Wednesday, November 28, 2007

IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE...

Well, at least it's feeling like Winter. I can't believe how incredibly cold it has been. It has been snowing every day for the last few days. We don't get a pile of snow, but what we do get stays and stays and stays. It will be here until April.

On my previous post I mentioned our upcoming Nativity pageant on Dec. 14 and 15. I just wanted to post a couple of pictures from a couple of years ago when Kyle and I participated. Our youth had roles as angels, wisemen, and shepherds. They needed adults to be with the youth who were acting as shepherds, and they didn't have enough men, so...



Allan and Brent had been to Regina and came home in time to catch the last performance. Allan didn't even recognize me--he just thought I was a shepherd who was overly friendly.





It was a great evening for everyone who participated. The performance is all recorded and the actors just follow the narration. In between the performances there is a choir. It is such a great event.














I'm just curious what events your community has that you enjoy? Do any of you have nativity displays? Last year Allan and I went to Kirtland and they have an amazing nativity display.


























SIDENOTE: I am so happy about the results of Dancing With the Stars!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

TIME TO GET BUSY!!!

First of all Thanksgiving was wonderful. We ended up with only 18 missionaries, and they were FANTASTIC. We had such a great time having them each introduce themselves and talk about their Thanksgiving traditions!




















I hate to admit it, but it took me a long time on Friday to get the cleaning up done. Sometimes I wish I used paper plates, but I want it to be more like home for the missionaries. I guess it was a good thing we didn't have any big sales--I didn't leave the house on Friday!!!

On Saturday, I finally put up Christmas decorations. I will probably put up two artificial trees today and tomorrow. I love the Christmas season and would be more than happy if we could have Christmas music all through the year--We even started singing Christmas carols in Seminary this morning. Mel and txmommy had this quiz on their blogs, so I decided to take it and I wasn't the least bit surprised that this was the result!!!
Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas

For you, it's all about sharing times with family.
Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.



Saturday afternoon we kept checking the computer for the BYU score. Wow! That was a close one!!! I still don't know how BYU pulled it out, but I'm sure glad they did. Neal and his family was watching the game--any question as to who Neal, G-man, and G-man's cousin were cheering for???












On Saturday night we had some friends over. We all played Apples to Apples. No one had ever seen the game before and they all loved it. (Allan and I didn't win once--we'll never invite those people back!!!) After everyone left, we watched the end of the Missouri/Kansas game. Because Stephen graduated from University of Missouri we were cheering for them and were very happy that they won. Way to go #1 Tigers!

I'm heading off to Boston on Thursday. I'm very excited about seeing little G-man again. (I can't believe how much he has changed!!!) I will be there until Monday night. I will really need to get on the ball and get some serious shopping done when I get back. I don't think we will have a free weekend left in December. We have Prelude to Christmas on December 8th, Nativity Pageant on the 14th and 15th, and our Ward Christmas dinner is the 22nd. (The nice thing about it being on the 22nd is that Heidi and Brent will both be home and will be able to go with us!!!)

Sidenote #1: Thanks to Nancyface and Lauren for the great mail. I loved the stickers and the I love E.C. magnet. You are so right, Lauren. I haven't finished the books, but I am a HUGE Edward fan.

Thanks, also to Mrs. Monkey Butt (seems funny to call you that) for the lovely postcard. Someday we'll have to meet when I'm there again!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Last month, I did a post for Canadian Thanksgiving, and since tomorrow is American Thanksgiving I had to do another one.

First of all, I realized I didn't do my usual celebration post for the month of November (sorry, Wendy).On November 4th, Allan's daughter, Wendy, had a birthday.













November has always been a month of birthdays for my family. Bear with me--my mother's birthday was Nov. 26th; my oldest sister, Carol, was born Nov. 27th; one year later, my sister, Judy, was born (Nov. 28th); then 5 years later my sister, Gayle was born on Nov. 25th. Then came me--no I was not born in November but January (well some 14 months later). I always felt bad that I wasn't born in November!!!

I know I have done posts on gratitude before, but in Seminary we have been talking about the Exodus and murmuring. (I always thought I was a pretty good murmurer until I really studied some of the stories in the Old Testament--talk about people who complained about every little thing!!! I shared with the youth a great quote about the sin of ingratitude. I never want to be guilty of not showing gratitude. I'm afraid so often I look at the "little" things and don't acknowledge that so many do not enjoy shelter, food, heat, freedom, health care, etc.

Here are a few things for which I am grateful:

Testimony--I am so grateful that I have a testimony that God lives, that Jesus Christ truly is my Savior. I am also grateful for the friend who shared her testimony with me some 33 years ago.

Health--with the little health scare we had with Allan, I am so grateful that we are all healthy. Everyone has aches and pains, but we are so fortunate to be able to get around and enjoy such good health.

Allan--why am I so blessed to have the best husband around???? Sorry, ladies, I truly do feel that way. (No need to argue with me, I hope you feel that way about your husband, too) I have had a senior moment and really can't remember where I heard this story about a man who goes in to see his Bishop and doesn't know what to do because he realizes he doesn't love his wife and he doesn't know what to do. The Bishop tells him to "love your wife". The man is upset--but you don't understand I don't love my wife. The Bishop again tells him to "love your wife". The man is beside himself--the Bishop just doesn't understand. The Bishop explains love is a verb!!!

Night--No, it isn't like the words of that old Alicia Bridges song "I love the Nightlife". I love night for a few reasons. First of all, I love stars and the moon. I still remember when I was a little girl and the men from NASA came to our school and said one day we'd put a man on the moon. My friends and I thought that was the silliest thing we'd ever heard!!! (Gives you an idea of how old I am, doesn't it???) Anyway, I love space. I love it when we see the Northern Lights!!! I love knowing we are just a little part of this great big wonderful existence. I also love night because it's followed by...DAY!!!

Kindness--I have been the recipient of such kindness from family, friends, and neighbors, and it never ceases to amaze me the number of people who are so willing to give of themselves. And, of course, the kindness extended to me and my sisters after our parents died will forever be with me. How could you ever say enough about 2 people who took 6 teenage girls (that they didn't know) into their home and raised them as their own.

Savior--I cannot say enough about the gratitude I feel for Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. I don't even think I can put into words what I feel for Him. I only hope I can show Him by living my life in a way that is pleasing to Him.

Grandchildren--I have 10 of the cutest grandchildren a grandma could have. Of course, you can't have those without their parents. I have such wonderful sons and daughter/step-daughters and 2 wonderful daughters-in-law and a fantastic son-in-law!!! I do have to admit that I wish they were all closer, but it sure makes the times we get together so much sweeter.

Information--that is so easy to gather because of the amazing technology that is available to us today. There isn't much we can't google. I think it's so exciting to watch the world change.

Vacations--which always allows us time for rest and relaxation; and often a chance to visit family and friends!!!! I have an amazing family and I love them so much.

Instruction--I'm grateful for the instruction I receive as I read my scriptures, listen to General Conference, as well as those who teach. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to learn.

Nature--If there had been a "C" in Thanksgving I would have used the word creations, but this is the closest I could get. We live in an absolutely amazing world. There is so much beauty everywhere. I love that everything is so different. I complain about the snow (and the hoar frost) but I love that when I look out my window in January it is so different than it is in August--I love the mountains, and I'm growing to love the prairies. I love the smells of flowers, the songs of birds--gosh it's all so amazing. And it all has been created for our use and enjoyment.

Geneology--No I am not a geneologist by any stretch of the imagination, but I love knowing we all belong to families and are linked together. Isn't it FANTASTIC!!!

Thanks to each of you for being such great friends. Enjoy your holiday. We will have 20 missionaries join us for dinner tomorrow. I hope you are all surrounded by loved ones. For those who are away from home, be safe as you travel back home.

Monday, November 19, 2007

What a Difference a Week Makes

I went into Church yesterday morning with a dress and sweater. It was a little windy and probably about 34 degrees. When Relief Society ended, the young girls from the Congo came in all excited to tell the sister missionaries, "It's snowing." I laughed--yeah, sure it is. HA! THE JOKE WAS ON ME!!!!!!!

Last Sunday, as we were ready to go to Church, I had this
And then yesterday, I had this I know the REALLY COLD weather is coming--I will have to bundle up for those -30 and -40 degree temps!!!

I still haven't adjusted to not being on vacation!!! I actually have to cook!!! I'm not sure I can do this again--three weeks is a long time to not have to do all the mundane things of life!!! Oh well, I guess I have to accept it--VACATION IS OVER!!! I better get everything together so I'm ready for Thanksgiving this Thursday.


Sidenote #1
--I mentioned about our Seminary scripture mastery challenge, and I have to report that the Stake leaders worked very hard--here's Allan and Pres. B doing a quick review before the scripture chase started

I think Kyle and the youth were a little worried, so Kyle tried this (if you don't click on the pic you might not notice he is trying to "Bribe" Bro. B with a $20 bill)
Totally unnecessary. The youth won. I was so happy for them. I know they had worked so hard. They have a beautiful plaque that will be displayed in the Stake Center. It was great.

I had promised my students I would get them McD's for breakfast if they won--they were thrilled!!!! I will drop Kyle off at the Church this morning and then head for McD's to pick up breakfast. (Even though I was with the leaders, I will get breakfast, too!!!)

Sidenote #2: I got a phone call Saturday (when Kyle wasn't home) from the Primary Chorister asking if Kyle was ready with the songs for the Sac. Meeting Presentation. WHAT??? He hadn't said a thing to me, and when I asked him, he didn't know anything (or so he said). He thought he was just helping them practice last week. Well he played yesterday and did a beautiful job. He amazes me!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Blogging Awards

While I was on vacation I received some awards. I am so touched to have received these awards. Thank you so much.



First is The Blogger With Integrity Award which I received from my friend, Holly. Thank you, Holly.

“The award was created by The Little Aussie Cynic to honor those blogs with integrity and there are several different categories you can award it under. I’m going to do so as well, to pass it along to just some of the many bloggers who I feel strive to blog with integrity.”

Apparently, there are 5 categories in which to give this award and so I'm going to pass it on to the following:

For Creativity, Lauren. She is so much fun and has such a creative way to post.

For the Spirit of Giving, Nancyface, who gives so much of herself in her blog! She is always so positive and I love that about her.

For Staying True to your Beliefs, Ashley, because her posts are always filled with the love she has for her family and that touches my heart.

For Keeping it Real, Tori. Everyone who reads her blog would have to agree--she certainly keeps it real!!!

For Social Conscience, justrandi. I still don't know how I found her blog, but she seems to be aware of everything that's going on--which helps me stay aware!!!


I also received this award from Chel. (I love reading her blog--she loves her family and her blog always makes me feel good)

"Presented to awesome blog owners who keep their readers excited about their posts. Their blog posts are interesting and worth reading and keep their readers looking forward to each and every post."

I will pass this award on to Calamity Jane--believe me, if you haven't visited her blog, it's a must; also to Kimberly--she has such a gift (well, actually many gifts); and also to Amber--I'm sure all of you have visited her blog. I love her sense of humor--her blog title fits her perfectly!!!



And, just the other day, I received "The Colors of Friendship" Award from my dear friend, Nancyface.

I will pass this wonderful award on to some women who I only know through the blogging world, but who I feel would be "real" friends: PJ, txmommy, suzanne, tonya and melissa.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Fantastic Trip

Our time in Honolulu was wonderful. The time went by so incredibly fast--the weather was beautiful, the accommodations were lovely, the food was delicious, it was GREAT!!!

I had been so disappointed because I couldn't post any pictures. It must have been something with the connection in the condo--although I did manage to post some pictures on our family website?!? (So I had to wait until we arrived in Bozeman (tonight) so I could post these)

So, let me tell you about some of the things we did. As I mentioned in my previous post we arrived on Wednesday. On Thursday, after Allan and I had our morning walk, we ate a lovely breakfast and then Allan and his sisters went to Chinatown. While there Allan got us all leis. I went to the pool to read and get some sun. I didn't realize my MIL didn't go with them until I came back to the room, so she and I visited and then when everyone else got back we played Apples to Apples--I had heard so much about it that I decided to buy it for the trip. We laughed and laughed--thanks to my blogging buddies who have talked about this on their blogs! We went to the Chinese restaurant for dinner--it was delicious.

On Friday morning we flew over to Maui. I loved being there. (I truly love Maui) We went to the condo where we are staying in July--it was beautiful. We checked out a lot of other places--it was fun. We went by Kaanapali Shores where Allan and I stayed on our honeymoon--photo op. (Gosh, we look a little different than we did 25 years ago!!!)













But you have to check out the pic my son, Neal, posted on our family website. He had been giving us a bad time because a few of the pictures we had posted could have been anywhere, so I posted this picture of Allan and I as "PROOF" that we were there--he then posted this one of he and Macy, and G-man and wrote "See, we were there, too!!!" (He is so incredible with photoshop!!!)



In the afternoon my SIL, Bev, and I decided we were going to be brave and we checked out going parasailing. Guess what--WE DID IT!!! I'M SURPRISED YOU ALL DIDN'T HEAR ME SCREAMING!!! I have some absolutely hysterical shots of me--I LOOK TOTALLY PETRIFIED--I wonder why!!! Honestly, it was great fun. I would do it again.
























We flew back to Honolulu. We were going to go to the temple the next morning, but we decided we were running too much and needed to slow down. Allan was having a little pain in his chest, so Bev and I ended up going to the hospital with him on Saturday. We were in the Emergency room for a few hours. I am happy because he is fine--this whole heart business is so new to us, we just wanted to be sure!!! (Bev is more crazy than I am with the camera and she took his picture (and, so I had to ham it up since I had my book with me!!!)Allan was more worried about not making our dinner reservations--made me laugh because it reminded me of the time I ended u in the emergency room in Canada with chest pains. They were putting the leads on for the EKG when I asked "How long is this going to take? I'm supposed to give the prayer at a funeral this afternoon." (Fortunately they didn't call for a psych evaluation ; )



We did manage to get back in time to make our reservations and we had a lovely dinner and were treated to a beautiful sunset. The sunsets in Hawaii are always so incredible.














We had a great Sunday--I love going to Church there. We were out on the balcony taking pictures and saw this beautiful rainbow. Can you believe it???












On Monday morning, Allan, Bev and I went into the ocean for awhile in the morning. Had a lovely breakfast and then drove over to the other side of the island to see the temple. It was as beautiful as ever!!!











We went to Turtle Bay Resort for dinner and once again saw another incredible sunset--it was so beautiful.










It was a great trip. I really can't wait to go back with all the kids--it will be so fun.

Then we headed for the airport for our red eye flight. Wish I could have slept because I was dead tired on Tuesday, but at least I almost finished New Moon.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS YVONNE???

No, I'm not in Orem anymore and we headed west again--I didn't say anything about where I was headed...I was going to leave little hints, but I didn't. So, let me just give one big hint ALOHA!!!

When we first called Allan's mom and told her we were coming to Utah, she announced that she wanted us all to go to Hawaii and they were going to look into some packages. Allan and I grabbed a few things and threw them into our suitcase just in case it worked out. Well, it did!

Yesterday morning, Allan and I went for our walk/run, and then went home and packed our suitcases and went to the Salt Lake Airport along with Allan's mom and two sisters and boarded a flight headed for our honeymoon destination...HAWAII, Honolulu, Hawaii, specifically. Well, it really wasn't our honeymoon destination--we actually went to Maui on our honeymoon--but heck it's Hawaii!!!

When I began this post, I was sitting in our condo and everyone else went out to dinner. I ate enough on the plane--no, not the glorious airline food, I had a sandwich on the plane along with a bag of chips. I sat stuffing my face and reading my book (I told you, Tori, I would put it in my bag). No, Lauren, I'm still not done, but there will be lots of time while I sit on the beach!!!

It's great to be here. After the running we have been doing the past couple of weeks, it is now time to slow down. It's wonderful to be here. I know my MIL loves Hawaii and has such wonderful memories of her times here with Allan's dad. I know it means a lot to her to have all of us with her. (This is also somewhat of a dry run for our trip that we'll make next summer with the whole family to celebrate Allan's mom's 90th birthday!!! In fact, on Friday we're flying to Maui to check out our accomodations for that trip.

One of my favorite things about Hawaii is walking the beach. Why do I love walking along the beach??? (want a good laugh) because then my feet get all smooth and I don't run my stockings with all the dry, rough patches on my feet that get caught on my nylons. I also love the smells of all the wonderful flowers. There is nothing better than walking through the airport and smelling all the leis!!!

For some odd reason I cannot get blogger to post pictures. (I managed to put one on our family website but can't get them up on here--I'll see if I can work through the problem.) Hopefully, I will have some fun pictures. I'm so looking forward to next June when all the kids and grandkids are with us. I still can't believe Allan has taken this much time off work and he really is enjoying himself!!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Fun-Filled Weekend

We are leaving Reno today and heading back to Utah. It has been a wonderful few days.

On Friday we left Castro Valley and stopped in Manteca to see my sister, Carol. (She works at Wal-Mart so we visited her there!!!) I honestly can't remember the last time we saw her, so I was glad to have a chance to visit.









We then went to Sacramento and did a session at the temple. We had seen the temple a year ago when we were in Auburn for Jason's high school graduation. It is an absolutely beautiful temple--it certainly doesn't feel like a small temple. When we came out of the temple, we asked a man who was on the grounds to take our picture. After he did, Allan suggested I look at the picture--well, I guess the guy didn't push the right button--no picture!!! (So glad Allan suggested I look!!!) So, I whipped out my trusty gorillapod--thank you, Neal, for telling me about it. I set the camera on the ground and aimed up and set the timer--not a bad shot.



We arrived in Auburn in time to check in to our hotel and go by and meet up with Stephen and Daph, picked up Hannah at gymnastics and then head to Roseville for dinner.Daphne's mom, Carol, and Jason's girlfriend, Lindsey, joined us for dinner. (Kiah had to be at the football game a little earlier, so she wasn't with us.)











We then headed to the football game. So fun to watch Kiah in action. She is Captain of the squad and does a great job!!!It was a beautiful night for a football game--it was a lot of fun, even if Placer lost!!!













Saturday morning Hannah had a soccer game so we were off to Colfax to watch her play. She is so fun to watch--I don't think she is really into the game, I think she's more social. She is like a little gazelle when she runs--reminds me of Kyle. She's the little blonde with the long legs!!!








I really don't know how Stephen and Daphne keep up the pace--that afternoon Brandon had a baseball tournament in Elk Grove and so we headed up there. It was so incredibly hot. (Sure glad Allan had a hat to protect his little bald head!!!)
It was fun to watch B pitch.





Hannah and Drew had a great time visiting the snack bar. Of course, I remember my years as Little League Auxiliary President. (I spent a lot of time in those snack bars!!! Many, many years ago.)












We had a great time together Saturday night. Daph was working and Stephen grilled tri-tip for dinner--he must have inherited his cooking skills from his dad. I got such a kick out of Drew who loved wearing his pumpkin hat--didn't care if he had nothing else on!!!










Sunday we all went to Church together. We hadn't spent much time with Kiah since she had a very busy weekend, so I had to make sure I got a picture with her before we headed to Church.









I also wanted a pic with the other grandkids before Church--Drew was not terribly interested in being in the pic.











It seemed like it had been a long time since we had been in that Ward. (We lived there about 12 years ago and it was great to see familiar faces) We've had lots of pictures taken out by those trees--and it was great to be there again.







We then headed up to Reno to see Wendy and Tony. It was her birthday. Stephen and Daphne and family came up, too, and we all went out to dinner to celebrate--that's the toughest part of travelling--can't ask someone to cook dinner for all of us, so we have to go out!!! We had a great meal and as always, laughed and shared favorite memories.




We will have breakfast with Wendy and Tony, go by and see Wendy's salon and then head back to Utah. Gosh, it has been a fabulous trip. We are so lucky that we have been able to cram so much into our trip. We have such a great family.

I hope all of you had a great weekend!!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN?!?

We arrived in Auburn in the afternoon on Halloween--stopped by to see Stephen, Daphne and the little kids dressed in their costumes. We went to In and Out for lunch.














We then headed into CV (must admit I certainly don't miss that Bay Area traffic. We were going to stay with our good friends Richard and Priscilla. They are such great people. Richard (who was our doctor and, in fact, delivered Brent)looked at all of Allan's medical stuff and I was so appreciative of his talking to Allan about his salt intake. (I have felt like a witch trying to tell him not to eat this or that!!!)









We had breakfast with them in the morning and then headed up to Oakland to go to the temple. It was great because we did a session and then did some sealings--something we used to do all the time on our anniversary. We headed up to the roof to take some pictures
















It has been a long time since I stopped by the house I grew up in--it sure looks different today! I still don't know how 8 of us (7 of them being females) survived in a house with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. I guess they cut down the weeping willow trees that were in the yard. (I remember they were loaded with black fuzzy caterpillars.)














We visited with 3 of my sisters at my sister Linda's house. Allan and I stopped by one of our favorite Italian restaurants to pick up soup, ravioli, spaghetti, salad and garlic bread and then drove to San Lorenzo. We had a great time visiting. Allan just sits and watches and gets a kick out of my sisters and I because my sisters and I just laugh--we all have a similar sense of humor, which I have to call an odd sense of humor!!!
I never realized this eye closing thing was a problem my sisters had. One of them had her eyes closed in one of the picture and I didn't have the heart to post that one, so I posted the one of me with my eyes closed--and there were about 4 pictures with my eyes closed!!!
From left to right: My niece Kelly, my sister, Judy, who is 6 years older than me; brother in law, Joe, (Linda's husband); My baby sister Linda who is 4 years younger than me; Me; Patty who is 2 years younger than me.


Before going to our hotel we stopped to visit our friend, Pat. Her husband, Dennis, was at a meeting, so we didn't get a chance to see him. Dennis got home right after we left, so he called the hotel and Allan had a chance to visit with him on the phone.

Today we're off to Auburn for the weekend. I'm going to try and get a hold of my oldest sister (who had to work last night) to see if we can stop and see her on our way to Auburn.