Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dreaming of a White Christmas....

Monday morning we finally made it downtown to our annual family visit to Santa. I was getting worried it wasn't going to happen. But because of Tessa's dance performances over the weekend it was the first chance we were all home and available to go. Macy's has taken over Meier & Frank so Santaland has been delegated to the basement. There is no more monorail - only a monorail museum. It was a sad day when all the kids outgrew the monorail (when they could no longer walk throught he snowman) so they had fun sitting in the monorail car at the museum - old times!

A miracle happened - we actually had snow on Christmas. Statistically - Portland has a 1% chance of having snow on Christmas Day and this year was that 1%! At our house the snow didn't actually stay on the ground but we did have snow in the air! It has been over 30 years since Portland had measureable snow on Christmas Day.

We enjoyed a nice Christmas Day - Santa paid a visit to the kids' with a new guitar hero! Clark has become quite the expert, spending hours playing it and is half way through the difficult level - everyone has to stand in line behind him to get to play! Santa was also good to me - check out my other blog at to see what he brought me!

Wednesday we just hung out at home and we all went to see National Treasure - a fun, action movie - almost as good as the first one. On Thursday we decided to drive to the beach house for the night. The pass to the coast was covered in snow and so were the roads. We pulled over once and considered putting on the chains but then decided to forge ahead and did fine - it was a little slow going but we made it fine. It was stormy and rainy at the beach but we enjoyed watching movies - a Bourne Ultimatum marathon, playing games and eating fish and chips at Mo's in Cannon Beach.

We came home Friday in time for the boys to go to the Blazer Game - they have won 12 in a row so the boys are excited - the glory days are back!

Saturday we spent the day cleaning - it is amazing how much stuff a teenager can stuff into their closet. Shayla is coming to visit on Monday and will be staying in Cali's room so we had to dig it out! That evening we attended a wedding reception of one of my Beach Babe's friends daughters and then took a drive down Peacock Lane near our old house.

My week has been filled with trips to the grocery store and cooking - I plan to take the entire week after the boys go back to school off from cooking!! (Jim will be out of town too)

I have already started cooking for our New Year's Party! We are excited to have Shayla here for the week and Logan is busy planning lots of fun activities. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I'm not ready - are you?

It seems like no matter how organized or ahead of the game I am, it never fails - I end up running around like a crazy woman the week before Christmas! The best news of the week though is - the boys are home!

It was a week full of lots more holiday happenings!

Tuesday - Holiday brunch and gift exchange at my friend Jane's - made my cream cheese raspberry coffee cake, that evening was our Young Women's Christmas Activity - made two frozen peppermint ice cream desserts for refreshments and painted 25 heart shape boxes for gifts for the girls. Oh - yeah and had an orthodontist appointment

Wednesday - Holiday Choir Concert at the high school and a trip to the dermatologist for Cali (needs to have a mole removed off her back after the first of the year). La Boutique rehearsal for Tessa downtown, 3-8pm

Thursday - Candy making day here at the house with Mom and two of her friends - Lynda and Marlene. We went through lots of sugar, butter and cream!! La Boutique Rehearsal for Tessa downtown, 3-8. Jim picks up the boys at the airport!!!

Friday - Tessa has La Boutique from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Cali hosts a "Tacky Christmas Sweater Tea" at the house and Jim and I attend Tessa's ballet performance that evening

Saturday - Tessa has La Boutique from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. We host our neighborhood "Breakfast with Santa" for 18 people - breakfast, gingerbread house building and visit from Santa with gifts for all the kids at our house. Everyone came in their pajamas and we had a wonderful time - we are so grateful for our neighbors! Check out my blog for the recipe for the yummy cinnamon syrup we served on the pancakes. Then the boys, Grandma and Grandpa attend Tessa's matinee performance so they can watch the BYU Bowl game that evening. Leigh Anne and Cali do last minute Christmas shopping. Jim and Leigh Anne usher at the evening performance, Cali , two of Tessa's friends and neighbor Olivia attend the performance - boys stay home to watch BYU game (it is recorded for Jim). Tessa is a darling can can dancer in the ballet. I wanted a family picture with Tessa after her performance so the boys drove downtown Saturday night just for the photo below - they want me to be sure and tell you they left to drive down to the theater with only two minutes left in the BYU bowl game What good brothers they are - thank goodness for Teevo.

Sunday -Tessa has La Boutique from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Yes she is one tired little girl with very sore feet!! At church Logan and Cali both sang solos and in the ward choir directed by Grandpa - both did awesome. Leigh Anne taught part of the Young Women's Christmas lesson and spent the morning putting together a last minute handout. Grandma and Grandpa came for Sunday dinner and yes Leigh Anne is one tired girl!!

Tomorrow morning (Christmas Eve Day) we will make our annual trip downtown to have our picture taken with Santa (23 years now!) - this was the first time all of us have been home together long enough to do it!
Boy Update: We love having them home. Clark arrived in Portland with two huge suitcases - both full of dirty laundry. So he spent his first day home doing laundry and camping out on my bed watching the second season of Lost and asking me "What's for dinner?". He managed to stay awake through half of Tessa's ballet. Logan is enjoying not doing homework and watching ball games
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007


It's always nice to be home. Jim was in Mobile, Alabama since last Monday and I flew in on Friday. It was my first time to Alabama. I flew through Houston and discovered that a 45 minute layover is not enough time in the HUGE Houston airport especially when your two terminals are as far away from each other as they can get and you are sitting in the very last row of the arriving plane! I had to jog through the airport to arrive at my little puddle jumper of a plane on time! The man I sat next to in this very small plane, I think was being transported to another hospital as he had about 10 hospital braclets on and sounded like he was going to cough up a lung the whole time - Hope I don't come down with some dread disease!!

The Mobile airport is rather small - especially for a city of 800,000! Arriving there less than an hour before your flight is no problem, in fact the security guards take their time and have great discussions over each persons driver's license as they examine it - learned lots about some of the different state's driver's licenses as I waited and waited and listened in - guess there's not much to do at the Mobile Alabama airport! (this was on the way home)

Jim met me at the airport and we headed into town - stopping for lunch we began our culinary tour of the deep south. For lunch I had my first fried pickles - now I do not even like pickles but they were actually good! I decided you could eat just about anything if it was deep fried. Jim had a plate of wings - another southern tradition.

We dr0ve around historic downtown Mobile for a while and saw some beautiful old, huge southern homes as well as an old Revolutionary Fort and the USS Alabama on the bay. Surprisingly the downtown is rather small. We also saw TONS of churchs everywhere we went - lots of Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal but not one Mormon church. That evening we went to a party at Jim's bosses home and met many of the people Jim works with. I had my first taste of Alabama BBQ and it is smoky! Jim and his group had eaten there the night before and brought back leftovers. The pork had been smoked for 36 hours and Jim's clothes smelled like he had been smoked for that long too!! I didn't take pictures of the food at the party because I didn't want them to think Jim was married to some picture taking freak!

Saturday we had the day to drive around and tour. We went to the Mardi Gras museum -Mardi Gras actually started in Mobile not in New Orleans and is a HUGE tradition there. It is two weeks of non stop parades, balls and major partying. The museum was fascinating though - it displayed many of the incredibly ornate gowns and trains the kings and queens wear during the balls. The queen of Mardi Gras' daddy will spend up to 200-250,000 on the dress and train! The queen is selected from whoever's daddy has the deepest pockets. Mobile is deep in tradition! There are many "mystic" organizations and such that all have their own parades and balls during Mardi Gras - you must know someone or be family to be asked to join the organization. Jim's boss is from "old" Mobile money and in fact the house the museum was in was donated by his family and he had been one of the Mardi Gras kings at one time and his outfit was in the museum. At the museum they also gave us our first "Moon Pie" A chocolate covered cake with marshmellow in the morning - not too impressed.

After the museum we drove down the coast of Mobile Bay to Gulf Shores which is on the Gulf Of Mexico. We experienced lots of different Alabama weather. When I left Portland it was 34 and freezing fog. I arrive to 75 degrees in Mobile. Saturday a storm blew in and it rained - and I mean RAINED , a torrential downpour for a couple of hours and then in cleared up - Sunday we woke up to 40 degrees!

We stopped for lunch in Gulf Shores at a fun restaurant called LuLu's which sits on the canal. Jim enjoyed their speciality a Crab Melt and for dessert we had to have the traditional Key Lime Pie - yum!

On the way back to Mobile we drove through a fun little town - Fairhope - quaint little village atmosphere. We walked the streets and did a little shopping. We arrived back in time for the Daily Access Christmas party at one of the local country clubs. They had food, music, DJ and dancing (we even danced a bit!) Another Southern tradition was tasted - Gumbo.

Sunday morning we packed up and checked out of the hotel and decided to try another southern tradition for breakfast - the Waffle House - a local chain of greasy spoons! It was fascinating to sit at the counter and watch how hard those ladies worked behind the counter. We had a pecan waffle and some of their famous hashbrowns. From there we drove down to Bellingrath Gardens - a beautiful home and garden that once belonged to a man who made his fortune bottling cocoa-cola. We toured the gardens and home. On the way back to the airport we couldn't resist stopping at a roadside stand advertising "Hot Boiled Peanuts" We bought a bag and gave them a try - now these peanuts are boiled in a huge vat of water and onion for 15 hours. They taste nothing like a peanut but get rather mealy like a lima bean - Leigh Anne ate one and Jim a couple and we left the rest behind!

We flew home through Houston and arrived home to the girls Sunday at about 9:30. All was well - Cali had some type of stomach bug so had stayed home from church.

She had a wild week with play auditions - singing and dancing. (Acting auditions are today) and she had had a couple of field trips for choir and an evening peformance at the Grotto on Wednesday which we all went to. The Thespian's had a skating party on Friday night and then she did some more caroling with the National Honor Society on Saturday so she was pretty worn out. Both girls babysat Saturday night. Tessa had another busy ballet week with lots of extra rehearsals for the Holiday Ballet - think she will be glad when it is over - the performances are all next weekend - 6 shows plus a couple of extra for some schools!

The boys seem busy trying to prepare for finals. The girl Clark has been dating went home already (she goes to UVSC) so he just hung around all weekend studying and going out to dinner with roomates. Shayla and Logan went to SLC for a wedding reception of one of Logan's old ward friends and then to the Melting Pot for dessert - yum. Logan helped DJ at a dance on Saturday night We are glad to be home and we are so excited for the boys to come home on Thursday!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wild Week In Oregon

This has been a wild weather week for the Northwest. We have had everything from high winds, torrential downpour, sunshine and snow! If you watched the national news the beginning of the week you probably saw that parts of the state are underwater. Tillamook is flooded as well as the Vernonia area (about 20 miles from us) Thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Wilkes who called to check on us to make sure we were fine. Other than one downed tree we survived just fine and so did the beach house. The area where the Wilkes men/boys went fishing last summer had 45 foot high waves and 125 mile per hour winds- bet that would have been a really bumpy ride!!

Today, Sunday, we had some light snow flurries.

Monday the girls were off school so we had a field trip to the IKEA store that opened here in Portland this summer - we had fun wandering the huge store and ate lunch in their cafe. Cali decided she needed to redo her room so we picked up a few things for that.

Tuesday the girls had another trip to the doctor for more shots - only two each this time! One more trip and they are done.

I had some fun shopping this week for one of my "Beach Babe" friends whose daughter is getting married between Christmas and New Years and she needed some new Christmas decorations so she hired me to do it for her - so much fun! We got her all new tree ornaments and some fun things for her mantels! I didn't know it could be so much fun to spend other people's money!!
Wednesday was a trip to the Temple with the Stake Relief Society and lunch together afterwards.

The holiday activities are in full swing this week:

- Cali and her Cantores group sang 3 different nights - one for the Hospice Care at the hospital, the local Presbyterian church and an LDS ward for their Christmas party.

- The Mia Maids came over for some holiday cookie baking

- I spent one day sewing a Wise Man costume for the ward Christmas party (which we won't even be at!)

-Went to the Angel Tree Project with American Mothers - they buy and wrap presents for children of prison inmates. We had a nice luncheon and board meeting following it.

-Attended the Padbury's annual Christmas Party and White Elephant Exchange. I ended up with some Mt. St. Helen Ash and I don't remember what Jim got???

-Cut down a real tree for the family room on Friday afternoon - had to pull the girls out of school to do it because we only had one hour all weekend when everyone would be home and it would be light so we could get a tree

-Cali and I decorated the family room tree (see picture) The house is now fully decorated and ready
-Wrapped presents!

-Drove Tessa back and forth to ballet rehearsal for the their holiday ballet - a total of 13 hours of rehearsal just this weekend!

-Attended Bethany Ward's Christmas Party to hear Cantores sing.

-Did my Visiting Teaching and delivered Christmas gifts to those families.

Now I just need to work on digging out the Bonus Room before the boys come home - it has turned into Santa's Workshop.

The Car Saga - as a continuation from last week - Leigh Anne's car was finally freed from the garage on Tuesday. Jim's car will be in the shop for at least 8 working days (and lots of money). Thanks to neighbor Debbie and the use of her Yukon we were able to get everywhere we needed in the meantime!

Boy Update:
Logan had a busy weekend with a quick trip to Idaho for a Young Ambassador performance - got home at 2 a.m. Saturday night - just in time for his 6:00 a.m. Elder's Quorum meeting Sunday morning.

Clark had a date to the BYU game in SLC Saturday afternoon, dinner with her parents afterwards and then a romantic carriage ride around Temple Square (without the parents!)

Jim is headed out of town tomorrow for the entire week - back to Daily Access headquarters in Mobile Alabama. I am flying in to Mobile on Friday for the companies Christmas Party - yes they are flying me back just for the party! I figure I have never been to Alabama - so why not! Anybody know of anything to do in Mobile!!!???

Thought I'd share a couple of pictures of our trees -and yes the one does have a TON of ornaments on it but I love it. The other tree (the family room one )needs more but I could only fit so many in my suitcase and in my carry on when I visited TaiPan Trading last month! How I wish we had one in Portland (Jim is glad we don't!) It is my Joy tree!

We are off to dinner at our Home Teacher's house and then to Tithing Settlement.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Boy Update

Oops - guess I forgot the boy update for the week - sorry! Thanks for the reminder Emily!

They flew back to school on Monday morning - their flight left at 6:00 a.m! Thanks to Aunt Teresa for picking them up at the airport in Salt Lake! Thursday night we got an excited call from Logan. He was standing in line to go to the Billy Joel concert in Salt Lake. Shayla had surprised him with an early Christmas present. They loved the concert. Logan sings a Billy Joel song in the Young Ambassador show this year.

Clark and Logan had a double date on Friday - they decorated gingerbread houses - aren't they cute! Both boys are gearing up for finals. Clark enjoyed a little boy bonding Saturday night with a few of his roommates and Halo! Oh yeah - and boys watch for a package from mom in the mail!

The Holidays Begin!

We are in full holiday mode here at the Wilkes house! The house is decorated and most of the presents are bought and we had a week of fun holiday activities.

For Young Women's this week we put together a 12 days of Christmas for one of the inactive girls in our class. Thursday and Friday was my Creative Memories holiday Open House. I turned the house into a Creative Memories store. Jim was out of town for two days and came home to find his office taken over by my Open House. We had snow warnings all week and had a few flakes on Saturday morning but it was all very disappointing. Supposedly a big wind storm was on it's way too but so far all we have had is ALOT of rain and I mean ALOT!!

The girls both had several babysitting jobs this weekend so were kept busy. Saturday was a crazy day! As soon as my Open House was over Friday afternoon we put everything away and I started cooking. I hosted my annual First Line Creative Memories brunch Saturday morning - with raspberry cream cheese coffee cake, cinnamon coffee cake, a chili egg dish, spiced bacon and baked grapefruit! (I'll post recipes on my other blog later this week - It was a fun morning with my team. As soon as they left we cleaned off the table and reset it for my Beach Babe Holiday tea that afternoon. I started cooking again - tomato and basil soup, tomato tarlets, ham and cheese palmiers, banana bars, and pecan tassies and more. Let me tell you that was a lot of cooking! We enjoyed a nice tea and book exchange and had fun catching up with each other - we have known each other for 18 years so have a lot of history together. Jim was my expert dishwasher and there were a lot of dishes to wash.

Tessa had a mega dance rehearsal on Saturday - she was there from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and was a tired little girl when she got home. Jim, Cali, Jameson (cali's friend) and I went to the BYU/Univeristy of Portland Basketball game Saturday after all the parties. 90 percent of the fans at the game were cheering for BYU. It was fun even though it wasn't much of a game - BYU won easily.
On Friday our garage door decided it was tired of going up and down and decided to stay in the down position - with the car inside! Jim called the garage door repair people and they said they could fix it but not until next Tuesday - 5 days later. Well - we still had two other cars so we were o.k. but then Saturday during my tea party Jim was backing his car out of the driveway and didn't see my friend's car parked to the side, he turned out of the driveway a little too soon and hooked his bumper on her wheel well and proceeded to rip his entire front bumper off his car - so two cars down!! The tow truck will come tomorrow to haul his car to the body shop. So 3 drivers - 1 car, should be interesting......

Today after church we went to an Advent service at one of the large Episcopal churches in town. I think it was the first time the girls had been to any other type of church service. They have a wonderful choir and the acoustics in their church are incredible. I only recognized three of the carols they sang and the girls weren't sure about all the standing and sitting through the service. We went with our home teacher Gary Nees who had told us about it. We really enjoyed it, even though 4 1/2 hours of church in one day was a lot!
Happy December everyone!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday - the best part of ours of course was that the boys are home! Monday and Tuesday were busy days getting ready for the boys. I had some major grocery shopping to do - a trip to Trader Joes, Costco and Winco were needed! I also had a meeting with the Stake Relief Society to help plan their big RS meeting for February- guess I have been drafted to help with the dinner again! Tuesday was my Shade Open House and some cleaning and the boys arrived home 10:30 p.m Tuesday night - yeah!!

The girls had school on Wednesday so I got to hang out with the boys. We did a little Christmas shopping and errand running and Wednesday night Grant Monson joined us for dinner and then the 4 boys had a great time at a Blazer's game. I spent the evening preping food and getting ready for Turkey day. Tried a few new recipes that I will share. I started feeling a little queasy that evening but kept on cooking.

With all my kitchen helpers (see photos) we prepared a wonderful, yummy dinner but by the time the food was ready my stomach was feeling worse and so a few bits of jello and a roll were all I enjoyed of Thanksgiving dinner this year! After an excellent kitchen clean up job the boys spent the rest of the day watching football (surprise,surprise) and I spent it on the couch! By 3:00 a.m. Thursday night or Friday morning I had a full fledge attack of intestional flu - yuck!!

So on Friday I spent the entire day in bed! Thank goodness for a What Not to Wear Marathon and the Food Network. The rest of the gang worked hard - the kids did their favorite pre-holiday job - getting all the Christmas boxes down from the attic. Since there are 35-40 of them it is a bit of a job. This year Logan lost and had to be the one that crawled up into the attic and handed the boxes down. Since it was a beautiful sunny day the boys and Jim also got the holiday lights hung on the house. The tree is half way set up waiting for me to feel better to "fluff" it!

Clark went to play in an alumni football game at Westview and the rest of them went to the movies to see "August Rush" and they highly recommend it - I of course was in bed with Clinton Kelly and Stacy London of "What Not to Wear"!
Friday night was the quarter finals for the high school football playoffs so the gang went to the game while - guess where I was - in bed! Unfortunately Westview lost so they are now out of the play offs. Everyone (but me) went to our friend's the Jensens for a "tailgate" party before the game.

Saturday I felt a bit better so ventured out with the kid for a quick trip to the mall(I know where all the bathrooms are!) to pick up a few Christmas presents and we were late getting back to watch the BYU game because the girls spent over 2 hours in Forever 21(o.k. this is not what I wrote but Clark got in and made a few changes to my post - it was not TWO hours!!) - go BYU! The boys were in heaven that day as they also got to watch the BYU Basketball game that night!
Thought I would be well enough for church today but after a bit of a set back Saturday night I stayed home. Four days without food now - Gatorade is getting old!
The boys fly out at 6:00 a.m. Monday morning - I'm glad Jim is in town to take them to the airport!! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Two days and counting.....

We can hardly stand it - only 2 more days and the boys will be home! Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. to be exact!! We are excited and getting ready. Clark has already emailed me his list of "requested foods" per my request. This will be the first time in 5 years that we have all been together for Thanksgiving!!

It was a busy week - I felt like I was running full speed all week. With the holiday on Monday, the week really started on Tuesday so we were already one day behind! Tuesday was Book Club - this month we read "Driving over Lemons" - an OK book about a man and his wife's adventures as they moved to rural Spain. That evening was genealogy class and then Wednesday I taught an appetizer class for Relief Society. It was a fun, food packed class. I showed lots of different ways to create different appetizers using tarts made from pie crust, phyllo dough and puff pastry. They ate everything so I guess they enjoyed it!

For Young Women's this week we had a joint activity with two other wards and had an "Amazing Race" activity. We divided up in cars and drove all over the area following clues. I drove a group of kids but had to make them promise not to tell their parents how crazy Sis. Wilkes drove!

What we didn't realize as we were on the race was that there were service opportunities at each stop - the trick was to see if we would notice them and do something about them. Our car didn't do too well - we were so focused on the race that we only noticed one of the service opportunities (a lady lying on the ground under her car) We did ask her if she needed help but we didn't see the others (someone with a spilled bag of groceries at the grocery store, a lady dropping her books outside the library, a lady with her hood of her car open) or I am sure we would have helped! It was a good lesson for us all -most of us would ask to help if we saw someone in need, the problem is many times we are all so focused on our own agenda that we just don't see them! Cali loved the activity because she got stuck in a car full of deacons!

Jim flew to Salt Lake on Wednesday and has business there and in Idaho Falls so he got to spend the night with his parents. He returned to Salt Lake on Friday and was able to have dinner with Logan and Shayla before his flight left for home - he got home late Friday night.

Thursday, Cali and Tessa went to a concert for a local alternative band - "Stars". I decided there was safety in numbers and they went with a large group of kids from school. It was a late night though - getting home at 12:30 so I let them sleep in the next morning and miss their first period class (I"m getting soft in my old age - I'm sure the boys would tell you I NEVER would have let them do that!!) I had a unit meeting that night with a computer webinar so I got to run the meeting in my pajamas!

Tessa's big news of the week is - she got her hair cut. She looks darling! We're including a picture so you can all check it out! It was a big dance week for Tessa - she had class/rehearsal on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and all day Saturday. They had a New York choreographer in town to work with the kids Her feet were very sore by the time she got home Saturday night!

Friday night Cali and I went to the play at Westview - they did the drama "Anatomy of Gray" They did a great job and it was a thoughtful play.

Saturday - was house cleaning day - it had been sorely neglected with the busyness of the week! Cali left for a weekend birthday party. They were going to stay at the Skamania Lodge - a beautiful resort in the Columbia Gorge for her friend's 18th birthday - what a life!

Jim and I went to the high school auction Saturday night. I was the food chair for the committee so figured I better show up to make sure the food was o.k. - it was delicious. A prime rib and salmon dinner. We had great restraint though and didn't end up with any purchases although Jim was tempted by the courtside Blazer tickets!!

At church today it was our Children's Primary Sacrament program - a little different than the one we saw last week at the branch at the beach. The kids did a great job but the program ran 35 minutes past the time Sacrament usually gets out!! We kept thinking they should have had an intermission! The kids did an amazing job though sitting still that long - I was having a hard time though!!

Cali had her Ecclesiastical interview today for her BYU application so she has the process rolling - her goal over the Thanksgiving break is to get her essay written!

Boy Update:
Logan and Clark had a double date this week - Saturday they both took dates (Logan and Shayla of course) to lunch at Los Hermanos. The boys then went and played a round of golf together. And of course they are both very excited to come home!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Back from the Beach!

We are a little late with our blog post this week as it was another 3 day weekend and we escaped to the beach for a few days. We enjoyed beautiful weather on Saturday and Sunday but woke up in the m iddle of the night last night to loud winds and rain - the power even went out in the middle of the night!

Saturday we enjoyed a walk on the beach - walking all the way into town where we did a bit of window shopping. We enjoyed dinner at our favorite pizza place - Marzanas and then watched a movie and did some reading. Sunday we attended church at the Neahkahnie Branch - the girls were excited because it was the Primary program which is their favorite meeting of the year. There were only about 8 kids in the Primary. Seven of them were under the age of 7 so the adults did a lot of the talking and the singing wasn't very loud but it was cute to see.

After dinner on Sunday we drove Cali to Camp McGruder where the Concert Choir was having their retreat for the next 3 days. (just south of Manzanita in Rockaway)

This morning, Monday, we woke up to high winds and rains and got the house cleaned and headed home. It was a good day to leave the beach!

We didn't get down to the beach until mid day on Saturday because we went to the playoff football game Friday night. Westview won big time against North Salem so they are into the next playoff game. I sat in the rain most of the evening at the Krispy Kreme table while the kids sold the doughnuts in the stands.

This week was a busy one for Cali. Her Children's Theater class put on their production of Franklin at the local elementary school. Cali played Franklin the turtle and then she was inducted into the National Honor Society that evening. It was the same night as Standard's Night so Tessa went to that and Cali and I showed up late. They had a great speaker from Idaho who is an EFY speaker.

We had Grandma and Grandpa Best over for dinner Tuesday night to celebrate Grandpa's Birthday that was Thursday but they would be in Texas so we celebrated early. I made him a butterscotch pie - his favorite. After dinner Grandma and I headed to the genealogy class we have been taking.

Jim went to Seattle Thursday and Friday for business and I attended a funeral and helped with the food for a former home teacher of ours -second funeral in two weeks:(
Boy Update:
Clark had a quiet week of work, school, flag football game on Saturday - it was a "no date' weekend for him.
Logan and the Young Ambassadors had a 3 day tour to somewhere in Montana, Idaho Falls and Pocatello. The highlight of course was getting to stay at Grandma and Grandpa Wilkes along with 3 of his buddies and be spoiled with all of grandma's home cooking. He also was able to attend a session in the Idaho Falls Temple with Grandpa. He said the shows went great.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happy Mama!

Last week I was a sad mama thinking of my baby girl leaving home but this week I am a happy mama because I just spent 2 days with my boys!
The week started out with a fun family trip to the corn maze on Sauvie Island - it hasn't rained in Portland in several weeks but the corn maze was SO MUDDY!!! I am so glad we took boots!.

I spent a lot of time at the grocery store the first of the week getting ready for Cali's birthday party, a luncheon for 40 women I was in charge of the food for and the Halloween party Tessa decided she had to have at the last minute! Oh - yeah and Cali and I attended a funeral of the grandmother of a friend of hers in the middle of all that getting ready.
The girls looked darling for Halloween - Tessa was Wonder Woman so we painted a tshirt and shorts for her. Cali wanted to be an 80's girl and asked what I had in my closet from the 80's - when I told her NOTHING! she went to a friend's house and found an old tube skirt her friend's mother still had in her closet. Tessa had a group of friends over for pre-trick or treating dinner (I told her a high schooler was too old to trick or treat but I was voted down by everyone including Jim) after they came back for some apple bobbing and doughnut on a string fun. Cali went to a party.

Thursday morning Jim and I headed to SLC. Jim had appointments there Thursday and Friday and I tagged along using one of his frequent flier tickets. I was so excited to see my boys!

We picked up a rental car and headed south towards Provo. Since Jim had appointments Logan met us in Draper and we had lunch at Cafe Rio - yum O (no trip to Utah is ever complete without at least ONE trip to Cafe Rio)!!! I had so much fun hanging out with the boys in between their classes, work and rehearsal.

Logan had a dress rehearsal for Young Ambassadors Thursday night so after taking Clark to dinner we went to Spanish Fork to watch the dress rehearsal (Clark opted to go back to his apartment and study). It is a fun new show and of course I love the two numbers that Logan solos in the most ( A Billy Joel number and "Seize the Day" from Newsies)! There are also some great numbers from some of the newer Broadway shows - Drowsy Chaperone, Wicked and Mary Poppins.

Friday, Clark and I did a little clothes shopping for him since his post mission wardrobe needed a little help. Logan and Shayla met us for lunch at Brick Oven Pizza. Clark had to work from 3 - 6 and Logan headed down to get ready for the show. - Thursday we stayed at a hotel thanks to Daily Access and spent Friday night with David and Tricia.
On Friday, as part of his training, Clark listened into the calls coming into the help line for the BYU website. The first call he listened into was Shayla calling in for some help to reset her password - what are the chances of that!

We met some of the Wilkes for a quick dinner at Bajio Grill in Spanish Fork Friday night before the show. It was fun to see the show with a live audience - everyone loved it and they have so much energy!!

I headed back to Portland Saturday morning and Jim stayed behind so he could go to the BYU football game with the boys. I had to get back because six hours after getting home we were having an 18th birthday party for Cali for about 30 of her friends. I had gotten most of the shopping done before I left, just needed to pick up a few things and then get everything set up. We had draped off the garage so they could dance, set up the fire pit ready for a fire and had lots of food including a chocolate fountain which is always a hit. The kids seemed to have a good time.

Since we weren't home the morning of Cali's birthday she had breakfast in bed this morning and then birthday dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Best. Cali requested a strawberry/cream cheese pie - lucky for her Costco had strawberries! What a wild but wonderful week!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sad Mama!!

Alright - it is still just less than a year away before Cali leaves for college but I am already getting emotional over it. Tuesday evening Jim, Cali and I went to a CES fireside to hear about the church schools, enrollment etc. So - I was doing fine until they showed a video clip of kids moving into their dorms and saying goodbye to their kids - I lost it! Then the thought of my sweet little girl turning 18 this week is just about enough to put me over the edge! Cali also took the ACT for the last time this Saturday and she is starting the college application process - I hope I survive all of this! I know I have been through this before with the boys (and I didn't do too great then either) but there is something about having your daughter go off to college - oh my - think Jim better have a nice surprise planned for me after we drop Cali off at college to keep me from having a total breakdown! (hint, hint Jim!)

Friday I flew down to Napa, California for a Women's Retreat. It was put on by a business coach I have worked with in the past and she asked me to do a presentation at her retreat on "Making Your Home a Haven". We stayed in a darling little house in Napa and the weather was beautiful. Saturday afternoon we went to a state park and climbed up a hill that had an incredible view of the valley and the vineyards with all the beautiful fall colors. My presentation went well and it was nice to get a little time away (love you guys!)

It was a wild weekend to be gone and Jim did a good job of holding down the fort. Friday night was a high school football game - Westview was undefeated so far this whole season but lost to Jesuit Friday night. Tessa went to the game with friends and Jim went with friends Larry and Marsha Jensen. Cali stayed home to prepare for the ACT and her NATS competition which was also the next day - proud of you Cali!!

Saturday morning Cali had to be at the school early to take the ACT. After that Jim drove her out to McMinnville (an hour away) to Linfield College to sing in the NATS (not sure what it stands for but it is the association of voice teachers) competition - she sang three songs. I was so sad not to get to hear her but Jim said she did great! Jim also had to drive Tessa to dance so he got a dad workout on Saturday.

It was Stake Conference for us so Jim went to the adult meeting on Saturday night and the girls had a morningside Sunday morning before the main session.

I flew home from California this morning and got home around noon. Unfortunately I left my cell phone in the rental car but fortunately someone turned it in and they mail it to me!

We are getting ready for Cali's big 18th birthday party next weekend - wish you all could be here to help us celebrate. We made a cute invitation tonight so thought we'd share it with you! I know she'd love to have some birthday wishes this week - you can email her at

Boy Update:

Good news - Clark got a job. He will be working from 3-6 each day at a BYU call center. I think they answer questions from people having a hard time navigating the BYU website. Clark had some male bonding time Friday night with some of his old freshman roommates where to quote Clark they "ate a lot of meat and laid on the couch"! Saturday Clark was asked to Preference (the girl ask boy date) and the dance was held on a train that went up to Heber and back.

Logan had a busy week with school and rehearsal(show opens next Friday) and he was a bachelor this weekend. Shayla went home to see her sister's show so Logan helped his friend Mark Boothe out Friday night and DJ'd a dance. Saturday was rehearsal and then he went to a Young Ambassador Progressive Dinner Halloween Party. He dressed up like a cowboy - easy way out Logan!

Thanks to Wynn and Emily Logan and Clark were well fed today - thanks!!!!

When I got home tonight I had a little bit of a "cooking bug" after not cooking for a couple of days so I tried a new cookie recipe and to quote Tessa they were "absolutely amazing"! I'll post the recipe later in the week on my blog - check it out later in the week!

Leigh Anne is so excited to see her boys the end of this week. Jim has business in Salt Lake the end of the week and he had a frequent flier ticket on Southwest so I get to go with him!! Yeah!! We will see the opening night of Logan's show Friday night.
Make it a Great Week!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!

Show Week

This week was "Show Week" at our house - that means we all spent a lot of time at the High School! Each fall the high school puts on a children's theater production and this year it was "Sideways Stories from Wayside School" - a popular children's series of books. Cali had the part of "Leslie" a cute girl with pigtails. Leslie has a problem though - she can only read upside down! So her teacher solves this problem by having her stand on her head to read. Wayside School is a crazy school - including a teacher who turns children into apples, a mysterious 19th floor that doesn't exist and there is also a boy named Myron who sits behind Leslie and loves to pull her pigtails. Leslie screams everytime he does - there is a lot of screaming in this show and Cali was pretty hoarse by the time the last show was over!

Monday and Tuesday were dress rehearsal. I went to watch and take pictures (took over 900 photos) which I then came home and downloaded and edited down to about 450. I helped with hair and costumes backstage too. Wednesday they performed twice for area elementary schools and I took more photos (because 900 isn't enough!). Thursday was opening day with a matinee at 4:00. Jim was out of town so missed it (Seattle)but Tessa and grandma and grandpa were there as well as all the neighbors. Jim arrived home from Seattle just in time for the Friday evening performance, Tessa chose to go to the football game. Saturday was a wild day - Cali had to be at the school at 6:45 a.m. for the choir to go to a morning workshop where they sang, they rushed back to the school for the matinee and then the evening performance - no wonder she was hoarse! Tessa ushered at the evening performance. We then hosted the cast party at our house from 9 p.m. until midnight.

I had worked at the bridal show Saturday morning at the convention center with our Creative Memories booth so missed the matinee show but hurried home to get ready for the evening performance and the cast party - thank goodness for Costco. I sent Jim to Costco Saturday morning - we served lasagna, garlic bread, salad, mozzarella sticks and brownies - the kids managed to consume most of the food and had a great time dancing, playing board games and playing with the Wii. It was a long day though - getting up at 6 a.m. and not getting to bed until about 1 a.m. - I am too old for that I think.

Tessa spent most of Saturday at the dance studio - from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in class and rehearsal for their holiday performance of La Boutique. In between class and rehearsal she takes her homework and goes down to Starbucks , eats her lunch and does her homework. Thanks to Clark (he recommended them) - we have discovered Pumpkin Spice Steamers at Starbucks - they are SO GOOD. I don't like Pumpkin but they really don't taste anything like pumpkin - YUM!! I've got both the girls loving them now too! Tessa enjoyed one during her break on Saturday.

Sunday morning started early with a Mia Maid Class Presidency meeting at our house at 8:30 a.m. - fortunately I had made cinnamon rolls a few weeks ago and had put a bunch in the freezer so I just pulled those out for the girls.

Wednesday night Tessa and I went to the temple with the YM/YW to do baptisms. I had some family name slips from Tamara that Tessa and some of the other girls were able to do which was nice.

It was a busy Creative Memories week - with several training calls, a team webinar, the bridal show and then another webinar training this weekend. In addition to that I had a board meeting for American Mothers on Friday - I was tired and ready for bed last night at 8:30 p.m. (thus no blog entry last night)!!

I can't forget the "Boy Update" this week:
Clark - took a date (their second date)Friday night to a haunted house and then spent the rest of his weekend studying - what a good boy! He has a big Spanish test coming up he is getting ready for. Thanks to Aunt Tricia for feeding Clark and his roommate Tyson on Sunday -Aunt Tricia - Logan would like me to remind you that he is also available for Sunday dinners :)

Logan - sounded really tired on the phone yesterday - he had a wild week. In addition to writing his 3 articles for the Daily Universe this week and his other school work he made a day trip down to St. George with the YA's to do a show. Shayla's parents came and took him out to dinner while he was there. The YA's also performed for the "President's Club" These are indivduals who all contribue a minimum of a million dollars a YEAR to BYU! They are gearing up to open their show in another week so rehearsal is getting pretty intense!

Logan and Shayla also went to a haunted house this week - guess it is that time of year. After rehearsal on Saturday Logan was able to take in the last half of the BYU football game - in the snow!

Logan called earlier in the week to tell us he had had one of the most harrowing experiences of his life. He had gone into the news room to hand in an article. Next week Supreme Court Justice Roberts is coming to BYU. In preparation for his visit an interview had been set up with Federal Judge Thomas B. Griffith of the US Ct. of Appeals who is a member of the church. There was a specific date and time for the interview and Logan happened to walk into the news room during that time and no one was doing the interview so he was handed the phone, the recorder was started and he was told to do the interview - he had no prep, no warning and really knew nothing about the man.

About a couple minutes into the interview the Judge realized it was being recorded and in all the confusion Logan had not told him - he basically told Logan he was insulted that he hadn't been told he was being recorded and the interview was over and he was hanging up. Using his improv skills learned in drama Logan apologized to the judge, explained the situation to him (new reporter, last minute assignment etc.) and thanked him for his willingness to do the interview, for his example, paving the way for those who come after him etc. - The Judge continued with the interview and in an email to Logan this week told him to stay in contact! Logan said he was drenched in sweat by the end of the interview but pulled it off! Guess he is meant for this PR stuff!! When Logan told his teacher what happened his teacher even admitted they would have just hung up - Logan saved the interview!

Hope everyone has a great week - we are looking forward to getting a bit more sleep this week!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Kids Say the Darndest Things!

Well, we all got a good laugh last night - as soon as Cali told me what had happened she said "Don't put it on the blog" As soon as Tessa heard what had happened she said, "You've got to put that on the blog!" Well - with Cali's permission I am putting it on the blog!! Want to hear??

Cali was making a phone call to our neighbor to let her know she wasn't able to babysit. The neighbor wasn't home so Cali was leaving a message. At the end of the message Cali said, "In the name of Jesus Christ...." realizing what she was saying she hurried and said goodbye. Well we all just howled! It was SO funny. Cali was a little embarassed but she laughed too.

After I got to thinking about it I was grateful - I was grateful that those words come so easily to Cali's lips. Each morning as she gets up and each evening as Cali goes to bed if you were to peek into her room, you would see her kneeling (sometimes on top of the bed, sometimes on the floor) saying her prayers.

Two years ago Cali was in an automobile accident and a 40lb. stereo speaker smashed into her head giving her a bad concussion. They say that when someone has a concussion that they will say some pretty wild things (that their true personality comes out) well, on the long ride to the hospital (they were turned away by two different hospitals because they were full , it was Friday the 13th and a full moon) Cali kept saying over and over again - "we need to say a prayer, we need to say a prayer." Her friend who was with her (an LDS girl) would say a prayer with her. As soon as they would finish she would repeat her request - "We need to say a prayer..."

So I am grateful that the words "In the name of Jesus Christ..." come easily to Cali's lips - even at the end of a phone conversation! I love you Cali!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Oops - Boy Update

Well, I guess I forgot to give you a "Boy Update" so here goes.

Logan - as always he is busy with school and rehearsal. Shayla's mother and sister were in town this weekend to see Shayla's show so Logan spent some time with them, going bowling, was treated to dinner out a few times and went to the show on Saturday with them. His newswriting class keeps him really busy - attending events to write about and then the writing. He had an article on the front page of the Daily Universe this week.

Clark - this was a "no date" weekend. Clark dusted off his Lacrosse stick this week - teaching some Lacrosse skills to some younger boys and playing in the BYU Alumni Lacrosse game on Saturday - the alumni lost :(

Feel free to chime in boys if I forgot something!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Apples, Apples and more Apples!

We had a fun fall weekend - with lots of Apples!!

Portland Nursery was holding it's annual Apple Tasting Festival. So between dance class and rehearsal for La Boutique (the holiday ballet) we grabbed Tessa and headed across town. It was a gorgeous, 65 degree, perfect, fall day. The tree colors are magnificant right now and the sun was shining. We had lots of fun taste testing dozens of different types of apples - who knew there were so many varieties. We also tasted fresh pressed apple cider, apple strudel with ice cream, apples with brie cheese and bread, and caramel apples! We each picked a couple of our favorite apples and bought some to bring home - I think there is an apple pie in our future. One of our favorites was Ambrosia. We concluded our fun fall day when dad treated us to dinner at Helvetia Tavern - out in the beautiful fall countryside! The fall decorations are all up at home too so it really feels like fall inside too.

Cali had a fun weekend - Friday night she and a group of friends went ice blocking. Never heard of ice blocking? Well - you purchase big blocks of ice from the grocery store, cover them with a towel (not your mother's good towels please!) and then sit on them and slide down a hill. (Caution: you will get dirty!) Cali is wondering why her back and legs are sore today!? Cali gave a great talk in Sacrament meeting today on missionary work. She thanked the Bishopric because she is turning 18 next month and this was only the 2nd talk she had given in Sacrament meeting - guess they need a better tracking system!
Our Stake is offering a 10 week Geneology series taught by this awesome teacher so my mom, a friend and I are taking it. This last week was all about the internet and what all is available. The teacher asked if anyone had a blog and I was the only one who raised their hand! Yeah! She recommends using a blog as a means to share geneology information with your family.

We all went to Young Women in Excellence on Wednesday- Cali was one of the speakers (two talks in one week for her) and she spoke on the importance of getting your Personal Progress done early. The parents spoke about the projects their daughters had done - Tessa's was participating in an intensive ballet course this summer (dancing 9 hours a day, 6 days a week) and Cali's was her Faceless Doll project for her Honor's Project. They had made posters to display what they had done. We were in charge of the green dessert - there was a dessert for each of the value colors - we did brownies with mint, green frosting. Easy! The Mia Maids were in charge of the evening and the theme was to "Garnish thy thoughts...." so we had a cooking theme and made each of the girls aprons with their name stamped on the front in the value colors. We had taken cute pictures of the girls wearing a tie dyed chef's hat (the value colors of course) and holding a rolling pin. We used those pictures to decorate the walls of the room.

Tonight after church we had 3 other families from the ward over for a birthday celebration for friend Marsha Jensen. I provided the main dish and side dish and everyone except the birthday girl brought something. Jeannena out did herself with 3 desserts and John made us some of his famous bread - it was baked in a huge flower pot! We all had PLENTY to eat and Jane brought two yummy appetizers and a "make your own" salad bar. We are thankful for such good friends. Good food and good friends - it doesn't get much better!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Somethings Never Change - Somethings Do

Well - as you can see from these two photos - somethings never change! You may recognize one of the photos from when Logan was 18 months old and appeared in a Nike ad. The other photo is from this week's Church News and an article on Homecoming Spectacular at BYU. The Young Ambassadors performed in the show. Maybe someday Logan will learn to close his mouth when he has his picture taken!

Fortunately somethings do change -Cali played in the Powder Puff Football came this week! Never thought I'd be watching my daughter play football! The seniors played the juniors and the seniors won. They will play the seniors of Sunset - their rival high school.

Fortunately she cleans up pretty good and she looked beautiful for her date to Homecoming. It was a pretty crazy afternoon. The gal who usually does Cali's hair for dances wasn't available so Cali figured she could do it herself. Well it wasn't working out too well and Cali was panicking a little so I called our neighbor, and the YW President in our ward to see if she could come over and help. Tina tried her best but it just wasn't working so as Cali's date and his parents were pulling up in front of the house Cali was dunking her head into the tub to start over - we were just a little stressed. Jim kept everyone entertained downstairs while Cali pulled it together upstairs and got her hair done and makeup on in 15 minutes! We got pictures taken and got them out the door to dinner. While upstairs Tessa was having her own hair crisis!!

Let's just say it was a pretty stressful hour or so!! But both girls ended up looking beautiful and they had a great time. Tessa went with a group of her freshman girl friends. They had dinner at her friend Jenny's house and then went to the dance together.

Cali and her date had dinner at Nona Emila's - when they walked in there were our neighbors the Balzers and the Adams. Olivia had fun walking by the table and checking up on Cali and her date. They had a great time at the dance and then went over to someone's house afterwards to hang out.

Having TWO girls getting ready for Homecoming at the same time was a little more than I bargained for!!
It was a fun Homecoming week - Monday was "the Office" day so Cali wore one of Jim's ties to work with a white shirt. Both girls dressed in red and blue for spirit day. We all went to the Homecoming game Friday night. I supervised the Krispy Kreme sales. Westview ended up winning 32 -12 against Aloha.

I spent a lot of time this week getting my new blog up and running - if you haven't checked it out please do so -

We enjoyed the weekend and watching Conference. Grandma and Grandpa Best joined us on Sunday - we watched and ate - enjoying homemade cinnamon rolls, pot roast, tomato tart, corn on the cob, home made bread (If you like Macaroni Grill - this recipe is for the bread they serve at the restaurant) and yummy Snickers cookies .(these are SO good - I'll have to share the recipe!) While watching we were able to get all of Cali's faceless dolls stuffed and stitched up - all 50 of them. Now we just need to finish up their little hospital gowns. Now I just need to get her costume for the play done - it's due tomorrow and I just got it cut out!

Boy Update: Clark took a date to see Shayla's show this week- Thoroughly Modern Millie. Both boys went up to Salt Lake to the Priesthood session on Saturday night - had a little fender bender on the way home. Fortunately no one was hurt and it wasn't their car!