Sunday, January 22, 2012

A time! :)

 So, I don't know exactly what is going on, but I am struggling with being able to type and arrange my pictures as I want.  I wasn't able to get it as I wanted, but I will just type starting here (For some reason, I couldn't above).

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to go visit A.  We are so blessed to see her every month.  I am so grateful that we have sufficient for our needs, including taking care of our family.  We got in early Saturday morning.  We went straight to pick her up and go grocery shopping.  She got to open a present from my parents for Christmas (see above).  She loved it. We also went and watched a movie and we went swimming.  We had a nice hotel suite and so we had plenty of space to play games and hang out together.  A loves to pretend store and she loved pulling around the ottoman and selling us her wares.

Sunday, we went to church, hung out, and enjoyed a quiet day together.

 Since Monday was a holiday, we also got to spend time with A.  We went and rode a couple of ferries across the Mississippi river.  It is bald eagle season there and we saw a few above us as we drove to the ferry.

This was the bridge we took to get back home instead of the ferries.  We had such a great time.  We ate pizza for lunch and played apples to apples in the car as we drove back.  Always such a great bonding time.  We are lucky indeed. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reflections 2012

 C has participated in the PTA Reflections contest every year throughout his elementary career.  This year, he is a 5th grader and it is his last chance to participate.  He won an award at the district level and is now going to state.  I am so proud of all he has accomplished. 

He had to miss scouts, but it was so worth it to be able to be there at this award ceremony together.  Congrats, C!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Portland, OR

It was fun to be back "home" in Portland.  I wished two things:  A)We had more time to visit places that were important to me or just that were really cool, and B) that it wasn't raining the entire time as so much that I loved about living in Portland was all the outdoor opportunities.  It truly is a little peace of heaven on earth.  You just pay for it in the few months of non-stop rain to get there.

After the wedding luncheon, we were close to the school that I taught at so many years before, so we had to drive by.  It, of course, was raining, but we took a quick couple of pictures.  I taught here only one year: '98-'99 until K was born.  It brought back a ton of memories being there.
This is the home where we stayed.  AWESOME!  My mom was smart and rented a house for us to all stay in while we were there for the wedding.  It was nice to have a home to come home to, nice to all be in the same place, nice to have a kitchen, etc..  It was a beautiful home that was decorated very well.  It is situated right on the Tualatin River.

A view of the family from the deck above.

I love him!
Just look how close the house is to the water!  While we were there, the water rose significantly with all the rain.  Good thing the dock is a floating dock!
After much debate about what I most wanted to show CK considering we only had 2-3 hours to site see, I chose to go to Multnomah Falls.  It is beautiful (even in the pouring rain).

This is me with my brother, S.  I am glad that he got to come along with us.  Two of A's friends (that also stayed at the house with us) also came along.
This is the apartment I lived in for 3 out of my 4 years in Portland.  It is a little more run-down and a little dreary-looking with all the rain, but it was a good home and here is where I brought both K and C home to after they were born.
This picture is of my very best Portland friend, D.  She was always there for me and we loved being together.  We talked on the phone for hours daily and we both went through withdrawal when I moved to Texas.  It was so wonderful to see her and her hubby again.  I am grateful for their support of all that I have been through.  CK was awesome and came with me to visit them even though he had never met them before.

When we moved, the two older girls (twins) were the only children they had.  It was fun to meet these other three.

Finally, the trip home.  We first had to fly to Seattle and connect there.  I am not used to flying in these little propeller planes.  We didn't even have a jetway and we just walked out to the plane and up some stairs to get inside.  It was a new experience for me.
J always asks me to take pictures of the clouds when I fly.  So I did.  It actually was quite the view.  We made it home safely New Year's Eve in time to celebrate the new year together and then to get up for 8:30 church the next morning (where I got to teach Sharing Time!).  What a quick trip, but what a blessing that we got to go and that we got to go together.  :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My littlest brother, A, gets married!

 A is my littlest brother.  He was born when I was 12 years old.  I left for college at the same time that he started Kindergarten.  Even with this gap, I have always felt a connection to him.  It is hard to believe that he is married.  I really like his wife and I look forward to getting to know her better.

With that said, they chose to be married in the Portland, OR temple on December 29th.  I lived in Portland for 4 years (I moved away exactly 10 years ago).  I loved living there and I loved this temple.  CK and I (even though we went to bed about 2 am) got up early and headed to the temple to do a session.  It is just an opportunity that we could not pass up (particularly as our goal is to visit all U.S. temples before we die).  Here is what the temple looked like as we drove up.  It is so beautiful both inside and outside.  I miss coming here.  Throughout our session, I felt the Spirit so strongly and I love being in the temple.  It is so cool to me how being in the temple, ANY temple, feels like coming home.
 After we did a session, we ate a quick breakfast in the cafeteria and headed to observe the wedding.  I am so grateful that we were there.  What a great moment!  I think it meant a lot to CK and I to be there and remember our own wedding just 5 months before.
 When we came out of the temple, it was raining and before the bride and groom were ready, it was absolutely pouring!  This is my dad and sister as we waited.  Both looked so great and ready for the day!
 My sister took these pictures of CK and I as we waited.  I love them.  I loved being there with CK.  I am also so grateful that I had to buy a new coat earlier in the month...I used that hood a LOT!  :)

 This picture is of my sister and I with two of our brothers.  My other brother, J, could not be there due to work obligations.
 My sister, S, and her amazing hubby, P.
 And...the temple as we drove away-through the rain.
 The reception.....
 Isn't my sister absolutely gorgeous?!?
 Here are my mom and dad (to the right) with A and A.
 I had to take a picture of my sweetheart!

 The couple's "First Dance."

 A and I danced together at my first wedding when he was only 7 (almost 8).  We thought we should recreate it this many years later.

 ...Until his wife cut in!  (I was happy to do it!)

 S and I decided that putting stuff on the outside of the car might not be a great idea in the rain.  So...we ran to the store, bought some balloons, had lots of help blowing them up and filled up the van with them.  :)  We intentionally bought their wedding colors.
 My family (minus brother J, of course).  From L to R: A, S, Dad, Mom, S, and me
 I am not sure exactly what I happened to catch in this picture, but my mom is sure being goofy!
 It is hard to see, but I love the look on A's face as she tries to keep the balloons from all coming out!
Finally, we all stayed and helped clean up.  At the very end, after everyone had gone and the clean up was almost done, I caught this moment.  :)  I love my sister and her husband.  They are so dear to me. 

What a wonderful day!  I loved it.  Loved it.  Loved it.  I am so grateful for Eternal Families and I am so grateful for the great people that the Lord sent to be my family, both when I was a child and now as a mother.  I am so blessed.