Saturday, October 24, 2009

These Are Great Times

Although oftimes the days seem to run into each other when one is retired, there are those that stand out. Yesterday we had planned to go to the Mt. Timpanogos Temple with Rich and Sharon, but plans got changed, so Carl and I went to a session in the new Oquirrh Mountain Temple. Kind of nice because you can call ahead and get reservations. We love this temple--so calm and peaceful, as they all are, but this is less crowded and smaller.
Then today, Saturday, Curtis and Shandy had invited us to come down to observe Dexter's gymnastics class. What a treat--lots of cute kids ages from two to four, tumbling, running, and having a ball. The two teachers were so great with these kids. The biggest part of their job is getting the little ones to listen to directions, and those kids were great.

Here Dexter is being directed around an obstacle course. He is a serious listener, that little guy. Plus he was decked out in coordinated workout duds!
Look, Grandma and Grandpa, I can balance on the balance beam...(thanks, Mom, for helping out)
In this exercise, the student and a parent had "jousting sticks" made of soft foam rubber, the object being to knock each other off the beam. Of course, Dexter was the winner here.
We finished up the day with a long, long visit with Rich and Sharon. It seems so good to have them close once again. Boy, can we ever find things to talk about!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hot Air Balloon Supplement

One of the perks involved in living close to grandkids is that we have the privilege of helping out from time to time. Since Cameron couldn't go on the hot air balloon ride, Grandma and Grandpa went along to watch and tend.

The day was absolutely gorgeous. The owner of the balloon company was such a colorful character, and we knew it from the moment he emerged from his house--very mellow and relaxed. He put everyone to work getting the balloon ready.

Russ let me drive the fancy BMW convertible the half block to the launching site--once I got it out of 3rd gear, it was great... Thank goodness the convertible was still there when we returned--I'd left the keys in the ignition.

Cameron thinks he's cool in sunglasses--and he would be right!

Fern taking it all in--that balloon is huge!!

How many people does it take to get a hot air balloon launched? --if Russ would only help a little...

The balloon against the sun rising over the mountains was awesome.

Yep, landed right in a cul de sac (see Carrie's blog for details).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jackson Hole & Funny Kids

We haven't been to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and surrounding area for a long time. This really is some of our favorite scenery in the world, and with a promising weather forecast, we headed up to Rexburg. We left early Saturday morning with Darren and boys (Susan was hiking Table Rock with her ward--a feat in itself!). Everything was even more beautiful than we had remembered!

The Tetons from the Idaho side.

Through the trees at the String Lake picnic area.
Looking across Jenny Lake--fantastic! If we had a high-powered telescope, we could probably see Susan hiking Table Rock which is barely visible in the far distance.

This has got to be quietest these boys were all day! (Jacob, Ethan, Kevin) This was just before they caught an unsuspecting frog which really livened things up!
Looking back as we left--just can't get enough of those Tetons!

On to more crazy stuff--we stopped in Victor, Idaho, for a Huckleberry milkshake and discovered this posterboard as we left the drugstore--Carl as a fisherman. At first glance it looks almost like Darren!
Couldn't resist putting in this little guy--he loves glasses, and it took some coaxing to get them away from him.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Fruits of Our Labor

Being retired certainly doesn't mean sitting around. It's been great to be able to work together on projects that work seemed to get in the way of in the past.

Carrie's former co-worker and neighbor gave her peaches from her tree, and we didn't let one peach go to waste. Canned peaches, frozen peach jam, and peach leather were produced in record time. We have a new dehydrator that has been in constant use this summer--we've dried cherries, green peppers, bananas, apricots, and even tomatoes. Also strawberry and apricot leather. Yep, we're feeling frugal!

Family Treasure

Family photos are always a challenge--getting everyone happy at the same time, let alone getting everyone together. Since we were all gathered for our Island Park reunion, we took advantage of the rare occasion of having us all here.

This photo of the nine grandkids is classic. This happy group of seven boys and two girls is truly a keeper! (Not sure how long it will be current.....)
Updated family wall collection

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Good Times Continue

Since these two cute girls live in Indiana, we don't get to spend much time with them, so we took advantage of their time with us--even got to make cookies with Courtney which has become a tradition when we are together. Meanwhile, Camilla was doing cartwheels across the carpet. That little 8-year-old has more energy than ten gymnasts!

Island Park Reunion

For the first time in three years (and that time was for a funeral), our entire family gathered at a "cabin" in Island Park Idaho. We had four days of non-stop fun, entertainment, and sight-seeing. Having all nine grandchildren together to get re-acquainted was a treat for us old grandparents.

Carrie Michael, Darren, Curtis--some things just never change!
We win--we have the cutest grandkids ever!
Yep, crazy

Camilla, Courtney, Kevin--the girls must be catching all the fish...
Strutting their stuff waiting for Old Faithful to erupt
Wow--what a wonderful place this is

Thursday, August 27, 2009

July Update

July was action-packed! We spent the 4th of July going on the Heber Creeper with Curtis, Shandy, Dexter, Carson, and Parker. The boys were awestruck--they were riding a real train!

That evening we joined with Carrie and Sam's neighborhood for safe and sane (ha!) fireworks. Carrie put the little ones in the bed of a pickup in the driveway to keep them out of "harm's way!" Looks like Cameron has already discovered girls...

June Update

During the month of June we traveled to Idaho, to Pat's brother, Paul's, wedding and had an absolutely wonderful time with the wedding group. Then to Washington and Oregon. We were able to visit with Pat's brother, Phil, and his wife Karen. It had been almost forever since we'd been there and hadn't seen their home. They treated us to a delicious dinner. If any of you have ever had the pleasure of enjoying Karen's cooking, you'll understand. Phil has been battling cancer of one form or another for over a year now, and has the best attitude ever.

The end of June we celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary. We share our anniversary with some dear friends, Dennis and Vickey Johnson--same day/same year. Vickey passed away in March of cancer, so on our joint anniversary we took Dennis with us to one of our favorite eating places, Ruby River Steakhouse. We all missed Vickey, but Dennis was a trooper. Here is the young-looking couple...

May Update

Carl's first project after retiring was to order topsoil. Since a whole dumptruck load was the same price as a half load, well, what's a person to do? He ordered a whole load. The remaining two weeks were spent moving that topsoil a wheelbarrow load at a time until he had moved the whole load all by himself. What a guy!

Meanwhile, Pat lent moral support from her favorite deck chair!

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's Official--Carl's Retired!

May 4, 2009--Carl officially retired from Verizon Wireless. To say he is ecstatic would be an understatement! He went out as a rebel. He bought what he refers to as a "retiree shirt" to wear on the last day.

1. Here he is--not at all happy to have to go to work.

2. At his retiree party, he really was happy

3. Here is our retiree, as he comes in the door on his final work day. To quote nephew Nick, "Hoot Katoosh!!!"

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

We think it's for sure this time--spring has arrived! That means time for yard clean-up. Carl wanted a handy dandy wagon he saw at Lowe's--he had all kinds of reasons to justify the purchase. You can see from these photos that he has come full circle. Just wish we had a photo of him pulling a wagon as a little boy. There was a big construction waste container down the street so he piled all he could on his wagon and headed down the middle of the street. He was right. The wagon came in handy! Guess it will have to take the place of a pickup for us.

Proof that it's spring...

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Big 65!!

Carl turned 65 on April 23rd, and it couldn't come soon enough for him--he is sooooo ready to be done working so he can do some playing--ha! Pat has a honey-do list that is fairly lengthly.

We celebrated the big milestone on Saturday--went to breakfast at Village Inn, then steak and grilled veggies dinner with Carl as the griller (of course). Dessert was a decadent 6-layer coconut cake from Paula Deen's book (butter required of course). Pat had requested favorite Carl memories from the kids, and (with Carrie's help) put together a memory book of quotes and photos--quite a masterpiece.

Happy guy with his coconut cake--his wish as he blew out the candles was that the next 6 days of work would go by "really fast."

The happy guy with his memory book

This is how the grandkids spent part of the evening (the other part was tearing around the house having a wonderful time--only a few tears and scrapes)

The evening ended with a hot game of "The Office" trivia game--as I recall Curtis was the winner.