Monday, November 30, 2009


This post is going to be without pictures and might even be kind of boring. Just warning you ahead of time. That is one of the reasons I'm not that great of a blogger, I think that each post needs to be something "big" and have lots of fun pictures, or else I can't post. I'm trying to change that frame of mind.

We took our camera to our Thanksgiving festivities, and took not a single picture. We did have a good holiday though. We spent Thanksgiving with the Gunnersons this year. Dorothy made a really nice (candles and crystal glasses, even) turkey dinner and we each brought side dishes. It was yummy and the company was great. We hadn't seen some of our brother and sisters in law on that side of the family for a while, so it was nice to catch up. Mark and Uncle Dan played football outside with the boys, which was fun. It was the first Thanksgiving with out our father in law and grandpa, Gary. He passed away in June. It was sad but we felt his presence there with us and it was nice to be with Dorothy and support her. She just wanted the day to be as normal as possible. It's hard when there's an empty chair where someone used to always sit. I like that quote that says something like, "there will be no empty chairs in heaven."

We spent the rest of Thanksgiving day and the weekend with our Bishop side of the family. Some of Mark's family was in town from Utah, and it was fun to see them. On Friday the brothers and younger boys played basketball at the church for a few hours. They had a good time and Cooper came home with a ping pong sized bump on his forehead. Tyler and his feet got tangled up together. Thankfully with some ice and Tylenol, he was okay. Kamber and I braved the crowds in the afternoon and went out shopping for a while. We grabbed lunch at Subway along the way. We both found what we were looking for, so it was a successful trip, and fun! We met that evening and Brian and Kamber's home for Papa Murphy's pizza, tons of dessert and good company. Aunt Lucy was even there with us. The cousins slept over Brian and Kamber's except for the older boys, who stayed at our house. Mark, Dad, Reed, Brian, Brent, John, Cooper, Tyler and Connor left early to watch the BSU game back at our place. Jen, Kamber, Alysa and I stayed back at Kamber's and played some games with the kids. We played, turkey, turkey, ham instead of duck, duck, goose. Fun times! After the kids went down the girls had fun talking and learning more about each other. Janice didn't join us because she was working on a "special project" at mom and dad's.

Saturday morning Mom and Dad cooked a big breakfast for everyone at their place. Dad got up at 4am to start preparing the food! Can you believe that?! What a good man. Later in the afternoon, some went to the movie Astro Boy. The kids seemed to enjoy it and the adults seemed not to. That evening some of us went to see the Christmas lights in downtown Caldwell. Some may laugh at that, but they are REALLY nice! The city goes to a lot of work to make a really nice display. They have recently redone some things downtown trying to revitalize the area. They've done a good job and we enjoyed walking around looking at them. It was really cold, though. Afterwards we came back to our place for hot chocolate, football and Bananagrams. You can guess who was doing what (boys - football, girls - Bananagrams).

We're all really tired, but happy to have spent so much time with family! Now we're gearing up for Christmas!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Comeback

I've decided to try and start blogging again. Hopefully I'm back with more enthusiasm than before. Of course a lot has gone on in the past 8 months, I could even be about to have another baby. But I'm not. I guess life has just gotten away with me. Trying to keep up with it all and make time for blogging is hard, but I'm preaching to the choir, I know. There are plenty of people just as busy as I am that regularly update their blogs with informative and entertaining posts. Anyway........

Mark and I are doing well. We're both quite excited for the holidays. We've got an early start on most everything and it feels nice. I'm looking forward to hopefully relaxing and enjoying the season a bit in December. We're not headed anywhere for either holiday, so that will be nice. Mark keeps suggesting we even get started on wrapping gifts. Good idea, I think. Work is going okay for Mark. He doesn't really enjoy it and still dreams of one day having his own business. I'm grateful though that he works hard for us even when it's not something his heart is in. He just signed up to be Cooper's basketball coach in a youth league he'll be playing in. That will be fun for both of them. Here's a cute picture of Cole about to get Mark in the face.

I feel like I'm having a hard time keeping up with everything. I really enjoy my Relief Society calling, but I've been pretty overwhelmed lately. I'm sure it'll get better. It seems like sometimes things won't be that busy and then other times it's crazy. It just must be one of those times. I really love being so involved with the sisters. I'll miss that, I know. Right now we're planning a big blood drive with the Red Cross next month. The Stake President wants our stake to have three blood drives a year. Come to find out, a lot of work goes into those things. I wanted to put an updated picture of everyone in this post, but I guess the only pictures of Mark and I are of us holding Cole. Good thing he's cute.

John recently had a birthday and is 14 years old now. He still plays piano and has been involved with Drama Club at school. Just today they put on a play called, "How to be a Pirate". It was pretty good. He enjoys doing that sort of thing. On Saturday he plans to go to his second Stake Dance. I thought it was fun taking him and picking him up afterward last time he went. It kind of feels like it wasn't that long ago that I would get excited to go to those dances. I like for him to tell me all of the details, and he obliges. Here he is at a little family birthday party we had for him last month. Cooper has started electric guitar lessons instead of the piano. We are in between teachers right now though. He has also gotten in to learning magic tricks. His interests kind of come and go. He's always into something new. He's also had a birthday recently and is now in 11 year old scouts. This Sunday we go to a Priesthood Preview for him. Crazy. Even though he doesn't turn 12 until August, it's for all boys turning 12 in 2010. Time just flies. Anyway, here he is dressed up at Meriwether Lewis (Lewis and Clark) at the 5th grade state tourist fair. His state was Oregon.
We've had Ella's baptism dress for a while now. I just happened to find one I really liked at the mall a while back. We decided to take some pictures of her at the Boise Temple before the weather got anymore cold, even though her birthday isn't until next month. She's really excited to turn eight. She's been taking this dance class after school on Tuesdays and really likes it. It's one of the first extra curricular activities that she's done and liked. She was involved with a horse camp this summer that she also enjoyed, but doesn't have a desire to do too much outside of school yet. She was brave enough to give her first talk in Primary last Sunday. I was so proud of her. Up until now she's been too shy to give one. She's slowly coming out of her shell and it's fun to see.

Seth is very much still in his shell outside of our home and his family. He is going to pre school two days a week, so that's good. He seems to enjoy it for the most part. He's slowly learning some of his letters and numbers. He's the kind of kid that won't do anything on demand. Then he'll surprise you by doing something you didn't even know he knew how to do. Here he is dressed like an Indian at his preschool Halloween party.

Not long ago Cooper said, "Mom, Dad told me not to tell you something." With a statement like that of course I had to ask what it was that he wasn't supposed to tell me. He said, "Dad said not to tell you, but Cole really isn't a baby anymore, he's a toddler." I thought that was pretty funny. Mark knows how sad it makes me that he's getting older. However, I still don't think he's a toddler yet. He is so loved by all of us! Lately he's been so demanding and needy, so that's been hard. He got all 4 molars at the same time and has had a sinus infection and some colds, so I'm hoping I can chalk it up to that. It's been pretty rough though. He is otherwise sweet and really cute, so that always makes the hard parts a little easier to deal with.

If I keep regular on posting, I won't have such huge and overwhelming entries to do. Right?!

Anyway, I'll leave you with one of the recent shots that our sister-in-law Kamber, took of our family at the newly remodeled Caldwell Train Station. It's not my favorite one, but I like it. We're just happy she took our family picture for us. Thanks Kamber!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This That and the Other

It's been way too long since I've posted, so I won't even try to catch up. I'll just post some random pictures from the past little while and label what they are from, etc. It seems I can't find time to post anymore. When I'm home, I hop on and off the computer throughout the day just long enough to check out what everyone else is doing I guess. But since this is supposed to be a journal for us, I'm feeling guilty and thought I should post something at least to document the past month or so. I also don't want those who read my blog to give up on me.

Anyway, we're all still alive and well. We're going to Utah to see family and hang out next week, and we're all really excited for a break from the regular routine. Now, before I have to leave to return some overdue videos to the library, the pictures......

This is a special picture to me. My Uncle Steve on my dad's side, who I recently reconnected with, emailed me a few pictures of my dad. Here he is around Cooper's age (4th grade). I love having a picture of him. Mark printed it out for me and I set it on a table in our front room where I see it often. He also sent me some snap shots of him back in the 80's. I believe he died in 1998. I wish I had more (and ones closer to the time he passed away)but I'm grateful for these.

Mark is such a good daddy to all of the kids, but is sure enjoying Cole. Cole is more of a daddy's boy so far than Seth ever was, so Mark is happy about that. I think this is a sweet picture.

Grandma and Grandpa Bishop came with us to one of Cooper's pack meetings where he earned two badges towards his Webelos. I think this pic is funny, we're doing the watermelon cub scout cheer where you eat your big piece of watermelon and then spit out the seeds like a machine gun.

Cole is 6 months old now and I can hardly believe it. I love him sooo much. He's at such a fun stage and doing all sorts of big boy things such as eating rice cereal, sweet potatoes and squash. He loves them all, but I think he's partial to the sweet potatoes. The kids are very involved w/ every new thing he does and get so excited.

Seth turned 4 years old 2/28/09. I'm a bad mom and didn't even do a special post for him (I just thought of it to tell you the truth.) He had a good day and two b-day parties. Here he is w/ cousin Samantha at the mall to get his 4 year old pictures taken in his favorite Hawaiian shirt. He potty-trained just in time so I can still say he was three when he was potty trained.

Seth really wanted a pinata for his b-day. Come to find out he didn't want this "Cars" one, but a horse one. In the end, he ended up being very pleased w/ this one.

Aunt Kamber made him this cute sailboat cake. We combined his b-day w/ cousin Spencer's first b-day party. It was a fun time.

Cooper tubing down a hill in McCall when we were there for the ice festival. Love his hair in the pic! It was super cold. The tubing was probably the boys' favorite part.

John going down one of the snow slides. Cooper was a bit crazier and went down head first.

The boys climbed a tall mountain of snow and got all snowy and wet. This was at the beginning of our time there, silly boys!

Ella and Seth looking cute in front of one of the ice sculptures.

Here Cole is learning to sit up in his Bumbo seat. He's enjoing it more than the Johnny jump up, but not as much as his exersaucer seat, which is his favorite.

John has braces and we have a couple thousand less dollars! He had some wild things going on w/ his top teeth, but nothing two years of braces couldn't take care of. Makes him look like the teenager he is.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cole Bear

For some reason we call Cole, Cole Bear. We pretty much have since he was a few days old. From Cole Bear has come, Cub, Bear Cub and Cole Bear Bishop. We call him these other nicknames far more than we call him his actual name.

Anyway, Cole Bear is 4 months old now. Sadly, lately we've been so bad at taking pictures of him, or of anyone for that matter. Last night we were doing some things on the computer and decided to take some pictures of him. He's at such a fun age. I love it! He's really so delightful. I love his smiles, he smiles w/ his whole body (if that makes sense). I love how he kicks his legs and moves his arms when he's happy and excited. I love how he squeals, gurgles and talks. I love how he follows you around the room with his eyes. I love his giggles (he's done it a couple of times now). I love how he smells. I love his super soft skin and his bright wide eyes. I love his warmth. I love how strong he is and how he's learned to roll. I love how he brings everything to his mouth. I love how he attacks his bottle when he's really hungry and you get it near his mouth. I love the smell of his baby breath. I love how he wraps his hand around your finger. I love that he has just enough hair now that I can put a little part in it. I love his "outie" belly button. I love how he sucks his fingers.

As you can see, there's not a lot we don't love about this little guy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm bad at this!

I really love blogging, reading others' blogs that is. When it comes to keeping up ours, I'm a slacker for sure. I never feel like I have anything fun or exciting to write and I'm not nearly as witty and fun as all of the people whose blogs I read. I also don't know how to do much more on blogger other than type a post and post pictures. Sorry for my sob story, but it's all true. Nonetheless, I thought I'd make a post.

We've been busy with the same old things. Mark has been working mandatory overtime and has been working on a few business projects. He's working on this board game he's created and is working on making these really cute note cards from photos of flowers he took last summer. He was released as assistant scout master/deacons quorum adviser last week and was called as Gospel Doctrine teacher. That's right up his alley and he'll do great. Other than that he's just been being a good guy, like always. I have been crazy busy. I was called as R.S. President when Cole was still one month old. You know how you hear those stories of being spiritually prepared for callings or having a premonition. That wasn't the case for me and I was shocked to say the least. I had been Enrichment counselor for the past almost year and we knew we were going to be released as a presidency, so I was looking forward to a break with our new baby. That wasn't the plan apparently, but I'm happy to serve and truly believe that Cole has been a much easier baby only because of my calling. He's really turned a corner and has been so much less fussy enabling me to get more accomplished than I ever thought I could. My house has suffered a bit, but if something has to give I guess that's the thing to let go. Anyway, I enjoy being involved w/ the sisters and serving them. We have to talk this Sunday in Sacrament as a Presidency, wish me luck w/ that. Other than that, I've been doing the regular. Ever since my wisdom teeth were removed I've had problems w/ my jaw, kind of a TMJ thing. It's pretty miserable and it hurts to eat deep into my ear. I can't open my mouth wide enough to bite some things. I've been going to the doctor about it, but no progress yet. You'd think I'd lose some weight with it being painful to eat. No such luck. I guess I'm willing to suffer through the pain for the pleasure. On a positive note, we recently have put Mark's overtime money to good use (instead of saving it like we should) and bought a new recliner for our family room and a new kitchen table. We've even updated to a flat screen tv just in time for the big change next month. That was hard to spend the money on since nothing was wrong w/ our old one, but it does look nice. We're just doing our part to help the sluggish economy I guess.

The kids are all doing well. John doesn't have much new going on in his life. He did get braces a couple of weeks ago and looks like a true teenager now. Other than that, he's busy w/ piano, scouts, school and all of that stuff. Cooper doesn't have much new to report either, other than he's joined a running club at school. They've had to cancel it a lot though due to the snow since they run outside. He still takes piano lessons, but would rather play the electric guitar he tells me. Ella was a little behind on reading the beginning of the year, but has caught up a bit, which is great. She's so cautious in her reading and is afraid to even try a word for the sake of getting it wrong. That really hurts her in the timed tests. She's great w/ Cole and is my main helper. Seth is as curious as ever and destroys things on a daily basis. He's a smart little guy. Any suggestions on potty training? He's a sunbeam now and still in diapers. Kind of embarrassing, huh? He can change his own diaper which is ridiculous. It won't happen until it's part of his agenda, I just don't know how to add that to his agenda. Cole is such a sweetie. The kids still fight over who gets to hold him. He is so strong! He can roll from his back to tummy and tummy to back and has been since three months old. That's earlier than our other babies. He's laughed a few times now which I love. 4 months is a great age!

Well, since this was an update on the family and posts are always better with some pictures, I'll post some family pictures that we had taken at a nearby college campus by Brian and Kamber (BIL and SIL). Some of you have seen them as part of our Christmas cards, but maybe they'll be some that you didn't see.

Friday, December 19, 2008

She's growing up

Tomorrow Ella turns 7 years old! We have lots going on tomorrow and I know I won't have time to post, so I thought I would today.

We love our Ella girl. I feel so blessed that I get to experience the joys of having a daughter. I hope that we always stay close. She's such a sweet girl. She likes to make others happy and tries to do what is right. She has been such a big helper with Baby Cole these last few months. Ella has always carried a quiet peace with her that she has often times passed on to me when I've needed it. She was the EASIEST baby ever (I hope that her teenage years are easy also). I was looking at pictures of her from last year and wow, she's matured. Not just in size, but her face looks older too. Losing your baby teeth will do that to you I guess. She's also slowly overcoming her shyness.

We think she's just beautiful (on the inside and out)! We love you so much Ella!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Found but Lost

This is going to be kind of a long and sad post. As most of you know, I have never known my dad. The above two pictures are the only ones I have of him. I was 12 days old in the pictures. Through the years I have thought a lot about him. My mom never talked about him much. All I have ever known is that he and my mom met on the beach and were never married. He had some problems with drug abuse and that is the reason my mom gave for them separating. Over the years I have looked in California phone books online to try and find him. Turns out there are a lot of men named Robert Griggs. I didn't really know what else to do. I was also afraid of what I might find. In my heart I knew he'd be gone (as in passed away). I don't know why I felt this way, but for as long as I can remember I've known he was no longer with us. I recently found out that my feelings were correct and I am heart broken. It's strange how you can miss someone and something you've never even known and feel so much sorrow over it. I haven't talked about this much and not a lot of people know, but I think it will help me to share.

Not too long ago I googled my name just for fun. I thought for sure our blog would come up, which it did. Something else also came up that caught my eye. It was my maiden name on a website called Zaba Search. I had never heard of this website before, but apparently people can post messages in hopes that someone they are looking for will read it. Someone was looking for a Dalana Griggs whose mom's name was Donna. The message said that Donna was with a man named Robert in the 70's and they had a daughter together. The person who wrote the message referred to Robert (or Bobby as he was called) as their brother. They included in the message that their brother had since passed away, and that's how I learned.

With a name as different as mine and with all the other names correct, I knew I was the Dalana they were looking for. I felt so many emotions all at once. Mostly sadness that I'd never get the chance to know my father in this life, but also excitement for the chance to make contact with some of my family I've never known on that side. I also felt loved because someone from his side of the family remembered that I existed and still thought of me and cared enough to find me. It would have been neat if that person would have been my dad, but I'm grateful anyway.

I posted a message back for this person (my dad's sibling) and it turns out it was a younger half brother of his. We emailed back and forth and just this last week we talked on the phone. My emotions have been all over the place. It's kind of hard to sort through it all and to know exactly what to make of it. My dad died about 10 years ago of heart and drug related problems. He was never fully able to remain clean. From what I understand, he would do good for a while and then return to drugs and alcohol. Kind of sad that in the end that is what took his life. He struggled with his addictions his whole life basically. He did marry twice and ended up having two more children. I have two brothers, one named Bobby Jr. and another named Pier. One of the boys' mothers was Hispanic and the other ones mother was from Central America. They both live in California and are somewhere around 18 and 21 years old. This uncle I've been talking with (Steve) has tried to keep in contact with them, but has lost track. It's strange to think I have 2 brothers out there somewhere. I wonder if we look alike and if we are the same at all? My dad's mother and father have both passed too, along with a half sister. There's another half brother of his still living and a few cousins from what I understand. Kind of sad, but his sister passed of drug related problems also and his mother (my paternal grandmother) passed away of lung problems from a life time of smoking. I am so grateful the gospel came into my life as a teenager and steered me away from these behaviors. With my family history, I'm genetically predisposed to having addictions to those kinds of things. Even if I only had tried them once, I could have been hooked. Scary.

I could go on and on about my feelings and the things I've found out from talking to Steve about my dad and their side of the family. Even though he's not living anymore, my love for him has increased the more I've learned about him. It's made me mourn more for the dad I never had the chance to know and the relationship we never had. Just for fun, here are a few random things I've found out about him.
~ His hair was naturally as curly as the above pictures show (that's not a perm)! I only got an annoying wave and frizziness.
~He was quite athletic in track and field and in football he was a good kicker and kicked the best bare footed. Again, I got none of the athleticism.
~He served in the military.
~He worked in a machine shop and learned to be a good machinist.
~He was a staight A student.
~His mother had him when she was only 14 or 15 years old. From what I understand, her brother served in the war and came home for a visit and brought a friend along. She got pregnant by the friend during that visit. Some wanted her to give the baby up for adoption. She didn't, and never heard from the guy again. My dad never had a relationship with his own father to pattern that kind of a relationship after.
~We look alike and even my kids look like him. I emailed Steve some of our family pictures and he said he couldn't get over how much we looked alike. He called his family in to take a look and they all agreed that I looked like him all right. He said even my kids have his features. Kind of weird that someone we don't even know is such a part of us.

Sounds like a good guy with some serious struggles. I'm grateful that one day I'll have the chance to get to know him and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm grateful for two amazing fathers for my children. I'm grateful for George Parker and the good father figure he was for me during my teenage years. I'm grateful for two honorable father in laws who I couldn't love more. I'm grateful for this new found uncle and for his efforts and interest in trying to find me. When I asked him what he thought made him want to keep in touch, he just said he's always wondered why some families don't stay close. I look forward to keeping in touch with him. Most of all, I'm grateful for a Heavenly Father who has always been there for me and for the opportunity I have had to form a relationship with him. I know that he has never lost track of me nor will he.