Sunday, June 7, 2009

Getting caught up

Wow, last post was about Christmas, and now here it is June. It would be easy to say that nothing much had happened since the last post, and that was the reason I hadn't written in a while, but that wouldn't be the truth. I just got busy and out of the habit.

Memorial Day weekend was great! We traveled up to Salt Lake to go camping at Strawberry Reservoir with the kids. We hadn't camped at Strawberry in over 25 years since we lost the lease on our fishing cabin. This trip was memorable. The weather was cold, wet and unpredictable, the fishing was slow, but the company was terrific!

As usual Jessy caught the first and best fish.

Aly and Spencer came next:

Jami got baby sitting/dog duty while we were busy fishing.

Will is such a fun little boy! He enjoyed his camping trip, but then again camping runs in our family, and he doesn't have much of a choice.

At the end of the trip we stopped at the cemetary to visit our mom's graves, and then we had a nice family barbeque at Julie and Craig's house.

Jami just can't get enough of Will!

We are so glad that Will is going to grow up with so much extended family so close. If Jami and I can't always be there, at least we know they are surrounded by people who love them.

Jessy is doing really well and we were so glad to have her away from school for the weekend.

It is so much fun spending time with extended family.

Being a grandpa is really great!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Season Catch-up

We hope you had a great Christmas! We sure did!

Here is our family Christmas photo. The warmth of family more than makes up for the cold of the night.

What a great night we spent looking at the lights on Temple Square.

There aren't too many places more beautiful than Temple Square at Christmas time!

It really helps you remember what Christmas is all about!

We were so happy and blessed to have dad doing well this Christmas. He overcame pneumonia just a couple of weeks ago, so we felt very blessed!

Here is our 4 generations picture!

There is nothing quite as special as the love of a daughter and her dad.

Without question the best part of the week was having Jessica with us for 6 days! She is doing great!!!

One of our fun activities during the Christmas break was a day in the snow. It was great until it got cut short by a minor injury to Spencer's wrist.

It was a near perfect day to be out in the snow.

Jessica got her braces off in December, and is really enjoying smiling again!!!

Before going away to school, Jessy didn't know how to crochet, but just look at Jami showing off her new blanket that was lovingly hand made by Jessica!

Grandpa loves spending time with Will!

Even Max got treated at Christmas. Luke, Lynne & Tony's son kept going to the dog food bag and giving Max everything he wanted. Luke sure knew how to make Max his fast friend!

Jami's Christmas trip to Utah started a few days earlier than mine this year. She went up to be part of the wedding of one of her "Walkie Talkie" friends sons. It gave her the chance to spend a few extra days with Aly, Spence and Will.

Here is Jami with (left to right) Susan, Gaye and Tawnie. Other than the white knuckle drive to Salt Lake which included heavy snowfall through much of California all the way to Las Vegas, and then clear weather to Salt Lake, Jami had a great time with her friends!

We had a great evening caroling with Joyce, the Rays, Villanuevas, and Nelsons. Joyce said it was the first time in many years that she had been out caroling.

Spencer, Aly and Will came to California early in December so that Aly could participate in her families annual "Tamale Day". They spent a couple of days in Bakersfield with us, which gave us some quality time with our new grandson Will.

Will is such a happy baby!

We enjoyed a nice evening at the Creche festival. It was great to see all the different nativity scenes, and to spend the evening with our kids.

Our Christmas celebration included a fun get together with Jami's walking group the "Walkie Talkie's".

We enjoyed a great dinner, and even better friendship! What a great group!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

We spent the Thanksgiving weekend in Salt Lake City.
Our trip to Salt Lake came with 4 main objectives.
1. Build a fence at the house for Spence and Aly's dog Roxy.
2. Spend some quality time with Jessica, Spencer, Aly and Will.
3. Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with the family.
4. Go to a Jazz game.
Jami drove up to Salt Lake a few days early to take some things to Spencer and Aly, and I flew up on Thanksgiving morning early.

We were really happy that dad felt up to attending dinner, as he had not been feeling too well earlier in the week.

It was really great to have lots of Jami's family around!

When you plan for dinner for 40 you had better have a big place to hold everyone, so we were glad that Lorie could arrange for us to use her church building for the afternoon.

Spencer and Aly spent the afternoon up at her brother's house in Roy, and Jessica couldn't get away from school this year so we were still missing our family for Thanksgiving dinner. Jami and I did get to go down to Provo early afternoon on Thanksgiving to see Jessica and spend a few hours with her which was the highlight of our day!!!!

Since I didn't get the chance to cook anything, I got to keep with my holiday tradition and do the dishes. By the end of the day, I was ready for bed!!!

On Friday afternoon Jami, Spencer, Aly, Will and I drove down to Provo to spend the evening with Jessica. It was so much fun to all be together as a family again! We laughed, talked and had dinner together before taking our anual family Christmas picture together.

Jesssica loves spending time with her nephew. I get the feeling she is going to spoil him for many years to come! Since I don't get the chance to be with him very much either, I took the opportunity to hold him for a while myself.

On Saturday we continued to work on the fence, and Jessica got the chance to leave school for a few hours to spend some free time with the family. We went up to Salt Lake where we were able to have lunch together, get to the store to buy her some necessities, and let her get the chance to see her grandpa before going back to Provo.

On Saturday night we took Will to his first Jazz game. It was really noisy, and he didn't like that too much, but thanks to Jami's sister Lynne, we got invited to watch the second half of the game from the Huntsman luxury box.

Will was very happy, even though the Jazz didn't play very well, and ended up loosing to New Jersey.

By the way, the fence got finished! Jami and I did a pretty good job if we do say so ourselves!!!! The trip home on Sunday was a marathon, as we left Salt Lake at 6:30 am, and didn't arrive in Bakersfield until shortly after 9:00 pm. We stopped for sacrament meeting in Mesquite Nevada, and made great time until we hit Las Vegas, and then our normal 4 hour drive turned into an 8 1/2 hour trip home. We loved the trip, hated the drive.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Joyce Schasteen

Over the past 2 weeks we have been busy moving in our new house guest. Joyce Schasteen, my only relative in Bakersfield has moved into our house, and we are so glad to have her here! We affectionately call Joyce our aunt, but in reality, her grandfather Thomas Henry Wilson Jr., is is my great great grandfather.

Her dog Bobby is Max's new playmate. They have been pretty much inseparable since his arrival. They love to play tug-o-war in the backyard. I don't think that Max will ever loose, because he has about 60 pounds on Bobby, but don't tell Bobby he can't win!

Jami is substitute teaching in the Bakersfield City and Standard School Districts this year. She is teaching Kindergarten through 6th grade and really enjoys it. She passed the C-Best test this summer after Jessi went away to school. Jami travels to Utah every month in hopes of spending some time with Jess. The money she earns through teaching comes in handy for her travel expenses. We enjoy going to the gym in the early mornings together for a spin cycling class. Jami also enjoys attending a step class while I run the treadmill. On Friday, Jami had the opportunity to attend the Fresno temple with her friend, Crystal and had a great time. On Saturdays we enjoy our weekly 5 mile trek through the foothills with Max.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jami's Trip to Utah for Halloween

Jami made her monthly visit to Utah this week to see Jessica, and to spend some time with the rest of the family.

Jami loves being "Gran", and getting to spend time with Will. She got to baby sit while Aly went on the show KSL Studio 5 to collect the grand prize in the Pier 49 Pizza recipe contest for her Teriyaki Chicken Pizza! Be sure to check out or Spencer and Aly's blog to find her recipe. Way to go Aly!!!

Jessica is doing very well at school, and was allowed to spend some time off campus with Spencer, Aly, and Will!

One of Jessica's highlights for the week was when her "Papa" came to visit her at her school and take a tour and then go out to dinner at Chuck-a-Rama in Provo.

Halloween marked the one year anniversary of when Jami's mother embarked on her mission in heaven. Some of the family members were able to go to the cemetery to pay tribute to her with flowers and black and orange balloons. Mom loved to celebrate the holidays, Halloween being one of her favorites. Afterwards, Jami went to the Jordan River Temple with her Dad, 4 of her sisters, and brother-in-law. It was a wonderful experience for them and a great way to remember Mom! That evening was spent at Dad's favorite restaurant...Chuck A Rama! We miss you Mom!