Wednesday, March 30, 2011


When Brent was on his mission we put together a family recipe book for his birthday. Everyone contributed an easy-to-make recipe. This was the cover

As you can see so much of what our family does REVOLVES AROUND FOOD.

So now I'm working to put one together for our little Elder. His birthday is in a few weeks, so it looks like I will have to get into overdrive to get it ready. I have asked each member of our family to submit a recipe--some have, and well, some haven't. The deadline has come and gone. I guess I may have to use some of the old recipes that were submitted for Brent--the important thing to me is to have Elder Rob have a recipe from everyone in the family. So now I have to get it ready to go to the printers, but because I want to have it to him by his birthday I'll probably have to have it delivered by those guys in the brown trucks ; )

I have a ton of pictures of us eating so I guess I just have to decide which ones to use--OBVIOUSLY, THIS ONE WILL MAKE HIS COVER.

And so will this one:

And, believe me I have lots of everyone else.

One of our favorite places to eat--In-N-Out

And speaking of In-N-Out, this one was taken there just about 30 minutes before we took him to the MTC

With everyone who participates recipe, I include their picture, and it usually is of them eating. This one will definitely go with Kiah's recipe

This one from Brent's mission always makes me laugh

I think that ice cream is almost as big as Miss Hannah

One of our favorite places to eat LaCaille at Quail Run--we were there to celebrate Neal's graduation from BYU. Here he is explaining something very important about the Banana Fosters to Heather ; )

Not sure if Amanda wanted to take a bite of my lobster tail, but she sure looks ready to take a bite right along with me ; )

I know he hasn't had to cook too much on his mission, but you never know, so I'm pretty sure it will come in handy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why I Love This

If you are not a March Madness fan, you may not realize that at the end of each championship game they do a little montage of all the games--I always watch it and re-watch it once or twice. Watch the clip and at 2:26 there is a shot by Missouri's Marcus Denmon in their game against Memphis--AMAZING. It never mattered if the game didn't end until 11:00 and I had to get up the next morning to teach Seminary I HAD TO WATCH IT ; ) Of course, I cry right along with the players when they lose--part of the reason I sometimes have to admit I can't watch and have to leave the room. So even though we won't be hosting our party next Monday night, I will definitely be waiting for this--and I'm hoping for lots of Jimmer and BYU.

I should add that at this point, only one person in our pool has a team that could possibly win it all--my grandson, Brandon, who has his name on the coveted plaque twice already has UConn picked to win it all.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One Year Ago Today

It is so hard for me to believe that one year ago today my little Elder opened his mission call. I'm so grateful that he was able to enter the mission field so quickly. Like I've mentioned before, some of our missionaries heading to the U.S. have to wait for months to get a visa. (BTW, the missionary who is staying at our house has received his Visa and will be heading for the MTC on April 13th.) Elder Rob received his call on March 24th and entered the MTC on May 26th.

I really do miss him. I don't like to dwell on it. I had to laugh the other day when I came across this picture.

With his hair combed back and a newspaper in his hands, he reminded me so much of Allan's dad ; ) He always had a newspaper in his hand.

He will be celebrating his 20th birthday in a little less than a month. It is so incredible to think that he has been in Idaho for 10 months. He is LOVING IT.

Just a few pictures:

This was one from the MTC--I guess being trained about the importance of "no female contact" ; )

And when you see those pics from the MTC, you realize right away, HE'S GOING TO BE JUST FINE ; )

He sure loved his MTC companion.

And, then there was this one from the MTC

And this one taken just a few weeks ago ; )

I gasped when I saw this cleaning schedule--I thought, "He actually VACUUMS 3 TIMES A WEEK???" (And I guess if you count the "deep cleaning" it would be 4 times a week ; ) Turns out it was a joke.

I love this picture because this was a baptism that took place on New Years Day. Elder Rob had served in this area and was able to go back to attend her baptism. She was adopted into a very active family--he was so excited for her. She looks so happy.

Just a little bit of snow. I'm sure the snow has made him feel right at home ; )

I was worried that perhaps I had already posted this picture and then thought--hey, if I can't remember, no one else will ; ) Goodness, I love missionaries. I love that they work hard and yet can still have fun.

And I should add we are loving having the missionaries in our home. It has been so great. Elder H got his Visa and will be heading for the MTC and then on to Missouri on Elder Rob's birthday ; ) We thought this would mean our days of having the missionaries was over for now, But I guess we are getting a new missionary from Alberta who is waiting for his Visa to go to Japan. Elder W will have completed two years and will be heading back to Wales the end of April. We'll see what happens then.

Sidenote: Hoping BYU pulls off a miracle today ; ) Had to laugh because our little Elder said that if BYU made it to the Final Four, "Water would stream down my cheeks".

Monday, March 21, 2011

What Do You See???

Last Saturday I attended the funeral for a sweet sister that I visit taught for a number of years. She was a Filipino woman who joined the Church in the Philippines and came to Canada to be with her sons after her husband died back in the late 80's. I knew a great deal about her from visiting with her. She would tell me stories as we sat together. As I would look around at Church on Sundays at the other "older" (that is older than me) sisters in our Ward, I wondered how many of them do I see only as "older" sisters--not knowing about the things they may have done throughout their life. Quite often during Relief Society Birthday celebrations we play get to know you games, but do we really get to know people. Well, as I sat in Nancy's funeral Saturday, and her oldest son gave her eulogy, I learned so many other things about her. I knew she had been a beauty queen when she was a young woman, but I had never seen a picture of her when she was young. She was gorgeous. One of the amazing things that I didn't know was that she had worked as a messenger for the guerillas in the jungle in the Philippines during the war--hiding messages in her hair. (Pretty cool, eh ; )

I loved her and I'm grateful that I know she knew it. Allan and I had gone to see her in the hospital the Wednesday before she passed away. I was so glad I was able to give her a hug and a kiss before I left. I had no idea that would be the last time I would see her.

It has made me realize that I need to do a better job of really getting to know people. I'm going to make it a point to ask more questions.

I have never done anything quite as cool as acting as a messenger during the war, but I want to be sure I write down some of the fun things I have done through the years that people may not remember. I want my grandchildren to know that I am not as boring as perhaps they think. I also think it's time I get busy on my personal history.

And after the funeral, Allan and I headed to a birthday party and a farewell for one of our "sons" from Pioneer Trek. He was turning 20 and getting ready to head for his mission to the Philippines. Tonight my husband had the opportunity to set him apart. Being there when missionaries are set apart is one of my favorite things--those blessings that they are given are so incredible. The Spirit in the room is always so strong.

Elder S. is going to be a fantastic missionary. I am so excited for he and his sweet family. This will make our second son from our Trek experience to go on a mission. Back in December, Allan set apart this young man who went to Kenya. His parents are the ones who did the majority of the work on Heidi and Daniel's wedding reception here in Winnipeg.

Sidenote: Weather is getting better and I know that eventually Spring will be here. CAN'T WAIT ; ) We're heading for the temple this Friday and I sure hope the roads are good.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

An Old Quote From Conference

Last week I spoke in Church and was given the topic, "I Can Be Protected From Many of the Calamities of Today's Society if I Heed the Counsel of Living Prophets and Apostles". I have such a testimony of listening to the Prophets and Apostles, so I was grateful for the opportunity to speak on that topic. I found this great quote from Elder Hales that I just love and wanted to share it. It was from a talk in April 1995 General Conference:

“If we follow the counsel given by the prophets, we can have a life in mortality where we do not bring upon ourselves unnecessary pain and self-destruction. This does not mean we will not have challenges. We will. This does not mean we will not be tested. We will, for this is part of our purpose on earth. But if we will listen to the counsel of our prophet, we will become stronger and be able to withstand the tests of mortality. We will have hope and joy. All the words of counsel from the prophets have been given so that we may be strengthened and then be able to lift and strengthen others”

I'm so looking forward to General Conference.

Sidenote #1: Now this picture has absolutely nothing to do with Conference, but it's one that was on the CD from Elder Rob. I had to ask my friend, Melissa, who always recognizes places in the pics he sends, if she could tell me what it was. Thanks, Melissa, for the explanation. Apparently it is in a new downtown area called "Taylor's Crossing". I guess Idaho Falls used to be called Eagle Rock. I love the picture.

Sidenote #2: Although I'm enjoying the basketball games, again I'm sitting right near the bottom of our friendly pool. Hoping BYU plays well against Gonzaga tonight--6:45 Central time and even on a station we get here in Canada ; )

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Yes, I'm Irish

So, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I had to post. I remember that my mom used to make really great corned beef and cabbage, but I never learned how to make it, so since I'm also Spanish, we will be having Creamy enchiladas for dinner tonight.

When I was in California, I saw these and couldn't pass them up ; ) I thought they were so cute. I think I'll wear them when I go to my running class tonight.

Tourney games started today around 11:00, and I'm so glad the BYU will be on CBS at 6:15 p.m. I'll be at my running class, but at least I can watch the end when I get home. (I don't think we get TruTV.

I have been busy doing lots to get ready for some changes that are taking place at our house. Quite often when missionaries get their calls here in Canada and they are to go to the U.S., it seems to take quite awhile for them to get their VISAs. Right now we have a missionary who is headed to Missouri (got his call several months ago). So rather than have him continue to wait at home, he is starting his mission here in Winnipeg. He and his companion will be staying at our house. Allan set him apart yesterday afternoon Elder H and his companion will be coming to our house tonight. We ended up changing our guest room which meant taking down the bunk beds that were in the boys room and moving them in the basement (and making them free-standing).

I will get a chance to feed them quite often--it will be fun to cook for more than two people again ; )

But this does means our championship party will not be held this year because our big screen TV is in the basement and the TV that is in our family room stinks ; ( Oh well, there's always next year. So, Darell, if you and Cory were home, we'd be having it AT YOUR HOUSE.

And, speaking of missionaries, our little Elder is still in that city in Idaho which has the same name as the arena where the Kings play BB in California. (He has been there since the middle of October ; ) He is quite happy that it is starting to warm up there. In fact, the other day they actually were able to put the windows down in the car. I got my photo CD today, so I thought I'd share a couple of photos.

Christmas--don't you just love the Canada stockings. I filled a stocking for him and his companion ; ) I also love the tree.

Made a big purchase and got himself some cowboy boots.

I am curious about this picture--I guess one of the missionary's had some planning or something to do--he's not looking at the camera in either of the pictures he sent ; )

There were lots of other pictures with people, but I don't have a lot of explanations, so I'll have to wait until I can ask him about them in my next e-mail.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Counting Down the Days

This time of year I get very excited because MARCH MADNESS is just around the corner. In less than a week the teams will be announced. I have already started getting myself all psyched up and have been watching College Basketball. I also read the stuff I see on-line about the different teams because I'm always HOPING it will give me an edge when I go to make my selections. (It rarely does, but I always feel a little more prepared)

I have been watching college basketball for years. In fact, I can remember having the C's over years and years ago (1981) to watch BYU play in one of the games when Danny Ainge was on the team--I think they were playing Notre Dame (This was before Allan and I got married and Stephen was a young boy) And now this year BYU may go beyond the first couple of rounds--HOW FUN WILL THAT BE ; ) So glad they won that game today--let's go COUGARS.

The whole process always culminates with a gathering here at our house on the first Monday in April when the Championship game is played. Through the years many of the kids who used to come to the party have grown up, gotten married and moved away. (And I know I will really miss Darell this year--he has been to most of the parties)

It was fun a few years ago to go to Tom and Julie's home and watch an game with them--especially to see this little girl in her Gopher outfit ; )

Allan was Tom's YM's leader. He is an amazing young man and love him and his family. We have only been around Julie a couple of times and we can see why Tom fell in love with her.

That year we went to Tom and Julie's Allan and I got to go to a couple of first round games and had a blast. I know that one day I will get to a Championship Game--of course, I'll have to REALLY save for it. Those tickets are a little pricey ; ) For now, I'll just have to settle for watching the game and hopefully watching whoever I have picked to go to that Championship game playing in it ; )

Not sure who I will pick to go all the way this year, but who knows MAYBE THIS IS MY YEAR ; )

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thank You

For as long as I can remember I was taught how important it is to say Thank You. It's something I always taught my children. I remember telling them many years ago about attending a baby shower for a girl who opened each gift and as she did SHE NEVER SAID A WORD. It was incredibly awkward for everyone in attendance. All of us at the shower sat there in shock. She never thanked ANYONE. Throughout the years we have always tried to teach our children that when people do things for them, it's important to let them know that what they have done for you is appreciated. I'm happy to say I think this is something most of them do very well. And that makes this mama very happy.

Today I went to the Post Office and picked up a package that came in the mail from my friend, Sheila. I am so happy--it was so sweet of her. The rice bag will come in handy--I have lots of aches and pains. And you know me so well--I will enjoy those treats ; )

I will do something for anyone when they say thank you, but when they don't--well, I won't have that same desire in the future. I've been sitting here trying to determine why it bothers me, and I can't figure it out.

I really like this quote by Elie Wiesel: "When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude."

I hope I have and will always express gratitude to others. I find that saying thank you goes a LONG WAY.

So, again, THANK YOU, Sheila. You are a real sweetie.

Sidenote #1: I am so looking forward to receiving a CD in the mail from my little Elder. In my last e-mail he said he was putting a CD in the mail that day. Hopefully it will be here in a couple of weeks. BTW, when we were in Texas we made a drive to San Antonio to see the temple and passed this sign. Sure made me smile.

Sidenote #2: Last month at our Scout Spaghetti Dinner/Auction I bought a 2 month membership at our local gym and finally went today. It was great. Hoping my knee will get better soon and the weather will warm up so I can get out and run outside. June will be here before I know it. I start my half-marathon class this week???

Monday, March 7, 2011


We've had a great few days here in Texas, and I'll write about other things later, but yesterday was Baby L's blessing. We really love being with Baby L and G-Man's other grandparents so it was fun to spend the weekend with the two of them as well as Neal and Macy. The blessing was beautiful and Baby L looked simply adorable.

It's wonderful that her mom is a photographer and takes such amazing pictures, but at this point I don't have any of her pictures with the whole family. However, I did manage to snap a couple of Baby L with her dad and her two grandpas.

Later that day, Allan did get a picture of me and Baby L and G-Man.

And, our little G-Man was as cute as ever. I love this picture I got of him after Church. (I'm sure going to miss that little guy)

And BTW, the baby blanket was finished and I was so happy with how it turned out. YIPPEE!!!