Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Happy Halloween!

We had a variation on our traditional Halloween dinner. We usually have a cheese pizza with the eyes, nose, and mouth out of pepperoni. But this year Lauren choose to have mummy hotdogs instead. We also had sweet potato fries (because they're orange), black jello jigglers, and orange Crush.

Of course we had to have the sugar cookies shaped like ghosts, bats, and pumpkins too!

We also had chocolate pretzels that looked like ghosts.

I know it doesn't look like Glen is watching "Ghostbusters",
but he is. It's a tradition and such a funny movie! You can just
see Jenny's head. She and Lauren pulled out the hide-a-bed.

Jenny and Lauren carving pumpkins. They were very creative. Lauren made hers look like a pineapple, and Jenny used the seeds from inside to make hers have teeth.

This is the one Michelle made.

Lauren's glowing in the dark outside!

We hope your Halloween was as fun as ours!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Summer is Ended, The Harvest is Past

Since the growing season is pretty much over here in New York the garden is looking pretty pathetic these days. Today I went out and pulled up our carrots. As I did a scripture came to mind. No, not Jeremiah 8:20, as I'm sure all the seminary students are thinking.  It was actually the parable of the sower.  It's pretty clear that even though all of these carrots came from seeds planted in the same soil, within 3 feet of each other, and received the same sun and water, their increase was a lot different.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Brett and Brighton Brooksby

Friday, September 2, 2011
Portland Oregon LDS Temple

Brett and Brighton were sealed on an incredibly beautiful day. They were the only wedding in the afternoon, so we pretty much had the grounds of the temple to ourselves for pictures.

We got a picture of the siblings together minus Jared, who is on a mission for the LDS church and wasn't able to attend. We all missed him!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Brighton and Brett had an Open House in Glenville, NY with friends and family. Brighton's parents Brenda and Lorin were able to come from Scappoose, OR to be with us.

Erin and Lauren together at the NY Open House.

Justin, Erin, and Bennett were able to go to both the wedding in Portland and the open house in New York. It's wonderful to have them in Baltimore, just a six+ hour drive away!

Our family is growing by leaps and bounds. We're so happy to have Brighton in our family!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Guess Who is 15!

Lauren had her birthday party early this year because her birthday in on a Sunday and the next day she leaves for EFY for a week. I can't believe that my "baby" is fifteen years old! Where has that time flown to?

Lauren wanted chocolate cake with chocolate frosting,
so that's what she got.

Look at all those cute kids. They came over and had a BBQ (hotdogs, chips, relish tray, soda) played outside, and then tried (unsuccessfully) to watch a movie.

They must have had a good time because days later I was finding Skittles behind things in the front room.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Brett's Engaged!

Brett is engaged to Brighton Fielding from Scappoose, Oregon. They are getting married in the Portland Oregon temple on September 2, 2011. They'll have a reception that night in Oregon and an Open House here in New York on September 9th.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Albany New York Stake YW Camp 2011

YW Camp was Monday, June 27-Friday, July 1, 2011. I went as a Second Year Level Leader and Lauren is a Third Year camper this year. It was the best week weather wise that I've ever had attending YW camp. The days were sunny (except Tuesday for a little bit), on the cool side, and the temperatures were great for sleeping. It was fantastic!

Here is the only shot of Lauren and I together, and I didn't even have it taken. I'm glad someone else thought of it.

The girls were able to go kayaking on Seneca Lake. The day the Second Year and Third Year Level girls went it was windy and choppy, but all made it back safely - even though a few capsized.

There was archery and trap shooting at camp this year. The girls really enjoyed it.

We went hiking up Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca, NY. It was beautiful. There were approximately 600 stairs in the first part of the hike. Fortunately it was cool, so we didn't get too hot.

After hiking at Buttermilk Falls we drove to Robert H. Treman State Park where the girls could go swimming. It was an amazing natural swimming hole with a deep end that had a diving board and roped off swimming areas.

Here's Lauren with Michele and Jenny.
Just look at those happy faces!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lauren's Divine Nature Value Project

Last year during the basketball tournament one of the young women twisted her ankle and they didn't have any ice in the freezer at the stake center so she had to go outside in the cold and put her foot in the ice. After that incident Lauren decided that she wanted to make "snuggle socks" to keep in the freezers of the various units in our stake.

She decided she could do this for her Divine Nature Value Project. So once she was done with school we got the socks, rice, and ribbon and she made 12 snuggle socks. One for each unit in the stake.
This is what they looked like before she put the unit's name on the sock.

And here they all are with their names on them ready to be delivered to the various units. She did a great job. And hopefully the next time someone is injured and needs an ice pack these will be ready and waiting in the freezers of the various church buildings in the stake.

Strawberry Jam!

Last year I didn't make strawberry freezer jam because we still had a bunch in the freezer. And with fewer people living at home we just weren't going through it as fast as we used to. But we ran out of jam about a month before the strawberries were ready here. Lauren said that we could NEVER run out of strawberry jam again.

Making strawberry jam takes almost a whole day. We left at 8:15 am to go to the berry farm and pick our 12 quarts of strawberries. Yes, it was hot and muggy, and the berries were tiny. The farm worker said that they'd had a lot of people pick the day before and they'd gotten all the big berries, so that made it take a little longer than normal. That and the fact that we were down to just Lauren and I doing the picking. Then we had to go buy the sugar and pectin. Then it was home to cut up, mash, and make the strawberry jam. We made ten batches of jam. In the middle of making it Lauren had to leave to take a Regents exam so it took me a little longer to finish since I was working alone.

When Lauren got home from her exam around 2:30 pm she started helping again and we got done around 4:00 pm. On the counter you can see some of our 30+ jars of strawberry freezer jam. Justin happened to be here interviewing for a job, so we sent a couple jars back with him. One for them and one for Brett. It's truly a labor of love - of strawberry jam love, that is. Nothing tastes better!

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's Official!

Jared is officially a missionary for
The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints!
He left today for Utah and
and enters the MTC on Wednesday.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Last Hurrah!

Today we went to Lake George to have one last day of fun
before Jared is a missionary. It was a beautiful day - the
temperature was in the mid 70s and it was nice and sunny!

We went mini golfing at the Pirate's Cove. It was fun. Glen had
the lowest score with 43. Lauren and I tied at 49, and Jared
got a whopping score of 59! Everyone got a hole-in-one but
Michelle. Glen even got two of them!

On the way home we stopped at the A&W to get root beer
floats. They were delicious. It really makes it feel like summer.

Tomorrow at 8:00 pm Jared will be set apart as a missionary
for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then he
flies to Salt Lake City on Monday morning. He enters the MTC
on Wednesday, June 8th. We are all so excited for him!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Boston Temple

Yesterday we were able to go to the
Boston Temple with Jared and Lauren.
It was a wonderful experience, and yet another step
for Jared towards leaving on his mission.
At this point I think all that is left to do is pack
up his bedroom and pack his suitcases.
He leaves here on Monday, June 6th
and enters the MTC on Wednesday, June 8th.
Erin, Justin, and Bennett will be taking Jared
to the MTC which is fitting since
Erin and Justin took Brett to the MTC too!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tomorrow Is The Big Day!

Jared's openhouse is tomorrow.
I can't believe that he has so little time left at
home before he leaves for Hawaii for two years.
My how the time has flown!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Goodbye Patty

Today we attended the funeral of a dear family friend - Patty Taylor. Patty is in our ward and has been a wonderful part of our life. She and her husband were Nursery Leaders for Jared and they share a special bond to this day. Patty was in the Christmas Ornament exchange that I did for years and she always made little Sculpy ornaments that I always looked forward to receiving. She knew how to knit and crochet and made wonderful things including great dish cloths. She also was a great cook. She will truly be missed by our family and those who knew and loved her.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Baby Nala

Lauren got to bring baby Nala home for her Child Studies class.
She is an electronic baby that needs to be fed,
burped, have her diaper changed,
and be rocked.

Lauren had her from Thursday at 3:30 PM
until Friday morning at 9:00 AM
She ended up getting a 95/100 in
meeting Nala's needs. But after getting
up twice in the night to feed a crying baby,
Lauren is glad she doesn't have a real baby.
And so are we!


Spring has FINALLY sprung in Glenville, New York.

I thought I'd take a picture with the flowers up.
They are hard to see in this picture.
But easier to see in the picture below.

Lauren had her flute recital on May 1st.
She played Sonata #1 by J.J. Quantz.
She played really well.
I think she was happy with her performance.

She also played the bass flute in the flute choir.
She said that it was hard to play because it took soooo much
breath to get the notes out, and she was playing a slow song.
Notice how big it is and how the mouthpiece curves around.

This is Lien, Lauren, and Lara, (the three Ls) playing their trio.
It was awesome!


Easter was at the end of Spring break for Lauren.
We'd gone to Cape Cod from Wednesday until Friday.
Then Lauren went on a youth temple trip
to Palmyra all day Saturday.
And then it was Easter Sunday!
Wow did it seem to come quickly.

I thought I'd post a couple of pictures
of Lauren in her Easter dress.

We had a wonderful Easter together.
It was Lauren, Glen, Helen, and I.
Helen came to our ward and then over
to our house for Easter dinner.
We had ham, funeral potatoes, homemade rolls,
asparagus, and key lime pie.
It's funny to only have one child at
home for these kinds of holidays.
But we had a great time!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Break

This Spring Break we decided that we'd go to Cape Cod. And I have to say we picked the three best weather days of the whole week. We went Wednesday-Friday, April 20-22. We left Glenville at 9:30 AM - had a short detour to the Donut Dip in Springfield, Ma and arrived in Falmouth at about 2:00 PM. We stayed in Falmouth at the Inn On The Square. It was a beautiful old inn. We had to wait until 3:00 PM to check-in, so we ate our lunch on a little patio there and then went and walked around the town. It is a quaint little village with a village green and many cute shops on Main street. We went to the Visitor's Center and they suggested going to Spohr Gardens. They have thousands of daffodils throughout the garden that were blooming or just ready to bloom.

After the gardens we went to the Nobska lighthouse.

As you can see from the picture it was a foggy day. We got to see the lighthouse, and because it was foggy at the time the fog horn was going. How cliché! That night we went out to eat, and guess what we got? Sea food! Glen and I shared a lobster roll and shrimp and scallops. It was yummy. Lauren got cheese ravioli - she's not a sea food person. Then it was swimming in the hotel pool, and cable TV in the room.

Thursday we rode our bikes to the bus stop that took us to the ferry. The bus had a bike rack on the front for our bikes. We caught the 9:30 AM ferry to Martha's Vineyard. We were the last to load because they put our bikes on after all the other vehicles were loaded. It took about 45 minutes to get there. It was a beautiful day so we spent most of the time outside on the deck of the ferry.

I was amazed to watch them load semi-trucks, UPS trucks, and all kinds of vehicles onto the ferry. It took many more vehicles that I would ever have imagined. You can imagine our surprise when the first people we spotted as we came into the passenger area of the ferry were two Mormon missionaries. They serve on Martha's Vineyard. They said there is a branch with about 20 people there. It was fun to chat with them. They were from Mexico and Portugal.

The ferry docks in Vineyard Haven. From there we set out to bike the 2.5 miles to the East Chop lighthouse. From there we biked about 2 miles to Oak Bluffs. It is a beautiful old town with cool houses around a big green. In the town we went to a carousel called the Flying Horses. It is the oldest operating platform carousel in the United States.

We all went on it. It was the first time I've been on a carousel where you actually got to grab for the brass ring. Every time you went around there was a machine that dispensed a ring. There was only one brass ring - the person who got that got to ride again for free.

There was a dowel on the horses head where you could stack all the rings you got. Then when the ride stopped you threw all of your rings into the collection bin. It was amusing.

We then rode another 6+ miles to Edgartown. Along the way we stopped and went to the beach because it was really close to the road. Notice that we're all in long pants and jackets. While it was sunny it wasn't warm. When we got to Edgartown it was time for lunch and we found a cute little restaurant called Among the Flowers. Glen and I split a yellow tailed flounder sandwich. We also had the best clam chowder ever. Lauren still wouldn't have sea food, so she got a fantastic fruit crepé. How do I know it was fantastic - because both Glen and I had bites. After riding to the Edgartown lighthouse and around the town for awhile we caught the bus back to Vineyard Haven. It was so nice because by that time both Lauren and I were a little saddle sore. The bus had a bike rack on the front that you could put three bikes in. Fortunately there were only the three of us, so it worked beautifully.

Back in Vineyard Haven we decided to ride to the West Chop lighthouse. It was about another 4 mile ride, so we figure we probably rode at least 15 miles in all that day.

And then it was time to go back to Falmouth. It was a little colder on the way back, so we spent most of our time inside the ferry.

On Friday we drove up the cape to Provincetown. Along the way we stopped at the Cape Cod National Sea Shore Salt Pond Visitor's Center. We had a nice ride out to Coast Guard Beach. Then we continued up toward the outer cape. We went to Race Point Beach at the very tip of the cape. We could see the Race Point lighthouse from the beach. We spent a half-hour or more watching all the whales just off the shore. We had binoculars and a spotting scope so we could see them really well. It was awesome to see so many whales in one place.

The we continued into Proviencetown. This picture is of the Pilgrim Monument. In 1620, the Pilgrims spent five weeks exploring Cape Cod before they sailed to Plymouth, MA. It actually has gargoyle rain spouts on it. We thought that was kind of funny.

When we got there we were ready for lunch. When we were trying to find parking we saw a bunch of people lined up at the Red Shack getting food so we decided we'd go there. Glen and I got amazing lobster rolls, and once again Lauren didn't eat sea food. She had a huge chicken parm sandwich. We also had some fantastic onion rings. Yummy!

We walked out to the end of the pier. In the summer I'm sure it's filled with people selling things. But since it is still off-season, there weren't many little shops open yet. But in the town pretty much everything was open. After walking around town for a while we got ice cream at Lewis Brothers homemade ice cream. It was yummy! Then it was time to head home - a six+ hour car ride. But it was sooooo worth it!

We decided that we left plenty of things undone in Cape Cod so we'll just have to go back another time. Oh darn!