Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween 2009

Darth Vader (Nicholas Booker) Yoda (Brody Booker) Thomas the Train (Jacob Booker) Cutest Girl Pirate in Town (Kaiya Booker) - missing from picture because she was so sick :-(

When our kids were growing up, one of our holiday traditions was to have "dinner in a pumpkin" before they could go trick or treating on Halloween. Now that they are grown and have families of their own, their children are learning that Grandma wants them to eat a healthy meal before they go out on the street to do major sugar damage!
Dinner in a Pumpkin
Cut the top off a good sized pumpkin (save the top). Scoop out all the stringy stuff and throw it away. Draw a face on the pumpkin with black acrylic paint or magic marker. Fill with the following recipe:
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
Brown meat, onion, and garlic together. Drain grease. Add remaining ingredients. Mix together well. Spoon mixture into pumpkin and place "JACK" on a baking sheet before placing in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (or 1-1/2 hours, depending on size of pumpkin). Don't let it cook too long or it won't hold its shape. Scoop out the sides of the cooked pumpkin and serve with hamburger mixture. Add a side of green beans or a salad and a roll for a complete meal!

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 19 -- We Share a Special Date!

I'll explain the special date at the end of this post .....
Today is Brody's 2nd birthday! Happy birthday wonderful little boy!! You light up my life!!! Love, Gramma
I had the privilege of being in the delivery room with Courtnie the day Brody was born. I saw him leave the womb. I heard him take his first breath and offer his first pathetic little cry to the earthly life he just entered. Our eyes locked and his two middle fingers went right into his mouth.
He had the largest blue eyes I had ever seen in my entire life and his eyelashes were so long! I noticed immediately that his pinky fingers on both hands had a little curve to them (something we would all giggle about later). I have very vivid details of that day because I fell in love with Brody Matai Booker! Courtnie lived with us in Stockton while she was pregnant and we became best friends. It was a defining moment in my life. We spent a lot of time together, shopping for baby and preparing for labor and delivery. It's a very sweet memory for both of us. She is a fabulous mother and I honor her for all she has done and is doing to make such a good life for Brody. We were happy for her when she moved back to Utah as we knew that would provide a better life for her son. But I never imagined how hard it would be to live so far apart and how much I would miss them both. If you know me, you know the rest of the story! Right after Brody's first birthday we moved back to Utah, too! I consider it a gift from God that He orchestrated that move. He knew I would surely die of a broken heart if I couldn't see Brody often. Now we see each other every weekend. Courtnie designated me as the only other person who can sign Brody out of daycare. Sometimes I just pick him up and take him to a nearby park and watch him play. I sing a couple of songs that he knows belong just to him. He knows them. He loves them. He loves me and I love him. Oh, and the special date we share? October 19 -- the date his Gramma and Grampa were married in 1975. We are delighted to share this special day with him. So .... happy anniversary to my wonderful husband, Randy. And happy birthday little Brodster (rhymes with toaster)!

Autumn on the Wasatch Front

We took a walk up the mountainside just a 5-minute drive from our home and witnessed a natural "fireworks display" this weekend. The trees are red, orange, and yellow -- the brightest and boldest colors I have ever seen! The cool temperatures at night have produced the most gorgeous autumn here on the Wasatch Front. When I wake up every morning, the first words out of my mouth are "Thank you, God!" I sincerely mean that. My heart is so full of gratitude for the world He created for us. He wants us to be happy. What an amazing gift, don't you agree? Come along and enjoy a virtual tour of this place we have chosen to call "home." Picture yourself walking through a little bit of heaven. Smell the damp earth under your feet. Listen to the subtle sounds of birds preparing to head south for the winter. Taste the wonderment of my new favorite season! If you've been here before, these pictures will be familiar to your spirit and you'll recognize the beauty of this majestic mountain. If you haven't, I hope you'll enjoy seeing this magnificent landscape through the lens of my brand new Nikon D5000! Ah, yes .... can I get a whoot-whoot!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Run "Ran" Run -- (that's "Randy" to you!)

Writing about the most important man in my life will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. This is a tribute to my Ran, and the accomplishment of a goal he has worked so hard to achieve. I'm very proud of him and I think he's just about the greatest human being I have ever known. A gorgeous day to participate in the "Buffalo Run" on Antelope Island today. A half-marathon race which, as you can see, takes place (of all things) among the buffalo! He completed a 13.1 mile race on a dusty dirt trail, up and down rocky hills, through brush-lined narrow paths on a desolate looking terrain. Doesn't do much for me, but he enjoyed the heck out of it! I followed him in the Xterra as much as I could, stopping now and then to take pictures and cheer him on. At one point I announced, "Go honey, you're looking good, you can do it, only 4-1/2 miles to go!" And I heard him mutter under his breath, "Ya .... piece of cake .... a walk in the park." After the race, he told me that he was thinking, "4-1/2 miles .... I might as well walk to the moon!" I'll sharpen my cheerleading efforts in the future! He trained for some time preparing for this event. Running through the cold. Running in the dark. Running on empty. Running after work and early on Saturday mornings. Running when he didn't feel like running at all. But the thing that impressed me most was that four days before the race, he was very sick and ended up going to a doctor (one of perhaps six times that I know of over the past 30+ years). But he hung in there and set out to do his best, no matter what. And HE DID IT! Just one more reason he is -- hands down -- my hero!! And a little "congratulations" poster left on the porch by Tiffanie and Ben, complete with Vita-water, protein bars, Gatorade and his favorite -- a whole bag of Snickers candy bars!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Doing Laundry in Tara

Out with the old and in with the new! That saying has been around for a long time. It applies to clothing, shoes, hairstyles, makeup, furniture, and you-name-it!! In this case, it's all about the old washer and dryer that finally gave up -- unusable, malfunctioning, unworthy of repair, dead, kaput -- yes, to appliance heaven they've gone. With a great big "thank you" for years and years of service, mind you! Here's a little trivia about me ..... I name things. The trees in the backyard of our Stockton home were affectionately named after dear ones I left in Farmington. It kept their memories close to me and gave me the opportunity to "talk" to them while I weeded and watered and pruned. Really good therapy! Even my Xterra has a name, as do many other material things in my life. I'm funny that way, and perfectly OK with myself. So I have appropriately named my new washer and dryer "Scarlett O'Hara" and "Red Butler" from "Gone With The Wind," a classic movie I watched dozens of times when I was a teenager. If you love this movie as much as I do, you get it, and you know that Clark Gable played Rhett Butler. Now you must admit, this play on words was pretty clever, hmmm? Oh, and for the record .... if you know me at all, you know that RED is my favorite color! Even more appropriate, don't you think? Laundry blues??? No - quite the contrary - I've washed every flippin' thing in the house, whether it needed it or not! I'm doing laundry in Tara .....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Run, Fran, Run!!!

When my children were very small, a group of women in my neighborhood would meet every morning at 5:30 and run the streets of Farmington. Literally! We'd run 6 miles every day and 9 miles on Saturday. This same group of moms would take turns tending one another's children so that each of us could have a little break in the day. Much of the time was spent just running after little people, and I loved it! As the children grew, I would run them to piano lessons, gymnastics, karate lessons, cheerleading, violin lessons, Scouts, flute lessons, swimming lessons, and to the mall (oh yes, frequent trips to the mall!). It was during those teenage years that I found myself running other things. Like the washer and dryer, the dishwasher, the sewing machine, and the garbage disposal. Alas, running the streets of Farmington had taken a backseat to everything else. Now the kids are all grown and gone and raising families of their own. So . . . I'm running again! I run 3-1/2 miles three days a week. On Saturday I ride my bicycle 12 miles while Randy runs his 12-mile route (he's training for a half-marathon in October). This summer I've run three 5K races. But don't let the word race fool you. My goal is to start and finish, and that's all that matters to me!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Once a Month .....

Once a month -- that used to mean something so totally different than it does now. Those of you who are female know exactly what I mean! Now ..... once a month means the following:
  • paying my tithing
  • paying on-line bills
  • taking a Boniva pill
  • taking a bubble bath
  • filling the bird feeders
  • filling prescriptions
  • returning library books
  • returning things I borrow in general
  • checking our food storage supply
  • checking my blood pressure
  • replacing drop-in tablets in the toilet tank
  • replacing dead flowers in the yard
  • coloring my gray roots
  • coloring with my grandchildren
  • going visiting teaching and home-teaching
  • being visited by visiting teachers and home-teachers
And, these days, it seems my life is so busy that I am only able to update my blog and read yours ..... once a month ..... Waa-waa-waa ..... no kidding, I really do have other things to write about -- this is just a silly one that I wanted to share with you! Much love .....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Greatest Gift

Look at him - just sitting there, smilin' real big. And why shouldn't he be? He's surrounded by Booker women! Well, his wife is a Booker. Two of his daughters are still Booker's. The other three were born Booker's and now have a different last name. The point is ..... there are five daughters sitting around this very happy father, who happens to be married to a women who is crazy about each and every one of these incredible women -- beautiful, smart, kind, loving, and talented Booker women! There are so many other fantastic words to describe them.
P.S. Missing from this picture are two more special women who happen to be Booker's also: Tammy who is married to Patrick, and Shalee who is married to Dustin. I adore them all!
It's been said that the greatest gift a man can give his children is to love their mother. Thank you, dear husband of mine ..... for the greatest gift you could have ever given me.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One Great Day!

These pictures were taken on a hike up Adams Canyon last week. It was a glorious day -- the water wasn't as high as it was the last time we hiked it, but the falls were spectacular. It was so great to have Jen and her family with us. They're an active bunch and spend much of their time on the beach in San Diego so this was a piece of cake for them! And Chelsie has been hiking the wild frontier land of Alaska, so this was pretty easy for her also. She always loves to hike Adams Canyon with us and we loved having her with us once again. It was awesome to watch Dustin run downhill with Kaiya on his back. He was making zooming noises like a jet and Kaiya was laughing so hard which had us all laughing, too! This was Roman's first trip up the canyon. When Tiffanie turned him loose, he pranced like a deer! As Tiff would say, "such a good pup-pup!"
Two things that make my heart go pitter-patter ..... my family and Adams Canyon! Put them together in the same day and you've got one very happy lady -- that's me!! Uh-huh!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sweet .... and Oh So Smart!

I just got off the phone with Ashlie's 5-year old daughter Destiny who I've nicknamed "Cupcake" because she's so dang sweet! She told me how excited she is that she's now registered for Kindergarten. With the same excitement that reminded me of Ashlie at that age, she described how she's looking forward to making new friends, riding the school bus, and learning lots of new things. She already reads on a 4th grade level, adds and subtracts, knows a lot about a lot for a 5-year old (get the picture?).

Here's how part of our conversation went:

Destiny: Mawna, can you teach me another word in Filipino?

Me: How about stink?

Destiny: think?

Me: No, stink

Destiny: Did you say drink?

Me: No, stink -- like when something smells bad.

Destiny: Oh, you mean like stench!

Me: Ya Destiny, that's what I meant.

Look out Kindergarten .... here comes my Cupcake!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Past 60 Days .....

Time just seems to fly by these days. Before I know it, it's a new week -- or in the case of blog posting -- a new month! A recap of the past two months includes a hike Randy and I took up Mueller Canyon, which is 8 miles round trip. It took us three hours but was such an incredible hike. The view from the top (called Elephant Rock) was gorgeous and was worth every step to get there. Randy carried Brody in the Kelty backpack and the three of us enjoyed a sunshiny day with a side order of cherries and grapes to keep our energy level up! As much as I love Adams Canyon, Mueller might be my new favorite!

We also celebrated Randy's 60th birthday by taking a road trip together down to San Diego. We visited Jen and Paul and Zack and Joe, and spent some time with Patrick and Tammy and Nicholas and Jake. Paul barbequed some killer steaks and Jen baked her Dad a beautiful cake. What a ton of love and a wonderful memory we have of that weekend -- doesn't get better than that!

On that same road trip, we drove up to Stockton to pick up my Mom to bring her to Utah for a visit. She loved it so much that we talked her into moving here. She has said "goodbye" to Stockton and will arrive here this Friday. We have her room all ready and are anxious to get her here! We're hoping that she will be happy living with us and seeing some of her grandchildren and great grandchildren a little more often.

On the 4th of July, Randy and I ran in the Layton City 5K Fun Run. We ran with another couple and none of us really intended to "race" or come in first or win anything. We just wanted to complete the event and enjoy the time together, which we did! Hey, we even got a t-shirt for our entry fee! And I was just happy to finish!! Later that day we went over to Dustin and Shalee's for a barbeque. Their backyard is huge and we played all kinds of lawn games and enjoyed a fabulous day with some really fun people. Kaiya and Brody played in the kiddie pool and in the sandbox. Those two little kids absolutely adore each other -- it's so cute to see them together! When it got dark, Dustin put on a show-stopper in the street with some awesome fireworks. What a super day!

Last week we took a trip to Lake Powell with Tiffanie and Ben and Ben's parents, Jill and Lowell. They have become some of our best friends and we like to hang out together whenever possible! This trip to Powell included Ben's brother Ronnie and his wife Angie, Ben's younger sister Carrie and her friend Chelsea. We found a perfect spot at Iceberg Canyon where we docked the houseboat and just played in the water non-stop everyday -- tubing, wakeboarding, floating --playing cards, targetshooting, and eating lots and lots of yummy food! What a fabulous mini-vacation!

If life isn't exciting (or busy) enough, I was recently offered a position with a company who manages several treatment programs nationwide. I will market two of them: an in-home therapy program for families in Utah, and a recovery program used by therapists all over the U.S. who treat sexual addiction. I have a week behind me already and I can tell this is going to be not only challenging, but very rewarding indeed!

There. The last 60 days in six paragraphs! Life is busy, exciting, and very fulfilling. Although I'll try to update on a more regular basis, I hope you'll understand if you tune in and read "same old, same old" now and then! If you read between the lines, you'll know that it's really not "same old" at all!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Catching Up .....

So I've heard from quite a few people (who actually read my blog) that "spending the day with Chels" is old news (is that what's called an oxymoron?) and boring to read day after day! Well, sorry ..... but hopefully this very brief post will explain why I haven't given sufficient attention to my blog recently. Since hiking up Adams Canyon (when was that anyway? oh ya, a month ago, e-gads where does the time go?), I have:
  • hiked up Mueller Canyon (8 miles round trip)
  • run in a 5K race (OK, so that's only 3.2 miles, but I came in 7th in my age group!)
  • drove to San Diego with Randy to visit our three oldest Booker kids and four incredible grandsons
  • brought my mother to Utah to visit us for 2-1/2 weeks in June
  • celebrated July 4th with Dustin and Shalee and Kaiya in their great big new backyard
  • spent five days on a houseboat at Lake Powell with Tiffanie and Ben and the Williams family, and

-- drum roll please --

  • accepted a job offer as Director of Business Development for Proficio Management, Inc. (please check out http://www.proficiomgt.com so you'll understand why I'm so totally stoked out of my mind right now, and a little overwhelmed, I might add)!

And, in the spirit of being too dang busy to update my blog, I don't even have time to do this post justice. So I will elaborate (for those of you who even care) on all of the above within the next 48 hours ..... I promise!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spending the Day with Chels

We have fallen in love with Adams Canyon! And the really great thing is .... it's a 5-minute drive from our house to the trailhead! Another wonderful perk of moving back to Utah! This particular outing was sort of a "last hoorah" and farewell as Chelsie leaves for Alaska this week. A time for Randy and I to spend some one-on-one time with this most incredible daughter. We started out very early and enjoyed some solitude along the way. We followed the river bed some of the way, several times having to walk in the water, carefully stepping on rocks for balance. We found ourselves soaking up the beauty around us ~ the many shades of green, the delicate flowers, the sound of rushing water, and the magnificent waterfall at the top of the canyon. We climbed up on a big rock where we ate lunch and rested for a while before we began the journey back down. It's so awesome to realize how incredible the body is .... pushing ourselves and going just a little further when it would be so easy to stop. I thought about how many times I've gotten really close to something great, thinking about how difficult it would be to continue, and then pushing through anyway. The end result is always nothing less than breathtaking, just like the waterfall at the top of the canyon. And then I think about the times I may have stopped short of the goal, and what I probably missed. Oh how grateful I am for being blessed with perseverance and a strong body, and also for an adventurous spirit. How sad it would have been to miss this. As for our Alaska-bound princess .... she will be discovering a new frontier -- new to her, anyway. Happy for her, sad to see her go, excited for what lies ahead. Glad we had this time to experience Adams Canyon together one more time, a memory we'll all keep tucked away in our hearts. We'll do it again next time you're in Utah, Chels. Till then ..... I love you every day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Kid .....

Courtnie was able to take a quick trip to California last week so Randy and I got to play "Gramma and Grampa" for five days! Ours is like a second home to Brody ~ he knows where his bed is and (more importantly to him) where all the toys are! He always motors straight for the tub of balls and starts to chuck 'em everywhere. The kid has quite an arm! His favorite thing to do is throw the balls down the stairs and yell "Git it!" (not "Get it!") -- fully expecting us to retrieve whatever he has thrown! He also loves to be outside where he can kick any kind of ball he can find. The kid has quite a leg! Quite possibly a soccer player some day?
The kid loves the outdoors! We enjoyed a day filled with sunshine at the park, going for walks, feeding the ducks, swinging, eating popsicles, running, making friends with other little kids, getting dirty, riding in the stroller, and everything else you do outside. But his favorite thing of all is to follow his Grampa anywhere he goes!
He knows the bedtime routine here -- a warm bath, a lotion massage from head to toe, a drink, and Gramma's lullabye. Voila ~ there you have it! The recipe for bedtime when he's at our house. And it works! He goes right to sleep and wakes up smiling. The kid has quite the personality!
One of the cutest things about Brody is that he loves (I'm talkin' loves) music! As soon as he hears anything with a beat, he starts dancing around. He bends his knees and bounces up and down and puts both pointer fingers up in the air, keeping perfect time to the music! The kid has rhythm! On Saturday we hiked to the top of Adams Canyon. It was gorgeous! Randy carried Brody on his back the whole trip. I swear he was a camel in his former life (Randy, not Brody)! Chelsie and I took lots of pictures and did our share of "oooo'ing" and "ahhh'ing" the entire hike. Totally magnificent! But there came a time when Brody had had enough of sitting in the backpack and that's when he began to howl. Boy oh boy, the kid has a set of lungs!
..... and just in time to hand him back to his Mommy who missed him more than words can say! It was a sweet reunion to see these two very special people back together again. As for Gramma and Grampa? We're gonna sleep for 36 hours ~ no throwing, no kicking, no toys in the bathtub ..... no kidding! And just for the record -- we really love that kid!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Proud of YOU ~ Shalee Booker!!!

Today we had the opportunity to watch Dustin's wife, Shalee, run the Ogden Marathon and come across the finish line ~ strong and beautiful and smiling! She has trained for this event for the past four months and we wouldn't have missed it for anything! She completed the marathon in 4 hours and 31 minutes. As she ran past us, Dustin handed Kaiya to her so she could carry that sweet little girl across the finish line. It was so touching and emotional! What a sight ~ Shalee running across the finish line holding Kaiya, Dustin proudly presenting her with flowers, and her family showering her with well-deserved hugs and kisses and lots of picture-taking! I can hardly type this without my eyes welling up with tears! It was exciting to watch all the participants -- young and old, short and tall, male and female, basically from all walks (or in this case "runs") of life -- giving their all and completing such a lofty goal. I stand in awe of anyone who works that hard at anything. But today ..... my respect and admiration goes to our sweet daughter-in-law who deserves this special recognition today! Love you Shalee girl ..... you rock!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day - Chapter 2 of 2

Knowing that this day has not been one of my favorite annual celebrations (see previous post), Randy took a different approach this year. He came home on Friday night announcing it was "Ocho de Mayo" (May 8th)! He explained that I was not his mother and that this year he simply wanted to celebrate "womanhood." I must admit, this got my attention! So I opened the first gift he gave me -- a figurine of a man and woman in a "slow dance" embrace. We mirrored the figurine and began to dance without music! I know, I'm a hopeless romantic, what can I say? And he's such a good sport! Then I opened the next gift -- a beautiful book entitled "Daughters of God" by M. Russell Ballard. He had a few comments about that gift, but I'm keeping them to myself. The last gift was a box of chocolate truffles which we tore open and shared right there on the spot! Is this sweet or what?? I had already begun to label this weekend "the best Mother's Day ever" ..... It was Dustin and Shalee's idea to meet at the zoo on Saturday and spend the whole day together celebrating Mother's Day. It was so sweet to hear our two little grandchildren (Kaiya and Brody) as they "ooo'd" and "ahh'd" at every stop! Randy and I loved spending this time with Courtnie, Chelsie, Tiffanie & Ben, and Dustin & Shalee. The weather was perfect, the animals were amazing, and we took our time just strolling through the zoo enjoying every bit of the day! We got a couple of very unique pictures -- a giraffe's eyelashes and the bottom of a tiger's foot ..... yep, "amazing" is an adequate word, don't ya think? Then on Sunday, Tiffanie and Chelsie came to our house and fixed dinner for Jill (Tiffanie's mother-in-law), Courtnie, and me. Of course we shared with those who were not mothers (i.e., Randy, Lowell, Brody, and Ben's sister Carrie)! These two special daughters brought everything to make two kinds of quiche, spinach salad, asparagus, and rolls. Delicious! And so so so very appreciated by the three mothers they honored. They gave each of us a work of art that was almost too beautiful to eat ..... ..... an edible flower pot! Oreo cookies that looked like dirt and flowers made of red velvet cake (my favorite), dipped in white chocolate, and decorated with candy! Too cute to eat? Oh no! As you can see from the picture above, Jill and I were very anxious to taste this magnificent creation! How very sweet (literally) and thoughtful! Lovely cards and thoughtful phonecalls from the other Booker children and grandchildren who live far away truly warmed my heart. Thank you all for making this a simply marvelous and very special day for me! I will never forget it! Oh, and for the record? I'm looking forward to Mother's Day 2010 ..... only 364 more days!

Mother's Day - Chapter 1 of 2

I've heard that Mother's Day has a reputation for some (not all) mothers which (for me, in the past) goes something like this: wake up *** get ready for church *** can't find a shoe *** put dinner in the oven on timed-bake so it will be ready when we get home from church [starving] *** still looking for that shoe *** hoping child number "whatever" will call either before or after church so I don't miss their call *** feeling less-than-worthy of the beautiful card from husband *** wondering if child number "whatever" thought to buy/address/stamp/mail a card for this once-a-year acknowledgement of labor/delivery/raising of said child *** still looking for that darn shoe *** feeling less-than-appreciative of my own mother/mother-in-law *** will they like the card/gift I selected especially for them??? *** realizing that I forgot to buy rolls for dinner *** wondering why I created the habit of having rolls for Sunday dinner anyway *** forget looking for the damn shoe and settle for another pair that doesn't even match what I'm wearing *** listening to talk-after-talk-after-talk about someone else's [perfect] mother and wishing I could be that mother instead of the one wearing the stupid shoes that I hate and didn't want to wear anyway *** silently thinking that the flower I was just handed at church will probably wilt and die *** come home from church and check the answering machine *** make long-distance calls to mother and mother-in-law *** eat dinner which would have been better with rolls *** fall into bed -- dead tired -- and remind myself that there are 364 days until next Mother's Day ..... I just know it will be different .....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gonna Love This Weekend!

Dustin called and suggested that the whole gang spend the day at the zoo on Saturday. What a grand idea! I'm really looking forward to being outside ..... with my family, enjoying the sunshine, doing some (what the professionals call) "inner child" work, and seeing the wide eyes of little ones like Brody and Kaiya as they see some of God's creations up close and personal! Look out Hogle Zoo, here we come!! And to top it off, Tiffanie is making dinner for Mother's Day on Sunday. Don't know what all she's got planned, but whatever it is, it will be wonderful and very much appreciated by this Mother! Yeah, I'm thinking that moving back to Utah was a pretty good idea ..... I'm smiling ..... I'm pretty happy ..... I'm looking forward to a great weekend!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Weekend with the Brodster (rhymes with toaster)

Brody spent a few days with Gramma and Grampa this past weekend. His mommy has never been away from him longer than overnight (and even THEN he stayed with G'ma and G'pa)! Courtnie is the best mom to this little guy, but even the BEST moms need a break once in a while. So she flew away and we got the Brodster-boy! He knows right where the toy closet is at our house. And who wouldn't want to play in a place like this?
He is very familiar with this closet! It's filled with some of the toys his mommy played with when she was a little girl. The "battle of the vacuums" was his very favorite thing to do all weekend.
No, I think he liked dancing better. No, I think he liked all the Fisher-Price cars and little people. No, I think he liked guzzling chocolate milk by the gallon the very best. No, I think he liked falling asleep to Gramma's special lullabye each night. No, I think he liked pounding on things with Grampa. No, I think he liked climbing the stairs with his cousin Kaiya. No, come to think of it, I think he just liked being loved and cuddled and loved and held and loved and, well, you get the idea! It was a really great weekend. But boy was he glad to get his mama back! And, quite honestly, so were we!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

8 Honest Things


Tiffanie tagged me in her last post entitled "List 8 Honest Things About Yourself, and Make Them Interesting!" OK, here goes:
1. I want everyone to be happy. I'm a "PLEASER" at any cost. I'm definitely a "white" personality. I have to concentrate on "not fixing everything for everybody." I want everything to be pleasant, happy, joyful, peaches-n-cream, as easy as possible, no conflict, and no confrontations please. Why did I come to this earth anyway? I really do understand the concept of "opposition in all things" and "all these things shall give thee experience" and "adversity makes us stronger" -- I just don't like anyone to be sad or (heaven forbid) upset with anyone else. And I certainly don't like feeling that way. I can't stand yelling of any kind for any reason. As a child I was taught, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." I have never outgrown that and it's been a huge issue most of my life.
2. I hate certain smells to the point of becoming physically ill. I won't list them here; it will just make me vomit. That's one of the smells I don't like.
3. I would rather be with Randy than anyone else on the face of the earth. Anytime. Anywhere. Doing anything. I want to grow old with him. Really really old. With him. Not without him.
4. If I see a penny on the ground, I pick it up -- no matter what. I think it brings me good luck that day. It usually does. But I wouldn't know if it didn't because I always pick 'em up. Most of my 'bad days' I didn't see a penny on the ground. That's proof enough for me.
5. I don't like mean people. I don't understand that behavior. I don't relate with the way their brains work.
6. I have never mowed a lawn in my entire life. I don't know where the button is to start the dang thing. I can tell the difference between a gas-powered one and an electric one because one has a cord. I do LOVE the smell of freshly cut grass, however. But getting grass stains out of the kids' clothes when they were little frustrated me beyond belief!
7. If I had one wish it would be to sing. I guess I wasn't standing in the right line when that talent was being given out. When I would sing a lullabye to my kids at bedtime, they would say, "Mommy please don't sing, I promise I'll go to sleep!" How sad is that?
8. I always wanted to have blue eyes when I was a little girl, and now I love, love, love that I have brown eyes!
I have to add that Tiffanie is the 8th child in our family ..... and one of the most honest people I know! Yep, I kinda like that number!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What Easter Means To Me

Easter is my very favorite holiday -- more important to me and more special than any other day of the year. It's the one day that the world pauses to remember the most historical event that ever took place on the earth, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. I love Him. I am so grateful for what He did for each of us. He died a humiliating and disrespectful death at the hands of ignorant people. But the suffering He endured in the Garden of Gethsemene the Friday before He was crucified was a much more significant event. He paid the price for every sin that would ever be committed and He suffered so that we would not have to. That was the greatest gift that would ever be given to us on this earth. On the third day He was resurrected which gives each of us hope for eternal life with our Father in Heaven. Although Christmas is also a very special holiday, without the resurrection, His birth would have been no different than that of any other baby. He is the greatest man that ever lived on earth and I know He lives today. I will always be thankful for what I know in my heart to be true.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Tiffanie!

Today our family celebrates Tiffanie's 22nd birthday. So much can be said of this sweet and beautiful daughter. I will write this from the perspective of a very blessed and happy mother! She is child number 8 and the caboose of the Booker family! Tiffanie Anne Booker Williams was only born because her father had this brilliant and incredible idea to have another baby! I was sitting on the floor in the family room on a warm summers day in 1986... folding laundry.... little people sitting all around me -- Chelsie (2-1/2), Courtnie (4), Ashlie (5-1/2), and Dustin (7) -- lots of thoughts running through my head ..... the memory of having 3 in diapers at the same time; two years earlier having 4 pre-schoolers tugging at my shirt asking for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich ("cut in corners please, no crust"); married to a near-perfect husband with a demanding job; trying to balance life with three older kids who lived in California at the time; grinding wheat and baking bread; maintaining a large garden and bottling fruits and vegetables; doing 3 loads of laundry every day; cleaning house; volunteering at the hospital and the elementary school once a week; and teaching Sunday School at church.
Back to the scene on the floor in the family room in July of 1986 -- my idea: gather all the baby things and have a garage sale! Randy's idea: let's have another baby!
I remember looking at him in bewilderment and thinking to myself, "Are you nuts?" Followed by, "Here's an idea ... YOU have it!" All kidding aside, we did what we always do before making any important decision ..... we thought about it, prayed about it, waited for an answer, and Tiffanie was born 9 months later!
She has blessed our lives (and the lives of everyone who has ever met her) since the day she was born. We laugh at silly family stories about her, we tease her for being so fresh and unassuming; we stand in awe of her accomplishments; we are grateful for the wonderful man she married (Benjamin Ray Williams), we respect her choice to pursue an education in the medical field, we rejoice in her happiness, and we celebrate her birthday today.
Happy birthday dear daughter, #8, Babycakes, Tippy-Toes, youngest, and all the silly nicknames your siblings call you -- you are the sweetest person I have ever known and my life is blessed because you're in it! I will be eternally grateful to your Dad who was more in-tune with the spirit than I apparently had time to be.
I love you!