Thursday, July 31, 2008


Scott is my nephew. On Paul's side - The "Flocken/Radliff" Branch of the family. When Paul and I had been married for a little less than 2 years, Scott who was 13 came to live with us for a year while going to 8th Grade at the Lutheran School his Uncle Paul went to. We grew close that year, having many holidays together, special occasions and family gatherings. I smile today, no I laugh out loud today, when I remember Paul and Scott wrestling in our hallway, Scott going through the wall and me running out of the kitchen, yelling at Scott. I also laugh when I remember the look on Scotts face, when after spending the entire morning polishing my good silver, I poured manicotti all over it..   Because of lies and half truths, shortly after that year, Scott and I didn't speak for over 15 years.  I learned a couple of very painful and very expensive lessons.. 1) if someone tells me something in confidence that someone else Or an entire branch of the family said about me--- I would stop them and tell them I WOULD speak to the person who made the comments if they continue.. 2) People can appear slow witted when they're really very conniving and potentially kind of evil. My own stupidity and hurt feelings cost me so many years with people I love so much. Rather than continuing to dwell on those lost years, I push the pain of the loss down and celebrate the years since 2001 and earlier that I've had with my No Cal Branch of the family. These are special people and when you find yourself around them, you cannot help feel safe and protected in the warmth, comfort and safety of their love.
Scott is the one who WILL throw you into the pool even if it's a wedding. Scott is the one, who can turn the most well mannered young man (my older son Robb) into the side kick helping him in his mischief just by standing next to him. Scott is the nephew who calls his Aunt Sandie or Aunt Betty every so often  just to see how we're doing.  Scott is the person who puts a smile on  my face when I see his name on caller i.d. Scott is the one who's bonded with Lyndsey so closely these years because she's JUST LIKE HIM.. (you are honey). Scott is  one very very smart AND lucky young man, He married Lanette.
I cherish every visit, I cherish every phone call and I've cherished each year since our "reunion" in 2001, when Makayla was 2 months and Brianne was 3 months. Memories of Our anniversary, Jake's Baptism, Lyndsey's wedding and all the other occasions and time spent together make me smile each and every time they pop up.
Happy Birthday Scott; Quite by accident I actually got the right day!!
OK I called three days ago to apologize for missing yet another birthday.... How happy to realize it was today. Enjoy your Mexican food for lunch.
Love you
Aunt Betty

A Few More

A Few more underwater shots for Jim


Hawaiian Memories

Carla sent me photos today. About three hundred of them :). They're beautiful I spent a good part of the day downloading from Kodak. Between Ricky, my sister and Carla, I have more than 1,000 photos of 4 days in Hawaii. THANKS!!! Carla went through 2 sets of batteries. Kathie told me Ricky made me proud by imposing on all around for photos. That's Me :) Carla gave me permission to post these incredible photos taken with a rented underwater camera of her and Rob on a snorkeling excursion on Friday. She had one stipulation... I had to advise any and all readers that the camera puts 10-20 pounds on her underwater. 
This was the  priest who performed the ceremony

Ricky on the Phone regarding his lost Luggage

Ricky with Aunt Kathie's Camera on the shuttle to the wedding

Rob underwater.. They did something beyond snorkeling where they went slightly further down.

Carla underwater

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Grammy Conquers Her Fear OR Fun at the Water Park

In a town where temperatures soar well into the 100's, a common site around Phoenix is the Water Park. I remember them from CA for years.. The BIG BIG Water Slide seen from the Freeway. In the years since my kids were young, they've brought these places to a great new level. Not one slide but an entire park of water fun. Some really big slides down to the smaller slides made for BIG six year olds with red hair who lost her nerve getting on that bigger slide with Grammy and Ema. 
Instead of coming the the slide via the water slide, Sabby lost her nerve along with some dignity and Grammy/Aunt Kathie brought her down the stairs. Aunt Kathie told me quietly she was almost relieved she didn't have to go down that slide too. Well as it turns out, She was afraid.
Grammy & Ema

This smaller slide was much more suited to Sabby. The slide was located in the Congo Rapids section, where Gran (that'd be me) went in the water too.. WITH my camera so I was real worried about slipping. ONLY in Phoenix where the temperatures are closer to those in hell, would I don a bathing suite AND go out in a public place in said bathing suit. Not sure why my red head thought the goggles were necessary. She'll HATE this picture some day... which is why I'm keeping it.
Grammy, Ema, Kat  Sabby pause in their day of fun for a picture for Gran. Sabby's drinking a blue icee Popa bought her..
Which resulted in blue teeth for the above photo.
Before leaving the park, Grammy (that'd be Kathie) said she was facing that first slide no matter what, BEFORE we left... 

So up the stairs they went again.. This time, I informed the Sabbs she was staying down with Gran, since Aunt Kathie had had enough step exercise for the day.
First, Ema, water slide rider extraordinaire came roaring down the center slide.. This was not, by the way, the biggest slide Ema conquered yesterday.

Then, after a bit of a pause, where Uncle Rob and I thought maybe she'd be coming down the stairs after all, Aunt Kathie aka Grammy, came roaring down the slide, face filled with terror. But come down she did! Well Done Kathie!  Gran did NOT come down the slide. Only the little ones for Gran yesterday. As a note here... There IS a better picture of you coming down that slide Kathie, but in keeping our relationship close and loving... I WONT post it on my blog.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wedding Pictures

Beautiful couple
Kathie, Robb, Kat & Ema stopped by today on their way home from the wedding. (Their flight took them into LAX and they had to drive home to Phoenix)  She & Robb had Aly's girls with her. They'll be spending this week together. They stayed long enough for me to download photos of the wedding festivities she had. Carla and Robb have promised pictures too. I hear Carla went out of her way getting her mother in law photos, even going so far as to cause a callus on her picture taking finger. Ricky took a lot of the photos in Kathie's camera. Looks like a beautiful wedding and lots of fun.

Rob & Carla at the Welcome Dinner Friday Night

Kathie & Rob Walking Aly down the isle
Aly and the girls, Wedding Day Morning
Rick was his usual awesome self
So were Rob & Carla

Ricky is wonderful with kids - This one didn't want to  dance with him later though. Hurt the ego a little per Ricky... She told him no--- he was too sweaty.
Never has a mother been prouder than I am of these three

Mom & Dad, Brunch... Sunday Morning.

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I figured it out!

I've finally done it!!! I think. I make slide shows. I LOVE to do these. I've done them for years. I use to buy and upgrade programs to improve them. When I bought my mac, it came with a program that does that for me.  Each year, I make a "Year in review for my kids and I've started doing a sample to go out to other family and friends for the entire year. I've never been able to get one on a web page or my blog though.. with an exception or two.
 This "movie" is made up of photos from our day in Sedona a few weeks ago and my favorite (today) song. 
The slide show takes about 3 minutes.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


This picture was taken at California Pizza Kitchen in Temecula. Paul and I had lunch with Lyndsey, Rob & Carla last Sunday before leaving for home. Since we had Sabby with us, All six of our perfect Grandchildren were there.  We ate on the patio as we always do.  Keeping 5 rug rats harnessed for 1.5 hours while we order, wait, eat and visit, isn't fair, let alone possible. They tend to run around and I've always thought the empty patio is best for everyone; Especially other CPK Customers.     
Lyndsey met Victor at CPK when she was a food server. Ricky worked there as a server for awhile too. It's become a "family hangout" for us and I enjoy being there. The food is different; newish.. Something I used to refer to as SO Newport Beach.. Now, I might say, So NORTH SCOTTSDALE.. :) Barbecue Chicken on  my Pizza or Gorgonzola salad on my pizza is NOT my thing. I also put butter on my bread as I can't see dipping my bread in oil.. THAT is so NPB.  They do make a killer adult Mac &  Cheese though and a great Hawaiian Pizza. Paul, being a much more adventurous eater, loves the varied types of Pizza.Since I have nothing of value to say today, and since that doesn't stop me from posting, I thought I'd post some photos of how Flocken Grandchildren "behave" while out to eat. Yeah.. They don't REALLY behave, but that's ok with Gran. After Lunch, we went in search of the camera store where Carla could look at the camera she wants while I looked at new and wondrous lenses to covet. The Camera store is gone (the toy store is there); We had a good time anyway.

The kids found a hole and were taking turns checking things out with Carla's Flashlight
Conner loves all things Cars and Trains

Part of my Crew

Kisses from Conner for Sophie and Aunt Lyndsey

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