Monday, December 14, 2009

The Family Px!

Look at my incredible family: This was a learning new things year!
Celeste and Brad worked really hard on this one. I think it turned out fabulous. Celeste took up photography this year and bought herself a nice camera and some lights and read every library book on photography she could get her hands on. She also taught herself a photoshop program. Really good first effort--don't you think???? I am really proud of her.

Bryce has spend about 12 days and uncovered 400 names doing genealogy. The spirit of Elijah keeps him up late at night after the kids are in bed. He's also really helped Austin at Media Rain and learned to finish a basement and fix an old pick-up.

Austin started an internship at Rain and drives his new truck to work every day for some programming. We asked him if he wanted to come home for Christmas and he said "No, I want to stay and learn PHP."

Tracy learned so much about running a new business. I've had to learn quickbooks and do payroll, invoices and manage caregivers for my home care franchise with my partner Rick Roedel along with my 3 sections of college psychology, 15 hours of counseling a week and trying to be a temple worker, I have learned about waking up at 4 and worrying.

Danica tries to manage THREE children 3 and under and still finds time for young women and her projects. I am really proud of what she gets done and how patient she is with the kids and doing "school" with JJ.

Tiana has learned so much as an esthetician about laser everything. She works at one of the nicest medical spa's in Utah.

Don is protecting us in Afganistan....learning lots and in leadership.

Mark has learned the Magic of Sunday dinners- he invites all the investigators and newly baptized members over almost every Sunday. We really enjoy having the missionaries live in our basement and the association on Sunday evenings. Mark is also the temple veil coordinator and has learned (the hard way) about asking for help in the beginning and getting things to run smoothly

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thankfulness 09

Austin showed of his dives amd his muscles at the rec center for the family.
Sometimes the 7 grandchildren did NOT get along and share toys, but this was one time they did!
Sam lifted the barbells we used for our Christmas picture.
The kids all got to paint at the children's museum.
Hunter enjoyed the tastey plastic vegetables at the Denver Children's museum.
Lily loved putting groceries in and out of this little kid shopping cart.
Cont 'em. Seven beautiful grand children!
Hunter wins the award for beautiful chub. O the glory of having all the kids and grandkids in the house (except Don who is in Afganistan) We went out to eat, we played games, we played walleyball and soccer and swam at the rec center, took our Christmas px, sat in the hot tub, went shopping at the Mall, the girls saw New Moon, they guys played racquetball and Desent.

I had to speak during 5th Sunday combined meeting about inviting people into our home as a way of fellowshipping.
I told about how great is to be married to Mark. Even though I work from 9 to 9 and have no free time between 3 sections of psychology, preferred care at home and counseling. Even though I'm awful at entertaining. Mark didn't even know what a salad plate was and told me to take back the dishes when i tried to buy them. I was putting grout in the bathroom and gave a recipe to Mark for Sausage rustica and he had the missionaries chopping and sauteing away. When we sat down to eat, I said "I think you men forgot the sausage." Sure enough, it was all browned in a bowl on the counter. They had been too distracted with their Risk game. Nevertheless. Mark is spectatular about inviting those who've just joined the church, have yet to join the church of just need loving an fellowshipping to dinner. I have learned to have a big dinner planned for Sunday. i hea learned that it doesnt' matter if they are old enough to be our parents or young enough to be our kids.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Snowy Sunday

Church was cancelled this week because of 12" of snow. I listened to conference talks and put this grout in the bathroom.
We had Clora and the Elders from the basement or dinner. They decided that purple was the right color and we took these px.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

When it snows here, all heck breaks loose for me.....

A beautiful Colorado sunrise from our back deck.
This is the bathroom remodel in progress. I used to think a big dump of snow in Colorado was an exciting thing.....they let school out, no one can make hot chocolate and laze around in your bunny slippers and a good book.
Ha! That was until I bought this home care franchise. The snow started Wednesday and snowed and snowed. It was still falling by Thursday night. I couldn't get out. All Thursday and Friday we shoveled. All my counseling clients canceled (no money coming in) and the calls came in one after another from Preferred Care at Home
"I can't make it to work, My car is buried under 24" of snow"
"I can't make it to work, I wrecked my car sliding on ice"
"I can't get to the client, the road hasn't been cleared out to her house."
"I can't make it to work, school is canceled and I have no one to watch my kids"
This left poor elderly people with no one to cook for them, keep them from falling and breaking bones, no one to shovel their walks.
I spent all day on the phone trying to find replacements, calming angry family members.

But, Finally on Friday afternoon the sun came out! The snow is melting and the roads are clear. And, best of all, Dad is paying for the bathroom to be remodeled. One of the Elders who was just released and an 18 year old in the ward demolished the old and took pieces to the dump. New free-standing vanities, new oil-rubbed bronze and new travertine. Dad, Rick Roedel and I worked on the tile all day yesterday. Here's the px.
The snow is melting....melting.....melting, just like our splatted witch on the post

The Elders are like little boys sometimes. Here is what they did to my pumpkin. It's throwing up pumpkin guts.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Grand baby #7 Charlene Hazel McDonald

We went on a bike ride today the highline canal. It was about 75 degress. We enjoyed the beautiful fall leaves with all kinds of other bikers, walkers even horse riders.
She's here in her 5 lbs of glory. After making her mom dizzy and headachey for 3 weeks, little Charlene Hazel (Charley) came on Friday. She looks like Jensen. And Jensen is crazy about her. We had the opportunity to babysit JJ and Lily while mom was in the hospital. I didn't know a child could manufacture screams that loud while in the quiet chair. We had a blast playing with toys. One night JJ woke up about 12:30 am saying "What a good nap I had" It's fun when they come visit, Mark is so unselfish and helpful.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Trip to Washington DC, Westminister MD to see Celeste

We took a trip to visit Celeste in her new house. It's so nice- new woodwork and granite countertops, a nice fenced back yard and lots of finished basement for toys. My favorite item in the house is chubby bubba Hunter. Here he is sitting in his bumbee chair.
We got to drive to WV and see Harper's Ferry. It's a civil war cite that's been restored and passed between north and south several times. Ate some mighty fine BBQ there too.See my "Hands off my Health care sign." I carried this sign with 600 thousand people on the Sept 15 tea party patriot march in protest of Obama up Pennsylvania Avenue to the capitol in DC.
There were some really great signs and really angry protesters. This was one of my favs.

This is the Baltimore inner harbor. We also got to go to the national aquarium and Celeste cried at the dolphin show.
What would be a trip back east without war sights and forts? Here's Mark and Brooklyn at fort McHenry.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Girlzilla Aug 09

When Celeste told us that Brad would be gone to New Mexico for 2 weeks, we invited her to Denver. Bryce and Marcia drove over for a high school reunion. Tiana flew in, Don and Austin drove over and for the first time in many, many years we had all the Barrand children together. Saturday morning the 21st we had Girlzilla- an early morning horse ride up on the bluffs and a glorious night away from the kids and the men to make jewelry and sew table runners in the Marriott.
Oh Joy, all my 6 cute grandkids together at once
We met the guys on their bikeride up on the bluffs
Sammy's Spiderman birthday party at Bellevue Park
Sewing with the girls
The train at Bellevue park only costs 1$!
My horse like to gallop. The mountains behind us are stunning.

Swimming at HR pool.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Trek Highlands Ranch 09

We called ourselves the Hard-y family. Tracy, Mark, Megan Di Di Jason Derrick Austin Doug Lindsey and ToriWearing the girls bonnets makes Austin and Derrick Thoughtful.
I won the biggest popped blister award. This was really painful and I had 6 miles to go. Austin saw me down and put his hat on my head. What a nice son.
Crossing the sweet water. A thoughtful spiritual moment as we thought about the young rescuer men who carried the company one at a time through the freezing water 100 years ago in winter.
Our family flag. The milk carton says "got trials" and the bubble says "I can do hard things."

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Backpacking with Tiana and Preston

For the 4th of July, Tiana and Preston were wonderful enough to meet us in Vail where we did the 10 mile trip to Notch Mountain. This is a special hike, because you can see the Holy Cross mountain from the top of Notch and many people thought if you hiked up all 13,000 feet, you'd be healed up there. We backpacked in the first night and had fun eating freeze dried dinners over our fire.

We watched fireworks in Beaver Creek the night of the 4th. They were spectacular. Then on the 5th Mark came horseback riding with me. It was a perfect trip except Tiana pulled two muscles and Preston got a little sick from the altitude.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Aussie Back to BYU

Had a very, very fun trip to Utah to put Austin in college. My dad has grown his hair back after his chemo and radiation! Here we are at a family reunion for my ancestor Eric GM Hogan who immigrated from Norway.

On the first day, last Friday, I got to play with Sammy and Lucas and roll down a steep grassy hill in the rain while Bryce was mountain biking and trying once again to injure himself on the steep and rocky downhill of squaw peak. We saw Bryce’s new house---very nice, and ate delicious tri-tip for father’s day.

On Saturday, when we got to Provo with Aussie, he was waiting around for the office to open and an old freshman dorm buddy named Jesse jumped out of his apartment and invited Austin to stay with him. We really like this Jesse kid. He studies a lot. After talking to Austin about discontinuing his wow video game usage until we were blue in the face, Jesse sat Aussie and his friend Andrew down and asked them to remove all the games, which Aussie did.

I was so pleased when Aussie called later and said he had been to diving practice and coach asked him to do a front 1.5 full twist. Aussie thought, well, I haven't’ done that before but I have done something similar on the trampoline, so I’ll just try it. And he did it.

Back in Colorado, the house is so much more empty. I'm glad Aussie is there, it was socially, spiritually and intellectually inadequate here, and BYU will help him reach his potential.......but I can't help but miss his big goofy smile, his service projects, him admiring his butt in the mirror, his even emotions and his eating large quantities of food. Austin really enjoys food.

On Monday, Tiana did my hair and I got to hang out with her all day and shop at Tiapan trading and hobby lobby to make topiaries. Mark being his usual cultured and decorative self, called them "tapiocas"

Back at home in Denver, Danica came over to eat 2x Saturday and JJ and Lily are so cute. Lily’s running movement is straight up and down.

Yesterday Mark and I had an awesome bike ride on the Highline Canal. Mark waited for me and I went faster---until on the way home my bike came off the rack and now it’s trashed. It was scarey picking it up of c-470. It’s so sad to see my bike all bent and trashed.

Yesterday was also my last lesson with my riding teacher Crissy. She’s moving to Wyoming where feed for her 3 horses is much more reasonable. We saddled up Shadow and she rode Hazel bareback and we trotted through the long grass, trees and wild flower in the river bottoms. The sunset was ribbons of light streaming between the clouds on the mountains, Colorado can be so beautiful.