Monday, September 26, 2011

James' Wedding

My little brother, James, got married this past weekend. He married a beautiful girl named RaTray. We spent most of the weekend in the car since the wedding was in Colorado Springs, but what time we did spend with family in Colorado was lovely. We mistakenly thought it was only a 12 hour drive to Colorado Springs, but it is 18 each way. We found out about 10 days before, but we didn't have enough time to change our plans (such as buy a plane ticket or take more time off work or school), so we were stuck with our fate. That is what we get for not planning more carefully.

We left Friday around 10:30am, drove 12+ hours arriving at a hotel around midnight. We slept til 6am (which was 5am Colorado time), showered, ate breakfast and were back on the road bright and early, arriving in Colorado Springs a little after 11am their time. My parents paid for a wonderful lunch for everyone at Golden Corral. We spent a couple of hours balling melons and cutting fruit for the reception as well as and socializing. Then we headed back to James' house to get dressed for the wedding. The wedding started at 5:30pm.

Below, we are getting everyone's corsages on before the wedding:

James and my mom

What a cute little ring bearer!

The rings

Eric and I

The room before the wedding started

The backdrop
This beautiful backdrop was built by my dad and some of his hired help for my wedding.  He told me that I could design any backdrop that I wanted and he would build it.  One day early in the summer before my wedding, my mom and I were at the Logan Temple and looked at the windows.  They were beautifully shaped and I decided that was how I wanted my backdrop to look.  I drew it on a piece of paper and showed my dad.  He liked it but had no idea how to make an arched backdrop like that.  As it turned out, he had to use many thin pieces of mahogany, bend them into a curve and glue them all together to make the arches.  It was quite the project, but it turned out beautiful!  He had built a backdrop for my older sister, and I think he was planning to make a backdrop for each of my siblings, but after seeing mine, they all just wanted to use that one for their weddings.  Since James is the last to marry, my dad said it was mine and wanted me to take it home with me.  I, of course, didn't have any way to haul or store it at the moment, but I am going to give it some thought because I would love to have it for my kids weddings.

This is the Logan Temple: See the closest window on the bottom and look at the pattern.

Their colors were purple and silver

Guest book
For the guestbook, people just signed and wrote notes in a book that they had made of pictures of them.  It was a neat book and much more personal than an official guest book.

Our girls with cousin, Kadie

My parents just before the wedding

The next two pictures are Tessa and Kadie.  They are the same age and have become such good friends.  Unfortunately they are blurry because I just couldn't get the light right.  Flash was too bright, no flash was too blurry.

James and the man who married them waiting for the rest of the wedding party

Jarem was the first down the aisle

Next was best man: Joel, my brother

Bride and groom
It was kind of funny when the stake president who married them asked them to take each other by the right hand, and neither one could figure out which was their right hand. :)


Jarem providing the rings

Eric talking to my dad after the wedding about the ceremony

More of the bride and groom:

All of my family that was present: we were missing two of my sisters who went to the Burley open house

Bride and groom with my siblings and I


Nieces and nephews

This is (L to R) Jaycee, Brenda, and Matt
Brenda Larson used to be our regular babysitter when we were little.  She babysat all the time.  We called her "Larson" since my sister's name is also Brenda.  We loved her.  She was so much fun and pretty much became part of our family.  These are two or her kids with her.  She actually lives in Colorado Springs and was there for the wedding.  We haven't seen her in years, so that was a lot of fun.

Before the reception was even over, we changed and headed out for a long drive home.  We again were able to stay in a hotel but didn't arrive until 2:30am and slept til around 8:30am.  We didn't arrive home until 11pm Sunday night!  What a trip!  That said though, it was well worth it to spend quality time with my family and be there for this momentous occasion for James.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

In the news

Here's the link to the article that was printed in the leaf chronicle this morning.

Faith, family, fidelity. These words are at the core of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of how they approach outreach to others and of their sacred commitment to family.
Generally known as Mormons, members of the church live out their commitment daily to their biological and church family members.
Clarksville has three Latter-day Saints churches, or wards. There also is a congregation at Fort Campbell. All operate independently and are self-sustaining.
Christie Wall and Llewanne Bass are members of the Ward 3 congregation on U.S. Highway 41A South. They explained how Latter-day Saints took active roles in helping individuals, families and businesses in Clarksville and Middle Tennessee after the May 2010 floods. This same type of effort was demonstrated when large areas of southern and central Kentucky sustained heavy damage from freezing and power outages.
"We have emergency relief plans and procedures that can be activated immediately when disaster strikes," Bass said.
The Mormon philosophy of "let's provide help now" reduces the time spent identifying needs and increases the delivery of assistance. These emergency plans have been put into practice on local, regional, national and international levels.
Local Latter-day Saints participate with Hands On Clarksville in addressing the needs of others. Through their Annual Day of Service program, a specific need is identified with local government officials and community leaders. A team is created, a plan is designed and the need gets addressed. This is done in a spirit of cooperation with others, regardless of faith traditions, race, ethnicity, political affiliations or socioeconomic status.
This past spring, members of the Ward 3 congregation led an effort to help clean up and restore Mount Olive Cemetery. Similar partnerships have been forged with Sango United Methodist Church to provide shoes for children and adults, and with New Springs Thrift Stores to provide stuffed animals for children in Africa.
This same Christian compassion that extends outwardly is strengthened by a commitment to each other within each congregation and individual family.
A particular weekly event that reinforces the importance of family to Latter-day Saints is Family Home Evening. This family get-together traces its roots to 1915, but became designated in 1970 as a weekly event to be maintained by Mormon families. Each Monday evening, the family gathers for song, prayer, a Scripture lesson, a special activity associated with the focus of that evening and the Scripture lesson, and a treat for the kids.
For Eric and Rozanne Bass (no relation to Llewanne Bass), this time with their children reinforces their responsibility as parents and gives the entire family the opportunity to share the light of Christ with one another.
"To me, it is about family unity," said Alex, 15.
There are more practical benefits, too, as the children explained. "It's a time when we calm down from the day," said Jesikah, 13.
"It sets you away from your troubles," said Tess, 10.
Even Jarem, age 5, saw benefits: "I like the singing. I like the treat too."
For the over 2,000 Latter-day Saints living in the Clarksville area, the fabric that binds them to each other and to the community is woven into their Christian faith, their emphasis on family, and their ongoing fidelity of remaining true to Jesus and one
another. It is lived, not just practiced.
Tim Parrish
Freelance writer

Friday, September 23, 2011

Homecoming 2011

Every year, the kids' schools have a Homecoming parade around the 3 school campus. The elementary school kids and middle school kids come out to watch the parade. I was at the school volunteering that day and stayed to watch too. I took these pictures with my phone and then emailed them several at a time and deleted them off my phone. What I learned...some of the last ones attached turned out very small and poor quality. I was very disappointed. :(

This was a giant banner honoring the 2 kids from their high school that recently died in a car accident.

Alex sitting on the sidewalk (3rd from the left) across the street from where the elementary kids were

Tessa with her two good friends Shelby and
This last one was one of those pictures what was very disappointing.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nothing to Do

So lately, I've realized that my children think I have nothing to do at home while they are at school...just an abundance of free time to relax and do whatever I want.

A couple of nights ago when Alex was on dish duty, Alex had the nerve to insist that I should have to do all the dishes since I don't have anything else to do.  Eric sent him to his room and they had about an hour long talk about that.

Then on Tuesday night, we had a reporter come to our house.  This reporter writes an article each week in the "Faith and Values" section of the local newspaper.  He wanted to do an article on our Monday night Family Home Evenings that we do in our church.  He asked Eric, I, and each of the kids several questions. 

At one point he asked Tessa, "Do you think your family home evenings bring you closer to God and your family?" 

Tessa said, "Well it seems like we are so busy everyday that sometimes we don't always remember God, like my dad goes to work and he is busy there, my mom takes care of the kids...well I guess she doesn't anymore...I don't really know what she does...oh I know, my mom blogs...and then we all go to school so it gives us a chance to have a night to think about spiritual things."

Yes, I was less than thrilled that Tessa thinks the only thing that I do is blog and even more thrilled that she shared that with the reporter!  And, I am pretty sure that I still take care of the kids!!  As most of  you know, I only blog usually once every 1-2 weeks so guess I'm not even good at that.  :) 

So after the reporter left, I told Eric, "I can't believe that all the kids seem to think I have all of this free time to do anything I want while they are at school.  Alex thinks I should make myself busy by doing dishes so he won't have to and Tessa thinks all that I do is blog ."  And we had a good laugh.  Alex overheard our conversation and said, "Well mom, I guess we just don't understand what you do, so maybe you should make a video so we can see what you do."   I actually thought this was a good idea because a lot of what I do is "behind the scenes" type stuff that makes the household run smoothly but things they probably would never know or just don't even think about.  So yesterday, I made a video of all the things I did while they were at school.  Maybe we will just watch it for Family Home Evening next week! :)

(By the way, the article is going to be in the Saturday Leaf Chronicle for anyone that is interested).  Hopefully he doesn't include the "blog" part. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Curls and Slim Jims

Jesikah has been very interested in the way her hair looks this year.  She will go to much effort to make sure her hair looks good.  Sometimes she wears it straight and sometimes curly.  She was experimenting with ways to make it curly and found that if I roll her hair in curlers with a curl enhancer then when she wakes up in the morning she looks like this!  This was the second time that she did this, and I thought it turned out pretty cute.  I don't know if I would have thought it was worth sleeping in curlers, but she did! :)

When I was getting out the rice to make dinner tonight, this is what I found: 

These Slim Jims had been completely concealed under the rice.  Then when I went to scoop the rice, I found three.  I must give one of the kids credit for a very clever hiding place.  Someone must have wanted these for later and thought someone else might get to them first.  I hardly blame them, things sometimes disappear very quickly around here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Asheville, NC

In Asheville, we decided to visit Eric and Kyle's old house where their family lived sometime around 1991-1993.  We found it and were excited that it had been well taken care of.  It was a beautiful place.

Then, of couse, we had to visit the famous Biltmore House.  It is a Ch√Ęteauesque-styled mansion near Asheville, North Carolina, built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895. It is the largest privately-owned home in the United States around 175,000 square feet and featuring 250 rooms including 65 fireplaces, 34 bedrooms, an indoor pool, a bowling alley and more.

Filling the rooms are priceless treasures including paintings by some of the world's most highly esteemed artists such as Renoir, Sargent and Whistler. In the salon, a gaming table and chess set, once owned by Napoleon, are displayed and Ming Dynasty goldfish bowls grace the 10,000 volume library. Covering the marble and oak flooring are 50 exquisite Persian and Oriental rugs, while fine 16th-century tapestries adorn the walls.

Still owned by one of Vanderbilt's descendants, it stands today as one of the most prominent remaining examples of the Gilded Age.  It was a bit pricey, so we decided to buy a year membership and we actually saved money.  I think it was worth it.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It is a beautiful home and had a lot of things that were ahead of it's time.  Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any photos inside (although I was SO tempted to sneak a couple). 

It was a very rainy day, so we kept our umbrellas close all day.

Eric, Kyle, Jessica, and Alex walking toward the house.

This picture was taken from the back porch looking toward the back the house

On the back porch
Here are a couple of pictures I found online of the inside:

Banquet Room

2 story library

Since we didn't have a lot of time and it was raining too, we just drove through the gardens.  However, since we have a membership now, we can go back and enjoy them another day.

A gorgeous waterfall

Sunflowers as we were driving through the property.

Before heading back home, we stopped by Five Guys for a delicious lunch!  Our drive home seemed very long due to accidents, traffic and the incessant rain.  Eric was a trooper and drove all the way.  I really appreciated it since I hate driving when it is dark and rainy.  It finally stopped raining about 20 minutes before we got home.  We didn't arrive home until around 9:30 Monday night.