January 29, 2013

Reminiscing Just A Bit. . .

Here it is, after midnight, and I'm still sorting through a few stacks of papers so I can leave the house a bit more organized than it might have been when I head up north for several days.  Christmas cards, letters, and pictures to be put in our Christmas scrapbooks...taking it with me; letters I need to write (also in the bag, now); and all kinds of odds and ends that I have put in a pile to "deal with later" -- but later is now, and it's LATE!

And then I came across several pages of stories I had written...why weren't these in one of the notebooks of stories??  Why were they just in a stack of papers?  Who isn't more organized than this?  Sheesh!!  Better do something about it.  And then I started to read.  Oh my goodness, THIS is why we should write things down.  We forget some very tender things.  And sometimes we remember all the BAD things we did as parents, and forget that we occasionally did something good.  Since I got to email Dallin this morning, I've been thinking about him a bit more today, so I loved coming across this story in particular.  Maybe some of you kids will remember it, too.


Every spring and summer we work hard to get as many blackberries off the vines as possible.  Some years are better than others, even for the growers up north.  This particular year was very good for us and the growers.  We had bag upon bag of frozen strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cherries in our freezer down in the basement.  The convenience of having the frozen fruit available at a moments notice was enjoyed by all, but especially me.  Pies and jams were a common sight and quickly made ready when we desired something more special than apricot or peach. 
One day I went downstairs to get something out of the freezer, but long before I got to the storage room door, I noticed the loud blaring of the freezer alarm.  It would go off if the freezer had been left open and the temperature was dropping.  I only had a moment to worry before I had walked through the storage room to the freezer.  The door was standing wide open and EVERYTHING in the freezer was defrosted or nearly defrosted.  I was sick!  I clamped my hand over my mouth to keep from screaming.  Who could have left this open and RUINED all of our food like this?!!
Suddenly, I remembered asking Dallin, who was four years old at the time, to go downstairs and get some bread out the day before.  Apparently he didn’t shut the door and none of the other kids heard the alarm going off.  I didn’t want to be rude to Dallin, but at the same time I was so upset about the loss of all that fruit.  I went upstairs and asked Dallin to come downstairs with me.  When we were standing in front of the oozing mess, I asked Dallin if he had left the door open.  He looked up at me with wide eyes and slowly nodded his head, “Yes.”  In that same instant I had an idea.  I said, “Since you forgot to shut the door, all of the fruit is going to be ruined...unless we do something with it really quick.  Help me put all the fruit into these buckets and take them upstairs.”
Without dripping too much sticky juice on the carpet, we got the freezer cleaned out and took the buckets of fruit upstairs.  Dallin wanted to know if we were going to throw away all of the melted fruit.   I said, “If we did that it would all be wasted and we wouldn’t remember this wonderful experience.  No, we’re going to make JAM out of it.”  So for the next couple of hours, Dallin and I mixed all the fruit together, added tons of sugar and Sure-Jell, then cooked and stirred the concoction until it started to thicken.  As we poured it into all the plastic tubs we could find, Dallin wanted to know what kind of jam we had just made.  I was a bit puzzled because it was such a combination of all the fruits that had been defrosted.  After thinking for a moment, I came up with the perfect name.  I said, “THIS is DALLIN-BERRY JAM!”  He was pleased to know that he had such a great tasting jam named after him. 
Now, whenever we make jam that is a combination of fruit, it doesn't matter what fruit is used.  We call it “Dallin-berry Jam.”

January 21, 2013

Sunday Night with the Fam!

First, can I just say I wish you ALL were here, but since that doesn't happen very often, Dad and I enjoy whomever we can get, when we can get them!!  (If you want to come join the fun, we'd be thrilled to have you!!)

So, Nat came down this weekend, but got in later Sunday afternoon/evening...and there aren't many pics of her...but she got some of Oakley!!

Anyway, we had a nice ham and baked potato dinner with Mil and Hans (and Dezmond), and Nat and RJ got leftovers.   While we were getting things ready, Dezmond discovered (with a little help...) GRANDMA's DRAWER!!  He loved it!
(1. "Look what I found!!"   2. Parents are learning to "spy" already!!  3. If Dezmond only knew!  4. Who knew a gingerbread cookie cutter would make a good teething ring!  5.  Drat!  Time to put things away!

Some Sunday dinners are more cozy than others...but always good food and good company!!

And after dinner includes laying on the floor (Dezmond and Grandma), and someone playing the piano (D'melia!!), and somebody snoozing by the fire (OAKLEY!!!)

And, of course, Nat and I went riding on Monday!!

January 12, 2013

Dad's 57th Birthday. . .

It's funny how things can change...and still be really good!  I think that's so important, because I can pretty much guarantee that THINGS WILL CHANGE in each of our lives!  So why not enjoy it!

Today was no exception.  The only problem is that I need to do better at planning ahead!  With no kids around, I have to do everything MYSELF!!  I realized I hadn't thought about the window...hadn't planned the treasure hunt, barely thought about breakfast, and Dad and I were headed to bed Friday night.  As I was falling asleep I told myself, "You WILL get up at 5:00 and get everything done!"  Sure enough, I awoke at 5:01 a.m., quietly crawled out of bed, shut our door, and proceeded to FLY, getting everything done.

The first problem arose when it was so cold outside that the water I sprayed onto the window to clean the paint off from the previous day's quote, FROZE on the window.  It was terrible!  There I was, in my pj's, with a heavy coat on, slippers on my feet, trying to scrape ice and paint off the window in 16 degree darkness!  Eventually I got it done well enough, and managed to paint the window in an acceptable manner. (After Rod had seen the window later in the morning, I added an "addendum" for the passing motorists that said, "HONK" to wish him H.B.!.  Rod wondered why so many people were honking their horns!)

Next, I got the Treasure Hunt roughly figured out.  I planted the first clue under the dining table chair, like we usually do, then made up several other clues that would take us around town.  I hadn't planned ahead and "planted" the clues at the various places, so I just typed different notes on my phone, which would give him the new clue.  Then I remembered the wrapped presents were still hidden in the sewing closet!  Better stick them in the trunk of the car...but WAIT, if we open the trunk when we're out and about, he'll see the presents...quick, put them in the OTHER car's trunk!!  All while still in my pj's!!

Printed out the cute picture Elder Hunt had sent through Dropbox, and had the video ready, too.

We had a delicious breakfast of fried eggs, hash browns, (can you believe I forgot to cook the bacon!!), toast and hot chocolate.  DELICIOUS!!

When I did the "tradition, tradition" dance, Dad was a little surprised, but enjoyed reading the first clue. It told him to look on my phone for the next clue... which then told him that at 11:00 he was to "get in the car, and we wouldn't go too far..."

That gave me just enough time to get Dad's favorite birthday cake made...yep, German Chocolate cake with homemade icing!!

With the help of some of the kids' birthday phone calls, we remembered there were cards to open!!  Home Depot and Barnes and Noble will be fun places to pick something out!

At the appointed time we got in the car...and went to Wal-mart!!  (I needed to return something, so of course a clue was hidden on the back of the thing being returned...Dad was kind of surprised when the clerk wondered what was taped on the package!  When I told her it was part of a birthday treasure hunt, she was surprised and asked how long we had been married.  We thought for a minute and said, "Oh yeah...33 years!"  She said she hoped she found a "keeper" like Dad.  I hope she does, too!!

We managed to get all the things we needed and headed out of the store, just in time for another clue on the phone...

"Wait, I think I have to go back to the OTHER clue..."
"Huh??  Where is the clue?"
"Here. . . I'll show you..."

So we got that done, AND put our purchases in the trunk...  The next clue led us to Home Depot, and another to Deseret Book and the bowling alley...

...BUT we had to change just a bit because the movie we wanted to see was playing earlier than I had expected, so we took a raincheck on the bowling, and went to see LINCOLN, and really enjoyed it!

On the way home, we stopped at Lins  to pick up flat iron steaks for Rod's birthday dinner.  When we unloaded everything, I reminded Dad to finish his treasure hunt...so he looked at the clue again, and didn't quite get it.  It had said, "Look in the trunk, it might take a few..."  Gradually he thought it through, then got the other car keys...but he didn't guess right...so had to go back and get the THIRD set of car keys...and that did the trick!

"There's nothing here..."
"No really...there isn't!"
"You mean I have to check another?"
"Ohhhhh. . . "

"Here they are!!"

 Around 6:00 p.m. Amelia, Hans and Dezmond, came over, along with Gary and MaryAnn Zabriskie, to help celebrate Rod's special day.  Dinner was delicious!  We never get tired of the flat iron steaks, along with baked red potatoes, salad and french bread.

Dezmond loved Grandpa's birthday, too!!

And we managed to save some room for the really, really good German Chocolate cake!!

GREAT day of celebrating and having fun together!!

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

December 28th was Rod's and my 33rd wedding anniversary.  We went out to eat at Paula's, and took our "Predictions" notebook with us.  We've been doing this since 1988 . . .another Hunt tradition that is 24 years old!!  We write down "predictions" for the upcoming year, then go over them the following year and see what we guessed, and what we missed by a long shot!!

Last year, Rod wrote a closing sentence after all of our predictions:  "It should be a pretty calm year."
I don't think we'll ever write that again!!

It sure has been fun having the kids come down from up north...or from across town!!  We love having them here and sharing so many fun times!!  Rod and Amelia...and Brandon...put together the new 1000 piece Christmas puzzle.  Brandon and Nikki made Brandon's FAMOUS biscuits for dinner one day...RJ sat patiently recuperating from his shoulder surgery as "the girls" collaborated on wedding ideas...Rod played Mr. Chef, and Hans shared his sweet Dezmond boy with us!!

Nikki loved the new, larger rocking horse she got from Christmas this year, and brought it down with her to show Grandpa and Grandma.  And then she decided it was time to give her cousin "riding lessons!"  They both did a great job!!

Nikki is always a riot to be around, and Dezmond brings lots of "inner peace" when Grandma rocks him to sleep.  But he loves to laugh and smile with everyone too!  Pretty soon he'll be going down to the horses to help feed them with Nikki!!

On New Year's Eve day, Nikki went with her Grandma Trice and some friends of Grandma's for a horseback ride, even though it was cold.  Of course, Nikki loved it!!  Her favorite horse is Silverado; her favorite phrase:  "Go faster, Grandma!  Go faster!!  YEEHAW!!"  When we were moving at a lope (slow gallop), Nikki excitedly said, "Grandma!!  We are SKIPPING on the horse!!"  What a riot!!  And of course,  "I can climb the rocks myself, Grandma!"  And she could...most of the time!!  FUN DAY!!

New Year's Eve night we invited Gary and MaryAnn Zabriskie over (Millie & Hans, and Brandon and Tannya were also there), and we had a steak dinner of flat-iron steaks, baked red potatoes, steamed veggies, and salad.  Later we had really good banana splits!!  We had some helicopter pilots practicing in the front room, and although Dezmond and Nikki were a little worried at first, the pilots got good, and the kids enjoyed watching!

When the hour of midnight finally arrived, we were a bit surprised to see that Nikki had managed to stay awake!  She LOVED chasing her daddy up and down the street while banging her pan and lid!!  And of course we celebrated with some sparkling cider and our FANCY glasses...including the pedestaled "red solo cup!"

Kristy had gone back on Saturday, and Nat returned on Sunday.  Brandon and Tannya (and Nikki) left on Tuesday morning.  We really enjoyed all the time we got to spend together!!  THANKS FOR COMING, EVERYONE!!