Thursday, July 28, 2011

Busy Summer--playing catch up...

Seems like I'm never as on top of this blogging thing as I'd like to be.  Here's what we've been up to lately--in no particular order because I can't keep track of what's coming up let alone what has already happened!

1. Headed to Idaho for my Grandmother's funeral --nice to be with family and celebrate a life well lived!
2. Jason & Ryan had their first session of Swim Lessons--EVER.  They loved it.  Ryan of course struggled with staying on task and following directions.  Jason is a total fish and can't wait for the next session in August.
3. Headed back to Idaho for my Ahlstrom Family Reunion--which was a BLAST.  Lots of golf, swimming, food, a bouncy house for the kiddos, an old west dinner & show, 4th of July parade and LOTS AND LOTS of family (I have 60 first cousins and there are 90+ Great Grand kids already--to put in in perspective)
4. Got a visit from our best friends from Kingman--who now live in Kansas so we LOVED having them stop over on their way from the Vegas airport to St. George where she is from.
5. We hit up our friend's cabin in BEAUTIFUL Duck Creek.  We go a couple times a year with 3 other families--besties from our old Fort Apache Ward!  It is a perfect place to get out doors, let the kids run around, eat TONS of good food and catch up on each other's lives.  If not for this group of friends, I couldn't have survived Vegas as long as I have!  They are the type where years could go by and I know we'd pick right up where we left off.  They are amazing friends--we'd do just about anything for each other!
6. We hiked Cathedral Rock with the kids (a scenic peak that's part of Mt. Charleston about 45 min from our house)  It was beautiful, not too hot, and great for teaching your kids to finish something tough!  I still can't believe that my 3 year old Ryan busted out that 2 mile hike (never once being carried) when some of Scott's Scouts quite less than half way up.  Nanner nanner to you big 12-18 year old sissies!
7.  Celebrated Collin's first birthday--we were at the cabin on his big day so we had a combined celebration with our friend's son Isaac who turned 8 and will be getting baptised next month.  So much fun!
I know there's stuff I've missed & pictures will follow (don't worry Grandparents, I'll get 'em posted!)  Now on to the Tidwell reunion, more swim lessons, karate class, gymnastics, birthdays and on and on...

...having been born of goodly grandparents...

Some would say I'm lucky, others sheltered, I say I'm blessed--undeservedly so.  I "happened" into an amazing family and my life is so much better for it!  My Grandmother Betty Ahlstrom--my Mom's Mom--passed away in June and I've had many opportunities to reflect on her life and how much my Grandparents (on both sides of my family) have molded and shaped the person I am.  I'll let them claim the good things and won't hold the terrible parts over their heads for too long :-)  Grandma had 10 kids--my mom was the 9th/10th (a twin no less)--and those 10 children resulted in 60 grandchildren.  I think I'm somewhere in the 30's.  So far, 3/4 of us are married and over 90 great-grandchildren have joined us.  It sounds like a lot, I know, but it is normal for me.  And we aren't just a bunch of strangers that see each other every 10 years.  I know my cousins well, I know their spouses, their children, and in a few short years, their children's children and I wouldn't have it any other way!  We would do just about anything for each other.  We each have had our struggles, some significantly more trying than others, but every single one of us is married in the temple, active in the church and are working hard to raise good families that will continue to do the same.

I've wondered what made my Grandparents so special--mine were story book Grandparents (always glad to have a house FULL of kids, Grandma always had homemade cookies ready and Grandpa would sneak us treats from his study.)  I think the bottom line is that they got IT--they understand that life is all about family and that as long as their family was around them, they were happy.  And they passed that sense of family unity on to my parents and now on to me and my children.  There is a lot I want out of life but it all boils down to doing what is best for my little family--both temporally and spiritually.  So thank you Grandma and Grandpa Ahlstrom, for setting such great examples, raising wonderful children and sacrificing so much for your family!                            
The 2 photos are their engagement picture in 1941 and Grandpa's Army photo (isn't he dreamy :-)