Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mom & Dad

I think I was blessed with the best parents in the world. This is sort of an older photo, but this is my mom and dad.

Yesterday was a tough day, as it was the anniversary of my dad's death. Unfortunately, he was taken from our family far too soon. I was privileged to have him in my life for as long as I did and be able to make the memories with him that I will cherish for a lifetime. He has set the bar extremely high for me in regards to a father and husband should be.

My mom must be one of the strongest people I know! She was not only able to survive losing the love of her life at a relatively young age, with a teenager still at home, but she has been able to find a way to thrive. Seven years ago, when the need arose in our family, she opened her home & heart to two of my nephews who needed her. I moved in at that point to help out. I don't know how much help I've been, but I know how much I've learned from not only my mom, but also James & Josh.

In short, my parents rock! I hope that I can live up to the example that they have always set for me!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Gardens & Kitties

I love working out in my yard, because I love my flower gardens & puttering around in them. Whenever I'm out in my garden weeding, the kitties always come up & get in the way, asking to be petted & get attention. It always takes me longer to weed the garden than it should, because I'm always stopping to play with the kitties.
Yeah, in case you couldn't tell--I have the garden & the kitties on my mind this afternoon because I spent my day working out in the yard!

Above is a photo of Buffy(in the rear), Amber, and Sammy. Below is the same group, only Sheba, the calico with white, has joined them.

Below is Uncle. When we first got him, he had a real name. But then when his sister had her kittens, we started calling him Uncle. That stuck more than the other name & now, that's what we always call him. I can't even remember what his name was supposed to be!

Below is Meow Meow. She was originally called Snickers when she was a kitten, but she talks alot. She is constantly talking to us & meowing at us. Needless to say, MeowMeow just stuck.

Josh took this photo of MeowMeow. I love this close up of her face. This is the look she gives us all the time. She is very sure of her infinate wisdom & that she knows far more about everything than we do. I think she is just one of the prettiest kitties I've ever seen.

Monday, August 13, 2007

New Blog!!!

Wow! Now I'm becoming like Jen...getting others to start their own blogs! My mom started a blog today, dedicated to her gardens...her garden of flowers, her garden of kids & grandkids, her garden of the collies, and her garden of quilts.

Believe me, if you want to see some beautiful quilts, you should check out mom's blog. She absolutely loves to quilt & she does such a beautiful job. In our family, quilts from mom are prized possesions. I always tell her that she needs to go into business with them! Anyway, here's her blog: Nana's Gardens

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Mission Prep

I can't believe it, but James will be 19 this fall. For him, that means that he is preparing to leave on his mission. I am not quite sure how he got to be that old, but it sure makes me feel old!

So, he's got his paperwork all just about ready to go & all we had to do was take the picture to turn in. He's so handsome in his suit I just had to share a photo!

Of course, then I got a full view of him & he was James the goofy teenager again & no longer James the soon to be missionary!

I look at him & I just can't believe he's all grown up. In my head, he's still this shy, bashful 12 year old. But he's so happy, he's so confident, he's so smart. He's kind & compassionate. Being a cutie, he has a way of drawing girls & is just as easy being friends with girls as he is with other guys. I'm so proud of the person he's becoming & the choices he's making in his life!! What a terrific young man!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

School Shopping!

I can't believe it's almost back to school time! Josh is quite pleased to let me know that he goes back to school on the 22nd, which is in just 2 weeks! Summer has gone by way too fast. So Josh has been so excited to go school shopping. He's been begging to go to Idaho Falls to work with me so that he can go school shopping. I finally decided that this was the perfect week to do it. My boss is out of town for two weeks & it's really quiet around work. My company has a big National Seminar at this time every year & all our Senior Management attends, which means that my office is almost totally empty. So, today, Josh went to work with Liza. Talk about an adventure! Josh is the funnest kid & he likes to have a good time, joke around & always be doing things. So, I guess it should go without saying that I didn't get a whole lot accomplished today at work. But I had a fun time! Josh had me laughing all day long. He's a kid who knows no strangers. He had a great time visiting with everyone who came by my area, testing out all of my office gadgets(paper shredder, electric pencil sharpener, paper cutter, laminator, 3-hole punch, etc). But, we got all the school shopping done! We hit Wal-Mart, ShopKo, Sports Authority, Big 5, Ross, and the mall. Josh now feels that he is properly set to go back to school with new jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and as he says, rockin' new Puma shoes. James isn't going back to school, but managed to convince me that he needed a new pair of jeans & a new pair of shorts. Shopping with Josh is definately entertaining! Shopping with both James & Josh is a once in a lifetime experience! We then capped off the evening with a wonderful dinner with the whole family at Olive Garden, which I absolutely love & haven't been to since the new one opened in town.

So, after a long day, James & Josh ended it by modelling their new clothes & goofing off. It was a good day & I'm pretty sure that I'm tired enough that I'll be sleeping very, very well tonight!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Odds & Ends

So, I was looking through my digital picture album & found some fun photos that we've taken over the last couple of weeks. They're not from any one event or activity, just photos we've taken when we've been places or when we've been goofing around, or whatever.

Josh is a huge ham!! He loves to goof off for the camera, make faces for the camera, take pictures of himself...basically, he loves the camera!

This is James and his "good friend" Ashley. James & Ashley have known each other for quite a long time & have always been close. I absolutely adore Ashley & love the influence she has on James. However, I have to admit that with James getting ready for his mission, I'm glad that Ashley has gone to work back east for 5 months. On the other hand, I really hope we see lots of her after James gets home!

Cade is one of James' best friends. It's a very common occurance to find Cade sacked out on the couch in our family room on a Saturday morning! Cade's one of those terrific friends that James has been blessed with!!

James & his two best friends, Mike & Cade, went on a 4-wheeler/motorcycle day trip. Below is Mike(on the left) and Cade hiking on the trip.

Ok, my mom would KILL me if she knew this photo was on here, but oh well! I just will hope she doesn't check out the blog! She was doing her favorite thing in the world--genealogy & I called her name & surprised her with the camera.

So, honestly, even though he looks, well, I don't know what he looks like in this photo...but James actually knew this photo was being taken & deliberatley made this face. Nice, huh?

Pretty, huh? This is the view from my backyard. The grain looks so pretty as it turns gold & gets ready for harvest. Of course, the problem with it turning gold & getting ready for harvest means that my misery then starts. The only time of year I have allergy problems is during grain harvest--and believe me, at that time, I am miserable!

This used to be the best place in the world to swim. When I was in high school, my friends & I swam here all the time. James & Josh & their friends have always swam here. It's surprising to me how many kids not living in this immediate area know about & love to come to "The Tube". Sadly, apparently the county decided it was a liability to have that many kids there all the time & so they demolished The Tube. It is now just a shallow part of the river system going into the resevoir. Josh was so bummed about it he wanted to go take photos to be able to record the destruction done to their swimming hole! Josh said to me--I guess the only place we can swim now is the canals. Seriously, we almost had a teen uprising in our area over this travesty.

Josh is a pipe mover. There are times he absolutely loves it--like when he picks up his paycheck--and times he hates it--like when he has to be in the fields at 6:30am. But he decided that he had to get a picture of himself in front of the fields...again, this goes back to the camera hog thing. Personally, I just thought it was an awesome photo of him!! How cute is this kid? I guess that's why we have girls calling the house already--and he's only 13!!!

We have some pretty cool sunsets out at our house. Josh thought this one was really interesting--I agree. While it's not necesarily the prettiest one we've had, it's very unusual. And I thought a sunset was a great way to cap off the night for me.

And there's a more typical beautiful Idaho sunset from outside my front door.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

More of my Fabulous Nieces & Nephews!

So, I've been waiting to put up pictures of my other brother's family, because my SILsaid that she was going to send me new pictures, including photos of her & Andy. I'm still waiting....c'mon Cheri! So, I'm going to go ahead with the photos I have, even though they're old & hope I get the new pics from Cheri soon!
So, this is my SIL Cheri. I can't find the photo of her & Andy together, so we're going to go with the pretty half of the couple! In case it's not obvious from the photo, this is on their wedding day in 1998. Cheri was the most beautiful bride! Andy & Cheri have three gorgeous kids...Brittney, Billy & Tyler.

Brittney is a sophomore. She was on the track team this year & did a terrific job. She's going to be driving soon, which I think scares her parents a little bit. I can't believe all my nieces are getting this old! Britt is a beautiful girl & is so sweet & loving!

Billy is the same age as Josh, and is going into 8th grade this year. Bill's into baseball & has played on a little league team for years. I'm not biased, but he's pretty dang good! Billy's a happy, fun loving kid. He's a prankster & loves to have fun. Plus, he earns mucho extra points with Aunt Liza because he's the only Sox fan of the three kids!

Tyler is the youngest in the family. He's also going into 8th grade this year. As you can see from his shirt, Ty's a Yankees fan. I don't know where Andy & Cheri went wrong with him, but it is fun to mess with him on the phone! Ty's also into baseball & plays on the Little League team with Billy. Tyler's a sweet kid.

I don't get to see this branch of the family as often as I want, because they live farther away, but I sure love them!