Showing posts with label celebration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label celebration. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Speaking of Not Being Able to Plan a Party Due to the Weather . . .



               Earlier last month, the neighbor next door invited Jenna to a birthday party for her niece.  The plans included outdoor bbq, games and a bouncy house.  She somehow had the impression that Jenna was/is younger than she is (that is actually the first time anybody has made that assumption. Based upon physical appearance alone, people have always thought that Jenna is older than she is.)
 


       
        I, too, had been misled.  I presumed her niece, Molly, would be a little older than she is.  She is actually younger than what Jenna and I had been expecting.  But still, the family really did want Jenna to come.  The weather put a damper on all original plans.







        The party had been moved from next door to grandma's house located downtown.  She (the grandma) had even stopped by our house an hour before the party started to extent the altered invitation.  The room was decorated nicely.  The girls wore crowns that said "Happy Birthday". Games had been thrown together to accommodate the last minute change.  And it showed.



        When we arrived, we were told that the guests were working on an art project, but there wasn't actually any evidence of any art related materials or craft projects that I could see.  Jenna tried to make the best of it, but I could tell she was bored out of her mind. 

        There were hot dogs served and a rather quick game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. 



        One of the girls wore a shirt with a "Merida" print. 


        I made the comment that Merida is Jenna's favorite princess in which the birthday girl responded that Merida is her favorite princess, too, because she's not so girly.  I was amused by her comment as the birthday girl was dressed in pink with frilly tutu and looked very girlish.








        Presents were handed out, and I was impressed by Molly's pleasant gratefulness as she opened each gift. 

        There were a lot more cupcakes than there were guests - probably enough for four each, but everybody took only one.
       


        About an hour after we arrived and presents had been opened, the girls were taken outside to break a piñata - of course Jenna was chosen to go last. 



        She managed to whack it open.







        I remember taking pictures, but somehow they didn't get transferred over.  I didn't get to view them.  I don't know what happened.
        In the meantime, Roland was circling around the house, but finally parked.
         We thanked Molly and her family for having invited us and they thanked us for coming. 


        I don't know how often we will see Molly in the future.  We don't close on our house for another two weeks.  We'll still be living in the rental next week when we celebrate Jenna's birthday.  But we'll be moved out before April is halfway through.  Or at least that is our plan.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Labor Day Weekend is for Family

      Facebook has added a new feature.  If you would like, it will give you notifications of what you posted each date however many years ago.  Roland, Jenna and I had spent the day driving and spending time with friends in McMinnville. I happened to check facebook with only an hour left on September 5th - or else I would have missed reminiscing some great posts of years past.



      In 2010 I posted that I enjoyed spending the day playing games with the family.  At that point Bill and Kayla were not married.  Corey and Kayla were both at home and Roland and I decided to visit.  Patrick's family had also come.  They were about to leave to go home and make dinner, but I had actually made a huge chicken salad sandwich which I had put on a loaf of French bread and cut it into pieces, but there was still plenty left for Patrick's family.



      Ellen and Candy loved the chicken salad and ate it all up.  I was happy that I didn't have to take any leftovers home.  I was grateful too for the extra time it had given us to play games.  I have always enjoyed playing games with the family.

      One year later I had posted how much I enjoyed the Walden Family reunion. I was introduced to the Walden family after Jenna had turned one.  They are related to the boys by their mother.  Very hospitable people (mentioned in this post



      Jenna, Biff and I had planned on going to the reunion in 2013 but for whatever reason did not go.  Labor Day was on September 2nd.  Mom had gone into the hospital on the 1st.   I was scheduled to teach a class to the youth.  I heard my phone go off during my lesson.  I knew it was about mom. 

      On September 5, 2013 I posted the following: "This post is for those interested in the welfare of [June Cannon] - who was doing so spectacular before Sunday morning, and a freak fall sent her to the hospital. . She is now in hospice at St. Marks room 3W21. They are making her as comfortable as possible. Those who would like the details can message me and I will let you know. Or if you are friends with [Peggy] or [Corey] you can learn more details on their fb pages."  Still with family - but not a fun way. My mom passed away five days later.



      This year Roland will work on Labor day this year. He will take off Wednesday - which is our anniversary. Celebrations this year won't include the same group of people. Two of my sibs remain in Utah, one in Las Vegas. 


      On Saturday we went to McMinnville to spend some time with Beth and Graham - who loaded our trunk with food.  Graham also parted with the clarinet he had played which had remained in the closet since their arrival in McMinnville.  So Roland and Jenna are able to practice together - even if Jenna leaves her instrument at school. Here are a few of the pictures that we took.









Saturday, July 4, 2015

Just Who is in Charge Here, Anyway?



It seems like there is always something to do on the 4th of July.  Salt Lake has their big parade on the 24th, but Provo (not incredibly far from Salt Lake City) offers a parade.  As mentioned in this post, one can find a parade somewhere during the summer.  I think there is one going on every week.  
Fireworks are also shot in the sky throughout the summer.  Neighbors have their personal fireworks and there are shows throughout the valley on different nights and different locations.  Probably the most impressive are in Sugarhouse (offered on the 4th) Rice Stadium (University of Utah also on the 4th) Fire, Water and Ice celebration in Kearns (1st week in August, I believe) and baseball stadiums as well as others. 
I have a problem breathing around the fireworks.  Over the years I’ve tapered off from watching outdoors to peering behind a window – should I happen to be up (usually I’m in bed)
Last year Jenna spent the holiday with two of her brothers and felt cheated on missing out this year.  I looked on the net for 4th of July activities in the Roseburg area.  I emailed our friend in McMinnville and facebooked my cousin in Salem to see if they knew of any events surrounding their towns.  I was referred to Eugene by one and so looked up and actually saw a promotion for Glendale on three different sites – two news stations from Eugene. 
The hype was written something like this:
2015 July 4th Celebration - Glendale Oregon
This is a daily event, running from July 2, 2015 through July 4, 2015. 11:00 AM Memorial Park - Glendale, Oregon (Right across the street from the Post Office on Pacific Ave) 541-832-2245 cowcreekvalley@outlook.com

July 2nd the fun begins at 11:00 am! The Food Booth Opens and all Vendor Booths will be open. The Kids games will be starting also! (Tickets 25 cents each or 5 for $1.00). All children win a prize! THE WATER SLIDE IS OPEN AT 11:00 am!!! Let’s not forget the Car Bash!!! There will be Bingo at 1:00 pm and the dunk tank starts up at 1:00 pm also! At 5:00 pm the Silver scramble will be starting for three age groups! At 7:00 pm the drawing for the 4th of July Raffle (Which includes being able to start the fireworks) will be held! Then we will have the Shirley Davis Memorial Cake Walk!

July 3rd We start again at 11:00 am..... The water slide- Food Booth – Kids games – and Car Bash!!!! The Dunk tank and the bingo will start up again at 1:00 pm! At 4:30 – Pinata’s (three age groups) – this is free folks! At 6:00 pm a Patriotic concert in the park put on by the Churches in the area! After the concert try your hand at a Watermelon Eating Contest! All Ages! then 8:30 to 10:00 pm some music in the park!

July 4th – Breakfast in the park from 8:00 am to 10:00 am! The Car Bash will be still happening and then the Water slide will open at 11:00 am. The Annual Parade line up will start at 12:30. At 1:25 pm the National Anthem will be sung by our own Lyla Rose! The parade will start at 2:30 !!!!

Then the highlight!!!!! THE BEST FIREWORKS SHOW IN SOUTHERN OREGON WILL BE HAPPENING AT THE GLENDALE HIGH SCHOOL! The Concession stand opens at 8:00 pm and the Fireworks will start at dusk! If you have not seen it yet folks......You really do not know what you are missing!

Come on out and join in the fun! Hope to see you there!
We decided to take Jenna to Glendale on the 3rd as we believed the 4th would be more crowded.  But first she and Roland went to Roseburg to deposit two checks and to pick up a few items.  I chose to stay home and wait for a handyman to come fix the rental refrigerator.

I seriously was more impressed with taking the drive to the sleepy little town of Glendale and the return back to Myrtle Creek than I was with Glendale itself or lack of activity.  It was major disappointment for Roland and me – and appeared to be even more disappointing for Jenna – until we finally found someone who would man the games.  


Glendale was definitely cooler than in Myrtle Creek (which everybody here says is very unusual.  They say it NEVER gets this hot – which is good to know. Because even though I’m from Salt Lake and people think that I’m probably used to the heat – I will NEVER get used to it) and it was really pretty.  I also enjoyed the temporary Christian music that I haven’t heard much of since living in Oregon. But I think I’ve had my fill of Glendale and don’t plan on ever returning. 
When we arrived, the main street was closed off for a block – as if the town had planned something exciting for the entire community and was expecting loads of fun.  And maybe it was in the average Glendalians mind – but I didn’t think it was very well organized.  Some of the booths appeared to be closed even though they had signs of events taking place.  And some seemed to have events set up but no one to man the stations.  Obviously a trusting town with no crime whatsoever.
We had passed one booth of throwing darts into balloons for used stuffed animals. The lady at the booth told her husband tickets were five for a dollar or fifteen for five dollars.  What kind of deal is that?  
Jenna rode the waterslide three times but didn’t seem happy.  She wanted to play the games that had been left neglected – but looked fun to play in her mind.  Roland purchased some melted ice cream for her.  It was actually a very generous scoop.  It must have been seven times the size of the cone.
I was hungry for real food and decided on some nachos.  While the chips themselves were delicious, I wasn’t all too impressed with the gloppy cheese.  Jenna had intended on sharing with me, but was even less impressed.  We ended up throwing away not quite half – but enough to call waste.
Roland finally found someone to take charge of the games, and Jenna knocked over bottles and cans to win more stuffed animals and ended up taking home an armload of cherished pets.  I’m glad she warmed up and actually enjoyed having fun.  Guess I’ll take her to the swimming pool tonight.  I don’t foresee fireworks happening this year.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Not the Reunion We Were After




          My Uncle Ross had battled cancer off and on for I don’t know how many years.  His last time in the hospital was majorly hard on his wife and children – but he kept up a positive attitude, I believe for their sake. 
         
          When he left the hospital, he was told that he would have no more than a year left on earth.  (Probably not in those exact words – but you get the gist)

          My cousin, Michelle, had sent out a request for an early “Christmas in July” celebration – hoping that we would all enjoy one last celebration with Uncle Ross and have those treasured memories as we had for mom.  Only her request came as a plea on my part: “LaTiesha is moving to Oregon.  Let’s have our Christmas early this year before she goes” She didn’t want to say what she really meant “before Dad goes”

          The date was set up for June 14th – though not everyone would be able to attend.  I don’t think we’ve ever had a “Christmas in July” party in which all of us were there.  And yet when we had celebrated in December, I don’t remember anyone NOT being there – even if it was just to put in an appearance (which seemed to become more popular as the family grew) 

          The celebration for this year would take place at the same time when my family attended Church – which is why I had announced in my ward that the 7th would probably be my last week (I was still tired from bus trip mentioned in my last post; wasn’t thinking clearly)

          On June 6th I was on the bus going toward Salt Lake.  I had the option of using my laptop but did not actually make the discovery until the last leg of the trip, but chose not to deal with it in such tight quarters as it was.  Corey had texted me in the event that I wasn’t on facebook.  Michelle had messaged family members to let us know that Uncle Ross had chosen not to fight anymore.  Corey had just seen him two days earlier, and though he had lost a tremendous amount of weight, Corey said that Uncle Ross seemed to be in good spirits.

          Less than two hours later I received another text.  Uncle Ross had passed.  At that point I didn’t have (nor expect) any details about the funeral.  It may not have been until Monday that I learned that there would be a viewing on Thursday and the funeral would be on Saturday, the 13th.  So of course we wouldn’t be having the “Christmas in July” on the following Sunday.  




          Roland had graduated from his collage courses and already had his diploma in hand.  But he had signed up to walk across the stage in a graduation ceremony that same Saturday – an activity that I was never truly excited about to begin with.  I would seriously rather attend a funeral than a graduation or award ceremony that always seems to drag and make me feel like death would be an awesome option for ending the many hours I feel like I spend at said ceremony.  But it’s not like I wished for it to happen just so I’d have an excuse not to go.

          Meanwhile, Roland seemed to forget about it as well as he planned to leave Utah on Friday night after he got off work to take a load of furniture and packed boxes to Oregon.  He didn’t attend either viewing or funeral.  He and Bill both work late on Thursday and so Bill did not go to the viewing either.  Kayla stopped by with their three children and we rode to the viewing address together.

          The viewing, without doubt, is the most interesting that I’ve ever attended.  Corey would have loved it, I think.  There was a “celebration of life” theme.  Nothing wrong with it – just different.  It wasn’t something that Kayla and I are used to.  It just felt irreverent when we first arrived.  I felt like we had walked into a cocktail party rather than a viewing. But it was a great send-off. Made it easier on my aunt and cousins – who for the most part, were out mingling amongst the “guests”.  Uncle Ross was left in a room by himself (for the most part).  Aunt Fern said it made it so much easier for her not to be in the same room with his lifeless body. 

          They had dressed him in golf clothes and he held a golf ball.  Kayla and I tried to visit with family members while taking turns supervising the children as Anna wanted to go in one direction and Gary in another and the food wasn’t as important as they thought.

          Anna wanted to go upstairs in a closed area and Gary wanted to stand near enough to the water to play in it.  BJ was very good, but after a while he wanted to get down and explore as well.  Neither Kayla nor I were willing to allow that to happen as he could have easily been stepped on.  Didn’t seem like a very kid-friendly environment – but than neither is the traditional viewing that we are used to. Children acting up or misbehaving seems more noticeable at a viewing than it does at Church services.  But given the amount of volume level amongst those who had come to pay their respects, their behavior seemed to be overlooked by everyone except me and Kayla. 

         I had asked Earl how they had found the funeral home or made the arrangements. He said that the family had been introduced to the services after an uncle had died.  His mom liked the feeling of “life” as opposed to the mourning for death.  The family agreed and made the arrangements.

         Kayla and I did not stay long as the kids really needed to removed from the situation at hand.  I think all of us were tired.

          The Saturday service was really nice.  Three of my cousins gave talks and shared memories of their dad.  Michelle’s husband played guitar while Corey sang “Landslide”, a song that neither one of them were familiar with, but I had heard it before.  Michelle mentioned that the song had been chosen as her family doesn’t seem to deal well with change – at least where death is involved.

           Golf balls had been purchased for mementoes to take for each person who attended the services.  One son-in-law works with the police force and made arrangements for a police (on motorcycles) escort to be with the old fashion looking Hearst.  People may have seen it and thought there must have been an important person in the casket.  It was indeed a great honor.



After the services were over at the cemetery, we all threw paper airplanes.  A balloon was tied to one to send on high.  Just a few minutes later many of us returned to the church to have lunch with the family.  I went around and said my good-byes to all of the family members who had usually turned out for Christmas dinner.  Some who said they couldn’t or wouldn’t make it to the BBQ for an early July Christmas. It was Uncle Ross’s final farewell and everyone turned out for it.  And it was great.

  
 
Now he is reunited with his mom and dad and brother and sister. This picture is my dad with Uncle Ross long before they were my dad and uncle.



Friday, January 2, 2015

December 31st and New Year


         Roland had come home early on Wednesday.  He probably shouldn’t have even gone in.  He slept most of the day.  He needed to.

         I took Jenna to the library for the afternoon countdown.  I have been to the library on December 31st before.  But the last day of 2014 was different.  The library was overly quiet – except for children in the library.

         It wasn’t crowded.  Less crowded than I have seen the WV library – EVER. Roland had told us to leave early in order to get a good parking spot.  I honestly don’t think it would have mattered what time we left.  The turn-out wasn’t as good as it had been the last time we had gone for the New Year/afternoon countdown.

Jenna decorated a hat and asked me to finish her noise maker while she went to participate in games.  I wished Anna had been with us as I think she would have enjoyed the parachute game.  I don’t know if the library near where she lived had offered a New Years celebration or not.

 I left Jenna in the auditorium while I went to the teenage section to read.  It felt like the library was closed. It was actually kind of awesome just to feel peace and enjoy my reading. 

I returned for the countdown.  Two years ago I could have just stayed put.  The children were loud enough that you could hear them no matter where you were in the library.  There was a lot less children on December 31, 2014.  Even from the auditorium they didn’t sound even half as loud as they had two years prior.

As we passed the park, Jenna expressed her desires to go there.  It was cold.  But the air was clean still and not filled with the pollution that’s come with the New Year thus far.  We went home to get Highness and returned to the park.  I walked the dog while Jenna played.  I also took a fair amount of pictures.










Jenna always wants to stay up for the New Years countdown.  When I was growing up, my family had always played games on New Years.  I was willing to play games with Jenna, but she wanted to watch Aliens in the Attic. So we watched that followed by Little Shop of Horrors before we shuffled and dealt cards to play Go Fish.  We were playing cards when we heard the fireworks and the clock marking the New Year. 

We finished our game and played another – though I don’t recall what it is we played.  Cranium, I think.  And then we went to bed.  Not a typical New Years celebration.  But typical that someone was sick.  This year it just happened to be Roland.
        
         I am surprised that he was feeling well enough to donate blood the next day.  He had an appointment on New Years’ Day.  One had to have an appointment in order to donate.  They weren’t taking walk-ins yesterday.  That was my first time ever not being able to get in without an appointment.  But because it was New Years’ day, Red Cross didn’t have a full staff.

         We were at Red Cross for a long time before Roland was hooked up and producing blood.  It took him less time to bleed than to wait and be checked in.  I read four chapters, I think.

         We did get our game playing in – only a couple of hours though.  We went to Bill and Kayla’s and played a couple of games.  One was called Mad Gab – which we’ve never played together before.  And one was called Whatzit – which is puzzle solving which I’m not terribly good at.  Jenna played that one with us, and she is good.

         I’m in awe at all the birds I’ve seen – even on December 30th which was an extremely windy day.  What surprises me more than the birds are the fall leaves that have continued to cling to the trees.  Those are some major STRONG leaves!  January 2nd and they are still there.  Nature is puzzling lately.





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Flies by Day, Mosquitos by Night



         I have always hated flies.  Annoying creatures that buzz around my face and land their teeny legs on my skin to share their germs.  My idea of hell consists of non-dying flies.

         Mosquitos never bothered me quite so much when I was single.  They loved my brother, Patrick.  I could stand next to him anytime the mosquitos were out and never be bitten.  He could even be doused in an entire can of repellent and I with nothing, and the mosquitos would still go after him.  I had actually convinced myself that mosquitos actually died on my blood.

         During the last five years or so, my blood must have improved in taste – or else the mosquitos are just getting more desperate.  I know the Red Cross is.  They had also taken my blood out of desperation.  It’s never been wonderful blood like Patrick or Roland has. 

I don’t know about Patrick, but Roland gets contacted by Red Cross every two months as though it’s mandatory now.  So why do the mosquitos always feast on me instead of him?  Because he’s always hidden under a blanket while I am always exposed?  Back in my childhood day, the mosquitos would have found a way to get under the blanket to get Patrick’s blood and still leave me alone.

         I have written this post about a family tradition in which we honor Christmas in July.  Though the last two years have been in August. 

         Michelle had messaged family members on facebook to give us a date and to make/get food assignments.  Messaging is supposed to be discreet, but somewhere along the way, at least one mosquito learned of the event.

         Corey had already responded that he and Joh would be unable to make the event.  When Michelle announced that we had surprise visitors, she was absolutely right.  We were all surprised to see Joh and Corey walking towards us.

         As the food broke out, so did the flies.  As Corey and I sat and visited, we both waved our arms as we swatted at flies.  As we were waving our arms I made the comment that I didn’t know which was worse: mosquitos or flies.  Within a matter of minutes I got my answer.

 

         Mosquitos, aware of our party, must have sent out a bulletin that read:

Free Blood Banks!

Free succulent blood!

Backyard party at Michelle’s house.

Tell ALL of your friends!



Every mosquito within a 500-mile radius must have shown up to chomp on my family.  The itches usually don’t start up quite that soon for me.  These mosquitos were ruthless.  They showed no mercy.  Amazingly none of us needed to leave in an ambulance.  We’re all still alive.  None of us were devoured to death – though I think that may have been preferable.  At least I wouldn’t itch anymore.

I’ve got huge bites on my arms and legs.  One even dared bite the bottom of my foot.  HOW DARE HE (or she)!  My family was not designed to be the source of another creature’s picnic food.  I wonder how swollen Patrick is right now.  Or Corey.  He received just as many bites as I had – or more.  Perhaps all of us got bitten equally – except for Joh.  He claimed the mosquitos weren’t bothering him. How's that even possible?

If it was fat that mosquitos were feasting on instead of bloeed, I could learn to live with the itching.  All family members involved would be so thin right now.

Mosquitos MUST DIE!!!


Friday, July 4, 2014

Creating Memories With Two Brothers



            I remember how I enjoyed watching fireworks when I was younger.  I remember lighting sparklers with my dad and dancing around the yard.  Fireworks were reserved for July 4th (anniversary of our nation) and July 24th (anniversary of our state) and gradually that turned into weekends. 

Here in our part of west Valley, the fireworks happen EVERY SINGLE DAY IN JULY – or at least from the 3rd to the 27th.  Jenna’s enthusiasm shines for each holiday.  She’d been nagging Roland for some time to get fireworks whenever we pass firework stands or displays.  

 

Somewhere along the way (and I’m not really certain when) I outgrew the thrill of fireworks.  I get headaches from the smoke.  I have a hard time breathing when I am outside.  I’m no longer a night owl and thus not very fun parent.  But we try.  Jenna often feels bummed as she often feels like an only child.

I texted her brothers to see if any would like to assist with the fireworks.  Two of them answered.  Randy and Carrie came to the house and all lit all of the fireworks.  And while they were doing that, Tony called to see if Roland could bring Jenna out to where he’s staying.  Randy offered to drive her, and she will stay the night.

Thank you Randy and Tony for assisting in the memory-making department.  Happy Independence Day!