Saturday, August 30, 2008

Prius Update

Counting Prius cars has caught on like a computer virus in a Dell with my friends. As I spent weeks in Idaho I found myself in a Prius dry spell. Yet my PA friends kept me apprised of the Prius sightings. My friend, Chris, found himself in a Prius 4x4 while on the flip side I only saw 4 Prius cars the entire trip to Lewiston, Idaho. Yet Mike and Sandi informed me that the mass car flavor of choice in Northern Idaho is the Subaru. Not a huge shocker. Emily noted in a text message that instead of slugging like when you play slug bug, you should named it the Prius Pinch. I like it! Also my roommate Mikey wins the price for best Prius sighting of the month (see picture). Prius Taxicab = 5 points! So whether it be the taxicab, the 4x4, a Prius sandwich, or simply seeing a Sea Foam green Prius, there is always something enjoyable for the whole family when counting Prius cars.

Yes Big Shades Are In Again!

Em and I may want to stick to one size smaller?
Nate definitely pulls off the look the best.

Falafel Drive In

I am still amazed at times by the things we discover in the Bay.
It was oh so good!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Black Sister!

Kenna Pearl Ann Walters. We seem like an unlikely pair. I am as tart as a raspberry and she's as sweet as brown sugar. I truly pale in comparison to Keena! The girl is always optimistic even when she is faced with difficulty. She smiles and keep pushing forward, what an amazing quality! Keena thinks that she sneaked her way into my good graces under the radar, but I have been very aware from the beginning of our friendship what an amazing friend I was gaining. Maybe it was the late night cupcake delivery, the cookie dough deliveries, the visiting teaching in the hot tub(oh yes that's right...I dare anyone to try and top that visiting teaching!), or her putting up with an hour long discourse of why beef is so amazing when she strongly dislikes beef (side note: all her amazing qualities counteract this unfortunate fact), but I learned quickly that rain or shine Keena is there for me. I'd be lying if I said that our weekly hot tubbing appointments weren't part of the reason I heart KW! ;)

Pres Thomas S. Monson said: "May we resolve from this day forward to fill our hearts with love. May we go the extra mile to include in our lives any who are lonely or downhearted or who are suffering in any way. May we “[cheer] up the sad and [make] someone feel glad.”" Keena has and continues to go that "extra" mile to include me and so many around her in her sincere and many times unnoticed ways. An example to behold!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

May We So Live

From President Thomas S. Monson

Fill Others’ Hearts

Because life is fragile and death inevitable, we must make the most of each day.

There are many ways in which we can misuse our opportunities. Some time ago I read a tender story written by Louise Dickinson Rich which vividly illustrates this truth. She wrote:

“My grandmother had an enemy named Mrs. Wilcox. Grandma and Mrs. Wilcox moved, as brides, into next-door houses on the main street of the tiny town in which they were to live out their lives. I don’t know what started the war between them—and I don’t think that by the time I came along, over thirty years later, they remembered themselves what started it. This was no polite sparring match; this was total war. …

“Nothing in town escaped repercussion. The 300-year-old church, which had lived through the Revolution, the Civil War, and the Spanish War, almost went down when Grandma and Mrs. Wilcox fought the Battle of the Ladies’ Aid. Grandma won that engagement, but it was a hollow victory. Mrs. Wilcox, since she couldn’t be president, resigned [from the Aid] in a huff. What’s the fun of running a thing if you can’t force your enemy to eat crow? Mrs. Wilcox won the Battle of the Public Library, getting her niece, Gertrude, appointed librarian instead of Aunt Phyllis. The day Gertrude took over was the day Grandma stopped reading library books. They became ‘filthy germy things’ overnight. The Battle of the High School was a draw. The principal got a better job and left before Mrs. Wilcox succeeded in having him ousted or Grandma in having him given life tenure of office.

“When as children we visited my grandmother, part of the fun was making faces at Mrs. Wilcox’s grandchildren. One banner day we put a snake into the Wilcox rain barrel. My grandmother made token protests, but we sensed tacit sympathy.

“Don’t think for a minute that this was a one-sided campaign. Mrs. Wilcox had grandchildren, too. Grandma didn’t get off scot free. Never a windy washday went by that the clothesline didn’t mysteriously break, with the clothes falling in the dirt.

“I don’t know how Grandma could have borne her troubles so long if it hadn’t been for the household page of her daily Boston newspaper. This household page was a wonderful institution. Besides the usual cooking hints and cleaning advice, it had a department composed of letters from readers to each other. The idea was that if you had a problem—or even only some steam to blow off—you wrote a letter to the paper, signing some fancy name like Arbutus. That was Grandma’s pen name. Then some of the other ladies who had the same problem wrote back and told you what they had done about it, signing themselves One Who Knows or Xanthippe or whatever. Very often, the problem disposed of, you kept on for years writing to each other through the column of the paper, telling each other about your children and your canning and your new dining-room suite. That’s what happened to Grandma. She and a woman called Sea Gull corresponded for a quarter of a century. Sea Gull was Grandma’s true friend.

“When I was about sixteen, Mrs. Wilcox died. In a small town, no matter how much you have hated your next-door neighbor, it is only common decency to run over and see what practical service you can do the bereaved. Grandma, neat in a percale apron to show that she meant what she said about being put to work, crossed the lawn to the Wilcox house, where the Wilcox daughters set her to cleaning the already-immaculate front parlor for the funeral. And there on the parlor table in the place of honor was a huge scrapbook; and in the scrapbook, pasted neatly in parallel columns were Grandma’s letters to Sea Gull over the years and Sea Gull’s letters to her. Though neither woman had known it, Grandma’s worst enemy had been her best friend. That was the only time I remember seeing my grandmother cry. I didn’t know then exactly what she was crying about, but I do now. She was crying for all the wasted years which could never be salvaged.”10

May we resolve from this day forward to fill our hearts with love. May we go the extra mile to include in our lives any who are lonely or downhearted or who are suffering in any way. May we “[cheer] up the sad and [make] someone feel glad.”11 May we live so that when that final summons is heard, we may have no serious regrets, no unfinished business, but will be able to say with the Apostle Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”12

To read the full article go to:

Hot Tubbing Should Be An Olympic Sport!

Sideways shoot of Nate (Page #2 in the Book) in my Pink Duster. Hehehe....what a Man!
Last week alone I went hot tubbing three times, averaging two hour sessions. It really should be an Olympic Sporting Event! I would not only medal, I'd take the gold!
I suspect that Mike wasn't expecting this picture.
The poor boy: I just don't know if he has what it takes to be a true Hot Tub Olympian. But he is still sporting the Pink Duster quite nicely. :)

Crazy Sunday Evening Picnic

Clockwise: Chris, Emily, Keena, Heather, Mikey and I playing the HA Game. It is a very interesting and odd game.
Maybe just a little too chilly for a picnic!
Dr. Pepper: Making any picnic a picnic!
HC and Mike: weirdo 1 and weirdo 2
Did you know I am training for the 2010 Winter games? Picnic Speed Staking: I currently am the reining World Champ.
Yes, see that perfected form!
Then it got colder!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Proper Baseball Game Conduct

My Junior Business English professor the very first day of class stated that he teaches by bad example, it is more blatant and the lessons stay with a person longer than a good example. That comment has remained with me through the years since so in light of that see the above example of Emily texting and bringing a book to an A's game to illustrate what not to do at a baseball game! The two guys behind Emily show the "how-to" watch a baseball game!
Thanks Chris for such good seats!
Chris Little, Mikey, and I
Being ridiculous and trying to show Em how to watch the game with real intent!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Enlightening Travels

I returned last week from another trip to Idaho where I gathered with family and friends to celebrate the life of my sweet Grandma, Ardella Faye Berry. While funerals don't always get described as a joyous occasion this one was! Jack and Ardella are reunited after seven years and no one can be sad about a life lived well! Below is a brief summary of a few lessons I learned from this great woman!

I had the awesome opportunity to spend quality time with my brothers that was long overdue. My niece Avery hung to me like a true "mini-me" and really was the most comforting gift I could have received coming home to Idaho that week. I of course got to spend another great week with my Canadian cousins! Shane and Laura are as hilarious as ever! Even sick Laura is a spitfire! Golfing with Shawn and Shane really was the best morning of the trip. I learned after all these years how funny and witty quiet and reversed Shawn is! I love my family so very much!

The Pillar on 3rd Street - Ardella Faye

Grandmas and I just as wee little one.
Grandma, Matt, and I
Grandma and Sam on our wooden swing

I’ve not only lived on 3rd Street in Tetonia, but I have had the privilege of living next to my Grandparents the whole time growing up. Whenever I wanted to get out of work or away, my hideout was at my Grandparent’s home. I have had some of the greatest times with my Grandparents. I’d watch TV with them until my mom would call and then my Grandpa would say “she’s on her way home”- yet I would still be on the couch. I think my Mom always knew this was the case, considering you could see their front door from our kitchen window. We would always have a dish of ice cream after every meal at their house! My Grandma Berry is an amazing cook. She makes the best homemade chicken noodle soup. She also fries fish better than anyone I know. My Grandma was the lady that taught me to eat fish bones with a slice of bread, so you don’t choke-which has been a valuable lesson. They both have been two of my best friends and the love that I have for both of them as a couple and as individuals can't be expressed adequately in words but I hope that my actions towards others just might reflect all they've taught me.

My Grandma Berry had always wanted a grandchild to graduate as an honor student. I remember as a young kid stating matter-of-factly that I would be that grandchild for her. There were times I could have slipped on the grades and granted there were times when I would have liked to (when I found out I’d have to speak at graduation), but I made that commitment to my Grandma and I truly meant what I told her that afternoon. I graduated top of my class. I remember sitting on the front row looking at my dad, who was breathing “in and out” with me so I wouldn’t hyperventilate. The gym was packed and as I stood to give my speech I was calm, and for the next five minutes I forgot about being scared. Part of what made me calm was seeing my Grandma Berry sitting on that front row and seeing in her eyes a dream come true and also learning in that moment a very important lesson: My Grandma Berry’s happiness and hopes were in the right place: her family.

Ardella Faye Berry supported and loved her family in such a way that left me in awe at how easy and willingly she gave of herself. As my Mom spoke at her funeral last week she used a very concise and appropriate word to describe my Grandma in all her many roles in life: Charitable. A heart full of forgiveness Ardella Faye lived for her family each day. I highly doubt I'll ever live up to my namesake (I error more on the Jack Berry side of personalities), but I will sure try my best to continue to deserve the love she's bestowed upon me.

I can still see myself swinging on that wooden swing underneath the Willow tree in her yard while she looked out from the kitchen window at me and would smile. God be with you Grandma till we meet again on a wooden swing underneath the Willow tree!

The Photogenic Berry Siblings!

The boys fighting over who got to stand closest to their sister! least that is what I am assuming was happening.
Our true and natural expressions!
I think this picture shows just how alike Avery and I are: big cheeses!
Our most Photogenic photo (even with the bunny ears)!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Adorable Kiddies

Asa, Lexi, and Avery being as still as possible.
Ah, best buds!
Morgan and I

Harassing Uncle Rich or Maybe the Other Way Around?

There are very few times when Uncle Rich and I don't wrestling or rough-housing of some sort when we sit by each other. This time was no different. You'd think we mature as we age but that just wouldn't be as fun. Someone has to keep the entertainment alive so it might as well be us.

Happy 40th Anniversary to Two of My Favorite Canadians!

Uncle Rod and Aunt Ann celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last Saturday in style in downtown Tetonia! Congratulations on 40 years together! Your marriage and love has been such a great asset to your family! Here's to another 40 great years.
Oh my....kissing on that couch is definitely something they'll never live down (just ask anyone that has been caught on it before). :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ring Around The Rosies

Pocket Full of Posies
Ashes Ashes

We All Fall down....perfectly straight of course.
Lexi, me, Asa, and Avery

Dr. Pepper VS. Mtn Dew

Based on the photographed evidence Dr. Pepper adds more Pep to your step than Mtn Dew! But even tired and somber Avery is still adorable!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Mighty Raspberry Picker!

We've been trying for years to catch my Mom is her Raspberry picking garb!!

Upsidedown Pink Sunglasses CopyCat

Now the real question is who was copying whom? Uncle John and Avery do make quite the pair!

Northern Idaho is really just Southern Canada!

My entire life I have always jokingly professed that Northern Idaho is really just Southern Canada and then two weeks ago my joke was proven to be fact. Josh made the Northwest Regional Babe Ruth Tournament (kind of a big deal for those of you that don't know much about baseball) in Lewiston, Idaho. I made the last minute decision to join my family for some baseball and golfing (in between games). In Idaho the license plates are marked by counties (1T, 2C, 1J, 4B, etc. followed by numbers), which allows us to tell instantly where a car is from (kind of cool). Then we go to Lewiston (which is part of Nez Perce county) and all the license plates are just N followed by the numbers. No 1N! The excuse that they are the only "N" county doesn't hold much weight in my opinion. Too good to join the rest of the great state? Or are they just proving what I've always known: Northern Idaho is really just Southern Canada!
Mom and I (To think that Mom didn't expect the picture to turn response: Of course it would! Just look in the mirror.)
Dad and I before Josh's first game of his tournament. Yes I am wearing the gangster hat proud just to embarrass Josh.
We went to this burger shack (that was quite tasty) and the seats were saddles....of course we had to document this. Only in Northern Idaho...
Josh definitely has better technique than I do!
I was laughing too hard!
Yes, Josh is at the bottom of the dogpile just posing away!
Josh and I
Dad, Jess, Josh, Mom after Josh's final game at the Northwest Region Tournament.
Had to photograph this just in case Josh never gets his name on the Big Board again (that is highly unlikely given that he is a Berry though).
The whole point of the trip to Southern Canada!