Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hurray--the video at last. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This video is of Christine--age 12--and her experience on the "Leap of Faith" pole. she climbed up a 60ft.+ pole and had to stand up. Nothing to hold on to-just balance on the end of this pole. She's tethered with a harness, etc. for safety and then must leap out and grab the trapeze swing. She was too short to reach the swing and had to free fall back down. When she got our of her harness and came to sit by me she was shaking. "It was the scariest thing I've ever done". Kevin did it the next day and seconded her feelings.

My first Slide Show

Thanks to Em I've now learned how to make a slide show AND add text to the pictures. Enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Families are wonderful

So, we got home yesterday from the Jeppson Family reunion in McCall, Idaho. We walked in the door at 1:07 P.M. and I had my PJ's on by 1:30--made some lunch and then took a nap. We played very hard for 5 days and had a ball. It was great to see my Mom and siblings, nieces and nephews and the 4th generation kids--over 120 all together. I'll give you the short version: Cabins, lodge, beach, boats, skiing, zip line, climbing wall, horses, wagon rides, eating, bon fires, talent show, awesome pinewood derby racing, auction (made lots of money for the next reunion), laughing, talking, playing. That's about it. The facility in amazing with lots of things to do and room to play. Cousin kids made new friends and it was sad to say goodbye yet again. Everyone was so happy to see Cris doing so well and we had lots of help available when needed. It was great.

As the second generation reaches their 50's and 60's we are touched by the love we share with each other and our children, nieces and nephews (3rd generation). Then there's the 4th generation of super kids. To watch them connect and feel the bond with all 4 generations is very heartwarming. And all because my Mom, Gramma Decker, found the gospel at age 18 and was baptised. There are now over 200 of her posterity enjoying the blessings of the gospel and feeling her influence every day.

Life IS good!! Enjoy the pictures. I've tried to pick just a few.

Monday, August 18, 2008

5th Ward Young Women in days gone by

I thought I'd post these 2 pictures (there's more where those came from) of the 5th ward's new young women's president. Priceless!! Amy will be a terrific leader for the youth of our ward for many reasons. She LOVED camp (the picture says it all) and she's still a kid at heart. Ahhhhh, the boys did love her. How many people can you recognize in these pictures?

I'm off to Idaho for my family reunion. Will have lots to share upon my return.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Oregon munchkins

So these pictures were taken in June on our Oregon trip. It was a GREAT trip with lots happening. We'll label this trip "Cousins Swap/Cris and Carol's Oregon Coast trip". The short version: We drove (with Riley) to Gold Beach, OR and met Kevin and family at an awesome beach house for the weekend. Thanks again Kevin for the great beach house. Tons of fun at Gold Beach. Then Riley went with Kevin's family to their house for the week while Cris and I drove up the Oregon Coast stopping at every lighthouse we could find. Awesome does not describe it. We ended up back at Kevin's house at the end of the week in time to see Christine's recital which was beautiful. There were lots of adventures but I won't elaborate. We then headed back to Bakersfield with Riley, Christine and Seth in tow so they could spend some cousin time with the Bakersfield group. At the end of that week, Emily and Sherod drove up to Kevin's returning his two. All-in-all it was great! We love these Oregon kids so much and the 9 hour drive is always worth it.

Our next trip is next week when we head to McCall, Idaho for the Jeppson Family Reunion. I will definitely have pictures and tales to tell when we get back.

Signing off with a song: Happy Birthday to my Mom--Gramma Decker--86 years young today.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Today's Highlighted Grandchildren are Bella and Tasha

Our visit with Nick's family in Las Vegas in July was super fun. We were able to see Bella and Tasha dance in their recital. This brings back such fond memories of Emily and Becca and their ballet days. Lori was a super supportive back stage mom with the costumes, hair and make up, etc. and the girls had so much fun performing. Little Miss Bella was a good leader for her group as you can see in the picture and always knew where she was going. Tasha had 3 dances and was fabulous! I was very impressed with the terrific costumes and choreography. Watching our grandchildren grow and enjoy life is high on our list of "things we love". Bella and Tasha are beautiful little girls. Tasha is more like Lori and Bella is a lot like Nick. Fun, fun, fun. We are thrilled that we can visit with them with only a short 4 hour drive.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This is what Gramma's do.

As you can see by the picture, some kids have their Gramma's wrapped around their little fingers. Charlie and I were having fun one day and he was in a really cuddly mood. So he wants me to lay by him and watch Animal Planet. I say OK, even though I have stuff to do--it can wait. The show is not that interesting so he wants to know if we can play stickers. Again, I say OK. "I'll get you some paper Charlie", I say. "No sanks Gwamma, I want to decorate your face". You can figure out what happened next. He also likes my glasses. Thinks they make him look cool. Life is good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

ALS Clinic Day

OK--so today we left the house at 6:30 A.M. and headed down to Cedar Sinai for our day at the ALS Clinic. For those of you who aren't familiar with this activity it goes as follows: You arrive at the clinic at 8:30 and check in. They call you back to an exam room and all the different specialties rotate in to see you. Physical Therapist, occupational therapist, social worker, speech, pulmonary. dietitian and finally Dr. Abi. We don't need the speech, pulmonary, social worker or dietitian but the PT, OT and Dr. Abi are very helpful. The long and short of it--we learned more PT to keep him mobile and safe and the OT suggested some equipment. Dr. Abi noted his further loss of strength in hands, arms and legs, etc. but was upbeat about everything.

So here's the fun part. We drove from Cedars to Pasadena to the ALS equipment loan pool and came away with some awesome new equipment/toys. A shower chair (I know, cool huh), a transporter chair--basically a wheel chair with 4 small wheels since he can't use his arms anyway. It's much lighter and easier to put in the car. An uplift seat--what's that you ask? It looks like a cushion only it has hydraulics and when you start to get up it gives your bum a boost and up you go. You should try it--it's good for a giggle. The gadgets for handicapped people are way cool. The most awesomest new thing is----are you ready----a power recliner. Yup, press a button and you can go up or down. Those puppies cost $2,000 and we're excited to use this one for free. Can you just see the Grandkids fighting over their turn in the chair? It's comin'.

We felt really good about the day and really appreciate the support the ALSA give to PALS. Oh yah--in case you didn't know--PALS stands for Person with ALS. Thus Parks Pals. Catchy name for our walk-a-thon team in October. More on that when I have time.

Again, happy birthday to Sherod. We love you very much.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blogging--Day Two

Don't expect a new post every day--unless I become addicted. Today's news: the fridge is fixed to the tune of $213.65. Some say we should be grateful it wasn't more--some say a refrigerator should last longer than 3 years. Especially the uber (is that how you spell it?) expensive kind with the shiny silver skin. All I'm sayin' is I'm glad it's fixed and my ice cream and Cris' Pepsi are happy again. Let's focus on the important stuff, right? It took the repairmen 2 trips today and two new mother boards before we heard the sweet purr of the fan and the temp. started going down. Everyone is OK now. I was blessed to be born in modern times with electricity, etc. Would not have been a cheerful pioneer.

I took Riley, Jack and Charlie on a date one last time before school starts. They chose Borders Book Store and to my surprise Riley and Jack already had books in mind. Riley wanted The Hobbit and Jack wanted "Judy something Jones". Charlie is another story. "Gramma, can you help me find a really freaky book with scary stuff and I don't want a coloring book--they are not freaky". This is how our conversations go. It took many tries before he found the right scary dinosaur book--scary teeth included. Then it was to the donut shop for a treat and that was all the fun we could have for one day. We came back to our house where Charlie immediately navigated my computer to Nick Jr. and began playing his games. He's 4 people!

Here's some really fun news: I went to my new Allergist (Eric Boron--graduated with Kevin) for skin testing. If you have never had this done before--it's really fun. They prick your back 80 times with different "juice" and then you wait about 20 minutes to see what happens. What happens isssssssssss--your back bubbles up and the itching begins in earnest. "Don't touch" just wait. Then they see a few that did not react very much so they inject (with a small needle--not a prickly thing) 21 spots on your upper arm. Now this is more fun because you can see the bubbles as they develop. This actually makes your brain think they itch more that your back did but probably not. Some of these babies were the size of quarters so I'm thinkin' my result report is going to be interesting. All is well now--it's over--NBD (please refer to previous post for definition of NBD)

Signing off with a song: "Happy Birthday to Sherod, etc. etc."

Monday, August 11, 2008


OK--so the first time didn't take completely. To continue:

1. I'm in my Jaimoca Almond Fudge phase. Usually I'm eating watermellon all summer long but not so much this year.
2. Cris must have his Pepsi/Diet Pepsi 1/2 and 1/2 or the day isn't complete. Water is tasteless so why drink it?
3. We need to see grand kids every day--well almost every day--or we're a little grumpy.
4. We are heading down to Cedars to the ALS clinic on Wednesday for a follow up visit. They track his "decline" and offer support services. We are grateful that his decline is not fast. It's all relative--we're saying it's slow.
5. We're going to participate in the "Defeat ALS Walk" on October 3 and will have our own team "Parks PALS" More on that later.
6. We are very grateful for our family. Our kids and grand kids are the best and brightest and bring a lot of joy to our life.
7. Our very expensive 3 year old fridge went on the blink yesterday--repairman coming tomorrow--not happy about this. Luckily the Pepsi and the ice cream is in the outside fridge. Phew! That was close.

Her I Go Into the Blog-a-sphere!

Well, friends and loved ones, I finally decided it was time to enter the world of blogging. Be aware--I'm new at this and must learn as I go but I soooooo enjoy other people's blogs and thought, hmmmmmm, maybe those peeps would enjoy my info too. Our life is not nearly as interesting as some of you but we have fun stuff--yes we do! For instance--just today my baby Clara was totally laying in my arms and smiling at me and we were communicating with our minds (sorta like Nessy-if you don't know who Nessy is--you live under a rock) and she really yuvs me.

Here's a short update on our life: