Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fun family day

Susie and Micah got us all together today on a hiking/swimming/fishing trip up to West Clear Creek. Holly and family had not ever been there. Monica and Del and kids and Brian and I drove up there this morning and had a wonderful picnic, hike and swim. I really like to go here because its an easy hike. (No mountains to climb) plus depending on where you stop along the creek, you can swing on a rope swing out into the water, shoot through a rock slide, swim in a pond or cliff jump. The rope swing spot is so popular we don't usually stop there because of the number of people, Our favorite spot is the rock slide. We set up there for our picnic and the big kids and some of the adults made forays to the other spots. It was a nice day, sunshine interspersed with fast moving treatening clouds at times. At three o'clock a dark bank of clouds threatened so we decided to pack up and head home. Here are a few pics and hopefully a video. I didn't take many pics but Monica and Holly took many more so I hope to get their SD cards downloaded to my computer soon too.

Denver and Dillon
Monica and Grace Charity on the rock by the water slide/shoot that the kids play in---OK OK even I shot the slide. Jonathan Robert was fearless from the beginning. He'd shoot the slide run around and leap right back in until he was too cold to stay in anylonger Micah and Susie with their new dog Buddy at Sunset Point

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day


A pcture of seven of my children and most of their (maternal) first cousins
front row Katie, Marissa, Emily and Sarah 2nd row: Scott, Clint, Allen, Susie, Holly, Danelle, Melissa, Joanna, Amber, Brian and Monica, Back (stabbers): Eric, Sean, Nick and (little) Chris.

My beautiful daughters L>R Monica, Aimee, Danelle, Susie,and Holly!

Just thought I would share some thoughts about being a mother on this official day of honoring mothers. I have willingly traveled into the "valley of the shadow of death" seven times. (I have eight children but I didn't know what I was doing the first time!!) I was pregnant or nursing approximately 16.5 years of my life! Yet now that all eight of my offspring are grown--that time, which seemed so eternal when I was in the midst of it, is now fading to a distant memory. My role as mother is different now, no more knee deep piles of laundry; no more hours in the car chauffering; no bed that started out with just me and the baby and ended up with me and every child under the age of 12; and no more do I lecture, beg, or even scream in utter frustration. But no more do I get to cuddle, caress, comfort and console the child who was bruised by life; delight in childish pictures, stories or dances presented so proudly, or rock to sleep even that child whose legs hang off over the arm of the rocking chair and who tested my strength to carry them to bed. Yes, life is definately different. My time is pretty much my own, (except that time devoted to providing for myself) I have boxes and cupboards full off materials, yarn, craft and sewing projects etc that I have collected over the years with the thought of someday--and they do call to me from time to time--but mostly I am just still, content to listen to the silence. I know that I need to get moving and reinvent myself. I have to decide who I am going to be now that there are no overwhelming pressing demands on my time, and my children are independent. I realize that I have had to disconnect myself from many people and dreams over the years, first from my immediate family when I married and moved to Arizona, My children barely knew their grandparents or aunts and uncles. My younger brothers and sisters grew up without me around and married and moved on with their lives and we saw each other every year or two for a couple of days. My husband took a job that kept him out of town for most of the first 25 years of our life, and took up early in our life with his best friends "Coors and TV" so even when he was home he wasn't home. So my kids were my life! and they weren't perfect! (beautiful yes, perfect no) My time and activity were spent with them, I didn't cultivate friends, (its hard to be LDS and not have the perfect LDS family) Marvin wouldn't socialize and with eight children it was too expensive to go out anywhere so my sphere has been my children. Then the separation, one by one with my children as they matured and started their own lives. Now today, my children are my best friends, but now they are busy and overwhelmed and I just nod my head and remember (been there and done that). So motherhood is different for me now and I imagine it will change again when my children are also freed from the day to day business that accompanies raising a family. I guess what I most need to do is to reconnect with some of the people I let slip away during all those years of child rearing and refocus on relationships and not just the getting from day to day frenzy of the past. I know I need to start with my own mother, who is, as is the way of the world, getting older and thus my time with her is shortening and uncertain. So, I guess this Mother's Day I will start by making a commitment to call or write to my mother at least once a week this year. To try and be more open in sharing my life with her, (not just the good parts) When you try to hide things even if you are trying to protect others it makes it hard to be close. Now I can't even remember all the things I tried not to share with my mother either from embarrasment or to protect my pride or thinking it better that she enjoy her beliefs that all was well in Zion. It seems so silly because now I don't have a close relationship with her because I shut her out of those many years of trying teenagehood of my children. So mom get ready to hear from me more often, I want you to know me and I want to get to know you too. Love...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Cinco de Mayo and more wedding pics

Had all the kids and grandkids who live here in Phoenix over for dinner last night. I usually do Sunday dinner every other Sunday (on the Sunday I don't work) but for the last couple we have gone over to Holly's new house so Susie called me Monday and asked if we couldn't have dinner here because she felt like she hadn't been to my house in 'forever'. So we gathered to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I made two huge pots of Pozole (way too much as it turned out) Pozole is a bland pork (or chicken) soup with hominy and then numerous dishes of add ins (onions, avacados, lime juice, chili powder, oregano, eggs, tortillas, cilantro etc.) are placed on the table so each person can create their own spicy luscious bowl of soup. I also served cucumbers, mangos, and jicama spritzed with lime juice and chili salt, and an orange-mango juice drink and for dessert we had strawberry shortcake with whipped cream. I had found some really fun dishes last Saturday and then bought some more colorful bowls and placemates so it all looked fun. I downloaded some upbeat mariachi music to add to the ambience. Marvin complained but he was overruled so it played on during dinner.

After dinner, the men watched sports and talked, Allen plays fantasy sports and Micah joined into his group so he was busy creating his team etc. The women went into the front room to talk and Susie couldn't wait to play with the new organ and create a masterpiece. Morgan joined in and the two of them created some interesting music together!

I watched some of Dancing With The Stars and couldn't believe that they voted little Kim off, she is SOOOOOO much better at dancing than Ty but of course Ty does have a very likable charm but he is just so stiff just not fluid at all.

For you DWTS fans did you know that Derek Hough and Mark Ballas have a band and they released an album in March? I didn't so I guess I really wasn't much of a fan but anyway it is the Ballas Hough Band (BHB). Interesting trivia I also found out was that Derek and Julianne went to London when Derek was 13 and Julianne was 10 to train and live with Mark's parents Corky and Shirley Ballas. They lived with them for a number of years training and going to an academy for the arts I suppose like Julliard here in the USA.

Allen spent the night as he needs a ride to do some errands, his car still won't pass emissions, he needs to fix another part, but he has been layed off for about a month and had only worked part time the months before so he's pretty strapped! He is going all "Joachim Phoenix" on me and has grown this full beard. Its the rough scruffy neck hair that looks so bad to me, I don't know if I've convinced him to at least shave the neck yet. It makes him look so much older (and not better in my opinion) Here's a picture from a week ago.

Susie got some more of her wedding pictures so thought I would post a couple more in honor of her upcoming 1 year anniversery. I've tried twice to add more pics than these but it failed both times so I will just publish these at this time.