Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Boppa

Love is nothing in tennis, but in life it's everything. ~Author Unknown

Since it was my birthday this week, I've had the opportunity to reflect on my life, and think about those things that are most important to me. At the top of that list is my family. I've been considering the tremendous influence that all my family members have had on my life... particularly those who have helped pave the way for me and my family. This is me and my Boppa (Joseph Randolph, my last living grandparent).
My Boppa is very dear to me. :)

He turned 93 this month! But you certainly wouldn't know it, because he's so full of life, and after all these years, he's still an amazing tennis player. He plays tennis 2-3 times per week and takes Aerobics classes a minimum of 3-4 times a week! According to my dad (who played a game of tennis with Boppa this month... and lost :)), Boppa still has great touch on the ball - his backhand and forehand are very consistent and his drop shots and lobs are dynamite! He is a great role model of living life to the fullest and refusing to let age slow us down!

Boppa helped raise 3 talented and accomplished sons. My own father is the most empathic man I know. And I know he was taught that love and empathy primarily from his parents. My father is also the hardest worker I know, and it was Boppa who instilled that work ethic in him, and taught him the importance of providing for a family. A devoted father and husband, Boppa worked tirelessly at his job to care for his wife and children. He worked as a manager of a Chevron service station. He then worked with C. Kirk Hillman Co. in Seattle for over 30 years as manager of operations and director of sales. He even “worked” through his vacations, taking his family on numerous two week camping vacations throughout the western states. I remember how he always doted on Jamma (my grandmother). He was always trying to please her, and he took such great care of her until the day she passed away, which I'm sure was a great example to his sons of love, selflessness, and devotion in marriage.

Boppa served as Cub Scout Pack Leader and Boy Scout Troop Leader for over 20 years, and helped get his 3 sons, along with about 10 other scouts, to the rank of Eagle Scout. He even lead contingents of scouts to 2 National Jamborees. For his service to scouts, he won the highest award given to adult leaders, the Silver Beaver award.

Besides all of these contributions, he also has many other passions and talents. Regarding his musical gifts, he had the male leading role at Roosevelt High School’s (Seattle, WA) operetta “Irene,” and performed as Captain Tarnitz in the operetta “Student Prince,” (And Jamma was the romantic female lead). And he has always been a Master of Ceremonies, par excellance. He will sing and lead the festivities at the drop of a hat on any occasion, including cruises, parties, and special occasions.

As his granddaughter, I appreciate all he has done for me personally. When we were growing up, my family was very involved in musical theater, and Jamma and Boppa would make every effort to come support us when they could. It always meant so much to me to see them in the audience at our performances. And I can't remember a birthday that has gone by that I haven't received a thoughtful note and a gift from them. We could always count on Jamma and Boppa to remember our special day.

Here are a few pictures of Boppa. As a handsome young man...

And this was my beloved and beautiful Jamma (1916-1996). Oh, how I loved her. She was SO gracious, generous, and warm... but I'll save that for another post.

Boppa and Benny
May 2005

Boppa and Celeste
May 2005

Boppa and Virginia (his sweetheart)

Boppa and Virginia visiting our home in June 2007 when my dad earned his doctoral degree.

Boppa and Benny
Christmas 2006

Thank you Boppa for your exemplary life! We will forever be blessed by the legacy you are leaving for us, our children, and future generations yet to come.
We LOVE you Boppa!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Betty Brinn Museum

It's been really cold here lately (surprise, suprise) and the kids have been cooped up for too long, so I felt they needed a chance to get out of the house today. So we went to this amazing children's museum, and they had the greatest time playing, exploring, and using their imaginations! Here are a few pics from our day out...

At one point today, I had a real scare. I was watching Charity and Jacob, and turned around just for a minute, and Celeste and Benny were gone. I swear, that is the WORST feeling in the world. I started panicking and looking around everywhere, but a few minutes later (it felt like an eternity), they came running back to me. They had gotten really excited about something, and forgot to tell me where they were going. We definitely had a firm talk after that. But it was really sweet though, cause the first thing Benny said was, "Oh, I knew Heavenly Father would help us!" They told me they had huddled together and said a prayer that they would find us.

Sweet Charity painting something for me... (it was a brown and yellow rainbow.) :)
The two little runaways...

Putting on a puppet show! What a ham that girl is!

And there was a stage where they could roll back the curtains, and choose a background, and dress up in costumes. And there were chairs set up for the parents to be the audience. It was interesting to see what they came up with! Benny was a dragon, and Celeste was Joseph and the coat of many colors. haha! Here they are acting...

And then they died. Kind of morbid, I know, but they had a blast!Putting on another puppet show... Jakey never quite figured out how it was supposed to work!

Dancing to the music... (there was this cool screen where they could watch themselves dance.)

I love this piano dance mat! I couldn't help but think of the movie "Big"

Then when we got outside, the kids had to join these statues in saying the pledge of allegiance.
It was too cute.

What a great day! I'm so glad we found a fun family activity to help get us through these
Fuh-REEZING Wisconsin winters!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pregnancy Craving

So last night I was having the biggest craving for chocolate, so I called my hubby and asked him to bring home a little treat for me. Our phone conversation sounded something like this...

"Hi Sweetie, I've just about had it with the kids, are you coming home soon??"

"No, sorry, I just have to finish up a few things. I'll be home pretty late again tonight."

"Aww, ok, :( well, could you maybe pick up a little treat for me on your way home? It's a Russel Stover, MILK chocolate... NOT dark chocolate, strawberry cream heart. I've only been able to find it at Walgreens, it's on the top row of the Valentine's Candy aisle, it's in a red package, and they're two for a dollar. Ok? (Yes, it was a very particular request. This preggo knows what she wants.)

"Um, sure... yeah, ok. See you tonight! Love you!"

So after our conversation, I was counting down the hours till he got home. It was one of those nights, where the kids were bouncing off the walls, and I felt like I was going to lose my mind. But there were two things that kept me going... the thought of a big smooch from my hubby, and that Russel Stover strawberry cream heart. Usually the smooch would be my greatest anticipation, but to be perfectly honest... last night it was all about the chocolate!

So finally, Jon got home and delivered the goods, "Here you go Sweetie!" and handed me this...

"Um thanks Babes, but this is is not it." (Trying to hide my disappointment... I know, I'm so spoiled.)

"Oh really? Darn it! Sorry, but all I heard was Dark Chocolate, and it was the only dark chocolate Russel Stover treat they had."

"You're kidding, right? I asked for, milk chocolate, NOT dark chocolate."

"Oh, sorry... I was kind of preoccupied when you called."

"Ok... hmm, thanks anyway."

A few minutes later, he plops this on the counter...

He totally had me fooled... he had actually bought the entire box for me! Ha ha!

Thank you Mr. Wonderful!!! As he always says, "Happy wife, happy life." :) Love that man!!!!

Daddy's Boy

Jakey is now definitely a Daddy's Boy. I'm usually the fave around here until they turn about 2 years old. And then it's all about Daddy. When Daddy comes home after work, the kids just go crazy... They all scream, "DADDY!!!!!! And they all run and tackle him. And he loves it- he lives for it actually. It's the best part of his day. I think by the end of the day they're probably pretty tired of me, and I need the break too, so it works for everyone!

Clearly, Daddy is more fun than Mommy! But I'm ok with that. They still come to me when they want to snuggle. :)

Kids simply need both a mother and a father to teach, care for, and nuture them. Men and women are given different strengths that naturally complement one another. I love this section of the "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". I know this proclamation was divinely inspired, and that it came at a time when the world was in desperate need of these eternal truths:

"Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ramen Dinner

My kids have been getting some pretty pathetic dinners lately. Jon has been working really late hours, and when he doesn't come home for dinner, I just don't put as much effort into meals for some reason. I think it's because he REALLY appreciates my cooking (like once he literally fell off his chair when he tasted my lasagna... just to make me feel good I'm sure. ha ha! He's just like Bob from "What about Bob?" If anyone knows what I'm talking about). So I guess I feel more motivated to make special dinners for him.

But the kids don't really care much. They just want to hurry through dinner... whatever it is, so they can play a little before bedtime. So last night I hit rock bottom and made ramen noodles for dinner. (Hey, at least it was the low sodium kind, and I mixed frozen veggies in it!)
So I need to find some really easy kid-friendly meals to make on nights like these. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Candy Bar Cards

Here is a fun gift idea...

I've probably made about 35 of these over the last couple years. I made them for the young women in Ohio, and they were such a hit, our presidency decided to make them for the girls here too. It's so fun!! (It's especially fun when there are leftovers. ;)) I love trying to think of the strengths of each girl, and to help each girl get to shine on her special day.

Here is a post with more candy bar card ideas. Enjoy!

Love Note

I found this little note in Celeste's backpack today. It was really cute, but c'mon! She's in 1st grade!! I thought we wouldn't have to worry about this kind of thing for at least a few years.
She has a crush on a different boy in her class though. (Poor Nick!) This is a drawing she made later today...

Apparently, this is Celeste and Cameron after they get married. (At least they'll live in different houses? ha ha!) I don't get it, when I was her age, boys had cooties!

Needless to say, Daddy was not pleased with any of this.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wild and Crazy!

So this is what happens when you allow a 6 year-old to take possession of the camera for a few minutes...
She requested that we all make a silly face and this is what she got:

Whoa. Never a dull moment around here that's for sure. I just hope this new baby (BOY!!!!) knows what he's getting himself into by joining this wild and crazy bunch! Ha ha!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jakey's 2nd Birthday

Can our little baby boy be 2 already?! I can't believe it. Here he was at 2 months. Ha ha! These pictures crack me up!

And here he was yesterday. He woke up to presents on his bed (some toy cars and trucks, and puzzles), and he had lots of helpers waiting to help him unwrap. (Yes, that's Christmas wrapping paper... we're kind of cheap like that.)

Then Nana and Papa sent a bunch of balloons and a stuffed monkey! Thanks guys! As you can see, he was thrilled!

And after dinner, we had a little family party. We danced, played London bridges, duck duck goose, and then had cake. It was so much fun just to have a simple little celebration together!

Dancing with Daddy

Love my boys!
More dancing...
London Bridges... sort of.

And then we had cake and ice cream. I took this picture right as Jakey was licking his lips, and little Charity was going in to sneak some of his frosting... that did not go over well!

And the funniest thing... the kids really wanted to give him something, so they chose "presents" (junk from around the house) to give to him. They spent half the afternoon finding and wrapping presents for him. And surprisingly he LOVED them! It was so funny! I think he was just happy to have presents to open.

A pen! Yay!

A washcloth... ha ha! He acted like it was the greatest gift ever!!

And a book we already owned.
This kid makes me smile and laugh every day and he is such a blessing to our family. There is so much personality crammed in that little body... I just LOVE him so much! Happy Birthday my little Jakey-buddy!


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