Ransom Family

Random Ramblings and Happenings

January 2022

Vincent turns 14 this year and was ordained a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood this afternoon. Andy’s parents joined us for church and an early dinner. My parents weren’t able to make it this time.

Abby decided that she wants to read the whole Old Testament this year. She started Sunday morning while waiting for church to start. I did the math and figured out she needs to read 3.25 pages a day to finish, but told her she should probably read 5 pages a day so if she has to miss a few days, she’ll still make her goal. After her first five pages in Genesis, Andy and I asked her to tell us what she read and she retained a lot of it! Then she drew this picture of Adam and Eve in the garden with the serpent around the tree, God talking to Adam and Eve and the lion and lamb “cuddling”.

Today’s reading prompted discussion about marrying cousins and whether “meat” means meet or food. We’ll see how she does, but every verse, chapter, and discussion is a step in the right direction.

It snowed enough that we closed the store for a day. It was kind of nice to stay home, read, and hang out with my family all day and not worry about work.

Happy 65th birthday to my mom! Thanks for sharing the things you love with us! Family, music, temples, and, of course, quilting!

I know this picture seems random, but I saw this umbrella stroller in a thrift store and had to take a picture. All of our kids used a stroller exactly like this. It was less than $15 when Elizabeth was little and the hand-me-down stroller someone gave us was just too big for our Civic’s trunk. Over time, the canopy broke off, but it was the best stroller. When Abby was born I decided to buy a new one and we used it once before the seams were already starting to fray, so I returned it and went back to this trusty stroller that’s been through many, many miles with our family. If I was even more sentimental, I would have bought this, but I left it there for another family to enjoy.

I guess I liked that snow day too much. We got COVID and had a week to hang out at home until we were symptom free and got negative tests.
Mostly we just have sore throats, cough, and aches, but my senses of taste and smell disappeared for a week or so. It’s so weird. Olivia was our ‘last man standing’ until she tried to go to school for finals that Tuesday and needed a test to stay since our family has it and she had a positive test.

Our household had all negative tests at the end of the week! It was a bit of a long week hanging out at home, but I read a lot and rested and hung out with my family and I can’t complain about any of those things. I was grateful for those who dropped things off for us and checked up on us.

Abby’s 11! She’s so enthusiastic, friendly, kind, and a little wild. She’s always been able to talk to anyone and is very good at compliments. Happy birthday, Abby!

Olivia went to a fun friend’s Tolo dance last night. I love the skirt she picked out at Sweet Salt Clothing. So cute. She had a great time!

Fun fact: Her date’s dad and I were on a double date for Homecoming my senior year (he went with one of my friends.)

Vincent’s 14! He’s a great kid. Patient with his sisters (most of the time), helpful, and funny. He loves music and reading and games. He’s our “little buddy”-I wish that nickname had stuck better- and we love him!

We are halfway through our birthday season. Abby’s was 6 days ago and Elizabeth’s is 6 days from now.

On the last Sunday in January Elizabeth led our Sunday family gospel discussion as we talked about Noah’s ark. She told us each to make a boat out of one price of paper and 3 pieces of tape. As we built them it was decided to see if they could float (or at least not sink). Some lasted longer than others due to their design and some lasted so long, we added coins to weigh them down and two still ended in a tie after 40 minutes! (Mine and Andy’s).
I was able to visualize Noah’s ark a little more today at church when the lady I teach primary with shared that the ark was about the size of two of the church building we meet in end-to-end.
Luckily, Noah had instructions from Heaven to build his boat to withstand the floods with all of his family and animals.
We all sometimes have those things that weigh us down, but as we build the best way we can, we can withstand the floods and storms that come.

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December 2021

Decorating the tree with the new ornaments from Grandpa and Grandma Crowther.

I love watching Elizabeth share her talents with others. She was asked to help make aprons with a group of girls from church between the ages of 8-11. 9 girls came and several experienced sewers to help. Elizabeth did awesome giving instructions and helping them learn something new. She did a lot of prep beforehand (cutting, serging edges, etc). They still need another night to finish them, but they are adorable.

I enjoyed watching Olivia practice the musical number with a small group of girls from Forte the other day. She teaches music lessons and it’s fun when I get to listen in to those too. I love that she practices often and shares her talents with those around her. (Not the best picture because I cropped out the other people and it was from a distance to begin with.)

Vincent is a talented, smart kid. He is extra awesome at waking up early everyday and getting himself where he needs to be. I soooo appreciate that he has learned this important skill (because it means I get to sleep in!) His hair is getting way too long, but just keeps getting taller and taller.

One of Abby’s talents is talking to EVERYONE! She hasn’t ever met someone she hasn’t complimented on their hair, necklace, shirt, mask, etc. She can make a connection with anyone. I love that she’s not shy like I was as a kid. She’s eating a dill pickle wrapped in a paper towel in the picture.

Light the World prompt: think of someone wise who has blessed your life. I’m lucky to have many wise people around who bless me, but wanted to highlight one. Susan Merkley is a lady in my Ward at church and we were assigned to be partners to visit and take care of other sisters in our Ward together for about five years. During that time, she would always help with my at-the-time little kids and was so patient with them and me. She taught me that family is SOOOO important. She taught me that you can serve no matter your age. (She already had grandkids when I met her and now has great-grandchildren and is still serving just like she did 20 years ago when I met her as a newlywed and then new mom.) She is accepting of others. She taught me that good things are worth the work to do them right. (Two sets of hip replacements!) She taught me that a good book is worth losing sleep sometimes. Susan is one of my favorite people and I’m so grateful for her wisdom.

Friday some of us attended a Christmas party for church (Olivia was performing and Andy was flying home from a work trip). Vincent and Abby were able to talk to Santa and Abby sang a few songs with the other primary kids.

Saturday we went to the Forte concert (one more show Monday night!) Olivia did a great job accompanying a group of beautiful singers. Swipe for the video of part of the song.It’s a busy time of year juggling all the fun stuff with work, but it’s worth it!

21 years ago Andy and I had our first official date to watch The Nutcracker ballet performed by MCB. Andrew’s parents invited us to go with them. Andy’s sister Torrie was in three big company parts. Afterwards, we went out to eat at Red Robin (the Richland one when it was still open.) About 20 days later we decided we wanted to get married. December is a special month! We were so much younger looking then!

Light the World prompt: think of a shining star in your life. Audrey Clark has been in our lives since we first got married, but over the last few years we have had extra opportunities to interact and be blessed by her. From piano lessons for my kids to hiring my older girls to tutor a grandchild to asking if she can borrow a kid or two and take them fun places, I cannot express my appreciation enough for her kindness and infectious happy soul in my life. Thank you for being a beacon of light and love, Audrey!

It snowed! And it’s gone already. My favorite kind of snow. Lol Abby found enough snow to make a tiny snowman (from the backyard snow and off the cars.)

We were accidentally sent 96 whisks at work in September that they didn’t want us to send back, so they told us to give them away. I found this cute little saying and tied it on to hand out one Saturday before Christmas and our customers were SO excited about getting a free whisk. Several said they were needing one and keep forgetting to get one. I love being able to give things away.

A friend from church stopped by our house one Sunday afternoon to take our picture. I’m bummed it’s blurry, but it is there and we sent it out on our Christmas cards anyway.

I love kid notes! One of my sweet primary kids dropped this note off for me.

You never know who’s going to stop by our Brick ’em Young nativity. R2-D2 and Bugs Bunny visited.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is making this cinnamon wreath bread. My mom used to make candy cane bread, but I switched it to a wreath to make it fit in the pan easier. I made it with my mom when Elizabeth was almost 2 years old and have made it every year since for some of our closest friends (and I give it frozen so they can make it when they want it because no one likes stale, cold bread.)

Christmas Eve with Andy’s local sisters and parents is always fun. We bring the nativity puppet show, cousins exchange gifts, carols, stories, and treats.

I always love one final picture on Christmas Eve all set for Christmas morning.

Santa knows what Andy likes.

Each kid and Andy got a 3D puzzle I found at GameStop. Olivia’s was a carousel.

The girls each got a makeup kit box. Abby was a little more surprised than the older girls since she can’t wear makeup outside the house for a few more years.

Santa brought Elizabeth a new friend (who I started calling Ginger because she needed a name). She’s always surprising me around the house. This is a fun dress Elizabeth is working on for her mission.

My favorite surprise gift this year I gave were these track suits to Andy and Vincent. Andy’s been wanting one like this for a very long time. Their reaction was priceless. They both jumped right up to try them on.

Visits with grandparents make Christmas Day complete.

Matching with a beautiful friend at church is always fun! This time we needed a picture. Merry Christmas!

We visited Andy’s Grandma Ellen the day after Christmas in her new place and enjoyed her telling us about her favorite Christmases. I asked her if I could video it and share it with the rest of the family. We love her!

I liked that our Christmas card made the entry area. I made the LOVE cross-stitch with the bears too. She has so many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren that she has to rotate them.

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November 2021

Olivia’s very excited about this organ in our house. She mentioned a few days before this was taken that she wanted to practice more and then I saw on Facebook that a friend of a friend was giving it away and had it loaded in a trailer already and offered to bring it to us, so the night before, we rearranged the living room to fit it in. She’s excited about doing piano/organ duets with Vincent too!

The organ is full size and before the person who gave it to us, it was in the church in Othello. The person who gave it to us had it for 15 years and got a brand new one. This one has a humming/whirring noise of the fan that needs to probably be replaced, but it works for Olivia to learn on.

Saturday night Andy and I went to dinner with our friend Nathan at the Maharaja Taste of India Restaurant. There are no remnants of Famous Dave’s that used to be in that location (I still miss their cornbread). It’s super fancy and the food is delicious! I had the Chicken Tikka Masala and naan bread and tried a bite of Andy and Nathan’s dishes too.

Some people just ‘get’ me. I’m so glad one of those people is someone I work with who’s become a friend. I love good books!

Happy Veterans Day! I learned something new about one of my grandpas yesterday. I didn’t know he was a veteran too! Grateful for those who share store to keep memories alive long after they are gone. Army veterans on the left-both of my grandpas plus my brother Jeff. Andy’s grandpas on the right-Navy veterans. So grateful for all those who serve! I also accidentally used my aunt’s father-in-law’s picture, so my grandpa is not in the collage, but separate underneath.

This picture might not look like much to you, but it made my heart happy this morning. I was at the church while the primary kids practiced the program they are doing . A girl in my class was struggling with loud sounds and all the things going on, so another sweet girl scooted over to her and held her hand pretty much the rest of the practice to help her. This is what it means to “comfort those who stand in need of comfort”, to “bear one another’s burdens”, and to be more Christlike. (Mosiah 18)

Primary Program day! Abby is my only kid still in primary (Just one year left!) She sang with everyone, gave the part she wrote about reading the scriptures, and did sign language with a few other girls for the last song. I love hearing the sweet testimonies of children.

For the first time since March 12, 2020 the Hanford High Orchestra was able to have a concert. Olivia is now in Chamber Orchestra and is enjoying the challenge. Both sets of grandparents came tonight and so did a few of her best friend’s (and sister Abby). They all did great and it was fun to watch and listen!

The Columbia River Temple has been a shining beacon for 20 years! I love that even when it’s stormy outside, inside there is peace and safety.

Santa was at the Jason Lee Bazaar today! He knows my name and Abby wasn’t as impressed as she should have been about that, but she was excited to see him!

Anna-Marie got married! I used to babysit her and her brother way back when I was a teenager and her mom was dating her stepdad. It was so great to see her and meet her husband, plus a bunch of people who were in my church ward growing up.

Our 14 1/2 year old Hyundai Veracruz passed 290,000 miles! Picture is not on the exact mile since I was driving and I don’t take pictures when I’m driving.

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s also my parent’s 45th wedding anniversary today! So grateful for them and all the love they share.

It’s a RED apron kind of day at Fountain Books! Just hanging out with some of my favorite people today and having a merry little time with great customers and sales.

My nutcracker army is out. They seem to multiply every year. Nativities are up too. Decorating the tree tonight and Olivia’s wrapping presents already for me. Gotta get ahead while I have time. Working retail gets so busy, but I love it.

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October 2021

I know, I know…it’s been MONTHS since I updated… I was waiting for the official wedding pictures from my brother’s wedding and time got away from me too.

Here’s some reasons why:

A few days before General Conference, the store owner had a chance to go to Utah and pick up some new-to-us shelves (without much notice). We had already planned on being closed Saturday for conference and if we didn’t do it then, we would have had to cancel another day and probably put all the shelves in storage and then reload and unload. Therefore, we decided that since most of us were available, we’d get it done during conference afternoon and evening.

Elizabeth and Olivia came to help. We started Friday night after closing, unloading all that we could and rolling the old shelves to the other side of the store so there was room to set up the new shelves. It was almost as intense as moving again, but without all the boxes.

The new shelves are taller, have longer shelves, are more sturdy, and they are WAY nicer! My girls snuck in my after pictures. (Final touches for signs and displays were made on Monday before opening.)

The owner brought back 3 additional 4-tier tables and these three islands we shifted snacks to as well as three more square tables plus all the shelves.

Fitting everything through the back door was challenging for a few of the things.

It is beautiful (and my girls are pretty cute too!)

Our Chevy Malibu died and we picked up this kid car Kia Forte from Horne’s Auto Sales for Elizabeth and Olivia to share.

The hood is dented with hail, but it runs and will get them where they need to go.

One tiny step to normalcy… Homecoming (off-campus) dance tonight for Olivia and lots of other well-dressed teens! So grateful for those who are hosting the events all over our area and for good friends for my kids. Olivia went to homecoming with her friend George. We picked up this dress from JCPenney just as COVID started for less than $20. I love it! They had a great time. (This one was their first dance and they went to another one the following weekend.)

My primary class is so sweet. They love to draw on the chalkboard. This time we were talking about treasures and they drew all kinds of things people treasure. Jewels, pirate loot, and so much more. Treasures in heaven are even better.

Speaking of treasures, Andy and I went to Missouri for my baby brother’s wedding

Congratulations, Jeff & Cheyanne!

It was awesome to have all of my siblings together and spouses too (except one whose flight was cancelled at the last minute-we missed her!)

We went out to eat (a bunch), visited a beautiful garden, and had a wonderful time and an awful lot of laughs with family too!

We visited the Independence Church History site.

We always have to try out Waffle House when we get a chance!

Andy and I at the beautiful garden we went to.

Surprise! The garden had a really cool model train set up. Andy loved that (and it wasn’t on purpose either!)

Lunch with my siblings who weren’t busy the day of the wedding.

Mom and Dad met up with us after our lunch and the girls went and got manicures together.

The wedding site was gorgeous (and very cold!)

My brother Jeff and I before the wedding. Love how big his smile is!

Me with my mom and sister.

Me and Andy.

Jeff and Cheyanne looked great! So happy for them! Andy and I took them out to eat a few days before at their favorite Italian restaurant and visited with them before the final wedding preparations took over everything.

I was waiting for these pictures, but still don’t have them, so I snapped this of my mom’s picture they printed for her for Christmas.

One of my coworkers wrote the third book in her trilogy, “Don’t Dance with Death”. I had to get a picture of it by the dance floor. Her other two books, “Don’t Date the Haunted” and Don’t Marry the Cursed” were great too!

The cake was gorgeous!

There was a table with all of the people that have passed away to remember them. Both sets of our grandparents as well as my cousin who was close to Jeff’s age were on there. I thought it was so sweet.

Washington State enacted a new plastic bag law that any business in our state has to charge at least 8 cents for plastic bags (with few exceptions), so Andy found a better deal on bags online and ordered them and is going to take them into stores instead of paying the fee at the store. The new law was supposed to start in January, but was delayed due to COVID. It’s annoying to explain it to customers and to ask everytime if they want to buy a bag, especially since we have a few different sizes of bags and they cost different amounts.

Halloween was on a Sunday, so we did our activities on Saturday (which we’ve done in the past).

Vincent made his Emmi, a mean robot from Metroid and Abby’s a farmer/cowgirl.

We tried a tiny bit of trick-or-treating tonight because tomorrow is Sunday and last time that happened WAY more kids were out on Saturday. It was kind of a bust, except those we stopped at who did have candy really loaded these kids up.

One of our close friends joined us for the few stops we did make.

And Halloween night Vincent and Abby helped me answer the door and played Rummikub with me.

Happy October!

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September 2021

Forgot Olivia’s birthday picture in the last post.

The day of Olivia’s party I had the day off, so I scheduled mani-pedis with my girls, but then Elizabeth was working, so Olivia brought a friend. Abby and Olivia’s friend just wanted manis and not pedis, so they went to one side and Olivia and I had pedis together and then Abby and Olivia’s friend waited for us to finish.

This was only my third mani ever and second pedi and I remembered why after I paid and noticed how little time my mani lasts. I’m just too busy to worry about my nails being pretty.

First day of 5th grade for Abby! Finishing 14 years of our family at the same elementary school.

Abby’s school day was short the first day, so when she got home Andy and I took her to lunch and stopped by the school for pictures.

Pondering friendships today. Back to school week always takes me back to my own school experiences.
I loved going to a small school where “everyone knows your name” (just not how to spell it). I made great friends and fun memories. I felt like everyone was a friend in our school.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized how much we need good friends in our lives and how we can all help each other grow. In the school of life, we need everyone-not all at once necessarily, but even a smile in a hallway or store can help me to feel seen.
I loved school, even though I struggled with certain subjects that I didn’t understand until after the test. Just as I typed that, I thought of how much we don’t understand in life and how much I expect it to become clearer after the “test” of life.
I’m grateful for friends who help me with this “open book” test of life who find answers sooner, share their methods, and simplify the explanation for me so one day I can fully understand.

Flowers from a friend.

Bought myself a new suitcase for a work trip since the handle on our old carry-on size suitcase is broken. I think I’ll be able to SPOT it.

So cute! I love it!

Vincent said he wanted to eat chicken noodle soup for dinner so I told him he could make it since it’s his week for kitchen. He even made the noodles to add to the soup. Yum!

I visited my aunt and uncle to listen to them give talks in church before they go on a mission to Ecuador to serve as self-reliance missionaries. Their talks and my aunt’s musical number were great and visiting with their family was so nice too!
My uncle brought out two binders with family history for my dad to look at and pass along to another sibling when he’s done. This newspaper clipping was in one of the binders and I didn’t remember seeing it before. My Grandma Zora is a good example to me of enduring to the end. When she wrote this, she was 84 years old and lived for another seven years dealing with osteoporosis and other ailments. I loved that she lived so close to me for her last five years in an assisted living facility and I could go visit her and my kids got to know her.

Elizabeth has been working at David’s Bridal for over a month as an alterations specialist working and learning from their in-house seamstress. She is loving it! The first day she came home and said she spent four hours sewing missing beads on a dress and I was trying to figure out if that was a good thing or not and she said, “I get paid to do my hobby! This is awesome!” So happy for her!
The day after her full-time nanny job ended in August, a friend of mine tagged me in a comment on one of her friend’s Facebook posts asking if Elizabeth needed a job. It was perfect timing!
Thanks for the picture, Mom!

The 7-8 year old kids I help teach on Sunday are so creative.
I asked them to think about LIGHT and they came up with so many different lights, from the obvious-sunlight to the not so obvious-car headlights.
There are so many lights around us that help to remind is to be like Jesus and be a Light unto the world and to let our light shine!

Happy National Daughters Day! I love these three girls of mine. They are each so different from each other and it’s so fun to see who they’re turning out to be.

Picture from Mother’s Day.

Shirley had a Ransom.Made Design craft day one Saturday. I took a friend and Elizabeth to make these cute pumpkin welcome signs.

Fixed up the ring case at work to look nicer and easier to understand with a grid on the top and bottom and arranged with little rings on the top, thicker rings on the bottom and arranged by price.

I had a work trip to Utah for a manager conference with Deseret Book. It was so great to meet people in person (still being careful), learn about products coming out this year and next, screen a fantastic movie about Black Pioneers (His Name is Green Flake), saw the Salt Lake Temple under construction, learned how to be a better manager, and so much more.
After the conference I had a little time before my flight so I asked a cousin who lives in the town the conference was if I could take her out to dinner for a ride to the airport and was able to hang out with her for a bit. I have a friend from my hometown who works at the airport who I was able to chat with on my walk through the Salt Lake airport too.

The wood carving at the resort, plane above Utah, Laurel Day-President of Deseret Book, Nativities from Turkey, Malin friend from hometown, Deana my cousin, tree outside my hotel room, Deb from Deseret Book, Billie-Manager from Reno store (same owner as mine), and me by the Salt Lake Temple under construction.

It was a fun trip and a nice escape, but also my washing machine stopped spinning all the water out right before my trip (needs a new belt), I broke a filling out my first night there (and got a temporary crown on Friday morning), and the kid car broke down Wednesday (starter needs to be replaced).
And turns out, the car’s engine was dead, so we bought a new car a few days ago…

Happy National Sons Day!
Vincent is just a fun kid! He’s entertaining, kind, and talented.

Andy’s been working on laying down the flooring through the kitchen over the last month or so, just a little at a time. When he had to move this cabinet to do the floor under it, Elizabeth unloaded it and I redid it. It’s such a handy cabinet.
Picture from a 3D class he took during summer school.
Vincent 8th grade school picture.

Ready or not, October is HERE!

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August 2021

I was all prepared to post about August and then September flew by while I wasn’t looking.

We were able to go to Utah in August to celebrate Andy’s sister’s daughter’s wedding. Brooke and Andrew Bennett were sealed in the Bountiful Temple by his grandfather who is a sealer in Texas. It was fun to visit with them and our family while we were there for two nights.

Elizabeth was working this week at her nanny job and house/pet sitting for someone else while the rest of us went. It’s hard to miss things being an adult, but she worked on some projects and taught my primary lesson for me at church too.

Andrew & Brooke Bennett
Beautiful Bountiful Temple
Cousins (and me) waiting at the temple for the bride and groom.
Olivia, Reese, & Abby.
Me & Abby
Olivia & Me
Abby, Grandma Shirley, & Vincent
Grandma Shirley & some granddaughters
Grandma Shirley & a few grandsons
Reagan & Vincent
Olivia with one of the bridesmaid’s bouquets.
Abby with a bridesmaid’s bouquet.
Abby hugging Brooke.
Abby and Reese helped keep Brooke’s train off the ground for a bit.
Andrew & Brooke after the luncheon.
Wedding cake. The night before the wedding Andy’s sister Cindy got a phone call that the cake baker might have COVID, so they found someone else to make the cake and this was the spur of the moment cake that looks amazing!
Reagan & Abby at the reception.
Olivia helped serve some fancy drinks at the reception with some of their family friends.

We stopped to see the Brigham City Temple.

One of Abby’s life goals was to touch a real cattail plant. She’s achieved a goal.
We thought this was a real tree from the road and even turned around so we could see what kind of tree it was. Andy liked it. But it is just flowering pots hooked up with watering spigots…

We drove through Preston, Idaho to visit Andy’s grandparents gravesites and the Ransom Family Marketplace that is still owned by distant cousins.

Grandpa George’s grandparents.
Grandpa George’s parents.
Grandpa George & Siblings on the back of the gravestone.

We stopped by a museum in Montpelier that had trains, Oregon Trail and a lot more. The kids liked looking around and Abby made friends with the lady who worked there who told her she could use the typewriter.

We went to Jackson to get some food at a Dairy Queen and saw this funny sign on a storage door and thought it was funny.

We went home through Wyoming to visit my brother Brant & his sweet family. We had a great visit and were able to attend my niece Rebekah’s baptism too. The kids all played so nicely inside and outside. I had fun organizing their kitchen pantry (seriously, I kind of love organizing things like that.) Andy played a computer game with the kids. We played several different card games too.

The first night we got there Oliver asked me to go on a walk with him to the end of the driveway and then hopped on his bike. (That’s their house in the background-so peaceful and pretty!)
Scripture time was great! Olivia loved cuddling up with these kids!

Anna wanted to fix everyone’s hair. I helped her braid several people’s hair, but she told Uncle Andy he didn’t have enough hair to braid, so she got him a headband.
Playing Cover Your Assets with cousins.
Rebekah’s baptism.
Olivia played the piano accompaniment at the baptism.

We stayed in Twin Falls Saturday night and checked out this very tall bridge on our way out of town. So pretty!

Vincent & Abby by the statue next to the bridge.

The sky is full of smoke, but going to the temple is always a bright spot! In a world full of distraction and conflict, the peace I feel there is so needed. I’m so glad our Temple is open again and went several weeks in a row to do different ordinances.

Elizabeth, Olivia, and Abby went to Grandma Quilt Camp with Grandma Mary. It was Abby’s first time since they start when they are 10. Elizabeth and Olivia started new projects (Flying Geese blocks) and Abby was able to finish a quilt top. They got a late start on Monday because Elizabeth had a job interview in the morning at David’s Bridal for their alterations department and then Olivia came home Tuesday night so she could go to her piano lesson and church activities on Wednesday. Elizabeth and Abby came home Wednesday night and Elizabeth finished applying for the job online (it wasn’t active on Monday to apply officially). She got the job though!

Olivia, Abby, Elizabeth, and Grandma Mary.
Olivia sewing up some Flying Geese blocks.
String of Flying Geese.
Grandpa Paul took Abby to the park to burn off some energy.
And then she got right back to work.
Abby, Elizabeth, and Grandma Mary with Abby’s finished quilt top.

Olivia celebrated her 16th birthday!
She’s a great kid who enjoys playing piano and violin, reading, playing games with friends and family, doing crafts, writing in her journal, babysitting nieces, and driving. She’s excited to go on group dates with friends and start her junior year. She had a bunch of friends over a few days later to celebrate with games and cheesecake cupcakes (and chocolate pudding cupcakes too).

Olivia got her driver’s license the day after her birthday because the DMV is closed on Mondays. It’s so nice that she was able to do all the tests through Parkside Driving School and we just had to go in to pay for it and get her picture taken.

Do you like her shirt? One of her friends gave it to her. She loves Rubik’s Cubes.
Elizabeth made this dress for a friend whose brother was getting married.
She spent hours doing this hand-smocking.

First day of school for my 8th grader and junior! They are both helping with welcoming younger students at their schools and got a shirt so people can find them. Abby started a few days later, because they have pre-school conferences with the teachers in elementary school now.

Do you know what’s even better than taking first day of school pictures? Sleeping in and kids taking pictures and texting them to you because they know you want them and they always get themselves up and ready for the day independently. Shout out to Elizabeth for driving HS kids to zero hour (so she can keep the car.)

Our ward Young Women class presidency was reorganized and Olivia is now a counselor.

Busy August as we get into a school routine!

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July 2021

Olivia’s started having a weekly game night at our house with friends. They like to play Apples to Apples, Scum, Phase 10, and more. One day while they were playing Apples to Apples I overheard this, “You don’t know who Whoopi Goldberg is?! She was in Star Trek!” It’s just so funny to me that that’s the movie they (one of them) know her from.

Our Cookie House (a local delicious giant cookie place WAY too close to my work) had Cherry Cheesecake and Apple Pie cookies. They are both incredible. And now they make ice cream sandwiches too. Cherry Cheesecake is my absolute favorite so far, but they come up with new flavors all the time.

Elizabeth went with me to several craft stores to get supplies for a church project I’m helping with and had to pick up a few yards of material to make herself some mission skirts too. She did pare these five down to three after the picture. Also, we love the RPD (Richland Police Department) family shirts from Uncle Doug! It’s the first one Elizabeth picks if it’s clean.

Selfie with my girls. Happy Sunday and Independence Day!

Our traditional 4th of July Poppycock Popcorn was popped and we were ready to watch our neighbors set their money on fire. 🍿🔥🎉🇺🇸

See the good in everyday. I had a really rough day at work on July 7th.
See the good in everyday. Today I’m choosing to be glad I didn’t have to unpack a pallet at work-because our pallet went to Texas and we got their pallet… Choosing to be glad that there were only two other cars at the bank and there are normally enough people that doing our work deposit takes 40 minutes and not just 5. Choosing to be glad that there are LOTS of customers at work and that we are pretty steady with nice customers after all the COVID restrictions have eased. Choosing to be glad is hard somedays, but still so much better than the alternative. (Our shipment was rerouted in Fort Worth, Texas and showed up with our regular shipment the following week.)

Yes. Heroes. Just be NICE!

No, I’m not moving! Just wearing some fun SWAG from a real estate friend. Thanks to my friend Ally who became a realtor this past year. If you need to buy or sell a home in Tri Cities, she’s excellent.

My parents just got home from serving an 18-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Omaha at Winter Quarters. So proud of them and their service to improve the place and people they served. They were originally asked to leave last March, but we’re asked to move it up to January soon after and my dad retired early so they could go. It was such a blessing that they were able to be there improving the center throughout the closure due to COVID-19. They worked hard fixing walls, lights, grounds, and so much more. It was SO great to see them after so long!

We went to Walla Walla after our church meetings where Elizabeth spoke to listen to my parents speak and Vincent ended up teaching the young men’s lesson at both wards and got a baggie of gummy bears from the ward in Walla Walla too. Good thing he was prepared!

Elizabeth loved hanging out with Brant’s kids. They all do and I’m so grateful they love their younger cousins!

100%! Books are my very favorite reason to lose sleep.

One of my favorite parts of our family get-togethers was playing with my nieces and nephews at the pool in Walla Walla. These three nieces were especially fun and would swim from auntie to auntie (parents, grandparents, uncles, and cousins too). We did some washing machine spin cycles, ring around the Rosie, tossing them around with their life vests on, and practiced kicking. They were all clinging to me Saturday in the pool, but Sunday they hardly noticed me. I was so confused until I realized my hair wasn’t in a ponytail, but Elizabeth’s was. They liked her more than me on Sunday. They are so adorable and sweet and made me feel like the “fun aunt” for a day.

Picked up my new glasses today. Apparently it had been six years since I had my eyes checked…oops! Time flies. Luckily, my prescription didn’t change much and actually got a little better. The green is a surface protector/reflection, not my eye color.

I’m glad my IT person only requires payment in food. Elizabeth rescued me at work from an IT issue. It was resolved with her help, luckily, and hopefully the issue doesn’t happen again. The battery powered surge protector used up all of its power and was making the system disconnect and it was super frustrating, but we were able to figure it out and I tidied up the office while she fixed up the wiring. Good thing she’s not nannying this week and could come over quickly. (Did I talk about her nanny job? She’s nannying for a friend of a friend with two kids 5 & 7 Monday-Thursday ten hours a day.)

The young women in our ward normally go to girl’s camp in the summer, but this year had a closer to home camp with different activities each day. I was asked to help for a Thursday afternoon with a few other ladies. We planned an a’mom’zing obstacle course with tasks to do as a team (PB&J on homemade bread with one hand while holding a 10# bag of sugar, sewing on a button, pairing up socks, and blowing up and balancing balloons), devotionals about being a good neighbor and planning their future, played a fun Price is Right game, and made bags to use as they go to the Temple. We all helped plan it, but I took the lead on the bags and then delegated most of it to Elizabeth who loved teaching the girls how to make cute bags. So many sweet girls and leaders who made this special week happen!

I really enjoy my days off work. I tend to fill them up pretty quick, but try to add it my favorite things! Chiropractor appointment & therapeutic massage to help my back feel less tense, Temple appointment (I hadn’t been in since COVID shutdowns and it was SO good to be back!), and ended the day with Farmhouse Bakeshop’s Cupcake of the Month! Plus reading a fun book, dinner with my family, and relaxing throughout the day. Pretty much a perfect day!

Home-grown zucchini is just SO MUCH BETTER than store-bought, even if they didn’t come from my garden. I love to saute them with onions in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and this amazing Weber Garlic Herb seasoning. These are from my friend Lindsey.

Not sure if you’re aware, but I’m kind of a VIP. 😉 My friend Ally invited me to a fancy dinner with live music and a tour of Purple Star Winery courtesy of Krista Hopkins Real Estate. I don’t drink, but it was super interesting to see their wine making set up and cool storage room and hang out with Ally and family. Elizabeth was my plus one since Andy’s on his way home from a work trip to California.

Eight years ago we had a very exciting trip to the ER. The tip of Abby’s finger had to be sewn back on after being shut in a door and, luckily, the surgery worked and her finger works (it’s just a tiny bit longer.) This was a stressful day in my life, but as I read through my blog I remembered all the people placed into my life who blessed me and my family and helped me know that Heavenly Father knows just what I needed at that moment and He still does.Also, don’t slam doors with little kids around! It still makes me cringe! Read the story HERE.

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June 2021

Brace yourself. June 2021 was probably our busiest month ever with a high school graduation, seminary graduation, birthday plus our 20th wedding anniversary, and Andy’s parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, this month was packed from beginning to end with fun, family, and food!

Elizabeth has grown a little since her preschool graduation 13 years ago…
Time flies!

Celebrated the four graduates from our ward, including Elizabeth, at our annual Senior Honor Night. After picture slideshows and parent memories, they had a quick wardrobe add-on with giant cardboard mortar boards (that wad of curly yellow ribbon is the tassle). They then played blindfolded musical chairs and ended the night with even more laughs.

Congratulations to Mason, Paige, Elise, and Elizabeth!
That number 1 balloon came off the string at the end of the night and is still in the gym on the ceiling. The first number 2 was popped right after this picture was taken (so good thing we did the picture at the beginning!)
They started out each in a chair in a line.
And as a chair was removed, the other chairs all moved as well. Elizabeth and Mason fought over that chair in the middle and she was out first, but then she was able to watch the rest and it was so funny when they each sat down in a chair and were all satisfied that they won, but then Paige was on a chair in the audience. Elise beat Mason in the final round when he couldn’t find the chair (that had moved again.)

Andy’s cousin stopped to visit my parents on their mission at Winter Quarters in Omaha today. So glad to get this picture and ‘see’ them!

My parents and Kim.

One of my favorite things about working at Fountain Books is visiting with people and making connections. Coworkers say I know everyone (it’s almost true! I’m just a conversation away from a connecting friend or family member. Lol).

I visited with a man whose family owned the farm north of my grandparent’s farm. He said my grandparents were some of the nicest people he’s ever met (and so are their children).

I love it when I get to hear about my grandparents even more now that they have both passed away.

This man told me a story about when he was young and was playing in a field with my dad and uncle and Grandpa told them not to touch the electric fence because he was working on it and (surprise) they touched it and it shocked Grandpa and he watched Grandpa’s face turn red like he was going to yell at them and then he just sighed, shook his head, and went back to work.

I just love hearing of my grandpa’s patience and kindness in parenting. I need more of that.

I’m also so grateful for opportunities to practice patience daily. One if these days I’ll master it, right?!

Picture is from 1960 of the farm my grandparents bought in Mesa in 1958 and made a home of from an old Hanford dormitory.

Andy refinished this vanity that his parents replaced and painted it dark gray. It looks great with our tile floor!
Our sister missionaries asked if they could help me in June (because it was crazy) and I asked them to come over for lunch and to help make some snickerdoodle cookies for the graduation party.
Yard Sign celebrating Elizabeth’s graduation.
An “extravagant” sign for Elizabeth.
Photo poster of Elizabeth that we used at Senior Honor Night too.
Living room cabinet with some of Elizabeth’s art on display for the party.
Abby’s art area clean and tidy for the graduation party.

We had a fun time celebrating Elizabeth’s graduation the Monday before graduation with family & friends, food & fun, and a LOT of visiting and Rubik’s cube playing (even Grandma Ellen tried it out!) What a fun way to kick off graduation week!

Grandpa George and Grandma Shirley with Elizabeth.
One of the cousins brought a Rubik’s Cube with him and then Olivia got out her basket full of them. They became the party activity for the kids and some adults.
This Rubik’s Cube is named the “Impossible Cube” because the stickers change colors as you move them and depending on how you look at them. Grandma Ellen worked on it for a very long time.
Grandma Ellen and Elizabeth.
Elizabeth with a few of her friends: Dylan, Clayton, and Martin. They ended the night by hanging out in the living room by the door and our guests said congratulations and goodbye to them as well.

Graduation! She made it! We were worried there for a little bit when she was behind in her homework in several classes! COVID learning was ROUGH! It was so refreshing to sit in a football stadium with so many people after such a weird year, but also so strange to sit so closely to everyone! Congratulations, Elizabeth!

One of Elizabeth best friends was one of the 22 Valedictorians and he couldn’t find his speech when it was his turn. Everyone kept telling him, “Top shelf, Dylan!” It was only a few seconds, but it was funny and now anytime he does something silly, Elizabeth and friends tell him that.
Elizabeth posing on the side stage for the professional photographer’s daughters.
No Andy in this picture because he stayed home. He decided 15 years ago when my siblings graduated and it was a three hour ordeal that he was done and I don’t blame him. I do like this kind of thing though and it was less than an hour long, so not nearly as awful as the other one was. Plus the weather was pretty perfect too.
Grandpa George, Elizabeth, and Grandma Shirley

Had some fancier pictures taken at the school by the photography teacher.

Love them all (other than Vincent’s sad face because his tie was too long.) Elizabeth made Abby’s dress.

Picture of HHS the day of our family pictures at the school.

After graduation, the seniors had a party at a local gym that has a big outdoor pool and other awesome things. I helped with the planning and that’s kept me busy the last several months as well. I offered to help with communication and shared information by email, Facebook, Instagram, and a little Twitter to make sure all the seniors and their parents knew what was going on and when we had fundraisers and all the information. Our committee had nearly weekly meetings since March (at least bi-weekly since January) to plan a fun party for our seniors. We had the pool/waterpark and basketball that were already at the gym, Knockerball which had fun blowup balls kids get inside and knock each other around the ring of inflated barriers, nerf archery (this was Elizabeth’s favorite ever and she spent several hours there and came home with her arm bruised, but loved it!), BINGO, Axe throwing, and a LOT of food. We gave all the kids great prizes at the end of the night too. I helped that night with check in and then mostly hung out by the gate to make sure no one came in who wasn’t supposed to and when kids left, they knew they were gone for the night. It ended up raining, but the local weatherman (whose wife is the best fundraiser ever) had an umbrella in their car (imagine that. The weatherman had an umbrella!) and I just sat by the gate on a chair and read on my kindle for a few hours under the umbrella. The party went from 10:30pm until 3:30am and we got home about 4am and then slept until I went to work at 2pm to close the store at work. I couldn’t take off the whole month with my crazy life, so I had to work it out to work as much as I could.

Final graduation for Seminary. Seminary is a class taken during the school day (or early morning for schools without the release time option) that helps youth to learn how to study the scriptures, participate with other youth who focus on Christ, and take the time to gain a testimony of Him. Because our state requires 24 credits to graduate, this also means that one way to make up the extra four classes is attending a zero hour extra early (6:55am each day). Congratulations, Elizabeth for making the (very worthwhile) sacrifices needed to attend and graduate from seminary!

Also, here’s a sibling picture with everyone behaving.

PS. No, we aren’t in Columbia ward and Joseph Later wasn’t a senior this year. The program had some issues.

The baby ad that’s going to be in the yearbook. That quote is Elizabeth’s favorite and the one she would have put in as her senior quote if her school didn’t discontinue it… She’s still a little bitter about that, so I put this in there for her.

20 years and counting! Seems like just yesterday we were those skinny, young people in the top picture! What a wonderful man to spend forever with! Love him even more now!

Andy and I escaped for a few days to visit Northern Idaho and Spokane for our 20th anniversary/my 39th birthday. We went to a visitor’s center about Chief Joseph and saw a big canoe and replica and authentic clothing and tools, drove up a very windy road, ate some delicious food at non-chain restaurants, swam at a hotel, went on a walk on the longest floating bridge in the US at Courdalene Resort after the rain stopped, went on a tram ride over Spokane Falls in Riverfront Park, and just had a wonderful time together!

Olivia and some of her friends went to the Temple the day after school was out for summer. I was thrilled when it was announced that all proxy ordinances were opening in July and got on the schedule at midnight the day it opened to reserve an appointment.

Happy father’s day to my favorite dads!

-My dad has been such a huge influence in my life. He’s the most patient, kind, and good person I know (and I don’t say that just because he’s my dad. Many people who know us both have told me they too.)
-His dad, Grandpa Gordon was a teaser! I’m going to say my sarcasm comes from him. Quiet, but had perfect moments of clever comments.
-Andy is the man I picked to create a family with. He’s fun, kind, and loves us. He’s always up for a drive, a game, or a movie.
-Andy dad, George, is a great man. He’s helpful, faithful, and generous. He’s so patient with our kids!

We are so lucky to have the example of good men in our lives and there are so many more great men to look up to and emulate.

Vincent is learning how to play the viola this summer from Olivia so he can play more than the piano and continue in orchestra in high school in fall 2022.

He’ll learn a little more patience with himself too, I hope!

Our Cookie House had Cherry Cheesecake and Apple Pie cookies a few weeks ago. They are both incredible. They regularly have twelve different kinds of cookies that are all amazing and then have one or two specialty cookies a week.

Elizabeth went with me to several craft stores last week to get supplies for a church project I’m helping with and had to pick up a few yards of material to make herself some mission skirts too. She did pare these five down to three after the picture.

Also, we love the RPD (Richland Police Department) family shirts from Uncle Doug! It’s the first one Elizabeth picks if it’s clean.
Have a sewing project and not much time? Need buttons fixed, pockets added, hemming done? Elizabeth would love to help. 

Andy’s parents had a party to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married in 1971 in the Oakland California Temple.

We all went up early on a Saturday to start the fun of hanging out together and enjoying each other. Each of George and Shirley’s kids were asked to pick a different color for them and all of their kids to wear so guests at the party would know whose kids were whose. We picked green.

Andy and his sisters + Andy and his sisters and parents.
Uncle Bruce, Aunt Sandy, George, Shirley, and Grandma Ellen are the only people still alive who were at George and Shirley’s wedding, so we were happy they were all there at the party to celebrate!
Grandson picture shortest to tallest. Blake’s son Perry is there with him and Andrew is next to him. Andrew and Brooke are getting married in August in the Bountiful Temple.

Waited to post this until I had pictures of grandgirls, G & S, individual families, big group pic, etc., but they are all blurry like this:

After that weekend of fun, Sara and her family came to stay with us for two nights while they visited David’s family during the day. We loved the bonus family time and extra bonding with their sweet kids before they headed home on the train.

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May 2021

Yes, I know it’s July already, but here’s to catching up!

My oldest brother’s oldest son and his wife had a baby boy. We went to his baby blessing. Welcome to the family Ezra!
My family with my brother’s family.
One of Vincent and Abby’s best friends had a birthday and invited them over to party with him. Such a great friend! He’s between their ages and they all get along so well.

Andy’s Uncle Richland & Aunt Cheryl came to visit with his cousin Christian and Christian’s son. We went over to Uncle Roger & Aunt Carol’s to say hi one evening. (It was Star Wars day-“May the Fourth”-see my star shirt?) While we visited, Vincent and Abby played with Crispen and had a great time in the big backyard of Roger and Carol.

Andy with Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Richard. They are serving as Family History Missionaries and are serving in Ohio remotely so they can do a lot of their missionary work anywhere.

Ice cream sundae on a Sunday!

Our friend Nathan brought over ice cream sundae supplies for game night and we had enough left over to have ice cream with all the extras a few more times.

Flattest tire ever. Boo. So glad Andy was in town and that this happened in our driveway. He was able to swap it for the spare and go get it fixed while I took his car to work instead.

Teacher Appreciation Week!
Abby feels special when her teacher gives her math to do (really?!?) And the best thing she does with the class is QUIET, but Abby spelled it “Qwit” which looks a lot like quit. Lol. (And I’m a little surprised that Abby likes quiet at school…do you know her? Then you know what I’m saying.)

Also check out the drawing Abby did. I thought it was a beard at first and was totally worried about her giving it to her female teacher, but found out that it’s a mask. Phew. We love teachers-more now than ever!!!

Happy Mother’s Day!  
I’ve been blessed with wonderful mothers all around me and treasure the moments with each of them.  I love how they love me, Andy, and our kids.  I love that they are patient and kind.  I love that they teach my kids to love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and lead with their example of faith.
I also know we have women all around us who aren’t technically mothers who choose to bless our lives in so many ways and I’m grateful to them as well.

I asked for a picture of me with the kids on Mother’s Day.
Andy and Elizabeth got Grandma Shirley’s old serger out, cleaned, and threaded today. Elizabeth’s excited to learn how to use it to make herself a new dress. (We bought a new white thread and just need to put it in to have four white threads.) Elizabeth calls the serger her new favorite tool.
Elizabeth will be graduating from high school this year! She’s planning on working until next spring and then wants to go on a church mission. So excited for what her future holds! I bought this yard sign and loved how they added her picture.
I love quiet Sunday afternoons after church. I take time to read my scriptures and other good books and take a nap.

It was so fun to see my childhood best friend Desi! We are always able to visit like we talk all the time even though we go years without seeing each other. She’s a world traveler (much less this year than most) and I get to live vicariously through her adventures. We are so different in so many things, but also ordered almost the exact same thing at Red Robin. She’s headed to the Washington State Islands to kayak and swim with killer whales after her visit here.

Something that’s been making me laugh is an Abby story. For a little background first, the elementary school gives “Cougar Cash” for good behavior and can use it to buy trinkets or cool experiences like eating at a fancy table in the cafeteria or buying the principal’s chair for the day, etc. Another thing to buy is an announcement. Now, most kids say things like, “My teacher is the BEST!” or “Star Wars is awesome!” Abby bought an announcement and asked the school counselor to give her announcement and he made it even better by filling in some extra details. Her teacher had a special parking spot for the week. Here’s what the counselor announced: “Abby Ransom from ____ class has an announcement. Oh, that reminds me, Ms. ____ your parking spot has been revoked and your blue Mazda is being towed.” Her teacher worried about her car getting towed and then thought it was the counselor pranking her and then found out that Abby was behind the whole thing and thought it was hilarious. I don’t know where Abby comes up with these things, but I’m grateful for nice people in her life who help fuel her creativity and imagination and are patient with her sometimes unusual and sometimes hilarious ideas (sometimes both).

Picture of Abby doing her wax museum project earlier this month about the author of Dork Diaries. We opted for a more casual dressing up of the author.

Olivia filmed this piano piece she’s been working on and I thought you’d like it too.
I love watching my children grow up!

She’s playing a hymn from church, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” arranged by Susan W. Henry. You don’t have to have the lyrics to enjoy the music, but they do help to really feel the message.

1. I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.
He lives to bless me with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.
2. He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.
3. He lives, my kind, wise heav’nly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives, and I shall conquer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there.
4. He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”
He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”

I took Aunt LeeAnn and my friend Valaney up to the mountain to join Shirley for a craft day. We all made this fun sunshine sign. SO cute!
Andy took the kids up the mountain for Memorial Day weekend and they made fun flag decorations with Grandma Shirley.
One of the most exciting things that happened in May was that the Columbia River Temple reopened for proxy baptisms for the youth. The young women were signed up for one of the first spots (and took a priest with them to help too). The following week the young men were able to go as well.
The young men aren’t as good at lining up for a picture, but I’ll take what I can get and I’m SO GLAD the Temple is opening up.

Since then, each of the kids have gone a few more times and one time I got a text telling me that they were going there and I was thrilled that that is a priority for them.

Something else fun was a youth activity ancestor wax museum. Elizabeth was my Grandma Zora. Olivia was Eliza Bischoff who was a pioneer on my dad’s side. Vincent was Ralph de Monthermer who was a squire to Gilbert de Clare, the Earl of Hertford, Earl of Gloucester, whose wife was Joan of Arc. After the earl died, Joan of Arc married his squire-Ralph, despite their unequal social rank. It was a fun little activity.

June’s blog is coming soon, so stay posted. ;)

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April 2021

General Conference was wonderfully enriching. I always love listening and learning even more from leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s even better now that the kids sit still a little longer and enjoy most of it too.

Watching conference on Andy’s laptop in the living room and working on a puzzle.

Andy got this antique map puzzle for Christmas and pulled it out for conference.

Elizabeth likes to have her own space to listen and sketch during conference.

We had a special Easter Feast and used fancy crystal glasses. I wouldn’t let the kids make the glasses ‘sing’ at the table, so when they were done they tried it out in the kitchen. It’s possibly their favorite part of a ‘fancy meal’.

My tulips that have traveled more than I have this year are blooming! My parents sent them from Omaha, Nebraska where there are serving a mission at Winter Quarters where pioneers gathered before their trek to Utah to prepare. These tulips bloomed there last spring. I love the color combo of this one.

Is this ad that popped up trying to tell me it’s better to wear a plastic bag and rubber band instead of a tiny hearing aid? Sure, it would be less expensive, but I’m so confused. (Not confused enough to click on it…just enough to screenshot it.) Say what?!

I found a fun shirt I had to buy today at Maurice’s. Bonus: It was clearance. I really do love to read.

I love the season of lilacs (even though my allergies don’t appreciate it much.) I’m glad they bloomed the week after it was extra windy here. I’m still kicking myself for not replacing them early though when I learned about everblooming lilacs when these were just sticks in the ground. These ones are beautiful, but only bloom once.

I love that Vincent and Abby have a friend whose family reaches out to ask if they can play after their work is done! They have loved hanging out with Christian and riding bikes (they look like a bike gang), flying kites, playing games, doing work in the yard, and snacking like they’re growing or something (they are!)
The tree pictures are from a tree in our neighborhood and on their way to Christian’s house one day, they didn’t think they could all reach around it to touch hands and they were barely able to do it (It’s a HUGE tree-fattest one around in our town, they say.) The kids are all sleeping well too!

Clot Trot was different this year again. We planned on going to the park, but something else came up, so we took a picture in our Clot Trot shirts and will do our mile later. Elizabeth and Vincent didn’t feel well and Andy was driving home from California.
Busy Saturday.

I agree. Even (especially!) when it’s hard to do!
A local taco restaurant posted this in April and I loved that they posted something Elder Holland said!

Happy Earth Day! This was my most memorable Earth Day. In my yearbook and home ec classes with Mrs. Harville, we colored messages on paper bags that were used at Food Pavilion in Pasco to celebrate Earth Day. This was in 1998 and before reusable bags were a thing for most people.
The best part for me? I was the only sophomore in the yearbook class and there were a lot of juniors and seniors dying to have their picture in the paper and then it was shy little NaDell in the paper. Also, they spelled my first name correctly! Not my last name, but it’s the little things when your name is misspelled constantly!

A local cookie restaurant named Our Cookie House had Lemonhead cookies! I had to try them out! So, so good! Plus some basic (still amazing) chocolate chip cookies for the less adventurous eaters at my house. They have a special cookie each week. I never would have thought of adding crushed Lemonheads to cookies, but they melt and cook with the dough in an amazing way.

For part of Spring Break Elizabeth went to George and Shirley’s to build a bookcase that she asked for for her birthday. She has specific things she wants to keep on it and designed it just the way she wants. They helped her with it and she loved visiting with them.

It’s even bigger than it looks. It’s four feet long. I love the color.
Abby’s class did the Wax Museum where they dress up like someone from history and do a report on them. She needed to dress up like Rachel Renee Russell author of Dork Diaries. Abby said she either “needs to cut her hair or get a wig”. We couldn’t figure out how to make that work, so we decided it would be easier to print a picture and put it on a stick. She loves the Dork Diaries book series.
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