Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Provo, Utah - What a Great Place To Be

Have I ever mentioned that I lived in the Celestial Kingdom of neighborhoods? We not only have AMAZING people living (and used to live) on our street, we are being watch out for! Let me expound.
Paul's cousin, Alan Bliss, just moved back in with us. He just finished Basic Training and is a MEAN, LEAN, FIGHTING MACHINE!!! We're very proud of him!
Yesterday at about 9:30 - 10:00 am-ish, he came home to find out garage door open. Not taking any chances, he took out his knife and searched the home for intruders. Finding no one there, he proceeded to dress for his next appointment. On his way out, he was pulled over by Provo Police and questioned. They told him that there was a report of someone carrying a knife and going through our home. When he explained the situation, they let him go. Paul just happen to be coming home from his monthly blood draw, when he saw 3 squad cars at our home. The police asked him for identification and explained the situation. He assured them that Alan was just protecting us and that it was all good!
After a good laugh, he asked who we should thank for the added security. They told him that the garbage men had reported it! WOW! Guardian angels are EVERYWHERE when you live in the Celestial Kingdom of neighborhoods!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween 2009

I love Halloween! I love the opportunity for one day to pretend! I love the candy! I love the decorations! I love that we get to make fun of scary things! But mostly, I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE- the Trick-or-Treaters! Here are some of the highlights of the day!
First of all, my Cowboy and Indian, Haley and Graden! Look at that belt buckle! That IS the size of Texas!
Here are Carl and Ellie from Up! OK, it's JoRyan and Michelle. No, the costumes didn't come from DI, they came from OUR closets! (Mine and Paul) I don't know if I am proud or embarrassed!
Well, not everyone loves Halloween. Give it a couple of years and I'll be Ben will be like the rest of us. But as for this year, he HATED being a hot dog!
Here is Anna Bug and her beautiful mom, Chardell. She was so cute. She jumped and jumped! Then she'd share her candy and jump some more. She helped me with some of my Trick-or-Treaters. She made my evening!
Here was my midnight (OK, 10:00) surprise! Shalin, Marshall and friends. Marshall claimed that Shalin stole his costume. I don't know-he looks like he is having fun being an UGLY girl!
Tess and Adam not only came Trick-or-Treating, they came to visit the sick. Paul was in bed with the flu, so they went to the door and wished him well. It worked! He doing much better!

Friday, September 25, 2009

We All Miss Alec

They say when your pet acts up, they are not happy! Do you think Jack misses Alec? Yeah, that would be Jacks OWN bed that he ripped up!
But don't worry! He and Paul are really bonding!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Words to Live by Alec - He's There!

He is serving in Eureka, Montana. It's in the Northwest region of the state and is only about 10 miles from the Canadian border. His address is:
P.O. Box 1872
425 Koocanusa Estates Drive North
Eureka, Montana 59917

He wrote:
I just spent my first night in my place. It took 3 days to get here. I was the last person to get to my zone. Guess what! I'm the driver. My companion rolled a truck, so he can't drive anymore. When I was in Kalispell, we went tracting. The first person that answered said, "No thanks" and slammed the door. The next person was a member and so we went inside and talked for a while. The next person that opened th door was gay. He asked what the church thinks of gays and we said that marriage should be with a man and a woman. He said, "Ok" and shut the door. The next person was my first door that I did and the person who opened the door was a big guy with tats all over his arms, big earrings, and he looked mean. I said who I was and what we were doing there and he was super nice. He said that he didn't have time right then but we could come back sometime. I taught my first real lesson. It was to a 94 year old lady. She is a Great-Great Grandmother.
The first day that I was in Eureka, we got 2 new investigators and they both seem to like it a lot. They really want to learn more. The next day, we set up a baptism date with somebody. Last night, we set up another and tonight we plan on setting up one more. So far, the dates are 10/10 and 10/24.
People tell me that they feel bad for me because I am have the best companion and live in the best and most beautiful place in the mission (we are leading in baptisms right now), so it can only go downhill from here!
Did you know that if you wash your garments with jeans they turn blue?
Write back soon on paper because letters make me feel cool when I get them!

Love, Elder Alec Matthews
I sure miss him! But there is no where else that I would rather him be!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Words to Live by Alec-You're Going To Kill Me, But I Am Proud

Yeah! What would you think if you read those words from your missionary!?! That is what my last letter said. He said he would tell me in my next letter!

I thought, "He's not been sent home, so it wasn't immoral or illegal.

I don't know how he could have gotton fireworks into or out of the MTC, so we could rule that out.

He already told me he won and eating contest!

Today, he flew out to Montana, so he called us from the airport. That's when I got the story.

He said he was playing bloody knuckles and BROKE ELDER BROWN'S HAND!!!

OH MY GOSH!!!! I asked, "Didn't you get in trouble?" He said, "No, Elder Brown just told people he shut his hand in the door!"

What a way to start your mission!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Words to Live by Alec-On the Count Down

Look what we got!!!
Boy, is he making up for lost time. In the last 2 days, we have received about 5 letters! He, like almost every other Elder in the MTC, is counting the days until he flys out to the mission field.
He said that he is trying so hard to be obedient, but the others in his district are a little less committed! They ask him to only write on P-day, so that's why he didn't write sooner!

He leaves the MTC on September 17th.

My son, yes even Alec Hilton, said that his favorite part is studying the scriptures. He has either REALLY matured, or the MTC is BEYOND boring! I choose to think that he has matured!

Needless to say, I am so proud of him and love him SO MUCH!!!! And also, don't you think he is the most handsome elder?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Words to Live by Alec - No words!

It's been almost 2 weeks and the only correspondence we have received was a list of things to send. I have heard that they write more when they are homesick. So I can safely assume that he is doing great and keeping busy!
Well, we are really enjoying his projector! So I guess we're doing great, too!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pay Day

Life has it's ups and downs, it's good and bad. But once in awhile, everything seems perfect. Those are what I refer to as pay days! I just had one of the most fantastic paydays a mom could ever have. Saturday, August 15, 2009, my entire family went through the temple. All of my children are now endowed. When I stop crying, I will write more!
OK, it's 3 weeks later and I can finally talk about this without sobbing.
I am so surprised at the emotions that overtake you as you see your entire family dressed in white and in the temple. My mom always used to quote the scripture that stated that the greatest joy a parent could have is if they're children follow the Lord. I was happy when they weren't fighting!!! The joy you feel in the temple with your family can only be described as celestial.
I wish I could say that all of our 'callings and elections have been made sure' and that the fight is over. I know it's just begun. Life keeps on lifing and we are all human, but in future hard times, I have this moment to look back and and bask in the joy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lunch with Cassie

I LOVE lunch! Dinner's fine, Breakfast is good, but there is something so wonderful about going to lunch - especially with FUN people.

Cassie was in town and we HAD to celebrate! I love that she shares Kyler so much! What a chunk! She is such a GREAT little mommy!

Here is a shot of some of the group: Jesica holding Mayson, Kellie, Alec, Lexie, Me, Melanie, and Paul. In the front is Debra, Cassie and Kyler.
I'm sorry that this picture was so blurry, but I LOVED Dad and Mayson checking each other out!
Kyler and Mayson were meeting for the first time. Mayson was so cute, grabbing Kyler's hand. Kyler wasn't sure what to think!
Kyler was on one end of the table and Mayson was on the other! Babies get A LOT of attention in this group! (Not that I am rushing things, but isn't Melanie so cute with babies?)

Debra was so cold that she was hugging her food to keep warm! You just don't have enough insulation, you skinny little thing!

Friday, July 31, 2009


I was just thinking how many 'groups' that I belong to. The group of Graves, Bramalls, Matthews, Blatters... you know families that you love and appreciate. But there are so many events in our lives that bind you together almost as strongly as family. Some that spring to mind are those who attended Mapleton Grade School or Mapleton 3rd Ward. There is the class of '75, the members of Mapleton Single ward, roommates, work associates, and most recently members of Bands, Alchemists, Grandview 18th Ward, and my AMAZING neighborhood. But I guess that one I want to blog about is missions.

Because our mission president passed away shortly after serving, there have not been many reunions. Finally, Hulse took it upon himself to remedy this. He put together a mission reunion. What a rush! Even though I haven't seen or heard from most of these people for years, the love and bond I felt is still there. There is something about working together for a cause that build very strong ties!

Here is a picture of the sisters that attended. From the back: Stephenson, Gammon, Smith, Bodijn, ME, Taggart, (not sure) Front: Barker, Deakin, and Nielson. I wish more sisters would have attended.
This is some of the missionaries that went on their mission Jan-March 1979. Alan Hale still lives in Oakley, Idaho and I get to see him every time I go to church there! Randy Bunn and Bruce Schvaneveldt are two elders I haven't seen since Holland. Then there's Robert. I get to see him every 3rd Saturday of June. You know for a cousin, I just don't see him enough! Then me and the only other one that was in my group-Merk! Mark Merkling and I were in the MTC together and served in Den Haag together. What an amazing man. Seeing him brought back a flood of memories and emotions! What a treat!
Here is Karla (Barker) Porter and me with our mission mom, Ruth Rohgaar. She was and is such an angel!

Here is some of the Den Haag Motley Crew! Cowan, me and Merk. I love these men!

Mark Swenson was one of my saviors in Apeldorn. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of Easy - aka Elder Howell.

Poor Steve and Paul. I think Steve was saying, "Look at all these old people!" and Paul was saying, "I'm glad we're not that old!"

Steve and Karla are probably the people we see the most from my mission, and that still isn't enough!

There's a saying that goes, "Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold". I LOVE my old friends and family and look forward to all the new ones that are coming!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma Pete

Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate Grandma Pete's Birthday. FYI-she would have been 94! In the words of Celeste, she's old enough to be dead!

We missed all of you that couldn't make it. We hope to see you next year for her 95th.

Here is Carrie, Katie and Eric. Next to them are Whitney, Jesica, Dexton, Sam, Hannah, Emma, Patty, Lori Alec and Bowen.

Here is a typical post for the Jones family - Patty, Lyndsie, AnnDee, Sarah, Cody and Lennis. And what are they admiring?....
Prince Elijah

Kaden just couldn't get cool enough! All of this wet was self inflicted!

It was the hottest day of the year! Why wear clothes!?!? Thanks to Shalin for trying to keep the party G rated!
Here is a row of handsome men! Jacob, Tyler and Grandpa Graves.
The young kids! Garrett, Lisa, Debra, Alec, Shalin and Bowen.
Andrea shows us that there is more than one way to celebrate!

Marin and Emma choose to play a game of tetherball.

What a motely crew of Lisa, Alec, Mitchell, Kaden and Shalin.

That's Cody's back next to Patty, Micah, Tyler, Lori, Lyndsie and AnnDee.
Danielle, Chelsie, Hannah and Sydnee filled A LOT of water balloons.
Scotty went right to the source. Bag the balloons, just spray them down with the hose!

Sydnee, Tyler, Marin, Justin, Zach and Isaac had a blast in their water balloon fight.

Now Micah turned his back on us. But not on Lyndsie, AnnDee, Jesica, Sarah, Cody, Patty, Paul and Paul's cousin Brian.

Mom and Lori relaxing in the shade.

Bowen and Alec - best buddies!

Dexton, Isaac, Zach, Sydnie and Danielle just had to play with the dogs!

Here is Jeremy, Sydnie, Brandie, Debra and Marin in the background. On the other side of the table was Whitney, Chelsie, Brian, Joni, Darin and Tannis.

What a fun group of Marshall, Shalin, Lisa, Dexton, Mitchell and Bowen.

Squirrell! Darin, Spencer, Grandpa Graves and Kerry.
Joni, Debra, Jesica (holding Lincoln) Grandma Graves, Andrea and Tannis in the background.