The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion

The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion
These kids know how to have fun!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Patio: Before and After

We spent 20 or so years of wishing our outdoor entertaining area was not only more attractive, but less dangerous,  Finally we went ahead this year and hired Dave Moore, a friend of Rob's, to do phase #1 of the rennovation.

We had done several improvements in the past.  When we moved to this house in 1973 there were two big elm trees in the back yard. We debarked them, so we could get rid of  the source of all the little seedlings they send out in the garden and flower beds.  Ringing or debarking kills the food source to trees, and eventually they die. This picture also shows a wire fence around the little Maple tree which Pete and Charlotte Black had planted shortly before we bought this home from them.  It is now a large tree.

There was also a big elm tree on the north side that we debarked as well.  On the north was a larger maple tree which the Blacks had also planted.  The south lawn was planted in grass.   I can remember having a sleep out on the south side with the kids a couple of times, and facing TV to the window and opening the panes, so we could watch a movie outside. 
One Sunday before we took the elm trees out, Aaron was sick and had stayed home.  He was probably 7 or 8 at the time and a big wind storm came in and blew the tree over; fortunately it blew into the closeline and not the house.  We were so thankful that it didn't break the window or hurt Aaron in some way.  It was scary enough for him as it was.

At one time Steve built a three- tiered strawberry bed about where the pond is now, but it was too shady for the plants to do well.

About 1983 there was a flash flood which washed away the wooden decking out at a marina UNDC was building, and Silvia Stubbs and I went down to the UNDC lumberyard and bought some of the plankings which you can see in the picture above.   We used these as  "temporary" sidewalks and part of the patio on the south side, and so it remained until this year. 
    Rob helped me put the flagstone the fall of 2000 prior to Autumn's wedding.  Steve put the fishpond in about 2003 before Andrew's reception.
Here is what the patio looked like prior to its face lift the summer or 2011.  Pretty hodgepodge.

 A few years ago, Steve and I added sand to paint, hoping to create a stucco texture to the west wall of the garage.  It looked great for about 2 years, but then it started to flake off as you can see in the picture above.  In this year's refurbishing of the patio we also added siding to the garage.

During the two weeks I was in Northern Utah helping the kids, Dave and Virgil Steve did most of the concrete and siding work.  Here is what it's like now.

Where once we had wooden walkways we now have a nice red stamped cement sidewalk, which wraps around the corner.

I plan on painting the rest of the back porch cement on the west, to match the side walk.  But that may not happen until next spring.  They also took out and then repoured the section of the side walk that was jutting up on the south; it had been such a hazzard.

This is how the cement looks now in the patio.  As you can see in the picture, they also poured a nice wall on the south where the grill will go.   The empty space on the garage wall is for a painting which Steve will do.  We're still looking for the perfect scene for him to paint, so if you find a good one, let us know!

The garage looks lots better now, though was taken before the flashing went up on the eaves.  We don't have a new window in yet.

                                                     Looking west on the Patio.
Our other project this summer included a tiled entry way. We bought the time last December in Farmington, but evidently that the guy who helped us at Home Depot in Dec. didn't compute enough tile for the pattern I wanted.  I tried, several plan "B" patterns in the process of trying to make what we had work, but I didn't like any of them.

In July when Anthony and Ashley made a quick visit, we made a flying trip to Corez to try and find some matching tile.  At House of Carpets we found lots of free tile in their boneyard, and hauled home about 25 pieces.  I did end up using some of them, but the light colors didn't match, so Steve and I made a 2nd trip to Cortez in September, and got a totally different center color, which he liked better.  It had more red in it. 

Next I got my free tile pieces out and kept moving the them around, and experimenting until, I was able to come up with  a Navajo type design, which Virgil was able to replicate.

I think Virgil Steve did an excellent job on it. I'm so happy with the design and color.  The center blue tiles were the ones we found in Cortez on the first trip.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thoughts and reflections on Women's Conference 2011

Starting with the Women's Gen. Broadcast the week before General Conference, I tried something different and used my laptop to take notes while I listened.  I felt I was much more engaged, and gleaned some things useful in my own life, and ideas for our extended family as well.  I've always taken notes in the past, but my penmanship is so bad now, I can hardly read it.  Too many years typing on the computer!

Women's Broadcast:  I especially appreciated Pres. Uchtdorf's talk:
Pres. Uchtdorf: In garden, noticed little flower a forget-me-not. Analogy –using it to teach us what not to forget:

1. Forget not to be patient with yourself –Those you think are perfect , are not! Some expectations are impossible to be met… Enjoy your successes, don’t punish self. Be thankful for small success in your home, church callings,

2. Forget not the difference between good sacrifices, and poor sacrifices; dedicating time for lesson is good, -- hand stitching the scripture on a potholder is foolish, time and energy should be spent on things that matter most.

3. Forget not to be happy now. Charlie & the Chocolate factory: Willie Wonka hit message in chocolates. Yearning to find the “golden ticket.” The candy bar itself, can still be enjoyed, even without the golden ticket--key to happiness. Seek after things that are lovely, good report and praiseworthy. Don’t keep looking for glorious roses, and miss the simple elegance of forget-me-nots. While in pursuit of goals, enjoy beauty and joy in each day

4. Forget not the Why of the gospel: Duties that “must” be done vs. following Christ along the path, a light, a pathway, which illuminates the way: The majesty and power of the gospel is the “Why” we committed to as a foundational part of our lives, and then life is no longer a burden; cast our eyes not on ground, but enjoy the beauty of each day.. Find the joy of the Why. The what and how, marks the way, but the Why of obedience, sanctifies our actions. Magnifies small acts of obedience into concecration

5. Forget not that the Lord loves you. You are not forgotten. No matter how overshadowed you may be fears or worries..He loves you with an infinite love. You are loved by the King, you are daughters of his kingdom. “He made man a little lower than the angels..” He loves you sisters, because you are his children. Allow his love into your life, it can heal any heart, soften any sorrow. You are closer than to heaven than you suppose. Treasure the gift of service, strengthen homes and family. Notice the little things that can bring you joy. Don’t wait for a golden ticket, to be happy.

 Julie Beck’s talk

Told of the valiant women of pioneer times who helped in every way possible when others were destitute…[My own gg grandfather Henderson was one of several young men in need in the winter of 1851 when he first came to the Salt Lake Valley.  John Taylor's wife took care of 18 young men. Often she sent them out to hunt and they came back with badgers or crows… It was a long, cold winter, yet she did the best she could.]  Here is the entry:
[From Heart Throbs of the West, Vol 12: Robert finally located in the home of Brother John Taylor. Here with eighteen other young men, he remained the greater part of the winter. He tells how it was for Sister Taylor to secure enough food to supply the healthy appetites of the nineteen rugged young men who were just becoming accustomed to Utah’s high climate. Each boy would try to secure something to eat during the day. Perchance one would bring home a big, black crow, a badger or something that could be eaten. All hands took part in helping to dress and prepare what came. Sister Taylor was a very capable cook. All conditions considered, it was a very well spent winter; for here he attended his first conference in Zion and eagerly assimilated the wonderful instructions given by the church leaders. ]

Sometimes I think we are really sacrificing to feed and entertain 8-12 young singles a couple of times each month.  But Sister Taylor had 19 young singles every day to feed during one whole winter!

She quoted Pres. Monson: Pres. Monson “strive with faith to fulfill—spirit of the law, achieve the miraculous.  Sis. Beck added: I hope my granddaughters will accomplish miracles…that will be recognized by the Lord.  I am sure our granddaughters have that capability too, and I'm so thankful their parents are following the Proclamation on the Family, and teaching all their children to walk in God's ways.

New Relief Society book aligns in unity worldwide sisters of the gospel: who we are, what we’ll do, what we’ll defend…inspiring examples.  We can lead the sisters of the world. Apply principles and patterns of Relief Society.

Sister Allred: Spoke of the establishment of RS in Nauvoo—Apostle Paul, “Greatest of all gifts is Charity"" Vaunted not itself, rejoiceth in truth. These principles have been endorsed throughout world

Pure love of Christ (love as Christ would) List traits, which do I need to work on?
Charity a state of the heart. Charity refines those who practice it…prepares us for the Celestial kingdom…What qualities will help us? Prayer, goodly love, read scriptures daily

Feed my sheep..those in need; compassion for the hungry, sick, Wear the mantle of charity—patience with those letting us down, accepting shortcomings.. Willing to serve when it is not convenient; don’t have to be assigned, it becomes part of our very nature;

Visiting teaching designed to: love, minister, serve others: (What can I do to help ___________?)

Examples: took sister to hospital often, tended child; another taught a sister to read; Chairity is Kind, seeketh not her own…Makes our own difficulties seem less difficult.. “Angles cannot be restrained from being your associates” Small acts of charity have a healing power in lives of others, and in our own lives.
She invited sisters to plea for a desire to be filled with charity..including in "your own family."

Barbara Thomas:

Cleave unto the covenants we have made with the Savior.. She told of cleaning out parents' house, reading their patriarchal blessings. Sisters can find great joy in keeping covenants—examples in new RS book. Baptism covenants: bear one another burdens, mourn with others,
Sisters in Nauvoo anticipated how the temple would bring them out of darkness into the light. We covenant to do and be good. Joy and protection come to those who do this.

Ammon—instruments bringing many others to Christ. “My joy is full.” Even in the face of trials. Couple in Ukraine going to Frieburg temple. 26 hr. ride each way.

When people sift through our belongings will they have a witness of how we kept our covenants? Joy, comfort, peace, protection, help in times of trial..

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

September Trip to SLC--Began and ended with a Bang

Sidney, Mike and Caroline Christensen--my chauffeurs
Back in the long ago past when I needed a ride up north, and Dad couldn't go, I'd call KUTA and have them announce I was looking for a ride--and I was always successful, even finding a ride to Idaho a couple of times.  Nowadays, it's e-mail and Facebook that I use to hitch a ride, and still find Blanding people so kind and accommodating. 

I traveled with the Christensen's this time, and it turned into a 12 hr. ride, starting with a serious blowout on Soldier Summit.  Luckily, Mike controlled the car well, and we had room to park on the side, with a good view to the very steep slope and canyon below.  We felt very blessed and protected, though inconvenienced.  Unluckily, the spare was flat too.  Luckily someone stopped and took him down to Helper.  Unluckily the canned gas he bought to inflate the spare was defective.  Luckily, there was enough air supply to allow us to limp along, back to Price, where they ended up buying four new tires.  It was 9 PM by the time we got to Tooele, and Nathan's home.

After a quick crash course on Brendan and Laurie's schedules, eating patterns, homework, house rules, and gizmo-gadget instructions, I was ready to start a very fun week of tending.  I walked the kids to school each morning, and also walked them home--not that they needed it, but I wanted to keep on target with my own exercise, and encourage theirs as well.  I droveTammy to the airport, and learned the idiosycrancies about their van that morning. Drove up to Autumn's before heading home and helped her a bit on kitchen patrol.  Also got some shopping done before I headed back to Tooele.  Found some great bargains at the new grocery store in Stansbury Park.   Cream of chicken for .59 a can--so got several cases, as well as other food storage items.

That night the kids and I did a major cup-cake decorating project to help Autumn with the bake sale part of the Cub Scout fundraiser Friday.  We had a lot of fun creating weird  Halloween Ghouls.  Shown here: the kids celebrate their accomplishment.  We saved about 10 or so for next week when Grandpa and their parents returned. 

The next day I started my history project for my brother Clinton.  I want him to be remembered as more than a birth and a death date. So decided I needed to do something about it.  Over the week, I got all of Dad's letters to him scanned, and about 3 months of Clint's mission letters typed up.
We all packed the night before, for our "sleepover" trip Friday night at Autumns.  I picked the kids up right after school, and we got there in time to help cleanup the "creative cake studio" that had been going on all day at the Jeppsons.   All of the cousins had fun playing together, and talking instead of sleeping!
These are Autumn's two cakes which were prize winners; they brought in over $50 for the Cubs.

We all had a lot of fun at the Cake Auction, and I donated about $50 to the ward, to feed our sugar addictions.  The cake on the left is a delicious cheese cake I won, and the Sunflower cake was bought by Theron.  We became well acquainted with Misha (girl in red shirt on the left) who was baptized the next morning.  Autumn had fellowshipped her for several months, first inviting her to go to Girls Camp this summer.  Then inviting her to church, and then to hear the missionary lessons.

 We hadn't planned to go to the baptism, so hadn't brought clothes, so after the auction we made a flying trip to Kohls bargain racks at 9 PM to find something for all 3 of us to wear.  So Brendan got an early birthday present.
The next day we went to Misha's baptism, and helped Autumn get the refreshments ready. Theron left Friday for a Mountain Bike race down south.  He took 1st place.  The baptism was really nice, and her relatives from Idaho came down for it, as well as her parents.  We hope she will be an influence for reactivation of many people in her family. 

We had an hour or so, to wind down and let Hinckley take a nap before we began the next Sat. activity at Gardner Village.  We met Andrew and Amy's family there and had a great time, as we pursued a gaggle of hags dressed as witches.  They were scattered all over the Village, so it was pretty fun and a beautiful day.
Once the kids had identified a dozen or so specific witches, on their scavenger sheet, they got a bargain cookie at the bakery. 

 There were many, many photo ops during the day and the kids had a lot of fun I think.

We finally got back to Tooele about 6 PM.  After getting things put away, some supper and the kids to bed, I watched the General RS Women's conference, which Tammy had set to record.  It was really the end to a perfect day. 

Sun. -Tues. were pretty calm days.  I worked on my brother's project, visited most of the intriquing stores in Tooele, got a pedicure,  and we  played games each evening.  I finally beat the kids on Wii bowling.  The kids are very good to settle right down after school and do their homework and reading.  We had a good time together. 

Both Nathan and Tamara flew home on Wed. after having spent a great week together in Washington DC.  Dad also drove up on Wed.  Thursday we drove to Kaysville and stayed with the Andrew and Amy. Steve even got to eat hot lunch with Madison and enjoyed it very much.  I spent most of the day making a wide variety of peace jams: (orange, jalepeno, raspberry mix) and eating as many of the fresh peaches as I could.
    On Friday we did a little shopping for the B-B-que Sat., then went to Autumn's.   Steve stayed and played with the kids, while I met my BYU college roomates at the Cheesefactory for a great lunch visit.  We roomed together my Senior year.  Judy (next to me) just got back from Greece in June and lives in Fruit Heights. Ann lives in Payson, and Marsha lives in So. Jordan -- I think.

I rushed home, and the got ready for our mission reunion which was held at the U of U Institute building.
Friday Sept. 20 we attended our mission reunion and saw quite a few of senior couples that we met on our mission. On the way back to Autumn's we listened to the last three minutes of BYU- USU football game which was a pretty exciting comeback for the Y.

Jessica and Paul Ziel's family came down from Idaho and stayed with Autumn as well. They went to a reunion of his law school class, and also went to the game. Autumn watched Audrey for them. We had a good time catching up on their lives.  Though we were saddened to learn of the sad death of our cousin, Darrell Marley on Sept. 27.  He was 51.

Nathan and Tamara and kids came in for the delicious rib BBQue that Steve fixed, Everyone brought something delicious and we had a fun time visiting, and the kids played.  Nathan and Steve went to the Priesthood session, and the Ziels headed back to Idaho.

Saturday we all listened to all sessions of conference. This time I typed my notes onto my lap top which helped me focus, and usually stay awake!   On the other hand, the kids had all kinds of fun things to keep them awake:  Shown here: Peyton, Matthew, Brendan, Laurie, Hunter, Isaac, and Hinckley and Audrey below.
   Anthony brought Logan over Sunday morning early, so she could play with the kids, and after morning conference he came back and visited for a little bit.  He's staying in Altamont helping the in-laws during his fall break.

We drove to Provo during the last part of afternoon conference, and helped celebrate Kylee's 11th birthday.  We had a good visit with Chris and Pam's family. 

Left Monday morning. We got home about 2:30 pm.

 The patio is finished, the side walk is poured and they are just finishing up the siding on the garage. It is completely covered so you can't see any of the old wood. Every thing looks real good and we are happy with the work Dave and his crew did.  ("ll do a separate blog on that remodel job.)


Can't wait to get some of that yummy Cake!!