Thursday, November 27, 2008

Montana vs. Oregon and hanging out with family

At one point we thought the drive from Spokane,Wa to Menan,Idaho (don’t feel bad if you don’t know where it is, nobody really does)was going to be 8 hrs. We already knew the drive from Issaquah to Spokane was 4 hrs. Marks sister Sara asked why we didn’t just drive down to their place in Boise and then up and around to Menan with them, thinking it would be the same amount of time. Later we found out it was 6 hrs to Menan from Spokane, plus the 4 from Issaquah. It’s only two hours shorter but hey, two hours less when driving with kids for a long time means everything. It means sanity vs. insanity. Even if the drive were the same amount of distance in driving I still would pick the Spokane through Montana, down through Idaho route any day. I have three reasons which I will list in order of importance.

1. In Montana the speed limit is 75 vs. the 60 in Oregon. That is a huge difference.

2. Montana and the part of Idaho that we drive through are very pretty. The part of Oregon that we would have to drive through after crossing the Columbia River going to Boise is UGLY. In my opinion.That's just my opinion.

3. You can pump your own gas in Montana. That drives Mark and I crazy that you can’t pump your own gas in Oregon. I understand that they are giving jobs to people by doing that but it’s annoying. I like getting my own gas thank you very much.

After all that our drive wasn’t so bad. We drove to Spokane on Tuesday night and spent the night and then left Wednesday from Spokane around 10:30 and got into Menan (to Marks Aunt and Uncle Doug’s house) around 6:30. Kiah drove for 3 ½ hrs, which was a nice break for Mark. I didn’t drive because my head is too fuzzy due to the sinus infection. We made one stop for lunch in Missoula for about an hour and other than that we sailed on through. It wasn’t too bad. The kids watched movies, they didn’t really fight and some took naps.
It has been a lot of fun watching the kids play with their cousins. Each one of our kids have one or more cousins that they are really close to. Kiah’s cousin Garrett and her are very close and are cute together, they are like two peas in a pod. Today we had everyone tell something they were Thankful for and Garrett (who is almost 17) said "Kiah." They are cute cousins, nice to each other, supportive and funny. Miles has his cousin Cory that is one month older than him. Those two run all over with transformers, making up all kinds of stories that involve bad guys dying at the hands of their transformers. They are cute. Sofi has her cousin Tanner who is a few months older than her. Whenever we get together they act a little shy at first like they have forgotten each other and then within a little bit of time they have both disappeared and they are off playing a board game or outside jumping on the trampoline. Those two are cute because they know when they need a break from each other. They don’t fight; they just stop playing for a bit. Then you see them running off to play again. I love watching the kids play with their cousins. I never really had this type of experience growing up. My cousins are all older than me; they teased me more than anything else. Menan is very beautiful if you ever want visit this area. If you go to Rexburg and then look west you will see Menan. Marks Uncle lives up on a crater. From their balcony you can see the winding of the Snake River, the Rexburg Temple and the tips of the Tetons. It’s flat and dry, which I’m not use to. I think I’m a bit spoiled living up in Washington. Yet, this is another kind of beauty. It’s breathtaking actually. So far, despite being sick it’s been a good trip.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

I haven't been sick for the Thanksgiving Holiday for a long, long time. I can't knock on wood this time though because I am in the middle of a snotty nosed snotfest. It came on fast and hard. Ask Amy about it, she has it too. I hope none of the other Twilight gals get it. If so, blame not just me, but Amy as well. I will say "sorry" now and get it over with. We are driving to Menan,Idaho on Tuesday. Menan is near Rexburg if you are wondering. I had never heard of it until Marks aunt and uncle moved there a few years ago. I'm not excited about the drive, I wasn't before the sickness and now I am even less excited. My head feels huge and there is this area around me with waded up tissues from the day that I just don't feel like throwing away. This is not a pity party post, I promise.
It is meant more as a wish that you and yours have a wonderful, relaxing and fulfilling Thanksgiving. I hope all of you stuff yourselves completely full, you should. I'm tired of hearing people say they are worried about eating pie or too much turkey or whatever during the holidays. We should be good to ourselves, don't over do it but be happy, savor the tastes, all the sauces and breath in the smells. Breath it in for me, because right now I can't smell a thing! Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

La La Shan

I really don't have anything to say but I wanted to put up another photo that Mark found from our first trip to Taiwan. We met this funny, very nice Chinese man in the city we lived in and him and his family ended up becoming good friends. He has two daughters and it was amazing to watch how he interacted with them. He adored them and put them on a pedal stool. The way he treated them (them being girls) is something you don't see in the Asian culture very often. Maybe it's changing some, I hope. Sydney took us with his friend Mr. White up to La La Shan in the mountains (shan means mountain in Mandarin). We took this long winding road up to see old huge trees, that's what La La Shan was and is. Funny because now I live in an area with tons of large and old trees and I don't have to take a long winding road to see them. It was beautiful and the countryside in Taiwan is worth getting out to see. Plus it's much cooler up in the mountains and it was a treat to get away from the city and the heat.
I love this photo of Mark and I. My legs look long, which I love. Also this was when I was a few pounds lighter, dang weight gaining! I also had long hair and had it pulled back in a ponytail, the only time I've had long hair in my adult life. Anyhoo, thought I would post the photo. I guess I did have a few things to say.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

flashback Monday with Mark and Stacey

Mark tonight had a dire need to find his old yearbooks. Nostalgia I guess. He didn't find the yearbook but he did find a bunch of photos. I love this photo that he uploaded and I'm stealing it from him.
It's one of my favorites of us and I had forgotten all about it. Mark and I went to Taiwan the summer after we got married. We were married June 16th,1989 and we went when school got out for BYU Provo the spring of 90'. We were in Taiwan teaching English from I think May to the end of August. We made around 20$ and hour and the minimum wage at that time was around 5$. We made a nice amount of money (we bought a car with it) and had a fun experience together. This photo was taken on a Sunday and I know that because I wouldn't have worn a skirt any other day and Mark wouldn't have worn long pants any other day. By the time we walked, took a train and walked a bit more, it took us about 90 minutes to get to the English branch from our house each Sunday. It was well worth it though because it was a nice social day and our only time to be with a bunch of foreigners. Mark taught the Gospel Doctrine class and the people in the class were the elder missionary couples. They were really funny. If you want to hear something funny, talk to a woman or man from Idaho trying to speak Mandarin. It's hilarious. Not that I can speak the language much better, but put a rural accent with it and it's funny. This photo brings back great memories though. Skinnier, funny, free, new, exciting and adventurous memories.

quotes and more quotes

Mark tonight was looking for his old yearbooks and found a couple journals of mine in one of the boxes he brought up from the basement. I started leafing through them and had forgotten that I use to love writing down some of my favorite quotes. Or if I heard a new one, I would write it down on the side of the paper or at the bottom, just about anywhere in my journals. I thought I would post a few of my favorites that I had forgotten about and have been rejuvenated by.

Quote 1)
I am not afraid of the storm, for I am learning to sail my ship
Louisa May Alcott
Quote 2)
Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instructions
Anne Sullivan (Helen Kellers Teacher)
Quote 3)
Follow your bliss
Joseph Campbell
Quote 4)
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves
In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer
Albert Camus

That last one is one of my favorites. Especially after moving to Washington. In the winter with all the rain and dark skies I have to remember that within me is light and the power to have a positive attitude and that summer WILL come.
What are your favorite quotes?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanksgivings of Yore

My friend Denese posted photo's of her kids Halloween costumes through the years. I loved looking back at her kids when they were wee ones and now seeing them getting older but still wearing costumes was fun. I decided to post our Thanksgiving photo's instead. I have to be different, what can I say? Plus a lot of Kiah's Halloween photo's are in frilly,scary photo albums that I don't want to take photo's out of to scan. I say frilly because they were gifts and that was a while ago. I'll have to take a pic of one sometime just so you can see how gaggy they are. Most likely you have some of your own. The photo's don't start until Sofi was a baby because other Thanksgiving photo's are also in albums somewhere. Oh well. You can see the change of our family from 1999 to present. There are a few photo's so sit back and have fun. Oh, some of Mark with his big burly beard are going to be a shock to those that have only known him in Washington. They are funny.

I should have more but that's all I've got right now. I'm not sure now if Thanksgivings of Yore is such a great idea. Halloween would've been a lot funner. Ooh or Christmas. That will be next month.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Trendy Wendy and Spacey Stacey

Today is my flashback Monday. Last night we went into Seattle and picked up a friend from Logan that is here for a Convention and took her around the city. Wendy and I have known each other since Middle school. We went to the same school's since Kindergarten but didn't really know each other until Middle school. What is it lately with me getting together with friends from my past? Anyhow Wendy is here from Denver for her work and I'm so happy we got to see her.
I haven't seen Wendy in probably 15 years but that was just a quick "hello" thing. After High School we stopped hanging out and didn't hang out in the same group anymore. I think I saw Wendy in Logan at a Fair 15 years ago and we said Hello and that was it. Kind of sad. It was until lately with the wonderful "Facebook" that we reconnected. Go Facebook. Believe it or not I was small in middle school and High school. Wendy and I were the same height, dressed the same, both short and tiny. At school they called her Trendy Wendy and I was Spacey Stacey. We were inseparable. We both were pretty trendy. We wore our penny loafers with a dime in them, not a penny (we were trying to be different ;D). Then our knee high argyle socks, our long khaki shorts, then a sweater with a long sleeved button down shirt underneath. We wore this in Logan, in the winter, in freezing temperatures. I just have to say that we never had the big Utah hair. Nothing against those of you that did. We still love you! Wendy and I had short hair (I know for me that's a big surprise). We thought we were pretty cool. That was the look though. Preppy but trendy. We would also wear our IZOD shirts but put a safety pin through the alligator. I don't know why we thought that was cool. My memory that I wanted to share today though and is one that Wendy brought up last night and is about an incident with a car....
We had an old car of my Grandma's that she wanted us to sell and it had been sitting in our driveway for awhile. I didn't have my license yet, Wendy was over, My parents were going out for the night and I was a bit tempted. My parents left, we waited a bit and then decided that we wanted to go downtown to get a soda. In our immature teenage minds thought up a plan that would allow us to take the car but not get caught. We would mark with pencils the exact place that the tires were in so that when we came back we could line them back up into the same spot. How stupid is that? I mean really, only crazy teenagers think of that kind of stuff. We went outside got down on our knees and marked in pencil (so that we could erase after) where the tires were. We took the car downtown and got a soda at the old Smith's grocery store on 4th. I don't even think I enjoyed it because I was so nervous that I would run into someone, see my parents, get caught, crash the car. It was not enjoyable. When we got back home it took us forever to get the car back where the marks were. I hadn't even taken drivers ed yet. We were down on our knees again erasing the pencil marks when my parents pulled up. We told them we had dropped something on the ground and that we were trying to find it. How lame were we? I was not a good liar. A few days later my mom asked me if we took the car out while they were gone. Like I said I was not a good liar and I had to tell the truth. I got into a bit of trouble for that. Wendy and I had some fun times together. Both goofy and crazy. In High School if Wendy wasn't with me people would ask me where she was and vise versa. She was a good friend and I'm happy that facebook is around so that people like us can reconnect and get to know each other again. I have more funny Wendy stories that will have to be for another time.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Prayers in my Heart

I have some prayers in my heart today and if it's not too corny I thought I would share them. If you in turn want to include them in your prayers, the more the better. Today Miles turns 5. We met his Birth Mother the day after he was born and he was placed with us the following day. The night we met her she cried the whole time. I was at a loss for words but I had prayed that I would know what to do for her. I could only sit by her and rub her back. What else do you do in that situation? She was giving us this wonderful gift of life, there is no other gift that equals it's value. She is in my prayers today, as she is every day.
Yet today when I look at Miles I keep seeing her face. I send out a prayer today for Lillian that she has happiness and peace in her life. That she knows that Miles is doing good. She told me in a letter a few years ago that she didn't like the name Miles and wouldn't have chosen it herself. I thought that was funny. Sofia's Birth Mother is also in my heart and prayers today. Her name is Neeco. She is older than Miles Birth Mother and had more stability and support in her life, I pray she still does today. I find it only fitting that on November 1st I found myself in a Wendy's and Sofi, Kiah and I looked at photo's on the wall of Dave Thomas. This month is National Adoption month. While we ate there we talked about him and how much he cared about adoption having a positive image. I have a prayer in my heart today for friends that are waiting to adopt. They are on such a wonderful and blessed path. I have a prayer in my heart for all the Birth Mother's and Birth Father's that are either in the process of making the decision to place their child for adoption, or are feeling sadness today because they wonder if their Birth child is doing ok. Can you tell I feel a bit emotional? Those are my prayers.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Baby Mama

Alison and I met at Edith Bowen Elementary School in 5th grade. That would have made us about 10 and the year was 1978. Freaky! Her family had moved from Alaska and we hit it off instantly. We've been good friends ever since. Alison was always tall, has blond hair and lots of freckles. I've always been short, brown hair and freckles. We thought we looked like LaVerne and Shirley and if you don't know who that is then you aren't cool enough to read this post! I could write post after post about funny times spent with Alison. Here are a few.
1. She still teases me to this day about Bill Petzel who spun me around from the loop of my painter pants in middle school.
2. We watched Grease so many times together that we knew it by heart.
3. I called her from Logan when she was visiting her grandma up in Vancouver,WA crying that this guy I liked (my first real boyfriend)dumped me. I cried and cried and she just listened.
4. Alison and our friend Ned shared a locker in Middle school and had mice in the locker named Sid and Nancy(also if you don't know who that is, you aren't cool enough;D). The vice principal,mr. maughn found out and made them get rid of them, which now makes total sense.
5. Jump to when Mark and I got married. She couldn't understand why she couldn't go into the Temple with us(not a member)and threatened to dig a tunnel into the Temple. Kidding of course. She was waiting outside when we came out, in tears.
6. We have talked to each other on each of our birthday's no matter where we are, ever since we've known each other.

I'm writing about Alison because she is expecting her first child this month. She is having a girl. She met her husband while living in India. His name is Suresh and he is the nicest man. They are going to have one beautiful baby girl. This past weekend Kiah, Sofi and I went down to Vancouver where her and Suresh live. They actually live in her grandmother's house that I called so long ago crying about a stupid boy. Kiah and I put on a shower for Alison. Her mom and dad live in Salmon River and she came to the shower as well. Alison and Suresh haven't lived in Vancouver very long so she doesn't know very many people. I think there were about 11 of us there and it was the perfect amount. She got a lot of nice things and it was fun to watch her open up her gifts. It was a long and at times stressful weekend but I was very happy that I spent time with Alison and her mom. It felt like old times. She of course teased me about Bill Petzel and my painter pants. She had to bring that up in front of Kiah, anything to embarrass me. Here's to old friends and new friends. Next time you see one of them (or talk to them), let them know how much they mean to you.

Duped by a 9 year old

One last post about Halloween and just because I think it's too funny and totally shows Sofi's personality to a "T." Each Halloween Mark has the kids pick a big pile of their favorite candies and the rest he takes to work. Yes he is the grinch of Halloween. That and we both have had bad teeth as kids and don't want the same for the kids. This year was no exception. He let Sofi have her stash a few days longer than most. Last night he told her to pick out 30 of her favorite(this is after she had already eaten tons and tons) candies and give the rest of the bag to him. He called me from work today and told me about the sneaky little trick that she pulled. She had taken out the bag and replaced it with a big towel. He got to work, went to give candy to his friends and pulled out the towel. No candy. We both had to laugh. We could totally see Sofi in all her sneakiness creeping up to the bag knowing she was pulling it off, with a big grin on her face nonetheless. I just confronted her (with a smile on my face). Her cute smile came out, she tried not to, her nose scrunched up,big grin and laughed that real laugh. You've got to love it. Kids are too darn funny and innocent. What a cutie.