Sunday, April 28, 2013

Good bye to Aunt Donna

We knew when we went up to Utah over spring break that Aunt Donna didn't have a whole lot of time left. The doctors said it would probably be 4 months tops. She went a lot faster than I thought though. On Brendan's birthday, she passed away (fittingly, we got the phone call ten minutes after he opened his card from her with the traditional three dollars. I don't think she has ever missed a card for anyone in the family. Ever.). She was able to see a LOT of family before she went, and I will always be grateful that we got to visit her a couple of times before she died. Aunt Donna never got married or had kids, so she was kind of like a second grandma to all of us. She had 11 nieces and nephews, and many many great and great great nieces and nephews. She was always a lot of fun, and she would always tell you exactly what she thought about something :>) She was the last living member of her immediate family, and I am sure they are happy to have her back!
My grandma Marie, Donna, aunt Mary Lou, Great Grandpa Lamar and Great Grandma Josephine
Aunt Donna and Carson
me and Aunt Donna
out to dinner with Aunt Donna, me, Brendan, Rich, Carson, and my cousin James

Rich was wonderful about taking a couple of days off  to watch the kids so I could go to the funeral. I flew up to Salt Lake Friday afternoon, and my sisters picked me up. We headed to the family dinner at Aunt Donna's church building. While we were there, we found out that the girl cousins were singing a song, as were the boy cousins, and we got to practice that night. Aunt Donna requested two songs that I had never heard before. We sang "Oh I Had Such a Pretty Dream Mama," and the guys sand, "The Little White Church on the Hill." I have to admit, their song was kind of funny and brought some much needed humor to the service :>) There was also a family viewing, and it was good to see a lot of the extended family that I haven't seen in years. Later that evening we went back to the hotel, and hung out for awhile We also had a late night Cafe Rio run which was delicious!
The funeral was actually very nice. I got to hear some fun stories about her that I didn't know. There was also a LOT of people there...she touched a lot of lives! The link to her obituary is here.
Afterwards, we made the drive up to Vernal for the graveside service. When we got close, we saw a billboard which said, "You won't BELIEVE what you see downtown!" And they were right, no one expected a giant pink dinosaur (and thanks for letting me steal all these pictures btw Heather!)

Here is the Schaerrer side of the family...
and the cousins. It was really nice to get to know Michelle better...she is from the Green side and I have never really had a chance to talk to her.
Afterwards, we went to dinner at (where else) CAFE RIO!!! Twice in less than 24 hours was kind of awesome. We drove back to Provo, got there late, and woke up super early to make the drive back. I drove with my mom and the Fitzpatricks, and we had a good time! The drive is much easier without small children :>) I was really glad I was able to go....I will miss her!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Brendan!

Yesterday Brendan turned 7. Where did my baby go? He is getting so grown up.He loves school, he loves to play with friends, he loves video games, he loves playing baseball. AND he loves to eat :>) When he woke up he went downstairs and opened his presents. He got Legos, a Star Wars video game, a new Beyblade from Carson (which he asked to use his own money to buy...amazing to me!), and Monster Jam bedsheets.
Afterwards we ate his random breakfast of choice (waffles and eggs)
I volunteered in his class in the morning, and when I got home I finished off the Spiderman cake that he wanted. It took about every drop of frosting that I had, but it got done :>)
He loved it!
He had baseball practice after school, and since we didn't do a party this year we had cake and sang happy birthday with his teammates. They are such good kids!
After practice, I took the boys and Brendan's buddy Luke to the Pirate Adventure dinner. The boys LOVED it. We sat in the blue section, and this is out "blue pirate" Benjamin. He was so sweet with my boys. The place wasn't too crowded since it was Tuesday night, and he came over and chatted with the boys for quite awhile.
He let them all hold his sword (which they thought was AWESOME!). Carson couldn't stop talking after he left, but refused to say a word to him while he was there :>)
He picked Brendan and Luke to go up from our section to the "swearing in" ceremony for new pirates (Carson refused to go up!)
and they got to go up on the pirate ship again at the end to "help break the curse."
Overall the show was really good...great stunts, a fun story, and the kids loved being part of it. And the food was yummy too :>) Afterwards we took a picture with Captain Sebastian and his wife.
Happy birthday to my favorite seven year old! We feel so lucky to have this boy in our family. He really is a great kid. Here is a funny story from Sunday...I was walking upstairs, and heard him talking out the window to the little neighbor girl (who is in first grade too). The conversation went like this...
Brendan: Hey Bailey, did you go to church today?
Bailey: No
Brendan: Do you ever go to church?
Bailey: No
Brendan: (incredulously) Do you even know what church IS?

I had to stop him at that point, but I was laughing :>) Love you bud!

GREAT day!!!

Saturday was a super busy but super wonderful day! Rich got home from work at 8:30, and we jumped in the car and went to Brendan's baseball game. It went a little long, so we then rushed home, bathed the kids and got ALL of us dressed in less than half hour, then left the kids with my mom and Bob to go to my cousin's baby's birthday party (which I was sad to miss!) while we went to the San Diego temple for TWO family sealings. At one our good friends the Nielsens got sealed for time and all eternity. It was my first time in a sealing with kids, and what a neat experience! 
Afterwards Rich headed to the car to try to rest (he was TIRED after working all night!) and I went to an endowment session for his cousin Jay and his wife Merry. After that, THEIR family got sealed. How cute are their kids?
and here are Jay and Merry. Afterwards we went back to their place for dinner (El Pollo Loco...yum! I had the flu the day before, and my appetite was just starting to come back. It was delicious!)
So grateful to be a part of such a special day for two wonderful families that we love!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Utah trip

Over spring break, we went to visit Rich's family in Utah. We haven't made the drive in awhile, and last time didn't go so well. I was a little nervous, but the kids did AWESOME on the drive. We woke up early to leave at 5, and made it in 10 hours with only 2 stops. Thank heavens for the DVD player in the car :>) Monday night we hung out with Rich's parents and sister's family. Tuesday we went to the Discovery Science center. ALthough my oldest neice Kelly insists that this place is "worse than jail," my kids loved it :>)
 Chloe, Whitney, Ashley, Emily, Kristin, Quinn, Brendan, Carson, Sabrina
 After that, we took our niece Ashley with us to Temple Square. It is always so pretty there!

 Later that night Rich and I were able to go visit my Aunt Donna in the hospital. She was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, and I was really happy to be able to see her. I had seen her on the phone a couple of days prior, and she looked really jaundiced and sick. Fortunately, the doctors were taking good care of her and she looked a lot better by the time we got there!
Wednesday we went to Jungle Jim's. The older kids thought it was a little bit lame, but all my kids were in heaven! They went on rides until they were tired of it, then we went to lunch.  
Wednesday night Rich and I went out to dinner with Elder Brinkman (from Rich's mission). We told him to pick someplace good, and so he told us to meet him at the Oasis Cafe. Turns out that the Oasis Cafe has menu items such as baked tofu, but we were able to find some good items :>)
 Thursday morning, Rich and I got to go visit Aunt Donna again (thanks to my mother-in-law for watching the kids so much for us!). She was moved to a rehab facility on Wednesday, so we got to see her new digs. It is a nice place, and she seems to be happy there. Plus it is close to her home and I know she is getting a lot of visitors! Later that afternoon, we went to the cheap theater to see Wreck It Ralph with Jill's family and my in laws. About an hour in, the fire alarm went off. It stopped after a couple of minutes, but then the movie stopped and they made us evacuate. After sitting outside for 20 minutes we gave up and went back :>) That night Rich went to the BYU volleyball game with our brother-in-law Darin.
Friday morning we met up with my sister Janine. We had super delicious French toast at Kneaders, then went to the playground by her place. We had fun!

 The rest of the day we hung out at Jill's house, went shopping, and got ready for the family Easter party on Saturday. The kids got to dye Easter eggs, and had a blast!
Late Friday night we got a text from my niece Eliza saying to look outside the door. We were very surprised to find her, Charlotte, and my sister-in-law Amy on the doorstep! They came up for a surprise visit. Charlie and Judy were flying up that night as well and we were excited for a big family get-together.
 Since we were driving back on Sunday, the Easter bunny kindly came on Saturday instead. My kids are always excited about candy, and the boys loved their Beyblades.
Saturday afternoon, the family all got together for Easter dinner. It was delicious! It was really great to visit with everyone. Jill did an Easter egg hunt for the kids, which they loved.
 There is a guy in their neighborhood who has a little train, so we rented it out for an hour for the kids. They loved it! It actually put Whitney and Brendan to sleep...that's what happens after a week of late nights and no naps I guess :>)
That night, Rich, Darin, Charlie and Charlie went to another BYU volleyball game. While they were gone, the girls and kids hung out at the McDonald's play place and tried to let the kids burn off the massive amounts of sugar they consumed that day :>)
Sunday morning, we woke up and hit the road. We didn't leave super early this time, and that was a mistake. We hit a lot of Vegas traffic, and it took us about 3 hours longer to drive back. We did stp at a fun park in St. George to eat lunch, and had ice cream for dinner at Peggy Sue's diner (I have always wanted to go, and finally made it there!). The kids did really good overall, and we had a fun vacation with our family!