I really love the Google Reader but I have to say it is just a place I go to see who is home...kind of like passing someone's neighborhood to see if their car is in the driveway. Even though the blog post and pictures are there I just love going up and knocking on the door of the blog and seeing what is new inside. I love all the designs, colors and the fun and clever things people put on their sidebars, etc.
The other thing I think is helpful about knocking on the door is that you can actually interact with your friends by adding the comments that everyone loves to get. Did you know you can go into the blog by just clicking on the blog name on the reader? It is hard to keep it going with my friends when I just drive by. Personally, I'd rather visit fewer blogs, park and stay awhile. Are you for driving or parking?
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
"Who knew"~not me," I am embarrassed to say.
Whoever looks at the end of your aluminum foil box?
"I've been using aluminum foil for more years than I care to remember.Great stuff, but sometimes it can be a pain. You know, like when you are in the middle of doing something and you try to pull some foil out and the roll comes out of the box. Then you have to put the roll back in the box and start over. The darn roll always comes out at the wrong time.
Well, I would like to share this with you. Yesterday I went to throw out an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at the end of the box. And written on the end it said, "Press here to lock end."
Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in place. How long has this little locking tab been there? I then looked at a generic brand of aluminum foil and it had one, too. I then looked at a box of Saran Wrap and it had one too! I can't count the number of times the Saran Wrap roll has jumped out when I was trying to cover something up.
I'm sharing this with my friends. If you already know this, I will feel dumber than I already do. If not, enjoy a new and freeing experience today!" Run right to the kitchen and see for yourself!
Another day I was talking to Piper and she was telling me how they all have perfect names. She is Piper and is a Princess from Scotland, Julia had kind of a Latin name and she loves salsa, Chloe is a French name and she loves everything dairy, and one of Hazel's nicknames is Halo and she is a little angel.
Of course the whole family knows that Chloe really likes dairy products and would live on milk if they let her. We also all know she is very independent and if you read Jen's blog regularly, you know that before she was three she could make her own scrambled eggs in the microwave. So one Sunday afternoon Jen, Lowell and I were in the office chatting and Julia comes running in..saying, "Mom, Mom, Chloe is eating the baby's formula!" Upon investigation we discovered she had gotten into the refrigerator and poured some Parmesan cheese in a cereal bowl and was sitting there at the bar eating it with a spoon. It looked exactly like the formula too!
Alas, I have been tagged by our daughter, Laura, and asked to share 7 unknown, interesting, or weird things about me. That is a bit of a stretch. Firstly, you already know enough weird things about me and if you don't....hmmm, I am not about to be revealing them! OK, here goes. Ummm, the clock is ticking and I cannot think of anything!
1. I love movies about sports. What is interesting (?) about this to Jim is that I do not care one hoot about regular sporting events, except the Olympics.
2. I truly enjoy washing windows (although it may not always be evident when visiting our home.)
3. I am not crazy about big parties, especially when I don't know anyone. I like to have intimate conversations with a few people but do not engage in much small talk very often. The absolute worst~the office party! Ugh! My idea of fun is staying home with Jim, movie, and his awesome popcorn! The ideal party size for me is no more than 8, 6 is better, 2 or 3 is perfect.
4. My favorite dessert is cherry pie~but I rarely eat it and I never make it.
5. I am NOT taking out all my Christmas stuff this year. I have just been feeling like I finally got it all done and put away and it is now ...Hello... June! I know I say this every year but this year...I mean it! The only thing that would change my mind is having kids come home for Christmas!
6. I love San Francisco and enjoyed living there as a newlywed. I love the privacy and being able to feel anonymous and invisible in a large city. I could easily move back there for the rest of my days if the family was there too.
7. I cannot stand a day when I do not wash my hair or need a haircut. Bad Hair Day Click Here!
8. And the bonus one...I have always been sad to not have a sister and have often fantasized that I will actually find my sister when doing my genealogy. Weird, huh?
9. Whoops! One more...one of my biggest fears is seeing my beautiful LDS daughter who shall remain nameless..tattooed and pierced!
10. This one I think only Jim knows~I am allergic to the paper that glossy magazines like Oprah and Martha Stewart are printed on! I have to hold them very gingerly with my nails when reading them. Annoying and weird!
I would like to tag two people that read the blogs but don't participate...Melissa M. and Emily C.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I use to really love doing a scrapbook. It was so much fun to take the photos, get them developed, wait the allotted time hoping they turned out, shop the scrapbook store for great paper, die-cuts, embellishments and the like. I loved getting together with friends and spending hours yacking and decorating the pages, and even once had a great weekend away with my good friends in the foothills of the Sierras where all we did was scrap, eat and sleep. The place we went catered all the meals and we had the time of our lives for Lee's birthday. It was heavenly! That I would consider doing again in a heartbeat~but not the rest of it.
I am scrapping scrapping because it is too time consuming, too costly and too inefficient for recording the important and fun things in my life. I did just great on the kids' weddings and first round of grandkids for the first few months and then I got totally overwhelmed and the thoughts of going back and trying to scrap things in the distant past was overwhelming and simply not ever gonna happen. And besides it was a huge mess and just when you got into it you would have to put it all away and do something else in real life; like cook, go to a meeting, garden...whatever. And storing the big books got too cumbersome.
One day I went to an all day scraping convention and it took me 8 hours to do a several page lay-out on a Disneyland trip with the kids and grandkids. I realize now that was nearly half the time it took for the event to actually happen and probably 1/2 as expensive too! So I have scrapped my last scrap. It's official!
Now I am replacing it with....of course.....BLOGGING! It is free, fun, and fabulously fast, and best of all current. Who could ask for anything more? Oh, and as far as the chronology of life...out of sequence is just fine. If I think of an interesting thing from the past~I can pop it in anyplace I like. This is a "Living" Family History and Personal History at its best. And the cherry on top, it is interactive. You can even be published in my book when I get it printed. And I can store my journal in cyberspace~we have a small house with limited storage! And it is safer there than in a bank vault.
It is really high on my list of things to love about the here and now. I wonder what else is coming to us in the future that we can look forward to as well? Are you still scrapping? Not me!
Happy Birthday, Robert! We wish we could see you today and give you a big birthday hug! Your special day is nearly over in Italy but for us it is just beginning. I know Laura and the boys have made the day memorable for you.
I read this post the other day and really thought it was worth sharing. I really like this Real Simple blog site, they have all kinds of interesting stuff everyday. In keeping with Jen's post from yesterday I will occasionally be blog-jacking something I either want to keep and/or share. Giving credit where credit is due, you will always find the source and quotation marks around the message.
Taming the Green-Eyed Monster
One of her nephews only visited occasionally yet he made an impression on me because he never wanted the focus to be off of him (kind of difficult with 12 children running around). No matter what anyone said, his reply was always the same: "How about me?" Although I don't remember his name, I remember this annoying refrain because he was an only child who had a meltdown when it wasn't about him. Nowadays, we'd all like to think we've outgrown these childish habits. We don't have regularly scheduled meltdown moments unless we are members of that special breed of society called Drama Queens. But I digress...Yet instead of abandoning our feelings of envy we've learned to mask them. We've found more subtle ways to unleash the green-eyed monster.
"Both of my parents worked so after school my sisters and I went to the babysitter's house across the street until they got home. She had a huge house, and it was full of children (her own as well as others). The great thing was there was always someone to play with but the challenge was with so many people around you had to jockey for attention.
One of my favorite signs of envy is the back-handed compliment. This is the worst kind of give and take because we are actually saying something nice and then peppering it with criticism. If we're caught doing this we often try to make everyone think that we are actually really happy about whatever the circumstance (even though we aren't). I realize that many of us have an initial response not so different from that little boy. We think to ourselves, "why didn't such and such happen to me?" Of course, we don't want to admit that this is our first thought. But it does happen to all of us. I think it's okay if the thought passes through your mind but doesn't take up residence. When those feelings hang around too long, that's when the problems begin.
So what's the best way to tame the green-eyed monster? First, you have to remember that life's peaks and valleys are different for everyone. When a friend is up we may be in the valley (or vice versa) so we need to celebrate those highs with them so they'll be there with us. Next, we have to see envy for what it is instead of acting like those feelings aren't there. I hate to mix metaphors but it really is the 800lb. pink elephant in the room. If you can see it, you're less likely to be trampled by its effects. Instead, teach yourself some new tricks and ride those feelings right out of your life. "
I really like this because haven't we all had people in our lives that are experts at the back-handed compliments. You go..."thanks", and then realize..."hey, wait a minute"? People can often get away with a lot in the form of a back-handed compliment, a "just kidding" remark, or just by being envious and selfish about everything. This is such a big part of the pride of this generation that President Benson talked about during his life time. It is also the 'scarcity mentality' that Stephen Covey talks about. I want to be aware of it and never catch myself engaging in it. It is so destructive and counterproductive to relationships.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I asked Daddy what he loves about the Zach the most and he said that he is so honest. Mommy said that he is just so sweet and loving.
Sunday they are inviting the Stewarts and the Houses over for yet another party! Each family has had a birthday recently with Shelby turning four also and then Chloe turned three. They have been having a lot of celebrations!
With Owens 1st birthday next week, it is Birthday Mania over there!
To me it just shows how you are always happy
and that your Dad loves you so much!
Someday you will be all grown up
with a big boy of your own too!
It will happen way too soon for Mom & Dad!
to wish you the Best Birthday ever, Buddy!
I thought this was some good and useful information for people who enjoy pain free walking, new summer sandal and the like. Blisters are so painful, I am a fan of anything that precludes them so will try some of these preventative measures.
from Simply Stated By RealSimple.com by Liz Krieger
Whether you're working out or just walking around town, blisters can leave you hobbling. And after years of suffering through some of the most hideous, enormous, inconveniently-timed blisters, I've rounded up some of the things that really work wonders for me, no matter the season or the shoe.
*Foot Petals Strappy Strips are great with sandals, slingbacks, even thongs or flip-flops. Just put the strips under the straps to help prevent red marks and blisters. Dr. Scholls also makes good ones—and they come in a cool, tape-like dispenser.Here's a round-up of a bunch more blister-remedies, some of which I haven't yet been able to test. (They seem best-suited for serious outdoor activities—hiking, etc.)
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I can remember that when I was a young girl growing up I use to think a lot about getting married. I would think about the wedding I wanted, the guy I would marry, etc...but little about what it would be like after the ceremony. In those days you just grew up and got married and little time was spent on the marriage details, perse. Life was simple, you married, had kids and lived happily ever after, right? I knew I wanted kids~and that was about as far forward as I could see. I would think about how many boys and girls I wanted and their potential names, etc.
I never realized how important a spouse is to your health, happiness and your very life. I don't think that in the child rearing years I gave any thought whatsoever, to what I would do when the kids left home and I had time to consider what I wanted to do or needed to do.
When you are in "kid mode" it just never seems like it will end....it does. That was the most unexpected change in my life I think. You never think your parents will die...they do. You think your favorite restaurant will always be there, familiar building will always exist, you'll be with your best friends forever, you will always be healthy......not necessarily so. You think you will be young and quick forever...ummm, no! Life is full of surprises. Some are not always so pleasant!
Even when you know these things happen to other people you always feel you are somewhat immune. We are in a constant state of motion ever moving towards the end of our mortal existence, even though as baby boomers we are trying to put the skids on that~time marches on for everyone. This is something even the boomers cannot alter in the total scheme of things. Altered body parts still get old even if they don't look old~all of us are going the way of all the earth~no exceptions.
Another huge surprise for me is that at our age, just a year and a month from possible retirement and we feel like high school kids not knowing what we want to be when we grow up. Suddenly when you wake up one day and see the reality that in just a few short months you will not be confined by the time constraints of daily work to earn your bread~the world is your oyster. Oysters can be scary. You have basically endless possibilities and what to do is the big question. In my wildest imagination I never dreamed our life in the future would be so undefined at our age.
2. We want to serve a full-time mission for our church
3. We want to be able to travel and see the parts of the world we haven't.
4. We want to keep active and busy doing productive things.
5. We want to be healthy and strong.
6. We want to be of service to our family and others.
7. Working for what we want will always be a part of our lives.
8. We want to be independent until we die and not burden our family.
9.We want to grow in the Gospel of Jesus Christ all the days of our lives.
10. We want to fulfill our potential as marriage partners.
11. We hope to leave a legacy for our posterity that is all good!
12. We want to "live happily ever after" by making good choices always.
How these plans will pan out is part of the changing that concerns us now. It is an exciting time and a frightening time simultaneously. I guess the one thing that age gifts you with is the experience to know that the changes come, ready or not. We have been trying to be prepared for the ones coming up. We are trying to be intuned with the feelings and intentions of our hearts, and at the same time listening to the promptings of the spirit to guide us in the way we should go. We are consciously increasing our faith in God's plan for us. We are trying to plan 100 things we want to do in our retirement from the 'work a day life.' It is better to run out of life before you run out of plans ~ then the other way around.
It is never too soon to get the thoughts churning in that direction. Time has a way of stopping for no one. Each stage of life is wonderful, but it doesn't hurt to gaze ahead a little and be prepared. I wish someone had told me that and I had internalized it when I was younger. Someone is telling you that now! Run with it!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Jim and I are planning on buying a new computer for my office. We have been weighing the pros and cons of the iMac vs a PC. We are now leaning heavily towards the iMac but this morning we were thinking a PC. It seems all rather confusing with each having its advantages and disadvantages.
If you have any wisdom to share, please do. I am also putting an opinion poll on the sidebar of the blog.
We have heard some bad things about the Vista operating system..any comments on your experiences would be appreciated should we go PC.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
OK, I think I mentioned earlier, or maybe it was a comment on Jen's blog but Lowell is crazy about Lost. We don't watch TV at home, so I had no idea what it was like until I was, ever so gently coerced into watching it on this last trip to Utah. Quite often in the late evenings when all the kids were asleep and Jen was passed out from exhaustion, Lowell would ask me if I wanted to watch Lost with him. Now if you know, Lowell, how could you possibly say no to him? I would try jumping over the moon for him if he asked me to do it....(I know that creates an hysterical visual for most of you...be kind!)
So I agreed to watch it. It is about a plane that goes down on a really weird island someplace. Hello, Lowell, did you not know how freaked out I use to be about flying...well not so much flying as crashing??? Somehow I must admit this show holds some weird fascination for me even though it is exactly the kind of thing I truly hate watching. You are winding down from a hectic day and you look to the media for relaxation, right? This show is so edgy and freaky that I am not kidding I was a wreck after watching it each night. Why did I keep saying yes...it was for Lowell. He is so much fun to watch as he watches it that he just lights up with sheer excitement. I figure if any of the kids like something that much I must look for the good in it.
When I was a fearful flier I use to think about every possible scenario about crashing...plummeting to the ground knowing it is over, the screaming the passengers, the impact on the ground and even worse, the water! I would envision the plane breaking apart, the people flying out into subzero weather in their seats with no oxygen, burning, you name it, it all plagued me in the old days. I didn't realize that I had left out something as I would mentally go down the list of everything awful as I walked into the jet way and noticed how thin the walls of an airplane really are. Honestly, I use to think how can I possibly be paying someone for this horrendous experience? What I left out of my terrible flight thoughts was...crashing and surviving it! Lost helped me out there..the bag of nasty nightmares is now completely full.
This is one strange group of people!
I tried like crazy to put it out of my mind as I was boarding the plane on Friday~I did pretty well in overriding my emotions with my intellect, but I have to admit, I did check out everyone that got on and wondered what kind of a weirdo they might be, should we have to spend some time together in the Nevada desert. I wondered how many bags of peanuts they actually had in the galley.
Lowell, I hate to tell you this but, Lost is lost for me until we meet again. I have to watch you watching it, to go on! But I do have to admit in a very bizarre way I am looking forward to it. I just hope we drive next time and that I have Jim to sleep with instead of Julia...love her dearly, but how can she protect me in the night? It is amazing how your kids can stretch you!
Love you, Lowell!
There is nothing in the blogging sphere more annoying that forgetting to bring your camera! Yesterday Jim and I went to the wedding of our good friends' daughter, Leslie Bowerbank. Leslie is nearly 35 and finally found just the perfect man for her. His name is John and he too had been searching for her! It was an afternoon wedding and was performed by the Bishop of the Lafayette ward.
The reception was very nice and the dinner was excellent. It was held in a huge gazebo with an open ceiling with about two inch openings between the slats. You just have to know that entire family was praying for no rain. They were blessed.
The Cake something like this, sans the flowers and topper and with a burgundy frosting ribbon winding down and around it. It was one of the best wedding cakes we have ever enjoyed.
I have vowed not to leave home without the camera anymore. We actually have one that we keep in the car but I had brought it in to download and didn't return it to the car. Arrrgh! C'est la vie! Live and Learn!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Our friend called this morning and asked me," How did you say good-bye to your kids for two years when they went on their missions?" I knew Becca wasn't saying, I don't want my son to go on a mission~just how do I handle it?"
I remember that feeling so well when Chris was called to serve in the Amazon~ in Manaus, Brazil 14 years ago (can that really be possible?) and also when Jen was called to the Edinburgh Scotland Mission. Their missions actually overlapped spreading our immediate family out to three continents. We also felt that same feeling again just last year when Laura, Robert, and the boys left on what I now call, Laura's mission, to Italy for three years. I feel Laura is truly serving her mission being Relief Society President and learning the language and building the kingdom just as any missionary does. Similar feeling occurred when Jen and Lowell moved to Scotland with their first baby on the way and when Chris and Missy moved to China with three precious grandkids in tow. Jim and I are no strangers to the absentee kids scenarios.
When your son or daughter goes on a mission you have to realize that you want them to go..you just don't want them to leave...there is a difference when you think about it. As was pointed out to us in the MTC when Chris left...they are at an age when they are going to leave anyway.
What better way for them to strike out into the world than on a mission Serving the Lord, under the watchful eye of the Mission President, refining their work ethic, and learning to focus, having an opportunity to see into hundreds of homes and lives, learning to live with a companion, and all the while gaining maturity and insight that truly allows them to enter adulthood with a real edge and advantage. They return with a far better understanding of what they want and how to achieve it in the years that lie ahead.
As a parent it gives you the opportunity to sacrifice and consecrate in ways you may never have done before. It is a selfless act to sent a child on a mission, knowing you will miss them, but that they truly are off on a wonderfully enriching experience, that you have always hoped they would choose for themselves. Even better, they will be bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to many that will then know and understand how wonderful it can make their lives. As you are supporting your missionary it gives you a special way to say thank you to God for all He has blessed you with throughout the years. Is it hard..you betcha. Is it worth it...absolutely!
We have missed all our kids when they have been away...and still do. This is another reason why I love blogging so much. I feel it is the Mom's responsibility and the Dad's too, to be the glue in the family once the kids are up and running in their own lives. You have to look for unique ways to keep your family close when time and distance separate you. A mission is a perfect time to get started on that and to help the siblings stay close. There is little that brings Jim and me more joy that to have all of our little chicks gathered into the nest and together...but when that is not possible you have to do something else. By being creative in your efforts~there is no such thing as an empty nest. We believe families are forever and your job is never ever done once you are a parent and grandparent. What kind of a God would create a world that would be otherwise? Not the One we know and worship!
What will you do or what have you done when this time comes for you? It reminds me of the scripture, "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear." When we follow God's plan for us we can just go forward in faith~knowing the choices we make are the right ones!"
Happy Mission~Brandon! To your family all I can say is, "Hold on to your hats...the blessings will be showering down upon your heads very soon!"
OK, I wanted you to see Chloe's haircut after it dried...she was not too cooperative about having a brush run through it just for the "puter" as she calls it. So I admit it, I resorted to pure unadulterated bribery! Out came the treat jar which as you can see was not very successfully hidden from the entire family after the haircut!
Who is really in charge here?
And how can one little girl be so dang cute?