Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm Spooked~Yes Siree

Chloe Meets the furry "Pet" that was hiding out in the garage!

Our daughter, Jennifer, is a big fan of Halloween. She like the costumes, the pumpkins, the Harvest Festivals, all of it. And because she likes it, her girls like it too. This kinda freaked me out a little... I think she may have gone a little too far stopping for a photo op here....eeeeek! I know they supposedly won't hurt you...physically that is! ! Even at that, I do realize no one procures one of these by choice.

Actually, it was homesteading and I can see it is on the driveway, so thankfully it is being evicted from the property. Chloe looks a little too gleeful though, don't you think? There is either no arachnophobia here or she is just too little to know these are not pleasant experiences!

A Simple Woman's Daybook~September 28, 2009

To join in focusing on the simple things and pleasures of your daily life or to read other people's entries, you can click here.

So, For Today...Monday, September 28, 2009

Outside my is dark as usual but it is feeling much cooler and the weather report confirms we have a front coming down from Alaska that will cool us off by about 20 degrees. I can handle that!

I am I was typing in the date on this post the thought, how on earth can it be then end of September already came to mind. In a few months it will be 10 years since the Y2 scare. Can that really be possible?

From the learning room...that life can be very unpredictable. A friend of mine learned that her 23 year old step-daughter committed suicide last week. As Christians~a little oil in our lamp each day helps us cope with such tragedy, though we may never understand it.

I am reading...The Lost Symbol. Intriguing so far. And a bunch of other books in a stack about a foot tall...ones I have started and not finished. Bad habit I have of late. But I am working on it!

From the kitchen...something need to come to mind soon as the missionaries are coming to dinner. And they love to eat as most 19 and 20 year old men do!

I am wondering...about the swine flu shots after some articles I have read about it maybe not being a good idea? Why is everything so complicated??

I am wearing...light blue jeans, way too frayed at the hems and a dark blue shirt no make-up, shoes, jewelry or hair done yet though.... Time to buy a few pairs of new jeans.

I am creating...some Fall decor. I am taking my time and having fun with it. I will not be decorating for Christmas this year as we will be in Italy from the 12th on but we are having a reunion for Jim's side of the family on November 1st so I am spending more time on autumn than usual.

I am hearing....Music from the 40's...right now You're the Cream in My Coffee. Kind of odd since I can't relate. I don't drink coffee (or cream for that matter!)

I am finish getting dressed so I don't scare my friends that arrive each Monday at 8:00 am for an hour or so discussion on health and fitness and all the stuff good friends come up with to share.

I am quoting...myself.."Instead of saying HAVE a good about MAKE it a good day!"

My spiritual thoughts thankful I am for prayer, the plan of salvation, and faith, lots of faith!

Around the house...Things are a mess again but this time it is outside. The exterior of the house is being painted this coming weekend so there is lots of shuffling of "man stuff" going on outside. At least it isn't in the house this time!

Today I parents who would have been celebrating their 68th wedding anniversary today. Married in September 41...just weeks before Pearl Harbor. Dad was off to war within just a few months after the wedding. Their first anniversary together was their sixth!

I am hoping...that my sweet friend who lost her husband last week and moved to our town will not really have pneumonia as they are suspecting. When it rains it pours.

I have been procrastinating..getting definite plans done for Italy. All I can focus on is seeing the kids!

One of my favorite things...Strawberry freezer jam that my friend gives us from time to time. It is delicious!

A few plans for the rest of the week...Grocery shopping, organizing the stuff that we recently dumped off at the warehouse after de-staging two houses (ugh!), finishing recording budget item for the month, clean up some places needing attention in the house, lunch with my sisters-in-law, Worldwide General Conference for our church on the weekend brought to us by satellite. Definitely need to get a pedicure and do some fun shopping. Walk, walk, walk to build up my strength and endurance for running all over Italy on marble and cobble stone! Hoping to get in some genealogy too.

Here is a picture and a thought I am sharing with you...

This is a stitchery pattern designed by our daughter, Jen. She is such a fun artist and I love the whimsical nature of her art. She is just so creative in a fun way. I have a feeling this is the center piece of a pillow she is making to add a little excitement to Halloween for her girls! I am so thrilled that our grandkids have the parents they do. What a blessing for us! We never have to worry about the little ones. They have wonderful, enriching and full lives.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Grandmother's Prayer

Grandmother's Prayer ~
By: Barbara Burrows

Oh Lord, I do not ask for much,
Eternal beauty, or youth, or such.
Just give me a little hand to hold,
And I'll forget that I'm growing old.

I do not ask for cloudless skies,
A life that's free from tears and sighs.
Just give me a little face to kiss,
And anxious moments will turn to bliss.

For what is there, really, that means so much

As little hands that reach and touch,
As little eyes that search and see

Only the best in fragile me?

So let me grow more loving and wise
By looking at life through their brilliant eyes.
For through these little o
nes, you've given
This grateful grandma a glimpse of Heaven.

flickr photos

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Big Twin~Little Twin

Piper~10 and Hazie Jo~2

Let the Fall Festivities Begin!

Julia the Cat and Chloe the Flame Lady!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Enlarging Blog Photos

This is the normal large size photo for Blogger

This is the enlarged version of the same photo.

To accomplish this change go to your edit html tab on your text screen after you have uploaded your picture. I have found this works best with portrait rather than landscape photos.

The photo html code will be several lines of code. You will scan through and find something that looks like this Width: 334px; Display:block; height: 400px;

Delete the numbers I am showing you in red for width and height so you then will just have :; where the numbers were.

Down toward the end of the code you will see something like AAAAAEF a few more letters and then you will see this /s400/ delete that s400 and replace with s640. Save it and preview to see if your photo has enlarged. Don't fret if you deleted the wrong numbers or whatever. Just delete the photo and upload it again. You can't hurt anything, just try again.

So to recap...just delete the first two numbers and replace the last one with s640. It is not that complicated once you have done it a few times. The hardest part is just scanning the code to find the numbers you want to delete and the one you want to change.

I am thinking it doesn't work so well on the landscape shaped photos because of the parameters set by the blogger template. It might work find on other types of blogs. If this doesn't do it for you leave a comment and your e-mail if I don't have it and I'll send you the instructions via an e-mail. Blogger would not let me put in the full body of the photo code as a teaching tool as I think it seemed like I was trying to insert a photo without uploading it. Computers are only so smart, as you know...!

I hope this has helped. B

A big thank you to my friend, Vanessa, for teaching me this~spreading the wealth!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You've Come A Long Way Baby!

Happy Birthday Littlest Angel!
Well, it is Your Special Day.
Today you are 2 Years old.
This is the day that everyone celebrates you,
Hazel Jo: your sweetness, your uniqueness, your love of life.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.....Look @ You!

Two Years Ago

18 Months Ago

One Year Ago

About Six Months Ago

Almost Two!

Sweetest photo of the year!

You and Your Baby!

In the Spa with the girls!

You Are On Your Way Baby!

This is the Special Day We Thank God For You
and all you have taught us and brought us.

~We Thank You For~

Teaching us to smile even when things aren't so great sometimes.

For teaching us how to serve in lots of new ways.

For coming here with the light of Christ shining all around you
~Your Special Halo!~

For showing us how deeply little children can love
as we watch your sisters and cousins &
little friends treat you so sweetly.

For working so hard on your physical therapy
And teaching us all we can do hard things too!

We thank you for a happy, willing heart and your beautiful smile.
For finding your sweet little voice and talking to us.
For learning to sign Gramma!

For helping us learn to not take anything for granted
and to be thankful in all things.
For helping us to always look for the silver lining!

Thank you most of all for being you and being ours!

There are no words to tell you how much you are loved!

Eat Cake, Our Big Tiny Girl!

Happy Birthday and Lots of Hugs and Kisses
From Gramma and Grampa!
XOXO and 2 to Grow On XOXO

If you do not know Hazel's story you can read about it here. And here!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn Leaves

John Everett Mallais 1885

I just learned a simple way to make your photos larger than life...if you want to know how I will do a tutorial on it. Let me know! Check this out!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

20 things I Love About Autumn

  1. The color: PUMPKIN
  2. Excited grandchildren that love picking out their own pumpkins.
  3. Carmelized Apple Cider From Starbuck's.
  4. Local Fall-Fest activities
  5. Dried, salted pumpkin seeds
  6. Nesting
  7. Bringing out the cozy blankets and throws
  8. Watching movies near the fireplace with Jim
  9. The anticipation of the entire Holiday Season
  10. Crockpot cooking
  11. Candles and candy corn
  12. The crackle of leaves beneath my feet
  13. The smell of fireplaces burning in cozy homes
  14. Goards and other seasonal decorative items
  15. Carving Jack-O-Lanterns with the kids
  16. Not having to dream up costumes anymore!
  17. Pumpkin bread
  18. Corn stalks and hay bales
  19. Scarecrows
  20. Red, gold and yellow leaves on and off the trees
I also love all the fun photos of the kids playing and having fun this time of the year. Isn't it sad that we don't do this kind of stuff when we grow up? Maybe we all should in a few weeks when the leaves are deep on the ground and it is cool and crispy out. Thanks for the idea, Zachary!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Miss Anyslee is Having a Special Day!

Let's Celebrate!!

Today is our granddaughter, Aynlsee's birthday! Today she is SEVEN. Aynlsee is the only member of our family born in New York. She was born when her Daddy was a PhD student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. We didn't get to see her so much that first year or so and we were very thankful for pictures and phone calls and letters. It is amazing that she is 7 already and she has lived in three places, NY, China, and Utah!

This little blond beauty was quite the rave in China and for some, the only little blond girl they had ever seen! The Chinese ladies always wanted to touch her golden hair. Aynslee has had a good year. She has been a lot of fun places with her family. She has grown up and changed so much this year. To me the biggest change has been all about teeth! It is quite dramatic really!

Here she is last year on her 6th birthday.

Here she is when her front teeth came out just a day apart!
Now here she is on her first day of first grade!
I think she looks beautiful with her new teeth!
Aynslee and her best guys!

Sledding with Grampa and her brothers in the backyard

Visiting us in CA in the Spring
Fun with Owen

Family hike this summer

Aynlsee loves art
She enjoyed Kindergarten!

Aynslee's picture of Julia and herself!

Happy Birthday, Aynslee!

Grampa and I are sending you lots of love and
hugs and kisses and we hope you like the present from us!
We think you are fabulous and wouldn't trade you for the world!

XOXOXOXOXOXOXO and one to grow on XO!

A Simple Woman's Day book~September 21, 2009

To join in focusing on the simple things and pleasures of your daily life or to read other people's entries, you can click here.

So, For Today...Monday, September 21, 2009

Outside my window...It is still dark and feels like it is going to be another scorcher today. It is a little muggy and still...not a good sign. But we just have to grin and bear it, knowing it has got to be almost over...right?

I am thinking...I am tired but we had a good weekend away and that is a good reason to be tired.

From the learning room...I am learning that although people and society tend to ruffle me in general, when I look at the specific people we know and love it calms me. When I think in generalities it can be depressing to see the way the world is going...but when I really see people, good people, I am filled with hope!

I am reading...The Lost Symbol. Intriguing so far. And a bunch of other books in a stack about a foot tall...ones I have started and not finished. Bad habit I have of late.

From the kitchen...We have plenty for the week so I do not have to go shopping for groceries today. Yay! But I do have to go to Walmart for a few items and also to the bike shop for some tubes for Jim's there seems to be no way to get around spending $ every time you leave through the front door and get in your car.

I am wondering...if we are going to run into snow in Italy in December??

I am wearing...a and white. Time to get dressed though.

I am creating...Chaos in my mind thinking of all the things I want to do and should do this week. I need to get some plans on paper this morning.

I am hearing....Birds chirping, a dog barking and the fan in the laundry room sucking in some cool air from outside. And now I am hearing Linda Ronstadt singing "My Funny Valentine" I do love that song!!

I am see five friends before 10:00 am this morning, so I have some quick picking up to do...why am I sitting at my computer is the question??

I am quoting..."Belief is passive. Passive belief becomes faith when it moves us to act." Marie Rayner

My spiritual thoughts include..thoughts of eternal life and the reunions of those who have gone before when someone new passes. Our friend, Sy, must be very happy now as he reunites with his family on the other side.

Around the house...I have a couple of new goodies and I am trying to find the right spot for one of them. It is a beautiful wind chime and the little pipes are hanging from this old antique door lock with two crystal door knobs and an old key. It is awesome. The other is a copper mold that has a large bunch of garlic on it and it has a perfect new home in our kitchen.

Today I miss...all of our kids and grandkids. (What else is new, right?)

I am hoping...we can all find lots of peace and joy in this new week.

I have been procrastinating..Organizing the warehouse after de-staging 2 houses. Ugh...just not enough room anymore!

One of my favorite things...Plays and concerts~we haven't been to one in ages. Way too long!

A few plans for the rest of the week...starting to think about Christmas and getting things for the Italy kids to mail so we don't have to haul it on the plane. Doing a birthday post for our little granddaughter, Aynslee, who is 7 today and calling her tonight, doing another one for Hazie turning 2 on the 24th. Will have Jim home for two days for dental appointments, we'll be getting the exterior of the house ready for painting in two weeks, helping someone box up household effects on Saturday morning and the General Women's Broadcast from Salt Lake City on Saturday afternoon and dinner with the girls! Yup, another busy one.

Here is a picture and a thought I am sharing with you...

While in Mariposa we stopped at the State Mineral and Mining Museum yesterday. This is a photo of the largest mined gold nugget in the world. It is larger than a football and is displayed in a big safe inside the museum. I'm just thinking about how many live have been lost fighting over Gold. It is beautiful but not worth the shedding of blood. I was also thinking about how funny the concept of $ is. Since our currency is no longer backed by is just paper that we have all collectively decided has some value...quite arbitrary, isn't it?

Everyone loves it~the one thing we all have in common. Try to think of other things we all have in common like $ is hard to do if you go beyond the realm of our physical lives, like we all eat, sleep, etc. But what else have we all agreed is of value? Nothing that I can think of. I have also noticed how odd it is that even tiny kids get the idea that $ has value and very early at that it seems!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sy: Tender Moments Part 1 & 2

Sy and Ilse

We are heading out of town this weekend for the funeral of a sweet man and "almost" relative. Sy was like a Dad, a close friend, and a mentor to us in many ways. He was a delightful guy in his 80s who lost his courageous battle with cancer on Sunday morning. He was the husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather to some of our dearest friends. So we are packing up to go south and be with them tomorrow for his memorial service.

Times like these always bring the sweet assurance of eternal life and forever families. It is a time of reflection, solemnity, family togetherness and deepening love. It is a time to rejoice in a life well-lived, a time of renewing spiritual strength, making course corrections where needed and setting new goals. There is nothing quite life major life events to shake things up and make us more aware. It makes us more appreciative of each day, each other and why we were sent here to this earth in the first place.

This family has been plagued with cancer almost to the breaking point. But they have remained strong and steadfast and faithful. They have been full of humility and gratitude to the Lord for the lives they have. They have been an inspiration of hope, pressing on in hard times and survival. All who have watched them live and die have learned from them.

To our dear friend, Barbara, her mom, brothers and children and grandchildren...we love you and your Dad will never be forgotten. I am sure he was greeted by Bill, Shannon, his parents to name a few. When the sun is setting here is it rising there. He was a wonderful patriarch, such a fun-loving, sweet and gentle man. May we all support each other in this loss and find peace in the promises we know to be true. He has done the hard thing...and now there is rest for a season. XOXO to all.

A collage made by his family~
Remembering Sy!

Sy, remembered for so many things; his unending service, kindness, humor, love for Ilse and his family, his working hands, his adventurous spirit, his love of backpacking, his thrift, his cookies, his love of great music and his hatred for garlic! What a beautiful tribute his sweet family paid to him.

His great-grandchildren playing
outside the chapel during lunch.

The gorgeous autumn sky that day!

Sy & Ilse's beautiful home on the mountain!

The traffic jam at the house overlooking the valley.
Our is the last car in you can just see our tail light.
It was a little disconcerting when the car slipped a little
when it was placed in park and the brake set
on the gravel at this angle. Yikes!

His family that came from far and wide
to celebrate the life of this wonderful
husband, Dad, Papa, and friend.
Double click the photo for a close up view.

A little algae covered lake right near their home~
looking quite beautiful and peaceful!
May you have a lot of that Beauty and Peace, Sweet Friends!

We'll Miss You, Sy!

P.S. Hi DeeDee!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My ♥ Song

When you are a Gramma sometimes you just have to share. I am loving this with all my heart. Thanks, Missy, for sharing it!

His Mommy said,

"Although we haven't heard Zach singing often in the past, times are changing. He now has songs that he practices for Kindergarten and we've had the chance to hear his sweet voice more often. Love it!"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Glimpse of Your Light

People often talk about their purpose in life. What is it exactly we were sent here to do? We read in the scriptures that each has been given a talent and many wonder what theirs is. Sometimes talents are obvious but most of the time they need to be sought after and developed. I think most people have far more than one talent, don't you?

One thing that seems apparent to me is that talents are given to us to bless others. Even though we can get a lot of personal satisfaction in developing our talents, it doesn't seem to be the main purpose for them. Sometimes I think about the talents that I might have not developed. The ones that lie quietly hidden in the background waiting for me to discover them. Do you? Sometimes I get a glimpse of them but they are fleeting if I don't act on them.

One thing I think I could do is paint. I cannot draw a stick figure but I think I could learn to paint pictures anyway...and I am not talking about modern art! I have an intuition about space and scale and the mathematical principles of design, and I color. The feeling that I have about this is different than wanting to play the violin but knowing I don't have the musical or mathematical talent for that. Do you get these feelings about different things as well? I am not driven to do either one necessarily, I just think I could do some paintings. I wonder if when I ignore those thoughts and promptings there will be regrets later for not following them?

When we think about talents we often think of the things like I have just mentioned! The arts, performing, the gift of song...whatever. But what of the more character-based talents? The ability to make someone laugh, to work hard, to share, to love openly? What of the talents involved in selfless service and genuine concern for our fellowman? The reservoir of all that we are and have become is just sitting there waiting for us to pick up each piece and use it to bless the lives of those around us. To me this is one of the secrets to being truly happy.

To develop our talents is God's way for us to be a light, to help people and to find joy in this mortal life and to give back to Him. It is a win/win for everyone. He doesn't want us to hold it back and rejoice in how great we are...He wants us to be humble and to give it all away. In other words, He wants us to be just like Him! We are to lift up the hands that hang down, light the way for our brothers and sisters in areas where we have learned how we can help them and essentially give all that we have in our pursuit of making this world a better place.

There is not a one of you reading this that has not done this for me and I thank you for it from the bottom of my heart. Thanks for your light, it is brighter than the noon day sun. You come from all over the world and you hold it in the palm your hands!

flickr photos