Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 28th - Lisa's Birthday!

Well, the baby girl turned 36 today - hard to believe!  Being the mother of two young children, her greatest desire is a little down time, with a touch of pampering.  She got it all today.  David took care of Brooks during the night and in the morning, so she could actually sleep in.

When she got up, he and his mother, who is visiting, sent her off to get a pedicure and manicure and then to spend the rest of the day with me.  We met up for lunch at Mi Mi's - love their quiche and muffins!  Lisa had a coupon for a free entree on your birthday, so we saved a little money there.

Then we headed down to Discover Mills Mall to shop at the Dress Barn outlet.  She is in need of some church-type clothes, so I had already told her that is what I would get her for her gift.  There are not a lot of places to get skirts and dresses anymore and Dress Barn is a good place to start.  After trying on a number of things, she selected two really cute outfits, both skirts and tops, along with some jewelry.

We then went to a shoe store - no luck; shoes were too expensive for what they were.  We checked out Burlington Coat Factory, since it was there.  That is really a hit-or-miss place.  Sometimes, they have really cute stuff, but a lot of what they have is tacky.  But, we figured it didn't hurt to check it out.  Today was a lucky day, as she found two really cute pairs of shoes.  

After a break for some frozen yogurt and a little rest, we went to the Bali store to stock up on necessary, but no fun to buy, undergarments.  Lucked out there, too, as they were having a sale, plus we discovered that if you join their free membership club, you get 20% off on your purchase for your birthday.

By then, it was getting on toward 5:00, so she dropped me back at my car and she headed home, planning to run a couple of errands on the way.  I got home, freshened up, and then Bill and I headed back over to their house for dinner.  She had requested taco salad, so David and Vanett had that all prepared, as well as some birthday decorations and balloons hung around the house.  Vanett made an angel food cake - Lisa's favorite birthday cake - and we had that with berries and real whipped cream.  Yummy!

The children were excited about Mommy's birthday party and they entertained us as only children can!  It was a delightful evening and a very fun day.  Happy Birthday, Lisa!  Thanks for making your mom part of your special day.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 27th - Success - almost!

Today was supposed to be one of those quiet days where I didn't have too much to handle.  Part of it did turn out that way, but I also had a few other things come up.  My visiting teacher came by.  She is the RS president and has a companion that is new coming back to church, so it is a challenge for her.  So, being the end of the month, she had to come alone.  Then she called me a little bit later and said she had finally been able to set up a visit with a sister who recently had a baby and could I go with her.  So we visited and delivered a little gift.  As soon as I got home from that, I called to see if I could drop off the food order from my ward to the person in charge, which I did.

The rest of my day was at home.  That doesn't mean I didn't do anything!  I have read several books that I hadn't done reviews on yet, so I got that all caught up.  There were several other similar things that finally got taken care of, meaning I actually got to work on family history eventually!

The big news there is that I found a little more information on someone that I have working on for ages.  I still don't have everything I want, but I made progress.  I was able to confirm her birth and death dates from town records.  I can identify her by sex and age in the 1910 census under her father's name, but I can't figure out what happened to her after that.  I can find most of her brothers and sisters in 1920, 1930, 1940, and 1950, but she doesn't show up anywhere.  I just can't figure it out.  They all lived in the same place, from birth to death, and yet she isn't there.  I know she never married, so that isn't the issue.  The rest of the family was close together, so where is she?  I confirmed by the death record that she was alive until 1865.  She was buried right there.  I should be able to find her by name in 1850 and 1860 but no luck.  Ah, the joys of family history research!  Actually, searching and finding this kind of information is the most fun part of doing this work.  Ruhanna, you may hide, but I will find you eventually!

Monday, February 27, 2012

February 26th - Sunday dinner

Another Sunday - and as always, it was a good day.

I tried a new recipe for dinner - chicken marinara in the crockpot, low-cal version.  It turned out great and everyone loved it.  There wasn't really anything "low-cal" about it, other than avoiding high calorie additions - boneless chicken thighs, zucchini, celery, green pepper, garlic, canned tomatoes, jar of marinara sauce, some seasonings.  Then it cooked for 6 hours on low.  I had planned to serve it with brown rice (good nutrition, lower cals), but the rice steamer didn't work!  We had it on, the button light was on, but when I went to check it, it was barely warm.  I switched to the white rice button, and it did cook, but that was going to take too long, so I ended up cooking some rigatoni, which was really good.  The rice will be used for the leftovers, since the pasta got totally eaten up!

David's mother got in on Saturday, so she and I had a great time talking about genealogy.  She was called as the Ward Family History Consultant a while back and has really stepped up her family history work.  She was able to attend Roots Tech in SLC last month and was so excited about everything.  I think we probably bored the rest of the group to death, but she and I sure had a great time!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 25th - Finally! A Quiet Day!

This past week has been busy, busy, busy!  Besides the normal things I need and like to do, I had some reason to go out every day and I had some event every evening!  I prefer to be at home, doing my own thing, so this was a stressful week for me.

It is not that I didn't enjoy the things I did - well, most of them anyway - it was just that I felt like I was on the go all the time.  I know some people live that way all the time and thrive on it.  In fact, I used to live that way, back in the day when the kids were young and I was in everything there was to be in.  But, by choice, my life has changed and I like the relaxing and quiet stuff now.

So, thank you, Saturday, for being a quiet day with no demands!  I had even finished the laundry on Friday, so none of that to do.  I had cleaned the house for two nights worth of guests, so that was already done.  I had cleaned the kitchen after everyone left on Friday night, so that was out of the way.  Bill went over to help David put up some crown molding, so I had the house to myself and no demands!!  I loved it!!

What did I do?  Well, of course..........  I had hardly touched genealogy all week, so this was my day.  I have been working on that Bacon-Wesco line and I was able to look up all the "shaking leaves" on the pedigree.  You would have to be on to know what that is.  That took a long time, as I had to look up each document, determine if it applied, and then copy the info into my Roots Magic file if it did.  I still have to check the individual families, since the other children don't show on the pedigree.  I also have more pictures to scan in and some stories to write.  But I was excited to make real progress today - not just a little touch here and a little touch there.

Looking ahead to this next week, I think I will be back to normal - keeping my fingers crossed!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 24th - Dinner with Friends

We seldom entertain, at least we seldom have people over for dinner.  I don't know why, just lazy, I guess.  We have a lot of other events at our house, like Empty Nesters, book group, RS groups, and other things.  We just never seem to invite anyone for a meal, unless there is a specific reason, like the missionaries.

So tonight, we changed that.  For no reason, other than that it sounded fun, we invited two couples over for dinner and the evening.  Melanie and Skip (she is RS president and he is "my computer guy") and Lorie and Kirk (she is compassionate service leader and he is Bill's home teaching companion.)  Of course, the reason we invited those two couples was because we always have fun when we are with them.

For dinner, we did taco salad - easy, but everyone always likes it - and some fresh berries.  There was a blackberry pie and ice cream for dessert.

With this group, conversation never lacks!  We had so much fun, with more than enough laughter to tide us over for a while.  With the stories Lorie told about her kindergarteners, the stories about everyone's kids, some hilarious adventures we all have had at various times, we had a ball.  We even had a serious time while we discussed the many people we know who are struggling with medical issues at the moment.

I don't know why we don't do this more.  I think we will make a bigger effort to invite different people over every couple of months.  It is good for friendships and it is a fun and relaxing kind of evening.

Friday, February 24, 2012

February 23rd - Another Visiting Teaching Social

We had another of our visiting teaching socials this evening - only had 4 of the sisters come, which was a little less than we had hoped - 8 or 10 is better.  There were several last minute calls - a couple were sick (thank you for not coming!) and one sister who visits a difficult sister got a phone call from her and decided she needed to do that visit instead (agreed!).

Even so, we had a great time and again there was someone who seemed to have a very personal need and found help tonight.  She is dealing with a teen-age daughter who at 15 has suddenly turned extremely difficult and she is at her wit's end.  Another of the sisters there has a daughter who is in her first year of college, but they went through the exact same thing with that daughter.  It was just what Kristin needed - to talk to someone who had been through it and whose daughter is now at BYU-I and completely back to her original wonderful self.  The two of them spent almost the whole time by themselves talking.  So that alone made it a success!

The rest of us shared a few personal stories - the suggestion is "something we don't already know about you."  We had some great stories and it really helps to build a connection.  We also did the VT interviews.  When everyone had left, the three of us in the presidency discussed the interviews and felt good about what we had learned.

This is certainly a different way to do this, but VT Conferences or Workshops just don't cut it.  We feel that we are reaching more sisters and it is so much more personal that there will be benefits down the road that will far outweigh the burden on us having these socials every week or two.  They will continue into April before we finally get them done and then we will have to personally meet with those who never came to a social to get their interviews.  The bishop is very pleased with the success so far, though, and is encouraging us to keep it up.  He likes that we are trying something new.  Obviously the old way was not working!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 22 - David's Birthday

Besides the usual "around the house" stuff, I had a RS presidency  meeting later this morning.  It seems like the compassionate service list took the largest amount of our time!  There are so many people struggling at the moment.  Among them is our friend Jim who was just diagnosed with cancer.  He is in the other ward, although they were part of our ward for years - one of those boundary adjustment things.  We will be supporting the other ward in providing assistance as needed.  We have another sister who is pregnant.  She has scoliosis which causes considerable pain on its own and while pregnant, she is nearly immobile because of the pain.  This is her second pregnancy and she suffered the same through the first one, too.  We will be providing some food for her to help out, and as it gets closer to her due date, probably considerably more.  The list goes one - I think I ended up with at least eight names!  We are praying for the blessings that each of them needs individually and hoping that we will be inspired to offer whatever help it is that they most need when they most need it.

It is also David's birthday and he likes a stay at home dinner for his birthday.  We went over there, so Lisa could cook, but it turned out David did the cooking - by his own request.  He fixed tacos, which we all love.  I had to take our taco mold over so they could fry the tortillas.  That is the one object that we own that may cause a dispute when it comes time to divide our estate!  Both Billy and Lisa have put in their requests for the taco maker.  It is something we bought at Taco Tico, a taco place in Orlando, probably 40 years ago.  It was one of the few fast food taco places around then and it was THE place to stop after attending stake meetings in Orlando.  On a whim, we bought it one time because it happened to be on display.  We have never been able to find another one.  Most of them are "V" shaped and the taco shell breaks apart.  This one is "U" shaped and holds the meat perfectly.  Anyway, such a silly thing to get so much attention in our house!

Lisa took an old tee shirt that was still in good condition and drew a little road map on the back - you know, like those play mats that show roads and buildings and kids use a car to drive on the roads.  She saw the idea on Pinterest and that is what she and the kids gave David for a gift.  The idea is that he can put the shirt on, lay on the floor, and the kids can drive their cars on the map and it will feel like getting a back massage!  Love it!  Lisa and Ashby also made a birthday cake that looked like a golf course.  Wonder why?!!!

It was a nice way to spend a Wednesday evening - getting to play with the grandkids, eat tacos, cake, and just have a relaxing evening.  David is a good husband and father and it was fun to help him celebrate another birthday.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 21st - Whew! On the Go All Day!

The day started out on the down side.  While checking FB, I discovered that a friend of ours was just diagnosed with cancer.  He had been in the hospital last week for a bleeding ulcer and Bill had been up to help give him a blessing.  Yesterday they were told that they had discovered lymphoma.  Not much other info yet; will know more after the visit with oncologist.  He is in his mid-40's and has 6 children, the oldest age 18.  This is a treatable cancer, so we will hope that it was found early enough that it will respond well to treatment.

I then went to the temple to do a session.  That is always a good day.  I went off and left my family file cards sitting right out in the open, but I saw a friend at the temple, so I did one of her names for her.

After finishing at the temple, I went down to visit my friend Judith at Our Lady's hospice.  Judith was up and dressed and watching TV.  She says she has not been having any pain yet, and is still sleeping well.  She is struggling with breathing a little more, though.  I can see that she is slipping some, but she looked remarkably well under the circumstances.  We had a nice visit for a half hour or so.

By the time I got back home, it was 3:00, so I had a late lunch, and then relaxed for a few minutes at the computer.  I thought I would take care of one of the genealogy emails I had received, which led to making some major corrections on new.familysearch.  One of the people I was checking on had almost 70 records combined together and at least 40 of them were totally the wrong person!  I separated them again and tried to get the information straightened out.  I left messages, but I don't think that matters.  I have found that new.familysearch is not a good or reliable source for anything other than whether the temple work has been completed.  The last three times that I have checked something, the information has been totally wrong, like the one today - names combined together when they are not the same person.  What a mess that site is!

This evening was RS Book Group.  We read Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson and we all liked it.  It is a young adult book about a young slave girl during the Revolutionary War.  It is the first of a trilogy.  I have read the first two and am waiting for the third to come out next fall.  (Thanks to my roommate, MA, for the recommendation a while back.)

When I got home, I was exhausted, so I spent the last part of my day reading in bed.

It was a whirlwind day, but most of it was good!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February 20th - Visiting Charlene

Bill's job for today got postponed at the last minute, so he did the grocery shopping that had been on my to-do list.  That meant I only had to put the things away.  Of course, he bought three times the number of things that were on the list, but.......  It did give me a morning at home to do my other things.

In the afternoon, I went to visit my friend Charlene, who has been quite ill recently.  She spent about nine days in the hospital in January when she was admitted after seeing the doctor about her heart.  She was retaining water to the point of being life threatening and every oral diuretic that they had given her had caused difficult side effects.  They kept her on an IV diuretic and pulled off an enormous amount of water.  Her heart is enlarged and there are some other problems that will be dealt with by further testing and treatment over the next few months.

She did not tell anyone, nor would she let her husband tell anyone, that she was in the hospital.  She says she didn't want any visitors at the hospital.  The truth is that she is very wary of being around people much at all.  Over the last several years, she has been hospitalized with bronchitis and other lung problems and she avoids any place where she might pick up any kind of sickness.  It really frightens her, to be truthful.

Likewise, she doesn't like a lot of people to visit her at home, because she doesn't want germs brought in.  She had contacted her visiting teacher when she got out of the hospital and let her visit (just one of them - the other has small children and she didn't want to get exposed to anything.)  Other than that, I don't think she has let anyone in.

She and I have always gotten on well.  We are close to the same age.  She had been my visiting teacher for a long time.  Plus, we just seemed to get on well.  So, I talked to her husband at church and asked if he thought she would let me come visit.  He thought she would.  He said, "She really likes you," which was a nice thing to say.  I called her that week and we talked for a long time.  When I asked if I could come by and visit she was very agreeable and we set a time.

We had a really nice visit today.  I was there for an hour and a half and we never stopped talking.  She is a big talker and I can hold my own, so we had no trouble filling the time.  I enjoyed it a lot.  She is doing much better - she has dropped more of the water; her blood pressure is back under control; she has been on oxygen but has just about cut that out, at least when she is seated; she is able to be up and around with no trouble; she is not sleeping during the day and has more energy than she has had in a while.

It was a good visit.

We ended the day by going to Empty Nesters FHE, which was fun.  There were 9 people there, the hostess was alone as her husband was working out of town, but we all told our stories of how we met (in honor of Valentine's day.).  It was a lot of fun to learn new things about some people we have known for a long time.

Monday, February 20, 2012

February 19th - Sunday

So if my Saturday was just another Saturday, then my Sunday must have been just another Sunday.  Of course, Sunday is one of the best days of the week, so just another Sunday is a very good thing!

We are on an afternoon church session now, which I don't like as much as the morning session.  But, it does mean I can be lazy about getting up and doing some things in the morning.  Today I finished up a couple of things in preparation for Relief Society - did my usual computer stuff - worked a little on family history - made sure everything was ready to go for dinner - etc.

This being third Sunday, we had high a council speaker.  This one is brand new to the high council and this was his first speaking assignment.  The 2nd counselor in the stake presidency was also attending our ward, so the speaker mentioned that in addition to being nervous because it was his first time, he was extra nervous because President Frost was there.  He then went on to give an excellent talk.  The first speaker was a young woman and the second was a young man preparing to go on a mission.  They were both good talks, as well.

The closing hymn was "How Great Thou Art," which is always a tearjerker.  I am fine until the third verse that starts out talking about His giving His son and then I am overwhelmed, both with the message, but more because of Jason.  I think I understand in a tiny little way what it means to give your son.

Sunday School was a lesson on the Book of Mormon - included Nephi's Psalm this time, which is always worth rereading and talking about.

In Relief Society, the lesson was on Joseph Smith.  The teacher for this lesson is a convert of just a few years, and she can be rather outspoken and totally honest.  She started by saying that she almost called and said she couldn't teach this lesson, because while she had a testimony that Joseph Smith had his First Vision, she had always felt uncomfortable with how so many in the church almost deify him.  She then went on to give a great lesson.  All of these George Albert Smith lessons have been powerful.  There was a strong spirit of testimony about Joseph Smith being a true prophet and I think everyone took something special from the lesson.

When I got home, the kids were already here.  I put dinner together - cooked some spaghetti, frozen peas, frozen shrimp scampi, and baked the frozen bread dough.  How do you say - I felt lazy today?  It was actually very good and everyone ate a lot.  I get the shrimp scampi at Costco and while it is a little expensive, it is so convenient since it has all the butter and seasonings already frozen onto the shrimp.

It is always fun having the kids here and Brooks and Ashby are so entertaining!  They couldn't stay long, as Brooks was tired and needed to get home to bed, so by 7:00 they were gone.

I spent a little time checking email, etc., and clearing up a couple of things that had come up during the day.  Then I had a bowl of ice cream for my dessert, got ready for bed, read my scriptures, and then read my book for the next couple of hours.  I finished the book that I received in the mail.  I need to contact the author now and give him my opinion.  I actually thought the book was very good.

And thus my Just Another Sunday was over.  And it was a good one!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February 18 - Just Another Saturday

Just another Saturday today - laundry, cleaning, planning Sunday dinner, etc.  Bill went to help David do some work on the retaining wall in his yard, so I was home alone most of the day.

Besides the expected Saturday chores, I called Judith, my friend in hospice  She sounded much better than the last time I talked to her.  I am going to try to go down and visit one day this week, if she is up to having visitors on the day I can go.

I also had to get some Relief Society things done before Sunday, including the weekly service opportunities email. 

When everything else was done - well, except for going to pick up some groceries, which I never did do - I did my usual computer stuff and worked on family history again.  I had several family history emails to respond to which means I had to make sure I had everything correct in my own file before I started answering questions from other people.

I printed out the sheet to print out more cards at the temple next time I go.  I also prepared the stack of cards to take with me to the temple - a couple of endowment cards and another stack of couple sealings.  I always double check to make sure someone else hasn't done the work in the time since I originally printed the cards.  It is amazing how often I discover that the work is no longer necessary!  So now I have my family file cards prepared for a temple trip - hopefully this week, but not sure since the calendar is pretty full.

In the evening, I read the book that the author sent to me earlier in the week.  I had started it the night before and it is actually pretty good.  After tonight, I am better than half way through it.  It is a mystery about a man who kidnaps four women and keeps them in seclusion for six months.  Figuring out his and his friend's motives is interesting - nothing is as it seems.  The FBI investigation part is also very good - working with virtually no leads.  The love interest between two of the agents is the weak part.  I don't think this author should write romance; he doesn't seem to get it.  I do appreciate that it isn't graphic, but the interaction between the two agents is not too realistic.  Even so, I am actually enjoying the book and am anxious to finish it.

So, another normal Saturday is finished.  It was a good day and I got a lot done, even if it doesn't sound like much!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 17th - Grandkids and the Mall

So today was going along as a usual day.  I did spend some time scrapbooking (working on the Williamsburg trip) family history, all the usual.

In the afternoon, Lisa called and said they needed to get out of the house for a while.  So, we met up at Discover Mills Mall for a while.  We hadn't remembered that the kids were all out of school (a snow make up day that they got as a holiday since there have been no snow days this year), so the place was mobbed.

We still had a good time.  Ashby's favorite place is the Disney Store.  She is so totally taken with all the Disney princesses that she can spend hours in there, I think.  We then walked up to the food court - or shall I say that Brooks was walking and that was where he led us? - but it was too late in the afternoon to eat.  They did ride the carousel, which is always fun to do.

Then more walking.  Brooks is so darn cute walking.  He is so chunky that he looks like a stump with legs, and boy do those legs move.  You almost have to run to keep up with him!  Needless to say, he attracted a lot of attention.

We took a quick walk through Dress Barn, thinking we might come back to do some birthday shopping for Lisa later in the month.  Ashby stood in front of the mirror, crossing her feet to curtsey, blowing kisses, and waving the princess hand.  The store clerk got the biggest kick out of her.

Then it was time to go - that was it.  Just a couple of hours at the mall with the grandkids - but, oh, how that made it into such a great day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

February 16th - What's a Normal Day Like?

Another stay-at-home day - the boredom continues!  Except that I was not bored one minute today.  I have so many things to do that I am busy every minute.  So, just what kept me so busy?

Well, there is always the "walking through the house and straightening everything in sight" task.  My house may not be truly clean, but it is very neat.  I learned a long time ago that neat equates to clean for most people, so the secret to good housekeeping is to keep it neat.

Second, there are the loads of laundry - sheets and jeans today.  With just two of us now, I can get by doing a couple of loads a couple of times a week and pretty much keep up.  I used to have to do at least a load a day.  Now I have one of the bigger washing machines and less laundry - so go figure - why didn't I have this machine when I needed it?

Naturally, washing sheets means remaking the bed.  I am lazy here, too.  The sheets come off, they get washed, and put right back on.  No folding sheets for me, if I can avoid it!

Then, of course, I had to eat, so that took a little time.  Let's see, poached eggs and toast and juice for breakfast -- leftovers for late lunch -- popcorn for dinner.  Yes, popcorn.  If I eat much for lunch, then I don't feel like eating anything big for dinner - and Bill was at a meeting anyway - so evening snack of popcorn is perfect.

Much of the rest of the day was at the computer.  I have to start by looking at all my junk emails in my junk account.  That isn't as bad as it may sound.  That is where I get all the special emails from various companies, services, etc.  It doesn't take long to go through them, but sometimes I find a treasure.  Today I ordered a book from Deseret Books that was on sale and with free shipping.  Something for the kids, you know!  I downloaded a few e-coupons, just in case I buy something.  I downloaded a free e-recipe book with delicious looking sweets.  I will probably never use it, but it was free, and who knows when I might need something!  I read a couple of interesting articles, etc.

Then I went to my regular email address and had some emails relating to Relief Society that required some action.  There were several emails relating to family history that I put into the special file for answering later.  I subscribe to 3 local online papers, so I had to look at those to see if there was any interesting news.

Next up was the blogs - I needed to write mine and look at those that I follow.  The most important of those are the free Kindle books ones - which meant I also had to download a couple of free books that looked good.  I now have almost 250 books on my Kindle - and I move them off once I have read them.  I doubt I will ever get them all read, but I can't turn down a good, free book.  While I am checking blogs, I also need to take a quick peek at Pinterest to see if any of the people I follow have posted anything interesting.

So, by then, it was mid-morning.  I had things pretty much in control, so it was time to turn to family history, which filled most of the rest of the day.  I am still working on the Bacon-Wesco line and keep finding new things.  I thought I had done everything there already, so it is a good thing I was rechecking before preparing the book.

In the middle of the day, I also took the time to make a couple of phone calls.  I hate phone calls - I put them off as long as possible!  I love email, but sometimes that just won't do.  I tried to call Judith, my friend in hospice, and she didn't answer.  I am really concerned, as she was slipping rapidly the last time I talked to her.  I plan to call the hospice to see if they will tell me anything.  My other call was to another friend who was in the hospital a few weeks ago with congestive heart failure.  She is home and doing much better now.  We had a fun chat and made plans for me to come visit her next week.

Late in the afternoon, Bill got home from his busy day.  He had been to the dentist to get the new cap on his front tooth put in.  It looks good.  He had also done a couple of estimates and had lunch with his sister.  He was able to give me an update on our two friends who are currently in the hospital.  (What is this - are we getting old or what - everyone we know seems to be in the hospital or just getting out!)

He brought in the mail and there was a package for me - surprise.  It was from Texas - who do I know in Texas? - and I didn't recognize the name.  I opened it to find a hardcover book!  Inside was a personal note from the author.  He had seen my review for a certain book on Amazon and said I had "nailed it."  (I didn't do any reviews today, but I do a lot of them, too.  Mostly so I can get free books - there we go again!)  The book was his first novel and he asked if I would read it and give him feedback.  Interesting - the review that he referred to was pretty sharp.  I had liked some things about the book, but it had some major flaws, which I definitely pointed out.  I hate reviews that aren't totally honest.  I guess he thought he would get an honest review from me.  The book actually looks like it might be good - I do love mysteries.  So I will read it next.  (A lot of authors self-publish, which he did, and then have it printed.  One of the ways they get publicity for their books is through Amazon and other book site reviews.  That is why I can get so many free books for reviews.)

After Bill left for his meeting, I finished up things at the computer, backed up my family history files, and shut it down.  Then came the popcorn that I mentioned earlier.  I sat and read my Kindle book while eating that.  I never turn the TV on anymore.  I don't have time to watch it!  By then it was almost 9:00, so I got ready for bed, climbed in with the Kindle and read until Bill got home.

Now, that is a detailed example of a typical day for me.  Like I said, how boring is that?  I wouldn't change it, either.  It is just the way I like it!  Of course, some days we add in meetings, visits, grandkids, going out to lunch, temple, scrapbooking, etc.  I am just so busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 15th - Back to the routine!

Back to regular posts - and my regular, not all that interesting, life.  I wouldn't change a thing, but it is rather boring when it comes to trying to write about it!

A good bit of my morning was spent on Relief Society things.  I had some things to work on at home and then we had a short presidency meeting.  Always good, but nothing to retell there.

After doing a few odds and ends around the house, I spent most of the afternoon working on family history.  I have started double checking all the information on my Bacon-Wesco lines so I can put a book together, but today I got side tracked.  That happens so often!  I happened to see a problem on new.familysearch about Emma Large.  Actually, there were two Emma Larges.  They were sisters.  The first died when she was about a year old.  When the next daughter was born about four years later, they named her Emma, as well.  On new.familysearch, they had been combined into one person.  I couldn't stand to have that baby lost in the shuffle, so I tried to make some corrections and in the process I ended up spending the next couple of hours working on that family.  Oh, well.  I will get my book done sometime!

Bill went by the hospital to visit our friend Don again.  He is struggling - had a fever spike the night before and got a blood transfusion in the morning.  He is just not able to stand yet.  With only one hip replaced, the other is still totally unusable; plus, not having walked for two years, his legs are extremely weak.  This is going to be a long haul for him.  Once he has the second surgery in six weeks, therapy will be more effective.  They are hoping that he will be walking in a year.

As he was about to leave for the hospital, Bill got a call from another friend who was in the ER with a gastro-intestinal problem.  This is a chronic problem for him, and we don't know yet exactly what is going on right now.  He has had bleeding in the past, so hopefully that is not happening again.  Anyway, Bill went by there first to help give him a blessing.  The hospital is keeping him overnight, so hopefully by tomorrow we will know more.

Wednesday is activity night at church, so as soon as he got back from the hospital visits, he had to head over to the church.  Meanwhile, I am having a quiet evening at home.  I had some popcorn, read a book, then headed to bed early, where I read some more.  Not much to retell - but I love my life!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 14th - Valentine's Day!

So the countdown is finished and Valentine's Day is here.  We are not into doing big things on these kinds of days, but this was a good day nonetheless.

Bill's job that had been scheduled had to be postponed, and since I was planning on going to the temple anyway, we went together.  We did some family file sealings first - 21 couples, 7 daughters, and 5 sons.  Another couple that we know quite well happened to show up at the temple at the exact same time and they were planning to do some sealings, too, so they helped us do the work.  It was a nice added bonus.  Then we did a session.  It was nice to be at the temple, and especially to hear the sealing covenant.  It helped remind us of our great blessings in being sealed together for time and eternity.

On the way home, we stopped for a late lunch at O'Charley's.  I love their loaded potato soup, so of course I had that, plus a grilled white cheese with bacon and tomato sandwich.  Bill had soup and a pasta dish.  We were really hungry by then, so every bite was so good!

From there, the day was a little busy - and we went our separate ways.  Bill went up to the hospital to visit the friend who had hip surgery yesterday.  Then he went to a high school basketball game.  One of the young men in our ward plays on the team and his dad is an assistant coach.  It was the first game of the playoffs, and since the team isn't all that good, Bill expected it to be the last game of the season and he wanted to go show support.

I spent some time on family history and then planned to attend a genealogy meeting for the Eastern Georgia Genealogy Association.  I drove to the place where the meeting was to be, but there was no one there.  I double checked my information and I was at the right place, on the right day, at the right time.  Don't know what happened, but I came on home and finished out my evening having a bowl of ice cream and then going to bed early to read.  I have to admit, I didn't complain!

I guess that all doesn't sound too romantic.  We have never been into all that romance stuff - it may be important to some people, but it never has been to me.  I prefer to be treated well all 365 days of the year, which I am.

It was very nice being together at the temple and doing some extra things there.  I know I am loved, and I love Bill, and my Valentine's Day was just about perfect!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 13th - Countdown to Valentine's Day - medical professionals

We have a friend - we have only known him for less than a year since he and his wife moved here to be near their daughter and family.  He has been unable to walk for a couple of years now.  Needless to say, he has spent a lot of time with doctors, but no one had been able to determine exactly what the problem was.  He has even had some back surgeries to try to correct the problem.

His daughter, a nurse, took him to yet another doctor.  This one took one look at all the x-rays of his back, knees, hips, and everything else, and said the problem is not the back or the knees.  Both hips need to be replaced.  This was the first time they really felt hope that maybe he would actually be able to walk again.

Today Don had the surgery to replace the first hip.  In six weeks, he will have the surgery for the other hip.  They have to do them so close together, because he can't do a lot of the therapy until both hips are replaced.  Good news is the surgery went well, just as planned.  They were going to make him sit up in bed late this evening and get up to take his first steps tomorrow.  We are glad that things are going well and hope that his recovery will be complete.

We have had our share of experience with medical personnel and, most of the time, they are great.  There are some doctors and nurses who don't seem to care or just go through the motions, but the good ones make a huge difference in the lives of their patients.  The nurses who provide care in the hospital are top notch.  They may be busy and feel overwhelmed, but they take time with each patient.

I am glad that there are people who are willing to give so much to help others who are sick.  I have special feelings of love for such care givers today.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 12th - Countdown to Valentine's Day - Teachers

Another good Sunday.  I especially enjoyed our lessons in Sunday School and Relief Society.

In Sunday School, of course, we are studying the Book of Mormon.  Lisa is the name of the teacher and she is great.  You can tell she does a lot of studying and pondering as she prepares.  She always has insightful comments.  She sometimes looks at things from a slightly differently angle, and I like that.  I always feel like I have learned something - even when I have studied the same thing many times before.

The Relief Society lesson was about testimonies of Jesus Christ.  The teacher for that lesson was Angel.  She has been teaching for only a few months and feels overwhelmed teaching adults instead of children.  But, as a convert (of quite a few years now), she still shares an excitement about the gospel and the new things to be learned.  Her testimony is sweet and honest and there is always a wonderful spirit when she teaches.  These lessons from the teachings of George Albert Smith are wonderful, and the stories from his life are inspiring.  Angel does a great job of making those stories a launch pad for his teachings.

So today I have really enjoyed these teachers, as well as the teachers who teach on other weeks, and I have felt a special feeling of love for them.  They obviously spend time in studying, praying, and meditating in order to have these lessons change our lives.  Thanks to all of them.  I do love these wonderful sisters!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 11 - Countdown to Valentine's Day - General Authorities

Today was the Worldwide Leadership Training and our stake chose to show it at 8 am!!!!  A bit early for a meeting, but I am up by then anyway, the turnout was quite good, and that did leave the rest of Saturday open.  What really mattered, of course, was that the training was really good.

I always enjoy hearing from the general authorities and in a meeting like this, they are a little more relaxed and more of their individual personalities come through.  The emphasis was on families and how councils in the church can help to strengthen individual families.

I enjoyed the training - and I could feel the love that the general authorities have for each of the members of the church, including me!  I love them back.  It was a wonderful way to start a day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February 10th - Countdown to Valentine's Day! - Dad

I was able to spend almost the whole day working on my grandmother's family history.  I read all the letters that she wrote to my grandfather while they were courting.  I posted tons of pictures, news articles, and other things that tell about her life.

I also found pictures of my father when he was just a child.  I enjoyed looking at those pictures and imagining what he was like.  I knew him as a father, husband, patrolman, pilot, and many other ways, so I know some of his sense of humor and his mischievousness.  I could see some of that same twinkle in his face as a child.  He was a lot like my grandfather in that way.  He has always loved to make people laugh.

He was only 18 when my parents married; only 19 when I was born.  Even though he was young, he took his responsibilities very seriously and did everything he could to provide well for his family.  We didn't have a lot - patrolmen don't make a big salary - but we had what we needed and then some.

We had a lot of fun family time when I was growing up.  Again, we didn't do a lot of expensive things, but we did do a lot of things.  One of our favorite family activities was to go on picnics.  We often went down to a park in Fayette or to Echo Valley State Park close to West Union..  Our favorite place to go was to Pike's Peak, a state park on a huge bluff above the Mississippi River.  We always cooked hot dogs over an open fire, using sticks we pulled from the trees.  Mom would usually make a potato salad and we would have chips.  Of course, marshmallows always ended the feast once the fire had burned down to the perfect point.  My dad was a master at cooking those marshmallows to perfection!  We just burned ours, but not him.

He always encouraged us in our church activity.  He did not much like that Mom joined the church, but he thought it was great for his kids.  He pushed me to get my applications in for BYU early, so I could be accepted and have a place to stay on campus.  He insisted that I be married in the temple, rather than in a civil ceremony first, because he felt that it was too important to make it a "second" ceremony.

I have always been a "daddy's girl," and he still makes me feel like I am important to him.  I have been very blessed in having such a great dad.  My feelings of love have been centered on him a lot today.  Love you, Dad, and thanks for a great life!

Friday, February 10, 2012

February 9th - Countdown to Valentine's Day - My grandparents

Very predictably, I started my next family history project today.  It is the project I have been planning for some time and I am so glad to finally get going on it.  I am working on my grandmother's line (the Bacon/Wesco line) to put together a book.  I am hoping to visit with cousins later this year and wanted to have it ready to give to them.

I have already done a lot of work on this line, so I am just going back to verify that everything is correct, to see if I can find any more documentation, and to add pictures and stories.  Then I can pull the book together.  I am expecting it will take me two or three months to get it done.

So, today I started with my grandmother.  We pulled some things out of the attic several weeks ago and among those things were pictures, letters, and other documents from my grandparents.  Today I scanned a number of pictures in and wrote several stories based on the documents I found.  The stories included about their wedding, my grandmother's report cards, graduation, other schooling, etc.  It was really fun to look at these pieces and try to put together the story.  I have plenty more to do as I still have plenty of pictures and stories of the years following.

I loved all my grandparents, but there was always a little extra special feeling for Grandma and Grandpa Nelson.

When I was little, my Grandpa Nelson was my favorite person in the whole world - and I guess that never really changed much.  The year before he died, I flew back from Provo, where I was going to college, to drive him down to Texas from Iowa, where they had wintered for many years.  He could drive locally, but was not able to drive that long distance.  He took me around to everyone he knew so that he could show me off. 

He always had a twinkle in his eye and loved to tease, but it was always fun teasing, never hurtful.  He taught me to play cribbage when I was really little.  It was his favorite card game and he wanted a partner, I guess.  I was so small that I really don't even remember it.  I just remember that I have always known how to play cribbage.  A couple of winters when they didn't go to Texas, he drove a school bus.  I remember riding with him on the bus and being so proud that he was my grandpa!  He was born in Denmark, but was young enough when he came to the United States that he did not have an accent.  He did tell some stories about how poor they were there and how much they loved the United States.  He served in WWI in France.  He died in 1970.

My grandmother was one of the sweetest people I have ever known.  I never remember seeing her angry or mean.  She was gentle in her manner.  I noticed in her bridal memories book that she wrote about the flower girl and said "that pretty little Dorothy Knudsen."  That was a great example of how she saw every one - always sweet or pretty or kind.  She loved her grandchildren, and I was the oldest, so maybe got a little extra attention.  She always bought season passes for the local swimming pool and called it the Nelson pass - my cousins lived in town, but she always added my brother's and my names to the list so we could swim when we were visiting.  She would sometimes give my cousin Shirley and I a dollar each and let us walk uptown to shop.  Our favorite snack at her home was an ice cream soda, made with 7Up, ice cream, and chocolate syrup.  She gave me her sewing machine when I graduated from high school and I still have it.  It is one of those little Singer's and must have been one of the best ever made.  I also have her cedar chest that she had before she married.  She died in 1965.

So, today my grandparents have been at the center of my thoughts and they have definitely brought out many feelings of love.  I have been very lucky to have grandparents as wonderful as they were!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February 8th - Countdown to Valentine's Day - Mom

I finished matching all the names in my Roots Magic files with NewFamilySearch, so I finally got to start on some other things that I have been anxious to do in genealogy.  The first thing was to connect a cousin to the tree.  He had written me a note, since my email got hacked and he didn't have the new one.  He is only a little younger than I am, but I really don't know him - other than by correspondence.  I hadn't ever connected him into my family tree, so that was a priority for me.

His grandfather and my grandfather were brothers.  They both came from Sweden in the early 1900's, at different times.  I vaguely remember his grandfather and I probably met Gene when we were little at a family reunion, but we never had a lot of contact with that side of the family.  I had his grandparents in the tree, but I hadn't done their children, etc., so that is what I worked on today.

Doing that brought my focus to my mother.  Her father, my grandfather, was the kind of man who didn't talk much to children or interact on a personal way with them.  I don't ever remember him giving me a hug or sitting in his lap, although I probably did when I was really tiny.  We spent a lot of time at their home, but other than his being there, I didn't connect with him much at all.  I think it was just the old world Swedish way of doing things.

I have wondered how he was to his children, especially my mother.  She was the oldest and he was not her biological father.  I know she was a bit rebellious and she told about being disciplined with a razor strap.  And yet there were other things that happened that showed he really did love her.  I know he doted on John, the only son.  Life on a farm is not easy and everyone had to pull their weight.  We even had chores when we would come to visit.  My mother grew up during the depression, having been born in 1929, and pictures from the time show that they didn't have much in the way of clothing or shoes.  They did have food to eat - one of the perks of farm life.  And I know the family was close, because they all worked together.

And yet, out of that difficult time, my mother became such a warm and loving person.  She was always looking to find ways of helping other people.  She was always smiling.  People were drawn to her and liked to be around her.  She was a terrific mother, keeping us safe and making us become independent at the same time.  We always knew that her family was the most important thing in her life.

So today, I have been remembering my mother and feeling my love for her again.  She passed away in 2001, after several years of dealing with the effects of Alzheimer's.  I really lost her completely a few years before she actually died.  But, my memories of her are a lifetime of good things and happy memories.  I love you, Mom!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 7 - Countdown to Valentine's Day! - Dawn

We had one of our visiting teaching socials at my house this evening.  There were about 8 of us.  I got the group started with the socializing by having them each take a turn telling a little about herself.  Once it got going, I started the interviews in the other room.  One nice thing is once they got started, they had plenty to say and conversation never lagged.  One of the purposes of doing these socials was to help the sisters feel closer to each other and I think that is working out well.

The highlight of the evening for me was after I had finished the interviews and went back in with the group.  They had divided into two groups and each was having interesting conversations.  The group I joined was talking about the nonmember husband of one of them.  She was expressing how great he is, but how he wants nothing to do with the church.  She made the comment that she couldn't believe she was sharing some of these feelings.  (Good sign that she was really comfortable and feeling a bond.)  One of the other sisters began to share the story of her mother and how she was not active for years and years and then late in her life, she finally worked to be worthy to go to the temple.  It was her story that pulled me in.

Her mother was in her 80's and after working really hard had set a date to go to the temple.  She had her special recommend and the date was set with the temple.  Everyone was very excited.  Then, just a week before she was to go, she passed away.  Dawn, the daughter telling the story, said that they contacted the temple and asked if they had to wait a year.  They were told that since she had her recommend and all arrangements had been made that they could do her work immediately, which they did.

After she had finished, I commented that I remembered that happening while I was a temple worker - the family had come to do the work for a sister who had passed away and they were able to do it, because all the preparations had already been made.  Dawn looked up at me and said, "Yes, and you were the proxy for my mother when I was sealed to her."  My mouth dropped open.  "That was you?"  I had not known her at that time and I didn't remember the people, only the event, even though we were in the same ward.

With tears, she told me that she remembered and that she had been proxy for her mother when her parents were sealed, and then I had taken her mother's place, so she could be sealed to her parents.  I absolutely got goose bumps up and down my arms.

I have always liked Dawn, but I had not remembered her at the temple that day, although that particular event had been very special.  Now I feel an incredible sense of connection with Dawn.  I can honestly say I had some very powerful feelings of love tonight!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 6th - Valentine's Day Countdown! - Lisa

Today Lisa and the kids came over to spend the day, so David could do some more painting.  In the afternoon, we went out to do some errands.  I needed to go by the library, and the children love going to the library, so we spent maybe an hour hanging out there.

Then we went over to the Dollar Store.  I wanted to pick up a couple of Valentine's decorations for my refreshment table.  They also enjoy walking around the dollar store and especially looking in the toy section.

Our final stop was across the street at the Steak and Shake.  They do a happy hour thing from 2 - 4 where some of the food is half off.  We were ready for a snack, so we shared a plate of french fries, I had a milk shake, Ashby had a dish of ice cream, etc.

The scary part of the whole day was as we were entering the restaurant, Lisa slipped on some loose rocks that were on the sidewalk and fell.  (This is why I do not like rocks in a shrubbery bed right next to a sidewalk - there are often loose rocks that get on the sidewalk!)  She was holding Brooks and managed to twist herself somehow so that he ended up with just a scrape on his forehead.  It could have been so much worse if he had gone headfirst into the sidewalk.  In the process, she did a pretty good number on her knee - it is bruised and swelled, but hopefully no damage was done.  Ashby and I were both scared by it.  Ashby's first response was to move all those rocks back into the bed.  She is so sensitive that it was all she could do not to cry when Brooks cried.

It all reminded me how much I love my daughter.  She is a wonderful mother, wife, and daughter.  It is scary to see something happening and be totally unable to do anything to stop it.  I am glad that neither she nor Brooks were hurt anymore than they were.  I do love Lisa!

Monday, February 6, 2012

February 5th - Valentine's Day Countdown - RS sisters

Today was Sunday, so of course attending church was the main event of the day.

(I know, it is Super Bowl Sunday, which means exactly zero to me!  My nod to the super bowl was to plan a little different meal than usual.  Our Super Bowl dinner menu was pulled pork sandwiches, kielbasa chili, shell pasta salad, and cole slaw.  It was actually all very good.  It is always fun having the kids over for Sunday dinners.)

But back to church..........

Besides a very good testimony meeting, and a great lesson on the Book of Mormon in gospel doctrine, we had a wonderful Relief Society lesson.  The other counselor, Sarah, taught it and I thought it was just what we needed.  She talked about the purposes of Relief Society and how the RS is under the authority of the priesthood and patterned after the organization of the priesthood.   She discussed many examples of that and what a blessing it is to the sisters, if we just understood it.  The interesting thing is that the sisters themselves turned the discussion towards visiting teaching.  Virtually every question that Sarah asked brought a response that somehow included visiting teaching.

I thought that was really interesting, because we are struggling with that right now and are trying several things to change their hearts so they will make visiting teaching a higher priority.  The spirit in the lesson was really strong, and I know many sisters were really touched.  Hopefully, they carry that feeling home and ponder it enough for it to prompt positive changes.

What all of that has to do with my Feelings of Love series here is that I realized how much I really love these sisters, individually and as a group.  When someone who has no natural born sisters can say that her life is full of wonderful sisters - well, that is a feeling of love!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

February 4 - Valentine's Day Countdown - Bill

Today was a fairly normal Saturday - some laundry, some housework, etc.  Then I spent my time working on the family history matching and listening to more of the stream from RootsTech 2012.  Not too exciting, I must admit, but I liked it.

Bill went over to help David do some work on his front yard, so I was home alone all afternoon.  I even managed to squeeze in a nap.  When Bill came back, he suggested we go out to Del Rio for dinner.  That is our favorite Mexican restaurant near us.  So after getting cleaned up, that is what we did.

It was very crowded, but we somehow just managed to "thread the needle" and only waited a few minutes.  Shortly after we were seated, the waiting line was enormous!  They have live music on Saturday evenings, and sometimes it is quite good.  Tonight's singer was OK, but not as good as some.  Fortunately, we were seated far enough away that we could hear each other, so we were able to have a nice conversation.

It was a nice evening.  I do love my husband.  He works hard, and puts up with me, and even makes me feel special!  Thanks, Bill!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

February 3rd - Countdown to Valentine's Day - Ashby & Brooks

When thinking of love, it is understood that the grandchildren will show up somewhere!  Maybe more than once!!!!! Today was the day.

Lisa called and they were looking for something to do to get out.  So we met at the mall for lunch and playing.  I got there first, so I was sitting at one of the tables by the play area.  I saw Lisa, Ashby and Brooks come in and about the same time, Ashby looked up and saw me.  She took off running, with arms outspread, a big smile on her face, and shouting, "Gamma."  Needless to say, I grabbed her up and gave her plenty of hugs and kisses and got my share in return.

By the time Lisa and Brooks got to the table, Brooks was grinning and jumping around, trying to get out of the stroller.  He got his share of hugs and kisses, too.  There is nothing like being a grandma!

We went to the food court for lunch - Chik Filet today - and then got an ice cream cone to eat as we walked back down the mall to the play area.  As we usually do, we stopped first at the coin operated vehicles, so they could ride some of them.  Ashby is learning to check my pocket to see if there are any quarters, and today my pocket was full of them.

Our next stop was the play area.  Brooks is walking all over the place now and he had more fun.  He is captivated with the mall train, so he keeps trying to escape so he can see the train.  He loves climbing through the little tunnels and walking through the playhouse.  Ashby was into bouncing and running laps and finally she managed to climb up and jump off of everything.  Both had a lot of fun.

We finished the mall time with a ride on the train.  Well, I didn't ride the train, but the kids went with Lisa.  I sat on the bench and waved every time they went by.  Brooks couldn't stop smiling the whole time.  He is currently obsessed with trains.  One of his favorite toys at home is the Thomas the Train set we bought Ashby a year ago for Christmas.

Our final stop of the day was at the Dollar Store.  Ashby wanted to ride in Grandma's car and we had quite the conversation on the way over.  I made a comment about making sure I found the right place to turn.  She then proceeded to explain to me that we needed to have a map!

So today's feelings of love are an easy one - anytime the grandchildren are around, I am totally immersed in love!   

Friday, February 3, 2012

February 2nd - Countdown to Valentine's Day - Expo Orphans

So, I went nowhere today - home all day and loved it!  Of course, that means I didn't interact with many people, so I have had to give considerable thought to the "feelings of love" issue.

Besides a few household chores, changing sheets, couple of loads of laundry, and similar stuff, I spent most of the day working on family history.  I am determined to get all these names matched to New.Familysearch so I can move on to some other things I enjoy doing a whole lot more.  Today was also the first day of the RootsTech conference.  Obviously, I am not in Utah, so I wasn't attending that.

Last fall, when I attended the local Family History Expo, I connected with four other women who had also come to the conference alone.  We really hit it off and even gave ourselves a name, "The Expo Orphans."  We exchanged emails and have touched base with each other every so often.  They are all nice ladies and it has been fun.  This morning one of them sent an email, reminding us that there was a link to get live streaming of some of the RootsTech presentations.

So, I spent the afternoon working on my family history and listening to genealogy classes.  What a great day it turned out to be!

All of this is the long way around to say that I love my new friends.  They have brought a new light into my life.  It is fun to have other genealogy junkies to chat with.  Here is the picture we took (so we would recognize each other when we all show up at the next conference - LOL!)  Love you, Orphans!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February 1 - Countdown to Valentine's Day! RS Presidency

So, I have decided to try another journal for the next fourteen days - this time about love.  I will try to see if I can find something that fills my heart with a feeling of love everyday.

Today I had a RS presidency meeting with three of the best people ever.  I really love this calling, and I especially love the women I work with.  We seem to be able to talk opening and freely and exchange ideas without negative feelings.  Good brainstorming can lead to innovative ideas, and we seem to be good at it.

I love that they sincerely care about the sisters in our ward.  As we discuss those with special needs, there is genuine concern about the individual and a desire to ease the problem, if we can.  It is especially noticeable as we discuss the visiting teachers and their routes.  It is a never ending shuffle to make sure that everyone is assigned as a visiting teacher and that everyone has a visiting teacher.  We spend a lot of time trying to match the companions and the lists so that everyone will be blessed.

We are a diverse group, which makes it all the more enjoyable to work together. I am the granny, of course.  Melanie, the president, is the parent of a teenager.  She very much is guided by the spirit and sees things from that point of view.  Her focus is on the sisters and their needs, and not so much on what I call the "fluff" - the pretty stuff that doesn't really change lives.  Sarah is a young mother, who struggled with infertility for a long time and is really able to voice concerns for those who may have special struggles.  She keeps us properly focused.  Jennifer, the secretary, is also a young mother, with 3 children.  She is from Paraguay originally and helps give us another perspective on things.  She is an excellent secretary, and we keep her very busy.  She is always happy and that certainly helps keep our meetings upbeat.

Individually, I admire each of them for their strong testimonies and the way they live their lives.  I may be the oldest, in both earth years and church years, but there is still so much for me to learn from them.  So I start the month of love feeling love for these very special friends.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January 31st - End of Another Month!

I am thinking that this new year just started and now a whole month has passed - what is going on?  Who made time speed up?

I did have a useful final day of the month.  One of the sisters I visit teach went to the temple for the first time today.  Her sister is getting married on Saturday, and they both went, along with the groom.  I wanted to be there and it was very nice.  I went early and did some sealings, too, so it was a very nice day at the temple.

In the evening, we had the first of our visiting teaching socials and interviews.  It went really well.  We had invited six companionships and the sisters they visit.  As it turned out we had seven of the 12 visiting teachers come, plus several sisters.  Considering the low turn out for visiting teaching things, we were very pleased.  The sisters really enjoyed a chance to get to sit and chat with each other and, in some cases, make new friends.

So, a busy day, but very productive.  Now if time would slow down a little, maybe another month wouldn't pass before I had a chance to take a breath!