Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Last Few Months

It has been a busy few months.  A little breakdown of what has been going on--all for journaling purposes.  I do keep a journal, but at least this way it is all right here in one spot!!!!
  • Seminary started in September and our class is GREAT.  We have youth from 5 Wards and 4 branches.  We had District Conference a few weeks ago, and it was wonderful to meet up with 8 of our students.  And then the next weekend we had Stake Conference and we only had 4 of our boys there--not sure where the rest of them were.
  • Had a great visit to Indiana and Michigan to see some of the kids.  (I am finding it harder and harder to be away from family.)
    Finally had a chance to meet this little guy. Such a cutie!!!  The visit was short but we had a wonderful time.  Funny when we went to Church on Sunday, a friend in Toronto told me someone who lives there said they saw us at Church but never got to speak to us when they were visiting their family in Indiana!  Small world.



Also had a chance to spend time with these guys.  Always great fun.
Must admit, sometimes I feel REALLY, REALLY far away. Texting, email, facebook may be enough for some, but not for me!!!!








 



After stopping in Indiana and before heading to Chicago, we made a stop in Michigan to visit Heidi and Daniel.  They seem to be doing great.  We are so happy that Heidi is feeling better.
  • The mission is great.  I love when they have the new missionaries come in and we have a dinner and they all bear their testimonies.  They are so excited.  And then the next night the ones who are going home come in for a dinner and they bear their testimonies.  This happens every six weeks, and it is such a fabulous couple of days.  I love these missionaries and can only imagine how hard it is for President and Sister Craig to say goodbye to them.  (By the way, we sure love the Craigs!) 
  • The elder on the right went home last transfer, and he will certainly be missed.   Allan and I spoke Sunday night at a Mission Fireside with the elder on the left.  He will be leaving this week, and we will miss him.  It is such a privilege to have the opportunity to serve with these great elders and sisters.
These are the Senior Missionaries we serve with. They are amazing, and I admire and love each of them all so much and have learned a great deal from their wonderful examples.








  • We continue to love serving in our temple in Regina.  I must admit I am pretty tired after our weekend there, but it is such a great experience.  A couple of months ago we stayed a little longer at the temple on Saturday and had dinner with President and Sister Paulson.    
  • I don't think I wrote on the blog about the the Winnipeg Temple.  No groundbreaking yet, but at least things are happening.   I guess who could have gone to the property and posted a picture of the vacant land, but I think I will wait and post a picture of the groundbreaking--WHENEVER THAT HAPPENS.
  • And in September our newest great grandson was born--Everett.  I actually typed "little Everett", but believe me, HE IS NOT LITTLE. He weighed 10 pounds 8 ounces!!!!  I had an Uncle Everett, so I love the name.  I am definitely looking forward to meeting him in November.
I am bound and determined to do a better job of journaling and blogging.  There will be much happening over the next couple of months, so I should have plenty of good stuff to post.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Reunion 2016, Etc.

So grateful I had a few days with Heidi, Brent, and Kyle while I was in Utah before the reunion.  It was a packed few days, but I loved every minute of it.

I left Winnipeg on Monday--the day was long with lots of layovers, and I was grateful when I finally touched down in Salt Lake City.  Kyle had called me ahead of time and wanted me to be sure and prepare myself to see Heidi.  I asked Allan to give me a blessing on Monday morning before we went to the airport, so I could be ready--and I am so glad I did.  When we got to Bev's, and I went in and woke up Heidi.   Surprisingly I was okay when I saw her.  

Tuesday was a busy day.  Heidi and I went to Michaels to get her yarn so I could teach her how to crochet.  I was hoping that would help her stay busy and make a nice warm blanket for Daniel for Christmas.  I really should have scheduled a whole lot more time--hopefully she will find someone in Utah who can help her!



Tuesday night the boys and I went to see "Now You See Me 2".  (Allan and I had already seen it, but the boys hadn't.  I don't think Kyle liked it as much as I did ; )

Wednesday, I went to the Provo temple and then the kids met me and we did our photo reenactment. Too fun.  I still laugh when I think about it.



Wednesday night Kyle brought sushi for Brent and I from the place where he delivers--it was quite yummy.  Daniel couldn't have it because the place is not really gluten-free.  They could make gluten-free sushi but they were not certain of cross-contamination, and Daniel is a little too sensitive if he eats something with gluten. 

Thursday morning I took Kyle to the airport for his internship in San Francisco,  and then I met up with a friend I hadn't seen since we graduated from high school.  Actually I may have seen her at our 20 year reunion, but I don't remember!   We had a great lunch and it was so fun playing catch up.

On Friday I got up bright and early and headed to Mt. Timp to go to the temple.  I hate to admit this but I used the GPS on my phone and got lost!!!!  I put in the address and didn't notice that the phone put in the city as Pleasant Grove and not American Fork.  As I was driving, I kept thinking "this doesn't feel right"--I WONDER WHY!!!!

I had a bunch of errands to run to get ready for our dinner that we were responsible for Friday night at our reunion!  The house where we stayed was amazing.  It was great when all the kids started arriving.   I was pretty excited about finally getting to meet our little great-granddaughter Katelyn. What a little doll she is.  I had seen pictures, but it was GREAT to finally get a chance to hold her.  And there were so many others I hadn't seen in what felt like ages.  For whatever reason, we don't skye with most of these families very often.

I know it had only been a few days since I had left Allan in Winnipeg, but I was pretty happy to see him.  I needed him and was glad he was there!!!!  He had stopped to pick up B from BYU Idaho.  (His little girlfriend spent some time with us, and it was glad to meet her.)

The family time was great.  I was very glad Heidi and Daniel were able to make it there.  I know it was very difficult for Heidi to be there--sitting and watching everyone eat and not being able to eat would have been pure torture for me!   Had a great dinner--tri tip sandwiches and fruit salad.  Quite delicious if I do say so myself!!!!

The little ones had a great time playing together.  They all got along so well.  Each of them have their own personalities, and it was fun to watch them interact.  Some of them have spent lots of time together but some hadn't.  I have to admit it does make me sad that I don't live closer and don't get to see them very often.

Saturday morning we headed to Park City.  Of course, I couldn't help but think about the 2002 reunion when we were there before--such great memories.  The family was smaller, but that was such a great trip!  It was a little warm, but it seemed like everyone had a great time.  Most of the parents did quite well with their little ones.  I remember the days when our kids were that little--not always easy to try and juggle, but you just do it.  I didn't ride the Alpine slide but absolutely loved the coaster--much more my thing!
  


The Indiana gang fixed a fabulous dinner when we got back to the house--French toast and bacon. Evan and Scarlett have chickens and they brought their eggs.   It was fantastic.  Allan's two sisters came up to see the place and to see everyone. 



On Sunday morning we got up to go to Church.  We got ready and headed to the building and the place was packed, now this had never happened to us--it turned out it was Stake Conference--and it didn't start for 30 minutes.  We decided to go home and have our own little meeting.  Neal did a great job of putting it together.  He had little family history coloring books for the kids and that helped keep them entertained.  The meeting was extra special because little Katelyn was blessed.  Such a special moment. 



We had a celebration for Allan for Father's Day.  It was great and I know he loved every minute of it.  Neal had worked very hard to put a little video together for him.  It was wonderful.  



Later in the day the kids played in the water outside.  Between water balloons and a hose, they seemed to have a ball.  (I think about how much fun they had and compare it to taking them to Seven Peaks--frankly, I think they had more fun here!!!!)  These two guys were too funny with the balloons especially the one in blue.  He would walk to the edge of the grass and DROP HIS BALLOON!!!  



They all loved the hose!  



That night, Neal's gang made dinner.  It was so delicious.  They made chicken and steak fajitas.  They were so good.  Everyone enjoyed them.  Some of the family began leaving.  Heidi and Daniel left after the Father's Day celebration.  We took B to the airport so he could catch a shuttle to BYU-I, and Darren had to fly out as well.

On our way home we stopped at Bridal Veil falls.  It was so incredibly hot that putting our feet in the cold creek was FABULOUS.  I am not one for having my feet cold, but it felt pretty good.  The picture of little L just amazes me--that girl is fearless and quite coordinated!!!!




Tuesday morning we headed up to the temple.  Neal had some family names to do and it was wonderful to be in the temple together.  We then met up with some of the family for breakfast before Allan and I went to Salt Lake for a couple of appointments.  I love Magelby's but have to admit because of our lunch appointment a little later, I would have been better off with a bowl of fruit!


We love whenever we have a chance to meet with these two.   After we got in the car I was shocked that we had been gone for so long--it felt like we had only been together for a few minutes!!!


So all in all it was a great trip.  We definitely missed those who weren't able to be at the reunion.  We are blessed to have such a wonderful family.  I think most of us love being together.  We have already started talking about the next one.  Allan and I have started looking around for places.   We figure two years should be perfect!  I have got some ideas up my sleeve of things that might be fun.   It's always hard to make it work for everyone, but we sure hope we can find a time where everyone will be there. We've only been able to do it one other time and that was Hawaii.  (That will only happen if we all swim over and camp on the beach ; )  

We have lived here in Winnipeg for twenty years.  For most of the that time, I have not felt like it really was so hard being apart.  It is really hard these days.  So many of the little ones I don't know very well and I hate it.  Maybe we need to do more trips to the individual families and spend time kind of one on one!

By the way, my greatest hope for our next reunion is HEIDI IS HEALTHY AND STRONG!!!!




Tuesday, May 31, 2016

This Seems Oh So Familiar!!!!

As I sit here and think about Heidi's situation, I must admit I feel very much like Shirley McClaine in the scene from "Terms of Endearment" where she is trying to get a shot for her daughter.  I tried to ink it but for some reason it won't link here!  If you're not familiar with the scene and the link doesn't work try to copy and paste--it's worth it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plqzeUB9B-w

I want to pick up the phone and call the hospital where she has been referred and yell, "Give my daughter an appointment!!!  Give her an appointment!!!!"  I must admit I think I might even be louder than Aurora.



Thursday, April 7, 2016

"Where Can I Turn for Peace"

This is when I am grateful for the fact that no one is really reading the blog, so it gives me an opportunity to vent or to share ; )  As I have reflected on the talks from Conference along with the lessons we've been studying in Isaiah over the past few weeks, I am so grateful to know the answer to the question "Where Can I Turn for Peace"? Right now life feels a little overwhelming.

I hate watching my children struggle and would give anything if I could be the one with the struggles they are having.  It has been a little over 4 years since Heidi had her first surgery--a surgery that I wasn't terribly fearful of.  I felt like it would be a fix.  Yeah, I knew there'd be a couple of surgeries to eventually reverse the colostomy, but I had no idea the incredible ordeal it would be for her.

I still will never forget the day I went to see her in the hospital and she was grey and actually looked like she was on death's door, and I felt like she was.  That was truly the first time I was afraid.

And here we are again.  I marvel at her strength, her faith, and her trust in the Lord through everything.  Yes, there have been days when she has called to tell me she couldn't do it anymore, and I have had had to plead for the words to help her, for the scriptures to suggest.  And then when I would hang up the phone find myself without any strength at all.

This morning I was reading Isaiah 46:4, "...I have made, and I will bear, even I will carry, and I will deliver you."  I take great solace in those words.  As well, the words to the hymn "Where Can I Turn for Peace"--"He answers privately, reaches my reaching   In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.  Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.  Constant he is and kind.  Love without end."









Thursday, March 31, 2016

Upcoming General Conference

General Conference began last Saturday night with the General Women's Broadcast (which I definitely loved).   The talks were amazing--loved the focus on serving.  Allan (who watched the broadcast on the computer) and I talked about Sister Esplin's story about the mirror and the frame--what a great visual!!! I love Sister Marriott and her sweet little southern drawl--always takes me back to our year in Charlotte, NC.  The story of Aunt Carol was beautiful.  Sister Burton said a couple of things that stood out to me--first, that "as sisters we make up more than half of the Lord's storehouse to help Heavenly Father's children".  And then she talked about helping those around us, and that as we consider those who need our help, we need to ask ourselves, "What if their story were my story?” I keep thinking about that--I have been so blessed.  I was talking with a dear friend the other night who was such a help when I joined the Church--who, along with several other women, took me under their wing and helped me.  What if I hadn't had that--how grateful I am that I did, and I need to make sure others have that same encouragement.   I think when President Eyring spoke about our need to be "personally modest about our good works" and how we should not "expect a public memorial" when we serve.   He used the story of the woman who anoints the Savior and the story is mentioned in Mark and yet we do not know her name.  (Facebook, blogs, etc., sometimes make it a little difficult to do that, but we need to be sure we do all that we do because we love Him)

I am thoroughly looking forward to the sessions this Saturday and Sunday.  I love hearing our leaders speak, especially the prophets and apostles.   We have talked a great deal about different prophets during the last few months of Seminary--and currently are in Isaiah.

I think of one of the stories from Exodus 32 after Moses went up on Mt. Sinai and had a conversation with the Lord about the children of Israel--who were not being exactly obedient.  I think of Moses, the Prophet, who was told by the Lord to chastise in a very severe manner the children of Israel.  (In my little mind, I imagine him thinking, "you want me to tell them what???"--I doubt he did that, but it seemed like a tough thing)  I think of the difficult job our Prophet today has.   He is not telling us things he thinks we need to hear, but as the Lord's chosen mouthpiece, he is telling us things the Lord wants us to hear and do.  We need to have ears to hear and then "hearken"!!!

I am grateful to be able to listen and listen again and again to Conference.  I like to try to summarize the talks using Elder Packer's "Therefore what?" idea.  "Therefore what", does this have to do with me; what do I need to learn; what do I need to do; how can this help me be better, do better, understand better.  I also have a few questions I am trying to understand and challenges, and so I will go with those questions in my heart.

Enjoy Conference!!!!



Monday, March 14, 2016

Grey skies are gonna clear up...

PUT ON A HAPPY FACE!!!!



Or so I keep telling myself!!!!


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Hawaii Feb-March 2016

ALOHA!!!!

I laugh when I look at the title--it's not like we were there for weeks ; )  But I'm not complaining 10 days is better than NOTHING!!!!

Our flight over was pretty miserable.  We left very early in the morning, and had to make stops in Calgary and Vancouver!  By the time we landed at Kahului, got our bags, rental car and got to the Condo, we had been up for 24 hours, and I felt like it!  (I sure miss the days when I would get on the plane and fall asleep while we were sitting on the tarmac!

The condo we stayed at was beautiful.  We had been at the Whaler before.  This unit was on the 12th floor and had a lovely view.



The weather was perfect--quite different than our freezing temps in Winnipeg.  I had done a pretty good job of packing, but I must admit I forgot one thing:  GAMES!!!!  I had Bananagrams sitting there and didn't throw it in my bag.  I had plenty of room for that!  We ended up going to the store and getting dominos and a couple of card games.  I also had "HeadsUp" which we played and was good for a laugh or two.  One major drawback was the amazing TV set-up they had--which was far too complicated for us.  I think the staff had to come up just about every day and solve a problem we had!!!

First place we went to was Costco and the grocery store.  We decided we'd eat most of our meals in our condo.  We had baked chicken a couple of times, Allan barbecued HUGE steaks, we had salad, and one night we had salmon.


















We also hit the Chinese restaurant we had eaten at before.  We couldn't stop laughing after we placed our order because when we asked the waitress if steamed rice came with our meal she informed us, "You have plenty of food."  That did it WE WERE GOING TO SHOW HER AND EAT EVERY BITE!!!!

We did go out a couple of times.  A trip to Maui would not be complete without a trip to Swan Court--always delicious but I have to say not as good as I remember!



















The ocean was a little rougher than I like.  It took me several days to venture out beyond my toes, and when my sister-in-law and I went out one day and I finally got beyond the waves I panicked and I knew I was going to drown.  Believe me, my heart was pounding and I was praying like crazy!!!!  Bev knew I was scared, but I appreciated her help.

Bev and Allan had such great memories of riding Mopeds when they went to Maui many years ago, so we decided to check it out.  My sister-in-law, Gerry, was pretty sure she could ride one (I was not so sure ; )  We found a place that rented them and even gave you a lesson to help you get started so Tuesday morning we headed out.  (After a great deal of talking, we convinced Gerry that having her try to ride was not good--keep in mind she has enough trouble getting into a chair.  I know Allan's big concern was that if she didn't have the strength to keep it up and she went down, how were we going to get her back up.)

We took our lesson and we'll just put it this way--BEV AND I WERE HORRIBLE!!!!  I just coudn't get the hang of making the turns.   I was pretty disappointed, but I do want to try again!

One day Allan and his sisters went to the Iao Needle.  I decided I needed to work on Seminary so I stayed at the condo.  They had a good time and I got some work done.

We spent a lot of time whale watching--I have never seen the whales so much as I did on this trip.  Finally on the last day we went out on a whale watching tour and it was fabulous.  So grateful I had brought my camera.  I wasn't going to bring it because it takes up a lot of room, but I am so glad I did!!!

  This was not on the tour but a shot from the condo.  I couldn't believe we could see these guys doing this all the time.




A favorite tale shot from the beach!

Love this one from the beach

And, you really have to look close to see this, but notice the turquoise water--that's the whale

                         

And I love this bubble ring--I wish I could remember why they do it.  But they go under and blow these bubbles--pretty cool!!!

                         


And, I am still shocked I got this shot.  My only wish was that the camera was a little further back!!!!


We went to Cheeseburger Paradise in Lahaina for dinner on Friday night.  Great memories from our trip in 2008.  Yes, I am sunburned!!!!

                             

I was pretty exhausted when we finally got to Chicago--7 hour flight (would have been 8 but great winds got us there a little early ; )  I told Allan, "I am so tired if someone came up and offered me a free plane trip to go back, I WOULDN'T GO!!!!"