Sunday, August 30, 2009

Two of my favorite things

1. My birthday
2. Camping
Of course I don't LOVE getting older, but I do enjoy having a birthday and making reference to it throughout the entire month of August. I like to think of August as my "birthmonth" really, not just one single birth "day". And I am not talking about presents or parties. I just like to mention it every once in a while to solicite help taking out the garbage, emptying the dishwasher, or getting me a bowl of ice cream. One of my "birthday wishes" was to go camping and get out of this heat, and my wish was granted!

We camped up at Airplane Flat with the Sharps, Larsens, and the Starrs. It was a great group, adults and kids alike. All the children got along famously and except for Bruce taking an impromptu swim in the freezing cold creek, no mishaps.
Of course, horshoes were involved...

A little hiking...

Some biking... (It was easy to tell our kids from o
thers in the campground. None of ours had helmets. Oops!)

This is totally out of order, but here is Carson Starr with a yummy birthday cupcake.

Carson and Jocelyn Starr



Guys. Just because I brought 2 spatulas, does not mean the you BOTH need to be stirring the fajitas mix. It's pretty much a one man job.

Necia, Jennifer, LeaAnn, myself (with guest appearances by Jocelyn, Derek & Van)

The big party! We were tempted to invite the other campers over to our party to share in the bounty of cupcakes, but we didn't. Yes, Jen had those cupcakes made in the shape of a horse, just for my special day. Very touching!

Not the best picture in the world, but I had to show off "Buddy", my new little camping pal. He holds the garbage sack, utinsels, paper towels, spices, and a lantern! And only just $15.88! What a steal!
Chad: "Sarah, where is the salt and pepper?
Me: "Over by Buddy."
Chad: "Hey, Sarah. Where did that other spatula go?"
Me: "Oh. It's hanging on Buddy."
You get the idea.

Walt with Ian and Van
Canyon Creek

A major attraction for the kids is the rope swing. Here is Jeff helping the kids get on. (And Lauren possibly picking her nose.)

Who needs big fancy playground equipment when all you need is a big log and a long skinny pole. Instant teeter totter, free of charge.

Van IS Superman

Ian Loves to get his picture taken

Are you sure these two are just 6 months apart?

Best buds! Audrie and Ressa have handled not being in the same school class very well. It was great to have them play together the whole time.

Umm. Jen took this picture. What a couple of posers!

Oh. I guess that's all the pictures. Sorry!
We had a fun time, but too short as usual. It was the perfect way to spend my birthday. I even got another birthday wish when it rained a little both days. Perfect!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We've come along way, baby!

Yep! Against all odds, Chad and I made it to the 10 year anniversary mark! What odds? O.K. We really were never up against any obstacles, unless you count our advanced years (in mormon age) and stubborn personalities. When we got engaged and our mother's spoke to eachother, Elaine warned my mom that I would have my hands full with Chad and my mother warned her right back about me. So I guess you could say we were meant for eachother. After just 1 1/2 months of dating and a 2 month engagement, we were sealed in the Portland, OR temple on August 13, 1999. That, of course, was Friday the 13th. We sure love to test fate! Here is our engagement photo... And here we are, just 10 years later. Older, wiser, a little heavier and wrinklier, but happy and still in love. In the eternal scheme of things, 10 years is just a blink, but here and now I feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that we have made it this far.
We have been blessed as we have worked together to tackle problems and challenges along the way, coming out closer to eachother and to our Savior. Without His love and direction, I don't know how marriages make it past a year. By keeping our covenants, we have avoided many pitfalls that can destroy a marriage. When we have made a mistep, we have been able to support one another and help them get back on track. Yes, our stubborn pride rears it's ugly head now and again. We both could have married some else that we could have walked all over, but where is the fun in that?
I love this man and I look forward to what adventures lie ahead for us!

Happy 9th Birthday, Boys!

On July 1st, 2000, I gave birth to two tiny baby boys! What an adventure it was to get these sweet babies here safely and healthy "enough".
Chad and I had been married for 3 months when we finally found out we were going to have a baby! We were so anxious and excited. The day we found out we were having 2 babies was one of my favorite memories. Then the nausea hit me and didn't let go for the first 5 months. Just when I got this amazing medicine that helped me keep food down, I found that I was in premature labor and hospitalized. After 10 long weeks it was determined that is was safe enough to let our babies come into the world.

On July 1st, Carson and Jackson were delivered cesarean at 34 weeks. Carson was "born" first, weighing in at 4lbs 11oz. and Jackson came in at 3lbs 10oz. It was such a relief to hear them cry out and see their little faces! Our adventure was far from over, but it was a great milestone!

Carson had a rough time at first. He could not breathe on his own very well so they had to put him on a ventilator. After a few days he improved and soon was breathing on his own. In two weeks he was moved out of NICU and started to eat without a tube. Three weeks after he was born, we were able to bring Carson home! We were so happy that he was well enough to bring home, but the feeling was bittersweet. Jackson was not ready yet, so we would continue to travel back and forth from Good Samaritan Hospital for 3 more weeks to see him.

Jackson seemed to be stronger than Carson, at first. He was breathing on his own, so we assumed that he would fair a little better. But soon, Jackson started to struggle and here is our little guy on the ventilator. Look how he is almost the size of Chad's hand! For 6 LONG weeks, the doctors struggled to figure out why he was not getting stronger. He had a few problems that they thought pointed to a much bigger problem and succeeded in scary us do death! Long story short, after 6 weeks in NICU, Jackson was able to come home. We took him to the cardiologist, urologist, and ENT specialist and each one gave him a clean bill of health and sent us on our way in wonder! Needless to say, the whole experience gave us a greater testimony and appreciation of the power of the priesthood.

Here are our birthday boys on their 9th birthday. You don't have to make any comments on how they don't look much different weight-wise. I am well aware. This year we celebrated their special day up in Washington State at their Grandma & Granpa Perrins house on the lake.

Even more special was sharing their birthday celebration with their Great Grandma Pruitt who turned 89 years old! Jackson LOVES his great grandma so much and is amazed that someone can live to be that old! Carson, we can see your ribs just fine without sucking in, thanks!
I sure love these boys. I think I would like to freeze them at this age. They have gotten along with each other ever since they were babies. How lucky they are to always have a buddy to play with!
Here are some more random pictures of the boys when they were little.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Girls Weekend

Pinetop, AZ doesn't even know what hit 'em when 6 1/2 of the silliest, loudest, most obnoxious, and feistiest women came to town. O.K. Enough about Erin. (Hee hee!) This marked the 2nd annual Girls Weekend Extravaganza Jubilee Retreat Escape up at Erin's parents "cabin". Once again, it was too short but tons of fun.
We welcomed newcomer Amy to the group, along with her baby girl Katie (hence the 1/2 previously mentioned). Normally children are not in attendance, defeating the whole purpose of the weekend (and I would also have change the super cool name of the weekend altogether). But this year we held an emergency meeting and unanimously amended the bylaws, and made an exception in this case. By emergency meeting, of course, I mean that Erin called me and said that Amy was bringing her baby, and by unanimous, I mean Erin told Amy that it would be fine and that no one would mind.

Since the weekend is now over, we can officially announce that Katie is the bestest little baby in the whole wide world and award her with the MVLP award (most valuable little person). Her presence at GWEJRE 2009 was a sheer delight, not to mention a big hit with the town folk since she seemed to be the only infant within a 10 square mile radius. We would also like to add that having Amy there this year was also pretty nice and she behaved reasonably well, only getting into ONE fight with a restaurant hostess.

I had especially been looking forward to getting pedicures at the great nail salon there since my feet (or foot, rather) has been needing some TLC for awhile now. A cute little bookstore is right next door, so those who were waiting could pop over there for a while. Here is the money shot of our gorgeous piggies!

Dang, Amber! Your foot could use a little sun! Mine is the one in the middle bottom with the white zebra stripes. From mine going clockwise is Amber, Carmen, Amy, Erin, and LeaAnn.

Amy brought a basket of crafting goodies to make flower clips for our girls' hair. I have been wanting to learn to make them, so I was a little more than enthusiastic about the project. Carmen acted aloof and bored by the whole idea, playing 5 Crowns with LeaAnn (has only boys) and Amber. Carmen has 2 girls, so after some persuasion, she reluctantly started playing around with the flowers. After a few minutes, and a couple cute results, Carmen was a women possessed and couldn't be stopped! I will post some pictures later of some finished product. It wasn't long before our supplies were about gone so we needed to make a run to Walmart.
That is, after Erin's insistance that we stop and grab a bite to eat first.

We went to an Italian restaurant in town that Erin had been to a couple times, Pasta House. The food was terrific, without a doubt. The service? Well, let's just say, without going into great detail, that Amy and little miss hostess thingy there are not going to become friends on facebook anytime soon. Wow. That woman was a piece of work, wasn't she? Do you think she is stressed out because of the recession, Carmen?

Speaking of Amy, here is Katie, watching us make flowers. Isn't she precious?

We sure love to talk and talk and talk. Even until 4:30 am if necessary. Chad called and asked what we were up to. Talking, getting pedicures, making flower clips, eating, and more talking. He doesn't get it, of course. LeaAnn, I am so glad my friends have become just as much yours (if not more so since you still see them more!). I am grateful to Erin's parents in letting us stay in their house and have our little "reunions"! We missed you, Carrie! Hope you can come next year! Rebecca, we missed having you there, too, but glad we could stop and see you and baby Brock and the family on the way up!

Thanks, ladies, for a memorable weekend! See you in 2010!

At long last

On June 18th, after 2 long months, I finally got my cast off! Actually, my appt. was supposed to be for the day before but the dr.'s office called and asked if they could reschedule for the following day. Sure! It's not like I had my heart set on it or anything. But being the good sport I am, I went in the next day. What a relief to have that thing gone once and for all! You have to look closely at the leg on the left in the picture to see the difference in size and also the light tan line from my cast. I had such anxiety throughout the casting. Like the time I accidentally sat up in the bathtub to help Lauren open a water bottle and absentmindedly put my whole cast in the water. I had to wait until the following day to get that soggy mess taken off, so that night I woke up and started tearing off my cast, convinced that I had to take it off before all my clammy skin fell off. Chad woke up to the noise and put an end to that bizarre spell. What a kook! I wore a walking boot for another month after the cast came off and eventually was able to walk around pretty well with it on. Here is the not-so-subtle scar that I am left with. I have been walking without the boot for 3 weeks now and have a slight limp due to tightness. Doc said I should be relatively back to normal by November. My foot, that is.

Before you get all feeling too sorry for me, check this out!

Having this bad boy is the best thing ever!

Just fishin'...

Fishing? I prefer to call it "casting", 'cause that is what we are really talking about, isn't it? It has been so long since we have actually caught anything, I suspect the kids think we are just toying with them. And I feel the worse for Chad. When I met Chad 11 years ago, he had such a love for the sport. He even took me fishing on our 3rd date, my first time ever, up at Black River. This picture below perfectly illustrates the main reason his passion for fishing has faded. Kids.

He is forever fixing twisted lines, freeing hooks from unseen rocks and branches, baiting hooks, giving instructions and repairing poles. By the time he gets a chance to fish, we are all hungry and tired and ready to call it a day. Poor guy. And when he is given the opportunity to go by himself, he doesn't seem interested. What have we done to him? Maybe when he is 60 and retired he can rekindle the flame...

In the meantime, here are some pictures of the action pack sport of "casting"...

Let's be honest here. Lauren and Grayson don't get along a majority of the time. They are the same age, born on the same day. Both are stubborn, smart, and independent. But once in a while, the planets align, and they are best buds. This outing produced such an occasion as the two shared a fishing pole. Yes, you heard me right! Shared! One would take a turn at casting and reeling in while the other patiently waited, even giving a supportive cheer at times. After that turn was over, the other would say "my turn" and they would exchange. This went on for some time while Hollie and I observed with wonder. What a great day!

I don't know what Lauren is doing here, but it sure is cute! I think she might be trying to see her dad and siblings down the shoreline. I sure wish binoculars really worked like that.

Hollie and I got the younger kids to take a break and let us take some pictures. Here are some cute ones...

Bret, Hollie, Elaine, and Mabel on the sidelines.

Grandpa Rowley has two brothers that look just like him, so when they come to visit, Lauren thinks she has 3 grandpas to spoil her. And they do! Here is Uncle John with one very happy girl on his lap.

Mabel - the prettiest girl in town....

And usually the dirtiest when we are camping!