Monday, December 29, 2008

52 Blessing Project - Week Fifty-Two

The 52 Blessing Project has indeed been a blessing in my life this past year. "My cup runneth over" with amazing blessings. It is so easy to take for granted so many of wonderful blessing in my life. Many weeks, I had so many blessings in my mind, it was hard to pick which one to share!!

I recently reread President Henry B Eyring's talk, "O Remember, Remember" from the October 2007 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So, for the year 2009, I will be starting a new project. It will be called "God's Hand". I will be trying hard to recognize God's hand in my daily life. Elder Eyring ends his talk with these words,

"Tonight, and tomorrow night, you might pray and ponder, asking the questions: Did God send a message that was just for me? Did I see His hand in my life or the lives of my children? I will do that. And then I will find a way to preserve that memory for the day that I, and those that I love, will need to remember how much God loves us and how much we need Him. I testify that He loves us and blesses us, more than most of us have yet recognized. I know that is true, and it brings me joy to remember Him."

I know that God loves me and that is Hand is my life much more that I recognize. This will be a great way to acknowledge His love. I invite my readers to join me if you so desire.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday Whereabouts



This bear is all decked out for the Holidays! Where can he be found??

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Angels

Not to brag or anything, but Rachel, Joey, Evan and I became angels today. We went gift giving for "Angels Bearing Gifts".

Tina lives a group home and has no family to give her presents on Christmas. So, we had the honor of brightening her Christmas. I'm just trying to figure out whose Christmas became more brighter, hers or ours??? I think it was ours!!

Tina lives life with enthusiasm, and loves unconditionally, that was very evident just spending a few minutes with her. We all got hugs! We were all dubbed "Dodo"!! That is the name Tina gives anyone she likes, so it's a term of endearment!! Who knew???


Evan and Tina



Tina was great at giving hugs, I think we were all hugged at least four times!!



video


It was so fun to watch Tina open her presents with such abandon!!




Evan, Cindy, Joey, Rachel and Tina

Do you notice Katie in the background there? She is another one of the ladies that lives with Tina in this group home. She is going home to spend Christmas with her family, so we had no gifts to bring to her. I was actually feeling bad for the two other ladies that were home when we arrived, because we had no presents to give them. We were just given Tina's name, so had no idea what to expect when we arrived at her house. Otherwise I would have brought some other little goodie or something. But, then, the most remarkable thing happened. Before we left Katie gave me a big hug! I mean a really big tight squeeze!!! I was afraid she would not let go!!! She said, "Merry Christmas! Just by coming by you have made my Christmas!" Wow, how does that work??

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday's Memories

The wind howled loudly that stormy December night, right before Christmas 1977. I was five months pregnant with our second child and David was 16 months old. Dread filled my heart as my husband headed out to work a graveyard shift at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant 30 miles from the little community of Rio Dell, California where we lived. The wind gusts were reported to be over 100 miles an hour. Would Mike make it safe to work? Would we be safe at home??

It was a long night alone listening to the storm outside. I tried to sleep, but it was difficult. I'm sure I heard when one of the three small redwood trees in our backyard fell. Fortunately, they did no damage to our home.

The morning light and calmer winds were a welcome sight, along with my husband home safe and sound. He said the drive to work was easy, the wind just pushed him along!! The damage in our community was great. The neighborhood store down the street lost part of it's roof. Trees fell every where, killing at least three people who were trapped in cars. We were without electricity for several days.

Christmas was coming, along with family!! Mike's brother Richard, and his wife Laurel along with daughters Elizabeth and Sarah made it up, just in time for our electricity to return. Our life was going to take a dramatic turn. It would be a wondrous change that would help us through the storms of life. That Christmas day in 1977, was the first time we attended church as a family. Laurel invited me to meet with the missionaries and we started taking lessons. We had wonderful, spiritually prepared missionaries who taught us the gospel of Jesus Christ. We were welcomed and loved into the Fortuna Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We were "golden" and ready to hear the Word! It is one of my most cherished and life altering Christmas time memories.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

52 Blessing Project - Week Fifty-One

Virginia and Paul, circa late 1960's


My parents were married on this date December 21, 1948 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They were together for 31 years before my father died. What a blessing to grow up in a home with both a mother and mother present! Life wasn't always easy, but I know they loved each other, and I'm grateful that example!! It is a wonderful gift to children when mom's and dad's love each other and stay together. I'm glad I could give that gift to my children as well.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Angels Abound!!

It's Christmas, a perfect time for angels. Yesterday, was very busy, but I was surrounded by angels!! I started my day helping with the Five Cities Christian Women Food Bank. One angel in particular is Emellie, (pronouced Amelia). Emellie is there every single day, sometimes twice a day, and she is in her 80's!! What an amazing women! She is totally dedicated to feeding the hungry in our area, serving in this capacity for over thirty five years!! Maybe, when I grow up I can be like her, an angel!!

Then I went and helped the Five Cities Christian Women wrap presents for the young ones in the families who are receiving food baskets for Christmas. I felt bad I could only help for a little under an hour, but most of the women dedicated a whole day helping. I love helping with this group, made up of women from different churches in my area. Most of the women are elderly and such an example of giving spirits. Truly they are angels.

The next Angels, literally have the name Angels. They are a group called Angels Bearing Gifts. I was able to meet the founder of this group that provides gifts at Christmas and for birthdays to people with Developmental Disabilities who live in group homes, but have no family members to provide presents. Evelyn Smith, who started this group in 2001, just by anonymously giving gifts to a few of those in need. This year she said there was over 200 people in two counties who were receiving gifts. She said she had no idea how her small act would turn into something so big in just a few years. We are excited to be able to help deliver gifts for this group on Christmas Eve.

Ambur was another angel I meet today. She provided a special act of kindness and service to bring joy to someone's life. Amberly is a one of the ladies who play on Evan's power soccer team. Ambur used to work in the day program with Amberly and it was part of her job to drive Amberly to practice. However, Amberly is no longer in that particular day program, but Ambur brought her anyway, just out of the goodness of her heart. She wanted to reach out and help make someones life better. That was impressive to me!! When I told the coach what Amber had done she was shocked but so touched.

And, last but not least, my angel husband. By the time Evan and I got home yesterday from gallivanting all around it was past 7 o'clock pm and I was so hungry!! I came home to a roaring fire in the fireplace, the dinner table set and dinner ready to be served!! Wow, I live with an angel, how cool is that??

I bet you have angels surrounding you too. Who are they??

SLO Children's Museum


Sariah and Katie were right!! Wednesday Whereabout's picture was the SLO Children's musuem. Formerly, housed in a ugly old warehouse, this newly renovated and updated building appears to be filled with delightful activities for the young and old alike. I can't wait to see the inside!! Who is going with me???




Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Whereabouts

I am hoping to take my grandchildren to this fun building when they come to visit over the holidays.






I will post a picture of the front of the building on Friday after you get your in your guesses.

Would you like a hint?? I knew you would!! It is a recently renovated building.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Traditions

Christmas time is the perfect time for family traditions! Some of my favorite traditions have been:
  • On Dec 1st we hang up our homemade nativity advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas. On Christmas morning before we do anything else we turn over the little Baby Jesus.


  • Stockings are hung on the chimney with care. We even hang a stocking for the Baby Jesus, and put our good deeds inside. (This idea came from the old Cary Grant movie, "The Bishop's Wife", which I highly recommend)


  • Retelling the Christmas story from Luke 2 on Christmas Eve.
  • When the children were little we always had Birthday cake for baby Jesus.
  • On Christmas Eve the kids could open one present. You guess it!! PJ'S!!!
  • Each year my husband and I find a mushy Christmas card expressing our love for each. This is placed in our stocking Christmas Eve and read to our giggling children Christmas morning.
What are your Christmas traditions??

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday's Memories

When I was nine years old, the one and only thing I wanted for Christmas was a bible. A bible of my very own!! Funny, I don't even remember there being another bible in the house. I was trying to remember if my parents had a bible. I truly don't remember seeing one or ever remember my parents even reading a bible. Both of them, for some reason had fallen away from their Catholic upbringing. Maybe it was because my father's first marriage ended in divorce. I'm not really sure. However, I just felt a desire to go to church even if my family didn't so I would go to different churches with my friends. My family never went to church together. I was so happy my parents respected my spiritual side and granted my wish for a bible.



It's a quite a bit worn now, but still beautiful to me. I love the pictures in this bible.


I love to look at my Dad's printing on the face plate of this special book. I know my parents loved me to buy this very special book.



Today this bible one of my oldest and most cherish possessions. What is the oldest Christmas present you still have in your possession??


Sunday, December 14, 2008

52 Blessing Project - Week Fifty

Music is a great blessing in my life!! Saturday, Mike and I had an opportunity to attend a free holiday concert preformed by a local harpist. Nothing is more relaxing that heavenly harp music!! She played everything from classic Christmas and Hanukkah music, to the more modern Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. I had never heard that song played more beautiful before!!

Music is an incredible, powerful force!! Music can touch our spirits and enlighten our minds. Can you imagine life without music??? I can't!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Whereabouts


Saturday we drove to a quaint little town and arrived right before sunset. I love how this picture came out, with the water shimmering and the clouds reflecting. It made a great desktop!!



We picked a great restaurant with a great view of the sunset!! The food was yummy too!!
The big rock is famous!!

video


Then we watched the Christmas Boat Parade. It was officially called a "Holiday" parade but I don't have to be politically correct on my blog. Thank goodness!! On a nearby pier a band played Christmas music. The atmosphere was festive and fun and the boat floats were beautiful!! We had a great evening!!

Where did we go??

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Monday's Memories

This weeks memory has to do with this building.



Maybe you will remember it from this post, last week. It's the tree that was missing from the building. It was a beautiful floss silk tree that was causing severe damage to the foundation of the Mission. The whole thing caused quite the controversy. To cut or not to cut??? However, I'm glad they saved the structure and not the tree!!

Many Christmases ago, a group of sisters from my church joined the San Luis Obispo Handel Oratorio Choir. We began practice in September, to sing Handel's Messiah at the Mission San Luis Obispo Tolusa. I love the music of the Messiah. Taken straight out of scripture, the words set to beautiful music tell the story of the life of Christ.




No one sings the Messiah quite like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!! Our choir tried and it is one of my most cherished memories. I'm not an accomplished singer by any means, and felt way out of my league singing this music.


The beautiful doors of the Mission.


Singing in the choir helped to open the doors of friendship to me. As we carpooled together to practices I became close to those Sisters as we traveled. One of them is no longer with us, and one is unable to sing anymore. We shared a special bond.



The inside of this chapel is beautiful. Our choir sang up near the altar. We also had a small orchestra that performed with us. Singing in this centuries old building was such a delight. My favorite part of the evening was this part:

"Behold, I tell you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. "


Then the trumpet player began his beautiful music from out of nowhere up in this balcony.

"The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

I still get chills thinking about it today. It was interesting to watch the people try to figure out where that beautiful trumpet music was coming from back behind them. The Spirit was so strong that December night, in this beautiful Catholic church, the religion of my ancestors. It was wonderful place to sing about the life of that little baby Jesus, born so many years ago.
We will all be changed incorruptible because of Him and His life!


52 Blessing Project - Week Forty-Nine

Steady Employment




It was the day after Christmas in the bicentennial year of 1976 that my husband started his job with Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Right out of the Navy, this was only his second employer. So, this month marks my his 32nd year of employment. That is a long time to work for one company. He gets great benefits, has a good pension, and works hard. I'm so grateful he has been able to stay with one company for so long. Retirement is now finally a light at the end of the tunnel that he can see. It will be a well deserved break. He has certainly provided well for our family, and I'm indeed very, very grateful, it has been a tremendous blessing!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fabulous Friday's Forever Family Featuring...

my little Aunt Eva!! My mom's one and only sister is now 90 years old. This once spry, talkative, intelligent women is now feeling the process of aging. We were able to visit with her over Thanksgiving at the nursing home where she now resides. My heart goes out to her because she has no family of her own, and she is four hours away from me. So I only see her rarely. Every time I see her, I ask if I can move her closer to me and she says, "NO". I don't want to up route her from where she is comfortable. They seem to be taking good care of her. That is a good thing!!

Aunt Eva lived and lovingly cared for my Grandmother all her life. When grandmother died Aunt Eva lived all alone. I believed she liked it that way, being kind of a recluse. At times even being estranged from our family. The last time my mom and her were together they didn't ever want to see or talk to each other again. So sad to me that is coming true, in this life anyway. I was glad that I was able to start a relationship again with Aunt Eva after that whole incident. Our family had many enjoyable visits with my Aunt. She never visited anyone in their homes. So, we would go and see her when we could. She lived in California for over 30 years and never once saw the ocean! My how she loved to talk politics!!

My Aunt loved to write and I have the transcript of a novel without an ending that she wrote. I wish I had more of her writings, but they have disappeared. My Aunt even disappeared for a while too. I was not able to find her, she didn't answer her phone, then letters came back to me. With some detective work, I was able to find her, but barely recognized this little woman lying before me in a nursing home. I'm not sure what happened to this once very independent women. By the time I found her she was no longer walking and would barely talk. Because of privacy issues the staff could not share much. The saddest thing to me is that all her things are gone. I know she had some of my grandparents belongings from Italy, such as their original marriage certificate.

Sometimes when I have visited in the nursing home, she didn't really want to talk at all. Other times, like this past Friday, she was very talkative. I was so touched by our visit last week. We sang "Battle Hymn of the Republic" together, it's her favorite hymn. And, she repeatedly said that "We are all in the hands of the Lord". We talked a little about her childhood growing up on a farm in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. They had chickens, a cow named Clara, and a dog named Laddie. She said that my grandmother was not a happy person. But, I don't know why. We left her with a prayer and she said she loved me. I let her know I loved her too! God Speed, Aunt Eva! Aunt Eva (with the pretty cape) and my mom as little girls. Aren't they cute!!



Aunt Eva and her one and only neice, me!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ten Lashes with a Wet Noodle

That's what I deserve. Or maybe, a piece of coal would be more timely.

My fellow blogger friend, Lynne, reminded me today, that I didn't tell what I knew that you didn't!! Oh, my, I'm sooooo sorry. I meant to tell sooner than this, I truly did.

Are you ready...here's the secret...Katie and Brad are expecting there first baby in June!! Woo Hoo!! We are so excited, they have been trying to get pregnant for a couple of years.

Would you like to hear my very lame excuse for making you wait so long?? Katie placed limitations on when I could tell. Because, heaven forbid someone stalking my blog that was family, would find out on my blog and not from Katie and Brad. And then I just forgot, because the date kept getting moved back. So, I think we should blame Katie. Then again she has suffered enough with morning sickness. So, I will take whatever punishment you deem necessary!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday Whereabouts



Something is missing from this historic building! What is the building, what is missing and why? Next week I will share a memory about a special Christmas experience within this building!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday's Memories

How I loved Santa Claus when I was a little girl. Oh, wait!! I still love Santa Claus!!

Anyway, one Christmas season, when I was about five years old, our little family attended a Christmas Party at the local firehouse in Glendale, New Hampshire. My two brothers and I were excited to hear that Santa himself might even be there!! Might?? We also heard that if Santa couldn't make it for some reason, (after all, it was a busy time year for him) our very own Daddy was going to be a "Santa Helper" and pretend to be Santa Claus!! My mom would NOT tell us which Santa would be there!! I was so excited to sit on the lap of Santa Claus and tell him I had been a very good little girl and wished for a doll for Christmas, a big one that could walk!!
Finally, the big day came!! I excitedly climbed on Santa's lap. I check out the beard and the voice and the eyes! I was positive it was the real Santa!! What a lucky little girl to sit on the lap of the very real Santa Claus!! And guess what?? I even got my doll!!








Sunday, November 30, 2008

52 Blessing Project - Week Forty-Eight




IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME!!



I'm so grateful for the Christmas season!! I love this time of year!! The lights, the music, the giving, the smells, the secrets, the symbolism all touch my heart. How wonderful it is to to go into a store and instead of hearing obnoxious music, I can hear Christmas music. I have even heard music about the Savior's birth in public places. It just warms my heart. I love Christmas music!!

I reread what gifts I would give to the Savior, last Christmastime. Giving my time more in service was the first one! Some of those unimportant activities that take too much time are gone from my life and it feels totally wonderful. I still have room for improvement though, don't get me wrong. The second was getting my body healthy, to help with the first gift. I'm still working on that one too, but I have made some improvements!!

So, now the pondering starts. What should I give this year?? What will you give to the Savior? How can we keep Christmas in our hearts all year long??


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Today

Today is Katie Rose's birthday. Happy Birthday sweet pregnant daughter!! I hope you have a great non nauseous day. Thanksgiving is NOT a good day to be sick!! At least try to eat some turkey and some pie!! I'm so glad you are my daughter. Thank you for visiting me and sharing Pride and Prejudice with me.
Be of good cheer!!

It has been an fun week. Katie came for a visit for a few days, since she had the week off school. And April and Matteo were in town for a couple of days with sweet little Tommy. That kid is totally adorable. He loves people and just lights up when anyone talks to him. I love his little smile and his sweet coos!!

My computer has a virus. Thus, not many posts this week or visits to other blogs. Why do people do that to other people?? It's so rude to say the least!!!

We are headed to my sister-in-law's house for Thanksgiving dinner! It should be fun!! I can't remember the last time we had Thanksgiving dinner somewhere other than home!!


I have much to be thankful for this day! A wonderful family, a wonderful faith, a great country, a roof over my head, and my needs always met. And last but not least a kind and loving Heavenly Father.

I wish you all a great Thanksgiving.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING


Thanksgiving Proclamation

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

Sunday, November 23, 2008

52 Blessing Project- Week Forty-Seven



Libraries are such wonderful places. I have fond memories as a little girl of spending time reading books in the library, and going to Story Hour. Then of course you have to bring some books home. It's something I made sure I did with my own children too!!
For a while, I had stopped going to library. However, I'm trying to read more, so that means I get to spend time in the library again. The library is a quiet, peaceful place. How wonderful to be to go and check out books for free and read about anything or anyone you want. I love the library!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

8 Is Great Tag

Aprilyn tagged me so I will fill you in on my life in groups of eight.

TV Shows I Like to Watch

1. Music and the Spoken Word
2. Extreme Home Makeover
3. Cash Cab, thanks to Spencer
4. 17 Kids and Counting , they are truly an amazing family
5. House Hunters
6. Ummm, I don't really watch a lot of TV so, I'm stretching here.

8 Things That Happened To Me Yesterday

1. My computer was viciously attacked by Adware!! Viscous is an understandment!!
2. Elder Martinez helped me out, bless his heart.
3. I was able to serve in my calling as a Worldwide Support Missionary for FamilySearch support.
4. Evan helped me cook dinner, we tried something new, a recipe he brought home from school, Sausage and Hot Red Cabbage Salad, it was very yummy!!
5. I paid the contractor who did some work for us. (It's a secret, the kids have to notice when they get here for Christmas)
6. I went to the pharmacy to pick up our refills of meds. I have met my out of pocket for the year and didn't have to pay anything. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.
7. I finished the book I was reading, The Memory Keeper.
8. Read my scriptures and prayed!!

Eight Favorite Places to Eat
1. My house!
2. California Pizza Kitchen, I love their salads! And they are very friendly to the disAbled community.
3. Splash Cafe
4. SoupPlantation
5. Fresh Choice
6.Mama's Meatball
7. Alphy's Broiler
8. McClintocks

Eight Things I'm Looking Forward to

1. Spending time with ALL my children and grandchildren at Christmas
2. The Price Family reunion next year
3. The birth of my next grandbaby
4. Going to the Temple
5. Finding out more information about my great grandmother, Mary Crowley, I'm ready to knock down the brick wall.
6. Going to church every Sunday
7. New FamilySearch being available in Utah! Won't that be fun!!
8. Katie coming to visit on Saturday and April with her family next week!!

Eight Things On My Wish List
1. I wish I could lose 20 pounds
2. I wish there was a cure for spina bifida
3. a cure for diabetes would be nice too
4. and every other illness
5. I wish to go to Italy and walk the streets of my ancestors
6. I wish every building was wheelchair accessible
7. I wish people didn't need wheelchairs, but I'm glad we have them when we need them.
8. I wish to meet my Savior someday. I really do love Him

Tag 8 people
1. You
2. You
3. You
4. You
5. You
6. You
7. You
and last but not least...
8. You

That should take care of everyone who reads this blog. As always only do it if you want too!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wednesdays Whereabouts!!



OH!! TO BE A LITTLE CHILD AGAIN!!





I COULD RIDE ON A WHALE,




OR HIDE INSIDE AN EGG!




OR CLIMB ON TOP OF TODI!!


Why??

I just have few questions that came to mind during my most recent trip.



1. Why do people walk on the moving walkways at airports? There is plenty of room to walk in the corridor between the two walkways. Don't they know if they just stand, the walkway will move them?








2. Why is it okay to eat ice cream
for breakfast in the airport??












3. Why did I forget my camera so I could take a picture of the sign that said: "Ice Cream for Breakfast. It's what you want??"










4. Why would anyone eat ice cream for breakfast?? I love ice cream, but in the morning,
I want eggs or oatmeal or something to warm me up!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

MONDAY MEMORIES

Several years ago we had a rather delicate situation. It was three o'clock in the morning and everyone was sound asleep!! That is what we are suppose to be doing at that time anyway!! All, of a sudden, we hear a major commotion outside our bedroom window. It's sounds like a major cat fight!! We soon knew what was going on when the most horrid skunk smell you can ever imagine drifted into our bedroom. Apparently, a cat got into a fight with a skunk. It gets worse. The skunk found it's way under our house. (We live on a raised foundation). The smell just permeated the whole house! We could NOT sleep. We could NOT go outside and check things out because it smelled so bad. That was a very long night!! In the morning, it seemed like everything smelled bad. It was horrible. We think the skunk died under our house. If you have a raised foundation, here is a word for the wise. Make sure it's very secure so that no stinky critters can get under your house in the middle of the night!!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

52 Blessing Project Week Fifty-Six

“Be steadfast and immovable,
always abounding in good works”
Mosiah 5:15
I'm grateful for the strong youth within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This Saturday watching the youth of the Kimball Stake in Arizona dance was fun. I was also touched watching them sing at the end of the performance. They sang "Steadfast in You".

I stayed for two whole performance and sat in the middle on the front row each time. There was a tall young man with curly blonde hair who was right in front of me both times. I could tell he had a great time because he danced with lots of energy. Both times when the person said the prayer at the close event, this young man dropped to his knees for the prayer. The rest of the youth stayed standing, there was over three hundred of them. It was such a wonderful visual to me of this young man who reverently and without thought of what others might think, dropped to his knees during a prayer.
Then last night I attended a fireside with Rachel and Joey. It was a testimony meeting for the youth who had participated in the dance festival. It was amazing to hear them talk of love of the Savior, and how the Spirit helps them. I don't know any of the youth in that Stake, not one. However, they certainly touched me and give me faith for the future.




Steadfast In You

We believe and we understand
This great plan we are living
We will rise and we will stand
We can feel your love burning
Within us
And we will be


Steadfast in you
Steady and true
Abounding in the good works
That you sent us here to do
Like a million stars
Lighting up the night
We are your youth
Ever strong
Ever true
Ever steadfast in you


We will be true to you
Fighting with the sword of truth
We set our sights on eternity
‘Til that day when we meet you
In your glory
We will be

Chorus

Like a mighty army
Moves the church of God
Steadfast we are treading
Where the saints have trod

Chorus


Jenny Phillips/Tyler Castleton

Worth It

I flew to Arizona for the weekend to watch Rachel and Joey perform in a Stake youth dance festival. I'm so glad I came, even though I really don't like to fly.


We had a great day yesterday. We attended the Mesa Temple in the morning and had a wonderful uplifting time. Then, while Rachel and Joey were at a dance practice I spent some time at the visitors center and cried watching movies!!

Then last night the dance festival was great!! Most of the performances were youth groups. But, they had a young single adult dance and an adult dance. Of course, the "Moon River" dance was my favorite. Watch below to see why. Rachel and Joey do a cool lift at the end.



I think Rachel and Joey stole the show. But then again, I'm just a biased mom!! Actually, the other dances were great too. It was fun to watch the youth, even though I didn't know any of them! It was worth it just to come and watch Rachel and Joey.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesdays Whereabouts!!

Gooey, Ooey, Sticky and just plain gross!!


Here are a couple of close ups!! It looks like Katie was here!!











This is "Bubble Gum Alley" in downtown San Luis Obispo. You can read more about it here and here!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You


Thank you to all the veterans who have served our country. You are what makes this country truly great.
I would like to share these words from "Music and the Spoken Word".


"Across an ocean, there is a cemetery built for Allied soldiers who died in World War II. It includes a memorial with an inscription that captures the sentiment of those who fought: “For your tomorrow we gave our today.”

Similar words adorn a monument at Arlington National Cemetery, where others of our brave soldiers are laid to rest:

Not for fame or reward

Not for place or for rank

Not lured by ambition

Or goaded by necessity

But in simple

Obedience to duty

As they understood it

These men suffered all

Sacrificed all

Dared all—and died

The love of freedom and country inspires men and women to proudly don military uniforms and put their lives on the line. Brave soldiers representing every region, race, and religion of our diverse melting pot willingly sacrifice for their country. They all know the risk, but they do not let their fear overcome their mission. As former Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson once said, “[Those] who have offered their lives for their country know that patriotism is not the fear of something; it is the love of something.”

In 1938 the U.S. Congress passed a bill that each November 11 should be “dedicated to the cause of world peace and . . . thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’ ” In 1954, when the name was changed to Veterans Day, President Dwight Eisenhower, himself a veteran, called on citizens to observe the day by remembering the sacrifices of all war veterans and to rededicate ourselves as a nation “to the task of promoting an enduring peace.”

Today we honor such patriots by remembering them and the wars they fought and by cherishing the freedoms they upheld.

Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell

April's Winter Recipe Contest

My daughter, April, is having a recipe contest. You can read about it here. She is giving away prizes and everything, I'm so impressed!!
There is nothing that says family members are exempt. So, I'm going to give it a go!!

Zippy Pineapple Baked Chicken

2 lbs chicken breast
2 tbs butter or margarine
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Glaze:
3/4 cup drained, crushed pineapple
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons prepared mustard (regular or dijon works too)
1 tsp soy sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In an ungreased 9 inch square baking pan, place chicken pieces. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile mix all ingredients for the glaze, pour over chicken, continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes until done. Serve with rice.



Baked Sweet Potatoes Fries

Cut Sweet Potatoes lengthwise in eights or whatever size you like. Coat in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and paprika. Sometimes I use Susie Q's Seasoning but it has msg. So skip that if you want too. Spread in single layer on baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom. Turn slices and boke until the bottom is brown and potatoes are tender about 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

Monday, November 10, 2008

MONDAY MEMORIES

The Hair Brush

When Rachel was a little girl she had beautiful long brown hair. Not, dark brown like most of us in the family, but a lovely golden brown. Rachel loved her long hair and I did too. One day, when brushing her hair the hair brush became entangled in her hair. I mean really and truly hopelessly entangled! We tried several different ways for quite some time to get that hair brush out of her hair to no avail. I was beginning to think I would have to use...ummm.... scissors. That would have been devastating because the brush was stuck rather high on her head.

Then we prayed. Just a simple prayer. "Heavenly Father, help us figure a way to get this hair brush out of Rachel's hair. She loves her long hair. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen." In the next minute, I thought of a way to get the hair brush untangled just by taking a few strands of hair at a time and pulling gently upwards.

I know, without a doubt, that I would not have thought of that idea on my own. It was a testimony to me that Heavenly Father cares about even the little things that can happen. While getting an unwanted hair cut to release a stuck hair brush is not really big on the list of challenges people can face in life. It would have been hard for my little girl. And, Heavenly Father knew that. Remembering that helps to strengthen my testimony!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

52 Blessing Project- Week Forty-Five

One of my greatest blessings are grandchildren!!


Here they are:



Spencer is my first grandchild. He smart and silly and gives great hugs! I love him dearly.



Andrew is a great big brother and just as silly as his own big brother. I love it when he calls me on the phone to play Toontown with him!!

I really miss Spencer and Andrew, they used to live a couple miles away from me, until they moved far, far away!! Boo Hoo!! But, we stay in touch with phone calls and every now and then I just might send them something in the mail.


What is not to love about that face!! This is little Leah my only granddaughter!! I wish, I could read to her, and cuddle her, and just play with her anytime I wanted too!!



And here is little Thomas. He is such a good boy. He is happy and smiley and loves for his Grandma to hold him. Look at those cubby thighs. I wish he lived closer too!!




And last, but of course not least, here is my secret. Katie and Brad are expecting a baby in June!! Woo Hoo!! Another grandbaby to love. I'm so happy for them. It is so fun to see the generations grow. I love to watch my children as parents. I love being a grandma.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Quarter of a Century

Why does a quarter of a century sound so much longer than 25 years? Today, my baby girl, Rachel, is 25 years old. You can read more about Rachel here when I featured her on my blog last year.



Happy Birthday, Rachel. I so glad you have a happy life and are doing well!!

Love, Mom.

P.S Remember who you are!!

An Angel

This week in my mission, with Church's Family History Department, there was a big change!! Elder Martinez was released as a missionary leader. He was my very first missionary leader and helped me through training and those first trying attempts at answering e-mails and phone calls. Early in my mission I needed someone who understood the technological ins an outs. I think I have that pretty much down now, thanks to Elder Martinez!! He will still be serving as a missionary but he is moving up in the world and will be assisting with the more technical aspects of FamilySearch Support. He will do great because that is where his strengths lie. But, I will miss his sweet spirit and his testimony.

So, Wednesday night, our whole missionary group, all eight of the Sunny California Missionaries were put in a brand new group with Sister Schilaty.

Thursday is my day to answer phone calls for FamilySearch Support. My very first call of the day was from a patron who was irritated and frustrated. The system WAS working the way it was designed, but that wasn't the way SHE wanted it to work. I had a solution to help her, but she wasn't really listening to me. All of a sudden, I got a message on my private Skype (missionaries use Skype to communicate one with another). It was my brand new missionary leader, Sister Schilaty, giving me encouragement to help with the phone call. It took me a second to realize she was actually on her phone, listening in on the call, (missionary leaders and quality assurance people can do that!) no one had done that since I first started taking calls in April, at least that I was aware.

I was so glad she was there, like a little angel, whispering to me, helping me!! Most of the patrons who call FamilySearch Support are wonderful and patient and happy for our help. This was by far the most rude patron that I ever assisted. But, I stayed calm and she finally listened and we worked out a solution that was workable for her.

Later, on I was talking to Sister Schilaty on the phone. I told her I was glad she was there. She wasn't sure how I would feel that she was listening in on the call. How could I not be happy??
She said she just felt inspired for some reason to listen to the call. I needed the encouragement and I am sure the Lord knew that, and He brought me help!! I know I'm going to enjoy working with Sister Schilaty. She's an angel!!


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