Sunday, November 04, 2007

Queen Bonnie Loses her Kingdom

Sure it was a self-imposed title, but I started calling myself Queen Bonnie at school years ago. It was a joke with my students who tolerated my wacky humor. Almost three years ago, I left the classroom and now work in the administration side of education. Though I definitely miss the teenagers, I love working with the teachers and enjoy the variety of this job. School has always been part of my life. Now, in addition to working, I am also getting my Master's Degree. I will be finished by the first of the year! I can't wait. I look forward to having more time to read what I want to read--not what I'm assigned to read.

One really great thing about my new job is the opportunity to travel and meet people from around the world and around the country. In the past two years, I have been able to travel to China--twice, Nashville and San Antonio. Upcoming trips (in 2008) include Japan, France, China (again) and Orlando. This picture was taken at the Great Wall near Beijing. There are not many places in the world that surpass your expectations--the Eiffel Tower, the Alps and the Great Wall are some that do. It was amazing!

All of these things are fun and exciting, but nothing beats being at home with my kids and my garden. My children are some of the best people I have ever known. They are smart, talented, funny and WAY better people than me. These great people have learned just about everything I have to teach them, so now they have started to teach me. They teach me the value of good friends, how to have fun, and how to love unabashedly. They have tried, unsuccessfuly, to teach me how to dance, identify hot cars, play guitar, do math and ski "in the park."

I am absolultely crazy about working in my garden. Since I have started working year round, I don't have the ability to work there daily, but I still go there for rejuvenation. Nothing is better than getting a little dirt under your nails. This picture is a little corner of my garden that reminds me of France. Next summer, Brittany will have her reception in our yard--a dream of hers for years and years. I hope my gardening skills are up to the challenge!
Biggest Kid

The biggest kid in our house is Doug. Sure, he may be 47 (next month), but he often forgets that. To illustrate this, a few years ago, while doing some fall camping, Doug shimmied up a Quaking Aspen tree. He thought the tree would bend under his weight, but it broke instead. The results were damaging for his head but hilarious to us onlookers. Thank goodness Noel was there and could stitch him up! Last weekend, on our annual fall camping trip, he tried it again--seriously. He didn't require stitches this time, but his body is still aching from the inevitable fall. Brittany took this picture. You can see that no one is at his side, because we were all rolling on the ground with laughter.

When Doug isn't kidding around, he is working. Always working. With a son on a mission and a daughter's wedding approaching, he has added a large extra load of patients. In any spare time he has, you can find him sleeping on any nearby couch. This is one of my favorite pictures of Doug. It was taken a couple of years ago at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.

Doug really does a lot more than climb trees, work and sleep. He is also working toward his PhD in Physical Therapy. It is a slow process, but he's sticking to it. Surely he will be able to pick up the pace when the wedding is over. At Church, Doug is kept busy with his calling as the Stake Young Men's President. He loves this job and the people he gets to work with.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Austin . . . a Teenager?

Austin turned 13 in August and it's all been downhill from there--junior high, girls, and all that goes along with it. No, really, Austin is such a cool kid. He was wary about starting junior high, but absolutely loves it. He is taking French (of course), algebra, PE and more.

Austin takes after his brothers in many ways. He, too, skis like a pro (really---double black diamonds don't even scare him!) and plays the guitar. He takes lessons at Jef Nielsen's studio and practices like crazy. I love the fact that these musicians of mine never have to be asked to practice. Sure, I often ask them to "stop playing and go to bed!" but moms like that sort of problem.

Austin has the gift of gab, as many of you know. Once when he was small, Austin and I were going to Salt Lake City. As usual, he was talking the whole way. Suddenly, as we were stopped at an intersection, Austin said, "I've just run out of things to talk about!" He was stunned. So was I. This had never happened before. Because it was such an oddity, Austin then spent the next hour analyzing how crazy it was that he had nothing to say. I just laughed and nodded at the appropriate places. Not much has changed since then.

At Church, Austin is the President of the Deacon's Quorum. This is not surprising. He's the spiritual giant of the family. He has always just seemed a to have a direct line to heaven. He gently prods the rest of us along. What is really remarkable about his church service. . . He never complains about all that is asked of him--including early morning flag duty which happens each holiday.

The last picture is one of Austin and his brothers at Park City--doing what they love most.

Garrett a Senior?

Garrett is enjoying his senior year at Davis High School He has some really difficult classes--physics, for one, and he has some really fun classes like ceramics and body conditioning. In his words, he is getting "freakin' huge"!

When Garrett isn't at school he is probably playing the guitar. He takes guitar lessons, practices almost non-stop, teaches guitar at Jef Nielsen's Studio, and plays guitar with his friends. I know I'm just a mom, but he is an amazing guitar player.

At this time of year, Garrett develops a little problem--he starts to twitch in anticipation of the ski season. Garrett, who doesn't know how to do anything half-way, is one of the best skiers I have ever known. He has grace, precision and a daring streak. This picture was taken of him last year at Park City Mountain Resort.

Here's a secret about Garrett. In addition to being good at everything he does, he is a truly great person. He is fun to have around and respectful to his family and friends. We are lucky to have this kid in our family.

Elder Taylor Flint

Taylor has now been serving in the Curitiba, Brazil mission since April. After spending seven weeks in the Sao Paulo MTC, he went to his first area in Curitiba. Family members can e-mail him at

Recently, Taylor was moved to a new area of Curitiba called Campo Belo. It is a very wealthy area, which Taylor isn't sure about. He loved serving the humble people in his previous area, several of whom had set baptism dates.

In addition to all this, Taylor's 20th birthday is next week! November 11. He says that he will now be old--no longer a teenager. This will be the first time that Taylor's birthday has been in the spring. That will be fun.

As a family, it has been really fun for us to have a missionary. Taylor's best qualities have really been accentuated since he has been serving the Lord. He works hard, loves the people he serves, and shows his family so much love and kindness.
Brittany is Engaged!

We are thrilled to announce that Brittany is getting married. On Saturday, October 27th, Cortney Moffitt asked Brittany to marry him and she, of course, said yes. This happened while we were camping at Lyman Lake. Since they met at Lake Powell, I am starting to see a theme here.

Brittany and Cortney have chosen June 7, 2008 as their wedding day. The wedding will be in the Salt Lake LDS Temple and the reception will be in our backyard.

In addition to Brittany's obvious affection for this guy, her family is also crazy about him. He is smart, spiritual, loves cars (Austin's weakness, too), adores our daughter, and tolerates us. What more could we want for?

Brittany is currently working full-time at Select Care Insurance. This has required a short sabbatical from her university studies. When she returns next semester, she will continue working toward her degree in French. She is currently a senior at the University of Utah.