Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer of Long Time Friends

What a fabulous summer it has been! We have had visits from many long time friends and it has filled our minds with the sweetest memories of wonderful, lasting friendships!

Then in July Tim and Miriama Patrick came to visit.
As near as we can figure it's been 28 or 29 years since we have seen them! They were visiting Kirtland, Ohio and then continued driving another 6 1/2 hours or so to see us. I knew Tim before either if us was married and Tim even came to Washington D.C. for our wedding! We were thrilled to see them and catch up on the passage of so many years! We even got to see a few things around the area when the weather permitted! (What a rainy summer we have had in Kentucky!)

 Tim and Miriama at Waveland

High Bridge

Miriama at the castle in Versailles

 Tim is a wonderful guitar and piano player! I remember him impressing everyone with his skills back in the day and he got to do it again on this visit! 

 An early morning selfie (about 6:30 am!)  

The weekend after Tim and Miriama visited we got a call from Cathy and Keith Wilson. They had been in Nauvoo for a wedding and were traveling back home to North Carolina and we were able to put them up for the night. I have known Cathy since I was 16! The last time we saw each other was 5 or 6 years ago but the last time I saw her husband, Keith and her daughter, Ashlee was about 15 years ago! Even though the visit was short it was awesome sitting up till 3:30 in the morning catching up!  They had to leave early the next morning but we were so glad they made us one of their stops on the way home!

Cathy and I

Cathy slouching down to *my* height! :)

Keith, Cathy and Ashlee (their son Michael is on a mission in Brazil and due home in about 6 weeks!) 

What a fabulous summer of seeing long time friends! The years pass but time does not dim the love and friendship! We love you all!

30 Years & Long Time Friends

Thirty years ago on June 20th, 1985 was one of the most amazing days of my life, the day that Tim and I were married. 

My mother putting on my veil

Tim and I met in Hawaii back in 1982. It was thanks to Joan and Cal Miller that we got together. Tim was in the Navy serving on a submarine and I went to Hawaii and stayed with the Hill family who I had met in New York. The Hills went to church with us and when they found out they were going to Hawaii they invited me go to and stay with them. Looking back the real motive was that I could be a built-in babysitter for them but I didn't realize that at the time. But it was a good thing I didn't realize it because then I wouldn't have gone and if I hadn't gone I wouldn't have met Tim! 

Upon getting to Hawaii (Oahu) in early September I began to regularly attend a Family Home Evening group at Joan and Cal's home where they opened their home and hearts to so many. I remember hearing Tim's name the first Sunday I attended church when it was announced that Tim Valenta was voted sailor of the year :) but I didn't actually meet him until weeks later. 

The first mention of Tim in my journal from all those years ago was October 23rd when we went on our first date. Joan and Cal had tickets for themselves to attend a presentation that back in the day was called "Know Your Religion". Cal was in charge of ticket sales and he and Joan had two tickets they couldn't use on that particular night, so they asked Tim if he wanted to use them and that was our first date. :) We were a little nervous using the tickets because they had Joan and Cal's name on them and we weren't Joan and they would have even known...hahaha! It said on the ticket that they were non-transferable so when we got there we told the guy taking tickets that we weren't Joan and Cal but they weren't able to be there so they gave us their tickets. I remember the guy looking at us kind of puzzled and he said, "Why do you have to be so honest?"  BWHAHAHAHA!  So that was our "first date"...that presentation followed by a "drive around the island" where we stopped to see the Laie, Hawaii Temple. It was a lovely first date that even included a stop at a 7-Eleven on the other side of the island for some Triscuit crackers and a drink. :)

Fast forward 30 years and we are still in touch with Joan. Cal passed away and it had been 9 years since we last saw Joan when we were able to meet up briefly in Louisville as she was passing through with some friends who she was traveling with after Cal's passing. Joan remarried about 6 years ago. We had not met David but only heard about him from Joan in her emails. We were thrilled to have Joan and David make a stop on their recent RV trip from California, giving us a chance to see Joan again and meet David! We loved having them and appreciate so much the time they made to see us.     

  Joan and David visiting Kentucky

Annah, Joan, David & Abigail

Joan and David took us out to dinner to celebrate our 30th anniversary. It was so fitting to be with them since it was Joan that had a hand in bringing Tim and I together so many years ago. 

We are so grateful for long time friends and anniversaries! 

Thanks again Joan and David! We surely hope it won't be so long before we meet up again! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Miles of Memories

In the kitchen of our house is a dry erase board. It almost always has something written on it....lists of things needed from the store, count downs to important events like prom or camp, messages & phone numbers scrawled on it, funny notes and pictures. 

This list was left on the board by the girls as they were getting ready for a week at girls camp. 

This wasn't the first time "a new car" has appeared on a list of things needed or a to-do list. It was showing up with more frequency over the past few months.

Abigail made us laugh one day when she told us that the van was so loud (okay, so the exhaust system needed replacing!) that when she left work with it she would coast out of the drive way before accelerating so she wouldn't be embarrassed! BWHAHAHA!  

As much as we hated to admit it, we knew the time was coming that we might have to look into getting a different vehicle but we wanted to put it off as long as we possible. Both of our vehicles are old (and loved) and we drive them till they won't drive anymore! 

When the girls left for girls camp one of the last things they kidded about was, "Don't get a new car while we're gone! But if you do make sure it's not ugly!" 

So just how did they know that days later that is what would happen?  We totally expected that it would be Tim's truck that gave up the ghost first but it was actually our beloved van. :(  

Our van was OLD and had a LOT of miles and it needed repairs that would cost more than what made sense to put into in. The brake lines all needed replacing (found that out when my brakes began failing on a long drive back from Morehead, KY with Jacob!), the exhaust needed to be replaced, the struts were shot and dangerously close to breaking through and the head gasket was bad. Not to mention the weekend before all this happened we had just sunk $200 into replacing the fan unit because it had stopped working and the van was overheating. When our mechanic called Tim he said, "Before I tell you what's wrong let me suggest you just get rid of it." That is not what you want to hear your mechanic say!

The time had come. I won't lie, I felt a little sad to think about giving up my van. It's a 2000 Town & Country and we bought it used in 2006. 

This was the van when it was new to us.

There have been miles of memories with our van over the past 9 years. It has been to New York and Minnesota (and all places in between) countless times and as recently as last December we took it on its last cross country run to Arizona then to San Diego, California for Jordan and McKenna's wedding. (Okay, so it needed $700 in repairs to get it to the point of trusting it for the trip!)

When we parted ways the van had nearly 212,000 miles on it, the area by the gas cap was rusted through and the rear passengers side was sporting a hefty dent from a rogue shopping cart at Sam's Club on a windy day. The inside resembled a circus tent as the fabric on the ceiling had come loose and was sagging down and was attached only at the outer edges and the middle where the ceiling light was. The humidity affected the tightness of the fabric -- some days it would tighten up and look great and some days it was hanging so low that the fabric nearly rested on my head as I drove.   

It went a lot of miles taking us to see loved ones in different states, transporting sick kids to doctor appointments, endless trips to school, track meets, volleyball games, birthday parties, church dances, proms, and even radiation and chemo treatments. It was even home to a rock collection the kids had from the many places we have been. 

They have been in there for years and yes, I took them out before we sent it to the van cemetery. :) 

The van's last ride.... Tim did the honors because the brakes were totally gone so it was a very careful drive.  

What can't be seen in this picture is the tailpipe bobbing up and down like one of those bobble head dogs nodding on a car dashboard. :)  

This is the van's replacement, a 2014 Hyundai Elantra. This is a BIG change for me since I have been driving a van for the past 20 years!! 

There are things that I will miss about not having a "mommy van" 
(as drawn by Jacob in 1999) 

But, it is just a matter of time before we will have miles of new memories taking shape in this car and the best part is that we don't have to coast to avoid being embarrassed. :)  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


It has been oh so long since I have blogged! I have thought about it often but never put fingers to keys to accomplish the job. 

The girls and I have been out of school for a little over a month now. Yeah, I have not kept up with writing since my new-found summer freedom. Even though we got out of school on May 27th my summer was a bit delayed in getting started while I dealt with some oral surgery gone wrong. But things are better and I am better and rather enjoying my time off at home! 

I am going to do a few blog posts to catch up on the things that have been going on beginning with Abigail's graduation...

Abigail graduated from high school on May 29th. Oh, what a bitter sweet day!

She did it!

That graduation smile!

 Abigail's hat decorated with sea glass...That was one heavy hat but she managed to keep it on her head! :)

Abigail & Annah

Mom & Abigail

Dad & Abigail

Group picture
Andrew, Jacob, Elizabeth Lindmark, Abigail, Annah, Mom & Dad

A celebration dinner at Chik-Fil-A :)

I did a little bit of an ugly cry when I saw what Abigail wrote on the inside of her graduation hat. I am pretty certain they were watching. 

The day after graduation there was a joint party for the group of kids from church that were graduating. Lots of people came to wish the graduates well on their next adventure.

Friends: Daniel, Ashley, Melanie, Abigail and Timmy

This picture just cracked me up of Abigail and Timmy! They have known each other since they were babies!

When Abigail was a little girl she loved dogs and horses. She wanted a horse so badly! She asked why she couldn't have a horse and I told her that it wouldn't fit in our backyard. Thinking about that she told me that we could just use the field behind our house. :)  I told her we couldn't because that wasn't our property. She was discouraged by my answers to her plans for getting a horse. In her frustration she pleaded, "Well, how am I going to have a horse??"

I had to think for a second and then replied, "When you grow up you will just have to marry a farmer so you can have a horse!"

She was very quiet. I could see her thinking about what I said. Suddenly her face lit up and she said, "Brother Thomas is a farmer... I could marry him!" 

Brother Thomas was a man in our ward who did indeed have a few horses and had a small farm where he grew tobacco and later soy beans. He was also a lawyer but Abigail only knew him to be a farmer. :)

This is David Thomas giving Abigail a ride on his 
horse, Missy, when she was 6 years old. 
(a few years after she decided she could marry him because he was a farmer.)

David was at the graduation party and we just *had* to 
have a picture nearly 12 years later. :)

Abigail now has a job at Cracker Barrel and will leave mid-August to attend Brigham Young University-Idaho. Jordan and McKenna are also at BYU-I so we feel better knowing that they are there to take care of her. :)

It's uncharted territory for all of us as Abigail leaves and Annah becomes the only child at home. Annah has never been an only child before and it's been a lot of years since we have had only one at home! But we will embrace the changes that are ahead for each of us and remember the adage, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!" :)