Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Knoxville For Thanksgiving

Since Sunday was a very happy day for our family (grandchild number 6 was born), I thought it was time to update this blog.  So below are a few photos from our trip to Knoxville.  We left Utah on Thanksgiving day & spent time with our youngest two daughters and their families.  I'll show you some of my favorite photos from our time with our family.  For more photos of the children and more of the projects I've created for them you can go to my craft blog. Here's what we did, hugged & kissed, played & ate, cooked & cleaned,  partied & sang happy birthday to a certain little boy, drove to the Smokie Mountains & explored & laughed & read stories, went to the zoo & enjoyed 70 degree weather while it snowed in Utah. Yes, it was a good trip.  I hope you have a great Thanksgiving too!

 Zoom in on Brittany's face & you'll see this was not supposed to happen.

Party time - guess who this is?
and who do you think this is?
 Pirate ship race
 Okay, enough photos for now...happy day!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fall Time in Massachusetts

Concord - where the "shot was heard round the world".  

House of Seven Gables, Salem, MA
This ship is the Friendship out of Salem.
Mike and I had a wonderful visit to Boston to see our adorable pregnant daughter.  We were there for only 3 full days but we took full advantage of those three days and saw so many historical sites.
On Friday, we walked The famous Freedom Trail and saw all so many sites that we had read about in history books.  We toured Boston Public Gardens, the state capital building, cemeteries,  and the USS Constitution. We had the best Boston clam chowder and a lot of fresh fish and chips and even went lighthouse hoping the Saturday before Halloween in the Salem area (not what most people were doing - we saw a ton of people in costume in Salem!)

 Notice the top of the weather vane...is it a grasshopper or a cricket?
This photo was taken inside the Bunker Hill Monument - we walked to the top to see this view of Boston.
We had lunch & then dinner at ye olde Union Oyster House restaurant.  It was so good. They claim that they are America's oldest Restaurant.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Is a graveyard one of the creepiest places around?  I actually find them quite interesting. Here's a few headstones from some of the oldest cemeteries in Boston.  There were so many skulls on the headstones, it was interesting but eerie.  The third cemetery we went to on The Freedom Trail had a sign that explained what the images meant.  The skull bones meant mortality. I found this quote that explains this:  "The primary reason skulls appeared on memorial and headstones was as a Memento Mori, a reminder of our own mortality, an aide-mémoire, should it be needed, that you too will die one day - death is inexorable!"
The other reason was that "Puritans did not advocate using religious symbols, such as cherubs, Christ figures, or crosses in their meetinghouses, on church silver, or on their gravestones. Puritans were adamantly against attributing human form to spiritual beings such as God, angels, or spirits." per the City of Boston Web site.

I hope you think this is interesting because I did or do you think it's creepy?

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

September in St. Louis

Here are a few photos from our trip last weekend to see Amy & John & our cute 16 month old grandson.  So glad we went last weekend.  It was great spending time with our family! 

Excellent Restaurant in St. Louis - Pappy's

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

36 Years Ago

Highlights of 1977
  • The first Apple Computer goes on sale. 
  • Quebec adopts French as the official language. 
  • Jimmy Carter is elected as the President of United States 
  • The first oil flows through the Trans Alaskan Oil Pipeline. 
  •  Elvis Presley Dies from a heart attack aged 42. 
  • In April, Mike graduated from Brigham Young University.
  • In August, Joy graduated from Brigham Young University.
  • Mike & Joy were married!
Highlights of 2013 - so far
  • In March, Brittany & her children come for a visit between Richman family weddings.
  • Discovered there were two leaks in the plumbing right before our big trip - had to redo three-fourths of the basement - luckily the work was covered by our homeowners insurance.
  • Trip to Israel.
  • Mike ran in a half marathon in Tel Aviv with Rob & Lorena.
  • Mike can't run for 5 months due to an injury obtained while preparing for the half marathon.
  • Trip to San Francisco with Rob's family.
  • Amy & John's family come to the home front for an extended stay.
  • Family visits to Utah from May through August.
  • Andrea & Isaac announce that we'll have our 6th grandchild in December.
  • Rob & Lorena announce that our 7th grandchild will be born in March 2014.
  • Joy helps drive Amy & Preston to their new home in Illinois & a reunion with John.
  • Mike & Joy celebrate 36 years of marriage 
Mike left these on our kitchen counter this morning. When I asked him where he hid them, he refused to say since it obviously was such a good hiding place. He said he may need to use that spot again. Did I pester him? No, way. What sensible woman would argue with that philosophy, go ahead, surprise me with flower any time! It's a great way to start the day.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A, B, C's of Books & Reading

My book club meets at my house in 11 days and I've been madly reading to find a great book to share with my group for September.  While searching, I  found the following A, B, C's of Books ..... my answers are in blue.
Author you've read the most books from:  Dr. Seuss 
Best book ever:  Unbroken
Currently reading: Heart of a Samurai
Drink of choice while reading:  water
E-reader or Physical Book?  physical book
Favorite  Fictional book:  Little Women
Genre of books you enjoy most:  historical fiction
Historical fiction favorite book:  Hotel on Corner of Bitter and Sweet  or 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Important moment in your reading life:  
 I took a children's literature class in college & joined a book club
Just finished reading:  The Lifeboat
Kind of books you collect: Pop-up
Longest book you've read:  John Adams by David McCullough
My book pet peeve:  spelling errors & bad grammar
Never finished reading:  The Thrall's Tale -  it was horrible! 
One book you have read multiple times:  The Book of Mormon
Preferred place to read:  The Beach
Quote from a book that inspired you: 
 “Be comforted, dear soul! There is always light behind the clouds.”  "Little Women"
Reading regret:  didn't read more when I was a child / teen
Series of books you enjoyed:  Flavia
Three of your favorite books:  Anne of Green Gables,  Tending Roses, Little Women
Unapologetic fan of this author:  Steven Kellogg
Very excited for this release:  Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Worth reading before you die:  Exodus
X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf & pick book #2:  
Cannon Beach: A Place By the Sea
Your latest book purchase:  The Winter Sea
ZZZ-book (last book that kept you up WAY too late):

Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II (A really interesting book.)

I changed several of the questions and thought it'd be fun to see what you think about BOOKS & READING.  

In the comments, please share at least one of your answers to the above...or suggest a favorite book for my book club.  Thanks.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Yesterday, Brittany sent me this photo of my grandchildren.  I added her original image to a free site called "Photobucket" and this is how the photo turned out.

I love seeing photos of my grandchildren doing their everyday activities.  
I can't believe how tall my granddaughter has gotten!
Calling all parents of my grandchildren,
 please e-mail more photos to me!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Road Trip

Amy, Preston & I left last Wednesday and traveled due east.  
This is not my preferred mode of traveling especially with an energetic toddler! I felt so bad for my grandson because it's a long time to sit in a car for any age. We sang, read him stories, allowed him to throw Cheerios and goldfish crackers where he wanted, stroked his head to try to get him to sleep and gave him all sorts of toys to play with.  

 We saw a lot of open space from the hills of Wyoming to the corn fields of Illinois. The 1347 miles of America we saw in Amy's loaded car was I trip I've done and don't need to repeat because I'll be flying in & out the next time I visit her family.

Once in the St. Louis area, we met Neil and Paulette Byrne for a late breakfast (they are distant Candrian cousins) and had a delightful visit.

On Saturday, we went to see the famous St. Louis arch called the Gateway Arch.  The museum under the arch was interesting and so was our trip to the top of the arch...630 feet up.
This is one of the views from the little windows at the top of the arch.

Amy & Preston - he loved looking out the windows at the top of the arch!

This is were John will be working as a dentist.  We spent Saturday night on base. It was my first time on an U.S. Air Force base. Amy & John get to stay in temporary housing until their rental is ready. The beds & pillows were super hard but the base was so well taken care of & the people really friendly & helpful.  I hope they enjoy their new home because we're going to miss them so much!  For my favorite photo of Preston see my other blog http://xoxograndma.blogspot.com/2013/08/puffy-toddler-vests.html

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Super Easy Bound Books

On Sunday, the Primary lesson was on "Families Can be Together Forever"  http://www.lds.org/manual/primary-1/lesson-26?lang=eng

On Saturday, I made eight of these little books.   They are really easy & quick to make.
This was a great activity for 3 & 4 year old.  They were each given a glue stick, one of these blank books and pictures with text cut out (you can find these at the link above). 
The children got to glue away &  then color their pictures.  I found the temple photos in an old "Ensign Magazine" and cut them out for the cover of their books.
 I also gave the children border stickers to add to the their books.  



See other summer projects at: