Friday, September 28, 2007


Found in Erin's 2nd grade classwork about "My Town"...

Question: What do you like best about your town?
Erin's Answer: I like to go to Target.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Crazy Face Contest

Jenna wins!

But we've seen that face before.....

Friday, September 21, 2007

Meet Jane and Baby Emma

So...should I be concerned or is this simply the result of having two older sisters who happen to have these dolls that they don't play with anymore, both of which Brady insists on having in his bed each night and at times will carry around or bring in the car to accompany him in his carseat buckles -- which must be awfully tight and uncomfortable, but he's willing to make the sacrifice -- but has been warned that he CANNOT under any circumstances bring with him into a public place? He's just practicing to be a champion Daddy, right??

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Front Row Seats

What little boy wouldn't love to sit and watch an asphalt paving crew right from his own driveway?? Brady was mesmorized by the big, loud machines, the smell of the hot tar, and the steam that would rise off of it as they smoothed it out. We sat together and watched the whole process. The workers seemed to appreciate having a captive audience. They smiled and waved at Brady. One man even honked his horn, much to Brady's delight!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ranch Adventure

Who wants to ride around the ranch on the "MULE"?!? My kids, that's who! They usually go on an "adventure," as they call it, with Grampa, but he wasn't home today, so Grammie stepped in for the fun! No school today, so we stopped by for a quick visit. They always love to be at the ranch, being entertained by Grammie and Grampa! If only they didn't get SO dirty.... :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happy FORTIETH Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Today marks 40 years since the marriage/sealing of my parents. Inspirational, don't you agree? They fell in love a million years ago when they were 13 & 14. Now eleven children and 31+ grandchildren later, they are still each other's sweethearts for eternity! They are clearly a perfect match! I've always admired their relationship. I don't recall ever hearing them call each other by their first names--it's always been "Hon" (short for Honey), and they never part ways without a good-bye kiss. The simple things build a foundation for a solid marriage and I have taken note...a powerful example for me and my siblings.

Have a wonderful anniversary Mom and Dad
with many more happy years to come!

High School Grad Night at Disneyland 1963
17 and 18 years old

September 12, 1967~~Los Angeles, CA

40 years later~~Ventura, CA

Monday, September 10, 2007

Holly Jolene

Baby Holly joined our family on June 10th, 6lbs. 9oz. It hardly seems like it's been three months since that Sunday morning! She has changed so much in such a short time. For me, moving on from the newborn stage is bittersweet, but I'm loving every minute of her increased awareness and socializing as she grows. She smiles with her whole body--her eyes light up, her mouth forms a wide open smile, and she pumps her arms & kicks her legs. It's the best! She is so sweet and patient--the qualities essential for the 4th child! I wish I could sit and snuggle her all day long, but that's quite impossible! It's so fun having a baby in the house again. Erin, Jenna, and Brady are so gentle with Holly. The tenderness she brings out in them is precious to see and they're so protective of her.
Holly's presence adds even more joy to our family. I love my husband, my three daughters, and my son.
Life just keeps getting better!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

She's Gone...

...and we are going to miss you terribly Aunt Wendy! Who cares about school at BYU Idaho? Two more semesters is too long...just stay here with me forever...okay?
Won't you miss......changing diapers, packing boxes, doing dishes, breaking up fights, cooking & cleaning, having a little boy frequently ransacking your room for candy, doing laundry, being wedged between two carseats in the backseat of the van, being spit-up on, taquitos, bathing sandy kids, and a certain little girl crawling into bed with you in the middle of the night & whacking you in the face/kicking you?
Just remember.....So You Think You Can Dance marathons, reading about vampires, visiting Heidi in WA, "I want Little Bears", taking a few pictures, Erin's songs, listening to the same CDs over & over, flushing the unflushable, karaoke, the camera battery search, relaxing with Nat in Bakersfield, fudgsicles, Zuma beach, "spin me Wenny", driving the van, How It's Made, late night talks and early morning wake ups, when Holly was brand new, the quiet when Brady barely said five words, "sleeping" out on the trampoline, and pedicures.
Wendy, we will miss you so much. You have been so good to us this summer! I was able to fully enjoy Holly's newborn months having you by my side. Your organization, patience, and positive attitude kept me sane and my children happy. Your presence in our home has been a great blessing and you are welcome back ANYTIME! We love you! Good luck in Idaho!
Wendy promised to make the girls blankets while she was here. They picked out the fabric together & then Wendy cut, tied, & whipped them out on the sewing machine so fast! They turned out so cute and the girls love them.
I LOVE this picture! If only I hadn't just pulled Holly right out of bed...can you tell?

Sisters...Wendy and I at P.F. Chang's on her last night. Gotta love those lettuce wraps...yum! Her fortune cookie said, "You will soon travel to a far away place." How perfect!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Brady and the kitty CAT

Our cul de sac has been the storage yard of construction trucks, trailers, and tractors for months--most of the houses on our street are finally being landscaped--and it's unattractive & annoying, but when Wendy saw this CAT (short for Caterpillar) parked out there, we started scheming about how we could take a picture of Brady sitting in it without the workers noticing. Early this morning Wendy quickly got him dressed & we headed out for a quick photo. As we approached the CAT, we suddenly became aware of a man in the tool shed/trailer that was parked just a few feet away. We froze on the spot, not sure if we should proceed with the photo shoot. Should we just casually turn around & walk back to the house, abandoning the plan? We were pretty suspicious just standing there in the cul de sac and me with my big camera hanging around my neck! I took the straightforward approach and asked if he minded if I took a picture of my son in his CAT. He was very obliging and even offered to let us use a hard hat, but he couldn't find one. It was pretty funny & Brady really liked sitting in the mini tractor. As we were walking away he asked, "Did we take a picture in the kitty?" Brady the Builder (in barefeet!) That's our house in the background.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Happy 87th Birthday Grammie!

Grammie and Grampa Clarke 1941
Isn't this a great picture? Such a handsome couple. Grammie tells us that the photographer told her to wipe off her lipstick because it would look too dark in the black & white photograph. She didn't really believe him and didn't want to have NO lipstick on, so she just sort of wiped it off. Well...he was lips! Funny!

Today Grammie Clarke is celebrating her 87th (!!!) birthday! Mom, Wendy, and I, with Brady & Holly in tow, treated her to lunch at Woodranch BBQ. Grammie enjoyed her lunch, but I don't think she liked being the center of attention. She didn't want us to tell the waitress it was her birthday for fear that she'd be sung to. Mom reassured her that they didn't do that at this restaurant, and knowing that, of course Grammie wouldn't turn down a sundae!
Grammie has always been so fashionable and even at 87 she is beautiful. She is a classy lady whom I have always admired. She has been a widow for just over 5 years now and since February it has been necessary for her to live with my parents. I'm sure life has been difficult without my Grampa and she is often confused due to memory loss, but she is very pleasant and sweet when I visit with her. Keep smiling Grammie! We love you!

Grammie's Birthday sundae...we ALL shared!

FOUR GENERATIONS! Grammie, Mom, Ginger, & Holly

Monday, September 3, 2007

Cherry Pie Celebration!

I'm pretty sure it was my mom who started this tradition in my family growing up--whenever any of us kids gave a talk in church we got to choose a special dessert for that night. I remember most often choosing homemade carmel popcorn. I have continued this tradition in my own family and because Erin gave a talk at her cousin Graham's baptism, we got to have a celebration for Family Night! She decided we should have cherry pie and vanilla ice cream...I don't know where she got this idea since she's never had cherry pie before, but I was willing to make it for her. Wendy went to the grocery store to buy a can of cherry pie filling, but it wasn't until she got home that I realized we needed TWO cans! Oops! To solve the problem of not enough cherries for a 9" pie, I placed a bottom pie crust in a small dish, poured in the cherries, & then folded the sides of the crust around to create a cherry pie tart. Perfect! The kids thought it LOOKED cool, but as it turned out, Erin & I were the only ones who would actually EAT the cherries. Jenna and Brady were only interested in the vanilla ice cream and the pie crust. Oh least we were all in agreement that Erin gave a great talk worthy of a Celebration!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The most perfect place to take a picture!

Well, that's what Erin said when she dragged me by the arm to these steps in the stake center. Hey, anywhere I can catch all three of them smiling IS the perfect place!

Graham's Baptism

Congratulations Graham! We were so happy to attend Graham's baptism this evening. Tricia's kids ran the show from chorister, to pianist, a talk, a was great! Erin was given the opportunity to give the talk about baptism. She had it memorized and remembered it all! This is Tricia's fourth child to be baptized with three more to go.

You are a great example to all of your cousins Graham!

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