Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Christine

It's hard to believe that 18 years ago we were living in LA, welcoming to the world our only little girl! What a blessing you were to us. You came into the world peacefully and loved by so many...you haven't always been peaceful :), but you have always been loved! So here we are getting you ready to head off to college. We will miss you! Thanks for being such a good kid. I will miss my shopping buddy, my chauffeur, my computer helper, and seeing the truck parked-back end first-in the driveway. You are a blessing to our family. Thanks for being such a loving and supportive sister...your brothers are gonna miss you :( We can't wait to see the wonderful things life has in store for you. Good luck at Snow! We love YOU!

Our family tradition is to open gifts first thing in the morning...here are some sleepy heads before the unwrapping...Happy Birthday Christine (aka Rita :)

Christine isn't a big fan of cake...her preference is a cookie cake...we forgot to take a "before" photo...so here is an "after" one :)

Christine wanted to head to the Mesquite Rodeo for her birthday...we had dinner at Carrabbas beforehand and then headed down to the rodeo...nothing like a Texas rodeo.

Grant had to take a ride on the mechanical bull...yeehaw!

Dad and our "Birthday girl"

Jack Ingram was in concert after the rodeo...great fun!

Utah-Making Memories

Road trips are not generally things to look forward to...I'd almost always rather fly. But I must admit that this trip to Utah wasn't bad at all. Grant, Ellis(our dear friend) and I headed out, stocked with snacks, XM radio, movies and lots to talk about. We drove to Albuquerque the first day and then on to Provo the next. Grant and I wanted to be there to take Christine a happy birthday lunch! Ellis wanted to hang out with his best friend and try to secure work and schooling...you know, the whole "I'm home from my mission, now what?, thing." Spending the week with Grant was great! I think he actually likes hanging out with me:) let's hope that lasts forever...I can dream, can't I? We covered a lot ground...and I didn't take pictures of everything...but here is a little bit of what our time in the Beehive state consisted of...

BYU's "Lavell Edwards Stadium" was a "must see" for Grant. He is a huge BYU Football fan...I have to admit that I haven't been to a cooler stadium...I love the mountains in the backdrop.

Grant couldn't wait to go to Utah's only amusement park, Lagoon! I am not a big amusement park fan, outside of Disney. So Grant needed a friend, someone to ride the rides with...so we dragged our dear recently returned missionary friend to come along...he was such a trooper and did whatever Grant asked. It actually was a great day, especially since I didn't have to get sick on any roller coasters or crazy spinning rides :) Thanks Ellis!

We found a great dinosaur museum in Lehi, UT at Thanksgiving Point. Back in the day, Grant would have spent hours there...we were done in a couple and that included an hour long IMAX movie...we had a good time and Grant didn't even mind looking around the shops nearby :)

We are fans of the Travel Channel's "Man vs Food"...several episodes ago Adam Richmond visited Crown Burgers in Salt Lake...Grant was on a quest to go to the same Crown Burger restaurant...we went to the West Valley location. Nope Adam hadn't been there. So we stopped by the North Temple location late one night. Nope not here either...apparently it was the south Salt Lake location...we had run out of time. While we were at the North Temple location, the nice lady behind the counter took pity on Grant and gave him a Crown Burgers hat! So nice of her...and it made his night! (Loved their fries and fry sauce!)

Bill flew in for the theatre performance...we took advantage of the cool Utah morning weather and "hiked the Y"...Grant was NOT thrilled, but survived and assured us he doesn't need to do that again!

The main purpose for our trip to Utah was to see Garrett and Christine in their final performance at BYU's Theatre Camp. It is a 2 week process filled with auditions, rehearsals, workshops, guest speakers and FUN! This was Christine's 3rd time at Theatre Camp and Garrett's first. They had a blast and didn't miss home for even one minute! We were glad that Papa and Grandma Casper drove up from St. George to watch them perform and that Uncle Jared and Aunt Julie, who live in Orem, came also. They performed the play "Children of Eden". The lead parts are shared to give more of the kids an opportunity to "shine". Christine was Eve in one scene and nailed her solo! We were so proud! Garrett, who has never acted at all, played the part of Abel in one scene. He had several lines and even sang! We were not only proud, but amazed! Great job kids!

A much overdue BYU roommate reunion! After 26 years we decided to reunite and renew our friendships. Words can't convey the awesome time we spent together. We stayed in a townhouse in Midway and slept in the same bedroom...5 beds made for the perfect sleepover! We talked and LAUGHED and cried and shared and ATE and reminisced...we even tried to find some long-lost friends on Facebook :) We drove to Provo and walked on campus, remembering the 5th floor of the library and how it was used more for sleeping and socializing than studying :) We encouraged "the one" roommate who hasn't graduated yet, to "finish what she started." We hoofed it up to the Harmon Building and got all of the information for her to do that. King Henry looked mostly the same...we couldn't believe that we lived in "that dark corner"...but we did and we loved it! Our being together was a testament to the fact that we care about eachother and support one another...let's hope that we can get together again, sooner rather than later.

This is my dear Great-Aunt Naomi. We visited for a couple of hours and enjoyed YUMMY Cafe Rio salads. It is always enjoyable sharing stories but I mostly enjoyed hearing her great wisdom. She is a strong woman...my family is full of them :)

I never get tired of seeing this beautiful temple. This day was made even more beautiful because of these two who were sealed here today...congrats Jessica and James!