Friday, January 29, 2010

To Be vs. To Do

As I was going through my office throwing stuff away, I found this quote regarding "to do" lists: "...No matter how many things you check off the list, some of the most important things--being kinder, being braver, being more creative--can be overlooked. Notice that word: being. Maybe what you need is a list to help you be what you want to be, both for yourself and others." I love it. It reminds me of something I read in a Brad Wilcox book that we are not human doings we are human beings.

I have a to do list and because of my resolution, at the top it says SMILE, so if I'm going to change it from a "to do" to a "to be"--I don't want to write: "Be Smiley", so I guess I should write: "Be Happy". And keeping with my not taking too much on at once, let me add to my list for today:
  • Be more Thoughtful
  • Be more Forgiving
  • Be more Understanding
One of the tough things about "to be" as oppose to "to do" is gauging. When I make lists, I love to check things off, but how do you check off being more thoughtful--well I think that's where the "to do" comes in--you have to ask yourself, what can i do to be more thoughtful. Perhaps write a thank you note? It all probably involves more pondering. What do you think?

Also, on my "to be" list--be more healthy. I have been working on that using my Wii. I didn't get the "Wii fit" but i got the Active Sports. I am so sore because of the squats and lunges--but I WON'T GIVE UP. The temperatures have made it impossible to go outside and run so I'm doing all I can inside.

Sidenote #1: The other day I went to the garage and as I looked around I saw one of my bins of Legos--As I talked about organizing and getting rid of things, let me just say I refuse to get rid of Legos. I have to have something for my little grandsons to play with when they come ; ) Anyway, I couldn't help but think of this

I get very excited when I realize Kyle will be home near the end of April ; ) He is having a great time at BYU, and that makes me a very happy mama.

Sidenote #2: Only 2 weeks until the opening ceremonies of the Olympics--CAN'T WAIT!!!!

Sidenote #3: Organizing Tip for today: I'm just going to copy sweetpea's comment from my last post. Heck, she had GREAT ADVICE. She is a young mom with 5 kids (2 sets of twins). I really don't know how she does all that she does:

"I am passionate about being organized, and my favorite quote is "A place for everything, and everything in its place".

Some things that work for me:

1. Family Organization Binder:
I have sections for each member of the family, the ward list, other phone numbers, medical info, school stuff, etc. It's easily accessible, and keeps everything together where you can find it.

2. Go through your mail everyday. Throw away/shred junk mail, and file away other mail. I have a "to be filed", "to be paid" folders, and a coupon bin so it can all be taken care of right away.

3. Go through your magazines every month. Throw away the ones you aren't going to keep. Get the magazine holders for those you want to keep-but only a select few. For decorating/other ideas, tear pages out of the magazine, and place in a binder just for that purpose."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


As I said in my previous post, the organizing thing I taught with my friend, Kathy, was more of a "mini-class". We had 15 minutes and I was so tempted to get Kathy to dress up in an Olivia Newton you know who outfit and do a little "Let's Get Organized" thing. But I think Kathy would have been embarrassed to sing with me ; )

Anyway, as I said in my last post, I did learn a whole lot. I want to share a couple of things with you.

First, let me explain why I'm so into organizing right now. A couple of post ago I told you I was participating in a challenge. In some respects, the challenge has been a great thing for me. (I have to admit I only know one of the people participating, and so it is somewhat uncomfortable for me. I do fine just reporting but writing is another story. It's one of those situations where I feel like I'm back in High School, and I have my lunch tray and I'm trying to sit at a table with people I don't know.) On the flip side, it has been great checking things off as I accomplish them--it just makes me feel good.

So what does any of this have to do with being organized, as I felt my day was getting organized, I wanted to get my home organized as well. So when I had this class to do, I started doing all sorts of research and then put it to action. It has been wonderful. So far I have organized the shoes in my closet--they were a mess; my drawers and cupboards in my bathroom; my pants and sweaters in my closet; and part of my office. I have a long way to go, but it is such a good feeling. It's all baby steps, but that's okay.

So besides my tip mentioned on the last post about purging, I think it's important to start slow. Remember the "how do you eat an elephant, one bite at a time" thing, well, if it's too overwhelming it's too easy to give up. One of my friends says it's hard for her to start something if she can't finish, but I think it may be best to start small by setting a time. Spend one half hour purging or organizing or whatever. Set the timer and then when it beeps you can pat yourself on the back and say, "I DID IT."

So how about this week, go through and get rid of:
  • Clothes that don't fit. (Now for me I've kept some that are too small, in hopes that they'll fit in the next few months. When I hit my goal weight, I will get rid of the clothes that are too big in hopes that I'll never need them again. ) Also, clothes that are so out of style that you know you're never going to wear them again.
  • Unnecessary duplicates. Now, I have two crockpots because occasionally I do use them. I don't keep them both in my kitchen, but I will not get rid of the second one.
  • Things you don't like or will never use--the hard part: even if they were gifts. (I had a pair of slippers that my husband gave me about 15 years ago. I've worn them once. So I decided to get rid of them. Somehow I don't think Allan will ever notice ; )
  • Newspapers/magazines/coupons that are outdated. (What good is that McDonald's gift certificate going to do you that expired 3 months ago???)
  • Broken things that are not worth fixing--that old VCR, printer, etc.
I'll post more things I learned at another time. But how about you, do you have a tip on things to get rid of. Or how about an organizing tip? Let's help each other.

SIDENOTE #1: Yesterday was the perfect day to stay in--THE WEATHER WAS HORRIBLE. I think all of the schools were closed and they were recommending to STAY OFF THE ROADS. Believe me, you don't have to tell me twice. Allan bought me a Wii for my birthday so I bowled, boxed, played baseball and tennis and did a little exercise. SO FUN.

SIDENOTE #2: I was so happy when I got on the scale this morning and saw I lost 5 pounds. (Gee and I only used my Wii one day ; )

SIDENOTE #3: Went to see Extraordinary Measures Friday night. I was so moved--such an amazing story of determination.

Friday, January 22, 2010


As I think about my one-word resolution this year to try to smile through everything, I can't help but think of what happens to me when someone aims a camera toward me. Yes, I have the problem with shutting my eyes, but I always worry about how to smile. So, I totally sympathize with Chandler.

And, thanks for the great ideas on the Cricut. I should have been a little clearer on the organization class--it was a whole night on "A Fresh Start". We spent 15 minutes rotating through different classes on "Family First"; "Geneology in Small Bytes", a nutrition and exercise class; and then my class which I did with my friend, Kathy. But I did do a lot of research, so my number one suggestion--it's probably that we don't need to organize, it's more than we have to go through and get rid of "stuff". I had to laugh when I realize I still have one of the Seminary binders of my son who is almost 40. (And WHY am I saving it????) So, I have been purging closets and files and IT HAS FELT SO GOOD) I will look at going through my notes and post something next week.

SIDENOTE: The weather has been so lovely that I actually ran outside 3 days this week. It felt so good.

Also, does anyone know how to edit something you've posted from Youtube after you've posted it.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I just realized that could have been the title of my birthday post if I had added a "d" to the end ; ) Thanks, for all the wonderful birthday wishes. I had a great day. Jack didn't let me down--in fact, he was back the following evening. (Loved it. Shall I just add if Jack decides to go to Los Angeles with Kim,Rene could take over. Don't get me wrong, no one could take Jack's place, but goodness, at the end of the last episode she definitely pulled a Jack. (Couldn't figure out why he looked so shocked. That seemed like something he would have done ; )

We went to the temple on Friday and came back on Saturday. It was wonderful. I love being in the temple. It was so great to see this little Nativity as we drove into the parking lot. It was a wonderful way to start my birthday weekend. The roads were a breeze. When we got home Saturday afternoon we headed over to the Church for the Scripture Mastery competition. The youth were AMAZING. On Sunday I had a chance to teach Relief Society--I loved it. Allan fixed me a lovely steak dinner. Then I heard from all the kids and even got to talk to a lot of the grandchildren. It was a fabulous day.

One of the things I got for Christmas was a Cricut machine. I have wanted one for so long. I LOVE IT. I'm not taking as much time as I should to really play around with it, but what I have done with it so far has been so fun. If you own a cricut, what cartridges do you have or do you recommend????

Tonight I am teaching the YW scrapbooking, so I've been having fun making little sayings as well as hearts, butterflies, dragonflies, etc. It should be a lot of fun.

There are some wonderful craft blogs and sites out there. I love whenever there is a post at Brownpaperpackages or whenever Lei does a post. Thank you ladies who are so creative.

Tomorrow night I am teaching a class on organizing your home. (Okay stop laughing ; ) I have been spending a lot of time trying to declutter and organize. It has been very good for me. Allan and I are the only ones in this house and you'd think I could find a place for everything--too much STUFF.

I do not want to write this as a sidenote, but I'm so grateful that we live in this beautiful world that has been created for us to enjoy. Yesterday here in Winnipeg was one of those beautiful winter days--we had incredible hoar frost. I went to lunch with a friend and when I drove across the bridge and looked down the river it was BREAKTHTAKING. The trees were just gorgeous. I realized I didn't have my camera with me. I tried to go and take a picture of it late in the afternoon and I realized I had waited just a tad too long. When I got home, I took this picture from the stop sign on my little cul de sac.

Sidenote: I guess the only way I could tie this into my post is to talk about how to create sore muscles. I was able to run Monday and today. It felt good to be out running again, but I can't believe how sore the muscles in my legs are. It's supposed to snow tomorrow and then hopefully Friday I'll be able to run again. I just love being outside.

Hope you're having a great day.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Last of the 50's

Tomorrow is my 59th Birthday--the last year I will be in the 50's. I know age is just a number. I'd like to think I'm not that old until I look in the mirror and the truth kind of hits me in the face. Can I just say I NEVER thought I'd be this old, but getting older sure beats the alternative BEING DEAD.

I'm so excited that Allan called Fox and made arrangements for Jack to come back on my birthday. I'm thrilled.

I have had a great 59 years. No, not perfect, but I've tried to make the most of them. I've tried to learn as much as I could along the way. I wouldn't want to have anyone else's life. I'm pretty happy with mine. Mistakes, yea, like Frank, "I've made a few", but, unlike Frank, not too few to mention, I just won't mention them.

I've been very fortunate to have been blessed with a great family. My parents were wonderful people and loved me and taught me, and I was very blessed to have them for 13 years. It would have been great to have them longer, but my sisters and I were very fortunate to have Helen and Les raise us after our parents passed away.

I was so fortunate to be introduced to The Church and was baptized when I was 23. It was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to go and teach one of the new member discussions to a recent convert and I told her how I have never looked back on that decision.

I have a fantastic man to share my life with--when I turn 62, we will have been together half my life. I have great kids/grandkids/and a great grandson. It is so exciting to think about the future and what it will bring.

Now because it is my day, I will post a few pictures from my 59 years. I am only posting a few pictures--I thought 59 was JUST TOO MANY. (Aren't you relieved ; )

First of all you have to know it is taking every ounce of courage to post this picture. (I don't remember EVER seeing this picture before, but my baby sister put it on our family website, and since there are not many pictures of me as a young girl (yes, girl) I had to post it.

Probably my Junior Year of high school--and no, that is not a bump it ; )

My 21st birthday, with my little boy, Stephen.

My life changed dramatically in 1982 when I married the man of dreams.
November 1983--Heidi's blessing day

She always loved school, so it was only natural that she would become a teacher. (I always wanted to be a teacher or a nurse)

In 1984, we became grandparents and it was so exciting and he has grown into such a fine young man who got married last year.

August 1985--our new little boy

Jan 2005 a fantastic day--Brent giving us the "see you in two years" sign.

One of my favorite pictures of some of the important men in my life. This was taken in June of 1989

We were so proud of Neal when he decided to go back to BYU to graduate. (He was like 3 credits short) His moving to Utah brought MANY blessings--but ONE VERY SPECIAL ONE ; ) April 2004
We celebrated Neal's graduation at LaCaille--and I love this picture of Wendy and Tony there--a reminder of a few great meals that we have enjoyed there.

It was great to have everyone together when Neal and Macy were married.

Speaking of weddings--Wendy and Tony were married in Indiana in 1994. I love this picture of her and her dad.

And in 2006 this little family was sealed in the Hawaii temple

The first 10 years of our marriage we had a baby born in our family EVERY year. 1983 Heidi, 84 Chris, 85 Brent, 86 Amanda, 87 Evan, 88 Jason, 89 Josh, 90 Kiah, and then in 1991 Kyle.

We were all glad to have Kyle with us--after two months of being in the hospital with severe dehydration NO ONE WAS HAPPIER THAN ME.
Kyle's grad night.

We have had more weddings, more births, more blessings and baptisms--impossible to put them all on here, but they have all been highlights. Obviously, family is very important to Allan and I, and all of his kids love him. I wish I could have posted the picture I have of Neal and Nancy with Allan and he's wearing a shirt that reads "I am a great dad because I have great kids"--so true. But I love this one, too. Nancy always talks about there not being many pictures of her as a baby with her dad, so this was the best I could do.
But I also love this picture of these guys with their dad--seeing them all together always makes me feel good.

In 2008, we became great grandparents. It is too bad that we live so far away from this little guy.

We love family vacations and reunions and have had some great ones.

One of our favorite places to visit for years when we lived in California was North Star. This was about a month before Brent was born.

And a year later

In 1989, Allan and I went to Cali for my 20 year high school reunion, and we spent time with my family. We actually got a picture of all of us--a very rare occurrence.
I love this picture from our 1995 reunion.

2002 Park City

2006 at Herringtons--here are some of the lovely ladies.


And how can I not conclude with one of the highlights of last year--running with some of my family in a 5K. Now we're hoping for some 10K's next year.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I was listening to the radio the other day and heard this thought: "If you want to be miserable, keep comparing yourself with others". I started wondering why we do it--we make comparisons and most of the time it's apples to oranges. We usually compare our worst whatever, to someone else's best.

When I first started blogging, I was blogging for me. Then I got a few comments and visited a few blogs and loved what I read. I still love what I read, but quite often I read things that make me question if I'm good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, etc. I love the things that I do--I may not be the best singer, but I love to sing--but I'll never karaoke. I love to run--I'm usually at the end of the pack, but that's okay--I'm doing it for me. I'm not a great scriptorian, but I love learning to apply. I may not take the best photographs, but my pictures are my memories and I love them. I'm not the best cook, but I love making meals and goodies for people.

I'm not sure if this is going to make sense, or if I'm ever going to hit "publish post". I started thinking about why we compare and I thought about grades--particularly when that grading takes place on a curve. Do we look at life in that same way--are we in the top percentage or near the bottom. And if we are, top of what or bottom of what. In the U.S. the average household income is around $52,000. And what I have been able to find the worldwide personal income would be $7,000 (not household) But most of us think about those that have a whole lot more, not those who have a whole lot less. The commentator I heard on the radio suggested if we want to be miserable, compare ourselves to that TV talk show host who will be retiring in a couple of years.

A friend put a great quote on facebook today: "Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves -- to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today."~ Stewart B. Johnson

Another quote I love is "Dance Like No One Is Watching". (I was not familiar with the rest of the quote: "Dance like no one is watching, love like you'll never be hurt, sing like no one is listening, live like it's heaven on earth." William Purkey. When I'm on the dance floor dancing, I know I'm not very good, but I have a great time. So why can't I go through life that same way--JUST ENJOY THE JOURNEY. I know who I am--I know I'm never alone. I have a fantastic man by my side and great family who loves and supports me.

ADDENDUM: As I sit and watch the news about Haiti, it is so heartbreaking. I am reminded how truly blessed we are and how much we have. I wonder how a people who are living in the poorest country in the western hemisphere can now survive with even less.

SIDENOTE #1: I keep checking on-line every day so I can find these mitts. So far, no luck, but I'll keep looking.

SIDENOTE #2: I changed the post date and time when I added the addendum--sorry if it was confusing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Accountability List for 2010

I realize I could just re-post the list from 2009--SAD BUT TRUE.

Of that list,

1) I did do better with mailing out birthday cards on time. In fact, I even mailed a Christmas card to one of my grandson's 6 months early ; )

2) My photos are backed up on CD's. (Yes, Neal, I know I should have put them on DVD's. I still haven't figured out how to get them all organized.

3) I still can't play 5 hymns--I'm not taking piano lessons but I could still practice on my own.

4) The weekly menu thing is so hard with just Allan and I eating. So often, we just grab something like a bowl of cereal. I do want to

5) Still want to learn to be kinder. Let me share something I learned the other night at a Fireside. We are taught in the scriptures to "Be Ye Therefore Perfect", but the term "perfect" in Hebrew would mean "to walk with God, to be God's friend, to be like Him." In the footnotes it shows the word "whole". I wish I could share all of my notes--I learned so much. It was one of those firesides where you don't walk out feeling like a loser but feel like you can do it. (The kind I really like)

6) Pray and listen--I'm doing better, but I still want to feel closer. One of the last things I heard at the fireside was a challenge to free up my life so I can be receptive to the Spirit and do what I am here to do and be what I am here to be.

7) Lose 10 pounds--That was last January--I was doing really well, but now I have to lose 20 ; ( This is my year--I WILL DO IT.

8) Continue my exercise regimen--I was doing well, but have slipped in the last few weeks. So until the weather gets better and I can run outside, I will gradually increase my elliptical and aerobics. I sure miss running outside.

I want this to be my year to do better. After all this is my last year of being 50 something. I have joined the "Getting Healthy" challenge here as well as "The Resolutionary Challenge" here.

I can't believe that I have so much to learn.

How about you--do you have a goal for 2010?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Last Ten Years

Amber did a review of the last decade and I thought HEY, WHY NOT??? Interesting that Allan's dad died in December 99--shortly before the beginning of that decade and his mom died in April 09, before this decade.

As I have been putting this together, I am shocked at how much we have done in ten years. Have to admit the hardest thing for me is to pick out one or two pictures from each year. The big question is: If I didn't have pictures, would I remember anything ; ) Obviously, intertwined in all of this were lots of basketball games, soccer games, cheerleading competitions, piano recitals, and track meets. Thinking about all of these things made me SMILE--worked well with my one word resolution ; )

2000--We brought several of the grandchildren to Winnipeg to spend a few days--it was terrific. What will the kids remember--JAILBREAK. (A game that started years ago, but has been a tradition--always scared me because I just knew one day someone was going to get hurt--fortunately, no one did ; ) We had a new grandbaby born on Allan's birthday--we were in California attending the wedding of one of my nephews and flew to Utah to pick up the kids to drive back to Winnipeg. When we were on the road, we got the call Hannah was born. Would have been so fun to have been there when she was born.
The year ended in Utah--the sealing of Allan's family in the Mt. Timp temple. Continued serving in Stake Relief Society--a calling I thoroughly enjoyed.

2001--In May we took a cruise to the Mediterranean. It was fabulous. In June, Heidi graduated from high school and went to BYU--missed her very much. Funny how I was called to Young Women, after Heidi was gone. I did have a chance to go to Girls Camp her last year of camp. Had a great time watching her in action. In October went to Utah to celebrate Heidi's 18th birthday.

2002--We took the kids to Nauvoo and attended the temple open house. Had a family reunion at Park City. Of course, it also included the filming of "The Ultimate Watch". October took a cruise to Hawaii--celebration of our 20th anniversary. Made our first trip to New York which included a visit with Ron and Susan--did the touristy things, and saw Lion King. A couple of trips to California: baptism and graduation of two grandsons.

2003--We had a chance to go to Puerto Rico for business meeting, as well as Arizona. Kyle graduated from Elementary School--I was very fortunate to go to so many of his end of the year field trips--great fun.
In August, I flew all the kids/grandkid to Winnipeg to celebrate Allan's 60th birthday. It was FABULOUS. He was really surprised. Couldn't believe I actually pulled it off. The kids again played jailbreak and Neal was able to videotape using the nightshot on his videocamera. We were in Utah and actually had a chance to attend a BYU football game--loved the look on Kyle's face when he saw all those people in the stadium.

2004--In January Allan had a business meeting in Texas, so we had a chance to visit Chris and Amanda and I got to see my sister who lives there. Neal decided to go back to BYU to get his degree--we were so proud of him and it was fun to celebrate his graduation at one of our favorite places--La Caille at Quail Run (just typing that makes me want to go for a fabulous meal ; ) A cruise to Alaska. Kyle broke his ankle playing soccer--bad break, very grateful didn't need any pins. Went to Texas to attend Amanda's high school graduation--we were amazed at how in 2 hours they could give 900 students diplomas (Allan had been to a graduation south of us where 30 kids graduated and it took 2 hours) Brent also graduated and put his papers in for a mission. So exciting when he got his call. While Allan was serving as Bishop of the YSA Ward, we went with them to Nauvoo. What a great trip.

2005--A missionary, new grandbaby and a new daughter-in-law--things that bring so much joy to my life were all part of this year. It was great. (Will be similar this year, except instead of a new daughter-in-law, we'll get a new son-in-law ; ) In October Allan was called to his current calling and I began teaching Seminary (with Kyle as one of my students)--LOVED IT.

2006--Highlight would have to be Stephen and Daphne and their family being sealed in the Hawaii temple. Also had another grandson graduate from high school. A great family reunion at Herrington's. Great trip to Quebec City. First trip to Boston to visit Neal and Macy.

2007--A great birthday present for me--Brent returned home from his mission on my birthday. Another new grandson in April. A trip to Boston to meet him and attend his blessing and another trip there in December. Oldest grandson graduated from college. I started blogging in July. In October Allan learned he had had a couple of heart attacks--scary times but we were very blessed. We took a 3 week trip to visit family (went to the Oakland Temple where we were married some 25 years before) and managed another trip to Hawaii.

2008-- It was the year of graduations--we had five of them--2 high school and 3 college graduations. We were very proud parents/grandparents. And our grandson, Evan, got married. The highlight of the year would have to be our trip with the whole family to Hawaii to celebrate my MIL's 90th birthday. It was a trip that we will all remember foerever. Goodness, I wonder how many air miles we travelled because we also took our cruise to China in October. Is the opposite of a highlight a lowlight? If so, there would have been two: one when Allan was "invited to retire" and when Bev's husband, Homer, died in October. (We all expected him to live to be 100)

2009--Two fabulous weddings this year--one in Texas and one in Utah.

Started the year off with a visit to Indiana to meet our little Great Grandson. First March Madness game--what a blast. Brent graduated from LDS Business College. We were so sad when Grandma passed away so unexpectedly. So grateful to know Families Can Be Together Forever. Kyle won the Provincial Track Championship in the long jump. Kyle graduated from high school and he and Brent entered BYU in the fall. In July we did our first Pioneer Trek--the youth and all those ticks. I started running and ran in two 5K's.

Now, after doing this, I have to say IT REALLY HAS BEEN A GREAT 10 YEARS. I'm sure after I hit the PUBLISH button, I will remember a bunch of things.

Looking forward to a great 2010 and then hopefully a couple of more decades. Exciting to this about what the future holds. Will try to live each day to the fullest and enjoy my friends and family. I have great friends and a fantastic family.

Sidenote #1: Had a chance to see the Olympic torch as it passed through town on Tuesday night. Tried again this morning to see it again in absolutely torturous weather (windchill -39) but somehow missed it.

Sidenote #2: Sandra at This Small House is wondering if anyone is interested in participating in a "Get Healthy" challenge. Go check out her blog and let her know if you're interested.