Monday, August 18, 2014

 This past weekend we spent a much anticipated few days in Vero Beach, Florida at Disney's resort with Jennie and James Jenkins.The sunrises were incredible each morning. Although it was vacation time, we were up early to get our runs in ... in order to offset some of the bad food choices we made.  And yes, it was all worth it:)
 We jet skied one day.  This picture of James and Bill really isn't a fair representation of the actual event.  We'd hoped for 4 jet skis, but the company only operated two.  So...to start, we doubled up. That was nothing short of nerve-wracking and ridiculous.  I lost my hat as soon as I gunned the engine...it was my favorite too.  It's a challenge to steady these little machines and we ended up dumping it once.  I was skeptical that I would be able to hoist my sorry rear end up onto the jet ski...surprisingly, it wasn't an issue.  When Bill started to climb on, he tipped us off...ugh! I knew for sure I'd never be able to get back on twice and he'd have to drag me into shore.  But, miracle of miracles, I stepped right back up.  Once we were both back on the dumb thing, we headed into shore so Bill and James could ride solo.  These little jet skis aren't built for 2 adult riders...duh.  We had lots of laughs and made memories that we'll remember for a long time.
 The storms rolled in every afternoon.  And we didn't even mind.  Vacation is vacation...nothing could rain on our parade.  Southern storms are the best!
 The water was perfect.  This was the calm before the storm.
 The resort we stayed at is in the background.  It wasn't big like other Disney resorts we've stayed at, but we liked it.  Vero Beach is a nice town.
 The storm to the north...you can see the sky changing in the picture below.  We were the last ones on the beach this day and the minute we stepped into the resort it started to pour! What perfect timing.
 We ate at some great local restaurants and saw a couple of movies during the afternoons when it was raining.  We laughed and reminisced and relaxed.  We played miniature golf and hung out poolside and went down the water slide and played canasta and listened to some great live music in a couple of restaurants...and I must say, we had dessert every. single. night.  That's something I haven't done in a very long time.  Heaven!
 We left Sunday morning but stopped by Church on the way out of town.  The Vero Beach Ward was small, but awesome.  They meet in a brand new building. (Check out that blue sky!)

We had a great time and hope to get another trip on the calendar soon.  We think we might start playing the lottery too so we can just be on a perpetual vacation. A great time with the best of friends.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bill and I drove from St George to the Timpanogos Temple in American Fork for Jill Jenkins' sealing.  She married Ben Kocher.  It was wonderful being there!
 It was a beautiful summer day and Jill was a BEAUTIFUL bride! They make a darling couple.
 Bill and James...a very happy celebration.

Unfortunately, we were racing to get back to Cedar City...so we don't have many pictures taken outside the temple:(  Here is the only one I have with Jennie...It's too bad we didn't have more time, but we were there for the most important part...the sealing.  Such a great reason to be together!!!
Walking through the student center at SUU.  These 3 sure do love hanging out together.
This is our little Addie rockin' some short shorts...let's hope she chooses more wisely when she is older.  Grandma bought this outfit...she looks older than a 1 year old here. But what a little cutie.
 William works at the Shakespeare Festival and wanted us all to come see him in action.  It was a beautiful night.  We LOVED being there...the entire family!
 We only love this little girl a "tiny" bit.
 And they only love her a "tiny" bit too:)
 Papa drove up from St George to be with us and we were so happy he did!  He loves the Shakespeare Festival...and especially the Green Show, which is a free "pre-show" open to the public.  It includes music and dancing and games. We may or may not have consumed a raspberry tart or two also:)
 We sure love being with this little family!
 Here are the dancers...the theatre in the back resembles the Globe theatre in London...very cool.
 Addie's favorite person...anyone sharing food with her...this time, it's Uncle Grant and ice cream.
 Any family resemblance?  I love this oldest boy of mine.
 A great shot of "my life's work"...they are the reason I get out of bed every day! I love them.
 Some of the folks who gathered for the Green Show...we loved the thick, green, cool, Utah grass!
Three of my favorite guys...It was great being together! We made some great family memories.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

 Because we are staying in St. George with Papa, we made a visit to see Great Grandma who lives at the Beehive House near Papa's home.  She was fairly alert-whatever that means for an elderly person who suffers from dementia.  We had a nice visit and the boys were good sports about being there. Old people, especially ones who are not in their right mind, kind of creep them out.
 It's not always easy seeing someone in this state of "being", but we chatted and spent a few minutes with her...I sure hope she knows we love her and care about her.
And this guy gets the "Son of the Year Award"! He is so kind and thoughtful where his mother is concerned.  He is a blessing in Grandma's life, even though she has no idea. What a great example of love and service to us all. Such a wonderful son!
 The many faces of Addie.  I do realize this is a little over kill, but I totally justify the overload of pictures because we see our Utah family so infrequently.  We love hanging out with this little girl's family and pretty much allow her to do whatever she wants...
 Uncle Grant is happy to wear NaKya's headband.
 Taking a "selfie" with Grandma's phone is just fine too:)
 Hey there beautiful baby!
 Sunglasses?...don't mind if I do.
 A friendly game of Mario Kart.  Addie must hold her own controller.
 Such a big girl! 
 At this stage of life, it appears she has her Grandma Casper's knees...that will certainly change as the years roll on:)
 One of the many faces of "Little Miss Sunshine":)
 Auntie Christine! I love her!
Uncle Garrett adores me...but who doesn't?:)
 One of the "San Diego days" I drove northeast to Moreno Valley to visit Ashley Rascon...who is near and dear to my heart.  It was little Olivia's 5th birthday, so I had to take her a gift...she is a little doll.  It was so fun seeing where Ashley and her sweet family lives...We are hopeful that she won't always live so far away and that someday she and her family will find their way back to Texas:)
 Such a beautiful little girl!  The perfect blend of her mom and dad:)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

This is the Pacific Ocean!  La Jolla Shores to be exact.  Grant was insistent on going to the beach at least once while we were in San Diego, so we checked into our hotel in downtown and then headed to the mass of humanity that had congregated in La Jolla.  It was insane. The kids all boogie boarded and I hung out on the shore with my toes in the water and sand...it was wonderful.

 And THIS is the reason for the visit to San Diego...Comic Con International...The kids have been looking forward to this for an entire year.  Frankly, Bill and I don't understand the desire to be surrounded by a bunch of odd folks, many who are dressed up in a wide variety of costumes and some who don't apparently bathe for the entire 4 day convention.  It's the coming together of actors, creators, writers, etc. in the entertainment industry.  This year marked the 44th annual event.  The crowd was estimated between 130,000-200,000! It was a crazy spectacle.
 Our hotel was in the perfect location.  We stayed at the Marriott Gaslamp, one block from the convention center. Absolutely prime.  We could see Petco Park, the Coronado Bay Bridge, San Diego Harbor and the San Diego Convention Center from our room.  We felt completely spoiled! It was awesome.
 While the kids were doing their "geek thing", I walked and enjoyed being in the heart of America's Finest City.  I walked to Seaport Village...one of my favorite places, every morning.  This was a typical view while I walked.
 Occasionally the kids would send me a picture text...this was them waiting in line...they waited in lots of lines...
 Sitting in a "panel"... this is what they do too.  They were excited to see many of their favorite actors and personalities from movies, tv, the internet, etc.
 I took advantage of being in the same city as one of my favorite temples.  This holy place holds special significance to me.  We were living in LA when it was built and dedicated.  We attended the open house and then I attended the dedication with my mom,  We were blessed to be in the celestial room with President Hinckley.  It was a choice experience.  As I sat in the celestial room, I reflected on that special day. Sacred memories.

 I changed into my swim suit in the car in the temple parking lot...(thank goodness for a big back seat and darkly tinted windows:)...and headed to the bay for some Southern California sunshine.  It was heavenly.
 It was great meeting up for dinner with some of my San Diego family. Uncle Terry and Armida, Jim, Christin and her daughter Marissa met me for some yummy dinner and great conversation.  They live in a beautiful part of the world. 
 I took the opportunity to visit one of my old "haunts"...Yogurt Mill in El Cajon!  It was just as good as I remembered.  Funny thing, I ran into an old girl friend from high school who was visiting from Washington.  It was wonderful catching up after 33 years!!!
 And this is the church I attended when I was a child and youth...Obviously the building has been updated and the huge tree that used to stand on the corner, has long since been removed.  I have some pretty fond memories of this place.  My Grandma and Grandpa Shippen attended this building until they both passed away.  Both of their funerals were held in this building.
 And this is the house I grew up in ... 668 Trenton Street.  Oddly enough, it still looks the same.  My mom sold it in 2003 when she moved to Texas to live across the street from us.  It hasn't changed a bit since she sold it...although the palm tree and the crepe myrtle look taller.