Wednesday, January 30, 2008

AGING

I was watching TV and saw a commercial for "Cool Hand Luke" and thought about Paul Newman. When I think of him (well, not that I think of him all the time), I still think of him like this

That led me to Robert Redford I think what I enjoy about him is he has allowed himself to age--doesn't seem to be too caught up in the fact that he has a few wrinkles.

He made me think of Perhaps it's not fair to include him because he's still such a baby, but the fact of the matter is....WE'RE ALL GETTING OLDER!!!

Of course, some of my children are younger than most of you. In fact, Lauren is younger than my oldest grandson!!! Of course, my youngest child is also younger than Lauren and my oldest grandson ; ) Now, keep in mind, I really don't mind getting old. I've always felt young at heart and love the interaction I enjoy with my blogging friends. I believe we can learn from anyone and so I'm grateful for the things I learn from reading your blogs. Thanks for the experience.

Sidenote #1: I just received a new Seminary DVD and it is incredible. I watched the video regarding Esther and it was AMAZING. I thought next year would be my last year of teaching--that would mean I would have taught all 4 years, and Kyle will graduate, and I wouldn't have to get up at the crack of dawn anymore. But, after seeing this DVD, I really would love to see what they do with the Book of Mormon, so I might have to teach for another year ; )

Sidenote #2: Speaking of Seminary, I teach some amazing young people. Even though they have exams this week and some of them have opted to come to Seminary even on those days when they have no exam and don't even have to go to school, and yesterday with the wind chill it was a lovely -46 when we got there. I'm grateful Kyle was there to help me shut the door to the Church!!! I just noticed that tomorrow the wind chill is going to be -49 (I bet you're glad you don't live HERE ; )

Monday, January 28, 2008

A REQUEST FROM MY SISTER

My sister, Linda, is a waitress in California. Back in October she had an accident. While she was serving a table, someone had their purse on the floor and when she brought their food to the table, she tripped over the women's purse, tried to regain her balance, and slammed head first into the wall and then the floor and passed out. After a visit to the emergency room, this was the result.

My sister has a great sense of humor and has said she is going to go to the White House to have signed into law "Linda's Law", which will assure that every woman who carries a purse into a restaurant will be required to either hang it on her chair or check it!!! It will NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE LEFT ON THE FLOOR!!!

All kidding aside, I just wanted to bring this to your attention. It has been a long recovery for her. I am now very conscious of never leaving my purse on the floor.

THIS GREAT MAN WILL BE MISSED

Last night, our beloved Prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, passed away. What a great man he was, and how blessed we were to have been led and inspired by this man.

I still remember when he spoke at the first Young Women's Meeting after being sustained as Prophet in March 1995. As I looked at him, I knew he was a Prophet of God. I was so grateful for that witness.

I never had the privilege of meeting him personally, but we as a Stake were blessed to have him here in Winnipeg for a special meeting in 1998. Allan had the opportunity to shake his hand as he was part of Security. Our youth sang in a special choir and both Heidi and Brent were part of the choir. As he and Sister Hinckley exited the meeting at the door next to where Heidi had been seated, he and Sister Hinckley stopped and shook her hand. It's a memory I know she will cherish forever.

He had such a wonderful way of touching your heart. As he would walk to the podium at each Conference (carrying his cane), and then he would speak, you could feel his love for the Lord. What a marvelous example. I will so miss his sense of humor and that sweet little twinkle in his eye.

(Thanks to Brent for correcting me--I had originally put that he was sustained in September 1995. I can always count on Brent who has a great ability to remember dates ; )

Sunday, January 27, 2008

CHOICES

In Seminary this year we have spent a lot of time talking about choices. The Old Testament is full of stories of people who made poor choices with disastrous results and some who have made good choices with wonderful results. We talked about how there is always a consequence. I shared with them a video clip from an old play that was made into a movie, "My Turn on Earth". There is a little song in it that says, "When you choose the very first step on the road, you also choose the last. So if you don't like the end of the road, you better back up fast!"

A couple of weeks ago one of the speakers at Church talked about goals and choices. He used a quote that I remember using a number of years ago when I spoke at a Women's Conference. Abraham Lincoln once said, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Now keep in mind, I don't think Abraham Lincoln was talking about anyone with depression. And, I would never infer that people who struggle with depression need to change their thinking. I'm talking about myself: It just made me think about that #6 and #7 on my accountability list. I'm reminded of what pj said about letting something bother her for 24 hours and then letting it go! If I could do that, I'd have 6 and 7 ticked off my list!!! Recently on a post I talked about the movie The Bucket List, I loved what magirk wrote that she just wanted to "make peace with all the issues in (her) heart and mind". I would love to to be at peace with all of my issues, but I don't want to wait until the end to take care of things. I want to work through them now. These are choices I need to make now--not later!

The other day I got on the scale and GASPED. I thought I'd worked so hard and yet I gained weight ; ) I was so discouraged but then it hit me. (Now, keep in mind, and I am sure this is not a news flash to anyone who reads my blog, I am very simple minded). I realized that I used to be able to lose weight just by cutting back and exercising once in awhile--I could still cheat, I didn't have to work that hard, and still the weight came off. Today it doesn't work that way. I realized it is kind of like all of life--I have to work for those things I want. If I want to change my life--I have to put forth some effort. Things aren't going to just happen. It's time to make some better choices.

Sidenote:
Had a great trip to Regina to the temple Friday and Saturday. It was cold, but hey, it's January. The roads were clear, and Allan and I worked in the car on some Seminary lessons for next week. Hope you all had a great weekend.

Friday, January 25, 2008

AM I A HAG???

No, wait, don't answer until you read the post...

As many of you know, I am trying (not as hard as I should) to lose some weight. A couple of days ago I went to the grocery store and decided to buy myself a treat. I bought these. In case you can't tell what they are, it's Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. They are quite tasty. So yesterday I went down to the kitchen to have a snack and grabbed one of the ice cream sandwiches--then decided to wait until after my lunch. Now it was tough for me to buy them in the first place because I thought they were VERY expensive--5 of them cost me $8.60. (I notice the package in the picture looks like it has more like 6--not here in Canada. We only get 5) Anyway, back to my story--I decided I would wait and have one after my lunch. At noontime, Kyle and 4 of his friends came home for lunch. Keep in mind these are growwing teenage boys who love/need to eat!!! I"m not sure if these boys pack a lunch because they fix alphagetti, top ramen noodles, grilled cheese sandwiches--even cold cereal.

They eat and play a quick game of Apples to Apples--so funny--they even asked me what was more normal: taking a bath or their friends? (Now that's a loaded question) The boys leave and I decided to get my little treat. I open the freezer and...YOU GUESSED IT--My ice cream sandwiches were GONE!!! (Holly, I'm not sure--they were or they are--whatever, NO ICE CREAM SANDWICHES!!) I was not a happy camper. After school Kyle called to ask if he could go to one of his friends, I was not happy--and I let him know!!! Like I said, I really don't care if they eat the other stuff--JUST NOT MY SKINNY COW!!! In fact, when I put out the chicken we had for dinner, Kyle had a couple of these same boys over. I felt bad because there wasn't much, so I offered to fix them a grilled cheese sandwich. As they were eating, they mentioned that when the 3 of them got to one of their houses, their mom would fix them dinner. Then the other said, hey, when we get to my house, I'll ask my mom to fix us dinner. Like I said, I know they're growing boys!!!! But, let's get back to my original question--AM I A HAG???

Had a fabulous experience last night. Our Stake has been working with a homeless shelter and offering to go on Thursday nights to help in their kitchen when they serve dinner. It was our Ward's opportunity to serve tonight. There were about 20 members of our Ward there and it was so great to have a chance to serve together. This is a fabulous place. Now keep in mind--being homeless anytime would be horrible but in Winnipeg when the temperatures are so brutal is unimaginable. They took us on a tour of the facility. It was so nice. They talked about helping these people maintain their dignity. It was wonderful. It is a shelter that sleeps around 100. They even have a medical center and a dental office. The staff we met were fantastic. Allan worked out on the floor and I worked in the back preparing and cleaning. We were there about 2 1/2 hours and it was an incredible evening.

When I left, I no longer felt like a hag, and didn't feel like complaining about anything.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

TAGGED...

TAGGED!!! My Man--

Chel tagged me for this little Meme, so I thought since we have a marriage class tonight, it’s the perfect day to play:




What’s his name? Allan and he is so brave he fought off this bear and saved my life ; )

How long have you been together?
25 years

How long did you date?
3 months--We had our first day July 24th and were married October 23rd.

How old is he?
I know he won't mind me telling you this--he will be 65 in August

Who eats more? He does, unless it's chocolate!!!

Who said "I love you" first?
My guess is he did, but I really am not sure.

Who is taller? He's 6' 4"

Who is smarter? He is so incredibly smart--there's not much he doesn't know. As far as trivia (or useless knowledge) I'm pretty good. I love that I can turn to him for answers to my questions as I work on my Seminary lessons. He teaches me so much. He always ask my opinion on things and he listens.

Who does laundry?
I do the laundry--except his shirts--I send them out because I HATE TO IRON!!!

Who does the dishes?
The dishwasher. For the most part, I do the dishes, but Allan is more than happy to help.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?
Your right or my right??? In bed, I'm on the right side!!

Who pays the bills? I make the bills and he pays the bills.

Who mows the lawn?
He has always mowed the lawn until we came to Winnipeg, now we have a lawn service.

Who cooks dinner? I do most of the cooking. Quite often he cooks on Saturday. He is such a great cook. For years, to the delight of our children, he cooked Sunday dinner. Unfortunately with his current calling that is not possible.

Who drives when you are together? He does the driving--I can count on one hand the number of times he's been a passenger with me at the wheel.

Who is more stubborn? Definitely me. I don't think Allan has a stubborn bone in his body.

Who kissed who first? I think we kissed each other--although he did make the first move.

Who asked out who first? I was so thrilled the day he called me to ask me out. Our first date is such a fun memory--he brought Neal and I brought Stephen. We laugh today--we both were quite nervous and I guess felt we needed reinforcements. Of course, shortly after the date began we wanted to ditch the boys ; )

Who has more siblings? Me--he has 2 sisters and I have 5.

Who wears the pants in the family?
We work together--it's a collaborative effort. He is the head of the household. Call me old fashioned, but I have no problem with saying that.

He's such a good sport, like when I made him pose for this silly picture with all of his kids when I brought them all up for a surprise party for his 60th birthday.

I have said it before and I'll say it again--I am the luckiest women in the world. He is an amazing man. We enjoy a wonderful life together and have been blessed in so many ways.


SIDENOTE: Thanks to Holly. She had a giveaway and I won!!! I received in the mail these beautiful stars--which she made (can't wait to put them on my Christmas tree next year. There were two boxes of several red, blue, green, and white ones) There was also a bag of Lindor mint chocolate truffles and hot chocolate mix Yum!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

A PARTIAL YEAR IN REVIEW

As I mentioned recently, part of the reason I began blogging was as a bit of a journal. Since I didn't begin blogging until July 2007, I wanted to do a recap of the first 6 months of last year.

January: We had our usual New Years Day party--great fun. The highlight of the month happened on MY BIRTHDAY!!! No, not because it was my birthday, but because that was the day Brent returned from his mission.
We decided to fly into Salt Lake City, so he could see the family there. We flew into Salt Lake that morning and I was such a wreck worrying that the plane was going to be delayed and we wouldn't be there when he came down the escalators. All worked out. So great to have him home!!! He had no trouble adjusting to normal everyday life ; ) Heidi was so happy to have her brother home.










When we returned back home, we celebrated Christmas--I had kept one of the trees up a couple of extra weeks--it was PRETTY DEAD!!! Brent didn't care.






















February: I was in California when February started because I flew to take care of Stephen and Daphne's kids while they went to Oregon for a business meeting. They took me out one night to introduce me to suishi. I had a ball with them--until the night Drew got sick in bed, followed by me getting the flu, then Hannah, and Brandon. Lucky Kiah didn't get sick. (Come to think of it, she didn't go with us to get the suishi. Stephen and Daphne didn't get sick either and they had the sushi so that wasn't what made us sick ; ) When they called home I didn't want to tell them about everyone being sick, but felt I had to--I was glad they didn't shorten their trip.




March: Allan's meetings in Arizona were earlier than usual, but as always it was great to be there away from the cold temperatures. We ate Mexican food and enjoyed the sunshine. We managed to find the little Mexican restaurant/stand where Brent ate lots of meals while on his mission. Because the trip was in conjunction with our Spring Break, I didn't want to leave the boys any longer than a few days, so I didn't go with Allan when he headed off to Utah for Conference.


April: Besides not wanting to be away from the boys too long, I needed to be here for our NCAA Championship Party. Our winner this year was Miss Hannah--Stephen laughs and says one day he'll win, and not someone in his family!!! Gotta love Kyle doing the Gator cheer. By the way the prize if you win--bragging rights and a little "plaque"








Over Easter Weekend, we also had our big 2007 ordinances at the Temple. It turned out to be a fabulous weekend. Kyle had his 16th Birthday the day the youth headed to Saskatoon for a big Youth Conference. In celebration of his birthday we went to Red Lobster or his usual steak and lobster. It was great to have Brent here when Kyle was ordained a Priest. The end of the month Brent headed off to Utah to go to LDS Business College. It has been such a wonderful experience for him and we are so happy that he is enjoying it.

Kyle also played League Volleyball which was a lot of fun. Gosh the kid can jump!!!















Our newest little Grandson, Garrett James, was born on April 18th. It was so great to get the news that he was born and mom and baby were doing just fine. Unfortunately, he had a tough few weeks and Garrett had to stay in the hospital a couple of extra days. Macy ended up having a C-section so I was glad her family was in Boston to help when she and Garrett returned home from the hospital.





May: We went to Boston for Garrett's blessing. It was wonderful to have a few days there. Grandma, Gerry, and Bev flew in for the blessing as well. Macy's family was there, too. They had been there since before the birth. Everyone left and I was able to stay a few extra days, and I loved having the alone time with Neal, Macy and Garrett.











Chris and Heather were graduating from University of North Texas, and it was silly for me to go home and then fly on to Texas, so I just flew from Boston to Texas. I arrived a few hours before Neal, Macy, and Garrett so Chris came to pick me up. I had some alone time with he and Heather. So great to see them. The graduation was wonderful. Brent flew in from Salt Lake. He hadn't seen many of them since he returned from his mission, so it was great for everyone to see him. The graduation was great and I was so proud of my "little" grandson and Heather.





We left Texas on Mother's Day and had a layover in Salt Lake so spent some time with Heidi who came to pick us up from the airport--so I spent Mother's Day with Neal, Heidi, Brent, and came home and saw Kyle. (A pretty fabulous Mother's Day!!!)

June: The month began with our Seminary Breakfast--held on the last day of Seminary. I had one student graduating. Kyle participated in the Manitoba Provincial track championships and did very well in the long jump and the triple jump. (Like I mentioned before--he can jump!!!)















We had our Seminary Honors Night. One of my very good friends, Mary K. from Toronto came for a visit. It was so wonderful to have her here for a few days. She happened to pick the weekend we had our big Women's Conference. Our Stake Pres. had made arrangements to have a special speaker--we were so blessed to have Sheri Dew and Wendy Watson Nelson come and speak. It was fabulous. They also spoke to the Young Single Adults at a fireside on Sunday night and Mary, Allan and I were able to attend that as well. It was an incredible weekend!!!

For Kyle June 19th was a long awaited day--he got his braces off!!! On the 22nd Kyle and I attended the West Winnipeg Athletic Conference Scholar Athlete Luncheon. Then on the 25th Allan, Kyle and I attended the school Athletic Awards night where Kyle received several awards. He was so surprised when he was named Most Valuable Player for Outdoor Track and Field.








Sidenote: No exercise for me today--I'm sitting on a heating pad. My back is out ; ( Hopefully, it will be better tomorrow.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Celebrating is Over

First of all, A BIG THANK YOU, for all of the kind words on my birthday. I have NEVER had that many comments--they were all so very much appreciated. Thanks again. A special thank you to Lauren for sending people by to give birthday wishes--you're a sweetie, Lauren ; )

It was a fabulous day. It started off at 4:30--I decided to start getting up earlier so I could get on the elliptical before showering for Seminary. That way I can do a second work-out later in the day. I really would like to get all of my exercising done first thing in the morning but refuse to get up any earlier.

Kyle had suggested we cancel Seminary in honor of my birthday: Isn't he sweet--he just wanted ME to be able to sleep in a little later. It wasn't that HE didn't want to have to get up?!? Anyway, we didn't cancel. We started the morning with Scripture Mastery. I usually give the students a paper with a scripture and it has several blank words for them to fill in. We were doing Joshua 1:8. Normally if they did better than the day before they get a candy bar, but yesterday there was a twist--if they did better than the day before I GOT THE CANDY BAR!!! (Of course, I gave them to them after class, but it was cute to see them work so hard for me ; )

I decided I was going to relax most of the day--watch a movie, and just have a nice day. Hey, it was so horribly cold out (I don't even want to give you the temps) that I let Kyle take the car to school. I told him I wanted an excuse to have to stay indoors. Well, I put my movie in and voila--THE POWER WENT OUT!!! Fortunately, it didn't stay out very long, but long enough for me to have a good nap ; )

Our dinner out was wonderful. I decided to go ahead and have my favorite--prime rib and baked potato (with sour cream). I was going to scratch the Caesar salad, but decided to have it anyway.

I talked to each of my kids, a couple of the grandkids, and one of my sisters. What a great way to spend my day. If Kyle hadn't had to go home teaching we would have played a little Rock Band and then I could have taken some pictures to post--maybe I'll squeeze a few minutes in this weekend ; )

Have a fairly busy weekend--had a wedding reception tonight; Seminary inservice tomorrow morning; dinner guests--including the speaker for our special Stake Fireside; and then I have to fix lunch for a special meeting on Sunday--which I will take to the meeting so the guests won't be coming to the house. Those are all things I enjoy doing, so I don't mind at all.

On a very sad note, in a previous post I mentioned my friend in California who had just found out her husband had Stage IV pancreatic cancer--he passed away this morning. I had sent flowers for Chris when he was in the hospital and Donna had spoken with another friend and asked her to please call me to say how sorry she was that she hadn't called to say thank you. Can you imagine? As if I needed a thank you. It had only been like 5 weeks from the time he first knew he was sick until he passed. He was at home surrounded by his wife and 4 children. You truly never know.

SIDENOTE:
Wanted to say thanks again. Your kind words made my day even better ; )

Thursday, January 17, 2008

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY, AND I'LL POST WHAT I WANT TO...

I bet you all thought my birthday would never come and you'd have to read post after post about my birthday coming soon!!! Well, it's finally here, and I thought what better way to celebrate MY day then to post pictures of all those who mean the most to me, not just today, but EVERYDAY!!!

Have to start with my hubby, Allan, who is the love of my life. I could brag about him for pages and pages!!! I still remember the first time he called me and asked me out. (I can even remember what I was doing when he called.) I know you all get to read about me, and as much as I would like to meet all of you, I would so LOVE for you to meet him. Isn't he a hunk!!! I figured if I was going to post my high school graduation picture on my previous post, it was only fair to post this one which was his mission picture this!!! Hey, let me say it again, "It's my birthday, and I'll post" (well you get the picture)

When I married Allan I brought to the marriage my son, Stephen. He and Daphne were married in 1988



They will be celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary next month. In 2006, they and their children (Jason, Kiah, Brandon, Hannah, and Drew) were sealed in the Hawaii temple. It was a wonderful day.

Allan had three children:

Neal, who married Macy in 2005 (Besides our immediate family, also in this picture is Allan's Mom. She has been a wonderful mother-in-law. I'm so lucky--because of her, I don't understand the mother-in-law jokes--(but then again, I'm a mother-in-law, so maybe I should!!!)
Here Neal and Macy in a picture taken earlier this year with Neal's children, Chris and Amanda and Chris's girlfriend, Heather, and baby Garrett.
Nancy--pictured here with her boys, Josh and Evan.
Wendy, who married Tony in 1994

Blending two families has been tough, but it has been worth it all.

Together Allan and I have had:

Heidi--I love this picture of her with her dad.

Brent--another one of my favorite pictures. Here he is with his dad right before he released him from being a missionary

Kyle--I can't resist this picture (taken just moments after Kyle was born)--not to discourage anyone from having a baby at 40, but because it brings back such memories
Here's a more current one of Kyle--a very happy day for him!!!

















We've always laughed about this little fact--we had a child/grandchild born every year for the first few years of our marriage. Heidi in 83; grandson #1, Chris, in 84; Brent in 85; granddaughter #1, Amanda, 86; grandson #2, Evan, 87; grandson #3, Jason in 88; grandson #4, Josh, in 89; granddaughter #2, Kiah, in 90; and Kyle in 91. I guess everyone took a break for a couple of years and grandson #5, Brandon, was born in 94; granddaughter #3, Hannah, was born in 2000, grandson #5, Drew, in 2005, and grandson #6, Garrett, in 2007.

I also happen to have 5 pretty terrific sisters--who I don't see very often, but I sure love them and am grateful to be able to talk to them once in awhile. It was such fun to visit 4 of them back in October/November and hopefully if I get to Texas again I'll have to chance to go see my sister, Gayle.

All and all I've had a pretty terrific 57 years. I appreciate so much my friends and family who enrich my life. I hate being away from so many of my children and grandchildren. I love the times when we get to be together and am really looking forward to Grandma's 90th Birthday Celebration in Hawaii the end of June/first of July.

Now, I'm off to have a FABULOUS DAY!!! My birthday wish for all of you is that you have a fabulous day, too. It would be so fun to celebrate with all of you, but since that's not possible I'll be celebrating with hubby and Kyle by having dinner out tonight!!!

SIDENOTE--Actually, this is not really a sidenote, but more of a request. If you are a lurker, it's my birthday (in case you haven't noticed), PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

After 56 Years There Have Been Some Changes...


This is my birthday week--hey, I'm going to celebrate as many days as I can!!! Anyway, I thought I'd do a post about some of the changes I've seen in these MANY years:

I started thinking about the big changes that have taken place in my life. There have been 4 major life-changing moments (and lots of big ones).

First was in in 1964 when my sisters and I went to live with the people who raised us after our parents died. I was sure glad we were all together when we went to live with these total strangers. Years later, Les and I had a good laugh when I told him I remembered going to their refrigerator and seeing orange juice and thinking, "Wow, they're rich. They have orange juice."

Second was in 1970 when my son, Stephen, was born. Please note that the birth of each of my children was a wonderful experience, but when Stephen was born I didn't have a clue what I was going to do. Thus it truly was a major change.
Third came in 1974 when I was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I now had an understanding of who I was and why I was here upon the earth. It's a decision that I am so grateful I made.

Fourth was October 23, 1982, when I married the man of my dreams who I hope to be with for all eternity.

There have been lots of changes in the world--I think one of my favorite memories when I was a young girl was when the men from NASA came to our school and talked about one day putting a man on the moon. My friends and I laughed and thought that was the funniest thing we'd ever heard. Then as I sat in my sister's living room in 1969 when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, I was so excited! Do you realize when I was born there were only 48 states--(do you think you needed a passport to visit Alaska and Hawaii back then???) I still don't know the names of all those countries that make up what I knew as the U.S.S.R.???

Some of the fun changes that I have witnessed--now I won't write about indoor plumbing since it's always been a part of my life. However, I often wonder how my dad survived in a home with 6 daughters and a wife and only ONE bathroom!!!

#1--Gosh, tv and movies have changed so much. I remember what a difference it was when we watched Bonanza in color!!! I still remember when Lucy and Ricky slept in separate beds--they couldnt' even mention the word "pregnant" now you can almost watch how a woman BECOMES pregnant?!?

#2--Music is very different than when I was a young girl. I grew up with American Bandstand--kind of like the Corny Collins show in Hairspray. That's how I learned to dance watching all those kids from Philadelphia. I love when Kyle listens to some of the music I used to hear coming from my 45's--gosh, do kids even know what 45's are today???

#3--Fashion--go-go boots, mini skirts, halter tops, bell bottoms--I had them all.

#4--I don't miss sleeping with rollers on my head!!! And I don't miss hot rollers--a curling iron is so much easier. We used to use big hair dryers and now we have such wonderful little blow dryers.

#5--I know Kyle thinks I was born AGES ago, and the first time I wrote in shorthand I think he thought it was hieroglyphics. I still use it occasionally. Then you think about when I took typing in high school on a manual typewriter. You had to really press hard on those keys--especially when you had carbon paper. Yikes if you ever made a mistake. We all thought we'd died and gone to Heaven when they came out with electric typewriters and then the kind that you could back up and it would correct your typing mistakes!!!

#6--If you walk around the kitchen today and wonder how different it is from the 50's and the 60's. I often wonder what I did without a microwave!!! I love my dishwasher and would hate to have to go back to washing dishes by hand. (I know this is not in the kitchen, but my mother didn't have a dryer for years and we used to hang our clothes on the line--I loved the smell when we'd bring them in and fold them.

#7--I get so excited when I think of all the changes in technology. Computers are incredible to me. I can get on my computer and have a video chat with Neal in Boston (and see what little Garrett is doing) and even have Brent with us in Salt Lake City or Chris in Texas. I LOVE IT!!! (Just wish all the kids owned a MAC ; ) I know that I print out too many things and really need to store more (but, of course, that means I need to back everything up, doesn't it!!!) Then there are digital cameras and digital photos and all the applications where you can photoshop people into a picture!!!

With cell phones, e-mail, websites, blogs, you would think that we'd be closer as families--all of this makes it so much easier. Perhaps we get lazy. I know I don't stay in contact with some of my sisters like I should, and sometimes we don't hear from family as much as we would like.

Some things will never change--for that I am very grateful. But isn't it fun to wonder what the next 50 years will bring!!!

Sidenote #1: When I turned on the weather channel, I couldn't believe the temperatures -32 and with the wind chill -42.

Sidenote #2:
Regarding my accountability list: Doing much better with my weight loss (not as good as Randi). I think I will go to two-a-day workouts. Piano and the meal planning are going well. I'm loving the prayer journal. I have to report: I'm stinking at #6 and #7.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Blogging Award


I am so excited to have received this blogging award from Nancyface and Lauren. I would say "right back at you"!!! My Heidi, Nancyface, Lauren and I would have so much fun together.

Xandra from Heart of Service has created this fun award. Here is what she says: "It's for blogs that I must read every day without fail . . . They make you laugh, cry, think and feel connected every time you read a post..."
As I go around and visit my regular blogs I see there have been many well deserved recipients of this award. I would have to say ditto. I would like to pass this award on to the following blogging friends:

magirk: She is an amazing woman with 3 small children (including a set of twins). She is a very deep thinker and I love reading her posts.

txmommy: Such a fun friend. I think together we would have a great time planning some really fun parties.

macy: She is the mom of my littlest grandson. I visit her blog so I can get my "daily dose" of pictures of him!!! Seriously, she is so talented. I love reading her blog because she has a beautiful way of writing ; )

calamityjane: She has such great advice that's tied into getting control of your body--and your mind!!! It's very spiritually uplifting. I'm always happy when she has a post.

chel: She is a woman who loves to write about her wonderful family--and I love reading about them. And, one day we'll play in a band together--well at least in cyberspace ; )

Sidenote #1:
Allan and I went to see We loved it. Both Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are fabulous. I was very touched. Two thumbs up. If you decide to see it, be sure and take Kleenex.

I do have a question to ask--what is one thing that would be on your "bucket list"? One of mine would be to attend a NCAA Final Four Championship Basketball game!!! (When I told Allan he said, "well do you want to order the tickets?" I thought, does he know something I don't know????)

Sidenote #2: While playing Apples to Apples this afternoon with my son and a couple of his friends, I had a little foot in mouth incident!!! While explaining the game I said to one of his friends, "Oh, you're only supposed to have one green card." He replied, "How do you tell the difference?" I said, a little sarcastically, "Well, just look--this one is red, and this one is green. Can't you tell the difference???" Kyle started laughing--"Mom, don't you know? He's color blind?" Oops. This young man has been coming over for well, at least 10 years!!! How did I miss that little fact???

Friday, January 11, 2008

MY BIRTHDAY IS COMING...

Well, I am going to have a birthday in one week, so I thought I would do this little meme I saw on a couple of blogs--Tori's and Lauren's. I was going to do it ON my birthday, but who knows by then the memory may be totally gone or because I will be soooo old I may not be able to get out of bed!!!

This is what you are supposed to do. You find your birthday month, I listed the other 11 months at the bottom, and you discuss whether what the month says about you is true or not. Obviously, my birthday is January and this is what it says:
JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

So, let me pick apart that description.
Stubborn and hard-hearted: Stubborn, oh definitely. Notice it's mentioned twice in the description!!! Hard-hearted, definitely not.
Ambitious and serious: Ambitious--when I think of ambitious, I think of someone who wants to get ahead. No!!! But then again there are certain things I want to achieve--a happy family!!! Serious--way too serious. I like what Mel said on her blog about one of her resolutions being to "laugh more, play more, and say I'm sorry." That's something I need to do.
Loves to teach and be taught: THAT FITS ME PERFECTLY. I love my calling as a Seminary Teacher, but then we could go back to the too serious thing. I always think it's just that I love the kids so much so I get so intense at wanting them to understand and grasp the importance of the Gospel in their lives. Loves to be taught: I think you can learn from anyone and everyone.
Always looking at people's flaws and weaknesses: YIKES, I need to admit this is one of my biggest flaws and weaknesses!!! I want to fix everyone--because I want everyone to be happy--shall we call that my way of rationalization!!!! I am, by far, my own worst critic!!!
Likes to Criticize: No, I don't LIKE to, but I do criticize. Of course, I did read something that made me laugh--it's not my fault I criticize, if people would just do things the way I want them to, I wouldn't need to criticize them!!! Hence, one of my goals for 2008.
Hardworking and Productive: Somewhat.
Smart, neat, and organized: I have some street smarts. I wouldn't say I'm very neat. Organized--well I know where things are, but if you saw my desk you'd laugh!!!
Sensitive and has deep thoughts: I try to be sensitive to others. I'm definitely too sensitive with things people say to me! Deep thoughts--yes.
Knows how to make others happy: This just makes me laugh--because I think I know WHAT makes others happy, but I struggle at knowing how to MAKE others happy. Truth is: No one can make others happy we each have to make ourselves happy.
Quiet unless excited or tensed: Very true.
Rather reserved: Yes
Highly attentive: I think so.
Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds: I'm very healthy. I don't get colds very often, but I do get cold!!!
Romantic but has difficulties expressing love: I am romantic, but I never thought I had difficulty expressing love.
Loves children: Definitely.
Loyal: To a fault.
Has great social abilities yes easily jealous: I don't think I have great social abilities. I do love being around people. I guess I get jealous but over silly things, not over how someone looks or dresses or what they have.
Very stubborn and money cautious: There's that stubborn thing again!!! Money cautious: Wow, Allan would be rolling on the floor laughing when he read that!!! I forget to write down when I take money out of the ATM--how cautious does that sound.

So, here are the rest of the months--does your month fit you???

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Sidenote #1:
I learned some valuable information on Nancy's blog that may help me with my quest to lose weight. (Bottom line: I CAN'T CHEAT!!!)
Sidenote#2: I'm so grateful to be teaching Seminary. We have had some great discussions--and I must admit some great laughs. What a blessing it is to see his growth.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

UPDATE

I am not going to post every week about how I'm doing with my "accountability list", but I'm just so excited about a couple of things and wanted to share. First of all, I LOVE having my menus planned. It is so wonderful when I'm not rushing around at 4:00 trying to decide what's for dinner!!!

Secondly, I love my prayer journal. It is making me so aware of everything. I got the idea from this book by Stephen Covey
I go through my day thinking about the things I prayed about in the morning and I just feel so much gratitude throughout the day. It is wonderful. Then at night as I reflect and write about all that happened--WOW!

The exercising and watching my eating is not going as well as I would like--but at least I'm working at it. That feels good. I made cupcakes today for one of my Seminary students and didn't eat one (I wish I could type this in a smaller font--I did eat some frosting, though ; (((((((

I have been practicing piano and was scheduled to have a lesson yesterday, but unfortunately my piano teacher is sick, so I will just have to keep practicing my scales and a few hymns for my 20 minutes a day.

#6 is going pretty well, wish I could say the same for #7. It sure would be nice if I could just write a note to everyone and tell them exactly what I WOULD LIKE THEM TO DO AND SAY. Some time ago my son, Neal, gave me this book and I was reading and taking notes and it helped me a lot--guess I better read it again. I am going to be 57 next week (in a previous post I said 58, goodness why would I add a year???) and I always thought I would be so wise by the time I was THAT OLD!!!

It does feel good to be working on improvements. I just need to remember (which reminds me of a quote I used in Seminary this morning by Pres. Kimball that "remember" is probably the most important word in the dictionary). So I need to REMEMBER: baby steps!!! I can't expect to change in a week, right?!?

Sidenote #1: I picked up my van today!!! Yippee!!! It looks as good as new. I don't know who is happier, me or Kyle. He just texted me from work asking how the van looks. I'm so mean I told him it looked pretty good until I smashed it pulling into the garage. Silly boy believed me ; )

Sidenote #2:
Rock Band pictures will be posted at a later date.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

WHY DO YOU BLOG???

I started blogging because I wanted to post pictures of a trip we were going to take. I mainly did it so my friends and family could look at pictures and see where we were visiting.

It has become something entirely different. Like Chel, I want it to become a journal/family history of sorts. I even started by posting pictures of old trips. I had such a ball doing that.

But then I started visiting other blogs. I loved what was out there. I then started posting things about my everyday life. I didn't think the comments would be so important to me, but they are a sort of validation. I am so glad I found the blogs that I visit--you all have become friends and I love reading about your lives, your concerns, your successes, your love of family, and everything else you share. You have uplifted and strengthened me in so many ways. And I've had many laughs along the way. For all of that I say THANKS!

I'm just curious--Why do you blog? or What got you started blogging?

Sidenote #1: While Kyle was at school today, I went down to the basement and played Rock Band. First of all, it's not as much fun by yourself, but I still enjoyed playing. (I need to practice because I think there are those in my family who think they're taking the band on the road WITHOUT ME!!!)

Sidenote #2:
Heidi just started Student Teaching a kindergarten class in Utah on Monday. I am so proud of her!! I wish I could be a little fly on the wall to watch her in action.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Back to Normal

The decorations are down, we took Heidi and Brent to the airport, and it's just Allan, Kyle and me again. And SEMINARY STARTS TOMORROW. Yikes, will I be ready--will I be able to get up. I'd love to say I have been getting up at my usual 4:45 every morning, but NO WAY!!!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks--at the same time it's been great fun. I think the toughest part has been having the rental car, and the kids not being able to drive it!!! Brent is great about taking the bus, Kyle's friends have been picking him up, and finally on Thursday we got a different rental and fixed it so Allan could drive it--which meant the kids could drive Allan's van.

Friday afternoon Kyle had a YM's Stake overnight activity and I dropped him off at the Church where the boys were being carpooled to the camp--indoors!!! After work Allan headed out to speak to the YM. Heidi, Brent, and I headed for the movies. (Brent ended up going to Best Buy--to check out who knows what!!! He loves that store!!!) Heidi and I met up with some friends and the 5 of us went to see P.S. I Love You. I have to agree with one of my sons who thought they should have never called it a "Romantic Comedy". It was very good.

Last night we asked Heidi and Brent where they wanted to go for dinner and we ended up getting suishi at a little Japanese restaurant. It was pretty good.

Txmommy and magirk both tagged me for this little meme. It was 7 random facts about you--now txmommy put an interesting twist on hers and did the 7 about pets. I really haven't had any pets for so long, so I'm going to do this just with 7 random facts.

1) The night before I was to give my first talk in Church I had a dream that I was standing there giving the talk, and I guess I was going on and on, so the Bishop got up and said, "Sister J, that's enough!!!"

2) When Kyle was a baby, he and I were in a car accident. I rolled the van a couple of times and we found ourselves upside down in a ditch. (Thank goodness for car seats) No, my life didn't pass before my eyes, but I do remember holding on to the steering wheel and screaming "Heavenly Father, please help me!!!"

3) When I delivered Stephen 37 years ago, the nurses placed him into my arms and I immediately fell in love--which I have done with each of my children. However, they took him to the nursery (which I don't think they do anymore, or at least they didn't do that with Kyle). The next time they brought him back for me to feed him, I looked at him and thought, my goodness I know babies change but this is crazy, he doesn't even look like the same baby. Well--HE WASN'T. Thank goodness for those little name bands they put on them!!!

4) After my dad died, and my mom was diagnosed with tuberculosis, 4 of my sisters and I were put into a "home". (It was kind of like what they used to term a juvenille detention facility). It was horrible and I am so grateful we were only there a few days. My oldest sister, Carol, also had TB and was in the hospital with my mom. She was 18 and must have been so scared when my mom died some 3 1/2 months after they went into the hospital.

5) This may not make a lot of sense, but...When I was pregnant with my first child, Stephen, I lived in a little one bedroom apartment. Each night when I would come home from work I would talk to the child I was carrying. One day one of my neighbors left a note asking me if I needed anything for my bird??? What bird???? Well, I guess they knew I lived alone, so they assumed I had a bird and that was who I was talking to every night ; )

6) Today as we were loading the car with the luggage, Brent came out the front door and slipped on the ice. It reminded me of the first morning I walked the kids to the bus stop when we lived in Brampton. I had just been released after a two-month stay in the hospital with dehydration--I really do love being pregnant!!! I wasn't used to the snow and ice and I hit a patch of ice and went down on my bum (using my arm to brace me). I broke my left arm!!!

7) My dad had 6 girls, but I always think of myself as the son he never had. (My dad was an avid San Francisco Giants fan, and took me to my first baseball game at Candlestick Park about a year before he died--it is still such a sweet memory for me)

If you haven't done this meme, please do it and come back and let me know so I can see what you wrote. It's always fun to get to know more about my blogging friends.

Sidenote #1: I love modern technology, yesterday Kyle was playing Rock Band on line with my grandson and granddaughter in Texas. It was like having them here!!!

Sidenote #2: No fair laughing, but I FINALLY finished Eclipse. Sorry, reading and preparing for my Seminary lessons is about all the reading I've been able to do lately. I LOVED the book, but all of you who are Jacob fans: Sorry, I don't get it!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Accountability List


I was going to title this post "Resolutions" but decided when I put something on my blog, it really makes a difference. Therefore, I changed the title. (It worked so well to be accountable with the chocolate and the exercising, so I will try it with this)

Melissa had a great post about changes. We've all had the lessons in Relief Society about goals--heck, I've even taught one or two of those lessons. But, since I will be having my 58th birthday this month, it's time I took a different approach.

1) Lose weight--27 pounds to be exact. Every year I set a goal to lose weight, and since I'm doing it again this year, I'd say it hasn't worked very well ; ) This is my year!!!

2) Keep a prayer journal: I've tried to make my prayers go beyond the ceiling. I think if I record what I'm going to pray about in the morning and then at night record what happened during the day it will help me follow Elder Eyring's counsel to see the hand of the Lord daily.

3) Count my blessings daily: This goes along with #2, but I know I need to be more grateful.

4) Practice the piano 20 minutes a day: What's the point of paying for those lessons if i'm not going to practice.

5) Do weekly meal plans. Make sure to find more low-salt recipes for Allan, and stop nagging him about not using too much salt.

Now these last two are things I need to work on for my mental stability. They are tough to monitor, but I want to work on doing better at these two:

6) Let things go: I have a very bad habit of holding on to hurts, and I need to let them go. Also, being the control freak that I am, I want to fix EVERYONE'S problems because goodness knows I know what will make everyone happy--so I need to let people solve their own problems.

7) Recognize that everyone is different and not everyone is going to do things the way I think they should: I realize that my way isn't the only way, but I guess I always assume everyone looks at things the way I do--I know that's stupid and it's a BIG PROBLEM of mine!!! I return phone calls, I answer e-mails, but not everyone does. I need to lighten up (I guess in more ways than just those mentioned in #1 ; )

Believe me the list could go on, but I think I will start with these.

Wish me luck...I'll need it!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

HAPPY 2008

It's the evening of New Years Day. I didn't get a post up to wish everyone a Happy New Year, but I did get around to a few blogs to say Happy New Year.

Last night we had our annual Stake New Years Eve Dance, and Allan was nice enough to volunteer us to help with the food ; ) The kids were great and yesterday afternoon the 3 of them and Allan went to the Stake Center to help get the food ready. I stayed home to get mine ready for our annual New Years Day party. Unfortunately, I didn't get as much done as I would have liked!!!

We left for the dance around 9:00 and ended up pulling into the garage about 11:55. Had some sparkling cider and headed off to bed. Kyle had left the dance early and ended up going to some friends so I waited up for him.

Allan was his usual early riser and put the ribs in the crock pots around 5:30 this morning. (I was so dead I couldn't get up ; ) We managed to get everything ready before our guests arrived at 1:00. Everyone was such a great help. We had ribs in Tony Roma barbeque sauce, smokies and meatballs in sweet and sour sauce, crab ball, spinach dip, bean dip, brocoli cauliflower salad, pistachio pudding salad, and for dessert caramel brownies, cream puffs and baklava. We ended up with only 20 of us this year--I just couldn't handle more people. I just looked at my pictures and I didn't do a very good job of taking pictures--shouid have put someone else in charge of getting some good shots for me!!!

I had forgotten to get Neal's help so was on my own for our trivia game. It was fun. We try to get pictures and questions about the year. Everyone did very well. Breanne won again this year--I think she must do some checking of the internet before she comes!!!

For the last few years we've also had a traditional guys against the girls game of Scene It. I don't think the guys have ever won--until this year!!!

There were a few who went down and played Rock Band. Kyle was thrilled. He is having friends over tonight to play some more!!!

I'm going to take some time tomorrow to do some reflecting on my goals for 2008--I guess the truth of the matter is I have so many goals and I need to cut down the list!!! There are some major changes I need to make and this is as good a year as nay to start!!! I'm going to be 57 in a few weeks. I was talking to Stephen the other day and was telling him how I can't believe I'm that old. I think I may have told this story before but here goes anyway: A couple of years ago I was visiting my sister in Texas and I hadn't seen her for a few years. As we were talking and I was looking at her, I kept thinking, "My gosh, you look old" (I never said it out loud ; ) Then I started laughing in my head realizing she was probably saying the same thing in her head!!!

I'm so thankful for Allan--I could never do the things I do without him. I just don't know where he gets his energy.

I hope you had a wonderful day and that 2008 is a great year for you and your family. We had some challenges in 2007, but we got through them all, and I am so grateful for all of the blessings that we continue to enjoy.

Sidenote: Speaking of getting older, the other day Allan and I were at McDonalds and I got some hot chocolate and the woman charged me less than was on the board. I questioned her and she pointed to Allan and said, "He's a Senior Citizen, isn't he?" I asked what age was considered a Senior Citizen. She said 55. I said, "Heck, I'm a Senior Citizen!!!" I can take all that money I'm going to save and put it in a jar for my life insurance!!!