Saturday, December 12, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside!

There are many reasons I live where I live. And although the climate really doesn't factor in, I have become very accustomed to the mild climate. I love the windy springs, the hot summer by the pool, the long indian summers, and the warm winters...or so it was until Sunday! The kids had two snow days this week. Now really, it isn't what you think. There were only 8-10 inches of snow, but, we don't have the equipment or crews to deal with it very efficiently. So, no school. The temperatures then plummeted for a few more days, and yesterday we warmed up to 24 as the high. Let me remind you, we don't like it, aren't used to it, and aren't prepared for it. No snow shovels left in this town. Our poor dog shivers, and even I felt sorry for her. I have coped this week by staying exremely close to my fireplace and lots of hot chocolate. Yes, I will admit that I am a wimp when it comes to cold and snow these days. However, we did take some cute pictures in the snow. Brrrr!

Good Things:

1. hot chocolate

2. fireplaces

3. having an excuse to stay hom

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I took this from a blog I read. I thought it was perfect for Thanksgiving. Thanks Wendy. (You always have the best quotes.)
"The unthankful heart...discovers no mercies; but let thankful heart swee[ through day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings."
Henry Ward Beecher

Good Things

I have been thinking of everything I am thankful for. Of course, there is the obvious, family, husband, temple, atonement, home, job, life, prophet, etc. Today, I want to name a few littles things...some of life's simple pleasures. . .

my own bed, games to play with my family, home grown tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, bubble bath, cell phones, soft quality toilet paper, friends, a dishwasher, grapefruit spoons, keyless entry and start on my car, sisters, my camera, hot chocolate with whip cream, my sewing machine, new recipes, counselors, internet, warm fuzzy socks, prayer, gym instructor, zip lock bags, symphony bars, dvr, hand sanitizer, music...

The list could go on and on. So while you are thinking of what you are thankful for, don't forget the little stuff. Yes, we could all do without it if we had too, but it sure makes life a pleasure. Your one of your simple pleasures on the comments.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Tender Mercy

As many of you know, I am not an animal lover by any stretch of the imagination. We have a dog at our house, whom I am not very fond of. She is really D's dog, and he loves her dearly. D seems to get the short end of the stick in many areas because boys are a minority at our house. The dog is truly his, and he takes pretty good care of her. See pees on my grass, digs in my garden, climbs on top of our cars, jumps up on you, and runs away. A few weeks ago, on a very busy day, I received a call from the pound. She had run away yet again, and was found in town roaming the streets. Because I know D loves her, we went and got her and brought her home, with instructions to not let her free. She was to be on a leash or tied up all the time. Which worked well until K let her go yesterday. Of course she ran away, and the kids hollered, and drove around looking for her for a long time. D was very sad, and I really didn't think she would come home. Really, who would if you were tied up all the time.
This morning I kept telling D to eat breakfast, several times, I told him, and was getting a little irritated that he was going to make us late. He finally said, I am fasting! Well, feeling rather foolish for bothering him, I said a quick prayer to please bring Mia home and answer a boy's humble prayer. Needless to say, Mia did come home.
What I have learned is that:
1. I need more faith
2. Fasting and prayer really works
3. Heavenly Father really knows each of us on an individual level, and he knows what is important to us
4. He provides us with experiences that strengthen us
Call it coincidence if you want, but I know, that the faith of an eleven year old boy brought the one thing home that he cares about.

Good Things:
1. Tender mercies
2. Faith of a child
3. D

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One of these things is not like the other...

WARNING!!! This blog entry may contain offensive material.

Prom was last weekend, and K looked beautiful. Thanks to ______ for lending a dress to us. However, she would have looked beautiful in a sack. I realize I am a little biased in my opinion, but her beauty went deeper than the dress. So... if I may, I would like to get up on my soap box for a minute...

One of these things is not like the other. Not too difficult to figure out is it? Modesty has been on my mind for awhile now. And I just don't get it. I was so sad when K came home and said so few LDS young women were dressed appropriately. And quite frankly, I was very disappointed. They know better, have been taught better, but somehow when it comes to prom and swimsuits, all previous knowledge goes out the window. Why is that? Feel free to enlighten me so I may better know as a Young women leader how I can teach this important concept. I realize it is all about agency. Don't get me wrong, I am so far away from perfect. And while I admit I have so many issues of my own, that I have to work on, this is one of those things that I just don't understand. We all have our own struggles and maybe mine are just struggles that others don't see, such as reading scriptures everyday. I believe it was Sister Dalton who said something to the effect of ..."When we truly realize who we are, and what we can become we will make better choices. " Are young women missing that they are a Daughter of God, and as a princess they need to act like a princess and dress like a princess. Do we no longer know how REAL princesses act. (and dress) I don't have the answers here, only pose questions. As tradition goes, K wore her dress to church on Sunday. A dad told G later what his daughter said, "She looks like a real princess." I know it is not all about the dress that makes young women feel so pretty. It is about so much more. It is about what is really inside the dress. The confidence to know they are pure and divine, to know they are loved, to know where true happiness can be found, to know there is more to life than themselves. So... Thank You to those young women who will not let "fashion" tell them what to wear, who stand strong for what you believe, and who look so beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. Your light will shine no matter how dark it gets!
Good Things:
1. knowledge
2. doing whats right
3. beauty, the real kind
Can you help me down now?!
I also must add, that their are some amazing young women out there, and that there better be some great young men preparing for them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yeah Soccer!

Is over! Soccer is officially over for the season. I do love to watch the kids play, but it is time for the next thing. K and B played their last game yesterday with two more loses...So, we will pretend the season ended on Saturday with 2 wins. K was recognized as a senior at the last home game. Her high school soccer career has ended! B was one of the captains for the JV team. D and G (coach) had a winning season for the most part, but ended in third place. I just had to take pictures, so I have tried to narrow it down to something you could watch, but I took so many more. You may notice, that we love the #2. I think it started, because that was always the smallest jersey. I am not sure that will continue to work for D, but we will see. Go Team!

Good Things:
1. soccer season is over
2. beautiful weather for soccer
3. whatever is next
4. getting to enjoy it as a family

Friday, October 9, 2009

Good Things

1. A beautiful fall day
2. Checking off a few things on the to do list
3. Listening to K practice a song for Sunday

Sunday, October 4, 2009

When was the last time YOU went to the temple?

A few weeks ago I had a complete meltdown. You know, the kind you stomp your feet, yell, and holler, and can't talk to anyone kind. And yes, it was all about the same stuff it always not picking up after themselves, and all of their stuff oozing into my living space. You would think that after having children for 17 years I would finally be over it. I AM NOT! I can only take so much, and then I have one of those tantrums. It always happens the same way...I go upstairs. (that is a forbidden area for me at my house) I am not talking about a little clutter. This is the kind of clutter that if my whole house looked this way, my children would be taken away. Funny that it is the children that cause the problem. Anyway, I was not at all happy about it, and was not easy to live with for several days. Finally after having calmed down, (days later) and taken the vow to never go up again, I was discussing my ranting and raving episode with D. He very calmly said, "When was the last time you went to the temple?" I will be the first to admit, that I am a much better mom and wife when I am going to the temple regularly. So that only leads to the question, "What would have happened if I hadn't gone to the temple?" That is frightening to think about. I guess I just better keep going.

Good Things:
1. going to the temple
2. kids who can see the difference
3. my living space

Friday, September 18, 2009

Instead of the gym...

I really should have gone to the gym this morning, but really didn't want to. I was still debating with myself when my visiting teachers called to see if they could come by! And so sad...they wanted to come before I would be back from the gym. Just what I needed, a reason to stay home. So instead of going to the gym this morning, I did something much better. I baked?! French bread, cinnamon rolls, and then made some raspberry jam. Oh, the cinnamon rolls are in the oven now, and they smell so yummy! Maybe I should at least make a little time for wii fit!

Good Things:
1. visiting teachers
2. the smell of cinnamon rolls
3. fresh baked bread

Bad things...tight jeans!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Going ons at our house

The kids are back in school, and I think we have figured out a somewhat regular schedule. B leaves at 5:45 for seminary and the rest of her day. Unfortunately she can't drive herself yet, but we do take turns with a friend, so at least it is only every other week. K leaves at 6:45 for seminary and her day. D and G leave at 7:45, and I leave then sometimes to take D to school, or 8:15 to go the gym, which, by the way hasn't been too regular lately. D gets home around 3:30, the girls not til 5:45. K does have an easy schedule every other day with class done before 11. She should have plenty of time to apply for college, fill out scholarships, work, etc. I am working on that! We are still trying to figure out when to read scriptures. Any suggestions...we are trying the dinner option but know it won't always work.
Soccer has started full force. G is D's coach, yeah. K is varsity and B is JV. So from here until the end of Oct you will find us at one field or another every Saturday and Tuesday. But the kids love it, and it keeps them out of trouble.
I have been busy putting together a school calendar for D's school, going to meetings, back to school nights, and various other things. As you all know, stay at home moms never get to stay home! But if I did, I would probably just waste time. For now, there is no time for that!
We had a great visit over the weekend with my parents. It was nice to just visit and relax with them. I am not the best host, so we didn't do anything. Okay, we did celebrate B's birthday. She turned 15! She requested some really good food for dinner. Salmon, caprese salad, baked potatoes, caesar salad, brazilian lemonade, and truffle torte. YUM
We also had fun with friends in the pool on Monday. I love a day by the pool with friends and food.
Good Things:
1. a visit from mom and dad
2. B
3. Figuring out a schedule

Friday, August 28, 2009

What Happened to My Little Ones?

School started this week...and my little ones are somehow big! 6th grade, sophmore, and a SENIOR?! How did that happen? Nonetheless, it happened. And I suppose that is a good thing, but Wow. It makes me old to have a senior. We had a great summer with lots of swimming, sleeping in, (at least those who didn't have soccer at 7:30, and those who wanted to wake up at the crack of dawn to play on the computer, okay, it must have been just me!) being lazy, and whatever we wanted. But we did need to get back to a schedule. I have missed going to the temple during the week, and not going to the gym as much as I should.'s to a great new school year, filled with soccer, seminary, and 11 year old scouts!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Harvest Time!

I harvested my peaches today! All nineteen of them. I know, when you can count the entire harvest, it isn't much, but I am happy about it nonetheless. Unfortunately, the birds thought they needed to snack on them until they were ripe. I covered them, but not until after much of the damage was done. There were maybe ten without traces of birds. So dinner tonight, peaches.

Good Things:
1. sun warmed peaches
2. cooling off in the pool after mowing the weeds/lawn
3. crossing off something on my do to list

Monday, August 17, 2009


I got this recipe from my cousin and wanted to share, I hope she won't mind. I am not a huge peanut butter person, but this is heavenly! And I am sure fat free!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake
1 c. graham cracker crumbs
¼ c. brown sugar
¼ c. melted butter
Mix crumbs and sugar . Blend in butter and press into a springform pan.

2 c. creamy peanut butter
2 c. sugar
1 lb cream cheese at room temp
2 tbsp melted butter
Mix together in mixer.
1 ½ c. whipping cream – whipped to soft peaks
2 tsp vanilla extract.
Fold peanut butter mixture into whipped cream. Pour into springform pan.Melt 4 oz semi sweet chocolate with 3 Tbsp hot water to top the cheesecake. Freeze for several hours before serving.
**No baking required!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Next Adventure

While the girls were at EFY, G had a conference in Tahoe. So D and I went along. We usually do girl stuff, but this was D's time. So we started out with G at the pool, and then he had to go to classes. We had lunch at the lake, played in the water, read our books, and D even took a short nap there! We played pretty hard. That night the conference treated us to a dinner cruise on the M.S. Dixie. D and I even danced! (We will be taking lessons from the sisters soon at FHE.) The next day we went on the High Meadows trail hike. I borrowed a great hike book from a friend, it had hikes for the entire tahoe area, along with how difficult they were, and pretty detailed about how to get there, how many miles they were, and so forth. (thanks, Amy) It was pretty steep, but a nice trail. We really had fun, and although the end result at the top of the trail was not as spectacular as I was hoping, the view along the way was great. There were some really great rocks for climbing. When we got back, we went to the lake again, but G got to join us, this time renting a kayak. All was well until the next day, when I began to feel my age. And by the next day, I had a great time going from down to up, or up to down. So much for thinking I was in pretty good shape! The hike was labeled a moderate level. We will not be doing difficult. The girls joined us later that night, and then after G's classes on Sunday, we came home.

Good Things:

1. Nature

2. Doing some boy stuff

3. Beaches

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Technical Difficulties...

Continued from below:
I am trying very hard to be a good Mom like she is. As someone has said, "I owe all that I am to my dear Mother." I don't know how she did when I was a child, or how she continues to do it. But I will keep trying.
Krisele: She is the blonde, and yes, we are all biological sisters, and I will put us in birth order.
She is an amazing woman who can do anything, and does, while working full time. She can easily run circles around me in the productivity arena. I don't think she ever sits down! She has 4 boys with the oldest on a mission, and the youngest will be in first grade. I have never been in her 2nd grade class, but know she is an incredible teacher, and very professional. I wish I had her productivity and confidence.
I fit in next.
Ashlee: She has the baby on her back in the current picture.
She too, is amazing. She has an incredible strength, both physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and great sense of humor. She can make even the worst situation hilarious. She is so great with laughing with her kids. She always makes everything fun. She lost a child six years ago, and has four living. The oldest is eight, the youngest almost 4 months. I wish I had her patience, laughing ability, and strength.
Brooke: She is the youngest by about 8 years, and is in black in the current picture.
She too, is great. She is always after more (in a good way) like dreaming bigger. Going back to school, or going beyond what is practical or logical, and where I would be content to stop, because doing more would require a lot of hard work. But she always does that more, and it always ends well. She never stops, and isn't afraid of not succeeding, or asking for help if she needs it. She has two children ages 3 and 1. I wish I had her drive and ambition.
There are lots of others things I like about them too, but that is enough to help you understand a little about them, and why I think they are so great, and why I love to spend time with them. It is a rare occasion that we are all together, and I cherish the time we spent over the last few days where we could just enjoy each others company and not worry about the rest of life that we all left behind for a short time. Hopefully we all came home better moms by filling up our cup!
Good Things:
1. Moms and sisters
2. Strong women in my life
3. Coming home with a revised focus of what really matters in life...Relationships!

Girl's Rejuvenation

Just what I needed... A few days with my Mom and Sisters! This week, I went to SLC to meet my mom and sisters for a few days. It was so wonderful! We had such a great time laughing, reminiscing, and giving each other advice about whatever was needed, in whatever, beauty, kids, clothes, callings, etc. We also went to the Oquirrh Temple openhouse, and wandered around the beautiful grounds near the SLC Temple. Of course, I had to take a few pictures. Unfortunately, they are not quite complete, Mom is missing. We just wore her out! Too much chatter, and shopping I guess! She opted to not take a walk with us. I have been thinking about the fabulous women I have in my life, not just my mom and sisters, but also many others. I have been so blessed to associate with such amazing, strong, talented women. So, if you don't mind, I would like to introduce you to my mom and sisters. I don't usually do this, but I am going to name them so you know who is who, as many of you will probably never meet them. So, mom and sisters.. sorry about the privacy issue, you still don't get any! (The picture with Mom is from last November)

Mom: In the red and black

I believe she has had the greatest impact of anyone in my life. She is the one who taught me everything I love. This includes sewing, cooking, gardening, and the gospel. I am trying very

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sew Brilliant!

So...I had this brilliant idea that my daughters needed to learn how to sew. I mean really sew! Not the easy pajama pants, or paper bag skirt, but sew. I love to sew, and think everyone should just love to as well. However, I am in reality enough to realize that not everyone does. Take for instance my sister. She is really great at a lot of things, like riding horses, and playing with her kids. She likes the idea of sewing. She loves to bring sewing projects to my house (that is when she used to visit) in hopes of me teaching her how. She also knows my level of patience, or lack thereof. You see, she secretly knows that I would much rather sew it for her while she makes dinner. Actually, I think I like this little arrangement. (Remember, that is when she visited.) So, that is what I would prefer. Just sew it for whoever. But, it is that whole, "if you teach a man to fish" theory that I am trying to accomplish. Someday, they may have to, or better yet, want to sew for their children. And although you never think you will ever be there, there is the "prom dress" problem. Sew... we are learning how to sew! I really am trying to be very patient. Hopefully there will be two dresses by Saturday. (They need a nicer dress for EFY.)

Good Things:
1. having a mom with more patience than I, who taught me to sew.
2. love of sewing
3. daughters

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Time Flies When You are having Fun!

I can't believe it is already July. When did it happen. We were in charge of g's family reunion this year, and took the easy way out with a trip to Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo. We met for dinner at an Italian restaurant to get the party started. The next day we spent the day in the park. Although the weather was exceptionally hot, we did enjoy the day. With the extreme heat, we did not stay in the park as long as we had intended, but I think everyone had an okay time. It was super easy to plan, and worked well for a small group. Only 13 were able to come.
On the 25th D turned 11. Once again, I am not sure how he got so old. G took the kids to see Transformers, but found out it probably wasn't something we should see, so they settled on Up. G had a board meeting that night, so we celebrated the day in the pool, and had an ice cream roll cake at lunch with his mom and sister. The cake had a few issues, but tasted good. It was a nice relaxing day. On Saturday we went to the parade. You just can't have the 4th of July without one, even if it is a sad one. But oh, well. We then had friends over for a barbecue and swimming. We had a great time, I hope they did too. We played cards, had a vigorous game of keep away in the pool, visited, and ate. We finished the day off with watching fireworks with more friends.
We have it so easy in this land of freedom. I hope I never take it for granted, and thank all who serve our country. I appreciate all who leave their families, and those who stay behind without the daily help of a spouse. Thank you!
Good Things:
1. America
2. Days we celebrate
3. Tri tip

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Light the Fire Within

This was the theme for Young Women's camp this year. And I must say the fire just radiated from within! We had such a great camp. We had 117 girls and 54 leaders. We had a wonderful time, and it was so great to see the young women participate and get involved with everything. We had some amazing workshops and speakers, as well as super certification leaders and assistants. And of course the food was great, as always. We (I) was very concerned about the weather. It has been quite unsettled lately, but it was beautiful! We could not have asked for anything better. It rained at home, and everyone was worried about us, but we did not get a drop. The testimonies were amazing. I have never before seen girls so excited about sharing their testimonies, and I was so impressed with REAL testimonies. They all did such a great job, we did not have one lull. It was just a steady stream of young women. I wish I would have counted how many testimonies were shared, I figure close to ninety. I really felt like the young women benefited spiritually from attending. Not that they haven't in the past, but for some reason they just seemed ready to listen and take in everything this year. I am not really sure why it seemed different. Maybe they have to be more spiritually in tune these days to survive? I don't know, but it was just a great feeling of sisterhood. Thanks to wonderful counselors, secretary, director, stake help, and ward leaders, for making it happen. I am so blessed to be a part of this every year, and know that without great help, it would never come together so well. I appreciate all the support and prayers that go into such an event. As the director's husband said, "This isn't your camp, it's the Lords. He will have happen what needs to happen." I know he did, and I would be silly to think it wouldn't have happened without our help, But I do hope we were able to help in his plan of what needed to happen. So...Here's to another great camp, and a sigh of relief that it is least for a few months!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Growing Up...

Just when I thought D was getting all grown up, we had the following conversation:
D:Do you know where your brush is? I had it upstairs.
B:Did you look in the drawers?
Me thinking: Wow, maybe he is going to comb his hair without being asked.
10 minutes later...
D wrestling with his dog with MY brush in his hand.
B:What are you doing?
D:Grooming my dog!

Good Things:
1. KNOWING he used my brush
2. Rain
3. End of school

Monday, June 1, 2009


I don't even know how to spell the word! As you who know me can attest, I am not a spontaneous person. I like to have things well planned out and know what is going to happen when, and so forth. I took a big leap this weekend, and decided to go see my nephew before he left on his mission. The thought came on Thursday night with a bribe of macedamia nut and white chocolate chip cookies. Although that was not the deciding factor, we went. The kids thought they needed to see Rhet one last time before he left. So plans were finalized on Friday morning, and we were in the car at 1. We didn't get a hotel, but were given some cots and a very nice wall tent. (If I ever decide to be a real camper, I think I will have to invest in one of these.) With just a few hours notice, we were welcomed and fed for two days. Thanks so much for your hospitality. We had a great time, and visited with three siblings family and parents, and grandma. We even took a 4 generation picture. So....Here's to being spontaneous....We had so much fun. Maybe I will even try it again sometime...If it fits into my schedule.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Birthday, Anniversary, and Surgery

K turned 17 on Monday. She received a expensive gift this year. Surgery on her knee! What a gift! She wanted to get it over as quick as possible to not only go to young women camp, but also be ready for running again. It all went well, and the doc took out a foreign body that should have dissolved when she was a baby, and then smoothed the cartilage in her joints. We hope this was what was causing the pain when she ran, but will not know for sure until she can run again.
On Tuesday, G and I celebrated 19 years! Wow, how did that happen so quickly? Let's do it again! G, I love you. You are just perfect for me.

Good Things:
1. K
2. G
3. Sealing it all together

The rest of the story

On Wednesday, we went to Vatican City. We went to the museum, St. Peters cathedral, and of course the Sistine Chapel. Both the cathedral, and the paintings in the chapel were amazing. I can't even imagine the time it would take to do something like that. Truly amazing! We spent most of the day there, but saved some time for Castle St. Angelo. After visiting it a few years ago, I just knew D would love it. He did. We explored it and imagined how things would have been so long ago when you were fighting to protect the castle.
Thursday we took the train to Perugia. It was a very long train ride because it was not an express train. However, I think it was worth it. It is a very old city. To get to the center of the old square, you travel through a castle on an escalator. We didn't really do anything there, just wander the old narrow streets, and take a look at the Utruscan Arch, which used to circle the entire city.
Friday we finished our trip with visiting the Borghese Gardens. This is a very large park in the city. We rented a little carriage type bike, and enjoyed riding around looking at the park. We also went to the "birthday cake" or Victor Emmanuel Monument. The tomb of the unknown soldier, and the eternal flame. We took an elevator to the top of the building, and had an amazing view of the entire city. It was fun to point out all the places we had been. This building also has a military museum which D loved, and was featuring an art show that was really fun, modern stuff. We also finished up any souvenir shopping, had gelato a few more times and called it a day.
The whole trip was so much fun. I hope the kids will always remember it, and appreciate the memory.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rome Slide Show 1

Rome Slide Show 2

Our Trip to Rome

This picture is taken from the balcony of the apartment we stayed in. You can see the Coliseum to the far left. We were about two blocks from it, and walked by it every day. I will try to put a slide show on, but you know of my technology difficulties, so I will do my best. It would take forever to tell you about each picture, so I won't. But if you are interested further, come visit us, and we can tell you everything we saw. But here is a brief overview of what we did and saw.
Friday we took a city tour on a bus to get the lay out of the city and try to stay awake for as long as we could to do our best with the jet lag. We also did a little walking around the Coliseum.
Saturday we got up early to catch a train to Florence. There we met Elena, her sister Allesandra, and her boyfriend. Elena was sixteen when G served his mission there. They have somewhat stayed in touch with each other, and it was fun to finally meet someone I had heard about for so long. They showed us the city, baptistry, bell tower, (we did not go in, the line was very long, and we didn't have much time) Ponte Vecchio, the bronze pig, and the fake statue of David, (we did not go into the museum where the real one was)and the open market. We had lots of fun shopping, and ventured into the food part of the market. That was something we will probably never see again, at least not in America. Although the smell was horrendous, I found it fascinating to see all the meats, fish, poultry, etc, hanging, and ready for sale. D was thrilled to see all kinds of fish, and rabbits, among other things that were not recognizable. I always love the open market, just so much fun to me. We had a nice lunch with them, and saw some old pictures she brought along, and got to know her a little bit. This was one of my favorite days.
Sunday the jet lag kind of caught us and we slept until after ten. Happy Easter! We went to the Coliseum, the Forum, and looked at lots and lots of ruins. It is amazing that things from so long ago are still around. We are just not used to seeing things so old, our country is so young compared to what we saw.
Monday we finished seeing ruins on Palantine Hill. We also went to some churches, including the Pantheon, and wandered the city. We found that many places, including churches and museums, are closed on Mondays until 4 or 5. But lots of people were enjoying the day and watching people as many do for entertainment. I think we went to Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and Piazza Navona, but it was very crowded, so we just kept on walking.
Tuesday the J family went to Florence. So it was just our family. We went to many churches and saw not only the amazing architecture, but also the art. D wants to know, how does the Pantheon have a hole, but doesn't get rain in. I am sure we will be doing some studying and thinking to figure that out. We also went to the church with "the mouth of truth," walked along the river, and went to the Trastavere part of town. We ended our day with a walk along the Circus Maximus. Stay tuned for the rest of the adventure when I get around to it.
Good Things:
1. Memories
2. Capturing them for the future
3. Being able to include the kids

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Every Fifteen Minutes

Yesterday I attended B's funeral. On the way there, my stomach felt uneasy, I was dreading what would take place. The casket was there, but closed. First there was a video, slideshow of the previous day's events. Including the driver being booked into jail, followed by her sentencing of 8 to 20 years in prison, Seeing the doctor tell a father his son had died. All of the "walking dead," those who were portrayed as dying every 15 minutes, were shown with gray paint and no expression on their face, as well as their headstone. That was hard to see B with such a sullen look. As you all know, her smile just lights up her whole face, and her eyes twinkle. The walking dead entered the room and put a flower on the casket. It was difficult to see her, and not have any acknowledgement from her, as she was "dead." Some of the dead's parents read a letter of what they wished they had told their children. Also some of the dead read a letter of what they wanted to tell their parents and family. I was hoping B wasn't going to be one of them, as I knew that I would not have been able to keep it together. Then a lady told the story of her daughter who was killed by a drunk driver at age 22. All those who were the first on the accident scene were asked to stand, then anyone who had an immediate family member die in the event, then anyone whose friend died, and then anyone who had a friend whose friend died. Of course the whole audience was standing at that time. The point never affects just one person. At the end of the funeral we were able to reunite with the dead.

I am so glad it was not real. Although I only got a glimpse of what it would be like, I think I understand a little more how it would be to lose someone. Awful! Like I said earlier, it was more about how it would be to lose someone rather than the drinking and driving issue. But I think for those who drink it was probably pretty effective. It bothered me a little that they kept saying it was a choice to get behind the wheel. I think it is more a choice to take a drink, but I guess that depends on where you are coming from.

I liked what thorkgal said about the way we all make ripples in others' lives. So true.

It was a very interesting experience for me, but also for B. She has told us about what she learned, and will hopefully continue to tell others about not only the importance of not drinking and driving, but of making stupid choices such as not wearing a seatbelt, driving too fast, and others. She had to read her own obituary as part of the program and said that was really difficult. We also received her letter she wrote to us, and she the one we wrote to her. Overall, a good experience, but difficult all the same.

Good Things:

1. Reunions

2. Having everyone at dinner

3. saying "I love you"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Every Fifteen Minutes

Sorry for any undue stress I have caused you. I assumed the heading and the previous post was warning enough. I am grateful that each of you care. And your shock does prove the point that B played a very important role in each of our lives. More to come tomorrow as we attend the funeral.

Every Fifteen Minutes

B died today of a result of a car accident involving a drunk driver. It seems strange knowing she won't come home from school today. It seems everywhere I look I see a reminder of her. Her shoes in the middle of the floor, a dishwasher flashing washed, it was her turn to empty it, her camp permission slip that I have asked at least a dozen times be put away, no call from her phone asking to be picked up, no text telling me how she did on her math test. No smile with sparkling eyes, not even rolling of eyes when I ask her to do something, An empty place at the table... We will miss her!
Even though I knew this was going to happen, and we never know when death will be our turn, it has led to some serious thought. I know I will get to see her again tomorrow, but what if it were real life, as so many have faced. What if this were real? How would I face it? What would I do? I recently lost a very good friend, and think of her often. But to miss someone you are used to seeing everyday? My hearts goes out to those who have suffered such a loss. To hear someone say, "I heard what happened I am sorry for your loss, I will be at the funeral," what do you say?
Although this is a lesson on the consequences of drinking and driving, which I hope will never have an impact on my life, it has gone much deeper than that for me. Would I be ready to die if it were me? Would I be happy knowing I spent my time wisely with the person who died? Did I say I loved them often enough? Fortunately the we often end our phone conversations or goodbyes with an "I love You." Did we part on good terms? So many questions and thoughts. I do know for sure that if B were to really die, we would have a very empty place in our hearts and home.
Good things:
1. the plan of salvation
2. Knowing I said I love You
3. Sealing power

Monday, April 27, 2009

Residents may see ambulances, fire trucks and even a hearse at the Churchill County Fairgrounds Tuesday, but there is no reason to be alarmed, said De Vere Karlson, chief juvenile probation officer. The appearance of an emergency situation is a part of the national “Every 15 Minutes” event where students witness a mock car crash in an effort to fight drunk driving.“In the United States, statistically, unfortunately, every 15 minutes someone dies due to a drunk driver,” Karlson said.The event begins with a mock scene of a graphic car crash caused by a student driving drunk, Karlson said. Students from Churchill County High School will watch the scene beginning with the 911 call and ending with the removal of one or more bodies from the car.“It’s not real and you know it, but it’s the chance that it could happen,” said 18-year-old Meagan Winder, who helped plan the event.Afterwards the majority of students return to classes, but the 16 students playing out the scenario continue for the rest of the day, along with their parents Karlson said. Based on their roles, students go to the emergency room, the police station or mortuary. Karlson said it’s all filmed, so the entire student body can witness the various scenes at the mock funeral to be held during an assembly at CCHS on Wednesday morning. Before the funeral, however, the 16 students and their parents go to separate retreats to experience a mourning process, Karlson said.“We have kids break down and cry,” Karlson said. “Part of the retreat is that they write their parents a letter about how they died. It’s life-affecting for some kids.”Karlson said the experience is also dramatic for students who witness the scenes and videos because of how realistic they are. Karlson said planning began last September, and about 20 agencies are involved. She said, this year, a Hollywood make-up artist is even flying in to apply moulage simulating injuries.“We don’t make it so it’s gory, but it looks real enough so it gets the kids’ attention,” Karlson said.Karlson said DUIs drop every year they hold the event and they hope this year will have an even greater impact on students.“I hope it makes people realize that it could happen,” Winder said. “They shouldn’t throw their lives away over a drink.”

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Back to Real Life

We are back from vacation, and had a wonderful time. This week has been busy, busy, with jetlag, getting a dandy cold, stake auxiliary meetings today, a dance tonight, ward conference tomorrow, add in 3 baseball games, a soccer, game, and the regular. So...I will be getting some pictures up soon, and a brief update of what we did. Some of the highlights were of course the food, meeting someone whom Greg knew on his mission, and just seeing all there was to see. We did lots of walking, and ate lots of gelato. What a great time we had!

Good things:
1. Vacationing with your family
2. Coming home to your own bed
3. Missing what or who is at home

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I could never be the presidents wife! I am very active in the school system in our community, and have always been since my children started school. I have served on various committees, and been active in PTO. I believe this is what eventually led g to be on the school board. It is difficult to sit back and watch things happen when you feel someone needs to step forward and make a difference. I am in no way saying we make a difference, but we kind of feel like you can't sit back and complain if you aren't willing to do something about it.
That being said, G receives criticism all the time about what he said or did as a member of the school board. I often want to say lots about what is really going on, or how the story really went, etc. But try to most of the time keep my mouth shut, exception of being among friends. (sorry guys, I gotta vent somewhere.) But this morning I just could not control that urge to speak up and defend my husband. It happened at a PIC meeting.
And unfortunately, I probably didn't do it very adequately or effectively. What I really wanted and meant to say was this...
On a seven member board, he is the only one who currently has children in the school system. He is looking out for what is best for his children, but their are about 2500 other children just like his. He does know what goes on in the schools, he goes to parent teacher conference, back to school nights, sport events, PTO's, musical events, drama events, and also committee meetings, and school board meetings. All of those children are not the exact same as his, but he tries his best to do what is best for the majority of the students, and what will improve the school system, and hopefully eventually make responsible citizens out of these students.
Okay, that should suffice my urge for at least a little while. Thanks for listening.
Good things
1. short meetings
2. people who stand up for what they believe (that is why you ran again)
3. 6 days to Italy

Friday, March 27, 2009

13 days and counting...

Today there are a million (okay, probably not that many) things I should be doing right now instead of posting. Such as finishing costumes that really should have been done by now, cleaning out the restof my flower beds, making a list for our trip, and regular mom stuff. But I just realized we only have 13 days until we leave for our big trip. We are going to Rome for spring break. The kids are excited, and Davis has been reading about the colliseum, and gladiators. It seems so far away still. I think because there are still lots of things that need to happen before we go. I am sure it will go fast, and I haven't really given the list much thought, I think I better start one of those today.
Davis had his last pinewood derby last night. Although he didn't win, he said he thinks his car was faster than it has ever been. He had a really cool looking car. He had a friend block it and set the wheels, and he did everything else. I looked really great. Pictures will come later.
Good things:
1. homemade tortillas
2. thinking your kids are amazing
3. clean bath tub

Friday, March 13, 2009

Too Much to Do?

Although I do have an "almost perfect" life, there is always too much to do. But I do think that maybe that is what makes my life almost perfect. What would I do if I didn't have lots to do? Sit in my "office" and blog all day? Good thing I have "too much to do!"

Here are just a few things that have been or are happening in our home/ my life:

basketball games, dance competitions, sewing for "Hello Dolly," becoming part of the parent involvement committee at D's school, young women's of course, choir concerts, school board meetings, exercise, and then all the regular mom stuff.

But I wouldn't change it, any of it. Sometimes it is crazy and frustrating, and exciting, and happy, and irritating, and fun. But I think at some point, I signed up for all of this. I think I love having too much to do. But sometimes, I like to just sit in my "office" and meditate and blog.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Almost Perfect

I was behind an older gentleman at the recommend desk at the temple. The man checking recommends asked him how he was. His response, "almost perfect." I could not help but comment, so I said, "That's pretty good." He responded that most people don't believe him. So that got me thinking. . .
1. Why don't people believe him
Society tells us that nothing is ever perfect. There is always something better, and just when we get it, something else, and so on. If I, and each of us could just focus on what is great, maybe we would start thinking things are "almost perfect." And when we look for the positive, maybe it will shed a little light on what really matters, and what makes life almost perfect. It won't be what society tells us, but what is really important.
2. My life is pretty good, Almost perfect. I have actually been thinking alot about this the last few months. Now don't get me wrong, I have lots of things in my life that aren't perfect, but when I look at the things that are really important, almost perfect. I also don't want this to come across as bragging, I think many of you are in the same boat. And although our lives are different, I suspect you may feel like your life is, almost perfect as well. I sometimes wonder why I have it so good. I look around at others trials and or losses, and my own problems seem so small in comparison.
Why is it that other people have to deal with losing a spouse, or parent. Send a spouse or child to Iraq, or Afghanistan, lose a job, have financial difficulties, marital problems, children making less than ideal choices, and the list goes on and on.
I don't know the answer, but I do know that Heavenly Father is well aware of all of our needs, trials, triumphs, and sorrows. He knows what will strengthen us, crush us, and fortify us. He also knows that what works for you may not work for me. Just as parents, we know how to deal with each of our children differently.
So today, I am grateful to be "almost perfect." And hope that I will always remember just how "almost perfect" my life is, and thank those I love for being "almost perfect."

Good Things:
1. An almost perfect life
2. An almost perfect husband
3. A grateful heart

And I ask, "Do you feel your life is 'Almost perfect'?" Let me know.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Everyone is Okay...

Have your ever received a phone call that started with "Everyone is okay, but..." I received such a call last week while having lunch after a session at the temple. Apparently K and her friend H had a little mishap. Into each other! A hummer will always win when it collides with a jaguar. But, the kids were all okay, and things can be replaced. Kids, not so much.

Both were stopped at a stop light when it happened. Now, I am not really sure how two stationary vehicles can collide, but that is what they tell me. When I asked K's passenger T what happened, thinking okay he is a boy, he was paying attention he said, "the universe shrank."

G was out of town working, where there is no cell service to his phone, and I was an hour away. So H's mom JJ calmed everyone and took care of things until I got home. Thank goodness she was around, because she is usually hard to get a hold of. So that was the excitement at our house this week. I hope we don't have any more of that kind of excitement for a really long time.

Good Things:
1. Safe kids
2. JJ
3. insurance (even if it goes up)

"I knew it was bad when I looked at the hood and the jaguar was gone."
passenger in K's car

Saturday, January 31, 2009


I have been blessed in my life to have three Moms. My real Mom, who raised me to adulthood, and continues to do what she can to finish raising me. My mother in law who welcomed me into G's family and treated me just like all the other kids. And my Mom who adopted my kids as another grandma when we moved here. I am not sure if I adopted her first, or if she adopted me first. My kids know her as Gramma Rita. She passed away last night.

I first got to know Rita as her visiting teacher. She quickly stepped in as my Mom away from home. Although I was her visiting teacher, she helped me far more than I ever helped her. She helped me through many crisis' including miscarriages, and an ectopic pregnancy. She even built shelves for me when I needed more space in the old house. When the kids were little she would come pick them up and take them to the movies, or out for ice cream. Lucky for D, he got to have Gramma Rita as his first grade teacher. With the love of a Gramma, she kept him challenged, and bought numerous books for "her library" so he would have something to read. It is clear to me that I wasn't just assigned to visit teach her, but that Heavenly Father had a greater plan. Clearly I needed Rita in my life.

She battled cancer probably about nine years ago and won that battle. However, it came back several years later, and although she fought hard, she just couldn't win the war. She was such a good person. I don't understand why she had to go through it and suffer the way she did. But I trust that there was a reason. I hope we were all able to learn whatever it was we needed to learn. I know she is needed elsewhere, and that she is comfortable, happy, and proud of her family she left behind.

I have learned so many things from Rita. Here are just a few: You don't have to be related to have a Mom or Gramma. You can always say something nice about someone. Life may not
be what you had planned or expected, but there is always something to smile about.
My life will continue, and so will Rita's, hers on the other side of the veil. However, my life is better because I have known Gramma Rita. Her absence will leave a hole in my heart, but maybe someday it will be filled with adopted Grandkids, and I will think of her.

Good Things:
1. Knowledge of the plan of salvation
2. A Friend who become my Mom away from home
3. Gramma Rita

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oops, I forgot the GOOD THINGS!

1. Rain
2. Kids who take finals seriously, but not too serious.
3. 2 boys who can just go with the flow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Off to a great start!

Well, the measurable goals are going well, and we are 20 days in. Doesn't it take just 21 days to become a habit? Time will tell.
I just have to tell you all miracles happen, and our friends were all baptized last week. What a wonderful few days it was. Mom J started on Friday with a very private baptism. It isn't everyone who gets to have one daughter speak, and the others sing. Although the water was very cold, our hearts were warmed by the spirit. Then on Saturday, Sisters H and S were baptized. What an event. About 120 people were there. When G went to baptize them, the two sisters were crying and hugging each other, they were so excited. Sister H was baptized first, and once again, they were hugging and crying, and then Sister S. It was truly amazing to feel of the happiness they felt over their decision. Great talks were given on baptism and the Holy Ghost. Even now, I get teary eyed remembering. It started the year off perfectly with the new young men and women theme: 1 Timothy 4:12 " Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity." This family, and especially the girls, have been surrounded by examples of the believers, and that was evidenced by those who attended the baptism. We can never underestimate our example, whether it is good or not. And I will do better!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


On Sunday in Relief Society the teacher was saying she isn't very good at setting goals, so I said "A goal not written down is only a wish." Which hopefully she understood that I only know that because I too am really not good at all at setting goals. That I have and have had many wishes in my life. So... I am going to write down my goals for all to see. Maybe I will be able to keep them, and maybe you can help me (or shame me) into keeping them. So, here they are: Take the challenge from Sister Dalton in the January New Era to the young women - Read my scriptures for 5 minutes a day, Say my prayers everyday, and smile. I know, to some of you this probably sounds ridiculous. But I know myself, and need to start small. This is very do- able, and I really should end the year with this accomplished. So far so good. Now, I am setting one more goal that will be more difficult, and even harder to know if I have really given it my best shot. ..I am going to practice being a kinder, less sarcastic, more uplifting person. I know, hard to believe, but a very very good friend of mine (yes, you know who you are!) has got me thinking of all the sarcasm and teasing that I give her, and maybe just maybe, I should repent and be a better friend. And so, that is what I will do. ( reminders are welcome.) Now all the world knows of my New Year's Resolution and it is now more than a wish!
Good Things:
1. Friends who inspire you to do better.
2. Getting back to basics.
3. Friends who know your weaknesses, and are still your friends.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Good Things:
1. A new start
2. A break from the everyday hurry
3. Relaxing with games and snacks