Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Autumn Days

I am definitely a summer lover. I love long sunny days, boating, swimming, night time camp fires and anything that involves the water. So when I start to see the days getting shorter I get a little worried. We tend to have long dark nights and plenty of rain in the winter so I hate to see those days coming near. But then we have a beautiful sunny day and I am reminder why I live here. It is true that the skies are the bluest here in Seattle, and so the deep blue of the sky against the vibrant fall colors is amazingly beautiful. I can handle a little bit of rain if it means the fresh air and beautiful scenery. After all it will be summer again in only eight months!
I was picking up Laura from school the other day and we had one of those amazing fall days so I had to snap a picture.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Your Day Lindy Lou

A big Happy Birthday to our oldest, Linda Marie. You have gone from a sweet baby to a fun teenager and on to a beautiful young woman. We love you and appreciate who you have become, my friend.

Mom and Dad

PS Happy Birthday to Conor Keenan too!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Today is my dad's 80th birthday. I feel like that is a great reason to celebrate his life. My dad is a great example of serving the Lord tirelessly. His life has definitely not been an easy road. He was raised in Holland, survived extreme difficulty during World War II and immigrated to the United States to live out the "American dream".
He married my Mom in 1955 and raised 6 children. I am sure that was the easy part because we are all angels. Our parents taught us about the importance of the gospel and family in our lives. Dad now has 31 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Dad had dedicated his life to genealogy and temple work. He, together with my mom, served two family history missions in Frankfurt Germany. You can usually find Dad in his office typing family names into his computer. I am pretty sure that the Netherlands will be the biggest country in the Celestial Kingdom because of my dad.

Life has not been easy for my dad since mom died but he carries on. We are grateful that Mary came along to give him some companionship. Our lives have been blessed because of my wonderful parents and Dad, today I am especially grateful for you!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Brrrrrrrr It Is Cold In Idaho

Last week I was able to visit the kids in Idaho for mother's week. My friend Ruth and I started out our drive by stopping at her cabin for the night to give us a bit of a head start for the next day. It is such a beautiful place and I am always up for a visit to the cabin. It was cold there though because winter is just around the corner. The drive to Rexburg was really fun because Ruth is always providing nonstop hilarity.

In Rexburg I was able to stay with Jennifer because her roommate went home and left Jennie with her own room. She lives with a bunch of really nice girls. I don't know when I got so old but it doesn't seem like that long ago that I was going to school.I of course also needed to check in with Daniel and Adrian to make sure that their living standards were up to par. Being that boys have much lower standard than girls, I guess they were alright. I did, however buy Daniel some things to spruce up the apartment a bit.

On Friday morning they had a mothers' breakfast for Jennifer's Interior Design major. It was fun to see some of the things that she is learning and some of the areas that she will be able to use the skills she learns. Interior Design is supposedly the hardest major on campus. I don't know about that but I do know that she always has plenty of homework to do.After the breakfast it was off to my favorite place in Rexburg, Porters Craft Supply. I love it there because they always have lots of great and creative ideas for the home. It was there that we ran into Laura Watts and her mother, Kelli. I was glad to meet Laura's mom because she has hosted Adrian at her home so many times.

Daniel takes several dance classes at the campus and also several from the dance academy in "downtown". Jennie and I went to watch him in his partnering class. This is where they learn several lifts and other dancing tricks. This class is taught by his dance teacher from the college. I was amazed at the strength that is needed by both partners to performs these lifts. Wow, I was impressed!
One night I went out to dinner with Laura, her mom and the kids. Adrian and Laura talked us into Tai food. I am not very adventurous and the food was pretty weird but it wasn't too bad. Then we went to Arctic Circle for ice-cream while Laura's mom taught us how to speak in the southern Idaho slang. We had a really fun visit. We laughed a lot and I really enjoyed getting to know them better.On Saturday we went into the "big" city of Idaho Falls. On the way it started snowing very hard, we had to take a picture to see the excited expressions on the kids faces at the prospect of another Idaho winter. Jamie and Landi came by Jenniefer's apartment to visit, they are so cute and in love.While in Idaho I also had to swing by and check in on Brandon and Demarae Ralph. They live in this tiny apartment downtown but they seem to be so happy. I remember those days of being strugling college students. Looking back, they were good times. Also Bobby and some other friends stopped by.

It was so fun to see the kids and see that they are all ok and taken care of. They have good lives and are great people, I don't know what more I could possibly ask for. So once again with the pantrys filled and apartments decorated it was time for me to return to my life in Washington.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We Can Do That

There is a strange phenomenon when ever our family goes to an activity. I call it the “we can do that” phenomenon. An example of that is most “normal” people go to a Mariners game to cheer on the home team. We have been Mariners fans since they were created in the 1970’s. Well in our family we decide there is money to be made there and thus set up a non-profit family missionary fund and worked seven seasons in the concession stands selling hot dogs and such. One positive thing I can say about my family is that we work very well together. My mom used to say “Many hands make for light work”. This has been a blessing to our family in that we have been able to help all of our sons pay for their missions. Doing this also gave us some fun opportunities; we were able to volunteer during the all star game, when it was here in Seattle, working for major league baseball doing things ranging from mascot wrangling to credentialing press.

Our latest “adventure” is in the vinyl lettering craze. We love to be able to use our creativity to make beautiful things for people’s homes. It has taken us a while to figure out how to work the program and vinyl machine but things are going well. The whole family has learned the fine art of “weeding” and everyone chips in to help. Once again the adage “many hands make light work” comes into play. I am so grateful that I am a part of a family that has that we can do it attitude and loves to work together.Oh yeah, we really like playing together too! We have been on the Family Feud (we won of course) and gone to The Price is Right several times.