Sunday, December 19, 2010

First Day of School 2010

This year, our kids had a very different first day of school.  Not only was it in the traditional sense but, they also transferred to a different school so they were literally having a very first day!  Now that we are in December, we realize it was the greatest decision we could have made for our family.  It definitely wasn't easy and we prayed and prayed about it but, it has worked.  I can't believe how big they have gotten.

Silverwood 2010

We took Jordyn and Jeylin to Silverwood this past August for the very first time.  They were excited but also very nervous about riding the roller coasters.  We managed to get them two go on two, Timber Terror and Tremors...but that was it!  They both screamed their heads off.  We didn't take Kierra because she would have been too small to ride anything but the kiddie rides and we would have not be able to experience enough to make it worth our money.  We'll go again in a couple more years with all of them.  Even though it was CRAZY busy and we were only able to get on a couple of rides, we still had a blast!  The kids were tuckered out by the end of the day too.  We stayed in Spokane and did school shopping the next day too.  It was a nice mini-vacation.

Jordyn's 9th Birthday

With so much going on this year around Jordyn's birthday time, we opted for a small sleepover with some of her best friends.  They enjoyed pizza and then smores made on the BBQ.  All of the girls had a blast...and the Smores were SUPER messy...check it out for yourself...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Brittny's Baby Shower

I have ALWAYS wanted to throw a baby shower and never had the opportunity...until I found out Brittny was expecting!  I begged and begged for her to let me and she was generous enough to cave and let me do it...thanks Britt!!!

Since her and Brad were not finding out what they were having, I had a challenge ahead of, I recruited my wonderfully talented mother as back-up :)  We decided on just a general "baby" theme and we had SO much fun!!  We even took a girls trip to Spokane to shop for supplies.  Thanks Britt for giving us a reason to do this because it was the very first time we had ever done anything with just the two of us and it was awesome!

We had quite the extravagant event planned in Mom's back yard...that is, until it decided to downpour on us.  Unfotunately, we had to move it into the garage still was a ton of fun.  Celebrating with Britt's wonderful family and all our great friends, we enjoyed fabulous food and great hilarity.  I did manage to sneak a few pictures though before the rain hit so here you go.

Also, as a little "PLUG", my Mother and I absolutely LOVE planning parties so if anyone is ever in need, please give us a call and we'll work something out.  As well, my mom is trying to get into doing Candy Buffets for all types of events.  Look her up if you're ever in the need.  Okay, enough with the shameless plug, here's some pics...I would have added more but for some reason, I can't find all of them...

Here is the invitation which I made using Paint program (hadn't yet gotten Photoshop)

The centerpieces on the tables.
These doubled as gifts for the Mom-to-Be and when looked at from the walkway into the party, the word "BABY" was written out. 

Brittny & the Cake
Cake was made by Cakes by Marcella
This lady is AWESOME!!  I sent her a picture and she created this masterpiece!  Just look at the detail work below...

All buttons & clothes were handmade out of fondant!  I recommend this lady to anyone who loves fondant work...and, it tasted better than any fondant I have ever had.  She said it's because she uses the same kind that Duff from Ace of Cakes uses!  Seriously amazing!!! 

Mom's Candy Buffet

Ooooh Yum!

These Whirly Pops were awesome!

Seriously speaking everyone...this shower was a ton of work and took two months to plan but let me tell you, despite the work and the rain, it was so worth it.  My whole goal was to make Brittny feel like a Queen.  We are so incredibly blessed to have her as part of our family and I would do this 100 times over just to see the smile on her face.  She is so beautiful and I am so thankful to call her my sister-in-law!

And, for those who are was a Girl!  I'll post more on that later :)

Jeylin's 6th Birthday Pics

I told you I would post more...just didn't realize I would finally post about his 6th birthday 2 1/2 months before his 7th. Okay well, here you all go....
Jeylin's Colts Inspired Cake

All the party-goers

Jeylin & Abby

Jeylin & His Cake

Jeylin & His buddy, Braeden

Jeylin & Giada

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Celebrating the Life of a Great Man

For those of you who don't know, my Uncle Allen passed away on September 24th.  He was one of my Mom's brothers and a great man.  Now, I know that most people always think the dearly departed are "great" people, but my Uncle Allen...he really was.  Even if you wanted to say something bad about him, you simply couldn't.  I'm going to add what my Mom wrote and spoke at his Memorial.  She has a true gift with being able to write so beautifully that you feel as though you lived through the experiences with her.  And, as a disclaimer (or as you can see in the pictures), my Uncle Allen spent the majority of his life in a wheel chair.  He was a quadraplegic and had very limited use of his arms...this will help to make my Mom's story more understandable during parts.  So here goes nothing...the story of the most amazing man I've ever known, my Uncle Al...

"Hello everyone, I want to thank each and every one of you for being here today to celebrate the life of my brother. Most of you know me but some of you don’t so I’ll introduce myself. My name is Rita Henderson Mundt and I’m Allen’s youngest sibling.

Those of you who knew Allen best would know that he wouldn’t want a big fuss made over him; he wasn’t into dramatics or being in the spotlight, but funerals are for those left behind, so, sorry Allen here goes…

First of all I would like to thank everyone who donated food and thank you also to the Rebecca’s for providing the dinner. I also want to thank Dee, Tony, Jackie and Fonda for being the children Allen always wanted and for loving him and being so good to him. And lastly, thank you Janet. You were his constant companion, wife and caregiver for 23 years. Because of you, Allen was able to live a full and happy life. You sacrificed your life for him. Well done Janet, you saw it to the end and you finished the race.

If I had a month to stand here and speak I couldn’t possibly touch upon all that my brother was or what he meant to me and to so many others. Some of you here today knew him from the beginning, others maybe for only a little while. One thing was certain; Allen was a man who left a lasting impression upon everyone he met.

Allen was 13 years old when I was born. He used to tell me that he was embarrassed to walk down to Ma Haney’s store with mom while she was pregnant with me because he knew everybody would look at her and know what she had been up to! We had some good laughs over that one.

Like my brother Dick, Allen was a loving and devoted big brother. Allen gave me his undivided attention, spending endless hours talking to me, playing with me and yes, teasing me. Later, when I became an adult, he would often tell me that all the teasing and harmless torment made me tougher. There have been numerous times since, that I’ve had to tap into that mean streak, and so for all the endless teasing Allen, I thank you.

One of my earliest memories of Allen was of him grabbing me by the arms and swinging me around and around in circles until he got me dizzy. He would then set me down and laugh at me as I staggered around the yard. To this day I can still hear his laughter, and to this day I still can’t stand carnival rides…

Allen used to tell me the story about how he & Dick would put me in my stroller. I was probably less than a year old at the time. They would run that stroller, with me in it, around the alley and down the dike at top speed. Mom said it wasn’t unusual for them to have it on two wheels as they went by, with me bouncing around like a rag doll. Apparently that was before anyone had ever heard of “shaken baby syndrome”. The stroller incidents seemed to have a different affect me than the spinning escapades, because to this day I still like anything that goes fast!

One summer I can remember Allen taking me out to the creek to a swimming hole he had behind the house. I couldn’t have been over 4 years old at the time and didn’t swim yet. He would put me on his back and swim underwater, being very careful not to let me fall off. Allen was like that…whether he was taking me to the beach, teaching me to shoot or how to defend myself; he always had my best interest at heart.

Many times he would take me with him when he would go for a drive. I was the coolest of the cool riding shotgun in his ’57 Chevy. My best friend Teena & I would play for hours in that old ‘57. He never seemed to mind, in fact, it was a favorite story of his to the end that he could always tell when we were pretending to drive his car because there would be little sticks in the ash tray. Being children of the 50’s, Teena & I didn’t know you could drive a car without a cigarette!

As you might expect, Allen taught me how to fish. Having White Bird creek in our backyard was a natural classroom for fishing lessons. He would tell me step by step how to tie the fly onto the line and then explain in great detail, how I was to flick the fly out into the creek and let it float down through the ripples, making sure to keep it dry so it looked real to the fish. On my first trip to the creek I found a Sucker someone had thrown up on the bank. I immediately thought I could fool Allen, so I picked it up and took it back to him just as proud as could be, telling him I had caught it. He ewed & awed over that stiff, stinking old Sucker and played along with me because he didn’t want me to be disappointed.

In the summer of 1969, when man first walked on the moon, Allen & I would spend hours out in the back yard gazing up at it through his spotting scope. Like everything else, he used it as an opportunity to teach. He would say “see those big craters, valleys and mountain ranges”. I have never looked at the moon since without remembering that summer and the nights spent gazing up at the moon with him.

Allen had a real interest in my education and would spend endless hours helping me with my homework. If I had a problem I couldn’t get figured out, he would always find a way to explain it to me so that it made sense. He even went so far as to offer me a $1.00 for every “A” I got on my report card. It didn’t take long and he was accusing me and Mrs. Robie of having a conspiracy! Never the less, he paid me anyway, just as he had promised. This was a promise that he continued to keep for as long as I was in school.

Allen cared; he was in tune with my life and what was going on and what was important to me. When all the other kids in town had bicycles and I didn’t, Allen and Dick saw to it that I got one.

Allen had an unbelievable gift in that he could explain something only with words because he couldn’t show me with his hands…he even taught me how to braid. He would tell me, and I quote: “It’s easier than falling off a Log.”

You could say that Allen and I were “nutritional overachievers”. In other words, we liked to eat! One of Allen’s favorite pastimes was to read Cookbooks and to try new recipes. Allen would find something that he thought looked good and he would recruit me to fix it. He would read the instructions to me step by step as I assembled it. Mom never complained and would let Allen & I make a complete mess of her kitchen. Because of those early culinary experiments with Allen, I learned to cook.

Humble beyond words, Allen always gave the praise to others and would down play his own accomplishments to allow others to bask in the lime light. Allen was incredibly funny and could find humor in everything... usually himself. No matter how serious a situation was, Allen could find something in it to laugh about. It was this type of attitude, the ability to find humor or joy in even the worst of circumstances, that preserved him and allowed him to live 46 years after his injury. (Incidentally, that was thirty six years longer than the Drs. predicted he would). I believe there is a passage in the Bible that perfectly describes my brother:

1 Corinthians Chapter 13 verse 4 reads:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I guess you could say then, Allen was the perfect example of love.

I am sad beyond words and there is a void now in my life that will never be filled. I’m not sad for Allen; he’s in a much better place now. I’m sad for me and for the future generations of our family that will never have the privilege of knowing him.

Allen had an unwavering love of White Bird and the Salmon River. He loved every rock, every blade of grass and everyone from here. I’ve heard it said that heaven is different for everyone. If that’s true then I already know what heaven looks like to Allen… it looks just like White Bird."
Uncle Allen & My Mom

Uncle Allen & Me
Uncle Allen & one of his favorite pastimes
(What he could do with limited use of his body was amazing!)

The Henderson Family
Back row (Left to Right) Aunt Marie, Uncle Dick, My Mom
Front Row (Left to Right) Uncle Allen, Grandma Margie, Grandpa Horace

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Catch-Up...Cuz I was Yelled At!!

I'm not sure anyone still reads this...except for my Mom...who, after yelling at me for an update will hopefully enjoy this...*wink*wink*  Well, obviously I have been vacant from the blogging scene for an incredibly long amount of time.  It's called life, very, very, very busy life.  But, 'nuf said, how about an update.

Last time, I was going through trying to chronologically update and while I would still like to do that, I just simply don't have the time...especially since the last post that mattered was talking about events from last November...11 months ago!!!  Sooo, I will still update but I'm going to list all the new events in this post and pick and choose some of my favorite moments to devote an entire post too...sound good?  Well, who one reads this anymore anyway right?

So here goes (at least as much as I remember)...

Thanksgiving 2009
Celebrated at my parents house with the family.  It was a very nice, very tasty celebration.  I love spending the holidays on the Farm :)

Christmas 2009
Celebrated at our house again for the very first time without my parents.  This year was the Nielson family Christmas.  All of the kids made it home for the holidays.  Even Kasey and Laura surprised us all with an impromptu visit.  It was nice to have us all together.

January 2010
Started a diet yet get in better condition for my brother's upcoming wedding to the most wonderful girl EVER, Brittny Behler!!!  We just love her.

February 2010
Jeylin turned 6!!  We celebrated his party at 360 Gymnastics & Cheer.  He had such a BLAST!!  He loves football and so he decided on an Indianapolis Colts party which was great since we had a lot of supplies left over from the Super Bowl that I really would rather not talk about at this moment.  Yep, still a little bitter.  Anyway, he invited all of his classmates and they had a great time running, jumping, swinging, and of course eating cake.  I will post more on this later.

March 2010
Bradley's Grandma Opal passed away this month.  It was sad but at the same time nice to know that she had moved on to a better place.  The family got together once again minus two sister-in-laws and 4 grandchildren.  We had a good time considering...especially telling stories of Opal.

April 2010
Easter was spent at our house with Brad's parents.  We had a great dinner of ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, citrus roasted asparagus, green bean casserole, rolls & dessert.  We were also blessed with a new nephew this month.  Parker Ray Nielson was born :)  He is so cute and pudgy...just love it.  It was neat to finally see Sam as a daddy.  You can check him out more by checking out Amy's site here.

May 2010
We had the Holy Family School Auction this month.  It went very well.  I was in charge of data entry (along with my great friend Anne) so we had actually been working night and day since February to get everything entered perfectly.  It went off with only a few glitches but nothing we couldn't handle.

June 2010
Can't remember!!  The kids were out of school this month so maybe that accounts for my lack of memories...haha!

July 2010
Border Days in Grangeville as usual!  It's awesome!  Unfortunately this year, my entire family except Bradley, got sick on the day of the 4th.  Food poisoning or some nasty flu bug.  Since the 4th was on a Sunday, we had planned on coming home for the fireworks rather than watch them in Grangeville.  Brad's brothers Kasey and Sam, and his sister Jodi came over to celebrate...but, I stayed in bed the entire day.  I did manage to group together enough energy to partake in the fireworks show but that was about it.  July 31st, my mom and I threw a baby shower for Brittny!  It was a lot of months in the works and the only downside (not exactly small either) is that it was an outdoor party and downpour hit at starting time.  Brittny was able to see it all put together as we would have wanted it but then we had to quickly move it indoors to celebrate in the garage.  I'll post more on this later.

August 2010
This was a big month!  Jordyn turned 9.  We celebrated with a slumber party with three other girls.  It was a bunch of fun.  I lost my job too.  Yup, that was fun.  I'm glad to be done with that place but just wish they would have had a little more tact in the way they dealt with it.  We had a family (minus Kierra) vacation to Silverwood.  The kids had a blast.  Didn't like the coasters, loved the water slides and of course, spending the night in a hotel and doing school shopping the next day too :)  And FINALLY, school started!!!  The kids changed schools this year too.  They are now enrolled at Asotin Elementary.  They are having a great time.

September 2010
We were blessed with the MOST beautiful niece this month.  Finally, my baby brother is a daddy...[tear]  Isabella Brooklyne Mundt was born on the 9th.  She weighed 6lbs 9oz and is absolutely perfect!  Definitely look for a post on this one.  Lookout world, I started selling Scentsy.  If any of you are not familiar, click here!!  I absolutely LOVE these products!!  They smell so great, last for so long and are stylish to boot.  Check them out NOW...heehee :)  Also, on the 24th, our family lost one of the greatest people ever.  My Uncle Allen passed away.  He was the embodiment of the power of positive thinking.  I will also be posting more on this later.

So pretty much, that's it in a nutshell.  Since we are just starting October, I'm not adding that in here.  I will definitely try to become a more disciplined blogger :-)  For those of you who do read this {Mom}, let me know if I missed anything.  I'm sure I did as I can't even remember what I did yesterday...let alone 6 months ago.  Hopefully though, this finds all of you in good health.  Until next time...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Silhouette Machine

If you haven't heard of or seen this machine, oh my!!  It looks fabulous.  I have entered a contest to win a giveaway and thought I would share that contest with the rest of my friends and, blogging about the contest gets me another entry :-)  So, here you go, check out this giveaway by clicking the link below.

Oh and if any of you win by way of this blog entry....just remember, I get to borrow...*wink*wink*

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

30th Birthday Bash...Literally!

On Saturday, November 21, 2009, my best friend Dawn celebrated her 30th birthday.  Dawn and I have been best friends from birth sooo, 30 years and some change.  Since this was the first birthday we had spent together in a least since elementary school, I decided to go all out and throw her a big shin-dig!  We had dinner and cake and lots of laughter planned for the evening.  Trust me when I say, the picture definitely helps out the look of this cake...there were quite a few flaws to it...

We finished with a night of bar-hopping, finally closing down MJ Barleyhoppers.  I generally don't drink at the bars because I can't stand beer and my "foo-foo" drinks are expensive so I chose to be the DD for the evening.  There were 5 of us piled in our van, Dawn, Mike, Koleen, Brad & myself...leaving Dawn's car & Koleen's car parked in front of our house.  Off we went for our evening of fun!

Dawn, Koleen & I

Bradley & I

At 2:00am when the bar closed down, we headed for home.  Remember what I said earlier...5 of us in one vehicle...2 vehicles remained at the house.  Uh huh, sure!  We came home to one van full of 4 "very happy folks" and 1 driver thinking...where the heck are the other two cars?  It didn't take long for the 4 "very happy folks" to turn into 3 "not-so happy folks" and 1 "very concerned husband of driver".  I immediately ran inside and dialed 911.  After giving the dispatcher my information...twice...she informed me that police were on the way to talk to us and that sometime after midnight, a drunk driver had driven off the road and into both cars and that a tow-truck had come to pull both of them out of our yard.  WHAT?!?!?!

After the Deputy arrived to talk to the hysterical group of folks, we learned that the driver was obviously intoxicated and was driving at a higher rate of speed than the norm.  He totalled both cars, leaving them in our front yard...and had continued to drive.  Another driver witnessed the crash and called 911.  Just under the Southway bridge (probably a mile from our house), a Deputy was waiting.  From what I believe, the Deputy had already pulled the driver over before the announcement came across the radio due to severe damage and no headlight.  The driver tried to deny that he had anything to do with the crash, while sitting in an obviously wrecked vehicle and no headlight, but as the Deputy said, "Are you sure you want to deny that?"  To which the driver finally admitted..."No."

So, he was hauled off to jail and Dawn, Mike, Brad & I tried to calm a very overly-freaked out Koleen.  Once it was all said and done and everyone in bed, it was around 5am.  Here is a picture of Koleen's car since I don't have any of Dawn's...

Kierra's 2nd Birthday

e just did a small celebration for Kierra's 2nd Birthday with just family and friends.  I made cupcakes in place of a cake and just kept it all real simple.  She loved it and it was nice to have the family together...

"Mom, step away with the flame!!"

"Oh now I get it, they are singing TO me...oh I'm so bashful"

"Mmmm, the rewards of almost being burned to death & humiliating singing...I think I can live with this"

"Yep, I could totally live with this!"