Monday, June 23, 2014

Grandma Geisler 85th!

Grandma Geisler just turned 85!
We all gathered at Darren and LoaLee's for a little celebration. 

Isn't this cake gorgeous!  Jamie (Jotham's wife) made it.  Cami did the beautiful decorations.  
What talented girls!

Handsome Hatch Boys!

After we had a little party and lip sync talent show we drove over to the 
Riverdale cemetery to Grandpa's resting place.

We drove up this little road.

Isn't it beautiful?!

I had never been to the Riverdale cemetery.  
It is idyllic.  
Quiet and peaceful, it is tucked in the side of the mountain and still surrounded by little family run farms just like it was when Grandma grew up just up the road. 

Most of the Grandkids...

 and Great-grand kids.

I love this sweet grandma.  LoaLee's mom.  Grandma and Grandpa Geisler were our hosts clear back in the days when Rustin and I were dating and Rustin had to come up to Pocatello to see me on the weekends.  We ate dinner with them often and spend many hours in their living room.  Much of our falling in love happened at Grandma's house!

There are a thousand more things I love about Grandma G. 

*Grandma taught me to love fruitcake (seriously!) and to set a table with beautiful lace tablecloths.
*We went straight to grandma and grandpa's house when we found out we were having twins.  
*We had dinner at their house after blessing our babies. 
*I have done a million loads of laundry in Grandma's basement and if I ever left before finishing all the loads I would always find the clothing neatly folded and put in a basket. It was a life saver when I had baby twins.  Hauling them and loads of laundry to the laundry mat was un-bearable... 
*I have spent many a sunday afternoon reading old copies of Reader's Digest in Grandma's living room.  It brings such peaceful memories. 

Those beautiful lace tablecloths grandma puts on her table?...she crochets them all herself.  She is a true artist and craftsman.  We still use two blankets that she made Rustin and I when we were married.

Grandma has always demonstrated faith and perseverance.  I will never forget one afternoon in my living room  just after Grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  I've mentioned this before.  It had a powerful impact on me.  The spirit with the two of them was one of the strongest I've ever experienced.  We talked about the future and the fear they both felt at the impending disease-induced mental separation.  Grandma held her hand on Grandpa's knee so tenderly knowing the pain and fear they were both facing.  Both of them showed such faith and grace.  Such an example to me.

Grandma has never missed a single birthday of mine or Rustin's or any of the kids.  Not a single one. She sends a card and some money every single year.  So thoughtful.

When the boys wrestled in the State wrestling tournament in Pocatello we stayed at Grandma's house and she attended all of the matches with us.  Every one.  And she loved it.

Last year grandma talked a friend into buying season tickets to the ISU home football games.  How fun is that!

My grandparents died many years ago.  In fact I can say that I never really had a chance to develop a strong relationship with either of my own grandmothers.  Grandma Geisler has filled that role for me in so many ways.  I'm so grateful.

Happy Birthday!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Catching up--Puerto Rico part two

After we returned from Viegas island we went to my parents' apartment.  It is a nice little three bedroom apartment with a swimming pool.  We thought the temperature and humidity were sweltering but my parents have obviously acclimated.  They kept commenting about how we didn't even need to use an air conditioner because the trade wind breezes were so nice.  
Whenever they weren't looking we were all huddled in the bedroom with the wall air conditioner!  Ha!

We spent Monday at Old San Juan.  My dad had to go in to the mission office to help with some projects but my mom was able to sneak away with us.  The other senior couple in the office were able to cover my mom's housing related tasks for a couple of days.  We caught a little trolly and rode around the peninsula.  There is a huge old fort that defended the island because it was the major port and the first accessed port (because of the way ocean currents run) accessed by all travelers in the Caribbean, especially before the Panama canal was finished.  

We flew kites on the big huge lawn in between the fort and the ocean.  Our string broke--those trade winds are seriously strong!

We bought some fun souvenirs.  Of course the boys were all fascinated with some big "awesome" knives.  I totally don't get that.  I was excited about the hammock Rustin picked out! Jenna and I picked jewelry.  Of course.  It's so fun that I have someone to share cute things with!

We talked with some local people on the trollies.  It was fun to hear their perspective on the island.  There were more tourists in Old San Juan than any other place we visited.  We are glad that we got to visit the less tourist-y parts of the island.

It is impossible to capture the beauty of the blue colors with the cool breezes in the warm tropical air. Just stunning. 

We ate traditional mufungo (smashed plantain seasoned with lots of garlic and stuffed with different meats) at an awesome little restaurant that had the wait staff dressed in the traditional 1800's clothing.  We loved the mufungo but the frosty fruity drinks were the biggest hit.  

On Monday night we had some people from my parents' branch over for dessert.  It was so fun to meet them.  What a sweet spirit of conversion they have! I love hearing the testimonies of my fellow brothers and sisters.  It reminds me that the gospel has bigger meaning and purpose.  Sometimes its easy to get stuck in my little corner of life.  The spirit of missionary work really is refreshing. 

On Tuesday before we had to leave, we walked through the little Children's Park near my parents apartment.  The park there had a swing set for children in wheelchairs.  It is really cool!  There is a platform big enough for a wheelchair to strap on and then swing.  The whole park is filled with statues of children playing.  I love that people put so much time and energy into making things beautiful and enjoyable.  

The patio at my parents apartment looks like a tropical oasis!

Finally we  boarded a plane and said goodbye to a beautiful corner of the world.

We love you Puerto Rico!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

We're home and we're home to stay!

Dallin used to yell that phrase every time he came home on Fridays.  I kind of miss it.  
I love it when the kids are home.
Okay truthfully sometimes I don't love it.
Sometimes I want to lock myself in my room and pretend like I have nothing to do all day.
But mostly I really, really love having the kids home.

This week has been our first week of summer.  The kids got out last Thursday.  It seems like a year ago... Summer was a looong time coming this year.  Maybe because we had such an early warm spring?

This year especially reinforced my belief that May should be banished from schools.  Testing is finished in April so none of the teachers or kids really care what they do (because of course test results are the entire purpose of school right?).  It seems like the kids just get a bucket of projects.  
I am the worst May mom around.  
I don't sign papers or check for homework.  I just feel good if the kids get out the door wearing socks that are no more than two days old! Not having to worry about socks is one of the very best perks of summer.  
Not having to find socks almost makes up for having to make lunch every day!

Dallin and Landon were the winners of the 'worst month of May students' ever this year.


Landon had surgery on his shoulder.  Again.  The right one this time.  He is right handed so finishing up a million days of missed projects was a pain in every way.  My sympathy for his un-fun task forced me to break my "I don't do homework in May" mantra and pitch in to help out.  I started having flashbacks to fifth grade when Landon broke his right hand and I almost went crazy with fifth grade math homework!  
I must confess I helped the boys with their mounds of homework in part to avoid the frightening possibility of having my offspring live in my basement for time and all eternity.  A little bit selfish.  And I don't entirely see the point of making a 17 year old color worksheets.  Landon has been hiring Jenna to do his worksheet coloring since she was four and could color better than him...

Dallin had his fair share of catching up as well.  His struggles are still going back to almost a month of school missed with his terrible concussion in January.  We don't feel like we have really seen the old Dallin come back all the way.  He is easily frustrated but he stuck it out.  Rustin had to remind him a few times that all those cute girls he likes are going to go to college so if he wants to have the best pickin's he better get working!  He did a good job. 

 Landon's surgery recovery has been going well.  He had three surgeries this school year.  Poor kid! These kids of ours are keep my nursing skills up to date.  Shoulder surgery is definitely one of the most painful.  And I speak from experience! We have had abdominal surgeries, back injuries, head injuries, broken arms and legs and collar bones and ribs, torn shoulders and more stitches than we can count.  I'm sure I'm missing something. The most painful were definitely the ruptured appendix (Rustin), Benson's first multiple break collar bone incident and Landon's shoulder surgeries.   Shoulders hurt.  He is still sleeping sitting up in a chair but he is recovering quickly.  He will be out of a sling soon and will get serious  about physical therapy.

We offered to pay the boys (i.e. bribe) to practice piano and voice this summer.   The reasons are obvious.  All three boys are in Brigadoon.  Austin is a bar tender, Landon is the town elder Mr. Lundy and Dallin is Harry--the heart broken boy who meets with a tragic end when he can't get over the fact that his love marries someone else.  Dallin says it's typecasting.  He relates to Harry. Ha. 

Jackson is in heaven with the kids home.  
He is running Jenna and Benson all over the house to play this or that.  Right now the favorite is 'pillow land' which is Benson's big bed piled with every pillow in the house so they can jump off the dresser into the soft pile.  They have quite a repertoire of dives...  I should probably be nervous but they have so much fun I can't bear to stop them.
We finished our books (The Princess Academy books--actually really awesome!) and I couldn't find anything to read so we started on some old Nancy Drew books.  Ha.  They are totally entertaining.  And they put everyone to sleep which is a huge plus!
We have lots of fun things coming up.  
Rustin has an extra week of vacation for the first time in five years since he isn't taking an entire week off to go to youth camps.  
What will we do with the time...!!
Here's to an injury-free, music-filled sock-free summer!