Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Allan knew I wanted to carve a pumpkin so he got me one at the store.  I was working on it this morning when Stephen called.   When I answered the phone I said, "WHY AREN'T YOU HERE TO CARVE MY PUMPKIN???"  He has had lots of experience through the years carving pumpkins--he is so meticulous and does a great job.  The other night they had a pack meeting and he got pumpkins for all the families to carve--he even cleaned them out (my least favorite thing to do).  Here is my finished product:


I enjoy Halloween--have great memories of going out trick or treating as a kid.  Yes, I remember and we're talking 55 years ago.  We never had to worry about going through the candy, could eat ANYTHING--EVEN THE HOMEMADE STUFF.   We used to get TONS of candy.

I miss those days of getting kids ready for Halloween.  It was always so fun.

A few of my favorite costumes through the years:

About 30 years ago:



Our little rocker.



I think Brent was a little uncomfortable in his dinosaur costume.  He didn't like anything around his neck.    I can't figure out why it looks blue--the costume actually was green???  It took me quite awhile to sew it, but it was put to good use--he wore it for THREE YEARS--and not just for Halloween, he loved wearing it around the house  ; )

My all-time favorite has to be the year Brent went as a robot and someone thought he was a refrigerator. Kyle's response to the person has to be a classic that I will never forget, "Lady, have you ever seen a refrigerator with arms????"


I think everyone has one of these pictures--actually, I have two, well kind of.  

While at BYU he went as Luigi:


And a few years ago when we headed for a youth activity while I was serving in Young Women:




Love this little pirate ; )





I've been waiting to see what the little grandkids would be, and I was not disappointed.  Macy got some great shots of G-Man and baby L.  I had to laugh when I got my e-mail today from Elder Rob and he said that they will be watching Captain America tonight.  (I thought G-Man would love that ; )  These two are such cute kids:



The other night Stephen and Daphne and the younger ones went to trunk or treat.  Loved the costumes.  Miss Georgia was a little skunk--such a cute little costume.  I guess the two older ones had other plans ; (




It's almost 7:00 and we are sitting here with lots of candy and so far just a fewTRICK OR TREATERS ; (  Our house is not too spooky, the weather is decent, so I'm not sure what's going on.  I really don't want to eat all the candy (can you imagine the big smile on my face as I say that ; )

And, I think I'm going to have to go and see if I can find a new banner for my door--this one is looking pretty shabby, but it still makes me smile.  Whenever I first put it up, it takes Allan a few days to realize there's not someone there ; )




Saturday, October 15, 2011

A CONFERENCE TALK FOR ME

I have been going over my notes from General Conference and listening to some of the talks a second and even a third time.  I've decide I REALLY need to give this talk by Elder Ardern some serious contemplation.  There were a couple of things that hit me BIG TIME.

President Brigham Young said, “We are all indebted to God for the ability to use time to advantage, and he will require of us a strict account of [its] disposition” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 286).  I had to wonder, HOW STRICT???

Elder Ardern also said:   "I urge each of us to take those things which rob us of precious time and determine to be their master, rather than allowing them through their addictive nature to be the master of us."


So, the question is:  HOW DO I DO THAT??? 


I'm not sure how I will do it, but I know I need to AND I WILL.  I do not have good reasons for not getting more done except to say I WASTE A LOT OF TIME.   


I know that I am going to take Elder Scott's counsel to memorize scriptures.  When I taught Seminary I had memorized a number of the 100 Seminary scripture mastery scriptures but have to make sure I know them all.  I also loved when Elder Scott  said:   "(Memorizing scriptures) is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change."  With that in mind, I know another one I work on memorizing is D&C 88:124:  "Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated".   There are a few things in there I really need to have on hand as a "source of motivation for needed change".  


I  I also loved how Elder Ardern said, "With the demands made of us, we must learn to prioritize our choices to match our goals or risk being exposed to the winds of procrastination and being blown from one time-wasting activity to another."  I say I loved it, but it actually hit a little too close to home.  I can stay busy all day, but the question is BUSY DOING WHAT!!!!


So I will resolve:  To have a plan each day.  Not that I want to account for every minute of every day, but there is no doubt in my mind THIS TALK WAS MEANT FOR ME!!! 


SIDENOTE:  We have the youth coming to our house tomorrow night for a Fireside.  I decided to try out a new dessert--Caramel Apple Trifle.  
We have Stake Conference next week and I will have dinner here on Sunday and usually make Death by Chocolate for dessert, but decided maybe not everyone likes chocolate so I think I will serve both.  Of course, that's all dependent on what the youth think after they try it.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month



Some months ago I went through a bit of a scare, and I didn't write about it on my blog.  (I felt bad that I had even told me kids/grandkids (except for Elder Rob).  I really didn't want any of them to go through the roller coaster ride with Allan and me, but I knew I wanted the prayers.  Without going into a lot of detail, I found a lump.  When I went in to see my doctor after he examined me he said, "I can't tell you not to worry".  Note to self:  Next time find a doctor who'll lie to you ; )

To summarize the whole thing, after several months of waiting (you have to know PATIENCE IS NOT ONE OF MY VIRTUES),  and blessings and tears, two mammograms and a couple of ultrasounds, the Breast Cancer Clinic told me, there was nothing to worry about.

At the same time I was going through all of this, I called my former piano teacher just to check in with her and was shocked to find out that about the same time she had also found a lump.  I'm sad to say that she has not had the same outcome as I have.   She will have her second chemotherapy treatment this week.  My prayers are with her.    I appreciate so much her positive attitude.  I think she is amazing.

My thoughts and prayers are with all the families who face this horrible disease and everything associated with it.  I hope and pray that research will lead to a cure.




Friday, October 7, 2011

Trip to Zurich--Bern Temple and Traveling to Germany

I feel it was time to get back to my posts about our trip.

As you may know, Allan and I always try to visit temples whenever we are on a trip and so we couldn't pass up on opportunity to go to the temple in Bern.



It was wonderful to go with Amanda--we have only been with her to the temple one other time--the day she and Darren were married.   We were so very relieved happy because our session was in English.






We headed to McDonalds for lunch.  I have to admit--it was kind of fun.  We even had McFlurry's--BONUS!!!!

We had been looking everywhere for the little brown trucks--and finally saw one ; )  

When you're with a guy who has been involved in transportation all of his life, it's amazing the things you notice and learn.  Did you know the majority of the trucks in Switzerland are cabovers--which probably means they have a length problem.   As well most of the trucks have curtain side--heavy cloth or canvass sides open on the side which allows them to load/unload from the side not the back.  (See now you don't have to feel bad about wasting your time reading my blog--you learned something new ; )


We went home and packed up to head out for a road trip.  Now we had spent many hours in the car over the past few days going here and there.  But today we were traveling to Germany.   When we were in the beginning stages of the trip, Allan asked Amanda if going to Eagles Nest was feasible.  He has always wanted to visit.  So our little tour guide got to work and booked us a hotel and we were good to go. 

The trip was lovely and it gave us an opportunity to have more time with Darren.  As with all our travels, thus far, the scenery was gorgeous.

We stopped in Innsbruck for dinner and had a lovely dinner at a life outdoor restaurant.  Thought this Church was pretty unique looking and snapped a picture as we were heading back to our car to go on to the hotel.  

Actually laughed every time I saw one of these signs--couldn't help thinking of some of my boys who would laugh pronouncing this word:

Saturday was Amanda's birthday.  So first order of business was her opening her presents.


Then we headed down to the restaurant for a lovely breakfast--had to make sure we had enough nourishment for the day ahead--especially our visit up to Eagles Nest.


Had to get a picture in front of our hotel. 


From the hotel, we headed to a nearby lake.  It was beautiful.  There were lots and lots of people there.  If we had known what was going to happen when we got to Eagles Nest, we would have spent more time exploring.


We were very excited when we got to Eagle's Nest, but...


Unfortunately, 

So that happiness quickly turned to DISAPPOINTMENT.

 But, this guy doesn't stay disappointed for long ; )  Nothing and I mean NOTHING was going to put a damper on our trip.  We still loved being there.  He bought a book on Eagle's Nest, so all was right with the world.

We got back into the car and off we went.  We ended up in Salzburg.  We walked around for awhile--saw Mozart's home.  Of course, you can't walk around there without thinking of The Sound of Music.
So, of course, we had to do a little DoReMi photo


We had a nice lunch which included a banana split for desert.

 The only question is--WHY IN THE WORLD DID WE SHARE THEM???  We really should have each had our own--as you can see by the plate, they were so yummy we almost licked the plates.


We stayed in Salzburg for a few hours exploring.  It was so fun and BEAUTIFUL.  I have to tell you Allan was fascinated by this--to the left of the steeple.  He wanted to get in there, but sadly, we never did ; (




Such a beautiful city.


We visited this Church which was AMAZING.











We loved walking around the gardens at Maribell Palace.  They were so lovely.  We kept telling Darren--who has never visited Winnipeg or seen our home, that it was just how are yard looked.  (Yeah, with my green thumb there isn't ONE FLOWER in my yard ; )




It was a lovely trip.  We are so glad we went.

The drive back was an adventure.  I wish I had taken a picture of the cars speeding by as we were traveling on the Autobahn.  Ha, ha, they would have just been a blur.    It was pretty fun when there was no speed limit.  I learned a little more about Darren as we FLEW on the road.  Poor Allan, if he had realized he wouldn't have scared Amanda and Darren he would have had his foot to the floor and there wouldn't have been a Lamborghini or Mazerati that would have passed him up ; )  And can I just say, those things really hum as they whiz by.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Value of Pondering and a Little Meme

So often I put the TV on just for the noise, but I am realizing how valuable it is to just sit and relish the peace and quiet.  It truly does give me an opportunity to PONDER.

As I reflected on the various talks I heard this past weekend, I realize how much I have to learn and do, but I do not feel overwhelmed.  I know it is a process.  I know I have a loving Heavenly Father who is mindful of me and ever so patient.  As well, I know I have an elder brother who is my Savior and Redeemer.

In a world where so many seek fame and fortune and have a great desire to be "on stage" and receive the accolades of the world, it's so comforting to me to be reminded by a prophet of God that "The Lord uses scales different than the world to measure the worth of a soul."  I matter to Him.  You matter to Him.  He is ALWAYS there to listen, not just to me, but to anyone who will turn to Him. That knowledge is such a blessing to me.


Every time I watch Conference I am taken back to that Conference in April 1974, my first General Conference as a member of the Church--actually I was baptized after the afternoon session on Saturday, April 6, 1974.   I am so very grateful I made the decision to be baptized.






NOW FOR A CONFERENCE MEME


Stephanie at  Diapers and Divinity is again hosting a Conference Book Club.  As preparation for Book Club she has a little Conference Meme.  She also has a trivia contest.  These are her questions.

General Conference Highlights, October 2011

1.  Who were your three favorite speakers?  I enjoyed each and everyone.   I was so touched by President Packer's words.  I have always appreciated his straightforwardness, and I felt he so wants all of us to listen to him.  And I loved that President Uchtdorf asked the young people to heed President Packer's "wise counsel".   Sister Dalton was amazing.  Didn't you love when she suggested that if (your daughter)  doesn't come home from a date on time--go and get her.  "She will resist and say that you have ruined her social life, but she will inwardly know that you love her and that you care enough to be her guardian"   As always, I loved President Uchtdorf's talk.  As well, when one of my sons and my husband told me about Elder Holland's Priesthood talk, I went on line to listen to it--WOW!!!!

2.  Which talk spoke to you the most?  I'm not sure it's the one that "spoke to me the most", but I think it's the one I knew I needed to hear--Elder Ardern's talk on using our time wisely.

3.  What was your favorite Hymn and why did it move you?  Like Stephanie, I was so moved when the Tabernacle Choir sung "Consider the Lillies".  It is such a beautiful hymn and every time I hear it I am reminded of who I am and His great love for me and all of His children.

4.  Which speaker was the best dressed?  As Stephanie said, we can have a little fun ; ) It would be a toss-up between President Uchtdorf's suit and tie on Saturday or Elder Alonso--very nice tie with his suit.

5.  Were there any topics that you felt like were repeated often?  Any conference “themes”?  I felt several of the speakers talked about our need to increase our faith and trust in the Lord.  As we watch everything that is going on in the world, it was wonderful to be reminded that He is mindful of all of us.  I love the emphasis on reading the scriptures--particularly the Book of Mormon.  And lots of talks about rescuing/serving.  

6.  Share a few of your favorite quotes from any of the talks (paraphrasing is fine).  When President Uchtdorf said, "...you could pile up the accumulated currency of the entire world and it could not buy a loaf of bread in the economy of Heaven."  I loved when Elder Carl Cook  talked about his experience with President Monson in the elevator and President Monson told him, "Remember it is better to look up".    And then he reminded us, "Most of what we worry about is not of eternal significance, and if it is, the Lord will help us."  I loved when Elder Anderson quoted the blogger who wrote, "Motherhood is not a hobby it is a calling."  

7.  Name something(s) that made you smile or laugh during conference.  I loved when President Uchtdorf talked about his journey to his training base in Texas when he was in Pilot training in the U.S. Air Force.   He was on the plane sitting next to a passenger who spoke with a heavy southern accent.  He said he could scarcely understand a word he said.  I laughed when he said, "I actually wondered if I had been taught the wrong language all along."

8.  Was there any evidence that your children paid attention?  My youngest son who is currently on a mission in Idaho wrote the following in his e-mail on Monday:  "The one who always speaks that just clicks with me and is basically a direct answer to my prayers is President Uchtdorf. The one message that he shared Saturday morning struck me. He just reaffirms to me that discouragement comes from Satan, and he causes feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, as well as puffing us up to a fantasy of our own "self-importance" (in a prideful sense). I also loved that he said that the things that matter most to God are that we do our best, have our hearts turned towards Him, and strive to serve others. "

9.  What doctrine did you learn as you listened to the choir(s) sing?  As the Tabernacle Choir sang, "I Feel My Savior's Love", I was reminded that God is there and He loves us--"All things denote there is a God".

10.  Did the music enhance your General Conference experience? How?  Oh goodness, music so stirs my soul. And, the only time I will ever be a part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir--well, sort of ; )  I always remember the first time I went to General Conference in October 1982 and we stood and sang, "We Thank Thee O God for A Prophet".

11.  What are some of your post-conference goals?  I would love to say I will do the General Conference Book Club that Stephanie hosts, but somehow things seem to get in the way.

But I do know those "things" are not going to get in the way of my re-evaluating where I spend my time and make sure I "devote my time to the things that really matter most" and seek to "identify the time wasting things that may need to be ground into dust".   I'm going to focus on serving--be a better disciple of Christ by seeking the Spirit to know "what would He have me do today" and checking to make sure that I am doing everything to choose eternal life.

As always, I put my hand up to sustain these men and women.  I know that the First Presidency and Members of the Quorum of the Twelve are prophets, seers and revelators.  I love them and will seek to follow their counsel for I know that they spoke the words I needed to hear.