Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's been two weeks since last I had anything of value to say. After reading this weeks blog, there may be some who believe I should have waited yet another week.

We made the final push to clean out Mom's house last week. As should have been expected, there was significantly more stuff still in the house than any of us here in Rexburg remembered, but we were ultimately up to the task. We called in professional help to manage the piano, the pool table, and the finish cleaning. The piano was strapped to a moving board and Addison and I loaded it into the trailer and towed it down to Salt Lake City for Laurel. She then payed a piano professional to assemble it and before we left town, she was playing to her hearts content. Addison and I spent several hours trying to see what the allure of the Mall's is, but we still aren't sure how some people make trips to the Mall just to go to the Mall. The wait was worth it, however, as we were able to pick up Mandi, Jake and Kempton and bring them home for vacation.

The arrival of the Moss Posse has been as much fun as anticipated. Jake is getting ready to head back for a few weeks of tests, and will return in mid-December, but Mandi and Kempton are sticking around throughout the holidays, and we are all looking forward to the entertainment that Kempton provides. (Mandi's not bad either.)

This week was a short week for everybody. We left on Wednesday afternoon for Park City, Utah. All of the Rexburgers headed that direction, Michael and Ann Marie Johnson and kids, and Paul, Cassie and Thatcher Morris all moved into a cabin on the mountain for the Thanksgiving holiday, and Dale, Laurel and Jack Harris, Hilary Spillane, and David, Allison, Evan and Ethan Zollinger all came up for the big day. (Anna Z was working, and I'm not sure the cabin would have held the one extra person.) We all had a great time, and the meal was as good in the mountains as it is at home. (I'm not sure the effort will be soon repeated, however, as it was more work than we thought cooking away from home.) It's always good to get together with family though, and even with the noise and constant people under foot, it was a lot of fun.

We brought Grandma home with us, as Glenn stayed for another check-up on his wrist. As soon as we got home, we immediately began the process of converting to Christmas. Next week begins the party, concert and shopping season in earnest. I hope we can survive in one piece.

The slide show speaks more accurately to the events of the past few days. (Trouble getting the slide show to post. Pictures are apparently not my strong suit. Try cutting the below and pasting as internet site.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This week has been reasonably uneventful. For the most part, we have been closely resembling a convalescence home. I continue to struggle with what I now fondly refer to as the 4 week cold. Addison has been walking around looking like a chipmunk for the whole week. He still has a little swelling, and he still doesn't understand why he had to have perfectly good teeth removed at the cost of such miserable pain. Lastly, Ashlyn continues to find any reason she can to put on a brace. Her patellar tendonitis got worse, not better, and so she is going to have to wear a brace for at least another week. Cari and Abby are wondering if it's safe to live in this house.

On the upside, Addison and I were able to get most of the Christmas lights up while the temperature was still warm. We then got our first dose of what lies ahead. Not much in the way of snow accumulation, but it has been below freezing for several days now, and the girls think any amount of snow is enough.

Abby is loving Young Women's. It's difficult to figure out how she finds the time to do everything she does, and enjoy it all. She continues to excel at gymnastics, she is getting better every week at the piano, and she comes home from school each day with another tale of what wonderful things she has learned. (Mostly from her brilliant Aunt Mary Ann.) I hope she can keep it up.

Mandi, Jake and Kempton are scheduled to arrive on Friday. I am going to Salt Lake for a meeting, and will wait around until they get in, and bring them home. Although it's always fun to read Mandi's blog updates, it will be better to see them in person.

This weeks pictures are a stretch, but Cari feels like my writing skills alone don't cut it each week, and that pictures are essential. While I agree that pictures are nice, and should be included whenever possible, pictures for the sake of pictures may be the exception.

To finish this week off, I'm going to make predictions for next week. I predict that I will be over my cough. Addison will be over his swollen mouth. Ashlyn will be looking for her next brace, and something fun and exciting will happen to make this blog more interesting.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Week In the Life...finally

This week hasn't been too eventful on the family front, but there was plenty going on in Rexburg. The elections for City Council were on Tuesday, and all three council members elected were repeat offenders. Chris Mann is an incumbent, Donna Benfield is returning after two years off after making a run for Mayor last election, and Bruce Sutherland is returning after 6 years off. Just minutes after formally acknowledging the new council members, the current council appointed one of their own, Richard Woodland to serve out the remaining two years of the Mayor's term. It should finally give me a chance to stop going to work at 6:30 am and staying until 7:oo pm every weekday. The past two months have been a little stressful. I'm ready to quit coughing since it has been three straight weeks now, and I'm hopeful that the lack of stress, coupled with the passage of time will give me the chance to heal.

Cari's highlight of the week was beginning the seasonal craft circuit. She whipped some block of wood or pile of material into what will undoubtedly be a must have decoration. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm sure I'll love it. (Or whichever of you gets it as a gift will love it.) She volunteered the girls as nursery workers, and told them it was their service for the season. (She then paid them each $15 for their time. We really need to talk about her definition of service.)

Addison had his wisdom teeth pulled on Friday, and as of this writing, he still looks like a chipmunk on the right side. He didn't have much problem with bleeding, but the swelling is pretty comical.

Abby got to do baptisms at the Temple for the first time, and was thrilled until she found out she would have to speak about it in church on Sunday. She did an excellent job, and all things considered, she still thought it was a great experience.

Ashlyn continues to nurse her Patellar Tendonitis, which means primarily that she only does the things at gym that she chooses. I suspect she is milking it for all it is worth, but the doctor says she may be able to start putting full pressure on it next week.

Alex reported on a couple of baptisms in Monday's email, and also reached the midway point in his mission this week. He has been with a companion from Idaho Falls for the past several months, and they have managed to get out and play golf a couple of times for pday. The companion will be coming home in December, so I'm not sure he will be able to rub in his winter golf for much longer.

Mandi, Jake and Kempton are coming to town in two weeks for Thanksgiving, and we are all counting the days. It does seem a bit sad that we are more excited to see Kempton than Mandi, but he makes us smile more than she does. Mandi and Kempton will stay until after the holidays and Jake will go back for tests and then come back in time for Christmas. I'm sure will find time to enjoy Mandi.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I missed last week because we were out of town. Today's post will cover our adventure, as well as the fun since getting home late last Sunday.

We took Addison with us to Miami so Cari would have someone to protect her on the beach. As you can tell from the picture in the slide show, Addison was happy to be invited, even if he wasn't much in the way of a body guard. Cari and Add found plenty to keep them busy for the 5 days I was in meetings, and we found plenty to do in the evenings after my meetings were over. Miami is really a town that gets started late, and I think if we were a little bit younger, or more willing to get sucked in by Addison, we could have stayed out all night. As it was, I think we balanced the stay just right. I managed to play a little golf in association with the seminar. (I think the class description was "Best Use of Open Space".) I am now the two time defending champion of the International Long Drive Contest. Granted they are all attorney's but it's still an international competition. The weather was a bit cool for beach combing, but Cari and Addison managed to find their way down to the beach for the day, and took me down for a visit on one afternoon.

We took an evening trip down the Keys, and found ourselves in Key West for the sunset. Addison was completely unimpressed, and believes that the sunrises that he has been watching every morning at work are every bit as beautiful. Maybe people should start driving hundreds of miles to hang out with Addison in the morning instead of Jimmy Buffet in the evenings.

After Miami, we made a long drive to New Orleans for the weekend, and unanimously agree that New Orleans is more fun than Miami. We managed to find lots of good food, entertaining places to visit, and even lucked into the Halloween Parade. It doesn't require you to expose anything to get beads. We came away with lots of beads just for being loud bystanders. We were careless enough to wander onto Bourbon Street while it was daylight, and while eating gumbo, the night life came out. Probably more than Addison should have been exposed to, but I don't think he will be scarred too badly.

We spent one day at the New Orleans Aquarium, and watching an IMAX movie about Katrina. It was very informative, and the aquarium was extremely close up. Addison loved the fish and made me go back in so he could pet the Stingrays. He wasn't the biggest kid to ride the frog either.

The next day we booked an airboat ride into the bayou. It was well worth the purchase, and not as all uncomfortable. We got to get up close and personal with a baby gator, and saw several 3 to 5 footers on the banks. It is a little late in the season for the big ones, as they are going into hibernation. After the boat ride, we were so close to LaPlace, Louisiana, that we decided to have lunch and stalk Alex just a little. We drove by his apartment to see what his neighborhood was like, and then ate around the corner from his place. It would have been difficult if we had seen him and not been able to approach him, but it was nice to see the area and get a bit of a feel for what he is experiencing.

This weekend, we went with Jack and Debbie Zollinger to Debbie's family lodge near Driggs. Because it was Halloween, it not only included a nice couple of days away, but a party atmosphere for all. Mary Ann, Glenn, and Mom came along, as well as all of the Mounts Children as some point and Nichole and Blake Garner. As you can see in the slide show, Cari, Abby, Ashlyn and I took full advantage of the Mardi Gras masks we brought home. The residents of Driggs didn't know what hit them when the kids all went into town for trick or treating, but everyone in our party seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Thank you to Debbie and the Peacock Family.

I'm looking forward to a few normal weeks at work so I can get rested for the holiday season. I can't take much more sleeping away from home.