Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Look Who is Gabbing On The Phone!

Hazie, she really doesn't have freckles,
it is the iPhone photo!

Look who is sitting up, smiling, eating, playing with her baby AND talking on the phone! Jen took this and put it on Facebook last night. She looks like a different child than the one they brought in last week. We love miracles! Thank you to the fantastic medical professionals and to all of you that have been praying for her. It has made a big, steady difference. Here is the update for today. Sorry it is so late, I had to run to the airport. Did a little shopping on the way home and just got in.

As good as Hazie is looking she is clearly not out of the woods with this infection. We are at a wait and watch and see for the next couple of weeks.

The PIC line went in very well. They tried it last year and getting the tubing around her shoulder bone was not possible. So we were very thankful it went well with no complications. Hazie is very small, I am not sure how much she weighs now but no where close to 30 pounds and she is 3. I'll guess 24 to 25. Jen, help me out here.

The fourth doctor and his team conferred with the others and jointly they decided that they would take her off one of the meds to see what happens. It is a heavy duty antibiotic and kind of a last resort and since her inflammation came down so dramatically to 6 today they are satisfied that she is heading in the right direction. They don't want to over use that medication. She is still on another one that she will stay on with IV infusion (4 times a day and it take 2 hours to administer each time) for at least the next ten days. Jen and Lowell will learn how to administer it through the IV port with the help of a home health nurse when Hazie gets good enough to go home again. She is still a sick little girl but the port will make it plausible for her to go home sooner than later. A lot depends on the numbers tomorrow.

In general, they are very pleased with her progress and feel they do not want to do anything invasive right now like the spinal tap or anything around the shunt revision. Too risky unless absolutely necessary. So far, they are convinced that the infection is clinging to the shunt tubing but has not gotten inside or into her spinal fluid. This is is the way they want to keep it!

So the plan is get home as soon as she can go with IV meds for another ten days to two weeks. After that watch her very carefully and pray it doesn't come back. If it does come back when the IV meds are finished she will have to have the surgery in a couple of weeks.

So she is still a sick little girl but getting better thanks to the faith of many people, family, friends and doctors. Please continue to pray for her we need this miracle to keep on going until the perfect day when she is well again. Thank you all so much!


P.S. Grampa has arrived and will help for awhile until they are back into their regular routine again. He replaces Lowell's parents who went for Thanksgiving and are still there!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook~November 29, 2010

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, November 29, 2010

Outside my window...it is cold and dark with just a touch of the blue hour starting to happen. I can hear the train in the distance and people are definitely up and about and heading to the City for the first day of work after a nice 4 day break.

I am thinking...I am glad that this year is well-documented on my blog and Daybook as it is just a blur to me otherwise. I don't think another year has ever flown by so quickly. I can scarcely believe it is nearly December. Weren't we just sweltering in the summer heat? Now as I sit here with the fire going, a velour pair of pants, shirt, and hoodie and socks, I feel like a jacket and scarf might be a nice idea. Burr! Winter I don't know if I am ready for it. After all the rain of last year I am already looking forward to spring.

I am thankful for...Hazie's good care and the love of many that are helping her to get well.

From the learning room..life is forever throwing us curve balls and I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven that knows that and has given us so much to help us deal.

I am reading...some favorite Christmas books right now.

I am wondering...how it can possibly be 5 months today that Jim has been retired? It has been a remarkably smooth transition. In fact it has been wonderful!

I am hearing...Zat You Santa Claus? Louis Armstrong

Today if I could change one thing...It would be that Hazel was completely well and home from the hospital right now.

I am quoting..."You can take no credit for beauty at 16. But if you are beautiful at 60, it will be your soul's own doing." Marie Stopes For Maureen...turning 60 on December 2nd!

Maureen and her grandson, Josh!
Isn't she beautiful and Josh is so handsome too!
That guy who looks like he is praying or
sleeping in the background is Jimbob!

I am going...to get our electronic Christmas Card done this week.

I am missing...all of our family and it will be worse when Jim goes to Utah tomorrow night to run Grampa Camp with the big girls while Mom and Dad shuffle back and forth to the hospital and work, etc. I am staying and taking care of things here for the time being since we are going in a few weeks for Christmas. I actually have a decorating job to do as well. Helping a great friend with her Christmas decor on Wednesday. There are just so many reasons why I was prompted to get a head start on Christmas this year. I wish I could be at Jen's side right now. The hospital with a little one is so draining. I will drop everything and go if she needs me, all she has to do is say the word.

One of my guilty pleasures...Christmas Home Tours. I am only going to one this year if I am lucky but I do love them. I do love the online ones as well.

Pet Peeves..Black Friday!

One of my favorite things...Phone calls from our grandchildren.

An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving.

I am curious about...how much I am enjoying my iPhone since I really didn't want one for a long time. It just makes everything a little more convenient. Now that I can actually do the texting it has been a lifesaver while Hazie has been in the hospital.

A few plans for the rest of the week...finish the last few things I need to get for Christmas and get the card done, go to Liz's baby shower (she is having twin boys and already has three boys under six.) I am going to see Harry Potter with Jim tonight finally and then getting him on a plane tomorrow. Going to an annual Christmas party on Saturday and maybe making a trip to a boutique out of town. Buying a wedding gift for a sweet young couple and something for our nephew's 30th birthday. But mostly...praying for Hazie day and night.

Here are some photos I am sharing with you....

Thanksgiving at our house. Just five of us this year!

Jim's mom, still going strong at 84!
She looks amazing, doesn't she?

My sister-in-law Emily and my brother Steve!
We sure love these two!

We went to Maureen's surprise birthday party on Saturday night and were so happy to see our very good friends, Lee and Dave there too. Dave is Jim best buddy, they do just about everything they can together. Right now they are finishing up a work shop in Dave's backyard. Jim's is coming in the spring. And the cutest thing happened on Friday, Jim's birthday. Dave and another sweet David that is a good friend, took Jim out to lunch. I loved that~I don't think that has ever happened before. I want him to have fun with his friends and he is, especially since he has retired and has more time and energy than ever. (Those of you who know him are going..."What, more energy?" Right?

Lee and Dave
We love you guys!

Hazie's Sunday Update

This is Jen and Hazie when she was younger.
Hazie is no stranger to medical problems
but she has a lot of love to keep her going.

I spoke with Jen this morning and here is the best interpretation of what I learned. It is a little detailed but I am giving it to you so you can know better what is going on and what to pray for specifically.

The diagnosis with Hazie is always changing it seems, but this is what it is right now. She has a severe and very serious infection that originated with a nasty ear infection. When kids normally get something like this a large cyst will form and a pocket of fluid will develop at the mastoid bone behind the ear. This bone is porous and looks like a honeycomb on an x-ray so the infection takes the path of least resistance and goes there. Normally they can just drain the cyst and treat with antibiotics.

Yesterday they did some inflammation tests and her number was 26. Normal is 0 and they told Jen that pneumonia was a 10. This is where we got confused and thought she had pneumonia but thank heavens she does not have pneumonia. They just used pneumonia to show how elevated her inflammation was by comparison. So the good news is it is going down so the antibiotics are working, 17 today.

Now the reason they cannot extract the infection is that Hazie has a shunt in her head that drains her excess cranial fluid on an on-going basis. The shunt is encased in plastic tubing that runs from her brain to her stomach. So instead of the fluid going into a cyst it has taken the path of even less resistance and the bacteria has attached itself to the plastic tubing so now it can run freely up and down that tube from her brain to her stomach causing a much bigger problem. Of course the plastic doesn't respond to the antibiotics so it creates a safe harbor for the bacteria to grow. But it does treat the surrounding areas so that is a blessing. But it makes killing it much harder.

So tomorrow they are putting in a PIC line so they do not have to keep poking her with needles for fresh veins as the tiny veins in a child burn up pretty fast with heavy meds. She lost her vein last night so they had to redo the IV, not a pleasant thing on a little one. Placing the PIC line in a main vein is a surgical procedure they are planning to do tomorrow morning. When they get the PIC line in too, she would be able to go home for the AB treatments once they feel she is well enough for that.

Another good thing is that they are calling in another specialist today to check her out and so they can collaborate on the treatment.

So this is what I am praying for today. That her infection will continue to respond to the antibiotics. That the Pic line will go in with no problems with anesthesia or the procedure itself, that it will eventually result in her being able to go home and continue the meds there. I am also praying for the roads to be clear of snow and ice so Jen and Lowell can drive the hour between home and the hospital with no incidents. And also that the Lord will keep Hazie relaxed and comfortable and uplift everyone's spirits with a perfect brightness of hope! Thanks you for any prayers you can offer up! Jen, if I have left something out or messed up something, please clarify in a comment.


Online Shopping Tips

Avoiding This?

I don't know about you but I like to shop online for a lot of the gifts I buy. One of the reasons is that my knees have been bothering me for a few weeks now and the other is avoiding crowds and viruses as much as possible, no lines, etc. CBS Money Wise had this article up this morning and I think it has some good information so thought I'd share it with you. It was written by Farnoosh Torabi.

"Search for More Discounts

Dozens of sites like RetailMeNot and Bargainist collect promotional codes for discounts on Web purchases. To find them on your own, try Googling the name of the shopping site with the words “coupon code” or “promotion code.”

Avoid Shipping and Return Costs

Many retailers offer free shipping promotions from time to time or have thresholds at which they’ll ship for free. But, some of my favorite online shops such as Endless, RevolveClothing, Shopbop, and Piperlime, always offer free shipping.

Search Twitter

Many retailers are announcing special deals to their Twitter and Facebook followers. Be sure to follow the retailers you frequent to find out as soon as a deal is announced.

More on MoneyWatch:

We already know some of the best shopping deals are found online - but did you know some days are better than others to find the steepest discounts? ShopItToMe.com, which scours sales at more than 100 online retailers, ran a survey for me showing what days of the week certain categories of items carry the biggest discounts. Their data was compiled between June 2009 and June 2010 and analyzed over 1 million sale items on the web. From sunglasses to bathing suits to handbags and menswear, they got me the inside scoop. (The company is also helping to sponsor my book launch in September).

My advice is to read this through, click print and keep the list stored by your computer as a helpful reminder next time you want to shop on the Web.

  • Mondays: Best for buying men’s and women’s dress pants. The average sale is about 48 percent off.
  • Mondays: Also great for purchasing sunglasses. The average discount is 55 percent.
  • Tuesdays: Best for buying men’s apparel. The average discount is 42 percent.
  • Wednesdays: Find lowest prices on shoes. The average discount is 38 percent.
  • Wednesdays: Also find best deals on kids’ clothing. The average discount is around 40 percent.
  • Thursdays: Best for buying women’s handbags. The average discount is 36 percent.
  • Fridays: Biggest sales on accessories like jewelry, belts and scarves. The average discount is 42 percent.
  • Saturdays: Best sales on intimates (37 percent off) and jackets/outerwear (51 percent off).
  • Sundays: Buy your swimsuits for an average 52 percent off!

Some other online shopping tips …

Search for More Discounts

Dozens of sites like RetailMeNot and Bargainist collect promotional codes for discounts on Web purchases. To find them on your own, try Googling the name of the shopping site with the words “coupon code” or “promotion code.”

Avoid Shipping and Return Costs

Many retailers offer free shipping promotions from time to time or have thresholds at which they’ll ship for free. But, some of my favorite online shops such as Endless, RevolveClothing, Shopbop, and Piperlime, always offer free shipping.

Search Twitter

Many retailers are announcing special deals to their Twitter and Facebook followers. Be sure to follow the retailers you frequent to find out as soon as a deal is announced."

I checked this out, especially the Googling your stores and then ~ add in promotional codes to the search. (Amazon~promotional codes) Yep, even Amazon has them. Now they tell me! (arrgh!)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hazie Needs Your Prayers!

Our tiny angel is in trouble. She started getting sick a few days ago and has been in the ER most of the day. They are trying to figure out exactly what is going on and it may be the shunt. She has a pocket of fluid behind her ear that is causing them to suspect that. They need to do a spinal tap. Please pray for her, her family and the team at Children's, that they can find the problem and treat it quickly. It may require surgery, but we are not sure yet. It is always wonderful to know we can call on our family and friends who are faithful in times like these. Thanks everyone for helping us call down the powers of heaven for her!

Love to all,

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The One That Got Away!!

Wild Turkey Alert!

I took a little nap on the couch just before our guests were to arrive and when I opened my eyes I saw this turkey out the window. This bird is huge, about the size of a well fed five-year-old kid! Along with the two Obama pardoned to live out their lives at Mt. Vernon on the Potomac, this one got away today too. Happy Turkey Day! Check out how far down the tail is hanging below the branch! We are surrounded with wild like here in the middle of a town with over 125,000 people. It is a little blurry between the telephoto lens on our point and shoot being maxed out and the window screen, but I am quite proud of this photo all in all! LOL!

Check out this post from my friend, Susie, who is an expert on animal and birds!

Happy Thanksgiving One and All!

Our Pilgrams

The Happiest Thanksgiving to you and yours! May you find the joy in the upcoming season celebrating our most gracious God, the birth of the Savior of the world and all He has done for us. As you feast on the thoughts of your blessings today, remember that even the challenges, sorrows and sadness we feel over things we cannot change or find hard to endure will bless us one day.

I pray we will pace ourselves through the holidays so that we can enjoy them. Not just the cultural side, not just the spiritual side but both as they are rich in meaning and tradition, both important parts of living this life. They do not have to be mutually exclusive. Each to be understood and appreciated in its own way.

Of course what we are celebrating is the most important part for all of us as Christians, but the customs and fun things of each culture are important to the well-being of the inhabitants of a country as well. We learned that well in the years we have spent in Scotland and Italy at Christmas time. In these times of division and unrest, what unifies us as a nation and people strengthen us.

So what are you thanking God for today? What do you try not to take for granted in your life?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sacramento and The Forgotten Carols

The Sacramento Memorial Auditorium
where the musical was performed.

Jim and I had a fantastic time going to Sacramento on Monday and seeing the Forgotten Carols, a really wonderful Christmas Musical written by Michael Mc Lean. The musical is about the forgotten carols of Christmas and suggests that we all have our own carol for Christmas. The Forgotten Carols is about the players in the Christmas story that kind of take a back seat, like the Innkeeper, A Shepherd that slept through the whole thing, A Maiden that helped Mary tend her newborn baby. It was just so delightful. What a talent Michael Mc Lean has!

I was born and partially raised in Sacramento. We left there when I was 12 to move to the Bay Area. When we approached the auditorium I remembered I had been here as a child. Twice I performed in a ballet recital (no laughing, I was skinny when I was a kid) here and also attended the Nutcracker here once. I had totally forgotten about that but it did bring back a flood of early childhood memories. We had dinner at PF Chang's right across the street and it was so comforting being there again after many years. It was a nostalgic, enchanting evening. It really put us in the mood for Christmas.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn just 12 blocks from the theater and right beside Old Town Sacramento. Jim was out early taking these photos while he patiently waited for me to get ready for the day.

This is the H Street Bridge,
one I passed
over many times in my childhood.

We came down this way because Jim loves the Train Museum in Old Town and this was an outing for his birthday. While he did that in the afternoon I shopped around Old Town and then went to the Westfield Mall next to our hotel and found some great glass candle sticks for our mantel and some pomegranate scented candles. Then I was freezing so I had a carmelized apple cider from Starbuck's. I always feel like a martian when I go into Starbucks, I don't know the lingo or how they roll there at all. It is comical.

The cider was delicious and I sat outside and texted back and forth with Laura! That was great as she had been here with me before so she knew all about exactly where I was and could envision it all. She and I both whined about our not being together at the moment or for the holidays! We always whine about that.

This was a great get-away, it felt magical and perfect. We like to get out of town for at least overnight on our birthdays. It has always been more expensive for Jim's birthday as the 26th often falls very near or on that 4 day Thanksgiving weekend. But now that we are retired we can go early and beat the rush. Loved that!

Some of the shops in Old Town.
It is a fun place to
browse around
and find stocking stuffers, etc.

I got a little more Christmas shopping done too!

Just love this photo he took of the tracks.

And the color in this one as the day was
trying to decide on rain or shine!

Having lunch on the River Queen
and enjoying the view.

(I look like a goof but it was the
only photo of us to choose from..yikes!)

The little waitress that took it said it was "precious!"
Ahh, not!!

The Hornblower passing by~
It is a dinner/dance river boat we have taken before. Very fun!

Old Town Christmas Tree

After we left the Old Town area we decided to go over and see the place I went to elementary school that was very close to where we stayed. I went to a small private Lutheran School called Trinity.

Since that time the old school house has been torn down and replaced with a large cultural hall for various church activities. But the corner stone remains of the original part of the building which was my school. It was taken down in 1993. Besides home, I was probably right here on this block more than any place else growing up. This was a tremendous walk down memory lane for me.

I remember being excited whenever
I was
enough taller to gaze into the
window up on these doors.

27th and O Streets
just two blocks from Sutter's Fort.

Guess where every field trip was headed?

The inside of the church~
we were lucky to
run into the new,very young, pastor.
He let us in to take pictures.

I was sprinkled from this original baptismal font in the church when I was 2 and a half months old. To them it was a baptism. When I became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I was baptized by immersion as Jesus was, and that is what I consider my real baptism.

But it was cool to see this as a little piece of my personal history anyway. Just to know that my parents brought me here in perfect faith, made me feel happy. Happy to know that they were Christians and happy to know they wanted me to have a Christian upbringing to give me every advantage. What I learned in this church became a great foundation for my faith today.

I spent many an hour gazing up at this
I was little. I still love it today.

I did my share of looking at these side windows of the sanctuary as well. The church was already olden when I went to school here in the 50's. The first pastor started working in the church in 1915.

Just down the block is this little park (Winn Park) with very tall palm trees, where we use to walk, two by two holding hands, and we'd go to play on Fridays, if we had been good all week during school. I 'Kicked the Can' here many a time.

The neighborhood around the church.

Sacramento is a beautiful city!
I love their old street lamps!

7th Avenue off Freeport Blvd.

We then went to the first home my parents lived in in Sacramento when I was born. It looks the same except for the Dish, the paint that use to be white and the new windows. It also use to have the two cement strips with grass in between for the driveway but that has been replaced now. We lived here until I was five.

At that time we moved farther out of town to a new house at 1157 Hampton Road in Sacramento, CA.  My parents bought so there was more room for us 3 kids. My mom carpooled us to Trinity Lutheran School until I was in 7th grade. By that time a newer, closer school was available and we and several other families made the switch to Town and Country Lutheran School and Church. I wonder if I ever thanked her for that dedicated mom's taxi service for all those years. Round trip probably took nearly an hour each morning. Thanks Mom, where ever you are!

We headed home as the sun was setting yesterday. The sunset was beyond gorgeous. I did not nearly capture how spectacular it really was. We took the river road, also something that highlighted days gone by for me. Although it was Jim's birthday trip I think I loved it more than he did, although we both had a fabulous time. One of our best retirement outings to date for sure.

~The End~

Now it is almost noon and I had better get cracking on preparations for Thanksgiving tomorrow. But for this morning I just wanted to bask in the light of the fun time we had the last few days.

Ready, set, go! Have a wonderful day tomorrow and thanks for being such wonderful friends!

Love and hugs,

(Poof...I am outta here for awhile!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook~November 22, 2010

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, November 22, 2010

Outside my window...It is dark because I am starting this early this week. It is Sunday night! Jim works at the Temple tomorrow morning and then we are heading to Sacramento for the musical Forgotten Carols and some other fun. It is going to be a little rainy but c'est la vie, we don't mind. It is like the Christmas season kick off for us and I am looking forward to my favorite holidays of the year.

I am thinking... Although I am never done decorating the house for Christmas, I have done all the basics now and just have to do the little detail stuff that I think of every time I walk by something. It drives me nuts, but I love it. I think that is my favorite part of decorating; the details.

I was thinking that I have come full circle now. My very first decorating job, when Laura started kindergarten, was in a large antique collective where I was hired to do their vignettes. Taking things from all over the store and setting up little cozy corners was what I did. I have done everything in between since then, and it still remains my favorite part. The selection of accessories, the placement, the angles, the little touches that make all the difference.That is why I am never done the entire month of December...such fun!

I am thankful for..the blog I ran across last week about 1000 gifts. It prompted me to begin a new permanent page on my blog and add to my gift list of things everyday. The list includes gifts I have already received and things that make me thankful. I think she had a perfect idea and it is, after all, the list making season.

This one little thing that takes about two minutes a day has heightened my awareness of my gifts in a very real way. You should make one too, it is fun and simple to do and rewarding. It makes you ask for less and thank God more each day.

You can find your permanent page option on your editing page right next to where you edit your posts in Blogger) then once you have made your page you can add it on your sidebar and update it daily. Mine is right under my photo. Home is the most recent post on this blog, 1000 Gifts is the list. I really like the idea of the permanent pages, I am going to make some more. If you need help on setting one up, just let me know.

From the learning room..when you continue to add oil to your lamp and learn of the Gospel, you can be prepared to help someone in ways you don't quite imagine sometimes. The Lord brings things back to your memory just when you need them. He does this so you can be an instrument in His hands to lift another of His beloved children.

I am reading...I should say here that in addition to the novels, etc. I read, and that take me forever, I am reading the scriptures daily with Jim and also have been reading and listening to the October LDS General Conference talks on lds.org lately.

I am wondering...if anyone saw the blue moon last night? You know it only comes around once in a ....while. :-)

I am hearing...The First Noel by Johnny Mathis.

Today if I could change one thing...the things in life that just don't make sense or seem right or fair. You know me, I just want everything to be good. Not the plan though! I guess the secret is to look for the silver linings.

I am quoting...George MacDonald wrote, “No gift unrecognized as coming from God is at its own best…when in all gifts we find Him, then in Him we shall find all things.”

I am going...to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your feast with your family and friends but mostly thank God for the richness of your life and your blessings. No person can be unhappy and thankful at the same time. What is gratitude? It is a contraction of "grateful attitude!" Isn't that great? I heard it from a 19 year old missionary in church yesterday. Brilliant!

I am missing...our kids and grandkids, our parents and all of our loved ones that we will not be with this Thanksgiving Day. But we are so happy to have my brother, Steve and his wife and Jim's mom joining us. Looking on the bright side...just enough people to make it feel festive and not enough to kill us off in the kitchen! Woohoo! A new quote I just heard last night on a friend's facebook status, "I love Thanksgiving, it is the presence not the presents!" Sue Capson. I really like that.

One of my guilty pleasures....mashed potatoes and a little gravy. A rare treat around here and something I am looking forward to on Thursday.

Pet Peeves...people that are "bah humbug" about Christmas! My feeling is you make it exactly what you want it to be. If you think it is a pain and annoying it will be. If you put an effort into making it great, it can be.

If there are things about it you dislike work around it. As an example if you hate crowds like I do, shop online, shop early, shop at night, shop at dinner time or make something. If putting up a ton of garlands with lights and ribbons and do-dads, is too much hassle, skip it. I did, I am going more simple this year. It can still be pretty. I don't do tons of Christmas cards but I do make a fun electronic Christmas Card each year. Many people have said they really like it and it goes to a lot more people than I can afford to send cards to. It is a lot of work and effort but is worth it to me.

And, true confessions... I do not bake at Christmas time. Yep, it's true, you heard it here! For years I felt terrible about it and then I realized...it can still be Christmas without that. It is OK. We are never hurting around here for extra calories during the holidays thanks to wonderful people who do bake and share with us (they probably feel sorry for my family! LOL) Do not overburden yourself with the things you do not enjoy about Christmas and it will be a great time for you!

It is far better to remember the real reason for the season and then do the cultural Christmas things that you do enjoy and skip the rest.
We have somehow come to think we have to do it all, guess what? We don't. Give yourself permission to do it your way. If you need to hear it from someone else, "You have my permission to do it your way!" Climbing down off the soapbox now, sorry!

One of my favorite things...
knowing it is all about what I choose, no matter what I am doing.

An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...Tristan and Isolde..there that James Franco again. Excellent movie.

I am curious about...what you are planning for Thanksgiving and your four-day weekend?

A few plans for the rest of the week..The musical tonight and dinner with James to celebrate his birthday a few days early, shopping for Thanksgiving dinner, getting some stocking stuffers in Sacramento, Harry Potter either Tuesday or Friday for Jim-Bob's birthday, cooking a turkey and all the trimmings Thursday and enjoying our tiny group of loved ones, getting VT letters out, buying some poinsettias and red and white cyclamens for the porch and house, and I am sure there is more....

Here is are some photos and fun link I am sharing with you....

And....Don't forget this....

Don't forget to wash the spoon before
putting it back in the crock, K?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hope and Light

A little piece of light in the
American Spiritual Recession!

This Is Good Stuff

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cali Snow Show

The path to the Man Shed on this dark gray day.

The canopy that hugs our roof right now~coziness!

Photos by Jim-Bobblehead this morning!
Origin of Jim's new nickname link

Looking down on the family room
from the upper part of the yard.

It has been snowing leaves around here.
Our kind of snow for sure!

And today I am thankful for all our blessings!
It is a beautiful fall day but...

Inside the house...
it is beginning to look a

lot like Christmas!

Can you see the cute little
partridge in my pear tree?

My friend, Sydne, who is a floral designer made it for me! She is another of my friends that has moved about a hundred miles away...She oozes talent from every pore! She is having her annual
boutique in Folsom (Of Johnny Cash fame, the town not the prison!) this year. I am not getting a thing (in case Jim reads this) but I really want to see her! A friend of mine is in the boutique so it might just become a reality! Woohoo!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hope Ya Know.....

I just love these little Gospel Messages, they are so uplifting. If you are feeling down or discouraged I hope it lifts you way up today!

Love, B

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sharon Vermont~A Very Special Place

I know you have seen this photo before but I haven't really told you about the place where we found it. This is the Visitors' Center in Sharon, Vermont marking and commemorating the birthplace and contributions of Joseph Smith, Jr. in the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is another shot of this lane taken by another visitor and listed in Google Images. I just wanted you to see the beauty that lies on the other side of the split rail fence. I am sure the immense beauty of this spot was a great consolation to the young Smith family, living here in the early 1800s, with a continual struggle to just feed their family.

Our church has beautiful visitors' centers all over the world, but I think this one may be my favorite that we have visited so far. This is hallowed ground and one cannot help but feel the spirit in great abundance here. It is not a large place but a quiet sanctuary where one can ponder and feel a great appreciation for the Savior of the world and his servant, the prophet Joseph.

The full time missionaries that work here did a wonderful job of explaining so many of the historical and spiritual events of the early church. I felt a very strong impression that I would love to have us serve a mission here someday. Of course we don't get to choose where we go, but if we could...

They had beautiful hymns being sung by
the Mormon Tabernacle Choir playing out here
in the woods. It was so inspiring.

This obelisk was raised at great hardship and sacrifice to the artist/builder and those who helped erect this monument of 37.5 feet and immense weight. It was carried by wagon and a team of oxen and the short distance from the main road took several weeks. When they finally got it in position to hoist it up it was discovered that something with the base was not quite right and it had to be taken back and redone. The 37.5 feet represent the years of Joseph's short life lived in complete dedication to the Gospel.

We didn't get a photo of the the beautiful building as it was raining and so no one wanted to go out and stand in the wet grass but it was so lovely. Here are a couple of shots I took of the pretty flowers they had along the walkways.

Here are some of the inscriptions on the obelisk.

His testimony lives as a witness to the
world that God lives and loves us.
The church has now grown to over 14 million members.

We sure did not want to leave this gorgeous,
thought provoking place.

I love that this is all a part of our
heritage as Latter-day Saints.

The Prophet of the Latter-days
who sealed his testimony with his blood.
Some think we worship Joseph Smith.
this could not be further from the truth.
We revere him, we love him,
we thank him for his key role as
a Prophet, Seer and Revelator,

but worship only one...Jesus, the Christ.

A peaceful place to sit an contemplate the
wonder of God's Plan for his children.

We did not join the church until we were 30,
it was the best decision for our family
we have ever made.
Never once have we regretted it.

This was one of our most favorite places we visited.