Monday, June 28, 2010

I LOVE SURPRISES

I have to tell you what a fun day Sunday was. I went to the Ward where I joined the Church some 36 years ago. It was so great to see so many of these people who had such a profound effect on me. My mind was just flooded with memories.

When Priscilla and I left her house to head to my sister, Linda's house, I decided I needed to call just in case she had changed the location of the party. When she answered I could tell she was extremely stressed trying to get everything ready. After a minute or two, she said, "Well, I'll call you later in the week." About 5 minutes later I was knocking at the door and she just started screaming and couldn't believe it. I could see the tears--it was so fun. Then when my other sisters arrive, it was so fun to see the double takes as they almost walked by me. (I'm so glad I decided to surprise them)

The party was so fun. We took lots of pictures, ate lots of food, and had some great laughs.

I have a big family and it was fun to see nieces and nephews and their little ones.

Congratulations to my niece, Kelly on her graduation.

And speaking of surprises--today I had the most amazing day. Let me back up--a few weeks ago I decided to send a letter to my mother's brother. I wasn't sure if he was still alive but decided to just try and touch base with him. Last week I received a lovely letter from him. He talked about how young he was when his mother died and that his father just gave up and left the family--there were 8 boys and 3 girls. He said how sad it was that they hadn't done a better job of keeping in touch and how grateful he was that I sent a letter. So I decided to ask my sister, Linda, if she wanted to make the 1 1/2 drive to go and see him. (She was a little hesitant but decided to go)

I didn't have a phone number for him, so we headed out and got there around noon. I went to the door and this sweet little voice yelled "Come on in". When I told him who I was he was so surprised. I got my sister and her husband and the 4 of us had a lovely visit. I kept looking at his little face trying to see my mom, but I couldn't. There I sat with my paper and pen and took notes. He then said, "My daughter compiled a book with all kinds of family information--would you like a copy?" ARE YOU KIDDING????

He said he thought it was so sad that his grandchildren could pass us up on the street and not know us--so he was so happy to have us try to connect. Out of the 11 children, only 3 of them are left. (I always thought my mom's family died at an early age, but her oldest sister died at 98 and another sister died at 94)

His wife died about 5 years ago--after 57 years of marriage. I think my mom would have been so happy that we were visiting with him.

After we left, we headed to the little beach I wrote about some time ago. It is located near Bodega Bay and is named after my great great grandfather. It is beautiful.

SIDENOTE: Elder Rob is doing great. He sounds so wonderful.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Great Places/Great Visits

I arrived in California and am been having a great time visiting with some great people.

Friday night Neal picked me up at the C's where I am staying and we headed out for dinner. He asked if there was any place special I wanted to go. I said it was up to him and he took me here. I was happy as a clam--the hot dogs here are delicious.


After dinner, Neal dropped me off here. It was wonderful. The session was great. Obviously, this place holds some wonderful memories for me. When I worked in Oakland, I used to go up to the grounds on my lunch hour. I always felt better just being there. I still feel that way.


Then this afternoon Priscilla and I headed here for lunch. Can we just say YUM-MY!!!! I called Allan and told him where I was--HE WAS JEALOUS.

Then tonight Priscilla and I went to Pat and Dennis's for dinner. The meal was wonderful and the visiting was THE BEST. I'm so blessed to have such great friends. Whenever we get together, it's as if we were together yesterday. I LOVE IT.

Tomorrow is my niece's graduation party--I'm excited about surprising my sisters.

Sidenote: I ran today at a little park that had a track. I put on my moleskin on my feet, my double-layer socks and was shocked when I was running on the track because some guy went running by BAREFOOT.



Monday, June 21, 2010

A Few Thoughts That Uplift Me

A friend commented on my last post about Kyle's talent (I can't tell you how many times I've watched the video--he's just so doggone cute) and I shared with her this quote from Elder McConkie, "Being subject to law, and having their agency, all the spirits of men, while yet in the Eternal Presence, developed aptitudes, talents, capacities, and abilities of every sort, kind and degree. During the long expanse of life which then was, an infinite variety of talents and abilities came into being. As the ages rolled, no two spirits remained alike. Mozart became a musician; Einstein centered his interest in mathematics; Michelangelo turned his attention to painting....and so it went through all the hosts of heaven, each individual developing talents and abilities as his soul desired." (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Salt Lake City, Deseret Book)

Whenever I read it, I always wonder where I spent my time. I do love to serve others--so maybe I was somewhere learning how to nurture, be a giver, whatever. All I know is wherever it was--I should have spent more time ; )

I have been thinking so much lately about Sister Beck's talk from our last General Conference. I was particularly impressed with her words about "measuring our success". She said, "In a world where the measures of success are often distorted, it is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from proper sources." Hmmm.

I find myself at times getting caught up in the comparing and wondering if I'm good enough--I need to work harder at really understanding who I am. I don't want to use the world's gauge to tell me whether I'm good enough and I don't want to compare myself to others. When I do that, I know I use their best and compare it to my worst. And that is NOT GOOD.

When I read the most recent First Presidency Message in this month's Ensign from Pres. Monson, I was struck by this sentence: "To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility." That's the way I want to live. And I want to be a woman who uplifts and helps those around me.

We had a fabulous speaker at our Women's Conference a couple of weekend's ago and she sent me her notes and one of the quotes that I love is from Wendy Ulrich, ", “I am most inclined to envy another’s life when I am neglecting my own. When I feel jealous of someone else, I know it is time to refocus my energy on owning my own life, taking the risks to develop my talents and celebrate my uniqueness.” I really love that--I need to celebrate my uniqueness.

LET ME GET BACK TO THE TOPIC OF BEING UPLIFTED:

Saturday morning on my run I saw the cutest thing that touched me. (Oh, how I wish I had my camera with me--I saw a little couple who were probably in their mid to late 80's out for a walk. He was pushing a walker with wheels and she was holding onto his arm. They looked so cute together and I thought, "I hope that's Allan and me in a few years--I don't want to just be sitting in our house looking out the window. I want to stay active."

I am so excited about my upcoming trip to California to help when my newest granddaughter is born. It will be fun to cook, clean and do laundry for a full house. I'm sure I will be ready to come home when it's time, but I am soooo very excited about seeing and holding the new baby. I'm going to spend a couple of days with a friend and then my sisters before I head up to see my son and his wife and kids

And last week I received some wonderful things in the mail--

I won this CD from a giveaway over here. It is beautiful. Thanks, tauna.

I mentioned before that I won earrings in my challenge. They arrived and I LOVE THEM. I can't wait to wear them.

My daughter, Heidi, made me these earrings for Mother's Day. Heidi is so creative. Thanks, sweetie.


Let me share with you what I found on my wrist--isn't it cute ; ) (No, not the wrist--goodness, my skin looks old, but I love that I have a cute little heart freckle or age spot, whatever.

AND ONE FINAL THING OR GUY THAT UPLIFTS ME--THIS GUY (the older one). He is a great man and a fabulous Father.I love you, honey. You are THE BEST. I can't believe this was the first Father's Day in years that you haven't had any of your children at home. I did my best to make it A GREAT ONE FOR YOU.


Sidenote: Allan received a great Father's Day message last night. Elder Rob had dinner yesterday at the home of a family where he's serving in Idaho. The dad called to wish Allan a Happy Father's Day. (Apparently the dad has a son serving a mission in Alberta and told Elder Rob he would call his dad to say Happy Father's Day--what a sweet man)



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Love This



The other day my friend, Paula, told me she had videotaped Kyle playing the piano at his farewell and wondered if I wanted the clip. I downloaded it last night and the best part for me is hearing his voice. I haven't videotaped my kids in a long time--makes me realize I need to do it when we're together again.

Thanks, Paula. On those days I'm missing him, I can just watch.

I just got off the phone with him--he called from the airport before flying to Idaho. He thought he was bussing to Idaho but as it turned out they flew, and I was so glad because I got to talk to him. He sounds GREAT. It was so wonderful to hear the enthusiasm in his voice. I asked him if he had any advice for anyone getting ready to enter the MTC, and you gotta love his response, "Don't eat the enchiladas. They may taste good, but they'll kill ya." (Apparently his companion had a BAD experience.)

Now I'm good until my Christmas call.

Sidenote: The open house Sunday night went well. Good thing there are a couple of zone conferences this week because we have TONS of desserts left over. Last night we went with Cory and Darell to a great dessert place here in town.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Changes


I wonder why we get nostalgic sometimes? I was talking to a good friend on Sunday from my Ward where I joined the Church because I heard they combined both of the Wards and he was mentioning how everyone was feeling nostalgic. I have felt nostalgic ever since I got home from Utah. I drive by the elementary school and the junior high and am flooded with memories. I'll drive by a soccer field and remember being there with Kyle. But the clincher was Saturday when I went to check on my friend, Cory's house, and started to cry. She had been out of town and when I walked in and realized this would be the last time I would be in their house the tears started to flow.

I guess I really don't do as well as I thought with change. We have been friends with the P's since we moved here back in Feb. 1996. Their oldest daughter, Shandi, was in YW with Heidi and so they would come and pick her up. I really think that's how the friendship began.

Allan and I were talking about them yesterday and all the great things they have done. Darell was Brent's scout leader and was our Bishop. He helped at every Seminary breakfast I had--even after his kids were no longer in Seminary. And, of course, who can forget when he played Laban in our production of Nephi and the Brass Plates. (If Brent were here, I'd have a clip attached ; ) I can't read that part of the Book of Mormon without thinking of him impersonating a drunken Laban singing "Book of Mormon Stories". Cory and I have served together a couple of times. She is my decorator--she has helped me numerous times with where to put things and what color to paint. We have had holidays together, gone on numerous "double dates" --in fact, we're off in a few hours to go to the movies together; ), and I cannot count how many times they have been here to watch our children when we have gone away. They are the kind of people who are ALWAYS there to help--and you never have to ask. They have been here for many parties and are always the last ones to leave and helping us with the clean up and putting things away. In fact, there are times when I can't remember where something is and Cory knows.

What will I do when March Madness comes around--our numbers have dwindled so much, but I sure hope Darell still makes his picks. We usually share the middle spot.

Who am I gonna call when I'm watching Dancing With the Stars. During commercials I pick up the phone and call her and we would talk and LAUGH about how horrible someone was or talk about how amazing a couple was. When Dancing With the Stars came here, we went and it was so fun. That also makes me think of dances--Cory teaching me the hand jive at the Harvest Ball ; )

We have done so many things together at Christmas. The train ride.


How can we go caroling without them???


Cory giving the little guy a bad time--can't remember if it was just whipped cream or a creme puff ; )

At the corn maze several years ago when Cory and I were serving in Young Women.

And here's the picture of Laban--oh, if only you could hear him and watch him in his performance. (So glad we have the video ; )

Darell and I were at so many Girls Camps together. The girls LOVE him. He is so much fun.

Darell was always right there to help with the Seminary breakfast--Kaitlyn doesn't seem very happy. (Mornings were not her thing--but she was a trooper. I loved teaching her--she taught me a great deal.

They are family--so they were with us the night Brent was set apart.

This picture makes me laugh every time I see it--Allan was his Bishop when Riley got ready to go on his mission. I had to laugh when I went to the building to take a picture before he was set apart. It was so funny--we had a good laugh when I took this picture.

Proud parents when Elder P returned home from his mission.

Speaking of missionaries, these two will be out together. She received her mission call and will be going to California in September. (They have birthdays 2 days apart--this was when he turned 16 and they were getting ready to go to Youth Conference.)

So now whenever I drive by their street my mind will play many of these things in my head. I sure love you guys and am going to miss you. Hopefully, our paths will cross again.

I am curious--we are having an Open House for them at our house Sunday night--and I'm wondering WHO'S GOING TO HELP ME???

Sidenote: Got regular e-mail on Monday and a letter on Wednesday. Had to laugh when I talked to one of my sons who said he doesn't know what he's going to do when his boy goes on a mission--he was gone to football camp for 3 days and Stephen was dying cause he couldn't text him ; )

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

After 6 Months

After 6 months the challenges I have been involved in are coming to an end.

Back in January I joined the "Resolutionary Challenge". It was a 12 week challenge. I had a great time and it was a great thing to get me to accomplish some goals. It was hard, but I loved it. Besides losing weight and feeling better, I won a $75 gift certificate.

And then in April I joined the "Spring Into Summer" Challenge. This was a much shorter challenge--not as intense. A couple of my friends joined me in this challenge and we had a great time doing it. Again, I won something--this time I won jewelry from here. I chose these lovely earrings and can't wait until they get here.

So, now I'm on my own--we'll see how I do. I hope I have developed some habits that will help me. These things have become a habit:
  • Exercising 30 minutes a day
  • Drinking 8 glasses of water
  • Be ready to present myself to the world by 11 a.m.--that one is tougher in the winter than the summer, because I can get out and run very early during the summer and so getting my exercising done and then being showered and ready by 11 is easy
  • My kitchen clean before I go to to bed
  • No eating after 9 pm
  • Take 15 minutes for myself each day--THIS IS NEVER A PROBLEM FOR ME ; )
Things that I haven't totally adopted:
  • One treat a day--It will be interesting to see how I do with this
  • Two fruits and three vegetables (I'm going to continue to eat the vegetables, but sometimes I feel like I'm eating too much sugar with the fruit)
We have had other challenges that have caused me to stretch. The one that I really, really want to work harder at is the "Know Your Neighbor" challenge that was presented. I need to be more outgoing and am going to work harder at this.

Both challenges were a great experience. The best part of all has been meeting some fabulous women who have taught me a great deal. Funny, but you realize that the world is a very small place. There are some pretty incredible women out there.

Sidenote #1: Allan and I got e-mails from Elder Rob yesterday. (BTW, until I get some pics from him, I will have to put an old picture up here when I talk about him ; ) This picture was taken some 17 years ago at the Provo Temple--he was able to go there on Monday. I love Mondays and just keep getting on my computer waiting for his e-mail. It was great to hear from him. He is doing well. He is loving the MTC. This makes his mama very happy.

Sidenote #2: I took a hot yoga class this afternoon. I have taken a couple of yoga classes before (when I've been on a cruise) and my Biggest Loser workouts usually have a little yoga as the cool down, but let me tell you--there was no cooling down with this. It was hard, mainly because it was so hot in the room. (I thought it was called "hot yoga" because it was a class for "hot" people ; ) Yeah, SURE!!!! ) I bought a month-long pass so we'll see how many times I get to a class ; )

Thursday, June 3, 2010

An Update


  • The afternoon after we took Elder R into the MTC, Heidi, Brent, Allan and I hiked the Y. It was much better than last year because last year we did it right after eating dinner--this time we hiked and THEN went to dinner. When we got up to the top, I had the three of them pose for a picture of them trying to spot Elder R at the MTC.
  • Life is good--the house is quiet, and I miss Elder R, but as a good friend mentioned, knowing he is where he should be, doing what he should be doing, makes it all worthwhile and I couldn't agree more.
  • We made it home safe and sound. As we were traveling, I kept commenting to Allan that the road felt more bumpy than I remember. I think it was called too much weight in the car. I guess we should have listened to Brent and left some of Elder Rob's stuff for him ; ) I continued to work on the blanket and am making progress.
  • The night we got home Allan released a young man who just returned from his mission. He served in the Provo Mission. It was so great. (In fact, it was cute because when we were on the BYU campus about a year ago we ran into him ; )
  • We had Stake Conference on Sunday which was a broadcast for all of Canada and President Uchtdorf presided. It was wonderful. This morning when I read the blog of some friends from Toronto who are serving their mission in Samoa, it was so fun to have them write about watching the Conference.
  • Received our first e-mail on Monday from our little Elder. I feel really bad because Allan and I sent our e-mails to the wrong address and when he logged on to send us our e-mail there was nothing from us ; ( Fortunately we stopped in Fargo on our way home and bought a card and put it in the mail, so hopefully that will get to him tomorrow. I sent the e-mails to Brent and had him print them out and put them in the mail, so Elder R should receive them this week. He sounded GREAT. He said the first night was tough--not a surprise. He is settling in and is loving his district and his companion. Now I just need to get some pictures. He has assured me that he is taking lots of pictures. I'm curious if he has had to get a haircut--just wondering if maybe it's THIS short ; )
  • This will sound VERY SILLY, but I signed up for my half-marathon class--and I signed up for the on-line clinic. I know that with the baby coming in July and going to California for a couple of visits that I would miss too many classes, so we'll see how I do trying to keep up on-line. I am motivated to do the training, so that will not be a problem.
  • I've been spending a lot of time doing family research. It has been so rewarding--I have learned a lot of stuff and have been feeling very nostalgic about my folks. As I was doing research I learned that my family had a piece of property in Northern California that had a little hotel on it. It was sold many, many years ago. I found the property on a website and am very excited about one day going to visit. One of the things that was funny about it, is as a child (when my parents were alive) I remember going on one family vacation to Guerneville. I always wondered why--now I know. I don't remember my mom talking about it being near her families property, but then again I was a little girl and maybe just don't remember.
  • The challenge I have been involved in since April is coming to an end. I had a tough time keeping up with it while I was gone to Utah. I don't think I got my "one treat a day point" any of the days I was there, but finally got the point yesterday.
Sidenote #1: Just a little comment about the former VP who announced a couple of days ago that he and his wife of 40 years are separating, I heard someone on a news show mention that the moral of the story is that after so many years of marriage people grow apart. Seriously, I do not think that is the moral of the story.

Sidenote #2:I realize I didn't write anything about the Season finales of 24 or Lost and now that most people have seen them and I don't have to worry about ruining anything for anyone--I loved the way they ended 24. Pres. Taylor finally tried to make amends--a little late though. Pres. Logan got just what he deserved. I still love Jack--can't wait for the movie, but more than likely it will be R ; (

As far as Lost--I LOVED IT. I don't care what others have said. For me it was very touching and spiritual. Lots to think about.