Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Simple Woman's Daybook~August 31, 2011

Just For Today...
Monday, August 22, 2011

As my friend Marie's says about writing a daybook post or reading one," It is like sitting down together for a chat over tea."

Outside my is 7:15 am and the sky is a little overcast this morning. Over the past few years it seems like the fog that comes off the ocean is coming farther and farther inland in the mornings. This is a good thing as it does cool things off very nicely overnight and makes summer so much milder. There is also a gentle breeze, it is going to be a great day.

I am thankful for...learning and the desire for it. When you have the desire to keep learning you have a much more interesting life. I saw a great bumper sticker not long ago that said, "The more you know the less you need." I thought that was thought provoking. I once heard someone bragging about the fact he had not changed in 20 years. My first thought was...really?

From the learning room...some really interesting things in our WW meeting yesterday about some tools for having success in anything we do. This is a concept I want to share later this week as I think it is an amazing break through in the way we think, and we all know thoughts proceed actions!

I am reading..."What The Scriptures Teach Us About Adversity" by S. Michael Wilcox, "Abraham Lincoln, God's Humble Servant" by Ron Anderson and "Rutka's Notebook" (The Polish Anne Frank.) The first two books we bought at Education Week after hearing the most amazing lectures by the authors and the last book was given to me, by Stephen when we had lunch together with our spouses at Ed Week. All three are excellent and should take a bit of time to read.

From the kitchen...Since I got home Monday night I haven't really had a chance to get organized for the week but I did pick up a few things yesterday. The most exciting one was a big bag of fresh tomatoes from the Farmers' Market on our way to work. I see a wonderful tomato sandwich in our future. I was afraid we had missed most of the summer crop but there are still some available, so yay!

I am wondering...if I have any readers left? When you don't post regularly or comment on other blogs, you lose readers. Anyone still out there with me? We have just been gone so much and that doesn't help. I am sorry I have missed so much this summer.

I am missing...our little Hazie. Poor little angel is sick again. Some infections are going on in her little body. Out of the blue, no idea how, but she has picked a staph infection and also maybe something else going on simultaneously. More doctor appointments today, more sadness and stress for Jennifer. Hopefully she can get her into the spina bifida clinic at Children's this week. Some of her scoliosis problems need addressing to help her breathe better. There are some major surgeries in her future.

I am hearing..."It's a Wonderful World" by Ole Satchmo. And oddly it is, in spite of everything that causes us stress and concern.

I am and white summer night
gown but need to get dressed soon as I have a dental appointment today.

I am quoting..."If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." Ronald Reagan

Something that made me especially happy this week..was being able to spend five days with one of my very best friends in all the world. We talked for the entire time sharing memories, laughter, tears, and lots of fun. It was such a boost for me. I have missed her greatly. Sometimes you just need some serious girl time. Mission accomplished! I am so grateful Jim gets that and encourages it. What a blessing! We were able to reunite with some dear friends from the past as well at a wedding on Saturday. Some of them we had not seen in years. Joyous times and wonderful memories were made.

I am sand and paint this great white chair for our bathroom some time this week. I have found that when you have a pedestal sink sometimes you just need a place to set something down on and this great chair will be perfect for that and for mommies bathing kids, if and when they come. Jen gave it to me and I am so happy about it. Thanks, Baby, I owe you!

One of my guilty pleasures...changing things up in the decorating department when the seasons change. I will be thinking about getting some fall stuff out in the next few weeks. It's my favorite season and I love the colors for decorating. Speaking of seasonal decorating, I found these really cool croquet balls at a yard sales in Utah for $5.00. I have been wanting to get some for years, I think they make a nice little summer statement. A couple of them are pretty beaten up but that just means someone had a good time playing with them. The rest are in great shape. I love whimsical decorating, it just makes life a little more enjoyable.

Pet Peeves...that natural disasters seems to have a way of finding and following our military kids around the globe. Laura says she is a disaster magnet. I am beginning to wonder...?

One of my favorite things...that God answers our prayers and that the kids seem to escape the worst of it every time. The island they live on fared very well all things considered and the kids were as prepared as anyone could have been. They made plans to evacuate but decided to stay home at the last minute after much prayer. They realized after the fact that if they had gone to Palmyra, New York as planned they would have been right in the storm's path as it moved west. I am so glad they know how to listen to the promptings of the spirit.

Another of my favorite things is that our son, Chris, had to fly to Washington, D.C. to present three papers at a national engineering conference and the storm passed through DC less than 24 hours before he had to go. So he arrived safely and there is one grateful Mama over her in CA. The angst for the safety and well-being of our children never leaves a mother for a moment does it?

An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...Midnight in Paris. This was an entertaining movie and had an interesting concept at its origin to create a compelling story line. And the views of Paris alone were worth the price of admission. The music was also wonderful. What a beautiful city, sure made me want to go back to France. Maybe someday.

I am curious about...what it will be like to stay home for a few months now. I am looking forward to it. I am hoping to get a lot of things accomplished.

A few plans for the rest of the appointment, pay bills, pedicure, paint the chair, Friday lunch with my sisters-in law in Benicia, date with James and time with my friends in the morning, and Saturday building clean-up at church in the morning and preparation to work with some family history consultants in our ward to orient them to their new callings and to let then know more about what is available at the Regional Family History Center where we serve.

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

Sometimes the desert is pretty ugly. However, some days it is very beautiful also. It just depends on so many factors, light, time of day, how you are feeling, who you are with, etc. Here are some shots I thought were pretty amazing for drive bys. God created some gorgeous cloud formations for our enjoyment out there. And the run off from the snow melt has poured thousands of gallons of clean water into every possible low point in the terrain. That clear, clean water creates some beautiful blue, green views of the water than is normally just gray looking.

Scrumptious colors!

The sky was so incredibly blue as you can see!

When you think of the immensity of the
Rockies this cloud is beyond enormous.

Lake near Grantsville, Utah...
Add one on one with a great girlfriend and
everything is coming up roses, even in the desert!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Broken Heart~Part 1

There is a very gentle man that has a broken heart. His name is S. Michael Wilcox and I love this man. He doesn't know me but I do know him. He is a speaker I have heard give many talks over the years at various church Education Weeks and Time Out for Women Conferences. Michael is a man who knows and loves the Lord and has a command of the scriptures like few others I have ever known. He has a gift, he makes them come alive in the most poignant way. He can make my heart see in ways I didn't think possible.

Michael is about our age and just retired in January of 2010. He and Laurie have five children and were looking forward with great anticipation to their retirement and the gift of time to travel and enjoy the fruits of all their labors. They were childhood sweethearts. Michael and Laurie had a storybook life, partly because of the good choices they made along the way.

Shortly after they retired, Laurie began to have seizures. She was diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer; inoperable. Michael had been writing a book about what the scriptures teach us about adversity. His work on theology instantaneously became his reality. She died on December 28th and was laid to rest on New Year's Eve 2010.

Eight months later Michael stood at Ed Week and talked about adversity; his own adversity. In a room filled to the rafters with over 1500 people he shared the most bittersweet and personal experience of his life. The death of his eternal companion and all that led to it and followed. It was as though he was sitting near each one of us and sharing such an inner depth of emotion...he just laid out his broken heart and let each one of us hold it for awhile. I cannot say if I have ever felt that degree of compassion before in my life. I think everyone in the room just wanted to hug him and hold him and somehow help something that couldn't be helped by human intervention.

What was so beautiful about this experience was that there were no dramatics involved. This was just not someone trying to give an amazing presentation, this was real and authentic and part of the healing of his grief. He had to share this experience in order to make any kind of sense out of it and to help others with their own adversity. It was a total gift and it was not easy for him. I have a feeling this was the first group he had shared this sacred experience with and it was very heart wrenching.

I believe that what prompted his effort was his Love for the Gospel and Jesus Christ and his tremendous testimony of the things he had been researching in the scriptures and writing about all year in his book and eventually experiencing. The purpose of sharing his heart with us was not to garner pity but to help us learn how to heal our own grief through the teachings of the Lord. After setting the stage to let us know he had "been there," he then laid out what he had learned for us in the most amazing way. He spoke on this topic for three hours. Here is just the beginning, I will follow this up with more posts.

In Acts 12 we read about James and Peter and their capture after the Savior's crucifixion. We read that James was slain by the sword. When Herod saw that this had pleased the Jews, he had the same plan for Peter whom he had cast into prison. However, because of the fervent prayers of the members of the church, AND because God's plan differed from Herod's, Peter was freed by an angel.

Michael pointed out that when adversity comes we all want the angel. We plead for the angel, we may even lead a life worthy of the angel, but sometimes we get the sword. Was James more deserving of death than Peter, no. Was Peter more valued as a disciple, no. Did James want to live less than Peter? Probably not. Were the Saints prayers for Peter any more fervent than Michael's prayers for Laurie? Definitely not!

This is what I mean about Michael and his depth of understanding in the scriptures. Would you have gleaned that from reading this chapter? I would have just read over that part of James' death waiting for the bigger meaning and impact of the chapter. Michael teaches in principles and this one he calls the The Sword and the Angel.

This is want I got from his principle. Sometimes the sword seems very random, this is life as it really is. We do not understand all of God's purposes and we are not meant to. But we do know this, if we always got the angel we wouldn't be tested much and our faith would remain weak and our theology just our theology.

Bad things happen to good people because they need them to make them even better. Sorrow is essential to our growth and development. It is essential for our acquisition of empathy and compassion and our development of real love for others. When things don't turn out as we wish, it does not mean God did not answer our prayers. He just said, "I am sorry, my beloved child, this time the answer is no. That was the sorrow I saw in Michael. Sadness unsurpassed but a spirit willing to allow his Father in Heaven to heal his wounds. A willingness to remain ever faithful in spite of his deep sorrow. A heart broken but not dysfunctional. A heart and spirit willing to learn, to be patient, to carry on. Who could not love such a man? I know I do and so did everyone else in that hour.

I don't think I can ever face adversity again without remembering this lesson. I will always think about James and Peter and Michael and how faith is increased and strengthened through adversity. Jesus Christ is our Alpha and our Omega. The beginning of all our joyous blessings and the end of all our sorrows. Given time Christ will heal us until the bitter cup of our suffering is finished.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

That Exciting First Day!

Piper, 7th grade here she comes!
Blessings to you sweet girl!
Love your new are adorable!

Three of the ten checking in with Gramma and Grampa with their first day of school photos! Remember how exciting that first day always was when you were a kid? So many emotions running high until it becomes routine about a week later. Everybody in the school seems to have new shoes and after that first magical week, they are scuffed up and broken in and nobody looks down at them like on the first day. All the new outfits are worn by then and probably lying in a heap on the floor someplace in their rooms.

I never walked through the snow five mile to get to school but I do remember only having two dresses when I was in fifth grade and carefully alternating them, one week wearing the aqua blue one with the drop waist and the rhinestone pin three times, the next week the red plaid one with the sailor collar. I also remember consciously sucking in my stomach when walking in the front of the class for any reason. Bizarre for a ten year old way back then. It wasn't all media we see, but also just that built in female thing. And the hair, it had to be just so. Ahh, the good old days.

I just remembered another funny thing...that was the year I got a "training bra" although I am positive I did not really need it. What was I training for? Oh yeah, now I know... the unabashed torture of wearing one for the rest of my life! I can remember distinctly, sitting in my little wooden desk and casually touching my shoulder to see if I could feel the strap, thus assuring myself I hadn't accidentally skipped my training that day! These times were not the easiest for a blossoming young lady.

So I empathize with these beautiful young granddaughters!

Julia looking very sporty and cute with
her new pixie cut for 6th grade!

And Chloe Jane just having lost her 7th tooth,
ready for first grade and totally oblivious
to the concerns of the bigger girls!
These are the sweet, young, innocent days when
they don't give a rip about their hair or clothes
and they can just

totally be themselves.
Enjoy it little one! You too will grow up all too fast!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Simple Woman's Daybook~August 22, 2011

Just For Today...
Monday, August 22, 2011

As my friend Marie's says about writing a daybook post or reading one," It is like sitting down together for a chat over tea."

Outside my is dark, really dark outside. I have awakened earlier than usual as I am now use to Mountain Time. But it is good as Jim has gone into work at the Temple this morning and I am usually dragging getting up this early. But today...wide awake! And it is a good thing as I have a ton of things to get done today. I am such a morning person, an ounce of morning is worth a pound of afternoon for me.

I am thankful for..the incredible week Jim and I have just had in Utah visiting our kids and going to BYU Education week. I am thankful for the three visits we have had there this summer and for one more coming up this Thursday when I will be driving back with my very good friend, Barbara!

Barbara and I use to go to Education Week at the Y years ago and we'd take our teenagers. We raised our kids together on the words and counsel we received at Ed Week. All the kids rue the day we heard our child rearing motto, "Be where you are supposed to be, when you are supposed to be there, doing what you are supposed to be doing and all will be well for you!" And now we are going back for the wedding of the son of some our very good friends, Alan and Michelle. We are so excited to be able to see them as they have been living in Canada for the last few years. Their son, Jacob, is marrying a Utah girl and many of our friends will be meeting there for the wedding. All roads may lead to Mecca and Roma, but in our circles it is usually Utah when weddings occur.

We are driving so that will be fun as we can get caught up on quite bit. Since her husband, Bill, passed away in 2006, she has been working so much and has been so busy, we rarely see each other much anymore. So looking forward to going back. This time I will not be visiting kids~they need a break!

From the learning room...that it takes longer to drive to Utah than it use to. For once the problem is not our getting older...the problem is traffic on both ends that seems to be getting worse and worse. Yesterday we had stop and go traffic for over three hours at the end of the trip. Very exasperating. So Thursday may be a little too soon to do it again, but I am biting the bullet to have this time with my good buddy.

I am reading..."What The Scriptures Teach Us About Adversity" by S. Michael Wilcox, "Abraham Lincoln, God's Humble Servant" by Ron Anderson and "Rutka's Notebook" (The Polish Anne Frank.) The first two books we bought at Education Week after hearing the most amazing lectures by the authors and the last book was given to me, by Stephen when we had lunch together with our spouses at Ed Week. All three are excellent and should take a bit of time to read.

From the kitchen...Woefully, nothing going on there right now so I have to get on that in the next couple of days. Definitely need to get some food going before taking off again. Jim is staying home this time to fulfill other commitments and let me have this cherished time with Barbara.

I am all of you are doing. I am coming over to visit while I am home. Just need to catch up on all your blogs! And I am wondering what Piper is feeling this morning as she makes her way to her first day of junior high. You don't have to wonder what I am feeling and thinking..heaven help her survive the craziness of this time in her life. May guardian angels attend her every single day of it!

All the other Utah grandies started school today except the pre-schoolers that go in a few weeks. I need to find out when our Rhode Islanders will start.

I am hearing...Your Song by Elton John, and some very happy little birds singing outside the window.

I am wearing...apricot and white flannel jammie bottoms
and a white tee.

Today if I could change one would be that my brother, Steve, was having an easier time with his chemo. He barely got over the last session and has to start another intense week of it today. This is the third sessions of the four that are scheduled so he is half way through. He is such a trooper but this is no walk in the park. Bless his heart (and body.)

I am quoting...from the Book of Revelation, John speaks to the souls that shall come out of great tribulations, " They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore, neither shall the sun light on them nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Rev 7:14, 16-17.

Something that made me especially happy this week..
.Getting to have lunch with Steve and his wife Jeanine in the Skyroom AT BYU last week. And especially having Jim and Steve meet each other and us meeting Jeanine for the first time. Jim and Steve are 97% sure they have common ancestry from Italy and it was so cool to see them discussing it all. I am just positive they are related, they are so much alike in many ways. It is so much fun to meet new friends/relatives. They are just wonderful people.

I am get organized today and started adding the clean clothes back into my suitcase. "Ugh" on the suitcase part, but "Yay" on the time with Barb.

I am computer time but it will come back soon, hopefully. I need to be writing but just haven't been able to. But I have been gathering some great information and fun topics to blog about soon, so that is good!

One of my guilty pleasures...writing, I just love it! And maybe I'm enjoying this discretionary time we have now just a little too much.

Pet Peeves...the cable connection on our camera is broken and now I have to take all my photos on my iPhone. It takes some great photos but I like the bigger range of options on the other camera. We have a new card reader which will solve the problems, just haven't had time to get it up and running.

One of my favorite things...revisiting things that have had a lot of meaning and brought great enrichment to our lives like, Education Week, spending time with old friends, etc. It is odd how time and life and busyness sometimes rob you of the things that are really important. You just need to stop and recapture them. Just walking around the campus and remembering all the things I have learned there and how it has shaped so many paradigms for me was exhilarating and fun. Doing it with Jim was really neat too. And now this one on one time with Barb...a trip down memory lane. So awesome.

An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...The Help! Oh my goodness, that is one exceptional movie. Poignant, funny, makes you angry and happy and emotional roller coaster ride. A great way to spend a few hours.

I am curious we can possibly learn and do everything that is calling our names right now. Having this insatiable desire to learn so many things. How can anyone be bored?

A few plans for the rest of the just regrouping and hopefully a nap, tomorrow going to work at the Genealogy library and studying some Italian baptismal documents from 1864 that Steve gave us. Sure wish I spoke more Italian than "ciao bella!" Wednesday last minute stuff and Thursday heading out again. Stopping part way for the night and then on to West Jordan the next day. Hopefully time Friday for TaiPan shopping, maybe Gardner's Mill, The Porch, Iron Works, Cherry Lane, Thanksgiving Point, a movie? Saturday wedding and luncheon in Salt Lake City. Sunday driving part way and Monday home again.

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

Every morning during Education week Jim and I would arrive very early. The classes didn't start until 8:30 but most mornings we had already arrived by 7:00. We would park and then walk quite a distance up to our first classes in the conference center. It was always so beautiful out there when only the maintenance staff had arrived. We had the whole pavilion to ourselves which is the place behind where Jim is standing in the above photo. We would just talk and read and discuss our classes. It was nice and cool and pure heaven. These empty photos are quite unusual as the estimated attendance at Ed Week each year is 30,000 to 33,000 attendees. Over 1,000 classes are offered on every possible subject you can imagine. Many Spiritual Classes, History, Psychology, Marriage, Child Rearing, Gardening, Literature, Health, Family History, Genealogy, Writing, Current Events, like the classes we took on the Middle East, Finance, Classes for the Youth, retirement and everything in between. Tuition for the entire week is $60.00. Best deal in the nation!

The flowers on and around campus were so pretty!

Thought this was fun photo of angel hair clouds
reflected on this mirrored building.

This is the lawn in front of the conference center,
Mt. Timpanogos, and the beautiful sky just past dawn.
BYU is just such a joyous place to be and to learn.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weathering The Storm

Our drive yesterday was very long but a good one. We took an alternate route which was longer, but prettier. Instead of highway 80 we took 50. Jim says that Highway 50 is known as the loneliest highway in the world. So you trade driving along side 500 big rigs and a slew of cars for a bit of a country two laner. I am not a fan of the two lane highways but the fact that hardly anyone was out there helped considerably. And we didn't see any trucks until we were about to connect to 80 in Wendover. This is the road we used to take to see my grandparents in North Dakota when we were kids and this road is not that different today.

Since we have retired we have become more of the back roads type of travelers. It is truly fun to get off the beaten path and go through the tiny towns that dot the landscape along the way. Your perspective changes a lot when you are not always racing the clock.

One reason Jim wanted to go on 50 is that his best friend, Dave, grew up in the little mining town of Mc Gill, Nevada. Jim has wanted to see it for many years. We also stopped in a diner for lunch in Eureka. It was an authentic little place that really took us back. The people were so nice. Everyone in the town that we saw had a kind word. Where have all the friendly people gone? Out of the cities it appears.

So our 14 1/2 hour drive was just relaxing and pretty much uneventful...exactly what we all pray for. No hassles, no car problems nice weather, pleasant scenery for Nevada, etc. We spent a good deal of time discussing which classes we will be taking at Education Week at BYU.

As we began to approach the kids' town it started to look very stormy. Hot and rainy is becoming more prevalent here in the summers. As we headed into the storm it became apparent that it was not rain but dust. We were caught in the eye of a big crazy windstorm that was like nothing we had ever seen. It was really scary and the visibility was poor, the dirt flying everywhere, and as the wind increased the debris flying around did too. We saw lots of over turned big orange barrels on the freeway, big orange buckets flying around like badminton birdies, from the construction that is always a part of the scenery in this area. Caution signs were ripped off their poles and became metal missiles flying through the air. And a person lost their entire bumper in the storm and was trying to reattach it on the side of the road. At one point we were driving along the abutment separating the lanes from the construction and all of a sudden a big piece of plywood flew over the abutment and nearly caused my decapitation through the windshield. Jim's quick maneuver saved us. Our prayers were answered for safety as no one was directly beside us at that moment. Everyone was having trouble controlling their cars so we were keeping some distance and driving much slower than usual.

So James was looking for a little adventure, he found it. As quickly as it arose it began to subside just as we were approaching our exit. We have never been so happy to get off the freeway.

Funny how you just never know what a day will bring when you get up in the morning. It is so reassuring to have prayer to give us courage to get out of bed and face what comes, with God on our side. Before you left your room this morning, did you think to pray? And did you remember to give thanks when your prayers were answered?

Ahh, much better! All is well!

I sure hope you have had a wonderful Sabbath Day. We did! Here is a quote from our lesson in Relief Society.

"Blessed is (s)he that can give without remembering
and receive without forgetting."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our Legacy

As some of you know my interest is growing in Genealogy and Family History. I know this is a niche that not everyone is interested in following so I have created a new blog where I will be writing exclusively about this topic from time to time.

Disclaimer here...I am not an expert in family history or genealogical research. And that, believe me, is an understatement! Writing this blog is my attempt to learn and record and keep the things I am learning in one place.

I have plans to write some short biographies of ancestors in our own family (at our son's request) and also to share with you ways that you can begin your own research into who you are. I will share some resources that are available and some tips and some free websites I have learned about in the past 8 months. I started our genealogy over 30 years ago but if you haven't kept current you basically start over learning how to find what you need.

This is probably a good blog for you to subscribe to by e-mail as I am not sure how often I will write in it yet. Hopefully a lot, but other things will have to give in the process. So we'll see. I would also like it to be more of an interactive blog with comments and questions about methodology, etc. Also I would encourage you to "Follow the Blog" so I have some kind of idea who is interested. I can just do my own thing and have it stored on a blog or you can bring it to life by participating.

This week I have just been setting it up and have written only two posts to date. I have several niche blogs and I know some people think this is nuts. But for me it is the perfect way to organize my thoughts on various subjects and it is a great way to store things and find them easily. What you may store on your computer in documents folders, I like to store on blogger.

Blogging Tip!

Did you know that by adding the gadget that says "Follow by email" into your sidebar and adding your own e-mail in the text box, you can get a hard copy of your blog post each day? I don't print mine but I do save each one and then I organize them into email folders for each of my blogs where they reside and can be easily copied should anything ever happen to the Blogger platform. I find it simple and efficient.

So sign up to receive a copy of your own posts or someone else's if they have added the gadget into their sidebar. If you want to follow by e-mail it is very simple. Just add your e-mail address into the box at the top of the sidebar and follow the prompts. From then on any posting will be sent to your e-mail box each day. Simple and you don't want to be caught without any kind of hard copy of your own work. Of course backing up in other ways is also great but this is one way I feel assured that if I haven't backed up recently, each day is saved so nothing will get lost.

I hope you will enjoy this blog and I have put a button on my side bar that will link you directly to it. Just look for the above photo, double click and you are there.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Simple Woman's Daybook~August 8, 2011

Just For Today...
Monday, August 2, 2011

As my friend Marie's says about writing a daybook post or reading one," It is like sitting down together for a chat over tea."

Outside my window...The sun is shining brightly and the breeze is refreshing. I'd like to be out for a walk but instead have been cleaning and doing laundry and getting ready for the new week. I thought when I needed a break I'd just come over to the office and fill in a few of these weekly questions.

I am thankful in the Savior of the World. Faith in the Lord to get us through the rough spots. Faith in a Father in Heaven that wants us to learn of Him and put oil in our lamps daily so that we are fortified when we need it. I am thankful for obedience because I know He never asks us to do something that isn't good for us. I am thankful for being able to feel His love even when people and situations in the world make me feel lonely. I am thankful for my wonderful husband our family and friends. I am thankful that we feel a safe haven in our home in the midst of all that is going on around us because of our faith and love for the Gospel.

From the learning room...Life is short, live it well.

I am reading...genealogy research guides and a book about Google. I want to read Haven by Ruth Gruber. I learned of this amazing woman last night. If you don't know of her accomplishments Google her!

From the kitchen...I need to clean out the refrigerator, wipe down my cabinets and run to the store today. I think we'll have tacos for dinner and some watermelon.

I am wondering...if I will actually get all the things on my "to do" list done today?? I hope I do as we want to go to SF in the morning to look for an important vital record for our friend before work.

I am hearing...Al Green, How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?

I am wearing...jeans, a printed top in chocolate and coral and tan.

Today if I could change one thing...The loss of the Navy Seals this week. What a tremendous tragedy and for what? I am devastated and heart sick for the families and the young lives lost. When will we ever learn that war is not a solution to everything we disagree over. How do we eliminate the selfishness, the greed and hunger for ultimate power and property? Jesus Christ and His teachings.

I am quoting..."You cannot lift another until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would want him to be. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul. " Harold. B. Lee

I am go to the bank and Weight Watchers today, and get all my cleaning done.

I am missing...My Daddy! Today is the anniversary of his birthday. He would be 94 today had he lived. As it was, he only saw 61 years in this life. I have been missing him for a very long time. He was a great man.

Mom and Dad

One of my guilty pleasures...Chocolate Zone bars, fruit and milk for breakfast. (It has helped me lose over two stones, Marie!)

Pet Peeves...The price of gold being $1703.60 this morning. The next thing we know hoodlums will be highjacking gold crowns from people's mouths. And the stock market...holy cow. Good work Washington!

One of my favorite things...not listening to the news and just staying in my little house where I know the world is a better place than it appears to be. Too much information is not healthy sometimes.

An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...Haven. I am not really calling it enjoyable as it is about the Holocaust, but it was very enlightening and the story of how one woman did a lot to help many. I would highly recommend it, it is a true story. And it is something we all need to know about.

I am curious in general. It is quite the Mad Hatter's ride, isn't it?

A few plans for the rest of the week...lots of work left to do today, go over the Education Week schedule with Jim for Family Night, SF County Clerk's Office in SF tomorrow morning and then work. Nails and haircut appointments, get packing for Utah and then going to temple, last minute stuff and then the rubber hits the road again. Education Week 2011, can't wait. It has been too long since I have been to it and Jim never has. It will be fantastic.

Here is a photo and some thoughts I am sharing with you...

Hazie's mom got a haircut. I love it. It makes her look so perky and sassy and adorable. All of which describes her pretty well. She is evidence that even through many heavy trials a person can be happy and enjoy life. She is such a pioneer and she just keeps going! Sometimes you can just look at your child and feel so overwhelming thankful for her~that is me today!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Heading to Cali~Home Sweet Home

Home did look and feel good after our long absence.

No place like home, your own bed and
emptying that suitcase. Yay!

Wow, what a packed couple of weeks. To say we were exhausted after the family reunion would be an understatement. Our day and two nights in Las Vegas were hot and fun and we were ready to come down from it all, as we drove home the next morning. It was hard to imagine how many different things we had done during these past two weeks. It was hard to believe it was nearly July. It is harder to believe it is now August and I am still trying to finish the posts on this vacation. But rest assured this is the end of it. It better be, we are heading back to Utah again at the end of next week. What I haven't already posted for July is going to be skipped over.

The last five days Laura and Robert and the boys were here we did a bit of traveling around the Bay Area. Of course we took them to the City, the Temple, and the guys went to Point Reyes on a day trip hike, we had a BBQ at Jim's mom's and a birthday celebration for Ross and me and we played in our yard.

The boys were dying to drive and ride on Grampa's tractor and they did just that the first day. We had a day or so of just hanging around. We went to our local Farmers' Market one evening and also went to the one in SF. Love love love taking pictures at a Farmer's Market. That was great. The boys enjoyed playing tether ball and basketball in the backyard and reliving the singing frogs around the pond at night. Of course there was a bonfire and s'mores. Laura and I also got a day for girl stuff while the guys hiked. That was the best, so relaxing.

Treasure Island

SF Market

Jim loves this part.

I love this part

And this part.

All time favorites!

Spicy and crunchy and great!

Visiting Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Reading about the Fort

Windy, Misty Fun!

These two are so cute together.
Makes our hearts sing!

As does this!

Our little tree hugger, Ross! Aquatic Park!

These guys have no shame.
Just plopped right down for a nap!
Ross and I watched out for them
while they slept!

Sunday before church we went over
to the Temple Grounds
and watched the Joseph Smith film.
It was very inspiring!

Point Reyes Beach ~ the reward for the two mile hike in!

I do so love this photo of Robert and his little men.

Home town Market night!

A little big for this now but what the heck?
One last try at it! Right?

Locally grown healthy stuff! Yay!

Spencer replacing the string net with a chain.
These guys are good players!

Girls day, shopping (check out this fun ring!),
beautiful hair cut for Laura, fancy lunch at home
and a matinee showing
of Eat Pray Love on the big screen,
a foot massage...pure heaven.

Happy #9 to my birthday twin...Rossie!
Have I ever told you he is named after my Dad?

Laura made us a great Birthday dinner!
Thanks Honey!