Thursday, May 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Erin!

If you know me, you know how much I love her...

If you knew her you would know what an amazing woman she is.  
If you knew her, you would constantly be amazed by her strength. 
Her physical strength.
She's a runner.  She's healthy.  She eats right and takes care of herself.  
She makes sure her family eats well.  What other child would walk around a Farmer's
Market (Milo) and scream with joy (Milo) when he sees a head of cauliflower (Milo) and 
insist on cradling it the entire day (Milo)?  Erin's child...who else.
I wish I were physically strong like her.

(Erin with Keeler...isn't he cute?)
If you knew her, you would know of her incredible emotional strength.  She gave birth
to premature twins, struggled to have another child, made it through the long
emotional process of adopting a child.  I couldn't have done what she did and does.  
She is emotionally "together".  What strength.

(The loves of Erin's life...Spencer with Keeler, Isabel, and Milo)

If you knew her, you would know that she single handedly brought her siblings-in-law together
in a way that no one else could.  I've watched them all join together when
so much had separated them.  Erin was the source of all that.
It's true...I saw it.
She helped "adopt" me into the family I adore and love so very much.
For that, Terry and I will be forever grateful.  

(Erin with the kids after her race in the Boulder Bolder (?)

If you knew her, you would know that she has a great personality.  When I'm around her
I laugh myself silly.  We shop, we cook, we gossip, we laugh.  I'm pretty sure that we
are twin sisters from different mothers. 
I'm lucky to have a daughter-in-law like her.

If you knew her, you would know of her deep, deep spiritual 
strength.  She isn't perfect.  (I have to keep telling myself that about her!)  Her spiritual strength is quiet.  She never flaunts it.
But, if you look into her eyes, there is no 
mistaking her love of God.  Her belief
in our Savior, and her endless faith.  Whenever I visit her home, I look forward to 
bedtime when she reads Book of Mormon stories to her children
and then...family prayer and the sweet personal prayers of 
Milo and Issy. 
They have been taught very well by a tremendous mother (and father too!) about
what it means to "believe".


I feel so lucky to know Erin.  She is constantly surprising me with her talents.
Mostly, though, I appreciate her mothering.  She is one of the 
best mothers I have ever seen.  

But, if you knew her, you'd already know that!


I love you Erin.
Happy Birthday.




Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Birtday to the Dingles!

Vaughn and Brant



Twenty seven years ago my brother Brian and Sister-in-law Sarah 
provided our family with a lovely
set of twins and named them 
Brant and Vaughn.
Since that day 27 years ago today, everything has changed
AND...

I've loved them since day one.  
I have witnessed them being kind and gentle husbands 
as well as patient and loving fathers (just like their dad and his dad)
 I truly admire their confident parenting.
But, the most incredible personality traits they possess is to be absolutely 
CRAZY!

I tried to find at least one picture of each of them 
to post here that was 
serious and thoughtful.  It was hard but I found one of each.

Here's Handsome Brant with Ariel and his own set of
twins (yes that's right!).  They actually have another son
but I don't know where he is in this picture...probably just a little thought in Brant's head at this point.


Here's Vaughn with his wife Tasha and daughter Elina.
They also have one more
 little girl named Megan.

I'm writing about them together because they are just a packaged deal.  
When I hear they will be visiting, I get so excited because I know it will be a blast.
Just take a look at all 
the 
goofiness:
Vaughn showing off his "dicky" 
Vaughn teaching Elina the finer things in life.
Elina's revenge!
Brant (red pants) and Vaughn (green pants) 
Karaokeing it up!


Brant's twins didn't like Santa much!


Brant teaching his son the finer things in life.
(mmmmm....much like Vaughn)
Vaughn graduating from the University of Calgary.
Now that's just WACKY!

Together earlier this month at Adrianne's for Brant's graduation from University.

Dressing as twins cracks me up everytime.


My dear nephews, I love you both.  We have many memories to share.  Your missions to Russia and Lithuania come to mind.  (Thanks for the plate from Riga, Vaughn.  Thanks for nothing from St. Petersburg, Brant)
And the time you lived with us Brant will be a fond memory forever.
  I just love you two and expect great things from you both in the future.

Live long and prosper.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ahhh, First Graders!


Today I read the book "Fox at School" by James Marshall
to my class.  They loved it.  One of my favorite parts of the day is when I read
to my first graders.
The following is an exchange from one of the pages in that book:

"I'm going to be a teacher," said Fox.
"You're not serious, said Carmen.
"It's an easy job," said Fox.

At this point I stop and ask "Do you think that being a teacher is an
easy job?"
(of course I'm expecting them all to tell me what a noble, difficult, courageous, 
caring, laboriously fulfilling job it must be...)
I did hear a few "no way"'s  from the crowd.

Then "Mr. Reality Gabe" pipes up...
"I think it would be easy because they have that one Math book with all the answers."

Thanks Gabe.  Thanks for keeping it real.




Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Audrie!


Dear Audrie:


I love your mouth...
especially when it's smiling.


And, I love it...
even when it's slobbering.



I love your eyes...

even when they're sad.


I love your cute little nose...
especially when there's food all over it!


And, I can't wait until those little hands...
hold mine.


Though I've only met you once in your life,
(you looked like this.)


I look forward to seeing you
as a grown up little lady one whole year old!
I LOVE YOU!

Love,
Grami Tami




Thursday, May 14, 2009

If I Had Alcoholic Tendencies....


...I'd drink it like this


Monday, May 11, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELI!!!

My cute little grandson Eli is three years old today!  
He lives far away from me in Texas and I don't get to see him very often.
But, when I do, I'm the happiest Grami Tami in the world.

Here are some pictures of this darling boy:
The sweet little guy with his daddy. 
(Our newly accepted Dr. in training at Columbia!  Brag, brag!)

One of my very favorite pictures.  Look at his organizational skills. 
A lovely row of trucks and cars!

Love the exercise ball.  Where's Eli?

Eli with his mommy Abbie, his daddy Forrest, and his
adorable sister Audrie.
(Soon to live far away in New York City!)

Eli ROCKS!

Eli and Audrie with their
GORGEOUS
mother...she's also an excellent mother in addition to being gorgeous.

I LOVE YOU ELI!

Friday, May 8, 2009

My 15 Minutes of Fame!

M   I just found this CNN news footage from 2005.
It was the beginning of the No Child Left Behind Act instituted by
George W. Bush
(I will refrain from my opinion of him in this post...could be a future post though!)

Anyway, I'm the one in the classroom with the Statue of Liberty and a map of the
United States on the wall.
I had 33 fifth graders that year.
Boy, that CNN reporter was a good-looking fella!
So...here, for your amusement is
me doing what I do best! 
                                               

                                               video

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Bruce!

My big brother Bruce is 54 today. 
( If you will look back five days ago,you will see that I married a man only five days older
 than my big brother...kinda creeps me out but, that's a different story)
There are so many things I could say to pay tribute to my big brother.
In fact, I already did post about him last year right HERE.

The most important thing you really need to know about him is how much
 I love him.
He has always been very important to me and still is.  We are eight years
apart in age so I really didn't get to grow up with him like I would have liked to, but he was an
amazing brother to me.  I don't ever remember him being mean to me or making me feel less
than I was.  He still hasn't.  In fact, through happy or sad, tragedy or triumph, he 
exudes a quiet strength that I haven't seen in anyone else.  He makes 
those around him more comfortable than he feels. 
Perhaps, he is holding it all inside to protect everyone else.   That's just who Bruce is.

He is a word wizard.
He has a masterful wit that I only try to mirror but don't even come close to.
He is the strongest person I know who has experienced things
that only the very elect and strong are asked to bare.
And even though he and Larry cut the tip of my middle finger of while
cocking a pellet gun when I was four years old...
I will ALWAYS love him.

Bruce is my hero.

Look at how handsome he is sitting there on his boat with his grandkids.

This picture made me miss my dad.  Just like Bruce, our dad always let my girls
fix up and mess up his hair.
Best. Grandpa. Ever.

Cool four generation picture. 
L to R:  Grampa Matthew Leavitt, Dad (Ray Leavitt), Bruce, and Chad.

Bruce is the third one over.
(Larry is the sixth)

This is my favorite picture of my brothers.  Bruce is in the bright blue.  
Can you see why it is possible that they did that 
horrendous act of violence on my finger?????
But at least they were cute.
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