Saturday, June 28, 2008

Good Times

We are having a ball in Maui. It has been so long since my kids have been together and they are having a great time together. Yesterday as they were playing in the water--it was so fun for me to sit and snap pictures. I LOVED IT. I just loved this picture of the three of them.

Here's Kyle enjoying the waves. (You know I really think this was the first time Kyle has ever been in the ocean)

Kyle was so funny when we arrived, he was so disappointed that there were clouds--"I will never be able to get a tan". I think today he was grateful for a little cloud cover.

Today Heidi actually went in the ocean. (I know Aurora will appreciate her fear of the ocean--she has always worried about JAWS!!! So for her to swim it was a big thing!!!)

Brent has always been a fish. He enjoyed swimming with the boogie board. He was laughing and having the best time--it was so fun to watch. I know he is very anxious to try snorkeling.

Even though we were dead tired our first stop was Costco. Yes, that's right--we HAD to go to Costco. I think all of us had to be at the airport fairly early, so we were pretty dead last night. I keep thinking of when the whole family arrives on Monday and I feel so bad for them because I know how tired they will be, but then I remember they are young.

The food has been very good. Tonight we had Chinese food--one of my favorites and we had the best Pineapple Coconut Shrimp--yum was it ever good.

Here's a picture of Heidi and my little 90 year old MIL

Sidenote: I apologize for not getting around to all your blogs. I just can't spend too much time on the computer. I have you all in my google reader and will go back and read everything as soon as I can.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

And We're Off...

Hooray, hooray, we're on our way. Our summer vacation starts TODAY!!!

We have to be at the airport early this morning for a 7:55 flight--we were up kind of late last night. One of our missionaries returned from the Finland mission--he actually was the first missionary Allan set apart, so Allan was so glad he got home before we left for Hawaii so Allan would have the opportunity to release him. He was several hours late and had some trouble clearing customs, so they left our house about 2:45 a.m. He is a great young man who had a wonderful experience.

I'm not looking forward to the flight from Denver because it is so LLLLLLOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!! But when I realize I'm complaining about it, I have to say to myself, "Oh, quit complaining--you're going to Hawaii for crying out loud" ; ) Kyle hates to fly, so I hope he doesn't do too bad on the 7 1/2 hour flight. Can anyone tell me when you're on a flight that last that long why they don't give you TWO MOVIES????

This IS MY 200th POST, and actually I started blogging a little over a year ago so I guess it's actually my First Blogoversary. Now, the only reason I have 200 posts is because I did several posts about trips we took years ago. I wanted to have them documented.

Anyway, I think when I get back from Hawaii I will do a "ASK ME ANYTHING" post. I didn't want to do it now, because I want to spend all the time I possibly can with my cute little family. I know you all have cute little families, too, so you understand.

I refuse to do this as a sidenote: My cute "little" grandson, Jason, turned 20 on Tuesday. I still remember when he was born--he looked so much like his dad. Happy Birthday, Jason. I love you.

Kyle had the Undergraduate Awards Assembly last night--way to go Kyle. He received A's in all 9 of his classes. I got to the assembly a little late--I had been out doing some V.T. I walked in and sat down just in time because they read one name and then Kyle's!!! Talk about PERFECT TIMING!!!

Sidenote #1: Go check out Corrine's blog. She is hosting a Summer book exchange.

Sidenote #2: I forgot to give a big thank you to Klin for this cute little magnet that she sent me. What a sweetie!!! Thanks, Klin.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Thank Goodness for Great Talks

I go to Church for several reasons:

1) To Worship and Partake of the Sacrament
2) Because it's a Commandment
3) To Be Strengthened and Fed Spiritually by Lessons and Talks

As we go through difficulties in our lives, it is the experiences that we have had in the past that enable us to persevere. I believe our trials are opportunities for growth. (Please remind me of that when I begin to express worry and concern)

As I was driving on Saturday I started to cry and began to "worry" about the early retirement and what it's all going to mean. I then remembered a talk I had heard in Church in So. California some 20 years ago. One of the men in our Ward was speaking about an experience with his young son. This boy had fallen out of a second story window in their home. The mom had called to tell the dad to meet them at the hospital. Immediately, this dad fell to his knees and prayed. He said he was washed over with a strong, peaceful feeling that "Billy" (I can't remember his name) would be fine. When he got to the hospital, he went to the nurse and asked for Billy S. The nurse looked at him and said, "Billy's dead". He was devastated and wondered how he could have had that strong a feeling and been so wrong. She could see the devastation in his face and again said, "Billy's dad?" He realized he hadn't heard her right--she didn't say "dead" she said "dad".

Billy was fine, and he said it was a great lesson on how we often let the outside world dictate how we feel and even when we have spiritual experiences that tell us otherwise, we get sucked into doubting. I have been letting that happen. I know what promises Allan has been given, but I'm letting outside "forces" give me doubt. I know better--I truly do. We have had numerous experiences where tremendous blessings have been obvious--we just need to "trust in the Lord with all thine heart", as we are taught in Proverbs 3:5-6 (scripture mastery, I might add)

This post was written for me to REMEMBER--something we are admonished to do over and over in the scriptures. I will come back and re-read it when I allow those twinges of doubt to enter into my heart.

SIDENOTE #1: Tonight was the Athletic Awards and Kyle received two awards--MVP in Indoor Track and MVP in Outdoor Track. As the track coach was talking about Kyle's hard work, it was so sweet when he expressed appreciation to Allan for his hard work in coming to the school and helping with the field events.

It was also fun to see him on the list of Scholar Athletes

SIDENOTE #2: Yippee--I lost another 2 pounds. That's 16 pounds. If I can lose 1 pound by Thursday (the day we head for Hawaii) I will only be 5 pounds from my goal. I'm thrilled!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mystery Solved

A few days ago, Kyle said, "There is a horrible smell in the basement." I went down and thought, "Yikes!!!" It was pretty putrid. I was pretty sure something must have died under the house. (We have sub-flooring in the basement, so I figured a small animal, like a squirrel got under the house and died) We opened all the windows in the basement to air it out.

I went down to the basement this morning and Allan asked me if it was better. I told him that airing it out had obviously helped because it was much better. When he went down for something he said he did notice the smell around the desk where Kyle works. I said, "Hey, what about the garbage???" I went down and got it and MY GOODNESS IT STUNK BIG TIME!!! I brought the garbage container up and emptied it. Several paper towels that had been used to wipe up something that now stunk.

I'm relieved to know it wasn't a dead animal--or something else that's dead!!!!

Sidenote: The other day I was watching "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" and had a good laugh. A contestant got a question like: "If (Suzie) goes 36 miles in 4 hours, how fast is she going?" The guy hit his hand on his head and said, "Oh, man!" The host said, "And you said math was your best subject????"

Well, I had a good laugh until I realized that when I did my previous post "6 More Sleeps" I miscounted. I posted that on Thursday, we leave the following Thursday, that is actually 7 MORE SLEEPS!!! I guess I'm not smarter than a FIRST grader!!!

Sidenote #2: This is my 198th post--I want to do something fun for my 200th, but I need some ideas. Anyone have any suggestions???

Thursday, June 19, 2008


This morning as Kyle left for his Physics exam (his last exam), I said, "Kyle, just think a week from today we'll be in Hawaii." We are all getting so excited around here. I've said this before, but I think sometimes the anticipation of a trip is almost the best part. We have been planning this trip for a LONG TIME!!!

I told Allan yesterday that I want to be at the airport when each group arrives to take pictures. I hope my camera survives--I will be snapping away. I have to take lots of pictures and make sure that they all show we were REALLY in Hawaii! I don't want anyone doing what Neal did last time. This was our picture in front of where we stayed for our honeymoon 25 years ago.

Neal decided to show me that the picture was not proof that we were actually there. This "picture" of Neal, Macy, and Garrett was actually taken at the beach in California and Neal just changed the background. We have some real photographers in our family--and some of them have some very nice equipment, but I just love pictures, and am not terribly picky (just prefer the ones of me with my eyes OPEN!!!)

I'm really looking forward to the few days we have with Heidi, Brent, and Kyle before everyone else arrives. Heidi went to Hawaii when she was just 6 months old, but obviously she doesn't remember being there, so it will be fun to take her and the boys to all the places we love. (Heidi loves fruit, so she will enjoy all of that. Brent loves swimming, so I know he will love the ocean. Kyle is just wanting to get a tan--he has beautiful coloring, so it will be such fun for him ; )

Sidenote #1: I'm so grateful for good friends. Allan received a note today from one of them who said that he was praying for Allan because he's too young to be "put out to pasture" and he'd also be praying for me because I would be kept busy keeping him from CEOing the house ; ) I have to admit I have enjoyed being Allan's secretary the last couple of days. He's not a very demanding "boss" and I think I get some pretty good fringe benefits )

Sidenote #2:
My sister, Judy, had her lumpectomy yesterday and is doing fine. She will get the results in a week. I know Lauren had her procedure today. She is such a sweetheart and I hope all went well.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Let's Get Random

*It has been a crazy couple of weeks--actually, it's been a crazy couple of months.

*I am happy to report that I lost another 2 pounds. That means I have lost 14 pounds and have 8 pounds to lose by the time we leave for Hawaii next week. I don't think I'm going to make it, but at least I am in better shape than I was when I started 14 pounds ago.

*I'm trying to stop being so negative and take a lesson from my little husband who is the epitome of positiveness (is that a word???). I don't know ANYONE who is more positive than he is. After 25 years of marriage you'd think more of it would rub off on me ; (

*Life is changing for us as Allan has been forced to take an early retirement. You have to know that even though he will be turning 65 in a couple of months, he is the youngest 65 year old man I know. He's looking forward to having some free time before he gets busy with something else.

*Kiah's albums made it to California and back home. I would not check them on the plane and had to put them in a carry on. I will work on them through the summer but not at a crazy pace.

*I realize I didn't write about Kyle's experience at the Provincial Track Meet. He placed 6th in both the long jump and the triple jump.

*Kyle also played in his piano recital on Sunday night. I felt sad that no one was there to hear him play. His piano teacher said he played very well. (He also played for the Seminary Honor's Night) I gave him the option to not take piano next year and I think he wants to continue. I will love to hear him practicing for another year.
He has also been invited to be part of a jazz combo next year. According to his teacher they will play in a variety of venues throughout the year.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

I have been blessed to have some great men in my life. When I was a little girl
growing up in California, this man was so important to me. I was the son he never had. We loved Giant's baseball. I would read the paper every morning (at least the Sports page) so we could talk about what was happening. He was a great dad.

After my parents died in 1963 and 1964, this man stepped into the roll as substitute dad. He was an amazing man. I still remember him taking me aside when I was about 19 and telling me I talked like a truck driver--I had a pretty foul mouth (really there was nothing "pretty" about it ; ) He was not much of a baseball fan, but he loved the NFL and from him I learned a great deal about football. He was a great dad.

When I married, Allan I was blessed to have this man as a "dad". He knew little about sports but almost everything about everything else. He was a wonderful example for Allan and I think Allan is so wonderful today because of Newal. The highlight of Allan's working experience were the days he spent working side by side with his dad. He was a great dad.

It has been a privilege for me to watch my older boys follow in the footsteps of their dad. Both of them are fabulous dads. They have tried very hard to instill in their children the values they were taught as they were growing up. I'm grateful for all the examples they have had in their lives. They are great dads.

Last, but certainly not least, I'm grateful for this guy. I could take pages and pages to write about the qualities that he possesses. Before we got married and even before we ever started dating, I admired him. The day the phone rang and he asked me out on a date is a day I will never forget. I stood there thinking, "Did this really happen???" I was so excited for Stephen the day he was adopted by Allan. Stephen considers it one of the greatest days of his life. Allan was there with me, supporting me and encouraging me as Heidi, Brent, and Kyle were born. These three children are so appreciative of this man and all he has taught and continues to teach them. I don't think there is a better dad or a better man and it is such a privilege for me to be his wife. He loves the Lord and strives to always do what the Lord would want him to do. He is a great dad.

With Brent, his birthday present in 1985

Happy Father's Day

Sidenote: We had a wonderful Women's Conference yesterday. The two workshops were great. One of the Wards also performed Women at the Well. It was fabulous.

Allan had an opportunity to speak at the conclusion of the meeting. He always makes me feel better whenever he speaks. I went to the Conference with a few things on my mind and when I heard him speak, I was again reminded that God is mindful of each of us and we don't have to fear. Thanks for always giving us words of encouragement.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Have You Ever???

...Got ready to leave your house to go on a trip and thought--"What if this is my last time in this house???" (I don't think I've ever thought that before and it was kind of creepy)

...Wished you were a reptile and could shed that thin skin for some that was thicker. I know I talked about this in my resolutions post--guess I need to work harder on that resolution. This goes along with the realization that I need to lower my expectations on many things--especially what I expect of people. Wasn't this something else I was working on back in January? (Oops, guess I still have a long way to go!!!)

...Made a suggestion about doing something and then when someone followed through on your suggestion wished you hadn't made the suggestion.

...Visited with someone you've wanted to know better. As you visited you saw them in a different light and felt like you connected and justKNEW that things were going to be different, only to be disappointed when you got home and saw things were exactly as they were before. Again back to my accountability list!!!

...Recognized how blessed you are to have the scriptures to help you find the direction and peace you are seeking.

...Been so grateful for a husband who puts his arms around you and reminds you that everything will be o.k. When he does that, you know he is right. I am also so grateful that he is such a wonderful example to our children and grandchildren. He is so amazing and I think most of them do realize how blessed they are that he is their father. I want him to have a great Father's Day--I was looking on-line for a trip to the mountains, but think we will wait awhile.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another Graduation

I had a great visit in California. I was disappointed that I didn't get to see any of my sisters. I know one had to work, one had a graduation for one of her grandsons, one had already committed to a craft fair, and one was MIA--not really, I just don't know where she was that day.

I had a real treat on Friday when I arrived--I got to take this cute little guy to get a haircut. (I took this picture after the haircut--in fact, I took it at the Italian restaurant where we had dinner. Miss Hannah is such a great big sister.) Drew was so cute and it was so fun for me. I have to say, his hairdresser reminded me so much of nancyface. She was bubbly and fun and he just did everything she asked. When he finished we walked next door to get a mylar balloon--he loves balloons.

On Saturday morning Stephen headed over to the high school around 6:30 to save us seats in the bleachers. (The graduation started at 9:00.) It was a wonderful graduation. The speeches were great. Placer is a wonderful high school. The principal had asked the graduates who had parents who graduated from Placer to stand--quite a few stood. Then all those who had grandparents who graduated from there to stand--still some standing. Then great grandparents--there were 2 or 3.

I decided that since Allan couldn't be there for the actual graduation I would call him on the phone right before they read Kiah's name and he could hear. It was fun. But, unfortunately I learned I am not very good at multi-tasking because I wanted to videotape her as they read her name, but pressed the wrong button on my camera. I did get her walking across the field--it was cute because she decided mid-way across to stop and take off her shoes.

After the graduation we hung around and took pictures--including these:

Then we headed over to Daphne's brothers for a graduation party. Chris's daughter, Bailey, also graduated from high school so they held one party for the two of them. It was a lot of fun. It's really cute because these girls have been friends since high school. Here is a picture of them--it's hard for me to believe these girls all graduated almost 20 years ago. (Of course, it's hard for me to believe that I graduated 39 years ago--YIKES, I can't possibly be that old ; (

I love this picture of Drew playing frisbee with his dad.

Had a great Sunday. After Church the little ones and Stephen and I played Trivial Pursuit--it was supposed to a Disney edition. (Not enough Disney questions for me ; )
Stephen barbequed tri-tip for dinner and Daph's mom and grandma came for dinner. It was lovely. Jason and his girlfriend came over and we all played Apples to Apples. I get such a kick out of little Hannah's answers--she amazes me.

I realized I hadn't taken a picture with Brandon so he and I went outside and used the self-timer on my camera. He had graduated from 8th grade and will be starting high school next fall. He is such a wonderful young man. I love you, B.

Sidenote #1: Today while visiting Melissa's blog, she mentioned she had been nominated for "Nicest Personality" in the Bloggy Hoss Awards. When I went here to vote for Melissa, I was looking through all the different categories and was so surprised to see I had been nominated for "Head Cheerleader". Whoever submitted the nomination, thank you, I am so touched. Check it out, you will find other blogging friends have been nominated.

Sidenote #2: Kiah shared one of these brownies with me on Sunday (and shame on me, I ate one ; ) Her YW did these for a camp fundraiser. It's a good thing I don't live there or I would have had to buy a bunch--they were quite yummy!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Graduation and Wedding Weekend

The last few days have just seemed to fly by. It’s good to be home.

Our trip to Indiana was a good one. We arrived mid-afternoon on Wednesday. I forgot how incredibly humid it is there. We got our baggage, rental car, and headed for the hotel. Allan knows his way around—after all he did serve his mission there!!! As we were driving to the airport, the car just wouldn’t cool off. I think Allan was ready to head back to the airport and get a different car when he realized he hadn’t actually turned the air conditioner switch—it was just blowing the hot air around ; )

On our way over to the hotel we saw this sign. I told Allan—WOW! That is so nice of Nancy and the boys to go to all that work to welcome us ; )

After relaxing in the hotel for awhile, Allan’s SIL, Tony, Nancy, and the graduate—Josh, came to the hotel and we visited. Wendy, Tony’s wife, was supposed to have arrived that morning, and her flight ended up getting cancelled, so now she wasn’t going to get in until around 9:30 that night.

We went to dinner at a great restaurant that had the best rolls and a delicious cinnamon butter—YUM! I had to try one and it took all my will-power to not have any more.

Allan got up early and went for a walk. I went to the fitness center and got on the elliptical. I didn’t check my phone—Allan had sent me a text saying we were meeting Wendy and Tony for breakfast at 8:00. I got back to the hotel room around 7:30 to shower. Allan was getting ready and said something about going to Waffle House and I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. It took me awhile to shower and get ready, but I still managed to get there for breakfast. Allan was happy as a clam because he loves waffle house—I held back and had an omelette and toast. I have to admit I did miss not having the hashbrowns.

We ran some errands and then drove around and in the early afternoon went to the airport to pick up Neal who was flying in from Boston. (Macy and Garrett were flying in on Friday afternoon) We met up with everyone for an early dinner to celebrate Josh’s graduation. I had a chance to meet our other grandson, Evan’s, future bride. She is a very sweet young lady.

We headed to Josh’s high school where the graduation was held. It was hot, hot, hot. The graduation was held in the gym with no air conditioning. His class was very small—I believe there were 56 students.

After the graduation, Neal, Wendy and Tony came back to our room and we visited for awhile--it was great fun. I haven’t laughed like that with them for ages.—It was wonderful. I wrapped a couple of gifts for Evan and Scarlett.

I was supposed to leave the next morning on a 6:30 flight to Sacramento—remember me writing about how I was going to expect a check from the airlines if they changed anything. Well, when I got to the ticket counter, all was on schedule, but when I got to the gate there it was FLIGHT DELAYED!!! I went up to get a couple of tags to skycheck my bags and asked how long the flight was delayed and when they told me it wouldn’t leave for 3 or 4 hours, I knew I would miss my connection. After a few phone calls I got on a flight from Louisville to Chicago to Sacramento and actually got in about 2 hours later than planned (which actually was better because Stephen had a business lunch so he and Hannah and Drew came to pick me up ; ) Next post will be about my California adventures.

I was sad that I wasn't able to stay in Indiana for the wedding but was glad Allan was there for Nancy, Evan, and Scarlett. I'm sure it meant a lot to them that he was able to be there. Allan's camera stopped working but fortunately there were lots of people with cameras, so I got to see the pictures. Sounds like everything came together--Evan and Scarlett did a wonderful job of planning everything.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Family Fun

We arrived in Indiana to attend our grandson Josh's graduation. As we have been planning this, there has been a bit of a dilemma. Some time ago we were told Josh's brother, Evan, would be getting married the weekend of the graduation (the graduation is Thursday), His mom told us it was going to be a very small ceremony with just the bride and groom and their parents. We then discovered it was the same time as Kiah's graduation in California. Since we knew it was a small ceremony we went ahead and bought triangle tickets from Winnipeg to Louisville and then on to California. As the wedding got closer, we learned plans had changed and the ceremony was now going to include other family members. Kiah told Stephen and Daphne to encourage us to stay for the wedding and in four years we could come to her college graduation. Stephen also called the other day to encourage Allan to stay for the wedding, which I have been telling him was the best thing to do. I'm sure it means a lot to Evan to have his grandpa there--apparently, he had called his aunt to ask if there was any way that his grandpa could stay for the wedding. Evan's aunt, Wendy, and Uncle Tony as well as his Uncle Neal and Aunt Macy will also be there.

Allan went ahead and changed his ticket--for a mere $800. (So help me if the airlines makes any changes on our flights I WILL CHARGE THEM!!!) Some time ago, I wrote about wanting a plane--I REALLY WANT ONE RIGHT NOW--do you think anyone would lend me Air Force One???

So we arrived in Indiana to attend the graduation on Thursday and early Friday morning I will leave for Sacramento to attend the graduation on Saturday morning. Kyle and Kiah are six months apart so I would have liked to have taken Kyle with me to California, but he has a full weekend--his band is playing at a Cancer Fund Raiser, he will be competing in the Provincial Track Meet, and he has Seminary Honors Night. (Sure hope someone snaps a picture or two for me ; )

Sidenote #1: I saw the neatest thing when we were at the airport in Minneapolis. I remember when Kyle was little and we had to carry him in his carseat through the airport. What a pain--so I was very intrigued when I saw this. I'm guessing you just take the carseat off the "cart" and can use it on the plane. Sure beats carrying the child and the cart!!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Where does the time go???

Yes, there was no Seminary this morning, but I am about to go crazy. I'm trying to finish up my albums for Kiah--well, not that I'm anywhere done, but I just wanted to have enough pages so there would be some pictures of her life. I ended up with 3 albums. The first was birth to age 5; the second Kindergarten to grade 6; and the third grade 7 through high school. Each album has pages for trips, holidays, family, etc. She is such a sweetie--You gotta love this grad picture.

I also have been working on a DVD presentation to be played during her Grad party. I have about 110 slides of her life and then two different chapters with about 60 slides from cheerleading, and about 100 from trips to Disneyland/Disneyworld. She picked out some fun music to put with the slides. It's been a fun project. (Sure am grateful for my MAC which makes doing stuff like that a whole lot of fun.)

So, if you don't hear from me for a couple of days, I'm just trying to finish things up.

I got a phone call Saturday night from one of my older sister, Judy, who called to let me know she was just diagnosed with breast cancer. She will be going in for a lumpectomy and that will be followed up with radiation therapy. She sounds pretty positive. She had called each of us to tell us to be sure and go in and get our mammograms. (I haven't had one for a five years, so I called this morning and scheduled an appointment for the beginning of July. I wanted to do it for her. I'm sad because when I'm in California this weekend attending my granddaughter's graduation, my sister, Judy, will not be at the party because one of her grandson's is graduating the same day and his party is the same time.

Sidenote #1: This weekend I was reading aurora's blog and she was making reference to her niece, and then she asked an interesting question: Is your nephew's wife your niece? I have always thought that, but I'm starting to think perhaps I am wrong. Is your family only your "blood" family? Do you think of your husband's nieces and nephews as yours??? I always have, but maybe I'm a little odd. (No, don't answer that ; ) Just curious.

Sidenote #2: I'm happy to report I have lost another 2 pounds. Yippee. Allan received an e-mail from our Bishop on Saturday asking about doing a going away party Sunday evening for a Senior missionary couple. So, Allan went to Costco and got brownies, mini banana muffins, big M&M chocolate cookies, and a raspberry rhubarb pie. (He wanted to save me the torture of baking and not licking the spoon, etc.) Well, the Bishop sent another e-mail Sunday morning saying the party would be Tuesday night and could we host it at our house. No problem--we have all the goodies and we are not leaving until early Wednesday morning. Well, it turned out the couple is leaving Tuesday morning, so no party. But, what do we do with all the goodies ; ) Most of it will be eaten by all the teenage boys who come here for lunch every day. (But, I told Allan to take the pie and the muffins to work--too much of a temptation for me. I love strawberry rhubarb pie)