Friday, August 27, 2010

. . . and they came.

Yes, they DID come!

The day after the Spaniards left, Cousin Jim & his daughter
arrived precisely at HIGH NOON.
The meeting spot - Nephi City Cemetery.

It may seem a bit odd that we were reuniting in the cemetery.
But, hey, it's OUR cemetery.
Somehow, our family inherited the northwest corner of this small-town resting place.

In other words, we McCune descendants get to REST there free of charge!

Now, how did we score that sweet deal? No idea.

my great-great grandparents, two sets of great grandparents,
my grandparents,
quite a collection of aunts and uncles,
my very own parents
and other assorted kin
are all taking a long, long nap together at the Nephi City Cemetery.

In my clan, it's a happening place.

And it so happens that my cousin's daughter wanted to absorb some family history during this visit.
I was happy to share the cherished tales.

Of course, the funny stories are the best ones.
Like, the fact that my Grandma Leah always jokingly complained
that she was going to be forced to babysit her sister's babies
-who died in infancy-
throughout the eternities,
because they were all buried right below her plot . . .

OR that her husband might roll over
and she'd be thrown in the road and hit by a car
since her plot was next to the street.

This dear grandma had a sense of humor to beat the band, I tell you!

After the cemetery, we headed over to the Nephi Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum.
and perused some family memorabilia.


The day after Jim and Katharine left,
the clan gathered to honor my nephew Austin
who just completed 2 years of service as an LDS missionary.

BELOW: A shot of Austin and his dad (my brother)
who is holding a sample of the 100 lunch sacks
decorated with missionary ties & name tags

created by my very clever sister-in-law.
She also prepared a mountain of food to go INTO those 100 sacks!

Several kids took their sacks & booty up to a tree fort and I just HAD to climb up and snap a shot.

The NEXT day, my son arrived from Nevada.
It was a short trip, but we did enjoy a fabulous picnic dinner together
and two nice long chats.

The day after Arian left, my goddaughters arrived.

(Photo taken @ our favorite local restaurant ~ CAFE FRESH!)

I thought that I'd only get Victoria + Breanna,
but a BONUS goddaughter (and kiddos) came along -

Paige's daughter Brooklyn fell in love with my dramatic play treasure boxes.

These gals come from a VERY active family.
They tramped around the world for a year and thus they are the happiest when they are MOVING.

I can ALWAYS count on them to hike the canyon with me.

The little ones DON'T slow them down one bit.

Well, maybe just a WEE bit. Long enough to intensely study a layer of quartz in a rock by the trail.

How I wished my birth children could have joined us over the last three days!

They would have LOVED our late night conversations
during which we solved the world's problems AND laughed our guts out.
VERY LATE NIGHTS, but worth every minute.

How am I a godmother? Look HERE.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Losses & Gains

Last summer, I lost a brother to RUSSIA.
Ken and his wife are overseeing the LDS missionary work in that smoke-filled part of the world.

This summer, I'm losing a sister to CHINA.
Wendy and her husband Byron heading out to teach English at a university in Nan Jing.
I don't know a THING about Nan Jing.
It just sounds very far away.

Wendy & Byron are highly energetic and up for a challenge.
It's hard to believe this very FIT sister of mine birthed 9 children
and then raised another one, to boot!
Byron is nearing 70, but he's not too old to compete in a 110-mile bike race,
hitting the finish line in 6.5 hours.

Currently, W & B are picking up Chinese in 'Crash Course' style.

(Three sisters, together for the last time in a long, long while.)

Wendy and Byron leave.

Others come.



visiting from Madrid, Spain.

(Shot taken a few short hours ago.)

On Friday,
my cousin Jim and his daughter, arriving from Texas

On Monday,
my goddaughter Vic and her sister Brianna, blowing in from Calgary, Canada.

I believe they'll be staying for a week or two until they head back to college.

Life seems to a constant interplay between losses and gains.

Or is it just MY life?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Adventures with Kenneth

While Kenneth spent the week with Grandma Ginger,
he took an early A.M. hike in the canyon, each and every day.

He thoroughly enjoyed it,
especially since Chica, his Very Best Friend, came along with us.

Near the end of the hike, Mr. K was allowed to put a leash on Chica.

That was a BIG deal.

Can you see how much happiness it created for our little four-year old?

I made up a recipe for DOG BISCUITS

which can be eaten by LITTLE BOYS as well as CANINE CRITTERS.

They were rock hard and not exactly sweet, but the child and the dog BOTH loved 'em.

Sometimes, Chica needed a BREAK and Kenneth needed another friendship venue.

Soooo, I rounded up neighborhood children to swim in our wading pool,

which stayed squashed in a storage box for way too long.

Or I'd get them to paint the cement around the house.

Or I'd let them get into the dress-ups.

Or pull out the play dough.

Or both.

We discovered how easy it is to make instant friends by going to the local parks.

Mr. K got into some rousing footballs games with the "big kids".

* * * * * * * * * * *

One afternoon we took the 20-minute drive to a local ski resort
and then rode the lift to the top.

Flowing right by the resort is a stream which is fed by glacier waters.

WAY cold. WAY fun for kids.

We did a lot more goofing around in the water during our time together.

Sometimes it was civilized.

Sometimes it was wild.

The thing is, we did it TOGETHER.

This is the LAST Grandma Post for a good long while.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Late Summer Thunderstorms

Above shot taken from my bedroom window.

Amazing drama in the skies over the last 24 hours.

Lightening, thunder. More lightening, more thunder.

Buckets of rain . . . then sun . . . then rain again.

(Actually, this is typical for Utah during the last half of summer.
Still fills me with AWE.)

This morning, my grandson and I ventured out for our daily hike,
in spite of the weather.

When Chica became fearful of the thunder,
Kenneth crouched down and covered his Best Friend with his umbrella,
providing a sense of safety for the quivering creature.

At one point, the tempest was truly RAGING.

We took refuge in a shallow cave at the mouth of the canyon.

Soon the skies mellowed and we were back to a drizzle.

We came across my drenched neighbor Janet, her white hair plastered to her head.
She exclaimed, "Isn't the weather marvelous?!"

Thanks, Janet, for the photo AND your enthusiasm for the storm.

More coming on Mr. K.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Camp Jeremiah

Still playing with the Lovely Lassies from church.

Last week I borrowed a neighbor's 12 seater van
and OFF we went to Camp Jeremiah in Hobble Creek Canyon.

"99 bottles of pop on the wall . . ."

I was pleasantly surprised to discover -

the crafts I remember from my own childhood days as a camper
STILL draw enthusiasm.

However, nothing beats a water fight on the lake.

Here are the damsels - DRENCHED

Every single one of them.

(If you get thoroughly soaked, you ARE a winner.)

Little Mr. Kenneth
is staying with Grandma Ginger
while his parents are floating down the Danube River -
through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

More on THAT later!

In the meantime, I hope that my dog survives all the 4-year-old affection from Mr. K

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