Monday, December 19, 2011

Home for the Holidays

It is always nice to have all of my chicks under the same roof. William arrived home from Snow Saturday and we are so happy to have him for a few weeks. Truth be told, he is more "at home" away from home. He loves us, we know that, but he for sure has moved on...we are an intense family, and that drives him a little crazy. He is missing his "girl"...she is coming on the 30th for a few days...hopefully our family won't run her off:) We are just about done with Christmas preparations...and looking forward to visits from Papa and Grandma Casper, and of course, is good and we are blessed. Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Family Time...St. George

We headed off into the wild blue yonder looking forward to spending a week with family in St. George...we pride ourselves on keeping our cars in good repair. Fears of repeating what I experienced a time or two as a child (sitting by the side of busy highways with broken down cars) has been my motivation. Well, I suppose our good luck ran out. About 20 miles this side of Amarillo our super reliable car DIED! We were so bummed...we are so unfamiliar with car problems that I looked at Bill and said "Now what do we do?" Before he could answer we heard Christine from the back of the car say "Call Allstate. We have roadside assistance." When I asked her how she knew that, she said she had seen it on a commercial:) Too funny. I did call Allstate, and although we don't really have roadside assistance, the nice lady was able to help us...Thank goodness for modern technology. Between Bill's iPhone and iPad, we were able to figure out where we were...because it really was the middle of nowhere...this is Taxas we are talking about! After a very long and uninteresting story as well as a 2+hour wait along a busy highway, we drove out of Amarillo in a brand, spanking new GMC Yukon XL...we had no idea how many of the gadgets worked...actually, I still am not sure of many things. But all was well and we handled what could have been a very stressful situation surprisingly well.
Passing time while awaiting the tow truck...
Still the middle of nowhere:)
A nice shot of Christine's shoes...
And here she is...all loaded up:( That truck in the picture will be our ride into Amarillo. We had to pay $100 extra for the extra car...little did we know Bill would be driving. What a silly arrangement. I was certain we would add a speeding ticket to the day's tab...the tow truck driver was leading the way---we had no idea where we were going---so in order to keep up with him, Bill was speeding down the highway! We arrived w/o a ticket and ready to buy. We were in and out of the dealership in about 1 1/2 hours. Not an ideal way to purchase a new car...but hey, we are not your "normal" folks:)
Although we were staying in St. George, we headed south to Vegas to see Cirque du Soliel's "Love" (it's a tribute to The Beatles.) I was a lot of fun...Bill and I aren't big fans of fact, we couldn't wait to get out of there, but we did enjoy the show.
We met 2 former Dallas missionaries for breakfast. Milton Williams and Mark Metcalf are both living in St. George and attending Dixie State. It was great seeing them. We have been so blessed with great young men serving in our ward...Grant is especially close to these two guys:)
A quick visit to Southern Utah University. 50 miles north of St. George...both William and Christine will most likely be attending there in the fall.
A cool replica of Shakespear's Globe Theatre.
Uncle Bill and Ky...we'd kick Ky out of the family because he's a Ute fan, but we can't...he's a Casper, so he has to stay:)
Let the fun begin...William brought his dance game for the Wii and ALL of the family was groovin'. Even Great Grandma Casper enjoyed watching and participating. There were 33 of us, we were only missing Laws and Bryson...they are both serving missions. Because our numbers were large, we reserved Papa and Grandma's was wonderful being able to spread out. I didn't take any pictures of the set up in the gym...shame on me. It was perfect though...just take my word for it.
Friday morning most of the cousins, a few of the parents and Papa went to the St George Temple to do some baptisms...It was such a special time. I would not have wanted to be anywhere else...being in the presence of such great Casper youth, all worthy to be in the temple, was priceless. The Temple...always where I want to be with my family.
Papa arranged for us to borrow 5 authentic handcarts, one for each family. We loaded our blankets and lunches up and walked a few blocks to a nearby park for a family picnic. The weather was perfect and being together was wonderful too. The kids, as well as the adults had a great time...
Lots of family pictures on the steps at the St. George Temple
Friday night we surprised Papa with a 70th birthday party. It was perfect and he was surprised and touched. Songs were sung and a wonderful DVD of his life was watched and both Grandma and Uncle Richard said a few words about their feelings about Dad...we had cake and laughed...a great time!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

a strange tradition (A post about Homecoming way back in October...a little late)

Homecoming Mums...What's in a mum?...well, you start with a large white silk flower, add long(like 3+foot long) wide ribbons...the more ribbons, the better. Staple the ribbons onto a piece of white cardboard paper that serves as the back of the flower...then attach a bunch of trinkets (bells & whistles(seriously), miniature musical instruments, footballs, soccer balls, musical notes, mini cowgirl hats, etc) to ribbons and staple them on as well. The idea is to personalize the mum for the person to whom you are giving it...These things can cost hundreds of dollars (ridiculous I know...there are starving people in the world) Each grade level at the high school has a traditional color...seniors-white, juniors-navy/silver, etc. The girls wear the mums on ribbons around their necks and the boys wear similarly decorated, yet much smaller garters around their arms. Strangest tradition ever...The mums are only worn to school and not to the actual are a couple of not so good pictures of what I am talking about.
Mandy and Jana Tryon:)... Jana knows how to make mums...she's done several. She's a good, not so much:(

I LOVE them...

Ashley and Olivia:)

An early morning view

It's not a great picture...I find it diffcult to drive and take a quality photo at the same time...anyway, this is the scene near our home when I am coming home from the gym in the mornings. I think it is so beautiful. We have water towers all over Texas. I need to get a shot of some in the daylight. Every town has them and they have the town's name written on the side...totally Texas.

We love the missionaries!

We don't have them over near enough, but we love to have the full-time missionaries in our home. It is usually a circus around the dinner table. Grant is hard to harness and generally keeps them laughing. Thanks Elder Hong and Elder Seager for being good sports and for being willing to play on the Lord's team! We love you! (As a side note: Grant wears his Sunday clothes all day on Sundays...even when we meet at 9am! I call him "Bishop"...funny kid!)


This post is for the kids...they adore Smudge. Bill and I like her...she represents work to us...and enjoyment for the kids...she is a great dog though, except for the rare times when she pees on the floor or when she rubs hers dirty body on the furniture leaving a residue...or clicks her nails on the wood floors at 5am...or whines constantly when there is a thunder and lightening storm...we really don't like it when she eats bunnies in the backyard or does the unthinkable (eats her own poop!) Yuck! She is getting old...12, I think. She seems to be doing well, other than going deaf...or is she just playing us? Who knows. We do all love her and are glad she's part of the family...Christine thinks we should have her in our next family picture...I am pretty sure Bill will say "heck no!":)(for any Vera Bradley fans out might recognize her's a napkin cut in half in "Totally Turq". Even Smudgie scored from the 6 weeks I worked there:)


A couple of weekends ago Grant, Bill and I participated in the Allen Stake's "Day of Service" which commemorated the Church's 100 year anniversary of the welfare program. We were assigned to help a widow in a town about an hour north of here in Bonham. (Garrett was at play practice all day and Christine was volunteering at a local nature preserve for a college class.) We spent a few hours moving sheet metal and rotted wood beams...hard, dirty work. I was so stiff the next day! It was great to sweat and work all in the name of service...even Grant enjoyed the day...but he won't admit it...the Sonic lunch afterwards helped ease his discomfort:)

An industrious streak

On Saturday I transformed a bucket of raspberry puree into a few bottles of jelly...such a feeling of accomplishment seeing all of these jars!

Top 10 Worries...

As I get older, I am finding that my worry list is growing. I have determined that the bigger my kids get, the bigger the worries. Here is a list of things on my mind lately, and in no apparent order.

1. That William will find a "suitable" mate...someone who loves and cherishes him like he deserves:)

2. That Christine will be able to study in college the thing that will bring her the greatest amount of joy...(she has LOTS of passions...hard to narrow things down.)

3. That Garrett will get to and from all of his many activities safely...driving that big truck!

4. That Grant will not stress too much about his classes...really?...he is only 13...plenty of time for stressing later in life:)

5. That Bill can make enough money so that we can retire in a few years...I really want to serve a Church mission with him:)

6. That I can find something to fill my days with that will bring me joy and fulfillment...too much time on my hands these days.

7. That I have taught, or am teaching my kids all that they need to know to survive successfully in life.

8. That I have shared my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ enough to my children so they have no doubt what I believe...

9. That I don't make a fool of myself in front of my gospel doctrine class...I am SO not the smartest person in the room...not even close.

10. That I am living a life that my mom would be proud of.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who knew?

Garrett was asked to sing in Sacrament Meeting several weeks ago and with me being gone a bit lately, yesterday was THE day...I must admit that I was slightly nervous for him...this was a first. Of course he sang a bit in his high school musical in the spring and he has done his thing at BYU Theatre Camp for the past couple of summers...but this was big. On the way to Church he said "No worries Mom. It's only a song." Anyway, he sang a beautiful arrangement of "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul." He blew everyone away. The Spirit could be felt and there were many tears...of course I shed a couple:) We were very proud of him. He's a natural and starts private voice this week...way overdue.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

an oversight....:)

Bill's parents came for a visit the beginning of August for Peyton's baptism and Grant's Eagle court of honor. We had FHE one night and these are a couple of pictures that never were bad. We love getting together.
Grandma and Papa having some fun with their Texas grandkids for Family Home Evening
The cutest little girl I Little Miss Marra:) I love her.

Riley NOT Jake

Grant has not been a fan of Jake Heaps from the beginning...although he does have a picture with him after the New Mexico Bowl...Jake was the MVP afterall...but this season Grant has nothing nice to say about his ability to QB for BYU...he has threatened to wear a TCU shirt to the BYU/TCU game here in Texas in a couple of weeks...I saw this and thought it was a nice was a surprise and he is thrilled:)

Girls and Boys and a Funny Play

Last weekend I had the chance to fly to Salt Lake and spend time with William. I like to pack as much fun as possible into a short amount of time...landing in SLC at 9:30pm on Thursday and staying at a hotel near the airport. I was at the Salt Lake Temple by 9am for my good friends son's sealing...Jordan Eliason was sealed to Trista Henderson:)I was glad to have been there... I left right after the ceremony and drove 2 hours south to Ephraim and William...(of course I stopped in Draper for a Cafe Rio quesadilla for lunch...Heaven!) William, his roommate Ethan and I went to Miller's Malt Shop in Manti so they could have lunch and I could have dessert:)...a grasshopper shake:) I had the pleasure of meeting William's girl...I really like her. We spent great time visiting...I miss my oldest...he is a joy to me.
Although I am not a big Shakespeare fan, I have to say that I loved The Taming of the Shrew. The play was done in what they call "Commedia del Arte" or something like that...awesome colorful costumes and lots of funny lines...really fun. William was a member of the cast ensemble and also played the merchant...a very funny character. (thanks Christine for the overview of the play...I would have been completely lost otherwise)
Saturday Papa and Grandma took us (including NaKya) to breakfast at "The Satisfied Ewe"...Yummo! Grandma did have a little fall...scared me to death, but she is a tough lady and other than some scrapes and bumps, is fine. We are so grateful to have been there and help...we love her.
I was able to attend a BYU game in Provo. It had been many years since I had seen a game there. I went with an old roommate/friend from BYU..Carie Dalebout...we had a great time catching up and cheering the cougars on to victory. I drove back to SLC and stayed at the airport again...arriving at my hotel at midnight. I was up, showered and gone by flight home was at expensive nights sleep:)
Yes, it was a very quick trip. But what a great time! I have much to be grateful for. And I am so proud of my boy and the life he is enjoying...
Evidence that I was on Temple Square:)

William and NaKya
William, the merchant
The merchant up on a tall ladder...his lines in this scene were funny:)
William, "rockin" his knickers:)
Papa and Grandma showing their support
Our dear friends, The Lipscombs...Ethan is the bearded one and William's roommate and a member of the cast:)
Loving my boy
Outside our hotel in Ephraim...THE only place to stay in town:) (After Grandma's little roll on the asphalt)
Carie and I representing...
From our seats in LaVell Edwards Stadium