Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Birdhouse!  
As with each year, I have great plans of getting the perfect Christmas card sent out complete with pictures of our family.  Then, about now I realize that it's not happening.  That's why I'm grateful for social media and the ability to    reconnect with many friends and relatives that I ordinarily would not have.

2015 has been a wonderful, full year at the Birdhouse.  Two years ago we were blessed to have all of our children and grandchildren living here in Boise.  But with the only constant being change, here is where they all are now:

Richard and Jo 
Rich is working on a two year commitment with KPMG in London.  They live in "Lewisham" and the kids attend school with kids from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Jo has done a wonderful job of  structuring their overseas assignment with adventure and learning and she's gotten quite good at coordinating travel in the UK and Europe. It has been interesting to see where they are going next.
Cam-10, Eli-8, Miriam-6, Simon-4 & Baby Girl Bird due the end of March.
We were able to go over for a visit in October of 2014 and August of 2015 to see the little London Birds (and their parents:) and give them lots of hugs and love.     One of the places Gordon has always wanted to visit is France at Normandy.  It didn't disappoint.  France was a particular favorite of mine, from the rolling hills and villages of the countryside to the magic of Paris.

Ben and Laura (Catie, John & Melissa)
We are so excited they are still in Boise! We have the opportunity to do so much together and they are very good at having all of our attention trained on them.  John and Catie (twins) are 4 and Melissa is 1.  Ben continues to work for Deloitte in their tax department and Laura does some graphic design from home, in addition to being a stellar wife and mother. They are good at inviting us to their many outings and give us plenty of opportunities to hug and love the little kid-lets.

James and Suzanne
Grace-4, Abigail-2 & Baby Boy Bird due the end of March.
They moved to the East Bay area of San Francisco in June so that James can work in the Merger and Acquisition division of Deloitte.  They live in a lovely, quaint area with rolling hills and an average temperature of 85* and have have settled in nicely.  We were able to visit in September to get a Grace and Abigail fix (as well as their parents:).  While there, we also took in a Billy Joel concert.  Suzanne does a great job of finding new adventures & activities for the family 
and keeping in touch via Facetime. 

Scott and Clare
Their big event of their year was having a baby girl, 
Harper Louise Bird 7/01/15
They have adapted to parenthood beautifully and Harper is a happy little girl with a killer smile.  She has adorably chubby cheeks we love to kiss, and she changes each time we see her. We love to visit them.  Clare is able to stay home with her & they just finished a 6 month swimming class.  Scott is coming upon his 3rd year of Podiatry School and life is as busy as ever.  They love the arid climate of Glendale, AZ. and taking Harper along for hikes and adventures. 

Jessica and Preston Nygren
They divide their time between Rexburg, ID. and Dallas, TX.   Preston has 1 year left until graduation and Jessica graduated this year.  They have been saving up for a buy-in opportunity with his company, in addition to skiing, cruising, hiking and all other kinds of adventures.  Preston takes wonderful care of Jess and we love having him in the family.  They have an adorable Beagle puppy named Penny.  Jessica refers to her as our 11th grandchild.  
She and her mama were able to have a graduation get-away and soak in some sun and shopping.

It's easy to see that while we miss the four families that have moved away, it has been an opportunity to travel and see each one of them in their new homes.  In November, almost all of them came home for Thanksgiving and reminded us why we're glad we haven't sold this big old house yet.  We continue to be involved in the Young Single Adult Stake and it is fun, rewarding and interesting.  Gordon continues with his work at Boise Cascade and Julie with hers as a Real Estate Agent (although the best job is that of "Baca").

Here's wishing you all the beauty of this season with hope and redemption through that babe born in a manger, our Savior Jesus Christ.
All the best!
Gordon and Julie Bird and family

Friday, December 12, 2014

UK Tid-bits

This is one of my favorite pictures from London.  We were walking the kids home from school and here come the Bobbies walking up the street on their horses.  Man, did I feel safe.  I saw them walking in the neighborhood most of the days I was there.  I asked Simon when they come to clean up after the horses and he said that they don't; they just leave it there; and the next day that was confirmed.  However, they must feed their horses something different than we feed ours here because the odor just wasn't there and it decomposed rather quickly.  I was glad to see this because it would greatly take away from the romance of having the Bobbies walking up and down your neighborhood daily.  (I love how smart Cameron looks in his cap).

                 Nothing can describe the joy in this picture of when Gordon arrived in London.
   What to do if you're out shopping in London in the rain without a raincoat for the wee one. (This was Grandpa's creation.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's been nine months now since Scott and Clare got married.  We got some wonderful family photos and I realize I've never shared them.  We didn't realize at the time that four of the Grandkids would be moving to London or that a new little .lady would be joining the family.  I love this picture of Gordon and I with the grandkids, my helmet hair excluded.

One of my friends on facebook said this after I posted the family picture below, "What a gorgeous mass of humanity!"  I have to say that I think so too.  I am very proud of my family.  We have worked hard for it.  Weddings are happy times.  Every time I see this picture I think about that day, and the feelings we had with all our children and their spouses in the temple.

Friday, September 12, 2014


I love this picture, for many reasons.  I love that Abigail is throwing a fit at being taken from her mom. (I have since made headway with her); I don't love that John is being kicked in the face, but I love the look on his face and I see how patient he is trying to be; that Grace is in another world involved in whatever is in her hand; that Simon is busy directing someone or something, that Catie looks like she is ready to steel away to North Mountain in her Elsa cape ; that Eli and Cam look like they are ready to drop from a camping trip the night before but are always obedient; and that Mim loves posing for pictures anytime. (I also love the photo-bomb; it's Charlie, cousin of the London Birds).

I love this picture because it shows real life and real people.  I also love it because it is the last picture Gordon and I have with all the grandkids before the Londoners took flight across the ocean,

And now - we have another baby that is not in the picture.  And here's the big news about that that I didn't mention in my post about her yesterday - and it's this:


The fact that we have all of these beautiful little females in our family is sweet. Yes, Sweet is the best word to describe it.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Meet our new grand daughter

Melissa Lou Bird
Missy Lou, as I like to call her:) 

Lou is my mother's middle name and Laura's family has called her Lou 
for most of her life, so it's a name with a lot of significance.

She was born to Ben and Laura on Friday night, September 5th, 
around 8:30 pm. and was 7 lbs 2 oz. and 16 days early.  

She has a full head of the softest brown hair that smells like baby and she is a Cuddle Bug.
She looks a lot like her sister Catie, only with brown hair and a couple more pounds
on her (couldn't get away with saying that any time but now!)

She is a sweetie, that Missy Lou.
We are so happy that she joined our family

Friday, February 7, 2014

January 16th - Abigail and Baca's Day

Life doesn't get much better than sharing a birthday with a sweet, sweet granddaughter. She is such an angel with a cute, little pixie face and the sweetest laugh you will ever hear.  She is incredibly attached to her mommy, but if you're lucky enough to have her when mommy's not around, then it's all hugs for Baca!  She plays dollies and barbies so cute and plays well with all the grandkids; in fact, the more the merrier.  Her big sister Grace dotes on her and is her protector.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Live - From the Birdhouse!

Happy New Year from the Birdhouse!  We didn't get our usual Christmas letter sent out this year and so I am putting out the e-version of our recap for the year. We are grateful for so many things.

We had a busy and great year.  The best news is that we are awaiting the birth of our 8th grandchild, a second daughter to James and Suzanne, any day now.  She has been on bed rest during most of the Christmas season and was released to resume activity normally on Christmas Eve.  Of course, the Dr. says that all looks stable and well now that they are ready for her to make her entrance.  We are so grateful for technology and modern medicine that has blessed our lives so much.  Grace has grown so much, is so animated, and will be a great big sister.  She is beautiful, with carmel skin & big brown eyes & looks a lot like James. We're expecting the next little girl to be a blue-eyed blonde like her mamma.

Ben and Laura's family is doing so well.  John and Catie are growing and they are loving being parents.  It is a joy to watch them, after waiting so long for the opportunity to be parents.  John looks a lot like Ben and Catie looks a lot like Laura.  They are exceptionally beautiful kids.  (No bias here.)  You never go to their house, but Ben isn't holding one of the babies when he answers the door.  They love taking them to experience new things.

Rich and Jo are busy parents of four young children.  With family, church callings and jobs, they do quite a balancing act - and they do a wonderful job of it.  Jo still works one day a week as a dental hygienist and I love my time with them on Mondays.  Cameron is in the 2nd grade, Eli is in Kindergarden and Miriam and Simon are at home with mom.  They are partners in crime and make quite a pair.  Miriam has the most beautiful blonde long blonde hair & Simon's has a tint of red.  When it comes to grandchildren, ours are exceptionally cute.  I hate to brag, but it is the honest truth here.

Scott will begin his last semester in January and will graduate in biology from BYU-Provo.  His options after that are either a masters program in Wildlife Management at the U of I, dental school, or Podiatry school.  Life is all about options and he has many!  It has been so nice to have him home with us for the holidays.

Jessica began her junior year at BYU-Idaho this fall.  She is majoring in business/finance but is considering a change while she still can, so we will keep you posted on that.  She love her life, her roomates and "the burg", as she calls it.  And, of course - guys.  It's so much fun to have her home to spend time with us.

Gordon is in his 6th year of serving as Bishop.  While it requires a lot of time away and keeps him extremely busy, the blessings have been overwhelming.  It has been a privilege for our family to have him serve.

I continue to sell Real Estate when things cooperate.  It has been an up and down (mostly down) market, especially this year. I predict a great year, though!  We did something out of the box for us this year - we went to Hawai'i!  We went with some friends and went  when Boise State played Hawai'i.   It was the highlight for me.  I loved the weather, the beaches, sun, laid-back lifestyle, food, just everything.

Because I like to put a positive spin on things, I realize that it can look like I am bragging, or like we have a life of ease, with no challenges.  Such is not the case.  Our challenges remain that - ours.  We have them; we battle just like everyone does.  Some times it seems like they are more and sometimes it seems like they are less.  We press forward, grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and realize that, through Him, all things are made whole, right and well.

Health, happiness and best wishes to you and yours this new year.

With Love,
The Birds

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fun, Fun Fall

 Aren't my two little Jedi Warriors the cutest?  Their little sister, Miriam was Princess Leia and Simon was Yoda.
 Yoda and the Cow.  Catie was a cow and John was a rooster.
 Grace was a beautiful Fairy, but didn't want anything to do with hanging in Rich & Jo's van during the ward Trunk or Treat.
 Now you can see John's rooster costume and princess Leia's hair rolls.

 What a character!  Grace keeps us entertained.
 James at Ben's surprise birthday party, imitating his Grandpa Wray.
Ben turns the big 3-0 on Nov. 5th.  Laura threw a surprise breakfast for him on Saturday and it was a full Birdhouse.  Happy Birthday Ben!
We have had a wonderful fall with the kids and grandkids.
But, alas - the next big thing is waiting just around the corner...We are leaving for Hawaii tomorrow and will be back on the 13th.  Sunshine here we come!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Here and Gone Again

It's hard to believe that summer has been here and is gone already.  It was such a fun one!  I will be posting a few pictures from the various activities.  Trying not to mourn the loss of summer too much - after all, College Football is starting!  Wahoo!

    We spent the fourth of July with Scott, Jessica, Ben, Laura and the twins just hangin' in the backyard.
                                I think we ate way too much, which is usually the case.
                       All the grandkids lounging by the pool and enjoying the amenities at Chez Bird.
                                                                  Slip n Slide too!
Having Jessica home for the summer was so much fun!  She brought out watermelon to share with everyone.  Having her and Scott home was fabulous!  More to come on that.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Is this the prettiest little thing you have ever seen?
This is my granddaughter Grace.  She has beautiful, rich dark brown eyes.  Her caramel color skin is like "buttah", I like to say.  It's as smooth as it is pretty.  When she smiles, it melts your heart.

Her mother has blond hair and blue eyes - go figure. We thought Grace would too (after all, her mom is so pretty).  No need to worry about that, though, she took after her papa and is like him in a lot of ways - in actions as well as looks.  She has been slow to warm up to me but I think we are making progress.

I think they are going to have to lock her in her room at age 16!

I love her.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


 Ben and Laura surprised me on Mothers Day with my first ever Corsage.  It's a beautiful orchid with a pink middle.  It has been in the fridge since; I can't get rid of it.  Not a great picture, I know, since it is getting brown at the edges but it was so thoughtful of them and I appreciated it so much.  I was so spoiled on Mother's Day.  I had the whole family together for dinner and chillin' in the backyard.  They all made sure I felt their appreciation, each one so thoughtfully  (Next post, I'll share what I had for the daughters in law since they are moms too). 

This year is the first time my "Peace" rose has bloomed since I transplanted it to the front.  It struggled out in back and it's such a beautiful rose, I couldn't let that happen.  I believe this is my favorite of all the roses, even though it doesn't have a very strong scent.  That's the great thing about roses; they all have differing characteristics.  The yellow smells the sweetest, Mr. Lincoln smells classically elegant, Lucille Ball doesn't have much scent, but the blossoms are one of my favorite colors.  The transplanted pink one from last year has a beautiful scent as well.  I need to have a name for this one, as it is not a registered rose.  Hmmmmm.......

The many phases of the Peace rose as it gets to full bloom.

It goes from total yellow with red tips to yellow, pink and then white with pink tips. So pretty!
It took two years, but it was well worth the move.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lunar Eclipse

We have some of the best neighbors around.  Sunday night just as we came home from a church meeting, there they were in our front yard with these smashing glasses.  There was a lunar eclipse going on!  I had heard there was going to be one but didn't figure we would see it, as you cannot look at it directly with your eyes.  (Which I apparently did when I took this picture - the clouds are covering it.)
 With the snazzy glasses this is what we could see:

Third time is a charm putting the glasses over the camera!  My neighbor Daniel helped me get it just right.  What an unexpected treat on a Sunday night.  I love this universe that God has created and marvel at it's intricacy and beauty.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Growing and Growing

It's been so long since I last posted, if you still read this blog, you will have a heart attack!

This is the latest picture of the Bird grandkids.  I probably didn't pick the best one of all of the kids, but we are still editing them.  Since Christmas, they have all grown so much.  Cameron is 7 and finishing the 1st grade, Eli is 5 and preparing to go to Kindergarden, Miriam is 2 and a princess, Simon is 1 and has the most yummy rusty hair color, Grace is almost 1 and has the most beautiful, carmel colored skin like butter, John is 8 mo. and smiles at everyone like he is their best friend, Catie is 8 mo. and never stops.

What a joy these babies are to us! 

We had them all here for Mother's Day Sunday and I was spoiled by each of my children and Gordon.  It was a wonderful day full of family - just the kind I like.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Birthday Week

 We had a nice long holiday with Jessica before she went back to school.  She left the day of my birthday for her second semester.  Here, she is out to dinner at Cheesecake Factory with us on our anniversary.  She posted on facebook: "you know your parents are old when they invite you along on their anniversary dinner!"

Birthday Week - We celebrated Richard's birth on the 8th of Jan., my Dad's on the 7th, Gordon's on the 10th and mine on the 16th.

 Rich opening his birthday presents.  I loved watching his kids at his knee, so excited at everything they gave him.
 Gordon's turn to blow out the candles.
 Eli loves little children, especially Grace.
 Grace loves playing with her cousins.
 Gordon actually saying, "Who's the Man?"  in his tenor-most voice.  (With actions)  He says it all they time, we were glad to document it.
 Everyone gets to be "Chuck" for their birthday.  Long story....maybe I'll repost it.
 My birthday cake made by Suzanne.
Grace loves Avacado!  All over her face and chair, that is.