Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Savannah came home from her playgroup yesterday and I greeted her, "Hi Savannah! How was playgroup?"

She sat down beside me and said, "It was fine, but there was a problem."

"Really? What happened?" I was curious.

She began, "Well, I started it," and then with some exasperation, "but NO ONE ended it!"

Can you believe it!? We might have to find a new playgroup.

p.s. I'm s.l.o.w.l.y. updating and catching up on my blog. I post additions with the actual dates of the events. (I have to since this is like a family journal.) I think I'm all caught up to March of '09. Sad.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bride and Groom

Who doesn't like a good love story?
One of my favorites is between a girl named Kristina and a boy named Tyler.

It's a match made for heaven!

Family and friends gathered for a dinner on Thursday evening to celebrate their upcoming wedding. The food was DE-LISH and Tyler sang a sentimental song. (He's good!)

On July 16th they were married for time and all eternity in the Draper Utah Temple. The ceremony was beautiful! Kristina was beautiful! Everything was beautiful!

Of course they were themselves. Dancing, walking with a spring in their step and being robots. The real photographer got even better photos here.

And we were ourselves; sampling everything on the table,
Cam made some fast friends and Mason kept us on-the-go all night long.

I was myself, frantically running around before the reception. I learned a hard lesson when I ruined my dress just an hour before I was supposed to put it on. Sad, but not a catastrophe. The dress had lots of static and I tossed it into the dryer with a dryer sheet because I was in a big hurry. So it turns out that when the tag on a dress that says "line dry" it really means you can't put it in the dryer - even for 90 seconds. The heat from the dryer caused the the beautiful champagne fabric to become very splotchy. I wish I would have spent those 90 seconds reading the label.

No matter. This was a day to celebrate because...

families are forever...

and it is a marvelous occasion to mark the beginning of a new one!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In the middle of the night...

Many of you know that Russ and I both served as missionaries in the Philippines. Eleven years later we finally got to go back. Pictures and details will be coming, I just want to share one quick experience.

At 2:30 a.m. I woke up to someone coming into our dark room. I had been in a very deep sleep and when I heard this person talk, I didn’t know who she was or where I was. She approached Russ on his side of the bed and with the little light coming from our bedroom window I could only discern that she had long hair. She was short and I thought perhaps she had a form of dwarfism. What she was saying didn’t make sense, something about a noise and that she was worried. Her words were all jumbled. Russ spoke to her and said, “Wala ‘ko kadungog.” (Meaning, “I didn’t hear anything.”) I was glad he spoke to her in Visayan, because her English was so confusing and I was sure that we would better be able to understand this Filipina if we just spoke in Visayan. However, this only upset her and she couldn't understand.

Finally it came to me that this was our daughter! I just didn’t know which one and I was relieved when Russ identified her as Savannah. With a weak voice I called her over to me. She came and I was just about to let her climb into bed with me when I realized that we were home and instead of the hard floors in the Philippines there was carpet and she could bring her bedding into our room and sleep next to us. When I suggested that Russ protested. I knew what he was thinking and explained, “There’s carpet on the floor,” and he replied, “Oh, we’re home.” After she got settled, I laid awake and reviewed the event in my mind, the parallel thought processes between husband and wife, and my dwarfism assumption. I laughed off and on for almost ten minutes, for some reason things are even funnier to me in the middle of the night. Russ did not laugh, he was trying to go back to sleep.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Philippines - Day 1

On June 9th we kissed our kids goodbye and left them in the good hands of their loving grandparents. Our first flight took us from Salt Lake to Los Angeles. It was supposed to be short and easy, but Russ had a serious migraine. Thankfully the migraine subsided and after a short layover we flew to Seoul on Korean Air.

We sat next to a lovely Korean girl that giggled about everything and taught us how to mix up our lunch, bibimbap. We watched Invictis, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Extreme Measures. Sure, we had our own personal screens, but we crossed over the international dateline and it was suddenly our anniversary so it was only fitting that we synchronize our screens and watch movies together, read at the same time and try to nap at the same time.

The Seoul airport (which is actually in Incheon) is immaculate, much better than the old one I flew into in 1998. We landed and tried to find some kimchee to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We had a hard time communicating with the hostess and waiter at the airport restaurant, but the menu abbreviated English translations sufficed. They brought out a pot of pork stew with kimchee. It boiled and boiled in the little cast iron pot. I wondered if it would ever cool enough for me to eat it. It did cool. However, the fiery spices did not. Russ finished it and I ate the other items that came with. One was a boiled potato and the other side dishes, while unrecognizable, were still both chewable and swallowable. Our bill came to 11,000 wan. I know airport food is expensive, but three zeros on any receipt is frightening. Oh well, it was our anniversary and we weren't going to eat Subway while in Korea. (Turns out that was less than $10, phew!)

Our flight left that evening around 6:00 pm and we flew directly to Cebu City in the Philippines. The contrast between the Cebu airport and Incheon airport is like comparing Nordstroms with your local 7-11. As it turns out we like the 7-11 better and we were so excited to be back! In a way it was like coming home after a very long absence. We funneled through the terminal with a throng of Koreans. I believe Koreans migrate to the Philippines with the same frequency that New Yorkers migrate to Florida.

We went through customs in the foreigner line. Russ was unsure which of the forms he should keep and which one would stay with the customs official. He asked the official, "Akoa ba 'ni?" (Is this one for me?) The official slowly turned his head over his left and right shoulder, trying to figure out who had spoken to him. When the official saw no one he looked a bit bewildered, even a bit spooked. Russ repeated the question, and the man looked at him, dumbfounded, while his female co-worker burst into a hearty laugh. That was the beginning of many such experiences. It's not just surprising to Filipinos when Caucasians can speak Cebuano - it's really funny!

While waiting for our luggage we noticed two American men dressed in suits. We suspected they were in Cebu for the same reason we were, (for the temple dedication) and struck up a conversation. One was Elder William Walker of the Quorum of the Seventy and the other was Tom Coburn, who manages the temple department for the Church. They introduced us to the Elder Walker's wife, Vicki, and we also met Ralph and Lee Cottrell (they served as mission presidents in Cebu from '90 -'93.)

The clock approached midnight and we were anxious to get settled. We checked into the Golden Prince Hotel and after a couple mango shakes we slept soundly.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I played volleyball again this winter and spring in two different city leagues. It's good exercise, nice to get out of the house during the cold winter months and where else can I compete? This is the second year I've played with this group, most of them anyway, we added Shanna and Annie and lost one player. Their coaching and encouragement has really helped me to improve. (We were all relieved when I finally got my serve down!)

Our first season didn't end well. Our matches were close, but we struggled to finish them with a win. After our final match, and one of our most frustrating losses, we decided to sign up in another league that was about to begin play.

Adjusting to the new league took some time. We missed having referees, score keepers and cramming three courts into one gym was kind of annoying. We played all twelve teams in the league and came up just short of being placed in the upper-division tournament. Lower-division was a bit disappointing, but we liked our chances of winning our remaining games.

We beat our first opponent in the tournament and barely lost to the second. The following week we won our first match and advanced to the championship, which was a rematch with the team we lost to the week before. Because we were coming from behind we had to beat them two out of three sets and then again in a set to 35. We lost our first set, won the second and the third and then beat them 35-18 in our final set.

2010 Champions!