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No age discrimination here

What a fun night we had last Friday. Paul and Krista Gage invited us to dinner with some other couples from our ward, to celebrate Paul's 33rd birthday. We are old enough to be most of their parents. Dennis was afraid they would say things like, "Isn't it about time for you to go home and soak your dentures?" But no one said anything like that. They treated us just like everyone else there. And by the way, we don't have dentures.

Paul said he was a little disappointed that Dennis was so quiet...unlike the early church meetings they use to attend together. But Den always gets quiet about that time every night. We didn't eat til near 9pm, and that is about the time we usually start winding down for the night.

We all went to a new restaurant, one we had never been to before. Yosemite Ranch. It had a rustic friendly feel to it. The food was great. And we loved the sweet potato fries and rolls before dinner. They actually had non dairy mashed potatoes which was a real treat for me. I haven't been able to eat restaurant mashed potatoes in years and years because they are always made with cream or milk.

The conversation was the best.
That is always my favorite part of any event.
What great people to spend an evening with.

I am showing 2 pictures here,
because the first one I can't even see Krista in the picture.

Todd Dunning, Danny and Denise Sampson, Jason and Katrina Reider,
Krista and Paul Gage, me and Dennis, Tracey Dunning.

Six Unspectacular Quirks

I've been tagged by a dear friend in Colorado. If I understand this correctly, I am suppose to list 6 random unspectacular quirks that I possess. When I asked for Den's input he said, "Only 6?" He's right, I can't disagree with him. I have many. Thankfully he loves me anyway.

Okay, here they are:

1. I have this obsession about someone tripping. No matter where I am, a grocery store, wherever...I have to pick up what could be in the way and either put it aside or back where it belongs. I think I have heard too many stories of elderly people tripping on something small and breaking a hip, or small children slipping and banging their head.

2. Then there is my hotel routine. I always bring baby wipes (not anti-bacterial) to clean down all light switches, door knobs, toilet, sinks, counters, etc. I always bring 2 blankets from home. One to go on top of the bed (after I have taken off the bedspread and put it in the closet) and one blanket to go over us if we should want to take a nap. Oh, and I have to remake the bed. I can't sleep well if the top sheet and blankets do not reach the headboard. So rather than struggle with it, I just remake it. I always (and I do not use the word always lightly) love my husband all the more as he stands right there helping me every time, never complaining. (I don't use the word never lightly either.)

Perhaps odd, but I don't even think of these things when I am visiting in someone's home. I know them, so I don't worry. It's the unknown people I worry about.

3. I will go to a doctor if I am really sick and can't stand it any longer, but I very rarely take the medicine they prescribe. I rarely take anything for pain. Den thinks I have a high pain tolerance. I don't. I just have a very low tolerance to drugs. I once had a friend say to me that they are phobic about taking herbs. I think I am phobic about taking drugs.

4. I absolutely love to experiment in the kitchen. My kids growing up never knew quite what to expect for dinner. I made some of their favorites repeatedly, but other than that, it was usually a surprise. Good thing they were all for the most part, open minded.

5.I don't like watching days come to an end and I will usually think to myself that I would love to live the day over again. Do just about the same things, but just experience it all over again. Of course I can't, but that is what I would like. Unless something really bad happened that day, then no, I just want to get on to the next one.

6. When eating out, I ask not to have lemon put in my water. I love lemon, and I sometimes use it at home, but not in restaurants, not after seeing the video below.

Okay, so there are 6....I could go on but I don't want to break the rules of this game, plus I think I've probably exposed too much of myself as it is.

While on the subject of Campbell...

I wanted to show a small excerpt from a video her Daddy made for her 3rd birthday. It shows Erin, her Mommy, taking her to EPU which stands for Exceptional Parents Unlimited. Cami attended there several times a week since she was just a few months old.

EPU is a precious place. I can feel it when I walk through the doors. This wonderfully unique organization provides therapy and support for children, infants through age 3, who were born with special challenges.

Campbell's interview

Cami didn't get to do her "first day of school interview" because she wasn't into sitting still long enough, as hard as Brock tried by repeatedly putting her back on the couch.
So not to be left out, here she is today:

Homey Interviews in Jammies

So last night Dennis and I went to the homes of our grandchildren and interviewed them in their jammies about the first day of school, which was Monday. We sure wish we could have driven over to the homes of our Utah grandchildren also, but they are a bit too far away.

Happy Birthday Matthew!

Guess who is turning 7 today?! I guess I gave it away in the title. Matthew is the oldest son of Dennis' daughter Kim and her husband Ryan.

I got to see him last December when we met them at their time share in Newport Beach, since I can't go to Utah. He is such a sweet, polite boy. We took them all to dinner that night and he rode in the backseat of our car. We were talking back and forth and then it was quiet. After a pause in conversation Matthew said, "Grandpa Shelley, it is so nice to see you again."

Grandpa and Matthew

Matthew and cousin Jacob

And how we love this picture.
He was only about 3 and this was taken with his siblings, Robbie and Emily.
We love you Matthew!
We have something coming in the mail just for you.

First Day of School

Campbell and Elora

And a few miles away, their cousins were getting ready for the first day also.

Macie, Austin, Chandler, Laurynn, and Kylie






Amy's numbers

Last Monday, the day we got the positive results of her In-vitro...Amy was told her HCG level was 241. Her doctor told her those numbers should double every 48-72 hours. So here we are 7 days later and her count is 4,326. So her numbers obviously far more than doubled every 2-3 days! This still does not necessarily mean multiples, but it is a good sign of a healthy pregnancy.

Her HCG level will be tested again next Monday and then on Sept. 3rd she will have her ultrasound.

It's a happy day!

Live from Provo...

McKay and Tyler sent this to me. Their roommate Chris, in front, is recovering from nose surgery. Not sure how they made this. Whatever, I just love seeing them!

The question is, why is Tyler standing there with his arm up in the air?

Hailey and The Macaroni Grill

Hailey went back to Rocklin on Wednesday to be with her Daddy. On Monday, Chickie (aka Wendy, my sister in law) and I took her out to lunch at the Macaroni Grill. When we ordered her the little pizza she wanted, we were surprised when the waiter asked if she would like to make it herself. Sure!! So as Chickie and Hailey headed up to the special counter, I followed them with my camera. I wanted to especially take pictures for her Dad to see.Now she is ready to eat it.
By the way, the waiter told us that any child
can make their own pizza here.
If the waiter forgets to offer, just to ask.
What we also loved about this place, is they give the kids the crayons and then just tell them to color on the paper table cloth. She loved it!
Hailey says this is a picture of her Daddy.
The waiter had packaged up Hailey's left over pizza. Papa Richard was on his way to get her so Chickie and I could do some furniture shopping. Just before Papa Richard arrived, Chickie went to the restroom and mistakenly brought Hailey's pizza with her. Hailey told Papa she could not go with him until she got her pizza. He asked her where it was and she said, "Chickie took it to the bathroom with her." Hailey thought that was pretty funny!

I can't end this without mentioning something else. I am so thankful for my sister in law, Wendy. This has been a difficult year for us losing Robin, but especially so for Wendy being Robin is her oldest daughter. Yet she took me out to lunch to celebrate the In-vitro news, and then store to store helping me pick out furniture. I would love to do something for her, and yet she was busy doing for ME!

Pictures and dreams of Chris

My sister in law Kim made such a beautiful display of Chris' life for the foyer at his funeral on Monday. She included a biography Chris wrote about his family in elementary school, each member of the family having their own page complete with story and pictures. She took apart this book and framed each page. After the funeral was over she gave us each our framed page. Not only was this so creative for Kim to think of, but very thoughtful.
I didn't include this display table in my earlier post of his funeral because they seemed too small to really see. I had forgotten that you can click each picture and make it larger.

Also, one of Chris' friends sent me an email today telling about a dream he had last night. I have not had a dream about Chris since he died. It will take me a long while I think. After my first husband died it was months later before I had dreams about him. Same when my mother died.

The dream of Chris' friend:

"I don't know if anyone is interested or not, but I thought I would write about a dream I had last night of Chris. It was very pleasant.
Chris and I were in a very large house with long hallways and many rooms. Almost like a hotel, but more like a home. It was like a 1970's split level type home. Chris was totally happy and showing me around. There were relatives in the various rooms playing ping pong, talking, etc. It was a very happy situation. Chris was showing me pictures of his family and telling me stories. He showed me one picture of I think his Dad doing something (I really can't remember) and said "This was the time my family helped me pay off my debts". (I have no idea where this came from. In real life, I never heard of Chris ever tell me anything of this sort). But the overall thing was he was totally happy. He was younger, but not a teenager. That's it. It was a great way to wake up and made me feel so good. I'm not sure if it was my imagination or something else, I'm just saying it made me feel good to see Chris like that and happy. So there it is, for what it's worth."

The In-Vitro Mom

I made a promise to Logan and Amy that I won't call them every single day of this pregnancy. They say they don't care, but I don't want to be a pestering mother-in-law. However, the promise does not start yet. Today I went over and took a little video of Amy. I wanted to get her story of the day she learned the In-vitro worked. Hard to believe that was just 2 days ago.

I asked Amy if on the day of the ultrasound I could wait in the parking lot. That way I can get the news as soon as she and Logan come out of the doctor's office. She said sure.

We left Dennis, her mom, the kids, the 2 dogs, the cat, and the 10 puppies in the other room while we went to the far back room of their house to record. Here she is:

My brother's funeral today

Inside the program:

The Urn

The Mountain View Ward Relief Society had such a beautifully decorated luncheon for us.

His friend Mark came all the way from England.
Also, we were so happy to have Chris' ex wife Jenny with us today.

These 3 friends are amazing. They all spoke at his funeral and have been very close and loyal friends of Chris' since high school.
Paul Stark, David Stark, and Berrett Rice
(David and I had quite a good talk today about his 9 month old triplets!)

My brothers John and Richard.
John gave the gospel message, and Richard dedicated Chris' grave.
Somehow I failed to get a picture of my brother Scott, who gave the eulogy.

Hailey and Natalie
It's been so fun having Natalie stay with us the past few days.
She is total entertainment.
She also is quite insightful.
She *knew* the In-vitro worked for Amy and Logan even before we got the news!

Hailey commented this morning that she loves funerals. Of course to her, they are a party with lots of cousins and good food and playing among the grave markers. Here she is explaining a game she has made up. Then I ask her to show me her Mommy's grave.
(By the way, thank you Krista for letting Hailey borrow your daughter's dress again!All her dress clothes are back home in Rocklin.)

IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is just what Amy said when she called me about noon today, "It worked!" We are so ecstatic we can hardly stand it! I have been dreading the phone call all morning, so afraid of another In-vitro let down for them. When I saw on the caller ID that it was her I didn't want to answer it. Wendy and Richard are here (my brother and sister in law) and also Natalie, my niece. As I answered the phone I heard Amy's tiny little soft voice and I thought, oh no, not again, please not again....but then she said "it worked" and I started screaming so much that I scared Hailey! Wendy started screaming, Natalie started screaming.....I'm so thankful they were here! I thought Richard was gone but I guess he was in the bedroom. He soon came out and didn't even ask why we were screaming. I guess he has been living with all women for too long. :)

Amy said they got the news on their cell phone when they were at the grocery store. She and Logan hugged in the aisles. Oh... we have been praying and praying this day would come, and it's here.

The dr said any numbers between 50-100 are good and Amy's are 241. Wow!!! Doesn't necessarily mean multiples, but we'll see.

Thank you for all your prayers. Wendy and I want to go out to lunch but I need to quit shaking first.

Visiting with their Sistas!

Last Saturday Dennis' daughters and their families were vacationing at a time share in Park City, Utah. They invited our BYU boys, McKay and Tyler, plus Tyler's girlfriend Karen, up for the day. This is the first time they have met Karen. I haven't even met Karen yet even though Tyler has been dating her since last October!

The girls took some great pictures!

Kim, Tyler, Karen, Kris, and McKay

Rachel and Karen (Rachie is Kris and Mike's youngest)

Tyler with Jacob, and Karen with Katelyn.

Jessica, McKay, and Emily

McKay and Emily

Kim, Tyler, McKay, and Kris...oh how I love to see them together!
I can't help but think these are the sisters McKay and Tyler use to pray for every night...
long before they met,
long before I met their father.

Back from Family Camp

Hailey said she wanted to live at Family Camp forever. I heard she would get up every morning and put her swim suit on and wear it all day. After camp fire Auntie Robin would put her in the sink and wash her so she would be clean to go to bed. Next morning, on would go the bathing suit again. Does anyone have any pictures of Family Camp this year that I could put on my blog?

Hailey was so happy to be reunited with her deedee on Saturday night after coming back from Family Camp! Aunt Natalie aka Aunt Party, gave it to her, then they told stories in bed.

Chickie and Hailey made badges for my Primary class.
They both have the creative gene.

In the midst of the evening my son Logan came by to visit also.
Tomorrow is the big day.
We will learn the In-vitro verdict.

This morning before church Hailey said good bye to her daddy Jason.
He needed to get back to Rocklin.
Thank you so much to Krista Gage in our ward for letting Hailey borrow one of her daughters' dresses!! As soon as she put it on this morning she found her Jason and said, "Daddy how do you like my dress?" She sure loves her daddy!
Hailey is not a morning person so it was a bit challenging getting her to church by 9am. She was not ready to eat breakfast that early so I packed her some dry cereal, grapes, and boxed apple juice. Our Primary class sits on the back row, so that's where she ate it. She starts preschool next week in Utah so her routine is about to change.

While we were sleeping

After coming home from Target yesterday morning with Elora, there was a message on my machine from my next door neighbor, Dee. When I called her back, she explained that very late the night before, she and her husband were watching the Olympics. Dee was tired so went to bed about midnight. Her husband Terry wanted to watch the men's gymnastics---so he opted to stay up a little later.

About 1am Terry heard a car drive up, sounding like it was coming from our driveway. He knew that Dennis and I don't usually get home that late (as in never) so he looked out the window. He saw a car parked right by our driveway. He waited for someone to get out of this car, but no one did. That seemed very odd so after waiting a little longer, and still they did not get out of the car, Terry called the police.

After a short wait (Clovis PD is always quick) here comes the police car into our cul-de-sac. Terry watches the police come up to the car window. A very young girl gets out, and an older guy also comes out, both adjusting their clothes, to put it mildly.

So the police call the girl's parents and soon they arrive. The police let the guy go, and the parents take the young girl home, who Terry said looked only about 15. What a foolish little girl.

I am so happy Terry called the police. Obviously it was not someone sitting in that car casing our house. Perhaps that older man was her boyfriend, but even so, her parents now know and hopefully they will be able to redirect her. Perhaps they thought she was spending the night with a girlfriend and she snuck off with this older guy. Or maybe they thought their daughter was home asleep in her bed. Whatever, I feel good that her parents are now involved.

Thanks Terry.

Reflections of Family Camp

As I wrote a few days ago, Hailey is at Family Camp. This is a large group of several families (not all related to us...but many are) who plan all year to meet at this campsite. There are cabins with beds, and a large kitchen where 2 cooks make all the food. The families take turns organizing crafts, etc for the kids. Each night they have 2 early one for the families, and a later one for just the adults and kids over age 12. There is always someone to talk to, and something to do. I spent every summer of my life growing up here beginning about age 7.

I found this picture from about 1980 taken at Family Camp, of my oldest son Brock with Hailey's mother Robin. And so the torch has been passed, once again, to the next generation.

The bowl cut was in style back then, can you tell?

I know Robin would have done anything to be with Hailey at camp right now. Hailey's dad is trying to make it up there to see her. I know she is surrounded by lots of family.

My daughter in law Amy is also up there which is a nice distraction from waiting and wondering if the In-vitro worked this time. (Not that she will quit wondering and waiting.) They will all get home on Saturday and then at 6am Monday morning Amy will be at the lab for the test. I just hope the lab does not lose her results like they did last time. Hopefully the suspense will not go on any longer than it has to.

Here is another Family Camp picture from the past. To the right are my youngest 2 sons, McKay and Tyler....taken about there about 8 years ago. I know they would both be there right now if they weren't attending BYU year round. See cousin Carly with the red handkerchief on her head? She is at Family camp this time with her husband and 3 kids! They came up from Panama.

Meanwhile, I am here with Elora.
She spent the night with us,
as her sister Cami needed a test at the children's hospital.

How Firm a Foundation

Last Saturday night while we were in Rocklin we found a little LDS bookstore called Cover to Cover. Den and I usually like to find the LDS bookstores in any area we are visiting and with our GPS it is really easy now. I've been longing to purchase the new Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD of Called to Serve, and sure enough this store had it in stock.
The next day, as we were driving to church I put it on in the car. I went right to How Firm a Foundation. This has become one of my favorites now...ever since the morning my Mom passed away. As soon as I realized she had died I had to have music on. I reached for the remote and just turned on the stereo. We had been playing lots of hymns for her so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when the Mormon Tab came on. It sounded different to me this time. The music and words seem to engulf the entire room as I heard How Firm a Foundation. I heard the words in a way I hadn't quite heard them before.

Verse #3
Fear not, I am with thee; oh be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.

I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,

Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

I looked at my mom lying there, already having passed into the next world. I realized more than ever before just how blessed I was to have been raised by her. Her goodness, her purity would be with her, and all of us, forever.

She gave us a firm foundation to build our lives upon. She lived every day of her life the way she believed. There was never any question to what she was about.

This song gives me much comfort now. We often play it on Sunday mornings, because it was a Sunday morning at 8am, she passed 16 months ago.

So last Sunday as the song filled our car, we drove up to this building
I took this picture from the car just as we were turning in to attend church. One of the reasons I love to attend other wards when we are out of town is the reminder it gives me of the spirit we can feel anywhere we are. We didn't know a soul there, yet we walked in and felt so at home, immediately.

We didn't know it till we opened the program that we were attending Roseville 7th ward. Didn't matter where we were, the church is the same. The program covers may be a little different but always with a similar message:

I am so thankful, beyond words that I can think of, that I have parents who taught me this gospel of love, and lived how they believed.
Listen to How Firm a Foundation.

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