Saturday, November 14, 2009

Where is the sun?

As you may have noticed (not sure if anyone even reads this blog) -- it's been while since I have posted.  I have been much to busy on facebook.  I just cant' shake it. 

I have SERIOUSLY been missing the sun around here!   I thought it was gone forever until I went onto my iggogle page and saw my various cities I want to see the weather in!  Looks like I am living in the WRONG place.  Yes, Provo and Rexburg are a bit colder but there is SUN!  Big round shiny sunshine. 

I guess I'd just rather have the humidity in the form of snow than rain!
The funny thing is, last week Woodinville looked just like it does this week.....they could leave those dark rainy pictures on for WEEKS!

But, on those occassional winter days when the sun pops out -- I could just sit by the window all day long!

The sunshine is just such a big deal for me - emotionally.  I bought some "happy lites" at costco to see if the exposure would lift my spirits a bit and make me a bit more motivated.  The only problem is, is that they sit at my desk  - no where else to put them - and I detest sitting at my desk.  I'm a couch/laptop girl!  I need one of these special lights that just hangs over the couch:).

I really need to retire to a sunny place - that is for sure.  Or, just travel a lot in the winter - maybe that is the solution.  Because WHEN it's sunny and warm here (August 20-Sept 20) there is not another more beautiful place to be.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A BEAUTIFUL Day with a Beautiful ending.......

As always, this day started at 5am -- "O-dark thirty" as I like to say. Got the girls up for seminary (starts at 5:50am) and began the preparation for Leah's Cross Country team Pasta dinner to start at 6pm. Got the Meat sauce in the crock pot, cooked the pasta, got everything laid out because.....................

I DID the Puyallup today! For our friends outside of Washington - this is the Puyallup Fair. It's pronounced "pew-AL-up". It was an amazing 85* day here! My best neighbor buddy Dawn and I make the 1 hour trek (okay it's really longer than an hour but she made it much faster than that) to the fair today. Dawn is my kindred spirit when it comes to food. She does the fair every year and had the food schedule all mapped out.

  • We started with the famous Scones -- she had to have her coffee and scones and she even brought me an herbal tea bag so I wouldn't feel left out....... aaawww, what a sweetie.
  • 2 hours later, we hit Pete's BBQ for ribs, corn on the cob and a soda. We shared the meal because there was MORE fair food to consume of course.
  • our early mid afternoon snack was those beer batter onion rings..........good and greasy. YUM.
  • Upon our leaving, we had to grab an ice cream bar, dipped in chocolate and nuts. We didn't share those :).

Oh, the fair? It was fun to people watch of course. This year we were so intent on finding the next morsel of food that we didn't focus too much on the bizarreness of people who come to the fair (ourselves not include). Although we do wonder how many people REALLY buy a hot tub at the fair -- SO many hot tub booths! We did see a pregnant lady smoking, a cowgirl in cut off jeans and a group of what looked to be possibly a Christian group of homeschoolers. Dawn figured that because the beef cattle weren't being show today, that was why there weren't as many people. I have never come to the fair to see the cattle:).

We enjoyed all the quilts and needlework, all the funny booths of "cheap bling", the Dahlia Hall, the bunnies and piglets, some of those crazy vendors booths with everything from tools to make up and ...........did I mention we had some food? ha ha hah

This is what I felt like today while eating! This will be me tonight. These little piglets were just days old and so darn cute. The momma pig? Another story. Old and tired looking, very "saggy" and well, just plum tuckered out!

Here are some picture of the Dahlia Hall -- Wow!

So, we left the Fair so I had enough time to come home and feed those little Cross County Runners their high carb loading meal of pasta before their Meet tomorrow. Low, and behold! While they were eating outside, a hot air balloon flew over and VERY low -- having them fly over is an almost nightly event here but not this low! We actually were talking to them and they wanted to join us for dinner! ha ha. What a great day!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Penny goes to Vegas!

Yes, it's true. I spent the last 4 days in Vegas, without Devon.
It was our Annual Heritage Makers Reunion! What an amazing time I had with 400 other women who are driven and passionate about preserving family heritage. We spent 99% of our time inside the Flamingo hotel but we didn't even notice because we had so much fun, learned so much, were uplifted and edified. Wow, I am so lucky to be doing something I love so much. I can hardly wait to introduce the new products and services I have to offer now!
Make sure you are subscribing to my business blog: to see what's new.

I am in the middle and Nancy and Cynthia (2 of my consultants from Idaho) are on either side of me. No, we did not look like this all weekend, just the opening night for our theme "Let's get Loud". The group picture was my team and Kym's team who attended.
It was so fun to go up to someone from our home office (who I knew) and start talking with them. It would take them a few looks and minutes to figure out who I was - ha ha ha hah.
Wow, this little company isn't so little anymore! I just can't believe where we are going. New products, new tools, new features! I LOVE WHAT I DO!
I wish I could have had more time to explore a little bit - outside of the Vegas strip -- yuck. I will NEVER take my family to Vegas (the strip) -- oh so trashy. But I hear that outside of the strip there is so much to do and so much to see. Maybe someday.....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mi Tierra doesn't really look anything like this -- they did a great job on their website. This use to be called Las Margaritas and when the kids were little - we ate here a lot. Maybe this is why the kids don't like Mexican Food anymore? he he he he. We have many fond family memories of Las Margaritas -- from Lauren breaking out in tears when they sang to her on her 3rd birthday, to Leah and all her little gym buddies eating together, Tanner and his "cheeseburger" (think SNL) and Hannah - - well, we won't go there - she knows the story!
Lauren's 3rd birthday - poor girl! Hannah also cried on one of her birthdays when we celebrated at Cucina Cucina where the waiters sang in Italian! Oh, we are mean.
So upon my return to Woodinville I have to of course, catch up on the excellent grub at this place - even though it's Mi Tierra now, it's the same menu, same wait staff, same incredibly yummy pico de gallo! Thank goodness my buddy Dawn who is also my neighbor likes to meet up with me there frequently!
So, with all that in place I of course had to initiate my little grandboy Ry-guy to this place of Hughes Tradition. He had a marvelous time napping in his stroller ( we ate outside of course) and Lauren and I had a great time -- she still likes Mexican food, thank goodness. I"m just sad I didn't grab someone to take our group photo!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Little House in the Big Woods

I've had many request for a visual update on our new residence. This is actually a home that Devon built for a family about 10 years ago - right next door to our home that burned down in 2000 ( we had moved out 2 weeks earlier). It's nice to be back in the old neighborhood - so serene and quiet. This home had been vacant for a year while for sale (darn economy) but the owners quickly agreed to rent it to us for a while and try to sell again next summer. We have a little under 2 acres -- yes the John Deere has been at work! The yard is is pretty bad shape between just being vacant and the nasty winter here last season. But alas, the rains will come and the green will appear!
We've been lucky so far -- only a couple of days of rain this month - highly unusual for Seattle. Several grey days but not too bad. And when the sun comes out -- wow, it's gorgeous.

Our kids would have LOVED this yard when they were young! A play set and a playhouse, plus a big storage shed for all of Devon's construction tools/machinery and a few of his toys.
Around here we call it "The Whitehouse" it was always the white house next door to us when we lived here years ago. The interior is just about as white as the exterior -white walls, trim, doors, cabinets, tile, carpet - even white lighting fixtures. I'd love to put some color on these stark walls and liven it up a little. I am definately putting up ALL of my pictures!

My favorite baldy!

Here's some of the latest shot of "the little bald man" around the house. Ryan is 3 months now and Lauren has been up twice in the past month for a visit or two. My parents were here for a few days and got to spend some time with him. Here's Nanny rocking him in the rocker.

I had to snap this slumbering shot as he has not been doing much of that these days! He got a kick out of Poppa - these two guys like each other - maybe it's there "bald connection". Okay my dad's not bald but it sure is thin these days! Devon had fun to with Ryan - they have really taken to each other -- oh if only you could hear Devon's "baby voice".....very cute.

The little guy has been pretty miserable, making his mommy and daddy miserable as well. I urged Lauren to be persistent with finding out what was wrong - why he cries so much and sleeps so little. The latest diagnosis and one that seems to fit is GERD . Basically, it's intense heart burn. Poor guy. He had his first dose of the special antacid and slept for nearly 12 hours that night. Lauren was one happy momma!
I think this is what Lauren may have had as a baby - the apple does not fall far from the tree. Too bad no one would diagnose her with that -- she had a miserable babyhood (and so did we some nights....). If only we'd known - poor girl!

Blue Angels and Sore Bums!

Our first weekend back in Washington our great neighbors Brian and Dawn drug us out to watch the Blue Angels for their annual show out over Lake Washington for Sea Fair. We drove down to the park and ride and then hopped on bikes for a few miles out to the 520 bridge (which had been shut down for the show) where we watched the air show. It was as incredible as always.
We have watched this show before but it had been a few years and never had been on the bridge.

I had not been on a bike, since I started driving a car, so that is a long time. I thought I was going to die! Brian and Dawn are avid bikers so they were just cruising along while Hannah and I were having cardiac arrests! We had a great time and after burning all those calories (did I mention it was in the 90's that day?) we went to Costco for a big 'ol hot dog/soda drink for a buck fifty -- that's the life! Hannah was the only kid that came with us -- she was a real trooper considering she had been having some chest pains (pleurisy - they thought). It was a good thing she had to stop and rest -- if she didn't, I would have died for sure. My bum was pretty sore the next day from the riding. I guess I need to get in shape! ha ha
We love the Blue Angels and the thunderous roar that fills your body as the pass over you -- such a rush! They always leave me in awe as their precision flying is utterly amazing! What a great day it was!

The Truck Parade

I promise I'll get a bit better at updating this most boring blog! Here's the picture of our moving truck parade the morning we left Rexburg. Oh, the suburban is behind the last truck. Devon and I drove the larger Budget trucks, Tanner the Uhaul and Leah and Hannah in the 'burban. What a sight we were! Leah had to leave the pack early in the day instead of following as this was just too embarrassing for her to be a part of.
I'm going to update today, so WATCH OUT!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Poppa's birthday

I'm a little behind on my posting -- my father celebrated his 74th birthday mid-July with their wonderful friends/neighbors. It was a nice summer evening and Poppa grilled juicy steaks for everyone. It was nice to spend some time getting to know their friends that we hear so much about but don't see much as they are always running around the state together!
Leah and Hannah joined us for dinner and of course, chocolate cake!
Happy birthday Poppa!

Friday, July 31, 2009

We had HOT movers!

Now that I have your attention -- read on, seriously - do you think I am that shallow?

On Wednesday we left Rexburg to return back to Woodinville, WA. I never would have believed that we'd be moving back "home". After 5 years in Rexburg however, I feel I can call it home as well. Many life long friendships were developed over that very short time. Coming back to the same neighborhood is a little odd and yet comforting. Don't get me wrong -- we love it here but it's like we've been in a time warp for 5 years.

We have had record heat here in Washington -- 105 degrees to be exact. Did I mention that we don't have air conditioning? It was a little over 100 on the actual day we moved into the house. I felt so terrible for the movers -- they sweated on just about every box/item they carried into the house - which was a balmy 8 degrees with 50% humidity. So, yes they were HOT!

We are settling in a bit -- okay - not really. I have boxes everywhere!

I'll post more later!!!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Strange feet.................

Well, for a few years now Leah has been battling some funny looking feet. We didn't think anything of it (we have weird feet with LONG toes so). Notice the width on the outer sides and the little bunions? Well -- it's all for a reason far greater than just being a Hughes! Poor girl.

After seeing our wonderful friend Eric who happens to be a Podiatrist, we learned that she does not walk correctly - not her fault. To spare you all the details of how a foot actually function (it's totallly amazing) I'll just say that after a year of Leah running Cross Country they really jsut blew out. So, she had to have surgery to correct the spreading of her bones and remove the bunions.

This is what her feet looked like for the first 2 weeks (that we just ended). She has incisions on both sides of her feet where they went in, scraped the bunions, removed some bone and then added some screws to do some repositiong. Now to keep it all in place she had some orthotics made that she must wear until she dies! This will correct how her foot is landing. Here are her beautiful sandals that she wears for 6 weeks to protect her incisions.

At her one week post op appointment, we got to see the incisions -- WOW! And they took an x-ray to make sure all was well. LOOKING GOOD!

This is the pre sugery shot. This is the post surgery shot.
Pretty amazing, huh? Look at how crooked her feet were before the procedure -- I am in awe of how incredible these x-rays are! All they did was put a couple of screws in each side -- you can see them in the x-ray.

Week one was some major laying around for her -- not her style. And oh yes, the Frankenstein walk. Week 2 was a little better. At her 2 week appointment, they changed the bandages and reduced the thickness of them - much more comfortable. But she still has to wear her funky sandals for 4 more weeks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Celebrating 50 years of love

On June 20th we celebrated my parents 50th wedding anniversary in Salt Lake City. We had a beautiful room at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, complete with a wonderful dinner. Nearly 85 of us were together to celebrate and share memories of my parents - an evening we will never forget.

Here is the whole clan (minus one grand daughter and great grand daughter - Lindsey and Lucy).

Then there is my little family - and of course, the debut of the little man - Ryan Douglas Alberts who was one month old. From left to right:
Bradley Alberts, Devon, Tanner
Hannah, LaurenAlberts, Baby Ryan, Me, Leah.

It was a whirlwind weekend in Utah and we had RAIN! There we were - on the beautiful Temple grounds of SLC and we could not even go out for pictures! Luckily the inside of the JSMB is stunning. Check out my Leaves of Legacy Blog to see some of the things I had on display for night.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blogs are.... where it SHOULD BE! But Facebook is fun!

So, I had my Penny's Prose blog -- thinking this was such a clever name -- Prose being writings. But every time I see it, it just doesn't set right with me -- and it sounds like Pro's. Not cool. So, as we prepare to leave Rexburg, I wanted to have a blog for our friends in The Burg to follow us on - as well as all our friends.

Not that our life is so exciting that you can't wait to read the next post! This is more of a way for me to journal our lives so I can make our family yearbook at the end of each year.

Once I started facebook in January I pretty much stopped blogging. Caryn was disappointed that I had done this -- she even left me a comment on a post of mine - the LAST post I did. funny. She was saying that she thought blogging was so much better than facebook -- which I have discovered is TRUE. Thanks Caryn! Facebook is fun but just a little too fun with not much depth.

As you can see, my last post was in FEBRUARY on my blog I have imported it here. If you want to continue to follow that blog, please do. However, it will be more of my personal place versus the happenings of my family.

And so I return - to blogging. A much more personal way to share my life.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Reflections on Relationships

I just got word that my uncle (one of two) has passed away today. This was my mother's brother who lived on the East Coast. He was 80 years old and suffereing from poor health age related issues.

This death has really caused me to ponder relationships - as I often do. I never really knew my uncle, aunt and his children that were my age. Yes, we were separated by a vast country inbetween the two coasts but we were more separated by emotional distance. My mother and her brother were not close but that was not without her efforts. She really has tried continuously over the years to connect with him. For some reason, he just didn't want to have a relationship with her. Maybe it was because of her faith/religion - her lifestyle that was a bit different from his. I'll never know.

He lived an interesting life, working for the CIA traveling the world. I bet he had some amazing stories - that my family may never know.

So we have family - life - relationships. I would have liked to have known my cousins while I was growing up. This is something that has always bothered me. I don't really know any of my cousins - two families on my mothers side and one on my fathers side. So sad.

I want so much for my children to have good relationships with each other - to be the aunts and uncles that I never have had. For my grandchildren, "the cousins" to truly know eachother, to have memories together and to value the blessing of family. So my quest is to have family unity - although we are struggling right now, it's my constant prayer that we can come together, as these children of ours mature, accept personal repsonsiblity and learn embrace truth and the Savior in their lives.

Here's a picture or two of the good old days ....... When life was much more simple and children were more willing to listen, trust and follow their mom and dad - who love them dearly.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Already February?

Wow, it's been 6 weeks since I posted. Okay, I'm a slacker I guess. Life has just taken over these past 6 weeks and well, to be honest -- I'm facebooking now -- what a terrible obsession. It's been incredibly wonderful to reconnect with people from my past though so....I am torn between blogging and facebook.

We had a wonderful Christmas back in Wisconsin, visiting Aunti Pami, Uncle John, Cousin Jeff and Grandma. Just me, devon, leah and hannah .. road tripping for 2 days there and 3 days back. We were only in Green Bay for 4 days but they were great.

Grandma's health is failing terribly and she has been in a nursing home since last march. It was heart breaking to see this once strong and contributing woman be so feeble and fragile. It was truly heart wrenching for us all. Pami brought her home each day to visit with us, eat lunch/dinner and nap.

My very biggest regret in all this? I waited TOO long to talk with mom about the details of her life. A while ago, I stared scanning her pictures and asking her the dates and names. We got up to the point that she married Doug - Devon's father. That is where it all ends. I am so very disappointed in myself -- that i did not make this "interview" more of a priority.
She has been such a big part of our lives, the lives of our children. While life was happening, we forgot to share the stories - reflect and recall. We had so much time with her to learn more about the woman she was (not just the grandma) and now it has slipped away. We are left to write the rest of her life story. Not the most terrible thing but how I wish it was HER words.
Don't wait..................get those stories while you can. Enough said.
The girls made elf costumes and accompanied Santa (john) for his various house visits on Christmas Eve. It was a simple and quiet, yet very special Christmas for us all.