Monday, August 20, 2018


I've been a major slacker in the Blog department.  My mom reminds me of this every Sunday when she checks my blog.  I'm going to try this week to update it by going through the summer.  It's been a very busy summer and even though the kids are all back in school or starting school, summer is still not over for me, especially since it is 108 here in Phoenix today.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

A Week of Summer Fun

I always love when my sister comes for a week in August.  We always have so much fun swimming the days away and having Terah Camp!  This time she also came for the baptism of three special boys, Beckett, Bridger and Karston.  It was such a beautiful Summer day and we even got in some family pictures. 
For Terah Camp we started off with some service painting rocks for people to let them know we love them.  My aunt Marion, my moms sister was recently diagnosed with Bladder Cancer.  Along with her and some other neighbors we delivered flowers and rocks.  It brought the kids so much joy. 
 Unfortunately on that day I got a bowel obstruction.  It was the first time I've had one at home.  It was so concerning for the kids and even Beckett told me when I was better that he didn't like seeing me like that.     
Previous to the bowel obstruction we went to the Christopher Robin movie which we all loved.  I especially loved listening to my nieces and nephews laugh during the show.  They thought it was so funny.  This was my birthday present to all of my nieces and nephews.  I also got them each their favorite candy.  We also had Water Wednesday and of course snow cones.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Summer Randomness

The end of July I returned home for literally a few days.  Mostly it was to see my cousin Deb's son Dallin off on his mission.  He is such a sweet young man.  As I was saying goodbye to him I had this feeling that it might me the last time I see him, as he will be gone for 2 years serving the people of Guatamala.  I've been so blessed to work and live in Phoenix the past 5 years and to get to know my cousins children.  He did such a fabulous job on his talk.
Several years ago when I lived in Charlotte my friend from childhood Jared just happened to be in my ward looking for a place to live.  And then him and his wife stayed in my house for a few weeks while I was out of town and they found a place to live.  Well when I was at Dallins farewell, I saw Jared who just happens to be in Debs ward.  It was fun to catch up with him and his mom and his wife.

Over the the past few months my friends Nicole and Blake and baby Hadley have been staying in my home.  It has been such a sweet experience to have a baby in my home and to have these good friends stay here.  Their lease was up June 1 and they are going to Florida to for PA school the middle of August.  Since I'm never home I was happy to help them and let them stay in my home.  I'm sure going to miss them.
My nieces and nephews always create beautiful cards for me.  I'm so blessed to have them in my life.
This sweet girl turned 6 this past week.  Seriously I can't get over it.  I love her so much.  She brings so much light to our family!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Cruisin' Alaska

Mom, Dad and I woke early on Sunday morning to fly to Vancouver, Canada via Seattle!  We realized when we got to the airport that someone forgot to grab the bag that had my makeup and mom's hair stuff.  Gratefully I had my hair stuff and mom had her makeup, even though we use different but similar products we at least had the bare necessities! When we got to the Vancouver airport we boarded a bus that took us to customs.  Unfortunately the pain medications don't seem to be working much and any walking or standing causes me horrible back pain.  I've also started getting some pretty significant numbness in my thighs, which is most annoying.  Because I was being wheeled in a wheelchair, we were able to go to the very short lines for people like me.  On our way through customs we saw President and Sister Uchtdorf.  It was awesome.  They were so kind and spoke with us.  They were going with their family on a cruise.  Sadly it wasn't on our ship.
Again, because of our wheel chair status, we were able to board the ship first.  I must say there are some perks to having a wheel chair!  We loved our ship.  It was fancy and clean and we even had a window.  You need a window if you are going on an Alaskan Cruise.  We were a tiny bit hungry so we of course had to go and check out the food.  Unfortunately the entire trip, my stomach wasn't very happy and I wasn't able to eat much, but I did enjoy what food I did eat.  They say you gain 10 pounds on a cruise.  I may have gained 1 ounce.  Our first dinner we were seated with a very nice couple from Utah celebrating their 20th anniversary.  Come to find out they have a daughter who had a benign ovarian tumor and a sister who had one too, which were found incidentally.  Small world and small reasons why you meet the people you meet.

Monday we stayed on the ship.  We kept ourselves busy by reading, listening to a lady talk about all the different jewelry stores we could visit when we got to land and enjoying the beautiful scenery. I really loved being bundled up in a blanket, book in hand and relaxing surrounded by so much beauty.
 Tuesday was the only day we really had bad weather.  It was pouring like crazy the entire time we were in Ketchikan.  We didn't have any excursions set up, but wandering the little downtown.  We enjoyed the shops, especially the jewelry shops.  We bought some jewelry and some Christmas presents.  It's never to early to shop for Christmas.  What time we spent in the rainy streets, I enjoyed this lumberjack like town.  Mom and I bought rain boots before our trip and loved wearing them.  I also got a great deal at the Goodwill on my LL Bean rain jacket.  I'm always up for a good deal!  I'm glad I got to put these to good use.  When you live in a state that doesn't get much rain you enjoy the times when it does rain.  Of course each evening we had a delicious dinner and wonderful entertainment!  There was a quintet made up of 2 violins, a cello, a viola and a pianist.  They performed each night and sometimes during the day when we stayed on the ship.  I'd say they were probably one of my favorite entertainment groups.  Every performance they had a different theme. 
Wednesday was our day in Juneau.  For weeks before our cruise I kept thinking that I needed to email my friend who I met way back in the 6th grade when we were in orchestra.  She played the cello and I the fiddle.  I knew she was living in Juneau, but being busy and such, I didn't end up emailing her until the night before we left.  I am so happy that I did.  When we got to Juneau we decided that we would meet up for dinner.  Well she was coming into town and she saw us go into a store and came over and surprised us.  It was so awesome to see her.  We chatted for a bit before we went on a tour and she went to help out in her husbands jewelry shop.  We then went with our private tour guide who took us all over Juneau, which is actually quite small and then to the Mendenhall Glacier.  This was a favorite stop for sure.  Glaciers are incredible.  There really is nothing like them.
We did indeed meet back up with my friend Kristi and her 4 year old triplets and 3 year old.  Yep, she is a busy lady! We also had the most incredible crab legs I've ever and probably will ever have.  Kristy also took us to Fred Myers so I could get some much needed makeup.  Then we sat in her car for a while and caught up.  Such a great part of our trip for sure. 
Wednesday night the musicians I spoke of earlier and some other performers gave one of the greatest performances I've ever seen.  In fact dad went to it twice because it was so amazing.  They played, while on screen there were scenes of Alaska all year round and the music went with the scenery.  I'm sure I'll never see anything so amazing in my life.  It was just incredible.

Thursday we got up super early for our much anticipated Hummer Excursion from Skagway and into the Yukon of Canada.  I would venture to say that this ended up being one of my most favorite days of my life.  The beauty that we witnessed was far more than any I might have seen in my life and I've seen a lot of beautiful places.  We had our own Hummer which we let dad drive the entire time, because we did get it for him for fathers day.  There were a couple other families that were behind us and a driver who talked through walkie talkies ahead of us.  We stopped at various sights along the way.  One of my favorites was to see both a brown bear and a black bear together.  We were informed that this was a very rare sighting to see them together.
We also stopped in this tiny town where I was able to get the Canada stamp on my passport.  Did you know there are many places that don't stamp your passport these days?  Disappointing for sure.
Can you spot the huge cancer ribbon in this picture, or at least it looks like it?  Smack in the middle of the mountain.
We finished our excursion at Emerald Lake; probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.
And then we toured the tiny town of Skagway, but after our adventure in the morning, it was definitely time for a much needed nap and some time in the hot tub.
Friday we had again one of the best days ever.  We spent most of it inside Glacier Bay.  The best thing about this day was the sun was shining and no clouds or fog.  They said this was very rare and kept talking about how amazing the views were that day.  It was so peaceful and almost sacred to view such beauty.  The sound of the ice from the glacier falling was so powerful. 
We spent a lot of time on the deck, bundled up enjoying the scenery and the fact that we had to bundle up in the middle of July was pretty fun.  There was even a point when I enjoyed the glacier from the hot tub.

Saturday we were on the ship the entire day.  It was relaxing and fun.  They had a cancer walk which of course we had to participate in.  It was a little chilly because we were traveling at a higher speed and farther out from shore.
Sunday we docked early in Seward and went to church where we met our friends the Jensen's.  We then did a little touring seeing yet another glacier, before driving 2 hours to Kenai.  The Jensen's drove their trailer up to Alaska.  They have been wanting us to visit them for several Summers.  Home Sweet Home in the trailer, which is parked in a Wal-Mart parking lot. 
Monday, we pretty much stayed in the trailer and relaxed because it was raining and we'd had a long week.  We did hit the walmart for some candy, soda and chips; all things unhealthy but oh so yummy.  We saw a momma moose and her baby running across the parking lot, the only time I saw a moose.  I wanted to see more moose, but no such luck.  The men woke up each morning at like 3 to go fishing.  Crazy men for sure.  Ken broke his rod the first morning, so of course the guys had to go buy another one. 
Tuesday was the only day dad caught fish.  He was pretty excited and had quite the fish stories.  They actually hit their limit and were home by 9am. 
Again we relaxed which means sitting around reading, but we also hit the most amazing fabric store.
Linda's sister in law and brother in law are trailer neighbors.  We also did a little touring of this cute little town.  They came over in the evening and played cards. 

Wednesday no one caught fish.   They were not happy about this one bit.  And soon after we left they ended the season in this spot.  People literally line up like this in the river.  I'd never do this, but the guys have no fear.  They told a story about a guy who was swept down the way and someone pulled him up.  He only had a broken leg, but he lived.
We took a trip a few hours away to Homer where we had one of the most beautiful views and delicious chowder. 
When we were visiting this area, we ran into some people from Germany who had been to Denali and had a clear day which was unusual.  They were able to see the highest mountain peak in North America.  They were kind enough to share their pictures.
Thursday we went back to the fabric store and bought fabric for a project; which one never knows when it will get done, said our goodbyes and flew from Kenai to Anchorage to Seattle, where we stayed in a crappy hotel, getting hardly any sleep before returning to Boise early in the morning for my cousins wedding.  To say we were exhausted when we got home is an understatement. 
From the air there were tons of lakes which were so beautiful.

I would do this trip over in a heartbeat.  The scenery was seriously out of this world amazing.  I would venture to say it was even spiritual seeing the creations of our Heavenly Father.  Yes, I certainly had days where I felt down right awful, but the window from our room still allowed me to enjoy the scenery.  And of course a nap always made me feel better.  We had lots of laughs and enjoyed every moment of our trip, except maybe the snoring.  Ahh, finally I've blogged this trip.  Yes it has taken me forever but life happens.