Friday, May 30, 2008

Mixed Emotions

I am filled with mixed emotions today as another year of Seminary comes to an end. It has been such a great year. We had a lesson yesterday where the students shared their favorite Old Testament story of something they learned. A couple of them mentioned they loved learning about Job, one talked about Jonah, one mentioned Balaam--of course, who couldn't love the talking donkey. Another the wisdom of Solomon when dealing with the 2 mothers and deciding which one was the "real" mother of the baby. For me it is realizing that with EVERYTHING these people did wrong that God's love and mercy continued. I told the students to remember that He is always there. The adversary will try to discourage us, make us feel we are not good enough, that there's no hope--I reminded them that I know there is ALWAYS HOPE. (I'm so grateful for His love and His tender mercies.

I was going to post a picture of my sheets of paper taped to the TV with my two scripture masteries typed in big letters so I could work on them while I exercised. NOTE TO SELF: Next year, don't wait until the last minute to finish reading and to do the memorizing. But, I FINISHED!

The breakfast today was good. I decided to give each student a little package that contained 3 candy bars and a gift card for the local donut shop with enough money on it so they could buy a couple of donuts each month during the summer--I don't want them having candy or donut withdrawls ; )




Yesterday I was doing a little cleaning in my dresser and low and behold I found an earring that I thought I had lost. Twenty five years ago while Allan and I were on our honeymoon on Maui he bought me a beautiful pair of coral earrings. I absolutely loved them. About a year or so ago I went to put them on and could only find one of them. I was so upset. I thought I looked everywhere. But, obviously I didn't because I FOUND IT IN MY DRESSER DRAWER. I AM SO HAPPY. I will be sure and take them to Hawaii.

Today is my Stephen's 38th birthday. Is it possible that I have a 38 year old--YOU BET!!! After all, I will be a great-grandma in a few months ; )




For 12 years it was just Stephen and I--consequently we are very close. He is an amazing young man. The other day when we were talking he shared with me some thoughts about how happy he was when I married Allan, but how difficult it must have been for the other kids in the family. He is such a tender young man who sees things so clearly. He continues to teach me so much.






Thursday, May 29, 2008

How Could I???

Kyle had his final band performance tonight. His band teacher sends all the parents information to keep us informed of EVERYTHING. First of all, I thought it was next month. This morning Kyle reminded me that I needed to send in my $15 for the 3 tickets I was supposed to buy for tonight. So I made plans to attend the concert--Allan is out of town so I knew I had to go alone.

Kyle had to be there early so he got a ride with one of his friends. I knew it didn't start until 7:30, and the school is only about 10 minutes away, so I left the house with enough time to spare.

When I pulled into the parking lot I thought, "My gosh, there is hardly anyone here." Then I looked at the ticket--THE CONCERT WAS NOT AT THE SCHOOL, but was at a concert hall downtown--about 1/2 hour away. So, I missed Kyle's last band performance.

Can anyone say: LOSER!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Great Day for Kyle

Kyle had a great day yesterday when he participated in a track meet at the University. He took 1st place in the Winnipeg West division in the triple jump and 1st place in the long jump. He has now qualified for the upcoming Provincials--unfortunately Allan and I will not be in town, but will be at graduations.) When I dropped him off I asked him what time he was jumping and he didn't know. (I don't think there were a lot of other parents there and he didn't want to be the only one with screaming fans ; ) He called me a couple of hours later to let me know he had won. Because I wasn't there, I have no picture, but here's one from the track meet last year--I'm always amazed with his vertical leap.


Today Neal and Macy are celebrating their 3rd Anniversary. There is nothing better for a mom than to see her son happy and married to a woman who adds to his happiness. Neal is a fantastic dad and a wonderful brother. He works very hard at everything he does. What I love about watching he and Macy together is they compliment each other--they have such individual strengths and together they are quite the couple.









Macy is a great mom. I love watching her with Garrett. She is a music teacher and Garrett is quite musical, too. I love this picture of them at the recent graduation, with Amanda, Garrett, Chris and Chris's girlfriend, Heather.














Speaking of the graduation, you gotta love this picture my grandson, Chris, posted on our family website yesterday. Poor Amanda--I guess she has spent too much time with her grandma and has caught my disease!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Seminary Wrap-Up

This is it--my last week of Seminary for the year. I have worked this weekend to get caught up in my scripture reading. I had made a goal to read the entire Old Testament. One of the suggestions that is made when you teach Seminary is that you read the scripture blocks you are teaching 3 times. The idea is to read it the first time, then the second looking for the principles and the second to grasp the principle. It's so great when you are looking for the principles that are being taught--then it's easier to figure how to apply.) Needless to say, it has been a lot of reading. I am happy to report, I will finish. (I did finish the Hinckley Challenge--that was great.) I am so grateful for the blessing it has been to teach this year. I had a friend in Ottawa whose husband is a CES coordinator and she asked how I enjoyed this year--I told her I loved it, but if I had been more familiar with it I would have taught it differently.

I have about 8 scripture masteries still to learn. I almost have them memorized but still get stuck on a couple of words. (I'm a little worried about Daniel 2:44-45 and Ezekiel 37:15-17)

My only Grade 12 student is having a birthday next week, so we celebrated today. She asked a few weeks ago if instead of having cupcakes we could have pizza pops. So, this morning I baked the pizza pops and the students ate them during class. I was grateful that they weren't cupcakes, because pizza pops are not a temptation for me. I am down another 2 pounds. Yippee. Kyle memorized Exodus 20:3-17, so we will have donuts again tomorrow.

Allan will be going out of town on Wednesday, so we will go grocery shopping tomorrow night for the Seminary Breakfast on Friday. I decided to have the breakfast here at my house. It should be fun.

Allan asked a great question yesterday WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH ALL YOUR FREE TIME????

Sidenote #1; Allan and I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie over the weekend. It was good. I did not enjoy Cate Blanchett.

Sidenote #2: Our Stake Conference was wonderful. The messages on Saturday night were fabulous. All of the speakers did such an amazing job. We had a storm on Saturday night and it did something to our satellite, so the broadcast was not working. I felt so sorry for our Stake Presidency and all the men working to get it fixed. About 1/2 hour after it started, they finally were able to pipe the audio through, so we at least got to hear the speakers--we had to strain to hear, but at least we heard. (Kind of reminded me of the days when we used to listen to General Conference on the sideband radio at the Stake Center--but then you had static, too) It was wonderful to hear President Monson. (We also heard Sister Dibb, Elder Ballard. We missed Elder Snow's remarks)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Random Friday

I was going to title this post: YOU KNOW YOU'RE OLD WHEN...because of the funny experience Allan had yesterday. He went to the sporting good store and asked the clerk if they had "athletic supporters". She took him to a display for inserts for your shoes that would "support" your feet. (Not quite the "support" he was looking for ; ) He said he didn't want to call it a jock strap because he didn't think she'd have a clue what that was. I remember when one of my friends took her son to the store his first year of Little League to buy him a "supporter"--when they got home he put it on--BACKWARDS. Not quite sure why??? Of course, my all-time favorite story about baseball equipment has to be the first year Stephen played Little League and when one of the boys saw "the cup" the catcher wears, he put it over his mouth and nose and asked, "Is this an oxygen mask?"

I wanted to display a couple of pictures from my SIL's graduation from UNR last Saturday. Tony received a degree in Education. It is too bad the graduations were on the same weekend, but at least Allan got to Tony's.














The night before the graduation, the family gathered in Reno for a dinner in Tony's honor.













Allan sent out information to the family regarding our upcoming trip to Hawaii. We leave a little over a month from today. I'm so excited. Allan is such a planner--and believe me I'm so grateful. (I'm so ticked about this whole American Airlines $15 for the first bag thing. I told Allan I'm going to put my bathing suit on and then all my clothes I'll be wearing for the 10 days we're there, then I won't have to check a bag. I'll show them, won't I!!! Of course, then Allan reminded me: We're not flying American ; ) My mother-in-law is so excited.

Sidenote #1: Only one more week of Seminary. Remember I told you we had donuts Wednesday because one of the girls learned Exodus 20:3-17, then the next day we had them again because another student learned them. Well, today we had them again because someone else memorized them--ME!!!! Donuts three days in a row, and I never had one. Sure hope it pays off when I weigh in on Monday.

Sidenote #2: We have Stake Conference this weekend. Our meeting on Sunday will be a broadcast with President Monson. It will be wonderful. I'm looking forward to the Saturday night meeting, too. I love hearing our leaders speak--they are so great.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Graduation Weekend

I had such a wonderful time in Boston. As always, it went by too quickly.

Other than my attempting to become entertainment for the flight from Winnipeg to Toronto, the trip out was uneventful. I arrived on time and was met at the airport by this little guy and the rest of the gang. I hadn't seen Garrett walk, so it was so fun to see him walking around saying "Hi" in such a sweet little voice.

We picked up the other grandparents and then made our way to their hotel and then to a great restaurant for dinner. (I tried very hard to be good and eat healthy--always a tough thing to do on trips ; ) It rained and rained and rained.







Amanda had done a great job of planning all sorts of events for the weekend. On Saturday morning we got up and Macy made pancakes complete with syrup that she made that was better than the syrup they have at Magelby's. (I asked if she would make the syrup when Homer makes us pancakes in Hawaii) After breakfast we headed for Boston to go on a boat cruise on the Charles River. It was short but sweet. I was thrilled because it was not raining.















After the boat cruise, we walked around the campus. Amanda took us to the Astronomy building where she worked. Here's a picture of her at her desk. When I think of astronomy I just think of planets and stars, but to her it's so much more. Her grandpa asked if I read her thesis--I'm embarrassed to say I did not--I would need several dictionaries and pictures and an interpreter, so I decided it would just be better to have her sit down and explain the whole thing to me. So, hopefully, I'll get a chance to have some one on one time with her sometime in the near future.








I just love this picture of her with her brothers and her dad on the top of the Astronomy building. That's the Charles River in the background.













We then went to grab something to eat for little Garrett and then headed over to her awards ceremony. It was great and I was very proud of her.

We headed back to their hometown to get ready for the graduation party at Neal and Macy's. It was a lovely party and Macy had worked hard to make everything very nice for Amanda.

Sunday was the commencement. Here are Chris, Heather and Neal at the commencement. It was out doors and was very nice. Once again it was sunny and warm--actually quite warm. Because Neal has a hairline quite similar to his dad he received a bit of a sunburn.















Later in the day she received her actual Bachelor degrees in Astronomy. Here we all are after she received that degree.









It was so funny when she received her degrees because there were several of us taking pictures and her mom commented on how it was like she had her own little paparazzi--flashes going off everywhere. (You'd think we would be bright enough to share pictures--maybe I'm not the only control freak in the gang ; ) Then it was on to another commencement where she received her diploma in Physics. They were wonderful ceremonies and it was so great to see her so happy. Here she is after she received that diploma















We took the train to the North End for dinner. I was excited because I had not ridden the train in Boston and wanted to have the experience. It was jam packed, but so much fun. Here are Amanda and her boyfriend, Darren, on the train. He will be receiving his degree from Harvard in a couple of weeks. (By the way, Harvard's commencement speaker--J. K. Rowling)













Dinner was at a lovely Italian restaurant. It was loud and the food was wonderful.













Sidenote: We had donuts today at Seminary (let me re-phrase that: the youth had donuts today at Seminary ; ) One of my students memorized Exodus 20:3-17--it's a long one. I was so proud of her. Today a second student memorized it--MORE DONUTS TOMORROW!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Laugh With Me

Let me provide you with your laugh for the day.

Picture this: A woman boarding a flight on a trip to Boston. She takes off her jacket and puts it in the overhead compartment on the plane. She then puts her carry on in the overhead. As she looks down she realizes her blouse is almost completely open as the bottom 5 buttons of her blouse are unbuttoned. Go ahead laugh with me--that woman was ME!!! (Sorry, no pictures are going to be provided ; )

I am here in Boston--the weather is rainy and cool. It is great to be with this little family. It's so fun to see little Garrett walking around. I hadn't seen Chris and Heather for a year. We are off today to take a river cruise on the St. Charles River and then we are attending a special ceremony where my granddaughter, Amanda, will receive the Center for Space Physics Award at Boston University. Then this evening Neal and Macy are doing a barbeque here at their house in honor of Amanda.

Sidenote: Our hours of service at the homeless shelter was wonderful. I look at the people there and often wonder about their stories and circumstances. I'm a sap and it just breaks my heart as I look into so many of their faces and wonder where they may have been 10 years ago and what has brought them to where they are today. How many of them went through tough times and had no one to help them or give them love and encouragement. Then I realize how blessed I have been throughout my life.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

I KNEW ONE DAY I WOULD DO THIS

For the past three years while teaching Seminary, I have worried that something particular would happen--well it happened today. I started pulling everything out of my bag and something was missing--MY LESSON!!! I always write it out and put it with my binder that has the roll, etc. Last night I put it on my nightstand, so I could look at it one last time and then apparently forgot to put it on my binder. Well, I had everything else sitting there with my bag, so this morning I loaded my bag and headed out the door.

When I realized I didn't have it, I said something to the students who were there and Kyle EAGERLY volunteered to go home and get it for me. (I'm sure he would need to stop by the donut shop or McDonalds on his way back ; )

I'm happy to say that even though we were discussing some chapters in Amos and Obadiah that I was not terribly familiar with, all went okay. (Thank goodness I highlight my scriptures--that helped a lot.) We talked about the way we can all be saviors on Mt. Zion. These young people are amazing. I know that they are all so tired, but they try so hard. I'm very blessed to have this opportunity to spend my mornings with them.

Next week is a short week of Seminary. No Seminary Monday because it is Victoria Day--we do not have the following Monday off, when many of you have Memorial Day. On Tuesday we will study Jonah. I love Jonah--probably because sad to say I can identify with him--I think sometimes I sit there and want God to deal more justly with others and yet show more mercy to me.

Three of my students are working really hard to memorize the 25 scripture masteries. The hardest one for all of us is Exodus 20:3-17--There is a whole lot there to remember.

Sidenote #1: Allan and I are doing our service at the homeless shelter tonight. It's always such a great experience. I hope to get my packing done today so I don't have to do it when we get home tonight.

Sidenote #2: I need to go and renew my driver's license. I really don't like this new program--it used to be so easy to remember because it used to expire the month of my birthday.

I love when I'm doing dishes and look out the kitchen window and see this


Monday, May 12, 2008

Life is Good

It was a great Mother's Day. I had a chance to talk on the phone with each of my children (except Kyle who was right here all day waiting on me hand and foot ; ). Allan's daughters sent me an e-mail and a text message. It was great.

As I was talking to Stephen today, he mentioned how many miles we have logged or will log over the next few weeks. He reminded me that on top of all the graduations and then our Hawaii trip, we have little Miss Hannah being baptized in September. I'm just grateful we are able to attend all these wonderful events.

I'm also grateful for technology which allows me to see pictures of events that I miss. I would have loved to have been in the Sac. area when Kiah received her YW Recognition Award. Here is a picture of her back in 1991 when they came to visit us in Toronto. (Not only does she look like her grandma, but she has her vices ; )








Fast forward some 17 years later--could this be the same girl.






















Sidenote #1: I was very excited to get on the scale this morning and see that I lost another 3 pounds--that puts me down 8 pounds. Yippee!!!

Sidenote #2:
We are studying Joel tomorrow in Seminary. I love the verse that Pres. Eyring quoted a few years ago. What a great reminder of what we should expect of our youth: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:" (Joel 2:28) As was mentioned in his talk, it doesn't say "may" it says "shal"l--we should expect it and help them to live for those kind of experiences.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day Reflections

It's times like this, that I miss my mom--because I really can't remember a single Mother's Day when she was alive. She was a great mom who worked so hard and loved her girls. After my dad died, she must have been so lonely, but she just forged ahead and worked hard to provide for us.

In my previous post when I reflected about what I loved about being a mom, I realized how many things my mom missed. She got to see her oldest two graduate from high school, but none of the other 4. She never saw a child marry or was not there to see any of her daughters become mothers. She never held a grandchild.

I often wonder if that's why I was so insecure about being a mom--I really didn't have my mom to teach me. She taught me lots of things, but I was 13 was too young to really grasp a lot of it. (Perhaps that's why I made so many mistakes--I guess I'm always looking for an excuse) I am so grateful for all the lessons at Church and all the women at Church who took me under their wing and taught me so much. And, needless to say, I'm grateful for my wonderful mother-in-law who is such an amazing mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.

Sidenote #1: The scripture mastery challenge last night went well. Once again the youth won. The adults held their own for quite awhile. I was very proud of my students who were there who have worked so hard throughout the year. We talked a lot in class yesterday about application, and I am so pleased that they really are learning how to take it from their head and put it into their hearts.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday Thirteen--What I Have Loved About Being a Mother

I was going to post pictures of my children since THEY are what I have loved about being a mother, but then I decided perhaps I'd give this a try. The format may not be exactly right but these have been some of the things I have enjoyed:

1) Being Pregnant: Everyone who has watched me go through a pregnancy would say WHAT??? Oh, I know, the morning sickness--heck the all-day sickness has never been fun, but I truly love the feeling of carrying life inside of me. It truly is indescribable.

2: Going in for a Sonogram:
The first time you see the fetus on the monitor is incredible. I must admit--the first time I felt like Rachel in the episode of Friends where she goes in for a sonogram and she fakes it because she can't see anything. But when you do see it, WOW!!!!

3) The Actual Delivery: I will never complain. Pain--sure, but it's worth it all. Each of my children have been delivered by four different doctors and each was a different experience. One stands out because he was delivered by a good friend who shares the same beliefs that Allan and I share. It was a moving experience.

4) Breastfeeding: It is an experience I will always cherish. Because I went back to work when my first was 6 weeks old, I never breastfed him, but I'm so glad I did the others.

5) Providing love and comfort: When a child cries and you hold them and seek to meet their needs and then realize your responsibility it can be overwhelming. I have to admit, it doesn't get any easier as they get older and the problems are bigger. But, to nurture a child and to know that you are not in it alone is so comforting.

6) When They Take Their First Steps:
It is so exciting to watch them grow and develop and you know that independence lies ahead. As scary as that is, you look forward to it because you know it's part of the plan. And, once again as those "first" steps are in college, a new job, whatever, you know it's part of the plan.

7) Sending Them Off to School: I don't say that because it means freedom for you, but because knowing all they will learn. When they come home and share all that they are learning and to watch the excitement in their faces--it is so fun.

8) Their Baptism: When they enter the waters of baptism and make and keep covenants it is such a joy. Agency is what it's all about--something I'm still learning. I want to make it all better for them, but sometimes there are lessons they need to learn and I need to let go.

9) When They Graduate from High School/College: I think it is so exciting whenever a new chapter ends and you know something new lies ahead. Graduating fills them with such a sense of accomplishment. I love it.

10) When They Enter the Mission Field: When they make the decision to serve a mission--deciding to dedicate the next two years of their life in serving others (and the Lord), it is wonderful. The preparation and the excitement that they feel in not knowing what is ahead is so incredible to witness.

11) When They Return Home From Their Mission: I still remember when Brent left, those first few weeks I didn't think I could last for two years and then during the last month or so I felt so bad for him that it was ending. At the same time, he knew he had served faithfully and was ready for whatever came next. The e-mails that come each week prepare you for their return, but it is so wonderful when you see them again and realize the transformation that has taken place.

12) Seeing Them Marry: There is nothing quite like having them happy and in love. I'm so grateful for Tony, Macy and Daphne for the love that they have shown to Wendy, Neal and Stephen.

13) The Joy In Their Faces When They Hold Their Own Child: Could there be anything better than watching life continue through the life of one of your grandchildren (and in a few months for me) a great grandchild.

There are so many other things I could write about...How about you, what do you love about being a mother????

Happy Mother's Day to each of you.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Another Great Weekend

I must say in spite of feeling pretty lousy in the beginning, it turned out to be a wonderful weekend. Allan has this meeting once a year, and some of the people who attend we see more often, and it is always great to spend time with them.

The temple was great on Saturday and then we had a meeting and dinner. At night we were invited to a Women's Conference, with some great speakers. On Sunday Allan had more training and I went to Church with the other sisters who husbands were attending the same training.

Our drive home was good--no snow or ice on the road which is always a bonus. Because we have our Scripture Mastery Challenge (youth vs. leaders) this weekend, I drilled Allan in the car on the way home. He's so cute and it was a lot of fun.

I've got lots to do this week. My number one thing to do is Kiah's book. Time is really getting away from me. I'm excited about teaching the Book of Daniel--such great material--he sure was a great example. Of course, I love the story of Shadrach, Meshach, an Abed-nego. Such great reminders of how we are never on our own, and, how can you not love their faith in Daniel 3:17-18: "If...our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thy hand, O king...but if not..."

I'm glad to say I'm FINALLY feeling almost normal (I know that's probably debatable; ).

Sidenote #1: Well, maybe it isn't a sidenote because it probably has much to do with being sick, but I dropped 4 pounds, and I'm pretty excited about it.

Sidenote #2: For a great Mother's Day post, go here

Friday, May 2, 2008

Today...

I saw this on annie's blog and thought I would do it:

Outside my Window…It's bright and sunny, but cool and a little windy.

I am thinking…about how I'm going to get everything ready to head out of town tomorrow.

I am thankful for…
all the blessings I have.

From the kitchen…Friday is pizza day at our house.

I am going…to finish packing so I'm ready when it's 6 a.m.

I am reading…the book of Daniel--that's what we're studying in Seminary next week. I'm also finishing up the Hinckley challenge and am almost through with the Book of Mormon.

I am hoping…I'll start to feel better soon.

I am hearing…Kyle playing the piano.

Around the house…I'm trying to finish laundry and scrubbing toilets.

One of my favorite things…my family.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…well, since it's Friday, I'll give my plans for next week--I've got to get going on Kiah's scrapbooks. I pretty much lost this whole week.


Sidenote #1: Allan and I are off to Regina for the weekend. (I'm still not 100%, but feel much better than I did the last couple of days. You'd never know it if you talked to me--I sound pretty bad. My Seminary students had quite a laugh this morning ; ) We will go to the temple tomorrow and then he has some training Saturday afternoon and then Sunday morning. I have some friends that live in Regina so it's always great to go to Church there.

Sidenote #2: Brent is quite the movie buff and he got a summer dream job--at the movie theater. I think he's very excited.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Macy


Today is my DIL Macy's birthday, so go by and say Happy Birthday. For all you American Idol fans, she does a fabulous job of posting about the shows. I listen to her because she has a beautiful singing voice and knows what she's talking about.

Happy Birthday, Macy.