Monday, May 30, 2016

Last Week of School!

We sure have missed Jesse this past week!  She loves to clean out and de-clutter, and she would have been in hog heaven this week at our house.  Bruce actually went out and helped the garbage man this week, because it is three weeks in a row that we've had six garbage cans on the curb instead of one.  And Jerica has made a DI trip two weeks in a row with her car loaded with stuff to donate.  We have saved some stuff - which is gathering in stacks in the shop in the garage.  Lots of STUFF!  What's left in the house is the bare essentials, and it's so nice just to have that.  I have taken lots of pictures of things - thank goodness for digital cameras.  I hug the thing, take a picture and say, "Thank you for serving me all this time.  Good bye!"  It is liberating indeed!

Here are some things I have of which I have fond memories:

 I did this cross-stitch back in high school.
 Remember Gunny Bag?!

Breakaway Ballroom had their end of the year concert for families.  They showed off some of the dances they are learning already for next year.

Libby and Peter had their Last Day of School this week!  Libby had a fun Extravaganza, and then the next morning had an 8th grade breakfast, at which I helped serve.  We then went to the Awards Ceremony, where Libby got the PE Award from her teacher, as well as the Science Award!

 Congratulations, Libby!  She, Elizabeth, and Ellie all wore the same outfit - their blue honor choir t-shirt and black pants, for the last day - and then forgot to take a picture!  Haha  But the memory is there!

Can I just say, that I had a little Celebration because we are done with MIDDLE SCHOOL!!  Haha!

We had the annual water fight and it was a great success!  Lots of neighbors and friends.  We took two stock watering troughs down to the neighbors and filled them there instead of at our house.  And we took lots of buckets and containers and it made for a long, very wet water fight.  It was actually on the warm side!  No rain or clouds, which hasn't happened in many years.  I don't have any pictures, unfortunately, because we are busy getting people wet, not taking pictures!

Becca graduated from high school this week!  Congratulations, Becca!

I love this picture of Mary and Bailey too.
Saturday we had the Street Dance!  We had very sparse numbers.  I don't know if it's because we advertised it late or the fact that it was Memorial Day Weekend, but not many people came. However, we still had a great time!  My favorite moment was during the dance when we were standing there talking to Jay and Leah, and all of a sudden a grey car pulls up, and this kid is hanging out the window with a grin on his face, waving, and my brain finally registered that the grey car was the Impala and the kid was Joshua Bruce!  Yeah!!!  He surprised me!  He told me he couldn't come home this weekend, despite all the reasons to come, because he was stressed and too busy.  But that was all a cover up.  I was so glad to see him!  I just hugged and hugged him for a long time!  He brought Santi, he and Joseph's roommate, with him, so we've had fun having Santi here too.  I love having all my children at the Street Dance.  They are the most fun people to dance with!  They all showed off some great dance moves, both contemporary and a good deal of Ballroom and Latin!  SO FUN.

My birthday was fun!  I am a youngin' still at only 49!  I still have half my life left to live.  It's great to be 49 - seriously.  I love it.  Never had a better time of life.  The family came in and sang to me, and Bruce fixed a delicious breakfast AND a delicious dinner!  I got to take a long Sunday nap, and we had visits from Greg and Rachelle and family, and a nice walk down the street.  Scrolling through the Facebook birthday wishes was a treat.  To think of so many friends and family that are so kind to me warmed my heart.  I truly have so many people that I love dearly.  I think of the bouquet of beautiful people that are a constant stream in my life, and I am overwhelmed by the deep blessing I have had all my life of being surrounded by wonderful, exemplary human beings.  So kind and good. This has been my lot all my life, and continues to be so.  I give all the credit to God, and glory in his goodness and mercy to me, and to all of His children.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Happy Birthday to Mary!

The evening of May 5th, Bruce and I were talking (this is a miracle in itself - that we were talking at night) and discussing the house and property.  After many years the way finally opened up for us to make the decision to put our house on the market.  We have wanted to do this for a long time, but it never felt right until that night.  The next morning we prayed about it and felt light and happy.  We told our children on Mother's Day, the 8th, and ever since then, we have been moving full steam ahead.

On Monday the 9th, we started out working in the big garage, and boy, did we clean out!  We filled the small black trailer with stuff for the dump.
These two have worked extra hard!
Look how beautiful the Lupines are this year!
On Tuesday night, Peter and Becca had their final year-end concert.  We loved it!
Peter sang with the Middletones and the MadBoys.
 The Choir Director for the high school invited the 8th Grade Honor Choir to come and sing with the high school choir for one number, so Libby got to sing with them too!

The three girls in the purple shirts - Elizabeth, Ellie and Libby are best friends, especially in choir! 

Becca is in the middle here lined up with all the seniors.
On Wednesday, Bruce went in for a surgery on two skin cancer spots - one on his head and one on his ear.  The surgery took most of the day because they were very careful to check the skin cells around it on a microscope slide to make sure that they got all the cancer cells.  It was a basal cell cancer, so he needs no further treatment.  The bandages looked pretty crazy, but he is doing better and the incisions are healing well.

Josh and Joseph went on a hike to Palisades Lake with their FHE group.  Fun!

This cute girl tried out for the all-girls audition choir and the FX Show Choir.
And Peter tried out for Madrigals and FX Show Choir.  This is a BIG DEAL at our high school, so it took a lot of courage, but they both did a great job.  They find out the results this morning!

 A week ago Saturday we walked through the house with our realtor, Shelly, and she helped us define what really needed to be done for the house to sell.  By the end of that, I was overwhelmed, to say the least.  Bruce had to "hold me up" through that, so to speak.  That afternoon and evening, Bruce, Peter, Libby and I worked on cleaning the living room.  It took us hours, but by the end we could look in it and feel peaceful.  It was a great feeling!

On Sunday, the Holy Ghost told me that what I needed to repent of that week was my doubt and fear. It was a good lesson for me!  I did repent of that, and have been very careful since then to be clear in my faith and to recognize fear, acknowledge it, and then let it go, choosing faith.  I choose faith!  What a wonderful blessing it is to know in Whom I have faith in.  As Paul says, He is faithful who promised.

On Monday the 16th, Peter went and got his Driver's License!  He passed the skills test with ZERO mistakes.  The lady at the counter said, "Wow - that almost never happens."  Peter is a great driver!  I posted these two pictures on FB with the comment, "My youngest two children just drove off in a car by themselves!"  I got all sorts of funny comments like, "Their just driving around the block, right?", etc.  What a strange feeling, though!  One of those parenting moments...

On Wednesday, Mary had her 19th birthday!  Crunkle Craig, as he is affectionately known in our family (a combination of Uncle and Cousin) and Aunt Jenette had her over for a birthday dinner.  How we love and appreciate all that they do for our college-age children!  Mary Berry Cherry has been a delight to have as a daughter.  Oh, how we love her!  She is beautiful, talented, skilled, determined, and has a wonderful understanding of the true principles of the gospel.  I have see her make huge strides forward this year in her understanding of healthy relationships.

 Kaylee took Mary shopping.  It has been fun to be roommates with her.  Mary said they went to get sushi with a bunch of people and then got to laughing about our family and the extended family (on Dad's side), of which Kaylee is a cousin, and that they had a great time.  Happy Birthday, Mary!!
Friday the kids had school off, so we hit it hard on Friday and Saturday.  Although, that makes it sound like we hadn't been working the other days, and we had!  Every day has been focused on only the essentials aside from packing, throwing away, and cleaning.  This is Friday night after working in the kitchen all day.  Peter and Bruce even gave up the Father & Sons outing to work - that's how exacting the schedule is in order to put the house on the market while the market is hot.

On Sunday, Rachelle and the kids came over and we relaxed and played with them in the afternoon.  Rachelle taught me a pattern for a headband, and I made headbands for Mayzie and I!  :) How we love this family!
 I saw this going on, and couldn't help but have a flashback to a few years ago when Josh used to carry around Lincoln.  Wow!

See that room behind Peter?!  That's what we spent Saturday doing - cleaning out that room!

Jesse would LOVE to be here while we're doing this.  It's probably a good thing she is in California, because she would probably throw out everything we own!  Ha ha ha!  No, seriously though, she would be proud to see how much we are cleaning and decluttering.  It feels SO GOOD.

Well, that is all the time I have this morning.  Yesterday morning, my Mom called and told me that my Dad has stopped drinking water all together.  He still eats some things, but no water.  She is doing well, although she still needs some support in words from time to time.  The Hospice is helping her with Dad's physical needs.  That is a miracle.  I am grateful for the love and guidance that is offered to me and all of God's children through prayer.  I am upheld!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day Memories

I love the month of May!

My niece Gwenaelle came home from her mission in Georgia this week!  It was wonderful to be at the airport to have her come home.  It readily brings tears to the eyes!

Libby sang this week in three different choirs for her middle school choir festival.  She sang with the 8th grade choir, the 8th grade Girls Chorale, and the Honor Choir.  I watched her direct her fellow choir members on where to meet, and heard her account of making sure everyone got placed right in rehearsal for when they got up onto the stage.  Libby is becoming a leader!  She really cares about choir and put a lot of effort and work into doing her best.  Thanks to Nic Mobley who got this picture from the sound and light booth!
On Wednesday Mary came home and she and Kevin went out and got their engagement pictures taken!  I got to tag along - it was fun!  Thanks to Jared and Sophia who did a fabulous job.

Joseph came home from college with Mary because of this:

Well, I thought about putting the picture in of his swollen tonsils, but decided against it!  ha ha!

But what you need to know is it was painful!  After a mis-diagnosis on Thursday, or actually half a diagnosis, we took him back in on Saturday and ended up in the Emergency Room.  The doctor there ordered a blood test instead of just a throat swab, and found mononucleosis in addition to strep throat.  Mary had this just a month ago also!  My goodness.  They put Joseph on Prednisone, in addition to the Penicillin that he was already on, and on late Saturday and Sunday, he finally started to see some improvement.  I was very grateful for the drugs!  He is doing much better now, thanks to many prayers!

On Saturday night, Shawn and Janel, along with Justin, Camille, Lauren and Kate arrived and we had a wonderful dinner over at Gerard and Michelle's.  How fun to be with family and visit and talk and laugh.  Sunday morning, Bruce made breakfast for all of us, and we got to laughing about the turn off on I-84 to go down to Ogden instead of going straight and getting to Pocatello.  Obviously the turn off has been missed by at least one person in both families (I won't say who...), and we laughed about how there should be flashing lights around the sign, a "pre-sign", and a turn-off after the real turn-off where we could add a cone of shame on the top of the car.  It was a classic, laughter filled morning that will be remembered for a long time!

Gwenaelle had her homecoming yesterday morning.  She gave a wonderful talk on gratitude, and how her mother taught her to find 3 things every day that she was thankful for.  I got to hold Collin during her talk so Natalie could sit and listen.  She leaned over to Joseph and said, "I'm free!".  Haha  Both Natalie and Nicole are such wonderful mothers of Collin and Emma.  Collin fell asleep finally (after a lot of coaxing) in my arms.  It's really fun to be a Great Aunt!

Sunday night was the highlight of the day, when this wonderful daughter of ours Skyped us!

We had some trouble trying to get Kevin (who is in Texas) on at the same time.  We finally gave up and just had Kevin listen in.  How fun to be able to see and hear Jesse!!!  Oh, how we love that girl.  She had had a discouraging week, so she got lots of kind and wise words from Kevin, Joshua and Joseph.  She is such a wonderful missionary - sometimes you just need a hug and some kind words, "You are doing awesome and just what the Lord wants you to do!"  I felt like telling her that over and over.  :)  At one point she went through and repeated a description that she had told someone about her family.  She went through and described each person beautifully and uniquely.  It was actually a really emotional call, and when she bore her testimony about how much she missed us all, but how worth it her work was and her love of the Lord, we were just silent.  We couldn't even say a word.  Finally Bruce spoke up and told her how much we loved her!  I was SO grateful for the opportunity to see and talk to her.  She is a most beloved daughter!

Jesse also had everyone go around and say what they had learned from me.  Wow!  That was wonderful too.  Bruce and I also said what we had learned from our mothers.  Mine was that I had learned to serve from my Mother, and Bruce's was similar.  It was the crowning moment of my Mother's Day!

Here are some pictures of Jesse and her zone working at a shelter for the homeless and battered women and children.

Peter scored a goal in his soccer game!  It was supposed to be a cross, but the goalie reached up to grab it, and it went through his hands and into the goal.  Josh and Mary drove up just in time to see it!
One time during the game, a player came on rough and kicked Peter in the shins and he ended up on the ground.  Peter called out in his custom vocal voice, "OOOOkay".  Haha  It's hard to write, but it sounded pretty funny.

Josh had a great time this weekend talking to Leah and Gerard about his research paper.  His topic is the role that religion and morality played in the French Revolution and the American Revolution.  It's a great topic, and he got great help from these wonderful people.

Bruce and I spent one afternoon chasing cows all over the pasture.  There is a reason cowboys use horses to cut cows instead of a 4-wheeler and a woman on foot.  But it was accomplished!  When you have the most determined husband on the planet when it comes to cows, then things happen that appear impossible.  Bruce is that husband.  These are my (fake) Crocs after running through the goatheads...  Oh, those little things are buggers.

Can we sing, "Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb....." !  There is also a reason why cowboys wear cowboy boots.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Show Choir and Blue Legacy Concerts

This week was a week of shows and concerts.

On Monday and Tuesday we got to go see Peter and Becca perform in the FX Show Choir.  The director of choreography, our across the street neighbor and friend, Gaigh, is finishing her last year with FX after ten years!  We love her so much and are so grateful for everything she has done.  At this last concert, they showed video clips of some of the past dances, and we had someone in almost every single one.  We missed the first year, but after that we've had someone in the Show Choir for the next eight years.  We didn't have any of our children in it this year, but Becca was, so we feel like that counted!  Peter was in 2 different side acts - one with the MAD Boys, where they sang "So Happy Together", and also another act where Connor and Sam sang "Hello" by Adele, with high voices after sucking in Helium from balloons.  Peter's job was to sit in the back of the stage and fill the balloons with Helium.  It was a fun concert!
Becca doing a solo.
Sarah, Peter, Travis and Eliza.
Peter and Becca after the show.
Peter was also invited to participate in the Blue Legacy dance concert.  Blue Legacy is the girls dance team at the high school.  The Middletones sang Breakfast at Tiffanys.
Pictured are Isaac, Ethan, Ryan (behind Ethan), Connor (an add-on for this number), Eric, Neal, Peter and Ryan.
And then the Mad Boys sang two songs - Lullaby and So Happy Together.
Picture are Matthew, Ethan, Kevin, Travis, Gunnar, David, Peter, Connor and Rylie.

Blue Legacy also did a partner dance where each girl chose a guy to dance with, and Peter danced with Sarah.
Eliza is another good friend.
Cute picture of Libby and Bruce
Last Sunday we went over to Gerard and Michelle's for dinner.  Kevin and Mary and Becca got to come with us too.  It was extra special because Natalie and Michael are visiting from Switzerland with their little son Michael.  We had a wonderful dinner of gourmet burritos and then sat in the beautiful backyard and talked for hours.  The next day I was at the local grocery store and ran into Michelle and Natalie.  That was the weirdest experience to see Natalie there especially - one day she's in Switzerland, and the next day she's in the grocery store!  It's really fun to have family so close that this happens.