Friday, November 30, 2007

Fabulous Friday's Forever Family Featuring...

my lovely daughter Katie Rose!! Happy Birthday Katie!! You have been a wonderful daughter. Always very spiritual! You have been such an example to me, especially when it comes to reading your scriptures and writing in your journal. If only I could be like you!!

Where ever did your talkativeness come from? Not from me or dad!! Whenever a camera was on, you were there, especially if it was a video camera. You would jump out in front of everyone just to tell us what's going on. I'm surprised you didn't become a TV reporter!! We always tease you that the noise level goes up when you are home. But, in all honesty, I love it!!!

I love how you would always write me little letters and poems. Remember these??
Click image to see better.

Remember when you were a toddler, oh, how you loved to climb!

I'll never forget the day you knocked the whole thing over on yourself. You are so lucky you survived without a scratch. Poor little fish, they were NOT so lucky!!! I don't think you climbed much after that!!

What a little cutie. This is your kindergarten picture. I'm so sorry I missed your first day of school. I know that was very hard for you. My heart felt very pulled that day! Thanks for being understanding that I needed to be with Evan in the hospital.

I love all the beautiful poems you wrote. I wish I still had your book of poetry. Why did I ever give that back to you??? Here is a poem I found at the house.


As I look out at the ocean
Big, blue green and gray
It spreads out forever
a vast never-ending sea of water.
Still and silent for a moment
Then violent and vicious the next
Wide and wondrous and mysterious.
And as I gaze up at the sky
And watch white fluffy clouds
In all shapes and sizes fly
Around the earth ever-changing.
And when I lay down at night
And try to count the countless
multitudes of shining stars
I marvel at nature's masterful beauty.
As I watch the sun come up
and gloriously go under the horizon
And watch the clouds change color
In hues of purple and pink
And as I look around at trees,
flowers, and mountains
a love stirs within my heart
For all of God's creations.
When I look around and up
And before my eyes
I can not doubt nor can I deny
That there is truly a God and
That I have a Father in Heaven.
Written by,

Katie 4-25-98

I appreciate how you have helped the search for our ancestors. Remember this poem you wrote.


Trembling I reach for you.
I had been praying and searching
Hoping I'd find you.
Years had gone by
And you remained on my mind.
A Mystery.

I prayed,
I searched.
My heart grew weary.
Then I found you.
Now with eyes teary I read your words.
You bear the name of my ancestors.
And they come alive again.
Written by, Katie

Remember how you always enjoyed playing Mary in our annual family nativity. You were always a beautiful Mary.

Before you graduated high school you earned your Young Woman Medallion!! Remember all the goals you completed?? You did a great job!!

Off you went to college. You seemed so far away!! We always teased you because you didn't go to college nearer to home. But, I'm so glad that you choose a place near to your Grandma, Grandpa and other family. Made me feel better to know someone was close by and I know they loved having you near too.

What a blast we had at Buca Di Beppo's celebrating your graduation Italian style!!

Then you found your sweetie!! Brad is such a great guy! How did you get so lucky?
You were such a beautiful bride!! I'm so happy you got married in the Temple!! I remember how you hated to take off your lovely wedding dress! I know you felt like a princess and you looked like one!!

Now here you are 26 years old. We had so much fun celebrating your birthday with you!! You are my Thanksgiving baby!! I'm very grateful for you in my life!! You have grown to be a wonderful, talented, caring woman! I know that you have challenges, but I also know that you can be strong and happy! One day your greatest dream and desire will come true. I know it!! I love you!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

She without arm, he without leg - ballet - Hand in Hand

Oh, the resiliency of the human spirit!! This is absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Deep Sea Fishing

What's to do on the Central coast you ask? That is a great question!! Katie and Brad came up with the idea to go deep sea fishing!! So, that's what we did and we had a lot of fun.

We left just after sun rise. It was a beautiful morning, the sea was calm!!

Here we are waiting to get on the boat.

We passed by a lovely little lighthouse.

These two pelican's (be patient when you click video, you can see them in the middle of the shot if you keep watching) seemed to be playing chase with the boat. I was amazed how close to the water they could glide.

Katie and Brad had fun fishing. It was a little bit cold if you couldn't tell!!

Here's our catch for the day!! We caught thirty five fish, mostly lin cod and rock fish!!

How fast can you fillet a fish? Click on the video and watch these guys, they were incredibly fast!! They were some of the crew and very helpful while we were fishing. They would untangle lines, and help bring fish up. One guy on our trip caught a 22 pound halibut. The crew said that was a once in a life time catch!! Too bad it wasn't us!!

Here are the fish all filleted and ready to go!!

It was fun to watch the pelicans fight for the fish that went overboard.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm Offended!

I saw a commercial the other day for the special "Shrek the Halls" on ABC. I'm so totally offended by the use of the word Merry Shrekmas. I think that is horrible, they take the name of Christ and replace it with Shrek. Our family will NOT be watching that show. I e-mailed ABC TV, but haven't received a response back.
Am I the only one offended? What do others think?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Singing

Please click to start song.

When I first become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints my sister-in-law sent me this songbook along with a cassette tape.
I turned on the cassette and cried as I heard the first song "I am a Child of God".

I Am a Child of God

I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.

Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.


I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will,
I’ll live with him once more.


I am a child of God.
His promises are sure;
Celestial glory shall be mine
If I can but endure.


What a beautiful song to help us remember who really are, children of a loving Heavenly Father. I still get chills when I hear Primary children sing this song!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fabulous Friday's Forever Family Featuring...

Mary Raymond Constantineau Finch!! Actually born Marie Clotilde Raimond to Damase Raimond/Raymond and Clotilde Plantier on the 26th of March 1846 in St Jeans, Quebec, Canada, Mary is my great grandmother. Her birth record was my great genealogical find this year! Thanks, to Rachel who found the mircofilm for the parish in Quebec where her family lived!! I can't tell you the delight I had finding this record. Such joy!!

Mary Raymond used to be a mystery to me and now I know so much about her. She married
Nelson Constantineau, in Lowell Massachusetts and they had nine children. She was widowed after only 20 years of marriage when her youngest child was only 3 years old. She remarried three years later to a man named Thomas Finch. He had at least two children and she considered them her own.

A few years ago I made a query on a mailing list looking for Mary Finch's obituary. A wonderful women I have never meet before, lovingly went to the Lowell Historical Society and found her funeral notice and obituary for me. Tears of joy fell as I read about this grandma I love that I never meet. I know it might seem strange, but her death notice made her life much more real for me!

"The funeral of the late Mrs. Mary Finch took place yesterday at 8:30 o'clock from her home in Ripley street, North Chelmsford and was largely attended by sorrowing relatives and friends including a delegation from the Ladies' Auxiliary of St. John's Temperance society of which the deceased was an esteemed member. At St. John's church at 9 o'clock a funeral mass was celebrated by Rev. Edmund Schofield. The choir, under the direction of Miss Josephine McCabe sang the Gregorian mass, the solos being sustained by Miss McCabe and by Andrew McCarthy of St. Patrick's church this city. There was a profusion of beautiful floral tributes, including a large pilow and cross inscribed' Wife and Mother." the family; pillow inscribed "Farewell Grandma" the Crowley children of Abington, cross on base...."

The funeral notice went on to tell about several more flower arrangement which I thought was so touching. I could recognize names of people who are relatives. And, I totally loved the part about the Temperance Society. It sounds so much like Relief Society to me, and I picture this wonderful grandma pleased that I'm involved in such an organization. From her obituary I learned that she was an invalid for the last 12 years of her life. Oh, my what trials that woman must have gone through! I long to meet her again and can't wait for that grandmotherly hug from her!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Thanksgiving Psalms

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD,
all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God:
it is he that hath made us,
and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalms 100

Wishing everyone a most blessed Thanksgiving.

Please Help Ronald McDonald House

Imagine having a child in the hospital over 200 miles from your home! Where would you stay? What if you just needed to visit several doctors in the clinic, would you drive back and forth in one exhausting day.

Because Evan travels to Lucille Packard Children's Hospital to see specialists, we have been in that situation several times. One time, Evan had a horrendous 41 day stay in the hospital. Thank goodness for Ronald McDonald House!! We absolutely love it there. It's like home away from home. I can't tell you how much it meant to us to have a place to go to rest up, to cook, to just get away from the hospital. When Evan doesn't have to stay in the hospital, RMH is a fun place to play with great volunteers. A place to forgot about being sick. A place to just be a kid!! Kids can bake cookies, do crafts, play on the computer, read books, pick a toy from the treasure box, the list goes on. And wonderful people support the House by providing dinners already cooked. It's so nice to come back to the House after a long day at clinic and find a nice warm meal ready. And the best thing, it only costs a family $10 a night to stay at the house.

RMH can use your help. If you click on the "Click-A-Stay" link a $10 donation will be made in your behalf to help ensure that no family is turned away due to inabililty to pay. What could be easier than that? Please help today.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Oh My, Tagged Again

This time my friend Aprilyn tagged me to tell six things about myself. You people are so lucky you get to know more about me!! Here goes!!

Number One: I raised three sons that are Eagle Scouts and my three daughters each married an Eagle Scout!! Pretty cool, huh??

Number Two: I love to hear jokes, (clean ones that is), but I can never remember them to retell. Jokes just do not stick in my brain. Maybe if it was set music that would help, because songs stick in my head all the time.

Number Three: Please don't laugh, but when I was around thirteen years old, (you know the time you really dislike your parents?) I wanted to run away and join the roller derby!! LOL Too funny to think about now!!

Number four: I was named after a pin up girl. That's right!! My Dad had a pin up calendar and he liked this one redheaded girls name. How could my mom let him do that to me! My middle name however is after my moms best friends mother who was like her own mom growing up!! Got it??

Number five: I gave birth to my first five children naturally and never once yelled!! No, meds no epidural, nothing, nada!! My pain threshold is obviously high. Evan was a C-section so that doesn't count!!

And last but not least Number six: My husband and I fell in love writing letters. We have boxes filled with love letters. Okay, let's hear a collective AWE!!

Thanks Aprilyn that was fun!! Since I tagged seven people last week and that was hard since I don't know many people, I will just let you all tag yourselves only if you want!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Singing

Please click to start!

Just imagine you're out on a hike with a group of about twenty giggling, rambunctious, lovely thirteen year old young women!! The sky is blue, the birds are singing and the warm sun feels great! You find a small stream, the water flowing over the rocks is such a relaxing song. Everyone finds a rock and quietly takes it all it in. Wow, what a totally amazing earth has been lovingly created for us.

"Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming to our ears, glory and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms , principalities and powers!"
Doctrine and Covenants 128:20-23

Then a beautiful voice starts singing "How Great Thou Art". This experience never ceases to touch my heart. I pray it touches the heart of those young women too!

I feel the love of God when I'm in the beautiful outdoors. This earth the Savior lovingly created for us is incredible! I remember one morning, I was out early walking on the beach. I walked a couple of miles headed northwest. When I turned to face the east I saw the most glorious sunrise I have ever seen. I immediately felt such love. It was like Heavenly Father put that sunrise there just for me. I was overwhelmed!! I want everyone to have an experience like that and be able to say "Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee, how great Thou art"!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

They're Back!!!

The monarch butterflies that is!! Every year in November thousands of monarchs migrate to a special grove of eucalyptus near the beach. It is an amazing sight to see when the air is warm and there are thousands of butterflies flying overhead!! On cooler days you have to look carefully because they look like leaves hanging on the trees. But you see one flutter and you know it's not really a leaf!! They can't fly when temperatures are below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The amazing thing is that they have never been here before. But, they somehow find their way here. Every year we love to go and watch the butterflies. Mike took these photos.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just Had To Share

Every other week Evan's class cooks lunch together. They are working on independent living skills. I usually go in for a couple of hours to help the kids (actually they are adults, but I call them kids no offense meant). Today was the annual Turkey Feast Day!! The kids take turns working on different parts of the menu, and setting a nice table and learning table manners. Sometimes it is crazy, but I enjoy getting to know everyone, from the staff to the students.

So, today before they started eating that teacher asks each of the students to name something they are thankful for. "Potatoes!" "Turkey!", were some of the first things called out. Then Evan's teacher asked him and he said..."my mom". I was around the corner and he couldn't even see me when he said that. I was just so touched. How many twenty year young men would say that in front of their peers!! Well, I'm very grateful for Evan in my life too!! He is one very remarkable young man!!

Fabulous Friday's Forever Family Featuring.....

my great grandfather, Nelson Constantineau!! Don't you just love that name, Constantineau!! I do!! Apparently Nelson didn't. Born in St. Jean's (St. John's) Quebec, Canada,(I believe his actual given name was Narcisse) Nelson immigrated to the United States and settled first in New Hampshire then in the Lowell, Massachusetts area. He went by several different surnames, from Constantinople, Constantino, and my favorite just plain Teno or Tino!! Makes it fun to do family history research when your ancestors can't keep their name straight.
At the young age of nineteen, Nelson served in the Civil War in the Fourteenth Regiment Maine Volunteer Infantry. On November 10, 1866 he married fellow French-Canadian Mary Raymond in Lowell, Massachusetts. There were the parents of six daughters and three sons!! Nelson died at the very early age of 39 due to consumption (tuberculosis), he contracted while serving in the military.

I never thought I would see a picture of Nelson. I received an early Christmas present in December 2004. It was a letter from a second cousin I didn't know yet, with a picture of Nelson. While cleaning out the home built by one of his sons, her grandfather Perley, she found these pictures. There was no name on the back so she wasn't sure of the identity. She went searching and found that I had done some research on this family. I had copies of Nelson's military records so I knew he served in the Civil War. So, it just had to be him!! I love the pictures, they are indeed treasures. My heart turns to this ancestor because of my gratitude for him in immigrating to the United States so I could be an American. And in serving this great country in the military. I'm proud of my Constantineau heritage and look forward to a great heavenly reunion with my ancestors.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Seven Weird and Random Things

OH NO!! My very first tag!! Gee, thanks for the meme, Pam!! Here goes.

1.) Since I used to be a nurse I can talk about gross stuff during meals and not get nauseated!!

2.) I lived in a house that had an outhouse for a while.

3.) I had three brothers, yet I was the one who got the most stitches. Go figure!!

4.) I played piccolo in my high school band for a while and one day while goofing around I broke the piccolo that belonged to the school.

5.) I would like to learn how to make my own compost.

6.) The first car I bought was a stick shift, and I didn't know how to drive it!! I learned quick!!! It was a Toyota Corolla named Mousy ( it was gray with maroon interior). My daughter now has a Corolla named Mousy, but it's NOT the same one.

7.) I went to Mount San Antonio College, but it's NOT in Texas!!

Here are the rules:1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I'm tagging Suz , David, who probably won't do it, Katie, who better do it!!, Jenny, Happy Mommy, disillusioned, and might as well tag Pam back!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood

Thank you to all who have served our great Country, The United States of America!! Your sacrifice and that of your family has not been forgotten. God Bless you!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Singing

There is nothing better than being in a room full of Primary Children singing, "I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus"!! When they get to the chorus and sing it out, it is very inspiring and gives me hope for the future. The Spirit is always strong.

I thought these two girls were adorable. It was so sweet how the older sister just patiently explained that the "boy fell off his bike", she didn't get mad for being interrupted. She obviously is "trying to be like Jesus"!!.

Universal Play Frames

Evan was invited by the Cal Poly Kinesiology department to try out these great Universal Play Frames. The UPF's attach to a person's wheelchair and allow them to participate in a sport that might be difficult otherwise.

The frisbee thrower was Evan's favorite!! He was able to get two bull eyes in a row!!

The golf one was fun too! It would be cool to take this to play miniature golf.

Evan was able to get several spares and even a few strikes with this bowling frame!!

It was great to see that college students were designing and building equipment to help others!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

An Inspiration

Yesterday, Evan and I had an opportunity to attend a presentation by a remarkable woman named, Marilyn Hamilton. Marilyn is the co-founder of Quickie Wheelchairs. Injured in a hang gliding accident, she found the old clunky 60 pound wheelchair unacceptable. With the help of hang gliding friends a lighter wheelchair was invented. That first wheelchair was created in an old shed. Today, hundred's of Quickie Wheelchairs are made in one day at the Sunrise Medical Plant in Fresno, California. When Evan was working on his Eagle project to collect wheelchairs for developing countries he was invited to tour the plant where they make wheelchairs. At the end of the tour they donated 30 wheelchairs to his project and we were able to meet Marilyn Hamilton.
It was fun to meet her again. She is full of life and enthusiasm. She was great to encourage Evan in his bowling!! Marilyn is extremely fashionable. I noticed that her wheelchair was immaculate, with a very cool paint job and lighted front wheels. It matched her clothes or her clothes matched her wheelchair!! Evan is a boy so his was dirty!!! LOL

I love to meet great roll/role models like Marilyn. She faced her challenge and achieved so much. Her Quickie wheelchair design was revolutionary for the wheelchair industry. I'm so glad that Evan can have the sporty light weight wheelchairs that are standard today for those living with paralysis. Marilyn's theme is "Conceive. Believe. Acheive!! I think that is an important concept for all of us!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fabulous Friday's Forever Family Featuring...

my baby girl and angel daughter, Rachel!! She recently had a birthday so it's a perfect time to feature her!! It's not that she has passed on that I call her my angel daughter. She is alive and well and married to someone with that last name. My lovely 24 year old daughter, Mrs. Angel is a high school math teacher!!

Rachel was my only baby that was born in the middle of the night!! Thank you very much. She was born before the doctor got there, which totally freaked out her Dad, who was telling me to stop pushing!! But, there was no stopping Rachel, when she was ready, she was ready!! And so was I!!

Rachel had quite the temper as a little toddler. She would yell and scream and try to run away. One day I decided to just see how far she would really go and it scared me, the mad little thing was NOT going to stop, off she went all the way to top of the hill. Fortunately she outgrew that phase!! Rachel was the peacemaker of the family. She just always wanted people to be happy.

The caption on this picture tells it all!!
Rachel always loved kitty's. This was a little neighbor kitty that would come visit.

You just gotta love that smile!!

Taking after her mom, Rachel played flute in the marching band.

She ran cross country and track. In fact she ran in the Salt Lake Marathon in 2004.

One of Rachel's first words was purple. It's fun to say cause it kind of pops off your mouth. She still loves purple today. This is her collection of purple bears.

This is the perfect shirt for a math lover!!

In August of 20o1 we sent our seventeen year old baby girl off to BYU!! She loved it there and graduated with a degree in math education!!
Rachel and Joey meet and fell in love on a ballroom dance team.
They were married in the Temple this past summer. It's always great to have our children in one place, and there is no better place than the Temple!!

It was fun to watch them dance their first dance as man and wife. I tried to upload the video but it didn't work.

Rachel has been a delight and joy to raise. I'm so glad she is my daughter. She has grown to be a beautiful women both on the outside and inside. She is a great example to me of faith in living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you Rachel. Remember who you are!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My Hummer

No I don't have an SUV!!
What I do have is a backyard, that I'm trying to transform into a paradise for birds!! Hummingbirds are one of my favorite! We have a few that frequent the feeder and flowers in the yard. Do you know how hard it is get a hummingbird to stay still long enough to snap a photo?? I've been trying for several weeks. Finally, I got lucky. Isn't he/she (I don't know how to tell a male hummingbird from a female, do you?) adorable??

Birds are one of my favorite animals. Wouldn't it be great to fly like a bird?? The view of the beauties of the earth would be fantastic!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Singing

Music touches my heart in a way that nothing else can. I especially love the Hymns and Primary music found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. "Where Can I Turn for Peace" is a hymn that has given me great comfort. The men's choir in this version is especially touching.

I remember when I was pregnant with Evan and having difficulty sleeping. I would get up in the middle of the night, my mind racing. One night I found myself at the piano. I opened the hymn book and started softly plucking the piano. I came to the hynm, Where Can I Turn for Peace. It was one I had never heard before, but as I softly played and whispered the words, peace came to my heart and tears to my eyes. I knew I would be able to handle whatever lay ahead. I love the scripture in Philippians Chapter 4:6-7 that reads:

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplications with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

I'm grateful for the peace I have felt in my life when I didn't think it was possible. That is my wish for you too!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Backyard Beauty

It's amazing how many small beauties there are in my own backyard. I discovered some this morning while weeding and wanted to share them.

People seem to hate spiders but I think it is really cool how they can create such a wonder as a spider web.

For some reason we have had a plethora of mushrooms in our yard this year. I think they are very cool.

This little succulent has a very pretty reddish border.

Foxglove is the plant that the heart medicine Digitalis is made from. Hummingbirds like it too. I love the beautiful pattern on the inside.

What beauty is in your backyard???

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