Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Only One Person Calls Me Baby

I answered the phone this morning and a soft, unfamiliar male voice on the other end said, "Hi. How ya doin', baby?" 

I was confused. In a split second, several thoughts ran through my mind. Who is this? Why is he calling me baby? Is this a prank? Should I hang up? And then a realization, Wait, only one person calls me baby... 

Immediately I was filled with relief as I enthusiastically said, "Oh hi, dad! How are you?"

You see, my dad suffered a small stroke on Sunday evening. It looks like he should make a full recovery, but he still has some facial droop and slurred speech. It's getting a little bit better each day, according to the updates I've gotten this week from my mom and my brother. 

Today was the first time since the stroke that I've spoken with my dad. I wasn't expecting his voice on the line when I answered, but I can't tell you how happy it made me! I was pleased to find that it was easy to understand him. He just sounds a little different is all. 

I'm just happy he's still around to call me baby. :) 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It Must Be Fall

I love it when people have a sense of humor. Happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Standing Guard

A source of great entertainment for the past couple of weeks has been our mostly-dead Japanese maple tree. For whatever reason, it has less than 1/3 of its leaves. This, however, has turned out to be a good thing. With the branches exposed, it provides perfect viewing of our hummingbirds. Make that hummingbird, singular.

We have one very territorial hummingbird who thinks he owns the feeder. He (she?) stands guard in the branches just above and swoops down to attack any other hummingbird who wants to eat. He won't let another hummingbird even sit in "his" tree. The other day, I saw him scare off a finch who tried to land in the branches.

Don't worry, we have another feeder just a few yards away and Mr. Bossy doesn't seem to care about that one so at least the other hummingbirds - there are at least three of them - can eat.

I guess I can't really be sure these are all the same bird, but if not, there are several who think they own the place.

Do hummingbirds have eyelashes? It looks like it in this photo!

Either he's dancing or shaking off the rain. ;) (I'm not sure why the funky coloring on this one.)

He looks pretty regal, don't you think?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

It's Gonna Be Okay

No matter what you've been through...

(Gotta love the Piano Guys!! ;)

Monday, September 19, 2016

In My Own Backyard

I don't know why cool bugs and spiderwebs make me smile, but they do so there you go. Here are a few fun nature sightings from my yard in the past week.

A katydid on my front porch

This guy was perched on the side of my car this morning.

This little moth was 1/2" across, if that. The next picture shows his beautiful detail.

I really need to spend more time outside!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Beautiful Inside and Out

Savannah is celebrating her nineteenth birthday today and what a great nineteen years it's been! She has had one big adventure after another, living life to the fullest. Each day is either her best day ever or her worst.

This past year has had oh-so-many bests, but I'm pretty sure she has had her lowest lows this year as well. With each one she's learned valuable lessons. She's more resilient than anyone I know. Never one to hold a grudge, Savannah picks herself up and keeps moving forward no matter the trial or setback.

I'm anxious to see what this next year holds for her. She's working toward some big goals and opportunities. It's exciting to see her embrace each challenge and work toward her dreams.

Happy birthday, Savannah! I hope 19 is your best year so far!


And just to keep it real...

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Season Opener

In true BYU fashion, BYU won their football season opener against Arizona with four seconds to spare. The final score was 18-16. Not a high-scoring game by any means, but we won and that's what matters. With a new head coach this year, this win was important to get us off on the right foot.

Of course, the game against our biggest rival this coming weekend will be pretty telling as well. The University of Utah has a five-game winning streak against us so a win against them would be awesome!


My favorite part of the game last night was that Sam was there!! Just over a month after returning home from his mission, he was back in his beloved Arizona. He loved being there. He told me he felt like he was home.

Sam with some members from his last area in Mesa

Sam drove down to Arizona with my brother, Rob. They stopped to pick up my dad for his very first BYU football game on their way down. Rob and I are the only ones in my family of 7 kids who attended BYU. My parents never chose sides (even though they went to the U), and sports weren't that important to them. But I'm happy that my dad finally made it to a game. It was a good one!

Let's hope this is the start of a great season!! Go Cougars! :)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Go the Distance

Happy September! I think a new Vocal Point video is a great way to start the month. This is a good one. (Savannah was bawling!!)

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Goodbye Again

I was out of town all last week dropping Sam off at BYU for his next big adventure.

It was bittersweet.

Sam was home for less than five weeks. It hardly seemed long enough, but in the end it was time. He was ready for this next step so it was hard not to be excited for him.

Sam got to meet his cousin, Lane, who was born shortly after Sam left on his mission. Lane was a little shy at first, but by the end he loved Sam and happily posed for this pic.

Sam and I got him all moved in at BYU and met some of his roommates. They have an awesome apartment with six brand new returned missionaries. They've all hit it off and are in for a great year.

You can see the dorms where Sam lives through the trees.

Freshman Orientation was filled with fun activities, tours, food, dances, games, and new friends.

Here's Sam, already on the Jumbotron at the stadium.

Not a great angle from where I was sitting, but here's the Freshman class in their Y formation.

It was a beautiful evening at the stadium with performances by Vocal Point, the Cougarettes, the Marching Band, and a pep talk by Coach Sitaki, among other entertainment. Plenty of fun! 

Classes start tomorrow! We're so excited for Sam as he embarks on this chapter.

Life is good!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Nauvoo and Vocal Point

One of the highlights of our week at the lake house was an afternoon and evening in Nauvoo (August 2). It worked out well because it was a rainy day so we couldn't be out on the water anyway. 

We started out at the Visitors' Center where we walked around the beautiful grounds. The kids had fun posing like several of the statues. (The first one cracks me up...)

We were lucky enough to be there for a showing of "The Promise" which is a short musical put on by the young performing church-service missionaries who come to Nauvoo for the summer. It was excellent! Afterward, we got to meet some of the cast and one of them, Elder DeWitt, was from Mesa which made our newbie RM pretty happy! :)

Following the performance, Jeff took the older kids to the Nauvoo temple. They had a great experience there while Sadie and I drove around and visited some of the historical sites.

Sadie found out at the Pioneer Pastimes Center that stilt walking is a lot harder than it looks...

Once we were reunited with the rest of the family, we drove across the river to Fort Madison, Iowa for some dinner then right back to Nauvoo for the highlight of our day -- BYU Vocal Point!! We were so excited when we realized that our lake house trip coincided with Vocal Point's Nauvoo tour. We are huge fans!

Waiting for the concert to start

Vocal Point sang several songs we know and love plus a couple we hadn't heard before. My two favorite songs of the night were "Nearer My God to Thee," and "Newsies Medley." Ah, I love those!! The concert was so, so good!! One of the kids' favorite parts was when Matt, the beatboxer, showed off his skills. It was very cool!  Another favorite part was meeting the group after the performance. They are just all around nice guys who put on a pretty great show!

Sam with Spencer. Spencer also served a mission in Mesa.

Jordan is Soren's favorite member of the group!

Spencer with Spencer!

Matt, the amazing beatboxer! 
It was an all-around great day in Nauvoo. :)