Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

It's our tradition for Thanksgiving to go to Utah to be with Rick's family. This was the first time in 3-4 years that we were all together. We had a great time with them reminiscing and laughing. The weather was great (clear and not too cold) so we were able to spend some time outside. On Friday, we drove down to SLC to spend a couple of hours with Theresa's family and then we kicked around temple square, watching the new Joseph Smith movie in Legacy theater, looking at the lights around temple square, and going to the Church History museum. Then we went and got some hot chocolate (which was not very good). As always, Rick, the kids, and I all had a great time together!

Family pic at Temple Square

L to R: Rick, Theresa, Theresa's dad, Beth (Theresa's sister), Scott (Theresa's brother)

Grandkids on Theresa's side

Family pic on top of the Conference Center

Rick's family in Logan, Utah. Rick's brother, David, has a new girlfriend (in the hat). We all really like her -- we hope she sticks around.

I'm thankful for my extra large waist-line because it means that I have enough to eat. I'm thankful for my home because it means I have a roof over my head. I'm thankful for all the clutter that collects in my house because it means that I have all my children at home. And I'm thankful for all the hours I work because it means that I have a job. I'm so thankful for Rick and my children! I'm glad that we're all together again and that Aaron had a safe and successful mission. I'm so thankful for the restored gospel, for my Savior, and for my dear friends.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Secondhand Serenade Concert

About three weeks ago, I got this urgent email from Tara from school with the subject line reading: "MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM URGENT!" I opened the email and she was frantically informing me of a Secondhand Serenade concert in Salt Lake during the time we would be in Utah for Thanksgiving. The tickets were only $17 each and the drive to Salt Lake from Logan was only about one-and-a-half hours, so I decided I would take the girls to the concert the Wednesday before Thankgiving. The day before the concert, Aaron said he would like to go to the concert, too; luckily I was able to obtain an extra ticket for him. So we drove down to Salt Lake to the old Saltair for the concert. Unfortunately, there were three other bands before Secondhand Serenade -- and I hated all of them -- but it was well worth the three-and-a-half hour wait to get to Secondhand Serenade. Kendall, Whitney, and Tara were happy to be in the moshpit at the front and ended up second row from the stage, while Aaron and I were happy to be out of the crowds further back. Secondhand Serenade was AMAZING!! His encore song was "Fall For You" with him at the keyboard. That was a great way to end the concert. We had an awesome time together!

John Vesley doing his amazing thing on the guitar!

In the moshpit before Aaron and I retreated to the back.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I guess it's because Aaron hasn't driven in over 2 years...

Funny thing happened today. Since Aaron has been in the Philippines for the past two years, he hasn't driven for two years -- at all. He's walked A LOT and ridden on public transportation A LOT. So yesterday he got his driver's license renewed (since it expired in June) and this morning he needed to run a couple of errands. I gave him my keys to the Kia and after going out to start the car, he came back in and said that the battery was dead. Really? It was fine yesterday. Then I thought -- Aaron hasn't driven in a while and that's a stick shift...hmmmm... Putting two and two together, I asked him if he pushed the clutch all the way down when he started the car. What? You mean that's a stick shift? Oh boy, I laughed and laughed at him. He went out and right away started the car. He gave me a huge grin and a thumb's up, then put the car in gear, gunned it a little too much, and drove away. Maybe you had to be there???

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Aaron's Mission Homecoming

I finally got pictures of Aaron at the airport upon returning home from his mission in the Philippines. The pictures were taken by someone else's camera, so they aren't the best quality, but they are all I have! I looked like a crazed mother, but I was sooooo happy to see him, I could hardly contain myself.

Yes, I AM a crazed woman!

Aaron, I'm sooooo happy to see you!

How did Rick stay so calm?

One big happy family -- together again! Yippee!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Countdown to Aaron

Aaron has been following my blog for the past 2-3 months, so I've been very careful not to mention anything about him coming home. The last thing he needs to know is how anxious his mom is for him to come home. But since he comes home this week -- (did you hear that? THIS WEEK!!!!) I've decided I can put something up here about him coming home. I can't imagine being more proud of a child than I am about Aaron for giving up two years of his life to serve the Lord. I can tell from his letters that he's grown and matured -- mentally, physically, spiritually -- so much more than he could have doing anything else. I can also tell that he's still the same old Aaron -- just a better version now! I'm so excited to see him and to sit down and talk to him and learn everything about his mission that he didn't tell us in his letters. The only thing holding me together right now is my skin. I can't wait to see Aaron. The kids and I have had a countdown on the refrigerator for the past few weeks -- ever since we got his return date. We almost fight over who gets to change the number in the morning. I can't wait to post his homecoming on Thursday...stay tuned!

I KNEW she could do it!!!

I have always taken pride in my children -- mostly because they're good kids and a lot of fun. I have not been one to brag about their academics, and I guess that's because there hasn't been much to brag about. My children are highly intelligent, but also extremely lazy and unmotivated when it comes to school. Each one of them has coasted through school, doing the minimum required to graduate. I blame myself a great deal for their attitudes and lack of commitment to doing their best in school. However, this year, Tara decided on her own that she was going to try her hardest and get the best grades she could, just to see if she could do it. Imagine this: she could do it, and actually did do it, receiving the best report card any one of my children has ever achieved. Each one of them could have totally aced school if they put their minds to it, but each one in turn has just chosen not to. So I am now bragging about Tara's academics -- she got all A's and 1 B for the first quarter this year. I'm so proud of her because she did it on her own. Now she knows she can do it whenever she chooses. (BTW -- ignore all those tardies and absenses -- I'm not fighting that battle yet.) Way to go, Tara!!!