Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Married My Best Friend

15 years ago today I married my best friend! Bill would tell you that it pays to advertise (most of you know that story) and I would agree. He’s the one that makes me laugh, the one I share adventures with and the one makes life worth living. He’s makes me whole.

I love you Babe….

I found this poem and thought it summed my thought very well.

This Day I Married My Best Friend
Author Unknown

This day I married my best friend...the one I laugh with as we share life's wonderous zest, as we find new enjoyments and experience all that's best....the one I live for because the world seems brighter as our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter....the one I love with every fiber of my soul.We used to feel vaguely incomplete, now together we are whole.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom is 90 years old today!!! She has had an incredible life, one which has included being raised during the Great Depression, had three “adorable, successful, beautiful” children, married the love of her life in 1937 and unfortunately buried two husbands.

Being raised during the depression era Mom was definitely not wasteful, in fact she learned to be, let’s say “thrifty”. One of her many old sayings (and if you know her, you know there are many of saying) goes,“you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip”. She can stretch a dollar.

Mother was much more careful with a food budget than I ever have been; she freezes everything from potato chips to cash. And as it turned out, her good sense resulted in more money in the bank. Being a child of the depression, she knew how to scrimp with such things as re-using aluminum foil, plastic cutlery, plastic bag and saving “nice” bags she gets from places. Our favorite though has to be always keeping a ziplock bag handy in her purse or pocket so you have it handy if you come across and “all you can eat” event, because everyone knows you can “crisp it back up in the little toaster oven”.

Does your mind grasp being 90 years old? It is so hard to believe that so many things we take for granted were not even in existence when she was born. Can you visualize, even a small percentage, some of the advances that have occurred in the fields of technology and medicine that have occurred in 90 years? Her life has been a history lesson.

Let’s think back,,,, In 1920 Woodrow Wilson was the President of the United States, the population of the US was only about 106 million, the average annual salary was $1234/year and the cost of a first-class stamp was 2 cents and Prohibition began (thank goodness that didn’t last)!!!

There have been 17 different Presidents in 90 years, can you name them?
Automobiles had recently been invented and horses and mules were still the common method of farming.

A lot of things that we now take for granted which have all come into being during her lifetime:

· Penicillin was discovered
· Television was created- originally only in black & white
· Nuclear Bomb not only was created but the power was harnessed to provide energy- most homes did not have electricity or indoor plumbing in 1920
· Microwave Oven- most homes heated and cooked with wood or coal in 1920
· The “Pill” (which was the first drug used by “healthy” people to prevent something rather than by the sick to treat an ailment)
· Commercial Air Travel- distant travel was by trains powered by steam locomotives in 1920.
· Space Travel- the first rocket was launched in 1926 by Robert Goddard
The Barcode, do you remember ever purchasing an item without one?
· Social Networking, think about this next time you read a blog or “Friend” someone on Facebook
· GPS- map and compass was used in the 1920’s
· Laptop Computers- electronic calculators didn’t become commercially available until the 1970’s
· Text Messaging

It’s also hard to believe that all of the following have occured in just 90 short years :
· Astronomers discover Pluto
· The Empire State Building is completed
· The Golden Gate Bridge is completed
· World War II begins
· The first Social Security benefit checks are paid out
· DNA was isolated
· Man Travels to the Moon
· Jonas E. Salk developed the first experimentally safe dead-virus polio vaccine
· Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th states

Mom, what an amazing life you’ve had. You’ve been dealt a difficult hand in this game of life, but in our opinion,, you played it well!

We love you

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Saturday Spent in The Kitchen...

Happy New Year! It’s 2010? It seems that we just don’t have the time to update the blog like we would like. It also seems that we in the past year there hasn’t been all that much going on that we think that anyone would be interested in reading about and for sure nothing to photograph. But we are going to try a bit harder this year.

Tonya & Mom started their Saturday morning in the kitchen to try something new, by the time they walked out some 8 hours later… they had prepared 11 supper type meals for the freezer!

While Tonya was doing her Christmas shopping she found a book and thought it would be a good gift for a friend of hers and then she thought shoot, I’ll just get myself one while I’m at it. The book was called “Once-A-Month Cooking”. So with Bill was out of town, Tonya & Mom went to work in the kitchen and began what turned into more than a full day of meal preparation.

Over the past few years we have been customer of the local kitchens where you go in and make your meals from their ingredients which are already “prepped”. We found that it was something that we enjoyed doing together and that the quality of their ingredients was top notch. And you knew what is actually in your meal; no hidden surprises. Doesn’t everyone really like to know what they are eating?

Not only do we like knowing what ingredients are in our meals, we like having supper together. That’s right, we still all sit down together (and not in front of the tv) and have supper together (okay the tv is on in the background but we don’t sit down with our plate in front of the tv). We actually have dinner time conversations!

The real time busters of the day were the things these “kitchens” provide as part of their service: find the recipe, do the shopping, do the food prep and do the clean up! Once you get to just putting the meals together and slapping them in a Ziploc bag it’s a cinch.

Some of our future suppers will be Chicken & Dumplings, Texas Style Lasagna, Macaroni & Cheese with Ham, Apricot Chicken, Italian Slow Cooker Chicken Country Style Ribs etc… if you are in the neighborhood stop by, we’ll have leftovers… None the less they had a good time and if the meals are as good as they sounded we will do it again.

Thoughts to Ponder…
*A full day in the kitchen results in quality bonding time between mother & daughter
*There is a reason that Rachael Ray can cook a meal in 30 minutes

Merry Christmas from the Whitfields 2009

Dear Loved Ones,

We trust this letter finds that each and every one of you has had a good and prosperous year, a year with more ups than downs; a year that has been filled with more joy than sorrow. As we reviewed the 2008 letter it seems all of the events happened longer ago than just a year. 2009 has been an interesting one for us.

We started our year with Bill resuming his job search after our Christmas vacation in Texas. He left no job unapplied for if it even remotely applied to his experience & skills. He had several companies express interest, several interviews, but nothing came through. By the first of March Tonya was starting to become concerned as to how much longer this might continue when he got a call asking him if he was still interested in the job he applied for back in November??? Bill had to think hard as to which job or company the call was from. We know now that Bill has been blessed by landing a job in 4 months, but at the time we didn’t realize this. We also know now that we were blessed when Bill was laid off, you see he had not been happy at his previous employer in several years and he thought he would just hang on until Tonya retired from Boeing then we would move to New Mexico and he’d grab some type of job there for a few years. He is working for General Construction, a company that is a division of Kiewit Construction, he loves the job but hates his commute (135 miles round trip) and typical 10 to 12 hour days (Tonya still isn’t adjusted to his new hours, especially supper at 7:00PM and she misses their time together). Our thanks go out to everyone who added us to their prayer list. We are blessed in many ways and having jobs right now is one of these blessings.

G’ma E (Tonya’s Mom) is now living with us here in Washington. Back in February she became very ill, so ill that it resulted in about 2 weeks in the hospital, and of those 2 weeks over 10 days were spent in CCU. Tonya traveled to Texas to be with her mom as well as to lend support to her brothers, Mom was a very sick woman, but she continued to regain her strength and around the 1st of March Tonya was able to return home and brought G’Ma E with her. It seems that she needs a more help around the house now (this legally blind thing keeps her down more so than her other problems) so we have discussed things with her and we’ve all agreed that she will be living with us. Plus she is a big help for us too, she has her daily routine around the house doing a lot of little things that we would let go until we found more time. Again, we are blessed to have her with us. Mom will be 90 next month.

The three of us made the trip down to Utah in August to move Whitney’s belongings in a U-haul trailer. We ahs planned on stopping at Glacier national Park on the way back to Washington, but we ran out of time. So we decided to make the drive to Montana on Labor Day weekend. We made the trip and had a great “road trip”. Glacier Park is beautiful and definitely should be on everyone’s “must see” list.

Brittany is doing great!!! She’s still working full time, should complete her Master’s this summer and scheduled to take her Professional Engineering exam in April; she has a very full plate. And with all that going on she was able to come up from So Cal to visit us twice this year. We missed out on so much of her life during the time that her and her dad lost touch that we are blessed that she is back in our lives.

Whitney also returned to Utah this fall. She is beginning a new adventure in her life, she’s a freshman at Southern Utah University there in her “other” hometown of Cedar City. She has her focus set on a career in Human Resources. She also landed a job working in the admissions office. She seems to be settling into life back in Cedar and being a full time student and not getting the paycheck she was used to. We miss her oh so much, but we are so, so proud of her!

Billy or as he calls himself, William, is doing well. He is living & working in Jackson Hole, Wy. We don’t hear from him as often as we’d like, but when we do it seems that he is enjoying life there and of course is still skateboarding when he has times.

Christopher & Heather got married in February. Their wedding was so pretty with their closest family and friends. We not only gained a daughter but we now have two grandchildren. Sierra is 11 and Hunter is 9. It’s so nice to have younger ones in the family again; it’s been a long time. The happy couple insisted that Tonya bake the wedding cakes, so she did her best (so has anyone made the time-frame connection here, the wedding and all the prep took place during the time G’Ma was in the hospital…. check-out the old postings on the blog) Christopher continues to look for work like so many others in this country, please pray that he will be lead to a full time position soon; in the mean-time he’s a full time “Mr. Mom” while Heather works hard to support their family right now.

Jeremy & Daesha are doing so good. Daesha has been working part-time and is enjoying the extra time that she has around the house for her scrapbooking and other household projects. She and Jeremy really got into making preserves this past summer and we can’t wait to go down and sample their goods. Jeremy is still working with the local school district there in League City and seems to really like what he is doing there. We really appreciated the way they opened up their home to all of us during Christopher & Heather’s wedding, including hosting a dinner after the wedding for Bill’s siblings Karen & Ronny , Don & Diane , and Whitney, so we had a chance to relax after all of the wedding prep.

We love each and every one of you’ll and we continue to pray that you will each be blessed with happiness in 2010!

All our Love,
Bill & Tonya