Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Safford Trip

 Can you tell where we went last week during Fall Break? Safford, Arizona.
 Actually, it was a bit of a two-fer trip because Morgan had to be out visiting his mines there for a couple of days. Morgan's parents went with us and it was a great trip.
 One of the highlights of the trip was Cassidy and Lund doing baptisms for the dead in the Gila Valley Temple AND they were also family names!! What a blessing, both for my own children, but also for those ancestors who have been patiently waiting on the other side of the veil.
 Another highlight came as we picked buckets and buckets of "Blushing Golden" apples off of the trees in Angle's Orchard. What a memory! So far I have only attempted apple cupcakes, but I am always up for more apple recipes!
 The third highlight of the trip was connecting with my friend Destiny Bollinger, who lives in Pima.(right next to Thatcher, where Morgan was born). I always LOVE catching up with my buddies from the years.
The last highlight was actually quite the surprise. Morgan was walking with the kids through a cotton field and ran into a gal from Mesa High School that he and I both knew. She had us hurry over to her house because there was a huge thing happening over there....Her baby chicks were hatching!
 It was the real deal! They were slowly chipping away with their beaks to break out of their eggs. And we learned that you can't help them, because they have to go through this trial to be strong enough to live. (lots of life symbolism there)

 And frankly, they look pretty gross when they do get out. But if you give them a couple of hours...
They look like this!!!!! Will really loved watching the whole process.
And honestly, who can be sad when there are adorable chicks like this around!

And we all know that Sarah was in heaven!!
Connie had a six year old boy, we had a six year old boy, and they also had a very impressionable, not to mention, adorable, little sister. In this picture "D" (adorable redhead on the right), is showing Will how to use a "fire starter" know the old flint and steel variety. Oh boy, those two together would be a handful!
The other thing that Sarah was just mesmerized with was all the cotton literally floating through the air. Those of you that have ever lived in the Gila Valley know exactly what I am talking about during the height of cotton season.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Elementary Picture Day

 Yesterday the Elementary kids had their picture day. I am sure we all remember picture day..."Hey kid, here's your cheap it through your hair and smile...or doesn't matter to me."
It was also a great day because News Channel 10 came to their school in the morning and Sarah and about 450 other kids had a chance to have a brief spot in the limelight. (Which is also why we made her poster lime green so she would stand out in a crowd. It totally worked! Even though there were tons of kids and tons of posters, we could always spot our neon lime green beautiful 3rd grader.) Fun times!
And as is the tradition in my house, I always get a shot of them at the door before they leave. (Just in case the school picture looks like.....well, a school picture!)
And Will had his picture almost taken today as well. You see, he has been sick for the past three or four days and I thought that since he wasn't going to school, I could sneak him in and they would take his picture.  Great plan except we just barely missed the photographers as they left the school. Oh well, there are always retakes.

And another shot.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Summer of Love Part 1

 This past month, I had the opportunity to go to the greatest retreat EVER!! Even though this is the first retreat I have been to, it was still the greatest!
It was a culmination of ladies from Morgan's side of the family. Some ladies were absent due to pregnancy, and Church responsibilities,  but we had a slew of wonderful ladies when the dust cleared and we arrived in, Abique, New Mexico. And thanks to Alicia and Grandma and Grandpa Johnson, we all received BEAUTIFUL shirts in various hues.  

First, you have to meet the guard dog! (And no, the statue is not the guard dog, but they sure do look like). Beans is the darling rescue dog you see behind the statue. Pat rescued Beans years ago in Mexico at a landfill. And we were sure glad she did because Beans was such a great addition to Pat's "Compound".
But now I feel I am WAY ahead of myself. These ladies are the real reason we had the retreat...And truthfully, Pat (the furthest on the left) is the real instigator. She invited all of us to come up to beautiful Abique, New Mexico and stay in her homemade adobe homes. And when I say "homemade", I really mean that she even build her own adobe bricks to make these wonderful abodes. But everyone was there because of Grandma Martha Frazier who gave birth to these beautiful sisters. (Judi, the youngest is not in the picture. She is Primary President and had to conduct the Primary Program back home)
And here we see the Haglund clan. Actually, there are quite a few more Haglunds, but these were the only ones able to come. From left to right we have : Aunt Gwen, Grandma Frazier, McKenzie, and Alexis........... Haglunds not in attendance include: Jacob's wife, Karleigh, Brook, and Elisabeth, Adam's wife

I thought the area that we stayed was sooooooo beautiful, so of course, I had to take lots, and lots of pictures.
I have to admit, I am very proud that I took this picture! After some editing, it will look awesome!
This was one of the beautiful homes that she built. The "Abique" house is so gorgeous.
This is where I stayed, the "Steelie" house. Also gorgeous! Thanks for sharing a bed with me Alicia!
But this is what it was really all about, connecting! This is Bonnie and Tiffany having a conversation together. Helping each other through the hard times of being a mother.
And this is where I showered, IN A BUCKET!! It was an awesome invention though. Pat is VERY creative and artistic and everything about her homes are unique and original. LOVE IT!
Beans again, she sure made a lot of friends that week.
And this is the studio where we had Yoga classes everyday taught by Juliet, who teaches Yoga in Portland, Oregon.
Here are the Haglund sister's, McKenzie and Alexis. They are such beautiful, humble sisters with the biggest hearts you will ever find. They both came from Las Vegas, Nevada.
And these giggling gals are posed behind our favorite past time activity, the tower of plastic balloons. From left to right: Alicia and Grandma Karen hailing from Arizona and Tiffany hailing from Utah, and Bonnie from Idaho.
And this beautiful piece of artwork called the "Labyrinth", is also a tool for meditation. You start on the outside and meditate as you make your way to the center.
One day we had a Salon in our house with Alicia giving wonderful haircuts and laughs galore. Aunt Pat found all the jewelry I had brought and they had a great time "dressing up"! What a hoot!
And here is the studio that Steve lives in and creates wonderful pieces of art. Steve just purchased this land from Pat, and it is a great building. I especially love the stairs that shoot out the side without any rails. Fun and a bit scary!
Here are the Johnsons in attendance: Top row: Me,(the only non-blood relation), Bonnie, and Alicia. The bottom row includes: Heather, Juliet, Grandma Frazier, Karen Johnson, and Emily. Not in attendance: Ruth, (just gave birth),and  Charice, (health and family issues). Next time we hope to have all in attendance.
And Grandpa Toady just couldn't get enough of us. I found him in the same place two nights in a row. The ladies all thought it was weird that I would pick up a toad, but that is what we do all the time on the golf course behind our home.
Here is our beautiful hostess, Aunt Pat, smiling and enjoying sharing her love with us. Thanks again and again Aunt Pat!
Let's end with some amazing, talented women, the balloon artists, Bonnie and Juliet.         I hope to add a couple more blogs about this trip since it was such a life-changing experience for all. Bear with me though because I just received a Photo program, Lightroom 4 that I have been coveting for a while. I am very excited about this, but it is very complicated for my chemo brain to understand.