Saturday, December 29, 2007

Shovelin' in a Winter Wonderland!

Well, the house is quiet again now that all the kids and grandkids have scattered to the four winds! But Gramma and Gramps aren't just sitting around with nothing to do! No-sirree-bob! We got a big storm last night, so Gramps decided to get his new-fangled snow shovel out for a test drive, so Gramma had to go out, too and make sure Gramps didn't injure himself (at least this way, if he did, she could injure herself, too, and he couldn't be the only one sitting in the house moaning!).
Well, so far, so good. We helped another lady in the ward who had hurt herself even though she was using a snowblower. We went out with another couple and, with shovels in hand, cleared her driveway for her. Then we went by Gramma Shar's house, and sure enough, her's was deep in snow, so we started to shovel there, too. It proved to be a little too much for the two of us, so we drove around until we found Jake from the Country Club out plowing, and Steve jumped in with him to go out doing good the easier (and less painful) way!
Anyway, we thought you all would like to see how the house looks with the snow, penguins to the left, and sled and train to the right. It really is a winter wonderland, and we love it here. Snow is beautiful! Have a happy new year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning finally arrived. Payson, Ashlyn, Ava and their parents and grandparents were so excited to get to the presents! But we had to wait for Aunt Darbye to call, so it wasn't until about 10 AM before we actually got to the paper-ripping! First, Payson gets to try on his new chef's hat. Then, Ahslyn decides to play with the wrappings and bows, and looks cute no matter what she's doing! (and she knows it!)
Ava got the present thing figured out, too. She really liked the tissue - it made for some interesting and fun times!

In this Porter family picture, Paysons father (the most responsible member of the family...) was showing Payson how to blow up and use the new 'woopie cushion' he got from his Aunt Lindsay and Uncle Riley. You can't imagine the giggles that cascaded from Payson! I think it was the perfect gift! Way to go, guys!
And here is Lindsay posing with her "married girls" present. She loves being on of the 'grown-ups' now! What a fun Christmas! Maybe we'll see you ALL next Christmas?

Christmas Eve Extravaganza at Suzie's house

Miss Mona and Gramma Francis couldn't believe all the food! What fun to see her having a good time watching all the kids!
Ava had a good dinner, then she was ready for a nap - as you can see, she has her Grandpa's ear in her hand so she can relax and get ready to sleep!
Brinley and McKenna played the piano for the talent show in the 'little theatre' in Suzie's basement.
Uncle Bob had to do a command performance of his 'Aerobic' version of Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is You". Too fun!!!
And then there was the 'angel choir' to wrap up all the festivities. What fun to have family together for Christmas.

Ava's first birthday!

Ava had a few friends (cousins) over for cake for her birthday - a few days before Christmas (Dec. 20) Here are Papa, cousin McKenna and Ava waiting patiently for the first bite of cake! Ava had a cake all her own to eat with her hands! This is the 'before' picture....

This is kind of an 'after' picture. Shortly after this was taken, Ava dived face first into the cake! What a fun party girl!
And after all that (and a sponge bath....) it was time to open presents! This birthday stuff is F-U-N!!! We love Ava!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tagged again!

OK, I'm so old by now and I talk so much, I figure you guys could just as easily fill in these blanks, but I'll do it so you can get my side of the story! Here are the answers to the following questions about my husband (Steve)...I love you, Steve!
1. Full name: Steven James Griffitts
2. How long have you been married? 30 years last August
3. How long did you date? (play some syrupy music for this one!) We're still dating!But we started dating before his mission, broke up and then got back together 2 years later and dated for about 6 months before we got married. Does that count as about 3 1/2 years!?
4. How old is Steve? 52. He's younger than me by a year and a day - ok, do the math - I'm 53, and dang proud of it! I'm shooting for 100, and I think I can make it!
5. Who eats more? Probably Steve. I'm on a perpetual diet, except when I don't want to be, then I eat more, which causes me to go back on my perpetual diet....
6. Who said "I love you" first. Definately Steve. He used to get so ticked off because I wouldn't just say "I love you" all the time. I didn't want to use the phrase out! I've since changed my mind about the frequency of using that particular phrase, but he's still got me on that one!
7. Who is taller? Steve. I am now the shortest person in the family - unless you compare me to the grandkids - but they are growing up fast, so I am sure that soon I'll get to retain my title as shortest in the family!
8. Who sings better? That's like comparing apples to oranges - I'm an alto and he's a bass. But he's a more confident singer than I am...
9. Who is smarter? He'll say it's me, I'll say it's him... are we too sweet, or what!
10. Who has the worst temper? I do. It usually takes a while to get me to boil, but I don't boil quietly!
11. Who does the laundry? Well, I do, but he would if he were home more often. It's sort of an obsession with him. (check out the answer to the following question)
12. Who does the dishes? I do because I'm home more often, but when Steve is home he runs the dishwasher with only 3 or 4 dishes in it! He really is 'OCD' with dishes and laundry! (It's a deep-seated family problem...)
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? This is one of those hard to answer questions depending on where the right side is. Our answer has much more to do with where the door to the bedroom is - he has to be closest to the door - not to get crying babies in the night (although he did do that when we actually had them in our home) but he wants to be the one who gets to nail an intruder first if one ever actually intrudes on our home in the night!
14.Who pays the bills? Steve. He's kind of OCD about that, too, so I gave up the idea of paying bills early on.
15. Who mows the lawn? I used to. Steve would get all guilty watching me mow on Saturday while he sat watching a football game or something, until I finally explained that it was free time for me while he watched the kids! Besides, I always did like working outside. But now we pay 'Mikey' to mow.
16. Who cooks? Usually I cook. Steve orders take-out.
17.Who drives when we are together? Steve. It's a guy thing. He says it's because I'm not on the insurance for his company car, but it started WAY before that, and after our experience in Belgium when I had to drive because he'd broken his hip, we both sort of agreed it was better for our marriage if I let him drive when we are together.... (use your imagination - type 'A' personality being driven ANYWHERE by someone other than a paid driver....) We're still married!
18. Who is more stubborn? I let Steve think he is. I win more arguments by saying (sweetly, of course!) "I'd rather be happy than right..."
19. Who is first to admit being wrong? (refer to the answer to #18 - VERY useful for winning any kind of contest!!!)
20. Who's parents do you see most? Steve's mom is the only one still among us - that we can physically see, anyway! I'm sure they see lots of us!
21. Who proposed? Steve. I'm an 'old fashioned' girl!
22. Who has more friends? Steve. He knows everyone in town. I have acquaintances - and Mona.
23. Who has more siblings? I win this one by one! I've got 6 siblings and Steve only has 5.
24. Who wears the pants in the family? Again, I'll reference the answer to question # 18. It's amazing how often you can get your way by being sweet. My grandmother used to say "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar" - I listened to that!

OK, I tag Sandy, Meagan, Tawni and Suzie

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Supper time with Dennis and Kelli

Dennis and Kelli just fed us all haystacks this evening. YUM!
And pie for dessert! This was the only group picture I was able to get, but there were more people there tonight - just not in front of my camera!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Big Fun with Marimbas at the Fall Folk Festival in Spokane!

What fun! Today Coeurimba performed at the Spokane Community college for an anual event called the Fall Folk Festival. Walter and Ramona came with us and it was so much fun! Here is a pretty good picture of the group. Tina is on the floor in front of a marimba, Char is next sitting behind the other marimba. Standing starting from the left is Julie, Bob, me, Denise, Eileen and Sally. It's cool because each performance is more fun than the last!
There is just no way a still picture can capture the speed and intensity of playing the marimba! Suffice it to say that I did't need to wear a coat! Marimba playing is a pretty good work out! Don't believe me? Watch Julie play the bass for Mhnanga - it's an aerobic experience just to watch her!

This is not only an aerobic activity, it is rhythms, patterns, music, lots of brain excercise! My friend calls this 'Brain Age live'!

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Bee-utiful time in Rexburg!

OK, I may never get this blog thing exactly right... The first time I ever up-loaded pictures they came out in the order I selected them - which was backwards for the story, so I have learned to pick the last ones first and work backwards from there. However, as you can see, something has changed, and now the first pictures (which are the end of the story....) are first! Anyway, we had fun carving pumpkins and then soaking and baking the seeds. They are really tasty, and the pumpkins turned out just fine!
And Ava was the cutest little bumblebee in the whole place! Anyone dare to disagree with Gramma?!
See what I mean? C-U-T-E!!!
That smart little girl knows that it pays to snuggle up to Gramma (in front of the not-yet-opened Rexburg temple!)
Sleeping beauty taking a nap while Lindsay and I eat our lunch in the park by the falls in Idaho Falls. Another beautiful day with my girls!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Real Thanksgiving Decorations!

OK, here's the whole story! I got home last night from marimba practice (which is still lots of fun, for anyone who wants to know!) and as I pulled into the driveway I noticed that the dining room light was on. Curious.... I know Dad does not routinely walk through that room, and if he did, he'd turn the light OFF, not on, so I figured there was something I needed to see in the dining room. Sure enough, Sir Steven the Galant had gone to the cool store next to his office and gotten me some REAL Thanksgiving decorations! Now I don't have to look like a heathen who promotes Halloween over Thanksgiving! And these particular decorations are really... NICE. Voila! Mr. and Mrs. Pilgrim. Looking good on the table!
Not to be left out of the feast, is Mr. and Mrs. Native American. Don't forget to notice the turkey at his feet - remember, I know what one sounds like choking on toilet paper in the middle of the night now!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tag, I'm it!

Lindsay said I've been tagged, so I need to tell 6 things about myself that you might not know. That's the easy part - then I have to 'tag' 6 other people to do the same thing. Trouble is, do I know 6 other people with a blog????

Well, I have come to the conclusion that I talk too much, because I can't think of 6 things you don't know about me, so I'll go for stuff I think might make for a little interesting reading:
1. Last weekend I went to 'little Philmont' with Steve and we got locked out of our cabin in our flannel jammies for 20 minutes while making a 5:45 AM bathroom run. I also now know what a wild turkey strangling on toilet paper at 2AM sounds like. (It would make a great sound effect for a haunted house!)
2. Before I die I would like to learn French well enough that I would be able to call myself fluent. I've been in love with the sound of French since I was a little kid and heard Maurice Chevalier speak English with an accent. (I thought he WAS speaking French - turns out it's not that easy...)
3. I've always been a little afraid of public humiliation, but that didn't stop me from trying new things, and now I play the marimba with Coeurimba. It's really fun, and my secret desire is to be assigned to play lead on one of the numbers we play - I think I'm getting close to that goal.
4. Not only have I learned to play golf rather recently, but I am actually learning to enjoy the game and not feel stupid when I make a bad shot. I have learned that if I decide I'm only interested in having fun when I play that I usually get a lower score! Go figure!
5. I am so intent on doing things that are different from the ordinary that sometimes things don't turn out the way I planned. Luckily I have not screwed up any of the grandchildren's birthday presents yet! (at least not that I've heard...!)
6. I actually enjoy substitute teaching! It's sort of 'teaching lite'. I get to show up and do some stuff that is usually fun and then I don't have to worry about grades or discipline problems or other stuff like that. And if I don't want to work, I just say so and they can't assign me to work that day - and they won't fire me for not being available! What a job!
Now I'm supposed to tag 6 people - but I'm not sure I know 6 people with blogs! OK, Sandy, Suzie, Tawnie, Brad (that's only 4...) Can I tag the other 2 later? Amy! I know Amy, and she has a blog! Now I only need one more....

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Astoria, Oregon and surrounding delights!

The Cannery Pier Hotel was the coolest place I think I've ever stayed! The views were spectacular - as you can see - all the rooms face the Columbia river! And the staff were friendly and quite helpful.
The layout of the rooms was unique. The focal point was always the view.

Notice the binoculars provided at the windowsill.
Our transportation to dinner was provided by the hotel staff (our driver's name was Dave) in the hotel's very own restored automobile! We really felt like celebrities tooling around the town in this little gem!
And nobody was more thrilled to have their picture taken than the trolly driver. Everyone we met was so pleasant! We took a trolly ride on the waterfront on my birthday (after climbing to the column!!!) and we found out that it was our drivers birthday, too! He and his wife met as volunteer trolly drivers, so they were married aboard a trolly! Too Cute!

On the road to Tilamook, Oregon. Spectacular scenery, and LOTS of wild blackberries.
Who can go to the Tillamook Cheese factory and NOT get a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch??? Then we toured the Cape Mears lighthouse, and came back for dessert - a two scooper of fresh Tillamook icecream! YUMMY!
This is the Cape Mears lighthouse. It is really an interesting piece of engineering and art all rolled into one. What an amazing piece of history. We climbed up inside and listened to the story of the lighthouse by a volunteer guide while standing up where the light is! Cool, huh!
This beautiful shoreline is what the lighthouse was protecting the sailing vessels from. The lighthouse is behind me from where this picture was taken.
This is the 'octopus' tree. Named because of it's unusual shape. It stands a few hundred feet inland from the Cape Mears lighthouse. We had to go hike up and take a picture!

The Astoria Column is one of the outstanding tourist attractions in the town. It was built to commemorate Lewis and Clark's epic journey that ended here on the western-most edge of Oregon. The mural depicting scenes from that time winds around the column.
After climbing the 164 steps to the top of the column, you can see out for about 100 miles on a clear day. As you can see, the day we climbed up it was overcast, but we could still see for quite an amazing distance!
We hiked up this trail 1 1/2 miles to the column, then climbed the 164 circular steps to the top, then had to hike back 1 1/2 miles to the car through this lush, dense forrested area. Lots of beauty all around us! What a great way to spend a day turning 53! After all that climbing and hiking I felt just fine about having dessert with candles in it for dinner!