Saturday, December 16, 2017

Autumn 2017

We had an eventful fall! Wyatt's rose bush continued to produce gorgeous orange blossoms.

And the pumpkins Wyatt planted flourished too!

There were Sunday visits by the Springville Sweats. Truman and Jane remind me a lot of each other, which means Truman reminds me of my Grandmother because Jane does?

Tony and Dennis on the swing. Tony in full David O. McKay hair mode.

Lauren playing duets with great-grandma Hiatt. Alzheimers doesn't diminish a person's ability to play an instrument. Isn't that fascinating?

My conference center windows in the fall.

Muffin turned 15. She should remain 14 forever, even though she seems like a woman!

Truman celebrated the way you can when you're a toddler!

One of the most unforgettable experiences of this fall was driving to Amy's house to attend Time Out for Women. We stopped in Vail (I always make Dennis although he'd rather just drive straight through). Sometimes I don't make him, but this time I did and I ALMOST persuaded him to take a hike, but then remembered he'd had some chest discomfort and I did an immediate 180 and banished him to this bench while I scurried around Vail, soaking in the sights.

The first thing I did when we arrived at Amy's house was go with her to pick up Macy from gymnastics. Gymnastic is incredible to contemplate when you're like me and can barely summon the core strength to get up off the couch. Or, for instance, get into a canoe. You would think I would have ONE photo besides the back of Macy standing with the little girls on the left, but the rest of them were totally blurry! It's because they move so FAST!

Andrea flew in from North Carolina - woo who! and the kids engaged her in fooseball. I like this photo so much because of Carly and Coconut!

Tony and Cindy drove and brought all the kids except Reagan. Here is Dave showing incredulous Calvin some of the Lego inner sanctum in the basement.

Angie flew in too and YAY the gang was all here! We hiked Castle Rock. Dennis took the picture. Once again, he was banished from hiking. His chest discomfort had flared up the minute he started up this "easy" trail and I turned to him and said "I think you should wait for us at the bottom of the mountain," and he immediately agreed.

It was a beautiful hike (as hikes always are) and we had stunning autumn views of Castle Rock, the actual rock, and Castle Rock the hamlet where the Huish's reside. These are out of order - The Springville Sweats hadn't arrived when we took this hike, and yet, they're in the previous pictures. I need a better editor!


Then we got to attend Time Out for Women together and listen to Tony speak. It's surreal to think that goofball is Anthony Sweat. I guess the goofball is Tony and the inspired, endearing, capable speaker is Anthony!

Perks of knowing a celebrity is we got to sit up front and hang out with the other presenters, such as Mary Ellen Edmunds who gave me a hug! She is awesome. Amy and Angie enjoyed the moment too!

Group picture of all four of my girls, plus Lauren as a bonus, and Tony as the catalyst that got us together.

That day was also October 6th and my 65th birthday so the fates intersected to bring me a most wonderful celebration. Amy had done so much work to buy balloons, and decorations, and card-making supplies galore and the kids worked so hard on them while we were at TOFW Friday night, so that when we got to her house I was totally surprised by these kids celebrating. Thank you everybody! AND they all pitched in and bought me a new iphone! AND Dennis and Dave hung out with the kids all Friday night and all day Saturday while we attended TOFW (with lots of help from Jane Marie).

The kids made a long banner with happy birthday wishes on it that was on display. This was a good one by Calvin - "Laty Your Old."

Sweet Jane painted this beautiful robin for me. Robins are very much associated with Wyatt now and always will be. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for her thoughtfulness. I will always cherish this!

 And this beautiful poem was copied on the back too.

We took the kids roller skating and it was fun for the kids, frustrating at times because it was the first time in a long time for some of them, and great times for the adults to sit and chat and watch and catch up with each other while disco music blared in the background! Amy and Dave skated with the kids too - ahhhh youth.

Then we said our good-byes and headed back to Utah. The rest stops along the way were gorgeous!

One of the things we needed to get taken care of when we got back to Utah was Dennis's angiogram and probably surgery for a stent, although they didn't know if he would need one for sure. They wheeled him away for the procedure and 20 minutes later, he was wheeled back, accompanied by two doctors. They matter-of-factly drew this diagram on the white board in the recovery room, explaining why a stent was not going to help, Dennis needed QUADRUPLE BYPASS SURGERY!! They said it so routinely that I had to stop them and say, "WHAT DID YOU SAY?" Here is the Dr.'s diagram of his poor blocked arteries. Those red blobs blocking all four arteries 90% and 80%? They should not be in the picture on a healthy heart! I'm so grateful he didn't have a heart attack!

This is a snapshot of his right arm while he was in the ICU. Unbelievable to think what he went through, and what the doctors did.

Here he is the very day he returned home after a week in the hospital. Angie flew out to help us that week and it was wonderful to have her here, in ways large and small (even though we did pretty much keep her up all night one night when we were trying to decide at midnight if Dennis should go back to the ER because his heart was pounding out of his chest and it could have possibly been a-fib (it wasn't, whew). Angie heard us talking in the family room and got up and came to see what was going on. She was firm in her feeling that we should go to the ER. Dad was waffling, and Angie said in no uncertain terms, well, you know how I feel, you should go, but it's up to you of course, and she went back to bed and dad knew he should follow her advise and go. And we did and we're glad we went!
He was okay, but we were at the ER from midnight until 7:00 a.m.

Before the surgery, Dennis taught me the finer points of operating the riding lawn mower! I was baffled, but after three times doing it, now I get it. Isn't that how most new experiences are? .....the third time IS the charm!

The master, scooping up fall leaves a couple of days before his surgery.

And so that's that for this Saturday morning. I need to clean the house. Elise is arriving tonight (December 16th) to spend the night before she flies out to Minnesota for Christmas break!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Visiting the North Carolina Sweats

We got to visit the North Carolina Sweats over Labor Day weekend and it was such a fun visit! Andrea has a beautiful guest room that is Andrew's office when they don't have official guests. But since we were official, she even treated us like we were on a cruise ship and put books and treats and cosmetics like lotion and shampoo out on the vanity for us....maybe we don't have to take a cruise.

We were able to see all three of the kids in their element doing the extra-curricular things they love. We got to watch Whitney's ballet troupe while they practiced some numbers. She has such beautiful lines and lyrical styling about her.

We also got to watch Caroline climb rocks like a gazelle. Or whatever species of animal climbs rocks. She is super strong. A feminine beast.

As is Brandon (but obviously not feminine). Here he is hanging by his fingertips for an insanely long period of time. Everywhere we went on the vacation, he would hang from whatever ledge was available. Brandon also teaches a class of younger students during the week. I am at a loss for words when it comes to strength. I do have strong fingers, does that count?

Andrew, Dennis, Caroline and I drove to Kuri Beach first since Andrea had to wait for the older two to finish their school day. It was raining in patches on the drive down, but not as bad as Andrea had later in the day on her drive where it was coming down in torrents.

We had an awesome three-story beach house! Here is the view from the bottom of the stairs where Dennis and I stayed, looking aaaaaaaall the way up to the top! Daunting, but doable.

Beach combers

Such warm water on the Carolina beach. We had perfect boogie boarding waves the next day and everyone enjoyed it, including me! I actually rode waves all the way in. It was raining at one point and my favorite memory is boogie boarding in the rain.

Digging for little muscles and crabs and enjoying the day. I love the colorful beach houses that dot the shoreline.

Kure Beach September, 2017: Brandon, Age 16; Whitney age 13; Andrew age 42; Andrea age 40; Caroline age 9.

It's so great to have 6' 6" Andrew as our built-in selfie stick. Here's proof that I got completely submerged!

And yes, the sun came out! And it was a perfect weekend.

Tony calls me a "crazy grandma" because I think everybody looks like somebody else in the family (they DOOOOO). Can you see a resemblance between Andrew and Ben? 

What I did for the rest of the day.

Caroline and I with "BEACH' hair!

We always get crab at the Deck House one night, and it was every worth minute we had to wait! We did the age-old "how do you measure up?" while we were waiting. Brandon's taller than Dennis, but look, Grandpa's shoulders are still higher than B's. If Dennis had a neck he would be 6 foot 4. He says that's why he was such a good rebounder, deceptive for his height. You don't need a neck to rebound.

Will Brandon ever catch Andrew? I don't think so, although who knows, he's only 16~

Will Whitney catch Andrea? Whitney has blossomed into a woman this past year. She is such a beautiful young woman.


Beach babies!

Pretty sunset (even though the sun doesn't set on the East coast horizon Barbara, no matter how hard you try to find it.).

On the way home, Andrea asked if the girls could ride in one car and belt show tunes. And belt we did. It was awesome! Those girls have such sensational voices and Andrea has a whole ipod of show tunes that she can play in their shiny new van! This doesn't show any belting, but it was going on. I didn't take very many photos this trip. I think I have moved into a phase of less photographing it, but I still like to photograph a ton, and sure love seeing everyone elses.

Our last day of the trip, the kids went back to school, and since Andrew had taken the day off we got to have his company while we drove to Ashboro and toured the Biltmore Estates! Andrea had too many things to do back home, such as picking up children all afternoon and prepping the next day's Seminary lesson, or she would have come too.
Thousands of acres that were planted by a renown gardener and now 100 years later it looks like the forest primevil but it was actually all planned.

I hate to end this post with a toilet, but oh well! The Bible Belt is really rich with faith, let me tell you! Andrew took us to the Biscuit House for yummy breakfast, and this rib place called, oh I can't remember but it's an acronym for Lord Always Bless You or something like that (LABY it is not, but you get the idea). We are so grateful we can visit you kids and love you so much!

Autumn 2017

We had an eventful fall! Wyatt's rose bush continued to produce gorgeous orange blossoms. And the pumpkins Wyatt planted flour...