Viva Las Vegas!

We needed a vacation.  So we set sail to Vegas.  I learned that 2 year olds do not enjoy car rides, just sayin'.  The weekend could have been dubbed "The Lamentations of Ellis," but we still managed to have some fun.
View from our hotel room.  It was warm and sunny while there.
What Ellis and I did during the Gold Prospecter's Show.  Reub had a blast.  I walked a lot of steps.
We took Ellis to the Nevada Southern Railroad Museum in Boulder City, NV.  He liked it for the most part.  He loves trains, just not riding them.
Train Ride Pics.

Ellis finally calmed down after screaming most of the first half of the ride.  Poor kid was tired and hungry.

Ellis selfie from the road trip.

We squeezed lots of stuff in.  We did the gold show, the train, and Fremont street for just being there for the weekend.  It was an adventure and a good get away.  


Memories Drenched in Bacon Grease

I got the chance to go to a little writing group that is hosted by one of the women in my church. The group gathers together every month to share stories about their families for their family history. This month's subject was food so I concentrated on this little memory from my childhood:

Memories Drenched in Bacon Grease 
So many of my memories involve food. It seems like good food always is included in good times. But really it isn’t the food so much that is important but the people who gather together both to prepare and partake of the food.

My grandma Alice was an amazing cook. Yet again,I don't remember specifically what always ate, but I do remember her working away in her kitchen. She was always perched on a worn out orange stool.  I can still see all the brown scratches on the round seat and down the legs.  That stool had seen lots, probably even many of my Dad’s activities as a youngster.  Grandma’s glasses were often balancing on the tip of her nose, but I do also remember the shiny gold chain that was attached to both sides by a little plastic ring and how on occasion the glasses would hang round her neck secured by that old gold chain.  The kitchen was often a hot, muggy place, which made sense for her to always be wearing a house dress.  I remember one in particular that was gray and had pink flowers all over it. Her hair matched that shade of gray and was often slicked back with sweat as she slaved away over the stove.  

I can still hear the sizzle of the bacon in the pan and the eggs popping as she fried them.  My love of sunnyside up eggs started in that little farmhouse kitchen.  Toast would be jump from the toaster and the grandkids’ job would be to slather them in butter.  That crisp buttery toast was a perfect pair to the perfectly warmed yolks of those perfectly fried eggs. The special ingredient to any breakfast at Grandma’s house was a little hint of bacon from the grease she would use in the pan.  That bacon would sizzle and sizzle, grease popping. Not a drop of the grease would ever be wasted.  Grandma kept a large can next to the stove that she would gently pour the leftover grease into.  It would harden overnight and then be scooped again onto the egg pan.  Yum.

Breakfast was always special while visiting the farm.  But really it wasn’t the toast, eggs and bacon but  the woman who was behind that great meal that was important.  The woman who was a writer, a lover of poetry and nature, the woman who taught me so much and  even if the memories have faded just like the smells in that kitchen faded slowly each morning, I hold them dear, faded yet drenched in bacon grease.  Grease that keeps on giving just as these memories keep on giving me comfort and smiles for years to come.  

Unfortunately, I tried to read the story to the ladies from my phone and it wouldn't load from google docs. I had to improvise and it wasn't nearly as good. It was still fun to gather and share stories. These older ladies sure have seen lots of change in our work, even when it comes to food!!! What a fun little outing. 


Pics of the week.

I know you are missing us on Facebook. Funny thing is that I am not missing Facebook. Sure, it's fun to post and see what you all are up to, but I feel like I have more time for other things, like texting, and being more with Ellis. And I'm not missing the politics at negativity. 

Here is my week in pictures:
A photo I texted my sister earlier this week. 
Ellis entertaining us while waiting to get taxes done. 
From my Twitter feed.  Astronaut @StationCDRKelly on the international space station posts cool pics. 
Lots of deer by my school. 
He's so big, no?
Lunch with friends Saturday. 
Polar Express for the millionth time. 
Ellis is the master of the selfie. 
Reub is the master of Valentine's
This is what happens when E refuses to nap all afternoon. Sleeping at 6:30. 

Good week. Glad to have tomorrow off. No plans. Maybe a road trip. Maybe a nap. The possibilities are endless. 




So. I once was Catholic. It seems like a long time ago, yet not that long ago. I now have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints(Mormon) more of my life than I haven't been. That is quite a milestone. 

I was reminded of that special change in my life as I was able to be at the baptism of a dear friend and co-worker this past weekend. As he was lifted out of the water, I had a flood of memories to the day I also came out of the waters of baptism a new person. 

Now, I was only perfect for probably a few minutes that day, but really I was a different person when I came out of that water than I had been when I entered it. 

Life seemed to be better and easier. Sure, life is never perfect or always easy, but I felt as if life has always been more manageable and bearable since I made sacred covenants with God and have accepted His help and guidance in my journey here on earth. 

I don't speak a lot publicaly about my spiritual philosophies. I think this has a lot to do in this politically correct society that we now live in.  See, often times faith and beliefs are put down because they may seem to some as old fashioned, silly or "offensive." People who happen to be Christian and faithful are seen as not with the times and weird, even though I feel we happen to still be a majority in society, it just isn't politically correct anymore to talk about it. 

Talk of religious acceptance these days seems to only include those who are practicing anything other than Christianity. Please don't mention Jesus Christ or God in our schools or government but feel free to spend lots of time and energy teaching about religious minorities. (I won't get too political here, even though I really would like to.)

Easter has been big to me ever since I figured out the role of my Savior in my life. It isn't about the delicious Peeps or Cadbury eggs, but rather about that empty tomb and the fact that Christ died so that we may live again.  This life isn't it. It just can't be. The sorrows and pains just don't seem justified, if not to teach us something and prepare us for something better and richer after this life. That is why I celebrate Lent. 

I give something up to make me remember the sacrifice that Christ made both in the Garden and on the Cross. Now, giving up Facebook may seem like a big deal but Christ took upon him all our pains, sorrows, disappointments and sufferings so that if we choose to turn to him, we don't have to suffer nearly as bad as we could. He also made it possible for us to be able to live eternally and make it back to our Heavenly Father even though we are imperfect and always fall short. 

This is why I will sacrifice reading my news feed every morning and do other things instead like meditate and ponder the greatness of God!

So, sorry if you will miss my silly posts and quotes but this is bigger than that. Forty days isn't anything when you look at this bigger picture, don't you think?

I'll try to post on here videos and pictures of Ellis. He's really the star of my posts anyway, right?

Maybe you will be inspired to give up something for the next 40 days, even if it is as simple as trying to be nicer or more positive. You might even try to swear less or eat less chocolate. Just remember that you are a blessed person and that life really is good. 

Bless you my friends. And Happy Lent!


A little poem.

I wrote this last week for a writing group I had planned to go to. Unfortunately, I got the plague a few hours before and wasn't able to go. I wanted to post this last week but ya know, had the plague. Sorry. But here, enjoy: 

Please, Please, Slowly Grow Up

I won't remember every moment 
Time seems to fly by,
Like a rocket at supersonic speed

Every giggle makes me smile
Every pat on my leg
Leaves a lasting impression on my heart and soul
Reminding me how much I love you

Sometimes filling sippy cups 
And giving baths 
Seem taxing and like too much
But I need to remember the thank yous
And the sound of pure pleasure 
Radiating from you as you splash and splash 
And how you won't always need me

Soon it will be handing over the keys 
And parent-teacher conferences
You not so interested in cuddles, hugs, or kisses. 

So now, I sneak extra minutes each night 
Holding you while we rock
Imprinting your tiny face on my memory. 
For too soon
Memories will be all I have. 

Sleep softly tonight 
And please, please, slowly grow up!