Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reflections 2011

The theme this year for Reflections was "DIVERSITY". Tracy said he wanted to enter and came up with an idea all on his own. He drew a picture of himself with his friend Tino and wrote "Buddies". Such a simple drawing on one level, but with deep roots into who Tracy is. He loves everyone regardless of what they look like, what they wear, where they live or what they believe. There is a reason he makes friends everywhere he goes. He has an open heart and puts himself out there in the world. I love Trace for many reasons, this being just one of them.

As it turns out, I wasn't the only one who thought Tracy's entry was noteworthy. He moved onto the next level and was a finalist for the whole district!!! I am proud of this accomplishment, but mostly I am proud to know the sweet, open-minded boy who created it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The things we learn from our children...

I thought that as the parent I would be the one to provide teaching and guidance. I have since learned that I am often the student.

This last Thanksgiving, Mike's father learned an old schoolmate had nowhere to go for Thanksgiving. Being the generous man that he is, he invited him to join our family for the holiday. It was a tasty, enjoyable and LOUD feast followed by some down time before pie. I had noticed that the "friend" didn't join us for dessert and figured he just needed some quiet away from our rambunctiousness. Come to find out, Tracy had asked him to join us and he had politely declined. Tracy then asked if he would just like someone to talk to and spent some time keeping this man company. I was too wrapped up with filling my belly with pumpkin pie to notice my sweet seven-year-old showing love to a man he met only an hour prior. 

My father-in-law later told us about what had happened and I feel very touched. I am so proud of his unprompted act of kindness. As this time of year we turn our hearts toward gratitude, I am grateful for my children. I am thankful for the love they show to me, to each other and to others. If you know me well enough, you know crying is not in my lexicon. However, each time I read this post or think about Tracy sitting with this gentleman, I get a little choked up.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Urban Adventure

Rather than spend money on school pictures where the kids look awkward and it's a single pose, we opted to spend the money on professional pics instead. I used this AMAZING photographer who captured the kids and their personalities perfectly. One of our favorite places to play is the skate park so I wanted to incorporate that into the photo shoot.There were over 100 pictures from which to choose, but here is a taste of what was captured.

Just getting started.

Yep, she is the boss!

Hey there, GQ.

I have no idea where he gets his gangsta attitude. ;)

Aww, my sweet Trace.

This hat is one of my favorite things in the world.

He kept posing on his own and Jodi just kept snapping pics as he went along.

Million dollar smile!

Little outdoors man.


Helloooooo blue eyes.

Okay this hat is another of my favs, and so is the cute girl.




Walk like an Egyptian.

Smiling, happy people...

Love her!

Look out Bruno Mars.

This picture captures Everett's personality with perfection. He is adorable and sweet and yet you know he is plotting something mischievous. 

Handsome guy.

We are a happy family!
 Hope you enjoy those as much as I do. The kids have never had so much fun getting their pictures taken. Jodi Palmer at Yummy Life Photography was amazing! I feel like we captured them in this time of their lives. One day, when I look back at these, I will remember how fun, quirky, silly and adorable they are.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Farewell to Veloy

In October, Mike's wonderful grandmother passed away. She is one of the most gracious and classy women I know. I say "is" and not was because I know she is sharing her wonderful gifts with others where she is now. The funeral was beautiful and Tracy rubbed Mike's back the whole time. He has grown into such a loving person. As sad as it was to say goodbye to someone we loved so much, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to discuss death with my children. To me, the sadness is brief. I still miss my mom and it hurts to not have her here. That said, I know she is looking over my family and that we will be with her again one day. I feel this same way about Grandma Bollinger. I am blessed to have the knowledge that people will be reunited with loved ones and death is only a temporary goodbye.
Here is Veloy's obituary.

12/25/1923 ~ 11/03/2011
VeLoy Tucker Bollinger was born Dec. 25, 1923 in Price, Utah, the second child of Wilhelm (Bill) Paul Tucker and Doris Maria Winn Tucker. She passed away on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 due to complications from a fall and Alzheimers. VeLoy grew up in Salt Lake City and graduated from South High School. On August 4, 1942 she married her sweetheart, Kenneth Harlow Bollinger in the Salt Lake Temple. They immediately moved to Seattle, Washington, where Ken worked with the military during World War II. 
VeLoy was a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. She loved the changing of seasons, spending times in Palm Springs and enjoyed the friends and family that went to visit them there. She loved her husband, four children, gardening, needlework, playing tennis and golf. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, holding many different positions. She was a wonderful cook and her children and grandchildren loved going to "Grandma B.'s" house for Sunday dinner. 
Survived by her husband, Ken, one daughter and three sons and their spouses: Judy (Bill) Stagg, Jerry (Judy), Ted (Kelley), and Steve (Dawn); 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren, two brothers, Clyde (JoAnn) and Billy (Sherrie), two sisters-in-law, LaVora Tucker and Bobby Tucker Shelley and many other extended family and friends. VeLoy was preceded in death by her parents, one infant brother, Paul, and two other brothers, John and O. Keith Tucker. 
We would like to thank her wonderful care givers who have made things easier for VeLoy and Ken.