Sunday, May 17, 2009
The fun began on Wednesday. My sister, Suzanne, flew into town-My brother, Dave, rode his bike. We met up at my home and then travelled the 25 minutes to mom and dads. We walked up their walk, rang the doorbell and waited. She said she was quilting and when the doorbell rang, she looked and said to dad, "that looks like Suzanne, and it looks like Dave is with her". She opened the door and couldn't believe the three of us were standing there!! Surprise!! Don't you just love it when something goes the way it's supposed to? The fun had officially begun. We went to dinner that evening at Tia Rosa's--yummy food--great company.
The next morning Suzanne and I secretly decorated the clubhouse in mom and dad's neighborhood for a surprise celebration planned for later that evening. We arrived mid-morning at mom's and fixed a delicious brunch for the five of us! Then we just visited until mid-afternoon when we made a trip to Ted's hot dogs for a late lunch. Paul, Shauna, Natalie and Robbie met up with us for dinner, wished grandma a happy birthday and went on their way. I'm sure mom thought that would be the last she would see of them. We went back to mom and dad's and soon dad suggested that we go for ice cream . We left, but instead of driving to Cold Stone I turned into the clubhouse. Mom was hesitant to go in, but when she saw the grandkids, she couldn't resist. It was so much fun. All the grandkids (except Mark who had to work) and all the great-grandkids who live in the valley were there as was their group of close friends. She was surprised to say the least. We had a little program which included a musical number by her friends celebrating their friendship, a slide show that Skye put together with pics of her life intermingled with birthday greetings from her family(made Suzanne and I cry). It was priceless. Suzanne and I sang a silly rendition of Happy Birthday, grandkids shared favorite memories, and the great grandkids polished it off singing 'Families can be Together Forever'.
It was a great party and we all enjoyed it---the best part was that it was such a surprise to mom. Thanks to everyone(especially Skye) who helped with various parts of the night.
Friday morning we showed up at mom's to take her for a pedicure! We were all so relaxed when we finished and our feet felt so clean and good! Nothing like a good pedicure! Then we went to lunch at Paradise Bakery. We never lacked for food--haha! The afternoon brought a trip to the pool where we lounged, relaxed and soaked in the sun. That evening found us eating (again) at my home. After our swim, Suzanne and I put together a dinner that was fit for a king-or in this case a queen. We sat for hours eating and talking. It was such a good time being together-no hurry-good food-good conversation.
It was a whirlwind few days. Thanks to Dave and Suzanne for taking time to come. Thanks to dad, family and friends for keeping it a secret. And a special thanks to mom for having a birthday worthy to celebrate like we did.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Here are just a few snapshots of some of the places we visited!!
"Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore...there's no place like home." Six of us-mom, dad, Dave, Janet, Suzanne and I made our way to Ogden, Utah where mom and dad were both born. We visited several of their childhood homes. This duplex was just one of the many homes dad lived in as a child. His home was on the right side of the duplex. It looks pretty good huh?--better than some of the other places he lived. We also visited Ogden High School, places of employment, my Grandpa and Grandma Southwicks home and my Grandma Jensens apartment building. Then we visited the cemetery where many of my relatives are buried.
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"....then we headed up to the mouth of Ogden canyon for lunch at "Rainbow Gardens". This place has special significance to mom and dad. Even though they had known each other for years, even living next door to each other at one point, it wasn't until one New Years Eve when mom was on a date (with another guy) at the "Gardens" and dad was working there that ........well you'll just have to ask them for the rest of the story!!!!!
Here is the original Jensen family. Jayne, Dave, Mom, Dad and Suzanne. It really was fun to be together! We are a crazy bunch!! (Janet was taking pics and she was a trooper to put up with all of us)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ aka 'little fish' ....after travelling through Sardine (aka 'little fish') canyon and arriving on USU campus, dad lit moms fire by making her a "true Aggie." It is tradition at USU that if you kiss on the "A" you truly become an "Aggie". Natalie, who attends USU, had joined us for this part of our "blast to the past" and was determined to witness her grandma become a true aggie. It must have inspired her, because that night she became a true aggie herself!! Way to go mom and Natalie!!
After visiting a few more sights on campus, we walked to the Lillywhite Building which houses the communicative disorders department. Our visit turned into quite a surprise for dad. Dee Childs (on dad's right) is now the department head. He used to be one of dad's students--I guess he was taught well!! Dee arranged to have several of the staff there to visit with dad as well as some of the current doctoral students who know dad only by reputation. They had decorated the lobby with a sign and had some delicious chocolate cakes there to meet and greet him. I think he felt honored and it was a joy to watch him renew those relationships. There were so many nice things said about him and what he contributed to the field of communicative disorders. To many of those who knew him, he was much more than just the department head, he was a mentor and friend. That's Amore!.....Our next stop was at the local pizza place in Logan--Frederico's! When mom and dad saw on our itinerary "That's Amore!", they knew we were headed for Italian food, but what they didn't know was "that's Amore!" was all about the love-not the cuisine. We had arranged several of their dearest friends to join them for dinner and you can tell by the expression on moms face that she did indeed feel the love.
After nearly twelve hours (at this point) you would think mom and dad would've looked exhausted, but surrounded by all their BFF's they look radiant. What a day!!
I don't have the pics of our next days adventures (Suzanne has them), but our "Trip Back In Time" would not have been complete without a few hours spent on SLC Temple Square (the north and south of things....and everything in between) where mom and dad served their mission. It had changed quite a bit, but the same feeling was felt as we strolled from exhibit to exhibit and from building to building. It was fun to talk to the sisters serving there and watch mom and dad light up as they remembered their own time as missionaries and the relationships they developed with those that served with them. It was a marvelous time.
That night we had dinner at P.F. Changs. Such good food- but the best part was when we presented mom and dad with a book. Suzanne spear-headed putting a book together from the extended family. Each family submitted pics and a personal note to mom and dad and then had it bound. The book is beautiful, the pics fun to look at, but the sentiments from each family was the perfect tribute to end an almost perfect "Trip Back in Time".
My nephew, Mike Jensen, married his long-time love, Peggy, last week. I was lucky enough to be at their wedding. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding at a park near their home. The gazebo was the perfect backdrop for their "I do's". Peggy looked stunning-Mike dapper- and the smiles on their faces said it all. Their daughters, Autumn and Kaitlin, looked so grown up with their "up doo's" and fancy dresses. They seemed excited to be a part of such an important day. I am so happy for them to take this big step. CONGRATULATIONS!!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Olympic "highs"....I have found myself so involved as an Olympic spectator that I've actually shouted, cheered, even jumping up at one point, watching the swimming races. Goose bumps have risen on my arms as I've watched the Olympians accept their medals and then proudly watch their flags raise and listen to their National Anthems. (yes, Dyan, it's even brought a tear or two to my eyes as well) Olympic "lows".... I've felt so sad as I've watched other Olympians agonize as they realize that all the work, time and effort won't be recognized with a medal. The agony of defeat is almost tangible.
Another "high" for me this past week was our visit from Ana Georgievska, our Macedonian "daughter"! Ana last visited four years ago as a delegate with the Tempe Sister Cities program. Shauna was able to visit Macedonia for several weeks, living with Ana's family. Then Ana was able to spend several weeks in our home. This year Ana came to visit on her own. She was only here for a few days, but it felt almost like she had never left. She has graduated from college and will begin working in Macedonia upon her return. So fun to catch up on her life. We spent time shopping and mostly visiting with family here in the valley. She is a beautiful person inside and out and I hope to be able to enjoy many more visits as the years pass. The "low"? We had to say goodbye way too soon.
The best "high" though, was that Natalie finished her first semester at BYU and then came home for a few days!!! She had a great experience attending BYU with Kristin and Quincy. She enjoyed her classes, learned how to stay up really late (never thought she could stay up past her self-imposed 9:00 bedtime!), made some really good new friends, took her first friends road trip, recognized that cooking would now be a blessing after eating at the Cannon Center, and had an all around good time. I'm so glad she was able to do this with her real good friends...they'll treasure that time together forever. It was so fun to have her home and be able to see the pics and hear the stories from her time away.
The lowest "low" was not taking Natalie up to USU, but leaving her there. :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( SAD :(
We left early (6AM) Tuesday morning and flew to SLC where we rented a car, picked up Natalies belongings at my brothers house. We then drove to Maddox and had hamburgers for lunch and then started through the canyon to Logan. After registering for her class beginning the next day and buying her new Mac laptop she was ready to set up "home" in Snow Hall. Her room looks adorable (a must for a happy college life). Dad and I were able to meet two of her roomies, Lacey and Kirstie. Lacey's father, Lester Essig, and I went to High School together. Small world-huh? The other roomies hadn't moved in. It's always kind of fun to "make" a home--deciding what looks good, where all the kitchen stuff should go....you girls know what I mean don't you? We then made a dash to Walmart. It was nuts!! The shelves looked as if there had been a national disaster. Seriously-they were sparce. It took forever because we were in a new store and didn't know where anything was, and we kept thinking of other things that might be nice. Nat was worried we wouldn't be able to fit everything in her designated cupboard, but I'm the queen of organizing a cupboard to hold a lot!! Needless to say, it fit in her cupboard, but with absolutely no room to spare. She has food for quite awhile....now if she just knew how to cook it all. Just kidding Nat!! Her roommates seem so nice and friendly. That helped a little bit. But I have to say that I really don't like goodbyes. I don't think Natalie likes them much either. It's hard being a parent. You raise your kids up to be independent, courageous, and confident, and then part of you wishes you weren't quite so successful as you realize that they are ready to give life a try on their own.
The following day, we saw Natalie for literally two minutes during her lunch hour, just before we left for home. She seemed good, my tears had stilled for the moment, and we left each other with a hug and a smile! Dad and I returned home Wednesday evening. And it's funny how the even the lowest "low" can turn to a "high" overnight as I hear of her new adventures, new roomies, new friends and I realize she is ready for her freshman year at USU, and I am ready to let her go. Go Aggies!!!