Wednesday, January 26, 2011


The title is courtesy of Haley...I think.  I am a little more on top of things this week (maybe) and am updating the blog a bit more on schedule. Last week Lee had Monday off and he spent it cleaning out our storage room.  For people who don't keep a lot of stuff around, we got rid of a lot!  Don't worry mom, there are some things I can't part with--even though I have no idea what to do with those items.  I was quite happy because out of the three boxes of "my" stuff that I went through, I ended up with one box full.  I also cleaned out the files a couple of weeks ago and that was great!  I had to chuckle at some of the folders I a Credit Card file, and a Student Loan file.  I thoroughly enjoyed trashing our paperwork from student loans received in optometry school.

School was canceled AGAIN for two days in a row.  I LOVED IT!  Lee even got to go to work 2 hours late one day. Some friends came and played games last weekend, and we always love that.  The most exciting thing happened Saturday when Lee and I went to St. Louis by ourselves.  We went to the St. Louis Temple--the reason for the trip--did some shopping (didn't buy anything except food at Aldi, but did get an ink tag thing removed from some Sunday clothes we bought Clark online and the company forgot to take it off before they mailed it to us). When Elden was born I had the option of choosing a congratulations meal from the hospital, or two $10 Olive Garden gift cards.  I had eaten their food for five weeks (and it was great food, no joke!), but I could not pass up a potentially free date with Lee! We finally used those gift cards on Saturday.  My phone fell out of my coat pocket at Olive Garden and thankfully it was found, returned to management hands, AND sent to me for free!  Way to go Olive Garden! Other than that, not much else is going on.  And if you are still reading after the above intro, you can tell I lead an exciting life of purging papers.

Elden hanging out one night
Jan 9 2011 Elden

Haley and Elden.  Elden loves to climb in boxes and sit in them.  I really wonder if it's because of the isolette he was in for two months!
Jan 9 2011 Haley Elden

The snow day last Thursday.  Shanna did not want her picture taken.

Clark being sweet and shoveling our neighbor's driveway.  He told Cal earlier that if you went outside you had to work and shovel snow. (I never told him anything about shoveling snow and what not, which makes it even sweeter to hear!)  Sam, you can send your kids here and Clark will train them! Cal wanted one of the garden hand shovels so he could help Clark--and Cal really shoveled snow with it! Clark shoveled both of our driveways--looks great Clark!

There was a little computer time during the snow days too...


While I was going through my boxes of stuff, I found some pictures and momentos I wanted to share.  Yes, they are not chronological.

One of my birthdays in Walnut 18th I think? my friends Brad, Cameron, Damian and Jordan came to Dairy Queen (where I was working at the time), filled the car I had driven to work with paper and attached this sign to the windshield.  It was pretty funny.  I am pretty sure it was those four, though my memory fails me a lot.  I laminated the sign and of course, kept it.
Birthday 1997

My first themed-date-dance at Ricks (again, if I remember correctly). It's funny that Lee and I were in the same group, but he wasn't my date that night.
Ricks 1998 Fall Dance

A middle school writing assignment while I was living in Barron, Wisconsin.  I love the first two sentences.  As you can tell, I wasn't a writer then; and as you can currently read, I am not a writer now.  I'll admit, I am surprised at the A- grade! I'll leave the writing to my mom, Lee, other family members, and my friends.
Ruth Middle School Assignment

My grandma Ruth with me, baby Ruth.  Okay, I have to admit, it does look a little like me, but it also looks like my other siblings....
Grandma Thompson with Ruth

Fall of 1996, Roger and I in the marching band.  GO WWG!
Ruth and Roger1997

That same winter we were in A Christmas Carol together.  I remember Roger making a turkey for that play--similar to how you would make a pinata.
Roger and Ruth in A Christmas Carol Nov 15, 1996

My cousin Chris, Steph, Lois and I at who knows where.  It could have been Salt Lake, Nauvoo, somewhere in California???  It does look like a temple or some sort of church building.  Anyone know?  Nathan???
Chris, Steph, Lois, and Ruth

The infamous Lake Laura nestled in the hills outside of the picturesque town of Walnut Grove.  So, not-so-great picture of me, but cute picture of Lois.
Ruth and Lois at the Lake

Little Ruth...maybe 3ish?  I think Haley looks a lot more like me than Shanna does. Either way, I am glad the genes I passed on were beautified in my darling girls.
Ruth, age 2

A picture taken while living at Wymount--married student housing at Brigham Young University.  I was 9 months pregnant with Clark.  This must have been taken a week before Clark's delivery as from our clothes Paul and I and et al. had been to church that day.  Looks like a mean dinner! 
Ruth and Paul B at Wymount

Whenever the above picture was taken, the below picture was taken approximately three weeks after Clark's birth.  Heavenly Father blessed me so much in my schooling.  I started Ricks in 1998, finished in 2000, did a summer term and a semester at BYU in Provo, Utah, went on a mission from 2001-2002, resumed my bachelor program (Communications with emphasis in Marketing/Advertising) Fall of 2002 and was done the next summer--2003.  Lee and I were married Fall of 2002.  Clark joined us promptly as were were celebrating our 1 year anniversary with an almost 2 month-old. Looking back, everything fell into place so well (and while I was living it!).  I am ever grateful that I finished college before any kids came.  That wasn't my goal; it's just how it all worked out.  Maybe someday I will get a Master's, but that will be someday, if any day.
Profile of Ruth, BYU graduation 2003

Ruth, BYU Graduation 2003

Lee and Ruth, BYU graduation 2003

Lee at Ruth's graduation 2003

Rewind a little bit to 2001.  My "sister" Jyl and I are at the Temple apartments at the Los Angeles Temple while we were serving as sister missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We were visitor center missionaries in addition to being proselyting missionaries. There is a Visitor Center behind the LDS Temple in Los Angeles, and we sisters would answer questions, take visitors on a tours, share the Restored Gospel, etc...a visitor center. We had the same wonderful trainer, Gloriela. Click on the above links to see pictures!  I am sure we were on our way back from the Mower's apartment having just enjoyed a bedtime snack.  They were a missionary couple serving at the Los Angeles Temple Visitors' Center.
Ruth and Jyl Ward, Call

Go back even further in time to my second semester in college at Ricks College, spring of 1999.  I don't look so great with the freshman 15, but had to post this great picture of Elder and Sister Bednar.  At the time he was the President of Rick's College.  Now he serves as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (this link shows a picture of the whole quorum) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   Here are his latest words to the world: Receive the Holy Ghost. I enjoy hearing him speak at our bi-annual church conferences--called General Conference, and his wife is such a wonderful lady.
Ruth with Elder and Sister Bednar Mar 20, 1999 at Ricks College

Well, that ends my reminiscing.  Our camera is dead.  It died a sudden and surprising death sometime between Friday night and Monday morning.  I am picture happy on this blog, so I don't know what I'll do next week.  I guess dig into the archives some more....

Friday, January 21, 2011

A week late, a penny overdue

Just kidding about the penny part.  Thought it read well.  I should have done this post on Sunday, but here I am doing it almost a week late.  Luckily for you, it will be short because I can't remember all I wanted to write!

On Monday the 10th the kids and Lee had a ROUSING game of tag and eating bull.  Luckily the settled down somewhat quickly while we did our daily family reading out of The Book of Mormon. While I was reading the last few verses, the girls dosed off.  They did the same thing again a night or two later.   
Jan 10 2011 Haley Clark Shanna Cal

Our friends Nathan and Andrea moved the end of that week.  I wish they were still here!  She was sweet and made us some yummy caramel apples.  We're going to miss you all!!!!
Jan 14 2011, caramel apples from Andrea Player

During the Bartholomew Reunion in Mississippi, Mike and Lena made this FABULOUS Family Home Evening chart.  THANK YOU!  Initially I was going to make it, but Mike kept offering to do things for me like sand the wood and paint it, etc. that I didn't do hardly anything! With their creative minds and a cutting machine, the possibilities are endless!!!  I thought I would include this picture because of the cute shot of Elden.
Jan 14 2011, board made by Lena and Mike

Sadly, we haven't been yet to buy the hardware to hang it, but it will be up soon!

Jan 14 2001 FHE board

Last week it snowed about an inch or two and school was canceled for two days.  Too funny.  People up North don't laugh.  I am not the one who decides about school closings!  I love having snow days for selfish reasons.  I get to sleep in and not go anywhere! But I do wonder why school was canceled. 
Jan 11 2011 Haley (2)

Jan 11 2011 Cal (2)

These floaty rings were on sale for about $0.50 each.  I bought a whole bunch to use for "sledding".  We really need to break down and buy a sled (maybe the fall we will).  Twenty dollars just seems a lot to shell out for a piece of plastic!  They work pretty well.  Lee and I have learned that we can't ride on them or they pop.
Jan 11 2011 Cal Clark

Jan 11 2011 Ruth Haley Elden

Sorry about the scarf Elden.  But it was quite cold that day and I am sure you appreciated the warmth over fashion.
Jan 11 2011 Ruth Elden

Jan 11 2011 Shanna

Told you it would be short!  If you were wanting more, two items more actually, keep reading.  About a week ago we started a new blog, my four sisters and I.  Lena is the brain child behind it all. The title of the blog is Five Sisters, Five Families.  Our goal is to give others ideas for their meal planning all keeping within a $400 monthly grocery budget.  (The $400 does not include personal and household items like paper towels or toiletries.) We sisters are at slightly different stages in our lives.  It will be exciting to see the different posts and how the sisters are spending their food money.  My goal for the food money will be lower as I want to keep it under $250.  Lee and I have some big financial goals that we are tackling (I know, I know, you are all SHOCKED) and we aren't ready quite yet to increase the food budget. Okay, I'll re-phrase...I am not ready yet, but Lee is in total agreement! The sisters will take turns each week posting on the blog.  My turn will be the last weekend in January.  So please visit!!! For a little teaser on my soon-to-be post, we spent $209.50 this month on groceries.  (Yesterday was the last shopping trip for the month.)  Stay reading so you can find out what meals were made and how I was able to stay so low---well, I think it was low!

And lastly, Lee and I started a new weeknight tradition....Lark Rise to Candleford.  I had heard about this series from, of course, my sisters and my mom.  IT IS SO GOOD!  Lois told me that I could watch episodes on YouTube (we watched three on there) and then I went to the good 'ol local library and they had Season 1!  It has been very fun watching this series.  Here is their website:
What I love about it also is that they are in Season 4 and I am only on Season 1....lots of fun shows to catch up on!

Well, that is it.  I have more to post for the current week, but that will wait for the weekend.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lee went grocery shopping for me this afternoon to finish off the grocery shopping for January.  They let him go home early and I figured it would be a good time to go and save a little gas.  I'm happy to report that we have $0.59 left!  I'm very pleased that we stayed in budget!!! Even with months and months under our belt of sticking to a budget, the grocery category is still a battle.  Maybe next week I'll go buy a candy bar...and split it with Lee on our date night.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ending the year with a bang...

Or a tornado I suppose.  Sadly New Year's Eve morning a tornado hit here.  My friend that lives about 4 blocks from me took most of these pictures....thanks Kathryn for letting me use them!  I've been through so many tornado warnings and watches that it's hard to take the warnings seriously sometimes.  Thankfully nothing happened to our house.  Even the kids' gloves that they (two of the five) left in the back yard were still laying in the backyard.  Very weird.  The Army and the wonderful spouses and the surrounding community stepped in with overwhelming generosity.  Things are being cleaned up and life is back to normal for most of us.  
Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 18

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 16

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 15

This is my friend's house.  Most of the windows were blown out and there is a hole in the roof.  Thankfully they were out of town at the time.
Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 19

Back shot of her house.
Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 21

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 14

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 13

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 12

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 11

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 10

See the piece of wood sticking out of the side of the house? 
Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 9

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 8

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 7

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 6

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 5

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 4

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 3

Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 2

Clark and Cal's school received minimal damage.
Dec 31, 2010 Tornado 1

This is Kathryn's trampoline.  First the trampoline flew up and hit her deck and then flew over and hit this pole in her neighbor's back yard.
Dec 31, 2010 Tornado

Now for a couple of my pictures that I took yesterday...sorry about the quality change....I don't know if you can tell very well, but the right side of this building is almost caved in and the roof was torn off.
Dec 31 2010 Tornado (5)

The light pole neatly placed.
Dec 31 2010 Tornado (4)

What you can basically see from the school's playground.
Dec 31 2010 Tornado (2)

It was weird seeing many big trees uprooted.
Dec 31 2010 Tornado