Sunday, December 27, 2009

Phenomenal Penny, Model Maddie, Angel Andie

My friend Penny is a Jill-of-all-trades. She's a sensationally talented artist. But that's not all she can do. She can fix, build, create, perform, sing (I have yet to verify that, but I know she sang in her church choir and since she can do everything else, I think I can reasonably assume...), design, imagine, or do...just about anything! When I first met her I was astonished at every new thing I saw her doing. You did that?! By yourself? You painted that? You fixed that? You built that? You cut his hair? You sewed that? You cooked that? You thought of that? By yourself?! But now I just shake my head and know it's just Penny. She can do anything.

I am so lucky to be her friend. And not just because she is my personal consultant on...well, everything. And not just because she paints things for me, and I'm not talking about walls--oh wait, she did help me paint Collin's room--but I'm talking about FINE ART. One day she brought over a gorgeous painting that she's done a whole series of--that I LOVE. "Can I hang this at your house? I don't have a place for it and I know Bob likes it and it will look really good in your entry. Do you mind?" "Yeah, no. I don't mind."


One day she did a little "performance" for a Young Women activity. I can not do it justice here. She did THE cutest mime routine where she tried to paint a painting. It was cute, funny, imaginative. There was some Charlie Chaplin style music playing in the background. She had a volunteer come up from the audience, who just "happened" to be my Maddie. She had a blank canvas on an easel and an imaginary palette in one hand and a brush in the other and had every kind of hilarious problem trying to paint a "portrait" of Maddie. I thought she must have seen the routine on TV or something, but later found out she came up with the whole thing out of thin air! Anyway, finally she takes the rag out of the back pocket of her overalls and wipes the whole thing down in mock exasperation. Then she turns the easel around and:
Yes, I burst into tears. How did you know?

I LOVE that Maddie has this hanging on her wall in her bedroom and can see every day just how beautiful she is. What a priceless gift from my dear friend.

Then, this year a few days before Christmas Penny and her family came over. We love the Bohns and were excited to have them drop by. After all of the hugs and Hi Y'alls, Penny handed me a wrapped present. I opened it up to find this:


She painted my Andie into a fairy! What do you say to that? I'm sure I stumbled over my thanks; I was quite overwhelmed. I really didn't feel like I had adequate words for the situation. Some tears, yes, but a definite lack of words. "Thanks, Penny!" "You're amazing!" "It's beautiful!" Lame. Lame. And lame. I love words and everything, but sometimes words are just frustratingly insufficient.

In addition to all of those talents, she is a funny, spiritual, kind, and courageous woman, a doting and dedicated mother, and a patient and loving wife.

Now she has her in-laws staying over for TWO WEEKS! If she can make it through that with her sanity intact, then I'll know for sure.

There is NOTHING Penny can't do.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bula Vinaka!

I can't remember what that means. It's either a Fijian greeting or a Fijian exclamation. Looks like both, actually.

Anyway, I went down to check on Elder Farley the morning after he was made a full-time missionary and this is what I saw. All mished up. So cute.

My sister was once lambasted by a very young Tanner for calling him "cute" and was told the correct description would be "cool."
Sorry, but that's just cute.

Monday, December 14, 2009

That's Elder Farley, If You Please

Whew! Yesterday was Tanner's farewell*. I don't even know where to start. Oh wait, I decided. The beginning.

Saturday night Tanner sort of stopped talking. Or doing anything, for that matter. He filled up a plate of dinner and then just sat there. "Hey Tan, why'd you go offline," I asked him. He said he wasn't feeling too well. We all assumed he was nervous for the next day, but he said that wasn't it, since he wasn't nervous.

Then he ran off to the bathroom. I'll leave his hilarious comments out for now, but I'll tell you in person if you want to ask me later. Suffice it to say, he and the bathroom were pretty much best frenemies for the rest of the night. We called a neighborfriend and he and Bob gave Tan a blessing. His face was kinda green. And not from jealousy.

I was sure he'd wake up in the morning fresh and perky, but no such luck. Poor thing. I felt so bad. What a terrible day to be sick.

As he sat on the stand, our good friend and b-bric couselor Brett Blake, kept asking him if he was okay. I could see Tanner saying he was fine, which later he told me he was. But Brett told him that if he threw up during his talk, at least it would be memorable. Tanner told him if he threw up, it wasn't going to come out his mouth. Ba-doom ching! That would have been especially memorable--for Brett, since he was sitting right behind the podium! But he felt fine the rest of the day. Tanner went on to give a great talk. I wish I had it recorded. The kid can speak.

Then our nextdoorneighborfriends, the Belnaps sang a beautiful song. I loved it and I cried.

I think it's interesting/funny that they send the missionary out in the middle of the last song so that people will leave the chapel after the meeting. They just started doing that, so most people don't know what's going on. In Tanner's case, many thought he was making a run for the bathroom. Hahaha!

After that we had about 210 people at our house, judging by how many plates were used, and most of them at the same time. Bob made about half a ton of bbq pulled pork. It was ridiculously good with its sauce of barbecue mixed with raspberry vinaigrette. There were salads and desserts aplenty and funeral, er, farewell potatoes while they lasted. Many thanks to my foodiefriend Si, who was the perfect consultant and helped me enormously with the food. It was so nice to have so many of our friends and family whom we dearly love, all here on the same day. The only hard part was not getting to talk to everyone as much as I wanted to--just a bunch of too-short little snippets of conversation here and there. But I have to say, I could NOT have had the great day I had without my Beckysisterfriend! She left early from church, came to the house, got stuff started, bossed people around, kept the food flowing, ordered me out of the kitchen, shoved food at me when I forgot to eat, and pretty much ran the show so that I could enjoy the day, which I totally did! If only I'd had her remind me to take a potty break. Oh well. Next time.

I had made little address cards that people could take and put them on a table in the entryway with a book for people to put their email addresses in. That way I can forward his letters to people who want them. More on that in a minute.

At 6:30 everyone was gone and our stake president and our bishop came over. We each said something to/about Tanner and it was very sweet to hear the what the kids had to say. Then Pres Taylor talked for a while gave Tanner and the rest of us some great advice. Then he set Tanner apart as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints. That was powerful. And the blessing he gave Tanner was amazing and beautiful. There was a strong, beautiful spirit here. We all loved it.

At the end of the night, we were hanging out in the living room, just me and Bob and the kids, talking and laughing. One of my very favorite things in the whole world. In the midst of it all someone pointed out that I had a little typo on the address card. I couldn't believe it! I'm always so careful! When they read it aloud we all got a good long laugh out of it. See below.

Can you see it? I wrote substibstitute. One of our new favorite words.

*I do realize I blog about Tanner like I only have one child. It's not true. I have more, as you will soon see. It's been a big year for Tanner, so, lots to blog about. Haha, I say "blog" as if it doesn't sound anything like "brag." Yeah, I noticed. But I am still going to document his first and possibly even second day as a mish, since he's still here. But I'm going to do that in my next post 'cause this one's way too long.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Explanation

Ya'll want me to keep posting. I want to, too. But I've been perplexed about what my blog is all about (my other blog) so I haven't been able to bring myself to post for a while. I finally decided to make a new blog. A normal, family goings-on and regular posty stuff blog. My other blog will still be for essays and the documentation of embarrassing moments, etc. I'm so happy about this solution! It's perfect.

So, here goes...

What are we up to right now? Obviously we have missionary preparations first and foremost on the to-do list. Getting him ready, plus the house for the farewell partay, plus the food for the farewell partay. Then two weeks after that...Christmas! So, we're pretty busy right now. But since we got a lot of the house stuff done before our giant Thanksgiving partay, it should be doable. I hope. Aren't we just partay animals?

On this blog there will be more PICTURES! So here are some from Thanksgiving:

World's largest 3-layer jello salad. Had to be carried by 2 people, it was so heavy! Don't mind my parasitic twin there. They said it could be surgically removed, but I'm learning to kinda like it.

Awesome nephews Timo and Josh with their awesome mom Jackie. So cute!

Awesome niece Mary, her awesome brother Caleb, and their mom slash my BFF Becky literally MASHING the potatoes by hand. And apparently with their eyes closed. How do they DO that? Never seen so many potatoes since prison!

Awesome niece Alyssa and her BF Peter talking to my Bro-in-law Doug.

Grandpa Farley, awesome nephew Jed, Jed's mom Denise lookin' all teenagey, awesome niece Elizabeth, Elizabeth's twin bro slash my awesome nephew and trampoline acrobat extraordinaire, Steven.

Awesome niece Elizabeth and her super-cute BF Jon.

You can notice the paint job in all these pics if you want. Bob worked his bum off into the wee hours of many mornings and it looks SO GOOD!! He also cooked 2 turkeys, one smoked, one roasted, both brined, a big ol' ham, tasty stuffing, and delish gravy for 47 peeps! Thanks Bob!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Photo Shoot

The "serious" missionary

The "excited" missionary

The "casual" missionaryThe "looking a little too old for his mother's liking" missionary
The "trying to be serious, but not quite pullin' it off" missionary
The "composite" missionary
The "Fijian" missionary