Monday, November 8, 2010

Party Crashers!

So, a few weeks ago, I decided I was going to host a little craft party at my house and invite my sisters and nieces that live nearby. Some said they were going to come and some couldn't make it. Our plan was to arrive, have dinner and craft on Friday night, then go to Gardener's Village on Saturday. So, on Friday morning I got a call from one of my sisters (Lanell) telling me that my sister from California (Janice) was coming to the party. She was coming up to Idaho to borrow my dad's chainsaw (don't even ask, but if you do, its a pretty funny story). I asked Lanell if it wouldn't have been cheaper for Janice to rent or buy a chainsaw, but at this point it was about more than borrowing my dad's obviously amazing chainsaw. Anyway, when Janice heard we were all getting together to craft, eat and talk, (our favorite best hobbies), she decided to crash the party. She wasn't invited because I didn't think in a million years she would drive 10-12 hours for a few hours of partying with us. Boy was I wrong. I'm so glad she came. But, we kept it a secret from the rest of the party-goers. April, Lanell, Ashley and Taunya arrived around 5:00, Darcie got there a bit later. Then around 8:30 Janice snuck in the house. The pictures below tell the story better than I can.
You can't tell from the picture below, but April is crying she was so surprised and happy to see Janice.
We were all sitting around feeling bad that the rest of the sisters couldn't make it, when to our surprise around 11:00 Shirlene showed up. She had told me on the phone earlier that she wasn't coming because of the cost and time. She is working on her Master's Degree at BSU and pretty involved with that, and like the rest of us, the money she would have spent on gas could go to so many other places. But then she had a "conversation" with mom that went something like this: "Mom, you wouldn't go if you were me and money was an issue". Mom, "Go be with your sisters". Shirlene "You wouldn't do this if you didn't have the money." Mom, "I have a different perspective now, go be with your sisters". So she decided to come. I halfway expected her to come, especially since I did spill the beans and tell her Janice was coming (it was a little pressure, nothing more). All the same, when she showed up I was so surprised and busy hugging her that I didn't get any photos of her walking in and surprising us all. Here we are working on the cute little pumpkin crafts we made. It was kind of challenging for some of us and we had some pretty good laughs.
Aren't these stuffed pumpkins cute!!!
After crafting we spent the rest of the night, (literally, we were up until 6:00 am) laughing, crying, talking and making some unforgettable memories. One by one we drifted off to bed for a couple hours of sleep before we were supposed to head south to Gardener's Village. Debbie didn't get there until Saturday morning because she and my brother (her hubby) work the Friday evening shift at the IF Temple. She was also surprised to see Janice and Shirlene.
Here we are Saturday morning drinking all manner of herbal teas trying to relieve our suffering-from-sleep-deprivation hang-overs and moving pretty slowly. I'm the one with the incredible bed-head in the bottom left corner. I look better than I feel.
Lanell had to leave Saturday morning-ish to go back to Pocatello, where her son was playing in a championship football game, so she couldn't go to Gardener's Village with us. This is a group photo before she left. I'm still in my pajamas!
We finally left the house around 2:00 (much, much later than we had planned) and drove down to Gardener's Village. We had a late lunch there and then walked around the many shops and had more fun. The sun was setting and reflecting this beautiful pink on the mountains to the east of us. Unfortunately, my camera wasn't quite up to the task so you can't even begin to appreciate how beautiful it was.
One final group picture before we left Gardener's Village. Back row: me and Debbie. Seated from left to right: Janice, April, Ashley and Taunya, (April's daughters), Shirlene and Darcie, (Debbie's daughter who has two buns in the oven due the first part of May, we're so happy for her).
Debbie and Darcie went home Saturday night and April and her girls were going to drive back home also, but we talked them into staying one more night. When we got home around 9:00 p.m., we made a run to Macey's (food store, not department store) so Janice could buy "Snaps". She can't find them anywhere near where she lives, so we always have to do a "snaps" run when she's here. If you don't know, snaps are colorful little licorice tubies that we McAffee's love. Debbie told Janice she thinks they taste like soap, to which Janice replied (think happy, excited voice here), "Ya, they do, and they taste like perfume too". And they really do, but they taste like soap and perfume with lots of sugar on them and we love them. I've actually converted Kent to them too. After the "snaps" run, we went home and watched, or tried to watch "Letters from Juliet", which I liked, but kept falling asleep through it.
Bright and early Sunday morning April, Ashley and Taunya drove home and Janice and Shirlene went to church with us. Right after Sac. Meeting, Shirlene left. It was so hard to say good-bye to people as they left, but Janice and Shirlene were the hardest for me because they were the last two to leave. Janice left early this morning for her drive back to CA. She drove through snow, rain, sleet, wind and sunshine, and sometimes all of it at once according to her. But she made it through the Sierra Nevadas and on home safe and sound. Thanks you girls for a glorious, albeit, unhealthy weekend. Thanks to all of you for making financial sacrifices and giving up time with your hubbies and babies (young and old) to be together. Love and miss you all.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Missing Mom

Yesterday marked two months since mom passed away. I really miss her. It seems like it has been years since I've seen her, talked to her or laughed with her.

Thanksgiving 2008
Dad sporting a nasty owie from a semi rearending them. His face smashed into the steering wheel. Ouch!

Mackay Dam, Summer 2009

May 2009 -I promise I did not stick my tongue in a socket just before this picture was taken. What is up with my wild hair???
Mom with granddaughters and great-granddaughters, plus Garrett.
Mom with daughters, minus Cindy, Shauna, Lanell and Shellie.
Mom with the latest batch of great-grandbabies.

June 2010 - at Hawaiian Temple

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Worst of the Tricks!

Trevor decided at the last minute to go trick-or-treating with his friends on Saturday night (yes, you saw this costume last year. We are pretty lazy when it comes to putting costumes together. Consider this recycling). He even took a pillowcase with him. I used to have huge hangups about kids trick-or-treating with pillowcases. How much candy does one need anyway? And, isn't gluttony one of the seven cardinal sins!?! Not to mention what all that sugar does to the kids - blissful energy, then the inevitable crash (like all good drugs should do, right?), tooth decay, lethargic thinking, suppressed immune system, and the list goes on.

Dumb things I have done in the past in regards to the Halloween loot:
1. Not take my kids trick-or-treating.
2. Let my kids go trick-or-treating, then make them pick out their favorite 10 items, trashing the rest (this was by far the most sadistic because it never really got trashed, Kent and I ate it. I know, we're sick!).
3. Pick out all the bubble gum loaded with sugar and trash that (I have never liked my kids "chomping" on gum, and you will never see me doing it).
4. Allow them to eat as much Halloween candy on Halloween night as they can, then trash the rest (very poor advice from a not-very-bright mom, and I fell for it. Who's the dummy here?).
5. Pay my kids for their Halloween candy - actually, I can't remember if I ever really did this, or if I've just fantasized about doing it until in my mind it has become a "real" memory.

For years Nicki and Regan have had to take the brunt of our "learning curve" when it came to parenting skills. This is just one example. I think I owe them bags of candy, if they really want to collect!