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Saturday, April 6, 2019

March began with a wedding of my friend Rosibel.  I met her years ago when she was here as a CASS student.  We have kept in touch through the years and it was so nice to see her marry Jimmy.
Jessi and her family were off to Disneyland.  She text us so many sweet photos while on their trip, that I would love to post here, but I have decided to resist since it wasn't my trip to post about.  But I did take this shot of them when I dropped them off at the airport. 
Hope has been renewed that there is still a chance that YeWon will someday actually join Dennis and Abby's family here in the states.  Prayers continue. Obviously I didn't take this shot.
Spring was slow in arriving, but we finally had some spring blooms in the yard!
The skies cleared eventually and we had a few nice views of the mountain.
Josh and Alexis drove up from Salem for a visit.  It is pretty awesome to have them want to spend time with you as they become adults. 
We had a sleepover with Josiah, Arianna and Lina.  Good times as always, except for the homework.  As it turns out...Grandma really goofed.  Arianna seemed to really be struggling with her packet.  As it turns out...I had her do Josiah's packet!  No wonder she had no idea how to do those  math problems.
Since it was St. Patrick's Eve, we HAD to have green pancakes and green scrambled eggs, right?
It has been way too long since Arianna sewed with me. We made a little dress for Lina. I am still so impressed by Arianna's sewing skills.
Bazzel enjoyed the last of the winter fires.
And then it was time to head back to Dennis' place for Daniel's birthday.
There was still a little snow on the ground as we went through Warm Springs.
We had free nights at the Peppermill in Reno, so we stopped on the way for a couple of days.  While there we enjoyed a massage in the newly renovated Spa.  Then Cyndi and Dan were grounded on their way flying their plane to Las Vegas, so they surprised us when they stopped in to stay the night.
We took Hwy 395 past Mono Lake on down to LA.  I always enjoy that drive.  So much change of scenery.
The hills were full of color from all the spring blooms due to the extra rain they have received this year.
We arrived to Dennis' place just in time to meet up with my parents and all of us went to PF Changs as Daniel's choice for his birthday dinner.
The next day, his friends from school came to help him celebrate his 7th birthday.
We had a fun week playing with the boys, going out to dinner, visiting Jimmy and doing a little yard work.  There is a really nice little place just a mile's walk from their home.  Abby and Gabe were at his choir practice, so the four of us walked to dinner.
 Off to bed.
I don't remember exactly when we started it, but a few years ago, when it came time to tuck the boys into bed, instead of reading them a story, I started what we call "The Never Ending Story".  I start out with the storyline and then pass on to one of the boys and they pass on to the other and we go around in a circle, each adding his (or her) own twist to the story.  We continue it each night when I am there and it ends on my last night.  (Which Daniel informed me this trip down that since it actually does end at the end of my visit, it really isn't a 'never ending' story after all.)  But even though it does end, it is as much fun for me as I believe it is for them.  I get to hear each of the boys little personalities come through as they weave their way trying to make it more interesting for each of us as it goes along.  I have learned all about portals and wizardry and crystals and magic and dinosaurs and volcanos and stars and rocket ships, some unpleasant body functions and whatever else is on their minds.  I love it when I am speaking and they are so into listening that they actually have passed on their turns to make sure I continue a little longer with where the story is going.  I hope that we get to go on many more years before "The Never Ending Story" actually ends forever.

Here are some before and afters of a couple of the flower beds we worked in.
It was fun planting a flowerbed with plants that I don't normally get to plant up here.
Another thing we don't have here...snails.  At first they are kinda cute, until you realize that they are really just a slug with a shell.  All of these guys were busy munching on my newly planted succulents the first morning after!
While we were there, we decided to hop over to Lake Havasu to visit Carly, Bobby's wife.  It was so good to see her and know that she is doing her best to carry on with life since he passed.  She showed off her vest from work with all the pins she has earned.
We all went to dinner and spent the time catching up. We were treated to a beautiful sunset while we ate dinner on the patio.
The desert there was in full bloom!  Such gorgeous colors!  Last time we were there it was sweltering hot and dry with barley a bloom out there.  The ground was literally crawling with caterpillars!  I found out on Google that they were going to turn into White Spinx Moths. The moth photo is from Google.
When we arrived, sitting in his chair was a box.  It was Bobby's ashes.  Carly brought them home and has left them in his chair from then on.  See the little sticker?  She told us that he used to take the labels off his fruit and stick them somewhere in plain sight.  If she found one, she got a kiss.  Well, just before he got sick and left for the hospital, he had stuck one somewhere and she had not been able to find it.  And then the same day that she brought his ashes home, she found it!  So she stuck it on the box. Such a sweet, touching memory of him. It really got me!  She asked us to take some his ashes home to Oregon and hopes that they will be placed with his Mother or Brother JD.
A few more of the hills and flowers around Thousand Oaks.
April 1 is Jimmy's birthday.  He turned 88.  Since we were there, we made sure to stay around long enough to celebrate his day with him.  His sweet lady friends, Madeline, Fran and Mary had a dinner party for him at Mary's house.
Remember last month I showed the blank canvas all set up for him to begin painting?  Well, here is his work.  He isn't finished yet, but it is looking pretty good!!  He is still not happy about having to move, but he has accepted it and seems to be adjusting.  This trip down, we got a little mini fridge for his room so that he can have his diet soda whenever he wants it.
And then we began the drive home...I saw an 'elephant' in the bathroom at lunch. We went through an area full of butterflies...for miles and miles there were swarms of them trying to cross the road...sadly many of them didn't make it.
And the clouds gave me a little smile.  Do you see it?
A special treat for me was to spot some Sandhill Cranes alongside the road!!!
I loved the contrast of the new leaves on the trees, the brown hill and what is left of winter in the mountains.
We arrived home to a yard full of spring flowers!!!
Happy April!!!