Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween's Past

This is a pic of carvings a few years ago--just plain old pumpkins this year ; ( I think this is the first Halloween I didn't put up my decorations--well, maybe Halloween 1990 when I was pregnant with Kyle--I got out of the hospital that weekend and I don't think I put up anything (notice I didn't say "threw up" anything)

After our news on Thursday, which you can read about here, we considered dressing up for Halloween as happy people, but changed our minds. I guess I was missing seeing the kids getting all dressed up, and it made me feel a little nostalgic so I decided to put up a few pics. Kids, if you look ENJOY:

Stephen and I many, many Halloweens ago. (I still have that costume ; )

Talk about many moons ago--how about 23 years ago.

Heidi's costume in Kindergarten was one of my favorites.

The next year she went as a Fairy Princess--I loved the costume.

I loved the year Brent went as a Robot--favorite story when someone asked if he was a refrigerator. Kyle was a little miffed and answered, "Does a refrigerator have arms?

Kyle as Mario--actually I just saw a pic of him on Facebook--looks a little bit more like Luigi in that one.

One year when I was in Young Women we had a Halloween party and we all dressed up.

Still one of the cutest costumes I've ever seen--the year Drew was an octopus.

I don't know though because you also have this one when Garrett was an elephant.

Maybe I'll do another Halloween post when I see pics of them all this Halloween. I'm sitting here just wondering what my little great-grandson was dressed as for his first Halloween. Goodness only knows ; )

Sidenote: I'm so looking forward to my extra hour sleep tonight.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


After 500 days (but who was counting???), I am pleased to report that we have GREAT CAUSE FOR CELEBRATING:

We want you to know how much we have appreciated your concern and your prayers. It has meant so much to us. Hugs. The e-mails and the comments, and obviously the prayers, have meant the world to me. I know many have experienced loss of employment, but when you are 66 years old it can be a very scary thing.

I would love to tell you that I have never worried through the whole experience but like George Washington, I CANNOT TELL A LIE. I have cried buckets, screamed, and at times had a very tough time, but through it all I really did know God was mindful of us and that eventually it would work out--it was just the "WHEN" that was so hard.

We're not sure exactly what will be involved in this new job, but the biggest question is: What am I going to do now that Allan will not be home EVERY DAY!!!!

And for those of you who have wondered--the best part of all WE DON'T HAVE TO MOVE. (Yes, I was torn because I would have loved to move closer to the kids, but as many of you know I have kids on the West Coast, East Coast, Midwest, and then those cute guys in UTAH. Thank goodness for phones, computers, and airplanes ; )

I really wanted to do this yesterday as a "What I Know Wednesday" post, but unfortunately it was not good to go, so no post yesterday--but then again judging by the blog traffic lately, it really doesn't matter ; )

Sidenote #1: We had a wonderful Stake Conference weekend. We had a great group over for dinner on Sunday including our Temple President and his wife--they have been in their calling for three years, so this was their last Conference with us (we will sure miss them), our new Mission President and his wife, and Allan's two counselors and their wives. We also had two of Pres. B's 3 children. It was our first Stake Conference without Kyle ; (

Sidenote #2: These are for sheri. I looked out the window on Sunday and saw a couple of deer in the yard and went and grabbed my camera. I had to laugh when I looked at this picture--IS THAT DEER JUST MIMICKING ME??? It sure looks like he has his eyes closed!!!

And then his friend decides to stick her tongue out at me--OF ALL THE NERVE!!!!

Sidenote #3: Now I can get started making reservations for a little trip. For our anniversary Allan is sending me to California to have Thanksgiving with Stephen and Daphne and their children. Heidi, Brent, and Kyle will drive in from Utah and hopefully Wendy and Tony will drive over the mountain. IT WILL BE SO FUN. I think Stephen and I are going to run a 5K together on Thanksgiving--how fun will that be!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Favorite Memories--Kids Edition

I had so much fun doing that post for our anniversary, that I thought I would do one favorite memory for each of our children--maybe one day I'll do one for the grandkids.

1) Neal--I have tons of favorite memories with Neal--Neal was home for one year after his dad and I got married. He was a delight to have around. Throughout my pregnancy, whenever he would come home he would check on me and help with whatever I needed. I sure missed him when he went off to BYU. It was always fun when we would have a chance to meet up. Heidi, Brent, and Chris and Amanda are still so close today because of all the times they spent together.

I was going to say my favorite memory would have to be when he brought Macy to Winnipeg to introduce us to her the Christmas before they got married.
It was so wonderful to see him so happy. Then 5 months later they were sealed in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple.

But, I think my favorite memory will be something that hasn't happened yet--when Allan and I get to go to China and Japan with him. He will be the PERFECT tour guide ; )

2) Nancy--Nancy is a fun girl. She was such a fun big sister for Heidi--when Heidi was little they were inseparable. As I think of my favorite memory with her, I am reminded of watching her when she became a mother. She has always had that motherly instinct. Of course, watching her last February interact with her first grandchild was tons of fun. Then, although we didn't plan on seeing them again--we saw them in April at my MIL's funeral and we took this picture at that time.

You wouldn't believe the pictures she sends via her cell phone--Xander with a beard at Christmas, as a street thug, they just keep coming. I'm sad that we don't get a chance to see them very often.

3) Stephen--Well, Stephen and I have been together since he was born in 1970 and I have tons of memories. I remember when he threw my surprise birthday party when he was 10--so fun. I remember one day when he was home for lunch with one of his buddies and my TV commercial came on the air and he said to his friend, "Oh, there's my mom"--the look on his friend's face is a great memory. I took some of the money from the commercial and he and I flew to Disneyland. I was so amazed as we stood and line and I heard him sharing the Gospel with people in line.

Obviously, my favorite moment would have to be in 2006 when he and Daphne and their 5 children were sealed in the Hawaii temple.

4. Wendy--She is a wonderful woman. After our first year of marriage she spent the majority of time with her mother.

After she and Tony got married, they left Indiana and moved to Reno and lived with us for a few months. It was so fun. The kids loved having them there. I loved having a hairdresser in the house--I HATE DOING MY HAIR and she has always done a good job with my mop.

I guess I'd have to say one of my favorite memories would have to be attending her baptism when I was her CTR teacher--long before her dad and I got married. But another favorite memory would be when she and Tony came to Winnipeg one Christmas and we went to Lights of the Wild on Christmas Eve. I highly doubt they had ever been that cold in their lives, but they are such troopers they didn't complain at all they just smiled and their teeth chattered like the rest of us ; )

5. Heidi--I have so many wonderful memories of Heidi. She was such a delightful little girl--I'll always remember her and Chris playing ponies. I loved watching her all through school. Heidi loves to dance and we haven't been able to see her in all her performances, but to watch her dance is so great. I'll never forget Kyle carrying her during the dance at Amanda and Darren's wedding. I can't find my 5 x 7 copy of this pic to scan, sorry.

But one of my favorite moments would have to be going into her classroom and watching her teach the very first time. I love hearing her stories--she just makes me laugh ALL THE TIME. Sorry, I can't post a picture because I can't put a pic of the kids in her class, but here she is with her brothers who helped her decorate her classroom.
The pic reminds me of a video where she is holding a little wand like that which she referred to as "my maaaggggggggic" ; )

6. Brent--It has been a real privilege to be Brent's mother. He is an amazing young man--probably my most positive child. He is such a great help whenever he's home. (I miss that so much) I have had great memories with him--it's been wonderful to watch him grow up and accomplish so much. It was always so fun to watch him play video games--he loved them and always surprised us with his hand and eye coordination.

Taking him to the MTC was a great memory--during those two years it was great to read about his experiences. I would have to say my favorite memory with him was when we went to Arizona so he could take us to all the places he loved when he served there on his mission.

7. Kyle--We have had some great memories with Kyle. He is our little Canadian. He is probably our biggest worrier--I really don't know why. Because he was the only child at home since 2005, he has had a lot of attention. I think he kind of enjoyed it, but at the same time would have loved having the other kids around.

Of course, one of my favorite stories has to be when Kyle broke his leg. The interns/residents were all coming to look at the break (it was pretty ugly) They had given Kyle a fair amount of morphine and he was pretty out of it. His eyes were shut and we assumed he was asleep. We were waiting for him to have an x-ray and talking about when he would go in and Allan commented that it would probably be awhile since his injury was not "life threatening". Kyle IMMEDIATELY sat up and with great emotion said, "It's life threatening????"

But a favorite memory would have to be when he won the Provincial Championship in the Long Jump.

Sidenote #1: Go here and look at some cute pictures of my little grandson, Garrett, and then go vote for him. I know I'm his grandma and everything BUT YOU HAVE TO ADMIT HE IS A CUTIE ; )

SIDENOTE #2: In my last post on our wedding anniversary, Connie asked where my MIL was in the family picture--I put the one of just us and our kids/grandkids. So here are a couple from her 90th birthday postFirst is the one of my sweet MIL and all of her children, spouses and grandchildren along with the one of her parasailing.

You might have trouble seeing her in those, so here's one of her when we were in Alaska on our cruise to China last year.

Friday, October 23, 2009


August 17th I did an anniversary post, but today is our 27th Wedding Anniversary. Last year I posted 26 reasons why I love this guy. All of those reasons still apply. But today in honor of our 27 years, I present 27 of my favorite moments:

1. This has to be #1--being sealed in the temple. I still remember that day like it was yesterday--we were a FOREVER FAMILY. When all of the kids came into the temple and Stephen was sealed to us, it was a moment I will NEVER forget. Family dynamics are not always easy, but they are definitely worth the effort.

2. Our honeymoon--ever since we started dating, we didn't have much time alone. When you are dating and have 4 children it is tough to find those moments, so when we headed off to Hawaii and we were alone, it was such a treat. One of his memories of our honeymoon (not a favorite memory ; ) is when I got sick and he was so attentive, but I wasn't used to that so I sent him away. Off he went to Pizza Hut where he had to fight off a GIGANTIC cockroach ; )

3. Each time he would hold one of our newborn babies--he is so big and to see the tenderness and love in his eyes just melts my heart. Of course, having him in the delivery room was always so comforting. (No picture because SERIOUSLY which one do you use ; )

4. Watching him with his mom and dad through the years. He has always referred to his mom as his "Angel Mother". I love the advice to young people while they are dating to watch how their love interest treats his/her parents and their siblings. Allan was always so concerned for his parents and still shows that kind of love and concern for his sisters.

5. The day he was issued the call to be SP. He came home after he had been interviewed by the GA, and we were talking about the experience when he got a call from the SP asking us to come to the Stake Center. We sat there crying. We assumed he was being called as a Counselor. Allan said, "When we get there, look for the man who is white in the face--he will be the new SP". Little did we know...

It has been a great experience for him, and I have loved watching and supporting him while he has served.

6. In December 2000 when he and his sisters were sealed to his mom (and dad) at the Mt. Timpanogos Temple. Oh, what a precious moment.

7. Another favorite moment when our first grandchild, Chris, was born. We were in Hawaii and we were so excited to come home and meet him. It was exciting to be Grandparents.

8. When Brent got his mission call to Tempe Arizona. Well, actually the whole mission experience was such a wonderful time for us. I know for Allan it was so great to share with Brent many of his own mission experiences. He's looking forward to doing the same thing when Kyle goes on his mission.

9. Our trip to Disneyworld with all the kids/grandkids Christmas 1992. What a blast. A trip I will never forget. Family means everything to him and to see all of us so happy just made him beam.

10. In 2002 we had another family reunion--this was one was in Park City, Utah. We had such a great time being at the condos together. He is such a fun dad and grandpa--the kids always have such a great time with him.

11. Although this wasn't a fun moment--I learned so much about the kind of man he is. In 1989, he was offered a job to run a trucking company in Charlotte, NC. We put our house in So. California up for sale and made the big move across the U.S. (My first experience living outside of California) HIs first day at work he was told by the CFO that the company owed millions of dollars in back taxes to the IRS--which meant more than likely it wouldn't survive--and it didn't. When he came home and told me I wanted to just stop packing and move back to California. Nope we made the most of it--he didn't get discouraged he just worked as hard as he could and smiled through it all. It ended up being a great move--we got great help for Brent and it led to better opportunities for him.

12. The first time we visited New York was such a treat. We were visiting a cousin of his--for me going to Yankee Stadium was so exciting. We saw all the touristy things and it was so fun to share those great moments TOGETHER.

13. In July 1983 we visited Europe for the first time. His good friend, Doc C. was serving as MP in Paris, and we decided to go see them. We started dating after they left to go to France, so to be together and spend time with them was such a treat. One of my favorite moments of that trip was when we were in Zermatt--near the base of the Matterhorn. Early one morning we heard all this noise and Allan went running out onto the deck of our hotel room and there were all these goats running through the town. He was so excited--the look on his face was PRICELESS.

14. When Allan was Bishop of our YSA Ward we all took a trip to Nauvoo. It was amazing. These are some great Young Adults and many of them still live in our Stake and it's always fun to see them. We went down in several vans and spent a few days there--certainly a great memory. The highlight was going to the Nauvoo Temple.

15. His 60th surprise birthday, when he came home from work and all the kids and grandkids came out of our room yelling SURPRISE. What a moment ; ) I still can't believe I pulled it all together without him knowing a thing. Making all those reservations and paying for it without him figuring it out was a real challenge.

16. In May he had the opportunity to perform the marriage of our Grandson, Chris to Heather. I loved listening him as he gave them marriage advice during the ceremony. I loved that I knew he was talking from experience--he doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk.

17. Our excitement when we went on our first cruise. I think both of us kept looking at each other thinking ARE WE REALLY HERE????

18. This is another one that's hard to explain. For a number of years Allan would go walking. Anyone who has ever walked with him can verify he walks VERY FAST. In 2007 after his heart problem and his surgery to have the stent, he and I took the trip to Utah. The first morning after we arrived he wanted to go out walking. I told him I had to go with him and we headed over to the track at the school. I was very nervous and didn't want him to get very far ahead of me, so I jogged to stay near. He started walking even faster and I had to pour it on and finally was really panting to keep up. Come to find out because I was staying right up with him he figured he had really slowed down so just kept going faster and faster. Luckily both of us SURVIVED.

19. When Kyle won the Provincial Track Championship for the long jump It was so exciting--Allan had worked hard coaching him and they were both so excited.

20. Now, this one was before we were married or even ever dated--it was the first time I heard him speak about an experience when he was a Deacon and was on an outing with the AP in his ward. Even though his dad had not been active since he was a teenager, he let the ward use one of his busses on the outing. The Ward used a bus driver (not one of his dad's), and the driver wasn't familiar with the bus and did something wrong and the bus broke down. When these Deacons got bored waiting for another bus to come and pick them up, they took out pocketknives and began cutting the seats on the bus. Allan was so mad and wanted the Bishop to do something to these boys. I think their punishment was THEY HAD TO APOLOGIZE. When Allan talk about his dad and his forgiving nature, the love and respect Allan has for him was so evdient.

21. Every time I watch him as we struggle with a challenge in our lives--no, the struggles are not a favorite moment, but the way he handles them is such a lesson to me. He has such faith. When you see him, you'd never know he has a care in the world--he is the most positive person I know. One of the many things I love about him.

22. General Conference--Whenever we have the chance to be at General Conference is a favorite for me, but the first year I went with him holds a special place. I was baptized the day Pres. Kimball was sustained in General Conference--April 6, 1974, so he has always been "my Prophet". I was thrilled to be in the tabernacle in Oct. 1982 Conference and will never forget when Pres. Kimball walked in and we all stood and sang "We Thank Thee O God For A Prophet".

23. A few years ago our Ward was assigned to be the cast in our Nativity Pageant. I was serving in YW at the time and we needed some extra Shepherds--thanks to some great make-up artists, I was transformed into a shepherd. (The weekend of our first performance, Allan had scheduled a trip to the temple for 3 of the YSA who were leaving three weeks later for missions so he missed the first night's performance. When he returned home and came to The Forks (no, not that Forks ; ) he came looking for me. I will never forget the look on his face when he looked over at what he thought was an "awfully friendly shepherd ; ) Here is a shot of Kyle and me.

24. Going to the NCAA March Madness tournament last year. We are huge college BB fans and driving to Minneapolis last year and attending a couple of the games was A BLAST. Some day we will go to a Championship game.

25. The first time he took me to Herrington's (a place we love to go)--it's a place at the base of the Sierra's. It has great memories for his family and now ours. We went with Stephen (and a friend) and Neal, and Allan's parents and one of his sisters. One evening Allan had taken me for a drive, and when we got back and he went into the room with the boy, he was surprised to find Stephen and his friend had left Allan the cot and they were in the "big" bed. It was late and Allan being the nice guy decided to climb onto the cot which proceeded to collapse. He could hear the boys laughing in bed ; )

26. Last year being on the Great Wall was incredible. Our whole China trip was AMAZING. And then when we were on the Great Wall, we were stopped by this sweet couple who wanted a picture with him.

I smile every time I think of visiting with these sweet children on the ferry in Japan. They loved trying their English and were so helpful and sweet as we tried speaking Japanese.

And then when we were on the Great Wall, we were stopped by this sweet couple who wanted a picture with him.

27. Our trip to Hawaii to celebrate his mom's 90th birthday. What a great moment for all of us. He worked so hard to plan the whole thing and for all of us it is a trip we will never forget. Little did we know it would be her last birthday.

I HAVE AN AMAZING HUSBAND and a great family.

Happy Anniversary, honey. Can't wait to celebrate when you get home. I love you.

I'm reminded of Pres. Eyring's talk at General Conference where he suggest we "Pray for the love which allows you to see the good in your companion. Pray for the love that makes the weaknesses and mistakes seem small. Pray for the love to make your companion's joys your own. Pray for the love to want to lessen the load and soften the sorrows of your companion." SUCH FABULOUS COUNSEL.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lifting Burdens: The Atonement of Jesus Christ

So on this Wednesday WHAT DO I KNOW--I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and my Redeemer. I'm so grateful for Him--grateful for what I can become because of HIM.

Monday, October 19, 2009

From My Memory Journal

I have this fun little memory journal that I bought years ago--"Grandma Tell Me Your Memories". I decided to share one of my answers--it was to the question: Did you ever pretend to be sick as an excuse to stay home from school?

First of all, NO. I NEVER DID. I LOVED SCHOOL. When we went to live with Helen and Les after my folks died, I remember Helen telling me I could pick a day when I wanted to stay home. I was like--WHY???

Now, as far as my sisters--that's a whole other story. And I think Helen had a very clever way of dealing with cutting school or being suspended. (No, not me...) When one of my sisters (and I won't tell which one) got suspended for three days for fighting, she didn't get to sleep all day those three days. No, she had to get up and shower and get ready for school and be ON TIME. Helen had her class schedule and she would have to sit at the kitchen table and "go to each class" so to speak--Do the work, read the assignments, whatever. As I look back I think she was a very wise woman.

So, how about it--did you ever pretend to be sick as an excuse to stay home from school?

Sidenote #1: We have been very busy doing some organizing. I finally hung all of my tablecloths in the closet. I love it. Now I just need to organize them by season or color.

Allan has been busy building/putting together: a TV stand for the TV in the basement--it looks great; and another unit to help me put some things away. He sure is handy to have around; )

Sidenote #2: FB warning. The other day I was on FB and saw Kyle had posted something about earning $140 on-line and it gave a web address. I was confused and commented "What are you doing????" I decided to call him and ask him about it--he didn't have a clue what I was talking about. He realized someone had gotten his password and posted it.

But being the brilliant computer person I am, I clicked on the link--CAN WE ALL SAY DUMB!!! Sure glad I have a MAC. Anyway, just a warning--don't click on those links.

Sidenote #3: I've decided to just read e-mails on Sunday--no reading FB or blogs. That gave me a whole lot of time to work on Genealogy--I'm so excited about all the info I'm finding. I'll have to try and get caught up reading blogs and facebook this morning after my run and my RS meeting.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Saying No

I didn't realize I had this as a draft in my list of posts . It was in answer to a topic presented in a "Woman to Woman" writing forum a couple of years ago. At the time I didn't know how to participate, so I left it in the folder. I gave the topic a lot of thought and really wanted to write about it.

Ever since I was a little girl, saying no has been a problem for me. I was always wanting to be first to put my hand up--to answer the question, to help the teacher, to volunteer to head up a club, whatever. When I got older I didn't outgrow the problem--it just continued: When they would pass a sign-up sheet around at Church, I couldn't stand it if no one had signed up and the only thing that would keep me from putting my name on the list was if I was going to be out of town. When someone was getting married or having a baby, I worried someone wouldn't have a shower for them so I volunteered.

I realize this probably stems from my need to try to please everyone. I wish I had the answers to how to say no, but I don't; yet I know that it is necessary because there are times we have to say no. We, as women, (or maybe just me) do so much comparing and often think we are not as good as someone who has different talents and abilities and we forget to recognize what great things we can do. Perhaps that's what gets us into trouble--I recognize I can't sing or play the piano in a meeting, so I volunteer to do the things I can, i.e., take a meal to someone, participate in the school fundraisers, etc. So I guess it is my feelings of inadequacy, and I'm trying to bury them by doing as much as I possibly can.

Like everyone else, I probably know what I should be doing, it's just finding the strength to do it. I think the answer is to embrace who we are and the gifts we each have been given. We have responsibilities and our first responsibility is to ourselves--to keep ourselves healthy both mentally, spiritually, and physically. We also have a responsibility to our families. They need us to be our best selves--and the question is can we when we are exhausted trying to be everything for everyone else? We know that when we serve others we are in the service of God, yet we must accept that we are also not to run faster than we have strength. So recognizing we need to say no before we are overwhelmed should be our goal.

I think it's all about finding balance.

What do you think? Is this a problem for you? How do you say no?

Sidenote #1: Had a great run this morning--ran my 5K 2 minutes faster than the race. Maybe the cold makes me run faster ; )

Sidenote #2: Today is my granddaughter-in-law, Scarlett's birthday. And tomorrow is her son, my great-grandson, Xander's first birthday. It's times like these that I really do not like living so far away from family. Happy Birthday guys, I love you.