Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Memories

Grandpa Jerry holding Tracen
Grandma Lannette loving on Tracen
Diesel putting himself in time-out
Dad and his two pugs
We had a wonderful Christmas beginning with the arrival of my dad and Mom Lannette. They got here about 1:30 on Wednesday afternoon. It was so special having them here. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner of homemade clam chowder, baguettes with cream cheese and tomatoes. Afterward, we took a nice long walk along the river talking politics, and various strategies to overthrow the government...ha! My parents have these two adorable little pugs called Diesel and Delilah. I think Diesel's a little strange however; likes to put himself in time-out on a regular basis. Quite funny really. Thursday, Mom and I did a little extra shopping before going over to Karen and Travis' for a wonderful steak dinner. Travis can cook! The kids opened a few presents before we played a little Catchphrase. After heading home, and before retiring we watched our traditional video, Mr. Krueger's Christmas with Jimmy Stewart. It gives you something to think about before going to bed. Jayden and I always watch that on Christmas eve (even though John never remembers that). John and I had a no-gift rule this year but it appears we both broke it...ha! John went a little overboard on me but I'm grateful. I needed some new clothes. Jayden received some fun things but was most grateful for one gift that he had to find. Beginning with a note in his Christmas stocking, he began his scripture chase to his final gift. Ultimately, he ended up pulling out an electric guitar hidden underneath our bed. He was so excited. He really didn't think we'd be able to get that for him. (Thank heavens for Craigslist). We had a marvelous dinner; ham, funeral potatoes, yams....and Martinelli's cider. Later, Karen's crew came to hang out and our son Jovi stopped in. We had a wonderful day. Most especially, it was the spirit that could be felt. Mom made the comment earlier that she felt so at peace with us. I'm so grateful to know that His spirit dwells in our home and in our hearts and that we've prepared to receive him.John got Funny Farm (one of his favorites)
Katrina got a beautiful hoodie!
Jayden on his scripture chaseFinding the prize...electric guitar
Grandpa & Grandma with all the kids
Karen and Shy opening the family gift

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Wishes

As usual, there seems to be too much of a lapse in between entries. Time sure isn't my friend when I'm in school but I love the learning, testing and rewards at the end. To bring our blog up-to-date, I'm attaching our family Christmas letter.

Merry Christmas dear family and friends,

Well, how’s that hope and change working out for you! Seriously, even with life’s trials and worries, we live in a marvelous time--the winding up scenes, so to speak. It’s a glorious time to be alive, isn't it? We're actually here to see history in the making, although it may not all be positive, we are still a part of it. Keep the eternal perspective!!!

My first quarter of the new school year is behind me, thankfully. Chemistry and business math—were challenging but successful. I’m looking forward to the next four classes--of biology. Starting the sciences will help me prepare for the nursing program. I’m excited, yet a little apprehensive. I’m still working on that confidence thing…ha!

It’s been another active year with John’s business. Jayden’s a much stronger person because of the time spent outdoors working along side his dad than inside on the video games. He’s a hard worker, dependable and has a great work ethic, and has paid for all of his expenses himself this year. It seems like the greatest gift we’ve given our son is that lesson. He’s pretty self-sufficient.

Jayden’s had an incredible year musically. In March, he was chosen out of hundreds of students around the state to attend the Washington Music Educators Association (Junior All State Band) and was able to perform under the leadership of a renowned director. Basically, this director borrowed our children for the day preparing them to perform that evening in a stunning concert in Spokane. It was an amazing accomplishment.He also went to Disneyland in May with his school band (he was their star trumpet player) and actually got to perform at the park. When he wasn’t performing, he and his classmates were able to tour the park and take in all the sights and rides. We were thrilled for him. He worked so hard to be able to earn that trip. He also spent a week in the mountains at Camp Grizzly for scouts. At fifteen, he’s ahead of his goal and working toward his Eagle Scout Award. And my final bragging moment is at the end of the school year; Jayden was chosen to be one of the top eight students out of his entire school as an Elite Student in academics and being an overall great kid. The teachers took him (& the other 7) to dinner at the Olive Garden and gave out their awards. He was caught totally unaware…actually stunned--a little humility remains. Ha…

Even though Jayden is a wonderful young man, he’s not above making mistakes. He had a serious knife injury this year that about put me over the edge. He has a pretty awesome knife collection that he had sprawled out on his bedroom floor. I asked him to go put them away but, as any normal teenage boy would do, he decided to play a little first--with a brand new knife. He ended up tripping over something on his floor and fell on his right knee—putting the knife in the back of his calf. He opened it up pretty good. Anyway, about 19 or so stitches later; he was on crutches and the recipient of all the ooh and aah’s of the local girls…ha! I seriously had to question my desire to be a nurse. Although I initially panicked (he’s my baby), Jayden was the one who maintained a calm demeanor. Go figure…guess scouting pays off.

The other kids are doing wonderful. We have new additions: Karen just gave birth to our newest grandson, Tracen (this makes 4 for her). Javis and Chaylia with their new baby girl, Liliana, Jonbrock and Sherry has a new boy, Brody, and Shasta’s due in April with her 4th. We have 13 beautiful grandchildren. Jovi returned home safely in September from his mission. Life has been so good to us; our children and grandchildren are healthy and safe. John’s health is doing well. We have a warm bed at night, food on the table and good friends. We have a love and desire to serve our Savior and fellowman. What more could we ask for?

My greatest lesson this year has been that each one of us is now in the process of becoming the kind of person we must live with throughout eternity. The things you desire from life, you must first give to life. I pray we can all give life our best and be a little kinder, a little more tender in our dealings with one another.

Mom blowing the dirt off
Father and son

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rally for Freedom

Clint and John...reminiscing about the early radio days Clint, encouraging our boys to stand up and let their voices be heard

We attended our local t-party rally today. We had a great turn-out and I continue to pray that we use our voices and combine our efforts in the fight for freedom and personal rights. Clint Didier (two-time Superbowl winner with Washington Redskins and also played with Green Bay Packers) was a guest speaker and so excited to see John after all these years. He and Charlie (John & Charlie in the morning) used to have Clint on every Tuesday and they talked sports. We'd gotten to know him pretty well. At the rally, he announced his plans to run for the Senate and he's asked John and Charlie to help him out. We'll see where it takes us. He has our support...he's a terrific guy.

Jovi's home

Jovi was overwhelmed at the sight of his family
Jovi's friends came out to welcome him home
Dad really is the only one who understands
AMAZED at how tall Jayden got

Jovi made it home from his mission on Wednesday! He was out of sorts, as expected. It's hard to spend two years in the "spirit of service" and then come home to the "world". We're helping him make the transition by just showing an increase of love and encouragement. He's starting some college classes so maybe we'll run into each other on campus! School starts back up on the 21st...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Grandkids are the greatest

Aren't grandkids just the greatest blessing in life. Little Tracen has already learned to snuggled on Grandma.

Then there's Colby, who's loves to snuggle with Grandpa!

Jayden's Knife Accident

I didn't realize I could be so close to heart failure as I was yesterday. We were getting ready to head up to the mountains--Packwood to do some serious yard sale/flea marketing when Jayden came running down the stairs and out the front door yelling and in quite a panic. He wasn't hysterical just extremely serious and told me that he'd just cut his leg with his new knife. (Apparently, he slipped with the knife in his hand and when his leg went under him, his hand holding the knife plunged right into it.) I ran out to the front porch to look at it and about lost my mind. He had a gaping hole on his right calf. I threw the dishtowel over it, told Jayden to press on it so I could go get the car keys. On the way to the hospital I called John's cell (he was on his way home from an early fishing day) and told him to meet me at emergency. The funny thing was, Jayden was calming me down. "Mom, it's okay. Just get me to the hospital." I was flipping out of my mind...this is my baby! What a trooper he is...such a level headed kid. Now he has a cool scar to show off...ha! The doctor said he'd cut right through the muscle and has to be on crutches for a few days. He had to have 14 stitches-5 of which holds the muscle together. What an emotional day but a great lesson for Jayden. When one seemingly simple choice can turn your life into a different direction. Although it was an accident, he's still learning to treat knifes, guns, etc. with a little more respect.

Jayden's scar
14 stitches and proud of 'em
You can see how far the knife went into his leg
A tired, hurting boy

Annual Crestview Ward Luau

Dan Jacks and his quilt
You go girl!
Jayden hanging out with Shawn & Sierra Stallings
Dad and his famous rootbeer
We had a blast at our ward Luau! Of course, John was in charge of making his rootbeer and I got to be part of the entertainment; hoola-hooping! Who would've known that my favorite childhood pasttime would benefit me later in life!! I didn't embarrass my family for which I'm grateful. :) Our friend and former bishop, Dan Jacks received a beautiful quilt with "gratitude squares". It was a celebration of all the years of service he's given us. What a great day...time to visit and mingle with our good friends.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tracen Nicholas Thorn

Karen and Tracen
Travis was so attentive to Karen
Proud Daddy
Grandma's in love...
Big Sister Shyane
Talk about bored!

My new grandson has finally arrived. We've waited so (im)patiently for him to join our family. It was quite an ordeal for Karen; 15 hours of labor and he still didn't want to come out... She endured it well and is such a good mommy! Poor Travis was so bored (and tired) he defrosted the freezer in Karen's hospital room...what a hoot!!! Shyane was in the delivery room with me and Travis. I think the experience changed her life. She was so emotional when she saw her little brother. It was a wonderful moment....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's

Zoey playing with Grandpa
Grandma playing with Brody
Beautiful boy Brody
Zoey woke up a little fussy
Zoey, conked out

Jonbrock and Sheri brought their beautiful kids over for dinner. What a treat they are. Good company, great food (I might add), and giggling children make for a fun Sunday afternoon. Zoey was quite taken with Grandpa and Jayden - because they are so willing to be little kids themselves, while Brody spent a lot of time snuggling with Grandma.

Fishing at Jubilee

Shawn, Jayden and Katrina (relaxing by the fire)
Goofy duo
The boys are quite pleased with themselves
Jayden and Shawn chillin'
Weekends at Jubilee have been extremely productive! We're catching mounds of trout when other campers are complaining there's no fish in the lake!! ha... At one point, a man asked what we were using....Jayden's response, "hooks." Too funny. We took our "adopted son" Shawn with us this time because he loves to camp and fish and his parents don't, so... We had a blast fishing, swimming, eating, and of course ending it with our traditional trip to DQ for a blizzard.