Thursday, April 30, 2009

An Update And A Laugh

I needed to post something funny. I'm so grateful I didn't have a "marie" for a mother-in-law.

You all know that I love my MIL, and we could always laugh about things. I think she would have loved this, so in honor of her and to post something funny, I'm posting one of my favorite scenes from this great show.

I will be picking up Allan at the airport later this afternoon. We will drive down to Utah again on Monday and my MIL's funeral will be held on Saturday. All of our children and grandchildren will be there as we celebrate the life of this fantastic woman.

Thank you all for your love and support.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My MIL

Life can change so quickly. When we left Utah on April 10th we were optimistic--as I wrote in my post the doctors thought they could do great things with the radiation and low-dose chemotherapy. Well, after less than a week of chemo, my MIL was still in severe pain. And last Sunday while I was in Church, I checked my phone and noticed my SIL had called twice. I called her back and she said they had been trying to reach Allan--It happened to be our Ward Conference so my hubby was attending our Ward. Gerry said Mom had taken a turn for the worse. Allan came out of a meeting and I handed him the phone. Allan decided to get on a plane the next morning and has been here since then. I arrived late last night. Her breathing is very labored and I her little heart seems to be pumping like crazy.

I have had the opportunity to visit with all of our children on the phone and am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation . Although each of them will miss her so much, they know they will see her again.

Norma is an amazing woman and has been such a blessing in our lives. I could have never asked for a better mother-in-law. She has welcomed me into her life as another daughter. So many memories of this remarkable woman, but let me share a few from the last few years.

Not many women (at 88 years old) are out showing their great grandchildren how to play baseball

Or even better--go parasailing at 90.


She's always tried to be there on special days for her children and grandchildren



We were very happy to get this 5 generation picture with her mom who died at 99.

Kyle was born very early Saturday, April 13th. Allan's parents flew in that afternoon. The next day was fast Sunday so I left the hospital early Sunday morning so we could have Kyle blessed and have his parents there. It was a fantastic day.

She and Bev made a trip to the Sacramento area when Drew was born in April 2005.


Neal and Macy's wedding


Stephen and Daphne and family at the Hawaii temple


A very special day at the Mt. Timp temple--December 2000.

Neal's BYU Graduation--April 2004


Heidi's Grad from BYU--April 2008




Addendum: my MIL passed away tonight at 7:15 Utah time.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Keeping Perspective

Recently a good friend sent me a talk by S. Michael Wilcox that was given at BYU Hawaii. In the talk he mentioned (among other things) that we worship a "4th Watch God". The thought is taken from the scripture in Mark where the apostles are rowing and rowing or as the scriptures say, " toiling in rowing, for the wind was contrary to them, and about the fourth watch of the night, he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea." (Mark 6:48) Brother Wilcox goes on to say:  "There are times in our lives when we toil, rowing against the wind. We are trying to make progress and sometimes it seems that there are forces that are against us.  There may be some great blessing we deeply desire.  There may be some trial that we want deeply to be over.  And it doesn't seem like we are making any headway against the wind.  We wonder if the Lord is listening."


 I feel like at this time in my life we are rowing against the wind.  Here we are, the end of April is approaching--Allan's severance package will end the end of July. I need to keep reminding myself, I worship a 4th watch God.

Yet in the midst of all of this, I do know that He is mindful of us. As we spent time in Utah, and I thought about the time Allan was able to spend there with his mom before I arrived, it was so obvious to me that if he had his job, it would have been next to impossible for him to spend that kind of time with her.   If he needs to go back again, he can.

I also need to remind myself to stop and look at the big picture. When we were in the temple last weekend, I turned to Allan and asked, "Why don't I know what we're supposed to do--what's going to happen?" Allan said, "It's not time." I'm grateful for a husband who always sees the big picture--who gives me strength when I need it.

Also, I appreciate so much all the talks that were given at General Conference. I don't think I have used so many talks in Seminary as I have recently. I must have quoted 6 talks in the last week. (Of course, most of those talks were given just for me ; )

I know that our struggles are tailor-made for us--each problem we experience prepares us for what lies ahead.  I need to seek to be fit for the task and always seek to know the will of the Lord. I am reminded of a story someone shared at a workshop/conference. If we each took our problems, put them into a bag and placed the bag in the middle of the room and then  could each go in and grab someone else's bag of problems, would we choose someone else's or our own?   I KNOW I WOULD PICK MINE!!!!

Sidenote #1: Today is my adorable grandson, Garrett's 2nd birthday. It's days like today that I really don't like living away from family. I would so love to be there to celebrate with him. I'm looking forward to our trip to Texas in about 5 weeks when Garrett's older brother, Chris, who had a birthday 2 days ago, will be getting married.
Sidenote #2:  I really hope you had a chance to look at the cartoon I posted on my last post--it was just too funny to miss.





Thursday, April 16, 2009

April Accountability Update

It would be so easy to skip April, but then I'll just skip the rest, and I CAN'T DO THAT BECAUSE I NEED TO STAY ACCOUNTABLE. I realize it's already the middle of the month, but I'm still going to report here.

#1--Mail family birthday cards on time--I'm doing so much better at this and IT FEEL SO GOOD. With that being said, I think my grandson Evan's card was late, but only by a day or two. Today is Chris's birthday, and I got his card off in plenty of time ; )

#2--Organize my photos on the computer--I have spent a fair amount of time working on this and I think I know what I'm doing. My goal really is to get them off the computer and onto CD's or DVD's.

#3--Be able to play 5 hymns--I have one down so that feels good. Working on the next one.

#4--Meal planning--I know that this will save money and time. I could use more of both. Not sure if I should try to do it week by week or do it monthly. What do you do?

#5--Be kinder--Shall we say a work in progress. I have decided to use Ephesians 4:31-32 to help me: "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

#6--Pray and listen
--I have been thinking about how my hearing is getting worse and I'm seriously considering getting a hearing aid--wonder what I can get to aid in my hearing the Lord. I guess it's just really striving to be in tune. There is so much power available to us, if we'll just take the time to listen. I am seeking to understand more fully what He would have me do.

#7--Lose 10 pounds--Not going well AT ALL. Easter was a REAL PROBLEM. Starting today--no chocolate AGAIN until I head to Texas for the wedding. (Well, I think I will have a break one day a week) I know this helps.

#8--Continue exercise routine--This has been going pretty well. I have a new exercise routine and I'm feeling really good about it. I will still go to Curves but I feel I need something a little more intense, too. Will let you know how it goes.

#9--My card cleaning system--I've slacked off quite a bit. I have a lot of things organized in rooms but haven't stayed on top of the cleaning.

I'm loving our Spring weather. Today is rainy--I don't like that but then again AT LEAST IT'S NOT SNOWING!!!


I saw these on txmommy's blog and decided I had to post them here--TOO FUNNY. I hope she doesn't mind that I posted them here.








Monday, April 13, 2009

Is It Possible???

I can't believe my baby is 18 years old today. We didn't have Seminary or School today so Kyle is VERY HAPPY.

He is our only Canadian child--and he is Canadian through and through. Other than 2 1/2 years when he lived in the U.S., he has lived only in Canada. It will be quite a change for him when he goes to BYU in the Fall.

I figured I will post some of my favorite pictures of this cute guy who has been such a delight to raise













































I think Heidi wanted a little sister ; )






































































Kyle's baptism





























Easter 9 years ago--seems like just yesterday



































































































One of Allan's favorite stories is when Kyle broke his leg. The interns/residents were all coming to look at the break (it was pretty ugly) They had given Kyle a fair amount of morphine and he was pretty out of it. His eyes were shut and we assumed he was asleep. We were waiting for him to have an x-ray and talking about when he would go in and Allan commented that it would probably be awhile since his injury was not "life threatening". Kyle IMMEDIATELY sat up and with great emotion said, "It's life threatening????"



















































































I'll never forget his excitement the day he got his car--I guess having dishpan hands from washing dishes at the restaurant really paid off ; )



















He does have to work tonight, so we will go out to dinner on Wednesday night, but we didn't make him wait to open his birthday presents and cards. He's quite happy.

Happy Birthday, Bud. I love you.





Friday, April 10, 2009

Graduation Day and a Special Treat


The graduation was wonderful. We were so proud of Brent. He graduated with honors. I'm sure you all get tired of hearing this, but he truly amazes me. He works so hard and all of his efforts have truly paid off. Allan and I were so glad we were able to be there and join in the celebration.




The night before the graduation we had dinner at PF Changs. His former Mission President and wife, and one of his companions and fiancee joined us for dinner. It was wonderful. (I just love his MP for making the effort to be there.)

While we were in Utah, it felt like we spent most of our time running here and running there. We were able to go and visit Heidi's classroom on Thursday morning. Now I haven't had a child in Grade 1 IN YEARS, and the brain is slowly going, but I was truly amazed at how much these little ones are learning. Heidi is an amazing teacher. Teaching is the PERFECT profession for her. I had to chuckle when the little boy who told me I was beautiful (and that I had wrinkles just like his grandma) told me I looked different--I wanted to say, "So, not beautiful anymore, eh????"


Thursday night we had a little ice cream cake celebration. Got this pic of Heidi and Brent.

Thank you all for your expressions of concern for Allan's mom. She had her first radiation therapy session today and it went quite well. It was tough for us to leave her, but we'll see her in July and maybe even before then.

We left Salt Lake around 8:30 this morning and headed home. We had a brief stopover in Denver and I met up with someone very special. GUESS WHO????





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It was justrandi. Can I just tell you--SHE IS LOVELY AND EXACTLY WHAT YOU WOULD EXPECT. We had a great visit. And my hubby got to meet her and can see why I think she is so terrific. I think he now understands why I love to meet bloggers ; ) So, thanks, justrandi--I appreciate your making the drive.



Early tomorrow we head off for a quick trip to Regina. We'll head back on Easter Sunday.

By the way, HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE. And, thank you to Nancyface for the Easter card.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A LITTLE UPDATE

First of all, let me apologize if I made anyone else blush with the title of my last post (sorry, Carrot). I really was looking forward to seeing my hubby ; ) It is so funny because for years he was traveling quite often, but since July he has been home and it just didn't feel the same not having him home.

We've had some wonderful news on my MIL: Allan and his sisters visited with my MIL's doctor yesterday. First they found that none of the cancer has reached any vital organs. He did mention that the cancer is fast moving so where it goes next is the big challenge. He also mentioned that radiation treatments should help with the pain. At her next appointment they will talk about doing low-dose chemotherapy to see if they can get rid of the cancer. We are all so happy.

She looked pretty good when I saw her yesterday--much better than the picture I saw of her the other day (I was quite relieved)

Allan and I had lunch this afternoon at Kneaders and then we headed to the BYU bookstore. (I love that place) I stopped at the candy counter where I met the daughter of one of my former Laurels. It just seems impossible ; )

We are off to dinner tonight to celebrate Brent's graduation tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In the Words of Rod Stewart--Tonight's the Night

I'm so looking forward to seeing my hubby. I guess because of the reality of Allan's mom's sickness and how I know it effects him, I just want to be there to support him. I know how tough it is on him. He loves and respects her so much and I'm sure it must be so difficult for him to watch her suffer.

I'm also looking forward to celebrating Brent's achievement in graduating. I want to do my best to make this a wonderful experience for him. We arrive home on Friday and Allan and I will turn around and head for Regina where he has meetings Saturday and Sunday. We'll get home in time for Easter dinner--which I need to get ready for the boys to pop in the oven before we get home.

I have tons of things to do before my plane leaves this afternoon. I hope the weather cooperates because I really don' want to get stuck in Denver--although it would be fun to hook up with a couple of people there ; ) I'm off to fill Easter bags for my Seminary class as well as Easter baskets for the boys. (I guess they will have to hide each other's basket since "The Bunny" won't be here to hide them ; ) This will be the first year in FOREVER that we haven't dyed eggs--hope the boys aren't too disappointed ; (

I'll do my best to get around to read blogs while I'm gone, but if I don't get to yours, please understand.

Sidenote #1: I'm going to have to go through and do a post about my thoughts on Conference. The talks were superb. I told my Seminary Students it was such a great Conference and they reminded me that I always say it was a great Conference ; ) For some reason, these talks just had such an impact on me. I felt so rejuvenated and yet at the same time recognized so many things that I need to work on--but at the same time, I felt I CAN DO IT. I love that feeling.

Sidenote #2: The party was a successful--a small gathering, but we had a great time. (I even wore my "Final Four T-shirt I bought in Minneapolis ; ) As always we had too much food, but I think Kyle and his friends will finish it off today. The game was not very exciting--I like the kind where you are cheering and have to wait until the end to see who's going to win. It didn't take too long to figure out who was going to win this one.

During half-time we had an iChat with the gang in Utah. That was a lot of fun. It gave me a chance to talk to Stephen and Daphne and their kids. (I'm disappointed because Stephen and Daphne and family will be leaving Utah sometime this morning which means I will just miss them.) Hopefully, it won't be too long until I see them. It just took a few minutes for Drew to figure out the whole thing--and then he was having fun. He liked showing Grandma is new Webkin-a cute little seahorse he has named "Bubbles".

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed "One Shining Moment". There were so many great last minute shots during the tournament and they were in the clip. Of course, I loved that well beyond half court shot made by the Mizzou player in the game with Memphis. I still feel so bad when I hear the line "win or lose" and see the look on the faces of those who lose ; ((((( BTW, I really blew it--I should have done something spectacular when I was at the game in Minneapolis to insure a spot in the clip. Kyle said I should have gone all out and painted my face. Could you imagine--maybe I should have painted my face and painted Allan's little bald head like a Basketball ; ) Well, maybe ONE DAY.


Friday, April 3, 2009

A Few Thoughts

I'm so looking forward to General Conference. I feel I really need it. I especially love April Conference because I was baptized in between sessions of April Conference in 1974. When we lived in California, we used to be able to watch it at home. Here we don't get it on our TV, so on Saturday I will go to the Stake Center for the morning session and then do a little shopping in that part of town and then head back for the afternoon session. I should be able to catch most of the UConn/Michigan State game I still haven't decided what I'll take for lunch on Sunday for Kyle and me because we'll just stay at the Stake Center.

A few weeks ago I attended "An Evening With a GA"--a meeting for Seminary/Institute teachers. In his address, Elder C talked about the whole idea of good, better, and best. So much of what he said struck home as he said we have a responsibility to help the rising generation identify that which is what he termed "foolishness" in today's world and how to make wise and appropriate decisions to avoid it. Allan and I talked a lot about it. Still struggling to figure it all out.

Spring Break has been great, except for the weather. It has been a successful week of cleaning and organizing. Kyle did such a great job on his room. We cleared out closets and bookshelves. We have quite a few books to give Heidi for her classroom. I know she will be so happy to get them.

Sidenote #1: Our Championship Monday party will be so different this year. We've had some great parties through the years. Allan will host one in Utah and I will host one here. It should be fun--I think we'll have to do an iChat during half-time. If you see all the sheets on the wall, those are everyone's picks. I always put them on the wall so they can see how everyone did. (This year I'll be very close to the bottom) I'm very excited because when we were in Minneapolis I bought myself a "Final Four t-shirt". Kyle and I have been planning the menu for the party.
























Sidenote #2: I've sure been missing my hubby. It just doesn't feel right not having him here. It seems like he's been gone forever. Watching 24 was not the same. Brent recorded it for him and he informed me today that he already watched the episode he missed. I'm so glad. I'll have to be sure and watch Monday's episode before I go to bed Monday night--which will be quite late because of the BB game. That will make Seminary VERY EARLY Tuesday morning. (Oh well, I can sleep on the plane on Tuesday ; ) Speaking of 24, I was watching Sweet Home Alabama tonight and never realized Chloe was in it.






Thursday, April 2, 2009

World Autism Awareness Day


Today is World Autism Awareness Day. In fact, as was pointed out by amber last year, the month of April is Autism Awareness Month. The purpose is to make the public aware of autism.

As a mom of a child who was diagnosed with autism years ago, I would love to see so much more research and awareness in the communities. I remember so well when we had moved to Nevada and Brent was in a new elementary school. I had sent all the information ahead of time but when I visited with the teacher at the end of his first week of school, I realized that she hadn't read any of it. In their minds, autism meant he didn't know anything and wouldn't be able to do anything, subsequently that's how they treated him. I was FURIOUS. I am happy to report that throughout the years Brent was blessed with wonderful, caring teachers who shared our hope and desire that Brent would reach his full potential. He is an INCREDIBLE young man who will graduate from LDS Business College next week and will transfer to BYU in the fall.

There is such a need for more research and awareness. The number of children that are being diagnosed is increasing substantially.

If you would like to know more, please go here.




Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Celebrations, Updates, and a Link

APRIL CELEBRATIONS:

First off, HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY. This is what I saw when I looked out one of the kitchen windows--sure wish it was a joke.



April is a very busy month for birthdays in our family--

First off on April 13th Mr Kyle will turn 18. That seems ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. When he brought home his Grad proofs the other day I could have cried--well, let's be honest here, there was a tear in my eye ; ) Isn't my little MIL such a cutie.



April 16, my grandson, Chris, will turn 25--that seems even more impossible.



April 18th, my youngest little grandson, Garrett, will turn 2. He is such a cutie. His mom has LOTS AND LOTS of pictures of him on her blog.


April 21st, Drew will turn 4. There is a slight possibility I might see him when I'm in Utah. We'll have to see what happens.



UPDATES:
  • The only news we have on Allan's mom is that she has B-cell lymphoma. Should know more in the next week or two. She has certainly enjoyed having Allan there. As well, Neal was there over the weekend and so was granddaughter, Amanda. She is a remarkable woman and loved by so many.
  • Not much excitement around here--well, other than cleaning and organizing-BORING!!!! Kyle is such a taskmaster. He needs some help organizing his room (although I'd have to save he does a better job than his mom ; ) I've decided I am a bit of a pack rat. My self-psycho-evaluation is that I have kept so much stuff through the years is because I don't have anything from my growing up years. A word to the wise--try and go through and re-organize every couple of years. Right now I have bags and bags of stuff for the Canadian Diabetes Agency.
  • I wish Curves would open before 7:00. I would like to head to the gym first thing in the morning, but I have to wait until the gym opens.
  • After having Allan home every day, it feels funny to not have him here. The nice thing is if I'm working on genealogy and have papers on the bed while I search on the laptop and get tired, I can just leave the papers where they are ; ) (Still NOT WORTH IT--would rather have him here ; )
  • I will not be winning our family bracket challenge. After Louisville losing on Saturday I was out. And, Kyle's out, too. I think our friend Dave may come to our Championship party a week from Monday--and he's out, too. I guess I'll have to check to see if Josh and Cassie are game--at least Josh still has UConn picked.
  • Does anyone know if being clumsy is a sign of anything besides JUST BEING A CLOD!!!!! I told you about my fall on the ice last week, well on Sunday I was changing the hymn numbers because Kyle was playing the organ for Sacrament Meeting and as I was walking back to my pew I missed a step and almost did a face plant.
Has anyone else made a comment on facebook and realized you were commenting on the wrong person's comment. One of my young friends had commented that she just got back into a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans--I commented, "My youngest will be 18 in a couple of weeks and I can't say that". Then I realized I had commented on a different comment--EMBARRASSING.

A LINK

I have a dear friend who is in need of some help, so I'm going to put a link to her blog here. I know this woman and can attest to the fact that she is not a liar. She and her husband are very hard-working, loving people. She is just reaching out for help. Please take a minute and read her post.