Friday, July 21, 2017

My Go-To Scripture Always Comes in Handy


When I joined the Church in 1974 the first scripture I memorized was Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

When I saw Spiderman I was struck by the scene where Tony Stark tells Peter Parker "I'm taking back the suit" And Peter says, "I am nothing without the suit!"  Now here is where I may lose you.  I have loved teaching Seminary.  And online Seminary is a bit of a different calling than early morning--it is an intense calling. And for those three years, I was called to do other things at the same time, but Seminary was the biggest part--AND I LOVED IT.  And now for me it is over.  

Let me explain:   Allan and I have been trying to decide when we were going to serve a full-time mission, and after prayer and a great deal of thought, we felt now was the time--so I needed to be released.   When I taught online Seminary it engulfed my time and my life for 3 years, and now feel somewhat like Peter Parker and in my mind find myself thinking, "I am nothing WITHOUT SEMINARY."  Because I love learning and I love teaching, I will never regret any part of it.  Yes, I became a bit of a hermit while teaching, but I am so grateful for the 4 years of early morning and the 3 years of on-line.  

So now here I sit, the papers are in for our mission.  (Yes, I have been a service missionary for almost 2 years and have loved it very much--serving as my husband's companion (THE BEST)--but it hasn't been full time, so this new experience will be different!

We have requested to serve a 6 month mission from home and are now waiting for the call.  (6 months because there are things we are waiting to hear about and can't commit right now to more than 6 months)  With this new call, life will change.  And whenever there is change, doubt sets in:   Can I do this?  Am I ready?  (Yes, I know, believe me, I can quote the scriptures, I have given the encouragement to others (including my own boys--"of course, you can do it!!!!"), but I wonder what if I AM NOT AS GOOD ENOUGH AS SO AND SO...  We had the missionaries in our home last night and I love their enthusiasm for the work and their love of people. I have felt that love and pray that I will be blessed with eyes that see others as the Lord sees them--that has not always been easy for me and is one of the things that scares me.

When we were being interviewed our Stake President asked, "I know you have requested serving from home, but what if you are asked to serve somewhere else?"  

With no hesitation, our answer in unison--"We'll go wherever!"  That's a no-brainer!  And we will!

I think about missing my children/grandchildren and the greats, but in a way it won't be any different--I miss them now and don't get to see them as often as I would like.  

I know the Lord will bless me, and I can do this.  I just have to trust--why I'm grateful I memorized that scripture all those years ago!!!   These two years as a service missionary have prepared me and have been great training for whatever lies ahead.  Don't you just love how the Lord prepares us!!!

Sidenote:  I had a little procedure done on my nose and face the other day.  First of all, I need to tell whichever one of my children had a procedure that involved liquid nitrogen where something was frozen off, I AM SO SORRY!!!  I don't remember you complaining but I should have taken you home and sat by your bed and made sure you were okay.  It was PRETTY DARN PAINFUL!!!!  Secondly,  it isn't terribly comforting when the doctor says he's going to cut something off your nose and you may not like how it looks but you'll probably like it better than the way it looks now!!!!  Seriously, I know I am not in contention for Mrs. America, but I still have a little bit of concern about how I look ; )  I felt like he dug through my nostril clear through to the other nostril.  



  

    

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Temple Trip

The Regina Temple is closed, so we decided to go on a trip to visit family and go to a few temples along the way.  Our schedule was a little crazy.  It was a lot of fun. I am one lucky woman to have a fabulous husband who is willing to drive anywhere.  He has energy that is far greater than mine.

I had spent the week getting things together because we had a busy weekend with the Seminary dinner/recognition night and then our trip out to Fort Frances on Sunday.  I felt ready and got up early so we could get on the road. 

We drove to Kansas City on Monday, June 26th.  Our MP had told Allan about a monument we might want to visit in Kansas City so after doing a little research we found it.  It is a monument to the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon.  















We got to our hotel and the next morning Allan had to go to the terminal dark and early, and then he picked me up and we headed to the Kansas City Temple.  One of the things we did as we were driving to each temple was read a little about the temple in this book by Chad Hawkins entitled,  "Temples of the New Millennium: Facts, Stories, and Miracles from the First 150 Temples"  The stories were great and we learned a little about each one.  

We spent quite a bit of time here at this temple--It was a wonderful experience.  It is such a beautiful temple.  


We had snacks in the car so when we finished at the temple, we drove off to St. Louis.  It was kind of fun because this was familiar territory--one of our boys lived in Missouri when he went to the University of Missouri at Columbia for school.

We had no idea the St. Louis temple was as big as it was.  It was another beauty.  Two things to notice--the arch in the waterfall ; )  And, isn't that steeple gorgeous!


























After the temple, we went to I-Hop for Dinner.  Yes, I had breakfast and it was delicious!!!

We checked into our hotel and got to bed because we knew we had to get up early the next morning to make the long drive to Memphis.  It had been a number of years since we had been in Tennessee--actually Allan served his mission in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia.  Many years ago we visited Dollywood in Pigeon Forge.  I know the humidity was a killer on this trip, but the great beauty of it all was wonderful lush green trees EVERYWHERE!!!  The foilage outside the temple was so pretty--love this magnolia "tree" or bush (I'm not sure).   Yes, the Memphis Temple is very similar to the Regina one, but I love the stone on this one.   There were different painting inside this temple--some I had never seen. When we went in one of the sisters told us that it was closing soon because of renovations, so I'm sure glad we got a chance to visit.  I love the South--southern hospitality is defnitely A VERY REAL THING!!!!


We got into the car and headed to Baton Rouge--lots of rain, but it was still a pretty drive.  I hadn't been to Louisiana since I graduated from high school.  My graduation gift to myself was a trip to Pensacola, Florida, to visit my sister who was there because her husband was stationed at the Naval Base.

I know I probably sound like a broken record but it was another beautiful temple.  The chairs in the Celestial Room had beautiful gold carvings.























We got up very early the next day to make the drive to Houston.

Thanks to our Garmin it took us FOREVER to get to Houston.  I had been trying to figure out a way to go and see the Astros play.  When we first came up with our itinerary, the Astros were not going to be in town, and then it turned out they were going to be playing the Oakland A's--PERFECT.

We finally arrived at the temple, but we were so late, I was afraid we wouldn't make a session at the San Antonio temple, so we just had enough time to go in and do some work and then go out and take some pictures.  The grounds were amazing.  The temple had so much character.  I was so glad we were there.






























We got to the San Antonio temple a little early--I had the wrong time in my head.  We ended up going to our hotel and get checked in and then came back for the session.  We had been to the temple before but had never been inside.  WOW.  It was amazing.





























































SIDENOTE #1:  On the 24th of June we had our Seminary Recognition night.  I have to admit it was sad for me as I will not be teaching Seminary any more.  I have taught for 3 years and will miss it so much.  I have to do my best to keep up with studying--I love learning!!!!

SIDENOTE #2:  Had a dinner at the Mission home with missionaries who were going home.  Such a great group.

Kyle's Graduation

Very nostalgic as the last child graduates from BYU.  I am happy that we don't have to worry about BYU tuition any more, but I will be sad not not have a child there.

We left on April 21st and headed for Utah.  Lots of snow in the mountains going through Bozeman.

When we drove through Idaho Falls we realized they were having the Open House for the rededication of the temple, so WHY NOT!  We stopped and went through, and it was beautiful.  The murals had been restored--we were so impressed

First stop when we got to Provo was See's Candy.  And yes, we got a pile!!!!




We met up with the boys for a late lunch.  So great to see them--even though it had only been a few months, it felt like it had been FOREVER.  


We then drove up to Bountiful to visit Priscilla and Richard.  It was so like old times, except we were in their beautiful new home.  We have been friends for years and we so love them.  I think we could have visited forever.  So much to get caught up with.  Only one thing would have made it better--if Richard and Allan could have grabbed a basketball and gone down to the Church and played a little HORSE!!!!  

Sunday night the boys came up and we all had dinner together.  Richard had to humour me and let me take some photos to make a little collage of him with the boys.  He delivered Brent back in 1985--by far the most spiritual delivery I ever had.  I don't think Richard could have picked Brent up today.



 And in 1991 he and Priscilla came to Brampton to visit, so they did a photo with his namesake then and another one on Sunday.




On Monday we headed out to go to Afton, Wyoming.  We had to make a quick stop to visit the Morgan's.  It is always fun to see them.  They fixed us a wonderful breakfast.  Goodness I love those people,

Let me just add here how incredibly grateful we are the wonderful people we have been blessed to have as friends.



The drive up to Afton was crazy--snow and more snow. We were a little concerned that we would not get back the next day, and, I am embarrassed to say we didn't have chains!!!

One of the things we wanted to do was drive up to Intermittent Springs.  Allan had read about it in USA Today a few months ago, so we figured while we were in Afton we would make the drive to see them.   Unfortunately the road was closed (I believe until May--like 3 or 4 days later!   Nowhere did I read that this was a possibility.

The site says:  ""The spring that breathes" - The Periodic spring is the largest of three intermittent springs in the world. From late August to May, the flow cycles on and off at regular, predictable intervals. The spring runs up to 100 cubic feet per second of clear, ice cold water for about 18 minutes. The water then begins to subside and gradually ceases altogether for 15-20minutes."  So wish we had a chance to see it!

We had dinner Monday night at the strangest Chinese restaurant.  At one point the waiter took away my silverware--I guess he figured I had eaten enough.  And then when the guy training him came out to help, he answered his phone and stood there on the phone right by our table!!!

Tuesday morning we went to the temple.  We figured it would be very much like our Winnipeg temple, and as far as we can tell, it probably will be.  The colors inside are beautiful--a lovely blue.  It is very small, but I have learned a long time ago, big or small you can do the same work in any of them.  We were so happy to attend.  

Only drawback to the photo--I think a beautiful sunny day because it would have been so much prettier with sunshine and blue skies.



When we got back to Provo on Tuesday night.  The kids came over and we played StockPile. Notice how Allan is concentrating on the game--no wonder he beat the rest of us!!!  Crazy but I can't remember getting anything to eat--AND THAT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE!!!


On Wednesday morning Allan had business up in Salt Lake so Kyle came and took me to the Provo Temple.   I wish I had kept track of how many times I have been to that temple.  I have had so many great experiences there.  One of my favorite things about attending in Provo--I always love when I see missionaries there!!!


On Wednesday night we went to Happy Sumo to celebrate Kyle's birthday.  Yes, it was earlier in the month, but we hadn't had a chance to celebrate together.  Fun times and good food.



After dinner we came back to our hotel and visited and then played "Head's Up". Best line of the evening, Brent was doing the category "Movies" and when the title came up, Kyle's description, "Worst movie ever. Pocahontas with blue people". Brent knew immediately "Avatar".  

Thursday was all about graduation.  Kyle was not jumping up and down to go to Commencement, but he humored us and went anyway.  I thought it was pretty wonderful that Heidi came.  It was important to her to be here for Kyle's graduation, and I know it meant a lot to him.  Brent was not able to be at Commencement, but was there for convocation get his diploma!  When we walked to the Marriott Center and all the flags are on display I was very disappointed because I couldn't find the Canadian flag, and I walked up and down a few times!!!!  Elder Holland presided and Elder Foster spoke.  I always wish I could take notes, but I love being able to just sit and listen.  I did appreciate when he said, "Never love anything that can't love you back"  A great thought!!!!




We went to Tucano's for dinner to celebrate.  It was delicious as always, but I ate way too much.  We had fun sharing memories of Kyle.  Because he is the youngest the kids had a great time sharing memories of when he was little.  They always have a GREAT time together.  I know Brent misses him not being in Utah.  (It is the first time Brent has lived there without any brothers or sisters there to visit with once in awhile)

Allan, Kyle, Brent, and I went to the movies to see "The Circle".  Not a great movie--reminded me in a lot of ways of Anti-Trust.

Friday was commencement.  I still laugh when I think of the "bat wings".  I had never seen them before, so we had to take this picture--too funny!

I love this picture of all the graduates!!!!  

I am so mad at myself for not getting the picture of them in front of the sign "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve", but this one will have to do.  So proud of all my little graduates!!!!  The best part--each of them are AMAZING.  They are superb adults and are some of the least judgmental people I know.  

Before we headed out of town we went to lunch at PF Chang's.  We kissed the kids goodbye and headed out of town.  It was a FANTASTIC trip!!!

SIDENOTE:  I may end up moving this so it will be in chronological order, otherwise one day when I am REALLY old I will wonder what it is doing after Kiah's graduation ; )




Friday, June 16, 2017

DISNEYLAND/CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE--May 18

When I was first thinking about this post, I thought about the fact that I hadn't been to Disneyland since 1997 or 1998.  Now I had been to Disneyworld--Allan had some trucking meetings in Florida in October 2002, and I went while he was busy.

I had been wanting to go for some time, so when Kiah's graduation was going to be in Pasadena, I figured it was the PERFECT opportunity.  Kyle wanted to be there for Kiah's graduation so it worked out perfectly--well, except for his getting sick on the Sunday he was going to drive home--more about that later.

We drove to Anaheim from Pasadena and fortunately the hotel wasn't being a stickler about the fact that our reservation didn't begin until that day.  We parked the car, put our stuff in our room and then took the shuttle to Disneyland.

We went through all the security at the park and then met up with Daphne and the gang, and we were off and running.  Big change to me was that you could bring food into the park--that was always a no-no.  Worked well.  The kids all had backpacks and carried trail mix, and other snacks.  I was glad I got the Disney app, but wished I got have experimented with it before I got there.  (It doesn't work in Canada ; (

I can't remember the order we rode, but I'm pretty sure first up was Pirates of the Caribbean--we were laughing wishing we had been a few days earlier when Johnny Depp was actually there!!!

We also went on:  Autopia, Haunted Mansion, Thunder Mountain Railroad, Star Tours, and Space Mountain.

OH AND YES, WE DID HAVE A DOLE WHIP!!!!  (It was the $9 corn dog that just about did me in ; )

It ended up being a short day for Kyle--after we road Space Mountain, both Kyle and I were a little nauseous--I never get sick on rides, but for whatever reason it seemed very jerky.  Not only that, my back was killing me.  We rode the shuttle back to the hotel.

After a bit of a rest Kyle drove me back and then he went and got dinner.  Met up with Daphne and the kids.  We road a few of the "kiddie" rides which I loved--Peter Pan's Flight (which I had never been on (I road with Georgia and it was so fun), Mad Tea Party (as long as no one "spun it" I was fine, Alice in Wonderland,

We didn't stay for the parade, but we watched parade as we were riding the rides.  It was fun.
























Next day it was off to California Adventure--May 19  Oh, I can see why everyone loves it.  I think one of the first things we did was ride Soaring over the World.  Wow, did I love that.  (As always I had the sweaty palms, but it was so cool.  Wish we had planned it better--I would have loved to ride it again)

One of my favorite memories of that day was riding the Cars Ride with Kyle.  He seemed to know EXACTLY where the camera was--his hair was perfect and mine was ACROSS MY FACE!!!  I still laugh when I look at the picture.  As always, I just loved watching the little faces (and the big ones) of my grandkids.














These brave kids took me with them to ride California Screamin'.  It seemed like it was close whenever we were going to go ride but all of a sudden it was OPEN and I ran over to meet them.  IT WAS A BLAST!!!

One of the last rides we rode was Grizzly Falls--sad that it was not during the heat of the day.  It was great fun, but boy did we get soaked.

Before we left to go back to our hotel we went to Downtown Disney and had pizza.  I'll be honest my little mind was computing how much money must be spent in one day at all three locations, especially when the following day there was a sign that read "Disneyland is closed--it has reached its capacity"  I understand the capacity is 100,000 people.  So 100,000 people times about $100 is $10 million.  YIKES.  Of course, I couldn't fathom what their utility bill would be in one day!!!



PREDATORS VS. THE DUCKS--May 20th

In the late morning, Kyle and I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy II--he hadn't seen it yet.  Third time for me ; )  After the movie, we headed to the Honda Center.

A couple of years ago Kyle and I went to our first NHL game in Winnipeg.  That was so much fun. So when Kyle found out the Ducks were playing the Predators in the NHL Conference finals, we got tickets.  Now, because the Ducks beat the Jets in a play off game a couple of years ago, we couldn't cheer for the Ducks!!!    One thing we forgot--hockey arenas are cold and we didn't bring sweaters, but thankfully being in the cheap seats was definitely a plus--it wasn't cold that high up!!!!


















Our trips home were definitely EVENTFUL.  Kyle got up on Sunday morning and felt awful.  He had to drive me to the airport--let me re-phrase that.  I had to do the driving, he was too sick to drive.  And when we finally got to the airport and I was pulling up to have him drop me off, he said, "Mom, you gotta park the car--I'm going to be sick."  So into the parking lot I went and left him as I ran in to get through security and to the gate.  Well that was not necessary.  My plane was going to depart about 30 minutes late, and then we sat on the tarmac forever.  I got off my plane in Minneapolis and ran to the gate and the plane had already left.  Had to get a hotel (with no bags)

In the meantime Kyle sat in the parking lot until he stopped getting sick and then took off.  He made it as far as Barstow and had to get a hotel.

Not a great ending to our trip, but IT WAS WORTH IT!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

NOTHING BETTER THAN FAMILY TIME

It was a great few days in California.   Allan and I had to get up well before the crack of dawn to start our trip.  We were on two separate airlines.  I travelled Delta to Minneapolis and then onto LA and he travelled Air Canada via Vancouver.  We originally were going to land just a few minutes apart from one another, but he got a late start.  We actually landed a little over an hour apart, but that was fine. My big regret.  I didn't have a blank paper and a marker to write on a piece of paper and attach to a clipboard:

MR HANDSOME
I'll have to remember that for next time ; )


We got our car and then headed up to Pasadena.  It was a lovely drive--yes, there is traffic but we expected that.  We got to our hotel and then went for a walk to look for an ATM.  It was a lovely walk and we couldn't pass the bakery without grabbing a little something.  YUMMY!


Kyle drove in from Utah.  When he arrived we headed over to the Greek restaurant where he had made reservations.  We thought the name was appropriate "Santorini's"--that is where Kiah is going this summer (her graduation gift to herself ; )  Kyle took the 3 of us to dinner to celebrate (although Allan and I thought we should take the two of them ; )  It was a great restaurant and I'd go back in a heartbeat!  It was a great evening of reminiscing--we have such fun memories.  The two of them are only 6 months apart and have always gotten along.  We had some great laughs!!!


The next morning Stephen came to meet Allan for breakfast and when they got back the 4 of us headed to the Anaheim Civic Center for the graduation--which was within walking distance from our hotel.   (Such a beautiful venue)  The graduation was wonderful--we were so proud of Kiah and all she has accomplished. 





After the graduation we went to lunch to celebrate.  It's times like these that I am sad that we all don't live closer together.  The time was short and after lunch and dessert, Stephen had to head out to the airport and Allan, Kyle and I went back to our room.  We watched a little TV and then we drove to find the Rose Bowl so I could get a picture--there was something going on and I couldn't quite get close enough (had the wrong lens.  

Allan left quite early on Thursday morning and Kyle and I got up a little later and drove down to Anaheim to meet up with Daphne and the kids at Disney.  

That will be a separate post.  But let me just say, we had a blast with them.  It was hot and crowded, (and I must admit quite expensive) but it was worth it.






Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Last Few Months

It has been a busy few months.  A little breakdown of what has been going on--all for journaling purposes.  I do keep a journal, but at least this way it is all right here in one spot!!!!
  • Seminary started in September and our class is GREAT.  We have youth from 5 Wards and 4 branches.  We had District Conference a few weeks ago, and it was wonderful to meet up with 8 of our students.  And then the next weekend we had Stake Conference and we only had 4 of our boys there--not sure where the rest of them were.
  • Had a great visit to Indiana and Michigan to see some of the kids.  (I am finding it harder and harder to be away from family.)
    Finally had a chance to meet this little guy. Such a cutie!!!  The visit was short but we had a wonderful time.  Funny when we went to Church on Sunday, a friend in Toronto told me someone who lives there said they saw us at Church but never got to speak to us when they were visiting their family in Indiana!  Small world.



Also had a chance to spend time with these guys.  Always great fun.
Must admit, sometimes I feel REALLY, REALLY far away. Texting, email, facebook may be enough for some, but not for me!!!!








 



After stopping in Indiana and before heading to Chicago, we made a stop in Michigan to visit Heidi and Daniel.  They seem to be doing great.  We are so happy that Heidi is feeling better.
  • The mission is great.  I love when they have the new missionaries come in and we have a dinner and they all bear their testimonies.  They are so excited.  And then the next night the ones who are going home come in for a dinner and they bear their testimonies.  This happens every six weeks, and it is such a fabulous couple of days.  I love these missionaries and can only imagine how hard it is for President and Sister Craig to say goodbye to them.  (By the way, we sure love the Craigs!) 
  • The elder on the right went home last transfer, and he will certainly be missed.   Allan and I spoke Sunday night at a Mission Fireside with the elder on the left.  He will be leaving this week, and we will miss him.  It is such a privilege to have the opportunity to serve with these great elders and sisters.
These are the Senior Missionaries we serve with. They are amazing, and I admire and love each of them all so much and have learned a great deal from their wonderful examples.








  • We continue to love serving in our temple in Regina.  I must admit I am pretty tired after our weekend there, but it is such a great experience.  A couple of months ago we stayed a little longer at the temple on Saturday and had dinner with President and Sister Paulson.    
  • I don't think I wrote on the blog about the the Winnipeg Temple.  No groundbreaking yet, but at least things are happening.   I guess who could have gone to the property and posted a picture of the vacant land, but I think I will wait and post a picture of the groundbreaking--WHENEVER THAT HAPPENS.
  • And in September our newest great grandson was born--Everett.  I actually typed "little Everett", but believe me, HE IS NOT LITTLE. He weighed 10 pounds 8 ounces!!!!  I had an Uncle Everett, so I love the name.  I am definitely looking forward to meeting him in November.
I am bound and determined to do a better job of journaling and blogging.  There will be much happening over the next couple of months, so I should have plenty of good stuff to post.