Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You Can't Live on Cereal Alone!

Anyone who is familiar with the Sorensen Boys knows that they could argue this statement pretty reasonably! Dan and some of his brothers have LIVED and (might die) on cereal.
Our kids have always "treasured" their trips to Grandma's where there is ALWAYS plenty of stock and variety in cereal.
Being married to a Sorensen boy (a hot one might I add) AND one that can argue nutritional value pretty well...
***Besides the fact, that this "bread of life" sustains our family while I am nauseated and have little energy to cook dinner- I'm not gonna lie, my kids eat cereal for dinner about once a week!
(There, my dirty little secret is out and I feel no remorse!!!)

Being on a program called Coupon Sense may have sped that process along too. Particularly when we are getting boxes of cereal for 50 cents and under.

We {heart} COUPON SENSE.

After Dan's shopping trip last night~ Dan spent $34, saved $97, and our pantry looked like the above pictures!! You can't beat it!

NOW we just have to work on getting ourselves a MILK COW!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Those who are left behind....

AT HOME WITH MOMMY! What do we do while our brothers are at school?
Hang out a little longer in mommy's "morning sickness" bed sucking on lollipops,
and giving her a reason to laugh!
Doing Puppet shows with a captivated audience...MOM (and her camera)!
in our jerry-rigged living room couch stage

watching our one movie, or cartoon time each day!
Playing on the computer making crowns
and being saved by your brother the prince
AND going to some fun playgroups

at the local gym!!

Too bad (for mom) their preschools are starting in the next couple of more extra cuddling in bed in the mornings!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday Justin and Dan!

(Dan and Justin at our wedding standing in "the line" the true test of friendship! ha ha)
Soooo this year for Dan's Birthday I was out of town...however, I left him a gift certificate to go to a Diamondbacks game with one of Dan's best buds from elementary school through college (they even roomed together at BYU) who is also a SUPER sports fan-Justin. (Who happens to share the SAME birthdate as well!)
Justin always came with the package. Dan was rooming with him when we met, and there was never a lack of laughter when we were with him!
So now that we are all grown up and are raising LOTS of kids about 2 hours apart, sometimes opportunities slip past us to see each other as often as we like.
After this weekend...I am all the sadder that we do not live closer.
Whenever we go to Phoenix we try to fit in as much as possible to use our time effectively. In order to squeeze in the most of this weekend- we got in a trip to the temple (that we try to do once a month) before we headed over to Ang and Justin's house.
We are grateful we did get to the temple. It reminded us of the eternities, and that the everyday things just don't quite matter as much. It certainly re-aligned our "out of alignment marriage" that day (YES, we have those days).
We decided to start the "birthday date" at Justin and Ang's new home. They recently had their 2ND (YES that would be TWO) set of twins and a new home to boot. We HAD to go see both and revel in new baby breathe!
Then we headed over to Joe's Farm Grill for some dinner. AND it was some serious YUMMY! This place is retro with an organic menu. They grow most of the food they cook on the property and I was in love with that little green farm in the middle of the PHX desert! It was some serious good grub. (have I already said that?)
After we were through eating it was FOR SURE time to get to the game as it already had started. We parked our cars in a "sketchy" area... BUT it was cheaper AND the cars were still there when the game was through!Justin is a Dodgers we selectively chose the game they were playing the dodgers. Ang and I got some QUALITY conversation in while the boys watched and cheered.
It was quite the game. The pitcher for the dodgers got pretty SLAMMED in the face by a ball. I think that happens once a year (maybe) and we happened to be there. The guy was still moving as he was taken out on a backboard-so that is always good news. THEN the D-backs hit 2 home runs in the LAST up to bats to tie the game, and then ended up WINNING! Dan was all about cheering

So were the D-Backs BUT...

Justin was NOT thrilled (check out the look on his face)

We sadly departed with promises for another day- Until then...Good times, good times!

*AND a special shout out to our FAMILY babysitters who watched the 8 kids so we could have some grown up F-U-N!!!!

The Reunion/Funeral

Grandpa's funeral was exactly what we thought it would be and more
After barely getting there on time-hitting unexpected road work. We rushed in only to have Colton tell us that he was going to throw up (after getting car sick playing his game boy the whole way up)-THANK HEAVENS for Uncle Clint who took over and stayed with him until he felt better. Then those 2 shared cozy seating on the family rows.
Otherwise the day went down without a hitch!
As expected I learned so much more about this amazing man. There was so much more to the untold acts of service. He "adopted" children with a lamanite housing program, took on hobos, did not hold poor families w/ children very accountable in paying their bills, or others. He never turned anyone asking for help away...and because of this people thought he was well off. Little did they know that he worked 17 hour days w/ no room for sick days, vacations of time to hunt. He WORKED hard and was up at 3:30-4:30am. It really made me sit back and think about all the times I have complained about losing Dan so much to work.
He felt the harder you worked the more you would forget your pain. He offered education to all his children....oh, and the list went on.
It was great to hear a story he had written about buying his first car, or the poem his sisters had written about him years ago. He was soo shy but would sweep my grandma off her feet... quite literally, quite often ( I LOVED that).
I LOVED just listening and could have sat there for hours listening to story after story.
The kids did quite well considering.
Dacie stole the show that day with great grandpa's sisters (and others) with her Shirley Temple curls! She gave a hug to anyone who asked.
Much family was there, and we all enjoyed eating LOTS and LOTS of Klondike bars and pops that Grandpa use to sell and deliver!
We also enjoyed the simple pine casket and wildflowers in old glass milk jars.
(Great Grandma and Colton above, Colton and Grandpa below)

We enjoyed being reunited with family and smiling at the memories!
Evening came too soon and we headed home.
We ended the beautiful day driving home to a beautiful sunset...
AND dodging elk, coyotes, and deer the whole way (how appropriate)

Not a child was awake by the time we got home.

Sleep peacefully...

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Heavens are a Little Bit Brighter

(Bert Ray Sorensen holding Colton Ray Sorensen during our x-mas visit to Winslow while we lived in Houston)
Last week we received a phone call telling us that Dan's Grandfather had unexpectedly passed away. Our hearts ached, but we felt an overwhelming sense of peace that he is where he wants to be, and KNOW that the heavens were a bit brighter that evening.
We also do not doubt that his son (who passed away a little over 2 months ago) was not happily welcoming him home.
As we get ready to attend his funeral services tomorrow, and be reunited with close family- we look forward to the celebration of his life as we remember one of the GrEaTeSt.(Grandpa and Grandma Sorensen were one of the few who were able to fly out to our sealing in the DC temple--here they are sitting at our luncheon that same day October 21, 2000)
He was one of the greatest "salt of the earth" men I have ever met. I remember my first impressions (and still) of Grandpa was that he was one of the best looking older men I have met. I always told Dan that I hoped that he aged as well as his grandfather had. I also remember that I rarely saw him without a smile on his face. He was always sitting back in his chair with that simple smile of his. I remember he had wrinkle lines from smiling and I thought that was a wonderful way to grow old. He never got ruffled or impatient-he just sat back and enjoyed whatever was going on around him. He was simple and happy. He looked great in a cowboy hat!
(Grandma and Grandpa walking into the DC temple the day of our wedding. We were so grateful they could celebrate with us)
I know I am going to find out so much more about his life, as I entered it later on. But I always knew he and his wife loved the gospel because they had served 2 missions overseas to share it. They always attended the temple, attended their meetings,held callings, and served.

(You can see Grandpa laughing in the background behind the car- as I always remember him)
I know that Grandpa raised most of his family in Winslow. He was a HARD worker and worked long hours for little pay. However, he always provided for his family's needs, and I keep hearing stories how he would deliver milk to those who could not afford it and other random acts of unselfish kindness. As you probably gathered,he was the "ice cream man" in Winslow and was an independent distributor with his own truck route.
I know he loved hunting and being outdoors, mostly with Dan's dad and boy cousins. I know he wanted to take our little guys on his little boat to ride down in the river..and we never got too.
My kids remember him as the Great Grandpa who has the coolest playhouse in his backyard (that he made, I believe) it even comes complete with a mini piano. The boys also remember watching the trains at the depot when we have gone to visit.
(visiting Grandpa and Grandma in Winslow on our way to moving to Arizona from Houston)

(4 generation shot on Ryland's blessing day- L to R: Dan Sorensen, Great Grandpa Bert Sorensen, Grandpa Doug Sorensen, Ryland Sorensen (on his lap)

I know travel probably was not easy at an older age. But I really feel like Grandpa and Grandma have made an effort to be at all the BIG events of our family.

That is the reason we will mourn-is our loss of his physical presence in our life. If we did not know there was a better place it could be devastating. But we DO, so we will just be selfish and be a little sad that we cannot see him with our eyes for a time. We miss you already Grandpa!

Grandpa has lived a wonderful life and has seen all his children grown, serve missions, attend school, and get married, as well as most of his grandchildren. He has seen many great grandchildren born. He has a beautiful posterity. He has left a Legacy that we will always treasure. We LOVE YOU!

Here is a link to his obituary in the Arizona Republic below:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pictures of A Sorensen Summer!

AMIDST the travelling...
here are some things the Sorensen's did this summer! PIONEER TREK!
(I am the chubby momma walking with the stick between the two handcarts)
and some quality sandbox time after with some friends!
Watching the MONSOONS come in
Playing and feeding at our DUCK POND!

more afternoon monsoon lovin'
Being SEDATED...
and coloring at our favorite DENTIST office
More metal in our mouths!
Finding BIGFOOT...
at birthday parties (check him out in the background)
Many a doll were DIAPERED
Also, my first solo CANNING peaches and jam with the sis
...its allot of work


Lots of Quality time at, and with, AUNT MOMMY CARA's
AND POPSICLESat pretty houses
and Some Serious SWIMMING!!!
at our friends the Backus's (who sadly just moved) and Cara's apartment

(Colton passed his final level)

HANGIN' with my YW BUDDIES!!! at GIRLS CAMP and beyond

Some FISHING with daddy
(and at grandma & Grnadpa's camp)
AND DANCIN' our way through reunions!!