Friday, August 29, 2014

Summer Books

I have read many books this summer. 
I really enjoyed  The End of your Life Book Club  by Will Schwalbe.  It's about his mother who is dying of cancer and the books they share as they move toward the end of her life.  So much of it reminded me of my mom and her cancer experience.  It was good for me to relive this as a third party looking in. It was nice to not feel so much and be so involved this time around.   Plus, I loved all of the mini book reviews which made me want to rush out and read many of the recommended novels.  
 A part of the book that rings so true...and something I think about a lot... is how the younger kids and grandkids and really all of us are going to miss out on the bright light that was my Mom....  I cried a bit, but mostly just felt for all of us who have to lose such a vibrant loved one.  I dog-eared this part:

But we were all going to have to say goodbye to Mom  taking her youngest grandchildren to a Broadway play or the Tate museum or Harrod's to marvel at the Food hall or visit the pet store puppies.  We were going to have to say goodbye to the little ones remembering their grandma beyond a fleeting image or an imagined memory prompted  by a photograph. We would need to say goodbye to Mom at their graduations and to her buying them clothes and to them bringing home  boyfriends or girlfriends to meet her.
We would also have to say goodbye to the joy of watching the next generation soak up the massive quantities of love their grandmother would have given them and seeing them learn that there was someone else in the world who loved them as much as their parents did. A grandmother who was delighted by all of their quirks and who thought they were the most amazing creatures on earth.   I was learning that when you were with someone who is dying  you may need to celebrate the past , live the present and mourn the future all at the same time.

Other books that I am recommending are 

The Lincoln Hypothesis by Timothy Ballard
My name used to be Muhammed   by Tito Momen
365 Thank Yous by  John Kralik.  

The Lincoln Hypothesis is a "what if"  book.  It asks the question, "What if Abraham Lincoln read the Book of Mormon?" then goes on to provide specific data and much research as to why this probably happened. It shows proof that he atleast checked out the Book of Mormon from the Library of Congress and had it in his possession for 8 months.  I found it all so fascinating...and ended up believing it happened and this book changed Lincoln's life and the course of the Civil War. I read this on the bus ride to and from Trek, while I was in my pioneer clothes, and thinking about life  in the nineteenth century.  It was very impactful.

My Just-Linda Friend gave me her copy of  My Name used to be Muhammed and I just tore through it in one airplane ride.  I was so fascinated by the Muslim ways of doing things...and how religious persecution is still so alive all over the world. Tito , the author, went through so many horrible things because he was a Christian in Islam.  It was inspiring and faith promoting.

My sweet friend Diane gave me  365 Thank Yous for my birthday.  It was MORE than I thought it would be.  It's about gratitiude and how being aware of people and thanking others for their specific contribution in your life can be life changing.  It was a good reminder to me....and a wake up call to express more gratitude.

I'm always amazed how different books come into my life just when I need that exact  message.  
Books are dear to me.

________________and something else I learned from a book_________

Thursday, August 28, 2014

We have a 7th grader

  First day as a Jr high student!!  Laila survived it thanks to Truman since I was in Michigan.  Laila is looking forward to making new friends and trying new subjects.   Now I have to do three more years in JR. High.  I hope we all survie these hormonal, no body likes me, why am I so different....years.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Red Barn celebration and Michigan sites

Monson and Lexi had their first pre-wedding party in Alanson, Michigan....this is far north, at the top of the state.  It's a small village of 800 people.  Many fields and a few farms dot the landscape. It was all so green and rolling. The party was put on by Lexi's mom and Michigan was a country style cookout complete with all types of BBQ meat, salads and all of the fixins.   We met so many nice family and friends who were all excited to meet Monson and celebrate Lexi.
I knew it was true Love when I walked into the barn before the party and found Monson painting Lexi's toe nails.  
The Red Celebration barn is in a field for plenty of parking.  It was a perfect setting for our county girl, Lexi.   Monson and Lexi haven't stopped smiling since we arrived.

After the party we drove up north to Mackinaw city to see and cross over the Mackinac bridge. It connects to the upper peninsula. It's the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

Sunday we drove down to Traverse City for church. Monson was in his old missionary stomping ground and relived many  stories for us. We loved meeting some branch members and hearing what agreat missionary he was.  Lexi is loving showing us around her home town and taking in the TC sights.

 We went to the Sleeping Bear  Sand dunes with a hike in the dunes and an amazing view of Lake Michigan. Voted as one of the prettiest places in the US…it was spectacular. The sand was so soft, we walked for a mile in barefeet. 
  What I really noticed about northern Michigan was how much water was everywhere....lakes, rivers, streams...and more lakes.
A Traverse City Sunset.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Travel rules

I have rules when I travel. 
Don't stay anywhere there have been cats
Stay in a Marriott property if available
Fly with Wayne because he has the pts so he gets the perks
Take my own pillow
Don't sleep your vacation away.... You can sleep at home....or when you are dead. 
Take plenty of books to read
Wear good walking shoes 
Only eat at restaurants that we DON'T have in Utah.  This last one makes me sound bossy, particularly to the new members  of my family...Bre, Alex and Lexi .  Part of the joy of travel is food. So trying new places and new food makes me happy. 
I was reminded of my "rule" and how crazy it sounds as we travel in Michigan with Monson and Lexi.  Oh well. No Cracker Barrel for me!!

This is a Pastie from the best Pastie restaurant in Mackinaw city....can't get that in Utah!!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Laila's summer adventures

Laila was in BHS summer drama camp for teens. They put on  "The Little Mermaid "
Laila was Ursula's eel Flotsam and Jetsum with Heather Kofford. She was slithery good.  Lailas two favorite things about this experience: highschool friends and trying a new type of role. 

Wayne and Laila have been planning an overnighter / motorcycle  ride all summer. It finally happened this week. They rode to Park City, shopped, ate, saw "The Giver" , laughed , ate and rode some more. 

Daddy- daughter date 

Ogden Temple open house was with Gma Welch, Holly, and Mark and Jill Welch family.   
Laila also got to go to the UofU Fan Fest night. So much team spirit!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

BearPa Challenge

Wayne did it!! His 200 mile, mostly uphill, bike challenge from Bearlake to Park City is just a memory now with only aches and pains and a bum that is finally un-numb to show for it.    He trained hard and he is definitely a climber on his bike.

 I did the first 50 around Bear Lake and then it wasn’t fun anymore, so I got in the car.   But Wayne just kept at it through hills and head winds.  It was impressive.   

We had a great time  biking with the Belnaps, Martins, Lakes and Lallis.   We borrowed Terry and Cyrrena’s suburban so we could all fit in just 2 cars. We got motel rooms in Bear Lake for the first night.  The reservations got mixed up so the Belnaps and us ended up in a nice condo instead.  It was so nice and the motel rooms were so “Bate’s Motel”  yucky that we didn’t dare tell the other 3 couples. 

We went and saw Juanito Bandito at the Pickleville playhouse.  We laughed and laughed and once again we have sayings and jokes that will carry us through til next summer….”You underestimate my awesomeness”…say this with a Spanglish accent. 

The weather was great… The first day I rode my  50, then joined the pit crew of the other wives.  We would go to the different bike rest stops to cheer and help with whatever the guys needed…  It was great to spend two days in a car with one of my besties Laura.  We have had busy summers so a lot to catch up on.   ON the top of the first canyon pass form Laketown into Randolph some how, we locked the keys in the Suburban and laughed and then spent the next hour trying to figure out how to get in and who could help us without driving keys up from Farmington…thank good ness a nice service guy out of Laketown helped us.  It’s crazy how easy it is to break into cars if you have the proper tools…kind of scary.
Scott Keller, Marcie, Wayne, Diane Lake, Bob Lake, Kevin Martin, Eric Belnap
We stayed in Evanstan in a nice Hampton hotel…which helped to "make up" for the first night.  The bikers came literally dragging in the first day, with crampy legs etc…wondering how they would ever do this again the next day.  It was Wayne’s first completed Century ride…which is a big deal….but he was going to do it again on Saturday.  After a nights sleep they were back on their bikes going from Evanston to the Mirror Lake Highway up the East Fork of the Bear River. 

  It really is just one big gradual climb for a bout 30 miles, then straight up Mt. Baldie to the summit of almost 11,000 feet.  I didn’t think Eric Belnap was going to survive…but he did.  Wayne was a biking machine.   He stayed up at the front of the pack and helped pull many riders in.   What a celebration!  We lunched at the top then it was still 50 more miles and one more canyon before getting into Park City.  

This ride was all to benefit the children at the Shriner’s hospital in SLC.  We ride for those who have disabilities and all money gathered in goes to get  modified bikes for the kids…some with hand cranks etc.  They had 3 bike recipients at the end of the ride and it was really teary.    IT was a great weekend… I’m thinking about riding more of it next year.  Wayne is not thinking about next year quite yet…it’s kind of like having a baby.  Once the memories of pain fade away, it’s time for another.  Wayne has now done two Century rides….Love this guy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Black leotard

Wanee Welch Reunion!

What a wonderful extended Welch reunion we had this weekend.  It was from Thursday night til Sat at Noon and we had, off and on, 56 in attendance. We went up Big Cottonwood Canyon to two cabins that a family in Cyrrena and Terry’s ward own.  They were very generous to let us use these.  We were able to accommodate all of the sleepers quite nicely.  Cyrrena and Terry were in charge this year.  We got darling reunion shirts…purple like the grape juice with grape leaves that had each of the 9 siblings represented.
We hiked Donut falls.....even Holly. 

Played many card games, did minute to win it type games and laughed at each other, had a talent show, did some yard work service, enjoyed delicious food and presented a memories/gratitude book to Grandma Welch. 
Alfie's back, Becca, Laila, Alex, Abby
It’s always good to be together. We had Wayne, Melinda, Laila, Add, Bre, Alfie, Tru, Monson and Lexi representing our family. 
Wanee and Tami in the Shaving cream-cheese ball- shower cap throw.
Wayne with his orange-nylon on his head getting ready to knock some cups an elephant.
Laila pulled against 3 other nylon faced people...and won!
Melinda knocking the cups with the orange....making elephant noises helped.
We got chased out of the cabins and canyon earlier than we wanted to because of the Tour of Utah bike race that was using Big Cottonwood… so we had lunch in Wanee’s backyard to finish off the reunion. The big family announcement is Jane and Steve Shurtz have put their mission  papers in and will be receiving their call soon.  WOW

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Saltaire Photo Shoot

Add and Bre took Laila out to Saltair Tuesday night for a photo shoot in her dance costumes.  

They got some GORGEOUS shots…
Love the mood on  this one....
.....a beauty...
 ...but the conditons were less than ideal.  Laila had freshly shaven legs, so the time in the salt water made her cry…she came home with over 50 bug bites and she said the ground was always moving with was disgusting. It's hard being a model.
She said she will never go back there….Add and Bre will though even though their low rider car had a rock puncture their oil pan.  And they were locked in a state park because it was after dark. They had to be rescued by Wayne and by a tow truck….it was a costly mistake…but now they know to take bug spray and our truck next time.
Totally worth it. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

Band and BBQ

We had our BAND party!!!  We have been doing this for years, but  took 2 years off, which felt like a life time, (because of the wind storm, and the Belnaps thought they were moving).... but now we are BACK!  It makes me so happy.  The Belnaps, Farleys and Welches put it on each year.  We pay for a live band to come play...this year it was Endless Summer.... and the boys (Bob, Eric) smoke and bbq all sorts of meat.... pork, ribs, salmon, chicken.... then everyone does potluck and it works out great.
Kimi Farley, Lexi, Monson, Truman, Mel Evans, Laila ready to PARTY....
I love to dance. We had Beach Boys, Beatles and oldies.   Once the band starts playing I don't really do anything else, but dance with a group of other Dancing Queens.... Emilee Dahl, Mel Evans, Jo Cash, Kimi Farley....and Nick Cash joins us too.  HE is our Dancing King.  It used to bug me that most of the people just sat and listened and didn't dance, but I have forgiven them...and all is well.
Endless Summer includes Andy Leger, his little boy Zac, Doug Vandergrift and Chris Jones.   One of our guests looked quickly at the bald drummer and thought it was Pres. funny.  Our friend, Mike Leger who is the main guitarist couldn't come because he had his hip replaced.

The guests all hug the shade...we had over 150 people !!!