Monday, December 31, 2012

12 Photos and a Video

It was absolutely delightful to have my sister Julie, her husband Tom, and their family in town for Christmas (including three children, their spouses,  and two grandbabies:  Ben/Jax/Avery, Julia/Chris/Claire, and Russell/Megan).   We also celebrated with Emma's Grandma & Grandpa Hiatt, Aunt Barbie & Uncle Dennis, cousin Amy and her three adorables, cousins Tony and Cindy and their six adorables, and Louie/Shanna, Janie, and Andy/Kat/Baby Mac.  Not everybody was in the same place at the same time, but a couple times we got pretty close.
It was a fun fest, lemme tell you.  Amy's husband Dave caught sick and was unable to join in.  We were sorry we didn't get to see him, too!  We probably won't be celebrating with this big a group again any time soon -- families are growing and many are so far away.  But we have wonderful memories of 
Christmas 2012.    

Homey dinner on December 23rd.  Joey made pork enchiladas (handrolled by Russell and Emma) and homemade refritos.  We also enjoyed Christmas tamales, Aunt Barbie salad, and chips'n'guac.  And assorted storebought brownies.  
This photo won't enlarge for some reason, but the others do.

Denny and Aunt Julie on Christmas Eve Day.  Julie is making her traditional "tree" (cinnamon roll dough shaped into Christmas tree, then frosted after baking on Christmas morning and decorated with walnuts, maraschino cherries and red & green sprinkles.  It's sticky and scrumptious).  Or she could also be making her famous cheeseball, made with cream cheese, sharp cheddar and blue cheese, etc., 
all in one glorious glob.  Cheeeez, it's good.

 Christmas Eve dessert following delicious Christmas Eve dinner that Aunt Barbie packed up and brought over to our house.  Yay Barbie!  Ham, funeral potatoes, various salads, washed down by Christmas ginger ale.  Followed by Costco cake and marionberry pie ice cream elegantly served in paper bowls.
 Tom, Russell and Ben

A portion of the nativity reenactment (directed, with great insight and nuance, by Aunt Barbie) 
 Lauren (donkey), Macy (Mary), and Eli (Joseph).

Our ambivalent angel

Cindy, Eli, Tired Tony, and Calvin J

Grandniece Avery

Grandpa reading "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," with feeling, and a mustache, 
to conclude Christmas Eve festivities

And then there was Christmas Morn, a flurry of tissue paper and exclamations.  
Below is an Angry Bird with an attitude.  A dangerous combination.

Baby Mac pondered a red Solo cup

And numbers of the red sweater group increased
Megan, Denny, Grandma, Julia, Julie, Barbie, Jax

And later in the day Uncle Tom patiently supervised Emma's efforts with her new Easy Bake (which replaced the old Easy Bake of a couple years ago, which Mama broke after leaving the plastic spatula inserted into the baking cavity and making the whole thing seize up into one gelatinous mess). 

And to conclude, Violins in the Round on Christmas Eve.  Aunt Barbie accompanying.  Lauren, Jane Marie, Reagan (invisible but not inaudible), Denny and Emma on strings.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12 Days of Photos - Day 12

Posted by PicasaChristmas Eve with some of my dear family visiting from out of town (Megan, Jax, Julie and Julia).  Sweaters courtesy of Aunt Julie.   Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

12 Days of Photos - Days 11

Emma's first Christmas home - 2006

Sunday, December 23, 2012

12 Days of Photos - Day 10

Here is one of my favorites from 2004 in London.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

12 Days of Photos - Day 9

 Joe's Dad -- I don't know when.  But it's a cool photo.

Friday, December 21, 2012

12 Days of Photos - Day 8

Well, this is a video from 3 years ago.  But it's worth a replay.  Emma sings with great enthusiasm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12 Days of Photos - Day 6

Emma and me at Snowbird on Mother's Day 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12 Days of Photos - Day 5

Another photo of Baby Mac on his blessing day (could he be any cuter?)

Monday, December 17, 2012

12 Days of Photos - Day 4

My beautiful mom on Halloween 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

12 Days of Photos - Day 3

Four generations at Grandbaby McLain's blessing a couple months ago

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12 Days of Photos - Day 2

Emma streaking across the golf course behind Aunt Susan's house

Friday, December 14, 2012

12 Days of Photos - Day 1

Day after Thanksgiving last month in St. George (Snow Canyon), with four of Joe's siblings (Susan, Mike, Laurie and Boo Boo) and various of their spouses and children

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sew, A Needle Pulling Thread

We got new carpet downstairs recently, which inspired us to fix up the joint a little bit more, so we've been working on our "Media Room," which is now my favorite room in the house. We purchased a video projector, and then Joe painted a screen on the wall using Sherwin Williams ProClassic Smooth Enamel Satin Finish, which we read about online in an article called "Painting the Perfect Screen for $100" (it cost much less than that). Then Joey hooked up some very effective speakers (six of them) that he got from a friend at work, who evidently has more speakers than he needs. Whoa baby, they produce a LOT of noise. On a materialistic roll, and needing a place to sit and watch a show, we bought a couch and loveseat on There is a deep pool of sofas and the like available on the A wide and often humorous variety. But these are clean/one owner, an unassuming khaki green microfiber, and very comfortable to recline upon. And we recline with the best of them, so it's an important consideration. Joe's brother Mike was staying with us for a couple days and he helped Joe carry the love seat downstairs, no problem. The couch was just enough bigger to get firmly wedged, at a jaunty angle, halfway through the door frame on the way down, kind of "hanging" in midair, until one corner punched through the wall going downstairs, leaving a shocking hole. You kinda hope your house is a little sturdier than that; makes one feel vulnerable. By this time, Andy, Kat and Mac had shown up, and Andy helped dislodge the beastly couch from the wall and we got it downstairs. If we ever sell the house, the couch is part of the deal, 'cause we ain't moving it again. (Kat told me to take a picture of the wedged couch and put it on the blog, but I hesitated a moment too long. It really was a spectacle.)

But anyhoo, we have our theatre room now (oh, and we got a red velvet curtain, also on, from a lady named Linda who lives in Draper and just got married and whose husband plays piano -- he had a book of Scriabin sonatas on the baby grand -- and who owns two impressive greyhound dogs they got after they [the dogs] retired from dog racing -- anyway, we bought a red velvet curtain from this lady to hang between the theatre room and the adjoining piano room, since there is no real door in between and you need to, you know, block out the light from the other room if you're watching a movie in the afternoon or something.)

Speaking of watching a movie in the afternoon, one issue we've discovered is that Joe and I (but mostly Joe) want to watch action-packed thrillers that BOOM through the speakers and rock the (apparently fragile) timbers of the house, but this type of movie is inappropriate viewing for the third member of our household, and we can't really crank it up when Em's asleep because the theatre's right under her bedroom. So we've taken to watching little snippets of "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" late in the afternoon when Joe gets home from work and Em's outside playing, and then we hurry and turn it off when Em suddenly pops in right in the middle of some tense cliff-hangery scene. (I must say, that one part where Tom Cruise sprints down the side of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is pretty neat.)

Our investment in the theatre room really paid off tonight when we watched "The Sound of Music" with Emma from beginning to end. Such a nice clear picture and mahhvelous sound! Emma's seen little snippets of it before and can sing "Do-Re-Mi" very nicely, but seeing the whole movie was an important milestone in her cultural education. She's at a good age to start appreciating it. She was extremely interested in the relationship between Liesl and Rolf and wanted to know if they were going to get married, and if not why not, and if not, who would Rolf end up marrying, etc. She was also concerned about The Baroness when it became apparent that she wasn't going to end up with The Captain (who would she marry now?). Speaking of The Baroness, I've always thought it was funny that she gets such massive billing in the credits. You have Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, all the kids, etc., and then it's AND ELEANOR PARKER AS "THE BARONESS." Who the heck is Eleanor Parker? How does she rate? Have you ever seen her in anything besides "Sound of Music?" (Dad can probably recite her entire filmography. Dad?) She must have had a good agent. Anyway, my two favorite comments from Emma were when the Reverend Mother started up with "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and Emma said "....I didn't really know she had a voice," and when I let slip that the Von Trapps were going to escape from Austria without using their car and she said "How will they get hot air balloon?" She loved so many little parts of it and sang along to "Do-Re-Mi" with operatic fervor. I got teary-eyed watching her enjoy it. It's such a glorious movie.

So we like our new theatre room very much and look forward to many more Sunday night movies.

The End.

P.S.: Joe has already repaired the hole in the wall, patching the drywall, sanding it, and painting over the whole thing. Sigh. He is so utterly dreamy to me.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Louis and Shanna's Lucky Day

Today, Friday the 13th, Louis (Joe's first-born) and Shanna were married in the Mt. Timpanogas temple.
It was really a happy day for our family, and Lou and Shanna were all smiles.

Here with the niece and nephews. Note Baby Mac's tie.
Our family: Kat, Mac, Andy, Joe, Shanna, Lou, Missy Em, Denny, and Jane
Jane, Denny, Em
Joe's folks with the bride and groom
Love this photo
Love this one, too, of Joey and Lou

Congratulations newlyweds. We love you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Nephew's Wedding

Blogger has changed the way you create new posts and upload photos and my aging brain is struggling with it all.  I can't figure out how to move photos around in the order I want them.  It's probably easy, but I don't have time to ponder it right now so here is a nonchronological selection of photos from my nephew Russell's wedding to lovely Megan.  They were married in the Columbia River Temple (Tri-Cities, Washington) last Saturday.  Joe, Emma and I drove up, semi-caravaning with my sister Barb, her husband Dennis, and my folks.  Oh, it was fun. 

Megan and Russell, June 9, 2012
My sister Julie's family:  Chris (holding Claire), Julia, Tom, Megan, Russell, Julie, Ben, Jax (holding Avery)
Sisters Barbie-Denny-Julie.  Yumping for Yoy.   We were copying the groom and his posse, who had just yumped for yoy a few minutes before.  I think we did pretty well! (but didn't get as much air as Chris)

My most excellent mother and father
My dad helped decorate the getaway car

Emma in wedding finery
And again, the bride and groom.  They're a great couple.  We're really happy for them!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

McLain Andrew!

Yesterday was an all-banner day with the arrival of our first grandchild! He kept his parents up all night, but it was worth it. We visited last evening and took a few photos.

They wouldn't allow Emma in because of her age, but they allowed Andy to roll Mac out by the doors, and she was allowed to get a closer look.
Here is the proud papa after a 36 hour marathon. We are so blessed to have everybody save and healthy.  Congratulations Kat and Andy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Birthday Cut & Style

Emma turns 7 tomorrow. Took her down to the Great Clips today after school for a shampoo, cut and blow dry so she could go through her day freshly coiffed. Looks like we also could have opted for some aquamarine highlights in her bangs.

Emma shares a birthday with her cousin Julia, our bishop's daughter Becca, her violin teacher's father AND father-in-law, and David Letterman.

It's an off-year for a friend birthday party, so festivities will be low-key. Here's the birthday schedule:

1. Get sung to on the school bus.
2. Play violin at show and tell (I'm meeting her at school at 11:45 with the violin; she will play "Allegro" and "Song of the Wind" from Suzuki Book 1)
3. Distribute Blow Pop suckers to her classmates (Mandarin word for classmate: tongxue)
4. Have hot lunch with Mom in school cafeteria
5. Get picked up by Mom after school (she usually rides the bus, but she wants to hang out with her pals on the curb in front of the school while she waits to be picked up)
6. Open presents as soon as Dad comes home. She has been asking for one million things. I told her it's not like Christmas, yet what can it hurt a girl to ask. She wants a helium balloon kit, a scooter, musical bells, a "rock collection," a telescope, and bubble gum. She will get some of those things.
7. Have dinner at WaterMoon, a great Chinese restaurant down the hill next to Harmons.
8. Come home, have birthday cake.
9. Do ZERO homework.

Here's Missy Em just a few days after we met her in Hubei Province. Wish we could have celebrated her first birthday with her. But we've had lots of fun birthdays together since...and we look forward to so many more. Sure do love her. Sure glad she's our little girl. Happy birthday, sweetheart.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On a Clear Day You Can See...


Joey took this photo from the tippy top of the Church Office Building this morning (click to enlarge; I love the rows of trees in bloom on Temple Square).