Friday, June 29, 2012

That's My Boy!

Ah.  Could a mother be more proud?  Could a mother be more blessed?  Could a mother love her son any more than this mother?  To put it in very formal language, the answer is an emphatic and succinct NO WAY, JOSE!!!  

Good golly miss molly, did I ever hit the ol' jackpot when I got lucky and had my darling Sean!  Can I describe this guy to you in fifteen words or less?  He is:




*A lasting memory of Sean's much beloved Grandma Bea is evident on his face in each of the pics.  She was so happy to oblige :D

**Fifteen words or less to describe Sean does not satisfy me.  Perhaps I could write a book?  Yes.  Who knows someone at Random House? 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"G" Is For . . .


Monday, June 25, 2012

What's Good For the Gander Is Good For the Goose!

Jeepers, I love our little Kimball!  I might as well come right out with it and state that to spoil him rotten is totally ingrained in my soul, so it is with great restraint that I don't rush right out and buy him a pony. 

I figure it only follows that if Dave gets his way by getting this, then for Kimball's sake we're just going to have to knock out that back wall in our garage to make room for this:

Not quite a pony, but I suppose it will do.

And as for this goose, this on my radar:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Looks Like I'm Not the Only One Who Might Be Missing Christian

I'm with you all the way on this one, Kimball.  *sniffle*  
Kimball has some mighty big shoes to fill, but he couldn't ask for better role models to follow than two of his awesome uncles, Christian and Sean!  In fact, Kimball has already declared to Ashley that he will be serving his mission in Ukraine.  Goodness gracious, how does he even know that Ukraine is a country?  Up until not long ago, I thought Ukraine was some sort of university for construction workers.   jk.  But, really, where is it?  Somewhere in the Caribbean?  Sweet!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Think Everyone Should Have One of These Redheads! Go Out and Get Yours Today!

. . . Aaaaaand, we're off to a rollicky and boisterous and lively summer of 2012!

. . . And, we're off to a bunch of fun stuff like pedicures, just for starters!
Photo credit:  Kimball, P.P.P.G.E.*

*P.P.P.G.E.-Professional Photographer and Professional Grandson Extraordinaire

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Countdown to Kimball!: The Big Reveal or, How The Circus Bear Nearly Crushed the Surprise !

YEEHAW!  Today is the day!  Today is the day of the big reveal to finally (yeah, I hear ya, you've been what I like to call "long suffering," and I do appreciate you indulging me), to finally let the cat out of the bag and show you all what Papa and I have awaiting Kimball's arrival and through which we hope to brainwash him into thinking we're pretty awesome! pretty rad! pretty wicked! pretty sick!  And all that rot! 

Actually, I had one more clue in the queue (ha!  that rhymes! and I just may be ADD), uh, uh, hmm, let's see, oh!  I had one more clue in the queue, but since Kimball will be TRAVELING ALL THE LIVE-LONG DAY TOMORROW and probably won't be able to check in on this here bloggy thing, I decided to reveal the surprise tonight so he can see what is in store for him this summer.  

Honestly, now I really am worried that disappointment will be the result of the surprise not being a full-sized ferris wheel.  All of this anticipation may lead to a let down, and my silly little guessing game may backfire.  Ooh, let's hope that's not the case, cuz I have my heart set on Kimball thinking that I'm pretty sick.

Well, there's nothing left to do, but go for it!  Are you guys ready?  Are you ready, Kimball?  Okay dokey, buddy boy!  

Here!  You!  Go!
I know!  Right?!  Isn't she a beaut!  You guys were pretty clever to figure out my clues, especially since I handicapped you quite unintentionally with my lack of photography skillz.  Good job, everyone!  Good job, Kimball!

Okay.  I'm seriously testing your patience now, I can tell.  Sorry.  Couldn't resist.  If you're still with us and not off looking for a meat cleaver to throw through your computer screen, let's try this again.  Ready?  OKAY!  I know you're ready!  No need to shout.


Tada! Pretty sweet ride, eh?

What do you think?  Maybe I'll start a new trend:  
"Extreme Circus Bear Cycling for Suburban Moms!"

Listen up, all of you people who think I'm whack for getting a two-wheeler for three-year-old Kimball to ride, (yes, I'm lookin' at YOU!), don't get your knickers in a twist.  Indeed I do realize that there are no training wheels attached to this bike, you don't need to point that out.  I actually discovered that fact on my own--and, heh heh, don't think that spill didn't hurt!   Seriously, though.  Kimball can handle this.  I know he can.  Why?  Well, have you seen this?  That's our boy!

Kimball-Cam footage soon to come!  Thanks for playing along, guys!  You're the best!

*Don't worry.  Papa will be lowering the seat and the handlebars before Kimball has a chance to kill himself on this bike and then end up hating me for life.  That's not exactly what I'm gunning for here . . . .  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Countdown to Kimball!: Clue #5


As you will soon see from the clue below, we're finally getting somewhere in this little hare-brained obstacle course I'm making you guys go through in your quest to see what Papa and I bought for little Kimball to use while he is here and which will undoubtedly lead to some mighty big-pants showing off for us!

Um, I'm now sort of regretting this big buildup because everyone will probably be disappointed that the surprise isn't a full-sized ferris wheel or something.  Kimball isn't as jaded as that, is he, Ash? 

Whatev.  Moving on!

You guys will probably be tempted to bow down and kiss my feet and throw rose petals over my head and come on over to my house and clean my bathrooms after you see the stunner of a clue I'm offering you today!  What a gift!  I'm practically handing the answer to you on an engraved sterling silver platter, complete with foie gras and clams on the half shell, for goodness sake!  

Take a look at clue #5:

You are so welcome!  BTW, you can come clean my bathrooms anytime this week after Tuesday.   See you then! *Air kisses* (Don't worry, I'll provide the rags  and the Comet.)

Just an FYI:  Training wheels are NOT involved.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Countdown to Kimball!: Clue #4

Yeehaw, boys and girls!  We're clipping right along with this little obnoxious game of mine of trying to figure out what Papa and I schemed up, aren't we!  Clue #1, clue #2, and clue #3 were of no help, I know.  So, brace yourselves for a stellar clue #4! 

Ah.  I see.  I sense many of you are out there just tapping your foot thinking, "For the love of pete, JUST GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!  You call this a clue?  All this shows is that you are a rotten photographer!  Give us something, anything, to go on before we throw ourselves out a ten-story window!"  I know that's what you're all thinking, isn't it. Well, I just may be a rotten photographer, but I am pretty good mindreader, so just watch yourselves.  

I don't know, I think this is a pretty decent clue, actually.  See, we've got texture and color and blurriness . . . .  Heh heh.  Sorry about that blurriness.  Yes, I KNOW I'm a rotten photographer; I think we sufficiently established that fact, thank you very much.


Just do your best, people; see what you can do with what little scraps you've been given.  That's all I ask.   And, thanks for playing along!  You guys are such good sports! 

Blurry clue #4:

And now, for your viewing pleasure, I just received another photograph from the wife of Christian's mission president!  She said that she is so impressed with Christian, believing him to be the one who instigated the thank you note that was left on her kitchen table the morning Christian and the other elders left the mission home to travel to their new areas.  Yes!  That's my boy!
I think, although I may be wrong (that has happened at least once before), these three are pointing to Sundsvall, Sweden, the area where Christian will be serving for his first transfer.  It must be quite the place cuz these guys look like they just hit the tri-state lotto or some such.  (Christian's "grandfather" {the elder who trained Christian's trainer} is on the left; Christian's "father" {Christian's trainer} is in the middle; extraordinarily awesome and handsome Christian is on the right.)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Countdown to Kimball! Clue #3

Are you guys losing patience with me and my little guessing game yet?  I'm imagining so because I realize that most of you people are not quite as immature as I am, what with my love for this kind of guessing game falderal and such.  But, it's my blog, and I'll torture you if I want to . . . .

Clue #1 and clue #2 are in the history books, so now it is on to clue #3!  What say ye, oh wise ones?  What do you suppose Papa and I have purchased to help keep our little Kimball Boy out of trouble this summer and which will most likely be shoving him into even bigger trouble?  That's what Papas and Deedees are for, right?  We do try our best.

Ready?  Put your thinking beanies on!  Presenting clue #3:  

And, in other BREAKING NEWS(!), looky at who is living life large in Sweden!  He's now in the "Land of the Midnight Sun," safe and sound and as happy as a pickled herring!  That means I'm as happy as a pickled herring too!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Countdown to Kimball!: Clue #2

Hey, Kimball!  Great job trying to guess from clue #1 what that little surprise is that Papa and I have  at our house, and I'm pretty darn tootin' sure you will want to get your hands on it when you come stay with us!  Your guess of "a pink hand" was a totally awesome guess!  High five, mister!

So, Kimball, while your guess was a great try, it wasn't exactly correct.  But, again, great try, buddy!  The others who guessed "a child-sized rocket" and "a t-ball bat" get a high five from me as well.  YAY!  Thanks for joining in this hoohah!  Alas, your guesses were not exactly correct either.  Sorry.

Is everyone now ready for a little more help?  Here is clue #2:

I'm sure you're all, like, "Help?  Help?  You call that HELP?"  I admit, it's a head-scratcher, to be sure!  Just indulge me and my wacked-out self, that's all I ask; I'll reward you with an easier clue tomorrow if you do.  Maybe. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Countdown to Kimball!: Clue #1

Yo, Kimball!  Here is your very first clue in your nifty little adventure in figuring out what Papa and I have waiting at our house!

While I suspect that Ashley and Jordan are staring at this clue absolutely horrified at the thought that Dave and I have added something to our arsenal of playthings which bears a humungous WARNING! label, I'm pretty certain Kimball is rubbing his hands together with glee thinking, "Oho!  This summer is looking quite promising . . . !"

Okay dokey!  Time for Kimball and all of the rest of you guys (yes, you!  join in the fun!) to pony up your guesses as to what the apparently-not-the-sharpest-knives-in-the-drawer Papa and Deedee have up their sleeves this time! 

So, Kimball!  Betcha think your Papa and Deedee are really something now, huh!  Yup, we like to play that thrilling "WARNING!" card now and then just to keep the luv coming our way . . . 

And, more great news!  I got to talk to Christian this morning while he was in NYC on an eight-hour layover, and he is finally on his way to Sweden!  Boy oh boy oh boy, I love this young elder more than I could ever, ever express with my feeble little words! Jag älskar min son så mycket!!! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Little Red Is Comin' to Town!

You better watch out!  
You better not cry!  
You better not pout!  
I'm tellin' you why,
Little Red and his mama are comin' to town!
Pic taken at the SLC Airport in March after Ash and Kimball said their goodbyes to Elder Sagers.
Kimball was very, very pleased with the new headphones Papa gave to him.  
He looks like he should be piloting the plane, doesn't he?
BTW, it was super windy :o 

YEEHAW!  Ashley and Kimball will soon be here to spend the whole summer with us while Jordan is off to study the ends of the earth.  No, really.  I'm not even joking when I write that.  Jordan will be spending his summer living in what Wikipedia calls "one of the least explored, both geographically and culturally," countries in the world as he continues to pursue his Ph.D. in anthropology.  Whoooeee!  My hat is off to that guy, let me tell you!  The adventure in me goes only so far as, say, um, taking the back roads to the mall?

Meanwhile, I get to spend my days teaching Kimball the finer points of just generally messing around and trying not to get in trouble for it.  I KNOW!  Let the wild rumpus start!

Okay, guys, please excuse me for just a sec while I talk to Kimball.  Go ahead and listen in if you want.  Or talk amongst yourselves.  Whatev.

Hey, Kimball!  Yoohoo, Kimball!  Papa and I have a surprise which you will get to see when you arrive at our house!  I'm going to give you a little clue each day for the next few days, and I want to see if you (and our bloggity-blog friends, as well) can figure out what the surprise might be!  

Tune in tomorrow to see your very first clue!  The clues will start out kind of hard but don't worry--they'll get way easier with each day.  Are you excited?  Super excited?  Excellent!  See you back here tomorrow!  I hope that you bloggity-blog friends will humor me in this nonsense too.

Leavin' on a jet plane . . . 
But, they're coming back!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Our F.R.I.D.A.Y. Freakout Foray Lights Up the Night!

Um, well, the title to this post is a little misleading.  As circumstances would have it, we weren't out lighting up the "night" but were merely giving the early afternoon a soft little glow.  But, "Our F.R.I.D.A.Y. Freakout Foray Gives Out a Soft Little Glow" just doesn't cut the mustard, if you ask me.  

I fudged on the title a tad just especially for you guys!  Yes!  I blame you guys for my slight indiscretion.  See, I was simply trying to give you a subtle (or not so subtle) clue as to Aldolpho's whereabouts in this photo since this one is a little tricky-slicky.  Oh, sure.  Now you say that you knew where he was all along after my oh-so-subtle (not) hint.  Uh-huh.  And, chocolate is gross.  Riiiiiiight.  

So!  Can my penance for fudging on this post's title be a confession?  I confess that the reason I am towering over Dave* in the photo below is because of my embarrassingly high heels.  I mean, embarrassingly high.  I purposefully whacked off the bottom of this picture to mitigate my embarrassment at my embarrassingly high shoes.  There.  Am I forgiven?  I sure hope so, cuz that was not an easy confession to make.  I feel like I have just betrayed my own shoes.  Boo.  

Can you find Aldolpho hanging around like such a goof?

Did you happen to catch Aldolpho totally eavesdropping on us in the photo of our previous F.RI.D.A.Y. funkiness?  Do you see him hunkering over Sean's shoulder?  Somebody needs to teach that troll that in proper social circles, people and/or trolls do not crane their ears toward strangers in order to hear private gossip conversations.  Which, by the way, was NOT the case when Sean and I totally eavesdropped ourselves.  But, it was not on purpose!  Let's make that perfectly clear.  In fact, we absolutely couldn't help but overhear the two dudes in the booth next to us.  Goodness to pete, I thought that Sean was going to bust a vein trying to hold it together after listening to those two.  They were obviously inebriated, and there were words flying past us, the likes of which I'm not sure I can share on this family-friendly blog without the FCC storming my house and ripping this computer right out of my den and throwing it into the Dumpster.  Yeah, ew.  Needless to say, we were happy little campers once those two joes managed to stumble out of the joint.  
 Did you find Aldolpho, the eavesdropper extraordinair? 

*On the days when I wear a pair of my embarrassingly high heels (and I have many pairs, let's not sugar-coat this), I usually mutter into Dave's ear that he MUST use good posture and stand up straight.  Looks like I forgot to mutter on this day.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Get a hanky ready. Really. You'll want one. No, really. Jeepers, just bring the whole box.

There is a song from my childhood that has always been my favorite.  It is called, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me."  I simply adore it.  I have always adored it.  Here are the lyrics:

Words and Music by Clara W. McMaster, b. 1904
Whenever I hear the song of a bird
Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
Or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by a lilac tree,
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heavenly Father created for me.

He gave me my eyes that I might see
The color of butterfly wings.
He gave me my ears that I might hear 
The magical sound of things.
He gave me my life, my mind, my heart: 
I thank him reverently
For all his creations, of which I'm a part.
Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.

You can hear it sung beautifully by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir here

Brace yourselves.  This is where the need for your entire box of Kleenex comes in.  My boys, my two, wonderful, generous boys, agreed to play this, my favorite childhood song, at my beautiful mother's funeral in February.  The performance was stunning.  And magical.  And heartbreaking.

Gaahhh.  Ooh, this is hard.

Much to my pleasure (I had secretly harbored this wish myself but didn't voice it), our bishop invited my two, wonderful, generous boys to again play my favorite childhood song at Christian's mission farewell.  That performance left me speechless.  And again, in tears.

Video recording in our chapel is not allowed out of reverence for our worship service, so I beseeched my two, wonderful, generous boys to once more play this piece after church that same day on our own piano just so I could have a lasting memory of one of the most moving and sacred and meaningful four minutes of my life.  Being the extraordinary men that they are, Sean and Christian kindly agreed.  

I treasure this video so, so much, not only because it is of one of my favorite songs, not only because it will forever remind me of my sweet mom, but mostly because it is played so tenderly by my two, wonderful, generous boys simply out of their love for me.  

I have felt heaven.  This is it.  Right here.

(Please forgive the crackling noise on the audio; I think it must be my camera's zoom toggle protesting against me trying to get artsy with it.  It could also very well be me trying desperately, but without success, to stifle the biggest ugly cry you've ever seen in your entire life.)

I CANNOT watch that without tears streaming down my face.  I thank you, my darling Sean and Christian.  I thank you for showing me what heaven is all about and for placing it right in the center of my heart.

Monday, June 04, 2012

This Simply Makes Me Happy

I just ADORE seeing homes and apartments that have a very welcoming front porch and a very welcoming front door and simply a very welcoming overall demeanor as if to say, "Howdy-do!  Come on in, ya'll!  Happy to have you here!" I especially like it when it is my own front porch and front door saying those things.

Notice those tattered and windswept daisies drooping so sadly from my front door in the pic below?  So, yeah.  They sure were cute when they were fresh and new and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but the blustery winds blew and blew at our front door, beating them into submission and making quite a sorry sight.  While that wind whipped those daisies around like a nobody's business, it made for kind of a creepy experience when the scraping and banging of those daisies was heard from inside of our house.  Something along the lines of this:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door
--Only this, and nothing more." 

Uh, huh.  It was those daisies tapping at my chamber door asking to be put out of their misery.  So, I granted their wish.   R.I.P., dear daisies.

I got crafty (read: went shopping with a small amount of crafting thrown in), and now I have this: 

We're back in business, boys and girls!  Howdy-do! Come on in, ya'll!  Happy to have you here!

*Just look at how well my Mother's Day flowerpots are filling in.  So lovely.  These and all of the other flowers given to me that day simply float my boat!  Seriously.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

F.R.I.D.A.Y., and Someone {Aldolpho?} to Watch Over Me

Oh, Sean is such a good boy.  He does so many things for others merely out of the kindness of his heart, no ulterior motives secretly hidden away, not wishing for a favor in return, not serving others out any sense of pressure or guilt; he just flat-out desires to be kind and make others happy.  Where does a mother get one of those models, you say?  Hey, ya got me.  Sean just came that way, and I'm doing my best to just stand back and not mess any of this up.

Case in point: Check out the photo below showing Sean treating his mama with nothing but thoughtfulness and graciousness.  I mean, how many tall, handsome, eligible, bachelors do you know who would spend a lunch listening patiently to his mom's very unique version of, " . . . yada yada, blah blah, . . . and then I bought these daaaaahrling red shoes you'd just luv them I know you would, . . . yada yada, . . . did I already tell you that I blew Dad's mind during Boggle when I spelled BUYDEONAPORSCHE during every one of our three rounds?, . . . blah blah, blah, . . . I hope nice neighbor Mr. Olpin wasn't too attached to that big chunk of lawn under my car tire, . . . yada yada, yada . . . ."  See? I bet you don't find that kind of long-suffering son around every corner!  Holy cats, I am spoiled. 
Now! Where is that flaming-haired Aldolpho lurking this time?
I've added the video below to give you a clue.  I realize the clue may throw you off the scent more than it will help you, but it was the first thing that popped into my sorta-warped brain.  

So didja spy Aldolpho chilling in super stylish styrofoam while being awed by super stylish Emily from our last episode of the F.R.I.D.A.Y. frou frou?  And say, by the way, did you know that styrofoam was first discovered by a Swede?  A SWEDE!!!  See!  Sweden-bound Christian is with us in spirit (if not in his lankiness) at these very fetching F.R.I.D.A.Y. follies!  SCORE!  Or, I guess I should write STÄLLNINGEN!

Does this photo--being partly black and white, partly color--remind you a bit of The Wizard of Oz?  How does Aldolpho rate being in color anyway?  I suppose he could pass for a small-in-stature and colorful munchkin, now that I think hard about it.  Tangent.  Sorry.