Sunday, November 21, 2010

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving comes every year but not every year do grandkids come to help you get ready for Thanksgiving. This is not our "Thanksgiving" year which means, this year we are not expecting a lot of family to come home. Instead, this is our "Christmas" year so whomever can come for Christmas will come then. But, this year we enjoyed a special surprise of a "Getting Ready for Thanksgiving" visit from Mark and Laura.

They were in Salt Lake for some meetings for Mark, so they drove up to IF to visit us after his meetings. They came on Friday night and left this morning. I know, way too short of a visit, but oh, so fun!!

Saturday morning Mark and Jace joined Alisha and I for a shopping trip to SAM's. We had more fun seeing all the Christmas things out. This was especially fun for me because I rarely see the inside of a store other than WalMart. We tried out all the sample booths (we even "tried out" the same booth a couple of times) and we stopped to play with all the cool Christmas toys on the shelves. (We even bought a few - but don't tell anyone. It's a surprise!)
When we got home Jace helped Alisha and I make pumpkin pies.
He made a little one for himself to take back to Granma Jeanne's and share. He was an awesome helper and stayed with us till we were all done.
While I made dinner, Jace practiced being Uncle Will and running races. He ran around from the living room into the kitchen and back to the living room (a complete circle) 104 times. Will, you may have some competition with this one.

After dinner, we cut one of the pies and Anabelle ate all of it!!
After dinner I got the special treat of keeping the kids for a while so the others could go to the show. Jace slept through it all but Anabelle and I enjoyed each other's company for a little while before she went to bed, too.
They left this morning and I was sad to see them go, but I sure enjoyed the time we had with them. Now, I can go on and enjoy Thanksgiving with all big kids, including Dan!!!
And then, as if to add the perfect ending to the perfect weekend, Sister Reilly came over with the floral arrangement from Stake Conference as a gift for me. Who would have ever thought? I especially love the orange roses because they remind me of Gracie. Now we even have the center piece for our Thanksgiving table.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sitani Turns 5 - "Let's Go!"

Last Sunday Dan and I were getting ready to go to Church. Dan was dressed, I was not yet but my clothes were laid out on my bed and I was "getting there". Kristi called and we talked for a bit and she mentioned that they were going to Church and then to the park for Sitani's birthday party. My heart felt sad. We were in Idaho and they were having a birthday party. After hanging up the phone I told Dan what they were doing and he said, "Do you want to go?" I said, "Of course, but you're all ready for Church and I'm just about ready." He said, "Well, I can change clothes. Do you want to go?" I smiled and said, "Oh, yes, I want to go!" So Dan changed clothes and I got dressed in Levi's and we were off in a flash.
Here are some pictures

It wasn't even all that late when we got home. I wish we could just "Let's Go!" to all the Grandkids birthday parties, but we'll be thankful we could go this time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Fabulous Find - A Fun Story to Tell

As most of you know, I was born in Pocatello while my Father was going to school at ISU. He transferred to the University of Utah (SLC) to finish his Electrical Engineering degree and then we moved to Southern California where he took a job with Hughes Aircraft. Most of my growing up years were spent in Manhattan Beach, CA. where I finished HS and 2 years at a Jr. College (It was very inexpensive.) Afterwards I met and married Dan L Thomas and after serving in the Army for two years, we moved back to Idaho - Thomas, Idaho to be exact. There we built a home and farmed the Thomas family farm for 13 years. In 1990 we moved to Oregon for 10 years where Dan was a School Superintendent and I began my SLP career. In 2001 I moved back to Idaho Falls, ID. with several of the younger children and took a job with the Rigby, ID. School District, just a few miles north of our home in Idaho Falls. Dan joined us within a year and we have been here ever since.

As I was job searching for our return to Idaho, I was offered several jobs but choose to work for the Rigby SD mostly because of the good people I had met there and because Rigby was closer to Idaho Falls where Dan could continue to enjoy doing Temple work.
I enjoy working in Rigby and as I've traveled around the district I have discovered some wonderful finds. Soon after beginning with the district I realized that I was driving right past the house that my Father had spent most of his youth in right there in Lewisville. In fact, I often recalled the time he took our family there for a family reunion. We even took a family picture in the front yard of the house.
Dan and I were living in Thomas at the time but I can still remember driving down the roads of Rigby as Dad told us about different places he remembered from his childhood. It is so fun to be driving right by some of those places again.
We only had a couple of years back in Idaho before Dad passed away but during that time I would ask him questions about his youth and he would tell me stories of things that happened in Lewisville/Rigby. He went to school at the Rigby HS which is on the same location as the Rigby JH is now. It is not the same building but the old HS was bulldozed and the new JH was built on site. (I work in that building one day a week.) He told me other stories but I won't share them all here. However, I will say that driving around Rigby with stories of my dad in my head was/is a very fun experience. Grandma Veva Daw Harmon even worked as a Pharmacist at the Rigby Drug Store. She had been trained as a Pharmacist as a young woman before she met and married Sam Harmon. They lived in Lewisville after getting married and raised their family on the farm. So, now as I go to work at my second job, a Pharmacutical Technecian, I think of her.
After serving in the Navy, Dad returned to Idaho and began school in Pocatello where he met and married Mom. Dad build a cinder block home for them on South 5th Street and when they left for Salt Lake City, Grandpa and Grandma moved into that home. (Oh, the fun memories I have of spending time with them in the summers there.) Grandpa had sold the farm and was working for the Railroad by then. Later, Grandma moved to Overton, Nevada to help her daughter Marilyn and family. Grandpa stayed in Idaho but after he passed away he was buried close to Grandma in Overton. Grandma was later buried next to him.
Anyway, on to the fabulous find.
A couple years ago a friend from Rigby gave me a book to look through. It was on the history of Rigby and he thought I might enjoy reading some of it since I'd told him a little about my Father's history. I guess it should have been a "no-brainer" but I was surprised and pleased to find out that my Dad's Grandparents were also residences of Rigby. (I think I can sort of remember Dad talking about them, but at the time I didn't really let it register up stairs.) Anyway, the book mentioned Allen Ithmar Harmon and Emma Henderson having lived and died there. Although the Rigby Cemetery is not on my "everyday" drive, it is not far from town and occassionally I would drive out to see it. I had hopes of finding their grave sites someday. Although it isn't a huge cemetery it was too big to look through on one lunch break, so I took it a little at a time. In fact, one Saturday Dan and I were out on a little road trip and we stopped by the cemetery to take another look. I even called Aunt Lorraine for help in locating their tomestones. She gave me the best directions she could but I didn't find them. I was a little depressed because winter was coming on and I was afraid I wouldn't find them before the snow fell. Each day the weather report predicted cold and snow but so far each day has been gloriously warm and beautiful. I went out to the cemetery again last week and walked the same section as I had walked before but still couldn't find any Harmons. Just before leaving I decided to walk just a tiny section of another area and there you have it. I found Allen and Emma's site, their son Walter and his wife, Mary and a smaller stone for Fred. I was so excited to finally find where my Great-Grandparents lay. I feel especially blessed! Obviously, the next day I brought my camera to school and took pictures.

Because we have been blessed with an extremely beautiful, warm (50*-60* degree weather)fall, I was able to continue my search. That was on Friday. On Monday we had a blizzard and it has been white and cold ever since.

And there you go - A Fabulous Find and A Fun Story to Tell.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Our Red-Leaf Maple

A few years back we planted a Red-Leaf Maple in the front yard because that was the tree Dan wanted there. It was for his birthday and he got to pick his own tree. I was especially glad that he picked the Red-Leaf because I LOVE it in the fall. And since it's fall - I LOVE it.

I took several pictures of it as it slowly changed it's leaves from green to red and I loved watching it glitter in the sun light.

Yesterday I spent some time cleaning up the front yard flower beds. Here are before and after pictures.

From the after pictures it doesn't look like I did much work, but I did. I'm sure there will be more to do when all the leaves have fallen. I'm thinking of using them for ground cover on the flower beds this winter. I may regret it in the spring but we'll see. Until then we'll enjoy the colors.
While I was working I kept getting softly hit by falling leaves and I remembered when we lived in Drain. I used to love to walk down past the pool, through the trees and over the bridge to the library. I would swear I'd never seen such BIG leaves as were there in the fall. So, I would pick up one or two and wish I could send them to someone I loved so they could see the beautiful leaves, too. Yesterday, I actually relived that experience and picked up a few leaves to send to my grandchildren. I even put them aside and while putting away my tools I tried to think of a way to send them so they wouldn't get smashed to pieces. But when I got back to them, there were only two leaves left on the chair. They probably wouldn't make it in the mail, anyway. So,grandchildren - that's you;
Karly, Spence, Noah, Preston, Taylor, Sitani, Marley, Elijah, Mika, Ember, Maren, Jace, Anabelle, and Gwenevere ~ This one's for you!! I LOVE YOU!!! Grandma