooter! Her SpongeBob cake was done by Heather and Grandma, and she couldn't wait to blow the candles out. Matt would just get them lit, so we could sing Happy Birthday to her, and she'd blow them out...so Matt would light them again...about 4 times!

She is so smart, and can talk as well as a 3 year-old! She repeats everything you say but still says "Hold You" to request being picked up and "Move" to show you where she want to go, and "Hug You". Whenever she sees a tractor, she informs you that 'Daddy's at work - builds BIG tractors!" The funniest words to hear her say is Pretzel, Turt {Curt}, Wethton {Weston}, and trampoline. She is so much fun and we love her dearly!


Happy Birthday, Elma!

Jenna states everything so succinctly and always has such beautiful photos on her blogs, and she hasn't disappointed with a tribute to our sweet Mother, sister, grandma - Elma. To some, 90 years seems like a long time. But in El's 90 years, she has many graces in her life to show. There are 90 years of wisdom, love, sweetness, gentleness, patience, knowledge, a zest for life, genuine interest in everyone and everything, meekness, faith, talents, service, compassion, and eternal youth beyond her years.

For many years, while Wayne was in the Air Force, they were in other parts of the country, so we weren't able to enjoy their presence at family gatherings as much as we would like. But since Wayne's retirement, we are always welcomed by a kiss on the cheek and a hug at their house. She has a heart bigger than the outdoors; and we are so thankful that she is in our family and our lives.

We all love you so much, and wish you a very happy 90th year! Please promise you will always be here with us...


Her Name Says it All....JOY{e}

The last living sibling to my Mother {who died when I was two and a half}, passed away last night. We will certainly miss that twinkle in her beautiful blue eyes, and the smile on her face. She just beamed when family was around, and she was the verve at the Senior Center on Mexican Train night. For many years she has written an article in the local newspaper titled "The Other Side of 80", of which she shared a few in emails with us. Some of the wit was hers, some was a collection of things she received from other people. But honest to goodness, there was some pieces of them, that spoke to the heart and soul of issues!

Take for instance: "Seems to me there are too many people in too many cars in too much of a hurry going too many directions to get nowhere for nothing. The biggest need in auto safety is the recall of a few million defective drivers"; "I always said the world needs more warm hearts and fewer hot heads. Every time you give someone a piece of your mind you make your head a little emptier-so be sure you can get by with what you have left"; "A temper displayed in public is indecent exposure"; "Did you ever stop to think about the difference between a house and a home. A house is someplace you resided for some time before you moved to another house. A home is where you put down roots, raise you family, create memories along the way that live with you for the rest of your life."

'I have warned you before, I am not political, I don’t preach religion, and I write about old age, middle age and all the things that go with it. I write to amuse people, to get a laugh about the process of growing old. If you can’t laugh once in a while what is there to look forward to? What I enjoy most is making fun of old age. I am entitled because I live it, and I hope I can say that I enjoy it. It always pays to have a positive attitude. Being over 80 is sometimes more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old. They say that by the time most folks learn to behave themselves they’re too old to do anything else. The late Bill Jones said at the senior center, “By the time a man finds greener pastures, he’s too old to climb the fence.”

'Here are a few thoughts I would like to pass along. Maybe you will find one that you can relate to.
When you can think of yesterday without regret and tomorrow without fear, you are near real contentment.
How can a person ever know whether his faith was weak or strong unless it has been tried and tested?.. Faith gives us the courage to face the present with confidence, and the future with expectancy.
A real friend warms you by his presence, trusts you with his secrets, and remembers you in his prayers… False friends are those who roll out the carpet for you one day and pull it out from under you the next.
Friendship is a living thing that lasts only as long as it is nourished with kindness, sympathy, and understanding.'

Life is a gift - Read the title over again. When you get to be my age I am thankful every day for the gift of life. I have enjoyed my life up to now, and I intend on treating it as a gift and do all in my power to take care of myself in body and spirit. I don’t get to church so I have to do something that will let me through the pearly gates. That is why I do all the crocheting I do - donating it to charities, the homeless shelters, and other organizations that take care of the ones not as fortunate as I am. {I might add, there are many family and friends who have benefited from her crocheting skills who have the stocking caps and beautiful baby shawls that she has made} and I thank her for those.

God bless and I will be back next week. {This is the phrase that she usually ended her article with.} I would add, 'I am with God, we will see you soon'.

I wrote her daughter Wendy this morning and this is the jest of the note: Well, I guess prayer is answered {in part} even if it's hard for those of us left here. I didn't hear about this until after midnight last night when I was up reading emails and saw Clydene's blog entry. Then I laid in bed until 2-3 am thinking about Aunt Joye, and what a wonderful reunion she is having with your Dad, her parents and all of her brothers and sisters......there is no other word than HEAVENLY!! I would love to be there to see that....I guess the older I become, the more curious I am about my Mother and wanting to know more about her. I would love to look in her face and hear what she thought about my decisions and how they have affected my life; to get her reaction to the joy my children and grandchildren bring to me, and to feel her arms around me. Rejoice in knowing that she is healthy, happy, probably dancing!!

We Love you all for your patience, compassion and endurance through her illness, and know that we will be praying for faith and strength to get through this week. We will miss her, but OH! how I envy who she is with!

Happy Birthday, Jeff!

This month is such a special one;
It’s birthday-time for you.
We’d really like to celebrate
Your happy day with you.
Zip-a-dee-ay and heigh-dee-ho,
Here’s something we can do.
We’ll sing a song that we all know,
Happy Birthday to you!

Jeff is one of the 'Good Guys' - he's always there in a pinch to lend a helping hand. When I asked family members to use a word to describe him, we came up with organizer, outdoorsman, patient, wry, sarcasm, care-giver, gregarious, legendary, stud muffin {it doesn't count when you describe yourself, Jeff!}, humorous, charitable, loving, dependable, hard-worker, likeable, accepting, entertaining; but most of all, I'd have to relate pride to him. As you can see from these pictures from the past year, he is brimming over with PRIDE in both - where he is surrounded by his family and embraced in his faith.

Check out this link to find out interesting statistic
about your birthdate.

Hope your day is awesome as you celebrate the one last year before the next BIG one!! HA! Ha!


Happy 7th Birthday, Skyla!

When your birthday comes around,
we can hear the happy sound,
of laughter and singing too.

Just say where and tell us who,
celebrations can be found.
When your birthday comes around.

When your birthday comes around.
Balloons are blown up too,
It’s a special day for you,
when the streamers are unwound,

Life is the dance and we'll clap together and cheer.
When your birthday comes around.

Hope you have a wonderful day! We love you Sky!


Seth-Hebrew origin-Anointed

I told Heidi she needed to get a photo of her baby bump before Seth is actually here and in our arms! If she had brown hair, she'd look just like the widget that I first put on my blog back in March. Same pose, same bump, only Heidi is much cuter; don't ya think? We are all getting so excited to see this little guy. She worked hard a week ago to get some new crib accessories sewn and placed. I finished a quilt to hang on the wall by the crib; all her baby clothes and blankets are washed and put into drawers; and now it's just the waiting game. Like Kacy mentioned babies are most likely to be born during a full moon - so if he wants to come a bit early, we're READY for the Baby HUNK! The next full moon is on July 7th and her due date is July 10th, so maybe he'll hang on til then.

Pregnancy Tickers


Full Moon and All Bets are Off!

The Lunar Effect: Does a Full Moon Make Us Crazy?

I, for one, suspend disbelief where the power of the moon is concerned. I kind of like to believe that some mythic force comes into play with the full moon, since it gives me an excuse to go a little crazy once a month. No, I don’t grow hair and fangs, but I do feel like the full moon gives me the freedom to just let it all hang out emotionally, like there’s a higher frequency in the air that my body and spirit start to feel. Yes, I know it’s not really true that the moon affects behavior or circumstances, but there’s something magical about heading out for the night, spotting a glowing orb hanging low in the sky, and feeling that anything can happen.

ENUF Already.....!

When I say I'd like to live on a beach, I didn't necessarily mean THIS! Has anyone built the ARK that is supposed to pick us up?


Happy Graduation, Eryn!

"Anyway" - Author unknown

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

Do good anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous.

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable

Be frank and honest anyway.

People favor underdogs but will follow only top dogs.

Fight for some underdogs anyway.

People may need help, but may attack you if you help them.

Help people anyway.

What you spend your years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build away.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.

Give the world the best you have anyway.

Congratulations, Eryn!
I love you so much. We are so proud of you, and hope that your hopes and dreams for your future will be foremost in your heart and mind as you step on stage tonight and into the rest of your life tomorrow.
{This photo was taken last Sunday after her Seminary graduation.}