Monday, July 21, 2014

 This had to be added...On Addie's actual birthday (July 8), this was her "smash cake", her tutu, her crown and her darling backdrop that her talented mom whipped up for the special occasion. She was pretty pleased with all of the attention:)
 Since we weren't in town for her actual birthday, and because we are all together here in St. George, we did a combination birthday with Aunt Christine, whose birthday is on July 24th.  Addie loves her aunt, so sharing another party wasn't a big deal.
 We had a yummy Blizzard S'mores ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.  Christine's first choice is never "real" cake, so she chose this.  It was wonderful!...and a change in desserts is always good.
 Addie and Christine helped each other open their gifts.
We LOVE our Addie girl!  She brings so much love to our lives...It took her a little while to warm up to us, which was hard (just being honest), but that's because we don't see her often...and apparently "face timing" doesn't count.  But she did warm up.  She's such a happy, friendly baby!  One day she'll know just who we are and that we are pretty cool...:)

***I should mention Bill's left eye...since I write this blog for our posterity...  The same day we attended the Lionel Richie concert, Bill had a routine eye appointment.  The doctor determined from his eye scan that he had several hemorrhages in his left eye and referred him immediately to a retina specialist. The specialist injected something into his optic nerve, because it was swollen.  This procedure left his eye blood red.  (That's why he wore sunglasses at a night concert.  His eyes were very sensitive and the bright lights bothered them.)  He had understood that his eye would be back to normal by now...not yet tho'.  He's been tested for all sorts of stuff...diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.  Everything is negative.  He has a follow-up appointment this week with the specialist.  We are hoping for some answers.  This did surprise us both.  Bill is the most healthy person in our entire family, hands down!  He runs and eats right and has energy...always.  This is just so very strange.  We have been praying that all will be well:)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

 A couple of weeks ago, Bill and I went to see Lionel Richie at Fair Park in Dallas.  Although we had gone to Hawaii as part of our anniversary celebration, when our actual anniversary rolled around, Bill surprised me with tickets to this concert!  It was a blast!  We had perfect seats! Seventh row, right in the center!  Lionel stepped out and sang hit after hit!  It was a terrific show! It was July in Dallas, so the weather was a bit steamy, but we loved every minute of it!  This was a great night Bill!  Thanks for being so thoughtful! I love you!

 Grant was the last of the Caspers to have his wisdom teeth removed.  He was "lucky", just like Garrett, to be put completely to sleep at the hospital for the procedure.  Apparently, these to guys have unique tongue anatomy (they are big) which can cause challenges if the doctor does the operation in his office with lighter sedation.  All in all, we are grateful to have all of the oral surgery behind us.  Grant was a bit apprehensive about the ordeal, but he did great! 
He took over the game room and slept on the hide a bed for 4 nights with complete control of video games and Netflix.  To say he is spoiled, would be an understatement.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

 Happy 1st Birthday Miss Addie!
Yesterday Addie turned 1!  It's hard to believe that a year has passed since this precious angel became a part of our family.  She has brightened our days and made our family so much richer.  She had a fun celebration with family and friends yesterday which included a darling "smash cake"...she loved every present and especially every one's attention.  She likes attention:)  We are excited to see her on the 20th for a second celebration and more attention showered on the birthday girl(s)...she will be sharing the limelight with Aunt Christine, whose birthday will be on the 24th.  July is a great month!  Happy Birthday sweet baby.
TRY and keep on trying
until that which seems
DIFFICULT
becomes possible and that 
which seems only possible 
becomes HABIT and a 
real part of YOU!
--Dieter F. Uchtdorf--

What do we get when we set goals and then actually reach them?...A sense of personal accomplishment, peace, joy, strength, confidence, positivity, knowledge.  Really the list is endless.  Several months ago, I set a personal goal for myself, something that I've needed to do for a long time.  Today I was triumphant in reaching the goal I set.  It's a great feeling.  I pray to continue to grow and learn and gain strength as I journey on my path to becoming a better wife, mother, friend, daughter of God...one day at a time:) 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

 The 3 days I have dreaded for the past 7+ months, has come and gone.  I fretted and worried and complained about having to do food for almost 500 people for quite a while. I even spent a moment or two or several while we were in Hawaii worrying about it.  And guess what??? It actually wasn't that bad...I might even say that it was enjoyable:)  In addition to being worried about feeding so many, I was concerned about the Texas heat.  I don't do cold or heat very well.  It stormed pretty good the first morning, leaving the roads muddy and a big mess!  But that actually was a blessing.  Grant was cold sleeping both nights.  That is very rare.  So, not being steaming hot every day, made the entire experience much better.
 Camp is about a 2 mile trip from the main road on dirt roads that look similar to this.  And in the mud...it was awesome:)
 Here is our "kitchen".  It worked pretty well. There were 10 of us and we were busy off and on from early in the morning until about 9:30-10pm....The Tryon's, who were in charge, worked hard, got little sleep and kept things running smoothly.  They were even up throughout the nights keeping the generators filled with gas so our ice truck and refrigerated trailer would continue to run.
 A glimpse at the food/supply truck.  The contents would change depending on the meal and if someone had done a Sam's or Walmart run. It takes a lot of food and supplies to keep roughly 500 people moving for 3 days.  Quite an undertaking.
 Some of our cooking/kitchen staff...Dave, Marin and Caulin Tanner.
 A couple of the cutest Trekkers! And the best "Pa" ever!
Grant, John Christensen and Kyle Steele
 Chris Hay-Mr. Helper Man, Sarah Hay and Dylan McKamey
 Alan Wright...this crazy guys loves Trek!
 Caulin and Marin Tanner having some much-deserved fun!
 A portion of the the cooking staff...NOT flattering of me, but the only evidence I have of me actually being there:)
We had 2 of our vehicles at Trek...mine and the truck.  They both looked like this! Caked in mud!
All 4 of the kids have been on Trek.  William and Christine went 8 years ago and it was NOT a pleasant experience for either one of them.  Christine had heat exhaustion and spent some time in the medical unit.  The food was horrible and the water limited.  William was in a family that did none of what was asked, in fact that Ma and Pa have since divorced (maybe Trek sent them over the edge.) He has few positive memories from that experience, other than he survived.  Garrett went 4 years ago, and although he was in a wonderful family, THEY. RAN. OUT. OF. WATER!!! How can that happen??? Garrett also had some serious heat related issues...crazy stuff. So when we knew Trek was coming up, we really were not convinced we were sending Grant.  Lucky for him, we were asked to go, so he had to go as well.  Bill ended up being needed in Orlando for work, so he wasn't there...but oh how glad I am that Grant was there.  It was THE BEST place for him!  And he has lots of positive experiences he's talked about.  It was a great few days! Thank you Heavenly Father for sending the cooler weather to these wonderful youth in the great state of TEXAS!

Friday, June 13, 2014

 When my 50th birthday rolled around in October, Bill wanted to do something memorable.  So he decided we needed to go on a trip...great minds think alike:)  Hawaii was the destination!  And because of kid and work schedules, May was the month.
 Being Disney Vacation Club members, we decided to check out the Aulani...Holy cow! It was beautiful!  Disney does things right.  We were greeted with fresh flower leis and our room was on the 16th floor overlooking the pools and ocean.  Just perfect.
 Here we are after our 7 hour flight...looking smashing.  The skies were cloudy the first couple of days...but that isn't uncommon for the islands.
 A part of the cove that we had daily access to.  Calm, warm waters. This is also where Bill and I learned how to paddle on long boards...Bill wasn't a big fan...I kind of liked it:)
 Part of the view from our room looking towards the Pacific.
 This was looking back towards the mountains...again, it was a cloudy Sunday.
 I LOVE pineapple, so I was thrilled to be going here---The Dole Pineapple Plantation!
 We ate lunch...teriyaki chicken and rice and had our required picture taken in the pineapple:)  We were hoping to take a little train ride through the plantation.  Unfortunately, the skies opened up and the train tours were cancelled.  We got drenched getting to the car, but eventually made it back to the resort. It was an eventful trip.  I would like to go again, on a sunny day..and take that train ride.
 We took this on one of our many walks along the ocean.  Every morning and most evenings, we walked (Bill ran every morning:).  We had to offset some of the good food we were eating.  We said over and over, "what a beautiful place."

 This "infinity pool" was amazing!  Although there was an adult pool, THIS is where we hung out....we had to have an ocean view, and the adult area didn't provide that...we were happy as can be...the kids didn't even bother us:)
 Ahhh, Paradise!
 On one of our drives, we headed up to the North Shore and stopped in quaint, little Haleiwa...this place is known for their shave ice. The line is always long, but moves quickly.  We aren't sure if their shave ice is better than at other places, but Matsumoto's has quite a reputation.  It was a fun stop.
 We had to stop at "Pounders" aka: Laie State Beach...we didn't get in the ocean...it's not my thing.  Those waves are too strong for this old body...back in the day I LOVED body surfing here...and our kids and Bill and Papa loved boogie boarding here...not me though. Plus there was a bit of a storm brewing, which always makes for crazy waves.
 Driving back south we had to pass through this crazy, long and a bit scary (to me) tunnel.
 This is one of my favorite pictures of our trip...we were at a luau.  I'm glad we chose each other almost 26 years ago.  I think we look good together:)
 Is this a post card?...oh wait, this is the view we had every day from our lounge chairs next to the pool:)  And yes, the clouds cleared and the weather was perfect!
 In Honolulu, gearing up for our 3 hour Segway tour of the city and Diamond Head.  #safetyfirst
 On the beach in Waikiki.
 On the road up to Diamond Head...I was breaking the rules and snapping pictures while riding:( It really was a beautiful day and a fun experience.
 We stopped at the Amelia Erhart lookout point.  It was breath taking.
 Although this picture doesn't really show the surfers, just know there were tons of them waiting to catch a wave.  Amazing.
 Here we are posing in front of Diamond Head...look at that blue sky!
 Back at the resort...sitting in the infinity pool...we loved it.
 This is the end of the "Wainae Tower".  We stayed in the "Ewa Tower".  (East and West)  We hope to come back with everyone...all 8 of us and stay in the 3 bedroom Grand Villa. The balconies of the Grand Villlas run the entire width of the tower...They are amazing!
This was the sunset on our last night in Hawaii.  It was a wonderful 50th birthday trip! We are ready to go again! Aloha!