Sunday, February 12, 2017

Jason and Isa's wedding

We are having some snow days here so I'm finally getting around to journaling about Jason and Isa's wedding.  It's been fun to pick out pictures and reflect on the wonderful memories!

Jason and Isa met in June in Salt Lake and hit it off immediately.  (Jason moved there in April to work.)  Isa attends LDS Business College and works part time.  She is from Santo, Brazil and has been in the states for a few years.  Her English is great.  She is a very sweet girl and brings out the best in Jason.  We met her in August when Jason brought her to the family reunion in Oregon.  They got engaged shortly after.  They chose to get married in January because her mom is a school teacher and it is summer vacation in Brazil so her mom, Raquel, was already planning a visit to Utah then.  Isa's Aunt Thelma lives in South Jordan and was a great help to line up the details for the wedding and reception.  Another aunt, Felicia, also came from Brazil for the wedding with Isa's cousin Matt and his wife Natalie.  Isa's family is so nice but the language barrier made communicating with Raquel and Felicia a little tricky.  Jason wants to learn Portuguese so he can talk to his mother-in-law.

Isa and Jason - engagement photo

Jonathan, Trevor, Curtis and I flew out of Boston January 4th after taking the bus to Boston.  We were very fortunate coming and going that the snow fall was minimal and didn't affect our flights.  It snowed a lot in SLC the night we arrived. We arrived earlier than Jason expected and had to wait awhile for him to get to us (something about a bachelor party at an arcade...)  We stayed with him until the wedding so we could be close by and spend time with him.  We were able to help him finish moving into his apartment and get things set up.  I was very sick before our trip and Jonathan got sick on our trip (he laid down whenever he had the chance).  Jason and Isa were also both plagued with "the cold" the week of the wedding, but managed the get through it.

Thursday morning the Brewsters met Curtis and me at temple square to see the visitor center.  Quin loved the statue of Christ and Curtis and I watched some of the videos about the Book of Mormon. Jessica and I went to Isa's endowment in the Salt Lake temple. Isa's mom, aunts, and cousins were there.  It's a beautiful, historic building and was wonderful to share that special time with Jason and Isa.  Jonathan and Michael and the boys stayed at Jason's apartment and we all met up for dinner afterwards at Greek Souvlaki where Isa works.  It was great to meet Isa's family before the wedding and get better acquainted.  We had planned to go to Tucanos (where Jason works), but the Greek cafe worked out even better time-wise for everyone. The food was delicious. Michael was able to go to the SLC temple that evening while we played with Quin and Ammon at Jason's.

Meeting the family at Greek Souvlaki
Isa, Jason and Ammon

Friday morning we met Isa's aunts, my parents, Brewsters, and the Andrei at the LDS chapel by the temple to set up for the reception.  I had volunteered to do the flowers for the bridal party and my family was a great help (shout out to Aunt Gail for prepping them).  We had fun visiting while arranging and Jessica set out a lunch of sandwiches, chips and fruit for us.  Mike Andrus helped set up the arch and lights (now there's a guy who gets things done).  Thelma's friend arranged the centerpieces and we borrowed table cloths and runners from Esther, who had similar colors at her wedding in November.  It looked very nice.

Flower arranging party with Trevor's trivia questions

Bridal bouquet - bridesmaids had a smaller version

The sealing ceremony was in the Oquirrh Mountain temple in South Jordan at 3PM.  The sealer was great at putting everyone at ease.  He spoke to them about their marriage being the beginning of the family and things they can do to keep their marriage put by keeping influences of the world out.  It was truly wonderful to see Jason and Isa so happy together and be surrounded by family and friends.

Waiting for the bride

Jessica and Michael

Curtis and Trevor in waiting room

It was one of the happiest moments of my life to watch Jason looking at Isa during the sealing - pure love and joy. It was sunny and soooo cold (19 degrees) but Isa really wanted pictures outside the temple after the sealing ceremony.  Curtis and Trevor were waiting for us in the lobby; Quin and Ammon were at Velvet's for the afternoon.

Parents of the bride and groom


In no time people starting showing up for the reception.  My mom and Brenda helped me quickly fix the bouquets.  Some of the flowers didn't handle the cold well during the outdoor picture taking.  Luckily I had ordered plenty of flowers and they turned out well (if I say so myself).

Jason told me before hand that he wasn't going to have a boring reception (i.e. no receiving line).  Instead it was a huge party.  Isa's family served fruit, salads, cold cuts, Brazilian beef and lots of yummy, homemade Brazilian treats. They had a photo booth where guests could get pictures taken with the couple.  Instead of a guest book, they had people sign a large painted "D" to hang on their wall.  For a party favor they gave out individually packaged Brazilian cake. They had rules printed out at each table - the most important one - to HAVE FUN!

Best man, Cameron White, giving a speech at ring ceremony

Exchanging rings on swords

Raquel and Thelma reading poem by Isa's grandfather

They also had a ring ceremony after most of the guests had arrived.  The wedding party proceeded through the cultural hall.  Jason's best man (and best buddy from his mission) gave a speech and then they exchanged rings on the tips of swords in the Norse tradition.  Isa's mom read a poem in Portugese written by her grandfather and Aunt Thelma translated.

First Dance

Gma and Gpa Olsen with Keith in background

Isa with her mom

Jason, Cameron and his wife, Jessica

Most of the evening was spent dancing. Jonathan's non-member siblings said that was the funnest Mormon party they'd ever been to. My only complaint was that the DJ played the music very loud, but he did have a great mix of music.  Such a fun evening!!!  They also had the traditional cake cutting and bouquet toss later in the evening.  The guests formed a tunnel for them as they exited.

Dad and Jonathan - hall monitors (aka old farts)

Some good friends from Bend came, the Mattsons and the Jones.  They now live over an hour either direction from South Jordan and it was so good to see them again and get caught up.  I realized that women who serve in YW presidencies together are friends for life!!

Freda, Karen, me and Cheriene - good friends from our Bend days

It was also great to see so many family members on my side: my parents, my aunt Gail, cousin Grant and his wife and daughters, my cousin Alisa.  The Andrus' spent the whole day helping and celebrating with us (Mike and Brenda and Berkely and Megan).  Also two of my brother Neil's kids: Zachary and Esther and her husband Jacob.  It was great to see Velvet and her girls. We felt very supported and loved.

Provo cousins with Gma Olsen

Aunt Gail

Cousin Alisa and my sister Brenda

Kate, Velvet, Grace, Laura

Ruth and Grant Adamson
Cutest boys on the planet

Three generations (my two best friends)

Jonathan had three siblings there.  I hadn't seen them since we moved to NH, although Jonathan has been back three times without me.  His sister Heidi and Tom live nearby and we stayed with them that night (so great to have a lovely home to crash in). His brother Keith and Robyn with Bailee and Andy from Grantsville and Rusty made the trip from Eagle, Idaho.  It truly was a celebration!!!

Heidi, Rusty, Keith and Robyn (Andy in background)
Here's link to see Jessica, Jason, Curtis and Dodge cousins dancing

After a good nights sleep and a relaxing morning at Heidi and Tom's, we headed to Grantsville.

With Tom and Heidi and their beautiful home in South Jordan

Jonathan had such a great time visiting with his brothers, Keith and Rusty.  They were missing Nathan but were able to face time with him later that night.  Bailee took Curtis horse sledding and he had a blast in spite of the cold.  They are texting buddies now.  Jessica's family came to Grantsville for the day.  Quin loved visiting all the farm animals and got pulled in the sled behind the ATV.

Trevor got some video game time with Michael.  After tolerating all the excitement of the wedding festivities, Trevor enjoyed relaxing at Keith's. I got some more Grandma time. Jonathan's sister, Margaret (Liz) came with her husband and three of her grandkids for the afternoon from Ogden, so it really felt like a family reunion.  It was nice to finally meet Margaret's husband, John.  He's a kindred spirit.

Margaret, Keith, Gwen, Robyn, Rusty 

Trevor hanging out with some of the critters

After another good night's sleep and another leisurely morning (laundering table cloths), we heading back into Salt Lake.  I wasn't sure if we were going to see Jason and Isa after the wedding, but they invited us to their apartment and we had reception leftovers for lunch.  Curtis and I went to sacrament meeting with them in their new family ward (only 1/2 block from their apartment) while Jonathan hooked up their dryer.

Then we went to Velvet's for my birthday party.  All my family that was in the area had dinner and cake at Velvet's.  Jessica made my favorite crock pot BBQ chicken and Brenda bought a yummy chocolate cake from Costco.  It was the best birthday party I've ever had and so great to see everyone again one more time.

Birthday party at Velvet's - so many candles!!!

Andrei and Brewsters were on the same flight back to Portland and they left first.  We went to help Jason and Isa load up the remains from his bachelor pad before heading to the airport ourselves.  We talked to my parents for an hour at their gate until it was time to head to ours.  Trevor and I were able to sleep most of the red-eye flight.  We just barely made it to bus on time and after getting home at 8AM somehow we made it to school and work.  We're getting too old for red-eye flights and NH is too far away!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Fall 2016 - season of change and growth

Fall 2016 - a season of change and growth

Curtis was so excited to start his senior year of high school.  He got a little frustrated when he realized how hard his classes are and it's not all fun and games this year. He finally passed the driver's exam on the third attempt and that really boosted his confidence and mood.  We're still driving with him for a few months.

In the afternoon, Curtis goes to a forestry program at the neighboring high school.  Jonathan and I took turns attending his forestry competitions.  It was fun to watch his sawing events and he placed really well in tree identification, even earning his first ribbon.

The third week of September, Trevor was readmitted to his transitional program. (Long four months working toward that).  He's still working four mornings a week and then goes to Northstar in the afternoons.  He's taking math and science classes online.

Trevor is no longer a teenager.  For his birthday, he picked seven new recipes from his favorite cookbook for me to make for him, so we had a birthday weekend full of yummy food.

Our good friend, Murray, died on Sept 24th.  The Hensches have been our closest friends in New Hampshire and we've spend many holidays and birthdays together.  We've spent several hours a week helping his wife, Lynn, sort through his possessions and sell them.  The ward really rallied around the whole family.  It's been an intense time of loss and growth as we've walked through this with them.

Celebrating Lynn's 50th birthday on Oct 31st with pumpkin pie (made by Jonathan)

Jonathan and I were able to take a quick anniversary trip to the White Mountains during the peak of fall foliage.  We went to Squam Lakes nature center in Holderness and hiked Mt. Fayal to view the lake.  We stayed in N. Conway and went to Echo Lake state park the next morning..  It was relaxing and refreshing trip.

Prepping update:  Jonathan completed CERT training, we took a class from the local PD about responding to an active shooter event and are studying for Ham Radio licensing exam this Saturday (technician for me and general for Jonathan).  Jonathan learned how to turn honey comb into purified bees wax.  I dusted off the pressure canner and learned how to make pickles and relish from our prolific garden.

I also went with a group of gals from church to Time Out For Women in Rochester, NY.  It was a fun weekend and great spiritual recharge.  I've started seeing a counselor and that has really helped me sort through family issues and advocate for me own needs better.

All in all, a good season.  Winter here is hard because it's cold for sooooo long.  We have Jason's wedding to look forward to January 6th in South Jordan.  It will be great to see family and friends.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Our Trip to Oregon August 2016

Our whole family together for a few days at Rockaway Beach, Oregon

We left on an early morning flight Friday the 12th.  Jonathan's good buddy Murray drove us to the airport.  Our nice neighbors took care of the chickens, ducks, and cats while we were gone.  We owe them big.

In Portland we rented a car and drove straight to Eldon & Janeil's in Corvallis.  We could not resist picking blackberries, even in the sweltering heat.  Jonathan made two pies from them, and they were about the best he ever made, even if he says so himself.

Jessica drove to Corvallis with Quin and Ammon.  Yay! We finally got to meet our 7 week-old grandson. Velvet was there with Grace, Laura, and Kate.  Brenda's family was there, Berkeley & Meagan, Grant & Ruth, and Jason & Isa were there for supper.
Meeting Ammon

That evening we all went to spread Carl's ashes in McDonald forest.  We met Ken's family there and hiked in to a beautiful, predetermined spot. Grant read some of Carl's poems.  We stopped at nearby Locke Cemetery to see family headstones.
Grace, Kate, Velvet, Laura at MacDonald Forest

Isa and Jason
We're so glad Isa came to meet our family.

After spending the night at the Brewsters in Springfield we met everyone at Avery Park in Corvallis for Carl's celebration of life.  Brenda and Sheryl sang a nice song.  Grant, Velvet, and Brenda gave moving talks.  Sheryl shared a few of Carl's poems.  Neil shared some poems, one from great grandma Kezia.  Brenda sang a few more songs and then we had open microphone.  Jason, Curtis, Jonathan, Mike Andrus, Carl's friends, and Janeil all shared some thoughts and memories.  We laughed through our tears.  Everyone had a good visit and plenty to eat.
Ruth and Velvet

Teen cousins - Sam, Curtis, Erik

We caravanned with the Brewster's and Goodwin's from the park to the coast.  It was a long drive, mostly north.  We stopped at the Tillamook cheese factory, which was a bust because it was crazy crowded, like Paris on new year's eve.  Instead of waiting in a long line for ice cream cones, we bought some half gallons to eat at the resort.

Rockaway Beach was an awesome location for the family reunion.  Eldon and Janeil rented some large beach houses for us all to stay in at Harbor Villa Resort.  It was nicer than Camp Alpine in some ways--lots of bedrooms and two large rooms for meals and games and a grassy backyard for the little kids to run around in. It was a short walk to the beach, where Grandpa Jonathan went with Quin a few times, and everyone else went to walk along the shore or play in the sand.

Grandpa Dodge and Ammon

Jessica and Quin enjoying some beach time

Quin LOVED running through the shallow water at Rockaway Beach

Quin playing with second cousins

Sunday morning we went to church.  At least half the people there were tourists.  That afternoon most of the group went on a "short" hike that turned into at least 4 miles round trip, and very steep.  We loved it, although Sheryl was not wearing her new hiking shoes, and Jessica was busy with Ammon.  Grandpa Jonathan stayed back with Jessica and Ammon, and by gum we all reached the top where the view was AMAZING.  This is where Jeff Goodwin proposed to Stephanie, so they were excited to show it to their kids. To top it all off, there were some German tourists there.  They took our picture.  The name of this place is Neah-Kah-Nie, which is easy to remember because it sounds like 'neocon' with an 'e' at the end.

Beautiful view of Northern Oregon coastline

Isa, Jason, Jessica

After a (late) salmon supper there was a fireside where Berkeley & Meagan Andrus and Zachary Olsen told about their recent missions.  Jason and Isa made everyone customized milk shakes.
The newlyweds - Meagan and Berkeley

We took turns making meals for the whole group.  Trevor made a marvelous Mexican Lasagna.

Jason skim boarding

That afternoon our whole group went on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad ride to Garibaldi, after which Jason, Trevor, and Curtis played on the Andruses boogie boards and skim boards.  It was as much fun to watch them get in and out of the wetsuit as to play in the water.  Thanks to Mike and Sam Andrus for making that fun.
Trevor boogie boarding

Monday evening was the talent show, which was surprisingly short, so Jonathan was invited to talk about being prepared and stuff.  It was a great chance for doom and gloom in front of a microphone, explaining how the criminal banking system works.  Trevor played the harmonica, and Jason sang as he played the guitar (sounded pretty good this time).  That night we played board games with Trevor.

The "Ungame"

Tuesday morning, after Jonathan played with Quin on the beach one last time, we packed up and drove to Cape Meares with the Brewster's.  Jason and Isa were to meet us there, but there was a delay and no mobile phone service, so we missed them.  They spent the night in Bend on their way back to Utah.  On the way they unofficially announced their engagement (or was it that they announced their unofficial engagement?).  Anyway, Jonathan was THRILLED and unofficially told everyone he saw for the next several days.

Back in Springfield... Wednesday began with a shopping trip to BiMart and SuperEvilEmpire.  Jessica and Sheryl got new clothes, and Jonathan bought things to update Michael and Jessica's 3-day kits.  Later that day we went to Splash, a big indoor wave pool.  Grandpa Jonathan stayed in the the old fogey chairs with Ammon while everyone else had a blast swimming, especially Quin.  That evening, Michael took Trevor and Curtis to a Star Trek movie, which they all enjoyed.

Thursday morning was Jonathan's "vacation moment"  as he took Quin in a jogging stroller for a jog.  Then we all walked to a park and let Quin play.  After that we walked to Cafe Yumm for lunch.  Jessica and Sheryl canned pears while Jonathan worked on the 3-day kits (driving everyone NUTS in the process) and Michael played video games with Trevor and Curtis.

Friday we drove to Portland and went to OMSI.  For everyone except Quin, it was old hat.  But Quin was so excited he practically did summersaults in the rubber ball pen.  That made it fun.  Later that hot day was Berkeley and Meagan's wedding reception.  It was in a nice building at a park in Hillsboro.  They served ice cream sundaes and every topping imaginable. Grandpa Jonathan hung out with Quin at a nearby playground, and helped with Ammon a while too.  It was awesome.

Grandma and Quin finding all the letters

Brenda and bridesmaids enjoying Sundaes

 We spent that night with our good friends the Sorensen's, who live in Hillsboro.  Unfortunately Bob was gone on a business trip, so he and Jonathan did not get to stay up late laughing and dooming.  But Pam shared a good dose of doom with us, so it was all good.

with Pam Sorensen

Saturday morning we stopped at the Andruses.  It was difficult to say goodbye.  Then we stopped at the rental house in Lebanon and finally met Katie.  She has done wonders with the house and yard.  That night, back in Springfield, Jonathan & Sheryl watched Quin and Ammon (we watched the Lego movie) while Michael & Jessica went on a real date.  After that we played the game Splendor.
Saying a tearful goodbye to Brenda

Sunday morning Eldon and Janeil stopped in before church.  At church Michael gave Ammon his baby blessing.  After that we had a big party with Michael's family who were there for the blessing.  It was great to see everyone.  Kind of odd sharing Quin and Ammon with another set of grandparents because we love those little boys so much, but it is good.  It is all part of the plan.

Ammon and Great Gma on blessing day

Mother-daughter moment

After the Brewster clan left, we went for a walk along the McKenzie River (where Jonathan jogged with Quin).  It was beautiful, and there were a few blackberries left on the bushes.  That night we feasted on Jessica's amazing curry chicken, and we played Splendor where Jessica won and Jonathan actually enjoyed it this time.  Then came the very difficult goodbye and the drive to Corvallis to spend the night with Eldon and Janeil.  "Why are we always living in the wrong place?!?!  Why don't we just move back?"

Monday was filled with travel back to New Hampshire, the cats, the chickens, the ducks, and the nice neighbors who took care of everything while we were gone.