Friday, April 17, 2009

Lovely Weekend

The kids love the attention they get from Grandpa and Grandma Swensen.

We all enjoy the time we get to spend with them.

Little Easter Sweetie in Pastel Purple

What a perfect Easter Weekend

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


On Sunday, April 12th, Mike's Dad turned 70 Years Old. The Dildine Family had a fantastic reason to celebrate. The day before he was "made a seventy," as he likes to say, we had a big party at Mountain View High School.

Lydia and Ryan loved hitting the balloons and laughing hysterically.

Here Danny is with his cousin Paige (who calls almost every day to see if he can play) and his cousin Carson.

Here Ryan is with his cousin Liz.

After we had dinner, we moved to the auditorium where each of the nine children shared both funny and tender memories. They placed Dave in this big throne. After each of the children shared, Ruby expressed her love and appreciation to a man that has tirelessly worked so hard and unconditionally cared so much.

After Grandpa Dildine got up, Nathan wanted a chance to sit on the hot seat.

After lots of laughter and few tears, Mike's brother Jim played MC for a Karaoke performance. Now you have to understand that this was way, way out of the "Dildine Comfort Zone." Growing up in a family with lots of boys, I think that singing wasn't always the "cool" thing to do. I wasn't even sure if anyone would participate. But I was surprised. There is some real talent there! I have to admit that it is pretty intimidating doing Karoake on a stage, in a huge auditorium. Despite this, Mike and I did a stirring rendition of "The Dance," by Garth Brooks. Here Mike and his brothers did a rip roaring version of "I've Got Friends in Low Places." The six brothers from left to right: Jim, Mike, Jeff, Brad, Derin and Brent

Lydia couldn't stop herself from dancing. She grabbed a hold of the microphone whenever she got a chance. Here she was holding on to the microphone stand and shakin' her hips from side to side. She's a natural...don't you think?

Mike's dad is a wonderful person. He has always been there for us. He is one of those people that just makes you feel important when you are around him. Happy 70th Birthday Dad!

Monday, April 13, 2009


I had a really fantastic birthday this year. We weren't at all planning on doing Disneyland while we were in Southern California, but because we unexpectedly extended our vacation, we just couldn't resist. Disneyland is so wonderful and nostalgic for me. That morning the kids asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I explained that all I wanted was for them to not complain once during the whole day, and they would have to go on whatever ride I wanted them to. They really made a true effort. Everyone made the day so great. Here just a few of the things we did:

This is one of the first things we did. "It's a Small World" was definitely Ryan and Lydia's favorite.

It was great to have my sister and her kids with us. Here Madison and Mitchell are sharing a sweet treat with Ryan.

I love my sis! She was such a great sport that day, well, and really the whole 10 days that we crashed their place. Thanks Angie Eliot for EVERYTHING! You helped make our spring break, and my birthday perfect.

Nathan and Danny were so wonderful about going on every ride. Splash Mountain was their favorite. They really did have fun, until I insisted that they join me on the Haunted Mansion. Danny said no way, but Nathan decided he was up for it, but pretty nervous. In an effort to lighten the mood, I suggested that Mike take a picture of us looking really scared. How do I look?

We went down to get on the Winnie the Pooh ride. We zipped right to the front of the line because the sign posted only a seven minute wait. That would have been the case had there not been a "honey spill" (aka a little kid threw up all over everything). We decided it was easier just to wait there and snap a few pictures until things got running again.

Disney's theme for the year is "What Will You Celebrate?" This time I was the lucky one because we were celebrating my birthday. I got in for free and got a button to wear. Everywhere I went all day people were wishing me well. One guy even said, "Happy Birthday Princess!" There was a parade for me and even a fireworks show. The youngest kids were snoozing by the time we got around to singing, but I will always remember the year that Mike, Angie, Nathan and Danny sang Happy Birthday to me over a strawberry funnel cake.

Isn't Disney Magical?