Sunday, August 31, 2008

Willies in Paradise

Our week in Hawaii with all of our kids, spouses and grandchildren, was great fun! We managed to pull off a week where every ones' schedules accommodated our gathering at Turtle Bay on the north shore of Oahu. Our condos were right on the golf course, which Ryan loved. He got to play every evening with his uncles and his dad. Our mornings were spent playing on the beach and swimming, despite Audrey's good effort to eat all of the sand around her whenever she could. Brooke and Dave were our family paparazzi and photographed all of our adventures. The fishing group, including brave Brookie (!) managed to pull in about 500 pounds of Yellow fin tuna and Ahi between them (not counting the slimy fish eye Jeff ate after catching the biggest fish of the expedition, and we won't mention the episodes of queasiness out on the open sea!) Jenny appointed herself our family hula queen and posed at every tourist site with her wavy arms. (Enter to learn- Go forth to hula!) Kristin is almost convinced to have a destination wedding when she and Adam tie the knot next year. The view toward the ocean down the steps of the Hawaii temple in Laie is beautiful! Tyler was our lone scuba diver and was able to give us a great description of the underwater world, 40 feet below the surface of the bay where we snorkeled. I think I'm glad I didn't get up close to some of the creatures he saw. Wendy organized the ATV crew and it was a toss up whether the group was more impressed by the amazing scenery and tropical vistas, or the movie trivia shared by their tour guide. It turns out that several shows had filmed on location where they rode their bikes that afternoon..."Lost," "Jurassic Park," and "Pearl Harbor." It's a good thing I didn't go along on the cliff jumping adventure and watch all of my kids climb up onto a huge volcanic rock formation at Waimea beach, and then heave themselves recklessly out over the cliff and crash into the sea, 25 feet below. The fact that Matt dragged a good deal of the red, muddy soil from the trail back with him on the white seat of the rental car was a small price to pay for just being ALIVE after tempting fate with his cliff dive. The only real casualties of our week at the beach were Dave's cut foot from stepping on some coral, and Jenny's multiple gashes, sustained from her body surfing wipe-out. And Wendy had to take Ryan to a local "medicine man" to treat him for his cough. All in all, we had a great adventure. We ate, snorkeled, fished, golfed, toured, sunburned, pina-colada-ed, shopped and played our way through our wonderful week in paradise. Big Jeff did a fabulous job working out all of our travel arrangements and car rentals. It's a good thing he got to relax in Hawaii for a week because now that he is back home again, he's been called to be a temple worker and a seminary teacher! What about Kauai in '09----who's with me??

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dear Family

We love you! We've had so much fun seeing all of you recently. Our gatherings this year have been a blast. J& W, thanks for our amazing grandkids! We loved hanging out at Balboa, and eating the wonderful creations you brought over! Ty, you were very generous to give up your comfy bed for our stay in Utah! (We are still laughing about your Willy Wonka impersonation). We look forward to hearing about your Africa trip. Dookie, we've had fun cheering at your games & seeing your cake masterpieces. Thanks for sharing the Whopenator with us. Happy almost ONE YEAR anniversary! We can't wait for the fun we'll have and the photos you'll take in Hawaii! K & A, your recent news has THRILLED us! We hope this year flies quickly by for you both. Yen, you've made us laugh all summer! We are proud of all your hard work in school, and thanks for coming home to hang out with us and taking our Texas to Utah road trip. Matias, thanks for keeping our home life lively! We are so proud of all your hard work and achievements this summer. Dad and I are so proud of all of you kids. You make our life so rich, full and happy. Here's to our big adventure, coming up next week. Keep the blogs, photos, and fun coming. We send our love to you all!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A First

On Saturday morning, I had just backed out of our driveway and headed up the street to run an errand. And then I saw something that I've never seen before. Up ahead, there was a dark spot in the road and as I approached it and steered to the right, I discovered a dead squirrel. Clinging to its neck, was a little baby squirrel, obviously mourning the loss of its mama. When it saw my car approach, it scurried off to the nearest tree. I can only imagine what sad, squirrel feelings were stirring in that little critter's heart! I couldn't get that touching scene out of my mind all day long.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

It's official! Matt is taking driver's ed. He is 4 classes into the 16 class series at All Star Driving School. Mac is teaching the class. As you would expect, Mac speaks with a Texas twang, as in..."Tomarra, y'all will be takin' the saaiines test." Translation for you un-initiated heathens out there, "Tomorrow, you will be taking the signs test." So far so good. Matt will get his learner's permit this week. When Jenny comes home to visit, we expect she will be accompanying him on a few laps around the church parking lot, in keeping with the family tradition of sibling teaching sibling to drive. Matt is NOT looking forward to the part where he is whacked across the wrist with a broken antenna, or other similar object, when he goofs up. Don't be surprised, Matty, when you come home one day and find this cute little number waiting in the driveway for you!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Oh Beautiful for Heroes

I want to pay tribute to the heroes in our family, who have helped to make our country a land of freedom and liberty. In honor of Memorial Day tomorrow, I want to express appreciation for family members who have made the sacrifice to serve in our nation's armed forces. Most Americans will spend their Monday grilling burgers and relaxing on their day off, but is it too much to ask that we all acknowledge the tremendous burden borne by ordinary folks who fought and sacrificed throughout our nation's history to pay the price of freedom? You and I live in comfort today and we enjoy the blessings of prosperity and liberty because brave souls were willing to answer their nation's call to defend against evil and tyranny. We owe them our gratitude and respect.

"Oh, beautiful for heroes proved, in liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea."

Grandpa Henry

Naval officer in WWII - Served on a gasoline tanker (i.e. floating bomb!) criss-crossing the Atlantic

Grandpa Drue

Unable to serve an LDS mission because he was drafted into the Army in 1942. Served in the Philippines until 1945.

Grandpa George
Served in the Marine Corps at the tail end of WWII.

Uncle Lonny

Served as an Army infantry officer in WWII. He later served, and was wounded in the Korean War.

Mom's Uncle Don

He served in the Korean War. Don flew over 50 bombing missions in his fighter plane.

[No Photo]

Dad's Uncle Max

He rose to the rank of Lt. Commander in the Navy and served in South America and Japan.

I hope our family will always remember the courage and sacrifice of these good men, and all of our family members who have served our country in the past. I hope we will appreciate and respect those who are serving our country today. Please live your life so that your actions and your conduct reflect honorably upon our family and those who have served so well.

"Long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light.

Protect us by thy might, Great God, our king!"

Love, Mom

Monday, April 14, 2008

Don't Tag me Bro! Don't Tag Me!

Hi folks, M-Dawg Willy in the house responding to his tag from Barrrrrrooookie Crisp...

Where I was Ten Years Ago:
  • Singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" multiple times each day
  • Probably reciting "Dear Darla" because I had nothing better to do
  • Starting my illustrious career as a student at Teddy Bear Junction Preschool
  • Eatin' reese's (not much has changed)

5 Things on my To-Do List Today:

  1. Get up and go to seminary
  2. Come home and take a nap
  3. Go to school
  4. (See to-do #2)
  5. Do homework and go to bed

If I Became a Billionaire I Would:

  • Buy a jet and take the Willies to Rekjavik, Iceland
  • Pay tithing and a GENEROUS fast offering
  • Buy my way into Augusta National Golf Course (site of Master's)
  • Buy my mom "Zelda/Mario Kart" lessons from Sister Albrecht
  • Somehow get the four Willardson boys into a round of golf with Tiger Woods

Three Bad Habits:

  1. Procrastination
  2. Skipping school (apparently a "family event" doesn't cut it for Nazi Attendance Lady; Jenny knows what I'm talking about)
  3. Deleting Mom's HGTV programs when I want to watch ESPN

Five Places I've Lived (or wish I did):

  1. Plano
  2. Balboa
  3. Disneyland
  4. Australia
  5. Iceland

Something Most People Don't Know About Me:

I can't take pills if my life depended on it. In my lifetime, I've managed to get ONE pill down; all the others have gotten stuck in my throat. I just can't seem to do it! If anyone can help me, please, your help will be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thar she blows!

Guess what we did Wednesday night? At 3:55 am, we woke up and heard hail pelting our bedroom window and great, roaring winds outside in the trees. At 3:56 am, we jumped out of bed, yelled upstairs for Matt to come down, and we all ran into our downstairs bathroom under the stairs to cower and listen to the weather report on the radio. Thankfully, our power stayed on. Thankfully, the winds did not damage our roof or our house. Thankfully, the storm blew over in 20 minutes. The bad news, as you can see, is the loss of our beautiful tree that blew down in front of the house. Due to the fact that the limbs were spread out in all directions, we assume the winds were more than just straight line winds. Some neighbors are even throwing down the "T" word! The Barnabys, Davis's, and Edwards all lost huge, old trees at the creek edge in back of their homes. We are thankful that we were safe and our house was undamaged. I'd still rather deal with Texas weather than California earthquakes!