Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Last Day of School!

Today was everyone's last day of school. For Grace-it was her last day of elementary school! Grace received the presidential academic award yesterday at the fourth grade award ceremony. She has earned all As on her report card and did very well on the standardized testing. Her favorite part of every school day - has been her math class. Her teacher exudes excitement for learning and loves Grace. And if you love Grace - she will love you back and think you are the best!

Tanner will be a first grader when he gets off the bus today! I am so excited for him and all the things he has learned this year. His favorite part of school has been recess. Especially outdoor recess - where he chases girls. Mostly one girl. I hope it is good exercise. Maybe we should talk to him about the $500 kissing challenge this summer. . .

Hannah and Eliza are taking finals today. No parties or kickball tournaments for them today. But there will be relief when they come home. 3 months of freedom ahead. Time to make summer goals. . . There are some from last year that we didn't finish! Let summer begin!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Impulse Purchase

Hannah and I love to stop in at a nearby antique mall. Today we were looking for a nightstand for her room. But she found these lovely dresses instead. The funny thing is -- I remember having a pink dress very similar to this when I was about 5. I don't remember why - but I remember a picture of a wedding party and the bridesmaids were all in sherbet colored lace dresses with shiny satin bows. I will have to call Mom and see if any of this memory is true?

As the girls tried them on - they both complained about the smell. The antique mall has a smell to it. But as I walk down memory lane, listening to 60's music and point out to Hannah - all the things my grandparents, parents and aunts and uncles owned - we bond. She is in the process of re-decorating her room. Most everything in it - we bought second-hand and it has been re-done in some way. I will have to post pictures when we are finished - but I am always amazed at the things she loves and her ideas for making old things new.

Where should they wear these? If only we had found these beautiful dresses before prom!

Tanner's Soccer Fans

Tanner is playing soccer. I know its not supposed to be funny but I think at this age it is. At this game we watched Tanner down his entire water bottle during the first of 6 periods. In this league they don't keep score - but Tanner and his teammates know that they have won every game - by a landslide. And Tanner is a head taller than everyone on the field. He has learned a lot and its fun to see them actually pass the ball to each other and move the ball down the field to score. But often - kids are going the wrong way. Some get tired and sit down. Some are still afraid of the ball. It is funny. I hope we don't offend any one with all our laughter. Mom and Dad and Rudy were in town and got to cheer Tanner on this week. And laugh a little too.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Brownies and Memories

My Grandma Rhees was known for many wonderful things - and one of them was her homemade brownies. They are more cake-like and the frosting is really the best part of them. About a year before she died - she told me that sometimes - she just used a cake mix and didn't go to the trouble of making them from scratch. So for the few times I have made them in the last few years - I just used a cake mix. And they were good. My kids loved them. People we had for dinner loved them.

But today - I had some buttermilk on hand and I made the recipe from scratch. And they were so much better. As I ate a chilled one over the kitchen sink, tears flowed and the memories of Grandma's Brownies filed through my brain. I never actually saw Grandma make the brownies - they were just always there when we arrived - waiting for us on the back porch on top of the dryer. Usually 2 large trays of them. One with pecans in the frosting and one without. I liked the ones without.

During my college years - Grandma's house was a place of refuge. If I needed to study, or get away from drama or cry over a relationship - I would go to Grandma's. I talked to her about everything. She knew what I was excited about - she knew my disappointments - she knew my friends. She knew me. And she loved me no matter what. The brownies today reminded me of that.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Sirens were going off about thirty minutes ago. And they caused a knot in my stomach. My oldest child, who recently got her drivers licence has my 2 youngest in the car with her. They are running an errand and getting frosties. So how long will sirens make me feel like this? Will it be the same amount of time I spent gritting my teeth and gripping the door while she learned how to drive? Or will this feeling last until they all leave for college?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lost Child

I haven't really lost her - but she has pointed out that the blog is definitely missing her presence! So this is for Eliza. I want her to feel loved and not left out! These are some of my favorite pictures of her. Each picture shows a small part of her personality.

Eliza shows her emotions. Her face - cannot hide what she is thinking or feeling. Lucky for us - her gorgeous smile indicates her most often expressed emotion - joy. Eliza laughs easily. If I were to make a soundtrack of my life - it would include her laugh (as well as the sound of her gagging every time she brushes her teeth!)

Eliza Is not afraid of imagination. From the time she was little - Eliza could use her imagination to keep herself entertained for hours! Now that she is older - she uses her imagination to entertain others.

Eliza loves to read. This picture was taken on the day she dared to cut off most of her hair. She was bold to do it. But after it was done -- she went back to her reading. Her favorite gift this year was a kindle. She is usually happiest when she is in the middle of a great book/story. This picture makes me smile.

Monday, February 21, 2011

20 years ago. . .

Twenty years ago this week, Steve and I flew from Utah to Albany, NY so that Steve could meet my parents. At Christmas time, a few months earlier - I had submitted my mission papers -- so my parents were quite concerned when I called the stake president and asked him to hold the papers. Steve was the reason. So they wanted to meet him. Little did they know that he had a ring in his pocket and wanted to propose to me while we were home.

The first night we were there - I fell asleep on the sofa and my parents asked Steve if they could talk to him. ( He claims that he asked to speak to them . . . ) So the three of them gathered in my parents bedroom to have a conversation. He wanted their help in the proposal and they wanted to talk him out of it. They talked about all the education he could complete while I was on a mission. They were concerned about his major in English and stated desire to be a poet. (I don't think he was ever really serious about that career track.) He talked about how much he loved me and his plan to ask me to marry him while we were in the Sacred Grove the next day. They tried - but they couldn't talk him out of it.

And I am so thankful. The next day we drove to Palmyra, NY and toured the sites there. After a visit to the Grandin building and a hike up Hill Cummorah, we went to the Sacred Grove. Snow was falling. We walked out into the trees and Steve pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him. He was afraid that the ring would fall into the snow -- I was nervous about breaking the news to may parents. I had no idea that they knew what was happening. . .

So we were married 6 months later in the Salt Lake City Temple. And life has been good. So good. And my parents love Steve. And I love him more than I did 20 years ago. So much more.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Christmas decorations still up!

This is the last of my Christmas decorations.

The other decorations all came down by January 2nd but I love this door of Christmas cards. I love seeing most of the people I love in one place. I haven't seen many of these people in years! Some, we see only once a year. But I love, love, love them. Usually, I just place the cards in in a basket. But this year the pictures went on the pantry door in our kitchen so we could see them every day. I will miss them but I guess it's time to say goodbye. Until Christmas. . .

P.S. I have handpicked all of my children-in-law off this wall. I'm just now beginning to see why my Mom and her friends used to fantasize about their children marrying each other. I am blessed that we don't believe in arranged marriages. . . but at this point in my life as a mother -- it is sounding like a good idea. I guess I will just have to trust my children - the way my parents did.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Daddy-Daughter Dance

This was Steve's 10th and last Daddy-Daughter dance at the elementary school. Grace was his gorgeous date! Before the dance - we invited some of Grace's friends and their dads over for dinner. It was fun to see all the couples dressed up for the luau theme. These girls are all so blessed to have wonderful dads who show them what a good man is!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You Can Thank Me Later

This has been the snowiest winter I can remember. Not necessarily in inches. But in number of days there has been snow on the ground. I haven't done the research to back it up - so don't quote me on this. I just wanted to let all of the people in central Ohio to know that there will be no more snow this year. How do I know? Today I bought a second snow shovel.

Ever since the first snow fall this year - we have lamented that we didn't have a second shovel. This is a great thing because it means more people in the family are actually willing to use the shovel! But I decided to not have the conversation again - so when I passed the depleted snow shovel aisle at Meijer today - I carried one to the check-out. And I'm really hoping I don't have to use it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Week

Everyone in our family, who can read, enjoys reading The Week. We all have our favorite sections. The articles are short which cater to my short attention span. It covers a little of everything and the politics are pretty balanced which allows for me and Steve to both find value in it. The news and articles are great conversation starters around the dinner table. Some are fluff. Some help us know what is happening on the other side of the world. Some help give insight to family members. Hannah just told us about an article about procrastination. We asked her about it and she said she started it but then decided to finish it later. . .

Steve found a great quote in the latest edition by P.J. O'Rourke

Recently my teenage daughter was complaining, “Life is not fair, life is not fair.” I got fed up. I said, “You’re cute. That’s not fair. You’re smart – that’s not fair. Your family’s well off –that’s not fair. You were born in the U.S. – that’s not fair. Darling, you better get down on your knees and pray that things don’t start getting fair for you.”

Love it. I am printing it out in a large font and placing it on the fridge.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Better Late than Never

The best day of 2010 was the day that Hilary and Miles were married. The entire Lange clan was together. The setting was fantastic and the weather was perfect. But the most glorious part was this amazing couple. Miles was the happiest groom I have ever seen and Hilary was the most beautiful bride ever.

Tanner thought the party was for him. He danced from the minute he finished his dinner until the music stopped. The girls had a blast with their cousins. The kids made the night unpredictable. The ring bearer picked his nose. The family photo is missing a very important member who could not be bribed to be in the picture. My son asked in a very loud voice why there was goose poop all over. It was wonderful. Really it was. Thank you Hilary and Miles for the best day of 2010!