Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Felt Monsters

The boys decided to make felt monsters.
In the process, they pulled out every piece of felt that we owned. The results were darling.

The Blue and Gold Banquet was last week for Cub Scouts. International flavors were shared from beans and rice, pot stickers, almond cookies, lasagna. One of the cutest things brought was a rice crispy sushi with gummy fish and fruit roll ups. Underfoot finished a belt loop, his first since we moved. The evening was fun with goofy awards for leaders and many different rank advancements for boys. After cleaning up, I taught a the Citizenship in the Community merit badge for the troop. It made for a Scout filled evening.

I went to a lecture for parents by Lisa Van Gemert who spoke about emotional intelligence and how to cultivate it for children. I enjoyed the lecture very much. She took the points of her lecture from a man named Daniel Goleman. He wrote a book called Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.

Sweetheart gave me a photography class. I attended the first session last week. The class went through a basic history and then shutter speed. The class is 5 weeks long. Sweetheart participated in a Chili Cook Off at work. He took a pot of white chili. He didn't win. We are starting to get to know people in our congregation by having them come to our home for supper. Sweetheart took out my stitches out of my back.

We attended a birthday party for Sweetheart's friend, Brandon.

We brought a checkerboard cake to share.
The cake was really delicious.

One night Hurricane got a really painful ache in his side. He couldn't stand up straight or walk. He tried to get hydrated and threw up on me. That's always a bright spot in a parent's day. Hoping there is no throw in your coming week.

Be Well.

 Hurricane enjoying his robe.

I hung my necklaces.
They are organized and untwisted.
 This is the assembly of the checkerboard cake.

Hurricane and I colored online.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

It's Coming Together.

A local model train club meets every Tuesday. Sweetheart took the boys, and they had a lot of fun. Sweetheart pulled out his Grandpa's train, the one he had as a little boy, to show the boys about how it would work. They were fascinated about the model train coupler.

In the world of Boy Scouting, Sweetheart and Underfoot continue in their perspective troop and pack units. I was asked to be the Assistant Cub Master. (In case your wondering, my training is done.) We will have to wait for Hurricane to join us at the beginning of the summer.

I've also been working with the troop on Citizenship in the Community. The dermatologist punched out the worrisome cells and then gave me 5 stitches. My hope is that Sweetheart will take the stitches. She called yesterday and said that I'm in the clear.

Our ward holds a baptism informational meeting for the 7 year olds in the congregation. Hurricane would like to be baptized and plans are being made for the end of May.

We have hung pictures
and The Proclamation,
had a radon system installed, and with the radon system the basement foundation was sealed with polyurethane.

Our grapevine wreath that we brought has been put into use with a new Valentine-ish wreath.

Be Well.

They wanted to snuggle.

I sang in a quartet. The necklace is from my sister.
It's the first good picture of me in a long time.

Homemade Pecan-Chocolate-Coconut Empanadas

Happy Chinese New Year!

A view of the front door.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Epiphany and Snow

The 3 Kings came on January 6! The boys left out their shoes the night before and wrote the Kings 2 very nice notes.
The instructions were for the Kings to get their own milk out of the refrigerator so the milk won't spoil.
The boys also wrote a very nice note thanking the Kings for coming and asking questions of the Kings.
The next morning the boys woke to a small treat in their shoes. For supper we ate Rosca de Reyes, King's cake.

Our congregation received a new Bishop 2 Sundays ago. The previous Bishop acquired different employment as an accountant in Utah. Lucas was sick that Sunday so Kirk and I attended our meetings, and I texted Lance to let him know about the changes. We are sad to have their family move since the family had 2 boys the same ages as Underfoot and Hurricane.

I went to a dermatologist to have 2 abnormal moles checked out. The moles were removed, and I was told I would hear back in 2 weeks. Four days later I got a call back and will need to have more skin removed because of the abnormal cells. It isn't melanoma.

We applied to have the boys attend a charter school together in December. We have promised the boys that the next school year they will attend together. The chance to be picked for this charter school was low since it is a lottery draw, and there are over 3,200 students on the list. Last Wednesday we were given an offer for admittance at the school. We have accepted and will register them this coming week. They (and all the other students at the school) will start at a new campus with a new school building in August 2017.

Friday was a professional development day for teachers, and Monday was observed for Martin Luther King Day. With our 4 day weekend, we made a list of things to do. We made homemade fries when our friend, Ed, came to visit from Oklahoma. Each of the boys asked me on a date. Underfoot and I went to see a movie. Hurricane and I went on a surprise of my choice. We ate at IHOP, his favorite restaurant. He loves pancakes. March 7 is a free stack of pancakes at IHOP for those that are interested.

The lemons we brought back from Tucson were made into a delicious pie.
I made the pie while Sweetheart changed out the faucet on our sink. The faucet had rusted from the underside of the sink. The dripping began recently. We attempted to fix it when we arrived, but the faucet was no longer being made and didn't have replacement parts. We really like the new one we got - Align One-Handle Pre-Rinse Spring Pulldown Kitchen Faucet.

One item on the list was to play in the snow. There was no snow at the time we made the list, nor was any projected in the forecast. This morning we woke up to several inches of snow. Where we live in Colorado is the high desert plain. We live on the east side of the Rocky Mountains. The famous Colorado snow is dumped on the west side of the Rocky Mountains. When we get snow, the snow accumulates for a day then stay for 24-48 hours. It melts until the next snowfall.
The boys built an igloo in the driveway then built and destroyed another in the backyard.

Be Well.

Shoes and treats ready for the 3 Kings.
They got rolls and apples with milk.

Unbaked Rosca.
It was really yummy with the citrus in the dough.

 A Lego selfie is a constant in my photo stream.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The last 3 weeks have brought a lot of significant highlights.
  • Underfoot's 1st Orchestra Concert
  • Tucson Visit
  • Hurricane's new retainer
  • Glen Allen Hoggan's passing
  • Christmas
  • Locey Family Reunion in St. George, UT
  • GAH's burial and memorial service in Salt Lake City, UT
  • New Year's in Wyoming
  • Return to every day life
Underfoot's Concert
Underfoot's concert was impressive! He dressed himself in his suit and a Santa hat. He practiced more just before the concert so he knew the music.
The Orchestra director has been doing strings for 40+ years. She is so positive and hopes that each one will continue in music. We talked about the music Ted Talk as a family after the concert. Thanks to Aimee for introducing that video to us!

Tucson Hiatus
Sweetheart's new company offered to fly him and his spouse to the Tucson Company Party. We talked about it and thought it would be a great way for our whole family to return to see friends. We bought tickets for the boys and only told the Earls family that we were coming. We didn't even tell the boys.
On the evening of our departure, we told the boys to get their shoes on and took the packed bags to the airport. It wasn't until we were checking in our luggage that the boys learned we were going to Tucson. They did a happy dance.

We arrived at our hotel at 2 am.
Sweetheart went to work in Tucson the next day while the boys and I went to their old school and the new school to see their friends. The reactions were AWESOME! They had friends' mouths drop open. One even said she thought she was hallucinating because she was seeing Underfoot. We learned that children went home to tell their parents that they had seen Underfoot and Hurricane at school The parents responded that the Locey family lives in Colorado now. We even got a few texts asking if we were in town. So much fun!

Sweetheart and I went to the company party, and Underfoot and Hurricane went to the Mount Fagan ward party. They yet again confused people by being there. We had a lot of fun getting to know people at Sweetheart's company. They recognized all the new hires, rehires, retiring, and time based people. There was dancing and a photo booth. We really enjoyed our date.

We spent the weekend seeing friends, and the adults saw Rogue One while the boys saw Moana. Sweetheart got bold and knocked on our old front door.
The new family shared with us oranges, tangerines, and lemons from the trees we planted.
We had such a wonderful time and could put some closure on our rapid exit from Tucson. 

Hurricane's front and bottom teeth touch. The dentist is concerned he will slip in the snow/ice and break his front teeth. Originally we were going to have a pallet expander but an easier option was to have a retainer. Hurricane has been very responsible and has only lost it in our house.

Glen Allen Hoggan
When my Grandpa answered the phone, he would say, "Glen Allen Hoggan here." My Grandpa had a stroke on December 5. He was taken to the hospital and treated by the ER staff and then the ICU staff. He wasn't getting better. In fact, he started to decline more. His children came together and discussed options. The decision was made to move him to hospice care on December 20. On December 23, he passed away. My Grandma LeRae passed away Easter weekend 2008. Grandpa Glen passed away at Christmas. They loved the Savior Jesus Christ, and even though they didn't choose the time of their passings, their deaths are marked by 2 significant events in Jesus Christ's life. He wrote his own obituary which is here.

To celebrate his life, we had 2 of his favorite things - Bubble Up and Ding Dongs. Bubble Up is a precursor to Sprite.

We spend Christmas Eve with Sweetheart's childhood friend's family, the DeMonbrum family. We laughed, played bingo, and the boys were spoiled by Miss Sharon. We had the chance to share our love of Jesus Christ through different faiths.
 The Stable and Shepherds
 The VERY full Inn

 The 3 Kings

The boys were so excited to have the 3 Kings come that they wanted to be in bed by 6:30 pm. Unfortunately for them, they had to help clean up the house and get packed for the Locey family reunion. They FINALLY got to bed at 8:30 pm. Hurricane couldn't go to sleep and stayed up until 11 pm.

The 3 Kings did come with some modest gift, but they were tricky. Instead of putting the gold, frankincense, and myrrh by the tree on the main floor they moved the Jesse Christmas tree upstairs to the loft.
Chocolate Waffles with Hot Sauce
The treasure hunt was on with the boys thinking the Kings had come to their room after exploring the downstairs. We attended church and listened to beautiful music. Bishop Marchant shared a messaged about joy taken from President Russell M. Nelson's talk in October.

After church we put Christmas away. We have been learning about Hanukkah and had latkes for supper. We were reminded how the Maccabees defended their desire to worship God and how we need to share and stand for our witness that we believe in God.

Locey Family Reunion
The reunion was different this year. Sweetheart had invited his siblings and parents to read The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. By Thanksgiving some of them had read it and started a discussion when they were together in Utah. Sweetheart, with some encouragement from his sister Merris, made arrangements for a 90 minute counseling session.
Suffice it to say they came out feeling hope that they could be better siblings, parents, and spouses.

One of the adventures we did was to go to Sugarloaf. Sugarloaf has DIXIE written on it. My great-great Grandfather carved his name in the sandstone when was working on the St. George temple in the 1870s.
We found his name carved in the rock. We were really happy we found it after walking around most the rock.

Sweetheart also wanted to go the Fiesta Fun Center and drive the go-carts. He drove them a lot. We did one round of miniature golf. By an unfortunate swing, I got clipped in the chin. The club swinger felt awful. He was forgiven, and we moved forward. The highlight was doing lazar tag with all the Locey family in attendance.

GAH Burial and Memorial
Colonel Hoggan was buried with military honors. Before his death, he discussed who would receive the flag from his casket. He vacillated on the recipient until he had a brilliant idea to buy 5 additional flags so each of his children would be a recipient. The military honor guard were outstanding. The Colonel who came to give the flags went to each sibling and thanked them for Grandpa's service. One of the honor guard stayed until every family member had left.

Grandpa Glen was a little progressive. He listed all of his grandchildren as pallbearers even the women. By assignment some women carried the casket.

Uncle Sterling conducted at the graveside happenings. He gave the opportunity for anyone to speak. Many shared how Grandpa's positive attitude and tenacity had inspired them.
This cousin led the salute and "Goodbye unto you."
My Grandpa would use the phrase "Goodbye unto you" when you would leave his home then he along with my Grandma LeRae would follow you outside and salute you until you left. We reciprocated with a salute and the farewell bidding of "Goodbye unto you."
We even left a Ding Dong in the vault.

After the cemetery we went to his house to pick treasures. My Grandpa used a green foot locker and called it the treasure box. Every time you went you could pick a treasure. Grandchildren were allowed to pick whatever treasure(s) didn't have a name on it. My Grandpa growing up had 2 pairs of overalls (one for church and one for every day) and a shoe box of treasures. The comment was made repeatedly that he worked so his posterity could pick treasures. Cousins shared memories, and we had fun.

Saturday was the memorial service, and it was magnificent! Grandpa Glen's sisters' families and Grandma LeRae's brothers and their families came. The Hoggan siblings were awed at the people that came to celebrate with them. Uncle Shaun spoke in the words of his mother how much she loved him. Uncle Shaun shared the following attributes: creative, good clean sense of humor, dependable, reliable, hard worker, and thoughtful. He shared the story of the example of Grandpa Frank, Glen's Dad. Grandpa Frank would visit his deceased wife's mother during the depression and secretly put a silver $1 in her cup in the kitchen before they would leave. Grandpa Frank was thoughtful of his mother-in-law, Grandma Pete, when his salary was only $60 per month.

Uncle David shared the he would rather see a sermon than hear one any day. He shared multiple examples of the service given by his Dad and how he hoped to continue to give service.

The grandchildren sang "I Know that My Redeemer Lives." When my Grandpa Glen was a teenager, he sang that hymn in a quartet. He sang the 3rd verse. The other boys sang and then my Grandpa. They were laughing so hard by the end of the 3rd verse that the last boy didn't sing the 4th verse. The grandsons sang the 3rd verse. Those young men were awesome!

My Mom spoke about Hogan's Heroes, a 1965 television series. She said she knew who the real Colonel Hoggan was instead of the television actor, and that Glen Hoggan didn't see himself as a hero. He shared his testimony of the Savior by going about doing service quietly. His life's mantra was "Lives Dedicated to Service."

The stake president shared that he first noticed my Grandpa at the temple was when Grandpa went and thanked the organist for playing such lovely music. The idea was new to this man to thank the "help" at the temple. He witnessed that my Grandpa cared for the individual.
We had such fun associating with Cousins, Aunts, and Uncles. We ate together afterward and shared more memories.

On Friday night, my brother Scott suggested that we go as adults and eat dinner at the best restaurant in SLC together as siblings.
We called our sister, Katie, and shared the day with her. We missed seeing her but know that traveling with a newborn and 2 other children is stressful.
Oyster Love
Jill is not so sure about the oysters.
The best for us Kirkhams is fish, and it was good. Our parents joined us, and we had a wonderful evening! 

New Year's in Wyoming
Part of my treasures necessitated that we rent a u-haul to bring back a trunk and chairs. We learned after an highway patrolman pulled us over that the running lights on the trailer weren't working. He gave us a warning and asked that we drive with our emergency lights on. My Grandpa liked to give away knives, and we had few knives in our treasures. Underfoot gave the officer a knife, and he gave the boys bicycle license plates. We arrived at the hotel and watched the NY ball drop, ate ice cream bites, and drank a little soda to salute the New Year! 

Return to every day life
We have returned to work, school, and home life. We've unpacked, laundered, and made goals. Last night we followed through with our family tradition of New Year's bowling.

It was the nicest bowling alley we've ever been. It opened only 6 days ago so the shoes haven't been broke in yet.

We hope you are well, and your challenges are manageable. We are grateful for the cards we received through the holidays. If you have a chance, drop us a line so we know how you are doing.

Be Well.


 Utah State Capital

 Fresh Donuts for the Locey Family Reunion

Hot Chocolate at Frost in Tucson
 Mint Chocolate Milkshake

Our Jesse Tree - The one the 3 Kings moved.
 Our friends, the Ryans, came from Vegas to visit at the reunion.

 Salt Lake Temple