Yes, we finally found a piano! It is used (as you can see if you enlarge the picture), and needs a tune, but it's in good condition and plays well. We're mostly excited for Thomas to begin his lessons next week at the Utah Youth Conservatory, but I've been surprised at how much I enjoy sitting down to play a bit myself. And I love hearing the funny little songs Thomas makes up all day. I try not to brag about my kids too much, but I do have to say that Thomas has an amazing natural musical talent. I think these lessons will be just perfect for him and will hopefully develop that talent into something he can cherish. I'll definitely post some video of him playing in the next few weeks!
Well, it's true: I am the mother of a seven-year-old boy! SEVEN! I remember seven!! I can't believe my tiny little boy is growing up so fast, but he sure is turning into such a fun kid. Those of you who know Thomas know that he is very smart, a bit sensitive, quirky, but most of all, a sweetheart to the core. We love having him in our family!
We started the day off right with tasty homemade waffles, complete with a birthday candle. Thomas had to make sure we had a cake planned for later-- he didn't want to waste his candle-blowing ceremony on breakfast!
And of course, there was cake! I spent a good amount of time decorating the rainbow-sprinkle flavored sheetcake into a MarioKart speedway, complete with the requested "7" and twisty candles. I was pretty impressed with myself, as was Gord. Tom, who at his age is apparently a bit harder to please, said, "Mom, that's a really funny cake." Funny? How about fantastic?!
The rest of the birthday day was pretty low key-- it helps when the birthday boy requests a "special birthday dinner" of Mac & Cheese! Ah, to be seven!
The real party was on Saturday, the 16th, when the four of us went to Cherry Hill, in Layton. I had been to Cherry Hill a few times as a teenager, but I had almost completely forgotten everything about it. We had a complete blast-- it was the perfect place to spend the day, and we enjoyed it so much that we're planning a DeArton family reunion there next year. The water park is set up perfectly for kids-- there is a shallow (but nice and chilly) Pirate Cove for little kids, then a lazy river and water slides for the bigger kids and adults. There were a lot of people there, but it wasn't overkill like Lagoon can be, and the price was really reasonable. Plus, the lazy river moved nice and fast, and Chris and Thomas had a great time "lapping" Gordon and me in the tube.
We had an absolutely wonderful time, and even enjoyed pie and ice cream before heading home. Happy Birthday to our wonderful boy!!
On our little Anniversary slideshow (below), the music is James Taylor's "You are my Only One." I've played it a bunch of times while I was getting the slideshow put together, and I guess it's in Gordon's head. I walked by his room and overheard him singing,
"Oh, You are my OBI-WAN, You are my Obi-Wan"
I think JT could definitely have a Jedi vibe, don't you?
Stitchbrains says: "That's also why you'll never get your predator status reduced, you'll never get off the registry and I have no doubt in my mind that you will end up in prison again."
Really now? I've been out 5 1/2 years now, and except for AZU, no one thinks my incarceration is imminent. So I offered a challenge to Stitches77 herself. My challenge:
I WILL PUT UP BOTH THIS BLOG AND MY ONCE FALLEN SITE UP AGAINST THEIR ABSOLUTE ZERO BLOGSPOT. IF BY THIS TIME NEXT YEAR, I AM INDEED INCARCERATED, I WILL GLADLY TURN OVER THE COPYRIGHT OF THESE SITES TO AZU. IF BY THIS TIME NEXT YEAR, I AM NOT INCARCERATED, ABSOLUTE ZERO UNITED RELINQUISHES THEIR SITE.
Sitches77 is normally an arrogant person, yet she didn't even bother posting my challenge. Why? She KNOWS she will lose. She's not as confident as she'd have you believe. She writes checks her organization cannot cash. There is a reason she attacks my character rather than my research. But she knows her character attacks ring hollow, because her attacks are made out of hate, not out of fact. Yet if she truly believed these words, she would not have ignored my challenge. Do you smell what the Stitch is cooking? Smells likeBULLSHIT!
I can remember ten years ago, when I woke up in my parents' house, young and excited, and drove with them to meet Chris and his family at the Idaho Falls Temple. We borrowed Chris's mom's car for our honeymoon, and moved to Salt Lake City, a place I had never lived before. This morning, I woke up in our house, in the bed we purchased together when I was pregnant with Gordon, and drove our car to drop our son off at school here in Logan, the town where we moved together. While I was reminiscing about our past ten years, I couldn't help but realize how much "my" life has become "ours". Every precious memory is one we've made together. It's kind of odd to say this, but even the hard things we've gone through have been easier to handle because we've relied on each other to get us through.
On our wedding day, the man who married us gave us six little phrases to remember-- the last one was "We." I thought it was kind of funny, thinking on that day that the most important phrase was "I love you," but now that I think back on all of these years, I realize that "we" really was the most significant. I love that we have built this life together, and that when I imagine all of the many years to come, all I can think of is "we".
Happy Anniversary to my hunsty, my favorite person in the universe! "I love you" doesn't even begin to express!
July 25th-- Happy Birthday Garrett!
Garrett is our sweet one-year-old nephew and we just love that he is a part of our family. I love the picture in his card-- Chris and I met him for the first time over Christmas last year and we both recognized immediately how precious he is. We wish he lived closer (or that we took more California trips?), but we are looking forward to getting to know him and watching him grow up in the years to come. Happy Birthday, Gar-bear!!
August 2nd-- Happy Birthday Sophie!
Born just a few weeks before our wedding, Sophie became our first niece. We have loved watching her become an amazing, talented, smart and sophisticated young woman-- not to mention beautiful! I always appreciate how sweet she is with my boys, both Thomas and Gordon, even though she is the oldest cousin. I know how tough it can be to be the only one your age, so I am especially grateful to Sophie for handling her "oldest" role with such grace. Sophie is a wonderful girl and we love her! Happy Birthday, Soph!
August 4th-- Happy Birthday Amanda!
I could not be happier that Amanda is my sister-in-law! Aside from being one of the nicest, most adorable people I've ever known, she is also a great friend and a caring aunt. Sometimes I can't believe how much she loves her nieces and nephews, but I think she is just one of those people who is just completely full of love. It's amazing, and I am so grateful for her calming attitude and contagious smile. I know everyone in our family appreciates her, and I hope she knows how much both Chris and I (but especially me!) love having her around. She needs to move back to the West!! Let's all cross our fingers! I adore you, Amanda-- Happy Birthday!!
August 19th-- Happy Birthday Marilyn/Mom!
Since this is my blog, I'll just post my personal birthday wish for my dear mother-in-law. (I was going to say that I'd get Chris to post something, too, but let's get real.) Anyway, since the very first time I met Marilyn, she has teased me about being "too good" for her son. I don't think she really means that, but I take it as her being glad that I'm a part of her family, and I'm so grateful for that. She has always made me feel like one of her own children, and the older I get and the more terrible mother-in-law stories I hear, the more I realize how awesome that is! Marilyn is a wonderful example of someone who is generous, forgiving, savvy, and not afraid to be herself. She is a spoiling grandma that my boys can't get enough of, and a wonderful mother (okay, we get spoiled, too) to both Chris and me. We love you, Marilyn! Happy, happy Birthday!
Anyway, Saturday we went to a reunion for the Andrew & Carrie Newbold family-- Chris's maternal great-grandparents. Lucky us, it was held right here in Logan, so everyone got to come to us! The reunion itself was nice-- Chris has some really neat people in his family-- but it was especially great because Andy and Heidi and their family were here from California, and Amanda and her two sweeties were here from Wisconsin! We missed Andy Hansen and Emily and her family-- maybe we should start up an annual Hansen reunion?
Our kids were SOOOOOO excited to see their cousins, and even today Gordon asked, "When is Tyler coming over?" Ty is almost a year older than Gordon, but the two of them seem to be instant buddies. I love how they even look alike!
Chris and his cute aunt, Sharon, enjoyed tasty watermelon along with the rest of us. There were a lot of people that I had never met, but I hadn't seen Chris's aunts, uncles or cousins in years, so it was fun to catch up.
Here are all of the Hansen grandkids except Abby. Chris was nice enough to introduce my gigantic belly to everyone as "Number 10".
Cousins! We really need to plan a trip to California!
After the reunion, the Hansens et al came over to our house to celebrate the five August birthdays with tasty cake. It was really fun to hang out with everyone and the time went by just too fast. I think Marilyn was in heaven with all these kids!
Afterward, Gordon came to lay down with me for "just a minute"... and sure enough, it only took a minute...
Anyways the show synopsis is below:
After Butchart, we went back to the hotel to rest a bit, then hit downtown Victoria. As I mentioned, it was BC Day, and I have never seen so many people in Victoria! It was kind of crazy, but very fun to be there for the holiday. We did some touristy shopping downtown and picked up a couple of souvenirs for our kids.
Nicki and I tried hooking up with this grizzly-- he wasn't impressed.
The next time we visit Victoria, we'd really like to stay at the Empress. We're assuming we'll be very rich by then!
After walking around in the hot sun, it was nice to cool off for a bit and enjoy a tasty dinner at the Tapa Bar. Tapas are spanish appetizers and you just order a bunch to share with everyone-- so yummy!
Saturday, August 9, 2008 11:29 PM MDT
Funeral services for Glenn Thomas, 87, will be conducted on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008 at 11 a.m. At the Urie LDS Stake Center, with visitation being held one hour prior to the services that morning.
Interment will follow services at the Lyman Cemetery in Lyman.
He died Aug. 7, 2008 at Evanston Regional Hospital.
He was born on February 1, 1921 in Hiawatha, Utah, the son of Levi Reese and Nellie (Banner) Thomas.
He married Leona (Livingston) Hoopes on Feb. 10, 1943 in Tampa, Fla. Their marriage was later sealed in the Ogden LDS Temple on Oct. 31, 1998. Leona preceded him in death, and he later married Alice Cameron on Oct. 29, 1979 in Lyman.
He spent his working career at FMC and retired from there. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, painting, playing music, and spending time working on mechanics. He also was known to be a big tease. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
He was preceded in death by his parents, both spouses, one son, Reese, a daughter, Susan, one great grandson, Joseph, four brothers, and two sisters.
Arrangements are under the direction of Crandall Funeral Home of Evanston.
"I feel like we won the lottery."
Last year, we started talking about what special trip we could take this year to celebrate, and decided to return to our old stomping grounds in the Pacific Northwest. When we talked about the trip with our oldest married friends (meaning they've been our longest "coupled" friends, married just a week after us), Ryan and Nicki Stanton, they got excited and we all decided the trip would be that much more fun with all four of us. And, since Ryan has a company car and doesn't have to pay for gas, a road trip was definitely in order!
The trip definitely lived up to our plans and expectations-- we had SO MUCH FUN!! We had a blast touring some fun sites in Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria, BC, and just reminiscing about our ten years as couples and friends. Ryan and Nicki were such fun traveling companions and we are so glad that we made this trip together.
So, a brief travel log, with a bunch of pictures of Chris and me looking schmoozy:
We left on Thursday last from Idaho Falls (where we left the boys with my parents-- THANK YOU!!!) and started with a kickoff breakfast at Smitty's. Mmm, love those waffles! We headed up through Idaho and Montana, then West to Washington. Although we made pretty good time, we didn't get to Seattle until 9:30 at night, so we had to rush to our dinner spot: Steamers, a tasty fish and chips place right on the waterfront. The food was fantastic and since we were the last customers in the place, the staff was very kind and gave us some extra fish and chips and clam chowder. Yum!
We stayed that night at the Inn at Queen Anne, about a block and a half away from the Space Needle. The next morning, we drove up to Queen Anne hill to enjoy the beautiful view of chilly Seattle (chilly is a good thing at this time of year!), and watch the cruise ships coming in to the harbor. Although we've been to that park more times than I can count, I never can get over how gorgeous Seattle is. I miss it.
Next we headed down to the waterfront and to Pike's Place Market, where Ryan and Nicki had never been. We enjoyed tasting a bunch of samples (the peaches were incredible) and fighting our way through the throngs of people at the market. I tried to soak in the cool ocean air and the fresh smells in the market, especially the fruit and flowers. I'm always amazed at the fresh flower selection-- the bouquets I'm posing by were only $10 and more beautiful than anything you can get in Logan.
We left Pike's Place and headed North to our old town of Lake Stevens, where we had a delicious lunch at our favorite Italian place: Luca's. The restaurant has expanded quite a bit in the three years since we've lived there, but the food was still just as tasty. We also stopped at our favorite grocery store, Haagen, to pick up some salmon rub. It was fun to reminisce.
The US-Canada border is only about an hour and a half from where we ate lunch, but after being routinely stopped for a security check and hanging out at the border office for almost 40 minutes, it took us a lot longer to get to Canada. We even had our passports-- bums! The other disappointment for the day was that our hotel in Vancouver was booked full for BC Day (a holiday for British Columbia very much like the 4th of July for us) and the only rooms left were an executive suite and a smoking room. Since I couldn't tolerate the smokey smell, the four of us ended up sharing the suite-- Chris and I pulled the extra bed into the huge living room, so we still had separate quarters. The good thing is that Expedia was great to work with and gave us a refund, which we split with Ryan and Nicki. Anyway, it was an interesting afternoon, but luckily the only one on the trip that wasn't perfect.
We hurried to get primped, then drove to Vanier Park in downtown Vancouver to attend Bard on the Beach, Vancouver's Shakespeare Festival. We saw Twelfth Night, which was absolutely incredible. This was our second time at the festival, and we wish we could have stayed for all three plays (though I'll admit that Titus Andronicus looks a bit freaky) because they are so well done. Even if you have never seen a live Shakespeare play before, you would enjoy this festival-- it is AMAZING! I think this was probably my favorite event of our trip and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.
They don't let you take pictures inside the theatre, but here are the four of us outside the tents:
The next morning was spent in downtown Vancouver. Our first stop was Chinatown, which is actually the 2nd largest Chinese community in North America, second only to San Francisco. After browsing one too many open fish markets (and the Chinese fish markets are a bit different than the ones we're used to...), we decided to forgo our planned lunch there. But, I did get some really good fortune cookies, and tried on this killer hat:
Gasstown, closer to the water, but only a few blocks from Chinatown, had a bit more of the Western tourist flavor. We bought our Christmas ornament for the year here-- a beautiful maple leaf ornament to remind us of our trip. We also stopped at a food court where the vendors did not accept Visa-- weird, huh? We ended up eating lunch at Safeway! :)
After lunch, we went to Tsawassen, where we loaded onto a BC Ferry to Vancouver Island. Victoria, the capitol city of British Columbia, is located on Vancouver Island. The ferry ride is about an hour and a half, and has gorgeous scenery of the small islands in the bay. We also played some games and visited the on board gift shop.
Finally, we arrived in Victoria and checked into our gorgeous, antique hotel, The Dalton Inn. Our only plan for the evening was a very fancy dinner at Barkley's Stakehouse, where our food was almost too beautiful to eat. But man, it was tasty! We had to take a picture before we ruined the presentation.
We spent more than two hours at dinner, enjoying every last bite of our exquisite dinner and talking about our favorite memories from the past ten years by candlelight. The boys were so nice to get dressed up and I really couldn't have planned a better evening. With the romantic candlelight and my handsome hubby, our close friends and easy conversation, and of course, amazing food, it was the perfect anniversary dinner.
And you know me-- no perfect dinner is complete without the perfect dessert: creme brulee! It was heaven!
More to come!
Wis. charges say gunman had `nothing to lose'
By DINESH RAMDE – 13 hours ago
MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) — Scott J. Johnson hid in the woods knowing police were coming after him.
He had nothing to lose, plotting to kill as many officers as he could after luring them to a nearby river by ambushing a group of teenagers, according to a criminal complaint.
Johnson gunned down three teens as they relaxed near a bridge spanning the Menominee River between Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula that is a popular swimming site, prosecutors said Wednesday.
"His plan was to shoot anyone who showed up to help," Marinette County District Attorney Brent DeBord said.
But Johnson apparently reconsidered after shooting the teens, the complaint said. Following an all-night manhunt, he surrendered to authorities, disabling his military-type rifle in a way that would be obvious to them, DeBord said.
Johnson, 38, of Kingsford, Mich., was charged Wednesday with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Johnson's public defender, Len Kachinsky, said he plans to hold his first meeting with Johnson before a court hearing Thursday.
"I think people should maintain an open mind and withhold judgment until the evidence is in," Kachinsky said.
The complaint tells a chilling story of a disaffected man who had thought about committing a random shooting for the past four or five years and prepared by stashing weapons in the woods.
"He stated that the sole purpose of his hiding this equipment was for when a day like this came," DeBord said.
Johnson finally decided to execute his plan last week after suspecting that a woman he had recently sexually assaulted would tell her ordeal to police, the complaint said.
He has not been charged with sexual assault, but more charges could still be filed, DeBord said at a news conference Wednesday at which he read the complaint but declined to take questions.
The complaint gives the following account:
Johnson said he lured the woman near the bridge the evening before the shooting, sexually assaulted her and tried to talk her out of calling police. He decided to wait there and kill any law enforcers who arrived to investigate. When none did, he returned home.
He left his home the next day and when he returned, his mother told him police were looking for him. Expecting to go to jail and fearing the label of sex offender, he decided "he had nothing to lose and the only power he had in this life was `to take.'"
He returned to the bridge, where he counted eight teenagers. He recovered his hidden Armalite 7.62 mm military-type rifle and an ammunition box with .308 cartridges that he had stowed at least a year before.
He found a hill on the Wisconsin side where he could shoot. He planned to wait until the youths were back on the Michigan side and shoot them as "bait" to lure law enforcers he could then also shoot.
But he was startled when four of the teens began to climb up toward him, instead of taking the path he expected. When the teens approached, he felt trapped and jumped up, firing about 17 shots. He saw people fall as he began to reload but decided not to fire again.
Johnson spent the night in the woods and turned himself in the next morning as an intensive manhunt was under way.
"Before exiting the woods, he disabled the firearm in a way so that law enforcement could see that the gun was disabled," DeBord said.
Two teens, Tiffany Pohlson, 17, and Anthony Spigarelli, 18, died instantly from single shots to the head. The third, Bryan Mort, 19, died of a shot to the torso. A 20-year-old man suffered superficial shrapnel wounds. All four were from Michigan.
The location of the wounds suggested all four were fleeing, said Scott Celello, undersheriff for Dickinson County, Mich.
Johnson's mother, Judy Johnson, had said her son was honorably discharged from the Army in 1994 without serving overseas and has been unemployed. She described him as despondent since his wife left him in 2001 and took their two children with her. She said she worried he might "do something stupid."
DeBord is handling the case because the shots were fired from the Wisconsin side. Michigan authorities are still investigating and could file additional charges, he said.
Christopher Ninomiya, the Dickinson County district attorney, did not immediately return a message left Wednesday seeking comment.
And yet the trolls over at Absolue Zero United think its all fun and games? You condemned someone for merely acknowledging the possibility it was inevitable? Well here is proof it is not only possible, not only inevitable, but a COLD HARD REALITY! Do you STILL think this all a fun game, Stitches?
How about I castrate you dressed up as a little girl? That way we both win! Sorry, fresh out of anesthesia. lameo 08.04.08 - 5:08 am
Dessia Taylor Cox
HUNTINGTON - Dessia Taylor Cox returned to her heavenly home on Monday, July 21, 2008, at the age of 85 at her home in Huntington.
Dessia was born March 5, 1923 in Draper to James A. Taylor and Marintha Deseret Harrison. She married Allen Reve Cox on Nov. 27, 1941 in Evanston, Wyo. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Manti LDS Temple.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dessia served in the Relief Society, young women's program and the Primary at various times in her life.
She raised her family in Hiawatha, where her husband, Allen, was a miner. They later moved to Huntington, where she spent the remainder of her life.
Dessia loved to cook, often tempting family and friends alike with some special recipe. She loved her beautiful flower garden and was comforted in her final days with a bouquet of some of her favorite blooms. She enjoyed crocheting; creating beautiful beaded doilies and crocheted slippers for her grandchildren.
Quite the fisherman, Dessia could give even the best anglers a run for their money.
More than anything else, the greatest love of Dessia's life was her family, many of whom were able to visit her in the days before her death.
She was surrounded by loved ones as she left this world behind. Each of her family members take with them a lifetime of memories
She is survived by her three children, James (Claudia) Cox, Lehi; Paul (Nelly) Cox, Logan; and Vicky (Claron) Durrant, Huntington; 16 grandchildren and 41 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by one sister, Wanda Kinzer, Sandy; and one sister-in-law, Doris Brown, Murray. Dessia was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Allen; four brothers, one sister and one great-grandson.
Funeral services will be Saturday, July 26, at 1 p.m. at the Huntington LDS Stake Center. Viewing will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday before the funeral. Interment will be in the Huntington City Cemetery. Services are inthe care of Fausett Mortuary.