Thursday, September 27, 2007

I've Been Tagged for Some Interesting Things About Me....

I was tagged some time ago by Holly to do a post with some interesting things about me. I don't have a clue how interesting this will be, but here goes:

1. I have five sisters and no brothers. Four of my sisters live in California and one lives in Texas!!!

2. When I was a single mom, I worked as a secretary. I always enjoyed it. (The other day I was writing something in shorthand and Kyle couldn't figure out what I was writing. He thought my being able to write this "strange" type of writing was cool)

3. When my husband and I were dating, it was hard for us to find places to go and be alone--he had 3 children and I had 1. So we would go park--really to just talk. While we were "parked" we were visited by the police 3 times in 1 night. Finally, our Stake Pres. suggested we just park in front of his house!!!

4. All of our children except Kyle live in the U.S. In fact, Kyle is our little Canadian--the only Canadian in our family. (I'm not going to refer to them as stepchildren--so I hope they'll forgive me for that) A son and daughter going to school in Utah; a married son with 5 children in California; a married son in Boston with 3 children; a married daughter in Reno with no children; and a daughter in Indiana with 2 children. They are great kids and we have some pretty amazing grandchildren as well!!!

5. I am a camera fanatic, and very rarely go anywhere without it. I must confess the most frustrating thing for me is getting somewhere, turning the camera on and realizing there is no media card in it!!!

6. Back in the early 80's, I did a commercial for a Diet Pill. It was a trial study and after a couple of weeks you went in and were weighed and received more pills and went back after a couple of more weeks. At that point, they did my hair and make-up and interviewed me about the pills. When I walked out they handed me a form that said I had been filmed and they may air it as a commercial. I signed a release and was shocked a few weeks later when someone called me to say they had just seem the commercial. The funniest was one day when I went home for lunch and my son had a friend over and the commercial came on and Stephen said, "There's my mom." The kid said, "No, it isn't!!!" And sure enough when it gave my name the kid couldn't believe it. The residuals were great.

I'm going to break rule #3--if you want to do the post--please do it, but let me know you did--so I can visit.
The rules are:
1. Link to my tagger and post these rules,
2. Facts about me: some random, some weird ... all devastatingly interesting.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of my post and list their names (linking to them)
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Sidenote:
I did watch The Office--not all of it because I had to go out to the grocery store. It was funny. Loved the line with Michael about "Jeopardy" and how he phrases his response in the form of a question!!! Does anyone else try to figure out who they are most like? (Believe me, I'll never tell!!!)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bridging the Generation Gap

I had to laugh yesterday morning as Kyle and I were driving home from Seminary. He had his iPod playing in the car and a familiar tune came on (most of the time what he listens to is totally unfamiliar to me). I began singing, "And if she says to you, she don't love me, just give her my message, tell her of my plea...You got a har, har, har, har, har, har, Heart Full of Soul." Kyle looks over at me and asks, "You know this song???" I said, "Are you kidding. That was popular WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL!!!" I was shocked HE knew the song. Apparently someone used it on a skateboarding video and he liked it. (Of course, I think he's more impressed that the Yardbirds at one time had Jimmy Paige, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck as guitarists.

(For once, I was familiar with his music and it felt good. And for just one minute--maybe I wasn't such an old lady.)

The other night he had me sit down and watch the beginning of "Music and Lyrics" because he thought the opening scene with Hugh Grant singing is hysterical. I had to agree. Then we got on YouTube and watched all the crazy music videos I remembered from the 80's. It was great fun!!!

Sidenote #1: I wish I had taken my camera to Seminary. This morning was great. I had all the Seminary kids go outside in the parking lot (where it was quite cold) and we tried to measure out how big Noah's Ark was--the kids loved it. They were so surprised to realize it was that big.

I love leaving the house when it's dark on the mornings when the moon is full--it was beautiful this morning shining through the clouds. What a bonus!!!

Sidenote #2: I feel incredibly blessed. I have a husband who is so tolerant and patient with me. He is the best!!! I hope our children realize how blessed they are to have him for a dad.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Parenting Fears


This week Lei and Morning Glory "have asked us to share with you on the topic of "Facing your parenting fears". We all have them, apprehensions that is. It may be the idea of going out to a restaurant as a family, or getting through church, or just a simple trip to the grocery store that gives you the sweats. Everything is tricky when you have children in tow. So please share your thoughts with us - funny stories, clever anecdotes, even your pearls of wisdom."

O.K. So I've already had 6 kids fly the coop, leave the nest, whatever, but to anyone who thinks my parenting days are over--forget it. The concerns continue no matter how old they are. I have friends with little ones, friends with teenagers, and friends with grown up children. I have commented before on how the struggles we face with them are all relative. I've watched new moms basically fall apart when babies have difficulties, moms with toddlers who are a basket case because the toddler won't listen, and moms with adolescents who are going bald because they have pulled their hair out. And I've done most of that myself. Mothering isn't easy--it's a learning process, a continual learning process that will benefit us FOREVER.

Children are such a blessing from God. I love being a mother. It has brought me so much joy. Through it all I have shed a lot of tears--tears of sorrow and tears of joy. I've made a lot of mistakes, have had to do a lot of repenting and continue to do a lot, but through it all I've grown, and recognize there is lots more growth to come.

At this point in life one of the toughest things for me is watching my children struggle. I heard one time that "a mother is only as happy as her most unhappy child". For me that is so true. (That may not be true for everyone) I feel the pain when my children have struggles, and I worry, ache, and struggle right along with them. I recognize more often than not, there isn't anything I can really do about their struggles except listen, encourage them, and pray for them.

I sat in Church on Sunday and listened as someone told a story about a tidal wave that hit Hawaii years ago. During the tidal wave one family received a call that the tidal wave was coming. The mother looked out and could see the wave coming so she and her husband and their baby fled to higher ground. Unfortunately two of their daughters were playing somewhere else. As the family watched this monstrous wave approach, they could see their two girls with nowhere to go. The girls wrapped their arms completely around the trunks of the lauhala trees. The wave totally covered them as the girls held their breath and CLUNG with all their might until the waters receded and their heads were above water. The speaker at Church was asking--what do we cling to? My greatest fear is that my children will not cling to the values that have been taught to them since they were small. I watch each day as Kyle heads off to high school and know a little of the pressures that he faces. I know I cannot follow him around making his choices for him--for they are his choices to make.

I understand that each of my children can make their own choices--and being the "struggling to recover" control freak that I am, I don't like that, but I do not know they have that freedom. I know that my responsibility as a parent is to teach them correct principles, and then let them govern themselves. (I know I heard that somewhere before ; )

I try very hard to "trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6) I recognize I do trust in the Lord but it isn't always with all my heart, and I hope and pray that I can learn to do that.

I think we each need to enjoy our children. It's an awesome responsibility that we have been given. I have great kids, and I am so proud of each of them, so my question to me is: why do I worry?

Monday, September 24, 2007

CHOOSE WISELY

As I was looking through the pictures Brent took when the kids were in Disneyland, I laughed when I saw this one. Obviously, it made me think of that Coke/Pepsi (I think that's what it was--but it could have been diet vs. regular) commercial years ago after Indiana Jones came out. There's a guy who goes to the refrigerator and has to make a choice, and he's reminded to choose wisely. I really should print the picture out and put it somewhere to remind me of why I made the decision to give up chocolate--I'm wanting that reward. So far, so good. It has almost been a week and I haven't had one slip--not even last week when one of my Seminary boys brought donuts for our treat on Friday, there were even Chocolate dips not once as I put chocolate bars in the mail for my girls in our outlying branch; or when I've passed around my basket of kisses. For my children, who thought I couldn't go "cold turkey", so far so good--not even one slip because I couldn't face having to admit that I couldn't do it. (That's got to say something about some of my problem) (I thought you knew your mom's competitive nature ; ) Understand, I NEVER said I was giving up sweets--just chocolate. Giving up sweets would have been impossible.



What will my "REAL REWARD" be? I am hoping it will be two-fold:

1) I will be able to fit into my dresses for formal nights on the ship (after all we leave one month from today), and;

2) I will get my bag of M&M peanuts at the airport. I'm surprised I haven't had dreams. I also will get to have all the chocolate I want on vacation, including my all time favorites--chocolate souffles Then again, who knows maybe the desire for chocolate will not be so great!!! Somehow I doubt it.

Sidenote #1: I FINALLY started my Christmas shopping buying a couple of things for Brent and Heidi. They are even wrapped.

Sidenote #2:
I just love my Seminary kids. I know how tired they are in the mornings, but I appreciate so much there coming. There is nothing that makes a Seminary teacher happier than to see them with a marking pencil marking a scripture.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Magic of Ordinary Days-soundtrack Last of the Mohicans

I absolutely love this movie, "The Magic of Ordinary Days". When I saw this on You Tube, I had to post it. (Since I also loved "The Last of the Mohicans") If you have a chance, go to the video store and rent it.



I have never tried to post a video clip, so this is a big stretch for me--sure hope it works.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy Fall

In honor of fall, I thought I would do a post about some of the things I love about fall.

1. Obviously, I love the fall colors
. Being a California girl (spending the first 38 years of my life there) I was not familiar with the different seasons. (Yeah, I would go to the mountains during the winter), but really didn't experience the colors of the fall until we moved to North Carolina, and then when we moved to Canada. Obviously along with that comes the cooler temperatures which means the air conditioning goes off and the windows are opened.

2. I love Halloween and it's more than just the candy I love!!! I love standing at the door, giving out the candy (one for you, two for me) and seeing the little kids in their costumes. As a child, I loved going out trick or treating.

Over the years we've had some fun costumes. Here are just a few:
When Stephen and Daphne were dating they decided to switch places. My goodness, they look young--well. it has been 20 years.

Heidi's second Halloween (she was only 3 weeks old her first), she dressed up like a little witch. She was so adorable, and, in fact, had her picture in our local newspaper.

Then there was the year Brent dressed up like a robot. When he and Kyle went out someone asked if he was a refrigerator, and Kyle answered, "Have you ever seen a refrigerator with arms???"

And for Nancy face, I just have to display my little Mario

One of my all time favorites has to be baby Drew as an octopus

3. Making soup. I love soup, especially soups you can put in a breadbowl. They just don't taste good in the summer. (I also enjoy them in the winter, but I love when fall comes and I know it's time to pull out those recipes!!!)

4. I also REALLY LOOK FORWARD to the extra hour sleep that comes when we get to "fall back". The other morning as Kyle and I were heading to Seminary I was complaining about how tired I was and saying I couldn't wait to get my extra hour sleep, and then Allan told me we change the clocks in early November. WHAT??? I won't even be home--I'll be going through time zones and won't even notice.

5. Two Thanksgivings: One of the bonuses about living in Canada and being an American is being able to celebrate Thanksgiving not once but twice. We always have as many missionaries as we can over for American Thanksgiving.This past year we even had 4 of our Senior Missionaries over and that was so great. I must admit I do miss the prices of turkeys in the U.S., especially when they would have those "buy $50 worth of groceries and get a free turkey". You never see that here.

Of course, the drawback to Fall is that it means WINTER IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. We usually have our first snowfall on Halloween and it doesn't melt until late April (if we're lucky). Our first winter here I couldn't believe that the snow that fell at Halloween was still here when my sister-in-law came to visit the end of April.

How about you--What do you enjoy about fall?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hope

Melissa alerted us to Oprah's show on Wednesday where she had Jenny McCarthy and Holly Robinson Pete on talking about their experiences with having children who have autism. As the mother of a son with autism, I was interested so I watched the show. I knew because of Autism Speaks that there has been an increase in the number of autism cases. When Brent was diagnosed in 1989, it was 1 in 10,000 and today it is 1 in 94. Such frightening statistics. I wish they could figure out why it's on the rise, why it effects boys to a greater extent, and what causes it. I am sure grateful that Brent wasn't born during the time they blamed it on cold moms who didn't hold their children!!!

I kept listening as Jenny talked about wanting the parents out there to have hope. When you're in the thick of it, it's so easy to lose hope and rely totally on what the doctors and "experts" say and think that it's going to be just like they say it is. I loved when they talked about wishing the doctors would listen to the moms. I remember my first pediatrician telling me I had to be Brent's advocate--get him whatever he needed--services, etc., no matter how hard I had to fight for them.

I think of our experience when Brent was diagnosed. I still remember that idiotic (well that wasn't very nice was it) psychologist who told me he was borderline mentally retarded and would graduate with a fourth grade education. I just stared at her and she said, "You're having a tough time accepting this, aren't you?" I said, "Yes." She proceeded to pat me on the arm or shoulder and said, "Well you have to." I said, "I'm sorry. I don't. I see potential in him that you don't see."


I would love to go back to North Carolina and see this therapist today--with Brent, of course. He could show her his high school diploma along with his medals for having top marks in two of his classes. (He was mainstreamed and did not have any adapted classes.) They also told me he would never understand religion because it is too abstract. This is the boy who when he was 10 or 11 received Legos in his Easter basket. He said, "Legos are great, but the Atonement is such a better gift." I'd say he understood. In January he returned from a 2 year mission for our Church. He is currently going to college in Utah.

Through the years I have visited with moms who have children with this disorder, and my heart goes out to them. I recognize that each situation is different. I am just so incredibly grateful for Brent's progress and all the teachers, therapists, and friends who have been there to support him. I also know what a struggle it can be on a family. I am so blessed to have a husband who was my rock through everything, as well as family who was there for us.

I am not an expert--just a mom who understands what it's like, and I write this only to give hope to anyone who is struggling with a situation like mine. My prayer is that you will feel hope.

LET ME ADD THIS AFTER READING THE COMMENTS: I know there are lots of great psychologists out there, so please do not think I am trying to bad-mouth any of them--except perhaps the one I had. I'm sure she was just telling me what she thought was right, but I truly felt she was destroying any hope I had, and was quite condescending in the process.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I NEED HELP

My name is Yvonne, and I'm a chocoholic. It is time I admit my addiction to the world--at least to the blogging world so that I can take the first step in overcoming my problem. (Those of you who face this problem, I am not suggesting you give it up. I just know I need help)

I have been struggling to lose weight so when I go on vacation 5 weeks from today I will not have to be nekked (I didn't want to spell this correctly because it may change the rating on my blog ; ) I have exercised and exercised and yet I think due to my addiction, it has not done any good as far as the scale is concerned. I feel better, no doubt, but according to the scale I have lost 4 pounds in 4 1/2 weeks. So after laying in bed trying to figure out what I should do, I decided it was time to come clean in hopes that having to be accountable will work--after all it did work with my exercising.

Most mornings I put out chocolates for my seminary kids, and I've had to replenish my basket several times--not because they gobbled it up, but I'm ashamed to admit--I DO. One is never enough, and one only leads to another and another, and, well, you get the picture. I'm so grateful I won't be home for Halloween (another deadly time for me). I buy Halloween candy well in advance of Halloween and then have to buy it again because, well you get the picture ; )

Now, understand, I'm really only interested in putting an end to this addiction for five weeks. When I go on vacation, there is no way I will say no to chocolate desserts that are prepared so lovingly by wonderful chefs. How could I say no to my sweet mother-in-law who lovingly packs Sees Candies--milk chocolate for me and dark chocolate for Allan. And then there are those little chocolates that are placed on my pillow each evening (even though I am stuffed to the gills and say "I couldn't possibly eat another thing", until I see the chocolate and rip off the wrapper. I know I could put them in a little baggy and save them for the plane ride home, like my MIL does--and gives them to me because she sees me eyeing them, but how could I rob her of the joy she must feel knowing she is making ME so happy!!!


So, given all this, I am saying it--no chocolate until October 24th when I go to the airport to board that plane for Beijing. At that time I will head to the little shop at the airport and buy a big bag of Peanut M&M's and enjoy every one!!!

WARNING: My big fear is that my disposition will suffer (thus so will everyone I have contact with) while I go through this withdrawal period--after all what will the lack of chocolate do to my psyche. So if I visit your blog and make some comment that doesn't sound like me maybe you can forgive me or maybe I need to change my name for 5 weeks to "non-chocolate Yvonne", but people may not understand what that means. It's bad enough that ever since I've been on hormones I am not the same and am bitey!!! So, just a warning. Or, maybe I'll have to find some non-fattening substitute for chocolate. Any ideas???

Monday, September 17, 2007

September Celebrations

Our family has 3 birthdays to celebrate in September and one wedding anniversary. I hate the fact that I can't be with any of them to celebrate. I recognize I already posted, but because TODAY IS AMANDA'S BIRTHDAY I had to get this up this morning:

Today, September 17th --our granddaughter, Amanda, will turn 21--is it possible that this little girl

is actually turning 21


















September 24--Amanda's dad, Neal, will turn (well let's just say he will be another year older than last year ; )














I love this 4 generation shot of Great-grandma, Grandpa Allan, Neal, and little G-man.














Also on Neal's birthday, Allan's daughter, Wendy, and her husband, Tony, will celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary.


On September 30th another granddaughter, Miss Kiah, will turn 17. How can it be that this little one, who I made cry the first time I held her is actually going to graduate from high school in June??? I've always wondered: "Was it me that made her cry or since I was pregnant with Kyle, is it possible that Kyle kicked her???" (Jason can't figure out why his sister, Kiah, is crying--he knows his grandma is a pretty nice lady!!!)


.

I wish I had Kiah's senior picture, but I don't think it's available. She did send me this one of her and her brother, Drew and this one of her with her sister, Hannah.





Hope you each enjoy your special day. By the way, if your dad/grandpa and I had an extra million and a half dollars we'd get you one of these. Wait, we'd have to have a million and a half for each one--forget it. Never mind, if we had an extra million and a half dollars we'd get one for us!!!
I love you all and hope each of you has a wonderful day. When we're all together next June we'll celebrate EVERYTHING!!!

YOU MAKE ME SMILE AWARD

Nancy face has left me this award:



Thank you so much, Nancy. What a great way to start my week!!!

"This is what the person that created this award says about it---the thing that I love most about blogging is that I learn so much about a person just by reading their blog. I have met MANY wonderful people with wonderful stories to tell, and I am grateful every day for each person that I have the pleasure of crossing paths in life with.
I wanted to create something special for the people who have inspired me through their blogging; the stories they tell, and the lives they lead with grace and dignity. I visit their blogs for inspiration and encouragement...

Please grab your badge and wear it (with a smile) proudly, and pass it on because you inspire and encourage me---thank you! So now it is my turn to pass it on."


Here are my nominees; people who have left me comments that make me smile or just plain make me smile on a regular basis(Sorry i can't get this thing to center these) I continue to enjoy this whole blogging experience so much, and I appreciate so much all the people who make me smile all the time, and those who give me reason to stop and think about a lot of things.

Amanda

Melissa

Ashley

Macy

Holly

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Not Your Typical Weekend

1) I missed Friday night date night. Allan was in Regina for the Canadian Truck Driving Championships. (They really are fun to watch) I couldn't do some of what they do driving a semi in a car, so I've always been impressed!!! I will be glad when he gets home tomorrow--even though he will attend another ward. So I spent the evening with Jack Bauer.

2) Kyle had 6 guys over last night and they jammed for awhile. I was so dead tired I don't even think I heard them and just fell asleep about 10:30. Of course, I just loved when one of the mom's called at 12:30--didn't even seem to think it was late and she asked if her son was there??? I wanted to yell, "let me get up, get dressed and go downstairs and check" ;) But, I didn't!!!

3) It's late Saturday night and I am sitting up waiting for Kyle to come home from a youth activity that took him out of the country. (Wow, doesn't that sound exciting!!!) Well, it's not what you think--we are only 1 hour from the U.S. border and one of our units is another 1 1/2 hours into the U.S. They had a Hawaiian theme. Kyle didn't wear a Hawaiian shirt--I guess 16 year old boys think they are way too cool for that sort of thing. He has a cold so carried a box of Kleenex--I tried to get him to carry a flowered box--at least that would look Hawaiian!!!Too bad Drew's little outfit wouldn't fit him???

4) Today was my "Let's try to get caught up" day. I don't think I was really ready for a full week of Seminary and let a lot go this week. And, of course, starting piano meant I had to practice, but it felt good. Also Kyle has started volleyball so he had a game this week. (Gosh, how did I do it when I had more kids at home ; )

5) There was no wedding reception to go to--it seems like we've had one every weekend for the last few weeks. In fact, last weekend we had two.This was one from last weekend.

I am really getting excited thinking about our upcoming cruise in about 6 weeks. I must admit I'm worried because it is so long--25 days. It will be wonderful to have Allan to myself (well, we won't be alone because his family will be with us), but no phones, no meetings, no seminary, no work for him. We'll just eat, and eat, and eat some more.

Sidenote:
Allan called me from the airport after landing in Winnipeg Sunday morning, and one of their drivers was "crowned" Grand Champion. Yippee!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

THE NEED TO LAUGH

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to how important it is to laugh. I really believe LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE (goodness, I hope I don't get in trouble for not giving credit to whoever said that first???) I realize I do not laugh as often as I should--something to add to my list of things to do today.

I thought about what can put a smile on my face:

Reading the headlines of all those "inquiring minds want to know" type magazines. So, if I ever need a good laugh, I go to the grocery store and just browse the headlines.

A good joke--I guess because I'm not blonde, I love a good blonde joke.

Nancy face--I wish she were my next door neighbor. I don't know her at all and even though she makes me laugh whenever I read her post, she also touches my heart with so much of what she writes either on her blog or the comments she leaves on mine.

Tori's blog--I think other than the post she did in remembrance of September 11th, I've always left her blog chuckling. There are so many great blogs out there that make me laugh--and I appreciate all of you that have that gift. Thanks.

A good comedy--like "The Princess Bride" (well maybe not a comedy, but it does make me laugh), or an oldie but a goodie "American Dreamer". I could put lots more but this isn't a movie post ; ) And, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond and Friends

Which brings me to good friends that make you laugh. I am not a funny person so I'm grateful for the good friends with whom I can smile.

Cute little grandchildren, like this:

or this

Family that can laugh together

And, of course, there is no one that can put a smile on my face like my husband. He is the best. I'm glad we can share love and laughter together. What a boring life it would be without it.

I hope you have a day filled with joy and laughter--I know I'm going to try.

Let me ask: What makes you laugh???

Sidenote: I had an interesting experience this morning at Seminary. One of our branches that is about 10 hours away participated with our class by calling in on the phone. I had 2 extra students and 1 parent. I will have to figure out how to make it work so they can be more included with us. Must be tough to be so far away.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Eleven Items of Gratitude--WOMAN TO WOMAN


For today's Woman to Woman the topic is Gratitude. Because it is September 11th Lei and Morning Glory asked that we share eleven things which we are grateful for along with the reasons--I have been so richly blessed, so for me the hardest part of this post will be limiting it to only 11 items:

1) My faith:
I am so grateful to know what I know and believe it to be true. It is what gives me the strength to get through each day. It has gotten me through some of the most difficult times of my life.

2) My family/extended family: I have been so richly blessed with a husband who is so understanding and supportive. I'm amazed at the love he has for his family and the Lord. He leads our family in the direction we need to go. I have been blessed to mother 4 (or in my mind 5). I have learned so much as a mother. I have made mistakes and I appreciate my children who have loved me in spite of those mistakes.

I married into a family where I was accepted from day 1. I was very grateful for the love shown to me each and every day by Allan's parents and sisters. And, of course, I know it was difficult for his daughters, but when Allan and I married they were so wonderful and accepting. We have had our children marry and have children of their own. It is a wonderful experience to be a grandmother and although it is difficult to be away from family, I so love those times we are able to be together.

3) Charity: When my father died when I was 12 and my mother when I was 13, my 5 sisters and I did not have a place to live. We were very fortunate that a woman that my mother had worked with and who had raised her 2 children decided along with her husband to open their home to the 6 of us. I marvel that anyone would take into their home 6 girls (girls they did not know) ranging in age from 9 - 18. They were both empty nesters and even remodeled their home to accommodate us. How can you not feel blessed when you have an experience like that.

4) My health: As I get older and see people who have struggled with poor health, I am so grateful that I have a body that functions, and a mind that is alert.

5) The creations of this world: I appreciate so much that God has created variety. I often think of how boring it would be if every flower was the same color, shape, size, and even had the same scent. There are so many different varieties of animals. There are mountains, valleys, the plains, lakes, streams, rivers, everything. All created for our enjoyment.

6) Freedom: I am an American living in Canada and am so grateful that both countries enjoy peace. My heart breaks for those who are living in war torn areas of the world and I pray for peace to one day be experienced by all. It is horrible to see or read about the atrocities that are experienced by some in other parts of this world.

7) Music: I love music and have not been blessed with talent in that area, so I appreciate those who have. I love listening to good music--I have always enjoyed being in the kitchen cooking while the kids practice piano. I have my first piano lesson of this new year today and am so excited .

8. Friends: We have lived in various places in the U.S. and Canada and I have made eternal friendships in all of the places we have lived. There is nothing better than hooking up with old friends after being away from one another and feeling like you've never been apart. I cherish those friendships

9. Modern conveniences and technology: I am a big Little House on the Prairie fan, but I would have been a horrible Laura Ingalls. I grew up in the 50's and so enjoy all that we have today that make life so much easier. The technology today is amazing. I'm grateful for computers, digital cameras, iPods, etc. I can't wait to see what the future holds.

10. The opportunity to travel: My husband and I have had the chance to travel to many parts of the world and this has given me such an appreciation for the beauty of this earth. I am always amazed to see the similarities of the human race and at the same time saddened by the poverty and poor living circumstances of many throughout the world.

11: Miracles: When my son, Brent, was diagnosed with a form of autism when he was 3 1/2 years old, I was devastated. We were able to find help in the form of therapists and teachers and each day that I have watched him grow has been evidence that miracles are all around us. We were told he was borderline mentally retarded and would graduate with a 4th grade education--he graduated with honors, served a full-time mission for our Church, and is currently in college. He is my miracle.

I have truly been blessed and it is my hope and prayer that I always live my life with a grateful heart and seek to bless the lives of those I come in contact with by being an instrument in God's hands.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Don't You Just Hate It When...

1) You have a great idea and money gets in the way. I saw on line you could order M&M's with a message on them, and I thought, Wow, my seminary kids would love this. So, I got ready to place my order for red and blue M&M's that said "I Love Seminary". First problem, you can't place your order on-line from Canada. So I call Customer Service and get ready to place the order and find it's about $75 to buy 20 little bags of M&M's. But you stop and tell yourself you've been off for the summer, I'll splurge at the beginning of the year and we'll just go without eating for awhile ; ) But then the Customer Service rep. tells you it's $64 for shipping. That put an end to the whole thing. (Somehow I don't think writing on each M&M with permanent marker would work ; )

2) You let other people dictate how you feel about yourself. O.K. Maybe I'm the only one who does this. PJ wrote in a recent post about The Banana Talk she was going to give her girls. She mentions how wonderful it is we are not all bananas but that there are various kinds of fruits in the world--meaning we all come in different shapes and sizes. (It's a great post for those with daughters, or really anyone) I know I need to be more like a coconut--have a thicker skin. I'm a person who reads a lot into what people say to me, and unfortunately it's even what I "think" they are saying. (I also read between the lines, and probably OVERANALYZE everything) Maybe it stems from when I was in junior high and I hung around this one girl who whenever anyone would drive by and honk and whistle, she would say, "Oh, did you see those guys looking at me?" If anyone made an unkind remark or gesture it would be, "Oh, did you see what those guys were doing (or saying) to you?" Funny how I still remember that after 40+ years. (No, we didn't hang out together for very long!!!) Each day I'm to put on the whole armor of God, but I also need to put on that thick skin right along with it. Well, maybe if I REALLY put on the whole armor the thick skin would be there???

3) The day gets away from you. You look at the clock and think "It can't possibly be that late!!!" Or you look at the calendar and it's already a new month and you wonder what happened to August. You realize that you haven't studied about China and Japan and you're leaving in less than 2 months for your vacation and you were going to study in your free time during the summer so you could know EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW!!!

4) You find a great recipe for dinner but don't have one of the ingredients. You head to the grocery store and they no longer carry it. Another store--same problem.

AT THE SAME TIME, YOU HAVE TO LOVE IT WHEN

1) You go to Church and hear testimonies given in French; a prayer given in Spanish; and a prayer given in Albanian. You may not "understand" all of the words, but you know how they make you feel. It is so wonderful;

2) Your husband always asks what he can do to help and your kids call to let you know they love you ; )

3) You go to a wedding reception and sit at a table with a young lady from China who gives you all kinds of GREAT advice on your upcoming trip--places to visit, foods to eat, and things to avoid. And the best piece of advice--ALWAYS BARTER WHEN YOU SHOP ; )

4) You get through your 3rd week of exercising, and you are so grateful for everyone who was so encouraging--especially Nancy who you knew would check on you every day!!!

5) You stop by a few blogs and as always have a good chuckle.

6) People visit your blog and actually leave comments; )

7) An oldie, but a goodie, comes on the radio and you can sing your heart out because no one is in the car with you!!! (You're just grateful that no one in the cars next to you can hear ; )

8) You read Crazy bloggin Canuck's post from yesterday and decide:
OH GARBAGE. WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

SOME FUNNY THOUGHTS...

We have some summer birthdays to celebrate in Seminary so I was making cupcakes last night (and I'll be making them for the next 5 days). (I'm not one of these people that will just serve cupcakes one day and say this is for all the students who had birthdays over the summer--HOW UNFAIR WOULD THAT BE???. Anyway, as I was frosting the cupcakes I thought about a conversation I had with Kyle a couple of years ago. He was talking about how much he liked cake. I said, "Would you like me to bake a cake?" He looked at me kind of strange and said, "You know how to bake a cake?" I was SHOCKED and said, "Yes." And then he said, "With frosting????" (I guess I usually make brownies or chocolate chip cookies, but usually don't make cakes.) Now, keep in mind, I made this cake for his 2nd birthday and this one for his 3rd birthday:

How quickly they forget!!!

This made me think of some of the funny things that the kids have said over the years. I remember a family home evening one night while we were living in Charlotte. It was our first "real" winter. (I'm sorry but where we lived in California we just had some cold days and nights during the "winter" but no real change in seasons) Allan was talking about the trees losing their leaves and asked Heidi (who would have been about 6) why that was happening. She looked at him and said, "I guess it's just a freak of nature."

And on the day before April Fools Day Aunt Bev was visiting. Heidi told Aunt Bev she was going to put a rubber snake in Bev's bed as an April Fools joke. So, what do you think was in Bev's bed April Fools morning. Heidi was so proud of herself when she walked in and said, "April Fools!!!"

My kids grew up knowing Les (the man who, along with his wife, Helen, raised my 5 sisters and I after our parents died) as Grandpa Les. Well one day I made reference to him and just called him Les. Kyle said, "Wait a minute. His name was Les." I said, "Yes". He started laughing and said that he always thought we called him "Grandpaless" because he was not their real Grandpa. (Otherwise he would have been called "Grandpamore"???)

Aren't we lucky to have our memories.

Sidenote #1--Kyle took the car to school today so I was without a car all day, and I didn't like it one bit!!! It's kind of like when you're on a diet and all you can think about is food--all I could think about was all the things I could do IF I JUST HAD MY CAR!!!

Sidenote #2
--Yippee, I made it another day with my exercising. I'm so excited. It hasn't gotten a whole lot easier, but then again, I am exercising longer and harder. I got a call today from Brent who reads my blog and wanted to encourage me on the exercising. Thanks, Brent, you're such a good kid. It means a lot!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Middle Name Meme

Nancy face has tagged me for this meme...the first thing to do is post the rules of it before you do anything else, so here they are:

1) Post these rules before you give the facts.

2) List ONE fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. (I'm going to take liberty here and put more than one)

3) At the end of your post, choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and to read your blog! (Well, I really don't know that many people who blog, so anyone who wants to do this can go ahead and give it a try!!!)

M: Married--and oh so happy; Moviegoer: I love movies. Most of our Friday night date nights are spent at the movies and Allan is very good about letting me pick the movies we see. What a guy. Murmurer--I would have made a lousy pioneer. I'm sure there is a very good reason I was not born in the 1800's.

A: Archaic: That's right--I'm old!!! Affectionate--not afraid of PDA's. Athletic--well at least I was in high school. Authoritative--since I don't have a D, I can't put dictatorial, or a C, I can't put control freak!!! So that will have to cover my need to tell everyone what they should be doing. Afraid of tight, closed-in places.

R:
Romantic: And I'm lucky because I'm married to a very romantic guy--every
time he goes on a trip (and he does a lot of travelling) he brings me home
a love letter and after 25 years of marriage I have a file full of them. Reliable--I always follow through.

I: Impatient: It would be wonderful if patience had been a virtue I had been
given, but it is one I'm trying so hard to develop--I'm just not very patient
about it!!! Insecure--hence I always worry that people don't like me or I'm doing things wrong. Imperfect, but Incredibly grateful for my Savior who can help me with that.

E: Envious: Of all the bloggers out there who are so creative and are such great writers. Energetic (at least compared to my Seminary kids at 6:20 in the morning--then again get me next to them at 11:00 at night and I wouldn't be the one you would call energetic.) Eager to learn all I can. Empathetic almost to the point that I worry about everyone!!!


Sidenote #1: Had a great Seminary breakfast this morning. I told the kids I would talk about them on my blog. They are such a great group. Some of them even came to the breakfast and don't even start school until tomorrow. What troopers!!! It's going to be another great year.

Sidenote #2: I exercised on Tuesday and this morning after I got home from Seminary. It's a good thing I've had to put it on here, because the last couple of days I have been absolutely exhausted, and if I didn't have to report I'm not sure I would actually have done it. Only a few more days!!!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Happy Labor Day

In honor of Labor Day I decided to write about some of the interesting (and not so interesting) jobs I have had through the years.

In high school, I worked
:

Over the Christmas holidays I washed windows at our community college. What a job that was--I still loving washing windows today because they always look so wonderful when they're clean.

One summer as a Policy Typist at an insurance company. I look back on it and have to laugh because those were the days of electric typewriters--thank goodness not just manual, and insurance policies had lots of carbon copies which meant mistakes required you to ERASE the mistake on each page!!!

One summer I worked at a Naval Air Station--the interesting thing about working there was I had to take two buses each morning so I had to leave the house around 5:00. One morning I was so tired that I fell asleep--nothing unusual about that, but when I woke up I was SO EMBARRASSED because my head was on the shoulder of the man sitting next to me. I didn't know what to do, so I oh-so-gradually rolled my head to the other side and THEN WOKE UP (I was so sly) One day I was walking through one of the hangars and was talking and not paying attention to where I was going and walked right into the wing of an airplane. I hit it hard and ended up flat out on the ground. The next day I had two black eyes and a lovely scar across the bridge of my nose which if you look closely enough you can still see today.

My senior year of high school I worked at The Nut House. Actually it was a place in the mall that sold nuts ; ) But it was called The Nut House, and it was always fun to tell people that's where I worked.

After High School, I started college, but then I became pregnant with my oldest and had to go to work. I worked as a clerk at a variety store.

Six weeks after Stephen was born, I began working as a secretary for the owner of a department store. The man I worked for was a tyrant and didn't believe in sick days (his store would never be listed on the top 10 places to work). I worked there for a couple of years but then decided to find better benefits so I went to work for the County. I worked as a secretary in Occupational Health and Safety and worked with some great people. I then took a test and went to the medical records department of a major teaching hospital. While I was there I began picking up medical terminology. This allowed me to work part time as a medical transcriptionist. An opportunity opened up for me to become secretary to some of the doctors. I loved working for the Chief of Pediatrics, Neurosurgery, and Gastroenterology.

At this time, one of the men in my ward had a little seed company and was looking for a secretary. This would allow me to be closer to home, so I left my doctors and went to work there for a few years. I missed working in a hospital, so when our local hospital had a position open up for a Secretary/Administrative Assistant to the Head of the Planning Department I took it. (While I was there I did a diet pill commercial. You know how whenever you move and get to play the game where you write down something no one knows about you, that is mine: I once did a commercial that aired in prime time. Hey, it was great. I earned enough money to take my son to Disneyland and to send him away to a week long baseball camp, as well as send him to visit one of his friends in Utah)

I worked at our local hospital until the best job opened up--that of wife and mother. Yes, I was already a mother to one, but I became the stepmother to 3 teenagers. I have developed skills that have benefited me. The pay is fantastic, the hours can be a little tough, but the fringe benefits are incredible. Through the years the duties have changed, some have gotten easier, some harder. I also happen to have the best BOSS a woman could have. He has never been demanding. The best part of all--it's a job I'm so glad I will have FOREVER!!!


SIDE NOTE #1--I did exercise on Saturday and will exercise this morning before I go out to make a couple of visits to my Seminary students. (Actually, I exercised tonight after our Labor Day picnic; )

SIDE NOTE #2
--I saw the tag Nancy face and look forward to doing that MEME my next post.