Thursday, April 23, 2015

Birthday Boy!

Happy Birthday Seth!
Today we celebrate our "Middle Child". 
 Actually, I purposely had an even number of children so no one could claim to be the middle child.
 But Seth happens to be the middle boy.
 Born smack dab in the middle of the five brothers Gale. 
There was hardly a dull moment from the moment he was born.
Born with a head of thick dark hair (you can see his birth story here) and a bright, cheerful, adventurous spirit!
So much energy packed into one little boy!

He was relentless when he got an idea and wanted to create/build something. 
Our yard was his flight experiment lab and the neighbors were patient
with the many rockets and various balloons that flew out of our air space. He  learned to fly and eventually flew way out of our air space!

His love of the outdoors began at an early age with many nights camping under the stars in our back yard. He dreamed up fun adventures with his siblings and built forts and a tepee out there to feed their imagination. He went on to many Scouting adventures and hiked over fifty miles (fifty-FOUR miles to be exact!) along the Olympic Peninsula. And became an Eagle Scout. 

Reading wasn't his favorite but he was always up for listening to a good story and built an astonishing vocabulary with his good memory. We spent many pleasant evenings reading and discussing the scriptures as a family and delved into the deeper questions of life with Spencer and Seth often leading the discussions. I learned to check his pants pockets before washing and often found bits and pieces of his projects along with the odd rocket engine or firecracker. But one time I found his carefully written notes on string theory. He has a great mind for memorization and amazed us all with his 
command of Shakespeare passages. He was amazed to find out that his Shakespeare skills were actually needed one time in the grocery store for someone's video project. 

"To be or not to be, that is the question..."

He met his match, the talented and amazing, Taylor Marie, while we were living in California and here you see them at the San Diego temple on their wedding day: 

It makes my Mother Heart happy to see the love they have for each other and the precious family they are building with their sweet baby Mabel.

Here he is with their bright, cheerful adventurer with her
own head of thick dark hair:

Happy Birthday, Son! Now the adventure really begins!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Celebrating Our Siara

Some fun girl time in North Carolina!

Today is Siara's birthday! I am so blessed to be the mother to some really amazing people. Each came with their own unique personalities and talents and qualities. I have loved every stage of their lives but I feel like the real reward for motherhood is moving into the friendship stage with them when they become adults. 

So here are some Birthday thoughts (and awesome childhood pictures!) of my daughter who is also my dear friend...
Some birthday posts for Siara's past birthdays:
click on this and this and go here.

If you are still interested, here is the story of the day of her birth.

And, the frosting on the cake--a  funny story about our spunky gal.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Grow old along with me...

...the best is yet to be.

We celebrated the 32 year anniversary of the Andrew and JoAnna Gale Covenant Commitment and Marriage for Time and All Eternity a few weeks ago. The hubs flew out here to the  frozen East Coast for Valentine's Day and then I flew out to the West Coast for an Anniversary Rendezvous in sunny California for an early celebration of our special day.

Toasting our Anniversary with Water!

According to a helpful website the traditional gift for the 32 year anniversary is "Conveyances" and "Lapis"...
"For instance, if a couple is celebrating 32 years of marriage, one of the traditional gifts to present for this occasion is a lapis -- a semi-precious stone that boasts a deep blue shade. Other traditional gifts for a 32nd anniversary include modes of transportation." 

Then they go on to give gift suggestions for the husband:
"To honor your 32nd wedding anniversary with a gift of conveyance, surprise your wife with a new car. Choose an automobile in her favorite color, and include features that she'd find useful or appealing, such as an interior with the light-colored leather she likes best or a five-disc CD player. Smaller and less-expensive 32nd anniversary treats can include car air fresheners in her favorite scent, floor mats embroidered with her initials or a GPS system."

My thoughtful husband looked this up and explained it all to me in one of our daily phone calls. (This is how we keep our coast to coast relationship going--communication!) He was telling me that the two options were some kind of blue stone and modes of transportation. He said there was a surprise coming in the mail and I assumed it wasn't a car, (though I guess it could be a car air freshener) but then I said "Oh, did you find a blue rock? Are you sending me a rock?" Which actually I would be thrilled with--I'm always keeping my eye out for pretty rocks.

"A rock? Why would I send you a rock?" he laughed.

"Well you said the 32nd Anniversary gift was a blue stone-- it's some type of rock or something and mode of transportation. I assume you aren't sending me a Vespa or a unicycle or a donkey--so that leaves blue rock."

"Just keep your eye out for a surprise in the mail." he said, rolling his eyes (I'm assuming that last part--since we were talking via phone--I can't say for sure).

A few days later, this arrived:

A beautiful lapis stone necklace. 
Better than a rock. 

But that was not the end of my guy's thoughtfulness...
These beautiful roses arrived on my doorstep the actual day of...

...and then,

he held to tradition and gifted me with a mode of transportation.
And it's lapis blue! 

(well, it's Twilight Blue--but close enough)

 Love is what you go through together. James Thurber

The View From My Window

It is Spring but I guess Mother Nature didn't get the memo...

No Winter lasts forever,
No Spring skips its turn.
April is a promise,
That May is bound to keep.

I'm going to keep that in mind while I am shoveling snow today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mission Birthday

One of our missionaries celebrates a birthday today:
Elder Gale turns 19!
Here he is with his current companion and a young man they recently
prepared for baptism:

And here they are at the Los Angeles Temple last week: 

These two remind me of Elder Kessler and Elder Green 
from Saturday's Warrior...

In his email this week, he told us about a new exhibit at the visitor's center
there at the LA Temple. It is all about missionary work and they
have all the name tags of the missionaries currently serving in the area.

Here is an experience he shared this week as well:
"We got  a phone call from Julio saying that he was taking us out to eat, and that he was there! We got ready super fast and went out to Pollo Inka with him, a Peruvian restaurant. It was such a cool dinner. Julio was telling us about how he heard stories of missionaries who would go to poor members' homes in Guatemala (where he's from) and give everything they had to the missionaries and not eat themselves. He said that he always wanted to give his all like that, and that even though he always gave us the same stuff to eat whenever we came over to his house, that today was a special day because we were eating good food in a restaurant and that he was finally sharing his best with the missionaries. I seriously just looked at him and his wife across the able and cried. I am so blessed to know as good a man as Julio. He is such an example to me of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. As we were walking out of the restaurant, the sun was starting to set and it was raining, and there was a beautiful rainbow across the whole sky, and we all looked up at it in amazement, it was seriously incredible...
We got home and grabbed our bikes and went to visit the Reyes' family since we couldn't last week. We watched "The Restoration" with Juan and at the end he looked at us and said "now I finally understand who Joseph Smith was, he was just an honest man looking for truth from God" and it was awesome. He said he was learning slowly, but that little by little he's beginning to understand our message. We answered a lot of his questions and he's coming along! He also said to me "What part of Argentina are you from? You're from Argentina, right?" Always an awesome compliment to get when you're trying to learn someone else's language! "

It makes my Mother Heart happy to know that my son is serving among such amazing, loving people there--and that he is learning and growing in that service. 

I still can't believe how fast time flies--I'm pretty sure our little Sammy was 
picnicking in the park with his sister just yesterday:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Semi-Annual Update

Well, how have you been? I've been caught up in the day-to-day of life. Moving, then not moving. Packing like a mad woman and then not packing like a mad woman. Enjoying new grandchildren--joy and rejoicing and all of the good stuff. Serving in my calling, feeling the love and partaking of the wisdom of amazing Relief Society women. Allowing for the mourning process of leaving this place I have come to love. I think I am an East Coaster somewhere deep down, even though I am born and bred of Pocatello, Idaho and parts thereabout. I have sent some sobbing prayers to heaven asking why I had to come to love the people and the history and beauty here and now I have to leave. But you know I also sent sobbing prayers to heaven when I had to leave Washington and then again California so I'm starting to get the idea that I am supposed to be learning something here. Perhaps that there are amazing people yet to meet and love and vistas ahead to appreciate and more history to be learned.

Luckily, I am an (annoying) optimist so I am looking on the bright side.
Which is a little easier with the bone-chilling arctic weather we have been 
enduring here as of late. 
California sunshine, here I come.


In the meantime, we have two offers on the house and we are just waiting for the paperwork and etc. to work their way through the various bureaucracies. We'll see which one comes out on top.

While we are waiting, I offer a pictorial timeline for your viewing pleasure:

I started taking pictures of the places I love around here so I can hold them
in my heart and see them in my picture file too.

This is the unique, historical building that is home to our
local paper: The Newtown Bee.

The bee on the roof and the bee on the door...just... too awesome.

Christmas came and went....Shane and I felt the need to have a
real tree this year. Christmas Spirit was in short supply with 
everyone spread out across the country.
 We brought home a beautiful, fresh tree and
the amazing pine smell was magical.

We spent actual Christmas in the Golden State. Here you see our
Christmas Eve dinner. Andy saved the day by finding a beautiful spot on the 
beach right next to this awesome diner. So we enjoyed our yummy
food as we watched the sun go down over the ocean.

A perfect California Christmas...

...was made even better with some family time talking with
our missionaries. Sister Gale serving in the Illinois, Chicago West Mission

Elder Gale serving in the California, Los Angeles Mission. We were able to get
everyone on our Google Hangout and I loved listening to the family banter and the
grandchildren chiming in. Sam gave us a sampling of his Spanish and they both
shared experiences and testimonies. 

A few days after Christmas, we got to see family and friends in our
old ward in Ramona, California. We were there for the very special
occasion of the Blessing of our precious Mabel.
Look how adorable she is in the dress her Mama wore.
We enjoyed our time there and the Horton family hosted us
for dinner and entertainment. 
They are always fun to hang out with.

A few weeks after Christmas,
I zipped down to North Carolina for some daughter/grandbaby time. 
I love that we get to be friends now. 
One of the many rewards of mothering awesome kids.

Cuteness Alert! 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Birthday Boy!

Happy Birthday to the Hubs!

Let's take a little walk down memory lane in celebration...
well at his age, it's a LONG walk :)

This was actually just a random group of pictures hanging out in my blog archive.
His complete picture history is stored on the laptop that melted down.
Shayla assures me she will rescue all the pictures on it when she gets home.
So, in the meantime  enjoy...


Prom Date!
Rocking the quintessential 70's powder-blue Tux...

Handsome Scholarship Recipient!


Missionary on P-day!

Missionary serving as best man at a wedding!

Engaged to the woman of his dreams!
(Right honey?)

BYU Graduate!

MBA Graduate!

Business Man!

Husband, Dad, PopPop...
We love you!