Friday, November 27, 2009

Thus Far


The trip to California was uneventful--but can I just say how irritated I am with the airlines and this whole $30 to put your bag on the plane, and 0 to carry it on. Why???? It just doesn't make sense. And then my bag was 2 pounds overweight and that was going to cost me an additional $120.

Stayed up way, way too late the first tonight watching old SNL clips. Went out running errands with Stephen on Wednesday--picked up our packets for the race on Thursday. Kept in touch with Heidi and the gang. (Poor Heidi got a speeding ticket and then she got written up at the Agriculture stop into California--I guess she was trying to smuggle an apple through ; ) Stephen had made stew and when the kids arrived we had a delicious dinner. We then played Pictionary Man--it was too funny. The best was when Brandon had the category "Movie" and drew what he read as "Gold Mountain"--and that's what we guessed and then Stephen said, "Hey, B, are you sure it isn't "Cold Mountain". Oops!!!

We got up early on Thursday to make the 30 minute drive to where the race was taking place. Brent came along as our "official photographer". He snapped a few pictures along the way. Here were are before the race began.

It was a little overwhelming for me--this is only my second race and there were so many people there. I was a little concerned because I wouldn't know the terrain or if I was going to slow (or even too fast). Stephen said there were mile markers along the way. After 13 minutes, I hadn't seen a single marker and I was quite concerned. (I never saw one--I guess there were little cones with the miles on them.) I managed to cross the finish line at around 36 minutes--about 3 minutes faster than my first race.

We all made it. Of the 5 of us, I was the last one to cross the finish line, BUT AT LEAST I CROSSED ; ) I also realized I am now an International Runner ; ) It was fun to have Daphne's brother, Chris, join us.

After getting cleaned up at the hotel, Heidi and I headed to Stephen and Daphne's. Wendy and Tony arrived a few hours later and we just enjoyed being together. It was a lot of fun. Stephen and Daphne put on a delicious spread. When it came time to eat I was torn--you know how much I love chocolate, so what was I to do

The food was delicious, the company was GREAT, and I ate way too much. I was wishing I had Joey's "Thanksgiving Pants" (you had to see the episode of friends ; )

We had pies and Death by Chocolate for dessert.

It was a fabulous day--only one thing missing--my cute little hubby. I'm thankful for our friends, Patti and Ken, who had him over for Thanksgiving dinner. (Patti is a superb cook, so I know he had a FABULOUS meal)

Later that night many of us went to see Blindside. It was EXCELLENT.

Heidi and I didn't go out shopping in the morning. Daphne, Stephen, Kiah, Brent, and Kyle headed out at 3 a.m. Hopefully they got some good deals.

Tonight we are going out for suishi.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gratitude

I leave for California later today and not sure when I'll be posting again, so in honor of Thanksgiving I wanted to express gratitude for a few things:

1) My testimony of The Gospel of Jesus Christ--In a world so full of turmoil, it is wonderful to know that I am a daughter of God, that I can communicate with Him WHENEVER I need to, and that He hears and answers prayers. I so appreciate the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

2) My family--I love my husband and appreciate the blessing it is to be his wife and a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. By the way, for those who commented that I cannot be old enough to have a 20 year old grandson, thank you.

3) Our Primary program on Sunday--children are wonderful and bring so much joy to the world. My hubby was visiting our Ward on Sunday, and it was so wonderful to sit together--especially since we won't see each other for a week.

4) Our beautiful world--I look around and am so amazed by its beauty and variety. I'm so enjoying the weather--I know the really cold weather and the snow are coming, but it sure has been a grand November.

5) Talent--There are so many incredibly talented people who are willing to share their gifts with the rest of us.

6) Good health--Knock on wood. I'm so grateful that this old bod continues to let me to do so much. This time of year I always think of my folks and how much of life they didn't get to enjoy because they died so young--but it just wants me want to live each and every day to the fullest.

7) Technology--I will be able to communicate with my hubby while I'm gone via my computer, my cell phone, and I'll be able to capture all my fun times on camera. My Tivo will make sure I get to see whoever wins the "mirror ball" on DWTS ; ) I'll have my iPod with me while I run in the Turkey Trot on Thursday, so I will have those songs playing that help keep me movin.

8) Good friends--I'm so grateful for all of my friends. I have been truly blessed to have such wonderful examples. For all of my blogging friends, thanks.

9) Laughter--It truly is the BEST MEDICINE. When Neal and Macy did one of these "Elf Yourself" things and then my grandson, Chris and his wife, Heather, did one, I couldn't resist. They didn't have one to include all the kids and everyone else, so I just did one with the 5 of us Have a good laugh--at our expense ; ).
Send your own ElfYourself eCards



I know it's this is early but HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my fellow Americans. Enjoy the day.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Some Fun Things

Today has been a FANTASTIC DAY. I woke up this morning and was counting the hours--no, not until I would get to see New Moon at noon (which I enjoyed so much better than Twilight), but waiting for the time when I get to pick up my sweet hubby from the airport. Edward--not the movie one, but the one in my head--is great, Jacob is a cutie, but I'll take MY ALLAN any day. He's been gone before--in fact, back in 2007, he and Kyle went on a Scout outing for 9 days and I was home alone, but for some reason, this seemed longer. Maybe because he's been home all day for the past year and a half. He's home for a couple of days and I'm lovin it ; )

Now, a couple of people have asked about The Journey To Bethlehem advent calendar from my previous post. I will try and scan the instructions and put them in a PDF file. If you would like them, e-mail me your e-mail address and I will get them to you.

Also, I did find a little demo of the paper purses here. Sorry, it's a little long--the tutorial really doesn't start until about 4 minutes. By the way, we didn't do the inside thing--and I think it looks fine.



Sidenote #1: Be sure and go here and vote for amber--crazy bloggin' canuck to become a blogger at the Vancouver Olympics.

Sidenote #2: Tomorrow is another birthday in our family. My grandson, Josh, will be celebrating his 20th birthday.



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What I Know Wednesday--Some Things Do No Good If They Sit in a Box

Now, as you look at the title you may wonder.

The other day I saw an infomercial for a Pilates chair and was tempted, especially with all the promises. I thought--If I get one of those I WILL lose one pant or dress size in 10 days. It says so on TV, it must be true. But then I thought about all the exercise DVD's I have sitting on my shelf, resistance bands, weights, the on-line subscription I have to Weight Watchers, etc. They will not do me any good if I don't do the exercises or follow the plan.

This made me think about the Gospel--I may know and understand certain principles, but if I don't take them out of the box--so to speak, I will not enjoy the benefits.

Now back to the title: what things could possibly benefit me if I left them IN the box--those cookies, candy, potato chips, ice cream, all the things that are keeping me from seeing the scale head in the other direction.

So What Do I Know this Wednesday: I need to get busy and start DOING. Change requires work.

Sidenote: I went out Christmas shopping yesterday. It is so hard when there is no snow on the ground. It just doesn't feel like Christmas.

I have been spending a lot of my free time working on this little advent calendar. I still have quite a bit of work to do, but I'm enjoying doing it. I've got to figure out how to put the little headpieces on the shepherds. When it's finished I'll post it.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Counting Sleeps

When I was a little girl I would get so excited before the first day of school, last day of school, my birthday, Christmas--any of those things would make it difficult for me to sleep. Yes, first day and last day of school, birthdays and Christmas are wonderful BUT NOTHING BEATS GETTING TO BE WITH FAMILY. I'm getting so excited--only 8 more sleeps ; )

Normally I would be very excited about leaving the cold weather in Winnipeg BUT IT'S NOT COLD. Several of the kids are worried about their dad being home alone for Thanksgiving. Because he will have just started his new job, he's not sure whether he will be traveling.. He will be out of town the week before and the beginning of that week, but we're not sure about the end of the week yet. I told him if he wants to have the missionaries here for dinner, I would do as much as I could before hand and have everything ready for him and all he'd have to do is the turkey and potatoes/gravy. We'll have to see--if all else fails, he can do what we did on Canadian Thanksgiving and go out for dinner ; )

So knowing Allan will not starve, I can be excited about being able to see some of these guys-- unfortunately one of my grandson's has relocated to the Pacific Northwest and will not be able to come home for Thanksgiving. (I love you and will miss you, Jason ; ). We always have such a great time whenever we're together. They are just the cutest family.

And, of course, these guys will be there:

And, I understand these guys are coming over the mountain to have Thanksgiving with us. YIPPEE!!!!

Can you tell I'm just a LITTLE EXCITED. Needless to say, it would be GREAT if the others could be there, but we can't do much about that.

After I get home I will count down the sleeps until:
  • My friend, Mary, comes from Toronto to visit for the weekend.
  • The kids come home for Christmas.
  • My birthday, because not only will it be my 59th birthday but it is the day JACK is back.
Sidenote #1: We had SuperSaturday last weekend and it was great. I actually finished a couple of projects--that is highly unusual. I also got some instructions on my advent calendar that I had put aside for some time. Hopefully that will get finished this year. Here are a couple of things we did:

My friend, Rosella, taught us how to do these cute little paper purses for giftcards

One of the new young moms in our Ward showed us how to do these great wood blocks. I love mine.

Another young mom, Michelle, who is an avid scrapbooker, did a paperbag album. I got my album together but didn't do any of the pages. I started it when I got home and I love it. I have a couple of little grandsons I think would like pictures of their family to take to Church and this might be a fun thing for them.

Sidenote #2: Allan had flown to one of our branches on Saturday and when he got home on Sunday night, he called me from the airport to pick him up. He had driven his car to the airport so I was a little confused. He explained that he couldn't open the doors of his car--not with his remote or his automatic start or even his key. He thought maybe the battery was dead so thought maybe we could use jumper cables and then realized you can't lift the hood without opening the doors and releasing the latch. I guess it's a glitch on the car's computer. Fortunately, he won't need his car this week.

Sidenote #3: I worked on my family history yesterday and came across the funniest first name--Hepsibah. She is my great great great great great grandmother on my dad's side.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Been There, Done That

Don't you just LOVE these kinds of moments????

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

The other day Cherie issued a challenge--and I always LOVE a challenge--to do a post about our favorite things.

I decided if I was the "O" who always does a special show on her favorite things, these are the things I would include. (By the way, my favorites are really my hubby, kids, and grandkids, and, of course, my friends, but I wouldn't want to give any of them away) Regarding #1, I might even be able to afford to give those away:

1) M&M's--Everyone would get a bag or two--and it might even be one of those BIG bags. (Hey, I don't have O's budget ; )

2) My favorite book--The Book of Mormon. I would just LOVE to give EVERYONE a copy of this book. It is a book I love reading over and over. Go here, and click on the link on her sidebar to get a free copy. (And while you're there, read--she is GREAT and is one of my favorite blogs..

3) My MacBook Pro--this is the one I got when Kyle called to say his computer crashed and we thought we had to replace his. I have been a Mac lover since I got my first over 20 years ago. I don't think I could handle a PC. I would love all my kids to have one so I could iChat with them all.

4) iPod--I'm sure most of you have an iPod. Having mine with me when I go out running or walking is GREAT. I love it. However, I certainly wouldn't force anyone to listen to my playlist. I love that we can put on anything we want--talks, books, music. I had to laugh Wednesday when I was near the end of a 50 minute run and "Don't Fear the Reaper" came on--how appropriate because at that moment I was worried about "the reaper" ; )

5) My camera--No, I don't have an SLR camera, but I LOVE mine and LOVE taking pictures.

6) My cell phone--Again, not a real fancy one, but it lets me text my kids and grandkids and keep in touch. I probably wouldn't need to give away cell phones because most people have them.

7) 24--I would give everyone at least one season of 24. I'm so looking forward to having Jack back in January. I still laugh when I think of when justrandi had as her status on FB about her hubby "leaning over and whispering those 3 little words she loves to hear "Previously on 24"..."

8) My jacquzzi tub--I love my tub. After a long run or a tough day, a good soak does this old bod good.

How about you--what are your favorite things????

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What I Know Wednesday--I WILL REMEMBER

Today is Remembrance Day. I love that it falls in November when we think so much about gratitude. Growing up in the United States, I always knew November 11th as Veteran's Day. Here it is Remembrance Day--the day Canadians pause to remember "those who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace." The schools are closed today but yesterday throughout the Province, assemblies were held. Most everywhere you go during the beginning of November, people wear poppies on their coats.

When Kyle was in elementary school, one year his class had to memorize the poem "In Flanders Fields". It was so great to go to the school and attend the Remembrance Day assembly when his little class recited the poem. Not too far from our house is a little memorial that has the names of the men who lived in our part of the city who have died in the wars that Canada has participated in. After one of the assemblies, Kyle asked if we could get flowers and go and put them on the memorial. We did and every time I pass that little memorial I REMEMBER.

So on this Remembrance Day, I want to post the poem:

In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scare heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from falling hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
--John McCrae


Wal-Mart is airing a really sweet commercial--it has a soldier in the Middle East and all of the sudden it starts snowing and it flashes to his son who is leaving a visit to Santa when his mom asks, "So, what did you ask for?" The little boy says, "Something for Dad." The narrator comes on and says, "TO ALL OUR TROOPS AND THEIR FAMILIES, THANK YOU. BECAUSE OF YOU, WE ARE ALL LIVING BETTER."

So What Do I Know on this Wednesday--I Know I will always remember those who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms we enjoy. I'm so grateful for all who keep us safe.




Monday, November 9, 2009

Sometimes Random is All I've Got

  • I'm simply loving this weather--I was so worried by now I would have to go out and run in the snow and ice, but IT HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. This is so unusual. We usually get our first snowfall on Halloween and it stays until mid-April. I thought this was going to be a horrible winter when we had snow in mid-October, but I'm loving this. I was able to go out this morning for one of my longest runs. I had on a headband to keep my ears warm and ended up taking it off half-way through the run.

  • We had a fairly quiet weekend. Our Stake had a huge employment seminar on Saturday--Allan was doing a workshop, but I stayed home and baked cookies--lots of cookies. The other night Allan told me how much the missionaries love when he brings cookies to his meeting with them. He had a meeting scheduled with them for Sunday night and so Saturday I decided to bake (and sample ; ). And since Saturday night we would be attending the "farewell" for my first Seminary student to go on a mission, I baked cookies to take to that, too. Sister C is going to California--not too far from where I grew up. She is a lovely young woman and will make a fantastic missionary. She is heading down to visit family in the U.S. before going into the MTC so Allan will not be able to set her apart before she goes, so she and her family came over last night.

  • Because of my travel plans to California and Allan's traveling, I decided it was time to start getting the decorations up for Christmas. (I know it seems way too early, but I don't want to have another fiasco like Halloween--NOT ONE DECORATION graced my walls, my counters, ANYTHING. It was so sad. So, I am determined that will never happen again. On Saturday, I started putting out my Nativity Scenes. I also put a few things on the walls. I think the end of the week Allan will put a couple of the artificial trees up and next week I will start decorating them. Allan doesn't know if he will be here for Thanksgiving feeding the missionaries, but if he is, I'm sure they can all have a good laugh. I decided to start working on an Advent Calendar today that has been sitting here for about 3 years. See, I thought if I wrote about it I would be accountable to finish it ; )

  • I was able to talk to my Utah kids last night. (Believe me I'm counting the sleeps until I get to see them ; ) I was laughing as I was talking to Kyle. I told him how much I miss his buddies because I have had extra desserts and things and they are not here to eat them all. Kyle said he would have them come by and visit, but I told him they needed to let me know so I could make something special for them. I may have said this before but if I had gone to the high school and hand picked friends for him, I couldn't have chosen better guys. They are wonderful young men.

    Kyle also said he wants to take violin lessons--WHAT???? The kid already plays piano, organ, guitar and drums. He has been taken piano since he was 5 and participated in the pianothon and music festival just about every year. When I asked why he said, "I want to add another instrument to my repertoire". Can't argue with that!!!

    Brent is happy to have his application ready for the Media Arts Program. Exciting times for him.

    Heidi was down last week with the flu. I loved that fact that her brothers were there to give her a blessing. She heads back to school today. Sure hope she is feeling better.

    Sidenote #1: Speaking of musical talent, go here and look at my cute little Garrett.


    Sidenote #2: I mentioned last week about Allan's daughter Nancy having a mini-stroke. When she was released from the hospital, the doctor gave her a heart monitor to wear. Apparently the doctor was concerned with what he saw, so tomorrow she will be going in for an angiogram. I hope and pray all will be okay.



  • Saturday, November 7, 2009

    Readjusting

    There are times in our lives when it becomes necessary to readjust.
    • As I get older and I look in the mirror, I know it is time to readjust the wardrobe. There has never been a time in my life when I would wear the fashions shown on the runways of Paris--not only could I not afford them, but I have never had a body that would allow me to wear them--frankly most of them are a little too immodest for me anyway; ) As I get older, I know there is no way I could pull off some of the cute fashion trends out there--they look GREAT on others, but not me--and that is OK. I just wonder--how old is too old for jeans?
    • I also know that each and every year that goes by our family dynamics change. It feels like geographically we are further and further away from the kids/grandkids, so I need to work harder at trying to stay in contact. E-mail, family websites, facebook, blogging, texting all make it easier, but I miss seeing them and talking to them . Some I get to talk to often, some not so often. I love to hear what's going on in their lives. I'm struggling at not having as much time with them as I'd like. (I had a great idea for my 60th birthday year--I'll never run a marathon or a half-marathon, but maybe I'll run a half-marathon of 5K's and go visit them all. Doesn't that sound like fun 13 5K's all over the States, throughout the year 2011--better really save those miles ; )

    • In spite of all the running I have not lost any weight. I think the problem is I keep thinking, "Oh, I ran this morning so I can have that cookie" or lets be hones, I usually say and eat "THOSE COOKIES". So I guess it's time I readjust my eating. Long gone are the days when the weight came off easily.
    • I'm not the same girl I was when the Beatles gained popularity in the 60's, so as I think about going to see New Moon, and as much as I would like to go to the midnight showing, I know I will not be screaming "Edward, Edward" throughout the movie ; ) I was one of the girls many, many years ago screaming "Paul, Paul". Frankly, when I go to see New Moon I would like to hear the dialogue, so I'll probably go the next day. Goodness I sound like an old lady, but I guess, as they say, if the shoe fits...

    • I love to go Christmas shopping, but it just wasn't as much fun yesterday when I went out. We send checks to the kids and grandkids, with the exception of those who are not married--they come home and so I shop for them. But when I was out today and went by Toys R Us, I missed it so much. I used to LOVE going in there and do a lot of shopping.

    • Now, to get a little serious. When Allan begins his new job, we will have some readjusting to do. Now, if you are ready for a good laugh, you have to know that right after he signed the papers, I turned to him and said, "What am I going to do now that you are not going to be home all day." He laughed saying I have been waiting and waiting for him to get a job. This job will be different than anything he has had in many years. He has always travelled, and I have never had a problem with it, but I've never been HOME ALONE night after night. I do know it will be okay. There are some other changes this job will bring, but we will adjust because it is GREAT that he has a job.
    And I do know that readjusting is part of life.

    SIDENOTE: Connie is hosting several giveaways on her blog. Go here to check it out. There is some great stuff so go look.

    Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    What Do I Know Wednesday: We Need to Express Gratitude

    I love November--part of why I love it is because we talk and hear a great deal about gratitude. Last year, I participated in a month-long gratitude challenge. In one way it was very easy, I have a great deal for which I am grateful. On the other hand, it was difficult to post every day. I loved focusing on these things each and every day.

    I was going to list the things for which I am grateful, but I realized I did this a couple of months ago on a "What Do I Know Wednesday" post. The list hasn't changed--except that I can now add Allan's job. (Hey, you might be tired of me saying it, but I certainly am grateful and I never want to be accused of not expressing gratitude ; ) I'm also grateful because one of Allan's daughters just was released from the hospital after having a minor stroke. I'm grateful it wasn't more serious.

    A blogger I just started reading, Cherie, shared a great FHE idea. Go read about it here.

    When I read her idea, I was reminded of Elder Bednar's Conference talk from Oct. 2008. He was talking about when he was President of BYU Idaho and he and his wife would host General Authorities in their home. He shared the following experience:

    "Earlier in the day Sister Bednar and I had been informed about the unexpected death of a dear friend, and our immediate desire was to pray for the surviving spouse and children. As I invited my wife to offer the prayer, the member of the Twelve, unaware of the tragedy, graciously suggested that in the prayer Sister Bednar express only appreciation for blessings received and ask for nothing. His counsel was similar to Alma’s instruction to the members of the ancient Church “to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things” (Mosiah 26:39). Given the unexpected tragedy, requesting blessings for our friends initially seemed to us more urgent than expressing thanks.

    Sister Bednar responded in faith to the direction she received. She thanked Heavenly Father for meaningful and memorable experiences with this dear friend. She communicated sincere gratitude for the Holy Ghost as the Comforter and for the gifts of the Spirit that enable us to face adversity and to serve others. Most importantly, she expressed appreciation for the plan of salvation, for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, for His Resurrection, and for the ordinances and covenants of the restored gospel which make it possible for families to be together forever.

    Our family learned from that experience a great lesson about the power of thankfulness in meaningful prayer. Because of and through that prayer, our family was blessed with inspiration about a number of issues that were pressing upon our minds and stirring in our hearts. We learned that our gratefulness for the plan of happiness and for the Savior’s mission of salvation provided needed reassurance and strengthened our confidence that all would be well with our dear friends. We also received insights concerning the things about which we should pray and appropriately ask in faith."


    I remember years ago one of my children saying that when one of his little guys prayed it was like he was ordering at a drive thru restaurant, "how about..." So through this month I will try even harder to make sure i spend more time expressing gratitude for everything and limit that "gimme list" I know it will help me to see more clearly the hand of the Lord in my life.

    So What Do I Know This Wednesday: I am truly blessed and need to be sure I always remember to express the gratitude that I feel.

    Monday, November 2, 2009

    November Celebrations

    I'm sitting here in shock because it is November--HOW DID THAT HAPPEN???

    We have great things to celebrate in November:

    November 4th is Wendy's birthday. I love this picture of her with her dad and two of her brothers.

    November 16th Allan starts his new job. He is going to be working for the company that has the guys that run around in the brown shirts and brown shorts. The kids are very disappointed that their dad doesn't have to wear that uniform. You have to know there could have been blackmailing involved ; )

    November 20th New Moon. I just don't think I can wait until the following week to go and see it with Heidi.

    November 21st is the birthday of Joshua, one of my handsome grandsons--in this picture with his nephew, Xander.

    November 26th Thanksgiving--sandwiched right in-between the birthdays of 3 of my sisters. (Actually Thanksgiving day would have been my mom's 92nd birthday--WOW.

    I will be in sunny California visiting family. It's going to be GREAT. I'm very excited that Thanksgiving morning I will be able to run in a 5K race with Stephen and maybe one of my grandkids--that would make it a 3 generation event.

    Of course, November means Christmas is just around the corner and I have barely started shopping. Daph and I will definitely be hitting the stores the day after Thanksgiving.

    So, now I ask what will YOU be celebrating this November????

    Sidenote: I did go last week to see "This Is It"--I LOVED IT.