Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Princess and the Frog Legs

Yesterday we went to the movie "The Princess and the Frog" and had a grand time! I liked the movie which was in true cartoon fashion. I'm not sure I liked the voodoo stuff but the characters were really cute and we just had fun being at the movies. Popcorn and all! Afterwards we went to a restaurant called "Uncle Buds". We had come to this restaurant quite a few years ago when we came to TN and loved it. They serve fried chicken, fried catfish, fried shrimp, fried hushpuppies, (yum) and just about anything you can imagine deep fried. True southern comfort food. About as unhealthy as all getout but what the hay.
I thought this picture was fitting considering the movie we had just seen:) AND it was fitting because at Uncle Bud's they serve frog legs and alligator tail. Yup, you guessed it! Deep fried! Frankly I couldn't stomach the idea of frog's legs but I did have one alligator nugget. One was enough. A little to chewy for my likin'! I got a few pics of the frog leg eaters......



Here we all are livin it up! This place is pretty unique. They serve right up front (even before they take your drink order) family style stuff like hushpuppies, coleslaw, white beans, dill pickles, and onion. The ceiling is covered with hats from people who have come in to eat.
They trade it in and it becomes Uncle Bud decor.
We had a great time and I can truly say that we had a redneck experience!

Family NIght Talent Night

For family night we all did a talent. Here are some pictures of our AMAZING selves:) Trent gave us a somersault. Well....actually it was a half of a somersault and it took some courage to get that far. HAHA Since we only got half of a talent he redeemed himself with a FULL pushup!
The Rickster gave us a memorized poem and finished off with a headstand. Yes, that's my baby!
On Kait and Alyssia's turn they put on the "I cannot pay the rent" skit.

"Afterwards Kaitlyn sang
"Because I Have Been Give Much"
she has a beautiful voice!
Christopher (who surprised me with his booming bass) sang
"Stars" from Les Mis.
Wow! he can sure sing!
Kallie played a flute solo and gave a smashing performance.

After everyone was finished Kendra wanted to prove to herself that she could still do a handstand. Woohoo....she did it!

Other amazing talents......Gary read a story, Kathy recited a poem, I lectured on our Life Histories (not really a talent, I know) Julie did a magic trick, Jenni and Kendra told jokes and THAT folks is THE END!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas '09

Thankfully with Gary coming home 3 days before Christmas we were able to get everything together and ready. Christmas eve was great! Every year I make Chicken and Dumplins (Rick's mom's recipe) and Pomegranite Salad (my mom's recipe) for our CE dinner. Our neighbor Mina Cissneros brings us tamales and we LOVE this tradition. This year though we wanted to surprise the kids with a trip back to see aunt Kath and cousins in TN. Since we would be leaving our house at 2:30 on Christmas day that meant that we would have no traditional Christmas dinner. You know. The honey baked ham, mashed potatoes, yams the works. So I made an executive desision and we scooted dinners back a night. We had our Christmas Eve dinner on the 23rd and our Christmas dinner on the 24th. The kids were a little confused but I just told them we were having a surprise dinner on Christmas. Which was absolutely true! We just had it at Aunt Kath's! After our dinner we had a program reading from the scriptures and singing hymns. We had a little family testimony meeting and then took around some food boxes for needy neighbors. After that we came back to open our Christmas eve presents. New jammies. Love this tradition! Then the kids also opened their gifts from each other. This is when we surprised the kids about our trip. They were thrilled! We sent the kids up stairs so Santa could come and finally we got to bed about midnight. Christmas morning was great! I keep thinking that since the kids are older they'll want to wake up later. In my dreams! 6:30. They were ready to go. Christmas morning was great. Rick bought me a new camera and I left it at home so I have no pics to post of Christmas morning.
Here we are on our flight. We have never flown with Delta to TN. This was nice. A DIRECT FLIGHT! It was a small plane but we got there in just 3 1/2 hours. Sweet!
The Baker's met us at the airport and we followed them home to a Christmas feast! We ate talked and played and have been doing that for the past 3 days:) Here I am trying out the different features on my camera. Julie actually has the same camera so Jenni was good enough to just show me how it works. I am so not technology minded! Here's Jenni in black and white!

........and Christopher

Kendra, Julie, and Jenni in Sepia
Yesterday we went to church and T & K's ward is right across the street from the Nashville Temple so us girlies got to take a pic.

It's great to be here!

Gary makes it home before Christmas

It has been over a week since I last posted. Gary was finally able to come home on Tuesday the 22nd. He did have to come home with the picc line and we administer his meds through it. Not so bad. A little overwhelming at first but it's ok. Since Rick is home and off work he does it a lot of the time. He is doing well with little pain. The picc line comes out the 1st day back to school. Another missed day:( I hope he can get back on track quick enough. He is trying to graduate a year early which means every day of school really counts.
We're glad to have you home Gare!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


How about that? My missionary is in Paraguay! I know I am a biased mother but isn't that the BEST looking missionary you've ever seen! Here he is w/ his companion Elder Villegas from Santiago, Chile. Having a native S. American is going to MAKE him learn that Spanish quickly. Sky had a good trip but they lost one of his bags. Unfortunately it was the one with his clothes in it. Hopefully he's gotten it by now. He says it's about 95 -100 degrees with lots of humidity. He is doing well! They had a baptism the day after he got there and he bore his testimony. He doesn't know if any one understood but at least HE knew what he was saying:] He must of gotten a haircut before he left the MTC 'cause his hair is short!
He looks GREAT!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another Gary update (I hope this is the last one. sigh)

Well here we are at day # 10. I am so ready for this boy to come home. He has been doing well the past few days and yesterday started on solid foods. After 8 days of pretty much nothing he thouroughly enjoyed his ravioli and strawberry milkshake:) Since he was able to keep that plus liquid down he has been unhooked from his IV except for when he gets his antibiotic every 8 hours. A few guys from the Grizzlies came to visit (Jake Gannon a backcourt player and Mitch O'keefe a goalie) and they brought him a signed jersey. (Amazingly enough they had beautiful white teeth. Not dentures. I just always picture hockey players with missing teeth:]) Just one of the perks of being at the PCMC over the holidays.
A rumor is going around that the some Jazz players are coming later today. That'd be sweet! I swear my husband is such a kid at heart. He loves cartoons. He saw that "The Grinch" was on TV and snuggled up to Gare and they were both just having a hoot. Of course, Rick was cracking jokes through it. Gary's in stiches. HAHA
Well, the news for today is that Gare's White Cells were up yet again so at noon they took another CAT scan. There is still a bunch of fluid in his abdomen so they are going in either tonight or in the morning with a needle and sucking the stuff out. Sounds fun, huh? Luckily, Gare will be sedated and won't remember a thing. The word is that maybe he can head home either tomorrow or Sunday. If there is infection inside of him they'll insert a picc line for us to administer his meds through. Until we get the word though he can't eat or drink anything. Right now he is very agitated because he is HUNGRY and EXTREMELY bored and wants to go home. I can't say as I blame him.
Hopefully he can eat soon.......again.
Where are those Jazz players when you need 'em?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gary update

Just a quick update on the Gary situation. Yesterday (Tuesday) his white blood count was up to 21 so the Dr was wanting to go back in to get a look at Gare's insides. Rick and I both felt that it would be a good time to transfer Gary up to Primary Children's. He was transfered by ambulance yesterday afternoon. This is where he was when he had the original surgery and plus there are a team of doctors who can evaluate him. If he needs a specialist we both feel that this is the best place to be.
Right now it's just a waiting game to see how he tolerates the liquid diet. Gary is sooooo wanting to eat, as you can imagine, since it's been 8 days since he's had anything substantial in his belly. His blood count is down to 18 today which is an improvement. These new anti-biotics must be helping. He has been very chipper today and seems to be doing well on the clear liquids. We are hoping that tomorrow he can move up to maybe pudding or mashed potatoes or something. The dr last night said he thinks it could possibly be an itestinal virus that came after the surgery. It takes about 48 hours to determine that. So here we are waiting. At this point I'm hoping that maybe by Friday or Saturday we'll be headed home. Can't say for sure though.
Gary feels pretty comfortabe here but he very much wants to go home.
Christmas is coming and I still have pretty much everything to do to get ready for it. I'm hopeful that I'll have time next week:)
Thank You all for your love and concern. It means a lot to us.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Update on Gary

I just want to update on how Gary's doing. He looks good in this pic but he actually is in quite a bit of pain. He was still vomiting on Sat. and could not even keep liquids down so the doc put him back on ice chips. (That's miserable) Early sunday morning about 4 the nurse brought him in some pudding 'cause Gare was so hungry. He actually kept it down. So he was on liquids all day yesterday and we took some long walks down the hall to get him moving. He can get up to use the bathroom finally and I'll tell you last night he got up a half dozen times to go. When it hits it hits. He had a lot of visitors yesterday which helps to break up the monotony. He woke up early Sunday in tears because the thought of another LONG day doing nothing was getting to him. I brought up his guitar and some games and I think that helped. This morning the doc came in and said his white blood cell count is up and he wants another cat scan to see if there is any infection in the belly. So no solid food at least until later this afternoon. He actually drank a whol cup of herbal tea and some juice. Improvement there. My hope is that he can come home by Wed. I don't know if that's going to happen but if there's no infection I think it will work.
More Big News
Skylar called from the airport this morning. He first called home and talked to Rick and Kendra and then called my cell phone and talked to Gary and I. He sounds SOOOO good. I loved hearing his voice! He has a 14 HOUR layover in Argentina. He's so excited to practice his spanish. Argentines speak with a castellano dialect so he's not sure he'll be able to understand them. Anyhow, Godspeed my sweet missionary son! I wish you a safe journey!

Christmas in Nauvoo

Saturday night was our ward party and I feel it was a roaring success. We served a full Turkey dinner with all of the trimmings (baked potatoes not mashed cuz I didn't know how to ieep them warm). Here's Bob Askerlund helping Donn cut the meat. Bob and his wife (who aren't even on the committee) came early and offered their services.
They made some wonderful tasting gravy! Here's Crystal and her mom, Margaret posing for a pic. Taylor Lee is squeezing in the background. Margaret really was my right hand man. I took everything over to her house on Thursday and dropped a heavy load in her lap. She did EVERYTHING that I just could not get to. A BIG thank you to Margaret!
We served about 180 people with food left over. I can't tell you how relieved I was when every table had everything they needed and there was extra. Last year we came very close to running out of ham. We set the tables 2 together with 12 chairs around them so we could eat family style. The young men and women took the food to the tables in large bowls where everyone ate family style. I heard a lot of positive feedback on that. No waiting in a long buffet line. Although the desserts were lined up on the stage and there was a line for that.
Here's part of that adorable Bartley family.

Andrew and Dallin working in the tin shop on their Christmas ornaments. A hammer and nail sounds a little scary in the hands of primary kids but I didn't here of any casualties and I know they had a great time! Thanks to the YM for helps with that!

The YW were in charge of the bakery. Earlier in the week they had an activity where they made gingerbread cookies. On Saturday the kids got to decorate them.
I actually had one and man it was good!

Kaitlyn wanted me to get a picture of her Jamaican gingerbread man:)

We also had a quilt shop where the RS displayed quilts. A candy shop where the primary distributed bags of candy and an exhibit hall where we displayed lots of different nativities. (I really enjoyed that one)All in all the party went well. I am very relieved it is all over with.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gary's trip to the hospital

What a week this has been. Tuesday night Rick, Gary and I enjoyed spending time together playing "Settlers". Gary had made some orange rolls and I had whipped up some hot cocoa in my new cocoa maker (thanks for the Christmas gift Mare) and we sat to enjoy our game. Gary had been complaining of a tummy ache since dinnertime so we had him take some tums to see if it would help. After downing 2 rolls and then attempting 2 more he complained that hs stomach was still hurting. After family prayer we went to bed. At 3:15 I heard his door open (yes, I had been awake since 2:45. It's the new thing in my life where I get up to use the toy-toy and then I lay awake for at least 2 hours trying to get back to sleep. My mind will not turn off becuse I'm thinking of all the little details for our Christmas in Nauvoo party! This ward activity has really taken it's toll on me. Crazy!) Anyhow, since I knew Gary had not been feeling well I knew it was him and I knew that he was not well. He was near tears saying that his stomach was REALLY hurting now. Rick said, "You'll need to get him to the dr. in the morning." I thought, there is no way I'm waiting until the morning" Rick gave him a quick blessing and we headed out to the ER. He had the chills( of course he did, it was what 1 degree that night. FRIGID!) I thought he had the swine flu. After the dr. examined him he told us it looked very much like appendicitis. He ordered a CT Scan just to make sure. Poor Gary. In all this pain he had to have a serum put into his body for the cat scan. Let me just say it wasn't put there orally. Gary by nature is very modest so I was trying to prepare him for the invasion of his body that was about to take place. And that a complete stranger was going to do it. What a trooper! He faired very well. After the Dr. saw the pictures he visited us in Gary's room (by this time they had admitted him) and said that he was 95% sure that he had appendicitis. The surgery was going to last a little less than an hour. Here's Gary waiting for his scheduled surgery time. Prepped and ready to go. He humored me and let me take a pic with his cap on. Well, after the first hour the nurse said that the Dr was having trouble getting to the appendix because of all the scar tissue from his surgery from 11 yrs ago. I decided to head home for a few hours since I had roughly only 3 hrs of sleep that night AND the RS progressive dinner was supposed to start at my house at 6PM. It was now noon. After getting the house ready and having a bite to eat I called Rick to see how things were coming. Still in surgery. Wow! It's now been 3 hrs. I take a shower and sleep for 1 1/2 hrs. Wake up and call Rick again. STILL in surgery. The word he is getting is that since the Dr. couldn't reach the appendix he called in another surgeon and opened him up. I didn't mention that he was supposed to be having laproscopic surgery with mimimal incisions. (previous to the surgery Gary was worried about having more scars. He has plenty for sure. He said, "My wife will not want to marry me because I have so many scars." I told him not to worry because with the laproscopic there is not much scarring. Now they have him completely open and they find that his appendix looks just fine with just a little bit of swelling. Just great! What is going on over there. Rick also tells me that the nurse tells him of some little holes that were found in his intestines. After 5 1/2 hrs in the operating room he is finally finished. The Dr. come in to tell us the real diagnoses. Gary had a kink in his small intestine which is common with people who have had previous surgeries. Apparently this has been coming on for some time because in foront of the blockage it had swelled to 4 times what it was supposed to be. Behind the block the intestine had shrunk and instead of producing the slippery stuff that keeps our intestines slippery it became infectious and the Dr described his intestines as spaghetti that had been sitting in a bowl of starch. They were all sticking to each other and the stomach lining. The Doc said that EVERY centimeter of his intestines were stuck to something. Thus the LONG surgery. They had to snip them ALL apart. Anyhow, that first night was rough for him.
For 2 months now Rick and I have been planning to go to Kurt Bestor's Christmas Concert and to stay overnight downtown. It has been scedule for the 10th. Well, we decided to still go to the concert (Aunt Ruth came to stay with Gary) and be back so Rick could stay with Gare for the night and I could stay with Kaitlyn. The concert was nice. This was our 15th year give or take and even though this wasn't my favorite performance it was still a night of wonderful live music.

Tonight we had tickets to the Mormon Tab Christmas Concert. I have been so excited for this but I tell you too much is too much. I felt I wanted and needed to be with Gary so I bowed out and Rick took Kaitlyn along with Mark and Tanja Nafts, some friends of ours. Gary has been planning since yesterday to have his best friend Wyatt come to have a sleepover at the hospital for tonight. It was to be a night of games and movies. I brought Wyatt up to the hospital at 5 and by 6:30 Gary was vomiting and chilling with a fever of 101+. We stepped out of the room and I said to Wyatt, "I think this is going to be a long night. If you'd rather not stay I can take you back home." Wyatt was really cute when he said, "No, Gary really wants me to be here". After another hour of Gary sleeping and it being totally quiet I asked again but Wyatt was in for the long hall. That's a true friend. Here's Wyatt working on his homework during the "quiet time". Gary has been doing fairly well today. He has started to drink a little bit. (Very little) and had a few crackers. He has been doing a little bit of walking today too. I tell you he is giving these nurses a run for the money. He is a very impatient patient. Not surprising because he is a very impatient boy. I hope all of you will pray for a quick recovery for him. I hope this is not a pattern for his future.I know this is has been a really long post. I will try to update again soon. The ward party is tomorrow. Man I'll be glad when sunday is here and saturday is behind me.

Oh, I've got to mention we got an e-mail form Sky this morning and he's shipping out MONDAY! He's so excited!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Phelps Family Christmas Party 2009

Saturday was our Phelps family Christmas Party. It was held at Darla's church in So. Jordan and we had a wild time getting there. I woke the kids up at 8:00 because we had 40 LBS of potatoes to peel, cut, cook, and mash. The kids were such a great help. I can't complain because of the 21 years that I have been attending these parties. This is the 1st time I have been assigned the potatoes. Anyhow, after leaving an hour later than we wanted to (you know how it goes) we got a call from Brad who had left 10 minutes before us letting us know that traffic was at a crawl out at Lakepoint. After deliberating on what to do and knowing that Alyssia was waiting or us in West Valley we decided to forge ahead. We got to the stoplight at Flying J just as a trooper pulled right up in the middle of the intersection. He immediately started turning EVERYONE around because of the many accidents on I-80. He said the interstate would be closed for 4-5 HOURS. Dang. We had know other choice but to go the back way through Lehi which would take us 1 1/2 hours. The whole time I'm thinking, "What on earth are we going to do with 40 lbs of cold potatoes." Needless to say we made the trip and would you believe it. They hadn't even started the dinner yet AND our potatoes were still warm. (Truly a Miracle) It sounds like the snow kept more than our family from getting there on time. DeeAnn was 10 minutes behind us and there were some from ID that braved the icy roads and had a treacherous trip themselves getting there just before us. So it turned out OK after all:)

Here's a pic of Rick and I just happy that we made it!

Jenni, Destinee, Julie, and Kendra

It's great to be cousins AND the best of friends!

Here's DeeDee with two of her grandbabies. Charity and Brecken. So Cute!

Larry and Darla changed up the program a bit this year and assigned all of the families to sing a song. They put on a nice skit with all of the music and it turned out great!
The next few pictures are of some of Fern's great-grandkids.
She has over 70! I've lost count because they just keep coming!

The kids sang "Christmas Bells".

I had to take 3 pics to get them all:)

After the program Santa came to visit. The kids got to tell their Christmas wishes. Here's the twins posing with the big jolly fellow.

I should mention that the night before our party we had our adult get together at Larry and Darla's and had a GREAT time. We each brought a main dish and a dessert to share! We enjoyed visiting and playing the white elephant game. We Love our fam!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving in sunny Las Vegas

Our family once again traveled to Vegas for the Thanksgiving holiday. Of nearly 21 years of marriage we have been in Vegas for 18 of them! That's a lot of travelin' and memories thru the years:) This was an "on" year which means that instead of going to the in-laws everyone comes fo the Hafen House. There are a few like us who our "on" every year. The weather was perfect for an outdoor feast (in the 70's) and we had a great time!
Here's Pete, Vickie, Paul, Terri, and Deanna. Paul, mom, and Terri getting some dessert!
Gary with his cousins Jake and Sam. They're getting ready to play a round of horseshoes!

Tory, Gabby, and Nicole my cute nieces pose for a picture.

Grandma and Grandpa Hafen hosted the party.

Here's Gary playing horseshoes........

...and getting one stuck in the tree:)

For the past 6 years Rick and I have made a tradition of taking the cousins out for a movie and dinner on Black Friday.
Not everyone can come but we always have a great time with those that do.

Here they are posing with the chipmunks. Zach especially likes Alvin!

Adam and Ryan couldn't make it to the movie but they did join us for dinner. Macayo's is one of our fav's! What a great group of kids! We sure love 'em! Peace Out!!