Friday, August 31, 2007

An Image Meme

Nancy face did this fun image meme, so here goes. Guess I'm to put in the instructions: 1) Go to Google. 2) Click on Google images. 3) Type in your name and search. 4) Post the picture of the coolest, craziest, oldest, strangest, etc. person that shares your name. (Besides people, I decided to include some things.) Post multiples if you find a few you like! 5) Pass it on to at least 5 other people!

First of all, I opted not to use the manic depressive Yvonne--didn't like that thought at all; then there was the kickboxer, forget it; and then the shipwreck--that one did seem appropriate for some days, but these are the ones I decided to use:

You probably all knew her as Lily Munster--but to me she has always been Yvonne DeCarlo

Yvonne Tousek --gymnast. Anyone who knows me knows I COULD NEVER BE A GYMNAST--size and grace would be a definite problem.

The Yvonne Sparkle Headdress--This reminds me of the hairpieces my sisters and I would wear when I was 18-21.

I absolutely love Plumeria, so this was a total bonus for me--there is a Plumeria called Madame Yvonne. That is so cool!!! (A whole lot better than finding an Yvonne who's a Madame ; )

And like Nancy face I also found a chair The Yvonne Chair--and I must admit there are a couple of things potentially wrong--splinters in the bum and I'm not sure I could get up once I got in it ; )

Try it, it's great fun.

First sidenote: HOORAY FOR KYLE WHO GOT HIS DRIVER'S LICENSE TODAY!!! AND HOORAY FOR ME, HOPEFULLY NO MORE WHITE KNUCKLE DAYS. Of course, payback will come for all our kids when I get REALLY old and they're afraid to ride in the car when I'M DRIVING .

Sidenote #2: Even though I didn't post yesterday, I did exercise yesterday and today!!! I appreciate all the words of encouragement. I feel like I'm well on my way to it becoming a habit, but I'm sorry I won't stop mentioning it until I get to Day 21.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Tonight was a great night. A young man who is the son of our friends Cory and Darell just returned from a mission in Southern California. He has had a marvelous experience, and we are so happy for everyone. I was excited for Brent because he had a chance to meet up with him at the airport in Salt Lake before Elder P. got on his flight to Winnipeg. (Brent left on his mission in January 2005 and they haven't seen each other for almost 3 years) Elder P. also didn't know it, but one of his sisters was also in Salt Lake visiting relatives and so she flew with him back to Winnipeg. So, Brent, the two of them, and a young man who served his mission here went to Hires for something to eat before Elder P. and his sister got on the plane back to Winnipeg. (Unfortunately, Brent couldn't get the picture to me to put on the blog)

It was a glorious reunion at our airport here. (Living in Winnipeg has its advantages. Here no one cares if a ton of people converge at the airport to greet someone--very rarely are you in anyone's way!!!) Here he is with his parents.

Kyle felt bad that he couldn't be at the airport because he had to work until 11:00 and Elder P. landed at 11:00, but he was excited to know that he would come by the house to be released.

Kyle has grown quite a bit while Riley was gone.

I am anxious to hear him speak a week from Sunday. I always marvel at how much they grow.

Side note: Day #9 of exercising!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Warm Fuzzies vs. Cold Pricklies

When my oldest was in elementary school, they began a program to help develop self-esteem. They tried to teach the kids and the parents about the value of warm fuzzies and the potential damage of cold pricklies. We live in a world where the norm seems to be the cold pricklies. I don't know if it's because people just don't feel comfortable giving away warm fuzzies. It is so wonderful to be somewhere and look at someone who has a fun outfit on and compliment them. It just makes their day. (I know it makes mine when someone gives out a genuine compliment--not like going to the mall and trying on a dress and have one of the clerks say, "Oh, it looks so great!!! And you look in the mirror and go YIKES!!!)

As I think about the start of a new school year and the barrage of negative comments the kids get from their peers and unfortunately even from some of their teachers, I want so much to send my guy and my seminary kids off with enough warm fuzzies to help them battle the cold pricklies that will inevitably come. It is so hard watching someone struggle with low self-esteem especially when you think they are amazing. Our world has become so competitive and there are many who want to build themselves up by tearing others down.

We have some very good friends in California who are builders. I miss them so much because you would leave their house feeling like you could do anything--they just made you feel like you were incredible. I think each time I left I was 2" taller than when I walked in. No, it wasn't that you walked out with a big head, they just made you feel you were doing great and as a result you wanted to do even better.When we attended Conference last October, Doc and Priscilla spent a lot of time building all of us. I was sad that we didn't get to play Scrabble with them--because even when you put down "CAT" he makes you think that was the best word ever, and then he puts down some 7 letter word using a Z and gets triple points, but you still feel your "CAT" was a great choice.

One of the first lessons we will have in seminary this year deals with their coming to know who they are and who they have always been. That is such an important lesson. Yet, sometimes even knowing who we are finds us affected by what others say and what others do. (In my case, sometimes it's what I think others are thinking about me.) We know that discouragement is one of the adversary's greatest tools.

It's always amazing to me that the older I get the more I realize how little I know and how much I have to learn. I always thought by the time I was in my mid-50's I would have a better grasp on it all. Fat chance. I know more today than I did yesterday but some things are harder than they were before, and some lessons seem to need to be repeated over and over. I've made mistakes as a mother (just ask any of my kids) and have tried to learn from them. I pray that I can be the kind of mother that is there to build up my children and grandchildren--to help them recognize their potential and to help them see the vision God has for them.

By the was the best day ever of exercising--day 8!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Thank You, Blogging "Friends"

It's the start of a new week and for me more than likely this will be my last week of being able to blog on a regular basis, since school (which means Seminary) starts next week. I have enjoyed this blogging experience so much--I find it much easier to type my thoughts and the goings-on-of-life than writing them with a pen, as I have found that because of the computer my handwriting is getting worse each day.

I really entered this blogging world about 3 weeks ago--I had created my blog before that but really had not ventured out to view others' blogs. First question I had was how do you find a blog, and I honestly don't know how I came across the ones I visit today except to say that I when I clicked on one that had thoughts I was comfortable with (which I think was Gina) I found I went back a few times. Then I thought, well she seems nice and I clicked on the blogs she linked, and then I found more people with similar thoughts. Then I decided I wanted to make a comment, but I was so afraid. I felt somewhat like a new kid in school asking to sit at someone's table and worried about the reaction. What if I say the wrong thing, what if I'm intruding, etc. I have felt accepted, and I have appreciated so much those that have visited my blog and have made comments. It's silly but it somehow makes you feel that what you say has some value.

I appreciated reading Gina's etiquette post. It was most helpful and I tried very hard to remember everything she said. Even after reading it, I'm sure I've done lots of things wrongs, and I'm sorry for those and hope people will forgive my mistakes.

I just wanted to say thanks for the wonderful job so many do with their blogs. I am amazed at the creativity, the wit, the inspiration. I love both of Gina's blogs. Tori makes me laugh each day, as does Nancy face. I am still amazed when I read Lauren's that she is so young, for she has such insight. I appreciate Suzanne's sweetness that is so evident each time I read her posts. I can identify with Amanda since she seems to be in my part of the world--(when she wrote about her drive to the temple in Bismark, I totally identified, especially since we just did the 5 1/2 hours to Regina this past weekend). When I first read Lei's post "Did You Think to Pray" I was so touched that hers has become a daily visit. And then there's Amber--well, after all she is from Canada. Enough said, eh.

Thanks for brightening up my days and welcoming me into your world. I love being part of it.

As a side note: Kyle got home from his trip last night, and we were quite relieved that he made it through customs/immigration. (After our experience with Heidi, we weren't sure) I'm also very proud of the great job Brent did with the camera on the trip. I have lots of pictures which makes this mom quite happy!!!

Love this one of them in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle. I had to laugh when I asked Kyle what the best part of his trip--not surprising it was visiting the skateboard store.

Also, I am on day 7 of exercising (only two weeks to go until it becomes a HABIT!!!) It's getting easier each day.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Since Neal has told me that there is a way that I can turn my blog into a book, I don't want to leave anything out, so I want to recognize that our family has three birthdays coming up...tomorrow is Brent's 22nd, and Sunday is Allan's (I will just say he's OLDER THAN ME) as well as Hannah Grace's 7th birthday.

Brent: I know you read the blog so even though I will talk to you tomorrow I want you to know I wish I was there in Utah to bake a cake. Have a great semester. I'm hoping to come down for Conference

Allan: You know you'll get your favorite meal and if you want I'll even try my hand at the mayonnaise cake again or perhaps you'd prefer rice pudding.

Hannah Grace
: Happy Birthday, sweetie pie. I wish I was with you to give you a big hug and a kiss.

The kidlets made it back from Disneyland--and they posted this picture on our family website to prove they are in fact my children. They loved the roller coaster at California Adventure and rode it again and again, but they have to agree with Nancyface who said Disneyland truly is more magical!!!

By the way, I have made it another day exercising. That is 6 days in a row!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Being a Grandma

Nancyface had commented on one of my posts that she was looking forward to being a grandma and I thought about how much I love it. It is difficult when your grandchildren live so far away and you don't get to see them as often as you would like, but I certainly do have great memories of wonderful times with them. We've taken some great trips together, had some wonderful celebrations (reunions, graduations, weddings, birthdays, and I hesitate to say it but even the funerals for Allan's dad and my Les were great opportunity to celebrate their lives). Although I complain about not getting together as often as I would like, we have been blessed to be able to get together quite a bit.

I know everyone jokes about the greatest part of being a Grandma is that you get to send them home with their parents. When I'm with mine I wish I didn't have to send them back. I have varying ages and each of them has their own unique qualities and gifts. I appreciate so much their parents and the efforts they put forth in raising them.

I love that we can laugh together. This past June my granddaughter, Amanda, made a presentation at the Space Science Physics Conference. On our family website her dad posted this picture of Amanda and my grandson, Chris, holding up the poster she used at her presentation.

The next day I wrote them an e-mail and told them I had a dream the night before and I saw them holding a poster of something else. I love what you can do when you cut and paste--too bad I wasn't better with photoshop!!! I would rather the picture was not quite so close.

At the risk of anyone thinking I am showing favoritism (since some of them do check out the blog), let me put up pics of the rest:This is G-man who was born in April

Here are Jason, Kiah, Brandon, Hannah and Drew

This is Evan, Grandpa and Josh

I love being a mother and stepmother (I hate the term but have to use it) Being a grandmother is amazing. You watch your children grow with their children and you sit in awe of them. I feel so bad that my mom never experienced it and perhaps that's why I cherish it so much. (She never saw any of her children marry--her oldest was 18 when she died and her youngest was 9) I never had a grandmother myself and am so grateful my children have Allan's mom who at 89 is truly incredible. I think it's fabulous that my grandchildren have this woman as their great-grandmother. We loved it last year when at our family reunion (when she was 88) she went out to show her children and grandchildren, and her great grandchildren how to bat. She is so incredible.

We are truly blessed.

By the way, I MADE IT ANOTHER DAY!!! Even managed to turn it up a notch--I'm sore but happy. It's a good thing I'm doing this because I looked at the stuff for our trip in the fall, and if I don't get in shape, I am going to have one heck of a time doing all the walking and I think Allan would have a hard time carrying me ; )

Thursday, August 23, 2007

1993 Trips

Another great year. We knew life would change because we would no longer be in Brampton, but we didn't know where we would be moving. It was so wonderful that Allan had the opportunity to serve as Bishop for 2 1/2 years--when he was called we knew his job was ending, but obviously the Lord knew we'd be there for awhile. We made some great friends in Brampton, and we still keep in touch with many of them today.

In March the kids and I made a trip out to Missouri to visit. We knew we wouldn't be in Toronto very long so we wanted to take advantage of being close enough to drive since we didn't know where we'd be going next. I think Kyle and Kiah are making the exact same face.

At the end of March we attended the CTA Meeting in Arizona. (So funny when you look back now and realize that some 12 years later Brent would serve a mission there. We always loved going to Arizona. (Glad we go to the CTA every year) Not sure what hotel we stayed at that year, but these are the grounds.

On this trip we caught a plane over to San Diego so we could go to the San Diego temple open house--it would have been our temple if we had stayed in Laguna Niguel. What a great experience and what an incredibly beautiful temple.

Aunt Gerry came out to visit in April. She loved the grounds of the Toronto temple--they are beautiful. We had a lot of fun having her visit. We took her to Niagara Falls and to Palmyra. We drove by the Martin Harris home which is not available for tours.

I have to say again for anyone who has never been to the falls that the Canadian side is far more beautiful that the American side.

In July we flew down to Utah for another family reunion. Unfortunately all of our children couldn't make it--we brought Heidi, Brent, and Kyle, and Neal brought Chris and Amanda. This is another one of those famous plane rides. Kyle was kicking the seat of the person in front of him and we kept trying to get him to stop!!! (I was reminded of it the other day when the child behind me was doing the same thing--I felt for the exasperated parents, so I never turned around.)

I believe we were there over the 4th of July and so there was a parade.

We can never make a trip to Utah without going to BYU. I think one day we should go back and re-enact this--of course.

We love Los Hermanos. Of course, when we go today we always go to the one on Center Street as opposed to the one in Lindon--much better.

Whenever these guys get together you don't have to tell them to be silly, it's just part of the program.

We always visit Temple Square.

On our way to Missouri, we stopped by to visit Nancy, Wendy and the boys. As always, where did we eat--where else--Waffle House.

Went to Missouri in August--knew that we would be moving and assumed it would be somewhere where we were not in driving distance to Columbia anymore so we had to take advantage of this opportunity to be so close.

Because we were there for Brent's birthday, Stephen and Daphne decided to throw him a surprise party. It was so cute and he was so happy and excited.

In September I flew out to Dallas to meet my sisters for my niece, Denise's wedding. It's the first time in years that my sisters and I were all together for a few days. Also first time I had ever rented a car at the Dallas airport (on my own), and I HOPE THE LAST! Les drove the motorhome down. I remember when he brought out the Reese's Peanut Butter cups and was so excited to share them with me--and when I bit into them I swear they were left from Halloween when I was a teenager ; (

The movers came and packed up everything and we headed out of town in our trusty van and made the drive across the U.S. We stopped in Indiana to visit the kids. We got a huge room at the Holiday Inn and it was so fun to have the kids come and stay.

It was obviously Christmas time and Nancy had the boys dressed like little elves. They were so adorable.

Evan and Josh enjoyed the pool.

Wendy and Tony enjoy another great meal at the Waffle House--Stephen's favorite place to go!!!

After we left Indiana, we decided to go to Nauvoo. Unfortunately, I could feel something was wrong with one of my teeth. By the time we found a dentist, it had become abscessed and though they tried to do a root canal they couldn't get to the root, so I had to have the tooth removed. (I'm happy to report it wasn't the front tooth!!!

Next stop Columbia. While we were there Kiah wasn't feeling really great. When we got home we found out she had the chicken pox, so two weeks later so did Kyle. (We were quite happy because it never became an issue when he was in school!!!)

Jason and Brent had a great time with the wax lips.

Before we headed off to California (via Denver where Kyle hit the corner of that table at the Ramada and Allan had to take him via taxi to the emergency room to get stitches!!!) we stopped at McDonalds for some lunch.

We were so lucky when we arrived in Reno. Bev and Grandma had done so much work already--the house was decorated for Christmas (family is great!!!)

This is one of my favorite pictures with these guys. We met up at Boreal and had such a great time sledding together.

It had been a long time since we had been to Hayward for a Casper's Hot Dog. They tasted as good as ever.

Another Meme and More

I'm embarrassed to say I saw this on someone's blog and don't remember where, so I can't post a link:

1. where is your cell phone? on the nightstand
2. your boyfriend/girlfriend? he's my husband
3. where is your mother? no longer alive
4. where is your father? no longer alive
5. your favorite thing to do? be with family
6. your dream last night? do not remember
7. your dream car? blue Mercedes convertible
8. the room you're in? in my office
9. who did you hang out with last night? husband and friends
10. your fears? tight closed places
11. what aren't you good at? singing, writing, drawing
12. muffins? apple cinnamon muffins
13. one of your wish list items? be with grandkids
14. the last thing you did? ate my breakfast
15. your computer? love my mac
16. your pet? hamster Bashful died
17. you are wearing? light blue bathrobe
18. your life? it is wonderful
19. your mood? anticipating great day
20. missing? all my kids
21. your car? dark green van
22. what are you thinking about now? kids in disneyland
23. your work? is never done
24. your summer? is almost over
25. your relationship status? blissfully happy wife
26. your favorite color(s)? red, dark blue
27. when is the last time you cried? I cried yesterday
28. when was the last time you laughed? few minutes ago
29. school? long, long ago
30. favorite 90's group? am not sure

No tagging for me, if you want to do it, please do and have fun.

BY THE WAY--today will be my fourth day of exercising. Yippee!!! Appreciate the encouragement. Thanks, Nancy.

ALSO, the kids are having an incredible time in Disneyland. They called yesterday as they were getting ready to get on the shuttle. They were going to spend the morning at Disneyland and then head over to California Adventure (I'm jealous because I've never been there, and I know Stephen, Daphne and the kids love it). Jacquie wanted to ride the roller coaster. Heidi and the boys did not want to--HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY BE MY CHILDREN??? I used every tactic I could think of (including bribery) to get them to ride it. I'm ashamed to say I even offered to pay Kyle if he rode it and didn't like it--I was so sure he would love it. (Hence, my problem of thinking I know what's best for everyone--that's another post at another time ; ) Of course, he told me he would just say he hated it, and I suggested he look at the scripture that says, "Wo unto the liar for he shall be thrust down to he**. Later Heidi called to say they had just gotten off the ride and they all loved it. In fact, when she called later that night, the boys had been on the rollercoaster several times.

I am so glad they are having a great time. As difficult as it was for me not to go with them (not just so I could ride the roller coaster), I'm so glad they are having this time together. Allan says he always remembers the great time he had with his sister, Gerry, when they would travel alone from Reno to San Francisco. Those kinds of memories last forever!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wish List

Don't you just wish...

1) Time could stand still--my kids are just growing way too fast. Sometimes I long for the days when they were babies and it seems like it was just yesterday when the doctor placed my oldest in my arms, and he's 37.

2) In the words of Cher--(We) Could Turn Back Time--I'd love to spend a few minutes with my parents. I loved the scene in Peggy Sue Got Married where she's back with her grandparents, or in Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner gets to play catch with his dad.

3) Flying was cheaper--Maybe because my youngest three are on a trip, I'm missing all of them. It seems like it's been ages since I've seen some of my kids and grandkids. I'm grateful for the internet, land lines, cell phones (text messaging is great and some of the grandkids are better at that than e-mail) because at least I get to hear from them. Heck, if I'm going to wish, I would love to have a plane that would make days like today easier--I could fly and visit or have my plane go pick them up and bring them here!!!

4) All the good stuff we enjoy eating didn't have calories--Why is it that the better the food taste the more calories it seems to have. If only we could just eat anything we wanted and not have to worry about gaining weight.

5) We really learned from our mistakes--Maybe this is just a problem for me but try as I do, sometimes I just seem to make some of the same mistakes over and over again. If I learned from my mistakes, I wouldn't be sitting here having to lose 25 - 30 pounds again!!!

6) We could remember everything we read--So often I finish reading something and then can't remember what I just read. I also wish I were a speed reader--it takes me a long time to read. I have a friend who read Harry Potter in like 5 hours. I love to read. I used to read so much more.

7) There was more time in the day--Or perhaps I just need to do things faster. But sometimes that "Things to do today" list gets so long and besides doing everything on the list,I'm supposed to find time to floss ; )

8) There was a trick to developing good habits--It seems so easy to develop bad ones yet is so tough to develop the good ones. They say after three weeks of doing something it becomes a habit. I am trying to get back into the habit of exercising--I've done it for 2 days (yippee!!!) Only 19 more and it will be a habit (boy I hope!!!)

These are just some of my wishes. There are some obvious ones I didn't list, but I am just wondering: What do you wish?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mothering Today

Maybe because my three youngest children are off on a trip together to Disneyland I'm thinking a lot about mothering. My children/stepchildren range in age from 16 - into their 40's, and it's amazing how different it is raising my 16 year old today. The world has changed so much from what it was like when my oldest was born. And I catch myself thinking of how simple life was when I was young--at Christmas we would get pick-up-sticks, jacks, dolls, coloring books, roller skates, etc. TV was so different--I Love Lucy had Ricky and Lucy sleeping in separate beds and you never heard a swear word on TV. And, movies, wow. Then there's the clothes--yikes. Because these changes have been gradual, I find I watch TV shows I probably shouldn't, need to be careful about the movies I watch, and the music I listen to. I worry about where it's all headed. I'm sure I sound like an out-of-touch old bitty. (And in spite of what you might think I didn't hike 15 miles in the snow to go to school!!!)

Our youth today are so involved in so many activities. I look at my son who takes piano, plays volleyball, basketball, and track, is involved in Scouting, has a part time job, and had great grades last year, as well as goes to early morning seminary, and I am amazed at how he does it all. So many of our youth have so many things pulling them in all different directions, and I appreciate their diligence and determination to try to do what's right.

I have been able to see many of my children grow up and become parents themselves. I am amazed at what a wonderful job they are doing in such a crazy and mixed up world. I am so proud of them and grateful for the people who have been a positive influence in their lives as well as the lives of my grandchildren. The things that my grandchildren are having to deal with in school, in the community, with the internet, etc., makes me so grateful that they are being raised with standards and a knowledge of who they are. Yet even with the standards and this knowledge, I hope and pray they can withstand the pressures that are placed before them.

I hope this doesn't sound depressing because even with everything that is happening, I think life is great. I have such hope for the future. I feel it such a privilege (and responsibility) to be a mother and pray every day that I can be the example and kind of mother my children need. Most of all I'm very grateful I'm not in this alone.

(P.S. I DID my exercising yesterday--Yeah! I will again today)

Monday, August 20, 2007

8 Random Things

I liked the idea of the Eight Random Things that Amanda did, so I thought I'd do that today:

1) I have a confession...last week when I did my 5 Things Meme, on my list of 5 things to do today I listed "exercise". That had been on my "list of things to do today" for weeks, but because I posted that I was going to do it, I DID IT! But, I haven't done it since. So, I thought maybe if I wrote it on my blog I would feel I better do it. So here goes, I'm going to exercise today and tomorrow and so on. I keep saying if I don't do it I will not have a thing to wear when I go on our cruise around China in the fall. Not only that I will be so out of shape that even the walk from my room to the dining room will be tough!!! Enough said.

2) The kids are leaving Utah this morning for Disneyland. Their drive down to Utah went smoothly and it sounds like they are having such a fun time together. I think this was a great idea--to allow them to just go off together. Maybe because they're gone, I'm really missing the other kids, too. Some I haven't seen for quite awhile.

3) The house is quiet without anyone at home but Allan and I are enjoying the time alone. I think he has a fairly busy week, but that's o.k. We had a wonderful weekend together--we even attended Church in the same building.

4) After the Seminary In-Service on Saturday, I feel like I'm ready to get back into the swing of preparing. I think it's going to be a great year. I know it's early for them (hey, it's early for me, too), and I admire them so much for their sacrifice of sleep. We have a good time learning together.

5) I can't believe Kyle is going into Grade 11. I still think of him as being in Grade 4--even when I'm sitting in the passenger seat and he's driving me around town.

6) This will be a crazy year of graduations for our family--We have Heidi graduating from BYU; granddaughter, Amanda, graduating from BU; son-in-law, Tony, graduating from UNR; granddaughter, Kiah, graduating from Placer High; and grandson, Josh, graduating from Floyd Central. Unfortunately, two will be on the same weekend, and we're not sure how we're going to make that work.

7) I must admit I love Winnipeg this time of year--the weather is wonderful. The hard part is I KNOW WHAT'S COMING. It won't be long and when Kyle and I head out the door for Seminary we'll freeze. Then there are those days when we can't get the door to the Church open because it seems like it's looked and I have to make my way through the snow to the other door that's really heavy. (Well, maybe we won't have any of those kinds of days this year ; )

8. I'm looking forward to a new season of 24.

Now I'm off to exercise!!!

1992--TRIPS, ETC.

1992 was a great year. We actually lived the whole year in Brampton--that felt like a bit of a record!!! We really didn't take as many trips as in years past, probably because we had the big trip to Disneyworld at Christmastime.

One of our favorite places to eat in Maui was The Chart House. (Of course, it holds great memories because that is where we went the night Allan gave me my engagement ring) No, there is no romantic story that goes along with it, we just knew!!! I loved him and he loved me, so...

Early in the morning we went to Haleakala--no we didn't ride bikes up to it, we drove. It was beautiful--I had never been there so I enjoyed it so much. I think on this trip we stayed at the Ali'i. That has to be one of my favorite condos.

One of my favorite stories about leaving my kids with sitters happened during this trip to Hawaii. We arrived home after being gone for about 10 days. Kyle was in the family room and I was so excited to see him. He hadn't started walking yet so was crawling on the floor and when he saw me he looked up at Adrienne (his sitter) and then down at the ground. I went over to him and picked him up. He looked over at Adrienne and began to cry like, "Who is this lady and why is she trying to pick me up?" I WAS CRUSHED.

We flew out to San Francisco in May 1992 to be there for Chris's baptism. It was a wonderful event. Grandma and Grandpa came down from Reno and we had a great celebration. I had the opportunity to speak on the Holy Ghost. I had not seen Mark and Joanna in some time and it was great to see them.

Here are the Grandma's, Grandma Marianne (Jennifer's mom), me, and Great-grandma. Chris is a lucky young man to have so many who love him. Family has always been such an important thing to Chris--he always appreciates whenever he's able to be with family.

After Christopher's baptism we drove out to Missouri when Stephen was going to be ordained an Elder. We were so pleased that while we were there Daphne decided to be baptized. Both were such wonderful experiences, and we were glad that we were able to make the trip. This picture was taken on Sunday as we were ready to return home--hence the tears.

While we were there, Stephen and Daphne took us on a tour of the campus. It was a beautiful campus, and we were so glad that they were happy in Columbia. (Not sure if Heidi's getting ready to sneeze or what's wrong in the picture???)

Toronto had a great zoo, and the kids and I went with a friend named Dorothy, and her granddaughter Elizabeth. Must admit I don't have great pictures from the visit, but I loved this picture of Brent with the tiger photo.

Nancy, Danny and the boys came out in July and we went to Woodbine Center and Ontario Place. It was a lot of fun.

We drove down to Palmyra for the Pageant which was always so incredible. I wish we had lived there when the kids were a little older so they could have participated in the Pageant.

When Neal came out for a visit in August, we went as a Ward to Wasaga Beach which was always a lot of fun. We were sure glad Neal came or WHO WOULD HAVE CARRIED ALL OF OUR STUFF FROM THE VAN TO THE BEACH???

Kyle was always fascinated whenever Allan had a toothpick in his mouth. Such intensity in his face as he studies that toothpick!!!

Heidi was one of the bridesmaids in Adrienne and Ian's wedding. She just ate it up and thought that was the greatest thing in the world. She had a chance to dance with her dad at the wedding--as hard as I tried couldn't get the picture to look quite right.

We had great seats when the Braves and the Blue Jays played in the World Series--of course, Canadian fans were not too impressed after the fiasco in Atlanta where the color guard displayed the Canadian flag upside down. (I think less people were upset than the news reported--what a surprise!!!) I was surprised to look over in the stands and see Spike Lee (in the white cap)

We knew we had the trip to Disneyworld over Christmas, so in early December, Bev and Homer, and Grandma and Grandpa came to Brampton. We had a great visit. We drove to Palmyra, took them to the ice skating rink when Brent had one of his gym classes, and celebrated an early Christmas together.

Here we are before you go into the Sacred Grove. Gosh it's been so long since I've been there. I would have loved to have taken my Seminary kids last year, as we discussed Doctrine and Covenants. It is such a wonderful place to sit and ponder.

This has got to be one of my favorite pictures of Kyle with his grandpa. Kyle had such a fun time with him. They just laughed and giggled together. (You gotta love the little cap Kyle's wearing--and it's too bad you can't see the knickers!!!)

I love this picture of Kyle and his Aunt Bev. He loved having all the attention when the family visited--and he usually got it.

I can still remember how excited we were to let all of the kids know we were going to Disneyland for Christmas. We sent them all a FAX or mail and told them all they could not open it until we gave them the word. They were all so excited--but I don't think anyone could have been as excited as I was. On our way to Disneyworld we stopped in Kirtland and then Charlotte, NC, to see friends there.

Dad, Kyle and Brent enjoying the pool at one of the hotels. I always wish I had kept a journal of all the hotels we've stayed in over the years--so I could have marked the good ones and the not-so-good ones. Need to learn from mistakes and not repeat and go back and realize after a few hours--"Now I remember this hotel!!!"

We spent Christmas Eve in a hotel, opened presents in the morning and had breakfast Christmas morning at a Waffle House in Charlotte, and then headed off to Orlando. The kids were happy Santa managed to find them even though they were away from home. Most of the kids flew in or drove into Orlando the day after Christmas.

As is tradition, we had to take the picture of everyone in their pajamas--just a little revolting going on, but everyone participated. We even tried to get matching PJ's for everyone--not all the same but at least some.

One of my favorite memories is on Sunday morning when Allan tried to do a little Church lesson and told the story of Gideon--one of our favorites. The kids listened very intently and then when he was done, one of them said, "That was the longest story I have ever heard". We all had a good laugh.

The weather was quite cool while we were there, but who cared!!! Here are Evan, Josh and Brent visiting with Pluto, while Kiah and Jason look on. For me the best part of the whole trip was seeing the excitement on the faces of the kids. Nothing better.

Here are Jason, Brent and Kiah in the car. Hard to believe that today each of these kids could actually drive the car!!!

It truly is the happiest place on earth. Most of the gang stopped here to pose for a picture. I love this picture and just wish EVERYONE was in it.

Nancy's birthday is December 28th, so we had a chance to celebrate her birthday--something we hadn't been able to do for a few years, so it was great to share the day.

Sister and brother.