Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mike's Mission Call

I bake or clean when I get stressed. Wednesday, 3 days after Kate opened her mission call, I woke up thinking Mike's was coming today. I started baking. Probably a little too much, but that's what I do. The kids kept telling me, it might not be today, but I kept baking. 

Our mail comes late in the afternoon. Mike had been in and out (wonder if he cleared that with the attendance office), checking to see if the mail had arrived. Around 2:00, while Mike was at school, or so I thought, I sent Kate out to check for mail. She came in empty handed. Little did we know, that Mike had stalked the mail carrier. He waited in the truck for her to arrived grabbed his big white envelope right before Kate went out to check the mail. He then called me to tell me what time to expect our guests. I was a little apprehensive to ask Steve's family to come up again, but Mike wanted everyone there. They were good sports to come twice in one week.

I know how badly Mike wanted to be called to the Anchorage, Alaska mission.  That is the same mission that his dad served in years ago.  Every time someone would mention him being called to that particular mission, I would cringe.  I knew had much he wanted to serve there, but really, what were the odds. I didn't want him to be disappointed.

I can't explain the incredible spirit that was there when he opened his call.  It's as if the heavens were open for a brief moment.  We felt such love, peace, and contentment .  Our special angel must have been there smiling upon us. Tears were shed by many, as we listened to him state that he had been called to the Anchorage, Alaska mission.  He will be leaving July 10th, right after Kate.

We couldn't be more excited for this cute boy!  I am so proud of him, and love him so much!  What a great kid he is!

Mike and I.
Mike wouldn't let anyone guess Alaska.  He thought it would jinx him.  So Grandpa and I guessed Canada, pretty close.
The mission call.
The crowd.
Grandma and Grandpa with Mike.
Our family.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kate's Mission Call

Kate's mission call came while we were vacationing in sunny California.  We were expecting it on Wednesday, but it didn't come until Thursday.  We have been on pins and needles, wondering where and when she might go.  Not wanting to cancel our vacation plans, or open it without us, we made Kate wait to open it until we returned on Sunday.

It was in the back of my mind the entire time, but it wasn't until we were leaving for the airport to return home that it became reality.  It became quite a distraction for me, and my mind seemed to be in another place.  As we were leaving the hotel I walked in the men's restroom, couldn't find the rental car key that was in my hand, and thought I lost my sunglasses which were attached to my shirt.  Yes, I think my mind was on something else.

We returned home 1 hour before the party was scheduled for Kate to open her call.  Thanks to my sweet girl's, everything was ready.  They had each made desserts, and picked up Kate's favorite bakery treat - eclairs.

Kate couldn't have been more surprised when she opened her call.  No one knew where Vanuatu was.  Everyone started googling, to find out where she was going.  It is a little island close to Fiji.  She will be speaking English, although French and Balsamic are the most predominate languages there.  She leaves July 3rd, and is very excited for her adventure.

Each person visiting, got to predict where Kate was going.  NO ONE, chose Vanuatu, Port Vila Mission.  Grandpa Brown and I had guessed Australia, which was the closet.

What an amazing girl Kate is!  I am so proud of her and her decision to serve the people of Port Vila! Love this girl!

Kate and I in great anticipation.
Yummy treats!

Non edited video!  Wish I knew how to edit.

Kate's mission.
Friends and family.
Before, and after.
The Cottle's and Kate.
The Hansen's and Kate.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Valentines 2013

Valentine's Day was celebrated 3 days early at our house, since we would be in Disneyland on the actual day.  The traditional celebration took place with heart shaped pizza, and cookies.  Cutler's sugar cookies were a hit as usual.  They were in such great demand, Meg had to create a barrier to save her cookie from being taken.

I always get the kids a little something for Valentines.  This year was extra fun having a baby to buy for.  Mason got a basketball hoop and balls for the tub, and one of my favorite books.  Babies are a delight to have around for the holidays!

Words can't express the love I have for this crew!

Mike had somewhere better to be.  I wouldn't let him go without a picture.  The picture sums it up, "I hate pictures, and I just want to get out of here."

Friday, February 22, 2013

Disneyland 2013

Aww...fresh air, blue skies, and flowers. Just what the doctor ordered after months of living in Iceland USA.  The warm temperature and beautiful scenery boosted our spirits a little, not to mentioned the main reason of our vacation....DISNEYLAND!

The happiest place on earth, did not disappoint.  We loved our 3 day adventure to one of our favorite places, Disneyland, and California Adventure.  Our personal guides, and favorite friends, made it extra fun!  The Larsen family came equipped with pedometers (that's right two),  comfortable walking shoes, and big smiles!  They know how to get the most out of Disneyland, that's for sure.

Each day began at 7:30 for a quick breakfast, and off to the park by eight.  We stayed all day until 10:30 or 11:00, while Mike and Lindsey kept the candle burning until midnight.  There wasn't a ride we missed. The crowds were minimal on the first two days.  When the weekend arrived, it got crowded.  No worries!  Since running in the park is prohibited, Molly the famous speed walker, would quickly get us fast passes, and the best place in line.  When she began sprinting through Cars Land, jumping over "Red" (the fire engine), to get our spot on the new Cars ride, we began to understand her dedication to her title as "Head Guide".  Just kidding Molly, but if you haven't seen Molly speed walk, it's impressive!

Ben became known as the Churro Man.  He brought his own money from home, $48 to be exact.  He bought a $10 souvenir, and other than that.....churros.  Whenever we couldn't find Ben, we would find him waiting in line for a churro or churro in hand.  Molly finally told Ben, "If you ever get lost, go directly to a churro stand.  We will find you." Ben even bought one for his sister.  Let me explain.

Ben went on every ride at both Disneyland and California Adventure.  Sometimes we would forget that he is only 10 and would enjoy some of the "kid" rides.  We did stop for rides in Bug's Life, Toon Town, Car's Land, and Fantasyland. Besides, the "little kid" rides, he would bravely ride all the scary rides with us.  The only ride he wouldn't ride is California Screamin'.

One day, all of us decided to go on Screamin', but Ben.  I told him to take the backpack, and Lizzy's phone, and wait for us on a bench until the ride was over.  The line was a little long, so I started calling him to make sure he was ok.  No one answered.  We decided that maybe he just didn't hear the phone ring.  When we got off of our ride, we found Ben sitting in a corner by the exit waiting for us.  What a good boy.  We quickly ran over to Toy Story to get in line, when I asked Ben for the backpack.  As I grabbed the backpack it felt....different.  I opened it up, only to find all of our belongings in 4 inches of water.  To make matters worse, Ben had placed Lizzy's phone in the backpack to avoid loosing it. Dang! There was her phone floating in water along with our other belongings.

It took me just a minute to figure out what had happened.  The kids were thirsty, so I bought two water bottles.  Ben had opened one while we were on our ride, got a drink, and placed it in the backpack without the lid on tight. Oh dear! Molly and I took all the belongings out to air dry them, but the phone would not turn on. Ben felt horrible, that he had ruined Lizzy's phone.

Minutes before we got on the ride Ben bolted out of line.  He didn't explain where he was going, he just left.  I jumped out of line to go looking for him.  I thought perhaps he had to use the restroom, and went looking that direction.  My phone rang and Mike said, "He's at the churro stand."  When I arrived at the churro stand, Ben had a big smile, he told me he was buying a churro for Lizzy since he ruined her phone.  How sweet!  I told him how thoughtful that was, and hurried over to the ride as everyone was getting on.  I smooth talked the workers, to get us to the front of the line with the rest of our crew.

At the end of the ride, Ben gave Lizzy the churro.  They hugged, exchanged pleasantries, and moved on.  Lizzy was brave to forgive and to move on without holding a grudge.  And the cute little Churro Man, just warmed my heart.

I faced one of my fears on this trip.  In the past, I have hugely disliked the Tower of Terror. I decided to be brave, and ride it along with everyone else.  After about the 4th time, I quite liked it.  We tried to get me to face another fear of Finding Nemo, but it didn't work.  Dang, those submarines! Last minute, I ran!  Yep, I made everyone stand up and move while I quickly exited.  The offered me an "alternative experience" (a movie in a room for the scaredey cats), but I declined.  Maybe, if they had offered popcorn with the movie:).

I lost a bet on Tower of Terror, so on Splash Mountain.....well.....let's just say I might have had an embarrassing moment. End of story, and those of you with me, are forbidden to tell that story!

Disneyland couldn't have been better!  We had a lot of laughs, and loved it!  Our pedometers registered around 15 miles per day.  Holy cow!  I think I may have walked a marathon.  Maybe that will be my next adventure, or....maybe not!

The entrance to the Happiest Place On Earth
Alice In Wonderland.  We even hit a few kiddie rides.
Lizzy found her own favorite spot.
Ben with Lightning Mcqueen.
Mike on the carousel.  He needed some "alone" time.
Molly and I at World of Color.
Splash Mountain.
Tower of Terror....  YOLO (You Only Live Once).
The Churro Man.
Toon Town, Splash Mountain, and Screamin.
Catching up with some old friends.
The Rides.
World of Color, and Fantasmic.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bountiful High School Basketball Senior Night

Bountiful High School's Basketball Team is undefeated in Region.  They have had a great season!

Mike is a member of the team, but has not been able to play due to his ankle.  Last Spring, Mike had surgery to reconstruct the ankle that was basically dangling.  The surgery was successful, but the doctor limited his physical activity, and prohibited him from playing basketball until the fall.

At the beginning of the school year, Mike, along with other basketball teammates, began conditioning for the season.  They played games together, and Mike began tweaking his ankle here and there.  On Thanksgiving Break, he played in a game with friends and ended up being on crutches healing both injured ankles.  After multiple ankle injuries, we revisited the surgeon.  The surgeon checked Mike's ankle and determined that the surgery had "failed" (as he put it), and that Mike would need a follow-up surgery.

Mike continued to be a part of the basketball team, cheering them on to victory, but without participating.  I can't imagine how difficult this year as been for him watching his team members play the game he LOVES, while sitting on the injured bench.  He continued to attend practices hoping that his ankle would heal and he would be able to play.

When submitting his Mission papers, the surgeon, having not seen Mike for awhile, put limitations on where Mike could serve.  He wanted Mike to avoid places with unstable ground, dirt roads, etc.   He recommended surgery upon his return from his mission. It was a little discouraging.  After several doctors, physical therapy, a chiropractor,  and lots of hard work, his ankle has healed.  We met with the surgeon a week before he submitted his mission papers, and got 100% clearance to serve.

Not wanting to risk injury to his volatile ankle and have his mission delayed, he has decided NOT to play basketball the remainder of the season (which is only a couple weeks). He will remain a member of the team, but not play.  So sad!

Ben and I have enjoyed attending all of the Braves games. We faithfully attended every game, cheering the team on to victory.  It has been a date-night for Ben and I.  We love watching the Braves, and love supporting Mike.

On February 8th, the Braves hosted Senior Night.  It is a night where they recognize senior basketball players and their parents.  Considering our situation I thought it may be a little uncomfortable, but it wasn't.  There are several team members with sad situations.  One in particular is Mo Manu.  His mom has brain cancer, and her prognosis is grim.  The students, basketball players, and some fans, wear pink in honor of her.  It is such a difficult time for their family.  Our thoughts and prayers are with this great family.

We are optimistic that the Braves will be state champions this year!  Go Braves!
Honoring the Seniors.
To the mother's.
To the father's.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stranger Danger

Action movies, and television drama series such as Castle and NCIS, are among my favorite sources of media viewing.  The process of investigating crimes is fascinating to me.  From the lighthearted Castle, to the more intense NCIS, they both grab my attention. Anything more intense than NCIS is just too scary for me.

My love for criminial investigative movies has increased my fear of ‘stranger danger’. This can be a good thing, but sometimes it is down right embarrassing.

Monday afternoon was full of the regular “mom” duties.  I was watching Mason, who had just had a “blowout” whom I was bathing in the sink.  Lizzy just returned from school battling another sinus infection. I had a doctor appointment for her at 4 and was preparing to go.

As we were leaving, Ben returned from school. He scurried through door, dropped his backpack on the floor, and insisted on playing with a friend before homework.  In my vulerable state, I acquiesced.  For some crazy reason I expected him to follow the rules of playing with friends.  You know, the simple rules, such as call before you go somewhere, or have someone over.

Upon my return from the doctor’s, I called around the house for Ben.  He answered from the basement.  I assumed he was playing alone and didn’t give it another thought.

I was making dinner around 5:30, when the doorbell rang.  When I answered it, there stood a young looking man, in his 20 to 30’s, with longer blonde curly hair, wearing a U of U hoody.  He asked, “Is Corbin here?”  Remembering my favorite shows and all I have learned from them, I quickly assured him there was no Corbin here. 

Believing that his next move would be to push the door open, disclose a handgun from the pocket of his hoody, and hold us all hotage, I began closing the door a little at a time.  “Is this 1460?” he inquired.  Still not falling for this stranger's tatics, I said no, slammed the door in his face, and locked it behind him. I quickly ran to the garage to make sure it was shut.  It was wide open, so I closed the garage and locked every door to the house, ensuring the safety of my family. 

About 15 minutes later, as I was proudly accessing my efforts to save my family from the stranger, the telephone rang.  When I answered it a man said, “Is my son Corbin there playing with Ben?” I could feel the heat rising to my face turning it a shade of red, as I realized I had just slammed the door in Ben’s play date's dad’s face.  My apology did not seem enough.  The ‘stranger’ on the other end seemed unaffected by my sincere apology.

After I had summoned Corbin from my basement to his waiting dad in the driveway, I had a sturn talk with Ben.  “Why didn’t you tell me you had a friend over?” I barked. “I told you, I was going to play, mom.” He stated matter-of-factly.

Will Corbin be new friend, or old friend? I guess we'll wait and see!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII

The game, the rivalry coaching brothers, the commercials, half-time performance, Sandy Hook choir singing America the Beautiful accompanied by Jennifer Hudson, and the national anthum by Alica Keys, provided us with the utmost of entertainment during Superbowl XLVII.
Most members of my family were rooting for the 49ers.  I am a loyal 9er fan, but 2 of my family members defected, and became Raven fans due to their chagrin over the treatment of San Francisco quarter back Alex Smith.  Right or wrong their loyalty became more about Smith than the 49ers.
 The first half was all about Flacco. Flacco, voted the MVP, threw three first-half touchdown passes helping Baltimore lead 28-6. San Francisco struggled in the first half, with turnovers, a fumble and an interception.  It had us 49er fans on edge. 
A power outage during the game put the nation's biggest sporting event on hold for more than a half-hour. Once power was restored, the game took a big turn with the 49ers coming back.  The come back wasn’t quite enough as the Baltimore Ravens became the NFL champions with a victory over the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31.
Fortunately, we had a fun party despite our favored 49ers losing. Wings, french dip sandwiches, salads, sides, and desserts, kept us happy.  Prizes were given to those answering the football questions the ‘most correct’.  We even had a ‘girl’ questions or two, such as what color Beyonce would be wearing during her half-time performance.
Better luck next time 49ers! Still love my 9ers!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Many Faces of Mase

Mason Quinn Cottle was born on August 6, 2012. In just a few days he will be 6 months old. Wow, time really flies, and babies sure change a lot in 6 months.  I get to hang out with this adorable little guy 3 days a week while his mom works.  I don't get much done, but I sure have a great time with him. He is the happiest baby I have ever seen. I send pictures to his mom all day of the adorable things he does (or the crazy things we do with him).

What a joy it is to watch his fabulous parents raise him.  They are so cute with him, and such great parents.  He is a lucky little man! He is learning to hold his hands out to his mom when she comes to get him, it is so adorable!

I just love this little guy to pieces!

Nana - Happy B-day Mason.
Mom and Dad
At the beginning - babies sleep a lot.

Five months sits up and rolls everywhere.
Hangs out with Mike while he cleans his room.  I love baby shoes! Loves rocket with Nana.  Hopefully, Nana gets a good arm workout:).  Standing up to the saucer.

Kate in the crib with him - not much of a crib baby. Headset at an early age - thanks Uncle Ben. An old fashion version of the bumbo. Ben skewering poor sophie.

Bella has a hard time not getting all the attention. Saucer time. The many tending aids (I only had to purchase the saucer).
Diet coke? Never! Hanging out in Ben's shirts, and of course a Utah ball.
At the doctors office (thanks Kate); listening to some tunes; sorting socks; the 3 amigos.

Kate's idea of tending while getting ready (in the sink); sitting up; adorable shoes; loves to sleep in Nana's bed (forget the crib); walking at the rec center.