Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I think updating blogs is a hard thing to keep on top of. I seldom remember to take pictures at events and even forgot to take my camera on our two trips to Arizona this summer. The end of July we went to Arizona twice. Once to find an apartment for Holly and a week later to move her into her new apartment in Tempe. That was hard for me to have her move so far away, but she seems to be doing really well and adjusting to the one season of Arizona. HOT! When we went to move her, we stopped in St. George and went to see TARZAN at Touahcan. It was incredible! I really enjoyed that part of the trip. We will have to go there again. Holly is working at a rehab center in Scottsdale for her clinical fellowship year. She is keeping really busy.

Heather and Brian finished the remodel of their house and our now officially landlords. They rented out their house the 1st of November and they moved to an apartment in Provo to be closer to Heather's school and Brian's work. Their house looked incredible! They put in so much hard work. Hopefully their tenants will take good care of the place.

John and I have been getting used to being empty-nesters and enjoying our time together. We have found that we really do like being together and doing things together. We helped both girls with their moves and marvel at what fine individuals they are! We sure feel blessed to have such wonderful children (and a wonderful son-in-law too)!!

We are looking forward to the upcoming holidays. Holly will be home the weekend after Thanksgiving so we will be celebrating then and she will be home again for Christmas. I am so glad that we get to spend time with our girls during the holidays! We will soon be putting up the outside Christmas Lights and it won't be long until the inside decorations are donned. (Thanksgiving) I love the holidays and the cheery atmosphere that they bring. It has been a beautiful fall season and winter has tried to creep in - snow will soon be sticking to the ground.

Hopefully I will remember to take pictures during the holidays and will post more then. I sure love my family and extended family and hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Good reasons to visit some Historic sites

A few weeks ago, John, Holly, and I returned from a fabulous vacation to Philadelphia, PA, West Orange, NJ, and Washington, DC. WE HAD THE BEST TIME!!! Our 1st reason to go was for the wedding of our nephew, Eric Wellington to Kristy Sandello. We decided to make it a longer vacation to celebrate Holly graduating with her Master's degree. It was different not having Heather along, but I guess some things have to change as children get married. (We will have to work on a big family vacation when everyone can go.)

Our vacation started in Philadelphia, visiting National Landmarks there. We followed lots (and by lots I mean swarms) of school children around Liberty Square. We were with school children our entire trip as we visited the sites. It must have been field trip week for the schools.


The courtyard where the Declaration of Independence was read for the 1st time.

Our tour guide was quite a character. This is the signing room and she is holding a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Nancy (and all her school buddies) by the Liberty Bell.

Holly eating a famous Philly Cheesesteak at a local restaurant that was featured on food network for their cheesesteak sandwiches.


Eric and Kristy's Wedding

The Chateau where the wedding was held.

Eric's dad, Bishop Wellington, performed the ceremony. On cue, two deer came down to the pond behind Brad (so I am told by my husband - I did not see them). It was a beautiful location and a lovely ceremony.

This is Anne and Thatcher's daughter, Makennah. She is adorable and didn't seem to mind hanging out with me on occasion. This is the first time we met her since her birth.

This is Hannah, the flower girl, dancing with the father of the bride. She stole the hearts of many on the dance floor. She danced the night away!

This is a picture to prove that John actually danced with me! I know - it was hard for me to believe that he would do it too! I think he felt peer pressure as his older brother asked his wife to dance first. That's them to the left side of us.

The happy couple!


Holly outside the National Archive Building

Air and Space Museum

Natural History Museum
This is us posing with the statue that was seen in the movie "Night at the Museum".

John imitating the hippo

John and Holly on the Mall with the Smithsonian in the background.

Korean War Monument

Lincoln Monument

World War II Monument

Vietnam Monument

Monument honoring nurses during war time

Holly outside the Library of Congress

Inside the lobby of the Library of Congress

Holly and John

The Capitol Building

Rubbing your feet here is supposed to bring you good luck.
A view of the dome. It was so beautiful!

Jim Matheson's intern, giving us the tour of the capitol.

Plaque honoring the passengers of the flight that went down in Pennsylvania after the passengers overtook the high jackers on 9/11. This plane was supposed to crash into the Capitol.


Abe Lincoln's top hat

Abe Lincoln's timepiece

Vote for John for President?

Piece of the Berlin Wall

John with our sweet ride - a Jeep Patriot.


The George Washington Family with part of the John Wellington Family.

Check out all the school children waiting to get inside President Washington's home. Lucky for us we were able to reserve a time by paying a couple of dollars more and we didn't need to stand in this line.

This trip was filled with many movie references from both National Treasure movies as well as Night at the Museum - a night at the Smithsonian. John is big on movie trivia and received many warnings from Holly that there needed to be ten minutes between references. We grew to appreciate our forefathers even more and feel greater pride in belonging to such a wonderful nation. We thoroughly enjoyed our time together and appreciated the one on one time with Holly. It was really nice to be able to spend time with Brad and Marilyn and their family and go to Eric and Kristy's wedding. We wish we could visit them more often as we really enjoy their company. It was a difficult time for Marilyn, as her mother passed away a few days before the wedding. She was so good to feed us on Sunday after church, even though they needed to pack and be ready to leave the next day for the funeral. We so appreciate and love them!!!!

Sorry this blog is so long, but we rarely go on such big adventures and I don't often have anything exciting to blog about.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Holly's Graduation from the U of U

Our family celebrated a milestone in Holly's life recently. On May 6th and 7th, we attended the graduation ceremonies at the University of Utah. Holly received her Masters Degree in Speech Language Pathology from the College of Health at the U of U. We couldn't be more pleased with her!!! She worked very hard the last two years to accomplish this goal. (Her GPA so far is a 4.0, but she still needs to get her final 2 grades from a recent class and her current externship.) More important than her grades, is her determination to do her best so she can help others. We know that she will be able to help many people in this field. She is an amazing and caring person!

Holly got her undergrad from BYU and really enjoyed her experience there, but she said that she is glad that she got her graduate degree from the U of U. She really liked the program there as well as the professors. She also got to know her classmates well as it is a pretty small program.

Most of her graduating class
(A few chose not to walk)

Holly walking into the Convocation exercise for the College of Health held at the
Huntsmen Center on May 6th, 2010.

Holly receiving her diploma

Showing her hood

So excited to have the diploma holder
(The diploma will come in August after she finishes her externship)

After the Convocation, we met up with Heather and Brian at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and family celebration for Holly. The food was yummy!

The guest of honor!!

Heather and Brian


All the graduates walking in between the lines of Professors and Deans.
It was quite the pomp and circumstance!!
The graduate students sat on the main floor with the undergrads sitting in the stadium seating.

Holly and her proud father

Such a happy girl!

Master Holly
Wearing her hood in a new way.

SHE DID IT!!!!!!!!

I know Holly is glad that the course work is behind her, with all the projects, mid-terms, and finals. Now she is looking for a CFY (clinical fellowship year)! Who knows where she will end up, but we are sure she will do well wherever she goes. (Her mom just hopes it isn't too far away or that there is some family close by to wherever she ends up.) CONGRATULATIONS HOLLY - WE LOVE YOU!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Adventures in Babysitting

On Mondays I get to watch Dustin & Annie's boys, Nic & Nate, while Annie participates in a bowling league. I have been doing this for several years. When Annie started watching Michelle's little girl on Mondays, I got to watch Izzy as well. We have a great time! On Fridays, I watch Izzy while her mom works. I love being around these cute kids! Some days are more exciting than others, but we always manage to have some fun. They wear me out most days, but it is so fun to watch their faces while they play or watch their favorite shows on TV. Who knew that I would be watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Sesame Street at my age! I can also play dinosaurs with the best of them. (Just don't ask me to tell you what they all are. I can name a few but that's it) We play pirates, patty cake, peek-a-boo, firemen, and just about anything else they think sounds fun. Sometimes we build lego houses for our cars or dinosaurs. We go on walks to find pinecones, play paddle ball, blow bubbles, play in the dirt, and draw on the sidewalks with chalk when the weather is nice. On special days, like birthdays, we have a party and get to open a present that stays at my house so they will have something new to play with. On banker holidays that fall on Monday, like Columbus Day, we have been known to meet at the zoo and have fun there with Uncle John.

This is a fun time for me and helps me feel close to my sister, Mary Jane. She passed away when she was 32 and her children were young. I miss her terribly, but find comfort in watching her grandchildren. It is also preparing me for when I have grandchildren of my own. (whenever that happens) I love all their hugs and expressions of affection. It cheers my heart and warms my soul!

Isabelle Louise Smith (last summer)

Izzy on her 1st zoo outing with us.
Columbus Day 2009

Nicholas Emerson Baxter riding the tiger on the carousel at the zoo.

Nathan Scott Baxter riding on a panda on the carousel.

Posing on the tiger and cub with Holly.

Izzy celebrating her 1st birthday at my house. She's loving her cupcake!

Nate & Nic posing with Izzy.

The box to her present was pretty fun!

Finally, a new girl toy!

She still likes playing with the dinosaurs or any thing else Nic or Nate are playing with at the time. I'm not sure if she is doing this to bug them or just to be near them. They are generally very cute with her and only get upset if she tears apart what they are playing with.

Nate showing off his muscles! He was in rare form on this visit.

Izzy took her first steps at my house. She was ready for quite a while, but just seemed a little nervous to try. If you tried to get her to stand in the middle of the floor she would immediately drop to her fanny and then crawl. For whatever reason on the day she started walking, she decided she could stand on her own and with minimal coaxing would walk to me. I could even tell her to walk to the sofa from me and she would. She was so ready. It was so cute when she walked to her mom when she came to pick her up. This video is not her 1st steps, but about a week later.

As you can tell from this post, I think these kids are pretty neat. I have many cute great nieces and great nephews. It is so fun to watch all these kids grow. I love being from a close extended family and enjoy spending time with all my family. Thanks to all my nieces and nephews for letting me get to know their children at our family gatherings. You are all such awesome parents!