Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hillary and Jake's Idaho Open House

I would try to label these photos individually, but when I do it usually comes out distorted or on the wrong picture. Since there are so many pictures on this blog, I will tell you what they are and then you can just browse the photos.

Saturday the 23rd was a beautiful day, and by 3:30 in the afternoon we knew it would be a perfect evening for the open house. We held the event in Travis and Cali's back yard, and our dear friend Doreen, who volunteered at a wrestling meet back in February to do the flowers for Hillary's open house, was there busily working away on the decorations. Never in my imagination could I have dreamed that she would make it look so beautiful. Thanks Doreen, we love you! I made posters to display of the wedding and reception in Nauvoo, and we also displayed the quilt that Hillary made for Jake. Hillary pieced and quilted it by herself, and Ruth Downey bound it for her.

Travis, Jesse and Kelly served refreshments and Cali served as the photographer. Many friends and some of Jake's family came to meet the Happy couple. . Marvin came by in the Limo he drives to say hello before he left for work. Cali, Cody and the newlyweds all went out to get a closer look. Yes, Jake Mickelsen does have a cast on his arm. We know....he has only been home from his mission for 2 weeks and he is already in a cast? Yes, He was bucked off of a horse while riding over Hurricane Pass in the Tetons. He broke his right wrist, sprained his left wrist and has stitches in his left knee.

It was such a beautiful warm evening for the reception. There was no wind to blow out the candles. Only Cody, who blew one out when it started burning the flower arrangement. I asked him why he didn't just move the flowers? Hmmm.... he re-lit the candle and moved the flowers a tiny bit and all was well again.

Little Kaylene had a fun time playing with her Grandma Marian (Jake's Mom) and her Uncle Jake during the evening. After the open house we watched Hillary and Jake open their gifts before going home.
On Sunday we used the left over cake and had a little birthday celebration for Hillary. I didn't have 20 candles, but I did have a #2 candle. Cody glued match sticks together to make a 0 and when he lit the makeshift "candle" it went up in flames like a small forest fire. It was pretty funny. What a great end to a very pleasant weekend.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Last First Day of School

I was fixing breakfast Wednesday morning when a thought hit me and I felt like crying. Today is my last "First Day of School" as a mother. I know, it sounds silly, but when I think back, every August for the last 25 years I have felt the excitement in the air as I purchased school supplies, new shoes and clothes and sent my children off to school. With Cody being a Senior this year it has been my last year to do all of these seemingly mundane things and I will miss it. With that thought in mind, and for all of you young mothers out there, I want you to know I only have a few of things I would have done differently.

#1. I would have really listened to my little Jesse when she was in 4th grade and given her the benefit of the doubt rather than her teacher, and I would have pulled her out of school and home schooled her.

#2. I would have understood sooner that I have the final say over my children's' education and I would not have been so afraid of the system. I will give the administration of any school my respect but I demand and deserve respect in return. Just because I 'chose' to be a stay-at-home mom does not mean I am uneducated, illiterate or lazy. It took me until Cali was in the 5th grade to fully understand this. Some people never understand it and go through years of feeling dictated to and even bullied by the public education systems.

#3. I would have followed my instincts and had Cody tested sooner for a reading disability

#4. I would have enjoyed it all more and complained a little less because I didn't realize how fast the time flies.

And now, l make a promise to Cody. I will try very hard not to be too weepy as you participate in sports and other activities, (Graduation not included in this) and I will not bug you too much with the camera during your senior year (wrestling season is an exception to this) and I will smile at all the right moments during "my last year of school". .. Well, Maybe.

(Poor Cody)

Happy Birthday to my "Cheerful Companion"

The date was August 19, 1988. I was holding a newborn baby girl with the bluest eyes I had ever seen. Hmmm... what to name this little cutie? Darryl and I decided to name her 'Hillary' and to give her my grandmother's name for her middle name 'Ruth'.

That afternoon my sister called and when I told her what we had named our precious little girl she decided to look up the meaning ....
"What a pretty name,". She told me... "It means Cheerful Companion"!

How appropriate that name has been for my 'baby girl'.....
For in all of my adventures.... and misadventures of the last couple of decades....
My 'Cheerful Companion' has been right there by my side to keep me smiling and laughing.
To my beautiful, blue-eyed, Boo Bear: I am so proud of you ... and I love you more!
HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY Hillary Ruth!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Cody!!!

Yes, my baby turned 18 yesterday. Cali asked me "Does it make you feel old now that all your children are legally adults?" Hmmm.... As I ponder this question let me tell you what Cody did to celebrate his birthday. This boy... (because he will always be 'my boy' no matter what his age) ..... Who is adored by his sisters and readily admits that they spoil him and he is the luckiest brother on the earth....

Celebrated turning 18 by climbing this...... The Middle Teton ! (The one on the right).
He helped guide a scout troop of 30 up to the top, and when the lead guide had to take a sick boy down the mountain at the half way point Cody was given the responsibility to get them to the top. Elevation 12,804 Ft. It was a difficult hike and only 16 of the 30 made it to the top (only 3 of the 8 leaders made it.)
At one time, as he helped the other young men up the steep trail, he was carrying two backpacks besides his own in his desire to help others reach the top. He is that way with us, his family. His desire to see us become an eternal family is so great that he would be willing to carry us through this life if it would help us be together forever.
After the hike up the mountain he came to the Ward Camp out at Reunion Flats in Driggs.
He also had a few friends over for cake and ice cream and a movie projected on the side of the house .
Tamrie wasn't able to stay for the movie, so earlier in the day he took her skeet shooting instead. That's an intimate date, don't you think?

He has had a busy but wonderul summer. Working in Morocco, serving in Nauvoo, and helping with the Rodeos.
I would tell you how very proud I am of him, but I would probably start bawling and not be able to finish it...
Just know that he is one of the best that God sent to this earth.....
And I am glad that he is mine!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Life's a Rodeo!

The first two Saturdays in August were WILD!! We went to the Rodeos put on by Crystal Brothers Rodeo Company (Kelly's Family)
Jesse sings the National Anthem at the Rodeos, and she asked Cali and I to sing with her on this Saturday in Island Park, Idaho. Gideon Really enjoyed his first Rodeo. Jesse had as much fun showing him off as Cali did.
Kelly was busy working behind the scenes loading the broncs and bulls into the chutes.
Yes, he uses the rope with great accuracy when he needs to.
This is Randy Crystal, Kelly's dad. A rancher friend told me that Randy is probably the best 'pick-up' man in the business.
When the ride is done, Randy's job is to get the cowboy off the horse and safely on the ground.
That is if the cowboy is still on the horse when the buzzer goes off.

This Rodeo is called the Crystal Brother's Island Park Wild Horse Stampede. So named for the Wild horse stampede at the end of the 3 day event where the cowboys try to rope, saddle and ride a bronc to the finish line.
After the Rodeo was over Cody and I gave Kelly a ride home. He took us to his Great Grandfather's cabin on the Buffalo River.
Where we enjoyed watching the wildlife.....
and looking at the beautiful scenery.
Cody helped the Crystals the following week at the American Falls Rodeo. I will try to get to those pictures soon. Until then....