Saturday, May 31, 2008

Angie's Graduation!

Way to go Angie -- it was a great day!

We are so proud of our daughter Angela! She graduated from Seminary AND High School this last month. Seminary graduation was held on Sunday, May 18th and Angie sang with two other girls from our ward at the event. Seminary is a weekday program of religious study that is sponsored by our church... Angie attended for four years and the graduation is a recognition of successfully completing this course of study. We are very proud of her for this great accomplishment!

Angie also graduated from Orem High School on May 30th. It was a beautiful day and we all had a great time. Here are some pictures from the event for you to enjoy!

The big moment has arrived! Angie is on her way to get the diploma!

Angie did a dance as she came through the Orem "O" -- of course -- we thought she was the cutest one there!

A more serious moment... getting the diploma!

Angie sees her family through the crowd -- is she excited or what?!

Angie with her niece - Gentry!

Angie with her sister, Heather! (we don't know how we got such good looking children!!)

A pretty good shot of the family -- (I think Grandma Balls is checking out the great grandkids...)

Jeff and Dan wanted to play "dominoes" - they are trying to tip us all over!

The graduation line up--

We have NO IDEA what Jeff is doing in the background! ;-)

Angie with her cute nieces, Gentry and Riley (aren't they just adorable?!)

... apparently Dan and Jeff wanted to get in on some of the picture taking action!

Dorothy (Dan's sister) and Tony join us for the big celebration. Angie threw her cap up into the air and we caught it on camera! Dan, HeatherJ and Riley are in the background...

Angie with her sister Heather!

Angie getting a congratulation hug from one of her best friends... Sili Latu

... at least we think they are best friends! Angie will be rooming with Sili in the fall and living at Heather Cove (an apartment complex that Jeff and Kallie manage). She will be attending college at Utah Valley University here in Orem.

The beautiful graduate on her BIG day!!

Proud Mama and Grandma with Angie on her big day! (the three generation picture!)

Angie and her friend Melissa

Here we are at home enjoying the "graduation feast"!

Angie - we are so proud of YOU!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What Mother's Want...

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! Dan and I have been busy (crazy level busy) the last month or so. Dan is doing well and continues his therapy at Neuroworx in Salt Lake City. I continue to work and as of late have been re-arranging my entire house to accommodate the move-in of my son, his wife and two granddaughters. They will be living in our basement for the next year or so while Nathan is going to school. He returned to school and is working towards a Pharmacy degree. We are happy for them, and it will be fun to have them here... but it has been a task to clear out a basement (furniture and all) so that they could have an apartment down there. It is apparent we need to have a "garage sale" as I have accumulated way to much stuff in the time living here (fifteen years...)

This is my beautiful granddaughter Riley and her stuffed animal friends...

So -- now for a "mother story". The routine is that I take Dan to the bus stop on my way to work, get him on the bus which he rides to the Sandy TRAX station. He is then met by the Paratransit bus that takes him to Neuroworx for the day. At the end of the day, the routine is reversed - Paratransit picks him up and takes him to the bus stop and he rides the bus back to Orem, where I pick him up on my way home from work...

One day we were running a little late, and so instead of taking him to the main transit center, I headed to the bus stop at UVU (Utah Valley Univeristy) which is the last bus stop in Orem before the bus gets on the freeway. I pulled up and there was a line up of buses. I was going to pull in behind them, but Dan prompted me to whip in front of them and 'cut them off' so that they would not leave without him. So -- I did -- I pulled right up in front of the entire line-up and jumped out, got the wheel chair out of the back hatch, quickly loaded Dan into it and whipped up the bus ramp in record time!

I thought we were doing pretty good, but then I went to get off the bus and noticed a police officer parked next to my vehicle with the lights on... I started to say "Officer.... I was just..." and I recognized him as a previous neighbor. He just wanted to say hello -- so there we were catching up on old times and the bus line-up just had to go around the both of us... I am sure the driver was not too happy, but I was thankful that at least he thought I was getting a ticket! The next day when Dan got on the bus - the driver gave Dan a detailed booklet of all the bus stops on this route, and said.. "Here... will you give this to your mother?!!" I don't get how I get mixed up as Dan's mama - but it has happened on more occasions that I want to admit!

So-- leading into what do mothers want anyway... it is Mother's Day today and I know that all I want is for my children to be happy -- and most importantly that they will find the anchor in their lives that will bring them the happiness and peace that I have had over the years. It is not what happens to you in life, but rather knowing that there is a Power greater than us all that we can lean on in times of need. I hope my children learn to rely on the powers of Heaven.

What do I want as a wife? --I would be wrong if I didn't say I would like to see the day that Dan has his full abilities. It is so hard on him - especially when there is so much work to be done around the house -- to watch and not be able to help out like he wants to. I would like him to work side by side with me... that would be awesome! We are determined to do all that we can to help him -- what I have come to realize is that some of the goals and dreams that we have take more than we originally estimate to make them come true. I still believe that Dan can improve - I just think it will not come without a lot of hard work -- and some time. We need to not give up on our dreams, just because the road is hard to get there. That is a great lesson that I have learned this past year.

Wishing you and your family all the best! Don't give up on us... we are still working our tails off!

(...later) We just got back from relaxing with the family at a time-share condo in Midway. We went up for a family dinner and get together, and then Nate and his family stayed over. It is only about 20 minutes from our home, but is up a canyon in some beautiful country, so it is a nice get-away. The children and Dan have all been so good to me the last few days. Yesterday they came over and had a big "work party" at our house where the boys put in a new sink, did some electrical work and then the girls worked in the yard, cleaned the hot tub and sanded the front porch railing in preparation for painting. It was a BIG day and we got a lot accomplished.. and I am so glad that I have such wonderful children (and their spouses) that are so helpful to me!

Chillin' at the condo...

We played games together and ate a wonderful turkey / cheesy potato dinner with all the trimmings... and then topped it of with some rhubarb cake and ice cream. Thanks to Angie for cooking such a great dinner for all!

Dan gave me a sweet card - and with his permission I share his message...
"Always remember that you are my one and only. I appreciate your unending acts of Love from putting my shirt and socks on or rushing me to the bus in the morning to telling me to come to bed at night. Thank you for bearing and teaching our beautiful children. You are a Super Mom and wife!!! I can't wait till when I can take care of you. :-) Love, Dan"

It was hand written -- now you know why I think he is such a great guy! He makes up for his disability with his love and cheerful countenance. -- oh - and by the way -- he WON the UNO game! He was pretty proud of that!

Take care friends.