Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pickering Ward Dinner

My neighbor George looks pretty nifty holding that bouquet!
My Ward (congregation) is a fun and kind one.  We are like a big, extended family and always have a good time together.  On Saturday night, we had a dinner - a farewell to the delightful missionary couple from Utah who have been serving us with love and commitment for the last 18 months - as well as a summery fourth of July bash.

The place was packed!  The Allens can be seen standing in the middle, speaking with my neighbor Sheree.
The Ward provided grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, while everyone pitched in with salads and desserts.  There was so much good food there!

View of our table - Amy did the wonderful sunflower centerpieces
As always, there is a lot of chatter and catching up.  We have fun together.  If you look hard, you can see the tables set up with all the food along the back wall.

Our former Bishop, center, and his good wife (in green) were there

The atmosphere was festive
There was a bit of entertainment, too!  Below, you can just see me peeking from behind the piano.  Here the lady missionaries are singing with my neighbor Heidi on the guitar.

Yes.  I have lots of good neighbors!

The Sisters did a couple of numbers, and here the Elders are singing with them as I accompany them. These are such good kids.  They brought a wonderful Spirit into my home the night they came over to practice.  I love playing for them.

Some of these photos are mine, but I also stole a good deal of them from Maristella Boyle (Thank you!).
My favorite rambunctious kid, Noah, and his mommy

David with one of the Elders

Maristella and Emily

Emily, Jessica, Zairah and Sheree

Sister Judy and Maristella
I'm going to miss the Allens so very much!  It's like getting additional family for a year and a half.  I've loved getting to know them.
Elder Allen (right) and Brother Gonzales
Sister Mariner fashioned beautiful leis for both the Allens.  That was so thoughtful of her!

My neighbors Sheree and her sweet little redheaded cutie pie, Zairah
Our Sister missionaries are both from Canada - but from opposite ends: Vancouver and Nova Scotia!

The Sister Elders attacking Heidi
Come worship with us on Sundays!  You will love having these people in your life!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Reception In Bend, Oregon

Nils and Rachel cut the cake
My nephew Nils wed his beautiful bride Rachel a few short weeks ago.  There was a reception in their honor in the Salt Lake area following the ceremony at the LDS Salt Lake temple.

Last weekend, they took off to Rachel's hometown of Bend, Oregon, for another reception.  This time, it was a more casual open house.  It still looks like it was fun.

The cake looks yummy!
Relatives and friends from the Pacific Northwest came flocking to wish the young couple well!  Some drove from very far away.

As there had been a theft of some personal items during the reception in Salt Lake, a high tech security company was enlisted to make sure that didn't happen again!

Christian looking like a Fed
Just kidding!

My youngest nephew Christian stood guard, taking his job VERY seriously.  I love that photo!

The funniest photo, though, is the next one!  Late Saturday, after the open house, everyone decided they needed a Walmart run before the return trip to Utah.  They didn't want to be breaking the Sabbath unnecessarily.

Rachel thought it would be funny to wear her wedding dress to Walmart.

Rachel, Nils, Christian and mom Kirsti at the Bend Walmart
Sadly, there are so many strange characters at Walmart that (a) Rachel didn't look particularly odd wearing her wedding dress there and (b) few people gave them a second glance!

That kinda made my day.

I hope it made you smile as well.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Jack is Six

Happy Birthday, Jack!
My cat Jack turned six years-old yesterday.  The years we have spent together have flown by.  I enjoy the companionship of my little furry buddy.  We do everything together.  I think Jack is very nice to have around.
What to get the cat who has everything?
I puzzled over what to get Jack for his birthday this year.  His favorite toys are his plastic coated springs and he plays almost exclusively with them.  He got a catnip banana last year.  The turbo track he loved so much and played with for 6 months solid is not so fun anymore.  His super spinning battery operated toy that he got for Christmas turned out to be more fun to watch than to actually play with.

Then I saw it.  A video for cats.

A video?  Mom?  Are you nuts?
I tried to carefully explain the concept to Jack before we began.  "This video is specially designed for kitties, Jack.  It has everything a cat could want to see.  Give it a chance, Jack.  Now you can have your stories, just like Mom watches her stories on TV."

Jack wasn't buying it at first.
If you say so, Mom.
Then I turned on the video...

 Jack's reaction was instant.  He immediately climbed up next to the TV screen to check out this wonder.  He ardently watched the gerbils, the birds, the squirrels and the rats and the hamsters... he was mesmerized.

"Do you like your 'stories', Jack?"

"Be quiet Mom!  I'm concentrating!"

Later, I explained that we were going to turn everything off for the night, but if he wanted to watch his stories, he could watch them any time, he just needed to tell me.

I began tidying up the living room, and made my way to the bedroom, when I noticed my little guy just sitting on the floor of the living room - gazing up at the blank screen of the TV.

"You want to watch some more?" I asked.  He just kept staring at the switched off TV.  I figured he was letting me know in a pretty obvious way what he wanted! "Okay, you can watch until I go to bed."

I turned the TV back on, slipped in the DVD once more, and Jack settled onto the cushion of a near-by chair, staring up at the screen like a veteran couch potato.

The thought occurred to me I may not get to watch "my" shows ever again!  Ha!

Happy Birthday, Jack!  I'm so glad you are in my life.