Monday, December 25, 2006

The Christmas Px in Progress

As many of you know, it is a Barrand tradition to do a zany Christmas picture in costumes that reflects what we've done in the past year and includes all the fam....even those who can't be there that year. So, we thought....what's been the big deal this year and our easy answer is....two missionaries in the fam! Austin going to Canada and Tiana in WV. What kind of px can you do with 2 missionaries. So we came up with this......Cannibals with the 2 missionaries in the cooking pot. The first attempt of this px was shot with an assortment of ametuer camers and photoshopped by my dear friend Anna Roedel on a mac at CTU. It meant combining 5 different shots and a background. Turned out fuzzy and we can't see Jensen. So, since this might be our last px, we will be trying again.....

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Blizzard of '06

18 inches of snow and snowed in for two days. Talk about a white Christmas! Mark was smart enough to have me get groceries the night before it hit! Oh joy! School was closed, everything was closed. I wrapped presents, I got homework and grades done. When it was finally over at 1:00 today we went out to dig out. Our neighbor across the street has a nice snow blower machine. We've got Austin the hos machine. We were 2/3 of the way dug out of the 3 car driveway when our our neighbor to the right drove up with his big "machine" and finished the rest. (he owns an excavating company)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Last Mission Call

Austin was playing WOW at 7:30 pm at CTU. I kicked him out and told him to go home. Mark had been phoning and phoning. It's only been 10 days since he submitted his mission papers electronically. We called all the kids and had them all on speaker phones. Austin called girls he knew, neighbors in and opened the envelope......Toronto Canada West. My Dad's name is Keith and we named Austin after him....Austin Keith. And, that's where dad served his mission. Cool huh. While I'm SO excited for him to go after this long 7 months of preparation, I will miss seeing him in the tutoring center at school and having him sit in my chair in my cube. I will miss seeing his awesome artwork in the glass cabinet in the foyer. I will miss seeing him eat 8 pieces of pizza when they bring it in for finals week. I will miss our Sunday walks when Austin hails the strangers in the park "How's your day going?" I will miss the way Austin "helps me" decorate the Christmas mom, oh, I mean tree. I will miss seeing Austin wrestle anyone anywhere he can. I will miss this very fun boy in a big man's body. I hope the Canadians feed Elders lots of food. Austin will be happy then.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I am so blessed. 2 cute grandsons! Sammy was Fran-n-Sam for Halloween so his little friend is Bride Bee of Frank-n-sam. As his mom said, Jensen's only scarey aspect of this lion costume is the drool.

Oh Thanksgiving. Belching contests between Austin, Andrew and Bryce. Wonderful Family, Football and Food! Definitely one of the best holidays. We walked into Bryce's Condo after our drive from Denver and out popped Danica and Dave and then (big surprise) out popped Celeste and Brad! They told us they'd be in OK for the weekend. We ate at Uncle Eric's house and saw 41 Hogan relatives. We swam in the Hotel pool with Sammy. He is so funny! He never stopped moving or growling or dancing or chasing us. We held smiley, smiley Jensen. Oh heaven. I love being a grandma.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Aussie's Mission

Austin Got his Patriarchal blessing today. It was a wonderful and unusually directive blessing, just right for Austin. It was very practical and specific about not wasting time. I'm just proud that Austin has got himself ready and is excited to go. We all owe a big thanks to Don who told him to stop playing WOW. (among others who told him to stop--but bless Austin's heart, he's cancelled his subscription) In other news, Dad and I have been called to be ordinance workers in the temple. I'm looking forward to the quiet time once a week, away from the teeming masses.


Sunday November 12
We flew to Champaign Urbana to see Celeste and Brad's play. Despite the repulsive name, it was a very entertaining play. Well not the first time we saw it! Brad gets killed half way through! So they explained that it's SATIRE and that their goofy 2 dimensional characters are to make fun of other musicals. 2nd time we saw it we enjoyed Brad leading a gospel choir, a handkerchief number like Fiddler on the roof and a flag flying Les Mis.

Tiana's Surprise

Tiana was supposed to go on a mission to W. Virginia April 5th of this year, but she met a guy and got really distracted. They broke up and she took off for Provo. So we were sleeping peacefully in our bed in September and Tiana burst through the door and announced she was home and going on her mission. She entered the MTC about 1 week later. We are very proud of sister Barrand. You can see px on her blog,

Salzburg Prague Germany

Aug 11 We hit Salzburg. Must say something about Mark here. He has this delusion that he's in the TV series "Amazing Race". We hustle from site to site, hefting our huge back packs. He's feverishly reading maps. Brad Celeste and Mark were all the leaders I found it easier to follow. Salzburg was where the Sound of Music was filmed so we hit those sights and also Mozarts Museum since he grew up there.
Aug 12 We were so excited to got to Prague because we heard the exchange rate was better so we'd be able to buy more food with our money. We went crazy on Lunch. We were confused and ordered "one of everything" on the authentic menu. Brad had a pig knuckle and Celeste thought the pear drinks were 40cents. They actually were four dollars. But, string ensemble was fun and the sausages were a highlight of our trip. I ate 3 in one day.
We saw the Newenswander Castle on the 14th. Disney modeled his sleeping beauty castle after this one. Usually castles had paintings of the crucifixion. This was different in that the paintings were of Wagners operas. It was exquisite.

Trip to Europe....Italy

The Land of Naked Marble men. All my life I've wanted to see Michealangelo's David. It kind of took my breath away. Florence was lovely. Venice was even better. I'd have to say that was my favorite city on the 3 week trip. It was like a gem. I cried a couple of times at how beautiful the 13th and 14th century building were while we rode around on the sparkling water. We all got addicted to gelato.

Europe Continued..

Aug 1-7 We made it to Spain. It's over 100 degrees. We stay in a Noisy, Noisy Madrid hostel with no air, I have to douse all my clothes in the sink water in order to sleep! We See El Escorial Castle. Gardens, more castles. Lovers walking in the gardens by the castles. Statues and fountains. The Prado! Now I've seen the 5 heavyweight art museums in the world (Louve, Tiawan, British, Met in NY0rk) We saw the beautiful Madrid Temple, Toledo, Sevilla and Flameco dancing. The last bull of the evening tried to get into the audience by knocking down the barrier fence with his horns. Terrible personality that one.

Our Trip to Europe

7/27 We Started in Switzerland. The jagged glacial alps rise straight up behind the hotels in Interlocken. Everything is green and the window boxes have lots or real red geraniums. We went to Ballenburg which is a 1698 to 1730 restored villiage. I've died and gone to Heidi land. Celeste and Brad did really well to plan this trip.
We rode a night train (hard to sleep) to Carcasonne Castle in France. Cobblestone streets. Built by the Visigoths in 500 AD. Added onto by the Arabs in 725 then the french in 775 to 1400. We saw a jousting match all in French. Dacron Sayson won. This is him.