Thursday, July 27, 2017

We are family

Yesterday Emma was rejoicing that today she only has to work at one of her jobs.  Adam said, "You should trade cars with me and when you get home, you guys should drive up to Tibble Creek."

"To what end?" I asked.  He's really the one that likes to go on drives.  I like being with him, but when he's not there, the drive seems pointless.

"I think I'd rather just be home," Emma said.

Adam shrugged.


Last night we sat on our deck and watched the lightning.  It was a spectacular show punctuated by a few stray fireworks left over from past festivities.

While we were out there, Adam was looking at pictures and videos his family sent him from their vacation at Banks Lake.  Adam said, "Next year I want to go to Banks Lake with them."

"Let's do it," I said.

They were texting back and forth and Adam said next year we are coming too.

Brian texted back, "But Thelma doesn't like the boat or waverunners."

Adam replied, "But she likes pontoon boats, I'll rent one of those."

I don't know that I do necessarily enjoy pontoon boats any more than other boats or waverunners.  I like them all fine, for about 10 minutes.  Then I'm ready to find a place to sit and read.

From the first New Year's we spent with Adam's family and they were all watching football in one room and I was reading in the next room, I've been sort of the weird one.

They love water (boating, swimming, waverunners) and camping and sports.   I love sitting on the beach, reading and hotels and eating garlic fries at Safeco Field. 

The other day when Marianne and Clarissa were here, we were talking about the inevitable in-laws that will join our families some day.

If one of my children marry someone that doesn't like theater or British television or moving furniture or discussing current events (I don't know...trying to come up with things that define our family here), I hope we're as nice to them about it as Adam's family is to me.  They're a little mystified by my boring preferences, but they mostly just shrug and are happy to see me anyway.

It's nice to belong.  Even if you're the weird one.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How it's supposed to be

Monday Marianne and Clarissa came for the evening and stayed the night.  We played games and laughed and ate and watched the 24th of July fireworks from the deck and it was wonderful.

Olivia and Edgar are coming to town next weekend.  I asked Olivia if they'd like to come for dinner.  She said, "Well...there are a lot of us."

I said, " have kids?  Never mind."

I talked her into it and I'm glad.  We have had a drought of people-over-for-dinner ever since we left Washington.  Did something about the arid climate turn me into a hermit?  Is that a thing?

Last night we had the Porters over for dinner.  They are our brand new across the street neighbors.  In my email on Monday, I told Braeden we had met them all at church and that they seem like a better more talented version of our family.  Braeden said, "Most families are better and more talented versions of our family, but you didn't tell me the most important part, are the daughters cute?"

Adam and I sometimes text back and forth with the information we get from Braeden when he's emailing.  I told Adam what Braeden had said and he said it was weird to think they are more talented than us.  He texted me, "It doesn't make any sense to compare.  It just biases against visible talents.  No one ever says, 'Hey, look at that invisible guy!'  But that's some talent."

Which is true.  We'll be grateful for our invisibility talents?

When Emma heard me say they were a better version of us, she said, "Hmph!"

So I guess that tells you a difference between Adam and Braeden and Emma.

But I digress (that could be the title of this entire blog).

We enjoyed having the Porters for dinner.  It turns out we know some of the same people and we've had some parallel experiences.  Their children are very similar to ours.  They are our sort of people, which we already suspected, but it was confirmed over plates of pulled pork and corn on the cob and watermelon. 

Life is meant to be shared over a dinner table.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I miss primary

Sunday I was asked to substitute in primary.  My class was the six year olds.  It was delightful.

In sharing time, they were asked to draw a picture of something they could do to keep the sabbath day holy.

One little girl was sitting morosely and not drawing.  I asked her, "Do you want to draw something you can do on Sunday?"

She looked at me with a drop dead look (that I hitherto thought only Emma was capable of).  Without breaking off the stare, she ripped her paper into two.

It was awesome.  Because 1) I'm not her mom and 2) I'm not even her regular teacher so what do I care if she rips up her paper?

One little girl leaned over to me and looked at me suspiciously and asked, "Are we doing anything fun today?"

I nodded enthusiastically because you have to sell it.

Shortly after we made it to class, a little boy bonked his head against a chair and immediately started to cry.  "And this is after I got bit my dog Charlie yesterday," he wailed.

I quickly pulled some goldfish crackers out of my bag, placed there for just this sort of situation.  "Here," I said, "This may help you feel better."

He smiled and took a few crackers.  "They're the snack that smiles back," I said.

That was apparently new to all of them and they found that incredibly wise.  All of the sudden their suspicion of me had vanished and they were on my side.

After the lesson, we were playing a game.  They would roll the dice and depending on where they landed on the board, I would ask them a question, they would pick a song to sing, or they would draw a picture on the chalkboard related to the lesson.  After each turn, I tossed them a goldfish cracker.  I said, "This is like at Seaworld, you are the dolphins and I'm tossing you fish."

Well that, my friends, was hysterically funny.  I am hilarious (to six year olds).  Then they each related their best Seaworld stories.

A little boy told me in great detail about being in the splash zone and getting wet during the dolphin show.  "It wasn't a dolphin though.  I can't remember what it was."

"Orca?" I asked, "Killer whale?"

"No," he said, like I wasn't very smart.  "I'm pretty sure it was a shark that splashed me."

"Maybe," I said and I tossed him another goldfish cracker.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Carry on

Saturday's adventuring found us in American Fork Canyon.

We went to Silver Lake Flats (not to be mistaken with the two other Silver Lakes in those mountains).  There seemed to be a dearth of good lake names.

Maybe it's because of the holiday weekend (24th of July, it's a thing here), but the words of a hymn kept ringing in my mind:

Firm as the mountains around us,
Stalwart and brave we stand

On the rock our fathers planted
For us in this goodly land—

The rock of honor and virtue,
Of faith in the living God. 


They raised his banner triumphant—
Over the desert sod.

We’ll build on the rock they planted
A palace to the King.

Into its shining corridors
Our songs of praise we’ll bring,

For the heritage they left us,
Not of gold or of worldly wealth,

But a blessing everlasting
Of love and joy and health.

And we hear the desert singing:
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Hills and vales and mountains ringing:
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Holding aloft our colors,
We march in the glorious dawn.
O youth of the noble birthright,
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
*text by Ruth May Fox

It was a lovely day.  I'm pretty sure I did hear the hills and vales and mountains ringing.  And this is what my feet looked like by the end (hiking in sandals again).

Happy 24th of July!  I am liking it around here and I will carry on.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Grateful Friday

This has been the summer of Mark.  And then it will be the fall of Mark (sounds serious) and then the winter of Mark and so on.

He's who I have left and I'm really happy I enjoy being around him so much.

Yesterday we went to Salt Lake to visit with my parents and grandma.  He was in charge of the playlist in the car.

After we had lunch, the two Marks went to Callister for horseshoes.  It's a store that sells cowboy/horse kind of stuff and I'm sure the smaller Mark fit right in with his Star Wars t-shirt, shorts and flip flops.

My mom and grandma and I did some of our own errands.  When we were at the grocery store, I felt sort of like a little kid again.  It's been a while since I have grocery shopped with them.  I considered asking my mom if I could have a treat if I was good (my kids got it from somewhere) but then I remembered she bought me lunch.

The Marks ended up at the doctor's office where my dad had an appointment.  The office is right by the hospital in the enormous Intermountain Health Center complex.  Mark texted his dad, "I'm at the hospital."

Adam texted back, "What?"

Whose idea was it to give Mark a phone anyway?

When we finished our errands and had delivered Grandma home (and helped put away her stuff), my mom and I went to the Marks.  The parking lot is huge and my mom wanted to park near their car so she could give me the sunglasses that were left there a few weekends ago.  We drove around looking and finally found it.

Then I noticed my phone:

It was from Mark.  He had been watching us from the 6th floor.

When I saw him I said, "I didn't see your texts.  I was driving."

Whose idea was it to give Mark a phone anyway?

Phone or not.  I'm grateful for that kid.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Let's do this!

The other day, my stake president asked me to make sure I worked with youth with my Temple and Family History Consultant calling.

It took me a few days, but then I remembered I have a youth living right here under my roof!

I know, right?

I asked Mark which line of the family he wanted to work on.  He said Davis.

So we moved past the Linn Adams and Lester Van Horns (there are two of each, alternating--Adam broke the pattern by not being a Lester Van Horn.

We got to Mary Hitchcock (who was the first Lester Van Horn's mother) and then looked at her family.  What a mess!

Mary is one of 15 children, her parents listed are Heber and Elizabeth.  The oldest and 13th children are both named Lois and then Heber has a second wife (after Elizabeth died) named Lois.  They have no children but eight of Heber's children were born after Elizabeth died.

Confused yet?

There were obvious mistakes (the wife Lois and one daughter Lois had the same ID number for starters).

Mark and I decided to make a "forensics wall" to try to keep it all straight.

It's possible we've watched a lot of British murder mysteries.

We have pretty much concluded there was an Elizabeth but the one that died in 1806 was not married to Heber.  She was married to Jacob.  Elizabeth is buried at Copp's Hill Burying Ground in Boston.  We've been there!

(but she's not related to us)

The 1800s are no match for Mark and me!

(or the other way around)

Wish us luck.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

An Emma update

Yesterday Marianne asked, "So did Emma make it home?  Adam's really great but I would think Emma getting home would make a mention on your blog."

Emma made it home.

Late.  And when I blogged yesterday morning, she was still sleeping.  She woke up and we chatted and then she went to work.  Here's hoping all will get unpacked and put away eventually.

Last night I was washing blueberries before dinner and Emma said, "I know the reason I've never liked blueberries.  Because I grew up eating these."  She pulled a little container of blueberries from Geri's yard.  "They just can't compare."

She had a great trip and I took screenshots of some of the pictures Adri (who is an amazing photographer!) put on instagram. (So quality is diminished by multiple screens, not Adri's fault.)

Emma and Vanessa at Mukilteo Beach

Emma and Vanessa at Deception Pass


Emma on top of the Space Needle

Adri, Vanessa and Emma at Woodland Park Zoo.  Adri said it made the Hogle Zoo look like a knock off Walmart brand zoo.  Pretty much.
Geri sent me this picture from when they went to the Canadian border:

Emma, Adri, Vanessa and Raelyn

And this one from the waverunner:

Here's a picture Megan sent me from when they went to a play Freja and Britta were in:

I think what it comes down to is when it comes to aunts and grandma's, Emma is in pretty good shape.

Seeing the pictures and hearing about the adventures made me miss Seattle.  It's a nice place.  Especially in the summer.  I'm looking forward to going there next month.

And then there will be college.

As I wrote down the dates Braeden and Emma can check in to their dorms on my calendar and got them registered for New Student Orientation, it made me feel a little melancholy.  Time is marching on.

Have you seen this IKEA ad?  It could be Emma and me.

One of us is sad about this college thing and it isn't her.


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