Saturday, October 29, 2011


   Before you read any further, please understand this disclaimer…This is not the talented Karalee writing this post; this is her other half hijacking the blog for the day.  This is my first attempt at writing anything other than internal memos telling my employees to wash their hands after using the restroom.  I just wanted to share a few things that I have been able to experience over the last couple of weeks.   
   I have been on assignment for my employer in Nottingham, England.  I’m going to be traveling back and forth for the next few months.  Although the thought of sitting on an airplane for all the hours I’m going to be gives me a headache, the experience of being here is worth it.  I’m working 12 hour days and at times feel like I’m in over my head, but I’m really enjoying the experience.  For those that know me, you’ll understand when I say that for me it feels like coming home. If I haven’t lost you yet, that last comment will be clarified in a moment.
   Today, instead of sitting in my hotel, I went for a very long walk around the city and did a wee bit of shopping.  I’m sure I looked quite silly standing there in the men’s department of Marks and Spencers laughing with joy as I stood there looking at a cardigan jumper.  For me there is almost nothing as English as a cardigan from M&S.  I know this means nothing to most of you reading this, but for the few that do understand, it was a surreal experience for me.  After the trip to the shops, I made a visit to Nottingham Castle. Imagine my serendipitous luck that this is the weekend they are having the Annual Robin Hood Pageant on the castle grounds.  There were encampments,
sword fighting, jousting and merry men (and women) everywhere.   Robin Hood got many cheers and the Sherriff got many jeers.

There was even a sighting of King Richard.

   Another, more personal event happened last Saturday.  It was my first weekend in England and I couldn’t pass up the first opportunity I had to fulfill a desire I’ve had for years, actually decades.  Have you ever lost someone close to you and had that mourneful thought, “if only I had a half hour…”.  I came as unbelievably close as I could hope to get to having that experience.  As you probably know I lost my Mom in March of this year.  My Mom was born and raised in Leeds, Yorkshire.  (This is why it feels like coming home) Leeds is only an hour north of Nottingham.  My Mom has two sisters and two brothers that live in the Leeds area.  I haven’t seen two of them for about 12 years and the other two I haven’t seen for 35 years.  I was honored and thrilled to be able to take the train to my Uncle Fred’s house in Wakefield last Saturday.  Everyone was there.  Uncle Fred fixed a slap-up meal of fish and chips and trifle for everyone.  Sitting with my Mom's family made me feel like my Mom was with me for a brief time. This is a picture of my Mom's family: Auntie Margaret, Uncle Stephen, Auntie Edna, Fred's wife Sylvia, and my Uncle Fred.

   I'll wrap it up and get back to my Topic bars and Flakes.  Do you think the company will mind me spending my per diem on Dairy Milk chocolate and prawn flavored crisps?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jillian Stole My Post

So I'd planned to post about fall break...but Jillian beat me to it. Check here for deets ;)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Idaho Road Trip

We were invited to a surprise 50th wedding anniversary party for my mom's only sister. Burley, Idaho here we come!
The girls went a little stir-crazy on the 3 hour ride...

It was so great to see my mom's family. They are amazing people; so loving, and unconditional. They hug unabashedly, kiss on the lips, and tell you they love you without reservation.
This is my oldest brother, sister, and me with my mom's brother. This is exactly what Tyler is going to look like when he's 70. Seriously.
Andrew, Grace, and Jillian being good sports...while I abandoned them to socialize.
Aunt Susie.This is as close as I can come to being near my mom on this earth...
50 years is quite an accomplishment. She said something about it not always being easy...but worth it.

What we've been doing...

October was ushered in with the sad departure of Ryan's beloved Thunderbird. Rest in Peace Birdie. You bought someone a kidney.
 The boy went to Homecoming...
The boy made crazy wicked cinnamon-roll pancakes for General Conference breakfast...
 Andrew, Grace, and Jillian helped me at Oxford Academy's table at the annual Autism Speaks Walk.....
SOMEONE has too much time on his hands, and has a TOUCH o'the OCD.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September Quotes

"If you jumped off the moon, would you fall?" - Grace
"The Mexicans at Target LOVE AirWicks." - Jillian
"I LOVE cleaning out the garage...look! Now I can reach the fridge!" - Grace
"It looks like a smurf bit you." - Jillian to Grace
"Did that say Guatamala Monkeys?" - Grace
"It's experimental recipe Sunday." - Ryan
"I like the letter V." - Grace
"I think that I just swallowed some sourness..." -Grace
"I saw a pregnant midget today." -Jillian
" I think that we should re-create those memories." - Grace
"A've desahded to only speak in a southe'n accent fuh the rest of tuhday."- Kara
"I'm wishing we could wear the gay-lumberjack shirt again now." - Ryan
"You've NEVER played Doodlejump!?!?" - Jillian
"That van has a unibrow." - Grace
Kara: "I haven't gotten much accomplished today." Grace: "Let's keep it that way."
" I haven't seen your ears for at least  3 years." - Andrew to Ryan
"All of the floor is hot lava." - Grace
" Dr. Oz's daughter said to eat grapes to help you sleep." - Grace
"I like the smell of milk and butter." - Grace
"Grace is a fruit whisperer." - Ryan
"My pouch has a craw." - anonymous
"It was cheese...or socks...something like that." - Jillian
"I can put that little gum flap inside my teeth..." - Grace
"I'm living in HD!" - Kara