Monday, September 15, 2014

SEMINARY

I have just completed my first week of online seminary and thought I would write a little bit about it.
It has been a fabulous experience.  Yes, time consuming, but worth every minute.  When I was first called, and told I would be teaching once a week, I thought "Wow, that will be different than early morning, and a whole lot easier."  NOT QUITE!

I spent a great deal of July and August being trained, and I am sure grateful for the training.

In case you are not familiar with online seminary, let me explain a couple of things.  It is for youth who live too far from a building to drive in to go to a daily class.   So they are to go to the website and do a daily class provided by the Church.  It goes right along with what the students in regular classes are learning.  Each lessons should take from 35 - 45 minutes and includes a devotional and lesson.  Part of the lesson may include a question for them to submit for a grade and/or a class discussion question.  They can do the lessons anytime they choose during the day and in some cases may need to do it a couple of days later--depending on their schedules.  The goal is to have them have a "daily seminary experience" and not to cram the lessons in at the end of the week.

I am also to do the lessons myself which helps me to understand what they are learning, and then I "grade" their submissions and participate in the class discussions.  I am amazed at the depth of these students.   Their testimonies come through beautifully in their comments.  I am quickly becoming a great supporter of the online program.

Once a week we have an online class using video conferencing.  That gives me a chance to see their smiling faces and to hear them.  We also communicate via the website and email and I've even been on the phone with them.

The majority of the students are from my Stake, but not all of them.  I have a couple from the District.  I have 15 who are registered. Some are returning students, but quite a few are first year students.

It is going to be an exciting year.  I will miss having treats with the kids.  The first video class we had, I was going to have a display of brownies and tell them I was sorry that they couldn't enjoy them with me, but I didn't.  This week I have told them that in one of the videos they will watch in their classes there is a quick shot of the temple where my husband and I were married.  I told them I will send a candy bar to the first one who can send me a note identifying the temple ; )  I just want to encourage them to pay close attention.  I also found a great handout to send them encouraging them to prepare themselves to attend  General Conference.



I will definitely miss teaching Gospel Doctrine.  But I know that with every calling there will one day be a release.  I know I will learn a great deal teaching Seminary and working with these youth.

Sidenote 1:  Had a great time out in Kenora fishing last week.  I could kick myself that I didn't bring the pocket camera to take pictures.  Allan with his tiny walleye would have been a classic.  And every fish I caught had to be thrown back--too small ; (  We still had great fun.  The fish is in the freezer and will be cooked next Monday night for the missionaries.

Sidenote 2:  Happy to report that Allan's "stroke" which was discovered during an emergency room visit was apparently an "old stroke" and nothing to really be too concerned about.  I knew Allan was concerned because he actually stopped traveling until he had his appointment with the Stroke clinic. And I must admit I am still concerned ; )  And, of course, those the kids that really know me know it was weighing heavily on me.   (Very grateful I had lots to keep me busy)  But, as always, I sure appreciated their calls checking in on him and making sure I was handling it all okay.

There will be follow-up appointments to determine why he had the original stroke, although they probably will never be able to determine when he had it.  We just want to make sure he doesn't have another one.




Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy September

Decided posting on September 1 is a GREAT day to start the Fall off right

It has been a fabulous summer.  So many fun things--trips to see most of the kids.  As always it has gone much too fast.

It is going to be an exciting Fall.  Lots of changes.  I will just mention one for now.  Next week I am going to be teaching Seminary again.  I have been busy being trained because I am not doing early morning Seminary, and no, not release time Seminary.  I am teaching online Seminary.  A whole new experience for me--lots to learn.  I realize how little I knew about the computer--I know more, but still not all I should know, but I guess I will learn along the way.

Yesterday I had to let the Bishop know I could not continue teaching Gospel Doctrine and Seminary--just too much.  I have taught Gospel Doctrine for 4 years and have loved each and every minute of it.  I will miss it, but I know I just could not do both.

I am excited about being back in Seminary.  I have 14 or 15 students--they have not all registered so we will see how many end up registering.  Our course of study is the Doctrine and Covenants.  Do you know I LOVE THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS AND CHURCH HISTORY!!!!  I know I would have been a lousy pioneer--there would have been a song all about me and my murmuring, and I know there is a reason I was born in the 50's--the 1950's that is ; )

Allan and I were in Nauvoo this past August and had a chance to go to the Pageant.  Wow, it was incredible.  We ran into one of the men he knows from trucking who was heavily involved in the Pageant and shared so much information--we loved listening to him and his wife.  As we watched the pageant,  turned to Allan and said, "I have no doubt you would have been friends with the Prophet Joseph."

We also had a chance to go to the Nauvoo temple.  Unfortunately, my laptop is down, so I am having to use this old picture off of my FB album ; (  When my laptop gets back I'll substitute one I took while we were there this last time.  Part of the reason we went down to Nauvoo was so I could get ready for this year's Seminary course of study.



That is always such a choice experience.  BTW, when we were watching the Pageant, we sat next to a couple who has been to all but 6 temples in the United States and has been to every temple in Utah.   (Now unlike us he has done temple work in all of them.  We always "count" visiting as long as we stand on the grounds.   I should add here the importance of going to lds.org and check out if the temple is open before you go and plan to do a session.  Can you believe we missed Provo and Logan--both were closed when we were attending ; (   Logan was the temple where Allan was endowed some 52 years ago.



We did have a chance to do a session at the the Brigham City Temple--absolutely beautiful.   This summer we added Monticello, Ogden, and Payson.)  I wish the Ogden temple open house had been held while we were there.  But we'll get a chance to go another time.








We also had a chance to visit the family in Indiana.  Love getting a chance to see the little ones--they grow way, way too fast.  And, it was wonderful to spend time with the rest of the family, too.

















And, of course, while we were in Utah, we spent time with Heidi and Daniel, Brent, and Kyle.



Kyle was here in Winnipeg for a couple of weeks and left last Friday to go back to Utah.  Goodness I miss that boy ; )  I think this was the shortest trip he made over a summer and it definitely felt like it.  I am counting the sleeps until I get to Utah so we can take our annual trip to Cali for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

I have been so blessed with some amazing men in my life who have taught me so much.

As a young girl, I sure loved my dad.  I always laugh because I know I was the son he never had.  I think that is why I am such a sports fanatic.  I was the one who would read the sports page and talk to my dad about it.  He was a huge Giants fan, and yes, that has rubbed off on me ; )  




When my mom and dad died, I was blessed to go the home of a great man and his wife.  He taught me so much.  I will never forget him pulling me aside when I was a young adult and telling me that I "talked like a truck driver".   (And he was right)   I appreciated him being willing to try and help me improve.  (I had to use this picture because that is little Miss Heidi--who will be going in for surgery tomorrow and she is in my heart and my prayers today.  I will be very relieved to hear when she is out of surgery tomorrow)



And, of course, I have this fabulous man who married me.  WOW, AM I LUCKY.  He is incredible.  I am grateful my children have his amazing example--and so do I.  Now I have to add that I know he was taught by a fabulous dad.  




I am so looking forward to getting to Utah so we can celebrate with the kids.  They miss their dad and are looking forward to spending time with him.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

Happy January and February

If I don't do this 2 months at a time, we'll be here FOREVER!!!

There's really not too much to write about for January.  It was fairly quiet EXCEPT FOR MY BIRTHDAY.  The fun thing was when I saw this on my heart rate monitor:



For my birthday, Allan gave me a trip to California in hopes that I could see my newest grand grandson when he was born.  It was crazy because he was quite late.  Fortunately, Allan was able to change my flight so I would be able to be there for the birth of my little Jack Henry.


I worked really hard on his blanket, but I didn't finish it until after I got home, so I had to put it in the mail.


Before I left for California, I had finished this blanket for my little great grandson in Texas.  I have to admit, it is one of my all-time favorites.  I loved the pattern and was so thrilled with how it turned out.

I spent a lot of time crocheting.  While I was in California, I had some yarn with me and when Georgia saw it, she loved it, so I decided to crochet a little blanket for her.  She loves it--and it is such a fun pattern.



One of the fun things we did in February was go to the Lego movie.  I absolutely loved it, and one day for my 365 project, I decided to put together a fun little Lego shot.


Another shot I used for my project, was this one of a Gerbera daisy.  I really liked it. 


Sidenote #1:  This weekend is our tri-stake youth Conference.  I will be helping Allan with his presentation.  He always does such an awesome job!!!  I know the kids will love hearing him.  

Sidenote #2:  Can I just say I really have a problem with people who lie!!!



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Christmas and more!!!

Well, before too much time goes by, I need to write about our Christmas, but I guess I should back up and write a bit about the month.

December was a crazy month.  The winter was long, cold, and cold and long!!!!  (And in hindsight, I have to say THAT WAS JUST THE BEGINNING ; )

I returned from Utah on December 3rd and had to immediately begin decorating for Christmas.  I knew it would come quickly--it always does.  I laugh when I think about this little decoration for our front yard that Allan bought.   Here it is--I'm sure you can tell why we laugh every time we see it!!!  As you can see, Ella is out again ; )




The first weekend of the month was our Nativity Pageant at The Forks.  It was great as usual--a little cold like it has been in the past.




We were anxiously planning for the boys to come home, and I was planning for Heidi and Daniel.  (Allan didn't know that they were coming home for a week--Heidi ended up having to tell me because I had talked about really wanting to go to Utah for Christmas because one of my grandsons and his wife and baby were going to be there.  When I mentioned this to Heidi she said, "Mom, you CAN'T come to Utah."  And then she told me that they had found cheaper tickets and decided to fly into Grand Forks and Kyle was going to go and pick them up ; )

There was lots of shopping to do.  This year the number of missionaries who would be coming for dinner was up significantly.  The gift bags were ready to go under the tree!!!  The missionaries came over for dinner and Allan put them to work moving furniture.  They were such a big help.

On Saturday, December 21, Kyle was heading home.  Unfortunately, his flight had nothing but delays.  He ended up getting in much later, but we were just glad he made it.  When he was leaving Salt Lake they got out on the tarmac and SAT AND SAT AND SAT.  Eventually they went back to the gate and "cancelled" his flight.  So he and one of the girls from our Stake who was on the flight heading to the service desk.  She got on the next flight out, he got on the "original" flight.  She began texting me and I sent her updates from him.  When he landed in Denver, she had told the flight attendants they were traveling together and they needed to be one the same flight.  They held the flight for him.  She had gotten him a bagel with cream cheese and he was so grateful for her since he hadn't eaten ; )  I love this girl!!!!  They arrived in Winnipeg late Saturday night, but at least they were home!

Sunday was wonderful to have Kyle with us.  Allan made him a big steak for dinner which always makes him happy.

Heidi and Daniel were flying in on Monday, December 23rd.  Kyle left to go to Grand Forks.  As it turned out, their flight was late getting into Grand Forks, so Kyle had extra time to get his Christmas shopping done.   (And believe me airplane problems only continued throughout the whole Christmas season)

I had lots to do as I was preparing food for our Missionary Dinner which was going to be held on Christmas Eve.  I knew Heidi and Daniel would be there to help me, so that made me worry less about everything that needed to be done.  I was on the phone with Heidi and Kyle trying to figure out when they would arrive.  As they got closer, I became pretty excited.  About an hour before they came we had a couple of visitors.  A couple of families from our Ward got together and came carolling--it was so fun.  I especially loved the little Primary kids all bundled up singing.  It sure warmed my heart.  Then one of the sisters from the Stake came by with a little plate of treats.  So appreciated.

Finally, I got a call from Kyle that they were really close.  So when there was a knock at the door, I yelled downstairs to Allan and asked him to get the door.   I grabbed my camera and stood at the top of the stairs so I could capture his expression.  Well, he was SURPRISED.  It was so fun.  They were not convinced that he hadn't figured it out, but I knew he hadn't.   He was genuinely surprised and it was so fun.


The next morning we were up early getting everything done for our dinner.   The tables were set, desserts were pretty much done.  Allan was busy cooking the turkeys.  Heidi and Daniel were doing the salads.  Kyle's most important job was to pick up Brent at the airport.  Surprisingly, Brent's flight was on time.  (Of course, all that changed when he went to fly home!!!!)

Apparently there was a bit of a mix-up when the missionaries started arriving for dinner.  That through things off a little, but we have learned to stay flexible, and the evening was FANTASTIC.  Most important thing:  WE HAD ENOUGH FOOD!!!  We NEVER want anyone to go home hungry!!!!
Our Mission President and his wife were there for dinner, but had to go home before the festivities because their children and grandchildren had flown from Alaska to surprise them for Christmas.  Hey, that was such a GREAT surprise, we knew they needed to be home with them.  












This was the scene after dinner when we gathered in the living room for the singing, stories, and the ever popular gift exchange.  They were so fun.  As always the Canada hats and scarves were always the most "coveted" gifts!!!!   It was such a treat to share our Christmas Eve with these wonderful missionaries.  They were so appreciative and we had a blast.

I do have to admit at the end, Allan and I commented that we really don't know how we could have done it without the kids.  They were such a HUGE help.  We were pretty exhausted when it was all over, but it was a good kind of exhausted.  And because it was Christmas Eve there was still much to do.  Santa Claus brought our pajamas, so we had to get changed and take our traditional pajama photo.


It was one year when I was grateful there were not little ones who would get up at the crack of dawn.  The kids let us sleep in a little and then it was time to open all the presents and then enjoy our traditional waffles, strawberry and bacon breakfast. 

Normally we go to the movies on Christmas Day, but we decided to hang out and relax and we went to the movies on Boxing Day.  (We watched movies at home and it was wonderful.  We love movies so it was fun.  But going to the movies on Boxing Day was a BIG MISTAKE, because we didn't think about the traffic and we were late to the movie, but we had our seats so all was okay.  

Then on Friday, Kyle and I had the chance to go to our first NHL game.  It was so fun.  I was disappointed because they took away my camera ; (  They said it was too professional--the camera might be, but I'm not!!!!   We LOVED the game and had a blast.  This was our treat before the game started. 


Saturday we played games and it was so fun.    We had to go and buy some cards and when we were out, we got stuck in the snow.  Believe me that doesn't happen very often.  Fortunately, our wonderful neighbors came and pushed us out.  (The boys didn't realize and were in the house--they were quite embarrassed when they realized someone else had to help us ; )

Sunday was Church and I still laugh when I look at this picture.  Poor Daniel was FREEZING the whole time.  I guess the kids are used to the temperatures.


On Monday we were up early to make trips to the airport.  We drove Heidi and Daniel to Grand Forks and then got home in time to take Brent to the airport for his flight. Or so we thought.   We had a call from United saying his flight had been cancelled, and they had booked him on a flight the next day.  It was pretty upsetting.  He didn't leave until Wednesday.  Kyle's flight was leaving on Saturday morning and we were a little worried about it.  As it turned out we got a call Friday night saying his was cancelled and they booked him on a flight for Tuesday.  (School started again on Monday!!!)  Allan went to the airport early in the morning and got Kyle on a flight at 2:30.  Needless to say, it didn't leave at 2:30 and he got into Chicago too late to make his connection to San Francisco.  So, he stayed over in Chicago and the next afternoon was headed to SF--again DELAYED and he got to San Francisco a few minutes before his flight to Salt Lake.  And, of course, he had to take a bus from one terminal to the other.  But I am happy to announce HE MADE IT.  

I don't think the kids are jumping up and down to fly home again during the winter!!!  But I LOVED HAVING THEM HERE!!!!

  
                                         ****************************************

Now, just for fun, a few pictures of Ella and her December adventures.








Wednesday, April 16, 2014

TIME TO RETURN

Life is crazy, and I think it's time to get back into blogging.  (And not just because I NEED TO VENT, but I'm sitting here thinking maybe it's not necessary.  All I will say is I am worried about a lot of things.  I do appreciate General Conference and all the wonderful talks I heard.  I'm so incredibly grateful for prayer.)

When I began my photography project, I decided I really couldn't do both.  After two years of taking a photo a day, it's time to let it go.  As much as I enjoyed it and have learned a great deal, I really need to have more of a place to record my thoughts and do more journaling, so I am back.

I will have to fill in the blanks here--after all Christmas was amazing and I really need to write about it, not to mention some trips to see some little and some bigger ones ; )

Look it's already April and I haven't blogged since November.  Just a heads up.    I will get out and read blogs, too.  That is something I just haven't done, although most of the people I follow are on facebook, that's just not the same ; )

Let me end by saying THIS WINTER HAS BEEN SO LONG.  And, don't try to tell me it's over, IT ISN'T OVER YET--at least, not here.  We had snow on Saturday AGAIN.

Just to give you an idea, this picture was taken March 24th.


I do know that eventually it will end.  I was able to finally run outside a couple of days last week, but it has gotten too cold again.  And, frankly after the fall last fall, I'm a little leery of running when there is ice on the ground ; ) 

This weekend is our Stake Temple Trip and I am so looking forward to spending lots of time there. 

And by the way, Happy Birthday to one of my grandsons.  He is an incredible young man.  I cherish the wonderful memories of I have of him.  We were fortunate enough to spend lots and lots of time with him when he was growing up.  Unfortunately, we don't get to see him very often any more and I miss that.  Here he is with his son, my sweet little grandson Logan.



As well, Happy Birthday to Heidi's husband.  I can't tell you how grateful I am for him.  With her going through another medical challenge and being so far away, I appreciate knowing he is right there by her side taking care of her.  













Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thanksgiving

Yes, I know we are coming up on Valentine's Day and I am talking about Thanksgiving, but there just hasn't been time to do these posts.

I was excited to have the opportunity to head to Utah for a couple of days before Kyle and I took a road trip to California together.   Actually, it was more like 1 day ; )  Kyle picked me up late Sunday night.  I spent a good part of Monday running errands.  I did meet up with Brent in the afternoon so we could have In-N-Out together.  I also tried to get a bunch of gift cards for the kids for Christmas.  It was a lot of fun.  That evening, I met up with the kids at Zupas for dinner.  And then after we headed to the movies to see The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire.  Absolutely loved it.  Allan and I had already seen it, but I loved seeing it again.  Brent and I headed out to do some grocery shopping and then we both went to the late showing of The Saratov Approach--wow, what a movie.

The next morning, Kyle and I packed up for our trip.  I just have to share our crazy "cooler".  I couldn't find one at my sister-in-laws, so this was the second best thing.  It did serve it's purpose and kept the little things we had cold.



We had a great time in California.  We got there Tuesday night.  Wednesday the kids were home from school and we basically just hung out.  That night we went to see Frozen.  We loved it.  Such a cute movie.

The meal on Thanksgiving was wonderful.  I loved the little turkey Hannah and Drew put together.   We were to write the things we are thankful for and put them in the turkey.



I have to say, Stephen does make a beautiful turkey.  It was a wonderful meal--and, as always, I ate way too much.  But, it was worth every calorie.































Here are the lovely ladies.


Stephen, Daphne, and Kyle went to the mall to do a little black Friday shopping.  I wasn't really interested.  


On Friday we went mini golfing.  We had such a fun time--I have decided I am the world's worst mini golfer.  (If I am ever on the Price is Right, that is the one game I hope I don't have to play ; )  It was a fun course that was all decorated Disney style for Christmas.




After golfing we went out for Sushi.  Kiah had been working but met us there.  (Note to self--in pictures, don't wear the reflective running jacket ; )


After that Daphne, Kiah, and I went shopping for the baby shower that was being held the next day for my Jason's girlfriend.    It was a really cute shower--her sister really did a great job decorating and all the little extras were so cute.


My granddaughter, Kiah, worked very hard to make the little "cigars"--very clever.

They had everyone make a little onesie for the baby.  This was my granddaughter Hannah's.


I think Georgia had a great time being with all the girls.


Someone made one of the cutest gifts.  I have seen diaper cakes, but never a diaper train.




I think baby Jack is all set.  Their family and friends were very generous.  I love this little SF Giants that Daphne made for them.





























While I was there, the weather was lovely.  Stephen and Drew played a little catch with the football--so fun to get these shots.




































While I was there they taught Kyle and I how to play Pit.  (I have to say my favorite part of playing Pit is hearing Georgia say, "The market is now open".



I have to include one little picture of my roommate.  I hated to say goodbye to this little girl:



We got up Sunday morning and headed for Utah.  The drive was fine--no issues, except when we would stop at the gas station.  Yes, they were VERY busy!

I spent most of Monday running more errands--thank goodness I had Kyle's car ; )  Heidi came by to pick up a couple of things in the afternoon.  She was going to keep Brent's Christmas gifts that were not coming to Winnipeg, so that he could have them when he got home.  It was easier saying goodbye to her because I knew I would see her a few weeks later.

Monday night I did some shopping for Kyle and then took everything to him.   He drove me to my hotel.  I had decided to stay close to the airport, so no one would have to drive me to the airport early Tuesday morning.  I guess I picked the WORST HOTEL IN ALL OF SALT LAKE CITY.  I don't think I have ever been so scared in my life.  First clue--when I went to hang up my jacket, no closet.  Second, when I decided to call the front desk--no phone.  I was very happy when the morning arrived and I could catch my shuttle to go to the airport!

It was a GREAT trip, but I have to admit I was ready to see my cute little husband!!!!