Saturday, November 30, 2013

November 29th - Recovery Day!

The only thing on my agenda today was to rest and recover.  I accomplished all goals for the day!!

I also managed to get the place straightened up again, wash four loads of laundry, work on my lesson, plus a few other odds and ends.  I also had left overs for lunch.

Bill spent most of the day with two of his sisters, having lunch and just talking.  He also made a stop on his way home to get some new printer cartridges.  I have some things to print for my lesson and the darn thing went dry.  I usually try to keep extras, but the supply is gone.  I guess I need to add ink cartridges to my storage inventory list.  Ha!

Not much to write about - but it was a good day.  When he got home, Bill asked how my lonely day went and I replied that I was never lonely, just alone.  Pretty much sums it up!

Friday, November 29, 2013

November 28th - Thanksgiving Day!

Well, we made it through the week and to the big day.  And what a great day it turned out to be.  Because I had worked so hard yesterday getting everything prepped, my morning was really easy.  I just put the black-eyed peas on the stove to coo, the green beans into the crockpot and turned it on, and the giblets on the stove to simmer.  I stuffed the turkey, which was easy since the dressing was already made.  Then set it back in the frig until it was time to put it in the oven.  I got the frozen rolls out of the freezer and into the muffin pan to thaw and rise.  Everything else was ready to go at whatever time was needed, which was mostly within the hour of dinner.

Then I just relaxed the rest of the morning.  The kids arrived about 1:00, bringing more food and lots of chaos!  I got the rest of my stuff cooking and Lisa got her things together and cooked, where needed.  We got the table set (oops, I had meant to do that yesterday, too.)  They had brought some snacks, so everyone else sat around munching and talking and watching TV.

When things were about ready, we put David to work carving the turkey and Lisa and I got everything dished up and out on the table.  It wasn't much past 2:00 when we were able to sit down to eat.  Brooks had been so tired that he was taking his nap.  Ashby had eaten so many snacks that she only ate a few bites before going in to play in the other room.  Which actually gave the rest of us a very relaxed and fun dinner!

When we finally left the table, Lisa and I divided up the leftovers and got everything put away, while Bill tackled cleaning up the kitchen.  That all took a little time, but it turned out to be just enough so that we were ready to dive into all those pies Lisa had brought - pecan, pumpkin and apple.  So good!

We spent the rest of the day and evening just hanging out, relaxing, having fun.  Eventually, Bill went up into the attic and got all the Christmas boxes down.  David is going to decorate their house and we gave them one of the big containers of lights, since we will not be doing that much decorating.  We still have two containers, so I think we have more than we need!

In the process of getting all the containers down, Ashby saw a box with the ceramic nativity set.  It is the largest of all my sets and was a gift from a niece some years ago.  Ashby was so sweet when she came up and said, "Grandma, I know when I was three I broke the baby Jesus, but......"  She looked so sorry and I could read her mind!  I told her she could play with it if we put it somewhere that Brooks would not get it.  We went into the dining room and put it on that table and she played with it most of the rest of the evening.  She especially loves the baby Jesus, because he is a separate piece and not just part of the manger piece, so she can hold him in her hand.

They finally left to head home around 9:00.  It has been a perfect Thanksgiving Day - food, family and fun!  I am thankful for so many wonderful things.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 27th - Prep Day!

My only important assignment of the day was to get everything ready for tomorrow - well, all the food anyway.  I did a little at a time and ended up spending a good bit of the day.  In between, I was doing other things and working on family history - big surprise!  Ha.

So, now everything is ready to put in the oven or in the crockpot or on the stove or on the table at the appropriate time.  Let's see:  turkey is in the roaster, just needing to be stuffed; stuffing is all ready, just waiting to go in the turkey (I don't like to leave the stuffing in the turkey overnight - just doesn't seem like a good idea); potatoes are peeled and soaking in a bowl of water; cranberry relish is all made (and does it ever taste good!); green beans are snapped and ready for the crockpot; baby spinach leaves are washed and ready to be cooked; black eyed peas are rinsed and ready to cook; cucumbers and onions are sliced and in the vinegar.  All I have left to do is put the frozen rolls out to thaw in the morning and to put the relish tray together.  Everything else is on Lisa's list.  She posted pictures of the pies she made, so we will be having some terrific dessert!

It has been a good day, just puttering along doing a little at a time.  It doesn't seem much like work that way.  I got quite a lot done at the computer, too, as I sent out some overdue emails that needed to go, worked on my project for my class Sunday, and did a few other things.

I was pretty tired this afternoon, but didn't want to nap, so I just rested and watched a couple of episodes of Monarchy.  I am really good at being lazy!

So, my prep day is finished and it looks like I actually got my prep all done!  Now, that is something to be thankful for. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 26th - The Calm Before the Storm!

I had a rather quiet day today.  The weather was awful, raining and cold all day long.  So, it was good that I didn't have any really big plans - I wouldn't have wanted to do them anyway!  Instead, other than the usual things that always have to be done, I spent most of my day at my desk.  I got my lesson for next Sunday planned out and some of the prep things done.  I still have a little project to finish for that, but I made good progress. 

I managed to sneak in a little short nap this afternoon and started a new book before I dozed off.  I even cooked dinner again - meaning that I have actually fixed something every day this week so far.  It wouldn't be fair to call it "cooking" - "fixing" seems a better description, but at least there was something prepared.  It won't happen tomorrow, as any leftovers have to go so there will be room for the Thanksgiving stuff.

I enjoy these low key days way too much.  But, I have no intention of changing anything!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 25th - Grocery shopping day!

This was almost a normal Monday, where I just get the house straightened after the weekend and then work on my next lesson and other such things.  I did do all of that, including getting a short nap.

But, with Thanksgiving this week, I also had to make a trip to the grocery store before it got too hectic.  I already have most of what I need for my share of dinner, but there are always a few items to pick up.  Getting that done, without the grocery store being in total chaos, made it a good day!  Plus, there were a lot of sales because of the holiday, so I picked up some extra things that I use anyway.  So glad to have that done!

I had a friend stop by today.  She makes things with her vinyl cutter and they are so cute.  She had recently posted a picture of a wood plaque with a big initial and the family name superimposed on it, along with the marriage date.  I liked it, so I had told her I would get one.  She was dropping it off today.  The problem?  She had thought I would not be home, so she could just leave it by the door as a surprise Christmas gift.  Well, I was home and I caught her!  In spite of my trying to pay for it, she insisted it was a gift.  I am really happy with it and am trying to decide exactly where I want it hung.  She is the same one who stayed in our house last summer while we were in Florida and she was between houses.  The house she finally bought is in a different stake and we have missed her.  She had three of the four children with her, too, and it was fun getting to chat a few minutes.  Thanks again, Andrea!

As it turned out, my normal Monday had a little extra added.  It was a good day. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 24th - Frustrated!

Today was Sunday and it was a great day, except for the wi-fi at church!  I am very frustrated.  Last week, it seemed to be fine, but today it kept dropping and I was not able to really do what we wanted to do in our family history class.  I am considering other alternatives - like getting a 4G hook up for my computer, so I don't have to depend on the wi-fi anymore.  We will see!

Otherwise, the day was a usual wonderful Sabbath - the talks were good; other than the wi-fi problem, my class went well; great lesson in RS.

For dinner, I wanted to use up some things.  I am trying to empty the freezer for a thorough clean before I refill it.  So, I wanted to use the last pound of hamburger, which is not enough for a big dinner.  I found a taco casserole recipe that I decided to try.  It was actually pretty good.  The bottom layer was instant mashed potatoes that had been seasoned with taco seasoning.  The top layer was hamburger, refried beans, salsa, taco seasoning.  It was served with taco toppings like cheese, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, black olives.  With peas and apple sauce on the side, it turned out pretty good.  Particularly successful was seeing Ashby eat a big helping of it and not leaving a bit!

We had a relaxing rest of the day with the kids here.  There is no school this week, so they didn't feel pressured to get home and get the kids to bed.  As usual, the kids were entertaining and we laughed a lot.

After they left, our home teacher came by and we had a nice visit with him. 

I do love my Sundays!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 23rd - Birthday Party for Brooks!

He doesn't turn 3 until December 1st, but with crazy schedules this time of year, today was the best day for Brooks' birthday party.  And what a party it was!  Since he is totally absorbed with "Mighty Machines," his party was all about machines and construction.  As usual, Lisa did  a great job.

There was construction tape, warning signs, and orange cones, inside and out.

The favorite thing for Brooks was the big pile of rocks and all the machines to play with.  It was equally popular with the rest of the children.  Here Brooks and Ashby check it out before the party even starts.

The cake was a "dirt" cake (ground up Oreos) with some chocolate rocks in the corner and machines on top.  Brooks' big meltdown of the morning was when he was not allowed to play in the cake before the party had even started!  He did play in it after everyone had gone home - or at least he played in what was left of it.

He loved having everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to him.  I don't think a smile can get any bigger!

I think everyone had a great time.  It was a perfect party for little boys, but I think the little girls had just as much fun.  It is hard to believe that is 3 already - how the time flies!  We were sure glad that Grandpa and Grandma were invited to the party, too.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November 22nd - Remembering Jason

Jason died 15 years ago today.  We remember him every day, but it has been on my mind a little more than usual.  Love you, Jason!

My day was actually very busy and not at all depressing.  I was doing the usual routine in the morning and was working on the computer when Lisa called.  She and Brooks were at the mall to get him a haircut and were going to play a little first.  When they pulled in to the parking lot, Brooks wanted to know if Grandma was going to be there.  How sweet is that!  I often meet them at the mall, so I left right away and met up with them.  He got his haircut and then we had lunch.  Then it was time for them to go pick up Ashby, while  I stopped at Bath & Body Works to pick up some Christmas gifts for my visiting teaching sisters.  What a fun time and Brooks looks really cute with his short hair.

On the way home, I ran all the errands on my list:  stop at the library to return three things and pick up two more; stop at CVS to pick up some sale items; stop at the Kroger pharmacy to pick up a prescription.  Then I headed back home.  That all took a pretty good hunk out of the middle of my day!

At home, I had the laundry to finish and I made a batch of butter cookies so there would be something in the cookie jar.  Now, if we can make them last until Sunday!  That is more of a challenge than I had expected.  I was then able to head back to the computer.  I have my Sunday lesson pretty much together, but I did spend some time going over the 5th Sunday lesson for December.  I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed and also to make sure the bishopric knew what was expected.  The lesson is designed for the adults and youth, so hopefully the bishopric will include the youth.  There is also a new booklet that is to be given out.  However, the ward would have to buy them and I am not sure they will do that.  It will probably depend on the state of the ward budget right here at the end of the year.  It should be a fairly easy presentation since the outline has been prepared by the church and includes four videos.

I had a very busy day today and it was a good one.  I have missed Jason a little more than usual since I have thought about him some extra today.  I am so grateful for my testimony of the plan of salvation.  Life can be difficult, but the promised blessings give us strength.

Friday, November 22, 2013

November 21st - Sort of a Down Day

I can always tell when the weather is changing this time of year - the old sinus thing flairs up.  Today was the day, again.  I did a few things around the house, a load of laundry, etc.  I worked a bit on my lesson for Sunday.  I know I said it was planned, but I still have a few details to get together. 

By mid-afternoon, I was feeling pretty worn down, so I decided to rest and watch a movie on Netflix.  Don't ask me why, but I chose Hunger Games.  I had read the books a while back and they were OK, but not worth getting excited about.  Even so, I watched one of the worst movies in a long time.  What few things of value in the books were pretty much removed from the movie, making it totally empty and worthless.  Oh, well.  Now I have seen it and can talk with authority when people say it was wonderful and I tell them it was the pits. Of course, not feeling all that well, it might have been just right for my mood!

The rest of my day was pretty much like every other day.  Bill had a meeting this evening, so I fixed myself some popcorn and watched a bit of a show about the English monarchy.  The first episode started way back with the fall of the Roman occupation and how a monarchy was developed in England.  This was certainly more interesting than what I watched earlier.

Here is hoping that I will feel a little more energetic tomorrow.  I have a long "to-do" list, but we will see!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November 20th - Genealogy Study Group

I picked up my friend this morning, so we could go to the county Genealogy Study Group together.  They are holding it at the church building in Lawrenceville, but it is not a church group.  Anyway, when we got to the building, there was a group waiting to get in, but the door was still locked.  Fortunately, I have access to the lock box, so I was able to open the door and we went about getting tables and chairs set up.  My friend finally tried calling the stake director, only to find out she had thought it was another day.  She hurried down to get into the closets that I do not have access to for equipment. 

The meeting turned out pretty good.  It is a new group and they are still trying to get things working smoothly.  Hopefully, the building will not be a problem next time!  I had to stay to lock up since the stake director had sick children and was on the way to the doctor.  They hold a steering committee meeting after the regular meeting to make their future plans and I sat in on that.  I told the stake director that I would be willing to be the representative for the church and we will figure out the access to the equipment before the next meeting.  I rather enjoyed being in that meeting, as I had some input, although I sure couldn't move them along very well.  There are a few big talkers!

From there, I took my friend to lunch.  I am her visiting teacher and we usually go out for our visits, since her husband is at home and she enjoys the getting away.  We sat for the next couple of hours at Steak n Shake and had a great visit.

By the time I got home, the day was pretty much gone.  I did a few things at home, including some computer stuff.  This evening, the bishopric meeting was held at our house since the chapel was closed to refinish the wood floor in the gym.  I spent a little more time on the computer, mostly looking over the fifth Sunday lesson that I will present in December about Family History.  Then it was off to bed, rather early actually!

PS - not sure what I did, but this didn't post.  Better late than never, I guess!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 19th - Some Visiting Teaching

I still have the headache - sinus stuff again - but I did all the routine stuff around the house and on the computer.  I checked again for the airline prices to Cedar Rapids that I had found yesterday, and they were still valid, so I called Dad to see how he would feel about my coming up for the week of his birthday.  I think he liked the idea, although he never shows a great deal of excitement.  I went ahead and bought the tickets, so now I am committed to going up there.  I am hoping to get to see Billy on Friday evening. 

I think I have my Sunday lesson pretty much together.  We will be into FamilySearch a lot this week.  Hopefully, they will all get the pedigree charts mastered and maybe even the person page.  We will see how it goes.  In the early afternoon, I gave up and took a long nap, over an hour, and woke up feeling better.

Late this afternoon, I met the RS president at the home of one of the sisters I visit, the one I have trouble getting to respond when I try to set up visits.  So, we just dropped in!  Not my favorite way of visiting, but sometimes it is the only way.  We brought her some hats and mittens for her pre-K class.  We had a great visit.  We have been friends for a long time and she is just going through some difficulties, including not coming to church in the last few months.  Here is hoping that they decide to start coming again. 

I hurried from there to a stake meeting for Family History Consultants.  I was a few minutes late, but they hadn't started yet, so I didn't miss anything.  The best thing is connecting with some of the other consultants.  We will be taking over the staffing of the Family History Center in December and my biggest concern is knowing who to ask to cover for me when I am out of town!  Especially, considering that I will be gone a week in December. 

Even though my day started kind of rough, it ended up being a good and productive day.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 18th - Manic Monday!

This was just "one of those days" when I didn't feel like doing much of value.  I did a few necessary things, like straightening up the house (all the toys from Saturday were still out, expecting the kids to come Sunday) and a little kitchen stuff.  Otherwise, I pretty much lounged around the computer.  I started planning my lesson for Sunday.  I like not having a set lesson to follow, but it does mean that I have to spend a good bit more time in the planning.  I also just wasted some time, playing games.  Just one of those days where I didn't feel like doing much - could be the bad headache had a part in that.

Anyway, I did make an apple crunch for Empty Nesters this evening, so it wasn't a total waste.  Since I didn't feel like going out, I used the freeze dried apples and I got a lot of compliments this evening.  We all went to the assisted living facility where one of the couples in the ward are now living.  She broke a hip and then her back and has had a very slow recovery, which is why they moved into assisted living.  She is still hoping that they will be able to move back to their house, but I am not sure that will happen.  We did have a great time, though.  One of the couples does storytelling, so they did a couple of Christmas stories.  Then, Brother Stu (that's who we were visiting) started telling his stories and we had a great time, laughing and totally enjoying ourselves.  We didn't stay long, though, as bedtime is pretty early for them.  So, we moved to another house for refreshments and spent the next hour or so talking and eating and having a great time.  This is a wonderful group of friends and we enjoy our monthly Family Home Evening together.

It is always nice when a drab day ends on a good note.  And that is what happened today!

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 17th - Quiet, Relaxing Sunday

I had to teach my family history class today and it went well, except for not having the TV.  I had asked the library to save it for me every week, but another teacher swept in and just took it, leaving me without.  I know it is not my personal property, but it did dampen my class not having it.  So, there are 4 stands with TV's in the library and I am told that there is only one that works with computers? The others just do DVDs?  Next week we will attack earlier!!  Actually, the class was still good; I just couldn't show the video or demonstrate where everyone could watch.

Back home, I put together dinner since David and the kids planned to come over for dinner, so Lisa could sleep all afternoon.  About the time it was ready, David called to say Brooks now has a fever, so they wouldn't be here at all.  Poor guy, he was the first to get sick a couple of weeks ago.  Sure hope this is quick, since it is his birthday party this coming Saturday!

Billy called about that same time, too, and we both had a nice long chat with him.  He seems happy with his new job - still in the learning curve, but progressing quickly.  He is planning to move back to CR in the next few weeks and commute there on weekends.  He has found a small studio apartment in DM to live in during the week.  He is excited to be back in his condo, which he has always really liked.  He is planning to get back in classes to finish up his MBA, which I think is great.

Since no one came over, we were able to spend the rest of our Sunday relaxing.  It was a very nice day, in spite of the rain.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 16th - Kids, Kids, Kids!

This was the first Saturday in weeks when we had nothing that we had to attend - no meetings, no funerals, no anything.  Plans were to make it quiet and lazy, with just a short of list of chores to accomplish.  The day started just as planned - straightening the house, dusting, 3 loads of laundry, etc.

Then Lisa called and said she was sick now, David was working to make up for the days he missed being sick, and the kids were not letting her rest.  Well, what would any grandpa and grandma worth their salt do?  Of course, we went and picked them up.  Actually, Bill had to run a couple of chores anyway, so he ran by and picked them up while he was out.

From there on, the day took a whole new direction.  They were both really good.  Brooks wanted Thomas the Train set up; Asbhy wanted to play tic-tac-toe.  By 2:00, Brooks was ready to nap, so he went down and ended up sleeping for three hours.  Ashby went to quiet time and watched a movie.  When her movie finished, we made some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  She has been concerned that my cookie jar doesn't have any cookies in it, so we were able to fix that.  While the cookies baked, she went outside to help Grandpa do whatever it was he was doing out there.  I think she really just wanted to play in the van.

When Brooks finally woke up, he played outside a while, too.  Then we fixed a frozen pizza, and then it was time to take them home.  Bill ran them home, while I did a little straightening around the house.  Actually, I left most of the toys where they were, since they will be back tomorrow for dinner.

I was totally exhausted by bedtime!  They were both so good, though, and are so cute.  I do love their cuddling - there is nothing better than hugs and kisses from the world's cutest grandkids!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

November 15th - Day with Brooks!

Lisa had called yesterday and said she had a presidency meeting and wondered if she could drop Brooks off while she went to it.  Needless to say, my answer was that I would love to have him.  She dropped Ashby off at school and then dropped Brooks off here, before heading off to her meeting.

He and I had a great time playing.  We played with the Lincoln logs, cars, some puzzles, and especially the alphabet puzzle.  We spent a long time on that one!  After lunch, Lisa called and said she had just finished her meeting and was on her way to get Ashby.  However, she had a music lesson at 1:30, so could Brooks stay a little longer.  No problem on my end!  We played some more and then did quiet time.  He didn't want to get into the crib (he doesn't nap as much anymore), so he cuddled with a blanket and pillow on the couch and watched "Mighty Machines" on Netflix, his favorite show.  That would explain why he knows and can say words like "excavator." 

We were still resting when Lisa and Ashby got here.  They couldn't stay long, because Lisa had two more music lessons after school.  It was a fun day and Brooks was really good.

When they left, I did some of the things that had not yet been done and then just took it easy.  I was tired!  Bill had an out of town job so didn't get back until late.  I had gotten comfortable in the big chair and was watching the Elizabeth I series when he got home.

I didn't get anything done on family history today - that's a first!  I did have a friend connect me with her mother who is also a family history consultant and we have started an email correspondence which should be fun.  I have met her mother before when she was here visiting and she is someone I would love to be friends with.  Maybe we can give each other some ideas and support.  I also got a call from someone from the Grayson Ward (don't they have a family history consultant? - that's the second call I have gotten), but her question was about transferring files from FamilySearch to Roots Magic and I know nothing about that.  I could probably figure it out, but it was late in the evening and I told her that if she didn't get it figured out, we could meet sometime and work on it.

It was been another great day!

Friday, November 15, 2013

November 14th - Good Family History Day

So, big surprise - I am talking about family history again!

Actually, I did do a few other things - like water aerobics, several loads of laundry, etc.  I also was so exhausted that I took one of those two hour naps where you feel like you have gone comatose! 

This evening, I worked at the Family History Center - and lo and behold! - a patron.  This was a sister from Lilburn who is going to be going to a family reunion and wanted to have some of her family history printed out to take with her.  Unfortunately, she was having trouble understanding how to get things to work in FamilySearch.  We had a great two hours getting her trained on how to do what she needed to do and I think she will be fine working from home now.  The neatest thing was the last thing I showed her was how to search for documents.  I used her father as the example and when we got the list of documents, there was the 1940 census.  When we opened the image and she found the actual family, she was so excited! 

It is so fun to see someone else get so excited.  I love my calling!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 13th - Major Library Check Out!

Today was pretty much a repeat of my usual lazy days.  Mostly I worked on family history.  I got Sunday's lesson all finalized and everything set to go.  I did some straightening on my desk, too, but it didn't seem to help much.  I am absolutely paranoid about some things  (don't you dare get one of my pots or pans out of place!), but my desk gets to be such a mess.  I have too many piles of things.

Other than the rest of the usual routine, I did make a trip to the library.  My roomies and I had had a discussion about books and, of course, I had to reserve every book they suggested.  I had also requested books from a couple of blogs I follow, as well as from some suggestions on Pinterest, and a few other sources.  And, of course, they all come in at once.  I knew I would get a lot at once, but it turned out to be a bit more than I had planned on!  I had gotten emails saying that there were seven ready to pick up, but when I got to the library, there were nine.  I guess a couple had just come in.  Then, the librarian who was putting the newest books to arrive on the reserved shelf said she had one more for me.  I ended up with a total of 10 - well, nine books and one CD.  That was just a bit more than I had expected!  The first thing I did when I got home wass renew the books, so now I know which ones I have to read first, since someone else is waiting for the book.  It turns out it will be no problem.  Actually, I am always excited to read the books that I have reserved, because they are always recommended by someone and are usually really good books.  I can see that I have a great few weeks coming up, at least on the reading front!

So, other than my library adventure, this has been another pretty boring day.  I never got bored, though.  I was busy all day.  Well, except for the 10 minute nap I got in before the doorbell rang for a package delivery.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 12th - Babysitting!

Lisa has a long-time friend who now lives in Tobago, so they haven't seen each other in quite a long time.  The friend is in town and there was a baby shower for her - the baby is due Christmas Day - and Lisa really wanted to go.  However, it was in the morning and that is a busy time with kids!  So, poor me, I had to go over and take care of the kids so she could have her morning out.

I got there in time to load the kids up in the car and drop Ashby off at school.  Then Brooks and I came back to the house and played all morning.  We played with the train set, setting up a new track.  Then we played with the matchbox cars and the race track.  Finally, we played a long time with the play dough.  They got some new play dough stuff yesterday and he loved playing with his "excavator."  Yes, that is what he called it and that is actually what it was!  The kid is an expert on Mighty Machines, his favorite Netflix show.

After lunch and a little more playing, it was time to pick Ashby up.  When we got home, there was a bit of a conflict about who Grandma had to play with.  Of course, they wouldn't even be on the same level.  Brooks wanted the downstairs; Ashby wanted upstairs!  We eventually distracted Brooks and got him and Ashby together.  Then I was able to slip between them and they were both happy.  How fun that they want Grandma's attention.  Since I can't comfortably get down on the floor to play, they put the toys up on the bar and we sat on the stools and played. 

Not long after, Lisa got back.  The shower had been in Roswell, which was where we lived when she was growing up.  Besides being thrilled to see her friend, she also had fun remembering.  She drove by the old neighborhood and took a picture of our old house and the house that her best friend Ahna had lived in.  They had quite a conversation going on Facebook after she posted the pictures.

Back home, I mostly worked at the computer.  I think I have next week's lesson pretty much planned out.  There are still some things I want to put together, but at least the plans are done.

I was really tired this evening after my babysitting adventure this morning, so I just had a quiet evening reading, before heading off to bed.

Any day with grandkids is a marvelous day - and this one was certainly that!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 11th - Veterans' Day

I had a stay-at-home-all-day-long kind of a day again.  That means I enjoyed it!  Besides the routine stuff, I spent most of my day on family history.  I have a lot of planning to do for each Sunday lesson since the manual is obsolete and provides very little help.  So, I was working on ideas for that a lot.

I posted a picture of my grandfather on Facebook of when he was a soldier in WWI.  I also shared the story of how his unit was sent to the front during the Battle of Argonne Forest, but he had Spanish flue and was too sick to go.  None of them returned.  Although millions died from the Spanish flu during that period, my grandfather's life was probably saved by it.

The rest of my day I was doing some research on a couple of people that I want to use as examples in my class.  I need to make sure everything is current and correct before I start pulling out examples!  I must say that having this calling may be a mixed blessing - I am loving it, but it is my excuse to not do anything else!

I did actually cook some dinner tonight, although it took all of five minutes.  (Baked potatoes, with chili, cheese, and onions and some cantaloup.)  Poor Bill - but he usually manages to find something to eat that is good for him and that he likes.  I do keep things stocked for him. 

Another uneventful - but good day!

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 10th - Started the Family History Class

I was excited this morning to have our first family history class during Sunday School.  It has taken some time to get all the hurdles out of the way, but I think we are going to succeed.  The only space in the building is the large overflow, but that is fine with me.  The young men set up three long tables for me and rearranged the chairs as soon as Sacrament meeting ended.  One of the class members took care of getting the TV and hookups done.  I ended up with 10 people in attendance and three more that will also be attending, but weren't there today.  That is more than I had planned on, but not really a problem.  The class today was mostly about the doctrine and the change of focus on FamilySearch.  I thought it went really well.  Everyone is excited to get onto their computers next week.  So am I!

Bill stayed home today to try to get rid of the last of his cold.  Lisa and the kids came over for dinner, but David was at home - sick, too!  I just did a pork loin in the crockpot, with potatoes, green beans, onions, mushrooms, and cabbage that I added at the very end.  It was really good!  I also did some acorn squash and frozen rolls.

Even being home, Bill missed eating with us, because they did a bishopric meeting with Bill on the phone.  Oh, well.  Everyone enjoyed a lazy rest of the afternoon, Lisa and Ashby on the couch and Brooks watching Mighty Machines on the Iphone.  Both of the kids still are getting over being sick and didn't have nearly the amount of energy that they usually do.

After they all left, I did some things on the computer, mostly related to my next week's class.  It has been a very good day.  I do love Sundays and this one didn't disappoint!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 9th - Pretty Much a Down Day

Bill is still sick, so this turned out to be pretty much a nothing kind of day.  Other than minimal stuff around the house, a couple of loads of laundry, and planning Sunday dinner, I was into the family history again.  Still working on the same family, just doing siblings, hoping to find some additional clues. 

There was an Eagle court of honor for four of our young men this afternoon and Bill was supposed to conduct.  After a long nap, he felt somewhat better, so he went and came home raving about what a great job they did.  It is not often that there is a court of honor for four Eagles, so that alone would make it great.

While he was gone, I took my own little rest and started watching a new series.  This is about Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen.  It was a PBS show from some years back.  So far, so good.

That was about it for my day.  I didn't even leave the house - again!  I am really turning into a hermit!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

November 8th - Sick Hubby

So, Bill was sick today with a terrible cold, fever, the works.  Hopefully, it will pass quickly.  He turned out to be a better patient than he usually is.  That just told me that he really is sick - otherwise, he would have had all these "needs."  As it was, he was up for a little while working on some church stuff and then took a nap that lasted for several hours.  He then had a little energy so ran out on a couple of errands.  He had to pick up the new scout shirt for an Eagle court of honor tomorrow and he wanted tacos, so he stopped at Taco Bell.  After he ate and watched a movie, he was back in bed by 8:00 or so.  That was pretty much it for him.

I didn't do much else.  The Family History appointment that I had today had to be rescheduled.  She had something come up at work and obviously that had to be done instead.  We will touch base later.  Other than a few things, very few, around the hours, and a couple of loads of laundry, I spent the rest of the day on family history.  I haven't done much with my own family tree recently, so I was working on Bill's grandfather.  I have a lot of documents on him, but I cannot find him in the 1940 census.  He died in 1947, so he has to be somewhere, but I sure can't find him.  Today, I spent almost the whole day looking.  I finally started looking through the census itself for the place that he had lived in 1936.  I found the street, but he was not there.  I am thinking that since his wife died in 1937 that he may have moved, but I sure can't find him.  It is also possible that he was just missed.  I can't seem to find his children in the 1940 either.  Hmmm.  I am going to have to think on this some more.  And with a name like Ransom Avant Cantrell, you would think it would show up in some form.  It's what makes genealogy so fun!

Once Bill went on to bed, I watched the last couple of episodes of Monarch of the Glen.  So, if I want to watch anything else, I will have to find something new.  The British do enough shows, I am sure I can find another one that interests me.

Bottom line, it has been a somewhat unusual day, but I did enjoy digging into that family history stuff. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

November 7th - Another "What Did I Do?" Day

After starting the day with water aerobics, I am not sure exactly what I did!  Well, there was all the usual stuff, including giving the bathroom an extra deep cleaning.  I spent a lot of time on the computer, including some family history stuff.  I watched a little Netflix while I rested.  Hmmm,  that must have been it!

What got most of my attention today was actually some family history stuff.  I will finally teach the first class on Sunday and I needed to do some updating on the lesson after my meeting Sunday night.  I also have to help a sister tomorrow with her family history and I was doing a little prep for that.  It is really quite amazing how just a few things on family history can end up filling hours!

Bill came home feeling sick.  He had mentioned it last night and left this morning not feeling well.  He even cancelled his job for tomorrow, so I guess he really is sick.  I am sorry he is sick, both because it is never fun to be sick and also because he drives me nuts when he is!  Men!!  Well, I will be gone for a couple of hours, so it will be interesting to see how he survives.  I do hope he is better before Saturday.  We are supposed to go to the temple with a sister in the ward.

So, another ordinary day in the life of the queen of ordinary!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November 6th - Another Normal Day - How Boring Can You Get?

Not much to write about today.  It was just another ordinary day.  Please note, that is not a complaint.  I happen to like my boring life very much, thank you.  The only problem is that there isn't much of interest to write about!

So today - normal house routine, 3 loads of laundry, errands including picking up prescriptions and doing the "coupon shopping" at CVS, putting all the purchases away, plenty of computer time, resting, watching a little TV.  I also talked to Lisa on the phone about Ashby's trip to the doctor - turns out she has strep, poor thing!

So there goes another boring day!  I am thankful I have boring days!!!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Nov. 5th - Time to Vote!

I did go vote.  Of course, it took me all of about 10 minutes, including parking the car.  There were only two items on my ballot - one for state rep and one the sales tax.  When I got there, there were two other people finishing up, so I was pretty much alone - with six or so poll workers.  I do appreciate the chance to vote, though.

The rest of my day was pretty much the norm - water aerobics, some things around the house, some computer stuff, some family history, etc.  I did get a call from one of the members of the ward who was calling for some family history help.  We set an appointment for Friday morning to get together at her place to see what we can do.

I rested for a while this afternoon.  I am not sure if I have more sinus infection or an ear infection, but the side of my face is quite sore, actually almost numb, just in front of my ear.  I am thinking it is probably the sinus causing pressure.  It was a good excuse to lie down and watch some Monarch of the Glen. 

This evening, Bill rushed in, showered, and took off again to visit someone with another brother.  So, I ended up watching another episode before he finally got back home.

Lisa also called in the late afternoon to bring us up to date on Ashby.  Her fever seems to have broken and she is feeling better.  She still had a low grade - around 99 - so will probably have to stay home from school one more day.  So glad she is getting better!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nov. 4th - Overwhelming Silence!

After having the grandchildren here for three days, the place seems overwhelmingly quiet today!  I think I have taken advantage of not having the responsibility of taking care of them, too.  I managed to do a few things today, but I didn't do half of what I had on my list.  Maybe tomorrow! I also took a lot of time catching up on the computer stuff I follow.  I had certainly gotten behind. 

Bill showed up early afternoon.  He had said he had a huge day today, but the big job had to be postponed because of some problem on their end with the plumbing.  So, he ended up relaxing, too.  After I fixed some lunch, he plopped in the big chair and caught some zzzz's.  He eventually ran out to do a few errands, which was when I decided to do a little resting of my own.  I didn't sleep, though, but did watch a couple of episodes of Monarch of the Glen. 

So went the entire day!  With the time change over the weekend, I am ready for bed even earlier than before, so I made myself stay up until about 9:30, but then I was too tired to read for very long!  I hate these time changes - they always mess me up for days, even weeks!

Anyway, I sure missed the kids being here, but I did enjoy the relaxing!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nov 3rd - Sunday - but No Church

With Ashby's fever, we knew I wouldn't be going to church.  I had let the leaders know that the Family History class would be delayed one week.  I am excited to start the class, but it was more important to stay at home. 

It was a relatively quiet day, with Ashby wanting to cuddle most of the time.  Brooks kind of ran wild, but was actually very good.  We ended up watching a lot of NickJr, Disney cartoons, and Mighty Machines.  When I turned the TV off for Ashby to rest, Brooks took the Ipad into the kitchen and spent more time being numbed.  I really hate having them watch that much stuff, but it really was the easy way out today.

In the late morning, Ashby was feeling a little better, so we went up to the art room and she made a little poster for her mommy and daddy.  It was cute - she drew a picture of them, did some rubber stamping, added a heart-shaped brad, and glued on a picture of a bride and groom.  Brooks just explored the bonus room while Ashby worked.

That was about her only burst of energy all day.  Her fever spiked to 103 in the afternoon.  When Bill got home from church, he took Brooks out to take a walk in the neighborhood.  He needed to do something to get some of that stored up energy out!

Lisa and David got back around 5:15 or so and we enjoyed hearing all about their trip.  I had a meeting that I was supposed to attend at 6:30, which is just when Billy called.  He and I chatted a bit - he is starting his new job tomorrow and is excited.  He has decided to move back to CR to his condo and has rented an efficiency apartment near his new job to stay in during the week. 

After talking a few minutes, I let him talk to Bill and then I had to head out to my meeting.  I got there a little after 7:00 and actually didn't miss the more important stuff.  It was about Family History and some of the changes that are coming. 

Of course, all was quiet when I returned home.  It seems particularly quiet after having the kids here for three days.  We sure did enjoy them.  It was just too bad that Ashby got sick and we didn't get to do some of the other things we had planned.  Love them both!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November 2nd - Wild Saturday!

We have the kids this weekend, so of course, it was not normal.  They both slept well, even with Ashby sleeping in our bed.  They were both up by 7:30, which is not bad at all.  After breakfast, they played.  They enjoyed having Grandpa here to play with them.

Late morning, Ethan and Eric from next door came over to play in the backyard for a while.  When they left, we had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and then headed out to the park.  We were a little disappointed at the park as they had torn down the big climbing gym.  The kids still had fun on the swings and seesaw.  Fortunately, there were not many children there, so it wasn't a problem.

On the way home, we picked up a pizza for our dinner.  By the time we got home, Ashby was beginning to complain about not feeling good, and sure enough, she had a fever.  We gave her some medicine and spent some quiet time on the couch, watching some cartoons.  Ashby eventually climbed into Grandpa's lap in the big chair and they both took a nice nap.

Brooks took his bath by himself and had fun playing with the water.  He then got ready for bed and after playing a while, he went to sleep before 7:30.  Ashby still had a fever, but since she had napped, she was not ready to sleep yet.  She sat quietly watching more TV.

A little later, the missionaries came by and stayed for a short time.  They practiced giving one of their lessons to us.  We asked them to keep it short, though, since it was time for Ashby to get ready for bed.  When they left, she gathered up some books and wanted Grandma and Grandpa to both come up to the bed upstairs to read.  We read one long book and then decided to go get into bed.  After a few minutes in the big bed, Ashby wanted to go to sleep in the bed in Brooks' room.

Brooks woke up in the middle of the night and I had to hold him for a few minutes to get him back to sleep.  That woke Ashby up, so she took more medicine and then came into our bed, where she cuddled for the rest of the night.

We loved our day with Ashby and Brooks, except for Ashby getting sick.  They are so much fun!  We love them!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November 1st - Babysitting Weekend!

My biggest chore of the day was getting all the laundry done - took a while, but all six loads got done, folded and put away.  I did a few other routine things in between.

Around 4:30 or so, Lisa and David dropped the kids off.  They are taking an anniversary weekend to Asheville and we get to keep the young'uns!  They were both so excited.  We decided to play outside in the front yard, since it was such a beautiful day.  Just about the time we headed out, Grandpa got home, so they had a ball playing with him.  They talked him into raking up a big pile of leaves so they could jump in them.  They had a lot of fun.

We finally came in and had some mac & cheese for dinner.  The rest of the evening was spent playing cars, pots and pan drums, and all sorts of other very fun and noisy things.

Brooks was to bed shortly after 8, but Ashby stayed up and played a little longer.  She couldn't decide where to sleep.  She decided she didn't want to sleep in the big bed in the same room with Brooks, so she was planning on sleeping in the bed upstairs.  That was OK, until she was ready to sleep.  Then she came down and wanted to sleep with us.  By that time, I was heading to bed, too, so she climbed in with me and we read some more books.  Then she cuddled up and went to sleep.  She ended up sleeping the whole night with us, clinging like a little vine to me.  Precious!

So day one has gone well.  Here's hoping the rest of the weekend is just as successful.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Oct 30th - Another Gorgeous Day!

We slept in again today - even I didn't get up until 7:45.  When he finally got up, Bill decided he needed a walk, so he headed up the mountain.  He took about an hour and when he got back, we finally had breakfast.  By then, it was 11:00!
After eating and cleaning up, we headed out for another ride.  This time we headed to Waynesviile, where we took the road that heads to Brevard.  It passes over the Parkway and is a beautiful drive, which we have taken before.  Past the parkway, we stopped at sliding rock, a huge rock formation in the creek that is a perfect slide.  It is very popular in warm weather.   
We went on a little further to see Looking Glass Falls, which is a nice waterfall that is close to the road, so I didn't have to hike.  My knees just don't take hiking anymore.   I am not sure of the drop, but it is at least 40 or 50 feet, probably a good bit more.
We then headed back up the road to the Parkway and took it to go back to Balsam.  It is a beautiful section of the Blue Ridge, as it is mostly right on the ridge and there are beautiful views on both sides.  It also has the highest point on the whole parkway.  It was a warm, sunny day, so that made everything even lovelier. 
Once we got back home, we decided to go ahead and cook dinner, so we ate early, by about 5:15.  After cleaning up, we sat out on the porch swing for an hour or so.  What a beautiful ending to our last night.  When it started getting too cool, we headed back in and I read and Bill watched the world series.
It has been a great few days - so sorry that we have to head home tomorrow.  But, I am glad we made it up here.  Ron is trying to sell the cabin, so this may be our last trip.  I am glad it has been a good one!

Oct 31st - Back Home!

We got up at our usual lazy time, fixed another big breakfast mid-morning.  Then we had to pack up and get on the road.  I think we both could have stayed another day or two without any problems!

We left around 11:30, so we were back home by 2:00.  After unloading the car and putting away the food, we both just collapsed.  I spent a good bit of time on the computer, catching up with emails, FB, etc.  Bill watched a little TV, took a nap, and then worked on the seminary lesson that he has to teach in the morning.

It is Halloween today, so we were prepared to have some trick-or-treaters, but there were only two groups with a total of seven kids.  We never got the Halloween decorations out this year and, even though the light was on, I think the kids just didn't come.  That and the fact that there are fewer children in the neighborhood, I guess.

So we are back home and now will have to get back into a normal routine.  I am not sure I am ready - especially since I seem to have a pretty full plate over the next few weeks.  Even so, it is always great to get back to one's own bed!

Happy Halloween!

PS - Got these out of order.  I thought I had uploaded all the blogs that I couldn't post while we were at the cabin (no wi-fi), then I discovered I had missed one!  The 30th really was written before the 31st!

Oct 29th - What a Beautiful Day!

I slept a little later today and Bill was up a little earlier, but we still didn't get breakfast until around 10:00.  We are just enjoying the sitting and looking out the window routine too much!
Eventually, we took off for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway and we couldn't have picked a better day!  It was in the  high 60's and there was plenty of sunshine.  The leaves are past their prime for color, but there are pockets of color, especially in the lower elevations.  Even up in the mountains, without all the colored leaves, it is still beautiful.  We stopped for a while at the visitor's center.
From there, we completed the Parkway drive and then went on into Cherokee, where we stopped at the DQ for an ice cream and to use the wi-fi.  We then headed back to the cabin on the highway.  What a gorgeous drive - we both really enjoyed it.
We then decided it was time to rest - after all, we had really exerted outselves with that long trip!  I read and dozed off a short bit and when I got up, Bill was swining in the porch swing.  I joined him and we were out there for an hour or so.  It is such a beautiful view and the weather was perfect.
We finally came back in and relaxed inside some more.  Neither of us was really hungry, so we ended up having a chili dog for dinner. 
What a great day this was!   

Oct 28th - Wow, What a Lazy Day!

It shouldn't take long to write today - we didn't do much! 
I woke up early and got up and read, while Bill added a few more hours of sleep to his night.  When he finally got up and going, we finally had french toast for breakfast, at around 10:00!  Then we just lazed around, relaxing and enjoying doing nothing of importance.  It had rained during the night and there was still cloud cover most of the day, with occasional patches of blue peaking through.  
In the early afternoon, I went in to read in bed and take a short nap, while Bill talked to the Dish people and got the satellite working properly.  It turned out that it had just developed some glitch and they finally got it all reset so he would be able to watch all the channels.
Mid-afternoon, we decided we needed to get out, so we drove into Waynesville, about 7 or 8 miles up the road.  It was just a leisurely drive, with no particular purpose.  We did end up stopping at a Burger King to get some ice cream and use their wi-fi for a while.  My little computer was doing some strange things, though, so I really wasn't able to get much.  Later, I ran some clean up stuff to try to get it working better.  I hope that took care of whatever the problem was.  We also made a quick stop to pick up some charcoal and lighter.  I had not packed that on purpose.
Back at the cabin, we relaxed some more and when we decided it was time to think about dinner, Bill got the charcoal going while I got stuff ready.  We had steaks on the grill, along with zucchini, squash, and onions.  I do love grilled veggies.  We added a baked potato and ended up with a fantastic meal.
The rest of the evening was spent being just as lazy as we had been all day.  It is just what we needed - especially Bill.  Maybe tomorrow, we will get out a little more - maybe!

Oct 27th - Not Quite a Usual Sunday

We attended church, as usual, and it was all good.  But, from there on, the day was not our usual Sunday.
When I got home, rather than getting dinner prepared as usual, I packed my clothes and the cooler for our trip to North Carolina.  I had packed eveything else already, so it didn't take long to finish it up.  Then I just had to patiently wait for Bill to get home from church.
Bill finally got home, packed his own clothes, loaded the car, and we were on our way by about 4:00.  He had not eaten, so we stopped for a quick burger on the way.  Otherwise, it was a straight shot for the cabin.  We were both anxious for this break.
We arrived about 6:45, which meant it was not quite all the way dark.  It was too dark to see how the leaves are, but Bill was able to get things turned on and the car unloaded while it was still a little bit light.
Then we just relaxed!  We eventually got things unpacked, but we didn't work too hard at it!  By about 8:00, we were ready to eat a little something.  I had planned BLT's for dinner, so I fried up the bacon and we had sandwiches.
Bill settled in to try to watch some TV.  The Dish is on, but it is the very basic service, so there are not really any channels that he wanted to watch.  He may contact Ron tomorrow to see if he will upgrade for the week, and we pay for it, so he can watch some games.  I, of course, am happy as can be, just curled up in my corner with a book.
We are looking forward to these few days.  Bill really needs to de-stress and I always enjoy these kinds of get-aways.   We are both glad to be in North Carolina!