Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

"Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space."  Dave Barry

I couldn't resist!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How true it is!

"If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most. One of the characteristics of modern life seems to be that we are moving at an ever-increasing rate, regardless of turbulence or obstacles. Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives. It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks."

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation.

Working in the school system, I am sure this question, requiring a response, will come up several times once September 7th comes and goes. For my own piece of mind and the feeling that I am a decent grandmother, I need to make some notes here to clear some space in my noggin. Thanks for humoring me.

June 29th: Oldest son, Steve and his ridiculously cute family show up late at night for the summer visit. Luckily we had a place for them to hang their hats in the evenings and early morns' so no one got too cranky too soon. You know that old saying about fish and family...well, we were going to do our best to avoid any correlation to sardines.

We swam and swam and swam. We had really good food the first week and then I lost my mojo. I kept reminding myself that August 23rd would be here soon enough and I would be in a heap crying my eyeballs out about all the things we didn't do. I think I have done well - not amazingly - but well at not offending anyone outright. We have been to movies, to arcades, to toy stores, to SeaBreeze, to friend's houses, to the cottage riding hotdogs, jetski and sunfish sailboats. We have made smores on the fire pitt out back, but also (in desparation) on the gas stove. We have made the children aware of the difference between "babysitter candy" and "kid candy." Some things are sacred. Don't touch the "babysitter candy." Its the essense of survival.

We have gone school shopping, we have jumped on the trampoline, we have trashed the house, the car and anywhere else we land. We have had sleepovers. We have eaten enough Eggo waffles to feed a third world country. We have played Life, Legos, Candy Land, Disney Scene It and a new game called "Scream As Loud As You Possibly Can Just Because You Can." That one usually ends up with the adults hanging from the ceiling by their dewclaws.

We have eaten ice cream, more ice cream, Dippin' Dots, popcicles, drumsticks, etc. Isn't ice cream one of the food groups in the summer? I always thought so. The eleven pounds I have picked up lately are a testament to that tradition. Stop the madness.

We have had family reunions and graduation parties and weddings to attend. People are still talking about us!

We have played Scrabble, which that cheating Coach Bekie wins every time. It's getting old! I am sure there are tons of other things we have shared, but the most important thing for me was to be able to look in the eyes of each of my delicious grandchildren and just listen. Oliver has taught me the versatility of peanut butter sandwiches. Lena and Eloise have taught me about love/hate relationships. Simon has shown great courage as he jumps off the diving board into the deep end of the pool and comes up smiling every time. Eloise has shown me how wonderful it can be when a little girl runs up and throws her arms around you and says, "I LOVE YOU, BABAJUJE!" every day. Milo has taught me how to be obedient even when it's hard. Delia has reminded me what is was like to be the oldest in a family and how hard that can be sometimes. She is a very good example to me of doing the right thing all the time, while trying to scam gum out of my purse. She is a great friend and loves people.

I am one of the luckiest mothers, wives, and/or grandmothers on this here planet. This will be a summer I never forget. One I hope we can duplicate again. One I hope my grandchildren and children will remember with fondness even though I lose battery power from time to time. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is real and it's alive and it changes people's lives. I have seen pure, undeniable proof of that this summer.

I love you guys!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

LDS Living

This is an interesting article. Not sure I consider myself warm and fuzzy. Poor Dylan is doomed!

LDS Living

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Oh, my aching back!

Every now and again I like to pretend that I am visiting Jeff and Kelly from out of town. In the olden days when I would make my treks to Virginia, we would work on projects for days, eat yummy food, hang out, think of more projects, hang out with the know the drill. Today was one of those days. I can't move because we worked a bit longer than expected in the yard, but it is looking a bit more spiffy. Between holding sweet red-headed babies for hours on end, playing puppy games with Thing 1 and Thing 2, life is busy but doesn't get much better than this. (Side note: Lena actually told her Dad that I was more fun than he was! That is quite a complement given Jeffy is the King of "Let's Ignore the Grass Needs to be Cut and Have Some Fun." I know you can't picture it - those of you that really know JV. He is a piece of work, but he is our piece and we love him.)

Thanks for the fun today, my favorite daughter-in-law in New York. By the way, did you know that Lena invited me to move in? She said I could have the playroom and Bop Bop could sleep on the couch. She also informed me that Dylan could just stay home with his friends. She has it all figured out!

See you for dinner tomorrow!

p.s. we shoulda taken some before and after unlike you. Now I have nothing to show for my pain and suffering!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Life in a NUTshell

I see it's been a while...almost two months. This is the closest thing I have to a journal at the moment, so the good news is my progeny won't know much. Hopefully they will look at pictures like these and remember me fondly. Truth is I adore my family and I don't know what I would do if they weren't around to keep me on the ball. My Primary calling makes me sing (pray there's no rain on Saturday for the temple activity), I love my job  (even though the teacher/BFF I work with is moving to Florida and leaving me high and dry). I need to get back on the exercise band wagon before the scale breaks and my head explodes from crazy dreams at night. Endorphins...oh, endorphins, where are you?

Enough are the pictures that make me smile every day. I am a very fortunate woman.

He even has red hair...oh my...little Calvin Robbie. You make me so very happy!

These three are a formula for huge messes, sticky doorknobs, fingerprints on the walls, a laugh a minute ("I LUB IT!"), big juicy kisses, sticky smores marshmallows all over the patio, endless hours of swimming and jumping off the diving board into the DEEP end, swinging on the red, the yellow, the red get the picture. Emmy and Oscar love it when these Three Stooges come for a visit because there is no end in sight for treats! Who wouldn't want a treat? McFlurry anyone? Life is good!!

Who wouldn't want to go to Disney World with these two cherubs? Their horns are hiding under their sparkling Mickey ears. Mine, too!!!

Must be time for bed...I can't rotate that picture. Uncle! Sweet dreams!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poor Neglected Kelly

Just for the record, I have two incredible daughter-in-laws. Back in February, I wrote an ode to Bek for her birthday. The extent of my poetic assets is slim, so I beg your forgiveness if you actually took the time to read it. Kinda like watching home movies with someone else. Rebekah and I have seen all sides of each other, well...sort of...and there's nothing I wouldn't do for her. I hope she knows that.

But enough about her! There is another that deserves acknowledgement. I missed posting this for her birthday, which was March 31st, but hope that Kelly will accept my meager belated offering.

First of all, Kelly is my maiden name, so that is the first connection we have. ("Oh, please...we need more than this...")

Secondly, she was brave enough to marry my son, Jeff. Anyone that knows Jeff knows this life-changing decision for Kelly has been truly that. The fun-loving-SVU-soccer-playing-tough-guy has turned into a hair twirling with eyes gazed over staring at his iPhone kinda guy. It happens when you grow up, I guess. But Kelly is truly the better half of Jeff. She has produced two, almost three, of the most amazing grandchildren ever born. (In a few weeks, there will be seven amazing grandchildren on this planet...yes, I have the market cornered.)

Kelly is a great mother and a loyal wife. She is honest in her dealings with her mother-in-law and I appreciate knowing where she is coming from most of the time. She is a very creative homemaker (yes, laundry has been known to get her down, but who doesn't have that problem?), has an amazing eye for style and always picks up after herself. I really appreciate it when their little family has been over for a visit, she doesn't leave without making sure this joint looks better than it did when she arrived. That means a lot to me.

Kelly is so creative. Every inch of their home has the Kelly-flair shining through and through. From the pee-yella entertainment center to the funky turquoise lamp in the living room, to the mini beds in Simon and Lena's room, the red picnic table (I mean REALLY red), the square foot garden, the extra special birthday parties, homemade bread, the craziest kid's clothes she finds on the web (where does one look for these things??), along with her ability to put on a burlap bag and look like a million bucks (even at 8 3/4 months pregnant) and I haven't even mentioned her blog writing capabilities yet.


I am so glad that she said yes. I am so glad that she is part of our eternal family. I am so glad that she loves being a mother. I am so glad that she loves being a mother at home with my grandchildren. I am so glad that she hasn't killed Jeff yet. I love you, Kelly. Have I said that lately? If not, I do!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Meridian Magazine : : Church Update: In Chile: The Lord̢۪s Earthquake Warning

Meridian Magazine : : Church Update: In Chile: The Lord̢۪s Earthquake Warning

This is an amazing story. "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." Loved it, which means I need to get my butt in gear. New goal:  create quiet time every day to listen and not dictate what I think should be.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Here's to my #1 Daughter-in-Law, Rebekah!!!
Happy Birthday, dear Bek!

(Disclaimer:  I am not a poet. I don't have a creative bone in my body. I know the following is cheesey, so I am apologizing in advance. Love ya, Bek!!!)

Ode to Coach Bekie on her 34th Birthday

You are my sunshine, one of my Sunshines,
You make me happy when hope is lost
You have perspective, you have persistence
Please don’t let that laundry get you down.

Thank you, Coach Bekie, Thank you for Jesse,
Because of you, dear, my hair’s sassy.
I love the freedom, I love the feeling,
(My hair says...) "Please don’t ere flatten me again."

You are amazing, you are inspiring,
You sort through this life like no one else,
I need your wisdom, respect your courage,
Please don’t take that ensign away.

You are my idol, you are my hero,
You’ve helped me expand (literally!) when all was lost
You understand me, I understand you,
Please know you’ve taught me charity.

Bek, I hope you have an absolutely wonderful day complete with
Ice Chamber icing!
 Love that girl!!!
p.s. Good luck with that Stake Conference assignment. Can't wait to hear the scoop!!! xoxoxoxox

Friday, February 19, 2010

How I Spent My February Break

Usually we do something really exotic for these winter break weeks (I wish!). We have gone on a few cruises - that's fairly exotic - and had a lot of fun. It seems like every time there is a break in the employment action, we go somewhere and do something. Take Christmas break for example, Mickey invited us down to Florida. In our pure unadulterated insanity, we thought that would be a great idea. Which it was - sort of. Seeing all my family together was worth every second and penny spent, but when someone tells you that the week between Christmas and New Year's is the busiest week at Mickey's place, please listen to them. They are right. Let's just say the holidays 2009 were a wee bit nuts.

So here I sit with a week off and the weather is less than desirable because I don't ski or engage in any winter activities other than the occasional show shoveling. You know the drill. Anyway, this week I set out with a rather large agenda and that usually means I sleep until noon every day and get nothing done. Exotic, yes - productive, no.

That story is all in the past. Sit back, relax and enjoy the blow-by-blow of my February Break 2010. Talk about Girl Gone Wild!!!!

All the pictures rehung in the family room as the room was painted the exotic color of "Warm Cocoon" several weeks ago - CHECK.

New curtains in the family room that actually open and close and block out that occasional glare on the TV screen when I am fighting with the Wii Fit - CHECK.

New pictures of the grandchildren printed and put in frames and hung in "kitchen collage" - CHECK.

Dresser purchased from cheap furniture store for Dylan's room to put the overflow of clothing in - haven't seen the floor in months - CHECK.

(With regard to the cheap really turned out nice, but who sits in a small room thinking these things up? Who would ever believe that 300 tiny pieces of plastic, cardboard wood (?), screws, nails, weird looking pieces of metal and plastic, and drawer slides would ever come together to make a dresser that actually works and looks good? And I put it together ALL BY MYSELF!!!)

Family bathroom needed a serious makeover which included searching the internet for just the right shower curtain and towels. Once THE curtain was ordered and delivered, paint was purchased and the fun began. I still need floor mats, which the husband chirped in and gave his two cents about what color they should be. I actually agree with him. Go figure! I paid a million dollars for one gallon of this new environmentally friendly paint with no odor, primer included in the paint, one coat, etc...bla bla bla. I didn't believe it while I was buying it, but the color was perfect and besides, I am worth it. Just to let you know, the paint is unbelievable. I will never use another brand as long as I live. Trust me on this one. Benjamin Moore AURA brand. Un-stinking-believable. I am not messing with you. Several trips to Bed Bath & Beyond and voila! Bathroom updated - CHECK.

Dentist and assorted doctor appointments for Dylan and me - CHECK.

Piano tuned - CHECK.

Filters and salt changed on water softener - CHECK.

Don't be fooled. You might not be taking me on a cruise, but I can still spend money. But look at all the things I accomplished???!!! It's Friday night and I am feeling like Imelda Marcos in a new pair of shoes!

Check out the picties I am putting up for your viewing pleasure. You will probably be completely bored, so thanks for humoring me.

Till next time...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Awe Inspiring

I remember the old days when little things brought great excitement to my a pizza from TK's on Friday or a new water bed. Who would have ever dreamed that one could actually come face to face with their big red idol? I am recalling how to feel the love through the eyes of my sweet grandchildren. Check out this beauty!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jesus loves me this I know...

Talk about a gift from above. I love going to church to recharge my battery every week, but this one was going to be tough. We just returned from spending a glorious week in Florida with "Icky Mouse" and all of my family - kids and grandkids - but I tell you...that was no vacation! Next time it's the beach with a book and Mancala, and the kids, of course. Quiet bonding time with each of my sweet offspring is what I am talking about. Not fer nuthin'!!!

But, as usual, I am off topic. I know Jesus loves me because He cancelled church today and I am going back to bed! Having stayed up all night getting ready for our first big week of the year in Primary, this is truly a gift. Now I can truly recharge my battery!

Now maybe if I wear my pajamas inside out there won't be any school tomorrow!!! Here's to the New Year!