Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Allan and I celebrated our 31st Anniversary last week.  Talk about anti-climatic.  We gave each other cards, and had leftovers for dinner.  It was fun hearing from some of the kids.  I don't think they knew what to say when we told them how we were celebrating.  Allan gave me an option of one of two gifts--a cruise around South America or a week in Hawaii.  I think he was a little surprised when I said, "You know we have some things going on next year, let's wait."  I'm sure he was thinking, "Who are you, and what have you done with my wife?"

We decided on Friday to head to Regina and go to the temple--no better way to celebrate your anniversary.  It was FABULOUS.  We did have Dairy Queen mudslides Friday night after the temple!!!!

I love going to the temple.  Whenever I leave I am strengthened and uplifted and know I CAN DO THIS.  Life can get tough, but when I leave the temple I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I WANT AND THAT IT'S ALL WORTH IT.

I am so incredibly grateful for my husband.  He is amazing and there is no one I'd rather share this journey with.

Sidenote #1:  A little update on my 100 days until Christmas challenge--I ended up trashing it when I got involved in a different challenge.  But that challenge, which ends this weekend, has been GREAT.
And, it didn't involve any restrictions on treats, so I was happy.

Sidenote #2:  The wrist is pretty much back to normal, however, I do have a bit of a dip in my wrist, which apparently will always be that way. No problem.

Sidenote #3:  A couple of weeks ago I went to see the geese at Fort Whyte and captured a great shot which ended up on the Top Twenty for the week on my 365 project.  I was pretty excited!!!

Sidenote #4:  So excited about Christmas.  IT'S GOING TO BE GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Christmas IS Coming

YES, you read the title right!!!  We are 101 days until Christmas.  Now why is that significant??? Because I have decided to do a 100 Day Challenge and I want to end right before Christmas, so I need to start today.   Here on the blog, I have written about 30 day challenges, and I have even done a couple.   I think I'm ready for a 100 Day Challenge--maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment or I miss those on-line challenges I've done before.  When I first did the 30 day challenge, I only did two or three.  This will  force me to JUST KEEP GOING!!!   If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I am a list maker.  So I have my list of goals.

I am not going to put my goals here because some are very personal.  I will just say that they include physical fitness, spiritual, and personal.  I will tell you that one of them does involve one treat a day (scary because during that 100 days there will be Halloween, and i am one who has to buy Halloween candy a couple of times if I buy it too early ; )  There will also be Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving--yes, we celebrate both, and, of course, all that Christmas baking!!!

I was going to add a goal to practice 15 minutes a day, but I really can't do it with my left wrist ; (  So that will be one for another time!!!  So wish me luck.

Now, speaking of Christmas, I have already started my Christmas shopping.  Yippee!!!

SIDENOTE #1:  It is starting to feel like fall and I love everything about Fall.  The temps, the colors, the smells, making and eating soups, etc.   I can't wait for the trees to start turning.  (I still miss our big beautiful pine tree.)

SIDENOTE #2  I went for my first physical therapy appointment on Wednesday and I asked her why the outside of my wrist is still so painful.  She explained about the bones lining up, etc., and then said, "He did tell you that you broke your wrist in two places, didn't he?"  Now before you think that it was wrong of him not to tell me, let me say, my hearing isn't the greatest.  He very well, could have told me and I just didn't hear him.  I only heard about the inside part of my wrist where the bad break was.  She also explained that it broke at the joint and the reason they waited to permanently cast it was to be sure it didn't move.

She also told me it might not look the same after I'm done.  I told her, no problem, I am not a wrist model ; )  However, when I take off the tensor bandage and realize the things I can't do, it is somewhat discouraging.  Then again, IT'S JUST MY WRIST.  I have friends who are dealing with so much more!!!!

SIDENOTE #3:  Heidi and Brent ran a 5K this morning, and they were amazing.  Heidi finished in 22:30 and Brent finished in 24:50.  I can't believe it!!!  I ran 5 miles today and won't tell you how long it took me!!!

SIDENOTE #4:  My missionary grandson is doing fabulous in the MTC.  He is loving it.  I love reading his e-mails and seeing the pictures.  Here is one with his District and their teacher.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Trip to Texas

The end of August, Allan, Kyle, and I travelled to Grand Forks so we could get on a plane--Kyle's final destination would be Utah, and ours would be Texas.  We had a nice dinner together at Olive Garden and then went to the movies.  We went to see Jobs.  No, it wasn't the best movie in the world, but I enjoyed it and learned a lot.  I didn't know much about Steve Jobs, and I have to admit the movie didn't exactly portray him as a stand-up guy, but I sure appreciate his creativity.  Of course, I am a big Apple fan.

Up bright and early to head for the airport and our flight to Denver--we kissed Kyle goodbye and headed or our flights--yes, flights!!!  We saw several soldiers and I went a couple of groups and thanked them for their sacrifice.  (I so appreciate them for what they do)

When we landed in Austin, we had a little greeting part that included Neal, Chris and G-Man.  A quick ride to their house and then we waited!!!!  Yes, I was happy to see everyone, BUT I couldn't wait to see my newest little great grandson Baby L.  I had seen pictures, but as Tammy and Marvin sing, "Ain't Nothin Like the Real Thing, Baby".

And oh, what a cuite he is, and such a good baby.  Look at that face!!!

We had a great time while we were there.  We headed to one of our favorite places to eat--Rudy's Barbeque, and it was AS GOOD AS EVER.  As always, I ate way, way too much.

From Rudy's we went to see the Bat's.  I knew Allan would love it.  It is such an amazing experience.

And since we were still hungry--yeah, sure--we went to an ice cream place.  It was delicious.

The next day was a lovely day at Church.  Gotta love how handsome this little guy and his family were.

Macy fixed a fantastic meal of brisket--YUMMY and a delicious salad.   And then for desert she served frozen berries covered with a hot chocolate sauce--it was PERFECT.

We had an opportunity to ichat with some of the family.

Then after the kids went to bed it was time for a little SCUM.  The evening was full of laughs.
Before we headed out in the morning, I had a chance to hold Baby L and G-Man was taking video of us.  His dad captured this picture, and I am so glad we have it.

We then headed out for a wonderful hike.  First stop was at a park that had some beautiful peacocks.

Love the color of this dragonfly.

We then went over to Mt. Bonnell.  The view was amazing.  The houses were ABSOLUTELY gorgeous.  This was one of my favorites?

Here is the gang:

We then went to an incredible hamburger place--wow, yummy.  Boy did I splurge--I had a hamburger, fries and a milkshake!!!!

Chris, Heather, and Baby L left for home.  So sad to see them go--I just don't know when we'll see them again.

We went back to the house and everyone rested and then went for a swim. I think this little guy had a blast.   

And so did this little one:

Monday, August 26, 2013

How Can 30 Days Go by so Quickly

We picked Kyle up in GF a month ago tomorrow.  That month has gone by much too quickly.  I miss him already.  Yesterday when I was making cookies for Allan's meeting with the missionaries, he helped when I realized it was pretty painful on my wrist to take the dough off the spoon.

He and I have had a lot of fun watching episodes he's missed of Modern Family.  On Sunday evenings we have played games.  We even convinced Allan to play Scattergories with us and even played Allan's personalized version of Monopoly.

It's been great to have him here, as I have it difficult to do so many little things around the house.  He's washed windows, pulled weeds, scrubbed cupboards, cleaned light fixtures, etc.  

The thing I will miss most about this guy is just talking to him.  He has a great head on his shoulders and helps me see things differently.  I've been struggling with a lot of things lately, and he has been very helpful.

Sidenote #1:  Today is Brent's 28th birthday--and days like this, I wish I could just pop on a plane to go see him.  Because goodness knows HAVING ME THERE WOULD MAKE HIS BIRTHDAY SO MUCH BETTER ; )  He is a great young man and I am grateful he is my son!!!!  (Had to use this picture--one of my favorites ; )

Sidenote #2:  Tomorrow is Allan's 70th.  He figures we celebrated at the reunion so has MADE ME PROMISE there will be no celebrating tomorrow.  But, he has asked that I make his favorite dessert--German Chocolate Pudding Cake for a meeting he has tomorrow night.  Of course, I will oblige!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Preparing for General Conference

Allan has purchased his ticket to fly to Utah for General Conference, and that is a reminder to me that it is coming up.  So, I need to get ready.

As a way to get ready, I have decided to read and study a talk from the April 2013 Conference each day between now and General Conference.  I am using lds.org and signing in and taking notes.  I really need to work on application--something I continually taught in Seminary and try to teach in my Sunday School lessons.   I do not want to just feel these were just "great talks", but I want to take the messages and apply them to my life and work on these areas where I could do better--which is just about all of them!!!

We are so blessed to have these wonderful talks and such inspired leaders to help us.

Just curious--how do you get ready for Conference?

Sidenote #1:  Speaking of "Preparing"--did I mention that me and some members of my family are signing up for next year's Ragnar!!!!  We are pretty excited.  Some wish it was sooner--frankly, I am grateful I have until June.  I know one member is glad since he blew out his calf!!! I am finding it difficult to run with this dumb cast.

Sidenote #2:   Pretty excited that my grandson will be heading out for his mission next week.   I have been sending him a "spiritual thought" each week for the past three weeks.  When we were together at our family reunion, people wrote words of advice or encouragement.  They were so wonderful.  I put pictures of him with the person or family that wrote the words and sent it to him.  He loved it.  I hope it will help him feel the love of his family while he is away.  One of my favorites had to be from Dash and Baron--the dogs:  "We will miss you even more than everyone else, due to the 14 dog years  to 2
people years ratio.   Walk as much as you can, eat at least 2 meals a day (don’t beg for food though), rest when you can, and always stay clean.  We love you.

Sidenote #3:  I am trying not to think about the fact that Kyle will be leaving in a little over a week.  It has been so GREAT to have him at home.  When the kids call, he will comment, "Didn't they already call you this week?"  Kyle has a habit of calling every Sunday evening--which I love, but now he's thinking he needs to call more often.  I told him he can call whenever he wants to ; )

Friday, August 16, 2013


Things I have learned that are tough to do with only one arm:
  • Blow dry your hair--Now Allan has offered to do it for me, but...
  • Comb my hair--I hate styling my hair with two hands, but with one--it is hideous!!!
  • Clip a broken fingernail on my right hand.  I now have the use of my fingers on my left hand but don't have enough strength.  Now keep in mind my nails are very flimsy, but still it's hard.
  • Open medicine bottles that are in childproof containers.
  • Tie up my shoelaces on my running shoes.  I find if I don't pull them tight enough my feet slip around and I get blisters.  I went out for my first run in 1 1/2 weeks and couldn't do it. Allan and Kyle were out of town.

  • When you make brownies and try to pour the batter into the pan, it's tough to scrape the pan.  I had to basically lay the bowl into the pan and scrape--WHAT A MESS!!!
  • Now I don't mean to be gross, but it is hard to wash my right underarm--gripping the soap with my left and then trying to wash--not easy.
  • I find it hard to steady the camera while I take a picture.  I was pretty happy to get his shot at the Butterfly Gardens.  The funniest moment was when I went outside the enclosure and saw a little butterfly amongst the flowers.  You could almost hear him shouting "I AM FREE.  I AM FREE"

Now I have to remind myself that the cast will be off in a few weeks.  Biggest disappointment, it won't be off when I head to Texas to meet my newest little great-grandson.  How in the world am I going to hold him without bopping him in the head!!!

SIDENOTE #1: You have no idea how many tears were shed that I wasn't in California for B's talk and farewell last Sunday.   I would have loved to hear his and Stephen's talks.  As well, B sang as well as my little, Drew.   I HATE LIVING FAR AWAY.  I was so incredibly happy that Heidi and Brent were there.  Made it so much easier.  They were great to let me know how great everything was--and, of course, I talked to the family there and got the blow by blow.   I know it meant a lot to them to have family there--Amanda and Darren were there, too.

SIDENOTE #2:  After reading a bunch of stuff on people taking pictures off of blogs, I was a little freaked out and thought I should go private, but I think I'm just going to be more careful and not put too many pictures on here.  Of course, I think Ella will be safe ; )

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ki's Graduation

On Thursday morning Allan and I drove into Utah to attend Ki's Graduation from University.  We had one little incident which is probably a little difficult to describe.  As we were driving, I was crocheting and dropped my hook and it went into a little crevice next to my seat. I dug and dug and couldn't find it.  I was so frustrated--the only hook I had with me.  We ended up going to WalMart and I found another hook--and it was the right size!!!

We headed to Oakland so we could visit friends.  We had a GREAT evening visiting with the C's.  We visited for awhile and then headed to an Italian restaurant for dinner.  It was wonderful.  Whenever I am with them I just want to slow down time--I coud visit with them FOREVER!!!  And, as I had been working on Allan's history, there were so many stories about this guy, and there is so much love there!!!  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the two of them but got this one of him and Allan.

The next morning we did a session at the temple and then headed to our favorite donut shop--big disappointment.  They had a very few donuts and not my favorite--the apple fritter.

We got up to Stephen and Daph's.  That night we went up to D's day camp until his sister would get there to watch him.  What a camp.  It was fabulous.

On Saturday they had a fabulous party to celebrate Ki's graduation.  They had brunch and everything was wonderful.  The only downside was that SOMEONE (who shall remain nameless but her initials are YMR ; ( left the door open and a BUNCH of flies came in.   I felt like my job was to swat and attempt to kill them all!!!  The food was fabulous.

I think everyone was pretty tired that evening.  Allan did take little H on a date to Taco Bell and I think that was pretty fun for the two of them.  Sunday morning we had to get up pretty early to get to the University for the graduation.  We got there in plenty of time to get a good seat.  It was exciting and we did a pretty good job of CHEERING for her.  Look at how gorgeous this girl is!!!

And, with her gown--and holding her cap which sure helped me find her in the crowd!!!

I love this picture of Allan giving her a big hug.  He is one pretty proud Grandpa!

And, of course, I am a pretty proud Grandma.   I love this girl.  She is always SO GREAT about communicating, and that means the world to me.

After pictures we headed to Church.  Great meetings and they even had a Father's Day gathering (complete with yummy cookies and cinnamon rolls).

Now I have to include this picture.  A picture of the beautiful, Ki (on the left--not the right ; ) On the right is "Jessica" who was a hand me down given to G. G calls her Ki because she thinks she looks like her sister. (Frankly, I'd have to lock her into a room at night because she creeps me out--"Jessica" not Ki ; )

After Church, we headed to Stephen and Daph's and had a lovely dinner and they gave Allan his Father's Day gift (and a Mother's day gift for me ; )

We headed back to our hotel to pack up and get a good night sleep--we had to get up quite early to go pick up B and D for our trip to Idaho.

SIDENOTE:  The blog is going private.  

Half Marathon--June 2013

In all my years of blogging, I have NEVER had this happen.  I had a WHOLE BLOG POST written about the half-marathon and IT DISAPPEARED!!!!  So I'll try again!

I was originally going to drive to Utah by myself but Allan decided to DRIVE ME.  You have no idea HOW HAPPY I WAS.  I was going to leave on May 30th, but we decided to leave on May 31st instead--which gave me an extra day to work on his history.  It was a fairly uneventful trip until we got to Bozeman and we were putting the bags in the hotel room.  I said to Allan, "Where is the overnight bag?"  He said, "It's right there."  I look at the bag he pointed to and told him that THAT was not the overnight bag!!!  (Let me explain:  When we are going to spend only one night in a hotel, I pack an overnight bag, so we don't have to empty the entire car!!!  It has always worked--UNTIL NOW!!!)

So off to Target we went to buy all the incidentals--fortunately we had plenty of clothes, but had to grab the other bags, it was just toiletries we needed.

We got into Utah early Saturday evening.  The kids knew what time I was arriving, but they were most surprised when they saw their Dad.  So off we went to Zupas for dinner

On Sunday we went to Church and then Sunday night Allan fixed dinner for everyone.  Then it was time to practice ping pong.  (We were going to have a ping pong tournament at the reunion and we all wanted to be ready)  Goodness, do we take our ping pong seriously or what!!!

On Monday, we had errands to run and then on Tuesday Allan headed off to Chicago and then back home.  Don't worry, he'll be back in a week.

On Tuesday night, Heidi, Daniel, Kyle and I went to see the new Star Trek movie.  I had already seen it, but I was more than happy to see it again.

Tried to get some running in every so often.  (I really should have tried to get more in ; )

I also spent a lot of time typing Allan's history.  I was grateful that Neal and Macy were working so hard putting everything together.

Friday was a very exciting day, our newest great grandson was born.  His mother had gone in to the hospital to be induced.  I got updates throughout the day and was very, very excited when I got the news that he was here and mother and baby were doing well.

Heidi, Brent and I headed to Provo to pick up our racing packets.  Heidi bought a really cool little belt type thing--I'm going to try and figure out how to make one.  That night we got together for our Carb Up Dinner.

I headed to bed kind of early, but kept getting updates with pictures of baby Logan, so sleeping was very difficult.  (No, I couldn't NOT LOOK AT THE PICTURES--I was far too excited ; )

And for some reason 3:00 came very early the next morning.  Got Brent and then Heidi and it was off to the mall to catch our bus.  It's a good thing you have a lot of adrenaline going so we could stay awake.  Got up to the canyon and we were pretty happy we were bundled up because it was COLD!!!  But it was a lot of fun visiting with all the people.  There is something special about the running community--everybody is so encouraging.

And at 6:00, we were off.  Heidi and Brent were with their respective "pacing bunnies" or groups and I was off near the back.  The race felt so incredibly long.  I struggled so much.  It felt like it was never going to end.  The first one I saw before I crossed the finish line was Kyle.  He could tell I was struggling so he kept encouraging me to just keep going ; )  Then Heidi came and she ran with me--yes, she had already finished.  She was great.  And when I crossed the finish line I was quite happy TO BE DONE!!!  It turned out Heidi had crossed a few minutes before Brent--I was so proud of both of them.  I have to add that I LOVED THE MEDALS THIS YEAR.  So cool.

I went and found a place to collapse and then I saw my friend "Betty" whose husband had run--it was his first half and he did great.  Hard to believe out of all those people there, she found us.  I was so happy to see her and get a chance to meet her son and husband.

We headed for home to shower and get cleaned up so we could go and get her WELL-DESERVED TREATS!!!

Slept well that night and went to Church with Heidi and Daniel the next day.  Had the chance to be in Relief Society when Heidi taught her lesson.  She is a fantastic teacher.  I laughed because when she gave out her quotes for people to read each of them was titled with a race word--"endurance", "black toes", etc.

I had a little bit of time to do some fun things with the kids--go shopping, wander around BYU, etc.  Brent and I had a fun time shopping for props for the movie that he will film at the reunion.  I do have to share a story about being with Kyle at the candy counter in the BYU bookstore.  (I think Kyle wanted to run and pretend he didn't know me.)  I was in line waiting for a woman in front of me to buy her candy and then the girl began waiting on me.  I ordered my chocolate covered cinnamon bears and sour cherries.  As she was weighing my stuff, I noticed a phone on the counter. I asked Kyle if it was his and then realized it must have belonged to the woman ahead of me.  I told the girls and they said they would take it and put it in "lost and found".  I said, "Why don't you call her and let her know she left it here?"  They looked at me a little confused and I repeated myself.  Kyle looked at me and said, "Seriously, Mom?"  I said, "What's the matter?  Wouldn't it be better to call her now instead of waiting until she got home and she realized she left it?"  Kyle just stared at me!!!  And then FINALLY it clicked.  I was MORTIFIED.  I told the girls, "Really, I am not that stupid."  I'm sure that was shared around a few dinner tables that evening!!!!

On Monday morning, I met a friend at the Provo temple and after our session we went to Kneaders for lunch.  Every so often you meet people that you have such a connection with--she is one of those people and I truly love her.

That evening the kids and I decided to hike the Y.  It was great fun.

Kyle and I had dinner out and then I headed into Provo to take some pictures and then later that evening, Allan flew back to Salt Lake.  Now I had to laugh when I went to pick him up.  I was waiting for his flight to arrive and looked at the board--does that flight from Salt Lake into Salt Lake make sense to you???

The next morning Daniel wanted to treat Allan to the Kneaders "All you can eat french toast"--so we met up with the kids there--Allan really enjoyed his breakfast.   (Later in the afternoon we were meeting some friends for lunch at Olive Garden ; )  

Sometimes I feel like all we do is EAT.  That evening we met up with the kids at Brick Oven

And in the evening played spoons--so fun.  SOME PEOPLE ARE DANGEROUS!!!

We were up early to head to California for Kiah's graduation!!!  Hopefully that will be the next post.

SIDENOTE:  I am doing pretty well in spite of my cast.  At least now I can use my fingers.