Saturday, February 20, 2010

Life in My World--Kid Ketch-up

I asked each of the kids to send me a picture that I could post. They hadn’t taken many pictures recently and so this post doesn’t include all of the kids. Please use your imagination and fill in the ones that are on the other ends of the cameras:


Ray taught Cali to snowboard this winter and she got the bruises to prove she learned.

Last weekend Calvin and I went to Seattle to help Ray and Cali with a few projects. They have spent all fall remodeling their home (painting, tiling, restoring wood floors, building a new bar, adding crown molding, etc.) and were ready to take on the project of tearing out the existing, but inefficient, shelves in their food storage room. Ray demolished them, Calvin helped, Cali and I stacked the wood and then we replaced the shelving and organized the room.

The room has so many Ray and Cali characteristics. It is organized, colorful, and thorough. Cali and I had just about finished putting everything on the shelves when she said, “This bugs me. All the baking supplies need to be together not separate.” And so we reorganized and restacked and put the baking powder, corn syrup, soda, sugar, flour, brown sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla, corn starch, sweetened condensed milk, marshmallows (oh, the marshmallows and when I teased her about the number of bags she said, “What can I say? I like rice krispie treats”), evaporated milk, yeast, cake and brownie mixes, and non-stick cooking spray all together. I just love Cali’s sense of order, though when she was a child and skewed socks sent her into mini-meltdowns I wasn’t sure I would ever appreciate it. However, I sure do now.

Calvin and Ray also finished a couple of other projects like putting together their dining room set. If we heard “The women might not find us handsome, but they sure find us handy” once, we heard it a dozen times.

Ray travels extensively with his job, while Cali is tethered to Seattle with hers. So once in awhile when Ray is gone for a long time, Cali will come over for a few days between her shifts. Or, if Ray is working on this side of the state and it is between Cali’s shifts, they’ll come over for a few days. It’s always fun to have them. They are a fun couple to be with and to do things with.


Abe and Grace moved from Fort Knox to Colorado this week. Abe finished his BOLC III training and is preparing to deploy next month. When he deploys Grace will move home to Washington and live with Calvin and me. Though we dread Abe and Grace being apart, we are excited to have Grace here with us, and are very grateful that Abe has been trained well to do his assignments.

While driving from Kentucky to Colorado, Abe and Grace took a detour and went to stay with my sister, Rachel, and her family in Oklahoma for a few days. Abe loves board games and there were plenty of cousins to play with him. The kids took Abe and Grace on a hike around their property and Abe said, “I’m kind of jealous those kids have a place like that to explore.” With ponds, creeks, hills, trees, it is a kid’s paradise.

Long before Cali and Abe were married, I told our kids that they ought to take a week-long internship at the Ellsworth’s before they had a family. Abe and Grace agreed after they’d been there. They really enjoyed their time with the Ellsworth family.

Now Abe and Grace are at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, the same town where Ty is. Last year when choosing assignments, Abe chose to post in CS so that he could be close to Ty. Due to college and missions they’ve been apart for six years and, though Abe will deploy soon and Ty will be nearly finished with the Academy when Abe returns, they are glad to have any time and are spending as much as they can together. Today the three of them are going to Brian Regan. They’ve already been out to eat a couple of times since Abe and Grace arrived on Tuesday. Abe and Grace said they enjoyed Kentucky but are glad to be in Colorado. We’re excited to go down and see them in the next month or so.


Ty invited my nephew, Cache Ellsworth, to participate in the shadow-a-cadet program at the academy a few weeks ago. He invited him to come while President Dieter F. Uchtdorf was there spending a couple of days with the cadets. Ty and Cache both agreed it was an incredible experience and were grateful to be a part.

Ty joined the LDS Cadet Choir. Though that sentence is only six words long, it speaks volumes for Ty does not care much for music, nor sing well (the choir director told him it was okay to mouth the notes if he couldn’t hit them). However, what Ty does not have in musical talent he makes up for in perseverance. The choir sang at a meeting with President Uchtdorf and he told them, “You look so good.” They laughed at his choice of words.

The choir spent last weekend in Utah performing at a veteran’s facility, the Assembly Hall on Temple Square, and at a fireside. Ty said one of the best parts was seeing the veterans tap their feet and sing along with them at the veteran’s facility. After they sang, the cadets visited with the veterans. Ty spoke with one who couldn’t remember his name or when or where he served, but was so happy to have company. Another veteran he visited with was a chorus girl in Singing in the Rain and he supposed a nurse during the war. Ty said she, too, was so grateful they came. Ty was humbled by their humilty. What Ty might not have in choral talent, he has in making people feel important and good about themselves.

Cali, Ty, and Ande have spent the past week in a flurry of giving/receiving advice. Yesterday when I heard this story about Einstein, it reminded me of their recent interaction: Einstein loved his sister Elsa dearly, who had some of his physical characteristics—nose and wild, silver hair. Elsa loved him equally. Elsa was a strict vegetarian, but loved hotdogs. Einstein kindly convinced her hot dogs were made of vegetables so that she could continue eating them. We miss Ty and look forward to seeing him next month, too.


Ande decided a few months ago that she needed to branch out. One of her plans was to expose herself to new vegetables. She started with eggplant and artichokes, something she’d never before eaten. After seeing her gnaw on an artichoke spine someone suggested she cook it.

Ande also attempted cross-country skiing for the first time a few weeks ago and found it enjoyable. She does not like to be cold, nor does she like to paddle a canoe. Cross country skiing is cold and like paddling a canoe with your legs, but the combination worked for Ande.

I think one of her greatest accomplishments this month was getting her apartment manager to cooperate with her. Ande’s apartment was without internet, heat or hot water for eight days while the temperatures were sub zero. After trying repeatedly to get the issue resolved, Ande finally explained to the office manager that she needed a refund for the days those services were not available. She wasn’t passive. She wasn’t aggressive. She was assertive. Soon her apartment had heat and hot water, and when she was informed that she would indeed receive the requested refund, Ande got one for all of her roommates, too.

Ande spent last weekend with a friend in Boise, Idaho. Because Ande’s car has nearly 300,000 miles, Calvin told her she had to drive the long route that is speckled with cities in case she broke down. She borrowed a GPS and then not only made it to Boise, but made it back without incident. She had a wonderful time . . . and tried new vegetables. Long live the old blue car . . . and vegetables.

Ande is busy trying to figure out summer employment, a fall class schedule that will allow her to graduate in December, and a budget to include “grown-up things like a car.” She sees an end in sight and is excited. We're proud of her. She's a funny one and I love to hear her laugh on the phone. It will be fun to have her and Grace home for the summer.


michelle said...

This was so fun, Jane!

I can't believe how much work Ray & Cali have done on their home. I too would be oh so pleased with her food storage organization. I dream of having all of those things in storage...

You and Cali are lucky to have such handy guys around!

I feel sad that Grace will be without Abe, but so happy that she feels comfortable enough with you to spend the waiting time at your place.

I'm cracking up over Pres. Uchtdorf saying that the singing cadets looked good!

I sincerely hope that someday Lucas and Eva decide to try some new vegetables.

Cassidy said...

I'm quite fond of your kids too!

Cali said...


Please write more. I want to hear what else you have to say about us all.


Deanna/Mimi said...

Life in your world is WONDERFUL!!! What a fantastic, beautiful family you have. One of the greatest blessings we can have is seeing our children live what they were taught and then pass it down to their children. You are on your way to even greater blessings...enjoy every moment.

Kim Sue said...

:o) fun to catch up with your kiddos! And I have to agree taht it is fun to have handy guys. My Dad is very handy and I am very lucky to have fallen in love with one too!

Ande Payne said...

Hey thanks Mamma. I learned lots of new things. Thanks for sharing! I love you. Parentals Ketchup some day?

deidra said...

Men and their Red Green quoting!

Chris sang in a choir Craig Jessop conducted. Bro./Dr. Jessop obsessed over what they wore and how they looked. He said people hear first with their eyes-- so they must have sounded good, too!

Barb said...

I loved the kid update. They have so much going on and are pursuing such engaging lives.
Jaclyn has all Brian Regan clips on youtube memorized, she is a big fan. I'm immediately googling his dates and cities just in case.

Becky said...

Such a fun post! Your kids sound like the greatest people :)

Rachel said...

This was almost better than an email. It must have been the pictures.

Lyle and Mary: said...

Love catching up on your blog and kiddo's. I'm glad all is great with the Payne clan.