Monday, March 29, 2010

In An Emergency--I'm Not Your Woman


I had an interesting experience yesterday that reinforced something I've known for a long time--I DON'T HANDLE PANIC WELL.

My friends, the P's, were out of town, and I had gone over to check their house. I have done this for quite awhile and I have NEVER set off the alarm until yesterday. I put in the code and did something wrong, so I put it in again and all of the sudden the alarm went off. IT IS LOUD. In fact, it is actually louder than loud. I tried to call them on my cell phone, but my hands were shaking so bad that I couldn't punch in the numbers. (At this point, I thought about locking the door and jumping back in my van and driving home, but I didn't.) I kept trying and trying, and the whole time it seemed like the alarm was getting louder, and then tried again to put in the code and finally turned it off. I had left the code you give the alarm company if they call the house at my house, so I just knew they were going to come and assume I was a robberAND SHOOT ME.

At last I got a hold of D and he was on the other line with the Alarm Company and let them know I was checking the house, so all was okay. I'm happy to report I was able to re-set the alarm (without setting if off again) and came home.

MISSIONARY UPDATE: I did manage to get Kyle's evaluation for having his wisdom teeth pulled moved up. We're still a little concerned about getting everything done before May 26th, but we'll do our best. Kyle and Allan will be at Mr. Mac's buying suits on Friday. I love this picture of Kyle.I'm going to enjoy every minute of our drive home together. That 23 hour drive has got to last me for 2 years.

TOURNAMENT UPDATE: What an amazing NCAA Tournament!!! I do have West Virginia in the final game, but I'm so brilliant I have Kansas winning it all (now, remind me, how long ago did Kansas lose????
Kyle has West Virginia picked to win it all--so he's fairly happy. My grandson, Jason, has West Virginia picked, but he had Baylor picked to beat Duke, so he was pretty bummed when Duke beat them. My son-in-law, Tony, has Duke picked to win it all.

RUNNING UPDATE: Because of the call, I didn't get to my running class on Wednesday but decided to try and run 7 km. on Thursday. It was so cold that day--my face was absolutely freezing. But, I did it. I ran another 7 on Saturday and actually shaved a minute off my time, but I'm going to have to shave a lot mroe. I think I'll stick with 7 this week, too. This morning I took another minute off. (Note to self--be sure and take your reading glasses OFF before you go out and start running ; ) Now maybe next week go for 8. The weather is supposed to be pretty good.

SIDENOTE: I was doing some scrapbooking today and came across this picture I took of a candygram I made for a good friend when he was getting ready to go on his mission to California. (In fact, his sister has her papers in and she's waiting for her call. I'll have to put one together for her. And maybe I'll make one for Kyle.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

AND NOW WE KNOW...


That picture was taken in July when Kyle was ordained an Elder surrounded by some of the men who have been important to him. Brother A, one of our high councilors who has been such a great influence; Bishop W, his Bishop in our YSA Ward here; Bro. P, his Bishop years ago and a great friend who along with his wife has stayed at our home over the years whenever we go out of town; Kyle, his SP (lovingly referred to by Kyle as Tank) and his two Councilors, Pres. B, and Pres. O)

There is something about mission calls and Allan travelling--when Brent's call came in the mail, Allan had to travel to Vancouver, and this morning Allan left for Toronto, so, of course, Kyle's call came in the mail. It was delivered to him at BYU, but when they called to tell him they had it he was in class, so they called me here. I was just a little tempted to ask them to open It and read it to me--BUT I DIDN'T. Allan was on the Conference Call from Toronto with all the older kids, and I was here on an iChat with the kids who are in Utah and we all listened together as the destination was revealed. I can't wait to see Kyle in a few weeks to give him a big hug.

So without further adieu...












oh, first let me post a picture of him with me and his doctor when he was born almost 19 years ago--

















Kyle is going........















how about a picture taken on the day he was baptized--


















to...













oh wait how about one taken on the day he was ordained a Deacon--




















Hey, I'm sorry, I've had to wait and it was hard, so I'm just having some fun with you...















and the day he was ordained a Teacher--















here...














and I must post one the day he was ordained a Priest--














He is going to the Idaho Pocatello Mission. He is to report to the MTC on May 26, 2010--goodness, sure hope we can get everything done. I am concerned about his dental appointment to have his wisdom teeth pulled--we may have to do a little rearranging. He will not be home from BYU until the end of April.

Here he is with Brent and Heidi when he opened the call. He sure looks like he's studying that call.


I am so grateful for the choices that Kyle has made along the way that have made it possible for him to have this opportunity to be CALLED TO SERVE. I appreciate so much the teachers and leaders who have helped him. We are thrilled for him to have this great experience.


Monday, March 22, 2010

A Favorite Motto

Anyone who REALLY knows me, knows that unfortunately one of my favorite mottos is "Better Late Than Never". Therefore, I'm usually always late with Christmas cards, birthday cards, etc.

So, keeping that in mind--my grandson, Evan, had a birthday on the 16th, and I didn't mention it in my last post. Happy Belated Birthday, Evan.

And my grandson-in-law, Darren, has a birthday on March 25th--so how about I write about that now--THEN I WON'T BE LATE ; ) Funny story--when Allan put their birthday checks in the mail, he put the wrong check in the wrong envelope. But, hey, at least he was on time.

A couple of nights ago, I drove my friend, Kathy, home from our Relief Society anniversary dinner and she asked me to wait a minute while she ran into her house. She came out with this lovely scarf for me. She had been looking for it for Christmas to go with my gloves. I LOVE IT. (Now, it's supposed to snow on Monday, so I'll be able to get some use out of it before next winter.)

The other day, I went to my mailbox and found this lovely gift. My friend, Randi, said they made them in Relief Society and she made me one for my birthday. I love it. I was thrilled.

Sidenote #1: After the first and second round of the NCAA tourney, I'm at the bottom of our family/friends bracket; ( I have to say that Thursday and Friday was just not the same--it has been years since there hasn't been someone who came home for lunch to watch with me. Not quite as much fun when you're watching alone. It was fun Saturday night watching and cheering for BYU with my hubby. (Not as much fun as it would have been if they won, but maybe next year ; )

Sidenote #2: I thoroughly enjoyed my 10K class on Wednesday night. I really like my instructor. It seems like a great group of people and should be a lot of fun--I guess fun isn't the right word, but I'm hoping. I have been doing my homework--RUNNING 4 TIMES A WEEK.

Sidenote #3: I wasn't going to do this post because I thought this was my 500th post, but realized a whole lot of the 500 posts are DRAFTS. I wanted my 500th post to be Kyle's mission call, but seriously the posts in my draft file are nowhere near ready to be published.




Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Waiting for Spring AND OTHER THINGS


Just a few thoughts:
  • I'm so happy it's almost Spring. I'm so glad the weather has been so beautiful--it has truly made it fun to go out for some nice runs. I have my first 10K class tonight, and I'm very excited--quite nervous that I won't be able to do it, but still excited. It should be close to 50 degrees F. It will go back to being cool for at least the next week, but I've sure enjoyed the warmer temps.
  • I have been thinking a great deal about forgiveneness and how important it is that I be more forgiving. If I want to be forgiven, and I always have need to be forgiven, I need to forgive others. I love the book "The Peacegiver". Quite often I find myself "marching to Carmel", as David. (I have to admit when I first read the book I did not know that Old Testament story very well, but the story of Abigail is now one of my favorites.) I have a friend who just returned a copy of the book to me and in the note she wrote thanking me for lending her the book she said, "Her (Abigail's) message was that forgiveness was for the one who was forgiving, not for the one who was being forgiven. To truly accept the Lord's Atonement, we need to not withhold forgiveness from anyone." I know there are people I need to forgive and probably more often than not, they have no idea that I even feel I need to forgive them because they don't have a clue as to what I think they have done. And that's key--"what I THINK they have done".
  • Recently I was listening to one of President Uchtdorf's talks and loved when he said, "If someone is willing to accept me, imperfect as I am, then I should be willing to be patient with others' imperfections as well." I'm looking forward to General Conference in a few weeks--always love hearing from our leaders.
  • The other day a very wise blogger, wrote a post about drawing closer to the Savior. It is something I have been trying to work on. I had started re-reading the book "21 Days Closer to Christ". I didn't want to take just 21 days--some of the thoughts require a lot more pondering. It's been a great experience.
  • I found a pattern for a blanket to crochet for my granddaughter. The pattern is a little complicated and I'm still working on trying to figure it out. I think it might not be a good one to do while I'm watching basketball games during the tournament (which starts tomorrow)--so I may have to just stick to scrapbooking while watching the games. (I don't want a repeat of the burrito fiasco of a couple of years ago.
Sidenote #1: I only have a few more weeks of my original challenge. Unfortunately, I've been struggling sticking with my one treat a day. Therefore, I've decided to re-sign for a second one. It will start on April 5th--the night of my Championship Party--BUMMER.

Sidenote #2: Some time ago I mentioned I was going to sign up for a photography class--unfortunately when I got sick I missed the deadline. Now I'm looking for another one, but I guess I need to wait until we hear about Kyle's call and when and where he's going. I'll be sure and let you all know where he's going as soon as we know ; )

Sidenote #3: Happy St. Patrick's Day.




Thursday, March 11, 2010

Where In the World Will Kyle Go?


Kyle's papers are in and now the waiting begins.

Back in February 2004, our Ward had a mini-mission activity. The youth each received a letter calling them to different missions--Kyle was "called to Taiwan". We had missionaries who had served in those areas teach them about the culture and the food. Our missionaries serving here in Winnipeg came and taught them about studying the scriptures, door approaches, being temporally prepared, and how to lead music. Here's Elder R leading the music. Oh, my wasn't he little ; )

The big question: Where will Kyle go? Since this is my 498th post, I figured why not play a little game. We all know Kyle will be the real winner, but let's see if we can all have fun deciding where he will go.

So, if you want to play along, take a guess. On our family website there is a poll and the choices are: Provo, Brazil, Montana, France, Taiwan, San Diego, Boston, Honduras, Arizona and Tahiti.

Frankly, I don't think it will be one of those. Because of his asthma (which is controlled by medication), I was pretty confident he would stay in the U.S. or Canada, until I mentioned it to one of our missionaries who was here having dinner and he said, "My brother has asthma and he is serving in Brazil." So I guess, we'll know in a little while. I know he is excited about opening his call in front of his friends in Utah. We have to figure out how to do an iChat with him while he opens it and have the rest of the kids on a Conference Call. Exciting times.

So, go ahead, take a guess.

Sidenote: Speaking of guesses--this Sunday is Selection Sunday which means it's time for our March Madness pool. I haven't watched many college games, but it is exciting to know BYU is in the top 25. We'll see if Allan picks them to go all the way ; ) I'm sure Heidi is excited to know her Duke boys could be a #1 Seed. I've been busy trying to get my photo albums together so that I will have them to work on while I spend Thursday and Friday watching BB. I have to admit, I would love to see Kyle win--since he won't be here for the next two tournaments.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Beautiful Sunday

While I was getting ready for Church on Sunday, Allan called and told me when I headed for Church to take my camera. He said, "The hoar frost is BEAUTIFUL." So, I grabbed my camera and here are some of the pictures I captured.

Not too far from our house I saw this


















I decided I wanted to try and capture a close-up.
















I wish the sun had been shining on this so it would have been brighter. This is the River (notice the snowmobile tracks) and the trees were so beautiful.



















You would think this is snow, but it's just frost. Reminds me of flocked Christmas trees--one of my sisters always had a flocked tree and I immediately thought of her.






















One last shot that I loved.





















I was so glad I took the pictures before Church because by the time I came home THE FROST WAS ALL GONE.

I love the lessons I learn when I attend Church. In Relief Society yesterday, we had a lesson on burdens and our teacher used a great "object" lesson that I'd like to share. She had us look around the room and find everything brown. I think she gave us about 20 - 30 seconds. She then had us close our eyes and share everything we had seen that was red. I couldn't think of a thing. People named a few things. When she had us open our eyes I was amazed to see there was a sister sitting right in front of me with a red top.

Our teacher then told us that when we focus on just one thing, i.e., our burdens, that is all we see. There could be many great, beautiful things that would pass us by but we would be so focused on our burdens that we couldn't' see them.

It was a great lesson for me.





Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Important Work

I LOVE BEING A MOTHER. At this moment, I may not have any children at home, but I'm still a mother. I will always be a mother. I first became a mother at 19. Unfortunately, I was not able to stay home and being a single mom had to go back to work to support us when Stephen was 6 weeks old. But I was able to enjoy many field trips, served as a scorekeeper every year he played Little League, was at every soccer game and enjoyed it all.

When Allan and I got married in 1982, and I went from being a mother of one to a mother/stepmother of 4, I was able to stay home. As more children joined our family it was wonderful to be home through it all. That was something I will always be grateful that I was able to do.

Some time ago, Stephanie at Diapers and Divinity, did a post with some Neal A. Maxwell quotes. This is one I loved:

“Some mothers in today’s world feel “cumbered” by home duties and are thus attracted by other more “romantic” challenges. Such women could make the same error of perspective that Martha made. The woman, for instance, who deserts the cradle in order to help defend civilization against the barbarians may well later meet, among the barbarians, her own neglected child.”

When I think back on the 39 years that I have had children in my home, I do not regret a moment spent. Was it always easy-- DEFINITELY NOT. Was it work it--DEFINITELY EVERY MINUTE. I don't think I feel differently than most mothers--motherhood is a privilege and such a blessing. Because my mom only lived long enough to see her oldest reach the age of 20, I think it is amazing that I have grandchildren who are over 20.

My children are amazing people. I look at them and am so grateful that I have been there to watch them grow. I know that I cannot follow them around and whisper in their ears to remind them what they should and shouldn't do--hopefully FHE lessons and discussions we had through the years will be remembered. It is incredible to watch our children that have children parent their own. It is so fun to watch Heidi, Brent, and Kyle and to wonder what they will be like as parents.

One of the greatest blessings is to be able to raise them with an understanding of who they are and to assure them that we will always love them and will be there to encourage them, but more important I'm grateful that I can assure them that they have a Father in Heaven to turn to for guidance. Randi did a post recently where she talked about the recent incident with the math teacher who was heroic in the school shootings a couple of weeks ago in Littleton. In her post she wrote about some of the stories she had read. She wrote:

"I remember one girl who told about hiding in the school for hours, the fire alarms continuing to go off, not knowing when or even IF official help was coming. What she did know for sure was that her family was praying for her right that minute, and they would not stop until they saw her again. Knowing that her parents KNEW that God would help her was what helped her own faith and got her through that horrific day."

I hope our children would always know those same things and remember that we are our on our knees morning and night for them and that we have faith that God is always there and mindful of all of us.

Let me share one final quote from Elder Maxwell:

“Obviously, family values mirror our personal priorities. Given the gravity of current conditions, would parents be willing to give up just one outside thing, giving that time and talent instead to the family? Parents and grandparents, please scrutinize your schedules and priorities in order to ensure that life’s prime relationships get more prime time! Even consecrated and devoted Brigham Young was once told by the Lord, “Take especial care of your family” (D & C 126:3) Sometimes it is the most conscientious who need this message the most."

My family means the world to me and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a mother/grandmother/great-grandmother.

Sidenote: We had a dinner to go to tonight. I had already had my treat for the day (my 1/4 cup of m&m's--by the way, do you have any idea how difficult it is for me to stop at 1/4 cup when I still have a bunch left in the big bag Allan brought me home from his trip to Vancouver) so when they served cake for dessert, I passed. I hope I can keep this up when my challenge ends.



Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Bucket List

I had to go back through and see if I had done a post on this before, and I haven't.

I have to tell you that my mortality is starting to bug me--when I was reading "The Fire of the Covenant", I was so shocked when someone was talking about a couple of "elderly sisters" who were part of the company and they mentioned they were in their 50's. WHAT???? Elderly???

Anyway, I decided it was time to post my bucket list--things I really want to do before I, well, kick the bucket ; )
  • I have visited 39 states (I thought it was 38, but I forgot I had been to Iowa), and I would really like to visit the other 11--Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin
  • I want to cruise around the tip of South America and see the fjords and Antarctica.
  • Go to the Final Four Championship BB Game--at least last year we did get to a couple of the tournament games
  • Go back to China--this time with Neal as our tour guide
  • Go on a cruise with our children and grandchildren
  • Be in the temple with all of my children/grandchildren
  • Serve a mission or two or three, with my hubby
  • Perhaps run a half-marathon--I will be starting a 10k class in a couple of weeks and have to decide whether I have the stamina to do a half-marathon--don't want to bite off more than I can chew
  • Learn a foreign language
How about you? What's on your bucket list????




SIDENOTE: Exciting news--remember the Challenge I told you about and how a couple of weeks ago was an Olympic Challenge. My team won and we all received torchbearer mittens. Now I had bought myself a pair, but the only ones I could find were extra large--just a tad too big for me. So my mitts arrived today--I was very excited to put them on and will wear them with pride. The last week I have not done very well with the challenge--in fact on Monday I only received 4 points. But at least today I was able to start exercising again so hopefully I will start earning my ten points a day.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Motherhood

Before I start the "motherhood" part of this, let me share my day yesterday:

Yesterday was not a fun day. Sunday night shortly after I got into bed the pain started. And the pain didn't stop all night and finally at 4:00 am, I told Allan I was going to the Emergency room. After 15 hours, an EKG, x-rays, morphine, and a CT scan, they couldn't tell me why I was in pain. So here I sit, hoping it doesn't happen again.

But on to better things: First, let me say how excited Kyle was when Canada won the hockey game. His FB status: "Feeling extra patriotic today". I didn't watch the game, but when Heidi called to say that the U.S. had scored and the game was going into overtime, I texted Kyle a few minutes later and said, "Sorry". After Canada won, he called me and said my text made him panic. He thought he was watching a delayed feed and that I had seen Canada lose the game--silly boy ; )

Kyle and his dad were on the phone for quite awhile this weekend. Kyle is working on getting his papers in for his mission. For whatever reason this has made me a little nostalgic. Perhaps it's because this is our youngest. I am reminded of the Robert Munsch book, "Love You Forever". (I am not trying to infringe on any copyright laws, if you haven't read the book, get a hold of it--it is so sweet)

It's the story of a young mom who while holding her newborn son rocks him and sings,

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be."

And then it goes through all the stages of this boys childhood. Through each she picks him up and holds him and sings those words. In the end, when she is old and dying, he picks her up and rocks her and sings,

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my mommy you'll be."

Then he goes home and goes into his little girl's room and picks her up and sings to her as his mom did.

No matter how old my children are, they are still my babies and I'm still their mommy. I have watched them each grow into such wonderful people. It has been such a privilege to be on this journey with them. Each of them child or stephchild has taught me so much about motherhood. If I was feeling better, I'd write about the things they've taught me--maybe another time.