Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

We love and miss you everyday!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


We recently had the opportunity to go to Hawaii. This time we went to Honolulu. Pam and I have been to three different islands and our kids have now been to two. We stayed at the American Forces Resort called the Hale Koa which was right on Waikiki beach. So, it was fun going to one of the most famous beaches in the world. It was very nice, but not quite as peaceful as Coki beach or Trunk bayin the Caribbean. We did a lot of sight seeing, swimming, and other things. Below we're walking the beach right out in front of our hotel.
Here we are posing for a shot. We were looking at all the beautiful places the island has to offer.

Jacob and I went on an ATV ride. Jacob loved it and we had a great time! We also went on a movie location tour. I thought of Pam and Val. because they really groove on things like that. After Pam picked us up we went to the North Shore. We looked at it but didn't get out. The waves weren't great that day. Then we went to BYU-Hawaii. It's a small compass but beautiful. Then we went to the temple. It's number 5 in order of completion. It was so neat to see this beautiful temple in such a remote location. I wonder what it must have been like back when it was orginally built. It must have been really remote then.

We had a wonderful time and are already planning out next big adventure there!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our trip to Reno.

I should've put the photo's in the right order but! Oh well. Lately we went to Reno as a family. Our family now consists of mom, dad, Jake & Michelle. The rest are married or in college. We always liked going to Reno. Oam & I have been there 4 times. The kids remember the hay ride, the all you can eat breakfast which no longer is there. They liked Lake Tahoe. Then there is Virginia City. I've always wanted to do 2 things. Take the steam train & spend the night there. Well the 1st few times there the diesel ran. This time the steam ran & I was able to spend the night.
This photo is with 1 of 9 existing engines of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. They had 27, 2 numbered twice. 4 are at home in Carson City or Virginia City, 3 in California, 1 in Penn., & 1, the #11 which is the oldest survivor is at the Old Tuscon Studios. This is the #18, the Dayton. It's in a little museum in Virginia City. $ still actually work. The others can but cost is huge.

This next photo is the Silver Queen Hotel. It's suppose to be haunted, Very Haunted. This is were we stayed. I had only a minor incident. The Priesthood help me stop it. This is Jacob in the early AM. We've never seen Virginia City in the AM & the sun hit just right & the camera loved it. Hence early Am is one of the best times to photograph.
This is our room. Back in those days all you got was a bed. The bathroom you could obviously tell was a add on.
This is a picture of our hotel.
The next 2 photo's are AM shots.
This is the Spiro staircase in the Washoe club. It's suppose to be haunted. No one usually go's upstairs. It's condemned. We almost got to go up. The guy didn't show up. That would've been fun. Close!
We are on a ghost hunt. We did one in Gettysburg as a family, except Matthew & we a blast. So, Jake & I went on one in Virginia City. Here we are at the Mackay Mansion. Last time our family been here, with Jeff/Val & kids, along with Oma, we toured the house. I thought we had something when someone said, "Look, the drapes are moving." There are no central heat,air & the windows were closed. Taps?

Here we are in Pypers Opera House. We have a lot of ghost hunter want a bes with their K2 meters saying that there was an "audience" there. Hmmmmmm!

Were going into the Opera house. It was rebuilt for the 3rd time in 1885.
Here we are in Rm. 11. Now this is the most haunted room. Very few people stay here. The lady committed suicide. Taps stayed here & did their thing. The guy in the time period cloths, well, I don't remember him! Just kidding. He works at the visitors center & he wears the cloths to fit the mood.
The Catholic church is being remolded. Pam saw this & we thought it was quit cute.

At the Cemetery I had my photo at the grave of the guy they named the county after. Lyon.

We took a ride on the railroad. But it wasn't the Reading. It was the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. They are rebuilding it again. But, we just rode to Gold Hill 2 miles away.

At Pypers I'm in the box usually reserved for Mackay, one of the Silver Kings. I snuck up there when the tour wasn't looking.
The suicide table 3 known people who lost their fortune on a throw of a dice committed suicide.
The haunted halls of the silver Queen. Our room,19 which faces their main street, is also haunted.
Again, the "Haunted Hall!"
Panning for gold.
The Cemetery.
Whenever we go there we always have to take the tour. Its fun & it seems
like we always learn something. I didn't do the Utah trip cause I had to come home. I can't write about it since I wasn't there. I heard they had a fun time. I miss my kids & grandson.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wenatchee - Apple Blossom Festival

Judy, Valerie and I had the opportunity to take our business Windmill Lettering, to Wenatchee to participate in the Apple Blossom Festival this past weekend. We all worked very hard to get ourselves, our families and our shop prepared to go and I am happy to report a successful and fun time had by all. The festival is a huge event in Wenatchee and everyone in town itself and many of the surrounding communites come. There are many activities taking place like bands playing, parades, fun-runs, food booths, golf tournaments, pie eating contests and of course the craft show which we were a part of. At first we really felt like rookies. Lots of the vendors there have large shops and are professionals. They move from show to show every weekend. The booth next to us does about 35 shows per year and each weekend throughout the spring and summer they move their operation from show to show. They sell scone mix.....for $6.25 a bag (yikes!). All of them were raving about what a great show Apple Blossom is/was and how lucky we were to get in it our first year. We were getting a little nervous about what to expect. It did not turn out to be quite as crazy busy as we thought it would be. Some said they only did about 50% of what they usually do. There were very large crowds and we did well but the rain on Saturday just after the parade caused a lot of people to leave early that day which traditionally is the biggest day. There were lots of other lessons we learned such as:
  • We need to get a merchant account to have the ability to accept credit cards.
  • We need to bring warmer clothes...just in case.
  • We need to have a more comfortable chairs to sit in. 3 days in a folding chair is not good!
  • We need to raise our prices. (we could have charged at least 20%+ more than what we did)
  • We need to include sales tax in the price of the item. It is a big hassle to look up the taxes with each sale.
  • We need to do some tweeking in our booth on our displays. Especially the cash register area.
  • We need more merchandise. I thought there was no way we would be able to display everything we had but we were able to and we could have had twice as much and still sold a bunch more. Especially the more popular items.
  • We need more custom stuff. People love that! And they love it when we can make it right away for them.

Anyway, here are some pictures of our booth. It looked really really good and it was really fun. We will most definitely do it again next year. Our next sale this year is Maple Valley Days in Maple Valley June 12 -14. We have A LOT of work to do to get ready!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The "Signs" of all of our "Time" seems to be all we do or think about these days. Over the past few weeks we have been preparing for our craft show season. We will kick off the season next weekend by participating in the Apple Blossom Festival in Wenatchee. We are very excited but literally, every waking minute these past few weeks has been focusing on vinyl. Yesterday we finished the majority of our preparations by assembling about 100 pre-made signs. Here is a picture of my dining room right now. It is nearly wall to wall craft tubs filled with all sorts of cute projects and supplies. I am not sure how we are going to fit it all in a 10 x 10 booth but how ever we do it, I know it will be cute. Tell everyone you know to come visit us in Wenatchee...and our apologies to our family and friends who we have been completely ignoring. We are sorry....thanks for your support. Hopefully it will all be worth it.

Fences Make The Best Neighbors :)

Lately we have been having a little bit of a problem with our neighbors. Mostly their 15 year old mischievous son and Jacob's nemesis. We had been wanting to put our side gates up to give us some privacy in our backyard for a while now but we have just never gotten around to it. The straw that broke the camels back happened a couple of Saturdays ago. During a family get together we some how were hysterically accused of letting their pet pig out of their gate which we had nothing to do with. It was decided then and there that the gates needed to go up. My brother Jeff volunteered to do it for us and with Jacob working as his apprentice, they had it up in no time. It looks great and we owe Jeff big time. THANK YOU SO MUCH Jeff! Now...on to the back fence.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Checking Off Another Milestone

Today we had the special priviledge to attend the college graduation of both Jamie and Landi. It was a super fun and special day and we could not be more proud of them. Jamie graduated with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and Landi graduated with Bachelors Degree in Construction Management. The ceremony took place on the BYU-Idaho campus. The main ceremony where they walk in together was held in the Hart Building and was presided over by our newest apostle Elder Anderson. He was only ordained an apostle yesterday and it was very special to hear one of his first talks as such. Our family then moved over to the Taylor Building chapel which is where the Education Department held their convocation ceremony (that is where they actually call their names and get their diplomas). Landi's brother Elton and his wife came as well and they went with him over to the Hinckley Chapel where the Physical Sciences and Engineering convocation ceremonies were held.
Jamie is the first of the 30 grandchildren on Sirrine side of the family to graduate from college and I believe she is the third or fourth on the VanderHoeven side of the family to graduate college (I know of Linda and Andrea but I am not sure about the other Toves). They were both very excited to be "starting life" and we were very excited and proud of them as well. GREAT JOB you guys! I know it was not easy butyou hung in their and achieved your goal.

What's next for the Duka's? We packed up their U-Haul this afternoon and they headed out to Landi's new job in American Fork. He will be working with a construction company and bossing a crew around as they work on the new southward expansion of I-15 near American Fork Utah. Jamie is hoping to find her dream job but most of all she is just going to enjoy not being a student for a little while. She will be doing her student teaching in the fall. There are soon to be some 2nd or 3rd graders out there that someday will have Mrs. Duka as their teacher. Lucky kids!

Here is an actual video of Jamie graduating. If you listen closely you can hear them call her name and then she moves across the stage to shake President Clark and Elder Anderson's hand. Pretty neat!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Our Arizona Family

As I mentioned previously, we had the opportunity this past weekend to travel down to Arizona to attend Mike's dads funeral. Even though we went for a sad reason, we had a wonderful time seeing everyone again. It has been a while since we all have been together and it was so nice to just relax and visit with each other. All of Mike's brothers and sisters were there along with their spouses and most of their children. Here are some pictures of the funeral itself. It was a sad occasion but it was so nice to be together to celebrate dad's wonderful life and legacy.

The best part of the weekend was seeing our children. Jamie, Landi and Matthew all drove down to Mesa. (Chris, Cat and Logan could not make it. We missed you! :( )

I know it was very far for them to come but I am so glad they did. It was so fun to be with them and to catch up on how they are doing and what is going on with them. It was also nice for them to get away from the cold Idaho and Utah's winter to the 80 degree weather in Arizona which I know we ALL enjoyed. We spent a lot of time just visiting. Of course we did the regular things. We went to Tia Rosa's restaurant, twice, which Mike's brother Dennis owns. It was delicious!
We also went to all the historic monuments in Mesa. Mesa is the only place you can go to where people actually pronounce our names right! It is like we are almost famous there or something. We went to the Sirrine Home.
We also went to Sirrine street (very cool...I want this street sign for my garage).
And we visited Pioneer Park just across the street from the temple where there is a statue of our great great grandfather George Warren Sirrine one of the four founding pioneers of Mesa. He is the one with the long beard kneeling up front. The enscription on the monument says "This monument is dedicated to the founding men, women and children of Mesa whose efforts, along with others of all races, religions and cultures, changed the harsh desert land into this vibrant city today. When the settlers first came in 1877-78, they found the remains of an irrigation system built over a thousand years earlier by the Hohokam. With gratitude for the work of these early people and after eight months of worrisome toil, the new settlers restored one of the ancient canals and water once again flowed to the desert from which the community was destined to grow. We of Mesa are proud of the heritage of these honest, hard-working pioneers have left us. May their spirit and determination continue to enrich our lives through this memorial.
We spent a lot of time visiting with family, laughing and riding the ATV's at Dennis's house.
We also took some time to visit at Dennis's train set. As you can see from the pictures this is no ordinary train set. It is more like Madurodam in Holland. He has an entire garage full of trains and it is even more beautiful when he has the lakes and waterfalls filled up. Every year a group of train enthusiast come to his house just to see his collection. He is famous all over the world for this setup. It is truly unbelievable.
As much fun as we had, we are happy to be home again safe and sound and we are hoping that things can be settle down a bit again.