Thursday, December 17, 2009
We are thrilled to see Amelia's chubby little face around our house and we are glad to have those other two that she brought with her - Lonica and Scott, too. Although we do have to split awake time with them - dang!
Jason will be home this weekend and our family will be complete. Bring Christmas on! Oh, wait - I'm not ready yet. I'm glad we have another week.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Twenty five years ago, a couple of days before Thanksgiving, I went to the doctor and he told me my baby was ready to come and could be born at any time. The stars were aligned, my body was ready and so when my family came from Utah and New Mexico for Thanksgiving, my mother was certain that she would have a new grandchild before she left to return home. Well, we all waited and waited and waited, everyone was ready but the baby. Finally on December 12, I decided I'd had enough of this waiting stuff and so I walked, vacuumed and cleaned all day. Early on the morning of the 13th, Garth and I headed to the hospital. Of course when we got there my contractions stopped, but I was ready to have the baby and they didn't dare send me home. We were told to go walk around the hospital. It was probably 4:00am and it was cold, (the next day was the first time since I had moved to Phoenix that I would see snow on the Superstition Mountains) and we were both tired. After making one trip around the empty, cold corridors, Garth found a couch and told me to wake him after each trip around - my pillar of support!
After a few more laps, the nurses checked me and broke my water. 40 minutes later, Garth and I had a brand little girl with tons of hair. We kind of wondered if she was an Indian baby because she had so much hair that wouldn't lie down, just like most Indian baby's. The next day I sat in the hospital, going though our name book looking for a name that would fit our beautiful little girl and I came across Raquel. It just seemed to fit this newest gift from heaven and so we had our little Raquel Millie that would join her big sister, Lonica, and make our family a foursome. I think the Lord new I needed a good baby since I already had one that was only 15 months old, so he sent me Raquel. For the first year, we couldn't have had a better baby than her. She loved to cuddle and be held and you could always make her happy if you just held her.
When she turned one though things began to change. Raquel came to life and from that moment on we always knew she was around. She was full of life and excited about everything. She made up her own mind and would let you know if she wasn't happy about something or squeal with delight if she was. She seemed to always have a smile on her face and loved her babies, stuffed animals, food, her Daddy and especially her big sister. She was full of life and you could see it in her eyes. She loved to sing and dance and perform and talk and talk and talk. When she was 3, her voice went hoarse and it never got better, after a couple of months I took her to a doctor who asked if she was a loud child. I said, you could say that. Apparently, Raquel had damaged her vocal cords from being so loud and I was told to keep her quiet for 6 months and they should get better! Luckily they did, but I'm still amazed that they ever healed, I certainly wasn't able to keep her quiet. Raquel loved life and she wanted to share that with everyone.
When she started kindergarten, she also started playing soccer which would consume her life for the next 12 years at least. Raquel loved running and she was fast and could beat most of the other players and was a delight to watch. When we moved to Texas all the girls' teams were full so Raquel played on a boys' team for the next two years. Although the boys helped her to develop a killer instinct, she could still out run all of them and there was nothing Garth and I enjoyed more than to watch Raquel whip by some boy and out maneuver him. That was our little princess!! Raquel decided in 1st grade that she really wanted glasses and found this lovely pair, bought them and proceeded to wear them all the time. Her school teacher thought they were real, as did everyone else and she loved that. No one loved holidays more than Raquel, especially Halloween. She started thinking about what she was going to be for the next year as soon as Halloween was over and she came up with some great ideas. Over the years she was the Mr. Peanut man, Van Gough, a reporter, Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz, and Jackie Joyner just to name a few. The only one she wanted to be that I could never figure out a costume for was the Pillsbury Doughboy.
As Raquel grew so did her love for the Lord, for life and for her family. She was never as happy as when the family was all together and playing games.
She worked hard in school and in everything she ever did. We watched her play the piano and the saxophone, run track, play soccer and softball, become an editor for the yearbook, coach a YMCA soccer team, participate in countless service projects, become a swimming instructor, enjoy crazy dates with boys and laugh and eat with her best friends. If Raquel was around, you were having fun. After graduating she went to Northern Arizona University and continued to love life, work hard, make new friends and grow into a beautiful young woman who fell in love with Dave. She still loves holidays, is crazy and is so much fun to be around. In deed, she has magnified the gifts and talents she has and developed others. She is now our cake decorating expert, is learning to sew, is amazing at teaching children to swim, is working on becoming a physical therapist assistant, continues to use her graphic design skills and of course still has her sensitive heart and concern for others. Last summer she even indulged me and hiked 14 miles in the Grand Canyon with me in one day. I know it was hard for her but she never complained even when we were being pelted with rain, were soaking wet and were freezing cold. For the last 25 years I have been able to love and enjoy Raquel and watch her grow. I have loved being her mother and can't wait to see what the future holds for her. She has blessed my life in countless ways.
Happy birthday and I hope you always know how special you are to me.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
When Jason found out he was registered for ballroom dancing there was no note of excitement in his voice; in fact, I think it was disbelief and disgust. I explained that it was a great way to meet girls and that he would have a friend to suffer though it with, and besides if it was really that bad he could drop it.
Well, school started and I would inquire occassionally how the dance class was going and I always received the same reply, "It's okay." Those of you who know my son know that's about all a reply I can expect from him.
Then a couple of weeks ago the relpy to my usual question about the dance class was, "It's pretty fun." Imagine that - three words and with emotion!
I also found out that Jason's friend had dropped the class the second week of school and Jason had continued to dance by himself (well actually he did have a female partner, that was "pretty cute"). I was amazed that my 'macho' son seemed to be liking and was sticking with ballroom dancing.
A week ago Jason told me that his teacher had told him the he "a lot of potential" and Jason seemed really pleased. (What was happening to the son I knew? Could he actually be enjoying something as cultural as ballroom dancing?)
It all came to a head last Saturday when I made my usual call to check in on him and found out he had missed a coveted intermural flag football game, that was a play off game, to attend a dance competition! He and his partner had made it through all the morning rounds and had to go back that night to finish the competition. He was excited and I guess he must be pretty good to make it that far - right?
Later that night Jason and his partner made it to the quarter finals before being eliminated. In other words, they made it down to be one of the last 12 couples out of about 100.
Kids never cease to astound you. You think you have them figured out and then out of the blue they like ballroom dancing and do well in a dance competition and actually enjoy it.
So when Jason was registering for classes next semester I asked him if he was going to take the next ballroom dance class. He said no, he was good, but he really would like to learn how to country western dance! As long as we have kids, wonders will never cease.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Last night I had a glimmer of hope that maybe this one teaching was sinking into my 17 year old. My husband is in charge putting up some of the tens of thousands of Christmas lights that adorn our temple each Christmas season. He had informed us several weeks ago that he had a large group coming to help and he needed Preston and I to help, too.
As Preston and I drove down to help, Preston remembered that he was supposed to check and make sure his group of boys had a service activity for their weekly meeting tonight. He called his adult advisor to see what he needed to do. Preston was told that since his whole youth group would be putting together gift bags for the city of Tempe on Saturday and five of the boys would be setting up flags for Veteran's Day today, that that was enough service for this week and they would do something else for their activity tonight.
My son hung up the phone, explained the situation to me and said, "Can you do too much service?"
He then proceeded to spend the next four hours hauling boxes of lights, running extension cords and sitting at the top of an orange tree stinging light around it and I never heard a complaint or a whine. At this time of year when we turn our thoughts to the things we are thankful for, I am thankful that maybe, just maybe, one thing I hoped to instill in my son has taken root. And I hope he continues to see the value and joy in service though out his life.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
When I went to Gammage to purchase the tickets they told me it was cheap because there was no parking on campus because school was in session. I next decided that he would have to miss all his afternoon classes so we would have time to walk from wherever we could find to park. Then I remembered Phoenix's move into mass transit and we decided to ride the light rail into Tempe and walk across campus. After having ridden mass transit in most large American cities and a few in Europe and Japan, I feel as though I'm pretty experienced and a fairly good critic.
So last Thursday, I picked Preston up and we headed to the park and ride lot, bought our tickets and climbed aboard the clean new train. Needless to say we were very impressed and we got to Gammage about an hour early - it was much faster than I had anticipated. We both felt that Phoenix has moved to the big time with their light rail - just too bad it isn't underground and much bigger.
We had a great time at the play with the bus loads of old people that came in from all over the valley, but what do you expect who else can take off in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day to see a play? Preston loved the music and we hummed it all the way back across campus and on the light rail home.
Then yesterday we had to carve our pumpkins for Halloween. We usually go all out on the pumpkin carving but both of us were feeling a bit pressed for time so we opted for easy designs.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
At Hocking Hills there are lots of different hikes that lead to water falls, caves, canyons, or lookout vistas. We chose a couple of hikes we wanted to take and then had to get ready. Any time you take a baby anywhere you know how long it takes before you actually leave.
You can see the excitement on Preston's face, he just can't wait to go!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
And here she is with her grandmas. Since the Rowleys were only going to be there until Monday morning, we let them do most of the holding, we would have plenty of days to spoil her.
Sunday moring we had to leave bright and early, church was a 20 minute drive and it started at 9:00 am. All of you know how hard that is to do when you have a new baby, but we made it. Once we got to church we changed Amelia into her dress (it wasn't too conducive to riding in a car seat) and I was so happy to see that it fit (I guess we should have done that the night before). She wasn't too excited and promptly fell asleep. She slept the whole meeting expect for during her blessing. She woke up just before, was wide eyed all during it and then went back to sleep as soon as it was over. Scott did a great job and we hope she will live up to the blessing she received.
Here are a few pictures of Amelia in her dress. I had carried the dress on the plane with me and I had so many women come up and ask to see it. I was glad that it turned out well and was finished. I barely got it done Friday night before we left Saturday morning.
The new little family
Our whole group
That afternoon Lonica and Scott had a bunch of friends over to celebrate and it was fun to meet them and of course to eat all the wonderful food Scott and Lonica had made. They are quite the chiefs. I get parinoid now when I have to cook for them.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
At any rate I tried to deter my nephews from entering the pool, and they told me they would wait until the day heated up. As I was folding clothes at 9:30 am (in preparation for our trip to Ohio) I heard splashes in the pool and went to investigate. I found Ross trying to not get wet on the pool mat (he did manage to keep his head from getting wet).
And I found Shawn shivering on the side, he had gone under twice and has 0% body fat
Friday, October 9, 2009
Here is his whole group that went to the mud caves the week before for their day activity and then to Rustler's Roost for dinner. Check out the girl in her tennis shoes. She had on black ones and her date had on white ones.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Now all I have left is some hand sewing on the lining and I have to figure out how I want to close it - with buttons, snaps or Velcro. I'm leaning towards buttons if I can find some I like.