Thursday, June 22, 2017

Oh what do we do in the summertime..

We play in the pool....

We act like a fool....

We draw on the ground......

We look out and around.....

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day 2017

Happy Fathers day to my Wayne. If you have ever seen my Wayne tell a story, you know he gets into it with his whole being... it's one of things We love about him.  He is a gem. 😇 We like to say Wayne is a jack of all trades and a master of none, but Wayne is a master father.  He is faithful, a man of action, a teacher, he offers hope, is a hard worker and filled with testimony. 👍🏽He is a wonderful role model to my boys of how to "dad."  I also love watching him be a Papa.   He tells the grandkids stories, crawls around on the floor and loves on them with his whole heart. Oh and they love his hooked-together-fingers magic trick and his pulled down sock routine. This pic is of Wayne telling the infamous family story of when Grandpa Welch killed Addison's pet grasshopper. It's a classic. 

We celebrated today with all the kids here except for Truman- he's in NYC.   Wayne got a new mailbox and install to go with our new front yard spruce up. 

 These little munchkins are Soooo cute playing together.  Tayla, Sophia and Andrew
I love this guy soooo much.  He is solid as a rock.   

Addison asked Alf who is Father is...Alf replied , "Mommy?"
"No," Addison said, "that's your mother.  Who is our father?"
ALf:  "Oh, Lightening McQueen."
Addison:  "Wrong a gain...."
ALf:  "I know, Jesus."

Alfie just calls Addison his Dad or Daddy, so the Father thing kind of threw him.  So funny. 
Wayne received some really sweet cards from Monson and Laila... 

Walking down memory lane with my MOM

I wish I could still see my mom every day but alas, I can’t…. I only have a few pics and a lot of memories.  As the saying goes…. I love walking down memory lane, because I get to run into you.

I can see my mom standing on stage at Bountiful high counting the dance off while the kids do choreography  around her.

I can see my mom backing down the motor home with the boat attached in to the water, screaming and swearing out the window at my dad that he is making her do this…  she hated launching the boat. Mom had a favorite swear word that she would use on these Laila would say, "shizz"  Mom would say after using this word, "If you can't say something nice, at least say something soft and warm."  
I can see my mom coming with rose decorated cupcakes to my 1st grade classroom as the room mother.  All the kids said she was “ so pretty.” I hadn’t really noticed until then…and yes she was! She had her makeup perfectly on and her blonde hair up in a stylish beehive.  1967 looked good on my mom.

I can see my mom in her kitchen with her rust colored, flour streaked apron on making   apple pie, pumpkin pie, cherry pie, pecan pie… pie after pie for her famous “one of each” kind of pie party the night before Thanksgiving.  I can see her slicing the many pies into slivers and putting them on a 12 inch plate to create a new pie, per se, all different flavors with vanilla ice cream in the middle.  This was not for the small eater.  Mike Morley could finish it, but very few others would even try.

I can see my mom sitting on her deck in the trees of her front yard.  The hose hanging in the trees spraying water to provide some sort of air conditioning.  The deck that my parents built instead of going on their 25th anniversary trip to Hawaii.

I can see my mom sitting on a floatie not wanting to get her hair wet while we swam and played around her at grandma’s pool.  She had beautiful bleached blonde hair and didn’t want it turning green with the chlorine of the pool.

I can see my mom singing next to me in church, trying to point out and teach  me to hear the alto line in the various hymns.   I loved her voice.

I can see mom walking in her garment top and bra from her bedroom to the laundry room in what she called her “clothes finding outfit.”

I can see my mom on the phone….the one with the long chord that reached to every room in our home.  She was a master phone talker.

I can see my mom singing with all of us in the Cole collection.  I loved to catch her eye as she belted out her low alto to my high soprano.

I can see my mom sitting with grandpa butters in his gazebo on a hot summer day.

I can see my mom  giving a talk down at BYU’s women’s conference on  picking your self up when you are down…and the blessing of a “do over.”  

I can see my mom pulling on her nylons and spraying on her Emeraude perfume as she got dressed to go out with my dad.

I can see my mom hosting dinner parties, “because some one has to” ..and she really enjoyed people  so much.

I can see my mom doing her love language or color code talks to me , my family, and to every RS group out there.

I can see my mom dancing in her garage turned into dance studio.  She taught all ages the thing she loved most…dancing.  I remember going to the door and asking her how to make macaroni and cheese for dinner. She didn’t drop a beat and just told me what to do.   I wasn’t a very good listener.  Being in charge of making dinner a few nights a week was really good for Marcie and I.

I can see mom hanging out in her “angel wings”  -- tank top over her garments because she would get so HOT!

I can see her holding my babies.

I can see my mom setting up her sandwich shop on the beach at Bear Lake for every lunch time.  She didn’t want anyone to have to leave for lunch, so she would cart everything down and make pb and J, pb and honey, turkey,  name it.  She knew NOT to put in on a plate that would just blow away  and get sand in the sandwich, but to put it in your clean hand and tell you Not to put it down…just eat it, 

I can see her holding my dad’s hand as they walked to and from the Bear Lake beach and looked out on to the water.

I can see mom doing her paintings of the lake as we sat on the beach day after day and saying..."look at those clouds.  How would I paint those?"

I can see my mom laying in her cancer bed trying to be so up beat..but being in so much pain.  I can see her giving her last “sharing Sheri” talk about what she knows as a testimony, what she has learned in this life and what she wants us all to remember.  I  can see her singing "I am a child of God" with tears streaming down her cheeks, knowing that she was going to see her Savior very soon.

I can see her so clearly… I hope she can see me

Thursday, June 15, 2017

New front yard

After a year of an ugly torn up front yard... We have everything back in and it looks great.  We  got all of the old stumps and roots dug out..the sprinklers fixed and lowered and new perennial plants, a flowering cherry tree with giant pink blossoms one day.... put back in with a weed barrier and bark...NO WEEDING  is the hope.   We are still figuring out exactly what we are going to do in front of the living room window, but this year, my potted flowers will reside there.  So happy it's done and Wayne's sore arm is healing

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Mayan MIracle Trip

Mayan Miracle Foundation...

Our mission is to provide physical aid and establish lasting relationships in an attempt to ease the burdens of those living in remote villages in the Yucatan Peninsula. However, the miracle is separate from our mission. While serving “the needy” we discover how desperately needy we actually are. We take simple provisions, which we have an abundance of, arriving with clothing, food, household supplies, and a sincere desire to make a difference. Then the miracle occurs; the exchange happens. We give them clothing; they clothe us in perspective. We give them food; they feed our souls with humility. We give them household supplies; they give us joy in simplicity. We offer our desire to help and they offer us true friendship. Our mission is not to change the lives of the Mayan people in some drastic way, but rather to experience the inevitable change that occurs in our own lives as we become “anxiously engaged in a good cause”. We sincerely believe that by doing so, our families and communities are strengthened by the miracle made possible by the Mayan people. 

Laila, Kevin and Tami Flannery

We had An amazing Mayan miracle experience.
Our hosts, Kevin and Tami Flannery are really amazing people.  I was so impressed with their goodness, mercy and attention to the needs of the people on the Yucatan peninsula…and the fact that they don’t even speak Spanish really surprised me.  They have been feeding villages and taking groups down to do service projects for 17 years.  That is a huge commitment.  Kevin owns Shamrock Plumbing and has a lot of money..but has felt compelled to help the Mayan People.  They accidentally made a wrong turn while on vacation 17 years ago and came up on a village that was “starving” and 3 little abuelas told Kevin that they “had prayed him here…and needed his help.”  He fed this village and continues to give and give.  He has fed many villages with food deliveries going in multiple times a year, plus soccer balls and candy for the children.  They do Service projects the Jorge- the once Branch president of Valladolid sets up for him… Jorge is one of Kevin’s guys who takes care of his home in Akumal, and finds the villages that need help, and the service projects for members of the branch etc… 

So we – the Welches and the Wangsgaards ( Tim, Linda and 17 year old son, Raydon)  arrived on Tuesday afternoon to beautiful AKumal, Mexico…. Close to Tulum.   We got to stay at Kevin and Timi’s home… Casa de Savasanna for 3 nights.  The house is like a Swiss Family Robinson tree house.  Windows all around that look on to the treetops.  It’s so colorful and tropical looking.   It sleeps 6 on the main floor then go upstairs to the main living area and kitchen, then there’s another loft bedroom on top.  There is also a casita on the property that Wayne and I stayed in and another apartment for the caretaker- Jorge.   Jorge is Kevin’s right hand man.    While there we drove golf carts, rode bikes, played on the beach, ate at Lucy’s ice cream- delicious mint chip and Coconut homemade ice cream- Laila, (Wayne, Kevin) and Raydon got to go scuba diving for the first time. Ate a lot of delicious Mexican food including giant coconut shrimp.  Wayne, Tim and Kevin went deep sea fishing and Wayne caught a barracuda that we took to a nearby restaurant to cook for us all for dinner.  It was really delicious.  It tasted more like steak than fish.   We went snorkeling in a bay filled with a lot of fish and animal life…the bay was just steps away from the Savasanna door.   We swam in Cenotes—mineral pools and caves with stalactites.  It was all really beautiful, REALLY hot and humid and fun….  

Favorite highlights include: 
Day 1:
Wayne: able to speak Spanish with Jorge. Get his story.
Laila: air conditioning
Melinda: meeting and getting to know Kevin and Tami Flannery. Coconut shrimp and coconut ice cream.
Linda: walking home in the dark eating ice cream from Lucy's
Tim: air conditioning.  Seeing Daniel and Jorge again

Day 2
Linda: seeing Ray have such a great time scuba diving
Tim: just sitting and relaxing with beautiful scenery and friends.
Ray: Scuba diving and riding the bikes
Wayne: scuba diving with Laila for her First time
Laila: scuba diving and pushing, running and laughing at the slow golf cart
Melinda:  sitting in the sun all day chatting with friends. Seeing Laila’s scuba diving excitement and eating dinner on the beach 15 feet away from the waves.
Tami:  just hanging on the beach with old and new friends.

Highlights or low lights - Day 3
Wayne:  catching a baracuda deep sea fishing and then eating it for dinner.
Laila : getting to know Tami and Kevin better at the Cenotes
Me:  Yikes-- montazuma's  revenge. Talking and laughing on bed with Laila

 We traveled on to Valladolid where the service began… We stayed at a hotel where once again Kevin and our Drive/translator Daniel know everyone.   I guess that’s what happens  when you’ve been on atleast 150 weeklong trips in the last 17  years to the same areas…all these people are the Flannery’s friends.    We ate dinner and got caught in a huge rainstorm while checking out the church.   We ran to the van and were completely drenched.

Highlights or lowlights Day 4: 1/2 day Akumal 1/2 day Valladolid
Wayne: hard day--leaky snorkel mask adventure then cleaning up wet floor and crappy bed.
Me:snorkeling and THE Crappiest night of my life.
Laila : running back from the church into the van in the pouring rain laughing

We helped put a cement floor in an outdoor kitchen for Maricruz…a newly baptized member.  The group before us helped put up the tin roof to cover the area.  The cement was hard, hot and sweaty.   We had to clear and level the area about a 15 by 20 and then had to mix and haul cement by hand…and by bucket.  When Wayne and Tim Wangsgaard got done, they could easily have wrung out their t- shirts .    Kevin and Tami went to the store and got Maricruz a propane stove and a sink, and shelving so she would have it nicer.   While we were working, Maricruz fixed us all lunch…she cooked a pot of beans on an open fire in her front yard, balanced on 3 rocks.  She does all her cooking this way.  She taught Laila how to make a tortilla and we talked to her while she was making the salsa.  She only speaks spanish, but between mine and Laila’s broken Spanish we understood that she learned to cook from her grandma and she really liked it.  She talked about catching a turkey and pulling the feathers off.  Laila understood so much she was finally grateful for the Spanish she had this past year.  It was humbling to sit in Maricruz’s home and eat this simple meal of beans, tortilla dumplings and salsa.  It was delicious. Laila licked her plate it was so good.

We went back to the hotel to shower off all the sweat and change clothes, then we headed to EK Balam a recently discovered  ruin… pyramid…that features a side of a pyramid with 110 steps and beautifully preserved hyro-glyphics of a white god with a beard teaching the brown people… and stone work that testify to me  strongly of the book of Mormon…there was even a baptismal font…

Around dinner time we headed to feed our first village—Actuncoh… this was the first time Kevin and Tami’s organization had serviced this village.   We were met there by the Mayan Miracle van and a group of people ( Daniel the drivers’ children) .  We unloaded rice, beans, crackers, oats, sugar, oil, salt, corn meal, soap, toilet paper, clothes for the assembly line of people that would be coming through….. candy and soccer balls for the kids.  Laila went around with a bag of dog food and fed the village dogs.  Wayne had a great time handing out fidget spinners to the kids and showing them how they work.  It was interesting and touching.  All of these little villages are in the middle of a jungle clearing…there are  about 135 families and a town square with a large cement pad with a tin roof… and a catholic church.  Kids and women of all ages come out to receive…men stay back on the porches.  Too much machismo to admit they need any help.  As the people go through and receive the goods, they say,” gracias” and we reply “all thanks goes to God.”   This village was really too far out for any kind of LDS missionary work, there would be no way or the members to get to church.   
We left this first village and drove to two homes to deliver medicine, say hi to two handicapped kids and give them fidget spinners. … and pick up a handmade dress for a little girl, then met up again with the van at X-uch ( pronounce skooch)  a village with a 110 families  that the Flannery’s have been helping out for years.  This village knew the routine and also had a proposition for Kevin to get his help in building a small pre school.    We passed out food and neccesities again, candy, dog food, soccer balls  to the kids… and more fidget spinners.  It was completely dark when we left.
It was an exhausting…humbling day.

Highlights or lowlights Day 5:
Wayne:  working so hard clearing rock , leveling ground, hand mixing cement, hauling buckets and pouring an outside kitchen. Talking  to the village children of Actuncoh showing them fidget spinners.
Laila:  helping at Maricruz home and having a conversation with her while she made us lunch on an open Fire. Taught me to make a tortilla.
Melinda:  Feeding the villages. Watching Kevin and Tami move through the people and smile and hold the babies even though don't speak Spanish. They speak the language of love.

We attended church in Valladolid.  It’s a branch  and looks a lot like the other latin America church buildings we have attended.  A beautiful spirit was there …and when there is no piano playing, all of the songs just get lower and slower.  Funny.   At the end of the meeting Kevin had all the men …and some other American visitor families…take off their white shirts and ties and leave them for the missionaries to hand out. 

We had lunch then went to change  and pack and head to Ik Kil.  Ik Kil is right by Chichen Itza- one of the 7 wonders of the world-  Ik Kil also has a giant cenote at the village to swim/jump in.   It was pouring rain and we waited for it to clear then headed to Chichen Itza

…it was the close of the day…and we had the place to our selves because Kevin knows all of the security guards and the archeologists and the tour guides.   It was great to hear about all of the buildings…the Warrior Hall  that features 2000 warriors…sounds like the stripling warriors to me… . We basically had the place to ourselves, but once dark hit, we found out we could do so much more.  So while we waited for the dark we went to Able the tour guides home for a huge Asado BBQ..with his family and all of us.  Laila met another 15 year old boy Isaiah who immediately liked Lala and gave her two bracelets as we were leaving and a kiss on the cheek.  

Laila climbing down into Chichen see the inside 2nd pyramid
At ten o clock we got back into Chichen Itza..this time to climb all over it.. Thank goodness for an almost  full moon and phone lights.   We climbed to the top of the pyramid…walked all around  it…then opened a locked grate and climbed a ladder down into the pyramid to see the smaller pyramid inside of it…. It was hot… tiny walkways… we could see the outer wall.   IT felt  Indiana Jones  like. We climbed back down and went to the Warrior Hall..and climbed up that to the sacrificing table and Ock-Mal statue.  More pics and fun… Laila did Hand stands and back bends on everything .   Then we went over to the ball field and hoisted Rayden and Laila up to the hieroglyphics that show the bearded god …Jesus…  They were right there touching it and telling us about it.  We had an unforgettable experience  running all over Chichen Itza til Midnight.
High lights or lowlights Day 6. Church and Ik kil. Chichen Itza.
Wayne: climbing all over Chichen itza at midnight.
Laila: receiving bracelets from Isaiah while eating at Able's home.
Melinda:  end of church meetings all the men take off their shirts and ties and leave them with ward for missionaries.     Private tour of Chichen Itza by Able.   

Midnight moon over Chichen Itza

Highlights- lowlights Day 7. Heading home
Me: Wearing new yellow Mexican dress all the way home. Looking like an Abuelita
Laila: making a movie of week
Wayne:  loving speaking Spanish this week.

We really had no idea what was in store for us…and what did happen surpassed what we were told.  Once we arrived at the airport… EVERYTHING was taken care of and it continued that way til we were back to the airport in CanCun…including plane tickets, All food, room, transportation, tickets to events, scuba, snorkel equipment, deep sea fishing…restaurants, ice cream… even some souvenirs.  It was amazing.  
So Grateful we got to do this with Our Laila and our dear friends Tim and Linda. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Random Questions Nobody Asked:

1. Do you go by a nickname? My dad always called me LA-- right from the beginning, because that's how Marcie said my name. It stuck.  Wayne calls me La sometimes, or Lucky or Lu.   Eric Belnap calls me Ms. Welch  That's about all of the nicknames I can think of.

2. When driving, do you listen to CD’s, tapes, the radio or nothing? radio or CD's ... I always have music playing.  Now with Amazon music and Pandora I can listen to all of my musicals and sing my guts out when I'm driving by myself.

3. Are you a window person or an aisle person? It doesn't matter on an airplane.  I do love an aisle seat at a theatre.  

4. How do you relieve stress?  Go for a good long walk.  Bike.  EAT-- which is what I am trying not to do now.  

5. What’s your favorite childhood TV show?  The Brady Bunch was a must watch for me.  And I loved all of the re runs too.  I remember going to my piano teacher's house on 1200 south with Marcie.  We would go together and while one was playing the other got to sit in their den and watch the Brady Bunch.

6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a mathematician -- what eve that meant-- because I really loved Math.  That changed in Jr. High and I fell in love with some of my teachers and changed to being a Broadway musical star or a teacher.  

7. What was the best prank you ever pulled off? Girl's camp pranks were always the best.  Spiders, snakes, food... all good fun.

8. If you could have dinner with any three people who are living, whom would you choose? President Monson-- I would love to bask in his spirit and  hear his stories.  Oprah Winfrey-- because she's Oprah and she's so enlightened.  Sir Ken Robison and discuss enlightened education.
9. If you could get back any article of clothing you once wore, what would it be? my knit poncho from 5th grade

10. If you could hire any actor to portray you in a movie, who would you chose? Meryl Streep of course.

11. If you could play any instrument, which would you play? Piano.  I'm still sad I didn't have enough will power and determination to stick with it.

12. If you could hear anyone in history give a speech, whom would you hear? Jesus- the Sermon on the Mount

13. If you could live in one city for the rest of your life, where would you live? Bountiful... it's perfect for me.

14. If you could make any fictional character come to life, which would it be? Scarlett...Gone with the Wind.

15. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?  A bum...or a tramp... or a hobo.  All the same thing.  Just put a bandana on a  stick, my dad's old shirt with holes in it, torn jeans and over size boots and scruff on my face.  Did this year after year.  

16. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?  CLosed is preferred.  Don't like seeing all of the stuff

17. If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be? Bugs Bunny...he's funny and sly and things always work out for him.

18. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotels? YES

19. Have you stolen a street sign before?  NO

20. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? OUT... need room for my toes to breathe

21. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?   Neither...but bees sound like I might have a way to swat at them and move them out of my way.

22. Do you always smile for pictures? YES

23. Have you peed in the woods? YES

24. What size is your bed? KING

25. What was the best concert you ever attended? I don't really attend concerts.  James Taylor singing his oldies was pretty good.

26. What is your song of the week? Songs from 9 to 5 that  I'm working on for CPT.  

27. Do you still watch cartoons?  Sponge Bob with Laila

28. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? Laila

29. How many languages can you speak? Just English.  I have a working knowledge of Spanish....just not conversational.

30. Do you believe in ghosts?  Ghosts or Angels.... YES

31. What was your first theatre experience?  I really remember seeing the broadway touring company of Peter Pan when I was a little girl (8)  at what is now the Regional Center in North Salt Lake.  It was mesmerizing to me...and especially scary when the crocodile came down the aisle right by me.  

32. Cheetos or Fritos?  Puffy Cheetos

33. Can you curl your tongue? YES

34. Ever won a spelling bee? No.  I did win some spell arounds in my grade school classrooms, which meant I was the last one standing when we practiced the weekly spelling words.
35. Own a record player?  Just barely got rid of it.

36. Who would you like to see in concert? Barbara Streisand was always a big one for me.  I'm going to see Billy Joel in November.

37. Sugar cookies or snickerdoodles?  Neither.... Chocolate chip

38. Can you swim well?   YEs...because I grew up in my grandma Butters pool.  I know all of the strokes and actually taught swimming lessons for a few summers in High School.

39. Are you patient?  Yes

40. DJ or band at a wedding?  Band...and oldies band or a swing band

41. Ever won a contest? Yes...first one that was memorable was a dance contest at Bear Lake one summer.  I won with a partner I didn't and don't even know