Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 30th - Got to Babysit All Day!

Lisa dropped the kids off late morning so she and David could do a bunch of things without dragging them along.  They both came barreling in with big smiles!  Love it.  As usual, Brooks headed straight to the "Elmo box," the big box of Elmo books.  Of course, it didn't take long for him to get all the hot wheels cars out.  He drives them all over the top of the bookcase where the kids books are.  I find tons of little cars behind the bookcase when I clean.  Ashby was into her Barbies and had them and the Barbie car out.

Brooks went down for his nap shortly after they got here.  Bill had his job for the day get rescheduled, so he took Ashby to run some errands.  He is leaving tomorrow for his niece's wedding and he needed to pick up his new suit and some other things.  They ended up being gone for several hours.

In the meantime, Brooks woke up and had some mac and cheese for his lunch.  He then played with all sorts of things - making quite a mess in the living room, but having a ball!  When Bill and Ashby got back, they all had a quiet time and watched an episode of Ruby and Max while resting on the couch.  Then they were ready to go at it again.

The day was beautiful, although quite warm, so we got swimming suits on and went into the backyard to play in the plastic pool.  It was getting late enough that there was one tree shading part of the backyard, so we set things up there.  They played for the next hour or more and were hilarious!  It is amazing how much fun water is to children.

Then came dinner - spaghetti - and then the bathtub.  Brooks was happy to play in the tub for a long time, but Ashby didn't even want to take a bath, so she played in her own world.  Lisa and David got back by 7:15 or so and the kids were all excited to see mommy and daddy.

I didn't get a whole lot else done, but it sure was a fun day!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 29th - So Monday Came on Tuesday This Week!

With the holiday on Monday and not being home all day, my week got all out of order!  So today I did all the usual Monday things - 3 loads of laundry, straighten up the house, etc.  I also spent a lot of time on some RS things, did several batches of indexing, reading blogs, emails, etc.

Brian came to do the rest of the work on my piano.  There was still a problem with the string that had broken and he will have to try that once more.  He did refresh the hammers - a process of ironing and trimming - so the sound is so much richer. 

I took a late afternoon break, when I finally had some lunch, and watched Atlas Shrugged.  I had never seen the movie, although I love the book.  I was so-so on the movie.  It was just the first part, but even then they had to leave so much out that it missed so much of the story.  It was also shot in really dark tones and I found that made it very hard to see some scenes on the TV.  I won't hold my breath for the second part, if it ever comes out, but I will probably watch it. 

I had finished Edward the King a cay or two ago and really liked that series.  It prompted me to do a little computer research on him and I always like learning new things - or remembering things I had forgotten. 

Bill went hometeaching this evening, so I had some popcorn and started watching another series - Land Girls.  It is a WWII era story about women in the country who are members of the Women's Land Army.  I am not so sure about this one.  We will see.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 28th - Memorial Day

We didn't have any big plans for Memorial Day - and we didn't do all that much!  Actually, we both spent part of the day doing some service projects for friends.  I helped a friend who was moving to a new house with getting the old house cleaned and emptied.  Bill spent a good bit of the day helping another friend reroof his porch roof.  It was a hot day and we were both tired out by it!

We did go out to eat at Macaroni Grill, so that made a very nice finish to our day.  The rest of the time we just relaxed.  We had planned to go out to the cemetery, but the day was gone before we made it.  The flowers need to be replaced, so we will make a trip out there sometime in the near future.

I did remember to pause and give thanks for all those who have served our country in the military - those who gave their lives, those who served and survived, the families of all.  Thank you to those who cared enough to sacrifice for the benefit of us all!

Monday, May 28, 2012

May 27th - Great Sundays Just Keep Rolling Around

I can pretty much say "ditto" to my last Sunday post, with just a few variations.  Church services were wonderful, as usual.  At the very last second, I had to direct the music in Sacrament Meeting again.  They were ready for the opening hymn and realized the chorister was not there.  I got the "eye" from Bill on the stand and knew what he wanted!  The stake patriarch was the concluding speaker and I enjoyed his talk, as well as the other two.

I was the only member of the RS presidency there today, so I felt pretty much alone!  Attendance was very low as there were so many people out of town.  I think that helped.  Since we were so few in number, there was a particularly friendly feeling in the meeting.  Becky gave a great lesson on the talk by Elder Holland in last conference, "The Laborers in the Vineyard." 

When I got home, I found everyone except Lisa sleeping again.  They get out of church at 2:00, so just come straight over and then take their naps while we are finishing up our services.  It seems to work well!  I had a crockpot meal going (pork loin, potatoes, onion, mushrooms in a barbecue sauce), so there wasn't much to finish.  We mixed up some Jiffy cornbread (with creamed corn and cheese added to make it so much better) and cooked some frozen peas.  I learned the cornbread recipe from my friend Cynthia who sells Pantry Chef and is a fabulous cook!  We put a frozen dutch apple pie in to cook while we ate, so we had a great dessert later on.  It was the first time I tried doing the pie in my toaster/convection oven, and it worked well.  I just had to put some foil on the top of the pie part way through so it didn't get overcooked.  It sure helped to keep from getting the house so hot!

After dinner, we went outside as it was starting to cool off a little and the children love to get out and run and play.  They put on their swimsuits and we put some water in the little pool.  They didn't get in it, but they sure played in the water and had such a great time.  Ashby wanted Ethan to come over and play.  Interestingly, as soon as Ethan saw Ashby through his window, he wanted to come out and play with her.  Chad came over and visited with us while Ethan and Eric played with the kids.  It was a nice evening, other than the mosquitoes.  Thank goodness for insect repellant!

It turned out to be another great Sunday.  We do enjoy them!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 26th - First Dance Recital

The highlight of our day was attending Ashby's first dance recital this afternoon.  The theme was "Under the Big Top" and Ashby was a tap dancing elephant.  There were 12 little girls in her group and they were adorable.  She did a good job and smiled the whole time she was on stage.  She is her mother all over - loves the stage!  We couldn't take pictures during the performance, but here are a couple we took afterwards.

All the performers received a dance medal, which she was very proud to wear!  When we gave her the flowers, her face totally lit up and she refused to let go of them again.  What can I say - she is all girl!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May 25th - Another ordinary day!

Being Friday, I had to figure out if I wanted to clean today or tomorrow - I chose tomorrow.  After all, I can put it off as long as possible that way!  I did do three loads of laundry, so I wasn't totally lazy.  I also did a ton of stuff at the computer - all the usual and then some.

Bill got home from his job early - like 1:30 or something.  He was going to work in the yard, but I don't think he ever made it out there.  It must be something in the water - we have both turned lazy!  Or maybe we are just getting old???  No, couldn't be!

He ran out and picked up a pizza for dinner and came back with everything Pizza Hut sells!  I mean - a small pizza, bread sticks, wings, and cinnamon sticks!  I wasn't even that hungry, but I had to try everything.  I may have to skip most of my eating tomorrow.

I watched some more episodes of King Edward and am really fascinated by the story.  I had never gotten into such detail on his story before.  I even spent some time on line trying to see how accurate the series is.  Turns out the facts and events are quite precise, which is good.  A good story doesn't need to be doctored up as far as I am concerned.  It is harder to know if they are portraying personalities correctly.  If so, Queen Victoria was not really so sweet as she is always shown.  In the series she is selfish, often angry, and actually quite cruel at times.  Edward, called Bertie by the family, is treated terribly by her.  Of course, he has his own faults, but I wonder how much of the blame for that should be laid at the feet of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.  Well, I have really gotten into the history, haven't I?  Queen Victoria finally died yesterday, so Edward at last gets to be king.

Friday, May 25, 2012

May 24th - Lots of Errands

I spent some time out running errands today.  Even though I prefer my days at home, it is necessary to take care of other things sometimes!  I ran by Becky's to pick up the storage orders for the ward, to the library to return a book and pick up three more that were in, to CVS to pick up some things on my shopping list, and to Kroger to pick up some groceries and to deposit some checks. 

All that running around takes time, and then there is more to do when you get home.  First, groceries to carry in and put away.  Then, the storage orders had to be divided up and emails sent to the appropriate people who had ordered things.  So, I spent $23.22 at CVS, which was after coupon savings of $6.58.  Plus, I got $8.00 in Value Bucks, which is just like cash.  I just can't get into serious couponing, but it is fun to save a little!

The rest of my day, both before and after the errand run, was pretty much normal.  Among other stuff, I did some indexing, worked on my preparedness email, watched a couple of episodes of Edward the King while eating, and actually cooked something for dinner.  I started a new book, The Lifeboat, which looks like it might be pretty good.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 23 - Not So Quiet a Day!

I had a great day - I had to babysit!  Lisa and David had something they needed to do, so they dropped the kids off around 9:30.  As usual, they were both giddy to be at grandma's house.  Brooks came running in the door and headed straight across the room to the Elmo box (a box of Elmo books) and wanted it out.  Ashby brought her newborn baby and couldn't wait to tell me how she got the baby dressed all by herself.

They were both very busy playing until Brooks started getting sleepy.  He didn't want a bottle, so I just put him in the crib and he went right to sleep - for 2 hours!  Ashby watched an episode of Max and Ruby and then played by herself. 

We saw Ethan (from next door) and his daddy taking a walk, so when they came back by, Ashby was out front to greet them and to invite Ethan to play, which he did.  They made chalk drawings on the driveway for a while and then went into the backyard to play.  They are so cute together.  He recently turned 3 and she is almost 4, so they are close enough that they play well together.  When Ethan had to go home for lunch, Ashby came in and that was right when Brooks woke up. 

I had just finished changing his diaper when Lisa and David got back.  It was 12:30 by then and the kids hadn't had lunch yet, but they went on home to eat.  It was a lot of fun and they were both so incredibly good!  Grandchildren are the purpose of life!!!

I spent the rest of the afternoon doing my usual tasks - all those things that didn't get done in the morning!  I watched a couple of more episodes of Edward the King while I had lunch and then popcorn in the evening.  I finished my book, Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn.  It is an historical novel about ancient Rome and was very entertaining.  I was surprised how much of it was historical; even most of the characters were historical, although the author took some liberties and interpreted some things to suit the story.  It was still a good read.

And that was my day - not quite so quiet as the last couple, but certainly a lot of fun!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 22nd - Another Quiet Day

I got a lot done again today, but not much to really write about - just ditto, ditto, ditto!  I was thinking about that and realized that I am very much enjoying these quiet days.  I get time to do the things I really enjoy and don't have many time pressures.  Besides the usual house and laundry stuff, I did a bunch of indexing and spent a good bit of time on family history.  Not exciting, I know, but rewarding for me!

I read another story of a family trying to do a big memorial of some kind for someone who had died and I thought about life and legacy a little.  The natural response when someone dies is to make sure they will be remembered and that is often accomplished through some kind of memorial or event.  We did the same thing after Jason died.  We participated in Relay for Life for several years with a team named after Jason.  As the years have gone by, though, I have recognized that the memories that are really important are not the ones on earth.  He will be remembered by the many people who were touched by him and whose lives he helped to change.  He will be remembered in the eternities as a strong and valiant son of God.  I no longer feel a need to make sure the world remembers him - he is remembered where it matters. 

I started watching another Netflix series, too.  This one is Edward the King.  I still seem to be on my "England" phase.  It is starting out pretty good.  I am also deep into my book and should finish it in a day or two.  So, I keep my life very full and busy.  Sorry there isn't much to write!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 21st - Manic Monday - Well, Actually Pretty Mundane

Since I don't have to go back to work on Mondays anymore, I am mostly done with the Manic Monday syndrome.  Thank goodness!  Today was another one of those mundane days where I do all the usual things, but nothing all that special.  Mondays are also the "straighten the house after the grandkids were here on Sunday" day.  They put things away before they leave, but there are always plenty of things still out of place.  I found some unusual things, including my cell phone, in the storage cabinet in the office.  There were some matchbox cars hiding in obscure places in the living room.  I had to rearrange some of the things in the refrigerator (Brooks loves to play in the frig.)  Etc!

I spent a lot of time at the computer doing a number of different things.  I did several batches of indexing.  I had to put together the food storage order for the ward.  I had a ton of emails to send.  All the usual stuff.  I watched a couple more episodes of Middlemarch during my lunch and dinner breaks. 

The 21st of May was my parent's wedding anniversary.  They were married in 1946.  It is also the day we held her funeral in 2001.  So they were on my minds a little, too.  Dad seems to still be going strong at 84.  Thinking of them reminds me what a great childhood I had and how blessed my life really has been.  Thanks, Mom and Dad, for doing that for me!

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 20th - Sunday Is Always the Best Day of the Week!

Just another usual day - only this time it was Sunday and that means it was a very good day.  I always enjoy attending church and feeling such a great spirit.  It is amazing how much that helps with the rest of the week!

Bill came down from the stand just as the opening hymn was ready to be sung.  They had realized that there was no one to lead the music and he asked me to come up and do it.  I am sure that he was afraid to ask anyone else at the last minute!  I don't mind, as leading music is something I have done for so many years.  Besides, sitting on the stand lets me see what is happening in the congregation.  Since I always sit in one of the front pews, I am unaware of what is happening behind me! 

The speakers today were a recently returned missionary and the high council speaker.  Both were good.  Zach had served his mission in Nebraska, which was not an easy place to find people to teach.  Afterwards, I told him that his description of one of the towns he worked in was much like my own hometown - 3,000 people and no one interested.  In my case, the missionaries knocked on every door in town, starting at the northern end and finally making it to my house - the very last street on the south end.  We eventually joined the church and here I am now!  I am glad they didn't give up before they got to the end.

In Relief Society, we had a visit from one of the stake leaders.  She was there to recognize the graduating seniors and to welcome them into Relief Society, since they will now be women, not youth.  We have five girls, but only one of them was there.  She is really a special girl, though, and should make the transition without too much struggle.  We also had a gift for her from the ward leaders. 

The lesson was on the scriptures and Danielle Harkness substituted for us.  She did a great job and I enjoyed it very much.

When I got home, Lisa and family were here and every one was asleep.  Brooks was in the crib, Lisa in the recliner.  David was asleep on his stomach on the floor and Ashby was sound asleep on his back.  They looked so funny!  After changing clothes, we got to work on dinner.  We grilled chicken thighs and had baked beans, oven fried french fries, fresh veggies, and homemade bread (the frozen kind), plus a few other extras.  Dessert was a razzleberry pie, which was baking while we ate.  All very good!

The kids played outside for a while and the boys next door came over to play with them.  Ashby had invited them to come over when she saw them in their backyard helping their dad cook on their grill.  They had a ball running and playing.  After the outdoor play, Lisa threw them both in the bathtub.  They played there for a long time.  When they finally took Brooks out, he was not happy and kept trying to get back in.  Finally Ashby got out, too.  She had brought her Cinderella doll and had her in the bathtub with her.  She was pretending it was Rapunzel and was playing with her hair that "glowed."  So cute.

Bill had to go to seminary graduation right after he finished at church, so he didn't make it home until they had already gone.  He hates it when he doesn't get to see them and they are always disappointed when Grandpa doesn't get home in time.  But, what can you do............

All in all, it was another wonderful Sabbath day - church, family, food.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 19th - Simply Saturday

Today was a normal Saturday - whatever that is!  In my case, I washed the sheets on the bed, dusted, cleaned bathrooms, straightened rest of house, etc.  I had cleaned so well on Monday that I chose to skip some of the cleaning today.  Two blessings of getting older: 1) no children around to make messes anymore (which is why it is so fun when grandchildren visit!), and 2) can't see well enough to know that there is even any dust there!

I did run out on a few errands, particularly a run to the dollar store to pick up a few things I needed for gift bags for the girls who are graduating.  They will be recognized in RS tomorrow morning.  I got the bags put together - five of them. 

I also had to plan what we will have for Sunday dinner.  I don't cook much anymore, so it is a bigger deal than it used to be to make dinner plans.  Plus, I want to make Sunday dinner a little special since the kids always come over.  We will be grilling out again - I checked the weather report this time to make sure it wasn't going to rain again!

The rest of my day was mostly spent at the computer.  There are always some things I need to do with my calling in RS.  I follow several blogs and write a couple myself.  I also did a bunch of indexing.  I keep doing the Iowa census, hoping it will get done so it gets posted.  I have found some of my people, but can't link it to my family tree yet.  I also started watching a new series from Netflix.  This time I chose Middlemarch, a six part series based on the book by George Eliot.  I seem to really be into an England phase. 

Bill worked today, so he wasn't around most of the day and then worked on the lawn when he did get home.  Made for a quiet day, but I got a lot accomplished.  Now to go read for a while before going to sleep!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

April 18th - More Productive Day

I made a point of remembering the things I did today, so it wouldn't be another "lost" day.  I was home all day, but busy every minute!  The big project of the day was getting five loads of laundry done.  I love having an empty hamper.

I also did 5 or 6 batches of indexing.  I got on a roll and just kept going!  I also got my weekly Relief Society email out.  There were a number of other normal things that also got completed.  I even worked on Family History for a while.  I am kind of in a stupor with that right now - I have several things I want to do and I can't seem to get focused on finishing any one of them. 

Bill helped take the youth to the temple to do baptisms this evening, so I took the evening to finish watching the Island at War series.  It was really good, but it ended before the end of the war, and I would really like to know what else happens.  I understand that the author passed away, so any possible follow-up series never happened.  It brought back memories of the book "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" which I read and loved several years ago.

So - another normal day, but again very productive!

Friday, May 18, 2012

April 17th - What Did I Do Today?

This was one of those days where I was doing so many little, insignificant things, that I can't come up with a description of what I did all day!  So much of it was just the "regular" stuff - errands, house stuff, computer stuff, RS stuff, indexing, etc.  I spent some pretty significant blocks of time on indexing and on preparing for my RS Friday email.

I even took a lunch break and watched an episode of Island at War.  That is my latest Netflix series that I am enjoying.  St. Gregory is a fictional channel island, occupied by the Germans during WWII.  I watched the third episode during the evening when Bill was out for a little bit.

So, in retrospect, it seems like an almost wasted day, even if I was busy the whole time.  It is amazing how that happens.!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

April 16th - Babysit the Grandkids!!!

Lisa and David had a meeting late this afternoon, so they dropped Ashby and Brooks off around 2:30 so Grandma could watch them.  I looked forward to their coming all day! 

Brooks came running in, gave Grandma a smooch as he hurried by, and headed straight for the book shelf.  He had a book pulled out before anyone could even catch up with him!  I love a kid who loves books! 

Ashby headed straight to the toy room (aka nursery, guest room, and everything else room) and had the Barbies and the Barbie car out immediately.  It seems she has been into the Barbies recently.

The other favorites are the matchbox size cars, the big lego blocks, the wooden train from Melissa & Doug's that is made from blocks, the plastic golf clubs, just to name a few.

After playing a little and having a snack, it was time for Brooks to take a nap.  The usual procedure is to turn on a video, give him a bottle of milk, and then put him down.  It didn't quite work right today, though.  The video was the Micky Mouse Clubhouse and he wanted to dance, which he proceeded to do while sitting in my lap.  This kid is really into the dancing lately!  He refused to take the bottle.  Finally, I just put him in the crib.  He started jumping in the crib, so I just closed the door, hoping he would go to sleep.  I never heard another sound!

While he was napping, Ashby went outside to play in the water.  We washed down the plastic pool, but since we had forgotten to get her swimsuit out of the nursery before Brooks went to sleep, she just played with the toys and the hose.  She got just as wet, of course!  After playing for a while, she was ready to come back in, get the wet clothes off, and do something else.  This time she got the box of big legos, and started building a house on the coffee table.  We used every block in the container and she had quite the mansion, let me tell you!

When Brooks woke up, they continued their play for a while.  At times, they play together really well!  Since it was getting close to dinner, and since Lisa and David were taking advantage of the kid-free time to get dinner on their own, we fixed some mac and cheese.  It is what Ashby had been asking for since she had arrived.  It is not the best dinner, but this is grandma's house and anything goes!

Grandpa got home and was able to spend only a few minutes with them before he had to take off for church.  Lisa and Dad got back about that same time.

What a fun afternoon!  Both kids are really good and they both laugh and run and have so much fun! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 15th - Piano Tuning

I used to take such good care of my piano, but since I hardly play it anymore, I have just let it sit and get more and more out of tune.  A cardinal rule is to tune a piano every time it is moved.  We have been in this house since 2001 and it has never been tuned since we moved!  Bad me!

Today, it finally got tuned.  I learned that a friend tunes piano.  I had not known that, but something was said on Facebook and I followed up on it.  He came to tune the piano, make some minor repairs and give me an estimate for more extensive repairs.  It turns out that it won't need as much as I thought it would - that's great news. He will come back in a week or two to do the rest of what needs to be done.

This is the piano that my mother bought after she started working when my brother and I were finally both in school.  She saved until she was able to pay cash for it.  I was ten years old and that is when I started piano lessons.  When we bought our first house in Florida, she and Dad brought it down to us in a Uhaul trailer.  That was in 1973.  I have had the piano ever since.  It is the one Lisa learned to play on.  It has been well used and has been a good quality piece.  Brian indicated that it was an excellent piano and was still in very good shape, especially being 55 years old.  I had been debating whether to keep it or if it was time to get rid of it, but I just couldn't quite part with it and now I am glad for that decision. 

Maybe Ashby will learn to play it, too!  Or Brooks, since he seems to have the rhythm.  Or maybe he will play guitar and use the piano for that - after all, we found five guitar pics inside the piano when he took it apart.  My brother, my son, and I all have played guitar sitting on that piano bench.

It is kind of fun to think of the 4th generation using the piano!  And all it needed was a little tuning and minor repairs.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 14th - Empty Nesters Again

Once a month we get together with others who no longer have children at home for an Empty Nesters family home evening.  Our house is the "fall-back" location if no one else volunteers, which means that most of the time it is here.  That was the case tonight.  We always have a fun time - chatting, eating, having a lesson or discussion, etc.  Tonight the turnout was small - there were 8 of us - but somehow we still managed to have great refreshments.  We just do potluck and never know what will show up!  For the lesson, we watched a couple of videos from the D&C dvd from the church.  The first was the story of the stone cutter, John Rowe Moyle, and his great dedication in helping to build the SLC temple, even after losing part of his leg in an accident.  Great story and very well done.  We also watched a video about John Tanner, a very wealthy man who joined the church and eventually gave all of it to help the church build the Kirtland temple and in other ways.  I had seen that one before, but it was still good.  It all helps to remind us how much we owe these early members who sacrificed so much so that we have the privilege of having the church today.

The earlier part of my day was spent mostly in cleaning the house, posting some blogs, doing several batches of indexing, and other such things.  It was a relaxed day, but productive, and ended nicely with a great evening spent with good friends.

Monday, May 14, 2012

April 13th - Mother's Day

Today was a wonderful Mother's Day.  Of course, I always struggle with attending church on Mother's Day, but after shedding a few tears for Jason, I made myself go.  Fortunately, they didn't go overboard on the mother's day stuff.  The talks were good.  The youth speaker talked about the mother stuff, which is to be expected and was very sweet.  Sherri spoke about women in general and did a great job.  The Elder's Quorum president was the final speaker and he talked about his grandmother, his mother, and his wife, but handled it so it was interesting and without the guilt-causing exaggerations that are often part of  Mother's Day talks.  It was all very good.  The primary children sang a song, of course.  Robb and his class of older primary children sang "A Mother's Prayer" and they were really good. 

For Relief Society, we had all the sisters in the ward in attendance, as the men covered all their assignments for the day.  We chose to have just a regular lesson.  It was from the George Albert Smith manual about prayer and was a very nice lesson with a special spirit.

When I got home, Lisa and family were here, as they usually are.  It is fun to walk in and have Ashby come running!  I had bought a sand pail with lots of accessories when I shopped at Costco last week and she was having a ball playing with it.  The pail has a shower head attached to it and she had used her imagination to have it be all sorts of things - the cutest was that it was a microphone and she was playing Primary again.

For dinner, we grilled shrimp, veggies and pineapple - in the rain!  Actually, David got to stand in the rain and cook.  It turned out great, though, and we really enjoyed eating it.  Billy called as we were finishing dinner and we had a nice chat.  He also talked to Lisa.  Bill got home just after that and had his dinner.  We then sat around and talked and were totally entertained by the children.  They took a bath later and played with the sand pails and the shower head pail and had a ball. 

As they were leaving, Ashby announced that Grandma was her best friend.  Now, what better way to end Mother's Day! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mary 12 - Kind of a Slow Saturday

Being Saturday, there were a lot of things I should have done today.  However, other than 4 loads of laundry and the usual straightening up, I didn't seem to get much of it done!  I had some RS things to do that I had failed to do on Friday, so I did get those done. There were some other things that came up that needed attention, too.  I also did several batches of Indexing.  That was kind of fun since I hadn't done any at all since before our trip.

Bill was home in the morning and then had to go to the church for a baptism.  I had a tremendous headache (from the rain moving in, I think) so I didn't feel like going anywhere.  Then he had to go help chaperone the Mormon Prom in the evening - not one of his favorite assignments, but it goes with being in the bishopric.  He did say the dance was really nicely done and there were probably 400 or more kids there.  It is great to see so many young people all dressed modestly, dancing appropriately, and having fun without alcohol or other negative behaviors.  I think it is great that the church offers an alternative event to the high school proms.

While he was gone, I had some popcorn, watched a couple of episodes of Law & Order Season 2, and then headed for bed to read.  This was not a particularly productive day, but what can you expect with a headache?  I don't have many allergy problems, but the sinus problem is very noticeable when the weather changes.  I am just glad it isn't so bad that I can't function!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

May 11th - Fun Friday!

My morning was pretty much normal - all those things that have to be done to keep things going.  I posted some of my trip pictures onto the blogs that went with them, but didn't get it finished.  I realized at the very end of the day that I had forgotten a couple of Relief Societythings that were supposed to be done, so I guess I will have to start Saturday with a little catch up!

Lisa called about noon and said she and the children were going to go to Catch Air to play and invited me to come, too.  I had gotten a Groupon for them a while back that gives them several visits to play there.  I met up with them around 1:00.  Since this was their second visit, both children were really excited to get in to play.  I thought Brooks was going to jump the wall!  Both of them went wild running and playing for the next hour and a half.  They had so much fun!  They were also so tired.  When we finished there, we went across the street to Chic Filet to get some ice cream.  I am sure they probably both took naps when they got home.

I had some errands to take care of, so I got that finished while I was out.  I stopped at the library on my way to meet them.  On the way home, I stopped at both Target and CVS.  I still have some errands to do, but I had had enough, so those will just wait until tomorrow.

I hadn't been home all that long when Bill got home - the earliest all week.  I actually fixed some dinner, an extremely rare occurrence! During the evening, Bill was doing some things for work out in the van and whatever, so I watched another episode of Upstairs Downstairs while I had a bowl of ice cream with fresh strawberries.  Then off to bed to read, as usual.

Friday, May 11, 2012

May 10th - Busy Visiting Special People

I had another busy day today.  I was at home most of the morning doing the usual.  My biggest project was finally getting the pictures posted on Facebook from our trip to Lake Tahoe.  I need to go back and post some of the pictures that correspond with my previous posts.  Maybe tomorrow.....or not!

Then I headed out to visit my friend Melanie who is recovering from some surgery she had last Friday.  She is beginning to feel a little better and with another few days should be doing really well.  My biggest mistake was saying something that made her laugh and that wasn't a good thing to do!

Then I drove downtown Atlanta to visit my friend Judith, who is in a hospice with lung cancer.  I had not been down to see her for several weeks and I was feeling guilty, so I am not sure I was making the trip for me or for her.  Hopefully, we both benefited.  She has definitely slipped since I last saw her.  She is now pretty much in bed and her face is puffy from the meds she is receiving.  However, she knows me when I call and she knew me when I got there.  We chatted for 15 or 20 minutes, and then I could see she was getting really tired, so I left.  I really hate seeing her this way, but life often sends us obstacles that we cannot control.  I am glad I visited her.  It is a long trip for such a short visit, but many things cannot be measured in time.

This evening, we had a Relief Society meeting.  Turnout was small, but the meeting was really good.  Three different sisters shared some big burdens they have had to deal with in their lives, or are dealing with now, and where they found the strength to carry those burdens.  The emphasis was on compassion and helping the sisters to understand how to not only bear their own burdens, but to know how to help others with theirs.  The stories were very touching and I could see that each touched different people in different ways.  I noticed a couple of long discussions afterwards about some of the things that had been said, so there were those who were able to reach out in learning how to deal with their own struggles.  It was a worthwhile evening.  I just wish more had been there to share the wonderful spirit that we felt.

So, another busy and productive day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May 9 - Costco, here I come!

I had a busy, but again unexciting, day.  The morning was spent with the usual household chores and computer related things.  That included planning a shopping trip to Costco.  I only shop there every few months and like to really stock up when I do.  So, the trip itself took a while and then I had to unload everything, by myself, when I got home.  I have learned to put all the refrigerator or frozen stuff into the trunk last, so I can get it out first.  If I am too tired, I can leave the rest for later!  Then it takes another hour or so to get everything put away.  I bought a lot of meat this time, so that meant having to divide it up into serving sizes before putting it all in the freezer. 

By the time I finished all of that, I was tired!  I fixed some lunch - I hadn't eaten any at lunchtime and it was mid-afternoon by then and I was hungry!  I watched an episode of Upstairs Downstairs while eating.  Then it was back to a couple of computer projects that still needed some work.  I have had so much catching up to do that I haven't even had a chance to work on family history or indexing this week - maybe next week. 

Bill had activity night at church, and I had bought a pizza from Costco, so I watched another episode while eating that.  Then I did my usual "reading in bed" routine to end my day.  Busy, busy, busy!  AND boring, boring, boring!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May 8 - Lots of cleaning today

Not a very exciting day today, but I did a lot of cleaning done.  I also got the sheets washed and put back on the bed.  I also spent a good bit of time at the computer with some projects.  Not very exciting, but that's the story of my life!

I did get to babysit the kids this evening so Lisa and David could go out.  It is fun to have them so excited to see "Grandma."  Brooks was asleep within the half hour, but Ashby stayed up and played until they got home.  She has the biggest imagination I have ever seen!  Such fun. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May 7th - Trying to Get Back on Track

So today was really the first day back after vacation, since Sunday is its own day anyway.  I started the day by getting all the laundry sorted - turned out I only had 5 loads to get done!  I will do the sheets tomorrow.  Then I started all the email backup - deleting, responding, etc.  I had several items to handle with my RS calling - still have some things to finish there.  Throw in the usual Monday morning house straightening, etc., and my day was pretty full - and pretty boring!

That means there isn't much to tell - does that mean I am back to my normal routine?

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 6 - Back to Normal??

Our first day home was a Sunday and we always enjoy Sundays.  It made for a nice transition.  Tomorrow we will have to actually get back to normal!

Church was good, as always.  At the last minute, I had to lead the music in Sacrament Meeting, but that was not a problem.  Since I was on the stand, I also took the opportunity to bear my testimony, since it was Fast Sunday.  There were several testimonies that I especially enjoyed.

For Sunday School, I am still attending the Gospel Principles class representing the Relief Society.  Relief Society followed that and I had to teach the lesson.  It was on "Magnify Your Calling" and I think it went quite well.  There was a lot of participation and some really good comments that added to the spirit of the lesson.

After church, Sherri gave me the Pantry Chef items I had ordered at her party several weeks ago.  It was fun to open everything when I got home, since I had forgotten what I had ordered!

When I got home, Lisa and family were at the house.  Brooks was supposed to be going down for a nap (which never actually happened),  David was napping in the chair, and Ashby and Lisa were putting together one of the floor puzzles of Cat in the Hat.  It was fun to see everyone, especially getting all the hugs and kisses from the kids!

There was a chicken cooking in the crockpot, so once we pulled the rest of the meal together, we had a great dinner.  Brooks was so funny.  He has been feeding himself and he still is a little clumsy with his spoon, but he insists on doing it all by himself.  He loved the applesauce and the potatoes the most, but he managed to eat some carrots and some chicken as well.  By the time we had the pie and ice cream, he was running all over the place, but he would run by and tap me on the leg until I gave him a bite of ice cream.  That went on until the ice cream was gone.

After they went home, Bill and I were so tired.  I downloaded our pictures and we looked at them.  We learned that Peggy Rowberry had taken a fall and broken her hip this morning, so we spent some time on phone calls getting information about that.  Then, I headed to bed early, to read scriptures and then my book. 

It was a nice first day back!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

May 5 - Back to Atlanta

Jo Anne and Richard drove us to the airport this morning to begin our last leg of the journey back home.  Our plane left at 9:40, so we had to leave Spanish Fork around 7:00.  All went well, and we had a quick check-in at the curb, no delay at security, and were at the first gate on the concourse.  That meant we were there early with no problems, which always makes me happy. 

The flight was another full one, this time one of the wide-bodied jets (7 seats across), so they offered to check any carry-on baggage for free.  We quickly offered to let them check both of our large carry-ons.  That just left one bag to take on the plane and that one had by computer, CPAP, and Kindle, so it couldn't be checked.  I used to check almost everything, but I am so irritated by baggage fees, and all the other hidden fees for that matter, that I will only check a bag when I have no choice!

The flight left on time, was smooth, and arrived in Atlanta on time.  We were again at the first gate on the concourse, so didn't have to walk much.  The train was waiting for us when we got there, a short wait for luggage, and then out to the shuttle to the parking lot.  Everything went so smoothly, I kept waiting for the ball to drop!  Fortunately, we got home without any incidents.  Amazing, actually!

We stopped on the way home to pick up some chicken for dinner.  Then Bill mowed the grass and did a few things outdoors while I tried to get caught up on some things on the computer.  I have to teach the Relief Society lesson tomorrow, so had some things to finish on that.  I still don't have a teacher for the next couple of weeks and have been trying to get that worked out.  There were some other things to resolve as well.  I talked to both Lisa and Billy on the phone to get caught up with them.

Needless to say, we were ready for bed tonight!

This has been a great vacation.  We always have such a fun time with Bill & Shirley, Jo Anne & Richard, and Gary & Carolyn.  We are already looking forward to our next reunion in 2014.  Sure hope everyone stays healthy!  What a great blessing to have such wonderful friends for all these years!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

May 4 - Day 9 - Travel Back to SLC

We got up early this morning, packed everything up, and headed back to Salt Lake.  Bill, Shirley, Gary and Carolyn left around 6:30 since they needed to get back for a Friday evening event.  We rode with Jo Anne and Richard and left around 8:00.  It is just a long ride across Nevada and the Salt Flats, but we enjoyed it.

We met Jo Anne and Richard's daughter Shauna at a Brazilian restaurant in Orem for dinner.  It was really good!  We tried almost all the meat they brought around, until we were about to pop!  We then spent the night at their place.

Tomorrow we head back to Atlanta.

Friday, May 4, 2012

May 3 - Day 8 - Last Day in Tahoe

For our last day in Tahoe, we decided to go low key and not plan anything important.  After all, our purpose for the trip in the first place was to be together.  Besides, tomorrow we will be driving back to SLC, so will be in the car all day.

Some slept in.  Carolyn went down to the club for an exercise class.  Some of us went over to the pool room and played pool.  By mid-morning, everyone was in the pool room, having a great time.  The last game was just the girls, which game took quite a long time!  None of us are very good, but we all had fun.

At lunchtime, we headed back to the condo to do a leftovers lunch.  Since it was the last day, we needed to eat everything we could.  And, we did a pretty good job!  The rest of the afternoon, we sat around talking, playing games, reading, whatever.  We also watched a DVD about the 19th Mountain Division from WWII.  It was the ski and mountain team that went into Italy after training extensively in Colorado.  Quite interesting, actually.  We were all together and we did plenty of laughing, since it has to tide us over for two years!

For dinner, we went to Chevy's, a Tex-Mex place, which turned out to be very good.  The manager came by and we rolled the dice to see how much we would get off our dinners.  No one got snake eyes, which would have been $12 off, but all of us ended up with $6.  That was the total extent of our gambling for the whole trip!  We never even went in to a casino.

After dinner, we went back to the condo and talked some more!  We also had to divvy up the expenses.  That turned out to be $158 per couple.  Pretty cheap, actually, for food and gas.  We had all paid individually for eating out and for any admission fees.  Bill & Shirley had used their time share points for the room.  Our only other expense was the airline tickets, so it turned out to be a pretty economical trip.

This week has gone by so fast and we have had such a great time.  We are already looking forward to two years from now when we get together again.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May 2 - Day 7 - Reno Temple

We got up early to drive up to the Reno Temple this morning.  We had called ahead and reserved seats in the 10:00 session.  They do not require reservations, but they appreciate them.  As it turned out, the session was full and then some, because missionaries were there.  The Reno Temple is the exact same design as the Columbia SC Temple, so it seemed very familiar, although the decor was different.  It was a wonderful way to spend the morning.

When we finished there, it was lunchtime, so we found a Red Lobster and ate a huge lunch.  From there, we headed back to Lake Tahoe by the northern route, so we could go by Donner's Pass.  We were able to see the monument, but it turned out the museum is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, so we didn't get to go through that.

From there, we drove through Squaw Valley, where the olympics were held years ago.  We then drove on down to the north shore of Lake Tahoe and chose to drive around the west side again.  That route took us by Emerald Bay again.

Once we got back to the condos, it was mid-afternoon, so we rested a bit and then gathered in one of the condos for more talking, laughing, playing games, etc.  Dinner was kind of a "find your own" since there are plenty of leftovers and not everyone was even hungry!  We finally broke up the fun around 10:00.  Part of our discussion was about options for our next reunion in two years.  The Henrys are in charge, so I think they got some ideas to run with.

We have one more day in Tahoe and I think it is going to be a "lay low" day.  It is fun to get out and see things, but we really have fun just being together, which is why we get together in the first place.  We will see what develops!

Being able to all go to the temple together was a special experience.  It was a very good day!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 1 - Day 6 - Lake Cruise

After hanging around in the morning, eating breakfast, playing pool, doing a little laundry, talking and laughing, we headed out to take a lunch lake cruise.  The boat was called the Bleu Wave and had about 48 passengers.  They served a deli sandwich bar for lunch.  The cruise lasted two hours, so we were able to spend a little time in each area of the boat - the upper deck, the salon, and the open bow.  We did get into the bar, since you had to walk through it to get to the bow and to get sodas.

The cruise went from Stateline over to Emerald Bay and back.  The weather was perfect, warm with a light jacket, sunny, light wind.  Seeing the lake from the water gives a whole new perspective to the beauty of the lake and the mountains, as they look different from every angle. 

We were glad we had driven around the Bay yesterday and seen it from that viewpoint and with the information we learned then, as it helped make today's tour more interesting.  As cruise boats always do, they took a picture of the group, which we purchased - one copy only, which Gary or Richard will scan and email to all of us.  It was actually a pretty good picture - except maybe of me!

After the cruise, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items, including stuff to do hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill this evening.  Then, we went back to the condos.  After resting, playing a game, reading, etc., the guys went out to the big grill to cook our dinner and the girls got everything else ready.  Dinner was really good!  And the Boston creme pie was a perfect dessert!

The rest of the evening, we just hung around.  One of the couples always watches that TV show about losing weight, I forget the name, and it was the finale, so we watched that.  Well, some of us read while everyone else watched, but we were all there together and watched a little of it anyway.

So another day ended and another day as good as the others.  We really only have Wednesday and Thursday left, as we have to drive back to SLC on Friday.  Boy, how quickly time goes when you are having such fun! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April 30th - Day 5 - Trip Around the Lake

Our activity for today was to take the 72 mile drive around Lake Tahoe.  We left the condos about 10 or so and headed west, into California, so we could drive around the west side of the lake first.  It was a beautiful day, warm, but a little windy.

We had decided to take our time and make this a whole day trip, so we stopped at several of the lookouts to enjoy the beauty and to take pictures.

 Our first big stop was at the Emerald Bay lookout.  Needless to say, it was breathtaking. We spent a long time walking along the pathway, reading the information signs, etc.

 We continued on around the lake, enjoying the lake, the mountains, the trees - everything.  In Tahoe City, we stopped at a very nice Mexican restaurant for a late lunch.

 We then continued on around the east side of the lake.  There was another great rest area on the northeast side of the lake, Memorial Point or something like that.  We spent a bit of time there, too, reading the information signs, hiking down to the rocks at the water's edge, taking more pictures, etc. 

We got back to our resort in late afternoon, rested a little and then gathered back together to hear about Joanne and Richard's mission to England.  They returned in February after 18 months serving in Heresford.  They shared many stories and lots of pictures and we all loved it.  Shirley and Bill have just put in their mission papers, so at our next reunion, we will hear about their experiences.

After a light meal, most of the group gathered to play a game.  I chose to read.  I just don't like playing games, but I stayed right there and laughed as much as the rest of them.

Today was a great day.  I love the nature activities, so I really enjoyed this.  Tomorrow's plan is to return to the lake, but this time to see it from a boat on a lunchtime cruise.  Should be fun.  The week is going so fast, but we are having a great time!