Friday, April 29, 2011


We had a great Easter this past Sunday. We celebrated Aimee's birthday the same day. We missed having Bridget around this year again to celebrate her birthday too but we sent her birthday cards and gift cards last week. It was really great to get the kids together and have lunch/dinner together.

Because of every one's busy Sunday schedules, it was difficult to have everyone at the house for the same meals and at the same time. Ryan, Aimee, Tyce & Indy had the same conference we had on Sunday so they came over to the house about 1:00 for lunch and then spent the afternoon with us until they needed to go to Aimee's parents house for their birthday celebration with Aimee. We had chicken salad on croissant with watermelon and chips.

Adam, Katrina, Camden & Drew had their regular church schedule so Adam was teaching his Sunday School class. They arrived after 2:00, grabbed some sandwiches, and then joined us for the Easter hunt. Brooke, Ryan and Camden were able to put the eggs around the yard and then we all went out looking for the Easter goodies. Camden was really getting into the idea of filling his basket with all the eggs he could find. It was really fun to watch him get so excited to find the eggs.

This idea of being grandparents has been wonderful. We are really enjoying it! I wish we were able to see all our grand kids as often as we are able to see Camden, Tyce and now Drew. We are missing so much of their lives when we live so far away from them. It is so rewarding as parents to see our own kids doing such a great job at being parents. Ryan is really involved and enjoying this stage of Tyce's life and Katrina is so patient and good with Camden.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Our Granddaughter, Drew

Today Brooke and I were in Fruitland with Katrina, Adam and Camden. We needed to go to Weiser to pick-up our half-a-beef, but we stopped in Fruitland on the way to see Katrina. Happily we learned that Katrina was awake during the night in labor and it had continued into the morning hours. By the time we called her about 9:30 A.M., she said she might be going to the hospital today to have her baby.

We arrived at her house just after 11:00. We visited with her while she continued to time her contractions. It was so nice to just sit and visit with her. About noon Adam suggested lunch but we weren't hungry so we waited another hour for Camden to wake up. By the time Camden woke up and we had lunch, Katrina's contractions were coming every 5-6 minutes and were becoming quite intense. Just before 2:30 P.M., Adam's mom, Cindy, came and got Camden so Katrina and Adam could go to the hospital in Ontario. Brooke and I headed to Weiser to get our meat.

Just as we were coming back from Weiser, Adam sent us a message that Katrina was at a 6 and was staying at the hospital. Brooke and I decided to put our meat in Katrina's freezer and wait at her house for more news. We unloaded the meat about 3:30 and went into their house to wait. I finally convinced Brooke to watch a movie so we got one started and tried to wait patiently. About 5:00 I sent a message to Adam to see how Katrina was doing and he said to come to the hospital. I knew Katrina had delivered the baby!

We headed right over to Ontario. As we asked about Katrina at the nurses' station, I heard a baby crying and thought, "I wondered if that is Drew?" Sure enough, it was Drew. She had been born just before 5:00 P.M. Adam was holding her as we entered the room. My first impulse was to check on Katrina. She looked great! When Camden was born, I did the same thing, I checked Katrina before I look at the baby. With Camden, Katrina was very tired with red, swollen eyes and very,very pale. This time she was a little pale, but not really pale, also much more alert, smiling and more relaxed. Then I looked at Drew. She had the red, swollen eyes but she was very alert. She would occasionally let us know she was there by crying for a moment and then would settle down quietly again.

We visited with Katrina and Adam for a while, listening to Drew protesting about way she arrived into this world. She was so cute, and quite precious. Katrina described how much better this delivery was than Camden's birth. Katrina was able to get into the jacuzzi which helped her to relax and get her off her back. When she got out of the jacuzzi, she had a few hard contractions, the doctor checked her and then it was time to give a couple of quick pushes to deliver Drew. I was so proud that Katrina was able to manage the pain better this time and deliver Drew without a lot of drugs.

Drew was born on Jeromy's and Ryah's birthday, April 8, 2011 just before 5:00 PM. She was born in Ontario, Oregon. She is the second grandbaby that has been born in Oregon for us. She is our 14th grandbaby, and the second granddaughter born this year. Brandon and Jenny had Chloe last month on March 13th. Jason has 4 children, Jeromy has 4 children, Brandon has 3 children and Ryan has 1 child. Drew weighed 7 lbs. 7.6 oz and was 19 inches long. Her head circumference was 14 inches, which the nurse said was a large measurement for a baby.

We stayed at the hospital for a while. Cindy and Galen came by with their kids and Camden. It was fun to watch Camden examine Drew. He was checking out every part of her. He seemed fascinated and intrigued with this new sister. I'm not sure he realized what was in store for him. He seemed happy to have his mom's and dad's attention but wasn't sure about this crying sister that would steal the attention from him. We stayed until our stomachs reminded us that we hadn't eaten since 1:30. We stopped at Arby's, picked up our meat, and headed home to Nampa arriving about 9:00. What an eventful, yet beautiful day!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where is Spring?

Today is the first day of Spring Break for me and I want to know where is Spring!!! It has been a very long, cold winter and I am so ready. Spring is not coming fast enough for me this year. Usually by the time my birthday rolls around, I am seeing crocus blooming and the color on the tops of the daffodils. This year, there was no color at all, not even in the crocus for my birthday. I could see the leaves but there was no hint of any color. I was so disappointed.

The week of my birthday was a very stressful week. I was having my first interview for a teaching job this fall. I was not expecting the interview yet because I had not even completed the application. They knew that I was planning on applying so I guess they decided to interview me anyway. It was very nerve-racking because I have not interviewed for a job in almost 30 years. The last interview I had was when I transferred from Clinton Elementary to Farmington Elementary. I was not ready, but I needed to get ready because it was happening whether I was ready or not.

On the Sunday before my birthday, I had the family over for dinner. It was great to see everyone again and spend some time with them. We miss having Travis and Bridget close enough to see but they are in our thoughts often. Tyce and Camden are so fun, we love this stage of grand parenting. Anyway, while the kids were here, I asked if I could get a blessing and Mark did a great job of calming and reassuring me. I know that the power of the priesthood was there as he spoke the words that calmed my nerves and gave me confidence.

During that week, I received several birthday wishes from some dear friends who were so sweet in the wishes to me. I needed to hear their heart-felt expressions and they helped to lift my spirits. I tried to really soak up all the celebrations even though my mind was preoccupied with my job interview. Thanks to all who helped me through a stressful week.

Well in the past two weeks since my birthday and my interview, I have done a lot of self-evaluating. My feelings have been high and low, and everywhere in between. I try to focus on the positive things that are going on and I try not to think too much about the things I can't control. I still don't know what will happen next year with working as a teacher but I try to trust in the Lord to know what is best for me and my family right now. I know my name is still on the list of possible teachers but I also know that there are other names there too. I can't control the decision but it would have nice to know the decision during break so that I could have felt ready to use this time to work on things for next year. I can't make that decision happen so I have to control the things that I do. I am going to try to work on cleaning the house and getting the yard ready for the next season.

So here I am back to the need for Spring to come. Spring always lifts my spirits and makes me happy. I want that to happen soon. I can see small signs of it coming so I guess I should savor, and enjoy the little things. There are lots of crocus in bloom now and I am anxious to get the roses pruned and the flower beds cleaned out so the rest of the flowers have a chance to start growing. If Spring comes slowly then I will have a longer time to enjoy every day of it. Sometimes Spring comes so quickly that we hardly realize it is Spring and suddenly it is way too hot and the Spring flowers are gone. Once again, I am learning to enjoy the everyday moments and not worry about the things I can't control, however I would like to see more sunny days and flowers starting to bloom.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Life is BUSY!

Wow, time sure flies by! I was so good at writing a blog every couple of weeks and now it has been two months. I have to admit that it has been really busy for me the last couple of months but I'm not complaining.
Are you wondering what I have been doing that has kept me so busy? Well, I've been busy living life. Life is sometimes way too busy to really enjoy, but I do try to enjoy it.
It was great to have so many house guests during December and the first two weeks of January. We had Bridget and Travis visiting for a little more than three weeks. They were able to spend time with us over Christmas and New Year. They were here for Camden's 2nd birthday and also for Tyce's blessing. We squeezed in a lot of family events while they were here. I know that they missed being at home in Arizona but we enjoyed the time they were here in Idaho.
Just before New Year's, Nana and Papa came to spend three weeks with us. We have a very full house for about 5 days while everyone was here. Nana and Papa had been traveling in California and Arizona with Steve and Mary Lou. They caught a plane in Nevada and flew here for some time with us. They had been gone from their house for about 5 weeks by the time they went home. Nana and I worked on crocheting hats for the Humanitarian projects and I was also able to do 3 quilts. Nana helped me put them on the frames and then Papa and Brooke helped us to tie them. I was able to spend the evenings getting them pinned and binding them. It was so good to have lots of projects completed during my break from school.
The minute I went back to work, I started focusing on getting some things done for my classroom next year. I know how much work it will be to do everything next year so I'm trying to do a few things now. I am not always motivated to do things now but when I do I feel so much better. I am getting excited about the plans for next year now. I am starting to really think about what it will be like when I'm working all day, every day and how busy I will be. There are lots of changes coming for me and the family.
Before I know it, the weather will start warming up and spring will be coming. I won't want to spend anymore time inside so I need to get as much of the inside projects done now while the weather is still cold. I am anxious for spring to come this year because it has been so cold for so long this winter. I can't wait to see the bulbs coming up through the dirt!
Life can be so busy but we have to enjoy each stage of life. If it's cold, then enjoy the inside things that you can do or learn to dress warm and get outside. If you have house guests, then enjoy their company because there will be a time when they are not around the house and you will just plain miss them. Whatever life is throwing your way, you have to learn to appreciate every moment. Live life to the fullest and learn to enjoy the busyness of life. You really don't want life to slow down cause it may suddenly stop.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Mark and I were able to celebrate Thanksgiving early this year with our Idaho kids. It was great to get them together and recognize all the changes that have taken place in our family this past year. We have been richly blessed!

We watched a miracle unfold with Ryan and Aimee having their son 2 weeks ago. It's hard to believe that one year ago, Ryan and Aimee were in the middle of the paperwork to adopt a baby. Just 12 months later, they are holding their own offspring. It is a blessing for which we will be forever grateful. We were at the hospital when Tyce was born so we were able to hold him about an hour after he was born. The birth of any baby is a wonderful experience, but the birth of this anxiously, awaited baby is a miracle!

Katrina, Adam and Camden are expecting a baby in 5 short months. Katrina is starting to show a little baby bump now. She wore a cute, pink maternity top when we had Thanksgiving dinner. Wearing pink must have been a sign to come, because they found out last week that they should expect to have a baby girl join their family in April. It will be so fun to see how Camden does with a little competition for his mom's attention. Right now, he is very attached to his mom. He is getting more and more comfortable around the rest of us but he always keeps his eyes on where his mom is. It is so fun to have our family grow in such exciting ways.

This summer, Bridget brought Travis into the family when they got married. They are currently living in Arizona so we don't get to see them. We are looking forward to seeing them for several weeks in December because they are coming to Idaho for Christmas. It will be wonderful to get to know Travis better. We really have only seen him a few times and we don't really feel like we know him or he knows us. We can't wait to see Bridget and to hear her talk about all the exciting things they are doing in Arizona.

We are really grateful for our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren. Our family is expanding rapidly and somehow we have enough love to go around to each new addition. We don't get to see our Utah children very often and we know that we are missing so much of the good things that they are doing. We are thrilled to hear from them and we are grateful for the blessings they bring into our lives.

Mark and I are grateful for our health, our jobs, and our "things". We are happy and we are doing all we can to follow the example of Jesus Christ. We try to love and serve our neighbors, have a good attitude about our trials, and we love each other. What else could we possible want? We are so richly blessed!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Grand babies!!

There can't be anything better than welcoming a new grand baby into our family! It has been fun to have Camden nearby and be able to see him grow and develop. We were all very excited when Ryan and Aimee announced that they were expecting a baby in November. We knew that had been their hope for a long time and it was finally going to happen.

Ryan and Aimee was not supposed to have their baby until almost Thanksgiving but they had their baby on Monday, Nov. 8, 2010 about 8:00 p.m. Aimee had sent a text that morning about 9:00 to tell me that she was going to the hospital to be checked because she had been experiencing labor since 3:00 that morning. She would let me know if they admitted her or sent her home.

After lunch, I text to Ryan to see what was happening and he said they had admitted Aimee so there would be a baby coming soon. I knew it would take awhile to get to the point of delivery so I chose to stay at school and check back with him when I was home for the day.

After school, Brooke was very anxious to go to the hospital but Ryan's latest update had said that Aimee wasn't ready to deliver yet. I planned an easy supper so as soon as Mark got home, we could eat and go to the hospital in Meridian. We stopped and bought Ryan something to eat because he hadn't eaten all day, so by the time we arrived at Aimee's birthing room, the baby was starting to crown. I spoke with them for a short time, delivered the hamburger to Ryan, left my camera for Lani to take pictures and went to the waiting room to wait with Mark and Brooke. About an hour later, we got a picture message from Lani that showed Aimee holding a cute little baby with lots of dark hair.
We were allowed back into the room soon and we all took turns holding cute little Tyce Samuel Nielson. He weighed 6 lbs 7.4 oz and was 19 inches long. He was wide awake and very curious. He didn't like the bright lights but he enjoyed looking around at all the new sights and sounds. When the nurse was measuring him and checking out his joints, Tyce let us know he didn't like it by crying hard. Ryan went close to the bed and started rubbing Tyce's head and he calmed right down. As I watched Ryan, I could see how proud he was to have this new responsibility. He will be a great dad!
The nurse encouraged Aimee to try nursing Tyce again. This helps both of them to get used to this new experience. We stepped behind a curtain to give them a little privacy but we could still hear them talking. The nurse was very pleased and encouraged that Tyce was picking up these new skills. Since Tyce is two weeks early, he will need to start nursing well so he can get bigger. Aimee seemed very comfortable with nursing and Tyce seemed to figure it out quickly. Aimee will be a terrific mom!

We are all really excited to have Tyce here on earth safe and sound. He is healthy and very cute! We are looking forward to seeing him grow and develop. Babies change so fast, so it will be fun to see each stage of his development and be able to record it in pictures.
We have 2 more grand babies coming in the next few months. Brandon and Jenny are having child number 3 in March. They just found out that it is a girl. They will enjoy a girl after their two adorable boys. Katrina and Adam are having their second child in April. They don't know what the baby is yet but they should find out in the next couple of weeks. All of these new babies make life fun for Mark and I. We love our new role as grandparents.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


One of the fun things about fall is APPLES. We have so-o-o many things we can do with them and there are so-o-o many different kinds of apples. I have always loved apples but I don't always do much baking with them.

Katrina wanted to do some canning with apples so I picked a box full and sent them home with her. I still had lots of apples left so I thought I should try to make something good. I know it's hard to believe but I made an apple pie on Saturday and it was delicious! Can you imagine? Me, making a pie!

Ryan and Aimee were over to watch BSU play so we decided to grill some steaks and I thought an apple pie sounded like a good dessert. I used frozen pie crust and sliced up some golden delicious apples from our tree and let the pie cook while Boise was playing the first half of the game against San Jose'. By half time, the pie was done but it needed to sit and cool for awhile. The filling would have run everywhere if I had cut it too soon.

Since the game was a blow-out and all the second and third string players were taking over in the second half, it was a little boring to watch. We were all getting anxious to eat the pie. The aroma of the pie was enticing us to cut it right away but we were patient and waited for an hour. Finally we cut the pie, put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on it and enjoyed every scrumptious bite!

We will continue to enjoy nice, crisp apples from our tree. I have a box full of them. Mark loves to eat apples by dipping them in caramel sauce. I like to eat them for lunch. We enjoy having fruit salads with chopped apples. I have even made croissants with a chicken salad filling that had apples in it. I don't think there is a bad way to eat an apple.