Saturday, August 15, 2015

Trip to Indiana

When the Indianapolis Temple was being built, we knew we wanted to be able to travel down to attend the Open House, and wow, are we ever glad we did.

Allan had business in Chicago, and so we spent a little longer on our trip than originally planned, but it all turned out great.  I even had a chance to visit Wrigley Field and see a Chicago Cubs game.  I appreciated having a chance to work with one of Allan's co-workers--she was so fun.  I have visited a few baseball fields, but I have not been here and it was great--although I would have preferred a little cooler temperatures ; )

I also had Seminary training during the trip so that part made it a little inconvenient, but I managed to get it all done.  (Can't believe summer is almost over and we'll be starting Seminary in a few weeks.)

Our stay in Indiana was great.  We got to see Mission Impossible 5--ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!! We had lots of time with Wendy and Josh.

When Evan and Scarlett came down Saturday afternoon we immediately headed to Sky Zone and the kids all jumped.  Oh, how I wish I had that kind of energy. We ate way, way too much (but I guess we usually do)

When we went to Church on Sunday it was Fast and Testimony Meeting.  They began by inviting the youth to bear their testimonies.  (This apparently was requested in a youth committee by the youth, and many of them took the opportunity to share wonderful experiences.)   The testimonies were great--they just loved the temple and loved having a chance to take their friends through.  All of them talked about how they felt going through--which is what you hope they realize--there is such a different feeling in the temple.  Yes it's beautiful, but what you feel is what it's all about.

One of my favorite experiences was shared one shared by a young man (about 12 or 13) who talked about riding his bike to the temple with a non-member friend.  They went through the tour and then set on the grass and talked.  This boy mentioned he was ready to go and his friend said, "Not yet.  I like how I feel when I'm sitting here."

Then there was a young man who was supposed to go with the youth on a tour but decided not to and instead went with his non-member mother.  He commented on what an amazing experience it was for the two of them.

I loved how the Bishopric mentioned there were 3 weeks until the dedication and encouraged everyone to set some goals or do something special over those 3 weeks to be prepared for the dedication.  I loved that idea and have put it in the file in my cabinet that contains ideas for when we have our Temple Open house--hopefully before we move away.  Also in there is the master I used to make the little booklets for the kids to use to write about and color things they saw in the temple.  (If we move away, I'll pass all of it on to someone when we leave)

After Church and before dinner, Allan explained the Plan of Salvation and why we have temples.  He did such a great job.  I think it helped a lot.  Everyone was pretty excited for Allan's tri tip sandwiches and man were they ever good.  We were so full that we didn't even have dessert--yes, you read that right, WE DIDN'T HAVE DESSERT!!!!  Tony arrived back from his golf outing and it was great to see him.

Monday morning we all met up at Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  Nancy and her husband arrived and then we all headed up to Indianapolis to see the temple.

It was beautiful.  They did a great job with the tour.  It made me very anxious for our temple groundbreaking and open house--which I really hope happens someday soon ; )

SIDENOTE #1:  Can't believe we will be starting Seminary soon.  Will have a chance to drive to one of the branches in the District today--which means I will get to see one of my on-line Seminary students.  We will take the missionaries to dinner tonight and then speak in Church tomorrow.

SIDENOTE #2:  I am very excited that next week after our Temple trip we will be going to South Dakota so I can meet up with two of my cousins from the East Coast.  I can't wait!!!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

For the last few months, it seems like every day I find myself singing "Memories"--the theme from Cats.  No there are no cats involved.  I am busy with a project that has me thinking about memories.   While I have been doing it, for whatever reason I seem to be facing my own mortality.  Life is going by way too fast, and there is nothing much I can do.  I worry about the future--about missed opportunities.  And it's times like this that I really miss that I live so far away from children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I realize we didn't spend enough time with Allan's Mom and Dad, and Les.  There should have been more visits!  And definitely more phone calls.  Allan was really great about calling his dad.  They spoke quite often.  I didn't do a very good job calling Les.  I found a little folder that all the pictures that Les used to have on his piano--that's where he kept all the important pictures of his family.  When I would go and visit, there were the latest pictures of all our kids and grandkids.  When he died, I took all of them off the piano and brought them home along with the ones he had put away--to replace with the newest one I would send.  I also found a valentine he had saved from Heidi.

 A word from the not so wise:  Don't let a moment pass you by!!!

A few fun pictures from days gone by:

Makes me smile that Les kept this.

We stopped by and visit Les in August 1999--how I wish I had known that would be the last time I would see him.

At a family reunion in 1986--there aren't enough of these!!!!

I can look at some photos and be back there in a moment.  I sure hope I never lose that ability ; )

Although my sister, Gayle is no longer here, I need to call my other sisters more often.  No excuses!!!!

I truly am blessed!!!!  (And by the way, our little missionary grandson will be home 2 weeks from tomorrow!!!!!)

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.