Saturday, March 31, 2012


Congratulations to, Natalie, the winner of Gerald Lund's book.  I will make sure it is mailed to you from the States before Allan heads home.  I know you will enjoy the book and can't wait to hear what you think.  Thanks to those of you who commented and entered.  

Now I'm heading to the Stake Center to watch Conference.  I have a list of questions that I'm taking with me.  I love knowing that as I'm sitting in the Stake Center watching, my husband and Heidi, Daniel, and Brent are at the Conference Center watching.  As well, Elder Rob is sitting in a Stake Center in Idaho watching.  When we stand to sing they are standing and singing, too.  That warms my heart.  

Enjoy Conference.

AND NOW A VERY LONG SIDENOTE:  I know I won't have time to do a post tomorrow with my plans for my April Thirty Day Challenge, so I'll put it here.   But first an update on my March Challenge. I guess I should clarify something.  Yes, my last challenge was not really 30 days BUT 31 ; )  Oops.

The March Challenge involved spending at least 15 minutes every day working on Family History.  I loved it.  We even took names to the temple and that was so great.  The biggest problem for me with family history is working on it for 15 minutes doesn't work.  I get a little crazy and that's all I do.  I also did some indexing, which I really enjoy.

So I've given a lot of thought for April and I think my challenge will be that I will have only one treat a day for the month.  Now it can be any treat I want--a big treat or a small treat but I can only have one.  I figure this is as good a time as any to accomplish this.    Wish me luck.  How about you, what is it you'd like to accomplish?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Photo Class

First of all, don't miss the chance to enter my little giveaway.  I just want everyone to have a chance to win Gerald Lund's book.   Go here to enter.

I had another Photo Class last Monday night.  It was great fun.  I love that it is a small class--only 7 of us in the class and sometimes only 6.

A couple of the BIG things I am learning:
  • You really should read your manual--I was actually pretty happy I could find mine ; )  I have had my camera since June 2010 and had never read my manual.  I did actually look at it, but I never read through it.
  • It is so important to practice. 
  • Check what is in the frame--look it over.
  • Take a whole lot of pictures--you can't just take one and hope that one is good enough.  I do know that I just have to learn to trash the ones that don't work instead of saving them on my computer.  What in the world am I saving them for???

And on a little sidenote, I really don't like when I have to travel to the class through the crazy Jets fans heading to the game ; )  Actually, it hasn't been as bad as I would have thought.
    We have had interesting homework assignments.  The second week we were to take a picture depicting "loneliness"--that was tough.  I had a few ideas.  Allan was out of town and so I decided to take one of me sitting at the big dining room table ALL ALONE.

    Here are a few shots I've taken over the past few weeks:

    Class #1:  It's always hard for me to take pictures into class and have people critique them.  I'm not very confident, but I just make sure I put my "thick skin on that night" and try to remember that it is all about LEARNING!!!  I was happy with this one.  We were to set our camera in Program mode and focus on our grip and make the intent of our photo clear.  It was to be a picture of a tree.  (Do you think it was CLEAR ENOUGH???)

    Class #2 we talked about aperture, ISO and shutter speed and MAKING OUR METER HAPPY.  We also talked about composition and avoid collisions and the rule of thirds.  (I still struggle with both of those)nnThis was also the class where we were to take a picture depicting loneliness and one of the horizon emphasizing the sky or the ground.

    Class #3 was about shutter priority.  I was pretty excited about  this picture.  I took my tripod and went over to this little mill and captured this one.   When I saw it, I thought--IT WORKED

    In that same class, I went to the dog park.  I just thought this was the cutest little doggie.  It almost (and I mean ALMOST) made me want a dog.  (I think puppies are cute, but as much traveling as we do, can you imagine if we had to find a dog sitter every time we went out of town???)

    We also were to take a picture using motion blur, and we would get "bonus points" if we could combine a motion blur with natural framing.  How do you think I did???

    Class #4 this past Monday was learning about aperture priority.  The couple of days the weather was cloudy and, in fact, we had flurries, so I decided to go to the Conservatory and take some pictures of flowers.  I was quite happy with this one.

    I smiled when I saw this.  Doesn't it look like it should be a mailbox outside of a little hut in the middle of Fiji ; )

    I am definitely having  a good time in my class and look forward to learning lots more.

    SIDENOTE:  Do you realize we will be picking up Elder Rob two months from tomorrow ; )

    Sunday, March 25, 2012

    A Great Book and A Giveaway

    Some time ago, I wrote about Gerald Lund's book, Divine Signatures.

    Recently I saw another book by Brother Lund advertised on Deseret Book's website--Look Up, My Soul:  The Divine Promise of Hope.  I did a little reading and knew I had to get it.  I downloaded it to Allan's iPad and began reading.  He shares wonderful stories throughout the book--stories from his life as well as inspiring stories from the lives of others.  He also shares some amazing quotes.  I love this one about hope from President Uchtdorf:  "Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to us.  It is confidence that if we live according to God's laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future."

    And this quote from Elder Holland:  "I wish to...fortify you, if I am able, against doubt--especially self-doubt--and discouragement and despair...

    "I wish at the outset to make a distinction F. Scott Fitzgerald once made, that "trouble has no necessary connection with discouragement--discouragement has a germ of its own, as different from trouble as arthritis is from a stiff joint" (The Crack-Up, 1945).  Troubles we all have, but the "germ" of discouragement, to use Fitzgerald's word, is not in the trouble, it is in us...

    "It's frequently a small germ, hardly worth going to the Health Center for, but it will work and it will grow and it will spread. In fact it can become almost a habit, a way of living and thinking, and there the greatest damage is done.  Then it takes an increasingly severe toll on our spirit, for it erodes the deepest religious commitments we can make--those of faith, hope, and chairty."  (BYU Devotional, in 1980 Devotional Speeches of the Year)

    Those are just a couple.  This is a book that I have loved reading.  I think given everything that is going on in the world today, it can help us deal with whatever may come our way.

    And because I LOVE this book so much, I want an opportunity to give one of you a copy of this book.  I know YOU WILL LOVE IT, TOO.

    And because General Conference is next weekend, I am tying this giveaway into Conference.  In order to be eligible to win a copy of this book, comment about a talk you remember from last October's Conference.  To be entered a second time, post something on your blog about General Conference.

    And I'd like to encourage you to join Stephanie at Diapers and Divinity for her General Conference Bookclub.  She always does a really fun trivia contest.  I have to confess I always start out with the Book Club and then things get in the way.  I really want to stick with it this Conference.  UPDATE:  Oops.  Apparently Stephanie is taking a sabbatical and has turned over the contest to Becca at My Soul Delighteth.

    I will draw the winner Saturday, March 31st, at 9:00 a.m. Central time, before General Conference starts and will announce the winner that day.

    Be sure and let me know if you blog about it, so I can make sure to enter you a second time into the drawing.

    Good luck.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    First Day of Spring

    Happy Spring, everyone.

    We have lived here in Winnipeg, aka Winterpeg or Windypeg, for 16 years.  We have gotten used to the routine--snow comes around Halloween and is on the ground until the 3rd week of April.  In fact, they usually take out the snow by truckloads so it doesn't pile up.

    In that 16 years we have NEVER had a March 19th like yesterday--high was 75 degrees!!!!!  Highly unusual.  We even had thunder and lightning and rain last night.  CRAZY.

    Just to give you an idea here are a couple of March days in the past few years:

    This is Elder Rob at Fort White on March 22, 2003,

    Here we have one of the YSA's "drilling" a whole for ice fishing March 12, 2004

    And the yard March 3, 2007--look at that trampoline ; )

    And the house (when we had a basketball standard) March 24, 2008:

    Doesn't show much as far as figuring out how much snow, but believe me there was a fair amount--March 26, 20009

    And here's what it looks like today:

    The biggest drawback is that the mosquitoes will be out in full force.  But then maybe they'll all hatch and then DIED WHEN IT IS FREEZING AGAIN ; )  (Hey, I can hope, can't I????)

    Yes, I do know that even though today is the first day of Spring, it is still VERY POSSIBLE that we'll get snow.  Take a look at this--April 1, 2009

    I have decided I'm just going to enjoy the beautiful weather, but I won't pack up the heavy jacket, scarf, gloves and toque.  I'LL BE READY!!!!

    Sidenote #1:  For those who have asked about Heidi--she is doing great.  She is back to teaching and the kids are so happy to have her back.  Look at the socks she wore for St. Patrick's Day ; )

    Sidenote #2:  I love my March Madness, but last weekend almost did me in.  I still have my final team--Michigan State and their opponent in the final game is Ohio State ; )  In fact, I still have all of my final four teams.  We'll see how I'm doing after this week.

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Learning and Applying

    I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn.

    I was out this morning trying to get a picture of a sunrise/horizon, I took several shots--actually, more than several ; )   When I came home and downloaded them onto my computer, I was disappointed because they weren't that great.  But I knew I could try again tomorrow morning.

    As I sat there thinking about it, it hit me, I go through my day with a list.  A list of  things that I want to work on--things about myself that I want to change or improve.  At the end of the day, I am disappointed when I realize I didn't do any better.  But, just like trying again with my photos, I can get up the next day and try again, and again, and again.  The best part, because of the Savior's Atonement, I can have His help.

    I am working on a talk for Easter Sunday.  I read this great quote by Elder Bednar.   In an October 2011, BYU Devotional he said:   "I frankly do not think many of us "get it" concerning this enabling and strengthening aspect of the Atonement, and I wonder if we mistakenly believe we must make the journey from good to better and become a saint all by ourselves through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline, and with our obviously limited capacities.

    Brothers and sisters, the gospel of the Savior is not simply about avoiding bad in our lives; it also is essentially about doing and becoming good. And the Atonement provides help for us to overcome and avoid bad and to do and become good. There is help from the Savior for the entire journey of life--from bad to good to better and to change our very nature."

    I am so grateful for opportunities to serve and learn and grow and become and do.  And grateful to know I am not alone in this endeavor.

    Sidenote:  In my previous post I mentioned about my leg, I have a hamstring/bursa problem.  It will get better--just will take time and patience.

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    Getting Back Into the Groove

    Even though my leg isn't completely healed, I know I need to slowly get back into a running routine because I am going to attempt to do something this fall that I haven't done before and have to start training NOW.  So I finally got back out there.  It was almost like starting from scratch

    It sure felt good.  I am trying to get my training program all lined up--and I think I will take another class.  It is funny, there are a couple of things I forgot about running in the cold--obviously I need to make sure I dress for the cold, but there is one thing I should never forger--DON'T HEAD OUT THE DOOR WITHOUT KLEENEX!!!!  It really was a beautiful day.  I'm so looking forward to next week when the temps are even going to be BETTER.

    Some Updates:

    My 30-day challenge:  I have learned a lot of things about Indexing.  First of all, I guess people that recorded information didn't really think that one day people would be trying to decipher their handwriting--SERIOUSLY, people ; )

    My genealogy is getting more and more frustrating.  I get so excited when I think I find someone and then so disappointed when it doesn't pan out.  I would love to tell you that these lines are back into the 1400's or 1500's, but nope I'm talking about the late 1800's and even early 1900's.  It doesn't help when your maiden name is JONES!!!!

    Photography Class:

    I am re-taking my Photo 1 Class, since I missed half the classes.  I have been very grateful for my DIL Macy's help.  She is such a great resource and has been so kind to offer me tips.  I just wish I could grab my camera and run to her house and have her show me things.  She knows pretty much everything about photography and is more than happy to answer my questions.  The big problem, sometimes I don't understand what she is trying to tell me.  But at least she is just an e-mail away.  

    Elder Rob:

    They just had transfers and he is training a brand new missionary.  Do you realize he will have just one more transfer, and then Allan and I will be heading to Idaho to pick him up.  CRAZY.  I laughed when I wrote about his release on a FB page with his buddies and one of them wrote: "Time moves so slowly" and another said, "I'm so excited, but it's so far away".  They must think I haven't missed him at all because I wrote:  "It will be here before we know it."

    They loved it when I posted this picture--of them joking around. 

    March Madness:

    I will miss our Elder this week as I watch basketball--IT'S TOURNAMENT TIME!!!  Have I mentioned that I love College Basketball???  This picture was taken 5 years ago when Florida was in the final game.  By the way can you tell they are the "Florida Gators"???

    Now that the selections have been announced, I have to get busy and make my pics.  I rarely pic a number one team to win it all (that isn't any fun)--and really I have a feeling this year will not be any different, but we'll see. 

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Grandchildren--Pride & Joy #6, Kiah

    Time to get back to these posts--let me introduce you to my beautiful granddaughter, Kiah.  Such an unusual name, but it totally fits her.   I love this little girl so much--she means the world to me.  I have so many great memories of her.  I remember being in the hospital (pregnant and suffering from severe dehydration with Kyle when I got the phone call that this new little granddaughter was born)
    A few months later, I flew out to California to meet her.  As you can she, she was happy to spend time with me--SHE REALLY WAS!!!!

    Probably the reason we get along so well--SHE LOVES CHOCOLATE--just like someone else I KNOW.

    She loves sports--of course, she comes from a family of sports enthusiasts.

    She began cheerleading as a little girl, and continued all through high school.  She also competed with her little sister, Hannah.

    I love that she competed in the powder puff football game--something her grandma did her Senior year, too.

    I loved when we competed in a 5K together.

    What can I tell you about some of my favorite memories of this little girl:
    • The one we will always laugh about happened when she was in Kindergarten--Allan was picking her up.  She didn't want to leave school so Grandpa basically had to pry her fingers off the fence.  She was not happy so when he put her in the car and he walked around to the driver's side, she decided to push the automatic lock and lock him out of the car.  HE WAS NOT HAPPY.
    • She has a LOT OF HAIR and when she was little combing her hair was tough--tangled, tangled, tangled.
    • Waking her up in the morning was so very hard--grumpy comes to mind ; )  As she got older, somehow she outgrow that--I was amazed at how early she would get herself up each morning to get ready for Seminary--it took a long time to comb through that hair ; )
    Her baptism.

    I loved her Senior picture

    I was so happy to be there for her high school graduation

    So glad we got a picture of their whole family with Grandma Rob when we were all there for her 90th birthday.

    She loves her brothers and sisters--Her first Halloween with her brother, J.

    This is when little Miss Hannah was born

    And with Mr. Drew.

    And I ABSOLUTELY LOVE when she writes about Miss Georgia on FB and refers to her as her little "Peach"--I guess the whole Georgia Peach thing ; )

    This is Miss Kiah with her brother, B--for some reason I don't have one of her with him as a baby.

    It's going to be so fun in June when Elder Rob is home and these two can be together again--it's been a long time.

    I am so happy she is my granddaughter.  She is incredibly bright and very talented.  She has a strong testimony and made a decision a long time ago that she would be married in the temple.  I am so proud of her and her strong conviction.  In fact here she is with her little "Peach" at the Sacramento Temple.  I know she will be a great example for her brothers and sisters.

    SIDENOTE:  Heidi is doing well and should be returning to teaching tomorrow.