Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pondering Lives Well-Lived

April has been quite the whirlwind. I figured now that there are only 2 hours left of it I should write something. I just posted all of our spring break photos, and since then I haven't taken many pictures. There was a relative lull in the middle of the month, just busy, regular stuff. But then on April 23rd I learned that our old family friend from Tucson, Ann Lewis (formerly McClellan) passed away. We made arrangements to meet my mom down in Idaho for the funeral.
Here I am with Mitch McClellan, who was one of my best friends til I moved across town for middle school. I had a crush on him when we were 8, but then I had a growth spurt and grew about a foot taller than him and thought I'd have to marry someone else, lol. He is doing so great, living in Boise with a beautiful family. It was a pretty joyous reunion on an otherwise sad day.
Here are 8 of the 10 McClellan kids at their mom Ann's grave (Mitch is #8). They gave a beautiful funeral service for her that was one of the most fun, uplifting services I have ever been to--she must have been so pleased.
It was a nice, quick trip--I even got to see both of my parents, which is cool.

We got home Saturday night, then I sent Rich off to a two-day insurance conference in Great Falls Sunday afternoon. Once I got the kids to bed, I watched a Ken Burns biography of Frank Lloyd Wright on Netflix. It was surprisingly riveting and entertaining. I wish I knew more about architecture. I was so fascinated by the story and by his style and philosophy, and there seems to be something holy about this art form, like many others--so much more than drawings or engineering or construction.
Here's FLW nearing 90, at the peak of his career...petulant genius!

Here are a couple of quotes from the film that I loved. "For him, what an artist is, is a person who transforms nature by looking at nature, passing it through the soul, and in the expression of what the soul experiences in nature, something more natural than nature itself emerges, which is as close as we get to God." -William Cronon, historian.

AMEN! [to me, creativity is the manifestation of my divine nature, inherited from heavenly parents].

Read at Wright's funeral at Taliesin: "Whoso would be a man must be a non-conformist. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind."-RW Emerson.
Wright's home and studio in Oak Park Illinois was so beautiful! I loved his idea of putting the fireplace in the center of the home, as the heart and soul and gathering place of the building.

So Richard is home safe, all my people are sound asleep (I'm typing to a chorus of snores). Life is good. Our underground construction got inspected today (water main, sewer, etc.) so we will be able to pour the basement floor in the next day or two and start framing. Our builder said he's excited for that because, "That's when your vision starts to take shape." Indeed! So happy May to you all. I hope to be back a little more frequently, but we'll see if life cooperates.

Early April 2013: Retrospect

On March 29th the kids were out of school and it was too cold to hang out outside for long, but we bought some balloons and let them go out by the park to celebrate Great-Grandpa Bill's 88th birthday.

James, Niles, Heidi, and Addie 3/29

3-2-1 Lift-off!
If you look close you can see 4 balloons floating north east (Niles' balloon is closest because he didn't want to let his go at first)
After Easter Baskets and Sacrament Meeting on Easter Sunday (March 31st), I hopped in the van with the kids and headed down to Utah for Spring Break. Our first stop that night was The Layton's in Tooele.
Niles and Addie, James, Owen, and Heidi at Laytons', 4/1

James, Jack, Jake, Heidi, and Sam;
On Tuesday, April 2 (Happy Birthday, Great Uncle Matt!) we met our Peterson & Postum cousins at Thanksgiving Point. We were happy to learn that our Museum of the Rockies memberships get us in to the fun stuff at TGP!

James on a pony at TGP

Niles imitating a goat at TGP with cousin Belle
Later that evening, we went to the Herriman Rec Center to swim at their awesome water park with our Postie cousins who just moved back from Australia (no pictures, sorry!). It was super fun! Wednesday we just had a bunch of playdates with cousins & got ready to drive to Las Vegas at 5am Thursday. The drive was perfect, the kids were great. We realized that we would gain an hour crossing the Nevada border, so we stopped and had a nice breakfast and played at the playplace in Beaver, Utah. Then we drove to the airport in LV and picked up Daddy (Rich) at noon and headed over to visit the Holm Family in Henderson.
We went to watch Haylee Holm play basketball at the church, and they needed another player, so Addie jumped right in and did a great job--her first time ever even trying to play! Kurt was the coach and they played two games--one win, one loss--and we went home and had soup and visited with Jessica & Zach and the whole family that night.
The next day (Friday, April 5th), Haylee and Eric went to school and Kurt and Zach went to work. Jessica and Debbie took us downtown to see the planes landing at the airport, then see fun things on the strip.
First stop: ride the tram to Bellagio and see the giant chocolate fountain and the gardens. Here is my biggest chocolate fan, James, in front of the fountain.

Here's our family at the gardens

walking past Paris, Las Vegas

Addie outside the M&M store
On the 4th floor of M&M World we found this M&M racecar

On the 2nd floor, we found the M&Ms!

Every M&M you can think of!

Hello Kitty with Heidi & Addie on the strip

Addie & Coke World
After a long hot day on the strip, we took a nap at Debbie's while she & Haylee took the girls shopping. Deb brought home a birthday cake and Kurt brought pizza and we had an early birthday party for Heidi.

Niles made a huge cupcake mess
Heidi with her dragon cake. She got a cute little pony from the Holms and an iPod Touch she has been earning from us. She cried!

Niles sneaking a taste

What James looked like Saturday morning at Holms'
Saturday Morning we packed up and said goodbye to our dear friends and hit the road just in time to listen to the beginning of conference on the radio. We drove to Herriman where Rich went to priesthood meeting with Mark & Marshall. Grandma Lyn was at my mom's house so we visited with her for a while, then slept over at the Posties' house that night and Sunday night.
Cousin Fun with Posties: Spencer, Gavin, Liam & Melanie laughing at Owen & James.

Laytons came over for dinner Sunday night; Here's James, Heidi, Niles, Owen, and Maeby on the deck.

Kristen, Melanie, Sam, Audrey, Will, Spencer, Addie, Liam, and me eating inside Sunday night.
We drove home early Monday morning in a rain & snow storm, but got home in time to watch them start the basement of our new house on Tuesday, April 9th.
Here's the ground all graded and the house outlined.

James & Heidi in the digger.

On April 11th, Addie's class had a Pasta Dinner fundraiser for the Trout unlimited/Watershed Warriors program at school. They dressed up like Italian waiters and served us a really nice dinner.


Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                         1...