Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Homemaking -- Baby Food

I'm playing house at Ray and Cali's (their house is always spotless with a capital S, so I'm just making supper, snickerdoodles, and the staff of life bread) while I'm waiting for them to get home from the hospital.  Ande (who also lives in Seattle) came to help, but mostly she's just making me laugh with her funny comments.

Ande playing house with me

While we're waiting for Ray, Cali, and the baby to get home, I thought I'd share a cute, easy, and quick hospital baby gift idea:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday's Whether Report

I'll let Ray give it:

Boy.  1:40 p.m.  8 lb. 10.8 oz. 21 inches.  Cali was awesome.

My two cents:  He's absolutely wonderful.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Whether Report

Nothing yet . . .

Monday Memories – "Praise to the Man"

I don’t remember not believing that Joseph Smith had a vision where Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him.  If I believed that Abraham and Moses and Adam and Jacob could walk and talk with God, and I did, then it only made sense to me that God would continue to walk and talk with modern prophets.  Thus, I believed, and thus I believe.

I do remember the first time I heard a classmate make fun of Joseph Smith.  He called him Joe and scorned him and said his story was a hoax.  I was stunned.  Joseph Smith’s account made so much sense to me, I wondered why it didn’t make sense to him.  The boy’s words stung like sticks and stones, and it was as if someone had slammed a family member. 

One thing I appreciate about Joseph Smith’s example is that he was a hard worker and he learned quickly from his mistakes.  One thing I appreciate about Joseph Smith as a prophet is that he restored the Gospel to the earth so that the same truths that were here in Christ’s time are here again.  I love the Prophet Joseph, I know he is a prophet of God, and I am grateful to belong to the Church that he helped to re-establish.

Tonight for family night we’re watching the Joseph Smith movie.  Oh sure, I’ve seen it several times in the last six months, but that doesn’t keep me from wanting to see it tonight to honor the day the Prophet Joseph Smith sealed his testimony here on this earth.  Because he would never recount the experience he had of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appearing to him, he was eventually killed for it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Life in My World – Soaking Up What Little Time We Have Left with Ty and Michelle

1.  The Fort of forts

I’ve mentioned before that I loved to build forts as a kid.  It was my favorite summer activity.  Well, I have the fort of forts now and it’s just in time for summer.  Ty and Michelle took our water heater closet and made it into a fort craft room just for me.  It is so wonderful.  I’ve never had a private space like this.  (I don’t know if you remember, but a few months ago I cleared out the water heater closet and put a table in there and dubbed it my space for projects.  A week ago I asked Ty to cut a board for me and when he saw the set-up said, “This is pathetic.  You’re just making do.  We’re going to fix this and make it nice for you.”)   Ty and Michelle hung lots of shelves and made a desk that wraps around two walls with enough room for sewing and scrapbooking.  We puttied and painted.  It is cute and organized and it gives me that same giddy feeling as the perfect fort with mud pies on a summer morning.  I can't wait to use it.

2.  The Cedar Chest

Ty and Calvin are finishing a cedar chest for Michelle.  They pulled an all-nighter last night trying to finish it.

3.  Supper and a New Recipe

Michelle cooked a Tex-Mex supper the other night.  I loved it.  The recipe is from Michelle’s grandma, which makes it even better:

from Carole Applegate

2 lbs. ground beef, browned                 4 TBL sugar
1 onion, chopped (2 TBL dried)           2 tsp. chili powder
2 – 8 oz. cans tomato sauce                  2 tsp. oregano
3 – 6 oz. cans tomato paste                  ½ tsp. salt
48 oz. water (6 cans)                            2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. Accent                                        2 cups rice, cooked

Combine and simmer all ingredients (except rice) for 40 minutes.  Add rice.  (At this point it could be frozen for future use.)  Serve over tortilla chips (Doritos).  Top with grated cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped onions, sliced olives, sour cream, etc.

4. A T-Shirt Quilt  

Michelle made a t-shirt quilt from Ty's old t-shirts . . .  just. like. that.  She is really good with measurements and figuring things out; she also learns quickly and isn't afraid to experiment and improvise.  She whipped this out in about a day.  I was impressed.  She was impressed.  Ty was impressed.  Calvin was impressed.  It was fun working on it with her.

5.  No Baby Yet

Ray and Calvin were trying to decide which side of the cradle should face the wall and
which side should face out (or in other words, which side had the prettiest wood grain pattern).
I said, "I promise you, once a baby is in that cradle no one is going to notice the grain on the wood."
They both looked at me like I had carrots growing out my brain and said, "Men will notice the wood."

Ray and Cali’s baby still isn’t sure it wants to sleep in the cradle yet.  Maybe tomorrow.  We’re going to drive over to Seattle later today to celebrate Ty’s birthday with Ray and Cali and Joe and Ande.  Maybe the baby will change its mind and join us when we get there.  In the meantime, I am excited to see the cradle now that it is stained and oiled and has little sheets and a quilt that Cali made for it.  

And that's life in our world this week.  We're really going to miss Ty and Michelle when they leave next week.  Christmas seems so far away.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday Thinking – A Report

I’m packing my suitcase first thing tomorrow morning.  Ray and Cali’s baby has to come eventually doesn’t it?  It’s officially due tomorrow.  The doctor thought it would be here a week or more ago.  Ty is still voting for Saturday at 6:43 a.m., his birthday.  Ray would like it to come on Sunday.  My guess has already come and gone so it doesn’t matter. 

Ray calls each night with a weather report (now that I think about it, maybe he’s calling it a “whether” report).  It goes something like this:  “A bit cloudy but no chance of storm tonight.  Maybe we’ll see some thunder and lightning tomorrow.  I’ll call tomorrow with another update.”  It’s pretty funny.

Cali wrote an e-mail to my sister asking how in the world she was going to make it through childbirth.  My sister Rachel, wrote back, “I hate to be the Debbie Downer here, but ALL movies romanticize childbirth... none of them do the pain justice.  The good news is, that none of them do the high afterward justice either.  And it way beats the pain.  It's an awe inspiring moment.  Forget the baby – you feel like you've truly 'walked through the valley of death' and TRIUMPHED!  It's a rush, I tell you.  And the pain part?  Well, nobody's tough enough to willingly do it, so there is no way to fail.  It forces you (and everybody else) to carry forward, so there is no way to tell the coward from the bravest.  ...and that's very comforting to me, because I'm still not sure where I'd fall.  I love you.  You'll do great. And even if you don't, nobody will know -not even yourself, because it will happen anyway.   Love,   Aunt Rachel   

So pretty much that is what I’ve been thinking about today.  That and forts.  I’ll tell you all about my very cool fort in the morning with another whether report.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Homemaking Tip – Top Coat

To lengthen the life of your pedicure, swipe another layer of top coat on your toenails when you get home.  I’m pushing five weeks and my toenails still look like new.

(I have three bottles of nail polish in my bag and all three are the same color.  Each time I have bought a bottle I have thought, "Oh, this is such a pretty color!" and brought it home to find that it is almost exactly the same color as the other.)   

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday Teaching

This morning I taught Ty and Michelle how to make bread and then I went visiting teaching. 

Our visiting teaching lesson this month was on being self-reliant so we gave a loaf of homemade bread, referred to the story of the Little Red Hen, and read the following story of the gulls by Marion G. Romney:

the seagulls (next to Ivar's on the Seattle pier) lined up waiting for someone to feed them french fries 

“In our friendly neighbor city of St. Augustine great flocks of sea gulls are starving amid plenty. Fishing is still good, but the gulls don’t know how to fish. For generations they have depended on the shrimp fleet to toss them scraps from the nets. Now the fleet has moved. …
“The shrimpers had created a Welfare State for the … sea gulls. The big birds never bothered to learn how to fish for themselves and they never taught their children to fish. Instead they led their little ones to the shrimp nets.
“Now the sea gulls, the fine free birds that almost symbolize liberty itself, are starving to death because they gave in to the ‘something for nothing’ lure! They sacrificed their independence for a handout.
“Let’s not be gullible gulls. We … must preserve our talents of self-sufficiency, our genius for creating things for ourselves, our sense of thrift and our true love of independence.”  (Excerpt from October 1982 General Conference Address, “The Celestial Nature of Self Reliance.”)

 The friend we were visiting had picked a large dishpan full of strawberries the night before and was drying them in her fruit dryer.  Her house smelled so good and it was a fun lesson to discuss with the smell of fresh picked strawberries in the background.  There is nothing quite like feeling capable of caring for ourselves and others who need our help. 


Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Memories – Fries and Bikes

For family night we went on a bike ride along the lake. 

We parked our bikes and stopped at Woody’s Drive-In for hamburgers and fries, and then on our ride back stopped at Woody’s again for an ice cream cone.  We borrowed a couple of bikes from our neighbors (they’re about mine and Calvin's age) for Ty and Michelle. 

I laughed when I saw the soft, overstuffed, big-bottomed bike seats stacked next to each other in the back of the pick-up.  It reminded me of a plaque I used to sell at craft shows:

Age is a funny thing – Santa quits, the Easter Bunny quits, 
and lo and behold the big butt fairy finds you.

Fairy or no, bike riding with your family on a warm summer evening is grand . . . especially on a soft seat.

When we got home Ty and Michelle gave us a great lesson on faith and using our faith to bless other people's lives.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

52 Blessings – A Real Diamond

Once, we gave Cali a pair of diamond earrings for Christmas.  She’d wanted a nice pair of earrings and diamonds are nice.  Real nice.  Cali seemed pleased with them and wore them often.  She assumed they were zirconium so she wasn’t too upset when she lost one of them a few months later.  That is until she saw my face.  Then she knew they weren’t zirconium.
She cried, “Why didn’t you tell me they were real?  If I’d known they were real I’d have been really careful with them.  You never do things like buy real diamonds, how was I to know you’d buy me real diamonds?  Oh . . .  why didn’t you tell me?”

I could hardly tell her they weren’t zirconium when I assumed she knew they were diamonds.  And therein lies the two-fold diamond-earring-lesson:  It’s really hard to value something that you don’t know is valuable; and if something is valuable, you had better let people know. 

Like fathers.  Good fathers are like diamonds.  Real valuable.  They must never be taken for granted, because they make the world a much stronger, safer, happier, easier place for e.v.e.r.y.b.o.d.y.  AND, they need to be told how valuable they are.  Calvin you’re a diamond.  We want you to know how valuable you are to each one of us . . .  


One of my favorite things about Dad is how incredibly caring, thoughtful, and giving he is. Here is an example to illustrate each of my points:

1. Caring--I've always known how much Dad cares about me and his other kids (which have recently doubled). Dad has a very healing touch and presence.  He brings you Sprite, ice cubes, and crackers when you are sick and hugs you and pats your cheek when you are sad. He makes you dinner when you're home alone with him. If he hears a noise outside when it's dark, he goes outside and checks it out. He cares about his family that much. He takes good, good care of whoever he is in charge of. He cares about all of us on a very deep and personal level and works hard to make sure you know how much he cares about you.

2. Thoughtful--When I was a senior in high school I got really sick of being social with my friends so I would sit at home with my parents most weekends. Dad came up with the idea of the three of us doing something fun each weekend. We either went out to dinner, rented movies, went out to the movies--sometimes even making a whole evening of it and going to Tri-Cities, just because we could. Or sometimes Dad would bring home good treats for dinner (like fresh shrimp, taco-truck tacos, or something new to try). I loved being home alone with just Mom and Dad because Dad was so thoughtful and took such good care of me.

3. Giving--Dad is very giving. Whether it is giving up his paycheck to take care of us, giving me $100 whenever he would drive me all the way to college in the fall, helping me with chores, working in the yard and garden to make our home nice, or sharing his Diet Pepsi with me, Dad gives everything he has to love and serve others.

I love you Dad. You really are the best dad in the world.  Ande


I appreciate that Calvin leads the family with an example of service. From cedar chests, picture frames, and cradles to cooking some mean BBQ, he shows his love through charitable giving of his time and talents. Elder Ballard said, "Priesthood offices are not status symbols but opportunities for service." This, he called, the greater priesthood and leads us to living celestial lives that prepare us for the celestial kingdom. Calvin is on that road and provides this example to the family. Thank you for your service and Happy Father's Day.   Joe


Of all of Dad's attributes, the one I admire most is the important role his family plays in his life.  I have never doubted that we are the most important thing to him.  It is easy to see this in the choices he makes (i.e. always being there at every wrestling match or other sporting event, finding things he can do with each of us kids that WE enjoy, or just spending time with our whole family) and in how he acts (he loves nothing more than talking with all of us or telling us about each other).  It is easy to see that our family is truly his most prized possession.  I hope I can always make family as high of a priority as he has his whole life.  I also love all of his little quirks (like shaving his head just because he wants to).  I love Dad.  He is a great man and I truly aspire to be like him in so many ways.  He is one of my best friends (only Michelle is higher).    Ty


One reason I love and admire Calvin is that it is very apparent how important family is to him and how much he loves each member.  I have so much appreciated how welcoming he has been to me and how much he builds me up.  He makes sure I know that I'm loved, appreciated, and taken care of.  I've also enjoyed watching him in the relationships he has with each of his kids and their spouses.  I've loved seeing how much he enjoys spending time with each of us, how much he cares about the things that are going on in our lives and what matters to us, and teaching us a thing or two about life.  He still finds opportune teaching moments even with his grown children.  Calvin is a great example to me of how to put family first and to make everyone feel loved and appreciated.   Michelle


Dad is a great father for many reasons.  I couldn’t begin to list all the reasons that he’s an amazing father.  But one of my favorite things that makes him great is his support for us kids.  I always knew that he would back me up in the decisions I made.  He supported me in any activities I pursued.  I loved knowing that he would always be at my football games, and he always cheered me on when I was discouraged with how things were going on the team.  He stayed involved with West Point while I was there.  I have always known that whatever I did, he would make it important in his life and he would be supportive and involved.  He has also sacrificed so much to support our family.  He was willing to work several jobs to make sure we were taken care of.  I couldn’t have asked for a better father.  I love you, Dad.  Abe


There are so many things I love and appreciate about Dad.  Immediately he made me feel so welcome to the family.  He calls me occasionally to let me know he’s thinking of me.  We both love gas station hot dogs, and just yesterday he called me up to let me know he found a really good one, and to let me know he was thinking of me.  It was something so simple, but made me feel so good.  Living in Moses Lake for a year, I was able to see what a hard worker Dad is.  Even when he gets home from work, he jumps on the lawn mower and mows the lawn ‘til dark.  He never stops until everything around the house or at work is done.  He is an excellent worker and provider.  The thing that really stands out to me though, are the road trips Dad and I have been on together.  When Abe asked Dad to drive me back to Georgia and then later to Colorado with all our stuff, he didn't hesitate at all to say yes.  He loves to help his kids in any way possible.  Those road trips mean a lot to me, and I will always be grateful for the time I was able to spend with Dad and the bonds that we made.  Thank you for all you do, Dad!  I love you!  Grace


Cactus Cal-
Happy Father's Day. You are a great father-in-law, friend, grill buddy, shop mentor, wood master, gun sensei, coyote predator pal, garden guru, and partner in crime. You and Jayney Payney are one of the biggest perks to being married to Cali. I've learned alot from you and have always appreciated how you treat Cali and how good you are to both of us. This weekend I am grateful for the time you spent helping me get ready to be a dad, specifically that we could work together on handcrafting our baby cradle - another Follett family heirloom. They just keep getting better! Here's to another great year and being a great grandfather.   Ray


            I want you to know a few things this Father’s Day.  First, I have always appreciated that you put your family first.  I have NO idea what it feels like to not feel safe, loved, and accepted by a father.  That is not even something I can comprehend because it is so deeply a part of how you care for me.  I’ve ALWAYS known that my dad would protect me, care for me, and do everything in his power to help me succeed.  I’ve seen this exemplified by you selling possessions in order to get the money someone in our family needed.  I've watched you drop everything in order to come to one of our rescue.  I’ve been told by you, usually on a daily basis, that you’re proud of me and that you love me and that you know I can do anything.  Every challenge I’ve taken in life has been done with the assurance that you were right there behind me . . . I’ve never felt alone.
            Second, you taught me how to say I’m sorry.  That may seem like a small thing, but I’ve realized that it is often a VERY hard thing for people to say.  You taught me how to say it and when to say it and that it’s important to do so.  I’ve learned it through your teaching as well as by your example.  I’m so grateful for you and that you had the wisdom and humility to teach this; especially because I’m often wrong and seem to need it frequently.  Do you remember me sobbing the morning of my wedding?  It was because I was so scared to give you up as my primary protector and provider.  I worried that there was NO way Ray could fill your shoes adequately.  Thank you for setting my standards so high.  Thank you for being my father, in every sense of the word.
            I love you very, very much.


Dear Dad,

      From the time I was knee high to a grasshopper, I wanted to be stuck to your coat tail and just do everything you did.
      Be just like you !!!!
      I will never forget running down that dirt road, crying, chasing that feed truck down because you snuck out early.  
      My time spent with you has been too few and too far between.
      On this Fathers day, I want you to know that you have always been, and will always be my HERO!!!!
      Thank you for all you've done, and taught me over the years.
      I love you,



Calvin is such a loving and caring father to his children.  I appreciate the way he stays in contact with Trevor.  They exchange several phone calls each day.  These phone calls are not only good for Trevor, but they also keep us in touch and updated with the rest of the family.  Calvin always ends his phone calls with “tell Michelle and the girls hello”, we have always felt so welcomed and a part of your great family.
We have certainly enjoyed the times when Calvin has come to stay with us while on hunting trips, he is always so gracious and a joy to have around the house, except when he tries to barbeque the goats!  We love and appreciate all you do for us!  HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!  Michelle

Calvin playing charades

In  The Family:  a Proclamation to the World  it states that “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.”

Calvin is a great preside-r.  In family matters, every vote and voice counts. Family prayer has always been important to him and he has made sure we pray together regularly.  Often I wanted to read other books of scripture as a family, but each time we finished The Book of Mormon, Calvin would say, “Let’s start it again.  The prophet said to read it daily and that’s what we’ll do.”

Calvin is a great provider.  The kids have mentioned that he often held several jobs at a time or has sold things important to him to provide what we need.  He has never acted like providing for a family was a burden.

Calvin is a fierce protector.  I pity the man or beast that threatens the safety or well-being of Calvin’s family.  (Truly.  More than once I've said, "Now don't shoot it Calvin.")

One of the things I love about Calvin is that he enjoys the kids.  He prefers their company over any other, and often says, “I wish ______ were here.  He/She would love this.  We’re going to do this with them sometime.”

I don’t take it for granted that Calvin takes his role as a father seriously; a good father, one who tries to parent like our Heavenly Father does, is one of the greatest blessings a person can have.  I’m really grateful our kids got that blessing.  I love Calvin.  Jane

Friday, June 17, 2011

Life in My World – Quote Update

I found another one!  This morning I watched this video and found another quote to live by,

"We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, 
lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most."  
~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I've got lots of little things that matter most today:  Ty and Michelle are coming home, Ray is coming to finish building the cradle, we have a wedding celebration to attend, it's the last day of school so I'll be telling kids good-bye (and reminding them one last time "don't trade what you want most for what you want now"), and there is laundry, ironing, vacuuming, weeding the garden, and dishes to do.  What a great day to be alive . . .  and slow down . . . and be with people . . . and care for people . . . and . . . enjoy the things that matter most.

What and Who matters most on your list today?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday Thinking – That which distinguishes us from the other animals is our ability to quote. ~C. Astrid Weber

We're almost finished with school.  Almost.  Tomorrow.  

'Tis the season for signing yearbooks.  

The seniors in my high school submitted quotes (famous and otherwise) to be printed in the yearbook by which to be remembered.  Pictures of young women with bare shoulders and feathered boas or velvet drapes, and young men in tuxedo jackets with bow ties topped the page with their quotes printed underneath them.  The messages dripped with senior-ly like wisdom:
Carol’s quote was:  “Remember by finding things within yourself, only then will you be able to share them with others.”
Mark’s quote was:  “Great victories come, not through ease but by fighting valiantly and meeting hardships bravely.”
Are you ready for my quote?  I really don't want to share it (and I definitely won’t post the picture of me in the green, velvet drape), but for the sake of this post, here is my quote:  “Look out for the tongue it is in a wet place and may slip.”  That’s it.  That was my plagiarized pearl of wisdom. 

I’ve been on the lookout for a meaningful quote ever since, something (anything) better than the slippery quote.  Something like either one of these:

view from the Hubble telescope

“Faith enables persons to be persons because it lets God be God.”
~Carter Lindberg

“The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.”
~William Shakespeare, Othello

Did you put a quote under your senior picture in your high school yearbook?  
Do you still remember it?  
If you were picking a quote to put under a picture of you today, what would it say?   

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Homemaking Tip – Recipes

Here are the three recipes – candied almonds, poppyseed dressing, and cupcakes – that I promised.

Candied Almonds

Combine 3 cups of chopped nuts (Ande used whole, raw almonds because Costco was out of slivered and sliced; the extra chunkiness of the whole chopped almonds made it a great substitution) with 2 cups of sugar in a frying pan.  Heat on medium heat.  Stir constantly until the nuts are coated in the melted sugar and are brown.  Watch and stir carefully so they don’t burn.  Spread the nuts on waxed paper or a slightly greased cookie sheet to cool and dry, then break apart and store in an airtight container. 

I have loved having these nuts in the freezer the last couple of weeks.  Calvin grabs a handful every time I open the bag to sprinkle them on salads or add to cookies.  Last night I co-hosted a bridal shower and we topped chocolate and caramel sundaes with them.  They are definitely nice having in the freezer.

Poppy-seed Dressing

For Ray/Cali and Abe/Grace’s receptions, we bought the salad dressing for the spinach salads from BYU-Idaho catering.  When my sister-in-law Krista ate the dressing at Abe and Grace’s reception, she said, “I have this recipe, my friend worked at BYU-Idaho catering.  Would you like it?”  Yes, please!  It costs 1/10 to make it as it does to buy it.

¾ Tbs poppy-seeds
1/3 cup white vinegar
¾ cup oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs grated red onion*
¾ tsp salt
2 Tbs prepared mustard

Whirl all the ingredients in the blender.

* I really like chopped, fresh chives instead of the grated red onion; however you will have a green dressing instead of a yellow dressing if you use chives.

 Lindt Truffle Chocolate Cupcakes*

For being a self-proclaimed non-cook, I’ve gotten three great recipes from Jill.  (This has made me wonder if people who don’t like to cook aren’t maybe the best source for recipes as they have little tolerance for failures.)  This recipe is one of them:

1 box devils food cake*
1 box instant vanilla pudding (small box)
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup sour cream
Milk chocolate Lindor truffles by Lindt ~ approximately 24

  1. Unwrap milk chocolate Lindt truffles and place in a bowl for use later.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffins tins.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, oil, and water.
  4. Sift in cake mix and mix well.
  5. Stir in sour cream.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.
  7. Bake at 350 for five minutes.  After five minutes, lightly press a Lindt truffle into each partially baked cupcake.
  8. Bake the cupcakes an additional 13 minutes (total of 18 minutes).
  9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place hot cupcakes directly into airtight containers so as to seal in the moisture.
  10. Frost with cream cheese frosting. 
* We also made lemon cupcakes with a lemon cake mix and added white chocolate truffles – in a word (a very long word), “Yuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.”

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter
8 ounces cream cheese
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese.  Add salt, vanilla, and powdered sugar.  Mix well.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

exoTic Tuesday

Yesterday Dan barked at the ditch bank for four hours straight.  Curiosity is not a talent of mine so I never went to see exactly what he was barking at, just called out through the open window every hour or so, “Hey Dan.  What’s bugging you?”  

Curiosity is a talent of Calvin’s so the minute he came home he went to see why Dan was so excited.  Then he called out, “Hey Jane!  I found it.  Come see.”  He wouldn’t tell me what it was, but did say I’d want the camera.

This.  This is what had Dan and Calvin so excited.

A baby owl had fallen from the tree and couldn’t get enough air under him to get back up into it. 

And if you think that shot is a close-up.  Look at this one:

And if you think we were awful close to the owl in that shot, then look at these two:

Our very own Hedwig. 

His eyes were like marbles, or egg yolks, or puddles of yellow paint, or vats of lemon pudding.  And those big eyes stayed open for a very long time, but when he finally blinked he could either close both eyes together or just one and then the other – in rapid succession like playing staccatos on a keyboard, first with your left hand then with your right, then back to your left.  

Even though he is huge, you can see he still has lots of down and is too immature to fly.  (Can you see the two little sprigs where his "horns" are starting to grow?)

There was no way he was going to get enough momentum to get back up in the tree to his parents with all that fluff, so Calvin personally delivered him.  (Did you know Calvin's dad was a postman?)

It was incredible.  Good thing I live with Calvin, because . . . “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”  ~Walt Disney    

p.s.  And a Happy Flag Day to you.  Can you find our flag in one of the pictures?   

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Memories – Church

Last week we received a “Come Celebrate 50 years” invitation for the ward (church unit) where I was raised.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Hollister, Idaho ward first began as a home Sunday school in our neighbor’s living room.  As the numbers grew, we moved to the old bank building where we were organized into a branch, and then finally we built a small church.  I remember taking food to the men as they built the meetinghouse.  It was great fun to play among the construction while they rested and ate.  Eventually our branch was formed into the ward that it is still today.  Besides gaining a wonderful spiritual foundation, I have many, many fond memories of that ward and the people in it.  (Like the time we had a primary meeting at one lady’s house and she gave all us kids candy cigarettes for our treat.  Oh ho, the paradox of that scenario still makes me chuckle a bit.)

Since I was born 49 years ago, I’m not in this picture, but I recognize many of the people in it.  My brother Davy is on the front row, third from the right.  My sister Lila is on the second row fifth from the right.  My sister Chris is on the second row, third from the left.  My sister Marcia is in the third row and sitting on the lap of the person on the far left.  My mom is on the back row on the far right and holding my sister Lynn.  My dad is on the back row on the far left and Grandpa Hoops is on the back row third from the left with Grandma Hoops standing next to him.  I looked and looked for my brother Tim, who would have been a baby in the picture.  I checked all the people in the family to see who was holding him, but no Tim.  I wondered if maybe he was asleep in some corner of the house and missed the shot.  Nope.  I finally found him on the second to the last row, second and a half person from the left.  But, for the life of me I don’t know who the man is that he’s propped up against.  My sister said, “Oh, I clearly remember the day this picture was taken.  Tim had a stinky diaper and nobody wanted to hold him so they made Grandpa.  Grandpa wasn’t very happy about it so he held him as far away from him as he could.”  Well.  That solves that.  And from the sober look on half the faces in the congregation it looks like the diaper bothered them too.  (Or maybe it was  the candy cigarettes scandal.)       

What is a fond memory you have of your childhood church?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

52 Blessings – Family that Cooperates

I don't take it for granted that the kids are willing to play along with 11 on 11.  I don't take it for granted that they only give me a moderately hard time on some of my ideas.  I don't take it for granted that they are cooperative.  No sir.  I recognize their cooperation as a great blessing and I'm thankful for it.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

11 on 11 of June '11

1. Ray  I like 11s, I like Alaska, I like Redsox (especially lucky Redsox hats that have been baptized in the Charles River and christened with fish blood), I like big fish, and I like to catch big fish. I also like to come home to my little pregnant wife and smooch.   The best days are when you get all this within 24 hours. It must have been the eleventh again - a great day!!

2. Cali  Today I was preoccupied with this abdomen.  It spent part of the day contracting.  I told it to "be still" because I'm not quite ready for a baby yet.  Ray needs to get back from Alaska .  I need to finish the baby quilt.  We need to finish remodeling the basement.  Ray needs to finish up some stuff at work.  I need to go BIG grocery shopping.  We need to at least talk about what to name it.  Happy 11 on 11.

3 & 4. Abe  Dancing at friends, Ryan and Emily's, wedding.

5.  Grace  Did Emily's hair for their wedding this morning.

6. Ty  Enjoying not having to say "goodnight" any more.  (Actually Ty is pestering Michelle who just woke up from a nap.)

7. Michelle  Playing a game we borrowed from Ande and Joe. 

8. Joe  Costco. They get you every time!

9. Ande  Joe gave me a bucket full of peonies from the wholesale florist. A bucket full!!!

10. Calvin  Weeding the potatoes.

11. Jane  Life doesn't get much better.