Sunday, August 29, 2010

Surprise...You are 40!

How fun is this? A surprise party for Carolyn M. She is 40 on September 1st. Here you have Dwan, Shawn, Jonna, and Jen lighting all of those candles for her. Yep, when you are that old it takes 4 people to get them all lit in a timely manner.

Carolyn must doing a lot of yelling to those six kids of hers because she easily blew out the vast quantity of candles piled on top of that cake. Carolyn, now you see that all that yelling was to prepare you for this momentous occasion in your life.

It was a wild and crazy party...we were so loud and raucous that some of us even ate more than one piece of cake. It was seriously out of control. Especially that lady to the left in the picture with the short brown hair. She was the animal, I tell you.

When there are that many sprinkles and gummy bears, you know the Mormon party is going to be a debaucherous revelry. There was even apple pie and two bundt cakes. I am just sayin'...

Don't you love the signs Carolyn's daughter made for her mom? They were everywhere. So cute.

Here are the girls just before we all passed out from sugar overdose.

I can't remember Carolyn's friend in front on the very left, but there is Elizabeth, Natalie (who is trying to hide behind everyone), Carolyn, Amrayne, ME!, Jen, Sue (my visiting teacher), and then Jonna and Echo in the back.

Happy birthday Carolyn!

But this is the best part of this whole thing. I was looking at our ward email tonight and every month they list the birthdays. I was shocked and horrified to realize my birthday is only a week after Carolyn's. Is it really so soon? Bah!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Benihana Take Home

Cousin BJ called and said he was coming to our house to cook us dinner. I didn't really realize what he meant, but he really came to our house to make us dinner. Lindsay and her kids were over, as we were preparing for our yard sale, and she didn't feel like cooking after all the work we had done. So, she was going to take her kids out to dinner. I invited her to stay for dinner instead.

"Hey, Rinar's cousin is coming here to cook us dinner and I am sure there will be plenty of food. You might as well stay."

So, uh...yeah. My instincts were right about there being enough food. BJ and his dad Jerome stormed into the house, broke out the knives and pans and started cooking. They really went all out making us two delicious dishes, like two chefs from Benihana's. Lindsay and I just sat at the island and watched them cook and cook. They were fast and efficient, cleaned up all their stuff, gave us a hug and kiss and said goodbye. Then they left.

All we were left with was this...

We sat down to a feast and Lindsay and I just ate and ate that shrimp dish. Rinar is allergic to shrimp, hence there was a pork dish as well.


I don't think there are two nicer guys on the planet. They are both totally awesome and it was great having them at our house, even for a little while. Top-notch.

Then today we had our big yard sale.

It was a big success. Four families and lots and lots of stuff. Now all that stuff is gone.

Goodbye stuff!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Snapshot

Sometimes it is nice to capture moments. These are my babies right now. They couldn't be more different, I mean besides the fact that one is a boy and one is a girl.

Harry is very interested in doors right now. He likes to open them and to close them. It is the funnest thing ever.

I have decided that his mantra is, "I'm Game!" He always has a face of expectation, like, sure I would love to do that. Why not?

Julia is just a sweety with the saddest cry ever. Hence, she is pretty crafty because she gets held a lot more than her brother. Plus, she is very squeaky. Like a little mouse.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Grandma is 90!

I feel like a reporter and that I have an obligation to get these pictures on the web as soon as possible for all to see, especially the family members who couldn't make it to Grandma's 9oth birthday extravaganza. And it was an extravaganza. I couldn't believe how many people were there. It is just a testimony to the fact that she is a very beloved woman.

We were not planning on coming to this. I had no idea it was this large of a gathering. Several (and I mean several) of Rinar's cousins stayed at our house here for a few days until the party today. They coaxed us into going. I didn't want to make an up and back trip. We had to go to church because Rinar was teaching Gospel Doctrine and then we had to drive back tonight because he has to work in the morning. But those charming cousins of his gave us the nudge we needed to make it happen.

Just as a side note here, you can really compare our house quite admirably with Grand Central Station. Isn't it nice to have a dear relative so close to the Las Vegas airport?

Which would explain why this morning Kehau, Beth, and Kimo came back from St. George to our house. They couldn't stay for the party but they did get to spend time with Grandma and do some fun things. They stopped by and Eli actually ran up to Uncle Kimo and gave him a great big hug. It was adorable.

Here is the first batch of Hawaiian saying Aloha, on their way back to paradise.

We made it up to St. George just in time. We had to stop at my Grandmother's house and pay her a visit. We were able to stay with her for about an hour and it was really nice to have that time with her.

After we polished off what was left of dinner, since we were the last ones to arrive at the party, they did a little program for Grandma Lillian. The four sisters started it off with some kind of song. I don't remember what it was, but that is probably because I am tired and I have two frantically hungry babies cooing at me in eager anticipation of the next bite.

Okay, actually I don't think I can blame it on my babies since one of them is being held in this picture. I am totally busted.

Alright, I was just really tired. But I am sure it was fabulous.
This is just a partial picture of all of the family that was here for the impromptu celebration.

This is Lillian's sister Marion. I don't know if I spelled that right, but it was cool that she came down for this. She even quoted Rush Limbaugh. I knew I loved her from the moment I saw her.

Dallin and Kawai sang a song with a Ukulele. I am not sure if he wrote the tune or not. I should have asked, but I was tired. Regardless, it sounded awesome.

Preston was impressed!

You see, Kenji and Monica. You did make it onto my blog!

Lyf, BJ, and Harry. Our cuz BJ even changed Harry's diaper. This guy was in the army. He is tough! Lyf has never changed Harry's diaper. I'm just sayin'.

Scrambling for the family photo. I was in the photo so I don't have a picture. But it was a little nutty. Julia didn't it make it because she was sleeping.

Rinar, Eli, and Grandma Lillian.

Her kids with their spouses. I was amazed that 8 of her 16 kids were at this party.

The paparrazzi. I think there will be a lot of versions of that last pictures. We have got it covered people.

Aislinn holding Jessica. Can I get an "AAAAHHHHHH!"

There you go...8 of her kids.

Do you notice that us chicks here are color coordinated? Cool purple gals.

These are the cousins that crashed our pad. Yep, all of them were at our house. I still have no idea how many it actually was. Maybe I will count it sometime...or maybe not.

In conclusion, I just want to say that I am truly amazed at this woman. I don't really know her that well, but what I do know is that she has created a legacy of wonderful people who love her dearly. She has led an incredible life full of sacrifice and love and raised children that have raised their own wonderful children, and so on. To the world, Grandma Lillian may not seem like much. But her influence truly has rippled across the globe.

I am reminded of the poem by William Ross Wallace...

Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky--
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

If there was ever a woman who has truly rocked the world, she is the embodiment of it. Oh that I may aspire to be such a woman.

Happy Birthday Grandma Lillian.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

St. Louis Wedding

One of the advantages of having a husband that travels a lot for work is all the free rewards you get from airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies. Hence, Rinar and I decided to go to his cousin's wedding in St. Louis for one day. We left early yesterday morning and arrived in St. Louis at 1pm. Then we grabbed a quick lunch, changed in the bathroom and went to the wedding with 2 minutes to spare.

It was at the Second Presbyterian church in the downtown area of St. Louis and it was gorgeous. The stain glass windows were from Tiffany's and there was an incredible organ as well. Really cool.

The wedding was quite lovely and Megan looked amazing. Everyone had these huge smiles plastered all over their faces. It was wonderful to see so much joy and to be a part of it.

Her cousin Allison from Washington sang "The Prayer" with some guy and it was A-MAZING. Wow. Plus the accoustics in the church were truly heavenly. I wish I could sing in that church, just for the pure joy of it.

Here is the happy father with Mitchell and Michael. But apparently Mitchell is now Ben and has been using this assumed identity for the last few months. Don't ask me which one is which because I have no flippin' clue.

Here he is...Mitchell/Ben/Michael/Harvey...something like that.

This is Rinar's other cousin Angie. She looked so beautiful in her bridesmaid dress. Don't you love the flowers.

Funny thing...Megan has another sister, Morgan. I watched the entire wedding: procession, ceremony, grand exit, the whole ordeal and I didn't see her anywhere. As we were walking out, I mentioned this to Rinar and he guessed that maybe Morgan was at camp or something. I told him he was completely nuts. Do you really think she would miss her sister's wedding? Come on!
Guess who that is?

Yeah! Morgan. I couldn't believe it. We both felt a little silly. We just think of her as a perpetual 9 year-old for some reason. She is all grown-up people.

The happy couple leaving the church. Isn't that so beautiful? Amazing. Then the pastor accidentally stepped on her very long veil and it almost got pulled completely out of her hair. Whoops!
Look at that sweet ride. What kind of car is that anyways?

Rinar with his Aunt Helen. She is one cool lady.

At the reception, cutting the cake. I chose this picture to illustrate that there were A LOT of pictures taken of this moment in their life. There must have been 15 people photographing this as you can see by the blinding light. I hope their eyesight is okay still.

Dad dancing with his newly married daughter. The song was "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong.

Rinar and Paul meet for the first time.
"This is cousin Rinar!"

We made it into the official photographs because we were the only people who came from John's side of the family. I am glad I liked my dress. Rinar's tie even coordinated with it. That's what happens when you have been married for 14 years.

After the wedding was over, we headed over to John's house to play 8 and Back!!! That's right. I actually got to play 8 and Back. It has been at least 3 weeks since I last played it. I almost forgot how to play. But luckily, John and Helen invited over their friends, Chris and Jenn to play with us. They have improved the rules and we actually played with 2 decks. These two were hilarious and I do believe that Chris never stopped talking the entire time we were there. No, that's not true. He did have to swallow once in a while.
It is amazing how funny things are when you play until 1am, going on only 4 hours of sleep. Things were really funny. I laughed a lot. Then the guys decided to play ping-pong for another hour, naturally. I was upstairs waiting with Jenn and Helen and as I was answering a question she asked me, I watched her fall asleep with her face in her hands, sitting on the fireplace. It was quite funny. Poor lady. I hope she gets some sleep tonight.

It was a wonderful little trip and I am grateful we could spend time with our favorite Missourians.
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