Sunday, June 26, 2011


We went to Hairspray at Way Off Broadway, last night. A girl in our ward had the lead, and we thought it would be fun to see her. It is a dinner theater in Frederick, and Shannon was our waitress, too! They really work them hard there!

Shannon did a great job as Tracy, and we were proud to know her! The singing and the dancing and the whole production were all just great. It was a small venue, and it was fun sitting close up front. It reminded me you don't have to go to Broadway to have an enjoyable time at a musical. The intimacy and energy make it so fun! It was one of those nights that you grin so much that your mouth hurts afterwards!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Kayaking at Piney Run

We took Crystal kayaking at Piney Run park yesterday. The weather was perfect for it.  
Ed took his new camera out for a test run. It is waterproof, and we hope to use it when we go snorkeling in Belize this summer. He took a few pictures with the camera immersed as well as a few with the camera out of the water.

The upside of this was, that I had someone to take my picture, as well! Sometimes I feel like the invisible presence on my own blog. It's nice to have dueling cameras!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flat Vase

We received this bouquet of sunflowers for a basement-warming present last week. I thought it was so beautiful. Not only are the flowers gorgeous, but the vase is such an unusual shape. It is long and flat. It seemed to be perfectly shaped for the six sunflowers that came in it.

Today we went visiting teaching to Mary's house and she gave June and me each a bunch of hydrangeas, which are blooming plentifully around her house. I replaced the wilting sunflowers, and the vase was reborn again! The new flowers look just as pretty in my new flat vase!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

It was nice having Crystal home for Father's day this year, as she loves to wrap presents. Look, how she chose a different color of wrapping paper for each of Ed's gifts! She also got up early and made Ed breakfast!

We love Ed, and wanted to let him know it. Crystal and I, however, took a long nap after lunch, during which time Ed watched a movie by himself. Is this any way for him to spend his special day? Hopefully, Coda gave him a little attention!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Basement Inauguration Concert and Party

Friday night we had a party to celebrate the completion of our basement. Roberto and Alex and their band played for us. It was a terrific party, although it got started a little late.

The band consisted of boys from El Salvador as well as one from Ecuador. They started out the evening with a rousing version of Proud Mary, and continued with more songs in English as well as Spanish, one of them written by Roberto, himself. They ended the night with The Wall, by Pink Floyd.

The One Source Contracting crew brought their family and friends. It was nice meeting their wives and girlfriends, who we'd heard so much about. We met Billy Ray's wife Jenna and son Colby.

We also enjoyed meeting Todd's girlfriend, Christine. She is a Spanish major who grew up in Belize.

 It seems Henry and Roberto have imaginary girlfriends, as we've not yet met them!

While the band took a break, the Black Eyed Susans (and a blue eyed man) played Jambalaya. Whistling Prairie, which consisted of Ed, Crystal and myself, also did one of our all-time favorites, Never Did No Wanderin'.

Crystal finally got to meet the Boys from El Salvador that we've told her so much about!

After the music stopped we ate ice cream and visited with one another. It was a great inauguration for our basement, which we hope will host many more parties in the years to come!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Contemplation Spot

Janet and I went for a walk along the fire road this morning. She took me to her contemplation spot, the place she likes to sit and read and contemplate. It is so lovely, and has nice, soft moss to sit on. It is right next to the reservoir, and has a lovely view. We stayed for quite a while, contemplating a little and talking a lot. We hadn't seen each other for a while, so it was nice catching up. It was nice that the hot temperatures have broken up so we can enjoy being outside again!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Home to Coda

We stopped by last night to pick up Coda at Lenny's house. She was happy to see us, and as you can see, Crystal is even more happy to see her! Coda loves staying with Lenny on the farm. She loves it so much that she sprained her paw. (Do dogs have ankles?) The vet told her to take some aspirin and not run for a few days. It's sad seeing her limping around the house, but only adds to our desire to pick her up and hug her. Crystal is going to run around the back yard carrying the dog, so she can still have fun.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ed

Aunt Barbara made the fabulous Stevens family Date Nut Cake for Ed's birthday yesterday.

Ed turned 54 and would like to dispel any rumors that he is approaching any birthdays with 0's at the end. Look how young he looks in this picture!

Crystal reported her mission in the Broomfield Third ward in the morning. It was great for us, because she told all new stories that we didn't get to hear when she spoke in Maryland. In the evening the Reeds hosted an open house for Crystal (and us). Marita spent most of the evening in the kitchen.

We had such a great time visiting with everyone that I forgot to take a picture till the very end. Thank heavens we had a handful of people stay late! We had so much fun catching up with everyone. We were reminded of how much the ward loved any excuse to get together. You could feel the love and unity of the ward. We felt privileged to have had the opportunity to be a part of it for seven years!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Best of the West

We left Verlene and Paul's house yesterday morning. We were most sorry to leave Brandy, who gave us lots of lovin'! I'm glad Coda doesn't know about this, as it would make her very jealous!

In the afternoon we went for a hike at Red Rocks. It was the perfect fix for our western homesickness. My sister, Barbara, and her husband Kent and son Isaac live in the shadows of Red Rocks. They took us through some trees,

over a bridge,

and past some great rock formations. We (I) had lots of fun taking pictures. I think everyone loved having their picture taken, because nobody complained once!

We got a nice family picture that could almost be a Whistling Prairie album cover, except we'd have to Photoshop Amanda into it!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Trip Down Memory Lane

It's been fun to be back in Colorado. We stayed two nights with my sister, Verlene, in Aurora. She accompanied us on a trip to Parker yesterday to see our old house. Parker now has tons of shopping! Sadly, our old home could use a little TLC (or water on the lawn). We ate lunch at Cheddars, one of the plethora of new restaurants in town.

Crystal and Brittany hadn't seen each other for 19 months (unless you count Skype), so it was great when Brittany arrived in the afternoon from Provo. We stopped by at our favorite pupusa stand and ordered some pupusas for Crystal's open house Sunday night.

The Reichmans were nice to give us a BBQ last night. Robin, the hostess, on the lower right is happily going to be a grandma this year! Carla, in green, is getting two MORE grandchildren. Aren't they the lucky ones? Jana (on left) and I both have that happy occasion to still anticipate some day!

Brent, Crystal and Daniel, who graduated from high school together 5 years ago are all return missionaries and finishing their degrees at BYU. Life is good.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bird Seed and a Golf Cart

This is our last day taking care of the farm. Here is a picture of the farmhouse. Every morning Coda likes to chase the squirrels back up into the trees.

We had to get the golf cart out this morning to go down to the shed to pick up a new bag of bird seed for the bird feeders. If we'd known how much fun the golf cart was, we'd have taken it out every day last week just for the fun of it.

Coda has been very helpful on the farm, and, as much as she liked following us around, she seemed to like riding in the golf cart even more.

The pug dogs didn't want to get left out. so Crystal took them on a spin around the farm loop.

We want to leave the barn really clean for Lenny when he comes home today. Crystal even raked it out so it would look pretty.

We were so lucky to have great weather all week. We brought the horses into the barn twice a day for their oats and grain and grooming. But, after that we were able to leave them outside every day. We're going to miss taking care of them. It's been fun!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Basement Pictures

Amanda has been wanting to see the finished basement pictures. As she receives an email of each of my blog postings, this seems like the best way to do it!  I hate to post too many pictures in one blog entry, but this is a big basement! Here is a view from the kitchen towards the sliding glass door and new windows.

This is the exact opposite view. I'm standing by the sliding glass door looking back at the kitchen. You can see the basement stairway on the left.

Standing in the same place, by the sliding glass door, here is a picture of our arches and pool table with it's pretty lights. There is a picture of Germany on the left. It reminds us that Amanda is over there!

Here is our entertainment center area. Ed put up surround sound speakers, and we tried them out Saturday night by watching The Sorcerer's Apprentice on Netflix. We really enjoyed the show!

This is a view from the ping pong table. It shows how the stairwell was cut open (on the left).

The bedroom (behind the pool table) has two twin beds. Crystal picked out the bedspreads. She loves to shop!

Here's a close-up of the kitchen, made entirely of cabinets and granite from the old kitchen upstairs.

Behind the kitchen is the bathroom, with it's nice Costco Vanity.

The toilet and tub share a separate room.

In addition, there are two storage rooms. Ed's workbench area shares space with the large storage room, and a smaller one by the bedroom has all the Christmas storage.

The basement is finished, the patio is done, and Chez Bush is now open for visitors. Make your reservations soon!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ed Helps out on the Farm

It's nice that today is Saturday. Ed had time to come down to the farm with us and learn how to take care of the horses. Here he's helping Crystal fluff up the breakfast hay.

He cleaned out horses' hooves, and found it to be a surprisingly poopy job! Crystal and Coda are supervising in the back.

He helped Crystal brush the horses' coats. Look how beautiful and content they look!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Herdin' Chickens

The chickens were none to happy that Simon (the cat) has now been cleared for outside activity. He was camping out in the chicken coop, which made the chickens not want to go inside. Crystal and Ed chased the cat out and coaxed the chickens into the coop.

They were rewarded for their efforts by the gift of another farm-fresh egg!

Simon Goes to the Vet

Crystal and I took Simon to the vet today. He needed a checkup, as he cut his paw 10 days ago. He's doing just fine.

Afterwards we stopped by at Fairhaven to let Miss Carol visit with her cat. He was a very good kitty, but is the middle of some serious shedding! Poor Miss Carol got a lapful of cat hair!

Taking Care of Animals

This week Lenny is out of town and Crystal and I are taking care of the farm all by ourselves. It's been lots of fun. Crystal is letting Mr. Genes and Coda get a good look at each other here.

We're getting lots of farm-fresh eggs from the chickens.

The pug dogs have the run of the house, and seem to be doing well. Katie likes to sit up and lean on the wall.

At the end of the day, Crystal still had the energy to make an apple pie. It was spectacular!