Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My newest nephew

I am so far behind on this blog, but I have been thinking about this post for a long time now.  My youngest brother and his wife recently adopted this sweet boy: 

(Isn't he a darling?)
 They brought him home from the hospital as a newborn and finalized the adoption in April. 
I keep thinking of the boy's birth mother, what a tough decision this was for her.  How would it be to let that child of your body go to someone else, even if you knew it was for the best?  To trust the care of your baby to virtual strangers?  I don't know if I could do it.  But she did.  Because she loved him.  And now my brother and his family love him.  And his new cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents all love him.  And we're all grateful for her sacrifice so J could be a part of our family.
(They were able to seal J at the DC Temple last month.  We were so happy to be there for it!)

Monday, June 16, 2014


This plant makes me happy:

I almost ripped this peony out a few years ago because it kept getting powdery mildew and wasn't blooming, but I sprayed and pruned and fought it until I think I've figured out how to keep it healthy.  Now, the blooms are huge and gorgeous every spring.  It always amazes me that I can cut it down to nothing and every spring, it grows like crazy again. I might plant another one, they're so lovely.

For Memorial Day, I tried making these patriotic parfaits.  They weren't quite what I envisioned, but everyone liked them and ate them, and I call that a success.

In other spring-related events, we attended seminary graduation for four graduates in our ward.  They are celebrating four years of attending 5:45am classes every school morning.  They are amazing.  Two of these four are among the last of my own "seminaries" (as my kids called them).  Sometimes I miss teaching that class - but not at 5:00am.  :)

 Spring also means the return of the libraries.  Somehow, they forget about this game during school, but about this time of year, they build their own branches of the library.  I love how it brings out their personalities, like S's obsession with order....

He started a summer reading program too.  :) 

 And C's electronics (his library has ambient music and a computerized checkout system)...

And J's library has a play zone and offers prizes for the person checking out the most books. 
M is usually the pet who visits the libraries. :)

Spring means the end of Joy School, the coop preschool we've done with M this year.  She loved it.  I taught the last week and the kids found this toad in our backyard. 

These awesome moms were my co-teachers this year.  I have so loved getting to know them better and knowing that M was in great hands with her first preschool experience.  She says A (in the stripes) was her favorite teacher and I was her second favorite.  :)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

To all the dads out there!  I feel so blessed to associate with so many fantastic dads.  There are so many men out there doing a GREAT job and making a positive impact on the children in their lives.  Of course my own dad ranks among them. 
In honor of the day, here are a few photos of my dad....
taking a snooze with Jeff (c. 1974)
with Jim on the day of his baptism in 1975 (nice suit, Jim!)

with me at the hospital, summer 1975 

with another patriarch of the family, my dad's grandfather Melvin, about 1976

fox hunting with his brother, Tom

a newly minted Ph.D., 1968

a newly minted father, 1966 (Harold Dean on left, Dad, Melvin, and Lowell Luke, holding Dave)

c. 1968 again

I think this is when Jeff turned 12 and was ordained a deacon (c. 1982)

with Matt in 1982 

helping Deans build a new addition on their house in Ogden.  This is so my dad.

doing something up on the roof with the two boys.  This probably gave my mom a heart attack.  I remember going up on the roof with him, too.  It was fun. :)
Happy Father's Day, Dad!  Thanks for being such a great example of faith, applied intelligence, hard work, usefulness and humility.