Monday, December 31, 2012

December 30th - Last Sunday of 2012!

This is the last Sunday of the year, and the last Sunday that we will be having afternoon church meetings.  I am so happy that next week we go back to the 9:00 schedule.  Of course, that means I can't wait until Sunday morning to make my last minute RS preparations!

I taught the RS lesson today.  It was a fifth Sunday, but our bishopric chose to have the combined meeting on the first Sunday this month, so that meant the presidency lesson was today.  Since we will start a new course of study next year - Lorenzo Snow - I taught a biography about his life.  We hope to get the sisters excited about knowing the prophet in a more personal way.  The lessons are all doctrines, but knowing the prophet whose teachings are being studied makes a difference in what we can learn.  Besides, we all need a personal testimony of each prophet.  The lesson went well, I think, and I hope at least some of the sisters went away excited.

We also had tithing settlement at 5:00, so I had to stay late.  Lisa and family did not come over since we were going to be so late anyway.  So, when I walked in my empty house, I really missed them!  Lisa said Ashby was NOT happy when they didn't come over.  Sure glad she likes to come to Grandma's!!!

Bill stayed at the church after I left, as he has to stay until all the money is counted and a bank deposit made.  With the last of the tithing settlements, that went later than usual.  Then there was an Eagle Scout Court of Honor, which he stayed for.  I was already in bed when he finally got home!

It wasn't quite a normal Sunday, but it was a good one nonetheless.  I always like the Sabbath Day.  It is what fuels me for the week ahead!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 29th - Sealing at the Temple

We started the day by going to the temple for the sealing of some friends.  We have kind of been along for the big days in their relationship and this was the culmination.  I spoke at her baptism - we attended their wedding - we went to the temple with them when she received her endowments.  Today we were able to be there when they were sealed.  It was very nice and we were so glad to have been invited.  Bill was even asked to be one of the witnesses.  It feels so good to see such happiness.

Back home, we both did a few chores around the house.  I managed to get three loads of laundry done, a few more decorations taken down and packed, as well as some other stuff. 

Lisa called and said she could get away later in the afternoon to do some shopping.  I had already told her we were going on a shopping trip for her as part of her Christmas present.  So, we met up at Sugarloaf Mills Mall around 3:30 or so.  I expected busy - I didn't expect mobbed!  There were lines of cars trying to get into the mall, lines trying to get out, almost no empty parking spaces, people-to-people inside.  Fortunately, we were going to just one store and that was where we went and stayed!  She managed to find several things that she liked and I bought a couple of tops, too.  In spite of the mobs, we had a good time.

Bill had mentioned going out to eat or to a movie, but by evening, we both were happy to just stay in!  I worked on family history while he watched movies.  Since it had gotten so cold, and even had a few snowflakes that fluttered down (not enough to stay anywhere - not really enough to even see, if I hadn't had on a red coat that made them visible!), it was nice to stay in warm and cozy.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

December 28th - End of the last week of the Year!

Today has been pretty much like the last couple of days.  I still have the throat thing, but I don't really feel that bad.  I took down a few of the Christmas decorations - not many.  I couldn't stand to create a mess, so it was one box at a time.  I have 3 or 4 boxes now ready to go back to the attic.  I haven't touched the tree - I wonder if I can convince Bill that he has to do that one?????

I got some RS things done - reviewed my lesson a little, posted the rest of the Saturday afternoon conference talks on the RS blog.  (Sunday morning talks will be posted in January.)  I worked on family history a little, rested and finished my book. 

All in all, I kept pretty busy, actually.  I should have done more with the decorations, but I just couldn't get myself to do anymore.  Oh, well.  There is always tomorrow!

We were supposed to go to a wedding reception this evening, and had every intention of doing so, until Bill came home from work not feeling so well.  We wanted to share their joy, but didn't feel it appropriate to share anything else, so Bill just went to bed.  Hopefully, we will be better in the morning.

Friday, December 28, 2012

December 27th - A Little Better Day

Today went a little better than yesterday.  At least I accomplished a few things - like finally getting the house straightened up again.  I worked a long time on my lesson for RS on Sunday.  It is a biography of Lorenzo Snow and I am having trouble trying to get 87 years compressed down into about 20 minutes!

The rest of the day was pretty quiet.  I did rest a little in the afternoon again.  The sore throat is still there, but I don't feel as sick as yesterday, so hopefully it will be gone soon.

I am looking at all the Christmas decorations and wishing they would just disappear.  I guess I have more grinch in me than I care to admit!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 26th - Day After Christmas!

I had big plans to get the house back in order today, but that didn't happen.  I had a bit of a sore throat yesterday, coughed a lot during the night, and felt less than great today.  I did change the sheets and washed a couple of loads of laundry, but that was about all I did.

Oh, yeah, I spent most of the afternoon lying in bed, reading or sleeping.  I hope that knocks this cold, or whatever it is, out before it actually gets me.  It was a rainy, nasty kind of day outside, too, so bed seemed a rather cozy and comforting place to be.

I am not really sick, and I don't want to be!  I have too many things to get done.  Tomorrow will be a better day!  I am just glad that I have the luxury of having a lazy day now and then.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 25th - Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas Day.  With no children waking us up anymore, we got to sleep in and relax - at least until Lisa's crew arrived and all quietness totally disappeared!  I got dinner on first thing - had to get the green beans cooking and the ham ready to stick in the oven.  I had already fixed potato salad and I bought bread that just needed to be baked for 10 minutes.  I like to keep it easy on Christmas day.

We also had to put together the kids presents.  We got Brooks another Thomas the train set to keep at our house.  Getting the track together was a little more complicated that we had anticipated!  Ashby's gift was a doll with a cradle and high chair and the furniture pieces needed to be put together.  They were pretty easy to do and we were able to get everything ready before they got here.

Around 11:00, the wild ride began!  Their two big gifts were just sitting out, so they both were really excited as soon as they came in the door and saw what was set up for them.  You would think that Brooks had never had a Thomas set, because his mouth dropped wide open and he just grinned.  Ashby gasped and covered her mouth with her hands, she was so happy.  They started playing right away while Lisa and David brought in everything from the car. 

First thing we had to do was open the gifts.  Lisa also got a Rapunzel doll - the Barbie size version - along with Flynn and a couple of extra dresses.  Brooks got a bowling game, which he loved since he likes throwing balls so much.  We had gotten Lisa and David a very nice camera since their old one has seen better days.

Among other things, Bill got me a new bread maker.  My old one, which has been used a lot, died a few weeks ago.  Ashby picked out a diffuser (air freshener) for me from the dollar store.  They also gave us another stepping stone cement imprint with the kids feet and hand prints.  And, of course, the regular annual gift of a picture calendar for next year.

There were plenty of other things.  The kids had so much fun playing.  It is interesting, though, that it didn't take long for Brooks to have out his favorite old toys from the toy closet.  He kept going back and forth between the old and the new.

After dinner, we were just lazy and totally enjoyed a quiet afternoon.  I think almost everyone took a snooze while Brooks was napping.  TV was on and I have no clue what they were watching! 

Later, since no one was hungry after our big dinner and all the snacks that had been consumed all afternoon, we ended the evening with some chocolate fondue.  That has always been our traditional treat on the night we decorate the tree, but we didn't have it this year.  Lisa felt like Christmas was complete since we finally had the fondue!

We talked to Billy, who did not do anything, but loved his quiet day all alone.  He could have gone over to my dad's, but he liked the idea of just sleeping in and doing nothing.  He sounded fine when we talked, so we aren't worried about it.  It is just his attitude about the commercialism of Christmas.

It has been a great day with family.  We have a strong testimony that the Jesus was born and that he lived and died for us.  The Atonement is and was the greatest gift ever given to man, and we are grateful for its power every day of our lives.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December 24th - Christmas Eve!

Being the last day to get everything ready for Christmas, this house was a buzz all day.  Bill got up early and after coasting into the gas station on fumes, he headed to the mall to get the last of the gift shopping done.  He had a great time.  I hate the mall, so I have trouble identifying, but I am glad he enjoys it so I didn't have to do!

Meanwhile, I left early, too, to make the final grocery store trip.  I got home, put some of it away, and then started in on food preparations.  First of all, I got the Tex-Mex dip made since that has to go to the family party this evening.  Then I had to peel and cook potatoes, boil eggs, and snap the beans.  We will be having ham, potato salad, and beans tomorrow.  I got the potato salad all made and the beans are all ready to turn on in the morning.

I also finished wrapping the last two gifts that I still had here.  Bill wrapped the things he bought when he got home.  I think that means things are pretty much ready.

We joined with the rest of the extended family at Julie's house at 5:00.  We had the traditional Christmas Eve dinner of tacos and trimmings.  It was all good.  Later we opened the gifts and had a lot of laughs together.  We finished off with some fabulous desserts.  The kids all decorated gingerbread houses and had a ball with that.

It was a very nice family Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 24, 2012

December 23rd - Christmas Sunday

Sundays are always my favorite day anyway - but today was the Sunday before Christmas and that is always even better!  Several of the college kids are home for the break and it was fun to see them.  There were lots of visitors too, as many members have family in town for Christmas. 

There was extra music as part of sacrament meeting - an organ solo, a string trio, and the choir doing two numbers.  The bishop was the closing speaker and, as always, he is emotional when he talks of love and the Savior.  It was a very nice meeting.

Sunday School class was on Exaltation - always a great subject and very appropriate as we think about the purpose of the Savior's birth!  The RS lesson was based on Elder Eyring's talk "Where Is the Paviolion?" from October conference.  We had a very nice spirit there as the sisters shared their experiences with prayer.

When I got home, the kids were all here.  Lisa had gone ahead and put the rolls in the oven and the rice in the cooker.  I had fixed a taco soup and she had even gotten the chicken breasts all shredded.  So it only took a few minutes to get the table all set so we could eat.  We had a really nice late afternoon and evening with them.  Bill got home late - we will sure be glad when tithing settlement has finished! - and played with the kids instead of eating.  (He just had a late dinner.)  Ashby and Brooks get so excited when he comes home!

When they left, Bill had to put together his Santa costume.  He has been asked to be Santa for a family in the ward again.  He will go early on Christmas morning and put out the gifts.  The children will all be hiding and will get to watch Santa come.  He has done this for several families over the years.  He enjoys it, but it does mean that he still doesn't get to sleep in on Christmas morning! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 22nd - Fun with Ashby!

Ashby spent the night and went to sleep so easily the night before - it was almost 11 when we got home from the ward party.  She wanted Grandpa to lie down with her for a minute and in less time than that they were both asleep!  She came into our room about 4:00 and did the little pat on the arm until I woke up.  I just pulled her into bed between us and she went right back to sleep.  It is fun having a little one cuddling between us!

By the time she got up about 8:15, Bill had already left for a job and I was doing some computer things.  She wanted French toast for breakfast, so guess what we had!  After breakfast, we got cleaned up and dressed and then our chores - making the beds, cleaning the kitchen, etc.  She wants to be right there helping, so that was fun.

Then we got to play.  She played with the cars and the mat a lot, although a few other things made it out of the toy closet, too.  Mid-morning, she wanted to go outside.  It was a bright, sunny day, but cold and windy.  She wanted to hide the puppets and then find them like in the video, so we went out for a little while.  I opened the garage door and she was mostly in there, hiding the puppets over and over again.  When our cheeks started getting cold, we went back in.

She was hungry again, and for her treat she only wanted ice cream.  Figure that, after being out in the cold!  But she ate it all gone.  Then it was back to playing some more.

About noon, Lisa and Brooks came over.  They had already had lunch, but Ashby and I still needed to eat.  Then Brooks went down for his nap and Lisa curled up in the big chair and fell asleep, too.  Ashby just kept playing!  Her mom had turned on NickJr, so in between playing, she watched a little.

When everyone was awake again, Lisa ran off to do a couple of errands and then they all went home.  We had such a good time and Ashby was sweet and easy to have around.  Other than wanting someone to play with her a lot, that is.  Then again, she is staying over to spend special time with Grandma and Grandpa, so of course, we are going to play!

Bill got home from his job a little late and was exhausted.  I understood that feeling, so we had a quiet evening.  I think we are getting old - or something!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

December 21st - Ward Christmas Celebration

I have been on the move all day and it has been a long one! 

I started with the usual household chores, etc., then had to take off to meet up with the other RS counselor at Costco to buy paper products for next years' RS meetings.

From there, I went over to Lisa's to get Ashby.  She will be spending the night and going to the ward party with us.  She was so excited!  She even had to pack her back pack with a couple of things, since she always takes that when they travel.  When we got to the house, she was like a little top - spinning all over the place.  I had a couple of chores that hadn't gotten done before I left, so we finished those up.  Then we fixed mac & cheese for lunch.

Following lunch, we just played - with the cars on the mat, with the play ice cream food, dancing ballet, and a few other things.  We even sat at the computer and played a game for a while.  She finally wanted to put on a video.  It is from a set of books we have that has a hand puppet that is used with each book.  She had the puppets and books out, and had more fun playing and reading along with the video.

Bill got home just in time for us to all get ready to go to the church for the Christmas activity.  It was a Night in Bethlehem evening and was very well done.  The conclusion was a play about the birth of the Savior.  Bill was one of the wise men and Ashby was so excited to see him every time he appeared.

We got home after 10:30 and got Ashby off to bed as quickly as we could.  She was so tired, she wanted to take a little rest before we got ready for bed.  Fortunately, Grandma is smarter than to fall for that one!

We had such a wonderful day - it is always special when Ashby is with us.  And she nearly stole the show at the party - with her ballet moves in the aisle and her conducting the singing!

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 20th - Rainy Day in GA - and Windy!

If all this rain we got today had been snow, we would have had a major blizzard.  The wind was wild, especially in the late afternoon and evening and was still going strong when I went to bed.  Billy texted that they had 12 inches of snow in Des Moines.  So glad we just got the rain!

We need the rain, though, so I didn't complain much.  It did make me just want to laze around in the house.  I had had plans to do some errands, but I didn't feel like going out.  I ended up spending most of the day just doing little things to relax.  I even made some cookies.

I did post a review of a book that the author had sent to me.  A while back, he had sent his first book based on one of my reviews of another book on Amazon.  He thought my review was right on and he wanted me to read and post a review of his book, which I did.  A few days ago, I got a copy of his second book - again, very much unexpected.  I have liked both books - they are mysteries with lots of government agencies involved, etc.  The author is Whit Gentry.  This book was Not Authorized.  In the final print of his first book, he added an epilogue and included, by name, the people he had chosen to receive the books for free.  And he repeated those characters in this book, again in the epilogue.  Rosemary Cantrell is a divorce attorney for a highly successful law practice in Chicago.  (Wish I had all the money she earns! But I would never make it as an attorney.)

By mid-afternoon, I finally had to go out and pick up the RS group order from Snellville.  It was still early enough not to be rush hour, but traffic was awful!  I am sure glad I wasn't in a big hurry.  Anyway, I got the order picked up and stopped at the grocery store on my way home to get stuff I need to fix my assignment for the ward Christmas party tomorrow.

I spent the rest of the day working on family history.  What a good rainy - and windy! - day in Georgia.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 19th - Living Nativity

This has been a busy day.  Started the day getting three loads of laundry done and other things around the house.  Then at 11:00, I went to our RS presidency meeting which lasted a couple of hours.

When I got home, Lisa and the kids were here, which I had hoped would be the case since she had called earlier about maybe coming over.  She went out to do some errands, while the kids stayed with me.  Brooks was sleeping and Ashby and I played.  A package delivery came and it was some play food that I had ordered for her to play with in her playhouse.  She had a ball with that.  She played inside for a long time and then took it outside and made her playhouse an ice cream stand. 

Brooks woke up, so we were all in the house playing when Lisa got back.  She had noticed that Prospect Methodist Church was doing a live nativity tonight and she wanted to take the children.  David was working late and she didn't want to take them alone, so we had quick grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner and then drove over to watch it.  It was very nice - more like a pageant than just a still nativity.  I have seen live nativities done both ways and I like the music and re-enactment of the story better.  Brooks liked the real animals - sheep, donkey, and camel - most of all.  Ashby liked the "real" Baby Jesus - even though they just used a doll, I guess it was real to her since all the rest of the people were real.  It didn't last long, and the night was beautiful, and we all enjoyed it a lot.

They then headed home and I had a chance to finish up some things that didn't get done while they were here this afternoon.  It has been a very busy day, but a really good one!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 18th - Productive Day

I got a lot done today - that always feels good!  Let's see:  straightened the house like every other day, put out some more Christmas decorations that I had forgotten (particularly some individual candles), wrapped a couple more gifts, visited one of my VT sisters and had a great chat, eliminated several things from the to-do list (many of them involving phone calls, which I hate!), posted more conference talks on my RS blog, worked on my Friday RS email, prepared for tomorrow's presidency meeting, worked on family history.........  There was more, but that's enough.

It sure doesn't sound like much now, but I am tired!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 17th - Lunch with the Kiddies!

My Monday started off as usual - mostly getting the house back in order after our fun Sunday with the family.  It wasn't really bad, so it didn't take long.  Then I worked on putting together the RS lesson schedule for next year.  I had a few other computer things that I worked on, too.

Lisa had sent a message first thing in the morning that she had coupons for free lunch for the kids at Chili's, so we met up around noon to have lunch.  That was fun.  The last couple of weeks have been so busy that we haven't gotten out much during the week and we enjoyed the time.  Ashby is still talking about the Nutcracker and trying to dance in the aisles!

When I got home, I worked on a couple of things and then decided I was too tired to keep going.  I have been so much more tired than usual lately, so wondering whether the thyroid is out of balance again or if it is trace remnants of my cold.  Either way, I took a nap for a little while.

When Bill got home, we went out to get a Christmas present for Lisa and David.  We got that all done and then stopped at Del Rio for dinner.  That means I ate out twice today! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 16th - Sweet Sabbath Day!

This has been another great Sabbath.  I spent the morning reviewing the RS lesson that I had to teach and getting things ready for dinner.  We had a crockpot chicken with potatoes, onions, and carrots.

Services were all good today - good talks in Sacrament meeting, lesson about the final judgment in Gospel Principles.  Of course, I had to teach to RS, so I am not sure I can safely say it was a "great lesson," but I felt good about it.  It was about finding peace and happiness in a world where so many terrible things are happening. 

When I got home, the kids were all here and we pulled dinner together and then had a great late afternoon and evening.  Lisa and Ashby had gone to see the Nutcracker last night, so Ashby was still totally absorbed by that and spent most of her time dancing.  She has also been watching it on UTube, so has become quite knowledgeable about how to do a lot of the leaps, spins, and toe moves.  Very cute!

Brooks was climbing on the couch cushions and took a fall and gave himself a huge goose egg on his forehead.  He cried for a bit - which means it really did hurt, since he doesn't cry much when he takes falls.  He will have a magnificent bruise on his forehead, but he seems to have recovered.

Bill didn't get home until really late - tithing settlement is making it late to complete the bank deposit.  But he still had enough time to play with the children for a while.  They love it when Grandpa comes home! 

So, it was a wonderful Sunday.  I am very much looking forward to our moving to the 9:00 schedule in January.  It will make it so much nicer to have the afternoon with the kids.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 15th - Saturday Stuff

Just another Saturday!  Four loads of laundry - change sheets - clean house (a little, at least) - etc. 

I spent a good part of my day preparing the RS lesson for tomorrow.  The regular teacher had one of her children get really sick and he has been in the hospital all week.  He had the flu and when they thought he was about over it, he started saying his brain felt funny and then he became unresponsive and wouldn't answer questions, etc.  A trip to the hospital and a couple of days of testing showed the virus was in his brain.  He didn't know people, couldn't talk - very scary.  He was put on steroids for symptoms and started speech therapy, thinking it could be an extended recovery.  Fortunately, at the end of the week, he suddenly started talking again and knew his family.  He couldn't remember the previous four days, but at least he was better and got to come home yesterday.  We are all very grateful for that.  At any rate, she didn't need to worry about teaching this week on top of everything else, so I will be doing it since I couldn't get a sub.

We were invited over to some friends' house for dinner, along with another couple.  So, we picked them up and spent a great evening with great friends.  We had a lot of fun, laughing and telling stories!  Thanks for a great evening.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 14th - A Busy, Fun, and Sad Day!

The sad part of today was the school shooting in Connecticut.  I saw a headline on the internet before going out and then came home to find that the number killed was at 27.  Unbelievable!  My heart is just sick for all those families.

In all other ways, I had a very good and fun day.  First thing this morning, I had to go out and do some of the errands that I never got around to yesterday.  I got gas, got a haircut, picked up a prescription, and bought a few groceries. 

Then I went home to make my dish for a potluck luncheon today.  I made a new recipe - Taco Pasta Bake.  I warned everyone they were an experiment and, fortunately, the response was positive.  The luncheon was my water aerobics class and it was held at the home of one of the instructors.  There was a nice turn out and we had a lot of fun, getting better acquainted and eating a great lunch.

I got home around 3:00 and did a few things at home, before deciding that I needed a short nap.  After all, I needed energy to complete my day!

At 7:30, I met up with 7 other women from church for a Girls Night Out at O'Charley's.  It was a lot of fun and we laughed a lot!  We also did a white elephant gift exchange which was a lot of fun, too.

By the time I got home, I was tired.  It didn't take me long to get into bed to do all my reading.

What a great day for me!  What a sad day for so many other families - my prayers go out to their whole community.

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 13th - Babysitting Again!!

This was a typical Thursday - I started with water aerobics, then came home to complete four loads of laundry.  I had every intention of going out to run a long list of errands, but I got myself buried in family history and never made it!  Oh, well, there is always tomorrow.

Bill got home in time to go with me to babysit with the kids.  David and Lisa had their last class this evening.  She had made homemade pizzas, so we ate with Ashby and Brooks and then just played.  They are so cute!  Have I said that before?  Of course, they played "chase" for a while (running circles around the house) and then mostly played with the matchbox cars on the bench.  Bill got to do that this time.  About 8:00, I took Brooks up to get ready for bed.  I am still amazed at how easy it is to put him down.  Ashby had her snack and watched a video while I was doing that and then we got her ready for bed about 9:00.  She went downstairs to say good-night to Grandpa and ended up playing with the trains with him.  Lisa and David got back about then, so they got to try to get her to bed themselves.

A fun evening.  And a good day - even if I didn't get my list of errands done.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 12th - A Little Visiting Teaching

I went out to visit one of my sisters today.  We had a great visit.  She is one who was not active for many years and about a year ago, she and her husband have started coming back.  They have reached a point where they are really excited to learn everything.  It is so fun to see her enthusiasm. 

I ran a couple of errands while I was out - including a stop at CVS to pick up specials and use coupons ($26 worth!)  Plus I walked away with another $11 in Savings Bucks to use next time and $10 off a purchase of $50+.  I will have to plan to shop again next week!

The rest of the day, I was at home.  Among other things, I got the Bathcrest books finished and now everything balances to the penny - the bank book, Quick Books, and online banking.  Hurrah!

I was also able to spend some time on family history.  I had brought back an envelope of things from my cousin that were from her dad and I hadn't taken the time to go through it yet, so I did that today.  Her dad had written a story of his earliest memories up until he turned 5 and the family moved from Minnesota to Iowa.  I picked up all sorts of interesting tidbits.  He was 2 1/2 years older than my father, so remembers when he was born.

Another busy and productive day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 11th - Happy 85th Birthday, Dad!

It was my dad's birthday today and somehow I forgot to call!  I had been planning for days to make the call and then it slipped by - what a dunce!  I will have to make up for it tomorrow.

I started the day with water aerobics.  I had an appointment to visit teach one of my sisters afterwards, but that fell through.  So, instead, I spent the day at home.  I can't really say that I did much - other than the usual things that keep me busy.  I did get another two months of the Bathcrest books done - just one month to go. 

I did lay down for a short nap, but ended up reading a little and deciding that I didn't really want to sleep.  I guess it was one of those kinds of days.  I kept doing something all day, but accomplished nothing of great interest.  Actually, that is kind of the story of my life - rather dull.  But, I really wouldn't change it a bit!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 10th - Rainy Day in Georgia!

Today was a stay-at-home day.  It probably would have been anyway, but with the rain and wind, there wasn't even a question about going out!

I did the usual Monday morning straightening of the house, but the truth is that there wasn't all that much to do since the kids weren't here yesterday.  I like it more when they leave their messes for me to clean up on Monday!

With the rain and gloom, it was hard to really get into working very hard, but I did spend a lot of time at the computer.  I managed to cross some more things off the to-do list.  I finished the Christmas letter - I don't send many, but I do like to keep in touch with those people that I only communicate with at Christmas.  I worked on the Bathcrest books - I had four months of bank statements to balance - now I only have three.  I finished the Christmas gift for the people I visit teach.  I looked for some mountain pictures to use as a guide for a picture I need to paint for Billy.  I am still in shock that he actually asked for one of my paintings!  I worked on family history a long time.  And a bunch of other stuff, too. 

About the only rainy day thing I didn't do was to make cookies! 

So, a new week has started and it was a pretty good first day.  I just won't look at all the other things I ought to do - especially anything related to shopping!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 9th - Stake Conference & A Christmas Party

We had stake conference this morning, so we were up and off this morning.  I am so looking forward to our regular meetings moving to morning with the new year.  It is nice to get up, get dressed, and go to church.  It is also nice to then have an afternoon - to maybe even take a nap! 

Conference was good.  Elder Posey and his wife spoke.  He is the new temple president, but had served previously as an area seventy and has been to our conference before.  He is a very entertaining speaker and we enjoyed it.  We also enjoyed his wife.  Among other things, the stake presidency spoke about some of the stake goals for this year.  One of them relates to preparedness and I feel good that we have started focusing on that more this year.  I will use that when I do the weekly email.

We had a nice afternoon.  I just fixed us some soup and grilled cheese for lunch and then actually got in a short nap.  In between, I did some family history, read a little, and enjoyed the afternoon.

At 6:00, we went to the bishop's house for a small social.  They had invited the bishopric, execute secretary, and clerk, and families, as they do each year.  It was really nice to eat a good dinner and then sit around and chat.  And, I might add, laugh a lot!

So, this has been a very nice and productive Sabbath Day. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 8th - Saturday! Need I Say More?

I haven't figured out why Saturdays always seem so --  well, I don't even know what!  Just, not normal??!!!

Well, I guess it was a normal Saturday - straightening the house, etc - even cleaned a little extra in a few spots.  I spent a lot of time on family history.  I managed to complete a couple of things on the to-do list.  Too bad the list keeps getting longer! 

I had such a headache all day that I finally laid down and tried to nap.  I didn't really sleep, though.  Bill went to his leadership meeting for stake conference in the late afternoon while I was still resting.  By the time I was supposed to go, I just didn't feel up to it.  So, I stayed home!  A bit rebellious, I guess - or whatever.

So, I had a quiet evening doing a few things, like more family history.  Then it was off to bed rather early, so I could read.

I am not sure if this was a successful day or not - but I made it through!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

December 7th - Pearl Harbor Day

This was another of those days when I am not sure what I actually did all day, but I was busy, busy, busy!  Among the things I accomplished was getting the rest of the Christmas decorations done, doing 5 loads of laundry, getting out my RS email, straightening the house, and working on family history.

Bill was home today, but had to run some errands and then took the back off the dryer to clean it.  The dryer usually dries the clothes faster than the washer can wash them, but it had gotten slow, so needed to be cleaned out again.  In other words, my laundry chore would have been quicker if he had gotten it done before I started the laundry!  Glad it is done now.

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 6th - Temple

I started my day with the water aerobics class and then hurried home to get cleaned up.  Some friends, Jan and Hutch, picked me up so we could go to the temple to do some of my initiatories.  It is ward temple day, but it is hard to make it in the evening, so we did it this morning.  It was really nice and we all enjoyed being at the temple for a couple of hours. 

We stopped at Mo's for lunch - they had never even heard of it!  They did enjoy the terrific burritos.  Then it was home to do some things.  By later in the afternoon, I was starting to drag, so I actually got in a short nap again.  I spent most of the evening doing some family history stuff. 

It is always a great day when the temple is part of it.  I enjoyed the day, and enjoyed the time with my friends.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 5th - RS Day

I started the day doing my usual chores, etc.  Then it was off to a RS presidency meeting at 11:30.  We had not met in a month, so there was a lot to do.  Among other things, we needed to reassign several visiting teachers.  That always takes a while - trying to make everything match up just right.  Whew!  We didn't finish the meeting until about 2:45.

I had time to run home, get a quick lunch, and then I picked up the RS president so we could visit one of the young women who has decided to move on to RS.  We had a great visit with her and took a little bag of goodies for her. 

When I got home, I finished up some things that had been neglected earlier.  I finally had some popcorn and relaxed a little before heading to bed early.

We got a lot done today, but I have a lot I still need to do.  I don't think I will ever feel "caught up."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 4th - Another Busy Day - but a Nap, too!

Bill was not working again today.  It is nice having him home, but it totally messes up my schedules.  I started with my water aerobics class - had a really good workout.  Then I came home to get cleaned up for the day.  I was working on a few computer things when Bill decided we need to go buy a new showerhead - and he needed me along.  The truth is that I would probably complain about the one he chose, so he was just covering himself.  (While I was in Iowa in October, he replaced the shower caddy and I totally hate the new one.  At least he hates it, too!)

We made our purchase and then went to Steak and Shake for some lunch.  We hadn't eaten there is ages and it was really good.  They do the best fries and milkshakes!  By the time we got home, it was about 2:00.  I was so exhausted that I decided that I had to have a nap today.  I ended up sleeping for about two hours, so I guess I was right.

When I got up, I did a few things that needed done, but I never did do the house straightening that is usually a part of every daily routine.  We still have Christmas decorations to finish and the place looks a mess.  I really hate that feeling, so maybe tomorrow I can get things back on track.  I think Bill has a job scheduled, so I will have a chance to do my usual routine!

Around 6, I headed over to Lisa's to babysit with the kids while she and David went out to a class.  We had a great time.  We spent most of the time playing with match box cars on the bench.  Finally, Brooks wanted to go downstairs, so we moved down there.  They still played with the cars for a while and then started running around and jumping on the couch - one of their favorite games.  It was good for them to get some final energy expended, so they would be ready for bed.  Brooks went down about 8:45 and Ashby was just starting to get ready when her mom got home to take over.  It was a lot of fun.

So, it was a busy day.  Some good things were accomplished, some good things not done, and it ended with a ton of fun!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 3rd - Whew! What a Wild Day!

Bill didn't have a job scheduled today, so we decided it was time to get the Christmas stuff done.  First stop was to get a tree.  We were the only tree shoppers at Home Depot when we arrived.  They had just put out the trees that had just come in, so we got our choice of the lot.  The first tree we looked at was fine with me, but Bill thought we needed something taller - we don't agree on that, but I'm not about to make it an issue.  So, the next tree he picks is huge.  It is a good looking tree, but huge!  I suggested that it was way too tall, but I was overruled.  Therefore, we now have a tree that is way too large for our small house!  Oh, well.

We got the tree home, in the house, set up in the tree stand - none of which was a snap, because the thing is so huge!  Once the tree was standing, we brought all the Christmas boxes down from the attic.  There are so many!  Fortunately, I marked them really well last year when we put things away, so it was easy to find the lights.  Bill's job is putting on the lights, so we got to work doing that.  I checked the lights and untangled them, etc.  We went through the box with the lights from last years' tree and then started in on the box with the lights we used outside last year.  I said it is a huge tree!  We finally had enough lights on the tree.

Next we moved outside to put lights on the bushes.  We were down to only about 10 boxes of lights left, so we figured that we would not be able to put out as many as before.  We couldn't seem to find cords, etc., so Bill took a break to run to the store.  He needed to do a bank deposit and pick up a couple things at the grocery store anyway, so we did it all in one trip.  About the time he got back, I found a third box of lights that had all the cords, timers, etc, along with some more lights.  He was so happy to get to decorate the bush on the other side of the driveway, too! 

He was close to finishing when Lisa and kids arrived to do a tree decorating Family Home Evening.  It was so nice that they played outside for a while first.  Ashby even went over to Ethan's house next door to see if he could come play.  They had a ball playing in the little playhouse.  We even put some Christmas decorations on it.  Meanwhile, Lisa stepped in and was cooking spaghetti for dinner.  David arrived in time for dinner, so we had a chance to all sit down together for a few minutes.

Then it was time to decorate the tree.  Ashby loved climbing up on the little step stool to put the ornaments up high where Brooks couldn't reach them.  Of course, she wanted to put them even higher, so she got Grandpa to lift her way up to put them way up high.  Brooks had fun running around trying to hang ornaments, too.  Of course, he copies everything Ashby does, so he had to climb the stool and then get lifted up high, too.  We used every ornament we had, including some old plastic things that are usually not used.  Like I said, the tree is huge!

When it was all done, it looked very nice.  We also got all the nativities and the village out.  The rest will wait for another day!

So, now it looks like Christmas at the Cantrell home.  I don't know why we need an eleven foot tree, but it is very pretty!

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 2nd - Love My Sundays!

After being out of town and sick for the last two Sundays, it was wonderful to have a normal day today.  In the morning, I got dinner all prepared as much as possible, worked on some RS things, and did a few other odds and ends.

Then it was time for church.  We had a very nice fast and testimony meeting, followed by a good Sunday school lesson, and then a combined third hour.  They were introducing the new curriculum for the youth and needed all adults and youth to understand the new program so it will be effective.

After church, we handed out more of the aprons we made as gifts for the sisters.  All of that took time, so I got home later than usual.  Then when I went to start the grill, it was out of gas!  I couldn't find the replacement, so I was close to a meltdown.  Fortunately, David dug deeper in the garage than I did and found the replacement.  We then had grilled chicken thighs and veggies, along with rice and hot rolls, for a very good dinner.

Bill was really late getting home, but since Brooks had taken such a late nap, the kids were able to stay.  At 8:00, we listened to the First Presidency Christmas Fireside, which was very nice.  Then they had to head for home.

It has been a tiring, but very worthwhile day.  I needed the rejuvenation from church and from family!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 1st - Happy Birthday, Brooks!

We celebrated Brooks' birthday last night, but today was actually his birthday.  It is hard to believe he is two years old already!  And he just keeps getting cuter!

I spent my day cleaning and doing laundry.  I also got my RS email finished and out, did some family history, and worked on several other things on the "to do" list.  I didn't cross anything completely off, though, and I added another item or two.  It is beginning to feel like a bottomless pit!

I also ran out and picked up the drink mixes for the RS group order - or at least the ones that are in - and got those separated and the sisters notified.  A included a run to the grocery store while I was out.  We have a lot of food storage, but we keep running out of things like bread and milk and fresh veggies!

This was pretty much an ordinary Saturday.  The goal to get a Christmas tree has been rescheduled - maybe sometime next week!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November 30th - Temple Day

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for the temple and the peaceful spirit I feel when I am there.

I picked up Jan, one of the sisters I visit teach, and we headed to the temple together this morning.  I had planned to work on some family files, which I conveniently left lying right where I wouldn't forget them!  So, instead we did a temple file name for an endowment session and then went in to help with some sealings for a little while.

It was a very nice morning and we both enjoyed it.  We had fun chatting in the car on our way there and back.  We also stopped at Arby's and had a sandwich for lunch.  It was a wonderful way to spend the first half of the day.

When I got home, I had a few things to do, including wrapping Brooks' birthday present.  Then about 5:30, we went over to Lisa's for his party.  David's father and his friend are here visiting for just a couple of days, so that is why Lisa did the party a day early.  They leave in the morning.

David grilled a London broil and did an excellent job.  All of the dinner was very good.  Ashby could hardly wait, though, until it was time for Brooks to open his presents.  She tried very hard to let him do most of the opening, but as soon as he would open something, he would want to stop and just play.  He was very cute as he got so excited.

We finished the evening with some ice cream cake from DQ.  Their cake has always been a favorite of the family and it had been a long time since we had one.  It was as good as ever.  It was a very fun evening, with the kids so excited about the new toys, and getting to visit.

This has been an especially nice day!

Friday, November 30, 2012

November 29th - Unexpected Babysitting!

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for the opportunity to serve, whether in church, in the community, or my family.  Having opportunities to do things for others help us realize how great our own blessings are.  It also helps us to be less selfish. 

As I was getting ready to leave for my water aerobics class, Lisa called to see if I could watch Brooks later while she went with Ashby on her preschool field trip.  I didn't have to think about that answer!  They were already here when I got back home.  Brooks was almost ready to nap and, while he would probably have enjoyed the field trip to the nature center, Lisa could only envision him being tired and whining.

After they left, Brooks and I played a while, ate some lunch, and then he was napping by 11:00.  While he slept, I worked on my RS email.  There was a lot to update and I worked on it for a long time today.  He woke up again at 1:00, so he and I were playing when Lisa and Ashby got back.  They stayed another hour or so.  It was a lot of fun - one of those fun, relaxing kind of afternoons.

I had planned to try to visit teach the last sister on my list, but I called her when the babysitting came up to let her know it would have to be later in the afternoon or tomorrow.  When I mentioned I was planning to go to the temple in the morning, she asked if I wanted someone to go with me.  I was really excited to have her and we made plans for in the morning.

I was tired, so I decided to take my own nap for a short while.  I spent the rest of the day working on the computer.  I finished the email information, cleaned out my emails, and some other things that have been piling up. 

It was a good day - some fun, some work.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 28th - Another Day on the Run!

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for a husband who holds and honors his priesthood, who makes me feel like I really matter, who provides for our needs, and who loves our children and grandchildren with all his heart.  He is really the prince who rescued me!

This has been another busy day.  I had to cancel all my visiting teaching appointments when I went to Iowa, so I have been trying to get them all done this week.  It has made for a week on the go, but I have enjoyed it at the same time.

This morning, I worked around the house getting a lot of things done.  Then at 11:00, I visited Bonnie and we had a great time.  From there, I ran by Becky's to pick up my hot chocolate order that she got for me while I was out of town.  We also chatted for a while, as she is still working through the loss of her mother-in-law.  She also gave me a 50 lb bag of rice that had been returned to her by someone who moved.  She thought I might know someone who could use it.

When I got home, I did some computer things, as well as a few other "to-do" list things.  My list is getting shorter!  Or, it would be, if I didn't keep adding new things.  I was able to give the bag of rice to someone who really needed it.

I visited Sharon at 4:30 and we had a long talk.  She and I have been friends for a long time and she really needed to just talk.  It was really good.

I fixed a quick dinner, using the last of the turkey and that about exhausted the last of my energy, too!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 27th - Got to Babysit Tonight!

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for grandchildren.  I can't remember if I already said this one, but it deserves another day if I have.  Ashby and Brooks are the two cutest, sweetest children ever and I dote on them!

Today started off with water aerobics.  I had missed the last two weeks:  one I was in Iowa and there were not classes held Thanksgiving week.  It felt good to be back to it.

From there, I got cleaned up and headed out to drop off a chocolate order then to visit teach Mary.  We had a great visit.  Then I headed home to try to get a few things done there.  I didn't accomplish much worth bragging about, though.  In fact, by the second half of the afternoon, I was so tired that I just went to bed and read a while.  It felt good!

This evening, I went over to babysit with the grandkids while Lisa and David went out for a while.  They are always fun!  We played in Ashby's room a while - they had the doctor kit out and everyone was getting examined.  Then we went downstairs and played with the train set for a long time.  Ashby built a pretty complicated track system.  When Ashby went on to something else, Brooks kept at the trains.  He had himself a super long train going around and around.  What a hoot he is!  Eventually, he decided to destroy the track.

By then, it was time for him to go to bed, so we got a bottle ready, got his PJ's on, read some books, watched a little video while he had his bottle, and then he was ready for bed.  I just put him down, threw some kisses, and we never heard another sound.

Ashby was ready for her bedtime snack - rice krispies this time - and watched the Ipad while she ate.  When she finished that, she said she was ready for bed, so up we went, got ready and all tucked in, and that was it - never heard another peep.

Within 15 minutes or so, Lisa and David got back.  What a fun and easy evening for me!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 26th - Wore Myself Out!

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for a new day - and lots of things that need to be done.  It makes me feel needed!

After being in bed for two days, I had a huge list of things that needed to get done today.  I was on the go the whole day:  change sheets, laundry, straightening house, tons of RS things, other computer tasks that had gotten behind, chores to run, etc.

I had straightening (I never did get back to the dusting - maybe another day!) and laundry done by early afternoon.  I had also sent a ton of emails, mostly related to RS, worked on a lesson I need to teach, did the blog, caught up on both email accounts, etc. 

I then took off to run errands: pick up the chocolate order from Nikole, library, CVS, bank, grocery store.  By the time I got back home, I was quickly running out of steam!  Although I did not do as much as I sometimes do, I think that even being down for two days saps your energy and it takes a while to rebuild.

I spent most of the rest of the day doing more relaxing things, like family history.  We were supposed to go to Empty Nesters this evening, but I was so shot, we cancelled.  I was in bed reading by 8:00.  Tomorrow is another busy day, so I am hoping the energy will last a little longer.

Even so, it felt good to get so many things done that had been neglected.  The house looks so much better, the clean sheets were wonderful, and I have a new book to read.  What more could I ask for today?

Monday, November 26, 2012

November 25th - A Little Better Today

Gratitude Journal - I am grateful for my testimony of the Gospel and of Jesus Christ.  I have been very blessed to have found the church at a young age and to have had it as a central part of my life.  I love the Savior and all the He has done for me and for all of us.  I am grateful that I could tell my dad that I had no doubt about life after death.

I woke up feeling a little better today, but still not quite right.  I finally decided by mid-morning that I could try eating something, so I had some oatmeal and toast, which all stayed down just fine.  I ate again mid-afternoon and that was fine, too.  In between, I spent a little time on the computer, but I was still so tired that I napped and read in bed quite a bit.

By evening, I felt good enough to actually eat some popcorn.  I think the flu is gone! 

Of course, it meant I had to miss church today.  I have missed three of the four Sundays this month.  I can't remember ever missing that many at one time.  I hope it will be a long time before I have to miss again.  Thankfully, the other counselor got back in town, so she was able to conduct RS for me.  Otherwise, the secretary was going to get her first turn!

Here's hoping that tomorrow begins a normal week.  I really need one!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 24th - Sick - Ugh!!!!

Gratitude Journal:  I am thankful for my health.  There is nothing like being sick for a day to make you appreciate NOT being sick!

I woke up this morning not feeling exactly right.  Within half an hour or so, I was throwing up.  Great!  I must have gotten it from Brooks or Ashby.  I ended up spending the entire day in bed, sleeping or reading - or throwing up.  Hopefully this is just a 24 hour kind of thing, although the kids have been sick much longer.

Billy left about 7:30 this morning and called about 10:45 this evening to say he was home.  He had a good trip, nice weather, no problems.  We had such a great time while he was here and it went by way too fast!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

November 23rd - Shopping Day! Well, not me, much.

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for living in such a prosperous country where we can pretty much buy anything we want - and plenty of things we don't really need!  I am grateful that Bill has a job that gives us what we need.

Once we all got up and going this morning, we headed out to shop.  I can't believe I said that since I am the last person to go shopping when there might be crowds!  However, we had one item we wanted to get and we went for it - a new computer monitor.  We wanted to have Billy's expertise in picking one out, so we had to brave the crowds.  Billy had checked the sales inserts, so he knew about what price we were looking for.  Our first stop was Costco and they had something similar, but at a higher price.  Next stop was Staples.  When we didn't see the model that Billy had seen, he asked a clerk and she brought it right out.  So with just two stops, we found what we wanted and headed home.  The crowed at Staples was small and we didn't have to punch anyone to get what we went for!

On the way home, we stopped at Waffle House for lunch.  Billy loves Waffle House and it is always one of the places we wants to go while here.  They don't have any in Iowa, so he never gets to go up there.  The food was good and we had a lot of fun.

When we got home, Billy got the monitor all set up and did some more cleaning of the hard drive on our computer, trying to get the speed back up.  He was successful on both counts.  Then he and Bill decided to go out to shop for a new TV.  While they were gone, I worked on genealogy and then took a nap.  They found what they wanted at two different places, but it was sold out at both, so that purchase will have to wait until another time.

We then headed over to Lisa's so Lisa, David, and Billy could go to the hockey game while Grandma and Grandpa babysat.  As usual, we had a good time.  The kids had to eat their dinner first.  Since he is still recovering from the stomach flu, Brooks only ate a little and then he played with Grandpa.  Ashby wouldn't eat at all, complaining that her tummy hurt.  She then cuddled up with me for a while and looked like she was not feeling well.  Sure enough, a little later she started throwing up.  Poor thing.  At least she is old enough to know it is coming and can get to the pan.  During the evening, she had to throw up four or five time.

By 7:30, Brooks was in bed asleep and by 9:00, Ashby was in bed asleep.

The hockey fans got home around 11:00 - after watching a fun game with lots of tension (I still can't believe how much Lisa loves hockey fights!) and then going out to eat.

It has been a good and busy day - just feel so bad for poor sick Ashby!

Friday, November 23, 2012

November 22nd - Thanksgiving Day

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for my family, especially my children.  Billy is visiting from Iowa, Lisa and her family came over from Suwanee, and we remembered Jason, who passed away 15 years go today.  They have all made me proud.  I love them all!

Today was Thanksgiving Day, so much of what we did is pretty predictable - getting the turkey in the oven, the rest of the sides prepared and ready to cook at the appropriate times, bread mix in the bread machine, etc.

Lisa and family got here around 11:30 and brought their portion of dinner, most of which still had to be put together and cooked.  We finally got everything ready and sat down to dinner around 1:30 or so.  The turkey was perfect, as was everything else we had.

Brooks was still recovering from his bout of stomach flu, so was a little fussy.  He did finally calm down, but never did have much energy.  Poor thing.  Lisa, on the other hand, was full of energy!  She played out in her playhouse some, as well as with dolls in the house, plus books, and all the other usual stuff.

Football was on TV, but I don't know how much actually got watched.  I know the guys were trying!  It was just a fun, relaxed day.  We didn't really do anything special, other than just being together, which was special enough for me!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 21st - Preparation Day - But Fun, Too!

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for food that is so easily available.  I can choose what I like, pick it up easily at the grocery store, cook it up easily at home, and enjoy eating until I am totally satisfied.  So many in the world are starving and would be grateful for just the crumbs off my table.

Being the last day before Thanksgiving, we had a list of things to get done in preparation.  I had another load of laundry to do, some straightening up, getting the leaf in the dining room table, setting the table, boiling eggs, and a few other odds and ends. 

Bill and Billy went up to Home Depot and got some paving blocks to make a foundation for the playhouse.  They got that all installed and were very proud of their work!  It looks really good and should lift the house just enough that it won't sit in water when we have a heavy rain.  Plus, it will be more fun to play in the playhouse with a solid floor.

Billy and I also got the dressing all mixed up and ready for the turkey tomorrow.  It was fun doing it together.  So, Bill had him working in the yard and then I had him working in the kitchen!  I think we got all the "day before" stuff done.  Lisa is supposed to be bringing several things, so we didn't have to fix those things.  Unfortunately, Brooks has been sick with the stomach flu all day, so we are hoping she and the food will show up tomorrow!

We went out to the Chinese place for dinner, and then decided to take in a movie.  We went to see "Skyfall," the new James Bond flick.  It was really pretty good - certainly better than the last few James Bond movies I have seen.  It was after 11 when we got back home, so needless to say, my day didn't last much longer.

It has been a very busy day, but lots of fun, too!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 20th - Busy, but Fun, Day

Gratitude Journal: I am grateful for good neighbors and friends.

This morning was a work day, for sure, as I tried to get laundry going and shopping lists figured out.  Once everyone was up, we fixed a nice breakfast.  Then Bill and Billy went to pick up a playhouse that we had bought from a friend of Lisa.  It is used, but is in excellent shape, and the cost was much less than buying new.  We plan to restain and reseal the cedar and repaint the trim. 

Just after lunch, Lisa and the kids came over.  Shortly after they got here, Brooks went down for a nap and Ashby just played.  A while later, Bill and Billy got back with the playhouse and had it set up temporarily before we even knew they were in the back yard.  When Ashby saw it, she went ballistic!  She was still playing out there when Brooks woke up.  He had fun playing, too.

By mid-afternoon, we were getting hungry, so Bill ran out and picked up some pizza.  After a short time in the house, Ashby was back outside and Ethan, from next door, came over.  They had more fun playing in the playhouse and running all over the place.  That went on until it was starting to get dark..

Once Lisa left, we just relaxed and tried to recover from the wild afternoon.  It is amazing how much energy two little children can generate!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 19th - Home Again!

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for home!

We took our time this morning since Billy needed to be rested to drive the rest of the way.  Once we got up, ready, and packed, we had breakfast at the motel.  We were glad it was a hot breakfast and we were able to have eggs, potatoes, fruit, etc., and have it for free.  If it had not been a good breakfast, we had already planned to eat somewhere else.

We were on the road again by about 8:45.  The rest of the trip went well.  Our only traffic issue was just before Chattanooga when they were doing some road work and the lanes had to combine into one.  Fortunately, it didn't take as long as we had feared.

We got home at 2:00, which included the hour lost because of the time change.  We considered our options and decided to chill for a while!  I called Lisa and we got caught up a little and got Thanksgiving dinner planned.

When Bill got home, we hung around some more and then went out for some Mexican for dinner.  Billy has done some cleaning up of our computer so it is working better.  He and Bill watched football while I went on to bed.

It is good to be back home.  I am looking forward to a good Thanksgiving week.

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 18th - Starting Home

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for such a wonderful son.  Billy has been very supportive of my trip up to Iowa and willing to have me ride back with him, even though his plans had been a little different originally.  He is a good person and a wonderful son.  We have been blessed to be his parents.

I got up this morning and showered, washed hair, etc., and then packed up my bags.  I changed the sheets on the bed and got the old ones in the washer.  I also washed a load of towels that I had used in the bathroom and for cleaning.  Dad and I had our last little while just sitting and talking for a while before Billy arrived.  He got there around 10:45 and after just a little talking, we loaded up and headed out.

Billy did all the driving, which sure makes it easy for me!  We had fun talking and sometimes just be quiet.  We talked about everything under the sun!  Lots of fun for me.  We made it a little east of Nashville by about 8:30, when we decided to stop.  After checking in to a motel, we had some dinner at Olive Garden and then went on to bed.  I was asleep long before Billy turned off the TV.  It sure didn't bother me any.

The trip today was really nice.  Weather was good, traffic light, and we had no problems.  We made such good time that tomorrow should be a really easy day.

November 17th - Final Day with Dad

Gratitude Journal: I am grateful for being able to travel when necessary so I can be with someone special to me when I am actually needed.  I have enjoyed this week with my dad and am grateful that there are planes that let me travel quickly, friends who will facilitate picking me up at the airport, and money to be able to buy the ticket. 

This was the last day with Dad before I had to head back home.  It was pretty much the same as the previous couple of days have been.  We had breakfast, went up to the office, etc.  We then went over to Tammy's (Rita's granddaughter) to pick up Dad's car and leave Rita's there.  We spent some time with Tammy talking about the will and some other things. 

We then went on home, fixed a little lunch and relaxed for a while.  Dad and I have had a chance to talk some when we have these quiet times and it has been really good.  Later, we ordered a pizza and went to pick it up.  Then we went to Willie's to share the pizza and spend some time.  Again, we had some good chats.  Kalee was there, too, so we had a good last evening.

Time is about up and I hope that Dad will be all right.  I think he will be, but he will miss Rita a lot and it will seem very lonely for him for a while.  I am certainly glad that I was able to spend these few days with him.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 16th - Just Another Day

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for pets.  I don't have one, but my dad recently got a kitten and I can see how much he is loving having that cute cat around.  It will be a big comfort to him when he comes into the empty house.  He named it Spooker, because it disappears like a ghost!

Today was not much different from yesterday: up and around the house a while; to the office for a while; back to house; into town to McDonald's; cleaned some more, in the kitchen this time; leftovers for dinner; to Willie's for a while; back home for popcorn; off to bed.

Dad is adjusting, I think, but it is still going to be hard for him once I leave.  We have had some good talks while we have just been sitting around. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

November 15th - A "Down" Day

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for such a beautiful world.  The weather in Iowa has been beautiful the last several days - warm, blue skies.  The sunsets have been gorgeous.  Sunsets in Iowa have always been more stunning that Georgia sunsets - probably because the land is flatter and the trees do not hide anything.  

We decided that this would be a laid back kind of day as we recovered from the last few stressful days.  Dad is doing OK, but is still having some emotional moments.  After watching a little TV after breakfast, I started doing a little bit of cleaning in the living room.  I don't know how many years it has been since everything was dusted, so that was my goal.  I also went through some of the things that were around so we could toss what needed to go.

Later in the morning, we headed up to the office for a little while.  I had a chance to check email, etc., since the only wi-fi connection is in the office.  From there, we went in to the grocery store to pick up a few items.  When we got home, it was time for a little lunch.

In the afternoon, I finished cleaning the living room.  Even though that was the neatest room already, we still threw out a lot of stuff, especially old magazines that were on the table shelves, etc.  There were also several stuffed animals and old pillows that had gotten so grimy that they needed to be thrown out.  It certainly feels cleaner.

For dinner, we went into Oxford for prime rib with Willie and Kalee and another couple from the aero club.  It was fun and good.  We ended the evening at Willie's and had a nice time reminiscing about things.  We ended on a good laugh as we remembered the time we got stung by all the bumblebees.

So, it has been a pretty good first day trying to get back to normal.  I will have a couple more days here with Dad.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 14th - Rita's Funeral

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for music.  There are few things that touch the soul the way music does.  The songs that were played at the funeral were powerful and touching.  Whatever our emotional state, music seems to reach out and touch us.

We got up, dressed, etc., and then headed to the funeral home where Rita's funeral was held.  We got there early, so Dad would have a last few minutes.  By the time the funeral started, the place was full.  It was a nice service, but a little hard at times for Dad and other family.  Then we went to the cemetery where there was a very brief service.

Billy made it over for the funeral, so when we finished at the cemetery, he, Dad and I came back home, got changed, and then went out for a little lunch.  Dad didn't want to go with Rita's family.  We then hung out at Dad's for awhile, just talking.

Mid-afternoon, Billy needed  to take off, as he needed to run by the bank, check his condo in CR, and then drive back to Des Moines.  Dad and I went up to the office for awhile.  Bob showed up a little later with all the supplies for the steak dinner (a weekly event at the airport before the Aero Club board of directors meeting.)  There was a pretty good turnout, with everyone eating steak, hamburgers, or hot dogs, and laughing, telling jokes, teasing each other, and talking about airplanes.  At 6:30, they held the meeting which lasted about a half an hour.

After finishing up and getting things cleaned up again, we went on down to Willie's for a while.  Some of the guys from the meeting showed up, too, and we stayed there an hour or so.  Then it was back to Dad's, where we watched a little TV, talked some, and then headed to bed.  I was exhausted!

It has been a long day.  The services were well done, but it is stressful saying goodbye to someone special.  Worrying about Dad just adds to the stress.  He will be fine, but it is not going to be easy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 13th - Viewing

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for friends who are just like family.  I saw so many this evening who love my dad unconditionally and are concerned for him as he goes through this loss.  I know that he will not be alone when I go back home.

Dad and I started the day quietly, getting up and breakfast, etc.  Then he ran over to Tammy's (Rita's granddaughter) to switch cards so he could drive Rita's car.  He also needed to stop for a haircut.  So, I went up to the office to get the wi-fi so I could check email, etc.

For lunch, we went into a cafe in town.  Then around 3:00, we headed down to the funeral home.  We were there early, so were able to meet the family and have some time looking at the picture boards and thinking about Rita.

Once people started arriving, there was a steady flow.  I don't know how many came, but it was a lot.  Dad was surprised and pleased about the huge number from the Aero Club that came.  There were even some that he had not expected would come.  It meant a lot to him.  We stayed until almost 7:00.  By then, we were both tired and Dad's feet and legs were bothering him a lot.  It was a difficult evening and he choked up many times, but it was also good to talk about memories of Rita and to let some of the anguish out.

When we got home, we fixed some fried egg sandwiches, watch a little TV, then were ready to head on to bed.  It has been a stressful day and tomorrow will probably be worse, but it was good to feel the love of so many people.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 12th - In Iowa Again

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for family, especially my dad.  He is suffering again right now and I am grateful that he is glad that I am here.  He has been the best father.  Love you, Dad!

I hustled around this morning, trying to get packed and some errands run before going to the airport.  Lisa and kids picked me up at 12:30 and took me down.  That is Brooks' nap time, but he cooperated by promptly falling asleep in the car seat. 

The flight to Moline was pretty routine.  I was a little early, so just sat and read while I waited.  The flight time was less than two hours.  Kara, a long time friend, picked me up and took me to Dad's.  Dad was with the family, who had a get together at 5:00 to prepare pictures, eulogy, etc., for the funeral.

Dad got home a while after I got there.  We went over to Willie's (my brother) for a while and talked.  Then Dad and I came back home, had some popcorn, talked, sort of watched TV (well, I was reading more than watching) and just enjoyed being together.  Dad is doing OK, but has his emotional moments. 

I am glad that I am here.  At least he won't be alone at home for a few days.  I am trying to talk him into coming back with me for Thanksgiving.  He could come back home with Billy.  I was glad he didn't totally dismiss the idea.

So a difficult couple of days begins...

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 11th - Another Good Sabbath

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful that I have the freedom to worship as I please.  I have a strong testimony of the Gospel and am able to make life choices that are in accordance with my beliefs.  I can partake of the sacrament and renew my covenants with God.  I can study the scriptures.  I can serve others, at church and in the community.  What a wonderful blessing!

I started my day doing many of the things I usually have to do on Sunday mornings:  getting dinner planned and as prepared as possible, doing some RS things in preparation for our meeting, etc.  I also had to make arrangements for a number of things that I was to do this week and will not be able to do, because of going to Iowa. 

The RS president was out of town, so I went early to attend ward council for her.  Then I attended the rest of our regular meetings.  As always, the talks and lessons were wonderful.  I also had to conduct RS.  It is my month anyway, but both the president and other counselor were not there, so the secretary and I held down the fort alone.  Attendance seemed small today - not sure why - but there was a wonderful spirit there.  The lesson was on kindness - a topic that is perfect for our time.

When I got home, everyone was asleep - Lisa on the couch, David in the recliner with Ashby on his lap, and Brooks in the crib.  Needless to say, my walking in aroused a couple of them.  We got dinner finished and ate crockpot chicken, carrots, pasta, corn muffins, and canned peaches.  The rest of the evening was pretty much the norm - laughing at the kids, talking, etc.  It is always the highlight of my week.  Because Brooks had slept so well, they were able to stay a little later, so we had quite a show by the kids. 

When they left, I had more RS things to finish up.  Another group food order was due today, so I had to get that compiled and submitted.  I am thankful for a couple of friends who will handle some other things that were on my agenda this week; namely, the chocolate order needing to be picked and an assignment at the cannery.  I think it is all worked out.

I always enjoy my Sundays, but this one had a little extra stress that I would prefer not to have.  My bad for the day was having to do laundry that I had planned to do on Monday, but had to get done so I will have clothes to take with me to Iowa. 

Finally, today was Veterans Day and I want to close by thanking all those who have served and who now serve to help our country remain free.  I can find ancestors going all the way to Revolution who have fought, including my grandfather who fought in WWI and my husband who fought in Viet Nam.  Thanks you to every one of them.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 10th - Remembering Rita

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for family and for the love and support we give each other.  I have been blessed with wonderful parents, husband and children, as well as extended family.  As we have lost one, I am reminded that family is more important than anything else.

I was at the Family History Expo when Dad called during the lunch break.  His long-time girlfriend and companion Rita had died suddenly during the night.  She had been a little sick, but not anything that would have been life threatening.  It appears that her heart just gave out.  She went to sleep and her granddaughter found her the next morning.

My dad is pretty broken up.  When my mother died, she had been sick for a very long time and we knew it was coming soon.  In fact, it was almost a relief when she was released from her physical suffering.  Dad really struggled after her death.  He had never been alone in his entire life (he married right out of high school) and it was very hard on him.  Even though Mom had been bedridden and unresponsive because of the dementia, she was still there and he took care of her.  Being alone sent him into a depression where he drank too much, was grumpy, unhappy, and just seemed so dark.

When he met Rita, that all changed.  She was a wonderful, happy person, who always had a smile.  She made him smile again and they had a wonderful time together.  He stopped drinking so much and became his old self.  He really loved her and although they did not marry, he bought her a diamond ring as a symbol of how much he cared and that they were committed to each other. 

I will be going up to be with him this week.  I am concerned about him having to be alone again. 

We loved you, Rita.  You brought a wonderful light back into his life and you made each of us feel special. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 9th - Family History Expo

Gratitude Journal: I am grateful for my ancestors.  They have been much on my mind while I am at the Family History Expo.  Among other things, some of them fought in the Revolutionary War - and every war since - and were among the pioneers who settled much of the east and midwest.  I have most of my blessings today because of them.

Today was the first day of the Family History Expo here.  I attended last year and signed up for this year's show months ago.  The day finally arrived!

But, it didn't start until 1:00, so I had time in the morning to do a few of the normal morning things around the house.  I got my weekly RS email sent out - always takes a big block of time to do that.  And a few other things were crossed off before I could finally pack up and take off for the Gwinnett Center.

Last year I met some women who had come to the Expo alone and we have kept in touch all year by email, so we were looking forward to getting together again.  Linda, Kimberly and I met up before classes started and had so much fun catching up with each other.  It is always fun to make new friends and these two are wonderful.

I was able to attend four class sessions, with big breaks in between each to look at the exhibitors.  My four sessions were: Finding Your Ancestors on FamilySearch, Finding Your English/Welsh Ancestors, The FamilySearch Research Wiki, Citing Sources.  I enjoyed each of them and learned things that should really help my further research.

The last class let out around 8:45, so the three of us went over to Carabba's for some dinner before they went to their hotels and I came home.

What a great day!  And there is another full day tomorrow - can't wait!

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 8th - Relief Society Meeting

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for the willingness of people to all pitch in and make things happen - whether bringing food, decorating, providing music, cleaning up, etc.  What wonderful people I have in my life!

Today was Thursday, so I started the day with the water aerobics class.  There is only one more week left on this cycle, so the instructors are working us hard!  It was still fun and I am enjoying the class.  In fact, I got signed up for the 3 week mini class that runs between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

At home, I showered and then got busy doing some things around the house.  I am so proud that by the end of the day,  was able to cross off the last item on the to-do list.  Of course, it was the list from Tuesday, so I guess I am not really caught up yet!  Best thing done was getting the Halloween decorations back in the storage bins and up in the attic.  I have a few Thanksgiving things, but not many.  I am thinking I need a few more things - maybe next year!

This evening was our RS meeting.  We had a dinner and then a guest speaker from the stake RS presidency.  We had a good turnout, but not as many as we would like.  Everything turned out well and I think everyone had a good time.  We have been making aprons from cotton dish towels to give to the sisters for Christmas and we handed those out at the end of the evening.  We led up to it with a little sharing of heritage and the memories each of us in the presidency have about an apron we each own.  I was surprised the sisters were so excited about aprons!  We will hand out the rest of the aprons over the next few weeks.

By the time I got home from that, I was pretty tired!  It has been another full day, but rewarding, too.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 7th - Another Busy, Catch Up Day

Gratitude Journal:  I am thankful for the opportunity to serve in my calling at church.  I love the sisters in the presidency and the sisters in our ward.  There are many with struggles and I am thankful that my calling allows me to serve them.

This was another busy day.  It doesn't always seem quite this hard to catch up after a vacation, but for some reason, this week is not flowing all that smoothly!

I still had laundry to finish, so I got that going first thing.  Then I did a few things around the house, but not nearly as much as I had planned.  I also had to do some preparing for the presidency meeting, for my week end RS email, and some other things.

We had a presidency meeting at 11:30 which lasted until about 2:00.  I had to run some errands on my way home: library, dollar store, pharmacy.  When I got home, I finished up the laundry, spent more time at the computer on RS things.  I had also not posted my blog entries since I did not have internet while we were gone.  I had written entries in Word, but needed to get them posted.

By the time I finished everything, I was pretty tired!  As I look at the rest of the week, I am beginning to wonder if it is going to get better!  Oh, well, I am glad I am busy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 6th - Time to Vote

Gratitude Journal:  I an thankful that I live in a country where I can vote for our leaders.  What makes a democracy work is when everyone offers an opinion and then all agree to accept whatever is decided. 

Today was our first day back to "normal," whatever that is.  I started with my water aerobics class.  We did a pretty intense workout today and it was fun, although I was a little stiff the rest of the day!

When I got home, I showered and then went out to vote.  I had expected a bit of a wait, but I was only 11 minutes from parking my car to driving out again.  I cast my presidential vote for Mitt Romney, although I don't really expect that he will win.

Lisa dropped the kids off when I got back home so she could go and vote herself.  After eating lunch, Brooks went to sleep for the next 2 1/2 hours.  Ashby played with Barbie dolls for a long time and then announced that she wanted to go do crafts.  We went up to the craft room and she cut and punched and glued and whatever else she could find.  We didn't make anything, but that wasn't really the point!

In between everything else, I was trying to get laundry done and a long list of things to do check off.  In the end, most of the to-do list will still be waiting until tomorrow.

When Lisa got back, we relaxed a little until Brooks woke up and they all had to go home.  But, I had to go back over to babysit with them while Lisa and David went to a class, so my day was not really finished.  At the last minute, Bill was able to go with me, so we spent the evening playing with the kids.

I felt like this was a day of chaos - so much to do and so much going on.  Ending the day with the kids, though, made it a happy day!

November 5th - North Carolina Day 6

Gratitude Journal:  I am thankful for cars that go so fast and work so well, so we can take short vacations and seem like we have been a long ways away.  We have been only a little over 2 hours away, but it has seemed like a totally different time and place.  How great is that!

This was our last day - how could it go by so fast? 

Late yesterday, we discovered a serious leak in the basement bathroom, so this morning Bill spent quite a bit of time getting that cleaned up.  It turns out there is a plumbing problem and the washing machine is not draining properly.  Instead it is coming up in the bathroom - thus the big mess!  He got it all cleaned up, though, and will the owners know what happened.

While he was doing that, I got everything packed and ready to load.  Then we ate whatever we could find for lunch.  We have done pretty well on food this time.  The worst thing we had to throw away was some ice cream that didn't get eaten.  Everything else that was left, we were able to bring back.

We then sat around doing our relaxation thing again for the rest of the afternoon.  Neither one of us was ready to go home, but we finally had to face it.  We got loaded up and on our way around 4:30 and were back home by 7:00.

How is it that a week can go by so quickly?  I think I will demand a recount!!!  It was a wonderful few days and we are already looking forward to the next time we can go. 

November 4th - North Carolina Day 5

Gratitude Journal - I am thankful for good health.  Nothing makes you appreciate being healthy more than a day of being sick.

This was Sunday and the plans were to go to church, but those plans changed when Ashby got sick during the night.  She threw up several times and was still feeling badly when we all finally got up and going.  There is nothing worse than seeing a sweet child looking so forlorn!  We made the decision to just lay low and relax, hoping she would be feeling better by the time they had to leave to go home.

Lisa and Bill took Brooks on a long walk - a couple of hours long.  He even slept in the stroller for a while.  Poor Ashby just laid on the couch or cuddled with someone.  When they got back, we got the grill going and grilled out some hotdogs, hamburgers, and chicken.  We also finished the beans, had some homemade french fries and whatever else looked good that hadn't gotten eaten yet.

Late in the afternoon, Lisa and David packed up and headed back home.  Ashby had been feeling much better, but when they called later, they said she had been sick again.  Poor thing!

We hated to see them go, as it was very quiet again!  Of course, it didn't take long for us to settle in to our relaxation mode.  If relaxing were an olympic sport, I do believe I could earn a gold medal!

November 3rd - North Carolina Day 4

Gratitude Journal:  I am so thankful for the beautiful earth on which we live.  Looking out over the mountains from our front deck is breathtaking, even with most of the leaves gone.  There are still a few with gold or red leaves and there are lots of green pines.  It is all beautiful!

We had another lazy start to our day.  One of the nice things about this kind of vacation is that the main purpose is to just relax!  And we seem to be especially goo at just that!

Among the other things we did around the cabin, the children had a ball jumping in a huge pile of leaves on the patio.  They had such fun!

After lunch, we went into Waynesville to shop.  There are a ton of cute shops and it is fun just to walk through some of them.  Lisa and I spent a good bit of time in the Christmas shop where I bought another nativity set - this one native American - as well as an advent nativity chart for Lisa.  We also picked out some train ornaments for each of us as our memory ornament for the trip.

We also spent a long time in the Mast General Store - in the toy department, of course.  They have tons of old fashioned toys and we had a ball looking at everything.  We also spent a little bit there!

We then went to a local park to let the children run and play for a while.  The temp was so warm that the park was very busy.  It is a wonderful park, with tons of stuff, and the kids had such a great time.

Then we came home and fixed an easy dinner.  The TV satellite link had finally gotten activated the night before, so the guys even watched a little football.  The children played with some of their new toys and kept us entertained, as usual!

The week is going by way too quickly!

November 2nd - North Carolina Day 3

Gratitude Journal:  I am thankful for how little children can find such joy in even the most insignificant things.  We all need to learn to slow down and just see the fun around us.

This was the first full day with the kids here and we made it a very relaxing one!  Brooks woke up in the night and his noise woke Ashby up.  They both stayed up playing for a while, although neither of them was cranky - just laughing and playing in the middle of the night!  Needless to say, it was a short night, especially for Lisa and David, so everyone just slept in and lazed around - again!  We had a big breakfast (brunch) by 11:00.

We enjoyed our lazy day around the cabin, going on walks, etc, until late afternoon when we decided to go out for pizza.  The Pizza Hut was not very busy, so it made it easy to relax knowing the children wouldn't bother anyone else.

We stopped to pick up a few things for tomorrow's dinner on the way home.  We then spent the rest of the evening laughing at the children, reading, or sewing.  Ashby even tried to copy her mommy doing some embroidery work.

The weather was warmed today, so that made our wonderful day even better.

November 1st - North Carolina Day 2

Since it is November, I want to write a daily gratitude journal.  Today I am thankful for the fun of getting to sleep in and relax.  

We slept in this morning since it was the first day with absolutely no commitments!  When we finally got up and had breakfast (brunch??), we finished cleaning up Lisa's room and got her bed made up.

The rest of the day, we kept saying that we needed to go out and do something or take a ride or whatever.  Then we would just look at each other and not do anything!  What a great way to spend the day.

The kids made it up aroudn 4:15 and our quiet time ended!  Even so, it was really fun having them come.  Ashby was really interested in the snow that was still around, although most of it had melted by then.  She and Brooks both loved walking up and down the outside steps exploring all around the cabin.  It only took Brooks about 3 minutes to find some rocks that he could throw.

For dinner, we just fixed some spaghetti and lazed around the cabin the rest of the evening.  Day 2 has also been a huge success!

October 31st - North Carolina Day 1

Note: I did not have internet access while in NC, but I wrote out the blogs each day and am just now getting around to posting them.

We got up this morning and ran a few errands, got packed, loaded the van, and actually were on the way by 11:30.  We stopped in Clayton for lunch and then arrived at the cabin about 2:15.

We knew the cabin would need some extra cleaning since no one had been up there in quite a while.  Once we got everything turned on and leaves and snow off the steps, we unloaded the van, and then we cleaned the kitchen.  Bill then took the grocery list and went to get the food.

Meanwhile, I got the bedroom cleaned and the bed made, the living room cleaned, and most of the bathroom done.  When he got back, we got stuff put away and finished the cleaning.  At that point, everything was warm and cozy.  After fixing some hot dogs and beans for dinner, Bill put in a video and I sat and read my book.

What a great first day!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oct 30th - Last Day Before Vacation!

I had a lot to do today, but I didn't really do much of it!  I did start my day with the water aerobics class - and had a good hard work out.

At home, I had things to do around the house (does it never end?) and some computer things.  I finally gave in and took a short nap in the afternoon.  Then at 5:00, I went over to babysit with the kids, so David and Lisa could go out.  They were going to a class, but wanted to go out to eat beforehand, since they had been unable to go out the day before on their anniversary.

The kids and I had a ball.  We played in Brooks room and once that was a total disaster, we moved to Ashby's room.  When that had been destroyed, Brooks wanted to go play with the "tracks" so we headed down to the family room to play with the Thomas the Train stuff.  We then played down there for a long time.  Ashby had stayed in her room to play alone for a while, but eventually showed up in the family room.  She eventually turned on the computer and started watching the shows she likes.

By then, it was time for Brooks to get ready for bed, so he and I headed back up to his room.  He still takes a bottle at bedtime, and was anxious for me to fix it for him, but once we got ready, he just wanted his "paci."  He sat in my lap for quite a while watching a music video, then we read the Goodnight Moon book and he went right to bed, never making another sound.

Then it was time to get Ashby ready for bed, but she was told she could stay up until Mommy got home.  She had her snack, went potty, got on PJ's, and then went back to watch her videos a little.  It wasn't long until Mommy got home. 

It was a very fun evening.  The children are so cute and say some of the funniest things.  It is always a successful day when it ends with grandchildren!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oct 29th - A New Week Begins!

Busy Monday - at least for me.  I started the day as I usually do - recovering the house from the weekend.  Thank goodness Lisa and kids pick up the toys pretty good, so it isn't too bad.  In fact, today I only found two matchbox cars in the dining room - all other toys present and accounted for in the toy closet!

I met Lisa and the kids at Costco at 11:15 to shop for warm PJ's for the kids.  We will be heading to North Carolina this week and it will be much colder than it has been here.  The best price in town for fleece, footed PJ's was Costco.  We bought 4 for Ashby and 5 for Brooks, so they should be set for the winter now.  We also spent a long time looking at the children's books.  And, yes, I am a sucker for books, so they each got two.  We also spent a long time in the toy aisle.  With Christmas coming, there were a ton of really cute things and they loved exploring.  The cutest thing was when we tossed down these gigantic animal shaped pillows on the floor and Brooks took a flying leap! We finished our shopping trip by getting some pizza before we left.  There isn't a cheaper lunch in town!

On my way home, I stopped to pick up some books that had come in at the library, deposited some checks at the ATM, and did a little shopping at CVS.  I picked up some specials there, using coupons, and walked away with $10 in savings bucks for my next trip.  Not bad.

Back home, I did a few more things, including some computer stuff, and then broke down and took a short nap.  I am almost finished with my current book and I wanted to read - I just fell asleep doing it!

For dinner, I had some of the left over soup from the other night and a grilled cheese sandwich.  Sure was good!  Bill got home later and had the same dinner. 

I finished up the book during the evening.  It was In the Garden of the Beast, a nonfiction book about the American ambassador to Berlin, and his daughter, around 1933-1937 when Hitler was coming to power.  It was really good.