Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cousin Club Minutes

Don't let the playful pictures fool you - When the Foutz cousins get together, it is serious business. Within minutes of arriving at our summer gathering, and after eleven hours in the car, my kids were crowded around the kitchen table with the others - pens in hand, and official Cousin Club notebooks opened before them. Votes were proposed, hands raised, officers nominated, and an agenda set in place.

Every decision was unanimous, including wording of the official pledge:

Fortunately, not a moment of critical planning time had to be wasted on wardrobe decisions, as Grandma Susan presented each of them with a shirt, which she designed herself. 

(missing Robinson, who was at camp and joined us later!)

A close up....

Though not a member of the Cousin Club myself, I offered to serve as Historian, and did my best to capture the memories made as they went about their official business.

I therefore present the following minutes for approval, and propose they be added to the permanent Cousin Club record.


Cousin Club's Summer 2014 session was called to order on July 6th at approximately 6:30 pm MST. 

Venue: West Jordan, Utah, at the homes of the Basingers and Grandma Susan. In addition, various remote meetings were held at Jump and Bounce, Gardner Village, The Chocolate, neighborhood pool and splash pad, movie theater, and Park City Mountainside Resort. 

Roll Call: Participation was unanimous, as all seventeen descendants of Jim and Susan were able to gather as "Cousins United" - Robinson, Hallie, James, Isabella, Anna Kate, Alexandra, Julia, Jolie, Sofie, Ava, Adalie, Leah, Reed, Calvin, Clark, Mack and Eddie.

Expenditures: While some budget allocations were deemed necessary for outings such as Park City and favorite Utah eateries, entertainment was largely free, and included: Producing and starring in YouTube videos, playing Monopoly, planning talent show acts, watching classic movies with Grandma Susan, making balloon animals, and hosting a homespun backyard carnival. 

Visiting Dignitaries: This year's special guests included Elsa from Arendelle, Leonardo and Michelangelo from the sewer, Robinson as his Scottish alter ego, the Chick Fil-A cow, and James posing as a 3-foot man incapable of brushing his own teeth. 

Injury Report: Aside from a few minor incidents related to wrestling matches and jumping off 33-foot high diving platforms, injuries were minimal, though a few cases of gagging were reported during our traditional Jelly Belly challenge. For the most part however, the cousins are to be commended for ensuring one another's well being. One afternoon in fact, while the moms were out shopping, Jane received a text from from 7-year old Ava that read, "Mom is it time for Leah to put on her eye patch?" 

Cleanup efforts: Frequently necessary.

Closing Ceremonies: Were replete with hugs, tears and fist bumps, though briefly delayed by an attempt by Mack and Eddie to stowaway together in a suitcase. 

Adjournment: It is proposed that Cousin Club adjourn, until its subsequent gathering.

Which is never soon enough. 

San Diego

There is nothing better than spending time with Jack's family, except maybe spending time with Jack's family in San Diego. I have looked forward to this trip for a year, and it was everything I dreamed. Beautiful weather enjoyed, beautiful memories made, and so much fun laughing, relaxing, swimming, sand castling, playing catch and Legolanding, that it only took the men about half a day to scrape themselves up off the ground after loosing to Belgium.

Maybe a full day, but still!

Special thank you to Kristin for capturing the happy moments below. To ensure proper credit, please note that the out of focus pictures were taken by me. The rest are hers.

Monday, June 23, 2014

These is my hashtags

These is my latest hashtags.

(These is why)

Ten #how

Went to organize the Legos, and was greeted by her 

Third annual "Lemonade for Veterans" These girls have raised over $1,000 to benefit #woundedwarriorproject


If every child had an Aunt Elise, this world would be a bright and happy place 

Cherry blossom selfie #springbreak

What do your boys do when you get home from church? Just curious

Found this among Jolie's General Conference artwork. She said she didn't have time to add a G at the end, and I chose to believe her



It was all fun and games at the ophthalmologist until he prescribed an eye patch #sigh

Jack and the kids in the #washingtonpost

New eye patch. The first kid I catch making fun of it is going to "accidentally" trip and land on their face

Cal seemed to really enjoy our visit to the American Girl Doll Store

Being a wise man is not as easy as you think

Fourth annual family picture with #bigbirdonmeth

My turn to host preschool. Greetings from the Mayflower! Photo taken before I told them about the scurvy outbreak

Waiting for Dad to get home

Hoping the government shutdown would end soon. Wink. #furloughfun

View from the Capital Beltway #familiesareforever

Celebrating Leah's birthday, and the first time I had seen the Atlantic Ocean #oceancity

#awkwardfamilyphoto in progress

Butterflies with disabled wings are the most fun

"Mom, I think you mixed up our suits" #distracted

A friend treated Jack to a round at #congressional Pretty sure my dad was there too

A tree, a rope, and a boy

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Because of Him

Last week, we lost Jack's Uncle Mike to cancer.

Here he is meeting Eddie for the first time. I think he was asking him if he's going to be a Sun Devil.

Jack and I have special place in our hearts for Uncle Mike, with whom we shared loves for blogging, ASU football, and conservative politics.

We also shared a devotion to Jesus Christ. I always enjoyed Mike's blog posts about faith. Though we practiced different religions, we were united in our love for the Savior and gratitude for His sacrifice. Shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer, he wrote:

I might have asked myself the question, "Why Me" once or twice during this ordeal, but I immediately counter with "Why Not Me?"  Scriptures tell us time and time again that we (followers of Christ) live in the world but are not of the world.  In other words, we are not immune from all that affects our corrupted world in which we live.  Where we ultimately put our trust, hope, and faith to overcome the obstacles becomes our challenge.  Do we believe His promises or not?  No trial we face is a surprise to Him. His promise to us is that we will not go through the fire alone and that when all is said and done, we will have eternal life with Him (our blessed hope).

His funeral was held on Saturday, and I was grateful for the opportunity that Sunday brought to reflect on the promise that he will live again. I remember last year, when he blogged about Easter with his family, he didn't refer to it as "Easter," but rather "Resurrection Day."  His weekend had been filled with the kind of happy traditions he loved to share with his beautiful wife Bonnie, two children, and granddaughter, but foremost in his description of them was his gratitude for the risen Christ.

As I read through other posts in reflection of his life, I also came across this:

Early in my ordeal, while laying in bed and not sure of my future, I asked God if I were going to die. I wasn't fearful of death, but was more concerned about my family and their welfare if an early death were to occur. In his small, still voice He answered me with a definite "NO." Consequently, death never followed and haunted me. My prayer then became, "use this trial for the benefit of your Kingdom." 

That death to Mike had no sting, reminded me of this video (below). I wish I could have posted it when Mike was still with us. I think he would have appreciated the message, and I'm certain I would have appreciated his response to it.

Uncle Mike, thank you for your kindness, and for your blog posts. I'm going to miss them. Thank you for your encouraging comments on this blog, and for all the emails over the years that you and Jack shared about sports and politics. Thank you for the Disney stuffed animals and blanket you and Bonnie gave our kids. Leah still sleeps with that blanket every night. Above all, thank you for example of faith in Jesus Christ.

 Because of Him, we will see you again.

Video link HERE

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Football Fan

I am a big football fan. The biggest. Huge, huge football fan.  I don't know the difference between a tight end and a receiver, and I have no idea how many points a field goal is worth. Technically, I've never even sat through an entire game but seriously, there is nothing like football season. 

Some of my favorite memories of my dad and brother are of the two of them glued to an ASU game and cheering so loud the neighbors could hear. Even better are memories of tagging along to Sun Devil Stadium. I was never too interested in what took place on the field, but I loved eating hamburgers at Chuckbox with them before the game, and jumping to my feet and cheering when they did.  

My favorite memories of high school without a doubt revolve around Friday night football. I loved the stadium lights and the crash posters. I loved cheerleading and the marching band and had a crush on the quarterback. I loved hot dogs and the eagle and I love the United States of America and the Bill of Rights but maybe now I'm getting carried away.

In college, Jack and I spent many date nights in blue at LaVell Edwards Stadium. There is nothing like cheering from a student section. After we were married and moved to Santa Barbara, there was no local college team to support, which perhaps had something to do with his foray into fantasy football. For the last ten years, the draft parties, message board banter, and daily strategy discussions with his brother have provided much laughter and entertainment. I get such a kick out of it all in fact, that when I was in labor with Leah I insisted on sending him home from the hospital to draft his team. He didn't win the Super Bowl that year, but he did make it back in plenty time for the birth.

These days, football season means coming home from Church every Sunday and pulling two little Broncos jerseys out of the closet. Jack is a lifelong Denver fan, but the two years they won the Super Bowl ('98 & '99), he was serving his mission and didn't get to watch.  Today, fifteen years - and two new fans - later, he'll finally get his chance.

I'll be cheering too.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Chronicles of Two

Today was Eddie's birthday. I took a picture before he woke up, never wanting to forget the way he points his butt in the air when he sleeps, then had the thought to take a picture every hour on the day he turned two. If I can't slow down time, I can at least try to capture it.


















A Brother Like No Other

(Written by my mother Susan Foutz, who would like to clarify that she actually has two brothers like no other ) If you lived in Arizona in t...