Saturday, February 21, 2015


Many years ago, I traveled with a couple of sisters from here down to BYU Women's Conference.  During the trip, I was taught a valuable lesson by one of these women.   I watched as she would get up each morning and basically roll out of bed to her knees and offer her morning prayer.  She was the mother of 6 children, and I have a feeling this served her well during their growing up years.

I thought she was brilliant, and really thought, "I should do that!!!!"  However, I have to admit I didn't.  Now keep in mind the 4 years I taught early morning Seminary, I would pray before I would head to the Church to teach, but I really didn't offer my morning prayer, it was more of a prayer of gratitude, help me with Seminary to remember, to have the Spirit, etc.  What I came to recognize is quite often, my "morning" prayer, became a "later in the day prayer" when it would occur to me, I hadn't prayed yet, and would try to squeeze the prayer in!!!

Almost a year ago I taught a workshop "Each Soul Has a Mission".  I talked about the value of prayer, and in preparation had a set a goal to follow my friend's advice to "pray first thing".  I have been very good at it.   At the first of the year, I decided to set some new goals, and include this one.  As part of the goal, I printed up a little sheet to put on my wall near my bed.

No, nothing fancy--you will never see this creation on Pinterest!!!!  But, you know what I DON'T CARE.  It is a great reminder for me.  I am also happy to report I have written in my journal EVERY DAY since January 1.  I have been working on a little project that has me reviewing old journals, and I am so disappointed in how many times there is a page where I had written "I am going to do a better job of writing."  I would write for about 2 weeks and then nothing for a year!!!!  Take it from me, you think you will remember all those stories, all those experiences, but you don't!!!!

When I had dinner with my friend some time ago,  I told her how much I appreciated the lesson she taught--and I appreciate it so much more now that I have learned it and have applied it into my life, and I can't tell you how much of a difference it makes to begin my day seeking the Lord's guidance.

SIDENOTE:  This was our weekend to travel to our temple.  It was so wonderful to be there!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I am working on a project and have come to realize how incredibly valuable my blog is--NO, NOT TO ANYONE ELSE BUT ME.  And I do not have a problem with that at all.

The blog has been an amazing resource to finding memories, dates, and valuable information.  With that in mind, I am starting up again.  I don't have a lot of time, but this will be a place for me to put quotes, thoughts, ideas, recipes, photos, and things I may need a year or two down the road.  So it will mainly be random things.  But, there may be an occasional BRILLIANT IDEA.  (Like maybe one every 2 or 3 or so years!!!!)

With that in mind, here goes a couple of random thoughts, etc.
  • I love teaching online Seminary.  The other night we had a lesson on Doctrine and Covenants 76.  It was great to be able to share my testimony of the Savior and to hear the students share their thoughts.  These youth continue to amaze me.
  • You know I am a goal person.  One of my daughters-in-law wrote this post:  Faith: Tending the Garden and I would encourage you to read it.  Some great thoughts.    
  • I am loving having Allan home on a more regular basis.  I feel bad because he hasn't been feeling well.  Finally he has turned the corner and is almost back to his old self.
  • Can I tell you how disturbing I find some of the shows that are on TV.   I probably shouldn't name them here but I think of my parents and how SHOCKED they would be with what gets on TV today.  Of course, you have to remember when they were alive Ricky and Lucy had to sleep in separate beds, and not only were they married on the show, but they were married in real life!!!
  • The other night we had a friend come over for dinner and he wanted to bring a DVD of an old TV episode.  It was Perry Mason.  It was so fun to watch, but I do have to laugh when I think about the scenes of the car driving along the road--hysterical!
  • Over the past few weeks, I have made this dessert and I have to tell you it is fast becoming one of my favorites--all it needs is a little chocolate:
Berry Trifle

8 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 T powdered sugar
1 angel food cake cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 quarts fresh berries or peaches thickly sliced  (make sure to dry the fruit so the cake doesn't get soggy)
3/4 T sugar
whole berries for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, blend cream cheese and 1 c. powdered sugar together.  Add the sour cream, 1 tsp vanilla and almond extract.  In a small bowl whip heavy cream with the rest of the vanilla and powdered sugar until stiff.  Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.  Add mixture to the cake cube till you get the desired consistency.  (It varies according to the size of the trifle bowl)

Thickly slice the berries then add sugar, mix well.  Layer into a trifle bowl, starting with a layer of berries; then the cake mixture.  Continue layering ending with the berries.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill well before serving.  


Monday, September 15, 2014


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 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.