Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of School!

This piggy bank has adorned the top of every dryer I've ever used. It's for all the change that escapes clothes in the dryer. This bank was part of an important monetary chain in our household. Kids would leave money in their pockets - I'd take it out doing laundry and put it in the piggy bank - they'd ask for money to buy lunch - I would give them money out of the piggy bank. This system worked well from 1986 through 2007.

The bank has continued to collect change, but the payouts lately have been non-existent. So, in celebration of The First Day of School, I'm going to empty the piggy bank for lunch money myself -- Cafe Rio here I come.

There will be no "first day of school" pictures in front of Decker Elementary, but several are starting new classes today. Here's a brief run-down on family members and their school attendance:

Brad is the first member of our family to go to graduate school. Classes begin for him today at University of San Diego Law School.

Ashley begins her senior year at UNLV majoring in Accounting.
Rebekah is taking classes at both CSN/UNLV majoring in Sign Language Interpretation.
Jordan is in his junior year at UNLV majoring in Communications.

Matt received his associates degree last year and is sitting out until Ashley is finished.
Jenn is sitting out this semester as well.
David and Kara are both graduates already.

We are so proud of our kids for making education a priority in their lives. Keep up the good work!

Here's to the first day of school -- Everybody go sharpen a handful of pencils!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

From the Great State of Texas

My niece, Amanda, joined us last week for a visit. She finally could fit us in between summer and fall semesters. Amanda is going to school at Texas Tech in Lubbock. B.C. (before college) she grew up in Watagua/H.E.B. (Hurst, Euless, Bedford) area. We tried to fit a lot of Vegas in a short visit.

We went to Jenn's house to observe her 'learn' how to etch glass baking dishes since she is hosting Enrichment meeting for Relief Society at her house this week. Last count, 28 women had signed up. Good thing the example came out o.k. She's now a pro.

Charlie just looks darn cute in anybody's arms.

Friday lunch at Macayos.
Friday night, all girls went to see Mama Mia. It was a fun, silly movie!

Saturday morning Amanda's boyfriend, Taylor, flew in. He heard we lived in the desert...and he loves cactus. Think I'm exagerating? Check this out.
Taylor found a cactus nursery here in Las Vegas on the internet...who knew? After a trip to Ethel M's cactus gardens, we checked out the local nursery. Cactus
and more cactus.
Taylor was a happy camper.
We had a wonderful BBQ at Matt & Ashley's. Drew convinced Amanda to bounce him. and bounce. and bounce.

Saturday night on the Strip. And Amanda snuck in this picture of me playing my harp. I think it's the only one that exists.
Thanks for coming! You 'all come back now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Elder Marx is in Betim, Brazil

I'll post some of his first email from the area:
"I'm here in Betim, Brazil a little city outside of BH. My trainer or father is Elder Broud. He is from Oregon and speaks really good Portuguese. This is his first time training so it should be fun for both of us. You should be getting a letter from me in the mail. They had us write. It's really short and simple, didn't really feel like writing.
"I don't know much about the area, just that there is a girl that is close to baptizmo and I'm way excited for that. um...I'm not sure I'm safe. My apartment is...nice...brad should know what I'm talking about. No badays, but hey, we can't all live in high class. Peace out, Elder Marx. P.S. eu tenho mais vente e dois mezes."

I think the last line loosely translates to "I have 22 months left."

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Monday, August 11, 2008

[Photography] is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever . . . it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.
-Aaron Siskind

I have been going through photos lately to give the kids copies. I loved our photographer for Jenn's wedding. I would definately recommend her to anyone. Many have asked to see some of the shots. The above grouping is not the 'standard' poses. Believe me, we have plenty of those, and they are beautiful. This was a group of several shots that caught my eye as I was going through 6 discs totaling 6,000 shots. (No, that wasn't a typo) Here's what I loved - take a shot of our fam for example, Candice was shooting, her assistant was shooting, the other assistant was ready with lighting help and looking to make sure men's ties were right, dress was fanned out, everybody was looking the right direction, catching the kid's attention. Get back the pictures and there's probably 20 frames of that one pose. But it's amazing in those 20 frames the variations you get, and somewhere in there you have everybody's eyes open, looking at the camera and smiling.
What I loved even more were the random shots. Some of my favorites: Ron's hand on Jenn's back in the daddy/daughter dance. Kara lifting up Hallie - I call that picture the velvet tushy. Hallie just ready to burst into tears between her parents. Drew so excited to tell Grandpa something (another one that if you see all 20 frames - it chronicles the whole conversation - perfect Drew expressions.) The tender moments between parents and baby - Drew & Charlie. Jenn's cousin Carlee playing with the veil as Jenn talks to someone else - isn't that what the night was all about, inspiring the younger ones to get married in the temple? And the pastries - yummy!
So here's to Candace Simpson at Elegant Images. (For all you people in EUROPE and the east coast that google her name and company - I assume getting recommendations before booking her) Thank you, Thank you - I loved the pictures.
And why, you might ask, am I posting at 12:37 a.m.? Because 6,000 miles away, Scott is in an airport in Sao Paulo. He boards a flight at 1:00 a.m. our time. He'll fly for an hour to arrive in Belo Horizonte. So here I wait, watching Olympic coverage, blogging, and silently praying for his safe travel....just staying up to make sure he arrives safely (and to answer the phone in case he has permission to call from the airport)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Hallie
Hallie's a little half-pint that's been on the go since she got here. Hallie (tagging along with her parents) has traveled to Las Vegas at least 5 times, San Diego 3 times and St. George. She's been to picnics, soccer games, Sabino Canyon walks, swim parties, GNO movies & scrapbooking, weddings, mission farewells, family reunions, and moved! What a busy little one-year old! We love you Hallie. Happy Birthday.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ashley

This was the year of the incredibly shrinking Ashley! Great job, Ashley. You've worked so hard, and it shows. Ashley has spent several of her birthdays since they got married (including this one) alone because Matt is at Scout camp. Thanks for all you do to support Matt and raise your beautiful family.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Happy Birthday Brad! We're so proud of the way you balance family, school, and church responsibilities. We love you. Hope you have a great celebration!
Lake Powell, Trip II

Cookie Jar, Padre Bay.

The planning for this trip started....2 1/2 weeks ago. When we were up the first week of July Matt ran into Ron's cousin Mark on the dock and came back and said they were going to be back with the whole family the end of the month. We though, hmmm, we're going to be back the end of the month as well. Our original plan was to sit in the dock for a few days since we had already taken a trip with the kids. Ron talked with Mark and we offered to go with them so they would have extra room with the whole family. It was so fun!!! I tried not to invade on their family time, but we sure enjoyed the meals together, card games, water games. I think the number was somewhere around 32-34 people.

Our houseboat is on the left, Lowell's on the right. We could walk back and forth between the two without getting wet or our feet sandy!

Late night card games for the 'younger' crowd.Early afternoon card games for the 'senior' group.
Sydney isn't nearly getting hit by the wave runner, but with the delay of the shutter, it missed her jumping off just a mili second before.

Austin was an awesome baby! He had a simple routine. Sleep, eat, play in the water, repeat. Naptime found him on our boat cause it was a little quieter.

Ron floating with an umbrella for shade. I must admit, there is a video of me going off the slide, but for some reason, it's just not working right. ron is more than welcome to become a computer wiz and figure out how to view and post it, until then...

Krista had this picture on her blog. I love the background. You just can't beat the views at Lake Powell, I love it!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Oh, Scotty.

There are times when I totally forget that Scott's gone. This is the third time I've done this since he left 7 weeks ago. I never finish off my fries. In the past this was never a problem becuase I would bring them home and put them on the counter till Scott got home. Scott would come along, sprinkle cheese over the top and put them in the microwave and eat them. Fries never went to waste. Today I drove thru Del Taco, ate my burrito and a few fries. When I got home, I thought to myself, 'I'll just leave the rest of these fries for Scotty.' I get all the way into the house before I realize that he's not coming home tonight to finish them off.

He sent this picture of Sao Paulo from the roof of the MTC:

And this picture from the MTC laundry room. This may be the first time I've ever seen him in a laundry room, even if he is writing letters! It must be the rinse cycle.

There's a few other pictures on his mission blog. If the picture of him in a tie in the laundry room seem unnatural, then this post (arrow down a bit) might remind you of the Scotty we all remember.

I'm so proud of Scott's willingness to serve. Can you believe it - he's speaking Portuguese!!! He leaves the MTC (or CTM in Brazil) next Tuesday. The grand adventure in Belo Horizonte begins.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Whoo Whoo ! That's it and That's all.

A new post, Hollar! I'm sure you're all getting tired of looking at old pictures of Ron & I. So much to catch up on. Let's start with the garden. I grew up with wise counsel from President Kimball admonishing us to grow a garden and stories about the $5 tomatoes. Here's our attempt this year. Dispite the great Las Vegas soil and WIND, and more WIND, and more WIND in an unsheltered plot of land, we've been able to get some plants to grow from seeds! It might look pathetic to seasoned gardners, but we tried. I've at least been able to feed the wild rabbits and crickets.

Ron took a motorcycle trip with his brother and friends. They went up to the Paiute Trail in Utah near Beaver. He came home and found YouTube videos to show me what the trails were like. He also took a few pictures.

A GPS unit, and an old fashioned map and they still don't know which way to turn!

Ron also installed some cabinets in our office. I think it turned out great. Time to start on another wall! The best part is the flat screen tv. I have it hooked up so that I can also use it as a computer monitor when other's in the room come in to see something on the computer. It works great!

To give you a glimpse in our crazy weird family - I present to you two of our all-time favorite YouTube videos. This obsession started last March when Brad posted a reference. During Sunday dinner I told the kids they should hook my laptop up to the big screen tv and watch the video Brad found. This lead to a YouTube viewing fest of everybody's weird finds on YouTube. Now - with the flat screen in the office, all can comfortably gather round to see what's so funny. (blueprints that are emailed to us show up nicely too...)

So you can get a laugh for the moment here are our favorites:

"I wanna know where the gold is..."

"It's just for decoration - that's it and that's all"
"That's only in the morn'in. You s'posed to be up cookin' breakfast for someone. That's like an alarm clock. Whoo-whoo"

How could you not crack up about this. Our family now pays a lot closer attention to crazy newscasts. And if you didn't get a chuckle out of these, well, you just probably wouldn't enjoy Sunday dinner around here.

More updates to follow.