Saturday, October 17, 2009

Trip to the Tetons with the TopherBugs

The TopherBugs came to visit again and we took them to the Tetons on a beautiful sunny day. Here are some of our pictures...

Here are the beautiful snow-capped Tetons.

Sammy and Gracey staying nice and warm.

Grace got a ride in her daddy's backpack. Seems like she didn't really have to do any walking. Where can I get one of those backpacks big enough for Sammy to give ME a ride?

We hiked partially around the lake and Topher even pulled out is kite and flew it a bit. We kept trying to tell him to kite board with it, but there was no convincing him. Something about the water being cold...waa waa waa.

It appears after our long day of hiking and sight seeing, that everyone got pretty much tuckered out. Would you agree?

Friday, October 16, 2009


First off, thanks to the amazing Alysia for educating her mother on how to make a collage at picasa. We started at the very end of our trip, since that is the best way to assure that all the pictures are in order... and then we got tired of making more collages.... so I will blog the trip backwards, it looks like. Ah, well at least all the blogs will be in order once I get done, so if it bothers you, you can wait to read it until I am done posting everything. So here we are starting off with the last part of the trip. We flew into Munich from Rome, rented a car and toured GermanyWe got almost to the Chiemsee, and it was time to turn in for the nite. We found a really nice little Pension and got a very nice room with an amazing breakfast in the morning. The next day looked like lousy weather, and I was all worried already, but it wasn't long and all the fog had burned off and we had blazing sunshine and warm fall weather. We stopped at Prien, and tood a ferry to Herrenchiemsee, the 3rd of Crazy Ludwig's castles, this one was patterned after Versaille, because Ludwig was totally enamoured by Louis XIV. I think it is a lot prettier than Versaille. Sam loved it.
After that it was on to Berchtesgaden. What a georgeous place. All the busses to the eagles nest had left for the day, but we loved it anyways. Such beautiful scenery. Those mountains are the very best.We drove for a while on the DeutscheAlpenstrasse and just ohhed and ahhed all along the way. We made it to Linday that night and stayed in a nice little hotel just over the border in Austria.
Ulla was just back from her vacation in France, so we didn’t drop in on her until the next morning. Carolus apparently was not aware of our coming and acted very puzzled but friendly when I came to his door. After a little prodding he finally realized who I was and poor Ulla had to cut short her shower. But we had a lovely visit with them. Then we took off north-westerly to the black forest. Very pretty too. By 2pm we arrived in Offenburg and thanks to our trusty little GPS (thanks Joe) we pulled up in front of Klaus and Karin’s house. Manuela and her two sons came too and we had a great visit. Sam loves that part of my family too. I think they liked him as well. We finally had to say our good-buys and ended up in Trier that night.
The next morning, after consulting the map, we realized that we were just across the border from Luxemburg…. Yes, we did have to drive there and dang it, the gas was super cheap there, and we had just gassed up in Trier the night before.
After that it was Porta Nigra and a stroll thru Trier, a visit to Karstadt and the Trier Cathedral. Very nice and totally enjoyable.

We had asked at the hotel about the road along the Mosel river…. Oh, not more than an hour to Koblenz that way…. Yea right! 3 hours later and not even half-way done, we broke it off and headed for the freeway. It was very pretty, though.
We made it to Karen’s new and improved house by 8pm and were delighted how nice it looks. Patrick really dolled it up. We stayed at another cute little bed and breakfast and the silence there was almost deafening. Views of fields and woods and cute little villages. We spent the day with Karen and her cute family. Shopping for German chocolate (yes, you’re welcome) and other great stuff.
That evening we arrived at Oma’s house. She and Carlo were waiting and very excited to see us. We spent 2 days with them, enjoying their company, going downtown and riding the S-Bahn, the Bus and the Boats. Great fun, great weather. We even made it to church and were sad to see so few members there. But Karl Schmitt is now the Stake President and his son is in the Bishopric.
We got up at 4am on Monday, drove to the Airport, turned in our nice little Opel and commenced our 28 hour day, arriving at midnight in Salt Lake. Phew! What a day. But it was all nice and smooth, even customs was not as bad as last time and we made it home just fine. Dacia picked us up, Marti put us up and Alysia and Grace came home with us and entertained us for the week, and cooked for us too. Then Dacia and Ellie came for a week and cooked and entertained some more. Now Alysia, Grace and Topher are back…..What AM I going to do when I am back on my own???? Will I die of boredom??? Well, I am sure it won’t be long before we are off again, or someone else will come to visit. This is great, I love it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Topherbugs visit, Kayla's wedding etc

Here are the cute little Topherbugs that came for a long weekend of fun and giggles

The little Grace is very fond of Berries and soon discovered my Raspberry patch. It became her favorite spot in the garden.

Storytime with Grandpa Sam wasn't so bad either

I got to babysit her while everybody else went to the temple. When I handed her the strawberry for breakfast, she broke into a big smile and signed "thank-you". Could it get any cuter?

Of course it was not typical August weather, but turned rather cold... so what is a good Oma to do, but make some warm duds for the Gracie.

We also decided that she needed some more hair.... maybe we went a little overboard with the fertilizer here?

Feeding the Ducks at the River: one bite for the Grace, the rest is for the Ducks.

Look Mummy, there are more hungry ducks!

Alysia got very excited about cute little hats with bows on them, and spent a fortune buying some. So I showed her, how easily you can make those yourself. Needless to say, we spent the rest of the time making hats and bows.

Alysia made yummy chicken enchilatas for dinner. I think Grace really liked them.

She wanted to get every last bite.

And Raspberries for dessert

Our trip to Portland took a detour to Bend and Eugene first, so we could get a day at the coast. Can't go to Oregon without visiting the coast! The Lava fields between Bend and Eugene are truly impressive. The lovely rainforest further towards Eugene is even better.

Our day at the coast didn't turn out as planned... it was cold and rained almost the entire day. We got a bit damp, but that didn't stop us from frolicking in the surf. Here is Sam in top frolic mode.

And look what we found!!! A dead sealion!!! Sam was so excited he put on his sunday-best and had his picture taken with it. Thank goodness it was very windy, so we couldn't smell much.

And here we are at Sheila's house up to my eyebrows in flowers. Very nice flowers too. It took me all day to produce 1 bridal bouquet, 5 brides maids bouquets, 2 mothers' 2 fathers' 5 grooms men's, 4 incidentals and 4 arrangements and the stuff for the cake. It was great fun though, and I was sad to see the McKays running out of daughters to marry off so soon.

This is how the bridal bouquet started out

This is the finished product

This was towards the end of the day.... the last brides maids bouquet

And this is my super douper totally talented helper. She was so good, she would have taken over if I hadn't stopped her! She had lots of good ideas, and rather nimble fingers and actually produced some of the brides maids bouquets and corsages and did most of the arrangements. What a little jewel to have around. If you can't have an Emily, a Bug will do very well. But the Emily had already done her part. So to give credit, where credit is due: the Emily was in charge of the ordering process and working with the Kayla to decide what she wanted and then telling them how much and what to order. We couldn't have done it without her.

What we don't have a picture of is Sheila's neighborhood hedge and bush trimming service... I hope she will present all her neighbors with a bill for the fine job she did on her morning run... with scissors... when she took care of all this unruely shrubbery giving it all a good trim, so we had lovely greenery for the floral arrangements!

Here is the cute couple, now Mr and Mrs Conrad to you all... Kayla still looks a bit shell-shocked.. ups...I am sure Alan's pictures look better

Here they are in all their wedding finery.

And Linda outdid herself again with this magnificent cake.

The End.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Anya's Visit

As you can see, Anya was rather busy, while she visited here. She was a super crafty little person.

Her most favorite activity was sewing. She designed these amazing slippers and then sewed one and is modeling it here. She also made all sorts of clothes for her pig. It now sports a ballett tutu , a blouse and a skirt. Of course, she also got her Oma to do some sewing, so she now has a new pink princess nightgown and a blue polka dot dress. All in all, if you are ever bored, invite Anya over and she will keep you hopping! And you'll have so much fun! we went to the zoo, jogging in the mornings, she is quite the trooper, she kept up with me on her bike.... Yea, I know, she rode circles around me, but aye, we were out there together. We went swimming and did lots of shopping and cooking and painting.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

July happenings

Baby Ellie's blessing. She wore a magnificent dress, fashioned and designed by our very own Kim. A masterpiece indeed, sure to turn heads!
The furry little critter on our patio was a visitor from the sanitation department, cleaning up after the birds, that always leave a mess after visiting the bird feeder. He actually brought a friend later on.

Emily and family came up from Las Vegas

Even though this looks like Marti saying: give me my baby back now! and Alysia responding: come get her, if you dare........ it was a really polite and loving exchange, and Marti actually offered Gwenny to Alysia to hold in stead of Grace who had stayed home for health reasons. The plan was to have Gwenny in the family picture and photoshop Gracy's face on her.... we'll see if it works.

It is strange to see Sam sitting there so peacefully without a book in his hand. Maybe it is because he is BEING lunch to Dacia's tame mosquitos that were having a feast during our otherwise nice luncheon.

Oh my goodness, if I had known how dorky I look with this hat, I would not have let Sam take a picture of me. The lovely Tetons, we visited to go hiking at Jenny lake and later to meet Allen and Alice for dinner at the Calamity Campground next to the Palisades dam. This time we came prepared with Mosquito repellent.

While peacefully sitting out on the patio one evening, I started contemplating the very messy looking flower bed. So, inspite of skirt and heels, I went to work and ripped it all out. The next morning Sam was a dear and turned the dirt for me, then we got 4 garbage cans full of bark chips, I thinned a few of the shade plants from other places in the yard, and voila! now it looks quite neat and orderly. I did most of the planting and mulch-spreading in a super downpour, but because of the convenient tree, didn't get very wet. Funny weather, we're having, but we are not complaining.

Girl's weekend in St George. We spent the first 2 days producing over 70 pair of earrings. Then the next two days we stationed ourselves at strategic points in Zion's National Park and sold them as native mormon crafts...(j/k)

Ellie thought it was great fun to have so many doting females around, there was always somebody willing to hold her.

Johnson Family Cottage Industries Flock shot

We talked Alan into trading his daughter for our Honda... I think it is a great deal. Our Honda was never this cute or appreciative when we took it places. And our Honda certainly didn't have any talent for art work.

Anya was a bit nervous about the goats, but since they didn't seem to eat any of the other little kids there, she finally decided that it was safe to pet them.

Fearlessly she put her head in the lion's mouth

And stood by the ferocious tiger. She had originally planned to sit on it.... but it was way too hot!

Here she is meeting the educational penguin.