Tuesday, May 30, 2017

20 Years of Memorial Day

Abe here:  I LOVE Memorial Day and this was our 20th year in a row of gathering at Wasatch Lawn Memorial on 33rd South at 9:00am on the last Monday of May.  I'll now post 20 pics of 20 years of Memorial Day (or thereabouts)....I couldn't find a pic from every single year.  This pic is from 1998 and Betsy and I were still in our first year of marriage.  Please note my father-in-law's Red, White & Blue Shirt which he has worn almost every year since, including yesterday.
1999:  No pics from this Memorial Day, but remembering Betsy's Mom, Alene Clark Cannon, who passed away in 2001, has become one of the most cherished parts of what we do each year -- sharing stories and memories of this amazing woman.  Here she is a month before Memorial Day 1999, and this was also two months before Clark was born.
2000:  Again, no pic from this Memorial Day, but here we are about that time of year with my brother and his wife, Jesse & Amy Fox and their oldest, Alexis.  Clark's first Memorial Day was that year.
2001:  Bethany was only a couple months old and we all were still very much mourning the loss of Mom (she passed away February 2, 2001).
2002:  Here we are at Valley View in West Valley City where Betsy has Grandparents and we both have Great-Grandparents buried.
2003:  We'll often sit (or stand) under the shade of this tree sharing stories of our ancestors, most notably led by Betsy's Uncle Lane Clark.  This was Elinor's first Memorial Day.
2004:  Also, please note Betsy's Dad's "U.S. Army" hat he often wears.  He retired after 20 years of service and many others in the Cannon family have served in the military, including a Great Uncle Abraham Hugh Cannon who died in WWII in the Pacific.  I'm so grateful for all who have sacrificed so much, even their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.
2005:  This was the year we lost our full-term stillborn daughter, Tessa Alene Fox.  I know that Betsy and I will get to be with all of our daughters and sons in the eternities!
2006:  The four Cannon siblings remembering Mom.....and Faith's first Memorial Day!
2007:  I'm so thankful I married into this Amazing Cannon Family!!
2008:  This was 2 days before Cannon Jolley Fox joined our family!!
2009:  Blurry family pic year and Cannon's first official Memorial Day
2010:  Over the years we will run into other friends or family, and this particular year we met my Great Uncle Aaron Jolley and he gave Elinor a $2 Bill on the spot because she had just lost a tooth.  His grandchildren call him "Grandpa Tooth Fairy".
2011:  George's first Memorial Day
2012:  My Mom's Grandparents in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
2013:  We have bought a lot of chrysanthemums over the years
2014:  We're often facing right into the morning sun for this particular pic
2015:  Peter's first Memorial Day
2016:  George & Cannon with their namesake.....
2017:  Our first Memorial Day with Greta!!  I truly hope to continue this tradition for the rest of my life.  I am so very grateful for it and the example and legacy of service, sacrifice, devotion and goodness of those we honor each Memorial Day.  It truly is my favorite holiday!!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Song & Dance Boys

I told Clark he is quite the enigma.  The boy loathed singing throughout all of his years of Primary.  Occasionally he will deign to sing in the ward choir at Christmas time.   But that is a stretch.  But then he reveals that he can do  THIS!  

What the what?  You, my friend, have been hiding your light under a bushel.  He did give me permission to post this video, so I guess the secret is out.  Clark can, in fact, sing.  And sing quite well.  However, I am his mother, and consequently, my praise is not to be believed nor is it a reliable source of judgment.  Whatever!
This is the number he did for a Singing in the Rain audition on Friday night.  He went to call backs and now we're waiting to see if he gets a part other than ensemble.  Either way, the summer teen/ young adult plays are a highlight of the summer for the teens in our house.

When I took him to the audition, I asked the director what she had in mind for the young Don Lockwood and the young Cosmo.  If you remember, they have a very short scene toward the beginning of the movie where they are dancing and get thrown out of a bar.  I told her Cannon could tap dance and he could come in the morning and audition when Bethany and Elinor were planning to come.
So that night we helped Cannon work up a little song and dance number.  Bethany helped him choreograph and we had so much fun! I'm going to put up three different videos of him.  I'm sorry it's overkill, but this just made my Mother's Day weekend!
Here is the first one I'll post.  It's with him singing and dancing with the piano

Here he is performing it a capella

And this one is my favorite!  This was Saturday night when he'd been working so hard to learn the song, ("Fortuosity" from my all-time favorite movie, The Happiest Millionaire).  He's moving all around because he hadn't figured out how to do the dance while staying in the same place.  He's going slower because he was really concentrating on remembering the words and choreography.  I adore this video because THIS is life in a big family.  It's late.  George is totally zonked out on the coach.  Abe is walking around turning off the lights because he's tired and wants to go to bed.  Cannon just dances right past the laundry basket on the kitchen floor.  Abe and Clark are walking around paying absolutely no attention to the kid who is singing and dancing his little heart out.
Life just keeps on moving and sometimes the attention is on you and sometimes it's on others.  You just keep doing your thing and then we all come together to celebrate one another's accomplishments.


Mother's Day 2017

Abe planted some beautiful marigolds in our front planters as a Mother's Day gift.  He grew up with his mother always having marigolds and I quite like the cheerful yellow flowers as well.  Anyway, they have survived their first four days of life here at our house, so we think their chances of remaining with us all summer are quite good.  We are optimistic.  We are optimistic for all forms of life that require very little care on on our part and are noted for their durability.
Cannon had the brilliant idea to buy me this stash of all my favorite treats for a Mother's Day gift and then create a treasure hunt with clues to have me find the goodies.  He convinced Abe to take him to the store early on Thursday morning.  By Thursday afternoon the treasure hunt was completed.  When you're eight years old, it's just too hard to hold on to a secret that good.  He was good enough to share the credit and glory with his siblings-- which was the right choice since Abe was his financier.
This was the Mother's Day gift I requested of Abe.  I don't usually request specific gifts-- well, unless you count my chuck wagon dinner bell-- but I wanted a more feminine apron.  I've been wearing this black and purple witch apron that I purchased at Old Navy about ten years ago.  It worked well , but I thought I might try to soften my image around the house.  I told Abe, "flowers, polka dots, and/or ruffles, and a sturdy material."
Talk about specific requests!  Sheesh!
Anywho, I thought that since Abe works at a lot of boutiques and crafty types of shows with Winder, that finding such an apron would be super easy.  Apparently, it wasn't, but he was determined and after four different stores he found this little beauty.  I quite like it.  I think I shall cook a little more this week just so I can wear it.
I like how in this picture Greta insisted on sitting with Clark.  She can't get enough of him.  As his time to leave home approaches I can't get enough of him either.  Except on our family walk I insisted on this afternoon.  It was Mother's Day and a beautiful day at that.  Come on, everyone!  We're going on a Mother's Day walk!  They all came somewhat willingly, which is a remarkable Mother's Day offering on their part.  But they just weren't behaving as pleasantly as I would have liked.  After one block they were released to go back home and go back to watching Studio C, so Abe and I could continue our walk in peace.  It was a win/win for everyone.
Who was happier to have Daddy home from work?  Daddy or the little ones?
Oh wait... it was me.  I was the happiest to have him home.
Hanging out on the trampoline with kiddos on Saturday.  It was lovely.  One of the older girls asked me why I've been taking so many selfies.  I don't know.  I thought I hated selfies.
Searching for "Tato Buggies" (potato bugs/ rolly polly bugs) with Peter.
Another really nice thing this week was on Friday right when I was in the thick of doing math with Elinor and Faith, a wonderful friend from the ward brought me this bowl of watermelon and a nice note.  It was refreshing in more ways than one.
George and Peter built themselves a fort this evening while we watched Singing in the Rain.  So in a nutshell, this Mother's Day, I went to church, I had lovely meals, I went on a walk, I took a nap, I watched a movie with my family, and now I'm getting to blog.  That, my friends, is as good as it gets!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Miraculous Pictures

We recently had our family pictures taken down at Thanksgiving Point and I was so, so pleased with how they turned out.  I wanted tulips in the pictures! Last year I was very concerned about being able to fully experience this last year of having all of our children at home.  With a new baby, an intense toddler, college and mission to help prepare for, and several kids in between, I knew we'd be busy and I knew Abe and I would be suffering from a lack of sleep and general exhaustion.  I just really wanted to remember the feeling of our family at this time and soak it all in.
Of course there have been challenges, but overall I feel my prayers have been answered and I have been able to enjoy and treasure this year as a family.  These pictures capture very well my feelings about this year.
There are always dirty dishes in the sink.  There is always laundry to wash, fold, and put away.  There are always books littering the family room floor.  Lego sprawl is a real thing.  The teenagers will not go to bed until midnight!  The little ones will not sleep past seven.  They argue over who gets the funnies at the breakfast table.
If you'd have told me when we were first starting out that we would have this many children, and that I would enjoy it as much as I do, I don't think I would have believed it.
Greta at 9 1/2 months.  Perfection.  Snuggly and sweet and everything I ever hoped for in a baby.
Intensity, thy name is Peter.
And we love and adore you.
And we're a little bit afraid of you.
But we love you to pieces.
There is a mischievous little twinkle in his eyes, but he's a tender heart.  He's quite the little looker...that is to say, he is always looking for new things to collect!
Probably the last pictures of George before the teeth start falling out.  He is 6 years old.
Was someone saying something about mischievous?
Oh, my heart.  I really can't take it.  This boy is quick as a whip, with a heart of gold.
Cannon turns 9 later this month.
She is a gem!  A hardworking, determined, friendly little gem!
Faith recently turned 11 years old.  Say it isn't so.
At 14 years old, Elinor stands about 5'10" and she is seriously coming into her own.
Smart, clever, kind, and a sense of humor that keeps me laughing.
Bethany is 16 and good and faithful, playful and organized.  She is disciplined and self-motivated.
And she does not love her picture.  But I do.  And it's my blog.  So there.
I can't say too much here or I'll start to cry.  He is finally his own man, just like he's always wanted to be.  Adulthood will suit him better than childhood.  I hope a grand life adventure awaits him.
He turns 18 in July.  My goodness that went fast.
So handsome.  He is aging so well.  Some of my little darlings have noted that I look older than dad.  Charming, charming children that they are.
Abe recently announced, "It's a miracle!  I'm turning into Mitt Romney!"
He was referring to the dignified graying of his sideburns and sides of his hair.
If you have blonde hair do not ever complain to me about your hair going gray.  
Abe is delighted with his graying pattern.  I AM NOT.  Going gray is a rough road if you have black hair.  I know it's not much yet, but must it be right on the top of my head?
A little closer view.  I know, I know, nobody cares but me.  And once again, I guess I don't actually care that much about it.
I love almost all these pictures.  I admit the pose in this one looks like a bad high school dance picture.  Oh well, we can't be fabulous all the time.
Please excuse me while I go get a box of tissues.
Sniff, sniff.
My womenfolk.  "... Somewhere in my youth or childhood... I must have done something good."
One more because it makes me happy.
...Something very, very good.
Fox Family, May 2017