Monthly Archives: February 2012

Girl’s best friend

Look what wandered into our backyard today. Raine was in love!

I would like to point out that the temperature was 52* when these photos were taken. Raine REFUSES to wear a jacket and INSISTS on wearing shorts or a skirt. I was standing there freezing in long pants and a fleece and she told me it was warm. Apparently her metabolism is a little faster than mine!


Our first day in Mesa we spent catching up with family. Carter spent it with Grandpa, working up the courage to touch the talking turkey.

He also found this “bawk-bawk” to ride. It is a kleenex-box cover and he spend a lot of time riding it like a bucking bronco. He would get bucked off, then climb back on and do it again.

Saturday was the funeral. It was a really nice memorial of her life. All of her children were there.

Most of her grandchildren were also able to attend.

That evening we drove over to Uncle Ray’s house to pick citrus and see the animals. Here are Carter and Uncle John looking at the birds.

Carter and Grandpa looking at the turkey.

Aunt Allison and Grandpa trying to help Carter make friends with the little dog. One of the larger dogs gave Carter a kiss on the nose when he wasn’t looking; from then on he did NOT want to be put down! Eventually, he worked up the courage to pet the dog.

The turtle was more Carter’s speed!

Sunday we walked to church in our short-sleeves, enjoying the sunshine. Then Monday morning we flew home. We had a great time visiting family. Carter never had any trouble finding a cousin to give him M&M’s from the candy dish. The living room always had at least a handful of late-teen- / early-twenty- year-old girls who couldn’t resist his little puppy dog eyes. He would climb up on their lap and the M&M’s would start flowing. I don’t even want to know how many that kid ate while he was there!

Momma’s ‘not-quite-what-I-had-envisioned’ birthday

Last Thursday was my birthday . . . it was also the only day that I could get a decent-priced flight to Phoenix for Grandma’s funeral so it turned out to be a slightly less-conventional celebration than I had originally planned.

I started the day in court finalizing Michaela Walker’s adoption. I love being in court and I love doing adoptions so it was a double-bonus to begin the day. (This adoption was extra special because the Walker’s were doing it so that Michaela could be sealed to them in the temple — extra-double-bonus!) This was my first termination/adoption so I was very relieved when the judge granted it all without a hitch — happy birthday to me!

After court, Carter and I packed for our trip while Raine was at school. Packing is never fun, but this time it wasn’t too bad because DJ did all the laundry last night while I was preparing my adoption paperwork — happy birthday to me!

We picked-up Raine from school and came home to make a yummy birthday cake.

DJ got home from work, we ate a speedy dinner, sang happy birthday, and ate my yummy cake before rushing off to the airport.

Did I mention that the cake was yummy!?!!

Since the line at the counter was non-existent and the line for security was less than 3 people, I actually had time to open my present there with my family — happy birthday to me, even if it was in the airport lobby!

Carter and I said goodbye to Daddy and Raine, then headed to our gate. Our flight was on-time and we waited until last to board, thus ensuring that our bag would have to be gate-checked to our final destination and I wouldn’t have to lug it around Denver during our layover — happy birthday to me!

Our flights were fairly uneventful. We were seated next to the window, on the very last row of the plane, on both of our flights. Carter watched Elmo and Barney videos on his iPod and ate the extra cookies the flight attendants gave him because he was “so cute” — maybe that’s why he didn’t fall asleep on the plane, despite it being after midnight.

We finally arrived in Phoenix and headed down to the baggage claim. Since we were the last ones off the plane and had to stop on our way out, we were the last ones at the baggage carousel. There were only a couple bags left; one of them was the bag we gate-checked, but the bag we checked at the counter, with our car seat and stroller in it, was nowhere to be found — not a happy birthday to me.

The airline gave us a loaner car seat so we could legally get home. It was at least as old as I am and probably didn’t meet any current safety standards, but at midnight in someone else’s time-zone you aren’t too picky. Fortunately, they found our gear the next day and delivered it to us at Grandma’s house.

And that was how I spent my 33rd birthday!

Grandma Nana

My grandma Anderson, the kids’ great-grandma, passed away today. She had a massive stroke exactly two weeks ago and passed away in her home with my dad and Aunt Elaine there with her.

Last Thursday, Raine and I were able to talk to Grandma on the phone and tell her that we loved her. Grandma couldn’t talk, but she could hear us and knew who we were. All she could say was, “uh-huh,” but that was enough for me to know that she understood.

Grandma Nana with the kids during her visit last March.I would have never guessed that a two-year-old and an eighty-seven-year-old could have so much fun together, but they did. It was so sweet to watch them sitting together on the couch reading books and laughing at their own private games.

Grandma holds a very special place in my heart because I was able to help her write her personal history. I got to know her so much better than I otherwise would have. It helped me really appreciate who she was and what she had done in her life.

Grandma was born the youngest daughter of the second wife in a polygamist marriage. Her siblings were all twenty years older than she was and polygamy had been outlawed long before she was born. She grew up on a farm outside Mesa, AZ during the great depression.

The effects of Grandma’s difficult childhood were evident in her living the motto “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” She never did anything half-way; if she was going to do something she took the time to do it right. She could fold a fitted sheet flatter than most people can fold a flat sheet; she made the most delicious hand-dipped chocolates; she kept an immaculately clean house; and she was always sewing quilts for her grandkids. Grandma has traveled the world, including a recent trip to the Holy Land. She lived life to the fullest. Grandma and Grandpa were temple workers at the Mesa Temple for years and left their posterity the gift of their testimonies. Their actions left no doubt about what was most important to them — the gospel and their family.

I will miss my grandma but I know that she is happy to be reunited with Grandpa and the rest of her family. I have plenty of memories to keep her in my heart and every time I fold a grocery bag I will think of her!

Side note:
The name “Grandma Nana” came about by accident. The kids already have a Grandma Anderson (my mom) so I decided to call Great-Grandma Anderson “Nana.” But I’m so used to calling her Grandma that I would say it out of habit, then catch myself and say “Nana.” Raine heard it as “Grandma Nana” so that is what she started calling her.

Family bike ride

It has been a while since we took a family bike ride (the kids and I have made plenty of trips to the doughnut store, but those don’t count 😉 so we loaded up the gear and headed to the Trinity River Trail. It was a beautiful day, albeit a little windy, and we had some beautiful views.

We stopped at a park…

…and ate lunch.

Then the clouds started rolling in, so we headed home. Here is DJ pulling the kids across the spillway.