Friday, September 28, 2007

Some inside projects from the last year

Going up our stairs are the only vaulted ceilings we have, so I had this idea to use the wall space and hang some of my favorite mostly older family pictures. I am a big fan of the vinyl letting on walls and boards and have words and phrases scattered all over the house. I was particularly pleased with how this wall going up the stairs turned out. It's nice to see all these pictures of such special people each and every time I go up and down the stairs.
Our front room. Some think of it as a waste of space, but I love having a nice room that doesn't get too messy. It's great for when people stop by and things like that. I like that it has the piano in it and not a t.v. and toys. I like to go in there and just sit sometimes.
We have a RED wall! I've always wanted a red wall and love the way they look whenever I see them. It took a lot of courage for me to actually do it in our house though, but as you can see we painted part of the family room red. I'm still not sure I love the tone of red (I was trying hard to not end up with a purple red), but it's Mark's favorite.
Ella's room is one of my favorites in the house! We painted it the softest pink color. It is my favorite choice of color of all the painting we've done in this house. I love the color of the room when the sun is coming in. Walking down the hall it always catches my eye. We were able to get Ella some new furniture when we moved in too. Gotta love Target and their Shabby Chic line! Mark made her the picket fence headboard a couple of years ago, Ella and I love it!
We finally got a headboard and some bedroom furniture!!! This is our bedroom and the lovely quilt and pillow shams Mom Bishop made us for our wedding. You can't see in this picture, but we painted an accent wall a sage green color when we first moved in. I really like how it turned out and it is a peaceful room to me.

We've put in a lot of time and work to get the inside of the house the way we want it and it's pretty much done for now. Probably the most recent project I've done is decorating the plant shelves in the kitchen. I should have taken a picture, I guess. Our kitchen is a cheery yellow color. It was fun to pick the colors for the walls and the curtains, etc. I love to decorate! I'm not the best at it, but I really do enjoy it. Making this house "our home" has been really rewarding to me. Today was a good day to take some pictures and post them because we're coming up on our one year anniversary of living here and the house was clean (at least for what pictures can pick up). We're grateful to be here in this area, ward and house!

MARK, my hard worker

Mark designed this stone path at the side of the house just this week. It is an area that tends to always be a muddy mess. We are going to try and move some more dirt in that area before we plant the grass to raise it up a bit. That's where the trash cans are, so it'll be nice to have a clean stone path to walk on when taking the garbage out.
This picture isn't the best and our garage is a bit cluttered, but these are the great wooden shelves Mark built and installed in the garage going down both sides. Towards the front he's built himself a workbench and shelf. It's nice to have a place to put all of our things. I love having these shelves because they make accessing our rubbermaids a lot easier than if they were piled on top of each other.

Mark put together this small, stone retaining wall. We're going to put perma bark (it's sitting in a big pile in our driveway waiting to be moved back there) in the area by the fence and plant some shrubs or something. The square box is going to be a planter for flowers, there's another square box just like it on the other side. Should be pretty!
The back fence he built (with some help from wonderful friends and family).

I thought this might be a special way to thank Mark for all of his hard work on our home. We are nearing the one year mark of being in our new house. Boy, has it been a lot of work (inside and outside)! We've had fun making things nice and the way we want them. We're far from done, but it does feel good to have accomplished what we have. Who knew it would take so much time, work, and money? Anyone who has ever moved into a new house I guess, but I never had until this point and and had no clue! Mark has been just incredible! He works early mornings at EDS, he starts work anywhere from 4:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m., and stays up really late at night working on things around the house. You should see him.... out there in the dark, with his head lamp on working away. He is very sleep deprived, but keeps plugging along and getting things done. He just finished putting in the sprinklers in the backyard and he's now getting ready to plant grass seed. Hopefully next Spring we'll have a green backyard. Projects he's already finished which I've included pictures of are: building the back fence (we still need to seal it), building and installing shelves and a bike rack in the garage, leveling out the backyard (it was shaped like a bowl), building a stone retaining wall in the backyard, and some landscaping out back. I don't think I'm forgetting anything. He has done all of this while being a very dedicated husband, dad, scout leader and employee. I have helped very little with the physical labor. My contributions have been by way of suggestions and ideas, and trying to manage the kids and their activities while he's working on these projects every chance he gets . Hopefully I've been some help, but hats off to Mark for working incredibly hard and doing so much for our home and family! He's learned a lot and I'm sure he'll be able to help others with their yard projects now. Anyway, thank you and we love you, dear!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pictures from the Fiesta

In John's class each student made one of these ovals with things describing themselves and the parents were supposed to guess which one their child made. When I asked John why or how the word 'superjumbo' described him, he said he just liked the word. Funny!

Some interesting art by Cooper. His is in the bottom right corner.

Ella and her friend, Dallyce, showing their maracas. Doesn't Ella's hair bow look so crazy!?

Cooper performing with his class and the 2nd grade class.

John with his 6th grade class. He's standing in the first row and has a blue sweatshirt on.

Here Norma Pintar dances with a lit candle on her head!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fiesta de las Artes

Just a little video from the Fiesta de las Artes. This was at the kids' school, and it's of Ella playing a xylophone.

The school has an arts and sciences emphasis and each month they study a different artist. This month it has been Diego Rivera and last night's Open House had a Mexican theme and we enjoyed chips, cheese dip and salsa as we watched the children perform. Each grade presented something from the Hispanic culture. Some grades learned Mexican dances that they performed and others sang songs and played instruments. Our kids all sang and Cooper and Ella played the xylophone. Ella's class also made and decorated maracas. They had Norma Pintar (a traditional Mexican dancer) perform and she has also been at the school teaching the kids in 4th and 5th grades dances the past couple of weeks. I think there were close to 500 people there last night, which is a great turnout for a small charter school. Being on the PFA, I helped prepare and serve the chips, cheese dip and salsa. YumYum!

Monday, September 17, 2007

A fun and relaxing weekend

This past weekend was such a great one for me and I thought it was worth writing about. On Friday night I went to Mark's Aunt Cindy's house. She had Mom Bishop, Alysa, Amanda and I over for a girls' night. We missed you Janice, Jen, Janet and Kamber! It was a very relaxing evening with fantastic company and great food. Cindy had made chili, artichoke dip, stuffed mushrooms, fruit w/ fruit dip, vegetables and lots of yummy stuff. She planted us each a little pot with a plant to take home. I got a Christmas cactus and have high hopes of not killing it before Christmas comes and it gets its' blooms. We had fun conversation each answering questions such as who we would most like to meet (alive or dead), and other interesting and thought provoking questions like that. Thanks Cindy for such a fun time that's sure to be a special memory!

On Saturday I had the opportunity to attend a Time Out for Women in Boise at the Boise Center on the Grove with some ladies from my ward. This was the second time I've gone to this event (the last time was five years ago, I think) and it was a fabulous day! Deseret Book is who puts the event on, I believe, and it is a day filled with wonderful speakers and music all geared towards women. The speakers were Jane Clayson Johnson (she used to be the co anchor for the Early Show w/Bryant Gumbel) and she spoke about "Seasons" of life and how she traded in her television career to be a stay at home mom. Mary Ellen Edmunds was the event host and she was hilarious! She's an LDS author. Stephen Robinson spoke (he wrote the book Believing Christ and is a BYU professor) and was also very funny. Chris Stewart also spoke, he is the author of The Great and Terrible series of books and is the CEO of The Shipley Group. The highlight of course was Sheri Dew. Kenneth Cope was the musical guest and he sang several times throughout the day. I never realized how amazing his voice is! All of the presenters did really well and their messages were uplifting and inspiring and made you want to do better. It was just what I needed to hear! The spirit was evident throughout the day. There were almost 3,000 ladies there. It was a nice break away from home and kids and I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to go and be taught new things and to be reminded of things I already knew. Hopefully I'll be a better wife, mother and daughter of God for having gone. Thanks so much to Mark for going solo with the kids all weekend and getting them to and from football games, sleepovers, etc. all on his own. You're the BEST!

Monday, September 10, 2007


Although not widely celebrated, yesterday was Grandparent's Day so I've had the opportunity to reflect on the "grandparents" in my life (my own and those of my children). What a blessing they each have been to me and my family! The wealth of knowledge and experience they have to share and the love and support they have to offer have truly blessed my life.

Granny and PaPa, my mom's parents, are the only grandparents I have ever known as an adult or child. My grandma is now 71 years old and is in declining health, it's sad to see her struggling. Growing up, I would sometimes live with her and my grandpa when my Mom wasn't doing well. I was named after her, we share the same middle name, Frances. My grandma has red hair and a temper that you hear goes along with it! She has a strong faith in God and has tried to live her life doing what she felt was right and good. I have memories of her teaching me to sit like a lady in a dress, taking me to Girl Scouts and tricking me into swallowing pills by putting them in fruit and cottage cheese. She's a gem! My grandpa passed away when I was in Junior High, but I have fun memories of him. He drove a little Brat pick-up (if any of you remember those) and when I was born and was the first grandchild, he named me his Brat #2. Each grandchild after that was Brat #3 and so on. He had been an alcoholic earlier in his life but had been sober for many years by the time he passed away. That itself testifies of the strong man he was. He was a very hard worker and rarely missed a day of work. I remember going to the bank with him and watching him open mail and pay bills at his desk. He loved iced tea and doing latch hook rugs and had amazing penmanship. The respect those who knew him had for him also testifies of the great man he was. I am thankful for these two people in my life and love them very much!

I now turn to the grandparents of my children. My mom is a special lady. I have never known my dad, so she's been it! My kids love their Grandma Donna. She has had many struggles in her life and could have given up hope many times, but is still hanging in there. She's a good cook and is thoughtful and kind. She has a way of relating to those with mental disabilities. She has nicknames for the kids, John is Prince, Cooper is Precious and Ella Princess. I don't think she's given Seth a 'P' nickname yet, I'll have to ask her about that. Her and my grandma are in the first picture.

Grandpa and Grandma Gunnerson are Bob's parents and are great! Their home is a home away from home for my children. While Bob was sick and dying, they spent a lot of time there. They feel safe and loved in their home and by them. John and Grandpa Gunnerson have always had a special bond. Grandma Gunnerson is hilarious! I'll never forget the support and comfort they were to us in our time of sorrow, even though it was equally as devastating for them to lose a son. Thank you Gary and Dorothy, we love you! They are the couple in the second picture.

In high school, when my mom was having a hard time, I moved in with a family in my ward that had daughters my same age, the Parkers. Grandpa George and Grandma RaNae Parker are still an active part of our lives. I love their family and will always be appreciative of the help they were to me. In their home I felt the spirit and learned how fun family life can be. They consider my kids their grandchildren and my kids consider them their grandparents. We're lucky to have them. The third picture is of them.

Lastly, we've got Grandparents Bishop, Mark's parents. These two are some of the most genuine people I know. They are shining examples of all that is good. They were so quick to accept me, John, Cooper and Ella into their family. I can't believe that I've got TWO wonderful sets of in-laws. My kids absolutely love Grandpa and Grandma Bishop. They are so fun to have sleepovers and to do special little things with the kids. They are always there to help us, we love them so. The final picture is of them.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Gladiators beat the Eagles!

Cooper had his first football game this afternoon and his team (the Gladiators) won! Cooper played the position of cornerback and did very well. He is one of the smaller guys on the team but played tough and seemed to hold his own. He even made the first tackle of the game and season. It was really fun to watch him play! He got clipped towards the end of the game (which the refs didn't call despite the parents' complaints) so his back kind of hurts tonight. Grandma Gunnerson and Grandpa and Grandma Parker were able to come watch Cooper play which made him happy. We had to be there over an hour before the game even started so John got a little bored, but thankfully he had his Nintendo to keep him company. As you can see from the picts, he played it with his head in his shirt because of the bright sun. Pretty clever, that John! Ella and Seth seemed to enjoy themselves even with the long time we were at the field. They chased each other around and Seth practiced his somersaults. He has been trying to do those lately for some reason, it's cute to watch. Here are a few of our pictures from today.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! I hope it was a fun and enjoyable day for everyone. Mark worked out back on our sprinklers (with a neighbor who was kind enough to help us out) until about noon. We then left for the day to have some family fun time together. We first went to Julia Davis Park near the Anne Frank Memorial and took some pictures of the kids. We do this every year about this time, to save money instead of doing professional pictures of each of the kids to give to all of our family members. They turned out really good I think. The kids didn't enjoy it too much, but we took them quickly and moved on to more fun activities. We stopped to get some drinks for everyone (it was 100 degrees out today) and then went to Boondocks. Mark and the boys played a game of Laser Tag while Ella, Seth and I played some games and won tickets. Mark and Cooper then went on one of those virtual reality roller coasters and Cooper loved it while Mark came off of it a little green. He recovered and we then went to Primos for all you can eat pizza and salad bar before coming home. It was a nice time together. It was good to get out and have a little fun as a family. Seth has been a BEAR all week since we took his pacifier away and I really needed a change of pace. It's been so hard for him and all of us! Anyway, we had a nice extra day away from work and school.