Saturday, July 4, 2015

Reunion with the 6 buds and their wives

Who needs to be formal when you are meeting high school buds from 17 years ago...

We arrived 3 hours later than everyone else....

I love how Amy and Logan invite us.....the oldest ones there.

We walked in and found this.....proof of a good time.



Then stepping out into the backyard....

This group had 3 more babies born this year. 
Robby held little Piper the entire time we were there, even though she belongs to Travis and Brittany. 



Back in 1998, the day Logan left on his mission.
Travis, Robby, Logan, Brad, Brice, Ryan

Brice, Logan, Robby, Travis, Brad, Ryan.
(They now have a total of 20 children)


The wives and one Grandma taking pictures. We have long history with this group.
.


Logan shows a video they made back in high school. They were all drama students.

I should have brought the videos I have of these 6 guys back in the day. Next year!
It was just a really good feeling being with them all. Brought back so many stories in my head. 
Even some of the not so good memories of those days, are great memories now!

Loved all the hugs last night. I felt like it was my reunion too.
I guess in a way it sort of was.
Afterall....
These guys have stuck together since 8th grade.
That's over 20 years and still going strong.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Our little sweetheart riding the bus to school.

I know Brock put this on Facebook yesterday, but some of my friends don't do Facebook
and this is too sweet to miss.

Cami on her first day riding the bus to school.



Cami's First Day of Summer School 2015 from Brock Heasley on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A little late for Father's Day....

I tried to put this on my blog 3 years ago but couldn't get it to work right.
Finally here it is.

This was actually what my Dad did over 20 years ago.

Shows my mom with him back in the day, when he was running across the states. They would sleep
on gym floors and then he would run about 50 miles a day while she would follow him in the car. I
would be home praying a lot. And worrying.



My Amazing Dad from Jill Shelley on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Would you fly off your chair for this?

I got to teach six 8 year olds about gratitude last Sunday. After the story about the 10 Lepers and how
only one returned to give thanks for being healed,  I wrote the letters GRATITUDE lengthwise across
the chalk board. I asked the kids to come up with something they are thankful for using each letter.

One little girl immediately came up with "Grant" for "G" because she is thankful for her baby brother.
A boy was thankful for "red pandas"….not sure what that is. And on it went.

But the class was all stumped with the letter "I" I didn't want to give suggestions because I don't like
influencing their answers, so I waited... And waited.

Finally a little girl could hardly contain herself. "I know! I know! I know something I am thankful 
for that starts with "I"!!"  I thought she was going to fly right off her chair.

So I handed her the chalk and this is what she wrote for "I" :


I didn't have the heart to tell her she spelled it wrong, so we just went with it.

She just knew she wants her family with her forever. 
Definitely worth flying off her chair for!





Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The best parenting advice I ever got

Dennis and I have been following the news story about that woman prison worker in New York who
helped 2 murderers escape. When the story first broke Den knew right away someone inside helped
those criminals get out. He even guessed the scenario…."probably a woman working at the prison who
was complimented and paid attention to by at least one of those 2 prisoners."

Got that one right! Plus, the accused woman said, "He made me feel special." She actually realized
how she was hooked.

This brought me back to the winter of 1984. I was pregnant with my 3rd son, McKay. Bill and I were
attending a birthing class put on by our midwife. After practicing our breathing, the midwife introduced
her husband, who was a licensed clinical psychologist who she said would speak to us on parenting. I
remember feeling the need to wrap this up and get on our way that Saturday morning. I thought we had
just come to brush up on our birthing skills.

But what that psychologist said to us has remained with me to this day. I have heard his words echoing
in my head probably a gillion times over the many years as I raised my sons.

It was just one line I remember. (This was 31 years ago!) He said, "Next to food and shelter, our 
biggest need is significance." 

Or as my mother use to say, "There is no such thing as a bad child, only an unhappy one."

Feeling significant won't solve everything, but it sure could have helped that female prison worker in
New York. After all, significance is nearly as powerful as our need to eat.






Sunday, June 7, 2015

Welcome Home Davey!

So my nephew returned this week from his 2 year mission in 
Argentina….

The surprise to me was seeing his sister Brooke come in on the same plane.
As you can tell when you watch this, I wasn't sure how to react to that!

And some day I need to remember to ask Brooke what in the world she was carrying home with her.
Davey's home!! from Jill Shelley on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Part 2 of the FOOD on our trip

As  I said I would…..
here's what else we ate while in Washington…..

Fish tacos made for a perfect lunch after the Farmer's Market. 
I wish I could find a good fish taco place in our area. 
If there is one, please someone tell me.



We got to have dinner at Karen and Tyler's again. 
Tyler made his famous ham fried rice. Or rather his father in law's 
famous fried rice. He has made this before….

and we love it every time. Great how it's a meal all in one pan. 
Lots of vegetables and 6 eggs stirred in that. They also served 
some fruit but I was totally full from the rice.

Red Robin with boys and Karen…
Scarlett was sick so we missed McKenna and hers. 
Richie was sitting by me.

I feel like we had the place to ourselves….we kind of did.

Back to McKenna and McKay's for Chicken Tortilla soup….
again, from Pioneer Woman.

The toppings

Loved it so much I already made it after we arrived home.

apparently Richie and Scarlett thought it tasted great with a little dirt mixed in

Fun to finally meet Jared, one of McKenna's brothers. 
(He had just moved also to Vancover, and waiting for his wife and 3 kids to arrive in a few days!)


I came home soooo spoiled. We were well taken care of!
I realize Scarlett and Rich are missing from the pictures above. 
Didn't have the best luck getting family shots with active toddlers. 

But Richie tried to help….and snapped this one of his Mom
And this one of me. 
Life looks different up above when you are only 3 1/2 down below.

Speaking of Richie….

Rich looks so much like his mother, yet I also see a resemblance 
between him and my nephew Jake when he was that age. 

Below Jake is a little older…but do you see a little similarity?

Tyler, Jake, Ashley, Carly, and Lauren


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Elder Perry's final words to us...

When Dennis heard yesterday that this great man passed away, 
he said it felt like a family member had died.
I remember when he spoke these words towards the end of his talk last month at General Conference:


"...Let me close by bearing witness (and my nine decades on this earth fully qualify me to say this) that the older I get, the more I realize that family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness..."



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What one atheist thinks towards the end of his life.

Going over Family History last night with my sister Heidi, we started talking about our maternal
Grandma. She was an atheist. She told me this back in the summer of 1983, months before she died.

Grandma was a very good soul. She felt it her responsibility to care for and uplift others….especially
the sad and lonely and needy. She sought them out. She lived a very Christ like life even though she
didn't know it as such.

Still, there was this unspoken sadness about her. Like a layer of suppressed anger. I attributed much of
that to her hard life…..raising her children during the depression, her husband out of work due to
disabilities, losing their first born at 9 months of age due to a weekend virus….and many more
challenges I won't go into here.

But looking back, what would life mean if we believed we would lose it all, including all the people we
love, at the end of it? That it would all be over. Gone and done with.

I heard this short interview with famous children's author Maurice Sendak recently, and it reminded
me of Grandma. He has since passed away, but he had this to say near the end of his life.

He didn't believe in God either, but it's obvious he envies those who do. I found it telling the way
he said, "I don't believe in an afterlife but I still expect fully to see my brother again." Perhaps
somewhere deep in his soul, he knew.

It's just a 5 minute clip, and he did very much appreciate and love life.
Just so sad he thought it would be forever over soon.






Saturday, May 23, 2015

What we ate on our trip

Karen and McKenna fed us well while we were in Washington…..

Here is what we had for dinner each night we were there…

The first night Karen made us a great taco bar. I wish I had pictures of it but we were a bit late
arriving, so we just all ate as soon as we got there. In addition to the meat, cheese, onions, beans and
other toppings, she also had yellow and orange peppers cut up….I want to remember that since they
taste SO good on tacos.

And McKenna brought green rice that had lots of spinach in it.
Everyone loves it, even the little ones, I think.

This meal tasted SO good. We were SO grateful to have it after eating on the road for 2 days.

And she had my favorite sauce from Trader Joes to go on top…..love this stuff:



Second night:  McKenna made Pioneer Woman's "Sunday Stew."
We didn't care it was Friday.
 

For the stew recipe GO HERE. It was beyond wonderful.
 So was the salad. We kept eating more and more of it.
Salad: Costco’s spring mix and romaine lettuce for the greens with sliced green onions, celery, 
sliced grapes and toasted almonds. 

(For toasted almonds: Mix 1/2 cup of sliced almonds and 6T sugar. 
Stir constantly until it melts and coats almonds. 
Pour over greased wax paper. Let cool 1 hour.)
Poppy Seed Dressing

Ingredients:
¾ cup white vinegar
1 ½ cup canola oil
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon poppy seeds
1 ½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon dried mustard
3 teaspoon purple onion


Mix all ingredients in blender; pour over salad. 


3rd Night:
We all went to Outback Steak house.
Don't really know what everyone had, but who cares. 
It could not begin to compare with the delish home cooking we had the 2 previous nights.

Not sure why I didn't get Tyler in this picture. His elbow proves he was there. 
Richie is below with Grant.

So I'll stop right here and continue with part 2 of our eating adventures, soon.
We really don't expect our girls to cook for us, but they always do. 

Maybe no one cares what we ate but us, however... 
I want to have record of it all so I can go back and make these meals.