Wednesday, December 2, 2009


We had a busy November.......starting with Blake and Andrew going to Pullman to visit Jacki for Dad's weekend. She is having a great year so far and it was fun for them to go and see her and spend time goofing off in Pullman. They went to a men's basketball game, the football game, WSU played UCLA (they got beat! no surprise there!), played ping pong in the good old institute building and generally had a great time. For days after Blake got home, he just kept talking about how nice it was to see Jacki and meet her friends. Heres a few pics.....

WSU's Marching band
The track where Jacki the summer. They have an indoor track too! (Thank Heavens!)
What cute kids! Apparently it was freezing that day!! Jacki and Andrew gave up half way through the game and went to the Student Union building to play games while Blake watched the rest of the game.
Andrew and Jacki walking on campus!

Now Thanksgiving!!! It is always great to have our kids come home and spend the holidays with us. Jacki was home from WSU for the whole week and Nathan traveled home from BYU for the weekend. We ate lots of pies, watched movies, played football in the mud (not me, I just watched), and even did some hiking. All in all great fun!!!!

Here is Paige Mitchell, Andrew, Maureen and Jacki enjoying the view.


Here's the group.....Joel Mitchell, Andrew, Maureen Davison, Jacki, Nathan and Paige Mitchell. (James and didn't go, he had swim practice and homework and I played the organ for a friend's father's funeral) Blake took the picture.

And here is Nathan's friend, Maureen. She came home with him for Thanksgiving and here they are modeling their finds from Value Village (the local thrift shop!). She is only a friend, so don't anyone get their hopes up!

And finally, here is some of Blake's handy work. Our house was built around 1959, so our windows are very old and not very warm. Blake took on this HUGE project to put in new windows and it is happening one at a time. Here is the first one, the biggest too! From the time we bought our house, the seal was broke on this window, so it was always a little cloudy and you could't see out of it very well. Blake did a great job getting it all done, with lots of help from friends willing to lift heavy old windows around my precious tomato plants without hurting them.

The next window....the half bathroom. Now onto the bedroom windows, which will be tougher, since they are all set in brick. We are excited!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

halloween fun

Here is a quick preview of my costume. More to come in the future :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I've always enjoyed making costumes for my kids for Halloween. It is fun to dress up and pretend you are someone else for the night. Some years have been more creative than others, but I think we did really good this year. James came home about a month ago and told me "I want to be 'Max' from 'Where the Wild things are'." I am sure he was inspired by the new movie that is out, but I kept thinking he would change his mind. But no........he kept asking, so on Thursday of this week we went out for supplies. We actually found 5 yards of white fuzzy fabric at the thrift store, so after a good washing, this is what we made. Or should I say "I made", though he did help with the crown. I thought it was pretty brave for a 17 year old to want to wear this costume, but then again we are talking about James, my child of "NO FEAR"!

James can't make a scary face. He is too much of a happy guy!
The first time he put the finish product on, he ran around the house yelling..."I'll eat you up!"
Everyone of my boys has LOVED the Ninja Turtles. So when Andrew decided he wanted to be one this year I wasn't surprised. (We actually still have a big bin of turtles in the toy closet downstairs!) We went thrift store shopping again, finding most everything we need there. We did have to dye the undershirt yellow, and he has plenty of stuffing under there, or should we say he has great abs.
He painted a piece of cardboard for his shell. We actually sewed it to his shirt, so it all has to go on and come off together.
Here's a better view of the 'abs'. I think we did a pretty good job!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Blake Hill and his wife Julie were vacationing in Europe... as it happens, near Transylvania . They were driving in a rental car along a rather deserted highway. It was late and raining very hard. Blake could barely see the road in front of the car. Suddenly the car skids out of control! Blake attempts to control the car, but to no avail! The car swerves and smashes into a tree.
Moments later, Blake shakes his head to clear the fog. Dazed, he looks over at the passenger seat and sees his wife unconscious, with her head bleeding! Despite the rain and unfamiliar countryside, Blake knows he has to get her medical assistance.
Blake carefully picks his wife up and begins trudging down the road. After a short while, he sees a light. He heads towards the light, which is coming from a large, old house. He approaches the door and knocks.
A minute passes. A small, hunched man opens the door Blake immediately blurts, "Hello, my name is Blake Hill, and this is my wife Julie. We've been in a terrible accident, and my wife has been seriously hurt. Can I please use your phone?"
"I'm sorry," replied the hunchback, "but we don't have a phone. My master is a doctor; come in and I will get him!"
Blake brings his wife in.
An older man comes down the stairs. "I'm afraid my assistant may have misled you. I am not a medical doctor; I am a scientist... However, it is many miles to the nearest clinic, and I have had a basic medical training. I will see what I can do.. Igor, bring them down to the laboratory."

With that, Igor picks up Julie and carries her downstairs, with Blake following closely. Igor places Julie on a table in the lab. Blake collapses from exhaustion and his own injuries, so Igor places Blake on an adjoining table.

After a brief examination, Igor's master looks worried. "Things are serious, Igor. Prepare a transfusion." Igor and his master work feverishly, but to no avail. Blake and Julie Hill are no more.

The Hills' deaths upset Igor's master greatly. Wearily, he climbs the steps to his conservatory, which houses his grand piano.. For it is here that he has always found solace. He begins to play, and a stirring, almost haunting melody fills the house.

Meanwhile, Igor is still in the lab tidying up. His eyes catch movement, and he notices the fingers on Julie's hand twitch, keeping time to the haunting piano music.. Stunned, he watches as Blake's arm begins to rise, marking the beat! He is further amazed as Julie and Blake both sit up straight!

Unable to contain himself, he dashes up the stairs to the conservatory.

He bursts in and shouts to his master:

"Master, Master! .....
The Hills are alive,
with the sound of music !"

(I am soooo sorry...... But you really should've seen that coming)
What did you expect...
it's from the demented Hill Family! Happy Holiday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

General Conference

Blake got to be with three of our sons at General Conference this past weekend. Nathan, who is attending BYU, met Blake, James and Andrew (who drove down with other young men from our ward and the other members of the Bishopric) and they got to attend several sessions of conference together. Next April Erik will be home and then they can all go together! It is wonderful to have all of them be worthy priesthood holders. Blake has been glowing all week, still basking in the great time he had with our boys. Aren't they a handsome bunch!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Questions and Answers with Elder Hill #2

Here is another one....I loved it!

Questions and Answers with Elder Hill

Erik's companion took some video of Erik when they came home from the hospital. It is pretty funny to see Erik so 'loopy"!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Accident pictures

OKAY, so I didn't get the full story, apparently he was a little more 'beat up' then I was lead to believe. But since everything that was hurt will or already has healed, no worries!

Here he is with Elder Gonzales, they took some hilarious videos of him. He couldn't remember anything about the whole day leading up to his accident, so the Elder's were asking him questions and laughing the whole time. I am grateful they thought to video tape him, it made for some good laughs (sorry Erik)!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Erik's Bike Wreck

About two weeks ago we received a phone call from Erik's mission president. He was calling to tell us that Erik had been in a bike wreck and had received a few injuries. Apparently, he and his companion where riding their bikes back to their apartment and as he was going down one hill, quite quickly, to gain momentum for the next hill, he wrecked his bike. He hit his head and broke his helmet, so he had a concussion, and he broke his thumb on his right hand. No one really knows what happened, as Erik can't remember anything about the wreck, or the subsequent ride in the ambulance or time spent in the hospital that evening. His companion was riding in front of Erik, so all he saw was Erik sprawled on the ground when he turned around to see why he wasn't right behind him. We are grateful he was wearing his helmet and we are even more grateful that he wasn't hurt any more. He broke his thumb so good that he had to have surgery a week later, he now has two screws and a pin at the base of his thumb, but he has a had a great attitude about the whole thing. He was proud of himself the first time he was able to button his own shirt the whole way and he says it has made him work on his penmanship (which I am glad, because it was never good to begin with! hehe). Anyway, he sent us a few pictures today, so I thought I would share them, so you can all see the 'pain' he was in.

Here he is, after getting the stitches out and before getting his cast on. I am glad that he is happy about all of this!
You can see the screws and pin....ugh! Wasn't it nice of him to take pictures of his x-rays for us!

Here he is with President and Sister Mansell at Arlington Cemetary. They were both so helpful through this whole 'ordeal'. I am grateful that Erik had them to look after him, I really wasn't worried at all about him, because I knew he was being well taken care of. President Mansell told me that Erik was a little loopy at the hospital right after the accident and we had a good laugh together about Erik always being a little loopy, now he just had something to blame it on.
Yesterday (September 22, 09) Erik got to visit Arlington Cemetery with all of the missionaries that will be going home between now and February 17th (when he comes home!) He is right in the middle, you can see his nice white cast.

Monday, September 14, 2009

25 Years Together

Today, Blake and I celebrate 25 years of marriage together. These past years have been a huge growing experience, lots of lessons learned, lots of compromises and 'discussions', but mostly I remember the joy and happiness we've had together.

I remember the day we were married so vividly....kneeling across the alter from each other, promising to love, cherish and forgive each other, holding Blake's hand as he trembled and I cried, being so excited and thrilled to be marrying this wonderful man, being overwhelmed with the thought of 'eternity' and all that it implied, being grateful to be in the temple with our parents and most importantly being so in love with this man that I could hardly see straight.

I love him even more now, and am so grateful for all he does for our family! He has always provided for us, he honors his priesthood and fullfills his callings, he spends time with our children, teaching them and playing with them, he supports me in my callings and I know that he loves me!!

Thank you Blake, for 25 years of fun together and here's to 25 more!!! I love you!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Our summer was busy, fun and productive. Between soccer games, scout camp, Helaman's camp, girl's camp, trek, hiking, moving kids to college, family reunion and Education week at BYU, we did get a little bit of rest, though it never seems to be enough. I have been lax on posting, so here is a huge post to make up for it. Starting with James on Trek. Every four years our stake takes the youth over to eastern Washington to Ensign Ranch. There they get to relive the pioneer times, eating and sleeping like they did. James had a great time this year, he made good friends, ate great food and came home absolutely filthy!! I've posted a few pictures from his week. Most of the ones I found of him were when he was eating or resting, I didn't see alot of him pushing or pulling a handcart!

Here he is with his Trek Family.

Skit night - always the ham. Yes, that is a plunger in his hand, don't ask me what he was doing with it.

With his family again - Brother and Sister Barbosa are his Ma and Pa.

This must be the beginning of the week, he is very clean.

One of the activities that happens during the week is the woman's pull. The men are all shipped off to go to war with the Mormon Battalion, and the women have to pull their handcarts by themselves. And of course it involves a long, steep hill.......

Then the men, dressed as angels, come to the rescue and help to get all of the hand carts up to the top of the hill. Here is my 'flying angel' coming to the rescue.

And finally, here is is, just chillin' with friends.

Okay, next is Nathan. He has had a very adventurous year, going to Japan, build boats, hiking all over Washington state and right before school started, he spent two weeks in Costa Rica. Here are a few pictures, sorry they are so small, I stole them off of his Facebook sight.

He spent the first week by himself, just going all over. He visited Montezuma, ate lots of rice and beans and didn't get robbed or sick. (You know I always worry, it is my job!) The second week, two of his friends from school met up with him and they did some more sight seeing. He zip-lined through the forest, played on the beaches and just had a fabulous time!

Just last weekend, he went with some friends to Zion's National Park in Utah. He got some gorgeous shots of the canyons and of course had a great time!

And then we had the 2nd Annual Olsen family reunion with all of my brother's and sisters. One of the things we forgot to do is get one big group picture, we were all together on Saturday at Lagoon, except for my brother-in-lay, Brian and Erik. Oh well, we will remember next year. Here are a few random shots.

My sister-in-law Kate and my sister Kathy. Both Katherine Olsen, funny huh?

My sister Becky and I.

Here is our family, minus Erik, of course. It was fun to have us all together! Only 5 more months and we will all be together again! yipee!!

One of my favorite pictures, Jay, Dad and Ken. For those of you don't know, there are 7 kids in my family. Ken is the oldest, then there are 5 girls, then Jay is the youngest. Ken was 21 years old when Jay was born, so needless to say, they weren't really raised together.

And finally, we spent the day at Lagoon in Salt Lake City. Here are my children, begging to be let out. Actually, we were getting ready to eat lunch and they just wanted me to hand their clothes to them over the fence and Grandpa couldn't resist snapping a picture.

All in all, it was great summer. Now here's to a great fall!