Sunday, December 20, 2009


This month I taught the elementary students about Michelangelo and his work. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about him, and I loved teaching the students about his work. It was a bit tricky since he loved to paint people in the nude, but there were some great resources aimed especially for children, so it worked out just fine. I did, however, get in trouble by a vigilant first grader who objected to my choice of words. I was telling the students how Michelangelo had overheard a man criticizing his painting of The Last Judgement, so he just decided to paint the man into the picture, and of course, the critic was pictured in hell! (Where else?) I was called on the carpet for saying a bad word! oops
It was amazing to see how much difference the cleaning of the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel made! After about 500 years of dust and grime, the painting was rather obscured! But the cleaning (which took 10 years!) revealed the bright colors Michelangelo used all those years ago.
Now I would love to travel to Italy to see these masterpieces! I have great respect for Michelangelo and his work.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Logan and Shaffer

I have been watching Joan, Lynnie, and Chris (from the office) having a blast being grandmothers for years now. They have been telling me how much fun it is to be a grandma. They are sooooooooo right!!!! It is the best! I had the time of my life in Portland playing with Logan the last week and a half. And then to be able to hold little Shaffer and get to know him too, well, it was heaven on earth! Logan is such a loving little guy; he melts your heart with his nose-wrinkling smile. He is very curious and loves to play. Jena and Josh are wonderful parents. I LOVE FAMILY!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Last week Sean was in town with the boys while Aubrey stayed home because of work. Mom and dad had Sean, the boys, Rick, and me over for dinner. (Lynn and Travis had mutual.) It was really fun to get acquainted with the boys. James is about 2 1/2, and Michael is Logan's age almost to the day. I was amazed at how well Michael is walking already! And James was tons of fun to play with.
Travis is busy with school and soccer. Lynn and I watched his game last Tuesday, and it was fun to see Travis score a goal. His team won 6 - 0.

Garden 2009

So This is what I've been doing all summer!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saying Good-bye to a Good Friend

Ynette Marx, Sara Fletcher, Margo Morey
Steven Marx, Joshua Marx, Max Fletcher, Lynn
Craig and Molly Phair

Paula and Darron (Sr.) Fletcher
Jeremy and Dane MacDonald

Dan, Cassie, and Tonia Perez
John Clark and Chad Spendlove

In July our friend Chad Spendlove moved. sigh. sniff. It's always so hard to let good people move. I uncharacteristically took pictures at the little get together.

Back to School

I was reading all my nieces' blogs about kids going back to school, and it struck me how differently it has been for me lately. My babies started up school again, but it feels so different from when I had elementary aged kids heading back to school. I remember some years feeling relieved to have them go, and other years feeling sad to let them go. Now it is one of those inevitable sorrows. We had Jessi home for 6 glorious weeks this summer, and it was hard to let her go back to BYU-I. But if she stayed, she wouldn't become the person she ought to be, so. . . . And Travis started his junior year, and wow did he become invisible. He wasn't going to play soccer, but decided to play after all. So he goes from seminary to leadership to school to soccer practice to the den to do homework before racing to bed. We really miss having more of his time and attention.
This picture is of Travis and his good friend Darron Fletcher. One morning after school started the two of them came home between seminary and school, and made these huge pancakes with which to satiate their appetites.
Lynn and I took Travis to Bend this past weekend to get some orthotics. He has had some serious back aches that always start when he starts a new season of sports. The chiropractor said that it would take orthotics to correct the problem, so here's hoping. We spent the night in Bend in the Old Mill District at the Ameritel Inn. We had the pool and hot tub to ourselves and spent a couple of hours swimming, soaking, and talking up a storm. It was so so fun!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


If anyone knows the saga of the possessed suburban, you will understand how excited we are to have a new, reliable car!!! Truly the suburban is possessed of an evil spirit. When WE have the burb, it won't start. Once we have it towed into the shop, they can NOT get it to NOT start. grrrrrr. The evil spirit cackles it's vindictive mirth at stumping every mechanic who attempts to exorcise the wicked demon. For months now we've been without the burb more than we've been able to drive it. Having 3 drivers and only 1 car has been a bit of a challenge. We finally gave up and bought a Kia Spectra. Yippee.
Our color choices were white or black. Tough decision. Really stressed over that one. (jk)

Since we didn't get a picture of the car when it was sparkling clean coming off the lot with only 16 miles on it and before we drove passed the lake with all the little green bugs, I put Travis and Elder Heywood in front of it in an attempt to distract the viewer from noticing any bug guts.
Travis has been working with the missionaries in our ward quite a lot lately. They are both great missionaries! Elder Griffith is tasked with starting a Spanish branch attached to our ward, so Travis works with Elder Heywood while E. Griffith goes out with others who speak Spanish. I'm so glad Travis is seeing what he needs to do to prepare for his own mission in 3 years. And I'm glad he has the opportunity to help some really great people learn about the gospel.
This second picture is for you, Brad, and for any recently returned missionary who will recognize the wonderful missionary-back-up-procedure! (I could have used that a time or two!!)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thunder and Lightening!!!

On Friday night, the 3rd, Klamath had the most amazing lightning storm! Lynn, Travis, and I were getting ready for bed when it began. We stood out on our deck ooo-ing and ahhh-ing while it lasted. After each lightning bolt crackled across the sky, the thunder would rumble for the longest time. Travis took this photograph, and we love it!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Another Killer Sunset

One of the things I love best about Klamath Falls is the skies. They are so beautiful. Last night we had another gorgeous sunset. I wish I could take pictures that capture their beauty.

A Weekend in Paradise

This past weekend our entire family was together at Woahink Lake just south of Florence. Jessi was the only one who couldn't be with us, and we missed her terribly. Lynn found this amazing place that had the best view of the Lake. We lucked out and had two absolutely gorgeous days full of sunshine; the cloudy days before that were beautiful, too, just in a different way.
It was so much fun being together. We played lots of games, swam in the lake (brrrrrrrrrr), soaked in the hot tub (ahhhhhhh), ate delicious food, and those who wanted to fish were able to do so. Some fished off the deck, and Brad used the kayak to paddle out into the lake to fish from there. They caught some trout, and were satisfied. Lynn, Alan, Josh, and Brad also spent a very windy afternoon fishing for surface perch on the Umpqua River. Now we have lots and lots of yummy perch.

The top picture is of TJ with Logan; next comes Brad with Logan. Babies are so much fun! They provide limitless entertainment for everyone.

While the small group was fishing on the river, the rest of us went into old town Florence where they were having a street market. We all tried on these funky glasses. Kinda fun that in Jena's picture, TJ was fortuitously caught in the mirror!

I look terrible, but Logan does this thumb sucking cuddle that melts everyone's hearts!!! He is such a joy.

Here's Alan fishing off the dock in the early morning.

Brad's heading out onto the lake to see how many fish he can wrestle. Sadly, he dropped his cell phone in the water at the lake's edge. With lightening speed he stripped off his gear and shirt and rescued the phone. I thought it was a gonner for sure, but he answers when I dial his number!! Amazing.

Molly, Josh, and Travis playing Boggle. All three are wicked good Boggle players. Couldn't they let me win just once???

A few early risers went to see this amazing herd of elk just south on Hwy 101. Gorgeous.
We hope to return to this place again. Like I said, it was paradise.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A couple of weekends ago Lynn and Brad went fishing at Diamond Lake. Here is one of Lynn's catches. Lynn said the lake was beautiful even though it rained a fair amount. It ended up being quite a drive for Brad considering he didn't get to fish but one day. Still, Brad is so crazy about fishing that I think he had a good time anyway.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Last Art Class for the School Year

Yesterday I went back to Henley for the last art class of this school year. I taught the students about Titian. His exact birth date is not known, but they speculate that he was born around 1488. He was the premier Venician portrait painter in his life time. He was very well known, and was a rival to Michelangelo and Raphael. Da Vinci was also painting during some of the same years in Italy. He is so well regarded that two of his paintings have recently sold for $70 million plus each!! It was hard to figure out how to teach about Titian because there weren't any cool, interesting stories that would catch the kids' attention, and so many of his paintings included naked little cherubs (which would have brought the house down in elementary school) or naked adult women, or babies being nursed without a modesty guard. I think much of Titian's work is warm and beautiful, if you can get past all the nudes. These are two of his self portraits.
One of the coolest surprises I had yesterday was when the 3rd grade teacher handed me thank-you notes from all the students in both 3rd grade classes. It was so awesome because the teachers had asked the students to draw a picture like one of the ones we had studied during the year, and to say what they enjoyed learning about. You would be so impressed with a couple of the Cezanne still lifes! There were lots of Mona Lisa's and lots of Terracotta Warriors. One of my favorites is a wonderful American Gothic, and another favorite is Ricky's, who drew the Mona Lisa, The Underground Army, the American Gothic, AND Van Gogh's "The Potato Eaters," only he called it the Bean Eater. I am totally impressed. I felt built up by the young girl who said, "Thank you Mrs. Mortenson for teaching us about the underground army and the mone lysa, gothik, and you dress pretty." I felt like a million bucks! And then there were two very thoughtful 5th grade boys who gallantly carried my things to the next class. Good kids.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Blog

Just a quick shout out that Kathleen and Gary have a blog. I just added their link to my blog. It is at I love that our extended family can better keep in touch this way.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Concert with Grandma and Grandpa

Friday night Grandma, Grandpa, and I went to The Riders in the Sky concert at the Ross Ragland Theater. What a great show! Good, clean humor. The old time songs of the west. All around good comfort music and entertainment. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! Our favorite part might have been when they showed the Pixar Pictures short "For the Birds" which they played the accompaniment for, live. Or it may have been when a local man, Doc Denning, 88 years old, told a cowboy poem about a rooster who sees colored easter eggs in his hen's nest and gets jealous of the neighbors peacock. The whole show was just great.

Rubber Stamping Party

Yesterday was national scrapbooking day, so to celebrate I invited some friends over to stamp with me for as long as we wanted. I had a meeting in the morning, so we didn't get to stamp all day long, but we did get several hours in! My friend, Cassie Hurst, came over and we had a blast working away on whatever we wanted to create. Cassie brought her daughter Taylor and Taylor's friend Kattie Guest. They didn't really stamp, but they kept us company. We ate yummy snacks and talked away merrily. Cassie is rather new to stamping, but you'd never know it, because every card she makes is an artistic masterpiece!! She is amazing!

I felt like I could get away with spending the day stamping because Lynn and Travis were at the coast on a YM activity. They went 4-wheeling and crabbing. They arrived Thursday night and set up their tents in the dark. It rained on them pretty much the entire time. They came home rather water logged and ready for dry everything. No one had to seek medical attention, so I'd call that a successful outing, since we're talking about boys, machines, speed, sand dunes.

Visiting with Mark, Anita, and Pax

It has been great to have Mark and Anita here in Klamath Falls. We got to have dinner together at Grandma and Grandpa's house last Sunday and today, and we also were able to visit with them on Wednesday. They are such a cute, adoreable couple! And Pax is so precious. What a treat to have this time together. We also enjoyed visiting with Rick today. Another special treat.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mystery Solved

Well the mystery is solved. It was Brad's 5th grade teacher, Ms. Honan. I taught in her class last year, and it was obvious that she had an appreciation for art. She had works of art laminated and placed all over the classroom, especially the ceiling. She retired at the end of the year, and bless her heart, she gave me all those works to use in my teaching. She was the one who left the art books for me at the high school. How thoughtful and generous!!!

Art Book Mystery

Today I was at the Goodwill store looking for used art books when Travis called to say that someone had come into Henley High School and left a big stack of books for me. I was surprised and eager to see what might possibly be there. He said that when he saw the title "Monet" he knew the books were meant for me and not for him. Imagine how shocked and completely thrilled I was to find these beautiful books on French Impressionism, Van Gogh, Treasures of the Smithsonian, American Ballet Theater, The Sistine Chapel, Pablo Picasso, and more. I wonder who left them. Surely it must be someone who knows I am doing art appreciation in the elementary school. And someone who knows I have a son who goes to the high school. I called the one person I think it most likely is and left a voice message on her machine. I told Lynn it is such a mystery, and he said, "Honey, to me art is always a mystery!" I am very thankful to the thoughtful and generous person who shared her treasures with me.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Good Movie

We are always looking for good entertainment, and Lynn stumbled across a really great DVD the other day. He purchased it as a used DVD, so it was not expensive. This is one we will enjoy watching over and over. It is about a 10 year old girl who wants to become a reporter. Takes place in 1934 during the Great Depression. A couple of young hobos come to Kit's home looking for work, they become friends, the hobos get accused of stealing from the family. The movie is really about loving without prejudice and about family pulling together no matter what. It is rated G. Very tender. We highly recommend it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I love my job!

Today I got to go to the elementary school and teach the students about two American photographers - Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984) and Dorothea Lange (1895 - 1965). I just love teaching the kids about artists and their work. There were such interesting stories to tell about these two photographers, and the kids asked lots of questions! Who would have guessed that the thing that finally helped a very intelligent hyperactive kid to focus, was learning to play the piano?! And who would have guessed that Ansel Adams really struggled for a time to decide whether to be a professional pianist or to be a photographer?! I had no idea. They say he hiked all over Yosemite with a 40 lb pack on his back. He had a good sense of humor and loved to tell stories. His black and white photographs are legendary.

Dorothea spent much of her life photographing people in a way that showed the effects of the Great Depression, the Japanese in the Internment Camps, and people in other parts of the world. The picture of her on top of the car shows her holding the huge camera she used. The picture above that one is the one she is most known for. It is called Migrant Mother, and shows a 32 year old woman with 3 children. They were pea pickers, but the peas had frozen, so this family was getting by on frozen peas and the birds her children killed. They were so destitute with no work, no place to live. When this photograph was circulated in the newspapers the government sent 20,000 lbs of food to this pea pickers' camp to help out the desperate people there.
It was interesting that the students related to the Great Depression because of the frightening news we are hearing these days. Always there are those students who notice something profound in the art. I especially enjoyed the hugs I got today, seeing the beautiful birthday dress one girl was wearing (it was her birthday AND picture day), and I loved receiving two drawings that were done for me in class. One is a picture of me, and I do look fine! Too much fun!
Who do you think I should teach about next?