Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pickle Home Parade Book and Announcement

I mentioned a few weeks back that we found out we are going to be grandparents! (It still makes me smile whenever I think about it!) Can't tell you what that means to Bob and I! I wanted to post part of the cute little book that Mike and Whitney made to break the news.

We had the whole family (including my mom) over for our monthly dinner, and had just had Family Home Evening. We were all just sitting around chatting, and Whitney said something about wanting to show us a book she put together with the "before" and "after" photos of their renovation in their home. Bob and me and my mom were all sitting next to each other on the couch, so we (totally unaware of what was coming) started looking at the book. This is the first page of the book:

And the book went on to show photos of many of the rooms in the house, showing a "before" photo, like this of their kitchen:

And then the corresponding "after" photo. How cute is this kitchen!?  And to think that they essentially did all of the work on their own. Lots of elbow grease, and lots of time spent, with a darling, darling outcome!

As we looked at each page, I was pointing out every little detail about all the work they've done to my mom, because she hasn't been over to their home yet. 

And finally, we turned to the last set of photos. The first one was this one:

And then this:

As I looked at the pages, the only thing I saw was the tiny little pair of sandals! Little did I know, Mike was filming us the whole time, and Whitney was standing behind us just waiting for me to stop explaining every detail and get to the last page. Of course I made a fool of myself by jumping up and hugging Whitney. There, on film, for all of my posterity to see for ever more. Oh well. I guess the sweet little babe will know I was excited for her (or him). My mom was thrilled to be a part of such a special night. Whitney gave her a book, too, so she has been showing that to everyone she knows! 

We find out a week from tomorrow whether its a boy or a girl, and then we can start planning a little more specifically. Bob and I cannot wait! Woo hoo!

S'mores on a scorching hot night

We had a Young Women Beehive activity last night that turned out really great. The girls were supposed to come prepared to share a story or article from the New Era (I thought it might be a good way to get them to read through their New Era's, if they hadn't already), and give their own thoughts about it. It was centered around Personal Progress Value Experience Knowledge #4. We were going to sit around the fire pit and have them share in a nice cozy setting. What I hadn't planned on is the weather being as hot as blazes. Its "icky" hot. Feels like its 110. Anyway, I decided that sitting around a bonfire wouldn't be that comfortable, so I came up with a Plan B. We sat in the basement while the girls presented their New Era story, and then we went out on the patio to roast marshmallows in these:

I found the idea on Pinterest (Yay for Pinterest). It was so simple, and so effective! I used clay pots I already had on hand, lined them with heavy duty aluminum foil, put charcoal briquettes in them, and lit them just before the girls started arriving. By the time they were done with the first part of the activity, the coals were ready to use for roasting marshmallows for their s'mores. I had three pots going, so there was plenty of heat to go around. I thought it would be a fun idea for a outdoor dinner party, to have a pot in the center of each table and give the guests a little roasting stick and let them make their own s'mores. Also thought it would be fun for a college-age party, since they don't always have fire pits or even barbecues at their disposal.

The only thing to watch out for, is the pots get pretty hot. I had them on the cement, and that worked well. Just be sure to not have anything flammable around it. I don't think I'd put them on anything wood, unless you had a trivet underneath it, or bricks, or something like that.

Fun activity, and something I know I'll do again in the future!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Partridges and Pears

Our Asian pears are ready to be picked! Thankfully this isn't our bumper crop year. It seems that we get that about every other year. This year, we have anywhere from about 20 to 50 on each tree. Multiply that by 30+ trees, and that is still plenty of pears! I usually like to go out and pick the biggest ones every other day or so, and then we start with our list of "Asian pear lovers" (the list grows longer every year), and we either start delivering baskets, or have them come and load up their own boxes. Its time for me to start calling before they all go to the birds...

Having so few pears on the trees makes them really nice and big. This one is bigger than my hand! 

As I was out picking pears, and doing a little evening gardening, I heard a funny little chirp. I couldn't see where it was coming from, but kept hearing it as I moved around the yard. Finally, when I stepped away and went onto the patio, out came a huge covey of quail (I counted at least 23 of them). I had just shut the gate to the front yard, and I think they had planned to use the gate as an exit. 

It was one of the cutest things I have ever seen. They all walked to the closed gate, bumbled around a little bit, pecked at a few seeds and things, and then decided to fly up to perch on the fence.

They sat on the fence for a few minutes, checking out the neighbor's yard, and then the line of them walked along the fence to the front yard and flew back down to the ground and went on their way.

Sometimes, when you are in the exact right place at the exact right time, you get to see something that makes you hold your breath and watch. Tonight was one of those nights for me. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Awesome Alaska Adventure

We are back from our trip to Alaska. It was wonderful. So nice to be away, with my sweetie for 10 glorious days! I had one goal in mind, and that was to get rid of the circles under his eyes. I must admit, he still has those circles, and probably will until we're 95, but I do know he got some relaxation and reading in. I think 10 days is a little long for him to be away from work and also his church responsibilities. It is virtually impossible for him to totally go off-radar as far as the phone and computer goes. He still has to run his company, and things come up that he needs to handle. He also needs to be within reach for things that come up within the ward.

Bob doing a little work on the computer
on the ship before the day's
activities begin

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining one bit... maybe just justifying the fact that he still has those circles under his eyes.

We had never been to Alaska before, so we were able to see and do lots of "firsts" on this trip. We saw beluga whales, humpback whales,

a lynx,

The bus driver actually stopped and
put the bus in reverse when someone said
 they spotted a lynx. He couldn't say
enough times how rare it is to see one
in the wild.
I think it totally made his day.
a bear,

Okay, so the bear we spotted was from the cruise
ship. I have never seen one in the wild before,
so I was pretty happy to see him. Sorry about
the blurry photo, but he was pretty far away.

Mt. McKinley,

We heard over and over again how rare it
 is to see Mt. McKinley. We saw it two
days in a row, so I'd say that's
pretty lucky!

and we also went on two different train trips. One of the train rides was on an historic old railway and train that took us up into the mountains on some crazy bridges at scary heights. 

Train tracks leading up to a tunnel. Yikes!

It was a beautiful ride! 

The other train ride was a 9 hour ride from Whittier to Denali National Park. 

That, too, was a beautiful ride where we were able to see so much of Alaska's little towns and villages as well as the abundant amazing scenery. We rode on the to deck of a double-decker train and ate downstairs in the dining area. Pretty fun!

The first part of the trip was on the cruise ship. One really great clue as to what kind of weather to expect on the cruise was the fact that they put wool blankets on the lounge chairs on our balcony.

And yes... we actually did use them. It really wasn't all that bad as far as weather goes. In fact, there was even a day or two that we were able to get a little sun and actually wear shorts around.

We stopped in Juneau, Ketchikan,

Bob was the driver on our cart ride. It was a fast,
wild ride on the bumpiest roads ever. Made me miss
our nice, gentle Mule rides.

 and Skagway. We also spent a day in Glacier Bay

Ice floating in the water?
Bring me that wool blanket!

and then another day in College Fjords. After that part of the trip, we took the train up to Denali, and spent the rest of the trip on land.

I was amazed at the truly spectacular flowers that were everywhere in flower pots and planters. 

I think the winters are so long that they must really love seeing their flowers in the summer. They were gorgeous, and stood out so much everywhere we went!

Well, I think I've shared more than enough photos... I love to have photos to look back on and stir up those memories of all that we saw and experienced together. What a trip!

Now that we're home, we have plenty of things on our plate... Robbie's ward overnight at our cabin this weekend, a Bishopric retreat coming up in a couple of weeks, a Bowen reunion, and a Beehive retreat... all at our cabin and all within the next 4 weeks or so. Fun things ahead!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Grandbaby on the way!

I have really big news. This time its much better than a snake bounty being paid. This is bigger and better. (Although I really was ecstatic over the whole snake thing). This news is amazing!

Bob and I are going to be grandparents! Yippee! Whitney and Mike made the announcement a week ago. I'm going to post later about how they told us, but for now I at least had to share the news. They are due in January! We couldn't be happier! Whitney and Mike will be truly wonderful parents. What a lucky little babe to be going to their home!  

Wedding Photos - Part 2 - The luncheon

To see the rest of the wedding & reception photos for this wedding, click below:

I have already shared the photos of Linds and Ryan after their wedding in the Salt Lake Temple. Today's post will include the next batch of photos -- mostly the wedding luncheon. 

Salt Lake LDS Temple

We had the luncheon just across the plaza from the temple, at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. 

At the luncheon, we just had a small display table (we were saving all our energy for decorating for the reception!). You can see the laser etching that Bob did of the front side of their wedding invitations. It turned out awesome, and was perfect for displaying at the luncheon and the reception!

I showed these in an earlier post... these were sitting at each place setting on the tables.

Whitney, Lindsay and I wrapped all of the little mint lifesaver rolls and put the final touches on them. I loved the way they turned out, and the guests all seemed delighted with the extra little thought for them.

The tables were all decorated with our book page centerpiece bases (which by the way, I am in love with and want to use all over my house), and then we just rented the topiaries from the Joseph Smith Memorial Building Caterer, and tied our own pink bows on them. Simple, but very sweet. 

Here are the guests all focused on the proceedings. Lindsay and Ryan were obviously already married in the temple by then, but since none of Ryan's family are members of the church, they weren't able to be in the temple. So, we had Bob conduct a little ring exchange for their benefit. Bob talked for just a few minutes explaining the meaning of the temple wedding, and why that is so important to members of the LDS faith. It really was perfect, and I think Ryan's family appreciated knowing more about that and also getting a chance to see the new couple exchange their rings.

The ring exchange

Bob introducing all of the guests

We decided it was best to get Lindsay out of her dress and into something else for the luncheon. The dress wasn't exactly conducive to dining, and I don't know what we would have done if there had been a spill on it!

If I look particularly intent on filling my plate (in the above photo), its because I WAS particularly intent on filling my plate! The food was delicious soups and salads, a roll, and dessert. We were starving and all of it tasted so good to me!

Bob and I as happy as can be!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wedding Photos - Part 1 - The temple

To see the rest of the wedding posts for this wedding, click below
Part 2 - The Luncheon

I am finally getting around to posting the wedding photos. The photos you will see today are of just after the temple wedding. Linds and Ryan were married in the Salt Lake Temple on a gorgeous June day...

The bridal bouquet

Ryan and Lindsay leaving the temple and
seeing their awaiting friends and family

The lovely couple with the
Salt Lake Temple in the background

It truly was a perfect day! We couldn't be happier for them. We are lucky enough to have them living in our backyard. Literally. Their apartment is right across the back fence. Linds can stand on her front porch and I on my back deck, and we can have a conversation over the fence!

I'll be back soon to share more photos of the wedding day!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bartlett pears and Ensign Peak

Can you believe the pears are huge and ready to be picked? Yikes! Its really about a month earlier than usual. They have even started dropping from the trees. We have to Bartlett Pear trees in the front yard, and the bucket of pears is from those trees. We have 32 Asian Pear trees in the backyard, and they are also getting ripe and ready. 

When we bought the lot to build our house on, it was full of over 100 orchard trees. We had to take some out for the house itself, and then we also removed some for the back lawn area. We wanted to keep as many of the old trees as we could, so that we could keep the orchard feel. I love those trees! We prune them quite a bit each year, so they stay fairly small and manageable. The blossoms are gorgeous, and the fruit isn't bad (I'm not a real pear lover, but I am learning to like the Asian pears). We have a list of people we call when the pears are ready, and they come and pick to their hearts' delight. Everyone swoons over the Asian pears, so they are excited to come and fill their bushels. I think its about time to start calling my list of people!

Before I do that, though, I need to go out and get a few weeds out of the back yard. There are some that are honestly 3 feet tall. I don't know how that happened. Well, maybe I do know how. It could be that there are some areas out there that I haven't weeded since before the wedding. That is almost two months. That is how they are now 3 feet tall. I can't have people coming to pick pears if there are weeds that tall. I guess I know what I'll be doing this afternoon!

We had a great Young Women activity the other night. We hiked to the top of Ensign Peak and when we got there, we had a great little devotional about the Holy Ghost and using it to guide us in our lives (like using a GPS on a hike). The bishop gave the devotional, and it was truly special up there at the top of that peak, with the beautiful views and the lovely day. Its handy having the bishop as my husband, because I have exceptional access to him and his talents! We based the activity on Personal Progress Choice and Accountability #5. All they had to do was to go home and write in their journals about the things we talked about and the things they learned.

Next post will be photos from the wedding! Yay!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kendrick Family Reunion

How can it be August 8th already? I haven't even so much as had a sip of lemonade this summer! It has been so full. But I can't complain too much. Life around here is very busy, but its busy with good things (mostly). 

I have some really big news.............. we are down one snake in our yard! Robbie received bounty payment for "getting rid" of a pretty good-sized one. I saw a photo and heard a description of Mr. Big Snake's demise, so I think from now on we'll have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. It will be an honor system kind of thing, so I don't have to actually replay the event in my mind. Are you reading this, Robbie?  I know there are a few more out there, so there may be some more money exchanged in the coming weeks. One can only hope.

We were able to get to a family reunion this past weekend. Its the reunion of my Grandpa and Grandma Kendrick (who are no longer living) and all of their descendants. It has been held up at their tiny cabin in Logan Canyon for years and years and years. This photo is actually of them up at the cabin in the 1960's.

Grandpa & Grandma Kendrick
I love how she's in a dress, and he's in a shirt and suspenders for a day up at the cabin. They look so totally peaceful. Makes me want to sit in that chair next to them and take in some of that summer breeze.

And here is my cute mom at the reunion last Saturday standing right in front of the little cabin. My mom and two of her sisters are the only still living out of the six daughters.

These are the first cousins that were at the reunion. Me and my sisters Sheri and Susan are in the photo, along with a handful of our cousins.

First cousins at Kendrick Reunion

Couldn't resist including that photo. Bob and Mark, two of the son-in-laws, who coincidentally were both made bishops last year within a few weeks of each other. They both look like they have a little more stress in their lives...

And a final reunion photo.... my cousin Kohn pulling around a little train made out of water barrels and dollies. It was darling seeing the kids taking rides in it. Bob is already designing one for us! Yay!

I love that reunion. It brings back so many sweet, sweet memories of a years gone by. I love my mom's family! They are so warm and inviting and lovely in every way. What a wonderful tradition of gathering together!

I want to have those same kinds of traditions in my extended family and also my immediate family. It is so important to keep those relationships going as the family gets more and more spread out. We are going to have a reunion at our cabin in September for all of my mom and dad's posterity. Should be fun!